ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
March 5, 2014
Guest: Sam Seder, Dan Dicker, Matt Cartwright, Carl Hart, Dannel Malloy,
Joshua Barro, Robert Herbert
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris
Tonight, the situation in Ukraine remains tense as the standoff in the
Crimean peninsula continues.
Secretary of State John Kerry met today in Paris with Russian foreign
minister Sergei Lavrov but could not convince Lavrov to meet directly the
acting Ukrainian foreign minister.
Meanwhile, in Crimea, a senior U.N. envoy was threatened at gunpoint
by someone in a pro-Russian crowd that demanded he`d leave the region. The
shaken diplomat quickly headed for the airport.
And on the ground, the situation remained extremely tense as Russian
forces continue to occupy Ukrainian military installations and maintain
their blockade of Ukrainian military ships in Crimea.
In the eastern part of the country, meanwhile, scuffles broke out
between pro-Russian demonstrators and those who support a united Ukraine.
Back in the United States, conservatives had a message of their own -- as
complicated and worrying as the situation in Ukraine may be, it is also a
perfect justification for everything they already believed.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: This is a symptom of a
greater problem. It really in many ways started with Benghazi when our
consulate was overrun and our first ambassador was killed in 30-something
years in the line of duty, three other brave Americans died and not one
person has been held accountable. You`re sending the wrong signal to our
foes around the country and Putin is not going to stop his aggression until
he feels the sting.
HAYES (voice-over): On the right, it seems it always comes back to
Benghazi, even when you`re talking about something that has nothing to do
Senator Lindsey Graham`s bizarre attempt to link Benghazi and Ukraine
was too much even for conservative provocateur Michelle Malkin who tweeted,
"You are an embarrassment to all who truly care about Benghazi."
But the right`s effort to attach pre-existing talking points to a
global crisis has gone far beyond Benghazi. The same person who coined
this phrase --
SARAH PALIN (R), FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: Drill, baby, drill.
HAYES: -- is now using the Ukraine crisis to make her case for more
drilling. And while this got the attention --
PALIN: Lookit, people are looking at Putin as one who wrestles bears
and drills for oil. They look at our president as one who wears mom jeans
and equivocates and bloviates.
HAYES: Sarah Palin`s larger point was that the crisis in Ukraine
could have been avoided if America and the rest of the world would just
PALIN: I`m right when I talk about that inherent link between energy
and security, energy and prosperity. America needs pipelines.
HAYES: And this position goes way beyond Sarah Palin, with the most
prominent voices on the right rushing to embrace the idea that fracking,
natural gas exports and the Keystone pipeline what it takes to stop the
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: When the president
wanted to strengthen his hand and protect our allies in the region, he
picked up his phone and used his pen and have the Energy Department approve
these applications for these LNG exports.
REP. PAUL RYAN (R), WISCONSIN: I think we should move forward on
natural gas exports quickly. I think we should approve an LNG on the East
Coast to go to Europe. We should approve the Keystone pipeline.
REP. ED ROYCE (R), CALIFORNIA: One of the best ways to do it frankly
is to let the Europeans know that we are going to export LNG to Europe.
SEN. LISA MURKOWSKI (R), ALASKA: Think about what the situation would
be if more U.S. oil were out in that global market.
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: The one thing that gives Russia
leverage on their neighbors is the amount of natural gas and oil that they
produce and sell to their neighbors.
HAYES: Even if you ignore the fact that Republicans are just taking
their pre-existing fossil fuels agenda and using Ukraine to advance it,
there`s a huge problem with the argument they`re making.
Russia`s fossil fuel dominance didn`t work. Russian troops aren`t in
Ukraine because Putin succeeded in buying off Ukraine. They`re there
because he failed.
When the Ukrainian president kowtowed to Putin, the Ukrainian people
took over and kicked him out because it turns out that basing your
geopolitical influence on a corrupt fossil fuels industry does not produce
good political and economic results. But that hasn`t stopped the right
from suggesting the U.S. should solve the Putin problem with a little black
GREG GUTFELD, FOX NEWS: Build Keystone, start pumping out tons of
natural gas that undercut the price Russia charges for Europe, and we`ll
win the new Cold War the way we won the last one -- by bankrupting Russia
without firing a shot.
BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS: The Keystone pipeline must be approved. The
more oil and natural gas the USA and Canada can produce and distribute, the
weaker Russia becomes on the world stage.
HAYES: How do you say "drill, baby drill" in Russian?
HAYES: Joining me now, Sam Seder, host of "Majority Report with Sam
Seder" and Dan Dicker, senior contributor to Jim Cramer`s "The Street",
author of "Oil`s Endless Bid."
Dan, you work in the hydrocarbon markets. You`ve been a trader on
those desks. This critique, the argument coming from the right which is,
you`ve got to drill more and that will reduce -- that will disempower
Putin. What do you make of it?
