'The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell' for Wednesday, December 4th, 2013
Read the transcript to the Wednesday show
THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL
December 4, 2013
Guest: Zeke Emanuel, Wan`Tauhjs Weathers; Raliek Redd; Daequon Carelock
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: The president has found a new line of
attack against Republicans, and it`s actually just a very simple question:
what`s your plan?
And I`m going it tell you about this little desk later.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The government can`t
stand on the sidelines in our efforts because the government is us.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He has set a defiant tone for a month-long PR
offensive to promote the Affordable Care Act on Obamacare.
OBAMA: I know people call this law Obamacare.
REP. ERIC CANTOR (R-VA), MAJORITY LEADER: Obamacare.
OBAMA: And that`s OK, because I do care.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Back on the Hill, Republicans are not backing
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What in God`s name is their plan?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Chairman Darrell Issa in House Oversight hearing
REP. DARRELL ISSA (R), CALIFORNIA: No one is suggesting for a moment
that we take government out of health care.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That one kicked me in the belly.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They have no plan.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`ve been putting deals on the table.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But nothing`s passed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The other issue obviously is the economy.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The economy remains the single biggest concern.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His remarks about income inequality.
OBAMA: Washington consistently failed to act.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These disparities have become too stark to
OBAMA: Government can`t stand on the sidelines in our efforts.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Making a broad argument for government action
across the board.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Raising the federal minimum wage.
OBAMA: We can make a difference on this.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Assistance to the long-term unemployed.
OBAMA: We can make a difference on this.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Something of a warning call to the American
OBAMA: It is not simply a moral claim.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s a political mission that`s rooted in the
OBAMA: So we can make a difference on this.
O`DONNELL: There are 19 shopping days left to buy health insurance on
the federal exchange for coverage that starts on January 1st, 29,000 people
reportedly completed the application and selected a health plan on the
federal exchange on Sunday and Monday, but we don`t exactly know how many
of them completed the purchase and have paid their first premium.
Today, President Obama told young supporters at the Affordable Care
Act Youth Summit how they can help make health care reform a success.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: The truth is, is that for your friends and your family, the
most important source of information is not going to be me. It`s going to
be you. They are going to trust you if you`re taking them on a Web site,
walking them through it, saying, look, at the price you`re able to get,
look at the benefits you`re able to get, that`s what`s going to be making a
People call this law Obamacare and that`s OK. Because I do care and -
- I do. I care about you, I care about families, I care about Americans.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: The president warned the so-called young invincibles to be
aware of campaigns encouraging them not to buy health insurance.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Believe it or not, there are actually organizations that are
out there convincing young people not to get insurance. Now, think about
that. That`s a really bizarre way to spend your money, to try to convince
people not to get health insurance and some of these ad campaigns are
backed by well-funded special interest groups. I assume they`ve got great
And, just remember, and remind your friends and your peers, imagine
what happens if you get sick. What happens with the massive bills? I --
the people who run those ads, they aren`t going to pay f your illness. You
are going to pay for it or your family is going to pay for it. And that`s
hard to imagine.
Look, you know, I do remember what it`s like being 27 or 28 and aside
from the occasional basketball injury, you know, most of the time, I kind
of felt like I had nothing to worry about. Of course, that`s what most
people think until they have something to worry about.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Today, the Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services
reported that Healthcare.gov had 950,000 visitors on Tuesday. It`s current
rate is less than 1 percent they say, and its response time is now about
half a second.
But the president said technical problems with the Web site won`t be
last challenge the Affordable Care Act law faces.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: There will be other things that come up during the course of
the next several months because you`re starting off a new program that has
an impact on 1/6 of the economy. You know, this is a big deal, to quote
Joe Biden. And so -- but we`re just going to keep on working on it and
improving it and refining it. And if we see a problem, we`re going to fix
it, but we`re not repealing, not as long as I`m president.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining me now, Krystal Ball, co-host of MSNBC`s "THE
CYCLE", and Dr. Zeke Emanuel, an MSNBC contributor, the chair of medical
ethics and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania. He served as
special adviser for health policy in the Obama administration.
