IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

'The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell' for Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

Read the transcript to the Tuesday show

July 22, 2014

Guest: Julian Epstein, Steven Cook, Anthony Roman, Bill Stephan; Mark

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Rachel, if you have any more of that
video, use it right here, right now. I will surrender my a-block to that
stuff. That was great.

RACHEL MADDOW, TRMS HOST: I will send it over.

O`DONNELL: OK. Thanks, Rachel.

Well, it looks like the Affordable Care Act just might be headed back
to the Supreme Court.


up and running, millions oh of people will get tax breaks. That`s what
this reform is about.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have some breaking news regarding the
Affordable Care Act.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Two dramatically different rulings today.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Two different federal appeals courts reached the
exact opposite conclusion.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, here`s the issue.

OBAMA: Tax breaks.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tax subsidies. Tax credits.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Credits through the Affordable Care Act.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Specifically the part that makes the Affordable
Care Act actually affordable.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Today, the D.C. Court of Appeals ruled 2-1, no,
the federal court can`t give those subsidies.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A second court reached a conflicting opinion.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One that rules the opposite.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, what does this all mean for Obamacare?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here`s the problem. Both of the appeals court did
agree on this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Congress did not do a very good job making its
intentions clear.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The law is very hard to read. It`s ambiguous.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`re talking about sentences and words that are
making a difference here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Proofreading is an important thing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, here`s the issue.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The language is what it is. And every single
word matters in a lawsuit.

common sense that should be applied as well.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you look at the totality of this law, it was
obviously designed to provide a subsidy for health care, not to take them

EARNEST: It is pretty obvious what the congressional intent was.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s the whole other issue which is the
politics in this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, hey, who fixes it, right? We have an answer
for that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Here come the torches and the pitchforks.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Traditionally, Congress tries to work out the
kinks in the law.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The entity that would have to fix this is
Congress, with enactment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You might think this would change things but you
would be wrong.


O`DONNELL: One of the questions considered by both of these courts
was, what did President Obama mean when he said this?


OBAMA: When this exchange is up and running, millions of people will
get tax breaks to help them afford coverage, which represents the largest
middle class tax cut for health care in history. That`s what this reform
is about.


O`DONNELL: The courts also had to decide what did Senate Finance
Committee Chairman Max Baucus mean when he said this?


SEN. MAX BAUCUS (D), FINANCE CMTE CHAIRMAN: Americans will be able to
count on the health care coverage that they buy, and tax credits will help
to assure that all Americans can afford quality health insurance.


O`DONNELL: Two federal appeals courts considered those statements,
those exact statements, in two challenges, brought against the federal
subsidies in the Affordable Care Act, both cases were brought by residents
of states who opted -- the states opted not to create state health
insurance exchanges because the health care law mandates that everyone buy
insurance. Residents of the states without state health insurance
exchanges have to buy it through a federally established insurance exchange
or then be subject to the penalties in the Affordable Care Act.

In both cases, the plaintiffs claimed that without subsidies, their
income would exempt them from the individual mandate and the penalty. And
they claimed that Congress only intended subsidies for insurance purchased
on the state exchanges, not insurance purchased on the federal exchange.

In a 2-1 decision, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the
plaintiffs. "The tax credit is available only to subsidize the purchase of
insurance on an exchange established by the state. A federal exchange is
not an exchange established by the state. And the bill does not authorize
the IRS to provide tax credits for insurance purchased on the federal

But the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Virginia facing the same
questions unanimously agreed that regardless of what Congress actually
wrote in one particular line of the legislation, lawmakers clearly intended
for people in every state to be eligible for the subsidies.

"With only 16 state-run exchanges currently in place, the economic
frame work supporting the act would crumble if credits were unavailable on
federal exchanges. Furthermore, without an exception to the individual
mandate, millions more Americans unable to purchase insurance without the
credits would be forced to pay a penalty that Congress never envisioned
imposing on them. The IRS rule avoids both these unforeseen and
undesirable consequences and there by advances the true purpose and means
of the act."

Today, the White House answered the question of the health care law`s
intent. "The law was designed to make health care affordable through tax
credits and it is working."

