tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC October 27, 2021 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT
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and ow much washington effects the race for governor. that's the dynamic we're watching with the virginia situation and stealmate among democratsen the infrastructure bills that a lot of blame being aimed at washington for why don't you have this done? so you can guarantee that win for terry mcallf in virginia. i don't know what the dynamics of that really is. i think stacey abrams has a good perspective on it. >> first of all, she can send us all to school on the dynamics. but she's lived that in a real way. >> we have reporting thank president biden will go up to the house of representatives at 9:00 a.m., for their meeting at 9:00 a.m., delaying his flight to scotland, a little bit. >> she's requested the rules
committee schedule a session for tomorrow. when she requested it, she asked them to consider half a dozen different things, which meant, what on this list do you really mean? and it sounds like what she wanted them to do was be ready to move on that senate-passed bill, if you can get your guest tonight and the progressive caucus to go along with that. >> although just told me what they're looking for is both bills moving together next week. that there's no -- that when she called an artificial deadline isn't going to help. so, i do feel like the movement every day that we can observe matters, in terms of what's ultimately going to happen. we're back to whether joe manchin and kkyrsten sinema are going to let it pass.
much easier for them to do that than facilitate something passing. and i think they're being proven wrong with each passing day, where sinema and manchin are loving it and enjoying it and doing everything they can to make it stretch as long as possible as the bill gets smaller and smaller and less likely. >> what they definitely want is a big win for democrats so that can help terry mcauliffe in virginia. if they don't do it by friday at the latest, then it doesn't help at all. i think they believe this can create an atmosphere that spreads to virginia voters, that says look, we're moving, getting things done and your local roads and bridges are going to get fixed. >> yeah. i'd be interested to hear stacey
abrams' take on that, especially with all the early voting in vara. who's been able to successfully define the race, whether what happens in washington is going to come home or not. she'll know. >> and we'll see what the house decides. we'll see. >> i'm not going to think about it until it's over. >> that is the perfect approach. perfect approach. >> thank you, lawrence. >> thank you, rachel. as democrats continue to consider ways to pay for the biden infrastructure package today, the chairman of the senate finance committee introduced america's very first attempt to create a new, top tax bracket for billionaires. chairman widen introduced what he is now calling the billionaires income tax to apply for people with more than $1
billion in assets or more than $100 million in income for three successive years. senator joe manchin, who does not represent a single billionaire in his state of west virginia, is not happy about taxing the billionaires. >> i'm supporting basically that everyone should pay their fair share. i don't like it -- i don't like the connotation that we're targeting different people. >> senator manchin seems to be ignoring, for the moment, that we already target different people in the tax code, depending on how much income they have. we now have seven different tax percentages in the income tax code, beginning at 10% and going up to 37%. that top one 37%, is for incomes over 526,000 if you're single
and there's a parallel tax code with seven different thresholds for married couples' income. married couples' income hit the top tax rate of 37%, only when they have $628,300 of income. so, so, we have different tax brackets targeting but he's worried about targeting billionaire? he's go having to to come up with a better reason, unless he wants to support a flat tax, where every taxpayer pays the same percentage, no matter what their income is, a wacky republican idea years ago. so, the billionaire's tax remains alive. the billionaire's income tax
brought out the traditional rival between the chairman of the house tax-writing committee and the senate tax-writing committee, after chairman widen introduced his proposal today. chairman neal has already written a bill with pride of authorship that includes a package of traditional tax increases on the top income tax rate, the capital gains tax rate, corporate tax rate that was part of the original biden tax proposal. senator sinema opposes those increases in those tax rates and that is what has forced this last-minute attempt to find other tax increases that senator sinema will accept. chairman neal says he is now considering, quote, a 3% surtax on top of the top income tax rate for those earning more than
$10 million. now, that proposal would create, in effect a new tax bracket at $10 million. but it would effectively do nothing to increase taxation on billionaires. "washington post" reports, quote, a proposal to expand medicare to cover dental, hearing and visions benefits is in danger of falling from the tax and spending package rapidly taking shape in congress, a frame work to cover americans in a dozen mostly southern states has been reworked. senator manchin thought the medicaid proposal was unfair to states like his, which have already helped pay for the expansion of the program in the affordable care act. most personal bankruptcies are still attributable to health care debt, even after the affordable care act became law.
