THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL
August 4, 2014
Guest: Joe Gerth, Kent Sepkowitz, Michael Hardy; Vince Warren; Todd Moss
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Or maybe the lesson is Bill Clinton can be
STEVE KORNACKI, "UP" HOST: Strange and very forgiving, I guess.
O`DONNELL: Yes, extraordinarily forgiving. Thank you very much, Steve.
O`DONNELL: Nate Silver has a new and very important political prediction
ALISON LUNDERGAN GRIMES (D-KY), SENATE CANDIDATE: What a huge crowd for
Senator McConnell`s retirement party!
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), KENTUCKY: We can`t afford a leader who thinks
the West Bank is a Hollywood fundraiser.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mitch McConnell and Alison Grimes face off.
GRIMES: Thanks to you, D.C. -- stands for "doesn`t care."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Congress started a five-week recess.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With very little accomplished?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The narrative right now sucks.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The center of the political universe --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The annual Fancy Farm picnic.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Political prize fight.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hee-haw meets the gong show.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It really is like a blood sport. If Mitch McConnell
were a TV show, he`d be "Mad Men."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What the do women want?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who cares?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She looks so much younger and more vital.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mitch McConnell looks tired and old.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s an old fart.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mitch McConnell is linking President Obama to Alison
MCCONNELL: Barack Obama has been a disaster.
GRIMES: You seem to think that the president is on the ballot this year.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: McConnell also gotten a assist from his new buddy --
SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: There once was a come from Kentucky --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mocking Grimes in verse.
PAUL: --who thought in politics, she`d be lucky.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s like "Highlander." There will be only one.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is real politics.
O`DONNELL: Nate Silver says the Republicans now have a 60 percent chance
of taking control of the United States Senate by exactly one seat in
November, summing the probabilities of each race yields an estimate of 51
seats for Republicans. Doesn`t leave them much room for error, says Nate
Silver. One of the Senate seats the Republicans would have to hold in
order to get up to 51 is now held by Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell, who
is in a statistical tie with Democratic Secretary of State Alison Grimes.
In the latest Bluegrass poll, McConnell is at 47 percent and Grimes is at
45 percent, which is well within the 4.1 percent margin of error. Grimes
and McConnell had a uniquely Kentucky experience at the annual Fancy Farm
picnic. Each candidate appeared at the same event at the same time but
Alison Grimes went first.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRIMES: And what a huge crowd for Senator McConnell`s retirement party.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
GRIMES: If Mitch McConnell were a TV show, he`d be "Mad Men", treating
women unfairly, stuck in 1968 and ending this season.
Senator, you seem to think that the president is on the ballot this year.
He`s not. This race is between me and you and the people of Kentucky, and
we intend you to hold you accountable for your 30 years of failed
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Mitch McConnell with a little help from Rand Paul chose to go
after Alison Grimes and her past endorsement of President Obama and go
after her over what has become a central issue in the race -- Kentucky
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCONNELL: Well, you know what Obama needs to wage his war on coal. We
know what we need to do to stop him.
PAUL: To liberals she whispers, "Coal makes you sick." In Kentucky, she
claims, "coal makes us tick." To the liberals she sells her soul, the same
ones who hate Kentucky coal.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Ninety-two percent of Kentucky`s electricity comes from coal.
Kentucky is the third-largest producer of coal in the country, and mining
coal accounts for 86,380 jobs in that state.
Alison Grimes calls herself a pro-coal Democrat and had a very big
endorsement to announce on Saturday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRIMES: When it comes to our Kentucky coal miners -- well, Mitch McConnell
doesn`t care. I do. I stand here today proudly endorsed today by the
United Mine Workers of America! They are standing shoulder to shoulder
with me because they`re tired of the hot air from Senator McConnell.
They`re ready for a senator that will fight for their jobs and their black
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining me now is Joe Gerth, political writer for "The Courier
Journal" in Louisville, and "The Washington Post`s" E.J. Dionne and Eugene
Robinson, both of them also MSNBC political analysts.
Joe Gerth, tell us about this fancy farm event and is there a way of saying
who won it?
