ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
October 9, 2013
Guest: Bobby Costa, Sherrod Brown, Robert Costa, James Poulos, Joy Reid,
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
Day nine of the government shutdown, and today, President Obama met with
congressional Democrats at the White House, and once again urging
Republican leaders to hold a vote on a bill that would fund and reopen the
government. The Republicans seemed to have moved on to a new phase of
their hostage strategy. And this time, they might actually get what they
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Gridlock in Washington continues to rattle the
markets as the government shutdown continues for nine days.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So on day nine --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The shutdown continues.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They don`t appear to be any closer to a deal.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nine days into the government shutdown, and House
Speaker John Boehner insists there will be no unconditional surrender by
HAYES (voice-over): Today, with negotiations in Washington, D.C. stalled
and with Republicans and no exit strategy, the GOP is changing the ransom.
They are no longer demanding the president and Democrats delay Obamacare,
their new demands are actually their old demands.
And to deliver them from this hopeless situation, the GOP is turning to a
familiar face with a familiar refrain.
MITT ROMNEY (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The next president of the
United States, Paul Ryan.
REP. PAUL RYAN (R), WISCONSIN: I accept the calling of my generation to
give our children generation of my children to us.
We`re the ones who are actually protecting Medicare.
Save it for this generation. You have to reform it for my generation.
I had a feeing there would be mixed reaction, so let me get into it.
HAYES: Yes, Paul Ryan, the guy whose budget helped cost the GOP an
election. Today, in a "Wall Street Journal" op-ed, Ryan revealed the true
designs of the Grand Old Party.
RYAN: When you look at it, there are some things we actually again. There
are some structural entitlement reforms that save money that improve these
programs that get the debt under control.
HAYES: Yes, Paul Ryan is resurrecting so-called entitlement reform as a
way out for Republicans. Entitlement reform being Beltway speak for
cutting Medicare and Social Security. And it`s already charming the pants
off his fans --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What Paul Ryan is dong however really deserves
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am beginning, by the way, to be a little hopeful.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Paul Ryan wrote it. I`m going to read it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He`s a very serious guy.
HAYES: Washington insiders may be enamored with Ryan`s op-ed, which did
not once mention the word "Obamacare", but the Tea Party is not.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Conservative activist Erick Erickson retweeted this,
quote, "It seems like Paul Ryan has successfully, well, we`ll say angered
HAYES: With the Tea Party rebelling against Paul Ryan`s plan, Republican
leadership is now poised to go to their old, white conservative base -- the
people showing up to rallies in tri-cornered hats with Gadsden flags, and
say, remember when we told you we were going after Obamacare? We`ve
decided to go ahead and cut your Social Security benefits instead.
HAYES: Joining me now is Congressman Bobby Scott, Democrat from Virginia.
Congressman, my understanding is that you were at the meeting today at the
White House with the president. What came of that meeting?
REP. BOBBY SCOTT (D), VIRGINIA: Well, he emphasized the fact that we
cannot reward the Republicans for shutting down the government. Otherwise,
they will do it again and again and again.
We`re talking about a six-week continuing resolution, keep the government
open for six week. If they`re getting to extract the concessions on
Obamacare, or cut Social Security or Medicare as a condition of reopening
the government, then what are they going to want in six weeks, in fact,
what are they going to want in six weeks or two weeks? Whatever they get
now, they`re going to ill want more in the debt ceiling.
HAYES: You just said the magic words, cut Social Security and Medicare all
of a sudden in the last 24 hours, I heard entitlement reform being bandied
about. It was the topic of Paul Ryan op-ed. It was driving a lot of the
Did that come up in the meeting? What is your, and the president, and the
caucus` position on that as the thing to talk about in these negotiations?
SCOTT: Well, we have choices to make. I mean, when we talk about cutting
Social Security and Medicare, let`s just -- one example, raise the Medicare
age from 65 to 67, thus saving about $125 billion. The cost of going from
$250,000 to $450,000 on the tax cuts, people making more than $250,000 get
additional tax benefits, that cost about $200 billion, more than you save.
So, let`s just make the choices. Are we going to cut Medicare? Raise the
age of Medicare to 67 in order to provide tax cuts to people making more
Put the choices on the table. Maybe those people want the tax cuts so bad
they`re willing to raise the age of Medicare. But let`s be honest with the
people and put those choices on the table.
But the last thing we need to do is reward them for shutting down the
government by cutting Medicare just to reopen the government. We have to
make sure that they get clear, crystal clear idea that there`s no reward
for shutting down the government. Otherwise, they will get fuzzy ideas on
the debt ceiling. We have to make sure that they know that they get no
rewards for messing with the debt ceiling.
HAYES: What I`m hearing right now, what I`m hearing right now, the latest
reporting is this, there`s a plan being bandied about, there`s two kinds of
plans that seem to be emerging from the Republican side of the aisle. One
is a combined extension of essential four weeks or about a month, for both
the continuing resolution and the debt ceiling, that is raise the debt
ceiling enough to get through a month, reopen the government for a month,
have negotiations in that context.
I`ve also heard the possibility of just passing a clean debt ceiling and
keeping the government shut.
And either the possibilities in the House of Representatives, given the Tea
Party Caucus, will depend on Democratic votes. So my question to you is,
are you interested in either of those proposals?
