ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
April 2, 2013
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT.
THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
Guests: Michelle Goldberg, Betsy Woodruff, Jeff Maryak; Shana Hewitt; Heather McGhee
CHRIS HAYES, HOST: It`s election night in South Carolina, special
election night. Polls closed just one hour ago in the Republican primary
runoff between former Charleston County councilman named Curtis Bostic and
a certain former governor you might remember for turning associations with
the phrase Appalachian Trail from wholesome to dirty.
Tonight`s runoff election was necessary because while he finished a
solid number one in the Republican primary last month, Mark Sanford did not
get over the 50 percent threshold needed to secure the nomination outright.
The general election against comedian Stephen Colbert`s sister Elizabeth
Colbert-Busch is set for May 7th and the winner will take over the seat of
former Congressman Tim Scott, who was appointed to the U.S. Senate late
last year when Jim DeMint quit the Senate to go run the Heritage
Technically, tonight`s election is a very small and specific thing --
a runoff in a special election in one single congressional district in the
state of South Carolina. But in political terms, it is hugely important.
In the unfolding drama of Mark Sanford and more importantly, the larger
question of the politics of scandal, who gets thrown out of public life and
who gets to come back?
Mark Sanford is a test case because Mark Sanford is not just any old
defeated Republican trying to make a comeback. Mark Sanford is a guy whose
political defeat came at the hands of a humiliating, self-made scandal.
Mark Sanford is this guy.
BRIAN WILLIAMS, NBC NEWS ANCHOR: He has been gone since last
Thursday. His wife didn`t know where. Not a trace. No security, no
JAKE KNOTTS: It`s bizarre behavior, but that`s not unusual for this
REPORTER: Last week, Republican Governor Mark Sanford disappeared.
Neither his security detail nor the lieutenant governor could find him. He
missed Father`s Day with his four sons and even his wife didn`t know where
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: He is now according to his staff, expected
back at work tomorrow. Has he called you yet?
LT. GOV. ANDREA BAUER: He has not.
MADDOW: What happens if he doesn`t come back to work tomorrow?
BAUER: I don`t have an answer for that question.
REPORTER: Before leaving on his Argentine trip, Sanford had parked
his car at the Columbia, South Carolina, airport, filled with hiking and
camping gear. And when confronted by a reporter early this morning at the
Atlanta airport, still lied about his disappearance.
GINA SMITH: Well, he originally intended to hike the Appalachian
Trail, but had changed his mind last minute and decided to go some place
WILLIAMS: Then today, in a jaw-dropping news conference that aired
live around the globe, he revealed he`s been in Argentina with a woman not
THEN-GOV. MARK SANFORD (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I`ve been unfaithful to
my wife. I developed a relationship with a -- what started out as a dear,
dear friend from Argentina.
REPORTER: Did you tell your staff to tell the press that you were
hiking the Appalachian Trail?
SANFORD: I didn`t tell them. I just said, hey, guys, this is where
I`m going to go.
BARBARA WALTERS, ABC NEWS: After his press conference, your husband
JENNY SANFORD, MARK SANFORD`S WIFE: Right away, right, for how did I
HAYES: After all that, after all that, Mark Sanford is making a bid
for the re-admittance into the relatively small club of elected political
life and of elected representatives of the United States federal
government. And he is not the first politics to make a bid for that re-
admittance. He is not the first politician to attempt to go to fame and
power to disgrace to redemption to fame and power once again. In fact,
this is a pretty common cycle in American politics.
Scandals are common place, particularly in the modern media
environment with Twitter and texts and cameras everywhere. That`s not
what`s interesting. What`s interesting is who gets to recover and who
Bill Clinton was allowed to apologize and stay in power in public life
-- rightfully, I would add -- even after his huge, embarrassing sex scandal
culminated in impeachment.
John Edwards, on the other hand, could hire a sky writing service to
fly over the country trailing an "I`m sorry" banner for the next decade,
and he would still never be allowed back into politics.
David Vitter, the guy who was outed for using prostitutes back in
2007, is still happily serving in the United States Senate.
Anthony Weiner, the guy who sent a selfie of his cotton boxers over
Twitter was vanished from politics and resigned from the House of
The question that Republican primary voters are right now today
weighing in on, tonight in South Carolina`s first district, is -- does Mark
Sanford get to come back? Has he paid off the debt of his disgrace?
And it seems like we should take this moment to ask ourselves if we
think he should. And to consider what it mean for our political system
that this question of redemption does not have a clear and consistent
Joining me at the table, Michelle Goldberg, senior contributing writer
for "Newsweek" and "The Daily Beast," Betsy Woodruff, political reporter
for "National Review Online", and David Axelrod, NBC senior political
analyst and former advisor to President Obama.
It`s great to have you all here.
DAVID AXELROD, NBC SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Good evening.
HAYES: All right. So, you have been reporting on this race, Betsy.
