All In With Chris Hayes, Thursday, August 1st, 2013
Read the transcript from the Thursday show
ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
August 1, 2013
Guests: Cindy Southworth, John Murrow, Dinah PoKempner, John Schindler,
CHRIS HAYES, HOST: Good evening, from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
Tonight on ALL IN:
NSA leaker Edward Snowden leaves the Moscow airport behind and enters
Russia with temporary asylum. What does it mean for his future? And for
the already tense, fraught relationship between the United States and
Also tonight, you probably know who this Tony Bennett is, but there`s
another Tony Bennett who should be way more famous than he already is.
Thanks to an outrageous story of apparent corruption that you need to know
Plus, Mitch McConnell has long lived by the old adage, slow and steady
wins the race. But news out of Kentucky should make the Republican Senate
leader, too slow and very, very unsteady.
But, we begin tonight with a story that I honestly and frankly did not
think would be topping our broadcast.
Today, Ariel Castro was sentenced to life in prison, plus 1,000 years
after pleading guilty to 937 counts, including rape and kidnapping of three
women, two of whom are abducted as teenagers, and one of whom gave birth to
his daughter during captivity. This might have been a routine procedure
for a massively heinous serious of criminal attacks until Ariel Castro
And I couldn`t really believe my ears. This wasn`t just a monster
trying to explain and justify himself. This was a teachable moment, a raw
expression of the most virulent, evil form of misogyny, a less extreme
version of which leaves in the minds of every rapist, stalker and abuser
that passes through the criminal justice system or is missed by the
criminal justice system.
And a warning, some of this may be difficult to listen to.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARIEL CASTRO, SENTENCED TO LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE: I know I am 100
percent wrong. I mean it.
But I`m saying they`re trying to say that I am violent person, and I`m
not a violent person. But, uh, most of the sex that went on in that house,
practically all of it was consensual. These allegations about being
forceful on them, that is totally wrong. There was times that they would
even ask me for sex. Many times.
I`m not a monster. I`m a normal person. I`m just sick. I have an
addiction. Just like an alcoholic has an addiction. Alcoholics cannot
control their addiction. That`s what I can`t control my addiction, your
My daughter, every day for me after she was born. She never saw
anything that was going in that house, your honor. She`ll say, my dad is
the best dad in the world, because that`s how I tried to raise her those
Finally, I would like to apologize to the victims: to Amanda Berry and
Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight. I am truly sorry for what happened.
So, again, thank you, everyone. Thank you. Please find it in your
hearts to forgive me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Castro even addressed the issue of his now deceased ex-wife,
Grimilda Figueroa. On three occasions, police had investigated allegations
of physical abuse, and here in particular, Castro sounds like so many other
millions of men who blame the woman they terrorize.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CASTRO: This happened because I couldn`t get her to quiet down. The
situation would escalate until the point where she would put her hands up,
and that`s how I reacted, by putting my hands on her.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Today`s sentencing hearing thankfully gave the survivors a
chance to speak. To Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus spoke through family
members. Michele Knight made her own statement to the court.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHELLE KNIGHT, SURVIVOR: Ariel Castro, I remember all the times you
came home talking about what everybody else did wrong and acted like you
didn`t do the same thing. You took 11 years of my life away, and I have
got it back. I spent 11 years in hell. Now, your hell is just beginning.
I will overcome all this that happened. You will face hell for eternity
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now, Goldie Taylor, contributor to MSNBC and "The
Grio". And Cindy Southworth, vice president with the National Network to
End Domestic Violence.
Goldie, you`ve written very powerfully about having been a survivor of
domestic abuse. I just wonder when you watched this today, what was going
through your mind?
GOLDIE TAYLOR, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: You know what, it felt like an
issue of domestic violence really on steroids -- the depth of his
depravity, the depth of his disconnection with the women`s humanity. His
disconnection with the cultural norms, the things that all of us know are
really right and wrong.
You know, it just felt like he believed that he was collecting women
that he could keep in total control and people that I think he thought he
was doing something good for them is what I heard from him today. That`s
what you hear from nearly every abuser. They feel like they`re doing
something good for them, that they need this kind of parental care.
HAYES: That, Cindy, that was the thing I think was so striking was
watching this with our jaws open in the office of someone who really didn`t
think they had done anything wrong, and I know as a reporter, I have
interviewed abusers who sounded like that. How surprising was that to you
as someone who works in the world of domestic violence? And how familiar
was it to you?
CINDY SOUTHWORTH, VICE PRESIDENT, NNEDV: Chris, first, I just have to
thank you for using the word misogyny, because that`s exactly what this is.
