'The Rachel Maddow Show' for Wednesday, June 2nd, 2015
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Show: THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW
Date: July 1, 2015
Guest: Amy Klobuchar, Douglas Hallward-Driemeier
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Chris. Thank you.
And thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. Happy July 1st.
Today is July 1st. That means the year is officially half gone.
Weird, right? I mean, the year -- 2015 is half done. It`s July 1st.
And here is how July 1st was celebrated at the stroke of midnight in
Portland, Oregon, last night.
At the stroke of midnight last night in Portland, Oregon, a huge crowd
of people in the streets. When the clock hit 12:00 midnight, there were
fireworks over Portland. There was a big cheer from the crowd.
The crowd was weirdly sort of bigger than the cheer though. I mean,
that many thousands of people out in the streets of Portland last night
with that big countdown to midnight. The fireworks and everything, you
wonderful have expected a more deafening roar when it came to the cheer.
It was big a cheer at midnight. It wasn`t that big a cheer.
It turns out, I would say roughly half the people who were out there
in the streets of Portland last night started cheering at the stroke of
midnight. But the other half, they were not cheering because they were
inhaling, deeply, because as of midnight last night, Oregon is the fourth
state in the country to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.
Now, in all the states that have started doing this, there is always
something a little awkward about the start of it. What`s awkward in Oregon
is that right now, although it`s legal, you can`t buy it or sell it.
But officially you can now legally grow it. You can legally give it
away. You can smoke it. And you can possess it. In fact you can possess
a lot of it.
The Portland, Oregon Police Department put out this handy visual aid
to help people understand how much pot you`re now legally allowed to
possess in Oregon. In case you have a heart time conceptualizing weights
and measures, they put this visual in some sort of objects to compare it in
terms of scale so you can just envision about how much they`re talking
So, for example, you are allowed to have an ounce of pot on your
person in Oregon now. You are allowed to have eight ounces of pot in your
house. So, they`ve got these pictures. The little tape measure there, the
ruler to show you how much an ounce looks like or how much eight ounces
But also, in addition to the tape measure, see that other thing?
Because it`s Oregon, because it is Portland, Oregon, the other thing the
Portland police have included in this picture with the pot, just as a
visual point of reference, the other thing they put in the picture is a
Voodoo Doughnut, a Voodoo Doughnut.
Voodoo Doughnut is a donut shop based in Portland. They are famous
for thing like their bacon maple bar which is a maple bar which doesn`t
just have bacon flavor. It comes with a giant slab of bacon stuck into the
frosting on the top of the doughnut.
They have also a famous Captain my Captain donut, which is loaded with
Capt` Crunch cereal. Their tang fantastic doughnut is vanilla frosting
dusted with tang powder. Yes.
Because Voodoo Doughnut is based in Portland, they also invented the
Portland cream doughnut, which is basically a Boston cream doughnut that
they draw googly eyes on.
But their trademark confection is the Voodoo Doughnut as seen here.
The Voodoo Doughnut is filled with red raspberry jelly so that it bleeds
when you stab it. And it comes with its own handy stabber. It comes with
a pretzel stick right into its little voodoo doll heart.
And so if you want to know how much pot eight ounces is, or how much
one ounce of pot looks like because you either want that much in your house
or you want to carry it around, starting today because it is legal, the
Portland Police Department wants to help you grock that concept. God bless
Voodoo Doughnuts. God bless Portland, Oregon. God bless Oregon, which as
of today, July 1st -- if these pictures are anything to go by -- as of
today, Portland and Oregon as a whole are both significantly gigglier than
they used to be. Well done. Good luck.
July 1st is a day when a lot of new laws have gone into effect or were
slated to go into effect. Texas wanted to put into effect its new anti-
abortion law today which I`ve been expected to shut down almost every
abortion clinic in the state. That was slated to happen today, July 1st.
But it was blocked by the Supreme Court this week.
On the other end of the political spectrum, in California and
Massachusetts today, new laws go into effect as of July 1st which require
your boss to give you paid sick leave.
In red state Indiana today, July 1st marks the date on which you can
now legally possess a sawed off shotgun in the Hoosier State.
Seriously, there was apparently a need for this. What Indiana was
missing was that it didn`t have enough sawed off shotguns in circulation.
That problem in Indiana has today been fixed.
In the great state of Maine today, July 1st was supposed to be the
first day on the new job for the Maine Democratic speaker of the house.
