ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
June 4, 2013
Guests: Kirsten Gillibrand, Anu Bhagwati, Kevin Powell, Avik Roy, Ezra Klein
CHRIS HAYES, HOST: Good evening. I`m Chris Hayes. And thank you for
Tonight, in case any liberals were starting to fall for the lovable,
huggable Chris Christie routine, his latest move should be enough to
convince you how cravenly self-serving he really is.
Plus, the war on weed is proving very one-sided as in one side is
getting way more screwed than the other. And we have the proof.
And the latest assault on Obamacare is coming from an old playbook,
one written by the slave power. I`m not making that up.
But we start today with a photo. This is a photo of some of the
people in charge of grilling a collection of top-tier generals from the
United States military today. If you`ve been a general, called to testify
today before the Senate Armed Services Committee, this is what you`d be
looking up at, this committee. You`ll notice it`s quite a bit different
than this one, which is actually the same committee 30 years ago.
And the big difference, of course, is women. 1983, there were zero
women on the Senate Armed Services Committee, zero. Today there are seven.
\And while that is still not exactly the picture of gender parity of a
panel of 26, these seven women occupying positions of power, makes a real
tangible difference in not just how the policy is shaped, but even in what
is possible, what is up for discussion.
And today, we got to see what that looks like in real life, in real
time, in a fascinating dramatic hearing. This is an effect of going from a
panel made up of zero percent women to a panel made up of 27 percent women.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
SEN. CLAIRE MCCASKILL (D), MISSOURI: We need to know how many women
and men are being raped and sexually assaulted on an annual basis. And we
have no idea right now.
SEN. DEB FISCHER (R), NEBRASKA: Many of you indicated that no
commanders have ever been removed for setting an inappropriate environment
with regard to sexual assault.
MCCASKILL: Are you frickin` kidding me?
SEN. KRISTEN GILLIBRAND (D), NEW YORK: Not all commanders are
objected. Not every single commander necessarily wants women in the force,
not every single commander believes what a sexual assault is. Not every
single commander can distinguish between a slap on the ass and a rape.
SEN. KELLY AYOTTE (D), NEW HAMPSHIRE: There`s a group of people that
are not coming forward because they fear how they`re going to be treated in
MCCASKILL: I completely disagree with you, General Harding. There is
not -- it is not relevant as to whether or not somebody raped a woman how
good a pilot he was.
GILLIBRAND: You have lost the trust of the men and women who rely on
you, that you will actually bring justice in these cases.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
HAYES: Today, the Senate Armed Services Committee, including seven
women, tackled the epidemic level problem of sexual assault inside the U.S.
military. It`s something we`ve talked about on this show before.
According to the Pentagon`s own estimates, sexual assault was up more
than 35 percent last year from the year before.
Here`s what`s more disturbing about those numbers. Of an estimated
26,000 people who experience unwanted sexual contact in the military, only
about 3,000 were actually reported. And of those, only 238, 238 resulted
in convictions. So, that`s 238 convictions out of an estimated 26,000
Those numbers obviously are a huge problem. And part of that huge
problem is this: right now, the reporting and prosecuting of those 26,000
cases is done inside the military chain of command. Meaning senior
officers with no legal training, not the police, your boss essentially gets
to decide whether court martial charges should be brought against the
person who sexually assaulted you and the commanding officer gets to pick
the jury pool and can even throw out a guilty finding after a verdict is
rendered, which explains only 3,000 out of 26,000 are reported, which
brings us back to the Senate Armed Services Committee and its seven women.
One of them, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, introduced a bill
last month to take reporting of serious sexual assault crimes out of the
chain of command and put it into the hands of independent investigators who
would make the decision about whether the case should go to trial.
Today, Senator Gillibrand, as a member of the Senate Armed Services
Committee, got to grill the nation`s top military brass on this very issue.
And here is what that side of the room looked like.
When you gather together the top military brass, you are gathering
together a table almost entirely full of men. And here`s what that looks
You saw the effect of having women on the committee asking the
questions. Well, here`s the effect of having almost no women on the
witness panel. Spoiler alert: they think commanding officers can handle
this whole sexual assault thing just fine, thank you very much.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
GEN. JAMES AMOS, MARINE CORPS COMMANDMANT: Our commanding officers
are the center piece of the Marine Corps`s effectiveness and professional
and disciplined war fighting organization.
GEN. MARTIN DEMPSEY, CHAIRMAN, JOINTS CHIEFS OF STAFF: They punish
criminals and they protect victims when and where no other jurisdiction is
capable of doing so.
ADMIRAL JONATHAN GREENERT, CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS: It is essential
that our commanders be involved in each phase of the military justice
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Making commanders less responsible and less
accountable will not work.