SCOTT: Well, we`ll be interested in a clean debt ceiling to get that off
the table so we can continue negotiating. But, basically, with this on the
table, there is nothing to negotiate at this point.
The Senate, for the short-term basis, came in with one spending level, the
Republicans came in with another spending level. When we say we didn`t
negotiate -- well, technically that is true. We didn`t come to the half
way, we didn`t come a third of the way, we agreed to the House numbers.
HAYES: That`s right. You capitulated, not negotiated.
SCOTT: Capitulated, total, 100 percent, not half way, total capitulation.
So, there`s more to negotiate on the budget. Now, they talk about what
happened on the Clinton years when they shut down the government because
they couldn`t agree on revenues and spending levels. They finally came to
At this point we may not be able to -- I mean, it is going to be tough to
come to an agreement on the budget. The last thing we need to do is also
when we come to the agreement on the number, we also want Obamacare and
Social Security and Medicare cuts.
SCOTT: They published the list to include offshore drilling, EPA,
corporate tax cuts, tort reform for a perspective business -- they
published a list of things they expect to get on the debt ceiling. And
that`s why it`s important on shutting down the government that they know,
no benefit for shutting down the government or threatening the debt
And so, when we get to the debt ceiling, enough of them will know that they
can play with the debt ceiling if they want but they will get no reward for
doing it. And I think enough of them will bolt the party and extend the
debt ceiling without much confusion.
HAYES: That`s Virginia Congressman Bobby Scott sounding confident about
the possibility of a clean, at least temporary debt ceiling increase --
great thank you.
SCOTT: Thank you.
HAYES: Joining me now is Senator Sherrod Brown, Democratic from Ohio.
And, Senator, you have been a strong advocate for the social programs that
have been so important to the middle class people of this country, and
important to the many of the constituents, I dare say, of the House Tea
Party Caucus and John Boehner and your Republican colleagues.
What is your reaction to the injection of entitlement reform into the
conversation about the existing shutdown and impending debt ceiling?
SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D), OHIO: It always comes to that. They`re willing to
do almost anything to privatize Social Security, to privatize Medicare, to
cut Social Security, privatize Medicare.
Let me tell you a story, because I just heard Congressman Scott talk about
their demand to raise the retirement age of Medicare, (INAUDIBLE). I`m in
Youngstown, on a town hall not long so ago, one woman said to me, she said,
I`m 63 years old. I work two jobs, I have no health insurance, my goal is
just to stay alive until I`m 65.
Imagine that. Your goal is just to stay alive until you can get health
insurance. And for these people, I said to you before, Chris, that Abraham
Lincoln used to talk about got to go out and get my public opinion, he
needs to listen to people. Well, these people like Paul Ryan, or the
number of senators, that are willing -- that are advocating raising the
retirement age, the eligibility age for Medicare, they want to cut cost of
living adjustment for Social Security, those are people that depend on
Social Security to pull them out of poverty that finally will mean they
will have health care.
That is why they don`t like Obamacare. They have tried to scale back
Social Security and Medicare through our entire lives. And for them to see
another social insurance program, Obama care, and the Affordable Care Act,
just makes them frazzled. I mean, they just can`t stand that.
HAYES: Here is my pet theory about this, and I`d like to get your
HAYES: The reason that John Boehner walked away from the deal that was on
the table in 2011, the last time we were having the entitlement reform
grand bargain conversation, the reason that John Boehner walked away from
that conversation, which would have meant some changes to the social
insurance programs and walked away from the possibility of chained CPI,
which is a benefit cut on Social Security, is because John Boehner
understands that his base will hate it. That whatever they say about
wanting to get rid of the -- you know, entitlements in the abstract, the
base of the Republican Party are people that depend on these benefits and
don`t want a Social Security cut, thank you very much.
BROWN: I think that`s right. There is a reason why when they tried to cut
Social Security and tried to privatize in 2005, there`s a reason that -- in
the Newt Gingrich Congress in the mid-`90s, when they took over in `95 and
they tried to go after Medicare, there is a reason they backed off. They
backed off because the country, their base opposed it. The country as a
whole opposed it.
I mean, there are some of these corporate types, the Fix the Debt Coalition
and some of them, that sit around and pontificate, the only older, they
don`t know low income people except the people that serve them at the
country club and clean out their rooms in the hotel, if they ever bother to
learn their names, you know, clearly they`re not getting their public
opinion back. Neither are many of my Senate colleagues and House
colleagues that really need to listen to people and how important these
social insurance programs are.
Social Security and Medicare have meant so much to middle class existence,
just survival for many, many tens of millions of Americans since the `30s
for Social Security and 1940s, really, and 1960s for Medicare. We know
what they mean to people, and when they fall back on that this year as they
are doing again during these negotiations. As Congressman Scott just said
you don`t reward them for doing the right thing by raising the debt ceiling
and opening the government.
HAYES: Senator, I want to get your thoughts on another big story, the big
non-shutdown story today, which is the nomination of Janet Yellen, to be
the first woman to head the Federal Reserve. Take a listen to the
president introducing her today in Washington.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And given the urgent
economic challenges facing our nation, I urge the Senate to confirm Janet
without delay. I am absolutely confident that she will be an exceptional
chair of the Federal Reserve. I should add that she will be the first
woman to lead the Fed in its 100-year history.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: You wrote a letter, along with a bunch of other senators supporting
her for Fed chair. You praised her. How are you feeling today with the
president making this announcement?
