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'The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell' for Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

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THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL
November 12, 2013
Guest: David Cay Johnston, Tim Dickinson, Kirby Barklow; Amy Ziering; Dave
Zirin; Omar Kelly


LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Finally, President Obama, Bill
Clinton and John Boehner of all people have found something about the
Affordable Care Act that they can agree on.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s Clinton versus Obama, part two.

WILLIAM J. CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT: The president should honor the
commitment the federal government made to those people.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You will keep your
health insurance.

CLINTON: And let them keep what they`ve got.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Former President Bill Clinton weighed in.

CLINTON: Let them keep what they`ve got.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thanks, Bill Clinton.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There are a lot of problems on health care.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Disappointing Obamacare enrollment numbers.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It doesn`t surprise me at all.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Expectations were so low.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think that things are going to pick up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They`ve got to fix this and fast.

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I have not seen specific
figures.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`re expecting official numbers from the
administration this week.

CARNEY: We will be releasing by the end of the week.

REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ (D), FLORIDA: We need to work to
implement it effectively.

KARL ROVE, GOP STRATEGIST: Listen to Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

SCHULTZ: We need Republicans to work with us to do that.

ROVE: Push this issue every single day.

SCHULTZ: They know when it`s successful, their candidates lose.

OBAMA: When we look back, we`ll be better off.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Still, with all this peeling up.

SCHULTZ: We are not going backwards.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The GOP is still beset by greater structural
problem.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There`s this ideological opposition.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is about ideology.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The most obvious example is Healthcare.gov.

SCHULTZ: They know when it`s successful, their candidates lose.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Republicans are plotting some strategy of their
own.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tone, style, and perception of divided government.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I appreciate that. But --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The GOP is still beset by greater structural
problems.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The policies got to match the politics.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Republicans continue to try to rig the
electorate.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The look of the electorate is changing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Republicans have done their best to suppress
voters.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s not OK.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are not going backwards.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tone, style, and perception of divided government.

That`s the battle now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s not OK. That`s bad.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

O`DONNELL: Today, Bill Clinton got applause from John Boehner for
saying this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: I personally believe even if it takes a change in the law
that the president should honor the commitment the federal government made
to those people and let them keep what they`ve got.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Speaker Boehner immediately put out a statement, saying,
"I applaud President Clinton for joining the bipartisan call for President
Obama to keep his promise to the American people. Democrats concerned
about the president`s broken promise should join Republicans in voting to
pass the Keep Your Health Plan Act when it comes before the House later
this week."

Many commentators today seem to have forgotten this, but last week,
last week, President Obama already indicated that he wants to explore
changes in the Affordable Care Act that could allow more people to keep
health insurance plans that do not meet the standards of new law.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Obviously, we didn`t do a good enough job in how we crafted
the law. And, you know, that`s something that I regret. That`s something
that we are going to do everything we can to get fixed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Today, Jay Carney expanded on what the president said last
week.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CARNEY: As you saw, the president say, in an interview with NBC last
week, the answer is yes. The president has tasked his team with -- looking
at a range of options, as he said, to make sure nobody is put in a position
where their plans have been canceled they can`t afford a better plan though
they would look to have a better plan. For the universe of people, that
smaller group of people within that 5 percent of the population for whom
the fact that they have gotten a cancellation notice because they purchased
plans perhaps in the last couple of year that do not meet the minimum
standard. And they are facing challenges in terms of affordability. The
president asked his team to look at ways to address that problem.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining now, MSNBC`s Joy Reid, managing editor of "The
Grio", and David Cay Johnston, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative
reporter.

Joy Reid, a lot of people have forgotten that what Bill Clinton said
today, President Obama had actually already said to Chuck Todd.

JOY REID, THE GRIO: Yes, he did. And it`s kind of a -- it`s kind of
worrying thing when bipartisan breaks out because sometimes it ends up
making some really bad law. And it is true -- we already saw last week
that the president indicated a willingness to walk back a part of the law
that affects a small number of people. But it could really important in
terms of making the law work, because essentially, you are talking fewer
than 5 percent of people that buy on the individual market.

Insurance companies used to love selling insurance to these people,
because, by and large, they were more often male, they were healthy,
single, so, weren`t going to have a baby, that kind of thing. And people
who probably never use insurance. They were healthy enough that they would
never have to avail themselves of coverage. So, they could sell them these
junk plans that were really cheap but that actually didn`t have much in
them.

