updated 6/5/2013 11:04:18 AM ET 2013-06-05T15:04:18

THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL
June 4, 2013

Guests: Sam Stein, Earl Blumenauer; Bridgette McCoy

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST: Well, it looks like New Jersey Governor
Chris Christie does not believe the polls that show him with a big lead in
his re-election campaign because today, he behaved like a candidate who is
running scared.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Very big day on Capitol Hill, where we`re
watching three developing stories.

MARTIN BASHIR, MSNBC ANCHOR: Who fill the seat of the late Senator
Frank Lautenberg?

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: These decisions should be made
by an elected official.

ALEX WAGNER, MSNBC ANCHOR: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie --

CHUCK TODD, MSNBC ANCHOR: He has the power to decide who to put in
the seat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Power is a curious thing.

CHRISTIE: I am calling for a special election.

WAGNER: A special election will be held this year.

TODD: It is more confusing than you might think.

STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC ANCHOR: The price tag on that, $24 million.

ED RENDELL, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Essentially wasting $24 million.

CHRISTIE: I will do whatever I need to do to make sure the costs are
covered.

RENDELL: It is wasting taxpayer money.

CHRISTIE: I don`t know what the cost is and I quite frankly don`t
care.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`ll pay my lord.

TAMRON HALL, MSNBC ANCHOR: Now, where do we go?

WAGNER: President Obama is under fire from Republicans yet again.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is not about
principled opposition.

WAGNER: This time, because he wants to do his job.

OBAMA: This is about political obstruction.

ANDREA MITCHELL, MSNBC ANCHOR: President Obama all but dares
Republicans.

TODD: Daring Senate Republicans to block the nominees.

MITCHELL: To filibuster his appeals court nominees.

OBAMA: My judicial nominees waited three times longer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nominations for federal bench, not including the
Supreme Court.

OBAMA: Than those of my Republican predecessor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They want to nullify Obama`s government --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s maddening.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- by not letting him have a government.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s pretty simple.

OBAMA: It was all about politics.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You speak the language of power, I speak
American grassroots.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Developing news on the IRS mess.

MITCHELL: Conservative groups get their say about the IRS targeting
scandal.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m not here as a serf or vassal. It`s not your
right to assert an agenda.

BASHIR: We`ve only had six hearings on the IRS.

HALL: The second hearing of this week alone. This story may turn out
to be less sexy than some people have hoped.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Each of your groups is highly political.

BASHIR: Why not move on?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Anything else is simply political theater.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

O`DONNELL: Today, Governor Christie decided that what New Jersey
needs, 20 days, just 20 days before its general election on November 5th of
this year is a warm-up election to fill Senator Frank Lautenberg`s Senate
seat.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTIE: The primary election for United States senate will be held
Tuesday, August 13th, 2013. The general special election will be held on
Wednesday, October 16th.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: According to New Jersey law, the governor could have
ordered the senate election to be included in the general election on
November 5th. That`s logical. That would have saved New Jersey $24
million, the cost of having the special election a few weeks earlier in
October.

But including the senate election in the general election on November
5th would have meant probably a larger turnout of Democratic voters
supporting Cory Booker for the Senate seat or whoever the Democratic
nominee turns out to be, and that probably would have meant fewer votes
Chris Christie and his re-election campaign against Democratic challenger
State Senator Barbara Buono.

Today, Chris Christie pretended he didn`t have any idea how much his
choice would cost New Jersey taxpayers.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTIE: I don`t know what the cost is and I quite frankly don`t
care. I don`t think you can put a price tag what it is worth to have an
elected person in the United States Senate and I will do whatever I need to
do to make sure those are covered because all the people of the state of
New Jersey will benefit from it, we are not going to be penny wise and
pound foolish here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Tonight, the editorial board of the biggest New Jersey
newspaper "The Star Ledger," called Christie`s choice a shameless move,
purely self serving, naked self interest. A senior Republican official
tells the "National Journal" I think this ends his 2016 chances. It`s year
after year with this guy.

Christie`s Democratic opponent, Mary Buono`s spokesman released a
statement reading, "Despite costing millions of dollars, Governor Christie
made the cynical, arrogant decision to call a special election in October.
His choice made it clear that he does not care about wasting taxpayer
money."

