'The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell' for Monday, September 8th, 2014
Read the transcript to the Monday show
THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL
September 8, 2014
Guest: Nancy Armour, Mike Wise, Kim Gandy, Annemarie McAvoy, Adam O`Neill,
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Great show. Thanks. We`re proud of you.
That does it for us tonight. We`ll see you again tomorrow. Now it`s time
for "THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL."
Good evening, Lawrence.
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Hey, Rachel, you can -- you can accept
that trophy as a birthday present. Happy birthday. You`re 6 years old
MADDOW: That`s right. The RACHAEL MADDOW SHOW turned old enough to go to
O`DONNELL: That`s right.
MADDOW: Thanks. Cheers, man. Thanks.
O`DONNELL: Thanks a lot, Rachel.
Well, video changes everything and today video changed the life of Ray
Rice, it changed the future of every NFL player and possibly and every
professional sports player in America who manages to get caught inflicting
domestic violence. And we have a right to believe that it just might
change America`s understanding of domestic violence.
This may turn out to be the most important and impactful video of domestic
violence ever released in this country.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC`S "ALL IN": Tonight, the NFL finds itself at the center
of a firestorm.
JOHN HARBAUGH, HEAD COACH, BALTIMORE RAVENS: We came to the decision that
we came to, to release Ray.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Contract terminated.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Baltimore Ravens have terminated running back Ray
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC`S "HARDBALL": And suspended indefinitely by the
National Football League.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After a new surveillance video was released by TMZ
Sports showing the NFL star knocking out his then-fiancee back in February.
HARBAUGH: It charged things, of course. It made things a little bit
MATTHEWS: Rice was charged with felony assault back in March.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He accepted an intervention program in order to avoid
MATTHEWS: Rice got a slap on the wrist, a two-game suspension.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The punishment was in no way adequate.
RAY RICE, BALTIMORE RAVENS RUNNING BACK: I apologize to my fans. I failed
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They held this press conference with Ray Rice and his
JANAY PALMER RICE, RAY RICE`S WIFE: I do deeply regret the role that I
played in the incident that night.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Blaming the victim. Having her apologized.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: By doing that, they are re-victimizing her. It
defies every moral code around domestic violence.
MATTHEWS: They cared more about Ray`s playing on the field than they did
about his violent behavior off.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The entire thing stunk.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That should have willful (INAUDIBLE) by the Ravens,
by the NFL.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did they know and when did they know it?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: As the Los Angeles Police officers who went to prison for
beating Rodney King can tell you, video changes everything. And today, a
video released by TMZ Sports changed everything for professional football
player Ray Rice.
Here`s what his coach said after watching the video.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HARBAUGH: It`s something we saw for the first time today, you know, all of
this. And it changed things, of course. You know, it made things a little
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: It actually made things a lot different. A lot different for
every player in the NFL, starting with Ray Rice, who was first fired by his
team today and immediately after that, indefinitely suspended by the NFL,
quote, "based on the new video evidence that became available today,"
unquote, according to a statement released by NFL commissioner Roger
Ray Rice`s coach explained how the video made it an easy decision.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HARBAUGH: We had a chance after seeing something this morning, seeing the
video this morning we had a chance to get together with Steve, Dick, Ozzy,
and myself. And we had a meeting. It was not a long meeting. We came to
the decision that we came to, to release Ray. And that`s what we did.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: And here is that video that changed everything today.
Joining me now is sportswriter for "USA Today," Nancy Armour. Also joining
me is sports columnist for the "Washington Post" Mike Wise.
Nancy, first of all, to the issue of this is the first time we at the
Ravens team or we at the NFL offices are seeing this video, what is the
credibility of that?
NANCY ARMOUR, USA TODAY: Hi, Lawrence. To me, it`s not great. If it was
the first time that they were seeing this video, it`s because it was the
first time that they wanted to see this video. This is a group that gets
taped on, you know, seventh round draft picks that can tell you X, Y, and Z
about them. And there`s no way.
They have also incredible ties to law enforcement officials from, you know,
the federal level to the state level to the local level. They -- there`s
no way that they didn`t see this video unless they didn`t want to see it.
