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tv   American Voices With Alicia Menendez  MSNBC  January 30, 2022 4:00pm-5:00pm PST

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check your local listings. list. as we begin a new hour, biden's growing list new reporting taking us inside the president's progress in selecting a supreme court nominee. policy free is running on nothing, a way for republicans to win more on the idea or lack of ideas being tossed around by senator mitch mcconnell. the former guy takes the stage in texas saying he might just pardon the capitol rioters should voters put him back in the white house. what it takes to make america climate resilient, and the new bill that targets america most vulnerable to the affects of climate change. let's start with president
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biden's search for the new supreme court nominee. more than a dozen candidates than first reported, and the white house only contpurplting publicly it's consideration of u.s. district judge j. michelle childs. what we do know, the president maintains his campaign promise to nominate a black woman leading to this reaction across lawmakers across the sunday morning talk shows. >> there's many qualified that could go on to the court, so i don't see michelle childs as an act of affirmative action, but i see putting a black woman on the court making the court more like america. >> my goal is to make sure that we have a deliberate timing hearing and to reach out to the republican side and see if they can join us in making a bipartisan nomination. that speaks well of the court and the senate if we can achieve it. >> with so much focus on who the
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president should choose, it's also about the main issues this justice will face. voting rights, abortion and civil rights top that list. this justice will not just fill a liberal void on the court left behind by breyer but will join a right-leaning roberts court, a courtsiding with big money and corporations, namely poor people and those of color. many who support corporations like the u.s. chamber of commerce tend to oppose expanding voting rights, civil rights and health care for all and increasing wages. policies that would benefit 140 million poor and low-income people living in the country. in 2020 data from the constitutional accountability center found a siding with the court siding with the chamber.
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the nominee will help people, not corporations. as mentioned, cochair of the poor people's campaign. always good to see you. make the case for me that this needs to be a main consideration. >> well, right now we are making our way to washington, d.c. for the mass poor people's low wagers worker on june 18th, and you can't ignore the poor people in the country anymore. there's 45% of the electorate where it was just lower than 3%, and the supreme court can determine who has power, and that's why we are watching this carefully. the supreme court can gut like it did the voting rights act in
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2013 and unleash voter suppression as it has since 2013, or the supreme court can pass rulings that benefit corporations and give corporations more power to not only influence the election with more people than what poor people have, and give corporations more power to block things like living wages. we are watching this very carefully. we remember when ms. barrett was put on the court. a lot of people didn't take a look at it but she sided with corporate decisions 77% of the time. a lot of times they are looking for abortion and prayer in the school and against gay people, but look deeper, almost all of the appointments of republican presidents are those that side with corporations against corporate wages in the country. >> we are going to hear a lot about all of these potential nominees in the coming days,
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both their judicial records and their personal stories. why is the lived experience so important? >> well, the lived experience and the judicial experience. you know, i am sick and tired of people saying this is an affirmative action pick. when trump said he was going to pick a woman, nobody said that, and president biden should just do it. it's not about being qualified. black women have been qualified, and this is about affirmative inaction of presidents to not put a black woman on the court, and judicial philosophy should be considered. the question is the person you want is a black woman with a judicial philosophy proven in their decisions that they are serious about the 14th amendment
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and the 15th amendment, the voting rights, and they are serious about the laws that protect people against the domination of a regressive majority or the domination of money and greed in this country. so lived experience and judicial experience is so critical. should the president do it? yes, it's time. it's past time. but as marshall and murray said, we should look not only at skin color and gender, because skin color and gender don't necessarily transfer into a judicial philosophy that lifts up all people, and there are more black women out there, more than we can count, so yes, let's place somebody on the court that cares about all people, judicially and personally. >> well, i would welcome the appointment of a black female to
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the court. i believe that diversity benefits the supreme court, but the way that the president has handled this nomination has been clumsy at best. it adds to the further perception that the court is a political institution like congress when it is not supposed to be. >> reverend, you already debunked that claim about this being clumsy and somehow political given that ronald reagan made a similar promise, and donald trump made a similar promise. i will not ask you to debunk that again, but i do wonder what you think that republicans are actually saying, what their actual resistance is? >> well, it's clear over the years. i mean, first of all, we never had a black nominee -- she needs to go somewhere and sit down and
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hush her mouth. she is talking about diversity, and she done support living wages. she's not really being honest here, and to suggest the president has fumbled this. listen, the bottom line is, it's time for the court to represent all americans. it sounds like what republicans want is a black person that will vote their way, so they like a clarence thomas but they could not stand for the anita earls, and not just black people, but black, brown and white people. that's why we have to also add this lens of economics. a lot of people talk about diversity, but they mean the diversity where you have differences but no change. they don't want to see the kind of change that needs to happen from a justice standpoint.
