updated 3/7/2013 10:36:51 AM ET 2013-03-07T15:36:51

THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL
March 6, 2013

Guests: Nia-Malika Henderson, Irin Carmon, Martha Plimpton, Ari Melber

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST: Having just watched his show, I can tell
you that Bill O`Reilly is just as ignorant tonight as last night about
President Obama and spending cuts. Unfortunately, a lot of Republicans are
just as ignorant as Bill O`Reilly. And so, the president had a working
dinner with Republicans tonight to tell them the same things he`s been
saying in his speeches that they haven`t been listening to.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Will breaking bread help break Washington`s
budget stalemate?

JOY REID, THE GRIO: Politics is supposed to be adversarial.

BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS: This is bull crap. It`s jack what you`re
saying.

REID: We have two parties fire reason. Just do what you`re supposed
to do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Obama goes on a charm offensive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s trying to reach out to Republicans.

TAMRON HALL, MSNBC ANCHOR: Going around the public leadership.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To hammer out a long-term budget deal.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MINORITY LEADER: I wish he had done more
of that over the years.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Where this goes, I don`t
know.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is a grand bargain insight again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s willing to work with Republicans.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There is a caucus of
common sense in the coming days and the coming weeks. I`m going to keep on
reaching out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s inviting several Republicans tonight. South
Carolina`s Lindsey Graham.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s got Lindsey Graham`s digits.

GRAHAM: The president asked that I get together a group.

ALEX WAGNER, MSNBC ANCHOR: Eleven Republican senators.

GRAHAM: I was honored.

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: You know Lindsey Graham is ready.

OBAMA: In the coming days and weeks, I`m going to continue reaching
out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s absolutely determined to try and get
something done.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The GOP has been tagged the party of no.

O`REILLY: It`s jack what you`re saying.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now you have people like Speaker Boehner saying --

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: The president got his
tax hikes. He got his tax hikes. The president got his tax hikes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, he doesn`t want to have these one on one
meetings with the president anymore.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is still incentive among a lot of
Republicans --

REID: Politics is supposed to be adversarial.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- to not cooperate with this president.

REID: All they really need is a hug and a lunch.

MCCONNELL: I wish he had done more of that over the years.

REID: President Obama is not their mom.

GRAHAM: Where this goes, I don`t know.

OBAMA: There is a caucus of common sense in the coming days and
coming weeks. I`m going to keep on reaching out.

O`REILLY: I`ve been relatively fair to Barack Obama. He doesn`t do
anything.

(CROSSTALK)

O`REILLY: It`s jack what you`re saying.

He`s not trying to solve the fiscal cliff. I`m not a partisan. But
now, I`m really angry.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

O`DONNELL: President Obama has just finished a working dinner with 12
Republican senators, the start of an outreach campaign that will include
visits with the full Republican caucuses in both the House and the Senate.
The two and a half hour dinner was held in a private room in the Jefferson
Hotel in Washington.

On the menu for discussion tonight were fiscal issues, immigration
reform and gun control. Earlier, today a senior administration official
told NBC News that the president believes a number of rank-and-file
Republicans are not clear about his willingness to compromise. No kidding.

Including on the issues of chained CPI and means testing for Medicare,
and the president planned to make that explicit tonight.

You know, for those Republicans who might not have been listening when
the president said it explicitly on national television.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: David, as you know, one of the proposals we made is something
called chained CPI.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Or when he said it explicitly in the Capitol in his State
of the Union Address.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: We`ll reduce taxpayer subsidies to prescription drug companies
and ask more from the wealthiest seniors.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Republican Lindsey Graham offered this explanation this
afternoon about how this dinner got scheduled.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GRAHAM: The president called Senator McCain and myself a couple weeks
ago. And Senator McCain was his opponent, as you all know, in 2008. I see
the president reaching out. I`m assuming the president wants to talk
seriously about the issues of the day. And if he just wants to have a
dinner so we can get to know each other better, that`s fine with me.

So how do you say no to the president of the United States who would
like to have dinner with some of your colleagues? You don`t. And anybody
who would do that in this business is in the wrong position. So, when the
president asked that I get together a group, I willingly, and I was
honored, to try to do that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining me now is Nia-Malika Henderson, national political
reporter for "The Washington Post", who was part of the press pool covering
the dinner at the Jefferson Hotel.

Nia, what did you have access to? Did they let you peek in the room
and see what the seating arrangement was?

