tv Democracy Now LINKTV January 20, 2021 8:00am-9:01am PST
01/20/21 01/20/21 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, this is democracy now! mr. biden: i am truly honored to be our next president, commander in chief. i will always be a proud son of the state of delaware. amy: joe biden and kamala harris are being inaugurated today as the trump presidency comes to an end. we will speak to professor michael eric dyson and waleed shahid of justice democrats, who
has drafted a blueprint for social movements during the biden presidcy. >> joeiden has a chance to create a once in generation presidency that will be remeered for generations to come because of its bold agenda for americans like lincolnnd emancipation come fdr and the new deal, like lbj and silva rights and medicare. it is going to take a t of pressure to get there because joe biden wl not get there himself and he needs the political room that progressives can create to push him to enact that bold agenda. amy: at first, donald trump has pardoned former strategist steve bannon along with 142 others in one of his last acts in office. we will look at the big money behind the pardon process. we will speak to cia torture whistleblower john kiriakou. when he asked trump's lawyer rudy giuliani for help getting a pardon, an associate said it would cost him $2 million.
kiriakou didn't pay and was not on trump's pardon list. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the quarantine report. i'm amy goodman. joe biden is being inaugurated today as the 46th president of the united states. he is taking the oath of office at noon today, putting an end to the tumultuous single term of donald trump, and taking on the handling of a devastating pandemic. on tuesday evening, biden and incoming historic vice president kamala harris led a national mourning for coronavirus victims at the lincoln memorial. 400 lights illuminated the reflecting pool, representing the over 400,000 people who died from covid-19 in the u.s. biden and harris both spoke at the memorial. mr. biden: to heal, we must remember. it is hard sometimes to remember
, but that is how we heal. it is important to do that as a nation. that is why we are here today. harris: for many months we have grieved by ourselves. tonight, we grieve and begin healing together. though we may be physically separated, we, the american people, are united in spirit. amy: kamala harris will make history as the first woman vice president. also the first african american, first asian american, and first indian american to hold the office. as vice president, harris will swear in three new democratic senators this afternoon, giving control of the chamber to her -- the democratic party -- raphael warnock and jon ossoff, who both won their georgia runoffs earlier this month, and alex padilla, who will replace her in the senate, representing california.
outgoing vice president mike pence is attending the inauguration today and will miss trump's send-off at joint base andrews. trump, who is not going to the inauguration, released a farewell video tuesday. pres. trump: now as i prepare to hand power over to a new administration at noon on wednesday, i want you to know the movement we started is only just beginning. amy: once again, he would not say joe biden in one of trump's acts as president, he revoked his own 2017 executive order barring federal government appointees from lobbying the agencies in which they worked within five years of leaving the administration. today's events take place in a heavilguarded anlocked dow washgton, d. 12 army national guard members were removed from inauguration duty as troops were vetted to make sure they did not have ties to extremist groups or views.
two of the removed members sent texts or made social media posts that threatened lawmakers. as authorities continue to identify and arrest rioters who took part in the january 6 insurrection at the capitol, prosecutors filed conspiracy charges tuesday against three members of the far-right oath keepers, an extremist militant group, who they say planned and coordinated ahead of the attack. according to court filings, one of the members, thomas edward caldwell, received a facebook message during the assault which read -- "all members are in the tunnels under capital seal them in. turn on gas." meanwhile, senate majority leader, soon to be minority leader, mitch mcconnell spoke out against trump and the insurrectionists on trump's last full day in office. >> the mob was fed lies. they were provoked by the president and other powerful people. amy: mcconnell and the house's top republican kevin mccarthy
are attending a church service with joe biden, along with democratic congressional leaders chuck schumer and nancy pelosi, ahead of today's inauguration. with less than 12 hours before the end of his presidency, donald trump issued 143 pardons and commutations, including a pardon for steve bannon, his former chief strategist and campaign manager. bannon was arrested in august for defrauding trump supporters who donated money to an anti-immigrant nonprofit called "we build the wall." in recent weeks, bannon helped promote conspiracy theories about the 2020 election and urged trump supporters to come to washington, d.c., on january 6 when rioters attacked the capitol. trump also pardoned elliott broidy, one of his top fundraisers in 2016 who pleaded guilty in october in a foreign lobbying case. other pardon recipients include former detroit mayor kwame kilpatrick, three former republican congressmen -- rick