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there's a fear, there is a fear of having a court that will take seriously as i said the 14th amendment, the 15th amendment, take seriously the equal protection under the law and so senator collins, her own records makes what she just said ridiculous. lastly, and what i also say to the biden administration, you cannot do the pick of a black woman and then stop fighting on voting rights and stop fighting on build back better and stop fighting on child tax credits and living wages, because all of those things impact the lives of poor white, black and brown people. keep the fight going. we need the courts and we need the legislative policies. it's both and, not either or. >> i only got a minute but i have to get this in, you tweeted
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last week over 200 religious leaders have called on the arizona super bowl. >> if you are going to remove the super bowl because the state would not honor the birthday of dr. king, then you ought to remove it when the senators are not honoring the dream and the policies of dr. king. dr. king gave his life and so many others did, and the senator in arizona are opposed to democracy in america, not just for black people, and the fact blocked laws, and there should be a price to pay for that. move to the super bowl. we have plenty of stadiums and send a statement that you are not going to fund a state where
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a senator is opposed to the 15th amendment. by the way, the ratification of the 15th amendment, the 152nd anniversary is this coming wednesday, february 3rd. 150 years ago, we said everybody should have a right to vote, and now 152 years later, senators like in arizona are trying to deny the abridge to vote. everybody needs to be speaking out against this. >> i appreciate that you don't even need to say her name. reverend, thank you for your time. next, trump feels the heat, at least it appears he is after last night's ramblings in texas about a new up rising, and pardoning the capitol rioters if he's allowed back in the white house. and then one congresswoman joins us with a new plan being
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introduced. the u.s. is urging north korea to the negotiating table after they performed their longest missile ballistic test since 2017 officials in japan and south korea say saturday's missile was launched to avoid territorial spaces towards neighbors, and this as talks between pyongyang and washington have stalled. and then the actor howard hessman passed away saturday afternoon. he was 81 years old. nadal is the first man to have 21 grand slam titles. a shocker in the nfl.
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the cincinnati bangles headed to the super bowl after defeating the kansas city chiefs in overtime. the big game airs two weeks from tonight right here on nbc. we have much more with "american voices" after this break. r this. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ before you go there, or there... start here. walgreens makes it easy to stay protected wherever you go. schedule your free covid-19 booster today. fries or salad? wherever you go. salad! good choice! it is. so is screening for colon cancer. when caught in early stages, it's more treatable. hey, cologuard! hi, i'm noninvasive and i detect altered dna in your stool to find 92% of colon cancers even in early stages.
