tv Democracy Now WHUT October 16, 2013 6:00pm-7:00pm EDT
national employment law project found mcdonald's alone costs taxpayers $1.2 billion annually by paying its workers insufficient wages. last year the top 10 largest fast-food companies alone made more than $7.4 billion in profits. meanwhile a yale university professor who won the nobel prize for economics this week has warned rising economic inequality is the most pressing issue facing the united states. robert shiller, known for forecasting the dangers of the dotcom and housing market bubbles, was one of three americans awarded the prize. he spoke on monday. play >> first of all, it's not the financial crisis per se. the most important problem we are facing now is rising inequality. in the united states and elsewhere in the world. this is a problem that has solutions. many of them are financial solutions. finance is financially about isk management and if it's
supplied right and democratized and the real tools are made useful to real people and not just a minority of people, it can help solve these problems. >> the public accountability initiative has revealed many purported experts who made the case for military strikes on syria in the mainstream media had undisclosed ties to military ontractors. the report identifies 12 commentators and in on le who weighed syria and have industry ties that suggest a financial interest in war. study highlights the case of stephen hadley, a former national security adviser to president george w. bush, who spoke on cnn, msnbc, fox news and bloomberg tv, and wrote a washington post op-ed urging us
strikes on syria. but none of those outlets disclosed that hadley serves as a director of raytheon, the company that makes the tomahawk cruise missiles widely touted as the weapon of choice for bombing syria. hadley earns more than $128,000 a year in compensation and holds more than 11,000 shares of raytheon stock, which rocketed to an all-time high during the syria debate. a group of guantanamo prisoners are vowing to continue their hunger strike against indefinite detention and prison conditions. the us military stopped releasing data on the hunger strike last month after its tally of participants dropped to 19. but in an article translated by his lawyer and posted by al jazeera, moath al-alwi, a yemeni man who has been in us custody since 2002, says he has remained on hunger strike for nearly nine months despite painful force-feedings. he wrote quote "the us military prison staff's intent is to break our peaceful hunger strike. the result can be read all over my body. it is visible on my bloodied nose and in my
nostrils, swollen shut from the thick tubes the nurses force into them." al-alwi says some prisoners ended their hunger strikes to avoid force-feeding or give president obama time to deliver on a renewed pledge to close guantanamo. but quote "as for my brothers and me," he wrote, "we will remain on hunger strike. we pray that the next thing we taste is freedom." a new analysis in the journal plos medicine says close to half a million people have died as a result of the us invasion of iraq. based on a survey of 2,000 iraqi households, researchers estimated 405,000 people had died from the occupation, plus at least 55,000 more deaths missed because families had left iraq. more than 60 percent of deaths were attributed to violence, with the rest from the devastation of infrastructure and other war-related causes. some earlier studies have put the toll of the iraq invasion even higher. a 2006 report in the
lancet found 655,000 people died in the first 40 months of the war. the supreme court appears poised to uphold michigan's voter-approved ban on affirmative action at state colleges and universities. an appeals court found the ban violates the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment. but during oral arguments tuesday, justice antonin scalia reportedly claimed the 14th amendment "protects all races" not quote "only the blacks." the supreme court has agreed to hear a case challenging the obama administration's major regulations on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and factories. the court will review a federal appeals court decision that unanimously upheld the environmental protection agency's ability to curb carbon dioxide and other gases that fuel global warming. in new york city, the trial has opened in a lawsuit by chevron against the victims of its pollution in ecuador. the ecuadoreans won a landmark $18 billion judgment