JOE GERTH, THE COURIER JOURNAL: Well, you know, it`s a church picnic for
St. Jerome Catholic Church. It`s been going on since 1880.
It`s gotten a event there, a political speaking event that I think is
probably unique in this country. Folks go there not necessarily to listen
to the candidates, but to shout them down as best they can.
GERTH: We try to show politicians as little respect at this event as we
possibly can. And the goal generally for a politician is to simply make it
through the event. I`ve never seen a politician win an election because of
what they said or did at Fancy Farm but I think I`ve seen them lose them.
So, the idea is to survive it and make it through the day.
McConnell and Grimes both did that. Most people I talked to thought Grimes
had a little bit stronger speech, she had more zingers and she delivered
the speech a little better than Senator McConnell did but she had to. She
had to show she could stand up to him.
McConnell has been there for 30 years. Everybody knows he can deliver a
speech at Fancy Farm. There`s no pressure on him and so I don`t think he
was swinging for the fences like maybe Grimes was.
O`DONNELL: E.J. Dionne, that helps me a lot because some of the stuff I
saw there would not work in front of other audiences in other states. I
mean, I actually thought, you know, is Alison Grimes being too tough on the
guy way she`s whacking him but, Joe, I guess it`s impossible to be too rude
for that room?
GERTH: It really is.
GERTH: And this year they even asked the people to tone it down a little
bit. That they not continually chant through someone`s speech so that
other people who actually wanted to hear the speech could do that.
O`DONNELL: So, E.J., Alison Grimes who has the endorsement of the United
Mine Workers is now engaged in a somehow secret war on coal?
E.J. DIONNE, THE WASHINGTON POST: Right. I mean, the coal has become more
a cultural issue than a real economic issue because even at 86,000, that`s
a very small percentage of jobs in Kentucky. I saw in the Lexington paper,
there are actually 12,300 direct on-site employed people in the coal
So, it`s being used as a symbol of other things. And even if it is not a
symbol of other things, Grimes is just 100 percent clear on being pro-coal.
You can`t run in Kentucky and not be pro-coal. She loves to criticize
President Obama on coal.
But Mitch McConnell is going to keep saying that to the end of the
O`DONNELL: I guess the connection, Gene, is that the president is in favor
of limiting emissions from coal-fired plants. Alison Grimes says she
And we have a rich tradition of West Virginia Democratic senators and
Kentucky Democratic senators -- when they produce Democratic senators --
being completely locked in with the coal industry on pretty much everything
EUGENE ROBINSON, THE WASHINGTON POST: Absolutely.
And guess what? Ask any committed environmentalist and they will tell you
that Barack Obama is not exactly Mr. Anti-Coal, right? That he could have
moved and should have moved against the power plants sooner than he did and
that, in fact, a lot of his policies have talked about what I consider the
fiction of clean coal and carbon capture and sequestration, which is an
unproven technology that may not work. But the administration supports it.
DIONNE: And the other thing is that Kentucky has lost coal jobs but it
hasn`t lost them because of crazy environmentalists. It`s losing them to
natural gas. It`s losing them other states that are producing coal
So, yes, there`s a crisis in this -- in employment there, but it doesn`t
have very much to do with what Senator McConnell wants to talk about.
O`DONNELL: Joe Gerth, how does it balance out for Alison Grimes on this
coal issue if the Republicans there successfully cast president Obama as an
enemy of coal and she has endorsed president Obama but she then gets the
endorsement of the United Mine Workers, how do those two things balance out
in the Grimes candidacy?
GERTH: Well, that`s an interesting question. McConnell has been hammering
her for months and months and months on the coal issue. She has even
picked up his terminology, calling it "the president`s war on coal."
The mine workers make this very interesting because it gives approval to
the miners throughout to actually support her. She hasn`t polled very well
in that part of the state. But when we asked the question in our latest
poll whether or not you trust McConnell more to protect jobs or balance the
environment or Grimes, McConnell only came out four points ahead.