renzi, robert hayes, and randall "duke" cunningham -- and the rappers lil wayne and kodak black. we will have more on trump's pardons after headlines. in news about the incoming cabinet, joe biden has tapped rachel levine, pennsylvania's top health official, to be assistant secretary of health. levine would become the first openly transgender official to be confirmed by the u.s. senate. the senate held hearings for five of biden's cabinet nominees tuesday. general lloyd austin, biden's nomination to leave the pentagon, said he supports overturning trump span on transgender people serving in the military. republican senator josh hawley announced he will block a move to expedite the consideration of alejandro mayorkas as head of the department of homeland security, delaying the installment of biden's national security team. mayorkas addressed the january 6 insurrection at the capitol during his hearing. >> i will do everything i can to
ensure that the tragic loss-of-life, the assault on law enforcement, the desecration of the building that stands as one of the three pillars of our democracy, the terror that you felt will not happen again. amy: avril haines, the nominee for director of national intelligence, told lawmakers at her hearing she would release the report about the 2018 killing of "washington post" columnist jamal khashoggi. as the global covid-19 death toll topped 2 million this week, joe biden is expected to order the u.s. to rejoin the world health organization as he takes office today, reversing trump's decision to withdraw from the u.n. body last year. health experts are warning new variants of the coronavirus are -- and issues of exit supplies are threatening countries' recoveries from the current outbreaks. officials in california and in germany have said they may have identified two further variants.
in britain, health workers say they are completely overwhelmed as they battle a variant that is believed to be more much more infectious and has now been . this is a nurse at the royal hospital in london. >> i was not convinced we were going to have the second wave at all. the huge numbers that have just absolutely slammed us and i never thought it would be possible to have this many intensive care patients. amy: the world health organization warns global deaths from the pandemic are expected to top 100,000 per week very soon. this comes as an international review panel released a damning report laying out a series of failures by governments and including the who, in preparing for and responding to the pandemic. this is helen clark, co-chair of the panel and former prime minister of new zealand.
>> months after the alarm was sounded in wuhan that international system sounded its ghest alarm available, and that is the public health emergency of international concern. and evenhen, with covid-19 spreading in many countries, the emergency was not felt strong enough. amy: in his final full day in office, secretary of state mike pompeo denounced multiculturalism saying it is "not who america is" and that it "distorts our glorious founding." pompeo's comment comes a day after the white house marked martin luther king day by releasing a report by trump's 1776 commission that called for "patriotic education" while justifying slavery and defending counting enslaved black people as three-fifths of a person. historians denounced the report. boston university professor ibram x. kendi said --
"this report makes it seems as if slaveholding founding fathers were abolitionists, that americans were the early beacon of the global abolitionist movement, that the demise of slavery in the united states was inevitable." trump formed the commission in response to "the new york time'' 1619 project" which examined how slavery shaped the nation. on tuesday, pompeo also accused china of committing genocide and crimes against humanity by imprisoning and repressing uyghur muslims in xinjiang province. biden's minee for cretary of state, tony blinken, agreed with pompeo's assessment during his senate confirmation hearing. last week, the trump administration announced a halt to the importation of cotton and tomatoes from xinjiang. in sudan, at least 155 people have died and 50,000 people have been displaced in fighting in the darfur region. this comes just weeks ter the united nations security council voted to pull peacekeeping