Krystal, it sounds like the Web site is working like a Web site.
KRYSTAL BALL, THE CYCLE: Yes. And that is a beautiful thing, both
because it`s time for us to move past the debates and the questions about
glitches and into actually seeing this law work in action.
I mean, I think the Republicans are going to find themselves in a very
perilous place where they have pinned all of their hopes and all of their
messaging and all of their platform on hoping that this law fails. They
grabbed on to the Web site and they grabbed on to the, you know, the
president wasn`t totally upfront with you. They`re grabbing on to
everything they can.
But over time, the law is going to work better and better. People are
going to see more and more of the success stories that we are already
increasingly seeing, and the Republicans are going to be caught essentially
with their pants down, with no message, with no platform, with nothing but
hanging on to this thing, but we really hate Obamacare, don`t you hate it,
O`DONNELL: Zeke, the numbers are still a little vague. They can`t
tell us how many people actually have purchased health insurance, how many
haven`t. They can tell us how many people have made a selection off the
menu but have they executed it? Have they paid for it? Do they have an ID
number with an insurance company? That number seems to be elusive.
DR. EZEKIEL EMANUEL, UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA: Yes, I think it`s
elusive and it does suggest that there is still work to be done especially
on the back end, in getting the forms from the Web site to the insurers.
But remember that the real number is at the end, March 31st, 2014,
where the Congressional Budget Office has predicted 7 million people will
get insurance through the Web sites, and he exchanges, not just the federal
Web site, but all the exchanges, including state, ones like California,
Kentucky, Connecticut, and others. And that`s really the number that we
need to keep our eye on, is it going to be seven million or more than seven
million and are a fair number going to be young people between 19 and 35.
Those are the key variables to keep your eye on.
O`DONNELL: Krystal, the president said he was shocked that these
interest groups out there are actually manning these campaigns to get young
people to not buy health insurance and then he gave them a bunch of
rational reasons why you might want to get health insurance, but he never
said he was shock that these groups are advising kids to break the law
because it is his law, his individual mandate law that requires them to buy
health insurance. Isn`t that one of the indicators about how politically
afraid of the individual mandate the Democrats still are?
BALL: I think that`s right. Americans don`t like to be bristled any
time you tell us what we have to do. But ultimately the individual mandate
is a key part of this law and I think it`s a big part of why the law will
ultimately be successful because people do basically want to follow the
law. So, even if they think it`s going to be a small penalty, they`re
going to weigh that penalty heavily in their minds because they want to
basically be on the right side of the law.
I think the president`s messaging there is very careful but it is
outrageous when you think about it, that there are groups out there,
spending money, telling young people -- be irresponsible, take a chance,
roll the dice, break the law and go without health insurance, and these are
the same conservatives who would have said in an earlier time if you didn`t
take the personal responsibility to buy health insurance, then you deserve
to suffer the consequences and now, they`re actively advocating for young
people to go without insurance.
O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to more --
EMANUEL: We should also make clear -- we should make clear, first of
all, that there are multiple reasons for people to get insurance. It`s not
just the penalty.
First of all, you`ve got subsidies here which are bringing down the
prices. Second, there`s been competition that have already brought the
insurance prices on average down, especially in important states like
And then there`s the penalty. And by the way, the penalty is not as
small as people think. Everyone focuses on, oh, it`s only $95, or the law
says 1 percent of your income which, if you`re making $25,000, is $250.
And next year, it will be 2 percent of your income and the year after, it
will be 2 1/2 percent of your income.
So, remember, it`s not just the $95 and it`s not just the penalty.
There`s lots of things I think pushing people to get insurance and I
haven`t even mentioned the free preventive care once you buy insurance
which will probably cover more than your premium. There`s lots of people
moving people in that direction.
O`DONNELL: You did just mention it, Zeke.
