updated 8/13/2013 10:35:09 AM ET 2013-08-13T14:35:09

THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL
August 12, 2013
Guests: Nicholas Peart, Khary Lazarre-White, Nia-Malika Henderson, Dale Ho,
Perry Beam; David Sheff

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST: Today, a federal judge and the attorney
general take bold steps toward justice.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The halls of justice are buzzing today with two
major pieces of news.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: New York City`s controversial stop and frisk
program.

PETE WILLIAMS, NBC NEWS: A judge finds that the stop and frisk policy
is unconstitutional.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Also today, attorney general Eric Holder --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Attorney General Eric Holder --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Announcing a brand new Justice Department policy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Also, the gift that keeps on giving.

GOV. PAT MCCRORY (R), NORTH CAROLINA: Hi, I`m Governor Pat McCrory.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Anyone who says that racial discrimination is no
longer a problem --

MCCRORY: The integrity of our election process is vital to our
democracy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- must not be paying attention.

MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (I), NEW YORK: The stop, question frisk has
saved countless lives.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

BLOOMBERG: The possibility of being stopped is a vital deterrent.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His reaction to the federal judge`s ruling.

BLOOMBERG: We are the poster child that everyone wants to follow.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Eighty-nine percent of those who were stopped
were innocent.

WILLIAMS: I`d be very surprised if the city doesn`t appeal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The politics of fear and anger.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s created a kind of hopelessness.

WILLIAMS: Now, on to what the attorney general is doing --

ERIC HOLDER, ATTORNEY GENERAL: I have today mandated a modification
of the Justice Department`s charging policies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A major change coming from the Obama
administration.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A major shift in the war on drugs.

HOLDER: Some of the enforcement priorities that we have set have had
a destabilizing effect on particular communities.

RICHARD NIXON, FORMER PRESIDENT: America`s public enemy number one --

RONALD REAGAN, FORMER PRESIDENT: Drugs are menacing our society.

NIXON: -- is drug abuse.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The politics of fear and anger.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s created a kind of hopelessness.

HOLDER: Ultimately counterproductive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A landmark day for civil rights advocates on au
pair of issues.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This totally rewrites the conversation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One national, one local, both historic.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

O`DONNELL: Last week, when President Obama said this, his attorney
general, Eric Holder, was apparently listening.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We all know that young
African-American men disproportionately have involvement in criminal
activities and violence for a lot of reasons -- a lot of it having to do
with poverty, a lot of it having to do with disruptions in their
neighborhoods, in their communities, failing schools, and all those things.
And that`s no excuse, but what we also believe in is that people, everybody
should be treated fairly and the system should work for everyone.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Today, the Obama administration`s attorney general
announced important new changes in prosecutorial guidelines involving low-
level non-violent drug offenses because federal law is littered with
oppressive and unreasonable mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses,
those mandatory minimum sentences can only be changed by Congress.

Realizing that this Congress will never take action in this area, the
attorney general has decided to instruct his prosecutors to measure the
charges they bring in criminal cases against the sentencing rules for those
cases. The wise use of prosecutorial discretion alone could dramatically
reduce and eliminate some of the most oppressive and unfair drug crimes in
federal courts. This announcement came on the same day that a federal
judge in New York City found that the New York Police Department
controversial stop and frisk policy violates the Constitution.

Judge Shira Sheinlin (ph) did not immediately end stop and frisk.
Instead, ordered a federal monitor to oversee the program. The judge`s
opinion says that the city`s mayor and police commissioner, quote, "have
willfully ignored overwhelming proof that the policy of targeting the right
people is racially discriminatory and therefore violates the United States
Constitution."

One of the plaintiffs in the case, Nicholas Peart, wrote about his
multiple experiences of being stopped and frisked in a "New York Times" op-
ed piece.

"These experiences changed the way I felt about the police. After the
third incident I worried when police cars drove by. I was afraid I would
be stopped and searched or that something worse could happen. I dress
better if I go downtown. I don`t hang out with friends outside my
neighborhood in Harlem as much as I used to. Essentially, I incorporated
into my daily life the sense that I might find myself up against a wall or
on the ground with an officer`s gun at my head.

For a black man in his 20s like me, it`s just a fact of life in New
York. When I was young, I thought cops were cool. The police should
consider the consequences of a generation of young people who want nothing
to do with them -- distrust, alienation, and more crime."

