ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
Date: October 28, 2013
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
Yes, the government shutdown is over, the sequester continues. And today,
another part of basic government function turned off by Republicans. One
Republican, to be precise.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I`m going to block every
appointment in the United States senate until the survivors are being made
available to congress. I`m tired of hearing from people on TV and reading
about stuff in books. We need to get to the bottom of this.
HAYES (voice-over): Just 12 days since the government reopened, and
Lindsey Graham is promising to bring executive appointments to a halt. And
he can do it using a Senate protocol that allows for any single senator to
block any nomination by placing a hold on it. But that`s how Lindsey
Graham is able to block all nominees, not why.
To understand why Graham wants to bring government to a halt, you have to
meet Lindsey Graham`s primary challenger, South Carolina State Senator Lee
STATE SEN. LEE BRIGHT (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Patrick Henry said, "Give me
liberty or give me death." We`ve got folks in our country that`s getting
above 50 percent that say give me liberty or give me a white (ph) card.
HAYES: Lindsey Graham, like John Boehner and the House Republicans before
him, is threatening to essentially shut down part t government so he can
defend himself from a Tea Party backlash. Recent polling found only 53
percent of South Carolina Republicans have a favorable view of Graham. For
some context, Graham`s unfavorables in the state are 30 points higher than
its fellow Senate Republican Tim Scott.
Needing to turn around his numbers, Graham is turning back to Benghazi.
GRAHAM: We`re just beginning on Benghazi. And to the families, we`re not
going to let this go.
HAYES: Lindsey Graham is just doing what the modern GOP does best, using
political feeder to placate the base and leaving the American people with
GRAHAM: Talk about Benghazi.
HAYES: Graham is going to block important, substantive nominations so he
can win his primary. Did you want someone to run the Federal Reserve, the
world`s most important economic body? Well, sorry, Benghazi.
GRAHAM: I haven`t forgotten about Benghazi.
HAYES: Did you want someone to run the Department of Homeland Security?
That can`t happen because Benghazi.
GRAHAM: What happened in Benghazi?
HAYES: Did you want an undersecretary for nuclear security?
GRAHAM: We haven`t heard from one person in Benghazi. Benghazi.
Benghazi. Benghazi. Benghazi.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You mentioned Benghazi.
HAYES: America`s nukes may not be secure, but at least Lindsey Graham will
GRAHAM: This administration needs to be held accountable for Benghazi, a
story of Americans abandoned by their government at a time they needed
their government the most.
HAYES: Joining me now is David Brock, the founder of Media Matters for
America. He`s also author of the newly released e-book called "The
And, David, take me through the almost totemic resonance that Benghazi and
the deaths of those four Americans in that American consulate that night
has taken on among the right.
DAVID BROCK, MEDIA MATTERS FOR AMERICA: Well, sure. So, in this book, we
outline 15 what we call hoaxes. And I think today, in your lead-in, we saw
the 16th. You know, behind every bully is a coward, and Lindsey Graham
made a big deal of making friends with Hillary Clinton earlier in his days
in the Senate. Then, he switched course on Benghazi and basically accused
her of having blood on his hands, and what changed there?
Why is he playing politics with national security is the primary challenge
he has from the Tea Party. The Tea Party challenger referred to him as a
community organizer for the Muslim Brotherhood. And the truth is, and we
try to get to facts in the book --
HAYES: Wait a second, he actually called him the community organizer for
the Muslim Brotherhood?
BROCK: That`s right, so this is posturing. There are Benghazi truthers at
all levels of the Republican Party, starting with Dick Cheney, who went on
talk radio last week and lied about Secretary Clinton`s role in this to the
nut who heckled her last week. So, Lindsey Graham is looking at the
Benghazi truthers who are primary voters in South Carolina.
And the fact is, the people he wants to hear from, Chris, they were
interviewed by the FBI, they were interviewed by the State Department
Accountability Review Board. Those transcripts are available to the
Senate. And Lindsey Graham even met with some of them.
So, this is like your 16th hoax.
HAYES: There was a report. I think part of the reason why Lindsey Graham
timed this announcement to this morning where he went on "Fox & Friends"
and made this big deal about it, and I`m going to talk about what this
means. I mean, he`s putting a hold on all the nominees. This is just
small bit of feeder. He will actually block people from getting a
confirmation, et cetera.
There was a report on "60 Minutes" last night I want to play you an excerpt
of, because I think the conservatives I read seem very excited that this is
going to bring back this issue. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: It`s now well established that the Americans were attacked by al
Qaeda in a well-planned assault. Five months before that night, Morgan
Jones first arrived in Benghazi. But on his first drive through Benghazi,
he noticed the black flags of al Qaeda flying openly in the streets, and he
grew concerned about the guard force as soon as he pulled up to the U.S.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was nobody there that we could see. Then we
realized they were all inside drinking tea, laughing and joking.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: What was your reaction to the "60 Minutes" spot, David?
