'The Rachel Maddow Show' for Friday, October 17th, 2014
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Show: THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW
Date: October 17, 2014
Guest: Michael Beschloss, Jeffrey Jarman, Nick Thuts
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Chris. Thanks. Have a great
weekend. Thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. Happy Friday.
If you watched any of the news today, paid attention to the headlines or
anything, you are forgiven if you felt a little nauseated when you realized
today that the word of the day in today`s news was once again going to be
the word czar.
This used to be a normal word in regular conversation, regular political
analysis. Even talk about policy and getting stuff done or even if you
were just talking about Russian history, whatever, it used to be a normal
word. It did not give you that hairball feeling. If the word czar makes
you have a bad feeling now, it is for a reason. It is because of what we
went through as a country surrounding this word. In 2009, in the first
year of the Barack Obama presidency, do you remember what Fox News was like
about this word?
In 2009, do you remember what it was like, the whole czar thing back them?
This is real. We did not make this up. We did not edit it in any way.
This is from the television in 2009.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He`s now appointed a border czar, another czar. You
know, when I looked up czar in the dictionary or Googled it, the word that
came up is king. I was wondering myself why we are having so many
czars/kings now in America.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every problem has a czar, king of the border, king of
drugs, king of the car problem. When you think about it, czar is a Russian
word. On the big screen up there, we put up the Russian czars through
history. That is horrible.
When you look at the number of czars we`ve got right now, and there`s --
another four right there, and it keeps going on. When you look at the
number of czars in the United States, yes, look, we`ve got a border czar
and a drug czar.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, these are actually present day people.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. He`s installed a bunch of czars. Look at that.
MADDOW: I thought I lived in America, the big headlight, and now we`re
Russia. That is what it was like. That is why the word czar makes your
stomach curdle like old milk in a dirty bottle left in the sun.
Because that is how the whole czar idea got talked about on places like Fox
News when we went through this last as a country in 2009. I should say its
redeeming value that that particular Fox News segment did actually lead to
one of the greatest daily show rejoinders of all time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: God forbid all these czars we hear about Obama
appointing. You know, the ones that never seemed to bother anyone when
they were appointed during the Bush years.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know, when I looked up czar in the dictionary or
Googled it, the word that came up was king. And I was wondering to myself
why we were having so many czars/kings now in America.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Czar? You didn`t know what a czar was? How do you get
a job on television that you need to pin your address to a coats that a
stranger ask help find their way home. Unless. Unless -- unless you`re
just dumbing yourself down.
To connect with an audience that you think sees intellect as an elitist
flaw. That would be easy to check. I Googled Gretchen Carlson and guess
what came up. She was valedictorian of her high school and went to
Stanford and spent time studying abroad at Oxford.
Yes, not the Mississippi Oxford, the Europe one. Not to mention she won
the Miss America crown in 1989 by doing this. Holy -- a classical
rendition of (inaudible) and you know that`s one of the harder (inaudible).
Just because you`re on the couch with Jack Tripper and Janet doesn`t mean
you have to pretend to be Crissy. So I don`t want to have to turn you on
tomorrow and see you`re actually surprised that the interior secretary is
in charge of the outside stuff. From now on, I want to see you give it 120
MADDOW: So yes, so the czar thing was painfully stupid in a way that still
hurts five years later, right. We could still feel how stupid that all is,
but in the first year of the Obama presidency, the controversy of President
Obama appointing point people, managers to coordinate the administration`s
response on specific policy matters, it really was a huge, conservative
media freak out and a huge Republican Party freak out in Washington.
I mean, of all the dumb political stories of that first year of the Obama
presidency, it was the biggest of the dumbest stories.
SENATOR LAMAR ALEXANDER (R), TENNESSEE: We have about two dozen so-called
czars, the pay czar, the car czar, all of these czars in the White House,
and that really is in the front.
GOV. MIKE PENCE (R), INDIANA: The president of the United States should
cease and desist with the appointment of any additional czars.
REPRESENTATIVE STEVE SCALISE (R), LOUISIANA: What I found is HR 35-69,
which is called the sack act. This bill would sunset all czars effective
December 31st of this year.
PENCE: You know, the constitution of the United States doesn`t get read
enough in this building. Nowhere in this document can I find the word
NEIL CAVUTO, FOX NEWS: Who came up with czar? Because it didn`t really
worked out that well for the last official czar so who came up with that?