Joining me now, Nicholas Peart, a plaintiff in the to have and frisk
case. He testified on the second day of the trial. Khary Lazarre-White,
the co-founder and co-executive director of the Brotherhood/Sister Sol, and
MSNBC`s Ari Melber.

Nicholas Peart, what was it like today when the judge announce that
this policy violated the Constitution?

NICHOLAS PEART, PLAINTIFF ON STOP-AND-FRISK CASE: Oh, was definitely
grateful by her decision. I felt that it was a necessary step forward for
the communities of black and brown -- that black and brown people occupy,
and just extremely grateful. You know, this has been a long time coming.
So many lives have been affected by this policy and it being used by the
police in a very unjust way.

And on so many levels, it, you know, restores hope back to the
community that, you know, this is unjust and your voice does count.

O`DONNELL: Khary, I think if you could read one thing about stop and
frisk, it would be Nicholas`s op-ed piece. We`ll have a link to it on our
Web site tonight. Because it is that very important firsthand account of a
young man`s encounter with these kinds of stops and the evolution of his
thinking and what it can do over time in these kinds of large numbers to
really sour a community.

KHARY LAZARRE-WHITE, THE BROTHERHOOD/SISTER SOL: That`s absolutely
right. I think what Nicholas has touched on and why his voice is so
powerful in this conversation is a personal experience of what stop and
frisk is. Over 5 million stops under this present administration.

And one of the things you didn`t hear today in the press conference
from the mayor and from the police commissioner is any type of sympathy,
any type of respect for the dignity of young people like Nicholas. They
are citizens of the city as well. And even if the mayor thinks it`s the
right crime-fighting procedure, and I agree with the mayor on many issues,
but on this one I think he`s fundamentally wrong.

There has to be an understanding that these are citizens of the city
as well, that black and brown men all around the city who experience this
issue feel this pain and feel this hurt and that he needs to recognize that
and show sympathy to our experience, even if he wants to defend the
practice, which I think is indefensible, he still as a leader has to
understand the morality of the issue and what young men like Nicholas go
through every single day in the city.

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to what the mayor said when he said he thinks
this is a very dangerous decision, specifically a dangerous decision for
New York City.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BLOOMBERG: This is a very dangerous decision made by a judge that I
think just does not understand how policing work and what is compliant with
the U.S. Constitution as determined by the Supreme Court. We believe we
have done exactly what the courts allow and the Constitution allow us to
do, and we will continue to do everything we can to keep this city safe.

I worry for my kids, and I worry for your kids. I worry for you, and
I worry for me. Crime can come back anytime. The criminals think they`re
going to get away with things.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Ari Melber, from the mayor today, he seemed to be talking
about crime control and the judge in this case, her first concern is not
crime control, it`s the Constitution.

ARI MELBER, THE CYCLE: Exactly. When you listen to the mayor there,
you get the feeling he either didn`t read the opinion or didn`t care what
it said. The opinion speaks very specifically about the fact that there
are practices that may lead to fighting crime like forcing confessions or
mass internment but that because they`re unconstitutional they`re not
allowed. So you have to start with that.

Then, you can have the macroeconomic policy discussion, knowing this
is now off the table in its current form, and look at the fact that there
are cities that also have seen crime rates decline without this level of
racial profiling. That`s what it is. That`s what the court said.

I do want to also say to Nicholas, it`s an honor to be on a panel with
you. What you did and what so many of these plaintiffs did working in this
case was obviously put themselves out there, take a risk. It`s leadership.
It`s activism.

And I think it`s exciting on a day like today to see it paid off. It
doesn`t always. And when you see the story that is in this filing, I mean
now in this ruling that talks about Nicholas wearing a hoodie, being
stopped for no reason, and a judge saying now, looking at the evidence,
that was racial profiling, that has to stop, I think that`s an
extraordinary message to this city, which has been divided along these
racial lines not by ourselves but by many ways by NYPD.

LAZARRE-WHITE: And I think that the hyperbole in that last statement
by the mayor is also something that inherently is very, very dangerous. We
need to remember that there are over 2,200 murders in 1990. By the time
this mayor came into power, there were a little over 600.

