All In With Chris Hayes, Tuesday, February 17th, 2015
Read the transcript from the Tuesday show
Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
Date: February 17, 2015
Guest: Joaquin Castro, Erika Andiola, Bob Kincaid, Zach Bissonette, Naomi
Schaeffer Riley, George Hatcher
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is giving rights and benefits to those who
are violating the law. The president does not have that power.
HAYES: President Obama`s immigration action stopped dead in its
tracks by a Texas judge. Tonight, the political explosion on Capitol Hill
and the human toll across the country.
Then, the fire is still burning in West Virginia as we learn more
about the supposed safety of crude oil trains.
And then, an exclusive interview with one of the hundreds of finalists
vying for a one-way trip to Mars.
And, the Republican 2016 front runner is a college dropout.
BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS: Isn`t kind of strange a presidential candidate
who didn`t finish college?
HAYES: Tonight, why I say a college degree should not be a
prerequisite to becoming president.
SCOTT BROWN (R), FORMER U.S. SENATOR: I don`t think we need another
Harvard professor or a Harvard graduate at the White House.
HAYES: ALL IN starts rights now.
HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
One of President Obama`s signature accomplishments of late and the
fate of as many 5 million people have been thrown into legal limbo today.
Late last night, a federal judge in Texas blocked President Obama`s
executive action on immigration, which the president announced in a
primetime address to the nation in November, and which would offer work
permits and protection from deportation to millions of undocumented
The preliminary injunction from the Federal District Court Judge
Andrew Hanen does not rule on whether the president exceeded his
constitutional or statutory power. Instead, it finds that the 26 mostly
Republican-led states that filed a lawsuit against the executive action
have standing to do so. It prohibits the Obama administration from
carrying out its action as the lawsuit moves forward.
President Obama today promised to appeal the ruling, saying he was
well within his authority to act.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I`m not willing to just
stand by and do nothing and engage in a lot of the political rhetoric. I`m
interested in actually solving problems.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Republicans reacted to the ruling with glee, casting as a
repudiation of the president`s executive overreach.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: Last night`s decision was a major turning
point in the battle to stop President Obama`s lawless amnesty. The
president is bound by federal law just like everybody else.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: This rule doesn`t come as the huge surprise. The president`s
reporters say the plaintiffs in the lawsuit chose to file in this district,
the 7th district in Texas in Brownsville, precisely because Judge Hanen, a
2002 George W. Bush appointee, was seen as likely to rule in their favor.
"New York Times" points out the judge has excoriated the Obama
administration immigration policies in several initially outspoken rulings,
declaring last summer its deportation policy endangers America and was,
quote, "an open invitation to the most dangerous criminals in society."
Joining me now, Representative Joaquin Castro, Democrat of Texas.
Congressman, your reaction to the ruling?
REP. JOAQUIN CASTRO (D), TEXAS: Well like others, I was disappointed.
You know, you never want to go to court and lose. But as you mentioned in
your opening segment, this was an attorney general in Greg Abbot at the
time who is now governor of Texas and folks in 25 or 26 other states who
were determined to court shop and find a judge that they were pretty sure
would rule in their favor.
And so, this is an injunction. Hopefully, the Fifth Circuit will put
a stay on that injunction. But it was not a ruling on the merits at all.
And so, I think in the end, whether it`s at the Fifth Circuit or if this
case finds its way to the Supreme Court, the president`s actions will be
HAYES: The states -- the plaintiffs in this case are saying the
president doesn`t have the authority to do that, that basically that they
did not take proper care to allow for commenting in the manner that is
required by a federal statute, that make sure that regulations have been
Do you think -- do those arguments hold water with you? Or do you
think this is entirely a bad faith political exercise?
CASTRO: No. I think what you see now is that Republicans are trying
to use the courts to do their dirty work. And the reason I say that is
because if you think of the civil rights era for example, Brown versus
Board of Education, all that work was to get the courts to confer rights
upon people to honor rights in the Constitution.
What you see today is Republicans repeatedly going to court and trying
to take rights away from people. whether it`s this example with immigrants,
on gay marriage, marriage equality and on other issues.
So, I think that because they can`t in this case even among themselves
come to an agreement on immigration, they are having the courts do a lot of
their work for them. And so, it`s a very cynical ploy.
HAYES: Well, my question to you though is, there are some precedent
here. There`s this lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act the Supreme
Court is going to hear. When that started, King versus Burwell, people
said there is not much to it legally. And lo and behold, here we have it
before the Supreme Court.
Do you see this as an indicator as how hard they are going fight,
scratch and claw to do whatever they can to make sure this does not happen?
CASTRO: Oh, absolutely. There is no question that they are going to
fight it every step of the way. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.
And I think the advocates and the administration needs to be prepared
for that. And I think if you listen to Eric Holder, they are prepared for
And also, Chris, I think that we shouldn`t lose in all of this debate
the fact that we`re dealing with the lives of human beings here. The
expanded DACA that was put on hold would affect the lives of hundreds of
thousands of young people who were brought here through no fault of their
own, had no choice in coming to the United States and many of them are for
the most part just as American as any of us.
