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All In With Chris Hayes, Monday, July 28th, 2014

Read the transcript from the Monday show

July 28, 2014

Guest: Sheera Frenkel, Tara Dowdell, Andrew Rosenthal, Ben Jealous, Josh


CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight, we are ALL IN.

Deadly escalation and more carnage in Gaza. New controversy over
today`s explosion near Gaza`s main hospital. And new questions about the
origins of this war.

carried out Thursday`s kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers. We know that
for a fact.

HAYES: Tonight, I`ll talk to a reporter casting serious doubt on that

Then, the crisis at the border.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Should we change that 2008 law?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For quick deportations?

CLINTON: No, I don`t -- I don`t agree that we should change the law.


HAYES: Hillary Clinton`s bold new stance on migrant kids and why the
Republican Party calls it Hispandering.

Plus, "The New York Times" editorial page editor on why his newspaper
is calling to repeal prohibition of marijuana.

And the impeachment genie is officially out of the bottle.

CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS: Impeachment is off the table?

REP. STEVE SCALISE (R), LOUISIANA: The White House wants to talk
about impeachment.

HAYES: ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.

You are looking at pictures from moments ago -- the skyline in Gaza
city where for hours now, flares and missile strikes have been lighting up
the night sky. The sound of drones you hear flying overhead can be heard
nonstop. People on the ground are describing it as the most intense night
in Israel`s 20 day aerial campaign.

Benjamin Netanyahu told Israelis tonight to brace for a long military
operation. Hamas responding, "The occupation will pay the price for the
massacres against civilians and children."

Today, on one of the holiest and most celebrated Muslim holidays, Eid
El Fitr, marking the end of Ramadan, there was when the day began, a kind
of unofficial lull in the fighting between Israel and Hamas. This after
attempts to extend a humanitarian pause fell apart over the weekend.

The lull started to fade as rocket fire and air strikes resumed by
midday. And then around 5:00 p.m. local time, a park, refugee camp, at the
edge of Gaza City was hit.


REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE) is just 6 years old and she`s just witnessed
what no child should. She struggles to describe what she saw but says she
was playing outside her house when a rocket exploded and hit her arm. Her
4-year-old sister is currently being operated on.


HAYES: At least ten Palestinians were killed according to Gaza health
officials. Nine of them children under the age of 12.

Another strike hit the nearby Shifa medical complex, largest hospital
in Gaza, wounding several people. The two strikes coming in close
succession. Now, initial reports from the ground said an Israeli drown
appeared responsible for the attack.

Israel denied having carried it out, blaming the attack on Gaza
militants whose rockets fell short.

Hamas in turn denied responsibility as well telling reporters they
recovered Israeli shrapnel at the site.

As the fighting continued in Gaza today, a total of 40 Palestinians
lost their lives, bringing the death toll up to almost 1,100 since the
conflict began. This video posted by a local news agency, we can`t
independently verify it, reporting to the utter devastation wreaked on a
home in Gaza by an Israeli air strike.

Five Israeli soldiers were killed today including four killed in a
mortar attack from Gaza into southern Israel, 48 Israeli soldiers and 3
civilians have been killed since the conflict began.

Israeli military said militants succeeded in entering Israel through a
tunnel through Gaza today, underscoring the ongoing threat posed by the

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu telling Israelis tonight to ready
themselves for a long, bloody war.


NETANYAHU (through translator): Stamina and determination are
required in order to continue in this struggle against a murderous
terrorist group. I said and I repeat, we must be prepared for a protracted


HAYES: Joining me now, NBC News foreign correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin
in Gaza City.

Ayman, it`s been a very, very violent day there today. What have you

start out by telling you what we`re seeing now just behind me. Israeli
light flares are being dropped into the heart of the Gaza City. This is
the closest we`ve seen these light flares being dropped this close to our

Now, as a result of the light flares, it tends to light up the entire
area where they are dropped certainly giving the Israeli military an
advantage of seeing what is happening down below. In addition to those
light flares, every few minutes we`ve been hearing very loud explosions,
mix of different types of explosions. We`ve heard what are sometimes
described as knocks, the small types of explosions that are meant to get
people to leave their building immediately or to evacuate.

But also we have been hearing the sounds that are very consistent with
heavy artillery strikes as well as heavy air strikes. That`s what we
believe them to be. We saw that over the last few minutes before we joined
you on the air.

