'The Rachel Maddow Show' for Thursday, October 31st, 2013
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THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW
October 31, 2013
Guest: Sam Youngman, Amy Hagstrom Miller
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Thanks to you at home for joining me this
hour. Happy Halloween.
As you can see, same costume as last year. Middle-aged lesbian pundit
in a jacket bought for less than $20 at a mall in Pittsfield,
Massachusetts. Trick or treat.
This is Chris McDaniel. He is a Mississippi Republican state senator
of the Tea Party persuasion. He wants to mount a Tea Party hard right-wing
primary challenge against Mississippi`s long-serving Republican U.S.
Senator Thad Cochran.
And Chris McDaniel was the source of a little bit of political
embarrassment earlier this month when the news magazine, "Mother Jones",
wrote about his history with Neo-Confederate groups in his state.
Mr. McDaniel has been keynoting events hosted by this group, which is
a local chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. One of the events
that Chris McDaniel did for them featured all of the attendees dressing up
in Confederate uniforms.
And these are not just guys who celebrate the history of the
confederacy. These are guys who think there ought to be a confederacy now.
They fly the Confederate flag and wear confederate battle uniforms, not
just because they like that the South seceded once, but because they want
the South to secede again, and for pretty much the same reasons that they
did the first time.
This was a political embarrassment when the neo-Confederate, neo-
secessionist leanings of this guy were reported nationally, but it should
be noted that it was not an embarrassment for him. He is not denying that
this is who he is, he is not denying that these are the groups that he
associates with, with and that he speaks at their events and these are his
Now, he is not embarrassed. The reason it was an embarrassment
because this guy had just been endorsed by a bunch of big-time Washington
conservative funds, like the Senate Conservatives Fund and the Club for
Growth. It`s one time to wax anarchistic from your nice K Street office in
Washington about how you ought to support primary challenges to these
squish Republican senators who aren`t hard-line enough for you.
It`s one thing to do that in theory. It`s another thing to actually
try to bring the guy with the Confederate flag into the United States
So that was embarrassing. And it raised this interesting question of
whether being a secessionist, whether being a neo-Confederate, wanting the
South to split off from the Union again and advocating that position raised
the question of whether that is a problem in mainstream conservative
politics in 2013.
I mean, State Senator Chris McDaniel may not be embarrassed about
pictures like this in Mississippi, but for the national Republican Party
and the big Washington conservative groups, bringing a guy like this not
U.S. Senate, is that really going to be OK with you guys? So they endorsed
him, all these conservative groups endorsed him. And then it was after
they endorsed him that all the confederate stuff came out about him.
What next? Not only did none of the conservative groups rescind their
endorsements once they learned the Confederate stuff about him, but now
since the reporting on this guy`s Confederate leanings have come out, since
then, he`s just gotten another big Washington endorsement. FreedomWorks
waited until after the pictures of the guy with the Confederate flag and
speaking to the secessionist groups, waited until after that before they
endorsed Chris McDaniel against the incumbent Republican senator from
And they didn`t just do so with a press release, day did so at an
event in Jackson, Mississippi. FreedomWorks sent their vice president from
Washington down to Mississippi to make the endorsement in person. You can
see him in this photo with the red arrow pointing to him, making the pitch
for Senator Chris McDaniel. There`s Senator McDaniel, basking in it.
Besides him, might notice the Confederate flag there.
I should say, for the sake of clarity, that that is not really the
confederate flag proper, that`s the Mississippi state flag, which includes
part of the Confederate flag in its iconography, so that`s often a source
But that question that had been an open question for the past week or
so, about whether or not it`s OK now to support Southern secession and be a
neo-confederate in today`s Republican Party.
With the FreedomWorks endorsement, it`s clear that that`s been
answered. And the answer to that question is, yes, it`s OK. It`s no
problem. It`s no impediment whatsoever to your upward assent in Republican
politics, wrap yourself in the Confederate battle flag. They`re fine with
So, now, it seems clear that conservative Republican Senator Thad
Cochran, after 35 years in the Senate, he will have a primary challenger.
And yes, sure, the guy`s got this Confederate thing going on, but it is
only Republican primary voters in Mississippi who are going to be making a
decision in this contest.
And the Confederate guy, we know, has deep-pocketed support on the
right from the biggest names in the national conservative movement.
If you step back from stories like this for just a minute, it is kind
of an amazing phenomenon. I mean, this is not war between the parties.
This is not liberals versus conservatives. This is all the power and the
money and the energy that the right can muster, being directed at incumbent
Republicans to throw Republicans out of office.
I mean, no Democratic candidate in Mississippi was going to turf Thad
Cochran out of office next year. Look at the margins by which he has won
his last few elections. Look -- 69 percent, 29 percent in a bad year.