The Maine Democratic speaker of the House, his name is Mark Eves. Speaker
Eves was recently hired to run a lovely school and charter school in
They needed a new president of the school. He applied for the job.
They interviewed lots of people. They decided to pick him. He agreed to
take the job. They set the start date. Today was supposed to be his first
day at work, July 1st. Today was going to be it.
But after the school announce that had they had hired the House
speaker as their new president, Maine`s Republican Governor Paul LePage
blew his stack and told that school he would cut all state funneling to
that school if they went ahead and hired that guy, because he hates that
guy. And so, thus threatened, the school pulled their job offer for the
Maine Democratic speaker of the house.
They said, I know we offered you the job. You were due to start July
1st and we`re rescinding the job offer because of this threat.
Paul LePage, governor of Maine, may end up getting impeached for
having done that. Today, the legislative community that does government
oversight in Maine voted unanimously to open an investigation into the
governor`s conduct in this manner.
Paul LePage`s reaction to that unanimous vote in the legislature today
was to tell legislature that, actually, they`re not allowed to investigate
him. He said that the legislature is not allowed the oversee anything the
And as much as you might think that sort of thing might be dominating
the news in the great state of Maine today, actually, Paul LePage ended up
having a really big news in the news today for a totally different reason
unrelated to his potential impeachment.
He had big news today, big day today in the news, because of a visit
to Maine from this guy.
Yesterday, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie became the 14th major
Republican candidate to enter the race for the Republican presidential
nomination. The Christie campaign made a big deal immediately after he
announced his run for president, he was not just flying off to New
Hampshire to do an event in the Granite State. They went to great pains to
point out after Chris Christie made his big announcement yesterday, he was
just like the up to do one event. He was basically moving to New
Hampshire, a solid week of New Hampshire campaign events to start Chris
Christie`s run for the presidency.
Because they had made such a big deal about that, it was therefore a
surprise this morning when we learned that Chris Christie`s first big event
in New Hampshire this morning was canceled. And it turns out they canceled
that event because Chris Christie decided to go on Maine instead to collect
the first endorsement of his presidential run which happens to be the first
presidential endorsement of anyone by any sitting governor in the country -
- Chris Christie and Paul LePage.
It turns out these guys were just made for each other.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: When I called him this weekend
and told him I would officially get into the race this week, he said, all
right, I`m with you. Let`s go.
SUSAN KIMBALL, PORTLAND PRESS HERALD: The two men became fast friends
when Christie campaigned for LePage last year.
Christie visited Maine five times in 2014. In fact, it was his last
stop on the campaign trail.
GOV. PAUL LEPAGE (R), MAINE: When all of you and the colleagues
around the country had me as a dead walking governor, Chris Christie had
KIMBALL: He still does. Christie says he supports the controversial
decision to withhold funding from Goodwill Hinckley if the school hired
Democratic House Speaker Mark Eves.
CHRISTIE: This governor has been a huge supporter in this state. He
wants it for kids, not for the benefits of anyone else.
KIMBALL: As to possible investigation into that controversy, LePage
says it`s not going to happen.
LEPAGE: They can`t investigate me. It`s in the constitution.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: They can`t investigate me. Actually, it looks like they can
investigate you for that or for anything.
And in fact, the legislative committee that`s going to do the
investigating, they voted unanimously, all the Republicans and all the
Democrats to start the investigation.
So, I mean, it`s kind of amazing in Maine politics right now, but it`s
also kind of amazing in national politics right now, right? So, Chris
Christie probably could have won the Republican nomination for president in
2012 in a walk.
Common political wisdom is that the reason he is now four years later
at the absolute back of the pack this time. Basically seen as having no
chance of the nomination this time is substantially because of his
bridgegate problem in New Jersey, right? People in his administration have
pled guilty or about to go on trial for having punished a political enemy
of Governor Christie by blocking access lanes on to the George Washington
Bridge, using the resources of the state, using the power of the governor`s
office to punish one of his political enemies.
And on the day Chris Christie`s presidential campaign starts with that
looming over it, Chris Christie leaves the campaign trail in New Hampshire
to instead go to Maine to get this high profile endorsement from another
governor who on that day started facing his own investigation for using
government resources to punish one of his political enemies.
It`s like taking worst most disastrous thing about your own record
that is holding back your own candidacy and shining a big spotlight on it.
Remember this kind of corruption? Here`s what it looks like twice.
