All In With Chris Hayes, Tuesday, November 12th, 2013
Read the transcript from the Tuesday show
ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
November 12, 2013
Guest: Norm Ornstein; Dean Baker; Avik Roy; Alexis Goldstein, Leah Gunn
Barrett, Shannon Watts, Joe Conason
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
Not so long ago when the Republican politicians were really on top of their
game, they were masters of using the right wing media to do their bidding.
These days as the GOP flounders about, it seems to be the other way around.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS: You know, one of the things that`s so frustrating
is, you like your plan, you can keep your plan.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: What the president`s saying if
you like your coverage you can keep it is not accurate.
KARL ROVE, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Oh, really? You meant what you said if
you like your plan, you can keep it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They believed him when he said repeatedly, if you like
your insurance, you can keep it.
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MINORITY LEADER: One moment quarter in the
law said it is time to put it this way. All we have been hearing for the
last three years is that if you like your policy you can keep it. Well,
I`m infuriated because I would lie. It is not fair. Is not right.
HAYES: Republicans have settled on their latest anti-Obama care
message, if you like health plan, you should be able to keep it. And
today. They got a big boost from Bill Clinton.
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I personally
believe even if it takes a change in the law, the president should honor
the commitment the federal government made to those people.
HAYES: Drudge immediately seized on the comments. John Boehner
applauded the statement saying that Democrats concerned about the
president`s broken promise should join Republicans in voting to pass the
keep your health plan act. That bill would allow insurance companies to
continue offering plans they have said that need to be canceled because
they do not comply with Obamacare`s standards. The House will vote on the
bill later this week.
Ad nothing could be a more clear example of how the modern GOP works.
You see in the past, lawmakers came up with policy and would then try and
sell that policy in the media. But now, the roles have been completely
Republican lawmakers now take their own legislative agenda straight
from the conservative media talking point of the day. It`s a legislative
meth perfected during the shutdown when Republicans voted based solely on
whatever was on FOX the previous day.
Remember, it was the right wing media the flag the scandal of the
World War II Vets being kept out of memorials during the GOP shutdown.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: According to the daily caller, they say this is
the first time in history that things have been totally off limits to
visitors during shutdown.
HAYES: Then House Republicans quickly wrote a bill.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To put up barricades to keep them away from their
greater accomplishments is absolute sick.
HAYES: The right wing noise machine figured out how to use cancer
patients to bash Democrats.
HANNITY: Why would we want to help one kid with cancer? Why? Do I
even have to begin to answer that?
HAYES: And like clockwork, the House GOP embraced the research for
life-saving cures act. And how do you know the Republican party is acting
in bad faith? Because if it was the position of the Republican party that
memorials should be open and cancer trials should be funded, they shouldn`t
have shut down the government in the first place. And if is now their
position that people shouldn`t have their health insurance plans canceled,
well then, they`re a little late to the party.
HAYES: This is Lee Ioner. If they weren`t able to weed you out in
the application process or deny you the care of your doctor said you
needed, and somehow ended up paying for the operation, they send in Lee,
their hit man. His job is to get the company`s money back any way he can.
All he has to do is find one slipup on our application or a preexisting
condition you didn`t know you had.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re going to go of this like it`s a murder case.
And I mean the whole unit dedicated that you can feel something, you
misrepresented something so that they can cancel the policy.
HAYES: When Robin Baiten isn`t selling antiques, she`s fighting a
battle on two fronts, one against breast cancer, and the other against her
insurance company. Just three days before she was scheduled to undergo a
double mastectomy last year, Baiten says she got this letter from Blue
Cross Blue Shield of Texas.
ROBIN BAITEN, BREAST CANCER PATIENT: They rescinded my policy
HAYES: I`m sure that Robin would have loved your keep that you are
health plan act in 2009. But alas, Republicans weren`t offering it back
HAYES: Joining me now is Norm Ornstein, resident scholar of the
conservative think tank of the American Enterprise Institute and co-author
of "it even worse than it looks, it is how the American constitutional
system collided with the new politics of extremism."
Norm, it is always been the case that legislators try to creates votes
on issues, particularly for the opposing party that are going to be
uncomfortable. But it does seem to me like the entirety of the legislative
agenda coming out of the House Republican caucus particularly right now is
simply legislating via press release.
NORM ORNSTEIN, RESIDENT SCHOLAR, AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE:
Absolutely. What was also the case, Chris, is, before you put a bill out
there, you would at least hold a couple of hearings on it to see what the
consequences, intended and unintended might be. But this is clearly a
press release bill. And if you want to look at whether it`s a good thing
or a bad thing, all you need to know is that heritage action and the club
for growth have endorsed it. That ought to tell us right away that this is
not an attempt to find a constructive way to make sure that people can keep
their health insurance and that we aren`t going to screw up the entire
insurance process by raising rates on everybody else along the way. This
is just a talking point.
