20 Episode results for "Brian Lehrer"
Introducing Impeachment with Brian Lehrer
"I'm announcing the House of Representatives moving forward with an official impeachment inquire you cannot find any reason to impeach president impacts are nationals Kurti and Congress has a whole host the news is rapid the political cries are loud and our democracy is in crisis. I'm Brian Lehrer and you need to know in impeachment news today. We're bringing you the latest in the impeachment inquiry story.
Brian Lehrer Comes to Here's the Thing
"Inch listener supported W N._Y._C. Studios I'm Alec Baldwin and you're listening to here's the thing Brian. Lehrer is the best of New York City when New Yorkers want a fair Merrill debate. We call Bryan. Let me jump in and misdemeanor if you have the right approach. Why has your zoning plan resulted live in so much opposition and neighborhood after neighborhood where you're trying to W._n._y._C. needed someone to help us process our own metoo moment? We called Brian. I've been shocked to find it in our own house. Depression ashes needs to be on US guys as I mentioned and win. Brian got the peabody award for broadcast excellence for his daily public affairs show on W._N._y._C. The jury put it's finger on exactly what he represents real engagement respectful dialog and getting to the Truth Brian Lara on W._n._y._C. and governor Cuomo joins us now to talk about a few things the grass roots group make the road released an anti Amazon on statement. Do you think that's just petty politics. I who is make the Road Brian. Do you want to characterize it. No I don't know who they are. You don't know at active as they have been in New York politics for this long ago. No who make the road is so that's my do know who make the road is the very thing that makes Brian so good at his job makes him a tricky subject. It's not about him which is exactly Lee what New Yorkers have craved for over a generation. We are in our thirtieth year. This is twenty nineteen. The world is not ended but nor has it improved all that month. How's the show changed well? The show changes is depending on the state of the world when we started in September nineteen eighty-nine it. Was this incredibly optimistic moment. The fall of communism was taking place right at that moment we started in late September eighty nine nine by six weeks into our run. The Berlin Wall had fallen and New York City had elected its first black mayor and there was all this optimism at the local level and at the national and international level freedom was breaking out around the world democracy was breaking out what ahead of time well but jump ahead all thirty years optimism is just not in right now but we also you eighty nine. You say interesting. How New York contradicts the national trend? Maybe <hes> George the first becomes president in the eighty eight Dinkins becomes mayor in eighty nine and some New York sometimes not always but some of that's interesting how they go contrary to the national trend there there are parallels to though <hes> you know when I think about nineteen ninety s it was the Clinton era and the Giuliani A- An aberration in New York that a Republican law and order candidate would be elected mayor but New York is thriving in many ways. The economy is growing crime is going down <hes> at the same time the economy is growing and crime has going down nationally and the Democrats are saying luck. We have a liberal in the White House and everything's getting better the Republicans are saying look. We have a conservative in City Hall and everything's getting better so sometimes it's just the larger trends of history and whoever wants to latch onto it politically. You're so measured. You're so careful like what pisses you off without naming names and getting you know stepping outside. Your role is Brian Lehrer sitting there in a bathroom with the ball of vodka and his hand throwing a plate of haagen-dazs at the T._v.. There's plenty that pisses me off and you can probably hear it on the show by the way I frame a question or by monologue that I'll do introducing a segment but at the same time I want to invite everybody in so sometimes people have said to me. Oh your show is the opposite of love rush limbaugh and it's not because he's conservative in arm liberal. It's because he makes no secret about the shows about what he thinks. There's a joke I've heard him. Tell that this show isn't about what you think. It's about what I and he says it in this kind of jokey pompous way and it's a joke but it's also true and that's the commercial radio formula. This isn't just about rush limbaugh for me. See I have opinions. I sometimes state my opinions or sometimes frame questions in a leading way that suggests an opinion but the show is not about what I think so if I'm expressing a point of view which I'm allowed to do on the show <hes> you know I'm not a robot in. Nobody wants me to be a robot but if I do expression opinion it's in the context of okay. This is what I think. Now everybody else who agrees or disagrees oh come on in and let's have a meaningful conversation about it. When that's how it's different from rush limbaugh you can pick any liberal or conservative or opinionated host now? When you mentioned <hes> Limbaugh in the reporter asked You I think it was in two thousand sixteen you were talking to the observer her he s you know why left-wing radio had failed you think you said him but that failure was a mystery to you? It's still a mystery to me. There are plenty of liberal progressive people in the country though there are a smaller alert percentage than there are conservatives by you know surveys over the years <hes> but the way are asking the question. <hes> feels like you think you know the answer so sometimes when people say they think they know the answer to that. It's sort of a corporate conspiracy. There's no company because it's not in the interest of corporate America to put liberal media out there <hes>. Is that where you going live it wasn't. I don't think I had an answer. A my thinking has always been that I've always felt and this is a pejorative. This is a judgment at the very least that the conservatives need their media predigested more than liberals. Do I don't want to judge all conservatives or I'll Fox News viewers rivers or the majority of them by saying conservatives need their opinions predigested for them but I will say that it's been a problem for the Democrats relative to the Republicans in the political space where Republicans do digest ask very simply what therefore you know we're for family values a storm to sound enforcement and a free economy Democrats struggle with it. Chuck Schumer wrote a book a number of years ago that I don't remember the title title of it but one of his main themes was democrats have to learn to say with their four in seven words and that was ten fifteen years ago and I don't think Chuck Schumer himself has figured out how to do that Haiku and the Democrats as a party have not figured out how to do that yet for whatever reason they think more in terms of complexity and <hes> so it sometimes does not accrue to their benefit earlier in your T._v.. Show for ten years. I had a weekly Public Fair T._V.. Show on the old W._N._y._C. T._v.. When that existed that was channel thirty one that's part of the history of W._n._y._c. when it was owned by the city there was this radio station and there was the television station and when Rudy Giuliani became mayor and decided he was going to get the city out of the broadcast business because that wasn't a function for city government fair enough but it was a threat to public broadcasting casting in New York City? <hes> W._N._y._C. is not wear on the radio dial public radio stations usually are there's a nonprofit public radio zone below ninety two F._M.. And we have got this technically commercial frequency of ninety three point nine so Giuliani considered selling all of W._N._y._c. into the commercial sector and ultimately there were a lot of people who really valued W._n._y._C. Radio W._N._y._C. T._v.. <hes> maybe not so much who ever heard of it even though they were doing some good things and that was sort of the deal that was struck the city soul channel thirty one for I think two hundred fifty million dollars and that helped make it okay to let public radio sort of retain our license but anyway that was the all W._n._y._C. T._v.. Did you enjoy that. I do enjoy television but they're really different. Different <hes> on television you have to look at the camera and radio is sort of an open book test people say oh you seem to know so much about the topics that you're talking about. Well I have notes there in front of <music> for everything and I refer to things and you can cheat and you can look down and you don't have to make eye contact so that makes radio a little bit easier but television is fun. It's nice to be seen. It's nice to be able to play with visuals. You know they're very different. Media what I liked about what you can read the person's expressions in their faces in new end of the there something to be sent about that in an interview. How do they behave the other thing about live radio as opposed to podcasts? People are constantly coming and going so you have to reset right. This conversation has to make sense if you tune in at ten o'clock or if you tune in ten Oh we have to constantly be thinking okay if this person tuned in to this half hour segment seventeen seventeen minutes through we wanted to be able to make sense for them but at the same time be able to progress for the people who've been there since the beginning. It's just sort of a whole other layer of presentational awareness that you don't have on television and they they don't have on podcasts. That's one of the interesting thing about podcasts having come in and become such a dominant form on the world podcast is like a private space you go into the podcast. You know you've chosen to subscribe. I been download and you can start it and stop it <hes> and in a way it's even more intimate than live radio because it's really just you and the podcast talking writing your ears. I think it also podcast. There's something about portion control. Thank God for my producer because I would argue. I'd say let's do the podcast like an hour and a half and then they'd be like no no no no no podcast like the right size. I've been told that one popular podcast I'm not gonNA call them out because I may have the story wrong. <hes> figured out exactly what the average length of a commute is in New York City and set their podcast for that length so that's targeted but look at <hes> old newsradio ten wins you give us twenty two minutes. We'll give you the world you know why because the average length of listening is no more than twenty two minutes they go through the whole cycle and they start over so if we wanted to do the most commercial show so we could possibly do in my format we would take the lead story of the day and do it three times an hour and three times the next hour for the to our show twenty minutes discussions about the one thing that people people most wanted to talk about because for us to the average length of listening is probably about twenty minutes per person per listening day even though for many people your shows on later in their day. They're out the door by then I when I'm not working I wake up. I take a shower. I have breakfast whatever with my kids but ten o'clock is right on what I might. Maybe I'M GONNA SHAVE COMB my hair so for Brian Lara's research people figure out. How long does it take the average man to shave and style has hair? That's how long like a segment should be that and one of the nicest nicest things anybody can say to me. Is You made me late for work. You have maybe late for work believing now <hes> when the T._v. show ends that your choice could you have gone on you wanted to change yeah would have gone on at that time. If if could've you were doing a radio show years ago in the I guess in the beginning of your careers in Albany. That's where music programming of my career music program. That's true and I read that in the seventies you said I think I'll just open the phone lines that true well. It was a little more complicated complicated than that <hes> when I was coming up my wheel goal was to be an F._M.. Rock D._J.. They were some of my role model. Stem cells going to be dennis else's Vince Kausar Pete he four hundred towel and these people this is when I was teenager were more than what we think of as D._J.'s spinning the hits they were kind of radio artists. They were playing an eclectic mix of music that you could play on the radio in those days on the F._M.. Rock stations when they were new musically speaking. Yes it was rooted in rock but they played jazz. They played folk. They play blue grass. I remember sitting on the Beach One summer during college listening to the old any w F._M.. And there was I think a rolling stone song and the next thing that came on was miles Davis doing an electric track from his album bitches he's brew and it blew my mind. What is this and they never heard anything like that before and it was like I want more of this yeah I said to people I said my own show and they said what do you want to do? I want to do anything I wanNA play old cheech and Chong clips ups and then I'm going to go from Mike <hes> Emerson Lake in Palmer to Rosemary Clooney like who cares so there was that part of the art to it there was also the spoken word part of the Arctic because these D._J.'s or hosts were telling stories. They were sometimes reading poetry very much made an impression on me as a teenager that Roscoe that particular D._J.. On the old any W._f._A._N.. Would would sometimes read poetry as I recall and they would do political monologues they would do social commentary inbetween playing rock records and of course they would talk about music and in the context of the times times and I was like I wanna do that well in college. I did a lot of that on the campus radio station and Albany State. I also did news and after college. I got my dream job. There was an F._m.. Rock station in in Albany that was just starting out and they were hiring. D._J.'s and I got a job like that and they said it's a six day a week job so okay you have your afternoon school. No no no school. They said it's six day a week job. So you have your Monday through Friday show and you have to come in and pick a weekend shift and because I was also interested in news and talk and the world I said well can I come in late Sunday night and open the phones and to my shock shock. They said yes and they've been doing that before no but in those days you needed public affairs credit with the F._C._C. With federal government even if you're music station that's all gone now. You don't need it. I probably would have been able to break it to this business under you know contemporary rules but at that time even a music station needed some news and some public affairs and they must have been like Oh. This kid wants to open the fallen for for midnight three on Sunday night. What have we got to lose and we get to check the box that we have our public affairs credit well? What happened was over time? I realized that I was putting much more mental energy and really time into preparing my three hour a week middle of the night talk show than my five hour a day five day a week music show and I realized this is really who I am. was that an unconscious wish fulfilment for you. It was conscious wish fulfillment by then you're just because I was curious and I like the idea of connection and I like the idea of talking to strangers but then after a while I realized this is actually a form of journalism and and I feel woefully under qualified to do this and I went back to school actually quit that job and went to Grad School for journalism so I could try to do it more seriously when you see I like to talk to strangers and that curiosity you have. Is there anything in your childhood that signal that did you grow up with your parent sitting with your dad by the radio. What was the home lifelock in terms of media? <hes> the home life was very average American in terms of media. <hes> you know we watched Canada. Katherine Definitely Candid Camera. I mean my parents. Were you know Pretty Cultured. They would I mean considering that. They grew up poor in the South Bronx. <hes> what'd you dad do he was an electrical engineer and then a home inspector and my mother was in elementary school teacher. <hes> and you grew up in the city grew up in the city grew up in Queens and they also though took us to theater. They took us to a lot of <hes> summer stock which was the way we could afford seeing Broadway plays and they had Broadway cast albums. They had classical music at home. <hes> and we watched you know. Regular television media was was average but. For some reason I got curious about talking to people not like me. Here's a certain way to look at my progression in media by getting so much out of those d._J.'s who are also radio artists when I was a teenager and feeling like I was learning a lot about the world by sitting in my bedroom and hearing these people who are more connected to things in the outside world I was like I want to do this Sunday and connect with kids like me also then as I got older I thought I wanna do this and connect to people not like me when I realized that that was a revelation that helped motivate me to want to open up the phones that help motivate me to get into journalism there. was you know maybe a social consciousness in that realizing that I was growing up in <hes> fairly comfortable. We certainly weren't rich but I never had a worry where my next meal was coming from kind of middle class home and I was realizing there was a lot going on in the world that wasn't like me and there was a lot going on that would broaden my perspective on things and I was curious. I wanted to learn more about the world and that got me interested in talking to strangers when you took phone calls back than in the beginning <hes> what kind of people calling on a Sunday between twelve the three A._M.. Well Combination of Oh. I would say you know rock music store owners who were up in the middle of the night and less than a had an outlet because I was inviting them to call in also older people that was interesting to because they were certainly not the music audience for that F._M.. Rock station but they were real talk radio listeners who tended to be older people who may be were retired or insomnia company then they wanted some company absolutely absolutely right sometimes some of those folks would try to call me off the air later and just sort of strike up a friendship and that was one of my early lessons in how radio is companionship Brian Lehrer the city's companion for more than thirty years another wonderful fixture of New York media is Philip Alanis. He's a novelist and attorney who writes the legendary in dairy social cues advice column in The Sunday New York Times but advice wasn't the gray ladies original idea I they wanted me to do a column you know one of those you'd know everything thing about me and my boyfriend and my dog and it was supposed to be about my life the life of Metropolitan Gentlemen Philip in New York going around to the movies and what I saw the theater I thought people will be so fucking doc. I can see that for three weeks to hear what advice New Yorkers really looking for download my full interview with Philip Alana's had here's the thing dot org more Brian Lehrer coming up. Here's the thing hanging supported by luminary the only place where you can listen to Lena Dunham new podcast the C Word Join Lena and Co host Eliza Bennett for a rich hilarious and heartbreaking look into exactly what it means when we call a woman crazy listen to the C Z. Word and so much more only on luminary. Get your first two months of access to luminaries premium content for free when you sign up at luminary dot link slash thing that's luminary dot link slash thing after that it's seven hundred nine per month cancel anytime terms apply tired of wanting more from your podcast APP graduate to Pocket Casts Your One Stop Shop or podcast listening search and discovery the beautifully designed APP it gives you more control and makes it easier to discover an organized podcasts with powerful tools to customize listening here all your favorite shows at pocket cast dot com slash W._n._y._C. or find us in the apple APP or Google play stores. This is Alec Baldwin. Here's Brian Lehrer on what he calls. The paradox of modern New York the city is cleaner. It is safer. We don't want to go back to the nineteen seventies where you couldn't walk down the street and there was a fiscal crisis. <hes> you know the city and states finances have been fairly good shape in recent years and obviously XLII crime as down but at the same time homelessness is at record levels all of these spectacular contradictions and hopefully there's a policy way out of those things but I think kind of that's the state of New York to meet New Yorkers dirtier than it's ever been. The homeless thing is a problem again. The housing thing is a problem the subways mess also this construction thing they rubber-stamp every building the scaffolding and spent struck to driving. If you could wave the wand and solve off off the top you had two or three problems right now and this is a fantasy in the city but would you address well writ large it would be affordability. The real estate industry holds incredible power in this city and the state and look look at Mayor de Blasio who I would say as trying to do something about inequality in the city if he could wave one and say you can only build affordable housing for the next eight years in New New York City and actually get affordable housing built he would do it but there's enough power by the industry that if they don't get a certain amount of return on their investment they're just GonNa <hes> blow it off and it takes a certain investment to bring the return that can makes it worth it for developers big risk to put their money up <hes> for the city owns land as well what prevents the city from taking land they own and designing properties there that can be affordable well. There was a lot of that in the nineteen eighties. Why isn't there more of an Ed Koch was made? There was so much more abandoned space at that time it was a lot easier to do now. There isn't as much though they're certainly are advocates who say the city should be taking still more of land that they own and turn it into affordable housing <hes> to the need the state's permission to do them. Is it time for the city to given back more of their authorities. Do you believe in my opinion yes because why do we need people from Genesis celerity and and I live in rent selena outside. It shouldn't be up to them to say what we do here. It shouldn't be a up to us to say what they do in Rensselaer which by the way is pronounced rensselaer wrestler sorry. It's like Nevada Nevada. If you work in media you say Nevada all the time except when the primaries and caucuses upon us in the presidential cycle and then we go that saying vodka well it's wetzlar one of our guests at the word Colegio and supposed to Colegio I was like E._S.. That's another except collegial is way collegial is right now. <hes> <hes> the Great Brian Lehrer wake up in the morning and plugs into media. How how does your morning media feed begin my morning? Media Feed begins with morning edition and I'm listening to what we're doing locally from our spectacular newsroom which is the jewel of W._n._Y._C.. As far as I'm concerned when real news organizations are going out of business left and right especially for local news W._N._Y._C. in the nonprofit space has wound up being able to grow the newsroom to dozens of people and we have a bigger reporting staff actually going out and digging and doing investigations then some of the <hes> old commercial news operations either in broadcast or in newspapers on the way in I'm reading from various news sources the times and the Atlantic and slade and National Review in the Wall Street Journal mix of you know liberal on Conservative and other and sources that cover different kinds of stories. I'll usually consume a little cable T._v.. Audio on an APP on the way in you know give a little less into what. C._N._N.. And M._S._N._B._C. and Fox are doing on their morning shows. That's my consumption in the morning and it's GonNa vary from day to day to day because to some degree I'm following the thread of the topics what's that I know we're going to be talking about that day and that might lead me to any kind of new source. Sometimes my entry point to the media in the morning is twitter just to see as news aggregate or use twitter as a news aggregate or because we at the Brian Lehrer show follow will a whole bunch of journalists and news organizations and I can see from that what of the Zillion new stories that I could find on all the news apps people are actually talking about now. I couldn't think what the beachhead would be for the trump question but wherever for the Democrats put forth. What do you think that person needs to do to be trump and twenty twenty? What what are the Democratic Party need to do to make that happen? I think there's a fine line that that person has to walk. I think there's a real tension within the Democratic Party over the argument that that it needs to be someone like Joe Biden who can appeal to those quote Unquote Obama Trump voters in Pennsylvania and Ohio etc who biden could bring back who maybe some of the others couldn't on the other hand so much of the Democratic victory in the House of Representatives in the midterms last year came because of huge turnouts by younger voters you know every election cycle they say oh the youth vote is GonNa rise up and it's going gonna be different and often it doesn't happen it kind of happened last year <hes> and to what degree it happens in twenty twenty remains to be seen so they're those two different competing visions of what kind of candidate there's also something the thing that trump does that I'm not sure the Democrats any Democrats have figured out how to navigate yet people ask is trump a baby is he crazy or is he a political genius and I tend to fall on the political genius answer meaning. All this provocation that he does is not from lack of discipline. It's because it's something that he has honed. It's the Steve Bannon theory sorry to you know Bannon says if somebody on the right does something kind of outrageous on purpose it's in part to draw an overreaction from the left like boxing right when trump when out there in two thousand sixteen and said about John McCain oh I prefer people who weren't captured. Oh my God this is going to be the end of the campaign well. Obviously it wasn't when he said about Megan Kelly after she asked him a tough question in a Fox News debate she's she's bleeding from the wherever people are but he was actually tapping into something that some people wanted and these things that a lot of people think are a bug with respect to trump aren't a bug their feature and the Democrats haven't figured out how to play that yet so often they get lured into tip ticking trump and saying oh my God this is outrageous and we're headed toward a racist sexist authoritarian country country more than before and it may be true but at the same time it doesn't necessarily win the election so obviously they have to talk about policy they avoided impeachment investigations and stuff on the Stop in two thousand eighteen and they talked about in healthcare and other kitchen table issues and that helped a lot and I think they let the undertow of objection to trump sensibilities which everybody knows how they feel about already one way or another her play itself out as a factor so they probably have to do that on the other hand and we others problem in the media to you know. Why is there so much trump coverage? It's because there's a tension between not getting sucked within every time he throws out a little bit of Bait and ignoring things that are so outrageous that they shouldn't be ignored. There's no right answer. There's only attention and so in political terms for Democrats they have to figure out how to walk that line and that's one of the things that going to determine if somebody can be trump in two thousand twenty I think that the way to be trump as you just have to point your finger right at his skull if your finger like an inch from his temple and say this guy said this and this guy ended don't back off from the indictment of his behavior I when you say is he a genius trump has a talented for something but I think it would be so easy to be trump and twenty twenty. There's a way you'd you'd have to find those pressure points and drive insane because I think he has nuts the argument against your way of running against trump though is that everybody already knows how they feel about trump so if you're taking dead rhetorical aim at him and not letting him off the hook it could just re polarize everybody into the positions that are already in and his supporters will get you know pumped up from that and his opponents will get pumped up from that but it doesn't change anything no matter what happened but have you noticed notice this no matter what happens with respect to the Russian investigation or policies whatever it is trump's popularity remains in a very narrow range right. It's like thirty five to forty percent. Never goes below never goes above Bill Clinton for example when he was going through impeachment and everything people say oh what made a more popular which it did but his popularity ratings were so changeable he would be way down he would be way up. We're in a different kind of moment. Now where people already are frozen in terms of what they think about trump so I'm not sure that making trump the issue beats trump is everybody just stays with. I think that I respect what you're saying that overly simplifies when and I'm referring to which is you have to have people that can excite their side of the aisle and galvanized their side of the aisle with their ideas in their rhetoric which includes the indictment of trump the way that trump excites you gotta get in there. You gotta get dirty with trump. Somebody once had a liberal is a person who won't take his own side now. My last quick question is Brian. Lehrer runs out the door. It's a sunny day in Manhattan. He's got the time to the guy that was the host of music show. What's your pleasures pleasures ease at the opera is at the symphony is jazz clubs is it what does Brian Lehrer do in New York to have some fun? It is first of all going running on those streets of New York. I love to run. I don't run long distances but I try to run about three miles every day. <hes> it's my then once upon a time I did a lot of Yoga and meditation. Now I run. I once had a conversation with Peter Seagull on the the host of wait wait. Don't tell me WHO's really runner. I'm not a really around I know he's really a runner and he was making a big case about not running with headphones so you could be very present and so it was zen for him in that respect I find for me if I just go running with nothing. I'm still thinking about work but I'd still thinking about the world so I like to go into my music and run and I'm escaping so I do that. <hes> theater art museums jazz club restaurants. What's your what's Brian? Lehrer like to eat ethnic foods. Are you crave. One of the ethnic foods I like is Ethiopian food because you can eat it with your hands that have that wonderful in Jira Brad and you can get vegetables or you can get me eight and then you just take that Brad and you scoop it up and the opium food. I'm going to end with this. which is we paint this picture Brian Lehrer on the subway with the New York Times Reading The Times on his way to work he goes running Zan out in the streets of New York and he loves Ethiopian food? You really are the Ultimate Yorker Brian there. There is no ultimate New Yorker but thank you ultimate New Yorker Brian Lehrer broadcasts his ultimate New York talk show the Brian Lehrer show every weekday at ten A._M.. On W._N._Y._C. I'm Alec Baldwin. Here's the thing is a production of of W._N._Y._C. Studios testing one two three testing one. That's me here we go so maybe the deaf literally so I have very loud. Okay try allergies. What's that bringing bringing bringing his Majesty's on Koa? I hear US this <hes>. But how can I be sucking on.
Ellis Island Opens (1900) w/ Brian Lehrer
"Hello and welcome to this day in esoteric political history from radio topa. My name is jody. Advocates this date december seventeenth nineteen hundred ellis island in new york harbor opens as an immigration inspection station on the day it welcomed over two thousand immigrants. Does the united states the island has been used as an immigration facility. A few years earlier but that building burned down and this was the opening of the fancy new building and would turn alice island into ellis island in many ways the symbol of the american immigrant experience at least in the first few decades of the twentieth century I don't really need to play up. The significance of alice island both in terms of the way the immigrants who came through their transformed in this country but also the place it has in the public imagination. So let's just get into this segment. I will say though that. I really liked doing something. Nineteen hundred nikki. We've done like. I was looking at all the years we've done it with like eighteen. Thirty four nineteen seventeen and nineteen hundred. Nice and clean. That's not the only reason this. But i do like the the cleanliness but mostly for the nice round number. That's exactly. It was just easier to type when i fewer easier to do math. When you're trying to figure out how far away it was exactly. That of course is nicole. Hammer of columbia. Hello mickey hello. Jody and our guest for this episode. Very special guest is brian. Lehrer host of the brian lehrer show on wnyc. Brian thank you for coming on. Jodi and i will say that. I was a producer on brian. Show for many years. I think. Brian is the voice of new york city and the best radio host in the country. But thank you for a guest on this program up. Bryan you've been on. Wnyc for a long long time. Where you do you broadcast live that day in one thousand nine hundred at a else island opened well. I was just back from the spanish. American war of helping the united states establish american imperialism around the world for the very first time. I thought you looked like a rough writer not on the internet long not quite but but let's start actually maybe just Describing the island itself. I mean you want to paint the picture of of where it sits in new york city. Well ellis island is in new york harbor. It's right by liberty island which houses the statue of liberty so they are like a pair. Of course there are so intertwined. People think of the statue of liberty and emma lazarus's palm in conjunction with immigration. But it wasn't liberty island. It was ellis island right by it. That people actually went through and part of it is in new york and part of it is in new jersey and they of actually squabbled and even gone to the supreme court over. Who owns it and i think that turns out to be over eighty percent new jersey. But that's a little footnote. If could nicky. What is the historical context here in one thousand nine hundred four you know. Let's let's think of this as a building big new facility that needs to do some work. Why do they need to build a big new facility in this place at this time for a couple of reasons i mean one. Reason is this is near the start of federal control of immigration so before this point immigration was controlled in the us. It wasn't that people could just come in willy nilly but it was largely done by the states So the federal government is going to take over this role of controlling immigration. And it's happening at a time. That immigration into the united states has changed dramatically so starting probably about ten years earlier in eighteen ninety. The pace of immigration to the us from europe was escalating rapidly. It was so much higher than in any previous period and it was coming from different places so instead of coming primarily from britain Bit from germany from nordic countries. Now it's coming from southern and eastern europe and that's changing the type of immigrants coming to the us the number of migrants who were coming to the us and now there's this new system that's filtering those migrants into the us as well. And by the way ellis island little known fact Talked about obscure history. Who has ellis. Samuel ellis was a businessman who at the time you know when private citizens own these islands on the land public didn't didn't own ellis island as i understand it around the time. The revolutionary war began. I believe Seventeen seventy five that sky. Sammy will ellis it from some other guy and set up a bar there where fishermen would stop and eat and drink and then when the federal government took it over after he died. They kept his name which is actually incredible to me. You know what is it still named after this guy who happened to own a bar and own the island until it became public land When there's so many other people who could represent what ellis island has become who could be named after but it still named after this bar. Owner guy samuel l. I dunno if making ready to add do that. Well yeah i mean the prehistory of these islands before it becomes sort of ellis island is fascinating. Because it's not just that it has this bar and is named after this guy samuel ellis But it was part of these league three oyster islands that were constantly moving in and out of private and public ownership and this particular island. It was this place where they would hang pirates. Who were convicted of a high crimes. It was this place where once the federal government got involved. The army used to store massive amounts of gunpowder which made people really nervous. They were like wait. Please don't stock pile explosives this close to a major city in the us so it has this kind of rich and lively history prior to becoming this immigration stop then you mentioned the authors. I think it was also once known as easter island for all the oysters and You know. I don't know about eating shellfish in new york harbor these days but i guess at one time. That was the thing to do do it today. But they used to be Harbor yeah i mean this this gets to this larger thing that i think about all the time which is new. York city is a city of water and people don't tend to think of that but we really are and you know i think more and more our relationship with water starting to come back a little bit more But it's funny. You bring up at brown. Because i've this makes me think that this really is even more than i thought a new york story when we're talking about real estate drinking federal land and of course immigration and the way that that shaped the city and so brian. What is your sense in. The context of what nikki described of the way immigration was shifting. An immigrant communities were shifting to the united states How that immigration shaped new york city in the first couple of decades of after ellis island opened right well the conception that other people would have of new york city certainly would include a lot of italian. A lot of jews A lot of irish irish came before primarily but as ellis island was opening. There were a lot of people coming in from southern europe. As nikki were saying immigration was changing in that way. I mean you know. There was the time maybe a century before when a lot of germans were coming in the english thought the germans were unassimilated bowl and then the germans thought the irish were on a similar bowl and then they all thought the italians were unassailable and call them. Black did and and you know. All four of my grandparents probably came through ellis island as jews from poland. I know for sure my maternal grandmother and funny enough my parents who double check with just before i went on with you did. That's my research is They weren't entirely sure. If my father's parents or my mother's father also came through ellis island but part of the story is that there was a class system so as i understand it and i as i've gotten it through family law as well as my understanding of history if you had enough money to buy a second class ticket i believe it was called or something higher. You didn't go through ellis island you got screened. Maybe on the ship and it was really only. If you didn't have money went through. I guess they call it. Steerage that you wound up getting screened more heavily through ellis island and having to wade through hours long process Family law on my mother's side of the family is that my mother's mother and some relatives who came with her had enough money to buy second class tickets but they got stolen in europe. They didn't have enough money to re buy them and so they did. Come through. steerage did come through ellis island and there were two people in that group who are sick. One had conjunctiva itis so they were seen to have red eyes and were held up for a while and she got through and the other one was much sicker. She got the spanish flu right at serious health problems and had to kind of hope that they wouldn't pick up on that because they would have sent her back. That's my understanding but they didn't pick up on it in. The family breathed a sigh of relief and one element of that as i gather The when ships were come into the harbour there first stop was actually manhattan and they would let off first class passengers and then circle back and let off third class and steerage passengers at ala silent and process them through there. Which i think just sort of undercuts that romantic notion we have of coming into new york harbor. The statue of liberty and everyone having this immigrant experience if your first immigrant experiences you land and you get to watch all the rich people get off the first and then you have to go somewhere else. That's probably actually complicates a little bit of that. Romantic notion does get. You used to life in america. I would say that. Brian's story is more emblematic of most immigrants went through and does puncture some of that romance because it is a long inspection process There's a detailed medical inspection. It sent two percent of the people who pass through ellis island which is a significant number of people back to their port of origin. And then also there were all kinds of reasons why you could be detained or sent back. If you were believed to be a potential public charge you could be sent back or not. Let through if you had political beliefs that didn't gel right with people the united states. So if you were an anarchist or bolshevik you could be turned away. If they believed were criminal or engaged in immoral practices. You could be turned away if people were woman. You couldn't leave ellis island with a man who weren't related to so there were all of these ways in which you were already running into barriers to entry to the united states which i think is important because we do have very romantic image of people filtering through ellis island and this being an era where there weren't really immigration controls but at ellis island. There really were so turn back. Women who are believed to be. Prostitutes didn't turn back man who were believed to be john. That's typically how it works in america today. The person who is engaged in sex work tends to be punished a lot. More than the person who facilitates it the other element. That's part of this romantic story in can be complicated as well. Is this notion of names. Getting changed at ellis. i'm brian. is there any family. Laura in the in the larry family about your name getting changed in that. I know of no whereas german name. That means teacher. Some people take it to me learner so could be either side of that equation. But since it's a german word seem to be in the family in europe for many many generations unchanged at and a lot of families tell themselves a story. A lot of immigrants. Have the story that their name got changed. An anglican is in ireland. And that actually doesn't appear to be. The case. I mean is mostly the case that what was happening at ellis island was they. Were checking the manifest against who was coming off the boat and they weren't actually changing names there mostly just like checking names off a box and i think people change their names maybe a little later in their immigrant experience when they were trying to get a job or when they got married. Or you know for other reasons. But it's a that's i think. One of the stickiest myths about ellis island is that they came and said in some enterprising person behind a desk said no. I'm going to give you a more american name right now on the spot yes. The immigrants had much more agency in that process. Then we are generally led to believe and we should say that ellis island wasn't in-service that long for central. It is to american mythology as as we mentioned at the top of the show. It opens in one thousand nine hundred you know so ultimately as immigration dies down in the united states you have in the nineteen forties ellis island is used to hold. Pow's So people are seen as enemy aliens or enemy combatants from germany italy and japan and then by nineteen fifty four just closes down and collapses into disrepair for the better part of a decade and then for much of the time since nineteen fifty four and has fallen into a little bit of a land dispute a classic new york new jersey land dispute. We won't get into that but if people wanna go check that that section of the wikipedia pages i'll give it a b plus It's mildly interesting But it's no toledo it's no toledo orbit if you're a connoisseur of new york new jersey spats as brian and i it's it's a good one to check out so it really is in those first two decades. That seems to be the height of immigration. If you look at the numbers through ellis island what starts to change. Is there a law that starts to change things. Mickey there is a law that starts to change them a couple of them actually. There's a real move in response to this new immigration towards native as an immigration restriction. And there are a lot of laws attempted in the late. Nineteen but in nineteen twenty one and nineteen twenty four you get these immigration restriction laws that are based on quotas and the nineteen twenty four law is a quota based on the eighteen ninety census Which means that. It's only allowing in the people who are arriving in eighteen ninety. So we're talking about northern and western europeans large And only two percent of the numbers that were coming in an eighteen ninety so it is a dramatic shrinking of the numbers of people and where those people come from Who can come into the united states and that fundamentally remakes what immigration looks like. There's no real need for ellis island anymore after this law is passed. And that's the big part of the reason why winds down the noodle hosting current affair show people who support let's say donald trump stephen miller immigration restrictions. Point of view will point to this history. And say it's a natural ebb and flow in. Us history that there are periods. Where many many many immigrants come in the millions in the ellis island period There was an early big way and then a bit of retrenchment and then the big wave during our silence decades and then they will argue that there needs to be sort of digesting process. You know as those many millions of new people become americanized and assimilate not necessarily in the bad sense about word in to life in the us and into the us economy and that we've been in another one of those phases since the nineteen sixty five immigration at all the way to today with so many immigrants legal as well as undocumented and show. It's time for a pause again and they will make that argument and say this is a rational thing that a country that takes in many many immigrants You know should go through as a as a reasonable cycle so just saying whether we agree with that argument or not it recalls. That moment that you were just talking about where native ism rose after a period of class. Ungracious but i do think at some fundamental level. It is a lesson of history to just realized that this has always been a country that has pulled the levers of immigration. You know and Has gone through different periods. Doing so i mean. I think to state the obvious that you know the other part of looking at history is to realize that we've all benefited from immigration and if our forefathers benefited from immigration than people now should as well so the lessons of history cutting both wet and of course something rational connects with something that is pure xenophobia and one can leverage the other and you know maybe that distrust of anybody we consider the other in human nature is so deeply rooted that if there's an excuse Like i think one of the excuses at the end of world war one which is around when ellis island immigration started to wane and you know leading up to that first law nineteen twenty one. It was just a couple of years after the end of were one. There was like a red scare at that time right. They didn't want you said bolsheviks nikki they didn't want bolsheviks coming in. But then i think it connected with this sinoe phobia. That people had in the fact that they didn't like a lot of jews coming in and a lot of italians coming in. And how do you pick apart. What was sort of rational national policy and what was just hayden fear and racism and xenophobia. We gotta say it was all in there. Yeah and it can be difficult to have those conversations about what the motivations were because so much of this history gets wiped out in some ways or we just don't we just don't tell it in detail. We think of the us prior to the twentieth century as a place with immigration restrictions. Right we think the us restricting based on national origin but not on political ideology but of course this period people were being turned away left and right because what their politics were which would seem to clash with our ideas of the us. Is this place where you have a first amendment right to whatever politics that you want and so because we don't tell accurate enough things about our past. It's difficult to draw. Good lessons from him Let's start to wrap up a little bit but brian. I wonder if we can talk a little bit just about how immigrants have shaped new york and her story of immigration in particular as related to new york. Your show is such a home for immigrant. Voices and sort of you know really does treat new york as the city of immigrants and i'm just wondering like over the course of your time on the radio like how you've seen immigration change and shape the city in different immigrant communities leave their mark on on new york city over the last thirty forty years or you know doing what we call a local radio show and there is a national element. I guess i might as well plug it. There's a thing called. Brian lehrer a daily politics podcast but doing primarily a local show. Our definition of local is anything of interest to people in new york listening area and that wind job including so many things that are international. Because lives here. When you look at new york today there were so many nationalities here in fairly large numbers because of the immigration act of nineteen sixty five which reopened immigration after forty years of restriction after the ellis island era and the nineteen twenty s laws. That nikki was talking about the shut. It down now. There are people from everywhere in fairly substantial numbers. Koreans and chinese and indians and jamaicans and dominicans but people who had footholds here those groups started to explode so much the biggest immigrant group to new york since nineteen sixty five as i understand it as people from the dominican republic which is not a big country. New york is majority either foreign born or the children of foreign born and they're from everywhere. You can identify an individual place. And i guess one thing i want to chat about. Nikki is just sort of with ellis island particular How much it has helped shape a story of immigration. And i mean you know. Maybe it's just the opening scenes of the godfather. But i feel like that. That image of a steamship coming into new york harbor. An immigrants with their face pressed against the glass and looking out and seeing the statue of liberty and seeing. I mean it's such a powerful story and obviously such fodder for being romanticized and i think about the immigrant experience today. I mean my wife teaches at a school for new immigrants and most of the students who end up her school you know crossed the border at night and undercover of darkness ended up in a detention center ended up on a bus to a family member. They'd never really met in new york city and then they don't have that romanticize story not to say that one was more difficult than the other or whatever but i just wonder vicky how much you feel like because there isn't that tidy story that visual anymore maybe we stink of immigration different. Well i think we do but again like that. Tidy story never quite wasn't story. You did have that amazing moment of coming into the harbour of seeing the statue of liberty of seeing new york's skyline and that of course it's very powerful but then that experience of detention that experience of shuttling off into parts unknown bout was for many people not everyone stayed in new york. They went into the interior to meet up with family or to go to a frontier that they knew nothing about and so there is something that i think lives on in our immigration story about the statue of liberty and the emma lazarus poem on the base. And this very romantic notion that i think is important to our understanding of what it means to be an american But i think that it does need to be a fuller story of just how much dislocation detention surveillance and then ultimately going out into the wilderness has been part of the the immigrant experience. And there's always the tension between assimilation and the fear of losing your uniqueness but these days there's airplane travel 'em so you can more easily maintain tries to the culture that you had you can go back and forth if you can afford plane ticket and of course we're talking about these old days where people came from europe where it would be days or weeks on a boat if people coming from mexico or elsewhere in the western hemisphere. It's it's easier to go back and forth even by And so there isn't the same romance of. I'm going to america to start over right. You are still connected to your family. And more cases in more ways that in those days and that creates that you know one foot in each world kind of experience more than people had one hundred years ago other we should mention that as very talion immigrants it was more of a circular migration where i think probably a quarter of italian immigrants who came to the. Us actually went back to italy so there was a little bit of that. But certainly you're right with travel options now in non pandemic times ma- much more flow back and forth all right. Well we will leave it there and that brings us to the end of the show Nicole hammer thanks to you as always thank you. Jodie and brian. Lehrer thank you. This has been really really fun to chat with you again. Brian nice to see great. See you thanks for having a great podcast. Brian show of course is on ten to noon everyday on. Wnyc and there is the national podcast. You council listen to the local shona podcast. You still doing the weekend edition of the podcast. That i did i did. I wasn't setting you up. So yes i listened to all so thank you brian. This day in esoteric political history is a proud member of radio. Topiary from pri a network of independent listener supported artists owned podcasts. To like to support us directly or support the work of radio topa in general. You can do so. There's a forum on our website. This day pod. Dot com. A researcher and producer is jacob feldman. Our producer is britney brown. Get in touch with any questions or comments about the show. You can email us this day. Pod at chima dot com or find a contact form at the stay pod dot com. My name is jody african. thanks again for listening and we'll see you soon radio.