against chevron in 2011 for widespread contamination resulting from toxic dumping by texaco, which chevron later bought. now, chevron is suing the victims and their us lawyer, accusing them of using bribery. critics say chevron is attempting to evade accountability for environmental devastation they say led to some 1,400 deaths from cancer. han shan, a communications consultant for the victims, spoke as the ecuadorean villagers and their supporters rallied across from the courthouse tuesday. play >> nearly every sidgebhorne has been named as defendant has loved ones and family members who died who contracted cancer who suffered from birth defects nd other oil-contamination results. this rubs salt in their wounds. >> florida has executed a
convicted murderer using a never-before-used drug cocktail that appeared to make him retain consciousness longer as he died. william happ was injected with the sedative midazolam despite concerns it might not work properly and could inflict cruel and unusual punishment. florida used the drug as a substitute for pentobarbital, which has been in short supply after the danish manufacturer prohibited its use in executions. william happ was pronounced dead 14 minutes after his execution began tuesday evening. he reportedly appeared to remain conscious longer and to move more frequently while unconscious than prisoners who were given the old drug. a rape case in maryville, missouri has sparked national outrage after the charges were dropped against a well-connected high school football player and the victim's family was forced to leave town amid daily harassment from residents. last january, 14-year-old daisy coleman blacked out after being given large amounts of alcohol at a party. she was then allegedly sexually assaulted while another boy videotaped the attack. daisy's 13-year-old
friend was also allegedly assaulted the same night. daisy was then dropped on her front porch, barely conscious, in 22-degree weather, where her mother found her in the morning. despite evidence and interviews supporting the case against the accused, prosecutors dropped the charges. daisy's alleged rapist, matthew barnet, is the grandson of a powerful local political figure. in the months that followed, daisy's mother was fired - her boss admitted the case was the reason - and her children were routinely harassed and threatened. later, the family's house was burned down; the cause remains unknown. the case was described in the kansas city star and has since gone viral. on monday, the hacker group anonymous released a video comparing maryville to steubenville, ohio, where high school football players raped a 16-year-old girl. >> if the police are too cowardly or corrupt to do their jobs, if the justice system has abandoned them then someone
else will have to stand for them. mayor, your hands are deserty. expect us. >> theformer san diego mayor bob filner, who was forced to resign amid vast claims of sexual
harassment, has pleaded guilty to felony imprisonment and battery. the charges stem from separate incidents where filner allegedly put one woman in a headlock and restrained her; kissed another against her will and groped a third. filner will avoid prinze time serving three months of home confinement and three years of probation. the son of a wisconsin sikh temple president killed in a shooting rampage says he will challenge republican congressmember paul ryan as democrat in next year's congressional race. amar kaleeka told the associated press he'll file paperwork today to launch an exploratory committee. kaleeka is an emmy award-winning filmmaker whose father, sudvunt kaleeka , was among six worshippers killed last august when a white supremacist opened fire on a sikh temple in oak creek. among
other issues, kaleeka says he has been angered by the failure of congress to pass stronger ackground checks for gun buyers. voters in new jersey are going to the polls today
to fill the senate seat left vacant by the death of senator frank lautenberg. newark democratic mayor cory booker is leading in the polls against his republican rival, steve lonegan, a former mayor of bogota and former state director of the koch-backed americans for prosperity. new jersey republican governor chris christie called the special election at a projected cost of $24 million rather than waiting three weeks until election day when he himself is up for re-election. and the actor and activist harry belafonte is suing the children of his close friend dr. martin luther king jr. the dispute centers on three documents belafonte tried to put up for auction in 2008 order to benefit a nonprofit that works with street gangs. the documents include king's
