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tv   American Voices With Alicia Menendez  MSNBC  September 12, 2021 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT

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this hour, the hypocrisy of the republican party laid bare this week. fighting to limit voting access and the constitutional right to an abortion all while complaining their rights are violated by biden's vaccine mandate. dnc chair is going to tell us how the party plans to fight back. plus, the changing face of terror since 9/11. is america ready for the next threat, which could be just days away? plus, congressman jones on the climate and racial justice and why it is the same fight and reality tv meets reality on the ground. so many activists aren't exactly thrilled with a new star studded show. this is american voices. show this is american voices. welcome to this hour of american voices. beginning this hour talking about the unmitigated hypocrisy coming from many on the right. around big notions of freedom to now follow the public headlines
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during a pandemic on one hand. on the other, work overtime to rob their constituents of that same freedom to do what they want with their own bodies. take greg abbott for example. after president biden announced his new vaccine requirements this week, the governor tweeted that he issued an executive order opposing it on the grounds that he was quote, get ready for this, protecting texans' right to choose whether they get a covid vaccine. mentioned there about protecting reproductive rights when it comes to that. this obsession with choice and freedom seems to run the gamut on the right. >> this is not a power that is delegated to the federal government. this is a power for states to decide. in south dakota, we're going to be free. my legal team is already working and we will defend and protect our people from this unlawful mandate. >> our view in florida when this came out, we're going to make it available to all but we're going to make it mandated on none because it's your choice to
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figure out what you want to do. >> your choice. these appeals to american values of choice and freedom by republicans apparently end when it comes to pregnancy. hypocrisy in full effect following the supreme court's decision not to overturn texas' abortion ban. same senator. who sponsored the first so-called heart beat bill in 2013 also wants to pass an abortion law like the one in texas. south dakota governor wasted no time issuing an executive order restricting access to abortion medication in her state. and in florida where the governor bloefuates about choice for the people of florida, he just removed the democratic chair of the panel that could hear a texas style abortion bill in two weeks. replacing her with a, wait for it, a republican who's promising to push anti-abortion legislation similar to what we
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saw in texas. and add to that a texas congresswoman has passed one of the most restrictive bills specifically making it harder for people of color and democrats to vote. so whether an assault on voting rights or resistance against vaccines, texas is leading the way. how do you fight that? joining me now, joyce vance, msnbc contributor, melissa murray and victoria defrancesca from the lbj school of public affairs. it is great to see you. i don't know that i've ever seen all three of you at once so this is particularly exciting given what we have to dig into here. vicki, i'm going to start with you given you're the one of us who's in texas. give us a sense of how this ban is playing out. >> we're seeing this hard right turn of the abortion piece being at the center of it, but as you
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mentioned earlier, we also have the election bill. we also have the -- to pass. we have a bunch of immigration stuff that's going on. so what is happening here in texas is centered by the abortion ban but so much more and we see that hard right turn in the state. and what's happening here is really interesting in terms of locking in some of these political folks we've seen because we're coming up on redistricting. many folks thought well, has this pendulum swung too far to the right? is it going to snap back? i actually think this is the beginning of a longer term. the next three to five years perhaps in terms of texas hunkering down on this. i think that's important to have in terms of the context of what's happening on the ground here in texas. >> joyce, i want to zoom in specifically on texas and that abortion mandate. ag garland suing texas. can you talk us through the
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argument that the justice department is going to make here? >> sure. so doj's argument is that abortion law and the rurals that rule that is the country follow are a matter of national law, of the 14th amendment and the argument doj raises in their lawsuit is that texas files the supremacy clause of the constitution that litigation and legislation in this area is preempted by federal rules and also a very interesting argument that texas is violating federal government authority to work in this area and federal employees who are obligated to provide abortion services to women who are raped or incest victims, on federal military bases or immigration proceedings and in other situations. so this is an all out attack on texas' law on constitutional grounds and on practical grounds. the real issue here is whether or not the court system now has a separate set of rules for abortion than it does for other
