ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
May 1, 2013
Guests: David Filipov, Khary Lazarre-White, Rose Gerber, Rep. Renee Ellmers, Rep. Chris Van Hollen
CHRIS HAYES, HOST: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes, and
thank you for joining us.
Tonight, our not so long national nightmare of slightly longer waits
at domestic airports is over. But the same can`t be said for cancer
clinics and other programs hit by the sequester. We`ll talk to the people
who are trying to fix this.
And a small explosion at a Florida school set off a firestorm of
controversy, I`ll tell you why.
All that, plus #click3.
But, first, a fairly huge development in Boston today as three
additional suspects were arrested and charged in connection with the Boston
marathon bombings investigation.
Azamat Tazhayakov, who you see on your left, and Dias Kadyrbayev, who
is next to him, both 19 year olds from Kazakhstan, but living in New
Bedford, Massachusetts, are charged with conspiring to obstruct justice. A
third man, Robel Phillipos, who`s also 19 and who lives in Cambridge, was
charged with making false statements to law enforcement officials in a
All three men were students at the University of Massachusetts,
Dartmouth, where Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was also a student. Dzhokhar, of
course, and his brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev, are suspected of having set off
bombs near the finish line of the Boston marathon on April 15th. That
killed three people and injured 260 others.
Tamerlan, 26, was killed in a shootout with police, while Dzhokhar, of
course, was charged with using a weapon of mass destruction. He is now
being treated for multiple gunshot wounds at a locked medical facility for
At a brief appearance this afternoon in Boston, Tazhayakov and
Kadyrbayev waived their right to a bail hearing and agreed to voluntary
detention. They will make their next court appearance in two weeks.
Meanwhile, in a separate hearing, Phillipos also waived his right to a
bail hearing. He is scheduled to be back in court on Monday.
Now, here`s something interesting, Tazhayakov and Kadyrbayev are
already been in custody for 11 days on allegations they violated their
student visas, and before the charges were announced today, Tazhayakov and
Kadyrbayev were in court this morning on immigration charges. A short time
later, they were hit with criminal charges that they exposed of material
that could tie Dzhokhar to the bombing.
According to the quite remarkable FBI affidavit, Kadyrbayev said he
suspected that Dzhokhar was part of the marathon bombings when he went to
Dzhokar`s dorm room with the other two men three days after the attacks,
and noticed that several tubes that had previously contained fireworks had
been empty of their powder.
Then, also, according to the affidavit, the three men took from the
dorm room an emptied out cardboard tube that apparently contained
fireworks, a jar of Vaseline that Kadyrbayev believed had been used to,
quote, "make bombs", a backpack and a laptop. Kadyrbayev said he tossed
the stuff in the trash because according to the complaint, they, quote,
"did not want Tsarnaev to get into trouble."
But Kadyrbayev`s lawyer says his client absolutely denies the charges.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT STAHL, KADYRBAYEV`S ATTORNEY: He did not know that those items
were involved in a bombing or of any interest in a bombing or any
evidential value. So, that`s all we have to say on that. But we are the
ones, Mr. Dias and Kadyrbayev, cooperated with all law enforcement when
they came to him without the benefit of counsel to assist in the
investigation of this horrible tragedy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me tonight from Boston, David Filipov, reporter for
the "Boston Globe," who spent 15 years in Russia covering the Chechen wars.
David, I have to say, this is a very strange turn in this case. This
morning when I saw word there had been three suspects, I think my thought
and everyone`s thought was, oh, my, there was more to this plot, there was
a cell, there were more people. It now appears from the complaint that
entered into court by the FBI, this solely has to do with things that
happened after the bombing.
DAVID FILIPOV, BOSTON GLOBE: Right. That`s absolutely astounding.
We`re all expecting some sort of information about a larger conspiracy
about, you know, radical plot, and instead what we find is something that
seems like college students completely unaware of what they are about to
get into, you know, trying to help out their friend, who seems to be in
trouble, LOL, and, you know, this lighthearted move to get involved in
something so serious, but without any connection whatsoever to the actual
planning of the terrorist bombing.
HAYES: You said LOL, there`s a moment in the affidavit in the
complaint in which one of the two gentlemen, who have been charged today,
who are the Kazakh nationals, one of them texts Tsarnaev saying, you know,
have you seen the news, and Tsarnaev texted back saying "LOL and you can
come to my apartment to get stuff."
I mean, is the story here that they were just kind of -- is the
government hearing a case they were just kind of acting on adolescent
impulse to help out their buddy?
FILIPOV: Basically, yes. I mean, the kind of loose exchanges, you
know, if you go back and look at the social media and you listen to the
stories, these are just guys that like soccer and girls and cars, and they
hang out together. Then one of their friends turns out to be possibly
involved in something like this and they are like, yes, we`ll help you out,
It`s this amazingly easy slipping into something that ends up being so
cataclysmic. And it really is that. You know, what was amazing as the day
unfolded, is how lightheartedly really they attached themselves to
something so serious.