I want to show more about how the president is trying to sell this to
young people, including without ever mentioning that there`s a legal
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Now, I am not allowed, for security reasons, to have an
iPhone. I don`t know what your bills are. I`ve noticed that Sasha and
Malia seem to spend a lot of time on it. My suspicion is that for a lot of
you, between your cable bill, your phone bill, you`re spending more than
100 bucks a month.
The idea that you wouldn`t want to make sure that you`ve got the
health security and financial security that comes with health insurance for
less than that price. You know, you guys are smarter than that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: It is a soft sell.
BALL: It is a soft sell and I think in the way --
EMANUEL: Let me say -- let me --
O`DONNELL: Go ahead, Zeke.
EMANUEL: Let me say one other thing. My research assistant, 25 years
old, has written a lot of articles with me and works incredible hard. He
just experienced the health care system. He had appendicitis, 25-year-old
appendicitis, out of the blue, unpredictable, tens of thousands of dollars
on that bill, you can be sure. And that happens, you know, to lots of
kids, not just appendicitis but accidents and other things. It really is
crazy to go without insurance.
BALL: Yes. And I think we underestimate in a way young people
thinking that they are invincible and that they are never going to need
health insurance, because I think that they have seen how broken this
system has been for their parents and their loved ones, and are actually
much more aware of the need to have health insurance than we`re giving them
credit for. So, I think they will see both the penalties. I think they
want to be on the right side of the law.
And I think ultimately, they do understand that health insurance is an
important benefit for them and important for them to be covered.
O`DONNELL: The president also tried to be a bit inspiring today and
enlist this youth summit into what is a crusade to make the Affordable Care
Act work. He`s talked about, you know, not to be discouraged because
people have to do difficult things in the past.
Let`s listen to that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: I hope you haven`t been discouraged by hard it`s been because
stuff that`s worth it is always hard. The civil rights movement was hard.
Get women the right to vote, that was hard. Making sure that workers have
the right to organize, that was hard.
You know, it`s never been easy for us to change how we do business in
this country. This has been the case for Social Security, for Medicare,
for all of the great social progress that we`ve made in this country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Krystal, it sounds like he`s trying to get them to
remember the reason they got involved in his presidential campaign.
BALL: Yes, I think so. And I think it`s important for us to keep
perspective on the reason why we`ve been trying for so long to reform our
health care and our health insurance system and have been unable to do it.
It`s because it is hard and because there are parts that are disruptive and
it makes people uncomfortable and that folks are afraid.
But ultimately we have put our faith and trust in this law and in this
president, and I think we`re going to be better off for it.
O`DONNELL: Zeke Emanuel and Krystal Ball, thank you both for joining
BALL: Thanks, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Coming up, Eugene Robinson and Ezra Klein react to more of
the president`s today.
And in a LAST WORD exclusive, those three high school athletes who
were arrested in Rochester, New York, this week while they were waiting for
their school bus, they will join me.
O`DONNELL: "Boston Globe" reports that Elizabeth Warren was asked if
she wants to run for president and her answer, "I`m not running for
president and I plan to serve out my term."
Reporters then asked if she would make a pledge to stay in office
until her term expires in 2018. She responded, "I pledge to serve out my
term." Senator Warren added, "I am not running for president. I am
working as hard as I can to be the best senator I can be."
Of course, the current president of the United States also pledged to
serve out his entire first term in the United States Senate and we all know
how that turned out.
Up next, it`s President Obama versus Republicans on the economy.
