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'The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell' for Monday, April 6th, 2015

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Date: April 6, 2015
Guest: Josh Barro, Joshua Green, Phyllis Bennis, Eugene Volokh, Jay

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: "The Wild Things Are", he reads it every year -
- for the record, there are no reports of any kids actually getting stung.

President Obama read "Where the Wild Things Are", he reads it every year at
the Easter Egg Roll, I have never before heard his rumpusing sound before.

It is a good thing the Easter Egg Roll is at the White House, has a feeling
no member of Congress is quite as good at rumpusing as our current
president of the United States.

That does it for us tonight, we`ll see you again tomorrow, now it`s time
for THE LAST WORD with Lawrence O`Donnell, good evening Lawrence.

interview tonight with Secretary Moniz.

MADDOW: Thank you very much, cheers.

O`DONNELL: Nothing like having a nuclear scientist in the cabinet when you
need one.


MADDOW: Exactly.

O`DONNELL: Thanks Rachel --

MADDOW: Thanks.

O`DONNELL: Well, tonight, you`re going to see a public official beat up a
newspaper like you`ve never seen that done before. And the newspaper that
takes the beating this time is Rupert Murdoch`s "New York Post".

But first, the Obama doctrine.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Intense lobbying from Israel`s Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu over the Iran deal.

a nightmare deal for the world.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Israeli government issued a list of specific

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Israelis want to transform Iran from an enemy into sort
of a peaceful state. That`s not going to happen.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This can backfire on him. I wish that he would
contain himself.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "Rolling Stone`s" official retraction of that bombshell
UVA gang rape story --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: After escaping(ph) independent review from the
Columbia School of Journalism.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was the product of failed methodology.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As for the fraternity name to the story --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Intends to sue the "Rolling Stone" magazine.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) arguments in the Boston Marathon bombing

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The defense is arguing that Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the
older brother is the one who masterminded all this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Federal prosecutors allege that Tsarnaev wanted to
"terrorize his country and punish America."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The emotionally-charged case was handed off to the

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jeb Bush is Hispanic.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He checked Hispanic on the 2009 voter form.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it`s a Freudian slip.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That might be trying too hard to appeal to the Latino

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And the bottom line is, Jeb Bush is a white guy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, Rand Paul is expected to officially jump into the
2016 race --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Promoted his big presidential announcement tomorrow
with a two and a half minute video.

SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: It`s time for a new president.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Almost felt like the "Hunger Games".


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is a different kind of Republican candidate, whether
or not that difference is what enables him to win remains to be seen.


O`DONNELL: President Obama said he welcomes a robust debate about the
historic framework his administration has reached with Iran.

When the President sat down with "New York Times" Columnist Tom Friedman
for a 45-minute interview about a possible deal with Iran, he said this
about congressional involvement.


a mechanism for appropriate Congressional involvement and oversight.

My hope is, is that we can find something that allows Congress to express
itself, but does not encroach on traditional presidential prerogatives and
ensures that if in fact we get a good deal that we can go ahead and


O`DONNELL: This afternoon, the White House gave this reaction to the bill
sponsored by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker that
gives Congress 60 days to review the deal with Iran.


JOSH EARNEST, PRESS SECRETARY, WHITE HOUSE: Senator Corker is somebody who
has considered this issue in a very principled way, but you know, in this
fashion, we have a pretty strong disagreement with him.

Because in the mind of the President, it could potentially interfere with
the ongoing negotiations that are slated to continue through June.

It also could interfere with the ability of the United States to implement
the agreement successfully, and it does interfere with a scope of

It`s clear within the purview of the President of the United States.


O`DONNELL: Tonight, New York Senator Chuck Schumer who is in line to
replace Harry Reid as the Democratic leader of the Senate gave this
statement to "POLITICO".

"This is a very serious issue that deserves careful consideration, and I
expect it to have a classified briefing in the near future.

I strongly believe Congress should have the right to disapprove any
agreement and I support the Corker bill which would allow that to occur."

Joining us now, Josh Barro, the "New York Times" reporter, an Msnbc
contributor, also joining us Joshua Green, national correspondent for
"Bloomberg Businessweek", and Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy
Studies in Washington.

Josh Barro, how does the Schumer factor tonight complicate things for the

JOSH BARRO, NEW YORK TIMES: Well, certainly, a negative event for the
White House. Although, I would note that in order for Congress to actually
prevent the implementation of this deal, there would have to be several
steps that would be passed.

That have to pass through the Senate, the President would presumably veto
it, it would then have to get to a veto-proof majority which requires 13
Democratic votes in the Senate.

But that just establishes the bill, then Congress would actually have to
disapprove any agreement if they were going to stop.

So you could have a substantial number of Democrats who line up in Congress
and say Congress should have this power, then when faced with the actual
terms of the agreement, they might not choose to exercise that option.

