ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
October 11, 2013
Guest: Barbara Lee, David Simas, Matt Welch, Dan Kildee, Baratunde
Thurston, Melissa Harris-Perry
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris
It is day 11 of the government shutdown. But tonight, it seems we may
be nearing the end game, in which enough Republicans have been scared
straight by polling and realize more than ever they need a way out.
Republicans will lose this and now, they`re trying to figure out the best
way to lose.
Meanwhile, the White House is communicating with them just enough to
provide Republicans with some kind of exit, even if they, the Republicans,
insist on calling that a communication a negotiation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: We negotiated it. If we had
done this a couple of weeks ago, we wouldn`t be where we are today. I
think you`ll see something come out of the House in the next 24 hours to
reopen the entire government, that will have changes to Obamacare that will
not destroy the program but would make it better. I think you`ll see an
effort by the House to raise the debt ceiling, not for a year, but for a
period of time. I hope the president will accept these gestures and we`ll
get this behind us in the next 48 hours.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That`s right. You just did hear a Republican senator talking
about, quote, "changes to the Obamacare that will not destroy the program,
but make it better."
It comes on a day when Republican defeat and down right nasty
Republican infighting is becoming ever more obvious.
Here`s Republican Congressman Peter King sharing how he really, really
feels about Ted Cruz.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: This is the strategy of Ted Cruz. And
I, going back to mid-September, I said that Ted Cruz was fraud, that there
was a dead end to this policy, and it made no sense to follow it.
Unfortunately, we have three or four dozen Republicans in the House or Cruz
Republicans who basically threaten to bring the House down if John Boehner
did not pursue this policy. He never had a plan. He was fraudulent from
the start and we have to cut this guy off now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: On the other side of this battle, here`s Republican Gohmert of
the shutdown caucus, referring to Republican Senator John McCain a day
after McCain said the House GOP effort to defund Obamacare was a fool`s
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. LOUIE GOHMERT (R), TEXAS: When it comes to the shutdown that`s
going on, I heard just before I game, some senator from Arizona, a guy that
like Gadhafi before he wanted to bomb him, a guy that like Mubarak before
he wanted him out, a guy that`s been to Syria and supported al Qaeda and
rebels, but he was saying today the shutdown has been a fool`s errand.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Any doubt about the source of the overall Republican
frustration can be put to rest when you consider the Senate duo of
McCain/Graham, frequently critics of the president, have now grudgingly
conceded the obvious -- the GOP is getting annihilated in the polls.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: As you know, there was a Gallup poll
today that showed the favorable ratings of Republicans at an all-time low,
28 percent, so certainly, there is more pressure on Republicans.
GRAHAM: It`s not helping the president. Overall, his numbers have
gone down, but it`s certainly hurting us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The latest numbers from House Republicans are at turns amusing
and frightening. Last night, you may recall, the House GOP offer was
reportedly a six-week extension of the debt ceiling, but not a reopening of
the government until negotiations commence. Today, it seems to be
something along the lines of a short-term extension of both, along with a
framework to conduct negotiations. There`s also various reporting about
replacing sequestration cuts with entitlement cuts.
The White House is rejecting a key element of the latest GOP proposals
linking an extension of the debt limit to negotiations. According to White
House Press Secretary Jay Carney, President Obama and Speaker Boehner
talked on the phone today, it`s described by the White House as a good
conversation that should be ongoing.
Meanwhile, Senate Republicans met with President Obama this morning
and offered a deal that would include a reopening of the government and on
debt limit extension until January, a repeal or delay of the Obamacare
medical device tax, income verification for Obamacare insurance exchanges
and greater flexibility for government departments to deal with
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R), MAINE: The president listened carefully. He
said that some of the elements were issues we could work on, but he
certainly did not endorse it. It was a good exchange, but it was an
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Senate Democrats on the other hand prefer a deal that would
extent the debt limit into 2014.
Joining me now to discuss the latest is Congresswoman Barbara Lee,
Democrat from California, a member of the House Budget Committee.
Congresswoman, my first question is about the medical device tax.
Here we are, day 11 of the shutdown, hundreds of thousands of people are
not getting their paychecks. There has been misery across the country.
Women and infant nutrition programs have been cut. The nuclear oversight
regulatory body has furloughed workers.
Is the salvation for all of this a repeal of medical device tax?
REP. BARBARA LEE (D), CALIFORNIA: Chris, the salvation of all of this
is opening the government up. As we have said since this government has
been shut down by the extremists, the Republican Tea Party, that we need to
open the government back up. Put people back to work. Keep our economy
moving forward. This is bad for the economy --
HAYES: Congresswoman, I agree --
LEE: -- bad for people, so we have to do that first.
HAYES: I agree with you, but the reports out today indicate that
there are -- we are now, no matter what people are saying about
negotiation, or lack negotiation, whether negotiations happening before the
government opens or after, there are discussions now about what the
Republicans will get in change for passing this. Isn`t that already an
indication they are going to win something out of the fact they have
brought the nation to its heels?
