updated 7/28/2014 9:24:14 AM ET 2014-07-28T13:24:14

THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW
July 25, 2014

Guest: Bernie Sanders, Jen Moreno

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Chris. Thank, man. Have a
great weekend.

And thanks to you at home for being with us. Happy Friday.

So, you thought our American Congress could not be any more
embarrassing than it is, right? You thought there`s really no way that our
concern Congress could further humble itself in the eyes of the American
people more than it already has? You thought we sort of bottomed out,
right?

You thought that was true, but you were wrong. Oh, my God, were you
wrong. This is amazing in all the wrong ways.

Meet Republican Congressman Curt Clawson of the great state of
Florida. Curt Clawson represents Florida`s 19th district. He`s a Tea
Party guy. He won a special election there last month to fill the seat of
a former congressman named Trey Radel. You may remember him resigning
after being convicted of cocaine possession.

So, if you`re the guy who replaced the guy who got kicked out of
Congress for cocaine possession, there`s sort of nothing that you can do to
be more embarrassing than the coke guy, right? But that shouldn`t stop you
from trying and God bless Curt Clawson, he is trying his best after getting
sworn in as a member of Congress just late last month, Congressman Clawson
landed a plum assignment. He was assigned to the House Foreign Affairs
Committee.

The foreign affairs committee is a big deal especially if you are a
freshman member of Congress. You`re dealing with all sorts of important
world issues, you know, arms control, diplomatic relationship with
countries around the world. It`s a big deal.

Yesterday, Congressman Clawson`s subcommittee held a big hearing on
U.S. relations with India. And India is a big and influential country.
Our relationship with them is always important. Our relationship with them
is particularly important right now because they just elected a whole new
government and a whole new prime minister.

So, the Foreign Affairs Committee called to testify two top officials
of the U.S. government. The guy you see on the right is an official in the
U.S. Commerce Department. The woman you see on the left is an official at
the U.S. State Department.

These are both senior members of the United States government. They
are Americans. They work for the U.S. government as senior officials. Let
me reiterate that -- senior U.S. officials.

Congressman Clawson, take it away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. CURT CLAWSON (R), FLORIDA: I am familiar with your country. I
love your country. And I`m hopeful with the new change in regime that the
future and the land of promise and the land of opportunity of India can
finally become so.

And I understand the complications of so many languages and so many
cultures and so many histories all rolled up in one. So, just as your
capital is welcome here to produce good-paying jobs in the U.S., I`d like
our capital to be welcomed there and there to be freedom of capital, so
that both sides are on the same territory. And I ask cooperation and
commitment and priority from your government in so doing.

Can I have that?

NISHA BISWAL, U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT: I think your question is to the
Indian government, and we certainly share your sentiments and certainly
will advocate that on behalf of the U.S. government.

CLAWSON: Of course.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: Gah. Not a skit. Our actual Congress. Gah.

I need a new pen. I`m sorry.

Republican Congressman Curt Clawson, everybody. Your tax dollars at
work. Amazing. That amazing moment.

Humiliating moment, really, flagged today by "Foreign Policy"
magazine. See their headline, "Freshman congressman mistakes senior
government officials for foreigners."

"Foreign Policy" magazine helpfully, quoting, "During the hearing,
Congressman Clawson repeatedly touted his deep knowledge of the Indian
subcontinent and his favorite Bollywood movies."

I love it when you guys do the -- oh my God. How could you possibly
be a member of Congress?

You thought that it could not be possible for Congress to be more
embarrassing than it already is, then along came today. Who knows what
tomorrow will bring.

Republican Congressman Curt Clawson, thank you for redefining wrong.
Wow.

The united nations recognizes 193 nations in the world. There are 193
member states in the United Nations. As far as our country goes, we just
call it the United States, we don`t treat all of those places equally as
countries. The ones recognized by the U.N. I mean, some places we
recognize as countries, but we refuse to have formal relations with them,
places like Iran or North Korea. We don`t have embassies there.

Then, there`s little tiny countries we do recognize as countries but I
guess maybe the reasoning is they`re too small to squeeze in an embassy.
Places like Dominica and St. Lucia and St. Vincent in the Grenadines, all
the little islands and a bunch more, they get all their embassy services in
Barbados rather than having a specific U.S. embassy on each one of those
lovely islands.

So, the overall list of places that are considered to be countries on
this earth internationally, that overall list is always a little bit influx
around the edges. That`s in part why we have wars. But as far as the
United States is concerned, there is a hard and fast count of the number of
nations on earth where our government, the U.S. government, maintains an
embassy. We have U.S. embassies abroad in 169 countries.