So, God forbid you actually get sick. But if they start going back
and grandfathering in more of these junk policies, I don`t know how that
strengthens the law. I think it weakens it.

O`DONNELL: David Cay Johnston, the target that Jay Carney drew today
was a pretty narrow one. It`s people in that market place who cannot
afford or find a plan that they can afford. Now, most, a lot of people we
are talking about will get subsidies in the system, so the affordability
factor actually applies to very, very few people.

DAVID CAY JOHNSTON, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Yes, most people will
actually be better off in the situation they`re describing under the plans.

But I have a different take on this. Lawrence, I don`t think the
president ever meant, you will have the exact plan you have. That`s
impossible.

O`DONNELL: Right.

JOHNSTON: Companies change their plans every year. Everybody in
America with health insurance knows their plan changes every year. What he
was saying, if you don`t want to be in the exchanges and been private
health care, you can still do it. That was the point that I thought always
understood he was making.

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to what Bill Clinton said is the take away,
the one line if you could quote one line from Bill Clinton about the
Affordable Care Act. He would look like it to be this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: The big lesson is that we are better off with this law than
without it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: And, Joy Reid, that`s ultimately you have to assess about
this. Republicans, every one of them, say absolutely we are worse off
because of this law.

REID: Yes. I mean, for the approximately 40 million people who have
no health insurance at all. Many of whom couldn`t afford to purchase it.
They are vastly better off, just being able to have the insurance card,
being able to get preventive care, the idea of women being able to get
mammograms, just the rate of people who die every year, because of
undiagnosed illness, undiagnosed cancer, just because they don`t have a
doctor, insurance card is so overwhelming. And the number of people who go
bankrupt because they thought they had insurance until they try to use it.

So, for those people, people will be vastly better off. You are again
talking 5 percent of people, most of whom would be better off because they
get plans that cover mental health care and other things that it didn`t
before. The very small number of people who will feel like net losers are
people who would still probably get better insurance. They have to pay
more for it.

O`DONNELL: I want to listen to what President Clinton said today
about some of the struggles that the Medicare prescription drug benefit had
when it went into law, signed by, and advocated and signed by President
Bush and voted for by Republicans.

Let`s listen to that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: President Bush put in the Medicare drug program for seniors,
which was not as complicated, but had exactly the same problem with the
rollout. It was a disaster. There were people who even lost their
prescriptions for their existing medicine. And they fixed it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: David Cay Johnston, these kinds of problem that they`re
having with Affordable Care Act, something we have seen before, especially,
as you increase the complexity of the new government program.

JOHNSTON: Yes, all of these big computer base programs start out with
terrible problems. We hear about them in government because government is
transparent. But when the utility or the bank has these problems, they
don`t have to tell you about them. So you don`t know about them. There is
nothing unusual about having problems.

Now, they`ve done a terrible problem of selling what they`re doing and
they certainly could have prepared better for what happened. But all big
computer systems start out with problems.

O`DONNELL: I want to go to something Bill Clinton said 20 years ago,
when he was trying to pass his version of health care reform, which was
much bulkier, much more complex than the Obama version. And he did not
oversimplify. He was not accused of oversimplifying when he described it.

And let`s listen to how he did describe it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: If you are a young single person in your 20s, and you are
already insured, your rates may go up some what because you are going to go
into a big pool, with middle-aged people and older people. And we want to
enable people to keep their insurance, even when someone in their family
gets sick.

But I think that`s fair, because when the young get older, they`ll
benefit from it, first. And secondly, even those who pay a little more
today will benefit four, five, six, seven years from now by our bringing
health care costs closer to inflation. Over the long run, we can all win,
but some will me have to pay more in the short run.

Nevertheless, the vast majority of Americans watching this tonight,
will pay the same or less for health care coverage that will be the same or
better than the coverage they have tonight. That is the central reality.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joy Reid, some politically painful honesty in there. If
you`re young and a single person in your 20s, you are already insured.
Your rates are going to go up. I never heard President Obama say anything
like that.

However, the legislative scorecard on the accurately described Clinton
plan is the following: it could not get through all of the committees of
jurisdictions in the House of Representatives and it never came to a vote
on the floor of the House of Representatives, was never brought to the
House of Representatives to the floor. It made it through the committees,
a version of it, watered down version of it, made it through the committees
in the Senate, went out on to the Senate floor for less than a week and was
pulled off in surrender, never came to a vote in the United States Senate
or the House.

So, that is an accurate description of what you are up to will get
you.

REID: See how many words that took?

And I think that the temptation for the Obama White House in over-
learning perhaps the lessons of the Clinton era of trying to get health
care reform, is that when you actually explain what health care reform
does, it sounds like that. It sounds like what Bill Clinton did, and you
have to admit that some people`s costs will go up. And there are couple of
truisms in politics: always make your plan sound like it is for the middle-
class, when in fact health care is really benefiting a lot of people who
are mostly getting in on Medicaid.

You look at just some states having --

O`DONNELL: Medicaid was the single biggest component of the bill
before the Supreme Court reduced it.

REID: Absolutely. And Medicaid is still the biggest component of
people who are already signing up. If you look at the small number gotten
through the Web site, its orders of magnitude more who got it through
Medicaid.

So, you never admit that it`s not for the middle-class, because no one
cares about the poor. And you never admit anybody is going to pay
anything, because Americans like their policy to seem like cake. And it
has to seem like all cake and no dinner, and that`s why the administration
boiled it down to that, if you like your health care, you can keep it. Big
mistake, but it was a mistake that I think came a little bit out of the
lesson.

O`DONNELL: Yes, David Cay Johnston, I think, when those of us who
watch the `93, `94 failed health care campaign of the Democrats and the
Clinton administration, when we were watching the Obama version, I think
there were many, many instances in which it was very clear to us, OK,
they`re keying off the Clinton mistake. That speech which was considered
successful at the time to the joint session was ultimately judged to have
been a very big mistake, to go out there and try to go into detail for that
length of time.

JOHNSTON: Yes, remember, the 1,400 pages as if that was hey lot of
legislation, attack that was placed on it. Health care is a very
complicated subject. If you want to make it simple and get it off the
backs of business which you would expect the GOP to support, there is an
answer to that and that`s universal single payer health care. We are not
going to get that for now and we are going to have a complicated system as
a result.

O`DONNELL: Yes, and all the complications come from deliberate
attempts to avoid the simplicity that David just mentioned.

Joy Reid and David Cay Johnston, thank you both for joining me
tonight.

Coming up, how did Republicans come to control the House of
Representatives? They rigged the game. The author of a new revealing
"Rolling Stone" story will join me.

And sports socialism is in the "Rewrite" tonight. This time, the
Democrat is against sports socialism. The Republican is in favor of it.

And Bob Costas shook up the sports world today with what he had to say
about not allowing boys to play football.

And later, two very different senators, Kirsten Gillibrand and Rand
Paul, literally, shed a tear as they hear about sexual assault in the
military.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: Today, Hawaii became the 15th state to legalize same-sex
marriage. Governor Neil Abercrombie called the legislature into session to
pass the bill. He will sign the bill Wednesday morning. Couples can get
marriage licenses as soon as December 2nd.

Up next, how Democrats can get over a million more votes in
congressional campaigns than Republicans do, and Republicans still control
the House.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: How do you lose a majority of the popular vote but still
maintain a majority in the House of Representatives?

That question is answered in a new article in "Rolling Stone" titled
"How Republicans rigged the game". It sums up the Republican strategy this
way. "National Republicans have waged an unrelenting campaign to exploit
every weakness and anachronism in our electoral system through a
combination of hyper partisan redistricting of the House, unprecedented
obstructionism in the Senate, and racist voter suppression in the states.
Today`s GOP has locked in political power that it could never have secured
on a level playing field."

Following President Obama`s 2008 win, Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie
steered $30 million into state races so that Republicans could take control
of state legislatures. Karl Rove who understood the importance of winning
in a census year, spend this article subtitled, "He who controls
redistricting can control Congress" for "The Wall Street Journal," a full
eight months before the 2010 elections.

He wrote this, "To understand the broader political implications
considered that the GOP gained somewhere between 25 and 30 seats. Because
of the redistricting, that followed the 1990 census. Without those seats,
Republicans would not have won the House in 1994."

The money push worked in 2008. State legislatures looked like this.
Majority of states were controlled by Democrats. And just 14 were under
Republican control.

