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tv   American Voices With Alicia Menendez  MSNBC  April 4, 2021 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT

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won't be up to the private sector and would be issuing executive order to forbid local government and businesses from refusing services to people not vaccinated. >> it's completely unacceptable for the government or private sector to impose upon you the requirement that you show proof of vaccine to just be able to participate in normal society. >> would be unfortunate outcome if leaders relinquish their responsibility to get this right. we need guidance and good policy. >> nbc's isa gutierrez, thank you. as we begin a new hour, gop's distraction tactics. president biden getting through to do list, republicans hoping to divert attention with faux culture wars. and congressman is here to talk infrastructure, what's
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realistic when biden's plan hits the hill. also a lawyer who wants to expose the harmful ideology behind america's anti-immigration movement, and as you celebrate easter sunday, why more and more americans are leaving their houses of worship. this is "american voices." it's a tale of two political parties. democrats focused on actually governing. gop leans into the distraction game. biden administration is setting stage of bold infrastructure legislation and democrats are laying the groundwork to meet the moment. >> we've fallen to 13th in world in terms of transportation infrastructure, and continuing to head in the wrong direction, failing to invest for a generation. american jobs plan is our chance
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to fix that. >> one republican says could pass if scaled back. and energy secretary suggested that democrats could use recoiation if republicans don't get on board. democrats move forward with bold ideas to transform the future, republicans seem to be stuck in the past. state level, bills to attack lgbtq youth and tactics to make it harder to vote. getting pro business republicans in tug of war with america. >> ceos are running scared. georgia is trying to make sure everybody could vote legally. there will be no limit to what democrats can do to your tax rates and regulation structure. if you care about the future of your business and shareholders,
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speak up against hr-1, biggest power grab in the history of the united states. >> how does washington function with one party focused on getting things done and other on distractions? tim miller, former communications director for jeb bush's presidential campaign, contributor to the bulwark, and debby powell, the biden administration wasting no time, they understand time is of the essence here. this infrastructure plan much more than just bridges, roads and tunnels, what people think of, among other things, expands caretaking for seniors, invests in affordable housing, in broadband. how do the democrats sell this infrastructure plan, given it may not be what many americans think of ordinarily as infrastructure? >> well, alicia, first, happy easter to you and the family, [
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speaking spanish ]. here living in south florida we understand the dire need to invest in infrastructure, people are tired of the traffic congestion and potholes, we have failing water infrastructure, leak septic tanks contaminating the water. question should be how are republicans going to justify not supporting well overdue investment that requires us to get to the point that we're going to be able to compete with other nations, including china, we're falling behind, we are -- we used to be leaders economically and for innovation and research, right now we're on the bottom ten of industrialized nations with our infrastructure. this bill includes -- we passed a similar bill on the transportation and infrastructure committee last year. i'm excited about this, going to generate more than 7 million jobs next five years. republicans are going to have a
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very difficult time explaining to the people why they are not investing in the people that are -- that they are representing. they refused to vote for covid relief plan, it's extremely popular, and people are happy, can tell the difference with the food lines and food banks, people are feeling the relief right now. now with the infrastructure bill. i think that they are really having a difficult time in their own party in defining who they are and what they're doing in washington, d.c., except obstructing any type of work we are trying to get done in washington, d.c.. >> to debbie's point about how they're going to message this, what we have gleaned from sunday shows and what mitch mcconnell has said, pushback is it's too expansive. we've heard in exchange from democrats one, this moment is unique and moment to take bold action, and also that if you
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think about infrastructure, if you think about things requires for society to operate, you are talking about broadband, about america's schools, where does it leave republicans once they get past saying this is too expansive, do they have anywhere to pivot to from there? >> thanks, happy easter. thing that debbie said that was close to the point here with the republicans, it is a party that's lost about what is should be for. i think a lot of republican leaders in d.c. are unsure what to be for, they're in transition. some part of the old chamber of commerce tax cuts and regulation cuts party, some are new donald trump members, maga, nationalist, big government. so only things they unite on is what to be against, against