And consider this: right now, there is nobody home at a quarter of
those embassies around the globe. In 1/4 of the world`s nations where we
have an embassy, and therefore we are supposed to have an ambassador at our
embassy, we don`t have an ambassador. A quarter of the earth and that`s
because our Congress is a disaster.

Our Congress, our current Congress, has some sort of inexplicable
injury which prohibits them from doing even the basic noncontroversial work
of keeping the government going or recognizing American officials sitting
in front of them with name tags.

Approving ambassadors is not like passing Obamacare or something
complicated, right? Approving ambassadors is not the world`s most
controversial thing. But this Congress cannot even do that, not this
Congress. It`s astonishing.

And the problems with this Congress have been building throughout this
Congress. This is the least productive Congress in the modern history of
the United States.

But at this particular moment in the news, with our roaring
international crisis headlines, right, it is newly shocking and newly
problematic that these countries that aren`t just far-away places, these
countries that directly affect the most important things going on in our
own country right now, these are places where we`re basically staffing our
embassies with temps thanks to Congress.

The tens of thousands of kids and young families turning up on the
U.S. border, thus creating the biggest domestic news story of the summer,
those kids are coming from three specific countries in Central America --
El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala.

The United States is doing intensive multilayered policies with the
countries to try to stop the flow of these kids, try to top them leaving
those countries to come to our country. We`re running ad campaigns in
those countries. We`re sending cab innocent officers to those three
countries. We sent the vice president to two of those countries to go meet
with the leaders of those nations. The presidents of those three nations
came to the White House today to meet personally with President Obama.

But you know what? When anybody from the United States goes to one of
those three countries, Guatemala, to try to do this very important work for
probably the most important thing going on in the United States right now,
there`s no U.S. ambassador there. We have no U.S. ambassador in Guatemala.
We just don`t have one. Haven`t gotten around to it.

Why bother? It`s just a country sending tens and thousands of its
kids to our border. Why would we need somebody there to answer the phone
or do America`s work there?

If you do not believe that the crisis of unaccompanied Central
American kids on our border is the biggest news story facing country right
now, if you don`t think that`s the biggest story in the country, it`s
probably because you think the biggest news story facing the country right
now is Russia, also a reasonable choice, also a place where we do not have
an ambassador right now.

In Russia, we have been in this incredibly tense, incredibly dramatic
standoff for basically six months now over Russia rekindling the idea of a
Russian empire, taking over parts of their neighboring countries. The war
that Russia has been cooking next door in Ukraine. Last week, of course,
resulted in the apparent shoot-down of a passenger jet carrying 300
civilians who had absolutely nothing to do with that war.

The U.S. government is now accusing Russia of not just aiding the pro-
Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, but of firing artillery rounds
across the border from Russia into Ukraine. This stuff between us and
Russia right now is off the hook. And it is getting more intense every
day.

We have no ambassador to Russia because that`s Congress` job. And so,
therefore, it is a job that is not done. Anything that Congress is
responsible for, we apparently just have to get by without, including
having someone in charge of American interests in one quarter of the
nations on the earth.

And it`s not like Congress is only shirking its responsibility on
stuff people don`t care about. Just take the Russia issue. Americans are
paying attention and Americans care.

The new CNN poll on how Americans view Russia shows that over the
course of this really tense period that we`re having with them, over the
course of the last five month, the proportion of Americans who view Russia
in a favorable light has dropped in five months from 41 percent to 19
percent. That`s a plunge.

Americans are horrified at how Russia is behaving. Their favorability
rating dropped more than 20 points in just a few months. That`s unheard
of.

And for a major world power to be viewed by Americans with only a 19
percent approval rating, that is terrible to the point where it is almost
shocking.

But you know who Americans hate more than we hate Russia? More than
we hate Russia, we hate our own Congress. The latest CNN poll puts the
Russia approval rating at 19 percent. The latest CNN poll puts the latest
Congress approval rating at 14 percent.

So, we American citizens are basically in a cold war with the 202 area
code. And this Congress, being the most failed Congress of all-time, this
Congress that has done less than any other Congress in the modern history
of Congress, that fact about them has been true all year long. It`s been
evident all year. By rights, this really should be the center of what we
talk about when we talk about Washington right now. This is truly historic
failure.

But right now, this week, that failure is newly horrible and newly
consequential in part because the world is on fire and we don`t have
ambassadors in places we`re involved in intense and consequential
negotiations with, places like Guatemala and Russia where these huge crises
that really affect Americans right now. That`s part of it.

But the other part of it is we are just wrapping up right now the one
month this year in which Congress has actually gone to work.