The great decrease in crime happened before he ever stepped into the
mayoralty. And so, to insinuate that if we move away from his practices
that blood will run in the streets and this will be a dangerous city again
is something I think is inherently very, very dangerous as we come up on a
mayoral election, that he`s the only one it who can keep the city safe and
there are police commissioners and elected officials all across the country
who would disagree with that statement and their municipalities have also
seen great decrease in crime.

So, just from a criminologist`s perspective, the numbers are wrong.
And we have to me sure when we talk about this issue that the narrative is
true, the narrative is consistent, and the numbers are accurate.

O`DONNELL: Nicholas, the mayor kept saying today that we run -- the
way we run the program is we go where the crime is and that`s why we end up
with this overwhelming minority population, 80 percent in the stop and
frisks being members of minority populations. What is your response to
that?

PEART: Well, you don`t stop someone who is a law-abiding citizen, who
is going to Starbucks, who have no intention of committing any types of
crime. That`s not the way you fight crime. You know, it`s completely
absurd, and I think it`s also important to note these aren`t minor
inconveniences. These are very hostile situations. And for years it has
been downplayed and watered down that, you know, these are minor
inconveniences.

And I think by the judge ruling in her findings that this is something
that`s a problem in these communities and it needs to be dealt with in a
productive way.

O`DONNELL: Nicholas, let me just ask you about -- all of your stops
that you described in the "New York Times" in some real detail, in each one
of them they begin and end in a very rude way. And American policing has a
very rude edge to it. They feel that everybody they`re approaching is
criminals and they deserve to be treated rudely.

But each time when these police established to their satisfaction that
you were not in any way engaged in anything criminal and that the stop and
the frisk turned out to be the stopping and the frisking of a law-abiding
citizen -- did any of these police officers ever leave you feeling okay
about it? Did they ever say sorry, you know, thanks for cooperating with
us, we appreciate it, we do this for your safety and for the community`s
safety? Did they ever leave it in a way that made you think, well, OK,
they handled it about the best they could?

PEART: Well, I mean, certainly it`s going to be uncomfortable with
every stop. You know, I`m just a law-abiding citizen. You know, I`m going
to the store. I`m doing what everyone else does in my community in a
gentrified Harlem. What white Caucasians do in my neighborhood. And I`m
stopped for just very unjust reasons.

And I think that, you know, this is -- stop or frisk has become like a
form of, you know, social conditioning for a lot of young people in my
neighborhood and it certainly needs to stop.

O`DONNELL: Ari, I was struck by the statistics developed in the case,
which indicated you actually cannot support the racial bias in the program
with the results that they get. They say that the main thing that they are
looking for is weapons, that`s their main objective on the frisk. If they
find the weapon, that`s the gold of the frisk.

And yet 1 percent of the stops of black people produced a weapon, 1.1
percent of the stops of Hispanics produced a weapon, and 1.4 percent of the
stops of white people produced a weapon. Therefore, on the police
department`s own standard, the most suspicious group, the most fertile
group for weapons, is white people.

MELBER: That`s exactly right. And that`s why the NYPD statistics
were so hurtful to them in this case, and it`s why they lost on two grounds
-- on 14th Amendment equal protection grounds, which have to do with
disparate treatment by race, and on the broad fourth amendment on
reasonable search grounds.

And, Lawrence, to your point, what does it teach us? Number one, it
teaches us that this program is very bad at finding weapons. Let`s recall
that the judicial standard that`s mandated under the law, even under the
lower rule, which is stop and frisk as compared to a traditional search, is
still that you have some real cognizable suspicion that there`s a weapon
there. That suspicion shouldn`t lead to you 1 out of 100.

And secondly, that teaches you that what was actually going on was a
type of racial profiling. And that`s where this fight`s going to go. If
Bloomberg is going to go and we`re having these discussions around the
country and Congress as we`ve discussed is thinking about banning racial
profiling, Mayor Bloomberg pulled off a neat trick in getting everyone to
call this stop and frisk.

Today, the court called it what it is, which is racial profiling.

O`DONNELL: Khary, quickly before we go, I want to get your reaction
to what Eric Holder announced today.

LAZARRE-WHITE: You know, my reaction is that it`s a small step in the
right direction. As we know, there`s a problem with mass incarceration in
this country, nearly 2.3 million people incarcerated. Less than 10 percent
are in the federal system.

So, this is only kind of the tip of the iceberg, number one. But it`s
an example of what can be done to get around the mandatory minimums.