And so, there are real human lives at stake here. And it`s
disappointing to see Republicans go after these young people and go after
their parents. This will lead, if DAPA is treated the same way, this will
lead to more deportation, it will lead to more families being separated,
more parents being separated from their young children, and more children -
- who had no choice in coming here -- being deported.
HAYES: But Republicans would say, fine, you want to pull on
heartstrings Mr. Bleeding Heart, then pull on the heartstrings. But the
president said 22 times -- that`s the line John Boehner has been using and
others -- the president said he couldn`t do this, that he did not have the
authority, and then he turned around and did it.
CASTRO: Yes, no. He went back and he examined the legal record and
his legal ability to do so, and made a decision to take this executive
order. And, you know, over 230 legal scholars from across the political
spectrum, both liberal and conservative, have said that the president acted
within his authority.
Similar challenges, Joe Arpaio for example challenged these actions
before, his case was thrown out. And I`m confident whether it`s now with
the Fifth Circuit or eventually with the Supreme Court, this case will be
revolved in the same way.
HAYES: What do you think, Congressman, does this effect the
capitalization on Capitol Hill where there is impasse of funding DHS
precisely over this issue? It occurs to me this gives Republicans a way to
retreat or to back out of a corner they painted themselves into and just
say, well, we`re going to go ahead and fund DHS because the courts have now
put a stop to this?
CASTRO: Yes, you would think that that makes the most sense. But
they haven`t always done the most rational thing. I think you could go --
they could go two ways here. I think they could take the tact that you
have described and say, hey, we don`t need do this because the court is
going take care of it.
But I suspect what is more likely to happen is that the Steve Kings of
the world -- and they often take their marching orders on immigration from
people like Steve King, those guys will go back in to the Republican
conference and say, listen, we told you so, so we were right on this issue
and you better not give in to the Democrats or the president on this.
I would bet, based on what I`ve seen the past, in my past two years of
service, and how they have treated this issue before, I would bet that
that`s more likely the route they take than the one you`ve described.
HAYES: Congressman Joaquin Castro, thank you very much.
The timing of Judge Hanen`s ruling was not accidental. The first
applications for protection from deportation under the president`s November
executive order, from up to 270,000 undocumented immigrants, who came to
the U.S. as children, those were supposed to be accepted tomorrow.
Millions more, the parents of U.S. citizens or permanent residents, would
have been eligible to apply for safe harbor starting in May.
In a memo accompanying his injunction, Hanen wrote that if the
president`s executive order took effect, quote, "The genie would be
impossible to put back into the bottle." Adding that granting legal status
to millions is a, quote, "virtually irreversible" action. Instead, his
ruling, as the president noted today, has left a huge swath of people at
risk of seeing their families torn apart.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: We should not be tearing some mom away from her child when the
child has been born here and that mom has been living here for the last 10
years minding her own business and being an important part of the
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now Erika Andiola, co-director of the Dream Action
Erika, what does -- what does this mean for the people that you
represent and organized amongst who might be eligible, who might have been
eligible literally tomorrow? What does this decision mean for them?
ERIKA ANDIOLA, DREAM ACTION COALITION: Yes, I mean, it`s just
frustrating. It`s been really, really frustrating to see that just like
now. In the past, there`s also been so many political games that have
happened, specifically on immigration rights. It is such a politicized
issue now that both parties just really continue to really play with the
lives of so many people.
I mean, even within my family, my sister actually didn`t qualify for
DACA in 2012 when it came out because she was a year older. So, now, you
know, the president announced this in November, he took off the cap so now
she`s able to qualify.
And she was definitely ready to apply tomorrow. She started her GED
program. She was ready to go. And she`s definitely discouraged by it, but
also she knows just like we were telling the rest of the community that
this is -- this is a roadblock on the way of justice and we think we`re
going to win at the end.
HAYES: Yes, why are you confident you are going to win?
ANDIOLA: We`re confident. I mean, we`ve -- you know, when we
pressure the president -- and, you know, you were asking the congressman in
the past, you know, the president did say a lot that he didn`t know or he
didn`t have the ability to do so. And many advocates across the country, a
lot of DREAMers were like, yes, you do.
It`s constitutional. We`ve worked with tons of attorneys with legal
scholars. And all of them were able to work with us to figure out that
this is constitutional. So, we know that it is. We just think that, you
know, right now, the GOP is trying to send a message and it`s pretty much a
scare tactic to be able, you know, get as less people as possible to apply
And that`s not what we want. We want as many people that qualify to
know that they can apply for it. And that -- you know, it makes the
program a success.
HAYES: So here is a trajectory in short form of the kind of activism
that`s come from the DREAM coalition. There was a lot of energy at the
president in 2012. He came out with DACA, which is DREAMers, right?