In addition to that, earlier today, we`ve heard and seen for ourselves
sounds of very large explosions and small arms fire coming from the
vicinity of the eastern part of the Gaza Strip. The two most important
things that we also heard and also saw from according to Palestinian
sources on the ground were these two strikes that happened at about 5:00
p.m. local time.

Chris, you probably heard that explosion. These are the types of
explosions that have been happening throughout the course of the night.
It`s kind of pitch black behind me, so it gives you a sense of how much,
you know, how much fear there must be among ordinary Palestinians. Their
electricity is cut. They`re hearing these loud explosions. They`re
hearing the sounds of drones own fighter jets above and now these light
flares are being dropped on them in the middle of the night -- Chris.

HAYES: There was a brief 12-hour cease-fire over the weekend which
provided an opportunity for people to survey the damage. A lot of
reporters were out in areas like Sujeo (ph) which had been the site of some
of the heaviest fighting. I think you were out as well. What did the kind
of calm of that 12 hour cease-fire reveal about the extent of the damage?

MOHYELDIN: Well, it revealed two things. One, it revealed the level
of destruction that we saw firsthand as a result of the fighting. Some of
the neighborhoods you described including the northern part, Beit Hanoun,
eastern part of Gaza, Shuyajea, those neighborhoods, some of the entire
streets completely leveled.

And I mean by leveled, it felt like you were literally walking on the
surface of the moon in the sense that buildings were covered in gray soot,
buildings collapsed, rubble on top of rubble. There was nothing distinct
about the rubble to tell these were people`s homes, businesses, and it gave
you the sense of the kind of destruction that was leveled.

In addition to that, there was also a very profound smell of some of
the bodies that had been laid in the rubble and buried in the rubble for
days now. Keep in mind, the Shuyajea offensive began back last Sunday, so
it`s been nearly a week that some of the bodies were buried under the

We went out, we saw firsthand some of the residents in the area as
they went through the rubble trying to recover some of their loved ones and
went with them to the hospital and saw that scene there as well. On that
single day, alone, in the 12-hour period, about 140 bodies were recovered
and there are still hundreds more according to Palestinian sources that
they believe are still buried in other parts of the territory, Chris.

HAYES: As the explosions continue happening right outside your
window, I`ve read several accounts from Israeli journalists talking to
Israeli officials who want to press on. There`s very high levels of
support for the Israeli Defense Forces to continue their work of what they
say is destroying the tunnels, and there`s also a sense that at some point,
Hamas will be damaged by this in the eyes of the people that reside in the
Gaza Strip.

From perspective of Palestinians living there, what is their
perspective on what is happening right now? From the ones you`ve talked

MOHYELDIN: Well, when Palestinians are subjected in this type of
bombardment throughout the course of the night, tomorrow morning, they`re
not going to wake up and blame Hamas.

We`ve been in the situation so many times before. We`ve spoken to
Palestinians and asked who do they blame? The blame clearly lies, in the
eyes of Palestinians in Gaza, squarely lies with the Israelis. These are
Israeli bombs and noises that are going off behind me. And that is what is
terrorizing them, that is what they`re afraid of.

When you speak to Palestinians, yes, there`s a whole list of criticism
against Hamas about internal Palestinian politics, about how they conducted
domestic issues. But when it comes to what is happening today, many of the
Palestinians we`re speaking to have been saying that there is no criticism
against Hamas for trying to lift the siege off of Gaza, for fighting to
lift the siege off of Gaza.

We`ve heard it time and time again from ordinary Palestinians that say
this is the only way to get the international community to try and lift
this stifling blockade that has now been on Gaza for the past seven years.
And that is how they see this fight. This is a fight that is existential
for them and their survivability.

In more than one occasion, people will say to us, if you don`t give us
freedom and don`t give us liberty, there`s simply no point in living in
what they say is the world`s largest outdoor prison, Chris.

HAYES: Ayman Mohyeldin in Gaza City with the rocket flares behind
him, thank you very much.

Tonight, with cease-fire negotiations in shambles and violence in the
region seeming to tick up rather than recede, it`s worth looking at how we
got here, and it starts with a phone call.


OPERATOR: Hello, this is the police.

BOY: They`ve kidnapped me.


KIDNAPPER: Head down, head down.