So, it`s an issue out there that she can battle him on and this endorsement
by the MWA is important. I was talking to Steve Earl, who`s the vice
president of the MWA here today and he said there`s talk about Cecil
Roberts doing television commercials to run in the coal fields, to help her
out. Whether or not that will be able to tip her over on this issue it`s
hard to tell.
It`s -- as I think E.J. was saying, this is more of a cultural issue and
McConnell is talking about this as an attack on our culture in Kentucky and
an attack on our values. And that -- sometimes it`s a tough message to
Ben chandler, the former congressman from Kentucky, lost two years ago on
the issue of coal in a district that has absolutely no coal mines.
GERTH: So, it`s an issue that not only affects the coal fields, it
transcends the entire state.
O`DONNELL: E.J., to the larger framework of this, the prediction that
there`s a 60 percent chance that the Republicans will just eke out control
of the senate, that`s Nate Silver`s larger point. He shows Senator Pryor,
Democratic senator, and Senator Landrieu, the Democrat, being in trouble
from both Arkansas and Louisiana. This race they would have to win in
order to maintain control of the Senate it looks like at this point in
But what about the overall threat to the Democrats in the Senate?
DIONNE: Well, you know, I think this election isn`t set yet. I don`t even
think we know what the decisive issue is going to be or issues are going to
be in October. And you look at races where Democrats thought they really
were in trouble, the incumbents in the south, and in general they`re doing
But then you see in Colorado Senator Udall hasn`t put that away for the
Democrats yet. Iowa and Michigan are closer than they should be. But on
balance, I think Democrats feel better today than they did about four
months ago. But I`m not going to argue with Nate Silver`s numbers as of
But the truth is, nobody knows how this is going to turn out.
O`DONNELL: And, Eugene, even as Nate presents it, it`s a very close call.
ROBINSON: Yes. If you`re talking about one seat, you know? That`s within
anybody`s margin of error and there are so many races in play.
And in Arkansas and in Louisiana, for example, you have these very canny
Democratic -- experienced Democratic incumbents who know how to win
elections in that state. Sometimes even when it looks like they`re going
to lose, a la Mary Landrieu. So, we`ll see.
O`DONNELL: Yes. These are -- the Pryor family and Landrieu, they know how
to pull races out in the last minute in states where Democrats aren`t
supposed to win.
DIONNE: In Landrieu`s case, it may really be last minute because there
could be a runoff in December. And if Nate`s right, we could be waiting
until December to decide who controls the senate.
O`DONNELL: Well, I think if you`re betting on history, Nate is right as of
tonight, as of this snapshot tonight.
O`DONNELL: Nate is not very often wrong. So he`s right as of continue.
Joe Gerth, thank you very much for explaining Fancy Farms to us.
And, E.J. Dionne and Gene Robinson, thank you for joining us tonight.
DIONNE: Thanks, Lawrence.
ROBINSON: Thanks, Lawrence.
GERTH: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: Coming up, the second American Ebola patient is right now
headed back to the United States tonight. And we have the results of
important Ebola tests on that patient in New York City.
And the medical examiner rules that the death of Eric Garner at the hands
of an NYPD police officer was homicide.
And later, Stephen Colbert as you have never seen him, actually being
himself and giving very wise fatherly advice to teenage girls. You have to
see Stephen doing this.
O`DONNELL: That is a live picture of Gaza you are looking at. Down will
break there within the hour. We have just about three hours away from
another cease-fire that begins at 1:00 a.m. Eastern Time here in the United
States. The Israeli government and the Hamas controlled government in Gaza
have agreed to a 72-hour cease-fire. Negotiators from both sides will meet
in Cairo to discuss possibly a longer truce.
Israel began pulling troops out of Gaza and started a seven-hour cease-fire
yesterday after shelling a U.N. school housing displaced Palestinians.
More than 30 people were killed.
Up next, new developments in the Ebola outbreak in Africa and an important
update on a possible Ebola case in New York City.
