Skip navigation

All In With Chris Hayes, Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

Read the transcript from the Wednesday show

  Most Popular
Most viewed

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
Date: February 11, 2015
Guest: Chris Van Hollen, Kate Nocera



(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN --

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This resolution
reflects our core objective to destroy ISIL.

HAYES: The president asked Congress to vote for war six months after
it started.

OBAMA: ISIL is going to lose.

HAYES: A community mourns after three people are murdered in Chapel
Hill, North Carolina.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This was an execution style, this was a hate crime
from a neighbor our children spoke about.

HAYES: Plus, Mitt Romney saves Staples. Find out why President Obama
is putting the office superstore on Front Street.

OBAMA: Shame on them.

HAYES: And 16 years of Zen.

A look at how "The Daily Show" changed the political and the world we
live in.

JON STEWART, THE DAILY SHOW: Look at the ovals of progressive folly.

HAYES: ALL IN starts right now.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAYES: Good evening from Houston. I`m Chris Hayes.

Six months after beginning combat operations against ISIS, President
Obama formally requested war powers from Congress today, sending a draft
Authorization for the Use of Military Force, or AUMF, to Capitol Hill for a
vote. The president laid out its goals in an address this afternoon.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: This resolution reflects our core objective to destroy ISIL.
It supports the comprehensive strategy that we`ve been pursuing with our
allies and our partners, a systemic and sustained campaign of air strikes
again ISIL in Iraq and Syria, support and training for local forces on the
ground including the moderate Syrian opposition, preventing ISIL attacks in
the region and beyond, including by foreign terrorist fighters who try to
threaten our countries.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Today, we also got a first look at the actual language of this
draft, whose authority would expire after three years unless reauthorized.
It authorizes the president to use military force against ISIS and
associated forces, which are defined as, quote, "individuals and
organizations fighting for, on behalf of, or alongside ISIL or any closely
related successor entity in hostilities against the U.S. or its coalition
partners."

It sets out no geographic imitations for the battlefield. It also
rules out, quote, "The use of the United States Armed Forces in enduring
offensive ground combat operations."

When a reporter asked the White House press secretary about that
language, which he accurately described as fuzzy, this was the response.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Intentionally so. And the
intent is --

REPORTER: Intentionally so? Intentionally fuzzy?

EARNEST: Yes, Jim, because we believe it`s important that there
aren`t overly burdensome constraints that are placed on the commander-in-
chief, who needs the flexibility to be able to respond to contingencies
that emerge in a chaotic military conflict like this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: In his address this afternoon, President Obama elaborated on
the intent behind that provision.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: The resolution we`ve submitted today does not call for the
deployment of U.S. ground combat forces to Iraq or Syria. It is not the
authorization of another ground war, like Afghanistan or Iraq. At the same
time, this resolution strikes the necessary balance by giving us the
flexibility we need for unforeseen circumstances.

For example, if we had actionable intelligence about a gathering of
ISIL leaders, and our partners didn`t have the capacity to get them, I
would be prepared to order our Special Forces to take action, because I
will not allow these terrorists to have a safe haven.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Congress will now take up the proposed resolution and it`s
already becoming clear the language on ground troops is going to be the
major sticking point. Several Democrats voiced concerns today about the
open-endedness of that provision, including two of the most vocal advocates
for congressional authorization.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. TIM KAINE (D), VIRGINIA: I`m concerned about the breadth and
vagueness of the ground troop -- of the ground troop language.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D), CALIFORNIA: The language pertaining to ground
troops, which is very broad, very ambiguous. None of us really knows what
an "enduring offensive combat operations" means. And deliberately, I think
drafted to be ambiguous.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: On the other side of the aisle, however, there are fears the
prohibition on "enduring offensive ground combat operations" is far too
restrictive to get the job done.

Here`s House Speaker John Boehner.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I believe if we`re
going to authorize military use of force, the president should have all the
tools necessary to win the fight that we`re in. And so, as you`ve heard me
say over the last number of months, I`m not sure that`s a strategy that`s
been outlined will accomplish the mission that the president says he must
accomplish.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: So, now, the question is, can this new congress, which has
already shown remarkable dysfunction under Republican leadership, actually
get this thing passed?

You can bet President Obama who originally said he didn`t need
congressional authority, is not going to wait for them to continue military
operations against ISIS.

Joining me now, Congressman Chris Van Hollen, Democrat from Maryland.

Congressman, let`s begin with this. It`s sort of a remarkable
constitutional moment right now in which the executive is saying they don`t
need this resolution, but the language they are offering would constrain
them in some ways, and members of Congress, the Article I branch, from
largely the Republican Party, saying, we do not want the executive
constrained.

