All In With Chris Hayes, Thursday, August 28th, 2014
Read the transcript from the Thursday show
ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
August 28, 2014
Guest: Luis Gutierrez, Enrique Morones, Andrij Dobriansky, Zerlina
Maxwell, Bomani Jones, Josh Ernest, Ali Gharib, Dan Klaidman
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight, we are ALL IN.
CROWD: Yes, we can! Yes, we can!
HAYES: Scores of protesters arrested outside the White House.
Republicans threaten another government shutdown over immigration.
JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: It would be a real shame
if Republicans were to engage in an effort to shut down the government.
HAYES: Tonight, the immigration wars going up.
BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS: Last chance, sir. Last chance.
HAYES: And immigration activist Enrique Morones is here to finish his
Then, a land war in Europe.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Russia is responsible
for the violence in Eastern Ukraine.
HAYES: And the president`s still developing a plan to combat ISIS.
OBAMA: I don`t want to put the cart before the horse. We don`t have
a strategy yet.
HAYES: The latest from Ukraine and the politics of the most recent
war in Iraq.
Plus, Omani Jones on the NFL`s stunning admission on domestic
And the amazing story: grocery store workers save their own CEO.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All I can say is it`s great to be back together
HAYES: ALL IN starts right now.
HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
Tonight, Washington is bracing for a dramatic fight over what`s shapes
up to be the most polarizing and defining issue of President Obama`s second
term -- an expected executive action by the president on immigration that
could potentially prevent millions of people who lack legal status from
The end of his press conference today, which had been focused almost
entirely on foreign policy, the president decided to return to the podium
after starting to walk away, when reporters pressed him on immigration. He
then made clear, once again, he plans to act where Congress will not.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Have no doubt, in the absence of congressional action, I`m
going to do what I can to make sure the system works better. All right?
Thank you, guys.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The president`s comments came after 145 immigration activists
were arrested this afternoon outside the White House where they were
protesting deportations of undocumented immigrants. Advocates hope the
president will expand his deferred action program, or DACA, deferring
prosecutions to those brought to the United States without papers as
children to cover those with close relatives in the U.S. -- immigrants with
a clean criminal record and many others.
President`s action on immigration which is expected soon doesn`t just
have massive implications for undocumented immigrants, it also has the
potential to completely alter the midterm election landscape.
This week brought provocative comments from two different Republicans,
Senator Marco Rubio, and Representative Steve King, who both suggested they
might effectively shut down the government if the president, as King put it
to "The Des Moines Register", "wields his pen and commits an
unconstitutional act to legalize millions of people."
Congress has just 10 scheduled working days after it returns from
recess on September 8th to pass a continuing resolution to keep the
government funded. What King and some of his colleagues are threatening is
to block that resolution if the president acts on immigration. That would
lead to a shutdown, which you no doubt remember from the last shutdown, is
pretty much the most destructive things Republicans have done to the
Republican brand in the last two years.
And -- this is crucial -- they`d be doing it right before the midterm
elections. While some vulnerable Democrats, including Senator Mark Pryor
of Arkansas, are calling on the president explicitly not to act without
Congress on immigration, others have already taken to gleefully painting
the GOP as a shutdown party in order to get a midterm boost.
Meanwhile, despite Paul Ryan`s insistence his party will pass a clean
continuing resolution and avert a shutdown, which she has described last
time around as, quote, "suicide mission" with the House GOP, "The
Atlantic`s" Molly Ball reports, a well-placed House Republican source says
-- and this is key -- GOP leadership is increasingly nervous about the
potential for a rebellion on the funding bill from hard-core House
Joining me now, Congressman Luis Gutierrez, Democratic from Illinois.
Congressman, obviously, I know where you are substantively on this.
The politics of it are fascinating to me. This is a real chess match. You
got folks I think on the Democratic side who think you can get a bear trap,
to put this out and temp a kind of insurrection from the Republicans to
freak out over it and cause a shutdown. Do you think that`s smart
REP. LUIS GUTIERREZ (D), ILLINOIS: You know what? I think what the -
- here`s what I hope, first and foremost, Chris. I hope that finally the
Democrats and I really do believe the president is going to put in good
justice policy, just as in fairness for our immigrant community in this
case, ahead of good politics.
But I have to say, I think it`s almost as though they`re going
GUTIERREZ: Right? Into some abyss, and they don`t see it. They
don`t understand the demographics or refuse to come, you know, they still
think, Steve King, and where he lives and where he`s at, is a reflection of
America. It is not a reflection of the totality of the America.
So, there will be -- let me just say this to you, Chris. So, when the
president of the United States said I`m no longer going to deport
immigrants that are undocumented, arrived here at children, right? DACA.
GUTIERREZ: He did that in, what, June of 2012. Then about two months
later at the Democratic Convention, you had undocumented youth speaking at
primetime at the Democratic Convention.
HAYES: That`s right.
GUTIERREZ: And Barack Obama not only got 2 million more votes from
Latinos in 2012 than in 2008, he got a higher percentage of the vote.
GUTIERREZ: So, if you want to look at the politics just through a
political lens --
HAYES: That`s --
GUTIERREZ: I got to tell you, the last time he did something like
this, it was pretty good for Democrats.
