All In With Chris Hayes, Tuesday, February 10th, 2015
Read the transcript from the Tuesday show
Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
Date: February 10, 2015
Guest: Dan Savage, Hendrik Hertzberg, David Carr, Atul Gawande, Adam
CHRIS HAYES, ALL IN HOST: Tonight on All In.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, 44TH AND CURRENT PRESIDENT UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: You
know, I -- I`m not in favor of gay marriage.
HAYES: A Barack Obama Bombshell.
DAVID AXELROD, OBAMA`S FMR. POLITICAL ADVISER: The president does oppose
same sex marriage.
HAYES: President Bush lied the country into a war, now we know President
Obama lied America into same sex marriage.
OBAMA: I struggled with this.
HAYES: David Axelrod reveals for the first time, he got the president to
oppose marriage equality to get elected. And breaking news, the Daily Show
with Jon Stewart is losing Jon Stewart. And as the measles outbreak
continues, the vaccination fight comes to D.C.
ELIZABETH WARREN, (D) MASSACHUSETTS: Is there any scientific evidence that
giving kids their vaccines further apart or spacing them differently is
healthier for kids?
ANNE SCHUCHAT, CDC`S NATIONAL CENTER FOR IMMUNIZATION AND RESPIRATORY
DISEASES DIRECTOR: No. It actually increases the risk period for
HAYES: All In starts right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Good evening from us in Texas. I`m Chris Hayes. It is been a
remarkable news day today, lots to get to. But today, something truly rare
happened. We got to look at the inner workings and a premeditated
politically calculated ends-justify-the means lie. It involves candidate
and then President Barack Obama knowingly, willfully misleading the public.
Now, no one died. It`s not a case of corruption. It is politics at its
most elemental and morally treacherous. And it comes courtesy of Barack
Obama`s long-time adviser, David Axelrod. In his new book, the headline,
Obama mislead nation when he opposed gay marriage in 2008 -- a striking
admission of political dishonesty.
Of course, many suspected at the time that candidate Obama was just
pretending to oppose full marriage equality in his first presidential race
because he felt the country wasn`t ready to vote for a presidential
candidate who supported it. Some even believed he never would have been
elected president in 2008 if he had supported gay marriage.
But the evolution of this bit of politics is both convoluted and
fascinating. According to "Time Magazine", "As a state senate candidate in
1996, Obama filled out a questionnaire saying, I favor legalizing same-sex
marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages." That was
state senate candidate Barack Obama way back in 1996. Bear in mind that
President Barack Obama didn`t voiced support for same-sex marriage until
2012 -- 16 years later.
So what happened in between? Political calculation. Carefully articulated
campaign position -- lying. In fact, even U.S. Senate candidate barrack
Obama circa 2004 sounded remarkably different from the 1996 state senate
candidate who filled out that questionnaire.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: I have been very clear on this. The -- I have said that I -- I`m
not a supported of gay marriage. I think that the term "marriage" itself
has strong religious roots and a strong tradition that mean something
special to people in this country.
What I believe is that marriage is between a man and a woman.
I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Obama won that Senate race. And in David Axelrod`s new book,
"Believer: My Forty Years in Politics", Axelrod describes how presidential
candidate Barack Obama claimed to oppose same-sex marriage for religious
reason even though President Barack Obama -- candidate Obama was never very
comfortable with the political ploy.
According to "Time Magazine`s" account of the book, "I`m just not very good
at s-ing." Obama told Axelrod after an even where he stated his opposition
to same-sex marriage." And yet it appears that candidate Obama was good
Axelrod writes quote, "Opposition to gay marriage was particularly strong
in the black church, and as Obama run for higher office, he grudgingly
accepted the counsel of more pragmatic folks like me and modified his
position to support civil unions rather than marriage, which he would term
a sacred union."
What we`re talking about is wholesale misdirection if Axelrod`s book is to
be taken a face value. Here is candidate Obama with mega church Pastor
Rick Warren in August 2008.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman.
Now, for me as a Christian -- for me as a Christian, it`s also a sacred
union. You know, God`s in the mix.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: You`ll note the rockets applause that line perceived. In other
debates and campaign stops, candidate strained to have it both ways
opposing same-sex marriage or strongly supporting same-sex civil unions.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: The civil unions that I proposed would be equivalent in terms of
making sure that all the rights that are conferred by the state are equal
for same-sex couples as well as for heterosexual couples.
