All In With Chris Hayes, Wednesday, October 8th, 2014
Read the transcript from the Wednesday show
ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
October 8, 2014
Guest: Eddie Bernice Johnson, Bonnie Castillo, David Scott, Beto O`Rourke,
Nate Silver, Jeff Biggers
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN --
MAYOR MIKE RAWLINGS (D), DALLAS: This hurts deeply, and we were hoping
this was not going to happen.
HAYES: The first patient diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S. dies. As
another possible patient gets admitted to the same hospital in Dallas, and
the government steps up screenings at five American airports.
JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We think that the risk of an
outbreak here in the United States is exceedingly low.
HAYES: Tonight, questions about what our protocols are and whether they
are being properly followed.
Plus, border fear-mongering.
REP. DUNCAN HUNTER (R), CALIFORNIA: At least 10 ISIS fighters have been
caught coming across the Mexican border in Texas.
HAYES: No, no, they haven`t.
Then, ALL IN goes to coal country.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re called the Saudi Arabia of coal. We have got to
find a way to use that coal, use it in a clean way.
HAYES: We travel to Mississippi to a state of the art clean coal factory
to ask, is clean coal for real?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Clean coal harnesses the awesome power of the word
HAYES: ALL IN starts now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Clean coal, clean.
HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
For the first time, a patient being treated for Ebola on U.S. soil has
died. Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian man with first case of Ebola
diagnosed in the U.S. died this morning in Dallas just under two weeks
after first reporting symptoms.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR MIKE RAWLINGS (D), DALLAS: This hurts deeply, and we were hoping
this was not going to happen. But on behalf of the city of Dallas, I
extend our deepest sympathies to the families and the friends of Mr.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Duncan`s girlfriend, Louise, the woman he came to the U.S. to marry
and who is herself currently under quarantine released a statement
expressing her grief over the loss.
Quote, "Eric was a wonderful man who showed compassion toward all. I trust
a thorough examination will take place regarding all aspects of his care.
I am now dealing with the sorrow and anger that his son was not able to see
him before he died."
Duncan hadn`t seen his son in 16 years since he was 3.
And now, another possible patient has been admitted to the same hospital in
Dallas where Duncan died this morning. Michael Monnig, a senior sergeant
with the Dallas County sheriff`s office had been part of the team that
visited the apartment where Thomas Duncan fell ill.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FIRE CHIEF MARK PILAND, FRISCO, TX: This patient had reported that they
initially had been in the apartment in the initial Ebola patient in Dallas
and had some contact with family members. I`d like to emphasize that at
this time, our information was they had not had contact with the patient,
but family members, and they`d also been inside the apartment.
MAYOR MAHER MASO, FRISCO, TX: While we are being told the risk is minimal,
out of an overabundance of caution, we`re taking several actions to make
sure that the public health, safety and welfare is being protected.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: As part of efforts to prevent the spread of Ebola in the U.S.,
federal officials announced today that five major airports will begin
screening passengers arriving from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, taking
their temperatures and requiring them to fill out a questionnaire.
Public health officials say the virus won`t be completely contained around
the globe until it is contained in West Africa.
But in the meantime, the rest of the world has to be ready to respond
according to the well-established protocols that helped wipe out past
And so far, it must be said, the track record has not been entirely
reassuring. In Dallas, Duncan was initially sent home from the hospital
with some antibiotics even though he told a nurse he had just come from
And in Spain, where a nurse who treated Ebola patients has become the first
person to contract the virus outside of Africa, a pair of missteps in the
response have raised some serious questions according to an account in
Spanish press reports in "The Daily Beast". A nurse called the hospital
several times over a matter of days to report symptoms and there was no
reaction until she was badly ill and begging for an Ebola test. Even then,
according to "The Daily Beast", the hospital sent her to the emergency room
where she reportedly sat in a public waiting room for hours without
protective gear. Quote, "I think I have Ebola," she reportedly told anyone
who would listen.
We do know the earlier Ebola is identified and treated, the better the
chances of the person`s survival and recovery, which has lots of people
asking whether things might have turned out differently if the hospital in
Dallas had admitted Thomas Eric Duncan when he first showed up with
Joining me now, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, Democrat from Texas
and the first registered nurse elected to Congress.
Congresswoman, your reaction to the very sad news about Mr. Duncan`s death
REP. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON (D), TEXAS: Well, there`s a quiet calmness
here, a lot of concern. People that have felt that they`ve done all they
know to do, they`ve been supporting of the family. I have full confidence
that his treatment was superb when he was admitted to the hospital. And we
are very sorry that he has died, and we have great sympathy and empathy for
HAYES: You have full confidence despite the fact that he was sent home for
two days with antibiotics upon first entering the hospital?