KIDNAPPER: Head down, head down.

HAYES (voice-over): On June 12th, three Israeli teenagers went
missing in the West Bank city of Hebron. They`re presumed to have been
kidnapped. On June 14th, the Israeli defense minister said the military`s,
quote, "working assumption" is that they are alive. Almost immediately,
blame for the abductions was cast on Hamas.

TV ANCHOR: Israel today accused Hamas militants of kidnapping three
teenagers in the West Bank. Israeli forces rounded up 80 Palestinians

Kidnapped. June 15th, the defense minister said the mill
tafritamilitary`s, quote, working assumption is they`re alive. Immediately
blame was cast on Hamas.

HAYES: Israelis held out hope the three boys could be found alive.

Next days and weeks, the Israeli military embarked on one of the
largest West Bank crackdowns in recent memory -- rounding up and arresting
hundreds of Palestinians, many of them members of Hamas.

On June 30th, the three teenagers were found dead.

BRIAN WILLIAMS, NBC NEWS: In the Middle East today, the bodies of
three Israeli teenage boys were found near the West Bank town of Hebron
where they were abducted while hitchhiking over two weeks ago.

HAYES: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu placed blame
directly on Hamas who denied responsibility for the kidnappings.

WILLIAMS: The abductions were praised by the militant group, the
Palestinian group, Hamas, and after the bodies were discovered, Israeli
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that, quote, "Hamas will pay."

HAYES: Almost immediately, tensions between Hamas and Israel
escalated. Hamas launched a barrage of rocket fire into Israel, officially
breaking the 2012 cease-fire for the first time according to Israeli
officials. Israel, in turn, ratcheted up its air strikes.

MOHYELDIN: Overnight, Israel demolished and ransacked the homes of
Palestinian families belonging to the suspect it alleges were behind the
kidnappings, and it has detained about 400 individuals since the teens were

HAYES: Today, the war sparked by the kidnappings has waged on for
almost a month. Over 1,000 Palestinians, most of them civilians, and
almost 50 Israelis have been killed. But the central premise of the
escalation that Hamas kidnapped and killed three Israeli boys has been
called into question.

Last month, "Buzzfeed`s" Shira Frankel reported that according to
senior Palestinian and Israeli officials, the kidnapping was likely carried
out by a small group of militants with no direct order from Hamas, ISIS or
any regional terror group. But Israeli officials continue to directly
blame Hamas, even on our air.

(on camera): What is the evidence that has been presented publicly
that Hamas was responsible for that kidnapping?

MARK REGEV, NETANYAHU SPOKESPERSON: We named the two individuals
involved. It`s clear they`re involved. Everyone in Hebron knows that
there are local activists, local operatives from Hamas.

HAYES (voice-over): Again, over the weekend, that account was
challenged. On Friday, BBC journalist Jon Donnison tweeted Israeli
spokesperson Mickey Rosenfeld, quote, "tells me men who killed three
Israeli teens definitely a lone cell, Hamas affiliated but not operating
under leadership. "

That statement which Donnison stands by seemed to be an open admission
by Israeli authorities, Hamas was not responsible for the kidnappings.

Yesterday, Rosenfeld denied he said anything new, telling "The Daily
Beast" the kidnapping and murder by the teens was carried out by Hamas
terrorists from the Hebron area.

Almost one month of bloody war later, the meaning of that sentence
remains unclear.


HAYES: Joining me now from Tel Aviv is Sheera Frenkel, Middle East
correspondent for "BuzzFeed".

And, Sheera, you were the first person I saw at least in the American
media to report about a month ago, based on your sources inside and Israeli
intelligence who did not think Hamas actually gave the order or instructed
their people to carry out the kidnapping and murder.

Why did -- why did they come to that conclusion?

SHEERA FRENKEL, BUZZFEED: Well, the Israeli intelligence officers
that I spoke to who were working in the West Bank on that case and actually
are still working on it said from the very beginning, it didn`t have any of
the hall markers of a Hamas-ordered attack.

What they were saying was that the fact these people were kidnapped,
these three teenagers were kidnapped then killed immediately afterwards,
the fact that nobody came forward, asked for a ransom, seemed to have a
plan to what would happen next indicate the to them that this was a lone
cell, that operated on a whim, saw an opportunity for attack and carried it
out and that it didn`t seem as if this was something that was strategic and
planned out by the Hamas leadership in Turkey or the Gaza Strip.