HAYES: OK. So, if I`m an adviser, and the president is here, I`m
being paid to game this out, there`s also a case to be made, are you really
going to do something this polarizing, this high risk in the run-up to the
midterm? Why not wait until after the election?
GUTIERREZ: And that is a decision the president is going to have to
make, and I believe that you and I, we can talk about this, but we can`t --
that`s one thing we`re not going to be able to answer. I think the
decision has been made -- I think -- this is what I believe. It`s not what
I know. Not what I`ve been told.
But it`s what I believe. You know, by extrapolating from all my
conversations. So, between you and I and everybody watching this on the
program tonight, I believe it`s -- I suggested this to you a couple months
ago. It`s going to be millions. It could be up to 5 million people.
But having said, I believe that`s what the president is going to do.
He`s got to make a decision. Does he do it before or after the November
I hope he says, you know what, I have principles, I have values, I`m
going to put them forward and I`m going to -- I`m going to do what I said I
was going to do. I said I was going to make a decision by the end of the
summer and I`m going to announce it, and I hope he does that.
I hope he puts good public policy -- because, you know what, Pryor is
doing what Pryor has to do so that he can continue to be a Democratic
senator as he feels from Arkansas. But we have to do what we have to do as
a Democratic Party to stand up for our principles and values.
HAYES: Very important history lesson from congressman there about the
president saying he would announce something at the end of the summer. So,
people should remember that.
Congressman Luis Gutierrez, thank you very much, sir.
GUTIERREZ: Thank you.
HAYES: All right. Earlier this week, we showed you incredibly
awkward footage, a Republican trying and failing to block a banner held up
by protesters who were confronting Marco Rubio on this issue, on
immigration. It was a perfect image of the at times painful clumsiness of
the Republican Party as it tries to deal this issue.
We have yet another illustration of just how awkward Republicans can
be on this. This time from Georgia Governor Nathan Deal who had this
pretty amazing interaction with a student immigration activist.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. NATHAN DEAL (R), GEORGIA: There`s a fundamental problem that can
only be solved at the congressional level, and that is to deal with the
issue of children, I presume you probably fit the category, children who
were brought here --
ACTIVIST: I don`t. I`m not an illegal immigrant. I`m not
undocumented. I don`t know why you thought I was undocumented. Is it
because I look Hispanic?
(END VIDEO CLI)
There is FOX News host Bill O`Reilly who last night wanted to, well,
debate two immigration activists about California`s immigration policy, and
then despite their very polite demeanor, decided to cut their mikes.
Here`s how it went with his guest Enrique Morones.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: First of all --
O`REILLY: What would you do? Mr. Morones, what would you do to stop
people from coming in here illegally? What?
ENRIQUE MORONES, BORDER ANGELS: Well, first of all, there`s not
100,000. It`s close to 60,000 --
O`REILLY: What would you do, Mr. Morones? Last chance, sir. Last
chance. What would you do to stop it?
MORONES: When your forefathers and foremothers --
O`REILLY: All right. You`re not going to answer the question.
All right. Mr. Morones, I appreciate your time. We appreciate your --
we appreciate your time tonight.
MORONES: The sergeant --
O`REILLY: Mr. Johnson, what would you top people from coming in here
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: They keep talking but there`s no sound because the mikes were
cut. O`Reilly later said he had no choice but to cut the mikes, because,
quote, "They weren`t answering the question."
So, joining me now is Enrique Morones, founder and executive director
of Border Angels.
Enrique, how is your mike level?
MORONES: You`re not going to cut me off, are you, Chris?
HAYES: I actually have -- I mean, this seriously, we have a no-mike-
cutting policy on this show which enrages viewers sometimes when people go
on. But I want to hear your answer to this question, because this is
always the question, security first, border control, every sovereign nation
has an obligation to patrol its borders and decide who`s in.
So, what would you do, Enrique Morones?
MORONES: Right. And nobody`s -- I`m not arguing that. Like I was
telling Bill, I said today`s migrants want the same opportunity that his
forefathers and foremothers had which is to have a way to come into the
country through the front door. That doesn`t exist today.
These children from Central America are turning themselves into border
patrol. People that are crossing the desert where we put water are
crossing the desert not because they want to but they have to, because they
want to feed their families and there`s no front door for them to enter,
there`s no line for them to get into, so let`s create a line.
HAYES: This is a really important -- and part of what -- this is
partly true in the Senate bill that passed. It`s -- but it`s probably not
sufficient which is one way to deal with illegal immigration is to just
massively expand the amount of people who can come in legally, right?
MORONES: That`s right. But the Senate bill that`s been offered right
now, a lot of us don`t support that. We don`t want to double the size of
the wall or double the size of the border patrol. The border patrols don`t
want that. That will lead to 200 more deaths a year.
We want humane policies, humane terminology that you always use.
That`s another thing that got Bill mad when I said there`s no such thing as
an illegal human being. And we wanted to talk about other things, but when
he`s losing, when he`s scared, when his bullying doesn`t work, he just
shuts you off.
And so, it`s disappointing, but we got so much feedback from the
normal people that watch something like that, because we know that there`s
FOX and there`s facts. So the people that like the facts, they were
calling me going, that was great, the way you shut him down. And he
couldn`t handle it anymore so he turned off your microphone.