I wasn`t surprised at all. I mean, my mouth did fall open, because it is
rare to hear an abuser say so blatantly how entitled they feel in such a
public setting. This is typically what they do behind closed doors with
But, you know, even when he said he simply kept them in there, without
them being able to leave, talk about minimizing. He kidnapped them, held
them captive for 11 years and tortured them. That`s not letting them
HAYES: Right. And this is -- this is something he really wanted to
litigate and this is something that I have seen, again, as a reporter I`ve
encountered this but also I`ve encountered this, in talking to folks who
are survivors of sexual assault, particularly in which the abuser or rapist
genuinely does not realize after it happened that they have forced
themselves, that they have committed rape.
They are genuinely unaware of the violation because they are so
disconnected from the humanity and subjectivity of the person they were
And, Goldie, this was something -- if he wanted to spend a lot of
time, trying to convince the court that this sex was consensual, even
though he pled to it not being so, and all of us understand it could not
TAYLOR: Sure. The most telling thing about this was he allowed these
women to keep diaries, Chris. And if you go through those diaries, you
find a day-by-day account of the very horrific things that they endured.
You know, just to take a read of those things, I wonder if Ariel Castro
reads those diaries with the same eye that investigators would, that these
women were really taking to these writings and crying out for help, that
they did not want to submit themselves in this way.
He took them at the point in their lives where they were just learning
to be intimate. So, these weren`t grown women, these were children that he
I want to tell you something else. Just like someone who does this in
the course of a marriage or another intimate relationship, he chose women
that he thought were the most vulnerable. He chose people who he thought
society would not miss. He chose people who he thought were disconnected,
that h could keep inside of this house and no one would look for them.
He was wrong about that. He was also wrong about something else about
these women. Their will to fight.
HAYES: Cindy, the banality of all this is the fact this was trying,
at another point he was saying, look, I was a musician, he was around.
This gets to the two-facedness of the real evil that happens in domestic
violence and behind closed doors. People that have relationships with co-
workers and friends and family and people have no idea that in their
intimate lives, with the women in their lives, what they are capable of.
SOUTHWORTH: I agree completely. I think this is such an extreme
case, but it is so common that domestic violence abusers, stalkers,
perpetrators of sexual violence, they can be charming and swath and
fabulous co-workers, friends and relatives, and still believe it`s their
inherent God-given right to control their partners day in/day out, what
they wear, who they talk to, what they do. And while in this case, he
targeted women, it doesn`t matter how vulnerable you are, because I`ve seen
women who have PhDs and medical degrees and you name it. It`s because the
partner believes it`s their right to control them all the time.
And this is such a bizarre case. I mean, his point about consensual
sex -- there is no way to mix 90 pounds of chains and captivity for 11
years and consensual sex. Those are completely preposterous.
HAYES: I want to play the one moment when there was a tiny, slight
pin prick of empathy in me as I watched this awful statement was him
talking about himself, saying that he had been a victim of sexual abuse,
himself. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CASTRO: I stated before that I was a victim of sex acts when I was a
child. This led me to view pornography for my whole life. What I`m trying
to get at is these people are trying to paint me as a monster, and I`m not
a monster. I`m sick.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: It seemed like a weird way the most honest thing that he said,
but also this weird kind of distancing approach to medicalize so that he
did not have to take moral responsibility, Goldie, and yet there was some
part of me that when I considered, I flashed before my brain, a child being
abused that there was this opening up of empathy.
Maybe this bizarre hope that there`s actually some possibility of
redemption in the long life that he`s going to spend behind bars.
TAYLOR: Sure. I know there`s a man out there who stabbed me in my
back, Chris, but I know today, and I knew even then he had been abused as a
child. Hurt people, hurt other people.
If you poll the men and women in our penal system today, those people
will over-report that they were victims of violence, victims of violence
against their person, by they parents, by other -- their parents` intimate
partners. And so, this thing plays itself out generationally.
I`m certain that Ariel Castro was being very honest when he said he
was a victim of sexual abuse as a child. That does not absolve him of the
criminality of this. It certainly does not give him the right to do this
to other people.
SOUTHWORTH: Chris, when you think of one in three girl, one in six
boys will be a victim of child sexual abuse before they`re 18. One in
three women, and one in six men, are not perpetrating crimes against people
So the majority of victims are resilient and strong and fabulous and
live wonderful lives and don`t hurt anyone.
So, he made intentional choices to do these horrific acts, and while I
feel bad for the small child he was, there`s no excuse.
HAYES: I agree. That was why it was amazing to see Michelle Knight
stand in that courtroom and deliver that statement and to think about the
unbelievable resilience of the human spirit and what it is able to live
through and conquer and redeem.
MSNBC contributor Goldie Taylor, and Cindy Southworth of the National
Network to End Domestic Violence -- really a pleasure. Thank you.
SOUTHWORTH: Thank you, Chris.
TAYLOR: Thank you.
HAYES: All right. You know if you want to fudge a grade on a report
card, any school kid can tell you a "C" turns into a "B" so easily. But a
top education commissioner allegedly changed a "C" into an "A" and his
sloppy overreach is exposing the corruption of wealthy donors in the
education reform industry. That`s next.