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, THE WASHINGTON POST: Not quite. We were camped
outside in the bitter cold. Thank goodness it did not snow today. But we
were across the street and we were actually very doubtful that the senators
would come out and talk to us. Usually that happens after a White House
meeting, but we thought they would just speed away and we would get sort of
identical press speeches from each of their press secretaries.

But they did chat. You saw John McCain. He came out and he talked
about the meeting very briefly. He said it was a fine meeting, he expected
more meetings.

You had Mike Johanns out of Nebraska say that he came away feeling
more optimistic about a grand bargain. He also acknowledged that he, of
course, was not up for reelection, that everyone has to have skin in the
game if a grand bargain is to be reached.

But this was a meeting described by Pat Toomey as wide-ranging but
primarily focused on these fiscal issues around Medicare, around chained
CPI, around what the president is actually willing to do to reach a grand
bargain. A lot of the folks, or at least two or three of the folks who
were in that meeting, were actually part of the Senate discussions in 2011
around a grand bargain, and they had reached a grand bargain agreement that
was in many ways grander than what was almost reached in the House.

So I think those sorts of people, like Saxby Chambliss, like Mike
Johanns who aren`t up for reelection, could be part of this common sense
caucus that we hear so often out of the White House.

O`DONNELL: I just want to go through the list of the 12 so everyone
knows. Senator Lindsey Graham, Senator John McCain, Senator Saxby
Chambliss, Senator Kelly Ayotte, Senator Dan Coats, Senator Tom Coburn,
Senator Richard Burr, Senator Mike Johanns, Senator Pat Toomey, Senator
John Hoeven, Senator Bob Corker, Senator Ron Johnson.

I want to bring in Richard Wolffe and Krystal Ball to join this
discussion.

Krystal, one of the striking things about this, no members of the
leadership and no senator who has a high-ranking position on one of the
important spending committees. This is a very, very unusual assembly.

KRYSTAL BALL, MSNBC`S "THE CYCLE": It is, and obviously he feels like
he`s tried that route, he`s tried working with the leadership, and just
because he can get buy-in from the leadership doesn`t mean he can get the
rest of the caucus to go along.

So, this is an opportunity, a chance to maybe try and kindle some
goodwill with other members of the Republican caucus in the Senate.

And, you know, to the extent that there is an opening here for a grand
bargain, you have to say that actually the sequester worked in a way by
creating an incentive for both sides. There are things that neither side
likes in the sequester, to try to work something out. Republicans John
McCain and Lindsey Graham have been very vocal about being uncomfortable
with the defense cuts that are part of this sequester and wanting to do
something about that. And Democrats, of course, uncomfortable with the
size of the cuts in general.

So I think to the extent that there is an opening here, you have to
say the sequester worked in a way as it was intended.

O`DONNELL: Richard Wolffe, it sounds like, when you listen to Lindsey
Graham, that this dinner was maybe weeks in the making. He said he got
called a couple weeks ago. Then it seemed as though it was left to him to
recruit some willing Republicans, and within the Republican Party these
days, there can be a certain price to be paid, apparently, if you look too
friendly with President Obama as these guys may have looked tonight and
Senator Ayotte.

RICHARD WOLFFE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Maybe you had those worries
by Senator Graham about looking unfriendly. You don`t want to turn down
the petition invitation.

O`DONNELL: Yes.

BALL: As they have many times before.

WOLFFE: They have. But this is a different invitation, remember.
This is an invitation not to come to the White House. They were meeting in
neutral territory which in this time of austerity was, appropriately
enough, a luxury hotel.

We do know the president paid out of his own pocket, you know, because
obviously the sequester has affected the funds he can draw on for this kind
of affair. But, you know, there is a lot of theater here. We know that
the Republicans are fully aware of what the president has put out there. I
know that we`re supposed to celebrate this moment when they can all come
together and have a good chat and share some dinner together, but honestly,
the contours of this are out there already.

Do you think it`s noteworthy the Senate leadership isn`t there, wasn`t
there, because the only way to force House Republicans to accept a deal is
with Mitch McConnell at the table as well. Are you going to bounce Mitch
McConnell and then bounce him into bouncing John Boehner? I think that`s a
stretch.

O`DONNELL: And, Nia, is there any word from Republican leadership
about how they feel about this meeting? Because in normal times, the
leadership of either party hates to see members dealing directly with the
president.

HENDERSON: Well, you know, I bet Mitch McConnell is breathing a sigh
of relief that he didn`t get an invitation, one that he would have to turn
down. He, of course, has said pretty steadfastly that he didn`t want to
negotiate with the president, didn`t want to negotiate with Biden over the
sequester and he, of course, might even face something of a primary
challenge from his right in Kentucky.