With respect to gay marriage, I do not support gay marriage but I support a
very strong version of civil unions where I think the state has to
recognize the same rights and responsibilities for gay people, same-sex
couples as they do for anybody else.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: And that is just a sampling. Of course, Obama was elected
president and then came the evolution leading to this moment in May 2012
just six months before the 2012 presidential election and just one day
after North Carolina had become the 30th State to explicitly ban same-sex
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: I have to tell you. As I`ve said, I`ve been going through an
evolution on this issue. At the certain point, I`ve just concluded that
for me personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I
think same-sex couples should be able to get married.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: With the hot tip (ph) to Vice President Joe Biden who Obama would
later say, quote, "Probably got out a little bit over his skis", because
Biden had voiced his own public support for gay marriage before President
Obama did. And the post script, the president`s State of the Union address
just last month when by that time same-sex marriage was legal in 36 states.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: I`ve seen something like gay marriage go from a wedge issue used to
drive us apart to a story of freedom across our country of civil right.
Now legal in state with seven in 10 Americans call home (ph).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Whether Obama`s choice was a political imperative than actually
advance the cause of gay rights is open question. Joining me now, activist
Dan Savage, editorial director of "The Stranger", Seattle`s Weekly
alternative newspaper, and the man behind "Savage Love" is indicated calm
and the "Savage Lovecast".
All right. Dan, I think you and I had conversations about this before.
What is your reaction to this news?
DAN SAVAGE, THE STRANGER EDITORIAL DIRECTOR: We knew this all along. We
joke. I wrote at the time when the president was opposed to marriage
equality during the campaign and his first term that he was going to
pretend to oppose marriage equality and we would pretend to believe him --
those of us who are activists. And we would hold his feet to the fire.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt famously said to some folks who had a meeting
with him who wanted some changes made, "You`re right about this. I agree
with you. Now, get out there and make me do it."
And that`s kind of what LGBT Civil Rights activists working on marriage had
to do. We had to get out there and make the president do it. And it was a
large piece of political theater and a very effective one. And nobody I
think in the LGBT Civil Rights would have believed him when he went from
being pro-marriage equality in 1996 to oppose to for it again.
That`s not the way people evolve on this issue. People evolve in one
direction. People move from opposition to support. I`ve never heard of a
case except for the president where we`re supposed to buy somebody.
HAYES: That`s right.
SAVAGE: . evolving on it, then devolving on it, then revolving on it as
the president did. But it was useful political theater. I agree with
David Axelrod and the president that the country wasn`t ready in 2008 for a
ticket for national candidate who supported marriage equality. And by
pragmatically making this choice to adjust in (ph) his support for marriage
equality, the president managed to bring the country along by making his
discomfort with the political calculation he clearly made -- part of the
drama, and part of the performance of his office. And it benefited LGBT
people in this country tremendously.
HAYES: OK. So I basically agree sort of strategically. But let me give
you this though experiment and sort, David Savage, here.
Let`s say there`s a young conservative libertarian who`s coming up in kind
of a Rand Paul movement and he says, "I think we should get rid of the
minimum wage. I don`t believe in it philosophically." He starts ascending
national office, understands that`s not a tenable position, runs for
president says, "Well, of course I believe in the minimum wage," and then
kind of works with libertarian activists while in office to get rid of the
minimum wage in America. And then later, his adviser writes a memoir being
like, "Of course, he wanted to get rid of the minimum wage the whole time"
I would be angry. I mean I could feel like that was.
SAVAGE: You would only.
HAYES: . duplicitous, that fundamentally people had been had (ph).
SAVAGE: I think you would be angry if he succeeded doing away with the
minimum wage which he could not be able to do.
SAVAGE: I don`t think that that`s a realistic parallel because the minimum
wage is hugely popular and people have a personal stake in wages in a way
that people begin to understand that it didn`t affect them. Even if they
oppose same-sex marriage for moral reasons or it violated the tenants of
their faith, that a gay couple down the street marrying had no impact on
them and their lives. And as people begin to see gay couples marrying,
they let that go.
If we did away with the minimum wage, we had a real debate about it.
People would be in terror of to being pauperized or used or exploited.
SAVAGE: No one`s pauperized, used, or exploited in same-sex marriage.
HAYES: So there -- and there`s a sort of -- I mean there`s a kind of a
unique moral introductory but can you imagine yourself in that room
counseling the same way David Axelrod or could you imagine being the person
-- Barack Obama looking, you know, Pastor Rick Warren in the eyes and
saying that line, "It`s between a man and a woman", and getting that
applause when you actually in your heart of heart think that is more --
actually kind of a morally odious view?
SAVAGE: Yeah. And that would be very difficult. And sometimes the
president said things that upset me personally and so a lot of us like "God
is in the mix." That tossed off at the end which begs the question what`s
in the mix when a same-sex couple marries. Satan?