A few Quinnipiac poll today came out for the Republican presidential
field in Iowa, specifically. They polled on 16 presidential candidates or
likely candidates. Chris Christie came in at 15 out of 16.
The guy leading the poll by quite a bit actually as you can see is one
of the only potential contend here`s has not actually formally declared
that he`s running, Scott Walker out in front in that Quinnipiac Iowa poll.
Big pulling story of the day, though, is not just who`s coming in
first in individual polls. It is who keeps coming in second in a lot of
different polls. In that Quinnipiac poll for Iowa today, the person who
comes in tied with Ben Carson for second place after Scott Walker is Donald
Trump. That`s Iowa specifically.
There`s always new national CNN poll that`s out today. That new
national CNN poll has Donald Trump polling in second place behind Jeb Bush.
This follows two recent polls out of New Hampshire where Donald Trump polls
in second place.
And weirdly, PPP just did a poll in Michigan where again, Donald Trump
polls, tied for second place.
I mean, the Beltway press thinks it is between a fluke and hilarious
that Donald Trump keeps turning up at the top level of these polls, both
nationally and in a bunch of key states. But it looks like it`s not a
flash in the pan, it`s like these are not outlier polls. He is turning out
to have really resilient, really high polling numbers among Republican
primary voters nationwide and in key states.
And you`ve got to imagine that poses kind of a conundrum for Mr. Trump
himself. It is the widespread assumption that Donald Trump is not really
intending on contesting the race for president of the United States. He is
not really trying to or expecting to become president. He is simply
running this campaign as a big ambitious PR effort to help his standing as
a pseudo political celebrity, and to help his business ventures, a lot of
which depend on him having a very high public profile and seeming like an
I mean, polling in second place nationwide and in the early, important
early states ahead of all these other real politicians, not long after you
apparently had to hire actors to act like they were your supporters at your
launch event. It probably does make a person feel very important, probably
makes the person feel like this PR effort is very successful. But this PR
effort has also raised to prominence Mr. Trumps insistent and now repeated
claims that Mexican immigrants to the United States are criminals and
So far, those claims which Donald Trump made at his presidential
announcement, those claims have cost Mr. Trump his very lucrative
television deal with Univision, which is one of the outlets that broadcast
or used to broadcast the beauty pageants that he partly owns. Those
comments have also cost Mr. Trump his very lucrative TV deal with NBC
Universal, of which we here are a part.
NBC not only broadcasts some of those beauty pageants, but also
broadcast or used to broadcast reality shows that involved Mr. Trump. That
relationship has been severed by NBC.
Today, the department store Macy`s announce that it too will sever its
relationship with Donald Trump, that Mr. Trump had marketed and distributed
apparently a Donald Trump clothing line through that store but that is now
And then tonight, news broke that the entire city of New York where
Donald Trump lives and runs his businesses and operates numerous high
profile properties, all which of have his name on them, the city of New
York as of tonight said it is reviewing Mr. Trump`s contracts with the
A statement released from Mayor Bill de Blasio`s office tonight says
this, quote, "Donald Trump`s remarks were disgusting and offensive and this
hateful language has no place in our city. Trump`s comments do not
represent the values of inclusion and openness that define us as New
Yorkers. Our Mexican brothers and sisters make up an essential part of
this city`s vibrant and diverse community, and we will continue to
celebrate and support New Yorkers of every background."
Again, New York City reviewing Trump contracts with the city tonight.
Right now, Donald Trump of all people is doing great in the polls.
And because of the way FOX News and the Republican Party are planning to
organize the primary debates, the fact that he is doing so well in the
polls almost right now almost assuredly means that Mr. Trump will hold a
debate on the stage that somebody else therefore can`t get.
They`re only taking the ton ten contenders. That will include Donald
Trump. Donald Trump`s presidential run is now only becoming very costly to
him, more costly with each passing day as he keeps losing all these
Mr. Trump`s presidential run is also becoming quite materially costly
to the other contenders in the race. Some of whom are really not going to
be allowed to compete for the nomination, in part because he will be taking
their spot on the debate stage. If you`re not in the debates, you aren`t
And one of those would be contenders who will like be squeezed off the
stage and who really has almost no hope to make it into the initial debates
with the field as it is now is Ohio`s Governor John Kasich. Today, we
learned that he has reserved this lovely room at the Ohio state university.
It`s their student union. This is where he`s going to be making his
presidential announcement. This particular room at the student union is
known for hosting one of the earliest viral flash mobs.
