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'The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell' for Thursday, July 9th, 2015

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Date: July 9, 2015

Guest: Isadore Hall, Josh Barro, Jess McIntosh, Michael Scherer, Isabel Wilkerson, Eugene Robinson, Hugh Evans, Richard Curtis

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC:  That does it for us tonight, we`ll see you again

tomorrow, now it`s time for THE LAST WORD with Lawrence O`Donnell.

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST, THE LAST WORD:  Donald Trump is on his way to

California tomorrow to meet with Hollywood Republicans, but he might not

get a hero`s welcome anywhere else in California.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Toned up! The head of the GOP tells Donald Trump to

tone it down, but Donald Trump is now pushing back.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Mr. Trump disputes the length of the phone call,

Trump tweeted, "totally false reporting on my call with Reince Priebus", he

said that it was largely congratulatory. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Donald Trump is essentially dominating the political

conversation for four weeks straight. 


ENTERTAINMENT RESORTS:  Frankly, if I didn`t bring it up, you wouldn`t even

be talking about immigration right now. 

GOV. NIKKI HALEY (R), SOUTH CAROLINA:  Tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m., we

will see the Confederate flag come down. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  The Confederate flag that you see flying there on the

state capitol grounds will be removed. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  House lawmakers passed a measure and with a final

vote of 94 to 20. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  All those in favor say aye --

SENATE:  Aye! --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  All those who oppose, no --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  (INAUDIBLE) chair the ayes have it --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  The debate turned into an argument on the house floor

over a resolution to remove any state flag containing Confederate battle

flags from the capitol. 


I do not want this to become some political football.  It should not. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  The ayes have it, maybe it question majority -- 

BOEHNER:  I would expect that you`ll see some conversations in the coming



O`DONNELL:  Tonight, it`s California versus Trump.  California State

Senator Isadore Hall along with Kevin de Leon, the Democratic leader of the


Introduced a resolution today saying, "whereas the United States of America

was founded on the principles of liberty and justice, and these principles

enshrined in our declaration of independence, the self evident truth that

all persons are created equal.

And whereas California is home to the largest population of immigrants in

the United States whose contributions help to drive this state to be the

most economically successful and prosperous in the nation.

And whereas presidential candidate Donald Trump recently stated that when

Mexico sends its people, they`re not sending their best.

They`re sending people who have lots of problems and they`re bringing those

problems with us.  They`re bringing drugs, they`re bringing crime, they`re


Therefore, be it resolved that the Senate calls for an end to hate speech

and racist rhetoric by all presidential candidates. 

And be it further resolved that the Senate condemns any strongest terms

possible, the racist rhetoric against immigrant families made by

presidential candidate Donald Trump.

And be it further resolved, that the Senate calls upon the State of

California to divest from Donald Trump, the Trump organization and any

affiliated entities.

And be it further resolved that the Senate calls upon private businesses

and individuals throughout California to end all business ties with Donald


Today, Donald Trump offered his own version of a phone call with Reince

Priebus; the chairman of the Republican Party in which Mr. Priebus

reportedly told Trump to tone down his rhetoric.

Today, Trump said it was "a congratulatory call.  It wasn`t a lecturing-

type call.  He`s going to lecture me? Give me a break." 

Joining us now is California State Senator Isadore Hall who is sponsoring

that anti-Trump resolution.

Also joining us, Jess McIntosh, Communication Director for Emily`s List,

Josh Barro, reporter for the "New York Times" and an Msnbc contributor, and

Eugene Robinson, opinion writer for "The Washington Post" and an Msnbc

political analyst.

Senator Hall, tell us how this resolution came about.

SEN. ISADORE HALL (D), CALIFORNIA:  Well, first of all, California is a

place where we allow ourselves to celebrate diversity, we`re a state of


And when we heard of Donald Trump`s egregious statements against Latinos,

our immigrants, our undocumented immigrants, we took offense to that,

because we celebrate diversity in California.

The largest population of immigrants in the nation reside right here in

California.  And so, I decided along with the State Senate that it was time

for California to stand up for both our undocumented immigrants and our


To tell Donald Trump that this is not a place, particularly California, let

alone the nation.  Where we`re going to allow you to sit here and take a

platform in this state to speak racial slurs against folks who helped to

build the fabric of California.

Our Latino immigrants and undocumented immigrants have helped to build the

infrastructure of California to what it is now, the leading in the nation,

this state is. 

And we will not tolerate nor stand for Donald Trump to disrespect our

residents in California, folks who helped to frame California for what it

is today.

And so, we introduced a resolution SR39 that will do two things; one,

denounce Donald Trump for his racist, bigotry -- bigot comments towards

undocumented immigrants and immigrants.

And two, corporative divestment of all of the Trump empire, if you will,

the big empire of Donald Trump in California. 

We will not participate financially, socially or politically with Donald

Trump and his racial -- his racist behavior. 

O`DONNELL:  And senator, the resolution, I read it to be advisory. 

