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PoliticsNation, Monday, October 6th, 2014

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POLITICS NATION
October 6, 2014


Guest: Seema Yasmin; Joe Kohut, Jamal Simmons, Tara Dowdell, Krystal Ball,
Chuck Nice, Dana Jacobson


REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Thanks to you for tuning in.

We start with breaking news on Ebola in America. Late this afternoon,
President Obama met with the nation`s top public health and security
officials. The president pledging to stop the virus from spreading.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I consider this a top
national security priority. It is very important for us to make sure that
we are treating this the same way that we would treat any other significant
national security threat. And that`s why we got an all-hands on deck
approach.

We`re doing everything that we can to make sure, number one, that the
American people are safe. I`m confident that we`ll be able to do that.
But we`re also going to need to make sure that we stop this epidemic at its
source.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Among the possible next steps, tougher screenings at four
international airports where flights arrive from west Africa.

Also today, the American cameraman working for NBC News who got infected
with Ebola arrived in Nebraska for treatment. And in Dallas, the first
person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, Thomas Eric Duncan, is
now fighting for his life. Doctors say he`s in critical but stable
condition. He`s received the first dose of an experimental drug used to
combat Ebola.

These developments and more, sparking a national conversation about whether
Ebola is under control. Whether health officials are doing enough and when
does justified concern become paranoia? It`s a debate that broke out this
weekend on NBC`s "Meet the Press" between MSNBC`s Joe Scarborough and
former Obama adviser David Axelrod.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE SCARBOROUGH, NBC NEWS HOST, MEET THE PRESS: Is Kent Brantly said, a
guy who know something about this because had it, he said this is a fire
from hell if you think the Atlantic ocean is going to stop it from coming
over here, you`re kidding yourself.

DAVID AXELROD, MSNBC/NBC NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: I don`t want to disagree
with Dr. Scarborough.

(CROSSTALK)

AXELROD: It`s Tom Frieden, Tony Fauci at the NIH, these are public health
professionals are world-class standing. They have no motivation to mislead
the American people. They`ve dealt with many epidemics before, many health
issues before. I don`t think there`s a reason to believe that they`re not
doing what needs to be done.

SCARBOROUGH: And you don`t understand that Dr. Scarborough comment, I
would be really honest with you, this is a serious issue. I`m quoting
people that have Ebola that --

(CROSSTALK)

AXELROD: People like you and people like us go on television and say, this
is far worse than they`re saying --

SCARBOROUGH: I`m not saying that. I`m not saying that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, guys.

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH: What I`m saying --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got to hit the pause button.

SCARBOROUGH: We have to ask the tough questions.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: These are indeed tough questions. Are we doing enough? Are we
doing too much? Where do we draw the line between common sense safe guards
and giving in to fear?

Joining me now is Dr. Seema Yasmin, public health professor at UT Dallas
and a staff writer for the Dallas morning news and Joann Walsh, editor at-
large for salon.com.

Thank you both for being here.

JOAN WALSH, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, SALON.COM: Thanks, Rev.

DR. SEEMA YASMIN, PUBLIC HEALTH PROFESSOR, UT DALLAS: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Doctor, a new poll shows 58 percent of Americans have a great
deal, or a fair amount of confidence in the government to stop Ebola.
Forty one percent say they don`t have much confidence. But doctor, people
see the images of the hazmat suits and they get scared. Is the government
on top of this?

YASMIN: Well, Reverend, we can`t just look at the government. Because
what they`re doing is some of the international response. Here they`re
coordinating some of the response and they are giving guidelines. But it
really falls to other jurisdictions and to healthcare facilities themselves
to then look at the guidelines. It`s not enough then to look at them and
print them out and stick them on the wall of (INAUDIBLE). You have to
practice.

So really, this is more than a one-agency effort. It`s a multi-agency
effort. It requires really good collaboration, lots of communication, and
the utmost transparency to make this response effort work, both overseas
and right here in Dallas where I am.

SHARPTON: Joan, you know the debate we saw on "Meet the Press?" Americans
around the country are having that same debate, aren`t they?

WALSH: Yes, to some extent they are, Reverend Al. But you know, I`m just
struck how we`re supposed to be in this atmosphere of fear all the time,
you know. Every time you turn on the television there`s something new to
be afraid of.

I go back to the child migrant crisis on the border this summer where those
children were supposedly coming over with diseases and drugs. That has
mostly subsided. There`s no cameras there. There`s nobody is yelling
about that.