HAYES: Right. Do you think ultimately -- and this is something I wonder
about the kind of meta-story
David Axelrod choosing to include this in a book in which, you know,
ultimately this kind of closes the loop, right? It brings the trajectory
full stop and that in the judgment of history how does this factor into how
-- from a civil rights perspective Barack Obama`s presidency is judged?
SAVAGE: I`m not sure how that factors in. But I think we can`t be so
na‹ve as to think that politicians are 100 percent straight with us all the
time nor do we want politicians to be 100 percent straight with us all the
time. That this pragmatism, this parsing, this prioritizing certain issues
over other issues, this is not getting out in front of the country, not
getting out over the skis -- to use the president`s expression -- is a part
of the performance of politics.
And it`s not a violation I think of the pact between politician and public.
It is a part of what politics and moving public opinion is all about. And
the president like I said -- and I said for a long time ever since we came
out and supported, before his reelection campaign which I thought was very
gutsy and bold, is that he brought the country along. He helped create.
SAVAGE: . this change that made it possible for him to be open about his
position all along really. And I guarantee -- and I believe in my heart
that Axelrod ran that by the president before he published it.
HAYES: I think that`s probably right. Dan Savage, thanks so much. All
right joining me now.
SAVAGE: thank you.
HAYES: . Hendrik Hertzberg, staff writer and senior editor at the "New
Yorker", author of "Obamanos!: The Birth of a New Political Era", former
speech writer for Jimmy Carter.
So Rik, how do you think this works from a legacy perspective? I mean to
me it seems like it does kind of saw neatly that this was all kind of
master game of three dimensional chess by the president and these are the
kinds of calculations you make to be president of the United States and
ultimately the kind of proof of the putting is in the eating. And as far
as we`re going to see probably constitutional recognition of marriage
equality in 50 states before the presidency is over.
HENDRIK HERTZBERG, OBAMANOS! AUTHOR: Yeah. That`s exactly right, Chris.
You know, I think Obama saw a parallel here with the Civil Rights Movement.
The Post War Civil Rights Movement`s first great victory was the
integration of the Armed Forces by President Truman. And I think that
Obama thought that it would have been a mistake for the Civil Rights
Movement to start with things that had to do with intimate relations and
So don`t start with anti-miscegenation laws. Start with the military and
then public accommodations in voting, and ease it along in that way. I
think that was his strategy. It`s regrettable that he had to dissemble,
that he had to disguise his real position. And I think there`s no question
whether that was his real position.
It was a case of ends justifying means whether you think he would have been
better off, and gays would have been better off, and we would have all been
better off had he expressed his true opinion in -- during the 2008 campaign
and thereby possibly had lost the presidency and yield it to a Republican
whose position was to amend the Constitution in order to prevent gay
I think that that`s -- that the strategy was really an end justify the
mean. Justify it.
HAYES: How often do you think -- I`ve had conversations with politicians
off the record in which they will say things off the record that they
basically can`t say in public. And I wonder sometimes, how much of a
politician`s life at all levels and particularly the higher levels is this
kind of divided consciousness between what you actually believe and what
you can say.
HERTZBERG: Yeah. I think that`s true. That`s certainly true in politics.
It`s true in a lot of areas in life. You have to take it -- you have to
take things a step at a time. You have to be cognizant of the reality and
what of the real bars are to progress and how to get around them and get
over them. That is a fact of political life.
And I think as Dan said, it`s not -- it`s -- it doesn`t really break the
bond of trust fully between the public and politicians. You know, I think
for example of Bill Clinton`s support on capital punishment. It`s not
quite a parallel because he wasn`t in his goal in saying he was for capital
punishment -- was not to abolish capital punishment, whereas, Obama`s goal
in saying he is against gay marriage was essentially to pave the way to gay
HETZBERG: So there is that difference, but does anyone believe? I
certainly don`t believe that in his heart of heart, Bill Clinton favors
capital punishment. I think he made that sacrifice, to sacrifice to his
own integrity to, you know, in a higher cost. And I think that`s
HAYES: To me.
HETZBERG: ... Obama did.
HAYES: To me, the lesson here, which is a very important one, every time
we have elections is that you are electing more than a person, you are
electing a coalition of folks. And that coalition of people, the various
interests that will determine the agenda of the people you put in power,
and in this case, people elected the coalition that was on the side of gay
rights. And what they got was gay rights.
And no one -- everyone should be clear right about what`s going on when you
do that on both sides. Hendrik Hertzberg, always a pleasure. Thank you.
HERTZBERG: Thank you.
HAYES: All right, Jon Stewart is leaving The Daily Show, we`re going to
talk about that ahead.
