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PoliticsNation, Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Read the transcript from the Wednesday show

March 19, 2014

Guests: Jess McIntosh; Ted Strickland, Jay Rollins, Jim Cavanaugh, Tom Costello

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening, Ed. And thanks to you
for tuning in.

Tonight`s lead march madness at the White House. It has become a
presidential tradition. President Obama took a few minutes this week to
fill out his NCAA bracket.


all the way. It has been a while since there is one-one and he knows how
to motive folks. And he knows how to coach. So, my pick Michigan State,
bring it home for me. It has been a while since I have won my pool.


SHARPTON: The president is looking for a slam dunk on his brackets and on
his health care law. With just 12 days left to enroll he is playing off
the tournament to get as many Americans insured as possible. The White
House wants people to vote on the 16 sweetest reasons to get covered. And
then tomorrow, President Obama will visit the Ellen DeGeneres show. It`s
another chance to push the law and maybe show off some dance moves.

These efforts to get more people covered are working. In the first month
of enrollment just over 100,000 people signed up. But since the Web site
glitches were fixed, the numbers shot through the roof. In the first two
weeks of this month more than 800,000 people signed up. Five million
people signed up through exchanges. And we have 12 days to go.

So, what are Republicans doing on health care? Nothing, nada, zilch.

Today, "Politico" reported here is the dirty secret about the house
Republicans` efforts to replace Obamacare. They haven`t even decided if
they will hold a vote. If they`ll hold a vote? That is a dirty secret
because they are always going on and on about how they will replace the


REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: That`s why the law must be
replaced with patient-centered reforms.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MINORITY LEADER: We think the thing ought to
be repealed and replaced entirely.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: We vow to repeal and replace Obamacare, not
just repeal it.

promote repealing Obamacare and replacing it with a better system.

REP. ERIC CANTOR (R-VA), HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER: We are not going to give
up our trust to try and replace, remove and replace Obamacare.

BOEHNER: I think you will see Republicans come forward with a plan to
replace Obamacare.


SHARPTON: After four years of belly aching Republicans still think they
will come up with their own health care plan? Five million people enrolled
and they are still pretending they have a chance of getting rid of the law.

Sorry, Speaker Boehner. That game is over.

Joining me now is former Ohio governor Ted Strickland. Next month, he will
become the president for the center for American progress action fund.
Also with us is MSNBC`s contributor Jonathan Capehart.

Thank you both for being here.


SHARPTON: Governor, more people are getting covered every day. Are
Republicans diluting themselves in saying this law will somehow just go

Reverend Al, I don`t want to call them heartless, but when you deprive
people of health care coverage I think there is something wrong with your
moral code and your value system.

Across this country there are states that are depriving people of getting
coverage through expanding Medicaid. And there are people who are in
desperate need and are being helped. You know, as you said in the earlier
part of this program millions of people have now gotten coverage as a
result of Obamacare. And millions more will get coverage as this program
moves forward.

And so we ought to be celebrating it. It is a wonderful thing for the
country. And we ought to just dismiss the nay sayers and accuse them of
deception and deceit because so many of them through this Koch brothers`
effort, they are spreading lies and deceptions and untruths. And we need
to call them out and encourage people especially young people to take
advantage of this great opportunity to get health care coverage at an
affordable rate.

SHARPTON: Now, you know, Jonathan, it is not just deception and lies.
There are governors that are actually not expanding in their state and they
are refusing to accept the Medicaid expansion. And President Obama was
asked today what he would say to people those who governor refuse to accept
the Medicaid expansion. Listen to what he said.


OBAMA: For people who currently do not have health insurance to get health
insurance. The idea that states for political reasons would turn that down
makes absolutely no sense. I`m hoping after the politics of this are done
people recognize it is the right thing to do for these families.


