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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  December 19, 2016 8:00am-9:01am PST

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12/19/16 12/19/16 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy y now! >> the trump administration will never pressure israel into a two ststate solution or any otherr solutionon that isis against the wishes of the israeli people. amy: criticism is growing over donald trump's selection of his privacy lawyer david friedman to be the next ambassador to israel. israel'ssupports annexation of the west bank and opposes a two state solution for
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israel and palestine. we will get response. then we go to north carolina where republican lawmakers have waged a legislative coup by stripping power from the incoming democratic governor. at least 39 protesters were arrested on friday at the state capital. then the elelectoral college mes today. >> this is what the electoral college is for, so we do not elect a demagogue, somebody who cannot practice foreign-policy and national defense of the country appropriately, and one who has played fast and loose with the rules of conflicts of interest. amy: as members of the electoral college meet today, could donald trump face a big surprise? one republican elector has are ready publicly said he will not vote for trump. what happens as -- i if dozens more join him? all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman.
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the 538 electors of the electoral college are set to meet today to officially choose the next president of the united states. in past elections, the meeting has generally been considered a formality. but this year, an increasing number of people have called on the electors to refuse to vote for president-elect donald trump. there are nearly 5 million signatures on one petition alone. one republican elector has come out saying he will not vote for trump, and there are reports of other so-called faithless electors. the filmmaker michael moore has offered to pay the fines of any electors who break ranks and vote against donald trump. trump needs to secure 270 elector votes to take office. he lost the popular vote by up -- by 2.9 million. we'll have more on the meeting of the electoral college later in the broadcast. today's electoral college meeting comes as president obama has publicly accused russian president vladimir putin of meddling in the u.s. election.
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pres. obama: not much happens in russia without vladimir putin. pretty hierarchical operation. last i checked, there is not a and democratic deliberation, particularly when it comes to policies directed at the united states. we have said, and i will confirm, that this happened at the highest levels of the russian government. and i will let you make that determination as to whether there are high-level russian officials who go off rogue and decide to tamper with the u.s. electition process without vladimir putin knowing about it. amy: that was president obama speaking friday. u.s. intelligence agencies have also accused russia of hacking the us election to help donald
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trump win. a new report by the guardian reveals exxon mobil ceo rex tillerson, who has been nominated by donald trump to be the next secretary of state, is also the head of a joint u.s.-russian oil company headquartered in the tax haven of the bahamas. the report is based on documents that were part of the panama papers leak. tillerson is already facing intense scrutiny by both republican and democratic lawmakers over his close ties to russia, which include exxon's $500 billion oil deal with the russian government's oil company rosneft. considered the largest oil deal in history, the partnership can only go through if the u.s. lifts sanctions against russia, which the obama administration imposed over russia's intervention in ukraine. scientists are frantically copying government data on climate change, concerned that trump's administration may destroy or bury decades of research.
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trump has appointed a series of people to top cabinet or cabinet-level positions who are either climate change deniers, or close allies of the oil and gas industry. on saturday, dozens of people gathered at the university of toronto for a "guerrilla archiving event" aimed at copying and storing the climate data outside the united states. the internet archive site the wayback machine has also announced it is moving its operations to canada, in the wake of trump's election. in north carolina, as many as 39 protesters were arrested protesting at the state legislative building as the friday legislature approved two controversial bills that aim to strip power from the state's incoming governor democrat roy cooper. activists and democrats have accused the republican lawmakers of waging a legislative coup. this is reverend william barber at the state legislative building friday. >> this is thehe constitution, l political power derives from the
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people. period. it does not derive from anybody else, but it derives from the people. amy: one of the two bills approved friday, which was quickly signed by outgoing republican governor pat mccrory, strips future governors of their power to appoint a majority to the state board of elections. it also changes the state court system, making it more difficult for the losers of some superior court cases to appeal directly to the democratic-controlled supreme court. a second bill, which had not been signed by the governor as of friday afternoon, strips the incoming governor of his ability to name members of the boards of state universities, and it reduces the number of state employees the governor can appoint from 1500 to 425. we'll have more on north carolina with ari berman later in the broadcast. ththe uniteded nations security council is set to vote today on whether to immediately deploy u.n. monitors to aleppo, amid a chaotic evacuation of the eastern part of the city, which was seized by russian-backed syrian government forces last
