All In With Chris Hayes, Friday, November 14th, 2014
Read the transcript from the Friday show
Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
Date: November 14, 2014
Guest: Etan Thomas, Tim Donaghy, Robert Reich, Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, Dan
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on "ALL IN" --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: It`s not going to
HAYES: The president comes out swinging on immigration, climate and now,
the Keystone pipeline.
OBAMA: It doesn`t have an impact on U.S. gas prices.
HAYES: And impeachment talk goes mainstream.
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: I will leave it as an impeachable
HAYES: Tonight, the latest escalation over the president`s lame duck
offensive. And about those gas prices.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Crude down to a three-year low as of today.
HAYES: The cost of oil just keeps dropping. But why? And is it a good
thing? Then, Richard Engel on ISIS and al Qaeda joining forces. And the
NBA`s commissioner surprise call to legalize sports gambling.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So I was able to predict the outcome of the games.
HAYES: Former NBA ref Tim Donaghy who went to jail for betting on games
will tell me if he thinks it`s a good idea.
TIM DONAGHY: That sell into an addiction of gambling.
HAYES: "ALL IN" starts right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. President Barack
Obama is spoiling for a fight. In a remarkable, defiant presidential press
conference in Myanmar overnight, the president reasserted in some of his
strongest language yet, his intention to utilize the full extent of his
executive authority to implement his policy vision in the last two years of
Midterm losses and Republican condemnation be damned. And president said
he hasn`t changed his position of a Keystone XL pipeline with Republicans
and some of his own party pushed him to approve saying the evaluation
process has to run its course.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: I have to constantly push back against this idea that somehow the
Keystone pipeline is either this massive jobs build for the United States
or is somehow lowering gas prices. Understand what this project is. It is
providing the ability of Canada to pump their oil, send it through our land
down to the Gulf where it will be sold everywhere else.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The president also talked about his landmark agreement with China
to reduce greenhouse gases, saying it addresses opponents` only legitimate
argument against inaction. But the rest of the world needs to do its part,
particularly China, as the world`s biggest polluter.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: By all independent accounts, for the first time, we got China to
make a very serious commitment to constrain its greenhouse gases. Why
would anybody be against that?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: An honest plan executive action on immigration, which could protect
as many as 5 million of the 11 million undocumented immigrants from
deportation. The president called out House Republicans for claiming they
want to fix the system, and then doing nothing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: I gave the House over a year to go ahead and at least give a vote
to the Senate bill. They failed to do so. And I indicated to Speaker
Boehner several months ago that if, in fact, Congress failed to act, I
would use all the lawful authority that I possess to try to make the system
work better. And that`s going to happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Today, we also got word the U.S. will announce a $3 billion
contribution to an international fund to help poor countries cope with the
effects of climate change, effects we are already seeing. And that`s the
sort of move that will almost certainly elicit even more outrage from the
But as mad as Republicans are at the president over climate and Keystone,
they are positively apoplectic over his coming action on immigration. ,
John Boehner is refusing to take a government shutdown over the issue off
the table. And a conservative action, the house is demanding that language
blocking the president`s move be attached to the looming bill to fund the
government. And that`s not even the worst of it. You might remember that
this summer when Democrats started warning the Republicans might move to
impeach the president if they were successful in the midterms. Republicans
like Karl Rove dismissed their claims as a nonsense. Well, guess what?
Last night, on Fox, Charles Krauthammer, one of the most influential voices
among conservatives, trotted out the I-word and he`s not the only one.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KRAUTHAMMER: I believe it is an impeachable offence.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`d have to agree with him. Of course, it would be.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Impeachment is indicting in the House and that`s a
possibility, but you still have to convict in the Senate, and that takes
the two thirds vote. But the impeachment would be a consideration. Yes,
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If the practical effect of his executive order is the
opposite of what the law requires, I hate to say this, Republicans don`t
want to do it, and I understand why, he`s a candidate for impeachment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Republicans who want to impeach when certainly seem at the support
of their base, the CNN poll over the summer, July, 57 percent of
Republicans said they backed the move to impeach the president. And that
is, of course, before the details of this impending executive action became
clear. The president and congressional Republicans are on, as of now, a
very clear collision course and neither side seems having any interest in
Joining me now former Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration
Robert Reich. He is the author of "After Shock" - "Inequality for All."
And Bob, you were in the Clinton administration. You`ve been writing about
and thinking about the Obama administration. You`ve been in contact with
people inside there. What do you make of the president over this last week
and a half in the posture he`s adopted?
ROBERT REICH, FORMER SECRETARY OF U.S. DEPT. OF LABOR: Chris, I think we
are finally seeing a president who is free. He`s free of not only him ever
having to run again. I mean he was free of that in the last election. But
he`s also free of having to protect vulnerable Democrats. The midterms are
over. He doesn`t have to worry about vulnerable Democrats. They were
vulnerable. They lost or they hung on. He also doesn`t have to worry
about Republicans. What`s the worst that the Republicans in Congress can
do - as they can try to shut the government down? Well, they tried that.
Look what that earned them. Or, they can try to impeach him.