HAYES: What do you make of the back and forth we`ve seen over the
weekend with a BBC reporter and police spokesperson in which it seems the
spokesperson basically said what you reported, that they didn`t think Hamas
gave the order, and then later told other reporters, no, no, we hold Hamas

FRENKEL: So, the first thing I would point out is that Israeli police
don`t actually investigate these sorts of crimes in the West Bank. It`s
the Shinbet and Israeli intelligence.

But what Mickey Rosenfeld, the police spokesman said, was that it
wasn`t Hamas in the Gaza Strip or Hamas abroad who ordered that operation.
He then went backwards on his comments and said it was Hamas in the West
Bank. However, just today, I did interviews with Hamas members in the West
Bank, including members of the Kawasmeh family, who said not only was their
family not at that point actively involved in Hamas, but that Hamas in the
West Bank didn`t order such an operation, themselves.

HAYES: OK. So then the question becomes this -- how defensible is
holding Hamas as an organization responsible for what everyone agrees is
just a heinous barbaric kidnapping and murder, if they didn`t give the
order but the people who carried it out were Hamas members or Hamas
affiliated, and Hamas praised the kidnapping after it was done and in the
past had urged people to carry out kidnappings?

FRENKEL: Right. I mean, that`s an excellent question. An Israeli
official would stand here and tell you that because Hamas praised the
kidnapping, because Hamas in general supports kidnappings and would have
supported this type of event, with the kidnapping and murder afterwards,
that they should be held responsible.

However, those in the West Bank who had their loved ones arrested, put
in jail, still be interrogated, would say it doesn`t make sense to them.
The timing doesn`t make sense. They see it as an act of opportunity by
Israel to crack down on Hamas in the West Bank, which they`ve been wanting
to do for decades.

HAYES: And this gets to me one of the grimmest ironies of this entire
escalation in violence, which is that the people responsible for the
initial act of violence that has started this spiral are not -- have not
been brought to justice or account while hundreds of others have died and
hundreds of others have been imprisoned, and there`s now a full-fledged war
going on. How is it the case the people who did this have not been brought
to justice?

FRENKEL: Right. How did two men, potentially three, acting on their
own in the west bank escape Israel`s incredibly effective security system?
And to this day, their location is unknown. Nobody knows where they went,
what motivation they acted upon, or who helped them, why they those three
teenagers that night in the West Bank.

There`s a lot of questions that are unanswered and unfortunately, what
we`re getting right now is a lot of rhetoric from both sides about why this
started and why it should continue. And the longer this goes on, the more
both sides seem to be saying, well, the initial justification may not have
been correct, but now that we`re here, now that we`re fighting this war, we
should continue with it.

HAYES: That is, I think, a very, very important point for everyone to
keep in mind as they watch this unfold. Sheera Frenkel who`s done some
fantastic reporting for "BuzzFeed" in the Middle East --

FRENKEL: Thanks.

HAYES: -- thank you for coming on.

All right. The first, real, actual honest-to-God news of 2016. I
promise. And I`m going to tell you what it is, next.


HAYES: One of the world`s leading news organizations is calling for
the federalization of marijuana. I`ll talk to the editorial page editor
who made that call, ahead.


HAYES: Hillary Clinton has given us the first bit of real 2016
presidential news -- actual genuine real news. In the wake of the
humanitarian crisis at our southern border, where tens of thousands of
children are coming from Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala. Whether there
should be a change to a 2008 trafficking law, a law that was passed without
any controversy overwhelming and signed by President Bush. And that law
grants children entering the country alone who are not from Mexico the
right to appear at an immigration hearing and all kinds of due process

And to quote the actual law, they should be "promptly placed in the
least restrictive setting that is in the best interest of the child." All
pretty humane. That law gives these unaccompanied children coming to this
country certain protections.

House Speaker John Boehner and other Republicans are pushing the
president to change that law which they claim is contributing to the crisis
at the border by drawing out the process. And it appears the president
has, indeed, looked into changing the law. White House officials told "USA
Today," quote, "The administration is considering changes to the William
Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008."
That`s the name of that piece of legislation.