Then, I think the energy and pressure turned to the Republicans to
bring a vote to the House for comprehensive immigration reform. When it
became clear that wasn`t going to happen, the pressure went back of the
president, successfully I would say, in this executive action. Now, it
seems if there is a place to place the political pressure, it is on
essentially the Republican governors who are the plaintiffs in this lawsuit
and the Republican members of Congress who are threatening to block DHS.
Am I right about that?
ANDIOLA: You are right, except that this in this case this is a
little more frustrating when we`re dealing with the GOP, because we know
that in many states, they don`t really care. I mean, many of them don`t
necessarily think that they are going to be held accountable in anyway by
perhaps the Latino community or constituencies who really support this
And I`m talking about my own state, right? I live in Arizona. And I
tell you that now we have a new governor, Governor Ducey who also decided
to join in lawsuit and, you know, seems like he doesn`t really care what
the Latino community thinks in Arizona. And we`re a pretty big number.
HAYES: That`s fascinating.
ANDIOLA: So, it`s frustrating to see.
But like I said, you know, we need to make sure that both parties are
stopping this game. And we have demonstrated that we`re going to hold both
HAYES: But what I`m hearing from you to be clear. What you are
saying is you have leverage over Democrat, you have leverage over the
president. They have to listen to you. And in some ways, that they`re
more receptive, even though they`re more aligned in your position, you now
find yourselves encountering Republicans who just do not care.
ANDIOLA: Yes, and I mean, this is -- this is 2015, right? We`re in a
year where perhaps they don`t care. And right now, we`re trying to see and
we`re looking forward to 2016 to see how this --
HAYES: Yes, they`re going to start caring soon.
ANDIOLA: Yes. I mean, how are they going to reverse this? I mean,
they are going to be remembered as a party who took -- or tried to take
away affirmative action. And Mitt Romney was the perfect case when he lost
in 2012 the Latino community lacked the support for him.
HAYES: Erika Andiola, thanks very much.
ANDIOLA: Thank you.
HAYES: The residents say it sounded like an atomic bomb going off
when the train carrying crude oil derailed yesterday in West Virginia. It
was bat. But here is the thing -- it could have been much worse, and I`m
going to tell you why, ahead.
HAYES: There is late breaking news regarding the Affordable Care Act
tonight, which was announced by the president in a video posted for the
White House Facebook page.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: We just got great news today, which is that during this open
enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, 11.4 million
people have either reenrolled or enrolled for the first time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That`s up from 7 million last year when you don`t count the
dental plans. Below certain estimates of 13 millions but above DHS. So,
all in all, the White House probably feeling pretty good about that number.
According to the White House, the greatest surge in enrolment they`d
ever seen came on Sunday, the final day to apply.
You can share the full White House announcement on the ALL IN WITH
CHRIS Facebook page. If you would like, while you`re there, check this out
-- you can watch that video absolutely free of charge.
HAYES: Fires are still burning near Mount Carbon, West Virginia,
nearly 24 hours after a train carrying 107 tankers of crude oil derailed,
triggering massive explosions, and sending a huge fire ball into the sky.
The train company CSX said one person was being treated for possible
smoke inhalation. But remarkably, when you look at that video, no other
injuries were reported. At least hundred residents of nearby homes were
forced to evacuate however and West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomlin has
declared state of emergency in two counties effected by the derailment.
Meanwhile, several of the tankers appear to be ruptured or leaking,
and there are concerns that crude could be spilling into the river, running
alongside the tracks. Those concerns have already led local water utility
to close at least one intake at a treatment plant downstream, which caused
2,000 customers to lose running water.
CSX train, which was transporting oil from the Bakken in North Dakota,
to a depot in Virginia, was actually hauling a new model of tank cars,
according to the company, tank cars which are supposed to be tougher and
harder to puncture than the older model. These were supposed to be the
As domestic oil production has ramped up over the last few years,
there`s been an unprecedented surge in crude ship by rail throughout the
U.S., with an increase in shipments from the Bakken of more than 4,000
percent since 2008.
And the surge by rail has resulted perhaps not surprisingly in a surge
in accidents, like the one yesterday. Now, because of the industry secrecy
it is difficult to know where exactly the routes for those potentially
explosive trains go.
This map from the environmental group Forest Ethics gives you idea
just how extensive the network is -- stretching through just about every
region of the country, including some very populous cities. One of the
main destinations for crude on the East Coast is none other than the city
of Philadelphia, where the train tracks go right past University of
Pennsylvania and through a tunnel under the Museum of Art.
Now, take another look at the explosion yesterday in West Virginia,
and imagine that happening right in the middle of Philadelphia, population
And if that that sounds farfetched, consider this -- a train carrying
crude oil derailed in South Philly less than three weeks ago. Luckily for
everyone involved, it did not ignite.
Joining me now, Bob Kincaid, co-founder of the Appalachian Community
Health Emergency Campaign.
And, Bob, my understanding is the fire is still burning. Have you
seen the actual site?
BOB KINCAID, APPALACHIAN COMMUNITY HEALTH EMERGENCY CAMPAIGN: Yes, I
have, Chris. Good evening.
