All In With Chris Hayes, Thursday, May 30th, 2013
Read the transcript from the Thursday show
ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
May 30, 2013
Guests: Matt Welch, Joe Manchin, Robyn Doolittle, Rev. William Barber, Ben Jealous
CHRIS HAYES, HOST: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes, and
thank you for joining us.
Tonight, you`ve heard of too big to fail, but I`ll tell you about a
company that was invented to fail and thousands of workers who got robbed
in the process.
Also, a surprising move to restore voting rights by a conservative
Southern Republican governor, in contrast with the continued civil rights
outrages just one state over.
And the absolute craziest political story in North America, probably
in the entire hemisphere got even crazier today.
But we begin tonight with this photo, the one you see there on your
screen. That`s the maverick, John McCain, meeting with the rebels during
his secret mission into Syria this week. We showed you a few of these
images of Senator McCain hanging out with Syrian rebels like you do earlier
this week and we talked about the craziness of the whole affair of John
McCain sneaking off into an active war zone, freelancing his own foreign
policy in the midst of some really, very delicate negotiations being
undertaken right now by the State Department.
Today, there is a new development in the story of this picture. This
picture contains what could be an absolutely explosive revelation about who
the Syrian rebels actually are. Which is the central question of the
entire debate over whether and how much and how we should intervene in the
Syrian civil war.
OK. Last week, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted
overwhelmingly, bipartisan, to approve a bill calling for the U.S. to arm
some Syrian rebel groups. Republican Rand Paul was one of only three no
votes on the committee.
And here`s what he had to say about the idea of aiding Syrian rebels.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: I think there`s an irony that you can`t
get beyond here that you will be voting to authorize to send arms to an
ally of al Qaeda. These are forces that are allied fighting against the
government of Syria -- and I have no love lost for Assad. I think he`s a
horrible authoritarian like so many.
But you will be funding the allies of al Qaeda. It is an irony you
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: John McCain also had a problem with the bill. Of course,
McCain was not concerned about who we`d be sending arms to, but rather we
should be sending them, whoever they are, heavier weapons than what`s
authorized in the bill.
But John McCain has been called upon to answer the concerns of Rand
Paul and so many other people that worry that arming the rebels in Syria
will ultimately mean arming al Qaeda-linked extremists.
Now, John McCain knows there are extremists scattered among the rebels
in Syria -- but worry not, America. John McCain has a plan. He`s just
going to figure out which rebels are good guy rebels, which rebels are bad
guy rebels and only arm the good guys.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Every single day, more and more
extremists flow in, whether it`d be from Iraq, whether it`d be from Yemen,
whether it`d be from Libya. They`re flowing in all the time, these
extremists. But they still do not make up a sizeable portion. So we can
identify who these people are, we can help the right people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Easy peasy, just pick out the right people, give them missiles
and stuff. It might sound -- what`s the right word -- easier said than
done. That`s entirely the entirely conceit behind the John McCain-led arm
the rebels movement -- the idea that you can just step into this incredibly
complicated, entrenched, sectarian-fueled, horrific civil war and pick out
the good guys from the bad guys.
Now, that conceit is actually foundational to the bill, the bill that
passed through the Foreign Relations Committee last week which calls for
arm, and I`m quoting the bill, "vetted opposition."
Vetted opposition, as if there`s some awesome foolproof vetting
process for rebel militia groups in the middle of a war zone. Like a
simple questionnaire. Do you work for al Qaeda? Do you hang out with al
Qaeda? If you had some missiles, what would you use them for?
OK. So, maybe not so easy which brings us back to the photo of John
McCain hanging out with Syrian rebels this week and the big revelation.
When this photo surfaced in reports about McCain`s secret trip, a guy from
Lebanon saw it on the news and he thought to himself, you know, I recognize
one of the rebels in that picture. This Lebanese guy was on a religious
pilgrimage last year, just religious pilgrimage, and he was crossing
through Syria on his way back to Lebanon. The bus he was riding in was
reportedly ambushed by 30 armed men and he was kidnapped and taken hostage
along with 10 other religious pilgrims.
His kidnappers were from a Syrian rebel group. That one controls most
of the Aleppo region of Syria, along with Turkish border. Now, nine of the
original 11 kidnap victims are a year later still being held captive by
this rebel group, OK?
But one of the two kidnap victims, he`s been released and he`s going
through the newspaper and sees this photo. And he says he recognizes this
guy seen hanging out with John McCain in Syria this week, holding a camera,
as the photographer and spokesman of the rebel group that kidnapped and
held him captive last year.
The former kidnap victim telling the "Lebanon Daily Star" today,
quote, "I recognized him immediately. He was the photographer who was
brought in to take our photos during captivity. He works with the
kidnappers. He knows them very well."
Now, we cannot and NBC News has not independently confirmed this guy
seen with John McCain is, in fact, the spokesman/photographer from the
rebel group that kidnapped a bunch of religious pilgrims just it seems for
the heck of it. We cannot be sure whether or not it`s the same guy.
