Phil Donahue is one of the best-known talk show hosts in U.S. television history. The Phil Donahue Show was on the air for almost 30 years, until 1996. In 2002, Donahue returned to the airwaves, but was fired by MSNBC on the eve of the 2003 U.S.-led war in Iraq because he was allowing antiwar voices on the air. We talk to Donahue about his firing and the silencing of antiwar voices by the corporate media — that continues to this day.
As the nation marks Veterans Day, we remember the Iraq War veteran Tomas Young, who died this week at the age of 34. He enlisted in the military just after the Sept. 11 attacks. In 2004 he was sent to serve in Iraq. On April 4th–his fifth day in Iraq–Young’s unit came under fire in the Baghdad neighborhood of Sadr City. Young was shot and left paralyzed, never to walk again. Young returned home and became an active member of Iraq Veterans Against the War. He remained in and out of the hospital for the rest of his life. Young was later featured in the documentary "Body of War" directed by Ellen Spiro and the legendary television broadcaster Phil Donahue. We broadcast excerpts of the film and past Democracy Now! interviews with Young. Donahue joins us in studio to discuss the impact Young made in the antiwar and veteran communities and the making the film, which was nominated for an Academy Award.
- Obama Backs Strict Net Neutrality Protections for Open Internet
- Egypt Militants Back Islamic State; U.S. Strike Said to Injure Top ISIS Leader
- Iraq War Veteran, Activist Tomas Young Dies at 34
- Veterans Affairs May Fire 1,000 Staffers After Healthcare Scandal
- Nigeria: Suicide Attack at School Kills Nearly 50
- India: 8 Women Die, Dozens Hospitalized After Mass Sterilization
- Mexico: Protesters Block Airport in Acapulco over 43 Missing Students
- U.N. Launches Panel to Investigate Gaza Deaths
- Palestinian Activist Rasmea Odeh Jailed After Conviction of Immigration Fraud
- New York Doctor to Be Released After Recovering from Ebola
- New York City to Ease Response to Marijuana Possession After Arrests Rise Under de Blasio
- Mumia Abu-Jamal Sues over Pennsylvania Law Restricting Prisoners' Speech
- Recording Shows Reagan Apologizing to Thatcher over 1983 U.S. Invasion of Grenada
- Slain Civil Rights Activists Among Winners of Presidential Medal of Freedom
Health officials have declared the Dallas region to be free of Ebola after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced it had cleared all 177 people it had been checking for exposure over the past three weeks. The Texas city’s Ebola worries began on September 30 when a visiting Liberian man, Thomas Eric Duncan, was taken by ambulance to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, where he was diagnosed with the disease. He eventually died on October 8 and remains the only person to die of Ebola inside the United States. Two nurses who cared for him came down with the virus but recovered. Meanwhile in West Africa, the United Nations is reporting the spread of the virus is slowing in some of the hardest hit areas of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. But local health officials are warning it is too early to declare a premature victory over the outbreak. We are joined from by Ryan Boyko, a Yale University graduate student who was in Liberia for three weeks helping the government set up a computer database of Ebola cases. Soon after his return to the United States, he was quarantined in his home in New Haven, Connecticut, an ordeal that ended last Thursday.
On the eve of Veterans Day, we discuss with Matthew Hoh, a former Marine who fought in Iraq, the hidden impacts of war on those who serve. In 2009, Hoh became the first known U.S. official to resign in protest over the Afghan War. "The costs of these wars are hidden," Hoh says. "Men and women coming from war have always been afflicted by suicide. The problem is we don’t get help until we hit rock bottom." Twenty-two U.S. veterans commit suicide every day, a toll that has surpassed the number of soldiers killed in combat.