O`DONNELL: And Mike Wise, the press release that the Atlantic City Police
put out about the arrests in this case said right there in the first day,
it said it was based on, after reviewing surveillance footage. So it was
right there in the press release after reviewing surveillance footage
that`s how they put up the complaint against Ray Rice. And no one at the
NFL or at the team made any attempts to review that very same surveillance
MIKE WISE, WASHINGTON POST COLUMNIST: I mean, there is some negligence
going on here, not just at the local level, the Atlantic City District
Attorney`s Office, but the NFL, the Baltimore Ravens, what bothered me
about this was not so much that TMZ essentially became your discipline lord
today with the release of their video, but you knew what had happened in
And the notion that they didn`t actually act on what they knew before, the
idea that a woman in the earlier video would have Janay Palmer being pulled
by hair -- she`s out one shoe in the elevator, how she would possibly get
that way other than being knocked unconscious. And he`d never -- Ray Rice
has never refuted that he hit his wife in that elevator. It bothers me to
know that the NFL and the Ravens needed video evidence inside the elevator
before they took action.
O`DONNELL: Nancy, I want us to take a look at this tweet that the Ravens
put out. Back when the very first video was released, again, by TMZ on
this, and that was video from just outside the elevator, after the punch,
after the knockout punch. It showed her being taken out of the elevator.
They released this tweet saying, "Janay Rice says she deeply regrets the
role that she played the night of the incident."
ARMOUR: Yes, nice, isn`t it? Blaming the victim. That never should have
happened. The fact that they had her sitting next to Ray Rice at his news
conference, they couldn`t have been more tone-deaf throughout this whole
investigation if they tried. And, you know, it`s great that something was
done today, but it shouldn`t have taken the video to come out.
As Mike said, you saw the video of her unconscious. She didn`t trip and
fall in that elevator. He admitted that he struck his wife. And
unfortunately, for most domestic violence victims, they don`t have video to
protect them. It shouldn`t have -- it should not have taken this for the
NFL to act, for the Ravens to act, for them to put -- you know, to take a
strong stance on this.
O`DONNELL: Go ahead, Mike.
WISE: It should be mentioned, Lawrence, that a lot of people skipped over
this fact. Nancy said not only were they at the press conference together,
Peter King of "Monday Morning Quarterback Sports Illustrated" fame had
reported in June that Ray Rice and Janay Rice went into an office with
Roger Goodell, an office that would help inform him on discipline, and he
was there with the Ravens` president Dick Cass and the Ravens` general
manager Ozzie Newsome, along with Jeff Pash, Adolpho Birch, his two
Roger Goodell tried to play, basically, domestic violence counselor at a
time when nobody in law enforcement or domestic violence would put the
perpetrator and the victim in the same room together to talk about and give
their stories just for the mere purpose of maybe she was coerced or maybe
she didn`t feel comfortable telling the truth. It`s something you don`t
do. And it goes to what Nancy said. The tone-deafness is on such a level,
I`m calling for Roger Goodell`s job tomorrow in the "Washington Post."
O`DONNELL: Nancy, the -- there seems to be a precedent here now. One
punch gets you cut from your team and then suspended indefinitely by the
league. And then the next one of these cases it`s probably unlikely to
O`DONNELL: And so what will the standard then be without video? Will
someone in Roger Goodell`s office sit there and decide, well, you know, how
hard was the punch? You know, was the woman knocked out? You know, how
are they going to evaluate this?
I just don`t see how you can take the next case and say, well, he didn`t
hit her quite as hard as Ray Rice did, so, you know, let`s see, and we
won`t cut him, and we won`t suspend him for very long.
ARMOUR: Well, and the NFL has two test cases right on its docket right
now. Ray McDonald from the 49ers was arrested on suspicion of domestic
violence. He played on Sunday. Greg Hardy from the Carolina Panthers is
playing after he`s appealing his conviction for assaulting his former
girlfriend and threatening to kill her.
It should not -- you shouldn`t need video. If you -- if you hit a woman,
if you abuse a woman, if you leave scratches and marks on her neck, what
more do you need? You know, it shouldn`t take video for the NFL to say no.
This is unacceptable. And I think that you`re going to see, going forward,
that they are not going to have a choice but to take a strong stand because
the public -- most of the public is outraged.
And the NFL coming up next month for Breast Cancer Awareness is going to be
trying out their pink jerseys and their pink cleats and their pink gloves,
all of which you can buy, by the way, you know, to show that they care so
much about women. And they`re going to have to show now that they care
about them for the next 11 months out of the year, too.
