ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
September 24, 2013
Guest: Jeff Merkley, Robert Reich, Barbara Lee, Kumi Naidoo, Christina
Figueres, Ken Salazar
CHRIS HAYES, HOST: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
Tonight on ALL IN:
Fake it until you break it. Republican Ted Cruz takes to the Senate floor
in a faux filibuster talking about, among other things, Nazi Germany and
carrier pigeons, saying he will speak against Obamacare until he is no
longer able to stand. He`s still going and we`ve got the live Cruz cam
here all night long.
Also tonight, Senator Marco Rubio, desperate to get back in the Tea Party`s
good graces, decides to kneecap a judicial nominee for no good reason.
We`ll tell the entire, sad, pathetic tale of desperation.
And climate change annihilation 2.0 -- the one part of the conservative
rebranding effort that`s been sneakily effective.
All those stories are coming up.
But tonight, we begin, of course, with Munich on the Potomac.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: You go to the 1940s, Nazi Germany. Look, we saw
in Britain, Neville Chamberlain who told the British people, accept the
Nazis. Yes, they`ll dominate the continent of Europe, but that`s not our
problem. Let`s appease them. Why? Because it can`t be done, we can`t
possibly stand against them.
And in America, there were voices that listened to that. I suspect those
same pundits who say it can`t be done, if it had been in the 1940s, we
would haven listening to them.
Then, they would have made television. They would have gotten beyond
carrier pigeons and beyond letters and they would have been on TV and they
would have been saying, you cannot defeat the Germans.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That was Texas Senator Ted Cruz in the first hour of his ongoing
fake filibuster of the Senate`s budget resolution, comparing the pundits
who don`t think his ridiculous showboating event will work to Nazi
appeasers. It`s a characterization that would seem to include me and my
dear friends at "The Wall Street Journal" editorial board, who this morning
speaking for a Republican establishment that has been outflanked,
outplayed, and out-trolled by the junior senator from Texas, wrote, quote,
"When Mr. Cruz demands that Republicans hold firm, he means they should
keep trying to defund Obamacare even if it results in a shutdown that
President Obama will blame on Republicans. The supposedly intrepid General
Cruz can view the battle from the comfort HQ while the enlisted troops any
The thing is, Cruz`s campaign against Obamacare and towards a government
shutdown is not a war. No one is getting killed here. There are actual
troops who are actually in a war zone right now as I speak to you actually
managed by a part of the government, the Pentagon, active military
personnel who don`t know if they will get paid on time.
Right now, there are people inside the Pentagon taking their effort and
their talent and their attention, diverting it towards executing a shutdown
plan. There are some 800,000 workers who were unsure if they will be
getting a paycheck in a week, all depending on how this Ted Cruz-inspired
stunt ultimately plays out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JESSE WEIHER, GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE: It happens every three months and every
three months they figure out how to cobble together something and then it`s
three months later on.
VERONICA HALLIBURTON, GOVERNMENT CONTRACTOR: Tucking away as much money as
possible. That`s all you can do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: A word for what those workers are talking about is uncertainty.
The same type of uncertainty that the GOP has been saying for years was
killing the economy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ERIC CANTOR (R-VA), MAJORITY LEADER: Everybody I talk to in the
business world is plagued by the uncertainty. And the uncertainty,
frankly, starts in Washington.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you have so much uncertainty -- uncertainty with
health care, uncertainty with the debt.
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: There`s so much
uncertainty about what all the rules are and what all the costs are that
employers are scared to death.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Yes, all Republicans have done since the 2011 Budget Control Act is
normalize uncertainty to create recurring confusion by design. In fact,
one of the only things we can be certain of is that whatever happens, Ted
Cruz is going to end up with a lot more Twitter followers.
Joining me now is Senator Jeff Merkley, Democrat from Oregon and member of
the Senate Budget Committee.
And, Senator, you have been one of the most outspoken proponents of
filibuster reform to take that broken body and move it towards a
functioning institution in which people talk out, make their case.
Do you like what you`re seeing from Ted Cruz tonight? Isn`t he doing
exactly what Senator Jeff Merkley has called upon his fellow senators to
SEN. JEFF MERKLEY (D), OREGON: So, certainly, in terms of standing up and
taking his position before the American public, that is accountability,
that is transparency.
But let`s understand what else he is doing. He is saying he is going to
hold the government hostage. All of the programs -- pay delayed for our
military, small business loans, mortgages being processed by Fannie and
Freddie, a whole -- a whole list of things including Head Start for our
children, that will be impacted by this.
He`s saying, I am willing to hold all of this hostage because of my passion
on a particular policy item. A policy item, I might add, in which he
really is not listening to the people. If he is listening to the people,
he would understand that they have grave concerns about being able to get
insurance under the current system and they`re not able to get insurance,
pre-existing conditions, about being thrown off their policies when they`re
ill, about not having emphasis on prevention, about not being able to have
comparable insurance policies to be able to produce competition.
And so, he`s deathly afraid that people are going to actually see this
reform in place and realize that this actually helps a whole lot of people
across America. He`s determined to prevent the American people from
discovering that there`s some real improvements to be made here.