This is what you call a safe seat as long as Thad Cochran is sitting in it.
But he might not be in that seat anymore.
And that situation for an incumbent Republican senator is not just in
Mississippi. It`s also in Georgia, with Johnny Isakson, and in Tennessee,
with Lamar Alexander, in Arizona with Jeff Flake, South Carolina with
Lindsey Graham, North Carolina with Richard Burr. And it`s true for the
top Republican in the Senate, Mitch McConnell in Kentucky.
These guys are all facing primary challengers. They are all now
facing negative ads that are running right now in their home states --
negative ads, primary challengers, and all the rest, from what is supposed
to be their own side.
The Senate Conservatives Fund, the Tea Party group, that`s trying to
throw Mitch McConnell out of his Senate seat, they are already, already in
2013, doing big, six-figure ad buys against Mitch McConnell in his home
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AD NARRATOR: When Kentucky needed Mitch McConnell the most, he let us
down. Now, he`s asking us to give us six more years in Washington?
Senate Conservatives Action is responsible for the content of this
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: That is not the first, but it`s the most recent ad against
Mitch McConnell, run by a conservative group against him in his home state.
That buy was made two days ago. It was made from more than $300,000 to be
spent in Kentucky. So where are they getting all the money to attack all
these incumbent Republican senators and run all these super professional-
looking big buy attack ads? Where are they getting the money?
They are getting the money from Ted Cruz.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: The Constitution gives Congress the power
of the purse. And we need Congress to stand up and defund Obama care now.
Please join me so we can get America back on track.
ANNOUNCER: Please call 1-800-314-8505 and tell Congress to defund
Obamacare now. That`s 1-800-314-8505, 1-800-314-8505.
Senate Conservatives Fund is responsible for the content of this
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Senate Conservatives Fund. Senator Ted Cruz has been a
relentless fund-raiser for this group, that is primarying all of his
coworkers in the Republican caucus in the Senate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CRUZ: You know, there`s a national Web site, dontfundit.com,
dontfundit.com. It`s got as of a few minutes ago, 578,000 signatures on
it. Every time in the past few weeks, I`ve got on FOX News, we`ve seen
another 10,000, 20,000 signatures.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: You know, if you were moved by that Ted Cruz prime-time
appearance on FOX News, if you were moved to add your name to that
petition, you would find when you went to dontfundit.com, that is
dontfundit.com, that is dontfundit.com -- you would find when you went
there, a giant "donate" button. And if you were inspired by Ted Cruz to
click that button and make that donation, your donation would go to the
Senate Conservatives Fund, so they could do stuff like running attack ads
against Mitch McConnell in Kentucky, fueled by Ted Cruz`s relentless, it
slices, it dices, it juliennes fund-raising pitches, the Senate
Conservatives Fund reported in September that they had their best fund-
raising month all year. They raised more than $2 million just in the
month, and that buys a lot of really unflattering PhotoShopping of Mitch
McConnell`s jaw line, and a lot of ominous music that makes you think of
bad things when you see Mitch McConnell`s poorly lit face.
If you are one of these conservative Republican senators, you are
going to work every day now alongside a guy who just last month raised more
than $2 million to get you fired, and not in theoretical, future terms.
Those ads are already running against these guys in their home states.
And it wasn`t just a whim or a flash of anger that caused Ted Cruz to
do this. It wasn`t just a thing that he did in the middle of the shutdown
because he was moved by the drama. No, Ted Cruz has been raising money for
the groups that are primarying his colleagues in the Senate for months now.
This summer, he did a traveling road show to raise money for the Senate
Conservatives Fund to fire his colleagues, which is probably awkward at
work with those colleagues every day.
So, now, senator Ted Cruz has offered a, quote, "olive branch to his
colleagues," as reported by, you guessed it, Politico.com, Ted Cruz is
telling the other Republican senators now that he will no longer raise
money for their opponents to try to end their political careers.
After the meeting, it should be noted his spokesperson softened the
pledge a little bit, saying, it`s likely that the senator will not continue
to do that sort of thing. Probably.
But, still, now, if you go to the senate conservatives YouTube page to
check out what it is they have to offer, what they have to offer is Ted
Cruz. Ted Cruz talking about how we`ve got to burn down Washington and
clear out the underbrush and get rid of all these old guys you can`t trust.
You`ve got more guys here like Ted Cruz. Get rid of all these old
So, yes, olive branch, from that guy? Yes, right.
When conservatives have focused their wrath on incumbent Republicans
or Republicans who were likely to be able to win a seat or hold on to a
seat for the Republican Party, broadly speaking, when conservatives have
trained their fire on Republicans who would otherwise win, it hasn`t worked
out all that well.
Republicans would have had a Senate seat in Delaware with Mike Castle
in all likelihood had they not instead picked "I am not a witch" Christine
O`Donnell in the primary.