The second issue is that unfortunately I think it is also too late. I
mean, Attorney General Holder has been in a position to do this for over
four years. And so I appreciate the step now, but I don`t think that the
congratulations should be that intense because there`s a lot more that
could have been done, a lot more that should have been done. I`m happy the
step was taken. But to really deal with 2.3 million people incarcerated we
need to move much, much faster.

O`DONNELL: Khary Lazarre-white, thank you. Ari Melber, thank you.
And Nicholas Peart, thank you, and congratulations for your participation
in this historic case.

PEART: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, North Carolina`s governor signed the state`s
new voter suppression bill into law today. And what does it take for a
rodeo clown to get banned for life from the Missouri state fair? We will
show you that video.

And the jury has spoken today in the Boston trial of Whitey Bulger and
it`s time for the media to start rewriting their image of Whitey Bulger.
That`s in tonight`s rewrite.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: Sarah Palin jumped into the Rand Paul versus Chris
Christie fight. After it was over, after Rand Paul surrendered to Chris
Christie and begged to kiss and make up -- a proposal that Christie just
wasn`t in the mood for.

So whose side did loser Sarah Palin jump in on when the fight was all
over? The loser`s side, of course.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH PALIN (R), FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: Where am I? I`m on team
Rand. Rand Paul understands. He gets the whole notion of "don`t tread on
me, government," whereas Chris Christie is for big government and, you
know, trying to go on to get along in so many respects. And you know, some
people look at him as oh, man, he`s the governor who goes rogue.

No. You know, he`s got a shtick going there where he`s got a YouTube
videographer following him around, kind of these set-up situations
sometimes, so that he can be seen as perhaps a little bit avant garde and
going rogue on things.

But no, Chris Christie`s for more government, and his record proves
that, whereas Rand Paul with that healthy libertarian streak that we need
more of in our politicians, team Rand Paul.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Thank you, FOX News.

Up next, North Carolina`s governor signs the voter ID bill into law.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCCRORY: Many of those from the extreme left who have been
criticizing photo ID are using scare tactics. They`re more interested in
divisive politics than ensuring that no one`s vote is disenfranchised by a
fraudulent ballot.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: North Carolina`s Republican Governor Pat McCrory signed
that state`s new restrictive voter ID bill into law today. Starting in
2016, North Carolina voters will need government-issued photo
identification at the polls. The key components of the bill are clearly
designed to make voting more difficult for people who tend to vote for
Democratic Party candidates.

The bill shortens early voting from 17 to 10 days and eliminates same
day voter registration. In the last election many more Democrats voted
early than Republicans -- 1.2 million North Carolina Democrats voted early,
while only 800,000 Republicans did.

The bill makes absentee voting the easiest possible way of voting
because, as North Carolina Republicans have noticed, 86 percent of absentee
ballots are cast by white voters in North Carolina. But only 8.7 percent
of absentee ballots in that state are cast by black voters. Republicans
said t legislation is meant to prevent voter fraud, which they claim is,
quote, "both rampant and undetected," end quote.

Now, there`s no explanation from them as to how something can be both
rampant and undetected.

Today, the ACLU filed a lawsuit challenging the law and the Justice
Department has indicated it will likely challenge that law.

Joining me now is Dale Ho of the ACLU`s Voting Rights Project and Nia-
Malika Henderson of the "Washington Post."

Dale, what are your principal legal challenges to the law?

DALE HO, ACLU: We`re challenging the law under both the United States
Constitution and Section 2 of the federal Voting Rights Act. The question
we really have for North Carolina is why won`t you just let people vote?
All Americans should be free to cast a ballot and exercise the most
fundamental right we have in our democracy.

But as you can see from this bill, which has absolutely nothing to do
with voter fraud but has everything to do with making the right to vote
harder, it`s not the kind of thing that we c tolerate at the ACLU. It`s
not the kind of thing that our clients in North Carolina and our co-counsel
in North Carolina can tolerate. It`s a terrible bill all around. Some
people have called it the most suppressive voting law that`s been enacted
in the last 50 years, pretty much since the Voting Rights Act was passed in
1965.

So, it`s really something that we just have to challenge under both
the Constitution and the Voting Rights Act.

