tv Democracy Now LINKTV January 20, 2022 8:00am-9:01am PST
01/20/22 01/20/22 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, this is democracy now! pres. biden: it is one thing if it is minor incursion and we end up having to fight about what to do and not to do, etc., but if they do what they're capable of doing, it is going to be a disaster for russia. amy: president biden is predicting russia will soon invade ukraine as diplomatic talks continue in europe. we will speak to the nation's
katrina vanden heuvel. her latest piece, "stop the stumble toward war with russia." plus, we talk to katrina and ralph nader about president biden's first year in office and the senate's failure to pass voting rights legislation after senators joe manchin and kyrsten sinema sided with republicans. blocking changing the filibuster role. we will also have remarks from senators rafael warnock and bernie sanders. >> is changing the senate rule a radical idea? oh, my god, first time in history we are about to do it. never been done before. well, not quite. amy: all that and more, coming welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. democrats have failed in their bid to change senate rules in order to pass major voting rights legislation.
on wednesday evening, democrats joe manchin and kyrsten sinema joined all 50 republican senators in voting "no" on a change to the filibuster that would have allowed the voting rights measure to move forward with a simple majority. it was the fifth time this session republicans have successfully used the filibuster to block voting rights legislation. that capped hours of debate wednesday that saw some democrats compare gop-led voter suppression efforts to racial discrimination under jim crow. this is georgia democratic senator raphael warnock, one of just three african americans in the senate. >> history is watching us. our children are counting on us. and i hope we will have the courage to do what is right for our communities and for our country, the courage to cross this bridge, to do the hard work
in this defining moral moment in america for the sake of communities that sent us here in the first place, for the sake of the planet, for the sake of health care, for the sake of being able to argue for the things we care about. amy: this comes as republican-led state legislatures have passed more than 30 laws restricting ballot access and have introduced at least 400 more. mother jones reporter ari berman tweeted -- "it's completely undemocratic that 41 gop senators representing 21% of the u.s. can block bills supported by 70% of public that expand voting access for tens of millions." president biden capped his first year in office wednesday with a marathon, two-hour press conference in which he blamed republicans for stalling much of his legislative agenda. it was biden's first formal news conference since march. speaking to reporters from the white house, biden said he expects russia will invade
ukraine but predicted that president vladimir putin does not want a full-blown war. he said washington and nato's response to a russian invasion will depend on its severity. pres. biden: do i think he will test west, test the united states and nato? yes, i think you will. but i think you will pay a serious and dear price for it if he does not think now the cost of what it is going to cost him. and i think you will regret having done it. amy: we'll have more on this after headlines with katrina vanden heuvel, publisher of the nation magazine. we'll also speak with ralph nader about biden's first year in office and the rest of the news conference yesterday. the supreme court has rejected a request by donald trump to block the release of some white house records to the congressional committee investigating the january 6 insurrection at the capitol. just hours after the court's 8-to-1 ruling wednesday, the
national archives turned over hundreds of pages of documents to the committee. meanwhile, the january 6 committee has subpoenaed the two leaders of the white nationalist "america first" or "groyper" movement. nick fuentes and patrick casey helped to coordinate, plan and fund events that led up to the attack on congress. global coronavirus infections have soared to their highest level of the pandemic, fueled by the explosive spread of the omicron variant. case counts are at or near record highs in much of south america, including peru, brazil, chile, and argentina. much of europe has broken records for case counts as well, with france, germany, austria, and italy setting new highs for daily infections. in the czech republic, the popular folk singer hana horkad has died of covid-19 after she intentionally became infected with coronavirus.