HAYES: That`s right. In terms of the stakes of this, we know -- my
understanding of the timeline is they went to the dorm room three days
after the bombing. They went and did all this before police officer Sean
Collier was shot at MIT. Had they done something like gone to the
authorities, this may have played out in a very different way, if the
government`s allegations are, in fact, true.
FILIPOV: If the government allegations are true, yes. And by doing
this, by basically going and trying, you know, in a very haphazard and
clumsy attempt to sort of help their friends out by destroying what they
might have considered evidence, if the allegations are true, then they
basically, you know, are involved in a conspiracy to prevent an
investigation -- to obstruct investigation into a terrorist attack.
And that completely turns the case around, because instead of
informing authorities, hey, this might be a suspect, they end up allowing -
- or at least if the allegations are true, you know, allowing the next part
of this to play out with the shooting and the chase and all of that
HAYES: Now, the two men that are Kazakh nationals, what is the
situation in terms of their immigration status. They are here on student
visas, but it appears they have run afoul those student visas even before
the government brought the criminal charges today.
FILIPOV: Yes, according to what we know, they were not strong
students. One had stopped attending classes at the end of last semester.
They were both getting grades that, you know, would probably have caused
them to either flunk out or at least that raised questions of the validity
of their student visas.
And it was more of a technicality, but it seems to have allowed
federal authorities to bring them in and start talking to them. And in
these conversations, that`s when the questions about what exactly happened,
what transpired in those days after the bombing came out. And that`s when,
allegedly, the two Kazakh students started saying the things that
ultimately ended up with them being charged with the more serious crimes.
HAYES: They are now facing quite serious charges and quite serious
jail time, as well as there`s immigration proceedings proceeding against
them. Presumably, they`ll remain in custody now until there is a trial or
until there`s a plea, right?
FILIPOV: Well, there`s a hearing on May 14th, where the charges -- a
pretrial hearing. Then, you know, they are facing deportation, but the
charge of conspiracy to obstruct investigation is up to five years. The
other student who was arrested today, taken into custody and charged, he
has -- he`s facing up to eight years for --
HAYES: Making false statements.
FILIPOV: Making false statements to federal investigators, possibly
because since he`s making false statements in a terrorism case, it`s much
more serious crime than obstructing justice. Basically, that`s why he
seems to be facing a larger prison term if these charges are, you know, if
this comes true.
HAYES: David Filipov of "The Boston Globe", thank you very much.
The eyes of the news watching world today have been fixed on these
arrests, these three college friends of Boston marathon bombing suspect
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who are being charged with obstructing the terror
investigation into the bombing.
But there`s another story about an adolescent in America, about an
explosion inside a Florida school, a story we could not believe when we
first heard it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TV ANCHOR: A 16-year-old girl faces felony charges after police say
she brought an explosive device to Bartow High School.
Reporter Melanie Michael (ph) joins us live from the school.
Melanie, do we know if she brought the device as a science project
that went wrong, or is this more malicious?
REPORTER: Ginger, good afternoon to you. We are certainly gathering
information at this hour as this was a developing story. We were able to
spend time with the principal today and he shed some light on this.
The answer to your question, the principal truly believes this was not
a malicious act. This was simply a 16-year-old girl, he says, who wanted
to see what happened when household cleaning products mixed in a bottle and
then created some sort of a boom and blew the cap off the bottle.
We want to show you a photograph of this young woman. She is a 16-
year-old girl Kiera Wilmot. And the reason we`re showing her photograph,
even though she is a 16-year-old, is because she charged with felonies this
noon for bringing in an explosive device to school, deputies say, and they
tell us in a case like this, you cannot be too careful, especially in this
day and age, this climate in the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: This climate in the world has led to a 16-year-old exemplary
student expelled and facing felony charges for what appears to be a do it
yourself science project gone wrong. That story is coming up next.
HAYES: If you were on Twitter or Reddit this afternoon, there`s a lot
of outrage over our next story. A lot of outrage because it really is
outrageous, and it`s a possible sign of things to come in the post-Boston
reaction to how we live our lives. That`s next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: It all started with a water bottle just like this one and a
teenager`s curiosity. You know, this young woman has never been in trouble
before, and her friends tell me tonight, this was simply a science project
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: It would be fair to wonder what, what sort of event that
started with a water bottle and teenager`s curiosity could possibly be the
It is the story of Kiera Wilmot. She`s 16 years old and was, until
very recently, a student at Bartow High School in Bartow, Florida. She`s
been described as an exemplary young woman from a great family. Her
principal calls her a good student and good kid who`s never been in trouble
before, until last week.
Last Monday, according to police, Kiera mixed the works, toilet bowl
cleanser and pieces of aluminum foil in water, which caused the bottle to
explode. She was not making a bomb. She was not cooking meth. She was
experimenting. She was being curious in much the same way that literally
millions of kids with chemistry sets have been throughout the history of
childhood and adolescents -- probably like any number of Nobel Prize
winners were when they were kids.