O`DONNELL: Nia, they are really trying to discourage students from
voting. They say it has to be a government-issued ID, but they will not
accept any IDs issued by their government-run universities and colleges in
that state. They`re not considering those to be government issued IDs. No
student IDs are acceptable. And the targeting there is pretty obvious,
isn`t it?

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, WASHINGTON POST: It is. Lots of college
students in North Carolina, they`ve got Duke UNC, North Carolina A&T, NC
Central as well, and one of the things they`re also trying to do is say
that 16 and 17-year-olds can`t register early for when they turn 18.

So I think Clinton is right. Clinton was giving a speech on voter
suppression just as this bill was being signed into law. She called it the
greatest hits of voter suppression. It`s so vast and broad. And it really
covers so many different types of people -- students, African-Americans as
well.

And I think this whole idea of preventing voter fraud, I think there
have only been two alleged cases of voter fraud in the last 10 years in
North Carolina. So, this law clearly going out of the scope of that whole
idea of voter suppression.

The irony here is that Republicans are the party of rolling back
restrictions, right? Let 1,000 markets bloom, freedom and all that stuff.
And this one certainly puts more restrictions on people`s ability to vote.
It will be interesting to see what somebody like Kay Hagan says about this
and her framing around it. She`s up in 2014 -- and what all Southern
Democrats sort of talk about when they talk about voter suppression.

O`DONNELL: Dale, I want to go to that specific point that Nia just
raised about the kids who were turning 18, say, the day before Election Day
or on Election Day. Because they will not be allowed to preregister for
that provable moment when they are going to become 18, that seems like an
unconstitutional denial of an 18-year-old`s right to vote.

HO: That`s why we have same-day registration during the early voting
period in North Carolina. It allows people in the run-up to Election Day
to register to vote and cast a ballot at the same time. About 250,000
North Carolinians took advantage of that in 2012 and in 2008. They`re not
going to have an opportunity to do that in future elections.

Now, what`s really important to us in particular is the effect that
this is going to have on the African-American community. African-Americans
are about 20 percent of the voters in North Carolina, but they`re over 30
percent of the people who take advantage of same-day registration. And we
think that that was one of the reasons why the North Carolina legislature
enacted this bill.

O`DONNELL: Now, Nia, we saw in the last election specifically
African-American voters in Florida and elsewhere adapting to these new laws
that were attempts to suppress their vote, and we actually in some places
got larger turnouts because of the reaction to the attempt to suppress.
And I`m wondering in this case, for example, about the absentee ballot
provision, which is one of the easiest ones to qualify. It`s easier to
qualify for an absentee ballot than an on-site voting.

And might we see an adaptation to that in North Carolina where the
African-American absentee ballot rate goes up, it`s now much smaller than
the white rate of absentee ballot?

HENDERSON: Yes, that could certainly be one of effects of this. I
think we don`t know yet what the effect of these voter ID laws are. Some
studies suggest 1 percent or 2 percent in terms of a decline in the amount
of people who show up at the polls. But in a state like North Carolina, if
you look at that 2008 race over when McCrory ran against Purdue, it was
about a 1 percent or 2 percent difference. Purdue won that race.

So when you`re talking about those kinds of margins, these voter ID
laws, even if it`s only 1 percent or 2 percent, it really makes a
difference. But I think on the other side, it does seem to be making -- it
seems to be inciting black votes to go to the polls. They are not going to
be denied the power of the ballot.

O`DONNELL: Nia-Malika Henderson and Dale Ho, thank you both for
joining me tonight.

HENDERSON: Thank you.

HO: Thanks a lot.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, the political clowns in the Republican Party.

And in the "Rewrite" tonight the Bulger brothers, Whitey and Billy,
finally reunited, with nothing left to lose.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: In the spotlight tonight, political clowns. Now, what
does it take for a rodeo clown to get banned for life from the Missouri
state fair? Here`s what one clown did Saturday night to get banned for
life.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did they tell you about our famous helper we`re
going to have out here tonight?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, they did not.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They didn`t say anything about that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s Obama.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me tell these people about who we have got
helping. Obama`s going to have to just stay there. Watch out for those
bulls. And President Obama.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey. I know a clown. He just run around acting
like one doesn`t mean he is one. (INAUDIBLE).

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: The state`s Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill called the
stunt shameful and unacceptable. Republican Lieutenant Governor Peter
Kinder tweeted on Sunday the Missouri state fair celebrates Missouri and
our people. I condemn the actions disrespectful to Potus the other night.
We are better than this.