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is donald trump riled up or rattled? maybe both. new signs he's feeling the heat from the 1/6 committee and beyond, revealed at his rally in texas, and said the nation will have the biggest protests they ever have had if the investigators are wrong. this time he fabricated the events of january 6th and promised this, should voters allow him back in the white house in 2024. >> if i run and if i win, we
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will treat those people from january 6th fairly. we will treat them fairly. and if it requires pardons, we will give them pardons, because they are being treated so unfairly. >> "washington post" erin black sees his comment as a legal strategy. he served notice saturday he will happily stand by such a situation with a blowtorch in hand. joining us, betsy swan and the university of law professor and former u.s. attorney, barbara mcquaid. barb, i want to start about the
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comments by trump about the investigations, and could the talk about pardons come back to bite him legally speaking? >> i think you could. when mueller sz wrote his report, the one on obstruction of justice, and some of the things that were cited there were the dangling of pardons to people like paul manafort and flynn, and he was influencing their cooperation with the government, so people who already have been charged who might otherwise have an incentive, and it could be anybody inclined to commit an attack in the future would feel empowered by trump's words, and for those reasons they could be seen as having a potential criminal exposure. it's a dangerous place to be going down the road to promise pardons for people who are enemies of our country. >> betsy, you have all the talk about pardons and then you have
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political with the new reporting about trump's other comments, the assertion comes amid efforts by trump and some of his fiercest supporters to re-write the history of january 6th, and the 50 detainees held in connection with the attack are political prisoners. tell me more. >> there has been a long-running narrative in some of the more conspiratorial corners of right wing media trying to claim, trying to prove that the reason the attack on the capitol happened is because of undercover law enforcement agents or informants that were present that day and instigated the entire thing, and nationally it's an issue. however, in the case of january 6th, the evidence that these folks have tried to marshall, to
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argue that somehow the fbi was responsible for the attack on the capitol building has just been totally flimsy at best. one of the key things they pointed to was a man named ray, and he appears in videos saying things whacky and incendiary, certainly making problematic comments. and he was on the fbi's most wanted list for a time and then taken off of it, and therefore this argument was prul mull gated. one congressional senator pressed the top fbi officials as to whether ray was an fbi informant, and they did not say either way, and later that day
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the committee said they already spoken to him and it was clear to him he was not secretly working for the fbi. this is a conspiracy that i have anything remotely persuasive, and it would be a huge deal if it were true, we would be covering it. the fact that serious people are pushing this forward like it's gospel truth is just another example of the mythology, frankly, emerging in the wake of the attack on the capitol. >> i think you can argue it's part of the mythology, and you can argue in addition to it being conspiratorial crazy, that it's part of their effort to sew chaos at large, and all of the fake electors that we are now learning more and more about, i spoke about the last hour about the committee issuing subpoenas,
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and here's what she told me. take a listen. >> we have to remember that rudy giuliani was in the state of michigan on december 2nd testifying before a sham hearing, and my office is certainly just a witness to these weeks of attempts in december to interfere or tamper with the integrity of our elections and accurate results. we are submitting evidence like that reminding the committee to look into who else giuliani spoke with while in michigan. >> barb, your take on that? >> it's seven states, which were very close battleground states where we saw identical documents submitted to washington signed by electors who were trump electors in states won by biden. certainly this suggests is there some sort of fraud that was being perpetrated, and even more interesting, who was coordinating that effort?
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i would think maybe they said they were told by trump as a provisional ballot, and there's no there there. we know the january 6th committee is divided into five different teams looking at different segments of the entire strategy, and i think that's going to be interesting to see how all of these pieces put together to try and create, as you just described, undermining chaos to undermine faith in the elections and democracies, and that is the kind of thing that hurts democracies. >> always great to both of you to adding so much context to these stories. barb, congratulations again on one year of the hash tag sisters podcast. huge achievement. then calling to build and protect the workforce needed to
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help america achieve climate resilience. one congresswoman lays out her plan ahead, and spotify's response over what it's doing to for disinformation peddled on joe rogen's podcast, next. podca. (vo) america's most reliable network is going ultra! with verizon 5g ultra wideband now in many more cities so you can do more. hey, it's mindy! downloading a movie up to 10 times ster than before. oh, is that the one where the mom becomes a... (mindy) yep! (vo) i knew it! and claire in hd clarity. steve, is that jelly? this place is packed! you couldn't even send a text in a crowd before. now look at david with the connection. posting like crazy! (david) it's wild. (vo) 5g ultra wideband is now in more and more places. verizon is going ultra, so you can too.
