'The Rachel Maddow Show' for Friday, December 5th, 2014
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Show: THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW>
Date: December 5, 2014
Guest: Brian Thompson, Christina Wise, Cornell Brooks
RACHEL MADDOW, HOST: Thanks to you at home for joining us this hour.
Happy Friday night.
When people look back on the Bill Clinton years as a generally positive
thing in our country? When people feel good about the Bill Clinton
presidency, honestly, it`s basically because of this.
These are the annual job totals year by year for the Bill Clinton
presidency. See that Clinton numbers there are in blue. The red years
before him and the red years after him, those are the two Republican
presidents who he was in between, right?
George Bush Senior was before him. George Bush, Jr., was after him. When
you see the job numbers like this, it`s really clear why, whatever else you
think of Bill Clinton. People tend to have sort of a general warm fuzzy
feeling about the time that was his presidency.
The economy was really good. There were lots of jobs being created
especially compared to the Republican years before him and after him. In
terms of the years before him, he started off OK then things really went
south in his third year.
Eventually, he dug out a little bit before Clinton took over. George W.
Bush started off in the dumps, dug out a little bit over the first two,
three years and then, at the end, just off the cliff, right, before he left
I mean, you look at Bill Clinton compared to both Presidents Bush, he was
like roses every year, spectacular job growth every year when Bill Clinton
was president. Times were good. Times were great.
Incidentally if Hillary Clinton does run for president, this is why
Republicans are going to try to rewrite the history of the Clinton
presidency so now that the only thing that happened was Monica Lewinsky
because they really don`t want you to remember what the economy was like in
that whole peace and prosperity thing under the other President Clinton.
So that`s why they have to rewrite the history of the Clinton presidency to
make it only about bad things because the really big good things are what
they don`t want people to associate with the name Clinton.
All right, put the thing back up there. OK, so this is what it looks like.
This is what it looks like if you add our current president, President
Now President Obama, 2009, started off in the absolute depths of the worse
financial catastrophe since the great depression. But, in pretty short
order, turned it around and has been putting up good jobs numbers ever
And a whole bunch of new data just came up today, which now says that this
year, 2014, is set to be the best year for jobs in this country since Bill
Clinton, since 1999.
As of the new data that we`ve got right now, as of today, more jobs have
been created this year than any year of the Bush Cheney presidency or any
year of the Puppy Bush presidency.
More jobs have been created this year than two of the years under the boom
of Bill Clinton. This is what a real recovery looks like. In the "New
York Times" today, Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah from your friends at
the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The "Times" quotes one Wall Street economist today saying, quote, "In one
line, spectacular." And the new numbers that came out today, not just a
blip. This is now the tenth straight month in a row that the economy has
added at least 200,000 jobs for the month.
Ten straight months of job growth that strong, there has not been a run
like that in our economy since 1995. But we`ve got it right now, so big
picture? You want to take it even bigger than that like global big
The AP calls the latest economic data that just came out today, quote, "the
latest evidence that the United States is out-performing other economies
throughout the developed world."
And although one of the political process complaints about this White House
is that they are not good at tooting their own horn and taking credit when
things go right.
President Obama today did engage in a little glethal horn tooting about
this very subject.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: The United States
continues to out-pace most of the world. Over last four years, we put more
people back to work than Europe, Japan and all other industrialized,
advanced countries combined. And we`re going to keep at it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: President Obama today at the White House crowing in his very
sombre way about the really, really good jobs numbers that came out. The
economy making more jobs right now than at any time since the Clinton
years. Best jobs numbers in 15 years.
Jobs numbers are really high profile statistic, everybody watches those
when it comes to the economy, right. The only number that anybody watches
more than jobs numbers when it comes to the economy is the price of gas.
And at the same time that we are getting these great numbers about job
growth, sustained, maybe even boom level job growth, at the same time, we
are seeing gas prices drop in some places below $2 a gallon. The national
average is still over $2 a gallon, but some places have started to drop
below the $2 benchmark.
And the gas price analysts say prices are going to continue to drop around
the country as oil prices just stay really low. And that is terrible news
if your name is Exxon. But it`s great news if you`re the average American
Gas prices have dropped enough that if they stay where they are right now,
the average American family will save $600 over the next year on gas alone.
