All In With Chris Hayes, Wednesday, July 31st, 2013
Read the transcript from the Wednesday show
ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
July 31, 2013
Guests: Richard Blumenthal, Glenn Greenwald, Antonio Villaraigosa, Michael
Mann, Tim Carney, Josh Barro, Robert George
CHRIS HAYES, HOST: Good morning, from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
Tonight on ALL IN:
What would happen if police officers accused of targeting, stopping
and questioning men of color had to meet with those men face to face after
the fact to explain themselves? We`re about to find out. We`ll talk
tonight about a new effort to get cops to sit down with the very people
accusing them of racial profiling.
Also tonight, Ken "The Cuch" Cuccinelli, Virginia`s crusading attorney
general, is probably best known for his various wars on women and non-
But he also waged a fierce and expensive war on science. We`ll talk
to the man who was Cuccinelli`s prime target in that war.
Plus, there are some truly amazing name calling happening right now
among Republicans, but the fight that`s unfolding among conservatives is
about so much more than who`s the king of bacon. We`ll tackle the ever
bloodier, internecine battle on the right over everything from earmarks to
foreign policy to whether or not to shut down the government.
But we begin tonight with growing momentum among the nation`s
lawmakers to rein in the secret government.
Today, senators from both parties grilled officials from the FBI and
NSA about the lack of transparency around the nation`s sprawling
surveillance operation, signaling that last week`s House vote on defunding
NSA`s bulk collection of phone records is just the beginning.
Democratic senators Al Franken and Richard Blumenthal now say they
will introduce a bill to force the government to reveal how many Americans
have had their information reviewed by federal agents. This as President
Obama on the Hill today, assured lawmakers he was hearing their concerns
about the reach of the NSA and even agreed to meet with a number of them at
the White House tomorrow. Today`s meetings came just hours after the
administration announced they would be declassifying the now infamous
secret court order compelling Verizon to hand over all their American
customer`s phone records in bulk. That was Edward Snowden`s first
revelation, the one that kicked this whole thing off.
Today, we got his latest. The piece published by Glenn Greenwald and
"The Guardian" today with documents provided by Snowden, details another
NSA surveillance program called X-KEYSCORE. A, quote, "top secret National
Security Agency program that allows analysts to search with no prior
authorization through vast databases containing e-mails, online chats and
the browsing history of millions of individuals."
Those details of yet another NSA surveillance program are certain to
add to the momentum moving decidedly, sharply, I would say surprisingly in
one direction -- momentum that today led to a scenario that just six months
ago would have been unthinkable. Keith Alexander, the head of the NSA, one
of the most powerful men in the world, a man who up until now has been
content in the shadows, defending himself on video, before a crowd peppered
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEN. KEITH ALEXANDER, NSA DIRECTOR: Our nation takes stopping
terrorism as one of the most important things.
ALEXANDER: Exactly. And with that, when you think about it, how do
we do that. Because we stand for freedom.
ALEXANDER: Not that. But I think what you`re saying is that in these
cases, what`s the decision, where`s the discussion, and what tools should
we have to stop those?
HECKLER: I don`t trust you. You lied to Congress. Why would we
believe you`re not lying to us right now?
ALEXANDER: I haven`t lied to Congress.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now is Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat from
Connecticut. He`s a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has been
working on legislation to reform the FISA court that`s set to be introduced
Senator, what do you see as the main approaches you want to see guide
the Senate in beginning to get a handle on accountability of this massive
surveillance operation the U.S. is running?
SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D), CONNECTICUT: There are a couple of
elements to the proposal that I`m making. First of all, I supported
Senator Al Franken. He`s doing great work on this issue, along with my
colleagues Ron Wyden and Mark Udall, on this issue of making the rules and
orders and opinions on the FISA court declassified and disclosed, which
they are not now, they`re all secret. And, of course, Senator Franken`s
effort on the numbers of certain kinds of invasive actions by the
But my focus is equally important on the process. On the FISA court
itself, how is it selected? Right now, it`s only by the chief justice of
the United States Supreme Court, John Roberts, acting alone without any
kind of review.
HAYES: Yes, just so folks are clear here -- the Foreign Surveillance
Intelligence Act set up this secret court. The court itself is secret, the
judges are appointed, as you said, by Chief Justice John Roberts in secret.
Its opinions are secret. And there is no adversarial process. It`s simply
a government lawyer coming before this secretly appointed judge with one on
the other side.
BLUMENTHAL: That`s right, Chris, and that`s the second important
element of my program, which is that there should be some adversarial
process there, should be some kind of special advocate who takes the point
of view on the facts and the law, perhaps very different, diametrically
opposed, testing the government, challenging it, questioning it, just as we
do in the normal court.
The adversarial process is the way the court gets to the truth. And
in any other search and seizure situation -- and I`m a former federal
prosecutor, I know about it well -- there is a period of time when the
warrant can be kept secret, the search and seizure may be done, but
eventually it`s tested by rules of admissibility in open court.
HAYES: In an open court. Here`s --
BLUMENTHAL: In public. Exactly.