As the nation prepares to commemorate Veterans Day, President Obama has authorized the deployment of an additional 1,500 troops to Iraq. The plan will more than double the current U.S. force in Iraq and will reportedly cost $5.6 billion. In a significant expansion of the U.S. military campaign against the Islamic State, military advisers will reportedly establish training sites across Iraq. The funding request will reportedly be presented to Congress during the lame-duck session that begins this week. In an interview on "Face the Nation" CBS broadcast on Sunday, Obama said the increased troop deployment to Iraq marks a "new phase" against ISIS militants — an offensive strategy, rather than a defensive one. The timing of the announcement has raised questions about whether the Obama administration waited until after the midterm elections in order to shield Democratic candidates from war-weary voters. We are joined by Matthew Hoh, a former Marine and State Department official who once served in Iraq. In 2009, he became the first known U.S. official to resign in protest over the Afghan War.
"I've Had Enough": Mexican Protesters Decry Years of Impunity After Apparent Massacre of 43 Students
Protests are continuing across Mexico after the apparent confession of gang members to the massacre of 43 teacher’s college students in the southern state of Guerrero six weeks ago. On Friday, the Mexican attorney general said suspects in the case admitted to killing the students and incinerating their bodies, leading investigators to the remains. The students disappeared following a police ambush, fueling public anger over government corruption and Mexico’s endemic violence. On Saturday, a breakaway group of protesters set fire to the door of the presidential palace in Mexico City after a march that drew thousands of people. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has drawn criticism for leaving Mexico to attend the APEC summit in China amidst the unrest. We are joined from Mexico by María Luisa Aguilar Rodríguez, coordinator of the advocacy unit for Tlachinollan, a human rights group working with the families of the 43 missing students.
- Obama Authorizes 1,500 More Troops to Iraq, Doubling U.S. Force
- ISIS Leader Reportedly Wounded in U.S.-Led Strike
- U.S., Iran Begin New Talks on Nuclear Deal Ahead of Deadline
- Obama Unveils Attorney General Nomination of Brooklyn Prosecutor Loretta Lynch
- Freed Americans Return to U.S. from North Korea
- Mexican Authorities Claim Confession in Student Massacre; Protesters Burn Presidential Palace Door
- Arab Israelis Protest Police Killing; Israeli Soldier Stabbed in Tel Aviv
- Israeli Ministers Approve Applying Law to West Bank Settlements
- Palestinian Activists Dig Through Separation Barrier 25 Years After Berlin Wall
- Germany Marks 25th Anniversary of Fall of Berlin Wall
- Catalan Voters Back Secession from Spain in Nonbinding Referendum
- Jobs Report: Employment Grows but Wages Remain Stagnant
- Detroit Judge Approves Bankruptcy Deal Cutting Pensions and Freeing Up New Spending
Matt Taibbi and Bank Whistleblower on How JPMorgan Chase Helped Wreck the Economy, Avoid Prosecution
A year ago this month the U.S. Department of Justice announced that the banking giant JPMorgan Chase would avoid criminal charges by agreeing to pay $13 billion to settle claims that it had routinely overstated the quality of mortgages it was selling to investors. But how did the bank avoid prosecution for committing fraud that helped cause the 2008 financial crisis? Today we speak to JPMorgan Chase whistleblower Alayne Fleischmann in her first televised interview discussing how she witnessed "massive criminal securities fraud" in the bank’s mortgage operations. She is profiled in Matt Taibbi’s new Rolling Stone investigation, "The $9 Billion Witness: Meet the woman JPMorgan Chase paid one of the largest fines in American history to keep from talking."
"The same Republican leaders who decry any mention of amnesty for undocumented immigrants are more than ready to grant amnesty to corporate tax dodgers," writes Juan González in his latest New York Daily News column looking at the renewed push to give tax amnesty to General Electric, Apple, Microsoft and Pfizer. Over the past decade, multinational companies have funneled more than $2 trillion in profits out of the United States and parked it overseas. Much of it is labeled “deferred taxes” and invested to make more money. They keep it overseas to evade paying our 35 percent federal corporate tax. Meanwhile, they are lobbying fiercely in Washington for a huge one-year tax reduction to only 5 percent before they’ll agree to repatriate their money.
