Democracy Now

Subscribe to Democracy Now feed Democracy Now
Democracy Now! is an independent daily TV & radio news program, hosted by award-winning journalists Amy Goodman and Juan González. We provide daily global news headlines, in-depth interviews and investigative reports without any advertisements or government funding. Our programming shines a spotlight on corporate and government abuses of power and lifts up the stories of ordinary people working to make change in extraordinary times. Democracy Now! is live weekdays at 8am ET and available 24/7 through our website and podcasts.
Updated: 1 hour 36 min ago

Rep. Ro Khanna on WH Security Clearances, Ending Support for the Saudi War in Yemen, and Venezuela

Wed, 04/03/2019 - 08:13

The House Oversight Committee has subpoenaed the director of White House personnel security after a whistleblower revealed senior Trump officials overturned 25 security clearance denials, despite “serious disqualifying issues.” We speak with California Democratic Congressmember Ro Khanna, who says, “Congressional oversight is not a choice—it’s the law.” We also speak to him about the latest congressional actions around Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.

"The Status Quo Is Not Sustainable": How Medicare for All Would Fill Gaps in Obamacare Coverage

Tue, 04/02/2019 - 08:48

As Trump attacks the Affordable Care Act, we look at the growing case for Medicare for all. More than 100 Democratic lawmakers co-sponsored a House bill last month to dramatically revamp healthcare in the United States by creating a Medicare-for-all system funded by the federal government. The bill would expand Medicare to include dental, vision and long-term care, while making the federally run health program available to all Americans. It would also eliminate health insurance premiums, copayments and deductibles. We speak with Dr. Adam Gaffney, president of Physicians for a National Health Program, which has endorsed the measure.

As Trump Threatens Another Obamacare Repeal, Mother Warns That Losing ACA Would "Wipe Me Out"

Tue, 04/02/2019 - 08:36

Just a week after President Trump’s Justice Department supported a federal court ruling to wipe out the Affordable Care Act, Trump changed course in a series of tweets Monday and said he is willing to wait until after the 2020 presidential election for Congress to vote on a new healthcare plan. Trump has vowed to replace the ACA so that the Republican Party will be known as “the party of healthcare.” We speak with Jamie Davis Smith, a mother of four, civil rights attorney and member of Little Lobbyists and Health Care Voter. Her daughter Claire has multiple severe disabilities. In a recent op-ed for The Washington Post, Davis Smith wrote, “If Trump ends Obamacare, keeping my daughter alive will wipe me out.”

"The System Is Rigged": Democrats Drop Corporate and PAC Money Amid Pressure from Progressives

Tue, 04/02/2019 - 08:27

We look at the growing push for lawmakers to refuse money from corporate political action committees, as more than half of the Democrats newly elected to Congress have vowed not to accept such donations. We speak with Congressmember Nydia Velázquez of New York, a long-term legislator who has stopped taking corporate PAC donations. “In order to return trust [to] our democratic institutions, we need to … allow for the voters to feel that their voices are heard and that they don’t have to write a big check in order to gain access into our congressional offices,” she says.

"This President Is Cruel": Congresswoman Slams Trump for Fighting Against Puerto Rico Disaster Aid

Tue, 04/02/2019 - 08:14

We look at the fight in Congress over disaster aid for Puerto Rico since it was ravaged by Hurricane Maria, one of the deadliest storms in U.S. history. On Monday, two competing disaster relief bills stalled in the Senate. A companion to a January package passed in the House failed after Republicans objected to the lack of relief funding for recent flooding in the Midwest. Another Senate bill supported by Republicans fell short of the 60 votes needed. It contained just $600 million for Puerto Rico’s food stamp program, a number Democrats say is far too low as many Puerto Ricans are still recovering from the devastation of 2017’s Hurricane Maria. Democrats also say aid should cover rebuilding and other forms of disaster relief. Trump responded Monday night on Twitter that “Puerto Rico got far more money than Texas & Florida combined, yet their government can’t do anything right, the place is a mess–nothing works.” We get response from New York Congressmember Nydia Velázquez, who has served in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1993. She is the first Puerto Rican woman to be elected to Congress and is the former the chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