Next week, there will be meetings. The president will meet with the
House, with the Senate, with those leaders there and the rank in file.

So I don`t think the leaders of either of these, the House or the
Senate on the Republican side, are necessarily going to lose any sleep.
But the rank-and-file members are meeting with the president.

They described this as a first step, as breaking the ice. This hasn`t
been a good relationship the president has had with the Republicans for
obvious reasons. His fault some, their fault, too.

So, you know, I am optimistic. They were certainly optimistic coming
out of there. These are the types of people that have been talking about
the issues that are going to be important to this president, whether it`s
immigration, whether it`s gun control.

You have somebody like Tom Coburn who is trying to broker a deal on
gun control, and, of course, Lindsey Graham, a real key person on
immigration. And so, he is going to have to have a relationship and build
trust with these folks if he is, in fact, able to get anything done for his
final term.

O`DONNELL: I want to read some of the comments of the senators coming
out of the dinner tonight where Nia and other reporters. These are
spontaneous comments they gave to you and others.

As you said, Mike Johanns, "I am more optimistic just from a personal
standpoint. These are very difficult issues, but I do think there is a
real fatigue in just going from crisis to crisis, but tonight was a good
first step, a good step."

You had John McCain saying, "All I can say is we had an evening that I
really appreciated very much."

You had Pat Toomey saying, "We had a wide ranging discussion about
fiscal and other issues. I think it was a constructive discussion."

Krystal Ball, those comments strike me as the most positive the
president could have hoped for coming out of a discussion like that.

BALL: I absolutely agree, and markedly different than what we`ve
heard from Republicans over the past several years. If you think about
where they are, I mean, for the president, he wants to get past these
budget crises and get on with the rest of his agenda. He has a lot of
items that he wants to accomplish in the next four years and a short amount
of time to do it.

Republicans are also leery of just focusing their message on what they
want to cut. Eric Cantor and others have said they don`t want to be the
party of no, they don`t want to be just the party of austerity. They also
want another message. So, they also have an incentive to move beyond this.

So listening to those notes of warmth between the two sides, I have to
say, like Nia-Malika, I am cautiously optimistic.

(LAUGHTER)

O`DONNELL: Richard, I want to go back to who paid for this dinner.
And there are, I have to tell you, there are problems on this emerging
already --

BALL: Uh-oh!

O`DONNELL: -- for everyone involved, because our NBC News report
says, as for who paid for dinner, several senators said they had no idea.

The problem there is the Senate ethics rules that do not allow anyone
to pay for their dinners if it`s more than $25, and at that place, Richard,
you know it was.

HENDERSON: Oh, my goodness, yes.

O`DONNELL: If the president paid for dinner, as it indicates he
probably did, there may be another problem there. The exception to this
$25 rule is very simple. The exception is the old friend rule. You can
pay if it was an old friend who paid.

That is normally defined as someone you were very friendly with before
you became a senator, and, unfortunately, the president never met any of
these people before that.

So I think we can wait for the Senate Ethics Committee investigation
as to exactly what the propriety of this was. I`m going to have to wait
for that.

WOLFFE: I expect future nominations to be strongly blocked by
Republicans until we see the talking points about this.

O`DONNELL: Nia-Malika Henderson, Krystal Ball, and Richard Wolffe,
thank you all for joining me tonight.

WOLFFE: Thank you.

BALL: Thank you, Lawrence.

HENDERSON: Thanks you.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, in the rewrite tonight, Bill O`Reilly`s tools
for anger management. I`m not kidding you, he actually has ideas about
that.

And later, the conservative political action conference has invited
Donald Trump and other ridiculous people to speak at their big event next
week in Washington, leading many conservatives to wonder what CPAC is
really up to. Well, wait until they find out that CPAC actually invited me
to speak, too. Seriously. I`m not kidding. That`s coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

O`REILLY: I`m sorry I said Alan was lying. I should not have used
that word.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: That was Bill O`Reilly at the beginning of his show just a
couple hours before. Bill O`Reilly`s whole show tonight -- OK, almost his
whole show tonight -- was about his show last night and his on-air meltdown
with Alex Colmes.

Bill O`Reilly`s problems with anger management have landed him once
again in tonight`s rewrite which happened to be served up the perfect
opportunity to show you the absolutely greatest rage explosion in TV anchor
history. It is vintage O`Reilly video that you just will never, ever get
tired of seeing. That`s coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: Republicans are at war with themselves over who is in and
who is out of next week`s Conservative Political Action Conference. The
list of featured speakers includes Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush, Bobby Jindal,
Marco Rubio, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, Alan West, and the NRA`s
blood drenched lobbyist for mass murderers, Wayne LaPierre, and America`s
biggest loser, Donald Trump.