O`DONNELL: Breaking news at this hour: the second of the two Americans
infected with the deadly Ebola virus is now on her way back to the United
States. According to "The Associated Press", a medical aircraft carrying
Nancy Writebol, a 59-year-old missionary from North Carolina, left Liberia
late this evening and is expected to arrive in Atlanta tomorrow. She will
go to the same special isolation unit where Dr. Kent Brantly is being
treated at Emory University Hospital. Dr. Brantly arrived in Atlanta on
Saturday afternoon and walked, was able to walk, with the assistance, with
some assistance, from an ambulance into Emory University Hospital.
Both patients received a new experimental drug cocktail called ZMapp and
have reportedly improved since receiving the treatment.
Nancy Writebol`s son Jeremy said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEREMY WRITEBOL, SON OF EBOLA PATIENT: I can`t imagine this but it`s
amazing to think that my mom might not be only able to help those who she
was trying to help there in-country but by her suffering in this and by her
just going through it, she may be able to help countless more through them
being able to understand what`s going on in her body and develop a cure and
resources to help those who are suffering right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: And today in New York City, officials at Mt. Sinai Hospital say
that a patient who recently traveled to West Africa and showed Ebola-like
symptoms is most likely suffering from a more common like condition and
unlikely to have the virus. Doctors expect to have a more definite answer
within a day or two.
Joining me now is Dr. Kent Sepkowitz, the deputy physician in chief for
quality and safety at Memorial Sloan-Kettering.
Dr. Sepkowitz, first to the New York City case -- what do we know about it
and what are we waiting to discover?
DR. KENT SEPKOWITZ, MEMORIAL SLOAN-KETTERING: We don`t know much. They`re
being very cautious about releasing any sort of information. What we do
know is that for decades, people have traveled back from Africa and other
parts of call to New York with fever and diarrhea. So, this is a very
Usually it`s malaria, usually, it`s typhoid fever, so it`s only the context
of everybody worrying about Ebola that bring this is out of the background.
It would be extremely, extremely surprising if this turned out to be a
Sinai is protecting the confidentiality of the patient so we don`t know
O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to what Josh Earnest said today about this at the
White House press briefing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: It`s important to understand
that there is a screening process that individuals have to go through when
they board aircraft departing the countries where this outbreak has been
reported. There`s additional screening that occurs when individuals who
started in that region of the world arrive in this country. It`s also
important for people to understand that these -- that this disease is not
transmitted through the air. It`s not transmitted through the water and it
would not be transmitted through food here in the United States. That`s
why the CDC has assessed there`s no significant risk to the United States
from this current Ebola outbreak.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Dr. Sepkowitz, the risk, obviously, is virtually nonexistent
here, especially with these two patients being treated in isolation units.
But let`s talk about this new drug cocktail that they managed to come up
with here. What is the significance of this if we have something that
actually does work as effectively as this might?
SEPKOWITZ: I think it`s a game changer for all sorts of therapeutics. The
details are here also somewhat sketchy. But there`s a company that`s been
looking at this for a long time. They`re out of Canada, it`s been bought
out by a group in San Diego, whatever, the U.S. Department of Defense,
Canadian health services as well. They have figured out a way to produce
anti-body to three different segments of the infection, which is novel.
And for a lot of complicated reasons, it seems like kicking the virus in
three different spots is much more effective than the usual approach which
has been anti-bodies that have only focused on one area of potential
So, if this is as good as it sounds -- and I would be very cautious about
jumping up and down about this being a roam run -- it`s really early in the
game, the notion that Dr. Brantly went from near death to up and around and
taking a shower in 30 minutes strikes me as a wonderful, wonderful story
but pushing credibility a little bit.
If this turns out to have some real application in this virus, there`s no
reason this can`t be generalized as a technology. I`m very excited about
it. Both for the Ebola patients that have the disease now but also for a
host of other complicated infections.
O`DONNELL: Dr. Kent Sepkowitz, thank you very much for joining us tonight.
SEPKOWITZ: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: Coming up, the medical examiner makes the official decision in
the death of Eric Garner.
O`DONNELL: In the spotlight tonight, homicide.