Joining me now are: Julian Epstein, former counsel for the House
Judiciary Committee and former counsel for House -- and E.J. Dionne,
columnist for "The Washington Post".

Julian, we need the lawyers here. They found a sentence, they found
one line in these 1,500 pages where they can try to linchpin this decision
saying that oh, yes, clearly there was no intent here for subsidies through
the federal exchanges.

provision in the entire statute where the eligibility of federal exchanges
for tax subsidies is implicit. There are at least six provisions elsewhere
in the provision where the eligibility of federal exchanges is explicit.
The CBO scoring contemplates it will be eligible for tax subsidies. The
federal calculation of an individual`s tax liability, at every April 15, is
predicated on the idea some of them are going to be getting tax subsidies
under the federal exchanges.

The entire premise of the statute, the central portion of community
rating and the guaranteed provisions are all premised on the idea that
everybody participates, including if you have to go through the federal
system. There`s a central provision that everybody learns in law school.
It`s called the Chevron Principle. If an agency has to interpret a
congressional statute and there`s something ambiguous, or there are
provisions that are conflicting, the federal agency under the Chevron
Principle, basically can make the determination and that`s what the Fourth
Circuit said.

The D.C. circuit, when it comes up for what`s called en banc review --
the entire circuit court, they`re almost assuredly going to go the same way
as the fourth circuit. The bottom line here is, I don`t think the circuit
also be in conflict with this. I think the courts, the circuit courts will
uphold this. And I don`t think this --


O`DONNELL: This was -- the D.C. decision was a decision of three
judges. What that means is it now goes to the full appeals court, and your
prediction on the full appeals court --

EPSTEIN: Seven Democratic appointed judges, four Republican appointed
judges, I think it`s almost certain that the law will be upheld there, in
which case there will not be a conflict between the fourth circuit and the
D.C. circuit.

I don`t think the Supreme Court -- I think the Supreme Court will
decline to take this, because the Supreme Court doesn`t want to take this
case. I don`t think they want this case, because it`s a no-win situation
for them. If they are to invalidate the law, they would do incredible harm
to the court, which was a central thing Justice Roberts was concerned about
in the ACA, in the main case.

I think there are years and years of decisions that Justice Scalia and
Alito and others have signed their names to that basically endorse the
Chevron Principle, which is you defer to the agencies if there`s some kind
of ambiguity. And the congressional statute, as there is here, but I don`t
even think there is that much ambiguity.


E.J. DIONNE, THE WASHINGTON POST: By the way, it doesn`t
automatically. They`ve got to agree to go en banc. And the D.C. circuit
is often reluctant to overturn, one of the panelists. But in this case,
this is so important, and I think so outrageous on its face that they will
want to take it and overturn it.

O`DONNELL: And here we have the examining rhetoric outside of the
actual specific legislative hang wage of the bill. They examine that
statement that Max Baucus made on the Senate floor, which could not have
been clearer. He used the phrase "all Americans."

The president`s rhetoric on this could not have been clearer about
what the intent. What they can`t find is a single member of Congress at
any point pointing to this and saying, why are we not providing subsidies
for people under the federal exchange? Not one person ever raised this in

DIONNE: You know, this is like Congress made a typo and somebody
really wants to get to this results says, aha, I caught you in a typo.


O`DONNELL: I think when you rush legislation like this, one of the
prices you pay about legislating at midnight in a panic, which is the way
the Democrats did it, is there will be lines like this that need a few more
words on them that they don`t have, because it`s not done by the expert
committee staff with enough time.

DIONNE: Right. And so, I mean, I -- when I first heard this, I
thought this is an outrage, because judges are supposed to look at a law
and look at what the congressional intent was. And nobody, nobody in this
city at that point, at any moment thought that there was any doubt that the
federal exchanges were put there because some states wouldn`t want to
establish them. But the whole wall falls apart if those people don`t get

O`DONNELL: Every piece of testimony in every committee not just
assumed this, but specified this. As you mentioned, Julian, CBO analysis
of the bill says this is the way it will work, which if anybody thought
that was a controversial item, that would have been raised.