Well, I can tell you from the Clinton years, that when the Republicans who
took over Congress beginning in 1995, when they tried to shut the
government down, and they did, and then they tried to impeach Bill Clinton,
and they did in the House. What did that do? It increased Bill Clinton`s
standing in the public dramatically and he left the White House in very,
very good shape. It helped even the party. I think that the president
simply feels there is no way he can lose right now.
HAYES: You know, this point about impeachment, that you just made, is one
I`ve heard from Republicans and conservatives on and off the record. They
cite Clinton as a kind of disaster for Republicans. And at one level, I
don`t - I really don`t want there to be impeachment, it`s just my own sort
of feeling about that health of the Republic, having two successive
Democratic (INAUDIBLE) presidents impeached by Republican Houses, I think
it would be an awful precedent for our sort of constitutional integrity,
frankly. But there`s also the taste that you cannot put it passed the base
of the Republican House in getting their away, and we saw that with the
Shutdown, and it seems that what has developed just in ten days since the
elections, is things moving towards some kind of cataclysmic confrontation.
REIHAYES: They may be moving in that direction, it also may be that they
have not a shred of memory left from what happened in the 1990s when they
impeached Bill Clinton. I would not be surprised if a lot of them had no
memory or they have even no institutional memory. Let them go ahead and
try. It is bad for the country, I agree with you completely, Chris. It
would be bad for the country, bad institutionally. But a lot of
Republicans don`t seem to worry about the institutions of government,
that`s the problem we`ve had with them. And maybe if they try to impeach
the president not because of anything that he did illegally, not because of
what - what Richard Nixon did, I think that most people agree historically
that he was - he deserved to be impeached, or at least the threat of
impeachment, throwing him out of office. But here we have a president who
is doing his job. And if the Republicans disagree just like they did with
Bill Clinton, and if they want to really sacrifice the institutions of
government, let the public see them try to do that.
HAYES: Let me play devil`s advocate for the other side. That`s not even
devil`s advocate. I think there`s an argument here. Republicans were
saying, look, we just - Democrats for the midterms. We have historic -
historic margins in the House, largest since the 1920s. We are going to
have a 55 or so vote majority in the Senate. This was a rebuke of the
president`s politics, and here he is one, two, three, a week - seven days
after basically telling us to screw off. And basically saying, I`m going
to do what I`m going to do. And I`m not listening to you. Is there
something anti-Democratic about that? Is there something offensive about
that as Republicans say?
REICH: Well, let`s look at specifically what the president has talked
about doing. I mean he says, he`s not very excited about the Keystone XL
pipeline. He wants to let that process move forward. There`s nothing
illegal about that. He wants to join the Chinese in trying to reduce
carbon emissions. What`s illegal about that? He`s talking about net
neutrality. I don`t know what`s illegal about a president moving forward
on net neutrality. He`s talking about an immigration executive order that
just codifies administrative discretion in terms of how you use a scarce
enforcement resources. There`s nothing illegal about any of this. The
matter of fact is that the Republicans are making such a huge deal out of
the fact that the president is acting presidential. So, to me, it suggests
that they don`t want him to have any presidency at all over the next two
HAYES: Robert Reich, thank you, always a pleasure.
REICH: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: One of the most long standing conflicts between the president and
Republicans in congress as well as a good number of Democrats has been over
that Keystone Exxon pipeline project, which carries tar sands dirty oil
from Canada to Texas. But the president has thus far to decline to approve
siding of preexisting process in the State Department and ongoing lawsuits.
And, now, that conflict is bringing us one of the most preposterous
displays of political desperation I`ve seen in quite a while. Democratic
Louisiana senator Marry Landrieu is now in a runoff election against
Republican Bill Cassidy, congressman from the House, for the last
outstanding Senate seat in the nation.
And in an apparent attempt to boost Landrieu`s chances, Senate Democrats
have scheduled a vote for Tuesday on the Landrieu`s sponsored bill calling
for federal approval of Keystone XL, so that Landrieu can go on the record
with her support. Now, to be outdone, House Republicans today passed their
own bill calling for Keystone XL tube proceed. There are - votes on the
issue. And guess who got to sponsor their bill? Well, none other than
Representative Bill Cassidy, Mary Landrieu`s Republican opponent in that
We should know that Louisiana is home to a huge part of the refining
capacity in the United States, and what benefit at least the oil industry
would from that pipeline being built. So, now both candidates have gotten
to take a strong stand for appalling more dirty oil out of the planet and
public recovering the atmosphere in votes that are effectively meaningless
because the president is waiting to make a decision until that pipeline
review process is complete. That is right now you Congress at work.
Joining me now, Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, board chair of Green for All.
Phaedra, the president I think, it`s fair to say, a mixed record on
climate. And what I have seen in the last several months, particularly
with the EPA rulings and him, his language of the China deal and his
language on the Keystone pipeline, which I thought tipped his hand more
than we`d ever seen before. That maybe these last two years, this is a
real focus for this administration as they think about their legacy.
PHAEDRA ELLIS-LAMKINS, GREEN FOR ALL: Yeah, I think it`s been wonderful.