CAPEHART: After the politics is done. But as we have seen throughout this
president tenure the politics is never done. And the president is right.
He didn`t say the word outrageous. I will say that it is outrageous to
read stories about governors willfully keeping people from being able to
access health care is something I never thought I would read about. Health
care is one of those things. Health care and a job, sometimes people take
jobs and stay in jobs only because of the health care. It`s not a job that
they want to do or have but they need the health care.

And the idea that the affordable care act is out there, passed by Congress,
signed by the president of the United States upheld by the Supreme Court of
the United States, there, to allow people health care who wouldn`t
otherwise be able to have or who couldn`t access health care before, now
you have governors who are standing in the way of people accessing the
benefit. I mean, it is beyond outrageous.

SHARPTON: No, it is mind boggling, Governor Strickland, that we are acting
like this is normal politics for governors -- I mean, you have served in
Ohio. I have been there when you served. And to act like it is normal for
governors to block health care for their own citizens, I mean, it is
inconceivable just a few years ago that that could even be possible.

STRICKLAND: Reverend Al, it is an indication of how far off base the right
wing in this country have gone. Reasonable people, reasonable people who
are willing to sit down and discuss differences seem to be nonexistent,
nearly nonexistent in the Republican party today. They have been taken
over by the extremists who are more concerned with an ideology than they
are concerned about the well being of needy people who are unable under
current circumstances or former circumstances before the affordable care
act to get health care coverage.

Just an example, a friend of mine`s child care provider recently discovered
she had cancer. And she had no insurance. She can get insurance now. She
cannot be denied coverage because she has cancer. That`s a wonderful
thing. And we ought to be celebrating those kinds of changes that have
been brought about as a result of this Obamacare act. It is a wonderful
thing. And more and more Americans are coming to realize, Reverend Al,
that it is good for our country. And more and more people are signing up.
There are a few days left in the enrollment period. By the end of this
month we hope thousands and thousands more will go to the Web site and
choose a health care plan that is affordable and of high quality and that`s
a good thing.

SHARPTON: As we see these last 12 days, Jonathan, and the numbers have
grown, five million and it seems like they are going to do a lot better
than the nay sayers and critics thought, will we begin to see this change,
the Republicans continue to tax and threat of intensifying those attacks in
the midterm election about the affordable care act or are we going to see
them not matter what just continue like they are delusional and act like
this isn`t working even though millions of people are signing up for it?

CAPEHART: Right. No, they are going to continue their attacks.
Republicans will continue their attacks on the affordable care act, on
Obamacare right through the 2014 elections because we all know that it is
still relatively unpopular because people, for one reason or another, don`t
quite understand or know what is going on with the law. And that is
something we talked about before as fault of the administration and selling
the affordable care act. But Republicans are going to use any and every
piece of quote/unquote "bad news" related to this law to try to under pine
the law.

And so, one of the things I think we talked about last week, the goal was
supposed to be seven million signups by the March 31 deadline. And now we
are at five million. Guaranteed the Republicans are going to call it a
failure because --

SHARPTON: I think the goal was moved to six.

CAPEHART: But still, and you know --

SHARPTON: If it is 5.999 they will say a fail.

CAPEHART: You failed. But meanwhile, you have all of these people who are
insured. You have people who will be able to access health care. And as
the governor said, there are so many benefits there that the
administration, that Democrats can hammer away at Republicans on their
running around talking about these plans that they have to repeal and
replace Obamacare but they haven`t said anything about what happens when
you repeal Obamacare and the person who had a preexisting condition, what
happens to their insurance?

SHARPTON: That`s the point, Governor Strickland. We are always hearing
Republican Obamacare alternative is just around the corner. The
"Washington Post" says right now Republicans are considering a provision to
allow adult children to stay on parents` plan. They are thinking about
creating high risk pools for people with preexisting conditions and
allowing small businesses to purchase coverage together. All three are
part of Obamacare. I mean, why not stick with the real thing, Governor?