Bob Corker himself has actually said that he believes this process
strengthens the President`s hand in negotiations by demonstrating that
Congress will have a role in approving any agreement that allows the
President to say, well, gee, I can`t offer that up because my Congress will
not agree to it.

No, I don`t know if that`s correct analysis of it, but it does demonstrate
the fact that mere passage of the Corker bill does not mean the death of an
Iran deal.

O`DONNELL: Joshua Green, looking at Chuck Schumer`s role in particular,
since he is the kind of leader in-waiting now of the Democrats in the
Senate, a very powerful position.

He`s in very influential position that he is in with his caucus now. At
that second stage, is it conceivable that he might be one who votes for the
Corker bill, but then actually votes in the end to support --


O`DONNELL: The President?

GREEN: I think that`s a distinct possibility. Look, I think what`s going
on here is that Schumer to an extent is protecting his institutional

Congress does not want to be shunted to the side and not have a role in
this. And so, in supporting the Corker bill, I think he`s supporting the
general idea that, look, we in Congress need to have a say on this and
we`re not going to be ignored.

And you saw Obama allude to that in the interview with Tom Friedman, said,
look, there`s going to be some way that Congress can express themselves.

So I think the real tug-of-war here is on what that expression will entail,
will be sort of a show vote to let them say whether they`re for or against,
or will it genuinely be something that threatens Obama`s foreign policy?

And I have a hard time believing that Schumer as the leader in-waiting is
going to stand up, going to be the guy that wrecks one of Obama`s signature
foreign policy initiatives.

O`DONNELL: And Phyllis Bennis, we`re seeing the President in a -- in a
very strong selling posture on this, going out there and doing these

This is clearly his biggest agenda item now. What do you make of the
President`s efforts so far?

PHYLLIS BENNIS, JOURNALIST: I think that it`s crucially important,
Lawrence, if we look at what`s going on beyond the posturing of Congress,
beyond the claiming that Congress must be involved, et cetera.

What we`re really dealing with here is the reality that if those people
want to oppose this deal, this is the deal they can get. If they want to
oppose it, what they`re supporting is the likelihood of war.

That`s really the choice here. And whether this is about Schumer posturing
for one position or another or Corker trying to make this a partisan issue,
the bottom line is, they are choosing war over diplomacy.

And it`s an outrage because among other things, it doesn`t come close to
matching where public opinion is.

Congress people say that they need to be involved because the American
people should be involved.

And yet, the American people are saying to the pollsters, 59 percent are
saying we want diplomacy rather than the threat of war.

Seventy percent of liberals and so-called moderates, and the Republicans
and the conservatives are split 50/50 on it.

So even the Republicans are not even close to the kind of real warmongering
we`re hearing from the leadership of their party in the Congress.

So I think --

GREEN: Well, I don`t think it`s fair to say that they`re warmongering. I
mean, if you look at someone like Lindsey Graham, you`d be hard-pressed to
find a bigger hawk than that -- even Graham has come out and said, look,
we`re going to let this process play out until June.

I think somebody else might have gotten a better deal, but there were
avenues to be much more aggressive than the opposition has been by -- for
instance, pushing the Corker-Menendez bill and trying to impose sanctions
now and that hasn`t happened.

So, I don`t think it`s accurate to say this is head-long rush for war.

BENNIS: I don`t think it`s a rush to war in the sense that this is their -
- this is what they`re claiming to choose.

I`m saying there`s an objective reality that those who are against this
deal are supporting the reality that the alternative is the possibility of

BARRO: But I think --

BENNIS: That`s just --

BARRO: That`s what -- that`s what constrains Congress if the Corker bill
becomes law. You are going to have Democrats like Schumer, like Tim Kaine
who are faced with this choice.

If they`re thinking about disapproving an Iran deal which again would
effectively require a two-thirds vote because the President would be able
to veto the disapproval. What --

GREEN: Yes --

BARRO: Would happen if they disapprove the deal? We have all of our
partners on our side of the negotiations who are not likely to continue to
sign onto the sanctions regime --

BENNIS: Right --

BARRO: If the deal is rejected. That would mean if you blow up the deal,
the only option that would be left to contain Iran, which presumably will
proceed to develop a nuclear bomb, given, you know, that they have nothing
to gain anymore out of negotiations that aren`t working.

The only option that would be left could be a military option. That I
think will make Democrats in addition to the political reason that they
have not to blow up the President`s signature achievement --

GREEN: And Josh, I think -- I think it`s also worth pointing out that
Obama I think has a doable job here. The numbers Phyllis cited are

The public does not want -- the last thing the public wants is another
U.S.-led war in the Middle East. I think as the stakes of this negotiation
become clear.

And let`s remember, we have, you know, several months for this to play out.
I think there`s a good chance that the American public does get behind the
idea that we`d rather negotiate a deal, even an imperfect deal than sort of
blow things up and possibly wind up on a course for war.

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to something the President --

BENNIS: The American people are already at that position. I think we have
to be clear about that. That`s exactly where the American people are now.