DAN DICKER, AUTHOR, "OIL`S ENDLESS BID": Absurd. The Russians do
have a major control, major influence on most of Eastern Europe through
natural gas. But we have to distinguish between natural gas -- which is a
gas -- and crude oil which is a liquid.
If you want to move a liquid from one place to another, you put in the
a Dixie cup and you can move it any way you like.
Natural gas has two ways of being transported, one is through
pipelines. Now, the United States can do nothing in terms of creating a
pipeline to all of these eastern European nations that are under --
HAYES: Like, hi, we are Poland, we`re a few kilometers from Russia,
we`ll take our natural gas.
DICKER: That`s exactly right. The only way you can get it across
through permitting is through what we call LNG, which is liquid natural
gas. It needs to be cooled, natural gas, to be transported as LNG needs to
be cooled to a minus 260 degrees Fahrenheit then put in very, very
carefully into very select containers that you can now transport overseas.
This costs a lot of money.
DICKER: This is why permitting -- you could permit all of the natural
gas export plants you want, there are very few energy companies who are
going to undertake building these things, they cost $2 billion to convert
an import plant into an export plant, $5 billion or $6 billion in 10 years
HAYES: So we`re not turning on the taps overnight and all of a
sudden, it`s like --
DICKER: Nobody wants to. Most of the energy companies in this
country are running head long away from LNG.
HAYES: Ding, ding, ding.
DICKER: There`s only one operating right now doing very well in New
Orleans or in the New Orleans area. There`s another one permitted that
will probably go forward in Maryland and all the others, the six or seven
others that were permitted, everybody`s really not going forward in making
these plants reality.
HAYES: Here`s the other thing about this. The right forever is
basically saying Barack Obama -- it`s always been this attack on him going
back to 2008, like we need to drill. We have never created more fossil
fuel in this country`s history.
I think we have the chart right here. This is hydrocarbon production,
USA versus Russia and Saudi Arabia. U.S. production has increased since
2009 a significant amount.
Look, it is -- I mean, it`s not like Barack Obama -- I wish he were,
in fact -- is standing in the way of the oil rigs and fracking wells.
SAM SEDER, MINORITY REPORT: Of course not. I think the Republicans
deserve some credit for not somehow tying in ACORN or Fast and Furious into
this. Honestly --
HAYES: It`s true. Fast and Furious has not come up. It`s true.
SEDER: But the reality is, the situation over there is very
complicated and this is a very easy thing to talk about. Simply say
"Keystone", which is obviously an issue that is going to be determined --
HAYES: Become near and dear to their hearts, too.
SEDER: And that`s what this is about. It`s not -- this is so
untethered from reality that it`s -- it really is just -- it`s laughable.
HAYES: One of the other interesting things I think here is we`ve seen
this weird kind of mirroring happening. People talking about the Cold War,
like they`re winning we`re losing, we have to do more like Putin, right?
And part of that is well he`s got influence from his fossil fuels, we
should have influence from our fossil fuels.
But look at the Russian state. It`s totally dependent on the revenue
it gets from fossil fuels and the thing is, you can be dependent as a
consumer but you can also as a producer. Russia is dependent on the
countries that buy their stuff as well.
DICKER: And you can see that in the Russian stock market which got
pummeled in the last three days because the threat is not only that
Europeans will be cut off from Russian supplies but that the Russians will
be cut off from European sales. It`s nearly as dangerous for the Russians
as it is for the Europeans.
HAYES: There`s an old saying about, you know, you owe the bank
$100,000 they own you, you owe the bank $100 million, you own the bank.
HAYES: Right? It`s like -- my favorite detail in all of this is that
while this is going on Gazprom, which is the nationalized Russian Vladimir
Putin oligarch controlled national gas company, is cutting a deal with
Ukrainian gas company in the midst of this to float them a loan because
they need the buyers and they need the pipeline space, right?
What I find ironic is conservatives pushing for the U.S. to look more
like Russia and Saudi Arabia.
SEDER: Yes, of course. I mean, this is an excuse to get on
television and launch an attack. I mean, there is absolutely --
HAYES: I am taking this too seriously?
SEDER: Yes, there`s no way, there`s no way in a million years that
Lindsey Graham thinks that this is a function of Benghazi, that Vladimir
Putin is saying, like, I see an open door here.
HAYES: I think he does believe that, actually.
SEDER: Then he must also think that what happened in Lebanon under
Reagan opened the door to Benghazi and then just keep going further back.
I mean, it`s sheer lunacy, it`s sheer lunacy that Putin is sitting there
and going "no one`s been held accountable from Benghazi, let`s head to
HAYES: He even incited the wrath of Michelle Malkin. He was an
SEDER: When Michelle Malkin is the voice of reason, you know you`ve
gone a step too far.