troops from the u.n. and the african union out of the area. in afghanistan, gunmen shot dead two women judges who work for the supreme court in an ambush in kabul sunday -- the latest act of violence targeting prominent figures. the afghan government blamed the taliban, who denied responsibity. in other news from afghanistan, save the children is warning 18 million afghans, more than half of those children, are in need of urgent assistance and is calling for $3 billion in aid to keep millions from facing hunger in the coming months. the organization says millions are suffering from the combined effects of ongoing war, poverty and the pandemic. in immigration news, a nine-year-old boy from haiti is being held by immigration and customs enforcement after he was separated from his 19-year-old brother when the pair were detained at the san francisco international airport sunday, despite having u.s. visas. ice is transferring the
nine-year-old into a government facility for unaccompanied children and his family reportedly does not know his whereabouts. the older brother, 19-year-old christian laporte, is a student at diablo valley college in the bay area and has a student visa but was nonetheless deported to mexico tuesday before returning to haiti. customs and border protection alleges laporte was missing a document proving his student status and that his younger brother had previously attended elementary school in california, a violation of his tourist visa. in other immigration news, asylum-seekers on the southern border in mexico released a video asking the biden-harris administration to take immediate action to end trump's destructive policies and enact more humane procedures. >> immediately eliminate the separation of migrant famili and ta immediate action to reunify all these filies. >> guarantee legal representation for asylum-seekers. >> guarantee the right to seek asylum, especially for the
vulnerable populations such as pregnant women, unaccompanied minors, members of the lgbtqi community, and black asylum-seekers. amy: in new york city, at least five people were arrested late monday night after over 300 police officers, many wearing riot gear, confronted hundreds of workers at the hunts point produce market in the bronx -- who have been on strike since sunday demanding fair wages. union leaders denounced the police attack. in a statement the teamsters local 202 said -- "these are the essential workers who went to work every day through the worst of the pandemic to feed new york. all they are asking for is a dollar-an-hour raise so they can feed their families too." and in other news from new york city, thousands of columbia university students are planning to withhold their tuition as part of the largest ever tuition strike. over 4000 students are demanding a 10% reduction in the cost of attendance during the pandemic, increased financial aid, divestment from fossil fuels, a
commitment to ending columbia's expansion in harlem, and providing employment and affordable housing to the local community. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the quarantine report. i'm amy goodman. i joined by my co-host juan am gonzález in new brunswick, new jersey. hi, juan. juan: hi, amy. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. amy: with less than 12 hours before the end of his presidency, donald trump issued 143 pardons and commutations including a pardon for steve bannon, his former chief strategist and campaign manager. in august, bannon was arrested for defrauding trump supporters who donated to an anti-immigrant nonprofit called "we build the wall." in a recent weeks, bannon helped promote conspiracy theories about the 2020 election and urged trump supporters to come to washington, d.c., on january
6 when rioters attacked the capitol in an insurrection that left five people dead, including a capitol police officer. other high profile pardons included elliott broidy, one of trump's top fund-raisers in 2016 , and three former republican congressmen -- rick renzi, robin hayes, and randall "duke" cunningham. added to several congressmen early trump supporters that trump gave commutations or pardons to. trump also gave a pardon to ken kurson, a close friend of jared kushner, trump's son-in-law. kurson is the former editor of "the new york observer" who was arrested in october for cyberstalking three people, including his ex-wife. the rappers lil wayne and kodak black also received pardons. the white house announced the latest pardons shortly before 1:00 a.m. trump had previously pardoned other top associates, including former campaign manager paul manafort, former national security advisor michael flynn,
advisor roger stone, as well as jared kushner's father and four blackwater mercenaries who massacred 17 iraqis in the 2007 nisour square massacre. trump has so far rejected calls to pardon wikileaks founder julian assange or nsa whistleblowers edward snowden and reality winner. meanwhile, trump card command was indicted for recruiting u.s. naval intelligence analyst pollock to sell secrets to israel. this all comes as more details emerge about how allies of trump have personally profited from people seeking pardons. "the new york times" reports an associate of rudy giuliani told cia torture whistleblower john kiriakou a pardon is "going to cost $2 million." kiriakou declined the offer but he did pay $50,000 to a former top trump campaign adviser for help in his quest to secure a pardon.