I could see car czar because it rhymes. But all the others fell to me on
REPRESENTATIVE JACK KINGSTON (R), GEORGIA: I think the president just
likes the term. A czarist Russia had 18 czars over a 300-year period of
time. I don`t really know.
MADDOW: Maybe this president just likes the idea of turning us into Russia
and not the good, Putin Russia either the bad mustache 300 years 18 czars
kind of czars. That specific congressman there lamenting the sound of the
word czar on Fox News is named Jack Kingston.
He was one of the Republican members of Congress who filed legislation, it
wasn`t just the sack act, the Jack Kingston legislation would have blocked
the president`s ability to appoint a czar in government.
To appoint a person to coordinate the administration`s action on area of
policy which, before 2009, was a totally uncontroversial technique of
modern American governance that nobody talked about in a way that made you
hate the sound of that word.
That was our national experience in 2009. But 2009 really was sort of the
heat of the moment around that. In 2010 and 2011, Republicans and our
friends at the Fox News Channel, they didn`t move onto other sources of
There was the New Black Panther Party they had got very excited about.
That pretty much riveted them for all of 2010. That was the Obamacare
thing to get excited about, as well. After 2009, they did get into other
And they forgot that they did hate the czar so much and that was the most
important issue in Washington. They forgot enough about how much they
hated czars. By the time the Ebola crisis rolled around in 2014, this same
guy said who introduced the anti-czar bill who said the whole reason we
have czars is because President Obama likes the sound of it.
He wants to turn us into Russia. That same congressman this year just
published this op-ed. We need an Ebola czar and we know he wrote his own
headline because he posted it on his own congressional web site under his
own picture. We need an Ebola czar says the man who tried to ban czars.
And Jerry Moran from Kansas, Frank Wolf from Virginia, they both co-
sponsored the Jack Kingston anti-czar bill. They just put out a joint
statement demanding that the Obama administration have an Ebola czar.
John McCain back in 2009, he had been smugly tweeting about the Romanoves
and how Barack Obama had more czars than the actual czars had czars. That
was 2009. John McCain went on CNN now this year to stare his former self
in the face and say new John McCain likes the czar. In fact, demands a
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I would say that we don`t know exactly
who is in charge. There has to be some kind of czar.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: There was to be some kind -- I do not know whether this sort of
thing is evidence of the fact that smart people do not go into politics
anymore, or if this is the reason that smart people don`t go into politics
anymore because our politics is like this.
But this really is how stupid our politics is around issues like czars and
stuff. So it almost goes without saying that after Republicans this year
have been quite unselfconsciously clamoring for President Obama to appoint
an Ebola czar, demanding that he appoint an Ebola czar.
Saying he`s being irresponsible as long as he doesn`t appoint an Ebola
czar, the Republican response, say it with me now, we don`t need an Ebola
czar, that was the response today from Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.
Other Republicans criticize President Obama today and not just for choosing
a czar, but for choosing the czar he chose, Ron Klain, who is a long time,
high-end, Washington management type, he is the chief of staff to Attorney
He was chief of staff to Vice President Al Gore. He was chief of staff to
Vice President Joe Biden. He was a top advisor to President Obama
directly. All of that has led to Republican criticism that, well, he`s not
a doctor. It should be clear that the Ebola czar should not be inserting
IV lines or cleaning bed pans or even gene sequencing new doses of ZMapp.
What the Ebola czar is supposed to do is coordinate all the different parts
of the administration`s government response to the Ebola crisis. The
person who had the closest thing to this job before Ron Klain was named to
it today, is Lisa Monaco, who is the top adviser to the president on
Homeland Security and Counterterrorism issues.
She and Susan Rice were basically taking on this role of coordinating the
administration`s response to Ebola. But these two high-ranking officials
do have other stuff to do given that they are the top officials in the
administration on all national security, homeland security and
A White House official put out a statement today explaining that President
Obama is pleased with how Lisa Monaco and Susan Rice have done thus far in
their work coordinating the response to Ebola.