today fair fight action, the political organization led by our first guest tonight, stacey abrams, is focusing on eliminating personal medical debt. one of the most effective ways to do that going forward is for states to use the federal authorization under the federal care act to expand medicaid in their states. 38 states have now expanded medicaid. the state of georgia, where stacey abrams ran for governor is not one of the states that has expanded medicaid. leading off our discussion is the founder of fair fight action a political action committee working to keep elections fair. thank you very much for joining us tonight. we really appreciate it. >> thank you for having me. >> i want to start where i ended in your interdukds and that's with medical debt that is the number one cause of personal bankruptcy in this country. i want to begin there because it's the real-world of health
care. it's the real world of the way people live in this country. and a lot of that is getting lost in the way we are covering the day-to-day give and take on this tax proposal, verses that tax propose tool pay for the programs that president biden is trying to advance. and inside those programs, there's an awful lot that's meaningful and important to real people in their lives, especially, for example, people struggling with medical debt and the personal bankruptcy that can follow that. >> absolutely. one of the things that we are looking at, when we think about democracy, the reason we fight so hard to protect voters is because they deserve to have a say in how we are governed and how we live. we know medical debt infects one in five americans. the $140 billion is on the books. that's why fair fight is so proud of the work we're able to
announce today, where we wiped $112 million off the table for 108,000 people across five states. southern states and the state of arizona. and we did it because we understand medical debt is not just a dragon the economy. it's a drag on the future. these are communities of color. these are southerners, parents with children who can't get loans, who face personal bankruptcy and they can't start a business, they can't get a credit card. they can't get to work because they face a scourge. we were able to buy that debt, $1.3 million went in and $212 million came off the table and that's just the beginning. and we know the wurblg that has to be done to end medical debt is about 108,000 people who might be able to breathe a
little deeper sigh of relief because they know they don't have to wait for their palace leaders who are refusing to do their job and take care of those they were elected to serve. >> you know, when the options for states to expand medicaid was included in the affordable care act, at the beginning, pretty much every republican governor, who hoped to be president refused to do it. it seemed a necessary credential for for them not to allow medical benefit so they could be viable for presidential candidates. even with republican governors have slowly come around to the point where there are now 38. georgia, with your republican governor, still does not have any intention, apparently, of expanding medicaid.
what does it mean for a state like georgia not to accept and use the expansion of medicaid? >> threats point out that mike pence got to the white house in the second chair, having expanded medicaid in the state of indiana. so, this is not a hautd bed of liberalism. mike pence-expanded medicaid and yet, brian kemp is refusing to do so for reasons that pass understanding, other than basic meanness. we know georgia is one of those states, like so many losing rural hospitals. you're 4.5 more times to lose a hosif you have expanded medicaid. we just bought the medical debt of 68,000 georgians. 68,000 people, we were able to buy their medical debt and that's just scratching the surface. for that's because he's refused to accept money that georgia gjns have already paid
to the system. for it's been around now for almost a decade and the reality is that we have leaders who know that their people, their citizens are spending money, paying into a system that they cannot benefit from, and in the midst of a pandemic, where you have a disproportionate of people of color, rural people suffering, it is callous and inexplicable that they refuse to do right by their people. >> okay. let's imagine stacey abrams is running for governor right now in the way that terry mcauliffe is running for governor right now as a democrat, we are watching the democrats in washington struggle amongst them selves to come to an agreement on legislation that struggle is very public. it can look messy to voters in virginia. in this campaign. what would you want the
democrats to do this week? go along with what speaker pelosi and the president want to do. apparently they're going to ask democrats to vote for this tomorrow in the house, the already passed bipartisan infrastructure bill from the senate so they can, this week, thursday or friday, have a celebration of a big legislative achievement on infrastructure. would you want that in your campaign for governor? would it be meaningful at this point? >> lawrence, you are an extraordinary interviewer but that's the wrong question. we should make policy decision based on what's best for our people and that's why terry mcauliffe is running and phil murphy in new jersey. these are two people who have watched what happens when bad leadership is in washington d.c. and when good leadership is in washington d.c. what he's pledged to do is continue the good work that he started as governor is that was continued too, protect medicaid