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cases. that's the problem that we're beginning to perceive with the way both fifth circuit and the supreme court had handled the request to enjoin this texas law while the litigation went on. >> so, melissa, republicans are pushing forward with their strategy to get an abortion case in front of this conservative majority support in hopes of overturning roe v. wade. what other actions can you about what we can expect next? >> i think it's right to link this to voting rights. there's a straight line running between suppressing the vote, changing these state legislatures to red, getting control of the state houses then enacting these really draconian reproductive rights policies. so talking about them in concert is important. we have seen from the supreme court over the last two years a concerted effort to buckle down on questions of reproductive rights. that's because it is a 6-3 super majority with those three justices that were nominated and
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appointed by president trump who made a pledge as a presidential candidate that he would appoint those who were hostile to roe v. wade. in june medical services, the court appeared to save abortion by reenforcing that there continues to be a right to abortion, but again, it was odd that they even took that case in the first place because they heard virtually a twin of the law challenged in that case just four years earlier in another challenge where there was a 5-4 conservative majority of the court. so the fact that they heard it again so quickly suggested that the change in personnel meant there was perhaps a change in the view to abortion an the fact that they have decided to hear a new case on mississippi's 15-week abortion law suggests that this may be a court that's ready to move in a different direction on abortion rights, one that will be to the right. >> it's sort of mind boggling to think about when those who suggested this months ago were called alarmists or extremists and democrats are calling for reform when it comes to the
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supreme court following mcconnell's tactics to stack the court with conservative justice. chris wallace asked justice briar about the push this morning on fox news. >> what do you think of the idea of increasing the number of justices on the court? >> if one party could do it, i guess another party could. on the surface it seems to me you start changing all these things around and people will lose trust in the court. >> i wonder, melissa, what you made of that answer. >> well i think after last week, a number of americans have already lost trust in the court. he makes an excellent point. the court is not supposed to be a political coordinate. it's supposed to be above the political fray, but right now after the decisions we've seen, after having the court refuse to way in to block a constitutional law and allow it to go into courts in texas, there's already the sense and he acknowledged
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this that there's something up here. that the change in personnel perhaps meant there was a change in the court's abortion prudence. i think the court has already been deeply politicized. it's not just a question about the supreme court but also the lower federal courts. this would never have happened if we hadn't had the unorthodox decision from the intermediate circuit court in texas. >> as i listen to all of this excellent and clear analysis. and you talk about voting rights, ballot access, access to reproductive choice, all of these issues swirling in the same environment, how then do democrats tie it all together for voters? >> well, i think what we have here is a potential to a, mobilize democratic base, but b, also pick over independent
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voters, moderate republicans, here in texas, we'd say those george w. bush republicans. those who voted for governor bush when he was here in texas then as president. so i think that's the opportunity that democrats are seeing here in texas. i'm going to go a step beyond though. one other line of argument that we're seeing is the economic one. so texas has always touted itself as the business friendly state. come here, do business in texas, but with the moves that we've seen in the latest legislative session, we're seeing businesses, tech companies most recently, saying we don't know if we want to go to texas. we're going to allow our employees to work from elsewhere if they don't want to stay in texas, we will allow them to relocate. so i think the economic and the political strategy piece is something that is very promising for democrats in that medium term strategy. >> a lot of attention to that salesforce announcement. i want to quickly turn to covid, which is i guess is where we
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started given this argument. "the new york times" new reporting on the new resistance to mandates reads quote, once a fringe position in both parties, more the realm of misinformed celebrities than mainstream thought, but the fury of mr. biden's mandate shows how a once extreme stance has moved to the center of the republican party. the governor's opposition reflects the anger and fear about the vaccine and now constituents while ignoring long standing policy and legal precedent in favor of similar vaccination requirements. can you talk us through some of those precedents that are going to help the biden administration? >> so it starts with a very old supreme court. 115-year-old supreme court case, jacobson, that permits unit of government to, for instance, require vaccination. the question is a little bit more sophisticated when you get