HAYES: The other aspect of this that, of course, never appears in any
of the conversation of this is climate, is the fact that we can`t just --
there`s going to come a time when some of that stuff has to stand the
ground. And the reality of that just -- it`s starting to dawn on some of
the companies. It`s starting to dawn on some of the investors, but it`s
not dawning on anyone in politics right now.
DICKER: Yes, and the natural gas question is the one that really
speaks to it so directly, especially in eastern Europe. Part of the issue
and why the Russians have so much influence in Eastern Europe is because
the Europeans have foregone fracking in every way.
I mean, the Europeans have decided that they do not want to see
fracking at least in their own backyard and so now the dependency going to
be on the United States, obviously, to becoming this fracking mecca.
HAYES: So, it`s basically --
DICKER: And provide the rest of the world with our resources in the
midst of the fact while they`re but suing something entirely different with
renewables. The whole thing is --
HAYES: Solar sales up 41 percent, I believe, year over year. That
news came in today.
And what Marco Rubio and John Boehner and all of them are saying is,
you Americans, we`re going to rip up every last one of your little league
fields, every last one of your parks, every place we`re going to frack so
we can take that and ship it off to Europe at some point in the future so
that Vladimir Putin doesn`t have dominion over Poland.
DICKER: I`d rather be a consumer in Europe under that.
SEDER: Right, of course. Nobody wants in their backyard and --
HAYES: Right. So we will subsidize -- you know, we`ll come to save
you by fracking our backyard for you, Europe.
SEDER: That`s right. We`ll be your dump in system respects and
HAYES: Sam Seder and Dan Dicker, thank you both.
SEDER: Thank you.
HAYES: Today, a hearing on the IRS closed like this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D), MARYLAND: Mr. Chairman, you cannot run a
committee like this. You just cannot do this. This is -- we`re better
than that as a country. We`re better than that as a committee. I have
asked for a few minutes to ask a procedural --
CUMMINGS: Now you`re turning me off.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That part where the mic got cut, that was just the beginning
of the end of that hearing, but a lot more happened and we will bring it to
HAYES: A so-called scandal with the IRS has long devolved into
partisan warfare, at least in the hands of the Republican investigating it.
But today, House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa had no idea what
he was in for. That`s next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CUMMINGS: For the past year the central Republican accusation in this
REP. DARRELL ISSA (R), CALIFORNIA: We`re adjourned. Close it down.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: An unbelievable scene in the House of Representatives today, a
breaking point finally reached while the cameras were rolling. We`ll get
to that in just a minute.
It`s been three years since Darrell Issa took over the House Oversight
and Government Reform Committee. Three years that he has used that
position to basically co-program with FOX News one blown out of proportion
faux scandal after another. From Fast and Furious to Benghazi to the
supposed security flaws in the Obamacare Web site to the now largely
settled, thoroughly underwhelming scandal at the IRS over its treatment of
tax-exempt political groups.
Today, Issa dragged the woman at the center of that investigation,
former IRS official Lois Lerner, back in front of his committee to give FOX
some prime time ready tape of her once again pleading the Fifth and going
home. But the ranking member on that committee, Democrat Elijah Cummings,
who has watched this investigations unfold could not take it anymore.
That frustration ultimately played out in dramatic fashion as he found
himself shouting in into a silent microphone, arguing with Issa over
whether or not he was entitled to speak.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ISSA: I have no expectation that miss learner will cooperate with
this committee and therefore we stand adjourned.
CUMMINGS: Mr. Chairman, I have a statement.
ISSA: We`re adjourned. Close it down.
CUMMINGS: Before our committee takes a single document --
ISSA: Thank you.
CUMMINGS: One witness.
CUMMINGS: -- the president`s political enemies effectively and lying
about enduring election year --
ISSA: Mr. Cummings --
CUMMINGS: He continued this vein --
ISSA: Where is your question?
CUMMINGS: If you will sit down and allow me to ask the question I am
a member of the congress of the United States of America. I am tired of
ISSA: Well --
CUMMINGS: We have members over here each who represent 700,000
people. You cannot just have a one-sided investigation. There is
absolutely something wrong with that and there`s absolutely un-American.
REP. MATT CARTWRIGHT (D), PENNSYLVANIA: Hear hear.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now, Congressman Matt Cartwright of Pennsylvania
who serves on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. He was
there today. In fact, it was his voice you heard at the end of the clip we
played saying "hear, hear."
Congressman, have you ever seen a scene like that in Congress?
CARTWRIGHT: Chris, I guess we`re done with the sheer lunacy part of
your show. We`re now on to the unadulterated lunacy part -- and the answer
is no, I`ve never seen anything like that. I`ve never seen anything like
that in the Congress. I`ve never seen anything like that in my 25 years of
You know, I come from northeastern Pennsylvania, Chris, where we have
these fanciful notions of fair play and free speech. I understand other
Americans feel the same way. Those notions were trampled upon today in the
And, you know, the great irony, Chris, is that our ranking member for
the Democrats is Elijah Cummings out of Maryland and Mr. Cummings started
off when Lois Lerner first came to testify in Congress and when -- actually
when it was Russell George who showed up last year with his detailed report
about unfair targeting of certain political groups, Mr. Cummings was
outraged and he expressed his outrage vociferously and he was ready to rain
down hellfire on whoever was doing this at the IRS.