outline for a speech on vietnam and notes that were in his pocket when he was assassinated. belafonte says they given to him rightfully by king and others. but they have been in legal limbo after king's heirs claimed they were taken without permission, one of several attempts by the heirs to reclaim control of king's documents. belafonte is now asking a federal court to uphold his rightful ownership. he told the new york times quote "the papers are symbolic. it's really about what happened to the children, and i feel that somewhere, in this one area, i really failed martin." and those are some of the headlines this is democracy now, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the partial shutdown of the federal government has entered its 16th day and the nation is now on the brink of a default. on tuesday fitch ratings warned it could cut the the u.s. government's triple a debt rating if a deal to raise the
debt limit is t reached. in a statement fitch said quote "the prolonged negotiations over raising the debt ceiling ... risks undermining confidence in the role of the u.s. dollar as the preeminent global reserve currency, by casting doubt over the full faith and credit of he u.s." the senate appears closer to a deal o move closer to a to reopen the government and raise the debt limit, but the republican-controlled house of representatives failed twice to produce its own plan. boehner has refused to allow to the house to vote on the senate plan. this is house speaker john boehner speaking tuesday. >> do you think congress will go fast deadline? >> i have made clear for mthat default is wrong and we shouldn't get anywhere close to it. >> will there be a vote today? >> are you going vote then on the plan that was making
changes to the senate bill? >> we are talking with our members on both sides of the aisle to try to find a way to move forward today. > house speaker john boehner refused to allow ooh vote on the senate plan andmeanwhile the senate appears to be close to reaching a deal to keep the government funded through jan. 15 and the debt limit extended until feb. 7. senate majority leader harry reid criticized house republicans for failing to reach its own agreement. >> i know i speak for many of us when i say we felt blindsided from the news from the house, but this isn't the first time. extremist republicans and the house representatives are attempting to torpedo the bipartisan progress with a bill that can't pass the senate. can't pass the senate and won't pass the senate. >> as lawmakers continue to debate a possible deal to reopen the government, the impact of the shutdown is being felt across the country. north carolina has become the first state to halt its welfare program due to the shutdown.
meanwhile nearly a hundred veterans converged at the national world war ii memorial in washington on tuesday to protest the shutdown saying it could put more than 5.5 million service members at risk of not receiving their monthly benefits by november 1. to talk more about the government shutdown we are joined by two guests. robert borosage is the founder and president of the institute for america's future and co-director of its sister organization, the campaign for america's future. he recently wrote a piece for reuters called, "tea party zealots hold the public debate hostage." we are also joined by amanda terkel, senior political reporter and politics managing editor at the huffington post. >> we welcome you both to dedemocracy now! what has this shut down meant? >> well, it's meant a lot of pain for a lot of americans. infants who have lost support for nutrition, tcharne have been thrown out of head start, safety measures not taken
because weather buoys are no longer manned. the list can go on. and the effects accumulate each day. it's hurt the economy every day and those effects are felt each day. it's been a totally contrived and unnecessary crisis which has had real-world and horrible effects that are growing every day. >> amanda, can you give us some of the examples? >> sure. i think it's been frustrating far lot of people that many americans have been feeling the effects of the shut down while members of congress who caused the shutdown aren't feeling the same effects. only essential personnel are supposed to be kept but there's at least is 10 senators and dozens of house members who haven't furloughed a single
member of their staff and some like senator come coenter who is always railing about all the wasted tax pairs money yet every single one of his staff are essential. congress has kept its gym open for members. the gym for the staff is closed but even there's a little subway at the bottom of the capitol so members don't have to walk a few hundred feet and that little train takes someone to run it, that train is still running. >> so you have people like steve king of iowa, one of the die-hards against any kind of agreement kept his entire staff. but you talk about no bell prize-winning scientists furloughed? >> yes. i believe there are five nobel prize-winning scientists who work for the government and have been furloughed.