Sue Lowden in Nevada, for all of her troubles, she would have had a
pretty good shot at unseating Harry Reid in that great Republican year of
2010, when Republicans won anything. Instead, though, that year, Nevada
Republicans picked this lady, Sharron Angle, known for running away from
reporters, threatening an armed revolution if she didn`t get her way, and
my favorite, telling a group of Hispanic high school students in her home
state that they didn`t actually look Hispanic to her. To her, they looked
The Republicans could have won in Colorado had they not picked crazy
Ken Buck. The Republicans could have won in Missouri, had they not picked
the "legitimate rape" guy, Todd Akin. Republicans thought for sure they`d
get Claire McCaskill`s seat, but then Todd Akin.
Republicans could have won in Indiana, had they not picked the guy who
said, God sometimes wants you to get pregnant from your rapist.
So, the Republicans, you know, they turfed out the Republican
incumbent or they defeated the kind of reasonable known quantity Republican
who might have a chance to win. And instead they picked the pure guy. And
in case after case after case, they thereby lost the seat. That is how
this pattern generally works.
But the pattern doesn`t always work that way. There are a few
exceptions. There are a few cases where turfing out the normal guy in
favor of the hair-on-fire guy didn`t result in a Republican loss, it
resulted in the hair-on-fire guy going to Washington.
That is how we got to Ted Cruz. Ted Cruz was the hair-on-fire guy.
He was the Tea Party primary challenger to a guy whose hair was slightly
less on fire. But it was Texas, so even after picking the truly whacky guy
in the primary, the Republicans were still able to win the general election
in Texas, so now we all have Ted Cruz to deal with in Washington.
The same pattern held in two other places in the last election,
Kentucky and Utah. In Kentucky, Mitch -- the last couple of elections. In
Kentucky, Mitch McConnell and the Republican establishment had picked their
candidate, who they wanted to run for that seat, who they knew who could
win that seat, the guy on the left. That guy on the left lost to Rand Paul
in the primary and then Rand Paul won the seat.
In Utah, they ousted the incumbent Republican Senator Bob Bennett and
replaced him with Mike Lee. Because it`s Utah and Utah is that red a
state, that was enough to get somebody as out there as Mike Lee into the
United States Senate.
Usually, the purification process works in a way that makes
Republicans lose. But in a few out-there places, it gets you guys like
this in the Senate. And it is therefore no coincidence that the three
Republican senators who have been supporting the Senate Conservatives Fund,
and other efforts to primary and threaten Republican senators, to get their
own colleagues thrown out of office, it`s no coincidence that it`s these
guys, these guys who are the exception to the rule.
These guys are the guys for whom that totally destructive purification
process actually worked. Most people, it doesn`t work. But for them, it
worked. They are the rare exceptions.
So, now, here`s the question. These seven Republicans, who are under
attack right now from their own side, Ted Cruz raising money against them
and the negative ads and all the rest, are their races likely to be
Christine O`Donnell races? Or are they likely to be Ted Cruz races?
If this effort that Ted Cruz is leading succeeds in turfing out these
incumbent Republican senators, and that`s what they`re trying to do, will
the neo-Confederate activists and the other hair-on-fire Tea Party types
who replace them on the Republican line just go down in the general
election? Or will those guys actually end up in the United States Senate?
Joining us now is Sam Youngman. He`s a political reporter for the
"Lexington Herald Leader" in Kentucky.
Mr. Youngman, thanks very much for being with us. It`s nice to have
SAM YOUNGMAN, LEXINGTON HERALD LEADER: Rachel, thanks for having me.
MADDOW: So, Senator Cruz, according to "Politico", is backing away
from the Senate Conservatives Fund, telling his colleagues in the Senate
that he will stop trying to get them fired.
Do you have any perspective on whether or not Mitch McConnell is
playing any role in this? He may be the most threatened incumbent of all
out of that whole list.
YOUNGMAN: No, there`s no question about it. And it`s hard not to see
Mitch McConnell`s fingerprints on this change from Senator Cruz.
I know that you mentioned the civil war at the top of your show.
Well, the civil war in the Republican Party is coming here to Kentucky. We
just can`t seem to avoid being in the middle of these things. I know that
Senator McConnell, after it have shutdown was over, reached out to the rest
of the senate Republican conference, one by one, as long as their last
names weren`t Lee or Cruz, and went through and steeled them, sort of, for
the battle ahead.
Mitch McConnell has decided he wants Matt Bevin, his primary
challenger, to serve as sort of a proxy opponent, as he goes to war with
these groups like the Senate Conservative Fund, like Heritage Action, and
it looks like they`ll try to settle this blood feud between Senator
McConnell and former Senator Jim DeMint right here in Kentucky.