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basically, choose what we want our future to look like. so what's yours going to be? 2020 was one of the worse years on record for climate-related disasters in the u.s. 20 such events hit in 2021. for context, since 1980, the yearly average was around seven. each event last year costs over $1 billion and resulted in a total of nearly 700 deaths. there was the tornado outbreak in december that ripped through the midwest resulting in nearly 80 deaths in kentucky to become the deadliest storm in the state's history. we also saw a vicious wildfire
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rip through boulder colorado county last month. it destroyed 500 homes and broke a record for the most destructive wildfire in colorado state history. 100 year storms are now happening regularly, and when federal assistance rolls out it doesn't get to the people that need it most, and the workers that clean up the mess often do so without adequate protection. that's why one congresswoman is spearheading the act. she's with us. and it's good to see you both. why is this legislation necessary on a federal level? >> well, thank you so much for having me. it's great to be on with my friend who was the one that called my attention to the issue. as you noted, the climate disasters are continuing to increase across the country. they are incredibly expensive, and even more important or
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perhaps equally important, they require a skilled workforce and the workforce that has been doing these jobs has not been paid adequately, and they don't have the benefits they should have and they are not being recognized for the work they are doing, and in addition we need more of these jobs, we need these jobs to be good-paying jobs and we need to recognize what an opportunity there is in this challenge. so my bill, which i introduced is a new approach to this. it creates millions of new jobs in the climate resilience field and it makes sure we remove the barriers for workers in those fields whether it's immigration status or previous history that may bar them from employment, and it also provides funds for planning across the country with local and state governments, and involving the communities that are hit the most in that planning, and it establishes an
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office of climate resilience within the white house, so it's a very comprehensive look at what we need to plan and respond to these climate disasters. >> your organization laid out a model for this type of program with the new orleans resilience core that launched in 2020, and the 40 workers were mainly people who lost jobs in the hospitality industry during the pandemic who are now on full-time contracts starting at $12 an hour with a path to an $18 an hour wage. has this program worked out in a way you feel confident can be brought to scale nationally? >> thank you. i think the program is a little window into what could be possible if we all rallied around the congresswoman's bill. in new orleans 40 residents of new orleans, mostly laid off service industry workers who
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lost their jobs in the midst of the pandemic, were retrained and hired to be a resilience corp that was oncall for the city of new orleans to help the city face disaster stronger. when hurricane ida hit, these workers were an essential part of the response. they distributed food and managed health care lines, and they did community service and many are now going on to become trained for higher valued jobs as repairs and rebuilders of critical infrastructure through a training pipeline. so absolutely the model works and the representative's bill would send millions to municipalities that need exactly these kinds of workers? >> i want to underscore the use of resilience, because it's critical what we are talking about here. the model used to be one of the
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natural disasters come through and the idea was to build the community back to where it was before, and you can't build it back to where it was before or you are ready to face the same situation again, and we mean that in terms of infrastructure, bridges, tunnels, dams, and we also mean it in the human infrastructure piece of this, so to that point a 2019 study found black americans living in communities hit by disasters that year lost $20,000 in wealth, and white americans in the same area gained more than $126,000 in wealth. how does your plan address disparities like that? >> this is such an important point that you are raising, because what we see over and over again is the communities that are most disproportionately burdened are the black, brown and indigenous communities that are not at the table for
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planning or at the table in terms of bringing back better the opportunities for those communities once a disaster is hit. our bill really prioritizes the front line communities, and it puts them at the center of the good jobs we are going to create. you might remember in both the infrastructure bill and the build back better act we have really prioritized this environmental justice 40 to make sure that 40% of all of the expenditures that we put into anything that we do now goes to those communities that are disproportionately burdened. i think that's the case with my bill as well. we make sure we are prioritizing those communities at every stage, including as we build back much better. >> thank you both so much for being with us. still ahead, how a massive
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project will save the city of chicago cash and increase their safety and benefit the environment in the process. we are heading to the windy city. but first, two royals weigh in. now spotify is responding addressing what it will do to address the outrage over misinformation on joe rogen's podcast. that's after the break. podcast. that's after the break
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it's time to ask your doctor about kesimpta. some news today from spotify responding to the growing boycott by celebrities angered over disinformation peddled over joe rogen's podcast. spotify placed a content advisory on any platform that discusses covid-19. this comes after spotify lost billions over the boycott.
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singer neil young. best-selling author pledged not to release any new podcast on the platform. this weekend prince harry and meghan markle saying they will continue to work with spotify. they signed an exclusive deal with spotify last year. joining me now, an executive editor at audible and the author of "zero :00." >> i think it's commendable neil young kicked this off. he had to know a battle between him and joe rogen, joe rogen is probably going to win the battle for advertiser dollars and institutional backing, but young was taking a principled stand.