JOHNSON: Well, as I`ve said before, the glitch was he was sent home. But
when he was admitted, he`s had top line treatment. The best we could
offer, the best we had available. Sending him home is still a question in
my mind and I`m certain in the minds of many.
We`ve not had an opinion yet from any infectious disease specialist
indicating whether or not it would have made a difference had he been
admitted at that time.
HAYES: Have you been in contact personally with the family? Have Dallas
officials -- I know the county judge went over and actually introduced
himself to them. Have you been in contact with them?
JOHNSON: I have not been in contact with them personally. I have been in
touch with all the elected officials and health providers, but I`ve not yet
been in touch with the family.
HAYES: What do you want to see happen here from a policy perspective? It
seems like Dallas is monitoring the people they need to monitor.
Obviously, this sheriff`s deputy has now been admitted. He`s being
monitored for signs. The administration today has announced these
checkpoints or new screening protocols in five airports.
Do you think that things are under control?
JOHNSON: Well, in my judgment, I think things are under control. We had a
wake-up call. It was not expected. I think we did rise to the occasion.
We are trying to get rid of the contaminated materials. I`ve been in touch
with the U.S. Department of Transportation to make sure that we can
expedite the transport of that material to the proper disposal.
I`ll be attending a hearing on Friday morning with the Homeland Security
looking at what else or anything else we need to do in terms of screening
people coming into the country. We really have to depend a great deal on
the truthfulness of those persons answering those questionnaires.
HAYES: Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, thank you so much.
JOHNSON: Thank you very much.
Joining me now Bonnie Castillo, RN response network director from National
Bonnie, I`ve been seeing -- you know, there has been no small amount of
fear mongering over a disease that, frankly, at this point, probably poses
far less of a threat to the American populace than just the flu which kills
lots of people every flu season. That said, you guys have been raising
some alarms, concerns about whether there`s adequate training for frontline
nurses around the country in these hospitals to follow protocol that would
both protect them and the public should Ebola patients come into the
BONNIE CASTILLO, NATIONAL NURSES UNITED: That`s correct.
And in fact, early detection, isolation and treatment is critical. And
that clearly didn`t happen here. And more importantly, what we`re seeing
from our survey and over 1,700 nurses have responded from over 600
hospitals in the United States, and overwhelmingly, they`re saying that
they have not only not received basic policy for admission of Ebola
patients but more importantly haven`t received the interactive training and
education that is so critical for the whole health care team to have in
order to treat the patients appropriately.
HAYES: So, explaining the breakdown because we`ve talked to Dr. Anthony
Fauci, we talked to folks -- we talked to someone who`s in a Rhode Island
hospital about these training protocols in the 5700-plus around their
hospitals around America we`re told the CDC has distributed training
mechanisms. Are you saying those aren`t getting to the nurses?
CASTILLO: That`s correct. So, while the hospitals may be handing out a
guideline and a Web site for reference, that is no substitute for the
actual hands-on interactive education and training of all the health care
personnel, anyone who is interfacing with that patient from triage
treatment to waste disposal. It`s so critical that everybody knows their
role. Without that, we`re going to see lapses and just like we saw in
And so, that`s why registered nurses are sounding the alarm, will continue
to sound the alarm if our hospitals are not prepared.
HAYES: But is this -- is this sort of adding to the panic by doing this?
I mean, do you worry about the fact that the perception of the threat of
Ebola at this point is probably already out of whack with what it actually
is. Do you worry about adding fuel to that fire?
CASTILLO: Well, actually, all registered nurses know and anyone that`s
involved in disaster planning knows that in the way to avoid panic and
chaos is to be prepared, to be and for all of the health care team to be
aware of the hospital plans having, as I said, interactive education where
they can ask the questions, where they can do the drills. Short of that,
no one is aware of potentially what they should be doing at any given time.
And clearly, Dallas was an example of where, you know, this patient was
sent home and potentially infected others and where the waste was not
properly disposed of, and so, that`s why we are, you know, continuing to
survey but in addition to surveying, we`re going to continue to raise it
with the public and with our hospitals and with our public officials.
HAYES: Bonnie Castillo, thank you very much.
It is important to keep in mind that Thomas Eric Duncan`s death is the
first and only death from Ebola in the U.S. And as we reported on this
show, at least two people died in this country playing high school football
last week. Let`s keep the scale in perspective.
Nevertheless, Ebola has become a panic du jour particularly within a
certain segment of the far right wing where it dovetails with an abiding
love of conspiracy theory. This was the homepage of the "Drudge Report"
today, all the hints of some of the wild theories about Ebola being
circulated in conservative media.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
MIKE HUCKABEE (R), FORMER ARKANSAS GOVERNOR: The problem dealing with
Ebola can`t be divorced from politics. And more significantly, the Ebola
scare goes to the heart of a simple question -- do you trust the
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS: The Centers for Disease Control is holding a
presser as we speak. I`m not covering what the Centers for Disease Control
says. I don`t trust them.