MADDOW: Well, the McConnell poll numbers, right now whether he`s
polling versus Bevin, his primary challenger, or polling versus his
Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes aren`t great. And Senator
McConnell has the highest profile you can possibly have in the Senate.
And I`m wondering why he thinks pushing hard is going to be pushing
effectively. What`s the battle plan?
YOUNGMAN: Well, that was my first question as well, when Mitch
McConnell unleashed this really withering attack last week on Matt Bevin,
my first response was, wow, this will backfire. He will make Matt Bevin if
Bevin can`t make himself a candidate.
I think that while it looks like Senator McConnell is operating from a
position of weakness, and I agree, those poll numbers are anemic at best,
but he`s sort of feels like he`s got the moxie, he`s got the blood and guts
to really sort of take on the Matt Bevins of the world, the Senate
And he`s the one, he thinks of himself as a knife fighter. And he
thinks that he`s the one who can give them the fight that they`ve been
MADDOW: That sounds crazy, I have to say it. I realize that Mitch
McConnell is trying to sort of make himself over into a scrappy guy, but
Mitch McConnell is Mr. Magoo, in terms of -- I mean, in terms of the way
his image in Washington in terms of the way he`s conducted himself as the
highest profile possible job in the Senate, the idea that he`s a scrapping
knife fighting guy, he may be canny, but I don`t think anyone is going to
identify with him in a kind of populist way.
YOUNGMAN: Well, here in Kentucky, they know a different Mitch
McConnell. He might be Mr. Magoo in Washington, but he`s Charles Bronson`s
Mr. Majestic here in Kentucky. The opponents that have gone up against him
in the past, they -- he buries them and then he comes back to make sure
they stay buried.
He plays tough, he plays for keep, and he`s been doing that his whole
career. He`s a guy who wins by landslide margins. He`s the guy who wins
inside the margins and that`s where he likes to play.
MADDOW: I`ve got to ask you, Sam, this week we uncovered some
reporting that Senator Rand Paul has been giving speeches that are ripped
off from Wikipedia. Your paper editorialized on the issue today in a sort
of withering way, got a comment from a senior adviser to Senator Paul this
afternoon, dismissing the whole thing.
Do you get the sense that rather this is troubling the Rand Paul camp,
or whether this is a big deal for him as he tries to take his act national?
YOUNGMAN: Well, I think it`s an issue as he looks to broaden his
base. Now, it`s probably not a surprise to you, Rachel, and I hope I don`t
offend you if it is, but most of Rand Paul`s base isn`t watching your show
tonight. And if they are, then criticism from you might just help him out.
But Rand Paul`s base isn`t the issue here. He`s looking to expand
that base and move beyond that fringe, beyond that margin candidate, really
like his father was for so many years, and using things like the 13-hour
filibuster against drones, to do so.
Now, this does help him -- this does hurt him significantly, I think,
as he tries to broaden his support base. But I think as far as right now
goes, I think that there`s some room for him to try to walk this back and
maybe make you a Halloween -- make you a Halloween costume in the process.
MADDOW: Well, we`ll see.
You know, he did actually announce his Senate candidacy on this show
at one point back in the very distant future, to the extent that he can
make this a story about the person who reported it, rather than the fact
that he`s been ripping his speeches off Wikipedia, like a sophomore, will,
I think, be the future of this story.
Sam Youngman, political reporter for the "Lexington Herald Leader" --
thanks very much for your time tonight, Sam. It`s nice to have you here.
YOUNGMAN: Rachel, thank you.
MADDOW: And no offense intended to sophomores.
All right. For the moment, the mayor of one of the largest and most
important cities on this continent is this man.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: What can you tell us --
MAYOR ROB FORD, TORONTO: Can you get off my driveway, please? Can
you get off my property, please? Can you get off my driveway, please?!
Please, can you get off my driveway?!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: That was Mayor Rob Ford. Can you get off my driveway?!
He is the big-city mayor who maybe once was caught on video smoking
crack. We have an update on the "maybe" part of that, coming up next.
MADDOW: Kent Brockman will appear on this show tonight. Repeating,
Kent Brockman, on this show, tonight. That is all.
MADDOW: We have the Rob Ford story coming up in just a moment, but we
actually have breaking news right now at this hour out of Texas.
A federal appeal court has just issued an emergency ruling on Texas`
draconian new abortion law. The anti-abortion law attracted national
attention this summer, not just for its verity, but also because of Texas
Democratic Senator Wendy Davis and her 13-hour-long filibuster, which
temporarily thwarted Republicans` plans to pass that law.