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anything the democrats put forward, big tech, the woke and left and social justice warriors, that unites the party, that's what they're going to talk about. don't see them offering a counter proposal or solution. as long as they're out of power, that's what you'll continue to see. i don't think they feel they have incentive to come up with alternate proposal until party can figure out who they are, if donald trump is coming back or retiring to south florida with debbie. >> what i find interesting about what you just said there, things that republicans claim to be against or use as cudgels, things we're accustomed to seeing. what we are not accustomed is seeing them go toe-to-toe with businesses and seeing it because
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of the corporate backlash over the restriction of voting. baseball pulled all-star game out of atlanta. and attacked woke political activists. >> major league baseball caved to fear and lies from liberal activists, coming to cancel everything from sports to how you make a living. they will stop at nothing to silence all of us. >> tim, clearly this is the free market at work but it is striking to me that on the list of republican enemies, they're taking aim at corporations lining up with pro-democracy, pro-voting advocates. >> this shows how confused the party is about policy, and one thing that ignites them, opposition to racial progress, opposition to the social justice
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causes. two things happened last week that stuck out to me, one, after delta spoke out against the georgia bill, the georgia republican legislature tried to revoke some of the tax breaks they received for being in-state corporation. then after the major league baseball moved the all-star game, a couple of republican congressmen were saying we should look at their antitrust protections that major league baseball has. now the supposedly free market party, used to be pro business party is going to directly target corporations in way you might imagine from a bernie sanders or something like that. going to target corporations directly if they don't toe the line on republican culture war politics. that's a massive shift, and i think they're still trying to navigate how to make that work. >> debbie, while everyone is watching what is happening in georgia and georgia is certainly
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setting the stakes for what we're going to see across the country, we've talked with advocates in texas and arizona. for you as someone who lives in florida and has represented florida in the u.s. congress, how do you see this national debate coming into focus in your state? >> well, alicia, unfortunately i feel like we are at the core of the failure of the gop in this country and desantis is following the trump line, behaving like authoritarian regime -- dictator like i've seen in south america than a governor in great united states of america. i disagree with tim, republicans know exactly who they are, sole purpose and goal is complete and absolute power. they're attacking the base of american democracy, attacking
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the right for americans to exercise their voice and to come out and vote. they're doing it not just here in florida but all over the country. we saw what happened in january 6th after the insurrection, over 130 republican congress members still voted to overturn the results of a fair and free election. i think our democracy is on the line, i think that's one of the reasons i'm fighting in florida to make sure we hold the republicans accountable. governor desantis accountable. they've introduced several bills attacking right to vote here in our communities. as you know, half of the population here in the state of florida is latino and african-american, and this is going to hurt specifically our communities of color. so they know what they're doing, and they're trying to use this distraction on cancel culture wars, only thing they're going be to be canceling is themselves
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in the 2022 election because people see through that. while joe biden is getting things done, gop is just trying to attack american democracy, i'm glad to see that companies are stepping up and showing corporate responsibility. >> congresswoman, about 30 seconds, do want to ask you, since you've done the work of legislating. if i accept your premise, what does it mean for actual ability to get things done on capitol hill? is that basically saying that democrats' best option is go most of the legislation alone? >> i think that's what americans expect. having a conversation with someone saying i don't care what happens in washington, d.c., what i want is for them to pass -- we got the majority in the senate, the white house and house of representatives, i want to see them get the work done. don't care about rules, about the filibuster or republican obstruction, they want results.
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we have the responsibility and need to show the american people when we're in power we work for them and will bring results. >> tim miller, congresswoman mucarsel-powell, thank you both. will democrats go big to get the infrastructure bill through congress? boyle, where he stands. donald trump rode anti-immigrant movement all the way to the white house, i'll talk to advocate who traces it to white supremacy, and richard with the other stories. a state of emergency continues for manatee county, florida, leaking reservoir threatens to break, fears of major flooding if the walls give away. >> in the period of minutes, models less than an hour, as high as 20-foot wall of water.