ANDREA TANTAROS, FOX NEWS: In these countries, they do not believe in
traditional medical care. So, someone could get off a flight and seek
treatment from a witch doctor that practices Santeria. This is a bigger
fear. We are hoping they come to hospitals in the U.S., they might not.
LAURA INGRAHAM: Obama, familial connection with Africa. He has an
enormous amount of, I think, core ties to the African continent. He`s
mindful of his own family history there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You shake hands with someone with a fever, go like
this, and you`re dead meat.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
HAYES: And the panic appears to be catching on. A medical school
professor is describing it to "New York Magazine" as hypochondria
manifested on a massive scale. According to Bloomberg, hand sanitizers
sales on Soap.com jumped 20 percent, in the week after Ebola was diagnosed
in the U.S. All sales of $125 five-pack of protective suits jumped 233
percent on Amazon in just a 24-hour period.
And that`s not all. The Chicago-based company LifeSecure offers what they
call an extended infection protection kit. The low, low price of $149.95.
And according to "The Huffington Post" they sold over 100 of them last
Joining me now is David Scott, founder and president of LifeSecure.
Business is booming, David, I take it?
DAVID SCOTT, PRES., LIFESECURE EMERGENCY SOLUTIONS: Business is booming
since the headlines came to Dallas. We`ve seen -- the best way to tell you
is just in the last few days, our sales of infection protection products
are up 45 times what they were about a week ago. So, people are starting
to really pay attention to the headlines.
HAYES: OK. But you are profiting off of panic, right? I mean, the odds
that the LifeSecure kits sold by your business prevents someone from
contracting Ebola are so vanishingly thin, they would almost be
SCOTT: Yes, I think what we`re really seeing here is not so much people
thinking that they`re going to contract Ebola and need to protect against
it, this is a reminder to them that we do have to be concerned about
infectious diseases through pandemic flus, et cetera, and that any time
there`s a infection in other continent, it can be here in just a flight, so
that people I talk to who are buying our products are not in a panic.
They`re just being reminded, taking what we think is just commonsense
HAYES: Is there some kind of psychological palliative that comes with like
purchasing something, localizing your anxiety in a purchase so if you`re
worried about something, you can buy this thing and feel like, well, I`ve
done something, I`ve checked that off my to-do list?
SCOTT: Well, I think as I talk to people who buy these products, yes,
there is a measure of what I have done what I can do for the moment. And
that`s what we see.
They`re doing what they can do for the moment, but I`m really not seeing
panic amongst those who are buying these kinds of supplies.
HAYES: Is chaos good for LifeSecure?
SCOTT: Well, chaos is not good. Preparation is good. Chaos is not good
for anyone. In the end, the products we sell have to be bought before the
crisis comes. So, the time for preparation is before the crisis. When the
crisis happens, it`s really too late.
So, we talk about being secure and looking ahead and that`s what`s
important for people I think to do.
HAYES: David Scott, thank you very much.
HAYES: Why did the Department of Homeland Security smack down some
congressional Republican today? I`ll tell you ahead.
Plus, the most famous name in election forecasting will be here to talk
about all the craziness now messing this carefully constructed forecast in
the midterm model.
HAYES: "All In America: Coal Country," we travel to eastern Mississippi to
visit the country`s only clean coal power plant. Is clean coal really
clean? That`s ahead.
HAYES: Right now, ISIS fighters are a few hundred yards from the border
and not the U.S. border. Militants are on the cusp of taking over the
Syrian town of Kobani. It`s a Kurdish town on the border with Turkey.
Kurdish fighters are asking the Turks to do more and protesters inside
Turkey are demanding the same. "Reuters" reporting 21 people have been
killed in clashes between protesters and police so far.
Kurdish forces are doing their best to fend off the ISIS fighters with very
mixed results. A Kurdish intelligence official telling the Atlantic if
more help doesn`t come, quote, "a terrible slaughter is coming."
Meanwhile U.S. airstrikes overnight hit around Kobani but the Pentagon
itself said airstrikes alone will not save the town of Kobani. So, right
now, if you`re a Turkish politician, you are looking at the possibility of
ISIS on your border.
If you`re an American politician, you are not looking at the possibility of
ISIS on the border. No matter how many times you repeat the claim and it`s
getting repeated a lot.
Earlier this week, Republican Congressman Tom Cotton said groups like ISIS
collaborate with Mexican drug cartels, a claim that`s been made over and
over again in one form or another by conservative Web sites.
Yet the most flagrantly irresponsible comment came last night from
Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter of California who actually said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS: Do you have any information or evidence that
they`re actually coming in the southern border now?
REP. DUNCAN HUNTER (R), CALIFORNIA: Yes, yes, I have information --
VAN SUSTEREN: Tell me what you know.