Despite that filibuster and despite large protests, Texas Republicans
did get the law passed, and Governor Rick Perry`s signature on it set in
motion a countdown to Texas clinics that provide abortions having to shut
The law had been set to go into effect on Tuesday of this week, so a
few days ago. And a dozen clinics in the state expected to have to close
their doors that day. On Monday, at the eleventh hour, a federal judge
stepped in and blocked the implementation of the law, saying it was
unconstitutional, so the clinic stayed open.
But tonight, a higher federal court, the appeals court for the
conservative fifth circuit has overturned the Monday ruling, which clears
the way for the law to go into effect, basically, right now. This ruling,
late tonight, means that a third of the facilities that provide abortions
for women in the state of Texas are now getting shut down by the state
government, essentially as we speak.
Joining us now is Amy Hagstrom Miller. She`s the founder Whole
Women`s Health. She currently operates five clinics in Texas.
Ms. Hagstrom Miller, thank you for being with us tonight. I
appreciate it on short notice.
AMY HAGSTROM MILLER, WHOLE WOMEN`S HEALTH: You`re welcome, Rachel.
MADDOW: How does this ruling affect the five facilities that you
operate? What happens now?
HAGSTROM MILLER: Well, we have three of our facilities where we don`t
have admitting privileges for any of our physicians, so just this evening,
we had to start calling all of our patients and cancel their appointments
for tomorrow. In McAllen and the Rio Grande Valley, there won`t be any
clinics to provide services, and in Ft. Worth as well, and we`ve also had
to cancel our patients in San Antonio.
MADDOW: How are your patients reacting and how is your staff dealing
with the logistics of this? How are people feeling about this?
HAGSTROM MILLER: You know, people are really devastated. The
patients are really scared and freaked out. They`re asking, where can I
go? What can I do?
The staff are literally sobbing, they`re crying.
You know, it`s something that`s been in the back of our minds that we
thought could possibly happen. Yet at the same point, it`s so obviously
putting an undue burden on thousands of women, especially it`s
disproportionately affecting women of color and women in the rural areas in
And the 12 or 13 clinics that don`t have admitting privileges are
really spread out all across the state and none out of us are going to be
able to see patients.
MADDOW: When you described McAllen, for example, as one of the place
with your facility closing, that means there`ll be no facility in the area
that provides abortion services or the related services, can you describe
what McAllen is like, what kind of population you`d serve at a clinic like
that and what`s going to happen to those women?
HAGSTROM MILLER: Yes, we serve a population -- it`s a border
community. So, there`s a lot of people both from Mexico and from the Rio
Grande Valley. The majority of our patients don`t have health insurance,
they don`t have Medicaid. Most of the women we serve there are mothers,
they`re working mothers.
And they can`t travel 300 or 400 miles up to San Antonio and get
their, you know, get off of work and get child care covered or whatever.
So when people say, oh, they`ll be able to just go to San Antonio --
well, the procedure itself is going to take a few days and most of these
women are needing to have an abortion because they can`t make the ends meet
with their family already. And so, there`s not going to be any clinics in
the Rio Grande Valley, both Whole Women`s Health of McAllen and the other
facility in the valley, none of us have admitting privileges for our
MADDOW: Are you hearing anything about any sort of response to this
ruling tonight, an appeal or any other legal strategy moving forward?
HAGSTROM MILLER: I`m quite sure that we`re going to see the go to
MADDOW: Amy Hagstrom Miller, the founder of Whole Women`s Health
Clinics in the state of Texas -- I know this was probably a shock both in
terms of its timing and in terms of its immediate implications. Please
keep us updated on what happens.
HAGSTROM MILLER: Absolutely.
MADDOW: Thanks, Amy.
HAGSTROM MILLER: Thank you, Rachel.
MADDOW: Wow. Just to be clear, tonight`s ruling from the fifth
circuit, it`s from a panel of judges in the fifth circuit. It`s not from
the entire fifth circuit, so that`s part of the appeal. You can appeal to
the full court or up to the Supreme Court.
But this does mean that a third of the clinics that provide abortion
services in Texas are closing down right now, tonight, because of that.
All right. Much, much more coming up. A clearly not-pleased
secretary of defense makes big news tonight, a crack-smoking mayor, and the
most animated I have had ever seen me in my whole life. That`s all ahead.
MADDOW: I met up with an old friend the other day. It was great to
see him. It`s also kind of weird, though, because I have never met him
before. I have known him for a long time in a way that makes me feel like
we are friends, but for all the years that I felt like I knew him, there
was just no way to meet, until now.
And because TV is magic, it turned out that when we finally did meet,
he knew me too.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHARACTER: Hello, Kent.
KENT BROCKMAN: Well, well, well, Rachel Maddow.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: I meant Kent Brockman, the news anchor from "The Simpsons."
And in fact, it turns out that he and I have known each other for years.
The rest of that sneak peek of what is actually going to be a
"Simpsons" episode this week -- hah! -- is coming up.