HAYES: All right, we`re going to bring you some breaking news. NBC news
decided today to suspend Brian Williams as Managing Editor and anchor of
NBC Nightly News for six month without pay. The suspension is effective
immediately. And Lester Holt will continue to anchor the Nightly News.
In a note to NBC staff, NBC News President Deborah Turness said, "While on
Nightly News on Friday, January 30, 2015, Brian misrepresented events which
occurred while he was covering the Iraq War in 2003. It then became clear
that on other occasions Brian had done the same while telling that story in
other venues. This was wrong and completely inappropriate for someone in
She went on to say this was a "very hard decision. Certainly there will be
those who disagree. We believe the suspension is the appropriate and
Back with much more, in a moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JON STEWART, THE DAILY SHOW HOST: Well whether reporters baring witness to
a storm`s power, has become a bit of cliche, but constantly evolving an
innovative industry has once again upped their game. I give you anchor in
HAYES: Good evening from the snow bound and nearly quiet streets of New
York City, I am Chris Hayes. Right now, we`re out and about in New York,
where very few others are.
STEWART: Yeah, you guys, you know Google Street View, right? That would
be in good show, don`t you think?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: In nearly two years we`ve been in the air, lots of clips from all
end have appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and we took it as a
point of professional pride around here that those clips were always used
to help Stewart tell a story, sometimes to illuminate a point, never to
mock us for doing something foolish.
Until (inaudible) in two weeks ago, and that is the thing, that is the
thing about Jon Stewart in The Daily Show. Do not slip, because he will
make you pay. Tonight, we have breaking news that sadly he won`t be doing
that much longer.
Stewart announced during a taping today, he will be leaving The Daily Show,
which he has hosted since 1999, a run in which he transform the Comedy
Central show into an essential source of media and political criticism,
while also keeping things very, very funny.
News first trickled out by a social media, from people who are actually
active in his taping, it was then confirmed by Comedy Central in a
statement, reading in part, "His comedic brilliance is second to none.
Through his unique voice and vision, The Daily Show has become a cultural
touchstone for millions of fans and an unparalleled platform for political
comedy that will endure for years to come."
Stewart plans to leave The Daily Show later this year. Comedy Central has
not announced the exact date.
Joining me now on the phone is David Carr, Media Columnist and Cultural
Writer for the New York Times. David, pretty big day on the media beat
DAVID CARR, THE NEW YORK TIMES: I would say, you don`t know which way to
look, Chris. This today news is pretty -- it`s kind of sad isn`t it?
HAYES: About Stewart`s exit. Yeah, it is. I mean...
CARR: Yeah. I mean, I mean...
HAYES: ... I think...
CARR: ... it leaves a little hole in...
HAYES: ... I assume he`d be there forever.
CARR: ... all of this, let`s face it. He created a whole runway of comedy
that, you know, now we`re seeing more and more of what, you know, of course
Stephen Colbert and John Oliver, and now Larry Wilmore is running with it.
But he is the originator and still reigning champion, and kind of going out
on top, I would say.
HAYES: The thing about the "The Daily Show" that always struck me. And
has struck me more -- the more that I have come to host a nightly news
show, is that it was -- in some ways the way that the barrage of
particularly cable news. But coverage of things was kind of digested,
distilled and send up, right? It wasn`t self vote (ph) kind of a critic in
the media but also had it`s own kind of (inaudible) points to make.
CARR: Most definitely. And if you -- I teach at Boston University one a
week and when you talk to those kids about the -- they don`t call it fake
news, they call it "the news", and it`s a digest of the news, it teaches
them things about what`s going on in the world in a way that they found
other media was not. And until their holding their diet.
HAYES: Do you think he is replaceable? Can you imagine the "The Daily
Show" with a new host or do they have to go with something else?
CARR: Well it`s straight up (inaudible). I certainly wouldn`t want to
wonder into those giant footprints. And, you know, in the instance of
Colbert (inaudible) insidious (inaudible), they decided not to. I mean,
it`s a good sturdy framework, but you got to admit that Jon Stewart wear
the uniform better than most. And that so, it`s a little hard to imagine
what he`s going to do next, because, you know, he did a great job with
Rosewater, the film he directed.
But in terms of like doing the straight up talk show, you know, he`s never
excelled in interviewing all that much. And if you`re thinking about,
"Well he`s going to do straight up comedy somewhere", I don`t know, he`s a
(inaudible) guy, right?