LEE: Chris, there are discussions taking place. There should be
discussions taking place. But the president has said and we continue to
say that we have to get people back to work. We must open up the
government, we must pay our bills, and then we start talking about the
negotiations and where they come and a framework for the negotiations.
Also, Chris, let me just say -- we have a budget bill. It`s at a
funding level which I detest. So many members of our caucus detest and
we`ve negotiated that. All we have to do is put that up for a vote. And
if we get the number of votes that it takes to pass, 217, 218, then we can
open up the government back up. That`s what we need to do first.
HAYES: I was feeling today that perhaps I was not paying careful
enough attention to what was going on Capitol Hill because I was confused
about the latest. What the game plan out of Republican Congress was, what
the offer on the table. I was happy to see Byron York, conservative
reporter, tweet the following: "GOP congressmen, most of us have no idea
what`s going on or what to expect at this point because that made me feel
like maybe it just wasn`t me."
Do you understand what your colleagues on the other side of the aisle
are planning to do, asking for, demanding as a way out at this point?
LEE: Well, Chris, they started initially saying that they wanted to
repeal the Affordable Care Act. They wanted to deny millions of Americans
health care. That`s wrong. That was holding the Affordable Care Act, the
So, we don`t know what is going to on in terms of the negotiations
they want, but the discussions are taking place, that`s a good thing. But
what we have said and continue to say is that we have to get people back to
work, we must open up the government and we must pay our bills. Once we do
that, that`s a requirement of this government. Once we do that, then we
can sit down and start negotiating.
And that is, I believe, where the president continues to be. And that
is where Democrats are and many Republicans want to do that. We want to
pass the budget bill so we can open the government up.
HAYES: Congresswoman Barbara Lee, thank you so much for your time.
Have a great weekend.
Joining me now is Ezra Klein, MSNBC policy analyst, editor of "The
Washington Post" "Wonk Blog" and the just launched
Congratulations on that, Ezra. It`s a lot of fun.
EZRA KLEIN, MSNBC POLICY ANALYST: Thank you.
HAYES: So, you and I think would describe ourselves as structuralists
in the way that we analyze politics.
HAYES: We sort of dissent (ph) from the cult of the gaffe and the
daily tracking polls during a campaign and basically feel a lot of stuff is
baked in. But with what is going on right now in Washington, I feel like
it`s genuinely uncertain. Like from minute to minute, I don`t know what
deal is on the table, how this will end, what will happen.
Do you feel the same way?
KLEIN: Yes, absolutely. Although I would say that what you`re having
is a structural breakdown.
KLEIN: You are having the structural breakdown of the normal systems
of American government. And also, I think it`s really important, of the
two-party system, right? Like what is fascinating about the Republican
Party`s side to this is that you have two parties of war. You`ve played a
clip from Peter King last night.
But it`s not just -- earlier tonight, but it`s not just Peter King.
It`s John Boehner. It`s Eric Cantor. They don`t want to be here. They
don`t want to have the government shutdown. They didn`t want to go the Ted
Cruz, and they lost and it`s never been clear why they lost or how they win
to get back out of that.
HAYES: The things that people are being discussed, it seems to me
like the trickier sequences that allows both sides to kind of save face,
not that I think the Republicans should be given an opportunity to save
face because they got themselves into this mess, but they`re going to pass
something and then negotiations quickly after --
KLEIN: So, there needs to be some quantum resolution, that is in two
places at one time, right? It both needs to be a set of negotiation, it`s
going -- it looks like it will be concessions in on the one hand
Republicans are sable to say, I think correctly they got through the
shutdown, the debt ceiling negotiations. On the other hand, Democrats are
able to say had nothing with to do with that, they were negotiating over
sequestration. They were negotiating other things.
And the two big components of that, and I`m hearing this not just from
the Republican side, but also from the Democratic side now, is it`s going
to be, I think in the first trounce -- if you will, is going to be medical
device tax, some kind of repeal around that. A lot of Democrats want that,
particularly in the Senate.
HAYES: Passed 75-25 in the Senate.
KLEIN: Exactly. And then on the -- in some other way after that,
some negotiations over how to delay or replace sequestration for a couple
HAYES: There is nothing in the world more perfect than the narrative
arc of the ending on the conclusion of a medical device repeal, as an
instructed parable in the way Washington operates.
KLEIN: Not what Tea Party wants, not what liberals want, not what the
White House wants --
HAYES: Not what the American people are clamoring for.
KLEIN: That`s what some on -- although the only thing we`re saying is
that it is a fairly non-damaging concession, right? I agree that is, on
some level, grotesque. On the other hand --
HAYES: On policy merits is not the worst thing in the universe.
KLEIN: As if it doesn`t matte, right?
HAYES: Well, it`s $2.9 billion a year.
KLEIN: But I think that you think, as you think, that there`s not an
incredibly pressing reason to be reducing the deficit dramatically right
KLEIN: The issue is they`re going to off set it and the question is,
if they choose an off set that is better or worse than having a medical
HAYES: You have covered the first two weeks of the opening of the
Obamacare healthcare.gov. Sarah Kliff, your reporter, has done an amazing
job on this.