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to the federal government and there's a wide belief among legal experts that it would be pushing things for the federal government to impose, for instance, a nationwide vaccine mandate. what the president has done is well within the am bit. using the department of labor and osha where it's possible and where there's precedent for the president even recently in the area of covid to issue emergency rules that make workers safer in their workplaces. of course there will be pushback. there will be lawsuits perhaps alleging that vaccines don't work or that the emergency is not of the stature that requires this sort of a rule, but the president is on firm legal ground here and of course these issues will be heard by the courts that melissa has talked about where there's some concern about politicalization even in
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the lower courts. the law seems relatively clear that president biden is entitled to take these measures to protect people in this country. >> joyce, melissa, victoria, thank you for helping us connect the dots. next, the changing face of terrorism. from al-qaeda to qanon, is american ready for the latest threat? plus, is he putting democrats at risk for losing the house and senate. jamie harrison joins me. and later, the new reality tv show, the activist, getting dragged by real life activists doing the hard work every day. we'll explain why. but first, to richard, who is standing by with a look at other big stories we're watching this hour at msnbc. >> the taliban says it will allow women in afghanistan to go to colleges and universities. its previous policy prohibited women from getting an education. women will be required to wear traditional islamic clothing and classes will be segregated by gender. atlanta area police are investigating a building
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explosion. it destroyed several floors. it's unclear what caused it or if anyone was seriously injured. and a new york democratic congressman tested positive for covid-19. he said his symptoms would be much worse if he were not vaccinated. he is self-isolating and the 11th member of congress since august 1th to test positive. more american voices after a short break. positive. more american voices after a short break. hey google. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ for skin that never holds you back don't settle for silver #1 for diabetic dry skin* #1 for psoriasis symptom relief*
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aftermath of 9/11 focused on the foreign terrorists. the individual who sought to penetrate our defenses, enter the united states and do us harm. and now that threat has evolved into the domestic terrorist. >> the greatest threat to the u.s. now coming from within, experts say the department of homeland security's approach is outdated. dhs was created to lead counterterrorism efforts after 9/11 and spend a budget on immigration enforce. . two former dhs secretaries tell nbc news the department should be prioritizing home grown extremism, not immigration. joining me now, julia. you and i have heard this very often from immigration advocates. did it surprise you to hear it from former dhs officials? >> well, i think as bluntly as they put it, really, i talked with former homeland security
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jey johnson and he said this is outdated because right now, what you have is a domestic threat, right? as you said, a threat from within. the interior of the united states. the statute that established dhs in the aftermath of 9/11 was set up to go after people abroad. it does not give them authority to investigate americans on u.s. soil. that is better left to the fbi. which already does that job. i took that same criticism though to my -- current dhs secretary. he pushed back saying it was not outdated, that they have a number of ways they're combatting extremism, but it comes down to grants and partnerships and studies and to m so, that doesn't go far enough. >> also a question of how those resources are allocated. "new york times" reports airline travel today, more about endurance than enjoyment. what did you hear from dhs leaders about the future of tsa?
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>> well it was interesting. you're talking about an agency that has definitely changed the face of what travel looks like in the wake of 9/11. i did speak to the secretary who was one of the first dhs secretaries in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. he came in as number two in that order and he was talking about how much had changed and how under his leadership, the liquid ban came into place because they were able to get intelligence working with the british intelligence to find out there was a plot to blow up airplanes overseas. this is back in the mid 2000s. using what looked like sports drinks and there were people who wanted to drill holes this those. it was an example of something that started as intelligence, it's a reason we have our liquid limits on airplanes.