When the Republican Party took over control of the House of
Representatives, you may remember that one of the things they did is gave
themselves a lot less time at work. They changed the calendar for
themselves. They expanded their vacation periods. They said they would
work fewer days.

The way they move d around the calendar made it so this month that
we`re in right now, July, is the only month in this session of Congress so
far in which they have actually worked four weeks in a row. It`s
exhausting. And so, naturally, now they have to give themselves an entire
month off to recover, maybe a little longer.

Congress is due to leave at the end of next week for at least a month,
and one of the things they are now warning they may not be able to do is
anything about what was the other biggest scandal of the summer that they
all said they cared about so much -- the crisis that they were going to put
aside all partisanship for, right? They were going to put aside everything
to deal with it because it meant so much to us as a nation, it was a matter
of our national honor.

Congress is apparently now maybe not going to do anything about it,
about the V.A. The V.A. scandal that riveted the nation for weeks, that
got every member of Congress pounding their chest about how they were going
to the right thing and how important this was to fix.

Well, the Senate passed a bill for the V.A. The House passed a
different version of a bill for the V.A. They`re supposed to be working
right now to resolve the differences between those two bills and send
something to the president`s desk but it`s been sitting there for six
weeks, totally bottlenecked.

House Republicans say they don`t want to spend the money. And
apparently that is the basis of it not going forward. So, it`s fizzling.
No fix.

This week, 16 major veterans organizations wrote to Congress. They
all signed on to the same letter pleading for Congress to please get it
done.

Listen. Both Houses passed a bill. In the Senate, the two co-
sponsors were John McCain and Bernie Sanders, right? That`s almost a
bridge too far in terms of the ideological spread. The work here is 95
percent done, but because it is this Congress, apparently they cannot
finish it.

There was a glimmer of hope coming into this week that maybe this was
the week that Congress might be able to get this done. That`s how the week
started. Here`s how it went over the course of the week.

"Roll Call," "V.A. talks collapse." Military Times", "V.A. reform
bill stalled by partisan bickering." "The Hill," "Talks on veterans bill
in full meltdown."

There are four working days between now and when Congress pats itself
on the back for having done nothing and takes more than a month off. They
have left more undone than any other Congress in the history of the United
States of America, including our basic responsibility to have American
ambassadors around the world.

But even for a Congress this failed and this reviled by the American
people for it, the one thing they all say they supposedly care about, they
supposedly want to get done, is take care of our veterans and fix the
outrageous problems they have all been complaining about in which veterans
were not getting care.

Congress now has four days to it. All of the major veterans
organizations in the country say it looks like it`s not going to happen
unless something changes. They are sounding the alarm this week.

This Congress is, quantitatively speaking, the worst Congress ever.
But if they cannot get this done, if they cannot get it done for veterans,
they are not only worse than ever before, they are worse than anyone
thought possible. This is astonishing if they cannot get this done. Can
they get it done?

Joining us now is the chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs
Committee, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. He has been working in an
off again/on again difficult kind of way with House Veterans Affairs
Committee chairman, Florida Congressman Jeff Miller, to try to find a
compromise reform bill here.

Senator Sanders, thank you for being here.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: My pleasure.

MADDOW: Are you now optimistic, when you took to the Senate floor on
Wednesday, you sounded like you were worried that this would not pass. The
headlines since then have not been good.

What`s the status?

SANDERS: I got to tell you, Rachel, that in the last few weeks, my
moods go up and they go down and they go up and they go down. Yesterday
was a very rough day, and I thought we were not going to make it.

But I have to tell you that Chairman Miller and I had a productive
discussion last night. I believe that Jeff Miller is a serious guy. I
think he wants to do something. He knows, as I do, just as you said, that
we will look abysmal if we cannot produce legislation to address the very,
very serious needs of our veterans and the V.A.

So what I can tell you is that today, his staff and my staff have been
working nonstop. We plan on working tomorrow. They plan on working
Sunday. And I hope, despite all of the huge ideological differences that
exist between the House and the Senate, that, in fact, we can come together
and provide a significant piece of legislation to help the veterans of this
country who put their lives on the line to defend us.

MADDOW: Congressman Miller is not a member of Congress who veterans
groups complain about. A lot of them are very supportive of him. They`re
supportive of both the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, your committee,
and the House Veterans Affairs Committee. They feel like they get a good
hearing from the leadership of your committees. It doesn`t seem like
there`s personal issues here either between you and chairman or between
veterans groups and either of you.

Given that, given that it doesn`t seem like it`s something petty or
personal, can you tell us what the hang-up is?

SANDERS: Well, the hang-up is a couple of major issues. It is my
view that when you have abysmally and unacceptably long waiting periods in
many facilities around the country. It is clear to me that the V.A. needs
more doctors, more nurses, more medical personnel. In fact, in many
facilities, they need more space.