It`s - we are seeing the president that we all thought we elected. I think
he`s recognized that people of color, young people, working people and
women elected him. And what we know is those are the people that cared
about climate. 81 percent of Americans believe that it`s happening.
People want this to be an issue at the forefront. And I think for the
first time we`re seeing him just own this issue and feel free to lead.
HAYES: Let me push back on that. Do you really think that about the
politics? I mean I think the substantive case here is very clear about
what it would take to keep the planet in a kind of roughly habitable -
temperatures, and how we can`t be pulling out more dirty fuel. OK?
Substance of cases.
But politically, it seems to me that he could be the case that he is on the
wrong side of the argument. And Mary Landrieu, Bill Cassidy on the right
side of it. That Americans see this and they say yeah, build a pipeline,
give us more oil. We want cheaper gas. Maybe they`ll get some jobs in it.
And certainly, the calculation in Congress is that this is politically
beneficial. Do you really think he`s got the right side of the politics on
ELLIS-LAMKINS: Yeah, I know he has the right side of the politics, because
if you listen to what the folks who are on the other side are saying is
they`re saying global warming isn`t real. And what we know is people do
believe it`s real. And, in fact, they are also saying that the jobs, we
know it`s not actually going to create a lot of jobs. And what we know is
about who is most impacted by those emissions. What we know, six out of
ten African American children have asthma as a result - largely impacted by
the air we breathe. We know that almost 70 percent of low income people
and people of color live near a power plant. So, I don`t think people can
be fooled into the rhetoric that less than a thousand jobs is more
important than the air that we breathe.
HAYES: What do you expect to see come of this as a political issue over
these next years? It`s been in kind of hibernation, I think it`s fair to
say. Keystone has been contested by advocates. It`s been talked about in
politics. But climate as a whole has been kind of off the front burner for
the last, I say, two to four years. What are you expecting to see the big
fights are over the next two years?
ELLIS-LAMKINS: Here`s my - I think it`s going to be important. First, I
think you are right that if you and I even talked six months ago, I didn`t
think that we`d be saying the word climate. I thought in fact, I think
part of what the politics as we look at what`s happened, I think, in
Congress, is it`s kind of let people be more bold because it`s so clear.
You know, the president has spent some time protecting moderate Democrats
or thinking about the next elections. And that doesn`t exist anymore. So,
now he just gets to say here`s what I believe in. Here`s what I`m for.
And I think he`s going to want issues that define who he is. And there`s
no one that believes that - the issue of climate is not immoral issue.
And in fact, what we know is that we`re going to look at reducing emissions
from power plants, which is going to be important. The power of the EPA.
The United Nation talks in Paris in 2015. But here`s what this feels like.
It feels like the president woke up, and said, I`m here, I`m ready. I`m
coming for you and climate is going to be an issue that defines the type of
president I was.
HAYES: Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, I think that`s well side. Thank you very
ELLIS-LAMKINS: Thank you.
HAYES: If you drive a car, you`re probably going to have more money in
your bank account next year. And I`m going to explain to you why ahead.
HAYES: We still don`t know officially if the pigs of New Jersey will pay
the price for Governor Chris Christie`s presidential ambitions, but it`s
sure looking that way. Last night we told you about how folks in Iowa have
lots to say about a bill that has reached Christie`s asking New Jersey
considering legislation that would ban the use of what`s called gestation
crates on pig farms. It`s a practice that confines pregnant pigs to crates
so small they cannot even turn around in them. And the measure to ban
those passed abroad by - support from New Jersey state legislature. But
Christie has gotten pressure from Iowa`s governor to not sign the bill.
Legislation Christie vetoed once before. And Iowa, of course, is home to
the first in the nation presidential caucuses and also about 20 million
pigs. So, it shouldn`t be surprising to learn today that Christie
reportedly told a group of Iowa pork producers that he will veto the New
Jersey bill. As ng.com reports, Christie met with several Iowa Republicans
at a fundraiser last month, and one of them, a pork producer named Bill
Tettenger is now giving details about the conversation he had with
Christie. "I indicated to him I could not understand who someone who has
never set foot on a pig farm could ever understand the use of gestation
crates or why they should even have any opinion on the use of them. And he
said to me, I agree with you. Of course, why Chris Christie, Governor of
New Jersey is listening to the opinions of pork producers in Iowa about
matters in New Jersey, is another story.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: It doesn`t have any impact on U.S. gas prices. You know what does
have an impact on U.S. gas prices is the incredible boom in U.S. oil
production and natural gas production that`s taken place under my
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Back before the Keystone XL pipeline was a favorite Republican - in
the summer of 2008 when President Obama was still Senator Obama and John
McCain did not yet introduced to the world the Sarah Palin. The number one
issue in the presidential campaign was gas prices.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Exxon is making $40 billion a year, and we are paying $3.50 for
gas. I`m Barack Obama. I don`t take money from oil companies or
Washington lobbyists, and I won`t let them block change anymore.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R) ARIZONA: Oddly enough, though, Senator Obama doesn`t
want to lower the gas taxes paid by consumers.