BROWN: Feeling good. I think the president did the right thing. She --
for a couple of things I circulated the letter. We got -- a third of the
Senate, 20 of the 30 Senate Democrats on it.
A couple of reasons: one, she talks about the real economy. She is not
sort of in an ivory tower. She thinks about a job for an unemployed
worker, livable wage makes the difference in the world for their home, for
their neighborhood, for their schools, for their children, for their old
age, all of that.
And she understands that there is a balance between fighting inflation and
creating jobs, and, too often the Fed is tilt to that, towards fighting
inflation, and almost written off or ignored the job creation part of that.
She wants to restore that balance to the Fed, because the most important
thing you can do in this country is create jobs. She understands that so
HAYES: You know, and when Yellen spoke today at the White House, she
talked about the jobs, the power of the Fed to help job creation and to
help the economy. I thought to myself, jobs? What are those?
I thought the big crisis right now was the closing of national parks in
America. It`s amazing how that gets knocked off the front page.
Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, thank you so much.
BROWN: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: Coming up --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. KERRY BENTIVOLIO (R), MICHIGAN: A lot of people calling me up and
saying that there`s all of these conspiracies and so forth, so forth -- you
probably heard them. Doomsday events, civil unrest, you`re preparing for
Do you have any operational plans in the event there`s a major -- or civil
unrest that you`re going to arrest innocent civilians and put them in FEMA
camps, do you have plans like that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No plans.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That was a question from Congressman Kerry Bentivolio, Republican
from Michigan, our special ALL IN feature -- these are the people who are
running the country -- continues tonight, and you definitely want to see
Stay with us.
HAYES: So Paul Ryan is back, which means here we go again with so-called
entitlement reform. That`s what Paul Ryan wants.
We want to hear from you. What do you want? Tonight`s question, what
grand bargain would you like to see Washington make?
Tweet your answers @allinwithchris, or post at Facebook.com/allinwithchris.
I will share a couple at the end of the show.
Stay tuned. We`ll be right back.
HAYES: It is getting downright nasty inside the GOP as the second week of
the shutdown stretches on.
Exhibit A comes from Glenn Beck`s radio show when Beck channeled Mitch
McConnell in a closed door with Republican senators.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GLENN BECK, RADIO HOST: You new senators come in and you think you know it
all. And if anyone is working with the Senate Conservatives Fund, or
FreedomWorks, you`re a traitor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Glenn Beck claims that quotation of Mitch McConnell or paraphrased
at the very least, came from a senator who is at the meeting. Apparently,
this senator called up Glenn Beck to get him the scope. So, we don`t know
how close this was to what McConnell actually said. What we do know there
is serious anger and distrust and alienation and conflict and chaos inside
the quiet rooms in which Republican politicos have been meeting.
Last week, incensed Republican senators confronted Ted Cruz for his
allegiance with the conservative groups that were attacking them, a scene
one senator compared to a lynch mob, the grassroots base has declared open
war on the establishment. And what you are seeing is the establishment
panicking when it realizes it is no longer controlling things.
According to Pew, more than half of rank and file Republicans believe we
can go past the debt limit deadline without major problems. It`s pretty
much impossible to find a business leader who feels the same way, and that
includes of all people, the Koch brothers whose allies have been imploring
the government not to let the government default, according to a new report
today. Yes, you heard me right, even the Koch brothers have had enough.
And while the base and the House Tea Party Caucus continue to tell
themselves there is some brave dissidents, those slightly more connected to
reality are attempting to tell them, no, you`re really not. That include a
scion of conservative royal family John Podhoretz who wrote in Rupert
Murdoch`s "New York Post" yesterday the right is committing suicide.
Today, brought new evidence to back that up. A Gallup poll showing that
the GOP`s favorability rating is fallen to 28 percent, the lowest for
either party since Gallup began asking the question in 1992.
Joining me with the latest is Robert Costa, Washington, D.C. editor for the
conservative "National Review" and CNBC contributor. Robert, I`m going to
ask you about the Gallup poll, I`m going to ask about that Senate meeting
behind closed doors, which continues to have kind of (INAUDIBLE) re-telling
in its wake.
But, first, I want to start with the latest -- this is what I`m hearing,
House GOP working on floating an idea of clean debt ceiling hike for four
weeks, possibly also to reopen the government with a C.R. attached or not.
What are you hearing?
ROBERT COSTA, CNBC CONTRIBUTOR: I am hearing that Republicans right now,
even conservatives, are reluctantly coming around to the idea that next
week, they`re going to have to come around to a short-term debt limit
extension. That`s what they`re going to try to do as a first move before
they move on the broader fiscal talks.
HAYES: So debt ceiling -- short debt ceiling extension, but keep the
government shut down.
COSTA: Well, see, that`s the open question, Chris, because Speaker John
Boehner knows that he would like to have Republicans just pass a cleaner
extension of the debt limit. But if he can`t get enough Republican votes,
he`s going to have to go to leader Pelosi and get some Democrats. And I
think one thing Democrats are pushing for behind scenes and leader Pelosi
met with Boehner today, is to reopen the government as part of any kind of
deal on the debt limits.