CPAC actually tried to add my name to that list, graciously inviting
me to appear, but my schedule is not as flexible as the unemployed Mitt
Romney, Sarah Palin, Donald Trump.

So I had to send my regrets. I`m not kidding. This is absolutely
serious. CPAC invited me to a big moment in their conference where they
wanted me to do a one-on-one debate with Ann Coulter, something I have done
before and something I will absolutely do again for a good cause. The last
time I debated with Ann Coulter at George Washington University, I raised
$18,000 for the KIND Fund, Kids in Need of Desks.

But this time we tried, we really did, but we couldn`t adjust my
schedule to join the fun at CPAC. So, as I`ve told them, maybe next year.
If it will work out in the schedule, I will happily go and do that.

CPAC`s invitation to Donald Trump led Michelle Malkin to tweet, "CPAC
is dead."

And the conservative editors of "Washington Examiner" who are actually
co-sponsoring the event, write, "CPAC flouts conservatism`s rich
intellectual tradition by inviting such a transparent crackpot, a celebrity
huckster with no history as a conservative and no knowledge of
conservatism."

Not invited to CPAC are gay conservative group GOProud, the Republican
champion of transvaginal ultrasound, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, as
well as the most popular governor in the country, Governor Chris Christie.

That provoked one of the CPAC`s scheduled speakers to say this.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

NEWT GINGRICH (R), FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER: I don`t know what the
purpose of CPAC is anymore. I don`t know how they define who gets to come
in and who doesn`t get to come in. My sense is that the board is not very
open and not very clear about, you know, whether it`s personality decisions
or what they`re thinking.

You can say, well, first, you know, Chris Christie isn`t invited for
X, but you can also look at his record on controlling spending and
reforming New Jersey government and say, you know, he has a story to tell
that`s pretty interesting, and for a Northeastern governor in a heavily
unionized state is pretty courageous.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining me now is MSNBC`s Karen Finney and Jonathan
Capehart.

Karen, I got to tell you, it broke my heart not to be able to go to
the CPAC. It was -- I`ve never been to this thing and I know I was going
to hear kind of loud boos and all of that, but the chance to let them hear
something that`s actually true. In fact, it might be the only opportunity,
with me going there, that might be the only chance for them to hear
something true this year.

KAREN FINNEY, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: And that is what breaks my
heart, because I think you would have introduced two key concepts: science
and math. That would have just blown them all away and I`m so sorry that
we won`t have the opportunity to see that happen this time.

O`DONNELL: Well, I don`t know if I would have been heard over the
booing, I don`t know. I was assured, actually, a certain level of
politeness, and I actually think, Jonathan, they do have -- I mean,
included in everything they`re doing, and this may be part of the misstep
they`ve done in Trump`s direction, there is always a certain kind of spirit
of fun at this thing. There are certain things they`re doing at CPAC that
really are just for the fun.

And I had the sense that that was kind of my role if I had shown up.

JONATHAN CAPEHART, WASHINGTON POST: Uh-huh?

O`DONNELL: But Trump might be just at this time something that, as
Michelle Malkin says, makes them seem absolutely completely out of step.

CAPEHART: So they`re having fun by inviting Donald Trump and also
inviting Mitt Romney, the guy that no one liked last time they had CPAC.

FINNEY: Yes.

O`DONNELL: That`s amazing.

CAPEHART: Inviting back Sarah Palin, inviting Allen West, the sort of
rogues gallery of conservatism, when, as you point out, the two Republicans
who should be invited, Chris Christie and Bob McDonnell, Governor McDonnell
of Virginia, aren`t there.

It sort of cements in my mind the difference between, say, the
Conservative Political Action Conference, CPAC, and the Republican Party.
CPAC is a wing of the Republican Party. They want purists, they want
people who adhere strictly to conservative values, and it`s tearing apart
the Republican Party which, as a major national party, is supposed to be
about governing. And as we have seen since the 2010 election, the
Republican Party has gotten a long way away from its responsibilities to
help govern this country.

O`DONNELL: And, Karen, as conservative critics of CPAC are now
pointing out this week, Jennifer Rubin on "The Washington Post" said, look,
this is a time when the Republican Party has to expand, conservatism has to
expand. You do not expand by first excluding people.