Meaning, you`re recommending to people to stop doing business with Donald


There is no legal mandate that people stop doing business with Donald

Trump, which will be unenforceable any way. 

HALL:  Well, the resolution calls for the divestment.  We are now seeking a

legislation with our purse in CalPERS to make sure that any type of

investments into the Trump enterprise or affiliates, if there are any, that

we cease those investments immediately, and confident of it --

O`DONNELL:  Those are investments -- control --


O`DONNELL:  Those would be investments controlled by the state and state

retirement funds, you mean, right?

HALL:  That`s absolutely --

O`DONNELL:  Yes --

HALL:  Correct, and California has the largest pension retirement system in

the nation.

O`DONNELL:  Eugene Robinson, Donald Trump runs into a new surprise every

day it seems, and how --


O`DONNELL:  This is affecting his businesses.

ROBINSON:  Yes, he seems to love it, of course, here in Washington, he is -

- he is building a hotel or redoing the old post office on Pennsylvania

Avenue and he is running into tons of problems there.

At this point, two of the celebrity chefs who were going to have

restaurants in his new luxury hotel have pulled out. 

And including Jose Andreas who is a -- you know, probably the biggest chef

around Washington and most renowned.  And he says he won`t do business with

Trump after what he has said.

O`DONNELL:  And Jess McIntosh, Trump of course says he is going to sue

these chefs, and I guess we`re now waiting for when he is going to sue the

California State Senate. 


it`s unusual world that businesses actually leading the way on this. 

Macy`s --

BARRO:  Right --

MCINTOSH:  Cut ties with him first, "Univision", Jose Andreas, now we get

to California, I want to see how many other states get in and at what point

do we deport Trump?

HALL:  Right, well, you`re right --

O`DONNELL:  Go ahead Senator --

HALL:  And here is -- here is -- here is what we say, you know, California

has led the charge in so many things.  We led the charge on banning the

Confederate flag.

We led the charge by providing a healthcare to undocumented immigrants and

we`re going to lead the charge to dump Trump. 

Because California is not going to stand for these vicious attacks, these

racial -- we are right now trying to heal ourselves from the massacre that

happened in South Carolina.

And at a time where we`re trying to mend and build the state and the nation

back together, here we are, a person who is trying to run for president of

the United States further divides this country.

And California is going to be the leader in taking action against this. 

BARRO:  I`m confused Senator, do we even know that California has any

business or financial ties with Donald Trump? It seems to me like you`re

trying to jump on a bandwagon here.

That a lot of --

HALL:  Yes --

BARRO:  People have been getting attention by going after Donald Trump.  I

mean, pointing out that Donald Trump is a moron is not that difficult.

But what is the next issue with California? Do we even know that CalPERS or

these other retirement funds are doing business with him in the first


HALL:  Donald Trump has property in California, he has the --

BARRO:  But here with this --

HALL:  Trump golf course, he has --

BARRO:  Government --


HALL:  He has property --

BARRO:  Of California. 

HALL:  He has -- he has investments in CalPERS and CalSTRS, California is

one of the leading -- leading the nation in terms of our -- of our

portfolio, in terms of pensions and Donald Trump has invested in that.

And we`re going to make sure that anything that he is invested in

California --


HALL:  Particularly as a state, hold on, particularly as a state we diverse

from.  And we are encouraging -- and we`re encouraging all businesses alike

to do the same and take the lead on it. 

O`DONNELL:  Senator, as you know, Donald Trump approaches all issues by

anecdote, not by an overall statistical analysis.

And so for him, his case against the people crossing the border illegally,

crossing our southern border has been made in effect by this murder case in

San Francisco.

Where Kate Steinle was murdered by a man who is alleged -- allegedly

murdered by a man who has illegally crossed the border several times and

been pushed -- and been sent back several times.

He says that, that case right there proves his point.  What`s your reaction

to that?

HALL:  That doesn`t prove his point.  What proves -- what the -- what the

issue -- the bigger issue is this, OK? Regardless of where you are, crime

is going to be crime.

Whether you`re black, white, Latino, undocumented immigrant, documented

immigrant, crime is crime and you can`t take just one case to prove a point

where you say that Latinos and immigrants are thugs, are rapists. 

You can`t have that perspective, particularly as a person who is supposed

to be as articulate as he is.  So intelligent, so immersed with himself,

who wants to be the president of this free world.

That is not the position of a person who wants to be the president of the

free world.  And certainly not in California, where we celebrate diversity.

We celebrate the opportunities to acknowledge the contributions of both

undocumented and documented immigrants in California.

O`DONNELL:  State Senator Isadore Hall, thank you very much for joining us


HALL:  Thank you.

O`DONNELL:  It is now game on for Hillary Clinton versus Jeb Bush in what

may be a preview of the general election campaign.  Hillary Clinton took on

Jeb Bush for saying this. 


JEB BUSH, FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR:  The workforce participation has to rise

from a small time modern lows, it means that people need to work longer

hours and through the productivity gain, more income for their families.

That`s the only way we`re going to get out of this rut that we`re in. 


