tv Politics Nation MSNBC October 9, 2021 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT
i forgot your second. >> yes, we ran out of time, so i'll have you back because i think this story is going to continue to grow because facebook is not going anywhere. cecilia kong, thank you. i'm yasmin vossoughian. bile back tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. eastern. reverend al sharpton and "politicsnation" starts right now. good evening and welcome to "politicsnation." tonight's lead, democracy versus despotism. right now our political life is driven by two factions that defy easy category. on the one side, you have the most democrats committed to the rule of law and at least participating in the business of
governing. on the other, you have republicans still beholden to donald trump, and a few democrats beholden to their own agenda. i'll get to those democrats shortly. because trump's former presidential aides have yet to comply with congressional subpoenas related to the events of january 6th because our former president literally told them not to. president biden, of course, isn't having it, declining his predecessor's executive privilege as we got yet another damning report of just how far trump tried to go to stay in office. but even out of office, the trump staff on the courts endures, with the federal appeals court last night removing the stay on the texas near-total ban on abortion after our highest court chose not to get involved. we'll have the latest out of
texas tonight. and while negotiations of every sort continue on the hill, those of us in the civil rights community are wondering about the future of police reform, as cities do what they can, and the gop legislators do what police unions want them to do. i'll talk to black america's attorney general, ben crump, later in the show. but first, let's bring in my political panel early. juanita tolliver is a democratic strategist. susan del percio is a republican strategist. both are msnbc political analysts. let me start with going to the question of the infrastructure legislation. a massive political project that will affect all americans if democrats can get it done. recent polling shows 62% of americans support the smaller roads and bridges bill, and 57%
support the larger social infrastructure bill. joe manchin of west virginia and kyrsten sinema of arizona are single-handedly holding up the process, even both bills have approval in their states. juanita, does this thing get done? what's really behind manchin and sinema's obstructionism? >> look, rev, that's the same question we've been asking. i appreciate cori bush saying who is your priority and what are you doing to make sure they get what they need? because it's clear that every time manchin and sinema make a demand, they're not prioritizing americans in need, the most vulnerable communities across this country. as you showed in the polls, the people who want and support all of these provisions. instead, manchin and sinema are going to biden saying, hey, we got to cut some of this tough. with every provision that's
sunset earlier or cut sbieshlgs they're saying, no, mothers don't need family leave. no, children don't deserve pre-k. no, our elders don't deserve elder care or vision and hearing care as part of medicare. like, they are creating these issues within the caucus, but i do have hope that it will be resolved soon, rev. but i also want to appreciate what you mentioned about republicans sitting on the sidelines throughout all of this. they have essentially obstructed or filibustered any other substantive legislation in congress right now. and so what we're seeing is also a result of their inaction. >> yeah. what continues to bother me is they're talking more about the figures than the services being paid for. even if you want to bring the figures down, tell us how the services will still be done. now let's talk about the debt ceiling fight. and what it revealed within the
republican party. minority leader mitch mcconnell caved and allowed a vote to raise the debt ceiling until december. and was immediately attacked by the former president and his allies, even though this vote was to pay the bills racked up primarily under his leadership, during the trump administration. trump is still the most influential person in the republican party. he's holding a rally in iowa tonight. susan, can mcconnell continue to thread this needle? or is it trump's way or the highway? >> well, i do not think that mitch mcconnell acted because of donald trump in any measure since donald trump has left office, frankly. but what's interesting here is, now, let me first say, i wish the democrats had a governing partner. they do not. the republicans have no interest of stepping up and trying to
govern with this president or with their democrat counterparts. they're sitting on their hands and it's despicable how close we got to the debt ceiling going literally off a cliff. that being said, mitch mcconnell, the self-proclaimed grim reaper, does not care, nor can he be shamed. he wrote a book called "the long game," what i think this december 3rd date is about, to delay the debt ceiling until then. and the reason why i believe he did it, again, he's only acting with political will rev, is that mitch mcconnell saw -- it looked like a potential to blame the republicans because there wasn't enough time on the calendar because people woke up to the debt ceiling fight late, even though mitch mcconnell said he wasn't doing anything three months ago. however, now he's given warning, and now he's saying i will not do a thing. is it right? no. but it's a fact, and he is hoping that the democrats do not