GEN. MARK WELSH, AIR FORCE CHIEF OF STAFF: They must be part of the
solution or there will be no solution. That`s the way our systems operate.
DEMPSEY: The role of the commander should remain central.
AMOS: Commanding officers never delegate responsibility. They should
never be forced to delegate their authority.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
HAYES: Now, I spent a lot of time reporting on institutional failure,
the topic. In fact, I wrote an entire book about institutional failure. I
spent a lot of time talking to people and reporting on the sexual abuse
scandal in the Catholic Church, which is an institution I`m pretty familiar
I was raised in the Catholic faith. My father was a seminarian. I`ve
talked to survivors and priests and advocates about the sex abuse scandal.
And in all those conversations, what everyone I spoke to recognized is what
made that system broken was the reporting of sexual abuse happened through
the church`s very own version of the chain of command.
When a priest started to wonder about why a fellow priest was spending
so much time with that young boy, he would not call the cops, he would tell
his boss. And his boss is the bishop and the bishop decided how to handle
it. And thousands of broken lives and tens of millions of dollars later,
we know this does not work.
It doesn`t work in the Catholic Church. It doesn`t work in higher
education. It doesn`t work in the office and it surely does not work in
the United States military.
If there is one thing that I learned from covering the Catholic
Church, it`s that no matter how grisly the details are, no matter how
widespread the criminal behavior is, the people operating at the highest
levels of that institution, of any institution, will do almost anything to
prevent the possibility of being held accountable to somebody outside that
And that right now, that is the fight happening between the women of
the Senate U.S. Armed Services Committee and the U.S. military. And it is
a hell of a fight.
HAYES: Joining me now is Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, also
a member of the Armed Services Committee in the Senate.
Senator, my first question for you is after a very long extensive and
thorough hearing today, did you hear what you wanted to hear out of the
GILLIBRAND: No, I was quite disappointed that the military really
failed to take this opportunity to lead. Obviously, they are too
comfortable with the status quo. And we really need significant reform if
we are going to address this plague. It`s a huge problem within our
The bottom line is the men and women who are serving today who are
risking everything to serve this country do not have faith in the chain of
command. They do not believe that they will have justice being done in
these kinds of cases.
HAYES: It was surprising to me, I have to say, and I did not watch
all eight hours today. But I watched a bit. It was surprising to me how
unwilling to change it seemed to me the witnesses were. I was expecting to
get a little more from them in terms of, yes, we should pursue X, Y and Z
Were you surprised with what you heard today?
GILLIBRAND: I was very surprised. I actually assumed there would be
a certain degree of pushback with regard to changing the decision-making
and making it outside the chain of command. But responses that we got from
other reforms like having victim advocates or making sure that the
character of the accused is not considered before you go to trial. There
was reluctance on those principles, as well.
I was also disturbed there wasn`t a thorough review of jurisdictions
that have actually made this change, the fact that the service chiefs did
not look at Israel and the U.K. and other countries that have done this.
GILLIBRAND: They`ve actually said serious crimes should be taken
outside the chain of command so there can be an objectivity, so there can
be accountability. They`ve made this decision already and in some
instances to great results. We`ve heard from Israel that they have had 80
percent increase in reporting over the last five years because they`ve
taken the time to do some very high-profile prosecutions.
HAYES: Senator, I want to play a little bit of sound from a colleague
of yours. Senator Saxby Chambliss today and a comment he made during this
hearing. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. SAXBY CHAMBLISS (R), GEORGIA: The young folks that are coming in
to each of your services are anywhere from 17 to 22 or 23. Gee wiz, the
level -- the hormone level created by nature sets in place the possibility
for these types of things to occur.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: How common is that attitude in your body, the United States
Senate, in the armed forces, in general?
GILLIBRAND: Well, what we`ve heard from previous testimony is it does
seem to be a disconnect between what this crime actually is and how it`s
perceived. Rape and sexual assault are crimes of violence, crimes of
dominance. More than half of the victims are men.
These are not crimes of lust. They`re not crimes of romance. They`re
not dates that have gone badly. They`re not issues of the hook-up culture
from high school, or hormones as my colleague says.
We`re talking about predators, often serial predators, who are
targeting their victims in advance, making them vulnerable through alcohol
or other means and actually stalking them. And they are often recidivists
-- meaning they repeat these crimes over and over again. What we`re trying
to do is root out this criminal element because men and women who are
serving in our military should not be subject to attacks by their
HAYES: Here`s my question for you on the politics of this.
Increasingly, it`s looking like the conflict here are members of the Senate
and the military -- on one side, the military brass on the other. Are the
politics of this going to get tricky for you -- in so far as, do you worry
as being seen as essentially going up against the military writ large?