BROCK: Well, look, I think that they post lingering questions about
Benghazi. And the truth is, there were 157 attacks on U.S. diplomatic
facilities since 1998. Most of those were under George W. Bush. We`ve had
18 congressional hearings and 25,000 administration documents produced. No
evidence of wrongdoing by the president, by Secretary Clinton. Even
Republican Senator Bob Corker said months ago, we know what happened in
Benghazi. He`s satisfied that he knows it.
So, in this report, I mean, I`ll say something about two of the sources in
the report. One of them, Gregory Hicks, was presented as a so-called
whistleblower by Darrell Issa, and you know, he previously lied and said
that there was a military stand-down order in Benghazi. That never
happened, didn`t stop FOX News from airing 85 primetime segments saying
there was one, but all the testimony from the military officials said that
And the other witness appears to be some type of British mercenary who,
apparently, in conversations with FOX News, asked for money to talk. And
so, you know, FOX News even drew a line there, but it was good enough for
HAYES: David Brock from Media Matters, thank you very much for your time.
HAYES: Joining me, former governor of Minnesota and former presidential
candidate, Republican Tim Pawlenty. He`s now the president of the
Financial Services Roundtable, a trade association represents financial
So, the last thing you did in politics was attempt to navigate the
minefield of a Republican primary, a national Republican primary -- it
should be noted -- in running for president. Put yourself in Lindsey
Graham`s shoes. There are certain things he cannot back away from. He is
one of the architects of the comprehensive immigration reform bill. He is
on the record being quite angry at Ted Cruz and his ilk for the government
If you are him, if you are Lindsey Graham, how do you go out and win that
primary in South Carolina?
FORMER GOV. TIM PAWLENTY (R-MN), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well,
Chris, good evening. And first of all, before we talk about the primary in
South Carolina, let`s just make sure we understand Lindsey Graham and his
motives. I`ve known Lindsey for years. He`s a member of the United States
Armed Services. He`s been involved in security and military matters with
passion and sincerity for many, many years.
And to say, you know, his concern about Benghazi is somehow a concoction
around the South Carolina primary, first of all, isn`t true. It isn`t the
Lindsey Graham I know, and I don`t think anybody who really knows him would
say it`s lacking in sincerity.
And number two, if you were going to think about Benghazi as a primary
issue, you know, most of the Tea Party or many of them, libertarians or Tea
Party types, are non-interventionists. Lindsey tends to be interventionist
HAYES: Right, which is why it`s a politically expeditious issue for
precisely that reason. On to the first point, I don`t think that he is
faking that he is concerned about Benghazi. I`m not saying that. I don`t
doubt his intentions. But of course, the trick in politics is a matter of
emphasis. There are a whole lot of issues that Lindsey Graham did not get
up before the nation today and say that he would hold every single
presidential nomination hostage to other than Benghazi, right?
So, the choice that a politician makes about what to emphasize at certain
point are partly the product of the political circumstances they find
PAWLENTY: But I think you make -- your premise is, look, this is a
concoction in precipitation for a primary fight and hopefully a primary
victory, in Lindsey`s case. But this ignores a decade or more of committed
history on exactly these kinds of issues taking essentially same or similar
positions that Lindsey Graham has put forward. And to assign political
motive to that and say it`s insincere and inconsistent with his past record
just doesn`t withstand scrutiny.
By the way, Chris, less than a half hour ago on your network, not FOX, on
HAYES: Brandon Webb was on Chris Matthews` show, yes, absolutely. I
watched the interview. In fact, I know Brandon quite well.
PAWLENTY: Raising, though, Chris, legitimate questions about the issue.
HAYES: Yes, look, right. So, the point, thou, is, show me the other
issues that Lindsey Graham had said he is going to put a hold on every
single presidential nominee, including the Federal Reserve, which I imagine
your clients in the Financial Services Roundtable can`t be crazy about, any
other issue where he is going to put a hold on every nominee other than
this one issue.
PAWLENTY: Well, I don`t know of any others that he`s done that, but I do
believe he feels strongly about this. And just because he threatens to put
a hold, or in fact, puts a hold on certain nominees, doesn`t go to the
issue of how long he will keep the hold on or under what circumstances he
might release them.
Look, he`s frustrated. He thinks this is an important issue. It has a lot
of people on both sides of the aisle raising questions. Usually when
there`s a debate like this, a good way to open, you know to address it is
just open it up to the facts.
So, that`s all he`s trying to do. And again, I don`t think it`s insincere,
and it`s consistent with a decade-long service on these issues.
HAYES: Do you honestly think -- honest question -- do you think a
politician faced with the political incentives Lindsey Graham now finds
himself in, which presumably, he wants to win re-election, I don`t begrudge
on that. That there is nothing about his behavior that changes because of
a primary challenge to his right?
PAWLENTY: Well, I can`t speak to how he thinks each day because I don`t
talk to him each day --
HAYES: No, but a Republican -- take a Republican member, a standard
Republican member of the Senate or the House of Representatives, are you
telling me that the threat of a primary challenge has no effect whatsoever
on their political behavior?