to talk more about the pardon system, we are joined by john kiriakou, who is still seeking a pardon. kiriakou served 23 months in prison after he exposed the cia's torture program. john, welcome back to democracy now! tell your own story, your own attempt to get a pardon and what it involved. >> it was different under donald trump than a certain he was under barack obama. the normal way of applying for a, simply go online to the website of the office of the u.s. attorney, fill out the form, and it then goes to the fbi which does the investigation and that makes a recommendation of yes or no. that is the way it is supposed to work. the way it worked under donald trump is he ignored the office of u.s. pardon attorney. in most cases, the attorney was not even consulted. if you were a friend of the
president or you knew someone who was a friend of the president or you hired a friend of the president and you could get to him -- and make your case, then you're considered for pardon. what i did was i had to hire a lobbyist, head of the truck campaign and in florida in 2016. she charged me $50,000 that i did not have. i had to borrow. with the promise of another 50,000 once i got the pardon post of money went down the drain. but we now know that other associates of donald trump were charging -- come even 10 and 20 times that. one coat john kiriakou, what about the issue of your being told that rudy giuliani could help when you a pardon for $2 million? who told you that and could you tell us anymore about that offer? >> sure. i had a meeting with four other people, including rudy giuliani, on july 1 of last year here in
washington at the trump hotel. it was a meeting completely unrelated to a pardon. i frankly did not even intend to make the request but there was a low in the conversation so i thought i would take advantage of the opportunity. i said, well, mr. mayor, can we talk about maybe asking for a presidential pardon? he medially said he had to use the men's room and he walked away. one of his aides who was at the meeting then said to me, he does not talk about pardons. you have to talk to me. he's going to ask you for $2 million. i laughed and i said, i don't have $2 million. i said, are you out of your mind? why would i spend $2 million to recover a $700,000 pension? that doesn't make any sense. i dropped it. he said that is what the price was. they don't see this as a bride. they don't see it as buying a pardon. they see it as lobbying, which
is a dirty thing that happens in washington but this is the way washington works. juan: supposedly trump saw you on a fox news show hosted by ticker pearlson. could you talk about that? >> sure. it was in october 2019. i was on the tucker carlsen show talking -- this was on fox news -- talking about my case that i was prosecuted under barack obama after i blew the whistle on the ci's torte progra my real detractor and the obama administration was john brennan. i said that robert mueller has set up the john kiriakou task force and peter strozk had actually arrested me. i was looking for a pardon. it turned out that donald trump was watching the episode that night, and he called jared kushner and said, john kiriakou
on fox news, you should get in touch with them. so the next day, my attorney got a call from jared kushner's attorney and a couple of days after that we met in kushner's attorney's office. kushner was very cold. he was very stiff and not at a friendly amiable, open. what he said was, what do you want? i said, i went a presidential pardon. he said, give me one page, i went three quarters of the page explaining your situation come your case, your background. the other owner of the page i want you to tell me how a pardon for you helps donald trump get reelected. i did what i could. my attorney wrote this one page. we sent it to kushner and never heard anything again. juan: how does that compare with the normal process is sposed to be for someone seeking a presidential pardon? >> the normal process is you
would not even know who jared kushner was. the problem we have here is over the years, the office of the u.s. pardon attorney has seen it as its role to deny people's applications for pardons. if you have 10,000 applicaons a year and you only make recommendations for five or 10 pardons, then the system is broken. trump recognized the system was broken and he also recognized he had unfettered authority to take care of his friends and his associates, and that is what he did. he did it in a really ugly, unethical way, but he did it because for his friends and associates, there was no way around it. they were not going to go to the website of the ardent attorney and fill out a form. they were going to go directly to the president. what we need is a bipartisan effort to reform the pardon
process. first of all, the pardon attorney should not have the justice department -- you should be housed in the white house. it should be independent of the prosecutors at the justice department and independent of the attorney general. it is not so nothing gets done. amy: john, i would ask you about one of the confirmation hearings taking place of avril haines that began yesterday along with a number of others, the secretary of state, the secretary of defense, department of homeland security. avril haines, biden's nominee to be director of national intelligence. she was obama's top lawyer on the national security council from 2010-20 and cia deputy director from 2013-15 where she authorized using drone strikes to carry out extrajudicial assassinations. in 2015 when she was the identity director, cia agents illegally hacked the computers
of the senate intelligence committee to thwart its investigation into the cia's detention and interrogation program, the torture program, is torture method that were called enhanced interrogation like waterboarding, she overruled those cia inspector general in fairly to discipline the agents and even awarded them the career intelligence medal. jug care? come you are a cia whistleblower. --john kiriakou, you are a cia whistleblower. what are your thoughts on avril haines becoming dni? >> i was disappointed when presley fight named avril haines as the dni. there are so many questions that so many of us have about avril haines and the work she did at the white house as well as the cia that have to be answered. we know avril haines at the nsc was in charge of determining
whether it was legal or illegal to place legal on governance kilis. we know and know most all cases that she said it was legal to put these names on the kill list and people were subsequently killed by drone, including eric and citizens like anwar al-awlaki. they were american citizens who had never been charged with a crime. they had never face their accusers in the court of law. she has never had to answer for that. as you pointed out correctly, she was also the deputy director of the cia when the cia under john brennan was hacking into the senate intelligence committees computer systems in order to disrupt the investigation that led to the senate torture report. and another question thai have that i would like to see her answer is what her role was exactly in the redaction of the senate intelligence torture report. remember, that report was never