Then it was ISIS, the beheadings, which were terrifying and terrible. But
there`s no one coming here and doing anything to us at this point. We
should be concerned, we should not be freaked out. But we have this fear
machine that told us ISIS was coming over the border, the Mexican border.

And now we have Ebola. It`s a scary disease, but there`s only one person
in the country whose come down with it here. I`m not saying don`t be
concerned. I`m not saying don`t do anything about it, but we have a
situation where I think we used to be a people who were problem solvers and
now we`re supposed to be people who run around like chickens with our heads
cut off. I don`t get it.

SHARPTON: Doctor, talking about the anxiety, the president was asked today
about that. Listen to what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS JANSING, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Mr. President, what do you say to
Americans who are still nervous in spite of your assurance?

OBAMA: Well, I`d just explain to them that the nature of this disease, the
good news is that it`s not an airborne disease. We are familiar with the
protocols that are needed to isolate and greatly reduce the risks of
anybody catching this disease, but it requires us to follow those protocols
strictly.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Key line there, it requires us to follow protocols strictly. I
mean, should Americans be confident that that`s happening, doctor?

YASMIN: Well, sure, in some regards, yes. But I have to echo Joan`s
point, though, that fear really doesn`t help, Reverend. In fact in West
Africa, we`ve seen fear fuels the epidemic. So some part of this response
needs to be breathing deeply, having some confidence and letting the
officials also do their job. All they need to be transparent.

As I mentioned, though, Reverend, from a health care perspective, where I`m
coming from, it`s not just enough to have the protocols. You have to
practice them. So I`ve spoken to local hospitals and also hospitals across
the Midwest, other parts of the U.S. who say, we`ve got the protocols. But
now we`re doing practice drills.

We`re saying to our health care staff, let`s all start, imagine somebody
with Ebola just walked in to the ED (ph), what would we do? Let`s practice
that and then let`s go over our response. Did we do a good job or did we
not? What can we improve? So that`s really key. It is preparing and
practicing.

SHARPTON: You know, speaking of fear, Joan, that`s what some Republicans
are beginning to do. Because here`s something GOP Rand Paul said about the
administration`s handling of the Ebola challenge.

Quote, "they`re down playing and underplaying the risk of this. The
Spanish flu in 1918 killed 21 million people. The plague in the 14th
century killed 25 million people. I`m not saying that`s going to happen.
I don`t know what`s going to happen."

Now, you wrote about this, Joan. Is the main result of GOP attacks like
this to fan the flames of public fear?

WALSH: I think that`s entirely the point and I don`t get it. Rand Paul
isn`t stupid. He`s even a doctor. And he`s suggesting the president is
lying about the way Ebola is transmitted. I mean, is he an Ebola truther
(ph) shouting down science and denying what we know? I mean, this is also
another thing that concerns me is, this is also a party that`s voted to cut
the CDC, to cut the NIH, to, you know, weaken --

SHARPTON: We can`t even get a surgeon general.

WALSH: We can`t get a surgeon general. We have governors who turned down
Medicaid. We have had budget cuts have actually hurt or public health
infrastructure. And on top of the to go to something the doctors talked
about, they want to cut back foreign aid when actually the thing to be
doing is not to be so afraid --

SHARPTON: I`ve got to push a little on that, because I think when you hear
Rand Paul comparing this to millions that died in the past, while they`re
cutting these budgets.

WALSH: Right.

(CROSSTALK)

SHARPTON: All this, we need to be doing more, when they are the ones that
cut the budget that it would have to come from.

WALSH: Right. And I`m not saying we`re not ready. I believe we are
ready. But we also need to have a presence in West Africa. We need to be
working with people to contain it there when, you know, foreign aid is a
no-no in this country. So the same people who are fanning the fear are
actually cutting back the tools that the nation and the globe needs to deal
with this crisis. So it`s really quite hypocritical.

SHARPTON: Doctor, we know the administration is looking at more steps to
screen for Ebola. It reportedly includes tougher screening of passengers
flying into the four airports from west Africa. JFK, Dulles, Chicago
O`Hare and Newark. How important is this?

YASMIN: Screening is important. Screening at the point of exit in West
Africa is also important matter (ph). Making sure people have their
temperature taken. They answer key questions.

We know humans don`t always tell the truth. As a doctor, I can tell you,
people don`t always tell me the truth either. Screening can help, though.
The important thing, though, is that we do maintain transport to that
region in West Africa. It`s so important that doctors and nurses can still
travel to West Africa and then can leave to return home. And it is so
important that medical aid continues to go there. We do want to do
screening, but don`t want to make it impossible for travel to happen
between the U.S., Europe, and west Africa.