HAYES: OK, this is key, I want people to understand the math here.
He can afford to lose about what, 18 votes, am I right? On anything he
brings to the floor, right?
COSTA: That`s exactly right. He starts off with 233, but really he is
dealing to about 150 to 190 loyalists who are probably going to be with him
on any deal.
HAYES: So if he loses 70 on a clean debt ceiling, he has to make up 60 of
the 55 over from the Democrats, which means the Democrats can extract the
price. Otherwise, he`s left high and dry? Am I right about that?
COSTA: That is exactly right. That`s why the president`s comments at
Tuesday`s press conference were so important, because the president signals
his willingness to do a short-term extension, if Nancy Pelosi follows along
with that path, Boehner may be able to get the votes.
HAYES: OK. What should we make of the Tea Party reaction to the Ryan op-
ed today? Ryan op-ed comes out. You get all this backlash from folks
saying where is Obamacare, Ryan basically has backtracked. He says, well,
I`m talking about the entitlement, Obamacare is an entitlement.
So, how much of that is real? How much of it is a sense that Ryan is
actually preparing the ground in which to bury the Tea Party?
COSTA: I haven`t reported this yet, but I was just over to the Capitol,
and they had votes tonight. And I talked to a lot of House Republicans who
just got off the floor. They say the real message on the floor is
conservatives realizing they can`t get defund, they can`t repeal. So,
they`re privately going to leadership and saying, you know what, maybe
we`ll get behind a short-term extension, we don`t like it, but we recognize
finally that this is divided government and this is all we can get.
HAYES: That Senate meeting that we talked about, continues to have
ramifications. I thought there was a fascinating post by Erick Erickson
over at "Red State" today in which he just flat out called Ron Johnson a
liar. Ron Johnson, of course, ran on the Tea Party ticket, saying he would
repeal or defund Obamacare when he beat Russ Feingold in Wisconsin in 2010,
swept in on the wave of Tea Party enthusiasm, apparently in the closed door
meeting was not happy with Ted Cruz and his allies.
Why -- how deep do these fissures go in the Senate Republican Caucus?
COSTA: They`re very deep. And for Senator Cruz who is less than a year in
office, it really represents a problem for him moving forward as he tries
to build some kind of legislative allies in the Senate. And someone like
Ron Johnson should be an ally of Senator Cruz. So, he has to repair the
relationships over the coming months.
Interesting thing about Senator Cruz right now is he`s actually receding
from the inside game. He was trying to influence the House Conservatives
for a long time. Now, it seems more and more he is being quiet during
those luncheons and he`s working the outside game.
HAYES: What do you mean by working outside the game? Meaning, just
essentially taking the case to the base to the people?
COSTA: Focusing on television appearances, focusing on meeting with
activists, not so much trying to push Boehner on the inside.
HAYES: That Gallup poll made a lot of news today, and this is -- I am
curious about your answer to this question, were you hearing a lot about
that Gallup Poll today over on the Capitol that`s in the shot that you`re
in right now. Were you hearing about that Gallup today, or it just not
registering with the House Republican Caucus?
COSTA: It`s a mix of both the Gallup poll and the phone calls. That`s one
thing that Republicans are very reluctant to talk about on the record,
about the number of phone calls they have from worry constituents about the
debt limit, and about the government shutdown.
COSTA: I think it`s mounted behind the scenes and it`s really becoming
something that`s almost a pressure point that`s going to lead them perhaps
toward a short-term extension.
HAYES: By that, you mean phone calls coming into the Republican members of
Congress` office, saying, I do not like the shutdown, I`m worried about
default, get it together, essentially?
COSTA: That`s right, because Republicans publicly like to say that the
shutdown is not causing pain, but behind the scenes it has caused a lot of
pain for rank and file Republicans.
HAYES: Robert Costa from "The National Review", with some great tidbits.
Thank you so much. I really appreciate it.
COSTA: Thank you.
HAYES: We`ll be right back with #click3.
HAYES: Coming up, two things happening right now with the government
shutdown: national parks are closed. Also, women, infants and children are
not getting food to eat in North Carolina. Guess which one the
conservatives are up in arms about? That is ahead.
But, first, I want to share the three awesome things on the Internet today.
And we begin in the U.K., where the nostalgia for `90s hip hop is alive and
well. It turns out the adventurous rapper Coolio took a fantastic voyage
to jolly old England recently and the found himself hanging out in a
college dorm after a show, you do. Not only did these students know who he
was, they knew the words to his hit song, "Gangsta`s Paradise," and gave us
this acoustic version with Coolio taking the lead.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)
HAYES: Good to see old college traditions die hard, holding late-night
sing-alongs and inviting old school rappers to your dorm. It`s like that
time back at Brown when I hang out with Tag Team -- whoop, there I am.
The second awesomest thing on the Internet today, building a pop classic,
remember that video from about a decade ago, the one made entirely with
animated Legos? You might wonder why they didn`t make more animated videos
with Legos. Well, the wait is over because someone just made the video out
of animated Legos.
That`s right. One of the biggest videos in music history, Michael
Jackson`s "Thriller" has been given the full block head treatment the
studio, Talking Animals.