released. what was released was a very avily redacted version of the executive summary of that report. so we got a very heavily blacked out 500 pages. there are another 5000 pages to that report that we have never seen. juan: john kiriakou, what about the situation with julian assange and what you would hope the biden administration might do irelationship to him? >> i have been in close touch over the last couple of weeks with people around julian and people on his legal team, and we've been trying to read the tea leaves relative to the british court's decision not to extradite him to the united states. that is being appealed right now. you hear things both ways. for example, when you read the judges ruling, to the very end, looks like julian is just getting clobbered in this
ruling. the judges essentially agreed with everything the justice department said and then at the very end of the ruling, said because julian suffers from deprsion and is suicidal, sending him to the u.s. where he would be subject to solitary confinement -- which the u.n. as declared to be a form of torture -- would push him over to the edge. ruling was great. the reasoning leading up to the ruling was not so great. now the justice department is appealing. the rumor i'm hearing is perhaps the biden people reached out to the british and said, look, we would not be terribly upset if this thing were to just go away. and then we got the ruling. now it is being appealed. what happens if he loses the appeal? even if he wins the appeal, if there's no pardon or commutation -- and so far there is -- what is keep the british from expelling him to australia and
in the justice department just asking the australians to extradite him all over again? really, the only way we can end this whole thing for julian is your presidential action. has to be a pardon or commutation. amy: people can go to democracynow.org to see the speech of neil smelser, the u.n. special repertoire torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment who visited julian assange at the bill marsh prison. finally, juan, what happens to this money --john kiriakou, what happens to this money? is it going to do some a cookout like the hundreds of millions of dollars raised after the election, lying about election fraud? who tracks this money? >> good question. and the answer is nobody tracks this money. this money goes directly into
the pocket of the lobbyists and the lawyers who charged it. there's a terrific article in "the new york times" about six month ago talking about rudy giuliani's fourth divorce. in the course of discovery, "the new york times was quote learned he is a member of 16 different country clubs and he told the court he needs $7 million a year to maintain his current lifestyle and a paid his dues at 16 separate country clubs. how is he going to do that? by gouging as many people as he possibly can. he is not a stupid guy. rudy giuliani new the moment donald trump walked out of the white house to get on that plane and fly back to florida, his career was finished. he is done. amy: john kiriakou, that you for being with us, spent 14 years at the cia as an analyst and case officer, exposed the bush-era
torture program and was the only official jailed in connection to it. kiriakou was reportedly told he could secure a presidential pardon from trump for $2 million. his memoir is titled "doing time like a spy: how the cia taught me to survive and thrive in prison." it is inauguration day. next up, we speak to professor michael eric dyson and waleed shahid of justice democrats who has a blueprint for social movements during the biden presidency. stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
president trump has left the the white house for the last time as president. president-elect joe biden will be sworn in as 46th president of the united states in a scene unlike any in u.s. history -- with tens of thousands of national guard members in the streets and no crowd of revelers. the heavily militarized event is taking place just two weeks to the day after a right wing mob of trump supporters invaded the capitol in a failed attempt to overthrow the election. trump will be the first president in 150 years not to witness the transition of power from his administration to the next. he leaves behind a damning legacy, including the deaths of 400,000 people in the u.s. to covid-19 -- a record shattering global toll which was marked tuesday night when president like biden and vice
president-elect harris on tuesday night at the lincoln memorial. mr. biden: to heal, we must remember. it is hard sometimes to remember , but that is how we heal. it is important to do that as a nation. that is why we are here today. ms. harris: for many months we have grieved by ourselves. tonight we grieve and begin healing together. that we may be physically separated, we, the american people, are united in spirit. amy: today, harris makes history as the first woman vice president, the first african-american asian-american, , first and first indian-american to hold the office. as vice president, harris will swear in three new democratic
senators this afternoon, giving control of the chamber to her party -- raphael warnock and jon ossoff, who both won their georgia runoff races earlier this month, and alex padilla, who will replace her in the senate, representing california. so she will be the tiebreaker in the 50/50 senate. it is also the first day of joe biden's administration, and he has pledged to repeal trump's travel ban for citizens of majority-muslim countries, move to rejoin the paris climate accord, cancel the keystone pipeline, and issue a mask mandate on federal property. biden also plans to cancel construction of the border wall and unveil a sweeping immigration bill to offer an eight-year path to citizenship for an estimated 11 million people living in the u.s. without legal status. for more on this historic day and what's to come, we're joined by two guests. in new york, waleed shahid is a spokesperson for justice democrats and a former senior advisor for the campaigns of jamaal bowman and alexandria
ocasio-cortez. they both won their races. his recent piece in the nation is "a blueprint for social movements during the biden presidency." and in washington, d.c., michael eric dyson is a vanderbilt university professor, political analyst, and author. his latest book is "long time coming: reckoning with race in america." we welcome you both back to democracy now! professor, let's begin with you. let's look back from moment as ump just flies off from the white house, won't attend the inauguration. from the muslim fans are charlottesville to the separation of children to the insurrection, your assessment of the trump presidency? >> thank you for having me. the trump presidency has been an unmitigated disaster. it is visited upon america some of the worst forms of antidemocratic practice and