Joining me now, MSNBC`s Joy Reid and Sam Stein.

Joy, I can`t pretend to say with a straight face a special election in
October. It is just as ridiculous as it could possibly get.

JOY REID, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: No, and it is three weeks before the
other election! I mean, it`s insane. I mean, look, Chris Christie has
never been somebody that could be accused of being selfless for his party,
right?

He could put somebody in the seat until 2014 given them the power of
incumbency. He didn`t do that, so the party is mad.

He could have let the parties choose someone, which would have been
sort of anti-democratic, small D, so he didn`t do that.

So, he split the difference, right? He`s going to allow the public to
speak and allow the voters to choose someone. But he doesn`t want to be on
the ballot with Cory Booker because all of his supporters might elect
Barbara Buono.

So, yes, you can vote but then you have to vote again in three weeks.
It`s pure self-interest. I think that that newspaper had it right.

O`DONNELL: And, Sam, obviously, the scheduling of this is his attempt
to fatigue Democratic voters. It`s like OK, go ahead, go vote for a real
contested election, which will be the Senate seat, and then we`re hoping
few of you will show up a couple weeks later, we`re hoping we have some
polls that indicate Christie has a big lead. So, why bother showing up.

SAM STEIN, HUFFINGTON POST: Sure. I mean, there`s going to be voter
fatigue.

I would say m not be just self interest, though I think that that does
play a role. He could be looking at down ballot races within his own
state, trying to flip statehouses which are democratically controlled.

(CROSSTALK)

O`DONNELL: Excuse me, Sam, Sam --

STEIN: Yes?

O`DONNELL: That is self interest.

STEIN: Self interest. Well, self interest, but it`s also the
interest of the state Republicans, but yes, I think you`re right.

The big irony here, of course, though, is the idea that the cost
doesn`t and shouldn`t matter, because it wasn`t too long ago, it was a
month ago, where Chris Christie vetoed a bill to extend early voting for
presidential elections, saying it was prohibitively expensive for the New
Jersey`s voters. He said $25 million was his estimate, shouldn`t be taken
by the taxpayer. That`s what we have by doing this special election.

Also, there was a piece of legislation that went under the radar that
allowed for school districts to hold their school board elections are in
November, as opposed to in the off months of the cycle. He signed that
saying it would save the taxpayer monies by basically consolidating all
elections in November. Clearly, in those two cases, cost was a factor,
it`s just beyond logic that now cost doesn`t matter nor should it.

O`DONNELL: Well, you know, and the Christie brand, of course, is
tough talk, straight talk, honest talk. And I want to -- I want to play
again this line we just played about him saying I don`t know what the cost
is.

Let`s just listen to this one more time.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTIE: I don`t know what the cost is and I quite frankly don`t
care.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: And that is delivered in the classic, Joy, classic
Christie, I`m just telling it to you straight, I don`t know what it is, I
don`t care.

And it is possibly the single most obvious lie the man has ever told
into a microphone.

REID: No, absolutely. He doesn`t want to pay for infrastructure
improvement in New Jersey because it costs too much. He doesn`t want to do
(INAUDIBLE). He doesn`t pay teachers more, costs too much.

Look, if Chris Christie were to start a fraternity, it would be me phi
me, because the guy is doing everything just in service of himself. His
party is mad at him, because he didn`t give them any advantage going into
the next election. But he`s basically trying to run up the score on his
own election, I can almost see the placards going out to household say,
hey, election is over, don`t worry about next November.

He is doing this just to run up the score because he thinks he can run
for president. But guess what? Republicans are mad at you, too, dude.
You didn`t help yourself there.

STEIN: But there`s another reason that the party is mad at him. It`s
not just this cost that he is putting on the people of New Jersey. In
fact, he could have tried to create this legal dynamic where he held a seat
with a replacement person until 2014. That would have given Republicans in
the Senate another vote. It would have scuttle the plans for a number of
legislative items, and I think national Republicans are really upset about
that.

There are legal questions about whether he could have done it, whether
it was permissible. But they wanted him to at least try so they could have
another year and a half with an extra senator.