This Friday Is A Newly Invented Holiday. Heres What and Why
"The public theater returns to audio drama with groundbreaking bilingual spanish and english production of romeo equal yeta directed by sahim aleve with loopy dongyang s. Who yet that. And plunged gus. Daniel romero listen wherever you got. Podcasts listener supported w nyc studios. I'm brian lehrer. This is my daily politics. Podcast from wnyc studios. This is a weekend special year inches. Zooming when we've all had birthdays with no parties and have been so many deaths with no funerals. We could all use a check in from a friend or loved one even if it's overdue right and that's why wnyc's death sex and money team has come up with a new holiday and they're calling it. Pick up the phone and call day. It'll be next friday week from today. March twenty sixth. And with me now to explain is death sex money host and a sail hannah. i'm brian. So what is pick up the phone and call day. Pick up the phone and call. They is holiday that we have declared full disclosure with the help of some expertise from your team. The brian lehrer show team. Because we were gonna casting about for a way to have help our listeners get out of that funk of isolation and we were trying to figure out. Should we pair up people to call. What should we do and we just decided you know what. Let's just all together. Make the commitment that that person. It's in the back of your head that you've been thinking about making a phone call to but just haven't gotten around to it because you don't have the energy you're not sure what to say. Were declaring a holiday where we're all going to make that call together. You brought a relevant clip from your latest episode. One a set this up for us. Yeah this latest episode is it's really beautiful Producer yasmeen khan is a reporter in the in the wnyc newsroom and she was reporting a year ago as new york city with shutting down and she met a woman named donna. Perry who lives in mill basin who had just recovered from covid and who had just lost her best friend to covid and when yazmin called her up a year ago she was out delivering meals in her neighborhood And and jasmine wanted to just check in and say what has happened in your life in the last year And they talked about a lot of things but one thing. Donna talked about was the The way she has tried to be very intentional about continually reaching out to people through her church friends even people who don't call her back where it's not been a reciprocal relationship. Just making that call. Here's what she said. There's so many people in this pandemic that are isolated that are quarantining alone and as not one person in their life that's available to say. I love you bye just those three words. I love you. Extend grace to people you know if you if you know the president has picked up the phone call you. It's okay you if you thought about them. Pick up the phone you know. Pick up the phone take up holiday. Pick up the phone. So here's what we're gonna do listeners. With you to pick up the phone right now and this is just for a few minutes. This is basically a short segment. That's a promo to get ready for holiday preparation for next friday. But let's do a short call in on not calling or not being called with anna as kind of pre event for pick up the phone and call day on knock calling. Is there someone in your life. You've been meaning to call call in and tell us what's keeping you from calling that person and on the flip side if you need a call. Tell us about that too. Are you hoping to hear from a certain friend or loved one and you're wondering why they haven't reached out sooner. Maybe hearing your story will inspire other people to pick up the phone next friday and while the calls are coming. Wow look the board feel right up to something you're onto something. How should we decide who to call next friday. You know i have been thinking about who. I am going to call and i'm gonna i'm gonna admit i'm gonna call a few people because I have a friend who lost her husband. Who i've been trading notes with like tax checking in but i just haven't called and talked to her And i i want to do that. And i haven't done it because i sort of have this feeling that it would take. I don't have enough time. Like i wanna make sure. I reserve time to have that long phone call. But i need to just call and tell her i love her and see how she's doing The other thing that i i got a call a few weeks ago and it was so random and beautiful. I got a call from a colleague worked with for ten years who i was very fond of but we fell out of touch and he called me on a saturday. My phone rang. When i was at the playground with my kids and i was like I wonder what this guy needs from me. We haven't hurt momentun them ten years and he just explained you know i've been feeling isolated and i just made a commitment to myself whenever somebody like pops into my mind i'm going to give them a call and we had this lovely catch up that i just was so glad that he took the initiative to do that. So that's another way just to pay attention to who pops into your mind and just make totally random phone call and see what happens. Great and listeners. We're going to tell you before we wrap up the segment. How you can officially participate in pick up phone and let me get it right. I'm still memorizing the name of the holiday. You would with a lot of words and pick up the phone and it's not like columbus day you know but we don't celebrate that anymore. Pick up the phone and call day. Pick up the phone and call day. Let's hear what christine in maplewood has to say. Hi christine you're on. Wnyc hi brian. Thanks for taking my call I wanted to share that. I got a disagreement with a friend over a holiday zoom back in december friend of mine from high school It was related to me. Not really being okay with how he was handling some of her holiday travel and i told her how i was feeling And i did it in front of a bunch of our friends and ended up in an argument. And i've been wrestling with how to apologize and what i would say if i were going to apologize and i know that. She's waiting for an apology and It's it's a complicated like feeling. I'm just trying to figure out the right word. But this idea of kind of making me remember that like i need to reach out and say something. You know Have you run into this kind of thing before. I have run into it in my own personal life Let's let's talk together. I just feel like if you just call and say when i think about this i feel bad. I want to be in touch. Maybe not even try to relitigate the argument. Just say i miss you. And i feel bad and ask about what's going on right now and see what happens. Yeah i appreciate that advice. And that's i think spot on with what i need to do is just say. I don't know exactly what to say other than i'm thinking about you and haven't stopped thinking about you and wanted to move forward. Yeah oh. I hope you make that call when i want to hear how it goes christine. Thank you so much. Heidi and ellen hearst. You're on wnyc. Hi heidi hi there. I'm forgetting me on So grateful the person that. I wish that i would have called is my beautiful friend. Amy and she was the first friends that we lost in are very tight circle of about six girlfriend And she was twenty five and she lost a battle with hia and We were all kind of in college and I woke up one day. And i said this is the day and then call in me and i went to my little job as a coffee shop and then my other son's mary came into the coffee shop and she's just looked at me and amy died today and That was really my i. Liken cannot wait to call people. I really try. You know twenty five years later or forty whatever it is twenty years later can follow that inner nudge and And i'm happy to say that Those five remaining the fiber meaning of henry united. And we're working on a project together and we're all spread out all over the country but we do a like a pretty regular zun And we honor amiens and and just think about her and talk to her and and You know yeah. I wanna talk to. Heidi you're reminding me something that that that donna perry said in our most recent episode. That has just really stuck with me. We talked about you know. She talked about making the call and she said i just try to think about die empty. I want to die empty and do that. She intends to do. And i just. I haven't stopped thinking about it since i heard that. And i think you're saying the same thing which is just if i think of it i need to do it. And what a and You know i'm sorry. You lost your friend amy and it sounds like you have carried that with you and you have continued to think of her And i'm glad to hear you reunited with your friends. Thank you and thank you. Thank you for saying her name. That's how we keep alive. Thanks you guys have a great day much. heidi. I think it's a common enemy to you to have relationships where it's unclear who should make the first call or the next call you know. Maybe both parties feel like. They're the ones who reached out i last time. And now everyone feels slighted or awkward sound familiar. And how do you overcome that feeling and should you just call anyway. Yeah i mean. I think it's complicated and friendships. Because you know if you are in a friendship where you feel like we're in a family relationship where you feel like you're the one making all the effort That resentment is not not real But i think for this particular holiday. The intention is to step away from those feelings of. I always do the worker. I always do and just be the one to open the door and say i want to connect with you And it's about listening to who you want to connect with And and that intention like you're not doing it to sort of like make them feel guilty that they haven't called. You're doing it because this is the person that you want to pick up the phone and call. We might have a story like that. From ray and manhattan. Ray you're on. Wnyc with nfl. Hi brian good morning. A longtime listener. Nice to talk to you. Might you screen. It was your screen. It was awesome and you guys covered the previous to my call. But again i wondered if the inspiration of the segment that i should call a friend. I've learned. I've noticed that thirty years. And then i just kind of like things fizzled out during the covert. She said that she believes in maintaining friendships. No matter why it's sort of like a little complicated for me. I wasn't sure maybe not posing the right Segment questioned but you. Did you like hobbies with your friend. Did you have a fight or disagreement of some kind. You know what ryan i actually didn't. But when i got there and visit in in last june or july it was kind of like he was miserable and complicated. And i said oh. The expiration date is over. I guess after thirty years of being in common with music and all maybe it ran. Its course but i feel today after your segment. Maybe i should phone him and like you know instead of blocking him. Way accidentally said one of the words that you can't say on on on radio or television So so we had that little gap there while we bleeped it out But anna he. He gave a clue a situation there. I think when saying that it became too complicated. I think many of us have been in situations with long-term friends where For whatever reason they become difficult they become too difficult or it feels to us that they've become problematic people and we just don't wanna put in the work and that's one of the ways that friendships fall away whether it's right or not. Yeah and what. I what i heard describing is also like it's confusing. It's not just that it's too hard. It's like wait. Something's off with our vibe. And i don't really know and i don't know how to talk about it so i'm just gonna like especially during cova times when when so many of us have felt overwhelmed by so many parts of life like it makes sense that you've just not wanting to deal with the things that are a little too overwhelming or complicated But this holiday is day to just try to turn the page and say. Hey you're on my mind and see what happens and of course the phone call. They might be mad at. You like who knows how they're going to respond. But that's not the point of the holiday the point of the holidays not to give you a trophy for doing something good. It's to sort of like rekindle a relationship and even if you do have some awkward tensions as you'd get that conversation going You're at least like not just walking away from it. You're you're making an effort. So is there an official way. And if you're just joining us we're talking to our anna sale host of the wnyc podcast death sex and money and her team have come up with a new holiday that they're calling pick up the phone and call day. It'll be next. Friday march twenty six. And we've just been hearing from callers about why they haven't called individuals in their lives. Who maybe they should call. Or been wanting to call and so anna. Is there an official way that people can sign up to participate in next friday's holiday. Yes yes there are. Because i think that we probably will all need one or more a little nudge to make sure we make the call You can start by texting the words call day to the number seven. Oh one oh one and even if you don't know who you're gonna call but you're interested in participating in the holiday. Give us a text and you can. We have a whole series of messages. That we're going to be sending you if you don't know who to call we'll send you to a website where there's all kinds of ways you could get involved like. Maybe you might want to be a part of aarp's friendly voice program and volunteer just to call a senior. Who has said. I want to hear from somebody. That's another way to participate in our call. They if there's not someone in your life that you immediately think of so text. The words call day two seven. Oh one oh one and will celebrate this holiday together. Next friday you can also go to. Wnyc dot org slash. Call day to get more information. Noah think we have time before the mayor begins to sneak in one more caller and can in manhattan might have an interesting observation about phones versus zoom connections kenya on. Wnyc hey there You just set it. Brian wondering if if either is preferable to the other for intimacy You know Yeah how they compare your own experience ken. My own feeling is that i am put off by zoom. But i very much like talking on the phone now. The assumption usually is that. It's going to be more intimate. If you can see the person. I think it's really it kind of just depends on your mood. I find sometimes that it's really nice to see someone that i haven't seen in years and you know how when you connect you see how you look different and they look different and you both aged and you can really see their environment. That's kind of interesting. But i also really love going on a walk with a phone and having a long talk with a friend where i where i can. Just be away from my household and focus on the conversation. And that's only really possible when you're talking on the phone so i think it just depends on on what you're in the mood for someone on twitter just recommended the renaming a call a day to ryan sort of with holiday colladay. It's an official colladay. It depends what part of the country. You're in it's a. It's a cow day. It's a call today if you're from queens. So there we go listeners. If you wanna participate in anna sales new national holiday coming next friday called pick up the phone and call gay text call day called day cow day. Two seven zero one one text. Call day two seven. Oh one oh one. And i can't wait. Thanks for sharing this with us. Thanks for taking my call brian. I appreciate it brian. Lehrer a daily politics. Podcast is an excerpt from my live. Daily radio show the brian lehrer show on. Wnyc radio ten am to noon eastern time. If you wanna listen live at. Wnyc dot org. Thanks for listening today. Talk to you next time.
'It's as Bad as You Think,' Says Congressman Inside Impeachment Hearings
"This is impeachment a daily podcast from WNYC. I'm Brian Lehrer. It's Wednesday October the thirtieth today we have an opportunity to talk with one of the members of the House Intelligence Committee who has been in the room for the witness test Brian Lehrer show ten A._M. to noon at W._n._y._C. Dot org young or potentially illegal then your duty is to report it and so I think what you've seen Colonel Vitamin Ambassador Hill people like uh the year by the trump administration described his concerns and what he did about them after several incidents in July reportedly he even tried congressman thanks so much for some time today thanks for coming on my pleasure let's talk about what happened yesterday and then take a step back and look at the big picture could you describe acted the National Security Council's chief lawyer John Eisenberg to express his concerns and also after the July tenth meeting Vin men's boss Ukraine's President Vladimir Celeski Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Veneman the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council appointed just last who edit the phone call transcript notes for accuracy before they got finalized but some of the language relevant to Joe Biden got omitted anyway Colonel Vitamin told you about his attempts attempts to edit the transcript notes for accuracy including what wound up missing from them anyway these are career professionals who have dedicated their life to serve in the country and who are going by the book when you see something in one of these positions and you think it's wrong men and Dr Hill were hoping attorney Eisenberg would do with that information or what he actually did with it what I can tell you is that these are then it contains the four corners of his wrongdoing and he needs to be held accountable for it I don't know how many layers of gloss need to be put on you know Ambassador Ivanovich people like a bastard Taylor what you've seen them all do is is appropriately apply their set of morals and thinks that will soon take place my guest is congressman. Sean Patrick Maloney who represents New York's eighteenth congressional district in the Hudson Valley north of New York City and after the July twenty fifth phone call between trump and Celeski according to colonel WTN's published opening remarks he he says he content after his edits let's find out more about that and also preview tomorrow's pivotal vote scheduled for the full House of Representatives on rules for going forward with a public here I understand exactly the abuse of power that it clearly documents after the July tenth meeting with trump officials and Ukrainian officials and he is acting out of a strong moral moral sense of right and wrong but what I think I think is important to realize is that this is a correct this is a person with direct knowledge a direct witness who is on the call and who's and whose job included a reviewing the call memorandum and on a hill who is trump's top Russia and European affairs adviser did so as well alerted the NFC's top lawyer with our concerns is it clear to you what colonel fix and duty to the actions they were witnessing and they did something about it they either responded to a lawful subpoena and came in and gave their evidence to us they reported it Brian You can't describe the specific testimony because the house rules prohibited but what I can tell you first of all is that everyone needs to realize that Colonel I'm in is a decorated army colonel the guy who was injured in an idea attacking Iraq earned the purple heart he spent his entire adult life serving our country a set of conduct that they clearly knew was at odds with American national security with the security of Ukraine that was about domestic politics the red flags were all over the to someone else at work they documented contemporaneous Lee and took copious notes they made pleased to their superiors in some cases to try to get some attention brought to this making it it's to it so it's a very important for us but I also don't want to lose the forest for the trees on the call memo itself the call memo is a devastating piece of evidence for the press the call memorandum that has already been released has everything you need to know it seems to me about what the president was doing in other words do we know what the president was up to is it is to you of those omissions from the transcript if someone edited them out after Colonel Women did his job and went through clear the whistleblower complaint made a bunch of detailed allegations and statements they've all been corroborated first and very importantly by this call memorandum but in addition it for editing for accuracy the transcript version that trump released still does have him asking for an investigation of Biden by name and of the the president's own words by his chief of Staff Confession of a quid pro quo by the documents and text messages and subsequent evidence military aid also was dependent on that as well and that might be really important because in a Senate trial it comes to that Republicans might say the Republicans are are left arguing about process points which don't make any sense and quickly being mooted anyway or or they are left engaging in these in these that's that's coming fast and and so the central set of events is not seriously in dispute which is why the two thousand sixteen election so how would these omissions change anything if they were in there I don't believe you need more to understand let me put it this way is that ambassador Gordon Sunlen who was part of the trump and Giuliani Team pressuring Ukraine for this political favor Gordon silent with holding a meeting for political favors bad but not impeachable while withholding life or death military aid is much more serious and abuse of power how good is your ever and he's being accused of being a spy on Fox News so much has been corroborated just as you say one thing that apparently is in dispute place and thank God we've got people like Colonel Vitamin who still know right from wrong and whoever courage to do something about it well what would be the significant that has already been made public and a bunch more is going to be shown to the public soon and I really can't wait until all this comes into the public arena so everyone can see it for themselves outrageous attacks on the character of good people whether it's chairmanship who's a good man doing a good job or there's colonel veteran who earned the purple heart in Iraq other aid in addition to White House meetings and other official benefits in exchange for launching these investigations both of the conspiracy theory so far that it was both I think I think it will be clear and convincing and and I gotTa Tell You I think Ambassador Sunland has some tough questions due to answer and he should be looking in the mirror and trying to understand you know what his responsibilities are you know this is a dilettante turn diplomat who was so have the discretion to impose appropriate remedies including by denying specific requests by the president or his counsel unquote so can you Mrs but that right is conditional resolution says if the president quote refuses to cooperate unlawfully with congressional requests than quote the chairs ax those of us doing this inquiry want to have the facts revealed that's it we can handle it whatever it is I think it is clear I five the only one that only the White House meeting that's Alinsky wanted was conditioned on his announcing these investigations ambassador Taylor testified that the way over his head who is up to his neck in this thing and and what I can tell you is that I put a lot more stock in the testimony of career military officers like Colonel Ann there there should be a full public airing of all the evidence and it should be done in a under a process that's fair where where there's an opportunity for the president's defenders led by Your Committee the Intelligence Committee chaired by Adam Schiff what should the American people expect to take place and plan in public well I think what the American public should expect it by the way all these deposition transcripts that have been taken over the last few weeks we'll all be released the public will be able to read all that unredacted evidence I guess unless there's something personal explain that clause or say why the president who's the defendant here in effect shouldn't have a right to legal counsel no matter what well sure I mean those it's as bad as you think tomorrow the House is scheduled to vote on rules for the next phase of the inquiry I don't have to tell you that will be public hearings here from the evidence that that has been released in the public space alone without commenting on any of this stuff in private that the president has engaged in a abuse of his office then I do in some rich real estate developer who bought his way into a diplomatic position and is not coming clean with with everything he knows what he on that everybody down at the White House is either trying to cover it up or clean it up and that it it demands accountability and and and what the public should expect it is that when somebody like me says that they can look at it for themselves listen to these witnesses and make their own judgment after your public hearings the Judiciary Committee will take identify information or something classified for some reason but basically all of it will be released and the publicans see it for itself and and here's the here's the bottom line we're not afraid of the into also you know produce documents and evidence that has been subpoenaed or or get a court order saying there's some privilege you know shielding which they have not done through appropriate way and knowing chairmanship he's going to bend over backwards to be fair to the president and that's good but we're not going to get pushed around either and in this case where in violate your legal ethics refuse to cooperate with the judges lawful instructions and then demand all your rights in the courtroom that's not how it works so I think what that resolution is true around the two thousand sixteen election that Republicans are obsessed with but also the Biden's and Burris Ma so that they could get an advantage in the twenty twenty election it's as bad as it materials and and if he wants to participate as you know in his own defense through his attorneys and others then they have some responsibility to also kit and decide on actual articles of impeachment if any and understand the president will be able to have an attorney present at that time to question or cross examined did and let me just leave it right there I do think the evidence will show that there was a quid pro quo for both US military assistance and easy contentious televised show where Republicans or the White House are refusing to withhold documents that they say are executive privilege and you question these witnesses and to grill him on whether they're telling the truth and and that should all happen right out in the public so that the public can read this testimony for itself months of court procedures to resolve questions of legitimacy of subpoenas on particular documents and things like that so should we expect some acknowledge is that you've got a president who has been acting you know at odds with his responsibilities in the law withholding you know lawfully subpoenaed it's necessary impeachment looking for crime or they would just rather you be focusing on healthcare and other things about their lives I think almost every American dependent of the of the of the White House efforts to stonewall and conceal evidence we have heroic Americans coming forward to giving testimony we've got a bunch of other sources information and and many of us believe that we will be able to put the facts of what happened before the American public one way or the other and therefore it seems to me ahead of the country's interests then I'm going to speak up final thing congressman and maybe this is jumping too far ahead but the judiciary committee could recommend have the option of either demanding that that the White House produce more material or or or in choosing instead to move on expeditiously and say you know we've we've proved clearly what happened here and we can make a judgment about it and by the way to the extent that we need to draw in for inference with a job and it's my job as an elected official not just to put my finger in the wind and see which way it's blowing but to lead when necessary even if there's it'd be negative because these guys are obstructing that's the approach I think that that makes them pay a price for stonewalling we'll also gives them fair process we're going to run out of time soon you represent did you guys like Colonel Benjamin and bastard Uganda and others that that's stonewall has crumbled in meaningful ways but there are still document requests that have not been responded how hard to sell is this for you and other members like you in Mixed Party district where
Immigrants From Seven Countries Call In About Biden
"The public theater returns to audio drama with groundbreaking bilingual spanish and english production of romeo equal yeta directed by sahim aleve with loopy dongyang s. Who yet that. And plunged gus. Daniel rahmael listen wherever you got. Podcasts listener supported w nyc studios listeners. Every thursday night during president biden's first hundred days in office. I'm hosting a series of calling. Specials called america. Are we ready. And we've been having such good discussions with our guests and with callers from across the country that we want to share them with you on this podcast feed. So here's this past thursdays america. Are we ready. I'm brian lehrer. This is my daily politics. Podcast from wnyc studios kisses a weekend special this hour how to move on from donald trump's relationship to the rest of the world to trump get anything right in the ways he reset with china with mexico with international treaties like on climate and iran should president biden revert to obama biden policies. Or is there a better newer way. Good evening everyone. I'm brian lehrer back with you for america. Are we ready. And as i mentioned before the news today began the first meetings between biden secretary of state and national security adviser and their chinese counterparts. Very interesting after trump was so focused on china transforming. Us policy toward latin america including at the southern border is already complicated with illegal crossings. Near a two decade high of the biden administration itself nother question. How much vaccine stockpile should we share with other countries and there is so much more. We have two great guests this hour beginning right now with farid. Zaccaria washington post columnist. And the world. Affairs host on cnn. Many of you know his sunday morning show called reads ikaria. Gps he also has a book out called ten lessons for post pandemic world for read. Always great to talk to you. Welcome to america already and we're still getting reads line. Hooked up and free now we have. You're right you do have me. I was on muting myself The next book i write about the pandemic will be called. Can you please on mute yourself. That's a good title when we can all look back and laugh maybe a little bit Let's start with immigration biden's homeland security secretary hundred orcas admitted this week. That illegal crossings are on pace for nearly two decades high. Nearly one hundred eighty thousand people have arrived at the southern border since january. Is the number you cite in your column last week. In the washington post which is headlined. Biden's generous immigration policies. Could turn out to backfire. So what's he doing that. You characterize his generous. And what would a backfire look like. It's already backfiring but let let me begin. By saying the joe biden is doing a much better job on immigration than donald trump. The trump administration have have put in place almost a thousand different rules. Regulations new fees that are all designed to make it much harder for be immigrants. Students even tourists to visit the united states to extend their stay to stay for longer to work for anything at every stage it has been the most is the most successful part of trump's generally unsuccessful public policy. They're really focused. On this biden has overturned. Started to overturn lots of it however the one area where i think he has made a mistake is on asylum policy of the southern border. The trump administration ended up after the kids in cages and separating them from the barents they ended up finding some way to deal with the crisis which has been according now for almost five or six years and the biden people overturned that as well. What's the crisis the crisis in the you're having lots more people than ever before arrive at the southern border asking for asylum. Now asylum rules are different from regular Immigrants and that requires that they be looked at carefully but the truth of the matter is ninety five. I would sit. I would guess ninety. Nine percent of the people coming to the southern border and asking for asylum are really just traditional immigrants. We what i hear from the immigration advocates. Is that there is such a crisis mostly in central american countries That that's what's driving it and to the extent that it's unaccompanied minors which is so much of what we hear about in the media who would send their kids to go to another country by themselves unless it's really an asylum or the crisis so what they flee is essentially poverty and violence often gang violence. But that's what everybody fleas. When they come to america the asylum system was set up after world. War two really in light of what happened to the jews in germany in the one thousand nine hundred ninety s that is the systematic singular persecution of groups of people because of their ethnicity religion or political views. It has been used very sparingly throughout. You can tell right about this. Brian ninety the vast majority of get turned down. Because they're actually not applications and on the unaccompanied minors consider this the number of unaccompanied. Minors has gone up. Fivefold ever since. Joe biden change to trump rule. The trump did not allow did not make a special exception for unaccompanied. Minors biden does so. I hate to put it this way. But people are gaming the system and what they're trying to do is to essentially go ahead or in a different line than regular immigrants and because they come at the southern border and produce crisis we now have as as the secretary said not just a twenty year high. But you'll have ten times as many people who are coming claiming asylum as there were twenty years ago conditions central america ten times worse than they were twenty years ago provocative position. Let's take our first caller dish originally from india iran america. Are we ready. Hello so dish. He hung up. All right Well since we went that way. I let's try another caller originally from india sanjay. You're on america. Are we ready. Do we have you. Can you hear me. i can hear just fine. Thanks a lot for calling so give us one piece of. Us foreign policy would like to see biden implement toward india Well it's a really delicate situation. Considering india's one of our strongest allies in that region especially considering having mutual A common enemy so to speak in in china but as someone from janae where who In thumb do that is a state. That's not as ardent supporter of the bjp You know i've been seeing and reading about all of these These racially Charged attacks against muslim people in in india and he's so much less policy than a public announcement of the way that the bjp has been either allowing or straight up advocating For these hate killings again shined personally against muslims sante. I'm going to leave it there. So we have time for a response and farid. India's your country of origin too isn't it. It is indeed And sunday points very interesting and important and difficult dilemma. For the biden administration. It is courting india as part of the kind of A coalition of countries to contain or deter china India is actually not very stalwart allies. So far it actually has not agreed to do joint military maneuvers with the. Us still buys a lot of military equipment from russia but the hope is that they're moving in that direction. The problem is as central points out while the us is trying to create a kind of alliance of democracies to To combat chinese authoritarianism. India has been moving in the wrong direction. And this is not my opinion there. Two very respected Into international think tanks freedom house and japan and sweden's v demonstra toot both downgraded india to inau democracy on their lists of democracy and these are very data oriented very factually based Analyses and in both cases in case they call india and electoral autocracy and in one case Freedom house has downgraded india to partly free as opposed to free. So it's very worrying India's let me ask a quick follow up to trump who did have alliances with authoritarian leaders when it would seem to benefit him enable india to any degree to sink to that status of not a full democracy is any of it on trump. As far as you're concerned and in a way that biden could reverse and have an impact. I don't think so. I think that would exaggerate. America's influence india's a vast Country very internally obsessed. It's certainly true that the fact that the united states for four years has been utterly unconcerned about democracy and human rights created a general atmosphere in which people like a modi of india aired one of turkey bolsonaro and brazil territory in the philippines. Were able to To erode certain rights with a greater impunity. But i think the direction that india was heading is probably largely a. It's it's a very deep internal struggle and as you said. Hindu-nationalist has been a powerful force in india now for a couple of decades. We're gonna take a one minute break and then we'll continue with tonight's edition of america. Are we ready tonight. It's america are we ready for the rest of the world in this series of thursday night. National call ends for joe biden's first hundred days as president will continue with reads ikaria and more of your calls. We'll get into that meeting. That began today between biden officials and officials from china. How big reversal. Maybe it's not as big as people are expecting from trump on china are we seeing from joe biden. Stay with us. It's america are. We ready are thursday night. National call in show for biden's first hundred days on brian lehrer with cnn's global affairs host and washington post columnist for the ikaria for another few minutes. Then susan glasser from the new yorker will join us as we keep taking a cause and keep talking about. How biden is trying to move on from trump's america first stance toward the rest of the world. And we're taking your calls if you're an immigrant from anywhere or are listening now in any other country on one piece of us foreign policy your country of origin might like from the biden administration or the same for the country where you are right now if you're calling from abroad eight four four seven four or five talk and anam originally from palestine. Are we ready. Hello anna how are you good. Thank you for calling thank you so much Yeah so. I wanted to talk about the palestine israel conflict and That's been going on for a while now and in light of the recent pandemic You know the heavy restrictions on palestinians receiving vaccine so i'd like to see biden I know that israel is an ally that i'd like to see biden Kind of shift. His policy toward relief efforts in palestine and to You know basically on a humanitarian basis Assist in efforts to hope to have palestine realize itself as a sovereign state Just in light of the pandemic And this crisis that's been going on for the past year. We've seen how it's affected palestinians On every level Including not having access to be the vaccine and then thank you very much for your call. and freed zaccaria. They're always competing versions when it comes to the israeli palestinian situation i think the israelis would say they haven't denied palestinians. The vaccine that public health is a palestinian authority responsibility and they will go back and forth. The two sides on things like that But how do you see. The biden. Stance toward the israeli palestinian situation compared to trump. We don't know yet Brian it's a very good question So far They haven't made any big moves in either direction by biden has always been a very strong supporter of israel Look the the the unfortunate reality for palestinians as. That's that the the main access in the middle east over the last ten or fifteen years has shifted from being one about israel versus the palestinians and instead it has become one about saudi arabia versus iran or the sunnis versus the shia and in that new dynamic which is really The dynamic that has been galvanizing middle east for the last suddenly. Since the iraq war israel and the gulf arab states that have traditionally tended to finance the palestinian cause saudi arabia the united arab emirates and companies like that israel and those gulf arab states are on the same side. They're both An anti iran In some sense anti and so what has happened with the trump administration took advantage of. Was this new reality. And that is why you have had the normalization of relations with the united arab emirates and israel with bahrain and israel and so in a sense the pressure is office well to do something on the palestinian issue. Because they're getting you know. These arab countries to normalize relations with them without having to make any movement on the palestinian issue that bashar on and is he interested in doing that. I don't think so. I think that ultimately the the reality is that arabs are moving in the direction of their self interest and there remains this big somewhat insoluble problem with palestine with the palestinian issue. Which was if you have a divided palestinian community and leadership hamas in gaza and Fatah in the west bank and my guess is biden will say you know is not worth the diplomatic effort That would take. I'm not going to get much success as i say. It's a kind of tragedy for palestinians in the in the region. But that's how i see it. Let's go next to amy originally from taiwan emir on america. Are we ready. Thanks so much for calling it. Yes hi Brian I my concern is that I like to tell the american government to stop selling those Overprice outdated Weapons to to china's government and i like to see the biden administration Star Putting together some kind of peace be between taiwan and men in china to mow to encourage A peace agreement and sign a peace agreement. So we stopped his increasing of south of on outdated weapons To the china's government looks like You know provoking war. Thank you very much for that. And let me use that as a jumping off point for read To talk about the high level talks that began with china's to top foreign officials. Foreign policy officials today in alaska. and biden's top to security adviser. Jake sullivan and secretary of state antony blinken. Here's what blinken said about china. In a major foreign policy address on march third china is the only country with the economic diplomatic military and technological power to seriously challenge the stable an open international system all the rules values and relationships that make the world work the way we wanted to because it ultimately serves the interests and reflects the values of the american people. Our relationship with china will be competitive when it should be collaborative when it can be an adversarial. It must be so read. Can you translate that from diplomatic into english. I think you hinted at it. And one of your teases. Brian which is you asked Is this scenario where the biden administration has has changed much of the trump administration's policies. And i think the honest answer would be no. I think that this is an area where you see much greater continuity between trump and biden. Then then i would have expected on sleep I think that they're approaching it somewhat differently. They're trying to gather the allies together. And actually you know these. These meetings with the chinese have come after. There were meetings with america's closest allies in south korea and japan They are Clearly legal even open the door for greater cooperation but to be fast so to trump in in the in the first years of his administration i think it reflects the reality that politically in america There is no real constituency for a warmer more cooperative relationship with china that while trump was was a big china hawk actually became one after covid So as bernie sanders. So is nancy pelosi. So is chuck schumer and i do actually worry that When you have a situation like that candidate politicians were diplomats and statesmen feel kinda boxed in that there's no there's no political incentive to for example cooperate with china on climate change or cooperate with china on trade That you end up with a slightly Uncreative policy where everyone is just going on. The everyone has jumped on the anti-china bandwagon which by the way has a has a small impact on the the atmosphere within the united states You know a chinese americans. So it's it is something i worry about but for now. I think you'd have to say when a struck on this issue the continuity with the trump administration rather than the reversal of for. Read before you go and we switch guests and listeners will keep taking your calls. Euro wrote a washington post column in january when the administration was only week-old call the pandemic will not end unless every country gets the vaccine. Now there's a debate about whether the us should be stockpiling zanuck shots for possible use when they're approved here or if there's a moral responsibility to share those with countries that are already allowed to use them now including ones not as economically privileged as you have a position on that and whether it relates to what kind of superpower the us should aspire to be. Let's start with the reality and give the biden administration the credit it deserves. the united states is utterly transformed. Its situation with regard to vaccines When joe biden came into office we wouldn't vaccinating about seven hundred thousand people a day. I think there was a day last week where we vaccinated four point five million people we vaccinated in one day more people than have been vaccinated in italy in intended the entirety of this pandemic. So the us is miles ahead of every major country. Other than the united kingdom it is probably stocked by already two hundred million vaccines more than it needs so we are absolutely in the position where we can start to think about being generous towards our neighbours towards the poorest in the world and it is the kind of enlightened self-interest for which the united states has always been best known for. It is something we should do because we are the richest country in the world. But it's also something we should do because the only way you get rid of a pandemic is of everybody in the world was vaccinated otherwise we will sit here worried about new variants worried about restrictions on travel and trade never really be able to get back to life as normal and by the way most of these investments have already been made. We are already paid large amounts of money for these vaccines for the supplies. So it's not even as though it would take a huge amount of additional money. It would just be a question of recognising at some point that we have more than enough for ourselves that there's enormous need in some of the poorest countries in the world. I i actually am confident that that is. This is the direction. The biden administration will go in biden is very much somebody who comes out of that world view that says the united states leads not just by its military power but by its acts of generosity it's predominates provision if you will public goods for the world And i think that he he will want to go down as the as the person who showed that generous face of america the world not simply the clenched fist. Interesting and we should acknowledge that they did take a first step toward down down. That road Just today announcing that the us will release for million doses. Total of the astra zeneca vaccine to mexico and canada combined for read sakaria washington post columnist host of read sakaria. Gps on cnn and author of the book ten lessons for a post pandemic world. Thanks a lot for read as always buying the pleasure. This is america. Are we ready or thursday. Night call in series for biden's first hundred days and with us now. Susan glasser who writes the letter from biden's washington column for the new yorker. It was previously called letter from trump's washington and she's got major foreign policy chops of her own having been editor in chief of foreign policy magazine. Moscow bureau chief for the washington. Post co bureau. Chief and co author of the books kremlin rising and current one. The man who ran washington about former secretary of state james baker. Thanks for coming on susan. Welcome to america. Are we ready. Great to be with you brian and listeners. Our caller stands immigrants from anywhere. Tell you a fellow listeners. One thing you would like from. Us policy toward your country of origin. Eight four four seven. Four five talk susan. Let me introduce you to our listeners. By taking advantage of your knowledge of russia the government announced this week. The us government that russia and iran were both trying to influence the twenty twenty presidential election russia on behalf trump again iran behalf of biden. Apparently and that china mostly sat it out. What's the best in tarrant intelligence you've seen on how much mischief russia cars this time and whether any trump people enable them. Well i think the thing that is striking is actually your last point. Brian this convergence In a way between trump's support that russia was offering an amplifying in this election cycle and the fact that they were connected to according to this declassified. Us intelligence report connected openly to trump supporters here in the united states. They don't name them but it appears Trump's lawyer rudy. Giuliani is is one of those they're referring to and then also just the coordination in a way and the convergence of the two messages. You have questions being sewn about the integrity of the us election both by the russians and by The president's own support a former president's own supporters. And so you know this is really. I think the next step in evolution from russia's support of donald trump in two thousand sixteen by twenty twenty You know there's this sort of Almost established feedback loop in which You know you have this. Russian disinformation that that's becomes The subject of a propagandistic Documentary on a pro trump american television channel. Let's go next call. It's callixte a generally from haiti. Colette stay. you're on america already. Thanks so much for calling in yes. Thank you for taking my call. Can you hear me can hear just fine. What would you like the biden administration to do with respect to haiti. Yes absolutely The biden administration needs to focus on. I think you just touched on it a little bit. Wild go when you said What type of superpower. America wants to be in this world and Haiti is a country that has been taken advantage of By all western superpowers More specifically the united states Bill clinton has came out and said his policies has crippled the country With certain policies and trade that he had placed but the biggest thing that biden could do is bring france to the table and have france actually Pay haiti the reparations. That they made haiti pay to france. When haiti Fought french colony once upon a time. Correct in this in eighteen. O four in that amount of money. has really crippled the country. That amount of money that left a young country like that in eighteen four Really crippled the country in to this day. Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere and collects they. I'm going to leave it there for time. We really appreciate you calling in and susan do that. Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere and the us has had a tortured relationship with it. I don't know if you have your eye on. Us haiti relations at all did trump at all and is a biden stance at all in a minute before we go to break well. Unfortunately donald trump had the view You know and had a famous meeting in the office with some senators which he referred to haiti. I believe among others as at you know sort of the whole country is countries that it did. It did and You know again. Donald trump was not interested in the problems of haiti. And i do think in general even for a different kind of administration like biden's this is a pretty inward-looking moment. For the united states of america we've had You know domestic political crises combined with the pandemic combined with economic upheaval And i think that You know between the demands of focusing on great-power competition with china and russia as we talked about and this sort of sclerotic internal domestically much attention right will continue and then it was susan in your calls america. Are we ready. it's america. Are we ready. Thursday night national. Call in show for biden's first hundred days. I'm brian lehrer with susan glasser from the new yorker and we're taking calls if you're an immigrant from anywhere or listening now in any other country on one piece of us foreign policy. Your country of origin might like from the biden administration or the same for the country where you are right now. If you're calling from abroad eight four four seven four five talk before we take our next caller susan. Let me play. A short clip of president biden from last month when he addressed america's european allies in virtual international conference. I know i know the past few years of strain and tested our transatlantic relationship but the united states is determined determined to re-engage europe to consult with you earn back our position of trust leadership. And so susan. Can you put some meat on those bones. In terms of any specific policies that biden has enacted in his first fifty eight days. The ties us back to europe. Ways trump untied us. You know that that that is where it gets harder right. It's a lot easier to have a reassurance tour on to go around the world sort of reaping the benefits if you will of donald trump's unpopularity and joe biden has done that. His voice have done that. they've been very. i think. Adept at playing off the world's almost palpable sense of relief. In most places that donald trump has gone and replaced by someone. Who's much much more. Solicitous of america's traditional allies in relationships. However it's early days and on foreign policy actually what we're seeing this week in some ways are the most concrete step so far. Where what you're seeing. Frankly is a a willingness to consult with and to coordinate with allies before turning to adversaries like china and russia. And that's why you had the secretary of state. Tony blinken and national security adviser jake sullivan. They're meeting in china right now in alaska even as we have this conversation with a chinese they really made a point of going to meet with the japanese and the south koreans to historical american allies in asia. That were really at times very troubled in their dealings with trump who often preferred to pursue his great relationship with xi jinping s. He called it or his love affair with kim jong un in north korea as he called it so i think that's where you see. The biggest difference is in that bringing allies in on the front end. One follow up regarding europe on the paris climate agreement which trump took us out of and biden. Of course put us back in. Detroit have a point to any degree in your opinion when he argued that one of the reasons europe was for that treaty. Is that a tied. The us hands economically more than theirs. Because we're the world's biggest per capita greenhouse-gas polluter think that's an accurate stat. So europe regain some competitive advantage over the us economically well. Look i'm not a climate economist. I think in terms of the foreign policy aspects of it What what the biden administration would say like the obama administration before it is first of all This was something that america had its hand in negotiating on the front end also. It's countries are responsible for meeting their own targets right. So it's not that you're handing power to some other country That's different than some of the climate goals and how they were structured in the past And i think the real issue is also what's what's going to happen going forward Many of those were targets that were designed to be potentially meetable. So i think you know again. Trump was was a master of disinformation misinformation. When it came to the paris climate accord as with so many other things he and his administration would say. Well you know we're here to represent the citizens of pittsburg not this is paris. But actually there's you're not representing The citizens of a foreign country these are climate rules. That apply only to the us that the us is buying into. So it'll be interesting to see what the next round of climate diplomacy as everyone agrees that there's a crisis john kerry the former secretary of state has been tasked by become. His climate. envoys is dealmaker as you know he's eager yearly looking. Is this somewhere where we could actually cooperate with the chinese and the russians at a time of tension in the rest of our relationship. I think that's going to be a sort of internal conflict. Frankly in the in the new administration's they figure out. carries desire to make deals versus The tensions that foreign policy actors are going to are going to emphasize note that you cited that famous trump line that he was elected by the people of pittsburg not the people pass. When in fact the people have pittsburgh voted in the majority for hillary clinton but alexei originally from russia. You're on america. Are we ready. Hello alexei hi. Thank you for taking my call. Indeed i am originally from russia. And i wanted to suggest an ask susan and yourself whether an acknowledgement of the reason sanction regime is effectively useless toothless symbolic in nature and is based on moral principles. Admiriable as the are but has failed to achieve any practical objectives. And whether in the spirit of real politics perhaps in abandoned abandonment of these sanctions. Or at least more. Practical posture towards russia is in the cards. I think in terms of solving some of the world problems that would be more beneficial to america's interest interest than what we're seeing today alexei. Thank you very much and in terms of what we're seeing actually today susan. I'm sure you saw this biden called putin a killer and putin recalled his ambassador to the us. Well that's right. We're not going in the in the direction of reconciliation and in fact you know alexis point about rounds of sanctions whether they've had any effect on russia today is actually the. i believe. it's the seventh anniversary. Today of russia's illegal annexation of the crimea from ukraine which triggered back in two thousand fourteen the current rules of the various cycles of sanctions which the us and its european partners have placed on russia for that Illegal annexation of territory. Which is the first such since the end of world war. Two and you know so not only do. I not see those sanction's going anytime soon. But what we've seen from the new biden ministrations. So far is not only a tougher. Line like president biden's a you know response when he was asked about putin and he said yeah yeah i think he's a killer but it's not just rhetoric you're also seeing the biden team Say that they're going to put more rounds of sanctions. In in fact they just last week announced one set of sanctions To respond to the poisoning and detention of alexei navalny. Who is russia's leading dissident as you know he was Apparently poisoned By an illegal chemical agent novichok and nearly died was saved When he was allowed to go to germany he chose to fly back to russia russia's response was to imprison him In a prison camp so the. Us has just set another round of sanctions in place. There are more responses. We're told by the biden team that are forced coming in response to the massive russian hacking solar winds hacking that took place last year that donald trump did not Respond to or seem to wanna take seriously in a public setting And so we don't know what the nature of that responses but we're not headed in the direction. I would say more conciliatory policy to say the least right now. Mike and atlanta originally from ethiopia. Hi mike you're on america. Are we ready. Yeah thank you. Thank you tell fellow listeners. Around the country. What one piece of foreign policy from biden You're the needs of ethiopia might like to see One thing i want to the biden Musician follow is I want them to get the information from the drought were from the exact place I want i want the government not to take any Information from a paid journalist and lobbyist that makes a big difference for our country because the fact on the ground is quite different from information. They're getting from the paid journalist. And i run into something specific. And i'll admit that i don't know what it is in probably a lot of our listeners. Don't know what it is. Who gave them. What piece of what you're saying is false information Recent recently on cnn. They were reporting that egyptian troops. did some Associati in the two great region but the facts on the ground is doesn't That's not the case. What what happened is the epa of government. When they lost the war they just free paint thousand prisoners and put on a The federal the federal troops uniform. They're tyrian troops uniform and everybody thinks that the federal troops did all this atrocity but the facts on the ground. No that tigrayan prisoners did all those bad things. If if if that happened built on their reporting and that mike say thank you very much for call. I don't know if you're focused enough on. Us policy toward ethiopia. Or what's happening over there. As my describes it or as other people describe it to have a take on what. Us interest might be with respect to the opium or us responsibility. What you know it's interesting. I mean this is definitely not something. I'm an extra but just today. Actually president biden announced that he was sending basically when he was closest allies on capitol hill. Senator chris coons of delaware to ethiopia. And i'm just looking online here. According to national security advisor. Jake sullivan to convey president finds grave concerns about the humanitarian crisis and human rights abuses in the tegray region of ethiopia and the broader risk of instability in the horn of africa. This is a really unusual. Move on and i think it suggests how seriously Biden and his team are taking these reports. It seems like the caller is essentially disagreeing. That there is any human rights abuses her crisis unfolding right now in that region. So i think it is significant. That biden would choose to send. Chris coons to is a foreign policy specialist senior member of the foreign relations committee. In addition to being basically like biden's essentially kind of personal on roy on capitol hill close to biden from biden's home state of delaware. As you say. Leo in cincinnati originally from venezuela. You're on america. Are we ready highly. All right thank you for having me. One piece of biden policy toward venezuela we know trump had no love for the venezuelan government. Which has no love for the united states. pro-trump in this respect. And what would you like to see from by well. i would like to see Nothing more than a strongest let's say sanctions. Us sanctions ago. Gone regime the regime is that he's connected with narcos he's connected with old rock countries that has been Traditionally the american life on ryan now they regime regimes. He's giving all those resources that our country used to all still have all We're gonna have all those resources are landing hands of those raw regimes talking about north korea turkey iran russia cuba on them are taking advantage of the How unstable you just might grand jury and trying to get this Unstable the whole region saw for biden would like to see on a strongest even more strong as Approach with a mother. Jeanne onto the mom in that need to be turned down. I will tell you this. They should be dream of every venezuelan get by countries that used to be that that that one trust full partner also prior for america right now in this position sadly in a position that The people suffering a lot and regime east only connected with the rock countries. Leo thank you so much for your call. We really appreciate it and susan glasser. We've been hearing in. What i think has been an amazing call in this hour with people from literally from around the world Originally now all living in the united states as immigrants with things that they think it's important for the united states to do for the sake of people in the countries that they left. We have a few minutes left in the program. And i'm curious if you can take a step back and say as a former editor in chief of the nagazine called foreign policy what is us foreign policy. Four in general terms as the us has seen it historically and other countries like any of the ones that we just heard from immigrants from would like it to be. You know brian. I think it's a great moment to step back in the sense that the crises of the last few years it's been an inward-looking time in the united states and of course donald trump played off of that with his america first rhetoric and you know the the pandemic last year. We've literally been sort of sequestered at home contemplating our own election and the troubles here and in a way. It's really i think caused me and other people to wonder. What does it meet. What is american leadership in the world mean anymore Joe biden spoke at from the very beginning of his presidential campaign about american leadership in the idea. Hey world just hold on. We'll be back. He's now proclaimed that he's leading policy of being back but the truth is it's not clear. There's the stomach for the kind of american leadership that we saw in the in the immediate post cold war era That moment of of being. The unilateral global superpower guarantor loan guarantor of the world order has sort of frayed against the demands of a american reliable. That are clearly urgently-needed but right in with a with a follow up question and in our last minute and a half or so your book. The man who ran washington is about james baker who among other things was secretary of state under the first bush. I don't have to tell you At that moment when the soviet union collapsed and then the first gulf war came about biden was in the senate then. Is there a key lesson. You think biden and his foreign policy team can learn from the james baker story about what to do or after baker helped entangle us with iraq. Would it be more of a big lesson about what to avoid you. Don't brand. I do think that joe biden like jim. Baker is in some ways. A man of a different generation when american leadership Still seemed almost like the default setting. And i do think that's joe biden's default setting As a foreign policy thinker. I think he he certainly cares more about american values in human rights Then some more politique politicians in both the democratic and the republican party but yeah i think he is a previous eras view of america as the sort of shining city on the hill lone superpower. And i just think that american possibilities and capabilities and the the stomach the american people have for engaging with the world is just. It's just very different than it was twenty years ago. Never mind at the end of the cold war when Jim bakker suddenly found with the soviet collapse. That america was all alone. as the world's guarantor susan glasser who writes the letter from buns washington column for the new yorker and is co author at the man who ran washington about former secretary of state among other things. James baker. thanks for coming on susan. We really appreciate thank you and thanks again to farid. Zaccaria who was on earlier and listeners. Thanks for your calls and thanks for your ears. And that's this week's edition of america. Are we ready our thursday night. Call in show for biden's first hundred days. You know next thursday night. We should have a very interesting show because next thursday during the day president biden will hold his first news conference. We will invite your reviews. If you're interested you can subscribe to my national politics. Podcast called brian lehrer a daily politics. Podcast or. I'll see you back here next thursday night for america. Are we ready brian. Lehrer politics podcast is excerpted from my live. Radio shows on. Wnyc radio the live show is ten. Am to noon every weekday. And we're doing these national call and specials that you just heard america. Are we ready every thursday night at eight pm eastern during first hundred days. Check your local. Npr station to see if they're carrying the program and if they're not give them a call and say hey. Why aren't you carrying america. Are we ready from. Wnyc or you can listen online at wnyc dot org america. Are we ready. Every thursday at eight pm eastern. And thanks for listening. Talk to you next.
State Dept. Ukraine Expert Says Trump Sidelined Him
"They support removal this is impeachment a daily podcast from WNYC. I'm Brian Lehrer he is ongoingly violating his oath of office and abusing his power we have to impeach this president and majority of Americans not only support impeachment actually contributed pretty powerfully to by saying that even though he was an expert in this area even though he should be running and helping contribute to conversations with Ukraine and one of these new names who said he was one of those shoved aside and told to lie low on Ukraine even though Ukraine was part of his absolutely flying right now and team trump cannot control it they are losing the PR war every day right now as one government official after another gene there is something about him about the way that he wanted to represent the government I then made him an unappealing messenger and instead three other people revelations is breathtaking and it isn't stopping yet think about how slow the Mueller investigation felt right this Ukraine investigation is of knowledge to this idea that the State Department was at the heart of the president's attempts to get personal things for himself using the levers of sounds the alarm about something terribly rotten taking place and second there are so many new names to get to know in the last few weeks including a new one test the forest for the trees justice will take place only if people remember the main plot trump asked Ukraine to collude with him on political interference to her job mccranie and collusion by offering all things changes and actual US foreign policy the parade of witnesses this week is intended to see how wreck the evidence is for the quid pro quo our guest on impeachment today is New York Times Justice Department correspondent Katie Benner Hi Katie Holy United and of course the impeachment news has continued to develop over the last twenty four hours I'm thinking two things today the pace of the flying before Congress every single day this week so we'll continue to try to introduce you to these people and their place in the story but we promise not to lose the for doing this nice to have you on today Nice to be here. The testimony yesterday was by a senior State Department official in charge of Ukraine policy named George can is the former trump ambassador to Ukraine fired to enable the scheme and Fiona Hill former trump Ukraine expert and via Fiona Hill's testimony all were more inline with the president's agenda would take over and we've now heard similar stories from Maria von of it can testimony is part of this mosaic being put together by former State Department officials for excuse me former and current State Department officials who are all contributing a little bit this very very powerful lever of the government could also help him and they're each contributing a little bit to that picture and George Aub so that the shadow foreign policy team including Rudy Giuliani could really run things where do you see George Ken testimony fitting into the picture said church he's going to benefit this country in a national security in a military policy way and what they're all saying the president decided Haydn after two years of denying that he colluded with Russia to hurt Hillary Clinton and to boot trump seems to have bribed or extorted his way United States without the use of force to work with other countries and to try to find ways to get what we want in a way that helps other people as well but first and foremost what lament you know we should probably take a step back and remember again why the State Department is so important its primary function to for the policy political national security and military interests of the jointed and these are all trump appointees I think one of the big plot points here is that it's getting harder for trump to hang the revulsion with his Ukraine scheme on some kind of anti-trump deep state so I'm curious how much do you think we're seeing the deep state defense crumble before our eyes this very week well it's a national security adviser John Bolton who was also shoved aside in favor of this Rudy Giuliani crew and now torch Kent when it's so many people who trump interesting the deep state defense is crumbling quickly for a lot of people of course you have to remember that over the White House they have not yet come up with new talking points it's really fascinating to watch how you have on one hand over on Capitol Hill very close to her I'm sitting right now these closed door meetings where lawmakers are gathering a really hard time to your point earlier controlling the messaging too much information as dribbling out too fast they're always on their back foot and then to some of the old messaging only does not apply in this moment like the deep state defense but who knows what will end up again they don't know where this testimonies heading all they know is that people are defined over at the White House they do not know what's happening and it's clear that inside the White House there's an almost incoherent response to what's going on because they're having McKinley another new name to the general public McKinley resigned and this is quite a story if you haven't heard it yet folks. McKinley resigned suddenly last a lot of information we only know a tiny little bit of the things that they're being told these witnesses or coming in and testing crying for hours and hours and hours down Pennsylvania Avenue them they are going to talk to lawmakers they're painting a very unflattering portrait of the President and I've essentially his fixer Rudy Giuliani today's witnesses Michael Week as a very top aide to Secretary of state POMPEII so Katie Benner any idea what Michael McKinley might want to expose today ah for political reasons they were being abused and some of them had their careers derailed including Marie Yovich who was the former ambassador acres that he was for a longtime concerned that people at the State Department career diplomats were being mistreated while he worked there and evidence so since he's up to his ears in this Katie why do you think on Mona's even agreeing to testify tomorrow well I mean there are a couple of reasons why we could why we oh McKinley is extensively the kind of figure who would know a lot more about the things that pompeo might not have already publicly said we do know that he's going to tell me no but he was very involved with Rudy in the pressure to get Ukraine to investigate Biden according to the text messages that have been revealed and other government on behalf of Ukrainians today's a congressional deadline for them to turn over documents regarding communications with the White House Ukraine and tomorrow it's Gordon Sunland a very key player whose name people are starting to know because he's that trump donor from the hotel industry puts the focus back again on Rudy Giuliani right again people say they don't really know in what capacity Giuliani was doing some of these things urged these two associates of Giuliani they suspect them of committing a crime as the southern district of New York it's closer and closer to these two men street in Portland Oregon who got rewarded with the job of ambassador to the e U Now the EU does not include Ukraine so that's not officially been in his portfolio McKinley is an interesting figure because of his role and his proximity to Pompeo we know that Pompeo was on the call with Ukraine and that he originally did not want that known so last week when two of Rudy's associates got arrested and charged by trump's own US attorney in New York with buying influence in the US question will trump's own justice department bump up against Rudy Giuliani and if so how hard will they go after him we already know that he's a person event Stanley in Tuscon text message exchange writes a very formal message back that says you know that is not how I see it it's not how the president you half his own version of events in the record to he is in those text messages and in those text messages that you just mentioned somebody says to him point blank see that please call me you know taking this conversation off line it's gotten too hot so there is a question about what sunland believes he was doing -sation and so these two men are so closely tied to Giuliani they would be really interesting witnesses now. This is a key wrinkle for the Justice Department they have charged accusers do and certainly at Southern District Region York they take pride very much so in going hard after people who may have committed a crime now the president you can imagine would not want Rudy Giuliani investigated we saw this during the Mueller investigation rest and that they are looking at his own actions and whether or not he was acting unlawfully as he tried to further the interests of people in countries like Ukraine is Julian Listen Sawn Lynn I do not think that it's a good idea to hold back aid holdback assistance to Ukraine basically subvert the policy the cranium oligarchs who worked with them and anybody who would be interested in buying influence in the United States again that makes us wonder we have to ask the we believe is best for this country just so president trump can get something that he wants which is something for his own political personal gain in investigation one as rivals and silent interest attorney general bill bar in the same way that he spoke about molars prosecutors and former attorney general jeff sessions every time of investigations got close his inner circle he railed against those people he criticized them and he basically told them to stop the investigation we have not seen that yet with Mr Bar but it is to be seen how Michael would be investigated we would see charges brought against them it caused great agile within the White House and president trump a criminal investigation remember impeach Nada Criminal Process It is a political process during the Mueller Investigation this criminal investigation every time somebody closer to trump's inner city these two defendants eager fruman left Parnasse do you know more specifically what Congress's seeking from them you know Congress again they want to know what the trump administration exam and if the evidence is pointing to Rudy Giuliani having committed any crime done anything wrong they would be obligated to go down that road that has what presume that song would wanNA testify one of everybody around him testifying and it is inevitable that his name is probably being brought up in these closed door hearings and he would probably if he is smart want so it's clear that trump thinks of bar as somebody who will do anything to personally defend him not defend the presidency not defend the White House but personally defend him for an exact transcript you can hear that in the recreated conversation that the White House released of the call between president trump and Ukraine's president zone ski right another trump defense attorney in fact is it any different in this case than it was during the Muller investigation or the way he spun the release of the authorize it now we've said previously here I'll say it again so people are very clear that such a vote is not required under the law it's not required by the Giuliani said he was doing it with the blessing of the State Department he's also said he is acting on behalf of president trump he said he was hacked acting in private capacity but what's clear as he isn't every single is doing and it's it's communication for Ukraine you know where their deals being made was there some sort of quid pro quo but what's what's also interesting is that this really interest people want to know what he's been up to now this also presents a quandary as you can imagine for the Justice Department for the southern district or New York they need to go where the evidence institution it's not required by house rules but last night speaker Nancy Pelosi doubled down on her refusal to take such a vote voluntarily like that lar- I think that the way that the investigations into these figures in Ukraine and into people like Giuliani that's going to be his real johnny who was once the US attorney in Manhattan himself now under investigation by his old office. I mean that is what we've heard we've heard that he certainly personally this department correspondent what do you think is placed in all this is because his reputation has been that though he's the attorney general of the United States and name he's Rudy Giuliani on the merits of actions that is actually I mean that that is not a concern that I think is going to stop Nancy Pelosi and Adam show so why not called trump's bluff Katie I imagine Pelosi has the votes than Penson Rudy and all the others would be out on a limb the president believes he was doing and those are the questions that Gordon someone's going to have to answer now you cover the Justice Department and one of the big bombshells came that this impeachment inquiry this process is not legitimate and they would probably still stonewall and if you want articles of impeachment out by Thanksgiving president trump responds to the idea that somebody almost as close to him as
Impeachment: Catharsis and Impunity
"Each listener supported w nyc studios. The united states of anxiety is supported by audible. Now is the best time to try audible. Because with their president's day event you're getting one of their best offers of the year only nine ninety five a month for your first six months visit audible dot com slash anxiety or text anxiety to five hundred five hundred. This is the united states of the show about the unfinished business of our history and its grip on our future. January six was a culmination of the president's actions. Not an aberration. The attack was done for donald trump has instructions and to fulfill his wishes. We fight like hell. And if you don't fight like hell you're not going to have a country anymore. Every four adversary considering attacking buildings got to watch a dress rehearsal. It was almost like. I was in those halls all over again. Three living it. This is a moral moment. What happened in our country will be talked about for generations to come if we do nothing. We invite this horror back on our country again. reluctant you deliberations. Welcome to the show. I'm kai rate if there is one theme we've hit over and over and over again on this show. It's the idea that we can't just act like the worst of american history never happened and move on. We have to confront the demons. We share as a country we have to face the anti-democratic and white nationalist elements that were so strikingly on display at the capitol building on january. Six we gotta take them in as part of our national story and we got to do something about them all of which is finding good for me to say. But what is the something we're supposed to do about it all. I do not have the answer to that question. I really and truly don't at least not in concrete our programmatic way but for a lot of people a big part of the answer had been to impeach the former president and bar him for pursuing office again so over the past week senate put donald trump on trial. It was a bizarre experience in that the conclusion was all but certain before it even began but still did it. Serve some purpose. Was there something anything. Necessary are cathartic are useful about this impeachment. That's the question. I'm going to have for all of you and we'll be opening the phones in a bit to talk about it but i i do wanna look to history for some lessons back in november. I had a conversation here with pulitzer prize. Winning historian david blight. It was right after the election and we talked about the similarities between the confederacy and the modern republican party in particular the myth donald trump had begun building about his campaign is sort of new lost. Cause so i've asked. David blake to return now and check in on that myth making and david thanks for joining again. Thank you card to be. So can we pick up where we left off in november at the time. We were really just guessing about whether and i guess how trump would succeed at creating. A loss caused mythology around. His campaign has been a busy few months in that regard. So what do you think we stand now. And i guess importantly how does it compare to the confederacy success at creating. Its own lost. 'cause story well we don't know just yet Because it takes time to forge a genuine loss causing the allergy Since we last talked right after the election That confederate flag marched inside the us capital in his now captured in that photograph that virtually everyone has seen shows us that there is a lost cause argument. There's a loss a narrative rooted in what everyone knows calling. The big live was stolen election. trump really one. He says by a big landslide. Millions of people believe this now for this to become a genuine loss causes that can stick and might even get past two next generation in need yet more potency. It needs a story to attach all of these beliefs to now. It could happen. It needs probably murders most laws causes. Have others. It does have a racial ideology. The racial component. The white nationalist component of trumpism is surely there and it has a home this whatever we want to call them the the the trumpian. They have a home in the republican party. They have a home inside of power. Which is something that confederate laws. 