The new acting secretary, Sloan Gibson, came forward and said, look,
that is what we need. If we don`t want to have this crisis recur every two
years, every three years, we need to make sure we have the personnel that
can deal with the fact that a million and a half more veterans have come
into the system in the last four years. Many of them are dealing with very
difficult issues, PTSD and TB.

Rachel, today, close to 50,000 veterans got mental health outpatient
treatment today and every day. So, we have to deal with that, in my view,
16 major veterans organizations said that we should help the V.A. get the
funding that they need. And that is one of the controversial issues. And
the second issue out there is how do you pay for all this stuff? This is
expensive stuff.

In my view, and what the Senate did, and John McCain was very, very
strong on this. John and I disagree on almost everything. But when he was
on the floor, what he said, if this is not an emergency, if not taking care
of people who are hurt in war is not an emergency, what is an emergency?
And I agree.

So if it is an emergency, we pay for it as a cost of war. You know,
we are spending trillions of dollars on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Nobody offset any of that. That`s a cost of war. Taking care of the men
and women who fought in these wars should also be a cost of war. That is
my view. That`s the Senate view. The House has a different point of view.

So, what I hope very much is that Chairman Miller, as you indicated,
he`s a serious man, he`s an honorable man. I like him. We are working as
hard as we can so that, in fact, we can give a little bit of comfort, not
only to the veterans community, but to the people of this country who
recognize, as you`ve just said, how dysfunctional the United States
Congress is. At least we should be able to take care of veterans and
that`s what I hope and I think what chairman miller hopes will happen.

MADDOW: Your comments that the work is continuing between you and the
congressman and with your staffs through the weekend is very heartening,
Senator.

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, chairman of the V.A. -- chairman of
the Veterans Affairs Committee, excuse me, thank you for your time tonight.
Please keep us apprised. I think a lot of people across the country,
whether or not it`s getting headlines, a lot of people across the country
want to make sure this is done before you guys head home. Thank you, sir.
Thank you.

SANDERS: Thank you.

MADDOW: Much more ahead, including one thing that Congress actually
agreed on today.

And also, there`s going to be a lot of crushed ice in the show today.
That`s coming up. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MADDOW: And one of the world`s most depressing and maddening and
tragic and terrible conflicts, one that seems like it is never over and
there is never anything good to say, today, I swear there is a tiny bit old
good news. All this week we`ve been reporting on how U.S. Secretary of
State John Kerry has been trying to get Israel and Hamas to agree to a
cease-fire. The last significant fighting in Gaza was 2012. That fighting
was ended with a cease-fire that was brokered in Egypt. Secretary of State
Kerry has been back in Egypt all this week trying to get another cease-fire
agreed to now on similar terms to what ended the fighting in 2012.

So far, though, that has not worked. The fighting has been going on
in Gaza for 18 days. Now, the death toll is up over 800 on the Palestinian
side and it is 38 on the Israeli side.

And the two sides apparently want to keep fighting. Israel`s cabinet
today would not agree to John Kerry`s proposed seven-day cease-fire when
they voted on it. Outside of Gaza, protests in the West Banks with massive
last night, bigger and more deadly today. They called it a day of rage in
the West Bank today. There were 10,000 people protesting in the streets.
By the end of the day, five pro-Palestinian protesters were killed there.

Amid the signs of escalating anger and the mounting death toll, there
is finally a small piece of good news to report. Seriously. Starting
tomorrow, starting Saturday, both Israel and Hamas have now agreed not to
stop their war, but to pause their war. They have agreed to a 12-hour
pause in the fighting tomorrow for humanitarian reasons -- to allow
civilians to try to get water and food and medical help and safe shelter.

This is not an end to the war. They`re only agreeing to 12 hours.
We`ll see if they can even do that, but it is a start. The first start.

The U.N. proposed it. Israel and Hamas both agreed. And that is
something. First ray of hope here in what is otherwise an unmitigated
disaster in one of the most densely populated places on Earth. This newly
announced pause in the fighting is supposed to start tomorrow at 8:00 a.m.
local time. That`s 1:00 a.m. Eastern Time tonight. If it works, and we
will know soon whether it works, it will be a small step, but that`s still
a step.

More ahead. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MADDOW: One thing we`re about to do at the end of the show tonight
involves crushed ice and Senator Rand Paul. So I`m crushing ice. I have
to crush a lot of ice. See you in a minute.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MADDOW: You know Shel Silverstein from "Where the Sidewalk Ends" and
"The Light in the Attic." Great kids books. Great poetry for kids.