HUNTER: I know that at least ten ISIS fighters have been caught coming
across the Mexican border in Texas. There`s nobody talking about it --
VAN SUSTEREN: How do you know that?
HUNTER: Because I`ve asked -- because I`ve asked the Border Patrol, Greta.
VAN SUSTEREN: And the Border Patrol, they just let ISIS members come
across the border?
HUNTER: No, they caught them at the border. Therefore we know that ISIS
is coming across the border.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Kudos, by the way, to Greta Van Susteren for being appropriately
skeptical of that series of claims.
Today, the Department of Homeland Security responded, saying the allegation
was, quote, "Categorically false and not supported by any credible
intelligence or the facts on the ground."
Let`s zoom out for a second and use a little common sense. Imagine in the
current news environment that ICE did nab 10 or a dozen ISIS fighters on
the southern border. You really think it wouldn`t get covered on the news?
You think FOX News wouldn`t be running with that 24 hours a day? That it
wouldn`t be the biggest story in the country?
I can assure you it absolutely would be. And, certainly, the news would
not be broken by Congressman Duncan Hunter or something you`d have to read
off your uncle`s Facebook page.
I spoke with Congressman Beto O`Rourke who represents parts of Texas that
share a border of Mexico and I asked him to respond to his colleague.
REP. BETO O`ROURKE (D), TEXAS: Right after I heard his comments, we
contacted the Department of Homeland Security, and they said unequivocally,
there`s absolutely no evidence to support this claim that anyone from ISIS
or any other terrorist organization for that matter has been apprehended on
the border with Mexico.
HAYES: You represent El Paso. El Paso has a kind of twin city
relationship with Ciudad Juarez, which has been in the news for murders and
trafficking and drug cartels and all sorts of things that can make you feel
nervous or scared about what might be coming over. So, if there`s any
place that would be the frontlines of being worried about this threat that
Republicans keep harping on, it would be you. So, what`s your feeling
O`ROURKE: Well, you know, I live here on the border, my family`s here. I
represent 750,000 people who are literally on the border with Mexico. And
so, I think we have the most to be concerned about should there be a real
threat. That`s why I checked with the Department of Defense, the
Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, any and all people who might have
any intelligence to suggest that there is a real threat from terrorists.
We also have about $18 billion a year, 20,000 agents on the Border Patrol
whose number one mission is preventing terrorists and weapons of mass
destruction from entering this country. And yet, despite any outstanding
concerns, El Paso remains the safest city in the United States. It has
been for the last four years. There have never been and are not now known
any terrorist plots successful or unsuccessful connected to the border with
So, this is not a new rumor. And unfortunately, it keeps coming up even
though it is completely false. And it detracts from what I think the
important issue is that we do have threats to this country and those
threats typically come through our airports or they`re threats manifest
from our own fellow citizens who become radicalized and in some cases,
we`ve had terrorists who have attempted to cross the Canadian border.
But our southern border with Mexico is today as safe as it has ever been
and it has never been connected to a terrorist plot that I know of or that
DHS or anyone else can tell me about in the history of this country.
Doesn`t mean that it couldn`t happen down the road, doesn`t mean that we
shouldn`t be vigilant against that possibility, but what it does mean is
that this is the safest that this border has ever been and we should focus
our limited resources where we have the greatest risk.
HAYES: Yes, striking what you said, obviously, al Qaeda pulled off a
tremendously horrific mass murder terrorist attack in the U.S. It wasn`t
via the Mexican border. There have been a bunch of other plots attempted,
some have almost come to fruition, there have been terrorist attacks inside
the country from the Boston marathon bombing to the Ft. Hood shooting.
In 13 years, there`s been nothing -- I mean, there`s an actual concrete
record of what al Qaeda affiliates, associates, sympathizers have done and
in 13 years none of it`s come from the southern border.
O`ROURKE: Right. And again, it doesn`t mean that that might not happen.
It doesn`t mean that terrorist organizations might not be considering the
southern border and that we shouldn`t remain vigilant against that. I
think we are. We`re spending record amounts of money with record presence
of law enforcement.
I mentioned the Border Patrol, but we also have Fort Bliss in El Paso,
31,000 active duty service members here plus a strong contingent of FBI,
DEA, great local police and sheriff`s department. And that`s true along
San Diego is another very safe city that`s very close to Tijuana and the
Mexican border. But, you know, the conditions really aren`t great for
terrorists trying to cross here despite what you might hear from folks in
D.C. and elsewhere. Beyond the Border Patrol, beyond this preponderance of
federal law enforcement and Department of Defense assets along the border,
you also have in Mexico a very militarized situation.