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week. the fall of eastern aleppo, which had been controlled by anti-government rebels, represents a major turning point in the five-year civil war. humanitarian aid organizations have warned of a slaughter of civilians, and france e has argd for the deployment of f u.n. monitors in order to avoid a new srebrenica. late sunday night, the evacuations frfrom aleppo resumd after being halted when a series of buses used to transport civilians oututf two government held towowns in idldlib were sen fire. in yemen, a suicide bomb attack in the southern port city of aden killed 48 people and wounded 84 m more sunday.. the attack near a military base targeted a gathering of yemeni security officers, and the majority of those killed were yemeni sololdiers who were waitg to receive t their salaries. isis militants have claimed respononsibility for the attack. in jordan, at least 10 people were killed in the southern city
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of karak sunday after armed men opened fire against jordanian police officers and took people hostages at a medieval castle sunday. jordanian officials say seven police officers, two civilians, and one canadian tourist were killed. no group has claimed responsibility for the attack. in turkey the pro-kurdish , peoples' democratic party, known as the hdp, says 20 of its offices, including its headquarters, were attacked over the weekend in the latest crackdown against the country's third-largest political party. the hdp says its district and city offices were burned and vandalized, and that in at least one city, the fire department refused to put out the flames. the attacks came the same day 13 turkrkish soldiers were kikillen a car bombing attack t targeting off-duty soldiers. turkish authorities blblamed the car bombmbing on kurdish militants. leaders of the association of south east asian nations are meeting in burma to discuss the ongoing burmese military's campaign against rohingya civilians. amnesty international is
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accusing the burmese military of murdering, raping, and torturing rohingya civilians in an ongoing campaign the human rights group says may amount to crimes against humanity. at least 20,000 rohingyas have been forced to flee into bangladesh to e escape the violence. u.s. secretary of state john kerry visited saudi arabia over the weekend where he met with king salman and top saudi officials. at a news conference, kerry and the saudi foreign minister sought to downplay recent reports, based on comments from unnamed u.s. officials, that the u.s. is halting some weapons sales to saudi arabia over concern about the saudi-led bombing campaign in yemen. the visit came as a new report by the human rights group reprieve revealed saudi arabia is on track to execucute at leat 150 people this year, and thatat the kingdom is increasingly using secret courts to sentence drug offenders and political prisoners to death. in north dakota, prosecutor eric sent is petitioning a judge and
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morton county to exclude information about the 3.8 ilion dollar dakota access pipeline as well as issues of native american sovereignty from the courtroom in the first group of water protectors goes on trial today charges of disorderly conduct. the 10 water protectors are the first to go to trial limits the months long resistance to the pipeline led by the e standing rock sioux tried and members of 200 others frorom across the amamericas.. abouout 500 people have been arrested in total. a white supremacist website has issued a call for violence against the jewish community in the town of whitefish where white supremacist richard spencer's mother lives. the call for violence included listing the phone numbers and email addresses of jewish residents. richard spencer says he is considering running for montana's congressman ryan zinke's house seat iff zinke rus
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depepartment. trump has picked stephen miller, who is close ties to richard spencer, to be a senior adviser in the white house. in new york city, three activists were physically attacked by a group of chchanting pro-trump and crowe police slogans -- pro-police slogans saturday night. witnesses say the attackers yelled anti-gay slurs, called the activist communist, and appeared to have been targeted as men were waiting in nearby bar for the group to leave the party. photos taken after the attack showed a sustained bruises to their bodies and faces. the committee to protect journalists says a total of 74 reporters were killed in 2016. ththe report finds 53 journaliss were deliberately targeted and murdered for their work, while another 21 were killed while reporting, largely in conflict zones. the deadliest countries for journalists were, in order -- syria, afghanistan, mexico, iraq, and yemen. mexico was the deadliest country
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not officially at war, with nine journalists killed, including crime reporter anabel flores salazar, who was kidnapped in veracruz in february and found dead along the side of the road in a neighboriring state the following day. and u.s. military veteran larry colburn, best known for intervening to stop the 1968 my lai massacre, has died at the age of 67. colburn was part of a three-person helicopter crew that confronted fellow u.s. soldiers who were slaughtering hundreds of innocent vietnamese villages. colburn was 18 years old when he agreed to stand alongside his crew members, hugh thompson, and glenn andreotta. the three threatened to fire on u.s. troops if they continued the massacre. this is larry coburn speaking on democracy now! in 2006. >> at that point, glenn andre otta spotted in earthen type
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bunker with faces peering out of it. there was an approaching squad of americans. mr. thompson decided, and we all decided, if we did not do something within the next 30 seconds, these people would die. so he landed the aircraft and between the advancing american troops and the people in the bunker, went over and spoke to a how weant and asked him could get these people out of the bunker. they were obviously civilians. the lieutenant replied he would get them out with hand grenades. mr. thompson, who was outranked of his lieutenant, actually gave a lieutenant in order and told him to keep his people in place. that he had a better idea. i think he told him, if you fire on these people when i am getting them out of the bunker, my people will fire on you. amy: that was larry coburn speaking on democracy now! in 2006. he died on tuesday at his home in georgia.