You can find dozens and dozens of videos on YouTube of kids and
grownups doing exactly this experiment in their backyards. They mixed a
hydrochloric acid-based household cleaner with aluminum foil and a plastic
bottle, screw the cap on, and watch the bottle expand until it pops.
In Kiera`s case, the explosion that resulted involved, according to
local news reports, the cap of the water bottle being blown off and no one
being injured and no property being damaged.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She just wanted to see what would happen, and I
think it shocked her that because she was very honest with us when we were
out there talking, I think it kind of shocked her that it did that. She
was not trying to be malicious to harm anybody or destroy something at
school or anything else. She just made a bad choice of a place to do
REPORTER: What was her parents` reaction?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kind of shocked, too. I mean, they are good
parents. Like I say, she`s a good student.
REPORTER: Do you know what happened? I mean, besides the cap blowing
off of her water bottle, you know what Kiera`s reward was for exercising
her intellectual curiosity on school grounds, instead of in her backyard?
She was taken into custody by school resources officer and charged with
possession and discharge of a weapon on school grounds and discharging a
destructive device, both felonies, which she`s being charged with as an
adult. She was then taken to a juvenile assessment center and then
expelled from school, which means she`ll be forced to finish high school
and get a diploma through a special expulsion program.
When asked why they though immediate expulsion was the proper
punishment, the school district told "The Miami New Times" that the letter
of the law demanded the punishment and that kids should learn, quote,
"there are consequences to their actions."
Kiera is allowed to appeal her expulsion. But the school district
won`t discuss whether or not she has, citing the students` privacy right.
Thank goodness she didn`t try the Diet Coke and Mentos trick, she
might have been hauled to Gitmo under Florida state law. The felonies
Kiera is charged with can carry up to a five-year prison term and $5,000
fine, all because, as local authorities told Florida reporters, in this day
and age, in this climate, you cannot be too careful.
Joining me right now is Khary Lazarre-White, executive director of the
Brotherhood/Sister Sol, also known as Bro/Sis, one of the leading youth
development and advocacy organizations in the country.
Khary, it`s great to have you here. I want to get your reaction to
this story, because we read it all today and we -- it was zinging around
the Internet and just could not believe it, but I`ve talked to some folks
that work with school kids and they were less shocked by what they heard.
KHARY LAZARRE-WHITE, YOUTH ADVOCATE: Yes, it`s very disturbing story
on two levels. First, just on a personal level, that this young girl, who
is a strong student, coming from a strong family, doing nothing wrong but
being intellectually curious, is now expelled from school. That`s deeply
disturbing on personal level.
The other reason it`s deeply disturbing is because it`s emblematic in
a national level. Over 3 million cases of expulsion and severe suspensions
out of our schools across the country and it`s the zero tolerance policy
that is expelling children for the kind of things that got us sent to the
principal`s office or talked to by a teacher at worse when we were in
HAYES: So, you see -- you work with kids and you see -- I mean, the
trend is there`s some bucket of things that are disciplinary infractions.
HAYES: You do something in school that`s wrong and you get suspended,
you get disciplined in school. And then there`s some bucket of things that
LAZARRE-WHITE: That`s right.
HAYES: And what has been happening, what`s the trend been over the
last 10 years?
LAZARRE-WHITE: The lines become blurred.
LAZARRE-WHITE: It`s become blurred, one, because now you have police
officers in schools. So, you have police officers responding to issues
that used to be that teachers or school safety officers responded to.
Secondly, you now see this broad range of issues that would have never
been seen as something to arrest a child. We have children who have been
expelled for singing too loudly in classes, running through the hallway,
for being late. But one of the most striking aspects to this issue is that
the number one issue that you see leading towards this kind of expulsion is
children who are refusing to respond to authority, children who are, quote,
And when you start looking at that kind of language and especially
when the disproportionate number of people being expelled are black
children in this country and you put those two issues together, you see a
racial narrative, which is disturbing, black children are seeking to be
controlled in a very particular way. And the result of that is a high
level of suspension that`s leading towards young people being put out of
school, not graduating from high school, and that has a clear determinate
into a life of poverty.
HAYES: We`ve seen just the numbers on this show how racially
disproportionate the effects of these kinds of zero tolerance policies are,
and a lot of this in sort of reading into this, a lot of this is a reaction
to school violence, right, in the wake of Columbine, there were initial
calls for zero tolerance policies.
I guess I wonder how when we`re thinking about school violence,
Newtown, now, we`re looking at this accused bomber who`s a college student,
what is the wrong way to respond to school violence and what`s the right
way? How do we avoid the mistakes we`ve been making that have led us to
Because Wayne LaPierre, I could play a little clip of him, this is --
this is his reaction to Newtown, which is putting more armed folks in
Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WAYNE LAPIERRE, NRA: I call on Congress today to act immediately to
appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every
single school in this nation, and to do it now, to make sure that blanket
safety is in place when our kids return to school in January.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: What is your reaction to that kind of rhetoric?