O`DONNELL: But, you know, even given that, Sam, if he stayed with the
idea of I`m going to make the conservative choice legally, not getting into
experimental zone legally, but I am not going to violent this basic, you
know, Republican principle that we all Republicans pretend to live by, that
you know we want to minimize government costs.

STEIN: Sure.

O`DONNELL: I mean, that, Joy, to me is the thing where he gets caught
here. If you`re going to do it, if you`re not giving the Republicans the
big long run of the appointed senator, because that`s legally risky, you
better do this according to some kind of principle that you can claim you
live by.

REID: And there goes the problem again, therein lies the problem for
Chris Christie, because Conservatives don`t believe that he is a true
principled conservative who has a set of principles they can believe in.
And for him to say out loud he doesn`t care about how much this is going to
cost -- first of all, that`s a sound bite that will be played back. I am
sure Barbara Buono`s people are cutting the ad tonight.

And he is alienating himself from the Republican base that claims to
care about fiscal discipline. We have known they don`t really care about
it, they just say they care about it because they want to beat up Barack
Obama. But now, he doesn`t have a big lead over himself on that issue.

O`DONNELL: And, Sam, I don`t care how much it costs will be present
in any Republican presidential primary he tries to run in. No one is going
to let him get away with that.

STEIN: Oh, yes, sure. But, you know, it seems clearer and clearer to
me that his mind isn`t there on 2016.

I hate to sort of divine these things or predict these things, but if
his focus is basically winning re-election, which this move indicates, and
on enhancing his majorities or -- sorry, enhancing his numbers in the
statehouse, then it seems pretty obvious he`s preparing to run and then
proceed to be governor for a second term.

I`m not so certain that 2016 is in the offing as a bunch of people say
it is.

O`DONNELL: OK. Joy Reid and Sam Stein, thank you both for joining us
tonight.

STEIN: Thanks, Lawrence.

REID: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: The entire Joint Chiefs of Staff appeared before the
Senate Armed Services Committee today to say they don`t need any guidance
from Congress in stopping the epidemic of sexual assaults in the military.

And in the rewrite tonight, how state, local, and federal governments
consciously conspire in the flagrant racist, extraordinarily racist
enforcement of marijuana laws. That`s coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: The Oklahoma medical examiner raised the death toll from
Friday`s tornado in El Reno to 19 today. We know the tornado was 2.6 miles
wide according to the National Weather Service, with winds reaching nearly
300 miles an hour. That`s the widest ever recorded and twice the size of
the May 20th tornado that hit Moore, Oklahoma.

Both storms have been rated as rare, top of the scale, EF-5s. Only
eight tornadoes with such power have hit Oklahoma since 1950, and two of
the eight were within the past two weeks.

Coming up next, the president`s challenge to Senate Republicans.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: These are open seats and the Constitution demands that I
nominate qualified individuals to fill those seats. What I`m doing today
is my job. I need the Senate to do its job.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: What the president calls doing his job Republicans call
court packing.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Some Republicans recently suggested that by nominating these
three individuals, I`m somehow engaging in, and I`m quoting here, court
packing.

No, people laugh, but this is an argument I`ve made, for those of you
familiar with the history of court packing, that involved Franklin Delano
Roosevelt trying to add additional seats to the Supreme Court in order to
water down and get more support for his political agenda.

We`re not adding seats here. We`re trying to fill seats that are
already existing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: President Obama nominated three people to fill seats on
the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia circuit,
the second most important court in the nation. Four of the current Supreme
Court justices served on that court, the D.C. circuit court of appeals,
including Chief Justice John Roberts. If Republicans stall on these three
nominations, it could lead to a battle over filibuster reform.

According to the Congressional Research Service, 16 of the President
Obama`s Appeals Court nominees were unanimously approved by the Senate, but
it took on average 125 days for these nominees to go from committee to
Senate confirmation. Twenty-three of Bush`s nominees were confirmed
unanimously with an average of 29 days wait between committee and Senate
floor confirmation.

And Bill Clinton`s unopposed nominees only had to wait 17 days.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: My judicial nominees waited three times longer to receive
confirmation votes than those of my Republican predecessor. Let me repeat
that. My nominees have taken three times longer to receive confirmation
votes than those of my Republican predecessor.