GILLIBRAND: You know, when you have a challenge like this, you do
have to change the status quo. And we saw the same thing when we were
trying to repeal "don`t ask, don`t tell". I remember there was very little
support from the military when we were urging them to repeal this very
corrosive discriminatory policy that, frankly, was undermining our military
Similarly, this amount of sexual assault and rape in the military
today and the lack of accountability, the lack of transparency and the lack
of objectivity in the chain of command is really undermining our military
readiness. It`s hurting morale, it`s hurting unit cohesion, and it`s
hurting discipline and order.
And so, if you really want to focus on how we strengthen our military,
you have to root out the scourge. And that means real reform.
And so, I think the military, it`s difficult to change the status quo.
It`s not something they do readily. But we have to make the case that this
reform is going to create the transparency and accountability that it takes
to have justice be done and to see more reporting, more cases going to
trial, and more victims knowing that they can get justice within the
HAYES: Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, thank you for your
GILLIBRAND: Thank you.
HAYES: Joining me now, Anu Bhagwati, executive director of co-founder
of the Service Women`s Action Network, and Goldie Taylor, contributor to
the MSNBC and TheGrio.com.
And, Anu, you were there today, and the senator, you just heard the
senator say she was surprised by the stance of the military brass.
Were you surprised by what you heard today?
ANU BHAGWATI, SERVICE WOMEN`S ACTION NETWORK: No, I wasn`t surprised.
I was very disappointed, though. And that visual image of all of those
older white men with one female admiral is quite stunning. It`s the
physical embodiment of everything that causes the status quo to stay in
And, you know, we really tried in our testimony to bring out the fact
that this can`t change overnight unless there are more women achieving the
highest ranks of leadership, both on the enlisted and officer side. I
mean, without women at the top, we are not going to see a change.
The only reason we`re seeing a change in the Senate on the Armed
Services Committee is because there`s so many women serving right now on
both sides of the aisle. And they care.
HAYES: And what`s fascinating, I think, this is revealing as we go
through this. She`s revealing a little bit about some issues
institutionally about women in the force. And I thought this comment from
John McCain today was really kind of eye opening and shocking.
Goldie, I want you to respond to it. This is what John McCain had to
say today during the hearing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Just last night, a woman came to me
and said her brother -- her daughter wanted to join in the military and
could I give my unqualified support for her doing so. I could not.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Goldie, what do you make of that?
GOLDIE TAYLOR, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: You know, I actually made similar
comments to one of our colleagues a couple of weeks ago. I have daughters
who are, you know, 21 and 23 years old, and if they came to me today and
said that they were going to join the Marine Corps, just as I did when I
was a bit younger than they, I would Katy bar the door.
I just don`t know that today`s service environment is an appropriate
one for my daughters that I would want them to put themselves at risk when
the risk really is not -- is more the brethren they`re serving beside
rather than, you know, the enemy.
At the end of the day, a lot of this is promulgated because women were
not previously allowed to serve in combat roles and so they were a bit, you
know, considered a second class citizen. And because they weren`t in
combat roles, they didn`t have access to some of the highest ranks --
TAYLOR: -- you know, the highest duties of jobs that just weren`t
available to them. And so, they aren`t today in a position to make some
decisions around solving military sexual assault. I think that`s the grand
irony of this.
HAYES: That is a great point.
Anu, I want to play another moment which I think Lindsay Graham, as
far as I can tell, is the only senator who`s actually on record saying he
is with the brass on this. He doesn`t want to take it outside the chain of
command. There are folks like Senator Gillibrand and others who do want
And this is Senator Graham kind of in some ways chastising the
witnesses that they`re not being more stalwart in their chain of command.
Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: The ability to set aside a
finding or specification to reduce a sentence, you all agree that should be
taken away from commanders in most cases. To me, that`s internally
inconsistent with your message to us, in terms of the power of the
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Anu, is Lindsey Graham going to -- are there going to be more
people that join his ranks? I think that`s a rally interesting political
question going forward.
BHAGWATI: I think Senator Graham plays a very unique role in this
conversation as a JAG, as a colonel who is still serving in the Air Force.
I mean, a lot of people give him a little too much, I think, leeway, a
little too much authority in this conversation.
At the end of the day, victims are constantly left out of the
conversation. We didn`t have a single survivor of sexual assault in the
military speaking to the Senate today. And that`s a real problem.
We have the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but they are 40 years removed from
the junior enlisted service members who make up the bulk of survivors
today. I mean, there`s no relationship between the senior brass and the
service members whom they`re supposed to support and be protecting.
HAYES: Goldie, quickly here. Right now, this is not a bipartisan
issue. You`ve got a bipartisan group of senators, a lot of women working
on this. It`s an institutional fight right now between Congress and the
top brass, as it stands now.
Do you think it will stay that way? Or are we going to see this
rotate into a more partisan issue?