That`s like giving a tax-free raise across the board to everybody in the
country who drives a car.
And on top of that for the first time, actual non-metaphorical wages are
going up as well. This has been one of the big problems in the recovery
since the great recession.
Even if corporate earnings have gone up. Wall Street has gone through
roof. Things like executive compensation have gone through the roof, wages
for average folks and average families haven`t gone up during the recovery.
The recovery overall has been getting better, right. The people`s everyday
paychecks haven`t been getting better. Wages are still nowhere near where
they ought to be given the rest of the economy. But amid all the good
economic numbers that came out today, the other piece of good news is that
wages have started to turn north, as well, finally.
Look at the "New York Times" today. Front page headline, "More jobs and
higher wages. U.S. recovery starts to hit home."
The "L.A. Times" today front page, "Americans` earnings are rising again."
And a reference to stock market there is going through the roof. The stock
market is on fire right now. The Dow Jones brushed up against 18,000
The Dow has been hitting records over and over and over again over the past
few weeks. It looks like it is about to top 18,000 for the first time
ever. For perspective, on the day President Obama was sworn into office,
the Dow closed at 7,949.
The Dow closed today at almost exactly 10,000 points higher than when
President Obama took office, 10,010 are the number of points that have been
added to the Dow Jones Industrial average since President Obama`s first day
You look at numbers like these. You look at the basics. It`s kind of hard
to swear that information. Yes, the president`s party always does poorly
in midterms. In 2010, the president said, the Democrats got shellacked.
In 2014, you double it. They got destroyed in the midterm elections last
month. Even in the midst of all this really positive fundamental basic
easy to understand big picture economic data in the country.
The election was last month. Where are we now since the election? The
good, economic data has gotten even better. This is the best economic
portrait of the economy since the boom years of the 1990s. Gas prices have
fallen even further and it looks like they are going to keep going down.
Nobody likes to think of health care as an economic issue, but the health
care numbers are absolutely are since the election we`ve learned that
health spending last year in 2013 grew slower than at any time in the last
The uninsured rate between this year and this time last year fell by over
30 percent, a huge economic implication for the economy as a whole and for
individual American families.
And then beyond the economy, there is everything the White House has been
able to pull off politically just since the election. President Obama one
on one negotiating this history totally unexpected huge climate deal with
They said it couldn`t be done. He did it. There was the secret mission
President Obama authorized when he sent the director of National
Intelligence to go to North Korea and negotiate the release of the last
American who was being held prisoner in North Korea. It was a secret
We didn`t know it was happening let it alone that it was successful until
James Clapper brought him home. All year before, the Republicans were
trying to make Benghazi a terrible fighting scandal of the Obama
Well, right after the election, the Friday before Thanksgiving, the
Republicans very quietly released their own House Intelligence Committee
report on Benghazi, which said actually, everything that we thought was a
scandal wasn`t really a scandal.
Never mind. Up until then, they were reporting the end of the world. The
Fox News whipped themselves into a frenzy that President Obama would have
to be impeached if he did anything on immigration. Senators like Tom
Coburn said there would be anarchy. There could be violence across the
country in response.
President Obama did it anyway. The first announcement showed that 50
percent of Americans showed what President Obama did was about right.
Another 22 percent thought he didn`t do quite enough. You combine those
numbers, that 72 percent of the country either digging it or wanting the
president to do etch more.
Republicans were sure. He would be impeached. One action would unify the
whole country. It has not worked out that way. Republicans, turns out,
have no idea what they want to do in response or if they want to do
anything in response.
Actually, to be more precise, there are some Republicans who know for sure
that they want to do nothing in response. And there are other Republicans
who want to know that they definitely have to do something in response and
now they`re at war.
And have no idea how to move forward. John Boehner hates your guts,
people. You`re neither a lobbyist nor a cigarette. You have no use to him
except for one day in November.
Red State is running a campaign to get conservative activists to buy toy
balls, like Superballs like you might play with in the yard, to buy balls
online and have the balls mailed to John Boehner`s office because he needs
some. Racket balls, basketballs, any kind of balls. Ship balls to the
Speaker of the House John Boehner has announced his plans to do nothing
over President Obama`s executive overreach on immigration. We`ve got news.