FINNEY: Well, that`s exactly right, but part of the problem for the
Republican Party to Jonathan`s point that we`re going to see on display at
CPAC, we`re going to hear, I think, a lot of what they`re against. A lot
of that is going to be about President Obama and the policies of this
administration.

But we`re not going to hear new ideas being put forward in terms of
what they`re for. And that is a big part of the problem the Republican
Party has right now. They`re very good at saying no, they`re very good at
obstructing the president, they`re very good at criticizing the president.

Maybe tonight`s dinner is a turning point -- we`ll see. But at some
point if you`re going to be a governing party, if you`re going to be a
national party, if you`re going to learn how to be a big tent party, you
have to invite people with different ideas but from the same ideology into
the conversation, but you also have to put forward some new ideas.

And at this point they really have not been able to do that other than
to say no.

O`DONNELL: Jonathan, so far on the list of speakers, it seems to me
like the person to watch is Newt Gingrich. I mean, here he is publicly
saying, I don`t know what CPAC stands for anymore. He knows they`re going
to hear him say that.

So he seems to be the only one who might get up there on that stage
and say some things that make the room uncomfortable which a room full of
losers should be after a presidential election.

CAPEHART: Well, remember, Newt Gingrich doesn`t have a whole lot to
do right around now, either.

O`DONNELL: Yes.

CAPEHART: I wonder if he has the courage to say to those people in
that room the very things that clip you just played. Is he willing to
stand there and say, you know, I don`t know what you guys stand for? I
don`t know why we`re here?

I think he will tell them things that he believes they want to hear.

FINNEY: Hold on, hold on, you`re giving him way too much credit.
Newt Gingrich will say whatever it is he thinks will get him more headlines
and more air time. Let`s be very clear. It has nothing to do with having
courage.

CAPEHART: But he`s going to earn those headlines not attacking CPAC
but by attacking the president and liberals and progressives and whoever
else is not in that room.

O`DONNELL: So, Karen, do you see anyone on the list who might say
anything worth being said in that room?

FINNEY: Well, let`s see, there`s got to be, what, like an announcer
who opens the program and somebody who closes the program. I would say
those will be true words and probably, you know, those who say thank you
and goodbye. That will be probably the most valuable. No, I mean, look, I
think we`re going to hear -- again, I think we`re going to hear a lot of
right wing rhetoric.

I think one of the best things, frankly, for Chris Christie was that
he wasn`t invited. I think this is playing very well for him in his 2016
prospects, and I think we`re going to hear more of that far right wing
rhetoric that is part of the reasons nothing is getting done in this town.

O`DONNEL: All right. Well, maybe next year, maybe a year from now,
we will be discussing how I did at CPAC if I can get myself invited again
and work it into the schedule.

Karen Finney and Jonathan Capehart, thank you both for joining me
tonight.

CAPEHART: Thanks, Lawrence.

FINNEY: Take care.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, actor and activist Martha Plimpton joins me on
the latest attack on reproductive rights. Today, Arkansas passed the most
restrictive abortion law in the country.

And later, we`ll see if Rand Paul is still standing on the Senate
floor demanding that the Obama administration do something that it has
already done. That`s coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: In the Spotlight tonight, banning abortion. The Arkansas
legislature wants the state to have the most restrictive abortion ban in
the country. The Republican led state house voted today 56 to 33 to
override Democratic Governor Mike Beebe`s veto on the law known as the
Arkansas Human Heartbeat Protection Act.

The state Senate voted to override the governor`s veto Tuesday. The
law bans abortions after 12 weeks if a fetal heartbeat is detected, but it
includes exemptions for rape, incest and if the mother`s life is at risk,
and disorders that would cause the baby to die soon after birth.

The law is scheduled to take effect this summer. House Republican co-
sponsors of the bill were seen in the hallways today giving each other pats
on the back after this victory. They had this to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STATE REP. JASON RAPERT (R), ARKANSAS: The eyes of this nation has
been on the Arkansas House of Representatives today. And the eyes of this
nation has seen that people are ready for a change.

STATE REP. ANN CLEMMER (R), ARKANSAS: We`re not eliminating choice at
all. We`re just saying after 12 weeks, the choice is over.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Planned Parenthood`s Cecile Richards released this
statement: "we are deeply disappointed that the Arkansas legislature voted
to impose the most restrictive ban on safe and legal abortion in the
country. The majority of Arkansans and the majority of Americans don`t
want politicians involved in a woman`s personal medical decisions about her
pregnancy. Governor Beebe rightfully vetoed this legislation and the
legislature would have been wise to let the veto stand, as this bill is
clearly unconstitutional."