Guess which side the pope agrees with. Ezra Klein and Eugene Robinson will
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: The idea that so many children are born into poverty in the
wealthiest nation on earth is heartbreaking enough. But the idea that a
child may never be able to escape that poverty because she lacks a decent
education or healthcare or a community that views her future as their own,
that should offend all of us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: President Obama pivoted from the Affordable Care Act today
and turned to his vision on economic policies that president focused on
rising income inequality and called it a fundamental threat to the American
dream. He also challenged congressional Republicans his opposition to stop
opposing his increase in the minimum wage.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: If Republicans have concrete plans that will actually reduce
inequality, build the middle class, provide more ladders of opportunity to
the poor, let`s hear them. I want to know what they are. If you don`t
think we should raise the minimum wage, let`s hear your idea to increase
people`s earnings. If you don`t think every child should have access to
preschool, tell us what you would do differently to give them a better
If you still don`t like Obamacare -- and I know you don`t -- even
though it`s built on market-based ideas of choice and competition in the
private sector, then you should explain how exactly you`d cut costs and
cover more people and make insurance more secure. You owe it to the
American people to tell us what you are for. Not just what you are
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining me now, Eugene Robinson, MSNBC political analyst
and columnist for "The Washington Post", and Ezra Klein, MSNBC policy
analyst and an editor for "The Wonkblog" column for "The Washington Post."
OK, Eugene Robinson, what`s your plan? What is your plan for
increasing economic opportunity and health security in this country?
EUGENE ROBINSON, THE WASHINGTON POST: My plan is simple. Raise the
minimum wage, Lawrence. That`s number one.
And number two, I think we need to focus resources on those
communities that have been left behind. If we do those things, we will
actually helping the whole economy. We`ll be building the middle class
which, after all, is the way that America succeeds. That`s the way America
has done it in the past and that`s the way that America should do it now.
O`DONNELL: Gene, do you think politically the "what`s your plan"
tactic is helpful at this stage? Have we reached a point where it is the
moment where the American public are starting to wonder, OK, Republicans,
what is your plan?
ROBINSON: Well, I think the evidence is that it may be because a lot
of Republican commentators are sort of asking that question and are
suggesting, at first, gently and then not so gently to Republicans that
look, this party of no thing has gotten us only so far and it`s not going
to take us over the hump. We actually have to come up with some ideas.
O`DONNELL: Ezra, I cheated. I read your review of this speech
already. And to put it mildly, you kind of liked it?
EZRA KLEIN, THE WASHINGTON POST: Yes, I`ve got to actually say, I`ve
got a forthcoming even longer review, so don`t worry about having read a
KLEIN: I think this is in terms of his president laying out his
economic philosophy, by far the best economic speech he`s given, because
the point was simply to do that. It wasn`t to be part of a campaign
speech. It wasn`t to try to get the Republicans to support a particular
bill or jobs act.
This was simply the president telling folks something he thought was
important for them to here. But in truth, I actually disagree with a fair
amount of it. I think that increasingly, the organizing theory, economic
theory of the American left is about inequality. You saw it in Zuccotti
Park, you saw it in Bill De Blasio`s campaign, you see it now with
And I actually think there is a tendency to move too quickly beyond
what is fundamentally a jobs and growth crisis, neither of which I think
are fundamentally about inequality. If we could solve jobs and growth
which are both I think currently in a serious catastrophe mode, that we
begun to forget in Washington, I would be a whole lot less concerned about
inequality going in the future.
O`DONNELL: The pope -- I`m sorry. The president thinks he has a new
ally on this subject than the pope. Let`s listen to part of this speech.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: This trend towards growing inequality is not unique to
America`s market economy. Across the developed world, inequality has
increased. Some of you may have seen just last week, the pope himself
spoke about this at eloquent length. "How can it be," he wrote, "when an
elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock
market loses two points?"
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Gene Robinson, the pope`s question is not an easy one to
ROBINSON: It`s not an easy one to answer. You know, I wrote about
the pope`s speech last week, Lawrence. And I found it striking that this
is what the church has been teaching, basically, about economics for some
time. But he really put a focus on that, and I think a lot of Catholics
paid attention to it.