O`DONNELL: So, Mike, before Roger Goodell tomorrow follows your advice and
resigns in disgrace, should he apply the Ray Rice standard to the other
cases that Nancy was just talking about?
WISE: Yes, he should. And I don`t -- this is a guy who was giving all-
knowing powers by the last -- in the last collective bargaining agreement.
This is a guy who`s thought to be the lord of discipline and has been
criticized in the past for being too stringent. Two games for knocking
your fiancee, significant other, whatever, out in an elevator when other
players like Wes Welker getting four games for amphetamines and others are
getting four games for marijuana, there is just no consistency there.
There should be a public outcry, public outrage, and I just think the NFL
at this point, with everything it has -- with everything it`s given to
America has to be -- has to have more social value than just bringing the
gladiators on Sunday. They have to give this country a little bit more
O`DONNELL: Mike Wise of the "Washington Post" and Nancy Armour of "USA
Today," thank you both for joining me tonight.
WISE: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: Coming up, why that video of Ray Rice punching the woman who
became his wife, we can hope will change how we talk about domestic
And a LAST WORD exclusive also tonight, Senator Al Franken will join me.
And later, why doctors are so worried about a dangerous respiratory virus
that`s affected hundreds of children. Expected to affect thousands more
across the country. This is not the common cold. This is dangerous. It`s
O`DONNELL: If you are so moved, go to our Facebook page tonight and tell
us what you think, what you felt watching that Ray Rice video. We`re going
to actually show more of it in our next segment.
I think it`s very, very important video. Tell us if that`s the first time
you`ve seen domestic violence. And if it isn`t, tell us what it makes you
feel about what you`ve experienced already in this area -- this terrible,
So next we`re going to discuss why this tape of Ray Rice and Janay Palmer
is just so important, uniquely important, I think, to our understanding of
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: You have seen the president and
the vice president make very forceful public comments in talking about how
important it is for men, in particular, to step up and step forward and
make clear that violence against women is something that is -- is not and
cannot be tolerated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: That was the White House press secretary today commenting on
the release of the new video of Ray Rice, punching and knocking out the
mother of his only child.
The video released today represents a turning point, I think, in America`s
understanding of domestic violence of just how bad it is.
If you`re one of the lucky ones who has never seen domestic violence in
action, then you are fortunate enough to be shocked by that video today,
but women and men and children who have been in those situations, who have
witnessed those things up close, did not have the luxury of being shocked
It is much like America`s reaction to the Rodney King beating by Los
Angeles Police which was captured on video 23 years ago. Most Americans
were shocked by the Rodney King video, but not Americans -- not all
Americans, especially black Americans who had seen such things or heard of
such things from people close to them.
The Rodney King video showed people just how bad police could be. The
officers involved eventually went to federal prison.
But no one is going to go to prison for what happened on that elevator in
Atlantic City, because Ray Rice was given a standard deal offered to first-
time offenders, which is to say first-time-they`ve-been-caught offenders,
he will be convicted of nothing after clearly on videotape committing this
In an agreement with prosecutors, Ray Rice has entered a program to train
him to stop beating his wife.
Joining me now is Kim Gandy, president and CEO of the National Network to
End Domestic Violence. She met with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in
August to help outline the NFL`s new domestic violence policy. Also NBC
News legal analyst Lisa Bloom is here and former federal prosecutor
Kim Gandy, first of all, your reaction to the NFL`s action today especially
based on your conversations with Mr. Goodell?
KIM GANDY, MET WITH NFL ON POLICY: There`s no question they`ve done the
right thing. This gave them a second opportunity to do the right thing,
having recognized that they didn`t get it right the first time.
O`DONNELL: And Annemarie, in New Jersey, is this a standard outcome for a
so-called first offender?
ANNEMARIE MCAVOY, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: It depends. They actually
have a carve out first. If there is violence involved -- and clearly there
was significant violence involved in this case. So there was no reason
that they had to enter this kind of an agreement with him. Because of the
type of situation it was they could have and probably should have at least
presented it to a grand jury and let a grand jury decide what to do.
O`DONNELL: There is, Lisa Bloom, an incredible outrage by the Atlantic
City police and the officers who showed up on the scene there. Officer
Cuong Sam actually filed a complaint against the woman who`s knocked out on
the floor out cold. She was charged with the same thing. The same thing
that Rice was charged with.