belief thinking and ideals, norms, and conventions that we have witnessed in this nation. and the direct sault upon those conventions -- whetr one was in the spectrum and continuing a bully from the left to the right, what held this nation together, despite the bickering, the contested disbelief in o side or the other, is the notion that the american nation coulat least realize its ambitions morally and politically by generating sufficient evidence or argument for one side or the other. and being willing to subject those beliefs to rigorous critique and then to move forward with the determination that once way of thinking was the right way. but this bitter division from that practichas resulted in a neofascist come if you wl,
presidency that attempted to undermine the very legitimacy of thdemocracy that he was put in office to upho. here was a manho had thomas jefferson's position of benedict arnold's job. undermining, being a traitor to democracy as the greest representative of democracy itself. the most hallowed halls in global per,ut certainly in amica democracy come is t white house, the oval office. and from that he used a full combat fascism. he used it as a wedge of division two undermine the capacity of the american people, to realize the collective ambitions. and finally, what is tragic about this presidency as well is the very people who were ostensibly to be upheld by and to be helped by this president are no better off today than they were when he came into office. they have been paid what w.e.b.
dubois call the psychological wages of whiteness. at least you're not black. we can extended, at least you are not muslim or a person of color, at least you're not a woman, gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual. the point is he genned up the worst form of division this nation is witnessed, at least for a long while, and did not get a payoff to them of even political participation in a system that he cherished. he undermined it. he fought against its best virtues. at the end of the day, he will be quickly swept away as one of the most destructive cup if not the most destructive, president this nation has ever witnessed. juan: i went to bring waleed shahid into the conversation. on trump's last day in joe biden's first day as president, your message today on behalf of justice democrats, what do you believe to be the key priorities for biden's first 100 days in office?
>> well, we are allowing ourselves to feel happy today before we get to work to deliver results for the american people and deliver relief for the american people. i think this moment is a once in a generation moment for the u.s., that joe biden really could be known historically as one of the most transformative presidents in american history like lincoln, fdr, lbj. it will take an immense amount of pressure on joe biden, on the political system, the political class for him to get there because joe biden has never been that kind of transformative figure throughout his political history. he is been morbid centrist -- more of a centrist. i think because of the pandemic, because of the black lives matter movement that took hold the summer, the political window so why to take bold action and
deliver solutions at the skill of the crisis. we have to be optimistic because we want to see joe biden deliver on the four issues he says himself that he has a mandate on most of the pandemic, the economy, the climate crisis, and systemic racism. he has to get that through congress. lots of questions about how he will with the senate caucus to get in line, how he could or could not lemonade the filibuster. it is a time for joe biden to deliver results for the multiracial majority that delivered the presidency damp and not co-govern with mitch mcconnell or his insurrectionist republican party that is done whatever he can to enshrine minority role in this country. on the announcement that joe biden has given on his agenda uncovered relief, immigration, climate crisis, we're optimistic this is -- this could be the
most progressive administration we have seen since president johnson but it will take a lot of work to get there. it is going to take the work of progressives, social movement to really get it done. juan: on that note, you mentioned johnson and the movement of the 1960's. i was a young high school and college student back then during the lbj presidency. people did not expect a lot from lbj back then. he ended up producina remarkable record -- medicare/medicaid, the fair housing act, the last major immigration reform, the public broadcasting act. all of this came about it seems to be because, one, johnson knew how to translate that social movement to manage a legislation, and more and partly, he knew how to pass the legislation. it seems to me biden may have the same characteristics and having that experience, how to get legislation passed. from what we can see from the
initial proposals, he is on the way of getting out of the gate pretty quickly come the stimulus plan as you mentioned, $50 our wage, $10,000 -- $15 and our wage, the student loan forgiveness. what are the prospects of him getting this legislation through do you think? close i think the prospects are high. senate democrats are largely on getting it done pose of the next nine months are key because of how slim the majority is for democrats. the 2022 midterms will likely start by the time we get to september and people will be less likely to want to be in washington to govern. we'll be back on campaigning. we have no time to waste. i think there many people around joe biden who've learned some of the lessons from the obama administration that they should not spend many hours committee days, many weeks inviting moderate republicans to the white house to waste their time
negotiating over key parts of the legislative agenda that is a complete waste of everyone's time. this is what happened -- even obama admits this in his memoirs the amount of time given to olympia snow or chuck grassley was not worth it at the end of the day. one of the biggest progressive achievements that have happened that we have all kind of -- we don't even know is happening is how joe biden and his administration have basically no longer -- has stopped wearing about the deficit, something that hunted even president obama's recovery package. this is a huge sign of a progressive realignment happening in the democratic party. even senator joe mansion is saying he would be in favor of the $3 trillion infrastructure package that tackles childcare and hopefully will also tackle the climate crisis. like you are saying, abraham lincoln was not abolitionist. fdr was not a trade unionist.