there's one man who is a physicist who says even if you wane nobel prize you're not considered essential and a man who invented the mars curiosity rover, he has been furloughed and 95% of the environmental protection agency staff has been furloughed and cleanup at like 500 toxic super fund sites have stopped yet every member of steve king's staff, they are essential. >> so the gym remaness open. head start was not funded except for a private foundation gave $10 million. what about day care for congressmembers, meaning their children of course. >> that's a good question. i know for federal agencies a lot of these day cares are being shut down which had many people worried. if they were not furloughed they are continuing to go to work but many private day
cares, too, are suffering as well, because they are used to having all of these students coming in, and now the parents are home, they are furloughed. they don't need the use of this day care. so it's important that this isn't just affecting people who work for government or rely on government services which is pretty much every american but it's also affecting a lot of private businesses. businesses that rely on tourism, restaurants, shops, if you run a canoing service and a national park. so this is really rippling all across society. >> you know, amy, it's putting a little focus on the people who work for us. federal employees, because they have taken biggest hit. 800,000 employees have been furloughed. that means they are sent home without pay. if you're an essential worker, you are required to work without pay, so you pay the
cost of getting to work. you pay the cost of buying your lunch or whatever you do to eat during the day and you're not getting pay. we're headed into our third week of workers who are forced to work endentured serve attitude and people tend to be cynical about bureaucrats but these are people who work for us and provide services that go to us and we are abusing them and there's no question the best of them are going to start looking for different jobs. >> troops forge for food while golfers play on in shutdown. grocery stores in army bases are closed. the golf course at andrews air force base is open. so yes who is essential and who snnt the way tea party congress members talking, each thing is essential. you can vote on if you want that particular thing to be open, this is certainly a way to shrink the government to the
size of a bathtub. your thoughts on that and what it means from a partial shutdown to this deadline tomorrow, 0cke917. -- october 17. >> this is an example of why you shouldn't let children play with bombs. the tea party congress people set out the shut down the government and threaten default on america's debts in order to get obama care either defunded or delayed. and when the president senseably called their bluff and said look, we're not going to negotiate with a pistol to our head, they have gone and preceded to go into the shutdown and celebrate it despite the damage it's doing to the people tambd economy and now we're headed into what is unimaginable and what's not been done before, a default on america's debts. these are debts that all members of the house including the tea party members voted for
as part of their resolution. so we're talking about lifting the debts that they supported and ran up and they are refusing to do that. and we really don't know what happens if america defaults on its debt. the entire global financial system depends on the security of american bonds. and if they become less secure, if interest rates spike as they are likely to do, if investors can't count on them as the equivalent of cash, then you're talking not about a small slowdown, you're talking about a multitrillion dollar house of cards that's going to be shaken at its root. >> we're going to break and then come back to this discussion. we're talking to bob and amanda . stay with us. music break]
>> alice in chains "rotten am" on democracy now! the war and peace report i'm amy goodman. arizona recently appeared on >> we need bring back those to perform the service that are needed and we need make certain we don't default come thursday. the did fault would have a negative impact that would have far-reaching consequences beyond the political debate today. >> talk about the significance of this default. i was watching the congress member from iowa who did not furlough any of his staff saying all were essential.
as what, 800,000 or more americans have been furloughed. and he said the default doesn't really matter, it's kind of a fake date and said it would be up to president obama whether he decided not to service the debt and he said he didn't think obama would 'em payroll the nation in that way. >> well, you're playing with bombs that can go off at any time. on thursday the treasury will have about $30 billion in its coffers. it will have continued bills coming in. and it will have continued income coming in, although not as much as the bills, so the question is what will get paid and what won't get paid? the entire treasury system is designed to pay bills as they come due not to distinguish between say interest on bonds and social security payments. republicans are essentially saying well, look, you can deep treasury bills good by paying