But quote, "given their management of other national and homeland security
priorities, additional bandwidth will further enhance the government`s
So that is the idea, to bring more management brain, essentially more
bandwidth, more coordinating capacity to the response by making one person
responsible for knowing all of the different things that the government is
Also, if you can call him a czar, he can be the king. He can be the king
of this deadly virus or at least he will be the next time you watch Fox
news. I`m telling you this is all coming back. There`s a rich vein of
profound stupidity on issues like this when they get discussed in
On issues like this in the insult sphere that we call policy free political
complaint otherwise known as Congress is on TV and in recess. But despite
that stupidity in the way partisans fight about this stuff.
There is the real matter of getting stuff done about this very real crisis.
And if we put aside all of that nonsense, if you put that stupidity aside,
is picking a point person, somebody to coordinate the administration`s
response on a specific policy matter, is that, in fact, a good way to
ensure that good policy is made and smart actions are taken on that policy
Historically speaking, if this has been done, not just in the Obama
administration, not just in the previous administration, but in lots of
administrations throughout this century and the last, what do we know from
About whether or not this is a good way to manage a response to difficult
stuff because the Ebola crisis is difficult stuff. It is a difficult
complicated fast changing, very challenging thing that brings out the worst
Is it a good thing that somebody like Ron Klain, an experienced management
guy, who knows everybody in government, is it smart historically speaking
to put somebody like that in charge of a big government response like this?
What do we know about how to predict whether this will work?
Joining us now is NBC News presidential historian, Michael Beschloss.
Michael, it`s always a pleasure to have you here. Thank you so much for
being here. So why do presidents typically appoint a czar or a point
person like this.
Is it a last resort kind of thing or is there -- are there particular
problems that presidents like to throw solutions like this act?
MICHAEL BESCHLOSS, NBC NEWS PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Well, usually, you
know, there`s a crisis and what the president does is say that the federal
government can do some things well, maybe not a lot of things but some
things. But when a crisis comes along, oftentimes there`s conflict between
agencies. They don`t focus. They get distracted.
So that`s where presidents in history have appointed a czar. For instance,
Franklin Roosevelt who really popularized all of this during World War II,
he said we are not getting our ships built. So he hired a guy named Henry
J. Kaiser, a famous ship builder, a building magnet.
He said this is the number of ships I want you to oversee and make sure
they get build. Kaiser came in and that was done.
MADDOW: So hiring a shipbuilding guy in order to get more ships built,
that seems like right on the nose. There`s been all this criticism today
that Ron Klain isn`t a doctor and this is a medical matter. Is subject
matter direct personal expertise always what presidents go for when they
put somebody in charge of a specific type of policy problem?
BESCHLOSS: Probably as in President Nixon, for instance in 1973, at the
time of the energy crisis after the Arab oil embargo appointed William
Simon as our first energy czar. Simon was a very tough manager, knew
almost nothing about energy. He was a bond trader on Wall Street.
But it probably does help to have some technical expertise and not even Ron
Klain would argue that he has that background. What he does had is what
you are mentioning earlier, which is a lot of government experience, the
ability to knock heads together on behalf of the president to get things
And the other thing is that one thing is going to be very important during
this number of months is he is going to presumably have to say a lot of
things in public that will give the public the impression of the government
is doing what it should taking this seriously.
But not go too far as to alarm people. That`s something that requires a
lot of sensitivity and we`ll see if he`s got that.
MADDOW: It definitely implies. At least what we know about his resume
implies that he has the direct personal trust of certainly the vice
president and the president himself, though.
The most interesting thing we know about his resume is that the vice
president and the president apparently thought about him, about who was
going to get him in their office.
I mean, when these things happen, when presidents essentially have an envoy
like this, not Senate approved, not a cabinet officer, but somebody they
have picked to run something, is their direct connection to the president
and the president`s direct faith in them, part of the power that they bring
to getting stuff done?
BESCHLOSS: Hugely. It`s absolutely essential because a czar like this has
to be able to go to an agency and say, essentially, I tell you to do this
and I`m telling you on behalf of the president, you know, listen to what
I`m saying as if he were talking to you himself.
A great example of that was after 9/11, a lot of Americans, a lot in
Washington felt that one reason why that 9/11 happened was that agencies of
our government were not talking to one another enough.
President Bush quite intelligently appointed Tom Ridge, the governor of
Pennsylvania as the first Homeland Security czar. He was able to come in
and make some rational structure where there had not been one before.