On Friday, New York City`s chief medical examiner said that Eric Garner
died because of, quote, "compression of neck, chokehold, compression of
chest and prone positioning during physical restraint by police." The
death was officially ruled a homicide.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIC GARNER: Every time you see me you mess with me. I`m tired of it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hold on, hold on.
GARNER: Don`t touch me, please. Do not touch me.
GARNER: I can`t breathe! I can`t breathe! I can`t breathe! I can`t
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: The NYPD is conducting an internal investigation of this
homicide case and has stripped Officer Daniel Pantolio of his badge and
gun. It`s Officer Pantolio you see in the video using the chokehold on
Attorney General Eric Holder has confirmed that Justice Department
prosecutors are monitoring the city`s investigation.
At a rally on Saturday, Eric Garner`s mother and widow reacted to the
medical examiner`s ruling the death a homicide.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GWEN CARR, ERIC GARNER`S MOTHER: Yesterday, when I heard the coroner`s
report, I tell you, I was downtown Brooklyn and I was in a store and when I
got the telephone call, I guess people thought I was crazy. I just start
saying, "Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus."
ESAW GARNER, ERIC GARNER`S WIDOW: I met with the prosecutors and I feel
like I did the right thing by doing that and I just want them do the right
thing and give me justice for my husband.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Ramsey Orta, the man who recorded the chokehold incident on
that video you just saw was arrested over the weekend in that same
neighborhood for criminal possession of a weapon. Police charged him with
two counts of criminal procession of a .25-caliber Norton semiautomatic
handgun. That handgun, the police say, Mr. Orta passed to a teenaged girl
just before the arrest. That 17-year-old girl was also arrested and
charged with possession of that same gun.
Joining me now is Vince Warren, a civil rights attorney and executive
director for the center for constitutional rights and Michael Hardy,
general counsel and executive vice president for the national action
network. He is serving as co-counsel for the Garner family.
Michael, what is your reaction and the legal import of the medical
MICHAEL HARDY, CO-COUNSEL FOR GARNER FAMILY: Well, obviously our reaction
is that the medical examiner substantiated what we saw in the tape that an
illegal choke hold was used and caused the death of Eric Garner which in
our view now provides the probable cause to begin to get justice for Eric
Garner and his family and that`s what National Action Network has been
dedicated to and are committed to.
O`DONNELL: Vince Warren, we saw Eric Garner`s mother rejoicing that in, to
her mind, the medical examiner was basically telling the truth about this
incident and she`s a woman old enough to have heard of stories and perhaps
known with real authority about stories where this kind of thing happened
and medical examiners rather conveniently ruled in a direction that helped
the police when no video like this existed.
VINCE WARREN, CENTER FOR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS: Right. That`s exactly
right. You know, the interesting piece here is that there is a video here
and, in fact, the medical examiner, as Michael said, confirms what we all
saw. You can`t make that up. I know that the man was arrested for
criminal possession of a firearm after he took that video, but the video
speaks for itself. And it`s a really stark reminder. I think, number one,
of how important it is to have entities, for example, like cop watch that
watch police interactions. But for that interaction we would have no idea
what had happened and it would be the word of the medical examiner versus
the police union. But now we really is a concrete sense that this man was
killed in police custody. And the next step is how do we deal with that as
a society and as a criminal justice system?
O`DONNELL: The Ramsey Orta`s arrest may or may not be just coincidental.
Here`s what Ramsey Orta`s wife said about -- told a Staten Island advance
about the NYPD.
They park across the street. They follow him. It`s obvious once they
ruled this a homicide, now you all of a sudden find something on him. Come
on, let`s be realistic. Even the dumbest criminal would know not to be
doing something like that outside so the whole story doesn`t fit at all.
Vince Warren, your reaction to that arrest?
WARREN: Yes. I think it really is outrageous to try to connect as, you
know, I`ve heard the police union do the arrest of that man and the
relationship to the veracity of the video. The video doesn`t lie. The
video wasn`t carrying a gun. The video wasn`t arrested. That`s the
information that we need to stay focused on. And rather than diverted the
discussion to what may have happened to someone else and what their
background is we need to stay focused on which is the issue is at hand
which is the police killed that man. And that`s what we need to focus on.