HAYES: Here`s my question to you.
As a United States senator, as you look at the revelations we`ve had
over the last six weeks to a month, how much of this did you know, and how
much of this is news to you. How much are you learning about what the
government that you are charged with overseeing and holding accountable is
doing from the newspaper and how much of this do you know?
BLUMENTHAL: The revelations about the magnitude, the scope and scale
of these surveillances, the metadata and the invasive actions surveillance
of social media Web sites were indeed revelations to me. Now, the Senate
of the United States has an intelligence committee which operates much of
the time in secret, Ron Wyden, Senator Wyden, my colleague, has actually
made speeches on the floor of the Senate saying the American people would
be outraged. I`m paraphrasing -- or dissatisfied or frightened.
But I can`t tell you why if they knew about these rulings. So, we may
need to relook at some of the procedures for oversight and scrutiny.
HAYES: So, here`s the question to you, are -- is the last month many
the news about surveillance and privacy and secrecy, has it been a net
benefit to American democracy? Is it better that we now know what we did
not know a month to six weeks ago?
BLUMENTHAL: I`m concerned about the damage that may have been done to
our security. And I`m going only by what I`ve heard in public, today`s
testimony being an example, from the intelligence community or officials in
So the potential danger or damage to our stopping terrorists, greatly
concerns me, because this work is necessary. And we tend to forget this
far removed from 9/11, how frightened we were in the wake of that tragic
and horrific incident. But at the same time, there clearly is a need for
And the FISA court, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court,
forgive me for using acronyms --
HAYES: No, it`s fine.
BLUMETHAL: -- is responsible for striking that balance and it ought
to be more transparent, more accountable. There ought to be an adversarial
process, so that some point of view, other than the government`s, test the
government`s fact and legal theory, especially and primarily when there are
novel or significant issues of law. That`s the way the other system works
in a criminal context in our criminal system.
HAYES: Senator Richard Blumenthal -- thank you so much for your time.
BLUMENTHAL: Thank you.
Joining me now is Glenn Greenwald, columnist on civil liberties and
U.S. national security issues for "The Guardian" newspaper. Glenn broke
the Edward Snowden story in "The Guardian" and broke today`s story about X-
Glenn, I am getting confused, OK? I have to say, totally honestly,
when a new program is described and I read several times the article about
X-KEYSCORE, I can`t tell if what I`m reading about is basically a software
interface tool that people are using to get data that`s already being
grabbed by other programs or under different authorization or a distinct
program of surveillance.
It seemed to me today that we`re reading about a tool that allows
analysts to search from data that is being collected under legal authority
of the FISA court, is that correct?
GLENN GREENWALD, THE GUARDIAN: No, that is not correct.
The program is a dual use tool. It is a tool that allows analysts to
search the entire database. It`s also a program for collecting data.
So, the NSA`s own documents describe it as a tool designed to collect,
quote, "nearly everything" a user does on the Internet. It`s designed to
collect that and store it into databases.
So, the database you`re talking about X-KEYSCORE has 41 billion
Internet records stored each and every month for a 30-day period. What is
different about it is that unlike say surveillance under the FISA court,
the analyst sits at his or her desk and search for things when they don`t
even know the person they`re searching for.
They can search just by general key word or they search e-mail
accounts for certain words or they search browser histories or Google
searches for names and they start assigning suspicion to people and then
So, it has nothing to do with the FISA court. Remember, the FISA
court is necessary only when you`re targeting a U.S. person. This database
does contain lots of communications of U.S. persons, but it`s done
completely independent of the FISA court.
HAYES: So, my understanding is that they have to clear some bar of
justification for the foreignness of the person that they`re clearing for
in order for it to be within the four squares of the law as the NSA
understands it, is that right?
GREENWALD: OK. So, let`s be really clear on that, on the law. Lots
of people always say, in order to intercept the e-mails or listen to the
calls of American citizens, you need first to go to a FISA court and get a
warrant. That is absolutely false.
In order to target a U.S. person to say, I`m going to listen to all
their phone calls or e-mails, you need to go to a FISA court and get a
warrant. Of course, the FISA court is notorious for never saying no. But
that`s a separate issue.
But if you want to listen to calls or e-mails of Americans when
they`re communicating with foreigners or people you think are foreigners,
you do need a FISA court warrant. You simply stooped it up, along with the
rest of the foreign to foreign communications, and all of that goes into
the same database, and, oftentimes even domestic, purely domestic calls,
goes into that same database for lots of different reasons. As Ron Wyden
has been saying, they`re vastly exceeding the scope of the law as they
understand it, and there are very serious violations.
So, there`s virtually no oversight on these analysts. They just click
the click-down menu. They type four words into justification, we think
he`s foreign. We think he works for a foreign government. Nobody checks
or monitors or approves of what they`re doing and they`re often running
with extremely invasive surveillance.