HAYES: Well, that is great point, right? Because I think one of the
things -- one of the dangers of this kind of legislating is that sometimes
these things actually become law. The best example of this is the Chuck
Grassley amendment. The Chuck Grassley amendment which is during the
Affordable Care Act debate, Grassley came up with this idea, it was going
to be a kind of like jujitsu move rhetorically in which members of Congress
themselves and their staffs would have to go into exchanges. And he
thought, aha, they`ll vote against it.
And members of Congress Democrats said, OK, fine we`ll go on the
exchanges. And then, there was an actual policy conundrum that had to be
worked out because Congress now has the status that was totally different
than any employer in the country. And there were real consequences. There
are consequences to legislating based on what you think will score you a
ORNSTEIN: And in this case, you know, what Fred Upton has done with
this bill, is not to order that insurance companies reinstate all of these
plans, but to give them the option of doing it which makes it sounds
seductive on the surface, but it makes it even worse, because the plans
that the insurers will bring back are the ones that cherry picked the
healthiest people and leave the others, the ones who are less healthy to go
on the exchanges which is going to raise the costs of the exchanges.
See, it is a very dangerous thing to do. But in this case, just like
the Grassley amendment, you are going to have a number of nervous Democrats
who are hearing from plenty of constituents and after all this is something
where the president should not have said at he said repeatedly, it`s
blowing up in his face. But my guess is, this might well pass the House
and then it`s going to be a question of whether Harry Reid can hold to it
and keep something that is not a good idea right now from being enacted
HAYES: Well, and right now today, we got word that Louisiana Senator,
Mary Landrieu, is introducing her own version of this. Although, who would
go one step further would actually mandate that health insurance companies
not be able to cancel plans. That, at least, is my understanding. It is a
little hard to parse.
The other thing about this that I think is key, and Norm, I want to
have you on to talk about this from a historical perspective is, I don`t
think people appreciate the difference between the Gingrich Congress and
the Boehner Congress which this. The Gingrich Congress, say what you will
about it, it had a proactive legislative agenda. There were bills that
they wanted to passed. They were enumerated in the contract of America.
They actually passed a bunch of stuff that Clinton signed. This Congress
is barely working. I mean, they`re barely coming to work, and when they
are, there is nothing that John Boehner is actually trying to pass. All
he`s trying to do is stop stuff from passing.
ORNSTEIN: And if you look at the important policy issues and areas
out there that need resolution, and the fact that the House has scheduled
13 more days and not full days for the rest of the year, and it`s basically
thrown it in, we`re going to do nothing else except find away to keep the
government operating. That tells you as well that we have a great
HAYES: Wait a second. The House has scheduled 13 days?
ORNSTEIN: You know, the rest of the year is pretty much said, we`re
done. We`re not going to do anything else for the rest of the year.
HAYES: For those keeping us at home, it is November 12, We, here at
"All In with Chris," of course, will be working far, far more than 13 days,
as will the vast overwhelming majority of hard working Americans across
this great land.
ORNSTEIN: And they`ll be working at least eight hours a day and
that`s not what we`re going to see with Congress in session. So, this is,
you know, just not a good thing. Of course, if you look at all the votes
that we have seen in the House on the Affordable Care Act, this is the
first time that you are actually going to see something that tries to do
something to amendment -- amended and not just to end it. But it`s an
attempt to amend it in order to end it.
HAYES: It is a strange kind of progress. You know, Woody Allen would
said, half of life is just showing up. For John Boehner, half of life is
making sure you don`t show up.
Norm Ornstein from the American Enterprise Institute, thank you.
Joining me now, Avik Roy, senior fellow at Manhattan Institute, author
of quote "How Medicaid fails the poor," and Dean Baker, co-director of the
Center of Economic and Policy Research.
Dean, I wanted to have you on because you wrote a piece today for "the
Huffington Post" about the debate, national debate, we are having about
plan cancellations. And you basically -- you had pretty strong word. You
said there`s a lot less here than it appears. What is your case on that?
DEAN BAKER, CO-DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR ECONOMIC AND POLICY RESEARCH:
Well, there is couple of things. You know, you try to put some meaning
into this. I mean, OK, President Obama said you can keep your plan. Well,
what did people think he meant? Did he mean that insurers could not change
plans, could not drop plans? I don`t think people could have thought that,
because it makes no sense.
He also said you could keep your doctor. Does that mean he`s going to
keep doctors from retiring or dying? Presumably, what he meant that the
Affordable Care Act would not directly cancel plans that were in effect.
And it doesn`t cancel plans that were in effect. It grandfathers all the
plans that were in effect at the time the bill was passed. So, if a lot of
people running around like chicken with their heads cut-off, my God, plans
are being canceled. And you just go, well, plans that were put in place
after the ACA was passed.