"Our Will of Life Is Stronger Than Despair": Palestinian Ahmed Abu Artema on Israeli Attacks on Gaza

Mon, 04/01/2019 - 08:47

Israeli forces killed four Palestinians, including three teenagers, at a mass demonstration Saturday on the first anniversary of the Great March of Return in Gaza. Israeli soldiers used live ammunition, tear gas and rubber bullets on the protesters. As tens of thousands of Palestinians came out to demand an end to the ongoing siege of Gaza and the right to return to their ancestral land, we speak with Ahmed Abu Artema, the Palestinian poet, journalist and peace activist who inspired the Great March of Return and helped organize it as a cry for help. Artema was frustrated by Israel’s more than decade-long land, sea and air blockade of the Gaza Strip, upon which it has waged three wars in the past 10 years.

Why the Real Migration Crisis Is in Central America, Not at the Southern U.S. Border

Mon, 04/01/2019 - 08:34

President Trump has announced the United States will cut off funding to the so-called Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador that are the primary source of a wave of migrants seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border, including caravans of families with children. He is also threatening to close the border with Mexico.
 This comes after Trump declared a national emergency to justify redirecting money earmarked for the military to pay for building a wall at the border. 
We speak with John Carlos Frey, award-winning investigative reporter and ”PBS NewsHour” special correspondent who has reported extensively on immigration and recently traveled with the first migrant caravan from Central America to the U.S.-Mexico border.

U.K. in Crisis: Facing No Deal, Parliament Votes on Brexit After Rejecting May's Plan for Third Time

Mon, 04/01/2019 - 08:17

With a deadline for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union fast approaching, the British Parliament will vote today on a series of options for Brexit after rejecting Prime Minister Theresa May’s plan for the third time on Friday. The U.K.'s exit date for leaving the EU is April 12. Among the options on the table are remaining in the EU customs union, a soft Brexit and a second referendum—all ideas May has rejected in the past. We speak with professor Priya Gopal, a university lecturer in the Faculty of English at the University of Cambridge. She calls Britain's decision to leave the EU a “deeply neoliberal … free market, disaster-capitalist project.”

43 Years: Meet the Man Held in Solitary Confinement Longer Than Any Prisoner in U.S. History

Fri, 03/29/2019 - 08:34

Albert Woodfox is a former political prisoner who was held in solitary confinement for 43 years until he won his freedom just over three years ago. Now he is traveling the world and joins us in studio to discuss his new memoir, “Solitary: Unbroken by Four Decades in Solitary Confinement. My Story of Transformation and Hope.” 

In it, he writes about his childhood and how his mother struggled to keep the family cared for, how as a teenager and young man he was in and out of jails and prisons, and how he became radicalized when he met members of the Black Panther Party and went on to establish the first chapter of the organization at the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, Louisiana, to address horrific conditions at the former cotton plantation. Not long after this, he and fellow prisoner Herman Wallace were accused in 1972 of stabbing prison guard Brent Miller. The two men always maintained their innocence, saying they were targeted because of their political activity. Woodfox, Wallace and and a third man, Robert King, became collectively known as the Angola 3. For decades Amnesty International and other groups campaigned for their release. “Solitary confinement … is the most horrible and brutal nonphysical attack upon a human being,” Woodfox says.

The World Is Watching: Woman Suing Harvard for Photos of Enslaved Ancestors Says History Is At Stake

Fri, 03/29/2019 - 08:11

Who has the right to own photos of slaves? We speak with Tamara Lanier, the great-great-great-granddaughter of Papa Renty, the enslaved man whose image was captured in a 19th century photograph currently owned by Harvard University. She is suing the school, accusing it of unfairly profiting from the images. We also speak with her attorney, Benjamin Crump.