the interest on stay debt we owe the chicago white sox and it will delay -- chinese around lit delay the payments on the social security and it is humanly repeln't. the big date, i think you can -- this default isn't going to be something that suddenly the lights turn off tomorrow. and the treasury can continue to try to scramble a bit. but on november 1, a big set of payments to veterans and social -- and social scuferte to seniors have to be paid or postponed. and i think if there's a d-date on 24, where the rubber hits the road where real pain is going to be felt beyond the financial system, it will be that. in terms of the financial system, no one knows. the interest rates on short-term notes are already spiking. they could spike at any time when investors decide they justice have to bail out of
these instruments when they decide they can't afford to risk what the decline in their value will be. if we get our ratings diminished by the rating agencies, there's a whole set f investments the pension -- that they can't sustain if they are not rate triple-a, so the consequences here are literally incal cabble and how they will hit we don't know but -- boehner started your show by saying i always thought a debt default was wrong and we shouldn't get near it. we're not only near it, we're beginning it. >> and jumping on what he said, not only so you would have the default on the debt ceiling but also have the shutdown continuing supposedly and it's important to look at what will han so the state department remains open because it had
extra funds it could use but the they will run out and many of the state department functions will have to close. the department of veterans affairs will not be able to pay out many fwofse death veterans and the district of columbia will be in a lot of trouble. it has been works off emergency funds and little things. , people o explain that might not realize congress runs the district of columbia's budget. >> yes. and because d.c. here, we are not a state, we are reliant upon congress and with the government substitutedown the district of columbia is not getting money from the federal government but it has emergency funds it has been using but little things will stop, things you don't realize. there's basically two glupes do the remain kits when a person comes into the hospital and they have been the victim of sexual assault, a remain skit
performed trying to get the d.n.a. and help get victim justice, those remain kits will stop if the government remains shut down because right now they have emergency funds for the district of columbia but those will stop unless government opens. >> it's important to reinforce the fact that this is a totally self-inflicted set of damage. thches inflicted bay set of about 40 republican house tea party members and their outside allies, the hair stadge action and americans for prosperity who decided they can get rid of obama care despite fact that it has been passed and approved by the supreme court by holding the government hostage and the president and no one else was going to take that or except those terms so now they are actually going to blow up the place. and they have already shut down the government into its third week and now they are headed into the unimaginable default
of america's debts. >> john mccain recently appeared with host mar is that maccallum and when maccallum asked about the suspension of the death benefits mccain said it was the republican-induced and senator ted cruise of texas does not represent all republicans. >> let's have a little straight tarbgs marthat. they wouldn't have had the opportunity to handle it that way if we had not shut down the government on a fool's premise, it was the repeal of obama care. i fought against obama care harder than any one wanting to shut down the government. i campaigned all over the country saying elect mitt romney and we were not going to defund obama care so we shut down the government and then that gave the opportunity for
this to be terribly, awfully mismanaged and mishandled by the white house. if we hadn't shut down the government, this wouldn't have happened. >> how do you feel about him representing you there? >> first of all, please, martha, he is not representing us there. >> that was john mccain of arizona. >> the power and where this is all headed. >> well, cruz has benefited from this crisis. he's risen in the polls among deal ots and reported contributions of $800,000 to his operations in the last quarter alone and he has driven in the senate this deand in we told government hostage and threaten to default on our debts in order shut down obama care, and now what you have in both houses now is you have this very small minority holding back any agreement.
so in the senate we're going to have a bipartisan agreement today to re-to government and thrift debt ceiling for a period of time. and it can come to a vote immediately if there's a unanimous continue to allow that vote. but if ted cruz and mike lee, his ally from utah decide alone to not allow that vote, the senate can't even vote on it until after we default on it tomorrow and saturday. in the house, the house yesterday republicans met to do a proposal they would send to the senate and the small minority of 4 or so tea party members stopped them from having any agreement so they could even present it on the floor of the house, so off very small minorities of the house and the senate stopping progress, stopping a settlement that could be made and be supported by the vast majority of both houses. >> house democrats are
criticizing the republicans for making a little known rule change, the democrats say house rules should have allowed them to force a vote on a budget bill that had already passed the senate but on the eve of the senate house rules committee passed a measure effectively barring anyone except house majority leader erik kanter from taking such action. chris van holland of maryland questioned about the rule change on saturday. >> so i understand parliamentary inquiry, it changed the standing rules of the house to take away from any member of the thousands privilege of calling up the senate bill to immediately re-open the government. is that right? >> it did change the operation of the standing rule. >> amanda turkal, the