expansion. he's willing to protect the lgbtq community, which glenn youngkin has said he rejects gay marriage and insuring families to have access to a vaccine and make sure every virginian who wants to vote can vote. and terry mcauliffe has stood up for voting rights and the expansion of voting. what he rejects is voter fraud. notion people who are allowed to vote are voting. we should volt for the build back better plan, vote for infrastructure. because that's what folks want to see. the disparity comes about because people don't care about politics. they care about their lives. they want to know when they wake up and get ready to get kids to
school, go home or if you're still quarantining because they can't take care of their kids any other way because we don't have access to enough teachers or bus drivers, they just want things to work. government can't fix every problem but it can help and we want leaders who want to help and that's who terry mcauliffe is, joe biden is and i believe the democratic senators and state legislatures are. we know our leaders are there. and if they want to do right by america, if they want to show we're willing to fight for a fair america, they'll vote for a plan that will serve as many americans as we can. and i'm proud of what fair fight has done in a small way to show americans we are standing with them from georgia, mississippi, louisiana, arizona. we bought up the debt we could because we want them to know they're not alone. we have a seven-figure plan to
tell them medicare expansion is one of the ways we serve our fellow citizens and that's what we want to see happen. >> president biden went to virginia, just went across the river to arlington, virginia last night, basically saying donald trump's afraid to come to virginia because that will actually hurt the republican candidate in virginia. and today, donald trump took the bait and said okay, i'm coming. mcauliffe earlier tonight said great. donald trump is coming to virginia. that will hech. did donald trump actually end up helping the democratic candidates in georgia when he went to campaign in georgia? >> absolutely. he did an amazing job of reminding georgians of why we were ready to push him out of office and make certain that joe biden had the help he needed. donald trump is a remarkable example of what happens when the
wrong people get elected. when people who don't care about americans take office. i think if he wants to visit virginia, i've been there twice in the last fooi few weeks. if we wants to remind folks that glenn youngkin is a miniaturization of his bad plans, i hope he shows up and i hope they take advantage of the last few days of early voting. 800,000 virginians have voted already. but we need even more of you to show up and vote for the future and vote for terry mcauliffe and vote all the way down the ballot for your delegates because we need a strong state legislature to support the work terry mcauliffe is going to do. >> thank you very much for starting us off tonight. >> thanks for having me always. >> thank you. and coming up past political opponents are joining together now in the fight to save democracy itself. that next. that next.
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we are writers, academics and political activists who have long disagreed about many things. that is the first line of an open letter in defense of democracy published today with an impressive list of 48 signatories. the coauthors are jeffrey isaac and william crystal. the letters says "some of us are democrats and others republicans. some identify with the left and some with the right and some with neither. we have disagreed in the past and hope to disagree productively for years to come. but right now we agree on a fundamental point. we need to join together to dfrd liberal democracy, because liberal democracy itself is in serious danger." we saw more of that danger exposed today in the video released by laura windsor and the undercurrent of the attorney
who wrote the false legal memo that donald trump tried to use to convince vice president mike pence to steal the presidential election from joe biden. >> i read your memo and i thought it was solid in all of its legal arguments. >> yeah. >> i was floored that mike pence didn't do anything. i mean, why didn't he act on it? because you gave him the legal reasoning to do that. >> i know. >> all your legal reasoning is totally solid. >> there's no question. >> you know, just reporter to reporter, why didn't mike pence do it? >> because he's an establishment guy at the end of the day. we would have had georgia, wisconsin, minnesota, arizona back in january. i saw giuliani and met with 300
legislators on january 2nd, via zoom conference call. and they all spinelessly wouldn't do anything. even though we've given them all the evidence, they wouldn't do it. i very much wish it were otherwise. but these guys are spineless. now, now, if we take a bunch of them outen the primaries in 2022, and the precondition for getting elected is we're going to fight this stuff, then maybe we have an opportunity. >> joining us is the other of 16 books, professors of socialology and communications and also the author of "defending democracy together." we just heard it saying a precondition of getting elected as a republican now will be to do things like he was trying to do and fight democracy.