But really that is precisely what is so disturbing about this
accusation from the Lebanese kidnap victim, because -- drum roll -- neither
can John McCain. McCain`s office telling "BuzzFeed" only that none of the
rebels he met with identified himself by the name of the spokesman for the
kidnap group, but if it turns out McCain did accidentally meet with a guy
from the kidnapper group, that would be, and I am quoting, "regrettable".
Now, imagine the quote that you would get from John McCain`s office a
year from now when, let`s just say hypothetically, some surface-to-air
missile we shipped into Syria ends up shooting down an Israeli plane full
of passengers. What`s a word stronger than regrettable?
Joining me at the table, journalist Rula Jebreal, MSNBC and "Newsweek"
contributor, and Matt Welch, editor in chief of "Reason" magazine, and
author of "McCain: The Myth of a Maverick."
It`s great to have you both here.
RULA JEBREAL, JOURNALIST: Thank you.
HAYES: Rula, last night, this story broke. It had broken in the
Lebanese papers and English outlet languages were writing about it and you
were e-mailing me, extremely upset about this. You said this is really bad
Why did this upset you? What does this mean for the U.S. and the way
it relates to the region?
JEBREAL: It`s -- actually the visit of McCain is already upsetting
because it comes at a very delicate moment where we are trying to push both
sides to negotiate in Geneva. There is no positive outcome of the civil
war, we know that. But this photo -- of course, McCain is going there and
private negotiation, posing with the rebels, sending two signs. One, I
don`t care about the negotiation, I want to go and arm and no matter what,
America will arm.
So, it sends a message of confusion.
JEBREAL: Another message that`s the worst, that we condone what the
rebels are doing. That we are actually siding by the Sunnis, they`re
already paranoid in Syria. I visited Syria and I visited Lebanon last year
for many weeks.
And everybody was telling me there`s a conspiracy. American,
Israelis, Saudis, all together against us Shia. They want to take us out
no matter what. The stakes in this conflict are so high and that`s why
there`s no major defection and that`s why the Shias are so concerned
there`s no future for them and they would be slaughtered. And this photo
HAYES: Let me explain this just in terms of the dynamics. Sunni --
two major strains of Islam, Sunni and Shia. Sunni is majority. Shia is
minority, throughout the region.
HAYES: But there are basically three pillars of Shia power in the
region. Hezbollah, the militia in Lebanon, the Assad regime, which is a
small sect of Shia called Alawite, and the Iranian regime. Those three are
now together allies, right?
JEBREAL: Iraq, I would add Iraq.
HAYES: Iraq, increasingly.
HAYES: Those are now allies fighting against the Sunni -- the largely
So, it is being understood in the region and is in the region a
sectarian war increasingly between the two dominant strains. And John
McCain standing there saying, I am posing with a guy who is a Sunni who
kidnapped possibly religious pilgrims who were just on a bus going to a
shrine. That is a signal.
Matt, this is what I want to hear from you, OK? We in the liberal
media, we love to talk about Republican civil wars. It`s our favorite
thing, we write about them all the time.
And I`ve been anticipating when is there going to be the anti-neocon
revolt for real in the Republican Party. It never materializes.
Well, here`s Rand Paul who we just s a clip of. He has an op-ed
today, he says about a Senate bill. "It is unclear what national security
interests we have in civil war in Syria. It is very clear that any attempt
to aid the Syrian rebels would be complicated and dangerous precisely
because we don`t know who these people are. Like other American
intervention in the past, U.S. involvement could help the extremists."
My question is, is there an actual civil war happening inside the
Republican Party over foreign policy and does Rand Paul represent something
bigger than Rand Paul?
MATT WELCH, REASON MAGAZINE: Yes, is the short answer. There is a
whacko birds, which is John McCain`s term for Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, after
Rand Paul`s filibuster in February. Those whacko birds trying to get all
the media attention, which John McCain was very upset about because --
HAYES: He hates them.
WELCH: He hates media attention -- versus the angry birds, right?
The John McCain who barks at these people.
HAYES: Is that the way we`re describing it? The whacko birds versus
WELCH: The whacko birds versus angry birds.
HAYES: I like this.
WELCH: Watch from it now on. That`s what we`re talking about.
HAYES: I like it.
WELCH: But it`s Lindsey Graham, who right after the filibuster said I
thought we were at war. Using these kind of 2003 vintage types of
sloganeering out there and it`s falling on increasingly deaf ears both in
the American public writ large and also in the Republican Party.
It isn`t a dominant caucus, the Rand Paul wing, for sure. And they`re
reaching out to Democrats, they`re looking for Democrats who are very
serious about being anti-war, being pro-civil liberties and they don`t
really depend on the Republican Party.
But that caucus is growing. There`s a bunch of new, in the House,
people like Justin Amash, who have come in in the last couple of years, who
have come in, and they`re very seriously anti-interventionists and they`re
applying pressure on people like McCain.
HAYES: And this also just seems like a textbook case for anti-
interventions. Even someone who doesn`t identify as an anti-
interventionist, just a person you, right now watching this television
show, listening to this about Syria, looking into it, pureeing into the
horror that is unquestionably the Assad regime. But watching the gears
wind up -- I mean, everyone was paying attention to tornadoes last week
when this passed through the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, 15-3. And
it was like ho-hum. Of course, we`re arming the rebels.