LISA BLOOM, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: Absolutely outrageous. It`s the fallacy
of false equivalents. And I see this in my the law practice in domestic
violence cases all the time. Both are making allegations against the
other. We`re going to charge them both, enter restraining orders against
both of them. We saw that in the George Zimmerman case for example. And
then it all just somehow goes away.
To equate a woman who is knocked unconscious with a man who is completely
unscathed is completely preposterous, and that`s what seems to have
O`DONNELL: Yes. And the Atlantic City Police press release on this says
after reviewing the surveillance footage, it appeared both parties were
involved in a physical altercation. That is an absolute lie.
And Kim Gandy, there are people who are, you know, calling for Goodell`s
job. This officer who reviewed that footage and I urge everyone to go to
TMZ Sport where you can see the entire footage, see what happens outside
the elevator and see if you can find any reason to charge this woman for
being the victim of her now husband.
GANDY: It is unfortunately common. It happens in police departments all
over the country where mutual arrest is extremely common. Sometimes police
officers are just annoyed that they`ve been called out to the same house
yet again. And they say, well, I`m going to arrest you both, going to send
the kids off to foster care or off to be detained somewhere overnight. And
then sometimes she`ll say, wait, wait, wait, don`t send my kids away. I`ll
drop the charges so that I can take them home.
GANDY: It really is terrible what happens in some departments. Other
police departments are absolutely models and understand the issue and are
well-trained and handle these cases properly, but it varies so much from
one jurisdiction to another.
O`DONNELL: But, Annemarie, what Kim was just describing that that kind of
case normally doesn`t involve a video.
MCAVOY: Well, that`s the thing. Here you have --
O`DONNELL: It`s usually one of them saying --
O`DONNELL: You know, she hit me, and then it`s his word against her word
and they have to sort it out and so they do that double complaint business.
MCAVOY: That`s right.
O`DONNELL: This police officer looked at the video footage that we are all
looking at all day today, and he, this officer, let me say his name to
America one more time. Officer Cuong Sam, he decided that that woman
knocked out cold needed to face exactly the same charges as the guy who
knocked her out cold.
MCAVOY: Now assuming that he saw the video of what happens inside the
elevator, it`s hard to imagine how that could be the case. But also you
have the D.A.`s office who I would assume also had access to the -- all of
the surveillance. Not just what happened outside but what happened inside
the elevator, and they also have an obligation to look at it and look at
the evidence they have, and even if she doesn`t want to cooperate, because
that`s often the case in domestic violence cases.
In this case you have so much evidence outside of the victim, so even if
she doesn`t want to testify or she doesn`t want to take part in it, they
had all of this evidence. It`s hard to understand why they wouldn`t have
at least put it before a grand jury.
O`DONNELL: I`m going to show you another piece of video that occurred
there, from -- taken from inside the -- if we have it. Do we have it,
control room? From inside the elevator.
Let`s show that now.
Now look at this. She is left on the floor and possibly a hotel employee -
- we don`t know who that is. That guy has come into the scene and he
doesn`t touch her. He doesn`t try to help her in any way. All he does is
prevent the elevator door from crashing on her. That`s all he does. And
then the first person to actually touch her to try to help her is a woman.
You see her hand coming in right there.
This woman, the first female to arrive on the scene, Lisa Bloom, is the
only person moved to offer any kind of aid in that scene.
BLOOM: And you know what`s disturbing, when you watch the video as we have
been, he doesn`t -- Ray Rice doesn`t seem shocked at all by the fact that
he`s just knocked out his fiancee.
O`DONNELL: Not a bit. Not a bit.
BLOOM: He doesn`t seem surprised. He moves very slowly and calmly, so
when you said this is the first time that we know about, you really have to
wonder. Also he doesn`t render any aid to her. In fact, he leaves her --
her feet in the door so if the elevator door had been closing it would have
hit her. He leaves her skirt hiked up. He doesn`t have the decency to
even pull back down.
And there`s only a couple of terrible choices here. Either the NFL and the
prosecutors knew about this video and didn`t care and gave him the slap on
the wrist anyway or they didn`t know. They didn`t look at an elevator
video from an Atlantic City hotel where the incident actually occurred.
They didn`t ask for it or they didn`t want to see it. I mean, there`s no
good answer for any of this.