If Congress does not reflect in that American opinion. And --


BENNIS: I think in that context we`re going to see a situation where
members of Congress are going to be spending the next week or two in their
district, hearing from people, saying wait a minute, why are you even
considering not supporting this process?

This is not a treaty that the Senate has to approve, that isn`t valid until
it`s approved by the Senate.

The administration, like every administration passes or decides on
international agreements all the time that don`t require senatorial

And this is one of them. So they`re not going to have the right under the
constitution to make that decision.

This isn`t a treaty between the U.S. and Iran, this is a multi-lateral
agreement between a number of countries, similar to SOFA agreements similar
to a lot of other kinds of agreements.

But the bottom-line comes back to what is the alternative? Those who are
against this version are supporting the possibility of war.

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to something the President said that`s going to be
an "Npr" interview aired tomorrow about a new objection that Bibi Netanyahu
raised after the framework was described publicly.

Prime Minister Netanyahu said that he now demands that Iran recognize
Israel`s right to exist as part of this deal. Let`s listen to what the
President said about that.


OBAMA: The notion that we would condition Iran not getting nuclear weapons
in a verifiable deal on Iran recognizing Israel is really akin to saying
that we won`t sign a deal unless the nature of the Iranian regime
completely transforms.

And that is, I think a fundamental misjudgment. We want Iran not to have
nuclear weapons, precisely because we can`t bank on the nature of the
regime changing.

That`s exactly why we don`t want to have nuclear weapons.


O`DONNELL: Phyllis, your reaction to that.

BENNIS: Well, I think it`s a bit of a backward logic. I mean what
President Obama says is certainly true in terms of what it would -- that it
would scuttle the deal if that were proposed as an alternative requirement.

That Iran has to recognize Israel. Recognize what, exactly? Israel has no
borders. What borders are we recognizing? Is he going to say that -- is
Netanyahu going to say that Iran must recognize Israel as "a Jewish State"?

What -- you know, this is really --

O`DONNELL: Well, simply the right --

BENNIS: Up in the rhetorical level --

O`DONNELL: Simply the right to exist, so that seems --

BENNIS: In fact --

O`DONNELL: Like something they could express, right? --

BENNIS: You know --

O`DONNELL: In saying that they should be destroyed in what --

BENNIS: No, but I --

O`DONNELL: That they could --

BENNIS: Think that, that goes to the question, again, of a country that
has no borders, that isn`t recognized by the -- most of the rest of the
world in that form.

So saying that is a way of saying there should not be an agreement at all.

BARRO: You know --

O`DONNELL: All right, go ahead --

BARRO: I mean I think it`s an obvious poison pill Netanyahu is asking for.
I mean Netanyahu has said repeatedly, you can`t trust the Iranians.

So it`s not like if they said they recognize Israel, he will take that as a
trustworthy statement that is useful for the protection of Israel.

The only reason for Netanyahu to ask for that is that he doesn`t want the
deal, he knows the Iranians won`t agree to that and if there were a
condition of the deal would prevent a deal from being --

O`DONNELL: OK, we`re going to have to end the segment there, Phyllis
Bennis, thank you very much for joining us tonight, really appreciate it --

BENNIS: Thank you --

O`DONNELL: Coming up, failure of journalism, that`s what an independent
review called "Rolling Stone" magazine`s reporting on an alleged gang rape
at the University of Virginia.

And now the fraternity at the center of that story says they want to take
legal action against "Rolling Stone". And "New York Magazine" asked the
question, "is Hillary Clinton any good at running for president?"


O`DONNELL: Rutgers University is banning all 86 of its fraternities and
sororities from having house parties for the remainder of the Spring
semester in light of a number of alcohol-related incidents this year.

Five unnamed Rutgers fraternities are currently facing campus discipline
reviews for such incidents. The students are calling the ban "social

About 10 percent of Rutgers students are part of fraternities and
sororities. Up next, a University of Virginia fraternity wants to sue
"Rolling Stone" for what it calls reckless reporting.



was not the subject where the sources fault as a matter of journalism.

It was a -- it was the product of failed methodology and it was the
collective fault of the reporter, the editor, the editor supervisor and the
fact-checking department.


O`DONNELL: "Rolling Stone" has officially retracted its November article
by Sabrina Rubin Erdely about an alleged gang rape at the University of
Virginia fraternity house after the release of the report that called the
story a journalistic failure that was avoidable.

The author of the "Rolling Stone" article Sabrina Erdely issued a statement
saying "reading the Columbia account of the mistakes and misjudgment in my
reporting was a brutal and humbling experience."

The article entitled "The Rape on Campus" told us the story of a woman
identified by the pseudonym Jackie who said she was gang-raped by a seven-
man at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house at the University of Virginia in

The veracity of Jackie`s story was quickly challenged by reports in "The
Washington Post" and elsewhere.

And "Rolling Stone" asked the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism to
conduct an investigation into how the magazine got the story wrong.