she was a prominent anti-vaccination activist. before her death on sunday, she said she caught the virus in order to enter concert venues requiring either vaccination or proof of recovery from covid-19. u.s. coronavirus infections are at record highs in many states, but the rapid surge of the omicron variant appears to be subsiding in several cities, including new york, chicago, and washington, d.c. more than 3300 u.s. covid-19 deaths were reported on wednesday, the vast majority of those who died were unvaccinated. in texas, attorney general ken paxton has tested positive for covid and is self-isolating at home. his office would not say whether paxton has been vaccinated. paxton is a proponent of the discredited conspiracy theory that donald trump won the 2020 election. he previously sued to block president biden's vaccine mandates. in west virginia, republican governor jim justice on
wednesday credited vaccinations with possibly saving his life after he became seriously ill with covid-19 last week. >> i would encourage you beyond belief to get vaccinated and whatever you do, to get boosted because i know -- i know without anybody telling me in any way, you know, if i had not been vaccinated, i would have been in the hospital for short and i would have been really tough shape. amy: florida cell department has placed orange county's top health official on administrative leave, after he encouraged employees to get vaccinated against covid-19. in an email to employees last week, dr. raul pino lamented the fact that just 38% of orange county health department workers had completed their vaccine series, writing -- "i have a hard time understanding how can we be in public health and not practice it!"
a state official told "the washington post" the administration of republican governor ron desantis was investigating whether pino's email violated a new florida law barring government agencies from implementing vaccine mandates. the first flights carrying aid arrived in tonga today, five days after a powerful volcanic eruption blanketed the south pacific island nation with ash, destroying homes, and killing three people. waves as high as 15 meters lashed parts of the archipelago with tsunami warnings issued as far away as the western united states. the aid flights from new zealand and australia were finally able to land after runways were cleared of up to 4 inches of volcanic ash. the supplies come as tens of thousands of people face clean water shortages. authorities say they are taking extra precautions to prevent covid-19 from spreading to tonga's islands as humanitarian workers arrive. tonga has thus far been spared
from the pandemic. as severed communications lines are restored, tongans have been able to share with the world the devastation of saturday's eruption and its aftermath. this is local journalist marian kupu. >> when the first explosion ppened, our ears were rging. we could not even hear each other. we are pointing to our families, get up and get ready to run. so that is what we did. amy: in arizona, a federal judge ruled indigenous activist amber wednesday ortega was not guilty for her 2020 protest which she blocked construction on the u.s.-mexico border. ortega's supporters cheered as they greeted her outside the tucson courthouse. ortega, who is from the hia ced and tohono o'odham communities,
successfully argued the border wall and its construction violated her religious and spiritual beliefs and practice. a warning to our audience, this -- the following two headlines contain descriptions of sexual assault and deadly violence. the university of michigan has agreed to pay $460 million to over 1000 survivors of sexual assault at the hands of former university doctor robert anderson. another $30 million will be set aside for additional survivors who come forward over the next year and a half. anderson, who died in 2008, was found to have repeatedly assaulted patients over his 37 years at the university of michigan, including performing unnecessary, invasive exams and trading medical services for sexual contact. in kansas, a district attorney said he will not be filing charges for the killing of black teenager cedric lofton while in juvenile prison, citing kansas' stand your ground law. 17-year-old cedric lofton was
arrested in september last year and removed from his foster home. after arriving at a juvenile jail, staffers shackled and handcuffed the unarmed teenager while he was face down on the ground. lofton lost consciousness shortly thereafter and died two days later. a medical examiner ruled in december the cause of death was homicide. andrew stroth, a lawyer for lofton's family, said stand-your-ground laws do not apply in this case, with lofton posing no threat to the staffers who killed him. "they basically took cedric's breath away and killed him," said stroth. in arkansas, four prisoners held at the washington county jail have filed a lawsuit alleging they were unknowingly prescribed the drug ivermectin as a form of medical experimentation. ivermectin is an anti-parasitic widely used as a horse dewormer. it's been touted in right-wing media as a miracle cure to covid-19, even though there's no
experimental data to back the claim. the aclu of arkansas condemned the actions of washington county sheriff and a jail physician writing "no one, including incarcerated individuals, should be deceived and subject to medical experimentation. sheriff helder has a responsibility to provide food, shelter, and safe, appropriate care to incarcerated individuals." here in new york, housing activists are calling for urgent passage of a bill that would protect tenants by requiring landlords to provide good cause for evictions. the good cause eviction bill would bar landlords from removing a renter without a court order and would give tenants the right to renew a lease in most cases. it would also cap rent increases for existing tenants. about 100 lawmakers have co-sponsored the bill, which is stalled in albany pending the support of governor kathy hochul and other democratic leaders. this comes as new york officials