MADDOW: And speak from a position of somebody who definitely had the
BESCHLOSS: They knew he was attending for President Bush.
MADDOW: Crucial. NBC News`s presidential historian, Michael Beschloss,
thank you for helping us rise above some particularly eekie-myer on
subjects like this. I really appreciate it.
All right, still ahead tonight, what one U.S. senator with presidential
aspirations is doing to try to up the panic because it might help him, one
of my least favorite and most enthusiastically looking forward to telling
you about stories in a long time. Stay with us.
MADDOW: Map time. Here we have the surprisingly large number of states in
which the top of the ticket race in this year`s elections are currently
tied, tied directly or at least within the margin of error in recent
polling. This is the number of Senate races that are tied right now and
this is all of the races for governor that are tied right now.
One, state that didn`t change when we just did those two maps, one state in
which both the Senate race and the governor`s race are both statistically
tied is the great state of Kansas.
The conservative Republican governor of that state, Sam Bronback, in a dead
heat statistically even with his Democratic challenger, moderate state rep,
Paul David, and in the U.S. Senate race, Republican Senator Pat Roberts is
fighting to keep independent, Greg Orman, from taking his seat in the
That`s become a very tight race, neither side has a vote to spare, but in
the state facing two top-of-the-ticket races that are that close. That are
both essentially tied, this is what they`re fighting about in Kansas right
More than 20,000 people who have registered to vote in the state or who
have tried to register to vote in the state, but the Kansas Republican
Secretary of State Kris Kobach does not consider those more than 20,000
people to be actual voters. He does not consider them to be properly
registered. And, as such, does not plan on letting them vote.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KRIS KOBACH: Look, we are a country of laws and it is possible for every
single person who is a U.S. citizen to vote in Kansas. And this is -- I
think it`s really irresponsible to suggest that citizens are being denied
the right to vote. She says these people are disenfranchised. No. These
are people who didn`t complete the process of registration.
JEAN SCHODORF, DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE: Mr. Kobach believes that you and I
and everybody on that 22,000 list are guilty and they have to prove it
themselves and that is wrong, that is not American.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Under Kansas Secretary of State Chris Kobach, Kansas developed
some novel new hurdles for keeping people from being allowed to vote. And
sometimes that kind of thing is a real sleeper issue.
But in a year when the governor`s race is tied and the Senate race is tied
and even Chris Kobach`s own race for secretary of state is pretty close,
all of the sudden, the idea that 22,000 people in that state are
essentially attempted registered voters. That`s an issue with big
implications for that state. That`s an issue with big implications for
Joining us now is Jeff Jarman, professor of political communication in
Wichita State. He is also a political analyst for KSM TV. Professor
Jarman, thank you for being here. Thank you for wearing that bow tie. It
makes me very happy.
JEFFREY JARMAN, WICHITA STATE UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR: You bet, absolutely.
MADDOW: So those 22,000 voter registrations that are in limbo, I think of
them as attempted registered voters. If it works out that they`re not
anyone to vote, presumably that is the kind of margin that could be very
significant in Kansas this year.
JARMAN: Absolutely. Look, 20,000 votes is huge especially when -- the
impetus for this is voter fraud. Kobach can only find a handful, 5 or 10
votes that might be fraudulent compared to 20,000 people who can`t vote?
That would definitely swing an election.
MADDOW: Will, do voters in Kansas believe that voter fraud is as big a
problem as Chris Kobach says it is? The way that he`s been able to get
these hurdles in place in Kansas is by telling people that voter fraud is
such a big deal, this new sort of drastic measures need to be taken.
JARMAN: Yes. Look, this is a real problem all across the country, really
and that`s because fraud has such powerful connotations for people. Nobody
is for fraud. So it`s not the scoop or the magnitude of the problem. It`s
seen as such a big problem because of what it signifies. On the flip side,
our problem is we can`t convince people that suppression is just as bad as
MADDOW: Well, Chris Kobach`s opponent for secretary of state, we played
that little clip from the debate, somehow, the Democrats have raised the
issue. I`ve seen some opinion columns written in Kansas papers this
election season that I was shocked by in terms of being very, very upset
Clearly, there is an effort in the state to try to make this an issue, to
make suppression an issue, those more than 20,000 people an issue. Is it
getting an attraction?