The authors of the twelve thousand-word report said that "Rolling Stone"
failed to engage in basic journalistic practice by not reaching out to any
of the people mentioned in the story, including Jackie`s friends to check

The report found that the reporter and the magazine`s editors surrendered
basic journalistic techniques to the wishes of Jackie who asked them not to
try to speak to any of the people who she said assaulted her and in effect
to not try to check any of the facts she was alleging.

Sabrina Erdely said in her statement, "in the case of Jackie and her
account of her traumatic rape, I did not go far enough to verify her story.

I allowed my personal concern for Jackie`s well-being, my fear of re-
traumatizing her and my confidence in her credibility to take the place of
more questioning and more facts.

These are mistakes I will not make again." A statement released today by
the University of Virginia chapter of Phi Kappa Psi says, "after 130 days
of living under a cloud of suspicion as a result of reckless reporting by
"Rolling Stone" magazine today.

The Virginia Alpha chapter of Phi Kappa Psi announced plans to pursue all
available legal action against the magazine."

Joining us now is Eugene Volokh, a law professor at UCLA and creator of the
legal blog "The Volokh Conspiracy". Professor, what legal avenues are open
to the fraternity?

EUGENE VOLOKH, LAW PROFESSOR: Well, the fraternity can sue for defamation.
And it`s possible also that the members of the fraternity can sue for
damage to their own personal reputations.

The fraternity`s case in some respect is easier. Organizations have
reputations too, and they can say our reputation was wrongly tarnished as a
result of "Rolling Stone`s" negligence.

And if they can show specific proven losses, like, for example,
contributions to them went down or some other financial losses to the
fraternity, they should be able to recover that based on a showing that
"Rolling Stone" was negligent and the Columbia report makes it pretty clear
that it was negligent.

The members of the fraternity are a little bit hard to recall, there`s this
so-called Group Libel Doctrine which provides that if somebody says
something about a small group of people, that reflect on each of them as an

But if it`s about a larger group, either very large, like all lawyers are
crooks let`s say, well, that doesn`t reflect on any particular lawyer.

What about the members of this fraternity? The claim goes use gang rape as
an initiation ritual, does that reflect on each one in particular?

Quite possibly, although the fraternities at the size where the law might
go either way on that. So there could be lawsuits brought by either the
fraternity or for damage to its reputation or by the individual members of
the fraternity for damage to their own reputations.

One thing that pretty clearly can`t happen is UVA, however much it has
suffered as a result of this, can sue for damage to its reputation because
it`s a government entity.

It`s a public university, and governments entities aren`t allowed to sue
for defamation.

O`DONNELL: Josh Barro, the Columbia report wanted to make very clear that
the subject of this story, Jackie, is not to blame for what "Rolling Stone"

BARRO: Yes, and I think that`s correct. You know, some -- if you`re a
reporter, sometimes people will come and tell you things, and sometimes
those things will be wrong.

It is your job to figure out whether the thing you`re hearing from your
source is true or not. And you do that by contacting other people who were
involved in the story.

It doesn`t -- not limited to the person who was accused of this rape,
although that is someone who should have been contacted.

But you also had these three students who Jackie apparently described as
having seen her shortly after what she alleged was an assault and that she
had a conversation with them which once the story came to light, those
three people said that`s not the conversation we had with her at all.

There was no attempt by "Rolling Stone" to speak with those three people
which would have shown them that the story that they have been told by
Jackie was not reliable, it would have saved them from publishing the

So I think it`s -- you know, in terms of who was responsible for the
journalistic failure, it`s absolutely right that it was -- it should have
been easy for "Rolling Stone" to figure out not to publish this account,
even with Jackie telling them something that wasn`t true.

O`DONNELL: Joshua Green, no one fired, no one losing their job at "Rolling
Stone" at this point anyway. And there`s a possibility that, that`s a
reaction to the possibility of a lawsuit.

If they don`t fire anyone, then they have not implicitly admitted something
that might have some legal standing in court.

GREEN: You know, I can only assume that`s the reason for the lack of
firings, because I mean, the report could not be more clear-cut that this
was just outright journalistic malpractice, not just among the reporter but
among the whole editorial chain.

And what`s more -- report makes clear that the whole editorial process was
flawed, that they had fact-checker. And `Rolling Stone" did have -- it did
have its own fact-checker which a lot of magazines do not.

But the fact-checker did not feel empowered to come and say, hey, I have
major questions about the veracity of this piece and some of the things
we`re reporting.

So it`s hard to see how if you`re a "Rolling Stone" reader, you`re going
to, you know, go forward, having any trust in anything that "Rolling Stone"
magazine would publish from here on out.

If you have the same people in charge whose judgment led to this colossal

O`DONNELL: Well, a lot of their controversial work has held up in the
past. And Professor Volokh, just before we go, is there anything, any
legal reason why "Rolling Stone`s" lawyers might advise them not to fire
anyone at this point?