allowed a moratorium on evictions to expire saturday, even as daily covid infections reached their highest level of the pandemic. on friday, police arrested at least 16 protesters who blocked a busy intersection near governor hochul's manhattan office. >> i am prepared to do whatever it takes to help protect my neighbors who are most at risk of being homeless because the governor won't act to provide stronger protections to tenants. >> people are dying and the governors doing nothing about it. until she does something, we will not stop. amy: workers have started removing the statue of president theodore roosevelt from in front of the american museum of natural history in new york. the city's public dign commission voted last june to take down the monument amid nationwide protests and a reckoning with the racist legacy of the u.s. the statue depicts roosevelt on a horse with a native american
man and an african man standing beside him. in a statement the natural history museum said -- "the statue itself communicates a racial hierarchy the museum and members of the public have long found disturbing." the statue will go on long term loan to north dakota's theodore roosevelt presidential library, despite the objections of some indigenous groups in north dakota. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. when we come back, president biden is predting russia will soon invade ukraine as diplomatic talks continued in europe. we will speak with the nations publisher katrina vanden heuvel, whose latest piece is titled "stop the stumble toward war with russia." then ralph nader join us as well to talk about the news conference that president biden held yesterday. stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
amy: "fiction." this is democracy now, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman in new york, joined by co-host nermeen shaikh. hi, nermeen. neeen: hi, amy. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. amy: president biden said wednesday he expects russia will invade ukraine but predicted russian president vladimir putin does not want a full-blown war. russia has reportedly stationed about 100,000 troops on its ukraine border and sent troops into belarus, which also shares a border with ukraine. biden said washington's response to a russia invasion will depend on its severity. pres. biden: russia will be held accountable if it invades -- it depends on what it does. one thing is minor incursion and wind up having to fight about what to do and not do, etc., but if they actually do what they are capable of doing on the
border, it is going to be a disaster for russia. amy: biden's remarks about a minor incursion alarmed officials. shortlafter thnews conference ended, biden's press secretary jen psaki released a statement clarifying biden's comments about a minor incursion by saying -- "if any russian military forces move across the ukrainian border, that's a renewed invasion, and it will be met with a swift, severe, and united response from the united states and our allies." during the news conference, president biden also predicted russian president vladimir putin will move troops into ukraine. this is biden responding to a question from david sanger of "the new york times." pres. biden: i think he still does not want full-blown number one. number two, i think you will test the west? test united states and nato? yes, i think you will.
but i think you will pay a serious and dear price for it if you does not think now it will cost of as long -- what it is going to cost them. i think you will regret having done it. i'm not so sure what is good to do. i guess he will. he has to -- by the way, the two things he said to me that he wants, one, ukraine will never be part of nato. two, nato -- there will not be strategic weapons staged in ukraine. we can work out something on the second piece. depending on what he does along the russian border under the european area of russia. >> your offering some way out here, some offramp. it sounds like what it is -- at least i knew the informal assurance, that nato is not going to take in ukraine anytime
in the next few decades. and it sounds like you're saying we would never put nuclear weapons there. he also wants us to move all of our nuclear weapons out of europe and not have troops rotating through the old soviet bloc. do you think there's space for there as well? pres. biden: no. no, there's not space for that. we won't permanently station. but the idea we're not going to -- we're going to actually increase troop presence in poland, in romania, etc., if in fact he moves because we have a sacred obligation in article 5 to defend those countries. they are part of nato. we don't have that obligation relative to ukraine, although we have great concern about what happens in ukraine. amy: that is president biden speaking at his two hours news conference wednesday. secretary of state tony blinken is planning to meet with russian foreign minister sergei lavrov on friday. blinken is meeting with some of his nato counterparts in berlin today and was in kiev on wednesday. to talk about u.s.-russian relations, we are joined by katrina vanden heuvel, editorial director and publisher of the nation magazine.