HAYES: That`s an excellent point. A lot of people -- we on this
network I remember doing the show that night. I mean, the initial
indications were something truly, truly screwed up happened there and the
question was, how far up it went? I think it`s been -- I want to play
Elijah Cummings, Congressman Cummings, talking about the extent of
investigations that have already happened. Just take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CUMMINGS: We have now interviewed 38 IRS employees, hundreds of
thousands of pages of documents from IRS have been reviewed, $14 million-
plus and counting in man hours have been extended in addressing the various
investigations with regard to the IRS.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: People are going to look at the tape that we played at the top
of the show, what happened in that committee and they`re going to say oh,
this is partisan rancor, this is polarization and this is basically both
sides doing it.
One guy cuts the mic, the other guy shouting into the mic.
What do you say to people who see two sides yelling at each other
equally to blame for the situation?
CARTWRIGHT: Good question, Chris. And the answer is you have to
understand House rules provide for both sides to have equal time and so
ranking member Cummings was supposed to have five minutes to make a
statement or to ask questions or both and -- it`s just astonishing to see
the chairman, Mr. Issa, not only cut him off but physically reach over and
push the button to turn off Mr. Cummings` microphone.
We had never seen anything like this before.
HAYES: This is the ranking member on the committee and for folks that
are watching -- I mean, I`ve covered Congress and even at moments of
intense partisan discord, the ranking member and the chair tend to work
together relatively closely. They kind of have to logistically just to get
the committee running. Their staffs work together. I have never seen
anything get this bad.
CARTWRIGHT: We understand that this committee is really up to -- it`s
just a grandstanding tool for Mr. Issa. We get that. But at some point,
you have to ask the question -- how effective is that to the people -- you
know, the swing voters in America who like to have a little more meat on
the bones than just shouting "IRS" or "Benghazi."
How effective is this kind of tomfoolery to the average American voter
who could vote either way?
HAYES: I don`t think it`s been -- I think the answer to that is that
it has not been very effective and in some ways not very much of use has
come out of that committee and it`s a committee that has produced lots of
useful things in the past.
Congressman Matt Cartwright, thank you so much.
CARTWRIGHT: You bet.
HAYES: Everything you wanted to know about drugs but were afraid to
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Experience the mind-expanding power of acid. It`s
psychedelic, baby, that`s what it`s all about.
Bob was not impressed. He didn`t know much about LSD but what he had
heard he didn`t like. Acid seemed like a whole lot more trouble than it
Sure, taunted Frank, exactly what the establishment wants you to
believe and you just eat it up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: We have a long and rather colorful history when it comes to
experimenting with LSD, both inside and outside of the lab. And now, for
the first time 40 years, there is a controlled trial of the drug`s effects
and results are not what you might think.
Newly published studies by "The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease"
tested the drug on a dozen people who were terminally ill and found that
LSD significantly reduced their end-of-life anxiety. According to the "New
York Times," a loose coalition of researchers and fund raisers are working
to bring hallucinogens back into the fold of mainstream psychiatry. It`s
evidence like this that tends to challenge the pre-conceived notions we
have or have been taught to have toward illicit drugs.
Recently, I sat down with neuroscientist Carl Hart and some of the
things we talked about was the notion of a casual crack user, the relative
harm of tobacco and crack ingestion for pregnant moms and the differences
between meth and Adderall which are basically -- well, you`ll see.
In a short amount of time, this man, Dr. Carl Hart, managed to do
exactly what the title of his book says it will do, which is challenge
everything I thought I knew about drugs and society.
DR. CARL HART, "HIGH PRICE": One of the things that we were
interested in in our lab was we wanted to know whether or not crack cocaine
users can say no to crack cocaine if they were offered the drug and they
were also offered some alternative, in this case the experiment that we did
was we offered them $5 as an alternative.
And what you see is that the crack cocaine users will take a really --
when we`re talking about a nice dose of crack cocaine, they will take crack
on about half of the occasions and money on the other half of occasions.
But if you increase the money to something like $20, they almost never take
the drug, they always take the money. But that`s rational behavior and
that`s what you would expect.
HAYES: So, anyone watching this is going to say, "every single person
has had something in their life who had a relationship to a substance that
causes them to be deeply irrational, do deeply destructive things, to make
choices in which they will walk away from things they should take for the
substance." And so when people hear this, I just want you to respond to
what`s going through the head of people watching right now.