Please stay with us. Please.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE WALLACE (D), THEN-ALABAMA GOVERNOR: Let us rise to the call
for freedom-loving blood that is in us and send our answer to the tyranny
that clanks its chains upon the South. In the name of the greatest people
that have ever trod this earth, I draw the line in the dust and toss the
gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say segregation now, segregation
tomorrow and segregation forever.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: That was Alabama Governor George Wallace being inaugurated in
1963, the height of the civil rights movement, right? By 1965, Governor
Wallace was facing the crisis in his state of the Selma-to-Montgomery
march. That was the march where John Lewis was beaten nearly to death,
beaten along with hundreds of other protesters. Dozens of people were
hospitalized in that march for vote rights. The beatings were televised
Alabama had been through a lot, but the wait that local police and
state troopers beat those men and women and children on that bridge in
March 1965 galvanized the nation. And the marchers themselves were adamant
that they would complete their march, no matter what the Alabama police did
So there was this question of how their safety could be guaranteed.
The Alabama governor, obviously, could not be counted on to keep those
marchers safe. After all, it wasn`t just the local police doing those
beatings, it was state troopers who were out there cracking skulls in the
John Lewis talks about looking up at the man who was beating him and
the last thing he says he saw before he lost consciousness was the
Confederate flag emblem of the Alabama state flag on that trooper`s helmet
as the trooper was swinging the billy club down on him and fracturing his
So, if that`s what state authorities were dishing out to the marchers,
and those marchers were going to keep marching, then who was going to keep
them safe? President Lyndon Johnson brought Alabama Governor George
Wallace to Washington to meet with him about it. They met for three hours
in the Oval Office on March 13th, 1965, talking about how situation could
We now have the White House tapes from that era. So we have the
recording of president Johnson even after that three-hour meeting, getting
on the phone with George Wallace and telling him that if local police were
going to be beating people and the state police were going to be beating
people, then Governor Wallace ought to call up the national guard in his
state to let the guardsmen protect the marchers.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
LYNDON JOHNSON, THEN-PRESIDENT: You call up your own guard into the
service of the state and I would ask our best people to cooperate.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
MADDOW: But, of course, Governor "Segregation Forever" would not do
that. He would not call up the National Guard to protect the marchers in
his state. And so, President Johnson did.
And when they did finally complete that march, not hundreds strong,
but now thousands strong, and Martin Luther King Jr. gave his "how long,
not long" speech on the steps of the state capitol in Montgomery, those
marchers were protected by the National Guard, by order of the president of
the United States.
Yes, there were Alabama National Guardsmen there, but the national
part of that is important. They were there on the president`s orders.
In every state, the governor is technically the commander in chief of
his or her state`s national guard. But the guard is part of the United
States` military. And so, yes, Governor Wallace did have authority over
the guard in his state, but not more authority than federal law and the
U.S. Department of Defense and the president of the United States.
On June 26th of this year, the Supreme Court threw out the federal law
that forbid federal recognition of marriages by same-sex couples. That
same day as the ruling, the U.S. Defense Department announced that it would
take all necessary steps to bring defense department policies and practices
in compliance with the ruling.
So, the ruling was the end of June. By mid-August, the Defense
Department announced that their computer systems and their operating
procedures were all being updated. By September 3rd, the Defense
Department said, they expected to be able to recognize and treat all
married couples equally in the military.
By September 3rd, all couples in the military -- not just the straight
ones -- all married couples would have equal access to the logistical facts
of military life that make all the difference in terms of how you and your
family live, day to day -- spousal ID cards, to get access to military
bases and access to health care and the housing allowance that families
get, being table to use the commissaries and PXs on base. Also the really
big stuff, like being formally listed as next of kin if your loved one dies
in action or dies in an accident.
The court ruling mandating equal access to stuff like that happened in
June 26th. By September 3rd, the entire Defense Department was in
compliance with that court ruling, and everybody was being treated equally
-- except, except for some states that had anti-gay marriage laws still on
the books at the state level, who decided that they would not comply with
this federal ruling and this federal direction from the Defense Department.
Governors and National Guard generals in these states are refusing to
comply -- Texas, Indiana, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana,
Oklahoma, South Carolina, West Virginia. It`s federal law. This is a part
of the U.S. military.
As "The New York Times" noted this week, the applications for ID cards
are federal form processed by federal employees on a federal computer
system. But in these nine states, they`re saying, states` rights. They`re
saying because they have anti-gay laws at the state levels, they will not
process service members` applications equally. They are defying federal
law so they can keep discriminating against some members of the National
Guard, against the wishes of the U.S. military.