PAWLENTY: Well, if the standard, though -- to answer that question -- is
are you willing to engage in abnormal procedural activity in the United
States Congress, then every one of them or nearly every one of them would
be guilty of that charge. You know, the Senate hasn`t passed a budget in
nine years. They passed financial matters or budgetary matters on
extraordinary procedural maneuvers.
So, if your standard`s going to be invoking or ignoring procedures in an
abnormal way, then they all have dirty hands.
HAYES: Well, I agree with you that the abnormal has become normal. Former
Governor Tim Pawlenty, appreciate your time tonight. Thanks a lot.
PAWLENTY: All right. Thank you.
HAYES: Joining me now, John Judis, senior editor at "The New Republic",
where he just wrote the cover story on the future of the Tea Party and the
far right`s role in the Republican Party.
John, I want to begin with a little Senate hate, because I think it`s
something you and I see eye to eye on. Can we please get rid of the hold?
Why do we have the hold? Why is it the case that any member of the Senate
can single-handedly block a nominee by not giving unanimous consent?
JOHN JUDIS, THE NEW REPUBLIC: It`s not in the Constitution. It`s a part
of the tradition of the senate. So is the filibuster.
I think that those kind of measures make it very hard for our democracy to
HAYES: And not only that, right, there is a way in which in the past,
those have been bound by a certain kind of institutional norms, traditions,
et cetera, that we have gotten out past recently, particularly from the
JUDIS: In the past, for instance, filibusters were extraordinarily rare.
What I remember from my childhood was over civil rights. That was the main
But they happen once in a decade, maybe. But in the last 20 years, they`ve
happened repeatedly, and it`s become so that you can`t pass a bill without
60 votes. That`s an extraordinary thing, and I think that that`s happened
largely because of a change in the Republican Party which has polarized the
parties in Washington and made it very hard for the government to function.
HAYES: Just little bit of data here. So, we`re about to enter, I think,
into a protracted battle over a nominee to the D.C. circuit appellate
court, which is considered the sort of most important court in the land
beneath the Supreme Court. And in terms of nominees, Clinton had 77
percent of his judicial nominees confirmed at this point of his presidency,
bus 92 percent and Barack Obama coming in third at 75 percent.
And here`s a great upside down example of what this obstruction looks like.
You have a situation now in which Senator Chuck Grassley is basically
saying that President Obama, in trying to appoint a nominee to fill a
vacate seat on that court is engaged in, quote, "court-packing." Are we
officially through the looking glass?
JUDIS: Well, I think we are in a period where it`s going to be very hard
for the government to function, and really, you`re going to have to see a
change in the parties. In California, the solution turned out to be the
Democrats getting the kind of majority where they could pass things without
worrying about the filibusters or blocking. So, maybe that`s the solution.
HAYES: Yes, you just wrote a piece in which you basically think the path
out of the wilderness from this sort of deadlock of destruction and
obstruction and dysfunction is basically just winning all the way around.
You point to California, the only way out of this is just overwhelming
maximum majorities, but that`s not plausible nationwide, is it?
JUDIS: Well, there`s two paths. That`s one path. I think it`s very hard
to imagine that, especially because of the House of Representatives. I
think you could imagine the Senate, as happened in 2008, getting a veto-
proof majority or 60 votes, which are necessary to get past the filibuster.
The other possibility is for the Republicans to become more of a centrist
party. That also might happen, and it might happen in the wake of the
shutdown and the reaction of the business community to what occurred and to
the danger, really, that the Republican right poses to the country. So,
that`s the other possibility, that you`ll see a kind of a change where the
people who are now dealing with the Obama people, people like Senator
Corker, Senator Ayotte, will become the norm, and the Ted Cruzes will
HAYES: In order for that to happen, of course, and this gets back to the
point I was just making with Tim Pawlenty, there has to be a shift in
political incentives so that Lindsey Graham and others face people
essentially to their left in primaries, rather than a man like Lee Bright,
who says tyranny is what Barack Obama, Harry Reid and the rest of the
liberals are trying to force upon our land.
John Judis from "The New Republic" -- thank you so much for your time.
JUDIS: Thank you.
HAYES: Coming up --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: We need a responsible, permanent solution
to the problem of those who are here illegally. But first, we must follow
through on the broken promises of the past to secure our borders and
enforce our laws.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: During this address that Republican Senator Marco Rubio famously
took that famous sip of water, which inspired our continuing series "I see
you, Marco Rubio," to retract his constantly evolving position on
immigration reform. The latest twist, stick around.
HAYES: We`d love to hear from you on Twitter and Facebook.
The Obamacare fear-mongering continues. Now it`s sharply focused on the
initial implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Tonight`s question --
what`s the latest myth a right-wing uncle or high school buddy has told you
about the Obamacare exchanges and healthcare.gov site?
Tweet your answers @allinwithchris, or post at Facebook.com/allinwithchris.