HAYES: The other thing is that there is no suspense here insofar as he
negotiated with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid about how long he could
talk for, because there`s a vote scheduled for tomorrow that`s going to
happen whether Ted Cruz likes it or not. I mean, this is one of these
aspects of senator procedure that makes those of us who observe it from the
outside just shake our heads and say what is the deal with this chamber?
MERKLEY: Yes. Once an objection was lodged on Monday, a petition had to
be filed yesterday to try to get a vote. But under Senate procedure, we
can`t vote until the day after. And so essentially, he`s filling that
time, as you say he`s not actually delaying anything. So, this is not a
true kind of stand and delay until I drop, this is I`m going to fill the
void to make sure that everyone in America is watching me as I argue for
running the American economy over the cliff.
HAYES: What is it --
MERKLEY: I just came from a group of bankers who were talking to me about
the fact that there`s huge amounts of deposits waiting to be reinvested by
American enterprises that are not doing so because of the series of
manufactured crises. Crises manufactured by John Boehner and Ted Cruz.
HAYES: What is it say to you that your colleague on the other side of the
aisle -- a number of them have joined Ted Cruz. Senator Mike Lee was down
there. Senator Marco Rubio reported he was going to join. What does it
say to you that this kind of grandstanding has a real constituency, that
actually it has a tendency to spread among the caucus?
MERKLEY: Yes. It certainly is an appeal to who is going to be the
champion of the Tea Party. The Tea Party may be a small part of the
Republican spectrum, but it`s significant and folks believe that`s where
the passion is, or where individuals are going to turn out, knock on doors
and raise funds. So there`s this competition to be the leader of the Tea
Party, if you will. And we`re seeing it play out, even in terms of
threatening to run the economy over the cliff.
HAYES: Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid said they`re going to bring up a
resolution that will fund the government through mid-November. Is there
any way to actually get back to a normal budget process so that you and I
don`t have this conversation in mid-November?
MERKLEY: There absolutely is and it`s actually Republicans in the Senate
who are filibustering the appointing of conferees in order to have a budget
conference which then provides a foundation for the spending bills that
allows us to get out of this series of crises. And this does got to the
point that I`ve been arguing for. Let`s get rid of the filibuster on
motions to proceed to bills. Let`s get rid of it on going to conference
committee. This type of paralysis that any one individual can create is
HAYES: Senator Jeff Merkley, thank you for your time. We`re going to dip
in now live to junior senator from Texas, Ted Cruz, who was last I heard
reading "Green Eggs and Ham."
CRUZ: I will eat them with a goat. And I will eat in the rain, and in the
dark and on a train, and in the car, and in the tree. They are so good, so
good, you see. So I will eat them in a box and I will eat them with a fox.
I will eat them in a house and I will eat them with a mouse.
I will eat them here or there, say, I will eat them anywhere.
I do so like green eggs and ham. Thank you, thank you, Sam I am.
And I want to say to Caroline and Katherine, my angels, I love you with all
my heart. It`s bedtime.
HAYES: I believe you`re still on.
CRUZ: Give mommy a hug and a kiss.
HAYES: You`re still there. I guess I have to ask you your response to
that stirring about it of oratory from the junior senator from Texas about
green eggs and ham.
MERKLEY: I was waiting for him to insert the words I will filibuster
anywhere into that rhyme. Maybe we`ll get some rewritten words of response
here in the next two days of conversation.
HAYES: Senator Merkley, thank you so much.
Joining me now is Robert Reich, former secretary of labor in the Clinton
administration. His new film, which is excellent, "Inequality for All",
will be out on Friday.
Suzy Khimm, national policy reporter for MSNBC.com, is with us as well.
She wrote a great piece about what a shutdown mean, and don`t worry, the
Cruz cam goes up and if any Dr. Seuss classics are read, we will be sure to
go to that live.
Robert, before he was reading Dr. Seuss, Ted Cruz was making an argument
that you hear from the right, which is basically an argument about the fact
that the Affordable Care Act has broken the labor market. That there are
all these things wrong with the labor market that we haven`t seen a very
robust recovery, that there`s too many people doing part-time work, that we
have -- you know, we have employers that are anxious about the future.
Does that argument hold up? Is that the reason the labor market is broken
because of Obamacare?
ROBERT REICH, FORMER LABOR SECRETARY: No, quite the contrary, Chris. The
labor market is broken because almost all the gains since the recession
have gone to the top 1 percent. So, most people don`t have the money to
turn around and spend to create jobs.
I mean, you know, the job creators in this country are not the CEOs and
Wall Street and the very rich. The job creators are the great middle class
and everybody wants to join the middle class because they create jobs
because they spend money. And if they`re not able to spend money, if they
don`t have enough money in their pockets, they`re not going to be any jobs
That is what the Republicans don`t want to talk about. They still cling to
this sort of trickle down economics view, which is just plain wrong. It`s
a cruel hoax. It`s always been a cruel hoax.
