Democracy Now!

Corporate Power

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  • Amy Goodman is on tour in California, where earlier this month more than 50 farmworkers in California were exposed to a highly toxic pesticide after it was greenlighted by the EPA in one of the agency’s first decisions since Trump took office.

  • Amid fallout from the United Airlines passenger who was beaten and dragged from a flight by airport security guards, we speak with longtime consumer advocate Ralph Nader, who in the early 1970s helped force airlines to begin compensating passengers bumped from their flights.

  • At the Senate confirmation hearing for secretary of state nominee and former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, he refused to answer questions about the oil giant’s long history of denying the science of climate change, telling Senators that scientific literature on climate change is "inconclusive."During the hearing, human rights concerns were also raised repeatedly. Tillerson refused to label Saudi Arabia a human rights violator, and avoided condemning Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte over thousands of extrajudicial killings carried out under Duterte’s so-called "war on drugs." We are joined from San Francisco by oil and energy journalist Antonia Juhasz.

  • Our guest is longtime consumer advocate Ralph Nader, author of the groundbreaking 1965 book, "Unsafe at Any Speed,” which prompted Congress to enact the most sweeping auto safety law in U.S. history. This month marks the 50th anniversary of the signing of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act and the Highway Safety Act. President Lyndon Johnson signed the landmark legislation on September 9, 1966, greatly reducing the annual number of traffic fatalities. It set mandatory federal safety standards for vehicles and drivers, and established the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Nader went on to win a major settlement against General Motors for spying on him and trying to discredit him, and used the lawsuit’s proceeds to start the Center for the Study of Responsive Law. Now he has a new book out, titled "Breaking Through Power: It’s Easier Than We Think." Next week he hosts a related conference in Washington, D.C.

  • An explosive new report by The Guardian reveals the extensive influence of corporate cash in U.S. elections through third-party groups that do not have to disclose their donors. It is based on 1,500 leaked court documents from an investigation by Wisconsin prosecutors into possible illegal fundraising by Republican Governor Scott Walker for the third-party group, Wisconsin Club for Growth. A conservative majority of Wisconsin’s Supreme Court halted the investigation last July before any charges were filed, and ordered all evidence from the investigation to be destroyed. But at least one copy of the documents survived. We speak with Ed Pilkington, chief reporter for The Guardian US, who used the files for his report, "Because Scott Walker Asked."

  • This week’s Republican National Convention has taken place in the Q, which is short for the Quicken Loans Arena. We take a look at billionaire owner of Quicken Loans, Dan Gilbert. Gilbert owns casinos, is facing a pending lawsuit and has a reputation for launching attacks on journalists. Award-winning journalist Matt Taibbi explains that Quicken Loans, one of the country’s largest mortgage companies, was a "symbol" of the subprime mortgage crisis that decimated cities like Cleveland. We are joined by Peter Pattakos, Ohio attorney and publisher of the sports website Cleveland Frowns.

  • Here at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, at least 19 corporations that usually sponsor the event have dramatically scaled back or canceled their commitments, citing Donald Trump’s controversial comments about women, immigrants and minorities. Last week, a leaked letter from the Cleveland host committee asked billionaire backer Sheldon Adelson to help cover a $6 million shortfall, and listed more than a dozen corporate and individual donors who have withdrawn their pledges, including Coca-Cola, Pepsi, FedEx and Visa. Other companies who sponsored the 2012 RNC but say they will not be returning this year include Apple, Wells Fargo, UPS, Motorola, JPMorgan Chase, Walgreens and Ford. We speak to Rashad Robinson, executive director of Color of Change.

  • On Wednesday, ExxonMobil shareholders rejected a series of resolutions calling for climate action. It was the first Exxon annual meeting since a series of revelations that for decades the company covered up its own scientific findings linking rising carbon emissions to dangerous climate change. For more, we’re joined by Bill McKibben, co-founder of 350.org. His recent piece for The Guardian is headlined "Let’s give up the climate change charade: Exxon won’t change its stripes." McKibben was once arrested in a one-person protest outside an Exxon gas station, where he was holding a sign that read: "This pump temporarily closed because ExxonMobil lied about climate."

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