It`s interesting that he`s trying to put this on the world`s agenda,
and, you know, inequality is a problem. I do think it`s something that we
can address. Obviously, you want the economy to grow overall. But to
forget the inequality, I think, or to take for granted that it will just
kind of be taken care of, as the pope pointed, it doesn`t always work out
O`DONNELL: Kathleen Parker, a conservative columnist, wrote this
about the party`s messaging. "Thus, we see MSNBC`s clever montage of
Republican negativity, a series of unfriendly faces decrying the Affordable
Care Act with apocalyptic language, which would any every day American
prefer, the healer or the doomsayer, the elves or the orcs?"
Ezra, that maybe where the -- where the public stands today on the
Affordability, that it is something that they would, it seems to me most
people would want to see work.
KLEIN: I think that`s right. I think a lot of polls still show that
people think it will work. Yes, there`s an old line in politics, a plan
beats no plan. But in particular, and I keep believing this to be the
case, success beats not, right? So, if a year from now, 12 months from
now, eight months from now, the Affordable Care Act is, in fact, insuring
millions of people, if it just cancels a bunch of plans and made people
hurt, it`s not going to look very good, even if Republicans don`t have a
better alternative for it. At that point, if that was true, repeal would
be a popular alternative.
But I don`t think that will be the case. And certainly, the Obama
administration doesn`t believe that will be the case. And if the plan is,
in fact, insuring 5 million, or 7 million or 8 million people, if a lot of
people are better offered, if people know that their children and their
friends and their neighbors have gotten health insurance when they were
previously denied or unable to afford it, then it`s going to be an
extremely popular plan. And having some kind of alternative is not
actually going to matter one way or the other.
Again, I think people underestimate how much of actual politics is
driven by the reality of how policy works in real people`s lives.
O`DONNELL: Gene Robinson, John Boehner`s response to this is, look,
we pass bills all the time. They just don`t make it through the Senate and
they don`t get the president`s signatures. So, don`t blame us for not
ROBINSON: Well, they do pass bills but have you looked at those
bills? They passed bills that are anathema to the Senate Democrat majority
and to the president that has to sign them in law and they are unyielding
on this. They have no interest in working with Democrats in the House, for
example, to come out with something in the middle or something that would
pass muster. So, yes, they throw stuff against the wall, but it doesn`t
O`DONNELL: Eugene Robinson and Ezra Klein, thank you both for joining
KLEIN: Thank you.
ROBINSON: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: Coming up, a LAST WORD exclusive. The three Rochester
high school students charged with loitering while waiting for their school
bus. They will join me.
O`DONNELL: Time for tonight`s Rob Ford update.
Toronto`s mayor, Rob Ford, may have been trying to buy the video of
him smoking crack cocaine two months before news of the video was released,
according to court documents obtained by Canada`s CTV news.
The documents are part of a drug trafficking investigation by Toronto
police and include wiretaps of alleged drug dealers. Police say men on the
tape discuss an offer of $5,000 and a car from the mayor for the video of
him smoking crack. Documents show the suspects wanted $150,000.
Police believe the drug dealers stole the mayor`s cell phone which
contained the video while the mayor was at a crack house in Toronto. On
the tapes is an alleged phone call from one man to another in the middle of
the night directing him to a location because, quote, "Rob Ford wants some
Police say also on the tapes is another phone call where one man says
the mayor had been, quote, "smoking his rocks," end quote.
Police are also investigating whether a murder and a kidnapping may
have been connected to a blackmail scheme involving the cell phone video.
For once Mayor Ford has not commented.
Up next, those three teenage boys who were arrested while waiting for
their school bus will join me for an exclusive interview now that the
prosecutor has seen the light and dropped those charges.
O`DONNELL: They are members of the Edison high school basketball team
who were waiting for their school bus to take them to a scrimmage
basketball game on Wednesday morning, arrested and charged with disorderly
conduct for obstructing pedestrian traffic on this sidewalk.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are social movements that occur on social
media and this is a great case in point.
O`DONNELL: From twitter it made its way into a national television
program that you know they were watching.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just downtown, minding your own business.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We tried to tell him that we were waiting for the
bus but we are not catching city bus, we are catching yellow bus but he
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If I were law enforcement in Rochester, I would be
thinking about issuing an apology and dismissing charges.