HAYES: What about this uncertainty idea, that everyone -- that employers
are kind of waiting around, worried about what Obamacare will look like
before they decide to hire their next marginal worker.
REICH: Look, employers don`t like uncertainty. I mean, the markets don`t
like uncertainty. The Republicans have been the purveyors of uncertainty.
Their number one strategy for years has been to throw monkey wrenches into
the procedures of government so nobody knows what`s going to happen.
HAYES: And, Suzy, you wrote a great piece about what that uncertainty
means for everyone from federal employees to someone that runs a hotel next
to a national park. What do you hear from folks about what effect this
recurring uncertainty has on them?
SUZY KHIMM, MSNBC.COM: Yes, I spoke - when I was listening to Ted Cruz, I
was just thinking of what Mindy Kauffman, who runs a Bed and Breakfast in
Joshua tree, outside of the Joshua tree national park would think about
When I spoke to her yesterday, she would say that a shutdown of even a
couple of days would mean tons of cancellations, and if it lasted a couple
of weeks, she`d be out of business.
So, for her this isn`t about Democrats or Republican, it`s about her
livelihood. It`s about decisions that she can make as a business. And
having this question up in the air certainly isn`t helping things.
HAYES: And there`s also -- I mean, I remember I was in Washington during a
few rounds of this and I was amazed that people I know, sources and friends
who worked in the federal government, how much energy was being devoted to
planning for the shutdown. I mean, these are people that are public
servants, taxpayers are paying to do a job. And what we were saying to
them is do half your job and then half your time spend planning for how
you`re not going to do your job.
KHIMM: Yes. And then this is exactly what we`re talking about in terms of
the greater effect of uncertainty on businesses in America, on people`s
willingness to invest and trust that the federal government can fulfill its
basic functions. In 2011, there was analysis done to show that just the
uncertainty of whether or not we were going to raise the debt ceiling and
actually pay out our obligations cost us $1.3 trillion and that was sort of
the best case scenario. We didn`t end up reaching the debt ceiling.
So whatever ends up happening, this whole fight, this whole debate and the
uncertainty surrounding it is going to have a cost, and that cost is going
to be born by American businesses and American families.
HAYES: Do you agree with that, Robert? Do you believe there are
macroeconomic ripples to this government by recurring crises?
REICH: Oh, absolutely. Look, we are just now beginning to come out of the
worse economic crisis since the Great Depression. We`re still in the
gravitational pull of this recession. I mean, you know, people are not
getting jobs back. A few jobs are coming back. The jobs that are coming
back pay less than the jobs that were lost.
But the reality is that if you have a government shutdown, if you don`t
raise the debt limit, if you have the games that Republicans are intent on
playing, you are jeopardizing this recovery. You`re going to mean -- you
know, it means hundreds of thousands of government employees are not going
to get their paychecks. It means a lot of other citizens are not going to
be able to live off of simply the buying that the government employees do.
You have military personnel that are either going to get IOUs instead of
How can you run an economy with this degree of not only uncertainty but
this degree of irresponsibility?
HAYES: Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, new film "Inequality for All",
I highly recommend. Check it out. And MSNBC.com reporter Suzy Khimm --
thank you both.
HAYES: All right. Today, basically every single leader in the world was
within a few square miles of each other, and our own president and the
leader of the longest standing enemy both spoke to the world. What they
had to say, coming up.
HAYES: We always love hearing from you on Facebook and Twitter. After
Senator Cruz`s stunt today, tonight`s question is obviously about fake
filibustering. If you could take to the Senate floor to lead a big, showy,
fake filibuster on any issue, what would it be?
Tweet your answers @allinwithchris. Or post at
Facebook.com/allinwithchris. I`ll share a couple at the end of the show.
While you`re there, just go ahead and follow us on Twitter and like us on
We`ll be right back.
HAYES: We will continue to monitor the Cruz cam you see in the bottom of
your screen as Texas Senator Ted Cruz continues to pretend to filibuster
and read children`s books.
But in other news today, there were growing expectations of the possibility
of a really big, big event happening in New York today -- the first face-
to-face meeting between an American and Iranian head of state since the
hostage crisis of 1979. In the lead-up to today, administration officials
made it clear that any meeting would be on the margin, a handshake in a
hallway perhaps, nothing official, no photo op.
According to a senior administration official, "We did not have any plan
for any formal bilateral meeting here. We indicated the two leaders could
have had a discussion on the margins if the opportunity presented itself."
But it was not to be today. "The Iranians got back to us," the
administration official said. "It was clear that it was too complicated
for them to do that at this time given their own dynamic back home."
So this highly anticipated, unofficial meeting which had already started to
make some Republicans and even some Democratic lawmakers fret about
President Obama moving too fast toward the new comparatively moderate
Iranian leader, that meeting never happened, because at least according to
one anonymous White House source, the Iranian regime wasn`t quite there.
But aside from those optics, a great deal did happen, moving the two
countries forward toward the possibility of actual direct face-to-face
negotiations over Iran`s nuclear program.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Conciliatory words will have
to be matched by actions that are transparent and verifiable. We are
encouraged that President Rouhani received from the Iranian people a
mandate to pursue a more moderate course. And given President Rouhani`s
stated commitment to reach an agreement, I am directing John Kerry to
pursue this effort with the Iranian government.