I drove down the mountain this evening to get here, and I noticed that
there is still a considerable amount of smoke that is pouring out of the
wreck site across the river from approximately Boomer, West Virginia. It
looked -- there was obvious there were a lot of responders with flashing
lights on vehicles still over there. You could see the tank cars. And you
could tell that it is another toxic disaster in West Virginia.
HAYES: Yes. This recalls of course when you start hearing about
crude spilling into the river, recalls the fact that last year that a
chemical leaked into the -- one of the main water supplies for the biggest
city in the entire state and shut down water for days. This is not
something West Virginians are unaccustomed to.
KINCAID: Sadly, it`s not. Like some toxic Groundhog Day, Chris. You
know, we get Thanksgiving, we get Christmas, New Year`s and then the state
of emergency. I saw a sign on a restaurant on the way down here that I
never imagined I`d see in the first place a little over a year ago. Sorry,
closed. No water.
2015, United States of America, how does that happen?
HAYES: Well, and here`s what`s interesting, too. I mean, West
Virginia obviously is an intensively extractive industry there. It`s the
heart of coal country.
But what we saw in West Virginia could be happening in lots of other
places. I mean, we don`t even know where these oil trains are going. This
is from the "Wall Street Journal" who just did an investigation. Finding
the location of oil-filled trains is difficult even in states that don`t
consider the information top secret.
There are no federal or state rules requiring public notice despite
several fiery accidents involving oil trains. What do you say to those Bob
who say this is the exactly the reason that we should be building more
pipeline, the Keystone pipeline among them.
KINCAID: That`s a nonstarter. The fact of the matter is, what we
ought to be doing is leaving the stuff in the ground, period. When you
consider this crude oil that has such profound volatility that they can`t
keep pretty spontaneously exploding, whether it`d be it in North Dakota,
Dickens County, Alabama, Lac-Megantic, Quebec, or Lynchburg, Virginia, or
now, Mount Carbon, West Virginia, the Lynchburg explosion happened a year
ago. I predicted that we`d have one in West Virginia, and lo and behold,
it turned out to be not if but when.
This is not an argument for pipelines. This is an argument getting
off of our fossil fuel habit that has -- well, it`s got us in what amounts
to a death grip, Chris.
HAYES: Yes, and that one up in Quebec was one of the most insane
things I`ve ever seen. Basically, a fireball that essentially evacuated
the entire town.
The governor there, though -- I mean, the way we tend to deal with
these issues are the people are rushed to the pipeline, first of all, and
second of all, the idea is like -- yes, the stuff is, you know, it
explodes, it`s dangerous. But we need it.
KINCAID: Well -- but there`s got to be a balance there, Chris. Do we
need this? Or do people who live along railroad tracks need to have their
homes blown up?
I might point out that this explosion took place just a few scant
miles away from a national park. That`s a few miles from where I live.
There is a bridge 800 feet above the railroad. What if this had gone off
there? And again, we`re not talking about if, we`re talking about when.
This is terrifying stuff. And sadly, it happens in a state where
terrifying accidents seem to be the norm, where human beings, well-being is
sacrificed for corporate profits. It`s kind of hard for me not to notice
that this isn`t ISIS that did this, or any other foreign enemy of the
This is a good old domestic American corporation and they seem to be
doing more harm in West Virginia than any foreign power.
HAYES: This is CSX, of course, which is one of the largest shippers
in the country, which has rolled out these new -- according to them --
safer versions of this. And your point, Bob, I think is important, is not
if but when. The volume we`re seeing is completely unprecedented. We`re
completely -- we`re running an experiment in oil transmission in this
county right now. Running it through Cincinnati, running it through
Philadelphia, running through Maine population centers and it really does
feel like it`s only a matter of time before something either changes or
something goes terribly, terribly wrong on one of those.
Thank you, Bob Kincaid. I really appreciate it.
KINCAID: Well, that`s certainly the case. It`s already been proven
and these things have been proven to be unsafe. And frankly we`re talking
about -- these to -- to coin on old phrase. This is unsafe at any speed.
KINCAID: And frankly, it is a failure of government that we are
playing with the notion of transporting this stuff when it`s got a
volatility -- I`m told by the scientific community -- that is higher than
that of gasoline and it is not OK to transport gasoline by rail car --
unless the law has changed.
HAYES: That`s a very good point, Bob. Thank you very much.
All right. What would make someone want to take a one-way trip to
Mars? I will ask someone who`s volunteered to do just that, ahead.
HAYES: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been giving a
fair amount of interviews recently, like the one she did with MSNBC`s own
Irin Carmon, and other with "Bloomberg News".
Ginsburg was asked how people across the country would react if the
Supreme Court would to rule in favor of marriage equality.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUTH BADER GINSBURG, U.S. SUPREME COURT JUSTICE: The change in
people`s attitudes on that issue has been enormous. In recent years,
people have said this is the way I am. And others looked around and we
discovered it is our next door neighbor. We`re very fond of them. Or it
is our child`s best friend, or even our child. And the rest of us
recognize that they are one of us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Now, that sounds like a fairly accurate description of this
country`s evolution on gay rights and marriage equality in recent years.