significance of this? shocking incredibly and it's so brazen you're starting to see this clip of them calling out republicans going viral on the internet because people are amazed that republicans did this. it baffled me that all along republicans have said look, a clean bill to continue funding the government and to reopen the government it just couldn't pass the house. well, it can't, bring it up for a vote and let it fail and democrats will lose this talking point but clearly they are afraid it will pass the house with enough democratic votes, probably all and enough republicans who are just fed one all this and would come together and pass it. and quite frankly, i'm sort of confused what house speaker john boehner is afraid of. because this would give him an out saying we tried but the
votes were there and more and more mod rats in the republican party are getting frustrated. last night congressman jamie herrera butler from washington a more moderate member put out statement telling her party it's time to face reality i'm not going to face anymore poison pills it's hurting my constituents so st of get with it, guys. >> on tuesday, democratic representative charles rangel of new york attempted to explain to cnn host ashley banfield why he believes it's impossible to work with house republicans in good faith. >> this is not a question of republicans or democrats. this is all about a handful of people who got elected as republicans that want to bring down our government. you can see it in the streets and see where they are coming from and the same way they fought as con fed rats they want to bring down the
government and reform it. >> confederates, bob? >> well, yes. this is an extremist ban who has no adult supervision on the republican side. it's worth understanding the position boehner is in. the republican speaker of the house. he can pass at any moment a bill with 200 democratic votes and couple dozen republican streets pass the budget and thrift debt ceiling. but the he did that, the caucus would vote against it and it puts his speakership at risk and the next day someone would challenge him for the speakership and dislodge him. so he has to make a decision. is he the adult in the room or is he continuing to try to placate the crazies? and if we're going to re-to government at the end of the day, boehner is going to have
to put before the house a major that will come out of the senate with bipartisan sthaupt will be passed with democratic votes in the house and put his speakership at risk. and if he doesn't step up to do that, actually, he must step up to do that, because it is unimaginable that we will actually default on our debt for any length of time. >> while republicans push, new research shows according to the associate press, social security recipients as well as disabled veterans and federal retirees will see their pay rate rise among the smallest rises since it began 1975, the exact size of the cost of living adjustment is unknown because a key has been shut down. but i want to ask you about
medicare and social security. president obama has said this is negotiable and sthnt what many have felt for a long time? and this is what republicans are pushing for? >> well, that's the second horror of this contrived crisis. when we eventually pass the bipartisan senate deal which is being done today which i assume we eventually will, that essentially says the beatings will end but begin again three months. so it sets up the borrowing authority only for another three months to early february and re-opens the government and funds it only until the middle of january. and it sets up the process of a committee meeting to negotiate about long-term, 10-year deficit reduction program, and the center of those will be
medicare so you're essentially saying we're going to go back with the gun at the president's head to shut down, sequester and defalmt only on the table now will be social security, medicare, medicaid and basic security programs for americans. and basically the argument is our long-term -- we don't have a short-term debt problem in fact the debts are coming down too fast and hurting the economy and we don't have a midterm economy but over the long-term the american health care system and rising costs do raise concerns about how we're going to balance our books. so that puts medicare, medicaid and the social security, because of the rising numbers is going to be thrown into that even though it's not a problem in terms of our debt. and the president in previous negotiation with boehner and in his own budget at the beginning
of the year has put into his proposals cuts that would actually cut benefits in those programs. so he has supported what's called the chain c.p.i. which basically changes the inflation or adjustment for inflation for social security benefits to lower that adjustment so that over time, as inflation rises, social security benefits will not keep pace with it. so people will in fact lose this real value of their benefits over time, and the perverse part of that perform is the older and more vulnerable you are, the more your benefits will be cut or will lose ground to rising inflation. medicare, the president has indifferent guises, means testing medicare meaning make people who have more retirement income pay more for their medicare. that sounds foulke we ask