pass infrastructure before then, do not pass a social service agenda then, and that everything comes together on december 3rd and is hoping for a mess. the best thing the democrats can do to fight mitch mcconnell right now is to pass the hard infrastructure, give joe biden a much-needed win so he can go out and sell the second half of the social infrastructure, if you will, the human infrastructure, and come up with a deal with manchin at $2 trillion and a carveout or voting rights. >> let's move to january 6th insurrection and the subpoenas sent out by the committee that have so far been ignored. the disgraced former president is trying to claim executive privilege over white house documents and even the testimony of people like steve bannon who wasn't a white house employee at the time. but trump is not -- is no longer
the executive, and the supreme court has historically limited that privilege when it comes to former presidents, reasoning that it should inbe invoked only for the benefit of the public. juanita, trump and his officials that -- enablers fan out legal proceedings. what can democrats do to stop this? >> i'm glad the white house came out full force and essentially told them to do what they got to do. we know this is likely going to go to the courts, and so what i'm looking to the select committee to do now is to start to enforce those contempt charges against uncooperative witnesses to compel their testimony because, as bannon signaled, he's following trump's lead. i think we can expect other trump loyalists to do the same, and that's why they need to make good on what is on the table,
these criminal contempt charges. it's important they set a standard and a tone here that not only communicates their seriousness to witnesses and future people they would subpoena, but also to voters that they are using every tool available to them to get to the truth, to make sure that they hold trump and whoever else is accountable, as well as to ensure that this never happens again, rev. it's critical that they deliver on that mandate when 60% of the public recognizes what happened on january 6th as a terrorist attack, because no one wants to see this again, especially when we know the gop laid out this slow-coup approach. all of this points to a bigger mission that sadly likely didn't end on january 6th and that could, again, come to harm future elections. >> now, finally a new report out this week from the senate judiciary committee revealed that even before the day of the insurrection the disgraced former president spent weeks
planning for his attempted coup d'état. on at least nine separate occasions, trump tried to pressure the justice department into investigating baseless fraud claims in support of his big lie. susan, merrick garland has a lot on his plate, but should he be prioritizing this weaponization of the doj? how worried should we be that the current doj personnel were involved in this scheme? >> oh, we should be very worried as a country, rev. that's not a republican or democrat issue. donald trump acid so much hard to the doj, not just internally what he expected of them at the end of his administration, but just the way he tried to knock them and the conspiracy theories, et cetera. it is critical that merrick garland set up directives that
are approved by the president approved by congress. doj needs to go back as a place that's safe for all americans to go and to know they're taken care of, all of us, and it's not a political arm of the white house. >> all right. i'll have to leave it there. thank you juanita tolliver and susan del percio. now to a mainly new development in the fight over reproductive rights. last night a u.s. appeals court reinstated the controversial texas law representing a near ban on all abortions after a lower court blocked it from being enacted just two days earlier. meanwhile, a case involving another abortion law out of mississippi with major implications with roe v. wade will be heard by the supreme court. joining me now is the host of boom laura and senior editor of law and policy for rewire news
group, armani gandhi. there's been so much back and forth between the courts with the texas anti-abortion law. can you explain exactly what has happened and where things go from here? >> well, what has happened is texas has essentially decided to act like a mob boss. they enacted to law to sue providers, anyone in the access pipeline. by doing that, they have -- they have sort of shoved off their own duty to enforce this law. they did this so that they could evade an injunction and prevent people who would be affected by this law, people who would be sued by this law from seeking remedy in court. what the district court did on thursday is say, wait a minute, this is not proper. in the case that the united states brought against texas,
united states has said that texas is in, quote, open defiance of the law. they've essentially created a law specifically to scourge the regular educational process, to skirt the litigation process, and to prevent people from accessing a constitutional right. the district court said this is not going to stand. in 113 pages, the court offered many different reasons, but i think the biggest one is that somebody has to be able to sue texas to block this law. if not to block it, to actually have a court figure out what people's rights are, whether the law is constitutional, whether the enforcement mechanism is constitutional or proper. and that's what the federal district court did. fifth circuit issued a temporary stay yesterday, so it's basically a temporary pause on the district court's order to give the fifth circuit time to more fully develop its arguments, its claims, and then they're going to issue a fuller