But you know about the Shel Silverstein Quaalude song?

(MUSIC)

MADDOW: That song came out in 19d 80 when American drug users were
more than a decade into a romance with a sedative that people often called
"disco biscuits". Quaaludes did have a legal use. Your doctor might
prescribe you Quaaludes for a good night`s rest.

But it was the drug`s use and abuse as a party drug that eventually
led to its disappearance. Under pressure from drug enforcement facilities
one by one, American makers of Quaaludes stopped making them. They got out
of that market, but Quaaludes did continue to pour into the country through
the illegal drug trade. It was kind of a mystery because the key
ingredient in Quaaludes was hard to make. You couldn`t just toss it
together in a vat in your basement, couldn`t grow it the way you grew pot.

But it turns out you could buy the complex compound at the heart of
Quaaludes from legal manufacturers in Germany, Austria, Hungary, and China,
those four places. And drug cartels in Colombia bought that drug compound
from those factories.

In the early 1980s, an officer with the Drug Enforcement Agency
realized that that`s what was going on and he set out to stop it. And his
name was Gene Haislip.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NARRATOR: Haislip traveled around the world convincing the government
of every country with a factory that made the chemical in Quaaludes to shut
it down.

GENE HAISLIP, DEA: Well, it took some time, but in the end the
Colombians could to longer get their drug powder. They didn`t know what to
do. They gave it up. We eliminated the problem. We beat them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: It worked. Remarkably, it worked. We think of the drug war
as a major failure, not with Quaaludes. There was a weak link in the
Quaaludes market and it was that single compound, and now nobody does
Quaaludes anymore.

This week, the state of Arizona executed a man with a combination of
drugs that the state had never used before. That execution dragged on and
on and on and on while the man snorted and gasped for breath for nearly two
hours.

When we attempt to kill prisoners in state prisons now, we can not be
sure about how that process is going to go. Over the past couple of years
the makers of the drugs that we use for lethal injections have begun
refusing to sell their drugs for that purpose in the United States. And so
the states that have capital punishment, they`ve had to go hunting around
for new sources of drugs and new drugs to try.

And the new drug they tried in Arizona this week has been linked to
three executions that took way longer than expected or that were seen as
botched because of the way the prisoner responded to the drug infusion.
And that particular drug is made by two companies in the United States.
One of them is a company called Sagent. Sagent says they do not want their
drugs used in capital punishment. They say they will ask their
distributers to not sell that drug for that purpose.

The other company that makes this drug Midazolam is called Akorn.
Akorn with a "K." Akorn told us yesterday they don`t have a policy on
their drugs being used in the death penalty. No policy one way or the
other.

Because of that, for now, that particular if flawed death drug
pipeline to the state prison systems, that one appears to be open.

After the botched execution this week in Arizona, the state attorney
there declared a moratorium on executions in Arizona until the state can
review what happened this week. The halt on lethal injections in Arizona
now comes after botched executions using the same drugs in Oklahoma and in
Ohio. Those states have also put their lethal injections on hold. There
aren`t all that many states in the U.S. that actively kill people on death
row. Three of those states that do have now stopped because they had to
scramble for drugs and because the drugs that they scrambled to, they did
not know how to use and the results horrified people.

Does it become politically untenable for the makers of any execution
drug to be part of the lethal injection process? Have critics of capital
punishment basically done what the DEA did with Quaaludes? Have they found
the weakest link? And the weakest link is the drugs, themselves.

Because of that, is lethal injection basically disappearing from the
face of the earth?

Joining us now is Jen Moreno. She`s staff attorney for the Death
Penalty Clinic at the University of California-Berkeley School of Law.

Ms. Moreno, thanks very much for being with us.

JEN MORENO, DEATH PENALTY CLINIC: Thank you for having me.

MADDOW: Do you think this analysis that I just laid out in brief, do
you think it`s basically true? Have critics of the death penalty
essentially found the weak logistical link by putting pressure on the
makers of these drugs?

MORENO: Well, I think that what we`re seeing with the drug companies
is decisions by the companies, themselves, that they don`t want their drugs
used in executions. You know, we`ve seen documents coming from some of
these companies, you know, from 15 years ago asking departments not to use
the drugs in executions, and I think what we`re seeing now is finally these
companies are taking steps to actually prevent their use.

MADDOW: In terms of that distinction that you just drew there, we`re
seeing that with one of these drugs, Midazolam that`s been used in three
recent executions that received a lot of attention because of how long they
took.

One of the manufacturers of that drug says they don`t want the drug
used, but as far as we can tell, they haven`t necessarily put into place
effective measures to keep their drug from being used in U.S. prisons. Is
there sort of an agreed upon or known protocol that drug companies can use
now if they really do want to not just say it but actually stop their drug
from being used in executions?