I`ll share a couple later on the show and we truth squad them. So, stay
We`ll be right back.
HAYES: Big news from Marco Rubio today. In the latest installment of our
recurring series, "I see you, Marco Rubio."
For a while now, we`ve had our eyes on Senator Marco Rubio, and his back-
and-forth on immigration reform, watching and waiting for the sad and
pathetic, morally bankrupt ending to the saga of Rubio trying to please the
party`s donor class while somehow also not alienating its primary voters.
For those who`ve missed it. Here`s a quick recap of what that`s looked
DAVID GREGORY, MEET THE PRESS: Is there something that happens in this
debate, the amendment process, additional opposition from conservatives,
that causes you to step back and say I can no longer support this
RUBIO: I don`t anticipate that. I think it`s a very good piece of
legislation, a very good law.
HUGH HEWITT: Will you yourself support the bill that emerged from
judiciary, Senator Rubio?
RUBIO: Well, I think if those amendments don`t pass, then I think we`ve
got a bill that isn`t going to become law and I think we`re wasting our
time, so the answer is no.
This is hurting America. This should be about helping the United States.
And if nothing passes, then this disaster we have now, that`s what`s going
to stay in place.
There are many things on immigration that we can agree on, and I think we
should move on those and make progress on those issues, and there are a
handful that we have no consensus on in this country yet, and those issues
may have to be, you know, delayed at some point until we can reach a
consensus on how to approach them.
HAYES: OK, so, today comes news that Rubio is basically opposing the
passage of comprehensive immigration reform in the House. Instead, he`s
now calling on his colleagues in the House to pass a budget piecemeal
bills, which is the House GOP`s current favorite rate for just killing
The only approach that has a realistic chance of success is to focus on
those aspects of reform on which there is consensus through a series of
individual bills said a Rubio spokesman to the Web site "Talking Points
Memo." "Otherwise, this latest effort to make progress will meet the same
fate as previous efforts, failure."
Not only did he trumpet it, this piecemeal approach, he also instructed the
House not to pass anything that can go into conference committee with the
Senate`s bill. The Senate, of course, passed with great fanfare a
bipartisan bill that Rubio`s quite familiar with because he helped write
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUBIO: Here in America, generations of unfulfilled dreams will finally
come to pass, and that`s why I support this reform, not just because I
believe in immigrants, but because I believe in America even more.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: I like that speech, but just to be clear here, Rubio today came out
against that speech, came out against his own bill and also came out
against even the possibility of the House passing a bill that could ever be
merged with his own bill.
If you`ve been following this saga, you probably knew this was coming. And
the worst part, this is the worst part, is that while it might tangibly
hurt the chances for reform and the 11 million people living in limbo, it
will do nothing for Rubio`s own political fortunes. It is purposeless
destruction at this point.
He`s already rightly taken a political hit for crafting and promoting the
gang of eight bill. Now, he`s going to take another hit, understandably,
for his inconsistency.
Or as one of the Republicans who plans to lobby for immigration reform in
Washington tomorrow told MSNBC`s Benjy Sarlin, "Finding a politician who`s
one on the `I was for it before I was against it tragedy`."
To use our recurring visual metaphor, today`s news is the part of the
episode where Rubio tries to put the bottle back on the table after having
taken a sip. The problem is that everyone saw what he did.
Joining me now is Lorella Praeli, director of advocacy and policy for the
United We Dream Network.
And, Lorella, you as an activist have worked in opposition to and with
Marco Rubio. You`ve met with him. You`ve come on our show before,
defended him -- defended his integrity and his good faith.
How are you feeling in reaction to the news today?
LORELLA PRAELI, UNITED WE DREAM NETWORK: I guess the first words that come
to mind, Chris, are irresponsible and cowardly. Not how I`m feeling, but
really the perspective we currently hold of Senator Rubio after his back-
and-forth on immigration. I mean, talk about working on something for
months, coming to an agreement, taking a vote for it, and then completely
saying, no, House Republicans, you should just ignore this and move in a
HAYES: The other irony of today is that the same day that Marco Rubio did
this, and it`s getting a fair amount of press, Representative Jeff Denham
of California becomes the first Republican to sign on with 185 Democrats to
co-sponsor a House plan to adopt most of the Senate`s bill.
"I`m the first Republican. I expect more to come on board. They`ve told
me we`re going to have this issue on the floor by the end of the year."
Take those two developments into consideration, Marco Rubio, Jeff Denham.
Where are we on this right now?
PRAELI: You know, I think during the shutdown, there wasn`t a lot of
progress, obviously, in Congress, on immigration reform. Our movement has
been very loud from day one, and continue to do so through August recess
and through the shutdown. We continue to come out and press members of
Congress to really get behind an immigration reform bill that really honors
the dignity of our people, and that means that it would have to include a
pathway to citizenship for the 11 million.