'cause did not have at least at first. They didn't later now. Meaning that they're in a better position in some ways in some ways. Yes i mean. Let's face it here. I would prefer to speak about these people by that. I'm in the trumpian especially the fire right and then the far right of the republican party. I really think we should be calling them against. They really do not want to be part of this union this government with most of the rest of us in one of the things that came up in the trial many many things in the trial that i caught on was jamie raskin's use of the term union. Do people remember that he used it over and over and over he referred to united states is the union and he was arguing. It isn't just our democracy which is a story is always a bit of a vague term. He said it's the union the steak. Here's the president attacked the existence of our union and how we pass it on from election to election and the crowd was screaming and hollering attacking the capital to create that union. Now the consequences for the unionist of course in the civil war were what they were. They went to war massive war. We don't want that to happen. We do not want that to happen but they did take the consequences and so remains to be seen whether trump can fashion and allows cost and whether it even needs him or not. I mean he could flare up and fade from history and become just a fundraiser. But the idea is he has stoked about how your country's been taken away from you that the country was somehow better back in whenever the nineteen fifties What what trumpism has going for it. If it ever becomes this kind of lost cause is that they know what they hate. They hate the two coasts. They hate forms of feminism. They hate immigrants. They don't like this massive pluralism that has become america. They want to return to something vaguely. We call white nationalism and above all they really hate government they don't like government and so they know what they're against. They know what they hate. They have some of the ingredients of a lost cause. But it's gonna take time. And it's really i think gonna depend on how much traction trumpism continues to hold within the republican party. Speaking of the impeachment itself in watching it. It sounds like you watched closely. Is there anything you saw a junkin. I'll be honest. i struggle to take it in. It's my full time job. And i really to stay on it and i quit. I quit on on saturday. I'd had enough well by that point. I feel like it was. We were going through the motions but in watching. Is there anything that you saw that you as an improvement upon our history on reckoning with these things or at least a contrast to what's happened in the past. Oh there's a lot of contrast in the impeachment of andrew johnson in eighteen sixty eight What fell apart in the johnson impeachment in less remember this was the original. Republicans are the radical republicans trying to impeach andrew johnson and finally get him out of the way for all his obstructions to reconstruction but that trial went on so long in the spring late spring eighteen. Sixty eight the began to bump up into the eighteen sixty presidential election and a lot of republicans decided. Oh my god. They didn't want to be the party of impeachment and removing president and by the way the man who would have replaced johnson since there was no vice. President was a radical republican. Ben waigel hieaux and also they got afraid of the awesome power of impeachment and removal. They decided only to try to Make the conviction on an actual violation of law. Instead of johnson's much broader abuse of power. So shied away. They almost got afraid of the very power they were using. That's the opposite here. The democrats went for it and they actually did it brilliantly. What an amazing performance. By those congressman. Who prepared this and their staffs. We must say prepared this case and gave to the american people and to the world forever. An amazing body of evidence of the guilt of the president. Do you think that's going to matter. Because we're gonna be talking about this. The rest of the hour about that. How people took that in. So do i mean you say that was an amazing job do you. do you feel like it. It really landed and it would shift the conversation in any way. I don't know that it's going to shift votes. Were pretty you know boy linen on that but there it was. I found myself again. Shocked by some of that video and some new video as everyone has said It is astonishing evidence. I think mostly of the sheer violence of that mob. And i mean to to do what they did getting into the capital. If they had gotten their hands. On some congressmen or nancy pelosi on mike pence they probably would have killed them and i think only through that demonstration does one really get a sense of that so i do think laying down this evidence support. I'll say one quick thing. There's been a lot of books on the johnson impeachment. There was a wonderful book on it many years ago. It could be twenty five thirty years ago now by michael les benedict constitutional historian and his books showed that the republicans shied away. Is i just argued shied away from the very power. They were exercising any made a concerted case for why andrew johnson should have been convicted. And it's very logical very persuasive argument. I can see now with this body of evidence and a great deal more that will come out if indeed they create an investigative commission like the nine eleven commission. There will be many books for those who wanna read them that will show some probably by journalists somebody historians that will show This man was guilty. Not just a january six and inciting a mob to attack the government. He was guilty of many many many other things along the way and the both impeachments were honorable uses of that awesome power in the constitution. Before we let you go. I ask about the modern. Gop in general. So you're talking about this sort of trumpian movement but you've also described the republican party as secessionists from within these dishonest. Can you just quickly repeat what you mean by that phrase and then explain the impeachment within that within that context. They are unionist when they win. But they're not really unionist when they lose. Just look at this election. They do not believe most of them. Not all of them now. I'm not putting all of the republicans in the same basket but by-in-large they're they're governing is to use government as little as possible except for a few key interest which for them are corporate power tax reduction antiabortion. It used to be a foreign policy of strength in the world. Now that august thrown to the win under trump so they don't really believe in using federal power they don't really believe in governing and in that sense i think they are to a to an extent secessionist from within. Just listen to ted cruz. Just listen to this hawley From missouri and just listened to a few others They really don't want the federal government to exist except for three or four narrow kinds of uses of power and they're willing to try to control it in order to do that I think at the end of the day. We've got to realize that we're not just polarized. That's overused term. We really are. Two political tribes. Were a tribe. The believes in governing. And we're a tribe that really doesn't believe in the uses of governments and how we bridge that how we find unity around that remains to be seen in the first two years of biden's presidency because my own view is only through some successful policies that at least some percentage of americans can look at it and realizing see. Oh my goodness government helps me. I need government. I need this Covid relief check. I need this unemployment insurance. I need this possibility of job. I need my public schools open. I need better streets and sewage systems and infrastructure. The live here. If the biden presidency can show how governing can work they might draw five percent of those trumpian back. It's possible that's that's the kind of hope. I try to take from this moment but we are terribly divided. There's no question. David blight is a historian at yale university. He's written widely about the confederacy and his biography of frederick douglass called profit of freedom won the two thousand nineteen pulitzer prize. If you missed the conversation. David and i had just after the election. I hope you'll go check that out to you can find it at. Wnyc dot org slash anxiety or in your podcast feeds. It's called maga. The confederate loss calls coming up l. Turn to all of you. Wnyc's brian lehrer will join me as we take your calls. The united states of anxiety is supported by audible with an audible membership. You can download titles and listen offline anytime anywhere. Now is the best time to try audible. Because with their president's day event you're getting one of their best offers of the year only nine ninety five a month for your first six months for a limited time in addition to accessing one title from audibles premium selection. You can download and stream thousands of audiobooks originals and podcasts for less than the regular membership visit audible dot com slash anxiety or text anxiety to five hundred five hundred. Welcome back. i'm kai right. This is the united states have anxiety on this show over and over again for four years. Now we've been talking about the need to truly reckoned with the worst of our political culture that we can't just have an election and move on without really collectively confronting the internal demons that the trump era has revealed to me. That kind of reckoning is easier said than accomplished but for mini this impeachment. Trial was supposed to be one big step poured so was it after all is said and done. Was there anything something. Necessary arctic are useful about it for you or your family or your community going to open the phones for the rest of the show. Six four six four three five seven to eight zero. And i want to challenge you to really think about these questions in the first person. Like four yourself. Did you learn something new. Maybe was there a moment that stuck with u is crucial. And did it feel like it prepared us for you to actually reckon with what happened on january six six four six four three five seven to eight zero are as always you can tweet using the hashtag. Us of anxiety. And i am thrilled to say that as we take your calls. I'm going to be joined by. None other than brian lehrer. Hey brian hello guy so nice to be with you so brian i feel a little silly introducing you to our audience here in new york. At least i can't imagine anyone listening locally doesn't know already that ryan host our daily call in show on wnyc. Ten am weekdays as he has done for decades but maybe some of our national listeners. Don't know the show. I don't know and you can also catch brian every thursday night at eight eastern on public radio stations around the country. He's taking calls and thinking about the first one hundred days of the by administration. I'll be joining him for some of those convenings and brian. I guess as a result of all of this work you've had a unique vantage on this whole trump era really talking to listeners around the country interviewing many of the political players involved both in and out of government. So that makes you an ideal person to help us figure out what we've been through here whether it's meaningful and get so. Can we just start with the house. Managers case against former president. David blight just told us that he thinks it went great. I felt like it was never actually about convicting them but something else altogether. Maybe like a public accounting. But what did you get a sense of. What do you think they were trying to accomplish and did they. Did they accomplish that. Yeah i agree with you that it probably wasn't about convicting him and i think in a way we have to be able to whole two somewhat contradictory thoughts in our heads at the same time like on the narrow definition of conviction or acquittal. Obviously trump was acquitted. But i'm guessing that the trial was effective at establishing clear narrative for many americans at least of the long arc of his lies about the electoral system and encouragement violence on his behalf. For example kite you remember this. I think more people than before know about the time. When a group of pro-trump thugs in cars ran a biden harris campaign bus off the road right physically dangerous but trump publicly cheered the thugs on and i thought the new stuff that emerged about his behavior during the insurrection was breathtakingly damning and built on that narrative about the bus. And everything else like. He took the rider's side when congressman. Kevin mccarthy tried to get trump to call them off. That account came from a republican congressman. And that story was out there and her district because she had spoken about it before tape a local grew but it got amplified. And so my best guess is a very least it will now be harder for trump personally to get reelected in two thousand twenty four then if the trial had not been held right. Because there's at least more of this record coming out so what let's see. Let's let's go right to the phones and start seeing. How people took all this in stephen in south amboise new jersey. Stephen welcome to the show. Oh how you doing very well. How did you take. This end did did. Did you learn anything new that it feel like it prepared you to start reckoning with what was going what we've been going through as a country. How did you take it. And my opinion. It really didn't have too much impact on me. I understand that there are checks and balances that needs to be done for president. But i also think that they should be more concerned about you know re relief and i'm how much time do they spend on that. As opposed to this word. I believe he said already knew what was going to come to a acquittal out somehow reinforces trump to me so you would have rather them not do this in the first place and just just focused on cove relief. I mean to the average person. A lot of people are thinking more about Households to me. I mean the people i speak with they. They may touch on the whole. The whole trump thing but more people are worried about their households to me. I i would rather them use their powers more effectively. Thank you for that stephen brian. What about that. Are you hearing that at all from callers from the folks. You've been talking to that you know. Well this is something we could've skipped. You know that was kinda personally my own belief. I wanted the biden folks to get to it and do covid relief and do racial justice and do other big things that need to be done for our country and have nine eleven style commission and such this all out that perhaps would have humiliated trump. Just as much as this trial did But i was wondering if the callers to my weekday show. It have the same feeling. And they wouldn't be that many callers but kai the phones were popping and everybody wanted to talk about it And what i can say about the callers and of course this is an unscientific sample of people who are motivated enough to call in a talk show in eighty percent blue new york. Can they sounded this week. Like they've sounded last four years. And you know. I will break down somewhat by race. A lot of white collar expressing horrified disbelief that so many americans could support trump in his. Stop the steal lie and even after january sixth just as they've expressed horrified disbelief for the past five and a half years since trump for shock to the top of republican america through his explicit anti mexican anti muslim racism and then winning despite the access hollywood tape at the end even among white women. You know so. So many white callers to my show continuing to express that chronic horrified disbelief about that and at the same time. Many black and brown callers horrified of course. But not that surprised saying here. We still are here. We go again. Most of white america willing to embrace any crazy violent racist thing to keep them down out of whatever. Mix hate and fear for the teeth. Time in our history and i guess the question then becomes whether or not this whether this moment this impeachment is can is helping move past that. I'm i'm really going to be curious to hear what some of the callers have to say about that question. Let's go to judy in port washington long island judy. Welcome to the show. Hi thank you. I thought that the case the house managers made was invaluable for all time to document. Just how bad this was. Just how serious. And just what. A great degree of danger. The house of representatives on the senators were in and mike pence and therefore how much heroism the capitol hill. Police force showed saving these people's lives and they keeping struck by the oath. That a senator takes which is longer than the president takes to support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies foreign and domestic. And these guys just let trump off the hook and i don't know if i were a capitol hill police officer or a relative of one. How would i go to my job knowing. These guys weren't even willing to lose their jobs. When i have to put my life on the line for them. Judy can i ask you before you go. You you said The thought the videos in particular were were gripping at. Did you see stuff you hadn't seen before was that. Was it news absolutely absolutely well. First of all the surveillance photos but yes i. I've been glued to my tv. And i saw many things that i didn't see before and even the things i had seen before kind of sunk in so it wasn't just the lark it wasn't oh we'll take a selfie and go home no no. It was much much worse. Thank you judy. It's penny in mercer county. New jersey penny. Welcome show yes. Thank you Well i agree one hundred percent with the previous caller as far as you know a putting out there. So that we could see. The american people could see the world constituency the the level of violence and the risk of an and how close to injury and death for all those in the capital at that time or just doing their constitutional duty and take aways for me are how the level of imperviousness to truth and facts were those who had already previously made up their mind and so many so many out that i speak within the community that they're just impervious to truth and facts and seeing things through a completely different lens and don't even consider facts and truth and along with that is how we cannot be complacent to those is just say. That's just the way it is. That's just the way it is but we must every moment to stand up and defend this fragile fragile democracy. Yes we have a democracy in. We can keep its. We must were ever be vigilant to protect our democracy. Thank thank you for that. Yeah go ahead. Brian connect can. I weigh in on your your basic question to the callers. Yes about whether we think that this move the country forward in a meaningful way. And and i take it you mean beyond donald trump. I do and i wish i could say. I see the trial as a meaningful step toward reckoning with white supremacy. But i don't see it. And i didn't see it and i was disappointed not to see it because the focus was so narrowly on whether trump incited the insurrection by his big lie about the election being stolen. But i don't think they centered the idea that they were focusing on people's behavior in atlanta and philadelphia and detroit with what that means and the echoes of history from that najef instead trump said there was massive fraud in the suburbs where so many white college educated voters moved away from trump in the last two years any it said the ballot dumping was taking place there would have gotten as many republicans to believe him. Then i doubt it but they talk about it. And i think the trial distracts from the fact that at least the way i see it and i'm curious if you think i'm on the right track or wrong track car but i think about two kinds of white supremacy that we talk about one is the explicit klan and nazi and proud boys kind of actually proclaiming their superiority. The other is all the structural stuff that you talk about. All the time baked into who has wealth and income access to higher education and good housing healthcare freedom from criminalization. Everything that at this point is not so much about a conscious attempt to elevate one race over another. But we'll take a massive shift in policy and politics You know commitment to uncomfortable choices by white liberals and events like january six then pro-trump violent white supremacy in general while maybe not representative of most people and then the democrats focus on it in the trial. Keep us looking away from that harder. Foundational anti-racist work. Well it's an interesting point in but it's also you know in the trial itself. I just didn't see a lot of focused on white nationalism period in the fact that that was a big part of it one of the things i hadn't realized was that i learned in the trial. Was that one of the first people at least in that surveillance video one of the first people to enter. The building was the one carrying of confederate flag. I didn't realize that was literally the tip of the spear and there wasn't that much conversation about it but let me bring in another person on this very subject I ask ellie missed all to join us as well. Brian elliott is the justice correspondent for the nation magazine. He's been on your show many times. He's join us here in the united states and things i as well l. e. welcome. Hi guys what a terrible weekend in this country. Well indeed. Okay so now. I'm going to take that. You did not in fact think that something useful happened in the course of this impeachment hearing. Yeah i want to jump in right. Where brian left off right with this question of of why the focus wasn't so much on white supremacy and i think one of the key things that we saw during the trial which as you know person with legal training I could not have enjoyed the house managers presentation more. It was a legally extremely strong case. If you thought you were in a court of law which we clearly weren't right so when you when you pull on the more political hat the thing that that always strikes me is that democrats insist on fighting these battles inside the paper bag. That is the republican psyche. They insist on doing things that they think will or won't convince republicans and not doing things based on whether or not they will or won't convince republicans as opposed to accepting the truth and the reality that the republicans are lost. They are gone. They are never coming back. The point is not to convince republicans the point is to expose republicans and inspire other people to go out and defeat them at the polls. And that argument would have been served by brian's point of highlighting the white supremacy aspect of some more wanting to help convince lindsey graham you saw when stacy's pocket actually brought up the the racism of the of the trump lawyer presentation twitter flit up with white people across the country being like he thing card of course if they had gone harder into white. Supremacy lindsey graham and maybe even you know mitt. Romney would have been like well. Whoa gosh that just wasn't necessary. But but but that's a that that you only care about that if you live in a world where republican's views and opinions matter if you accept that they don't then yes talking about white supremacy would actually make the emerging majority in this country. Be like the democrats were fighting for them and fighting for their views and feel and and saw them for who they are. Let let me ask you about the politics of all this though. So you wrote that in your most recent piece on this and the nation you wrote asking people like lindsey graham josh hawley and ted cruz to convict. Trump is a little bit like asking robert e lee to convict jefferson davis for treason. They're all part of the same insurrection. And i use that that quote not to be incendiary because this is an interesting difference. You're making sure you're not saying that. Their votes are about political vulnerability. You're saying it's something more than that. I'm saying that they're. They're part of the same riot brian again. While i was on hold brought up the biden harris van. They ran off the road right well. And yes and trump supported that or encourage that and they made a big deal of that at during the impeachment trial. You know who all supported that marco rubio marco. Rubio gave did a rally the monday after that that attempted attack on the bus and he said see what they did out there in texas with all those calls on the road. We love when they do that. More rubio alleged centrist water. Drinking little marco did that all right so when you look at the kinds of things in the republicans have signed up for during the trump administration. It's not just all about political cowardice. It's not all about three dimensional tests triangulating into their own self interest. They like this. They want this. They are complicit in the white supremacist takeover of their own party and our country. Let's before we go to break. Let's get one more call in go to renee in bridgeport connecticut. Welcome to the show. Thank you very much for having me. Thank you for having this year. I wanted to say you're an answer to your question. Was this cathartic. It was extremely cathartic for me. And i think for maybe a lot of women to have suffered some ptsd d. and then triggered under the five years that trump has been here and the election and then as president because it triggered the sense of coercion and domestic abuse and as a survivor of domestic abuse. Who never told anyone what was happening. And i was lucky to have survived when the man tried to kill me. I found that listening to the trial. I allowed myself to let it be the trial. That never happened for me. And though i knew what the outcome would be for the republicans not voting. I allow myself to say yes. It happened people believe me it was wrong. People know it was wrong and people saw it. I have been seeing. I have to say. I went through more healing in the past week. Than i have in so long and think jamie raskin personally because i was so inspired by him and all of the house managers they did a wonderful thing whether or not it changes other things personally for so many women i know they gave us something. We never got in a court of law. Thank you so much for adding that point. And i'm sorry that you went through what you went through and i'm glad that you've got some catharsis out of it. We're gonna take a short break and when we come back. We'll talk more with brian. Lehrer and ellie missed stall of the nation and we will continue taking your calls Everybody so i want to ask your help with something. A huge part of what we're doing with this show is building a community community of people who wanna share the joy and the work of creating and living in a healthy plural society. That's why we've started taking calls on the live show and soliciting your tweets and your voicemails. Here hey this is michael from raleigh north carolina. This is ida in austin texas economy. Ms doran from queens new york wildest dreams and imaginations. It's going to be hard for me to get through this. Not guys without getting emotional. It's all part of building a community and you can do two things to help build our community first off. Just invite somebody to join in it. He even start listening together on sunday evenings. But however you invite other people in second you can leave a review on whatever app. You're using to listen right now. You can give us a rating there. That's nice but also leave a comment. Why do listen. Why should others join you in listening again. Think of it as making an invitation. How community works so. Thanks in advance for doing either. Are both of those things and even if you can't do either of them. Thanks for being part of our commuting. Welcome back thank high right. This is the united states of anxiety. I'm talking with. Wnyc's brian lehrer and elliot's stall the justice correspondent for the nation magazine about the impeachment trial. And whether or not it represented some kind of reckoning whether it's set us on the path to some kind of reckoning and we're taking your calls. I want to know how it felt for you. How'd you take it ended it. Move you forward in any way. Six four six four three five seven to eight zero and brian. Can i ask you to respond to what rene said right before we went to break. You know She talked about that. It wasn't fact so cathartic for her because it was almost like she got to have the hearing she never got. And i wonder if you've heard things like that previously in from other callers on your show our if you've encountered that it was such a powerful idea to me. Well i haven't heard it. Explicitly expressed like that and low. But i think that in fact. That's what i heard. That's what the demand on the phones over. The past week has been so many people wanted to reflect on you know their emotional experience of the presentation of the house managers with all the evidence that they marshall the videos and audios and photos and everything so i think people were having a cathartic experience and reflecting it even if they didn't put it as as explicitly and that was incredibly beautiful and powerful From that caller this idea that it's like okay. I'm not crazy. There's so much about the past four years so many of us that has felt like we overuse this term gas lighting And so it's an opportunity to say. No there is a really a record here i wonder quickly. It w- similarly. I want to put it to you in terms of the making of a record piece of it. I know you agreed with brian. This is exactly the record you would have made. But do you think there was a record. Made here that thinking about racial justice thinking about all of the crimes that people have been upset about. I do and i think to pick up as point. I think that one of the one of the core republican arguments was essentially an argument made by domestic abusers. Right like you don't hold me accountable. Because then i might just get more violent then really will make me angry. Like people have heard that people have domestic abuse people. You know survivors of child abuse that they've heard that before. And so i think part of what happened was the reputation of such arguments During this past week. And i think that was an important part of the overall record that was established. So yeah look. I thought impeachment was worth it. I still think it was worth it. I would have done more. I would've done slightly differently but like i. It's it's you know but again this is part of my legal background like it's always worth it to try to hold people accountable and if anything i would just i. One of the things that i'm trying to do is try to remind people i wrote about this even before spend let let's not let every these the rest of these people get away with right. According to reports eight hundred people stormed the capital that day. Only around two hundred have been arrested. That means six hundred of these white. Domestic terrorists are large. Let's go get them so far. That is a failure of chris. Wray and the fbi but hopefully once merrick garland is installed whenever republicans in their infinite wisdom decide. Let that man have a hearing. Hopefully once that happens his justice department will go back and get these other six hundred people who attacked us right. I think merrick garland would not not say anything that might just as popper to defiling. Finally get a hearing. Let's go in westchester. Ti welcome to the show. Thank you I agree with everything. that the other person said thus far I also feel that I would've taken more time. I would have called as many witnesses as possible. I wouldn't call republican senators. Who have been a part of this the whole time. Expose them even if they didn't vote. I mean they were working with the the team so even if they we knew they weren't gonna vote that expose every single person makes them get up there on the stand and lie to everyone on record. It's not as though we can go back and listen to what he said before. Also i was telling him that when i was in first grade. I used to get in trouble. Because i would say the pledge of allegiance and the last words what we get in trouble for because i would always say injustice for some i said i am forty one years old and bill to this day. I feel compelled to say those words and i still do. I have not yet been able to say justice for all because people like him. Don't get justice. They don't they don't go to jail. Thank you tia. Let's go to calvin in memphis tennessee. Calvin welcome to the show. Thank you very much. thanks for having me. I was I was telling someone a short time ago that this is important. As far as exposing the record. I digest a lot more politics than than maybe some Follow mrs style. Glad to be on the same channel with him at least four seconds. What's up he was important to have this in the open White supremacy insurgency. It is what is always being For four hundred years plus but it is important. I think for a lot of people who don't follow everything and ev- all the minutia of politics that maybe they didn't see and some will will ignore it but it's important to put out there More witnesses might have been great. Would not have mattered. Went out you would not have made a difference. The vote was going to be what it was. But i'm glad that it's out there Forty five is who he is and will always be and we'll try to be again but we needed to see it in need to be exposed. The house presenters were magnificent. I'm proud of everyone. Of calvin thank you for that and elliott to people. They're talking about how long it should have gone on. You have been among people who argue strenuously they should have in fact call witnesses even though that would have led to all of the republican threats. About how long this would go on and how it would prevent turning to to covid relief. Why do you why do you think it should kept going so a couple of things first of all. Let's go back to my earlier statement. I don't care about republican threats. I i don't care. Like i don't believe them. I think they might have been bluffing. And if they hadn't been bluffing let's not forget. That the only way they can obstruct everything is if they use. The power is given to them under the filibuster. So if they wanted to obstruct anything and democrats in life that they could kill the filibuster which is something that democrats need to do anyway and having a moral opportunity to do so as opposed to way procedural need to do so might have actually been a better fight. I would have rather had that bite. We have to kill the filibuster because mcconnell is blocking covert relief. Because he doesn't wanna listen to kevin mccarthy tell the truth i would have rather had that fight right now as opposed to. We're going to have to have you know six months from now. So that's number one in terms of just my lack of care about republican threats to do anything this week their home there on. Chris coons to get over. Valentine's day chris cazenove coons said that said that right so we could have had witnesses. This week ain't nothing else to do right number three. I do think. And dan goldman's maybe you know Council for the house judiciary committee spectrum. Greatly and i respect his legal accurately. He makes a really good point. That if you're gonna call witnesses deposed them and you don't put a witness on the stand who you know. You haven't prepped right. And i think that's a fair point. That would have taken a little bit more time but the people who are saying like oh well it would have been subpoenas and mobile. No there were witnesses who were willing to testify fine. You can't do this. The peanut thing to try to get unwilling witnesses as they pointed out. We're still waiting for dom again right. But there were witnesses. There were staffers. There were cops you know. They clapped and they gave you gene goodman a metal wants to put you on the stand. Have him tell you what they were calling in. Every person who's ever been in the legal profession knows that the most valuable thing. Na trial is live testimony there are zero prosecutors who would take a written deposition or video over the live statement of victims of crimes. That of course of course. It was a political calculation and brian. In your unscientific polling do you what do you think has there been an appetite for more for them to go on. I mean i think the calculation here was that people didn't have an appetite to keep going. I don't know. I think My callers would have been mixed But you know that doesn't that doesn't prove anything. I know house manager. Stacey plaskitt said on television this morning that witnesses wouldn't have changed anything. And i'm paraphrasing here from memory but the kevin mccarthy watered down his story already from what it was originally about trump contributing to the riott. Mike pence hasn't even sent anything yet about trump leaving him to potentially etc. But that doesn't make any wrong. All right let's try to squeeze in some calls her before we have to wrap up. Let's go to sherry in east village sherry welcome to the show. Yes hi thank you. This is a really good show I I feel that i hope the investigation that follows the trial They'll probably be more than one but I want them to focus on finding the higher ups that were involved in keeping the capitol police so outnumbered for so many hours either in a planned way or by neglect They To me there. They should be Shown you know they never go after the higher ups usually or if they do they talk about it and nothing ever comes of it and whether it was the department of defense or the pentagon The mayor washington had to call a p deadly and got no help and then finally called the governors of maryland. Virginia and they sent their national guard. I mean i thought of in early january. I talk about the movie. Six days in may seven days in may rather you guys know it. I don't know the movie sherry. I'm sorry there was a novel in about an attempted coup but it was by Pentagon general and The staffer who found out about went to the president. I mean i don't think anyone ever thought about if the president and as the head of the executive branch literally attacked legislator branch that that could even happened in this country. I'm gonna have to let go cherry. Thank you for that. Peter in tampa florida peter. We got about thirty seconds or so here for you. What how how did you take it at all right because you know so much history we say. What does the high crime and misdemeanor me. We look into the past in other words. So much of what goes on with law is precedent. We we see what we did. This last week is say future. Generations will look back and saying this was a line. This went too far to this degree. We didn't look the other way and so so then future generations will say. Is this a high crime misery peachable. They'll say well look what they did in the year. Twenty twenty one so it's necessary to keep drawing a line saying this is intolerable. Peter you will get the last word for now. I've been talking with ellie masala justice correspondent for the nation. Magazine eliot thanks for calling in driving me and wnyc's own. Brian lehrer in addition to brian's daily morning show on wnyc. You can catch him every thursday night at eight. Pm on public radio stations around the country we taking calls about the first one hundred days of the biden administration. Brian thanks for chiming in butler guy. United states things. Id is a production of wnyc studios. Jared paul mixed podcast version kevin bristowe matthew miranda were at the boards for the live. Show a special. Thanks this week to carl boys ron for help answering the phones in getting callers onto the radio our team also includes caroline adams. Emily boutin ginny casaus. Marianne mccune christopher. Worth and vera lynn williams. Our theme music was written by hans brown and performed by outer borough prosper or executive producer. I am tyrod. Keep up with me on twitter at kai underscore right and join us. Always for the live. Show next sunday six pm eastern you can stream it at wnyc dot org or just tell your smart speakers plate wnyc till then thanks for listening. Thanks for talking to us. Take care sells. The united states of anxiety is supported by audible with an audible membership. You can download titles and listen offline anytime anywhere. Now is the best time to try audible. Because with their president's day event you're getting one of their best offers of the year only nine ninety five a month for your first six months for a limited time in addition to accessing one title from audibles premium selection. You can download and stream thousands of audiobooks originals and podcasts for less than the regular membership visit audible dot com slash anxiety or text anxiety to five hundred five hundred.
D.C. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton Makes Her Case For Statehood
"This week on aria code this is somebody abusing justice to get what he wants. It's not your daily news alert. It's mozart's marriage of figaro. A tale of privilege and power that still resonates today ari code. Listen wherever you find your podcasts. Search listener supported w nyc studios. I'm brian lehrer. This is my daily politics. Podcast from wnyc studios. It's monday april twenty. Six one republican senator considering the white house run in twenty twenty four peak the anger of one of the newly elected house members from new york last week. The issue was the bill. If the house just passed that would make washington. Dc a state. Here's what senator tom. Cotton of arkansas said about that wyoming is smaller than washington by population. But it has three times as many workers in mining logging and construction and ten times as many workers in manufacturing in other words wyoming is a well rounded working class state. A new state of washington would not be it. Was that last point that wyoming is a well rounded working class state. You hear that phrase and dc is not that freshman congressman mondaire. Jones of westchester and rockland took strong issue with. I have had enough of my colleagues racist insinuations. That somehow the people of washington. Dc are incapable or even unworthy of our democracy one senate. republican said. That wouldn't be a quote well rounded working class state. I had no idea there was so many syllables in the word. White congressman mondaire jones. He later agreed to withdraw that remark based on the house to corum tradition of not labelling other members of congress like that but he still insisted. Senator cotton position was based on fear that his party's white supremacist. Politics will no longer play. We'll talk about dc statehood now and the washington. Dc admission act. That did passed the house last week with the sponsor of the bill. Dc's nonvoting member of the house of representatives. Eleanor holmes norton for some of you not familiar with her career. Eleanor holmes norton had already been prominent civil rights attorney fortune. Five hundred company Board member and chair of the federal government's equal employment opportunity commission under president. Jimmy carter when she was elected by the people of d c. She is in her fifteenth term in that seat so coming on thirty years of representing the people of dc without getting a vote on legislation that affects them. We'll talk about dc statehood touch on a few other issues if we have time congresswoman an honor to have you on today. Welcome back to wnyc. Thank you so much. Good to be with you. Dc statehood has always been an issue in theory and democrats have often had majority control of the house. So why was it just last week that the house passed in actual bill. Well informed fact haven't had joy of the house since i've been in in the congress Virtually never have we had majority now than we have. The majority of the first thing i did was to get statehood for the district of columbia. When i first came to congress we did have a majority but many of those were southern democrats and we couldn't get the dc statehood. Bill passed that year washington d. Leave oak ahead. You wanna finish a thought on that. The reason the southern democrats were conservative. Democrats and statehood was a a a point to four for them. But go ahead. Oh i was just gonna ask since washington. Dc is a city of. I think about seven hundred thousand people correctly from wrong that would make it one of the smallest states by population and republicans. See it as merely a power grab to get to more democratic senators in an overwhelmingly democratic city. What makes this one. City legitimately state. But it's larger than two states. That are already sates of the union and sizes force never been A element in in granting statehood. We looked to see whether or not a state. Kim support itself. And even that there and frankly there's never been a criterion for becoming a state so we're not going to allow him to force criteria on the district of columbia for the first time. What did you think of. The exchange between senator cotton and congressman mondaire jones. Do you also accuse opponents of dc statehood of being racist. I really don't only because for most of its two hundred and twenty years. The district has been a majority white A city Only in the few decades after the nineteen seventies was the district chocolate city as he called it and right now it's the majority white city again so i'm not sure racism reason if this were when when when we had a majority white here for most of its two hundred and twenty years existence of district. Didn't he may have home rule and now it's almost fifty percent african american But not quite so not a majority. It's it yes that's right. it's it will have a larger than american population than any state. That is certainly true but percentage. Yeah i read an op. Ed opposed to the idea in the hill that says if you want voting representation for the people of the city in congress have the state become part of maryland again like it was originally in colonial times it would be maryland's biggest city and therefore have lots of cloud over who the senators from there would be and it wouldn't be seen as partisan thing that looks to republicans like replacing underrepresentation with over representation To get democrats in their your reaction to that. I think you should do ask maryland maryland seated land in perpetuity as i speak The majority leader is a Steny hoyer is also a leader for dc statehood in fact every representative and senator from maryland supports dc statehood except one republican representative. I'm afraid maryland is not an alternative And in fact the people residents of the district of columbia by almost ninety percent voted to become their own state comes from. And how do you think most. If that's the people of the district concrete louis to not have that vote. Well the most important effect is that the doesn't have two senators and you keep calling me a nonvoting member which leaves the impression that i don't vote on anything. The fact is that i care subcommittee. I'm chair of a subcommittee right now. I do vote in committees. What i cannot do is vote on that final vote on the house floor. And that of course is very important. That's the final vote on legislation. I can't even vote on the house floor on legislation affecting only the district of columbia but the most important effect would be that the district would have two senators like every other part of the country. Let me take a phone. Call from zack. In tampa who has a question. That sort of combined dc statehood and the puerto rican statehood question that. We've also been talking about. Zack on wnyc with congresswoman. Eleanor holmes norton. Thank you for calling in good morning. Brian good morning congresswoman. I'll make my comments brief. yes tom. Cotton is racist. I'm not a member of congress and the united states. i can certainly see that. His post on the new york times and other publications are testament to his virulent and has rated racism secondly with respect to congresswoman. I certainly agree with her assessment. That it is certainly time for dc to become the fifty first state but also for the people of puerto rico who have been suffering because of colonialist policies that have been imposed by the mainland has also time for those folks to either be made independent or beat United in the greater union of our country. And i'll take my comments off. Call thank you so much. thank you very much. how do you compare the two. Statehood pushes congressman. Well we certainly glad to pair with puerto rico because donnelly when states come into the union granted statehood They come in pairs And in fact. Puerto rico does have a delegate and that delegate is republican however for rigaud doesn't pay for all of the elements Of statehood would have to agree to do that. There has been a division within puerto rico whether or not they warn to in fact become a full state they're having discussions on that now. that there are referenda have been divided but we'd be glad to partner with them did the founders originally want dc to not be estate so members of congress wouldn't self deal to their own little jurisdiction where they as powerful people who tend to be living at least part of the year. You understand the origin of this. The founders Did wanna have a capital that was not attached to any state but if you look at the constitution that was nothing nothing whatsoever in the constitution that says that the founders didn't want the district to have home rule or should become a state itself. Can i ask. I know you just a few minutes left. And i want to ask about one other issue before congress and ask you to put it into a kind of a bigger picture context In fact let me start with the bigger picture since you go back to the carter administration in the specific role of chair of the equal employment opportunity commission and before that is civil rights lawyer. Did you think in those days that we wouldn't have this much persistent inequality by now in policing obviously that's front and center at this moment but in income and wealth and housing segregation and the other big building blocks of what we call systemic racism. Or how would you assess progress and obstacles over the course of your life time career. I mean on racist. Yes yes and on. You know the state of persistent inequality if if that's fair phrase well. I think the That the that has been the stance of progress. There's no question that we weren't where we were when i chair the equal employment opportunity commission When you see people getting in the streets on black lives matter and taking down confederate statues you see More or less and less tolerance of racism in our country. We keep going this way. Perhaps we'll get somewhere so let me ask about that. Specific issue them before congress Again drawing on your background. In this respect george floyd justice and policing act. It looks like that might. Actually get a bipartisan compromise. Version through the senate. According to senator cory booker speaking last week. Who's in conversation as i'm sure you know congresswoman cowan bass democrat of california and republican senator. Tim scott of south carolina. Do you have a read on whether that's possible or what. The bottom line deal should be in any compromise bill. Well they're yeah there there is. There is some progress being made and they've set themselves the date of may twenty fifth by which to reach a compromise. The fact that we have a republican working Republican senator working on a compromise bodes well for for Some kind of movement on the floor. Justice policing act The notion of of of police itself and whether please can be sued of course has been the hold up just on sunday. Karen bass didn't seem to want to move much whether or not police would be sued. The has been compromised proposed on that allowing To be sued instead of individual police officers. I didn't hear her warm much to that. In any case the what what what deadline. They've given themselves as may twenty fifth. That's today no no. I'm sorry. This is just april. Twenty may twenty fifth is a one month so consequential month of politics ahead for the george floyd justice policing at What wh one more call for you in dc statehood allen in brooklyn. You're on wnyc. We've got thirty seconds for your call. Thirty seconds for her. Answer alan go. I think we're taking the base by going with the idea that we should have more states have disproportion between the senate representation and the population instead we should be attacking the basic premise that all the existing states with tiny populations deserve to have two senators equal to new york texas california and if we buy into their argument we're just weakening our world position allen. Thank you very much. And of course i'm gonna say this where listeners I know you know he saying the bigger problem. Is this overrepresentation of white rural america in these small states. Get to senators and changing it to add. Dc into the category of the very small place with two senators doesn't change the structural problem in fact probably makes it harder to go out. Structurally if you get this little. The framers made a decision. Every jurisdiction gets two senators no matter no matter their composition and in return They get the house of representatives. Which of course is proportional representation. That's in the constitution. There's no changing that now. Dc's representative eleanor. Holmes norton thank you so much for coming on with us today. We really appreciate brian. Lehrer a daily politics. Podcast is an excerpt from my live. Daily radio show the brian lehrer show on. Wnyc radio ten am to noon eastern time. If you wanna listen live at. Wnyc dot org. Thanks for listening today. Talk to you next time.