HAYES: Coming up, the story of how a big shot Republican education
reform guru allegedly changed a poor performing school`s grade to help out
a big donor.
And later, a representative from Human Rights Watch and a former NSA
analyst debate what Edward Snowden`s latest move means.
Stay with us.
HAYES: Tony Bennett made big news today. Not the 86-year-old singer.
But Tony Bennett the education commissioner of Florida -- well, actually,
make that former education commissioner.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TONY BENNETT, FORMER FLORIDA EDUCATION COMMISSIONER: I made a
decision today in light of the malicious, unfounded reports out of Indiana,
that it was not fair to Governor Scott in his pursuit, in his very hard
work, in making Florida the greatest state in the country. But most of
all, it`s not fair to the children of Florida that I continue as
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Yes, it`s all for the kids. Florida Governor Rick Scott`s
education on honcho resigned over a scandal that didn`t happen in Florida,
but it could have big implications for Florida schools and the national
push for corporate-backed school reform.
Before he was recruited to overhaul Florida`s education system in
January, Tony Bennett was the school`s chief in Indiana. He made a name
for himself in the Hoosier State and nationally by vowing to hold schools
accountable. He did so through implementing a signature piece of reform --
an "A" through "F" grading system, each school got a letter grade just like
But that mission came into question when a charter school founded by a
GOP mega donor was set to receive a poor grade. That`s Christel House
Academy in Indianapolis. It`s a charter school owned and operated by
Christel DeHaan, of wealthy philanthropist and businesswoman. Ms. DeHaan
has donated nearly $3 million to Republican candidates since 1998 and that
includes the $130,000 she gave to Tony Bennett, himself.
As the "A.P." reports, Bennett consistently cited Christel House as a
top performing school. That is until last September when Bennett was
awarded by Indiana`s then grading director that Christel House Academy was
going to get less than an A mark due to student`s low test scores.
"The Associated Press" obtained e-mails send around by Bennett and his
staff showing a feverish scramble to fix Christel House` impending poor
grade. Quote, "They need to understand that anything less than an A for
Christel House compromises our accountability work," Bennett wrote in an e-
mail. Following up with, "This will be a huge problem for us."
It was then revealed that Tony Bennett`s own signature grading system
was going to award Christel House Academy a "C", thus putting the state
funding for the school in jeopardy. The e-mails show Bennett and others
examining ways to change the grading formula, with Bennett writing, if you
can`t tell, I`m a little more than miffed about this. I hope we come to
the meeting today with solutions and not excuses and/or explanations for me
to wiggle myself out of the repeated lies I`ve told over the past six
Over the next two weeks, the staff wrestled with the ideas of how to
inflate Christel House`s grade, including adjusting the presentation of
color charts to make a high B look like an A, and changing the grade just
for Christel House. In the end, the charter school got its A.
Christel DeHaan said in a statement to the press that no one from our
charter school ever made requests that would affect the school`s grade.
Meanwhile, Bennett has denied any wrongdoing. "This wasn`t just to
give Christel House an A, but to make sure the system was right, to make
sure the system was face valid", he told the "A.P."
The people of Indiana had voted Bennett out of office last November
well before the scandal became public. Shortly after that rejection,
Bennett, along time of former Governor Jeb Bush headed to Florida to
implement similar reforms to the state`s education system.
Today, Florida Governor Rick Scott accepted Bennett`s resignation, yet
is standing by his man.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. RICK SCOTT (R), FLORIDA: I talked to Tony Bennett last night.
He let me know he`s going to resign. It was his decision to resign. He
did a great job.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me at the table is John Merrow, PBS education
correspondent, president of Learning Matters, a non-profit production
company focused on education.
So, here`s what I find so interesting. Let`s say there was no bad
faith here. Let`s say this wasn`t a pay-for-play quid quo pro and that, in
fact, what happened was the grading system came back and gave a "C" to a
school that Bennett knew was a really good school, OK?
That is still an absolute condemnation of the system he`s put in
place. That is precisely what critics of many of these kinds of systems,
is that the metrics imposed don`t capture the value of the schools.
JOHN MERROW, PBS EDUCATION CORRESPONDENT: You know, what was also
interesting is he -- there are some other schools that were a lot like
Christel House but were traditional public schools which asked for the same
kind of consideration and didn`t get it.
So there`s an ego, because he had told everyone it was an "A" and
there`s his own ideology ruling. This is a guy who billed himself as Mr.
HAYES: I love that. I mean, here he is talking about -- I want to
play this tape of him talking. Accountability is, of course, the watch
word of all of the sort of school reform movement we`ve seen over the last
10, 20 years. Here he is talking about it in 2011.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENNETT: Indiana set up a system where on one rail of the track, you
have a more competitive educational environment, more charters, the
nation`s most expansive voucher program, more accountability on voucher
receiving schools and charter schools. And then, on the other rail of the
track, we said let`s help our public schools compete with the other rail.