O`ROURKE: Not a lot of people want to talk about it. But Ciudad Juarez is
controlled by the Sinaloa cartel. That cartel, the Mexican police force,
the Mexican army, the Mexican federal police, all have a presence in
northern Mexico. None of them has any interests at all in terrorists
exploiting that border. That doesn`t begin to talk about the business
interests on both sides of the border where we have half a trillion dollars
in trade that pass through our ports of entry between Mexico and the United
States every year.
So, it`s in no one`s interests to allow this to happen. Doesn`t mean we
shouldn`t guard against it, but there`s no proof that`s happening right
HAYES: If you`re a would-be ISIS fighter good luck trying to navigate the
Mexican military police and the cartel as you attempt to move through.
Congressman Beto O`Rourke, thank you very much.
O`ROURKE: Thank you.
HAYES: Why a town with a championship winning team has canceled football
HAYES: Sayreville, New Jersey, is a football town. Sayreville Bombers
have won the state sectional championship three times in the last four
years. The Bombers will not be playing another single football game this
year, the rest of the season`s canceled. Here`s why.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Sayreville football program will not get a shot at
the title this year. The school is the focus of a criminal investigation
following a hazing scandal.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Now, no one has been charged let alone convicted, but the fact that
local police brought this to the attention of the school and the local
prosecutor who is currently investigating them suggests something`s pretty
rotten within the Sayreville football team locker room.
Still, the players` parents north particularly happy about the move,
voicing their displeasure last night at the school board meeting.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These kids aren`t monsters.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I haven`t seen more dedication out of my son. And I
want him to play the rest of this season.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These kids are going through a lot right now. You guys
had no respect for us as parents to talk to us before you talked to the
media. You should have came to us first.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just have one question. When is the next board
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Late today a report from nj.com broke what some
of those disturbing hazing rituals are alleged to be. A player`s parent
came forward and said, quote, "For 10 seconds the light would go off and
they`d grab a freshman. He`d be pinned to the locker room floor his arms
and feet held down by multiple upper class men.
Then the victim would be lifted to his feet while a finger was forced into
his rectum. Sometimes the finger was then shoved into the freshman
player`s mouth. The same parents said this happened almost every day in
the locker room this fall.
Perhaps with these details now public, some of those parents from last
night may have a different opinion today as it was. There was one person
there last night in that town hall, who was able to put the cancellation of
the football season into perspective.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I started thinking how terrible this is, and it is.
And it`s sad and it`s terrible and it`s heart breaking. I hear that. I
understand that. But it`s not tragic. Tragic would be walking in front of
the casket of a victim who decided he couldn`t take it anymore.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Are you excited about these midterm elections? If the answer is
yes, you`re practically alone in that feeling. The election is less than a
month away and hardly anyone seems to care.
According to polling from Pew Research, which came out over the weekend,
just 15 percent of Americans are paying very close attention to this year`s
election. I hope you, dear viewer, are among them.
Not only is that number ridiculously low, but significantly lower than the
last two midterm elections. Part of that has to do with the fact that
Democratic voters, at least, are used to a Republican House blocking just
about everything the president wants to do.
So in that respect, I imagine a lot of Dems are thinking what`s the point
of voting when obstruction remains near certainty either way? Of course,
control of the Senate is a very big deal not just for the Supreme Court and
appointments for what the shape of the budget and legislation like
immigration will look like in the next two years.
But I also wonder if this year`s apathy perhaps in the coverage if not
among everyday voters has something to do with the new era of election
forecast modelling. Maybe you are less interested because there seems to
be so much less uncertainty these days.
It used to be one of the gripping things about campaign years is that you
didn`t know what was going to happen. With election forecasting and
algorithms aimed at predicting who is going to win a particular race, by
how much, there seems to be a lot less election year mystery.
Nate Silver is the America`s most famous election forecaster is no longer
the only game in town. It`s a crowded field. Journalists whose job it is
to predict elections at "The New York Times," "Washington Post,"
"Huffington Post" to name just a few.
They all seem to be converging in the neighborhood of around 60 percent
chance when it comes to Republicans having a shot at gaining the senate
majority. But here`s the thing. Human beings in some ways are remarkably
good at defying predictions and politics are remarkably good at re-
In Kansas, Republican incumbent at center, Pat Roberts, though, somewhat
unpopular, looked like a sure thing. Now after Chad Taylor, the Democrat
dropped out of the race.
And there`s no longer a Democratic threat you have an independent named
Greg Orman who has, according to Nate`s model, a 67 percent chance to
become the first non-Republican elected to the Senate from the sunflower
state since 1932.
To give you an idea just how fluid the situation in Kansas is right now
after being down as much as 10 points in polling taken in the past two
weeks, a new poll out today from CNN has Roberts ahead by 1 point.
In South Dakota, which was on no one`s radar screen, you have another race
that`s received essentially no coverage because again there was a
Republican, former Governor Mike Brown who was poised to run away with the
thing, a deeply red state.