order probably this week i suspect. the court stepped in yet again and took over yet again the work of what the district court did and said, wait a minute, we're going to stop this and let this law go into effect. and i really cannot stress enough how truly -- just shocking it is to me that the supreme court let this law go into effect. under the court's current precedent, six-week abortion bans are patently unconstitutional. there's no federal appeals court that has upheld one of these laws. so what the district court did -- >> and i'm clear on it being unconstitutional. but i want to go back to the ruling earlier this week that briefly blocked the texas law from going into effect. the federal judge in that decision put out a 100-page ruling with some important legal insights. i understand you read that ruling yourself. what was the biggest takeaways
from it? >> the biggest takeaway from it is that under the current court precedent , this law is unconstitutional. while this new enforcement mechanism is novel and no court has had a chance to address it, the very fact that the underlying law is unconstitutional should've upheld the supreme court to block it. so the federal district court threw shade at the supreme court by saying what are you doing? you know, this is your own precedent. >> so if the court said that it was unconstitutional, it would seem to me as a layperson that that would have required the supreme court to step in if we're talking about constitution. and i don't see how they play any other role in this matter if it is raised to that level. as well as the supreme court has agreed to hear several other high-profile cases, including a mississippi abortion ban after
15 weeks of pregnancy, a massive departure from roe v. wade, which currently sets the limit for abortions at around 24 weeks. how likely do you think this rollback on women's rights will happen? >> it's going to happen, i believe, next year, next june after the court hears oral arguments in this mississippi case. they're hearing oral arguments in december. it's a huge case and these huge cases those rulings come down usually at the end of the term. that going to be next june. this is the case where they're going to have to show their work. they're going to have to explain to the american people why in this other texas case involving an equally unconstitutional ban the court decided to just throw up its hands, there's no other higher court in the land. if it's not the supreme court who's going to address this and say wait a minute, this is unconstitutional or not and here's why, then i don't know who else is supposed to do it. >> well, it is very, very
frightening. thank you,er manny. coming up next on "politicsnation," as police reforms remain stalled on capitol hill, police unions are pushing back on efforts to end qualified immunity which has blocked true justice in so many brutality cases. we'll bring you the latest. plus, more than a few u.s. senators seemed to have forgotten who they work for, so i'll take a little time to remind them. but first, my colleague richard lui with today's top news stories. richard? >> rev, a very good saturday to you. we'll start with breaking news. just hours ago an american airlines plane had an emergency landing at new york's laguardia airport. the new york port authority saying that fliers reported suspicious behavior from another passenger. here are passengers as they demelinda on the tarmac. >> that is not a medical
emergency at all, not a medical emergency. where are we walking to? that wasn't no medical emergency. >> someone reported this guy is suspicious. >> there's the plane you see, flight 4817 from indianapolis to new york. it did not have mechanical issues and there were no issues among the passengers or crew. more details next hour as we learn more details on this. the u.s. now has over 44 million covid cases. the death toll nears 717,000. this comes as the cdc now estimates approximately 140,000 children in the u.s. lost their caretakers due to covid-19. the spanish island of la palma still under a state of emergency as volcanic activity continues since the initial eruption on september 19th. upwards of 800 buildings have been destroyed, 6,000 people have evacuated the area, while lava and ash continue to pummel
the region investigators looking into what caused the oil spill off the coast of southern california. the coast guard stated that an underwater pipeline off huntington beach shows signs of damage, but the exact cause of the spill is under inspection. the pipeline has leaked more than 144,000 gallons of oil into the lotion, killing local wildlife. multiple orange county beaches remain off limits to beachgoers this weekend. more "politicsnation" after a short break. ♪darling, i, i can't get enough of your love babe♪ ♪girl, i don't know, i don't know,♪ ♪i don't know why i can't get enough of your love babe♪ ♪oh no, babe girl, if i could only make you see♪ ♪and make you understand♪ get a dozen double crunch shrimp for $1 with any steak entrée. only at applebee's.