So, we relieve collective bargaining restraints. We improved teacher
quality by focusing evaluations on student growth and performance. So they
can compete and the can meet the state`s very rigorous accountability
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Very rigorous accountability standards, except for the school
of a major donor.
MURROW: Right, that he`s made a commitment to.
It`s almost like he said I know a good school when I see it and,
therefore, the system has to change --
HAYES: But the grand irony of that is every teacher I`ve ever talked
to who hates accountability standards says I know what good teaching is and
they don`t always match the numbers that are coming back. He`s doing
precisely what the folks on the other side of this debate are saying time
and time again.
MURROW: It`s ego. It`s ideology. And there`s a little bit of
HAYES: So, here`s the question to you. People are going to say,
let`s say this was some kind of quid quo pro and he`s saying it isn`t. The
donor is saying she had nothing to do with it, one bad apple. This doesn`t
taint all the work of folks that are doing the kind of accountability work
that Bennett was doing in Indiana, that this was just an outlier.
What do you say to that?
MURROW: No, I think there`s this obsession with grading schools with
test scores. We don`t trust teachers anymore and that`s going to cause us
big trouble. The -- we ought to give a shout-out here, though, you
mentioned the reporting by the "A.P." Tom LoBianco dug up all the
information and Scott Elliot, the "Indianapolis Star" has followed the
What`s intriguing also is this actually is a pretty good school. It`s
not a lousy school.
HAYES: Christel House.
MURROW: Yes. It`s actually a pretty good school. So, they had a
flawed system, which didn`t take in -- I mean, Christel House is known for
reaching out to help kids stay in school. This system doesn`t count that.
All they count is this very narrow thing.
HAYES: Isn`t it also the case you`re going to have a situation where
the more that you move the funding for public education outside of the
public education system, and into charter schools, which are funded through
all different kinds of ways and there`s fundraising and here in New York
city a lot of hedge funders giving a lot of money to different schools.
You`re going to start to bump up against precisely these kinds of issues.
MURROW: Everybody bumps up against this accountability thing because
we`re so obsessed with high test scores that it`s narrowed the curriculum.
I mean, that`s a real risk, whether it`s in charter schools or
traditional public schools. I think you see it more, you see a separation.
It`s the -- it`s the privatization. It`s the -- there`s them and there`s
me which we see all across this divided nation which is going to cause a
lot of trouble. A strong public education system, I think, is essential to
HAYES: Tony Bennett described it as two rails, right? And
increasingly those rails are moving apart. The question is can the actual
civic character of America continue to move along that as they move apart?
John Murrow of PBS, thank you very much.
MURROW: Thank you.
HAYES: Mitch McConnell is having a lot of fun coming up with things
to rhyme with his Democratic opponent`s name. He might want to stop doing
that and figure out how in the heck she`s tied with him just two days
avalanching her Senate bid. That`s next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALISON LUNDERGAN GRIMES, KENTUCKY SECRETARY OF STATE: I`m Alison
Lundergan Grimes and with your help, I will be the next United States
senator from Kentucky.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: For Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, the dream of
becoming the majority leader was interrupted today by a new poll by Public
Policy Polling that has him down a point to Alison Lundergan Grimes, the
Kentucky Democrat who`s challenging McConnell in next year`s election.
In April, the same polling found that Mitch McConnell continues to
rank as the most unpopular senator in the country. In other words, it
ain`t easy being Mitch McConnell right now. Not only is he unliked, but a
poll shows him trailing a Democratic challenger in a state in which Mitt
Romney won comfortably.
But it gets worse, because before McConnell could even get to facing
Lundergan Grimes in the general election, he has to fend off a primary
challenger on his right. Matt Bevin, a small business owner you`ve
probably never heard of, but that doesn`t matter because that didn`t stop a
marketing consultant named Christine O`Donnell from going after and
upsetting Representative Mike Castle in Delaware`s Republican Senate
primary in 2010 nor did it stop a lawyer, Joe Miller, going after and
upsetting Senator Lisa Murkowski in Alaska`s Republican primary that same
Conservative groups are already attacking McConnell for not siding
with them in their efforts to defund the Affordable Care Act, despite what
they call his carefully scripted anti-Obamacare speeches.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NARRATOR: Take Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. On the issue
of Obama care, he says --
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MINORITY LEADER: This law is a disaster
and I want you to know we`re not backing down from this fight.
NARRATOR: But when he has the chance to defund Obamacare, some say he
is chickening out.
Senator McConnell, conservatives don`t need a chicken when it comes to
Obamacare. Leaders lead. But if you fund it, you own it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Looks like to keep from being embarrassed in a primary, Mitch
McConnell will be forced as hard to the right as possible. And if he goes
far enough, he opens up space for Alison Lundergan Grimes to distance
himself from the national Democratic Party and run as the fresh voice and
common sense centrist that Kentuckians need.