SHARPTON: That`s a great point. Dr. Seema Yasmin and Joan Walsh, thank
you both for your time tonight.

WALSH: Thank you, Reverend.

YASMIN: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, breaking news in the hunt for an accused cop killer.
Police are closing in and may have found a letter he allegedly wrote after
the shootings.

Plus, Rush Limbaugh is cooking up a new conspiracy theory about President
Obama. You`ll want to hear this one.

Plus, the fight that`s lighting up the web. Bill Maher versus Ben Affleck,
talking about Muslims and terrorism.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: More than a billion people who aren`t fanatical, who
don`t punch women --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wait a second.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don`t do any of the things that you`re saying.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wait! Wait! Wait! Wait!

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- and you paint the whole religion with that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Tell us what you think. It`s in tonight`s "conversation
nation."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Big news today in the fight for gay rights. The Supreme Court
declined to hear appeals to gay marriage challenges from five states
thereby legalizing marriage equality in those states. Before today, same-
sex marriage was legal in 19 states and Washington, D.C.

Today`s news adds five more states to that list. Utah, Oklahoma,
Wisconsin, Indiana, and Virginia. And six more states will soon follow,
based on today`s decision. Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, West Virginia, north
and South Carolina. That means 60 percent of all Americans will soon live
in states with marriage equality. Even conservative strongholds, Utah and
Oklahoma are impacted by today`s decision. Same-sex weddings were already
under way in afternoon in Virginia.

The country`s changing. Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. famously said, the
arc of tomorrow universe is long, but it bends toward justice. Yes, it
does.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Breaking news tonight in that massive manhunt for a cop killer
in the Pennsylvania woods. Police believe they are closing in on Eric
Frein. For 24 days, authorities have been looking for the 31-year-old,
accused of murdering a state trooper in a deadly sniper attack.

Tonight, authorities reportedly found a handwritten letter from Frein,
detailing the September 12th shooting. They`re searching an area near the
tree nursery where a law enforcement official reported a possible sighting
yesterday. Police say Frein is surviving on cans of tuna fish and ramen
noodles. They believe this food supply is dwindling and that they`re
closing in on his trail.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LT. COL. GEORGE BIVENS, PENNSYLVANIA STATE POLICE: We do have some
evidence that he`s trying to live off the land. However, I don`t believe
that for the most part that that`s what he`s doing. The evidence suggests
that, instead he`s living off food that he carried with him, or cached in
certain areas and again, I believe that food is running out and that we`ve
seized a significant amount of that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Joining me now, from the search scene is Canadensis,
Pennsylvania is Joe Kohut, reporter for the "Scranton Times Tribune" and
retired ATF agent Jim Cavanaugh. Thank you both for being here.

JIM CAVANAUGH, MSNBC ANALYST: Thank you, Reverend.

JOSEPH KOHUT, REPORTER, SCRANTON TIMES TRIBUNE (via phone): Thanks for
having me.

SHARPTON: Joe, you saw state police swarming a tree nursery.

KOHUT: Yes, I did.

SHARPTON: Do police think they are closing in?

KOHUT: Well, it`s hard to tell. As the time goes on and the season turns
colder, he is likely going to need to start seeking shelter indoors at some
point. That`s what they`re hoping. And that may be a mistake and they`re
hoping to capitalize on it when he does.

SHARPTON: Now, as we mentioned, Jim, the law enforcement officials
reportedly found a letter written by Frein today. The letter reportedly
detailed how Frein allegedly shot two troopers, killing one, outside the
blooming grove state police barracks, and subsequently avoided capture by
police. The letter did not mention any motive and it`s not clear when or
where it was found. What are officials saying about this letter? I`m
going to ask Joe, but Jim, why would he write a letter detailing the
shooting while he`s on the run? Let me get you Jim first on that.

CAVANAUGH: Well, Reverend Al, I think he`s going down. He`s dropping
down. You know, the luster has quickly gone off and the fugitive lily
here. The woods, you know, starts out being a friendly place and becomes a
very unfriendly place when you`re trying to survive.

You know, think of what the trooper commander said. He was eating tuna
fish and ramen noodles. Everything he has to do to survive is a risk for
him now. If he lights a fire to keep warm, the infrared helicopter can
spot it. If he gets to shoot an animal to eat it, it`s gunfire that they
can zero in it on. So he is, really, on a survival mode. He is getting
pushed down, And he is going to have to change. It`s going to be fight or
flight. And he could still slip the cord on. So it`s a very important
time for the agents and troopers up there to try to move in on him.