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neatly. when challenged by his colleague, senator bernie sanders to come to the negotiating table in good faith and list specific issues he has with the infrastructure bill, manchin refused. then, to add insult to injury, he accused sanders of wanting to make this country, quote, an entitlement society. that's some impressive projection from west virginia's senior senator, a man who thinks his multimillion-dollar wealth entitles him to the wishes of his own constituents. west virginians support the legislation manchin has been maligning by huge margins. senator manchin, who lives on a private yacht when he's in washington, finally faced some of those constituents last week, but only when they literally paddled up to him in kayaks. but to manchin's credit, he let those west virginians say their
peace, something that his arizona colleague senator kyrsten sinema flatly refuses to do. sinema has a constant three years in the senate, but somehow feels entitles to avoid town halls and phone calls with her constituents. indeed, it seems the only way to have your voice heard by sinema in arizona is to attend multithousand dollars fundraisers. just in case you thought this entitlement was seoul a democratic issue, let me direct your attention to minority leader mitch mcconnell, a man who feels his own political goals entitles him to threaten a worldwide economic crisis by promising to filibuster a routine debt ceiling vote. this man feels entitled to hold the global economy hostage when he was sent to the senate with a state with less than 2% of the
u.s. population. it's not just mcconnell who whittles outsized power. currently democrats represent 40 million more americans than their republican counterparts, and that lance slide victory earned them only the slimmest majority. not a new problem either. republicans have not won a majority of senate votes nationwide since 1996, but they control the senate for 18 of those 20 years. between republican dedication to anti- majoritytarian power and some democrats' refusal to listen to their own constituents, the senate has long since abandoned any pre-tense of being a truly democratic institution. for all of manchin's whining about entitlement, it's clear these senators feel like they
are above us all, entitled to abortion and respect for their positions alone. like an american house of lords. but there was a whole revolution to ensure that this country would have no nobility class, and it's time for the senate to remember that they are a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. so to manchin, sinema, and mcconnell, and any other senator with similar superiority complexes, if you're going to act like a house of lords, you either need to dress the part or remember that you work for us. i gotcha. or fist bump there, or... oh! i can't wait to go there! or reunite there,
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activists. as the city of minneapolis prepares to vote on the future of its policing, nearly 18 months after george floyd's murder, and a new "washington post" analyses found that dozens have been quietly killed for the reason that federal efforts died. joining me now is the attorney general of black america, civil rights attorney ben crump. now, attorney crump, we haven't had you on the show since negotiations behind the federal police reform collapse on capitol hill last month, though you and i talk often as we deal with these and issues matters with the families. the main sticking point between parties being, of course, qualified immunity for police officers. democrats generally wanting individual officers to be subject to civil rights suits.
republicans enthralled to police unions do not. largely because of that, the george floyd justice in policing act is dead, at least for the time being. now that those watching who might see we have to look at the states and build victories there. i point you to this week's "washington post" which found that at least 35 state bills to end or amend qualified immunity have died in the last 18 months. so where is the next front in the war, counselor, and what does that look like to you? >> thank you, reverend al, for continuing to focus on this issue. it's very important. when we talk about qualified immunity, i feel it's very important that we always give a historical analysis to how we got in this quandary.