But that`s why I was delighted that your office contacted us because
we do want to have humane policies. Congressman Gutierrez is a great hero
to all of us. I do believe President Obama is going to take executive
action by the end of summer and allow these people to be documented.
They`re not clamoring for citizenship. They want to be documented,
they want to have the same opportunities you and I have had, to work hard,
get ahead and so forth.
And we`re a great nation because of that diversity. Let`s keep that
spirit alive, regardless if they`re from a European country like we
discussed last time, those children from Central America where the Marietta
Police stopped the busses were from Canada, nobody would have been talking
about it. There wouldn`t have been a protests.
But the people that are coming today are from predominantly from
Central America, no longer from Mexico. Let`s have humane policy so that
people can get in line, we find out who they are, they become documented
and they come into the country. It`s a supply and demand issue.
HAYES: Yes. Do you believe this -- do you believe -- so, there`s two
ways to think about this. One way, if we were to expand the legal
channels, if we massively expand the amount of work visas, for instance,
which part of what`s been debated and part of what`s in the Senate, fairly
significant expansion of work visas, and the amount of people that can just
apply for legal -- to become citizens, that that would reduce illegal
The other side of it, I presume folks like Bill O`Reilly would say
that`s going to incentivize even more come to come, that you`re just going
to -- we`re going to be overrun if we do that.
MORONES: But that`s not true. Just look at the facts, once again.
There`s been a 40 percent drop in migration, unauthorized migration from
Mexico, and why? Because the situation in Mexico is better, there`s a
stronger economy. I met with the Mexican president this week and with
Governor Brown. Things are better so less people are coming without visas.
It`s a supply and demand issue. Most undocumented people, there`s 250
million around the world, aren`t in this country. They`re in other
countries. They`ll go where there`s opportunities. It`s supply and
demand. Let`s build bridges of communication with our neighbors and have
HAYES: You know what? That`s an important statistic I`ve never heard
before -- 250 million undocumented immigrants around the world. America
tends to think it`s only poor America that has to deal with it.
Enrique Morones, thank you so much.
MORONES: Thank you very much. Gracias.
HAYES: All right. Lots more to talk about tonight including an update
on the story of the gun range instructor accidentally killed in Arizona by
a 9-year-old girl he was teaching to fire an Uzi. That`s next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SAM SCARMARDO, RANGE OPERATOR: This was a very mature young lady and
something she wanted to do and her parents were treating her. This was
something that was high on her bucket list to do and her parents took her
out to do what she was going to do.
We`re reviewing the policy of age. Of course, we`re not going to
close the range, obviously, and we`re not going to stop the range operation
or rental of automatic weapons whatsoever.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: In the show last night, the operator of the gun range at
Arizona Last Stop in White Hills, Arizona, told me that his business would
remain open even after a 9-year-old girl learning to fire an automatic Uzi
submachine gun accidentally shot and killed one of the range instructors.
The man you see there right next to her on Monday.
Despite what the range operator said on this program last night,
tonight, that range has been shuttered indefinitely. We will continue to
follow the story, and we`ll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: We are not taking military action to solve the Ukrainian
problem. A military solution to this problem is not going to be
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Just hours ago, president reiterated in the strongest language
yet the basic reality that undergirds the situation between Russia and the
Ukraine and the U.S., which is that a military confrontation between United
States and Russia is inconceivable and irresponsible and both countries
And because of that, Russian President Vladimir Putin has pursued his
interest in Ukraine with an unnerving persistence. After a month of bloody
but often successful Ukrainian oppositions to retake southeastern Ukraine
from Russian-backed separatists, Russia has apparently launched its own
counteroffensive within Ukraine. Ukraine military released this tape
showing a Russian tank in a Ukrainian town they say is under Russian
And on Monday, Ukrainian forces captured 10 Russian paratroopers in
their territory. Kremlin says they must have gotten lost, and wandered
over the border -- a position reiterated by Vladimir Putin even as he
traveled to Belarus for talks with the new Ukrainian president this week.
Today, one separatist leader reportedly said there were 3,000 or 4,000
Russian troops fighting with rebels but added they were in Ukraine on their
vacations. The way congressional staff will sometimes take vacation time
and go work on a campaign.
NATO said there are over 1,000 Russian troops in Ukraine not on
vacation and released satellite images today to back up their claim.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Russia has deliberately and repeatedly violated the
sovereignty of Ukraine, and new images of Russian forces inside Ukraine
make that plain for the world to see.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The United Nation Security Council called an emergency session
on the situation today, but Russia blaming Ukraine, and the U.S. calling
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SAMANTHA POWER, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: At every step, Russia
has come before this counsel to say everything except the truth. It has
manipulated, it has obfuscated, it has outright lied. Serious negotiations
are needed, urgently needed, but Russia has to stop lying and has to stop
fueling this conflict. The mask is coming off.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: President Obama is traveling to Europe next week for NATO
summit and to coordinate with U.S. allies on Ukraine. And next month, he
will welcome Ukrainian president to the White House.
But the question still remains, what difference will any of that make
given how Russia`s acted so forth?
Joining me is Andrij Dobriansky. He`s executive board member for the
Ukrainian Congress Committee of America.
Andrij, what the president announced today does seem to me the bedrock
logic upon what all this is, which is just like, we`re not going to Russia
and we`re not going to have military intervention with Russia. And so,
everything is going to be fought at the margins and Ukraine is in Russia`s
backyard and it`s not in ours.
ANDRIJ DOBRIANSKY, UKRAINIAN CONGRESS COMMITTEE OF AMERICA: It`s not
being fought in the margins, it`s been fought in Ukraine. So, no matter
what position the president keeps laying out that he doesn`t want ground
troops, that`s, again, another bargaining position of the president where
he doesn`t lay out things you can bargain down from.
So, he says there`s no ground troops, then what is there to stop an
invasion? There is nothing. There is nothing that stopped Russia after
Georgia. There is nothing that stopped them after five different other
conflict zones in the world that Putin has been involved with.
So, we need something to happen.
HAYES: But, what`s something? That`s my point, right? I mean, first
of all, we should say, the thing that has stopped Russia in the last few
weeks is the Ukrainian military with a very aggressive offensive in that
part of the country, hence the counteroffensive that we`re seeing now.
DOBRIANSKY: Yes -- well, I don`t know if it`s counteroffensive. It`s
an offensive into Ukraine. So, it`s an offensive against the country. I
wouldn`t call it that.
But what has stopped Russia has been military power, has been from the
very beginning. Once Ukraine`s army went from literally zero to standing
at close to 80,000, Russia started changing the timeline for its Crimea
invasion, where it came in and the original vote was supposed to be in May
for a referendum, it went down to the beginning of April then it was three
weeks after the invasion, because they saw that Ukraine was ramping up
Then, after the president of Ukraine, Poroshenko, got elected, that
very week, he launched this anti-terrorist opposition and has been reducing
by 2/3 the amount of space, the territory in Ukraine, and people need to
understand that when you say eastern Ukraine, there are eight provinces in
eastern Ukraine, six of which do not have these problems.
DOBRIANSKY: Only a third of which in these two provinces have issues.
HAYES: There`s this interesting statement put out by Putin today in
which he addresses the separatists rebels in eastern Ukraine as the
What`s the significance of that term?
DOBRIANSKY: It has to do with colonization and not treating Ukraine
as the people. It has to do with people like me, when I call news station
around the country when they don`t list it in the way the Ukrainians spell
in their ball clubs and they spell it in the Russian spelling. It`s
whenever anybody pronounces Donetsk as Donetsk or other names.
It`s a colonial system. It`s where other countries have fought
against colonial rule for centuries and finally get their recognition in
the West, and Ukraine doesn`t get that because we`ve been an oppressed
people for centuries.
HAYES: So, this is -- the term means "little Russia". It refers to
that part of the Ukraine and it was part of Russia when Russia had an
DOBRIANSKY: We were colonized, absolutely, yes. We were also
ethnically cleansed as Crimea was ethnically cleansed as well. So --
HAYES: What about the way folks in that part of Ukraine feel?
I want to play this. This is a "Washington Post" foreign
correspondent Michael Birnbaum talking to me a few days after the plane
went down. And I asked him, the folks -- the civilians running across, how
do they feel about what`s going on? Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL BIRNBAUM, WASHINGTON POST (via telephone): They, by in large,
are really angry with the Ukrainian military for what they see as an
offensive that does not make any distinguishing between the rebels who have
taken up arms and ordinary civilians. A lot of residential complexes have
been hit with artillery fire in the area around Donetsk. People are angry
about that. They feel paranoid about what the intentions of the government
in Kiev are for them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: What do you think of that?
DOBRIANSKY: This is, again, just propaganda coming out of Russia.
Even though it`s from Ukraine, those people are saying that, these people
are getting constantly bombarded by Russia --
HAYES: You don`t think there`s a legitimate grievance in that part of
the country either with military offensive or with Kiev?
DOBRIANSKY: A grievance with them?
DOBRIANSKY: Grievance enough to kill people, shoot down an airplane?
What`s the level of grievance?
HAYES: Right, right.
I guess my point is I think the obvious deceptiveness with which Putin
has engaged there, right, which we can all agree -- they crossed the border
accidentally, yes, right, sure, OK -- has perhaps skewered the fact there`s
a genuine political grievance in that part of Ukraine that is not just the
product of Russian propaganda or incursion.
DOBRIANSKY: There`s political grievance everywhere. There`s
political grievance in states in America. We don`t allow armed resistance.
That just doesn`t -- that`s not part of the equation.
HAYES: Andrij Dobriansky, thank you very much.
DOBRIANSKY: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: All right. The NFL announced today, a new policy on domestic
violence with very steep penalties for anyone who commits an offense.
HAYES: National Football League today introduced a sweeping new
policy on domestic violence, with by far the most punitive penalties of any
major professional sport. In a letter to all team owners, NFL Commissioner
Roger Goodell announced violations of the personal conduct policy regarding
assault, battery, domestic violence, sexual assault that involve physical
force, will be subject to enhanced discipline. That enhanced discipline
including a six-week suspension without pay for first offense -- and here`s
where things get very serious -- and for a second offense, banishment from
Goodell writing that a banished player may petition for reinstatement
after one year, but there will be no presumption or assurance that the
petition will be granted.
This announcement was a surprise today but didn`t exactly come out of
nowhere. Goodell and the NFL faced an avalanche of criticism last month
after Baltimore Ravens star player Ray Rice was suspended for two weeks
because for this incident caught on tape in an Atlantic City hotel elevator
which Rice appears to be dragging his then-fiancee from the elevator after
allegedly knocking her unconscious.
Just a month after defending the two-game suspension, Goodell now
admits Rice`s suspicion was not strong enough. "My disciplinary decisions
led the public to question our sincerity, our commitment and whether we
understood the toll that domestic violence inflicts on so many families. I
take responsibility both for the decision and for insuring our actions in
the future properly reflect our values. I simply didn`t get it right.
Simply put, we have to do better, and we will."
Joining me now, Political Analyst, Zerlina Maxwell. She is a
contributing writer at the grio.com. Bomani Jones, Co-Host of ESPN`s
"Highly Questionable." Bomani, your Twitter feed was interesting today,
because you were kind of wrestling through this.
And, I felt like I was wrestling through it in the same way, because
at one level, incredibly critical of Goodell`s decision on Ray Rice, and
the culture -- and not just NFL Professional Sports that sweeps domestic
violence under the rug. And, yet, there was something about this that did
not quite sit right with me. What did not sit right with you?
BOMANI JONES, CO-HOST ESPN`S "HIGHLY QUESTIONABLE": Well, it did not
sit right with me when I did not realize that there was supposed to be
legitimate outreach measures that were underlined passed all the talk about
punishment. That was the part that got me.
It seems like after the totally tone-deaf way that they handled it,
that the NFL seemed to think their solution was, "We are going to throw
more punishment out there and then that will make everybody happy." And, I
do think by in large that is what is going to happen. But, if there is
going to be underlying outreach behind this, then I do not wrestle with it
nearly as much as did before.
HAYES: Zerlina, what do you think of it?
ZERLINA MAXWELL, POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I thought it was -- it
looks like it is really a stiff penalty, but it is the devils in the
details because, you know, it is not a zero tolerance policy on domestic
violence, which I think we should all strive for, but it is a year
suspension with the right to appeal and then maybe you will have a lifetime
ban. So, it is a lifetime ban. It is almost like an Olivia pope
statement. It is in the headlines. We are all talking about it, but it is
not quite --
HAYES: OK. You just said zero tolerance. I think that is actually
why I first was a little uneasy about it, because why do you think there
should be a zero tolerance policy
MAXWELL: Because I think that we should expect for people not to hit
MAXWELL: And, if we do not have that bar set, and it becomes the
cultural norm, we are going to see this happening and get swept under the
HAYES: But, then is not there -- I guess my worry was about what are
the unintended consequences here?
HAYES: -- Of a policy like this. If you had a zero tolerance, if you
have a lifetime ban. Again, the appeal seems to shade it quite a bit.
HAYES: Which is what kind of perverse incentives do you start to
produce, which is do not call the cops.
MAXWELL: Right. Right.
HAYES: When you call the cops, now all of a sudden $100 million in
career income on the line.
HAYES: What is going to be brought to bear on you?
MAXWELL: I mean they are going to tell the women that --
MAXWELL: -- to not, you know, to not make the claim into lie and they
are going to blame the victims. But, that -- that is always going to
happen. So, again, for me, we have to shift the culture in order to make
it the zero tolerance just something across the board that we are all
HAYES: Bomani, how much do you think this affects behavior in the
right ways and wrong ways?
JONES: Well, I think the big issue that I have got with this as I
think about it and look more at it, I heard Goodell`s statement he gave
with this and I sure thought, "Boy, he sure says I and my a lot." A lot of
first person singular. As if as much of this is supposed to be reaffirming
the legend of the commissioner of the NFL, because his credibility became
really, really, tattered in the course of this, especially when people
compared that suspension to others for much less significant offenses.
So, when I see this through Goodell, I wonder about this issue that a
whole lot of people are looking for him to legislate the right and wrong of
the world and find that to be a little bit disturbing. I get the idea
that, no, people should not hit each other and with this issue you need,
basically, anybody to take a stand that is willing to. But, I remain
terribly uncomfortable with the idea that Roger Goodell is the arbiter of
right and wrong in this world.
HAYES: That was the other thing that bothered me. The interesting
wrinkle, Zerlina, as a lawyer that this is -- I think particularly
important, which is the reason Goodell can do this is because the NFL
player association is the weakest union --
HAYES: -- in professional sports -- and they would never allow him
the kind of latitude to issue the decree from up high.
MAXWELL: Right. And, I think what we are missing is that this sounds
like this is a new policy, but it is not a new policy. It could have
always suspended Ray Rice for six games or lifetime ban or one year --
HAYES: He has an insane amount of discretion.
MAXWELL: Exactly. So, I think, obviously, the structural issue in
terms of his power is not at issue here; but, again, cultural issue, not a
problem; only in the NFL, not a problem; only in college, not a problem,
only in Steubenville. It is a cultural shift that needs to take place.
HAYES: And, that is part of it also in terms of what Bomani is
saying. It also feels a little bit like this is a kind of thing where a
lot of people can say, "Oh, yes, those big jacked up dudes in the NFL."