STRICKLAND: Reverend Al, they will not agree to anything this president
does. We just have to accept that. But what really bothers me about what
is happening is the distortions and untruths that are being spread around.
The Koch brothers and others like them are trying to buy our democracy
reverend Al and they are doing it with their billions of dollars and they
are doing it by distorting the facts, telling lies and, really, trying to
manipulate the thinking of the American people.

But I believe the American people understand that if you are a citizen of
this country you need to have access to affordable, high quality health
care and Obamacare is the only plan out there. The Republicans are devoid
of plans. All they have is empty rhetoric. They talk about repealing and
they talk about replacing, but they are unwilling to come up with a
replacement because they can`t agree among themselves that Americans
deserve the right to have access to affordable health care.

SHARPTON: I am going to have to leave it there. Governor Ted Strickland
and Jonathan Capehart, thank you both for your time tonight.


STRICKLAND: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, the FBI on the case, U.S. investigators trying to
crack the mystery of the missing Malaysian plane. One big question, why
did the pilot erase files from his flight simulator at home?

Plus, a classic Republican non-apology from the billionaire who talked
about Hitler and the one percent.

And the year after the RNC promised to fix their woman problem, how are
they doing? I`ll give you a hint, not good.

Stay with us.


SHARPTON: The republican who campaigned with Ted Nugent is making
headlines again, this time talking about women in fair play. We will talk
about it next.


SHARPTON: One year ago this week, the RNC vowed to do a better job
attracting women voters. They wanted to quote "improve our brand with
women" and let them know we are fighting for them.

Fighting for them or against them? A year later Republican men and women
are still speaking out against women health rights and equal pay. Just
check out comments from a state lawmaker in Minnesota.


STATE PREP. ANDREA KIEFFER (R), MINNESOTA: We are losing the respect that
we so dearly want in the work place by bringing up all these special bills
for women and almost making us look like whiners.


SHARPTON: Fair pay laws make women look like whiners? And that`s not all.
Just listen to what two Republican leaders in Texas are saying.


negotiators and I encourage women instead of pursuing courts for action to
become better negotiators.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: What is the solution you think for equal pay
then, Cari?

it, women are extremely busy. We live a busy lives whether working
professionally, whether we are working from home. And times are extremely
busy. It`s a busy cycle for women and we have a lot to juggle. And so,
when we look at this issue we think what`s practical? And we want more
access to jobs. We want to be able to go to get a higher education degree
at the same time that we are working or raising a family.


SHARPTON: So let me get this straight. Women need to stop whining, become
better negotiators, and stop being so darn busy. That`s the Republican
solution? Apparently it is because today, the GOP candidate for governor
in Texas promised to veto any fair laws that reached his desk.

Joining me now are Jess McIntosh and Abby Huntsman. Thank you for being

JESS MCINTOSH, EMILY`S LIST: I`m glad we found the time to be here.


MCINTOSH: I know. So busy.

SHARPTON: Both of you, so busy. I`m really happy you made it.

Let me rush you because I know you have a lot to do.

Abby, women make about 77 cents for every dollar a man makes for doing the
same job. Don`t Republicans need to be more sensitive to issues like that?

HUNTSMAN: You know, there is no such thing as being too busy for equal
pay. Maybe I`m misunderstanding something but I never hear that excuse
before or the idea that men are better negotiators than women. May be,
that`s the case. Regardless though, that really had nothing to do with
what she was asked. You can tell she was very thrown off. She didn`t
quite know how to answer the question.

If I were her, I would have said look, I`m for equality. There are
measures in the Lilly Ledbetter Act that might put a burden on businesses.
Why not answer this head on? Why not be just honest about how you are
feeling. This is when Republicans get into real trouble when they don`t
answer things honestly. We see that time and time again.

SHARPTON: And as I listen to it, I read it earlier, it also as almost like
she was blaming women, both of them. If we negotiated better we would be
doing better. We are too busy. It is almost like they are internalizing
the fault for the inequality, Jess.