lbj was that a civil rights activist but these presidents understood the granted history moving beneath their feet and seized the moment, the historical conditions at the time the country faced. they seized that moment and i think president biden has people around him who i think will be able to guide our country through this path. the progressives in congress are much larger in number than they were in 2009, so there are people to hold the mcconnell will legislatively -- accountable legislattively as well. we will continue our conversation after this break. ♪♪ [music break]
amy: "we are never ever getting back together" by taylor swift. this is democracy now! i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. today is inauguration day and in 100 50 years, no president has not attended, outgoing president. that is what the trump's are doing. they have left for andrews air force base. interestingly, as people are gathered come he said that many community invitations. the music that is blaring is "macho man" and "glory" at joint air force base. the words if "everybody want to, wise and anyone calling? all the voices in your head." just some of the scene today before this historic inauguration. we're speaking with michael eric dyson and waleed shahid.
i am wondering, waleed shahid, if you can talk about what went on behind the scenes for the biden appointment? a few people have insight into the inner workings. if you feel the progressives have an upper hand here and now with this series of executive orders that are going to be issued today, everything from stop funding the wall to, well, not an executive order, but the eight-year immigration plan that says the 11 million people here undocumented, there will be an eight year plan for citizenship. some are saying with the democrats controlling the presidency, the senate, the house, why does he go to eight years? >> yeah, i am not happy with the
appointments that joe biden has made. i think it is largely the appointments, while they're on the whole better than the appointment is the obama administration made, for example, rahm emanuel did not receive an appointment from this administration, peopllike timothy geithner are, arne duncan -- some of the most hostile forces to progressives in the obama administration. many of those people are not in this administration. still, 40% of congress just 40% of democrats in the house of representatives are members of the progressive caucus wasn't joe bynes of administration is nowhere near that number of progressives. that said, progressives were able to win some appointments to the administration, most notably on the national economic council , his team of economic advisers are members of the progressive movement.