TAYLOR: I think it`s going to be very difficult to see this rotate
into a partisan issue, but that`s not to say it won`t happen.
TAYLOR: They`ve begun to hear some voices out of the grassroots
today, that are pointed the finger at President Obama and all those
libertars -- those liberals out there, you know, who are targeting military
brass while they should be attacking this problem globally.
And so, there are some unfortunate voices beginning to emerge. You
know, my hope is that we`re going to stay on this, you know, in a real way
and address the issue as it is as a tragedy in our military.
HAYES: Anu Bhagwati, executive director and cofounder of the Service
Women`s Action Network, and Goldie Taylor -- thank you both so much.
TAYLOR: Thank you.
HAYES: It turns out, Americans enjoy marijuana across the racial
divide, which is nice and unifying. But a jaw-dropping new report shows
that the criminal justice system doesn`t quite see it that way, next.
HAYES: Next, another reason why marijuana should be legalized
And from the guy who posted this on his blog and took it down comes
support for a bill to nullify Obamacare in South Carolina. I`m using that
That`s coming up.
HAYES: OK. Here`s a trivia question for you: who do you think smokes
more pot, white people or black people? Do you think there`s a big
disparity? Seriously, think of it for a second.
All right. Answer: apparently, there`s not much difference like at
all really. On any given year over the last decade, there`s roughly a 2
percent disparity. In fact, if you look at 18 to 25-year-olds, it`s white
people who smoke more weed.
Now, take a look at this. This is the arrest rate for marijuana
possession among white people and African-Americans.
On average, African-Americans are nearly four times more likely to be
arrested for possession of pot than white people, four times. This is the
major take away from an incredible, very thorough, blockbuster report from
the American Civil Liberties Union released today.
Among the findings, in 2010, 52 percent of all drug arrests were over
marijuana. And that same year, states spent more than $3.6 billion on
enforcing marijuana possession laws. In the previous decade, 88 percent of
all marijuana arrests everywhere were for possession.
And it`s not necessarily in the places you would expect. In six
states and Washington, D.C., black people are at least five times more
likely for having weed, the worst disparity, Iowa. If you have a nickel
bag on you in Iowa, you`re nearly 8 1/2 times more likely to be arrested if
The grand irony of this is at the political level, marijuana use has
never been more accepted in the United States. A recent Pew Poll shows
more than 52 percent of the country supports legalizing pot. The first
time there has ever been majority support. An overall drug arrests in the
United States are going down.
But the trend line for arrests due to marijuana possession has gone
the other way. And these arrests are for possession, not drug dealing,
simple possession. And even though white people and black people are
possessing marijuana at a similar rate, one group gets busted a whole lot
more than the other.
Joining me now is Kevin Powell, the president of BK Nation, a group
focusing on racial disparities and criminal justice and education. And if
you think you recognize him from season one of "The Real World," and you
are of my generation, you`re correct.
HAYES: I have to do that -- yes, all right.
So, Kevin, here`s the question. Why does the disparity exist?
Explain to me why it exists.
KEVIN POWELL, BK NATION: Well, you know, this war on drugs, which I
remember as a teenager coming of age in the 1980s, has always targeted
communities of color. So, this is nothing new.
I feel that it`s tied to the policy of stop and frisk. You have these
twin evils of this war in marijuana, which is affecting black people, as
the ACLU reports so definitively. And then you have this whole policy of
stop and frisk.
Just last year in New York City where we are now, over 500,000 people
stopped and a majority of them are black, Latino and young males.
So, I feel that there`s an effort to criminalize an entire community
and specifically the black community. And when you look at the money
that`s spent per year around the country, $3.6 billion, and if you look at
Washington state, which has legalized marijuana and multiplied it across
the country, we could actually generate $8.7 billion in revenue for our
country to put in drug treatment programs, public school system, community
safety programs and actually helping develop a better relationship between
the police and community if we legalized it.
HAYES: So here`s the interesting question about legalization.
HAYES: What are the racial politics of legalization?
Here`s what I feel like. You`re smiling at me, because I feel like
when I turn on the television, I watch the folks who are leading the charge
for legalization, states like Colorado, I see a lot of white folks. And I
see the same thing in Washington, a lot of white folks. And I feel like
the esthetics of the issue, there`s not the multi-racial coalition right
now to make that happen right now.
Or am I missing something?
POWELL: Well, black people feel that legalizing marijuana is a white
person`s issue, white people`s issue.
I happen to disagree with that. There was a time when liquor was
prohibited in this country, during prohibition, 1920s. We`re saying, what
I`m saying is that we do need a progressive multi-cultural coalition that`s
going to deal with this issue because I work in the communities that
Brooklyn, New York, has the biggest black community in America. I`m
in the criminal justice system all the time dealing with people and you see
the disparity downtown Brooklyn. And, of course, who`s there, and a lot of
times it`s for marijuana possession.