SHARPTON: Joe, what are the authorities and officials saying about this
letter?

KOHUT: Well, officially, they`re not commenting on it. They say that it
has no bearing on public safety so they can`t comment on any evidence that
is not. In the past when, we ask them about stuff like this, they`ve said
it`s for prosecutorial reason, they don`t want to give away too much
evidence before it goes to prosecution.

But I have not been able to officially confirm that there is such a letter.
It`s just reports at this point.

SHARPTON: Jim, let me ask you something. It`s been 24 days. Is it
possible this guy just slipped away? I mean, how do we know he`s still
there in the Pennsylvania woods?

CAVANAUGH: Well, I think that sighting yesterday that you outlined earlier
Reverend Al, is they believe was a good sighting, near the nursery. And
they found this letter, which is probably some, you know, putrid manifesto
of why he killed trooper Dixon and wounded trooper Douglas.

But it is at a point for him where he`s going to have to make a decision.
Like I say, is he going to stay and fight or is he going to try to slip the
cordon and get some food. Because hunger is a big motivator. You know,
berries get old fast and it`s very hard to, you know, be able to forage
and, you know, look through your scope and fight the war.

So I wouldn`t be sure that he`s not going to try to slip. But he could
stay in sight. But he`s at decision point and he`s going down fast. I
wouldn`t be surprised if this week we have some action up there.

SHARPTON: Joe, let me ask you about the community. Is there fear in the
community? I mean, it`s been 24 days. People have been told, they`re
close, they`re close. It`s 24 days, kids going to school, not going to
school some. What is the attitude?

KOHUT: Well, the community is, you know, certainly they`re at a point
where they would like to get back to their lives, but there`s also very
clear evidence that they understand the situation and that the support the
state police. Everywhere you look there are blue ribbons that are tied on
trees or telephone poles or bridge posts signifying their support. If you
drive around the neighborhood where the search is going on, there are signs
saying, that we support the state police, PSP strong. But it`s been 24
days and they are certainly hoping to get back to their lives.

SHARPTON: Joe Kohut and Jim Cavanaugh, thank you both for your time this
evening.

KOHUT: Thank you.

CAVANAUGH: Thanks, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Coming up, the secretary of explaining stuff on the trail. Bill
Clinton is out to help save the Senate.

And Bill Maher versus Ben Affleck. Let`s just say, I don`t think they`ll
be spending thanksgiving together.

But first, did you know Rush Limbaugh was also a celebrity chef? Yes, he`s
cooking up another conspiracy theory on jobs, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: If it`s good news for the economy. It is bad news for Rush
Limbaugh. Chef Limbaugh is back in his kitchen, cooking up another
conspiracy theory about the Obama administration. The unemployment rate is
below six percent for the first time since President Bush tanked the
economy. But the GOP`s executive chef says it`s impossible.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: This today is as illegitimate, this
5.9 percent number is even more illegitimate than the 7.9 percent number.
There`s no way this country has an economy producing jobs with an
unemployment rate of 5.9 percent. It just isn`t happening.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Illegitimate? The job numbers are great news for the economy.
But this isn`t the first time chef Rush has tried out this recipe. He`s
just reheating old leftovers, hoping they still taste good. Here he is
back in May with the same spoiled attack.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LIMBAUGH: Nobody would suggest that the regime is cooking the books in the
run-up to the midterm elections. It would never do that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: You got to love it. Good news met with a dash of conspiracy.
The only one cooking up something here is Rush. He`s throwing jobs into
his election paranoia stew, and he`s used the same recipe before the last
election too.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LIMBAUGH: Obama who is monkeying the numbers here, Jimmying around with
things in an election year, designed to make things look better than they
are, projected to be better than they are.

(END VIDEO CLIP)\

SHARPTON: We`ve heard this attack from a lot of job truthers on the right
over the years. The truth is, we`ve seen 55 straight months of private
sector job growth. The longest stretch in history. And the unemployment
rate continues to fall. We`ve got a lot of work to do. But the economy is
back on track.

Chef Limbaugh, if you can`t handle the heat, or the facts, get out of the
kitchen.