O`DONNELL:  And Hillary Clinton jumped on that, tweeting this, "anyone who

believes Americans aren`t working hard enough hasn`t met enough American


The Bush campaign then went into rapid response mode and hit back at

Hillary Clinton with this video.




O`DONNELL:  Josh Barro, there is our preview of the general elections. 

BARRO:  Yes, well, you know, I think, you know, people have been comparing

this to the 47 percent comment, and I don`t think it`s that.

I mean, first of all, there is this issue of workers who are working part

time, who would like to work full time. 

O`DONNELL:  There are -- I mean, to go statistical on it, the Bush campaign

is right.  There are 6.5 million under employed workers, according to the

Bureau of Labor Statistics.

People who would like to work more hours and are not been able to. 

BARRO:  Right, and I think people both on the right and the left would like

a stronger economy such that people who can find a full time job can get


And so I think he will fall back on saying that.  I would say though, that

you know, he set this target of 4 percent growth, that is very optimistic,

I would say it`s unrealistic. 

The only way we could come close to hitting that growth target over an

extended period, you have to have a lot more work being done in the United


That could take the form of more people who currently don`t work because

they`re retired or they`re students or whatever, entering the labor force.

Or can take the form of people working longer work weeks.  So, you sort of

-- if Bush is going to deliver on the things he says he`s going to deliver

on the economy, people essentially would have to work more hours than they

do now.   

O`DONNELL:  Jess, so Twitter has now provided us with the first kind of

candidate-to-candidate --



O`DONNELL:  Clash across Hillary to Jeb. 

MCINTOSH:  And I love that it`s happening over this issue.  I mean, even if

we were to take Jeb`s argument that he was talking about the very real

problem of underemployment which I don`t, having watched the interview.

Which seems pretty clear he is talking about the economy overall.  It is

not about productivity.  Americans are the most productive workforce in a

developed country I think, South Korea accepted.

And to see the contrast between the two candidates on this issue, it really

couldn`t be clearer.  Hillary Clinton is talking about the need to

modernize our overtime laws because American workers are going so far

beyond the 40-hour work week without being properly compensated for it.

So, if we have that on one side and on the other side, somebody who is

saying we just need to try a little harder to give the economy a boost.

I think -- I think this is a great opening, so although -- let`s talk about

the economy.   

O`DONNELL:  All right, quick break here.  Coming up, who is afraid of

Elizabeth Warren and why do magazine articles keep asking that question?

And as Republican Governor Nikki Haley signs the bill to remove the

Confederate flag from South Carolina`s statehouse, another fight over that

flag erupts in Washington today in the house of Representatives.


O`DONNELL:  Federal benefits will now be officially available to same-sex

married couples in all 50 states. 

The federal marriage benefits for which same-sex couples are now eligible

include Social Security benefits, veterans benefits and supplemental

security income.

Up next, who is afraid of Elizabeth Warren?


O`DONNELL:  As the presidential campaign heats up, "Time Magazine" has

decided to devote its cover to the most influential American politician who

so far has decided not to run for president.

"Time Magazine`s" cover headline is, "Who`s Afraid of Elizabeth Warren?"

It`s the latest magazine in a series of such magazine covers.  "The New

Republic" had Elizabeth Warren on the cover as "Hillary`s Nightmare".

And "Bloomberg Markets" had Elizabeth Warren on the cover under the

headline, "Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid: Why Elizabeth Warren Makes Wall

Street Tremble".

"Times" Elizabeth Warren`s cover story says, "She`s hounding Obama,

haunting Hillary and paving the way for Bernie Sanders.  How she`ll shape

the 2016 race."

Joining us now is Michael Scherer, Washington Bureau Chief for "Time

Magazine", he wrote this week`s cover story, "The Time".  Michael, what is

the Elizabeth Warren dynamic now in the presidential campaign?

MICHAEL SCHERER, TIME MAGAZINE:  You have the most of the Democratic energy

right now out on the trail with Bernie Sanders. 

And most of the ideological energy right now in Capitol -- in Capitol Hill

with Elizabeth Warren within the Democratic Party.

So, right -- at least at the moment, Hillary Clinton is struggling to get,

you know, 800 people in New Hampshire while Bernie Sanders, who no one

really thought was much of a factor in the Democratic Party, wasn`t even a

member of the Democratic Party until a couple of months ago. 

Can show up in Iowa and get 2,500 people in some rural sections.  So, the

dynamic is that the economic shift that`s happening in the country over the

last decade has shown up in the Democratic Party with a lot of fury that

someone like Warren or Sanders is channeling at wealth and power and Wall

Street in a way that Hillary Clinton has not yet shown.

She`s entirely comfortable with, and we`ll find out more on Monday when she

gives the speech on this.  But that`s the challenge. 