I should also Glen Kessler (ph), the fact checker pointed out. He was
criticizing President Obama and then he point out. The vast majority of
these plans were just issued in the last year. So, didn`t the insurance
companies tell them when they issued the plan that they are going to go out
and out of existence January 1st/ So, I just don`t really see much of a
HAYES: That question, though, strikes me as a pretty fair one. Your
Humana or your Blue Cross Blue Shield, you`re selling a policy to someone
in early 2013. You know there`s a whole regulatory frame work working its
way through. You also have some pretty informed folks on Capitol Hill and
also talking to the people in CMS (ph) and HHS (ph) about what the shape of
those regulations plans are going to be. You have got an inkling if you
are selling the plan that might not meet the Obamacare requirements,
shouldn`t you have said to the person you are selling the plan to, in early
2013, hey, just so you know, this may not be around next year?
AVIK ROY, SENIOR FELLOW, MANHATTAN INSTITUTE: I think there was
awareness among everyone who out to see follow this issues very closely,
what was going to happen in 2014. But I think the average person
interpreted President Obama`s promise to mean a plan that was in effect for
those regulations kicked in on January 1, 2014, I would be able to keep
that plan. I would be able to keep my physician network as is. And that
is why a lot of people aren`t happy about it. And I think --
HAYES: But, that is an answer to a different question. I mean, I
think you`re right about why people are angry. The question is, should the
insurer, who`s selling you a plan, they know the provision of which is
contingent upon a regulatory process, they are following very closely, and
it is a great cause. Shouldn`t they tell you, hey, buddy check it out,
we`re going to sell you this, but we`re going to be there.
ROY: You know, we could mandate that every American read my blog and
know this in 2010. But, of course, that is not how politics works, right?
People don`t necessarily know it impacts. I think the more important thing
is, look, I think if people`s plans were being canceled and they were being
replaced by ACA plans that truly were better and truly were more
affordable, then, this wouldn`t be issue. And I think for the people who
benefit from the subsidies that hopefully and eventually will be their
outcome, for a lot of the people, the middle class and the upper middle
class people who are going to have higher premiums, they didn`t think they
were free loading on the old system. They didn`t think they were getting a
free ride. They thought their health insurance is pretty expensive in 2013
than 2012 and they are seeing this big increase of 40 percent, 50 percent,
HAYES: And we should be clear, we just don`t know what the numbers
are, Dean, on that. But your point, Dean, about, you know, there`s no way
the president could have promised you could keep your doctor either. I
mean, the big issue here is there any conception of health reform worthy of
the name that would have kept every one of the health insurance plans
existing in American when it was passed or went it to effect stay in
effect? Is that a possible outcome?
BAKER: I mean, the only way you could have done that is you literally
have to have President Obama take over nationalize the insurance industry.
And I know a lot of Republicans have accused him of that, but the reality
is, he`s not done that.
So, what that means is, insurance companies drop/change plans. You
know, we have insurance at Center for Economic and Policy Research. We had
our plans dropped, nothing to do with Obamacare, this happened years ago,
before it was even legislation. Insurance companies changed plans all the
So, I don`t know what someone could have thought that they thought
President Obama somehow is guaranteeing them that their plan that was in
effect 2010 or for that, 2013 would stay in effect in perpetuity. He
couldn`t do that unless he took over the market.
ROY: One point I`ll make in the president`s defense is this, any
conservative reform of the health care system would also result in changes
in the health insurance market. I think one risk for Republicans in being
so vigorous in defending the status quo anti-PREACA, is that if they ever
have the opportunity to reforms of their own, this could come back to bite.
HAYES: And one of the biggest ones, White and Bennett, for instance,
which got a tremendous amount of traction on its sort of center right wing
circles, which is like about four people, but that would have gotten rid of
the, you know, deferred tax treatment that employer-based health insurance
has right now. That would be a huge change. You want to see some like,
you know, nightly news packages about that happening, you would see them,
ROY: Well, the Cadillac tax in the ACA does that, so in a sense, in
any conservative form that happenings now post-ACA probably wouldn`t be as
disruptive on that specific point. But it would be disruptive potentially
in a lot of other areas.
HAYES: Avik Roy from Manhattan Institute and Dean Baker, Center for
Economic and Policy Research. Thank you both, gentlemen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We all went to our own cars and got out our self-
defense tools or firearms, whatever you want to call them. And so, we
strapped on and, you know, a couple of people wanted to take pictures of us
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That was from our interview earlier today with one of the men
from this group, well for the first time anywhere, we`ll get a response
from one of the four moms who was at a private meeting talking about gun
safety over lunch when those armed protesters showed up, ahead.
HAYES: I know you never want to miss a show, and to be perfectly
clear, you should never, ever miss a show, ever. But if you ever do miss a
show, there are now some very appealing options for you.
Starting today you can watch "All In with Chris Hayes" on your ipad,
iphone or ipod touch with brand new MSNBC app. It`s a pretty excellent
Back to never missing a show, and I`m being totally serious now, you
actually never have to miss a show. And how is that? Because the new
MSNBC app allows you to watch any show live. You probably go -- want to go
download the new MSNBC app on your IOS device right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: I hear all this, you know,
well this is class war fare, whatever, no, there is nobody in this country
who got rich on his own. Nobody. You built a factory out there, good for
you. But I want to be clear, you moved your goods to market on the roads
the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: There`s a reason why liberals love Elizabeth Warren, I count
myself among them. It`s moments just like that one you just saw and
moments like this from her very first Senate year.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WARREN: Tell me a little bit about the last few times you have taken
the biggest financial institutions on Wall Street all the way to a trial?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Elizabeth Warren is, by no means, the only person in
progressive politics right now with incredibly smart and an act for
communicating complex issues. But what distinguishes her at this moment,
is that she has gone on this remarkable journey from being an outsider,
critiquing the status quo to a sitting united states senator who still
talks like someone on the outside.