O`DONNELL: And Michael Hardy, we know that within police culture once this
story had gotten as far as it did the most important arrest within police
culture that you could make on Staten Island would have been of Ramsey
Orta. This is exactly the kind of thing police departments like to be able
to do in cases like this.
And by the way, this is not to say whether he was actually carrying that
gun or not. I mean, I`d be willing to go with the presumption for the sake
of discussion that he was. The idea that they were going to follow him and
find the moment where they could arrest him is something that we`ve seen
plenty of in decades and decades of police active any this kind of arena.
HARDY: And, again, you know, neither the family of Eric Garner nor the
witness in this case, you know, you don`t choose to be in this situation.
And I think first we have to remember that Ramsey Orta was very heroic in
recording the video and creating a record of something that happened to
another citizen who really had done no wrong. Certainly, no wrong to
deserve to be killed as the use of an illegal choke hold. And the issue
here is the choke hold that was placed on Eric Garner that led to his
death. We now have a video that establishes that and a medical examiner`s
report that has followed up that finding by finding that it was, indeed, a
O`DONNELL: And Vince Warren, in the old days before video you make an
arrest like that and that would be one way of fixing that particular
eyewitness`s testimony to work in a much more favorable direction for the
police but the trouble here is his testimony doesn`t matter, it`s his video
that tells the story and it doesn`t matter what Orta has done before or
since that video.
WARREN: That`s 100 percent right. And what do we know? We know what we
saw. We know that the medical examiner has said that this is a killing by
the police when Mr. Garner was in custody. And the next step, really, is
how do we think about this as a community and in our relationship with the
You know, my organization, the Center for Constitutional Rights, won the
stop and frisk case last year and the city of New York, the mayor, the
police commissioner, the police union and community members are going to be
coming together soon to discuss stop and frisk.
But also, we should be talking about the broken windows theory. The idea
of even approaching Eric Garner, which they should haven`t done to begin
with as far as I can tell, and how these types of interactions really are
sieges on the community.
HARDY: If we`re really going to make an advance on police community, we
have to follow what Vince is just saying.
O`DONNELL: Attorneys Vince Warren and Michael Hardy, thank you both very
much for joining me tonight.
WARREN: Thank you.
HARDY: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: Coming up, we`ll discuss the summit of African leaders that`s
taking place right here in Washington this week.
And in the rewrite, weird Republican congressman Steve King and the very
wise father Stephen Colbert are in the rewrite.
O`DONNELL: While honoring participants of the special Olympics at the
White House last week, one of the honorees had a gift for the president --
a hug. Tim shares a special Olympian and also owns a restaurant in
Albuquerque called "Tim`s Place" which is famous for the hugs Tim gives to
customers. President Obama didn`t want to be left out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Where`s Tim? There he is
right there. Tim. Tim`s fired up. Tim is fired up. Although, Tim, I
didn`t get a hug. Come on, man. Here we go. All right!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I love you, Obama.
OBAMA: I love you back. See, you know, presidents need some encouragement
once in a while, too. That felt really good. That was nice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: How great was that?
Coming up, how did Congressman Steve King make it into a rewrite with David
Letterman and Stephen Colbert? The answer to that is just a minute or two
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Stop being mad all the time! Stop just hating all the time. Come
on. Let`s get some work done together.
REP. STEVE KING (R), IOWA: It`s not about mad, it`s not about hate. Most
of us personally like that president.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Well, they sure have a funny way of showing it. But they`re
not the only ones. Sometimes it`s not that easy to tell who likes you --
especially in high school.
Here`s how Stephen Colbert answered that question of how do you tell who
likes you on rookiemeg.com, a popular web site for teenage girls in their
incredibly entertaining and informative series "ask a grown man."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, THE COLBERT REPORT: How can you tell someone likes
you? People show they like you in all kinds of different ways. But some
basic ones are they -- they want to hear your stories. They care how you
feel. They want to make your day better. They want to listen to your
problems. They reach out to you. Everybody wants to be loved. Everybody
wants to have people pay attention to them. But if somebody goes to the
effort to call you, reach out to you, write you, pay attention to you at a
party, come over and talk to you, smile when they see you, ask you your
problems, those are good signs that they like you because they`re making
the effort to not be so self-centered that they want you do that for them.