HAYES: So, that to me seems like the big issue in question here,
because the NSA defenders that I`ve been reading and talking about will
talk about the institutional culture of the place. And I`ve heard this
analogy I`d like you to respond to, right? It is possible that there are
thousands of IRS agents who can pull up people`s tax returns, which were
incredibly invasive, right? I mean, they say a lot of things about you.
There are thousands of IRS agents that could order audits based on any
political animus, or an ex-girlfriend, they didn`t like, right?
The thing that stops that largely is an institutional culture in which
people realize they`re going to be caught if they do that, possibly go to
jail, face sanction, face career -- you know, the end of their careers, and
the people who defend the NSA say that same thing exists in the NSA, you
have to distinguish between the capacity they have technically and what the
actual institutional norms inside the NSA stop people from doing.
What`s your response to that argument?
GREENWALD: I have two responses to that argument. First of all, if
it were true that the NSA were free of serious abuse, it would be the first
time in human history that a massive, strong, potent surveillance system
was created in the dark with no checks and human beings didn`t abuse it.
The history of the United States should lead anyone to realize that
building a massive surveillance state without serious checks and oversight
will lead to abuse. That was the lesson of the Church Committee, that for
decades the United States government seriously abused surveillance because
nobody was looking over their shoulder to see what they were doing. They
didn`t have to go to court to get approval for each individual warrant.
So, they eavesdropped on Martin Luther King and the anti-war movement and
all kinds of political groups for improper purposes.
But, secondly, as secret as the NSA is, we know there`s serious abuse,
Chris. In 2011, there was an 86-page ruling from the FISA court saying
that what the NSA was doing, systematically violated the Constitution and
As I said, Ron Wyden, just this week, got James Clapper to admit there
are numerous violations of the law that the NSA is committing and they try
to slough it off and say it`s not intentional. But Wyden said it`s much
more serious than the government is letting on.
The problem is, it`s all done in secret, but the lesson of the United
States historically, over the last century, is that if you build the
surveillance system and don`t have very aggressive oversight, it will
inevitably be abused --
HAYES: Not just the lesson of the United States, I would add.
Glenn Greenwald from "The Guardian" -- thank you so much.
There are hundreds of complaints of racial profiling by Los Angeles
police officers each year. Now, the LAPD is set to launch an experimental
program that would allow the people making those complaints to confront the
cops they accuse of targeting them face to face. Details on what that
might look like, next.
HAYES: Imagine you were stopped and frisked by a cop and then you got
to meet with that cop to talk about why you were stopped and frisked.
That`s about to happen in Los Angeles. That story is coming up next.
But, first, a quick update to bring you about a story we`ve been
following. Today, in Chicago, Detroit, and Flint, Michigan, hundreds of
fast food retail workers went on strike. The walk-outs were part of the
week-long campaign in seven cities across the nation, pushing for a wage
increase to $15 an hour, and the right to form unions without fear of
We will continue to follow these strikes on this program and on our
Web site allinwithchris.com.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When I was in Illinois,
I passed racial profiling legislation. Initially, the police departments
across the state were resistant. But, actually, they came to recognize
that it was done in a fair, straightforward way, that it would allow them
to do their jobs better, and communities would have more confidence in them
and in turn be more helpful in applying the law.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Talking about the death of Trayvon Martin.
A little over a week ago, President Obama spoke about the
straightforward principle of having police officer explain their action and
listen to people`s grievances, particularly people of color.
The goal of this kind of approach is to both reduce the frustration
that many black and brown people feel when they`re targets of heightened
police scrutiny, and, two, create the condition of trust and mutual respect
between cops and the people they patrol that lead to better policing.
That`s why yesterday, Congressman John Conyers, Democrat from
Michigan, and Senator Ben Cardin, Democrat from Maryland, introduced the
End Racial Profiling Act of 2013. And it`s the same reason why the Los
Angeles Police Department gave the go ahead yesterday for a brand new
program that will give an officer accused of racial profiling and his or
her accuser a chance to meet face to face in a room with mediator to talk
about the incident.
This will be a three-year pilot program approved by the L.A. Police
Commission, in which participation will be voluntary on both sides. It
will be used only in instances of which there are no allegations of
physical abuse or racial insults.
Under the leadership of then-L.A. Police Chief Bill Bratton, an
internal investigation looking at more than 300 complaints of racial
profiling, found that one accusation of profiling it received in 2007 had
The ACLU looked at the same data that year and concluded that, quote,
"The results of this study raised grave concerns, that African-Americans
and Hispanics are over-stopped, over-frisked, over-searched and over
arrested." And that an LAPD Central Division, there were more stops of
black and Hispanics in a single year there were black and Hispanic
Joining me now is Antonio Villaraigosa, former Democratic mayor of Los
Angeles. He was in office during that internal investigation in 2008.
Mayor, it`s a great pleasure to have you here.
ANTONIO VILLARAIGOSA (D), FORMER L.A. MAYOR: It`s a great to be on
the show with you.
HAYES: All right. First question is --
VILLARAIGOSA: First of all --
HAYES: Yes, you`re champing at the bit.
VILLARAIGOSA: L.A. is not New York, we don`t do stop and frisk.