The roadblocks may prove to be too great, but I firmly believe the
diplomatic path must be tested.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: President Obama`s speech did not include the almost perfunctory
phrase of all options are on the table with respect to any military options
in preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. That was a notable
And for his part, Iran`s president, Hassan Rouhani said he listened
carefully to President Obama`s speech and President Rouhani offered his own
fig leaf of sorts.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HASSAN ROUHANI, IRANIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Commensurate with
the political will of the leadership, in the United States and hoping that
they will refrain from following the short-sighted interest of war-
mongering pressure groups, we can arrive at the framework to manage our
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Rouhani`s tone was noticeably sharper than his very conciliatory
op-ed from last week. But then, again, he, like President Obama, had a
domestic audience to speak to as much as an international one.
Joining me is Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Democrat from California, and a
U.S. representative to the United Nations.
You were there today at the U.N. General Assembly.
Were you at all surprised by Rouhani`s tone, given how much it seemed as if
both countries were opening a kind of back-and-forth approach to each other
toward some kind of sit-down negotiations?
REP. BARBARA LEE (D), CALIFORNIA: Chris, I was not really surprised at his
tone. But what`s important is that the president, our president gave a
magnificent speech calling for a diplomatic opening, diplomatic initiative.
We know it`s going to be very tough as we, of course, heard today. But I
think we need to applaud President Obama for really ensuring the rest of
the world that he`s going to take that step and it`s going to be slow, but
I`ve offered the legislation for many years now calling for a special envoy
as it relates to Iran.
And also, you know, getting rid of this no-contact policy that we have.
And so, we have not done that yet and so I think --
HAYES: Explain the no-contact policy.
LEE: Well, there in law we are not to really have bilateral contacts with
the Iranian government. I know we`ve done back channel contacts and what
HAYES: Of course.
LEE: But officially, the bilateral, which is what, again, my legislation
would call for, is that I believe that in order to seek global peace and
security, reduce the threat of Iran achieving and getting a nuclear bomb,
that we have to have bilateral talks between the highest levels in our
HAYES: The overtures from the new Iranian government, the president`s
overtures back have gotten some Congress members worried.
This is a letter from Senator John McCain and Chuck Schumer, Democrat, "We
respectfully urge that any diplomatic outreach to Iran reemphasize the
United States will not allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons capability and
that any relief from crippling economic sanctions on Iran will only be
provided if Iran takes meaningful and verifiable actions to halt its
Do you think there`s going to be growing political pressure on the
president to not make sure that he moves too quickly toward diplomacy?
LEE: I think there will be. But I also think there will be growing
numbers of voices in our own country calling for a strong diplomatic
effort, because no one wants Iran to have a nuclear bomb. We all -- and my
bill -- we call it nonproliferation legislation. We do not believe the
world should have any more nuclear weapons. We need to disarm and that`s
the only way we`re going to achieve global peace. So, you know, we`re
going to see both sides, I think, digging in.
And the debate is going to continue, but I think what`s important is that
the president did open the door and we`ll see what happens. That`s the
HAYES: Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu releasing a video message to the
U.N. General Assembly. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: Israel would welcome a genuine
diplomatic solution that truly dismantles Iran`s capacity to develop
nuclear weapons. But we will not be fooled by half measures that merely
provide a smokescreen for Iran`s continual pursuit of nuclear weapons, and
the world should not be fooled either.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Last year, Netanyahu famously got up before the U.N. General
Assembly with a drawing of a bomb.
Is Israel an obstacle to a diplomatic settlement between the U.S. and Iran?
LEE: I visited Israel many times. And, of course, Israel quite naturally
should be concerned about Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon, just as we
And so, I believe, as I said earlier, we have to take every step we can to
make sure that nonproliferation and the nuclear capability for a bomb is
not there. And so, we have to ensure that what the president, our
president, the steps that he is taking right now succeed, and that`s going
to be a tough road to walk but --
HAYES: Is Israel an obstacle?
LEE: I don`t believe Israel is an obstacle. I believe that the Middle
East would be a much safer place if we reduce the tensions and really
insist that nuclear weapons become not the weapon of the world. And that
is an extremely important part of our foreign policy that we need to
embrace very quickly.
HAYES: Congresswoman Barbara Lee, thank you so much.
We`ll be right back with #click3.
HAYES: I`ll tell you what desperate attempt Senator Marco Rubio has made
to get back into the Tea Party`s good graces. The new tactic in climate
change denialism that`s surprisingly effective. I`ll explain that coming
But, first, I want to share the three awesomest things on the Internet.
We begin in the United States Senate with a wingman for the ages. Ted Cruz
thought he had the spotlight during the early part of his filibuster stunt,
but our attention was on that guy arriving with zero fanfare and grimacing
like a champ throughout. This suit-wearing individual was by far the most
interesting point of today`s Ted talk. A man of no words and very little
movement, he came to be known as corner guy -- the most beloved ancillary
political figure since Ron Paul`s master blaster big little duo in the
background on the night of the New Hampshire primary in 2012.