You and I have both talked about the fact they have stomped what
would, in the absence of a shutdown, have been a brutal two weeks of press
for this White House.
KLEIN: Republicans, the totality of a strategic failure here is just
unbelievable to me. This should have been the best argument for Obamacare
delay they can possibly imagine. They`ve actually managed to make
Obamacare, which began at a place worse that anyone would have imagine.
If I -- when I was talking to White House people four months ago,
three months, if I would have said to them, you`re going to have launch,
for two weeks, essentially, nobody can sign up, like to first
approximation, basically, nobody that visits the site can sign up. They
would say, that would be a disaster. They would begin shaking at the
table. That`s what they had.
And instead, all anybody talks about every night is a shutdown and
Obamacare is --
HAYES: That`s the best part. In the NBC News poll, Obamacare has
gotten more popular.
KLEIN: The boomerang effect.
HAYES: MSNBC policy analyst Ezra Klein, great to have you.
KLEIN: Thank you.
HAYES: Joining me now is David Simas, White House deputy senior
adviser for communications and strategy.
And, David, I was -- you know, in the first two days, let`s caveat all
of this by saying it`s two weeks into a law that`s going to roll out and
people have until January then March actually to sign up on these
exchanges. I`m not predicting that Obamacare`s a failure or anything like
that, but can we agree that the first two weeks of the rollout have been
bad? It`s been a disaster.
DAVID SIMAS, WHITE HOUSE DEPUTY SENIOR ADVISER FOR COMMUNICATIONS AND
STRATEGY: So, Chris, I think what we can agree on is that we would have
preferred that these first 11 days would have been a much smoother process
for folks going through and it hasn`t been and it`s not acceptable.
And from the get go, when 8.6 million folks, unique visitors, came in
in the first 72 hours and overloaded the system. President was very, very
clear -- identify the problem, isolate it, fix it and work through it --
and that`s what our folks have been doing 24/7.
And, Chris, I can report to you folks are getting through it. People
are getting insurance and 11 days down, 171 left to go.
But absolutely, we said from the beginning there were going to be
glitches because this is an amazing and unique tool that`s been constructed
and developed, and we need to improve it so everyone can enjoy it.
HAYES: I want to read something from you from a health industry
analyst, Bob Lususky (ph), who wrote today on his blog, this is a fairly
knowledgeable guy who works in the health insurance industry. Not a huge
fan of the bill, but also not some kind of crank. He says he`s done a
survey of health insurance plans and his estimate is that 5,000 individuals
and families total have signed up for health insurance in 36 states run by
the Obama administration.
What is your response to that? Do you have a number?
SIMAS: So, Chris, I`m not going to speak to his methodology in the
survey he conducted with insurance companies. Let me first speak to what
the insurance industry is saying itself, is that after the slow start and
the shaky start, they`ve been seeing improvement on a daily basis.
In terms of numbers, Chris, we`re going to do with the numbers from
the Affordable Care Act -- what we do with Medicare, what we`ve done with
Medicaid, what we do with monthly jobs report and release the numbers in
HAYES: So, is it more than 5,000?
SIMAS: Chris, I`m not going to get into is it more than 10,000, is it
more than 15,000, is it more than 100,000? We made a decision early on
that we were going to release the numbers in November.
But here`s what we know to begin with -- benefits begin in January of
2014. When we took a look at enrollment and what to expect, we always
expected that October was going to be a lighter month, ramping up in
November, escalating in December because that`s when benefits kick in. It
wasn`t really an expectation as was the case in Massachusetts when they
went through this, that people would be doing a layaway plan for insurance.
A little bit of a leveling off in January, in February, the spike in March
at the end.
But I can assure you, Chris, that folks throughout the country, not
only in the federal states, but states that were handling, but also in the
states like Kentucky, Connecticut, California, New York, people are signing
up. Folks who never had insurance before and folks who lived on the
HAYES: Yes, I would love to have you back here when you release the
numbers in November. I`d love to check in on the progress of this. I
think -- I definitely want to see this bill succeed because I want this law
succeed, because I want people to get health insurance and so, let`s hope
that these problems get fixed.
David Simas, White House deputy senior adviser for communications and
strategy -- thanks you so much for coming.
SIMAS: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: Coming up --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. TREY RADEL (D), FLORIDA: At home, we balance our budget. But
typical politicians in Washington think they don`t have to. They just keep
spending and spending, putting us deeper in debt.
Well, I`m not a politician.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Congress has enough of those.
RADEL MALE: I`m a conservative and I don`t want my son growing up in
a bankrupt nation.
I`m Trey Radel. And I approve this message to balance the budget.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Like we do at home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Congressman Trey Radel`s household budget is nothing like the
budget of the United States federal government, which is just one of the
reasons why he has earned himself a place in the series, "These are the
people who are running our country." That`s ahead.
HAYES: Quick correction from last night`s show in our profile of
Congressman Stephen Fincher of Tennessee. We said he beat Democratic
incumbent John Tanner in 2010. Tanner, in fact, retired. Fincher won the
election to his seat.