Nice try, but taste this recipe. We got you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FMR. PRES. BILL CLINTON (D), UNITED STATES: Historically in non-
presidential years, there`s a big drop-off in the youth vote. And the
opponents of these candidates are betting there will be this year. And I`m
betting there won`t be. And it`s up to you.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEOP CLIP)

AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST, "POLITICS NATION": It`s up to you. Former
President Bill Clinton talking to voters in Arkansas ahead of the midterm
elections. Right now, a group of extreme republican candidates are hoping
to help take over the U.S. Senate. Today President Clinton ticked off the
low lights of one candidate`s record.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: Blue cross there has asked for a rate increase of 18.5 percent,
yes, vote against the violence gets women act, no, I never for equal pay
for equal work. Are you kidding? Would I vote to raise the minimum wage?
No way.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: They`re against the minimum wage, against women`s rights and if
republicans can gain control of the Senate we`ll see a new push for their
extreme agenda, perhaps including impeachment. Democrats think it could
all come down to four states. Colorado, Iowa, North Carolina, and Alaska.
Each of the races is close. Polls show republicans have a narrow lead in
Iowa and Colorado. But democrat Kay Hagan pulling ahead in North Carolina
and while a republican candidate is ahead in Alaska, the state is
notoriously difficult to poll. With just 29 days from the midterm
elections, control of the Senate and a whole lot more, hangs in the
balance.

Joining me now are democratic strategist Jamal Simmons and Tara Dowdell,
thanks to both of you for being here.

TARA DOWDELL, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Thank you.

JAMAL SIMMONS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Good evening.

Jamal, republicans hope democratic voters will stay home on Election Day.
How can democrats motivate them especially in these four key states?

SIMMONS: Well, it`s a good job getting President Obama out -- I mean,
sorry President Clinton out. Everybody like to see him on the stamp. At
the same time, some of these races are now starting to see Michelle Obama
pick up, particularly in some of the governor`s races. She`s going out
there, telling the story, to get people focused. I think a lot of people
are also waiting to see what Hillary Clinton is going to do. We know that
she has some campaign stops coming up. But people want to see these
democrats who really care, get out, turned out, but the candidates
themselves have to keep talking about what they want to do to make lives
better for individual voters and people will vote their interests.

SHARPTON: And don`t you need a ground game? I mean, surrogates are all
right, but what about on the ground?

SIMMONS: No, you`re absolutely right. You need people going door to our
door, the buses moving through the neighborhoods. It`s too bad in some of
these states we`re seeing things like souls in the polls being shut down on
Sundays. But you got to get people picked up and turned out and that takes
bodies and that takes a real effort on behalf of the parties.

SHARPTON: You know, Tara, we talked about the Senate seats that democrats
need to hold on to, but a lot of other races are still very close.

DOWDELL: Right.

SHARPTON: A new poll out of Kentucky found today found among likely
voters, democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes is two points ahead of Mitch
McConnell. Now, if Mitch McConnell is still in danger, what does that mean
for other republicans on the ballot around the country?

DOWDELL: Well, I think that people are underestimating, you raise the
point earlier in your spot on, it`s all about the ground game. People are
underestimating the democrat strategy for the ground game. We have 10,000
people on the ground in North Carolina right now, helping to produce a
really strong operation. If you look at Alison Lundergan Grimes in
Kentucky, not only did she run in a primary where she really didn`t have
any competition, but what she did was she executed a strategy, as if it was
Election Day, as a preparation for Election Day. Those are the things that
democrats need to continue to do to press that ground game, because that`s
all -- GOTV is going to be what this will be about. It`s always how
democrats have won and it will continue to be how democrats will win.

SHARPTON: Now, some candidates have tried to use ISIS as a political issue
ahead of the midterms, but over the weekend, New Hampshire Senator Kelly
Ayotte who is not even up for election by the way, went even further.
Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. KELLY AYOTTE (R), NEW HAMPSHIRE: I think what we have here presses
the problem where the President`s foreign policy is being trapped by his
campaign rhetoric. And I`m very fearful that as we look at the current
military strategy, that it is surrounding the November elections and that
he won`t have the resolve to follow through with what needs to be done in a
sustained effort to destroy ISIS.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I mean, do you hear this? The President won`t follow through on
ISIS after the election? I mean, she`s not even running, but uses any
opportunity to take a shot at the president. I mean, is this -- Jamal,
what is your reaction to this?

SIMMONS: Well, Rev, I think there must be some voter out there that she`s
talking to, some pollster has told her really cares about this issue in
this way. Because here`s the reality. If Barack Obama were playing
politics on this issue, he wouldn`t be engaging in military action before
Election Day, because the voters who tend to turn out who want to support
him, feel little funny about America getting back involved in the Middle
East. Democratic voters would prefer that we chose some other kinds of
methods to deal with this problem necessarily than just military. So I
think that she`s actually missing the entire boat. The President is doing
what he thinks is best for the country. American voters want him to do it.
They want him to do his job, they want him to do regardless of politics and
that`s what he`s up to.