The Vaccines Might Help Long-Haul COVID Sufferers
"Each listener supported w nyc studios. I'm brian lehrer. This is my daily politics. Podcast from wnyc studios. It's friday much nineteenth right now the race between vaccines and variants continues as we all know while we're learning about how the virus works and how to protect ourselves against it. It is also learning in. Its way about how we were. And how to protect itself from our efforts to avoid it dr daniel griffin has been on the front lines of the pandemic with his patients and advising other doctors as an infectious disease clinician. And as a researcher at columbia and chief of the division of infectious diseases and the pro health medical group dr griffin. Thank you for joining us. Welcome to wnyc. Thank you so much for having me. Brian. and so has your role been primarily to treat patients once. They're sick enough with cova to be in the hospital You know brian. I think that's hopefully what i can bring to. This is referred to myself as a physician. Scientists physician i And i've been taking care of well. Hundreds and hundreds of covid patients but the whole spectrum. Brian from The outpatient setting all the way into the hospital into the icu And then out the other side. So i'm curious what you're seeing in your practice and in particular what you're seeing. What you hear from other doctors at pro pro health when it comes to hospitalization and i see us. Are we winning this war You know right now. We're sort of in a holding game. I think we're sitting here on this plateau and We say it's a you know the virus against the vaccines and as we're ramping up our vaccines. We're doing everything we can. Unfortunately to help the virus with the opening up Some of us think a little bit too quickly But we're we're sitting at this holding pattern and people can look at the numbers nationally and in the new york area. We we see it in here. We're sitting with about four to five thousand people in the hospital and we've been there for about a month. Now we're seeing between fifty one hundred people die every day. And that's been what's been going on for the last month so as the vaccine's ramp up The the viruses getting an opportunity to to change and we're having challenges How that impacts of our therapy. So i still. There's every reason to be optimistic. But you know we're still in the middle of this pandemic we still have across the country. One thousand people dying a day and yeah we. We are not where. I wish we were at this point long haulers. You're in the news recently. Because you noticed some of your patients experiencing kovas long tail have gotten relief following vaccination which we usually think of us to prevent cova nineteen. Tell us what you're saying. Yeah this is a shocking new paradigm right vaccines as therapeutics as opposed to vaccines just for prevention. And i was. I was a little dismayed. Continued to be dismayed Since well i guess. April may When i started noticing this ritual of clapping patients out of the hospital with the idea that now they were all better But then i've continued to take care of those patients for months and months and and now i think people are becoming more aware that for a significant chunk of individuals. Cova does not just two weeks. They suffer and so back in december when we first started vaccinating healthcare workers. I allowed them with long kobe. Care for we were really pleasantly shocked to see that about thirty. Forty percent felt significantly improved and that seems to be holding Some of them. It takes that second shot but This is really encouraging A virus that has always thrown surprises are way Almost all of them terrible. This is the first time. I have to say this is a really pleasant and positive Thing that we're observing and you know we have a call right away on the phones who seems to be having that particular experience in manhattan you're on. Wnyc thank you for calling in. thanks brian. Sorry about the technical troubles this morning. I used to do audio live audio engineering. So i felt all of your pain But i really i. I was waiting and it was so hopeful that you got the phones working because this is huge for me doctor. I just wanted to tell you that. I'm one of those people. I worked in grocery services for the last year march. Nineteenth is my anniversary. When i first started to show a temperature and i stayed sick for three weeks and i got better and i thought everything was going to be great. And after that i learned to live on kabukicho and hdl tablets because my digestive system just didn't want to do anything anymore and i would get ridiculous. Muscle cramps out of nowhere. That would me up in bed for days. And i was brain fog. I was paranoid. I i i was. I felt unlike myself. I hadn't been myself for a year. I got the johnson and johnson virus a few weeks back. I don't remember the date. I really should a vaccine. Yes and Ah i got sick for four days. I felt like i was going to be the first person to die from the vaccine. And then i'm i'm happy a better. I feel seventy five eighty percent of what i was before i got sick and that is beyond mazing. Can't speak the praises about getting the vaccine enough for people who may have long-term effects doctor griffin. Do you wanna ask. Chris anything as a patient or just call her. Well i think. I thank you chris. You know this this. Is i think the way medicine is supposed to be. It's supposed to be a dialogue. We're supposed to learn as much from our patients as as we can teach them. And you know early on. Chris we saw this with the with the arna vaccines and you know. We did know it's. Jj gonna work as well and actually. I mean this is great here. You are giving a first hand account It looks like all the vaccines are providing this this improvement now. I don't want to oversell it. Chris because unfortunately as you probably know there's about half the folks that are still still suffering but my gosh thirty forty percent feeling better like this. This is tremendous and and chris. I guess i'll ask you you know early on. We were a little worried about the vaccines were going to. you know. set people back where they're going to get a vaccine and then lose whatever improvement Did you have that fear going into this or were you. Were you going in with that positive hopeful attitude well have positive and hopeful and really really really really really well researched so i. I'll tell you my theory was. Maybe you can tell me if i'm having fun or just. Maybe i'm onto something. I had thought that somehow because of the exposure in the grocery store environment where we were under maximum exposure in the numbers of people that got sick in my store alone or just staggering But i did the research. And i was keeping up with as much discussion groups as i could so i wasn't really paranoid but i was super hopeful because what it felt like is the digestive and neuro muscular and really my brain. Fog sounded like a virus in hiding almost like a herpes virus and it was evading the immune system and when i would get out or paranoid or over work too much i'd only been working one or two days is maximum amount of physical activity. I can endure I was i was thinking it acted like a cold sore. It would pop up and and lamey out for days at a time. So i was super hopeful that the vaccine would give my immune system a boost against variants or other mutations that were hiding and go out and seek and destroy what do you think that griffin has nailed the mechanism or does he have a good theory there. We're going to name it. After you. Chris the chris mechanism actually. You're i know you are right We have we have two main theories we And i think it is we. It's a lot of us Talking and putting our heads together i was. I was reading an article by kiko fantastic researcher up at yale at the end i was waiting for them to mention. They quoted me because it was exactly what i was thinking. No no it was her words. we think really prevalent theory. Is that the virus is not fully cleared Either the viruses still replicating at a low level. Or there's just moments that are still provoking our immune system. Making us still feel sick and the leading series. You give this vaccine Particularly now that we're seeing with the jj and the other vaccines don't really give such a huge jolt that maybe now or finally clearing this out of our system so no chris. You're right on with the leading theory. We're still trying to sort this out. There's a lot of research underway to understand this But yeah that's right up there chris. I'm glad you're feeling better. I'm really glad you called in. And maybe we'll have the chris therien. It'll be christened. The chris theory when they figure out exactly why the vaccines helped long haulers. Thank you so so much. Let's do one more because this is a whole new category. We haven't heard these stories before at least on this show and we have at least one more coming in. So vicki in manhattan you're on. Wnyc good morning on. I'm going to echo. Chris on i had what they called mild symptoms in january of last year. It put me in the er mild symptoms. I didn't have to be intimated. But i was sick for Eight hours with a lot of different nausea and disorientation dizziness. And after i got the vaccine the pfizer on tenth. I have felt better in this last just over a week. Then i did. In all of twenty twenty. I would have fatigue. I would have muscle ache. I would have slight colds like cough sore throat. Swollen glands fatigue. That came out of nowhere that i would have to have a nap for two three hours at a time. So i'm gonna just echo. He said i feel great. And i feel grateful. Can i ask you if that started. After your first visor shot or only after the second i it started after my first. 'cause my second won't be until the thirty first so even the first shot that the doctor griffin talked briefly now. This is great. Becky you know. I take care of a lot of patients with lung kovic so when we were sort of having these shared decision making a sessions back in december we were worried are people are gonna get better or worse and we saw chunk of people just like you vicki who they got their first shot and it was really either a few days or a week or two and they started feeling better Some people are feeling better after the second shot and some people who will say seventy eighty percent with the first shot they get that extra with the second shot so This is excellent. i was gonna say. Vicky you're in brooklyn right. So isn't it pronounced fiso hatton so we say there but i'll go with five because i love all the new york accent but human difference. I mean my. Kobe bog has gone You know. I can't tell you. I feel better than i felt in the last whole year. The second much more anecdotal evidence that this is really happening and by the way you were doing your factory there. Right visor yes yes yes Ouchi you're we have just a few more minutes left with dr daniel griffin from columbia and pro health. I wanna touch at least one last thing before he ran at a time. I know you do weekly updates on the podcast this week in virology this week in virology is a such a good reputation. I should say to a general audience. It's like i think of this week in virology is to cove it as c. span is to government so you gotta be pretty wonky like to watch a whole senate hearing or house hearing on c. span And same thing if you want to as lay person Watch listen to the conversations about the virus at that level but this week in virology is amazing. In that way last week you mentioned your concern about covid nineteen children so give us a quick update on what you think is new there. Yeah what i think is new there again is probably the long covert angle here You know we look at statistics and even bryant when you start asking about covert in the hospital. I've had a lot of conversations where people look at. You know what's the percent of people that end up in the hospital. What's the percent of people that die but for most individuals cova an outpatient disease. So when we look at kids and we say okay there at low risk of ending up in the hospital there are low. Risk of dying Boy half of them don't even have much in the way symptoms What we're seeing more more of Large studies Great data out of the uk great incentive robust but not Great in the sense of positive that kids to develop long covert as well So we're starting to see more and more of that on the ground here Kids who either didn't even have a strong case or maybe it was a mild case of covid now. A couple months later struggling in school unable to play sports with their friends So as we're looking at getting the kids back in school. I think the message where we're realizing is kids may be at low risk. But they're certainly not at no risk. Just one follow up on that. 'cause we've been wondering on our team if there's more disease and children now or just more testing of children for example nassau county executive laura current suggested this week that one reason they're positive test results are staying same that is that plateau that you were talking about. Before there's a consistent two high positivity rate in nassau county but hospitalization rates are dropping and the county executive thinks maybe the reason a reason is that they recently started. Routinely testing student athletes closeable. It's definitely possible. I mean brian. We're definitely seeing a shift in the positives from the older population right. We've now done a great job of vaccinating. Our our seniors in long term care facilities. We've done a great job of getting people over the age of sixty five vaccinated but with that Feeling of complacency shall we say The kids are getting more exposures. So i think it's a combination. Nali a retested them more but They're actually getting more infections than i. I relate this to a conversation. I had with jay berger the head of our pediatric group at pro health new york and when he does when he's the sick doc so to speak And they see those acute of visits were every time seeing multiple kids coming in with with acute coburn septum so it's not just a testing phenomenon. That's part of the numbers. But we're also seeing more symptomatic infections and kids as well you know. We just saw some over ninety breaking news. And we were talking about kids. So it's relevant so i'm gonna throw it out to the cdc just revised their guidance for how socially distanced kids have to be in class from six feet to three feet. We knew this. Mike becoming and now it's come do support. It actually do brian lehrer. I'm a little bit of granularity. I tweeted about this this morning. Because i knew this was coming You know there was a recent study. And i'm going to say it was not a great study talked about it on twitter on saturday but there was a good study back in june. There's been a lot of studies looking at this when you get individuals about three feet apart about a meter apart. You get about an eighty percent reduction in the risk of transmission. You go to two meters or six feet. You drop it to ninety percent right. So you're you get that most bag in that first Three feet in that first meter. You throw masks and about an eighty percent drop there So when you start putting this all together you get the desk three feet apart. You get the kids wearing masks. You improve those ventilation systems and open the windows you dare. I say at testing to sort of reduce the chance of infectious kids in the schools I think this is all going to work together to hopefully get our kids back back in school. So you know. The moms particularly can get back in the workplace. I think women have suffered disproportionately During this because of the impact on our kids and our kids have suffered so No i think we can do this safely at i think the. Cdc is updating the guidance based upon the science and we will emphasize the part of it that you said in the middle there which is this is assuming that everybody is still wearing masks and from the npr right up of the story just breaking the new guidelines still call for six feet of distance between adults and students as well as in common areas such as auditoriums and when masks off such as well eating and the six foot distancing rules still applies for the general public in settings such as grocery stores So can you explain. That will extend for one more question Because that's going to confuse. People y six feet of distance between adults and students or six feet of distance between students in common areas of the school. Assuming they're all wearing masks but not in the classroom. Do you get it. I i do it. It's okay you know. I mean i think we were always told to like you know. Dumbed down our message but i. I don't think we have to do that more. I think the american public can be brought up. But i think we have for the first time a science nerds people. Wanna listen right. People will take the time And that's really what it is. We're balancing things. There are harms to keeping kids home. It's really difficult for most schools to open up if we demand six feet separation among the desks you can keep adult six feet apart the grocery store and these other venues So we're really balancing risks here so if the kids are three feet apart. They're wearing masks. We focus on hand hygiene. We focus on ventilation You can do that safely But in other situations if you've got the six feet let's go from an eighty percent reduction to a ninety percent reduction so i think this is reasonable. The schools will have their three feet will be able to do this. I think very safely but as much as we can if we've got the space let's use all right listeners. If you wanna geek out on signing in your doctor griffin and his colleagues on to ev. He called the twitter there a minute ago. Which stands for this week in virology. That podcast and he is a researcher and an infectious disease clinician at columbia and chief of the division of infectious disease at the pro health. Medical group thank you so much. This has been so informative. We really appreciate it. Thank you brian for all you do at everyone safe and follow the science. Brian lehrer a daily politics. Podcast is an excerpt from my live. Daily radio show the brian lehrer show on. Wnyc radio ten am to noon eastern time. If you wanna listen live at. Wnyc dot org. Thanks for listening today. Talk to you next time.
Before Everyone Forgets, Heres What Mitch McConnell Actually Said About Jan. 6
"This episode is brought to you by progressive home of the name. Your price tool you say how much you want to pay for car insurance and they'll show you coverage options that fit your budget. It's easy to start a quote. Just visit progressive dot com progressive casualty insurance company and affiliates price and coverage match limited by state law mudslinging mayhem and a roman emperor with a broken heart. Where do i go. Which way do who will help me. It's handles agra pena on the latest episode of aria code. Listen to ari code. Wherever you find your podcasts listener supported wnyc nyc studios. I'm brian lehrer. This is my daily politics. Podcast from wnyc studios. It's thursday may twentieth. You probably been hearing in the news today. That senate republican leader mitch. Mcconnell is now blocking formation of a bipartisan commission to study the causes of and events during the january six capital riot and insurrection. The news today is full of all kinds of theories about why mcconnell is blocking it keeping his party from looking bad or hurting them in next year's midterm elections. Things like that. But here's another theory. Mitch mcconnell doesn't need investigation because he already knows what happened. American citizens attacked their own government. They use terrorism to try to stop a specific piece of domestic business. They did not like member that from mcconnell speech at trump's impeachment trial in february he called terrorism in that clip. Did you hear that. He already says that he also used the word murder and called it anti police. Fellow americans beat and bloodied our own. Police they started the senate floor. They tried to hunt down speaker of the house. They built a gallows enchanted about murdering vice president. So maybe mitch. Mcconnell doesn't need a january six commissioned because he already knows what happened he also seems to know why those terrorists did what they did. They did this because they'd been fed wild falsehoods by the most powerful man on earth lost the because he was angry he lost an election. The most powerful man on earth the most powerful man on earth you mean the president of the united states was responsible for this. There's no question that president trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day. No question about the people who storm building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions. President anti police terrorism at the instructions of their president. And what and having that believe was foreseeable consequence of the growing crescendo. False statements conspiracy theories and reckless. How berkeley which the defeated president kept shouting into the largest megaphone on planet. Earth kidding me mitch. Right false conspiracy theories from the president himself to overturn democratic election. Wow so the issue is the incitement to insurrection. That he gave in that speech on january six issue is not only the president intemperate language on january six. It is not just his endorsement of remarks. In which an associate urged quote trial by combat. It was also the entire manufactured atmosphere of looming catastrophe. They increasingly wild myths myths about a reverse landslide election. Somehow being stolen from secret coup are now. Holy moly which that's some story so maybe mitch. Mcconnell doesn't need an investigation into the causes and of events of january six because he already knows the answers. He said them all their back on february thirteenth case closed. I guess with me now. Anyway is brooklyn and queens. Congressman hakim jeffries. A member of the house judiciary committee and chair of the house democratic caucus always good to have you on congressman. Welcome back to wnyc great to be with you. Who needs a commission to study. January six when mitch. Mcconnell already said what happened and why can't get any worse than that. Well mitch. mcconnell has certainly laid things out in a clear compelling comprehensive and concise fashion in terms of what Occurred on january six. But we do think That as has been the case in the past whenever you have a dramatic attack on the united states in the aftermath of pearl harbor and that attack on december seventh nineteen forty one. America had a bipartisan commission. In the aftermath of the terrorist strikes on september eleventh america had a bipartisan commission in the aftermath of the january six violence direction and the tackle in the capital. America's also have a bipartisan commission to determine what happened mcconnell laid that out why it happened mcconnell also laid that out but perhaps most importantly how do we prevent a violent insurrection type of radicalization that we've seen the the big lie being perpetrated How do we prevent those things from ever happening again. That in many ways Was critically important. Piece of the efforts to look at pearl harbor And that's successful attack against us and the efforts to look at what happened. Connected to september eleventh. Maybe it's hard to put together a bipartisan commission. When this attack unlike those from history was explicitly partisan but in all seriousness. Mcconnell says the commission. I was obviously you know doing a little theater there with those mcconnell clips but he says in all seriousness. The commission would be duplicative because there are already criminal investigations being conducted by the fbi which there are people are being arrested and charged which they are and congress's already investigating true. So would this be duplicative of the investigations already taking place and maybe even get in law enforcement way. Well not at all. Everybody has their particular lane. Law enforcement has a lane homeland. Security sort of has a lane as it relates to the domestic terrorism aspect of this to capitol. Police you know will have its particular lane in terms of securing the capitol grounds. And how do you stop this type of breach from happening again. But the january six commission would be all encompassing and would look at everything to really just get at the truth of what occurred the whole truth. Nothing but the truth of course but to be prescriptive in terms of how we move forward. It was a physical attack on the capital. They were there of course to stop us from undertaking our constitutional responsibilities. They wanted to assassinate the speaker hang. Mike pants hunting down members of congress That's agreed gis and we have to figure out how to deal with that physical attack and the breach that occurred on that day But it was more. It was an attack on the constitution. It was an attack on the principle of the peaceful transfer of power And an effort really to strip away democracy In an extraordinary way seems to me. That's not the job of the fbi or the department of justice to figure out what's happening within the fabric of our society that you can have of course A president like donald trump elected and then on his way out of the door really tried to take down democracy with him. And that is why i think doing it in a bipartisan way Not through the form for instance of a congressional investigation so that it has the same type of credibility that commissions have had in the past Is important because this gets to the heart and soul of who. We are as america now. We should tell listeners. Who haven't followed the tick tock of this last twenty four hours that the bill to create the commission that you and the house passed last night and now is doubtful in the senate because mcconnell says he'll block it The bill to create the commission was written by a bipartisan group. It's not just democrats calling for bipartisanship because will make the republicans look bad. It was written by a bipartisan group. And i wanna play a clip of one house. Republican one of the one of your new york colleagues. In fact who led the writing of the bill john from the syracuse area. Who's also i believe the top republican on the homeland security committee so extremely relevant and he sees the bill not as being anti republican but is being pro cop. I want these officers families to know that we are doing it. Not for us and now for politics. We are doing it for them. So that's pretty interesting dilemma. The republicans have they're always saying how pro law enforcement they are but they also don't want to label their anti-cop supporters as being anti-cop sympathy for that conundrum. They have well it's a. It's an astute observation. Brian and i think they're phonies. That's the best way that i can say the most eloquent way that i can say it In that you know lives were lost. Including amongst capitol police officers who were defending us engaged in hand to hand combat hour after hour after hour. there were salted. they were beaten. They were hit with bear spray. They had their own Weapons in some cases used against them after. They were seized By these capital rioters more than one hundred and forty police officers were seriously injured. One officer lost three fingers another. Has i doubt out. Some are going to suffer. Permanent injury And that has become clear and we'll become clearer as years pass by this is an extraordinary situation But as you've indicated bryan you've got the so so-called pro police republicans who have turned a blind eye to it why because they are bending the knee to donald trump and they have in many ways become a full blown cold now with respect to Our capacity to pass it in the senate. I'm optimistic For at least two reasons. One as you indicated. John kako negotiated this. He's the lead republican on the homeland security committee with bennie thompson. The chair the homeland security committee And we found common ground in several areas where republicans wanted us to yield. We yielded for instance on the question of the makeup of the commission originally There will be three presidential appointments. They will concern That that would then lead to democrats being able to point eight commissioners and republicans could only appoint five. And so we changed that. So it's going to be five appointments by democratic legislative leaders five appointments by republican legislative leaders in even split in terms of the commission. Then they wanted To deal with the issue of subpoena power. Brian which you know traditionally in the congressional majority the majority has subpoena power not minority But in this particular case the commission will be able to you subpoenas upon only the agreement of either a majority which means it has to be bipartisan or the agreement of the democratic appointed chair and the republican appointed vice-chair. We yielded on that and we also yielded on the notion of putting findings in the legislation about the run up to the event which we will never intending to do But they were concerned about things that could be perceived as biasing the scope of the inquiry and investigation that will be made and so we yield on that language as well. But as you pointed out. Brian last point mitch. Mcconnell has done a pretty good job of laying out the findings himself on the floor of the senate so the phonies thirty five republicans did vote for it. I think that means we can find in the senate even over the objections of mitch. Mcconnell a few more minutes with brooklyn and queens congressman hakim jeffries. I wanna finish up on this and if we have time touch one other issue but another theory that i read when you talk about it's all about fealty to donald trump is that mcconnell and receive those clips how he really feels about. Donald trump doesn't want this investigation. Not because he soft on donald trump but because as that february speech indicates he wants his party to be done with donald trump and having this investigation go on for months and then released a report and a whole new round of his colleagues defending trump and putting the spotlight back on trump actually empowers donald trump and keeps him as the centerpiece of their party and of the news Now you obviously don't want trump trumpism to flourish anymore either. So could this commission backfire. And have that effect you know. I i think that. Mitch mcconnell is probably looking at it through a political lens And is is trying to move on. But you can't move on from violent insurrection. An attack on the capital. That as you pointed out. Brian at the top was a partisan attack in many ways although it was really a trump is attack but by individuals who continue to To be loyal to an individual not to a principal and and and that's problematic and we just have to deal with it because at the heart and soul of our democracy is that peaceful transfer of power and that was violently interrupted on january six and we almost lost our democracy. I think it's reasonably fair to say Because of a totally out of control president. So if it's inconvenient politically to mitch mcconnell then. That's not a legitimate reason for senate republicans not to proceed. But that is also why brian. We worked hard to make it as bipartisan as possible. and why we yielded in areas That john kadco was able to successfully negotiate. Which is why he strongly supports the bill and while at least a substantial number of moderate republicans Who are left in the house. Sofit to support it. Even over the objection of kevin mccarthy leader which is what gives me. Hope that in the senate. You'll see a similar dynamic dynamic. Unfold over the objection of mitch mcconnell before you go tell me one other thing. How's the american families plan coming. President biden's new delight legislation to create a support system for childcare and paid family leave. I i was surprised to see an argument against this child. Care plan on the conservative site signal. Listen to the specific language. Listeners listened closely to the specific language. The writer uses to oppose the plan quote. Such program isn't needed. After the thousand seventeen tax cuts more money was left. In the coffers private sector employers and many used those dollars to provide family leave to employees in fact the percentage of companies offering paid leave has more than doubled to fifty five percent offering maternity leave and forty five percent providing paternity leave. Unquote and congressman. I was kind of staunched that those numbers were used to argue against the bill. Do you think fifty five percent of employers offering paid maternity leave makes it mission accomplished close to being mission accomplished and it basically suggests that half the american people have been left out And the other reality. Is that those numbers based on just the actual companies doesn't mean that you're reaching the majority of employees And that in fact we believe is the case because we need to bolster the ability of small and medium sized companies who were not the beneficiaries of the gop tax scam where eighty three percent of benefits went to the wealthiest one percent. They're not in a position To be able to provide Real family leave support. We have to step in And joe biden has proposed a visionary program in the context of the american families plan. Now we're working on the american jobs plan and that is front and center and we hope to be able to get that done in the next few months and then we'll move to the american families plan And we do expect significant republican opposition. But we also believe that we have the tool of reconciliation available to us and one of the obstacles of a fully restarted economy. is the lack of family support. The lack of childcare Availability its inaccessibility and joe biden. Promised that he was going to build back better. And so he's just leaning into a campaign promise that he made to the american people and because of his election he has a mandate to do it not to go back to normal because normal pryatta pandemic was problematic when half the american people said they couldn't afford a sudden unexpected four hundred dollar expenses in the wealthiest country in the history of the world And so we got the american rescue plan done with working on the american jobs plan and soon as we get that done will pivot to the american families playing. And we've got a real pathway to do it through reconciliation in order to bring to life. President biden's promise of building back. Better brooklyn queens. Congressman came jeffries. Who's on the judiciary committee and is the chair of the house democratic caucus. We always appreciate you coming on with us. Thanks a lot. Thanks so much brian. Brian lehrer a daily politics. Podcast is an excerpt from my live. Daily radio show the brian lehrer show on. Wnyc radio ten am to noon eastern time. If you wanna listen live at. Wnyc dot org. Thanks for listening today. Talk to you next time.
Here Come Some Big Supreme Court Decisions, & A Turning Point For Justice Breyer
"Each listener supported w nyc studios. I'm brian lehrer. This is my daily politics. Podcast from wnyc studios. It's tuesday june first. Every year in june the supreme court hands down its biggest decisions of the year as its term and at the end of the month this year. We're watching a number of consequential cases that could be decided any day now and with trump appointee amy connie barrett on the court instead of ruth bader ginsburg. Some of these cases could be decided differently than they would have been last june. There's one involving a catholic charity. That won't consider same. Sex couples foster parenting whose rights take priority. There's another challenge to the affordable. Care act or obamacare that could theoretically get the whole system including your health insurance policy if you have one through. The obamacare exchanges declared unconstitutional. There's a voting rights case. That could make it harder for people to collect other voters absentee ballots for them and could make it harder to prove that any states voting law changes or racially discriminatory. And that of course is huge right now with the ways that georgia and texas and many other states are changing their voting laws. Wnyc's legal editor. Jamie floyd joins us now as she does every year at this time for a number of years in a row to follow the end of term developments. And help us make sense of it all. Hi jamie happy june. Hello brian before we get into the decisions we're expecting how consequential has the supreme court term been or ready with decisions that have come down along the way since justice barrett was confirmed last fall. Well you know. Brian as your question suggests confirming amy coney bryant to replace justice ginsburg really created a lopsided six three imbalanced which is against the very idea that the constitution and even civil rights laws passed by. Congress are meant to advance justice and equality a balance on the court But more profoundly. The conservative movement is finally approaching a goal in his sought for decades. Ever since i was in law school when it started this radical reinterpretation of the constitution. That actually prohibits our elected representatives from passing laws to provide us social safety nets and protect us from una trembled power of large corporations So it's a different thinking now to ask about a particular term brian as a little bit like asking about a a president. A presidential administration. Right after it's ended. You really need some time to digest the term as you do You know say obama's administration you need some time to really understand the depth and breadth and we're not even finished with the term. We've got a bunch of cases we've got I count Twenty six cases all of which argued virtually because of the covid nineteen pandemic that remain on the docket undecided So too early to tell. But as as you point out. Brian a significant shift in the balance of the court. So let's get into these cases about to be decided. At least the few that i singled out out of those twenty six. And then i'll give you a chance to say which ones i should have included in this list And also the new hot button ones soon to be heard. Would you take the legally married same sex couple rights versus religious liberty rights case. I sure and i'm going to remind everyone that we are still broadcasting remotely. It's the norm so we have forgotten it. That's what we're doing. But today. Brian just as i came to the microphone. Construction began right outside my window. You may hear it along the way. So i just want to flag it for our listeners. So yes the freedom of religion cases. Well there are a couple of big ones on the docket this year. But as you point out one involves lgbtq. I writes Verses religious freedom religious rights and so it's a big test of a our culture wars really in this country And i i would call it a blockbuster case questions whether the city of philadelphia can stop working with a catholic charity that is declining to screen. Same sex couples as foster parents. It's fulton vs philadelphia. And it's really one of the most closely watched cases see or because it does pit pit gay rights against the constitution's protections of religious freedom and and it's really not a new fight brian but but the case was argued. Just days after amy coney barrett joined the high court so it gets back to the question you asked at the top it gives conservatives another potential vote in favor of religious freedom and there has been a recent and important line of cases Bolstering a very strong under girding of religious freedom in the country supported most strongly by samuel alito And so observers including myself see the outcome in this case As as going toward the religious freedom and i would predict that alito will write the case. I'm really going out on a limb here you know. I don't like to make predictions but that's my Prediction we've seen recent. Emergency appeals to the court which were shot down during covid nineteen You remember brian limiting church attendants To slow the spread of the virus so and and some other religious freedom cases. So that's where i think they'll go on this one. I could be wrong but it's a very interesting one. That looks at religion in the context of culture wars and the freedom of lgbtq couples. Let me get into the weeds on this one. A little bit because i think it really is interesting and that a of a lot of our listeners whether they have a personal stake in it or not will find it really interesting and important and i think this is really a case that asks kenneth city government refused to do foster care business with a religious charity that discriminates against married same sex couples. So would it be different if it were a private non governmental group that wanted to exclude the religious one. Because i think the central question is here and correct me. If i'm wrong that the city of philadelphia says no we're not working with you catholic charities on a foster care program because you won't even consider same sex couples to be foster parents so in a way. It's whether the the city can single out the religious foster care group because it singles out gay couples. You're asking an excellent and and i question in in constitutional jurisprudence. So it's always about governmental action City state Federal and so. That's the first question. Can the city do this. Because they're the governmental actor The first amendment is about religious freedom is about Suppression of that religious freedom by the the the governmental entity So when my kids say to me why have free speech. I say no you don't because i'm your parent you can only raise that claim when when the government tramples on your free speech There's another big free speech case in the core right now. That involves a young woman who was a cheerleader. She posted some stuff on snapchat and her public. School punished her. It's a public school. So that's why it matters if she went to a catholic school or a or a yeshiva her rights might be different or would or a non religious private school any private school. Exactly now there. You still have free speech rights. Not as if you don't just because you're At a different kind of school and there are reasons for that brian. You raise a very good question. Let's say This were a private entity Going back to the civil rights era when private entities wanted to discriminate against african americans How was that stopped by the. Us supreme court they use something called the commerce clause saying well you're still engaging as a government entity away because you're using things that travel through interstate commerce this incredible reach To to say well we're we're still going to say there's some state action here because you're engaged in interstate commerce. It's a very controversial theory. But here you don't need to go there. Because we've got the city of philadelphia on one hand and catholic charities what catholic charities is trying to get. Brian is an exemption. They want an exemption think back on the exemptions requested by religious groups from the birth control requirements in obamacare very similar right and there have been other exemptions requested that this court has allowed. We'll see if the court allows this exemption to this requirement requested of the city of philadelphia. And this one seems right up just as bad. It's religious liberty alley on question where ruth beta ginsburg probably would have voted differently so it's a reminder of the change in personnel one more question on this case before we move onto the voting rights case since same sex marriage itself is constitutionally protected. Now why can anyone legally discriminate against a legally married couple for anything at this point based on sexual orientation. It reminds you of the cake. Baker member wedding cake. Well i. it's a very interesting for. I said alita would write this Amy conybeare might right. At also. I'd say one of the two of them Because you have the right to be married but this is a question about foster care and whether or not catholic charities has the right to determine who will be a foster parent under their program You can still be a foster parent under a different program in philadelphia just not catholic charities so the question is whether or not catholic charities as a religious organization has the right a religious entity has a right to exercise its freedom of religion to choose which parents will participate in the program and then the city of philadelphia wants to protect the religious. I'm sorry the freedoms the the freedoms lgbtq citizens so you have these competing rights but you as a citizen in philadelphia or anywhere in the united states. Now have the right to be married. So this doesn't affect your right to marry in philadelphia. It's just catholic charities saying well you can you can be a foster parent just not through our program all right. Let's go onto the voting rights case this is from arizona which some of our listeners who were really paying attention. We'll know that one of the states that it's one of the state's one of just two that. Many republicans voted to reject the electoral votes. From on january six pennsylvania was the other one and specifically this case involves when other people can collect your absentee ballot or ballot and deliver it for you a practice that opponents derisively call ballot harvesting. What's the legal question right. I love the phrase ballot harvesting. It really just means Allowing outside groups to pick up mail in or absentee ballots from voters and deliver them to election officials. It's particularly helpful When you have elderly voters or voters who cannot for other reasons get to the polls And of course it increases voter turnout and opponents slash republicans say the practice invites fraud Though instances of fraud. Brian are extraordinarily. It's hard to find evidence of fraud. Supporters of this practice. Say that it in franchises low income voters who may be busy busy working multiple jobs or as i said just can't get to the polls maybe their access to transportation issues Or even in some cases the mail the postal service may not service some lower income areas as much as others so the bigger issue in the case. Brian though is the voting rights. Act so we come back to that. There's a provision in the nineteen sixty five voting rights act and civil rights advocates are concerned that the court could use this case to undermine another provision of the act that allows people to bring claims against dates for some election laws that have a discriminatory result. That's one of the issues raised in the case when you go and look at the case they list out a a slew of issues and they made sure to include this one to give the court and opportunity to review a provision of the act and other provisions one having been struck down in shelby a key one and advocates prefer a a much higher bar set by the court back in nineteen eighty and so there's this provision floating around that the court may not choose to rule on the ballot harvesting question on the table And i should point out. Brian that as of late march legislators have introduced three hundred. Sixty one bills. Did you hear me three. Sixty one to restrict voting provision in forty seven states. And that's according to the brennan center for justice which is a non-partisan think. Tank looking at voting issues and a lot of this based on former president trump's baseless allegations of fraud asserted after the two thousand and twenty election. Well what is left of the voting rights act for them to challenge you mention the shelby case from twenty. Thirteen wasn't Yes yes i believe it was. I may have said fifteen year. Correct twenty you. Didn't you didn't say heroes. Just you know guessing. Berga fell was fifteen. Shelby was thirteen so good news bad news. Same sex marriage so this shelby case really weakened the voting rights act. Remind us about shelby what it take away and what remains that the People who want to make it harder to collect. Ballots are challenging here. Well the shelby case in two thousand thirteen struck down effectively. The heart the heart of the nineteen sixty five voting rights act it was section five and it required prior federal approval of any changes to voting procedures in parts of the country. That had a history of racial and other discrimination and it was a very hotly contested case within the court amongst the justices five four it was shelby county vs holder then The attorney general and it said that That that the section to which is permanent and applied nationwide is not an issue. In the case justice. Roberts wrote back because he wrote the majority opinion but then he struck down The important section five which would require You to go to the federal government and request a change If you're county that had a history of discrimination that went away and justice. Roberts said well. We don't need that anymore. The times have changed Things have a. He didn't say racism had evaporated but he said discriminatory practices and discriminatory results. Intentional discrimination. And the things that that section was written to address. They're no longer what they were in. Nineteen sixty five And this you know. This is what john lewis had marched across the bridge With with dr king and so many others to to to a and nearly died for nearly died for was beaten about the head and nearly died for and here evaporated I remember seeing the tears streaming down his face as the decision came down the arizona case That we see now in involves two kinds of voting restrictions one requires election officials to discard the ballots that were quote unquote harvested and the other would make it a crime. A crime brian for campaign workers and activists to collect those ballots in the first place. So it's another stab at voting rights and the voting rights act. Cynthia in morningside heights as a question. About the case we discussed. I the philadelphia case involving whether philly can stop doing business with catholic charities on the foster care program that the city has because catholic charities won't even consider gay married couples to be foster parents. Cynthia you're on. Wnyc with our legal editor jamie. Floyd hi there. Hi thank you. I'm i'm confused. As to why this is referred to as a case of civil of a religious liberty keeps saying religious liberty. there's nothing preventing the catholic organization. As i understand it from continuing to refuse to deal with Gay foster parents within their own belly wick so to speak but it seems to me. They're trying to force a secular civic entity such as the city of philadelphia to do business with them against civil law and presumably. There's taxpayer money involved. Also yes oh. I don't see why. I don't see why it's a question of civil of religious liberty to have them be able to say that secular civic institutions must do business under their specific religious code of beliefs. It'd be a lawyer for she. Could i don't really even hear a question. She's making a good argument in front of the. Us supreme court and she is precisely right. Cynthia taxpayer funding is at the heart of the case. The the the case which was heard back in november The argument was very much about the fact that these private agencies including catholic charities receive taxpayer funding to provide these government services such as foster care also things like food. Banks homeless shelters Other services and then the question is can they. Frankly discriminate against a gay couple. That wants to engage these services Be they lgbtq or brian. Going back to your Implications earlier jewish muslim mormon would if they wanted to discriminate against some other group While receiving a cynthia suggests taxpayer funding. So that's the question to me. If i were justice on the. Us supreme court. The answer would clearly be no. You can do what you want to do. But you can't have our taxpayer funding under the constitution. But i think the court may very well rule differently in this case given the recent rulings on religious freedom and they've carved out tax payer support for religious education They sidestepped job. Discrimination laws health insurance coverage for contraceptives. As i've mentioned so. I think they see it. Very differently cynthia. Thanks cynthia for your call. Let's touch on justice stephen. Breyer eighty five years. Old appointed by president clinton usually votes with the liberal wing. He gave a speech at harvard. In april in which he seemed to warn president biden and democrats in congress against expanding the supreme court to counter what they see as mitch. Mcconnell's dirty pool refusing to consider a nominee near the end of obama's term as president but rushing through justice barrett at the end of trump's. And in this minute and a half clip from brian speech he had just described some of the history that president. Franklin roosevelt may trying to pack the court with moore justices in the nineteen thirties. That was a long time ago but the court packing stories relevant here. For another reason proposes have been recently made you increase the number of supreme court justices. I'm certain that others will discuss related political arguments for example. We'll what goes around comes around are the nomination and confirmation process. He's working well new appointments to closely reflect partisan political division as the court itself become politically partisan. This lecture reflects my own effort however to be certain that those who are going to debate these questions and related proposed. Also consider an important institutional point considerate namely how would court packing reflect and affect the rule of law itself discuss this institutional and it's important to focus upon more than the rights and wrongs of individual cases however important. Those cases are when i are others descent. Naturally i think the majority is raw. And sometimes i think they're very wrong but discussion of institutional change should include discussion of certain background. Now such as the trust with the court has gradually built the long period of time needed to build that trust the importance of that trust in a nation that values indeed depends upon a rule of law justice. Briar harvard in april. Yes justices of the supreme court do sometimes speak in public and jamie we could obviously do a whole segment on this but in our last minute help us understand briefly. What he's getting at. I think he's afraid as institutions are breaking down in this country. One by one on nobody will feel compelled to abide by even supreme court decision if the court is seen to have been politicized by expanding it. Yes a couple of things going on. Of course he's eighty two so he's under pressure especially from progressives to retire so that president biden can name a replacement while democrats have this tenuous majority in the senate But am brian. Of course when justices step down they often do so at the very end of the term. So here we are But but he is one who is as we've heard there and he has a book out by the way Decrying the politicization of the court So that would seem to suggest. He's not going to step down and the book can be read. I've only read portions of it. I will admit but the portions. I've read Actually are an indictment of the time to retirement as a political act So that seems to say that he is not going to step down just to ensure that his seat is filled by a democrat. It's kind of a manifesto. His book is against the idea. That courts should be perceived as political He says quote if the public comes to see judges as merely politicians in robes. Going on with this quote. It's confidence in the courts and the rule of law itself will only decline. So i'm gonna go out on a limb again bryan and say he's going to stay put and then on the issue of packing the corner restructuring the court also the other issue. He's talked about quite a bit is getting rid of life. Terms for justices. A handful of democratic lawmakers have introduced legislation that would add for seats to the supreme court that landed with a thud in congress. Nancy pelosi said she has no plans to bring the bill to the floor. President biden has a commission studying supreme court reform but there are no really outspoken. Proponents of reform on the commission. So you know. I think justice briar eighty two though he may be is pretty much You know sitting in a seat that will be reflected well in history He's on the right side of history. And i think you know. The court is a strong institution at a time when our other institutions congress and the executive ranch the president presidency are extremely weak. So i i'm happy that the court though conservatively balanced i is still mostly legitimate in the eyes of the public. Wnyc legal editor. Jamie floyd who. I suspect. we'll have reason to us once or twice. Let's say this month as big end of term supreme court decisions. Come down jamie. Thanks for today. My pleasure brian. Brian lehrer a daily politics. Podcast is an excerpt from my live. Daily radio show the brian lehrer show on. Wnyc radio ten am to noon eastern time. If you wanna listen live at. Wnyc dot org. Thanks for listening today. Talk to you next time.