So, I think it`s really outdated for my community to say it`s only a
white person`s issue, but at the same time, I also think the white
community has to make a better effort to make it a coalition as well. I
see it both ways.
HAYES: Yes, I do think that`s the missing piece right now in this
political fight. You`ve got the stop and frisk fight in New York City and
I think white liberals are onboard with that. And then you`ve got these
issues in Colorado and Washington which don`t seem to be building the
multiracial coalition we need to get the solution full stop across the
Kevin Powell, the president of BK Nation, here at the table helping me
build the coalition we speak of -- thanks so much.
POWELL: Thank you.
HAYES: All right. There are a couple of things that are very special
about Chris Christie`s special election to fill the seat of late Senator
Frank Lautenberg. Like, for instance, it`s been held three weeks before
the state`s actual election day. More on that, next.
HAYES: Today, Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey made some news by
doing something for himself and for state Republican officeholders that
national Republicans would`ve love to see happen back on Election Day 2012.
All right. Here`s the story. Today, the governor ended one part of
the suspense in the wake of Senator Frank Lautenberg`s death, and that is
when and if a special election will be held for Lautenberg`s replacement.
Christie did not announce who will be -- he will be appointing in the
interim seat, but he did pick that date for the special election to fill
And before I tell you what day he announced, this is the context.
Yesterday, New Jersey`s 89-year-old Senator Frank Lautenberg died. And in
this situation, states are often faced with the expensive and unwieldy
position of calling a special election.
Special elections are miserable for a lot of reasons. A, they cost
money. B, they`re just bad for democracy, because turnout for special
elections is always low, like criminally low.
The turnout for the special election in the Colbert-Busch/Mark Sanford
congressional race in South Carolina was considered higher than normal for
special election because it hit a near 25 percent.
And people are used to voting on election days, not randomly assigned
days. So, when something happens, you lose a sitting member to retirement
or promotion or death, it`s usually kind of a blow for democracy because
the person elected to replace them is just not going to be elected by
anything remotely resembling the usual electorate.
Except in this case, New Jersey completely lucked out, because they
happen to have this highly unusual schedule in which they have their
statewide elections the year after the presidential election year. So the
obvious answer for Christie would be appoint an interim senator and just
hold an election for his replacement on the already scheduled election day.
Problem solved. But no, Chris Christie has decided he doesn`t want to do
that. Instead, he announced this today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: The primary election for the
United States Senate will be held on Tuesday, August 13th, 2013, which is
70 days after the issuance of this writ today. And then 64 days
thereafter, the general special election will be held on Wednesday, October
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: You did not mishear him. He announced a separate special
election, the general election for October 16th, that is, yes, on a
Wednesday, and also a mere three weeks before the actual election in which
Chris Christie himself will be on the ballot. And of course, this is not
an accident. Because if the Senate election were held on November 5th and
it was all just one big election, well, lots of people would come out to
vote for the person who is widely assumed to be the Democratic senate
candidate, this gentleman.
You may have heard of him. His name is Cory Booker. He is the mayor
of Newark and Cory Booker is potentially going to bring a lot of voters
with him. You can imagine what those voters might look like, what the Cory
Booker electorate might look like and how that might differ from the Chris
Now Chris Christie wants to run for re-election and does not want the
Cory Booker electorate at the polls on the day that he and his Republican
colleagues in the state legislature are standing for re-election whether
they are African-American Democrats, Hispanic, or white liberals excited by
Cory Booker running for statewide office.
So the way he solves this problem is to hold a special Cory Booker
election in which all the Cory Booker fans can go and get it out of their
system and vote for Cory Booker and hopefully stay home three weeks later
while Christie lets the rest of New Jersey vote for him for re-election.
This will cost, by the way, an estimated $12 million more than if
general elections were held on the same day. You can pay 249 New Jersey
teachers for one year with that money based on typical starting salaries.
And it contradicts the spirit of a law Christie himself previously signed
to consolidate elections to save money. It contradicts Christie`s boastful
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Taxes cut, spending cut, government means smaller
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The fundamental fact about our political system is that one
party has an incentive to make sure that as many people as possible vote,
that`s the Democrats, and one party has an incentive to make sure as few
people as possible vote, and that`s the Republicans whether it`s a
statewide attempt at voter disenfranchisement or Chris Christie coming up
with a special election just three weeks before the regular election.
It says something about who these parties represent. And I can
guarantee you, there are plenty of down ballot Republicans across the
country who would`ve loved nothing more in 2012 than to give President
Barack Obama his own special election day. It`s not just craven, it is
insulting to democracy. We`ll be right back with Click 3.
HAYES: South Carolina is poised to win the dubious honor as the first
state to nullify Obama care. You heard that correctly. I said nullify.