LAZARRE-WHITE: Well, it`s assumed that`s going to be the kind of
response by the NRA. I think that they have removed themselves from a
rational conversation that we`re having in America. But I think when we
try to have a conversation among rational people, what we realize is a lot
of times things are being grouped with high school kids that are not high
school kid-related, even some of the situations that you used as examples,
were about adults coming into the schools and killing children, were about
shootings on college campuses, there have been very few shootings within
schools that are high schools throughout this country.
Yet to your point, the response has been to over-police them, to over-
suspend them, and to respond with guns within the school. Really what it
is, it`s about adults who are refusing to do their responsibility. This is
about parents, teachers and school districts. And that needs to be the
response, not law enforcement, because it really is a question about what
kind of America we want to see.
Do we want to see America that puts police in schools, or do we want
to see an America that ensures children are being responded to in a child-
centered way that is ensuring that the many low-level issues that arise do
not result in expelling and expulsion and ending a child`s experience in
high school? That`s not the kind of American educational system I think
any of us want.
HAYES: Are there people that are doing it right? I think to myself,
if I were a teacher, someone working in the school, and, you know, safety`s
important and adolescent, you know, I remember being a teenager and I was
not a real brawler, but I would get into it with people, right? Are there
people that are doing it right?
LAZARRE-WHITE: Yes, absolutely. I`m an executive director of the
Brotherhood/Sister Sol. We`ve been working with young people for 18 years.
Expulsion is the last result. We`ve put out about five young people in 18
When young people are difficult, I say to our staff, that`s why we do
this work, that`s what we`re here for. And so, the research is very clear
on this issue, whether it`s the Legal Defense Fund, whether it`s American
Psychologist Association, this level of expelling young people does not
result in better behavior.
What results in better behavior are child-centered approaches -- very
quickly, teachers learning to manage classrooms better, removing police
from the schools, ensuring there are levels to response to behavior that
are appropriate to the behavior put into place, and then, social workers
and youth-centered counselors in there to deal with the situations that do
arise that are serious without calling in police.
HAYES: We should even note here, as I note in the intro, this student
in Florida was not a troublemaker and this is a one-time thing. She`s now
expelled. She`s facing felony charges as an adult.
The fact that she`s being tried as an adult is the whole other part of
this, which is the way that we destroyed juvenile justice in this country.
But we`ll return to that, I`m sure, in the future.
Khary Lazarre-White, thank you so much for coming tonight.
LAZARRE-WHITE: Thank you for having me. I appreciate it.
HAYES: It`s May 1st, May Day, a day of celebration for the labor
union. But the aftermath of a life-shattering event should change the way
we think about working people around the world. That`s coming up.
HAYES: Today is May 1st, May Day, the original Labor Day, and
International Workers Day. It`s really the left`s only true global
These are pictures of people around the world taking to the streets
and protesting. They are demanding higher wages, better benefits, and
safer working conditions. Something many of us in this country take for
And the great irony of May 1st is you see in these pictures, is that
it is recognized all around the world, but its birthplace is here at home.
May Day started in Chicago in 1886, workers peacefully came together
striking for an eight-hour work day. That rally turned deadly after a bomb
was thrown at police, protesters and police alike lost their lives.
You learn about Haymarket affair in school. The story essentially has
been lost to history. We forget about all the labor tragedies and triumphs
along the way.
On a day like today, we think about the 1911 triangle shirt waste
factory fire, which killed 146 garment workers in New York City. We think
about all the moments in American history, some of which are happening as I
speak, when people have struggle led for basic autonomy, dignity,
solidarity, and protection for themselves in the places they work.
Sometimes we think all that stuff that happened in the 19th and 20th
centuries. Labor mobilization, fighting for better conditions, strikes --
it`s just some story, a fairytale from the past. This battle is not in the
past. It is very much in the present.
This is Bangladesh, a country of 150 million people. And last week,
the country suffered the single most lethal incident in the history of the
garment industry there. Rana Plaza was an eight-story building made of
concrete and glass located in the outskirts of the capital city of Dhaka.
It was built on a swamp without the proper permits. And according to the
country`s chief engineer, three of its stories were added illegally.
Rana Plaza housed a number of businesses, including at least five
garment factories that supplied western clothing retailers.
Last Wednesday, it collapsed. Over400 people have died and that
number is sure to rise as the search for survivors has now turned into a
mission to recover the dead.
When I first read about this tragedy, I thought to myself, this is
horrific. But I also thought that this was one of those stories you read
about and you feel awful and then you keep going about your day.
It`s tempting, very tempting, to think that this is just the way the
world is, this kind of tragedy happens in that kind of country.