Just last week, Hillary Clinton seemed open to changing the law,


JOHN HARWOOD: Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida, is out with an
op-ed calling for comprehensive reform, as you do, but saying that the law
his brother signed in the past when you were in the Senate in 2008, the
William Wilberforce law, ought to be changed to make it easier to send
those other than the deserving few back to their home countries in Central
America. Should that law be changed?

CLINTON: Well, I think it should be looked at as part of an overall


HAYES: On Friday, when Hillary Clinton was asked the same question,
she took a definitive position on whether the 2008 law should be changed.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Should we change that 2008 law?

CLINTON: I think there has --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For quick deportations?

CLINTON: No, I don`t -- I don`t agree that we should change the law.


CLINTON: No, I think that`s why I`m advocating an appropriate
procedure, well-funded by the Congress, which they are resisting doing, so
that we can make individual decisions.


HAYES: Republicans wasted no time in jumping all over what they
considered a flip-flop.

Now, did you see the word they used on that press release there
somehow that got out of Republicans thought it was okay to
require a press release today with the word Hispandering, which appears to
have first been used by Rush Limbaugh after the 2012 presidential election.
Quick side note, Pew Research shows Hispanics continue to identify more
with the Democratic Party. Go figure.

Republicans are accusing Hillary Clinton of being disingenuous. But
here`s the thing: politics is always about calculation as much as it is
about principle. For anyone with aspirations to be president, that`s
doubly true, which is why this episodes strikes me as significant.

Joining me now, political consultant, Tara Dowdell.

All right. Tara, I think this is significant, because to me, the
cautious thing to do here, the political calculation I think would be
maximally cautious, would say, would stick with the White House line, I`m
open to it, maybe we have to reexamine it.

She didn`t have to take this position and she took it and that`s
significant and interesting to me because it says "A," maybe she believes
that, which might be the reason it`s driving her. But also, she has some
sense that actually that`s the politically winning side of this issue.

TARA DOWDELL, POLITICAL CONSULTANT: I think ultimately this will be
the politically winning side of this issue. I mean, the Republicans did
not do themselves any favors when they supported these mobs of people going
down yelling at children. That was in the media, those images. I think
ultimately taking this position. She`s on the right side of history on
this issue. I mean, these are children we`re talking about.

HAYES: Right. But here`s the thing -- it is very easy. You can see
a kind of consensus start to form. We`ve got to get these kids out of here
real quick. You`re seeing people deport, deport, deport.

But it would be very easy, I think, if you`re making a political
calculation to get sucked into the kind of gravitational pull of the
demagoguery which is, man, don`t tick off those people who are angry about
people at the border. And she`s not doing that here.

DOWDELL: Because she`s running in 2016, not 2014. So she has time
for the winds to change on this issue and to shift in the right direction.

HAYES: That`s an interesting thought.

DOWDELL: And also, I do think there`s another issue here. I mean,
some progressives have been making the case that she`s not progressive
enough. Maybe there should be another candidate.

So, I do think that she`s not -- you know, she can hear those things.
She`s not unaware of these political dynamics.

HAYES: I was reminded of this amazing exchange in a 2007 Democratic
presidential debate on the issue of immigration and it`s always stuck with

Take a listen as Hillary Clinton talks about a position on immigration
and sort of backs off it and everyone pounces in. Take it away.


TIM RUSSERT, NBC NEWS: Clinton, governor of New York, Eliot Spitzer,
has proposed giving driver`s licenses to illegal immigrants. You told the
National New Hampshire editorial board, it makes a lot of sense. Why does
it make a lot of sense to give an illegal immigrant a driver`s license?

CLINTON: So, what Governor Spitzer is trying to do is to fill the
vacuum. I believe we need to get back to comprehensive immigration reform
because no state, no matter how well intentioned, can fill this gap.

CHRIS DODD: This is a privilege. Talk about health care. I have a
different opinion. That affects the public health of all of us. But a
license is a privilege and that ought not to be extended, in my view.


CLINTON: I want to add, I did not say it should be done, but I
certainly recognize why Governor Spitzer is trying to do it. We have
failed. We have failed.

DODD: No, no, you said yes, you thought it made sense to do it.

CLINTON: No, I didn`t, Chris, but the point is what are we going to
do with all these illegal immigrants driving on the roads?


HAYES: That`s the beginning of a whole series. John Edwards attacks
her for flip-flopping, Barack Obama attacks her for flip-flopping. There
she was playing that issue very, very safe. A lot has changed in the facts
on the ground about the politics of the issue in six years.