O`DONNELL: The Monroe County district attorney said that (INAUDIBLE)
after reviewing the facts associated with these arrests, I have decided to
dismiss the charges in the interest of justice.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These young men were doing nothing wrong, nothing
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m very concerned about a pattern of young
people, especially young people of color, being missed, you know, abused by
police authority and to me this seems like a very clear case, part of a
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining me now for a Last Word exclusive from Rochester,
Daequon Carelock, Wan`Tauhjs Weathers and Raliek Redd along with their
basketball coach, Jacob Scott.
I finally have the police report of what happened that morning. And
I`m going to read you a passage of it. This is the key spot.
It says the police officer observed citizens having to walk around the
group, meaning you guys and some of your friends, in order to continue
walking across the sidewalk and watched as at least two other customers
leaving the store had to walk in the middle of the group to exit. The
officer yelled down to the group from the corner that they had to leave.
Wan`Tauhjs, were you blocking? Did you realize or did you try in any
way to block people in their passage on that sidewalk?
WAN`TAUHJS WEATHERS, EDISON TECH HIGH SCHOOL: No.
O`DONNELL: And according to the police report itself, what`s so
striking about what I just read is that is the crime that this arrest
alleges. And as the police officer has written here, there is absolutely
no crime because he says that the people who were walking continued to walk
along the sidewalk that, in fact, nothing that you guys did actually
blocked anyone from walking anywhere.
Deaquon, what did the police -- what did they say to you about why you
were being arrested?
DAEQUON CARELOCK, EDISON TECH HIGH SCHOOL: They didn`t say nothing,
O`DONNELL: And did you ask them, as they were approaching you? When
did you realize that you were being arrested?
CARELOCK: When he put the handcuffs on me.
O`DONNELL: And Raliek, there were more of you there. There were at
least, according to the police report, there were more of you there. Why
do you think -- do you have any reason to understand why only three of you
out of that larger group were arrested?
RALIEK REDD, EDISON TECH HIGH SCHOOL: I think we were arrested
because like we were the first three down there and it was early.
O`DONNELL: And you three were the easiest ones to grab?
O`DONNELL: Jacob Scott, you`re their basketball coach. You were not
there at the moment where this all began but you arrived in your car
knowing that your students, your players were on their way to catch the
school bus to go to a scrimmage game. What did you see when you arrived?
JACOB SCOTT, BASKETBALL COACH, EDISON TECH HIGH SCHOOL: Well, when I
arrived I noticed that Deaquon Carelock was up against the car in
handcuffs, so I immediately got out of my car, approached the police
officer and asked what was actually going on. I told him that I was -- I
let them know that -- you know, who I was, as far as Jacob Scott and that
I`m the varsity basketball coach at Edison Tech high school. And, you
know, Deaquon Carelock was in handcuffs. And then, I also noticed that
Raileck Redd and Wan`Tauhjs Weathers were in the back of the police car.
So, I just asked the police officer very politely what was going on and why
they were in handcuffs.
O`DONNELL: And what response did you get, Coach?
SCOTT: The police officer told me that he asked the guys to go home,
to disperse from the area. I at that time told him that, you know, this is
the spot that they always wait for the bus to go to a game. The bus was
supposed to arrive momentarily and we were on our way to a basketball
scrimmage. We didn`t have school on that particular day. It was the day
before thanksgiving. It was early in the morning. There were tons of
people outside. I noticed that the other athletes were off to the side
kind of just looking, wondering, too, what was kind of going on. And after
a few more questions I asked the police officer, he later then told me
that, you know, I need to disperse and leave the premises.
O`DONNELL: Wan`Tauhjs, were you aware of how much attention this
story was getting outside of Rochester?
WEATHERS: Not until two days ago.
O`DONNELL: Well, it began for me on social media. I saw it on
Twitter. I saw the story on twitter from actress singer Audra McDonald and
then I brought the story to this show.