JEBREAL: They`re endangering American lives and American interest.
If they want to protect American interests, they should push the rebels and
the regime and negotiate with China and Russia and push them towards
HAYES: Geneva is the conference that was announced after John Kerry
went and visited Russia.
JEBREAL: And after a long negotiation with the Russians. The
Russians didn`t want to hear about it and today, they agreed on it. So,
what he`s doing, John McCain, undermining the administration and
endangering our interests there, because whoever Shiites in the world today
who are paranoid already and who are feel threatened --
HAYES: Not justifiably threatened.
JEBREAL: We already attack them everywhere. What they will do, they
will start attacking American and maybe we will start even kidnapping
Americans around the world in response to this. Because this picture
actually shows that we are not only condoning, that we are standing by
them. The Syrian civil war is becoming our war and this should never
become our war.
WELCH: One thing that Rand Paul pointed out in his op-ed was that,
hey, these are the same people who are calling for arming the rebels who
are calling for arming Libyan rebels and they were assuring us, oh, there`s
no connections to al Qaeda, there`s no Islamic terrorism involved. That
has turned out to be false.
HAYES: And also, they turned on a dime once the Benghazi thing went
down, to be like Al Qaeda, al Qaeda, al Qaeda.
WELCH: And they`re also the same people McCain in particular who was
cozying up to Gadhafi in 2009.
HAYES: That`s right.
WELCH: He has, since 1999 or so, he introduced this idea of rogue
state rollback where basically if there`s a dictator, we will arm the
rebels. It doesn`t matter who. If they get cracked down upon, we have to
JEBREAL: Bin Laden, look at them carefully before you --
HAYES: Well, I don`t know, I just want to say for the record I don`t
know these gentlemen. That`s a strong statement.
But symbolically, that could very well be the case.
Rula Jebreal of MSNBC and "Newsweek", and Matt Welch of "Reason"
magazine -- thank you so much for that.
JEBREAL: Thank you.
HAYES: Pension and retirement benefits of 20,000 workers are set to
be wiped out in a shameful corporate scam. I`ll ask Senator Joe Manchin
what he plans to do about it, next.
HAYES: Coming up, Senator Joe Manchin joins me with reaction to a
truly reprehensible act by a coal mining behemoth in his home state. And
the most outrageous, preposterous, can`t believe it`s true political
scandal of the month, perhaps the year, perhaps the decade gets even
weirder. I`ll talk to the reporter who says she`s seen the mayor of
Toronto smoking crack.
Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CECIL ROBERTS, PRESIDENT, UMWA: People like my father built this.
And I`m not going to stand idly by while somebody takes away what my daddy
You know, this is nothing but a scheme. They tried to bamboozle us.
They tried to rob us. They tried to steal from us. Peabody has got
thousand dollar an hour attorneys and they`ve got a dollar an hour morals.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: United States Senator Joe Manchin is going to join me in a
moment to discuss an outrageous story from his home state of West Virginia.
It is the story of a big coal mining company called Patriot Coal, which has
basically schemed to cheat thousands of its workers and retired workers out
of more than a billion, with a B, dollars in pensions and health care
Thanks to some skillful maneuvering of the bankruptcy system, Patriot
Coal yesterday managed to get a judge to allow the company to just
eliminate most of the health care benefits and pensions for thousands of
miners and retirees, taking $1.6 billion in retiree health liabilities and
turning it into a voluntary trust that would be funded up to just $300
million, plus some royalty payments.
So, unless the United Mine Workers of America can win an appeal, these
workers, who already opted for lower wages and fewer vacation days, working
with the toxic impurities in a coal mine as a trade-off to fund those
pensions and health benefits, they`ll be of luck.
As you can imagine, the judge`s decision has sparked a considerable
amounting of outrage like you saw at the top of the segment.
Democratic Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia released a
statement saying, "It`s tragic to watch how some industries treat their
workers after they have given much of their lives to these companies."
His state colleague in the Senate, Joe Manchin, said, "This ruling is
a travesty. I don`t think bankruptcy laws were even designed to shield
companies from their promises and responsibilities."
Now, companies skillfully working their way through the bankruptcy
system to reduce or flat out avoid pension obligations, it happens quite a
bit. But listen to this, this is what`s particularly egregious about the
situation. Patriot Coal was a company created by the larger Peabody Energy
in 2007. Patriot was spun off from Peabody, taking a whole lot of
Peabody`s liabilities but only a smidgeon of its assets.
The move was best summarized by an analysis by Temple University
Professor Bruce Raider (ph) in a paper called "Designed to Fail: The Case
of Patriot Coal." He said Patriot Coal was created just to go bankrupt.
At the time, Peabody`s CFO happily announced, hey look, our healthcare
liability and related expenses will be reduced by 40 percent. In total,
our legacy liabilities, expenses and cash flow will nearly be cut in half.
We now know at whose expense that comes.
Joining me tonight, Senator Joe Manchin, Democrat from West Virginia.
Senator, thank you for joining us.