He can keep his symbolic gestures. Conservatives want a real action.
There are six days left before the federal government of the United States
of America shuts down. Unless the Republicans can figure out a way to pass
some legislation to keep the government funded. Their conservative members
do not want to keep the government funded. Conservatives have enough.
It`s all they need and then some to keep the government open even though he
wants to. Look at this, the hill newspaper reporting that the Republican
leadership has now officially asked the Democrats, they`re asking Nancy
Pelossi and the Democrats to please help them out.
And provide enough Democratic votes to pass a bill to keep the government
going because they can`t do it among their own members. So far, the answer
from the Democrats is no. You guys have to sort them out yourselves.
Everybody will have a great kumbaya weekend because they`re divided with
each other and at war, they may bring a government shutdown on Thursday,
this upcoming Thursday. And so, yes, there`s a lot going on in the news
The protests about Eric Garner right now continue for a third straight
night. Protests continue for a third straight week about police brutality
overall and police killings overall. Protests going on tonight as they
happen intensely for the last three nights and as they happen on and off
for the past three weeks.
We`ll have more on that coming up later on in the show. There`s also these
two very big nominations for two of the most important jobs in the
government, the new attorney general and the new defense secretary have
both been nominated and need to get confirmed.
These are the kinds of jobs that are about as high profile as you get.
Those nominations are out there and pending right now. Nobody knows
exactly how they`re going to go.
The torture report, this is the report about U.S. officials torturing
people during the George W. Bush administration and what kind of
accountability there ought to be for Americans torturing people. That
report may be due to come out next week. That`s going to be a huge deal.
There is a lot going on right now both in Washington and particularly in
the case of this policing issue out of Washington and in the streets of
major cities across this country.
This time next week, it is more likely than not that we will have a
government shutdown again. That really might happen. But everything that
is going on in our country right now, in Washington and outside of
Washington, it is all happening in the context inside the frame of really
good economic news in the country.
Nobody is thinking about it that way. That is the framework in which we
are operating. The economy is great. It`s finally working. All systems
go. This is new. It is likely to change just about everything. Stay with
us. We`ve got lots ahead.
MADDOW: Quick calendar note for you. Tomorrow, and, yes, it`s weird, an
election on a Saturday, but tomorrow in Louisiana, the runoff for the U.S.
Senate seat that`s held by Democrat Mary Landrieu. Here`s how she fairs in
the last five polls in the race.
Now looking good, the Democratic Party Senate Campaign Committee pulled all
of its money out of this race. The odds in Louisiana have been pro-Bill
Cassidy and anti-Mary Landrieu because Mary Landrieu has got no money.
Because it`s a runoff election on a freaking Saturday in December, turnout
is expected to be microscopic, which always helps the Republican
candidates. So, yes, anything is possible. But Mary Landrieu`s tenure as
the last statewide elected Democrat in Louisiana looks like it may be about
to end with a short, sharp shock tomorrow. The polls open at 7:00 a.m.
MADDOW: These are live shots from New York City. This is the third
straight in street protests after the New York grand jury decided not to
indict the police officer who killed him with choke hold. We`re keeping an
eye on protests underway right now.
Over the course of tonight in New York, as you see right here, also in
places like Washington, D.C. and Boston. I should tell you, last night`s
protests in New York City went very late at night all over Manhattan and
into Brooklyn. I got caught up in one protest well passed mid night last
There were reportedly more than 200 arrests in New York City last night.
Tonight, on the street, you can tell it`s colder and rainier. This is a
shot of D.C. We`ll keep you update on these protests throughout the night.
The Eric Garner protests come on the heels of the daily protests we`ve seen
since before Thanksgiving, since that grand jury in Missouri decided not to
indict a Ferguson police officer in the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
On a Saturday after the Michael Brown grand jury decision, a small group of
marchers set off for a very long march from the site where Michael Brown
was killed, they started where Michael Brown was killed and then they
walked all the way out of Ferguson and they started a 135 mile march
through the Missouri country side.
It was led by the local NAACP. The idea was when they reached the Missouri
state capital that they call for a new leadership in the Ferguson Police
Department and they`ll call for nationwide policing reforms.