Twitter was smitten. Corner guy getting suspicious, was one take. Another
asked, why there aren`t any immediate gifts of corner guy?
We here at #click3, we thought we`d go one better offering images of corner
guy working his magic around the edge of the frame during some pretty
remarkable moment, like standing next to President Obama when he announced
the death of Osama bin Laden, or one of the most famous corners are all,
giving moral support to the Italian stallion in his big fight with Apollo
It turns out corner guy is John Ellis IV, legal counsel to Senator Cruz.
Before today, that title was probably at the top of his resume but now John
Ellis IV, you`re corner guy. Welcome to Internet stardom. Say hello to
your new colleague, sneezing panda.
The second awesomest thing on the Internet today, making Miley more family
friendly. These three seconds of Miley Cyrus` music video for song
"Wrecking Ball" are pretty much the only ones we can show on T.V. As a
substitute, we were happy to let this adorable kitten stand in as a more
than adequate Miley double. But, the award of best animal "Wrecking Ball"
imitation may have to go to an overweight hedgehog named Regina.
MILEY CYRUS, HOLLYWOOD SINGER: Like a wrecking ball. I never hit so hard
in love. All I wanted was to break you up. All you ever did was wre-e-eck
HAYES: Now, Regina has her own Facebook Page. She apparently suffers from
a medical condition that causes uncontrolled hedgehog weight gain. Still
she`s pretty cheerful and recently celebrated her third birthday. So, if
driving around in a tank top and a hammer help her cut the exercise she
needs, we are all for it.
And, the third awesomest thing on the internet, don`t call it a comeback.
No. Seriously, don`t. Perennial French candidate, Jimmy McMillan, is the
founder of the "Rent is too damn high party." The subject is a killer --
and launcher of a thousand nemes and he`s back. This time he is running
for New York City Mayor and kicking off his bid in the general election
with a new campaign music video.
(BEGIN MUSIC CLIP)
JIMMY MCMILLAN, PERENNIAL FRENCH CANDIDATE: Monday,you`re working for the
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKERS: Ah-huh!
MCMILLAN: Tuesday, you`re working for the rent.
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKERS: Ah-huh!
MCMILLAN: Wednesday, you`re working for the rent.
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKERS: Ah-huh!
MCMILLAN: Thursday, you`re working for the rent.
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKERS: Ah-huh!
MCMILLAN: Friday, you`re working for the rent.
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKERS: Ah-huh!
MCMILLAN: Saturday, you`re working for the rent.
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKERS: Ah-huh!
MCMILLAN: Sunday, you go to church!
HAYES: So, if you want to watch any McMillan`s misspell his most famous
catch phrase or rock out with his American flag guitar, this one is for
you. But, we don`t think Jimmy McMillan needs anymore help garnering
publicity. Every larger than life candidate could use a good hype man. We
are thinking this guy would be perfect. Get him in your corner, Jimmy.
You can find all of the links for tonight Click 3 on our website
allinwithchris.com. We`ll be right back.
HAYES: We`re back giving you some Cruz cam there on the bottom of the
screen with Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe briefly occupying the podium. We
will keep you updated on all of your fake filibuster news.
But, right now, Marco Rubio. The Marco Rubio right wing grassroots
rehabilitation project is entering its pathetic phase with actual and
demonstrative collateral damage. Here`s the thing. Just a short while
ago, Florida Senator Marco Rubio was the Tea Party darling. A few years
ago, he raised more money than any other candidate backed by the Tea Party.
And, "The New York Times" even ran a piece questioning whether Rubio was
the first Tea Party senator. But, since then, Rubio decided that out of
some combination of political ambition and genuine admirable conscientious
to take a political risk and push for the morally, politically and
substantively correct immigration policy, one that would deliver some 11
million people out of the shadows of the tyranny of fear and into the full
citizenship of the United States.
And, for that decision, the decision to back comprehensive immigration
reform, the Tea Party, the grassroots of the Republican Party, has come to
despise Marco Rubio. So much so, in fact, that even though you cannot
recall U.S. Senators in the state of Florida, Tea Party activists are
working to draft state legislation that would allow for senators to face
recall votes for the sole purpose of getting rid of Rubio.
With his popularity down a whopping 15 points among republican voters since
February, and with Ted Cruz filling the vacuum as the next great Tea Party
hope, the conservative base throwing their arms around him. Marco Rubio is
desperate to get back into the Tea Party`s good graces. He doesn`t care
how pathetically craven he looks in doing it.
Which is why today we learned that Rubio has decided to kneecap the career
of this guy, Judge William Thomas, who sits on the Miami-dade circuit for
the federal bench. Thomas was one of ten children raised by a single
mother on welfare. He became the first in his family to get a college
education. And, had he been elevated to the federal bench, he would have
been the first black openly gay man on the federal bench.