You had strong words about this yesterday. What is your reaction to
the judge`s ruling on this?
SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D), WEST VIRGINIA: Again, Chris, you said it
perfectly. It`s a travesty. That`s exactly how I believe and feel very
strongly about this.
These are some of the salt of the earth, the best people you`ve ever
been around in your life -- the coal miners, coal miners` family, what they
have sacrificed, what they have given to this country.
You know, these are people`s lives we`re dealing with, Chris. We`re
not dealing with corporate liabilities. They`re real people`s lives and
they have given their all. And they were promised, they negotiated in good
faith a contract. And they negotiated with the wages, it was a give-and-
take proposition, with the promise that their benefits would be there for
them when they retired.
And you said it best. Basically, you have the parent corporation,
which was Peabody, spun off Patriot in 2007. They spun off with very
little assets, an awful lot of liabilities designed to fail. If that can
be proven, that can`t happen in America. We can`t let that happen and
we`re going to have to look and reopen these bankruptcy laws in order to
make them take care of that inequity right now.
This is wrong. And we`ve been talking about this and saying it. We
were waiting until the verdict came down.
It`s down now. We know what they ruled on. So, our people are
dissecting it now. I`m sure an awful lot of other people are too.
I`m understanding that the UMWA and Patriot, Chris, are still talking
You need to know where Patriot is right now. Patriot employs about
4,000 people in West Virginia and Kentucky. Two thousand of those people
employed belong to the United Mine Workers of America. Fifteen hundred
them, Chris, are in West Virginia.
These are still good jobs. And they`re paying and they will pay their
benefits. They just can`t take the whole load that was dumped on them.
And if you think of it this way, Chris, this is -- this is what`s
outrageous. When you think that Peabody today, Peabody is responsible for
about -- over 10,000 miners` retirement benefits, 10,000.
MANCHIN: And think about this: 90 percent of those people that
Peabody is paying the retirement for never worked for Peabody.
MANCHIN: That`s where the travesty is. And that`s why we need to
look at the parent company, the real culprit, of Peabody.
HAYES: So, you`re a United States senator. This is obviously
something that`s happening through the judicial branch. Is there something
you can do in your role as United State senator? What can be done here?
MANCHIN: I would sure think so. You know, back in 2005 is the last
time that I could find -- my staff has been researching as quickly as
possible -- that they really revisited the bankruptcy laws. At that time,
it was to guarantee the pensions.
MANCHIN: For some reason, a loophole on health care benefits was left
out, Chris. I can`t tell you why. I don`t know if it was intentional.
But that`s something we should look into.
I think it`s something we will fix and it needs to be fixed. Nobody -
- when you think in 2005, that was a Republican administration with a
Republican legislature, and they saw the inequity of pensions not being
HAYES: Right, and they moved to make sure they were guaranteed.
MANCHIN: Surely, they`ll see the inequity of a retirement and
benefits -- healthcare benefits not being funded properly also.
HAYES: Let me ask you this, Senator, quickly and this is a hard
question. Your state has been dependent on coal for a long time. And coal
is having a really rough time in the marketplace right now. It`s getting
pounded by natural gas.
Is the state of West Virginia prepared for a future after coal?
MANCHIN: Let me just say this, Chris. First of all, not West
Virginia, this country has depended on the coal produced by the coal miners
of West Virginia for a long time. The coal miners of West Virginia, people
should say a prayer every night for a coal miner in West Virginia. They
gave them the energy, the country, the freedom that helped win the war.
Coal has been the staple that we`ve had. It`s domestic. It`s here in
our own country.
We`ve been working our tails off for many, many, many years. And the
thing about it is we can do it and we have the technology to use it even
EIA, which is a division of the Department of Energy, says that coal
is going to be 35 percent of the energy mix through 2040. We need to have
more of our technology and more research done in sequestering and super
critical heating and things we can do and use our coal resources much
We need to be independent --
MANCHIN: -- of foreign oil and coal is part of it, but right now it`s
being because the market conditions, Chris, I understand that. We`ve
always been able to go through the highs and lows of the markets.
HAYES: But right now, I think, it`s facing -- it`s facing possibly a
decline, and it could be transformative for the people of your state.
Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, thank you so much for joining us
on this important story.
MANCHIN: Thank you very much, Chris.
HAYES: All right. First -- first, conservative Toronto Mayor Rob
Ford said there is no video of him smoking crack cocaine. Now, we learned
he told his staffers he knows exactly where the video is. One of the
people who has actually seen the video joins me next.
HAYES: He`s not stepping down. In fact he plans to run in the next
election and he`s continuing to ignore questions about an alleged video of
him smoking crack. And the dealer he was allegedly photographed with who
got whacked. Yes, according to Toronto`s conservative mayor, Rob Ford,
everything is going fine.
The most entertaining and most disturbing scandal in North American
right now continues to entertain and continues to disturb with a slew of
stunning new developments. Today, two additional members of Ford`s staff
quit. The mayor has now lost a total of five staffers in the past week.