What`s your reaction to that?

REP. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN (D), MARYLAND: You`re right. The arguments
seem upside down, Chris. Look, the Congress should have acted months ago,
back in August and September. We shouldn`t have waited for the president
to submit a draft proposal. After all, the Congress has congressional
authority and responsibility to take action.

I think the responsible action to take is to authorize the ongoing
operations the president of the United States and our allies are conducting
against ISIL, but to place very clear parameters on it so that we do not
get dragged into another ground war in the Middle East. The Iraq war was a
big mistake and we should learn our lessons from that mistake.

HAYES: So, here`s part of the issue as well. This would, as
proposed, replace the 2002 Iraq war resolution.


There`s also the issue of what role this plays in the global war on
terror, as the Bush administration called it. I want to play this sound
from a hearing today, this exchange. Republican congressman talking about
the broader perspective here.

Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JEFF DUNCAN (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Al Qaeda, they`re still alive
and well, right? They`re still a threat to freedom -- global freedom?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sir, they pose a significant terrorist
threat.

DUNCAN: In fact, I would say that al Qaeda, ISIS, al Qaeda and all of
its elements, AQAP, AQIM, Boko Haram, al Shabaab, Abu Sayyaf, all these
terror groups are still active, right?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sir.

DUNCAN: We shouldn`t take our eye off the ball with just focusing on
ISIS, and think of this globally, and not get hung up on the 50 shades of
terrorism. Talk about terrorism about terrorism.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: What I thought was so interesting about that exchange,
Congressman, is that the "50 shades of terrorism", as Congressman Duncan
called them, they are already covered by the 2001 AUMF -- in fact, as this
ISIS, according to the White House.

So what`s the issue here?

VAN HOLLEN: Well, that`s exactly right. One of the concerns that
Adam Schiff, who you quoted earlier, and I and others share is the fact
that under this proposal, the 2001 AUMF will remain on the books forever.
It`s an indefinite authorization, a blank check authorization to the
executive branch. As you say, it is the authorization the president`s
currently claiming to conduct these operations.

And the president himself in 2013 at a speech at the National Defense
University said we need to begin to rein in that 2001 authority.

And so, the question is, if not now, when? I mean, this is the time
we need to do it. And it`s a little puzzling to have Congress talking
about how we`re going to establish responsible boundaries around the ISIL
authority, when you`re leaving wide open the 2001 AUMF. It`s like, you
know, trying to make sure you plan your front door just right while leaving
the back door wide open.

So, that is a big issue, along with the issue you raised in the
beginning here with respect to the very broad grant of authority for U.S.
ground combat forces.

HAYES: OK. But here`s the -- where the rubber hits the road
politically. If I am advising the president on this legislative, you know,
the legislative strategy, I`m going to tell him that, when push comes to
shove, you`re going to call the Democrats and they`ll vote for whatever it
is in it. I mean, are Democrats going to vote against an authorization to
use the military force from the president of their party?

I`m not saying they shouldn`t, I`m just skeptical that they will.

VAN HOLLEN: Well, this is one of those cases, Chris, where every
member of Congress has to really, you know, search their soul, and look at
what he or she believes their responsibilities as members of Congress are.
This is something we will be living with for years to come, in terms of the
ISIL authorization. And even more years in terms of the missed opportunity
to begin to put some boundaries at least around the 2001 AUMF.

So, the two concerns I`ve expressed are the ones that you`ve been
focused on. One is the scope of authority, fresh authority, to put U.S.
ground combat forces into Iraq, or Syria, or anywhere else where ISIL
associates may pop up.

And the fact that we`re leaving in place this wide-open 2001 blank
check.

So, from my perspective, we`re going to have to address those issues
in a responsible way. And I would certainly support a grant of authority
that meets the current mission in Iraq and Syria against ISIL, but not one
that creates the potential for mission creep, and ends up with more U.S.
ground combat forces in those countries.

HAYES: Thank you, Congressman Chris Van Hollen.

VAN HOLLEN: Thank you.

HAYES: The resolution President Obama sent to Congress today would
repeal the 2002 AUMF, which gave us the Iraq war. And it was Hillary
Clinton`s vote in favor of that 2002 AUMF which gave us this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON (D-NY), THEN-U.S. SENATOR: It is absolutely unfair to
say that the vote, as Chuck Hagel, who was one of the architects of the
resolution has said, was a vote for war. It was a vote to use the threat
of force against Saddam Hussein, who never did anything without being made
to do so.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: That vote was an albatross around Clinton`s neck throughout
her campaign for president in 2008. It arguably cost her the primary,
which she lost to the anti-war candidate in that race, Barack Obama.