And Deaquon, I was actually thinking that the more attention we could
bring to it, the more likely it would be that the prosecutor would have to
look into this and dismiss the charges. Were you guys getting the feeling
up in Rochester that the publicity and the attention that you were getting
in Rochester was going more your way than the police`s way?
CARELOCK: Yes, because we went to school and everybody was talking
about, yes, we support you. Y`all are going to get off. It feels
O`DONNELL: There`s a part of this police report that is very vague
and Deaquon, it`s about you. The officer says Carelock immediately stated
that they were waiting for the bus here. The officer again then told
Carelock and the group that they could not remain here and go down to the
bus stop if they were catching the bus. Carelock refused to leave and just
continued to talk about why he did not have to go down to the bus stop.
Is that an accurate account of what happened?
CARELOCK: Not that accurate because when he was telling me to move I
was explaining myself why I was there and why we can`t going back and
forth. One of my friends and teammate, (INAUDIBLE) told me to stop talking
to him and I keep moving. So, I took one step where he pointed us and told
us to go. And he said and I had a smirk on my face, he said you think
that`s funny? Put your hands behind your back.
O`DONNELL: Well, you know, what I find so striking about that passage
in the police report is he doesn`t quote you at all. He talks about you
and your reaction, Deaquon, but he does not quote anything you said there.
And when the police actually have real evidence from someone on the scene
like that, they use quotations.
I want to thank all of you for taking the time to join us tonight. I
want you to know that the audience of this program took a very strong
interest and very quickly in what happened to you and the audience of this
program wanted to see that district attorney finally do what she did and
dismiss those charges.
SCOTT: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: Thank you all very, very much.
REDD: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: Thank you for joining us tonight.
WEATHERS: Thank you.
CARELOCK: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: Coming up, the Pope continues to excite America`s most
famous Catholics. Stephen Colbert, on the latest surprising story about
the Pope, that`s coming up.
O`DONNELL: We ever a very special rewrite tonight. I`m going to ask
your help to rewrite some kids` ideas of what is possible in their lives.
O`DONNELL: In out of Africa, (INAUDIBLE) wrote this about the African
countryside. "Everything you saw made for greatness, freedom, and
You feel big things in Africa, greatness, freedom, nobility. Now, I
know how grandiose those words might sound to people who have never been
out there. I mean, way out there. Far from Africa`s big cities, way out
there, down those dirt roads where you never see a car but you do see this.
So far off the grid that no one knows what the grid is, where you meet
mothers carrying their children and using the art of head carriage for
heavier loads and carrying those loads for miles. If that isn`t greatness,
what is? If she is not noble, who is?
Girls learn to carry children by carrying their little brother and
sisters. Boys do too. You see kids carrying little kids everywhere. The
phrase daycare doesn`t exist there. But that`s what you see. Some of the
most responsible little kids in the world taking care of babies and
toddlers for the day while their mothers walk ten miles to town with the
load of wood on their heads that they hope to sell for food. This kind of
daycare is one of the things that keeps kids out of school in Africa,
Another is the condition of the schools. When you go to school and
discover there is no classroom for your class and you spend the day sitting
in a field trying to see the black board on a tree, your mind might wander
and you are not surprised when classmates begin to wander away. If you`re
one of the lucky ones who has a classroom, it will be dark and crowded and
the floor will be cold in the morning when you first sit on the floor.
Teachers in Africa know that better classrooms will attract and keep
more students. That`s why they tell me the most important edition t their
classrooms is desks. That`s why I started kids in need of desks, the
K.I.N.D. fund. It is a partnership I created with UNICEF to provide desks
to African schools.
Its kind, first of all, a jobs program for workers in Malawi who make
the desks. This is the first factory we used to start building desks three
years ago. It was a crafts space in the center of Lilongwe, Malawi`s
capital city. Thanks to your generosity to the K.I.N.D. fund, that factory
has moved to a much, much bigger suburban location and hired many more
workers who no longer have to worry about how they are going to feed their
families. And we`ve expanded production to three other companies in Malawi
that have hired more workers to produced desks like this one.