>> i think that's right, lawrence. i'm so happy to work on this letter with todd and it's a broad range of people who disagree on many things. it's a surprising ad mission. and i thought what eastman said was interesting about the spineless establishment types. they are spineless. the "wall street journal" publishes a long letter from donald trump full of lies. mcmcconnell supports hershal walker in georgia. a bunch of republican senators screamed at merrick garland because he thinks the fbi should perhaps protect school board officials from intimidation and fear and threats of violence. i mean, this is the republican party we have. it's a threat to political democracy and i'm pleased that a lot of us, who don't know each other, who disagreed and come from different backgrounds have come together to say this.
we need to defend liberal democracy. >> professor, i can't quite believe i'm saying this but i miss the days when i disagree would bill crystal on policy matters. >> me too. >> policy matters so much lake taxation, domestic things. but here we are. and it has been something to watch over the trump years. so many others come out and say no, what the party that we've been associated with is doing is untenable. your command of history in this arena is far greater than mine. is there anything to compare to this in our past? >> i can't think of a precedent. i think it took a serious emergency and recognition of more emergency to come. the danger of democracy being in the hands of a party that
prefers minority rule that is its own to the rule of the majority. we came together because we share this recognition and a lot of the people we approached to sign our statement i think also share this recognition that democracy is close to being on life support. so, we need, we all of us, need to take action and be half of the common ideal of democracy by rule by the majority. prohibiting the states from usurping the powers of professional vote tabulators and counters. quite a number of states now are considering or have already passed legislation that would rescind the power of the voters to determine who has won an election and reserve that right in the hands of the legislatures. i mean, this is really staggering. it took something monumental.
this is an all-hands-on-deck moment. >> it really is. morning consult poll, 60% of republicans now say that the results of the presidential election of 2020 should be overturned. 60% of republicans. bill, that's the problem, isn't it? it's those 60% of republicans. they are the people who are are supporting these elected officials and doing what they're doing. >> and intimidating the one whose may be no better as well. but would that 60% be quite as high if elected officials, who are not true trumpests, had said from the beginning, from november 4th or 7th, not later on, not whispering and then retreating. said no, biden won. there was no fraud. for it's terrible to spread this big lie. for it's going to undermine our democratic system and further more, it's terrible to now going forward set preconditions at the
state level to undermine elections in 2022 or 2024. if mcconnell and mccarthy and glenn youngkin in virginia said this over and over, it would be a core of trump supporters. the country would be awfully different if the core of trump supporters were 20 or 30% of the republican party and there was a united establishment, the "wall street journal" editorial pages refusing to post these types of 350e67al. it's the collapse of the elites, the establishments that collapse before this kind of authoritarian populism that make it so dangerous. and one whole party dominated by it makes it particularly dangerous. >> you've written about what moves our society from one time to another. 1968 and forward. what do you see -- what would be the positive version of the next
five years, say? >> well, a collective stroke of wisdom on the part of republicans that there's something more important than their personal political faiths. that would be remarkable. i'm not holding my breath, frankly. i mean, we've yet to see more than liz cheney and adam hissinger in the house, for example, stand up to the lies, the whole big steal lie. and i mean, i suppose it would be remarkable if some critical mass of republicans said wait a minute, why are we doing politics? why do we care about who's in charge? what do we value here? do we really plan to install a christian republic? is that what the united states
stand for? is that how we make more perfect union it's discouraging to behold the ruination of a party that once, whether one agreed with them or not, had identifiable values. >> thank you very much for today's focus, providing us with today's focus on what really is the central story of our time and that is the fight to preserve democracy in america. really appreciate it. thank you for joining us tonight. >> thank you. >> thank you. and coming up, a federal judge handling many of the cases from january 6th says he's now getting threats because of donald trump's big lie to those people.