These individuals that I nominate are qualified. When they were given
an up or down vote in the Senate when they were finally given an up or down
vote in the Senate, every one of them was confirmed. So, this is not about
principled opposition, this is about political obstruction.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining me now, Jonathan Alter, MSNBC political analyst
and author of "The Center Holds: Obama and His Enemies."

And, Jonathan, I think we`re going to put "The Center Holds" right in
the center.

JONATHAN ALTER, AUTHOR, "THE CENTER HOLDS": I like the way you think,
Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Stay in the two shot for the interview. I want to see
what happens to Amazon on this.

(CROSSTALK)

ALTER: It`s the first book out about 2012.

O`DONNELL: Right.

So this seems like something we could have seen coming in the Obama
administration. Of course, Republicans were going to be more combative
than they have been on judicial nominations than they have in the past.
Should the Obama administration act surprised by this?

ALTER: I don`t think they`re surprised. The mistake that Obama made
was really in 2009 and 2010, when he had the Congress and he had, you know,
a stronger wind at his back, should have filled some of the vacancies
faster.

But since the midterms, it has been obstruction, obstruction,
obstruction, all the way down the line. Three times as much obstruction as
his predecessor. And I think it is a dress rehearsal for a battle over
quite possibly Justice Ginsburg`s replacement.

They want to get -- they want to show that they can overcome this
obstruction, overcome the filibuster, they do it on the three nominees,
then they can do it for Supreme Court justice nominees.

O`DONNELL: But this is a game I have to say in my experience that the
Republicans have always been better at playing, they always understood that
the federal bench is the most important thing the president controls and
the minute you take that oath of office, you have to start filling every
vacancy you have.

And what the congressional Senate Republicans know is it is so
important, we`re going to start blocking every single one of them.

ALTER: Right. So, everything is now a bargaining chip. It really
symbolizes what`s wrong with Washington right now. Meanwhile, these judges
who are human beings, who are putting their personal lives on hold, waiting
two-and-a-half years for -- in some cases for the Senate to dispense with
their nomination.

O`DONNELL: Which, by the way, is harming the judiciary because now,
you`re getting people saying, no, no thank you, I`m going to stay dean of
the law school or something, I don`t want to bother going through your
confirmation process.

ALTER: Right, it is happening a lot.

O`DONNELL: One of the vacancies they nominated to fill today has been
open since 2005. It`s Justice Roberts` seat.

ALTER: Some of that was Democratic obstruction.

O`DONNELL: When Obama was running for office, they knew they had the
nomination, and the transition team did nothing. They should have
delivered a name for that vacancy on day one from the transition team.

ALTER: Yes. And the White House counsel`s office and Justice
Department in 2009 have something to answer for, but there was a lot else
going on. That was then. They made that mistake.

(CROSSTALK)

O`DONNELL: There is a lot else going on, but nominations for the
Judiciary is completely separate --

ALTER: I completely agree. What I am saying is that there was a lot
of obstruction from the get-go. Remember, you know, I`ve got this scene in
"The Center Holds".

O`DONNELL: In this book, "The Center Holds" right here? What page?

ALTER: What I am saying is that yes, Obama should have moved faster
on judges, but I think folks understand that from January 20th, 2009, there
was a concerted effort on the part of Republicans to block this president
at every turn. So, even if he nominated those judges early, they probably
would have figured out some ways to bottle up the nominations until his
political capital started --

O`DONNELL: So, what move does he have on these nominees?

ALTER: Well, I think he might have to go to a kind of a modified
nuclear option as they call it, something that would change the filibuster
rules, if Senator Grassley and others really want to push this all the way,
that would be a good thing for the country. You and others and I have been
urging that they make changes to the filibuster.

But it`s good that he is doing it now, and also, he`s using something
that didn`t get noticed much today, when he says give them a vote.
Remember in the State of the Union, he got rousing applause when he`s
saying, let them vote. This is something the American people understand.

O`DONNELL: Sure.

ALTER: So if he can apply that, and he got the vote on gun control.
He lost it, might win the next time, but he got a vote when a lot of people
weren`t even expecting him to get a vote on gun control. So, he might be
able to get a vote on this and shift the debate to that.