A few months ago, I had another chance to accompany one of our desk
delivery trucks to a school which is always the high point of my year.
When a truck arrives at a school, it`s like Christmas morning. The kids
love unloading the truck and carrying the desks themselves. And in a flash,
this classroom is transformed into this classroom.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYING)
O`DONNELL: And maybe one of the kids who was slumping in fatigue in
the sixth or seventh hour of sitting on the floor is transformed by one of
those desks into a more a attentive student, maybe even a great student,
maybe a nurse, maybe a doctor, maybe a president. I`m just saying, maybe.
These are kids who have no furniture in the huts in the villages where
they live. Most of them sit and sleep on the floor at home. They have
never in their lives seen desks and suddenly they are sitting at their very
own desks. Imagine what that does to their sense of the possible in their
But if these desks do nothing more than make thousands and thousands
of kids more comfortable during their school day, that`s good enough for me
and I want to keep doing that for thousands and thousands more kids.
I always ask for your help this time of year because it is the season
of giving and because UNICEF will send a gift notice to anyone on your
shopping list if you give a desk in his or her name.
Leenie909 tweeted yesterday that she is giving desks as gifts this
You can always contribute 24/7, to every day of the year at our Web
site lastworddesks.MSNBC.com or by calling 1-800-for-UNICEF. You can also
contribute as Leenie did to K.I.N.D.`s tuition fund for girls which we
established last year. Next week, I will explain why girls actually needed
much more help to stay in school in Africa.
You don`t have to contribute a full year`s tuition or the full cost of
a desk. Any amount that you can give to the K.I.N.D. fund will help build
these desks or keep girls in school. And if you can`t afford to
contribute, you can still help by spreading the word about the K.I.N.D.
fund to your friends or through social media.
As usual, I will try to thank as many as of as possible individually
by name right here on the show or on twitter or online because nothing we
do here, nothing, no story we do on this show, no one we talk about on this
show, no politician, no president, nothing is more important to me than him
or her or any of the kids and teachers that I`ve come to know at schools in
Now, I know if I could bring you to those schools with me, I wouldn`t
have to say a word to get you to do everything you possibly could for those
kids. And when you got home, you wouldn`t need pictures to remember them.
Their voices would stay with you. Their eyes would stay with you. Their
smiles would stay with you. And whenever you wanted to, all you`d have to
do is close your eyes to hear them sing.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYING)
O`DONNELL: Yesterday we learned that Pope Francis sneaks out of the
Vatican at night in plain clothes which is to say, of course, plain priest
clothes instead of Pope Clothes, to accompany one of his bishops to
minister to the homeless in the streets of Rome.
A source told the "Huffington Post" that the story has been confirmed
by Swiss guards which for real -- I mean, thrilled America`s self-described
most famous Catholic.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, THE COLBERT REPORT: Oh my God. He`s a
vigilante Vickers (ph) coming to the help of those in need. He`s the bat
Pope. Holy, Holy Father nation. It all makes so much sense now. He`s
just like Bruce Wayne. He`s a wealthy bachelor who lives alone in a giant
mansion. And Bruce Wayne has the bat mobile while Francis has the Pope
mobile. Not only that, batman talks to Morgan Freeman and the Pope talks
to God who is also Morgan Freeman. And just like the bat suit, the Pope
suit has nipples.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Last week, the Vatican released Pope Francis` first papal
exhortation. The Pope wrote, I encourage financial experts and political
leaders to ponder the words of one of the sages of antiquity, not to share
one`s wealth with the poor is to steal from them and take away their
livelihood. It is not our own goods which we hold, but theirs.
Pope Francis gets tonight`s last word.
Tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m. eastern right here on MSNBC, watch Chris
Matthews interview President Obama.
Chris Hayes is up next.
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