Sen. Gillibrand Still Has Questions About Jan. 6th And White Supremacy In The Military
"How did one group of immigrant workers become the hardest hit by the corona virus. Who's gonna how are dead on. Who's going to name our dead. That's this week on the experiment. Podcast from the atlantic and wnyc studios listener supported w nyc studios. I'm brian lehrer. This is my daily politics. Podcast from wnyc studios. It's tuesday february twenty thirty. Let me i play just a few soundbites from the last twenty four hours. That are kind of stunning for their emotion and how they represent the change of government that we're still transitioning to here on day. Thirty five of the biden presidency. This is biden's attorney general nominee marriage and at his confirmation hearing yesterday. You can keep in mind. As a point of reference the way william bar tended to talk his content and his tone. And here's judge. Garland asked by senator cory booker. Why he wants to be attorney. General of the united states. I come from a family where my grandparents fled. Anti-semitism persecution country took us in protected us. And i ran to the country. Pay back and since the highest best use of my own set of skills to pay back so that's one contrast and as you all probably know yesterday was the day the us officially hit five hundred thousand cova deaths a year ago. Today there hadn't been one yet and now half a million lives have been lost to this disease. Former president trump did not mention it in his public statements yesterday focusing instead on what he called a witch hunt after the supreme court refused to shield his tax returns from new york grand. Juries tax fraud investigation. I guess brad. Kavanagh amy coney barrett or part of the witch hunt now and he's allowed to defend himself but not even a mention of the covid milestone but was president biden today. We mark a truly grim heartbreaking milestone five hundred thousand seventy one dead. That's more. Americans died in one year this pandemic then in world war one or two in the vietnam war combined president biden yesterday and one more. There will be a bipartisan senate. Hearing today on the security failures at the capitol on january sixth right in advance of that one capitol police officer harry done on. Abc yesterday stating tragic and ultimate irony of what he experienced that day. Is this america. They beat police officers with blue. Lives matter flags. Police officers with blue lives matter flags. That's how twisted that ideology is with me now. Democratic senator kirsten gillibrand senator. Welcome back to. Wnyc thanks brian. It's a pleasure to be on thoughts about any of those clips. Oh my goodness where to start Well i think the biggest Issue for most americans the five hundred thousand cova deaths and that number really shows the amount of pain and suffering that our country has faced and is still trying to overcome and still trying to prevent It's something that consumes certainly everyone. I know It's something that Really shows how important our families and our communities are and that federal government truly does have a role to play in preventing these kinds of pandemics and this huge amount of death And one that. Unfortunately president trump did not take seriously and we now have to work very hard with the biden administration to put in protections and get vaccines distributed more effectively more efficiently than before. And of course. It's not just the sheer numbers. That's when you look at our place in the world that we have four percent of the world's population in something like twenty percent of the deaths so that represents the extent of the failure. I don't think you're on these committees holding this hearing today about january six but is there anything. Specific is still hoping to learn about security failures. That day oh absolutely. I think this investigation and hearing is extremely important and we're hoping to have a nine eleven style investigative body to also do a deep dive One of the many challenges that i learned through the impeachment proceedings is that we did have a great deal of intelligence in advance about the nature of the people who wanted to come in the harm. They wanted to To do on lawmakers and on the capital itself and we didn't use that information effectively to protect the people who work in the capital to protect The capitol police and people who are Who are there. Including the members of congress so i think it's important to to continue to understand what we can do to prevent the escalation of violence particularly through social media the fact that right wing. White supremacist groups. Were organizing online for months in advance. and certainly the weeks leading up to this that we didn't have an appropriate way to shut that down We haven't under the trump administration designated white supremacist as domestic terrorists. And we'll be so designated under the biden administration and so. I think it is really important that we understand. This threat is not over. It is still among us and there are groups and individuals who still want to do harm to lawmakers across the country. as well as Public servants who are committed to doing their jobs every day. So i Grateful that we're having this hearing but our work is just beginning It was something that Is plaguing us not just amongst these particular writers. But as i said as the chairwoman of the personnel subcommittee in the armed services we now have Evidence and there's been a not only investigations but there's been A develop the shows about a third of service members of color have experienced some kind of racism or retaliation or white supremacist words or actions against them. So it's very important that i do my job there as well This is something that we see In the military in some police forces and society at large and it's part of our broader obligation to keep america safe the clip of that capitol police officer referring to attacking police officers with a blue lives matter fled. How do you even hold the two ends of that statement in your mind at the same time. Well it's part of the radicalization of america and what's happening on these On the dark web. It's what's happening in various chat rooms and various Internet groups and it is just pure hatred and unfortunately president trump misled so many americans to believe that their democracy was in jeopardy that the election had been stolen and that they had to fight like hell to prevent that horrible thing from happening well. President trump lied all those people. Those lies were then spurred on by bad actors intent on whipping up a rebellion and that's how extremism thrives and it's how it can become so destructive so those people who participated they had Trump flags they had Flags of the confederacy. They had flags of Now i didn't even know there was a blue lives matter at flag there but again using all of those Objects and Views to do harm on people whose duty was to protect our government and protect lawmakers. So it's deeply disturbing but this is a problem that is rotting at the core of this country that we must must intentionally and quite aggressively confront and try to change senator. Kirsten gillibrand with us a first listener comment for you will come via twitter listener rights. Hr one needs to be top priority if we are to retain majority rule and a true democracy all over the country. Gop legislatures are enjoying bills to make voting harder. What is the plan if the filibuster needs to go to make that happen so be it. Can you explain to our listeners. hr one was. I think there's a corollary now in your house. Which is senate one. H one was a compilation of probably two dozen legislative ideas to protect voting rights It included Publicly funded elections it included Protections for voting rights and restoring some of the aspects of the voting rights. Act that would have Have been undermined by the most. Recent supreme court decision It talked about getting money. Out of politics Talked about Ethics reform and we have the same set of ideals in the senate that we hope to pass this year But this is something. I've been working on for a long time with For former congressman. John john lewis who obviously was our civil rights icon in the house who has passed but we worked on the voter empowerment legislation for the last. I'd say five or six years and so we're hoping that each aspect of that legislation is included in the senate bill And i'm going to work very hard to make sure we get a vote on it. I do support Reforming the filibuster. And i do believe that fifty one vote threshold. May well be necessary to even govern We'll see how far we can go without it but if things like kobe. Relief package can't be passed because of republican Obstructionism then i would be open to that. Reform is reforming. The filibuster necessarily the same abolishing the filibuster. You used the word reforming so It's probably the same in in meaning because what you're doing in. The reform is changing the special from sixty to fifty one And you know frankly. I thought that the change that mitch. Mcconnell made Changing the threshold for supreme court justice from sixty fifty one was very ill advised. I thought that was such a shame. Because if you're going to give someone a lifetime appointment you should be able to get sixty votes for it That being said That horse has left the barn long ago and so we are now going to be trying to restore the Courts to make sure they are not as partisan as president trump left them. No the question via twitter listener asks in your day to day. Interactions with gop senators without naming names. Are you seeing movement away from the extremes or is the quote party of trump a real thing asking with hope for america writes that listener a real thing in the us senate There's only a handful of die-hard trump supporters Who believe he should continue to lead the party. But i think after january six even some of those hards recognized that president trump's leadership was exceedingly dangerous. And i think they have stepped away from him in that regard I do believe that. The senate has a great deal bipartisanship. I've always worked on a bipartisan basis. And been able to find common ground. Which is why. I've been able to pass big bills like the nine eleven health bill. And and don't ask don't tell repeal and the stock act But those those all started as partisan ideals and i think in this era We need to continue that that effort. I think it's really important to do. Our job of bringing the country back together again and trying to heal this divide that has grown so significantly under president trump People voted in the last election for change and we are going to deliver. We are going to pass good commonsense legislation to help people from covid and crash of the economy as well as Beginning to rebuild the economy another question from twitter listener says please thank senator gillaibrand for her tireless efforts on behalf of exposing racism and sexism in the military. What else is she going to do. Because they really are stonewalling. Any changes and let me frame that listeners. Question with congratulations. Senator on becoming chair of the armed services subcommittee on personnel. You're on the services committee. Now your chair of the subcommittee on personnel. I see and i think anyone thinks that means some kind of human resources bureaucracy that means policy toward the actual men and women of the armed forces and their actual families right. So what do you hope to focus on his chair of that subcommittee. And how do you answer that listeners. Question so I'm very excited about this opportunity. I've been on the armed services committee for over a decade now. And i have been on this committee for most of it My opportunity is to begin to make the lives and wellbeing of those who serve our nation and makes so many sacrifices on our behalf better and one of the issues that i have been working on for a long time. is this problem of sexual violence in the military. Unfortunately under trump it got even worse than it ever was We had the highest number of sexual assaults Ever reported in the last year we had a retaliation rate against those people that reported le- left statistically unchanged from the last few years we had the lowest conviction rate and the lowest prosecution rate since the time. I've been working on this so everything is going in the wrong direction. And it is untenable. So i'm hopeful that under president biden someone who has said he supports our military justice improvement. Act which will take the decision of whether to go to trial out of the hands of a commander who may well be biased and is almost always untrained Out of his hands into the hands of a trained military prosecutor who will know whether there's enough evidence to prosecute have skin in the game and not be worried about losing some member of a of a of of A unit that that commander values more than the person who has come forward to report the violence and so that is important second Racism has continued to grow within the military and so we have created a title seven legislation to extend civil rights to military members Right now if you are being discriminated against. You can't file an eeoc complaint. You can't go through the normal process any other individual would in the civilian world and so we're trying to replicate that process in the military and so i've offered legislation to do that as well and then last as i mentioned earlier i think it's really important to root out white supremacy within the military because that is what ends up With the amount of racism that servicemembers have to endure So i think that's going to be important As well as the basic bread and butter stuff bryan people in the military have been forced to live in housing that had vermin and mold Families have been put in substandard housing Families who have to show up to work at five. Am don't have childcare. That's open at five am so. I've been working on making sure. The childcare centers are more responsive to the actual jobs of service members. And so these these are the some of the very few challenges that i've wrestled with but there there's a lot and so i'm excited to tackle these issues and have a partner in president biden to actually get them done so you can be a senator who improves military families. Living conditions and the senator who interrogates their beliefs to root out white supremacy at the same time. Yes and what you do to do that is you have hearings. And so i'm entitled to have a handful of hearings every year. And i will probably have a hearing on each one of those issues because We need to know the facts and then once we have the facts we can start writing legislation to improve it but even just the opportunity to speak out to have people who have been affected by these challenges to tell their story can change everything It's how we repeal. Don't ask don't tell we actually heard from service members who had been discriminated against and all the sacrifices they made. It made their their plate so much more understandable and it created the willingness to do the reforms that were needed. So that's what i'm gonna do start with hearings and then hope to Push My colleagues to support the kinds of reform that is necessary to make the lives of these folks better and all these things. There's a lot of momentum on both sides of the aisle to the earlier question of bipartisanship. Every one of the issues i've talked about. I have a huge amount of republican support to get done For example i just created a dear colleague letter with senator grassley to talk about getting more people to vote for military justice improvement. Act this year so we can actually pass it even if it has a sixty vote threshold in chelsea. Wnyc was senator. Kirsten gillibrand hi shirley. Hi there senator. I wrote a couple of weeks ago to both you. And senator schumer regarding the proposed hyun on influx into dc on march fourth. They are under the miss conception. That dump is going to be inaugurated on that day and i am extremely concerned. I have read some reports that there are going to be five. Thousand national guardsmen in dc on the four. But i'm gonna know that there's going to adequate security at this time. Because i'm afraid these people are gonna show up at the capitol building be disappointed by a failure of the inauguration to take place. And there's gonna be another destruction of the capitol building. Are you guys taking this seriously. Yes I think one lesson learned from january. Six at these kinds of threats are real Right now the capital still has a very significant military presence We have service members National guardsmen specifically Deployed all across the capitol grounds still have barriers. set up. Which isn't nice for people who work here. But also for the city of dc. Because we're used to having open government in every way but because of these threats. They've maintained the barriers around the capitol grounds And the supreme court so that we can prevent this kind of attack. But i'm sure they will address this threat very differently than they addressed the last threat and i feel confident that they will protect the capital. And let me just touch the covid relief. Bill looks like much of it will pass with extended unemployment and fourteen hundred dollar relief checks and money for state and local governments for example but without much or any republican support. Let me play a short clip of house. Minority leader kevin mccarthy on fox last night complaining that the bill includes money for safely reopening schools with costly cove protocols but then doesn't require them to actually reopened. They are putting money in here but schools are still shutdown. Biden has a plan to open the border but not open our schools so we took a shot at immigration reform there but on that question of allocating money for reopening of in person schooling but without a requirement that schools that receive the money. Actually we open. Is the money really not linked to reopening. And if not was it okay well. I share the frustration of of the last speaker. I think schools need to be reopened safely and hopefully governors will use this money to guarantee that every teacher can be vaccinated that every worker who works in a school environment can be vaccinated We need to make sure that every school in the country has ppe and testing. You really can't expect to open schools safely if you don't have every child tested That is should be the baseline norm. There's lots of tests going unused right now. And so one of the things that i've put forward is a health force which president biden supports which would be hundreds of thousands of new workers trained by the cdc to be deployed to the states to do the work that are doctors and nurses do not have time to do because they're still overwhelmed with kobe patients. So what that would do is would allow individuals to go to schools to be the tester. it would allow individuals to go to the schools to give the vaccinations That would allow for schools to reopen safely If the legislation doesn't require opening schools. Which i will check because i'm not sure the reason would be that. Education is the purview of states and the purview of governors Who set the regulation for Curriculum and other basic parameters for education But what i would love to to really urge. Our governors to do is vaccinate every teacher. Make sure they're next in line. Deploy the staff and the resources. That's necessary to do that so by september. Our schools can all reopen safely. And that is enough time to do it. We're giving them the resources to do it. There should be no excuses by then Because we can do this you can open a school community safely. But it requires testing p. and vaccination senator gillibrand. We always appreciate thank you so much. God bless you. Take care brian brian. Lehrer podcast is an excerpt from my live daily radio. Show the brian lehrer show on. Wnyc radio ten am to noon eastern time if you wanna listen live at wnyc dot org. Thanks for listening today. Talk to you next time.
What the Chauvin Jury is Actually Deliberating
"Each listener supported w nyc studios. I'm brian lehrer. This is my daily politics. Podcast from wnyc studios. It's tuesday april twentieth as the jury deliberates and derek chauvin trial. Let's look at what's likely going on in the jury room with an i not just on yesterday's closing arguments. Which of course have gotten a lot of media play but also the makeup of the jury and the judges instructions to the jury which don't get much media play but which wnyc legal editor and racing justice editor jamie. Floyd says could be crucial to the outcome with us. Now is wnyc legal editor and race injustice editor jamie floyd who was covered trials for more than twenty five years and participated them in them as an attorney before that behind the scenes. Here jamie has circulated an explainer on various aspects of the trial that we all found extremely illuminating. So we'll use that as somewhat of a guide to looking at the state of the case at this moment hey. Jv welcome to the show. Good morning brian. And let's talk about the judges instructions. I'll play a clip in a minute from judge. Peter kay hills instructions as broadcast on tv yesterday but in general. Why do you say judges instructions which we might think of as generally neutral could affect the outcome. It's often the most boring part of the trial. Brian there's no witness sobbing on the witness stand of the judges generally reading from an instructions manual. In this case that judge hill. I believe read from his own instructions largely written By himself which made it a little more interesting and he was very efficient. Twenty minutes Before the closing arguments and another eight minutes thereafter a really a way to do it so the jurors could lean into what the judge had told them to listen for in the closing arguments. Quite a smart way to do it. Here's why it matters brian. The instructions bring together the facts and the law for the jurors. So basically what you get in the trial is the evidence the facts you don't get any law at the end in the closing arguments. The attorneys get up and they argue what they think. The jury should do closing arguments. That's not evidence. it's not anything. The jury is required to consider the judge instructs and he did hear. All judges instruct once hearing closing arguments. Not evidence opening statements not evidence. So that's where the lawyers argue their idea of what the law should be. And then the facts come. In that's evidence testimony The oval videotapes. We saw the physical evidence about the medical examination etcetera but the law is what matters and the only place the jury hears that is in the instructions at the end so the judge gives them the law and then they go back with the jury instructions in hand the law in hand and they marry the facts that they've learned and the law and that's why the instructions really matter they are the most important thing After the selection of the jury itself and in some cases more important because without the the hang the facts on you can't come to a conclusion as so let's go through some of this as pretends to this case you wrote the prosecutors want the jury to focus on show wtn's actions not his state of mind defense attorneys want precisely the opposite. Why is that. Why would focusing on chauvin state of mind worked to his advantage right. Well there are really two issues In this case putting aside the biggest issue in my mind which is race but there are really two factual issues here use of force and cause of death was the use of force here reasonable and then did officer chauvin. 'cause in fact caused mr floyd's death in other words but for his actions would george floyd have died that day And when it comes to use of force and brian the question is Reasonable ness was it. A reasonable use of force so prosecutors want the jury just to look at the videotape. Use your eyes. Apply your common sense. Does that force reasonable to you. As a citizen as an objective matter just looking at show wtn's actions just look at his actions. Does that make sense but the defense. Brian wants the jury to think like a police officer on the scene of an arrest The crowd is gathering I it's becoming stressful You've encountered a man who initially was a bit resistant and now he has compromised underlying medical conditions. You're employing your training so the defense wants the jury to think like a police officer rather than focus on the actions of the man derek. Chauvin it it's a tough defense. But that's what they're trying to do so to that point here is defense attorney eric nelson yesterday making part of his reasonableness case to the jury in the context of asking them not to go too much by the gruesome experience of watching. George floyd floyd die with show wtn's neon his neck for the length of that video that showed it that we all know nine minutes and twenty nine seconds. A reasonable police officer would in fact take into consideration the previous sixteen minutes and fifty nine seconds experience with the subject struggle that they had the comparison of the words to actions all comes into play. Why because human behavior is unpredictable. Human behavior is unpredictable and nobody knows it better than a police officer so jamie. What did we learn from that clip. Well the prosecution's i thought Closing was masterful. The defense did because they anticipated The reasonable police officer defense Which had been raised throughout the trial and Said to the jury look use your commonsense but even for a police officer this was unreasonable said prosecutors and the defense did the best job they could possibly do with the defense. You look you have to play the karcher dealt They did the best job they could possibly do in their closing And with the instructions on the table to say This is the scene that chauvin encountered when he got there and then it became increasingly difficult for him and he made the choices he made. I i would have. I would not have defended this case. But had i been asked to defend it i i would have defended it differently But once they got to closing with the instructions they had and the evidence that came in. I thought they did reasonably well with their posing arguments. Show by contrast to what we just heard. From the defense attorney nelson prosecutors. Stephen is a laker slash slasher. It's been pronounced both ways in court. Brian said how can you justify the continued use of force on this man. When he has no pulse no pulse continued. The restraint continued grinding twisting and pushing them down and crushing. The very life. Out of it wasn't too late. He could have rolled him over performed. Cpr but no he continued said the prosecutor so jamie my own commonsense not as a member of the jury obviously not having watched every minute of the trial though. I did much big chunks of it on television but my gut. I guess in terms of this word reasonableness Tell us me nothing. That came before really does matter even if a suspect is resisting arrest in any way once that person has been subdued after that point the police officers professional obligation and the ways that police officers are trained or supposed to kick in. And you stop a suspects life for safety and nothing that came before really matters if he is subdued. Is that the law in this case. Well the law doesn't really come in to that to answer that question. That's a question of fact. was his training To at that moment at four minutes and forty four seconds to a change up and begin to take a duty of care For his arrest he as a police officer. You're responsible for the person you're arresting for his well being or her well being and there were witnesses to. You're asking the legal question about what was reasonable in this case and the jury will have to answer that but the the question a fact about what was his duty of care and whether or not he did the right thing as an officer as a matter of training was addressed in the testimony and there were at least four witnesses. Who testified about whether this was the right thing to do as a as an mp pd officer and one of those was the chief of police. Brian another was a nearly forty year. Decorated detective who's the chief of homicide Or captain of homicide. I think is the official title. The the head of the homicide division. He also testified. They both testified that this was not a proper use of force that this was a deadly use of force quoting deadly use of force and that chauvin did not attend to his detainee as was Proper in the training now. Of course the defense called their own use of force expert and Police training expert. Barry broad who said precisely the opposite. We had a battle of the experts. He said well look. I was police officer. This was appropriate. Under the circumstances. This was a proper use of force. I thought the prosecution pretty much term to shreds a cross examination but they did have an expert who is willing to take the stand and say that it is the officer who must decide what is appropriate. Under the circumstances. Get the prosecution publish. According to your lawyers. I that floyd had been subdued for a period of time. Yes yes and they did that Both in terms of Once it suspect according to the training manual once a suspect is in handcuffs you no longer are under the same kind of threat as an officer that you would be when the suspect is not handcuffed. So right there floyd tr. Mr floyd was not did not present the same threat. That officers might have felt before he was handcuffed. So that's number one number two The two most senior officers who again the chief of police and the head of homicide said that to play somebody face-down handcuffed on the pavement. Even before you place a knee on his neck and back That is very dangerous. And ill advised under the the training manual way to subdue someone when they are handcuffed and unnecessary so they did establish that as a matter of procedural and police policy but then bryan the medical experts came in to to say that as a medical matter after a four and a half minutes Mr floyd was not a threat as a medical matter so even putting aside police procedure. The man was literally dying under. Show wtn's knee and at that point. Certainly eight should have been rendered as the bystanders could see one of whom was herself a medical technician and at that point it was established as a medical matter in the prosecution's case that the police and chalvin especially needed to back up back off and render aid. Let's take a phone call. Gale and queens has question gail. You're on wnyc with a legal editor and racing justice editor. Jamie floyd hi gail good morning. This is the perfect person. I am so glad to be on with chamie because i've been wondering about this during this entire situation. Good morning good morning. Why are there two charges of murder and one of manslaughter. I don't understand that. And what are the parameters of senteci- sentencing for each charge. Thank you very much well. That's an excellent question. So essentially what. The three charges Chalvin allow is it gives the prosecution three bites at the apple It gives the jury three opportunities to convict. You know the process. I have my own theories about whether this is wise because it allows the jury to compromise To perhaps Convict on a lesser charge. If you only charge say on second degree murder and i'll whip through them quickly for you. Gail don't fret. i can already hear you asking. Wait what are they. But you know if you if you only charge second degree murder or first degree murder nothing else. The jury may come back with nothing else so most often almost always prosecutors give drawers options so so. Let's very brian. I won't belabor it but very quickly talk about what the charges are. If i may right and i think this is fascinating to be especially the second degree murder charge and then it needs to be based on an underlying felony and how that plays into whether he's going to be convicted of murder. So jamie gopher right okay. So i guess i'll start there. I was going to go backwards. But i'll start there so he is charged no first degree murder on the table because that requires a premeditated intent. And we didn't have that here although you know arguably you have gone for that but there's an issue with overcharging a case and then losing the jury and the public so they went with second degree murder which is defined as causing death without the intent to kill but with the intent to commit an underlying felony that results in death. Sometimes we call this felony murder Then there's the third degree murder charge that's causing the death to the individual by perpetrating. An act that is so dangerous. We sometimes call it depraved. Mind killing or the judge to call it here. Reckless endangerment he changed the language a little bit culpable negligence. He used that language unreasonable risk. The judge used that language and then that action causes the death of another. that's the third degree murder and then the manslaughter is no intent to harm someone but an intent to do the negligent act. So there's no intent to harm but you have an intent to do the negligent at and then in doing so you cause the death of another now to get back to gale's question Charging all three of these gives drivers amd prosecutors an opportunity to achieve a conviction on second degree or third degree or manslaughter manslaughter. In the second degree or of those he could be convicted on all of those or none of the above or jurors could get back there and one juror could say well. I don't think he's guilty of anything. In another juror could be a second degree. Person could compromise this happens. It shouldn't because the facts and the law should lead you to one conclusion but sometimes jurors just get frustrated with one another and they'll compromise somewhere in the middle. They could say well look. He intended to do the act. The act was highly likely to cause death. The death resulted. Let's just go their third degree murder and be done with it. And that could be the result and i will say one last thing about this third degree. Murder was not on the table at the beginning of the trial. The judge added that after another minnesota case went all the way up to the appellate court. It involved a police officer as well It was the first police officer convicted in an officer. Involved shooting happened to be a an a non white police officer. Convicted of killing a white woman And the appellate court said that you can convict in this kind of case of third degree murder. And that's when the judge added third degree murder back on the floyd case and that happened to just about a week ago so that is the new charging case and gail. Varel the answer to your questions. I hope it was helpful. The i think it's fascinating so related to that. Here's another clip of defense attorney eric. When making another central argument that even if show wtn's prolong knee on floyd's neck contributed to his staff. It wouldn't have caused it if floyd had already been seriously ill and high on. Opiates person has drugs in their system and that drug causes over dose in the context of the police restraint. it's not the natural consequence of the restraint. It's the natural consequence of the deceased actions. Defense attorney eric nelson so jamie. My question about this is about what the police are required to presume when they're using what we might call discretionary force are they allowed to assume a theoretical average person in average health. Or must they take into account that they don't know the medical condition any individuals so they have to be sensitive to the fact that some people will have asthma some people have heart conditions etc in their professional approach. You know it's so interesting that you ask that question brian. Because we're doing a project you know because you launched it on your show and in the course of the arrests up in mont haven. Some people did have asthma and their inhalers were were removed from their person and they were without them for hours Other people had other underlying medical conditions that were exacerbated by long and this was nothing. Like what happened to george floyd but for the individual involved if you have an underlying medical condition and you encounter along You have a long encounter with police. That condition can be exacerbated and brian who among us does not have some underlying medical condition once he hit about the eight twenty five. Something is going on with you. So i think The police certainly should take it into account. But your question is are they required to that was your question. And the answer is yes In the law there are people in society who have a higher duty of care not not a lower duty of care. A higher duty of care and police officers are chief among them others include Believe it or not common carriers like train conductors and bus drivers People that we expect to take care of us and police officers even though we now have this tremendous conversation happening in our society about police officers doing harm. They in the law have traditionally been presumed to us a higher duty of care. So yes if they are detaining someone and that person resist some way. Certainly they can Use reasonable and necessary force to restrain the person handcuffs. Obviously one way. They restrain a person but they do need to take into account the medical needs of the person and and there's a case brian that Many judges rely upon The graham case. I mentioned it to you in that memo The man was a a a diabetic. He needed his insulin. He asked for it. Police did not provide it. It's very similar to this case. And i imagine the judge in this case as read it many many times because he does not want to be reversed on appeal so they do need to think about our medical conditions But of course also police do have to think about their own safety And and that is the tension that we now have the difference here brian. With most of the cases that we encounter. most cases are a split-second decision. That police officers make where they pull the trigger. A gun is fired and then they say well. I had to make a split-second decision. My life was on the line. That is not this case right. This was a case where the man had nine minutes and twenty nine seconds to think about what he was doing. He certainly had four minutes and i would say forty five seconds based on the evidence. I've seen to try to bring. George floyd back to life to resuscitate him to do. Cpr to administer aid. The this is not that case. And so your question is very very well put You certainly have to As we say in the law. Take your plaintiff as you find him. If you're plaintiff has underlying medical conditions. Well that's on you. that's on you. Here's judge k hill from yesterday. One minutes worth of the public pine. I guess it was all public as he tries to be very even keel and basically asked the jury to be the same. During your deliberations you must not let bias prejudice passion sympathy or public opinion. Influence your decision. You must not consider any consequences or penalties that might follow from your verdict. You must not be biased in favor of or against any party or witness because of his or her disability gender race religion ethnicity sexual orientation age national origin or socioeconomic status. Your verdict must be based solely on the evidence presented and the law. That i give you your like or dislike of any witness attorney or party should not have an effect on the outcome of the case the state of minnesota and the defendant have a right to demand and they do demand they will consider and weigh. The evidence apply the law and reach a verdict regardless of what the consequences might be now. That sounds pretty boilerplate to me but you were talking earlier about the centrality of the judges instructions to the jury. To the way the verdicts might come out. Obviously that was just one minute out of about twenty minutes that he spoke to something like that that we just heard seem to matter to how juries do their work i think it's helpful to remind them of By sees and purchases and the import of the case although in this case of course they know the import. And i think brian it's worth noting How how much of a responsibility this jury is taking on. We should be grateful to them You know any jewelry and any trial is is taking on a civic responsibility and then when it's a murder trial even more so obviously death penalty cases among the most intense for jurors. And they will tell you they live with it for the rest of their lives so we know that this jury you saw the motion of these witnesses. I have never brian in my life. In the hundreds and hundreds of cases. I've covered a case with witnesses. This emotionally overwrought so these jurors will live with this for the rest of their lives and they will live with their decision for the rest of their lives and in minneapolis. By the way. Brian there have been death threats for some of the witnesses. One of the witnesses had His former home the vandals got the address wrong but his former home horribly vandalized so the jurors. They don't know that yet but they know how significant their decision will be and we should be grateful to them for taking it on less than jamie except that. I'll ask you as we're ending. If there's any way to gauge how long it's gonna take the jury to do their work. I wanna play one more clip from the closing arguments and get your take on this. In the context of what america thinks is at stake here versus what. The prosecution argued that the jury should consider. The gist of this is that the prosecution policing is not on trial. Any question of systemic. Racism is not on trial just the opposite. It's whether derek chauvin violated betrayed the good things that being a cop is supposed to be about listen. He betrayed the badge and everything it stood for. It's not how they're trained. It's not following the rules. This is not an anti police prosecution. It's a croak lease prosecution so jamie. I understand why the prosecution wood frame it that way but i've also heard some people suggest that it might risk making an acquittal easier because the jury might assume that a police officer in the line of duty is not generally biased or trying to do harm and lean more toward the benefit of the doubt for chauvin. I'm just curious if you see that argument as sort of a calculated risk. I think it is a calculated risk. I think the prosecution is well aware that the jury is well aware of the Deep political context in which this case is presented. And i think we all right You know getting back to gale's earlier question about the charges here again. They did not charge. First degree murder which requires a premeditation. Also getting to don's question about intent And they could have. I mean he. Was you know that premeditation can be formed in. An instant and chauvin was kneeling on george. Floyd's neck four nine minutes and twenty nine seconds. Certainly long enough to form premeditation to kill so they made a choice again. A calculated choice. Brian not to charge that and then the three charges two of them require some form of intent the second degree murder and the third degree murder. The the irony here. Brian is that Criminal trials are about the individual there about individual responsibility now too long for too long in this country. Police officers have not been held responsible responsible. They've not Had the same level of responsibility in court in fact they never get to trial. We hardly discipline them at all when something goes wrong But it is about the individual's responsibility the larger meaning of george floyd life and legacy is not about this trial. It's just not. The larger meaning is the reform movement that started on may twenty fifth twenty twenty. That's ongoing. That is already a movement underway. And so whatever happens in this courtroom. The legacy of george floyd will be long lived well beyond the verdict. I've derek chauvin and listeners. We will talk about the criminal. Justice reform movement with the philadelphia. Da larry crasner later in the show. Who is considered a prime proponent of it from within office in the district attorney's office larry crasner coming up later in the show. Jamie what's your best. Guess as to how long this job facing the jury will take. Oh brian you know. I never guess about juries. but i will say juries. don't like it when they're sequestered to be sequestered for very long. So the judge having asked them to stay in a hotel and not go home to their families. He certainly Ensuring that it will be a shorter deliberation rather than a long one. That's as far as i'll go prime. Wnyc race injustice editor and legal editor. Jamie floyd so informative thank you jamie. Thank you brian. Brian lehrer daily politics. Podcast is an excerpt from my live. Daily radio show the brian lehrer show on. Wnyc radio ten am to noon eastern time. If you wanna listen live at. Wnyc dot ord. Thanks for listening today. Talk to you next time.