O`DONNELL: Jonathan Alter, the new book is "The Center Holds: Obama
and His Enemies."

ALTER: Something new on every page, I guarantee your viewers that you
will learn at least one thing you don`t know on every page of my book.

O`DONNELL: You laugh, you cry --

(CROSSTALK)

O`DONNELL: It`s great.

ALTER: You will learn.

O`DONNELL: All right. Come on, get that Amazon count going.

Coming up, Tea Party groups went to Capitol Hill today to complain --
to complain -- about the cruel IRS agents, instead of thank them for
granting them 501(c)4 status, that they did not legally deserve.

And one congressman today exposed the situation for the charade that
it really is. And he will join me next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: In the spotlight tonight, scandal.

Now, listen carefully, see if you can find the scandal in this
statement.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BECKY GERRITSON, WETUMPKA TEA PARTY: We received a letter dated July
9th, 2012, stating that we had been approved to receive our tax exemption.
Wetumpka Tea Party filled out a complete application. Our organization
fell in the boundaries of receiving 501(c)4 status, yet our application was
singled out solely because we had Tea Party in our name.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: That was the founder of the Wetumpka, Alabama, Tea Party.

One of the witnesses at today`s Ways and Means Committee hearing the
House of Representatives, of course, no Republican member found a scandal
in that statement, neither has anyone in the Washington media.

But every viewer of this program, including Texas Democratic
Congressman Lloyd Doggett knows exactly what`s scandalous about what IRS
agents did with 501(c)4 applications.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. LLOYD DOGGETT (D), TEXAS: I don`t believe the Internal Revenue
Service, the Treasury Department, should be providing tax subsidies to
organizations that are not engaged exclusively in social welfare. This
Congress was very clear on that point. Clear on it in 1913. And in
repeated re-codifications of what is now 501(c)4. It said they must be
operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: And more lawmakers are now talking about that scandal that
we`ve been telling you about from day one.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. EARL BLUMENAUER (D), OREGON: Having organizations parading as
being social welfare organizations and then being involved in the political
combat harkens back to why the statute 100 years ago said that they were
prohibited and I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Doggett saying we ought to
stop this regulation interpretation from 1959.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Since the House Republicans don`t understand the real
scandal or its remedy, which is simply to enforce the law as written, today
they instead gave the opportunity for conservative activists to go before
television cameras and define the scandal themselves.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KAREN KENNY,SAN FERNANDO VALLEY PATRIOTS: This dialogue is about the
jackboot of tyranny upon the field of our founding documents.

GERRITSON: Many of the agents and agencies of the federal government
do not understand that they are servants of the people. They think they`re
our masters and they`re mistaken.

KENNY: To whisper the letters I-R-S strikes a shrill note on Main
Street USA. But when this behemoth tramples upon America`s grassroots, few
hear the snapping sounds.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel like our country has turned a corner into
tyranny.

GERRITSON: I am not here as a serf or vassal. I`m not begging my
lords for mercy.

KEVIN KOOKOGEY, LINCHPINS OF LIBERTY: Check the power of the
executive branch. In so doing, you will protect, defend, and preserve
human liberty.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: OK. So, jackboot of tyranny -- lie. Let`s see, tramples
on America`s grassroots -- lie. Our country has turned a corner into
tyranny -- lie.

And no one at today`s hearing threatened in any way by possible
charges of perjury by those troops seeker on the Republican side of that
panel.

Joining me now is Oregon Democratic Congressman Earl Blumenauer, a
member of house ways and means committee.

Thanks for joining me, Congressman.

REP. EARL BLUMENAUER, OREGON: My pleasure.

O`DONNELL: How lonely is up there when you have a hearing about abuse
of law in the ways and means committee and you cannot get Republicans of
the committee to actually read the very simple language of the 501(c)4 law?