But FOX News` Brit Hume called those comments, quote, "amazing
And the National Organization for Marriage or NOM, a conservative
opposes marriage equality is seizing on those comments and calling on
Ginsburg to recuse herself from the cases on same-sex marriage that are
currently pending before the court this term.
NOM, by the way, which has set itself the task of fighting marriage
equality, has to be the single biggest failure of any political group in
America right now. At this point, they might as well be the Washington
Generals of activism.
And the case they`re making is essentially this, because Justice
Ginsberg has made it so clear in public that she is going to rule in favor
of marriage equality she should disqualify herself from decisionmaking
Which, as an argument is just nonsense on stilts.
Yes, we have a good sense of what Justice Ginsburg thinks of marriage
equality. She officiated same-sex weddings and also written her joint
opinions on the topic.
We also know that Justice Antonin Scalia thinks of marriage equality
and gay rights in general. As he rhetorically asked in 2012, quote, "if we
cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against
Which gets to a fundamental issue that drives me crazy about the way
the Supreme Court is perceived. This notion that justices are monks, or
robots, or in the famous words of Chief Justice John Roberts umpires who
simply call balls and strikes. In fact, Supreme Court justices are, wait
for it, human beings with politics and belief systems and world views, and
commitments, and life experiences that influence their interpretation of
the law. No one should be pretending otherwise. And thank you, Ruth Bader
Ginsberg for doing your part in blowing up that ridiculous, insidious
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mars One will establish human settlement on Mars
1972 was the last time that humans walked on the moon. No human has
ever gone as far as Mars.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That is true. And if you had the chance to go to Mars, would
go? Well, sure, you might say, that would be cool.
Here`s the catch, what if I told you it is a one way trip, meaning you
can go to Mars, do stuff, then die there. Then would you go?
That is what Mars One, a Dutch based nonprofit is offering. They want
to start a permanent human colony on Mars. And they plan to help pay for
the endeavor, which has an initial price tag of $6 billion by making a
reality show out of it.
Now, when Mars One first put out the call for volunteers, over 200,000
people applied, which seems like a staggering number of people willing to
leave this planet forever.
Mars One now whittled that number down to 100: 50 men, 50 women from
around the globe. Eventually, 24 of them will have a shot in making it to
Mars, six crews of four people.
Then, if all goes to plan, in 2024 the first crew will head to Mars to
begin the colony, living inside space capsules, growing their own food.
The next crew will join them 2026, the following in 2028, and so every two
years until all 24 colonists are living on Mars and with no return ticket
dying on Mars, possibly very quickly.
A computer simulation of the MarsOne plan put together by a group of
engineering grad students at MIT using current technology projects the
first crew fatality would occur approximately 68 days into the mission.
If you wonder exactly who would volunteer for such a mission, meet
George Hatcher, a avionics engineer at NASA`s Kennedy Space Center and one
of the 100 hopefuls selected to potentially spend the rest of his life on
George, I suppose I should begin with congratulations on your
GEORGE HATCHER, NASA ENGINEER: Thank you.
HAYES: OK, there is so much I want to ask about this.
First of all, is this real? Like I guess that`s the big thing. Are
you --= would you actually, really -- you have a family, you have a wife
and kids, right?
HATCHER: That`s right. I have a wife and two children.
HAYES: OK. So, project yourself -- let`s say all of this happens.
And then Mars One people like come to the door on lift off day, you would
really do this?
HATCHER: That is the plan. That`s something that I have been working
towards really my entire life.
HAYES: What do you mean by that?
HATCHER: Well, my parents gave me a Lego set when I was three that
spaceman, and I told my mom I wanted to be an astronaut. And I got a
scholarship to space camp when I was 11. And that`s where I learned about
a human mission to Mars
So, it is a goal that I`ve had and something I have work towards, and
kind of built my degrees around and my career around since then.
HAYES: what is the conversation like with your spouse about, you
know, leaving everyone for mars?
HATCHER: My wife and I were pretty up front with each other about
what our life goals were before we got married. And I told her that I
would like to be an
astronaut and that Mars was the ultimate goal of a mission that could
happen in my lifetime.
I also told that her knowing the rocket equation, a one-way mission is
going to be a lot cheaper. At the time, I was pretty sure NASA wouldn`t
put forth a one-way mission. But I told her it was a possibility for a
And she said, OK, as long as have kids first.
HAYES: So you had that -- this is so classic. I mean who hasn`t had
conversation with someone you start dated. It is probable there is going
to be a Mars mission, probable it has to be one way, because it will be
cheaper, probable or hopeful that I am going to be no that, let`s get on
the same page.
HAYES: OK. So now comes the second part of this, which is I have
been reading about the Mars One stuff. It is one of these things that like
gets shared a lot. It`s like, oh these people are so crazy, they`re going
to go to Mars.