HART: Yes, to be clear, these people are addicts. They meet criteria
for drug addiction.
HAYES: They are addicts?
HART: That`s one of the requirements to be in the study. They are
But the person you described, the one who will do irrational behavior
to receive their drug, certainly that is a person, but that person is
probably doing irrational behavior not only in regards to the drug but
other sort of areas in their life. When we think about -- just think about
a former lover or someone who you just had a difficult time leaving for
whatever reason. You did some irrational behaviors while in you were in
that relationship. The same is true -- some people do that with drugs, but
it`s not like the drug is controlling the behavior to the extent that we
HAYES: This is so anathema to the way we think about this. Like I
even -- I`ve read the book, I`ve talked to you. I even just had this -- I
just feel like it doesn`t jibe with what I`ve seen. It feels like it`s
making an assault on what I have seen. I have seen people ruin their lives
with a substance. I`ve seen it.
HART: That`s a great point. It`s an excellent point. Everyone has
seen what you just said, but the thing is, is that they have really have
not seen what they think they have seen in that, when we think about
addiction, there are -- people are addicted for a variety of reasons, some
people have -- many people have co-occurring psychiatric disorders, so they
are depressed. They have schizophrenia. They have anxiety --
HART: -- all of those sorts of thing play a role. Other people, no
job, lack of options or attractive options. You have all of these reasons,
before we can attribute the behavior solely to the drug. We have to tease
apart all these other things.
HAYES: Right. So, I think the kind of takeaway here is that we --
there are a lot of tangled thinking about what are the causes and the
HAYES: We think that the cause is the drugs and the effect is
joblessness. The cause is the drug and the effect is an emotional life
that is a wreck. The cause is the drug and the effect is broken
And, what you are saying are joblessness, broken relationships and
emotional life that are wreck could be part of the thing that is causing
the drug use.
HART: Right. That precisely and you know when we think from that
perspective, it is a lot more nuisance and there is a lot more complex.
And, it takes away some of the sexiness of the stories that we tell in our
T.V. shows. Breaking Bad, one of the number one shows in the country.
That means that all of those shows now have to be more nuisance. Who wants
nuisance in their drama.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE SPEAKER: Many of the children who are the so-
called classic cocaine babies were premature babies. And, the symptoms
that were seen on the videos, on television -- you know, tremoring arms and
all that, that was prematurity. You could have taken any premature baby
and gotten the same image.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: There is a whole lot of literature after that kind of media
hysteria in which it showed for instance crack babies, right? We all knew
about crack babies, and it seems -- it did not seem crazy --
HAYES: -- It seems fairly intuitive.
HAYES: If you are pregnant and you are smoking crack, that is going
to mess up your kid.
HAYES: It turned out it was not necessarily messing up kids or not
nearly to the extent that we thought it would, right?
HART: That is exactly right. And, mind you, nobody is saying that
people should go out and smoke crack during pregnancy.
HART: But, the point is, is that when all the evidence came out, the
effects of crack-cocaine or cocaine on a pregnant woman -- on the fetus was
the same as the effects of tobacco on the fetus. Exactly the same. And
these kids, they might --
HAYES: You are saying that to me, and I still do not believe it.
Like I understand -- no, I am being totally honest here, like I know you
are saying that, I know that is what the literature. I have seen the
citations in your book. I know there is a literature, but there is just
part of me that is like, that cannot possibly be true.
HART: Yes, you know, when -- I get that a lot, as you know, and I do
not know what to say to that. I deal in evidence, and if everybody -- one
of the things that we want to -- I want to do with the book was to increase
intellectual tones around the discussion of drugs. But, in order to do
that, we all have to play by the rules of evidence. But, if people are
allowed to have their faith-based beliefs --
HAYES: Right, in which I just say that cannot possibly be true,
HART: Yes. I cannot do anything about that. I mean -- and, so I
just -- So, I am trying to speak to the people who believe in evidence.
HAYES: So, you think we are repeating what we did in the late `80s,
early `90s with crack or with methamphetamine now?
HART: We certainly are. We punish methamphetamine more harshly than
any other drug other than crack in the hysteria, when we start to see
things like the meth mouth. There is virtually no evidence for this dental
decay that we see, these pictures that people show.
HAYES: Really? There is --
HART: Virtually no evidence. So, when we think about
methamphetamine, think about Adderall, is an Attention Deficit Disorder
drug that a lot of college students take --
HART: Same drug. Nobody`s talking about --
HAYES: It is not the same drug.
HART: It is the exact same drug. The only difference is that
methamphetamine has a methyl group attached do it, but we did a study in
which we -- along with other people in which we tested the effects of a
drug like Adderall compared to methamphetamine, they produced identical
They are almost identical chemically in terms of chemical structure.
They have the same effect. And, so we have these wildly different
narratives surrounding these drugs. And, that is what I am trying to do.
I am trying to stop the hysteria. So, we don`t make the same mistakes.