Joining me now is Howard Fineman, NBC News political analyst and
editorial director of the "Huffington Post" Media Group, once a reporter in
the great state of Kentucky.
I know why I don`t like Mitch McConnell. Of course I`m not his target
Why is he so unpopular in Kentucky?
HOWARD FINEMAN, HUFFINGTON POST: Well, it`s really kind of amazing.
He was elected -- he`s been elected five times, and yet his popularity
numbers are horrible even if you grab the fact that these are democratic
polls. There is another one out today by Marc Melman, who is doing polling
frowns and grimes that shows -- grimes up by two points, surging two a two-
point lead, but the more important number is that at least according to
Mark Melman who`s a very good pollster, Mitch McConnell has a 58%
disapproval rating among all --
FINEMAN: -- All Kentucky voters. Even if you want to, Chris,
eliminate a few points for, you know, house lean, as they say, you know?
Still, there`s no doubt that Mitch McConnell is a very unpopular incumbent.
And, the reasons are, number one, he`s been in Washington forever.
And, that gets to you eventually, especially these days in a time when
people have an absolutely sulfurous attitude toward Washington and
everything about it. Number two, McConnell has tried to have it both ways.
Some of the time he`s talked about how he`s brought projects and money and
funding back to Kentucky.
But, other times, especially in recent years, he`s been sort of, you
know, putting up his hands and shouting no at every project. He`s kind of
caught between the two. The third fact, which is that he`s an insider --
FINEMAN: -- And, everybody knows it.
HAYES: Well, that`s what`s so fascinating, right? He`s caught -- the
"Huffington Post" actually did this amazing 10,000-word piece about Mitch
McConnell`s history in the state --
HAYES: -- And, what you see is a guy, who on the ground in Kentucky,
was good at bringing home the bacon. I mean he was the kind of a classic
southern insider, I will get you the pet projects you need.
HAYES: I will bring back the federal dollars and now he`s living in
the tea party era where that has become an anathema.
HAYES: And, my question to you is, how seriously are they taking this
FINEMAN: Well, they are taking it seriously because of the history
that you showed. I mean if Christine O`Donnell can do it in Delaware, why
not Matt Bevin in Kentucky? Matt Bevin has a lot of money. He wasn`t the
Tea Party favorite. I don`t think some tea party groups are not endorsing
him and so on.
But, he has this one group that has backed him with his ad. And,
you`ve got the Obama Care issue percolating. Last night, Chris, I was at a
joint event with what I think of as the three amigos of the Tea Party in
the senate, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and Rand Paul. And, they`re all talking
about defunding Obama Care, defunding Obama Care, defunding Obama Care.
Now, Rand Paul, who is a true Tea Party guy, has endorsed Mitch
McConnell, but don`t forget it was Rand Paul, who originally ran against
Mitch McConnell`s handpicked guy in the last senate election in Kentucky.
Now, Rand Paul can protect Mitch some, but he can`t necessarily protect him
all the way, especially because Mitch McConnell has yet to sign on to drive
to bar all funding for Obama Care. That`s a litmus test for the tea party
HAYES: That`s a fascinating dynamic that`s going to play out.
FINEMAN: Yes, it is.
HAYES: Because, everyone I have read on the right, people, who I
respect as sharp analytical thinkers, who are still ideologues, say "This
is madness. This won`t work, don`t do it." Everyone seems to agree with
that except for Cruz, Lee and Paul.
HAYES: And, you`re right that it`s going to be really interesting
because Paul can provide a little cover, but how much cover and when Paul
turns the screws on something that is an issue. That is the big question
to watch as we go forward. Howard Fineman of the "Huffington Post," thank
you so much.
FINEMAN: OK. Thanks. I`m headed down to Kentucky, by the way, for
the fancy farm picnic. It is the 133rd annual, and the first time Grimes
and McConnell will be in the same place at the same time.
HAYES: That should be fascinating. I love to get a report back and
enjoy the Bourbon. I love Bourbon.
HAYES: OK. We`ll be right back wit with #Click3.
HAYES: For more than five weeks the fate of NSA leaker Edward Snowden
hung in the balance as he sought refuge in the transit area of a Moscow
Airport. He finally crossed over to Russian soil today, creating a whole
new set of questions for America to deal with. We will debate the
consequences coming up.
But, first I want to share the three awesomest things on the internet
today, starting with a virtual choose your own adventure experiment for
fast food patrons. As reported this week, Fast Food workers in seven major
cities have been walking off the job all week striking in protest for
higher wages and the right to join unions. Naturally, there is a right
wing argument against paying fast food workers a living wage.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: And, at $15 an hour, many fast food
restaurants are out of business. The business model just does not support
those kind of wages.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Today, the folks at the daily beast posted a handy McPoverty
calculator using estimates based on research from economist Robert Poland
and researcher Janet Weitz, when you can tell the daily beast magic
calculator just how much you had be willing to pay for a Big Mac and it
will tell you what that price hike could mean for fast food workers.