she has been reporting from russia and on russia for the last 30 years. she's also a columnist for "the washington post." her latest piece is headlined "stop the stumble toward war with russia." in your piece, you write in the technical argyle of diplomacy, what is going on in the ukraine crisis is nuts. katrina, can you first respond to what president biden said, what the white house to back after, and actually what is going on? >> amy, first of all, what you just listen to, david sanger of "the new york times" who has been on the be to promote conflict with russia, ukraine for several years, what is going on is the most immediate task is to diffuse the immediate crisis. you can hear in biden's -- if
you decipher he said, there is room. if there was creative diplomacy, if there was much time spent pondering what putin is going to do or worrying about -- not even worrying, but -- what is clear is the three presidents, obama, trump, and even biden, have said ukraine is not a national security, about a security interest of the united states. no president at this moment is going to send men and women to ukraine to fight. it has become a proxy war, however. it is been geopolitical size. when in fact it is a civil war. there is this relationship between russia and it goes back to the bigger issue of nato expansion. in 1997, there was a vigorous debate in this country about nato expansion and key people who knew russia well warned it would lead to a new cold war. so here we are.
we are living at a time of pandemic, racial division, staggeringconomic inequality, of climate crisis. to go to war or even to contemplate these two new cold war's, russia and china, seems to me, nuts. more attention should be paid to how we can exit these conflicts, how we can find a way for an end of ukraine, free at whole, between east and west as opposed to all of this talk about more military amassing on the border or even "the new york times" the other day planting anonymous intelligence sources worrying of aull flig operation that would create a pretext for russian invasion. the reason i use the word stumble, it looks like world war i where some accident could happen, of two nuclear armed countries and i think instead of focusing on troops and this, let's find a tough diplomatic
solution and let's begin the arms control work that needs to be done. the imf could be brought back. it was abolished by john bolton and trump in 2019. the doomsday clock announcement, will it because her to midnight? all of this work to be done instead of war, war, war, troops, troops, troops. nermeen: we will go back in a second to come as you said, possible diplomatic resolution to the conflict, blinken meeti in t last couple of days and tomorrow meeting with lavrov, but you mentioned, in this is a critical issue, the question of nato expansionince 1997. is staggering. there have been a large number of countries that have joined since 1997, eastern european
countries. most recentl north macedonia. o questions. first of all, could you explain why russia is especially concerned about ukraine joining nato? also, what the importance of what the function is of nato now that -- i mean, it has been decades now, that the warsaw pact was dissolved. >> that is the central question. when the warsaw pact was dissolved, naturally, one would think nato would be dissolved and we would find a new security architecture. that was not a militarized one. by the way, 1997, people -- paul missa, richard pipes, mcnamara, these people opposed the expansion.
put th aside. the expansion of nato was an expansion. this is a group which brings weapons to the floor. you have to buy certain weapons, get in sync with the whole operation. their other institutions that could have created, as gorbachev spoke of a common european home which would not have been militarized. russia, the soviet union lost 27 million people in world war ii. there is a real continuing fear in even younger generations about being encircled. we had the monroe doctrine. what if mexico, what of soviet troops and russian troops suddenly started to alight in mexico? borders matter, especially in the russian historical consciousness.
but that is playing a role right now. ukraine, unlike the other countries you mentioned, has had a very special relationship with russia and russia with ukraine. ukraine is a divided country. it is a country that has a right to be fully independent, but it is very much -- ukraine is not like fontana grow. i think one has to understand the reason expression in foreign affairs called strategic empathy. if you're standing in the other shoes, not condoning but understanding, i think we would be in a better place. finally, article 5 of nato demands that nato members go to the military assistance of countries which are invaded. i come back to the fact that first of all, no american president in my understanding within men and women to fight.
