2015-01-21 14:29:00

Democracy Now! - January 21, 2015

On the foreign policy front, President Obama used his State of the Union to defend his decision to begin normalizing relations with Cuba, to pledge again to close Guantánamo and to call for authorization to expand war against the Islamic State. He mentioned the words "drones" and "torture" once each. We get reaction from Phyllis Bennis, fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies.

We get reaction to President Obama’s State of the Union address from Rep. Keith Ellison, co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and the first Muslim elected to Congress. He discusses Obama’s policies on war, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the proposed Robin Hood tax, and growing economic inequality.

Much of President Obama’s State of the Union address focused on the economy and efforts to bolster the middle class with a push for education, child care and tax breaks. But did he go far enough? We speak to Ralph Nader, longtime consumer advocate, corporate critic and former presidential candidate. His latest book is called "Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State."

Republicans have accused President Obama of waging class warfare for using his State of the Union to push for an increase in taxes and closing loopholes that benefit the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans. Pulitzer Prize-winning tax reporter David Cay Johnston says there is indeed a class war going on in Washington — but by the rich against the poor. Johnston’s latest book is "Divided. The Perils of Our Growing Inequality."

It was five years ago today that the U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark Citizens United decision, allowing unlimited political spending by corporations and unions. Some of the biggest spenders since have been the billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch. On Tuesday night, newly elected Republican Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa, who was strongly backed by the Koch brothers, gave theGOP response to President Obama. Meanwhile this weekend, four leading Republican presidential prospects — Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Marco Rubio, Sen. Rand Paul and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker — are set to appear at an exclusive gathering of rich conservatives organized by the Koch brothers. We speak to longtime consumer advocate Ralph Nader and Lisa Graves, executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy, which published an article Tuesday headlined "Koch Party Delivers SOTUResponse."

Amy Goodman Barack Obama Citizens United Democracy Now! Income Inequality Phyllis Bennis Ralph Nader Robin Hood Tax State Of The Union

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