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but a reminder this agency has worked to collect intelligence to make americans safer. but now, people want to have justification for a lot of what they go through at tsa. especially when they hear the threat is more from within. >> thank you for bringing us this reporting. washington, d.c. on high alert of a pro january 6th protest next saturday set to take place even closer to the capitol than the trump rally. in preparation, police are reinstalling fencing around the capitol complex and will have all staff working that day. organizer matt brener who has displayed a giant golden statue of trump says he says no plans to cancel telling a d.c. krad owe station, quote, under no circumstances does this train stop. joining me now, former fbi assistant director. frank, capitol police pushing back on reports they've authorized the use of deadly force, writing quote, that policy does not change based on specific demonstrations or other
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events. i wonder what that signals to you. >> well, for those of us that spent careers in law enforcement, you can't alter your deadly force policy based on a date or a rally. you've got to stick with what it is and it works every time if it's applied correctly. i'm actually encouraged by all of the security precautions that we're hearing about and seeing as we ramp up for this rally, but here's what does not encourage me or at least kind of gets me concerned and that is that the chatter on violent extremist sites, including proud boys chat right now, has moved from hey, let's not go to washington, d.c. for this rally. let's go local. there will be too much security. it's going to be too hard a target. let's do it elsewhere. has moved now since the biden announcement on vaccine policy changes in ramping up vaccines in terms of mandatory and testing, they are energized by this and they now in some
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circles are saying we're going to the rally. others are saying no, we're going to change the date and so i'm seeing a lot of rallies planned for the 25th of september. all over the united states. so what does this tell us? that we're in for a new heightened threat level in the united states and it's from domestic threats like this. so local and state, you were just talking to julia about dhs, this is really going to come down to the feds coordinating response and vigilance by local, county, and state law enforcement because this thing is going to turn local. it's happening now. every weekend, there's some proud boys rally that turns violent on the west coast or the pacific northwest. >> capitol police announced discipline against six officers for conduct on january 6th and you tweeted in response, more facts, please, which makes you perhaps the politest journalist ever.
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what information about these cases do you still want released? >> i want to know why, for example, we had enough, the capitol police had enough internal police to discipline officers but not to fire them. so the devil's in the details. what is it about an officer's conduct on or about january 6th that would cause you to say you're disciplined, but not fired. it was an insurrection, in my opinion. so what is it about their conduct that wasn't a fireable offense? we need the details on this. it was released on a saturday, the 20th anniversary of september 11th, tells me they might not want to talk about this. we need the facts on this. >> a lot of our attention has been placed on what is happening in a week's time and i think for good reason, but what is sort of the long tail of this thing? what are you looking for past next saturday? >> i keep coming back to if you
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recall now a couple of months ago, the white house released a new national strategy against domestic violent extremism. it was announced by the white house through the attorney general. we heard a lot of great things in that strategy. we're going to teach how to be more savvy consumers of intelligence to kids and how to use social media the right way, but i don't see the details playing out and how do we get kids smart on social media when we can't even agree on curriculum in schools today? how do we impact social media regulation? moving forward, we still don't have a domestic terrorism law. we don't designate domestic terror organizations. it is the new threat. the threat is us. >> right. and frank, it really brings it home when you talk about the chatter and the possible diffusion that we could see. frank, as always, thank you. next, dnc chair jamie
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harrison on the biden agenda, and how democrats can hold the house. plus, racial justice and climate change collide in a big way this summer. a congressman tells me why washington must act now. stay with us. why washington must act now. stay with us friend to switch. feels moisturized and clean. my friend stefanie, her skin was dry. i'm like girl you better get you some dove. she hooked me up. with a quarter moisturising cream, dove cleans effectively and cares beautifully. why bother mastering something? why hand-tune an audio system? why include the most advanced active safety system in its class...standard? because when you want to create an entirely new feeling, the difference between excellence and mastery is all the difference in the world. the lexus es. every curve, every innovation, every feeling... a product of mastery. get 1.9% apr financing on the 2021 es 350. experience amazing at your lexus dealer.