I want to play how Mark Sanford responded to the obvious question that one
would be asked under these conditions at a debate when he was asked about
his extramarital affair. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MODERATOR: How do you reconcile redemption with the mistrust in your
personal decision, which could or may have compromised the state and the
SANFORD: What I would say is: the events of 2009 absolutely represent
a failure on my part for which there were and always will be at some level,
consequences. But that does not mean because you`ve had a failure in your
personal life, that you can not step back into life again.
People kept calling, kept calling and they said, Mark, you need to do
this, because here`s a chance for you to learn not only from your
experience in congress and governorship, but more significantly, from what
you learned on the way up and on the way down and apply it to what is
arguably one of the great conundrums of our civilization, which is how do
we get our financial house in order. And should I make it -- again, that`s
what I intend to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: David Axelrod, you have spent a long career advising people
running for office. How did he do in that answer?
AXELROD: Well, first of all, I have a feeling he probably practiced
that a few times before he stepped on that stage. (AUDIO GAP) about as
well as you can do, which is to say I made a mistake. He made it clear it
was a mistake in his personal life.
And really what he`s arguing is, I had frailties in my personal life.
I`ve learned from those frailties, but in terms of representing you on the
things you care about, I would be an effective representative. And I do
think people make that distinction between failures in your private life
and your ability to represent them publicly.
Clinton, obviously, was the --
HAYES: Ultimate example of that.
AXELROD: The ultimate example.
HAYES: Although his electorate here is in a conservative state,
right? Among a Republican primary voters in a special election. We`re
talking about 30,000 or 40,000 people tonight, right? This is a far more
conservative than the average electorate.
And we are talking this week, last two weeks, about marriage, about
the sanctity of marriage, about preserving marriage, about the attack on
marriage. And, yet, Betsy, what are Republican voters thinking (AUDIO GAP)
to run this race?
BETSY WOODRUFF, NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE: Well, depending on how the
night turns out, (AUDIO GAP) chance for them to practice Christian
forgiveness. And I think the brilliance of Mark Sanford`s political
campaign is that he`s made it about his chance to make a public apology and
sort of to make amends.
But it`s very smart. We can tell because he`s engaged to the woman he
met in Argentina. A lot of people make mistakes, but we don`t typically
get married to them. But Sanford`s managed to have it both ways.
HAYES: Do you think it matters for Republican primary voters, that
that part of it, that this -- that like the salaciousness of it is
mitigated by the fact that he is now engaged to the woman that he -- that
was his mistress?
WOODRUFF: My guess would be that doesn`t help for Republican
evangelical voters. And I think that`s part of the reason his fiancee has
stayed out of the spotlight. She`s basically been, you know, invisible for
the last six months and I doubt that`s a coincidence.
MICHELLE GOLDBERG, NEWSWEEK: I obviously can`t speak to the mindset
of conservative evangelical voters in South Carolina, but I do think it
helps him on some level with women in general. I just know that -- I
remember when the scandal was happening, people who usually loathe kind of
cheating politicians, held a soft spot for Sanford, I have a soft spot for
Sanford because he talked about it as a tragic love affair. And it was his
soul mate, and you kind of thought, oh, this poor man, he`s so head over
And so, you know, the fact it was kind of a loveless marriage and he
found his soul mate, and he couldn`t help himself, that`s easier I think
for some women to swallow than say a David Vitter, where it`s just kind of
this sordid, you know, tawdry -- sordid, tawdry affair with no emotional
consequences at all.
AXELROD: I mean, it isn`t without consequences. Obviously, the fact
that he`s in a runoff, the former governor of the state and a district that
he carried overwhelmingly in the past speaks to the fact that there are
some residual problems associated with his behavior. It probably helped
that his family and his children in particular stood behind him. They were
visible in support.
HAYES: Yes, how important is that? If you`re advising a politician,
Mark Sanford comes in to the office of David Axelrod and says, I want -- I
want to hire you for your sage advice.
AXELROD: What are you doing?
AXELROD: But once we got past.
HAYES: Yes, in an alternate universe.
GOLDBERG: The interesting thing about this whole thing I think is
that he tried to hire Jenny Sanford to run his campaign.
AXELROD: Yes, well, I think that was odd.
One thing that I find unbecoming and hard to understand are
politicians who ask their spouses to stand with them as they admit to their
-- to their indiscretions because it seems humiliating.
AXELROD: So, that was a little, that was a little peculiar.
HAYES: He was out there alone, let`s remember that when he did --
AXELROD: No, he was -- but I`m talking about trying to hire her to
run the campaign seemed a bit odd.
HAYES: Do you think -- do you think, Betsy, that he has had to face
enough criticism in the primary? And what`s been interesting to me in
looking at the races, it doesn`t seem like he`s really been raked over the
coals for this.
Obviously, as you`re watching this from the outside, you`re thinking,
that guy, the Appalachian Trail guy? Clearly, this will be a biggest thing
in the campaign and looking at the campaign, the closest you can come to a
direct attack on this is one of his primary opponents, actually,
coincidentally, the son of Ted Turner, ran this ad which was a kind of
crypto attack on the Appalachian Trail.
Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`ve come a long way. I know it`s been too much,
but what`s a few trillion? It was all for you. I`ll keep my promises this
time. It will be different.
I`m sorry for all the mistakes I`ve made. Sugar, just give me one
ANNOUNCER: Break up with career politicians. The right guy, Teddy
Turner. Conservative Republican, economics teacher, not a politician.
TEDDY TURNER (R), CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: I`m Teddy Turner and I
approve this message.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Why were they not more straightforward in going after him for
WOODRUFF: I think that goes back to the forgiveness element, is that
if you`re the person sharpening the pitch forks and going after Mark
Sanford, you come off as kind of a jerk to the extent that people can enjoy
forgiving a politician, he`s really contrite. They don`t want to support
people who are very uncharitable about it.
HAYES: So, this is -- this is what`s fascinating. He has managed to
pull off, we don`t know what the verdict of the voters are going to render,
but to put himself in contention. He`s managed to pull off some amount of
making himself a figure who is the subject of sympathy and compassion and
someone who can be redeemed.
And that does not always happen. I want to talk about a candidate who
is very promising, who imploded in a very public fashion against a young
man running for United States Senate back in 2004, a race you`re very
familiar with, and ask what happened there and what that test case says
about who we let back into public life and who we don`t -- right after
HAYES: So I don`t think we`ve worked out any kind of consistency in
how we in the media cover what we prefer too broadly as "sex scandals" and
what, what sorting through what is embarrassing and humiliating on one side
and what is wrong or transgression that`s worthy of public sanction, right?
I mean, Mark Sanford abandoned his office. He got $74,000 in ethics
finding. The staff confined, there was a real dereliction of duty at the
core of this. But that`s not why it was a huge story.
AXELROD: Right. And I don`t think -- I think what people associated
with story with was his personal behavior and therefore, they gave him --
there may be some latitude there.
I think there are other instances in which you`re, you know, the
dereliction of duty is the focus of the scandal. That is harder to get
over because that`s an offense to the public.
HAYES: And yet, I should note the primary voters in the Republicans
first congressional district have seemingly forgiven him for that as the
"A.P." has just called, that Mark Sanford has indeed won his race there
against his opponent.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Wow.
HAYES: So Mark Sanford will be facing a general election against
Elizabeth Colbert-Busch, where polling has them around even.
But, right, so the part about it that you`re saying is that is the
real dereliction. Yet, I think what drives me crazy about covering these
things is that there doesn`t seem to be much distinction made about is
merely kind of press` obsessive, prurient interest in the thrill of reading
someone`s private e-mail changes and what actually counts as something that
you should be held account for.
GOLDBERG: That`s actually why, again, as much as I think he has
loathe (ph) in politics, it`s kind of a good thing --
HAYES: That`s right.
GOLDBERG: -- he`s able to transcend what was just a kind of personal
failure that had not kind of public consequences. You now, it`s not the
same as Spitzer, who has great politics, but who committed an actual crime,
you know, or David Vitter, who committed an actual crime and kind of has no
business being in the Senate.
AXELROD: I think if Spitzer were here, he`d probably object to the
notion that he committed a crime. He never was actually charged with a
crime, was he?
HAYES: Well, no, but he was accused of a crime and --
AXELROD: Right. I`m not defending anybody`s behavior here, but --
you know, again, first of all, by the way, the fact that we have a runoff
and the fact he`s running even in a race that`s overwhelmingly in a
Republican district with a Democratic opponent suggests that this is a far
from settled matter for voters in that area. He is paying a price.
HAYES: Do you think his opponent is going to be able to go after him
on this, without triggering the kind of compassion that he`s managed to
stoke in the primary voters?
WOODRUFF: I don`t think she will. Especially given that she`s a
Democrat, I think it`s going to be -- if she goes after him because of
this, it`s going to be seen as we`re double standards and bring up Bill
Clinton. So, I don`t think --
HAYES: Particularly in that district.
WOODRUFF: I think so. Yes, I don`t think she`ll need to. I think
everyone`s pretty well aware and I think in the general election, I don`t
know, it`s hard to say how big of a difference it will make. But --
AXELROD: I`m not sure that Republicans in that district were that
skittish about bringing up Bill Clinton back in the day, but --
So, you had a race, a candidate that you were advising in 2004, a guy
by a name of Barack Obama.
HAYES: And he was facing a very -- what looked like a formidable
candidate -- covering the race.
AXELROD: Very much so.
HAYES: A guy by the name Jack Ryan, looked like a Kennedy, tall,
handsome, and had worked at Goldman Sachs, left Goldman Sachs.
AXELROD: Teaching an inner city school.
HAYES: Teaching at an inner city school, and people thought, this is
going to be a great race. You`ve got these two young, dynamic people who
have each won their primary, and then basically, Jack Ryan had been married
to an actress, Jeri Ryan, and the divorce records became unsealed.