Fighting Racial Bias in an Age of Mass Murder: Prejudice from the Coffee Shop to Charlottesville

Thu, 03/28/2019 - 08:46

As avowed neo-Nazi James Alex Fields pleaded guilty Wednesday to 29 counts of hate crimes in a federal court for plowing his car into a crowd of anti-racist protesters in Charlottesville in August of 2017, we look at a new book that addresses the tragic event, as well as the rising number of race-based mass shootings, hate crimes and police shootings of unarmed men in the past several years. It also examines cases of discrimination against African Americans for simply sitting in coffee shops or trying to vacation in Airbnb-hosted homes. Professor Jennifer Eberhardt is the author of “Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do,” about how implicit bias impacts everything from hate crimes to microaggressions in the workplace, school and community, and what we can do about it. Eberhardt is a professor of psychology at Stanford and a recipient of a 2014 MacArthur “genius” grant.

"People Are Going to Die": The Cost of Industry Deregulation by Lobbyists Under Trump

Thu, 03/28/2019 - 08:34

After two deadly crashes, the Senate holds its first hearing on how the Federal Aviation Administration lets the airline industry regulate itself. This comes as the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will hold confirmation hearings today on Trump’s nominee to head the Interior Department, David Bernhardt, a former oil lobbyist. Meanwhile, a federal jury in California has just ordered Monsanto to pay over $80 million to a cancer survivor whose illness was found to have been partly caused by the herbicide Roundup. “When we see these regulatory issues, they’re often abstract, and people maybe don’t pay attention to them,” says Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen. “What they fail to realize is that, actually, failed regulation means people are going to die.”

"Tell That to the Families in Flint": AOC Demolishes GOP Claim That Green New Deal Is "Elitist"

Thu, 03/28/2019 - 08:28

On Tuesday, Congressmember Sean Duffy of Wisconsin suggested the Green New Deal only served the wealthy. New York Congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez shot back with a passionate defense of the Green New Deal. We feature her full speech.

Green New Deal Policy Writer: Senate Vote Against Climate Plan Was Attempt to Stifle Growing Momentum

Thu, 03/28/2019 - 08:14

In a move Congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called a “bluff vote,” the Senate rejected the Green New Deal on Tuesday, after 43 Democrats voted “present” on the measure introduced by Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Four other Democrats joined all 53 Republican senators in voting against the Green New Deal. As Democrats blast McConnell’s move to push the procedural vote, we speak to one of the lead policy writers for the Green New Deal, a proposal to transform the U.S. economy by funding renewable energy while ending U.S. carbon dioxide emissions by 2030. Rhiana Gunn-Wright is the policy director for the nonprofit New Consensus.

Are Federal Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids Hurting Patients With Chronic Pain?

Wed, 03/27/2019 - 08:50

As Oklahoma and Purdue Pharma reach a landmark settlement, we look at an underreported result of the opioid crisis: the underprescribing of opioids for patients who rely on them for pain management. This month, more than 300 doctors and medical researchers sent an open letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warning patients have been harmed by a lack of clarity in guidelines for prescribing opioids. The CDC revised the guidelines for primary care physicians in 2016 in order to improve safety and reduce risks associated with long-term opioid therapy for chronic pain. But many say the new guidelines caused confusion and led to the reduction or discontinuation of opioids for people who responsibly use the medication to manage pain related to cancer, multiple sclerosis, lupus and fibromyalgia. We speak with Terri Lewis, a social scientist, rehabilitation practitioner and clinical educator who is running a national survey of patients and physicians to calculate the impacts of changes in chronic pain treatment. We also speak with Barry Meier, the author of “Pain Killer: An Empire of Deceit and the Origin of America’s Opioid Epidemic.” He was the first journalist to shine a national spotlight on the abuse of OxyContin.