I should tell you the march has also made the decision that they were going
to walk these 135 miles across Missouri without police, without any sort of
police escort, just their own small group out on the highway alone, for
most of it.
For the past week, they`ve averaged about 20 miles a day. They`ve held
some rallies and sit-ins along the way. They`ve stayed in on local
churches. They`ve rets e rested when they stopped on buses that followed
them while they walked. It has been a small march, a cold one at times.
It has been a very long march, 135 miles. It has also, at times, been a
pretty disturbing test. This is a little bit up setting. On Wednesday of
this week, the marchers reached the small town of Rosebud, Missouri.
Rosebud, Missouri, has about 400 people. It`s 97 percent white.
At first, some people tried to block the buses until the police came and
cleared the way. Even then, the crowd made it clear that these marchers
coming through their town were not welcome.
According to St. Louis American, one of the marchers who was marching with
her mother, a school teacher, said there were people on both sides of the
streets, but they were just staring at us at first. We were calm then they
started calling us names.
Local station KCRG filed this report from the scene to give you some idea
what happened there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: The NAACP President Cornell Williams Brooks led a
group of about 20 people through Rosebud. The majority of people along the
street yelled obscenities and held opposing signs. Someone put an empty
bottle of beer, a melon and fried chicken in the path of protesters.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Fried chicken, melon, a big 40-ounce beer left out in the street
for the civil rights marchers as they passed through the all-white town.
Local adults and children holding up signs and waving confederate flags.
Yelling Michael Brown deserved what he got, telling the protesters to go
home. On Wednesday, the back window of the marcher`s bus got shot out.
They`ve been welcomed in a lot of places. This was a gauntlet they had to
go through in parts of Missouri.
Today, the marchers walked the last miles of their journey. When they got
there, Michael Brown`s mother was among them to meet them. Joining us now
is Cornell Brooks. He is the president of the NAACP, which organized this
journey for justice. Mr. Brooks, thank you for being here. I know this
has been an exhausting experience for you.
CORNELL BROOKS, PRESIDENT, NAACP: It has been. Rachel, it`s good to be
MADDOW: Let me ask you about the overall balance of this experience.
Obviously, those are very ugly pictures out of Rosebud. How do you
contextualize that against how you are greeted by other people in other
towns the rest of this journey?
BROOKS: Indeed. It was a very ugly experience running a gauntlet of
stereotypes. But the overwhelming majority of people we met were kind and
gracious. The way I think about it, 1 percent of the people were racist
and mean spirited.
But the other 99 percent were kind and gracious. The people in Rosebud
were more fearful rather than hateful in the sense that they were imbibing,
if you will, a toxic brew of fear and animus and as a consequence,
literally displayed a side of America that is rare, but has to be dealt
I saw parents using racial epithets in front of their children and those
epithets falling upon the years of children walking with us. So we had
this wonderful rainbow hued band of marchers, who had marched for miles and
miles, taking off time from their work to meet people, who said to them and
call them the n-word over and over again.
This was a disturbing experience, but it`s a testament to the determination
of not only the marchers, but people in this country who are calling for
serious reform of policing. That`s what this march was about, Rachel.
Think about it this way.
Nearly 50 years ago marchers, a small group of marchers, 50, nearly 50
years later, invoking deep civil rights history trying to do something
similar in terms of confronting a massive injustice in the country.
Where one out of every four African American males reports in a given month
that they`ve been mistreated at the hands of the police. Where African-
American young men are 21 times more likely to lose their lives at the
hands of the police, this is a serious and profound challenge.
But more than that, profiling does not really affect black and brown
communities, but also people of faith and Muslims, our fellow citizens who
are lesbian and gay, and so the point being here is profiling has to be
grappled with. And we`re not going to be distracted by a few angry
We choose to focus our energies on the overwhelming majority of citizens in
Missouri who want to see a positive non-violent response to this massive
public policy challenge.
MADDOW: Cornell Brooks, president of the NAACP, who led and took part in
this 135-mile march. Thank you so much for helping us understand what you
did and I hope you get some rest. Thanks, sir.
BROOKS: Thank you, Rachel.