But after Rove`s push, the 2010 map looked like this. Half of the
states came under Republican control, including states like North Carolina
where some of the most controversial voter ID laws have been proposed.

Joining me now is Tim Dickinson, author of "The Rolling Stone"
article, "How Republicans Rig the Game".

Tim, they have taken this redistricting to a level I haven`t seen
before. Both sides do it. You`ve got to grant that at the outset. Both
sides do it. They want to do it.

It`s one of the reasons they want to control state legislatures. But
Rove seems to have understood the importance of this more than any Democrat
did.

TIM DICKINSON, ROLLING STONE: Right. And let`s be fair. In the
past, there has been sort of a game to protect incumbents. Pile into a
district so your guy stays safe. What they did was really, you know,
craven strategy to maximize gains.

So, you pack all the Democrats into urban districts. Using sort of
racial signifiers, among other things, big data project to cram these
districts full of Democrats, and you spread the wealth. You redraw the
Republican districts where incumbents are less safe, carve out territory
and end up with districts that are just safe enough to predictably win.

O`DONNELL: And, you know, you mention the component. Explicit racial
gerrymandering is clearly against the law. So, how do Republicans when
they sit done to do this figure out a way to do it without leaving proof of
racial gerrymandering?

DICKINSON: Well, North Carolina, for instance, there is court
documents that show they used -- the percentage of Obama voters in a given
ward. And so, obviously, first African-American president in history,
affinity voting among African-Americans for the president is particularly
identifiable on a ward by ward, precinct by precinct basis.

If you use Obama voters and their percentages as a proxy for race, you
can, sort of block by block carve out, you know, white districts, white
wards from African-American ward. And pack the district that way.

O`DONNELL: One of the amazing things here is that Karl Rove wrote
publicly what he was up to, and the Democrats still didn`t catch up to it
in 2010. The Democrats are just going to have to sit there until 2020,
until the next redistricting census before they can actually seriously take
on this problem.

DICKINSON: I mean, the demographic changes in this country are
favoring Democrats pretty extraordinarily, I think by the middle of the
decade, late decade, some of these changes will start to overwhelm even
the effort of redistricting, because some of the redistricted districts
don`t have a huge margin. So, they`re not districts that win 65-35.
They`re districts that win 55-45.

And so, as the demographics change, some will be worn down. We are
stuck with this for a decade, obviously.

O`DONNELL: Tim, one of the striking things about this is that the
Republicans don`t play it safe once they get elected within these new
districts. They, they, in the past when you would see redistricting like
this, the winner would tend to play things politically down the middle
because they know there are mixed voters in the district. The Republicans,
even with the 55 levels of the majority in their district go, pretty far in
the Republican direction once elected.

DICKINSON: Well, I mean, there is always the threat of the primary
from somebody to your right. I also think there is another factor.
Republicans know they`re on borrowed time here. So, they`re holding back
the tide and trying to, lock in, changes in the law before the demographic
changes catch up to them.

O`DONNELL: Tim Dickinson, thanks for joining us tonight. This really
is the article that definitively explains how gerrymandering is working.
Thank you very much, Tim.

DICKINSON: My pleasure.

O`DONNELL: Coming up -- should your kid play football? Bob Costas
now says no.

And the Major League Baseball team in Atlanta is paying their second
baseman $62 million. But they don`t want to pay for the stadium that he
plays in. Sports socialism is back in the rewrite tonight.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: The official death toll in the Philippines following the
typhoon is holding at 1,774. But authorities believe that will increase.
The city of Tacloban now needs water, food and medical assistance. But the
airport is destroyed and the runway is too short for most jets.

U.S. Marines are already on site delivering aid and more U.S. ships
are heading to the region.

Aid organizations are asking for your help. The contact information
for the Red Cross, AmeriCares, UNICEF, and Safe the Children is on the
screen now.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: In the spotlight tonight, Bob Costas, with professional
football reeling from accusations of covering up brain damage to its
players, allowing race based hazing in the locker room and my hometown team
having to cut an accused murderer from its roster, today Bob Costas said
this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What would you say to a parent who asked your
advice about whether they should let their son play football?

BOB COSTAS, AMERICAN SPORTSCASTER: I would tell them no. I would
tell them no. That`s, that`s, I know that goes viral tomorrow.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tonight actually.