it was in 1871 that the united states congress passed what was known as the kkk act where they could connect monetarily against government issues for violating their constitutional rights and committing violence against them. >> right and. >> and then it was in 1967, reverend al in united states supreme court and the freedom ride, the segregation case of all things, rendered qualified immunity to be able to oppose this protection that they gave to black people to hold those government officers who brutalized them accountable. >> right. >> and made it baseless. and so it's so ironic when we
think about it, reverend al, we're fighting to say that a law that was passed to give black people access to hold government officers who perform racist acts and committed violence against them a legal pathway to get redressed. that's the issue they're saying they don't want to address. they want it to be where those protections are not given any sufficient rights for minorities to say you all violated my constitutional rights, and we have to make police and other governmental entities say that is not allowed to do to any american citizen. >> and in many ways it leaves cities to pay these civil suits, but in many ways having taxpayers pay for the brutality of individuals that won't be liable at all for their brutalities. you recall the unrest in
minneapolis last spring after george floyd's murder. we were all there. and then this week you and i saw those new body camera videos captured five days after that murder in which minneapolis police officers are heard to deride black protesters. one officer said he appreciated that his peers were, quote, out hunting people, capping it off with a, quote, eff these people. one video shows an officer firing rubber bullets into a crowd of people screaming that they are unarmed as the people screamed they were unarmed. he's firing rubber bullets. the people of minneapolis will soon vote on a ballot initiative that will mandate that the city have a police department as we know it. to those opposed to this measure, how do you video videos like these and say that more training is just the answer when
you have people that have these kind of attitudes on the force? >> reverend al, it is the intellectual justification of discrimination when you see videos like this and then you have a legal doctrine of qualified immunity to say that what those officers did was legal, and no recourse for the citizens. we must always remember, reverend al, that we will overcome this. it's going to challenging. it may be a multiyear approach, but i am still optimistic that as long as the people keep getting in good trouble, like they did in colorado after elijah mcclain was killed and george floyd and they got qualified immunity abolished in that state. more states have to continue to be pressed and say we demand that we make the declaration of
independence to everybody, not just white people, but to black people, to brown people, asian people, and we have to keep doing that, reverend al. that is the only way we will get -- >> sustained -- sustained indignation, i call it. we got the eric garner law in new york. were you surprised -- i'm out of time, but i have to ask you. were you surprised the justice department declined to pursue criminal civil rights charges for the kenosha, wisconsin, police officer who shot jacob blake seven times in the back citing insufficient evidence to establish that the officer used excessive force. now, let me remind our audience, blake was shot seven times in his back as he left the scene of a domestic incident in august of last year. the officer was found not guilty of state charges earlier this year. blake, of course, remains paralyzed from the waist down. your response, attorney crump?
>> i was disappointed, but not surprised, reverend al. and this underscores the reason why we have to continue to push to end qualified immunity because the only justice that jacob blake jr., now paralyzed, may ever receive in life is civil justice, since the criminal justice system has once again failed to give justice to this person. >> as i said, he's paralyzed. he has children and a wonderful mother and father. ben crump, thank you, as always, mr. attorney general, for being with us. up next, congressional infighting over the debt ceiling continues. could this finally be the moment to bust the filibuster? congressman emanuel cleaver joins us. stay tuned. hey, everyone. i'm alicia menendez. ahead for us on "american voices," the former president in
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congressman, reverend, thanks, as always, for joining us tonight. we wanted you with us tonight because you sit on the house financial services committee. what can you tell us about where negotiations stand on the drama of the week, raising the debt ceiling? >> well, i think that we're going to probably be able to do that on tuesday of this week. but it would be malpractice if you didn't say this is going to be a short-term situation and there's a lot of damage going to be done to the united states economy, even though we're going to raise it for a short period of time. the reason is that we have had a reliable economy in our country. we have the international currency, the dollar is an international currency. and we're making the people around the world doubt the value