Let me just read a small part of this of the divorce record,
respondent, meaning Jack Ryan, took me to two clubs in New York during the
day. It was a bizarre club with cages, whips and other apparatus hanging
from the ceiling, respond to me, wanted me to have sex with him there with
another couple watching, I refused. Then in Paris, he took me to a sex
club in Paris without telling me where he was going.
These are the divorce records of Jeri Ryan and Jack Ryan. This came
out and this was I remember covering it at the time --
AXELROD: You didn`t cover this kind of stuff in the mornings.
HAYES: This is only safe for prime time. This is not safe for work.
No, I covered this as a print reporter. It`s a talk at the time.
HAYES: And the Chicago press went bonkers, absolutely bonkers. And
Jack Ryan has never been heard from again in politics. And I always
thought Jack Ryan kind of bum rap, because I thought what exactly is the --
what exactly is the public merit of this particular case?
GOLDBERG: I disagree with that.
HAYES: You disagree?
GOLDBERG: I mean, as much as I`m here defending Mark Sanford, there`s
a level of sadism there. I mean, it`s not just the kind of -- it`s not
just that it`s prurient, it`s that he also seems like again, I mean,
literally the definition of sadism, you know? And kind of -- it`s almost
if not actually legally abusive --
HAYES: Right. But the point is that this was a sealed divorce
complaint, right, filed by one person. The other case is Anthony Weiner,
right? Anthony Weiner, as far as we know, never actually committed the sin
of adultery, and yet, the reaction to him was massive -- the amount of
condemnation, the amount of press. He couldn`t walk down the street,
What is that about that Anthony Weiner got that amount of attention
and David Vitter did not?
GOLDBERG: Right. Well, Anthony Weiner got a bum rap I think. As we
were talking about before, maybe part of the lesson is you have to stick
around, you know? If Anthony Weiner hadn`t resigned, if he hadn`t let
himself be pushed out, maybe eventually people would just get over it.
AXELROD: Part of his problem was that he was so insistent you know,
that he tried to bogart his way through.
HAYES: That`s right.
AXELROD: And he created a great deal of his own problem by doing
I think in this case and --
HAYES: The Jack Ryan case, you were there.
AXELROD: -- just read that stuff. Most people would listen to that.
I mean, there are cases of people having affairs all the time.
AXELROD: I`m not excusing that or, but you know, the Sanford thing
falls into one category. This falls into quite another. I really agree
with that and I think that`s what people were reacting to about that
HAYES: You want to say something, Betsy?
WOODRUFF: Yes, absolutely. I think going back to the question of how
the media handles it, what we have to remember is that the media`s
interested in something often because people click on it, where they buy
papers, you know, talking about the issue of Parisian BDSM clubs, versus
sneaking off to Argentina, one of these things is not like the other,
HAYES: That`s exactly.
WOODRUFF: Argentinean rendezvous are romantic. Unfortunately, he
wasn`t married to the woman, but we`re talking about stories that capture
people`s imaginations, and both stories do and in different ways.
HAYES: That`s right. And that exactly gets it, which is that, we
apply a standard I think of titillation as opposed to any kind of moral
framework of what the transgression is, and who the transgression is, too,
whether it`s a violation of the public trust, whether it`s a violation of a
private contract or private relationship that view negatively. Obviously,
I`m not excusing it. But I don`t think, I think we think purely in terms
of titillation and then we turn around and call it something more elevated
and moral in our judgment.
Michelle Goldberg of "Newsweek" and "The Daily Beast", Betsy Woodruff
of "National Review Online", and David Axelrod, NBC senior political
analyst -- thanks a lot.
AXELROD: Good to be with you.
HAYES: Remember sequestration? Remember how politicians were saying
the cuts wouldn`t be so bad? Tell that to the guy who took such a bad pay
cut. He wants to go back to work. That`s coming up.
HAYES: In case you missed it, while debate raised over the relative
merits of Lindsay Lohan`s April fools prank. No, for the record, she`s not
Here`s what else happened today:
First, an update to the story we brought you about the Arkansas oil
pipeline, which spilled thousands of gallons of crude into a suburban
subdivision. Today, we learned Exxon will not have to pay into the clean
up fund, according to Think Progress, because of the technicality. The
crude oil gushing out of the pipeline was evidently diluted with lighter
fluids, such that it can be called diluted bitumen, which according to a
1980 law is not classified as oil.
And that is true. It`s not normal oil. It is, as we discussed,
worse, because it`s harder to clean up.
With hundreds of thousands of barrels of this heavy oil gushing
through our pipeline, it`s probably time to update that 1980 law.
Meanwhile, in response to a request from "Mother Jones" as to how many
barrels of whatever-it-is had been spilled, a Exxon spokesman said, "A few
thousand barrels of oil were observed in the area, a response for 10,000
barrels has been taken to ensure adequate resources are in place.
Approximately 12,000 barrels of oil and water have been recovered. Crews
are seen cleaning oil from property."
We asked Arkansas Republican Congressman Tim Griffin, who represents
the affected area and is seen here in an ad supporting the Keystone
Pipeline to be a guest on our program. Mr. Griffin`s office declined,
citing his anniversary. Congratulations, Congressman. We look forward to
having you soon.
In case you missed it, climate change prophet James Hansen is ending
his 46-year government career so he can protest the government. Hansen is
the NASA climate scientist who in 1988, after more than a decade of
evidence gathering, declared that NASA was, quote, "99 percent certain that
the global warming trend was not a natural variation."
In other words, human induced global warming had begun, but Hansen
became perpetually frustrated with a lack of broad government action to
halt global warming, and moonlighted as an activist. As a government
employee, Hansen has said you can`t testify against the government.
Hansen was arrested outside the White House in 2010, calling for a ban
on mountain top removal.
Coincidentally, we recently learned that E plans to sell more than a
third of its 8 million hectares of rain forest to Chinese oil companies.
So, the latest environmental atrocity is announced overseas, we are
reminded that here in this country, the leading government scientist on
climate changed has reached the point where he feels his efforts are better
served as an activist.
We don`t need more science. We need radical action. Kudos to James
Hansen for committing himself full-time to provoking it.
In case you missed it, a New York Democratic state senator and several
Republican politicians have been arrested in New York City in a New York
City mayoral election plot. Senator Malcolm Smith of Queens is accused of
trying to bribe local Republican leaders to allow him to run as a
Republican in the upcoming New York City mayoral and some context is
necessary here. Just a few months ago, Smith announced he was defecting
from a Democratic caucus in the state senate to join a coalition with the
Republicans to maintain the GOP`s control over the state Senate. That
despite the fact that candidates with this next to their names had won
enough races in that election to gain a majority in the state senate.
So today, we have an indictment against Senator Smith and others
alleging bribery, extortion, wire fraud and mail fraud. As Smith tried to
formally switch parties so he can run for mayor. It is not an accident to
finding Nexus of party switching for political expediency and outright
corruption because there was two sides of the same coin. If someone is
willing to switch sides for short-term power, then what else would they be
willing to do?
In case you missed it from the state of Tennessee, truly appalling
legislation to cut the welfare benefits of families whose children are
performing poorly in school. Now, seriously, the legislation has passed
committees in both chambers of the Tennessee house according to
Knoxnews.com, there are exceptions for children with handicaps and learning
disabilities and in cases where parents take clear action like a parenting
class. In the words of one of its Republican sponsors, state
representative Vance Dennis, the legislation uses a carrot and stick
As critics suggest, problems with the legislature abound, to cite a
few, what about undiagnosed learning disabilities or the undue pressure on
a child`s performance or the fact that no matter what, as Democratic caucus
chairman Mike Turner says, the kid still has to eat. It is the worst form
of social policy as punishment as oppose to social policy as a way to
support people`s flourishing.
In the case of high stakes testing and cheating in Atlanta that we
covered yesterday, educators turned defendants are beginning to surrender
themselves into police custody, including Atlanta school superintendent
Doctor Beverly Hall, who along with her legal team, walked into Fulton
county jail at around 7:30 this evening.
High stake testing, lawmakers in Tennessee are pioneering new
frontiers of high stakes testing. The stakes are so high that if your kid
fails his test, he doesn`t eat.
We will be right back with click three.
HAYES: This is army reservist Jeff Maryak. Served his country, came
home to a desk job and got his life in order, then sequestration kicked in.
Now, he says, the only way he can pay his bills is if he goes back to war.
He joins me next.
But first, the first awesome thing I saw on the internet has to do
The first awesome thing I saw in the Internet has to do with this.
Major newspaper finds the key to gravity layoffs soon to come. Why am I
speaking in a form of poetry know as haiku, huh? Because as a nod to
national poetry month, "the New York Times" has launched something called
Time Haiku, an online duration of haikus plucked from actual fine articles.
Jake Apparus (ph), the senior software architect at the time, developed an
outer than that scan each sentence looking for potential haikus by using an
electronic dictionary containing syllable counts. You know, five syllables
then seven then five again. An algorithm checks the times home page for
newly published articles. The choices selected are then reviewed by man
and put up on "the Times" haiku site. Harris says he (INAUDIBLE) updates
the algorithm to expand its vocabulary and incorporate new word like
Rihanna which is great for haiku.
Here`s a few sample of haikus. To many, the Mets appear destined for
a fifth straight losing season. As a leftover, the soup was equally good
with the croutons. And it`s hard to find your bearings in the middle of
the cat equivalent. "The Times" provide the link directly from the actual
article, the haiku is flock from at last piece of poetry derived from an
article title a modest proposal for more back stabbing in preschool.