So if somebody`s giving you the gift of attention and wanting to know about
your day and your problems, then they probably like you.
If someone -- if your happiness is more important than their happiness, or
they first are concerned about what`s going on in your life instead of
their life, that`s a really good sign because one nice definition of love,
I think, is that another person`s happiness is more important than your own
and some early signs of that is that they want to make your day better by
helping you unburden your own problems.
Love and cookies, cookies are also a really good sign that somebody likes
you, if they bring you cookies. The problem is, sometimes people might be
mean to you. Or pick on you to show that they like you. Because they`re
afraid that you don`t like them. And so they might be mean first just to
get your attention. But if someone is just paying attention to you over
and over again it probably means they like you because they -- if someone
really doesn`t like you they mostly ignore you. I know that`s kind of a
vague answer, but there are just so many different ways that affection is
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Sometime next year, Stephen Colbert will begin presenting
himself every night in the Ed Sullivan theater as himself. Not the
character he has been so brilliantly performing on "The Colbert Report."
When Stephen takes over from David Letterman, he won`t have to rewrite
himself but just go back to being himself as a performer and we will surely
learn more about Stephen Colbert just as we will from Dave when the subject
of parenting comes up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID LETTERMAN, COMEDIAN: Let me ask you a specific question, and this
comes right out of my life. When things go haywire in my house with my son
it always seems to be my fault.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right.
LETTERMAN: Why did you do that? I was in the garage. I didn`t do
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Here is Stephen Colbert as himself -- get used to it, now,
you`ll be seeing him more as himself next year -- giving some fatherly
COLBERT: I got four questions here.
Number one, this is from Loretta, age 14. I know most men are jerks but
when guys, especially teenage guys do stop that cat call and make jokes
about rain, do they know their behavior is harmful? Is that why they do
stuff like that or is it because society has taught them to be
I think, Loretta, I think reason why boys do this kind of stuff is to get
your attention. And, no, I don`t think they know that it`s harmful because
I don`t think they mean to be harmful. I just think they just desperately
want you to pay attention to them.
So my advice would be if you don`t know the person who`s doing it, I would
ignore it. But if you know the person, if the person is a friend or
somebody you know, they really care what you think. It may not seem like
they do because they`re so aggressive, but they actually really do care.
And I would say please do don`t do that because I really don`t like it.
And they may, you know, blow you off at the time, but I promise you they`ll
remember you said that. And for this sort of thing to stop, boys have to
Does our society educate boys to be misogynistic? It probably doesn`t
value girls and women as much as it should. And boys probably see that as
a signal that they can get away with things like devaluing women and being
what they think of as sort of playfully or comically threatening but they
do need to be told that it`s wrong. Or even more importantly, that you
just don`t like it because they want you to like them. So be honest with
them about it. And I think that`s the best try stop it. Don`t pay
Here`s the next one. See, there`s this boy. He`s kind of mean to me and
he lies to me a lot, but then other times he`s a really great guy, he says
he likes me and he treats me really well. How do you think I should
proceed in this relationship? Charlie, 17, Tallahassee, Florida.
Well, there`s a little contradiction in here. You say that he likes me and
treats me well. But you also say he`s kind of mean to me and he lies to me
a lot. You led with "mean to me and lies to me a lot" and then you felt
bad about that and said "he says he likes me and treats me really well."
If he lies to you and is mean to you, then, he may like you but he`s
definitely not treating you very well. So I would not waste my time with
somebody who lies to you. Even the "mean to me" is easier to deal with
than somebody who lies to you a lot. Because if he lies to you a lot, how
do you know that he really likes you even though he says so? Maybe he`s
lying about that, too.