there's talk of funding and insurgency in ukraine. how did that turn out in afghanistan? there are a lot of issues. gorbachev was promised after german reunification that nato would not move one inch eastward. that is to be found and archived -- national secured archive, for example. there's thought that putin is asking for written material because he thinks that my protecte from gorbachev's fate. i don't think so. but i come back to if there is creative diplomacy, you can see a resolution of this crisis. to have war at this time is to add tohe otherars we have confront, climate, pandemics. neeen: as far as the negotiations are concerned, can you talk about what we know so far about what happened in the meeting between zelenskiy and blinken and today his meetings with the counterparts in the e.u. and what to expect from
what might happen tomorrow blinken's meeting with lavrov? on wednesday, french president mccall -- macron going against what the u.s. have called for as urged eu states to speak directly to russia. could you comment on that as well? >> that i think is very important and speaks to a diplomatic resolution that may be able to be revived. the minsk agreement or the normandy agreement. originally it was gmany, france russia, ukraine -- not the united states. but i think it is a good sign that eopean countries may have more independence -- france, germany, working out something with russia. i think what is happening in ukraine, i don't knowxcept zelenskiy's rival arrived in ukraine, kiev, the other day,
the chocolate king, the previous president, and was arrested and is sitting in a courthouse. why that is happening now, maybe it exposes some of the real problems in ukraine. by the way come ukraine cannot legally enter nato right now because it's territorial integrity is not whole. i think lavrov -- and i will get in trouble for this -- is one of the most steady and experienced diplomats working today. so i think it blinken and lavro could get beyond some of the kind of rhetoric, you could see some real dealings that would be a resolution, perhaps moving back to minsk and/or finding eu as a vehicle or finding the osce . i think this is hopeful that there ongoing meetings because i
do think the crisis immediately, the importance of that been diffused and gives them space. nermeen: before we turn to other aspects of biden's comments yesterday and assessment of his first year in office, one last point on what is happening n in ukraine. the u.s. and eu have discussed the possibility of wide-ranging sanctions against russia as a first step. there are already sancons in place. could you say something about the kinds of sanctions that are being ctemplated and the significance of the u.s. possibly cutting russia off from the dollar-denominated international financial system, what would that mean and how likely is it? >> well, i think you're certainly hearing a lot of talk about punitive sanctions. first of all, one needs to understand their aeady layers and layers a sanctions on
russia. the democratsut forth their section the other day and i believe it was cruz put forward. i think this was a removing russia from the global trading could have implications most of you have to push russia closer to china and alternative currency, which would not be helpful to the europeans or to the united states. i think -- again, in germany, of the big issue of the pipeline. it is interesting because that is not yet fully approved. there are still revelatory issues. you now have a new government in germany. the foreign minister is green and the greens are opposed to the pipeline for environmental and other reasons. that can be played out apart from sanctions imposed by the united states. in general, sanctions have not worked. they have made countries more
resistant to u.s. pressure. i and i think the whole matter of -- and i think the whole matter of sanction as a foreign, and some instances, is war. amy: we are going to leave it there for now and continue to cover this issue. katrina vanden heuvel is the editorial director and publisher of the nation magazine, colonist for "the washington post." her latest piece is headlined "stop the stumble toward war with russia." katrina will stay with us as we look at president biden's first year in office in the senate's failure to pass voting rights legislation after manchin and sinema sided with the republicans blocked changing the filibuster. and we will be joined as well by ralph nader stop stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
white house wednesday, his former colleagues in the senate spent hours debating of proposed change to the filibuster that wod allow the voting rights measure to move forward with a simple majority. but for the fifth time this session, republicans filibustered voting rights again. right when democratic senators joe manchin and kyrsten sinema joined with republicans to defeat the change. manchin delivered his senate floor speech while biden held his news conference. the dueling joes. after the vote, senate republicans gathered in the chamber to shake senator sinema's hand. bernieanders said tuesday he would support primary challengers to manchin and some a bank. he spoke wednesday. close his changing the rules a radical idea? oh, my god, first time in history we are about to do it.
never been on before. oh, not quite. nothing radical about it. just a few months ago, and order to raise the debt ceiling and prevent our government from defaulting on its loans, the rules were changed. so that a 50 vote majority would prevail. we changed the rules appropriately and we prevented a default and a massive worldwide depression. just a few years ago, i republican colleagues or so adamantly against changing rules , well, my goodness, they changed the senate rules tilde 50 votes to confirm that president's nominees to the supreme court. oh, my goodness, how shocking.
they got three supreme court justices as a result. rules get changed around here all the time. and maybe, just maybe, we might want to change the rules in order to save american democracy. amy: bernie sanders speaking wednesday during the debate to change filibuster rules in order to pass key voting rights legislation. some democrats compared gop-led suppression efforts to racial discrimination under jim crow. this is georgia democratic senator raphael warnock, one of the three african-american senators. his speech closed out the pleas from democrats. >> those of us who were students of dr. king, i know i have often wondered, what would i have done if i were alive during the civil rights movement?