This time around, there`s a handful of sitting senators who may be on
the verge of running for president -- Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, perhaps Ted
Cruz, perhaps others. They`re going to have to vote on President Obama
threat for authority, the fight against ISIS, and go on the record with
where they stand. They better hope it doesn`t come back to bite them.

Joining me now, Kate Nocera. She`s senior congressional reporter for
"BuzzFeed" news.

Kate, where do you see this shaking out among Republican 2016
candidates? This is the first time they`re going to have to go very
concretely on the record on a matter of war and peace.

KATE NOCERA, BUZZFEED NEWS: Well, today, the -- Marco Rubio came to
the Senate floor and said the only authorization that we need is the
president, we`re going to authorize the president to go attack and destroy
ISIS. So, he`s clearly taking one position. You see Rand Paul, you see
Ted Cruz sort of going into more libertarian/dovish, we don`t need -- we
want to see a more concrete plan from the president.

They`re already really staking out their positions. I think that the
lessons from 2008 are going to sort of weigh heavily on them. How is this
going to affect me? Obviously, this is going to be a thing everyone talks
about going into the primary.

And the authorization the president is asking for is three years. So,
that means the next president in their first year is going to have to start
talking about reauthorization. So, obviously, that`s going to be a part of
this conversation.

HAYES: Here`s my read on the kind of pulse of politics in the
conservative base. I think there was a real intense war weariness around
2010 or so. Particularly I think there was a real kind of, let`s get the
heck out strain. I think Rand Paul represented that. You saw sort of high
watermark criticism of the drone program.

I think the kind of coverage of ISIS in the last six months has
probably reinvigorated this kind of desire for more aggressive military
action among the Republican base. Is that -- is that your read, at least,
in how the political professionals understand where their primary voters
are?

NOCERA: I don`t think that there is anyone with voters who look at
ISIS and says, we don`t want to destroy them. I think the question really
remains, you know, how do we do that? How do we go? How do we -- how do
we get them? And no one in sort of the Rand Paul camp wants this open-
ended war, like we saw with the -- what the congressman was talking about
with the 2001 AUMF. I think that`s going to be a real sticking point
heading into the primary.

HAYES: It`s interesting you say that, because precisely on the kind
of playing the politics of this, reading them, ISIS is so monstrous and
sort of aggressively monstrous in how they perform their atrocities. That
I think you`re right in terms of how voters react to it.

Of course, if you have two years from now a horrible quagmire that has
developed in Iraq with ground forces, something largely unpopular, that`s
blown back, you could find yourself in that Hillary Clinton on "Meet the
Press" position trying to talk about the fine granularity of why you made
the vote you made.

NOCERA: Yes. I think that`s right. And I think that -- but I think
that, you know, Rubio has allies on the Hill, and John McCain, Lindsey
Graham and that sort of camp of hawkish Republicans who don`t want to limit
the -- they just see it as a bad precedent. They`ll say they don`t want
sort of an endless ground war.

HAYES: Right.

NOCERA: But they don`t want the press didn`t of having to constrain
the president at all. I think it`s an interesting -- I`m interested to
sort of see where Hillary Clinton is on all of this. They`re starting on
the Hill this sort of percolating progressive senators who want to talk
more about foreign policy, and maybe move her to the left a little bit
more.

So, I think that that`s another element of the 2016 piece of this.

HAYES: Yes, that will be interesting as well. Kate Nocera, thank you
very much.

NOCERA: Thank you.

HAYES: Was the man who allegedly murdered three Muslim-Americans in
Chapel Hill, North Carolina, motivated by prejudice or a parking dispute?
That story is ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: Some of you have been asking why we`ve been doing the show
from the great state of Texas this week. Well, I`m here with a dedicated
of producers working on the next installment of "All In America" series a
story that took me to the Allan B. Polunsky Unit, a prison in Livingston,
Texas, to interview a death row inmate this afternoon.

Here`s a quick look at the conversation I had with my producers as we
drove away from the prison.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: There`s just something so bizarre about the bureaucracy of
death. Bureaucracy of death in the state of Texas, the procedures that
have been built up around it, the paperwork, the rules, the granularity
with which every little thing is regulated, and attended to, all of it as
if it were, you know, a zoning department or a regulatory agency when the
thing at issue is the taking of a life. It`s strange. It`s real strange.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: You can find a longer version of that video, a sort of road
diary of my first thoughts on my interview on our Facebook page,
Facebook.com/AllInWithChris.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: Three Muslim-Americans were murdered yesterday at the
condominium complex where they lived near the University of North Carolina,
Chapel Hill.