OBAMA: Maybe if John McCain went to Pennsylvania and he met the man who
lost his job, but can`t even afford the gas to drive around and look for a
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who can you thank for rising prices at the pump?
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One man knows we must now drill more in America and
rescue our family budgets.
OBAMA: We can decide that solving our energy crisis will be one of the
great projects of this generation.
MCCAIN: I will set forth a strategy to free America once and for all from
our strategic dependence on foreign oil.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: When gas prices are as high as they were that summer, it leads the
evening news and becomes the number one issue politicians have to respond
to. Because it`s the only price that everyone in America sees plastered in
huge letters everywhere in their daily lives. But when gas prices drop, it
doesn`t get anywhere near that level of attention. Even though the effects
on the global economy and American consumers may be just this huge.
Take for example right now, you may notice gas prices are now the lowest
they`ve been in four years, falling to a national average of $2.91 per
gallon, according to AAA. The Energy Department further says that gas
prices are going to stay low over the next year saving consumers an
estimated $60.9 billion in 2015. And the falling price of oil and gas is
reverberations all around the globe. In Russia, the combination of
sanctions and low oil prices has been disastrous for the economy. Having
to cut the value of Russia`s currency, the ruble, by more than 40 percent
this year. And the drop in oil prices has hit Iran so hard, they`re
accusing other Middle Eastern countries of plotting with the West to
undermine the Iranian economy.
But here, in the U.S., there are signs that low gas prices are acting like
a stimulus for the middle class, putting more money in people`s pockets to
spend elsewhere. The Commerce Department announced today, retail sales
rose last month, helped by lower prices - and every time there`s an extreme
fluctuation in gas prices like this one or the one in the summer, I find
myself wondering why? Why is it happening? And how is it possible that so
much of the global economy depends on one incredibly volatile commodity.
And the person I turn to, when I have those questions, my friend, Dan
Dicker, oil trader and author of "Oil`s Endless Bid." You are my favorite
DAN DICKER, AUTHOR, "OIL`S ENDLESS BID": Thanks, thanks. If you have any
favorites, I`m glad it`s me.
HAYES: I have hundreds. I hang over hundreds of oil --
HAYES: OK. Why? Why are they so low?
DICKER: OK, so, most of it is really financial in nature. And it`s very
difficult. Most people believe that it`s because we`ve been producing so
much oil here in the United States. And that`s been a part of it. But in
fact, we`ve had a structural gluttony oil market for two years. So, you
wonder why now? Why is this now?
HAYES: Right. So we`ve got the - we`ve got the back information in North
DICKER: To act in the (INAUDIBLE).
HAYES: Tons of oil coming on the ground, right?
DICKER: Correct. 9 million barrels a day, a tremendous record for the
month of October.
HAYES: OK, so but that has been the case for two years. And we`re just
getting the price to climb now. And this is the thing about the oil market
that drives me bananas.
HAYES: Like why, why? Why now?
DICKER: Well, what I point to are a number of financial things that really
get a little bit deep in the weeds. One is a major rally in the dollar.
Because oil barrels are priced in dollars, a more expensive dollar will
drive down the price of oil globally. Another thing that`s happened is
there`s been a fleeing of hedge funds, the speculative kind of pillow, of
HAYES: -- that`s flooding in to speculating oil.
DICKER: And has been supporting in factional - my thesis the endless bid
turned out to be not in fact endless. It may not be gone forever, but - it
is taking a break.
HAYES: Well, and here`s the thing. When oil prices were high, people like
myself and you, you were one of the few in the world of - we are saying
this price is being driven not by the fundamentals, but by a lot of hot
money that`s flowed into these commodity markets.
HAYES: Which are - poorly regulated, right? And - or under-regulated,
let`s say --
HAYES: And that`s driving the prices up. And all these people said you
are crazy, that`s ridiculous. You, lefty idiot. But now it looks - a lot
of places have called their desks, there is less money in that commodity
market, and the price has come down.
DICKER: Indeed. Most of the money that was floating this higher price
came from investment banks. And Dodd Frank has had this worked on, and
some of the - yes, some of the regulation that have come on top of the
banks and so many oversight, has really forced them out of the business.
So Morgan Stanley has closed the desk, Goldman Sachs closes the desk.
JPMorgan closed the desk. These are the people who went out and got
clients to come in and bet on higher prices of oil.
HAYES: Oh, they were selling all sorts of funds that were based on
DICKER: Correct. And doing the proprietary, as well.
HAYES: As the proprietary trading, it`s one of the things that Dodd-Frank
went after --
DICKER: And it has worked. I mean to a large degree, they`ve given up a
lot of these. And what`s left are a bunch of passive hedge funds, which in
many ways have to look after different kinds of clients. So, when the
price starts going down, they get redemption requests and they have to bail
on the trade. Now you have a situation where there are a whole bunch of
oil companies out there who have bet on a high price of oil so long that
now they`re in a position where they have no choice. They have to hedge
into this market. So, they`re standing on top of it. They`re actually
selling down here. So, what they have is a real oil heat.
