Democracy Now!

Trump's Cabinet

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  • President Trump has named longtime Republican lawyer Alex Acosta to be his new nominee to head the Labor Department after his first pick, fast-food CEO Andrew Puzder, withdrew Wednesday. We look at Acosta’s record with Alan Pyke, an editor with ThinkProgress, who argues Trump’s backup choice "has skeletons in his closet, too." Acosta has drawn scrutiny for his time as a division leader at the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division under President George W. Bush, where he oversaw a senior official who hired conservative lawyers who were actively opposed to the division’s mission, including the prosecution of voting rights violations and police abuse. In 2004, he played a key role in Bush’s final push to win the state of Ohio by backing Republican election officials accused of seeking to suppress voter turnout among blacks and Latinos.

  • By Amy Goodman & Denis Moynihan
    "When the people lead, the leaders will follow" are the oft-quoted words attributed to Gandhi. This week, massive grass-roots organizing helped defeat the nomination of Andrew Puzder, a multimillionaire fast-food CEO, as Donald Trump’s secretary of labor.

  • The Office of Government Ethics says counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway committed a "clear violation" of federal ethics rules when she used a TV appearance on "Fox & Friends" last week to market merchandise sold by President Trump’s daughter, Ivanka. Her endorsement of Ivanka’s products came after Trump tweeted from his official government account blasting Nordstrom for dropping Ivanka’s product line. Trump is also facing a lawsuit alleging he is in violation of the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause for his foreign conflicts of interest. For more on these conflicts of interest, we speak with California Democratic Congressmember Ted Lieu.

  • A new investigation by Univision shows how President Trump’s senior White House policy adviser, 31-year-old Stephen Miller, was well known at his Santa Monica High School for heckling his fellow Hispanic classmates, including telling them to speak only English. He’s now best known as one of the architects behind Trump’s Muslim travel ban. For more, we speak with one of Miller’s former classmates, Cynthia Santiago, the first Latina president of the school’s Associated Student Body and now an immigration defense lawyer who has been helping people impacted by Trump’s travel ban. We also speak with Univision reporter Fernando Peinado. His recent piece is titled "How White House advisor Stephen Miller went from pestering Hispanic students to designing Trump’s immigration policy."

  • Hundreds of fast-food workers plan to converge on the corporate offices of labor secretary nominee Andrew Puzder and demand the fast-food mogul withdraw his nomination. Puzder is head of the company that franchises the fast-food outlets Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. He is a longtime Republican donor who has been a vocal critic of raising the minimum wage, the Fight for 15 movement, expansion of overtime pay, paid sick leave and the Affordable Care Act. Puzder’s Senate confirmation hearing is scheduled for Thursday. The hearing has been postponed four times. For more, we speak with Saru Jayaraman, co-founder and co-director of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, or ROC United. The organization’s new report is titled "Secretary of Labor Violations?: The Low Road Business Model of CKE Restaurant Inc’s Andrew Puzder."

  • Today, hundreds of fast-food workers plan to converge on the corporate offices of labor secretary nominee Andrew Puzder and demand the fast-food mogul withdraw his nomination or be rejected by the Senate. The Washington Post reports Puzder’s chain restaurants, Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, have been the subject of multiple Labor Department investigations over wage theft, which have led the companies to pay nearly $150,000 in back pay to workers and more than $80,000 in penalties. The companies have also been cited with more than 30 health and safety violations. We speak with a shift leader at a Carl’s Jr. in Los Angeles for two years, Maggie Guerrero. She’s with Fight for 15 Los Angeles.

  • A recent survey by Restaurant Opportunities Centers United has found a shocking two-thirds of women working at labor secretary nominee Andrew Puzder’s restaurants experience sexual harassment at work. The report comes as Puzder is facing questions about past allegations of domestic violence against his ex-wife. For more, we speak with Saru Jayaraman of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, or ROC United.

  • Rev. Dr. Barbara A. Reynolds, who worked with Coretta Scott King on her memoir, recalls why King opposed Jeff Sessions.

  • The Senate has confirmed Jeff Sessions as the United States attorney general after a 52-47 vote Wednesday evening. Sessions’s confirmation has faced widespread protests over his opposition to the Voting Rights Act and his history of making racist comments. The vote capped a contentious 24 hours that began Tuesday night, when Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren was silenced and rebuked by the Senate for reading a 1986 letter written by Coretta Scott King denouncing Sessions, who was at the time being considered for a federal judgeship. For more, we speak with Rev. Dr. Barbara A. Reynolds. She worked with Coretta Scott King on her memoir, "Coretta Scott King: My Life, My Love, My Legacy."

  • By Amy Goodman & Denis Moynihan
    Sen. Elizabeth Warren made history Tuesday by quoting another historic woman’s 1986 letter to a Senate segregationist.

  • In a highly unusual move, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) was silenced during a Senate debate Tuesday over the confirmation of Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions for attorney general, after Warren read a 1986 letter written by Coretta Scott King, who was then opposing Sessions for a federal judgeship.

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