HAYES: OK, but here`s --
PRAELI: I think -- so --
HAYES: Here`s the problem. I`m sorry to cut you off, but here`s the
problem. That argument, which I find very persuasive, why is that going to
be persuasive to members of the House Republican Caucus who are looking at
the same political incentives Marco Rubio is?
PRAELI: You have members who have come out for citizenship. We have the
votes that we need. And if it were not for what we call the Hastert
excuse, we would have a vote on either the Senate bill or a modified
version, which is HR-15 right now. That`s the Senate bill, plus bipartisan
policy that was voted out of committee in the House that addresses the
border security issue.
So, you know, I think we have people like Representative Denham coming out
in support for this bill. We have other folks. We now have 29 House
Republicans who have come out for citizenship. This weekend,
Representative Franks from Arizona, from 8th congressional district, also
came out for pathway to citizenship.
So, while you have some forward movement in the House, you know, as they
figure out procedurally how they want to move forward with immigration
reform, you have people like Senator Rubio coming out trying to defeat a
measure he worked on trying to move forward. And to me, that`s not
I also don`t want us to be overly focused on him, because I think the
people who really matter right now at this point in the debate are House
Republican leadership, and that means Speaker Boehner has to really address
HAYES: Do you think that you have the votes? You just said that you think
you have the votes. If John Boehner -- we did a segment this last week,
where he basically said this is the same dynamic as the shutdown, which is
the analogy is, you know, the whole time John Boehner could have ended the
shutdown like that, brought a clean C.R. to the floor it passes with all
the Democrats voting for it, and enough Republicans. Do you think that
dynamic is in play right now on some version of the Senate bill?
PRAELI: Yes. I think that if it were not for the Hastert excuse, right?
This rule that`s not really a rule in the House, we would be able to have a
vote on this bill now. We have 185 Democrats who have signed on to HR-15,
to the immigration reform bill in the House that has a pathway to
citizenship, that addresses the border security issues, et cetera, and I
think that we can probably see 195 to 200 Democrats on that bill.
We now have 29 Republicans in the House who have come out. That`s over 218
PRAELI: -- in the House.
HAYES: I want to play something for you that Senator John McCain actually
said about the politics of this issue this morning at a breakfast in
Chicago. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Let`s say we do pass it. It will not gain
us a single Republican voter, but what it will do for the Republican Party
is it will allow us to compete for the Hispanic vote. It will give us a
playing field where we can argue for lower taxes, less regulation, smaller
government, strong military, et cetera. But if we don`t pass it, we will
not compete for the Hispanic vote.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: If we don`t pass it, we will not compete for the Hispanic vote. Do
you think he`s right?
PRAELI: Yes, I think he`s absolutely right, and I actually would make an
argument for not only the Hispanic vote but also for independent voters,
right? So, immigration reform and the current moral crisis that exists in
our community because, you know, 1,100 people are getting deported every
day that President Obama doesn`t halt the deportations and every day the
House Republicans don`t act on this bill.
So, I think Americans have tuned in to that. I think Americans understand
the crisis that our community is faced with every day, and they tie that to
the inaction. I mean, but Republicans have now this track where they have
to first fail at something to then realize that it`s political suicide for
them to continue on that destructive path.
HAYES: That`s a good point, and that is exactly the dynamic that had to
happen with the shutdown, and hopefully, I hope that you`re right, that
enough failure will convince John Boehner to do the thing he did with the
shutdown, the thing he did with Sandy recovery, which is bring it to a
Lorella Praeli from the United We Dream Network -- thank you so much.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The story in California where hundreds of thousands of
middle class Americans are finding sticker shock.
KARL ROVE, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: The president has some credibility
problems, too, because he goes out and says these things that have right
from the get-go been untrue, and he knew they were untrue.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That was Karl Rove on FOX News earlier today doing his best to
contribute to the not quite all the information campaign on Obamacare. And
I`m going to explain, coming up.
HAYES: Do you remember that weird moment at the G-8 summit in 2006 when
President Bush gave an unsolicited shoulder massage to German Chancellor
Angela Merkel? It was one of the more bizarre moments of the Bush
presidency, a moment that was pretty much seared into my brain.
And I cannot be the only person in America who immediately thought back to
that moment when I heard some of the most recent revelations about NSA
surveillance. Thanks to Edward Snowden, we now know the NSA monitored the
phone conversations of 35 world leaders. That includes Merkel, who is
(INAUDIBLE) a U.S. ally. Merkel was reportedly livid about the
surveillance and called President Obama to register her displeasure.
But the spying may have begun as far back as 2002, the early days of the
Bush administration, before Merkel even became chancellor. And that
timeline makes this clip from 2006 even creepier! I can`t help but wonder
if Bush had gotten a tip from the NSA about how Merkel mentioned on the
phone she enjoyed the occasional back rub.
Here`s the craziest part about this whole thing, it`s not that we were
tapping the German chancellor`s phones, which is not necessarily that
surprising, even though it involved an ally, it is that, apparently,
President Obama did not know we were doing it, according to a report from
the "Wall Street Journal" out today.