O`DONNELL:  And Jess, in the "Time Magazine" article, Elizabeth Warren is

quoted and I think, Michael, it`s fair to say rather bitterly about Hillary

Clinton switching sides and as a senator in 2005 and voting against what

Elizabeth Warren was trying to achieve in bankruptcy protections for the --

SCHERER:  Yes --

O`DONNELL:  Middle class on credit card stuff.  And there is Bernie Sanders

in the article inviting Elizabeth Warren to endorse him and she`s hanging

back on that.  It --

SCHERER:  Yes --

O`DONNELL:  Seems there is some real tensions here in that triangle from

Bernie Sanders to Elizabeth Warren to Hillary Clinton. 

MCINTOSH:  And of course Elizabeth Warren signed a letter with every other

woman, Democratic senator urging Hillary Clinton to run for president in

the first place. 

So, I think --

O`DONNELL:  All right --

MCINTOSH:  A lot of the rivalry is along the same veins of your question,

why do magazines keep printing who is afraid of Elizabeth Warren?

The magazines are also invested in setting up a rivalry between Elizabeth

Warren and Hillary Clinton. 

BARRO:  You know, I wouldn`t --

MCINTOSH:  Hillary Clinton has used a lot of the same language that

Elizabeth Warren --

O`DONNELL:  That`s right --

MCINTOSH:  Has in economic populism for many years.  And I think we`re

going to hear that on Monday, and I think we`re going to hear a lot of

people, say look at Hillary Clinton adopting the Elizabeth Warren language

and that`s going to be just fine.

O`DONNELL:  Well, let me -- 

BARRO:  Well, I don`t think --


O`DONNELL:  Let me just --


SCHERER:  This isn`t a strong man fight.  Let me just -- 

O`DONNELL:  Go ahead --


SCHERER:  It`s not a strong man fight here.  I don`t think Elizabeth Warren

is about to endorse Bernie Sanders. 

I think her design right now is to put as much pressure on Hillary Clinton,

just as she is putting enormous pressure on Barack Obama to push the

policies and the personnel she wants to be making economic regulatory

decisions, financial regulation -- regulatory decisions.

Now, the pressure is very real.  It doesn`t mean -- and I don`t suggest in

the article that she is about to bolt from Hillary Clinton.  I  think

Warren sees Hillary as the best possible future.

I think she is very skeptical of whether Hillary will break the ties she

has to Wall Street and some of the economic advisors that she really


And that`s where the suspense is.  Is where Hillary Clinton will come down

in terms of specific policy over the next several months.

And when it comes to that, you know, whether or not, Warren can be trusted

to just smile next to Hillary on convention stage or not, that question can

be answered with how she`s been treating the president over the last

several months.

It`s been a pretty hostile relationship after President Obama was very

supportive of her to get into the Massachusetts statehouse.  So, I --

ROBINSON:  Well --

SCHERER:  Just reject the idea that this is a -- this is a strong man or

using to sell magazines. 

O`DONNELL:  Well, Gene, the hostility is public, privately apparently,

there is none of that.  Elizabeth Warren was at the White --


O`DONNELL:  House the other night with the rest of the Democratic senators,

and all reports are, she didn`t have anything like the kind of

confrontation of rhetoric that we hear from her publicly when she is

talking about the president`s position on trade. 

ROBINSON:  Right, she has issues with the chief that she wants to push.  I

happen to agree with her on many of those issues, but she clearly wants to

push President Obama in one direction.

And, look, there`s no real political downside for her to do that. 

President Obama can`t run for anything anymore.  He is -- you know, on his

way out in a year and a half. 

With Hillary Clinton, it`s a different matter.  And I do expect frankly if

Hillary Clinton gets nominated, and I expect to see Elizabeth Warren

standing on the stage embracing her.

Because what`s the alternative? If the alternative is to helping to elect a

Republican president, I don`t think that Elizabeth Warren wants that.

And I think in terms of her broader appeal to the Democratic Party

coalition, you know, it`s a big coalition.  It includes African-Americans

and Latinos and other voters who aren`t -- whose voices aren`t being heard

in this particular debate.

And so, let`s hear from them.

SCHERER:  Yes --

O`DONNELL:  I really like -- Josh, I just want to read this quote because I

referred to it as being bitter.  I will let you judge whether this is --

whether this is bitter.

But this is Elizabeth Warren, Michael got this quote from Elizabeth Warren,

it seems to me with her, talking about the situation where Hillary Clinton

changed her mind and ended up going and doing what Wall Street wanted on

the bankruptcy vote in terms of credit card protection from credit card

debt and bankruptcy.

Elizabeth Warren at the end of a ten-year crusade tried to get this and

losing it in that vote.  Here is what -- here is what she describes today

to Michael Scherer when they -- when they were talking.

She says, "they really did shove it down my throat sideways, that`s how it

worked."  And "they" includes Hillary Clinton.

BARRO:  Yes, well, I mean, I think, you know, I -- Elizabeth Warren cares

very passionately about a subset of important national issues.  But I think

instantly, it`s probably why she is not running for president.

So many people --

SCHERER:  Right --

BARRO:  Want her to run for president.  I think Elizabeth Warren is

particularly focused on this set of economic issues that she thinks she can

bring a lot of influence on from the Senate.