She is willing to state the obvious truth that all of us know, but
that you have almost never hear from the people in positions of power, that
the system is rigged.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WARREN: Today, the four biggest banks are 30 percent larger than they
were just five years ago. And five largest banks hold more than half of
all the total banking assets in the country. Who would have thought five
years after the crisis that we witnessed firsthand, the dangers of an
overly concentrated financial system, that the too big to fail problem
would only have gotten worse.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That was Warren giving a major speech today in conjunction
with the new report finding the financial reform law know ad Dodd-Frank did
not go nearly far enough to prevent the risk of another massive financial
crisis. The continuing battle over Wall Street regulation is the policy
area, I think, where the division between the establishment wing of the
party and the raw anger of the liberal grass roots is at its most intense.
There are people inside the Democratic Party, many of them, many of
them in power who think the system can be managed. And there are people
inside the Democratic Party who know that it is broken in some fundamental
Elizabeth Warren is one of those people. And the biggest question
facing her party is it looks towards the post Obama era is whether to adopt
Warren`s populous message as its governing philosophy, or perhaps more
acutely, whether even can.
Joining mw now Alexis Goldstein, communications director for the other
98 percent, a non-profit grassroots network of activist.
And Alexis, this is my feeling about Elizabeth Warren in this issue
particularly. (INAUDIBLE) we have this piece where he sort of talking
about Elizabeth Warren and Hillary Clinton in 2016. And that I don`t -- it
doesn`t interest me that much. What does interest me is the fundamental
thing that he put his finger on. Which is that if you look through the
polling, issue after issue, Democrats on economic issues, of basic issues
and inequality of the power of finance, they have moved to the left.
Percentage of the Democrats dissatisfied with the size and influence of the
major corporations, 51 percent in 2001, 70 percent in 2013.
There is a whole bunch of polling results like this. And right now,
Elizabeth Warren, more than any other prominent national Democrat is
speaking that language.
ALEXIS GOLDSTEIN, THE OTHER 98 PERCENT: That`s right. And I think
that it is important to know that she is not the only one. There was a
simultaneous conference that happened in New York, At the same time as the
conference today which was put on by Americans for financial reform and the
Roosevelt Institute who are great reform advocates.
It was a deal book conference. And Ken Griffin, who is the CEO of a
big hedge fund. He is a billionaire. He said that we should break up the
banks. So, not only do we have this split in the Democrat party where we
just see Elizabeth Warren advocating for more reform. We are actually
seeing CEO, billionaires, being further left than the status quo of the
Democratic party in the Obama administration when it comes to financial
HAYES: And we should know that although, there are other Democratic
senators, Sherrod Brown comes from Ohio who had been very out front on
precisely this issue.
The other big thing, I think is fascinating about the Warren`s
(INAUDIBLE) and about Warren as a figure, is that if you puts that you
produce cable news for a living, as some people I know. And you look
through your issue of the day and you think, man, financial reform. OK,
this is going to be a little bit of a tough haul, we`re going to push this
rock uphill. And here`s Warren who is going out and getting two million,
you know, You Tube views on a speech about financial reform.
She`s tapping into the fact that no one yet has really spoken to the
lingering anger resentment of frustration Americans have about what
happened five years ago and what continues to wreck people`s lives on a
GOLDSTEIN: That`s absolutely right. And I think that she has been
proof that good policy in the room of financial reform can also be good
politics. I think (INAUDIBLE) out of Florida has also been evidence to
that. They both been able to get lots of views on You Tube for some of
their pro-reform comments. They have been able to get lots of crowd
funding and lots of small donations to finance their campaign so there`s a
real hunger and a real gap here. And we don`t see the Democratic party
come in and be the strong pro-reform party. There is an open for
Republicans and some Republicans are starting to take that seriously.
You have people like David Vitter who I disagree with vehemently on
most issues that he has worked with Sherrod Brown on some very important
pro reform things like raising capital requirements, which is basically
saying that things can`t operate on so much borrowed money.
HAYES: And we should note in the world or regulatory news, today was
actually a big important day, because the president named a new chair for
the commodities future trading commission, the CFTC, which is just for 99.9
percent of Americans, a jumbled letters, but basically is the small --
relatively small entities that stands between us and the precipice. I mean
really, it is, if there`s one regulator who is going to keep us from
plunging into something as horrifying, destructive and terrible as what we
went through, it is that body.