Late this afternoon, Ford held a news conference to thank his staff
for their service and let the people of Toronto know that work is still
getting done. But that was about all Ford wanted to discuss.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROB FORD, TORONTO MAYOR: I was elected to keep taxes low and reduce
the size and cost of government, and that`s exactly what I`m doing every
single day. I`ve been interviewing candidates all week and I look forward
to hiring new staff as soon as possible. Thank you very much.
REPORTER: Have you done any illegal drugs since you`ve been mayor?
FORD: Anything else?
REPORTER: Have you tried to obtain the video, sir?
FORD: Anything else?
REPORTER: Are you upset that the deputy mayor says he believes
there`s a tape? Does that upset you?
FORD: Anything else?
REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE) ready to step in if needed.
FORD: I think the premier should take care of the problems she has at
Queen`s Park right now.
FORD: Anything else?
FORD: Anything else?
REPORTER: What`s going on in your office?
REPORTER: There`s nothing going on in my office, obviously. I`m
bringing in new staff and if people have a better opportunity, I encourage
them to move on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Bringing in new staff.
When asked if he was worried about the reputation of his city, Ford
offered this sunny assessment with a Tea Party twist.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FORD: Not at all. Everything is going fine. I`m keeping taxes low.
I`ve saved a billion dollars. Our taxes are lower than any other North
American city. I`ll put our city up against anyone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: By the way, that billion dollars claim, according to Canada`s
most read daily paper -- false. Absolutely definitively false.
Which brings us to Ford`s consistent denial of the existence of a
videotape allegedly showing him smoking crack cocaine. Last Friday, one
week after the story broke, Ford went in front of reporters to proclaim his
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROB FORD, TORONTO MAYOR: There has been a serious accusation from the
"Toronto Star" that I used crack cocaine. I do not use crack cocaine nor
am I an addict of crack cocaine. As for a video, I cannot comment on a
video that I have never seen or does not exist.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Over the weekend, Ford repeated that claim while taking a
question from a caller on a radio show he co-hosts with his brother Doug,
also a Toronto lawmaker.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE CALLER: Mayor Ford, is that you in the Gawker
video? And, is that you photographed with your arm around drug dealer
MAYOR FORD: There`s -- number one, there`s no video. So, that`s all
I can say. You can`t comment on something that doesn`t exist.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Yet as the "Toronto Star" newspaper reports today, Ford told
senior aides not to worry about a video appearing that show him smoking
crack cocaine because he knew where it was. In fact according to sources,
Ford was very specific about the location of the video, offering details,
none of which he cared to elaborate on at today`s news conference.
One "Toronto Star" photographer catching a glimpse of the mayor`s
prepared remarks, a Star reporter noting Ford scratched out the following
line, I take my role as mayor very seriously. Joining me tonight from
Toronto, Robyn Doolittle, City Hall reporter for the "Toronto Star."
Robyn had seen the video at the center of the story. So, I have to
start there because this is like a -- it is like a Hitchcock film with this
thing that everybody is after, this video. You have actually seen it. So,
does the video exist? Are you sure that that is a video of Rob Ford
ROBYN DOOLITTLE, CITY HALL REPORTER: Yes, the video exists. I, along
with my colleague, Kevin Donovan, have seen the video. It`s crystal clear
in our eyes that this is Mayor Rob Ford appearing to smoke crack cocaine.
HAYES: OK. You saw the video under the circumstances of it being
shown to you, I believe, on an iPhone, am I correct?
DOOLITTLE: Yes. Kevin and I saw it about two weeks ago or a month
ago now on an iPhone.
HAYES: So, here is my big question. All this talk about knowing
where the video was, isn`t this thing just presumably stored as a digital
file somewhere? It`s not like there`s some VHS tape with some courier with
a bulletproof suitcase who has the thing?
DOOLITTLE: No one exactly knows where it is right now. We have an
idea of where it is. It`s with this group of individuals, who were trying
to sell the video to the media for a $100,000. They approached Gawker in
the states as well and their editor, John Cook, has also seen the video and
described very similar accounts as Kevin and I. And yes, they certainly
told us that they had made a copy. It`s not clear if they have made a
copy. It may just be on that one iPhone.
HAYES: Well, that`s a really valuable iPhone if they have not made a
copy. My question to you, what is going on in the reaction to this in
Toronto? We are watching this in the U.S. I will admit unaccustomed to
spending a lot of time covering the news of politics of your great metro
area, which Toronto is a fantastic city. How are people taking this in
Toronto and in Canada at large? It`s a crazy story.
DOOLITTLE: I don`t know how else to say other than everyone`s mind is
kind of blown. I mean Rob Ford has been a very colorful character as long
as he`s been in public life, which has been a little over a decade. And,
he has been mayor for about two and a half of that.
The "Star" has been, you know, reporting on him and his antics and
these rumors, investigating him for about a year and a half. We ran a
story about two and a half months ago about his battle with alcohol and
that`s kind of started -- I guess, opening a Pandora`s box of this sort of
And, everyone -- I don`t know, it`s every single day wide-eyed and
just can`t believe the next twist and turn. There`s a lot of comparisons
to the wire. People are saying up here -- you know, that`s of course
perhaps an exaggeration. But, Twitter is exploding every day with it and
people are reacting on it. It`s shock across the country.