O`DONNELL: And Kim Gandy, the complexities for the women involved are
very, very, very difficult in these cases. We`ve already mentioned the
possibility of losing your children and losing custody of your children and
that changes people`s stories in order to make everything fixed.
Well, also, there`s income involved and whether -- you know, whether your
husband works minimum wage, you know, at the 7-Eleven or works in the NFL,
that is your income, your income as the wife that is at stake here. That
is the income that supports your child that is at stake here, that is at
risk. And now as of today, that income has gone to zero.
GANDY: That`s right. That`s right. But I don`t think that the family is
destitute. I`m sure that he will be able to support himself and his family
for the coming year, if they remain a family. And he is eligible for
reinstatement in a year. So I think that that fact gives him real
incentive to walk the straight and narrow and not to re-abuse. And that`s
obviously what we hope for.
The NFL has admitted that they got this wrong. And I believe that they`re
committed to working publicly to having a public facing campaign on
domestic violence that will raise awareness. We have a petition on our Web
site asking them to wear purple in the month of October, Domestic Violence
Awareness Month as we`ve seen them wearing pink for Breast Cancer
They have a tremendous potential for raising public awareness.
O`DONNELL: Kim, since you`ve had conversations with the NFL about this, do
you think that that possibility of reinstatement in a year is a proper
punishment and a proper possibility to leave open?
GANDY: I think it depends on the circumstances. He`s given the
possibility by the criminal justice system of having his slate completely
wiped clean, not even a record of an arrest after a year. And so you know,
it`s not entirely inconsistent with the way domestic violence cases are --
or handled by prosecutors.
O`DONNELL: Lisa, it seems to me, I just don`t know how, if you`re the NFL,
how you don`t apply this standard to the other cases they have right now in
that league. And every one going forward. That if you get caught in one
of these incidents. That`s it. You are cut from the team, and you follow
this standard from now.
BLOOM: Right. You know, two wrongs doesn`t make a right. The fact that
the prosecutors blew it doesn`t mean that the NFL should then give him a
BLOOM: They clearly need a lot of education about domestic violence. Is
this really so hard in the 21st century? You take your fist and you knock
out a woman. And, you know, we have to really discuss with the NFL that
that`s a bad thing? That that`s a shameful thing?
O`DONNELL: Yes, you do because they`ve been operating as --
BLOOM: But you need to do -- why is it so hard to understand?
O`DONNELL: They`ve been operating as it`s no big deal.
And Annemarie, without video, this would still be no big deal in the NFL
and it would be no big deal forever.
MCAVOY: Well, and this is unfortunately, when we look at domestic violence
cases this is often what we wind up with, where we don`t have video, and
where women are abused, and they can`t prove it because it`s he said versus
she said, and they wind up where the abuser, as is clear in this case,
walks, gets very little punishment if anything and in fact is then enabled
to continue abusing and in fact empowered and emboldened by it.
And undoubtedly this is not the first time -- usually when these cases,
when you look at domestic violence, it starts out where it`s -- it starts
out small and it becomes bigger and bigger and bigger what they do. So if
he had gotten away with this who knows what is could happen next. And even
now who knows. The woman is living with her. I would be very frightened
if I were her and I would suspect that she is.
O`DONNELL: Well, you know, when you hook for the question of was this the
first time, the only evidence we have to look at, and it wouldn`t be usable
in court is, what is his reaction? If he was doing this for the first time
in his life, he would be shocked at what he just did. He is so casual and
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And callous toward her.
O`DONNELL: After doing what he just stood -- yes.
We`ve got to go. We`re out of time.
Kim Gandy, Lisa Bloom and Annemarie McAvoy, thank you very much for joining
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, thank you.
O`DONNELL: Coming up, Senator Al Franken is here. He hasn`t been here in
a while. He does this very rarely. You`re going to want to listen to the
big reason he`s here. He`s trying to do something that`s really the hard
way to do it. That`s next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AL FRANKEN (D), MINNESOTA SENATOR: The American people know this is wrong.
The American people know that. They know that the Citizens United, that
these negative, poisonous, untruthful ads have just proliferated, and they
know this is wrong.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: In the spotlight tonight, Senator Al Franken tries to do
campaign finance reform the hard way.
Tonight, in a rare bipartisan vote, the United States Senate voted 79-18 to
proceed to debate on something huge, a constitutional amendment. The
amendment would, in effect overturn the Supreme Court decision in the
Citizens United Campaign Finance Case.