HAYES: Stop and frisk it`s not a policy of the LAPD --
VILLARAIGOSA: Absolutely not.
HAYES: -- of the mayor`s office. It`s not something you have in
place with numbers that you --
VILLARAIGOSA: That`s exactly right.
And this program, while just passed Tuesday by the police
commissioner, which I appointed, is a program that has its genesis in eight
years of focusing on what we call constitutional policing. We believe you
can be safer when you start from the proposition that nobody`s above the
law, not even a police officer, a politician or a priest.
And so this program is an opportunity to put two people face to face,
the police officer who arrested an individual or who is being complained
about, and the individual who`s made that complain. And what I think we`ll
find, certainly what they found in San Francisco, when people have an
opportunity to get in someone else`s shoes, they maybe understand what
happened a little better and get more sensitive to the issue.
HAYES: It caught our eye today because I think it`s a great idea.
The one concern I have, the New York Police Department Civilian Complaint
Review Board talks about the complain the. They have a mediation program
too. But it`s entirely voluntary.
And if you look, you get something like 7,664 complaints and 130 cases
mediated. So, there`s a huge gap between how much people feel like they
are the subject of racial profiling harassment and how many people go to
mediation, because it has to happen on both sides.
VILLARAIGOSA: San Francisco`s done this program, replicating a
program that they`ve done for some time now. It`s been fairly successful.
We hope it will be successful here as well. It`s a three-year program,
we`ll put metrics to it -- when I say we, the police commission. I`m not -
HAYES: You`re not --
VILLARAIGOSA: I`m not there any more.
HAYES: So, here`s my question for you. You had a really unique
perspective, I felt. You have been president of the ACLU in Los Angeles.
You`re the first Latino mayor of the city. You came from communities that
often find themselves frustrated by the treatment on behalf of the police.
And at the same time, you`re running a city, crime is an issue.
You`re running the police department. Even though you`re not the
commissioner of the police, you oversee it.
VILLARAIGOSA: And the crime was down, 49 percent drop in homicides
and violent crime in the eight years I was mayor.
HAYES: OK. So, this is my question for you. If that`s the case in
Los Angeles, when you hear Ray Kelly and Mayor Bloomberg say the drop is
due to stop and frisk, which was not in place in L.A., where you had a 49
percent drop in crime, what do you say to that?
VILLARAIGOSA: Well, look, New York and L.A. are two different cities.
Part of why our crime went down as much as it did we grew our police
department. We focused on constitutional policing.
We diversified our police department. You talk about people of color.
About 64 percent of the department is now of color. Latinos are the
largest ethnic group of any group in the department. We`re almost 20
So, the people that we`ve hired now are much more, to a greater
degree, come from parts of L.A. and those communities. They speak more
than one language. They`re connected to that community.
We focus on communities policing. We have very -- we have the largest
gang challenge in the United States of America and we focus on prevention
HAYES: And you set up these gang centers that have a lot of service -
VILLARAIGOSA: And (INAUDIBLE) that like you do here in New York,
which Bratton introduced --
HAYES: You`ve also been very outspoken about the need for immigration
reform. You`re also someone who`s been on both sides of protesting a
person in power and sitting in the mayor`s office with protesters outside.
You have been, and I think it`s an interesting perspective.
VILLARAIGOSA: More than a few protests, I`d say. At the house (ph)
HAYES: So, my question to you is, when you hear there`s immigration
activists who are preparing an August push of civil disobedience, to push
representatives towards a comprehensive deal, can it be effective, does
civil disobedience, as someone who`s been on both sides of that, does it
VILLARAIGOSA: Absolutely, it does work. The question is: will it
work with some of the extremists that are in the House?
Look, on a bipartisan basis, Democrats and Republicans passed a
comprehensive immigration bill, which was tough on the border. In fact,
McCain said yesterday, a lot tougher than it needed to be.
HAYES: It`s an insane boondoggle, but put that aside.
VILLARAIGOSA: Yes, $40 billion boondoggle.
HAYES: Yes, ridiculous.
VILLARAIGOSA: But we needed to get the votes and we got them.
The people in the House are very different. They want to do a
piecemeal approach that won`t include a pathway to citizenship. They want
to toughen that border even more, without the dollars to do it. They want
to allow state and municipalities to do the work of immigration.
HAYES: And the big question is, with those priors, are they subject
to any kind of pressure? We`re going to see.
Former Los Angeles mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa -- thank you so much
for your time.
VILLARAIGOSA: Thank you for having me.
HAYES: Even if you`re not a resident of the great state of Virginia,
you probably heard of Ken Cuccinelli, the Republican attorney general who`s
now running for governor. He`s targeting of everything from women`s
reproductive rights to certain kinds of sex of the scantily clad lady
figure on the official state seal, has made him a national name. But we`ll
talk to one man who found himself personally the subject of a year`s long
Cuccinelli witch hunt, next.