HAYES: "They are the Neanderthals that engage in domestic violence."
HAYES: "The NFL has a domestic violence problem and now they are
getting tough on it."
MAXWELL: And, everybody is like, "Look, we are doing so much better"
and we are not. Domestic violence is a problem in all socioeconomic
statuses. It is in all cultures and all neighborhoods. It is something
that we all have to deal with and it is not something that is a private
issue. And, that is one of the things, too, I think people have an
uncomfortable -- a level of uncomfortability with dealing with domestic
violence. They think it is somebody else`s business.
HAYES: This is also, Bomani, I always remember that summer in which
Ben Roethlisberger star, Pittsburgh Steelers Quarterback, was accused by
multiple women of sexual assault. There was never a conviction or a plea,
but there were multiple accusations. And, I think it was the next year
when all of a sudden they were doing this breast cancer stuff with the pink
and it just felt like the most crass, reactionary Pr management of the
issue and this feels like that as well.
JONES: It always works.
HAYES: That is true. That is completely true.
JONES: You can never lose with more punishment. People really get
off on punishment. You, absolutely, cannot lose with more punishment.
Because one thing the NFL did not talk about with this and I think is a
compelling issue, which is how does this game affect the way these guys and
brains being battered and everything else? How does this affect their
behavior down the line? I think the NFL has a lot of inward questions too
to be asking.
HAYES: Zerina Maxwell and Bomani Jones, thank you both.
MAXWELL: Thank you.
HAYES: President said something today that had his press secretary
immediately taking to Twitter and giving all sorts of interview, including
to me, to clarify what the President said. Ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRES. BARACK OBAMA, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I do not want to put
the cart before the horse. We do not have a strategy yet. I think what I
have seen in some of the news reports suggests that folks are getting a
little further ahead of where we are at than we currently are.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: President Obama sporting a tan suit that got a lot of mention
on Twitter, was in the midst of answering a question about whether he would
need approval from congress to take the fight against ISIS into Syria.
When he delivered the line, his critics have already seized upon to blast
him on foreign policy. "We do not have a strategy yet."
During a summer in which it seems the entire world has been aflame in
conflict, the President`s cautions, circumspection and continued refusal to
take the kind of big bold action pushed by foreign policy critics from both
sides of the aisle has made his foreign policy a popular political target.
It has all been pretty consistent with what has been widely reported to be
the President`s driving foreign policy concept, "Do not do stupid stuff."
White House Press Secretary, Josh Ernest was quick to clarify the
President`s remarks about his specific strategy to fight ISIS, quote, "In
his remarks today, President was explicit as he has been in the past about
the comprehensive strategy we will use to confront ISIL threat." I asked
Josh Ernest just a little while ago exactly what needed to be clarified
about the President`s statement.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSH ERNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: It is really important for
people to understand what the President`s approach is. The President was
asked specifically about the options that are available to him. The
military options that are available to him for dealing with ISIL in Syria.
And, the fact of the matter is the Pentagon and the defense department
is still hard at work on developing those options. The President is still
considering how those options might fit into the broader more comprehensive
strategy that the President has already laid out for dealing with ISIL.
But, the fact of the matter --
HAYES: OK --
ERNEST: -- so, if you will allow me --
ERNEST: Let me talk about what the comprehensive strategy actually
is. There are five components to that strategy. The first is the
President believes, and this is most important one, the President believes
that Iraq`s political leaders need to unite that country, unite the country
of Iraq to confront the existential threat that ISIL poses to their
HAYES: Josh, wait, can I stop you on one?
HAYES: That is not -- given what the Iraq political system has looked
like since the American invasion in 2003, if item one on your strategy is
Iraq has to do something that it has not yet ever done as a political
entity, which is find some genuine cross-confessional national unity to
take on ISIS, you know -- OK, fine, sure, but that is like saying, you
know, if ISIS just goes away tomorrow is the first plank of our strategy.
ERNEST: Not really, Chris, because the stakes for Iraq`s political
leaders and for that country have never been higher. They face an
existential threat that is posed by this violent extremist organization.
And, so, it has never been more in the interests of Iraq`s political
leaders to set aside their sectarian differences and to focus on the common
enemy that is posed by ISIL.
So, there is a clear motivation for them that may not have existed
before. So, there is some optimism and that is evidenced by the fact that
they have actually made progress in the last several weeks in putting
together the elements of a diverse leadership for that country.
Now, there is more work to do. They still to have form a cabinet, but
they have made progress in terms of appointing a speaker, a couple deputy
speakers and a Kurdish President. They now have in place a Shia Prime
That Shia Prime Minister needs to form a cabinet, and once that is
done, you will have an inclusive government in Iraq that can unite the
country to face the threat that is posed by ISIL. This is not an easy
situation. It is not an easy solution, but it is the most important one.
And, it has never been more clearly in the interest of Iraq`s political
leaders to do it.
HAYES: So, OK. That all sounds sensible, whether it is going to
happen or not is sort of a different question, but that is a completely
sensible approach. Before getting to the strategy, though, there seems a
fundamental existential question. Is United States presently at war with
ISIS? Yes or no?