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and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. president-elect donald trump is facing widespread criticism for picking david friedman to be the next u.s. ambassador to israel. for years friedman has served as , president of american friends of beit el institutions which has raised millions of dollars to support illegal jewish settlements in the occupied west bank. according to a tax filing, trump donated $10,000 to the group in 2003. friedman, who has no diplomatic experience, has also worked as a bankruptcy attorney for trump for the past 15 years. he supports israel's jewish-only settlements in the occupied west bank and says he doesn't think it would be illegal for israel to annex the entire palestinian territory, despite the fact that it would be blatantly illegal under international law. during the presidential campaign friedman also said he opposes a , two-state solution for israel and palestine. >> the trump administration will
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never pressure israel into a two state solution or any other solulution that is against the wishes of the israeli people. amy: in accepting donald trump's nomination, david freidman said in a statement that he aimed to -- "strengthen the bond between our two countries and advance the cause of peace within the region, and look forward to doing this from the u.s. embassy in israel's eternal capital, jejerusalem." but trump has beenen widely criticized for selecting friedman. daniel kurtzer, who served president george w. bush as ambassador to israel from 2001 to 2005 said -- "he has made clear that he will appeal to a small minority of israeli -- and american -- extremists, ignoring the majority of israelis who continue to seek peace. friedman's appointment as ambassador runs directly contrary to mr. trump's professed desire to make the 'ultimate deal' between israelis and palestinians." the liliberal advocacy group j street said -- "this nomination is reckless, putting america's reputation in the region and credibility around the world at risk."
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we are joined now by two guests. here in new york, rebecca vilkomerson, executive director of jewish voice for peace. joining us from france mustafa , barghouti, leader of the palestine national initiative and a member of the palestinian legislative council. we welcome you both to democracy now! rebecca vilkomerson, your first response when you heard trump had nominated his bankruptcy lawyer david friedman to be u.s. ambassador to israel? >> i think this appointment, which still needs to be confirmed, confirms our worst fears about what the trump administration intends and trends of its approach to israel-palestine. mr. friedman is to the extreme right of prime in eastern that now who -- netanyahu. i think this confirms that trump's approach t to israel-palestine is going to really reinforce apartheid, promote annexation, and not show
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any concern to the rights of palestinians or for israelis who really want peace. amy: can you explain what his positions have been over time? is he someone you have focused on at your group? >> we haven't because he is not innate public figure. he is a bankruptcy lawyer. note haven't because he is a public figure. he is a bankruptcy lawyer. the suppose it policy against settlements. there's an argument to be made this rips off the mask of u.s. policy because the was policy has been to condemn settlements what continuing to financially support israel. i think the humanan cost is goig to be extremely great and we can expect the netanyahu government is going to try to take advantage of this government to continue to push its annexation and assault the rights of palestinians. amy: i want to go to david friedman in his own words.
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in october, , he was interviewed on the isrsraeli network i24nen. >> will donaldld t tmp r recogne -- israel's whole cacapital? > yes, he said that coununtls times s that he willll r recogne cicity of jerusalem as israel's eternal capital. will move the embassy from tel aviviv to jerusalem. talklkso trump''s policies, as far as the israeaeli-jewish amamerican voter, , why should israeli voters, israeli-amemerin voters vote for trumump? well, if f those w w want to see a strong relatitionship betweeeen israelndnd the united states with no daylight, t those who wantnt to see israrael protd at the uniteted nations, those o want to see the strongesest levl of milititary andndtrategic robberies in b between t these o coununtries, those who do not wt to see dayaylight betweeeen theo cocountries, those who want t to live in enenvironment where the
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u.s. does not attempt to impose upon i israel a solution to thee palestinian conflict against t e state of i israel, those who wat toto see j jerusalem recognizeds the capital of israel, vote for donald trump. amy: so that is david friedman in october. i wantnt to turn to mustafa barghouti leader of the , palestine national initiative and a member of the palestinian legislative council. first, respond to what he is talking ababout, moving the u.s. embassy from tel aviv to jerusalem and the significance of this, andnd then your respone to his nomination. >> when he speaks about moving the embassy to jerusalem, recognizing jerusalem [indiscernible] he and the american administration would be participating in violation of international law. it says that no country can annex other people's land by force. if jerusalem is not recognized
