ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
September 26, 2013
Guests: Tom Cole, Keith Ellison, Renee Ellmers, Sam Seder, Dwight Bullard
CHRIS HAYES, HOST: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
And at this hour, House Republicans have projected a short-term spending
plan that would have averted a government shutdown. The plan was expected
to be passed by the Senate, and now a shutdown appears more likely.
And all this, all this as Republicans are already gearing up for the next
self-made crisis. This one, far more dangerous.
EAMON JAVERS, CNBC: Welcome back to "Squawk on the Street." I`m Eamon
Javers in Washington, where we`ve got a new letter now from Secretary Jack
Lew to Speaker of the House John Boehner, updating the status of when it
is, exactly, the Treasury estimates the United States government will be
unable to fund itself going forward.
The new date estimated by Treasury is October 17th. They say, if we have
insufficient cash on hand, it would be impossible for the United States of
America to meet all of its obligations for the first time in our history.
HAYES (voice-over): The stakes are set and for the U.S. economy, they
could not be higher. House Republicans have to vote to increase the debt
limit to avert a historic default. And today, Speaker Boehner announced
his negotiating position.
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: On the debt limit, we`re
going to introduce a plan that ties important spending cuts and pro-growth
reforms to a debt limit increase. Now, the president says, "I`m not going
to negotiate." Well, I`m sorry, but it just doesn`t work that way.
HAYES: Once again, Republicans will take the economy hostage. "The
National Review" published the GOP`s ransom list. In exchange for avoiding
default, Republicans are demanding a one-year delay in Obamacare, they want
the president to go forward with the Keystone Pipeline, and they want tax
reform that favors the wealthy based on the Paul Ryan plan.
If those demands sounds familiar, that`s because it`s effectively the
platform that cost Republicans the White House just last year.
MITT ROMNEY (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I will act to repeal
I will build that pipeline if I have to myself!
I`m very supportive of the Ryan budget plan.
HAYES: Republicans are blackmailing the American people with the agenda
that lost the last presidential election by 3.5 million votes.
It`s a strategy born from the inexplicable existence to have two votes, one
to spend money and another to pay for the money spent. In 1979, a
Democratic congressman named Richard Gephardt set out to change this,
merging the two votes into one. But when Republicans took back the House
in 1995, they separated the votes again, paving the way for what is
Since then, Democrats have never demanded concessions in direct exchange
for raising the debt ceiling. As House speaker under George W. Bush, Nancy
Pelosi had the opportunity three times to take the American economy hostage
in exchange for a list of Democratic priorities. And each year, she passed
the debt limit increase without incident.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), DEMOCRATIC LEADER: I would be willing to say,
don`t mess with the debt limit.
HAYES: The reason Democrats never tied the debt ceiling to a list of
demands, a United States default would be catastrophic.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The idea of reaching the debt limit is really
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s so dumb, you know, it`s disturbing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you don`t raise the debt limit in time, you will be
opening an economic Pandora`s Box.
HAYES: When Republicans did this in 2011, the United States saw its credit
The House Republicans are now holding the entire country, and indeed, world
economy hostage. And today, Obama said that unlike last time, he will not
negotiate with the hostage takers.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I will not negotiate on
anything when it comes to the full faith and credit of the United States of
HAYES: Joining me now is Republican Tom Cole, Republican from Oklahoma,
and a member of the House Budget Committee. Congressman, I`m seeing
reports that the House caucus itself does not have the required number of
votes necessary to pass its own plan that has this long wish list of
What the heck is going on down there?
REP. TOM COLE (R), OKLAHOMA: Well, first of all, I have to say, that`s the
most remarkably misleading lead-in I`ve ever seen for minute after minute
after minute. But --
HAYES: Wait, what is misleading --
COLE: Well, no, let me finish my answer.
HAYES: But you can`t say --
COLE: Oh, gosh, do you want me to count the ways?
COLE: Nancy Pelosi, of course she didn`t want to poke the debt limit, she
wanted to spend more money, not less.
The reality is, the American people think we ought to be in a negotiating
posture on these things, 61 percent, according to the Bloomberg recent poll
thinks, if we`re going to raise the debt limit, which, by the way, I`m
willing to do, and something, by the way, Barack Obama never did when he
was in the United States Senate. He`s asking us to do for him what he
would not do for George W. Bush.
HAYES: It was a symbolic vote, as you well know --
COLE: It was not a symbol vote. There was no such thing --
HAYES: Yes, of course it was a symbolic vote.
COLE: No. He argued against it.
HAYES: Was there ever any moment where you thought the debt ceiling would
not go up? Was there ever any moment?
COLE: Look, he wants me to cast a vote he wouldn`t cast. I`m willing to
do that. I`ve done that before.
COLE: And the president likes to talk about the deficit coming down. A
big reason was, with the negotiations we had the last time, we had it, I
think we`re willing to try to work with him to raise the debt ceiling, but
we want to do something about the debt.
HAYES: Can I ask you something? What exactly does net neutrality have to
do with the debt?
COLE: Look, I said, we put literally everything on the table. I actually
think there should be some things on the table that are in the president`s
HAYES: What does -- what does funding the consumer --
COLE: The president is for --
HAYES: What does funding the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau through
the appropriations process have to do with the debt?