BLUMENAUER: Well, it`s frustrating. Obviously, there were some
problems in inappropriate targeting. And if it looks like there were
confidential tax returns leaked, by all means, go after it, get to the
bottom of it, but we had the inspector general`s report, there is no wrong
doing, no -- nothing is willful and nothing criminal. There have been some
mistakes made. But as you`ve been getting to the underlying problem is
that we shouldn`t have bureaucrats trying to evaluate how much social
welfare versus how much political action they`re involved with. The
statute says they shouldn`t have any. That Eisenhower era reinterpretation
that allowed some permissible political activity was wrong, it is contrary
to the statute, Congress should fix it. If they want to play politics,
they ought to organize a political effort. They shouldn`t be shielded from
public disclosure by the 501(c)4 status where they get millions of dollars
and not required to disclose and they`re definitely principally organized
like the national organization for marriage was organized to assault
efforts in California for marriage equality. It is blatantly political and
we shouldn`t pretend otherwise. We should stop it.

O`DONNELL: Congressman, has Janice Mays and her wizards on the staff
of the ways and means committee figured out why in 1959 the Eisenhower IRS
changed in a regulation the word exclusively to the word primarily and why
then the IRS relied on the word they made up instead of the word Congress
wrote?

BLUMENAUER: Yes, I am not familiar with anybody teasing out the
history on that. It would be interesting. But actually I think a side
show. The point is it is inappropriate. It is contrary to statute, and it
leads us down this never Neverland path, and I don`t care if it is an
organization on the right or the left. They shouldn`t disguise political
action behind the guise of social welfare. It is not healthy, it`s not
right, it`s not legal, we should stop it.

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to how deep the ignorance runs on the
Republican side on this, what Aaron Shock had to say today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. AARON SHOCK (R), ILLINOIS: We`re not having a debate about
whether or not we agree with Citizens United, we`re not having a debate
about whether or not we want to change 501(c) 3 or change 501(c) 4
processes. I would submit to you that if that`s your goal, perhaps
introduce legislation to do so.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: So Congressman, he clearly did not hear or understand what
you had to say today. He clearly doesn`t have the vaguest idea what 501(c)
4 law actually says, which is none of those people should have had their
applications approved and in fact none of them had them denied.

BLUMENAUER: Absolutely right. And it is largely I think an effort on
the part of some of our friends on the committee to try and conjure up
something far more sinister. You recall really inflammatory language that
was used by the majority of the committee on the very first hearing about
corruption and government picking who they`re going to support, that it`s a
corrupt system.

In fact, the inspector general acknowledged, found that there were
problems, but there was no criminal wrongdoing. It wasn`t sort of a
willful effort to try and be disruptive. We need to be mindful of what`s
going on there.

It`s a little bizarre that the Republicans have had consistent assault
against the internal revenue service. They have dramatically reduced the
budget. There are about 25,000 fewer people who work at the IRS today than
when they assumed power back in 1995. Even as they have made the tax code
more complex and there are millions more people filing returns.

I think it is an unfortunate item. I hope we can zero in on this one
little item, however, and get the IRS out of this completely by making it
clear that the illegality will not be tolerated and get rid of that
regulation.

O`DONNELL: Right. Congressman Earl Blumenauer, thank you very much
for telling the truth on that hearing and thanks for joining us tonight.

BLUMENAUER: My pleasure.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, while Congress pretends to be outraged over
targeting, they ignore the racist targeting of black people in this
country`s unconscionable war on marijuana. The federal government is
funding the targeting of black people and Washington could not care less.
That`s in tonight`s "rewrite."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: Targeting, that`s the big scandal word in Washington these
days, targeting, because some political groups that applied for a tax
status that they did not legally deserve were all granted that tax status,
but weren`t granted that tax status as quick as they want and it didn`t
affect their operation in any way while they waited to be granted that tax
status officially. You don`t even have to apply for that status to claim
it. I could go on and on about that. That`s what they call targeting.

What would they call it if they were being arrested? What would they
call it if they were being sent to jail? What would they call it if that
was happening on the basis of the color of their skin? That is happening
in America. That is happening in America tonight and Washington does not
care. And it is next on the "rewrite."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: There`s much outrage about so-called targeting in
Washington these days, as in the IRS targeting political groups`
applications for 501(c)4 status, applications all of which should have just
been denied. But in fact all of which were actually approved!

Congress heard from the so-called victims of the so-called targeting
today. You heard them lying about it in the last segment about their
suffering, about the notion they live in tyranny, which they don`t. They
lied to Congress without any inhibitions whatsoever about their so-called
suffering.