Well, the people of Bangladesh disagree. In the wake of this horrific
event, there has been a society-wide mobilization, not unlike what happened
in India after a young woman was gang-raped and killed on a bus, not unlike
what happened in this country in the wake of Newtown, when a long festering
social problem announced itself in a way that shook the nation`s
In the meantime, the horrific details surrounding Rana Plaza`s
collapse keep trickling out. "The New York Times" reports on what went on
the day before the building collapsed -- listen to this -- workers on the
third floor were stitching clothing when they were startled by a noise that
sounded like an explosion, cracks had appeared in the building.
An engineer came to assess the building. He examined three support
pillars and concluded the building needed to be closed immediately. It
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMAEL (through translator): We didn`t want to go out to
the factory this morning, but the management forced us to go up and said
there was no problem with the building. Just after I sat at my table to
work, the building just collapsed. I couldn`t even leave.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Workers at Rana Plaza earned as little as 40 dollars a month.
They had no union. They didn`t even have the power to say I cannot go to
work today because I don`t feel safe. That lack of power is what called
The man who had all the power at Rana Plaza was the building`s owner,
a man named Sahil Rana (ph). "New York Times" describes him as an
untouchable, as a Mafia don. Mr. Rana was reportedly involved in illegal
drugs and guns. He also happened to be the local leader of the ruling
political party`s youth wing.
When it became clear he was responsible for the conditions at Rana
Plaza, Mr. Rana tried to sneak out of the country and was nabbed by the
police and is now going to be brought to trial. If these details outrage
you, you are not alone.
Today, thousands of Bangladeshis took to the streets in the capital
city of Daka demanding better safety standards for their neighbors, their
brothers, their sisters, for themselves, because Bangladesh right now, as a
society, is saying what other societies have said at moments, enough, this
It is a stark reminder on this day, when we think about what it means
for working people to band together and assert their power, it literally is
a matter of life and death. All of us have some type of understanding that
the clothes we wear on our backs were made somewhere, that might have been
made in one of the factories inside Rana Plaza. The future we should be
heading towards isn`t a future in which our clothes aren`t made by the
people in Bangladesh or other parts of the globe.
The future is a future in which our clothes are made by people in
Bangladesh, but those people have the right to form a union, they have the
right to earn a living in an environment with a proper building permits.
They have the right to go to work every day, earn a fair, livable wage, and
come home every night safe to the people they love.
It`s the most basic demand. But it doesn`t just happen by magic. It
happens through struggle. Happy May Day. We`ll be right back with Click
HAYES: President Obama signed a bill today reversing sequester cuts
to the Federal Aviation Administration. Republican Congresswoman Renee
Ellmers and 50 co-sponsors hope Congress will act as quickly on legislation
to scale back cuts to cancer clinics. Will it happen and should it happen?
That debate coming up.
But first, I want to share the three awesomest things on the Internet
today, beginning with a cutting depiction of workers getting totally
shafted. As presented by "Business Insider`s" Henry Blodgett (ph) in honor
of May Day, chart one, corporate profits at an all-time high. From 1985
onward, it just keeps going up, except during recession. And when all that
money`s going to profits, it hurts the economy and employees.
Thus chart two, wages as a percentage of the economy at an all-time
low. A pretty steady decline from 1970 onward. So as companies make more
money, they are paying their employees less and doing it with fewer
workers. Thus, chart three, employment to population ratio really
plummeting since the Great Recession. Those unemployed, underemployed and
underpaid workers represent lost purchasing power. So when income
inequality reaches this point, it affects not just those workers, but the
entire economy`s bottom line.
You should check it out, even when it`s not May Day.
The second awesomest thing on the Internet today, a fascinating, if
somewhat morbid discovery, this is Jane. This photo released online today
is a reconstruction of a victim of cannibalism in Jamestown, Virginia,
circa 1610. You heard me right. Today scientists at the Smithsonian
Institution unveiled Jane as the first physical evidence of cannibalism in
a new world colony. The paparazzi in attendance. Jane`s bones were
unearthed last August, a 14-year-old girl, scientists say, with telltale
scars indicating cuts to the head postmortem. The colonists waited until
she was deceased, which was nice, to, well, eat her brains.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s extremely limited skill in terms of kitchen
technique. It is not the result of a butcher, someone that is working at
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Translation, they were cannibals, but at least they weren`t
very good at it. It was the winter of 1609 to 1610, which was rough. The
Jamestown population plummeted from 300 to 60. Scientists don`t know how
Jane died. They just know she was dinner. What? Too soon?
And the third awesomest thing on the Internet today, an article
explaining one of the world`s great enigmas, the origin of, or perhaps the
inspiration for Donald Trump`s hair. This is the Flannel Moth Caterpillar,
spotted by a biologist and wildlife photographer in Peru, and innocently
posted online without the knowledge that viewers would soon dub it the
Donald Trump Caterpillar. The caterpillar has the ability to release venom
when touched, a fitting parallel to the Trumpster`s admitted aversion to
And the latest now biological challenge to Trump for some kind of
reasonable explanation. you can find all the links for tonight`s Click
Three at our website, AllInWithChris.com. We`ll be right back.
HAYES: Today the president signed into law the by now famous FAA Fix
Bill that grants the FAA special flexibility to deal with sequester cuts,
and perhaps most importantly to those who voted on it, ends flight delays.
While the concerns of frequent fliers and commuting congressman have been
heard and addressed, millions of Americans are still being impacted by the
cuts. A new poll released today by CBS and the "New York Times" found that
27 percent of Americans say the sequester is personally affecting them
somewhat or a great deal.
That`s a huge number of Americans whose lives are being directly
impacted by the sequester. And we`re only a month and a half into this
thing. When you scratch the surface of the latest polling a little bit,
you start to see a very real measurable difference in how people feel about
the sequester depending on how much money they make. Thirty nine percent
of Americans whose annual household income is over 100,000 dollars a year
say the sequester will hurt the economy, compared to 49 percent of people
whose annual household income are less than 100,000 dollars a year, who say
This gulf in public opinion, which I think is just starting to grow,
based on personal wealth, is, of course, at the heart of why the first bill
out of Congress to bill with the effects out of the sequester was a
frequent flyer bailout bill, and not a bill to prevent poor kids from
getting out of Headstart or to make sure the elderly continue to get meals,
or even a bill to ensure cancer patients can get their medications, which
are subject to the Medicare cuts mandated by the sequester and have since
become so expensive to administer that cancer clinics around the country
are turning Medicare patients away.
So while Congress is in recess this week, the effects of the reckless
decisions continue to beat down people around the country every single day,
and they have a requirement to fix this thing. What the GOP wants is for
people to accept the normalcy of a post-sequester world as the status quo.
And we here refuse to do that.
So, joining me tonight, Rose Gerber. She`s a director at the
Community Oncology Alliance and a cancer survivor herself. Rose, thank you
for joining me.
ROSE GERBER, COMMUNITY ONCOLOGY ALLIANCE: Hi, thank you, Chris.
HAYES: You were a survivor yourself.
GERBER: Yes, I am. I`m actually a 10-year cancer survivor. In fact,
tomorrow I`m actually seeing my oncologist as part of my follow up.
HAYES: And you work with folks that are going to these community
oncology clinics, right? That`s where they`re getting their treatment.
GERBER: That`s correct. For the viewers who aren`t familiar with
what we mean when we say a community cancer care center, these are the
private practices within people`s hometowns. This is where the majority of
cancer treatments are treated. So we use the term community cancer care.
HAYES: So this is where the majority of people are treated. And in
these cancer clinics, government Medicare helps to pay the cost of
chemotherapy drugs, which are very expensive, right?
GERBER: Correct, very expensive. And again, we`ll talk today -- and
when people are reading about sequestration, they`ll focus on the economic
terms. And there is a reality and it`s very hard, especially for patients,
to accept that a cancer clinic is, in fact, a small business. And when
you`re a cancer patient, it never crossed my mind that somebody, a practice
administrator, had to go and order your drugs so that they were kept in
inventory and ready for you when you came in to be treated. So, this is
all part of the care setting.
HAYES: So the clinics, they buy the drugs and then they sell them at
a very small markup to patients.
HAYES: And that markup is what allows them to stay in business,
essentially. And that`s now being slashed by the cuts to Medicare that
have been part of the sequester.
GERBER: Correct. And again, when you think about a cancer setting,
you have your nurses and your doctors -- and Congresswoman Ellmers will be
in in a few minutes to speak with you. And what we have to recognize as
part of the care is the staff. It`s the oncologists that take care of us.
I have a very close relationship, 10 years later, with my doctor, Dr.
Jogathanpaw (ph). You know, it`s a continuity of care, and the nurses, the
doctors are there, that`s part of your treatment.
HAYES: And so what are you hearing from patients around the country
about the effects of this cut, where people are being told that these
clinics can`t offer the chemotherapy drugs, given the cut to the price of
drugs that they are getting from the government?
GERBER: Well, it`s actually very heartbreaking, because again, we`re
-- let`s talk now -- we`ve talked about the economics of it. Let`s talk
about the emotional part of it. So just today, I spoke with two of our
cancer center practice administrators and patient advocates from their
practice. Again, these are the people that run the practices and the
patients within the practices. So one of our practices, Northwest Georgia
Oncology, they have 10 locations. Seventy six of their patients have now
had to go into other settings.
So again, instead of being in their normal place with their normal
physicians and doctors --
HAYES: In the midst of chemo, let`s be clear.
GERBER: Yes, and that`s very upsetting. And one thing again, I
mentioned I`m a 10 year survivor. I can remember what it felt like it was
yesterday. You`re so vulnerable. You`re so upset. It`s the worst time of
your life. No matter what you`re portraying on the outside, your heart is
breaking. You could be a single parent. You could be -- in this case,
we`re talking about a Medicare-age population. Wherever you`re at, it is
one of the most unsettling times in life.