Now looking at a tight race not between the Republican rounds and the
Democrat Rick Weiland is being void by a million dollar ad by (inaudible).
No, weaken the Republican and former Republican senator a guy by the name
of Larry Pressler who is running as an independent.
All this is a reminder with less than 30 days until the midterms, anything
really can happen. Joining me now is Nate Silver, founder and editor-in-
chief of "Five Thirty Eighth. How are you doing, Nate.
NATE SILVER, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, "FIVETHIRYEIGHT": Good, man, how are you?
HAYES: So you know, I`m a big believer in the fundamentals of the model
that you have built and others are just about the fact that there are
certain things that have a correlation with election outcomes and there`s
ways you can look at the demographics.
But we`re seeing a lot of genuinely crazy stuff happening no one could have
predicted. The Kansas race is just an amazing turn of events. And it
seems right now according to the polling very hard to get your arms around
what`s going on there.
SILVER: Yes, there`s a lot of uncertainty both nationally and in
individual states this year. Where you have states like Kansas where
literally in the past week, you have poll showing everything from a
10-point lead for Orman to a 5-point lead for Roberts.
I think because it`s a low turnout election probably, that makes it harder
if you`re trying to guess who is going to vote and not just who they`re
going to vote for because it`s hard to get people on the phone nowadays.
Response rates in the industry are pretty dismal. Our model assumes a lot
of uncertainty. Republicans have a 56 percent of winning a majority. Not
a lot better than -- other people are a bit higher now.
But you look at factors that predict if the polling will be unpredictable,
you have undecided voters, disagreement among the polls and you have low
quality polls, that means that we know less about what will happen.
HAYES: So in a midterm election in which there`s going to be lower turnout
it is also makes it harder to get accurate polling because the big part of
what makes polling accurate is actually predicting the kind of person who
is going to turn out to vote.
SILVER: Think about the primaries, all the disasters we had in New
Hampshire in 2008.
HAYES: Eric Cantor primary.
SILVER: That`s off by 8 points. Senate`s a lot better, but it`s not quite
like a presidential year. If this were a presidential year, Republicans
have a pretty good path to seven seats and a 3-point lead at this stage
means a lot, but it`s not. We have less polling this year and lower
turnout and more uncertainty.
HAYES: OK, so then you have South Dakota, which I admit I`m a full-time
journalist, I follow politics, I had sort of known that Larry Pressler was
running. But all of a sudden the polls show Pressler and Rounds basically
neck and neck.
SILVER: Yes, it is crazy. It was one of the quixotic campaigns where he
wasn`t expecting to win. He said if I win I`ll demand a recount on my own
win. We`re seeing dissatisfaction with incumbents. You see incumbents in
some states in both parties lose ground. Pat Roberts is kind of the
SILVER: I mean, it`s a very dramatic turn of events in South Dakota. We
should say this is not yet Kansas. You have one poll showing Pressler
close. You don`t have a whole series of polls that show him ahead.
HAYES: And in Kansas we`re pretty sure even if Roberts is ahead, it`s a
real race. He is no sure thing. Then there`s the question of Alaska,
which is proving to be this really intense race.
You got Mark Begich there who is the incumbent, son of a congressman
running against a Republican attorney general. And it`s just been
impossible to get good polling out of that state.
SILVER: Yes, I tend to think Alaska is not as complicated a case as states
like Kansas where you have a pretty clear consensus of nonpartisan polls
that showed Sullivan, the Republican ahead.
By the way, Alaska historically they tend to be too generous to Democrats.
But that`s a strange state. Begich has an operation that he brags about.
Sometimes that stuff is b.s., but sometimes like in Nevada in 2010 he
bragged a lead in the poll and he did.
Finally a bunch of Fox News polls came out tonight which is probably the
strongest round of Republican polling so far. What`s your take on that?
SILVER: They didn`t have much effect on our model. The reason is that we
have a way to detect if a poll has a consistent what we call a house
effect, so a lean toward one party. If you`re showing a certain party,
Republicans in this case, doing four or five points better than any
pollster does that just means that your technique is different.
It might be right. There`s a lot of uncertainty. Could still have a big
Republican year, but when Fox was in the state, the polling shifts, not so
much in our model. We look at which side the poll ends up upon.
HAYES: Nate Silver, it`s great to see you, man. Thanks for coming by.
This week we`re in coal country. Tonight`s third instalment of the series,
we explore the last best option for people who still want to burn coal.
Stay with us.
HAYES: It`s National Breast Cancer awareness months so you may have seen
pink on the field while watching the NFL or notice buildings with pink
lights or have across all the various pink merchandise for sell.
But nothing tops what Baker Hues, one of the world`s largest drilling
service company is doing. They are partnering with Susan G. Comen, the
largest breast cancer organization in America to make pink drill bits, to
quote, "do their bit for the cure."