And today, the suspect, a neighbor, made his first court appearance
charged with three counts of first-degree murder. You`re looking at an
organized vigil that has been growing over the past couple of hours --
thousands of people by the estimate of the student newspaper, mourning
these three students and expressing their support for the community at
large.

A central unanswered question is whether the suspect was motivated by
anti-Muslim sentiment, and already family members of the victims as well as
the wife of the suspect are voicing strong opinions on the subject.

About 5:00 p.m. yesterday evening, police were called to Finley Forest
condominiums in Durham County. According to 911 callers, multiple shots
had been fired.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

911 CALLER: I heard screams. I heard it right when it was happening,
I was walking right by it. All I heard was, I was walking, minding my
business. I heard about eight shots all of a sudden go off and I hid
behind a car. And then I waited and was going to keep walking, and I`ve
never heard gunshots before like that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: The victims were Deah Barakat, 23, a dental student at the
University of North Carolina School of Dentistry. His wife, Yusor Abu-
Salha, 21, who was going to enroll in the same school in fall, and her
sister, Razan Abu-Salha, 19, a student, architecture and design major at
North Carolina State University. All three were found dead at the scene.
All three reportedly shot in the head.

Craig Steven Hicks, 46, subsequently surrendered himself to
authorities, has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder.
Today, he made his first court appearance, and is being held without bond.

Chapel Hill police say the preliminary investigation indicates the
killing may have been the result of an ongoing parking dispute.

FBI officials tell NBC News justice correspondent Pete Williams there
is not yet a separate federal investigation. However, police are cognizant
of concerns about the possibility it was a hate crime, and their
investigation is ongoing.

The father of the two sisters who were murdered said they had
described to him the problem they were having with their neighbor, Mr.
Hicks.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MOHAMMAD ABU-SALHA, FATHER OF TWO VICTIMS: He came to that apartment
twice before, at least with a gun in his belt. And she told us, my
daughter honest to God said, rest her soul, she said, daddy, we have a
neighbor who is hateful. We don`t like him. He`s very hateful. He hates
how we look and how we are.

The police told us that they were shot in the head all of them, and
was very fast. They said there was no struggle. We believe this was
execution. That could not be a random fight.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: The wife of suspect Craig Hicks offered a differing opinion.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KAREN HICKS, WIFE OF SHOOTING SUSPECT: I can say with my absolute
belief that this incident had nothing to do with religion or victims faith,
but are in fact was related to the long-standing parking disputes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: One of the victims, Deah Barakat, planned a trip this summer
to help Syrian refugees.

(BEGIN VIDED CLIP)

DEAH BARAKAT, VICTIM: My name is Deah Baraka. I`m a dental student
at UNC. And I need your help.

Have you ever felt helpless about the situation in Syria and felt like
you can`t do anything about it? Well, this is your opportunity to help.
This summer, I`m embarking on a trip to Turkey with ten dentists to help
Syrian refugees in need of urgent dental care.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Joining me on the phone from Chapel Hill is Aliyah Frumin.
She`s MSNBC national reporter at the vigil tonight.

Aliyah, it was an amazing, moving scene from the photos I saw. What
was it like?

ALIYAH FRUMIN, MSNBC NATIONAL REPORTER (via telephone): Right. I
mean, more than 1,000 students, faculty, members and even family members
gathered for a vigil, just under an hour ago. And there was a lot of
sadness, and some anger. Mostly just bewilderment at how this could have
happened.

As you mentioned, these were three promising young individuals, all in
school, or going to school. There`s a lot of shock and sadness right now.

HAYES: I know that some of the family members spoke, I know there`s
been a feeling at least coming from social media, from folks that are
there, this -- the perception of people close to it, this was indeed
motivated by the faith of the three victims. Was that the prevailing
sentiment you felt at that vigil? It seems like it`s really struck a
nerve.

FRUMIN: Right. The family members certainly think so. And members
of the community have expressed that sentiment.

Before the vigil, we spoke to Haras Barakat (ph), the brother Deah,
one of the victims, and he told us that he does believe that race played an
issue. He told us that he had met the neighbor and the alleged gunman
Craig Steven Hicks in the past. And Yusor, the wife Deah, who is also the
victim, had expressed to him that she was afraid of him, that she was
uncomfortable, that she felt threatened.

He would come to the door several times. And complained their friends
were leaving the apartment too loudly, and the parking spot that was
mentioned before. In fact, one time, he even came over, opened up his
jacket and showed his gun.

So, the couple was clearly uncomfortable, and threatened, according to
the brother that spoke with us.

HAYES: Part of what`s strange in the fallout from this as we`re
learning more details, and obviously the court appearance by Mr. Hicks
today, is that his wife addressing the cameras in the wake of an alleged
murder of three people, not to protest that her husband is innocent, not to
protest that he didn`t do this, but to refer the incident and to protest
about what the nature of the incident was. I was kind of reeling from
that. That is not something you normally see.