JARMAN: Well, you know, look, in some ways, it`s getting a lot of
attraction. The challenger, Jean Schodorf is even with him in the race and
really we are not for those other races, the Senate race and the governor`s
race capturing so much attention.
I think she would be really far ahead, you know, she is fighting for
attention and air time right now. You know, he should be up a lot and the
fact that he`s tied is a real sign that he is in trouble.
MADDOW: Jeffrey Jarman, Wichita State professor of political
communications and political analyst for KSM TV. Professor Jarman, it`s
really great to have you here. Thank you for your time.
JARMAN: Yes, absolutely.
MADDOW: All right, thanks. So we have a thing coming up at the end of the
show tonight, which I`m really sure is not going to work. It`s a lot of
room for error, a lot of expectation that there will be grave errors.
That`s coming up.
MADDOW: We`ve got a lot still ahead tonight including a Rand Paul story
that will -- curl your hair? It will curl your hair, but not in a cute
way. We`ve got a thing to do at the end of the show that is going to quite
possibly be a disaster on live TV.
But before we get to that stuff, we do have an update for you on another
story that we`ve been following really closely, about tens of thousands of
voters allegedly being disappeared off the voter rolls in a state where the
most important races in this year`s elections are all tied up.
It`s happening in Kansas as we just reported with Professor Jeff Jarman
from Wichita State. It`s also happening in Georgia and Georgia like
Kansas, it`s one of those states where the governor`s race and U.S. Senate
race are both literally tied.
So Democrats think the way to a blue Georgia is by registering lots of new
voters. Democrats have been working really hard to do that before the
deadline for registering this year, a group called "The New Georgia
Project" says they turned in 85,000 applications for new voters in Georgia.
But then they said half those voters never turned up in the system so
really serious allegation with really big potential consequences. They are
saying 40,000 to 50,000 new voters in Georgia, poof, gone. They tried to
They got their registrations in on time, but their registrations just
disappeared. So that allegation was made last week and the New Georgia
Project sued the secretary of state in Georgia over those lost voters.
Well, now, the Georgia secretary of state has responded and he says, he
found the lost voters.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SECRETARY OF STATE BRIAN KEMP (R), GEORGIA: The claim that there are over
40,000 unprocessed voter registration applications is absolutely false.
The counties have processed all the voter registration applications that
they received for the general election.
The applicants` forms have either been added to the roles or they`re in
pending status and the county has contacted them to get the required
information so that they may be registered if they`re eligible to do so.
It`s now time for the New Georgia Project and others to stop throwing out
random numbers and baseless accusations and let the county simply do their
I would ask the Third Sector Development, the New Georgia Project, the
Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, Pastor Warnock, Congressman John Lewis
and anyone else who has accused the county of voter suppression to
apologize to them and also to withdraw this ridiculous lawsuit.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Withdraw this ridiculous lawsuit, we found those voters, it`s all
there. It`s all fine. Well, we spoke tonight to the voter registration
group. We can report tonight that they are not backing down. They have
filed an official request for evidence for documents and records that might
support the state`s claim to have found those 40,000 missing voters.
So the secretary of state is calling their lawsuit ridiculous and demanding
an apology. They are quite confident in their accusations and they are
steaming ahead. The first court hearing on this is scheduled for Friday, a
week from today in Atlanta. You will want to have popcorn ready. We`ll
keep you posted.
MADDOW: Heading into this week, here`s what the president`s official
schedule look like, Wednesday, October 15th, the president will travel to
Union, New Jersey to deliver remarks and take questions at a Democratic
Senate Campaign Committee event.
Following this event, the president will travel to Bridgeport, Connecticut
to deliver remarks at a campaign rally with Connecticut Democrats featuring
Governor Dan Maloy.
Then Thursday, October 16th, the president will travel to Rhode Island in
New York to a pair of Democratic campaign events. Yes, none of that
happened. All of those events were, of course, cancelled.
President Obama, instead, stayed back in Washington to meet with his team
coordinating the nation`s response to Ebola. On Capitol Hill this week,
you could almost be forgiven for thinking that Congress is back in session.
It`s not. They`re not actually convening until well after the election.