HAYES: You may have heard a lot about Republican Virginia Attorney
General Ken Cuccinelli, from his war on Obamacare, to his war on gay men
and women, to his war on undocumented workers, he`s an extremist in the
world of Republican extremists. And he`s now running for governor in that
bellwether state -- a state that having gone for Obama twice is reflective
for the broader political trends across the country, as a whole.
And one of those damning chapter of Cuccinelli`s political life is
actually little known, but is now taking front and center in the campaign
with this ad.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s been called Cuccinelli`s witch hunt.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Designed to intimidate and suppress.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ken Cuccinelli used taxpayer funds to
investigate a UVA professor whose research on climate change Cuccinelli
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cuccinelli, a climate change denier, forced the
university to spend over half a million dollars depending itself against
its own attorney general.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ken Cuccinelli, he`s focused on his own agenda.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: For two years, Cuccinelli waged a monomaniacal witch hunt of
intimidation, persecution and bullying against one of the top climate
scientists in the country, a man who happened to be teaching at the
University of Virginia.
In his role as attorney general, Cuccinelli issued a subpoena for e-
mails, notes drafts and other research for Climate Scientist, Michael Mann.
But, after a protracted legal battle, the Virginia Supreme Court said,
"Cuccinelli did not have the legal authority to demand such records.
The University of Virginia spent $570,000 in legal fees, raised from
private funds. To defend against Cuccinelli`s latent attempt to intimidate
and suppress scientific thought. Cuccinelli used taxpayer dollars for his
side of the fight and the exact amount for that is unknown.
Cuccinelli did this for no other reason and shear ideological desire
to destroy and discredit one of the most prominent people in the scientific
community. Scientist who is warning us what is happening to our earth,
very real global warming, which by the way is shown by this video in a 14-
Covering the past few decades, all that`s supported from temperature
data from NASA was the shear fact of climate change that you see before
your eyes, but Ken Cuccinelli decided to wage war to suppress. And,
joining me now is Climate Scientist Michael Mann, Director of the Earth
System Science Center and professor of meteorology at Penn State
University. Michael, my first question to you is, there is a 4-point gap
between Terry McAuliffe and Ken Cuccinelli in their most recent polling
with McAuliffe leading -- a narrow lead over Ken Cuccinelli. If you got
your chance to tell the voters of Virginia what kind of person they will be
getting in Ken Cuccinelli, what would you tell people?
MICHAEL MANN, CLIMATE SCIENTIST: What would tell them that Virginians
have a very stark choice before them. On the one hand, you have Terry
McAuliffe, who embraces science and technology, who recognizes that
technological innovation is what`s going to help Virginia compete in the
world of economy in 21st Century.
And, on the other hand you have Ken Cuccinelli, somebody who views
science as something to attack if it doesn`t comport with his ideological
views or the views of the special interest that funds his campaigns.
HAYES: Why did he go after you?
MANN: Well, you know, I published 15 years ago this graph called "A
Hockey Stick" that shows how unprecedented recent global warming is and it
became an icon in the climate change debate. I described my experiences as
this sort of accidental public figure in the climate change debate because
of this graph we published.
I talk about how over the past 15 years my co authors and I have been
subject to a crescendo of attacks by politicians, typically aligned with
fossil fuel interests or front groups advocating for the fossil fuel
industry that see the need to discredit this iconic graphic.
HAYES: You are someone -- you describe yourself in the book as
reluctant and you describe the experience of what it`s like to be singled
out like this, to have the attorney general of the state going after you,
while you`re working in that state`s universities is no small thing.
MANN: Make sense.
HAYES: My question to you is, now that in some ways you have entered
the fray with this ad, and I believe you will be doing some campaign
events. Do you worry that you are essentially giving away your image as
independent as a scientist?
MANN: Well, you know, as a scientist, I tried to be nonpartisan. I
try to talk about the facts, because the facts alone speak volumes when it
comes to the issue of climate change, and the need to do something about
it. But, unfortunately, whether you like it or not, if you`re a climate
scientist, you`re going to be attacked by special interests who want to
discredit you, who want to kill the messenger in an effort to try to
discredit the case for concern over climate change.
So whether you like it or not, you`re going to be in the center of
attacks. And, you got to decide what you are going to do with that. I
chose to fight back. I saw it necessary not just to defend my own
reputation against attacks, efforts to discredit me. But, also to make
sure that it was clear to my fellow scientists that we shouldn`t just lie
back and allow special interests and those advocating for them to try to
discredit us. The stakes are too great.
HAYES: You didn`t come to politics, politics came to you. Climate
Scientist Michael Mann, thank you so much.
MANN: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: Quick load before we go, my documentary on the challenge of
climate, the politics of power will be airing right here on MSNBC 8:00 p.m.
Eastern on Friday, August16th. I hope you will check it out and we will be
right back with #Click3.
HAYES: They have called each other everything from dangerous to sad
and cheap to the king of bacon. The Chris Christie/Rand Paul smackdown is
about more than personal animosity. It is exposing some very real and very
important fault lines in the Republican Party. We will talk to
conservatives on both sides of this battle next.