FRUMIN: Right. And we were quite surprised by that interview as
well. She spoke to media, and expressed that it wasn`t a matter of hate
crime. While the family is saying, what other crime could this be other
than hate? So interesting.

HAYES: Aliyah Frumin in Chapel Hill this morning, thank you very
much.

FRUMIN: Thank you.

HAYES: You can go look at Deah Barakat`s Twitter page, which is still
up, it`s absolutely heartbreaking. He`s a basketball fan. He describes
himself as an aspiring Splash Brother, reference to Golden State Warriors.
It`s very, very sad.

All right. Who is the president talking about here?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: There is no reason for an employer who is not currently
providing health care to their workers to discourage them from either
getting health insurance on the job, or being able to avail themselves of
the Affordable Care Act.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: I`ll tell you, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY, FRM. GOVERNOR OF MASSACHUSETTS: Now let`s see.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That was easy.

ROMNEY: Yeah, that`s nice.

You heard those before? Yeah.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That was easy.

ROMNEY: Don`t I wish it were that easy, huh?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: That was Mitt Romney during a 2008 campaign stop at Staples, a
company that Romney`s Bain Capital helped launch and whose success Romney
held up a
symbol of his private sector acumen.

On Monday, Buzzfeed News reported that Staples was cutting hours of
part-time staffers and threatening to fire those who worked more than 25
hours a week, citing recent changes that have necessitated a strong stance
on part-time associates.

The recent changes in question would appear to be the phasing in of an
Obamacare provision requiring that companies offer health insurance to
employees working 30 hours per week or more, or face a possible fine of up
to $3,000 per employee.

Yesterday President Obama sat down for an interview with Buzzfeed news
and was asked what he would say to the Staples CEO about that policy. He
didn`t hold back.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: I haven`t looked at Staples` stock lately, or what the
compensation of the CEO is, but I suspect that they could well afford to
treat their workers favorably and give them some basic financial security.
And if they can`t, then they should be willing to allow those workers to
get the Affordable Care Act without cutting wages.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: The CEO of Staples is named Ronald Sergeant. And while his
company has struggled as online shopping has taken hold, Staples still
reported $707 million in profits last year. As for Sergeant, he turned
down a $31,000 raise in January, but he still brought home $10.8 million in
total compensation last year.

Today Staples declined an interview with All In saying no one was
available. They did send us a statement responding to the president`s
comments. Staples maintains that its policy on part-time workers was long-
standing, said the president did not have all the facts.

Quote, "it`s unfortunate the president is attacking a company that
provides more than 85,000 jobs and is a major taxpayer," a Staples
spokesperson said.

And his comments to Buzzfeed yesterday, the president made a point of
differentiation between mom and pop stores, and large companies like
Staples.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: When I hear large corporations that make billions of dollars
in profits, trying to blame our interest in providing health insurance as
an excuse for cutting back workers` wages, shame on them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: It was the latest aggressive stance from a president who ever
since
the midterms has made clear over and over, time and time again, he is not
going to spend the rest of his time in office playing nice.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: Yesterday the conservative attack machine set its sights on
Hillary Clinton, with the Drudge Report bannering a claim that the likely
2016 presidential candidate has been, quote, in hiding. Drudge linked to a
story about a Republican National Committee press release claiming that
while potential Republican presidential candidates are out in public
speaking to voters and sharing their ideas, Hillary Clinton is nowhere to
be found.

I`m not sure Americans are particularly upset they aren`t seeing or
hearing more from Hillary Clinton, or any other potential presidential
candidate for that matter, seeing as we are still 21 months from election
day with a grand total
of zero candidates formally in the race.

But while Clinton actually seems to be doing a pretty good job in
managing her personal persona, at least one poll last month showed her with
double-digit leads over some potential GOP presidential rivals, there are
signs of possible trouble behind the scenes, which exploding into the open
this week.

And at the center of it, David Brock, the former self-described right-
wing
hit man who`s reporting initially prompted Paula Jones to file a sexual
harassment lawsuit against Bill Clinton in 1994.

Brock went through a political conversion in the late 1990s, wrote a
book about it. And he`s transformed himself into a very powerful
Democratic operative and the leader of prominent liberal independent
groups, including pro-Clinton the super PAC American Bridge, and the
watchdog media group, Media Matters, as well as a new group called Correct
the Record, which defends Clinton against her critics.

On Monday, Brock abruptly resigned from the board of another powerful
pro-Clinton group, the super PAC Priorities USA Action, accusing priorities
officials of planting an orchestrated political hit job against the groups
that Brock leads.