Baker Hues is involved heavily in fracking. In a recent government study
found that, some workers on oil and gas sites where fracking occurs are
routinely exposed to high levels of Benzine, which can cause cancer.
The advocacy group, Breast Cancer Action" says the pink drill bits are,
quote, "the most ludicrous piece of pink expletive they seen all year and
called it the most egregious example of pink washing they never seen.
Up next, we`ll examine something else that sounds great at first, clean
HAYES: As we`ve been reporting all this week on "ALL IN AMERICA COAL
COUNTRY," it`s been a rough few years for America`s dirtiest fuel.
Technological advances have given a major boost to wind and solar as well
as natural gas as President Obama pointed out Friday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: The real war on
coal is natural gas, which, because of new technologies, we are now
extracting at a rate that is unbelievable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Coal is also under enormous pressure because burning it spews more
carbon into the air than any other energy source. With the science of
climate change now settled the world and U.S. regulators have come to
recognize that is simply not sustainable.
There`s one last best hope for those who want to keep burning coal. We
travel to Mississippi to learn what it`s all about.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: It`s been said that United States is the Saudi Arabia of
coal. If we can develop the technology to capture the carbon pollution
released by coal, it can create jobs and provide energy well into the
HAYES (voice-over): Big coal has a problem. It`s dirty, it`s dangerous
and it`s desperate to stay competitive with solar, wind and natural gas.
But the coal industry has a plan. They call it clean coal and politicians
can`t get enough of it.
FORMER PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: We need clean coal technology.
SENATOR MITCH MCCONNELL: Clean coal technology.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Clean coal technology.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: With nuclear and clean coal technology.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Wind and solar and clean coal.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oil, clean coal, natural gas.
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: And it is so important that
clean coal be part of that energy future.
HAYES: But is there really such a thing as clean coal?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Clean coal`s like a healthy cigarette. It does not
HAYES: The biggest problem with burning coal is that it releases massive
amounts of carbon into the atmosphere. Carbon traps heat and warms the
planet. The idea behind clean coal is to capture much of that carbon as
it`s being released and then put it underground. It`s called CCS, carbon
capture and storage.
UNIDENTIFIED ANNOUNCER: We capture the co-2 emitted by burning fossil
fuel, compress it into a liquid, which is transported to a storage site
then store it safely and permanently underground.
HAYES: It sounds great, if it works, but despite the federal government
investing billions, it mostly hasn`t. This is the $5.6 billion Kemper
County Energy facility, one of the most expensive domestic power plants
ever built and perhaps clean coal`s best hope. ALL IN went to Eastern
Mississippi to see it firsthand.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s nobody in the world doing more to try to combat
carbon emissions in a clean, efficient way.
HAYES: When it opens the Kemper Plant is supposed to capture 65 percent of
the carbon dioxide it generates giving it a carbon footprint similar to
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This will be, when it comes online, the clean as coal
fired plant in the world.
HAYES: Ed Holland is a CEO of Mississippi power, a subsidiary of southern
company, which has received more than half a billion dollars in federal
government grants and tax credits for the Kemper facility.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have 250 years of coal reserves in this country.
We`re called the Saudi Arabia of coal. We`ve got to find a way to use that
coal, use it in a clean way and an efficient way.
HAYES: Kemper uses a low grade form of coal called lignite, which
Mississippi power mines from a massive deposit right next to the facility.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s a giant pile of lignite.
HAYES: The lignite goes up a conveyor belt into what`s called a gas-fier
where the coal is turned into a gas before being burned to generate
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Coal has hydrogen and carbon in it. If we heat the
coal up, we can turn it into a gas. We can take away 65 percent of the
carbon and be left with a fuel that`s mostly hydrogen.
HAYES: In November, Energy Secretary Earnest Moniz toured the Kemper
ERNEST MONIZ, DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY: The plant of the future. They`re
going to need not ten, maybe 100 more of these plants across the country in
HAYES: That`s a lot of optimism for a facility, which is facing
significant delays and is now more than a billion and a half dollars over
budget. While the captured carbon will be put into the ground, that`s far
from the full story.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will be actually selling the carbon dioxide to an
oil company to help them take more petroleum out of the ground.
HAYES: You heard that right. The carbon captured by this clean coal plant
is going to facilitate oil drilling.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This plant is dirty. It`s expensive. And it`s
unnecessary. Clean coal is nothing more than a Madison Avenue adman`s
version of reality.
HAYES: But the people behind Mississippi power argue that since the world
is going to keep burning coal, you might as well do it cleanly.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We would all over time like to get to a point in time
where we don`t have to generate with coal or we don`t have to generate even
with nuclear, but we`re not there and it`s 40, 50 years and we may never
HAYES: When we come back, I`ll talk clean coal with Jeff Biggers. He is
one of the best chroniclers for what coal has meant for America.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is regular clean, clean enough for your family? Not
when you can have clean coal clean. Clean coal harnesses the awesome power
of the word "clean." To make it sound like the cleanest clean there is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That satirical ad from the Khon brothers pretty well reflects the
perspective of Clean Coal`s opponents. One of those opponents is Jeff
Biggers. I`ve long admired your work on coal.