The spying on Merkel was part of the massive surveillance operation put in
place by president George W. Bush after the September 11th attacks, which
members of the Bush administration continue to defend to this day.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We do have a fantastic intelligence capability
worldwide against all kinds of potential issues and concerns. We are
vulnerable, was shown on 9/11, and you never know what you`re going to need
when you need it. And the fact is, we do collect a lot of intelligence,
and without speaking about any particular target or group of targets, that
intelligence capability is enormous important to the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Of all the dangers that come with this really massive, sprawling
surveillance state that Dick Cheney and George W. Bush helped construct,
the erosion of personal privacy, the damaged diplomatic relations, the
biggest may be this. The apparatus itself is so big, it cannot be
adequately overseen by the person who is dramatically accountable for
The "Wall Street Journal" reported, the president went nearly five years
without learning U.S. spies were bugging the phones of world leaders. He
only discovered the spying due to an internal review that started this
summer. Officials said decisions like this, to, you know, for instance,
spy on world leaders, are made at the agency level.
Perhaps the best way to think about the NSA is the way we think about the
banks that got us into the financial crisis. They are institutions that
are so massive and complex, they cannot actually be managed. Their very
existence in their current state threatens epic destruction when inevitable
human error occurs.
That`s where we`ve gotten with our surveillance state. It has to shrink or
we will eventually find ourselves living through the surveillance version
of the great crash. Perhaps that`s what we are seeing right now.
HAYES: Have you heard that hundreds of thousands of people are losing
their health care coverage because of Obamacare? Well, that`s not really
the whole story. We`re going to bring in an editor at "consumer reports"
to separate myth from fact, so tell your favorite right-wing uncle to
watch, because it`s next.
But first, I want to show the three awesomest things on the internet today.
We begin with an answer to a question that probably shouldn`t need to keep
asking, but apparently do. Actress Julianne Hough made a name for herself
on "dancing with the stars" but she appreciate all sorts of TV shows, like
the Netflix`s original series "orange is the new black." And reportedly,
Julianne Hough decided to show her phantom like dressing in a Halloween
costume as one of the show`s African-American characters. As you can
imagine, her blackface was not well received. Hough was quick to apologize
on Twitter for the costume, but I started thinking about a way to prevent
these incidents from happening in the future.
I asked on Twitter, can someone make a micro site at
shouldidressinblackfacehalloween.com with the big "no" as the only text on
the landing face? Thanks.
And lo and behold, within minutes, Twitter user Leah Doolittle replied
buying the domain name ASAP. I encourage everyone to visit
shouldidressinblackfacethisholloween.com and take in its subtle message.
And while I`m at it, I`d like to wish for some other things that will be
granted by the magic Twitter pixies, single-payer anyone?
The second awesomest thing on the Internet today, the band is back on the
field. Last week, the Ohio State University marching band received
deserved kudos for their tribute to Michael Jackson, complete with giant
moonwalk. For this week`s game, the band had to top itself and top itself
and they did with a tribute to multiple blockbuster Hollywood movies.
There`s Clark Kent entering a phone booth only to emerge as superman with
cape flowing behind him as he stops a building from falling down.
Seriously. There was Harry Potter riding a broom as he chased down the
golden snitch. Nice form. And although we only have a few seconds, we
thought we`d show you this Jurassic Park dinosaur devouring an unlucky
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYING)
HAYES: Delicious! Pity the team that has to follow that halftime show.
Might as well stay in the locker room.
And the third awesomest thing on the Internet today, you know what they say
about imitation, it`s the greatest form of flattery and the films of West
Anderson for platter big time when Edward Norton hosted "Saturday Night
Live." Norton is becoming a West Anderson regular.
In our wildest imaginations, we never thought we`d see him in something
like this, a trailer for a new horror movie as if directed by West Anderson
with all the whimsy and flights of fancy we`ve come to love. And Norton
makes a spot-on Owen Wilson who is trying to protect his family from quirky
knife-wielding psychopaths at his door.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The story of one determined father --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, kids, come on, let`s go to the panic room.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And his two precocious children.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have to protect ourselves or we`ll die.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Quick, let`s gather all our weapons. Rock, hammer,
Swiss army knife, sling shot, firecracker, ship in a bottle, protractor,
picture, assault rifle, little flack.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The sketches were all amazing, production design was off the
charts, all of which begs one question, when are they actually making this
movie and can the answer be immediately?
You can find all the links for tonight`s "click 3" on our Web site,
We`ll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: In California, Kaiser Permanente terminated
policies for 160,000 people. In Florida, at least 300,000 people are
losing coverage. That includes 56-year-old Diane Barrett. Last month, she
received a letter from Blue Cross/Blue Shield informing her as of January
2014, she would lose her current plan. Barrett pays $54 a month. The new
plan she`s being offered would run $591 a month.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: OK, you`ve probably seen a lot of coverage like that, and here`s
part of the problem with what you just heard. That kind of cheap $54
insurance plan, the kind I had when I was 24, that insurance plan that
Diane is going to lose is probably what "consumer reports" calls junk
health insurance, the kind of plan that is huge deductibles, the kind of
plan that`s cheap but provides bare bones coverage and leaves the consumer
with huge out-of-pocket expenses if they ever actually get sick.