We learned today that John Kasich will try to make as big a splash as
possible by making his presidential announcement there two weeks before the
debate, on July 21st. They announced you can get your public tickets now.
We also learned today on the Democratic side of the ledger, former
Virginia Senator Jim Webb might be about to decide if he is going to run.
I`m sorry, I should have warned you about that. Did you just spit
coffee at your desk? Did you drop something?
Jim Webb might decide soon. I know. Buckle your seatbelts. Up your
Hillary Clinton announced her quarterly fundraising total today. She
raised $45 million in the second quarter of this year. That`s just ending.
Forty-five million dollars is a lot of money. That`s more money than
she raised in this quarter in 2008. It`s more money than Barack Obama
raised running against her in 2008.
However, this $45 million is probably less than half the amount that
was raised in this past quarter by Jeb Bush. Jeb Bush has not announced
yet but it is expected that he will be up over $100 million. Hillary
Clinton reporting over $45 million in fundraising.
With all of this going on, it remains the case, Beltway media
notwithstanding, it remains the case that quantitatively speaking, the
biggest news in presidential politics right now, the biggest deal on the
ground, the most manifest enthusiasm, the most visible support for anybody
on either side of the partisan divide continues to be for Vermont Senator
Tonight, right now in Madison, Wisconsin, the event that`s going on
there is unlike anything else that has happened to any other candidates
this year. In Madison, Wisconsin, today, people started lining up hours in
advance to get in to see Bernie Sanders give his campaign speech. This is
not like a special speech. This is just a regular campaign that he`s
doing. Another day on the campaign trail for Vermont Senator Bernie
But it was a very long line, many hours before it was due to start.
People psyched to be there, psyched to hear him speak.
The venue in Madison is a huge venue, a 10,000 seat venue. Bernie
Sanders is drawing enormous crowds who are super, super psyched to see him.
Really, really genuinely enthusiastic that he is in this race. Nobody else
is turning out numbers like he is, Republican or Democrat.
So, there`s a lot going on in politics today. There`s a lot of other
news going on in the world today too. But Bernie Sanders turning out
10,000 people in Wisconsin right now is a bigger story than the beltway
would have you think.
Do you feel the Bern? I feel the Bern. I do.
MADDOW: OK. We have some breaking news coming up in just a second.
There is a thing that just happened literally in the last few moments that
was stunning. We have the video of it coming up right here in just a
moment. We`re getting that together.
I`m telling you, this is not only stunning. You not only have to see
it but it will affect your plans for this weekend. Don`t go anywhere.
MADDOW: Breaking news, I actually have some breaking sports news. I
never get to do this.
Last night, as we were coming on the air we learned some very big news
relating to this. Last night, the U.S. women`s World Cup soccer team beat
Germany 2-0. The German team was ranked number one in the world. The U.S.
beat them last night.
The women`s World Cup has been underway in Canada the last month.
That big win means the U.S. team is going to the World Cup final this
The U.S. team has been waiting since last night to see who they will
face in the finals. We know the U.S. is in the finals. The question is,
who are they going to be playing against?
Just within the last moments we have learned who the U.S. are going to
be playing for the World Cup final. Can you tell I`m excited? A few
minutes ago, England lost to Japan, in their semifinal game. So, it`s
going to be the U.S. versus Japan.
But England lost to Japan in pretty much the most heartbreaking
fashion you can possibly imagine. The game was tied 1-1, just a few
minutes left. And England, there`s like no good way to say this. But
England scored on themselves, own goal in the World Cup semifinal. This is
Watch this. Japan is going to be the team in blue here. England is
the team in white. The white team England is on defense. OK? England in
white. They`re on defense. Japan has the ball. They`re in blue. I can`t
even watch this.
Look. Just look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: She plays the ball. Did it go in the goal? Goal line
technology. Could it be an own goal by England?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Yes, yes, it could. And it was.
That was how the game ended. That`s how we found out who was going to
the World Cup against the U.S. England is out. Japan is going.
And so, the match up is now set. The U.S. will play Japan for all the
World Cup marbles. The game is this Sunday in Vancouver, and that in
itself is very exciting. Even if you haven`t watched the other games
before now, you are going to watch the final on Sunday night. You have to,
particularly if you haven`t been paying attention until now.