But, first, I want to share the three awesomest things on the internet
today, starting with the new leaning of suffering from one`s art.
Celebrated performance artist Marina Abramovic had been confounding the
lying and hypnotizing audiences for decades.
And, while may of her past performances tested the limit of human
endurance. Perhaps, her most difficult task to date was a video she made
to help raise funds for the proposed institute. The premise, Marina
Abramovic tells a joke. A simple joke starting with a question, "How many
hours does a performance artist need to change a light bulb?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARINA ABRAMOVIC, PERFORMANCE ARTIST: How many light bulbs you need -
- Oh, God.
ABRAMOVIC: How many performance artists we need --
ABRAMOVIC: I was not long enough. I can`t do it. The answer is, I
don`t know, I was there only six hours.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Nailed it. Now, granted Abaramovic is not going to headline
at the comedy store any time soon. But, you can rest assured her three-
minute video is funnier than the entirety Grown Ups 2.
HAYES: The second awesomest thing on the internet today, a digital
tossing of cookies. North Carolina`s republican governor Patt McCrory
fresh off sign the package of restricted anti-abortion division.
Attempting to play cake, a group of protestors by unleashing his inner
popping fresh bell boy on the mostly female crowd outside the governor`s
mansion. The rally news and observer reported that McCrory hand delivered
a bunch of cookies and described him selecting a woman from the crowd to
He handed her the plate of cookies and waved as he walked away. She
said she was too stunned to say anything back. The internet was not so
speechless, immediately producing articles on the absurdity of trading
reproductive right for chocolate chips and burning the hash tag #letthemeat
Or twitter users venture their frustrations at the governor`s
condescending move. Hillary telling the Media Matters this quote, "Sorry,
I made a decision about your body for you. Here some chocolate. You
wouldn`t like chocolate, right?" Well played.
And, the third awesomest thing on the internet today, a guaranteed
Hollywood legend. When Denzel Washington is in a movie, he wants you to
know he means what he says. So much so, the Youtube channel official
comedy splice together a super cut of Denzel making guarantees.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DENZEL WASHINGTON, HOLLYWOOD ACTOR: She`ll be here, I guarantee you -
-- I can guarantee you that I will see to it that Harper does not
-- I`m going to find out the truth, I guarantee you that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The guarantee become such a catch phrase for Denzel, even
fellow celebs can`t resist busting out in an impersonation. Here is Ben
Affleck on NPR Fresh Air.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEN AFFLECK, HOLLYWOOD ACTOR: It doesn`t matter if you saw me or not.
It doesn`t matter if I`m on this case or not. I`m going to find out the
truth, I guarantee you that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Tradition continues. As we already approved that Denzel`s new
movie features his compulsion for making promises, he plans to backs up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WASHINGTON : It ain`t down there, I can guarantee you that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: You can find all the links for tonight`s #Click3,
allinwithchris.com. We will be right back.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PETER KING, (R) NEW YORK CONGRESSMAN: Someone like Senator Paul
and others in that isolationist wing, you know, the republicans had this
debate back in the 1930s when you had the isolationists and the Charles
Lindberghs who said, we should appease Hitler.
And, the democrats had it in the 1960`s when the anti-war movement
blamed America first. And, in both cases, it hurt the party for years.
Each party was hurt for years. I`m afraid that`s what senator Paul is
going to do with us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Oh, he and went there, all right. That was Republican
Congressman Peter Kind of New York invoking Hitler while taking a swipe at
Rand Paul of Kentucky. Right now, the party`s politically ambitions are
going through an increasingly nasty "Game of Thrones" style battle for
It is ugly. It is personal. And as the Atlantic puts it, it has
become akin to something like sectarian violence. And, because this is a
war with multiple fronts from foreign policy to surveillance to earmarks to
shutting down the government over Obama care.
There are shifting alliances, defending different pieces of terrain,
and yes, there is bacon. Perhaps the most entertaining fight of the week
comes courtesy of two would be presidential hopefuls and cable news bait,
Rand Paul and Governor Chris Christie.
Christie criticized the party`s libertarian shift, accusing Paul of
engaging esoteric in electoral debates instead of being mindful. Rand Paul
hit back accusing neo-cons like Christie and Peter King of harming national
security by lobbying for federal disaster relief. Noting the amount of
federal dollars Kentucky receives in relation to the amount of money it
gives, Christie then asked Paul to lay off the pork.
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, (R) NEW JERSEY: I doubt he would. Because most
Washington politicians only care about bringing home the bacon, so that
they can get re-elected.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Rand Paul just couldn`t resist the layup.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RAND PAUL, (R) KENTUCKY REPRESENTATIVE: Bacon, talking about
bacon, he`s making a big mistake picking a fight with other republicans.
Because Republican Party is shrinking in New England and the northeast part
of our country. I`m the one trying to grow the party.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Christie says he has nothing personal against Paul, but Paul
might have something personal against him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. CHRISTIE: You know, seeing his response, seems that he has
something personal against me. But, that`s OK, just get in line on that
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: This afternoon, Paul offered to share a beer with Christie, in
hopes of ironing out their differences. His rhetoric didn`t seem to change
all that much.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. PAUL: Those of us who are conservative and who believe in a
strong national defense, how do you have enough funding? I`m willing to
cut entire departments. My problem with some of the more liberal members
of the Republican Party is, they`re not willing to cut spending other
places in order to preserve national defense.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now is Robert George, editorial writer for New York
Post, a formal aid to republican Newt Gingrich. Josh Barro, politics
editor of Business Insider and Tim Carney, senior political columnist for
the Washington Examiner. Visiting fellow at the American Enterprise
And, Tim I will start with you. You`re team Paul in this one, I take
it? What do you think -- why do you think this is a good fight for the
republicans to have? Because, I sense you do think it is. And, why is
Paul the one that you`re backing, that you feel speaks for the party the
TIM CARNEY, SENIOR POLITICAL COLUMNIST: Well, first let me say I do
not accept Rand Paul`s premise that eating bacon makes you gain weights, I
think that is the carbs.
But, moving on, let me say this that I think that in the foreign
policy realm, what we need and in the national security realm, as far as
NSA, spying and the great stuff that you and Glenn were talking about
earlier, what we need is a robust debate. And, there hasn`t been that in
the Republican Party for a long time. It`s sort of being closed. In the
Democratic Party today, there`s not a robust debate except for -- You have
some guys --
HAYES: Well, what do you think I`m doing on air every night?
CARNEY: No, I`m glad that you`re doing it and you are cutting -- your
Nancy Pelosi is in --
HAYES: But, who gets the spending part of it.
CARNEY: I`m glad that you have a Republican Party robust debate. I
do think at times that some of my libertarian friends might go too far, but
I think the chances are very slim that the Republican Party will go too far
in the libertarian direction. That is why I`m hoping Rand Paul pulls
harder on the end of that rope.
HAYES: Do you agree with that Robert?
ROBERT GEORGE, EDITORIAL WRITER FOR NEW YORK POST: I agree with Tim
that this is a really good debate and apropos of your conversation
yesterday, you can you look at this as a right on right violence.
HAYES: Right. I get it.
GEORGE: But, no, it is important we have this debate. And, it is
interesting that Chris Christie, who obviously, you know, governor of New
Jersey, many of his constituents were affected by 9/11, it`s interesting
that He`s coming down more on the defense of the hawk side, whereas Paul is
more of a traditional libertarian. But, it really -- it is good that we`re
having this kind of conversation.
HAYES: Well, that`s for sure. That is where the fissure started, and
I think that line has been very clear. It has been clear on votes from
everything from arming the Syrian rebels to discussions about Iran, to a
halt to surveillance.
But, Josh, it seemed to move to spending today. And, you made the
case before, like, here`s this guy who`s massively popular in a state that
is overwhelmingly democratic; do you want to listen to that guy or the guy
who won in Kentucky, which is never going to elect a democrat to begin
JOSH BARRO POLITICS EDITOR OF BUSINESS INSIDER: Yes. I think that`s
right. And, I think Chris Christie has had a sort of customized record
that has appealed very well in his state. He relative to the baseline in
He`s been a fiscal conservative, and he has pushed you know belt
tightening in the state budget, but at the same time when things like the
Medicaid expansion came up, he took the Medicaid expansion dollars, because
it is obviously a very good fiscal deal for New Jersey, and he`s saying,
"I`m not going do this thing to appeal to national conservatives that gives
up federal dollars being sent to my state." And, that`s, you know -- that
has cost some --
HAYES: That`s going to kill him, though.
BARRO: But, it`s been very popular in New Jersey. He`s probably
going to get re-elected with somewhere around 65 percent of the vote. And,
I think the case he`s going to make on the economic issues is unlike
anybody else in the Republican Party, I`ve come up with a platform that has
actually appealing to a broad coalition and can build a majority coalition
GEORGE: Yes. It was rather interesting that Rand Paul said, "Well,
you know, I want to grow the party. We are shrinking in the northeast and
so forth." But, he`s saying that to a governor who`s won in the northeast
and in fact is looking like he`s going to win an historic re-election. So,
that didn`t quite work. But, also this fissure over spending really came
out with the sandy aid, that`s when Christie first unloaded back in January
when the house left without approving the aid until they govern some
BARRO: I have a shocking idea for you guys up there in New York and
from New York. I`m originally from New York, but guess what?
BARRO: Chris Christie and the Northeast Eastern portion of the
country that`s around New York City actually is parochial in itself. You
might think of it as being Cosmopolitan --
GEORGE: How could you say that?
BARRO: Republicans are -- 911 republicans that Rudy Giuliani could
never have been the Republican nominee, but Chris Christie will have a very
hard road to hoe to become a republican nominee.
HAYES: That`s why -- OK. That`s precisely why this fight is so
clarifying, because the question of, it is a test case, right? It`s a test
case of like, what is the core of the base of the Republican Party. And,
Josh, my suspicion is that Rand Paul is much closer to the base of the
Republican Party than Chris Christie is.