And, just ten short months ago, Marco Rubio himself gave Judge Thomas his
full-throated support and so did fellow Florida Senator Democrat Bill
Nelson. The way it works is that for a confirmation of federal district
judges to move ahead, both senators from the host of state must sign off on
Rubio`s office is now trying to rationalize why he withdrew his support for
Thomas, saying there`s an issue with two criminal cases in which they
question his judicial temperament and his willingness to impose appropriate
criminal sentences. But, of course, these cases didn`t just happen
The sentences in those cases came down in January. Marco Rubio could have
objected to Thomas then. The prosecutor in one of those cases he wrote a
letter to Rubio stating that during the sentencing, Thomas acted with
quote, "Compassion and careful judgment. Rubio also got letters supporting
Thomas` nomination from such free-hugging organizations as the Broward
police benevolent associations and the league of prosecutors.
Besides, last year, when Rubio recommended both Thomas and Judge Brian
Davis for the federal bench he said, "One of the pleasant surprises of this
job is the quality of individuals who offer themselves for public service
and the quality of individuals who we`ve been able to forward to the
president, to the white house, today being no exception.
And, now all of a sudden, one of those men is no longer fit to be a
federal judge. So, instead of helping ensure that Judge William Thomas
will go on to become the ninth openly gay federal judge under President
Obama following Todd Hughes who was confirmed today unanimously as the
first out-gay federal appellate judge in history.
Senator Marco Rubio instead has embarked upon a Tea Party rehab strategy
that has him in coherently and transparently lashing out at a man roundly
viewed as eminently qualified in the vague hopes of the small fit of
cruelty will put him back in the good graces of those, still furious at him
for flashing a little too much empathy a few months prior. It`s a sad
desperate spectacle. They hate you, senator. You might as well just
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: I see it in the faces of young people everywhere who can access the
entire world with the click of a button and who are eager to join the cause
of eradicating extreme poverty and combating climate change, starting
businesses, expanding freedom, and leaving behind the old ideological
battles of the past.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That was the president speaking today before the U.N. General
Assembly and that was his one mention of climate change, choosing not to
linger on the matter, while putting it in a generational context, speaking
to the young people from Dacca to Denver who will inherit the most urgent
problem. And, as much as Mr. Obama might hope we are done with the old
ideological battles of the past, those ideological battles aren`t done with
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOB DOLE, FORMER GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And, I would say we`re not
closed for repairs, but we`re open for repairs and that`s the Republican
Party that needs to grow.
HAYES (voice-over): We`ve all seen the GOP`s efforts at rebranding.
PRES. OBAMA: We`ve got to stop being the stupid party.
HAYES (voice-over): Last year`s shellacking at the polls led to some
studied soul searching at least on paper. But, the one place those
rebranding efforts seemed to be actually paying off is on the issue of
climate change. You`re probably familiar with the old conservative
approach. Deny, deny, deny.
REP. MICHELLE BACHMANN, (R) MINNESOTA: I don`t think that it has been
established yet as a fact that global warming is the issue of the day.
REP TED POE, (R) TEXAS: There seems to be no conclusive scientific data
that proves that global warming theory. It`s a theory.
REP. PAUL BROUN, (R) GEORGIA: The idea of human induced global climate
change is one of the greatest hoaxes perpetrated out of the scientific
SEN. JIM INHOLE, (R) OKLAHOMA: My point is God is still up there, and this
is the arrogance of people who think that we human beings would be able to
change what he is doing in the climate is to me outrageous.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you believe global warming -- man made global
warming is real?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I believe we don`t know.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don`t know what`s causing climate change.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is no such thing as global warming.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The science is not settled on this.
HAYES (voice-over): When in doubt, call for backup.
GLENN BECK, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK HOST: Fox News global warming alert.
It`s still cold. It`s still really cold.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And, it`s the most severe winter storm in years, which
would seem to contradict Al Gore`s hysterical global warming theories.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But, then the 2012 election happened and younger voters
sided with the president. On the issue of climate change, there was a
particular rift between the Republican Party and the under 30 set. It
didn`t help the GOP`s climate change poster boy --
INHOFE: It`s all about money.
HAYES (voice-over): Sounded an awful lot like Grandpa Simpson.
GRANDPA SIMPSON: All right, I admit it. I am the Lindbergh baby, wah!
HAYES (voice-over): So, now the smarter and salvier of the bunch have made
a calculated pivot. Moving away from denying the problem, to denying the
REP. CHRIS STEWART (R) UTAH: Even if you concede climate change is real,
you can`t do it alone. China and India are planning to build hundreds of
coal-fired power plants.
SEN. MARCO RUBIO, (R) FLORIDA: There are other countries that are
polluting in the atmosphere much greater than we are at this point, China
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t think we can control emissions from China and
BJORN LOMBORG, ADJ. PROF. COPENHAGEN BUSINESS SCHOOL: You`re never going
to get China and India on board.
CHARLIE GASPARINO, FBN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: I don`t think you can do that
much about it, unless you want to de-industrialize China and India.
JOHN BOEHNER, (R-OH) SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: If we got India, China and
other industrialized countries not working with us, all we are going to do
is ship millions of American jobs overseas.