Why Trump's Not Forcing Factories to Make Medical Supplies
"It's Brian Lehrer. And this is my daily politics by cast from WNYC studios. It's Monday march. Twenty third with us now for a Washington take on corona virus developments. Susan page Washington Bureau chief for USA. Today Susan Welcome back to WNYC. Hey Brian it's good to be with you so let me just dive right into the central life. In-depth question right now. Which is how much can private industry on? Its own ramp up. Production of masks ventilators and other lifesaving medical equipment trump keeps resisting calls from New York and even elsewhere. I'm seeing other governors democratic and Republican Who HAVE THE MOST dire shortages? Who want him to intervene with industry to order more production under the defense production? Act The president last night. Said he's trying to avoid the heavy hand of government. What's his policy at this point? And have you seen Good answers from economists or or anything else anyone else as to whether the profit motive is enough to get companies to do what's needed. Well there there are a couple things that invoking the defense production act would do. It would allow the government to coordinate this for one thing. One thing we're hearing from some businesses is that they are little at sea about what exactly they could do to be most helpful even if they want to be helpful so under this under this law the federal government could say make this not that the other thing that the law would allow the federal government to do is to decide where scarce resources go so you could direct it to places like New York and California and Washington state that had been the hardest hit as opposed to this competition that we heard governors talking about yesterday on the Sunday shows where they're bidding against one another For Resources and the resources may not necessarily go to the place that needs the most so. These are the reasons that I think. Some officials have encouraged the president to invoke this law and our. I think surprised that he hasn't been willing to do it. In fact on Friday the president told us that he had done it But it turned out that what he was referring to was simply a bureaucratic step of invoking the law not actually using the powers that the law would give him. Do you have a sense what his actual resistance is is just the usual. Republican reluctance to use government to tell business what to do. Is that the fact that when you come down with the states that are the hardest hit have so far been blue states New York California and Washington. Although I understand Louisiana is getting into the territory to What is it. Why doesn't he just do it? So there's it's hard to you know I wouldn't pretend to know Be inside the president's mind on what is exact motivation as he does talk about the heavy hand of government. He has railed against socialism. He's accused Democrats of being socialist has been one of the themes that we've heard from him in the presidential campaign already Some people also speculate that he is concerned that if he does this step which is a dramatic step he then owns the crisis in a bigger way and will be held more responsible than he would be otherwise when there are shortages of these desperately needed supplies the president head of FEMA the Federal Emergency Management Agency had a hard time at one of the news conferences over the weekend. Saying where the masks from the national stockpile that does exist are going and even the president who is famously vague on things like this self got into the act of questioning. And here's that excerpt asks start coming in the they're they're they're out there now so again. We want to match. We want to get out of the middle. I think we're trying to match supply with demand. So that's what we're doing right now. It's happening today. It's expected to their matching it. There's a range of request across the country and we're trying to match those Again supply-and-demand every day so. I think that was Saturday. Do we know any more today about the supply and demand the actual distribution after they match on paper? Well we know that the FEMA director on yesterday On CNN couldn't even give a rough estimate of how many masks have been sent. And I think this is one of the things that alarms Americans when they see this. It doesn't seem like a system that is being run very well And we don't. We don't have details on what they've done how they've done it. How many massive been sit and when places like New York and California and Washington? Louisiana? Can't expect to have enough mass not to have these extraordinary situations where healthcare professionals are talking about. Making their own masks are trying to sterilize. Use Mass to us again. It's so Extraordinary to think of a country like the United States a wealthy country To be in this situation the throat nobody ever thought we would be in this situation. Except when the President says that then there's a comeback to that which is that there are people who thought we could be in this situation. There was a pandemic preparedness report. There have been many and there were warnings that the US Was Not ready for something like this. That experts new could potentially occur. Yes that's true and there were both You know Agencies looking over the long haul warning about this including an office in the National Security Council that President Obama created and president trump dismantle and. They're also Early Warning signs from China in January and February that should have served as an early warning system That those warnings were generally not heeded by the federal government and that left us with Weeks of time squandered. That could have been used to address some of these concerns and congresswoman goes into a customer. Cortez has been talking about a rent. Freeze and we have a question from a listener on twitter. Who writes their any national efforts to put a temporary freeze on commercial and residential rent and mortgage payments property taxes? Water and sewer did. The president announce anything like this. No and I I heard the congresswoman talk about that yesterday as well But I've heard of no serious proposal in Washington to do something that now. The bill that the relief bill that is now being cobbled together in the Senate doesn't include cash payments to Americans twelve hundred dollars for workers who make up to seventy five thousand dollars a year five hundred dollars for each child and that's designed to help people. Americans are having trouble paying their rent. Her buying their food but in terms of nationwide rent-free set is not something. I've heard discussed in a serious way. The vote on the stimulus. Bill failed in the Senate last night. Democrats and Republicans seem to have a classic partisan. Divide over who should be helped in the stimulus. Bill can you describe it? Briefly from both sides point of view so this was on a procedural motion. We're going to have the That Mitch McConnell had scheduled to see if he could get this. Bill passed this morning It went down Democrats held together against it. You know there's there's a lot of for a bill that is going to spend close to two trillion dollars. There is a lot of agreement on what it ought to do but there is disagreement that in the most serious disagreement goes with what kind of restrictions do you put on corporations that get loans under this under this plan That is the that is I. Think the biggest issue that they were trying to iron out For instance would companies be prevented from accepting the money? And then buying back their own stock. Which is something that happened with. The two thousand eight rescue package designed to drive up stock prices not to help workers There's another concern about The powers given to the treasury secretary both to waive restrictions on what companies can do if they accept this loan money and his ability to keep secret. What loans are made for up to six months so While I think much of the bill. There's bipartisan surprising. Bipartisan AGREEMENT ON MUCH. Go who thought? Republicans would agree on cash payments to Americans including those who don't have any taxable income But I think on. I think that concerns about restrictions on corporations to get loans are the big issue and that reflects in a big way lessons learned after the two thousand eight bailout. Of course we'll watch The negotiations on that bill as they proceed through the day. I know both sides want to get it done. We'll see if they can get to. Yes and then. What kinds of slush funds for corporate America or anything else People have to live with in there that they don't like on getting resources to where they're needed and for that matter not taking resources away from where they're needed. I I don't know if you're on this part of it Susan and my guest if you're just joining us as Washington bureau chief for USA Today. Susan page But the president was talking about calling up the National Guard and I think he did it yesterday for New York and California and Washington and a doctor wrote to me With concerns that there are a lot of healthcare workers in the National Guard. So I don't know if they could be exempted if this is anything you know about or stock the rights. We could try to pull doctors from parts of the country. That aren't hard hit. We do that through the private sector. Perhaps as easily honor medical licenses from any state and give people emergency privileges. The army could then set up a tent city in central park to house the docks or local hotels could be enlisted by the president Just some things to think about anybody. Talking about things like that especially at the National Guard is an interesting one because of course the last thing we want to do is pull medical professionals who are working in places out of them to to serve the national guard that is That is a good question. The other question that came up with the National Guard Activation By the president was whether this was a precursor to martial law and the White House has tried to very to reassure people that it's not that it's just the traditional uses of the National Guard and this is a way to to provide federal money to pay for them while leaving them under the control of the governors need state Senator Rand Paul tested positive yesterday and he and Mitt Romney who had close contact with landfall have gone into quarantine. How does that affect the ability to pass legislation? You know senators are usually give a lot of slack other senators. But you know I could piss off senators. You can expose them to krona virus by behaving in ways. That seem quite careless. And of course he's an ophthalmologist. He's a he's in the medical profession. You'd think rand Paul would new but no better. We see that the the fact that Rand Paul is now out of the Senate to additional senators. Have Self quarantined Mike Lee and and Mitt Romney because they spent time with him It did not cause the procedure emotion to go down yesterday But it could be a problem down the road especially if we see the number of lawmakers who are quarantined Rise I mean we just just an hour ago Amy Klobuchar Revealed that her husband has been diagnosed with the corona. Virus is a hospital So this is something that could affect the you know what we call the continuation of government right. The ability of Congress to function A lot of talk now about the possibility of going to some kind of remote voting system. Something that Congress has never done. How hard would it be for them to do that? To suspend the requirement for 'em in person voting well I. A colleague of mine was reading the Constitution and didn't see anything that would make it unconstitutional. It would certainly be unconventional and you would need to have Some significant security controls to make sure that it wasn't open to some kind of Hack. LemMe and with some pure politics President Trump's approval rating for his handling of the virus is in the last report I saw in positive territory like fifty five to forty five even though so many others. Watch these news conferences and judge him to have not only willfully squander time to address the virus early other than the one move to cut off travel from China which he did do. But that is daily. Appearances are mostly Backslapping and self-aggrandizement not public information. So who's liking him and WHO's not in this crisis. Well the you know. The markets are not liking him. We've seen on a couple of these briefings. The markets go down as he starts talking That he's raising concerns on offering Reassurance the the there was what we have is one poll. Abc News poll. That did show the president's approval rating going up twelve points in a week. That is a really significant spike and put him in positive territory but I would just say two things one. You need more than one poll before you know. It's true right. We have outlined puzzle the time the other thing is Sometimes Americans at times of peril rally round their leader in a way that he or she cannot count on to continue. And I'm thinking for instance the President Carter in the Iranian hostage crisis. There was initially a kind of rally around the president sets but at the end his handling of that crisis contributed to his defeat for reelection. So I would just say you know I love polls that's watched holes But I would like to see a little more data over the longer time before we reach conclusions about how this is affecting Americans abuse of the President Susan Page Washington Bureau chief for USA. Today thank you so much. Hey thank you. Brian stay safe. Brian Lehrer daily politics. Podcast is obviously also a daily Corona virus podcast under the circumstances in our country right. Now we'll keep staying on top of things to serve you the best we can and remember this. Podcast is excerpted from my live weekday. Call in show the Brian Lehrer show. If you WANNA be a caller for just hear it live. It's from ten. Am to noon eastern time on WNYC radio in New York or online at WNYC dot. Org You can also tweet a question at US anytime. Just tweet at Brian Lehrer. Thanks for listening today.
How Companies That Sell Equipment To Prisons Affect How People Are Treated
"This week on the experiment. Podcast from the atlantic and wnyc studios. What does it take to come. One of the largest disinformation campaigns. We ever had was in. Subscribe to the experiment wherever you get. Podcasts listener supported w nyc studios. I'm brian lehrer. This is my daily politics. Podcast from wnyc studios. It's monday march eighth now. We continue with our series punishment and profit which we're doing in conjunction with the green space here at wnyc. The greenspace having live virtual events on tuesday nights. We're doing these previews on mondays of these. Very interesting conversations. I've been having about the intersection of the criminal. Justice system and business. We've got a short one today to fit into our dr schedule but no less interesting. The business of prison equipment. Who in the outside world ever thinks about that topic so back with us is bianca tilak founder and executive director of the group worth rises. Which thinks about it a lot their mission is to expose perverse incentives that prison related businesses. Set up that come out and how people are treated and bianca has this uniquely perfect background for the work. She's doing now. I don't think we mentioned this earlier in the series but she has worked with corrections agencies in new york city and elsewhere. So she's got that worked for the campaign to end mass incarceration at the aclu. She's got that. And she worked as a financial analyst at morgan stanley and citigroup. So let's see with all those intersecting expertise is what she can teach us about punishment and profits this week. The topic this time being prison equipment bianca. Welcome back to wnyc. Brian nice to be back with you. Thank you so much then with us. Also this week is wnyc and gothamist reporter. George joseph because he's written a piece about what happens when a particular piece of prison equipment becomes faulty and has dire consequences for inmates. Hey george welcome back to the show. Hey brian thanks so much and we will reveal your specific in a couple of minutes but bianca is their yearly trade shows by the american correctional association where vendors literally showoff their new products and equipment for correctional administrators To buy so if you're walking about one of these trade shows walking around one of these trade shows. What kind of products would you see in a typical year. Yeah brennan we're starting there because it's actually a trade show the very few people have been to especially if you're not within the correctional industry And i actually have been to. One of these trade shows so essentially twice a year. The american correctional association which is the trade association for the corrections industry. There's also the american jail association Focus more specifically on jails with the ac a and the aj every year have actually twice a year. conferences Where they folks in this industry from corrections around the country together In the biggest thing that actually happens at these conferences is accreditation of facilities and actually pay to be accredited. So it is one of the Revenue sources but. There's also all these corporations that essentially fund these conferences If you take a look at their brochure is literally from front page to back. Page one hundred pages of advertising to prisons and jails and when you get to this conference And a typical convention center hotel like everywhere else. a few days out of that That each conference there will be an exhibit hall and that exhibit hall is very protected across lot walk in but essentially when you walk in this table after table after table of just some of the most egregious things you would have seen. I mean from handcuffs to guns. Two trays of food trays to Matches i mean uniforms anything. You could think of the Inside of prison in jail. There's a table for it right in. Somebody's selling it with stress. Balls and all the typical things you might see in a convention center The free giveaways and vacation packages For signing up for your business card in and A fish fall. And you realize this entire thing is based on over two million people being in prison. And i see the a selling point for many of these products is that they can't be taken apart by the inmates and turned into weapons. Right can you give me an example of that. Yeah there's actually a lot of the products so there's two different types of when we've talked about this entire sector and some parts. We're talking about supplies which are supplies. That are being given to incarcerate folks. And then there's Equipment which is in large part those The items that are being used by stats the weapons and Others you know security invest and things like stop when you think about the supplies that are actually given to incarcerate folks Or for example the furnishings. So if the range it'll be everything from like shampoo that they describe as maximum security because it's a clear liquid and ironically the barker company which max which manufacturers this type of shampoo. No and. that's that's the common misconception. It's not the same person. It is the same name though The company is called. The bob barker company It was not not related. Barker from the price is right. There's such a thing as asimov security shampoo. Oh my gosh frying it. So i mean the lies. They tell our incredible. Yes but there is. And it's an all in one body wash shampoo and conditioner. That is absolutely clear like water And it's so awful the product but there's actually a warning label on the shampoo that warns against skin contact. I mean i don't like it yet. i don't understand either but it it's actually in the manual and so there's things like this and not their excuses maximum security. It's clear no one can hide anything in this like shampoo And then you have As you were saying like other things that you know they say they don't want to be destroyed for use as a weapon so everything is made out of you know industrial type of plastics and metals The that you know everything from the bed to the way. The sheets are manufactured are all very specific but it basically just allows for these corporations to charge more for essentially a product of lesser quality. So george joseph from wnyc gothamist. You've appointed on one type of equipment used inside prisons and that's drug tests. And i see that in two thousand nineteen. You reported that. Nearly two thousand inmates across new york state may have been punished due to faulty drug tests made by a company called the micro genesis corporation. You reported on something like that happening again. In twenty twenty but with a different drug tests may by different company. So why do these drug tests keep failing. And what are the consequences for inmates. That's a great question brian. And it's actually something. We're still trying to tease out. Because docks the new york state corrections authority with our first story about faulty urine analysis tests. Blame the company and said you know. This company's product is faulty. We're investigating this now. We have to sort of go back and restore privileges to all incarcerated people who he put in solitary or did various punishments too. But there's a question of was it just the reliability of the that was the problem or was it the way that docks was using these sorts of tests which are advertised is screening tests In a sort of definitive way where instead of just using them to screen and then do further lab testing the state. Authorities were just using multiple screening tests in some cases for some of these products and then making disciplinary decisions based on those sort of questionable screening intended tests and the company's though like in this case of my jenex was sending representatives to some of these disciplinary hearings and sort of testifying sort of furthering along the disciplinary process. So who exactly is at fault. Here is something. That's still being teased out in litigation. Now i see that last year prison authorities in new york state said they were suspending use of drug tests by one of the companies that was found to have some faulty ones. Is there something in place to keep this from happening again. So in that case that was with a different drug test From a company called search which was sort of testing contraband What's great about that kind of test and it's why it's used by police corrections officials cetera is that it's really easy and it's really simple. It's the kind of thing where you drop a substance into a pouch shake it up and then it turns a certain color and that color supposed to indicate whether it's positive or negative but with toxicologists have told us that's a great starting point to try to figure something out but then you need to do actual lab work which requires more expertise and is more expensive and as long as docs is not actually taking those steps as long as the state authorities. Not actually doing that lab work. There is nothing that will prevent sort of these screening tests from producing false results have real consequences for people and docks hasn't answered our questions as to why they were using these screening tests in that way and so we don't necessarily know what is happening now. If another product is sort of being used in a similar way and could lead to another story you know a few months from now the name of that company search you said is that sort of like high security shampoo. They're being cute about a company that makes things to search people and they call it thirty. I hadn't thought of that. I guess i guess abd but beyond that we have time for just one more question and and say whatever you want. But i was wondering how you think. The interests of the companies that make all these things affect corrections policies in the in this regard. How direct is there's profit motive in how people get treated. We've got one minute left. Sure i. I just wanted to say quickly. That search is a company that nobody's probably herta but a company called thermo. Fisher is actually the parent company of micro denison. They huge medical technologies conglomerate. That's publicly traded. That many people have heard of These are companies that you know and i think in terms of just policy real quick one hundred percents do companies know how their products are being used. As george said they're sending people to the disciplinary hearings testify against people who are incarcerated over products that are faulty. and have false positives. It is not. They are not Blind to it. They know how their products are being used. And they're encouraging facilities to prioritize security and thaw sensitive security over people's well-being bianca tilak is executive director and founder of worth rises. George joseph is. Our police beat reported here. Wnyc and gothamist and the latest worth rises wnyc greenspace event will which will be more on. This really fascinating topic of prison. Equipment will be tomorrow night. Live virtual event at the green space dot. Org when ed again what's the start time again. Bianca seven o'clock tomorrow night at the green space dot org. And we'll talk to you again next monday for next week's installment thanks so much. Brian lehrer a daily politics. Podcast is an excerpt from my live. Daily radio show the brian lehrer show on. Wnyc radio ten am to noon eastern time. If you wanna listen live at. Wnyc dot org. Thanks for listening today. Talk to you next time.
The FBI Raids Rudy. What Are They Looking For?
"Each listener supported w nyc studios. I'm brian lehrer. This is my daily politics. Podcast from wnyc studios. It's thursday april twenty ninth as you may have heard. Fbi agents yesterday executed a search warrant in rudy giuliani's manhattan apartment and office seizing cell. Phones and computers giuliani the former mayor. Obviously as well as lawyer for trump and former. Us attorney has been the focus of an investigation for the past two years regarding his activities in ukraine also in question whether he conducted illegal lobbying for ukrainian officials while he pushed for an investigation into joe biden when biden was running for president. Joining me now to break down the latest including whites such a big deal to search any lawyer in the first place. No less this one or andrea bernstein. Wnyc editor and the author of american oligarchs the kushner's the trumps and the marriage of money and and ilya marritz wnyc senior reporter. And many of you know they were the co hosts of the wnyc propublica podcast trump inc about trump's business empire. Hey andrea hi. Welcome back to the show. Hey brian so andrew give people more background and why giuliani is being investigated by the fbi in the first place. Yes so this stems from a series of business relationships that emerged around the time of trump's first impeachment trump while he was going around ukraine speaking to corrupt former. Prosecutors there about digging up dirt. On the biden family was also sibley taking money from wealthy ukrainians ukrainian oligarchs Possibly to lobby. Us officials on behalf of those clients. Now we don't know that he did that. And that is what the justice department is now looking at. But we do know that his former business associates were Charged in twenty nine hundred and the fall of twenty nine thousand nine with a number of crimes including essentially acting secretly on behalf of foreign nationals thus violating. Us laws so. Their association with giuliani has a long race questions. And it's been clear for some time. The justice department has been looking at this at whether he violated a lobbying laws or other laws and we know from some really good reporting by the new york times that the justice department the bill barr justice department would not allow the federal prosecutors in manhattan to pursue this and it was only now that we have a new attorney general and a new deputy attorney general that the southern district was given the okay to execute this early morning raid. And you can only imagine i mean. Here's giuliani somebody. Ordered exactly this type of raid when he was. Us attorney getting an six am knock on the door. There is the fbi at his apartment on the upper east side to computers and other electronic equipment and so even though he's being investigated we can't conclude at this point that he's going to be indicted on anything but the fact that they did conduct such a raid would indicate the seriousness of the investigation. So as far as you can tell What are they looking for on these cell phones and computers of giuliani. That he would even still have on them all this time after he knew he was being investing. Yeah well it's it's an interesting question. What is still there or do. They even have still have the devices That he had in the relevant time period When authorities go to a judge for a warrant. They have to say the crime that they're investigating and we know that one potential crime is a violation of the foreign agents. Registration act and Sons known as far basically what it says is that anybody who's lobbying for a foreign principle which can mean a bunch of different things has to register with the department of justice they have to Make a contract public. They have to do regular quarterly reporting And you know just looking at the fact that we were able to uncover at trump. Inc certainly seems like rudy. Giuliani had a lot of foreign clients. not only in ukraine but in places like bahrain and romania and possibly turkey and and to my knowledge has never registered under fara. Now it's interesting because defense lawyers representing people who have been accused of failing to register as foreign agents like to say that it's used to be a seldom enforced law. They liked to describe. It almost does like overlooking paperwork. Kind of thing It's not a felony misdemeanor. And that's that's true. But let's remember the origins of the foreign jurisdiction restriction act. It was created to To basically a halt to secret nazi propaganda coming into the united states in the nineteen thirties. And and really the idea. Is that the american. People should know who is trying to influence the us government on behalf of foreign parties. And that is the thing that rudy giuliani. Perhaps did not do here. And i feel it feel like he's really a poster child for why that's so dangerous because at the time that he was representing these foreign parties and we may not even know who they all were also representing the president of the united states for free in the very high profile. Robert mueller investigation. So if that's not An ethically fraught situation. I don't know what it is and you typed some notes for us to prepare for this segment that included the line. Giuliani has been compared to a fog machine. And that's apt. What's a fog machine in this context. Well you know. I think he's he's really like a sweet generis lawyer. I mean there's nobody quite like him. So many reporters have had him have been dialed by him at some point or had like weird but dial voice now left by him. He's gone on tv many times and had to walk back things that he said Because they directly contradicted what the president had been saying and he appears incompetent a lot of the and yet in his way. He's very effective. He's a puck nations representative of the president. Nobody fights for him on tv like Like like rudy giuliani and the cumulative effect i think is to sow doubt about can i and even at the moment when it really looks like he's being a bad lawyer i'm not sure that he's being such I'm not sure i mean. Look he was very involved in two. In in the in the fact patterns that caused to impeachments to president trump and yet and yet he is able to sort of muddy. The waters about what happened. And i think that that can be helpful. And i see andrea that you saw trump on fox this morning talking about this and you sent us a quote rudy. Giuliani as a great patriot. He does these things he just loves this country and then they read his apartment. It's like so unfair and such a double standard. Like i don't think anybody's ever seen before donald trump on fox today. That's not a defense. So so what is the defense from giuliani. At this point his own actual lawyer robert costello called the fbi search. Legal thuggery. Right so really. Guiliani has denied wrongdoing. He has you said this. And it's worth saying again. He has not been charged with anything and he has said that he has offered to cooperate with federal agents. It is worth saying. And there's an interesting back then in a really important fact pattern that we uncovered in two thousand nineteen when we reporting on this for trump inc and we knew clearly. That giuliani was pushing an outcome. The firing of the us ambassador to ukraine maria von of it should we talked about a lot during the impeachment hearings that he was pushing an outcome that was also sought by big monied interest in ukraine's including a wealthy ogre oligarch who is a us fugitive named dimitri fear tash and one of the things that was interesting yesterday's at the fbi. Also took records from victoria tensing. Who is dimitri fear. Tasha's lawyer so there is an implication. That rudy giuliani was at least advancing. The business interests of certain people an interest in ukraine. that may have affected. Us government tried to affect you as government. I hope that we eventually learned the answers from this but it is already clear from what is in the public record that all of these people were working towards the same end during the whole ukraine scandal. While they were trying to dig up dirt on hunter biden minutes. Sort of interesting in ironic outcome that it was the feds that went to get the records. That giuliani hat when he spent all of those years. Searching for records on the biden family and people may remember The names live parnasse. The cranium born american businessman who along with a guy named eager firm and were associates of rudy. Giuliani day flipped. Apparently right. they've been cooperating with the fbi. A lot of people made fun of them. They were like i know the keystone cops of international intrigue or whatever. They weren't cops. They weren't law enforcement but they got a lot of fun poked at them Could it be elliott in just a short answer like a thirty second answer that these sort of tragic comic figures levin eager have flipped on rudy giuliani and cost him to be charged with a crime. I don't think it's quite correct to say that they flips. They're still awaiting trial and they haven't pleaded to anything but it is true that one of the two men left part us Took the sort of novel strategy of going. Rachel maddow two nights in a row. Giving a lot of interviews basically completely turning on eager i completely turning on rudy giuliani and basically implicating him in you know shakedowns scheme to try to get dirt on the biden's That created so much noise. And if i have ten seconds left i just want to save. This whole thing has been such a headache for the justice department. Which has been receiving information from redo guiliani about the biden and ukraine. While also investigating riccione also juliana used to work for the us justice department so it is just a whole ball of wax so briefly. on on that you know that. The giuliani and trump associates will say. This is the biden justice department politicizing investigations. Can they prove that. it's not well. This is really. This is really the effective for years of trump where everything did become so politicized and once that sort of you know once that toothpaste out of a tube. It's sort of hard to go back to A system of government. That's sort of above those facts We'll have to see what sticks What i've read from from the reporting us out today is that the white house did not have advanced notice of the search for being executed. And if that's the case. I think that's a good sign that there perhaps as a proper separation between the department of justice and the white house andrea and our last minute designee of this rub off legally on trump. Who's under investigation for a number of things. 'cause he and rudy. Giuliani was so entangled in so many ways. We don't have any direct evidence of that. If giuliani were to be indicted there might be some more information about what trump knew about giuliani's business contacts however trump is in his own hot waters now and Is the subject of a criminal investigation by the other manhattan prosecutor the manhattan da Which stemmed from an investigation into raid three years ago this month into his other personal attorney michael cohen. So who knows where this will lead. And who can remember that ferment. And who could forget. I should say that was associated with a club. In ukraine called mafia rave and parnasse even has an easily navigable website listing himself as co founder and ceo of fraud guarantee which is supposed to be protection company. And yes you're right. I got Misled by those appearances on. Rachel maddow's that he had formerly flipped. I see the trial is actually still scheduled to begin on october. So andrea bernstein and ilya marritz late of trump inc. Thank you so much joining us. Great to talk to you brian. Brian lehrer a daily politics. Podcast is an excerpt from my live. Daily radio show the brian lehrer show on. Wnyc radio ten am to noon eastern time. If you wanna listen live at. Wnyc dot org. Thanks for listening today. Talk to you next time do.