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look, i think that anytime we're asking a company or a platform to remove content or to sensor consent, that should be taken really seriously, and approached really carefully. in this instance, joe rogen has a long history of having science denialists on, and is presenting those folks including those people spreading covid misinformation as experts, and now he's doing it with the backing and exclusive financial backing of spotify. i think three years into a pandemic where we are still stuck because of vaccine hesitancy, the american public is fed up and frustrated and neil young is the avatar for that. >> your thoughts?
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>> i think people have to realize, and think about the long tale of this whole situation. right now, of course, joe rogen, is this $100 million man with his deal with spotify, and i saw when this whole thing first broke, and people were making fun of neil who? remember, neil young who was bigger in the '70s, 50 years from then and we are still talking about him and his music and will probably still be talking about him 50 years from now, and so his music stands to generate a lot more money over that time. will we be talking about joe rogen and some of the other podcasters 50 years from now? i don't know. joe rogen, he's not somebody you can peg into any political party. he's a guy that supported reagan in the 80s, and he was the guy that stood up against nixon in
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the '70s, and he's speaking with his own opinion and he's trying to speak the truth and stand up for facts and for science, and it's hard not to sympathize with that. >> and it's also interesting, it starts with neil young and then you have joni mitchell, and they are coming out and taking a position on this, and spotify is saying they will put a content warning on this. is that sufficient? >> i am not sure that it is. particularly if the content warning is only talking about covid, and if it's not specific saying this is not true what this person is telling you is false. some of joe rogen's previous podcast including his interview with conspiracy theorists, alex jones, and there's precedent for
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this. one thing i would love to see is artists who have tremendous platforms, and not to name too many names, but folks like taylor swift, jay-z, and big players in music, it would be helpful and useful if those folks would come out and take the kind of principled stand that neil young, joni mitchell and brown have taken. >> i know jill well enough when she puts on her brave face covering the artist, and who do you think has the power to advance the conversation and where it goes from here? the fact that you have spotify coming out today and putting out a release saying they are going to be testing the water to see if that's sufficient, it's not if other people continue to abandon the platform. >> listen, i think joni mitchell
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and neil young is a good start to get this ball moving. people may see them as artists of the past, but their dna is woven throughout american music. they are two of the greatest singer songwriters of all-time, and they are widely respected in the music industry. spotify seems to be so dismissive of young, and i think that got under the skin of other singer and songwriters that idolize these two. in coming after these two artists, artists that are fighters and they have a track record and are in the hall of fame, i think other artists will start to step forward and say i will be with neil rather than spotify given what neil young and mitchell stand for in american music. >> thank you for being with us. next, the massive overhaul
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in chicago to make the streets safer and save residents cash and help the environment one streetlight at a time. and at the top of the hour, jones joins the mehdi hasan show, and that's at 8:00 p.m. eastern only on msnbc. p.m. eastern only on msnbc.
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the windy city going green and getting brighter, literally. chicago, america's third largest city, undertaking one of the largest streetlight modernization programs in u.s. history. why? nbc's mara barrett has the answer. >> reporter: years in the works, and nearly finished. making these streetlights, street smart. >> so this is new. what you see on the tablet here is what we see in real life on the streets and in the street lamps. >> yeah, that's right. you see all the different circuits, how many lights are on each pole and if the lights are
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working or not. >> reporter: back at dispatch, the city's electric workers say the new communication between the streetlights and the app makes their life easier. >> this is the largest program to install smart lights in north america. >> reporter: every single one of these dots, a new smart l.e.d. streetlight. but the part of this major infrastructure transformation that you can't see, the climate impact. each of these lights, nearly 300,000 of them, doing their part to reduce the city's emissions. >> the goal of the project is to save energy, improve the quality of the lighting and to create a network that's more efficient and easier for the city to maintain. >> reporter: l.e.d.s lower electricity demand and, therefore, reduced greenhouse emissions. 95% of the energy in them is converted into light, which means only 5% is wasted as heat, making them 60 to 80% more efficient. >> so inning agalt that's the same amount of energy 16,000