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-- its annexation was considered by so many [indiscernible] by saying he is moving the , not onlyere violating international law, but also violating major international principles that have governed relations between countries since the second world war, which is that it is unacceptable to allow any country to annex other people's territory by force. more than that, i think his appointment is very serious, not only a reckless act, but i would -- his specialty is bankruptcy. this would mean the united states is sending a very clear message that it is totally biased to israel, but totally -- [indiscernible]
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illegale supporting settlements and against a two state solution and allowing palestinians to have their own state, this means you're supporting the appointing a person who is against peace. and definitely, this would send a very dangerous message to palestinians, perhaps to the whole world, that the united cannot plant positive role in a peaceful process. this would mean the united states is not only against palestinians, that it would mean the united states and its embassy in tel aviv or in jerusalem, he wasn't there, is going to be -- [indiscernible]
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this is a very dangerous move. it is irresponsible. it would mean the united states is for the decision -- opposed to the international court of justice. it says that annexation is illegal. and all of these actions by -- international law. amy: i want to turn to some comments, david friedman has made, about jewish groups in the united states. he has frequently attacked groups are, including ththe advocacycy group j street, .omparing them to kapos in a piece published in june, he said j street supporters were actually worse, writing -- "the kapos faced extraordinary cruelty and who knows what any of us would have done under those circumstances to save a loved one? but j street?
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they are just smug advocates of israel's destruction delivered from the comfort of their secure american sofas -- it's hard to imagine anyone worse." on friday, j street president jeremy ben ami appeared on msnbc . what's it is dangerous and reckless for the president of the united states to put somebody who has shown in inability to have a civil discussion without immediately resorting to name-calling about the people he disagrees with. there is going to be a real split in the institutional life of the american jewish community . there are organizations that will go along with the leadership in this country in the leadership and that country, despite the fact that a majority of jewish-americans in both countries don't agree with the policies that are being and lamented. this is a real crisis and american jewish leadership. amy: rebecca vilkomerson? >> i mean, the kind of language ththat friedman is using about a
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big swath of the jewish committees is just reprehensible. it is unacceptable and that fact this is a person who will be a diplomat representing the u.s. which is absurd. i think what is distressing is the fact donald trump has selected this person to represent -- he is not what he representing at all what we know to be the majority of the american-jewish community. he has used similar linkage about muslims and arabs. he speaks about arabs in very broad terms. expressedone who has prejudice at every turn -- and not as concerned about the offensive language as i am about policies, but what it reflects about how he will approach his job, it just seems he is completely temperamentally not suited, but also he is promoting these really, really dangerous policies. amy: at a trump rally in october in jerusalem, david friedman claimed top hillary clinton
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eight humama abedin had close connections to the muslim brotherhood. who does hillary clinton get her advice from? >> george soros. >> you are right. george soros. mostlumenthal, one of the viral haters. edin, close connection to the muslim brotherhood. >> and al qaeda. >> and al qaeda, right. amamy: that was david friedman saying hillary clinton's top aide huma abedin that only related to muslim brotherhood, but to al qaeda. >> it is hard to know what to say. this is unprecedented territory that we have someone who is supposed to be an ambassador to a country that is was to represent all the citizens of the u.s. but be in a region that
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is known for his long history of volatility and that is in desperate need of a peace process that will bring rights to palestinians and peace for israelis and palestinians together that he is using this kind of language. it seems it would be impossible that would be any kind of positive movement. i think we can expect the opposite. the only thing i can hope for is this will help to organize opposition to donald trump -- because we do know from the last three years that more and more americans are supporting boycott, divestment, and sanctions. this is going to put the was really at odds with the rest of the world. the global movement of boycott, willtment, and sanctions help strengthen that movement and help ultimately to advance the movement for palestinians. that is a very small comfort at this point. amy: which goes toto the issue f the anti-semitism awareness act and your concerns about it. >> the anti-semimitism awareness act was introduced into the
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senate a couple of weeks ago. it passed by unanimous consent on the same afternoon as it was introduced in the morning. this was introduced by apec. the culmination of several years of attempts to legislate the definition of anti-cement his him to include criticism of israel, which is anan enormous free speech issue. on how thetack department of education would define it among campuses. it is try to legislate the movement for palestinian rights on campuses and in some ways it is a compliment as a growing street to the movement, but it is a big assault on free speech and the abability to fight for these rights. we were able to organize enough opposition that it did not get heard in congress, although it was introduced in the house later, so we wilill see what happppens in the next session. these are the sorts of things we expect to continue to seek. amy: david freeman has had colleges are generally being far too any and allowing the pro-palestinian community to