OK. Let`s do a little exercise shall we? Whip out your computer and
smartphone, go to Twitter.com/allinchris. There, OK. Now, click on the
follow button right there. Why? Because next Tuesday, I`ll be hijacking
the ALL IN Twitter account, right after the show, at 9:00 p.m. Eastern, not
for any sort of nefarious reason. I just want to hang out with you. Yes,
for 30 minutes next Tuesday, I`ll be taking over the ALL IN WITH CHRIS
Twitter account, hang out, answer questions. Show up, ask me anything, it
will be fun.
And we will be right back.
HAYES: Remember Texas Senator Ted Cruz? The guy who masterminded the
strategy that put hundreds of thousands of people out of work and let our
nuclear reactors without the regulators?
He was back on the national stage today, unbowed, unbroken, and in the
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The other thing we don`t know about is the fact
that there is an ex-gay movement. Did you know September ex-gay awareness
month? Anybody know an ex-gay?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obamacare is really I think the worst thing that
has happened in this nation since slavery.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This egregious system that will be ultimately
known as death care.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tell me now, will you stand with Ted Cruz? Does
he deserve our gratitude for his magnificent devotion to liberty? Does he
deserve our prayers for continued success? Tell me now. Will you stand
with him in his crusade to save America?
Don`t tell me. Tell Senator Ted Cruz.
HAYES (voice-over): A funny thing happened at today`s Value Voter
Summit. Someone tried to pop the conservative bubble.
SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: That`s what we`re defending. That`s what
Ma`am, I look forward to you at the town hall. We`ll poll together.
HAYES: But that did not stop Ted Cruz from preaching the gospel.
CRUZ: It is because of you that the House of Representatives has been
standing strong because the House has been listening to the people.
HAYES: When Cruz wants to show the popularity, he points to one
CRUZ: In matter of just a few weeks, over 2 million Americans signed
that petition on dontfundit.com.
HAYES: Let`s put Ted Cruz`s army of 2 million into perspective.
That`s just 3 percent of the nearly 66 million people who voted for Barack
Obama in 2012 and just 1.5 percent of everyone who voted last year. It`s a
figure that is dwarfed by, say, the number of Americans who believe shape
shifting reptilian people controlled our world by taking on human form and
gaining political power to manipulate our society.
CHARACTER: Your race is doomed forever.
HAYES: In fact, since Ted Cruz orchestrated the government shutdown,
the latest NBC News polling finds the Republican Party is at its lowest
favorability on record. And by the highest margin since 2009, voters
prefer a Democratic controlled Congress.
Today, Ted Cruz pulled a Dick Morris and said the NBC News numbers are
CRUZ: That poll was very heavily weighted, with an awful lot of
Democrats, with an awful lot of Obama supporters and 20 percent of the
people polled were government workers.
HAYES: Cruz doesn`t buy the NBC News poll even though it lines up
with his own polling. Yes, Cruz has commissioned his own poll and even it
found that most people blame Republicans for the shutdown. But that didn`t
stop Cruz from touting his poll in a closed door meeting on Wednesday with
his colleagues and arguing that the campaign he led to defund Obamacare has
bolstered the GOP`s political position in dealing with the government
Meanwhile, Cruz` own disapproval rating has doubled since June. His
fellow Value Voters rock star Mike Lee is suffering a similar fate.
SEN. MIKE LEE (R), UTAH: Ted Cruz and I have been roundly criticized
for our actions in the attempt to defund Obamacare. We make no apologies.
We stand with you. We stand with the people.
HAYES: Lee now has a net unfavorable rating in the very conservative
state of Utah.
Ted Cruz and Mike Lee had a great day at the Value Voters Summit, but
they are the coyote paddling their legs at the edge of the cliff. They can
only paddle their legs for so long before they fall.
HAYES: Joining me now is Matt Welch, editor-in-chief of the
libertarian "Reason" magazine.
Matt, what do you make of the return of the unskewed poll meme in
response to last night`s polling?
MATT WELCH, REASON: They don`t have a lot of choice out there. There
aren`t very many good polls if your name is Ted Cruz, especially and also
Mike Lee. Look, they made a choice back in the summer, even the late
spring when they went on this defund Obamacare strategy instead of the
strategy of trying to get a conference committee to hash out a budget for
fiscal year 2014.
The calculated strategy was if we show that we will do anything we can
and even things that we cannot do to attack Obamacare in a way that shows
more grit and backbone than would come to expect from the Republican
establishment as personified by John Boehner, it won`t matter if we are
roundly criticized by most of the people because we will be articulating
the frustrations of a long frustrated and for many good reason, GOP base
and particularly Tea Party base.
So they`ve known it`s a losing minority strategy for a long time.
They`ve chosen to do it any way, thinking down to their personal benefit.
And also let`s keep out there they think it`s legitimately the best thing
for the country.
HAYES: So, what I am seeing now and because you`re from "Reason" and
"Reason" has covered Ron Paul a lot and Ron Paul was a very important
figure, I think in the birth of the Tea Party movement in many ways, is a
kind of creeping Ron Paulism that`s taken over the Republican Party. And I
don`t mean that ideologically.