HAYES: Here`s the thing that I think is the hardest thing for our
folks who are not familiar with Toronto politics to understand is, how is
this guy the mayor? Like how -- where -- what is his political base? Is
there anyone in the entire country of Canada or the city of Toronto who
believes him right now? Who are the people that voted for this guy into
DOOLITTLE: Mayor Ford is very charismatic and really connects with
people on kind of an average Joe. He`s a very wealthy man. His family is
very wealthy. They have a company up here and also offices in the states.
But, he really connects with the working guy. They called themselves, you
know, quote, unquote, "Ford Nation," which I have written a piece about it.
It`s kind of Canada`s Tea Party.
And, polls have actually shown that his support has not decreased
because of this. He has had a low approval rating in the last couple of
years because he`s had a number of gaffes and scandals. But, yes, his base
is sticking with him and he is a dogmatic fiscal conservative --
DOOLITTLE: -- And, he likes to kind of drum that populist beat.
HAYES: It was kind of remarkable to watch him sort of spout lines
about small government and low taxes in response to questions.
DOOLITTLE: He won`t talk about drugs --
HAYES: About smoking.
DOOLITTLE: -- but, he will talk about cutting taxes.
HAYES: Yes. Robyn Doolittle of the "Toronto Star." Thank you so
much for explaining this to me.
DOOLITTLE: Thanks for having me.
HAYES: We will be right back with "Click Three."
HAYES: Protests against the reactionary government of North Carolina
are gaining steam and momentum. But, one state to the north, a substantial
and surprising victory for civil rights has already been achieved and that
is coming up.
But, first I want to share the three awesomest things on the internet
today. The first is courtesy of media matters for America. Fox figures
rise in female bread winners is a sign of society`s downfall. It`s all
about a Lou Dobbs segment on Fox Business last night. Here is the back
Last night, we had a great panel of women, including Congressman
Debbie Wasserman Schultz on for two segments to discuss a Pew Research
Center study called "Bread Winner Moms." That title was a bit misleading.
Women are actually really struggling in this economy. But, over in
"Bizarro Land," Lou Dobbs tackled the same subject with an all male panel
and this was the predictable result.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LOU DOBBS, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK HOST: When we`re watching society
dissolve around us, Juan, what do you think?
JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: Something going terribly
wrong in American society.
ERICK ERICSON, POLITICALLY CONSERVATIVE AMERICAN BLOGGER: When you
look at biology, look at the natural world, the roles of a male and a
female in society and other animals, the male typically is the dominant
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Bottom line, it could undermine our social order. For the
record, the crew is shaking their head at that last clip. On the upside, I
do think it would be awesome if there was a cable news show that just did a
right wing version of our rundown every night. Next on Lou Dobbs tonight,
the genius of Senator John McCain`s foreign policy trip to Syria.
The second awesomest thing on the internet today, this picture tweeted
out by actor Patrick Stewart with a line, "My First Ever Pizza Slice."
Please note, he often take New York Pole. Hold on, cried the inter web.
How is it possible that this 72-year-old star of Star Trek and X-Men is
just now eating pizza for the first time?
The story made headlines on the daily news and today`s show, Fox News,
the Hollywood reporter, USA today, countless other outlets. So, today "New
York" magazine published an extensive interview. People misunderstood.
This was my first slice of pizza, which I was only eating because my
Fiancee and I were a little hangover yesterday morning.
The man is 72. He said he had eaten entire pizzas before but never
just a slice. And, then when he was a wee little one in England, he had
never even heard of pizza. So, when Dean Martin sang, "When The Moon Hits
Your Eyes Like A Big Pizza Pie, That`s A Moray" -- Exactly!
The young Patrick Stewart also said the line "When The Moon Hits Your
Eyes Like A Big Pizza Pie, That`s A Moray. Stewart also said he was mocked
yesterday when the slice was brought over and his first comment was,
"There`s No Knife And Fork?" And, the third awesomest thing on the
internet today, of course, the vagina shaped pin ball machine by a French
artist Marie Busson inspired by former Congressman and former Senate
Candidate Todd Aiken.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TODD AIKEN, FMR. SENATE CANDIDATE: First of all, from what I
understand from doctors, that`s really rare. If it`s a legitimate rape,
the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Well, that`s not true, but Todd Aiken can play pin ball and
try to shut that whole thing down with flippers protecting the womb from
the sperm ball just as Aiken might have pictured it. But, no Mr. Aiken,
despite what you may get into the head of yours, the female vagina is not
like the death star that when fully operational will able to destroy on
And, no, the vagina is not like a pinball machine, either. Let`s
study this carefully and you just might learn something. You can find all
the links for tonight`s "Click Three" on our website, allinwithchris.com.
We`ll be right back.
HAYES: I want to show you something really incredible. And,
something that is the key to understanding voter turnout in past and future
elections and show the differences in turnout between black and white men
in 2012. OK?
So, you see according to census data around 61.4% of black men turned
out to vote. That`s fairly high. But -- and this is the important part.