She has already brought a lot of influence on those issues from the Senate

and I think she is quite upset that she did not get her way on this

specific area of bankruptcy law.

But I also think, there`s a reason that she is applying this pressure now,

and I think Bernie Sanders is in a way a proxy for her. 

People who are backing Bernie Sanders are the sort of people who would have

liked Elizabeth Warren to run for president.

Once Democratic primaries start happening, it is going to become clear that

Bernie Sanders is not an actual threat to Hillary Clinton for the


And I think it`s something Gene was alluding to here.  She is going to run

into a firewall in South Carolina.  There are two parts to the Obama

coalition, you had to put together to beat Hillary Clinton the last time. 

One part of it was the sort of progressive left that`s behind Hillary

Clinton that`s very focused on these sorts of economic issues.

And the other part of it is people of color, especially black voters.  And

there`s no evidence yet that there is a ground swell of support from black

voters for Bernie Sanders or frankly for Elizabeth Warren.

So, I think they need to move now while Hillary Clinton is spooked, because

she is not going to be that spooked anymore in March of next year.   

MCINTOSH:  The idea that all of the Democratic enthusiasm is with the 2,500

people in Iowa for Bernie Sanders just isn`t an accurate --  

O`DONNELL:  Oh, 2,500, he`s getting crowds of 10,000 --  

MCINTOSH:  He got challenged in Madison --

O`DONNELL:  He got the --

MCINTOSH:  Absolutely -- 

O`DONNELL:  He`s filling up the buildings and --


O`DONNELL:  There`s no other candidate who can do that. 

MCINTOSH:  But Hillary Clinton who`s just raised her record amount from

grassroots donors --

O`DONNELL:  Right --

MCINTOSH:  Donors, she is leading him by 19 points in Iowa.  I mean, the

idea that everybody is really excited about the other side of the

Democratic primary just isn`t borne out by any numbers other than the

people that Bernie --


MCINTOSH:  Sanders --  

O`DONNELL:  No one -- no on saying everybody --

BARRO:  Yes --

O`DONNELL:  But we are saying --

BARRO:  I don`t think --

O`DONNELL:  Boy --

BARRO:  I don`t --

O`DONNELL:  This is a bigger number than we expected --

BARRO:  Right --

O`DONNELL:  To be --

BARRO:  And I don`t --

O`DONNELL:  Excited by --

MCINTOSH:  And people are saying, look, he --


O`DONNELL:  Go ahead Gene.  

SCHERER:  Hillary Clinton is the prohibitive favorite and almost certainly

barring some unexpected thing here, you know, it`s going to be the nominee.

I don`t think that, that is the debate here.  I don`t think looking at the

polls with Bernie or really the proxy for the power of this populous

feeling within the party.

I think it`s -- the fights on Capitol Hill are a place to look forward.  I

think the crowds that Bernie has been getting are a place to look at.

The struggles Hillary has been having in attracting crowds are a place to

look for.  I think the issue set that is driving Democratic voters which

has affected Hillary`s rhetoric.

I mean, Hillary`s rhetoric is very finally tuned to where the Democratic

electorate is right now, and she is very much speaking. 

I mean, it`s not that she never said this stuff in 2006 and 2007, but she

is leading with the, you know, the deck is stacked against you.

It`s an attack on wealth and power in this country.  So, I think it`s very

clear that the party has become maybe as populist as it has been since

early in the -- in the 20th century. 

O`DONNELL:  Michael Scherer gets the last word on his cover story as he

should.  Michael Scherer, thank you very much for joining us.  Josh Barro -


SCHERER:  Thank you, Lawrence --

O`DONNELL:  Jess McIntosh, thank you for joining us tonight.  Coming up,

the battle over the Confederate flag moves to Washington.



now, South Carolina will remove the confederate flag from state house

grounds.  This comes more than 50 years after it was first raised at the

State Capital. 

And, just 23 days after nine African-American members of the Mother Emanuel

Church were murdered allegedly by a 21-year-old white supremacist, who has

been charged with those murders. 

Republican Governor Nikki Haley was surrounded by the families of the

Emanuel Nine when she signed a bill to remove the flag, which was passed by

the South Carolina legislature late last night.  But another battle over

the confederate flag broke out today in Washington in the U.S. House of




day when the state of South Carolina, by an act of legislature and the

signature of the governor will be taking down the flag.  The House of

Representatives, the republicans in the House of Representatives are voting

down any discussion even of battle flags, confederate battle flags in the

Capitol of the United States. 


O`DONNELL:  Today, democrat s and republicans feuded over whether the

confederate flag should be allowed on federal grounds.  This morning, House

Speaker John Boehner pulled an interior spending bill due to a late

republican sponsor amendment that would have allowed confederate flags on

graves at federal cemeteries. 


REP. JOHN  BOEHNER, (R) HOUSE SPEAKER:  Listen, we all witnessed the people

of Charleston and the people of South Carolina come together in a

respectful way to deal with frankly what was a very horrific crime and a

difficult issue with the confederate flag. 