HAYES (voice-over): Just last week Congressman David McKinley of West
Virginia defending his state`s dependency on big coal used the new brand of
denialism to combat the Obama Administration`s plan to curb carbon
REP. DAVID MCKINLEY (R), WEST VIRGINIA: China, India, Russia and Europe
are all expanding their use of coal. The administration is embarking now
on a new global initiative, exporting uncertainty.
HAYES (voice-over): These arguments come from the very same people who
espouse the virtues of American exceptionalism. And, yet when it comes to
the single greatest challenge we face as a planet, the American
exceptionalism crowd is advocating we outsource things to China and India.
Or, to use another phrase, lead from behind. But, the fact of the matter
is this problem won`t be solved unless the U.S. takes a leadership role.
And, the denialists know this. That is why denialism 2.0 is so devilishly
clever and unquestionably dangerous.
Rather than resting on a principle that is fundamentally false, it rests on
one that is fundamentally true. The solution is global. And, by playing
this game and telling the other guys to go first, denialists are
essentially trying to convince Americans that there isn`t any possibility
for a consensus.
HAYES (on camera): Those same dead-enders who are holding their own
government hostage in a play for political gain are threatening the entire
global community with the exact same tactics, obstructing any kind of
discussion or solution and then placing blame on others.
We`ve all seen -- joining me now is Kumi Naidoo. He is the executive
director of Greenpeace International. We also have Christina Figueres.
She is one of the climate process at the U.N. and its current incarnation
and former secretary of the interior, Ken Salazar joining me from
And, Mr. Salazar, I would like to ask you first in the most blunt term as
possible. Is it the case that the U.S.` inaction legislatively on this is
the single biggest obstacle to a global solution on climate?
KEN SALAZAR , FORMER SECRETARY OF INTERIOR: Well, first, I would say,
Chris, that climate change is real. The global climate is in fact
changing. Our planet is getting warmer and 97 percent of the scientists
are there. And, secondly, I would say that the way the United States goes,
the world also will go with us. And, so this is a global problem. It does
require a global solution. But --
HAYES: But, doesn`t the U.S. -- doesn`t the U.S. have to do something
first? I mean there`s even the strongest possible argument, which I like
to hear your response to is basically not only does the U.S. have to move
first, but because we have used 100 years of fossil fuel and burned up so
much of that carbon and have enjoyed the fruits of that economic growth,
the U.S. actually has to pay the other countries if we want them to not
develop their own fossil fuels in the same way?
SALAZAR: You know, the answer is that we have to move forward as a world,
and we here in the United States know what it is that we have had to. We
have to cut carbon pollution. We have to make sure that we move forward
with renewable energy, develop efficiency programs and that we have
stakeholders, including the states involved in developing common sense
solutions as scientists know what we have to do.
We are making some progress. There is a lot more progress that needs to be
made, but we ought not to be sitting back and just letting the rest of the
world move forward and just say we can`t do anything, because China and
India and other countries are going to contribute greatly to global
HAYES: Ms. Figueres is there any chance of any kind of -- I mean the U.N.
Process right now, which is complicated and somewhat opaque to me -- if
you`ll allow me to say that, and also seems --
CHRISTINA FIGUERES, U.N. CLIMATE PROCESS: A black box?
HAYES: A black box that is -- a black box is also kind of doomed to
failure. But, we`ll talk about that in a moment. Is there any possibility
of an actual global deal getting done or real --
HAYES: -- without the U.S. doing something?
FIGUERES: No, there`s no possibility without the U.S. But, the U.S. is
already starting, right? So, we already have some states that are
moving forward, California, Massachusetts. But, the U.S. is actually
committed to a global deal. I have actually just walked out of the full
day meeting of the ministers of the 20 largest economies of the world, who
are again committed to the very, very clear timeline that they have set for
coming to this global agreement, including the United States.
HAYES: A global agreement that has -- if I`m not mistaken, the force of
law, right? I think what`s the technical language coming out? It`s a
force of law, but it`s not binding. And, I want to talk about -- I want
you to convince me when we come back, and you too, as well, that this
process can actually bear fruit. That it can solve the problem. That the
people who are essentially solution denialists aren`t, in fact, right.
Right after this break.
HAYES: Oh, don`t worry, beloved viewer. The Cruz cam is still active
there at the corner of your screen. Earlier in the show we asked you, if
you could lead a fake filibuster on any issue, what would it be? We`ve got
a bunch of answers posted to our Facebook page and Twitter accounts
including Brian Noak who writes, "Food stamp cuts at 3.4 million names
random from the phone book to illustrate the number of people that will be
cut." And, from Jeff Zoeto on Twitter, "One word, jobs. Finally, Moses K.
"I fake filibuster to end fake filibuster, followed immediately by a real
filibuster to end real filibusters." Good idea. We`ll be right back.
HAYES: Still with me, Kumi Naidoo, Christina Figueres and Ken Salazar.