VOLOKH: You know, my sense is that whether they fire someone or not, it
doesn`t -- won`t affect the legal analysis that much.

You can imagine a firing playing badly for the jury because it`s an
admission of error. On the other hand, you can imagine refusal to fire
playing badly for the jury because the jury say, my God, these people are
just not even at all contrite.

I`m not sure that there was a legal reason for it, there may have been an
institutional reason, maybe that they thought these people had done very
good work in the past.

Even in hospitals where there`s malpractice, I think, not every instance of
malpractice leads to firing of somebody who`s been good enough or in fact
who`s been very good perhaps in the past.

So, I`m not sure there`s a legal reason really for that kind of decision.

O`DONNELL: Professor Eugene Volokh, thanks for joining us tonight. Coming
up, why the inevitability of Hillary versus Jeb just might not be so



Let`s start a dialogue about your ideas and mine.

Because the conversation in Washington has been just a little one-sided
lately, don`t you think? And we can all see how well that works. And while
I can`t visit everyone`s living room, I can try.

And with a little help from modern technology, I`ll be holding live online
video chats this week starting Monday. So let the conversation begin, I
have a feeling it`s going to be very interesting.


O`DONNELL: Yes, she does look a little younger, that`s because that was
not Hillary Clinton announcing her campaign today, that was Hillary Clinton
announcing her presidential campaign in 2007.

She did not do the grand speech in the historic venue the way so many
politicians have began their presidential campaigns including President
Barack Obama.

She announced online in a YouTube video, sitting in a living room. And
living rooms are where Hillary Clinton might begin her next presidential
campaign according to an "Associated Press" report.

Friends and advisers have long said she is more at ease in small group
settings and one-on-one conversations.

And "Politico" is reporting, "a lease has been signed at a location for
Clinton`s campaign headquarters, according to a source familiar with the

"Federal Election Commission rules state that a candidate has only 15 days
between conducting campaign activities and filing the official 2016
paperwork. And the lease signing could start the clock on an official


A New York magazine piece asks the question, "Is Hillary --


-- any good at running for president?" And points out that after two easy
senatorial campaigns in New York State, --


-- the one time that Hillary Clinton had to run a campaign against a strong
candidate, she lost. That was, of course, the 2008 Presidential campaign.

"The New York Times" reports, "Jeb Bush is looking less inevitable every
day, as the Republican presidential nominee, --


-- for all the Republican bundlers who signed up to raise money for Mr.
Bush. Others remain uncommitted or are hedging their bets by adding aiding
more than one candidate."

"It is a far cry, party officials, activists and donors said, from the
early success of George W. Bush, Mr. Bush`s brother, in securing the 2000
Republican Presidential nomination."


Joining us now is MSNBC`s Kasie Hunt. Kasie, the Clinton campaign leaking
the possibilities that she`s going to do small venues and keep the campaign
low to the ground, as they say, at the beginning.

CASEY HUNT: That`s right, Lawrence. And, I think that that reflects
something that both the Clinton teams -- the Clinton team learned over


And it`s a lesson that the Obama team really found out in 2008, when they
beat her, which was that, you know, she didn`t do well when she was

She did well, in their view, when her back was up against the wall. And
so, at this point, she`s essentially the inevitable nominee. It`s not as
though her staff can put her, you know, put her back up against the wall
and make it difficult for her.

So, they have to do everything they can to show that, this time, she
doesn`t believe that this is something that she deserves, that she`s just
waltzing into, but rather something that she has to prove.

In situations that, ideally, they believe will highlight her personable
strengths and give her the chance to connect with voters one-on-one, in a
way that she wasn`t able to do in those big venues in 2008.

O`DONNELL: Joshua Green, very long "New York Magazine" piece. But the one
line that seemed to be really most powerful to me was the notion that, in
the one campaign she was in, where she had a strong opponent, she lost.

Yes, and she didn`t just lose. I mean, she really blew it. In 2008, her
line was, --


"I am the candidate that has the executive experience to get into the job,
do the job on --


-- day one." And she wound up not even been able to win the Democratic
nomination. So, I certainly think that that ought to be a concern but more
in the general election than in the Democratic primary.

Because it doesn`t look like she`s going to have any real competition in
the Democratic primary. And in its own, sort of perverse way, --


-- I think that hurts her, too, because it robs her of the chance to sort
of sharpen her fighting skills and win a series of victories against real -


-- challengers that might get People excited about her candidacy. Instead,
she`s going to have to do this weird kind of pantomime where she pretends
that she`s not the inevitable nominee, when she really basically is.

O`DONNELL: Now, let`s take a look at Jeb Bush`s voter registration form in
2009. It`s the mistake of the week in the --


-- presidential campaign. He apparently checked "Hispanic" on that form,
instead of the category right next to it which, I believe -- I can`t read
it from here. I believe it`s "White Non-Hispanic," which would have been a
little more accurate.