HAYES: My sense from watching him during the press of Rosewater and I
interviewed him about that film, that was really a passion project. And I
think he loved doing it. In my sense, I don`t know anything -- I have no
access internally to his thinking on this. Is that probably he just wants
to try doing different stuff, you are Job Stewart, you`re super famous,
you`re very wealthy, you`re extremely accomplished, you can probably go up
and make a (inaudible), kind of independent art house films.
And I genuinely respect someone willing to walk away from something like
this to undertake new creative endeavors, don`t you?
CARR: Yeah, I do very much, especially, the timing of it. and if you were
close student of the show and I wouldn`t pretend necessarily that it was --
I think every once in a while, the fact that he was a little tired, that
was becoming more and more manifest. One of the things that I think we`ll
miss though, Chris, is only Lorne Michaels was able to find and promote
talent like he is.
Go down the list, you got Steve Carell, you go Ed Helms, you got Wyatt
Cenac, you`ve got Stephen Colbert, you got John Oliver, Olivia Munn, Ed
Helms, I mean Steve, you know...
HAYES: You got Jessica Williams now who is absolutely incredible.
CARR: Yeah, and there`s that -- it just -- I do wonder about where that
sort of apparatus it`s going to produce that kind of comedian talent. I
mean, some of those people have (inaudible). I mean a huge deals.
HAYES: David, do you have a response? I`m in a sort of strange position,
obviously, I think I`m too conflicted for a million reasons to comment on
the Brian Williams situation, but I`m curious to get your response to the
news since it isn`t kind of a bombshell that we just dropped.
CARR: I don`t think it`s much of a bombshell. I do think that your
feeling is not going to be uncommon one, which is one of very significant
sadness. Because I don`t think anybody is going to wish Brian Williams
(inaudible). They don`t think he`s a jerk or a perpetrator. He`s a guy
who made a mistake. And I think it was very good of NBC to step up, take
custody of this narrative and come up with a suspension that is, you know,
very, very deep, very, very serious.
And see -- everyone can see where they are and work from there. And I
think it`s really a good outcome of a terrible situation. And, you know,
it`s obviously -- there`s no perfect way out of this. But you knew
whatever is going to happen was going to have a profound effect in his
career and sort of what goes on with the Nightly News.
And I think it`s -- when I spoke to the people in NBC about it, I kept
trying to bring up business and what they said is, we want to know if you
can credibly cover a hurricane, or combat or call a politician (inaudible),
that`s what we care about.
And that`s what they`re going to find out over the course of time. And so
I thought it was a good move in the meeting.
HAYES: David Carr of the New York Times, thank you. I really appreciate
CARR: It`s a pleasure to be with you Chris.
HAYES: All right, if you just sat and hit refresh of the Google News page,
after plugging measles in the search box everyday, which by the way I think
is one of our senior producers does, you would find no shortage of
terrifying headlines, like this, and this, and this.
The latest developments in the measles outbreak, ahead.
HAYES: A New York City police officer has been indicted in the shooting
death of an unarmed African-American man. And while just an indictment may
not seem like big news, after the past year it certainly is. Because over
the last 12 months, the deaths of young unarmed African-American men at the
hands of police have dominated headlines and sparked a nationwide protest.
We know their names: Michael Brown, Eric Garner, John Crawford are just a
few. From Ferguson, Missouri to New York City to Beaver Creek, Ohio and
across the country.
Their cases all ended the same way: no indictments and no punishments to
suggest a wrong was committed when an officer pulled the trigger and took
the life of an innocent person.
In the midst of all that came, the story of 28-year-old Akai Gurley. On
November 20, Gurley and his girlfriend entered the stairwell of her
building her building, one housing project with elevators malfunctioned and
lights in the stairwells were often out as they were that night.
At the same time, two rookie NYPD officers entered that dark stairwell from
the floor above. Gurley did not make it out of that stairwell alive.
Investigators say Officer Peter Lang was holding his gun in the same hand
he was using to open the door when the gun went off, striking Gurley in the
chest and killing him.
A law enforcement official told the New York Times that Lang has been
indicted on six counts, including second degree manslaughter and criminally
negligent homicide. A formal announcement from the district attorney`s
office is expected tomorrow. And as you know, an indictment is not a
determination of guilt or innocent, it`s simply a recognition there is
enough evidence to go to trial.
And let me tell you, if an when that trial happens, it is going to happen
amidst a tremendous national spotlight.
HAYES: In just over a month, 121 people from 17 states and Washington, D.C
have been diagnosed with the measles. The current outbreak does not bode
well as we`re coming off the biggest year for measles in the U.S. since it
was declared eliminated in 2000.
According to the CDC, most of this year`s cases are part of a big, ongoing
multi-state outbreak that seems to have started at Disneyland.