GOLDSTEIN: That`s right and I think we have a real danger here,
because we have Gary Gensler who is the chairman now and I like to liken
him as the superman of the financial reform. If the CFTC were the justice
league, he would be superman. There is another commissioner you had him
among the show, Mark Shekton (ph). He is also leaving, He is like batman.
And all we`re going to be left with at the CFTC is like aqua man and
whoever else is at the justice league.
You know, Gary Gensler is the savor of kittens, he has been an
advocate. He came from Wall Street, but he has used that knowledge for
good. And now, we have Tim Assad (ph). Tim Assad (ph) is the new
appointee. We don`t know much about him. We don`t know where he stands on
derivatives reform. And I know about him is when he was in the treasury,
he defended a program called ham (ph) which is the program that was
supposed to help homeowners and --
HAYES: And I should have an accountability moment here. Gary
Gensler, I wrote a column in "the Nation" magazine, just absolutely going
after Gary Gensler when he was nominated. I said this golden sack stooge,
what the heck, he`s re-trade from Wall Street. The guy has been
incredible, he`s been the best regulator we have had. I was completely
wrong. I`m sorry Gary Gensler.
Alexis Goldstein from the Other 98 percent, Thank you.
Coming up next --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The flyers said he was endorsed by Ron Wilson.
No, not the former state representative. The fine print said Ron Wilson is
Dave Wilson`s cousin.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s correct, we are.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You really got a cousin named Ron Wilson.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did they really endorse you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I called him up and I said Bloomfield, Iowa.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Funny thing is that`s not even close to the worst thing that
that guy did to get elected last week in Texas. It is an incredible story
when we return.
HAYES: Did you hear the one about the white guy in Texas who
pretended to be black to get elected? No, this is not a joke.
Male: The white guy led voters to believe he was black to win a seat
on the Houston Community College Board.
DAVE WILSON, NEWLY-ELECTED MEMBER OF BOARD OF TRUSTEES, HOUSTON
COMMUNITY COLLEGE: I had always said it was a long shot. No, I didn`t
expect to win.
HAYES: Dave Wilson is a Houston electrician by trade and is described
in the "Texas Observer" as a man "known locally for nuisance lawsuits and
homophobia." That last bit comes primarily from mailers he sent out in
2009 stating that an openly gay candidate shouldn`t be mayor because
"homosexual behavior leads to extinction." Now, last week Wilson was
running for the Board of Trustees of the Houston Community College System
in a predominantly black district. So in an attempt to invent a persona
for himself that would be more helpful to voters in his district, Wilson
ditched his homophobia platform for shall we say some deeply questionable
First, there was the fact that his campaign material never showed his face.
His flyers depicted smiling African-American faces. The words said,
"Please vote for our friend and neighbor Dave Wilson." The pictures he
admits were just lifted off the internet.
Male: All of these supporters are African-American.
WILSON: What a coincidence.
HAYES: And then there was this radio ad.
Female: Girl, have you been keeping up with the HCCC District Two
Female: The one between Dave Wilson and Bruce Austin?
Female: Yes, that`s the one. It`s the strangest thing. That Bruce
Austin voted against $6 million in scholarships for our children right here
in our neighborhood. Girl, please, I bet he has relatives that could have
used some of that scholarship money he voted against. I`ve had about
enough of him.
Female: So what we going to do?
Female: I`m voting for Dave Wilson.
HAYES: It`s hard to say how much Wilson`s little audio minstrel show
and his racial deception helped him in last week`s election. We do know
this. His opponent, Bruce Austin, is black, and Wilson managed to eke out
a victory by only 26 votes in a race with more than 11,000 cast. Now, one
of our chief problems with the way we think and talk about race is
accepting its boundaries as fixed.
And so maybe somewhere buried deep beneath the bad faith and racial
stereotypes and downright ugliness dispensed by Dave Wilson, there`s a
kernel of truth about the fact that the racial lines that divide us aren`t
as hard and fast as we like to pretend.
Take for instance this guy, Craig Cobb, a 62-year-old white supremacist who
wants to turn the small town of Leith, North Dakota, a town of 16 people
into a white enclave. Yesterday Cobb agreed to undergo a DNA test on
TRISHA GODDARD, HOST OF "TRISHA GODDARD SHOW": Craig Paul Cobb has
undergone DNA testing to determine genetic ancestry. Eighty-six percent
European and -
Female: Give it to him, give it to him.
Female: -- 14 percent Sub-Saharan African.
CRAIG COBB, WHITE SUPREMACIST: Wait a minute, wait a minute. Hold
COBB: Just wait a minute.
Female: Way. Go.
COBB: This is called statistical noise.
Female: Sweetheart, you have a little black in you.
COBB: Listen -
HAYES: Think of doing DNA testing of a white supremacist on the show.
That right there what you saw, that`s the confounding truth about race. It
is two things at once -- each in tension with the other. It is a
construction, a fiction, something completely invented by our society to
divide and categorize and oppress people. But no matter how arbitrary all
of that is, race is also at the same time an absolute reality with very
real consequences. If black, white, Latino and everyone else, real or
not, it structures the way we move through this world. And no one, at
least not in my generation, has every quite nailed that paradox -- our
necessary convention of race as well as this genius, Dave Chappelle.