And Kumi, you`re the head of Greenpeace International, and you guys are
fighting the fight on this -- Direct action, nonviolent resistance. You
just got hauled into court by the Russians for a protest of an oil rig in
Russian territory. Do you have any faith in this U.N. Process that it can
produce a deal?
KUMI NAIDOO, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF GREENPEACE INTERNATIONAL: The U.N.
Process is the only process that we have. The strength of the process is
not the failings of the U.N. itself. But, it`s the positions that
countries bring to the negotiations. And, the U.S., sadly, even though the
world is hungry for U.S. leadership, under President Bush, and sadly
continues under President Obama. The role the U.S. has played in
negotiations has been a negative destructive role.
HAYES: Is that true? Do you agree with that? The U.S. has played a
FIGUERES: It certainly put a hand brake on the negotiations, sadly,
because there actually is --
HAYES: Why is that?
FIGUERES: -- a double opportunity. Well, because they`re blind to the
double opportunity. One opportunity is for the United States to make
serious investments here at home, into clean technologies that are going to
bring more jobs. Here right now, the U.S. is frankly giving up jobs, very
interesting jobs --
HAYES: Right, we can.
FIGUERES: -- to China.
HAYES: Right. But, we can`t do that without passing it through the
appropriations process in the United States Congress. Have you heard that?
FIGUERES: Oh, yes, we can.
SALAZAR: Chris --
HAYES: I would like you to respond. Those strong words about the U.S.
role in this.
SALAZAR: But, Chris, I mean, let`s be frank about this. What you`ve had
here, you`ve had the president and some members of congress trying to move
forward with this issue. You have an agreement of the United States that
climate change is a reality and something needs to be done about it.
You have EPA now moving forward with Greenhouse gas rules, and in fact,
more than 40 percent of our Greenhouse gas comes from coal-burning fired
Power Plants. But, the end of the day, moving forward in the year ahead
between now and 2014, you`re going to have EPA putting together a set of
rules, but it`s going to involve the states.
And, so these state implementation plans hopefully will take the common
sense approach to be able to move forward and show the world that, yes, the
United States can get something done. It would be better if congress were
to act, but the reality of it is, it`s going to happen in congress, and so
it`s going to happen through EPA and executive authority of the United
FIGUERES: And, through the states.
NAIDOO: While these are positive steps in the right direction, let`s be
very clear. These are baby steps compared to the scale of the problem.
HAYES: Right. Here`s the thing. I want to invert that around because
what ends up happening is, what is so insidious about this new kind of
rhetoric about futility that we have seen in the American domestic
political context, is it is precisely your argument, right?
They say, "Well, what are we really going to do. We`re nibbling at the
margins and the China and India have all these coal plants." And, so what
ends up happening is that they have gone from denying the problem to
saying, "Oh! The problem is so big, we can`t fix it." So, what you say
that, what I hear is like why should we bother.
NAIDOO: No. Actually, the U.S. dragging its feet as Christina is saying
is compromising not only the entire planet, but is compromising U.S.
NAIDOO: -- interest in the future --
HAYES: You are --
NAIDOO: -- but also, what it`s doing is -- when I sit down with the head
of the Chinese climate negotiation team and talk, they are ready with
India. They are ready to say, we will move our fossil fuels. But, they
say "How can we move --
HAYES: But, aren`t they just -- wait a second. Aren`t they just -- isn`t
everyone just doing the same thing? Right? I mean this is a big game
theory conundrum, right? You want everyone else to go first, of course,
right? From a rational self interest perspective. Aren`t China and India
just doing the same thing? Aren`t they just saying, "Yes, go ahead,
NAIDOO: No. China is --
FIGUERES: No. China is going forward. China has completely left the U.S.
in the dust. China is the major exporter of S.O.N.A.R. Panels and all
solar energy and they are installing five times more solar energy over the
next few years --
NAIDOO: Christina -- I would disagree with that. Because it`s China who
FIGUERES: -- Let me just finish. Sorry --
NAIDOO: -- building more coal power plants than anybody else.
FIGUERES: -- That is true too.
NAIDOO: -- But, it is actually -- No. But, look at the progress that has
been made. You know, part of the problem here is the polarization of the
debate is keeping any common sense solution from moving forward. It was
just the United States and China that signed off on a big contributor to
Greenhouse gases --
NAIDOO: -- and that`s a kind of movement that has to take place, because
what`s happening here is polarization. It is a debate essentially is
keeping a solution from being found --
HAYES: But --
FIGUERES: Absolutely --
NAIDOO: -- A solution can`t be done. People know what the solutions are.
FIGUERES: -- I completely agree. It really has to be -- and I certainly
welcome everything that has been done between the United States and China
in the last few months, especially since the second term of President
Obama. It`s actually very, very good news.
HAYES: Kumi Naidoo from Greenpeace International. Christina Figueres from
the U.N. Framework Convention on climate change and former secretary of
Interior Ken Salazar, thank you all. That is "All In" for this evening.
The "Rachel Maddow" show starts right now. Good evening, Rachel
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST OF "RACHEL MADDOW" SHOW: Good evening, Chris.
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