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one-way negotiation. you're in the cat bird seat. not a 50th vote, but don't you need to give, say -- >> i have been given. >> are you going to be the lone vote against president biden? >> i don't think i am and i think you know that, too. >> would you be willing? >> right now you don't think you can explain? >> west virginia senator, joe manchin, now a no on president biden's spending bill, raising the obvious question, will manchin, a democrat, cost president biden his agenda and
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make it harder for democrats to keep the house and the senate? joining me now, chairman harrison. senator sanders said his opposition to the spending bill was quote, not acceptable. how do you see this all playing out this week? >> listen, i think at the end of the day, this bill is going to get passed. it's going to go to the president's desk and we're going to start continuing delivering for the american people. these components of this bill are so, so important. think about what we were able to do in the american rescue plan. we were able to put money in pockets, people in jobs, vaccines in arms. we cut child poverty in half and this bill, reconciliation bill, will continue those efforts. it also includes so much in terms of changing medicare, expansion of medicaid for red states. so much good stuff in this bill for the american people. things that people desperately want. things that people in west virginia will also be very happy
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for. so at the end of the day, i think manchin along with all the democrats in the house and senate will come together, get a bill signed, passed, then send it to the president's desk. >> so how do you get from what the senator was just saying to chuck todd to him coming to the table and this advancing to the president's desk? >> well, listen, i used to, before i became chair of the democratic national committee, a few years back, i was a director in the office and it was my job to get the 218 votes to pass any bill on the house floor. i know what members say and i know what they do at the end of the day when they get behind closed doors with their colleagues and work out the deal that needs to be worked out in order to get a bill done. i take with a grain of salt what folks say on tv and i know at the end of the day when the rubber meets the road and they have to get something done because every member has to deliver for the people back home. that's why i'm confident that we're going to get something
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done. >> i do want to ask you after the supreme court decided not to block the texas abortion law, democrats and planned parenthood joined together, assured that reproductive healthcare would be on the ballot in 2022 and you promised that every republican lawmaker will have to answer for this. how do you plan to do that? >> well, we are going to hit the road and we're talking about this issue. i'm going to california tomorrow with president biden to campaign with governor newsom. go on veronica daniels twitter page. for an issue they have said it's so important to them, they have been as quiet as some church mice and it's because they know they have stepped in it. they know that this is an issue that women across the board, across demographics, are not very happy about. and so you know, republicans
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have overplayed their hands and we are going to make sure that we remind the american people, it's people like larry elder. it's people like glenn lumkin in virginia who are extreme in terms of their views on choice and women's rights to control their healthcare. and we're going to remind them of that and that's going to be a big issue. but even before it becomes an issue, we're going to make sure we codify this law in congress. speaker pelosi has said she's going to move on the bill. we're going to see what we're going to do in the senate as well. >> i want to talk about what we're hearing from the gop and vaccine quote unquote freedom over freedom from masks and how you see that in the split screen of them actively taking reproductive rights away. how do you draw that contrast going into 2022? >> well, you can't because it doesn't make any sense. you know, it's not like we don't have vaccines in daily life
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anyway. i got a 7-year-old and a 2-year-old and every time we take them to the doctor, they get some type of shot. if it's for, you know, polio or chickenpox, measles or whatever. vaccines have been a part of our lives in this country for a very, very long time. why the craziness around this one, i don't understand. why are they pushing people to take dewormer and all? i don't understand, but the republicans need to stop playing politics with the lives of the american people and focus on doing the right thing for a change. they have lost their way. they are totally lost. and they need to come back to some common sense. stop being looney toon hours and let's do the right thing. that's what joe biden's focused on. that's what democrats in the house and senate are focused on and hopefully they'll wake up and also begin to focus on that. >> thank you. a new tropical storm forming in the gulf of mexico. the latest in extreme weather
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events. next, congressman jones tells me why climate and infrastructure must be a racial justice priority. stay with us. tyri stay with us i order my groceries online now. shingles doesn't care. i keep my social distance. shingles doesn't care. i stay within my family bubble. shingles doesn't care. because if you've had chicken pox, you're already carrying the virus that causes shingles. in fact, about 1 in 3 people will develop shingles, and the risk only increases as you age. so what can protect you against shingles? shingrix protects. now you can protect yourself from shingles with a vaccine proven to be over 90% effective. shingrix is a vaccine used to prevent shingles in adults 50 years and older. shingrix does not protect everyone and is not for those with severe allergic reactions to its ingredients or to a previous dose. an increased risk of guillain-barré syndrome was observed after vaccination with shingrix. the most common side effects are pain, redness, and swelling at the injection site, muscle pain, tiredness, headache,
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ready for an at-home treatment with dramatic results? it's time to ask your doctor about kesimpta. climate change poses a threat to our lives, to our economy and the threat is here, it's not going to get any better. the question, can it get worse. we can stop it from getting worse. we got to listen to the scientists and the economists and the national security experts. they all tell us this is code red. the nation and the world are in peril and that's not hyperbole. that is a fact. >> that was president biden in queens, new york, following the extreme flooding by hurricane ida, calling climate change a code red situation. americans are suffering across the country and just cannot catch a break.
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today, tropical storm nicholas formed in the gulf and is expected to drop 5 to 10 inches of rain in texas and louisiana. meantime, hurricane ida killed at least 50 people in the northeast. the stories, unbearable. at least 11 new yorkers drowned in their flooded basement apartments. calling attention to the country's urgent need for better infrastructure and climate change has also shown to be devastating towards communities of color. a report from the environmental protection actsy finding if the planet warms 2 degrees celsius, black people are more likely than other groups to live in places where extreme temperatures will cause more deaths. so how will our leaders -- joining me now, congressman jones. what is it that you have been hearing from your constituents in the wake of ida? >> it's great to be with you on the show again. this has been devastating for my
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constituents and for people all throughout new york state and the northeast and in louisiana. i got at least three constituents who died in the flooding. and as far as i'm aware, we're still looking for the fourth body. i've got an entire community that has seen its infrastructure fail. in a variety of ways, which is why it's so important of course that we pass this infrastructure bill that congress is considering. but more than that, what i've been hearing is that bipartisan recognition of the fact that climate disasters have been increasing in frequency and in severity and we have to do something to stop that. which is why we must invest in climate action. >> absolutely heartbreaking what you're talking about out of your district and we have talked about the connections between climate change, between racial
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justice. and i think sometimes that can seem very o mor fus to people. i think part of what we watched is that we saw in a very real way how all of those forces can come together to impact people's lived lives. talk us through then what this infrastructure plan has in it that would begin to address all of these underlying causes? >> the infrastructure plan specifically that larger reconciliation bill. contains a number of historic investments in renewable energy infrastructure, in the creation of hundreds of thousands of electric vehicle charging stations. of course in setting new clean energy standards, which will be transformtive as we seek to decarbonize our economy and save the planet from climate catastrophe. these and so many other things and will be contained in that
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larger reconciliation bill that i am fighting in earnest to see passed. >> which brings me to senator joe manchin. take a listen. >> he will not have my vote on 3.5 and chuck knows that. what's the urgency? what's the urgency that we have? it's not the same that we have with the american rescue plan. we got that out the door quickly. about$2 trillion. on top of that, leading up to that. so we have done a lot and there's still an awful lot of people that need help. you have 11 million jobs right now. still unemployed. something's not matching up. don't you think we ought to hit the pause and find out? >> congressman, i'm going to guess that you have a very different take on this question of urgency. what is your message to senator manchin on why this needs to happen now?
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>> well, my message is to stop meeting so regularly with exxon lobbyists and start listening to the scientists and research and of course the lived experiences of not just my experiences, but americans all across the country who understand that it is urgent to stop the climate disasters that just a few days ago ravaged large portions of america. that people across the political spectrum understand the looming climate catastrophe. if we do not act in an unprecedented way and on a large scale, that $1.5 trillion will be insufficient to do. this is something that is also, if we do it correctly as house democrats intend, will create a lot of union paying, good, good jobs that are going to, and help people get back into the workforce. i heard the senator talk about how a lot of folks still aren't
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employed. here's an opportunity to create competitive jobs in our economy that are going to last for a lifetime. >> congressman jones, thank you. next, a star studded new reality competition to find america's next top activist? the top of the hour, do not miss the show. he's going to talk to the california senator and voting rights and what congress needs to do to protect democracy. that is 8:00 p.m. eastern only on msnbc. that is 8:00 p.m. easty on msnbc allergies don't have to be scary. spraying flonase daily stops your body from overreacting to allergens all season long. psst! psst! flonase all good.
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reality competition shows. we have seen them put seven strangers in a house. pit singers against singers. have women and men fight for a rose and even compete in the wilderness to be a survivor. will viewers want to see people compete to be the activist? the new show by cbs set to be hosted by usher in a press release, the network explains
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the show will see six contestants compete to quote, bring universal change to health, education and the environment. of course, there is nothing wrong with drawing attention to your favorite cause. you might be good if we were all chatting with our friends about our favorite activist and donating more to causes we love, but if it makes you feel funny that it's been marketed for consumption, you're not alone. a tweet, oh, i can't wait for the cat fighting and activist versus activist show. somebody is going to get served. haven't seen the show yet. it has some serious credentials. we asked a lot of questions about what this says about activism in our society and what stage of capitalism we have entered. britney cunningham is going to help me answer those questions after a quick break. help me answer those questions after a quick break.
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welcome back. we are talking about the new cbs reality show, the activist. why some activists in the real world are concerned it could do more harm than good. joining me now, britney cunningham, also msnbc contributor and host of the podcast, undistracted. twitter was on fire about this. what do you think? >> i think twitter was rightfully on fire about this and hopefully the executives at cbs are paying close attention.
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look, besides the fact that there will be millions of dollars spent on hair, makeup, travel, celebrity hosts and judges, production, distribution, that could have gone directly to the causes and organizations and activists that will be featured, this is deeply dangerous and i think this is really the finer point that we need to understand. there is a real danger here of undermining real activism and organizing that is happening every day in communities and at the grass roots level. this extends a societal belief about what a good activist looks like. someone who is ready for prime time. right on social media and is perfectly marketable, but the truth is there are people who are affecting change every single day who do not fit that mold. who deserve not just the spotlight, but who deserve our support and participation. so when we talk about undermining the folks who are not consumable for hollywood, this is the perfect way to do that and it is something that
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can endanger activists across the country and world. >> the your point on this idea of the right kind of activist and wrong type of activist, i wonder what you make of the fact it's going to focus on activists working on health, the education and the environment. what happens when you narrow to those? >> i think one of the things that happens is that you make those other issues that are deeply intertwined with those three, you make them the third rail. so when we talk about racial justice, trans rights, about the rights of the disabled, suddenly, you've shoved those to the side, pushed them down the list or make those things untouchable. so people will focus on these three. they'll put their money, their time, their talent and their treasure behind the three that have been chosen by a roomful of executives who are not experiencing the very worst of these atrocities, but competition is a tenant of white dominant culture.
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the injustices that we experience and organizers that stand up against them are being maimed. they are being surveilled, killed, jailed and none of this is about showing up for hollywood. all of this is about the freedom of marginalized people. so it is simply not okay to undermine the work they are doing, to reenforce competition when the best organizers are engaged in deep communal work. activism is about being countercultural. the role of the activist is to be intentionally ant thet cal to the status quo. we tear the status quo. we do not chase it. we do not discuss and do work that is palatable and if it is, it often means we're not actually effectuating change. so i'm deeply worried about what this is produce and i'm really hoping they'll pull the plug on this. >> i have another question for you, which is if the intent is to showcase activists, right, and to get someone who might not be exposed to some of these issues to be exposed to these
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issues, how then can you do that in a way that is honest and true to the spirit of activism? >> i think that's a fantastic question because like you said, we were talking more about this stuff during prime time show slot, then we can actually potentially be seeing more every day people taking action in their own communities. docuseries are a great way to do this. trust me, it is dramatic enough. just shine the light and turn on the camera and set people in competition with one another. there's certainly other organizers who should be sitting in chairs like mine come tating on the things that are happening in our community because we're doing the work and shows like yours and others on this network that continue to highlight our issues should be hearing more of our voices. we have the opportunity to get created and frankly, organizers and activists are not waiting on anybody in hollywoodland to do what needs to be done.
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>> as always, i appreciate your clarity. that is all the time i have for today. i'm going to see you back here next weekend. 6:00 p.m., for more american voices. but for now, i hand it over to mehdi. >> thank you so much for that. have a great rest of your night. tonight on the show, the threat to american democracy. what are senate democrats doing to actually protect it? i'll ask senator padilla. plus, the huge and crucial election in california this tuesday. can democratic governor newsom survive and what happens if he doesn't? and on this 9/11 anniversary weekend, i'll provide a true accounting of the costs of the past 20 years of war. plus, you really need to hear how former president trump marked september the 11th. good evening. you'll be delighted to hear that tomorrow the united states


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