Tonight, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, just moments ago, actually,
a few blocks from here, he has just given a rather remarkable and
confrontational speech at a dinner for the Anti-Defamation League here in
New York, calling out nine states that are defying the Defense Department
and defying federal law in order to keep discriminating.
Texas, apparently, was the first state to announce that they were
going to do this, but now it is nine states altogether and the secretary
says that among these nine states, there are 114 Army National Guard and
Air National Guard bases that are refusing equal treatment to military
And here is Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel speaking just moments
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHUCK HAGEL, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: When the Supreme Court issued its
decision on the Defense of Marriage Act this summer, the Department of
Defense immediately began working on providing same benefits to all spouses
regardless of sexual orientation. We did it because everyone who serves
our country in uniform, everyone in this country, should receive all the
benefits they deserve and they`ve earned and in accordance with the law.
Everyone`s rights must be protected.
This means that all spouses of service members are entitled to DOD ID
cards and the benefits that come with them. But several states today are
refusing to issue these ID cards to same-sex spouses at National Guard
facilities. Not only does this violate the state`s obligations under
federal law, but their actions have created hardship and inequality by
forcing couples to travel long distances to federal military bases to
obtain the ID cards they`re entitled to.
This is wrong. It causes division among our ranks and it furthers
prejudice, which DOD has fought to extinguish, as has the ADL. Today, I
directed the chief of the National Guard bureau, General Frank Grass, to
make immediate action to remedy this situation.
At my direction, he will meet with the adjutants general from the
states where these ID cards are being declined and denied. The adjutants
general will be expected to comply with lawful direction and DOD policy, in
line with the practices of 45 other states and jurisdictions. Whether they
are responding to natural disasters here at home, in their states, or
fighting in Afghanistan, our National Guardsmen all wear the uniform of the
United States of America. They are serving this country. They and their
families are entitled to all the benefits and respect according toed to all
of our military men and women.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: That was Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel speaking just
moments ago in New York City tonight, setting up a confrontation between
the Pentagon and the government of nine red states, these states that the
Pentagon says are not treating service members the way they ought to be
treated. The Defense Department told us tonight that it will not just be
this speech, that if these states do not change their policies to get in
line with federal law, as the defense secretary just explained, the
Pentagon told us tonight that the defense secretary, quote, "is prepared to
take further action the to get these states into compliance. We will post
a transcript of the secretary`s remarks at Maddow Blog tonight and more of
the tape of his speech as soon as we can get it in. We`ll be right back.
MADDOW: Still ahead, I will appear on FOX in the best, most awesome
way anybody can ever possibly appear on FOX. And no, I did not win
MADDOW: Behold, the mayor of the great city of Toronto, the largest
city in all of Canada and the fourth largest city in North America.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FORD: Can you get off my driveway, please? Can you get off my
REPORTER: -- that you`re involved in --
FORD: Can you get off my driveway, please?! Can you get off my
driveway?! Can you get off my property, please! OK, get off my property!
REPORTER: I`m leaving!
FORD: Get off my proper!
REPORTER: I`m leaving!
FORD: Thank you. Thank you so much! Get off my property! Thank
REPORTER: We`re off your property. Tell us about your --
FORD: What don`t you understand? Get off the property, partner. Get
off the -- thank you. Thank you very much.
REPORTER: Are you the focus of a police drug investigation related to
Sandro Lisi, Mr. Mayor? What can you tell us about --
FORD: Thank you. Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Sure you don`t want to comment, sir?
Also, I don`t think that man was his partner.
That was the mayor of Toronto, whose name is Rob Ford. To the extent
that Rob Ford is internationally famous, he is famous for this. Rob Ford
in crack cocaine video scandal!
In May of this year, the "Toronto Star" reported allegations that
Mayor Ford was seen in a cell phone video smoking the aforementioned crack.
Two reporters from the paper said they personally saw this video, which is
being shopped around at the time by a group of drug dealers in the city,
but it was not just "The Star" that saw the video. It was also the website
Gawker`s editor traveled up to Toronto. He met with the guy who was
shopping the video around, and he reported what he saw on tape. Quote,
"Rob Ford, the mayor of Toronto, is the only person visible in the frame.
He`s seated in a room in a house. In one hand is a clear glass pipe, the
kind with the big glove and two glass cylinders sticking out of it. And
the other hand is a lighter. Ford is red faced and sweaty heaving with
each breath. He finds his moment and lights up."
These allegations that the mayor of Toronto is seen on a videotape
smoking crack, that became front page news in Canada and in this country
and to a certain extent around the world.
Rob Ford denied the whole thing. He denied that he smoked crack ever.
He denied that there was a video of him smoking crack.
Gawker started raising money to try to buy the video from the drug
dealers. They eventually raised $200,000 to buy the video. But, then,
after they finally raised the requested amount of cash, their source in
Toronto vanished along with the video.