HAYES: We have put the rest of my extended interview with Dr. Carl
Hart on our website allinwithchrishayes.com. Something we want to do more
of. You should definitely watch the whole thing if you have a chance.
Meanwhile, an absolute contemptible outrage today in Washington that almost
no one is talking about, we are going do talk about it next.
HAYES: A despicable shameful scene in the United States senate today,
as President Obama`s nominee to head the civil rights division of the
justice department was voted down. Seven democrats, these seven senators
you right now see on your screen, those individuals cravenly joined all of
the senate republicans in voting against Debo Adegbile.
A man who by any reckoning, certainly mine, we have had him on our
show, boasts a stellar resume for the job. Born in the Bronx. The son of
an Irish mother and Nigerian father. Raised by a single mom. His family
battled not only poverty but homelessness too.
Then Debo had a nine-year long turn as an adorable child actor on the
iconic Sesame Street. He rose to prominence while serving the legendary
NAACP Legal Defense Fund for a decade as a civil rights lawyer of
tremendous acclaim. Defending the voting rights act in front of the
Supreme Court, not once but twice.
Today, that man was voted down because of another man he once
defended. Well, actually, no. That is not the whole story. The
organization that Debo Adegbile worked for, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund
represented a man on appeal who was convicted in 1982 of a much controversy
of killing a Philadelphia police officer.
That man, Mumia Abu-Jamal was convicted when Adegbile was just a kid.
And, nearly 30 years later, Adegbile worked on the case for the NAACP Legal
Defense Fund as it challenged in appeals the constitutionality of the
jury`s sentencing instructions in the Mumia Abu-Jamal case.
And they won. The court ruled in favor of the NAACP LDF, which
resulted in Abu-Jamal`s death sentence being vacated. He is now serving
life without parole. That single appellate representation was then
transformed into the basest kind of demagoguery on Fox News.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER (1): Adegbile volunteered to help out
this man, Mumia Abu-Jamal who was convicted of murdering a Philadelphia
police officer, Daniel Faulkner in cold blood.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: -- Black Panther, and cop killer, Mumia
Abu-Jamal -- a cop killer`s coddler.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER (2): There` is a very racial past and
racial history of pushing racial politics through actions inside the law.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER (3): This is somebody who represented a
non-repentent cop killer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: You know what you just saw, right? And that worked at least
so far. But, somehow, one cannot help but wonder if this is a standard
that only applies to a civil rights lawyer, trying to head the justice
department`s civil rights division because as MSNBC.com`s Adam Serwer
points out, Supreme Court Justice, Chief Justice John Roberts, once offered
pro bono legal representation on behalf of one of the most notorious serial
killers in Florida state history.
A man who tricked his way into a woman`s home, then bound and shot
eight people. Six died. That man, John Errol Ferguson Then killed two
teenagers on their way to church while under indictment. One of the men
who wrote our constitution and went on to become president defended in a
court of law, the British troops who fired on and killed Americans.
Because John Adams, so strongly believed in the principle in shrine in
the sixth amendment that people have the right to defense. The president
today responded with an uncharacteristically strong failure, calling the
senate`s failure to confirm Adegbile, quote, "A Travesty based on widely
unfair character attacks against a good and qualified public servant.
Mr. Adegbile qualifications are impeccable. The fact that his
nomination was defeated solely based on his legal representation of a
defendant runs contrary to a fundamental principal of our system of
justice. It most certainly does. So shame on all of you who voted it
HAYES: For Paul Ryan, 2014 is the year that Republican Party will
finally start talking about poverty.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER (1): Republicans have been shy about
talking about poverty, now have shifted.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER (2): Republicans are saying let`s talk
about how to cure poverty.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE SPEAKER (1): You have Paul Ryan also talking
about poverty as an issue.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Paul Ryan says that it is a
PAUL RYAN, (R) WISCONSIN REPRESENTATIVE: We have the highest poverty
rate in a generation.
-- 46.5 million people in poverty.
-- There are things we can do to improve people`s lives to get poverty
addressed. That`s what I am focusing on right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: This week, Paul Ryan delivered on his promise, releasing a 204
page report titled, "The War On Poverty, 54 Years Later." Here is a little
spoiler alert. Ryan finds it has been a bust. But, some further reviews
of Ryan`s report from experts have been, well, mixed. The center on budget
and policy priorities found the report is replete with misleading and
selective representations of data and research, which it uses to portray
the safety net in a negative light.
The fiscal times went and talked to some of the experts whose work
Ryan cites. Jane Waldfogel, a professor at Columbia University, whose data
is used in the report said, "She was surprised when she read the paper
because it seemed to arbitrarily chop-off data from two of the most
successful years of the war on poverty.