i know we would all like to think that we, too, would have had just a small fraction -- just a fraction of the courage that it took for john lewis to cross that edmund pettus bridge. well, for those of us who were fortunate up to serve in the united states senate in this moment, in this moral moment, we do not have to wonder. my god, he faced troopers on the other psych crossing that bridge. we're talking about a procedural bridge. we don't have to wonder what we would have done. i submit what we would have done back then we're doing right now. history is watching us. our children are counting on us.
and i hope that we will have the courage to do what is right for our communities and for our country, the courage to cross this bridge, to do the hard work in this defining moral moment in america for the sake of the communities that sent us here in the first place, for the sake of the planet, for the sake of health care, for the sake of jobs, for the sake of being able target for the things we care about. -- argue for the things we care about post of courage to fight for one another. i am still praying we will cross that bridge. but if not tonight, we will come back again and again and again. amy: that is georgia democratic senator, the rev. raphael warnock, speaking on the senate
floor wednesday during the debate that unfolded as president biden held a two hour news conference marking his first year in offi. we spend the rest of the are looking at biden's agenda so far, reeling from the violent jane or sixth insurrection in the middle of a deadly pandemic, now facing a new surge in covid-19, among other challenges. we are joined by ralph nader, longtime consumer advocate, corporate critic, and former presidential candidate. he's the author of many books, including "breaking through power: it's easier than we think." and continuing with us is katrina vanden heuvel, the editorial director and publisher of the nation magazine. columnist for "the washington post." ralph nader, if you can respond to what we just heard, to say the least, you are a critic of how democrats and republicans deal with the elections in this country and what happened yesterday. and then move on to overall what
president biden said yesterday. >> well, the two hour news conference was deliberate. i think you wanted to show his stamina -- i think he wanted to show his stamina. yet an opportunity to communicate a lot of important things, which he did not do. by the same token, the media did not make itself crowd. it had a very narrow range of questions and huge areas were never asked. they never asked about climate disruption and the republican opposition to doing anything about it. they did not ask about the military budget where congress gave biden $24 billion more than the pentagon even asked for. they did not ask about the drain on the treasury from hundreds of billions of dollars of corporate welfare -- which is a kind of corporate socialism.
they did not ask about the corporate crime wave that is ripping off consumers and exploiting labor in this country and has been reported around the country. and he did not raise those questions, either. they raised the antitrust issue. he raised it, for meatpacking companies controlling the price of these products. but no one asked him while he is so keen on antitrust and antimonopoly process, why isn't he demanding larger budget? there are very few antitrust cops on the corporate monopoly beat at the federal trade commission or department of justice. most interestingly, the president did not ask about what his attorney general is going to do to prosecute donald trump. we have written letters to merrick garland listing one, no
federal statute after another that he openly and recently violated, including political events on the white house lawn, which is a crime under the hatch act. no answer whatsoever. no special counsel being appointed to recommend prosecution of donald trump, who is never seen a lot that he is not violated. if you look at the big picture, it was a very disappointing press conference on both sides. the issues that biden did not raise and the neural range of questions from -- narrow range of questions from the media. nermeen: ralph, one of the issues that bidenid address was the pandemic. if you could respond to the comments he did make on the pandemic and the fact what has
happened since last may, the biden administration supported waiver of the covid-1 vaccines, and public citizen that has come out with a study showing within a year, 8 billion doses of an mrna vaccine could be produced for $23 billion. i mean, what more could the biden administration be doing? >> they could be leading an international consortium to spend that modest amount for vaccination throughout the third world. they could be playing much tougher against the drug companies that are being subsidized to levels of profiteering, pfizer and moderna , and exerting their patent monopoly rights and blocking wider manuftured of these medicines.