Josh Barro, is there any -- is there any explanation of this that makes any
sense, other than the guy made a mistake.



This is a non-story.

O`DONNELL: Let`s just eliminate this one, all right.


BARRO: People have fun with this but, the thing is, no one has come up
with a theory of what nefarious reason --


BARRO: -- Jeb Bush would have had --


BARRO: -- for pretending on his voter registration form to be Hispanic.
There`s no way that he gains advantage by doing that.

So, I think there`s no good -- other explanation other than it was just an
honest error.

O`DONNELL: Yes. The Florida Democratic Party tweeted this, which I think
is relevant -- "Hey, Jeb Bush, did you know it`s a third degree felony to
submit false information on your voter registration form."

And, Kasie Hunt, it`s got to be kind of awkward for a guy, trying to get
the nomination of the party that`s constantly trying to tighten voter
registration laws around the country and creating penalties and things like
that for false information.

Now, if his defense, which I accept, is it was a mistake.

HUNT: It seems, Lawrence, that that`s what this was. And I think that the
way they`re treating it indicates that, you know, that`s certainly what
they`re pushing forward.

I thought, you know, the way they re-tweeted, his son, who is actually
Hispanic, as the son of a Hispanic mother and, of course, Jeb Bush, saying,
you know, "LOL, Dad."


"What a way to screw it up."

O`DONNELL: Well, the next stage of the story is, someone else in Florida
or any other state getting in trouble, --


-- legal trouble of any kind, or registration trouble because of this kind
of mistake. When we come back, Rand Paul made a big announcement --


-- today about making a bigger announcement tomorrow.




SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: It`s time for a new way, a new set of ideas,
a new leader, one you can trust, one who works for you and, above all, it`s
time for a new president.



O`DONNELL: That was part of the video Rand Paul tweeted today, announcing
that, tomorrow, he will make an even bigger announcement than that video.

Kasie Hunt, you are in Louisville. You`re going to be at that Rand Paul
announcement tomorrow.

How could he possibly top his announcement tomorrow. How could he -- how
could he top what he did today. What could he possibly add to what he did

HUNT: Well, we can`t know for certain, Lawrence, at this point. But, I
will say, they are going to make their best effort to try.

They are, currently, as we speak, setting up the ballroom at the Galt House
Hotel in downtown Louisville. They`ve invited 1,500 to 2,000 supporters,
so a little bit of one upmanship with Senator Ted Cruz there, who, you
know, of course, had a built-in crowd for his announcement at lunch.

But they also have 180 reporters, media-credentialed to attend. So, it`s
certainly going to be at least -- at least a big event. We`ll see if Paul
performs where they feel like he needs to.

O`DONNELL: Josh Green, the Paul family business of running for president
apparently continues starting tomorrow.

GREEN: Yes. And Rand Paul is going to be there. Although the word here
I`m hearing from other reporters is he`s not going to be allowed to speak.

Because Rand Paul, though he was a veteran presidential campaigner, never
made it very far as a --


-- polarizing figure. And what you saw from that video today that Rand
released really was an effort, I think, to show that he has a broader

Not only did he have Republicans and sort of Fox News anchors on there
speaking his praises, but you saw Chris Matthews, you saw Jon Stewart from
"The Daily Show."

So, I think he`s going to try and project a broader appeal.

O`DONNELL: He also, Josh Barro, had Newt Gingrich on this video, --



-- praising him today. He has attacked Newt Gingrich as being, you know,
an unreliable source in the past. But, you know, this is -- this is

The other important indicator, he`s changed his Twitter handle from
"Senator" to "Doctor."

BARRO: Right.

O`DONNELL: So, that just proves it right there. He`s running for

BARRO: Well, that makes sense. People have much more favorable opinions
of medical doctors than they do elected officials.


BARRO: But, yes, I mean, I think --

GREEN: He`s an ophthalmologist.

BARRO: Right.


I think, broadly, --

HUNT: So, you trust your ophthalmologist more than you trust your senator?

GREEN: Not to be president.

BARRO: I trust my ophthalmologist more than I trust my senator, I think.
Well, what are we -- is it about my eyes or --


But, I think, you know, Rand Paul, what he`s going to try to do in this
campaign is you want to keep all the people who work for Rand Paul and then
add enough more, --


BARRO: -- sort of more normal people to be able to get to a plurality and
win the nomination.


And so, that, I think, it`s sort of -- he has this dance, not just with his
father but with the whole campaign apparatus that was around his father.

And that set of supporters keep their energy without having them scare off
people who would have thought that Rand Paul was kind of crazy.

And I think that`s going to be a difficult dance to do but it`s what he has
to do.

O`DONNELL: Marco Rubio is in the huge announcement business, too. He
tweeted a huge announcement today. And it is this -- "I`m making a huge
announcement --


-- on Monday, April, 13th." Kasie Hunt, are you going to be there Monday,


-- April 13th.

HUNT: That`s the plan at this point, Lawrence. But I`ve got to tell you,
Senator Rubio has been a little bit of danger of being overshadowed by one
Hillary Clinton who, as we know, is set to --


-- announce almost any day now. So, hopefully, for him, or if you were on
his team, you`d hope that she doesn`t pick Monday the 13th.

O`DONNELL: But, Joshua Green, wouldn`t it be a huge --


-- announcement on that day if Marco Rubio announces, "I am not running for
president this time."

GREEN: I think he would certainly grab headlines if that were the
announcement. That is not the announcement I think most of us are
anticipating from Marco Rubio though.

O`DONNELL: All right, I`m betting 10 cents that he just might announce
that he`s not running. There`s too many people in there already.

GREEN: I`ll take that.

O`DONNELL: All right, 10 cents right here everybody.


I may reduce it. I have to think about it.


Kasie Hunt, Joshua Green and Josh Barro, thank you all for joining me

HUNT: Thanks, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Up next in the "Rewrite," one of Rupert Murdoch`s newspapers
gets smacked down --


-- like you have never seen a newspaper gets smacked down before. And it
was done on TV by one of the newspaper`s heroes.



Time for tonight`s "Rewrite." Which of these newspapers is the oldest
newspaper in New York. And which one is the new kid on the block.

Now, I know this looks like the oldest newspaper. But this scrappy little
thing is the oldest, continuously published daily newspaper in America.

It is actually 50 years older than "The New York Times." The "New York
Post" was founded by Alexander Hamilton in 1801.

And the 21st Century "New York Post" is one that believes in heroes and
villains, and is at it -- is at its dramatic best when one of his heroes is
in a fight with one of its villains.

And so, last week, the "New York Post" finally got a story that "The Post"
has been waiting for since the beginning of Mayor de Blasio`s

One of "The Post`s" heroes, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, who was given
his job by de Blasio, was in open warfare with Mayor de Blasio, who is, of
course, one of "The Post`s" villains.


The story made the front page with the headline, "Brass Bawls." "Bawl"
meaning to shout or call out noisily and unrestrainedly, according to the
Oxford English Dictionary. The first line --


-- of the story, "Top cop, Bill Bratton, --


-- has finally reached his breaking point with New York Mayor Bill de
Blasio." And then, comes the dramatic in-the-room account of Bill Bratton
reaching his breaking point.

"Top cop, Bill Bratton, has finally reached his breaking point with Mayor
de Blasio. The police commissioner exploded with rage during a meeting
Monday over police staffing with Hissoner`s top deputy, vowing to go around
the mayor, to get funding for a thousand more cops before storming out of
City Hall."

"The Post" has learned, "If I don`t get them from you, I`ll go to the City
Council and get them." Bratton barked at First Deputy Mayor Anthony
Shorris during the heated sit-down, sources said.

But de Blasio`s right-hand man refused to back down during the discussion
over the NYPD`s 2016 budget. "You don`t work for the City Council, you
work for the mayor," Shorris sot back as Bratton walked off, sources said.


None of the sources were named, none of their occupations were even hinted
at, so us, "New York Post" readers, weren`t given any idea about hos the
sources were in a position to describe the Police Commissioner exploding,
word-for-word, in quotes.

But, hey, we`re used to that. It was just another one of those behind-the-
scenes local political stories in "The Post" that might or might not be
true, or might or might not be partially true.

But that wasn`t the end of the story. Because, the next day, in a facts-
checking exercise, the likes of which I have never seen in the New York
media or in politics anywhere, this happened --


BILL BRATTON, NYPD COMMISSIONER: As you know, I`m quite free to speak out
when I think that a story is inappropriate, incorrect. And there`s one
this morning that I think fits that description.

Although since today is April 1st, I have to assume that this is an April
Fool`s joke. And I`m referring to the "Brass Bawls" in the "New York Post"

There`s not a single, single item in that story that is factual, not one.
And if the writer of that piece, Larry Celona, who`s very well-known to all
of you, who I`ve known for over 20 years, why he allowed his name to be
attached to that story, I haven`t the faintest idea.

He`s going to have to check out his sources because there is not a single
factual item in that story. I did not meet with Mr. Shorris on Monday, we
never argue.

And if all of you who know Mr. Shorris, as well as myself, we just don`t
engage with each other that way.

We have not discussed, he and I, the issue of the potential increase of
officers in this department. I can`t recall the last time we had a
discussion on that issue.

Staffs have been meeting on it, but we have not. So, again, it`s --
Alexander Hamilton, I think, would be embarrassed, the founder of that
newspaper many years ago.

And, again, I have to assume it`s an April Fool`s joke because it certainly
is not a new story or news story that would qualify as one.

So, with that, again, I usually don`t try to be this open correcting a
story, but that one is so outrageously deficient in facts, it doesn`t even
qualify as news.


O`DONNELL: The "New York Post," of course, immediately asked the Columbia
Journalism Review to write a report about its use of unnamed and possibly
uninformed sources in that sorry.