DOWDELL: Absolutely. And we know that, first of all, this is the
issue that most progressive, especially the more ardent parts of the
progressive base, this is something that they`re passionate about. People
think this was terrible, the way the children are being treated and that
they should be treated like people who are escaping a very violent
situation, which they are.

HAYES: That`s the position of this show.

DOWDELL: Exactly, that`s the position.

And also, this is a position that affects many people in the Latino
community in this country. And, you know, to a lesser extent, people don`t
realize this, a lot of Asian-Americans in this country, maybe not this
specific issue, but immigration reform generally affects that community as
well, and Africans.

HAYES: Here is my feeling. I think everything is set up for this --
for immigration to play the role that health care played in 2008. If
everyone remembers 2008 was the big signature domestic policy focus of the
Democratic primary field. It was the first big thing after the Recovery
Act President Obama fought for.

And I think everything has been put into place. What we`re seeing
here with Hillary tipping her hand on this, that`s going to be what it is
in 2016.

DOWDELL: Oh, absolutely, because if you look at immigration,
remember, if you look at it when it`s polled more broadly and people don`t
get as much into the weeds, it has a lot of support in this country.

HAYES: Yes, passed the senate.

DOWDELL: Business community in this country supports immigration
reform, which is something that a lot of people don`t pay attention to.

HAYES: Another reason it is a perfect 2016 issue for someone who`s
looking to raise money.

DOWDELL: Exactly.

HAYES: Political consultant, Tara Dowdell -- thank you so much.

All right. It`s been almost a week since two white flags appeared on
top of the Brooklyn Bridge and it seems the NYPD is no closer to cracking
the case than a week ago but not from lack of trying. The latest on the
mystery that`s gripping New York, next.


HAYES: The biggest, most intriguing caper in New York, possibly the
nation right now, remains unsolved. And the mystery, who secretly replaced
the American flags atop the Brooklyn Bridge`s two towers with two white
flags around 3:30 A.M. Tuesday?

It was an operation that required some degree of sophistication.
Scaling 276 feet in the middle of the night to the top of the Brooklyn
Bridge, placing lasagna pans over the lights to hoist two bleached
apparently linen American flags, making the declaration that, what? No one
knows. That is what makes it such a great mystery.

It has been nearly a week since that happened and still there are no
arrests. And, some in New York, apparently, feel it is an outrage. One
writer in "New York Post" taking this opportunity to slam liberal Mayor
Bill De Blasio`s administration in an Op-Ed entitled "A White Flag Over One
Police Plaza?" which does not say the police are not trying.

In fact, the NYPD has invested a huge amount of resources into finding
out who is responsible. Examining forensic evidence from the flags and
lasagna pans, sending the NYPD terror chief up to the top of the bridge to
visit the scene of the crimes, dispatching dozens of investigators to
search for the group of suspects, said to be five men, including one
holding a skateboard ranging from late teens to early 20s.

For which the police have only nicknames because the surveillance
footage was to blurry to use facial recognition software. Also, they are
examining some 18,000 license plates numbers looking through social media,
poring over cell phone communications and possibly collecting DNA to try to
identify the culprits. Plus, police presence has been bolstered at all New
York bridges and that is just the start.


BILL DE BLASIO, (D) NEW YORK MAYOR: I am absolutely concerned and we
are taking measures right now to beef up security on the bridges and have
some short-term measures, and there will be long-term measures as well. I
think it was a wake-up call and we are going to act on it very


HAYES: OK. I fully understand why this is being taken so seriously.
If I were the mayor, head of the police department, would be taking it
seriously as well. There is a deep sense of vulnerability that is been
exposed. But, I got to say, as a stunt, it was incredibly well executed
and effective.

I mean, imagine for a moment planning and pulling off this entire
operation, taking on the physical and legal risk, not to make some grand
political state or send some clear message heard around the world, but
simply to get everyone in the city scratching their head and going, "Huh?"
Now, because we all want to be amateur Columbus, I would like to break this
case. So, if you know who did it or have a tip, e-mail us at or tweet us @allinwithchris. We will be waiting
to hear from you.