- Supreme Court Review Likely After Same-Sex Marriage Bans Upheld in 4 States
- Boehner Warns Obama Against Executive Action on Immigration
- U.S. Strikes Hit Rebel Group in Syria; Civilians Reportedly Killed
- Report: Pentagon Failed to Act After 600 U.S. Troops Reported Chemical Exposure in Iraq
- NATO Chief Vows Continued Role in Afghanistan
- Explosions Target Fatah Leaders; Israeli Settler Tries to Run over Palestinian
- ICC Declines to Prosecute over 2010 Israeli Raid on Gaza Flotilla
- Report: 340 Firms Skirted Billions in Taxes Through Luxembourg Deals
- WHO: Ebola Cases Rising in Sierra Leone
- Former Navy SEAL Claims to Be Osama bin Laden Shooter
- Report: Obama Sends Letter on ISIS to Iran's Supreme Leader
- Belgium: Police Fire Tear Gas at 100,000 Anti-Austerity Protesters
- Catalan Voters to Cast Unofficial Vote on Secession from Spain
- Brazil: Authorities Probe Possible Police Massacre of 10
- "Internet Emergency" Protests Across U.S. Condemn Latest Net Neutrality Plan
- FBI Admits Agent Impersonated Associated Press Reporter
- Former Mississippi Prisons Chief Arraigned in Private Prison Bribery Scheme
- Princeton University Found in Violation of Title IX for Handling of Sexual Assault
- Syracuse University Students Occupy Building for Improved Resources, Transparency
- Florida: 90-Year-Old Man Faces Jail Time for Feeding Homeless
A historic number of marijuana legalization measures were on the ballot Tuesday, and most of them passed. Voters in Oregon and Alaska joined Colorado and Washington to make pot available for adults to buy in retail shops, while voters in the District of Columbia approved an initiative that makes it legal for adults to possess two ounces of marijuana and grow up to six marijuana plants in their home. One medical marijuana amendment narrowly lost in Florida, while another in Guam won by 56 percent, making it the first U.S. territory to approve such a law. Meanwhile, California overwhelmingly voted to change six low-level, nonviolent offenses, including simple drug possession, from felonies to misdemeanors. We speak with Ethan Nadelmann, founder and executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, whose lobbying arm helped draft and support many of Tuesday’s successful measures.
Jerry Greenfield, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, discusses the company’s campaign for a successful genetically modified food labeling measure in its home state of Vermont, as well as one in Oregon — where it renamed one of its ice cream flavors as "Food Fight Fudge Brownie" — that ultimately failed to pass on Tuesday. "We are really proud of the ingredients we use," Greenfield says. "It is just so hard to imagine that other food companies wouldn’t want to tell consumers what is in their food." Ben & Jerry’s plans to complete its transition to all non-GMO ingredients by the end of the year. "That transition to all non-GMO ingredients is not going to raise the cost of a pint at all to a consumer. So it can be done." We are also joined by one of the leading advocates of an initiative that passed in Hawaii to suspend the cultivation of GMO crops. "We are beyond labeling," says Dr. Lorrin Pang. "For us, it is really more of an environmental health issue."
Ballot initiatives to require labeling of foods with genetically modified ingredients, or GMOs, failed to pass Tuesday in Colorado and Oregon, after agribusiness giants Monsanto, PepsiCo and Kraft spent millions to help defeat the measures. But in a victory for food safety advocates, Hawaii’s Maui County passed one of the strongest anti-GMO measures ever, despite the opposition outspending supporters by a ratio of 87 to 1. The Maui GMO moratorium calls for a complete suspension of the cultivation of GMO crops until studies conclusively prove they are safe. Maui is often called "GMO Ground Zero" and the moratorium that passed Tuesday could have national implications because multinational seed producers, such as Monsanto and Dow AgroSciences, use the county to research and develop new seed varieties. Under the new measure, farmers who knowingly cultivate GMOs could be penalized with a $50,000-per-day fine. On Wednesday, Monsanto released a statement saying it plans to ask the Maui court to declare the initiative "legally flawed" and not enforceable. We are joined in Maui by Dr. Lorrin Pang, a public health official who helped draft and submit Maui’s successful GMO moratorium initiative.