I would give this person one last shot and say "don`t ever lie to me
again." And say "because I like you." If you do like this person. "I
like you and you say you like me but a predicate of that relationship that
you can`t lie to me and I can`t lie the you so I`m going to be honest with
you and not lie and say this is your last chance." And then kick him to
O`DONNELL: Stephen Colbert`s three children are very lucky to have that
guy as their dad.
O`DONNELL: Former Reagan White House press secretary James Brady died
today. James Brady was shot and critically wounded on March 30, 1981,
outside the Washington Hilton hotel in the shooting that wounded President
Ronald Reagan. Brady was shot in the head and was left partially paralyzed
but that didn`t stop him and his wife from leading the fight for tougher
gun laws. President Clinton signed the Brady bill in 1993. The law
required a mandatory five-day waiting period for purchases of handguns and
background checks at licensed gun shops. The Brady center to prevent
handgun violence continues that effort in his name. Jim Brady was 73.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When I was a young man at
aged 30, I was chairman of the -- I guess it was 32, chairman of the
African affairs subcommittee. It was the first time as a young man I
became deeply acquainted with the African continent, the realization, by
the way, it`s so much bigger. So much bigger. It`s amazing. And then I
imagine it must bother you all when people say, you`re from Africa. Like,
I know where you live." You`re from Africa. But it was something that
captured my imagination and captured my heart.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Today the Obama administration welcomed leaders from almost
every African country to Washington, D.C. The first time an American
president has done so. Africa has seven of the ten fastest-growing nations
in the world, including Ethiopia, Mozambique, Tanzania, Congo, Ghana,
Zambia and Nigeria.
While some attention is being spent on, of course, the Ebola crisis this
week, this summit is designed to boost economic ties between the United
States and Africa. Business deals worth possibly $900 billion are expected
to be announced at this event.
Joining me now Todd Moss, chief operating officer and senior fellow for the
center for global development and a former deputy assistant secretary of
Todd, the economic picture for Africa as it stands today?
TODD MOSS, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER/ SENIOR FELLOW, CENTER FOR GLOBAL
DEVELOPMENT: Well, this is not the Africa of 10 or 20 years ago. You
know, people think of a country like Ethiopia, they imagine people are
starving. Well, Ethiopia has been growing at 10 percent or more for at
least a decade. And it`s really become a continent of tremendous economic
dynamism, lots of economic opportunity and we`re seeing that really the
focus of this summit.
O`DONNELL: And with all this dynamism, still it is so undeveloped.
There`s so much more to go. So even though it`s dynamic and growing
quickly now, there`s an explosive potential of where it can go.
MOSS: Well, it a very large and diverse continent so there are lots of
count these are doing well. There`s a few countries that aren`t doing so
well. But what I think is really exciting about Africa right now is that
we are going through this once in a lifetime transition of families that
are sending their first child to college. They`re buying the first
refrigerator, the first car in the family and really seeing that the future
is going to be better. And that`s creating a lot of enthusiasm and
O`DONNELL: What have we learned about the best way for America to play a
role in African development?
MOSS: That`s an excellent question. You know, the United States first and
foremost provides a good example of what an open democracy that believes in
markets, believes in that the future can be better than the past. That`s
an important role. The U.S. plays an important security position. We help
to provide stability. You know, there still are some conflicts. There are
still some terror groups running around and we help play a role in
But most of all, you know, we can invest particularly in things like
infrastructure and some of our companies that can help to bring countries
out of poverty toward more prosperous futures. And that`s the focus of the
O`DONNELL: I was talking to the executives at caterpillar tonight who were
very interested in development in Africa. They are in -- they`re a huge
infrastructure supplier for all sorts of economic development and they see
the that China is moving more quickly into Africa than the United States.
And so, one of the ways in for them is to sell to Chinese companies the
construction equipment they need to do their jobs in Africa.
MOSS: Well, the reality is that China has just gone through an
unprecedented period of development. They built a ton of infrastructure in
their own country. They`re very good at it. And the needs in Africa are
great. So there`s going to be plenty of opportunity for China, for the
United States, for the Europeans, Japanese, there is plenty of opportunity
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