COSTAS: I might say, I might say -- you know what? I know many, many
thoughtful people who have been involved in football, their entire lives.
Coaches, players, who belie the stereotype of what we have got. Think we
have got coming out at the Dolphin locker room, very thoughtful people
where football has shake their lives in a positive way. So, I am not going
to, you know, paint everybody with a broad brush. Maybe the better answer
is be advised of the extreme dangers. Know what you are getting into. But
let me put it this way, if it were my son, all right, and he was 13-years-
old and had reason athletic ability I would encourage him to play baseball,
or to play basketball or to play soccer or something other than football.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining me now Omar Kelly, NFL writer and columnist for
south Florida "Sun Sentinel," and Dave Zirin, sports editor at "the Nation"
and author of the book "game over how politics have turned the sports world
upside down."

Dave Zirin, what is your reaction to what Bob Costas had to say?

DAVE ZIRIN, SPORTS EDITOR, THE NATION: Well, I think we are reaching
a point from the perspective of science that to say you don`t want your son
to play football is about as controversial as saying you want to make sure
your child gets vaccinated at birth. I mean, sure, there are going to be
people who say, no vaccinations are bad. Just like there are going to be
people who say football is great for a 6-year-old.

But all the science is pointing in the opposite direction. I mean,
heck, the NFL`s own concussion expert Dr. Robert Cantu said that it would
be a very bad idea for kids under the age 14 to play football because of
how it affects the brain and cognitive abilities as they have come of age.

You know, there used to be a saying, Lawrence, where about a kid says
to his dad, Dad should I box or play football? And the father says, son,
please play football because nobody plays boxing. Well, we`re starting to
reach a point where, nobody really plays football either.

O`DONNELL: You know, the first article I ever read about brain injury
in football was one that I wrote for my high school newspaper. I was on
the football team. My football coach didn`t like it very much. But what
got me was I started to notice that motorcycle helmet were much more
protective designed with much more protection than football helmets. I
started investigating it. And then, I got interested in it then.

But -- and Omar Kelly, what I expected over time was a technological
improvement of some kind in the football helmet which we actually have not
seen. It has been a very, very minor improvement over the decades.

OMAR KELLY, COLUMNIST, SUN SENTINEL: I have always wondered why they
don`t wear an outer padding that is a little bit softer so there isn`t
always the hard helmet to helmet coalition. But certainly, you know, to
pretend like football isn`t a dangerous sport would be disingenuous.

You know, I have an 11-year-old son. And the last sport that I would
probably allow him to play is football. And he would have to, you know,
absolutely beg to do it you. Know you can play basketball. You can play
soccer. You can play anything but football.

And really, I take this, this, I take, I take that stance because of
all of the athletes that I have covered throughout my career. And a lot
have taken the approach with their own child. Look at Walter Peyton, his
son Jared Peyton played at University of Miami. And Walter Peyton wouldn`t
allow his son to play until he reached the high school age. My son is 11.
And maybe if he is interested I will let him play football high school age
when his body is fully develop. But right now, it is such a dangerous
sport not just from concussion stand points. But, you are seeing more
ACLTs (ph) in teenagers, in, this decade. I believe one doctor told me it
is about three times what it was ten years ago. And that`s primarily
because athletics.

O`DONNELL: Let any listen to what, former NFL player, Shannon Sharpe
had to say on CBS about what is going on in the locker room.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHANNON SHARPE, FORMER NFL PLAYER: Just ask your parents, ask your
grandparents, the mountain that they climbed, so a black person in America
could have respect, could have dignity and you allow this in an open locker
room to take place is unacceptable. I place this, I am so disappointed. I
just hope that someone was misquoted I hope I am wrong and they didn`t
allow Ritchie Incognito to say this racially charged word in a open locker
room and go unchecked. That`s unacceptable. I am embarrassed, because
when he, if he said that to Jonathan Martin. He didn`t only say it to him.
He was talking to you too. Because if you a black you know what that word
means.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Omar Kelly you are in Miami. What is your reaction to
that?

KELLY: First, off the top, you know people he this perception about
Richie Incognito. I dealt with him a number of years, since 2010 when he
joined the team. Richie is a lot of things. He is a bully, he is an alpha
male, he is your typical jock. But Richie is not racist.