MORENO: Yes, a couple of years ago we saw drug company Lundbeck which
made the only manufactured, or only FDA-approved version of pentobarbital
put into place an agreement where they effectively prohibited the
departments from getting the drug for use in executions but where they
still made the drug available for legitimate medical or clinical uses.

MADDOW: That distribution agreement for pentobarbital, as I
understand it, tell me if I`m wrong, but this company, Akorn with a "K,"
they have a U.S. distributor of pentobarbital distributing that drug under
that distribution agreement so it doesn`t get into prisons. They also are
the distributor of Midazolam which is getting into prisons.

So, theoretically, if they wanted to, they could apply the same
distribution agreement, same contractual legal arrangements to this other
drug that they use.

MORENO: Yes, you`re correct. Akorn took over, basically took over
the rights of pentobarbital and kept that distribution agreement in place.
Certainly the model is there if they chose to apply it to the distribution
of Midazolam.

MADDOW: Wow. So it`s not only there, it`s there in their own
company. I have to ask you, a federal judge this week in a ruling about
Arizona said if we are going to execute people, we need to go back to
systems that work, basically saying that lethal injection logistically
doesn`t work to kill people efficiently enough. In your work in this in
the legal clinical context, do you think that`s where the legal argument is
going?

MORENO: Certainly, we`ve seen a lot of statements from legislators,
attorneys general departments. It seems a lot like bluster and I think it
betrays their frustration with not being able to carry out executions by
lethal injection.

It shows how much they appear to want to carry out executions that
they`re willing to go back or consider going back to methods that they
abandoned in favor of a more humane method. Or at least what they thought
was a more humane method.

MADDOW: Jen Moreno, staff attorney for the Death Penalty Clinic at
UC-Berkeley Law School -- it was very clarifying. Thanks for being here.
Appreciate it.

MORENO: Thank you.

MADDOW: Still ahead, I have use for the crushed ice. And what that
crushed ice and Senator Rand Paul have to do with one another is coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We`re prepared to send
a small number of additional military advisers, up to 300, to assess how we
can best train, advise and support Iraqi security forces going forward.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: President Obama notified Congress he was sending U.S. troops
back into Iraq 39 days ago. Since that initial announcement, the president
has ordered another 400 to 500 military personnel into Iraq, bringing the
final total to nearly 800. But it`s interesting, there`s kind of a
constitutional expiration date on those deployment orders for those troops.

War Powers resolution allows for the troops to be in place for 60
days. We`re on day 39. There`s the looming question of what`s going to
happen 21 days from now. After that point, after August 13th, it should no
longer be the president`s say so anymore as to whether the troops are
deployed.

At the end of the 60-day period, Congress is supposed to weigh in.
That date when Congress should weigh in, that`s right in the middle of
Congress` planned month of-long August vacation.

Well, today, there was a surprise development on that front. The
House passed a resolution with an overwhelming majority. It said
explicitly that the president shall not deploy or maintain U.S. armed
forces in a sustained combat role in Iraq without specific statutory
authorization for such use, which basically means from here on out, the
House is saying they want to vote to authorize troops if they`re going to
stay in Iraq. They technically do not have to say that because the
Constitution already says that`s true.

But today`s vote at least means in theory that the Congress is
cognizant that it`s their job to vote on this. They`re saying we want to
take a vote, we must be allowed to take a vote, and they`re saying this
right before leaving town for a month -- during which time that 60-day
authorization for the president to authorize those troops, without
Congress, that authorization will expire while they`re gone.

It`s like if your boss demanded that you work until 10:00, but he
closed up the office at 8:00. So, it`s a little ridiculous, but this is a
real open question right now. Will the Senate also vote on something like
this now that the House has?

And with between 700 and 800 troops in Iraq right now, what really
will happen when their 60th day in Iraq rolls around? Will they still be
there? And if they are, on what legal grounds?

Watch this space.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: Maybe voting against the Civil Rights Act, which wasn`t just
about governmental discrimination, but public accommodations, the idea that
people who provided services open to the public had to do so in a non-
discriminatory fashion. Let me ask you a specific so that we don`t get
into the esoteric, hypotheticals here.

SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: There`s 10 different titles, you know,
to the Civil Rights Act and nine out of 10 deal with public institutions
and I`m absolutely in favor of. One deals with private institutions and
had I been around, I would have tried to modify that.