someone who has dedicated his career to anticorporate consolidation. progressive economic thinkers, people who stopped wearing about the deficit a long time ago, focused their careers on economic inequality, systemic racism. his climate team is very aggressive. jenny mccarthy is someone progressives were hoping to get someone on that team. people like the appointment of john kerry special climate position, positive sign. it is a mixed bag. i do think at the end of the day, this is going to be a fight. there are key issues on the table still on how joe biden is to get his agenda through congress. while the executive orders are a good sign come his positions on immigration are much more positive than what we thought we
were going to get, he will have to confront a senate that i -- over empowers white, rural republican states to have a say in what the majority wants to do. he will have to fight -- you will have to fight to create a democracy that allows 51 senators to pass something. and that can be done through eliminating the filibuster. he will have to do a package to get d.c. statehood through. these are major civil rights issues that joe biden will be tested on in his first nine-month in order for the multiracial majority of that elected him to govern and not be blocked. it is unclear whether joe biden plans to do that, whether senator schumer place to do that. but i think that is going to be one of the major tests of the biden administration is how serious they are in order to make our democracy function and in order for the majority to be
able to govern without a party that emboldened insurrection to have a say in what that majority does. juan: i like to bring back michael eric dyson to the conversation. michael, when joe biden first ran for president, he said he was doing it because of a moral crisis after the racial violence inharlottesville. are you hopefully will bring about racial reconciliation? what would you recomnd are the country -- concrete steps he needs to take? >> thank you for inviting me back in. there is no question nothing joe biden fancies himself, considers himsf, understands himself as a healing racial force. and that he can foster the kinds of transformative racial practice that will be a direct rejection of the vicious politics of division that have been perpetuated by an praxis --
practiced by the trump administration with its biggest megaphone in its loudest bullhorn in the hands and possessions of the president of the united states of america. so teddy rsevelt notion of a bully pulpit here was emplified in the bullying pulpit of donald trump against the most progressive forces of racial justice as well as racial reconciliation in the nation. so joe biden has understood for a long time in his own career, of his intimate embrace and relationship to set particular black communities in delaware, details about what shaped his understanding of the world, his relationship to barack obama, and defending him throughout this eight year tenure in the oval offic so joe biden, along with his own inclination to embrace civil
rights issues and ideas puts it good positn to be able to do so. in termsf concrete measures, obviously, just not standing up and harming people to corrosive rhetoric is extremely important. it is not merely symbolic. it is the degree to which he is an avatar of races potential to bring us together for at least to talk about issues of justice that may divide us initially but ultimately, we can rally arod. unity is a bridge. justice is the destination. we don't worship the edmund pettus bridge. we celebrate john lewis and the other great americans who crossed that bridge and ultimate forged a coalition that resulted in the passage of civil rights legislation -- in
this case, the voting rights act. so unity is an ideal, but it is the means, the instrument, the goal is justice. so what mr. waleed shahid has been speaking about in terms of the proposalsf justice democrats, the organization politically of the ide we have i think are externally exemplary. and the beauty of it is joe biden can be pushed, that kamala harris can be pushed. figures respected to progressive ideas about social transformation, that they can be appealed to, that even if one has disagreements about this particular selection on the cabinet or not, that the overarching ideals that they embraced allowed them, grant them permission to be moved, to be motivated, to be talked to,
to be aealed to, to be cajoled into doing something that is equall important as e ideals we have with the practices that measure in terms of on the ground stuff -- we have a criminal justice system, the prison industrial complex is huge, the private invesent in that has eracted enormous advantage and economic benefit for a few people while the masses of people continue to suffer. the disproportionate number of peop of color who continue to nonviolent drug offenders who are still locked up in prison, got to do something about that. the degree to which the criminal justice system manifests itself in illegal interactions between police people and ordinary citizens, black citizens, that is huge. because nothing that my dear friend here speaks about, nothing that i speak about -- both of us guests on your tremendous show -- will be in
order, can be in place if you ain't alive. the physical assault of people of color by the police has to be dealt with and it has to be a national priority. we can have i think insidehe argument about defunding the police on the on hand or reforming the police on the other, and we can say the reforms clearly hasn't worked, that community control o policing has not yet yielded a payoff that results in the protection and preservation of black and brown and other life. so the reality is, we can have that vigorous conversation and talk about reassigning funds from the police departments with these unions, which are out of der, unions which have just police unions which have extraordinary power and extraordinary will and also extraordinary coffers, that reinforces a kind of racist denial of self-examination of many of these police
departments, which becomes fiefdoms of hostility toward citizens who pay taxes and black citizens in particular who continue to die and be traumatized in disproportionate fashion. but also the disparities in education. when kids are seven and eight and nine years old being kicked out of school, when black kids and indigenous kids in particular are being put off the roll, you beat them into detentn. it becomes a feeder to joe. joe becomes a warehouse for prison. we talked about the school to prison pipeline, that is not just a cute phrase generated as a slogan among progressives, that is a description of the mechanics of rror and trauma uponulnerable black life. they dealing with -- like amy: we have five seconds. close covid-19 is actually important. amy: we want to thank you for being with us, michael eric dyson, political analyst, now a professor at vanderbilt
[mikael colville-andersen] at the heart of a challenged but fiercely proud nation lies its capital. this is mexico city. this is a megacity. the fifth largest in the world: 21 million inhabitants. it's also the eighth richest city in the world, and yet 30% of the population live in poverty. what a vast spectrum in which i get to work in my search for the life-sized city. but i know that there are people here, like in cities everywhere around the world, who are working positively to force urban change. i want to hear, see and experience what they're doing to improve urban life in this vast arena of contradictions.