And today, Democratic Missouri Governor Jay Nixon called the incident
quote "inappropriate and offensive" and said that he will have the office
of administration review the state fair`s contracts.

According to the state budget director, the state fair is partly
funded by taxpayer money. More than $550,000 comes from a state tax on
wine and grapes.

Joining me now, Perry Beam, who was at the Missouri state fair on
Saturday night and posted the picture of the Obama rodeo clown that went
viral.

Perry, what was your feelings when you were watching that?

PERRY BEAM, ATTENDED THE MISSOURI STATE FAIR: I was disgusted, Mr.
O`Donnell. That kind of display doesn`t belong at a state-funded event.
It was divisive. And it`s something that`s billed as family entertainment
and inclusive. I come from a mixed family. My wife is an American citizen
from Taiwan. And we were there with a student from Taiwan. And the acts
that were happening in the ring, they drew attention to the president`s
lips. They shoved a broomstick up his bottom, for goodness sake. You
can`t do that and expect everybody to be happy with it. It was in bad
taste, to say the least.

O`DONNELL: You said that it actually felt more like a KKK rally than
a rodeo.

BEAM: Not that I`ve been to one. But the way they were portrayed on
television.

O`DONNELL: Yes.

BEAM: The announcer got the -- he got the crowd whooped up. And he
was trying to wind them up. And I know what that`s all about. I`m a piano
player. And I understand trying to get the crowd involved. And sometimes
you go a little bit out on the edge. Next thing you know, though, the
crowd`s feeding off the announcer, the announcer`s feeding off the crowd.
You have got the mask in play and then you have the racist allusions. And
pretty soon it`s a nasty recipe and quite frankly it made me kind of sick.

O`DONNELL: And Perry, how long was he out there? How long did this
act go on?

BEAM: Not more than 15 minutes. It was at the very end of the rodeo.
Bull riding is always the last event. And they set the -- they brought him
out as a statue, and people thought he might have been. Later on during
the act a bull actually got close to him and he jumped up and ran off in a
pretty dramatic way.

O`DONNELL: Have you heard any defense of this that makes sense to
you?

BEAM: Yes and no. As I said, I know how this kind of thing gets
started as a performer. The people who were in charge of entertaining the
crowd thought that perhaps this crowd was, and rightly so, a crowd that was
down on Obama. He`s had a lot of bad press in these parts, especially from
the national rifle association and other conservative groups. And they
thought to get some mileage out of it. So I understand how that happens.
I`m not mad at them for it.

On the other hand, they are a patriotic organization. Rodeo is all
about God and country and mom and apple pie. One of the reasons we took
our student there. He was not treated to that. He was treated to
something else. So I think it was -- they did it in ignorance and it`s --
one fed on the other. And I think it got out of hand. It was ugly.

O`DONNELL: Perry Beam, thank you for joining us tonight with your
observations. Thank you.

BEAM: Thank you, Mr. McDonnell. Appreciate it.

O`DONNELL: Joining me now, MSNBC`s Jonathan Capehart.

Jonathan, I want to go to another kind of clownish situation, that is,
Texas Republican Congressman Blake Farenthold last week at a town hall
meeting talking about impeaching President Obama.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. BLAKE FARENTHOLD (R), TEXAS: If we were to impeach the president
tomorrow, you could probably get the votes in the House of Representatives
to do it. But it would go to the Senate and he wouldn`t be convicted.
What message do we send to America if we impeach Obama and he gets away
with what he`s impeached for and is found innocent? What do we say is OK?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Jonathan, doesn`t seem to be important to mention what you
would impeach him for.

JONATHAN CAPEHART, OPINION WRITER, THE WASHINGTON POST: Right. I was
sitting there thinking, OK, what`s the crime? What`s he accused of doing?
And it`s unclear. I guess being Obama is enough to be impeached.

O`DONNELL: But you can sit there and have a very calm discussion with
your constituents about this as if it`s a perfectly reasonable proposition,
and no one`s going to contest that.

No one`s going to contest it. It`s a perfectly rational thing to talk
about impeaching the president. But you know, let`s give him points for
honesty. He did say it wouldn`t go anywhere even if they tried it.

CAPEHART: Yes, no one is going to contest it. It is a perfectly
rational thing to talk about impeaching a president. But you know, let`s
them give points for honesty. He did day he wouldn`t go anywhere. They --
even if they try to.

O`DONNELL: Yes. He has a pretty good reading of that jury in the
Senate. Let`s listen to more from Texas. This is Ted Cruz`s father,
Rafael Cruz, this weekend in Iowa.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RAFAEL CRUZ, FATHER OF SEN. TED CRUZ: A young charismatic leader rose
up, talking about hope and change. His name was Fidel Castro. Socialism
requires that government becomes your God. That`s why they have to destroy
the concept of God. They have to destroy all loyalties except loyalty to
the government. That`s what is behind homosexual marriage.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Jonathan Capehart, I don`t even -- I don`t have a
question. Your reaction, please, sir.

CAPEHART: You know, hey, look, father -- Senator Cruz`s dad is a
healthy, spry-looking man. Pity his comments are sort of other-worldly.
Look, it`s not that the president of the United States had said anything or
had any effect legally on whether same-sex marriage is legal in this
country. It was the Supreme Court that made the determination in terms of
DOMA on the federal -- so-called defense of marriage act on the federal
level and Prop 8 at the state level in California.

You know, social conservatives, I`ll give them this much. They are
diehards. They believe in what they think. Until there aren`t any of them
left. The country is moving very quickly away from what Mr. Cruz was
saying in that clip. And you know, that confab happening there, they
couldn`t care less as their numbers dwindle.

O`DONNELL: It`s always fun for me to watch a guy on Medicare
collecting Social Security complaining about American socialism.

Jonathan Capehart, thank you very much for joining me tonight.

CAPEHART: Thanks, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, why drugs can be more dangerous to a user after
rehab. You are really going to want to see this.

And in the "rewrite" tonight, why Whitey Bulger`s family life will now
be much better because he is in prison.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: So, what dos Mitch McConnell do? What he is getting
attacked now by a Republican primary candidate who`s saying that Mitch
McConnell is not conservative enough. Mitch McConnell of course accuses
the other guy of not being conservative enough.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are on the same team here. I will tell you
that much.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are on the same team here. I will tell you
that much.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Up next, the family life of Whitey Bulger is in tonight`s
"rewrite."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: From that summer day two years ago when 81-year-old
Charles Gasko was lured out of his apartment on 3rd street in Santa Monica
and then instantly handcuffed and unmasked by the FBI as Whitey Bulger,
there has been no reasonable doubt that Whitey was going to spend the rest
of his life in prison.

A federal court jury made that all but official today in Boston,
finding him guilty on charges involving 11 murders. The formal sentencing
hearing is scheduled for November, when Judge Denise Casper will give
Whitey the specifics of his death in prison sentence, a sentence which will
more than cover the rest of his now shot life.

News organizations have scrupulously been using the adjective
"alleged" before the word "murderer." They can all now rewrite that to
"convicted murderer Whitey Bulger."

While they`re at it, they should also rewrite some of the concepts
they have been using in their coverage of the life and times of Whitey
Bulger. You will frequently see the phrase reign of terror as if Boston
was somehow cowering in fear when he was doing his thing in Boston.

As the evidence showed, except in one instance, you had nothing to
fear from Whitey Bulger if you weren`t involved in his life or his
business. I know people who Whitey invited into his life who not so
respectfully declined and they`re all alive today.

Virtually no one outside of his south Boston neighborhood knew who
Whitey Bulger was until he fled Boston and was living in hiding because it
was only then that he made life very uncomfortable for the other member of
his family, who actually was famous in Massachusetts, his little brother
Billy.

Billy was the state senator representing Whitey`s district and my
district in Boston. Billy climbed the ladder to become the president of
the Massachusetts Senate. And by far the most powerful politician in
Massachusetts, far more powerful than the democratic and Republican
governors who came and went during Billy`s reign. Eventually, Whitey
brought Billy down when people outside of Boston kept asking Billy
questions about his big brother the murder.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you talked to your brother, James, since
1995? And if so, where was he and where is he now?