of the dollar and whether or not the united states is going to be able to pay its bills. that's not good for our credit rating. >> now, congressman, i read where you called the potential failure of the president's infrastructure plan a, quote, existential threat to democratic majorities in both chambers. i certainly won't refute your view from the chamber. congressman, but for black voters, who got joe biden elected, then watched the police reform die, and as i just discussed with ben crump, they're now wondering why this infrastructure bill is cast as the make or break for democrats instead of the george floyd bill or the john lewis voting rights act. what do you tell them? >> they ought to be angry. i got to tell you, i'm not happy at all myself. and one of the reasons we're having this problem is because we have some idol worshippers in
the senate practicing idol tri. they think the filibuster was brought down by from sinai. and if they got rid of the filibuster, except for criminal reform, voting rights, and this emergency build back better and also bipartisan infrastructure bill, we can do what we need to do to move people into a better place. of all the things that i think just irked me was seeing senator sinema do the mccain thumbs down on a $15 minimum wage that people who are poor and black and brown, that's a slap at us. >> no doubt about it. and she doing that and then these talks around police reform and voting rights are going
down. i told president biden in our meetings with civil rights leaders that you told america that blacks had your back, you'd have ours. well, they're stabbing us in the back. let me bring you to this earlier this week. you and congresswoman cori bush protested the state execution of earnest lee johnson who was convicted of killing three people during a robbery in 1994. johnson was intellectually disabled from birth. a fifth of his brain medically removed in 2008. his execution drawing protests from anti-death penalty activists and all the way to pope francis himself. and you wrote on twitter that, quote, state-sanctioned execution of the intellectually disabled is both morally reprehensible and egregiously unconstitutional. i know that a house bill to
prohibit capital punishment was introduced this week by ayanna pressley. do you see democrats taking this up as a priority? and by democracy, i mean the congressional black caucus, since you and congresswoman bush both drew the line from jim crow to what happened this week, congresswoman. >> absolutely. the congressional black caucus -- hopefully the progressive caucus will join in with us, and the hispanic congressional caucus. we all need to join forces in this because what happens is, if you study or look at the capital punishment situation, if an african-american or a brown person kills an african-american or brown person, they stand a very, very small chance of getting the death penalty. it is when you kill someone white that the death penalty is very likely going to be your sentence. and killing this gentleman, this
man, earnest johnson, is like killing a 6-year-old. reverend, i don't even believe he understood when they told him he was going to be put into an electric chair. i don't think he had any knowledge of understanding of what was even happening to him. >> wow. well, congressman, thank you. i remind people, he's not only a congressman, he's one of the best preachers in the morning. i'm preaching at howard, i'm preaching one of your sermons, so don't watch it on facetime. up next, my final thoughts. stay with us.
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for justice all over the world. it was jesse jackson who joined with others to keep dr. king's dream growing with nonviolent protests. it was jesse jackson that came out and made private corporations and the private sector accountable. it was jesse jackson who formed the rainbow coalition before we ever used the term intersectionalism. it was his run for president in 1984 and 1988 that registered voters that elected black mayors and governors. jesse jackson went to far lands and brought back hostages without a portfolio from the
government and without even being thanked. he has helped change america and we should salute and give him flowers while he is among us and going strong. i personally have been touched all my life by reverend jackson. when i was 12 years old my parents brought me to him. he was twice my age. he was a big brother figure. he has guided me and many others that are known and unknown with the work ethic and commitment that you put the cause ahead of your own agenda. happy birthday, reverend jackson. some of us will not forget not only what you have done for us, but for the nation and world.
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tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. eastern for another live hour of politics nation. now to my colleagues alicia mendez. >> thank you so much. hello, everyone. later this evening in iowa a return to the stage by you know who. donald trump stumping for senator chuck grassley's re-election. we spoke with people a short time ago as they wait for him to take the stage. >> when we got back to our hotel room on january 6 and turned the tv on, the stories we were resembling were no resemblance to what we saw. >> i am in total belief it was a setup. a political scheme. everything is a