They gave themselves, you might remember, the whole month of October off
after working a grand total of seven days all of September. But the House
did come back yesterday and they looked like they were in session for a
second. A lot of them came back yesterday to do a hearing about the
response to Ebola.
They`re not debating any legislation. They are not proposing doing
anything about Ebola, but they did want to give members on that committee a
chance to show off in front of the TV cameras on an issue that lots of
people are very upset about. Sometimes that showing off in front of the
cameras thing went well, and sometimes it went poorly.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPRESENTATIVE MARSHA BLACKBURN (R), TENNESSEE: You just said that we
cannot have flight restrictions because of a porous border. So do we need
to worry about having an unsecure southern and northern border? Is that a
big part of this problem?
THOMAS FRIEDEN, CDC DIRECTOR: I was referring to the border of the three
countries in Africa.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: That border. What`s all of this I hear about violins on
television? But that was not the best moment accidentally spoken out loud
in Washington this week. That moment actually happens in a question to the
FBI Director James Comey.
James Comey was at a D.C. think tank yesterday to give a talk on privacy
and encryption and how much law enforcement wants to spy on us and how much
we don`t want to be spied on.
But at that talk afterwards came question time and that`s when the person
from the Fox News Channel raised his hand and it was time for things to get
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there any credible evidence that terrorists can use
Ebola as a bioagent here in the United States?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: No, but thanks for playing. Thanks for playing. It`s really
stupid stuff being asked, being said, being misunderstood about Ebola, but
in Washington, that kind of thing happens. But it`s not only Washington.
It is escaped.
Here on the porous border between stupid and offensive is something called
Ebola.com. Is Ebola.com an informational web site about the virus that`s
run by medical experts? Nope. As you can see down there down at the
bottom of the page, ebola.com is for sale.
Ebola.com, that domain name is owned by a squatter who tells CNBC this week
that he`s trying to sell it to the highest bidder. The current asking
price for ebola.com is 150,000, but that price is, quote, subject to change
as the situation evolves.
See if thousands more people get infected and die, this guy might really
make bank. Cross your fingers for him. If you don`t want to buy
ebola.com, though, perhaps I can interest you in a fake Ebola-proof suit.
Scared of catching Ebola? Buy the ultimate Ebola protection kit for just
89.99, you can get a protective suit, a deluxe face mask, rough grip gloves
that all comes with no training whatsoever. If you act now, you`ll also
get a free false sense of security.
The pop-up company pedalling these items was featured by "USA Today" in an
article about marketers trying to cash in on the fear around Ebola. The
guy who runs that company tells "USA Today" quote, "We`ll probably just
ride this thing until the wheels fall off." Is that one of the things that
Ebola does to you?
It`s one thing to try to profit off of people`s fears of contracting
Ebola, right. There is a special place for you somewhere for doing that.
It is a somewhat deeper circle of hell for you, though, if you have so low
as to try to sell people a cure for this terrible thing that does not have
Gizmoto today rounded up six fake Ebola cures that are now being pedalled
online. Cures being sold by supposed doctors in white lab coats claiming
that the government knows there is a cure for Ebola, but they don`t want
you to have it.
So if you give us your money, we`ll give you the cure or you could try
these Ebola outbreak preventing anti-microbial oils. Act now, supplies are
So, as we descend through the fatal disease exploitation and profiteering
circles of hell here, here`s the squatting ebola.com guy trying to strike
it rich with that URL, right. There`s the fake Ebola-proof suit scam.
There are the fake Ebola cures, but then there`s also the United States
senator named Rand Paul.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SENATOR RAND PAUL: They have gone on and on and on telling you don`t
worry. It`s not that contagious. It has to be direct contact and you have
to exchange bodily fluids. What does that sound leek? It`s like AIDS.
But you know how we define direct contact being within 3 feet of someone.
We`re talking about it has to be within a cup to get on you. This thing is
incredibly contagious. People getting a fully gowned massing and they`re
still getting it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: I`m a doctor. Trust me. Don`t trust what the government is
telling you, what they are telling you. They say you need to be in contact
with the bodily fluids of an Ebola patient in order to get it? I`m telling
you, you can catch it at a cocktail party. You can catch it everywhere.
All it takes is a very tiny little inoculum.