For months now, that seemed like the end of the story. No video. No
proof. That was the last we heard of it -- until today.
Today at a rather hastily called press conference, Toronto`s chief of
police dropped a bombshell. He said his office had been investigating the
crack pipe allegations against the mayor all along, all these months, and
then he disclosed what the police investigation has turned up. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAM BLAIR, TORONTO CHIEF OF POLICE: We are now in possession of a
recovered digital video file relevant to the investigations that have been
conducted. That file contains video images which appear to be those images
which were previously reported in the press.
I think it`s fair to say that the mayor does appear in that video, but
I`m not going to get into the detail of what activities is depicted on that
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: The Toronto police chief confirming today that his office has
the tape. They have the tape that reportedly shows the mayor smoking
As you heard the police chief say there, he would not describe exactly
what is on the video. He did say the contents of the video appear to be
those images which were previously reported in the press. The images
previously reported in the press were images of the mayor smoking crack.
So, it sounds like that is what it is. Reports first started coming
out this morning. You see the press swarmed the mayor`s house to try to
get a comment from hem on the latest developments. That did not go well.
But when Mayor Ford turned up at work and went to city hall, he did
call a press conference to address the allegations. This was the whole
thing. Watch. This is amazing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FORD: I think everybody has seen the allegations against me today. I
wish I could come out and defend myself. Unfortunately, I can`t because
it`s before the courts and that`s all I can say right now.
REPORTER: What`s before the courts?
FORD: I think -- I think -- no, you know what? No.
I have no reason to resign. I`m going to go back and return my phone
calls. I`m going to be out doing what the people elected me to do and run
the great government that`s been running for the past three years.
FORD: All I can say is --
REPORTER: Is this acceptable behavior for a mayor?
Have you lied to the people of Toronto?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: That was it. The mayor then went back to his office to
return calls apparently.
Toronto is the fourth largest city in North America behind Mexico
City, New York City and Los Angeles. Then, Rob Ford. That`s the guy in
charge of the fourth largest city in North America for now. This has
always been a strange story. As of tonight this is a still unraveling
Watch this space.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FORD: Get off my driveway, please. Get off my driveway. Can you get
off my property, please?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Best new thing in the world. Happy Halloween. A holiday
that originally marked the end of the harvest season, the beginning of
winter, the time of year when people particularly in the north start saying
good-bye to sunlight.
But before you start feeling too seasonally affected sorry for
yourself, be thankful you don`t live in this town in Norway which sits
between two mountains so high and too steep that the few measly little
hours of winter sunlight that the town would get are blocked by the
mountains. So they don`t get short sunlit days in winter. They just
alternate between night time darkness and shadow all day long from
September to March every year, until now.
You may have heard this week about their new work around. They
installed giant mirrors on top of one of the mountains focused to reflect
sunlight down into one spot in the town square. One happy stop with the
sun starved Norwegians could feel the winter sun or their faces for first
And this is great news for sun-starved Norwegians. It`s also, of
course, though, a tribute to the genius of "The Simpsons." Remember the
cliff-hanger episode from the end of "Simpsons Season 6" where we learn
about Montgomery Burns diabolical plan to block the sun from shining on
Springfield so the people there have to buy more power from his nuclear
power plant. Remember?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MONTGOMERY BURNS: Since the beginning of time man has yearned to
destroy the sun. I will do the next best thing. Block it out.
CHARACTER: Good God.
BURNS: Imagine it. Electrical lights and heaters running all day
Take one last look at the sun, Springfield.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: So when they turned on the magic mirrors in Norway this week,
Norway became the anti-Mr. Burns. It was life imitating "The Simpsons."
What`s more awesome than that though is "Simpsons" imitating life,
which brings us to the best new thing in the world today, I can`t even
introduce it any better. Just roll it. The best thing in my life, ever.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
"MADDOW": Hello, Kent.
BROCKMAN: Well, well, well, Rachel Maddow. Everyone came back for
"MADDOW": I was flying from D.C. to New York and had a layover in
Springfield. How is the gang at Channel 6?
BROCKMAN: Look, let`s get this out of the way. Just because we both
worked at Channel 6 and you made it big and I didn`t doesn`t mean I`m
"MADDOW": Is that your car?
"MADDOW": Kent, I`m going to tell you the most important mistake you
ever made after this break.
So, Kent, that mistake you made, that fundamental life changing error,
that cosmic fail that --
BROCKMAN: Just tell me already.
"MADDOW": After this break.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: I will never achieve anything this cool ever again in my
life. It`s "The Simpsons" Sunday night this weekend, 8:00 Eastern, 7:00
Central on FOX. I can`t believe it. Best new thing in the world.
And that does it for us tonight. Happy Halloween.
Now, it`s time for "THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL."
Have a great night.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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