millionaires to pay more, they won't miss it. but to get resources from that, revenue, you've got ask people who have retirement knock people who have $ 40,000-$50,000 to pay more for medicare and he has walked away from lifting the retirement age on medicare. so where we are headed out of this contrived crisis where the crazyings drove the bus is three months from now to a negotiation in which basic security programs of america will be on the table and the gun will still be at the president's head. >> and amanda turkal you also talk about the issue of reproductive rights people may not be taking note of. >> it's shocking birth control will be coming up in debates about the government shutdown and raising the debt ceiling
but some want to insert the conscience cause into the affordable care act, something like paul ryan which would allow customers and insurers to not offer free con fromception if they have any sort of moral objection so it doesn't matter if women don't have a moral objection and would like to be able to receive that. if that you are their insurer or employer has a moral objection women have to go elsewhere and pay for it. the fact that this is even coming up, the fact that we could default on our debt because republicans want to stribblingtackdrose free contra screppings just absurd! >> but there are many democrats who actually agree with cutting social security and medicare. >> well, cutting social
security is much more controversial among democrats. i think any sensible look at that program, it does not contribute to our long-term debt. in fact, social scufertebreffs too low, not too high. we ought to be talking about ways to raise them. i think dements on the whole will be opposed to that. on medicare it's more difficult because in fact we have to get rising health care costs under control. the obama health care reforms has hoped the do that. so the costs have been rising less quickly, less than they have previously before the reforms. but the question is do you cut the cost by cutting benefits? or do you cut them by taking on the entriveraged interest the drug and insurance companies the hospital complexes that make american health care cost twice as much per capita as any
other industrialized countries? you can start by cutting the cost of medicare by letting them negotiate prices on delaugs would save hundreds of billions or dollars over 10 years. that would be a good start. >> but under president bush, of course they passed plan b which sthooped kind of negotiation. >> which is stunning. it actually prohibited medicare from getting a bulk discount. it was a total and abject give away to the drug companies and the chairman of that company immediately became a million-dollar lobbyist after he retired. >> town sent from louisiana. >> yes. so the democrats would have to find ways to reform our health care system so it delivers better health care at less of a cost but that's simpleer than
cutting benefits to medicare and -- >> we have to wrap up and the irony of all this is they shut down the government and the very thing they are against the affordable car act, this obscures t fact that the sites had so much trouble, is there a number you have, an estimate of people who have signed up with many of the websites down most of the time under massive launch the has shocked so many? >> well, it's not in the hundreds of thousands. it's in the handful of thousands. some of the state sites have worked and worked decently even though they have to make their way through federal things, so the states with democratic governors that wanted the program to work, they fared a bit better, but on the whole, the federal chaos has made it almost impossible even for the navigators to sign up.
democracynow.org the war and eace report i'm amy goodman. in a boon for military contractors, the united states is relaxing controls on military exports, allowing some us-made military parts to flow to nearly any country in the world with little oversight. propublica reports that beginning this week, thousands of parts for military aircraft can be sent freely around the world, even to some countries currently under un arms embargoes. previously, military firms had to register with the state department and obtain a license for each export deal. that allowed us officials to screen for issues including possible human rights violations. but now, tens of thousands of items are shifting to the commerce department, where they fall under looser controls. the changes were heavily lobbied for by military firms including lockheed martin, textron and honeywell. the u.s. already heavily dominates arms exports market: in 2011, the u.s. concluded $66 billion in arms sales agreements -- which accounts for nearly 80 percent of the global market. to talk more about this, we're joined now by william hartung, director of the arms and security project t the center for international
policy. you just completed a report on loosening controls of the the u.s. arms exports. your book,is "prophets of war: lockheed martin and the making of the military-industrial complex." talk about what this defending of weapons and parts means. >> sure. i think the amazing thing is the united states already dominates trade it's not clear they can make more money here but they are trying. one thing that can happen season if you're a smuggler and you want a cyr cue us to pass, getting passes and detecting this is going to be much more difficult twute state department licensing process. >> how did this happen?