No, of course, they didn`t. The next day, they ran Bill Bratton`s denial
of their story on page five, and included two of their unnamed sources
saying, --


-- "I can`t believe he`s denying it," a source said. "The meeting happened
as described," said a second source.


So, it all comes down to the "New York Post" hero, Bill Bratton, versus a
source and a second source. And in a truly tortured moment for the "New
York Post," "The Post" is still siding with their two unnamed sources
against one of the paper`s heroes.

Alexander Hamilton would be confused.


I spent the weekend in California, and I didn`t see any hint of a water
shortage, not in Los Angeles anyway. Not one burnt out blades of grass.

The lines at the car wash are as ever. Someone`s going to explain to me
what`s going on there. That`s next.



GOV. JERRY BROWN (D), CALIFORNIA: This executive order is done under
emergency power, and it has the force of law. It affects lawns, it affects
people`s -- how long they stay in the shower, how businesses use water.

In a drought of this magnitude, you have to change that behavior and you
have to change it substantially.


O`DONNELL: That`s the governor of California, who was explaining the
state`s water shortage yesterday morning on ABC. I was driving around Los
Angeles, looking for anything, just a hint of a water shortage, and I
couldn`t find one.

Joining me now to explain why that is is Senior Water Scientist at NASA`s
Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Professor of Earth System Science at U.C.
Irvine, Jay .

All right, straighten me out. Why --


O`DONNELL: -- why do I walk down Wilshire Boulevards, looked at this long
lines at the car wash, looked at lawns being watered. I see no effect in


FAMIGLIETTI: That`s the Southern California way. It`s a fantasy land. I
like to say, you know, all of Southern California is like Disneyland.

And it`s water that made us into Disneyland. And that fantasy is rapidly
drawing to a close.

O`DONNELL: But why is it that there`s no effects of it in Los Angeles.
Why has nothing happened there.

FAMIGLIETTI: That`s an excellent question. I think it`s -- a lot of it is
denial. And I think it`s a good thing that the -- I think the governor
basically had to impose this executive order because we were not, as a
population, not stepping up, not doing the voluntary conservation.

So, I think we left him without a choice.

O`DONNELL: Well, you know, I got rid of my front --


-- lawn about -- I don`t know, eight, 10 years ago. I got rid of my back
lawn a couple of years ago because I just couldn`t bear looking at these
water systems, these irrigation systems --


O`DONNELL: -- in my neighborhood and everywhere, back then, before anyone
was talking drought.

But let`s get to this drought. This is a four-year drought. In the
natural history of California, this is not an unusual thing, is it.

FAMIGLIETTI: Right, right. It`s not -- I mean, we`ve had --


-- long droughts before and we`ll have long droughts in the future. But,
actually, this last three-year period was among the driest three-year
periods in the history, in the recent history, and in the paleo-climate

So, it`s been a very unusual three years. Plus, remember, population is
much bigger now than it was the last time we had a drought or, of course,
anytime in the paleo-climate record.

O`DONNELL: Yes. And a drought is only a situation in which you don`t have
as much water as you need.

FAMIGLIETTI: That`s right.

O`DONNELL: And California needs this extraordinary amount of water --


O`DONNELL: -- because we`ve converted all of this desert area --


O`DONNELL: -- into, not just some residential spots, but also agriculture.

FAMIGLIETTI: That`s right.

O`DONNELL: Don`t we have agriculture in land that is essentially desert.



And it`s the groundwater that`s enabled that. And it`s the groundwater now
that, I think, is most at risk --


-- in the drought. We have no water in our -- we have no snow in the
mountains. We have very little water in our reservoirs.

And so, we are relying probably about 75 percent or more. Right now, our
statewide water supply is coming from groundwater.

And so, that`s what`s really fueled agriculture. And that is what is
at risk right now. And it`s largely unprotected at this point in time.


O`DONNELL: And agriculture uses 80 percent of the water, so even if
everyone --


O`DONNELL: -- does cut back on how long they`re in the shower or --


-- how often they wash their car, that really can`t have much of an effect
to when 80 percent of it is being consumed by farm.

FAMIGLIETTI: Well, I think -- I think that --


-- it`s important for all of us in California to work together to try to
save water. At this point, you know, because the way that water is moved
around in California, many of us are actually disconnected --


-- from the larger transfers of water. So, it is important. So, many
towns are relatively isolated. For example, the town that I live in has
only four wells.

That`s all the water we have. So, even though it`s just a small place,
there`s not much agriculture going on at all. We still have to conserve
water locally.


O`DONNELL: I have some of the biggest culprits right here on my desk. I
have a couple of hundred almonds, which is to say, a couple of hundred --
it`s worth 190 almonds.


O`DONNELL: That`s 190 gallons of water. We`re learning things like this.
Each almond costs a gallon of water to grow.

FAMIGLIETTI: That`s amazing. And we have to become much more aware of how
much water it takes.


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