The cluster of cases is probably most terrifying to new parents is the one
in Illinois where 10 cases have now been confirmed, nine of those 10 are
linked to a KinderCare daycare center outside Chicago, eight babies, all
too young for the measles vaccine, which is typically given around 12
months, and one adult who is not an employee of the daycare center, but it
linked to it, all diagnosed with measles.
That adult was also unvaccinated, according to local health officials.
So far, the Illinois cluster has not been connected to the Disneyland
outbreak. And health officials are still trying to figure out how it
Meanwhile, today, in Washington, senators from both parties talked about
ways to prevent further outbreaks. Dr. Mark Sawyer, a pediatrician and
infectious disease specialist was quick to point out that things are
getting worse, not better.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. MARK SAWYER, INFECTIOUS DISEASE SPECIALIST: We`re all crossing our
fingers here with this Disneyland outbreak that maybe we`re near the end,
but I notice that the case number went up by 20 just this last week, so I`m
not sure we`re don`t with this yet.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: A week ago, the CDC reported 102 cases. Today we`re looking at
121, a nearly 19 percent jump.
Not surprisingly, health officials have said most of the people who have
been infected were not vaccinated, that is a problem, especially
considering some parents are intentionally not immunizing their children.
Frustrated over his own kids exposure to measles, pediatrician doctor Tim
Jacks testified about the parents who put his children at risk.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. TIM JACKS, PEDIATRICIAN: Eli, my 10 month old son, has received all of
his immunizations on schedule, but is too young to receive his first dose
And my daughter, Maggie, who was also previously fully immunized is at
extra risk right now because of her weakened immune system due to her
leukemia as well as her treatment.
Prevention is simple: vaccinate. As immunization rates drop, the herd
immunity starts to break down. And this herd immunity is the only thing
protecting my two young children from being exposed to measles or whatever
the next outbreak is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now, best-selling author and surgeon Dr. Atul Gawande.
His latest book "Being Mortal" will also be featured on PBS`s Frontline
Dr. Gawande, in other contexts I`ve seen you write about and talk about the
change between the doctor/patient relationship that`s happened particularly
in the last 10 to 15 years with two things: the rise of the internet and
people sort of checking their symptoms, and also the declining trust people
have in the medical profession. How much of that is driving what we`re
seeing here in terms of vaccinations?
DR. ATUL GAWANDE, SURGEON: I think those are significant. You add to it
that these are diseases we don`t seem to remember, which is ironic. These
conditions, you know, people will say measles, is it really that dangerous?
And we forget that childhood viral illnesses were major killers not that
In my own childhood, I developed mumps which has since been something that
we have controlled with vaccinations. And I was one of those kids, because
there was thousands with mumps, I developed the most severe form
encephalitis , and I was just lucky that I survived in the 60s.
Roald Dahl, his daughter developed measles in the 1960s and his daughter
Olivia -- he was the one who wrote James and the Giant Peach -- his
daughter died from encephalitis developed from the disease.
So, you know what we have now, which is the real surprise, is a generation
that has had this kind of dire illness and range of illnesses that shorten
lives eliminated from our memory. And then that same generation that
benefited from it is the one that doubts giving it to the next generation.
HAYES: So, I guess the question here is, and this pertains to the new
book you have out which is about sort of end of life and end of life care
and how we make these very difficult decisions in concert with medical
our family about end of life care. And it relates to vaccinations, which
is how do you go about sort of rebuilding this trust so that you can have
reconstituting medical authority at an age where it seems inexorably to be
on the decline?
GAWANDE: I think this is where story telling is incredibly important
because we don`t remember the stories of what happened to people when there
was a time when infectious disease was the most dire thing that families
worried about. Now it is injuries. And we`re rightly concerned about
accidents -- guns, and other concerns like that.
Abroad you see the stories and you begin to understand what happens. And
it is similar at the end of life. We haven`t really brought the stories of
what the experience is of dying in a hospital, dying in intensive care, and
making it clear that that is a kind of suffering that doesn`t actually
extend people`s lives, it often shortens people`s lives when we don`t have
that kind of approach.
So I think we`re beginning to understand that we need to bring the stories
and be able to make them public.
HAYES: Dr. Atul Gawande, a pleasure, thank you.
GAWANDE: Thank you.
HAYES: A growing number of Democrats are refusing to attend the Israeli
prime minister`s address to congress next month.
Plus, after the death of American aid worker Kayla Mueller, President Obama
talks about the refusal of the U.S. to pay ransoms for American hostages.