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houses use. it's the equivalent of taking 30,000 cars off the road. >> just by replacing all these light bulbs? >> just by replacing all the lights. >> reporter: these l.e.d. lights do more than just save energy. because they last significantly longer, they cause less waste. the transportation and energy sectors are the largest emitters of greenhouse gases in the u.s. >> there's a finite of energy available in a city really across the globe. we need to be thinking differently about it. so there's the need. >> reporter: the commissioner of the chicago department of transportation sees this update as a small way to make a big impact for the climate and the city's budget. >> we're actually expecting to save $100 million over the next ten years. it is a huge number. >> reporter: that savings after a $160 million investment, the city expects the project to pay for itself. >> i think what we've shown for a city of this size, that we can pull it off. and that means cities all over
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the country can do it too. >> that's a lot of potential there. >> tons of potential. and really i think one of the things that we like to do is in chicago is we like to experiment and pilot things and then figure out how does that become a systemic change. >> reporter: los angeles has installed about half of the amount of lights as chicago, and some smaller cities like tucson have already made the switch. other cities like philadelphia, boston and pittsburgh are currently developing their streetlight modernization plans. with chicago now signing in a new light, the energy cost of industry lights has already been cut in half from last year, charting a greener future for america's third largest city. >> it compels us to look at what other parts of our infrastructure can we think about in this way. are there other public/private partnerships that can deliver on this? these are the kinds of futures i think that a project like this provokes. >> that was nbc's mara barrett reporting. next, an update.
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the president signing an executive order to prevent what happened to vanessa guillen from ever happening again. to vanessm ever happening again now in many more cities so you can do more. hey, it's mindy! downloading a movie up to 10 times faster than before. oh, is that the one where the mom becomes a... (mindy) yep! (vo) i knew it! and claire in hd clarity. steve, is that jelly? this place is packed! you couldn't even send a text in a crowd before. now look at david with the connection. posting like crazy! (david) it's wild. (vo) 5g ultra wideband is now in more and more places. verizon is going ultra, so you can too.
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to comcast business internet customers. so boost your bottom line by switching today. comcast business. powering possibilities.™ as a business owner, your bottom line is always top of mind. so start saving by switching to the mobile service designed for small business: comcast business mobile. flexible data plans mean you can get unlimited data or pay by the gig. all on the most reliable nationwide network. with no line activation fees or term contracts... saving you up to $500 a year. and it's only available to comcast business internet customers. so boost your bottom line by switching today. comcast business. powering possibilities.™ . before we leave you, an update on a story we've been following for more than a year on "american voices." army specialist vanessa guillen was 20 years old when she was killed by another soldier at ft.
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hood, texas. she told her family she had been sexually harassed in the military but fears of retaliation kept her from reporting it to her superiors. after her death, her family turned their tragedy into a mission of shedding light on sexual misconduct in the military. 14 army officials were fired or suspended by the end of 2020. investigators found major flaws at fort hood including a culture at top command that was permissive of sexual harassment and sexual assault. the guillen family kept going, working with lawmakers to push for legislative military reform by way of the "i am vanessa guillen" act. that has yet to become law but president biden has signed an executive order that includes key components of that act. last week, sexual harassment became a crime, making it an offense in the uniform code of military justice.
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biden's order also allows victims to report incidents outside their own chain of command. vanessa's sister tweeting this is a very emotional and proud moment for my family. honor in your memory, vanessa. you're in my heart and memory 24/7. i am alicia menendez. i'll see you back here next weekend for more "american voices." for now i hacked it over to medhi hassan. tonight, republicans have already started their campaign to keep a black woman off the supreme court. new york democratic congressman jones is here to discuss. plus, what is vladimir putin's end game in ukraine? i'll ask masha guessen who's just arrived back from visiting the country. andwajahat ali is here to
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discuss his new book. good evening. i'm medhi hasan. another weekend, another trump rally. the former guy ranting and raving in texas last night where he again dangled the possibility of a 2024 run and pardons for the 1/6 prisoners. but i'm not going to start the show with that trump rally, i'm going to start with this one. from the campaign trail in september 2020. take a listen. >> who'd rather have a man on the supreme court? who's rather have a woman on the supreme court? it will be a woman, a very talented, very brilliant woman. who i haven't chosen yet, but we have numerous women on the list.


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