HAYES: Oil companies are selling.
DICKER: They have to. Because otherwise they`ve banked on oil being over
a hundred dollars a barrel now going into 2015-2016, and now they know
oops, we`ve got a problem. We may not be able to survive as companies
going into 2015-2016. So we better put out some financial hedges here just
so we can survive hoping that oil will revive itself over the course of
next year --
HAYES: That is fascinating, because the oil companies - selling up on
DICKER: Which is why ..
HAYES: Further driving.
DICKER: Which is why I would agree that the oil price is stuck here for
quite a while, six months to a year at least, and that may be good for
HAYES: It`s bad for people in your business and it`s probably bad for the
environment. We will - next time we are talking about oil, and we talk
about the winners and losers.
HAYES: Dan Dicker, thank you so much.
Always a pleasure.
DICKER: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: All right, the commissioner of the NBA is calling for legalized
sports betting in this country. Former NBA referee Tim Donaghy who went to
prison for betting on NBA games, he`s going to be my guest. We`ll ask him
what he thinks ahead.
HAYES: Tonight, schools around Ferguson, Missouri are on notice as the St.
Louis County grand jury is nearing a decision on whether or not to indict
police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of unarmed 18-year old
Michael Brown. Area school superintendents concerned with the safety of
their students had requested advance notice of a grand jury decision from
the county prosecutor`s office. And according to a letter posted by one
local school district, the prosecutor`s office will give schools 24 hours`
notice if a decision is reached on a weekend and three hours` notice if a
decision is reached on a weekday allowing enough time for schools to safely
transport students home and secure campuses.
That news comes as protesters have already been immobilized in anticipation
of the grand jury`s decision, training people to engage in nonviolent,
direct action. As the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports one group of
organizers has trained at least 600 people and has come up with a plan of
where to carry out their protests. They`ve identified four potential hot
spots for protesters. Once a decision has been made, they include
according to the Post Dispatch, the Ferguson Police State, the stretch of
West Florissant in Ferguson near the QuikTrip that burned the day after the
killing of Michael Brown, the business district in Clayton and the Shaw
neighborhood of Saint Louis where VonDeritt Myers Jr. was killed by a St.
Louis police officer last month.
The plans to protest in Clayton, which is in North County, St. Louis, would
bring the demonstrations to the doorstep of St. Louis County Prosecuting
Attorney Robert McCullough whose offices are headquartered there.
Protesters are hoping to shut down Clayton the morning the first business
day after the grand jury announcement. In the meantime, that entire
community is watching and waiting and so are we. Stay tuned.
HAYES: Some unwelcome news in the U.S. war against ISIS, two of the jihadi
groups that have been fighting each other, both of which are enemies of the
U.S., have now joined forces. ISIS and the al Qaeda affiliate in Syria
known as Nusra Front, had been enemies had been devoted to killing each
other along with fighting other various factions and the Assad regime, ut
now according to the Associated
Press, militant leaders from the Islamic State group and al Qaeda gathered
at a farmhouse in northern Syria last week and agreed on a plan to stop
fighting each other and work together against their opponents.
According to sources in rebel groups opposed to both ISIS and the Nusra
The meeting between the two groups reportedly took place on November 2 and
focused on joining forces against western-backed rebels.
Meanwhile, a new report by JTIC, independent organization monitoring
terrorism and non-state department groups say that attacks by ISISI
rise. According to information provided to NBC News, data showed that ISIS
massively stepped up attacks after conquering the Iraqi city of Mosul back
in June 10 and stepped up attacks after conquering the Iraqi city of Mosul
back on June 10 and has stepped them up further since air strikes were
launched in August.
Deaths caused by ISIS also climbed since the key city of Mosul was overrun
and have continued to rise since the U.S.-led coalition started bombing the
The war against ISIS has also seen some success, as in the Syrian town of
Kobani near the Turkish border thanks, in part, to Kurdish forces. I`ll
ask NBC News chief foreign correspondent Richard Engle about that in a
But General Martin Dempsey, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has again
raised the possibility of deploying U.S. ground forces while stressing it
was not his recommendation to President Obama at this time.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEN. MARTIN DEMPSEY, I`m not predicting at this point that I would
that those forces in Mosul and along the border would need to be
accompanied by U.S. forces, but we`re certainly considering it.
A low-risk option to the campaign would probably include the introduction
of U.S. ground forces to take control of the fight. Neither General Osler
(ph) nor I and certainly the secretary of defense believe that`s the right
thing to do at this point.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: And joining me now from urkey is Richard Engle. Richard, first I
want to get your take on the news about al Qaeda and ISIS joining forces
and the degree to which the U.S. bombing campaign has played a role in
bringing up that rapprochement.
RICHARD ENGLE, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: I`m not entirely convinced that the
rapprochement is final in any way. The ideological differences between ISIS
and Nusra are not that grave. These are two groups that agree on almost
But their leadership structures are quite different. And Nusra has been
tended to be directly allied to al-Qaeda, directly allied to the leadership
that`s still in Pakistan, the old Osama bin Laden leadership.