See a medical term, I`m a doctor. The "Associated Press" pointed out
today, Rand Paul statements about Ebola in New Hampshire, that quote you
just saw there, directly conflict with statements from World Health
authorities who have dealt with Ebola outbreaks since 1976.
But he`s a doctor. He speaks not just as a man who wants to be president.
He speaks from a position of medical authority. That`s why he says things
Rand Paul is a doctor. He`s an ophthalmologist. One of the harder to
figure out things about him is that he is not actually a board certified
ophthalmologist. He says he is, but he`s not. This came up as an issue
when he first ran for the United States Senate in 2010.
Ophthalmologists, eye doctors in this country get board certified by
something called the American Board of Ophthalmology. Rand Paul is not.
When Rand Paul says he is board certified as an ophthalmologist, it turns
out what he means is that he is certified by a group that he, himself,
incorporated in 1999, and that he heads.
I`ll tell you it`s Rand Paul, Rand Paul`s wife and also his father-in-law,
who founded their own family ophthalmology board in the 1990s listing Rand
Paul as owner/president and his wife, Kelly, as the board`s vice president.
So instead of being a board certified ophthalmologist, like he says, like a
normal doctor might be, Rand Paul instead decided to found his own Rand
Paul Eye Doctor Organization and then to have the Rand Paul Eye Doctor
Organization certify him. Tada.
When the "Louisville Courier Journal" asked Rand Paul back in 2010 when
they could talk to him about this, he told them, quote, "You know, never."
But trust Rand Paul when it comes to things like Ebola. Don`t trust them.
Don`t trust the authorities. Trust him. He`s a doctor, kind of, inoculum.
There`s a lot of stupid stuff going on around Ebola right now. Stupid,
ignorant, exploitive, bordering on evil stuff, and there`s also a lot of
reasonable concern out there about this really scary disease, right? It`s a
real disease. It`s a scary thing. The disease has now infected people in
There`s a real need for us right now to have a sober, national dialogue
about it. We are having some of that, but we are also having people trying
to cash in on it and people using their positions of authority not to
contribute meaningfully to the dialogue but instead to make things up.
Making things up that it might freak people out more than they are even
though what they are saying is sourced entirely from deep files and
research. He surely maintains on the subject and his homemade doctor group
that he and his wife founded in a P.O. Box at a UPS store down the block in
It is one thing to try to profit off people dying from a deadly disease.
It`s another to exploit people`s fears to try to profit off pretending to
address those fears.
It is a whole another thing entirely to be in a position of authority and
to stoke your own authority on the issue while stoking fears, while seeking
the profit from those fears, while you have no idea what you`re talking,
but people think you might. That really is another thing entirely.
MADDOW: Thing? We have new things. We`ve never had this before. It
comes apart into three bits. This is part of a new segment we have never
done before. There`s a chance it`s the best thing we`ve ever done. It
could also totally not work. It`s a new thing. It`s technologically
complicated. It`s next. Stay with us.
MADDOW: Happy Friday. Have you been watching this show all week? Have
you been playing close attention to the news this week? I hope so. We`re
trying something new tonight because it`s freaking Friday and why not? We
call it "Friday Night News Dump." Tada! Producer, Nick Tuths, is here to
help me out as our announcer, kind of Vanna White with a 5:00 shadow.
NICK TUTHS, PRODUCER: Sure.
MADDOW: Thank you. Nick, we have invited a faithful viewer of our show to
answer questions about stories we covered this week. Who is our lucky
Friday night news dumpee?
TUTHS: Our guest tonight is Shawna Edson, Rachel. She`s one of our
Twitter faithful. You can find her @therockdiva on Twitter. She works in
a museum and she studied geology. Rachel meet Shawna.
MADDOW: Shawna, are you there on the Skype?
SHAWNA EDSON: I am, hello, Rachel.
MADDOW: This is very exciting.
EDSON: You have no idea how excited I am.
MADDOW: What`s really good about this is because of the magic of Skype,
your head is three times the size of mine. So everybody will expect you to
be incredibly smart about all these things.
EDSON: I wasn`t a Rhodes scholar, but I try.
MADDOW: The one thing I was advised is that you are from Mount Rainier,
Maryland. Is there a mountain near Mount Rainier in Maryland?
EDSON: There is not. What I`m told is a nostalgic west coaster, missed
the actual Mount Rainier and decided to found a town.