And speaking of animals, here is the most famous werewolf transformation.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)
HAYES: At a time when MTV is a shadow of its former self, no one plays
music videos anymore. This is a great step forward. Here is hoping more
artists and animators start reimagining videos of yesteryear. We anxiously
await "Billy Jean" done in the style of CuBert.
And third awesomest thing on the Internet today, what would you do if you
saw this when ordering your Grande chai latte. A bunch of people saw what
turned out to be a promotion for the remake of the movie "Carrie", about
the world`s most famous telekinetic teen.
It started in a West Village coffee shop in New York City, a production
crew worked some Hollywood magic to turn this into a stunt show. This guy
was hooked up to a pulley system so he can be yanked up the wall. They
also rigged up some of the tables and chairs to remote controls,. quickly
moved around the room. And after a stage of altercation between two
actors, psychic powers were unleashed on unsuspecting customers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just get away from me. Just get away from me!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The result was a collection of New Yorkers losing their crap over
and over again understandably. It is really well done. Though, I`m not
sure it makes me want to see the movie. I have to admit if I were in that
coffee shop, I would have been scared out of my mind. And then I would
have been frankly bummed to learn that super powers don`t actually exist. You can find all the links for tonight`s Click 3 on our website,
allinwithchris.com. We`ll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALAN GRAYSON, (D) FLORIDA REPRESENTATIVE: A national poll asked the
following questions, what do you have a higher opinion of, congress or
witches? The congress, 32%. Witches, 46%. What do you have a higher
opinion of? Congress or hemorrhoids? Congress, 31%. Hemorrhoids, 53%.
What do you have a higher opinion of? Congress or dog poop? Congress,
40%, dog poop, 47%.
SENATE PRESIDENT: Will the gentleman suspend?
REP. GRAYSON: Yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: As we promised last night, we are back with another
installment of our brand-new all-in feature where we take a closer look at
the very small group of men and women in congress who are holding the
entire government hostage. It is another installment of "these are the
people who are running the country.
Tonight, we introduce you to Congressman Kerry Bentivolio, a
Michigan`s 11th district. He is our freshman representative who won a
special election last year to replace five term incumbent, Thaddeus
McCotter, who resigned after some members of his staff were charged with
election fraud. Kerry Bentivolio is a Detroit native with a colorful
history, none of it in politics.
HAYES (voice-over): Back in the 1990s, Kerry Bentivolio was running
a home building business in the Detroit suburb of Milford. It didn`t go so
well, mostly, because there were some problems paying the bills. At one
point, there were 16 court cases involving Bentovolio and his creditors.
Many in the same 11th district he now represents. Bentivolio eventually
filed for bankruptcy, dusted himself off and became? Santa Claus, as in a
guy who dressed up as Santa Claus at the mall. He also ran a reindeer
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: One thing I want to set a record straight
on him and what he set me straight on yesterday was, he is not a reindeer
farmer, he is a reindeer rancher.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES (voice-over): A reindeer rancher, who reportedly experimented
with a new product, Reindeer milk cheese. In 1992, President George H.
Bush invited Bentovolio to come to Washington to serve as the White House
Santa Claus at the annual tree-lighting ceremony.
Bentivolio called a press conference to announce the exciting news,
which caught the attention of a bunch of those creditors. One of whom was
in astonishment called the White House and told them their soon to be Santa
was a debt beat. Bentivolio never went to D.C. and he sued the creditor
And, that is when things went all miracles on 34th St. During the
proceedings told the court, quote, "I have a problem figuring out which one
I really am, Santa Claus or Kerry Bentivolio. Now, I preferred to be Santa
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE KID: You are really Santa Claus, right?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: No, I`m an accountant. I wear this
(EXPLICIT WORD) thing as a fashion statement. All right?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE KID: OK.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES (voice-over): After the Santa years, Bentivolio worked as a
high school teacher at Fowlerville, Michigan, where he was reportedly told
his students that he had just one goal to make each one of them cry at
In 2012, he was reprimanded by school administrators for reportedly
grabbing students` desks and yelling in their faces.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: Say it! Say it!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES (voice-over): A few months later, the country was ready for
this man to be a United States congressman. He won a special election
after incumbent Thaddeus McCotter dropped out amid scandal, only 41% of the
vote. He sworn in, in January of 2013, and quickly began to make a name
for himself in Washington with moments like these.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
U.S. HOUSE SPEAKER: The chair recognizes the gentleman from American
Samolio -- Mr. -- fallumbenga.