And, I want to talk about that in the context of talking about
defunding Obama Care, which is a big thing. You wrote a defense of it
today, Tim. I want to get your thoughts on that, a lot of people say it`s
absolutely a crazy idea, right after this break.
HAYES: Back with me, Robert George of "New York Post" and Josh Barro
from Business Insider and Tim Carney from the Washington Examiner. The big
fight happening within the republican caucus particularly is whether to
essentially threaten a government shutdown or death default over insisting
that Obama Care be defunded.
And, a lot of people not even your usual suspects, folks that are good
republican bonafides like Tom Coburn are saying, "This is a maniacal idea."
And, Tim, you wrote a defense of it today in your column.
CARNEY: Well, sort of a qualifier. This is a contest. Republicans
say that they want to repeal Obama Care. This is why they have 35 votes on
it. This is how they run for office. So, guys like Mike Lee and Ted Cruz
and the folks at heritage action are saying, "OK, if you guys believe in
that, let`s try to actually do it, not hold some empty symbolic vote to do
it, but use the rare point, where the minority party has some actual
That is the continuing resolution to prevent a government shutdown on
September 30th. Use that and force a vote on repealing Obama Care, where
maybe middle ground is, that you get to delay the individual mandate. The
mandate that I have to buy what Aetna is selling.
CARNEY: And, so that`s the idea. Does the Republican Party actually
stand for something?
HAYES: Josh is shaking his head.
BARRO: Well, this is not an actual point of leverage for them. The
complaints have not just come from, you know, squishy republicans who want
to move off this fight and find, you know, ways to compromise with the
president, but coming from people who realized it is just a doom strategy.
What happens when you shut down the government is everybody in
Washington starts pointing fingers at each other about whose fault it is.
And, this will obviously get blamed on republicans, because they have
explicitly, we`re going to shut down the government in order to achieve
this unrelated political goal.
CARNEY: But, do you remember the 1996 elections the republicans lost
what? Eight seats after the shutdown with Gingrich?
GEORGE: But, Tim, after that they then lost seats in the `98 election
and their status in -- amongst the public completely collapsed. I mean --
HAYES: And, you think it was related?
CARNEY: You were there.
GEORGE: Yes. I was there. Tom Coburn was there, Richard Burr was
there, and they have two of the people who say, "You know, don`t do this."
I mean, the memories of that have become sort of the republicans --
HAYES: I like -- by the way, I like -- the argument Tim made is the
best argument I`ve heard for it, right? Which is that if you actually
believe in it -- No, seriously. And, I remember making this argument on
the left on Iraq war continuing funding, which is if we actually believe in
this thing, then we shouldn`t fund this thing.
And the democratic leadership did exactly what the republican
leadership I think is going to do now, which is ignored it. But, what I
think is really interesting here, is the alliances that have now formed.
So, you got like John McCain hates Lee, Cruz and Paul. Hates them.
And, now you see the president essentially like cultivating John
McCain more and more. He is talking in his latest interview with the New
York Republic about what a good relationship he has with the White House.
The President is going to send McCain and Lindsay Graham to Egypt as some
kind of adversaries. No, it is bizarre.
GEORGE: And, he`s guaranteed them a return flight.
HAYES: But, I think this is really interesting, in that like we are
now seeing this alliance being cultivated by the White House, because they
now see a point of a kind of wedge point in the caucus.
GEORGE: Well, there`s also a generational conflict that`s going on
here. You do have these kind of young guns Rubio, Paul, Cruz, Lee on one
side of this, and Coburn, who is as conservative as them --
HAYES: Has been around for a long time.
GEORGE: -- he has been around for a long time. He has memories of
the government shutdown.
HAYES: Does that sound right to you?
CARNEY: Yes. And, I just want to say this to Rob and I want all the
liberals to stop listening at some point. If these guys -- If Cruz, Paul
and Lee are making Coburn be the centrists that Obama wants to deal with. -
HAYES: That is a big story, right?
CARNEY: Are Cruz, Paul and Lee doing their job really well?
HAYES: That is right. What do you say about that, Josh?
BARRO: Well, I think there are a couple things happening here. One
is this old guard, new guard thing. But, the other is John McCain and
Lindsey Graham really wants more military spending and I think --
HAYES: And, they`re still angry about the sequester.
BARRO: They are so angry about the Sequester. They thought the deal
they were getting with the Sequester in 2011 was that this thing is so
terrible, it won`t become law. The military cuts will never happen, right?
HAYES: Well, surprise, surprise, Rand Paul won.
HAYES: Robert George from the "New York Post". Josh Barro from
"Business Insider" that you should see on Realtime, this Friday with Jay-Z,
I am unbelievably jealous and Time Carney from the Washington Examiner, who
wont be hanging out with Jay-Z this Friday. That is "All In" for this
evening. The "Rachel Maddow Show" Starts now with Melissa Harris-Perry
sitting in for Rachel. Good evening, Melissa.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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