SHARPTON: I`ve got to bring this up, Tara. Because the other big issue
ahead of next month`s election is voter suppression.

DOWDELL: Oh, yes.

SHARPTON: And this is something dear to me. I`m going to fly tomorrow to
Reverend Joseph Lowry`s birthday. So, I`ve got to bring it up. Today, our
Attorney Eric Holder, released a video message, blasting cuts in early
voting in Ohio. Look at this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ERIC HOLDER, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: Ohio, for example, has imposed new
restrictions that significantly reduce opportunities for early voting.
Opportunities that had been in the past heavily used by African American
voters. It`s a major step backwards to allow these reductions to early
voting to go into effect.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: It`s not just Ohio. A new report found restrictive voting
policies proposed in 20 states this year. What impact could these have?

DOWDELL: Well, I think there`s a proactive strategy in place on the part
of the democrats, which I`m glad to see to address these issues. We`ve
also have our groups, our progressive organizations have been taking these
laws to court.

SHARPTON: Right.

DOWDELL: And unfortunately, in North Carolina where they have the most
restrictive laws, we won some, but we lost some. The real issue though is
going to be the difficulty is going to be, republicans are sending out
these mailers and this misinformation to people about Election Day, saying
that some of the laws have been overturned, the suppressive voter
restriction laws that have been overturned, that they`re still in effect,
so there`s a lot of confusion out there. So, I think that`s where the
challenge is. We have to make sure that our supporters are aware of what
is and what isn`t happening. What they can and cannot do on Election Day.
That`s the real issue.

SHARPTON: And that`s in a non-partisan way, Jamal. And that`s why I
talked about ground game, because if you`re given misinformation, if
you`re canceling early voting days, like they pushed back early voting by a
week in Ohio and stop souls to the polls, if you don`t have the information
out there, door to door, you can find any surrogate you want. People don`t
know what to do.

SIMMONS: That`s right. And what we`ve seen on the ground in many
elections, is that it gets even more nefarious than that. The republicans
pass out flyers on Election Day, telling voters that Election Day moved to
Wednesday.

SHARPTON: Right.

SIMMONS: Don`t worry if you can`t make it on Tuesday, just show up on
Wednesday. You know, they do all sorts of things to try to get in the way.
So, it was incredibly important that we do ran in an effective ground game.

SHARPTON: Very important. In fact, I`ll be in Orlando, Florida tomorrow
and I`ll be out on the road from now until Election Day. It`s very
important people come out to vote. Jamal Simmons and Tara Dowdell, thank
you both for your time tonight.

SIMMONS: Thank you.

DOWDELL: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, an outrageous comment about minorities from a
businesswoman whose name is on an NFL stadium.

Plus, Bill Maher versus Ben Affleck. The fight about religion and
terrorism that everybody is talking about today.

Also, the debate about SNL`s Joan Rivers kit roasting other dead
celebrities in heaven.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Steve jobs right here, incredible. Steve, I hope
you`re forced to buy a newer bed or casket every six months, so you can see
how we feel, am I right?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Was it funny, or did it cross the line? "Conversation Nation"
is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: We`re back now with "Conversation Nation." Joining us tonight,
MSNBC`s Krystal Ball, comedian Chuck Nice and CBS sports radio host Dana
Jacobson. Thank you all for being here tonight.

DANA JACOBSON, CBS SPORTS RADIO HOST: Thank you.

KRYSTAL BALL, MSNBC CO-HOST, "THE CYCLE": Thanks for having us, Rev.

CHUCK NICE, COMEDIAN: Pleasure.

SHARPTON: We want to hear what you at home have to say. Tweet us your
opinion. We may feature your tweet during the segment. We start with an
explosive exchange between comedian and TV host Bill Maher and actor Ben
Affleck on Real Time on Friday. The debate came in a conversation about
radical Islam with Maher and his panel guests, author and philosopher Sam
Harris who describe Islam as the motherload of bad news. Maher saying that
liberals, quote, "need to stand up for liberal policies and not be afraid
to speak out against the religion." Affleck strongly disagreed with both.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Freedom of speech, freedom to practice any religion you
want, without fear of violence. Freedom to leave a religion, a quality for
women, these are liberal principles that liberals applaud for, but then
when you say, in the Muslim world, this is what`s lacking, then they get
upset.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: You`re saying that Islamophobe is not a real thick?
That if you`re critical of something --

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It`s not a real thing when we do it.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Right.