MCINTOSH: Yes. I man, equal pay is women`s number one work place issue.
That is what we have seen in our polling at Emily`s list. That`s what we
have been saying for at least the last year. it is not like republicans
should have been blindsided by this issue. Women care about it a great

You mentioned the 77 cents figure. That number is considerably lower for
women of color. Texas in a huge. Hispanic women population. So, this is
something that they are paying a lot of attention to. And I can`t really
explain why Republican lawmakers have had such a hard time coming up with
an answer for it. First they say it doesn`t exist and then blame women.
But women voters are paying attention, very, very clearly.

SHARPTON: Well, on that light, Abby, a recent poll found 59 percent of
women say the Republican party doesn`t understand the need and concerns of
women. Here is what right wingers were saying before the big re-brand.


TODD AKIN (R), FORMER MISSOURI CONGRESSMAN: If it is a legitimate rape the
female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.

binders full of Women.

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Women. Let`s start our own abortion
industry. Let`s go out and get the women`s vote.


SHARPTON: Now, Abby, I saw you put your head down. That`s before the re-
brand. But let me play for you some of what they have been saying after
the re-brand.


insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless
without uncle sugar coming in and prescribing a prescription for birth
control because they cannot control their libido or reproductive system
without the help of the government, then so be it.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Why not women like yourself then, you know,
maybe have an adopt the woman birth control program.

LIMBAUGH: They are turning them into nothing but abortion machines.


SHARPTON: Not much difference, Abby.

HUNTSMAN: I`m not going to lie. We have some real work to do. Clearly,
there has been some damage done starting with the binders full of women
comment. And every time there is a comment is made like the ones that you
just played from this week, it is just a pile on to that.

You know, the only positive I will say is recognizing there is a problem.
And you Reince Priebus now saying look, we got a strategy here. We are
sending out folks to battleground state to engage with groups of people
including women that we lost last election cycle.

So, recognizing that there is a problem is the first part of it. But it so
much more than just getting troops on the ground, right? This is about
really looking at how you can change your messaging and changing policy.
Because you look at the issues we care about. More women than men care
about gay rights, care about immigration reform, raising the minimum wage.
Seventy-six percent of women support raising minimum wage.

So I think Republicans will be well-served to look at where Republicans
fall on those issues because at the end of the day women are more the bread
winner today than they have been before.

SHARPTON: Jess, she is right because it is not just a social issue. It`s
issues like the minimum wage as she said. President Obama wants minimum
wage to be over $10. It`s key because two-thirds of minimum wage workers
are women, Jess.

MCINTOSH: Yes, absolutely. Women know that when the minimum wage gets
raised it is better for them and their families. Democrats understand this
and Republicans don`t. but to get to the Reince Priebus part, they have
been saying that they acknowledge there is a problem for more than a year
now. They have to do something beyond simply saying hey, we know there is
a problem.

It is like they are not even trying. If they were trying the day that the
report comes out showing Greg Abbott under pays the women in his attorney
general`s office he wouldn`t come out and say he is going to veto equal pay
legislation. That`s a man who is not trying to appeal to women. I mean,
he just showed up with Ted Nugent in front of his campaign surrogate. This
is not a man who would wanting to talk to women. And that is basically
where the Republican party is right now.

HUNTSMAN: Well, and I would say, if you don`t have a good enough reason to
be against something maybe you shouldn`t be against it.

SHARPTON: Jess McIntosh, Abby Huntsman, I`m going to have to leave it
there. Thank you both for your time.

Don`t forget to catch Abby on "the Cycle" weekdays at 3:00 p.m. eastern
right here on MSNBC.

Coming up, what does Darrell Issa, Ted Nugent and billionaire GOP donor Ken
Langone have in common? Find out in tonight`s got you.

And at this hour, the FBI is trying to retrieve deleted files from the
Malaysian airline pilot`s personal flight simulator as scrutiny about the
two men in the cockpit grow. Stay with us.