EPSTEIN: So, there is one place in the statute again where it`s
implicit, it`s not clear that the federal exchanges are eligible for the
tax subsidies. But, again, there`s half a dozen other provisions where the
linkage is pretty darn clear. Even if you were to accept the conservative
view of this, that it`s ambiguous, it`s a close call, the time honored
principle that justice -- the conservatives on the Supreme Court have all
signed their names to is that the federal agencies have the ability under
the Chevron Principle to make that determination.

So, the reason the Supreme Court doesn`t take it is not just because
the politics are bad for them, not just because if they take it and they
were to invalidate the law, they are going to take 5 million to 7 million
Americans off their health insurance. They`re going to deny tax cuts for 5
to 7 low-income Americans, they`re gong to raise premiums for up 5 to 7,
some estimates say that 6 million people that could lose their health
insurance as a result of it.

Those politics are bad. The jurisprudential politics are bad, because
it totally contradicts the previous positions. So they don`t want to have
to deal with that question versus placating the conservatives. So, this --
I don`t think the Supreme Court is going to take this case. I think this
is going to be over by fall.

O`DONNELL: E.J., quickly, the last word on this.

DIONNE: If you wonder which side of politics judicial activism is on,
it ain`t on the side of the liberals anymore.

O`DONNELL: That is the perfect last word.

Julian Epstein and E.J. Dionne, thank you both for joining me. Great
to see you here in Washington.

Coming up, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is, at this
hour, flying to Tel Aviv tonight on Israel`s airline El-Al to prove it is
safe to fly there, after U.S. airlines stopped flight there is because of
rocket fire.

And later, "The New York Daily News" has leaks from an NYPD internal
investigation report into police use of deadly force that ended the life of
a man who is suspected of the crime of selling loose cigarettes, a crime
that does not carry a jail sentence, but in this case, a death penalty was

And in the rewrite tonight, one of FOX News` favorite comedian Adam
Carolla is a little confused about the words liberal and conservative, and
which one of them is used as an insult in American politics.


O`DONNELL: Mayor Adam O`Neal of Belhaven, North Carolina, is 160
miles into his 273-mile walk to Washington, D.C. to protest his state
government`s refusal to accept the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable
Care Act. Mayor O`Neal stopped in Richmond today and talked with Governor
Terry McAuliffe about the need for the Medicaid expansion. Governor Terry
McAuliffe is trying to expand Medicaid in Virginia.

Mayor O`Neal began walking on July 14th after the hospital in his town
closed because North Carolina did not take the Medicare/Medicaid expansion
and the funding that comes with it. The mayor expects to arrive in
Washington, D.C. by next week.

Up next, U.S. airlines stopped flights to Tel Aviv today after rocket
fire threatened the airport, came close to the airport. But that is not
stopping former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He intends to fly
to Tel Aviv tonight on Israel`s airline El-Al to show that the airports
should be kept open.


O`DONNELL: The Federal Aviation Administration has stopped all U.S.
airlines from flying to or from the Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv for up
to 24 hours and several European and Canadian airlines have followed suit
after a rocket from Gaza landed a mile from that airport today. Secretary
of State John Kerry, who is now in Cairo and working with Egypt`s foreign
minister to urge Hamas to accept a cease-fire deal, spoke with the Israeli
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier this evening about the FAA`s
decision to stop all American flights.

A State Department spokesperson released this statement, "Among the
issues raised by the prime minister was the FAA`s notice today about Ben
Gurion Airport. The FAA`s notice was issued to protect American citizens
and American carriers. The only consideration in issuing the notice was
the safety and security of our citizens. The FAA continues to monitor and
evaluate the situation."

Airline security experts called the decision prudent in light of the
downing of the Malaysian Airline Flight 17.

But Israeli`s transportation minister says there is no reason carriers
should, quote, "award terror".

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg issued this statement
tonight. "This evening, I will be flying on El-Al to Tel Aviv to show
solidarity with the Israeli people and to demonstrate it is safe to fly in
and out of Israel. Ben Gurion is the best protected airport in the world
and El-Al flights have been regularly flying in and out of it safely. The
flight restrictions are a mistake that hands Hamas an undeserved victory
and should be lifted immediately."

The FAA will reassess the security situation at the airport and has
told airlines here in the U.S. it will make a decision by noon Wednesday on
whether to keep the flight ban in place.