But, you know, the other thing about legislation, this is why it`s
hard to say exactly where you are sometimes, is that when you support nine
out of 10 things in a good piece of legislation, do you vote for it or
against it? I think sometimes those are difficult situations.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: And we have never seen him since. That was Rand Paul four
years ago when he was first running for Senate from Kentucky. He has since
then not only been elected to the United States Senate, he`s now also
considered a realistic candidate for the Republican nomination for
president, but he`s never again come back to this show.

You want to see him lie? Because today, Senator Rand Paul gave a big
speech that got a lot of press, and at that speech, he also did an
interview with NBC`s Kasie Hunt, in which he looked right at her and he
told a lie.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KASIE HUNT, NBC NEWS: You noted in your speech that you support the
Civil Rights Act. Specifically, do you think that private businesses
should be allowed to discriminate based on race?

PAUL: No.

HUNT: So, you`ve changed from when you said before you were concerned
about that title?

PAUL: I never said that.

HUNT: So, you`re not concerned about any of the title in the Civil
Rights Act anymore?

PAUL: No.

HUNT: OK.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: That`s not true. Rand Paul repeatedly, and not that long ago
and on tape, in multiple settings, has in fact insisted that there were
parts of the Civil Rights Act that he was not down with, specifically the
big part, the big part that made all of the difference in the world. But
everybody remembers the part where the law was changed to tell private
businesses say lunch counters in the South that if they wanted to serve the
public as a private business, they no longer had the right to do so in a
racially segregated manner. That is the part Senator Paul said he kind of
wasn`t down with.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you have voted for the Civil Rights Act of
1964?

PAUL: I like the Civil Rights Act in the sense that it ended
discrimination in all public domains, and I`m all in favor of that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But?

(LAUGHTER)

PAUL: You had to ask me the but. I don`t like the idea of telling
private business owners, I abhor racism. I think it`s a bad business
decision to exclude anybody from your restaurant. But at the same time, I
do believe in private ownership. But I think there should be absolutely no
discrimination in anything that gets public funding. That`s most of what
the Civil Rights Act was about to my mind.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: Most of it he was OK with, but not all of it. Racism would
be a bad business decision, but private ownership gives you certain rights.

And Rand Paul just didn`t admit that once accidently to me on this
show or another time accidently to the editorial board of his hometown
paper. Rand Paul made this point a lot on tape, over and over again.
There`s evidence. It`s all in the public record.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERT SIEGEL: But are you saying that had you been around at the
time, you would have hoped you would have marched with Martin Luther King
but voted with Barry Goldwater against the 1964 Civil Rights is that
correct

PAUL: Well, actually, I think it`s confusing on a lot of cases with
actually was in the civil rights case, because, see, a lot of the things
that were in the bill I`m in favor of.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: A lot of the things that were in the civil rights act I`m in
favor of. A lot of them. Not all of them.

This guy is going to run for president. This guy in fact already is
plainly running for president. And what he`s lying about here is part of
his very recent political history. It`s not invisible. It`s not made up.
It exists on the record.

But for some reason, Rand Paul thinks if he says it`s not there, it
isn`t there. It will become invisible by him insisting it`s not really
there. It`s like look, I`m covering my eyes so you can`t see me. You
can`t see me. I`m not here, peek-a-boo, I`m Rand Paul.

I mean, it works on babies, maybe it will work on the United States of
America. It kind of is working on the political press so far. I mean, the
press that the senator gets is somewhat astonishing given the way he talks
about himself in plainly untrue ways.

I mean, the headline that Rand Paul got in "The New York Times" today,
Rand Paul courting black support backs changing in voting rights and
criminal justice.

Rand Paul, in speeches like this one he gave today, covered by "The
New York Times", gets a ton of national coverage. He declares himself to
be a supporter, not just of voting rights for minorities but specifically
declares himself to be a supporter of the Voting Rights Act. He gets
headlined and says he`s a champion of the Voting Rights Act.

But listen with this guy, be more careful. Just because he says
something about himself doesn`t mean that it is true about him. I mean,
look, there is actual legislation to reinstate the voting rights act since
the Supreme Court struck it down. This is not some hypothetical, esoteric,
do I support it. Do you mean, do I clap for it? Do I cheer for it thing?

He`s an active legislator in the United States of America. So, if you
say, do you support reinstating the Voting Rights Act, there`s a way to do
that. There`s legislation to do that.

Senator Rand Paul is not on the record saying he supports that
legislation. Still, though, getting the headlines for being a supporter.
Why does he get these headlines? I don`t know.

He says it`s true about himself. If you check the record, it`s not
true about him. On the Civil Rights Act, honestly, Rand Paul probably
could get more credit, could get more political capital out of this issue
if he just acknowledged that he used to be against part of the Civil Rights
Act.