SHARPTON: You ever notice how right wingers seem to have a really hard
time saying sorry? Let`s start with Ted Nugent`s so-called apology for
calling President Obama a, quote, "subhuman mongrel."


TED NUGENT, MUSICIAN: I apologize for using the street fighter terminology
of subhuman mongrel instead of just using more understandable language such
as violator of his oath to the constitution, the liar that he is.


SHARPTON: He is sorry he called the president a mongrel but he`s still a
liar. Not exactly how an apology is supposed to go.

And how about when Chairman Issa cut off Congressman Cummings` microphone
at a hearing? He did called to apologize. But he also said this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Do you apologize to congressman Cummings?

broke no rules. And he broke the decorum of the House. The fact is that I
did things according to the rules. I followed a script. And then Mr.
Cummings decided to have quite a hissy fit.


SHARPTON: YES. Nothing says heartfelt apology like a hissy fit. And the
latest member of the sorry -- I`m not sorry club, is conservative
billionaire Kein Langone. He is the one who compared the fight against
inequality to Hitler`s action to a Nazi Germany. It was outrageous.

And last night he apologized, sort of. Quote, "my remarks were intended to
discourage pitting one group against another group in a society. If my
choice of words was inappropriate -- and they well may have been that -- I
extend my profound apologies to anyone and everyone who may have been

If it was inappropriate, apologies to everyone who may have been offended.
Did Kein Langone think we ignore his sorry excuse? Nice try. But sorry,
I`m not sorry because we got you.



PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: We have put every resource that we
have available at the disposal of the search process. There has been close
collaboration with the Malaysian government, and so not just NTSB but FBI.
Anybody who typically deals with anything related to our aviation system is


AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST, "POLITICS NATION": The President just a short
time ago offering every resource in the search for the missing Malaysia
Flight 370. It comes as the FBI is getting involved. Malaysian officials
have asked the bureau to help retrieve files that were deleted from the
captain`s flight simulator. The data was erased a little over a month ago.
Was it done out of routine or was the pilot trying to hide something. The
FBI is also been given copies of the hard drives from the computers of both
the captain and his co-pilot. But could they possibly tell us? The news
comes as more details emerge from the flight.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: With so much confusion about the basic facts, this
morning some insight. The plane`s u-turn after a loss transponder contact
appears to be a smooth 20 degree turn. Not an abrupt hairpin turn. U.S.
government sources do not believe reports that the plane then climbed to
45,000 feet and descended to 5,000 feet. That radar data appears
unreliable. And it is still possible that passengers slept through all of
this never knowing something was wrong.


SHARPTON: With each passing day frustrations continue to mount. At a
daily press conference today a mother of one of the passengers broke down
before being taken away by police and officials. It just adds to the
growing pressure to find out what happened to Flight 370. The plane`s
black box will only emit a signal for roughly 19 more days. Time is
running out.

Joining me now Jay Rollins, a retired American Airlines captain and a
former U.S. Naval aviator and Jim Cavanaugh, an NBC law enforcement
analyst. Thank you both for coming on the show tonight.



SHARPTON: Jim, people delete files all the time. But what are your
questions about the simulator if you are leading up this investigation?

CAVANAUGH: Reverend Al, you want to know if the flight path that was put
into Flight 370 was ever tested or tried on the simulator. And then, of
course, you want to know who else had access to the simulator? For
example, did the pilot ever have the co-pilot over and let him run the
simulator, as well? And did he have any friends that run the simulator
that could have been passengers on the plane. Remember, if this was a
criminal act -- we don`t know that for sure. It could be an accident or
criminal act. If it was a criminal act, the person who committed it is on
board the plane or was on board the plane. Two hundred thirty nine people,
most all of them are innocent souls. But if it was a criminal act the
suspect is on board. So, you have a very narrow suspect list. You have to
dive real deeply into each and every person.