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if you're in evacuation area and have not heeded that, think twice. >> florida national guard is helping pump out 340 million gallons of liquid, could take several days. one of the police officers injured in capitol attack friday, officer kenny shaver. he and evans were both hit by the car. officer evans died. driver killed by police. pope francis gave address on world affairs, urged quicker vaccine distribution to poorer countries, called military spending during a pandemic scandalous, more "american voices" after this break. after k plus an immediate cooling sensation for your throat. feel the clarity, and live claritin clear. cell phone repair. did you know liberty mutual customizes your car insurance
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president biden's new build back better bill is expansive, promises a lot. outlines a plan for millions of jobs, billions of dollars
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towards transportation, elder care, broadband and affordable housing to name a few, critical but crumbling parts of the country's infrastructure. with republicans already in staunch opposition, facing uphill battle. pennsylvania democratic representative brendan boyle. you've come out in support of this infrastructure bill, how do you anticipate working with republicans if at all? >> well, happy easter, happy infrastructure week, finally in the united states of america. this is an issue i've been working on for six years now. part of a group that was hopeful to reach a bipartisan compromise for the last six years, even with donald trump in the white house. unfortunately never happened, despite our best efforts. moving forward now that frankly because we have full control of house, senate and white house, i'm quite optimistic. i believe in the end we'll end
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up like the american rescue plan having to use reconciliation and i'm fine with that. i find my constituents frankly care less about process and care more about results. it's about getting it done, no matter what it takes. >> there's a lot that's included in this infrastructure plan, you're planning to lobby for funding set aside for high speed rail. why is that critical to you? >> first, my district, here in philadelphia, sit smack dab in the northeast corridor, high speed rail would be a game changer. my view for entire northeast corridor but especially my area, also have to say looking at issue more broadly, it's embarrassing that the united states of america, richest country on earth, is basically the only industrialized country not to have high-speed rail. japan has had this for 55 years. would be a real game change, i
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believe for the united states. it's about time we catch up with the rest of the world and take advantage of something that frankly is pretty commonplace most other areas. >> taking a turn to capitol hill security in light of the news this past week, retired lieutenant general outlined what congress should doe in wake of the latest attack on capitol hill police officers. >> corps is standing by to reinforce the out of grounds of the capitol, with contractors coming in to put advanced fencing that could come out of the ground as required. given them the plan, worked it hard, now time for congress to work the plan. >> congressman, do you agree with these recommendations? >> first, i'm heartbroken we've lost the life of yet another
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u.s. capitol police officer, and more injured. this is a tough balance to strike, right? our only concern is not just the security of those of us who work there, it's also the fact this is the seat of government in the nation's capital, we want to ensure we don't go overboard on the security end and resemble a prison. most of the last couple of months, when i walk to my office in the capitol, having to walk through a barbed wire fence that looked more like green zone in baghdad. i wouldn't want that. i'm hoping there's a way to strike the right balance. like retractable fencing, another high security event like january 6 would happen, could be activated, but most of the time have open campus that resembles the seat of government in a
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democracy. >> speaking of democracy, talked a lot about the fight over georgia's restrictive election laws. there was failed effort by pennsylvania republicans to change the way court of appeals judges are elected, redrawing maps with new districts. how are efforts like this in your state continuing to be fought? >> unfortunately, i don't think those efforts are entirely defeated. state legislature, fully republican controlled, house and senate, has a number of antidemocratic and undemocratic initiatives they're pushing, that was just one of them. it's so sad that other party's reaction to losing a relatively close thou though not razor thin election, their immediate reaction is make it more difficult for people to work. if i were member of party that had to win like that, would prompt me to look into the mirror about the party to which
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i belonged. >> congressman boyle, thank you. number of americans who have gotten the covid vaccine is growing steadily every day. data and rollout differs state to state, one but state is leading way to herd immunity, new mexico. >> reporter: in the high desert of new mexico, those come with nervous hope. >> hoping to get it, i need to get it. i can't take a chance. >> reporter: and those who leave with relief. >> one and done! >> reporter: it's all hands on deck across the state with fifth highest poverty rate in the country and literal army of guard, health care workers and volunteer. >> we have heart. >> reporter: more than a quarter of the population fully vaccinated, outperforming rest
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of the country, half of adults have gotten at least one adult. for the deputy health secretary, speed, equity and education have been key, credits community partnerships every turn. >> it's not just enough to get vaccines out quickly, important to focus on people disproportionately affected. >> reporter: laser focus on zip codes, mass vaccination sites and remote teams. giving directions to walgreen to vaccinate communities. last year new mexico was hit so hard, at one point they quarantined entire city. >> had surge after surge, just trying to take care of as many people as possible. now all of a sudden, you can see the light at end of the tunnel. >> reporter: the nearby navaho nation is also seeing some of the highest vaccination rates, and from the governor on down,
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women at helm of nearly every state agency in its fight against covid-19. >> we see each other as team, been all working so hard to make it happen. >> reporter: a team racing ahead to end the pandemic against new mexico's every last mile. nbc news, albuquerque. the bond between the anti-immigrant and white supremacy movements. i'll talk to lawyer who says it runs deeper than you know and he's fighting to get the documents to prove it. why more hand more americans are leaving church but keeping the faith. the faith.