The second awesomest thing on the Internet today comes from a twitter
fan, Matt Moffat who pointed out this jam from the Web site, fast company,
wondering what if the Keystone XL Pipeline was a bike path. Welcome to
every FOX News viewers` worst nightmare. Liberals in bike helmets. These
sketches from landscape architects, the SWAWA group (ph), imagine a world
in which the Keystone pipeline, a controversial project that would bring
oil from Canada, the gulf coast refineries, has been approved, but all is
not lost. The design team is proposing a cross-country bike path to run
along the same route as the pipeline. As writer Kelsey Campbell-Delagon
points out, a bike path next to an oil pipeline is the environmental
equivalent of a Band-Aid on a mortal wound. True. That is the right wing
freak out would be highly entertaining.
And the third awesomest thing on the Internet today, comes from Boston
based freelancer, Luke O`Neill reporting for Slate. The story is amazing.
As O`Neill reports, it looks as if the Boston police are going undercover
online to stop being town`s biggest threat, DIY Indy rock shows. The band
spelling bee posted a screen pack of e-mails from an account, they believe
were used by the police in a sting before the recent Boston show. The e-
mails come from one hard core Boston punk by the name of Joe Sly. Just
look at his avatar. Punk is hack.
Mr. Sly has been e-mailing noise bands from his Boston beat gang g-
mail account to see when they`re heading into town to play DIY concerts
with some thoroughly unconvincing Boston tinge profanity. Thanks to our
twitter fan Shaleen Title for pointing us to this story. Remarking this
Boston cops pretending to be punks most funniest thing I`ve seen in a
To find all the links for tonight`s click3 on our Web site,
allin.msnbc.com and on our facebook page, facebook.com/all in with Chris.
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HAYES: Today, John Stanton of buzz feed published a fantastic piece
of storytelling, telling the story of one of the many untold victims of
Washington`s latest rounds of self-imposed austerity, which might better
known as the sequester. A piece so eye opening, it made everyone on the
staff stop what they were doing and read it. Stan tells the story of Jeff
Maryak, 39-year-old army reservist and combat veteran, who as he sees it,
must leave his civilian job and go back into combat because of
sequestration. Maryak was just getting by at a desk job at Fort Meade, a
U.S. army installation in Maryland. That is until the sequester hit,
cutting 27 percent of his paycheck, $900 from the $3400 he makes each pay
His first response was to get another job, four days a week,
delivering pizzas of Papa John`s. He also traded in a BMW for a white
Chevy impala. But the adjustment simply didn`t make up for Maryak`s lost
pay. In the Stan`s details, Maryak was awarded a bronze star in Southern
city in 2008 found himself dwelling deeply on one question. How do I un-f
myself from this situation. His answer, he would like to go back to war.
And perhaps the most mock cub detail of Maryak`s story, because of the
drawdown from Iraq and Afghanistan despite his many efforts, he has not
been able to get back to combat, which would mean tax free income, an
increase in his pay in form of hazard and combat bonuses and his Maryland
apartment paid for.
Right now, Maryak continues to work a second job at Papa John`s while
applying for deployment. As he told Stanton, it`s a kick in the teeth.
I`m 40-years-old and after working, what, 14 hours, I`m mopping the
bathroom of the back f-ing Papa John`s and my car smells like failure.
Maryak is an amazing and upsetting single story about life in the
United States during our long, grinding and unnecessary austerity era, but
there are thousands of other Americans who do or will have similar stories.
Another story published today by "the Huffington Post" Sam Stein and
Amanda Terkel details 100 examples of current or impending cuts caused by
the sequester. Everything from housing assistance being slashed in San
Benito, Texas to research jobs being cut in Durham, North Carolina. All of
which are receiving local coverage.
So the question is, why doesn`t Washington seem to care about any of
Joining me at the table, Heather McGhee, the vice president at the
public policy organization DEMOS, Ezra Klein, editor of "the Washington
Post" one clog and MSNBC policy analyst and Shana Hewitt, director of the
Early childhood Education Center in Brooklyn, New York. And joining us
from Washington D.C. is Jeff Maryak, army reservist and subject of the Buzz
Feed profile we just told you about.
Jeff, I want to start with you because what I thought was really
interesting was hearing your story and then you talking about the sequester
and your feeling about government spending and the first thing I wanted to
know was when the sequester debate was happening, were you following it and
did you think it would have an impact on your life?
JEFF MARYAK, ARMY RESERVIST: No. Well, first of all, thanks for
having me here. And I`d like to point out that while I think my car smells
like failure, it`s not because I work at a pizza place. It`s because of
the decisions I`ve made that have made, that`s the failure that I`ve made
is to put me in the spot that I`m in. Whereas the sequestration certainly
exacerbates the problem I`ve made for myself.
However, no. To answer your question, directly, no. I didn`t
necessarily think like the politicians themselves, they have said no one
really thought it would come to this. Now, we have had scares over the
last year or two or three about government shutdowns, can`t get to the, you
know, decision point of where we have a budget or what not, so that has
been discussed. We are aware of those kinds of issues.
HAYES: Jeff, at the end of the article, you say that the government
does waste a lot of money, that the government does need to tighten its
belt. And so, I wonder if this is what it looks like. A 27 percent pay
cut for you, not for any reason, just because things have to cut. What
your response is to that.
MARYAK: Well, yes, like I told John, that it would be intellectually
dishonest to say that the government needs to cut and then at the same time
whine when the cut is me. So, I`m certainly not complaining for myself.
While I agree that certainly, that`s ways that spending needs to be
curtailed, I may be one of the one of the casualties, so to speak. And how
does it affect me? While, it affects me from my paycheck, which is why I
got the second job.
But there`s, in essence around the corner, there`s a zombie
apocalypse, potentially, and what that is OK, what happens after the
sequestration, after the furlough is over and we still don`t have a
response? Then, I may lose my job. And so, in order for me to prep for
that doomsday, if you will, I`m looking at going back for deployment.
HAYES: Shana, you work with a different population. Kids in
Brownsville, a very poor neighborhood in New York. And what are you seeing
from the sequester?
SHANA HEWITT, DIRECTOR, THE EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION CENTER,
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK: What we are seeing is really trying to sort of figure
out what we need to do in order to have our program still run and serve the
community, yet meet these cuts we have to make.
HAYES: You have cuts coming down from the federal.
HEWITT: We do have cuts coming down. We have to look and see where
we need to make the cuts, so they basically leave it up to each
organization, each center, each program, to figure out where it is they`re
going to make their cuts and it could come from anywhere. You know, you
really have to look at your budgeting. You have to look at your staffing.
You have to look at what areas you`re going to need to maybe cut back on.
HAYES: What are you guys doing to do?
HEWITT: It`s not completely certain. We`re still working out the
logistics of it. At this moment, we have not faced any real cuts yet. We
are looking at it, but --.
HAYES: No, no, that`s interesting, you haven`t faced any real cuts
yet. Because part of what the disconnect is, I think, is what is the time
scale we are dealing with, right Ezra?
EZRA KLEIN, COLUMNIST, THE WASHINGTON POST: It`s like the dumbest
thing we did in sequestration conversation.
HAYES: The dumbest thing?
KLEIN: Fair enough.
Good competition. But the day after the sequester came into effect,
we looked around and to use a term, we said there are no zombies anywhere.
HAYES: Right, exactly. Zombie apocalypse did not happen.
KLEIN: No zombie apocalypse. So, this was all a joke. It was all
just hype. The way these cuts were allowed was over time, the unemployment
checks, which get cut by 10 percent pretty across the board, about 10
percent across the board, that doesn`t begin until this month, until April.
The cuts you are facing haven`t begun yet, but they`re coming and over
time, the cuts are cumulative because the agencies that are dealing with
them, in order to hope that Washington as we originally expected, would
come to a quick two or three months a deal, was doing a delay move. They
were trying to make it so they wouldn`t have to do them yet. So in fact,
maybe they would never have to do them, but that means that in the rest of
the year, once it becomes clear, if it becomes clear, we are never getting
rid of the sequester. The actual cuts required will become worse that we
thought, not better.
HAYES: That is what`s so key, because what ended up getting debated
in the debate was the day after. What does the day after look like? And I
want to play two bits of sound. The Republicans saying it`s not that big a
deal. The president saying this is a huge deal and you can see what the
tenor of the conversation was right before they went into effect. Take a
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: Sequester didn`t even cut any spending.
It just slows the rate of growth of government.
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: They ought to do it
in a way that doesn`t inconvenience the American people and they can
probably find a way if they want to.
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MINORITY LEADER: This modest reduction
of 2.4 percent in spending over the next six months is a little more than
the average American experienced just two months ago.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Emergency responders
like the ones who are here today, their ability to help communities respond
to and recover from disasters will be degraded. Federal prosecutors will
have to close cases and let criminals go. Air traffic controllers and
airport security will see cutbacks. Everybody here. All the folks who are
cleaning the floors at the capitol. They`re going to have less pay. The
janitors. The security guards. They just got a pay cut.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HEATHER MCGHEE, THE VICE PRESIDENT, PUBLIC POLICY ORGANIZATION, DEMOS:
I mean, the fact is what we saw in the "Huffington Post" piece was rolling
out 100 different places all over the country where they`re going to be
lotteries to figure out what kids can`t go to preschool this summer.
HAYES: And we saw it in section 8 housing., we see it in
unemployment, we see it in a rental assistance. Part of me thinks this
story here is a little bit of a story of who are the folks writing about
national politics and are they the folks that are at FCO (ph) or whose kids
might have their hours cut.
HEWITT: To hear him say it has to be done in a way that`s not going
to inconvenience is every day people. It`s heartbreaking because I know
how it is going to inconvenience every day people. I see it every day. I
know what the impact will be. If any part of our program is cut.
KLEIN: I want of you answer as what we`ve seen here, too, and the
kinds of cuts we are talking about.
HAYES: Yes. Hold that thought because I want you to say that and
talk what the zombie apocalypse will look like when it happens, right a
after this break.