SHARPTON: Jay, as an aviator what are the key questions that you have
about the simulator?

ROLLINS: Well, I would want to know about the airports that he had on the
simulator, if he practiced any particular routes that would have taken him
to nefarious parts of the world. If those airports came with a package of
a larger bunch of airports that included places like Kuala Lumpur and it
was just thrown in as part of a commercial package or did he special order
some oddball airport? That might lead us in the direction of what

SHARPTON: Jim, what is the FBI looking for on those two pilots` hard

CAVANAUGH: Well, Reverend, they are looking for your life. You know, we
have a computer forensics experts and FBI. We have an ATF, the Secret
Service, homeland security, major police forces, as well. You know,
nowadays our lives are on these devices. It is what you are thinking all
the time, it`s your hobbies, it`s what you like, the movies you watch and
books you read. And it is everything about you. So there is a whole lot
of information on there that can give you a picture into who the person is
that is not there anymore. So it is extremely valuable to investigators.
Extremely valuable to investigators. Really needs to be done on all the
passengers if we are going to find out what happened here.

SHARPTON: Jay, you know, you flew in this part of the world as a young
navy pilot. What can you tell us about conducting a search in this area?

ROLLINS: Well, for lack of a better term it is a third world area. That
means that the coverage of radar, the various systems that are in place
will not be the latest, the most up to date necessarily. One example was
the information that Malaysia Air did not carry all of the information that
they could have gotten from the pings that continued to occur. So that
particular part of the world has vast oceans. So if the plane went into
the ocean there you are going to have a very, very difficult time finding
it. And there are also a number of countries that are covered by jungle.
They have rough terrain. And there is just any place, many numbers of
airports. It`s just going to be a real viper`s nest to try to figure this

SHARPTON: So you are not dismissing the idea Jay, if I`m hearing you
right, that this could have landed, this could be on land?

ROLLINS: Oh, absolutely not. The only thing that I`m close to dismissing
is that it was some sort of an accident, something that happened on the
aircraft that caused all of this. I can`t think of anything. However,
when it comes to whether the pilot decided to commit suicide, that is still
on the table for me and also very much so that they could have flown
somewhere in order to do something at a future date.

SHARPTON: Jim, we`ve got 19 days left before the black boxes stop their
transmissions. Do you think we will be able to locate them by then, the
plane that is?

CAVANAUGH: Reverend Al, I would never under estimate the United States
navy for the Seventh Fleet. But I think it is a daunting task. I think
that in the next couple of weeks while those batteries are alive is going
to be the best chance. And of course, you have to remember from all of the
experts that you got on your show, we know that the voice recorder will be
lost because the flight has been going on for so long which could have been
some of the most valuable evidence of what was going on in the cockpit, you
know, a voice tape. So, the data will be valuable, too.

But there is also a lot of other data that could be gleaned in the case
investigatively. And you are starting to see the FBI and other law
enforcement authorities get that from these computers. The answers are
still come here. The answers are still there. It takes the investigative
team, they has to write questions, to go in the right directions, we have
done it on so many other cases. It can be done here, as well.

SHARPTON: Jim Cavanaugh, thank you for being here. Jay Rollins, please
stay with us.

ROLLINS: I will.

SHARPTON: Coming up, forget the conspiracy theories, we`ll get into what
investigators are actually looking at as they try to find this missing

Also, a republican lawmaker spills the beans about Scott Walker`s efforts
to suppress the vote. Stay with us.


SHARPTON: We`re back with more on that missing Malaysia Flight 370. There
is lots of speculation out there, lots of theories on what happened. But
until the plane is found there are only more questions than answers.