NBC`s Martin Fletcher provided this context about the rocket from Gaza
toward Ben Gurion airport on "ANDREA MITCHELL REPORTS".


MARTIN FLETCHER, NBC NEWS: Israelis are saying, well, we can`t give
back West Bank because the hills overlooking the Ben Gurion Airport. From
there people can fire rockets at the airport and stop air traffic. So,
here we see that argument has been a bit outdated by the rocket threat from


O`DONNELL: As of tonight, the death toll, more than 600 Palestinians
killed. Among them 75 children, according to the Palestinian health
ministry, 29 Israelis have been killed in the conflict, and one Israeli
soldier is now missing.

Joining me now is Steven Cook of the Council on Foreign Relations, and
Anthony Roman, a former commercial pilot and flight instructor, and
president of Roman and Associates, a global investigation firm

Steven, first of all, the importance of commerce travel in and out of
Ben Gurion airport.

only major international airport. It is the height of the tourist season
in Israel. This is a major issue for the Israelis.

But as someone who is a frequent traveler overseas, I appreciate the
FAA`s prudence. All Hamas has to do win here is to bag an airliner with a
rocket. It`s unfortunate for the Israelis that this issue is being
politicized. Really, the FAA`s decision isn`t the safety of the flying

O`DONNELL: Anthony Roman, Mike Bloomberg makes the point that it`s
the safest airport in the world. What it is, it`s the most security
conscious airport in the world, that`s for sure. And those of us who`ve
flown in and out of on El-Al, know the security that that airline in
particular runs and the examination it does to each passenger getting on an

What is your reaction to the developments there today?

ANTHONY ROMAN, SECURITY EXPERT: Well, the mayor is absolutely
correct. It is one of the safest and most secure airports in the world.
It`s patrolled by the Israeli army, the Israeli special operations division
of their customs unit, by the police, undercover agents. It`s patrolled by
the Israeli air force and protected by the Iron Dome anti-missile system.

However, today, all of that security was breached. Now, international
airports are contained within protected air space. What we mean by that is
we have a 40-mile diameter air space that rises to 10,000 feet. And within
that, air traffic controllers maintain positive directional control of all
aircraft maintaining anti-collision services.

Anything that occurs untoward within that air space is a major breach
of safety. And a rocket or artillery shell, even if it`s one, poses a
serious risk to all aircraft.

So, I do believe that the FAA`s decision was prudent. I also think it
was conservative in that they only made the ban for 24 hours, and will re-
evaluate it based, I am sure, on the Israelis ramping up their already
terrific security.

O`DONNELL: Steven, to have this now thrown into the negotiating mix,
here`s Secretary Kerry trying to work on the larger issues and there`s the
prime minister quite understandably saying, look, this airport is the heart
beat of our economy in so many ways. This is an extremely risky thing.

How much is it the economics of that airport being constricted like
that, and then the principle to the Israelis that this is a victory for the
other side to shut down any of these flights?

COOK: Well, it`s certainly an economic issue but it`s a larger
principle here. That`s why I don`t think Secretary Kerry is going to get
very far in terms of the cease-fire. The Israelis cannot allow their major
airport to be shut down or restricted for 24 hours without answering and
making Hamas pay for this act.

So, I think the Israelis are going to ramp up their military
operations in an effort to demonstrate to Hamas that there is a price to be
paid for this.

O`DONNELL: Anthony Roman, what do you think the FAA has to see to
reopen American airline or traffic into that airport?

ROMAN: Well, I believe they`re going to have to see a ramping up of
the anti-missile defense system. And I believe that Steven is absolutely
right, that the Israelis will have to respond with even more regressive
force against Hamas in order to ensure that their offensive capabilities,
particularly in the area of the airport, where commerce is so critical, is

For example, 14 million passengers per year pass through Ben Gurion
Airport, 13 million of which are international travelers. The Israelis
cannot afford to hand a minor victory to Hamas in this regard.

O`DONNELL: Steven Cook and Anthony Roman, thank you both for joining
us tonight.

Coming up, the latest on the investigation into the death of the man
who died in NYPD custody last week.