Governor Beebe said he had vetoed the measure because he also believes
it is unconstitutional and would result in expensive legal challenges.
Tonight, the ACLU tells "Politico" it will partner with the Center for
Reproductive Rights to challenge the new law.

Joining me now is Irin Carmon, staff writer for Salon.com, and Martha
Plimpton, Emmy nominated actress and co-founder of A Is For, a campaign
which protects -- works to protect women`s reproductive rights.

Martha, the thing that is so strange about this is it is in clear
violation of Roe versus Wade, which is the Constitution law of the land.
And so here you have a legislature that is simply voting its state, as the
governor has told them, into an expensive legal process that, as the law
stands today, is going to cost them a lot of money. And they`re going to
lose.

MARTHA PLIMPTON, ACTRESS/ACTIVIST: Well, yes, they are going to lose.
But I think what`s important to note here is that this is part of an
ongoing trend. And this is just the most extreme end we`ve seen be
successful up to this point so far.

I mean, last year, 43 bills passed in houses in states all over the
country. You know, 19 states passed laws. This was a record year that was
surpassed only by the previous year. 2011 was the big record year for
anti-choice legislation. This is the most extreme law we`ve seen. It`s
the most restrictive. But let`s face it, women`s reproductive lives are
the most heavily legislated area of medicine in the United States today.

And so we shouldn`t be surprised that these moves are being made. We
shouldn`t be surprised that they`re trying to gain ground. What we need to
do is remain vigilant and be grateful that people like the Center for
Reproductive Rights and the ACLU are fighting them.

O`DONNELL: Irin, a U.S. federal judge struck down just today an Idaho
law which bans most abortions after 20 weeks, one that was -- allowed even
more than this one does. What do these legislators think the federal
judges are going to do when these cases come to them?

IRIN CARMON, SALON.COM: Lawrence, we have a national trend which is a
race to the bottom in state legislatures around the country. Arkansas is
really interesting because it`s Republican controlled for the first time
since reconstruction. What do they do the moment they get in? They race
to pass a flagrantly unconstitutional abortion ban.

Basically what`s happening is that throughout all of these Republican
controlled states, they are setting bait, with the hope that they will be
able to get the case that will challenge Roe v. Wade at the Supreme Court.

What`s interesting is that a previous version of this Heartbeat Bill,
when it was proposed in Ohio, the state senator -- the Senate majority
leader wouldn`t even bring it to a vote because he said, Romney lost.
Meaning, it is going to get laughed out of court. It`s going to get
laughed out of lower federal courts. It is going to get laughed out of the
Supreme Court.

The problem is that may not be true in the future. Obama has had a
really hard time getting his federal judges appointed. We don`t know
what`s going to happen after President Obama. So we`re looking at a very
dogged strategy. They`re going to set all the bait they can. And their
hope is to ban abortion absolutely, for all woman in every state.

O`DONNELL: And Roe versus Wade allows for abortions up to 22, 24
weeks. So when they cut this down to 12, as they`re trying to do in
Arkansas, that actually will affect about 20 percent of the abortions in
Arkansas. About 80 percent of them are performed before 12 weeks. So
they`re out of this problem area, Martha.

But that`s a significant incursion into women`s rights when you`re
getting in there and saying, 20 percent of the very difficult abortion
decisions that women have made in this state, we`re not going to allow them
to make that anymore.

PLIMPTON: Well, I think Arkansas State Representative Anne Clemmer
(ph) said it best for those who agree with her, when she said that each 12-
week fetus is a full human being, a full person with all rights, and has
the right to be protected, and I quote, "even from its own mother." And I
think we`re talking about a very dangerous kind of ideological strain of
thinking here, that essentially says that once a woman becomes pregnant,
she somehow relinquishes her Constitutional rights. She is no longer a
fully protected citizen of these United States. And she is now subjugated
to the rights of the fetus or the potential life that she may be carrying.

And what the people who voted to veto this governor`s decision in
Arkansas today aren`t realizing is that you cannot restrict access to an
essential health care service and somehow magically make the need for that
service disappear. This is not going to end abortion before 13 weeks or 12
weeks in Arkansas, which is when the majority of abortions do take place in
Arkansas, before 13 weeks. This is simply going to drive it underground,
make it more dangerous, and risk women`s health.

And it`s going to compromise their relationships with their doctors.
It`s going to compromise their relationship with their government. And you
know, goodness knows what it`s going to do to doctors who decide that they
don`t want to observe this ban. This is really -- this is about
controlling women`s decisions on a state level. And that is fully and
wholly inappropriate. It is not the state`s role to decide when or if a
woman has a child, the end.