It is important to remember not one of these so-called victims
suffered anything, none of them lost anything. In fact, they all got
exactly what they wanted from the government. They got their approval of
their fake 501(c) 4s.

Washington can summon fake tears for fake victims of government, but
Washington completely ignores real victims of government, including the
millions of victims of government described in a new report, proving how
America`s war on marijuana targets black people in this country.

Here are the arrest rates for marijuana possession for the first
decade of the 21st century in the United States of America. What you`re
seeing there is that black people who actually consume somewhat less
marijuana than white people are almost four times more likely to be
arrested for marijuana possession than white people. This huge racial bias
in marijuana arrests exists in all regions of your country.

These marijuana arrests are ruining lives, making it impossible for
people to keep their jobs, making it impossible for some young people to go
to college. The American law enforcement urged to arrest marijuana users
marches on even while some states move ever closer to legalization of
marijuana.

So why are cops doing this? You know by now most police officers in
America have probably at minimum tried marijuana themselves. We know the
president of the United States used marijuana and enjoyed marijuana in high
school and college, like pretty much every high school and college kid I`ve
ever known. We know plenty of members of the cabinet and federal judges
and members of Congress and senators have admitted to marijuana. And
people nominated for federal confirmation have admitted to marijuana use in
the FBI background checks, before their confirmations, in the United States
Senate, and many of them confirmed unanimously.

What we know, what all those things tell us is that marijuana
possession and marijuana use should not screw up anyone`s life in any way,
but in this country where the president and so many other distinguished
high achievers have proven marijuana uses a perfectly normal rite of
passage for young people, and far less harmful in heavy usage than illegal
killer alcohol and tobacco, we still have a marijuana arrest every 37
second.

And the states spend over $3.6 billion a year enforcing marijuana
possession laws. This isn`t dealing we are talking about here, this is
possession! The states that have trouble funding their university systems
and their public schools are wasting over $3.6 billion a year arresting
people for marijuana possession.

That is a crime against sanity, no matter who they are arresting, but
it`s also a racist government enterprise, operated in plain sight by local,
state and yes, the federal government. Police officers all over the
country are incentivized in various ways to keep their arrest numbers up to
meet their quotas, and the easiest way for many of them to do that is to
simply drive into black communities and stop and frisk black people, which
they do in New York city as an official sanctioned policy of the
department.

There`s money in those arrests, big money, federal money. The federal
government has a program specifically directed at funding to enforce drug
laws. All drug arrests, including misdemeanors, such as marijuana
possession, must be reported to the federal government in order to receive
the funds. In other words, the more arrests, the more money a police
department gets from the feds.

Professor Philip Goff of UCLA told "The New York Times" whenever
federal funding agencies encourage law enforcement to meet numerical arrest
goals instead of public safety goals, it will likely promote stereotype
based policing, and we can expect these sorts of racial gaps.

That`s a very polite and professorial way of putting it, racial gaps.
There`s a way to stop the war on marijuana possession, to stop this overtly
racist government program that`s supported by every level of American
government, local, state and federal, and the way to stop this racist
program dead in its tracks is to have American law enforcement distribute a
fair share of marijuana arrests to white Americans.

Black people are 13 percent of the American population according to
the census, white people, 78 percent of the population according to census.
So, there are more -- there are six times more white people than black
people in America. So, if white people were actually six times more likely
to be arrested than black people, if white people were just doing their
fair share of suffering in the war on marijuana, then young white people
who take to the streets the way they took to the streets during the Vietnam
war, they would end that war on marijuana. They would march on Congress.
They would be heard by Congress. They would testify to Congress. Their
parents would testify to Congress. They would shed tears over how unfair
the punishments are I the war on marijuana, and American police departments
would have to find another way to make money from the federal government.

White America would not allow the government to do that to its
children. They would not allow it to do what this government is doing
right now, doing tonight, to black America in the war on marijuana. White
America`s protests would drown out the fake tears that Republican
congressmen are shedding for fake sufferers in the so-called IRS scandal.
White America would make it Washington`s first order of business to stop
ruining their children`s lives with pointless, cruel marijuana arrests.