COLE: Well, first of all, we think those things have positive things in
terms of future growth. But, look, we haven`t said this is take it or
leave it. We said, here`s a whole range of things that we`re willing to
talk about it, which I think is --
HAYES: No, but you have to take it or leave it --
COLE: It`s the president who said, I`m not willing to negotiate. You have
to take it or leave it. And that`s simply unacceptable.
HAYES: Is it acceptable to not raise the debt ceiling?
COLE: Oh, I actually think the debt ceiling needs to be raised. Look, if
you voted for the Ryan budget --
HAYES: Wait a second --
COLE: -- you voted for a debt ceiling increase. Let me finish my thought.
But the Ryan budget also contained a trajectory to bring the debt down.
If the president will work with us to bring the debt down, which, by the
way, he did in August of 2011, to his credit, then I think we can arrive at
a deal. But the idea that I`m not going to talk to anybody -- you can talk
to the Iranians, you can talk to the Russians --
HAYES: I`ve heard that talking point a lot.
COLE: Well, it`s a good talking point.
HAYES: It is a good talking point, but that`s what it is.
COLE: No, it`s the truth.
HAYES: And the debt ceiling needs to be raised, then what is the
negotiation? This is what I fail to see. It`s catastrophic not to raise
the debt ceiling, as you`ve said and as economists say, so why not just
raise the debt ceiling? What`s so hard? Why do we need to negotiate?
COLE: Because you need to change the trajectory of the debt. Now, again -
HAYES: The debt has changed trajectory --
COLE: Yes. You have to, like, what are you going to do to lower it, so
you`re just not automatically raising it.
HAYES: Let me bring in Keith Ellison, co-chair of the Congressional
Progressive Caucus, one of your colleagues.
And, Congressman, what`s your reaction?
REP. KEITH ELLISON (D), MINNESOTA: I think that weaponizing the debt
ceiling is bad economic policy, I think it`s bad legislative policy, and
I`m very sorry that this has happened.
I mean, look, we can negotiate over the budget, we negotiate all the time.
But to put something like the full faith and credit of the American economy
on the line is just beyond pale. And I just think that, you know, it
shouldn`t be happening.
It`s too bad -- Americans should know. We`re not asking about permission
to spend future more, we`re talking about permission to pay the bills we`ve
HAYES: Let me ask, Congressman Cole, about negotiation, which I think
everyone likes negotiation. We have a system of government that requires
it in certain circumstances. There`s a budget process in which a budget
gets passed by the House, a budget gets passed by the Senate, and they both
appoint people to a conference committee, where they hash it out. And the
House has refused to appoint conferees to that conference committee,
essentially saying they won`t negotiate on the budget.
Why not negotiate through the normal channels rather than --
COLE: Well, I think there`s always a pre-negotiation that took place, and,
frankly, that didn`t work out, which is how many times do you want to be
able to bring different points up on the floor. It`s a technicality.
But, look, I basically agree with you. I want to negotiate with the
president. I think I demonstrated on fiscal cliff, on Sandy, on Violence
Against Women, I`m more than willing to do that. It`s the president in
this case that`s saying, I don`t want to negotiate at all.
HAYES: I think he wants -- do you think the president is saying he doesn`t
want to negotiate full stop, Congressman Ellison, or he doesn`t want to
negotiate under these circumstances?
ELLISON: No, he does not want to place the full faith and credit of the
United States, he does want to place America`s bond rating on the line. He
wants to negotiate during the normal course, which he has always done.
And I don`t think this is an unreasonable thing. I think there`s certain
things we should negotiate on. We know that we are not going to -- we`re
going to ruin the American economy if we default on the debt limit and we
can not do and the president is right not to negotiate on that.
But he`s negotiated on many other things and we`ve heard all these issues
before. So, I mean, let`s talk about it. But let`s not put the American
and the world economy on the line as we do it.
HAYES: Congressman Cole, why is the normal appropriations process and
funding process, Congress has to authorize money and then appropriates.
It`s got to take two votes to spend money. Why is that not enough? Why
should there be a third thing in which you can then decline to pay the
debts that you`ve incurred?
COLE: Because the debt ceiling is there as an alarm bill. And frankly, a
lot of this debt I didn`t incur, I voted against. But it`s to say --
HAYES: A lot of your colleagues didn`t.
COLE: Now, if you want to raise -- if you want to raise spending, you
know, you`re going to have to vote for it. And maybe you want to stop and
think about the course that you`re on. Are --
HAYES: But you already had to -- wait a second.
ELLISON: I agree with Tom. Tom`s right about this. This is the purpose
of this debt ceiling this way, to do it -- to say, look, let`s stop and
look at what we`re doing, but it`s not to use as a leverage --
HAYES: But can I say, I disagree with both of you. Every cent, every cent
that this government, that this government spends as a matter of the
Constitution of the United States must be authorized by Congress. I don`t
understand why that vote is not enough.
COLE: There is must be a historical first that Keith and I are on the same
ELLISON: Now, wait a minute. I`m saying I do believe if we authorize an
appropriation for money, the debt ceiling ought to automatically be raised.
ELLISON: But I`m saying if there is a legitimate purpose for the way we do
it, which I don`t think is the right way to do it, which is to just stop
and examine the whole fiscal situation, not to weaponize it, not the run
the economy over a cliff.
COLE: Well, and I think, look, everybody has said, nobody has any desire
to, one, shut down the government, or default. That`s not --
HAYES: Some of your colleagues do. They`re on the record today saying
COLE: Look, the speaker has demonstrated time and again, not to do that.