HAYES: The story of who Kayle Mueller is and the heartbreaking thing all
the American hostages who have been killed in ISIS custody have in common
HAYES: The family of Kayla Mueller, the American aide worker abducted by
ISIS in 2013, confirmed in a statement today she was been killed. The
Mueller said they received a message from her captors over the weekend
containing evidence that was authenticated by the U.S. intelligence
Some of Kayla`s friends and family paid tribute to her at a press
conference this afternoon.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LORI LYON, KAYLA MUELLER`S AUNT: She had a quiet, calming presence. She
was a free spirit, always standing up for those were suffering and wanting
to be their vote.
ERYN STREET, KAYL MUELLER`S CHILDHOOD FRIEND: I`m not sure how to live in
world without Kayla, but I do know that we`re all living in a better world
because of her.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Mueller`s family also released a copy of a letter she wrote to her
loved ones in the spring of 2014 while still in captivity, which includes
this remarkable passage. I read it earlier today and it has just haunted
me all day.
She wrote, "by God and by your prayers I have felt tenderly cradled in
freefall. I have been shown in darkness, light and have learned that even
in prison, one can be free."
In an interview with Buzzfeed today, President Obama shared his reaction to
Kayla Meuller`s death and defended his policy of not paying ransom for ISIS
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARAK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: My immediate reaction is
heartbreak. I have been in touch with Kayla`s family. She was a
woman and had a great spirit. And I think that spirit will live on. The
one thing that we have held to is a policy of not paying ransoms for an
ISIL. The reason is once we start doing that, not only are we financing
their slaughter of innocent people and strengthening their organization,
actually making Americans even greater targets.
It is as tough as anything that I do, having conversations with parents
who, understandably, want, by any means necessary, for their children to be
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: A senior U.S. official told NBC News the family was e-mailed a
photo appearing to show Kayla dead with trauma injuries, injuries not
inconsistent with the kinds of wounds sustained in an air strike according
to the official. Although they show nothing conclusive about when and how
Last Friday, ISIS claimed Mueller had been killed in a Jordanian air
strike, releasing photos purporting to show where the strike occurred.
Mueller was originally captured in Aleppo, Syria on August 4, 2013 after
exiting a Doctors Without Borders hospital.
She had traveled there the day before from Turkey where she worked for an
organization giving aide to refugees of the Syrian civil war, continuing a
history of humanitarian work that had taken her to India, Israel and the
Palestinian territories as well as an HIV/AIDS clinic and a women`s shelter
in her hometown of Prescott, Arizona.
In a 2010 blog post reprinted at the site Forkayla.org. she wrote, quote,
"this really is my life`s work, to go where there is suffering. I suppose
like us a all, I`m learning how to deal with the suffering of the world
inside myself, to deal with my own pain and most importantly to still have
the ability to be proactive."
This is what is so especially heartbreaking about each of the American
hostages killed in ISIS custody. In every case -- James Foley, and Steven
Sotloff, freelance journalists, and Adbul Rahman Kasig and Kayla Mueller,
aide workers, they were deeply selfless people who put themselves at
tremendous risk to serve the people of Syria and to tell their stories and
try to ease their suffering.
That`s the type of person who chooses to work amid the horrors of the
world`s most brutal civil war.
In his daily briefing today, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest
revealed there`s still at least one American being held hostage.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: There is at least one other
hostage that is held in the region. What I can tell you is that we are
aware. We have avoided discussing the individual cases of Americans being
held hostage, but we`re aware of other hostages being held in the region.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Today we learned for the first time what the official legal U.S.
response might look like. New details on President Obama`s request for
broader authority from congress to fight is ISIS. That`s next.
HAYES: Six months after the U.S. started a bombing campaign against ISIS,
and with 3,000 troops already on the ground in Iraq, President Obama is
finally poised to submit an authorization for the use of military force or
AUMF, to congress for vote.
Today on Capitol Hill, the president`s chief of staff and White House
council briefed senate Democrats for the broad strokes of the new AUMF,
which according to Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, would rule out what the
White House calls enduring offensive ground operations, will automatically
sunset after three years and will replace the 2002 AUMF enabling the Iraq
According to another the report by Bloomberg`s Josh Rogen (ph), the bill
would authorize military action against ISIS and its associated forces, and
it would have no geographic limitations leaving the administration free to
expand the war to other countries.
Legislation is expected to be delivered to Congress as early as tomorrow.
I talked with congressman Adam Schiff, a Democrat from California, who told
me his reaction to the administration`s draft AUMF.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ADAM SCHIFF, (D) CALIFORNIA: I think it is a good discussion draft.
I think it has a good limitation of three years, which will place it beyond
the presidential election and into the next presidency, give the new
president about a year to determine whether or he needs a different kind of
authorization from congress.