O`DONNELL: Martha Plimpton and Irin Carmon, thank you both for
joining me tonight.

CARMON: Thanks, Lawrence.

PLIMPTON: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, the ramblings of Rand Paul. And a video
history of Bill O`Reilly`s problems with anger management. That`s in the
Rewrite.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: I don`t know what that means, to play
us out. What does that mean? To end the show?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah. Yeah.

O`REILLY: All right, go, go.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: In tonight`s Rewrite, the O`Reilly rules of anger
management. Bill knows he has anger issues. And he`s working on them. He
really is. He`s just not doing a really great job of working on them. He
knows that millions of people have seen that video of him getting
gloriously enraged back in his years as a gossip-monger on "Inside
Edition."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In five, four, three --

O`REILLY: That`s tomorrow and that is it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Again. Five, four, three --.

O`REILLY: That`s tomorrow. And that is it for us today. And we will
leave you with a -- I can`t do it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Those of you who have seen that video know that this is
just the warm-up for the explosion that is about to come. O`Reilly once
referred to it as a state of displeasure.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

O`REILLY: By the way, there is a tape floating around on the Internet
of me in a state of displeasure, I understand. Apparently the tape is 20
years old. But I, your humble correspondent, have plenty of much newer
stuff.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: He certainly does have much newer stuff as viewers of this
program and his program saw last night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

O`REILLY: Hold it, because now I`m getting teed off at you. Give me
one damn program he said he has cut.

ALAN COLMES, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: He has cut entitlements.

O`REILLY: Not entitlements, one program.

COLMES: Why do you want to yell at me?

O`REILLY: Because you`re lying.

COLMES: I`m not lying.

O`REILLY: You are lying.

COLMES: Don`t you sit there and call me a liar.

O`REILLY: No, you are lying.

COLMES: You don`t like the president. You don`t like what he`s
doing. But don`t sit there and call me a liar.

O`REILLY: I am.

(CROSS TALK)

COLMES: We can have a disagreement without you calling me a liar.

(CROSS TALK)

O`REILLY: You are lying.

COLMES: I am not lying.

(CROSS TALK)

COLMES: There is a difference between having a disagreement and
calling me a liar. This is a personal attack.

O`REILLY: This is why I`m calling you a liar. Give me one program he
said he would cut.

COLMES: He would cut Medicare and Medicaid.

O`REILLY: That`s not a specific program.

COLMES: You asked me a program. Those are programs.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Now far be it for me to object calling someone a liar on
TV. I`ve done it and I`ve done it in anger. But only when the person was
actually lying. Poor Alan Colmes was simply telling the truth. President
Obama has proposed cuts in Medicare. President Obama has proposed cuts in
Social Security. And yes, Medicare is a government program. But for some
reason, Bill O`Reilly doesn`t seem to think it is.

Now, what is most surprising about Bill`s rage last night is not that
he was completely wrong. He`s wrong all the time. It was that it came
just two weeks after he seemed to be doing so well with his anger
management.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

O`REILLY: Finally, the tip of the day. This morning I got angry,
very angry. And I was justified. Somebody did a bad thing to me. The
worst part? I couldn`t right the wrong. It drives me crazy. Now, the
politically correct thing would be to control the anger, to count to 10, to
be calm.

Not what I did. I walked into a room. I closed the door. Nobody was
there. And I let loose for about 30 seconds, very loud, very colorful
language. You should have been there. Dogs began to bark in the
neighborhood. But you know what? I felt a lot better and I thought a lot
clearer after that.

Factor tip of the day: vent your anger, but be alone when you do it.
Yes, indeed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Yes, indeed. Vent your anger, but be alone when you do
it. OK. That`s fine for Bill 23 hours a day. But what about that one
hour when he`s doing his show? How is Bill supposed to vent his anger when
he`s on his show and some liberal like Alan Colmes is humiliating him by
exposing Bill`s abject ignorance?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

O`REILLY: It`s jack what you`re saying. There`s another word for it
but it`s an obscenity.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Bill O`Reilly still venting after all these years.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

O`REILLY: I can`t do it. We`ll do it live. We`ll do it live?
(EXPLETIVE DELETED) it! Do it live. Don`t write it and we`ll do it live!
(EXPLETIVE DELETED) thing sucks!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In five, four, three --

O`REILLY: That`s tomorrow and that is it for us today. I`m Bill
O`Reilly. Thanks again for watching. We`ll leave you with Sting and a cut
off his new album. Take it away.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: I would be happy with the vote now.
I`ve talked a lot today. But the only thing I would like is a
clarification, if the president or the attorney general will clarify that
they`re not going to kill non-combatants in America. He essentially almost
said that this morning.