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deprive those in the pro-israel cap of their first amendment right to free speech. this is a serious constitutional deprivation so it is something that must be looked at. >> these are the sort of policies i think we're going to have to ask it in a trump administration. we're going to have to be prepared to fight them. amy: mustafa barghouti, if you could talk about what this means for u.s. policy towards israel, which goes to what was president obama -- i mean, he's still in office for a few more weeks -- policy toward israel and what it has accocomplished and what yo'e concerned about were hoping will happen in the next presidential term. >> well, to be frank with you, unfortunately, both mrs. clinton and trump were totally biased to israel. mr. obama [indiscernible] one of the gravest mistakes that
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were made with president obama who we had very big hoax when elected, did not fulfill his promise for demanding and pushing for complete and total freedom of settlement activities that he promised his first year in the white house. the fact he fell under netanyahu 's pressure has caused big harm in the middle east and to the palestinian-israeli's. in my opinion, mr. trump [indiscernible] we facing situation were such opponents like that of mr. settlements do not represent [indiscernible] the fact he's talking about ,oving the embassy to jerusalem
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is a green light by israeli advocate groups, to the annexation -- the killing of a two state solution, the destruction of ability of peace. that is why this is totally irresponsible. you appoint a person like mr. friedman whoho has participated alreadady in the crimes of supporting settlements with his money and his support, he is practically a participant in the crime a violation of international law. this would m mean they are sendg a message that the united states rolet even play a partial in the so-called peace process or anything like that. this is very risky and dangerous. risk to the is a
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american interest as well. so many countries will take notice. if the united states prefers thisis course, he will be hurtig the american people themselves. i want to relate to what your guest said about the support of palestinians and american camps there areof course, strong campaigns of people in solidarity, not only with palestinian's, but with justice and freedom and palestine. there supporting the boycott, divestment, and sanctions campaign and others. it shows a shift and a change in the public opinion in the united states because people realize that israel is not get higher. created a system of apartheid which it cannot accept. all in all, i think, if i was a jewish person, if i was an american-jewish person, i i woud worry about those people who are extremist, racist, and not only
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populists, but a fascist approach to presenting their policies. these people can become anti-semitic also. not only against palestinians, but jewish people themselves. that is a very dangerous course that one has to be very careful about. amy: which brings into montana. i want to ask you thisis questi, rebecca, a weiss for mrs. website has issued a call for violence against the jewish commmmittee in the town of whitefish were white supremacist richard spencer's mother lives. the call for violence includes listing the phone numbers and email addresses of jewish residents. richard spencer says he is considering running for montana congressman ryan zinke's see if zinke is confirmed to head the interior department. trump kicked him for the cabinet position last week. trump has picked stephen miller who has close ties to richard spencer to be a senior adviser in the white house. talk about white nationalism and
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what this means here in the united states. >> it has been a real concern ever since stephen bannon becace trumump's campaign manager backn the summer and now bannon is in a very close proximity to trump in the white house or will be, and bannon himself has called breitbart, which was managing, a platform for what he calls old -- alt-right. misogyny,m, anti-semitism. we can see how this has empowered anti-semi in this country and how listing a spike not only in anti-semitic incidents, but on racist incidents. whitefish is just the most recent manifestatation of that. for me, this is the closest proximity to power i've seen anti-summative some in in the united states -- anti-semitism in in the united states that trump has openly said he would pursue, but of course, they all go together. , think we havave a moment where
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certainly my lifetime, we have never seen this kind of forces come so close to power in start to take power. it is scary. one thing that is so setting about the anti-semitism awareness act is a lot of the mainstream jewish groups have not been speaking up about bannon or david friedman and his reasonable comments, yet they're willing to use this moment of elevated fears about anti-semitism to push through these laws that are not really about what's a premises anti-semitism, but punishing people who are working -- amy: how is s jewish for peace organizing? these are nominations. nothing is set in stone. today's electoral l college d d. as a broader collective movement are determined to fight this on every front. we worked very hard so the house did not actually hear the anti-summative some awareness act. we will be fighting hard against david friedman's nomination.