MADDOW: Appreciate having you here.
All right, we will continue to keep an eye on the on-going protests that
are happening around the country tonight. Also, some new reporting out of
New Jersey, a political story there that we`ve been following for a very
long time there. And there`s some big news about that tonight. Please
stay with us.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: You know what this is? And you know what this
means? This means a very high risk of on-air, live, technical failure.
Oh, yes, just minutes away.
Stay with us. There will be technical catastrophe.
MADDOW: There`s some late developing news to report tonight on a story
that we`ve been following for just about a year exactly now. It concerns
Republican Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, and a traffic jam created
by his administration at the world`s busiest bridge.
For four days last September, members of Christie`s administration caused
an intentional traffic nightmare on the George Washington Bridge, which
connects New York City to a small New Jersey town called Fort Lee. The
days long traffic jam was caused by the unannounced closure of feeder lanes
heading on to the bridge on the New Jersey side.
And even though Governor Christie`s office insisted that the lane closures
were due to a run-of-a-mill traffic study and it was nothing more than
that, it turns out it was a lot more than that. The directive to cause
that massive traffic jam in little Fort Lee came directly from Governor
Christie`s office, in the form of this one-line e-mail from the governor`s
deputy chief of staff, Bridget Kelly. Quote, "Time for some traffic
problems in Fort Lee."
That e-mail appearing to unleash traffic hell on purpose, that email was
sent to a man named David Wildstein, one of Governor Christie`s top
appointees at the Post Authority, which runs the bridge. Although we still
don`t know the exact reason why Governor Christie`s staffers and appointees
wanted those lanes shutdown and wanted that gridlock in Fort Lee, the
widely assumed theory is that it was some sort of political retribution
against the mayor of Fort Lee for his refusal to endorse Governor Christie
in his reelection effort.
Once the bridge scandal and that email in particular came to light, the
immediate fallout was the firing of Bridget Kelly, the governor`s deputy
chief of staff. Governor Christie also cut ties with his campaign manager
who had been slated to take over the New Jersey Republican Party.
David Wildstein, another Chris Christie appointee at the Port Authority,
also resigned at that time, but that wasn`t the end of it. For much of the
past year, there have been a whole slew of investigations into what
happened and who ordered that shutdown and why, whether it was a criminal
One track of that investigation has been led by the legislator for months,
a special committee of the state legislature has been hearing testimony
from Christie administration officials, from Port Authority officials.
They subpoenaed hundreds of e-mails, memos, phone logs, texts, handwritten
notes, and other documents.
They`re very public months-long investigation started in January. And,
today, until late last night, actually, their first report was leaked to
the press. This is it. It`s about 130 pages long. It offers a really
detailed chronology of the events that led to and took place during and
after the lane closures.
The report doesn`t offer a whole lot in the way of new details we didn`t
know before. But it does state that there is no conclusive evidence as to
whether Governor Christie was or was not aware of the lane closures on the
The committee says, quote, "The committee is also not in a position
currently to conclude what Governor Christie himself knew about the lane
closures or when or how his knowledge of these events developed."
They say they`re not in a position and the reason, this is an interim
report from the committee and not their final report, the reason they
they`re not in a position to know is because they say, effectively, that
they can`t figure out what actually happened and how Governor Christie was
or wasn`t involved, because some key Christie administration officials have
evoked their Fifth Amendment rights and refused to talk to the committee
and other witnesses are not being allowed to speak with the committee
because of a much bigger committee that has taken precedents over the
And that much bigger investigation that`s taking precedents, that is where
we have some late breaking news to report tonight. The bigger
investigation that takes precedence is that one that`s being led by a
federal prosecutor, by the U.S. attorney in New Jersey, Paul Fishman. It`s
a federal criminal investigation into those lane closures.
That federal investigation has been going on for months now. A grand jury
has been meeting in secret in New Jersey and hearing evidence. That`s why
most of the key witnesses would not talk to the legislature for their
investigation. That`s why the legislature has concluded that they don`t
And while the federal prosecutors office has been remarkably leak-proof up
until this point, there has been what appears to be one dramatic leak
Tonight, NBC`s local station here in New York, WNBC, is reporting that not
only is that federal criminal investigation almost complete, but there may
be some big news to come out of that investigation very soon.