DAVE CHAPPELLE, COMEDIAN: All right, Dave, it`s time to show these
people what white power`s all about.
Male: You better put your hood on, (Player).
CHAPPELLE: All right.
Male: Might want to -- might want hide your identity to be safer.
You know we get some radical and sympathetic to the cause who wants to
CHAPPELLE: (Inaudible) all right.
Males and Females: We want to see your face.
CHAPPELLE: Who said that? You want to see my face?
Males and Females: Go on Brother.
CHAPPELLE: Do you want to see my face? (Inaudible). Thank y`all for
coming. White power!
HAYES: So, to Dave Wilson, you, sir, got yourself elected on a bait
and switch. So maybe you can spend your term in office trying to actually
faithfully represent the interests of the people that voted for you. And
to Paul Cobb -- just watch that Chappelle clip over and over and think
about what you might see now, you were blind to before.
HAYES: Stay tuned. We have a special report on guns in America
coming up you don`t want to miss. First I want to show you the three
awesomest things on the internet today. We begin with a big reveal that no
one really wants to see. Here`s the McDonald`s McRib, and here`s what the
McDonald`s meat looks like when it`s still frozen, courtesy of
(Inaudible.com) and some dude, "My buddy works at McDonald`s and sent me
this photo of raw McRib meat" which spawned Gawker`s "Raw McRib meat looks
exactly how you`d expect raw McRib meat to look."
And Buzz Feed, on the left -- what the McRib feels like, on the right --
the sad, horrible truth. The McRib, no stranger to both adoration and
revulsion along with dozens of online reviews like this somewhat
complimentary one from three years ago.
Male: To me, I`m not getting too much of that barbecue taste. It`s
barely there -- maybe the barbecue does not have that much flavor. It`s a
generic kind of pork patty, but I got to say it`s not that bad. But I love
pickles and I think it adds to the flavor. I like that little bit of
bitterness that you get when you bite into it, and the onions, like I said,
that makes it even better.
HAYES: To this less charitable inspection.
Male: The actual rib itself -- it cuts like some type of spam product
or something. I honestly don`t know how anyone could put this into their
HAYES: But for those who love the McRib, and I know a few, today must
have felt like the Wizard of Oz being exposed. The second awesomest thing
on the internet today -- the other you. These two ladies are not twins,
they are doppelgangers, as are these two gentlemen, all part of Canadian
photographer Francois Brunelle`s goal of traveling the world and finding
200 sets of look-alikes. And he is amazingly halfway there in this mammoth
project of dead ringers he calls a not a look-alike. His web site even
asks for submissions. Quoting Brunelle, "It is not about looking like
famous people, the project is about looking like other people. The fact
that two person totally unrelated to each other, sometimes born in
different countries, share the same physical appearance is really the
essence of the project." Now, rummaging around the internet, it was pretty
easy to find my own doppelganger -- handsome fellow.
And the third awesomest thing on the internet today, a truly unusual
political ad -- and that`s putting it nicely.
TOM FOLEY, CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR OF CONNECTICUT: Hey, New York City, with
your new mayor, I know many of you are thinking about leaving. Connecticut
with the same progressive policies you are about to see in your city may
not be first on your mind. But wait a second, Connecticut next year will
probably elect a new governor. When it does, Connecticut once again will
be the place people want to be in the northeast. So enjoy one more year in
your city and then come join us in Connecticut.
HAYES: Wait a second. Who is the audience for this ad? You`re
talking to a city that overwhelmingly elected a progressive mayor on a
progressive platform by 50 freaking points. And you`re going to try to get
elected governor of Connecticut on a platform of `I`m going to bring more
New Yorkers here`? Good luck with that, buddy. New York City seems pretty
excited about Bill de Blasio`s pledge to stitch together the two cities of
have and have nots that have been growing apart. And for those who don`t
like it, to paraphrase Humphrey Bogart, `You`ll always have Greenwich.`
You can find all the links for tonight`s "Click 3" on our web site
allinwithchis.com. We`ll be right back.
HAYES: You might have seen the images making the rounds on your
Facebook feed this week. A confrontation over the weekend between dozens
of armed demonstrators and a handful of Texas moms who were meeting over
lunch to talk about gun safety. Today, we got the chance to talk to one of
those armed demonstrators, and for the first time, to one of the moms from
the lunch meeting.
Female: There`s a new fight brewing over gun control in Texas. This
time it is pitting a group of moms against gun rights activists.
HAYES: It happened this weekend in suburban Dallas. Four moms met
for lunch at a Tex-Mex restaurant to plan activities for their local
chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. It`s a national
organization created after a lone gunman murdered 20 children at an
elementary school in Connecticut a little less than a year ago.
These Texas moms want fewer guns on the streets. But they were greeted in
the parking lot by a whole bunch of them.