And we`ve heard about these ecret meetings in farm houses before. I`m
still waiting to see a little bit more confirmation on this.
There`s quite a bit of bad blood between these groups. Initially the al
Qaeda leadership from Pakistan sent an emissary to try and open the door
with ISIS and that emissary, that envoy, was executed. So, they have their
own internal politics. We`ll see how it develops.
HAYES: So, you`ve got this special tonight. It`s about the war. Part of
it is about the town of Kobani, which looked to everyone like it was going
to fall to ISIS just I think a few hundred yards from the Turkish border.
And then this kind of amazing reversal of fortune happened How did that
ENGLE: The town was about to fall to ISIS. They were within hours of
everything. They were running low on ammunition, they were about to be
overrun. They got some extra supplies, they managed to consolidate their
forces, because in the early battle, when ISIS rushed in, there was street-
to-street fighting. If you were standing on one street, fighters would
tell me, they didn`t know who was on the opposite end of the street. Was
it ISIS? Was it their own men, was it their own women because there was a
lot of women fighters with the Kurds.
But once they understood what happened, once they were able to get some
extra supplies in, they reestablished their battle lines and now they`ve
been holding on for the last several weeks now.
But it`s not over. They could still get overrun if they run out of
ammunition, if their lines break, the situation there is not settled.
HAYES: You have been able to actually get inside and look at firsthand of
what is going on there. What do you think people aren`t getting about the
very complicated, very dynamic state of that very complicated war right
ENGLE: Each battle is its own front. In Kobani, there are so many
dynamics, just in Kobani. You have Kurdish secular nationalists with a
history of problems with the Turkish government fighting in this little
town. And coming to their aid are U.S. air strikes, other Kurds from Iraq,
rebel groups from other parts of Syria who they don`t trust. The dynamics
just in Kobani are immensely complex. And this is an area that is
relatively accessible, relatively close to the Syrian-Turkish border. And
the complexity there is replicated or if even amplified in other cities, in
Homs, in Aleppo, in Baghdad, in many other places.
And if the U.S. is trying to manage this war from afar, it has to try and
navigate through all of these different layers of complexity, because there
are many Kobanis and each one has its own narrative. This is a very, very
HAYES: Yeah, the ideological stew there.
I was reading on Marxist discussion boards of posts urging on the Kurds
because of some of the sort of secular Kurds who were joining the fight in
Kobani sort of historically aligned with Marxist anti-colonial struggle.
And I thought to myself like what through the looking glass ideological
world have I entered in just this fight in this one town?
ENGLE: Yes, I didn`t know there were still that many Marxist discussion
HAYES: I`m able to find them, Richard.
ENGLE: Yes, the people in Kobani are certainly something of a throw back.
When you go with them, you`re walking around, you do almost expect to see a
Che Guevara on a motorcycle passing through. That`s the beliefs they have.
There`s this communal spirit, a belief that they should all work together,
share together, there`s no class, there`s no ranks, but it is actually
proven to be immensely cohesive, this ideological base that they have has
helped them stay united, stay strong and continue to fight against ISIS.
They are the absolute antithesis of ISIS.
In ISIS, you have these incredible fundamentalists who are blood thirsty
and believe that they`re doing god`s work. And you have these Marxist
secularists, many of them atheists, who fighting for their own local rights
and Kurdish rights around the region. You couldn`t have two diametrically
opposed groups in one little town separated by sometimes a frontline of 20
HAYES: Fascinating. Richard Engle, thank you.
Richard`s special report on the U.S.-led war against ISIS coming up tonight
at 9:00 p.m. Eastern right here on MSNBC.
All right, should people be able to bet on sports games in this country
legally? The commissioner of the NBA wrote an op-ed today saying he thinks
the answer is yes. And a former NBA referee who was sentenced to 50 months
for doing just that will be my guest ahead.
HAYES: NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is calling for legalized sports
betting in this country. His main reason for breaking away from the NBA`s
old stance against sports gambling seems to be pretty straight forward.
Writing a New York Times op-ed this week, quote, "I believe that sports
betting should be brought out of the underground and into the sunlight
where it can be appropriately monitored and regulated."
Despite the federal prohibition here in the U.S. on sports betting,
something I`ll talk about more in a moment, $400 billion is wagered
illegally on sports each year. And that national sports media outlet
regularly talk about point spreads and underdogs and other information like
injury reports that makes it easier to place a smart bet.
Then there`s fantasy sports, which the pro leagues encourage and even
profit from, which isn`t a far cry from explicit gambling.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
ADAM SILVER, NBA COMMISSIONER: There is a line somewhere that you cross
when you move from fantasy to gambling. when you get into the daily
fantasy games that are cash for cash games, that gets awfully close to
gambling. I mean, I technically define it as fantasy.
But, look, it`s part of the point of why I wrote that piece in the New York
Times that once you know you`ve moved from the old traditional rotisserie
league fantasy to sort of digital fantasy then to daily fantasy it looks a
lot like gambling.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: One of the major arguments against legalized sports gambling is the
potential incentive to fix games. But here`s the thing, players these days
make so much money, it`s gotten hard to imagine them being moved by that
incentive. The only other people close enough to the game who are familiar
enough with the players and the rules to manipulate an outcome are, of
course, the officials.