Florida Joins Georgia In Trying To Decrease Voter Turnout. Heres How
"Each listener supported w nyc studios. I'm brian lehrer. This is my daily politics. Podcast from wnyc studios. It's wednesday may fifth. Is the new. Florida voting law even worse than the one in georgia. And how far will the gop drive to make it harder to vote. Go without being stopped in court. With us i is. Wnyc legal editor and race injustice editor. Jimmy floyd hi jammie. Welcome back to the show. Good morning brian. What are the most restrictive parts of the florida law. That passed last week. And how do they compare to the new georgia law which has gotten so much publicity and blowback right. So first brian. I'll say there are hundreds of these voter suppression bills circulating in state houses across america. I count about hundred fifty such bills in forty three states. So i'll do my best to analyze them with some fairness and clarity especially as you say. Florida georgia georgia. Also top of radar texas alabama. These are the places people are focused on. I'm not an election lawyer. And you know brian. Part of the reason This is so fraud is that election. Law is a really highly specific area of constitutional law to subsection And there are people who spend their entire careers digging into the Hundreds of Provision each one of these laws so then to answer your question specifically and doing my best florida passed. They passed in april a sweeping voter restriction. Bill it's a republican controlled legislature. Of course there in florida And it's known as sb bill. Ninety and delivers to republican governor. rhonda's scientists His promise to severely restrict access to the ballot and this all came about of course after former president. Donald trump lost the election. Nationwide but narrowly won in florida After saying that the election security was a major issue in elections and like laws in other states. You mentioned georgia espy. Ninety adds additional and I would say unnecessary burdens to voting and could potentially disenfranchise thousands of eligible voters in the state most notably african american voters but others as well just to mention one provision that lines up with georgia. Brian the bill bans the distribution. Get this a food or water to voters waiting in line by anyone. Other than state poll workers that's a provision they've borrowed directly from the voter suppression bill in georgia. Sp two oh two and so the bill is now headed to descend his desk and he has promised to sign it. Of course voting rights groups in florida activists Speaking out strongly against it we can dig into some of the other provisions that go directly to vote by mail Which is really the main target of this bill. I think personally bringing water to somebody. Waiting in line to vote is a form of election fraud. But we'll we'll pass over that one thing that struck me from the reporting about the florida bill that seemed different and extremely relevant to the events of twenty twenty. Then the georgia bill is restricting voting by mail in particular Have you been able to take a look at that. How the floor of the bill would restrict voting by mail compared to obviously the large amount of people that voted by mail in two thousand twenty. Yeah that's exactly The primary focus of the bill so it would require voters to request their vote by mail ballots more frequently. It would ban drop boxes so they would go around the state and remove all of the dropbox is currently in place It would allow only immediate family members to drop off vote by mail ballots for people who are unable to do that themselves and it would remove every florida voter who has an active request for a vote by mail ballot. Once it goes into effect which would be By july first now. I wanna just emphasize again bryan. That election security was just not an issue last november even though donald trump spread misinformation on that lies i would say about the stolen election and again he won in florida and officials there Are are the election officials who who actually run the election. Rather than the the people in the state house. are are emphasizing. That they're voting systems represented quote the gold standard. So this bill is not about the security of one election. It is not about the security of mail in voting despite those new provisions that i just read to you in this bill it is really about preserving the gop party control of the state Tell me more about those flawed election officials. It was one thing. That was very interesting to me in a new york times article on on this last friday a lot of our listeners will remember the georgia situation with the secretary of state there branchburg burger. Who's in elected republican who certified the legitimacy of the twenty twenty election results and has been vilified by other members of his party who wanted to politicize them But he was elected election official republican. Who stood on the integrity of the georgia account and it looked to me from a few lines that i read that. The same thing is happening in florida. Is that what you're referring to. Yes that is precisely what's happening a very similar. Divide on the ground in florida as we saw in georgia most republicans support the bill especially those closest to the state house and the center of power but local elected many of them. The people who actually work the running of the elections are coming out against the bill. First of all brian. It's gonna cost taxpayers of florida somewhere between twelve and sixteen million dollars to implement this bill but beyond that Here's one very high profile example. Mike bennett the pasco county. Gop supervisor of elections Has come out against it. Brian corley issued a statement as well another supervisor of elections in another county. I've spent a lot of time in florida by the way brian. I was there for the entire tallahassee recount. I know every county across the state He issued a written statement. Which pretty much sums it up. This is brian corley This sums up the way. Local officials. Feel about the bill quote. I am literally befuddled as to why we would tweak a system that performed exceedingly. Well he writes. The current vote by mail statutes policies and procedures as well as the established security procedures with regards to vote by mail and drop boxes worked extremely well in pasco county and to my knowledge all of florida and then he goes on to talk about the new bill. The provision voids all vote by mail. Requests will not only impact millions of florida voters but will cause an unfunded mandate of millions of dollars to the tax payers of our great state. So i could go on brian to read similar quotes from other elected officials across the state. But then ben at did say about this when asked by a reporter about the removal of drop boxes so they have to go around the state to rip out the drop boxes as mandated by the bill. He says quote. What the hell are you thinking. So the bottom line. Brian is that florida is now being looked at as a national model for how an election ran so well security efficiency. Why mess with all of that to implement a bill know if it's if it's not broke then then why fix it and there are some good answers to that question does it look like these. Provisions would have disparate impact by race or that that appears to be the intact. The answer to that is yes. I mean yes this is this is about race. I mean It's clearly a grab about race and and And you know some other. People who have traditionally been disenfranchised in the state of florida and and elsewhere. But you know traditionally Our community my community brian The african american community has expressed its power in two important ways through protests and through voting. And i think it's fair to say that what we're seeing from florida. Lawmakers is a power grab to minimize black voices because they fear the emergent black power in the state and view it as a threat And so this vote. I would say brian And i've really tried to view it objectively. But i don't see it as anything. Other than a vote by the state legislature to usher in a new era of jim crow in florida and as much as they publicly insist that there's no racial motivation behind the bill. can't be seen as anything else. There's no rational factual basis for it. Especially when you see. Republican elected officials many of them most of them white coming out against it A and there's no doubt that it will directly impact black voters who overwhelmingly vote democratic. Jamie if it can be shown that these laws are targeted at african americans. Is there enough left of the civil rights. Act that they can be overturned in court as violating federal law So we you. And i always liked to talk about the supreme court. Don't we And i know that's where you're going. I think we would rely here. Brian on the voting rights act rather than the civil rights act and then the real question is whether the supreme court has so dismantled the voting rights act to render it ineffective for purposes of challenging. Andy pernicious or unconstitutional voting laws. And i just mentioned. There are hundreds of them Now circulating in state houses so there will certainly be challenges. And as you. And i discussed brian. The voting rights act of nineteen sixty five Was challenged in the famous shelby. Case shelby versus. Eric holder Shelby county challenging. The voting rights act which was originally enacted as a response to The long history of voting discrimination and the part of the act most relevant here to your question section five subsection. Four b prohibited certain Parts of our country districts from enacting changes to their election laws and procedures without gaining official authorisation. Meaning they had to show whether the change was quote Neither has the purpose or we'll have the effect of negatively impacting an individual's right to vote based on race or minority status. So that's exactly what we're talking about cure right but then. The supreme court said brian in shelby. That these pre clearance requirements were unconstitutional and they strongly suggested that congress go back and look at the law and revisit that part of the law which congress is now doing but bryan. even though shelby was a devastating decision many ways for voting rights advocates. The court did not entirely invalidate. The voting rights act it's still out was discriminatory voting practices adopted in many southern states after the civil war and it still can be relied upon to challenge unconstitutionally burdensome laws and so if these laws are unconstitutionally burdensome That is targeting voters based on race or any Unconstitutionally unconstitutional status Then the the voting rights act is there for us to use it as intended. So you know. I guess it's a wait and see situation brian. It's it's going to be a long hard path But it's rooted in are are are very challenging and ugly history of race and racism in this country andrew in clearwater florida. You're on wnyc hi andrew. Thanks for calling in. How's it going. Brian longtime listener called you once before way. Back when High school shooting occurred down here. Work in the education system Moved down here about a decade ago to take care of mom ninety nine and she oh can only vote by mail because realistically it's not practical to get to the polls anymore I voted by mail. We'd never had a single problem with any of the voting down here. I worked elections for several cycles down here as well system as flawless It was actually. I was actually running the pulling machines and to me at somebody. That's been on both sides of the equation. This is nothing but an attempt to suppress volk. Would it be fair to say that your mother at her age would still be allowed to vote by mail. You if you're healthy would not unless you've got some other excuse. I'm not i'm i'm not sure how the system's going to evolve because frankly i think this way too many voters in the state to for that to not be challenged on now. What i'm i'm pushing sixty myself and worked in the school systems and do not get a day off in order to vote Voting is not a holiday down there for educators. So and we've got it got it so you're gonna figure that after yourself jamie. By the way did you say didn't they. Did i see this right did did they just remove election day as a holiday in the new york city public schools. That's a question for jessica gould. Our education reporter. I have to say about election day as a holiday. I have to. I've often thought brian. I would run for office on one issue and one issue of own. I believe that election day should be a holiday for everyone for everyone not just educators. Not just students but certainly you've them But and their families. And and you. And i brian end you know. All of us should be encouraged through a federal holiday. And you know encourage the to do the same. Everyone should have the day off work in a celebratory joyful way as we celebrate say july fourth i mean. I just don't understand why. I know that's not what we're here to talk about. But when i heard andrew mentioned that i it's the it's the one issue i want to campaign on But sadly and i don't know the answer to that question. I will from jessica and you know i was actually playing field. Lawyers game of never asked a question that you don't already know the answer to So the answer you just. It will be remote work remote learning day now. Yeah my question is whether it was removed because of all the changes related to kovic to the calendar And whether it will come back in the future at some point when we get back onto a more regular schedule there have been so many changes in losses for students. Teachers families related to covid and they may have had to adapt. Thank you get that. They learned from the success question. Mark of you know remote learning apps that they don't need snow days anymore. Those are going to just go to remote learning days if it's too snowy to go in person And same with election day and so that's yes for another that's another segment for another day. I certainly thoughts. Wnyc legal editor and race injustice editor. Jamie floyd thanks as always thank you. Brian lehrer a daily politics. Podcast is an excerpt from my live. Daily radio show the brian lehrer show on. Wnyc radio ten am to noon eastern time. If you wanna listen live at. Wnyc dot org. Thanks for listening today. Talk to you next time do you.
Closing The Loophole In The Amendment That Banned Slavery
"This week on the experiment. How did one group of immigrant workers become the hardest hit by the coronavirus. That's this week on the experiment. Podcast from the atlantic and wnyc. Listen and subscribe today. Listener's support w. nyc studios. I'm brian lehrer. This is my daily politics. Podcast from wnyc studios. It's tuesday march second. Who profits when people get put away every tuesday evening through may fourth the greenspace in partnership with the advocacy group worth rises because holding a virtual panel discussion about one aspect of the business side of the prison industry. And we're having segment previewing those weekly discussions on mondays or tuesdays. Here on the brian. Lehrer show we've talked about prison architecture in this series and design and companies that contract to fill vacancies and make training videos among congressional career Correctional staff and today. We're going to talk about prison. Labor prison labor has been a part of the us economy. Since at least the late nineteenth century today incarcerated people do everything from agriculture to janitorial work to building office furniture making hand sanitizer staff and call centers and doing three d. modeling. It's a multi billion dollar industry but the average wage for an incarcerated worker is thirty to sixty cents an hour. There are five states that do not pay incarcerated workers at all and part of the reason states can pay little to nothing for labor is because of language in the thirteenth amendment to the us constitution. Yes the one that outlawed slavery and involuntary servitude. But it had a loophole. The thirteenth amendment says quote except as a punishment for crime. Where of the party shall have been duly convicted unquote. That language has to be known as the slavery. Loophole among critics who say slave labor is continuing inside correctional institutions. My next guest is oregon. Senator jeff merkley. He's one of the democrats in the. Us senate leading the effort to amend the constitution to get rid of the so-called slavery loophole with the joint resolution known as the abolition amendment senator. It's so nice to have you on new york public radio. Welcome to our program. Thank you so much. Brian wonderful to be with you. Why did the authors of the thirteenth amendment include the so-called loophole language in the first place. Well it's It's a good question The the record is incomplete but Certainly a significant amount of lobbying Primarily from southern southern democrats That this would be a a fair way to go. Forward is to allow slavery to continue for those who were convicted of a crime. I think very few really recognize that the moment that this would instantly produce law set. he's sensually became known as the black codes they happened. Almost immediately thereafter after the thirteenth amendment was passed and which became a crime to be black. And by that. I mean you could be arrested for the way you walked in the sidewalk for speaking too loudly for for loitering for being on the street. After dark. in other words you could be arrested and convicted for any reason the neighboring state to essentially say. Hey we've got the power to continue slavery simply by arresting people for being black and then renting them back into the slave economy. And that's exactly what happened and it continued all of the horrific effects of slavery Fathers mothers ripped away from their family Destroying the family's destroying the finances the family even children were sometimes rented back into to slavery. So it's a very very dark history history that eventually helped create The mass incarceration help deprive Black americans of political power by taking away their right to vote which was also a power of incarcerating someone. It helped drive The the process that led to jim crow. And so we see this reverberating through the ages. As a deep injustice that continued after option of the thirteenth amendment so the language in your amendment says work programs and training opportunities for incarcerated individuals could continue but not without consent. Can you talk about the that distinction whether without consent. Yes that's not the way that is the description of of the the impact it's not what the actual language strike the slavery clause out of the thirteenth amendment and But people say well. What does that mean can work programs continued. Yes yes they can continue Oregon's work programs currently are voluntary or again since Proceeds to say they totally support us realize that there are some twenty states that also have this slavery clause in their state constitutions and some started take it out nebraska has taken it out. Utah has taken it out. So we're talking red states that have taken it out. Colorado has taken it out more of a purple to blue to blue state. Oregon is considering taking it out This this very year and i. I certainly hope they will be referral out to the constitutional referral out to the voters. And and so You you essentially say some states though do use private prisons that continue to use involuntary reading of People back to basically make money for the corporation or for the state And so there is still significant. Exploitation with some estimated. Nine hundred thousand americans are are read out by the prison industry and recognize this that this process of profiting off the renting out of prisoners helps drive mass incarceration because the prison industry benefits from the profits from running people out. So then they lobby for Three strike clause and get tough on crime laws in order to get more people in prison which always ends up bearing disproportionately on communities of color in the united states. Now skeptics might point out the modern prison. Labor doesn't actually draw authority directly from the thirteenth amendment. So in the states that have done away with the Similar clauses in their state constitutions. Has there been any functional change in those states regarding prison labor. Good question and we don't have an analysis yet. It's very new for the three states to have struck down this clause But my understanding is those states. They are continuing with voluntary work program. So we're programs are highly beneficial and this isn't do away with work programs but there if you are in a you're being signed to work program that is horrific you could as a prisoner say no. I'm not going to do that Well then that's That puts a check on unsafe practices. You're being exposed to terrible chemicals. You're exposed to hazard because Safe and healthy practices are aren't required in these settings So it. It gives some Balanced to that to that equation but most prisoners liked the idea participating because it makes the day shorter gives them structure to their their lives allows them to get outside of their cell allows them to develop Training that may be useful when they're out of prison to be able to get a to get a job so re retains all those healthy aspects in these states that have obliterated their slavery clause and although prison labor stems from the racist ashes of convict leasing as you were describing before the more modern defense of the practice says as you were alluding to that. Work gives incarcerated people purpose in many cases and governor. There is a nineteen seventy nine law which allows some private companies to hire prisoners but requires them to pay a prevailing wage So i wonder if they're positive models for prison labor happening right now in the united states. That you endorse. I think the idea of of being able to have paid a significant wage nailing prisoners prepare for the transition out of prison Make some some significant sense. And i'm looking forward to having hearings in which we explore those positive models one of the big challenges that drives reincarceration re in basically Recidivism that is people committing crimes again when they leave prison Is they have no resources. They've lost their connections to friends and family And they have no ability to have the money to buy an or rented an apartment or buy groceries and so being able to build up some savings before you leave. prison Might greatly facilitate success in leaving prison. Which is good for everyone you you don't want to. You don't want to encourage a situation where people feel like their last resort is committing another crime That hurts that hurts. Everyone you mentioned before lack of occupational safety and health protections for prison laborers And i didn't know that until i was reading in on your amendment and that's shocking to me because i gather the irs has inmate laborers are not employees and so therefore the occupational safety and health act and the administration of the agency called osha in the federal government. The occupational safety and health administration Their standards don't protect prison laborers. Do i have that right. And is that absolute. Yes you have. You have that right. That shocking would your amendment correct that or would that take a separate law. it's certainly would give some leverage. It isn't clear that it would would modify that directly but it enables prisoners who are being exposed. Say they're being exposed to asbestos which amazingly still used an american production or to other Chemicals without a proper Masks to prevent your contamination or some other thing that the prisoner says now this is. This is really a bad idea. I shouldn't shouldn't be situation. That's going to destroy my health. They'd have the ability to push back and say i'm sorry unless unless we improve. He's working conditions I'm not accepting this this this work. So how realistic. And i should note that in some ahead i should note that in some cases. I'm sure that People are entering into jobs. Where the the they're being essentially rented out to companies that are providing the same work conditions that they have for other employees. So it's not that every job is dangerous it's just there is no protection For prisoner from from from a dangerous situation. We just have a couple of minutes left with. Us senator jeff merkley of oregon one of the democrats leading the effort to amend the constitution to get rid of the so-called slavery loophole in the thirteenth amendment with a joint resolution known as the abolition amendment so senator. How realistic is it. That this amendment could get past. I think it takes. Let's see tell me if i've got my civics right. Two-thirds of the majority of both the house and the senate followed by three quarters of the states to ratify constitutional amendment. Exactly right and it's it's very rare. But what i'm encouraged by is worth the start of an important conversation conversations that his involved republican states like nebraska like utah. Other states are starting to to go. Oh my goodness we didn't realize we have this in our constitution. So they'll be a series of state. Discussions will help Pave the path for it. We will have results from states which we can take to the federal conversation and say Your fear was that x y z. those fears did not happen when states change this law. It's making these work programmes stronger. More significant health and safety protected Helping prisoners Developed some savings for success when they leave prison affects have all been positive. We we need to develop that record in order to be able to have a conversation that has some chance of getting Three fourths Or two thirds of two thirds of the house and senate and then three fourths of the states so we're at the beginning of that but recognize this. We just had a year in which we talked a lot about systemic racism. Here we have a hugely powerful clause in the constitution that has driven systemic racism from the end of the civil war forward. And remember right as i pointed out. It's still driving. It's one of the factors that is driving. Mass incarceration because of the private prison industry still profiting from running out prisoners. So changing this is not symbolic it will have real effects real positive effects and in this national conversation about systemic racism. Wouldn't it be great to eliminate this glaring Atrocious slavery clause out its thirteenth amendment cinema. We really appreciate your time. Thanks so much for coming on with us and sharing this. Thank you pleasure to be with you. Brian. and we're gonna continue this for a few more minutes with your phone calls and with bianchi tilak from the group worth rises and for those of you who've been following the series prison and profits that we've been doing Early in the week. Mondays or tuesdays on the show this winter in advance of these tuesday night greenspace events. You know that bianca's been coming on with us worth rises executive director as we follow along With the topics that they're gonna do. And they're tuesday night greenspace events and it is prison prophets in prison labor tonight in the virtual greenspace had the green space dot org so hubby uncle. Welcome back hi. How are you brian Great to be with you again. And i know you put out a report about this and your report as does the series as we know from the title you know. Prison profits Your report follows the money. So can you give us a sense of the range of products on the shelves that are made at least in part by prisoners that people may not realize when they buy them So i think there's a a really enjoyed your conversation with senator merkley Who we've been working with at the national network Where i serve on the court team and and worth rises also is engaged working on this federal fight to bring a new amendment to the us constitution In terms of personally. I think the important thing people really do need to understand that we often think about prison labor as it relates to private sector corporations. But that's actually not where the bulk of prison labor is happening More than ninety five percent of prison labor is happening for state and federal government And so when we think of prison labor we have to think about really three main buckets The smallest of which is actually private corporations that are directly using private labor They are To some extent regulated But by federal law you mentioned earlier than nineteen seventy nine Act that expanded the reach for a private sector into the prison industry But today We made around five thousand. People are actually regulated by that act better for working for private corporations But a lot of those products and there are a lot of jobs that are not actually captured and regulated so that nineteen seventy-nine wall actually only regulated products that made it into inter actual that are manufactured in that made it into interstate commerce. Meaning they cross state lines But in fact agriculture didn't make Is not regulated by that law and neither are services so there are so as you talk about things that have made it into our home In fact quite a number of agricultural products Everything from bell peppers and onions tomatoes. I are arriving here from farms in On prison and that i think is it was even exacerbated during the last administration Because one thing that people may not be aware of is that estimated that as much as seventy percent farming Labor is actually undocumented and when zero tolerance was announced A lot of those farms turn to prison to me. The gap in labor And so agriculture is another piece. That's not really tracked but is definitely making its way into private sector and services things. I call centers. There are If you saw during the The race for the presidency Bloomberg made big headlines for using campaign calling services that actually like campaign calls that were being made out of a prison So those types of services are also not captured by that legislation But quickly the to others in the much bigger aspects are there are corporations run by state and federal governments The federal corporation It's called unicor in new york for example The state corporation is called core crafts and those Corporations which again are state run. Corporations are actually manufacturing products for other state agencies For example the department of motor vehicles were department of transportation and in fact in new york Most of our street signs Most of the things in the mta. you know. Subway stations In new york city are actually made through prison labor inside of our prisons and jails and so those kind of products that you're actually interacting with every single license plate in the state of new york and most across the country are made by People who are incarcerated and so that is a really big piece of the puzzle things that are making into your home. And then i think that the very last six and the largest bucket Are those that are simply olive. Their work is maintaining the carshield structure So those are the janitors are folks are working in the kitchen and cook. Those are laundry services. All of those different services that are offerings inside of facilities are also part of the prison labor infrastructure. Let's take a phone call. Here's donald in yonkers. Who says he helped to train prison laborers to work at a supermarket. I donald john. Wnyc and do. I have that right. Yes right yes. Brian i worked tura. Amp years ago and they had a program where they would take people from different prisons in new york state. Who were you know. Had a good record and let them out early and they would come to come to work they found. I guess they found shelter form and what would work. And the job was paid half their salary by the state and half by The company i was a department manager of delhi and bakeries. And i would train these people on not just the job had to have a future not just clicking carriages or clerk or something stocking shelves and they did pretty good i taught him how to do scheduling and ordering and rules of the yar rules of the company and a couple of them went to the meetings with me department meeting. He's like once a month and a I had five people over about two years. And i train them and they to who are still working for acme now what are they going to be stores or acme now donald. Thank you very much for that story. so that's a relative success story as donald sees it from the point of view. Somebody who trained some prison Some prisoners to work and an p supermarkets and he says they you know help. Prepare them for the workforce when they got out. How do you feel about that bianca. And do you think that that's a model. That should continue to be used in the right ways to clarify. It's not he wasn't actually trained. People incarcerated what donald said was that he trained people who were released and that were found like where presumably in some kind of parole situation And we're maybe living. And some kind of transitional housing. I heard him say they found them housing. So that i think that's different that's like reentry services and and reentry work really different when we're talking about people who are like actively incarcerated But the spirit of your question right. Brian came up earlier. Which is like do folks inside wanna work and and you know what are those Sort of sentiments. I think you know. There's no doubt that people want to feel Some powered by what they can do on a day to day I think the notion that anyone buying current jobs inside is just not you know Really accurate because misinformed but the fact that there's an incredible amount of deprivation inside so you know having people fighting over job to pay sixty cents an hour. is wildly dehumanizing And i think the only reason anyone Is really you know competing for the jobs. Because that's the only you know. At the end of the day those are the only options. And so i always tell people when they you know. Make comments about like things being People choosing and things being better. It's like what people chosen jim. Crow over slavery shirt. Does that mean. That's where we should be landing. No so You know. I think what exists. Currently in our facilities across this country Is not axel. It's not fair. It's not just it's not humane It's not dignified Work in any way And you know those are the things that we're trying to change and through our work And by abolishing the exception to the thirteenth amendment that allows for forced labor tilak executive director of worth risers more at the green space dot org tonight. At seven o'clock. It'll be great. We have some really often panel tummy punishment and profit tuesday nights in greenspace through the beginning of may and weekly on this show. Previewing each episode. Thanks for coming on as brian. Brian lehrer daily politics. Podcast is an excerpt from my live. Daily radio show the brian lehrer show on. Wnyc radio ten am to noon eastern time. If you wanna listen live at. Wnyc dot org. Thanks for listening today. Talk to you next time.
How Two Police Departments Screen Out Applicants Of Color
"Wnyc studios is supported by play on podcasts. Now streaming all seven episodes of macbeth here. This modern english verse translation of shakespeare performed by award winning actors in a production that breathes new life into a timeless tale followed by episode. One of paraguay's beginning on june fourth. Listen today at play on. Podcasts dot com. This episode is brought to you by progressive home of the name. Your price tool you say how much you want to pay for car insurance and they'll show you coverage options that fit your budget. It's easy to start a quote. Just visit progressive dot com progressive casualty insurance company and affiliates price and coverage match limited by state law listener supported w in c. studios. I'm brian lehrer. This is my daily politics. Podcast from wnyc studios. It's friday may twenty eighth. Most people believe that one path to more justice and policing is to have a more diverse police but getting a job on one of long island's highly paid. Police forces has been more than three times. Tougher for black would be officers than for white applicants and twice as tough for hispanic job seekers in recruitment by the nassau and suffolk county departments. That's according to a new newsday investigation barriers to badges with me. Now jim bombeck investigative reporter for newsday and author of the report. Hi jim welcome to wnyc. Hey brian thanks for having me. Why did decide to look into the racial makeup of the long island police departments. What were you looking for so basically it started last june. We're almost at the year. Mark obviously was in the wake of the the george floyd murder you know it started with a simple question it was you know how diverse are the nassau and suffolk police departments and then the answer came back very quickly that it's not very diverse. The both of them were about eighty five eighty six percent white so then it became. Why is it not diverse. What what's happening. And you know when we look back you know. They've been under a federal consent decrees for for some forty years to basically diversify their their police forces. And the story's been done over those forty years. Many times where commissioners and county executives have stressed the importance of getting it done but it just hadn't happened and they they mentioned they're looking to recruit. It's a big Recruitment a big thing But when we look through it he said well you know they're getting a diverse applicant pool. Y are they. Why is it not turning into a diverse You know police force at the at the end of it. Why isn't why the recruiting recruits not diverse. So that that basically was the impetus to say. Let's look into this process of. How do you become a police officer. So let's talk about the tests And by way of background. I think these are stats from your article. Close to twenty thousand people apply to be on these police forces every year and only a couple of hundred on accepted so the acceptance rates for anybody is low but you found the tests to be particular barriers to applicants of color. Why is that. Yeah and and you hit on a good point that you know the The freeze that a lot of the police officers and the brass uses at saint getting. This job is kind of like hitting the lottery. The odds are not good for you That being said the odds if you're white or is better than the odds if you're a minority Particularly if you're black you know the the odds that you mentioned at the top and it happens at every single step of the way so there is a it starts with a written test and then from there it goes to a physical fitness test and then background investigation psychological evaluation and a and a medical evaluation and every single step of the way what we found in the numbers over the last two hiring cycles. Is that whites the pool of white representation bigger and the pool of the minority representation skip lower being on the radio in parenting at the same time. It's an increasingly common form of tasking during the covid pandemic era so You are forgiven for whoever. Just got on the phone there with you. Guess is jim bounceback investigative reporter for newsday. We're discussing his investigative report on the racial disparity and high an for nassau and suffolk county. Police departments. Here's a clip. You talked to nassau. Police commissioner patrick writer about why he thinks. Fewer black people passed the entrance exam to become cops on his force. And here's a little bit of what he said. A lot of these kids come from broken homes. These kids struggle in these communities. Because they don't have both parents around they don't have a family history of law enforcement theoretic disadvantage starting off and we have to recognize and it's true. I can't fix the family home. But i can fix the kid. I can help him get better and work with him to make sure we don't lose that kid and get them into the job because some great kids out there that we'd love to have part of this department. I think the process we have is good. I think given the kids a little advantage in some of the minority communities is important to the. Just don't have it. They don't have mom and dad nassau. County police commissioner. Patrick and jim. Those comments caused a big stir. When you first released the story right. Yeah and those. Those comments come from an entry. We did With commissioner writer. It was back in october. You know and it was done to do the You go over the findings and and basically might my focus in that interview and the whole interview is available News dot com So you can see the full context of the of the statements you know. I'm obviously looking to see his thoughts on number one. The lack of diversity on on the force and number two why whites advanced through the process at far greater rates than minorities and he As you'll see in the interview on newsday he really wanted to focus on that. Well the number of minorities who sign up for the test and then don't show up on testee is far greater than the number of whites who sign up for the test and then don't show up on test day and then that's what questions about. Well why do you believe that is. That's what led to these answers about how well look a lot of them. Come from broken homes or or they don't have mom and dad. They are pushing you on on the day. They don't have a history of law enforcement and and you'll see in those videos to there's no malice with the statements and and the civil rights leaders were almost more bothered by that than anything else because it showed what they believe was a real sense. The bias a implicit bias. Not that i guess what you're describing is not that he was Coming with hate in his heart but just A really kind of shocking misunderstanding. That black people have loving and supportive families to jerk and to be clear. We did go back to him earlier. This week we gave him a full transcript of His comments gave him a full. Transcript of the Criticism that we We were receiving he initially said look. We'll meet we'll We'll do it on camera. we'll talk through it. And then two hours later. He cancelled the interview and gave a statement through the county executives office Saying essentially that he meant no harm by it and that he's dedicated his life to law enforcement and increasing diversity on the forest. He did apologize yesterday at a press conference to anybody who was offended by it and he said that he was not Basically trying to paint any Communities with a broad brush but he also says that He doesn't speak with From script and then he speaks from the heart and And he says what's on his mind so it you know it kind of From the minority communities. The people. I've been speaking to They do feel like This is that you know as a sense of like you. Said implicit bias. That that's within him and that that's coming out in this wife. Jim were the things about the test that were found to be biased. You know we talk about this so much now with the sat's and other things where too many questions On not really relevant to judging the potential for success in college or maybe in this case on a police force and that have again implicit they often unintentional but real cultural bias. Yeah i mean so this is the the short answer. And i'm sure that this is the answer that is the most frustrating vol is that it's complicated and it's complicated because there's multiple steps. They're run by multiple departments government. And there's not one real body that's overseeing every single step you know for example the The written test. I mean these are done by private companies designed for the counties and overseen by the justice department. So now he's the the police department say. Well we have very little to do with this this written test and then with the physical fitness test. This is one that that was The most i opening this is set by the state for all police departments outside of new york city. And it's a test. That is really precise. I it's a set number of push-ups and sit-ups and in the and a half run but the push-ups and sit-ups you the way that the county's enforce it and obviously you need a standard to enforce the way they enforce it is like say on the sit-ups if you interlock your hands behind your head The rep doesn't count and it's like okay but at the same time if you're perhaps are white and come from a family of law enforcement you're going to be more likely to be prepared for that test to know. Interlock your hands behind your head when you do that. Sit up and and that's that's one of these things that that they're that the key the county are trying to fight. Because there's just it's it's an inherent obstacle that that That impacts the the chances of diversity and then there's a psychological suffo- county uses a firm from georgia and and they acknowledged to us that now they Blacks were eliminated nearly three times. The rate of whites and this is for greater stage. This is near the end of the process. And this was one where experts said that these should be the The top of the line candidate this point and now they're being knocked out at three times the rate so yes at every single step there there's interesting aspects to look at. There's some deep history here too. Which probably most of our listeners don't know forty years ago the. Us justice department filed a civil rights suit Against nassau on one against suffolk with the goal of grading the forces the county settled through consent agreements and you know repeated commitments to diversify. And you suggest that those consent agreements actually ended up making the problem worse so tell us what they were. And how could they have backfired. So i mean that's certainly the county's both of them say it's too arduous. There's too much of a process they need to go. To the basically the justice tharman overseas the the the ridden testing process know. That was the major impact of those consent decrees that they. They found that the nineteen eighties ridden test had a biased discriminatory impact against minorities. And it's what you said at the beginning about you know the questions and stuff but these consent decrees were not intended to be in place for forty years. I mean when they when they do this in nineteen eighty whatever. They're not thinking they're thinking. This is going to fix the problem now. The county executives today are saying that this is this is not a process. That's helping because they say it makes it far more time consuming Candidates who are interested the top candidates then get on on their own decided to different You know job when it gets to that point you know. Basically they say that the justice department involvement has been A negative in this you know. And so the justice department. There's obviously two sides. This we go to the justice department. We asked them and they refused to comment on the findings. Nor would they put Attorneys who enforce these consent decrees on the phone with me to discuss them. So it's it's an interesting aspect of this because the consent decrees were put in place for this very purpose. I think everyone can agree. It is not had that impact. But what's what's the answer at the end of the day. Then let me go back to the tests. You gave the example of the physical exam that found people were getting disqualified for minor. Things like not doing push ups. Sit up exactly right. That's what you're investigative report found and you also talked to experts who disagreed on answers to some of the written questions and for the psychological tests and other part of applying to be a police officer. You talk to some of the people who design and screen that portion of the entrance tests and you found bias there so give us some examples of written questions or the way people are screened. Psychologically so i it's interesting because Now what we found in this news report is that it's a very invasive process. You know it's very involved and obviously we would. You would expect that you know. These are people who are getting onto a civil service job. they're going to have a twenty plus career and in a very high responsibility position. So i think at the end of the day everyone would agree. They should look into the psychological They should look into people's backgrounds but the questions that were invasive. I guess that the experts were were calling on. You know questioned about you know where you in trouble as As as a child you know the detail issues that you've been in trouble in school just like questions like that that you know civil rights leaders were were certainly bothered by that because they see they question what will at how will that impact the process. How will that impact someone's ability To be on the job thirty years after being in trouble or something like that in terms of the the questions on the written test you know they break it up by you know cognitive by life experience and we did show it like like you mentioned we did show it to experts and these are experts. Who did you know who who have developed please tests and we show them one specific question and they both chose different answers and they said for different reasons and and bolts were reasonable and the end of the day. The correct answer depends on the force so the way they develop these tests is that they they basically pull of current police officers. They asked them important parts of their job. And then they develop questions around that. So they're basically trying to find. Police officers who food fit the mold of the current police officer to this point. I think douglas in manhattan you're on. Wnyc douglas hey. How's it going. No i have to just a couple of comments primarily. The the main driver is the test the test test to test and how the individuals who are professional development to tests how they develop it does to want them really determines whether or not a person is able to pass on the test and actually get onto force us for myself. My experience i looked at. I'm a college graduate. Nba as well as two bachelor degrees. I was looking at Bleiben department tests. And i gotta tell you. Some of those questions. Were extremely confusing so from my perspective. Imagine someone who's barely high school graduate trying to pass the test. If you missed one question just one question. That's all you need. That could really knock you out of the The running my only comment you saw on the f. d. n. y. Test that you can and really specifically that jumped out. It's been a while. They're in a while that i That i was looking at the exam but That's that's the only thing i can add. You know douglas. Thank you pacha the test the test the test and douglas douglas. The caller was steglitz. Your jim jim. We're going to run out of time in a couple of minutes. We have mayor de blasios standing by for his weekly call in segment with our listeners. but i think to douglas's point that your story has already prompted the departments to make some state changes. So what have they said. And how is your investigative report in newsday been received. Well i guess to look back at history a county executives and police commissioners have always valued recruitment. They said we're gonna solve this. Recruitment recruitment ha- has developed and giving them a diverse Testing groups. But it it obviously is not solve the problem yesterday. Nassau county County executive laura kern did announce that they're creating this diversity committee to look at every single step of this to look at not just recruitment but the look at the civil service test test that douglas was referencing to look at also getting out of the consent decree or changing it with the justice department to make it more relevant to what the job is in two twenty twenty one and also to look at supporting minority officers. Once they get on the force. I guess at the end of the day when when you look at it You know it's it's a completely different issue in twenty twenty one even though it's the same issue it's the same issue getting diversity on the job. It's different factors in. Twenty twenty one was in nineteen eighty whenever so so that's taking a different approach and and to that it seems like a- at least if it's not working you might as well try something different. Let me squeeze at least one more caller in here russell and brooklyn. You're on wnyc high. Russell hey brian Just a quick comment. I wanted to make. Was you policing seems to be a family business. Maybe more so than in other processions and the comments about police chief in on island you know saying how some of these candidates they don't come from policing families that's the inherent problem with. With all of these these things you know clearly the the processes biased and it's out in the open how biased it is. You know the fact that if you came from policing family to clap your fingers behind your head. I don't think that's really what the point of the point is want people who look like us who are like us and the whole problem with the profession. I think in general and it's what we saw last summer in new york where people identified more with their job than any other factor of who they are men. The fact is police officers. It's a job it's a job. It's a job russell. thank you very much. Jim how do you want to react to that. It's it's it's interesting because you do see a very early on about how It's like winning the lottery and yet and we have twenty thousand people going for these tests and yet you do see A lot of family ties within these forces. These twenty five hundred twenty four hundred officer forces and that does make you raise an eyebrow and how do they get through the process but that being said we don't see evidence of people talking someone along the way. I think the only rational and reasonable is that they are just better prepared at every single step. I mean i. You mentioned that the test before the test it is the gateway to this process. You don't get into this process. You don't get to do that. Sit up unless you pass the test. And i'm looking at the suffolk. Two thousand nineteen tests right now. It was the most diverse tests suffix ever had in terms of the people who showed up on testee but it was sixty four percent white at start those who actually scored high enough to have a chance of job. It was seventy three percent white so so we just they right off the bat. White representation does significantly better just off that test. And that's that's the gateway. So there's there's something to be looked at at every single step process jim bounceback investigative reporter for newsday his deep dive into hiring and racial disparities in that hiring in nassau county suffolk nassau and suffolk county. Police forces is called barriers to badges. Jim thanks for sharing with us. Thanks for having me brian. Lehrer a daily politics. Podcast is an excerpt from my life. Daily radio show the brian lehrer show on. Wnyc radio ten am to noon eastern time. If you wanna listen live at. Wnyc dot org. Thanks for listening today. Talk to you next time.