But if you have that care, you have a doctor or a nurse that cares
about you. And now that`s disrupted and you have to go somewhere else.
And not only go somewhere else, let`s really think about what this means.
We -- I spoke to another practice administrator in Salt Lake City. She has
an 82-year-old patient, a Lymphoma survivor who now has to travel 62 miles.
Now, for perspective, what this means I -- when I was diagnosed, I was
39 years old. My treatment center, Eastern Connecticut Hematology and
Oncology in Southeastern Connecticut, was less than 30 miles from my house.
I`m not ashamed to admit this; my husband drove me to every appointment,
because that 30 miles seemed like 300 miles because of my emotional state
of mind. Now our seniors --
HAYES: You`re talking of an 82-year-old woman who is going to have to
get herself 62 miles. We`re taking people in the midst of chemo. We`re
tearing up the relationship they have in the midst of this treatment.
We`re pushing them out of these clinics often into hospitals, which all of
the studies tell us cost more. So it`s not even sound policy.
So this is what things look like on the ground. Rose Gerber, thank
you so much for coming in and laying this out for us, and bringing us some
on the ground perspective. It`s really, really helpful. Thank you.
GERBER: Thank you. Thank you so much. >
HAYES: I want to get reaction to what Rose just told me and find out
where this fight is headed, from both a Republican and Democratic lawmaker,
HAYES: How to end the damage of the sequester that continues to go
on? Should Congress worry about the strategy? Or should they provide
relief as quickly as they did for airline passengers?
Joining me now, Congresswoman Renee Ellmers, Republican of North
Carolina. She sponsored the Cancer Patient Protection Act as an immediate
fix to cancer clinic cuts. And congresswoman, thank you for joining me.
I`ll begin by asking you, what inspired you to produce this piece of
REP. RENEE ELLMERS (R), NORTH CAROLINA: Interestingly enough, Chris,
I had a visit to my area community cancer center in Dunn, North Carolina,
very recently and learned about the cuts that were going to go into effect
and how devastating they would be. Of course, as of April 1st, that is
when they actually went into effect. You know, I just immediately reached
out to my staff so that we could put this piece of legislation together,
knowing how important it was to take care of those cancer patients.
HAYES: What was your reaction to the FAA vote fix last week?
ELLMERS: Well, I have to admit, I, like so many, were saying, you
know, this is a very important issue. We don`t want people waiting in
lines in airports. But at the same time, when we have cancer patients who
are vulnerable and need our help, I really thought that should have been
the place that we should have gone first.
HAYES: But you did vote for the FAA fix?
ELLMERS: I did, because there, again, very important piece of
legislation. But there again, cancer patients, much more important.
HAYES: You and I are absolutely on the same page. I think probably
every single viewer in America right now is on the same page about the
relative importance. But here`s the problem. You have an inconvenient
problem in the FAA. You have a less inconvenient problem with an 82-year-
old woman who has to go 60 miles now to get her chemotherapy. In voting to
fix the FAA, haven`t you given away the leverage to get that woman her
chemotherapy? Isn`t that just going to languish there, now that the thing
that everyone said was the most pressing problem, which you, yourself,
voted to fix, has been fixed?
ELLMERS: Actually, I think it helps our cause, because now that we`ve
seen that we can actually vote -- you know, in Congress, we have the
ability to instruct the agencies on how they use these sequester cuts and
how they have some flexibility. So, that actually bolsters the issue. And
that helps me to get more cosponsors on this bill. We`re up to 60 now.
HAYES: If it bolsters the issue -- and again I think everyone who`s
watching this is probably in agreement that this is not -- this should not
be happening. If it bolsters it, then it seems to bolster other things. I
mean, are you going to say that kids should be kicked out of Headstart? I
want to play you a little bit of a sound of a senior, a 70-year-old
resident in Virginia who decided to remove himself from his local Meals on
Wheels Program preemptively in order to make sure people more needy would
be able to eat. Take a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Run into people who have been a whole lot worse
off than I was. Some of them were living here, some have passed on. And I
just couldn`t bear the thought of me having something to eat and maybe
somebody else needing it. I just volunteered to give it up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Now, that`s an incredible thing to do. The question to you as
a member of Congress who voted for the FAA bill, who sponsored this, is
what do you have to say to the folks on Meals on Wheels? What do you have
to say to the kids in Headstart?
ELLMERS: Well, number one, I`ve helped out with Meals on Wheels
myself in my own community. And yes, Headstart is a very important issue,
as well. I`ve met with individuals in my district as I`ve been home
finding out if these cuts are going into effect. The danger is there.
They know they are prepared for possibility of furloughs of staff, but
they`ve not happened yet in my district.
HAYES: But they have in others.
ELLMERS: But the point being that two cents of every federal dollar
was cut from our budget. We need to put the spending cuts in place. We
borrow 3.8 billion dollars every day to fund the federal government. It`s
up to the agencies to act appropriately.