And in fact, one NBA official, former referee Tim Donaghy was sentenced in
2008 to 15 months in prison for taking part in a gambling ring in which he
admitted to betting on games he officiated.
Joining me now is Tim Donaghy. He`s the owner and operator of RefPicks.com
Tim, thanks for joining me.
So, what`s your response to Adam Silver`s proposal?
TIM DONAGHY, FRM. NBA REFEREE: You know, I think it`s something where it`s
just a business decision for the NBA to where down the road they`re
planning on being a part of the gambling industry and generating millions
and millions of dollars from it.
HAYES: So you think they want in on the action, which is why they want to
DONAGHY: On, no doubt about it. They`re starting to support it now,
because in the future, they want to be a part of it either with a licensing
deal from one of these major websites, or even putting kiosk machines in
the arenas when you`re up getting a soda or a hot dog you can swipe your
credit card through and place a bet for 50 or a hundred dollars and of
course the NBA would get a percentage of that.
HAYES: So, as someone who was officiating while betting on games you were
officiating, it does seem that there`s some real incentives here for some
foul play. I mean, officials have a lot of effects on games, particularly
things like playoff games, tight games, fouls called in the last 30 seconds
that can completely swing a game, that officials would be seduced by the
possibility of a big payout from a gambler if they pushed the results in
one direction or another.
DONAGHY: Oh, absolutely. You`re going to always have that situation where
even a college referee or a professional referee is bought out by somebody
that can give them a big payout to do something at the end of a game to
control the outcome.
So, I think the league has to definitely step up now and educate and
regulate if they`re going to move in that direction.
HAYES: But do you think that would happen? I mean, do you think that`s a
real danger? Are there ways to prevent that?
DONAGHY: I think there certainly are ways to prevent it, because when you
get involved and do something like that, the price that you have to pay,
especially with somebody like myself, is dramatic. It not only affects
you, but it affects your family. So, I think they definitely have to
educate the officials on what
the ramifications are if they did go down that road.
HAYES: Has it ever happened, to your knowledge?
DONAGHY: In regard to what, a referee fixing a game?
DONAGHY: I think that it`s definitely a situation where referees have made
calls to benefit players in one way or another or a team in one way or
another. So, yes, I think there`s a form of fixing going on even today.
HAYES: What do you mean -- sure, refs make calls that benefit one side or
the other, but the question is are they doing it because there`s some
monetary reward on the other side of it?
DONAGHY: No, I think there`s no monetary reward, but I think there`s a
situation where definitely the NBA dictates what they want called
during the playoffs and the referees go out and do that in favor of one
team or one player in certain situations and put them at an advantage or
HAYES: What are you doing now? After you went to prison for this. You
are someone, my understanding is who felt like they had developed a
gambling problem that got you in there, as someone who`s been through that
experience, does the
thought of legalizing that activity make you worry about the scope of it
DONAGHY: I think that the bottom line is as it is legalized and people get
more involved, definitely you have to regulate it and basically educate
people. And when you do that, it`s just like educating people on drugs and
alcohol. There`s, you know, benefits to it that people have to definitely
follow when you`re involved in it.
HAYES: All right, in Europe, fans can bet on games, just like Tim was
saying, from inside the stadium or on apps on their smartphone. And
there`s just oen problem with how that is played out. We`re going to talk
about that ahead.
HAYES: It`s illegal to bet on sports in the U.S. thanks to a 1992 law
called the professional and amateur sports protection act, which prohibits
all states except the ones that operated a sports betting scheme at any
time between 1976 and 1990, meaning Nevada, of course, but also -- I just
learned this today, Delaware, Montana and Oregon, which were all also
In New Jersey, Governor Chris Christie unilaterally lifted his state`s
sports betting prohibition in September, and, now, the NBA wants to expand
the legalized sports gambling to every state, which I have to say on its
face seems like a good idea. I mean, who really are we kidding? We have
casinos in 39 states, that`s up from just two in 1988. We have lotteries
in 44 states and the District of Columbia, and the foundation of our entire
financial markets are bets.
Now you can place a bet in the commodity`s league on team gold to win or
lose tomorrow. So why shouldn`t you be able to bet on the Patriots or the
Joining me now, former NBA player. Etan Thomas. Still with me, Tim
Etan, what do you think of this proposal?
ETAN THOMAS, FRM. NBA PLAYER: I think it was interesting, you know, it
wasn`t break the internet interesting, but it was definitely interesting.
But, you know, I...
HAYES: Oh, you didn`t see Adam Silver posing with champagne and a glass on
THOMAS: No, it was interesting, because it`s not really what you typically
hear from a commissioner.
HAYES: No. In fact, they`re usually very, very we want to have nothing to
do with gambling.