He used to oppose anti-segregation laws applying to private
businesses, but now, he has changed his mind on that. Now he sees that he
was wrong. Here`s why he changed his mind. Here`s why other people should
change their mind about that, too, if there is anybody else left in America
who`s not against the desegregation of lunch counters in the South.

I mean, he could get more out of it politically if he was honest, I
think, and acknowledge that he, until recently was against the most
important parts of the Civil Rights Act.

But instead, he`s just lying. And saying he was never against it. He
never said these things. He never said these things which he plainly said
over and over and over again on record, on tape.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you have voted for the civil rights act of
1964?

PAUL: I like the Civil Rights Act in the sense that it ended
discrimination in all public domains, and I`m all in favor of that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But?

(LAUGHTER)

PAUL: You had to ask me the but.

I don`t like the idea of telling private business owners, I abhor
racism, I think it`s a bad business decision to exclude anybody from your
restaurant. But at the same time, I believe in private ownership.

HUNT: You noted in your speech that you support the civil rights act.
But, specifically, do you think that private businesses should be allowed
to discriminate based on race?

PAUL: No.

HUNT: So, you`ve changed from when you said before you were concerned
about that title?

PAUL: I never said that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: I never said -- yes, you did. And, Senator, you are lying
about it.

And you are using that lie in part as the basis of what appears to be
a run for president of the United States. And you know what? If nothing
else, that deserves a salute, that deserves cheers for an almost
sociopathic level of chutzpah like that.

So, you know what? At the end of a tough week, in celebration of
politicians -- at least one of them -- cheerfully, blatantly lying about
very checkable facts, here`s how you make a drink called the me description
julep. It`s delicious, it`s technically, though, like Rand Paul, is a
little bit bogus.

See, a real julep is from Kentucky, as we all know, made with bourbon.
This is not from Kentucky, neither is Rand Paul, I should mention. He was
actually born in Pittsburgh.

But it`s also not made from bourbon. This is made from a combination
of rye and cognac. And if you like a mint julep, the typical way, with
bourbon, it probably sounds gross that you`d make one with rye and cognac,
but trust me, this is a delicious thing.

And others not containing bourbon, it`s similar to a pretty regular
mint julep. So in terms of the sweetness, you can use simple syrup where
the sugar and the water are already combined into a syrup. For this drink,
though, for texture purposes, I like to use just regular granular sugar and
then add water in the glass.

I don`t have much of a sweet tooth, so I`m only adding a teaspoon.
But you can add two to three times that amount depending on, you know, your
blood sugar levels and you like them to be in the morning. Then you add an
ounce of water.

And the sugar and water doesn`t need to be perfectly dissolved, but
you want that to dissolve at least a little bit. Then you need some fresh
mint. You want like six or eight leaves of good, fresh mint. The reason
you don`t drop the whole sprig in there is because the -- the stalk kind of
has the wrong texture and kin of the wrong flavor. So you just want the
leaves.

And you don`t get to go crazy with the muddling or anything. The mint
is your friend, she smash it up with sugar water and mint leaves. You can
muddle if you want to, if you like to have some aggression that you need to
get out, but just, you know, it`s OK. You`ll be final.

So, you get the mint and the sugar and the water sort of incorporated.
And then, where you would expect to add bourbon, instead think of Senator
Rand Paul and instead add an ounce and a half of cognac or good brandy, the
better the liquor you add, the better the drink because it`s not that
complicated. There`s an ounce and a half.

And then the thing that makes it super delicious, delicious rye
whiskey. And if you are making -- you got a half of ounce of rye whiskey.
And then if you were making a proper julep, you would have what they call
powdered ice, where it`s not only ice that`s crushed, you then pulverize it
with a giant mallet and turn it into dry ice powder. I am frankly not that
excellent and every time I try to crush something, I end up breaking
something that cost a lot and people have to come fix it.

So, we`re just going to use plain old crushed ice. Thank you, swing
away corporation. Stir it up, stir it for as long as you want. You got
the ice in there. You got a proper julep cup. Julep cup are muddle and
they frost over and that`s how you know when they`re ready.

But basically, this is sort of it. This is a prescription julep. You
want a big sprig of mint as your garnish. It`s very boozy. It`s not for
sissies, except I mean sissies in a good way.

You probably want a straw to go with this, but if you don`t have a
straw, who am I to bother you? As julep go, I have to tell you, this is
bogus, but it works and it`s delicious.

Rand Paul is lying about the Civil Rights Act, so he`s bogus in that
way, too.

But just as this julep is delicious, him lying about the Civil Rights
Act politically so far is working for him.

Bogus but wonderful. Cheers. Happy weekend. Go to prison.

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
BE UPDATED.
END

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