HAYES: But some of those --
ELLMERS: -- to put the cuts in place that are smart, not harm
HAYES: That`s not -- but the statutory language that the agencies
have to deal with is that the cuts have to be across the board. That was
the language that was worked out between the president and the Republican
Congress, which everybody jumped in the pool together. So it seems to me
that the problem is, you turn around and you say these folks aren`t getting
chemotherapy, this is an outrage, but it is related to the government --
those two cents you just held up, some of those cents are going to people
getting chemo drugs. That`s the whole point, that when you cut, there are
ELLMERS: The thing of it is that`s why across the board cuts are
never a good idea. That`s why we voted for two -- twice, sequester
replacement bills in the House. We know that`s very dangerous, because we
effect the good with the bad.
HAYES: Congresswoman Renee Ellmers, thank you so much for joining me
tonight, I really appreciate it. Let`s bring in Congressman Chris Van
Hollen of Maryland, ranking Democrat of the House Budget Committee.
Congressman, it`s great to have you here.
You said the following: "I don`t think we should be voting for
exceptions to this. We`re going to have to draw a line and say we`ve got
to deal with this in a comprehensive way. It`s going to be tough. That`s
why it`s going to require a united position and leadership."
Do you stand by that, even when you hear stories about what`s going
on, for instance, with folks getting chemo at cancer clinics?
REP. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN (D), MARYLAND: Chris, I agree that we shouldn`t
have seniors having to travel long distances for their cancer drugs. I
agree that we shouldn`t have long lines at airports. I also agree that we
shouldn`t have four million fewer Meals on Wheels for seniors who are
struggling. I also think we shouldn`t have 70,000 kids kicked off
And the way we deal with that is to replace the sequester. And four
times this year, four times, I`ve offered on behalf of my Democratic
colleagues a bill to replace the sequester, to achieve the same amount of
deficit reduction, but without these disruptive consequences to people`s
lives and throughout the economy. And our Republican colleagues have
refused to even allow us a vote on that.
And in fact, this year in this new Congress, zero is the number of
times they`ve actually proposed a replacement for the sequester. So, we
can help those seniors on chemotherapy and we can help remove the other
disruptive impacts of the sequester by replacing it. So let`s move forward
in a comprehensive way, rather than piecemeal.
HAYES: All right. So here`s the question: what is the leverage here?
What is the leverage, right? Republicans have a majority in the House.
They actually like cuts to non-discretionary funding like this. They are
quite happy with them. There`s a few things here and there, their flights
are delayed. That congresswoman doesn`t like the chemo disruptions, which
I completely understand.
What leverage does the White House have, do Senate Democrats have, and
do you as House Democrats -- what leverage do you have to force their hand,
particularly now that everyone`s going to get home on their Friday
afternoon flights out of the Capitol?
VAN HOLLEN: That`s right, Chris. Two points -- one, it`s important
that everybody understand that we already did 1.2 trillion dollars in real
cuts to these parts of the budget. That`s already been done. So the
sequester is on top of this. So the question is whether people like
Senator McCain, Senator Lindsey Graham, who have real concerns, and
understandably, with the very deep cuts on the military side, which are
also across the board and are affecting military readiness, whether they
will then say, look, we need to come together to replace the sequester, and
we`re willing to look at cuts in other areas of the budgets.
For example, I`ve proposed that we get rid of a lot of the excessive
direct subsidies. But we`ve also said -- and you started your program
about the different polls showing different income groups` reaction. We`ve
also said that people earning two million dollars a year should pay the
same effective tax rate as the people who work for them, the so-called
Buffett Rule, because the way to deal with this in the long-term is to
reduce our deficit in a balanced way.
And our Republican colleagues don`t want to do that. That has been a
HAYES: So you just mentioned the defense part of the cuts, right?
The deal with the sequester was everyone`s going to hate it because half
the cuts come out of non-discretionary, half comes out of non-defense non-
discretionary, half of them come out of defense. OK.
But that hasn`t proven to be the case. I mean, are you surprised by
how little leverage the defense cuts have seemed to give Democrats to get
out of the sequester?
VAN HOLLEN: Chris, I think the clock has continued to tick on this
issue. It was never going to be the case that the day after the sequester
took effect, the sky was going to fall. You`re going to have this grinding
effect. So, for example, we`re hearing right now that mechanics who work
on, you know, our combat aircraft at military bases around the country may
be furloughed as a result of this.
People are going to start hearing more and more about that. So, do I
wish that people came to their senses sooner? Absolutely. But I still
think the pressure will build. And the nonpartisan Congressional Budget
Office has said the other issue is the silent job killer, 750,000 fewer
American jobs at the end of this year if we keep the sequester in place.
That`s just not acceptable.
HAYES: Congressman Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, thank you so much.
That is "ALL IN" for this evening. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts now.
Good evening, Rachel. I was racing to get in there on time.
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ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES