On Tuesday, Donald Trump’s nominee for U.S. attorney general faced more than nine hours of testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, during which he denied being a racist and tried to distance himself from Trump’s most extreme promises. As he faced questions, Republican Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama was repeatedly disrupted by protesters who chanted “No Trump! No KKK! No fascist U.S.A.!”
Sessions has previously opposed legislation that provides a path to citizenship for immigrants, questioned if the Constitution guarantees citizenship to anyone born in the United States, and declared same-sex marriage a threat to American culture. He also voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, opposed the Voting Rights Act and has a history of making racist comments.
Congressmember Luis Gutiérrez (D-Illinois), co-chair of the Immigration Task Force of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and Rev. William Barber, president of the North Carolina NAACP and Moral Mondays leader, give their views.
Also on today’s show:
Rep. Luis Gutiérrez on Why He Will Not Attend Trump Inauguration & Will Instead Join Women’s March
We speak with Democratic Congressmember Luis Gutiérrez about why he will not be attending the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump and instead plans to go to the Women’s March on Washington the following day. “We need to come together because when women are attacked, we all are attacked,” Gutiérrez says. “When women win, we all win.” He is a member of the Judiciary Committee and is the co-chair of the Immigration Task Force of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
We Challenged President Obama, He Listened & Acted: Rep. Luis Gutiérrez on Obama’s Farewell & Legacy
Gutiérrez, President Obama’s fellow Chicagoan, talks about key achievements highlighted by President Obama during his farewell presidential address, which took place at Chicago’s McCormick Place convention center Tuesday night. “Healthcare is important. It’s a basic fundamental human right. It’s not a political right. … There are 20 more million people covered by healthcare. Ironically, large numbers of rural white Americans that had no access to healthcare were the primary beneficiaries of Obamacare. So, I’m excited,” Gutiérrez says. “Could we have done more? Could we have reformed our immigration system? Absolutely.”
Will Obama Grant Clemency to Puerto Rican Independence Activist Oscar López Rivera?
Gutiérrez says he has lobbied for President Obama to grant clemency to Puerto Rican independence activist Oscar López Rivera, but has so far not received a strong response. López Rivera has been in prison for about 35 years, much of the time in solitary confinement. In 1981, he was convicted on federal charges including seditious conspiracy—of conspiring to oppose U.S. authority over Puerto Rico by force. He was accused of being a member of the FALN, the Armed Forces of National Liberation, which claimed responsibility for more than 100 bombings to call attention to the colonial case of Puerto Rico. In 1999, President Bill Clinton commuted the sentences of 16 members of the FALN, but López refused to accept the deal because it did not include two fellow activists, who have since been released. In a rare video recording from prison, Oscar López Rivera said the charges against him were strictly political.
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In other media:
The Deep State Goes to War with President-elect: The Intercept
Glenn Greenwald’s must-read remarks on the dirty tactics being used against Donald Trump. “The serious dangers posed by a Trump presidency are numerous and manifest. There are a wide array of legitimate and effective tactics for combatting those threats: from bipartisan congressional coalitions and constitutional legal challenges to citizen uprisings and sustained and aggressive civil disobedience… But cheering for the CIA and its shadowy allies to unilaterally subvert the U.S. election and impose its own policy dictates on the elected president is both warped and self-destructive.”
ALEC “Pay to Play” on Display in Washington, DC: Truthout
If you’ve never heard of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), this article gives a taster of what it does. See also the ALEC Exposed site. You can stop ALEC bills becoming law by getting involved in your local and state political process.
Some Questions for Mr. Trump: Truthout
William Rivers Pitt outlines questions for Trump’s press conference today.
Coretta Scott King’s letter opposing Sessions in 1986
The widow of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. urged Congress to block the 1986 nomination of Jeff Sessions for federal judge, saying that allowing him to join the federal bench would “irreparably damage the work of my husband.” The Washington Post obtained and publicized it.