they have not done that. amy: let's talk about that, ralph. i want to talk specifically about this. public citizen is one of the groups that you found it that put out that report. interestingly, doesn't calling -- they call it the nih moderna vaccine, like you talk about pfizer biontech, because nih, that is the people's health institute of this country, taayer-funded, had their scientists working on this as well, provided enormous amount of resources. so if you can talk specifically while president biden was asked, you know, about providing the vaccines to the world, what he specifically could demand, for example, of moderna who got the money at the front and come and pfizer that was promised the money at the backend, in terms of sharing the recipe, the formula with factories and manufacturers around the world
that are used to producing drugs but just simply don't have those recipes. >> the federal government has long had yet 30 to break these patents in times of emergency, which is clearly the case. he is not doing it. the world health organization has authority to do it as well. as public citizen reported, we're talking about $35 billion, which easily a third of apple corporation stock buyback last year. there would not be a vaccine without the national institutes of health research over the last 25 years. all the basic research is funded by the taxpayer and the taxpayer does not get much of a return. taxpayers basically funding corporate patent anomalies over these drugs, not just the vaccines here but a whole range of drugs. the taxpayer is finding all kinds of drugesearch and devepment sthe drug compans can export thr
manucturing drugso china and in you. cha and dia. there's no penicillin manufactured in the u.s. it is iorted. ye, he suld make -- he ma a bi deasaying his not a socialis le bernie sanders. he ia corpore socialt, comptely. e bin has aays in his reer support subsidi, handts, giveays,ailout witht anyhallenge. he is ntinui to do tt. e repoers did t take h to tas the. th repters -either ty are not dog theihomeworkr they are ll of taboo. theyever rsed the corrate premy over o coury. the is n a sgle agency in the fedel gernmenthat i't influced maximally by corporate lacke.
lbi. you he 500 drug compa lobbyis assigned coress. these corporations are strategicay coercialed and ery aspe of ouociety, commerciizing childod, strategilly planned tax system, the food system, the health system, fighting global warming remedies, the fossil fuel industry, exxon mobil. they are planning our genetic and here dense, commercializing childhood should be a left/right issue, conservator issue. the press never asked about it. the self-censorship of the press is overwhelming. that is why we have to have a more independent media. look at the coverage of ukraine. as katrina pointed out, if our country was invaded here in a
span of 40 years from the north, with 50 million casualties, what do you think we would do? do you think we would just station troops on the northern border? we would have taken over the northern country and an x to. that is why dictator putin can get away with what he is doing now in terms of public opinion of the impoverished russian people because they remember, they have the casualties and their families from the western frontiers, started with napoleon. here we are expanding a military alliance for arms sales for the military-industrial complex. as was pointed out, a condition of joining nato is to buy the f-16 and other weapons and eastern european countries. in his military alliance organized against the soviet union. now they are expanding in eastern europe and putting troops there.
here we go again poster completely preventable conflict. what putin wants is ukraine never to join nato, no strategic offensive weapons in the ukraine. he is askingor ending strategic weapons in europe. that is not going to happen. at the present asks were inciting questions. npr asked -- they ask war -incitng questions. it is like a wreck all over again. they do not ask about diplomacy. this is a dangerous situation. the press is not doing its job. it is not just biden. he can't communicate how the gop is supposed -- you don't make moral appeals to the gop like senator warnock just did.
you show they are opposed to sending $250 and $350 checks to children which is stop now and the gop will not expand and. that is a good political item to communicate to the american people. the 65 million children come from conservative and liberal families who are deprived. he does not know how to communicate. the gop knows what it once. it is messianic. it is driven. the communication from the democrats, from the dnc to the white house is weak. it is anemic. the public senses that. he does not know how to sell his own program. amy: i want to go to president biden speaking about the build back at her act and get ralph's response and overall katrina vendor movements response as well. pres. biden: i am confident we get the build back better law
signed into law. i think -- we have been talking to a number of my colleagues on the hill. i think it is clear that we would be able to get support for the 500 plus billion dollars for energy and the environment issues, number one. number two, i know that the two people who opposed the democratic side at least, support a number of things in there. joe mentioned -- joe manchin big supports early education. there is strong support i think for a number of the way in which to pay for this proposal. so i think there is -- and i'm not going to -- i'm not going to negotiate against myself as to what should and shouldn't be in it, but i think we can break the
package up, get as much as we can now, and come back and fight for the rest later. amy: so breaking up build back better act. katrina, if you could start by responding both to build back better and overall, the rest of the news conference that president biden held yesterday on this first anniversary of his inauguration. >> on the build back better act, first of all, let's not forget the american rescue plan, which $1.9 trillion helped cut child poverty and if the child tax credits continued, you could continue the reduction of poverty for a long, long time. bernie sanders thought that was the most consequtial legislation for working people in decades. you had the bipartisan infrastructure plan. the build back better is in play. there is a move on to come back next week on the progressive side of congress and put back a plan that was laid out in
november. i hateo do the numbers because i think the media did a great disservice by sort of cutting the numbers every day instead of laying out what was in the plan or maybe say 1% of gdp instead of in one of new york story" expanding huge legislation. i think they will come back with climate i'm, and tax stuff and find a way to move that forward and connected to the social racial economic justice of voting rights bill and what we have seen the past week. that seems to me this next week is going to really be a push on trying to put back build back better and not in a way the moderates in the congress look at it, the house moderates. not piece by piece, but a more transformative bill. now the $6.4 trillion, to use a number.
in terms of picking up on what ralph said, i do think biden -- a long press conference does not make up for speaking to the people every month. i wrote a column a year ago about fireside chats. maybe that is maudlin. maybe that is not his form. the messaging, connecting to people, speaking to people -- not only speaking, but laying out who the villains are, laying out some of what ralph said and maybe a more homespun way. but it is surprising that he has failed in that way. he could have done better -- of course he is not a socialist, but the need to say that is always part of the trope. i do think ralph is right. in the media -- the media in that room, the media in that room, the press room, is, for example, asking war-incitng
questions. there leading tohe answers they want. it is a suffocating consensus of questions in that room. i remember helen thomas on the eve of iraq who was kind of blocked by her colleagues because she was asking tough questions of president bush who is ready for air balls. i think that is sad. what is not on the agenda are the kinds of questions ralph asked. maybe not as tough asalph would ask them, framed in way that would produce some news that is needed, necessary news for the american people. one last thing on the mandate, the mask. the supreme court, decision not reported sufficiently in my mind about tests and vaccinations, that is shocking that the supreme -- it is not shocking in the same way president biden should not be shocked by the republican party as it exists today, but that the supreme
court essentially sided with death i think and that covid decision is something we should think long and hard about. amy: very quickly, ralph nader, responding to build back better act being broken up. >> he did not push his tax increases for corporations and at the ridge, superrich, which he proposed because these programs are not supposed to be on the backs of our descendants in terms of deficit. they should be paid for by restoring the tax system the level of the prosperous 1960's when the corporations paid much higher taxes. he did not take advantage there. he did not take advantage -- he calls himself a union guy. he should have pushed for the 15 minimum dollar did -- the $15 minimum wage. he should have pushed how the republicans are almost against everything he has pushed from the social safety net to build,
rebuild american community after community with the support of the local chamber of commerce and local unions. he missed that. he did not push the bill his own democrats passed in the house, languishing in the senate, to make it easier for workers to form unions. and most critically, these programs are going to fail if they do not deal with audits and anticorruption efforts inside. the inspector general for the small business administration business administration has been pointing out for years the big companies ripping off the payroll protection plan. they don't deserve it. some corporate law firms actually got money from the corporate protection plan, which is a sign -- designed mostly for small business. if the press does not want to ask these fundamental questions, that does not mean biden's advisors should not have emphasized in his original message of the press conference to highlight these areas.
nermeen: katrina, we just have a minute left. his press conference took place at a time when his approval rating in his first year are extremely substantially lower than when he began. what are the likely consequences of this for them in terms later this year? >> not pretty. but yes time to turn it around. a day, a week in politics is, you know, a whole other time factor. but he needs to do some things that -- both morally and strategically important. student loan debt, use executive action in ways not to speak to a base that is demoralized but could be put back together. a lot of work ahead but i think it is possible. amy: we're going to leave it there but we thank you both so much for being with us. katrina vanden heuvel, the editorial director and publisher of the nation magazine. columnist for "the washington post." we will into her pieces.