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president biden is facing high expectations that he'll deliver on his promise to remake our nation's immigration system. in order to find solutions for thousands of migrants seeking a better life in this country, got to also look at people working to stop them.
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where my next guest comes in, he's on a mission to uncover the deeper forces behind today's anti-immigrant movement, hassan ahmad. the origin story is important here, what set you out on this journey and what did you learn about the origins of the modern anti-immigrant movement? >> thank you alicia, for having me. i'm immigration attorney, practicing almost 20 years and seen it just get worse and worse and harder and harder to provide the service to clients i wanted to. got curious about where the policies were coming from. and it was a picture of kris kobach, meeting with then president trump right after the election, making the case he should run the department of homemade security, that's what led me to understand these are
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the kinds of people that are going to be in the upcoming administration, and we need to understand where they come from. and that all roads led back to man john tanten, papers archived at university of michigan's bentley historical library but half had been sealed until 1945. showed ideological and kept conceptual underpinnings of the entire movement. filed a foia lawsuit and it's four years later, still dragging on. >> draw a line from john tanton's framework to the policies we see today. >> most recent example is everything that stephen miller as the white house immigration
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architect under the trump administration and the current shadow war waging on the biden administration, these policies we're talking about, revocation of daca, dedesignation and going back to sb-1070 and the illegal immigration reform and responsibility act, all rooted and started by groups in john tanton's networks. who told stephen miller where the levers to pull to do what he did, those groups and we have to know where they came from. >> lot of the platform was creation of the culture wars, how are we watching that play out today? >> really good question, tanton was avowed eugenicist, he
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believed in superiority of whites over non-whites. one of the first articles in his archive i came across, the extant archive was called the case for passive eugenics. racist screed called "camp of the saints" i challenge anyone to read five pages and not walk away in disgust. favorite of stephen miller and ban. tanton liked it so much, he got rights renewed. will whites go quietly into the night or will there be an
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explosion, his words, the ideology under the movement. they lie about the origins of their ideology and clothe it up in terms of border security, which means militarization, and under the guise of protecting american workers but there's something more noxious and uglier that underlies the policies, it's time they're exposed, i don't think -- >> stay right there -- >> sure. >> stay right there for me, there's the source of this, and then a process by which it gets polished up and turned into more mainstream talking points no longer as obviously tied to the origins of the source. how does that happen? how do policies that originate in this way end up mainstream talking points?