I mean, what really distinguished him from his followers was deep of
commitment. He could raise a lot of money. The people that cared about
him and his message, cared very deeply, 100 percent, but it was not a
broadly popular message. His politics are not majoritarian politics.
And that kind of approach is death for a major national party, but it
seems to be what`s guiding increasingly the ethos of Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and
the folks at the Value Voter Summit.
WELCH: I think it`s an interesting analogy but it breaks down a
little bit, because Ron Paul`s primarily interested in philosophy and
ideology. He`s not really about tactics as much, right?
What we`re seeing right now, especially with Cruz and Lee, is a
question of tactics. It`s sort of demonstrating spine and backbone, which
is a little bit different than this ideology. The contrast with Ron Paul`s
son, Rand Paul, right, who has been in a lot of these fights as well.
But he`s been kind of quiet the last couple of weeks --
HAYES: He has been.
WELCH: -- partly because the things he`s been trying to do this year
have involved broadening the party, finding ways where suddenly, he gets a
positive hearing on MSNBC and among Democrats when he talks about drones
and surveillance and some of these other issues, he knows that the
Republican Party is doomed if it doesn`t expand.
Mike Lee and Ted Cruz, they`re rallying a base, but they`re not
increasing the base by their actions right now.
HAYES: So, final question about Obamacare and puricism, and it`s
basically this -- I`ve been saying to conservatives for months on the
program. Look, it`s an open question on whether the Affordable Care Act
works. I think it will, I hope it does, I want people to get insurance, I
hope this thing works. But it`s an open question.
And I don`t understand, why not just run the experiment? If it`s as
bad as people purport to believe it will, it will backfire. Parts of it
will get repealed, if it`s really the disaster that everyone thinks it`s
going to be, I just don`t understand why you wouldn`t let the law go into
WELCH: Well, this is the great discussion happening in the GOP right
now. A lot of people are making that point. This could have been, as you
said earlier on the show, the October of the Obamacare rollout and then a
debt ceiling debate, which is more favorable to Republicans than Democrats
because that`s widely popular to attach a spending cut on to the debt
ceiling among the American public.
But they chose to do this because they wanted to demonstrate their
depth of passion and because Obamacare uniquely is something that excites
the base on the Republican side. So, they chose for it.
HAYES: Matt Welch from "Reason" magazine, thanks so much. Have a
WELCH: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: We will be right back with #click3.
HAYES: Now, our latest installment of these are the people who are
running the country, we profile Florida`s own Trey Radel. Actually, if
something in common with the Congressman, I`ll tell you what it is. Coming
But first, I want to share the three awesomest things on the Internet
today. We begin with a heartfelt apology to one of our guests. CNBC
contributor Jim Pethokoukis was on the show last night talking with me
about the most likely outcome for Republicans in Washington.
Your prediction is just a complete -- declaring complete total abject
defeat and just passing a cr and debt ceiling hike and then saying, OK,
let`s talk about the budget.
Yes, I think that`s exactly what`s going to happen.
HAYES: As you mentioned on twitter, the polls and markets have given
a strong signal. Can`t pretend it doesn`t exist. At least one person took
issue with Jim`s appearance. Colette Moran tweeted gee, Jim Pethokoukis
think you could have helped out the MSNBC party line against the GOP
anymore? Could have come to their defense a bit. Now that was really
awkward because Colette is a mother to seven kids and oh, yes, they`re
Jim`s kids. Still because Colette is his wife.
Jim Pethokoukis can forget about even talking to me when he gets home
tonight. Vote appears to be all in good fun. Jim wrote later, don`t
worry, gang, my marriage is fine, better worse than MSNBC. He`s a fire
cracker though and a little -- will do and we`re sorry if you had to sleep
on the couch. This second awesomest thing in the Internet today, you
thought the fall was cool in America. In Japan, fall brings a rice
harvest, which means straw, which means giant animals made out of that
straw. These photos from cotoco.com show the amazing works on display and
the straw arts festival dropped the country.
Now, like sand castle festivals on the coast of ages, these straw fest
are notable for their artistry and creativity, not to mention their
national pride. And while there are some cuddly straw monsters like giant
kiddy, there are others that prove Japan`s straw dominance over the United
States. Be honest. Would you rather have this as a scare crow or this? I
thought so. You win this round, Japan. And the third awesomest thing on
the Internet today, taking Ted by storm.
You probably heard of Ted talk, lectures by the likes of Cheryl
Sandburg and Bill Gates and thousands of others used to promote new ways to
see the world. Plus they get two self important when comedian decided to
give Ted talks a monumental pranking. Here`s Sam Hyde infiltrating a Ted
event addressing a university where he passed himself off as a
globetrotting adventure and delivered a 16 minute word speech called 2,270
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Give me like 25 seconds here. Give me like ten
more seconds. I`m a passionate child like innovator. I`ve been all around
the grilobe. Globe. Take this moment and breathe deeply. OK? Neurons
are firing in your brain right now. You`re more alert, your -- projecting,
you`re getting a little bit high on the sound of my voice. I have a nice
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Mercifully brought the proceedings to a close, but no doubt,
somehow we will be having the last laugh when 2007 he rose around and we`re
all wearing plastic harbor. You can find all the links for tonight`s click
three on our website on the Chris.com. We`ll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I want to pay more in taxes. I want to pay more in
taxes. ObamaCare rocks. Congressmen are so cool. Nickel back is awesome.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: We are back with another installment of our new all in future.
Where we take a closer look, a very small group of men and women in
Congress who shutdown the government. Tonight, we spotlight a well-known
conservative media personality from Southwest Florida who aligned himself
with the Tea Party and last November, won the seat vacated by former U.S.
Representative Connie Mack. In tonight`s edition of if these are the
people who are running the country, we bring you Congressman Trey Radel for
Florida`s 19the district.
HAYES (voice-over): Radel represents the good people of Fort Myers,
Florida. He`s a husband, a father, he was a TV news anchor. Radio host
and an entrepreneur. He once owned a company that registered, let`s call
them sexually charged web addresses in Spanish, like Casadelasputas.com
which translates to poorhouse.com in English.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: As a republican, I call them conservative values.
But really, they`re American values.
HAYES: He also bought up web addresses using the name of his rival
candidates like Chauncey Goss, former CIA Director Porter Goss (ph). Radel
covered all his bases. He bought ChaunceyGoss.com, ChaunceyGoss.net and
ChaunceyGoss.org. It`s criticized by his opponents, that said hey, I`m a
business guy, I bought all sorts of domain names and he believes in things
like capitalism. What else does the congressman believe in?
REP. TREY RADEL (R), FLORIDA: What I believe in, me as a lover of
hip-hop especially oldest school hip-hop like so-called gangster rap to Big
Daddy Cain, a huge affinity for the New York rap. That in listening to
some of this music as musicians and artists have done for generations, what
they do is open the eyes of people from maybe different walks of life.
HAYES: Congressman Trey Radel is the self-proclaimed hip-hop
conservative. It`s on his twitter page where he tweeted rave reviews of
the Jay-Z`s Magna Carta album. He wrote an essay about his love of hip hop
and about a conservative messaging. And his fight the power. What might
you ask is fight the power`s hidden Tea Party message?
RADEL: If you really get down to it, in many ways, reflects the
conservative message of having a heavy handed federal government.
HAYES: Radel began his Congressional career fighting the power by
voting against San Diego. Remember, he represents Florida. Follow that up
by voting against the reauthorization of the violence against women act,
last month, voter to cut billions of dollars from the food stamp program.
But a letter circulated this summer demanding that John Boehner he`s a
threat of the government shutdown to support a bill to defund ObamaCare,
shutdown that has left a toxic canal blistering in Brooklyn just a few
short miles from where Jay-Z grew up, Trey Radel went to support as a co-
sponsor and that`s how Florida`s Congressman Trey Radel became one of the
people who is running the country.
HAYES: Special shutout to diehard progressive who correctly guessed
today`s future congressman was Radel based on me posting a link to the
fight the power video. Well done.
Up next, I`ll tell you what the most hated American institution is.
Dog poop, retire, our founders are rolling over in their graves. Say with
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Do you feel like you are being tainted by this? Is it
destroying the reputation of the institution?
REP. XAVIER BECERRA (D), CALIFORNIA: Just like cars salesmen, some of
the priests in the Catholic Church, all right, everyone got tainted. And
that broad brush is striking all those of us who are in elected office.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That was democratic Congressman Xavier Becerra on this show
last night, pointing out the similarities on being a member of the United
States Congress and being a priest in the wake of the sexual abuse scandal
in the Catholic Church. Yes. Harsh. Congress had an approval rating of
just five percent in the AP poll this week, I know, I know. People have
always hated Congress. Even in this acrimonious last few years, look at
the trend in the AP poll. Congressional approval was as high as 30 percent
just two years back.
Nearly one in three approved to the job being done by the branch of
government was designed to be the corner stone of the republic. Now, it is
one in 20. And it feels like something is fundamentally broken. Congress
is hated. It`s a laughing stock, but it`s doing too much damage for anyone
to laugh. That`s why the NBC news "Wall Street Journal" poll showed that
60 percent of Americans want to fire every single member of Congress.
Perhaps that`s why other polls show Congress is less popular than the most
unsavory parts of the human experience.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ALAN GRAYSON (D), FLORIDA: What do you have a higher opinion of?
Congress or witches? Congress, 32 percent. Witches, 46 percent. What do
you have a higher opinion of? Congress or hemorrhoids. Congress, 31
percent. Hemorrhoids, 53 percent. What do you have a higher opinion off?
Congress or dog poop. Congress, 40 percent, dog poop, 47 percent.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That poll found Congress is less well liked than the IRS, it`s
less well like than Wall Street on the plus side, it did edge out both
Miley Cyrus and twerking. Congress seems to be the most hated institution
of American life and there seems something almost satisfying about this, at
least to those of us who have watched with disgust is the house GOP`s
suicide caucus has hijacked the political process and dragged down
perceptions of the Republican Party, along the way.
But there`s also something disturbing about this. I mean, this is the
branch of government with the power of the purse. The one that`s supposed
to declare war and oversee the executive branch and it`s now seen almost
universally as a bad joke. Americans have stopped expecting members of
Congress to make their lies better. At this point, they just hope Congress
stops making them worse. With each day, the shutdown drags on. With each
threat, the full faith and credit of the U.S., those hopes grow a little
Joining me now is Congressman Dan Kildee, Democrat from Michigan.
Congressman, I imagine most of the people back in your district knows who
you are, know you`re a member of Congress but you must occasionally find
yourself in a circumstance, at a baby shower, or a cocktail party, or out
at a restaurant, in which someone doesn`t know what you do. And you have
to say, when they asked, I`m a member of the United States Congress. What
is the reaction when you say that?
REP. DAN KILDEE (D), MICHIGAN: I don`t know who the five percent are
because I haven`t met any of them yet. Most people are completely fed up.
And that`s really frustrating. You know, I`m proud of the work I do. I`m
proud of the work that my staff does every day. These people work really
hard with me. And the real frustration though for me Chris is that there
is a segment of the Congress and a segment of our society that benefits
from Congress being despised because who checks out of the political
process when our institutions are treated in such a way are used for these,
you know, these sort of clown shows that the Republicans are putting on.
Some people get angry and they act, but an equal number or greater
number check out of the political process. And I`ll guarantee you, it`s
not Wall Street and it`s not the big multinational companies that are
checking out. When average citizens feel like Congress is to be despised
and it`s irrelevant, that embolden and empowers the narrow special
interests that have been clawing their way back into control of this
government and that`s what bothers me about it so much.
HAYES: I deeply agree with you and I think there`s something
insidious and reactionary about the kind of troops of disgust we`ve seen
circulating about Congress, you know? And I think that it`s something that
if you don`t check it, if you don`t talk about it in a specific and
analytical way, it can have a very kind of conservatizing effect. Kind of
almost a right wing effect is that, you know, throw the bombs out, it means
government can`t work and I want to talk about that with a couple of folks
along with the Congressman, if you`ll stick around right after this break.
HAYES: Something very exciting is happening tonight right here 10
a.m. Eastern. It`s the premier of the new MSNBC show "UP LATE WITH ALEC
BALDWIN" and his guest tonight for the hour is New York City mayoral
candidate Democrat Bill de Blasio.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEC BALDWIN, HOST, "UP LATE WITH ALEC BALDWIN": But let`s say you
went, say you become the mayor, long shot. And who`s going to be the
BILL DE BLASIO, NEW YORK CITY MAYORAL CANDIDATE: First have to win
and go through a very thorough process, but I have said I want a
commissioner that is going to end the stop and frisk era.
BALDWIN: Kelly`s gone.
DE BLASIO: Kelly`s gone. And with all due respect to him, but time
for a change. Stop and frisk the only reason Kelly`s gone.
BALDWIN: No, but it`s a very prominent reason. But I think look,
commissioner is really going to focus on the relationship between police
and community as the right thing to do. And because it will intensify our
crime fighting efforts and is going to respect the U.S. constitution in the
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: It`s definitely not to be missed. "UP LATE WITH ALEC
BALDWIN," 10:00 p.m. Eastern tonight here on MSNBC. We`ll be right back.
HAYES: Speaking of Congress and how much people hate it, I want to
introduce you to a website and -- illustrates the prevailing sentiment
towards the Congress these days. It`s called let`s go with FU-congress.
It`s a pretty darn satisfying way to review some of the lows of the last
Still with me is Congressman Dan Kildee and joining me now to talk
about those lows, the man who helped create the fu-Congress website
Baratunde Thurston, was also founder of cultivatedwit.com. I`m also joined
by my good friend and colleague Melissa Harris-Perry hosted her own show
which airs weekend at 10 a.m. Eastern on MSNBC. Baratunde, the site
cracked me up. Why did you make it?
BARATUNDE THURSTON, CULTIVATEDWIT.COM: First of all, we were shocked
that the domain name was available.
I thought it would have been claimed in the 1940s or `50s or `60s, et
cetera. And that was a surprise. We created the site Cultivated, we
teamed up with a design firm called I shot him, and the idea was to capture
the frustration that`s out there. We didn`t` create the mean that is
existed already and then try to give some catharsis with a purpose. We go
through well research examples and why you should, yo, FU-Congress, we
encourage you to tweet at your representatives and then connect you to
voter registration online and to Sunlight Foundation --
HAYES: So, here`s my thought, it actually does have some real depth
to it. It`s not just this kind of primal scream. You`re talking about oh,
people are getting kicked off WIC in North Carolina. You cite specific
attacks to shutdown, but here`s my question for you.
HAYES: Are you playing into what the Congressman just said in the
previous block? Which is by saying FU-Congress, you`re playing into this
kind of conservative idea that like they`re all crooks, they`re all trying
to screw you over. I don`t know if you`ve ever gotten my -- relative, the
e-mail forward, about the amendments the U.S. constitution to make Congress
obey the laws they`re passed, have you ever seen that one? It`s about how
like, they don`t have to pay back their student loans.
THURSTON: I have to filter on my g-mail.
HAYES: But are you worried that you`re re-enforcing this what I think
is a little bit dangerous and insidious idea about screw a lot of them?
THURSTON: I think it`s a valid concern. I really do. I also think
the idea of good people being tainted by a broad message is something,
anyone who traveled as an American during George Bush is they have an
experience, you`ve got to explain yourself. Like, you know, I didn`t do
anything. I was just there when it happened, but it also reminded me as a
traveler overseas that I had a responsibility to do whatever --
HAYES: To make it better.
THURSTON: -- to undue that. And because you own it whether you like
it or not.
HAYES: Exactly. There are members of Congress -- Republican members
of Congress who have caused this specific moment, but Congress in general
also bears responsibility for a lot of an action over the past few years.
And the division, the gerrymandering, there`s a lot going on there besides
of just the shutdown. So, yes, I don`t think were broadly -- think our
examples are very targeted.
HAYES: Congressman, I want your reaction but first Melissa, I want
you to put in the context as a political scientist by trade, how do you
understand this five percent approval? Like, how do we get here? What`s
driving this, you know, broad sets?
MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY, HOST, "MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY": Here`s what we
know in general about what people know about Congress. Not much, right?
So, folks tend to like their congressman and when we say like them, they
tend to return them to Congress. The easiest way to get elected to
Congress is to get elected the first time, right? And folks tend to
actually be returns. So even when people hate Congress over all, they tend
to like their member of Congress just fine which is part of what you`ve
seen about this idea firing them all including my own.
But we also know that as much as they`ve may return, they also don`t
know very much about what Congress does. About how it can actually operate
to change your life. People understand how their city councilman impacts
their lives. They understand how their mayor, maybe even their governor.
But Congress often feels removed, so suddenly in a moment like this, when
you feel how Congress can harm your life, then that becomes the one piece
HAYES: Congressman, here`s a paradox, five percent approval rating,
you know, 60 percent want to fire all of you, but Melissa just said is
really important. Incumbent re-election rates in the last Congress dipped
down to around 90 percent. I think between 90 and 92 percent. That was
lower than it had been. How can you, can explain this paradox to me. The
people hate Congress and they send their incumbents back and back and back
and back again?
KILDEE: Well, a lot of it has to do with the fact and there was
reference that these districts have been drawn in such a way that members
of Congress are encouraged to pander to the most extreme voices.
HAYES: Not true for you too?
KILDEE: Well, my district is a little bit more centrist. But, you
know, it really comes down to the money. If you really get down to this,
it`s not just the way we draw the maps, but the fact that there`s so much
money that is now really taken over and contorted our political system that
as we deal with that, we can talk about all this and we can get people
reengaged, but unless we deal with the fact that it is those who pander to
the extremes, not so much because of what`s their district wants, but it`s
because it`s what those narrow voices with lots of money want to hear them
say. Unless we deal with that, I don`t think we`re able to fix the problem
in the long-term.
PERRY: All right. I think sometimes when we go for good government
reforms, we actually ended up doing harm in ways we don`t mean to. So, the
earmarks sounded like there`s really good example. Right? So, earmarks
sound like there`s something bad. Money just for the individual district,
let`s get rid of that. Get rid of the pork. But actually, if you had
earmarks, you might have a Speaker of the House who could actually move his
majority, which he currently cannot do because it is captured here. Right?
So, sometimes, the very things that we think of a good government reforms
might in fact sort of mess with how Congress gets things done.
HAYES: And what I love about this medical device taxing which I`m
obsessed with, because if the shutdown ends on repealing the medical device
tax, it`s anything that`s terrible about Congress, in one unified story.
HAYES: At one level, it`s this committed group of sort of rapid
extremists in a figure of the small part of the Republican caucus that`s
holding their government hostage because they don`t want the health care,
but the solution isn`t some broadly popular thing American people like,
like Social Security benefits being increased. It`s repealing this very
small thing as a favor to one special interest. It`s everything that`s bad
about Congress all in one place.
THURSTON: There is no 90 percent approval rating. There`s a
limitation of choice (INAUDIBLE) system that draws lines that favored
people already in office.
HAYES: Congressman Kildee, what do you think?
KILDEE: Well, did you ever think six months ago that we`d be looking
back and talked about the medical device tax shutdown of the government?
HAYES: Yes. One of the great noble principled battles in the history
of American politics. The time they brought the government to a halt to
save medical device manufacturers from the 2.7 percent tax.
THURSTON: Our forefathers foresaw this moment.
HAYES: Congressman Dan Kildee, Baratunde Thurston and Melissa Harris-
Perry, thank you, all.
THURSTON: Thank you.
KILDEE: Thank you.
HAYES: That is ALL IN for this evening. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW"
starts right now and good evening, Rachel.
RACHEL MADDOW, HOST, "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW": Chris, we`re not only
going to shutdown the government for weeks on in, we`re going to crash the
entire international economy in order to save the medical device
HAYES: They`ve got a heart. The pacemakers are important.
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