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i think all of us -- all of our movements, which are going to have to come together around these broad principles, are going to have to work together to fight this in every single way weekend. amy: i want to thank you for being with us, rebecca vilkomerson, head of jewish voice fofor peace, and mustafa barghouti, joining us from france, head of the palestinian national initiative. when we come back, we go south and look at what happened in north carolina. a legislative coup, close to 40 people were arrested, protesting the stripping of the incoming democratic governor in north carolina, of much of its powers. they would us. -- stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. as we turn now to north carolina where as many as 39 protesters , were arrested friday at tthe state legislative building. activists are accusing republican lawmakers of waging a legislative coup by attempting to strip power from the state's incoming governor, democrat roy cooper, who narrowly beat republican governor pat mccrory by 10,000 votes last month. in an unprecedented move, republicans filed dozens of new bills last week during a special session of the general assembly called to consider relief for hurricane matthew victims. the naacp of north carolina has decried the legislative actions describing it as a form of jim , crow governance. on friday, the reverend william barber, president of repairers of the breach and president of
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the north carolina naacp, spoke outside the state capital. >> all political power -- this is the constitution -- derives from the people. period. it does not derive -- it does not derive from a anybody else, but it derives from the people. amy: that was reverend barber speaking in raleigh on friday. you can go to to hear our extended interview with him. two major bills were approved by the legislature friday. one of them, which was quickly sisigned by goverernor mccrory, strips future governors of their power to appoint a majority to the state board of elections. the number of board members was expanded from five to eight, with the eigight membersrs to be evenly divided between the two major parties. it also changes the state court system, making it more difficult for the losers of some superior court cases to appeal directly to the democratic-controlled supreme court. a second bill, which had not been signed by the governor as of friday afternoon, strips the governor of his ability to name
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members of the boards of state universities and it reduces the number of state employees the governor can appoint from 1500 under mccrory to 4 425. for more we are joined by ari , berman, senior contributing writer for the nation, where he covers voting rights. berman is the author of "give us the ballot: the modern struggle for voting rights in america." his latest piece "north carolina's legislative coup shows what a voter suppression will look like under a trump." welcome back to dedemocracy now! >> this is unbelievable. if i can give you some context. this is not the first t time, unfortunate, the north carolina gop has attacked the right to vote. first off, republicans were elected to legislature north carolina with the majority for the first time in 1870 after the 2010 election. the first thing they did was gerrymander political districts so they would maintain power for ththe next decade. those districts have subsequently been struck down for illegal racial german during
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in violation of the voting rights act. the very people who are stripping the give -- democratic governor for power were illegally elected. secondly, after the s supreme court gutttted the voting rights act, thehe north carolina republican party pass the country's worst voter suppression law. limited early voting, same-day voter registration, preregistration for 16 and 17 years old. the fourth court circuit of appeals of that law targeting black voters with almost surgical precision and that some parts of the law were as close to a smoking gun as you will see in modern times. they were found guilty of violating the voting rights act again. then even after they had repeatedly lost in court, they closed polling places on election day, restricteded early voting hours, have mccrory refused for nearly a month to concede to roy cooper in the governor's race. he spread bogus allegations of voter fraud. all of which: aided in this unbelievable special session -- culminated in this unbelievable
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special session simply because he was a democrat. amy:y: mccrory did not concede defeat for almost a month.. >> r rlly what h he was doing ws laying the groundwork for the legislative power grab for future voter suppression efforts. there was really no widespread voter fraud in north carolina or any other state. all of these accusations by the mccrory campaign, by the north carolina republican party were completely bogus and what the north carolina republican party has done shows the lie about voter fraud. stripping the democratic governor of his power has nothing to do with voter fraud. the fact they were going to be democratic majorities in the state board of elections, 100 lolocal county board off electis had nothing to do with voter fraud. thisis is about power.r. they d do not like the fact they lost the gut -- lost the governor'ss r race so they d ded to do a coup. amy: o on friday, protesters rallied in the halls of north carolina's legislative building in raleigh after being put out
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at the genereral civilly sessio. policece were told to arrest anyone who knocked on the door to enter the gallery. this is a north h carolina residentnt and veteran.. >> i i fought in afghanistanan. i ugught in iraq.. i fofought for freedom all arord the world. and h havee to me home to deaeal with what t we'rere dg with tay, that is not freedom. ththat is f fascist. and d you can't even go o to the dodoor. if i knock o on the storore, i'm knocking on ththe door fofor e millions of peoplee who voted in fororate of north carolina our governor, for hihim toe up to have this power.. to be abableo make the b best decisions rr e education, fofor health care, for welfa, for housing.