That story is coming up.
But first, I want to share the three awesomest things on the internet
today beginning with a marketing campaign derailed by social media. This
is a symbol of the female labor force during World War II, a feminist icon,
introduced through this 1942 Westinghouse poster designed to promote women
working outside the home at a time when millions of the nation`s men were
off fighting fascists, which is probably why many found this latest ad from
Now comes armed with a Swiffer steam boost. Apparently the "it" in we
can do it slogan refers to steam cleaning the whole house. One woman
noticed the ad insert in her Sunday paper tweeted the image and quickly
went viral. The online fire storm prompted Swiffer to tweet an apology
knowing the company is working to make changes as quickly as possible,
which is terrific news for feminism, but terrible news for the creators of
this ad, Susan B. Anthony for Shamwow.
The second awesomest thing on the internet today, a really amazing way
people are beating internet site censures in China. Today marks the 24th
anniversary to Tenement Square uprising as the Atlantic Rights China
Centers are blocking words like today and June 4th from social media to
stifle any commemoration of the brutal 1989 crackdown on student
But they`re having a difficult time blocking needs, people putting an
imaginative spin on the iconic tank man photo, turning the tanks into giant
yellow ducks, the subject of the latest ark installation in Hongkong. In
response, China blocked the term big yellow duck. But the filtering of one
mean has prompted other means to pop up in the place to mark the
anniversary and skirt the censors. Bravo.
And the third awesomest thing on the internet today, apparent
attention in the studios of CBS 3 in Philadelphia. Meet Nicole Brewer and
Carol Erickson. She works side by side as anchor and meteorologist and
judging by this (inaudible) they don`t seem to like each other very much.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: After that we like that with a couple of shower
chances by the time we get to Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and thanks for
the hard to get applause, Nicole and Kevin. Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How`s that Carol, is that good enough for you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Lackluster.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. I`ll try a little harder next time. Thanks
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: And there`s more. One website compiled the greatest hits in
what was called a master class and highly public passive aggressive
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Carol, when it comes to the weather, we want no
monkey business, OK, all good things.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s 49 degrees in Philadelphia, Nicole. With a
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I tried. You can`t even give me that. Can you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would say that forecast is bananas, but I know
that`s completely wasted on you. Carol, I understand you have some good
news and possibly a halo behind you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Possibly a halo. Nicole -- of course a halo.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It always comes into question when it`s you and
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That was an interesting little exchange. I`m
sure she regrets along with that last glass of whatever.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Needless to say the video has gone viral prompting Carol
Erickson to issue this clarification on Twitter. We are great friends, so
good, we joke off and on the air. Great tweet, Carol, can you hear the
applause I`m giving you? You can find all the links for tonight`s Click 3
on our web site, allinwithchris.com. We`ll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOVERNOR NIKKI HALEY (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: South Carolina does not
want and cannot afford the president`s health care plan. Not now, not
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Do they hate Obamacare in South Carolina. So much so that
conservative lawmakers right now right there are rushing to beat the clock
this week to try and make sure the state senate passes a law, which the
state house has already passed by an overwhelming margin that would make
South Carolina the first state in the country to essentially nullify the
affordable care act.
All right, the bill would prohibit any state business or employees
from assisting any agency in the enforcement of those provisions of the
patient protection and affordable care act of 2010 or in other words, the
attorney general would be allowed to sue any business or health insurer if
he has reasonable cause to believe a person or business is being harmed by
implementation of Obamacare.
That means that those obeying federal law could find themselves in
possible violation of state law. Now Governor Nikki Haley who hasn`t been
shy about her contempt for the president`s health care law refused to say
today if she would sign the bill if it reached her desk. If you know a
little something about the palmetto state, then you know this is not the
first time it`s said about nullifying a federal law.
In fact, one of the most remarkable chapters in this country`s history
is when South Carolina`s very own John C. Calhoun in 1828 secretly wrote an
anonymous pamphlet that explicitly called on southern states to nullify a
federal tariff law that the slave power didn`t much care for.
By the way, when Calhoun wrote that pamphlet, he was the sitting vice
president of the United States. He resigned shortly after to accept a seat
in the U.S. Senate representing his home state of, you guessed it, South
Carolina. Nullification which is, of course, the idea states can void a
federal law if they believe it to be unconstitutional watered the seeds of
rebellion, which, of course, turned into the civil war, which began with
the battle of Fort Sumter, which is, of course, in the great state of South
Now, am I going too far here? Perhaps you think this analogy is
completely slanderous and I`m being completely and totally irresponsible
for invoking the horror of slavery and blood of millions of people when
talking about South Carolina`s attempt to nullify the president`s health
Well, let me introduce you to South Carolina State Senator Tom Davis
speaking about fighting Obamacare on the state capitol steps back in
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STATE SENATOR TOM DAVIS (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: In South Carolina, we
have a great man who has been maligned far too long in our nation`s history
who articulated this principle and that`s John C. Calhoun. And I am a
proud South Carolinian, I`m proud of our history and I`m proud of John C.