BILL BULGER, BROTHER OF WHITEY BULGER: On advice of counsel I am
unable to answer any questions today. And this position is based among
other things on privacy and due process rights and the right against being
compelled to provide evidence that may tend to incriminate oneself. All of
which are found in the bill of rights, including the rights and privileges
under the first, fifth, and sixth amendments to the United States
constitution.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Billy went into forced retirement not long after that
appearance. Whitey`s family life has actually improved considerably since
he`s become a federal prisoner. He gets to see his family again during
prison visiting sessions. His brother Jackie and one of his nieces were
frequently in the courtroom, supporting Whitey.

The Bulger family is apparently not ashamed of Whitey. And now they
all get to see him again and talk to him, which was actually never going to
happen if Whitey`s plan to live out his days on 3rd street in Santa Monica
had worked. And now Billy doesn`t have to lean on the Fifth Amendment next
time someone asks where his brother is.

And so the story of the Bulger brothers ends, with Billy and Whitey
together again, with nothing left to lose because Whitey, the cowardly punk
with a gun, the murder, the rat, lost it all for himself and his little
brother Billy. And they should always be remembered in South and
everywhere else as the losers that they are.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: We will hear what Lea Michele had to say last night about
the death of her friend, boyfriend Cory Monteith. We will hear that next.
And we will consider what we need to know about drug treatment, especially
of young people. That`s coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: Drug abuse kills people every day. People of all ages.
One recent victim, Cory Monteith, was remembered last night by his
girlfriend and fellow "Glee" cast member, Lea Michele.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LEA MICHELE, GLEE STAR: I just wanted to be here today to personally
thank all of you and tell everyone out there how much all of your love and
support has meant to me over these very past difficult few weeks. Thank
you.

I wanted to dedicate this award to Cory. For all of you out there who
loved and admired Cory as much as I did. I promise that with your love we
are going to get through this together. He was very special to me and also
to the world. And we were very lucky to witness his incredible talent, his
handsome smile, and his beautiful, beautiful heart.

So whether you knew him personally or just as Finn Hudson, Cory
reached out and he became a part of all of our hearts and that`s where he
will stay forever. So thank you guys so much. Thank you.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: The 31-year-old actor died a month ago in a Vancouver
hotel room from a drug overdose involving heroin and alcohol. Cory
Monteith was very open about his long-time struggle with substance abuse
and voluntarily checked himself into rehab in March of this year.

In the upcoming season of "Glee," a network executive has revealed the
show will quote "deal directly with drug addiction and with the
circumstances surrounding Cory`s death."

Joining me now, David Sheff, author of "Clean: overcoming addiction
and ending America`s greatest tragedy."

David, I want to go to something that I read recently in a piece in
"USA Today" where a doctor said people are more vulnerable when they come
out of rehab because they have gone through Detox and now their body
doesn`t have the same tolerance for some of the kinds of drugs that they
had been using on a regular basis before that and this might be involved in
this situation. He may have been more vulnerable at this point.

DAVID SHEFF, AUTHOR, CLEAN: Well, it`s true, Lawrence. In fact, most
people who overdose and die after treatment, it happens within the first
weeks or month for exactly that reason. Which is why when we look back on
what happened to Mr. Monteith in this tragedy not only is it incredibly
sad, I mean, it`s horrific, what can we say, but it also is criminal.

It borders on malpractice that we -- a doctor -- that professionals
will send someone out of treatment without the proper aftercare, without
discharging them with a plan. We have life-saving technology. We have
medications that would have helped in a case like this.

O`DONNELL: What are those, David?

SHEFF: Well, there`s a whole -- he died of course of opiate overdose.
And we have medications that are -- saboxone, methadone, they have been
proven to work. They are controversial, but they shouldn`t be. They have
risks like any other medication. But they increase the risks that someone
is going to be able to stay sober, that they won`t relapse dramatically.
These are block -- they`re opiate blockers, that they take away the craving
and they block an addict from getting high after treatment. And there`s no
reason why anyone in his position, in Mr. Monteith`s position should not be
treated with these medications that work.

O`DONNELL: And David, is there a course of treatment with those kinds
of medications where they get ramped down over time, or is the notion that
you would stay with them for a protracted period of time?

No, most often they are ramped down over time. But it`s again -- this
is -- people don`t understand often about addiction. Addiction is a
chronic illness, which means people live with it forever. An just like
with someone with diabetes, they may have to be on their medication for
their entire lives.

O`DONNELL: David Sheff gets tonight`s "Last Word."

Thank you very much, David.

SHEFF: Thank you, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Chris Hayes is up next.

END

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