Barbara Wolfe, Professor at the University of Wisconsin at Madison
said the Ryan`s report simply misstate the findings of one of her papers
studying the effect of housing assistance on labor outcomes. The report
has since been corrected to reflect that mistake.
But, here is a thing. There are still millions of Americans in
poverty. Paul Ryan is right about that, and there are some real tested
solutions out there. Not reverse engineered reports, but real policy
proposals with actual political strength behind them. Some of which are
included in the president`s budget announced yesterday, which would expand
for instance the earned income tax credit and also calls on congress to
raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. Today the president went to
Connecticut to sell those solutions.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRES. BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: This
should not be that hard, you would think. Because nearly three in four
Americans, about half of all republicans support raising the minimum wage.
The problem is, republicans in congress oppose raising the minimum wage.
Now, I do not know if that is just because I proposed it. Maybe I should
say I oppose raising the minimum wage. They would be for it, that is
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now, Governor Dannel Malloy of Connecticut from
central Connecticut State University where President Obama spoke earlier
today. Governor, I was reading in a local Connecticut paper. They
described you as lukewarm a few years back about raising the state`s
minimum wage. It was raised despite your alleged lukewarmness. You are
now pushing to raise it even further. What is your experience been in a
state that has raised the minimum wage above the federal minimum?
DANNEL MALLOY, (D) CONNECTICUT GOVERNOR: First of all, it is the
right thing to do, and I was never lukewarm. What we did when I first
became governor was to pass an earned income tax credit, which nobody had
been able to get passed for 25 years in the state of Connecticut.
The second thing I did was to pass paid sick days, another important
program for people who are working. You certainly do not want sick people
serving you your lunch or dinner or working taking care of your children.
So, we then wanted to digest that, and then I got on board with doing the
next thing that makes sense, and that is raising the minimum wage.
Let me assure you the minimum wage raised by $0.45 this last January
1st, would not have happened without me. We have a second increased plan
for this coming January of $0.30. I am trying to get that changed to 45,
45 and 50. So, that by January 1, 2017, every minimum wage earner in
Connecticut will in fact be earning $10.10, something roughly equivalent to
what was available in 1968.
HAYES: There is, of course, a lot of arguments from republicans and
conservatives, the minimum wage is going to cost jobs. There is the CBO
report that came out, that indicated some constriction of jobs, even if it
would lift people out of poverty, but it would reduce employment by roughly
half a million workers in the second half of 2016. What has been the
employment effects that you have seen in a state that is essentially
running this experiment ?
MALLOY: Well, we certainly are not seeing anything akin to that. I
was told if we passed paid sick days, restaurants would go out of business.
In fact, we have more restaurants in the state of Connecticut today than we
have when we passed that law.
You know, there are studies out there that have studied 532 counties
in the United States that were right alongside of a county that did not see
a raise in the minimum wage, one saw it. There is no evidence at all that
the county that raised the minimum wage had anything but success in doing
so. There is no indication that people lose jobs as a result of past
increases in the minimum wage.
Quite frankly, I think they are making this stuff up at a whole claw,
because they do not want to be for anything. They do not support an
increase in the earned income tax credit. They do not support minimum wage
increases. They do not support anti-poverty programs that actually have
proven records. They want to cut back on aid to states, on the education
side. They actually want to disband the department of education. This is
a bunch of people who are at war with the middle class of America, and
those who aspire to be in the middle class.
HAYES: It is interesting you mention the earned income tax credit in
your record in the state because sometimes the minimum wage and earned
income tax credit are kind of looked at as competing policies. And,
conservatives -- there are some conservatives that say, "No minimum wage.
That distorts the labor market." "Do something with the earned income tax
credit." "It is a Milton Friedman idea." "It is a free-market, sort of a
frictionless approach." Did you get republican help in your state to raise
it in your state? Do you see republicans supporting that nationally?
MALLOY: If there was any republican support, it was slight. They
were against an increase in the earned income tax credit. They were
against raising the minimum wage. That is who they are. That is what they
are. It is a matter of national policy. At least while this president is
Now, some of the republicans who argue against the minimum wage
increase today, voted for one in congress when George Bush was president.
There is, you know, this gap between what they are willing to do to help
America with a president Obama as opposed to what they thought they were
doing to help America when there was a President Bush.
HAYES: All right. Thanks to Governor Dannel Malloy. We are going to
have someone who defends at least part of the Paul Ryan report. We are
going to hash it out right after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: What grade would you give --
REP. RYAN: I would give us a fail grade --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: -- in the past 50 years on the war on
REP. RYAN: I would give us a failing grade. It is failed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now, MSNBC Contributor and national correspondent
for The New York Times, Mr. Pansy pants, Josh Barro, and Bob Herbert,
distinguished senior fellow of Demos.org; author of "Promises Betrayed:
Waking Up From The American Dream." All right, Josh, defend your boy. You
love nothing more than Paul Ryan.