Calhoun. He went ahead and stood up for South Carolina then, we`re going
to stand up for you now with your help.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: All right, so that`s Tom Davis, invoking John C. Calhoun. And
this is another state senator pushing hard to pass the bill before Thursday
when the Senate adjourns the year. His name is Kevin Bryant with whom you
may remember from a picture he posted on his web site in 2008 of Obama in a
turban with the caption the difference between Obama and Osama is just a
little b.s., this is what it still looks like at the state level.
Three years after it was signed into a law and a year after the
Supreme Court deemed it constitutional even as evidence begins to show that
the basic structure of the building implemented is having pretty incredible
Joining me now, Avik Roy, the senior fellow from the Manhattan
Institute, the author of the "Forbes" blog on health care and entitlement
reform, and is also a former of Mitt Romney`s health care policy advisory
group. And my good friend Ezra Klein, MSNBC analyst and columnist for the
You`re of the school that Republicans should get off the nullification
train. They should stop voting a million times to repeal Obama care, work
on reforming the bill. What is your reaction? When you see what the grass
roots politics of this looks like in South Carolina, do you just throw --
no one is listening to you, I guess is my point.
AVIK ROY, "THE MANHATTAN INSTITUTE": I like to think some people are
listening to me. I don`t think they`re listening to me. It`s silly and
it`s embarrassing, really. I mean, I think nullification in particular. I
mean, you know, that was settled a long time ago. Whether you think there
should be nullification or not, you know, it seems like a complete waste of
And there really are important, as you said, important problems for
businesses here. If you`re a business in South Carolina, you`re putting
yourself in legal jeopardy. Why if you`re a responsible government would
you want to put businesses in a situation where they`re going to face
litigation risk over something like this?
HAYES: We talk about regulatory uncertainty all the time. It was a
bug boo on the campaign trail. It`s a really thing. I mean, you want to
have certainty as a business and passing this would create a lot of that.
Ezra, you`ve written, obviously, a ton about the politics of this and
particularly about the politics of Medicaid expansion. I want to get to in
a second, but are you surprised by the enduring power of this kind of
resistance to the law because I think you and I have a million
conversations about which way this was going to go. After the Supreme
Court said this was the law of the land. I`m curious if this was going the
way you thought it would in terms of how powerful and enduring the
EZRA KLEIN, "THE WASHINGTON POST" COLUMNIST: Shortly after the law
passed, I didn`t think the resistance would be this enduring. By the time
the Supreme Court ruled on the law, absolutely. By that point, you`d had a
conservative movement that convinced itself an individual mandate that it
came up with a decade or so before was now a deeply unconstitutional
assault on the very foundations of our liberty.
And once you do that, once you reframe the discussion in such
apocalyptic terms not should we have an individual mandate or open
enrolment or some other kind of Medicare type of penalty, but are we going
to have a free country any longer? Will there be any limits on federal
power or will the state simply run rough shot over the freedoms of the
Then you`ve set the stage in which people can`t back down. The things
they have committed themselves. The things they have convinced themselves
of are too severe for them to back down from the underlying philosophical
position is simply too difficult and that breeds this kind of --
HAYES: And so here`s the thing that might make them back down.
Particularly in one aspect of the bill, which is Medicaid expansion, right,
because of the other part of that Supreme Court decision, the states have
the option of opting into the Medicaid expansion, for mostly the working
poor and expanded version of Medicaid eligibility or not. And we`ve seen a
lot of states opt out.
The Rand Corporation has a new study showing states that opt out of
Medicaid expansion will lose access to billions of federal dollars, loss in
federal dollars, about $8.4 billion. Increased state spending will be
about $1 billion. It`s looking like an accounting disaster. Do you think
this will change over time or will that endure, as well, Avik?
ROY: I think it depends on the future. I think certainly as you said
there`s a fiscal temptation there for states to take the money if they`re
philosophically opposed to the law. For example, in Ohio, some of the
other states like Arkansas, Republican governments or Republican
legislatures have voted --
HAYES: Because the money`s there.