The alleged hit job appears to be this piece in The New York Times by
Nick Confessore addressing the shadowy world of paid political fund-
raisers, which detailed how Brock`s groups and other pro-Clinton groups
have paid a consulting firm more than $6 million to help them cultivate
wealthy donors and raise money.

Brock contended in his resignation letter The Times story was driven
by current and former priorities officials and said it could severely
damage critical funding for his groups, quote, "while presumably enhancing
Priority`s own funding raising."

But then just hours after that spat erupted in public, both Brock and
Priorities USA Action signaled they`re willing to hug it out. With
Priorities saying they take Brock`s concerns seriously. Brock saying he`s
open to returning to the Priority board.

But there is without question a very serious battle taking place right
now over who will hold the backstage power and influence in Clinton`s
likely presidential campaign. It`s a fight that Clinton, whose 2008
presidential campaign was beset by reports of infighting and backstabbing
behind the scenes, presumably wants to see resolved as quickly as possible.

The core issue appears to be a struggle for power between former
strategist for President Obama, who have moved into the Clinton orbit,
including Jim Mesina, who co-chair`s Priorities USA Action and was the
president`s 2012 campaign manager
and longtime Clinton allies, including Brock, who reportedly fear being
pushed aside.

The battle is fierce.

In the Times yesterday, one Mesina ally, fund-raiser John Morgan,
described Brock on the record as, quote, "a cancer who is unwilling to do
what`s best for Clinton and the nation."

Morgan added speaking of Brock`s resignation, "if you care about your
party and your country, you just do what you`re asked. If you care about
yourself, you
take your toys and go home."

Joining me is someone who has been all over this story and wrote the
piece that blew out in the open, Nick Confessore, political reporter for
The New York Times.

OK, first of all, what is going on? So is this a war between these
two PACs, between Priorities and America Bridge, between two camps? What`s
going on?

NICK CONFESSORE, NEW YORK TIMES: Well, you know, in the olden days,
Chris,
back in the pre-Citizens days, a person like me would have to wait months,
or even a year from now to see this kind of infighting in a non-campaign.
There is no campaign, there is just these groups that have tried to stake
out a piece of a role of her future campaign for president, a collection of
super PACs with overlapping boards and an overlapping need for money.

And what this partly comes down to is the fact that there`s only so
many large donors on the left who can pony up for these kinds of groups,
and these groups are all kind of careening, and kind of competing for the
same money to get off the ground, and kind of own a piece of the future
Clinton campaign, and the apparatus that she will assemble and put into
place after she declares.

HAYES: OK.

Was -- so that piece you wrote about the world of fund-raising
consultants, which was eye opening, at one level it seemed kind of shady,
insofar as you`ve got the consultants act as kind of middle people that
take a cut of every check you write.

At the same time I guess there`s people that do that in all walks of
life, so maybe it`s not that out of the ordinary. Was that a hit job
planted by David Brock`s political enemies?

CONFESSORE: Absolutely not. It actually arose out of complaints I
heard from donors. I cover fund-raising a lot for The New York Times. I
heard over and over again from donors on the right and the left about this
issue of donor advisers and fund-raising consultants.

You can imagine if you`re a donor and you`re writing a seven-figure
check to a group and then you find out later that a for-profit consultant
has been handed a
12.5 percent cut or a 5 percent or a 10 percent cut of it, you`re outraged.
People were really angry about this. And some of the donors I spoke to for
that story had no idea, or even been lied to by the fund-raising
consultants who were setting up meetings between the donors and groups that
needed their money.

HAYES: Nick Confessore of The New York Times, continues to be the
must-read
reporter on the money in politics beat. Thank you so much.

CONFESSORE: Thank you, Chris.

HAYES: The year before Jon Stewart took over the desk of the Daily
Show, the faux newscast was described as, quote, precocious, but empty.
I`m pretty sure it hasn`t been described that way since.

How Jon Stewart turned the show around and became the most trusted
man, not just in fake news, but real news, too, ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEIGN VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: All right, Josh Barro.

JOSH BARRO: I`m going to take number 25.

HAYES: Josh Barro, just for people scoring at home, Josh has had a
rough go of it so far. Right now you have Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin and Carly
Fiorina.

BARRO: You know, I think that`s going to be a three-person ticket.
They`re going to be like a triumvirate.

HAYES: 25, does Josh Barro`s luck turn around with good old number
25. No, it doesn`t.

Bob Corcker.

ANNOUNCER: Bob Corker, one of just three Bobs currently serving in
the United States senate. And he`d be the first Bob to hold the office of
president. He`s Tennessee Senator Bob Corker.

HAYES: You sure know how to pick them. Josh Barro, you`ve got a
nose.

BARRO: Is Bob Corker even aware that anybody`s talking about the idea
that Bob Corker might run for president?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: It`s time for another update to our All In Fantasy 2016
Candidate Draft. The last time we did one of these it was Sam Seder who
lost Mitt Romney and I wondered if that would improve Josh Barro`s chances.
But, no, it doesn`t, because Bob Corker, it looks like not going to run for
president.

So it`s still not looking good for Josh Barro. But stay tuned, his
luck could turn around. Although, with picks like that, I highly doubt it.

We`ll continue to monitor all the latest developments to see how the
rest
of our players fare with their draft picks as the race for 2016 heat up.
For now, you can check in on everyone`s picks at our Facebook page
Facebook.com/allinwithchris. That page is so chock-full of goodness, I
think it deserves a like or two. So show it some love during a commercial
break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDE CLIP)

JON STEWART, HOST, THE DAILY SHOW: And now, the continued
comprehensive coverage of the final blow.

You`re out of order, he`s out of order, this whole trial is -- sexy.

President Clinton`s historic impeachment trial begins Thursday. And
the most important issue facing the United States Senate is how can it take
a pointless, tawdry trial whose outcome has already been decided and make
it last six hilarious
humiliating months.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Way back in 1999, the Daily Show with Jon Stewart -- god he
looks young there -- was born into a moment of peak absurdity in American
politics and quickly it went from being something novel and quirky and even
niche to something we couldn`t live without.

At a time when the U.S. Supreme Court was helping to settle President
Elections, when you`re being misled and manipulated into going to war in
Iraq, just about everywhere you look the media appeared to be doing
everything it could not to get to the bottom of things.

And here came the Daily Show to remind night in, night out that, well,
the
emperor had no clothes.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEWART: With New York City secure, the stage was set for day one of
the Republican National Convention.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) ARIZONA: No American alive today will ever
forget what happened on the morning of September 11th.

STEWART: I know. But in case you did forget, it was featured in
speeches
throughout the evening. In fact, they even used it as a back drop.

So, those working out on the StairMaster at your health club could
share in the remembrance.

JOHN EDWARDS, FRM. DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`m a candidate
for president of the united states.

STEWART: We`re a fake show.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our nation is being torn apart and made weaker
because of
the Democrat`s manic obsession to bring down our commander-in-chief.

STEWARD: How dare the Democratic Party field a candidate and in an
election year.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: And indeed, the Daily Show focused more and more on politics
and criticizing the media. People tuned in to see every night the emperor
sitting there naked. In other words, people turned to the Daily Show for
the actual
news.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD RUMSFELD, FRM. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: It could last, you know,
six
days, six weeks, I doubt six months.

STEWART: Missed it by...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: By this time, Jon Stewart himself had become incredibly
influential figure in the media landscape. Here he`s on CNN`s show
crossfire in October 2004. I remember huddled around a television watching
this that year. The show would be canceled about three months after his
appearance.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEWART: Right now, you`re helping the politicians, and the
corporations. And we`re left out there to mow our lawns.

PAUL BEGALA, FRM. HOST, CNN`S CROSSFIRE: You just said we`re too
rough on them when they make mistakes.

STEWART: No, no, no, you`re not too rough on them, you`re part of
their strategies. Your partisan, what do you call it, hacks. You`re doing
theater when you should be doing debate, which would be great. It`s not
honest. What you do is not honest. What you do is partisan hackery. And
I`ll tell you why I know...

TUCKER CARLSON, FRM. HOST, CNN`S CROSFIRE: You had John Kerry on your
show and you sniff his throne and you`re accusing us of partisan hackery?

STEWART: Absolutely.

CARLSON: You`ve got to be kidding, man.

STEWART: You`re on CNN. The show that leads into me is puppets
making crank phone calls. What is wrong with you?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: It was that appearance that made a lot of people wake up and
take notice of what Jon Stewart was doing, trying to get us to think
critically about the world and the media that covers. The president of CNN
actually cited Stewart`s criticism when he announced Crossfire was being
canceled.

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart started as a fake news show, but by
distilling something essential about the times in which we live, it became
an iconic cultural product of its era for 16 years. And when appropriate,
Jon Stewart has made us laugh while speaking truth to power.

Because of this, he will be missed. And although the Daily Show was,
well, around before Jon Stewart, that does not mean it will exist in its
current form
after he`s gone. We`ll look back on the show and debate what`s next, after
this break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: Joining me now Eric Boehlert, senior fellow at Media Matters;
and Sam Seder, host of the Majority Report.

All right. So, Sam, I want you to react to my thesis, which is
basically, I
wrote this book called "Twilight of the Elites," which is about basically
this crisis of authority, this era in which all our institutions have lost
trust to people and that somehow Jon Stewart Daily Show, a satirical
nightly news show, became the iconic product of that era, because basically
people thought everything was bull, like they didn`t believe anything being
said by anyone and so his kind of satirical mode became the perfect source
of authority in that authority-less era.

SAM SEDER, MAJORITY REPORT: Yeah, I think there`s something to that.
And I also would add to that, too, that the sort of the lack of pretense
that we saw particularly in the context of the news, I mean, in that
respect, you almost see a
reflection of that on YouTube, too, at some level. Like there`s just
simply less pretense and less pretending that`s going on.

But yeah, I think part of it was a function of the, you know, of the
emperor having no clothes. But that moment that you showed with him on
Crossfire, I mean, that was really the seminal moment, right, when he went
in and said, you two
guys, you`re just actors on some level. And I am actually more or less an
actor. And what are you doing?

HAYES: And I wonder, Eric, if you feel like -- we said this last
night, that
in some ways as someone who hosts a cable news show, which basically is the
feed stock for the Daily Show, sometimes -- sometimes that`s all we`re good
for, basically, creating stuff that they can cut up into Daily Show
segments.

But as someone who does that, I`m very aware that like they will call
foul if we screw something up. Do you think they made media better? Or
did it all just -- did the absurdity sort of just give them something to
run with?

ERIC BOEHLERT, MEDIA MATTERS: No, they made it better. And they
reinvented media criticism. I mean, media criticism was never funny, it
was never interesting, it was never compelling. It was important and
people did important work. And when you wrote 2,000 or 3,000 words and you
documented what the media was doing wrong in the narratives and who`s being
a lapdog for who, that`s important.

But they made it funny, him and Stephen Colbert. I mean, they created
this whole voice. And they made people really stand up, sit up and say,
wait a minute,
why is the news being put together this way? Why are we seeing these false
equivalencies? And what on Earth is Fox News doing? I mean, let`s face
it, Jon Stewart -- and again, I give Colbert credit, I mean, they were
incredibly important and incredibly effective in terms of pushing back on
the insanity, a, of say, a Bush war, and then the insanity of a news
organization that decided to go into the
propaganda business.

HAYES: Yeah, there is something about the era in which it exploded in
popularity, which was that, Sam, that era -- you know, when you back at
2004, the Zell Miller speech, this sense that like the media -- I remember
you, you were on Air America at that point. I remember listening to your
show and just feeling -- and watching the Daily Show and feeling like
there`s just a very small number of people who are just saying what I feel,
which is that this is madness, all of this is complete madness.

SEDER: Yeah. I mean, I agree. I mean, I think there was -- at that
time there was very little outlets for any type of dissent, any type of
criticism that was going on.

I mean, remember I think it was a couple years earlier, the show that
was there before the Daily Show was Politically Incorrect. And Bill Maher
took that from Comedy Central to ABC and then lost it off of ABC because of
what he said in the wake of 9/11.

And so the idea -- and he wasn`t particularly -- his critique was not
particularly left per se. And so there was very little dissent at all for
what was
going on. And I think Jon Stewart was there to basically at the very least
not -- at that point, he wasn`t as political I think as the show ultimately
became, but he was basically saying the media is farcical. We`re not
getting the truth on some level.

And you know, I`d add not only do I think that he -- that the show
impacted the media, but also impacted comedy. You know, at that time, to
do political comedy in this country was very, very dangerous and just
looked down upon by the entertainment industry. And there`s a lot more of
that that happens today. I don`t know if it`s necessarily because of
Stewart, but it`s certainly a part of it.

HAYES: That is a great point.

Eric, there is a piece in Slate I thought was interesting which
basically said that in some ways the idea of a nightly satire show now
feels uncomfortably wedged between the breakneck pace of social media and
the relatively leisureliness of the weekly format Oliver has mastered.
Passing the torch just doesn`t make sense. After one last Moment of Zen
it`s time to put the Daily Show to bed.

Do you -- what do you think of that idea?

BOEHLERT: No, I disagree. I mean, we don`t know what it is going to
be
when Jon leaves, but I think he has shown this is incredibly important.
It`s important to look at the politics in our media, in a refreshing and
interesting and
honest way.

Again, Sam was saying, you go back to 2003, 2004, half of the liberal
media pundits in America supported the war. So, it`s important to have
that voice.

HAYES: Eric Boehlert and Sam Seder, thanks guys.

All right, that is All In for this evening from Houston, Texas. The
Rachel Maddow show starts now.

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
BE UPDATED.
END

<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.>






Sponsored links

Resource guide