HAYES: I cut you off tantalizingly mid thought.
KLEIN: This is this game being played in Washington. And pretty much
seem, you heard Mitch McConnell say, minority leader Mitch McConnell say,
it`s a 2.4 percent cut. That`s because Medicare is exempt and largely
Social Security. When you look at what is actually getting cut, the actual
programs affected by sequester , it`s more like seven to 10 percent for
those programs. And then when you go into that, there has been this effort
among particular Republicans in Washington to try to make the sequester
cuts to hide them. And what I thought was the most sickening episode in
this whole very, very sad affair was when Washington had a freak out about
White House tours being canceled. And this was the amazing thing because
this is something that these congressmen were actually hearing about. It
is the smallest. If you`re going to cut anything in government, cut the
White House tours and get it gone.
MCGHEE: It`s the perfect example because the issue behind the deficit
is the donor classes deficit and that little goody is what goes to donors.
KLEIN: To people who talk to their congressmen.
MCGHEE: To people who talk to their congressman. And you know what
they`re complaining about?
KLEIN: The people in your program, I would imagine most don`t have a
direct line to their congressman, but it`s a cut for the functions of
Washington politicians, they don`t feel.
And I mean, that`s something that our program tries to increase is the
awareness of our families, to be able to do these things and advocate for
themselves. But, if we are getting cut, how do we do that? It`s a vicious
HAYES: And the program you have, you have early learning program at a
125 kids in that, there`s a waiting list for that, I imagine.
HEWITT: Yes. I mean, it serves the community in a great way.
HAYES: And so, when -- if the cuts - if the zombie apocalypse as Jeff
said. And Jeff, I want to ask you about what the zombie apocalypse looks
like from where you`re standing. If the zombie apocalypse happen, right,
if the -- what I think is so perverse here, is that each successive
austerity fight has had less and less attention. Sure, this is was a great
graphic. This is the Americans paying very close attention to Washington
fiscal deadlines. And the debt-ceiling 38 percent, fiscal cliff 40
percent. Now sequestration was down to 25 percent. And what it`s done
it`s kind of brain deadened all of us about what`s actually happening.
So, if we are six months from now and the cuts come out and they do
accelerate, what are you looking at? What does it mean in human term for
the kids and families you serve?
HEWITT: It can mean so many things. It can mean a shorter day for
our children. It could mean less staff which would mean that we are
affecting the children in the program and our staff members, our employees
who rely on these jobs to, you know, provide for their families and better
It impacts the parents of those children. These parents are now
leaving their children in child care feeling that they are leaving their
children in a reliable, safe place and they`re going to get job training,
they are going to get their GED, so they can advance.
HAYES: Also, if you walk into a working parent`s life and say we are
going to take away two hours of child care, that`s huge. Good luck.
Jeff, you sound like if this stays in place, you`re worried your job
might be on the chopping block.
MARYAK: Yes, I am. And while I`m a pale juxtaposition to your other
guests and their wonderful organizations, yes, if I recently took this job
from Fort Bragg, North Carolina to move up here to Fort Meade to the D.C.
area to better myself, to have an opportunity to improve and succeed and
because I just took this job right when this happened, I can only imagine I
have to doomsday prep for that inevitability that they`re not going to
furlough forever, so they`re going to cut. I would imagine. I have to
plan for that, any ways, and if they cut, I`m out of a job. I`m the new
HAYES: So, is there a point, Heather, Ezra, is there a point where it
does become visible? It goes from being invisible to visible and D.C.
MCGHEE: It is becoming visible to people out in the communities is
one thing. It become invisible beyond White House tours to the people who
are decision makers is a completely different thing. I mean, what more
visibility do you need than 20 million people who are un and underemployed
than so many cutbacks in state funding for education that people are
graduating with $25,000 in debt. I mean, what more visibility does
Washington need? That`s a democracy question.
KLEIN: Yes. I think this is a, to go on that exact point, this is
not the time. There is ways to and not that much of it, that`s one of the
key things in the government, but to put people out of work at a time when
we have three or four people for every single job opening is unbelievably
unwise and indecent.
HAYES: Ezra Klein, editor of one clog, Heather McGhee of DEMOS, Shane
Hewitt of Early childhood education center in Brooklyn, and army reservist,
Jeff Maryak, joining us from Washington D.C., thank you, all.
That is "All in" this evening. "The Rachel Maddow show" starts now.
Good evening, Rachel.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST, THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW: Night two was
even better than night one, Chris.
HAYES: Thank you very much.
MADDOW: Do you feel that way? Can you tell how good you are yet?
HAYES: I can`t tell. You know how that is. You think about
everything you did wrong when you get off set. That`s what you do.
MADDOW: Well, tonight, anything you did wrong, it is private because
you are spectacular, man. Congratulations.
HAYES: You are too kind.
MADDOW: Keep going. All right.
Thanks to you at home as well for staying with us for the next hour.
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