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cannoteone to tell ususe exersese our cononstitutional rights. so when i knock on t this door today, i knock on this door for frfreedom. i knock on this door for democracy. i knock on thihis door for north carolina. that, thisth military veteranan knockcked o e dooror of the gallery and was arrested. ari berman? >> i i think this is a disisturg eview ofof what we're going to see and trump's america. i believe the president-elect has very little regard foror democracy,y, whether i it is a y election or a free press falls up we are seeing this play out right now in north carolina with the legigislature brazenly ignoe the will of the people in the prevented those very people from being able to protest in a nonviolent manner. what are people supposed to do when you elect someone and the
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person you elected is stripped of his power by people who were illegally elected in violation of the voting rights act? you have to wonder, what recourse do we as citizens have? it is externally disturbing. amy: let's turn to a resident of ststem, nortrth carolina. -- kinstston, north carolinana. quick it is disappointing to see. if this is a special session, what is supppposed to bebout relief, thenen why are we stilll here?? ththe politicians in raleieigh e treating floodod victimms like a pawn and i i am m not your p pn. changes should notote did this way. north carolina is better than that. amy: that is michelle henry, who kinston,dent of
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north carolina. she was a victim of the flooding caused by hurricane matthew. which was a pretext of the special session. >> is unbelievable, what was supposeded to help victims of a hurricane become a man-made political disaster. what we're seeing is we had thought possibly with the north carolina republican party, legislature, would do is pack the state supreme coururt becaue now there is a 4-3 majority. that got a lot of outcry. amy: explain that. and african-american democratic judge was elected, making it 4-3 , so governor mccrory wanted to add two more people to the court. it had been seven people for the last 80 years. >> thehey had these bogus arguments s there was too much workload for t the court. everyone knew this was trying to ignore the wilill of the peoplpe and giving republicans a majority in a crucial institution that will hear a lot of these challenges. that was scrapped, this idea of stripping the democratic governor of his powerers to
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appoint majorities all across ththe state. nobody even talked about that. again, it is like they sit in a room and think of the craziest and they can do to undermine democracy. 40 hoursrs later, they pass it. amy: there wilill be a special elections next year because of violations of the voting rights act? >> yes, because 20 general civilly districts were illegally jury mentoring, the will be special elections that will impact the entire state. the people who did this are going to have to run for election next year. amy: very quickly, jeff sessions, nominated by donald trump to be the attorney gegeneral, t the alabama senat. >> he is someone with a very long history of opposition to the voting rights act, someone who wrongly prosecuted black political activists for civil rights activist for voter fraud. seeing what we havave in order o a lot of comedy y attorney genel who may hear challenges like opponent of the voting rights act, of civil
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rights the missouri disturbing. the republican party is institutionalizing voter suppression at all levels of government right now. we really need to pay attention to this and fight it with everything we have. amy: confirmation hearing separate generate tens and 11 for jeff session. >> that is way too soon. we do not have nearly enough information on him. amy: we will continue to cover these issues of --ari berman senior contributing writer for , the nation, where he covers voting rights. berman is the author of "give us the ballot: : the modedern strue for voting rights in america." when we come back, it is electoral college day. we will go to denver, coloradod, just equip one of the electors. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman.
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the 538 electors of the electoral college are sent to me today to officially choose the next president of the united states. electors meet in their rerespective state capitals to cast ballots to determine who will be the next president. in past elections committee meetings generally are a formality. this year, increasing number of people have called on the electors to refuse to vote for president-elect donald trump. one republican elector has come out saying he will not vote for trump and there are reports of other so-called republican faithless electors. michael moore has offered to pay the fines of any elector who breaks ranks and votes against donald trump. trump needs to s secure 270 electotoral votes to take offic. he lost the popular vote by y 29 million. joining us now is polly baca, coloradoc elector from who believes the 538 members of the electoral college has a moral responsibility to intervene to prevent a leader like trump from taking office.
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polly baca, welcome to democracy now! talk about what you will be doing today y in denver. good morning. i will be voting today. in everyt high noon state across the nation. in colorado, 12:00 noon is 2:00 eastern time. amy: what does it mean to be hamilton elector? >> what it means is that we really are committed to fulfilling our obligation as described by the united states constitution. int a alexander hamilton wrote 1968 that establish the electoral college was t that ths body was to be a deliberative body, that was a safafeguard against the election of an unqualified demagogue or a president that might be indebted to four nations. and certainly am a mr. trump
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fulfilled alall of those qualifications or those descriptions, which means as responsible electors, we ought to make sure that mr. trump is not -- does not receive 270 votes and become our president. we have the power as electors to do that. the only question is, do we have the will to do so? >> e explain how you will bebe voting today. >> i don't know how i will be voting at. i actually am in colorado, which voted for hillary clinton. and my preference would be to have 38 republican electors join the hillary clinton forces and elect jurgenson president -- elect hillary clinton president as the people have our he said they would prefer, given she has received more vototes for president than anyone in the history of our country. what is ironic is that we have millions of offices, elective
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offices, in our country, and yet -- and they are all determined by one person, one vote. the only position in our electoral system of elected positions that does not abide by the principle of one person, one vote is the president of the united states. instead, we in the electoral college have the responsibility of making sure that whomever is elected president is someone that is not indebted to a a foreign power -- indebted to a foreign power. i truly fear that mr. trump is indebted and overly influenced by mr. putin and the russians. i believe that is why he hit so hard at the first amendment will stop my goodness, i would the soviet union as a guest of the american council of the young political leaders in the 1970's and then again in 1988, believe.