But American law enforcement knows, they know, they know that, that
that`s exactly what would happen, and they don`t want to upset their
federal government cash cow. And so, American law enforcement continues
its pat tight system of marijuana law enforcement and Washington`s fake
outrage about targeting will stay confined to the fake IRS scandal and
Washington will do nothing to stop the racist targeting of black people in
the war on marijuana for possession. A war that we can only hope one day
soon we will be able to look back on in shame.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: Last night we told you about Michael Douglas` cancer and
the link to HPV. There was a lot more to say, we kept the cameras rolling
after the show ended. You can go to our facebook page to watch the
exclusive video of Dr. Hilda Hutcherson. We were talking about it later
after the show. We posted it there. She explained the reason for the
skyrocketing number of HPV related cancer cases. You can see it on our
facebook page.

Up next, John McCain says the military is not a safe place for women.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Just last night, a woman came to me
and said her daughter wanted to join the military, and could I give my
unqualified support for her doing so. I could not. I cannot overstate my
disgust and disappointment over the continued reports of sexual misconduct.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: The six members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff went before
the Senate armed services committee to answer for a Pentagon report showing
26,000 people in the military were sexual assault in 2012. Just over 3,000
were reported. Senator Claire McCaskill is concerned that the military
doesn`t even get the reporting right because crimes like rape are in a
category with minor incidents.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. CLAIRE MCCASKILL (R), MISSOURI: Unwanted sexual contact is
everything from somebody looking at you sideways when they shouldn`t to
someone pushing you against the wall and brutally raping you. Success is
going to look like this. More reports of rape, sodomy, and assault, and
less incidents of rape, sodomy and assault.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Under current law, senior officers decide whether charges
can be brought against service members accused of a crime under their
supervision. Some of them can even throw out guilty verdicts. Senator
Jill Brand put forth a bill to take those decisions out of the hands of
military and give them to lawyers out of the chain of command. That bill
co-sponsored by four Republicans and 13 Democrats. The commanders agree
the military failed to stop the problem, but they are not convinced that
commanders should be taken out of the process.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Making commanders less responsible and less
accountable will not work. It will undermine the commanders in the force.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The unit commander`s authority in role as the
singular individual accountable for the welfare of his or her sailors
should be preserved as if a commander is able to carry out his or her
mission.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our goal should be to hold commanders more
accountable, not render them less able to help us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining me now is Bridgette McCoy, former army specialist
and a survivor of military sexual assault.

Bridgette, what`s your response to what the joint chiefs had to say
today?

BRIDGETTE MCCOY, FORMER ARMY SPECIALIST: Well, my response is that
they have already not been taking care of handling it in chain of command.
So just the military and justice improvement act is set to remove it from
chain of command, it is just basically allowing them to not have the
responsibility legally. So I think that, you know, the fact they don`t
want to relinquish that control is a problem, especially with a situation
where they`re not prosecuting appropriately anyway.

O`DONNELL: Now, you testified to the committee and you told them
about your experience where you were raped more than once and one of them,
their remorse was expressed by driving by you and rolling down the window
of the car and saying "sorry."

MCCOY: Well, in that case it was sexual harassment. I never reported
the rapes that happened. I only reported actual sexual harassment and
inappropriate touching. So yes, in that case he did, that was what he did,
he rolled down the window and said sorry. They didn`t put me in a team to
work with him after that. But that was only at my request because before
that, they were going to absolutely put me on a team to work with him
alone.

O`DONNELL: You know, Senator McCain brought up a thing going through
my mind from the start about this when I first saw the documentary about
this, and it`s how can you knowing this allow or advise any young woman to
go into our military.

MCCOY: You can`t. You can just inform them that, you know, what`s
going on, but really I have lots of people who have served who say, you
know, absolutely not, they would not allow their daughter or son to go in
with the amount of sexual misconduct going on in the military currently,
and that there`s no ramifications for that misconduct. No one is following
up, no one is being prosecuted, no one is serving any time, and they are
putting the person who has been perpetrated against out of the military
with no benefits and a misconduct discharge on their record, instead of the
perpetrator.

O`DONNELL: Bridgette McCoy, thank you for your service country. I`m
sorry about what happened to you in our military and thank you for joining
us tonight.

MCCOY: Thank you very much.

O`DONNELL: Chris Hayes is up next.

END

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