I actually think it is time for some adults here in the congress to

actually sit down and have a conversation about how to address this issue. 

I do not want this to become some political football.  


O`DONNELL:  Joining us now is Isabel Wilkerson, Pulitzer Prize winning

writer and author of the "Warmth Of Other Suns."  The epic story of

America`s great migration. 

And, back with us Eugene Robinson, himself a Pulitzer Prize winner. 

Isabelle, I would like to get your reaction, first of all, to what happened

in South Carolina today and how this chapter is closing on the South

Carolina use of the confederate flag. 


is a watershed moment.  Not just for South Carolina and the South but for

the entire country.  This flag is a symbol of terror and of subjugation. 

And, now, 150 years after the surrender in Appomattox, we may be on the

verge of finally bringing to a conclusion of civil war, actually.

O`DONNELL:  Eugene, this is the state where you grew up, South Carolina.


O`DONNELL:  What were your feelings today to see this process completed and

in effect as we look back on the last couple of weeks of this

legislatively, how quickly and smoothly, it was completed.  

ROBINSON:  Just remarkable, remarkable.  I mean this is a state with an

Indian-American governor, signing this bill into law and a state with an

elected black senator, the first -- and from the south since

reconstruction.  It is not the South Carolina I grew up in that is for

sure.  One could have anticipated the sort of rear guard action that was

fought in the South Carolina house to try to keep the flag there. 

The intervention by State Representative Jenny Horne, descendent of

Jefferson Davis who emotionally demanded that the house take the action

that she knew would be needed to take, and do not tell me anything about

heritage.  This is for many people a symbol of hate and needs to come down. 

That was absolutely remarkable.  I was stunned and actually very proud of

my home state.  

O`DONNELL:  Well, let us listen to State Representative Jenny Horne and

what she had to say. 



believe that we do not have the heart in this body to do something

meaningful, such as take a symbol of hate off these grounds on Friday!

And, if any of you vote to amend, you are ensuring that this flag will fly

beyond Friday, and for the widow of Senator Pinckney and his two young

daughters that would be adding insult to injury!  And, I will not be a part

of it!


O`DONNELL:  Isabel, that moment occurred when there seemed to be

legislative road blocks developing by the way of amendments that would have

at minimum delayed this process and possibly, actually, stopped the process

of getting this flag removed. 

And, so, when she was saying that, there was no reason to be confident we

were going to have the outcome that we have today.  Hers became what is now

a collection of passionate statements by republicans in South Carolina,

including Strom Thurmond`s son, Paul Thurmond in the senate there, who came

out and made these statements that were clearly from the heart and about

South Carolina opening its heart on this question.  


WILKERSON:  It is so powerful to hear from the descendants of the

confederacy speaking out and us to recognize the history, to come to grips

with it.  And, in some ways they can lead their state and lead the country

towards a kind reconciliation and finally confronting the history that we

all live with today. 

It is a chance in some ways for all of this to come full circle for

republicans of today to in some ways connect with the 19th century

republicans.  In other words to stand up against the flag that had been

forged again to the Republican President Abraham Lincoln.  There is an

interesting kind of symmetry here that I think is worth noting.  

O`DONNELL:  We are going to take a break here.  And, when we come back, we

are going to talk about the mess that broke out in Washington today over

exactly the same subject to the confederate flag. 

And, also coming up later, we will have information about how you can get

tickets to a free concert that Beyonce is going to do in Central Park on

September 26th.  You cannot buy these tickets.  You have to earn them.  We

will show you how.  That is coming up. 


O`DONNELL:  As the battle over the confederate flag moved to Washington

today, South Carolina Congressman James Clyburn gave his colleagues a

history lesson. 



the State House in Columbia, South Carolina.  And, the confederate battle

flag.  The flag of the army of Northern Virginia.  That is what that is. 

There were three versions of the confederate flag.  This was never one of


The proponents of this flag tried forever to have it adopted, have it given

some official status.  The daughters of the confederacy, always rejected

it.  And, when Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox, he urged all of his

followers to furl this flag. 


O`DONNELL:  Eugene Robinson here on the day South Carolina solves its

problem with this flag.  The House of Representatives finds it has a

problem with it.  What seemed to be a simple amendment going through an

interior bill saying that the confederate flag will not be allowed on the

federal grounds basically, including federal cemeteries. 

Republicans -- Some republicans tried to reverse that with an amendment,

John Boehner got worried that about how that was going to turn out, so he

just tried to push the whole thing aside.  Nancy Pelosi thought there is no

reason to push it aside.

We know what to do with the confederate flag, just vote it off federal

property.  But, here they are now stuck in the House of Representatives

over something that South Carolina legislature found their way through

relatively easily.  

ROBINSON:  Right.  And, you know, I guess if we take a long view, it should

not be a big surprise that it is going to in the best case to take the

national republicans a while to catch up with South Carolina, which moved

very rapidly on this issue. 