But is it a real thing? I can`t tell if this is a real thing or not.
And you, working as an avionics engineer at NASA made me think that it was
perhaps more of a real thing than I thought it was formerly.
HATCHER: I`m treating as if it`s a real thing. I`m putting full
faith in the organizers. And I threw my hat in the ring as if it was a
HAYES: And what makes you think it is?
HATCHER: I`m hopeful that it is. I trust Dr. Craft. I know he`s
selected astronauts for NASA and for ESA and JAKSA before. I take Basel
Anstorp (ph) at his word. And I think that the organization is kind of
purposefully slowly revealing a lot of the details of their plan to try to
drum up interest and improve viewership for the reality television program.
HAYES: You`ve worked for 10 years at Kennedy Space Center. So you
actually work on the space program. You went to space camp. You are
getting a PhD a this moment. How feasible is it? I mean, whether Mars One
can pull it off from an organizational and funding standpoint, right, how
feasible is that we see a Mars mission in our lifetimes, whether it is Mars
One that does it, whether you`re on the capsule or whether someone else
You know, when I look at Warner Von Braun`s plans for sending humans
to Mars shortly after sending them to the moon, I know that this has been
on the docket for really decades. And it comes down to funding in my
opinion. I think it is a matter of will. I think there are enough people
in the United States and around
the world behind the idea of sending humans to Mars, but it is just a
matter of can you get the money together because I really do believe that
the technology either exists or can be developed for us to do this.
And when I look back to the Apollo program, as an example, if the
technology didn`t exist, they really did invent it. So I think if Mars One
approaches a lot of existing aerospace companies and says we`ve got the
budget for this, can you make this work, then think that I trust a lot of
the engineers across the United States to make it possible.
HAYES: So are the 100 of you that have been selected in this round,
are you in contact with each other? Is there a listserv where people can
just sort of call...
HATCHER: A lot of people are communicating with each other personally
on Facebook, on Twitter and through the Mars One website. I haven`t been
incredibly active with meeting a lot of the other candidates really because
I have a full-time job and I`m getting a PhD and a father of two in
HAYES: Do you feel that there is some kind of kindred spirit for the
kinds of people like yourself that are such believers, such that...
HATCHER: I think that these are the kind of people that, given the
chance, would be members of the Explorers Club. These are the kind of
people who would be interested in visiting all seven continents. These are
dreamers. These are people who feel a calling to something greater than
what one might consider a quote, unquote "normal life."
HAYES: Yeah, it`s funny. I have to say that I have zero subjective
access to that feeling, but I admire it. It`s pretty remarkable. George
Hatcher, thanks so much for joining us.
HATCHER: Thank you.
HAYES; All right, does the president of the United States need a
degree? I think the answer is no. I`ll tell you why ahead.
HAYES: At 1:30 p.m. today, the National Weather Service in Boston
sent out this tweet, "beginning January 24 through 1:00 p.m. today Boston
has received an astounding 90.5 inches of snow."
90.5 inches, that`s a little over seven-and-a-half feet of snow,
making this month the snowest month, and this winter, the third snowiest
winter on record.
While all this snow in Massachusetts has inspired some very cool time
videos like this one, it has created a lot of problems. The Massachusetts
Transportation Authority said yesterday it may need a month to return to
full service and it could take even longer if another storm hits.
The city`s budget for snow removal has been blown so they`ve turn to
prisoners to help shovel out.
Meanwhile, the mayor of Boston also has this problem.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARTIN WALSH, MAYOR OF BOSTON: People are jumping out of windows
into snow banks.
First of all, it`s a foolish thing to do. And you could kill
yourself. So I`m asking people to start the nonsense right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: There`s also the issue of parking and the Boston tradition of
space saving, placing traffic cones or household items in your parking spot
after you dig your car out to save the spot for when you return.
All the snow has caused problems for both the savers and the takers.
This gentleman, for example, decided to put the snow back after someone
else parked in the spot he had saved.
It`s gotten so bad that forecasters have started apologizing before
they deliver their weather predictions. The Weather Channel posting today,
quote, "we`re sorry to be the messengers. And we know snow fatigue is
reaching epidemic proportions. Snow may now be one of those four letter
words you shouldn`t say. Unfortunately, the relentless cold continues.
Here`s our current forecast, which, you guessed it, is for more snow. So
get ready Boston."
HAYES: If Scott Walker 2016 were a stock, he would be trading right
now at a high. The governor of Wisconsin is having a bit of a moment with
positive, albeit early polling, favorable conservative reaction to him in
Iowa. And now, he appears to be launching the defining political battle of
his pre-election year by taking on his home state`s beloved university
Even though his decision spurred protests on Wisconsin college
campuses, it could, I think yield big gains for his potential president
Governor Walkers budget, according to the New York Times, calls for a
13 percent cut in state aid across the university system for a total
decrease of $300 million over the next two years while freezing tuition for
two years to, quote, maintain college affordability.