ERNEST: Well, no, Chris. What we are doing is we are working very
aggressively with international partners, with Iraqi and Kurdish Security
Forces to take the steps necessary to mitigate the threat that is posed by
ISIL. There are couple of ways in which we are doing that is really
The first is, the President has already authorized military action in
Iraq to protect American personnel that are in Iraq. So, it was American
military strikes were consequential to blunting ISIL`s advance on Erbil,
where there is an American consulate.
American military strikes have also been beneficial in helping Iraq
security forces retake the Mosul Dam. The destruction of the Mosul Dam
would have also posed a threat to the safety and security of American
personnel in Iraq.
HAYES: And, those both seem from sort of the kind of tactical pursuit
of American interests and protection of American forces, both victories in
the short term. But, let me ask you this.
The first airstrikes against ISIL, or ISIS or IS, whatever you call
them, the first airstrikes came in response to humanitarian emergency at
Mt. Sinjar with the Yezidis, there is reporting today that we have not done
a humanitarian drop since August 13th. We are still bombing.
Convince me this has not just been either a bait and switch or mission
creep, when what started as a limited humanitarian mission to get the
people off the mountain is now the Mosul Dam, and Erbil and a comprehensive
strategy to vanquish ISIS?
ERNEST: Well, Chris, the President was clear when he initially
authorized military strikes, and there would be two purposes associated
with it. The first would be the protection of American personnel and that
was blunting the advance on Erbil and helping Iraq`s security forces retake
the Mosul Dam. Those elements of critical infrastructure are critical to
making sure that American personnel in Iraq remain safe.
The second element of the strategy was to use American military force
to prevent a humanitarian disaster. You had ISIL forces promising a
genocide against the Yezidis and other racial and ethic minorities in Iraq.
The President has authorized military strikes and thanks to the service and
courage and skill of our men and women in uniform. Those two elements over
the last three or four weeks had been very successful.
HAYES: Josh Ernest, White House Press Secretary. The man with the
second-most scrutinized job in Washington today after President Barack
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Why are neoconservatives so into Hillary Clinton? That answer
HAYES: The White House is struggling a bit to describe its foreign
policy strategy right now. It is not alone. Events have come together
this summer in such a way as to throw the normal politics of foreign policy
into chaos. We are facing two different ongoing conflicts.
One, featuring Russia and Ukraine, the other involving the militant
group known as ISIS among others in Iraq and Syria. And, conflicts are so
messy, complex, and utterly lacking in good options or clear answers, they
have scattered the Washington power structure into the fore winds as
everyone scrambles to try to figure out what to do.
Add to that confusion, the continued conservation of Hillary Clinton
by neoconservatives, which is brought to ahead on her own very hawkish
sounding interview with Jeffrey Goldberg earlier this month in which she
criticized the President for failing to intervene enough in Syria.
And, do not forget the growing anti-intervention strain in the
Republican Party led by Kentucky`s Junior Senator Rand Paul, who threw down
the gauntlet today in an Op-Ed published in the "Wall Street Journal"
attacking Hillary Clinton`s foreign policy from the left.
Quote, "We are lucky, Mrs. Clinton did not get her way and the Obama
administration did not bring about regime change in Syria. That new regime
might well be ISIS." So, it seems that is possible, we could be headed
toward a 2016 race in which the left and right have essentially switched
foreign policy positions in some major ways.
Joining me now, writer and foreign policy analyst, Ali Gharib and Dan
Klaidman, Deputy Editor of Yahoo News, author of "Kill or Capture: The War
On Terror And The Soul Of Obama Presidency."
It does seem like everyone -- Aside from a few people who we know
where they are going to be. Lindsey Graham and John McCain, I think it is
fair to say, Barbara Lee, for instance, in the Democratic Party who is the
only member of congress to vote against the original authorization use of
military force. There is just no matrix for -- there is a lot of criticism
of the President, but the politics of all this seem remarkably influx to
DAN KLAIDMAN, DEPUTY EDITOR OF YAHOO NEWS: Yes. Look, well, first of
all, it is incredibly messy, violent world right now that does not really
lend itself to overarching theories of the case.
KLAIDMAN: and what the doctrine ought to be.
KLAIDMAN: And then, you know, you have got obviously, you know, we
have been at war for a very long time and so it is a war-wary nation. And,
that plays into --
HAYES: Deeply. Let is be clear here --
KLAIDMAN: Deeply. Deeply. Deeply.
HAYES: -- Like poll after poll after poll --
HAYES: -- on everything is, no, no, thank you, no thank you, no thank
you, no thank you.
KLAIDMAN: And, then you got Rand Paul who is testing this libertarian
moment and obviously this is a position that plays well with his base with
younger voters. And, then there are generational issues at play here, too.
Remember, Hillary Clinton came up in politics at a time when, in her
formative years when, you know -- democrats were pushing back very
aggressively against the --
HAYES: Yes. The McGovernites -- The pacifism and weakness.
KLAIDMAN: The weakness on terror in national security, more
HAYES: Right. Do you think that -- the Rand Paul thing to me, the
dynamics of the Republican Party have always struck me in such that even if
there is anti-interventionist sentiment in the base, the big funders and
donor class are all very hawkish and none of this is going to wash out.