JOSH BARRO, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: So, there are three big things this
report gets right. One is we do have too many anti-poverty programs and
our approach to poverty is too complicated. You sometime see this critic
from the left, when people are talking about universal basic income. Give
people money, it makes them less poor. Doing that in a hundred different
ways is unnecessary.
HAYES: One example just to concretize that a little. We have women
with infant children, WIC, we also got food stamps.
BARRO: Yes. They are both programs to give food to people who are
HAYES: Yes. You can imagine a situation in which you give a larger
SNAP benefit to women with infant children?
BARRO: Right. Yes. There is also a real problem that when you
combine these programs together and then when you phase them out as people
with more income. You do have some people who are working poor, who face
effective tax rates to get close to 100 percent --
BARRO: -- it makes it hard for people to climb out of poverty.
HAYES: Point being I can take this job, it is going to pay me more,
but then I am going to qualify out of some program that is currently
helping me --
HAYES: And, the income I give up, means it is not worth it to take
BARRO: Right. And, I do not know why we would expect people to work
more when it is not going to result them to have more income. And, then
the third thing is when you dig into this report, it is not negative in all
the anti-poverty program. There is good things to say about the earned
income tax credit, actually about the women with infants and children
program, about the Ryan weight program that helps people with HIV, this is
the conversation that republicans and democrats should be having about
HAYES: What works?
BARRO: This is working. This is not working. Let`s do more like the
stuff that is working.
HAYES: What do you think, Bob?
BOB HERBERT, SENIOR FELLOW AT DEMOS.COM: Listen, if you care about
poverty in this country, it is a waste of time for a bunch of rich people
to be parsing Paul Ryan`s report. It addresses nothing. We have poverty
in this country because of an unequal distribution of wealth. And, these
anti-poverty programs that people talk about are not really anti-poverty
programs. They are programs to alleviate some of the distress and
discomfort and even suffering that poor people have. So, for example, you
know, whether it is food stamps or even earned income tax credit. And,
even if that happens to lift someone above poverty --
HAYES: The poverty line is not --
HERBERT: If you take the food stamps away or the EITC away, you fall
right back below the poverty line.
HAYES: But, you are making the Paul Ryan argument?
HERBERT: Wait. No, no, no, no, no, because I think that you should
be alleviating suffering. So, I am in favor of these programs, because
they help people, but they are not the answer to poverty. The answer to
poverty is employment. And, if you care about poverty, we should all be
obsessively pursuing the jobs of every type.
HAYES: Yes. I think all three of us agree on the full employment
thing. I think we all -- I think everyone -- I want to see a 3 percent
unemployment rate, basically.
HERBERT: I want to see 1 percent.
HAYES: Right or push it as far until -- but, the other thing I would
say and I want to get your response to this -- Yes, because I think it is
in Bob`s comment. To me, my feeling is like yes, some of this stuff is in
the report, some of it is not. The problem is the political collision you
are heading. The political collision you are heading, let`s be honest, it
doesn`t -- there may be people in it, who genuinely care about poverty. As
a coalition, it places no priority in this. There is no traction in it.
BARRO: Well, so criticize republicans for that, this report, I think
in a lot of ways points them in the right direction. As you noted,
republicans have been saying about the minimum wage increase, "Oh, do not
raise the minimum wage. Raise the earned income tax credit which works
better." This report says good things about how the earned income tax --
HERBERT: I do not like that. I do not like the earned income tax
HERBERT: Now, it helps people, certainly --
HAYES: Yes. You were just talking about relieving suffering.
HERBERT: Yes. So, I am not going to be opposed to it for that
reason. I do not want to get rid of it for that reason, but we never
should have had it. It is a wage subsidy for corporations. That is why
the republicans aren`t in favor of it, because it helps the corporate
HAYES: So, there is two arguments here. Wal-Mart say it pays $8 an
hour. Two things to do about that, right?
HAYES: You can raise the minimum wage or you could basically say,
"OK, you pay me $8 an hour, the government is going to basically pay them
another $1.50 an hour --
HERBERT: Why should taxpayers subsidize Wal-Mart?
HAYES: Well, they would make the argument you are subsidizing the
BARRO: Because at some point --
HERBERT: No, you are not. You are subsidizing Wal-Mart. They are
paying disgusting wages. They are keeping people in poverty, Wal-Mart,
McDonald`s, and that sort of thing. So, my point is if you care about poor
people, if you really want to alleviate poverty, you have to put people to
work at a decent wage.
HAYES: OK. Here is the test Josh and we will come back to this again
I am sure in the future. Do the republicans support the doubling of the
earned income tax credit in the president`s budget?
BARRO: They should.
HAYES: And, that is the big test. Put it all aside about calling
their cards on the table. Josh Barro and Bob Herbert, thank you very much.
That is "All In" for this evening. "The Rachel Maddow Show" starts right
now. Good evening, Rachel.
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ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES