Democratic Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey is calling on the FBI and Department of Homeland Security to investigate whether employees at Trump National Golf Club broke the law by helping undocumented employees obtain fake work papers amid news reports that the Trump company has fired at least 18 undocumented workers from five golf courses in New York and New Jersey in the past two months. On Monday, Menendez called on the federal government to allow former undocumented employees of the Trump properties to remain in the country while the investigation proceeds. We speak with an undocumented housekeeper from Guatemala named Victorina Morales, who helped expose what was happening on the Trump properties by speaking on the record to The New York Times. Morales spent years making Donald Trump’s bed and performing other duties at his New Jersey club, even though she was undocumented. She attended the State of the Union as a guest of Democratic Representative Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey. We speak with Morales, Watson Coleman and Morales’s lawyer, Anibal Romero.
A reckoning about racism and sexual assault has left Virginia’s government in disarray, with the state’s top three elected officials—all Democrats—facing political crises that threaten to upend their careers and the state’s leadership. The controversy that has enveloped Virginia since Governor Ralph Northam admitted last week to wearing blackface took a shocking turn Wednesday, when Attorney General Mark Herring also admitted to wearing blackface at a college party. Just days prior, Herring—who is second in line for Virginia’s governorship—had called for Governor Northam to resign. The first in line, Virginia Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, is also embroiled in scandal after a woman who’s accused him of sexual assault came forward Wednesday with details of the encounter. Governor Northam has refused to step down since a racist photo from his 1984 medical school yearbook page emerged featuring a man wearing blackface posing next to a man wearing a Ku Klux Klan outfit. If all three of the Democratic politicians resign, Republican House Speaker Kirk Cox is next in line to become governor. We speak with Khalilah Brown-Dean, an associate professor of political science at Quinnipiac University, who is from Lynchburg, Virginia, and a graduate of the University of Virginia. Her forthcoming book is titled “Identity Politics in the United States.”
- Professor Details Sexual Assault Allegations Against Virginia Lt. Gov.
- Virginia AG Mark Herring Says He Wore Blackface at 1980 College Party
- NASA and NOAA Data Show 2018 Was Among Hottest Years on Record
- House Democrats Hold Hearing on Bill to Expand Gun Background Checks
- House Advances Bill to End U.S. Support for Saudi-Led War in Yemen
- Taliban Says U.S. Has Agreed to Halve Its Afghanistan Troop Presence
- Honduran Prosecutors: Energy Executive Masterminded Berta Cáceres Murder
- New Mexico Governor Withdraws National Guard from U.S.-Mexico Border
- Pentagon Deploys 3,750 Additional Troops to U.S.-Mexico Border
- Supreme Court to Rule on Restrictive Louisiana Anti-Choice Law
- Civil Rights Groups Challenge Texas Voter Purge Targeting Immigrants
- Trump Administration to Roll Back Payday Loan Regulations
- Teachers in Chicago and Oakland Take Labor Action
- Izzy Young, Who Led American Folk Music Revival, Dies at 90
As we continue to discuss President Trump’s State of the Union, we are joined by Ana María Archila, co-executive director of the Center for Popular Democracy. She attended the address as a guest of New York Congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. In September, Archila made headlines when she, along with another woman, Maria Gallagher, confronted Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona in an elevator after he announced his support for Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Shortly after the confrontation, Sen. Flake called for a delay of the Senate vote pending a limited FBI investigation.
A federal judge has approved a plan for Puerto Rico to restructure a portion of its debt which would require Puerto Rico to pay $32 billion over 40 years. Critics say the deal will allow vulture funds to make huge profits by buying up those debts. Several of those vulture funds include public employee pension funds and the investment funds of Harvard, Princeton and Yale. Judge Laura Taylor Swain, who held a hearing on the proposed deal last month, echoed critics’ concerns about Puerto Rico’s ability to make the payments and the likely effects on public services. However, she said in her decision, “[T]he Court is not free to impose its own view of what the optimal resolution of the dispute could have been.”
In his State of the Union address on Tuesday night, President Trump called for bipartisan unity while he attacked Democrats and the Robert Mueller investigation, denounced efforts to expand abortion rights in Virginia and New York, attacked immigrants and reiterated his demand for a border wall—with no mention of the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, which delayed his address by a week. Women in Congress wore all white to the speech in a nod to the movement for women’s suffrage. After the address, former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams made history, becoming the first African-American woman to give the Democratic response. We’re joined by Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, the first Somali American elected to the House of Representatives and one of the first Muslim women in Congress. Her guest at last night’s presidential address was a Liberian woman who fled to Minnesota in 2000 due to civil war and is now facing the threat of deportation from the United States.
- Trump Attacks Immigrants, Abortion Rights, Democratic Investigations in SOTU
- Stacey Abrams Slams Gov't Shutdown, Voter Suppression in SOTU Response
- School Apologizes for Racist Yearbook Photos as VA Gov. Northam Resists Resignation
- Pope Francis Acknowledges Priests Sexually Abused Nuns
- Ex-President of Costa Rica Accused of Sexual Assault
- At Least 29 Haitian Migrants Killed in Shipwreck
- Taliban Attacks Kill 50 in Afghanistan
- CNN: Saudis Gave U.S. Weapons to al-Qaeda, Other Militants in Yemen
- CENTCOM Head Was Not Notified of U.S. Troop Withdrawal from Syria
- Anti-BDS Lawsuit Against Salaita & American Studies Association Dismissed
- Senate Passes Anti-BDS Bill
- Dems Grill Trump Judicial Pick Rao on Past Sexual Assault Victim Blaming
- Ex-Koch Official Overseeing EPA Water Regulations
- The Intercept: Pelosi Aide Told Health Insurance Reps Dems Will Oppose Single Payer
- Judge Approves Major Debt Restructuring Plan for Puerto Rico
- Alabama AG Clears Officer for Killing Man Wrongly Believed to Be Mall Shooter
- NYC Judge Visits Jail Where Inmates Suffered Freezing Conditions with No Power
- Grammy-Nominated Artist 21 Savage Detained by ICE
Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, the notorious Mexican drug kingpin, has been on trial in New York City for 11 weeks. A federal jury headed into deliberations yesterday after more than 200 hours of testimony at the Federal District Court in Brooklyn revealing the inner workings of the Sinaloa Cartel, the major drug trafficking organization run by El Chapo. Fifty-six witnesses took to the stand with stories of murder, violence, spying, widespread corruption and even one tale of the drug lord escaping arrest in 2014 by climbing naked through a sewer alongside a former lover. El Chapo faces 10 charges, including leading a criminal enterprise, and could receive life in prison in the U.S. if convicted. The trial concludes as Donald Trump continues to call for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, which he claims will help combat drug trafficking. However, government data shows most of the hard narcotics seized by Customs and Border Protection come at legal ports of entry, not from people trying to secretly cross the southern border. We speak with Christy Thornton, an assistant professor of sociology and Latin American studies at Johns Hopkins University, who says El Chapo’s sensational trial is obscuring the truth about the so-called war on drugs.
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has reached out to Pope Francis, asking for his help to bring about a peaceful solution to the crisis in Venezuela. Maduro is facing increasing international pressure to resign from office two weeks after opposition leader Juan Guaidó declared himself to be Venezuela’s interim president. Guaidó made the announcement on January 23 after speaking to U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, who offered support from the Trump administration. Since then, a growing number of countries have openly recognized Guaidó’s claim to the presidency, including Austria, Britain, Denmark, France, Germany, Spain and Sweden. Italy has blocked a European Union statement recognizing Guaidó, and Ireland and Greece have called for new elections but have not recognized Guaidó’s claim to the presidency. Meanwhile, the Venezuelan opposition and the United States have rejected an offer by Mexico and Uruguay to host talks between the two sides. We speak to David Smilde, senior fellow at the Washington Office on Latin America and professor of sociology at Tulane University. And in California, we speak to Miguel Tinker Salas, professor at Pomona College and author of The Enduring Legacy: Oil, Culture, and Society in Venezuela and Venezuela: What Everyone Needs to Know.
- Venezuela: European Leaders, Lima Group Recognize Guaidó as President
- VA Gov. Northam Delays Resignation Decision over Racist Yearbook Photo
- VA Lt. Gov. Fairfax Denies 2004 Sexual Assault Accusation
- Old Photo of Sen. McConnell in Front of Confederate Flag Resurfaces
- Dems Invite Targets of Trump Policies to SOTU Address
- Trump to Nominate David Malpass to Head World Bank
- Trump to Nominate Ex-Oil Lobbyist Bernhardt as Head of Interior Dept.
- Iraqi President Salih Blasts Trump for Saying U.S. Troops Will Monitor Iran from Iraq
- Somalia: Al-Shabab Claims Car Bomb & Shooting That Kills At Least 12
- U.K. Panel: Saudi Arabia Responsible for Abuse of Women Activists
- Israeli Forces Kill 19-Year-Old Palestinian in West Bank
- Mexico Will Search for 10,000s Disappeared in Drug War
- Leaked Trump Schedule Shows 60% Unstructured "Executive Time"
- DOJ Subpoenas Trump 2016 Inaugural Committee
- NY Dems Name Amazon Critic to HQ2 Review Board
- Utah GOP Rolls Back Voter-Approved Medicaid Expansion
- Report: Climate Change Will Reduce Himalayan Glaciers by At Least 1/3
- Activists Arrested After Shutting Off Enbridge Pipeline Valves
More than 1,600 prisoners at a Brooklyn federal detention center were forced to endure freezing temperatures during last week’s polar vortex, with no heat, no light, no hot water for showers and no hot meals. Demonstrators rallied throughout the weekend to protest the conditions at the Metropolitan Detention Center, which is run by the Bureau of Prisons. Prisoners communicated with protesters by banging on the jail windows. On Sunday afternoon, some of the protesters, including family members of those incarcerated, were pepper-sprayed by guards. Democracy Now! was there on the ground. By 6:30 p.m., officials said electricity was restored. We speak with Brad Lander, a New York city councilmember who spoke with prisoners and prison officials this weekend.
We discuss the history behind calls for Democratic Virginia Governor Ralph Northam to resign after a photo surfaced on his 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook page showing a man wearing blackface posing next to a man wearing a Ku Klux Klan outfit. The yearbook also features an image of a white man in a wig, dress and black face. The photo’s caption reads, “'Baby Love,' who ever thought Diana Ross would make it to Medical School!” Another photo in the yearbook shows three men in blackface. We are joined by Rhae Lynn Barnes, assistant professor of American cultural history at Princeton University and author of the forthcoming book “Darkology: When the American Dream Wore Blackface.” Her new article for The Washington Post is headlined “The troubling history behind Ralph Northam’s blackface Klan photo.”
Democratic Virginia Governor Ralph Northam is facing calls to resign after a photo surfaced on his 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook page showing a man wearing blackface posing next to a man wearing a Ku Klux Klan outfit. Northam apologized for the photo on Friday, but walked back his statements on Saturday, claiming neither of the men in the photo was him. He did admit to using blackface to portray Michael Jackson at a dance contest. We speak with Reverend Kevin Chandler, president of the Virginia State Conference of the NAACP.
Calls are mounting for Democratic Virginia Governor Ralph Northam to resign after a photo surfaced from his medical school yearbook page showing a man wearing blackface posing next to a man wearing a Ku Klux Klan outfit. On Friday, Northam apologized for the photo in his 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook. However, on Saturday, he reversed course and claimed neither of the men in the racist yearbook photo was him as he initially thought. As Northam resisted growing calls for his resignation, he admitted to a separate instance of blackface: darkening his face to imitate Michael Jackson in a 1984 dance contest. Meanwhile, a separate 1981 yearbook from the Virginia Military Institute has surfaced revealing Northam was known by the racist nickname “Coonman” as an undergraduate student there. We get response from Lamont Bagby, chair of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus, who is calling for Governor Northam to step down.
- Calls Mount for VA Gov. Northam to Resign over Racist Yearbook Photo
- Trump Sends Aid to Venezuela, Says Military Intervention "An Option"
- Trump: U.S. Should Maintain Troops in Iraq to "Watch" Iran
- Trump Floats Another Gov't Shutdown or Nat'l Emergency over Border Wall Funding
- El Salvador Elects Outsider Nayib Bukele as President
- Mexico Denies Entry to U.S Lawyers & Journalists Working with Migrants
- Iraq: Gunman Shoots Novelist Alaa Mashzoub
- Amnesty Int'l: Boko Haram Killed At Least 60 in Nigeria Attack Last Week
- Russia Suspends INF in Response to U.S. Withdrawal
- U.N.: At Least 29 Children Died on Way to Refugee Camp Since December
- Vice Media, McClatchy Cuts Add to Spate of Media Layoffs
- Foxconn Commits to Building Wisconsin LCD Panel Plant
- Sen. Warren Apologizes to Cherokee Nation for DNA Test
- Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Launches 2020 Presidential Bid
- NYC: Protesters Rally Outside Jail After Inmates Report No Heat & No Power
As we mark the beginning of Black History Month, we look at “Always in Season,” a disturbing new documentary that examines lynching in the United States both past and present. It interviews Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, which built the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery to remember the more than 4,000 African Americans lynched in the United States. It also looks closely at the case of Lennon Lacy, a 17-year-old African-American high school student who, on August 29, 2014, was found hanging from two belts attached to a wooden swing set in a largely white trailer park in Bladenboro, North Carolina. At the time of his death, Lacy was dating an older white woman. Local authorities quickly determined his death to be a suicide, but Lacy’s family and local civil rights activists feared authorities may have been covering up a lynching. We speak with Lacy’s mother, Claudia Lacy, and Jacqueline Olive, the director of “Always in Season.”
"Do We as a Society Have a Right to Kill?": Chinonye Chukwu’s Film "Clemency" Examines Death Penalty
As the state of Texas this week carried out the nation’s first execution of the year, we look at “Clemency,” a new film starring Alfre Woodard that examines the death penalty from the perspective of those who have to carry out executions as well as the condemned. Woodard portrays prison warden Bernadine Williams as she prepares to oversee what would be her 12th execution as warden in the aftermath of one that was horribly botched. As her life seems to unravel, Williams, for the first time, grapples with what it means to be part of a system of state-sanctioned murder, as the execution date for Anthony Woods, played by Aldis Hodge, gets closer. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. We speak with Nigerian-American writer-director Chinonye Chukwu, who says she was inspired to take on the subject after the execution of Troy Anthony Davis, who was put to death by the state of Georgia on September 21, 2011. Davis’s execution was carried out despite major doubts about evidence used to convict him of killing police officer Mark MacPhail, and his death helped fuel the national movement to abolish the death penalty.
- WSJ: After Venezuela, U.S. to Target Cuba in Effort to Reshape Latin America
- Venezuela: Guaidó Seeks Support from Russia, China as Maduro Gov't Remains Defiant
- U.S. Announces Withdrawal from INF
- Sen. Sanders Proposes Expanding Estate Tax for Wealthiest Americans
- Senate Bill Opposes U.S. Withdrawal from Syria & Afghanistan
- Trump Dismisses Funding Talks 2 Weeks Ahead of Gov't Shutdown Deadline
- Progressive Dems: "Not Another Dollar" for DHS
- Court: Syrian Gov't Responsible for Killing War Reporter Marie Colvin
- Somalia: U.S. Airstrike Kills 24 al-Shabab Militants
- Reports: EPA Won't Set Limits on Harmful Chemicals in Drinking Water
- Pharma Co. Insys Accused of Bribing Doctors to Prescribe Fentanyl
- DHS Created Fake School to Catch Immigration Violators
- ICE Is Force-Feeding Immigrants Prisoners in Texas
- McConnell: Dem. Move to Make Election Day a Holiday Is a "Power Grab"
- Jezebel: FBI Warned Law Enforcement of "Pro-Abortion Extremists"
- FBI Investigated Group That Protested Far-Right Rally, Considered KKK as Victims
- Texas Catholic Church Identifies 286 Priests Accused of Sexually Abusing Children
- NJ Sen. Cory Booker Announces 2020 Presidential Run
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg recently missed oral arguments as she continues to recover after having two tumors removed from her lung last month. But the Supreme Court has said she is cancer-free and that the 85-year-old, now three-time cancer-surviving justice, has been reviewing arguments and weighing in on cases from home. Meanwhile, the documentary ”RBG” about her life has been nominated for an Academy Award. At the Sundance Film Festival, we speak with Julie Cohen, one of the film’s directors.
Tessa Thompson & Time's Up Call on Hollywood to Work with More Women Directors in #4PercentChallenge
Acclaimed actor Tessa Thompson joins us at the Sundance Film Festival to talk about the Me Too movement and the Time’s Up initiative, which is pushing Hollywood studios and actors to commit to work with women directors in its new #4PercentChallenge. Time’s Up is about “addressing safety in the workplace,” says actor Thompson. “It’s really looking at imbalance of power.”