But, it does seem to me that things are aligning in such a way that you
could see someone like that actually getting further politically than they
would have four years ago certainly.
ALI GHARIB, FOREIGN POLICY ANALYST: Yes. I mean, I think that is
true. And, to look at this kind of swing among the elites as compared to,
say, George W. Bush`s first term. Look at what happened when Obama said he
was going to bring the vote for Syria action to congress. A lot of people
say that Putin and his deal for a Syrian chemical weapons bailed out Obama.
But, the truth is, it bailed out John McCain.
GHARIB: He was going to lose that vote in congress.
GHARIB: Obama and John McCain were on the same side. Therefore, they
are strikes and they were going to lose. And, it is a different political
landscape with intervention that we are looking at now that is driven in
part by the Tea Party. And, there is elite donor money behind the Tea
HAYES: And, it also strikes me. It is just difficult to articulate
restraint. I mean or is it just difficult to articulate at least to the
kind of foreign policy elites who are leveraging the most criticism, like,
we are just not going to go around and do a lot of stuff.
KLAIDMAN: You know -- But, look, this could change quickly, and so
there is peril for Rand Paul and for, you know, anyone out there who is
suggesting that we should be pulling back and not intervening at all. All
it would take would be one attack domestically. And, look at the reaction
understandably because it was so brutal. But, look at the reaction to Jim
Foley, the journalist who was beheaded. There are lots of other --
HAYES: That is a descriptive truth about the politics but it does
drive me crazy. Because the fact the matter is no one cares about the fact
that Libya is a complete mess in which we did intervene -- I mean no covers
it. It is like Tripoli -- Militia has control of Tripoli and the whole
thing is a basket case.
And, the fact of the matter is, if there were to be an attack, you
look at ISIS like, "We made ISIS. We helped make ISIS in the Iraq war."
Right? So, it is very easy to sort of identify the costs of non-action,
but the cause of action are always there. You are choosing a
counterfactual between those two.
KLAIDMAN: Absolutely. I mean if you look at the ISIS` leadership, a
lot of these people are former generals.
HAYES: Iraqi soldiers.
KLAIDMAN: Right. Exactly. Iraqi soldiers who had no place to go, as
they saw it.
HAYES: Yes. Ali Gharib and Dan Klaidman. Thank you very much. All
right. We will be right back.
HAYES: All right. We have only got a few days left until the
unofficial end of summer, Labor Day weekend. And, whatever your summer has
been like, it has been a rough, brutal news summer. There is actually some
very good news to report today on a variety of fronts. Before we bring
that to you, we have this important video, the doggy pool party to kick
HAYES: OK. The good news. Health care. Remember Obamacare, that
big controversial piece of legislation? Well, we learned today that more
citizens of Pennsylvania are going to have access to Medicaid-style
coverage. Republican Governor there, announcing today the federal
government had approved his healthy P.A. Plan, a win for the 500,000 people
who will qualify for federal subsidies to purchase private insurance.
In Arkansas, a red state, that also agreed to a privatized version of
Medicaid expansion. An announcement came this week that premiums for that
exchange for next year are going to be 2 percent lower. Also a victory.
And, that is not the only health care cost containment news. Huge news out
of the Medicare trust.
Medicare costs for 2019, now projected to be $95 billion less than the
original projections four years ago according to "The New York Times."
That is more money than the government was expected to spend that year on
unemployment insurance, welfare, and Amtrak combined, or more depressingly,
1/5 of projected Pentagon budget.
Remember when the federal budget deficit was the number one issue and
people were in the streets rending their garments over it? Oh, yes, by the
way, that is down now to 3 percent of GDP, the lowest level since 2007
according to this congressional budget office. And, the revision today on
GDP growth in the second quarter has it up to 4.2 percent after a 2.1
percent decline in the first quarter.
So, economy growing, deficit shrinking, long-term health care costs
shrinking. Also, good news in Massachusetts today. RDT is back. Back at
the helm of Market Basket. Earlier this summer, we brought you the
incredible story of the epic family feud that almost brought down a
supermarket chain in New England.
Customers boycotted and employees rallied to bring back the CEO they
loved Arthur T. Demoulas, after he was forced out by the board and his
rival cousin, Arthur S. Demoulas. Well, Arthie T. had kept the prices low,
although all paying employees well above interesting standards.
And, after months of negotiations and conservative worker action,
Arthur S. and his supporters have agreed to sell Artie T. their shares.
So, welcome back, Artie T., and congratulations, employees of Market
Basket. At least someone had a good summer. That is "All In" for the
evening. "The Rachel Maddow Show" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: My extended family is very, very invested
in the Market Basket thing. It is sort of the biggest thing that has
happened to my family in years.
HAYES: It is a great story. The one we are seeing today, I was like,
it is like the Arab spring over there right now.
MADDOW: Yes, exactly.
HAYES: I cannot get over it.
MADDOW: In New England, Market Basket is bigger than every other
story in the country combined. I know it, man. Thanks.
HAYES: Have a good night.
MADDOW: And, thanks to you at home as well for staying with us this
next hour. There is a lot to come on the show tonight regardless of Market
Basket including the President making a dramatic and much anticipated
afternoon announcement today in which he said, "We are not going to
freaking war in Syria."
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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