So the sunset date I think is appropriate.
Where I think there are improvements that are going to have to be made, is
it still have as very broad provision in terms of the use of ground troops.
And there is no sunset of the original 2001 AUMF. And without that sunset,
Chris, a future president could simply say that when the new authorization
terminates that he`ll rely on the old one or she`ll rely on the old one.
So, this is a real issue that I think is going to have to be addressed.
HAYES: In fact that is precisely the legal argument made by the White
House right now. I mean, obviously they are engaged in kinetic activity
against ISIS. They are bombing. We have 3,000 or so U.S. personnel on the
ground. They say can do this under the 2001 AUMF. So why are we even
debating this or talking about doing this at all if they already have the
legal justification to do what they`re doing?
SCHIFF: Well, because I think the administration recognizes that is a
pretty week constitutional and legal argument. It`s a very slender read.
That old authorization that they`re relying upon allows a president to use
forces against those who were responsible for 9/11, which they`ve
interpreted meaning al Qaeda and its affiliates. Well, ISIL wasn`t even in
existence on 9/11, it has often been at war with al Qaeda, so it plainly, I
think by it`s terms, doesn`t apply unless you use the most broad
interpretation, which is what they`re using.
But it is all the more reason why that authorization should have the same
sunset as any new authorization so that the next president can`t simply
fall back on this at some later point when the new resolution expires.
HAYES: That key provision in the 2001 AUMF that you proposed sort of
rolling into this new one sunsetting in three years in your own proposal,
that key phrase is associated forces, right, which gives them the latitude
to strike at a variety of targets, some of which didn`t really even exist
We see that same language in the draft the White House had proposed here.
Are you concerned that will provide the same kind of wide latitude to
SCHIFF: Well, I am concerned about it. And of course all of these
provisions are intertwined in a way. And that`s why this is going to be
the subject of a broad negotiation. And that is, if you have a limit that,
for example, prohibits the use of ground troops in a combat mission and
it`s narrowly drafted so it can`t be interpreted in an over broad fashion,
that may give you some comfort in terms of other issues like the geographic
limit or whether they`ll use an expansive interpretation of associated
So the narrower the authorization in terms of one provision helps you
potentially with other provisions.
I would be less concerned about that associated forces language if for
example we confine this to Iraq and Syria.
If on the other hand there is no geographic limitation, then that term
associated forces could become very significant if, for example, the
wants to after Boko Haram. That is clearly not -- what is intended right
now but you could read that associated forces very broadly to include
Libya, to include other parts of Africa as well.
HAYES: Right now there is no geographic restriction. It also seems to me
that one of the issues that is going to come to the fore is that there is
going to be some members of congress, people like Lindsey Graham in the
Senate, other Republicans who are going to want this to be broader. I
mean, how are you going get to some kind of language that can get
majorities in both houses?
SCHIF: Well, it is going to be a challenge, and a lot will depend on what
kind of a coalition the administration really wants to build. If they
want, they could build a coalition that consists of the Grahams and the
McCains and is very Republican oriented with a few Democrats, but I think
they want something very broadly bipartisan that enjoys the support of a
majority of members on both sides
of the aisle. That will be a challenge, although I think it is a challenge
that can be met and I think what they put forward is a good starting point.
HAYES: Not to be overly frank here, but isn`t congress rendered irrelevant
in the era of the war on terror with the wide interpretation of the AUMF,
administration already engaging in the kinds of activities they now seek
legal authorization for? Isn`t it a foregone conclusion you guys are going
to vote to give them what they want?
SCHIEFF: Well, I hope it isn`t. But yes, for the last six months,
has been AWOL. War has been going on. We haven`t had a vote to declare
it, to authorize it. We haven`t even really had a debate in congress over
it. So you`re absolutely right, congress has been sidelined but not by the
administration, we have sidelined ourselves by insisting that the
administration put forward its draft first. There is nothing in the
constitution that says we have the power to declare war only when we are
asked by the president or only when we`re asked nicely.
So we have marginalized ourselves. This is an opportunity for Congress to
reassert itself, to show that it is an equal branch and has a check and
balance when it comes to making war. It was what I think the founders
certainly envisioned. And I hope that we insist upon it and we make
meaningful changes to this resolution.
HAYES: All right, Congressman Adam Schiff, thank you very much.
SCHIFF: Thanks Chris.
HAYES: That is all in for evening.
The Rachel Maddow Show starts now.
Good evening Rachel.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
<Copy: Content and programming copyright 2015 NBC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Copyright 2015 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by
United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed,
transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written
permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark,
copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>