Now, is he responsible to use the n word. He admitted to it. But
here is a thing. I don`t think he was using it on a regular basis inside
the locker room, maybe among this unit members, (INAUDIBLE), Jonathan
Martin. But I have talked to a number of players who said if Richie had
ever used the n word in their presence, it would have been an issue, and it
would have been an issue would have been addressed immediately. The use of
the n word is something that is not acceptable from some -- a lot of his
teammates.

O`DONNELL: Dave Zirin, give us a quick last word on this.

ZIRIN: Absolutely. I man, one thing I want people to know is that,
that kind of language, those kind of words, particularly said by white
players, it doesn`t happen within ear shot of the coaching staff unless the
coaching staff winks and nod and says it is OK. And that`s why a lot of
this scandal end of the day is going to fall on the shoulders of the Miami
dolphins coaching staff because they allowed a locker room that allowed
that kind garbage to go on.

O`DONNELL: Omar Kelly and Dave Zirin, thank you both for joining me
tonight.

ZIRIN: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, sports socialism is in the "rewrite" tonight.
Why your taxes should not be paying for the play grounds of professional
athletes.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: Tonight`s episode of bad socialism, a democrat takes a
brave stance against bad socialism. A Republican then welcomes that very
same bad socialism with a pocketful of taxpayer money. Atlanta`s
Democratic mayor, Kasim Reed, has refused to use taxpayer money to build a
new stadium for the major league baseball team in Atlanta which, of course,
can more than afford to pay for a stadium itself.

Mayor Reid decided that the city could not afford the hundreds of
millions of dollars it would take to rebuild turner field to the
satisfaction of the baseball team. It`s not that the team has outgrown
turner field which seats 49,000 people. The team is actually looking to
downsize. They want a smaller capacity stadium. That`s what they did.
Just 17 years ago when they moved out of their first government subsidized
home, which had a capacity of 52,000. It used to be that sports teams
wanted new stadiums so they could sell more tickets. So they c increase
their capacity. Now they want new stadiums because they want new stadiums.
They behave like spoiled children, they want new toys they`re bored with
their toys. Sports teams believe they can extort new stadiums from local
governments if they simply threaten to leave.

Mayor Kasim Reed of Atlanta stared down major league baseball`s threat
and said good luck with your new home wherever you go. Enter, Republican
Tim Lee, the cob county commission chairman who offered the team a new home
in the Cobb County in the northern suburb of Atlanta. The baseball team
announced yesterday they are going to move in 2017 to a new 42,000 seat
stadium, ten miles northwest of downtown Atlanta in Cobb County. The new
smaller stadium will cost $672 million.

Atlanta`s mayor Reid said he could not match Cobb County`s offer of
$450 million taxpayer dollars to pay for that new stadium. The Cobb county
commission chairman refuses to confirm he has committed to hand-over $450
million taxpayer dollars to a baseball team that has a $62 million second
baseman.

So far none, none of the Republicans on the Cobb county commission
have rejected the deal. The details of which they will not even know until
a memo of understanding is completed with the team in the next couple
weeks.

And here we have the perfect test for the tea party. A test the tea
party will surely fail. Cobb county is tea party country. It is
represented by two of the tea party`s staunchest members in congress,
Republicans Tom Price and Phil Gingrey.

If the tea party hates socialism as much, will the tea party
congressman of Georgia and the tea party of Cobb county stand up and block
the 450 million dollars being handed over to a baseball team in America`s
most recent ugly example of sports socialism? Here is the tea party`s big
chance to show that they really do hate socialism. The tea party has
never, ever, ken a stance against sports socialism. The tea party should
be out there tonight threatening to run a Republican primary challenger
against the socialist, the sports socialist Cob county commission chairman
Tim Lee.

The tea party should not give Tim Lee another day of peace now that he
has embraced sports socialism. What if the Cobb county commission chairman
was named Obama? What do you think the tea party would have said about
sports socialism coming to Cobb county?

Every day of tea party silence on this kind of sports socialism in the
heart of tea party country, will prove once again, that the tea party
doesn`t know what socialism is, and is really just the I hate Obama party.

Mayor Kasim Reed said there was no way that the baseball team was
going to stay in downtown Atlanta without city taxpayers spending hundreds
of millions of dollars. Not one tea partier applauded the Mayor Kasim Reed
for refusing to give away taxpayer money to a baseball team. Cobb county`s
champion of sports socialism, Tim Lee has offered the usual ridiculous
justifications for the unjustifiable. He says, that the full commission
does not know any of the details of the deal yet. But they have been
briefed on the deal," end quote.