Female: They showed up with fire power. They showed up with it
HAYES: We talked with one of the women who was at the restaurant
meeting. We agreed to hide her identity out of concerns for her safety.
Female: It was very unsettling, it was very disturbing and at the
beginning they just congregated and just kind of stood around. And about
30 minutes into it, that`s when they all strapped on their weapons. They
strapped on rifles and I can`t speak to exactly what kind they were, but it
was, you know, varying types of rifles. And every single adult that was
out there was armed.
HAYES: The armed protest was staged by gun activists from a group
called Open Carry Texas. They came armed with shotguns, hunting rifles,
AR-15s and Ak-47s. Dozens of men, women and children turned out to show
those gun control moms what`s what. All of this is perfectly legal in
Texas, where you are allowed to openly carry long guns.
Female: This Open Carry group and others like it, their intent is
purely to intimidate.
HAYES: But Open Carry Texas insists that wasn`t their goal. This was
merely a family-friendly photo op. Today we spoke with one of the group`s
organizers, Kory Watkins, by phone.
KORY WATKINS, OPEN CARRY TEXAS: So I got word where it was, and so we
were like hey, let`s go peacefully assemble in that area and do one of our
walks. We all went to our cars and got out our self-defense tools and --
or firearms -- whatever you want to call them, and so we strapped on and
you know, a couple of people wanted to take pictures of us right away.
HAYES: The two groups have clashed since Mothers Demand Action
successfully lobbied Starbucks to ban the carrying of weapons in their
stores. Saturday`s standoff played out on social media. The Moms Demand
Action Facebook page showing their perspective of the armed stakeout at the
Blue Mesa Grill. Bystander photos make this so-called peaceful assembly
look pretty menacing. As one "Dallas Morning News" columnist puts it, "No
matter the camera angle, there`s just not a flattering way to display an
assault-style weapon at a suburban shopping center."
Female: At no point in time did I go out there when they were there
with their guns. I was too afraid to do that. The idea of that was
terrifying to me. We noticed that they went down the street. They started
marching towards the football stadium, and then we took advantage of the
fact that they were gone to leave.
HAYES: No shots were fired, no laws were broken. And when the police
did arrive, the group was leaving the restaurant area to walk to a nearby
Hooters. But the tactics used by Open Carry groups in Texas, brandishing
weapons at people members disagree with politically, is inspiring intense
backlash. And they`ve done this sort of thing before.
Last month there was an Open Carry demonstration in Dallas` Dealey Plaza,
the site of one of the most notorious gun crimes in America. And just
yesterday, one Open Carry group had a run-in with Texas police.
Male: Here they are at the Capital in a Veteran`s Day confrontation
with State Troopers.
Male: I`ll need to take the weapons.
Male: No, sir, we`re not breaking any laws.
Male: Two were arrested for trespassing.
Male: For what?
Male: Turn around.
Male: Hey, you`re assaulting us.
Male: Turn around.
Male: The man behind the camera was Kory Watkins.
WATKINS: You guys are kidnappers, thugs with badges.
Male: Watkins is running for Congress, hoping to unseat Republican
Joe Barton because he`s not conservative enough and says the Second
Amendment needs to be defended.
WATKINS: An armed society is a polite society and we were not
protesting, we were demonstrating our right to keep and bear arms.
Male: If Mr. Watkins wins, good luck getting an assault weapon inside
HAYES: The most fascinating part of that story we just told you isn`t
the gun-toting throng that showed up outside, but the fact there were four
moms in suburban Dallas getting together to talk about gun safety
legislation in the first place. It`s a glimpse at a grassroots movement
the national media has completely missed, but it`s one that is absolutely
reinvigorated. We`re going to talk to some of the people on the ground in
that movement when we come back.
HAYES: We are back. Joining me now is Leah Gunn Barrett, executive
director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, Joe Conason, editor-in-chief
of the "National Memo" and Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action.
Shannon, tell me about Moms Demand Action and the kind of growth you`ve
seen and what the fallout from this incident has been.
SHANNON WATTS, MOMS DEMAND ACTION AGAINST GUN VIOLENCE: After the
Sandy Hook shooting in December, I was looking for a Mothers Against Drunk
Driving of gun reform and couldn`t find it online. And it was amazing how
much it grew so quickly. Here we are just a year later. We have over
100,000 members, we have a chapter in every single state and we are a
powerful force to be reckoned with. We are attacking this issue at all
levels -- Congress, state legislatures, American businesses.
And you know what you saw in Dallas is really a microcosm of what we face
all over the country all the time. It`s very rare that we don`t have a
rally and that we are surrounded by armed Open Carry activists. And you
know I would disagree with Kory Watkins. I do not think an armed society
is a polite society. I think it`s a dangerous society. And our statistics
bear that out. There are 30,000 victims of gun violence in this country
every year and I think that now that moms are involved, we are going to
change this and we are going to fix this problem in America.