ROY: Because the money there`s there and say we`re sending our tax
dollars elsewhere and it`s a powerful argument. However, in these southern
states, there`s been a more energetic resistance whether that lasts over
HAYES: Depends on how well -- depends on the implementation of the
law and whether the law works out well. The two of you had a fascinating
back and forth debate about what news is coming out of California as they
start to set up their exchanges, the kind of -- the beginning of the most
interesting part of Obamacare implementation. You guys had a agreement
about that, and I want you to argue that out right after we take this
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HALEY: We will not pursue the type of government-run health changes being
forced on us by Washington. Despite the rose-colored rhetoric coming out
of D.C., these exchanges are nothing more than a way to make the state due
to federal government spitting and spending massive amounts of taxpayer
dollars on insurance subsidies that we can`t afford.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: I`m joined by Ezra Klein of the "Washington Post" and Avik Roy
of the Manhattan Institute. We`re talking about Obamacare gone right. And
unlike South Carolina in the state of California, they are building the
exchanges. This is the beginning of the actual implementation of the core
part of this bill, the part that`s going to be the trickiest and also the
part that was kind of the heart of the bill when it was explained to
It`s getting these exchanges, regulated marketplace for folks to buy
insurance and there were announcements about what the price tag of those
insurance packages would be. And Avik, you wrote a piece that got every,
went viral. And conservative media saying, it`s a rip off, you`re going to
be paying for more insurance if you are entering into this individual
ROY: Yes. So what happened was that California, the California
Exchange issued its presentation of what the rates, the insurers said they
were going to charge in different rating regions so basically collections
of counties across the state. And what I found when I looked at those
numbers and compared them to individual market plans sold on any health
insurance is that it`s about double give or take. It depends on the
county, depends on the area, your age, a number of other factors, but if
you leave subsidies aside for the typical person, particularly for typical
young people --
HAYES: You`re a young person, you`re not getting insurance from your
employer, you`re going to go out into the individual market that you`re now
mandated to do, right, you`re going to buy this program and you`re going to
pay, you know, maybe before on ehealthinsurance.com, you could get it for
$300, it`s going to be $150 now. You wrote about why this was not the
sticker stroke that argued. Why is not the sticker shock?
KLEIN: I think we need to be clear about what the individual market
is. I did the same thing. I went to ehealthinsurance.com. And the issue
is you can go and get the cheapest plan about $109 for a 40-year-old non-
smoking male, which is the measure he used. And the thing is that $109,
which is the measure he used to say you can -- you get a doubling in price.
That is a teaser rate.
So you click $109 and then they say, well, have you ever had a
headache? Is there a history of cancer in your family? Is there heart
disease, have you ever hurt your leg? You have an ulcer? And as these
things mount up, the price changes so about 12 percent or 14 percent of
people get turned away entirely, another 12 percent get a higher price not
So about a full quarter of the people signing up for this bill or
trying to aren`t getting it. So to use as your baseline for the
comparison, a base look that looks only at the price paid by young,
healthy, relatively affluent people for the absolute crappiest insurance
that can possibly be offered in the insurance exchange and leave aside what
is happening to older people, sicker people and women and everybody getting
subsidies, you set up a comparison that is utterly ridiculous.
HAYES: Before I let you to respond to that. When I was a young
freelance writer and trying to fend my way out of $8,000 a year, which is
what I made the first year in freelance writing. I purchased the cheapest
catastrophic care on the market. Good luck trying to get them to respond
to you when you actually had a medical bill. I mean, it was an absolute
disaster dealing with them. I was paying my premium every month, I tried
to get them to reimburse me, forget about it. This is an unregulated
ROY: There`s a vigorous debate, which we don`t have time to go into
about what kind of plans you can shop for, for that $109 price and you can
read our blog post to get a detailed explanation about that. But to the
point about the percentage of people who might get a charged a higher rate,
the point I made in response to Ezra was that means 3/4 people are getting
that $109 rate.
It`s not a teaser for them and so those are the people who are going
to pay a lot more money in the system. Now, maybe we think that`s a good
thing. It`s a good thing for those people to pay double for their health
insurance because we`re now protecting the sick, et cetera. But that`s a
debate we didn`t have --
HAYES: There`s also the subsidy issue. Ezra, please respond.
KLEIN: This is a debate we had. This is what frustrates me. Evan, I
remember doing this debate over and over and over again. So he was a
senator back then. He said what`s going to happen to average premiums, the
CBO came back and they said average premiums will go up a bunch and people
looked at what they said and look, average premiums are going to go up
because people will have to buy better health care.
They`re going to make them pay for better health care because now they
can afford it because we`re not going to allow for the age rating, not
going to allow for the discrimination. This was out there and we talked
about it a lot. I mean, at its core, health insurance. What we`re doing
here is redistributing from the healthy to the sick and from the young to
the old and we are putting in big subsidies to help people who are poor.
That is what health care is. And it has always been that way.
HAYES: We are pooling risk and when you pool risk, there are going to
be winners and losers and I think pooling risk is what makes the social
contract beautiful. Avik Roy, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and
Ezra Klein, MSNBC analyst, thank you gentlemen both. That is ALL IN for
this evening. The "Rachel Maddow Show" starts right now right on time,
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