The response has been very positive, very enthusiastic and supportive
of this investment, which will bring significant economic growth to Cobb
county and the region. That is always the lie they tell. But, studies of
sports socialism show that it is not an investment, that it is in fact a
giveaway and that the sports teams never come close to generating enough
tax revenue for local governments to justify the expenditure. And you
don`t need a study to tell you that new stadiums do not create winners.
The world series was won this year on the oldest baseball field in the
major leagues, Boston`s 101-year-old Fenway Park.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: Senator Elizabeth Warren, warned today the too big to fail
banks have only gotten bigger. She spoke in a conference hosted by the
Roosevelt institute and told the audience that the five biggest banks are
30 percent larger now than they were just five years ago. And she, once
again, called for passage of a new (INAUDIBLE) law to separate investment
banking from commercial banking.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Throughout the 1980s and
1990s, Congress and the regulators chipped away at (INAUDIBLE) protection
and encouraging the growth of the mega banks and a sharp increase in
systemic risk. They finally finished that task with the 1999 passage of
Graham-Leach-Bliley which eliminated glass-eagle (ph) protections all
together.

Sure, lobbyists for Wall Street say that the sky will fall if they
can`t use deposits and checking accounts to fund their high risk
activities. But they said that in the 1930s too. And they were wrong then
and they are wrong now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: The 1999 legislation that Senator Warren was referring to
that eliminated glass-eagle (ph) passed by bipartisan support and was
enthusiastically signed into law by President Bill Clinton.

Up next, the legislation that puts Democrat Gillibrand and Republican
Rand Paul on the same side. We will show you the video where they both
shed a tear listening to a story of sexual assault in the military.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: You know in a Washington full of petty
partisanship, sniping, and personal attacks and innuendo. This crusade for
justice is a welcome breath of fresh air.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: The crusade for justice Rand Paul is talking about fight
to end sexual assault in the military. Last week, Rand Paul joined the
bipartisan group with senators in supporting Kirsten Gillibrand`s proposed
amendment to the defense bill that would strip military commanders of the
power to rule on sexual assault cases. Under the senator`s amendment, that
power would be given to military prosecutors.

The amendment does not have the support of military leads. Many on
Capitol Hill have credited the Oscar nominated documentary, "the invisible
war," for shining a light on the pervasiveness of sexual assault in the
United States military.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is a senior officer in my command. He
said, the marines here are nothing but, objects for the marines to (bleep)
--

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: That was Arianna Klay (ph) who was raped by a senior
officer and his friend while she was stationed at the prestigious marine
barracks in Washington, D.C. Both she and her husband attended Senator
Gillibrand`s press conference last week. Her husband`s testimony actually
brought tears to the eyes of the senators who were listening.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BEN KLAY, ARIANNA KLAY`S HUSBAND: I read her commander`s conclusions,
in writing that he deserved ill treatment for wearing running shorts and
makeup. I read the opinion of the command appointed investigator who
compared rape to prostitution or marrying a rich man.

As for the assault trial, it put Arianna through 15 hours of degrading
testimony after a year of retaliation and intimidation. The closing
statement of that trial was the marine officer reading the definition of
(bleep), slot and hore. I watched the effect of that injustice on Arianna.
It takes incredible strength to pull out of that nightmare.

And I`m lucky I married -- I`m lucky I married someone so strong to
do, that she could do it. Even if she still suffers, and has never been
the same. She gained wisdom, figured out how to forgive, and although the
experience change her, she refused to let her prevented her from giving her
best life and to those around her.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining me now are producer Amy Ziering and director Kirby
Barklow, the filmmakers of "the invisible war" which was now nominated for
a Puma Impact Award.

Amy, I have never seen senators cry in a press conference or in any
situation?

AMY ZIERING, PRODUCER, THE INVISIBLE WAR: It`s not surprising. It is
so heartbreaking. Ben was himself, a marine, and an officer. He did two
tours of duty in Iraq. And to see a marine break down like that and cry,
and say, you know something has got to change. It`s incredible. I mean,
what more do people need to hear or see?

O`DONNELL: And Kirby, as you showed in the film, the incidents he is
talking about took place of walking distance of where the senators are
standing. This is a marine barracks, where the marines who guard the White
House, who stand at the gates of the White House, it is a very prestigious
assignment, it was happening, kind of right under their noses.