Here`s just one thing to know. If you absorb nothing else, just
absorb this. The U.S. team has not been letting the other team they play
against score, to a remarkable extent. I mean, their first game in the
World Cup, they played Australia. The U.S. beat Australia 3-1. Now, that
1 for Australia, Australia scored it in the first half. But that goal
scored against the U.S. in the first half of the first game they played in
the World Cup, that is the last goal the U.S. has given up in the world
They tied their next game 0-0. They won their next game after that,
1-0. They won a game after that, 2-0. They won a game after that, 1-0.
They won last night 2-0 against the best team in the world. I mean, that`s
a lot of zeroes, right?
The U.S. has not given up a single goal since the first half of the
first game they played. They haven`t given up a goal in the first half.
They have the longest streak in the entire history of the World Cup.
How would you like to be Japan having to face that? How would you
like to be Japan having to face that when it turns out that the way you,
Japan, got into the final is by England scoring on itself, since you
couldn`t pull it off. Amazing. Amazing.
Saturday is July 4th. The game is on July 5th. The match-up is now
set, U.S. versus Japan. You must cancel all your competing plans.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NARRATOR: Castro marks the second anniversary of his revolution with
the biggest military parade ever staged in Cuba, featuring tanks and other
heavy weapons from Russia and Czechoslovakia. Shortly afterwards, Castro
demanded the United States embassy drastically reduced its staff to 11
persons. With the last straw in his long campaign of provocation and
harassment, President Eisenhower broke off relations with a message read by
Press Secretary Hagerty.
JAMES HAGERTY, PRESS SECRETARY: There is a limit to what the United
States and self-respect can endure. That limit has now been reached.
Our friendship with the Cuban people is not affected. It is my hope
and my conviction that in the not too distant future, it will be possible
for the historic friendship between us once again to find reflection in
normal relations of every sort.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: That was Press Secretary James Hagerty. He was press
secretary to President Eisenhower in 1961 when the U.S. broke off
diplomatic ties with Cuba. They said they hoped and expected the American
embassy in Havana would only be closed for a short time. That it would
reopen, quote, "in the not too distant future."
That was 54 years ago. 1961, at the height of the cold war. This
island incredibly close to the United States, lots and lots of economic
ties and tourism ties and ties through binational families, right? It was
huge news in 1961 when the embassy closed, when diplomatic relations were
Even then though, with it being a blaring front page story throughout
the country and the world, still, nobody thought that those diplomatic ties
that were cut that day in 1961 would stay cut for 54 freaking years. It
took until today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: More than 54 years ago,
at the height of the Cold War, the United States closed its embassy in
Havana. Today, I can announce the United States has agreed to formally
reestablish diplomatic relations with the Republic of Cuba and reopen
embassies in our respective countries. In January 1961, the year I was
born, when President Eisenhower announced the relations with Cuba, he said,
"It is my home and conviction that it is in the not too distant future it
will be possible for the historic friendship between us once again to find
normal relations of every sort."
Well, it took a while but that I believe time has come. And a better
future lies ahead.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: A better future lies ahead. The not too distant future took
This change started in December when we got the surprise announcement
from President Obama after 18 months of secret negotiations that the
president wanted to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba. The secret
negotiations had been helped along by Pope Francis.
Soon thereafter, there was a prisoner swap. And the easing of
restrictions and people sending money home to their families and they eased
up on travel restrictions, and on banking restrictions. And the president
called on Congress to debate lifting the embargo that we have imposed on
Cuba all this time, that embargo was something the president can`t lift on
his own, Congress has to do it.
And all of those steps, thus far, those have been a really, really big
deal. But then, today, the reopening of the embassies after 54 years of
being closed, President Obama said today the Secretary of State John Kerry
will travel to Havana this summer to raise the American flag over our
As for the Cuban embassy here -- well, Cuba has an interest section in
D.C. that has served for years. That building will probably be the new
embassy when we get a new embassy again. Apparently, over the last few
weeks, that specifically building has had a freshly paved driveway. They
repainted the fence and "The New York Times" reports they have erected a
huge new flagpole in the front lawn, presumably to get ready for the time
coming when they`re going to raise the Cuban flag in Washington, D.C.
So, this is all underway. It is happening. The next big question is
the embargo and Congress.
And today, President Obama circled back to that too.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Americans and Cubans alike are ready to move forward. I
believe it is time for Congress to do the same. I`ve called on Congress to
take steps to lift the embargo that prevents Americans from doing business
in Cuba. We`ve seen members in both parties to begin that work. After
all, why should Washington stand in the way of our own people?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Is Congress going to stand in the way? Can Congress block
the opening of the U.S. embassy in Havana or the Cuban embassy here? Can
Congress block the confirmation of the U.S. ambassador to Cuba?
I mean, what`s happened, this almost unimaginable progress after this
half century, right? This is something President Obama has done on his
own. He obviously wants supportive action from Congress, whether or not he
gets it, could they actually stop what he is doing and what he plans to
continue to do if they set their minds to it?
Joining us now is Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, who has proposed
legislation to end the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba.
Senator Klobuchar, it`s great to see you. Thanks for being here.
SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D), MINNESOTA: Well, thank you, Rachel.
By the way, I loved the break-in on the World Cup. You do have a
second career as a sportscaster.
MADDOW: Unfortunately when I get excited talking about sports, I flap
my hands like a seal having a seizure. So, I can`t -- I don`t think it`s
going to happen.
KLOBUCHAR: It was good.
MADDOW: All right. Well, let me ask but this Cuba situation. What`s
the worst-case scenario? How badly could Congress screw this up? Screw up
what President Obama wants to do if Congress really set their mind to it?
KLOBUCHAR: Well, the House has made one negative vote about the
president`s executive order, but I don`t think you would see that it in the
Senate in terms of ever getting to the 60-vote margin. I`m carrying the
bill to lift the embargo. I`ve got Senator Enzi, Senator Flake. We`ve got
17 cosponsors now on the bill, and many more who have said they want to get
to and also who have said they`ll vote for it even if they don`t get on.
So, I really see the momentum as pushing Congress. We know there are
some people that are seriously opposed to this. But more and more people
are coming on board.
These are as you point out, 11 million people 90 miles off our shore.
I was there in the spring and the people are ahead of their government.
All over the place you see artwork with the date, December 17th. It
doesn`t mean much to us but to them, that is the date the presidents
announced they wanted to work to normalize relations between our countries.
This is a country that wants to start doing business and we see great
opportunity for the U.S. I`m up here in northern Minnesota, northwestern
Minnesota. You don`t see opposition here. You see opportunity and
MADDOW: This is one of those issues on which Washington politics
around this issue and some parochial politics around this issue are very,
very dug in. But the public opinion and Cuba, the public opinion in
America, broadly speaking, the public opinion among Cuban Americans, is
very, very supportive of this kind of change. But again, entrenched
interests very much want to stand in the way.
How do you see that negotiation sort of happening between overall
public opinion and the people who care so much about stopping us?
KLOBUCHAR: Well, I think people are going to have to listen to their
constituents. Their constituents want to visit Cuba and they want to
freely visit Cuba. Their constituents wanted to do business in Cuba.
And we really what`s happening now is the president has made this
announcement. Under the law, he gives few weeks notice to Congress and
then he can open the embassy. As you point out, that building is already
And, by the way, there are dozens of flag poles right near that
building and that is because during the Bush administration, they started
running electronic ticker tapes on the top of our then, not the embassy but
our building with phrases about buying things and what it means to be
American, Castro got ticked off. He put up those flag poles, surrounded
black flags around it so no one could see it. That actually happened.
The flags are still down but the flag poles are there and it is a
symbol of what`s been the conflict between two countries. This
announcement today will not only ease the beginning of these negotiations
that can lead to lifting the embargo and change to the human rights
policies but it also is a major, major symbol for change. And I think it
is a really exciting day for both countries.
MADDOW: Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, thank you so much for
being with us. It`s great to see you. And thanks a lot.
KLOBUCHAR: Well, thank you. And I`m looking forward to that game
MADDOW: Sunday night, me too! Exactly.
Seriously, if you didn`t already have plans to watch it, you now have
plans to watch it. It is not like you get a choice or you have some other
thing you`re going to do. I don`t care. Sunday night. You`re watching
the World Cup final. You are. You are.
MADDOW: So late tonight, we just got word that the governor of
Alabama is going to make an announcement. He has summoned the press. He
has said it will be major news. He has not saying what it`s going to be
major news about. It`s intriguing.
I have a guess though -- I have an informed guess as to what it is
about and how big a deal it`s going to be when he does it. And that story
MADDOW: Late this afternoon, in the span of about an hour, what might
be the most conservative federal court in the country issued serious
rulings about marriage that radically changes the map.
For instance, this map of Mississippi -- in the counties marked in red
in this map, clerks have not been issuing licenses to gay couples. The
U.S. Supreme Court legalize same sex marriage on Friday, but clerks in
these Mississippi counties said they were still waiting for the
conservative Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal to sign on to what the Supreme
Court did on Friday.
Well, this evening, that happened. The Fifth Circuit making it clear,
yes, gay marriage is legal even in Mississippi, case closed.
Also, Texas where the Texas attorney general has been encouraging
clerks to refuse to issue licenses to gay couples if they wanted to. The
yellow squares on this map from the "Dallas Morning News" showed where
Texas clerks were not issuing licenses, some of them because they were
waiting for a final opinion from the Fifth Circuit. Well, here you go too.
This evening the fifth circuit issued a ruling saying that, yes, gay
marriage is legal, even in Texas, too.
Also Louisiana, Governor Bobby Jindal is saying he will not recognize
gay marriages until the Fifth Circuit forces him to. Well, here you go.
The court has tonight issued its ruling saying gay marriage is legal in
In Alabama, the head of that state Supreme Court has been so in
confusion about who needs to issue licenses and when. Yesterday, his own
lawyer blasted Alabama`s governor for having the gall to say the state
would obey the Supreme Court. Quote, "Public officials are ministers of
God, assigned the duty of punishing the wicked and of the protecting the
righteous. You cannot serve two masters. You must pick, God or Satan,"
says the lawyer for the head of the Supreme Court.
But even there, in Alabama today, a federal judge issued an order.
Yes, gay marriage is legal even in Alabama.
For all the kicking and screaming and heel dragging by conservative
leaders in these states, this thing really is over. I mean, the orders
have come down. Marriage equality is legal in Mississippi and in Texas and
in Louisiana and in Alabama.
But we are still seeing pockets of kicking and screaming, right? A
few county clerks and judges in all these states refusing to issue marriage
licenses to same-sex couples or in some cases refusing to issue marriage
licenses to any couples at all. A judge in Pike County, Alabama is
refusing to issue marriages to anyone. He has asked the county to hire him
a lawyer for the expected lawsuit. The county said no. So, maybe that
In Kentucky, a few county clerks are refusing to issue marriage
licenses for gay couples and it appears they have two options. They can
resign as county clerks or face some sort of legal consequences for that.
One of those clerks is saying essentially, well, then, send me to jail.
So, we do have these, what do you call them? Dead-enders who say they
would rather go to jail than do their jobs. It is clear today from these
new federal court orders that the Supreme Court ruling really does hold
everywhere. Even in the last pockets of kicking and screaming.
What`s not clear is how this finally gets resolved everywhere and how
long that takes and who actually does the work of making it happen.
Well, joining us now is Douglas Hallward-Driemeier. He was one of the
two attorneys who argued the landmark marriage case before the Supreme
Court that led to this ruling on Friday.
Mr. Hallward-Driemeier, thank you very much for being here this
evening. It`s really nice to have you here.
DOUGLAS HALLWARD-DRIEMEIER, ATTORNEY: Thank you, Rachel. Very happy
to be with you.
MADDOW: I should say congratulations on winning this huge case. So,
congratulations. I have to ask you if in these days since it has become
the law of the land, if you find these pockets of resistance, these places
where they are still kicking and screaming, if you find it to be
frustrating or disheartening?
HALLWARD-DRIEMEIER: Well, it is frustrating that there would be any
place in America where fundamental right to marry is being denied. I think
it really is important that we not lose sight of the forest though for
these few trees. Given what we have seen in many states like Tennessee
where the case that I was specifically involved in came out across the
state in Tennessee, people are getting married. There`s an outbreak of
joy, right, as people get on celebrate with the one they love that
And even in these holdout states, we`re seeing very quickly. I`m
taken back to Brown v. Board in this notion of all deliberate speed, which
meant decades, apparently. You know, here we`re seeing the course of a few
business days, that virtually everyone is falling in line. And these dead-
enders, as you would call them, are really very few in number.
MADDOW: Do you think there will be instances where couples will have
to bring lawsuits against the state like a scenario where there is only one
person at clerk`s office who can issue a license but that person refuses to
do so for religious reasons? Is some of this actually going to have to be
resolved through lawsuits?
HALLWARD-DRIEMEIER: Well, I would certainly hope not. I think that
there is a lot -- there has been some political positioning on the part of
some politicians who are trying to score their points, but I think that
even there what we have seen has been fairly careful in recognizing that
when the Fifth Circuit issues its order they perhaps thought it was going
to be months. It was a matter of hours.
When the district court enters its order, the Fifth Circuit was clear,
the district court in Louisiana has to enter a final judgment no later than
July 17th and earlier if he can, because the court pointed out there`s a
plaintiff in that case who is in poor health and needs this relief.
And so, even there, it is a matter of days. It`s not a matter of
months if much less years. And anybody who thinks they are going to resist
this is going to find no welcome, you know, corner I don`t think anywhere,
certainly not in any federal district court.
MADDOW: Attorney Douglas Hallward-Driemeier, really appreciate you
helping us to understand all this. It`s remarkable to see it happen. It`s
a little unpredictable as to how exactly it`s going to happen everywhere.
But I think your clarity that this is a done deal is just a matter of
dotting the I`s and crossing the T`s. It`s very, very clarifying. Thanks
for being with us tonight. I appreciate it. Thanks.
HALLWARD-DRIEMEIER: Thanks so much. Take care.
MADDOW: All right. We got a lot more ahead tonight, including one
large prop we have made recently that turned out to be a very good
Please stay with us.
MADDOW: In South Carolina, "The Post and Courier" newspaper has been
keeping a whip count of state legislators who say they favor taking down
the Confederate flag from the grounds of the South Carolina state capitol.
Well, according to their count, there is now a 2/3 majority of South
Carolina legislators who say they will vote to bring the flag down. This
means they have got the votes to do it in South Carolina.
Now, a vote on legislation to take the flag down could come as soon as
Monday. Legislatively, they are no specific deadline here. But there is
one difficult date on the calendar that is looming. I almost hate to talk
about this but you should know about it.
July 18th, the Ku Klux Klan plans to rally at the South Carolina state
house in support of the confederate flag there. That chapter of the Klan
you may have heard they have been calling the confessed shooter in the
massacre a young warrior. So, that date is out there, July 18th.
South Carolina legislators are moving fast to take the Confederate
flag down. There`s an open question as to whether or not that confederate
flag will still be on the capital grounds when the Klan shows up to try to
rally around it, July 18th. Tick-tock. Watch this space.
MADDOW: Sometimes, the investments worth it. Seriously. Sometimes,
it is worth it to go all out even if you don`t know right then that it`s
going to be worth it, it`s going to be worth it.
All right. Here it goes. Late last night, history was interrupted at
the White House. First Lady Michelle Obama was hosting the first ever camp
out on the White House lawn, 50 Girl Scouts supposed to be spending the
night outside in tents pitched on the south lawn of the White House. But
that sleepover was interrupted due to torrential downpours that they had in
D.C. in years last night.
In the midst of that, in about 1:00 a.m., all the Girl Scouts left
their tents and moved their sleeping bags in to the White House, inside to
the fourth floor of the Eisenhower Building. That had to be sort of a drag
for Girl Scouts counting on camping, right?
Before the storm they sang camp fire songs with the president and the
first lady. They did get to star gaze with a NASA astronaut, a NASA
astronaut who said she packed her space station pajamas specifically for
And earlier in the day, before night fell, the Girl Scouts got to
climb on a 28-foot rock wall they set up for the Girl Scouts on the White
House grounds, which is awesome. And also awkward because the issue of
climbing lessons at the White House lawn right now is kind of fraught. I
mean, there`s been a difficult recent history of people successfully
climbing over the White House fence, right, and on to the White House lawn
and sometimes getting further than that.
So, when those Girl Scouts were learning how to scale tall objects on
the White House lawn yesterday, that was actually all happening just a few
hours before the White House started installing a removable anti-climb
feature on the White House perimeter fence.
Today, the Secret Service and the National Park Service installed
these extra spikes on the fence. We knew this was coming but today, the
new security measure was actually installed. The morning after the Girl
Scouts had to flee from the storm. And after seeing what it looks like
installed, I have to say you heard it here first.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: So this is our unofficial mock up of the White House fence.
We have the spears at the fence which are kind imposing. So, in this
setting, you`re on the sidewalk and I`m the White House. What the Secret
Service is planning to do until they get their state of the art giant fence
to further protect the White House, in this case, they have clamp on
detachable pencil-point steel spikes that go like this, at an angle. They
sit at a slight five degree angle like that. Do you feel deterred?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: I have never been more proud of our props folks. That mock
up looks pretty much like the real thing. Spot on. Also makes me feel
better about this. Utter vindication for commissioning our expensive
welded full-scale mockup of the White House fence. Yes, not a single
regret. Totally nailed it. Woo!
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.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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