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donald trump's lies is the growth of political violence and threats of violence in this country. we've seen it at town counsel and schoolboard meetings and a kentucky couple, who invaded the capitol january 6th, and as judges were getting all kinds of threats, and we have cases before us, because there are other people who buy in on the proposition, even though there was no proof that somehow the election was fraudulent. threats against federal judges have increased 400% in the last five years, according to the u.s. marshal service. four federal judges have been murdered since 1979. one of the victims was judge robert smith vance, killed in alabama at his home, september 16th, 1989, when he opened a package containing a mail bomb. judge vance was the father in
law of our next guest, joyce vance. joyce vance is a former federal prosecutor and a professor at the university of alabama school of law. also joining our discussion, former spokesperson for erick holder. both are msnbc contributors. joyce, i want to begin by saying i am so sorry for your loss. i will never forget the news of that day. it was so shocking that could happen to a federal judge. and tonight it seems as likely as ever, if not more so. >> you know, the destingds between just the small number of judges tragically killed in the last century and the attack this century on a judge's family is that those stemmed primarily from people who were upset about their individual cases or family members' cases. what's so troubling about the
era we're in right now in judge walton's comments is this is about people with a political agenda. and those are the sort of risks that judges face in countries where cartels have influence or the philippines or afghanistan, where two women judges were killed earlier this year. the -- and i'm not saying, for instance, that donald trump is directly responsible, but it's the rhetoric and the level of political divide in this country that can fuel troubled people towards attacks that's so very risky and troubling. >> i would say that donald trump is responsible for any attack on any federal judge who's handling any of these january 6th cases, as the judge was talking about the threats are pouring in against them. and matt miller, the marshall service which broo protects judges but doesn't follow them everywhere they go, they issued a statement saying "the u.s.
martial service does not have adequate threat detection capabilities to monitor an current setting. and i'm sure judges know that. >> the service has been begging for more funding and the judicial service has been asking for more martials to harden court houses. congress spent $4 billion to harden the capitol but hasn't done the same for judges, who, as you noted in the intro, have faced a 400% increase in threats in the last five years. tlegts come for a lot of reasons but the increase in threats, we think, is primarily driven by this culture of right-wing violence. some of the judges, who handled prominent cases, talked about when they would make prominent rulings, they would see an
increase of threats into their office. and so, even if you were to -- even if congress were to pass the funding you need, it doesn't address the underlying problem which is, as long as there's a culture of violence in this country that's encouraged by the lead orof the republican party at times, that is ignored and sometimes cultivated for political purposes by members of congress, you're going to have threats against other public officials because violence has become a political weapon and that's something that isn't going to change until the republican party fixes the problems and the demons that have overcome it. >> i want to read something else another federal judge said in these january 6 cases. this is about defendant kyle fits simmons. the judge is not allowing him to be free. he said geven his lack of
remorse and even pride, the court lacks confidence that fits simmons has somehow broken this pattern and fears the escalation of his behavior will continue and result in a graver act of violence, given that the trigger for his violence acts will be present for at least three more years. and joyce, that struck me. i hadn't really seen the timeframe of this threat quite as clearly as that. the judge is saying look, the provocation for these people is the very existence of the biden presidency and we know there's at least three more years of that. >> and that's the core problem here, as matt points out. as long as we have this climate where violence is acceptable. no longer anyone saying we solve our differences peacefully in america, then we continue to beat risk for this. so, the fact that republicans
won't come forward and say whatever your reasoning, motivation, we don't support the use of violence here, then we have problems and there are 94 federal districts across the country where federal judges sit in court houses and decide cases. not all of them related to january 6th. but increasingly cases that we treat in this country as politically divisive, rather than matrs for judges to decide and people to follow the law once decisions are made. that put them in the position of playing defense in 94 different districts with a lot of other responsibilities. the united states marshals track down fugitives. they work lots of the federal sex offender cases and handle court room security. what they've had to do when there's a threat against one or two judges is they have to take their resources from other districts and surge them to the district where the threat exists.