THOMAS: Right, on this issues. And you know I`m readying his op-ed. And,
you know, I have a lot of respect for Adam Silver, you know, I mean
disrespect for what I`m about to say, but I`m hearing him talk about
integrity, and I`m kind of
thinking to myself, you know, maybe integrity is in the eye of the
You know, I mean, because I`m looking at it and I`m like I don`t know if
you can talk about talking about the preserving the integrity of the NBA
and then at the same time say that you want to open the doors to sports
You know they just don`t really match. It`s, like, in Missouri, the
governor telling everybody to stay calm. But then over here, we`re going
to revamp our already over-militarized police and you know restructure our
tear gassing methods, but we want you to stay calm. It just -- they don`t
So, it interesting -- and it`s going to be interesting to see where it goes
Now, looking at the -- it sets up a very interesting dynamic here in 2016,
2017, when the new collective bargaining agreement comes up. And, so, you
know, you`ve already seen where they find this incredible new TV deal.
LeBron James has been on record saying that, you know, it`s not going to be
the same old thing as before with you all crying poor, that`s not going to
HAYES: Right, because we just saw the amount of money you got from the TV
THOMAS: Right. That`s not going to work. And, you know, Michelle
Roberts, she just came as the...
HAYES: The head of the players union.
THOMAS: Right. And she said that, you know -- she said that collective
bargaining it was unAmerican. She said her DNA was offended, you know what
I mean? So using language like that and seeing where the NBA is trying
take everything, you know, it`s going to be an interesting -- I don`t know
want to say lockout already, but it`s going to be interesting to see what
HAYES: So you -- so here`s my question, as a player. The old argument,
right, for not -- the old argument for not being able to bet on games was
that you were going to get a situation quickly in which you would be
incentivizing players to throw games, or, you know, if the spread is 15
points, they could affect the spread three minutes, it doesn`t mean
anything, they`ll take a few extra threes.
As a player, do you think that`s a danger?
THOMAS: Well, I think it`s opening yourself up to a world where the
integrity doesn`t really match with it, you know what I mean? So it`s
opening yourself to a whole other...
HAYES: So, it`s like the suspicion does something that pollutes the game
even if that doesn`t actually...
THOMAS; No question.
Now, I mean, if it just is what it is and you see a $400 billion business
that you want a piece of, just say that. But don`t, come on now, let`s be
HAYES: But that`s, of course, what it is about.
THOMAS: Right, but then don`t say that you want to preserve the integrity,
though, because it`s not the same thing. It`s just very profitable for
HAYES: Tim, there is, of course, legalized sports gambling in much of
Europe and much of European football. And it has had the consequence of
there has been a lot of corruption scandals. There`s been match fixing
This is director of Euro[ol on fixing matches, "match fixing is a
significant threat to football," this is last year saying this, "involving
a broad community of actors, illegal profits are being made that threaten
the very fabric of the game."
Which is to say there is some precedent you can point to in a place where
they have legalized sports gambling where you can bet on a game on your
app, where you can bet at it on the stands, where there`s some pretty
significant evidence that it`s had this negative effect.
DONAGHY: No doubt about it. I think it definitely has had a negative
effect. And I think what the NBA has to do or any sports league at this
point, is educate their officials, educate their trainers and players and
make sure that when they hear information that is going to affect maybe a
game in a way where the point spread isn`t exactly correct, that that stays
in-house and it doesn`t flow out
to where people take advantage of it.
HAYES: You -- one of the reasons that I think they`re moving towards this
is one of the points Adam Silver said Etan, is that fantasy is such a huge
business now. And the line between fantasy and gambling is essentially
arbitrary right. They say that fantasy is a game of skill and betting is a
game of chance, but you`re getting to a point where you`re, like, really,
what is is the distinction.
As a player, what is your reaction to the boom in fantasy?
THOMAS: I mean, players don`t really think about that. You know, that`s
not really what our concern when we`re out there. You know, we`re thinking
about the game. And, you know, to keep the integrity of the game, that`s
what the game should be thought about, that`s what should be the focus.
But then you`re going to open it up to is there going to be a team in
Now, David Stern...
HAYES: And they`ve been talking about this for years.
THOMAS: Of course. And David Stern always shut it down immediately, you
know what I mean. He said that, no, he doesn`t think that it should be.
You know they had the all-star weekend there one time...
HAYES: Which, a lot of people interpret it as a kind of trial balloon like
what would it be like to have a professional team in Vegas.
THOMAS: Yeah, but you didn`t really hear any push for it. So right now,
you know, Adam Silver might be moving in a new direction, but I guess we`ll
HAYES: Yeah, it`s going to be really interesting.
What I sit here and look at is we have this weird double standard and this
internal inconsistency of no gambling in this country. There is this kind
of moralism, there are concerns about corruption. At the same time, states
are running state-sanctioned gambling monopolies in 44 states and the
District of Columbia and they`re using it to fund their coffers.
And we`ve got casinos everywhere. At a certain point, it begins to become
ridiculous that you`ve got to fly to Nevada to place a sports book bet.
Etan Thomas and Tim Donaghy, thank you gentlemen both.
That is "All In" for this evening. Stay tuned now for an MSNBC special
live from Turkey.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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