KIRBY BARKLOW, DIRECTOR, THE INVISIBLE WAR: Exactly. And I think
that is what show to the country that if it is happening there in the most
prestigious military base, it is happening all across the force. This is a
systemic problem going on for 50 years. And over those 50 last years, more
than 500,000 men and women have been sexually assaulted in the U.S.
military.

O`DONNELL: Now, these latest report showing that there is an increase
now in the number of -- reported sexual assaults in the military. And some
are saying this, increase is a good thing because it is bringing us closer
to the real numbers?

BARKLOW: We really don`t know. I mean, you know, there may be a few
percentage point increase in the people reporting. We don`t know yet. We
will have to get those the complete numbers later. But what we do know is
the vast majority of men and women in the military do not report. In fact,
more than 85 percent do not report.

The system is broken. People do not trust the system. People do not
feel like they will get justice. That`s why we need real reform.

O`DONNELL: There is more than one version of this moving through the
Senate. Senator Claire McCaskill has an alternative plan that would ban
military commanders from overturning jury verdicts mandate anyone convicted
of sexual assault be dishonorably discharged or dismissed from the
military. That is somewhat different from Senator Gillibrand. What is
your sense of why the senators aren`t together on this?

ZIERING: Well, actually, most of the senators, the women senators are
together. Nineteen out of 20 women senators, support Gillibrand`s bill,
not Claire McCaskill`s. So, I want to make that clear. It is really
actually -- the women actually understand the effects of sexual assault and
need to take it outside, the adjudication of crimes outside the chain of
command.

Imagine, we all understand that we don`t want to report those crimes
to our boss under any circumstances. That will be just a conflict of
interest, it would be uncomfortable, even the best of circumstances don`t
want to report a sex crime to someone who oversees you another capacities.
We want to give our military, service members, access to the same impartial
system of justice that they defend for us. They give their lives to
sacrifice so that I can go to court, and get unbiased jury to try my sex
crime cases why can`t we offer them that? It`s just -- it`s something so
obvious.

O`DONNELL: Kirby, I cannot, really, truly cannot imagine where the
issue would be in Washington were it not for your film.

When Leon Panetta was secretary of defense he watched the film. His
successor, Chuck Hagel watched the film. All of those senators have seen
your film. I know of no other film, documentary, made by any one, no book
that has ever entered the Senate this way, entered the highest levels of
our government, and had this kind of impact.

BARKLOW: Yes. You know, we are very pleased that it had this kind of
impact because when we were talking to these men and women and seeing how
patriotic they were and how much they, they would, were committed to
defending the country and then seep their own military turn on them, we
really wanted to change this.

And, and they, and, you know to the military`s credit, they`re using
the film as part of their sexual assault training now. What they haven`t
done is fix aid broken prosecution system. And that`s why the Senator
Gillibrand`s bill is so important.

O`DONNELL: Amy, is the military working on any kind of screening
process to anticipate this to try to figure out what is the pattern of
behavior here that we have to stop.

ZIERING: Not that I know of.

BARKLOW: They are looking at that. The problem is that most of the
assaults are caused by serial predators. And they are very skilled at what
they do. And it is very hard in the civilian world to identify a serial
predator. So, the problem is not the military its letting these people in.
They`re going to get in. That`s not the problem.

The problem once they`re committing the crime they`re not
investigating and prosecuting and putting them behind bars. That`s the
problem.

O`DONNELL: And as the military barracks -- the marine barracks in
Washington shows. This is not about some kind of combat, stress, or some
kind of extraordinary circumstance that is unique to the military that
produces, some set of, of stimuli here.

ZIERING: No, that`s the misconception. As Kirby said, it is a serial
predator problem. And when you have a broken prosecution system. most
serial predators can commit up to 300 crimes in the course of their
lifetime. So, if you are not prosecuting them the crimes proliferate, and
that`s the problem.

BARKLOW: Yes. And I just want to clarify that most men in the
military are not rapists. It is a small percentage that are allowed to
commit crimes again and again.

O`DONNELL: Amy Ziering and Kirby Dick (ph), thank you both for
joining me again tonight.

BARKLOW: Thank you.

ZIERING: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Chris Hayes is up next.

END

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