But it is not just a budget issue. According to the Times, Walker
also suggested in a comment that infuriated university faculty and staff
professors could help make savings by teaching an additional class per
semester. In other words, Scott Walker is taking on those pointed-headed
elitist professors. It`s conservative populism at its finest, especially
considering, and this is what`s so brilliant and devilish about it, the
fact that Governor Scott Walker, himself, does not have a four-year
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Former presidential candidate Howard Dean bashed
Walker for not finishing college, watch this.
HOWARD DEAN, FRM. GOVERNOR OF VERMONT: And this is a particular
problem from Scott Walker, which has not been an issue yet, but it will.
Scott Walker were he to become president, would be the first president in
many generations who did not have a college degree. He`s never finished.
So, the issue here is not just an issue of dancing around the question
dancing evolution for political reasons, the issue is how well educated is
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I took a minute -- I talked to you earlier about
fact that you have a lot of very Mark Zuckerberg, Jesse Ventura, Richard
Branson, Warren Buffett, Karl Rove, Barbara Streisand, Derek Jeter, Peter
Jennings, these -- a lot of people, and as referenced earlier...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Steve Jobs...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Steve Jobs, yeah.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No college degree.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Washington, Lincoln, Johnson, Jackson.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get a little buzz about this mystery surrounding
his college degree. We know he didn`t finish, but there`s a little bit of
buzz going on about that because people are saying, hey, if you`re going to
run for president shouldn`t you have a college degree?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think this is normal. And certainly Scott
Walker dropping out of college is newsworthy. People would be interested
to know and interested as an up by the boot straps story as well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Before I continue with the text here, can we go back to Scott
Browne`s list, which went from Mark Zuckerberg to Jesse Ventura? The first
time those two met, I think they would have been placed next to each other
on a list.
Anyway, there are those who would argue that the president of the
States should have a college degree, which raises the question what exactly
is the real value of a college degree. My beliefs on that are ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WALKER: The bottom line is like a lot of Americans my senior year I
was working at IBM, they moved their office to Chicago. One my clients was
the American Red Cross. They offered me a job and like a lot of people out
there today I jumped at that opportunity.
In the back of my mind, I thought in a couple of years maybe I would
go back, take a course here, a course there. Well, a couple of years later
I met Tonette. We got married. A year after that we had Matt, a year
after we had Alex. The next thing all your time and your money is spent on
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker addressing the issue, if there
is one, of not completing his college degree.
Joining me now New York Post columnist Naomi Schaefer Riley, author of
The Faculty Lounges (ph); and Zach Bisonette, personal finance expert and
author of Debt Free You.
All right, you want to hear my theory on this? This is a classic
Roger Ales bear trap that has been set for liberals to stumble into. Like,
and Scott Walker, too, which is like Howard Dean said one thing once on
Morning Joe, they ran that clip over and over. Like there you go, those
liberals, snobby liberals don`t -- won`t respect a man without a college
degree. And no one -- I don`t think anyone actually cares.
ZACH BISSONETTE, PERSONAL FINANCE EXPERT: I don`t think that was a
comment that anyone saw and was like, you know, score. Great point Howard
Dean. He shouldn`t be president because he dropped out of college with
like a semester left. I think no one other than Howard Dean is making that
HAYES: Yeah, I think there is a desire to have -- there`s a desire to
have a bunch of elitist pointed-headed intellectuals gaining up on Scott
Walker because he didn`t graduate. But that has failed to materialize.
NAOMI SCHAEFER RILEY, NEW YORK POST: Well, yeah, that is the
narrative about Republicans that, you know, they don`t care about
education. They lead with their gut. You know, it`s all Sarah Palin.
I mean, and so you know there is this notion that, you know, the
pointed-headed liberal intellectuals will make fun of him for this.
But I do think, you know, he -- this sort of gets to the question, I
think, of whether you want in your Republican candidate, you know, someone
who you can have a beer with or someone who you are aspiring to be.
Now, there are 31 million Americans last year, in the last 20 years
who have started college, but not finished it. So, you know, he is
somebody who a lot of people can relate to.
HAYES: Also, let`s just be clear here, because we talk about college.
I mean, the thing -- the real thing here is should it be a prerequisite to
be president of the United States. I say no. What do you say?
BISSONETTE: A prerequisite, I mean, no, just like it`s not a -- I
mean, it`s not a prerequisite, I think in general...
HAYES: It`s not disqualifying.
BISSONETTE: No, it shouldn`t be a disqualifier, but you know, is
there -- is it such a terrible thing to have the sort of best and
brightest, you know, as president? I would say could argue that it
wouldn`t be a terrible idea to try to, you know, elect the sort of the
RILEY: Right, but there is no evidence that he is not smart or good
at his job. He`s obviously succeeded on the merits of what he has done.
HAYES: So, two things I want to say here. One is that before we get
into like the everyman thing, like he was at Marquette, which is a good
Catholic school, but that is a private four year institution which is
itself a tiny sliver of American higher education activity. I feel like...