but when they're expanseival and broad, they can't do that. and that's why there's increased security for the federal judiciary. there thank you both for joining our discussion tonight. and coming up, schoolboard mem brrz increasingly under attack. we'll speak to the head of one school board in georgia next. d e school board in georgia next but not every tomato ends in the same kind of heinz ketchup. because a bit of magic unfolds when there's a ketchup for everyone. ♪ darling, i, i can't get enough of your love babe♪ ♪girl, i don't know, i don't know,♪ ♪i don't know why i can't get♪ applebee's. now that's eatin' good in the neighborhood. managing type 2 diabetes? applebee's. on it. -on it. on it, with jardiance. meet the people who are managing type 2 diabetes and heart risk with jardiance.
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>> i've seen what the training looks like. they call it culturally responsive training. it is definitely racist. people were persecuted and enslaved because they were a certain race. were persecuted b they were a certain race. how do you teach about slavery without teaching race? >> i'm a parent, not an educator. >> joining us now, jonathan capehart. alex asks that question about how do you keep race out of a discussion of slavery? then the parent gives up, and says, i'm a parent, not an educator. well, okay. then why are you talking about any of this? >> right. and the conversation that alex has with that parent goes on to
be more sort of mystifying and enraging as it goes on. including her having a conversation about how, you know, if someone is stopped by the police, and if the person is polite and follows the orders of the police, finishing her sentence, nothing bad would happen. as if we have not seen, what, three or four years' worth of videos of black men mostly in traffic stops or altercations with police officers, following orders, and still getting shot and/or killed. this idea that you can divorce race from our nation's history, from teaching children about the fullness of our history, is ridiculous. but as we're seeing in the virginia race, lawrence, and as you've been talking about all night, it's working somehow right now, if you believe the
polls, for glen youngkin in virginia. >> everton, there's always been tension from time to time in school board meetings about different things. how much worse is it now? >> oh, it's so much worse. first of all, thank you for having me. i wish it were under better circumstances. but we're seeing across the country, this at the local level. when we should be focusing on the academic recovery of our students, we need to deal with the distraction of folks coming to our meetings in mobilized and organized factions, talking about something that has nothing do with student achievement. >> jonathan, there's reporting from npr, from one school board
member, saying now what we're seeing are people who rush at the stage with fists in the air, shouting at us, yelling at me, and some of the school board members refer to them as the mini january 6th people. the ones who are doing it at school boards. this trump-inspired behavior seems to continue to draw energy from the trump side of our politics. >> right. i mean, we saw with our own eyes, with horror, what happened on january 6th, with people rushing up the steps of the capitol and crashing their way into inside the capitol. and ever since, we've seen the same kind of behavior happening at school board meetings around the country. over a whole host of issues. right now, we're talking about quote-unquote critical race theory, which is not even being
taught in schools. and even on vaccines, we've seen this kind of craziness happening at school board meetings. these meetings are not about achievement or how to educate children. it's about grown men and women venting their spleens at people in their community who are there for the proper purpose of ensuring that the children of their community, the students of their communities, get the proper education. the people disrupting the meetings are not about that. they're about something larger and more sinister, and something that quite honestly, lawrence, we're going to see more of as we go through 2022 and 2024. >> it was so interesting to see that parent in alex's video, because everton, i know you encounter that all the time in education. the parent doesn't like how
you're doing it, but doesn't know how to do it, and no suggestions. just don't do it the way you're doing it. >> absolutely. we have vision, and we're the most diverse and largest school system in the united states. we understand what it takes. and we're working together to make sure we serve all of our students' needs. there are a small group of individuals who don't like that. without vision, they're resorting to targeting us individually. we're not letting it get in the way. and we're focused on making sure we do right by our kids and serving our teachers and our staff. and it's going to end up well. but there will continue to be some rough patches in between. and we just have to keep the focus on what matters. unfortunately, we're being way too distracted by obstructionists at all of our meetings. >> everton blair, in the best of times the work you're doing is heroic.
now, more than ever. thank you. and thank you jonathan as well. >> thanks, lawrence. and tonight's "last word" is next. ast word" is next 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
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