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It really isn`t.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I`m not denying that certain people are bigoted against
Muslims as people and that`s a problem.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: That`s big of you.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It`s racist.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: But it`s so not.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It`s like saying --

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We have to be able to criticize bad ideas.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Of course we do.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: OK. But Islam is the motherload of bad ideas.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Krystal, this is quite a powerful exchange, but it got a
powerful question, that it led to. How do we deal with the culture and
religion in the Middle East? I mean, what`s your reaction?

BALL: Well, my immediate reaction is, I have such a liberal crush now on
Ben Affleck. I thought he was so amazing throughout that show and so
strong there. And what he was objecting to was, you can`t say this is how
Muslims are, and this is what all Muslims believe. I mean, the Muslim
world is huge. It`s diverse. It represent a lot of view point.

SHARPTON: There is a lot of -- that debate what Islam is --

BALL: Exactly. So, to say this is what Islam is, this is what Muslim
people are. We need to attack that? I mean, I have a real issue with that
and I do think it`s racist.

JACOBSON: But there`s also the idea that we are very afraid to say
anything that is anti now against now for fear of what happened, for being
jumped on --

NICE: I`m not sure about that. I`m not sure if we`re afraid to say
things. I think what people want, I think what people want is they want
those who are in Islam to actually step up and say, that`s wrong, and
condemn what we call radical Islam.

BALL: Which they are saying.

JACOBSON: But there`s got to be people coming out and saying, that`s not
me, ISIS is not me. It doesn`t represent my group.

SHARPTON: But Dana, I don`t see where we`ve not a condemn taking issue
with some parts of Islam.

JACOBSON: I think we have.

SHARPTON: I think people have discussed women, I think they`ve discussed
various parts of the culture. They certainly have attacked the nation of
Islam here in America.

JACOBSON: But that`s what I think is the hard part. It`s the radical part
that people are so against. And I think that there`s that fear that if you
speak out and say anything, that people don`t realize that you`re speaking
on the radical.

(SPEAKING OVER EACH OTHER)

NICE: No, and you know, what? Here`s the thing. The thing is, this is so
nuanced. Because it is the fear of the radical, but there is also the fact
that there is Islamophobia, that`s all there is to it. People look at it
and they are prejudice against Islam itself.

BALL: Whether they want to admit it or not.

NICE: Right.

SHARPTON: That`s true. I`ve got to move on to our next topic. A Facebook
rant is raising eyebrows and sparking serious questions. Indiana
businesswoman Charlotte Lucas, founder of Lucas oil, along with her
husband, wrote on her Facebook page, quote, "I`m sick and tired of
minorities running our country. As far as I`m concerned, I don`t think
that atheists, minorities, Muslims, minorities, nor any other minority
group has the right to tell the majority of the people of the United States
what they can and cannot do. Here is everyone so scared that they can`t
fight back for what is right or wrong with this country."

Now the Indianapolis Colts play at the Lucas Oil Stadium, a stadium that
was also publicly funded by taxpayer dollars. Dana, she apologized, but
does she now have an NFL problem? Or does the NFL have a problem to deal
with with her?

JACOBSON: The NFL has a problem. Maybe she should be one who was afraid
to actually speak out --

BALL: He could use a little more humility.

JACOBSON: Exactly. You know, I think it`s an NFL problem and the bigger
problem, it`s a Colts problem. And oh, yes, this is the Colts whose owner
Jim Irsay is still suspended right now for DUI and isn`t back with his team
until after Thursday`s game.

SHARPTON: But he`s not a minority by the way.

JACOBSON: He`s not, exactly. And so he has a problem. And the NFL, who
this, the Lucas oil family supported during Roger Goodell`s trials lately.
And he`s said, oh, he`s fine. We haven`t heard from sponsors. They`ve
been on his side. So the NFL is not going to reach out and even issue a
slap on the wrist. Despite a player that said it, I think they would and I
don`t see them doing that.

SHARPTON: Krystal?

BALL: Can I just say here, Rev, I mean, the absurdity of saying that
minorities are running this country. When by the way, I looked up her
political giving history, and she`s a big donor to republican causes. And
in fact, as we know from political science research, it is wealthy people
like herself who are actually running our government. So she has nothing
to complain about.

(SPEAKING OVER EACH OTHER)

NICE: She`s part of the one percent. There`s only one percent of her. So
she`s just like, I`m just sick, I can`t believe, I`m so oppressed. There`s
so little of us to stand up for our rights because the fact is that, you
know, there`s very few of her. And I`m shocked, by the way.

SHARPTON: Yes.