RILEY: He is not the community college guy.
HAYES: No, and like when we talk about college in this country there
is this -- it is like oh, yeah, he went to Marquette. Like that`s like
yeah that already,
going to Marquette University, a private four year school, puts you in a
small minority of American students, right?
RILEY: Absolutely. It puts you in the elite.
HAYES: So -- right, that puts you in the elite.
So then the question becomes for me is, is college worth it? Is
college -- there are two ways to think of it, it is a place where people
get this necessary set of skills, human capital, engage in sort of
betterment as people, as citizens, and then the other is that it is
basically a means of essentially stamping people for the job market or for
the American elite to say like this person gets the stamp on the wrist. He
enters the club.
RILEY: It is the credential. It says you can show up places on time,
you can be a responsible middle class kind of person. And unfortunately I
think college is doing less and less of actually giving people the skills
that they need, or even giving people the traditional kind of strong
education that they once had, and instead it is this four years of hanging
out, partying -- a great survey that
showed that people are spending less than 25 hours a week in an out of
class ding anything academic in college. What could they possibly be
getting four years?
HAYES: What do you think, Zach?
BISSONETTE: No, I mean I think -- I don`t really disagree with any of
the sort of macro criticisms of like -- you know, I don`t think college is
the greatest institution that it could be. You know, on the other hand,
the unemployment rate is about half for college grads what it is. And what
a lot of people don`t understand is because during the recession there was
all this talk about college students, you know, getting jobs that didn`t
require college degree. But incomes and unemployment escalated far worse
for people without college degrees during that time.
So really going to college is a better idea now than it has ever been
just if you look at the income gap. A lot of that has happened because of
the falling incomes of people who didn`t go to college.
HAYES: Right. So, the question then becomes, though, is -- and this
gets to the sort of deep, sort of policy question, but also this political
question for Scott Walker, right? Is like is this -- is the college four-
year college degree conferring a valuable thing or is it just marking
people as more employable, right?
Because there`s a circularity.
RILEY: I think it`s marking people as more employable. And one of
the problems is we don`t have good alternatives. We don`t have an
apprenticeship system. We don`t have ways of putting people into skilled
jobs and marking them as middle class, show up on time kind of people
beyond the college degree. And the problem is a lack of alternatives.
I don`t think that the lower unemployment rate for college graduates
shows that college is doing anything other than giving them that stamp.
HAYES: Well, but it does show from a sort of strictly like investment
perspective, right, that like there are monetary gains to be gotten from
RILEY: Right. I mean, there are two questions here. There is the
social question that, you know, we need to answer as a society and then
there is a question for individuals should you send your kid to college?
And the answer is probably going to be yes because yes your kid will be
more employable as a result.
BISSONETTE: We agree on that.
HAYES: So then the question to me becomes like what would a good
this look like? I mean, one of the things that`s happened in this country
is we have seen wage stagnation, right. Everyone is told you have to go to
college, right. I mean, the president says this all the time. It`s like,
this is as necessary in the 21st Century as high school was before. He`s
announced this new community college initiative right, to sort of expand
The question then becomes like, what would a good version like -- what
would a good version of this look like such that people had access to the
kind of education they needed to be more employable, or...
RILEY: But if you really want to start from scratch, you would ask
yourself why is it that now you need to go to college in order to get the
skills that people got in high school 50 years ago. I mean, part of the
problem is our K-12 system has completely broken down.
HAYES: Is that really true though?
RILEY: Oh, yes, absolutely.
HAYES: No, no, like -- I mean, when you say the skills that people
high school. Like what is the metric for that? What`s the citation?
RILEY: Oh, I think, reading and math skills. People are graduating -
- I mean, there is an amazing statistic. In California half of the kids
graduating from California schools, when they go to a state university they
need to take
remedial classes, so what are they learning in high school?
HAYES: Well, I don`t know.
I mean, I think part of the problem here, though, right is that you
have a situation in which we have not answered a question definitively
about what we want to produce out of the college system, right? We have
this sort of patchwork system. We have some that work very well like the
University of Wisconsin system. The California system, which both of which
are sort of under attack. But there is still in this act, there is no
sense of like what is the job here to make people
that are employable, is the job here to make citizens, is the job here to
make people that are self-actualized? Is the job to make people that can
essentially ace a job interview?
BISSONETTE: Well, I think you have to -- I agree with her on most of
those macro issues. I think the thing you have to be really careful a bout
is from a personal finance perspective and policy is not tackling these
macro problems in a long term way, in a way that you sort to ruin things
for people in the short-term.
So it may be that we should be investing more in apprenticeship
programs, but that is maybe a long-term solution. But for right now the
priority I think really has to be access and affordability to higher
education. Because we don`t have a system that can give people jobs.
HAYES: I love the idea of Scott Walker going to night school on the
campaign and just like showing up at some interview like actually I got it.
Actually it`s over.
Naomi Schaffer Riley, Zach Bissonette, thank you both. That is All In
for this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts now. Good evening,
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