Joining me now for an exclusive interview Minnesota Senator Al Franken, a
co-sponsor of that amendment.
Senator Franken, how did you get 79 votes today in the senate? I mean for
anything but on something huge like this. This is astonishing.
FRANKEN: Well Lawrence, I don`t want to disillusion you. I know you`re a
staff director in the Finance Committee under Chairman Moynihan. But
sometimes procedural votes are - sometimes taken for cynical reasons. And
every time we`ve tried to reverse Citizens United, the Republicans have
stopped us. And I think this was this vote was taken to really slow down
action in the senate on other things, on minimum wage, on equal pay on
student loans, so.
I, every time we`ve tried to reverse this horrible decision made on a 5-4
basis to put in undisclosed and unlimited amounts of money into campaigns,
we`ve been stopped by the Republicans. And I don`t think we`re -- I would
love to think that we`re going to pass this, but we`re not.
O`DONNELL: Well, Ted Olsen who argued the Citizens United case to Supreme
Court wrote to "the Wall Street Journal," yesterday about this. He said
when politicians seek to restrict political speech, it is invariably to
protect their own incumbency and avoid having to defend their policies in
the market place of ideas. What`s your reaction to that?
FRANKEN: This is not about that. This is unlimited undisclosed money of
the majority of American people, vast majority know that this is wrong.
We`ve seen, since between 2008 and 2012, those two Presidential Elections,
we saw outside money triple from over --- just about $330 million to over
And this is undisclosed, most of it. We don`t know who is putting this
money in. And it is wrong, and I believe in the power of numbers. And I
have been asking Americans to go to alfranken.com and join our cause and
sign on to our -- we have a petition against for reversing Citizens United.
And we`ve had over 600,000 Americans sign up. So I ask your viewers to do
O`DONNELL: And it seems that the only way to reverse Citizens United would
be through a constitutional amendment unless, President Obama or another
Democrats suddenly gets a lot of openings on the Supreme Court.
FRANKEN: That`s right. And you know, again, I don`t think we`re going to
get this constitutional amendment through, and you know the barriers to
that, not right away. But that`s why public opinion is so important
because nothing moves politicians like public opinion.
And what we see right now, in that clip you showed about the untruthfulness
in these ads. This has increased exponentially. That`s what all the
research shows, that since you`ve had this proliferation of outside money
and these ads, you`ve seen untruthfulness in advertising that Americans are
O`DONNELL: And the constitutional amendment route requires three quarters -
- what is the passage level in the Senate for it, you have to get two-
FRANKEN: two-thirds is three quarters of the States.
O`DONNELL: Three quarters of the state. Legislatures have to do it. It is
the hard way and the House of course, has to pass it by two-thirds. It`s
the longest possible route to get it done. And so --
FRANKEN: There are other constitutional amendments that have taken
O`DONNELL: That`s right.
FRANKEN: So hopefully this doesn`t. And hopefully we`ll have a Democratic
Senate and Democratic White House for awhile and then maybe get a different
balance on the Supreme Court. This is a 5-4 decision as so many by this
conservative act of this court.
O`DONNELL: So what is the plan on the senate floor now that the
Republicans have gone along with this and said, "Yes sure, you can debate
this if you want to."
FRANKEN: Well, we`re going to have debate. So my understanding is we`re
going to have 30 hours, and we`re going to use that time to make this case.
O`DONNELL: Let`s go on to the situation with the Islamic State. I want to
play something that President Obama said to Chuck Todd about this
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I`m confident
that I`ve got the authorization that I need to protect the American people.
And I`m always going to do what`s necessary to protect the American people.
But I do think it`s important for Congress to understand what the plan is,
to have a buy in, to debate it. And that`s why we`ve been consulting with
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Senator Franken, if this comes to a vote in the Senate, what
kind of plan could you vote for?
FRANKEN: Well, we have to see what this plan is. What we`ve seen in Iraq
is a reversal of the momentum from ISIS. And we`ve also seen the President
go to NATO and get a NATO coalition together. And we`ve seen buy in from
countries in the Region.
This is a threat to countries in regions. So we need them, the Saudi
Arabia, the United Arab of Emirates. I want to have to hear what the
President has to say on Wednesday. But this is threat to the regions.
It`s a threat to the Europe. It is a threat to United State, you know. I
asked the justice department to double down on the recruitment of this
Americans civilians to go over there and make sure that they cannot come
back legally or they won`t come back.