Watch this. This is from NBC 4 in New York City, tonight.
BRIAN THOMPSON, NBC 4 REPORTER: Multiple sources tell us there`s potential
for indictments in this bridge scandal as early as January of former
staffers to the governor, former Port Authority officials, even current
officials at the Port Authority, at least six.
The Port Authority itself has no comment, but among possible charges, a
cover up conspiracy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was an effort to conceal, to cover up, if you
will, what took place here.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Was there poor judgment? Absolutely. As to whether
or not that constitutes some sort of criminal cover-up or conspiracy, only
the U.S. attorney can make that determination.
THOMPSON: The battle between Republicans and Democrats over this interim
report at Monday`s committee meeting could get very heated. But as one
source tells me, that`s just the opening act. The main event will be the
U.S. attorney and grand jury action, something that could be just weeks
MADDOW: That was the report filed tonight by WNBC reporter Brian Thompson.
Again, according to his sources, there may be multiple criminal indictments
coming from this investigation, within just the next few weeks.
Joining us now is the reporter who broke that story, WNBC`s Brian Thompson.
Brian, it`s great to see you. Thanks for being here.
THOMPSON: Thank you very much, Rachel.
MADDOW: Let me ask you first if I summarized what you found accurately
THOMPSON: You know, I think the most important thing is and you saw in my
stand up, was you talked about this being the big event. It is. It is the
main event that we`re waiting for.
MADDOW: In terms of the expected -- expected possible indictments.
Obviously, indictments don`t exist until they exist.
THOMPSON: That`s right.
MADDOW: And so, the people that you`re talking to are predicting what the
grand jury and the U.S. attorney are going to be able to do.
THOMPSON: That is absolutely correct. All we know is that through our
sourcing, is that there are expectations that will be several people, as
many as six, possibly seven, maybe even eight. But those determinations
will wait, of course, when the U.S. attorney announces it, and when they
probably take their actual vote, which we don`t think they`ve actually done
MADDOW: In terms of the specific language that you used in your report, I
can tell you`re wording this very carefully. You just described what your
sources are saying as these indictments potentially being some serving
officials and some former officials. We know who all the former officials
are here. But essentially, your sources are telling you it`s a mix?
THOMPSON: Yes, absolutely, because you have to realize -- if you look at
the public record of all of the people, nobody`s going to do that, but us
insiders who have to. But if you look at the public record of all the
people who have had some fingerprint, somewhere along the line in here,
some are big fish, some are little fish. And what we`re finding is,
especially in the definition of a conspiracy is that even the little fish
are being drawn into this investigation to the extent where they`ve
lawyered up and where information is coming out that they are in some
cases, expecting to, indeed, be indicted.
So, you have some people still working in the Port Authority. Some of them
are appointees of the governor, some are not. You have, of course, well
known in the public record, people who used to work for the Port Authority,
and then, of course, you have other people who work in the governor`s
office who -- or closely to the governor who are no longer there. They`re
all part of the pool that we`re talking about here.
MADDOW: And, again, the key part of what you are hearing at least from
your sources, that the timing here could be as soon as January --
THOMPSON: That was a month that was specifically mentioned to me.
MADDOW: Brian Thompson, New Jersey correspondent for WNBC, Brian, thank
you very much. I appreciate it.
THOMPSON: Thank you very much.
MADDOW: All right. We`ll be right back. Stay with us.
MADDOW: Here`s something to keep an eye on over the weekend. This time,
last year almost exactly, a typhoon called Haiyan hit the Philippines.
Just devastated some parts of the Philippine Islands. More than 7,000
people were killed last year by Haiyan.
Well, tonight, right now, there is a similarly-sized typhoon called Typhoon
Hagupit, which is bearing down on the exact same part of Philippines again.
This is a 150-mile-an-hour winds. It`s the equivalent of a cat-4
Local time, it`s due to make landfall tomorrow night, Saturday night. But
with the time difference for us, that is Saturday morning in the United
Evacuations are already underway in the Philippines, but this could be a
very, very big deal this weekend. So, just a heads up to keep an eye on
We`ll be right back. Lots still to come.