He could take his remarks that he virtually agreed ultimately with
Senator Cruz, put it into a coherent statement that says the drone program
will not kill Americans who are not involved in combat. I think he
probably agrees to that. I don`t understand why we couldn`t put that into
words. But if he does, I want no more time.

But if not, I will continue to object if the administration and the
attorney general will not provide an adequate answer.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: That was Rand Paul five hours into his stunt in the United
States Senate today. We are now 11 hours into Rand Paul delaying a vote to
confirm John Brennan as CIA director. As you heard him say that the only
reason, the only reason he is delaying this is he wants an answer to a
question that was answered very clearly before Rand Paul began his stunt.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ERIC HOLDER, ATTORNEY GENERAL: Let me be clear. Translate my
appropriate to no. I thought I was saying no. No.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: But because Rand Paul planned this stunt today, and
because he had written an opening speech prepared for his stunt today, and
because he needs this stunt for fundraising and for identifying himself as
the president`s big opponent, he decided to do it, anyway, even though the
reason he claims he`s out there delaying this confirmation no longer
applies.

Even Rand Paul knows that what he`s been doing is just a stunt.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: Really, there is no ultimate ability of me to stop this
nomination. I`m already getting tired. And I don`t know how long I`ll be
able to do this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining me now, MSNBC`s Ari Melber. Ari, you`ve been
watching this all day. We know in the end there is going to be a
confirmation. And we know that the thing he wants, this statement has
already been made by the administration.

ARI MELBER, "THE NATION": I think the problem for the administration
is they were not very forthright about the drone program for a long time.
That`s why NBC News got ahold of the leaked memo regarding the legal
authority. And there are still I think big questions here.

You`re right, Lawrence, and Rand Paul said himself that Eric Holder`s
letter and testimony comes very close to ruling out the use of drones
against non-combatants on American soil. But they haven`t issued an
official proclamation to that effect.

And I think whatever Rand Paul`s motives are, I have to say, I think
it is good that we re seeing this issue pushed more forcefully in the
Congress, which has abdicated these oversight responsibilities for a long
time.

O`DONNELL: Well, yeah, I think a discussion of drones and how we use
them is fine. What you have here is this rambling madness that`s going on
out there, with other Republicans coming out to help him, as you know
senators do during these things, so he can rest his voice. You have Ted
Cruz, in an homage to atheism, I suppose, reading from Ayn Rand tonight on
the Senate floor.

And this -- what I`m watching is nothing but a fundraising stunt at
this point.

MELBER: Well, I think Ted Cruz is a terrible wing man because his
record is short and very partisan. But others like Ron Wyden, who has a
long record, I think a consistent one on civil liberties, also came out to
ask a question. Wyden has been, many people feel, more responsible,
because he said he is going to vote actually for Brennan. But he came out
to say we need to push these questions.

It`s not a coincidence, in my view, that Holder`s letter about some of
these important issues only came out, despite being basically faced with
similar requests from Wyden and others -- it only came out pursuant to this
push this week to get the nomination done.

We all know, in other contexts, the way the Senate will use, you know,
certain hooks to try to get answers in oversight. They`ve also now said,
the administration, to their credit, that they`re going to release the full
memos to the senators and some of their legal staff. But that took years.
So I think, again, that`s another breakthrough.

And the last thing I`ll say for Rand Paul is he didn`t vote against
Hagel. He`s been supportive of the president having other picks. So I
don`t think he is as bad as some of these Republicans.

O`DONNELL: Ron Wyden came out a long time ago, hours and hours ago,
Ari, back when they were actually talking about drone use in the way that
we understand it. They are now off into a zone that`s just Twilight Zone
stuff. Rand Paul said -- this is what he said, "if you`re armed and
robbing and threatening people in a liquor store, and people, and you come
out with a weapon, I don`t mind if you get shot by a drone or a rifle from
a policeman."

So that`s where we are now in the Rand Paul nonsense on the Senate
floor.

The closer, Ari Melber, gets tonight`s LAST WORD. Ari, we`re out of
time. Thank you very much for joining us tonight.

MELBER: Thanks, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: "THE ED SHOW" is up next.

END

Copyright 2013 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by
United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed,
transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written
permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark,
copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>

Watch The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell each weeknight at 10 p.m. ET