HAYES: It turns out the path out of poverty for millions of workers
earning poverty level wages could be paid with dimes and pennies and of
course cholesterol. The second awesomest thing on the internet today,
begins a new era in cracking cold ones. There are lots of ways of
separating a beer bottle from a beer cap, creative ways using creative
tools. But, all of them are requiring two hands until now. Behold the
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK MANGER, INVENTOR OF GROPENER: Hi. I`m Mark Manger and this is
my invention, the gropener. The name gropener comes from grab opener. It
is a unique way of work. It uses motion and force from the act of grabbing
the bottle to achieve the additional result of removing the cap.
HAYES (voice-over): Yes, they may need to do a little more orangey
work on that name, but the physics of the gropener are sound. The bottle
opener hangs on your finger. A magnet centers the device on the bottle cap
and then you snap the bottle cap off the beer as you pick it up.
So, now you can open a beer with one hand as you high five your bros
with the other. Obviously, the fact of the world is just now one hand away
from hands-free bottle opening is great news. The bad news is there is a
three-week backlog on gropeners at gropener.com. So, if you are absolutely
intent on just using one hand for now, you can just grind bottles caps into
your belly Homer Simpson style.
And, the third awesomest thing on the internet today happened at the
unlikely intersection of the miracle of life, the joys of twitter and the
Washington D.C. Metro, where an apparently healthy baby boy was born on a
metro platform today.
And, not just any platform, but platform at L`Enfant Plaza Metro
Station. L`Enfant is of course French for the child. But, the twitter
verse did not even need that extra bit of irony to fall in love with metro
baby. Here are just few of the highlights. Just thinking of all the money
metro baby saved his parents by not being born in the hospital, which in my
case has not been thoughtful.
Are we at the point yet, where we can start suggesting names for metro
baby? Let me start. Blueline Ivy. And, the glory shown round about him,
the commuters were so afraid, for they were already late. And, our
favorite, from the D.C. Metro transit police official twitter account, in
response to a number of twitting questions, no exit fare required. Kids
under 4 ride free. You can find all the links for tonight`s #Click3 on our
website, allinwithchris.com. We will be right back.
HAYES: Right now, NSA leaker Edward Snowden is a free man of sorts.
This morning Snowden walked out of the Moscow airport transit zone, where
he spent the last five weeks, after the Russian Government granted his
request for temporary asylum, allowing him to live anywhere in the country
for up to one year.
The moment everybody has been waiting for. Undeniable hit to U.S.-
Russian relations and one that has elicited outrage from all corners of the
capital. But, what today`s events mean for how we understand what Edward
Snowden did and what happens next for Snowden, now that he`s out of reach
from the U.S. from the U.S. for up to a year.
Joining me tonight from Rhode Island, John Schindler, former NSA
officer, professor at the U.S. Naval War College, and here at the table is
Dinah PoKempner, general counsel for Human Rights Watch.
Dinah, I will begin with you, Human Rights Watch had said Snowden had
a legitimate asylum claim. What distinguishes asylum on the one hand from
people who just being refugees from justice, right? Just fleeing the fact
they were accused of a crime. They have been indicted and they are going
to cut out of the country. What legally distinguishes the two?
DINAH POKEMPNER, GENERAL COUNSEL FOR HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: A refugee is
someone, who has a well-grounded fear of persecution. On the basis of some
kind of prohibit prohibiting such as political belief or fear of
persecution for their political belief.
Edward Snowden revealed massive and serious human rights violations;
violations of the right to privacy of millions of people around the world.
This was an issue of substantial public interest, and he did break laws in
doing it. But, the overall context, the importance of what he revealed,
the lack of whistleblower protection for people like him in the United
States, and the very harsh punishment that these kinds of leakers to the
press receive do tend to give him a claim that he would have been
persecuted, not just punished.
HAYES: Persecuted. The difference between persecuted and prosecuted
being essentially a kind of context dependent subjective one, and from the
perspective of the human rights watch, I mean Russia has their own legal
system in which they are going to determine asylum.
POKEMPNER: That`s correct. The standards on asylum are
HAYES: I see.
POKEMPNER: They derive from a convention.
HAYES: John, I know you feel very strongly that, that is not the
case. I have been following your very spirited tweeting about him. You
don`t think he is deserving of asylum. In fact, you have called him a
traitor, defector and worse.
JOHN SCHINDLER, FORMER NSA OFFICER: Yes. Look, even Putin said there
are no former intelligence officers. I`m actually a former intelligence
officer, despite that. And look, every intelligence service in the world
understands that when an intelligence person takes refuge in a country in a
country where there`s a hostile intelligence service, that person is
defector. This is universally understood in the intelligence business,
which is the world that Edward Snowden comes from and spent most of his
HATES: But, wait a second. Here`s my question to you. First of all,
universally understood is not evidence. I mean, I understand that you are
saying this is the thing that people in my world are saying. That`s still
not publicly accessible evidence for a person like myself.
And, the second question for you is, if he was a defector, if this
entire something was him getting secrets to Vladimir Putin, why the whole
rigmarole and "Guardian" story and coming forward and publishing these
stories and going to Hong Kong, where he could have gotten on a plane,
shown up in Moscow, and no one would have been the wiser?
SCHINDLER: I don`t think Edward Snowden is the master of his own
narrative and has not been, frankly, ever since he went to Wikileaks,
apparently late last year. I think he has let Wikileaks drive much of this
I think to his detriment and detriment of the broader cause of
legitimate whistle blowing, which this has been sacrificed on that altar.
I blame Wikileaks much more frankly than Edward Snowden at this point. I
think it has become a very different story than maybe even Edward Snowden,
himself, wanted. We love to know.
HAYES: This is because -- You hear this a lot from critics of Edward
Snowden who says this is damaging to real whistleblowers. And, Dinah, I
want your response to that.
POKEMPNER: Well, I don`t think so. I mean first of all it is a basic
principle that asylum seekers seldom get to choose where they get asylum.
That`s just true all over the world. It would be great if Britain,
Germany, Sweden, Norway, Iceland would give Edward Snowden asylum.
But, there is very little chance of that because of the, you know,
intense U.S. pressure to get him back and the fact these are U.S. allies.
And, the fact that some of these governments, in fact, benefit from all the
surveillance that he revealed. As far as, you know, the nefarious
connection to Wikileaks, I don`t think there is much that we can infer from
that. Unfortunately, for better or worse, wick Wikileaks is probably the
organization in the world with the most experience in dealing with things
like NSA pursuit right now.
HAYES: Yes. John, I have been following -- you`ve been making this
Wikileaks connection. It seems to me you are imbuing them with a level of
power that just doesn`t seem to actually match what they have done or where
they are. If they were so powerful, Assange wouldn`t be holed up in an
embassy and the organization has essentially falling apart. I need some
convincing that Wikileaks is the powerful force you make out to be.
SCHINDLER: Well, Julian Assange has gotten himself into quite a
situation. It`s very clear that Wikileaks doesn`t have a great deal of
money on its own. But, Wikileaks has, in effect, put itself in bed with
the Russians at this point. They are pointman for the famous Moscow
airport press conference by his own admission was Israel Shamir, who was
well known to be linked to Russian intelligence.
It is a mistake to view Wikileaks as an independent entity at this
point. I`m sure they were 2010, but at this point, they are not. This has
to be viewed in the context of a larger analysis, if you will, with the
Russian government and what Wikileaks` actual agenda is. Wikileaks on its
own has very little power, but they`re not functioning on their own at this
point. It`s not an accident that they are in Russia.
HAYES: Right. You are saying this entire thing at this point -- I
mean the base contention here is the entire thing at this point is being
managed by the Putin regime, the FSB, the intelligence services of Russia
who are making everything --
SCHINDLER: Sure. Of course.
HAYES: -- everything go. And, do you have worries about that, Dinah?
I mean, obviously, Human Rights Watch has some very strong feelings about
what the Putin regime is doing in other lanes and there are liberals
saying, "Oh this hypocritical for Edward Snowden to run into Vladimir
Putin`s arms when he has had such a bad human rights record as someone in
the human rights sphere. How do you respond to that?
POKEMPNER: Look, there`s absolutely no question that freedom of
expression and freedom of association are under threat Russia. And, I
would bet lots of money that Edward Snowden would have gone somewhere else
if he actually had a choice. But, the fact of the matter is there are very
few countries right now that right now, geopolitically, can stand up to the
United States and not, you know, send this guy back. So, I don`t think his
choice of going to Russia is an insane one or especially telling,
especially nefarious. I think what we have to recognize is the U.S.
Government has driven him to Russia.
POKEMPNER: Not him.
HAYES: And, the security situation, I think -- you don`t think that`s
true that he`s been driven to Russia? He seems like he has been.
SCHINDLER: No, of course not.
HAYES: It looks like he wanted to stay in Hong Kong.
SCHINDLER: Right. I mean, I -- and I`m not necessarily blaming
Edward Snowden for this. I`m not convinced he is the driver of much of his
own destiny at this point. There`s a question about Wikileaks, about
Russian intelligence. Look, I`m disturbed to hear somewhere from HRW,
which has stood up for human rights around the world saying that going to
Russia seems to be a rational choice. I am sorry I really disagree with
POKEMPNER: Well, I don`t think he has a lot of other choices right
now. If he did, I bet he would be taking them.
SCHINDLER: Venezuelans seem to want him.
POKEMPNER: Well, you know --
HAYES: Well, yes, except the Americans stopped the Abel Morales`
plane from leaving European airspace when they thought they were smuggling
SCHINDLER: I can assure you that Russian Flag -- sure. I hear you. A
Russian flag carrier headed to Havana would not be stopped by any U.S.
HAYES: Former NSA officer --.
SCHINDLER: That`s a different order of magnitude problem.
HAYES: Former NSA Officer, John Schindler and Dinah Pokempner from
Human Rights Watch, I really appreciate it. Thank you, both.
POKEMPNER: Thank you.
SCHINDLER: Thank you.
HAYES: The White House is extremely disappointed in Russia for
granting Snowden asylum. What does this mean for the relations between the
two world powers? That`s next.
HAYES: We`re talking about U.S.-Russian relations in light of NSA
leaker Edward Snowden getting asylum in Russia. Joining me to talk about,
David Remnick, editor of the "New Yorker," and former Moscow correspondent
of the "Washington Post."
David, you`ve done fantastic reporting out of Russia, both before when
you were there and for the "New Yorker" as well. What is Putin`s play
here? I mean this really is, -- this is more than a thumb in the eye. I
mean this is a middle finger to the U.S.
DAVID REMNICK, "NEW YORKER" EDITOR: Certainly is.
HAYES: What`s the play here? What`s the thinking?
REMNICK: Well, look, I`m an editor. I am journalist. I have my
feelings about transparency and all that`s going on in the NSA. Let`s put
that to one side. Let`s look at Russia-American relations. This is very
damaging. I have a hard time believing that Obama will not go to St.
Petersburg and meet with the G-20 and maybe even Putin in the fall.
But, this is really damaging. We have a lot of business with the
Russians, but the origins of this are obvious. This goes back to the cold
war. It goes back to Russian sense of humiliation in the wake of the
collapse of the Soviet Union and Russia is now led by, let`s face it,
somebody who deeply regretted the collapse of the Soviet Union, deeply
hated what happened in the `90s and he hates seeing Russia morally
criticized when pussy riot is put in jail, when -- is indicted and found
HAYES: This is one of the main opposition activist, who was just
REMNICK: Exact. The Snowden situation allows him to say, "Look how
they treat their people." We`re not going to receive any moral lectures
from the west. Look at them. Look how they behave.
HAYES: And, what I find fascinating and we just had John Schindler,
who did counterintelligence and other things at NSA, and I`ve been
following his twitter feed and other folks in the intelligence community.
In the media world at large, in the intelligence community, it seems like
every one has the muscle memory of like we`re at it with the Russkies.
That part of what has been fascinating about, what`s his drama play out is,
"Oh, right! We remember how to do this." All of this on both sides,
REMNICK: But, this is a real business here.
HAYES: Right. Right.
REMNICK: There is Syria. There`s arms control. There are all kinds
of conflicts and pieces of business that fall apart or get worse as a
result of a situation like this. So, yes, it`s exacerbated and made more
entertaining by the personality of and the public image of somebody like
Putin. And, there is also the question of American power and how that has
evolved or devolved in the recent years. So, all that is there and in
HAYES: One of the other issues that`s coming up, not as a diplomatic
question, but we are talking about moral censure being directed at the
Russian government, which they really resent greatly. The Russian sports
manager today, saying that Russia`s legislation, the newly passed
legislation against gay propaganda, which has been used to drive out NGOs
and to go after people, that that will be enforced during the SOCHI
Olympics, the winter Olympics in Moscow.
He says, "No one bans a gay athlete from coming to the SOCHI Olympics,
but if person goes to the streets and promoting it, then of course, he or
she will be brought to justice." The laws of a country to which a person
comes must be respected even though the person is an athlete. Is this
going to become a big problem as we head towards the Olympics, do you
REMNICK: Look, let`s not behave as if gay marriage has existed in the
United States for 50 years.
HAYES: Right. Right.
REMNICK: It`s basically been instituted last week. Clearly, Russia
lags well behind the development on these issues of the United States. So,
do I think there are going to be roundups and arrests of foreign athletes,
gay athletes in the minute they step on Russian soil in Sochi? No, I
don`t. I don`t.
But, the way Russian officialdom and Putin, himself, talks about gay
issues and the puppet parliament that he has going is disgusting. It`s
clearly disgusting and it has been for a long time. When, I lived in the
Soviet Union, we used to call it in the late `80s and early `90s these
issues were not foremost.
REMNICK: They became human rights issued in a visible way much later
than it did in the United States. And it`s -- it`s frustrating and
humiliating, but probably natural that they`re only coming into their
conflict stage now.
HAYES: David Remnik, editor of the "New Yorker." Thank you so much
for joining us tonight.
REMNICK: Pleasure to be here, Chris.
HAYES: That is "All In" for this evening. The "Rachel Maddow Show"
starts now with Melissa Harris-Perry, sitting in for Rachel. Good evening,
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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