I think it has certainly sunk in with John Boehner that there is a problem

here, that he is going to have to address.  Frankly, it is going to take

them a while, I think to work through this with members of some of the

southern delegations.  Perhaps not the South Carolina delegation, but there

are other states that still use the flag and that, you know have it yet got

religion on the question of taking the flag down.  

O`DONNELL:  And, Isabel, this got politicized today in a way that no one

saw it coming as recently as yesterday when this thing was moving through

the house.  One of the issues involved is that the state flag of

Mississippi contains the confederate flag within it. 

And, so there is a question of whether members of the Mississippi

delegation would be allowed to actually fly their state flags within their

capital at their offices as they all do, as every member does.  They fly

the flags of their states.  And, so, that is the biggest complexity right

now that is holding it up. 

WILKERSON:  Well, the uncomfortable truth is that there are people, outside

of South Carolina and outside of the south, that have been sympathizers

with the values and the assumptions and hierarchies and ideology that

undergird this confederate flag.  So, it is not just a southern, not just

the South Carolina problem but it is a national problem. 

And, as long as there are people who are identifying with it and have not

gotten religion, as you say, this could still be a continuing problem.  I

am hopeful that South Carolina and its role in the civil war, itself, would

play an important part of all of this. 

You know, South Carolina was the first state to succeed from the union. 

South Carolina was where the first shot where shots were fired in the civil

war.  And, so, in assess with centennial of all of these, I would hope the

South Carolina would be taking the lead others would follow. 

O`DONNELL:  Let us listen to what Republican Mississippi Republican Steven

Palazzo said to Luke Russert today, explaining why he is defending the use

of the confederate flag in the congressional -- in his office. 


history.  I think there needs to be a rational conversation with both sides

on the debate.  And, let us talk about it from a historical perspective,

but also being sensitive to where others have seen it. 

I mean has been hijacked by some very heinous groups and ruling and tainted

part of history, southern history, American history, yes.  But, there needs

to be a civil way to have that dialogue and then done it in congress

dropping, you know, amendments to remove our state flag from the halls of

congress when we are a sovereign state, that is not the way to do it.  


O`DONNELL:  Eugene, he clearly does not know the history of the flag as Jim

Clyburn explained it today.  

ROBINSON:  No, he does not know the history of the flag, and he has

probably, you know, been brought up with this whole, you know, it honors

the valor of southern manhood kind of claptrap that, you know -- that

others grew up with.  They learn the history in South Carolina.  There is

now an accepted history.  Let us hope others pay attention. 

O`DONNELL:  We will have to leave it there for the night.  Thank you both

very much.  Eugene Robinson and Isabel Wilkerson, than k you very much for

joining us tonight.  We will be right back. 


O`DONNELL:  Federal officials said today the 21.5 million people were

affected in that massive hack last year of the office of personal

management`s system containing security clearance information. 

That includes current and former federal employees, contractors and their

families and friends.  Individuals who underwent background investigations

through 2000 or afterwards are quote, "Highly likely affected." 

Up next, we will tell you how you can get tickets to Beyonce`s free concert

in September in Central Park.  You cannot buy these tickets.  Money will

not buy them.  We will tell you how to get them.  


O`DONNELL:  On Saturday, September 26th, Beyonce is doing a free concert in

Central Park, but you still have to have Tickets to attend that concert. 

We will explain how you can get those tickets after Chris Martin tells you

more about the concert.



Hi, I am Chris.  I am from the band "Cold Play."  And, I am here to tell

you about a big concert that is happening in September organized from the

wonderful people at Global Citizen.




MARTIN:  We are working with the United Nations.




MARTIN:  It is going to be an amazing line up in Central Park.




MARTIN:  A young one demand called Ed Sheeran is going to play.  I called

him Mr. Sheeran because he makes me --



ED SHEERAN, ARTIST (singing):  I see fire, hollowing souls.  I see fire.



MARTIN:  One of my favorite groups Pearl Jam is going to be there, who I

used to try and sing when I was a young boy and it did not work.  So, I am

going to be excited to see how it is really done.




MARTIN:  Then we have this new young person who I think could be really

successful to see, apparently, is really good.  I never heard of her --




Girls!  Who run the world.  Girls!  Who run the world.  Girls.  Who run

this world.  Girls.  Girls.



MARTIN:  And, my band hopefully will ultra play, a couple of songs, except

you want to get a drink.  That is the time. 



CHRIS MARTIN, COLD PLAY LEAD VOCALIST (Singing):  Lights go out and it can

be saved.  Tides that I tried to swim against.


MARTIN:  You may ask why on Earth are you doing this concert in Central

Park with the United Nation and Global Citizen this September.  Well, the

U.N. are about to release their 17 development goals for ending poverty

around the world and a more equal and fair and wonderful place for all of


Global Citizens go over the next 15 years to help promote those U.N. goals. 

That is it.  I hope you can make it or watch it or think about it or

whatever you want to do.  Thank you for listening and, bye bye.


O`DONNELL:  Joingin us now Hugh Evans, CEO of the Global Poverty Project

and Richard Curtis, the writer and director of "Love Actually" and many

other films that you love. 