>> well, the industry has been pushing under for two decades and they have a couple points of leverage. mpaign contributions, people on the advisory committees that help develop these andaking bogus claims about the economic impacts, and the obama industry bought into the arguments saying it's going to make things more efficient and we're going to get the economic benefits and they took a great risk in taking those industry suggestions not looking hard enough at the human rights proliferation and terrorist implications. i they they may have had good intentions but tilted way too far in the way of industry. >> saying that foreign competitors are taking advantage of real and perceived sthouse -- advertising themselves as
state-department-free. can you comment on that? >> sure. this is an anecdote that's come up but there's never been a documentation of how common this is. it was asked what's the economic downside or up side? and he said we haven't looked at that so they really haven't looked at the economical facts so if building the u.s. parts overseas, this could make it worse even as it helps big companies like lockheed-martin export their things globally. >> so talk about who k get these parts. >> the first round is nato allies but includes countries like bulgaria and turkey which have had bad records of keeping those parts within their countries, keeping them from being transsthoipped destinations that the u.s. would not want to see them, in
places like democratic republic of congo and basically almost anywhere in the world. it's now going to be much easier to do this kind of round about sale. but also many parts are going to be license-free all together so they can go almost anywhere in the world other than perhaps venezuela, iran and china in certain circumstances, so the whole globe is basically going to get an easier deal in terms of getting access to military technology with no questions being asked. >> even as the obama administration is pushing for more gun control at home how the happens now. >> well, i think they receive it as a big achievemental since obama's first term and they have taken a look at the issues on regulations because they now it's a very sensitive item and the people on gun lobbying
may want less. so the administration has been shy about putting forward about what they are going to do about gun am in additions and those things aamong biggest problems gh getting into conflict zones so it will get turned around but lit take some pressure. right now we have not seen a great deal of pressure. >> places like bahrain, protesting the crackdown on its own peel. >> gentlemen. bahrain will have an easier ime getting weapons and many have been helping bahrain put down a democracy movement there and not only are the sales at record levels but they are going to some of the most undemocratic places in the world when we should be
supporting the oppressed not helping the oppressers as many of these sales would do. >> let them see what the first-round of impacts are which i think they are going see are going to be quite negative and the things going over to the commerce department, there's no law to say they have to use the same criteria for states and they should look at what the economic impacts are going to be. instead of making claims, really dig in and see how many jobs going to be export. if we can get them to do those three things, can you can sort of -- >> what are the most commonly used in human rights violations around the world? >> well, there's things like tear gas, ust tear gas dann
canisters showed up in egypt, for example. there's things like automatic weapons, armored personnel carriers and some against internal adversaries. >> just to get this last question, you just wrote a piece saying after the shutdown don't depement point guard. we've -- the pentagon. we've got -- >> citizens budget was doubled since 9/11, i think it's time to put them on a diet. i think it would cost on a tremendous side of the budget. >> so the state department, soon its employees has pulled back and called back most of -- employees. >> bill, har tongue i want to
tavis: good evening. from los angeles, i am tavis smiley. tonight, a conversation with the rector steve mcqueen. his latest film is based on the real-life experience of a free man that spent more than a decade as a slave after being kidnapped from his home in new york state. the movie is touted as a front- runner for major awards this year and is being referenced with other films like the butler , about the complexity of the african-american experience. we are glad you have joined us with director steve mcqueen. coming up right now.
kidnapped from his home in new york state because he felt that the horror of slavery would told from anen african-american point of view. it is generating outstanding reviews and is touted as a front-runner. >> we get traveling. or we are going to die trying. survival is not about certain death, it is about keeping your head down. we are lost.
i want to survive. i want to live. tavis: there were so many questions that came to mind. in no particular order, how does a story like this get lost? i suspect there are tons of stories that we could see. such a powerful story to never have been told. i was actually upset with myself. states,wn in the united , i realized no one i knew read the book. had to make this book into a film. what made you believe
that you could put on film such an uncompromising depiction of slavery i? >> it was just a case of doing it. i don't know. for me, it was a no-brainer that had to be done. behind the back to do it. storys is not the kind of that gets told by hollywood. i can list any number of other things for this kind of uncompromising depiction. slavery is just not on top of that list of film. >> i just did it. enough to seeky brad pitt.