O`DONNELL: In the spotlight tonight, new information about the
investigation into the death of a man at the hands of New York City police
officers. Though New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police
Commissioner Bill Bratton have both said it looks as though 43-year-old
Eric Garner was put in a chokehold, "The New York Daily News" has a report
saying an internal NYPD report on the incident doesn`t use the phrase
chokehold at all.

Eric Garner`s funeral is scheduled tomorrow in Brooklyn. Eric Garner
was pronounced dead on arrival at a Staten Island Hospital on Thursday
after he was arrested for suspicion of selling loose cigarettes.

Here is the video of that arrest, the arrest that ended Eric Garner`s


ERIC GARNER: Every time you see me, you want to mess with me, I`m
tired of it. Don`t touch me. Don`t touch me. (EXPLETIVES DELETED)

I can`t breathe! I can`t breathe!


O`DONNELL: What you just heard Eric Garner say is, "Every time you
see me, you want to mess with me, I`m tired of it." And he said, "Don`t
touch me, don`t touch me," and then, "I can`t breathe." You heard him say
that repeatedly.

The chokehold you just witnessed being used on Eric Garner has been
banned by the NYPD for 20 years. Other video shows Eric Garner lying
motionless on the ground for at least seven minutes as police officers and
emergency medical workers make no attempt to resuscitate him.

Four emergency medical workers have now been suspended without pay. And
the NYPD officer who used the choke hold on Eric Garner has been put on
modified assignment and stripped of his badge and gun.

According to the "New York Daily News," excerpts from the report
include one officer at the scene saying that Garner quote "did not appear
in great distress."

And another claiming that Garner`s condition did not seem serious and
that he did not appear to get worse.

The daily news also says that the NYPD report points out that four of
the officers involved in the incident, including the one who took down Eric
Garner with that choke hold, were not interviewed for the preliminary
report because of a possible criminal investigation.

Earlier today, Commissioner Bratton confirmed that there will be a
criminal investigation and predicted that the case will be reviewed by
federal prosecutors. Commissioner Bratton clearly has reason to believe
that this use of a choke hold in violation of NYPD rules, was not an
isolated incident.


going to have to do more than just a review of Staten Island. The
department really does need to do a lot more, a lot more in the area of
training. They talked about a review of all of the training that this
department provides to its personnel, specifically focusing on initially
use of force. I would anticipate that coming out of this effort that they
will be a retraining of every member of the New York city police department
in the weeks, months and potentially years ahead.


O`DONNELL: Joining me now is Jim Cavanaugh, an MSNBC law enforcement
analyst. He is also a former police officer and ATF special agent and Mark
Thompson, host of "Make it Plain" on Sirius XM radio.

Jim, first to you on what the commissioner just said. I cannot think
of an instance in which in the immediate aftermath of a situation like this
I have heard a leader of a department this big say that this incident has
forced him to consider retraining for every single officer under his

is a strong leader. You know, I was in the police executive research forum
which is a professional police organization. It is a great organization.
And Bill, he was a leader on that. And he is an out-front leader. I mean,
you got reports from sergeants on the scene saying they didn`t mention a
choke hold.

But the two most important people in the department that commissioner
and the mayor in the city, the mayor mentioned the choke hold yesterday or
the day before. So they`re up front talking about it. They`re not wanting
to deny the obvious. They`re taking it on.

And I agree with you. He`s taking on the training issue. I would
add, though, that not only use of force is necessary. What`s also
necessary is street verbal negotiation skills so these things don`t
escalate, and leadership training for sergeants. Who`s in charge of this
mess? Who is going to step up and back this whole thing down before it
goes this way? Who`s going to step in and take the handcuffs off Mr.
Garner so he can get some medical attention? Who is going to order people
to give him medical attention?

We need some street sergeants. You know, Lawrence, Eisenhower said
the sergeant is the army. And it`s the same way for the police service.
The sergeants have to take charge at the scene.

O`DONNELL: Well, no one stepped up at that scene.

Mark, I want you to listen to something else that the police
commissioner said today. He was asked if he thought race was involved in
this incident. Let`s listen to his answer.