O`DONNELL: We`ve had a couple of them come from this one high school in
Minnesota, in your State, what`s been your reaction to that?
FRANKEN: Well, we, we`ve had a confirmation of a young man who was, who
had gone to high school in Minnesota yet. He was being followed by the FBI
in San Diego. He had moved. This is the Somali Minnesota community has
been affected by this.
And again, we`re talking about two handfuls of young people who have gone
to Syria and Iraq. I`ve met with the FBI special agent in charge in
Minnesota last week. They are on top of this. They know who`s there. And
they are working with the Somali Minnesota Community. Believe me, no one
is more upset about this than they are, than that community.
The Somali Minnesota Community has become a vibrant community in Minnesota.
Over 30,000 people and we`re talking about a very small number of young
people who have done this. And I met with the FBI about two weeks after I
took office in the senate, because they were, at that time, there were some
young people going to Somalia and fighting with Shabaab. And the FBI tells
me that the community is cooperating, is very cooperative, and I just
wanted to say that because no one is more deserve by this than the Somali
O`DONNELL: Senator Al Franken thank you very much for joining us tonight.
FRANKEN: Thank you, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Coming up, the Republican Mayor of Belhaven, North Carolina
joins me with an update on the town hospital that he`s been trying to keep
open. It`s actually closed. And now he is fighting to get it reopened.
And later, why doctors nationwide are really worried about a respiratory
virus that are making children sick and sick enough to end up in intensive
care. This is serious and dangerous stuff.
O`DONNELL: Vice President Joe Biden discussed the release of the Ray Rice
video today with Tamron Hall.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: So you know the first
reason of the half responded in my view. There`s so many women`s fans in
this billion dollar industry. So all of a sudden they say wait a minute,
he got suspended for a couple games? That`s not enough.
And then they got more sensitized. And now -- then it was longer. And
then when the video was out there and saw how brutal it was, the Ravens did
the right thing, fired him immediately. Now, you can argue they could have
done it the sooner, they didn`t want it, whatever the reason is, it`s
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: You can see the rest of Tamron Hall`s interview with the Vice
President tomorrow morning on "the Today Show."
Coming up, a Republican Mayor`s fight to expand Medicaid, according to the
affordable care act and reopened the hospital in his town. There are some
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ADAM O`NEILL, MAYOR BELHAVEN, NORTH CAROLINA: Without Medicaid expansion,
the reimbursements have fallen, and hospitals like the one if my home town
are on the brink of possibly even closing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Tonight, Mayor Adam O`Neill of Belhaven, North Carolina
continues to try to rewrite the future of health care in his town.
In June, the Republican Mayor went to the State Capitol in rally to
publically call on North Carolina Republican Governor and Republican
Controller Legislature to accept the Medicaid Expansion in the affordable
care act so that the hospital in his town would be able to stay open. That
hospital closed July first. So Mayor O`Neill took his crusade to save our
hospital on the road, walking 273 miles in 15 days to Washington, D.C. to
meet with Federal officials.
Now, the Department of Health and Human Services says it will investigate
whether the closing of the hospital violated title six of the Civil Rights
Act because it will have a disproportionate adverse effect on the ability
of African-Americans and Hispanics to access necessary medical care.
Joining me now is Belhaven Mayor Adam O`Neill.
Mayor O`Neill, thank you very much for joining us tonight. Your crusade
continues. What does this new investigation under Civil Rights Act mean
for the prospects of the hospital reopening? And what other ways, what
other factors have emerged that might be able to get the hospital open?
O`NEILL: Well, the first thing is, we need officials to come to town and
see what took place here. It`s my opinion that the way our community was
misrepresented and the way our hospital was closed down should be a crime,
shouldn`t be allowed to happen. We had an access hospital that actually
could run at a profit closed down for greedy nonprofit. I called them the
billion dollars bully now right in health. And we`ve had that take place.
An investigations going on now. But we`ve also had a lot of people working
together who have put enough pressure on the local LLC that hopefully in
the next two to four weeks we`ll get our hospital back, the actual
facility. And then we`ll take some of the end roads we`ve made with
raising money and get this hospital going as soon as possible.