HAYES: Leah, if you look at the traction on this issue, and I know
you`ve worked on this for some time, there was a kind of high water mark in
the 90s with Clinton the assault weapon ban, you had I remember as a young
political reporter covering races in which the Democratic candidate was
leading with ads just about gun safety and winning in the suburban Chicago
district for instance. And then it just dropped off the table. And it
dropped off the table in a way I think institutionally, right? I mean, was
there a period where like it was hard to raise money, it was hard to get
volunteers, it was hard to get speakers at conferences?
LEAH GUNN BARRETT, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NEW YORKERS AGAINST GUN
VIOLENCE: Yes, it was a very dispiriting time. I remember George W. Bush
said he had the NRA working out of his office when he was selected by the
Supreme Court back in 2000 and I was working in Maryland at the time. A
lot of my friends were in D.C. We got with gun safety groups and they
found it very dispiriting. It was hard to get anything done with a
Republican president. We at that time had a Republican governor in
Maryland. It was a very grim time, but you know what we did, we fell apart
as a movement. I think the movement was very nascent. It hadn`t really
developed the way it probably should have.
We were going to emulate Mothers Against Drunk Driving and try to really
create a grassroots movement for social change. So we went AWOL, we really
did as a movement, and the NRA had the field to themselves. You can look
at a map in 1981, none of the states had Stand Your Ground laws. Today, 26
do. In 1980, no states had conceal carry laws, today, every single state
has a conceal carry law. So the battleground is the states and Shannon is
right -- there`s a grassroots movement growing and brewing and the more
extreme that side becomes -- and we saw it in Dallas, then I think the more
energized we become.
HAYES: That`s part of it. I think there`s two factors dealing with
someone whose the politics of this. There`s just the horror of the
tragedies we`ve seen over and over and over. There`s also the fact that in
some ways the people on the other side of this issue have to keep winning
things, and the more they win, the more extreme they get because there`s
nothing left to win but the most maximalist things like Open Carry in the
Capital around a bunch of politicians.
JOE CONASON, "THE NATIONAL MEMO": Right. Well, see, that`s the
extremism that is burgeoning on the right now. It`s not just in the Tea
Party. It`s certainly been in the gun movement for a long time -- the gun
rights movement as they call themselves. What`s interesting to me, if you
look back at the history of the `94 law, the reason that Clinton succeeded
in getting that law passed, broad as it was, was that he managed to put
himself on the side of law enforcement.
CONASON: Against the extremism of the gun lobby. He managed to
gather cops around him as the symbols of security -
CONASON: -- and a safe society. Order. All the sort of themes that
the right and conservatives had appropriated for so long. Now these gun
rights guys are the symbols of disorder. That is disorder and they`re -
HAYES: The videos.
CONASON: -- they`re attacking -- they`re attacking cops. I mean this
is they`re going up to the Capital and getting in the face of the State
Police. That is disorder, and that ought to be the theme that is
HAYES: Shannon, the national story I think here was Sandy Hook was
this kind of breaking point. The president made a speech, there was a push
at the national level which we haven`t seen in years, and then it failed.
And so since the (fist) tried to roll the rock up the hill, it rolled back
down, it crushed him, OK, we all go back to our other issues. What does
that version of events miss?
WATTS: It misses that the legislators that we had the day after Sandy
Hook were the same legislators we had the day before. And while we wish
this tragedy would have changed their hearts and minds, it clearly didn`t.
And so we`re going to have to wait `til the midterms and elections beyond
to get the right Congress in place to do the right thing. I think that
Congress will be filled with moms and women, and they will do the right
thing. But in the meantime, this is about grassroots. This is about going
after municipalities and states and making sure that they do the right
thing. We`ve had huge wins in Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland,
New York. We had smaller wins in California and New Jersey. We were able
to block bad legislation in the state of Missouri. We are winning this, we
are rolling it back and it will happen.
HAYES: So, Leah, compare that period where things were more
(inaudible) to now. What`s the biggest difference?
BARRETT: Well I think the biggest difference is more people are dying
from guns because they`re more pervasive. And the gun lobby has become
even more extreme. They really have backed themselves into some kind of
horrible corner, and I think most Americans are sensible and are probably
absolutely horrified by the actions of these thugs in Dallas. There`s no
other word for them. They`re terrorists.
And you know I had a correspondence with a gun owner in upstate New York
who said you know he doesn`t believe that you need to have an assault rifle
with 30 rounds to go hunting. If you need that, then you need to --
BARRETT: -- practice your target shooting.
HAYES: Are the Democrats coming around on the politics in this?
CONASON: I think it`ll be tough for them in this -- in this cycle,
CONASON: -- because they`re already feel endangered now because of
Obamacare and then the rollout of the health care has been a disaster for
them. Now at least that`s how they feel. So, taking further risks on guns
is not what they want to do.
HAYES: The only thing that will make them do that is pressure from
CONASON: That`s absolutely right.
HAYES: Leah Gunn Barrett from New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, Joe
Conason from "The National Memo" and Shannon Watts from Moms Demand Action
for Gun Sense in America. Thank you all. That is "All In" for this
evening. The Rachel Maddow show starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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