JEFF BIGGERS, AUTHOR, "RECKONING AT EAGLE CREEK": Thanks for having me,
Chris. A pleasure.
HAYES: So I want to make the case for clean coal. And I want you to --
HAYES: I want you to tell me where I`m wrong. First thing I would say is
there is a ton of coal in this world. China and India particularly are
pulling up tons of coal, 79 percent of all electricity in China and India
particularly are just pulling up tons of coal.
The 79 percent of all is from coal. You have to imagine that there are
internal forces that are going to keep them using coal for a long time. If
you can find a way to massively reduce the emissions or even marginally,
wouldn`t that be a great thing?
BIGGERS: It would be a great thing, but you have to realize there are
other ways that are even greater, even better and even more feasible. You
know, Chris, I`ll never forget doing my research about clean coal and I
found an ad in 1895 in the "Chicago Tribune" about smoke-free clean coal.
For the past 120 years we`ve been trotting out this slogan of clean coal
really in denial of the incredible impact that the coal industry`s had on
coal miners and communities that live nearby and now on our own climate.
So I think the idea is instead of perpetuating this slogan for another 120
years, why don`t we begin to look at other options like Germany and many
HAYES: But let`s stay on the point here. This is a $5.6 billion facility,
it`s not a slogan. They`re trying to capture the carbon and trying to
reduce by about 35 percent the amount or by 65 percent the amount of carbon
that goes into the air.
If you can get that thing working and if you can get it to scale and you
can get that technology passed around, like why do you think that would be
a bad idea regardless of whether the coal industry has been trying to sell
us a bill of goods for a hundred years?
BIGGERS: Well, because we need to talk about the dirty secrets they never
talk about. First dirty secret is in order to operate a CCS plant you have
to use 20 to an estimated 40 percent more energy to capture those carbon
emissions. What does that mean?
That`s 20 percent to 40 percent more coal mining production and its
incredible fallout in coal mining communities including methane release.
The second aspect --
HAYES: Wait, I want to make sure I am understanding you, you are actually
using energy to run that process and so the net reduction in emissions is
actually less than it first appears because you`re mining more coal to
produce the same unit of btu?
BIGGERS: Precisely. And scientists have been all over this. You
essentially have to have at least 20 percent more energy to operate these
sorts of experimental plats. I think the key word, Chris, is to keep in
mind that Kemper is still a very experimental plant that really hasn`t even
come online yet.
You know, Peabody Energy, which is the world`s largest coal company,
released an incredible statement last September saying, CCS is not
We`re not buying into this. I feel like if the world`s largest privately
owned coal company doesn`t buy into CCS then why are we investing billions
upon billions into somehow capturing this. But that`s not the only dirty
secret. There`s more.
HAYES: So Peabody said this is not commercially viable, we`re out. You
guys, you know, spend your federal subsidies and roll the dice on this, but
we don`t think this can ever be brought to scale in a way that`s going to
meet market demand?
BIGGERS: Right. They`re not alone. For example, the International Energy
Agency said, OK, if we go through with this, we`re going to need at least
100 plants like Kemper to actually have any kind of mitigating effect on
So within six years we need to put online a hundred plant likes Kemper. Do
the math. We`ll say $6 billion, we`re talking over, you know, $600
A half a trillion dollars to chase the fallacy of carbon capture and
storage when in fact we could be investing that in much wiser, much better
areas of a transition for a cleaner energy agenda.
HAYES: So those other things, right, whether they`re wind or solar, the
knock on them is I hear the same knock from the skeptics on that as I`m
hearing from you about clean coal. It is not ready, doesn`t work without
subsidies. What do you say to that?
BIGGERS: I`m saying look at the experience of Germany, look at the
experience of Australia, look at the experience of so many other countries
now including our own. I right now am in Iowa where we`re doing this
interview and Iowa now is producing 30 percent of its energy production,
electricity production from wind power.
So it`s no longer a matter of begging the president to put solar panels on
the White House. We`re talking about massive breakthroughs every day.
Chris, also I think part of the dirty secret we have to talk about is the
billions of dollars.
Tens of billions of dollars now hundreds of billions of dollars over the
many years we`re subsidizing the coal industry when we could have spent
that in many other ways.
HAYES: Jeff Biggers, thanks. That`s ALL IN for this evening. "THE RACHEL
MADDOW" starts right now.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
Content and programming copyright 2014 NBC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Copyright 2014 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by
United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed,
transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written
permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark,
copyright or other notice from copies of the content.