BRATTON: I personally don`t think that raise was a factor in the
incident involving this tragic death. Our effort, as we go forward with
our training, review of our training that our officers understand the
importance of consistent policing, no matter whether the person is Black,
Asian, Latino, White, it`s the equal enforcement of the law.


O`DONNELL: Mark, your reaction to that?

MARK THOMPSON, SIRIUS XM RADIO HOST: Well, frankly, that is a bit
concerning. On the one part, the first half of his statement, they`re
going to retrain officers in terms of use of force. It`s undermined by the
following statement, that he does not think race is involved. I don`t know
how anyone can think that this happens far too frequently to people of
color, and to African-Americans. And that`s one of the reasons I`m here at
the NAACP convention, a resolution was passed today about national
legislation in Congress. And we know Congress is much these days. But if
they would take up legislation to deal with use of force standards around
the country. Other civil rights organizations, including the Reverend Al
Sharpton have spoken out against this. This happens far too frequently
within our community.

And I appreciate Jim`s input. I think what he said is important. I
would just add to that. I had the privilege of being asked, when I lived
in Washington, D.C., to teach a class at the D.C. police academy called the
historical relationship between African-Americans and law enforcement.
It`s not just a question of dealing with the policy or the particular
application of use of force. But there must be a conversation about NYPD`s
relationship with the community, all of these law enforcement agency`s
relationship with the community. It has to be one that is much more clear
and much more understanding. And much more supportive of a community and
not one that is so hostile to a community.

O`DONNELL: I want to listen to something else that Commissioner
Bratton said today responsive to what Jim was saying, his first point about
the discretion that police officers have and the judgment they have to
bring to situations like this. Let`s listen to that.


BRATTON: There`s a lot of emphasis going to be focused on an
officer`s understanding in the discretion they have. I`m not looking for
arrests. I`m not looking for summons. I`m not looking for 250 staff
question and police reports. What I`m looking for is quality, not
quantity. And by quality I mean having a problem successfully addressed.
If it requiring arrest, fine. But if it weren`t to be quiet and admonition
move along, you can`t do that. I`m not measuring success by number of
arrests. I`m measuring success by does crime go down.


O`DONNELL: Mark, that seems like a very important statement for New
Yorkers to hear. He very specifically said he`s not looking for, you know,
numbers on stop and frisk, for example.

THOMPSON: That`s something that we have all thought about and have
been opposed to, of course, the one of the reasons. The new mayor was
elected was because of his opposition to stop and frisk.

Again, another example of far too much contact between law enforcement
and unfortunately is often hostile. Of course, not always as hostile as
this case with Mr. Garner, but suspicious enough. It almost seems just
being an African-American or being a person of color makes you guilty of
suspicion. And then the value of human life in cases such as these.

Now, what would have happened if anybody else had done this? This
could affect anybody. This could have done anything to anybody. But Eric
Garner did not deserve a death sentence for what he was alleged to have

O`DONNELL: Jim Cavanaugh and Mark Thompson, thank you both for
joining me.

THOMPSON: Thank you.

CAVANAUGH: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, how a liberal should answer charges of being a
liberal. That`s in the rewrite.


O`DONNELL: And now for the good news.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, my name is Quinn. This is my buddy, Braden.
We go to school together and we`re both 7-years-old. He has cerebral palsy
and he needs an operation. That cost a lot of money. Please donate and
thank you.



O`DONNELL: To raise money for his buddy Braden, Quinn started a
lemonade stand to burst the money he needed for that surgery, but that
wasn`t enough. Quinn`s mother helped him start an online fundraising page
where, as of tonight, he`s raised just over $60,000. The kind of surgery
Braden needs is not performed in Canada. His family will be coming to the
United States if August for that surgery.

The rewrite is next, starring Adam Carolla, Bill O`Reilly and a couple
of presidents and presidential candidates including a fictional one.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not
that they`re ignorant, it`s just that they know so much that isn`t so.


O`DONNELL: The liberal response to that kind of jab was not to deny
being ignorant, but to deny being liberal. Ronald Reagan was the master at
rewriting the word "liberal" into an insult, and his lesson was learned by
every Republican candidate for president since Reagan.