While the two parties have plenty to fight about in the new Republican Congress, Mitch McConnell, the possible next Senate majority leader, says he shares common ground with the president on international trade. What does this mean for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)? We get analysis from Lori Wallach of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, who notes that while some analysts say GOP gains will accelerate the passage of fast-track legislation in Congress to enable an agreement on the TPP, “it is kind of hard for the Republicans to voluntarily delegate more authority to the guy they’ve been attacking as the imperial president who grabs power that’s not his.” The controversial so-called free trade deal involves 12 countries and nearly 40 percent of the global economy. Trade ministers from the 12 countries negotiating the trade deal are due to meet in Beijing ahead of the Asia-Pacific economic summit next week to continue negotiations.
- Obama Vows to Act on Immigration Before Year's End
- Obama on Midterms: Voters Sent a Message, as Did the Majority Who Stayed Home
- Obama Admin to Seek Congressional Authorization for Syria, Iraq Campaign
- White House to Await State Dept. Review of Keystone XL
- McConnell: Keystone Approval, Cutting Corporate Taxes Among Top Priorities
- WHO: Profit-Motive in Drug Industry Has Hampered Ebola Response
- Rights Group: U.S. Strikes Target Nusra Front in Northwest Syria
- Palestinians Seek U.N. Intervention as Jerusalem Unrest Grows
- Tens of Thousands Protest Student Disappearances in Mexico
- New Yorkers Hold Solidarity Rally for Missing Mexican Students
- Kuwaiti Guantánamo Bay Prisoner Freed After 13 Years Without Charge
- Marriage Equality Bans Overturned in Missouri, Kansas
- Texas Prisoner's Death Sentence Struck Down over Withheld Evidence
- Energy Lobby Challenges Voter-Approved Fracking Ban in Denton, Texas
- Richmond Voters Reject Chevron-Backed Mayor, Council Candidates
Mark Udall, Leading Senate Voice on NSA Surveillance and Environment, Ousted in Heated Colorado Race
The Republican gains in a majority of the midterms’ tightly contested Senate races included Colorado, where Cory Gardner ousted Sen. Mark Udall, a leading Senate voice on the environment and National Security Agency surveillance of Americans. Outside groups poured millions of dollars into the campaigns. We’re joined from Denver by Susan Greene of The Colorado Independent, a longtime reporter and columnist.
In Vermont, incumbent Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin has nearly been unseated in a shocking upset. In a process unique to Vermont, projections now show the governor’s race will be decided by the state Legislature after neither Shumlin nor his Republican challenger reached the necessary threshold of 50 percent. The state Legislature remains solidly Democratic, so Shumlin will likely keep his seat. But Shumlin was not considered a vulnerable candidate before last night, and Scott Milne, his challenger, was a relative unknown. The election is seen as a possible referendum on healthcare reform after Shumlin has vowed to make Vermont the first state with a single-payer healthcare system. The state’s embattled health insurance exchange implemented under Obamacare has been down since September. We are joined by Peter Sterling, executive director of Vermont Leads, an organization that advocates for single-payer healthcare in Vermont.
We get reaction to the Republicans’ big midterm victory from Sen. Bernie Sanders, Independent of Vermont. "What frightens me is what Citizens United has done to the politics of this country and the ability of billionaires like the Koch brothers and others to put unprecedented sums of money into elections," Sanders says. "I fear that we may be on the verge of becoming an oligarchic form of society where a handful of billionaires control not just the economy, but the political life of this country. And that’s just something we’re going to have wrestle with."
President Obama is facing a similar predicament as Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush — the last three presidents to serve two terms. They all governed for the final two years with the opposition controlling both chambers of Congress. "Presidents have the ability to define the last quarter of their second term, even if there is a strong opposition," says John Nichols, political writer for The Nation. "My fear with Obama is that he will let the Republicans do too much of the defining, and so this becomes an incredibly important moment for grassroots movements."