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>> that's exactly why i want to unseal those papers, to tell that part of the story. we can only tell so much. there's damning stuff in the extant archive, but how john tanton built this movement, how he was able to camouflage his white nationalism into something more mainstream that has livid on past his death, that's a story i think needs to be told. so far the university of michigan has resisted and fought tooth and nail to keep those papers secret. >> hassan, thanks for bring us this story. ahead, could a tragedy have been avoided? >> if you had asked majority of our staff six months prior, probably could have told you this was going to happen. >> how the death of a teen led to bigger conversation about youth homes nationwide. nbc exclusive investigation is next. n is next
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some group homes for troubled teens are under scrutiny after death of a teenager at home in michigan. run by a for-profit company at center of several allegations of abuse. kate snow has the nbc news investigation. >> for more than two years now we've been investigating sequel youth and family services,
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for-profit company that operates group homes across the country. states pay hundreds of dollars a day per child to send kids. after uncovering numerous allegations of abuse, last year a child died following a restraint, and someone in the room is speaking out for the first time. we need to warn you, some of this is disturbing. >> is he breathing? is the child breathing? >> reporter: police body cam video obtained by nbc news shows response to incident. cornelius frederick threw a piece of food on the cafeteria floor, staff shoved him to the ground, piled on top of him, after more than ten minutes, he was limp. another 12 minutes passed before nurse called 911. >> we assumed he was in a restraint, now he's
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unresponsive. >> reporter: what she initially told police. >> we thought he was just faking. >> reporter: cornelius died two days later in a hospital. >> i'm still angry. >> reporter: you were his case manager, you knew him. >> yeah. >> reporter: worked at lake side for two years. her walking in when cornelius was on the ground. >> asked majority of the staff six months prior, could probably tell you this would happen. >> reporter: calls the death senseless and tragic, staff didn't follow policies and training. >> use of restraint is only when there's imminent or immediate danger to the client themselves or others. >> reporter: but says excessive restraints were used often. >> say it's last resorkts they didn't train what the other
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avenues were. just seemed like restraints were the go-to. >> reporter: three former employees, including the nurse, charged with manslaughter, all pleaded not guilty. management told him he had done nothing wrong. >> said nothing went wrong, did what we were trained to do. >> reporter: sequel says the staff were exquisitely terminated for their participation in the restraint. >> it's a company of thousands of people who committed lives to protecting underserved kids. >> reporter: but needs to be change. >> something needs to come of this, don't want his death so go away. >> sequel emphasized they're constantly monitored by regulatory and oversight bodies
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and said overwhelming majority of the state child agencies continue to find our services essential and operating at or exceeding their highest standards. back to you. >> you can see kate's special investigation, "children that pay," a hard look at for-profit groups that run the homes. up next, keeping the faith without the church, more and more americans distancing themselves from houses of worship. could be ready for another big moment in women's sports, want to bet? want to bet? only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
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falling in the u.s.? >> reporter: do you believe in god? 90% of americans almost say yes. but ask if they attend a church, synagogue or mosque, tell a different story. 47% of u.s. adults say they belong to house of worship. first time dropped below 50% since gallup started tracking. but not surprising. hovered around 70%, starting around 2000, began to steadily fall, around the time another trend started taking off, rise of nuns, not those kind of nuns. nones, americans who don't associate themselves with any formal religion. >> describe as atheist or agnostic or nothing in particular with respect to
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religion. would be a mistake to think of them as atheists or secular in world view but far less religiously observant. >> reporter: researches religion and public life for the pew research observant. >> from 17% in the u.s. population in 2009 to 26% in 2019. >> one big driver of the growth of the nones is that young adults are coming of age. they're entering adulthood with far lower levels of attachment to religion than their parents and grandparents before them. the other thing i would menlg mention is a theory propose bid many scholars that says the growth of the religious nones is bound up with politics. there's a variety of ways in which that's true. one way is that as religion in the united states began to be associated, at least in the popular imagination, with
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right-wing politics, with conservative politics so the thinking goes, religious people who don't share those politics increasingly began to describe themselves as religious nones. >> reporter: it's possible that the pandemic is putting a temporary strain on religious membership. many places of worship were forced to close during stay-at-home orders. most americans say covid-19 hasn't had an impact on their faith. >> there are some people, about a quarter of a population who says their faith has grown stronger. those who were religious before the pandemic who said they were deeply religious say because of the pandemic they've become far more religious. there are a few group of people who say they've become more faithful as a result of the pandemic. >> one thing we know for sure, the rise of the nones is happening across america and there's no signs that the trend is slowing down any time soon.