O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to how this issue came up during the Senate, the
debate for the senate seat in North Carolina.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KAY HAGAN, EMCONVENT DEMOCRAT SENATOR: ECU invited for having unbelievable
problems because of no Medicaid expansion. We`ve already had one hospital
closed in Belhaven. He could tell us, is proud of the fact that he hasn`t
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: That`s of course incumbent Democrat Senator Kay Hagan. She`s
running against the speaker who is very much a part of making sure that
North Carolina does not have the Medicaid expansion.
Mayor, do you believe that this hospital would be open today if North
Carolina had accepted the Medicaid, Medicaid Expansion?
O`NEILL: I think it`s quite possible. North Carolina not accepting
Medicaid Expansion has cost our Health care system $10.9 million a day, 10
percent of one day would have broken our hospital even in 2013. So it has
a big effect. We`re talking over $3 billion that`s not in North Carolina`s
health care system because we didn`t accept Medicare Expansion.
You have the reimbursements fallen for, you know, people who can`t pay
managing care, and you have a situation for Medicaid expansion was supposed
to fill that gap. If you don`t have enough Medicaid expansion to fill that
gap, you have a problem. And small hospitals have struggle every year to
survive. What happens is they end up run in the red, and it causes
O`DONNELL: Mayor O`Neill, I know your confluence is building on reopening
this hospital. Please come and join us on the night when you get it
O`NEILL: I`m 100 percent we`re going to get it reopened. It`s just a
matter of time. Everybody`s working hard here. We have rich, poor, Black,
white, Latinos working together here, and we`re going to be successful.
It`s just a matter of time.
O`DONNELL: Mayor Adam O`Neill of Belhaven of North Carolina, thank you for
joining us tonight.
O`NEILL: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: Coming up, Dr. Nancy Snyderman on a dangerous respiratory virus
affecting hundreds of children across this country. Parents have got to
know about this and be ready for it.
O`DONNELL: Tonight, the Center for Disease Control is investigating
possible outbreaks of a respiratory virus in at least 12 States. And
health officials say this could be the tip of the iceberg. One of the
States hardest hit is Colorado. That`s where NBC News chief medical
editor, Dr. Nancy Snyderman is reporting tonight from inside Rocky Mountain
Hospital for Children in Denver -- Dr. Nancy?
NANCY SNYDERMAN, DOCTOR NBC NEWS CHIEF MEDICAL EDITOR: Good evening,
There`s a respiratory virus that is hitting children hard across the
country. And over 12 States and Denver have been particularly hit. With
over 900 cases just this past month, there are children in this hospital on
ventilators. And doctors want parents to know this is more than just a
DOCTOR TRACY BUTLER, ROCKY MOUNTAIN HOSPITAL FOR CHILDREN: Can I take a
listen to you?
SNYDERMAN (voice-over): It`s called Enterovirus 68 and has doctor`s very
BUTLER: Slow deep breath. A lot of kids have been on the verge of
respiratory failure or severe respiratory distress requiring escalating
therapies and care. So I`ve been an ICU physician for 15 years and I`ve
never seen this before.
SNYDERMAN: Here there have been seven times than normal number of
respiratory cases since August. What role do you think the school year is
playing in all of this?
BUTLER: I do think that, you know as kids go back to school usually we see
a lull. And then after a few weeks of being in school everybody is kind of
starting to share and pass around the viruses. And I do think that`s
what`s brought this to the forefront.
SNYDERMAN: Ben York never imagined his son Matthew`s late summer cold
would end up to with a trip to the emergency room.
BEN YORK, PATIENT`S FATHER: He was coughing. He had a runny nose. But
within the eight to ten hour time period it went from a cold to him not
being able to breathe.
SNYDERMAN: So what is Enterovirus 68? It`s worst than a very bad cold
with this symptoms, extreme trouble breathing, severe coughing, and
sometimes wheezing, fever and rash. Infants, children and teenagers are
most vulnerable. Especially, those who has asthma like Matthew York.
YORK: It looks like his heart is pumping out of his chest. So immediately
we took him to the emergency room.
SNYDERMAN (on camera): Doctors wants parents to know that if a child has a
cold symptoms that seem to be getting worse, fever and difficulty
breathing, that the time to call 911 and head to your emergency room.
This diseases seems to be short-lived by in the meantime there are a lot of
children who, frankly, right now feel awfully miserable when they should be
O`DONNELL: Dr. Nancy Snyderman, thank you. Chris Hayes is up next.
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