KERRY BENTIVOLIO, (R) MICHIGAN REPRESENTATIVE: Thank you. Thank you,
Mr. Speaker, it is American Samoa.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: Articles of impeachment --
BENTIVOLIO: If I could write to bill.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: Do it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: -- excuse me -- it would be a dream come
true. I feel your pain. I know, I stood 12 feet away from the guy. And I
-- couldn`t stand being there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES (voice-over): And, so it is no surprise that when a letter was
circulated this summer demanding that John Boehner use the threat of a
government shutdown to de-fund Obama Care, Kerry Bentivolio signed on the
dotted line, and that is how he became one of the people who is running the
HAYES: Tune in next time, when we take a look at California
Congressman Doug LaMalfa, who received millions of dollars and farm
subsidies while supporting billions of dollars in cuts to food stamp
benefits. Coming up, the new face of Obama Eritrea on the right, the park
ranger. That is next.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: We have been telling you about how because
some of the national -- the federal shutdown, the national mall has been
closed. You know, they -- extraordinarily for the first time in history
they put police tape up around the war memorials. This has never happened
Last week`s World War II vets right there, they did one of those
honor flights. They had to essentially storm the barricades. They were
escorted by a number of members of congress. So those vets had to storm
the barricades to get in to the mall because it is closed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: If you are watching, the conservative media, here is the story
of the shutdown. President Obama has decided to impose misery on average
Americans by denying them access to National Parks. I did not know,
previously, that un-federal access to National Parks, a mistake over
government shutdown was a core of a conservative principle. But,
apparently it is one worth of going to the barricades or should I say
barricades for. And, the face of the jack putted thug of Obamunism is now
the figure of the park ranger.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RANDY NEUGEBAUER, (R) TEXAS REPRESENTATIVE: The park service should
be ashamed of themselves.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE SPEAKER: I am not ashamed.
REP. NEUGEBAUER: You should be.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: If you thought that was bad, here is a writer in the
conservative website calling park rangers little Eichmanns. Here, a
citizen boasting that her husband threw those lonesome large cones out of
the way at the bad lands of National Park in South Dakota, sending he
picture to Michelle Malkin. And, here, at same pic, turned into neme again
with the intent of demonizing the rangers who are merely doing their job.
Senator John Thune said he had seen photos of the Mount Rushmore
viewing areas being corned off. He said, "It was outrages. It seems to me
on a lot of levels, when we saw this out here with the World War II
memorial, the administration wants to make this as painful as possible.
They obviously prefer to have the issue and not the solution.
The basic truth is that the federal government does a lot of stuff
that people need and enjoy. And, shutting it down is painful. That is
inescapable. I want to talk about National Parks. This is what happened
to the Grand Canyon this week. There were about 2,200 Furloughed park
employees inside the park, living inside the park. And, they are starting
to run out of food. The park is huge. They have no easy way to leave it.
And, so, this week, St. Mary`s food bank had to truck in hundreds of boxes
of food to of employees.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JERRY BROWN, ST. MARY`S FOOD BANK ALLIANCE: We are talking about
minimum wage workers out there. Folks who -- you know, count on the
seasonal income from those areas. And, once that is cut off, the need is
almost immediate. They had people at the door step this weekend --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Up to 66,000 people or 20% of those eligible were kicked off
the WIC Nutrition Program in North Carolina. The state`s department of
health and human service saying, some of our most vulnerable citizens,
pregnant women and breastfeeding women, infants and young children will be
affected by the interruption of WIC services due to the federal shutdown.
And, of course, there is salmonella outbreak going on at the same
time. The government is throwing food safety inspectors, the most acute
outrage. There is a news that families and four soldiers killed in
Afghanistan last week, and were not going to receive the death benefits to
which they were entitled.
That was solved today, not by, yet, another house vote; but, when the
government arrived at a creative solution, a private charity, Fisher House,
will step in and pay, including the $100,000 death benefit to each brave
family. The charity will then be reimbursed when the government opens.
But, of course, republicans left to pin that one on the president as well.
House Speaker John Boehner saying, frankly, I think it is disgraceful
there withholding these benefits. Even though Defense Secretary Chuck
Hagel made clear the funding was not there. The department of defense had
warned congress that benefits would be cut off unless it was explicitly
addressed when they passed the bill to pay the military during the shutdown
and before the shutdown on September 27th.
The pentagon comptroller, Bob Hale, said death benefits would be
affected by a shutdown. This is a quote. "This is ghoulish, but it is the
law, not policy." A govern,ent shutdown is destructed and you can`t have
it both ways. Republicans want to shutdown without the paying.
Joining me now is James Poulos, Contributor of Forbes.com and the
"Daily Beast." Joy Reid, MSNBC Contributor and Managing Editor, Sam Seder,
host of the online podcast "Majority Report" and co-host of the "Ring of
Fire" radio show. I didn`t know until three days ago, until three days
ago, National Park access, huge, undying issue for conservatives.
SAM SEDER, HOST OF "MAJORITY REPORT": Yes. Apparently, it is a real
problem. And, you know -- look, the bottom line is that there are all
sorts of liability issues frankly with leaving these parks just opened and
so that anybody can run through them. I mean, there is obviously a lot of
other operations that go on. But this is one of the biggest, you know,
there is a lot of liability issues. Somebody goes in there, gets hurt.
There is a huge lawsuit. I mean there is just -- it goes on and on.
JAMES POULOS, FORBES.COM CONTRIBUTOR: Well, you know, this is an easy
one for republicans when you see a vet waving an American flag you know
there is a republican somewhere nearby. So, I am not surprised that they
are doing this. But, you know, it is easy to demagogue these kinds of
things, you got both parties at their lowest approval ratings. Congress is
in the tank. It is no surprise that the American people are responding
negatively to the attempts of both parties that demagogue of these things.
So, there got to be another way.
HAYES: But, here is the thing. It is not both parties demagoguing
the National Parks closed. It really isn`t. I mean this is why I find it
interesting. This has become a kind of conservative cause in the
conservative media. And, believe we have our thoughts -- I have been
talking about WIC everything here --
POULOS: I know -- I am not just talking about the money. I am
talking about, you know -- Harry Reid doesn`t want to negotiate, a lot of
folks on the republican side don`t want to negotiate. There were
negotiations in 2010. We got Bowles-Simpson, and that is gone. So, there
is a reason why we are in the situation again, and I think that is
reflected in the numbers of congress and both parties.
JOY REID, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, that is somewhat -- excuse me.
First of all, I think the differences is that there are two parties here,
one of which believes in government as a concept, a government should exist
and it does important things. And, the other which is sort of taken by
the salacity that the only thing about government that is real is the
And, that anytime he wants, the evil Obama can ratchet up to the
theater of pain, because all the government really does is restrict
liberty. And, so, whenever Barack Obama wants to sort of wield his magic
sword of evil, he just restricts more liberty. That is all government
does. But, when republicans find out that actually government does some
actual real functions that people like and need, then they rush to put it
HAYES: Yes. And, I don`t even think -- I actually think it is deeper
than that. I think to me, when we talk about this shutdown, we talk about
the tea party and we talk about all the grand fight in American politics.
It is the size of government. Grand fight in American politics is not
about the size of government. It is demonstrably not about the size of
government. Go look at the growth of government when the republicans
controlled most of government --
HAYES: -- It grew, I guarantee you. OK? It is about what that
government does and who it benefits. And, what is clarifying about this
moment to me in the shutdown is the focus on what that government does.
Yes, people are angry, the memorials are closed. I understand why
they are angry the memorials are closed. They are angry the parks are
closed. They are angry about stuff -- about death benefits not being paid
to soldiers. Those are important things, OK? They are important things
that the government does. The whole thing, you want to open it back up?
Open it back up.
SEDER: This is the bizarre part about this. I mean we can talk
about -- you know, who will or will not negotiate. What is it that the
SEDER: -- And, that is the fundamental problem.
HAYES: OK. That is the question.
SEDER: -- Nobody knows.
HAYES: I want you to answer that question right after we take this
HAYES: Earlier in the show, we asked you what grand bargain you would
like to see Washington make. We got a lot of answers posted to our
Facebook and Twitter pages, like Nell Reece on Facebook who says, "Remove
caps on Social Security tax and start calling Social Security an annuity
not an entitlement." Matt Morhmam from Facebook says I would like to see a
1% tax on all Wall Street transactions." And, finally, Cheryll Athorp who
says, "I say cut his pay, not my husband`s Social Security."
HAYES: Back with James Poulos, Joy Reid, and Sam Seder. And, the
question to you, James is what -- we have all lost the thread I think on
this. We have all lost the plot. It`s like the writers for me --
reconvene and everyone is going to get some caffeine. And, like, where --
exactly what is the next act here, because if Boehner and the House of
Republican caucus don`t seem to know. What do they want?
POULOS: All right? Well, we got two things going on here. One word
of the Tea Party guys want, what Tea Party guys want is one, they think
Obama Care is a dog and he needs to go. It is a big government. They
don`t like it for that reason. But, that is not the only reason. It is a
big government and big business working together to do Obama Care.
You got your big health insurers, and they are part of the show. OK?
-- Wait, hold on. That is not all the Tea Party guys want. Then they`re
looking at the debt limit, and they are saying, you know what? We don`t
want this either, that is big business and big government again, because of
the finance guys.
These guys who are running the financial system, who can control
markets, the -- all the Tea Party guys don`t get their money from them.
So, they are an independent hovering the GOP, and that is driving the Wall
Street guys nuts and that is driving the Boehner side nuts.
REID: Can I say that I think that gets to the point.
HAYES: Yes. I think the latter one is right, by the way, but the
first is not.
REID: Right, but what has animated conservatism as far as I can
tell, since like the dawn of the 20th century or at least since the new
deal, has not been opposition to deficits or the debt, right? Because,
there was a time when -- they said Reagan did it. It has been the
government provisions of benefits to the needy, whether it is to the
elderly, whether it is to the poor, whether it is food stamps, whether it
is Medicare in the 60s and whether it is Medicaid.
Anything that has to do with government providing benefits to out-
groups or to the needy that is what conservatives oppose. And, the reason
for opposing the affordable care act, people are not against people or
buying insurance. It is because they see it as a transfer of wealth from
the wealthy to the less wealthy.
SEDER: Let me just add the notion that the Tea Party is concerned
about money transferring to corporations I think is fanciful.
SEDER: I mean I really do think this is a wish list for a certain
segment of libertarians out there who wish this was the problem. I mean of
course this is not the problem. You are right, the Tea Party doesn`t
necessarily get their money from Wall Street, but they get their money from
other industries. I mean we all know where this money is coming from. A
quarter of a billion dollars was just -- and extra quarter billion was just
found from the coke brothers. That is the reality of it.
POULOS: When you look at a guy like Ted Cruz, and yes, you know his
wife is deeply into the financial industry. But, how do you think Wall
Street feels about Ted Cruz --
HAYES: Doug Henwood was a great writer and observer of Wall Street.
He said in an interview today, I am amazed to find the line of class
authority in American life eroding before my eyes, talking about the fact
that you are right. I mean on the second thing you said, I mean this rift
between finance and the Tea Party caucus as we approach the debt ceiling.
POULOS: At the end of the day, it is all the money.
HAYES: Well, it is not just all the money. I think they have an
independent base of power. The independent has a base of power. It might
be wealthy car dealers in the districts, or it might be dark money that is
coming into the coke brothers or it might be a fundraising off list, right?
It might be -- there is a whole bunch of different sources of money. But
the point is that they are independent enough of Wall Street and at this
moment they feel emboldened to go around saying, "Totally ridiculous and
SEDER: Opinions under Wall Street is not being independent of large
REID: Right. But, remember that in the beginning, the Wall Street
world -- right? It was on the Chicago mercantile exchange that the notion
of the Tea Party was born. Wall Street was all for the Tea Party because
they though they will elect republicans who would cut their taxes.
REID: But, at the end of the day were also emanates the Tea Party is
they want to see rich people pay less taxes. It is people like the coke
brothers who got this army of little people out there defending their
wealth, defending their right not to pay health benefits to their
employees. So, it is about defending the 1%. That is what the Tea Party
has always been about.
POULOS: Well, Wall Street is always in favor of whoever they think is
going to win.
POULOS: I mean that is just what history shows and what their
donations shows. So, that is not surprising, because the street doesn`t
quite run in two directions just the same way. I mean you go out in the
street to talk to Tea Party people who are waving to guys and flag around.
You ask them how they feel about, you know, Bloomberg and that crowd. And,
you are not going to get -- well, he is a member of the 1%. So, he is a
HAYES: No. No. No. Absolutely, not. I hate Bloomberg. I totally
hate Bloomberg. But, I also think that this idea -- that there is this
rift ideologically -- I mean what Ben Domenech, who has been on this
program and a very, very smart conservative writer had this tweet last
night. And, he said -- and this was as the Paul Ryan thing went live he
said, "OK, there is this group of people, libertarian, populist and trying
to reform publican parties, saying we need a middle class agenda. And,
what they`re going to get is Social Security benefit cuts and a repeal of
the medical device tax.
Now, the medical device tax for those of you who are not up to speed
on this at home is part of the Obama Care. It is part of the funding
stream. It is massively unpopular with the medical device industry. There
has been a huge overwhelming vote in the senate to repeal it. It was like
75-25, thereabouts. People started floating repeal of the medical device
tax as a way to get out this.
And, what that shows is that whatever feeling there is in the hearts
of the people carrying flags, right? This interest group capture that is
the nature of the Republican Party is going to win out in the end, right?
What is going to happens is, I guarantee you the most likely outcome of
this whole thing is that medical device tax is going bye-bye, and it is
like "hey, main street. Here is your populous economic message. We got
rid of that medical device tax for you."
REID: Which is why the Tea Partiers despise the republican
HAYES: Yes. That is the thing. And, that is the thing that I feel
like we get trap in right here on this network. Right? We are watching
this huge establishment Tea Party fight. And, you know, I`m on the side of
the establishment in the sense that I think that the debt ceiling is a real
thing, and would rather not like risk genuinely destroying lots of stuff.
But, that doesn`t mean that like I have a dog in the fight. If you know
what I mean? It is like we end up being like, "Oh, you! All those
responsible republicans, the establishment of Wall Streets. I`m on their
side." No, let them go to town.
POULOS: But, this is a reminder too that, you know, you got these
guys going rogue in the Republican Party and it is easy to sort of be
fixated by them, but you know, where is the equivalent on the left? Where
are the progresses in congress would freaking out, or what the
establishment is doing.
They have been crushed. This administration has let them be crushed.
And, I think that is the detrimental of the democrats. And, you know,
remember not that long ago there was a vote that almost passed and barely
filtered by what? 12 votes to de-fund the NSA.
POULOS: That was not some outrageous act, which was -- well this is
the law of the land. We can`t hold a vote, it almost passed.
POULOS: It is because radicals and conservative -- insurgents both
found common cause to really change things in Washington.
REID: No, but I think the difference is, the right -- that part of
the Tea Party found an independent funding source to enable them to
challenge. And, they did this Jim Demint philosophy, which is don`t go
after democrats, go after republicans, primary then take them out. And,
they did it with huge amounts of money.
HAYES: And, there was also the enthusiasm. It was both, right? It
was not just some money created thing. It is also not just like some grass
roots thing. It is the both thing that came together. And, the one thing
I will say to you -- say about this is that there is no democrat right now
worried they`re going to get primaried for voting for a budget that has a
sequestration level and Paul Ryan. And, you are right on that. There is
an asymmetry because the whole democrat is worried about that.
SEDER: And, I don`t know if there are enough worried about voting for
a budget that includes chain CPI --
HAYES: Chain CPI. That is exactly right. That is why I worry about
the grand bargain. James Poulus from Forbes.com, MSNBC Contributor Joy
Reid, Sam Sedar, from the "Majority Report." Thank you. That is all in
for this evening. That was fun. The "Rachel Maddow" Show starts right
now. Good evening, Rachel.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: I loved Joy Reid talking about the magic
sword of pain.
HAYES: Yes. That is right.
MADDOW: That was one for the ages.
HAYES: That is in article two of the constitution.
MADDOW: It is actually Deuteronomy, come on. Thank you, guys.
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