MADDOW: We have an interesting update for you on a story that we reported
earlier this week. On Tuesday night, we brought you the story of this man,
who the state of Texas was due to execute on Wednesday, despite the man`s
long well-documented history of being forgive me, completely off his gourd.
In the 14 years before this man committed the crime that resulted in him
landing on death row, he had been hospitalized 15 separate times for acute
mental illness and had been diagnosed multiple times with different
varieties of schizophrenia.
This is a guy who once buried in his backyard all the furniture in his
house because he thought Satan was living in his furniture.
This guy now believes that the state of Texas wants to execute him, not
because he committed a double murder, but because he believes he represents
the angels and the state of Texas has the death penalty for anybody who
preaches the gospel and is on the side of the angels. Right.
So, the state of Texas maintains that this guy is fine, that he`s
definitely sane enough to legally kill. The Texas contention here is that
this man is faking his mental illness in order to avoid execution, and
that, of course, means they think he was faking it for 14 years before he
was ever arrested as part of some master plan that wouldn`t come to
fruition until he was in his 50s.
Well, on Tuesday night, we brought you that report. About that planned
execution on Wednesday. And we talked about the Texas Governor Rick Perry
to at least grant a temporary reprieve for this execution so this guy could
at least have a mental competency exam to test his sanity. He hasn`t had a
mental competency exam in seven years.
Every major newspaper in Texas has editorialized that even the state of
Texas should not kill someone this manifestly crazy.
Rick Perry, who`s also been getting lobbied to spare the guy by a whole
bunch of not-bleeding heart-liberals, conservative activists and
evangelicals, even Texas congressman former Congressman Ron Paul. A lot of
conservatives have been lobbying Rick Perry to stop this particular
execution because of the man`s mental illness.
Well, now, here`s the update. On Wednesday, early on Wednesday, on the
date this execution was scheduled this week, the very conservative Fifth
Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decided that they would stop this execution
in Texas, so Rick Perry didn`t have to.
It`s not clear yet that this schizophrenic guy will never be executed in
Texas, but there will now be a delay while the courts consider his sanity,
or lack thereof. Oral arguments should be scheduled soon in that case.
And if the courts do decide to let the execution proceed, it will, of
course, be back in Rick Perry`s lap to make a decision.
We`ll keep you posted on that. Stay with us.
MADDOW: Happy Friday. It is time to dump this week`s news all over one of
our faithful viewers.
That`s the Friday night news dump.
Nick Tuths, who`s playing the Friday night news dump tonight?
NICK TUTHS, MSNBC PRODUCER: Well, we`ve got Christina Wise with us
tonight. She`s from Boulder Creek, California. She works for a health
care company. She`s a second soprano in a church choir. Hey, me, too.
She was a contestant of "Super Password".
Rachel, meet Christina.
MADDOW: Christina, it`s very nice to meet you.
CHRISTINA WISE, BOULDER CREEK, CA: So nice to meet you, Rachel. What an
MADDOW: Well, likewise. I have to say, "Super Password", that`s like a TV
game show for real, right?
WISE: That was a real one and that was with Bert Convy, and that was back
in I think 1987. I was 18 years old. Don`t do the math.
And I was the youngest person to ever get on the show. And I played with
Susan Rutan. Remember? She was the one with the short red hair from "L.A.
MADDOW: Oh, God, yes.
WISE: Yes, and also a guy by the named of Ed Winters. He was doing a
series at the time with oh, Sally Struthers I think it was. I won $1,000
in cash and prizes, and most of that was nail or hair removal products. So
I hope I do better tonight.
MADDOW: Most of what you got was for removing hair. Nothing we`re going
to give you tonight is going to remove your hair. I absolutely swear it.
No matter what you do with it.
In fact, Nick, if Christina does win, does get two questions right tonight,
what does she win? Will you explain?
TUTHS: She wins this mini Rachel Maddow drink cocktail shaker.
MADDOW: And no matter what you do with it, it is only likely to give you
more hair and not less.
WISE: I`m in.
MADDOW: All right. We also need to bring in the disembodied voice of
Steve Benen from Maddow Blog. Steve is also the guy who determines the
rightness and wrongness of all things here.
Steve, say hello to Christina.