Joining me now NBC aviation correspondent, Tom Costello. Tom, so much
speculation about what happened. You broke big news last night on how the
change of direction was made at least 12 minutes before the co-pilot said,
"Good night." It tells investigators this was intentional and not an
accidental move. Why is this so significant to investigators?

significant because it could suggest, as you said, that the pilot had some
premeditation there. In other words, if they had pre-programmed in this u-
turn before the radio call saying good night, then it would suggest that
somebody had already planned this move. Now, I would caution that our own
aviation experts have said some pilots are known to pre-program in into the
flight management system, kind of the u-turn just as a safety, a escape
hatch if you will.

If something goes wrong, they can do a u-turn. This information, we are
told by our government sources, was transmitted via the ACARS system by a
data burst of information that came down at 1:07 a.m. And then as you
mentioned, 12 minutes later we had that last radio call. As for the latest
developments today off the coast of Australia by about 1,500 miles it`s a
three-hour flight. They have now shrunk down the search zone down there,
now down to about 102,000 square miles, that is roughly the size I could
tell you of Colorado.

And they are going over this in a methodical way with airplanes. P3s and
P8s, this advance anti-submarine under aircraft, doing a grid search and
using those advanced radars and a capability on board those planes to look
for any signs of debris. And if they find debris then they would have to
do a series of very advanced mathematical calculations taking into
consideration the currents down there in the ocean, south of Australia to
figure out, OK, well, if this crashed allegedly 12 days ago or so, how far
might this debris have traveled and then try to find the plane and then
hopefully find the black boxes.

You can see why this is becoming an increasingly difficult, challenging
and I would say really probably an unlikely scenario that they are going to
find these black boxes before the pingers run out. The batteries die in
about another 17 days or so.

SHARPTON: What is the clock they are racing again? How many days?

COSTELLO: Well, those pingers, these are under water location pingers that
are attached to the black boxes. And every plane, as you know, has to have
a black box. So, the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder.
And these underwater pingers will immediately start pinging so the sonar
would pick them up if they are in the water. Well, it has been 12 days
now. The range on these pingers is really rather limited. You know,
depending on the maker and depending on the thermal conditions in the
water. In other words, how cold it is, different layers in the water you
can get anywhere from two miles up to eight to ten miles of range. But you
have really have to be almost on top of it to hear it. So, if you are in
the search zone here of 102,000 square miles you can see how this is
becoming increasingly challenging for anybody to hear the pinger in a very
short period of time.

SHARPTON: Tom Costello, great work on this story. Thank you for your

COSTELLO: My pleasure.

SHARPTON: It`s the question the world is asking, where is the plane?
Today a new potential lead, several residents of the Maldives told a local
paper, they saw a low flying aircraft around 9:15 on the morning of March
8. When the Boeing 777 disappeared, the island is southwest of India.
Nearly 2,000 miles from Kuala Lumpur. And the timing would match the
purported path of the vanished flight if it had continued to fly in the
direction it was turning. But this was quickly discounted today from
Malaysia`s acting transport minister. So much information, so many
theories. Let`s separate the fact from fiction.

Back with Jay Rollins, retired American airlines captain. Many have shot
down but the plane could have flown over the Maldives. Jay, what is your

ROLLINS: I tend to agree. I don`t think that a pilot -- he would first of
all know that the Maldives were out there. So, if he didn`t intend to land
there what would be the purpose of coming down so low so that he could be
identified just to ditch the aircraft on the other side? There isn`t any
place else to land. So, I don`t think that is what happened.

SHARPTON: All right. Let`s move to the next question. Could it have been
terrorism? It is a question so many are asking. Investigators are looking
into the background of all 239 people on board. So far no red flag. Jay,
do you believe this might have been terrorism?

ROLLINS: I`m worried that it could be. You know, there is an air
worthiness directive that is out that is for the Boeing 777 that warns
against possible hacking from passengers that are located in the back that
are watching the passenger entertainment system, that it has a
vulnerability that Boeing is asking the operators to correct so that there
is no way that a person in the back of the plane can access the main
computer and put in false information or have the aircraft begin turns. So
you have that problem going.