When you account for the hundreds of thousands of black men who are not in
prison but have been stripped of their right to vote as punishment for
their crimes, the percentage of eligible black men who voted shoots up to
68%. A 6% jump. A rate that, interestingly, is much, much higher than
Felony disenfranchisement, which is so disproportionately, affects
black men. It is now something we are used to delivering good news about.
But, this week we have a big victory out of the state of Virginia.
This letter sent by Republican Governor Bob McDonnell yesterday, puts
in place immediately in automatic restoration process of voting rights for
many of Virginia`s 350,000 felons. And, this is in a state where one in
five black men cannot vote because of felon disenfranchisement.
Now, the amazing thing about this story is who made it happen.
Conservative Governor Bob McDonnell has actually been supportive of
restoring civil rights to felons for a while. But, here who is not.
Virginia`s attorney General and Gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli.
One of the most aggressively conservative figures in the country. He
makes Ted Cruz look like a moderate and he voted against restoring felons`
rights five times. And, yet this week while delivering his office`s
recommendations on felon voting rights, he had somewhat of a road to
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEN CUCCINELLI, (R) VIRGINIA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: I believe we
need a simpler way for individuals who want to return their place in
society to be given a second chance.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: This turn-around is a victory for the targeted sustained
activism around the issue in the state. Not only people who were working
on voting rights but evangelicals and criminal justice advocates who have
raised awareness and made this a politically viable issue, supported by 71%
of voters in Virginia and now the republican candidate for governor.
In a state that, although, it has recently gone blue, is still part of
the old confederacy, still producing a lot of extremely conservative
politicians, like the new republican candidate for lieutenant governor,
E.W. Jackson. But, just one state away in North Carolina, the most right-
wing state government in all of America continues to absolutely plow its
way through its citizens. Sometimes almost literally.
Protesters have showed up week after week after week on the steps of
the statehouse as part of the moral Monday campaign, only to be hauled off
by police. Each week the arrest total has gone up from 17 people the first
day to 30, then 49, most recently 57. Over 153 people in North Carolina
have now been arrested for peacefully protesting, and they have no plans to
The moral Mondays movement is gathering steam and plans to continue in
peaceful opposition to the legislature`s all-out assault on not only voting
rights of North Carolinians but also their economic well-being. Joining me
to the table, Reverend Dr. William Barber, president of the North Carolina
NAACP. He has led protests and had been arrested in response to the
actions of the North Carolina legislature. Also with us, Ben Jealous,
president and CEO of the national NAACP. It`s wonderful to have both of
you gentlemen here.
WILLIAM BARBER, NOR CAROLINA NAACP PRESIDENT: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: So, I think the most interesting wrinkle coming out of
Virginia was this coalition, this kind of a moral coalition that happened
between civil rights activists and evangelical Christians who are part of
the base of the Republican Party. And, there`s a moral case made for
redemption, for second chances for felons. You are calling the protests.
You are doing North Carolina moral Mondays. Why did you choose that name?
What does that mean?
REV. BARBER: If you step back for just a second, Chris. We have been
successful in North Carolina and we are being attacked because of the
success that we had for years. We built this massive coalition. What we
see now is an attack that is extreme and immoral by the ultra conservative
Tea Party backed coalition.
When you -- it`s extreme to cut 500,000 people out of Medicaid. It`s
extreme to cut 165,000 people unemployment. It`s extreme to raise taxes on
900,000 poor working people so that you can give a tax cut to 23 families.
It`s extreme to knock 30,000 preschool kids -- poor preschool kids off the
rolls. It`s extreme to bring money back into how you choose your judicial
candidates rather than having public financing.
But, not only is it extreme, it`s moral. And, so what we`re saying is
we must expand the debate. There are some moral and constitutional
principles. The moral principle of doing the least of these and the
constitutional principle of the good of the whole, the common good that
must be at the center of our debate.
That`s bigger than democrat, bigger than republican. And, we must
challenge those that want to limit the moral discussion to abortion, prayer
in school and gender issues. No, this budget is immoral. These extreme
acts are immoral and they are bad policy and they are anti-economic future.
HAYES: Did we talk enough about the immoral language on this side of
BEN JEALOUS, NAACP PRESIDENT AND CEO: We don`t. We don`t. You know,
we` have made a critical mistake ever since Dr. King died to not talk in
the language of our faith enough. And it is our faiths that really ground
many of us. You know, you kind of get into the closet if you will of your
classic liberal and you find out that they are actually moved --
JEALOUS: -- by their belief in Judaism or Christianity or Islam, or
Buddhism or whatever it is.
HAYES: Or, just my own belief in the basic dignity and sort of -- the
basic dignity of each individual human being on this earth and their right
to an equal future.
JEALOUS: That is right.
HAYES: Which is a faith in and of itself.
JEALOUS: That`s right. But, also in this country the two most
powerful vocabularies we have are the vocabulary of faith and of
patriotism, and we need to own both of those.
HAYES: And, I want to talk about how the coalition got put together
to win in Virginia, put together to win in North Carolina and how it`s
working to keep try to keep those victories in North Carolina under assault
right after this break.