STEVE BENEN, MADDOW BLOG: Good evening, Christina.
WISE: Good evening, Steve. What a pleasure.
MADDOW: Ha! This is very exciting.
WISE: I know. You have one Republican watching your show tonight because
she`s a friend of mine.
MADDOW: Oh, there`s lots of them. They just don`t tell each other.
That`s the Republican secret of THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW audience. If they
all came out, the world would stop on its axis.
All right. Question one, here we go. On Monday`s show, conservative
Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, she made a special guest appearance on
video on our show while rapping a popular song.
Whose rap song was Michele Bachmann rapping? Was it: (a), Jay-Z, (b), The
Beastie Boys, (c), Macklemore, or (d), Waka Flocka Flame?
WISE: It was Macklemore and it was wonderful.
MADDOW: Steve, did Christina get that right?
BENEN: Clearly, we have no choice but to take a look at Monday`s segment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), MINNESOTA: I wear your grand dad`s clothes. I
look incredible from that thrift shop down the road.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BENEN: Yes, the horrifying answer is C, Macklemore. And Christina was
MADDOW: Excellent. Well done.
And any excuse to hear Michele Bachmann talking in a low voice is going to
be taken on this show.
All right. Question two, Tuesday show. We spoke about the three nuclear
intercontinental ballistic missile bases. Three bases in three different
states, 450 nuclear missiles between them, these three bases have been
sharing something critical to maintaining those missiles. They have been
FedExing it back and forth to each other every time somebody needed to make
a missile repair.
What exactly have these three bases been FedExing back and forth to each
other? Is it: (a), a special screwdriver, (b), a special wrench set, (c),
a drill bit, or (d), a set of specialty protective goggles.
WISE: It was B, and there`s one, but now they have three.
MADDOW: I think that`s right. But, Steve, can you confirm?
BENEN: The correct answer is B. There is a special wrench set. And as
she noted, Hagel -- Secretary of Defense Hagel said they were going to have
two wrenches from now on. So good news is Christina is right and we have
MADDOW: We have more wrenches, they already got more and we`re going to
get even further.
MADDOW: Yes, it is amazing.
All right, but we`re going to go to question three. This is sort of a
special credit question for you at this point. This was also from
Tuesday`s show. We reported an announcement from one U.S. senator who took
the time that day to let the world know that he is not running for
president in 2016.
Which of these senators took himself out of the running this week for the
presidency? Was it: (a), Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island, was it (b),
Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, (c), Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, or
(d), Senator Rob Portman of wherever Rob Portman is from?
WISE: It is D, Portman, who looks like your everyman.
MADDOW: Steve, do you have the answer for us?
BENEN: We do. Let`s check the section from Tuesday`s show.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: It`s Rob Portman who`s not going to be running for president. He
has officially announced today. Honestly, if that headline were not there
and you were just looking at that picture of him and his family and his
cute dogs, would you have any idea of what that was?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BENEN: Right. The correct answer is what`s his name? I mean, the correct
answer is Rob Portman and Christina is correct.
MADDOW: Christina, spectacular. You only needed two to win the prize.
Nick, did Christina win the prize?
TUTHS: Yes. She did.
MADDOW: And because you got three instead of two, this still isn`t
officially our rule, but I feel compelled. We will send you the baby sized
cocktail shaker. We will also find something in our cubicle farm to send
you, even though you don`t like it.
WISE: Can I get the mushroom containers that were part of the commercial?
MADDOW: Oh, no, those have now been bid up so far in our internal auction
house at the staff. At that point, though, you`d have to be a zillionaire.
No, we`ll kind you something much, much sketchier than that.
Christina, thank you so much for playing. Congratulations. It was awesome
to have you here. Very nice to meet you.
WISE: It`s an honor. Thank you, Rachel.
MADDOW: Thank you, Christina. That was great.
All right. If any of you out there think that you have what it takes to
survive the Friday night news dump, including the possibility of winning
not only a kind of crappy little tiny cocktail shaker that doesn`t even
hold a seal, but also maybe something else we scrounge up from desks, you
should go to Maddowblog.com to learn how to apply.
By the time you`re done doing that, though, I should let you know that you
are already going to be late for prison.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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