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and the two freedoms that we had that really differentiated as a country from the russians, and i wrote them in my memoirs, the two freedoms were, number one, the freedom of speech and the right to assemble peacefully. and the second was, the freedom of the press. if you look at what mr. trump has been doing, he has absolutely attacked those freedoms over the last year and a half. i really fear, i am really concerned about the future of our country. should mr. trump become our president. which i believe the electors have the responsibility to stop. , you were thea first hispanic woman elected to the colorado state senate and in the house and senate of the state legislature. with peoplejoining
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like christine pelosi and christopher suprun in calling for an intelligence briefing >>? yes. and igo go ahead. >> i find the letter that said we as electors have the briefed.ility to be we really do need to know what is going on. our intelligence committee has the responsibility of briefing us so we can be were the voters in the electoral college. without that briefing, we really cannot vote in a responsible manner. and that is why i signed that letter. and up to this point, i believe that we will not get that briefing as wewe should. amy: i want to turn to christopher suprun, who we had on democracy now!, republican from texas who became the first member of the electoral college to come out saying he will not vote for trump.
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this is what the electoral college is for, so we do not elected demagogue,'s amity who cannot practice the for policy national defense of the country properly, and one who has played fast and loose with the rules of conflicts of interest. amy: so he also, like you, has called for an intelligence briefing. have you gotten a response back yet? >> i believe the response i received thus far is that it isn't going to happen. i think that is a tragedy. amy: you have an amazing history, polly baca. you were at the 1963 march on washinington. you wewere on rfk's campaign staff, robert kennedy's campaign staff in 1968 and at the ambassador hotel when he was killed. you are on the dnc staff at the watergate building and were working late the night the so-called plumbers first broke into the dnc headquarters, not the night they got caught, but the night they planted the bugs.
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and your family came north from mexico around exceed hundred. -- around 161600. with that kind of his for background, your thought today? this is the day that donald trump, if the electoral college does vote for him, will become officially the next president of the united states. >> i am very concerned. i am very concerned for our country. our republican hamilton elector that has the courage to vote for our country. i really encourage other republican electors to think of their country first. think of country before party. quiteor someone -- honestly, if we had enough votes, if we had 38 republicans willing to support somebody like governor kasich or governor romney or any of these
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responsible -- republican candidates, previous candidates, i would be willing to support them because i think it is so important that we do not elect mr. trump. you know, this man, if we could only get his taxes -- i think the reason he is hiding his taxes is because he is indebted financially to other countries, specifically the russians and perhaps the chinese. they are going to have -- they already are having a great deal of influence on mr. trump. certainly, putin. it feels like mr. trump is being a puppet of putin. that is harsh to say, but certainly his behavior and his actions have not been consistent with our country's foreign policy. instead, i think are endangering our country and making us a country that can be -- his presidency, i think, can be used by mr. putin, specifically
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because of the way his behavior attacks our first amendment. i think we really have to encourage our colleagues that are republican electors to support someone other than mr. trump. truly, in my opinion, save our country. amy: these electors, like in colorado there are 28 states where you are bound to support the state'ss electoral -- the the state,ho won in your case, hillary clinton? >> yes. i think hillary clinton would be goodazing, incncredibly president. of course, again, most people in the united states agree with me. she has won the popular vote by almost 3 million v votes. and receiveded more votes than y other person has ever received in the history of our country
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for president of the unite states. amy: we have to leave it there, but we will report on what takes place polly baca him a, thanank you for joining us. elector from colorado. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate theçç=ñ)ssosss?
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>> is democracy for sale? do billionaires control us in ways we cannot even imagine? are there secret effort to take away our voting rights. we heard the accusations over and over again during the election. voter fraud. the system is rigged. both sides pointing their fingers at each other. one courageous investigative reporter has been investigating the voting landscape for 16 years. his name is greg calloused. we will show you some of his latest work from his new democracy, "the best democracy money can buy."


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