MADDOW: I love it. I`m going to ask you three multiple choice questions.
If you get two or more of them right, you will win a piece of swag. I
forgot what it is.
TUTHS: Rachel, the swag tonight is a mini Rachel Maddow shaker.
MADDOW: These are very cheap and tiny. So they`re for baby-sized
cocktails. I have to introduce you to one other important person. It`s
our judge. He is the guy who puts the mad in Maddow blog, Steve Bennett.
He is sequestered in a bunker deep in the wilds of New England.
But he knows everything and so his disembodied voice will be the one to
tell you if you get a question right or wrong. So disembodied voice, say
hello to Shawnna.
STEVE BENNETT: Hello to both of you.
MADDOW: Here`s your first question. Monday`s show, we discussed the
modern Washington, D.C. tradition of former high-level administration
officials writing tell-all books about their former bosses.
Ronald Reagan`s former chief of staff Donald Regan revealed in his tell-all
book that President Reagan consulted an astrologer. Do you remember all
Here`s your question. What kinds of decisions did President Reagan and his
wife, Nancy, consult their astrologer about while President Reagan was
president. Was it A, the president`s schedule, B, what meals to serve at
state dinner, C, staffing decisions for the president`s cabinet, or D, all
of the above.
EDSON: I believe it was A, it had to do with his schedule and travel?
MADDOW: Steve, did Shawna get that right?
BENNETT: I`m going to let the NBC News archives answer that one.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tom, sources tell NBC News that the president and Mrs.
Reagan have consulted an astrologer several times while they`re in the
White House and the changes in the president`s schedule have been made
based on the advice from that astrologer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BENNETT: The correct answer is A, the president`s schedule.
MADDOW: Yay, that`s excellent. This is going to be so much fun. We`re
going to do this every day. You got one right. You have to get two to win
We`re going to go to question two, also from Monday`s show. After a 2012
explosion, a refinery in Richmond, California, that made local citizens and
elected officials very, very angry at the company that ran the refinery,
that big oil company is now spending hugely in Richmond, California, to try
to elect its chosen candidates to the local city council and as mayor.
The question is, which oil company is burying the Richmond, California in
campaign money in order to try to get the local governments that they as an
oil company would prefer. Is that company A, Exxon, B, Shell, C, Chevron
or D, the Marvel Mystery Oil Company?
EDSON: C, Chevron and I like that you made the alliteration work there.
MADDOW: Thank you very much. Steve, what`s the right answer?
BENNETT: The correct answer is C, Chevron.
MADDOW: Well done. Are you ready for your last question?
On Tuesday, we reported, it was breaking news at the time that a surprise
Supreme Court decision would let more than a dozen abortion clinics in
Texas reopen after they had been shut down by the state so the ruling that
the clinics reopen.
But, this is kind of a hard one. There was a descent filed by three judges
that they would have left those Texas abortion clinics closed. So here is
your difficult question, which of these conservative justices surprised
some observers by not signing on to that dissent.
By not signing on to the keep the clinics closed dissent. Was it A, Chief
Justice John Roberts, B, Justice Samuel Alito, C, Justice Clarence Thomas,
or D, Justice Antonin Scalia.
EDSON: That would be Chief Justice John Roberts.
MADDOW: Steve, do you have the answer for us?
BENNETT: I will let one of the plaintiffs in that case give us the answer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m very delighted. I can`t believe we got both
Kennedy and Roberts to rule in our favor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BENNETT: That means the answer is A, Chief Justice Roberts, just like
MADDOW: All right. I know there`s tons of suspense here, Nick, you
obviously are very good at math. You can tell just by looking at you. Did
she get enough answers to win the swag?
THUTS: Carry the one, yes, she did.
EDSON: I was hoping to get a question about Mo the baby river otter. But
this is OK, too.
MADDOW: The thing about Mo the baby river otter is he`s just Mo the baby
river otter. There`s nothing wrong with Mo the baby river otter. Thanks
for watching the show all week and memorizing all the stuff. I`ll
appreciate it and we`ll send you your tiny cheap shaker.
EDSON: Excellent, thank you, Rachel.
It worked. If any of you out there think that you have what it takes to
survive the Friday night news dump, head over to maddowblog.com with
instructions for how to apply to play.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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