NICE: That an old, rich, white republican has a problem with minorities.
What is happening?

(LAUGHTER)

SHARPTON: She`s going to leave it nor drive. No capital gains tax,
there`s no peace. I mean --

(LAUGHTER)

A sketch on "Saturday Night Live" this weekend is drawing a big reaction
and mixed reviews. Guest host Sarah Silverman played late comedy legend
Joan Rivers roasting other dead celebrities in heaven. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Heaven, are you serious? Me in heaven? I guess I
should be here, I`m practically a virgin. The last time someone was inside
me it was Melissa. So many incredible people here tonight, even Steve Jobs
right here. Incredible. Steve, I hope you`re forced to buy a newer bed or
casket every six months, so you can see how we feel. Am I right?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The two were very close friends and the segment was built as a
tribute. As I said, mixed reviews. Some on social media thought it was
too soon. Others loved it. Chuck, you`re the comedian here, what`s your
take?

NICE: I think the only thing Joan would have had a problem with was how
bad Sarah Silverman`s impression of her was. Other than that. No, Joan
Rivers would not have a problem. Here is someone whose daughter, with her
blessing, had Howard Stern do her eulogy. Believe me. Nothing bothers
Joan Rivers.

(SPEAKING OVER EACH OTHER)

NICE: That was exactly what she was about.

JACOBSON: And she helped create Sarah Silverman. Actually, she probably
would have about a hard time with the fact that Sarah was a little often
the timing as well. A few of those jokes seemed to fall flat because she
missed the few lines.

SHARPTON: But nothing wrong with her doing it?

(SPEAKING OVER EACH OTHER)

I know you were offended what Keenan did to me but we`re not talking --

(LAUGHTER)

BALL: We`ll talk about that another day. Although you handled it with
grace as expected.

SHARPTON: I wanted him to lose weight.

(LAUGHTER)

JACOBSON: You got to tell us all how.

BALL: You know, I mean, I thought it felt like a loving tribute. They put
up the card at the end, you know, and memory of Joan Rivers, and my only
objection was, it wasn`t that funny.

NICE: Yes.

SHARPTON: All right. Krystal Ball, Chuck Nice, and Dana Jacobson, thank
you for your time tonight, all of you. And make sure you watch Krystal on
"THE CYCLE" weekdays at 3:00 a.m. Eastern right here on MSNBC.

Ten years since we learned Iraq has no weapons of mass destruction. We
look at lessons learned for today. That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Developing news in the Michael Brown investigation. Today,
Brown`s parents are asking Governor Jay Nixon to reconsider his decision
not to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate their son`s death. The
prosecutor, Bob McCulloch has been under fire for two months for what
critics say are conflicts of interest, and new questions about a grand jury
leak. And it comes as Brown`s family is asking officials to make an
immediate arrest of Officer Darren Wilson. Over the weekend, a flash mob
of about 50 protesters interrupted a performance of the St. Louis symphony,
singing about justice for Brown.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(PROTESTERS SINGING)

Justice for Mike Brown is justice for the cause. Which side are you on
friend, which side are you on? Which side are you on friend, which side
are you on? Justice Mike Brown is justice for our cause justice. Justice
Mike Brown is justice for our cause justice.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Which side are you on? It was a peaceful protest, as all of
them should be. And a big bravo to the demonstrators.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Exactly ten years ago today, a year and a half after the U.S.
invaded Iraq, Americans finally learned the truth about weapons of mass
destruction. On this day in 2004, the man charged with finding WMDs
released this report, revealing that he`d found nothing.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We did not find stocks of either chemical or biological
weapons. Active nuclear weapons program, no. We found no evidence, nor
did we judge that there was one.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: No evidence, no smoking gun. No potential mushroom cloud, this
despite repeated claims from the Bush administration and politicians like
John McCain and Lindsey Graham who insisted Iraq had WMDs.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I think we will find weapons of mass
destruction. I think it`s important that we do.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: He`s lying, Tim, when he says he
doesn`t have weapons of mass destruction.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, America is again faced with a decision in the Middle East.
And many of those same politicians are once again using fear to beat the
drums of war.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCCAIN: They`re urging attacks on the United States of America, and
there`s a great concern that our southern border and our northern border is
porous and that they will be coming across.

GRAHAM: This is a turning point in the war on terror. Our strategy will
fail yet again. This president needs to rise to the occasion before we all
get killed back here at home.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: They`re wrong now, as they were then. President Obama`s moving
with caution and calculated force. And this is what we need. Not another
rush into war.

Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton. "HARDBALL" starts right now.

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