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>> nones are growing in every region of the country, nones are growing among both women and men, white americans, black americans, hispanic americans, among college graduates and those with less than a college degree. that consistency of this trend, that uniformity of this trend, the fact that the growth of the none is happening among every social and demographic group we can examine is very striking to me. >> our thanks to simone for that story. want to bet? our predictions for the week ahead. and the president's very strange easter message. >> don't miss the mehdi hasan show, who talks to bernie sanders about the infrastructure bill and if any republicans will get on board. then at 9:00, it's "the week
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it doesn't happen often. everyday people taking on the corporate special interests. and winning. but now, the for the people act stands on the brink of becoming law. ensuring accurate elections. iron-clad ethics rules to crack down on political self-dealing. a ban on dark money. and finally reducing corporate money in our politics. to restore our faith in government. because it's time. for the people to win. [drum beat and keyboard typing] ♪♪ ♪♪
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♪♪ [keyboard typing] ♪♪ [trumpet] [keyboard typing] so you're a small business, or a big one. you were thriving, but then... oh. ah. okay. plan, pivot. how do you bounce back? you don't, you bounce forward, with serious and reliable internet. powered by the largest gig speed network in america. but is it secure? sure it's secure. and even if the power goes down, your connection doesn't. so how do i do this? you don't do this. we do this, together.
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bounce forward, with comcast business. if you believe ohio congressman jim jordan, cancel culture is the most dangerous thing happening in america. but this week, republicans are leading the charge to cancel corporations who speak out against their voter suppression effort. gop chairwoman ronna mcdaniel tweeted, quote, guess what i'm
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doing today, not reaching baseball, follow bid four exclamation marks. buddy carter also wants to cancel america's favorite pasttime. representative jeff duncan even wants to remove the baseball's federal anti-trust exception. former president trump, a known diet coke addict, wants his supporters to boycott several companies, incluing what conservatives now call woke-a-cola. hysteria podcast and "daily beast" contributor joins me now. erin, i keep thinking of something stacey abrams said. in order for a boycott to be effective, the pain has to be shared and it has to be consistent. wanna bet, is donald trump even actually capable of that? >> no. absolutely not. look at the list of companies
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that he asked his supporters to boycott. viacom. can you name all the companies that are part of viacom? most of the people who follow donald trump could not. are you going to boycott singulair? it makes no sense. i think it's trying to get in the headlines and stay semi relevant when you don't have any policy or anything to say. the irony isn't lost that these people are the same people who have told us over and over again that cancel culture is the biggest threat to american democracy. they're also part of the party that says private businesses should be able to do whatever they want. just the level of hypocrisy is just overwhelming here. >> can i also just say as a total aside for a product that is, in part, based on its caffeinateion, woke-a-cola, not
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bad. highest ratings for the sport in history, does this trend continue, erin, not only for women's college basketball but other women's sports as well? >> yeah, absolutely. every single time i watch a high-level women's sporting event, i get so excited. and i ask myself why i don't do this all the time. i think a lot of people are asking themselves that. the women's world cup in 2019 had huge audiences across the u.s. and europe. the national women's soccer league here in the u.s. has ten teams. it's about to add an 11th. there's more interest than there's ever been in watching women play professional soccer. incredible players out of the u.s. wnba is experiencing a bump in viewership and women's college basketball, as you mentioned. what's interesting here is men's sports has saturated the market. there's no person out there who isn't aware of the nfl, but there are people out there who probably haven't sat down and watched like stanford women's basketball team play, and they're so impressive.
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they are so impressive and so fun to watch. my husband was actually texting me from the other room updates about the game. so, people are excited about them. >> thank you for placing those bets. that is all the time i have for today. i'm alicia menendez. i'll see you back here next weekend at 6:00 p.m. eastern for more "american voices." for now i hand it over to my colleague, mehdi hasan. hello, mehdi. >> hello, alicia. thank you for that. enjoy the rest of your sunday. alabama has amazon on edge over a crucial union vote. plus, infrastructure hits a gop roadblock. it's all on the table with senator bernie sanders. my conversation to him ahead. then, race in america and the trial of derek chauvin, professor, author, and activist dr. cornell west is here. when

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