Richard, is the Creative Director of the Global Citizen Festival.  OK,

guys, we are not going to do this in Germany.  OK, let us just get to

settle with the start. 


O`DONNELL:  Hugh, getting tickets to this is not as simple as just giving

your credit card and getting in.  Tell us what you have to do to get a


EVANS:  So, the way that you earn a ticket is you go to

and you start taking action in support of issues that you care about, so

whether it is the empowerment of women and girls or whether it is water

insanitation or vaccines and immunizations for children.  You start taking

actions --

O`DONNELL:  Those are the global goals that we saw that Chris was just

talking about.

EVANS:  Right.  Yes.  So, these are the 17 goals that will be announced by

the United Nations, gabbled on the 25th of September in support of ending

extreme poverty by 2023, tackling climate change and also ensuring and, you

know, reducing inequality around the world.  So, this is a really historic

year for the movement.  But, the way you get to the festival is you have to

earn your way in.  That is what makes Global Citizen unique.   

O`DONNELL:  And, how do people earn their way in?  

EVANS:  Well, let me give you one example.  So ,this week Chris is starting

the first action journey.  And, that action journey, you have to take eight

a actions in sequence.  One of those actions for example is you have to

send a tweet to the Prime Minister of Norway, encouraging her to increase

Norway`s investment into girls` education. 

You can also make a phone call to the state department in the U.S.  

Government encouraging them to commit more of their funds to support the

least developed countries.  So --


already done both of those things.  I am going to get in.  

EVANS:  Awesome!


O`DONNELL:  And, the guidance for how you get in is all at  

EVANS:  Correct. 

O`DONNELL:  You go there and will take you to the instructions.  Richard, I

am so worried about you.  You are the creative director of this big



O`DONNELL:  You are a film director, film director, you have more power

than the president of the United States.  You can tell people what to wear. 

CURTIS:  Yes. 

O`DONNELL:  Every thread of their clothing.  Now --

CURTIS:  Beyonce is not going to listen to my advice. 


O`DONNELL:  I do not know Beyonce well, you know, at all, but if she shows

up, if you do not like that color, if you do not like what she is wearing -

- let us rehearse that conversation.  

CURTIS:  Well, no -- I mean like I do not like the color of Ed Sheeran`s

hair, but I doubt he is going to do anything about that or he is going to

shave off that beard.

O`DONNELL:  You are going to have to deal with it --

CURTIS:  I am going to have to deal with it.  But, my job in particular is,

in fact, going to be kind of interstitial.  I am making a series of short

films that will talk about how beautiful the planet we live on and is why

we should protect it and how extraordinary the millennium goals were and

why would you stop half way. 

You know, Kennedy did not go and say let us go half way to the moon -- and

then turn around.  I am hoping I will make funny, interesting, emotional

films and weave these fantastic performances --

O`DONNELL:  And, in those films show people, things they can actually do.  

CURTIS:  Yes.  Well, oddly enough, he is on the kind of action side.  I am

on the tell everyone side.  I think that one of the key things is you

cannot fight for your rights if you do not know what they are.  So, what we

are trying to do, because we will sell the T.V. program to every country in

the world, and we are going to do radio, and we are going to do classrooms. 

And, I want everybody in the world to know about these goals.  To know

there is a plan.  We are not living in a pessimistic planet.  We are going

to live in a planet where things can get better and change and we can end

poverty and end the threat of climate change.  So, I am on the make a huge

amount of noise.  He is very keen on recruiting as where the vanguard of

that noise. 

O`DONNELL:  And, Hugh, one of the things that I really like about the

goals, is that it is not just this general thing about poverty.  It shows

all sorts of basic interactions in life that can be adjusted in some ways

fixed that improve our position in relation to poverty.  

EVANS:  Right.  They all improve the human condition.


EVANS:  You know, when you are talking about roughly a billion people on

this planet still living on less than $1.25 per day.  And, you say, well,

how do you end extreme poverty?  It sounds so esoteric. 

It really boils down into a few key things.  It is about, you know, basic

food security, agriculture food security, health care, specifically

vaccines, immunization, the empowerment of women, water insanitation.  

CURTIS:  Jobs too.

EVANS:  Yes. 

CURTIS:  You know, people want jobs and infrastructure and once you have

made the progress they do not want to burn it like a barbecued sausage.

O`DONNELL:  Now, the event has been known to have surprise guests.  Like

Beyonce was a surprise guest.

EVANS:  She was, last year. 

O`DONNELL:  How are you going to top that for a surprise guest this year? 

EVANS:  Well, by having Beyonce do a full concert --


O`DONNELL:  That is right.  By actually scheduling her.

EVANS:  Right.

CURTIS:  There are going to be surprise guests.  But, then I think I am

hoping that the woman I most admire on the world apart from Beyonce is

going to be there and the first person my son, Spike have been fell in love


EVANS:  We cannot tell you here about that.


O`DONNELL:  September 26th, we will find out all about this.  Global

Citizen Festival will be televised right here, of course.


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