The price difference between Diane`s $54 plan and a new Obamacare plan also
fails to take into account the possibility of available subsidies designed
explicitly to help people shoulder the cost of health care. More on that
in a moment.
But there is underneath all of that, a basic truth here. Insurance plans
are being canceled. If, for example, your health insurance plan does not
cover ten essential benefits required under the new Affordable Care Act,
stuff like prescription drugs, maternity care and mental health care, and
if that policy was sold to you after the law went into effect in March of
2010, then that policy may, in fact, end January 1st of next year.
And to understand why the right is making so much hay out of this, why they
are obsessed with it, why it`s leading drudge, the source of the uproar,
you have to understand two basic truths about American health care that
guided the entire design of the affordable care act.
All right, are you listening? Number one, the American health care system
is way, way too expensive and leaves too many people uninsured. It
delivers the worst value of any system among developed countries. That`s
Number two, the majority of people do not want to change their health care.
Those two ideas were always very much in tension with each other. But the
design of Obamacare was to leave as much as possible our existing health
care system in place while also covering the uninsured and bringing down
What we are seeing right now is the front edge of where attempts to deal
with truth number one run into truth number two. Under the Affordable Care
Act, you will no longer be permitted to buy a really crappy health
insurance policy, just as under financial reform, lots of folks are no
longer permitted to buy heinously destructive adjustable rate balloon
Joining me now to explain this (INAUDIBLE) is Nancy Metcalf, senior editor
at "Consumer Reports," where she covers health care, Dr. Manisha Sharma of
Family Medicine, physician and medical director at Evergreen Health Care,
part of a new insurance provider in Maryland`s state health exchange and
Jonathan Cohn, senior editor at "the New Republic," where he has written a
piece about Obamacare. He is also author of "Sick: the untold story of
America`s health care crisis and the people who pay the price."
OK. I want to start with this. There`s two issues that are floating
around. I saw it really explode this weekend. One is people are getting
their plans canceled. What is going on? We were all told nothing would
change, nothing would change and now things are changing. You sold us a
bill of goods, Barack Obama`s a tyrant, I hate you.
Then the other is, the prices in the exchange. So, I want to take them in
order, because there`s actually some really interesting and important
truths to be told here, and want to have you guys with your expertise
explain what`s going on with these cancellations right after we take this
HAYES: We`re back. I`m here with Nancy Metcalf, Dr. Manisha Sharma,
Jonathan, explain to me what`s going on with these plans being canceled.
JONATHAN COHN, SENIOR EDITOR, THE NEW REPUBLIC: Right. So, I actually
really like the way you explained about this tension between trying to
create a better health care system but recognizing that a lot of people
have insurance that they like. So, the basic approach of Obama care, the
affordable care act is to look and say, well, who has stable insurance
right now? And predominantly, that`s people, know, with insurance from a
large employer or from Medicare or from Medicaid. And that`s actually the
vast majority of Americans. So, for them, you know, very little changes.
But you have this group of people who are buying insurance on their own,
and these are where you have all the problems, all those plans that
mentioned that don`t cover things. I mean, you can buy a plan on the
individual market, it might be really cheap, but you know, it won`t cover
maternity, it won`t cover mental health, it will have huge deductibles it
won`t cover prescription drugs.
And basically, you know, the law says, look, we want to set a standard, a
minimum standard that all plans must meet these, you know, must provide
these things. And if there are plans out there that don`t, you know,
insurance companies are going to have to come up with something new. Now,
that means that the people who have those plans now, you know, eventually
are going to have to give them up. That is what we`re seeing. It is that
very small number of Americans who have to give up those plans.
HAYES: Nancy, the individual market was kind of a wild west before this
bill, right? I mean, as someone at "Consumer Reports," have you interacted
with the individual market?
NANCY METCALF, SENIOR EDITOR, CONSUMER REPORTS: Extensively, and it`s been
a nightmare for consumers. They don`t understand it. It`s been
tremendously easy for them to end up with horrendous insurance that doesn`t
-- talk about not covering prescription drugs, not covering
hospitalization, not covering doctor visits, not covering x-rays. It`s
just been horrendous, and it`s been very difficult for people to navigate.
The Affordable Care Act is going to change that. You`re not going to be
able to buy a junk plan anymore. They`re against the law.
HAYES: Do you think that`s a good thing?
METCALF: Absolutely, because it`s doing for people on the individual
market what big, huge human resources departments have been doing for years
for people who get insurance through their jobs.
HAYES: So, the employer-provided health care, the people who are
negotiating these big, bulk contracts, they also put in minimum standards
into those big contracts when you get employer-provided?