HAYES: Looking at the progress for voting rights in Virginia compared
with the continued trampling of civil rights in North Carolina. Back with
Reverend Dr. William Barber of North Carolina, Ben Jealous of the NAACP.
And, Reverend, what I want to ask you was you are talking about this
moral framework and we talk about the moral framework the coalition built
in Virginia through a lot of hard work and organizing of different
constituencies to get this felony disenfranchisement policy changed. Are
you having success getting people from the other part of the aisle, across
the aisle of conservatives to join in this or is this just a liberal
movement at this point?
REV. BARBER: Well, the current legislature is so extreme, but in the
streets we are, because what we have done over the last few years, we built
a coalition, rooted in the notion of the common good and rooted in the
moral principles of how do you treat the least of these, you know.
If you look at the scriptures, more is said about how we treat the
poor and how we treat the least than any other subject. We have seen
blacks and whites and labor and people of faith and civil rights come
together. We have 147 organizations along with 100 branches of NAACP and
we`re taking a comprehensive view. We have to change the way in which we
approach public policy.
There`s some things that are bigger than democrat and republican and
who has a majority. It`s this common good, the general welfare,
establishing justice, caring for your neighbor. Those are the kind of
constitutional and moral vision that we must bring to this discussion
today. And, if we do and we`re vigilant at it, we can change the flow of
politics in this country.
HAYES: But, also that -- I mean that all is very appealing to me.
But, it seems to me that in the south particularly, right? -- a lot of this
are the politics of race in the 21st century. Race in the Obama era where
you have a situation in which white -- the Republican Party has lock on the
south, but there`s a white majority, but that white majority is much
slimmer than other places and they recognize very clearly that if African-
American voters in particular mobilize, register and turn out, that their
hold on power is very tenuous.
JEALOUS: But, this is where the evangelical movement in the South
gives us opportunity to actually either away have the old divisions.
Because you have people who are black and white showing up at many of these
charismatic churches together on Sunday.
HAYES: Yes. You see it right there. You can see the faces, yes.
JEALOUS: And, when I sat with Governor Bob McDonnell three years ago,
what became clear is that both of us who are people of faith believe in the
right to redemption.
JEALOUS: And, that`s where we connected. And, Reverend Young, who
leads the Virginia NAACP, you know, his movement very much pushing for this
right and so we were able to come together right and left and say we
believe in redemption. We may not believe -- we may not have a whole lot
of other values in common but we have this in common so we`ll move forward
REV. BARBER: And, look at the pictures, we are winning. We are not
depressed. You look at those pictures, 40% of those people are black.
HAYES: It doesn`t -- I got to say the headlines that come out of
North Carolina, do not make me think, "Man, We Are Winning." They make me
think we are getting our butts kicked all over the place because the stuff
they are passing is so aggressive.
REV. BARBER: It is, but you have -- the moral defense, we are being
attacked because we won.
HAYES: What do you mean by won?
REV. BARBER: OK. We passed same-day registration. We put together a
coalition of blacks and whites, shared values and that`s how we won.
That`s how you got Obama. That`s how you`re getting a new electorate.
And, the people that are fighting these extremists, they know that there is
a new electorate afoot. Black, white, LGBT, Latino, and that new
electorate produces holes in the solid south.
JEALOUS: And, you know, let`s be clear here. They`re not just
fighting people of color, they`re fighting their own children. We`re
talking about people of color of all ages but also talking about young
people of all races.
HAYES: And poor folks of all races -- I mean yes, there are poor
white folks in the south, right? There is poor white folks who aren`t
going to the Medicaid in North Carolina.
REV. BARBER: A myth --
HAYES: That is right.
REV. WILLIAMS: -- the myth of extremism, that they think these
services like Medicare, the way they promote it is that it is helping a
certain group or they make it a race element. What we`re exposing, 500,000
people omitted. That`s immoral and bad public policy. And, it is hurting
blacks, whites, republican, democrat. We`re doing 25 tours using this
document and we have had a house full of people every day on our tour,
blacks and whites coming together and saying this is wrong.
JEALOUS: Well, you know, this is really in many ways the great
transforming of the hope of the South.
HAYES: Yes. That`s why the Virginia/North Carolina story is so
fascinating, right? You are talking the old confederacy. You are talking
the south, south, south, right? And, you are also talking a place that
Barack Obama won twice in a row and North Carolina, which he won once and
narrowly lost the second time and that`s the place you where you can see
the vision of promise of the new South.
JEALOUS: Well, let`s be really clear. This law in Virginia that we
just put in this massive dent in this week, when it was put in place, the
man who put it in place, the delegate who pushed for it, 1901 said because
of this plan the darky shall be eliminate as a factor in this politics in
less than five years. And, so part of what you heard from the governor was
his -- frankly his shame about that history.
REV. BARBER: Chris, you have not fought this hard if you are weak.
REV. BARBER: They are fighting this hard because a new South is
HAYES: Reverend Dr. William Barber, NAACP President Ben Jealous,
thank you, gentlemen. That was great. That is All In for this evening.
The Rachel Maddow show starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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