You also have a problem that there is every reason to believe that the
captain was very upset. He was very politically involved to the extent
that a friend of his was being arrested that day. He actually went to
court and sat in the trial. And when his friend was arrested by all
accounts the captain was very upset about it. And then a few hours later
he climbs into the cockpit. Now, that is not to say that a person can`t
get upset and still fly an airplane safely, but it does give concern.

SHARPTON: We mention the scrutiny the pilots are under. A natural
question is, was it pilot suicide? Many are talking about that. Jay, what
are your thoughts?

ROLLINS: Well, pilot suicide, the first response is why didn`t he just
point the plane to the water and go in right there? Usually a person that
is in a position like that that would be thinking of doing such a thing
would not want to fly on for a long period of time and give passengers a
chance to intercede or even the co-pilot. How is he going to deal with the
co-pilot? I just don`t think that is as likely. Now, it is possible. I`m
not taking it off the table -- because the captain could have, you know,
gotten rid of everyone else by one means or another and then he proceeded
to go flying into the dark much like, you know, you might think of a ship
that just goes out into the darkness and goes into a deep emotional
depression and just sort of thinks his life through. But I really don`t
feel that is what happened.

SHARPTON: All right. You are going to leave that on the table. But you
don`t think that is what happened. Jay Rollins, thank you for your time.

ROLLINS: My pleasure.

SHARPTON: Coming up, Republicans across the country are trying to suppress
minority voters. But today, one Republican is saying he is embarrassed and
can no longer defend his party. Stay with us.



UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Mr. Speaker, on this historic day the House of
Representatives opens its proceedings for the first time to televised


SHARPTON: A young Congressman Al Gore, the very first speaker ever on c-
span. The channel that gave us gavel to gavel coverage of Congress turns
35-years-old today. It brought some of the most pivotal moments in U.S.
history right into our homes from the Iran contra hearings to the passing
of the Affordable Care Act to the triumphant return of Gabby Giffords. We
have seen just about everything on c-span. We saw one lawmaker wear a
paper bag on his head to highlight a banking scandal. We saw another wear
a hoodie to honor the memory of Trayvon Martin. We have seen giant stamps
used as props and some props that just left us guessing. There is no
question c-span has been a source of information and entertainment over the
past three-and-a-half decades.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: What happens to us Congress? Am I different?


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Have I changed my pants?


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I know you haven`t. It`s Republicans wrapping their
arms around Republicans rather than doing the right thing on behalf of the
heroes. It is a shame. A shame.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Picture perfect. I paint a picture, ain`t nothing but a
gangster party.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: I do not like green eggs and ham.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: A muddle puddle tweetle poodle beetle noodle bottle
paddle battle.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Barbaric. Black ties make me look heavier than I am.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I thought I heard someone yelling the plane, boss, the



SHARPTON: So happy birthday, c-span. "House of Cards" has nothing on you.


SHARPTON: Finally tonight, fighting the assault on voting rights. Today a
judge ordered a federal commission to enforce both Kansas and Arizona laws
that would require new voters to provide proof of their U.S. citizenship.
This means most new registrants would have to provide a birth certificate
or passport to register to vote. Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach,
spearheaded the law. He`s also the guy who questioned President Obama`s
birth certificate. He called it a huge victory today. Why? Because it
will disenfranchise minority voters. But in Wisconsin where the Senate
just slammed through new voter suppression measures, one Republican says he
can`t defend his party anymore.


STATE SEN. DALE SCHULTZ (R), WISCONSIN: But the fact is it ought to be
abundantly clear to everybody in this state that there is no massive voter
fraud. We should be pitching ideas for improving things in the future
rather than mucking around in the mechanics and making it more
confrontational at our voting sites and, you know, trying to suppress the


SHARPTON: A Republican saying we should not be trying to suppress the
votes. There is no voting fraud. That is why many of us will not stop
until we back down those that merely want to undermine every American`s
right to vote and vote easily.

Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton. "HARDBALL" starts right now.


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