But he said, let`s correct the path we`re on. We can do that with things
in the president`s budget.
HAYES: We have the fastest decline in the deficit that we`ve seen in
basically the post-war period.
COLE: And you can thank, by the way, a lot of that on sequester and
HAYES: Two-thirds is from revenue. Congressman, two-thirds.
COLE: By the way, some of it is, some of it isn`t, and I voted for that.
HAYES: Congressman Tom Cole and Congressman Keith Ellison.
COLE: We need a clean debt vote. Let`s do it now.
HAYES: Thank you both, gentlemen.
All right. Coming up --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. CORRINE BROWN (D), FLORIDA: My feeling is that your office initially
overcharged her in this case. This is my feeling.
ANGELA COREY, FLORIDA STATE ATTORNEY: Let me --
BROWN: This is my feeling. But we can`t try it here. There is no
justification for 20 years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That was Congresswoman Corrine Brown confronting Florida state
attorney Angela Corey after Marissa Alexander was sentenced to 20 years in
prison for defending herself against her abusive husband. The story has
generated huge outrage, but there is good news to report tonight. That`s
ahead. Stick around.
HAYES: We always love hearing from you on Facebook and Twitter. And
tonight`s question has to do with private conversations. If for 30 seconds
you could magically get into the House Republican leaders` office to give -
- for them to give you their undivided attention, what would you say?
Tweet your answers @allinwithchris or post at Facebook.com/allinwithchris,
we`ll share at the end of the show. And while you`re there, just go ahead
follow us on Twitter and like us -- like us -- on Facebook.
We`ll be right back.
HAYES: Just five days away from the dramatic rollout of Obamacare, the
president today was in full-on, fired up, ready to go mode. Speaking to a
crowd of students and teachers at a campaign-style event in Maryland, Mr.
Obama came armed a very clear message: the Affordable Care Act is here to
stay, so deal with it.
But as the president noted repeatedly, Republicans are determined to
torpedo the law, using every legislative and extra legislative tactic that
Barack Obama has learned the hard way, he cannot unilaterally force the
Republicans to act responsibly. What he can do is call out their rhetoric.
That`s exactly what he did, turning his Obamacare stump speech into a
veritable roast of Republican lawmakers, who have predicted dire
consequences if the law remains in tact. According to the president, all
this would be funny, if it wasn`t so crazy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
OBAMA: Some of the Tea Party`s biggest donors, some of the wealthiest men
in America, are funding a cynical ad campaign, trying to convince young
people not to buy health care at all. But they are actually spending money
on television, trying to convince young people that if you`ve got the
choice between getting affordable health care or going without health care,
you should choose not having any health care.
Now, do you think if you get sick or you get hurt, and you get stuff with a
massive bill, these same folks, they`re going to help you out?
They have made such a big political issue out of this, trying to scare
everybody, with lies about death panels and killing granny --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We should not have a government program that determines
you`re going to pull the plug on grandma.
OBAMA: So, if it actually works they`ll look pretty bad. If it actually
works, that will mean that everything they were saying wasn`t really true
and they were just playing politics. You had a state representative
somewhere say that it`s as destructive to personal and individual liberty
as the Fugitive Slave Act.
STATE REP. BILL O`BRIEN (R), NEW HAMPSHIRE: What is Obamacare? It is a
law as destructive to personal and individual liberty as the Fugitive Slave
Act of 1850, that allows slave owners to come to New Hampshire and seize
African-Americans and use the federal courts to take them back to federal
OBAMA: I mean, these are quotes. I`m not making this stuff up. And
here`s one more that I`ve heard. I like this one. We have to, and I`m
quoting here, "We have to repeal this failure before it literally kills
women, kills children, kills senior citizens."
REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), MINNESOTA: That`s why we`re here, because we`re
saying, let`s repeal this failure before it literally kills women, kills
children, kills senior citizens.
OBAMA: I just want to point out, we still have women, we still have
children, we still have senior citizens.
OBAMA: All this would be funny if it wasn`t so crazy. And once it`s
working really well, I guarantee you, they will not call it Obamacare.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
HAYES: Joining me now is Congresswoman Renee Ellmers, Republican from
North Carolina, chair of the Republican Women`s Policy Committee.
And it`s great to have you back on the show, Congresswoman.
Are you terrified of running against Obamacare in 2014, when it`s
REP. RENEE ELLMERS (R), NORTH CAROLINA: You know, the problem here is that
it`s falling apart on its own weight. I know you just played those clips
of the president, but the facts of the matter is, it`s an unworkable
system. And what we really need to do --
HAYES: Why is it unworkable?
ELLMERS: --- is put real reform in place.
HAYES: Why is it unworkable?
ELLMERS: Well, insurance rates are going up across this country. In North
Carolina alone, for males, young males, quadrupling in cost --
HAYES: Congresswoman, you`re aware that the rate of increase in health
care year over year is at an all-time low over the last 10 years or so,
right? The rate is diminishing, we can agree on that fact?
ELLMERS: The increases have gone up. This is dramatic.
HAYES: No, they`ve gone down.
ELLMERS: This is dramatic. And it is as a result of Obamacare going into
HAYES: Congresswoman, how many -- how many people in your district are
ELLMERS: The issue is not how many people are uninsured. The issue is, is
this a program that will work? It is not a plan that will work. It just
simply is falling apart.
You know, delay after delay --
HAYES: But, Congresswoman, respectfully, it is an issue for those people
that are uninsured. And in fact, I think a large part of what the law is
designed too, whether you agree with it or not, is to cover those who are
uninsured. So I just want to know how many people in you`re district we`re
ELLMERS: That is exactly the point. The point is that those who are
uninsured will remain uninsured, and those who have insurance will lose
ELLMERS: There will be jobs that will be lost. We are changing the
workweek from 40 hours a week for full-time to 30 hours a week a week. We
see this across the country. We know that is a failure.
HAYES: Congresswoman, we just said -- you just said that those who are
uninsured will remain uninsured, but the whole point of the bill, whether
you like it or not, or you think it`s too expensive or it`s not going to
work, is that a lot of those people are going to get insurance. In fact,
they`re required under law to get insurance. That`s what the individual
mandate is, right?
ELLMERS: Chris, the exchanges aren`t even ready to go up. The exchanges
are supposed to go in effect October 1st, which is next week.
ELLMERS: And I will tell you, they are not ready. We just saw another
delay fm the Obama administration today. Delay after delay, it is not
Let`s talk about real reform. If we want to insure America, let`s get
those who can`t afford health care and insurance on an affordable plan.
The Republican Study Committee --
HAYES: That`s the design of the entire law, though!
Here`s my question to you. If you think it`s going to be a disaster, what
is your hope? October 1st, you`ve got some folks in your district that are
going to be going on to the exchange, isn`t it the best thing for those
people, for your district, and for America, if they have a smooth
experience? I mean, aren`t we -- shouldn`t we all be rooting for success,
whatever you think about the bill?
ELLMERS: It would be wonderful. The problem is, as it`s moving forward,
it will not be. And for those --
HAYES: But why don`t we just wait and see?
ELLMERS: -- in North Carolina, there will be two insurance companies they
will be able to choose from. And in 39 counties, they will have two, and
in 61, they will only have one.
HAYES: We should clarify, it`s two companies, but much more than two plans
in the state of North Carolina.
ELLMERS: No, I did not say plans.
HAYES: There are going to be a bunch more plans than two. So, my question
to you --
ELLMERS: But this is the whole idea.
HAYES: But, Congresswoman, what are you hoping for your constituents? The
people you represent --
ELLMERS: What I`m trying to do --
HAYES: What do you hope for them when they go to that exchange on October
1st, are you hoping the thing crashes? Are you hoping it doesn`t work?
ELLMERS: What I`m wanting for my constituents, that they can keep their
job, that they can actually get health care coverage, and I`m ready to do
that, with the Republican Study Committee, plan for America.
ELLMERS: The American Healthcare Reform Act. It is a wonderful plan that
we can work with.
HAYES: We will post that plan to our Web site. I thank you so much for
your time, Congresswoman Renee Ellmers.
ELLMERS: Thank you.
HAYES: Joining me now is Sam Seder, host of "The Majority Report", a daily
political talk show.
So, here`s the thing I don`t get. I find, we`re having this whole -- this
has this big thing, it`s an actual thing. Things are actually happen.
Thousands of civil servants are working to make it work. And let me just
say this before I -- I`ve talked to some of those people.
People are working extremely hard. These are people who are not super
well-compensated. They`re diligent, anonymous civil servants who work in
the federal bureaucracies, sweating night and day, pouring all of their
talent and dedication into just trying to make this thing work so people
can get health insurance. That`s what we`re talking about.
Why the insistence to talk about how terrible it`s going to be before we
actually see what happens?
SAM SEDER, THE MAJORITY REPORT: Money. I mean, honestly, there really is
no other explanation here. I mean, just -- and Lee Fine (ph) has a great
piece in "The Nation" magazine this week actually, sort of outlining how
much money is being spent.
There is a massive cottage industry behind this on the right, that is just
sort of generating, when you look at those --
HAYES: The defund Obamacare fund-raising Ponzi scheme.
SEDER: It`s a fund-raising, but I think it expands larger than that.
Because, you know, obviously, if congresswoman felt it was a disaster, it`s
going to happen on Monday, she would be rather excited for it to go through
SEDER: -- because this would redoubt to her political benefit. And then
they could actually go with the reforms that she`s claiming that she`s
You look at those ads the other day, that came out, that were sort of the,
I don`t -- forgive the term, rapey ads and the -- that`s not going to
HAYES: No, that`s for raising money.
SEDER: That`s for raising money. And it was also for raising money for
the media buyer, the guy who shot the thing --
HAYES: It was a gift to cable news producers. I mean, for us --
SEDER: That`s true. But you weren`t the one who siphoned that money off
the sort of huge machine. But I think that`s what a lot of it`s that
HAYES: What`s fascinating to me, you`re getting two simultaneous arguments
from Republicans. You`ll hear them both say, we have to kill this now
because it`s our last chance. And when it goes into effect, it will be a
disaster. But those two things can`t possibly be true.
SEDER: No. If you could defund it today, you can defund it in six months
HAYES: When it`s terrible!
SEDER: When it`s catastrophic and the buildings begin to fall and when --
HAYES: And there`s no more women, children --
SEDER: Yes, with everyone dies. And if there`s anybody left standing, I
guess you could defund it at that point.
But, yes. No, their arguments make no sense, but it is really about, and
this is why you saw such pushback against Ted Cruz from Republicans
themselves, because he was actually doubling down on the cravenness.
SEDER: They want to stay within a certain craven context. But he was
actually going beyond that, because he --
HAYES: Well, he was kind of calling the bluff on the cravenness, right? I
mean, she was taking you to its logical conclusion, and I think the
thinking has been we can string people along, but at a certain point, we
kind of like, just quietly tell them to deal --
SEDER: Completely draining the tank, as it were for them, and he`s leaving
a lot of people holding the bag. And he`s going to maintain that posture.
But I think the incentive for both of them is the same. We`re just stoking
this for cash.
HAYES: OK. Is there a part of you that`s actually worried about the
SEDER: I mean, to a certain extent, yes. Was this is a massive --
HAYES: See --
SEDER: And that`s the thing. They have done a very good job in both
gumming up the works in a very literal way by not making certain fixes, and
by these campaigns to say, this is going to be a disaster --
HAYES: Well, they`ve also opted -- the state governors have opted out,
which means the federal government has had to build a lot more than these
than I thought they would.
HAYES: And the other thing I do worry about is, I want to believe that
good policy is good politics, and that in the long run, right, if the thing
works, people will like it. But in the short run, what you`re going to see
is every single glitch will lead a FOX News segment for four months. And
that can turn people in that window, when they have to sign up before the
law goes into effect, that can actually turn people against it.
Sam Seder from "The Majority Report," thank you for your time. Sorry, no
All right. There`s a new president in town saying no one should have
nuclear weapons, acknowledges the Holocaust, and tweets. It seems he wants
to be seen as reasonable and practical. Not that hard when your
predecessor was this guy. Coming up, NBC`s Ann Curry will be here with her
take on the president of Iran`s week at the U.N. after her exclusive
interview with him. That`s next.
HAYES: He is denouncing nukes, acknowledging the holocaust, and tweeting,
all with such rapidity that his home nation newspapers can barely keep up
with him. One of those newspapers already disputing the English
translation of what he really said. It`s Iranian leader 2.0, President
Hassan Rouhani. Today, at a general assembly session on nuclear
disbarment. Rouhani called on Israel to declare that it possesses nuclear
weapons and claims to be strongly in favor of both nonproliferation and
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FEMALE TRANSLATOR: No nation should possess nuclear weapons, since there
are no right hand for these wrong weapons.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Today, Secretary of State John Kerry at the direction of President
Obama met with his Iranian counterpart, Foreign Minister Mohammed Jaza
Zarif along with diplomats from the U.K., France, Russia, China, and
Germany to begin discussions on Iran`s uranium enrichment program.
Zarif called a meeting very constructive and very substantive. An unnamed
U.S. Official told reuters that he offered some suggestions at the meeting,
but, quote, "There`s a lot more to understand." There are other overtures
from the Iranian President. In a departure from his predecessor, Rouhani
has acknowledged the holocaust.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HASSAN ROUHANI, PRESIDENT OF IRAN (Translated to English): Any crime that
happens in history against humanity, including the crime that the Nazis
committed towards the Jews as well as non-Jewish people is reprehensible
and condemnable as far as we are concerned.
Whatever criminality they committed against the Jews, we condemn because
genocide, the taking of the human life is condemnable. And, it makes no
difference whether that life is a Jewish life, a Christian, or a Muslim or
(END VIDEO CLIP)
But, the Iranian news agency, Fars, which is ties to the Islamic
revolutionary guards posted its own translation for Mr. Rouhani`s answer
claiming he did not use the words reprehensible. And, for a country that
pretty much prohibits the free use of social media, its new leader is
already tweeting quite a bit.
For instance, quote, "Instead of nuclear weapons, #nuclearweapons, invest
in development in eradicating poverty, ignorance and deceases." Joining me
now is Ann Curry, international correspondent for MSNBC News, who conducted
exclusive interview last week with Iran`s President and NBC News
Contributor Hooman Majd, who worked with Ann on that interview. He is also
author of an upcoming book, "The Ministry Of Guidance Invites You Not To
Stay: An American Family In Iran." Today was a huge day in U.S./Iranian
relations. I think it`s fair to say -- Huge.
HOOMAN MAJD, NBC NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I mean the biggest in decades -- what
you say? --
ANN CURRY, MSNBC INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: For the first time in 34
years that the highest ranking meeting happened. And, it happened -- it
was a significant meeting. This is the meeting, of course, that included
the Secretary of State, as we just saw, and also the foreign minister Iran.
In 34 years, we`ve not seen that kind of level of engagement and they have
talked about nuclear weapons and they talked about the possibility of
having a conversation about nuclear weapons, and in fact, they set their
next meeting, just three weeks hence -- on October 15th and 16th --
CURRY: -- And they have said that they`re going to actually start talking
MAJD: Substantively, yes. I mean --
CURRY: In three -- right? So, this is a major shift.
HAYES: So, this is not just a kind of, you know, occasionally, you`ll see
diplomatic overtures that seem designed to essentially perform some kind of
talking with nothing moving forward. This is something different than
CURRY: Well, on top of that, I agree with you. The foreign minister
actually said, at the council of foreign relations tonight, when we saw
Rouhani, also as well -- the president -- he said that the -- there was a
goal at this meeting that we just described today that they would reach an
agreement within a year. Now, look, the chances, the hurdles against them
MAJD: Are high.
CURRY: -- incredibly high.
MAJD: Very high. Yes.
CURRY: So, in fact, this could be irrational exuberance to some degree.
However, are the signs strong? Yes. Is this historic? Absolutely. So,
we`ll find out what happens from here.
MAJD: This is the substance, Chris. I mean -- and knows as to the
substance to what we`ve been talking about. There has been -- you know,
and the media, it`s been all about the charm offensive --
HAYES: Right. Yes.
MAJD: -- the Iranian propaganda and in fact Benjamin Netanyahu. We have
been talking about that. It is all words and all that. And, up until
today, up until this actual subsequent meeting that Zarif had with John
Kerry, and they both came out of the room and they both gave -- you know,
said a few words. It was very clear and of course the other foreign
minister -- it was a real meeting. It was 30 minutes long. They were
alone. We realized that toward the end that they were alone in the
HAYES: And, that is extremely significant. That is --
MAJD: That has never happened. That has not happened in 34 years. And,
it has not been just a handshake. They were hoping for a handshake between
the two presidents. This is actual real substance moving forward. Now, as
Ann says, I mean we don`t know, there are so many hurdles to overcome here.
But, to have a meeting, two -- almost two weeks away from now, on the
actual details of what they`re going to do about the nuclear program --
HAYES: OK. So, in terms of those hurdles, we have news from John Kerry
basically saying, there will be no lifting, just sanctions in the absence
of a verifiable system put in place to make sure that uranium is not being
continued to be enriched towards the threshold need for weaponization.
HAYES: Is that a -- that`s the first hurdle, right? Because Iranians are
probably going to want some kind of production of the sanctions before they
start this process.
MAJD: Well, no. I think they are going to want some reduction of the
sanctions after this meeting. I think --
MAJD: I don`t think -- this meeting is where the details are going to be
worked out. The Iranians have said that they are willing to talk -- put
everything on the table. They are going to talk about how many centrifuges
they are going to have. How much enrichment they are going to do and all
that? So, if that is agreed upon, and I think Ann had basically asked
these questions --
HAYES: Right. Yes.
MAJD: -- As a matter of fact, last week in Tehran, if that is agreed upon,
then I think the sanctions can be -- Kerry did indicate that he was going
CURRY: We should mention also that Zarif when he came -- the foreign
minister, when he came out of this meeting was very up -- He was very --
and also, he bounded into this council --
CURRY: -- relations event. He came in later, after he -- you saw him at
the United Nations.
CURRY: And, he was -- I mean I don`t want to use the word "glowing," but
he was very -- obviously excited --
MAJD: He was smiling and excited. Yes --
CURRY: Do, I don`t think that they --
MAJD: -- very upbeat.
CURRY: -- out of this meeting, he came out of although not going to let
sanctions first --
CURRY: -- I mean I think that there was a real sense that they had a
MAJD: No. I think the Iranians need sanctions relief. They had -- in
order to -- and this is going to happen next thing. This was breaking the
MAJD: -- And we --
HAYES: And, we start to talk about how many --
MAJD: -- we have finally broken the ice.
CURRY: More than we should have.
MAJD: And, we have broken the ice now. And, then now to the subsequent
meeting, they have already confirmed that Kerry and Ashton are going to --
I am sorry, Zarif and Ashton, the Iranian Foreign Minister and Catherine
Ashton are going to both be at that meeting.
HAYES: Catherine Ashton.
MAJD: Yes. The EU commissioner and the EU foreign minister.
MAJD: And, then Kerry was asked if he is going to be, he said, "We`ll
see." Imagine that he is going to go to this --
HAYES: So, that is going to be the next step. So, we have today, for the
first time in 34 years, some actual top-level, face-to-face diplomacy
before these two nations that have not been talking to themselves --
HAYES: -- to each other. That is a big deal.
CURRY: That`s a big story.
MAJD: That is a huge deal.
HAYES: Yes. NBC News --
CURRY: It will be on the front page tomorrow morning --
MAJD: I think tomorrow will be fun.
HAYES: NBC News Contributor -- you got it first. NBC News Contributor,
Hooman Majd; International Correspondent for MSNBC News, Ann Curry, great!
Thank you to both of you.
MAJD: Thank you.
CURRY: Thank you.
HAYES: We will be right back with Click 3.
HAYES: There`s this teeny little one line inside the house GOP list of
demands that would wreak havoc on anyone with a bank account and that
republicans thought they could sneak past us. But, I noticed it and I`m
going to tell you about it.
And, remember the case of the Florida woman who got 20 years in prison for
trying to defend herself over her abusive husband? There`s a great
development tonight for Marissa Alexander. That story is coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES (voice-over): But, first I want to share the three awesomest things
on the internet today. We begin a long time ago when the "Star Wars"
movies were actually good. Star Trek director J.J. Abrams is set to helm
in the next installment of "Star Wars." And, fans are trying to make sure
he avoids the tragic mistakes that fouled the last of his movies. The
latest attempt to bring balance to the force is an animated open letter,
outlining four simple rules to make "Star Wars" great. Rule number one,
the setting is a frontier, not the imperial senate or the halls of
UNIDENTIFIED MALE ANNOUNCER: Amidst smugglers and bounty hunters, "Star
Wars" is a western. And, it`s set in the frontier.
HAYES (voice-over): Other rules from the super fan named Prescott Harvey;
keep the future dirty and don`t try to over explain mystical platforms like
the force. But, the biggest new rule for Abrams is this "Star Wars" isn`t
cute. It`s a rough and tumble universe out there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s never cute or silly. It`s not childproof. It`s
freaking "Star Wars"! And, Han always shoots first.
HAYES (voice-over): Thanks, Prescott Harvey. If the movie is good, a
grateful galaxy is in your debt. The second awesomest thing on the
internet today, a different kind of keynote address. Chances are you have
used a pc in your life and chances are you sometimes felt like this.
A solution to your problem has been the confounding key combination of
control, alt, delete. And, at a recent Harvard U and the Microsoft
Chairman Bill Gates was put on the spot about the three-finger absolute.
DAVID RUBENSTEIN, AMERICAN FINANCIER AND PHILANTHROPIST: Why when I want
to turn on my software and computer, do I need to have three fingers,
control, alt, delete? What is that -- where does that come from? Whose
idea was that?
HAYES (voice-over): At first, Gates was quick to deflect the blame, but
the nagging guilt proved to be too much even for one of the world`s richest
BILL GATES, MICROSOFT CHAIRMAN: We could have had a single button, but the
guy who did the idea on the keyboard design didn`t want to give us our
single button, and so we had -- we programmed a little level that you had
to -- it was a mistake.
HAYES (voice-over): A mistake! It`s pretty refreshing whenever someone
sucks it up and admits a mistake. So, big ups to Bill Gates for doing what
everyone is still waiting for George Lucas to do.
And, the third awesomest thing on the internet today, hell comes to Canada.
Halloween is fast approaching, and the people behind a Toronto haunted
house called "Nightmare`s Fear Factory" are drumming up business by
releasing three years worth of photographs, showing their Canadian
customers in absolute terror at something just outside the frame.
Whether it`s a bunch of bros or some girlfriends out for the night, the
bug-eyed frozen faces in these photos are either the best or worst possible
approach from the fear factory, depending of course on your tolerance for
In the end, it all looks like good fun. But, we had to wonder, what could
possibly make all of these people recoil in horror? Well, we figured it
(BEGIN MUSIC VIDEO CLIP)
MILEY CYRUS, HOLLYWOOD ARTIST: I came in like a wrecking ball. I never
hit so hard and low. All I wanted was to break you up.
(END MUSIC VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Oh, that`s not so terrifying. That`s adorable. Understood,
Canada. Understood. You can find all the links for tonight`s Click 3 on
our website, allinwithchris.com.
HAYES: Part of the deranged, evil genius of the GOP debt ceiling ransom
note we discussed earlier is that it`s so breathtakingly ambitious. It is
almost impossible to fully digest all of it. Most of the attentions of
commentators have focused on things like, the one-year delay to Obama Care,
tax reform, and the keystone pipeline.
But, one item that caught my eye was this, transitioning the consumer
financial protection bureau funding to appropriations. Sounds boring and
reasonable, right? Except, no. You might remember, the consumer financial
protection bureau is the brain child of Elizabeth Warren, who as a Harvard
professor, proposed an agency whose sole task was looking out for consumers
who use financial products.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ELIZABETH WARREN, HARVARD PROFESSOR: You can`t buy a toaster in America
that has a one in five chance of exploding. But, you can buy a mortgage
that has a one in five chance of exploding, and they don`t even have to
tell you about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The idea to prevent those kinds of products from being sold, that
idea became the CFPB, which was included as part of the Dodd/Frank
historical reform bill. Despite hysterical unrelenting opposition from
republicans, and big banks who absolutely hate it and continue to hate it.
But, amazingly, against the odds, the CFPB now exists, employs 1,300
people. It is one of the sleekest, most user-friendly websites in all of
government and is doing pretty incredible work.
Just last week, regulators announced that JP Morgan Chase, who had billed
customers for identity theft protection and fraud protection services, they
never received, would have to refund those customers to the tune of $309
million. You can understand why the big banks and their defenders in
congress want to kill this agency.
They even blocked a vote to confirm the proposed head of the CFPB for two
years for no reason other than they objected to the bureaus very existence.
But, since President Obama and senate democrats managed to get their man
approved and because the idea of the CFPB is wildly popular, the only way
for the banks and republicans to kill it now is by stealth.
And, that means trying to starve it of funds. Luckily, the authors of
Dodd/Frank already thought of that eventuality, and they built in a
dedicated funding stream for the bureau that is drawn from federal reserve
transfers, so as to insulate it like other regulators such as the FCC from
the whims of congress.
So, that brings us back to the ransom note. This line, this seemingly
boring and bureaucratic, reasonable-sounding request to move the CFPB
funding into the normal appropriations process. That is a request to let
the house republicans have control over the bureau`s annual budget and
therefore to gut it.
The idea is to render the bureau inoperable so that banks can go back to
charging fraudulent fees, without fear of being called out for it and
having to give the money back. In other words, the GOP demand is this.
Let the banks screw you mercilessly with no recourse or protection, or
we`ll blow up the world economy, which would also screw you over.
That is what the ransom note reads in plain English, after you run it
through the handy dandy "All In" translator. It`s a strategy fit for a
bond villain. Luckily for us, today`s GOP is less gold finger and more Dr.