Meanwhile, Republicans have increasingly embraced the word
conservative. And Ronald Reagan`s day, there were liberal Republicans and
conservative Democrats, as well as obviously liberal Democrats and
conservative Republicans. And now there are no liberal Republicans left in
Washington, and no truly conservative Democrats left in Washington. And no
front-runner for the democratic nomination for president ever claims to be
liberal. While every Republican front-runner for the Republican nomination
for president claims to be conservative.


compassionate conservative, and proudly so.

conservative Republican governor.


O`DONNELL: So Democrats duck every time the word "liberal" is thrown
at them, even the most liberal Democrats. While Republicans love claiming
the word conservative, even former liberal Republicans like Mitt Romney.

But radio host Adam Carolla has noticed none of that.


ADAM CAROLLA, RADIO HOST: The left has taken over the word
"conservative" and turned it into a pejorative. So it`s like, you`re a
conservative. They`ve done a wonderful smear campaign.


Adam Carolla said that this week, a wonderful smear campaign? Really,
Adam? If the left has run a wonderful smear campaign against the word
conservative, why have Republicans spent 50 years tightening their grip on
the label conservative? If the left has run a successful smear campaign
against the word conservative, why do Republican candidates for president
fight each other over who is the most conservative?


NEWT GINGRICH, CNN HOST, CROSSFIRE: The only effective vote to stop a
Massachusetts liberal from becoming our nominee is to vote for Newt


O`DONNELL: There`s your political pejorative right there, liberal.
And if you want to make it sound really bad, put the word Massachusetts in
front it. Republicans wish they could run against a Massachusetts liberal
every time.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Environmental problems, crime, liberal spending
out of control. Michael Dukakis, out of touch with our values and


O`DONNELL: That is what professional politicians on both sides
believe that liberal has come to mean in our politics, out of touch with
our values and problems. The single most successful piece of domestic
American political propaganda of the 20th century is that liberalism is out
of touch with our values and problems. The liberal political establishment
response to that was not just to run away from the word liberal but to
actually change their name. They dropped liberal and started using the
word progressive. They wanted to get the message to you that they stood
for something, some general political philosophy but they just couldn`t
bring themselves to use the word liberal because Republicans had so
successfully turned that word into a political pejorative.

Here is the bravest response by a liberal at the presidential level to
being labeled a liberal.


BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Are you the most liberal president in
U.S. history?


O`REILLY: Probably not.

OBAMA: Probably not.


O`DONNELL: Now, that is the height of political bravery, when
confronted with the label liberal, President Obama did not deny being a
liberal. His answer actually accepts that he is a liberal, but he sure
didn`t want to say much more about it. It`s not easy to get a two-word
answer out of President Obama. But at least he didn`t deny being a
liberal. But of course, Bill O`Reilly was not finished.


O`REILLY: Who would be?

OBAMA: You know, the truth of the matter is, when you look at some of
my policies, in a lot of ways, Richard Nixon walls more liberal than I was.
He started the EPA. He started a whole lot of the regulatory state that`s
helped make our air and water clean.

O`REILLY: That`s interesting, Nixon? That`s interesting. I thought
you were going to say FDR.

OBAMA: Well, FDR, Johnson. But I don`t think of these things as
liberal and conservative, because at any given time, the question is what
does the country need right now?


O`DONNELL: OK, not exactly a stirring defense of liberalism, but
President Obama did not duck and run when the word liberal was thrown at
him. But stirring defenses of liberalism is not what are what liberal
presidential candidates do.


going to let Governor Dukakis go through this election without explaining
some of these very liberal positions. He`s the one that said, I am a
liberal -- traditional liberal progressive liberal Democrat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m not keeping count, but I think Mr. Bush has
used the label liberal at least ten times.


O`DONNELL: Yes. If President Bush used the word liberal ten times,
then Michael Dukakis should have stood his ground and used the word liberal
11 times. It was true, he was a liberal. But by 1988, liberal
presidential candidates had been beaten up so badly with that word that
they had no idea how to fight back. They had no idea that they could
actually use that word in their own defense. To this day, no liberal
presidential candidate has done that. For that, we have to turn to


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re not thinking liberal, are you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know you like to use that word liberal as if it
were a crime.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m sorry, I shouldn`t have used that word. I
know Democrats think liberal is a bad word. So bad you had to change it,
didn`t you? What do you call yourselves now, progressives?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s true. Republicans have tried to turn liberal
into a bad word. Well, liberals ended slavery in this country.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A Republican president ended slavery.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, a liberal Republican. What happened to them?
They got run out of your party. What did liberals do that was so offensive
to the Republican party, Senator? I`ll tell you what they did.

Liberals got women the right to vote. Liberals got African-Americans
the right to vote. Liberals created Social Security, and lifted millions
out elderly people out of poverty. Liberals ended segregation. Liberals
passed the civil rights act, the voting rights act. Liberals created
Medicare. Liberals passed the clean air act, the clean water act. What
did conservatives do? They opposed every one of those programs. Every

So when you try to hurl that word "liberal" at my feet as if it were
something dirty, something to run away from, something that I should be
ashamed of, it won`t work, Senator. Because I will pick up that label and
wear it as a badge of honor.



O`DONNELL: We have breaking news. The Associated Press has just
called the Georgia runoff election for the Senate Republican nomination
down there for businessman David Perdue, with 93 percent of precincts
reporting. David Perdue has defeated congressman Jack Kingston by about
6,000 votes. He will face democrat Michelle Nun in November. Recent
polling shows Michelle Nunn leading either Kingston or Perdue, in this case
Perdue. And recent polling showed her leading 48 to 42 over Perdue.

Up next, a Republican candidate`s worst nightmare, an independent
voter telling him what he really thinks about Obamacare.


O`DONNELL: Al Franken is in his first reelection campaign to hold his
seat in the United States Senate. Republicans will pick their nominee to
run against Senator Franken in the primary next month. The Republican
front-runner for that nomination is former investment banker Mike McFadden.
Mike McFadden had the pleasure of being in hog heaven recently. No,
really. The place he was in is called hog heaven, a barbecue place in
Jackson, Minnesota, where even the cheese burgers are made of pork.

Mike McFadden is campaigning to repeal the affordable care act but
wants to replace it with some unspecified something that will achieve some
of the goals of the affordable care act. That position did not go over so
well in hog heaven.

According to an AP report, Bill Stephan, the owner of cats hog heaven,
who is a self-described fiscal conservative and independent voter, told
McFadden that Obamacare is the best thing the government has ever done to
me, and I didn`t necessarily feel like that until I knew how it worked.

Joining me now, the proud owner of cats hog heaven and satisfied
Obamacare beneficiary Bill Stephan.

Bill, tell us about your experience with the affordable care act, what
you thought about it before you actually got enrolled and what your
experience has been with it.

BILL STEPHAN, OWNER, CAT`S HOG HEAVEN: My experience was that I had
discontinued unemployment for my employer and had become self-employed in
April of last year and I needed health insurance. To maintain cobra was
expensive. And I talked to my insurance agent and started the process of
finding which health insurance I need. And she said, don`t do anything.
The whole world is going to change with Obamacare.

So I didn`t do anything and I paid my cobra health insurance to blue
cross, blue shield, my provider with my employer. And I waited until
October 1st, went online, and didn`t get anything done. I read all about
the problems, was patient, went on again November 15th and was totally
successful on my first try at signing up for affordable care.

O`DONNELL: And has it been a good deal for you financially?

STEPHAN: It`s been a very good deal. My wife is a cancer survivor.
And the big question was whether we could actually get health insurance
because in the previous world they could deny you health insurance. So
that was hanging over us. And wondering if the price was going to be
escalated because of that. It is the same boat that a lot of people are
in. And found out that the Minnesota has the lowest premiums of any state.
And we also have a fairly low cost of living here in rural Minnesota. So
with the premiums being low and the income guidelines being high, a person
can make a reasonable income here and be considered poor on the national
level, and be fairly subsidized by Obamacare.

O`DONNELL: Bill Stephan gets tonight`s last word. Bill, thanks for
joining us. We`re out of time, I wish we had more time to talk about it.
Thanks very much, Bill, for joining us tonight.

STEPHAN: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Chris Hayes is up next.


Copyright 2014 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by
United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed,
transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written
permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark,
copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>