METCALF: Yes, absolutely.
HAYES: Dr. Sharma, you`re now active in health care provider in Maryland
that`s setting up this exchange, and the other thing besides plans getting
canceled is the idea of rates going up. We are hearing any time there is
an American out there, looks like their rates are going up, they will be on
your television set. And what is your sense in the early going off on
balance what`s happening to folks that are going into the exchanges?
DOCTOR MANISHA SHARMA, FAMILY MEDICINE PHYSICIAN: So, you know, I think
that when we look at insurance policies being canceled and raising prices
and premiums going up, I think those are really great headlines for people
who hate the Affordable Care Act.
The fact of the matter is, is that you have to look under the sticker
price. The sticker price may be that it`s, you know, "x" amount of
dollars, but there`s a lot of subsidies that go on with these sticker
prices. And underneath it is giving comprehensive health care. Prior to
the Affordable Care Act, let`s not forget that insurance companies were not
regulated. They were not held accountable for giving people proper health
And so, with the Affordable Care Act and the sticker prices that may look
at the first blush as being expensive, you`ve got to look under the hood of
the car and be able to say, hey, this is what we`re getting.
HAYES: Right, and the big question is subsidies. We don`t know, for
instance, in the woman profiled on CBS. We do not know if she applies for
Even that being the case, Jonathan, it is true, right, there will be some
people in the future world who will pay more for insurance. That is not an
absolute outright falsehood about some set of human beings under the
affordable care act?
COHN: No, it`s absolutely the case. There are going to be people who pay
more, and there are going to be people who pay less. There is no way to
design a health care system where everybody pays less. What I think is
important to remember, though, is that the best estimates I`ve seen say
that if you look at the people who buy insurance now and what they will be
paying later, the most likely, the majority will be paying less. So you`ll
have more winners than losers. If you want to think of it that way.
And even the people who will be paying less, and this is what I think
everyone is saying tonight, is the people who are paying more, they`re
still getting much better insurance. They`re getting better coverage. And
you know, in the long run, they may actually spend less on their medical
bills because they`ll have better coverage.
HAYES: Does that more or less jive with what you`ve found?
METCALF: Yes, and the problem is, people don`t realize they`ve got these
subsidies coming to them. If I can do a little ad.
METCALF: "Consumer Reports" has created an online interactive tool called
healthlawhelper.org. You put in a couple pieces of information, it`s all
anonymous. If you can`t find it out right now from healthcare.gov, you can
come to our site and find out whether you have one of these subsidies
coming to you, or maybe even have your kids be eligible for CHIP, maybe
even be eligible for Medicaid.
METCALF: So, that`s -- because it`s a thing that a lot of people are
HAYES: This is a really important point that not just subsidies in the
market, but there is Medicaid expansion, there is also a CHIP, there is a
variety of things people may qualify for if they can make it through the
What`s your experience been like, Dr. Sharma, in Maryland so far? I know
the exchanges run into problems there. As a frontline provider, are you
confident about where this is headed right now?
SHARMA: Yes, I am.
I think, you know, all good things have time to cultivate and work out the
kinks. The insurance exchange is a great place for folks to get quality,
low-cost health care. Evergreen co-op is a -- it came to fruition because
of the Affordable Care Act, because its actual, you know, mission is to be
able to say, hey, we`re all about patients` health. We care about what
matters to patients. Their voice counts.
Prior to the affordable care act, let`s not forget, I`m not an insurance
expert, but I`m an everyday doctor, everyday people, and I can tell you
with all of my patients that have not had health insurance and would come
and see me because they were really, really sick, this is the first time
where they`ll be able to have actual access to health care that they can
afford. And you know, it`s a step in the right direction for it.
HAYES: One of the things that`s going to be really interesting is, I think
in the long run, if the policy is good policy, it will be good politics.
In the short run, there is a kind of spin war around the kind of anecdotal
evidence that`s creeping in. But in the long run, the truth will not be
Nancy Metcalf from "Consumer Reports," Dr. Manisha Sharma from Evergreen
Health care and Jonathan Cohn from "New Republic," thank you.
That is "All In" for this evening. "The Rachel Maddow show" starts right
Good evening, Rachel.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST, THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW: Good evening, Chris.
Thanks, man. And thanks to you at home for joining us this hour.
Here`s why you want to be a member of Congress. Maybe you have the public
service bug, maybe you were a born legislator, maybe you have an insatiable
fetish for the dark mysteries of the cloak room. Maybe you`re in it for
the money and the power, who knows?
There are lots of different reasons why a lot of different people would
like to be a member of Congress, but I think the one reason we can all
agree that everybody would like to be a member of congress, no matter what
else you think about it, the reason everybody would like that job is abuse
of how they work, or at least when they work. But if you were a member of
Congress, you were supposed to go to work today, then also tomorrow, which
is a bummer, but don`t worry, you can cut out middle of the day on
Wednesday. You will not be working Thursday or Friday.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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