HAYES: Earlier in the show we asked you, if for 30 seconds you could get
house republican leaders to give you their ear, what would you say? We
have got a bunch of answers, post it to our Facebook page and Twitter
accounts including Deborah Scales says, "I would simply tell the speaker in
his group to think about the people who sent them to Washington. I`m a
little person and this government shutdown will hurt my life savings."
Well, that is why they have been trying to destroy the average person.
Gloria Goldman Quinn says, "Brevity wins. I would say, resign." We`ll be
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In accordance with the law of this state, I sentence
you to 20 years in Florida state prison, in connection with counts one,
two, and three. I adjudicate you guilty on all three of those counts.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Three months ago, as George Zimmerman walked out of a Florida
courtroom, found not guilty in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
Another case in Florida began to gain national attention. It`s the case of
an African-American woman named Marissa Alexander, who had been sentenced
to 20 years in jail for the crime of firing a gun into the air to scare off
her abusive husband.
It was a tragic and maddening case, which highlighted the seemingly unequal
justice of a Florida judicial system in the incongruity of the application
of so-called "Stand your ground laws." Well, today, some big news.
Marissa Alexander was granted a new trial by a Florida judge, because the
jury instructions on self-defense in her first trial were erroneous.
Last may, it took a Florida jury all of 12 minutes to sentence Marissa
Alexander to 12 years for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for
firing up into the ceiling of her home during an argument with her
estranged husband. During a sworn deposition, her husband stated, "I was
enraged. I told her, if I can`t have you, nobody is going to have you."
After Alexander, who had no prior criminal record, fired the warning shot,
her husband swore that, quote, "I honestly think she just didn`t want me to
put my hands on her anymore, so she did what she feel like she had to do
to make sure she wouldn`t get hurt."
Aside from what many saw as the obvious injustice of the verdict, what drew
particular attention to Alexander was that she unsuccessfully sought
immunity under the state`s "Stand your ground" defense, which says that a
person has, quote, "The right to stand his or her ground and meet force
with force, including deadly force to prevent death or great bodily harm to
himself or herself."
George Zimmerman, who killed an unarmed Trayvon Martin, who wasn`t even
arrested until there was a national outcry, he was able to use the logic of
"Stand your ground" to be acquitted. And, Florida state attorney Angela
Corey, who prosecuted both the Zimmerman and Alexander cases, was accused
of a racial double standard. She told "The Washington Post," quote, "I
think social media is going to be the destruction of this country."
A big reason why a lot of people know Marissa Alexander`s case is because
of social media, because of bloggers, because of Twitter, because of the
kind of petition on change and/or seeking justice in the case of Marissa
Alexander. Today`s news that Alexander was granted and a new trial goes
beyond being just good news, it is the first step in redressing this
Joining me now is Florida State Senator Dwight Bullard, a Democrat who`s
been working to get Marissa Alexander pardoned. Senator, what does the
news today mean?
SEN. DWIGHT BULLARD, (D) FLORIDA: It`s tremendous. It was tremendous,
probably the best news I have heard all day. And, really shows you that
the need for a check and balance system in this country is absolutely
necessary. And, once again, courts have prevailed where other courts or
the judicial system has not.
HAYES: What does this say about the law? I think there is so much
confusion about the "Stand your ground law" specifically in Florida. How
it is applied and its unequal application? What does this case say about
the law and how the law should be reformed or repealed?
BULLARD: Well, it really puts in the forefront the ambiguity of "Stand
your ground" and more importantly, how arbitrarily has been used in its
application. We, as legislators, have been working hard for the last
As a matter of fact, since it was passed in 2005, different state
legislators have been at the forefront of trying to make this law work
better for Floridians, or more importantly, just all in all, make it go
away, or go back to the old model of the castle doctrine that many states
have already adopted, that says, "You have the right to protect your home."
BULLARD: The ambiguity and the irresponsible application of it has really
been thrust to the forefront and we`re glad that the court of appeals
looked out for Ms. Alexander, where legislators and the governor of this
state have not.
HAYES: Do you think that the -- was the public pressure and the outcry and
the attention that has been brought to this case, in the wake of the George
Zimmerman verdict, do you think that that played a role here?
BULLARD: Absolutely. Absolutely. I think when we talk about "Stand in
your ground" and the application justice, when individuals see a man set
free for killing, admitting to killing a young teenager for doing nothing
more than walking home, yet you see a woman who was abused, who was
threatened, in fear of her life, put in jail for 20 years for firing a gun
-- for the common person, for the laymen, it seems like an unequal
distribution of justice.
And, we`re happy that someone saw fit. But, there are still cases out
there. The instance of Michael Giles, who`s another Florida person going
through the same thing -- is one that definitely needs to be looked at as
HAYES: It seems from some of the data that we have seen collected that
there is empirical evidence, there`s real racial disparity in the
application of this law. Florida State Senator, Dwight Bullard, thank you
so much for your time tonight. I appreciate pit it.
BULLARD: Thank you.
HAYES: That is "All In" for this evening. The "Rachel Maddow" show starts
right now. Good evening, Rachel.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST OF THE "RACHEL MADDOW" SHOW: Good evening,
Chris. I have to apologize. We are sharing a studio, and we just had
really loud technical faults --
HAYES: I thought you were beating someone up. It seemed so out of
MADDOW: Yes. There`s another side to me, I don`t usually like to show on
T.V. I`m sorry about that. I`m sure it was very distracting. I
apologize. I didn`t mean it.
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