HAYES: All right. "The New York Times" Op-Ed page has carved out a
strange relationship to the issue of marijuana legalization over the past
year. There was Maureen Dowd`s infamous experience with edibles in
Colorado where she ate a lot, and also David Brooks` own admission of his
youthful pot smoking indiscretions, which has been good for laughs and

But, now, arguably the most influential editorial page in the nation,
the great lady, the beacon of the establishment, came out with a wave
making editorial this week saying, quote, "The Federal Government should
repeal the ban on marijuana full stop." Should not be too surprising,
though, since that stance lines up with the public`s view on legalization.

According to pew, a majority support marijuana legalization. "The New
York Times" in the past has been at the forefront of public opinion. Now
"The Times" seems to be following public opinion as much as leading it.

Joining me now, Andrew Rosenthal, Editorial Page Editor for the "The
New York Times." It is good to have you here.

Thanks for having me.

HAYES: So, what about that idea that you guys are now coming out with
this after this has sort of reached this crucial threshold in public
opinion? Did that factor into the decision to do this?

ROSENTHAL: Well, it did in a certain sense. I mean it is
indisputably true that public opinion has shifted.

HAYES: Right.

ROSENTHAL: There is no question about it. And, we have been careful
and cautious on this subject. But, we found ourselves covering this issue
just more and more and more in the editorial page because the states have
been moving forward at an incredibly rapid pace to essentially defy federal
law. And so, we figured we needed to take a stance. We need to do it now,
and so we did.

HAYES: This is a nerdy journalism question. Maybe no one cares, but
I am interested. Is that a knockdown drug -- "The New York Times" comes
out for marijuana legalization, like that is a big deal. You are here now.
It got a lot of press. Is that a big argument?


HAYES: Yes, in the room.

ROSENTHAL: No, not particularly. I was a little bit surprised when I
told the publisher that we wanted to it, he said, "Fine." I think he had
probably been there before I was. I think I was there before we did it.

HAYES: Right.

ROSENTHAL: You have to balance what you personally feel with what you
think is good for the institution.

HAYES: I cracked up a little bit at this. I recognize you are not
the publisher of "The New York Times." You are the editorial page editor,
but still --

ROSENTHAL: But, I take full responsibility.

HAYES: -- "The New York Times" will continue drug testing despite pot
legalization stance.


HAYES: I mean there is this sense in which there is a gap between
public opinion and the kind of mechanisms that are still in place.


HAYES: Employers are still drug testing. Even an employer like "The
New York Times" that apparently thinks marijuana should be legal.

ROSENTHAL: That is right. I mean we test for -- I do not really know
exactly what we do. I passed, I am happy to report, in 1987. But, I do
know that we test for a lot more than marijuana.

HAYES: Right.

ROSENTHAL: Whether if we are going to continue testing for marijuana
or not, I do not know. If they ask me, I will say, "Stop."

HAYES: Right.

ROSENTHAL: But, they will not.

HAYES: Yes. I guess they do not consult the editorial page on HR.

ROSENTHAL: They tend not to. Yes. Right.

HAYES: So, we found this great -- this really interesting quote.
This is November 1996. And, this is then-Drug Czar, Barry McCaffrey
talking to your father, legendary journalist and "Times" man. This is what
McCaffrey has to say. He is talking about state-based votes for medical


HAYES: And, he basically says this is a Trojan horse. He says "We
are now going to see this come up all over country, and this is not
paranoia on my part. This is national legalization-of-drugs strategy. It
is not paranoia on my part. In other words, I see this not as part two
medical initiatives dealing with the terminally ill; I see it as part of a
national effort to legalize drugs, starting with marijuana all over the
U.S." And, the thing is, he was totally right.

ROSENTHAL: He was absolutely right. I am not sure about drugs.

HAYES: Right.

ROSENTHAL: I mean you have to talk about different things here.

HAYES: Right.

ROSENTHAL: But, yes, that was a very clever strategy, if it was at
the time, or maybe it was an accidental clever strategy. I got no idea.
To lead to the legalization of marijuana or at least getting rid of the
federal ban on marijuana is not quite the same thing.

HAYES: Right. So, explain to me what is important about getting rid
of the federal ban now that you have states that have legalized it?

ROSENTHAL: Because according to the federal government, marijuana is
a very high-level narcotic like heroin worse than cocaine worse than
crystal meth. And, the penalties are huge. All of these states are now in
defiance of federal law. And, the federal government can at any moment
swoop in and arrest you and they have done it.

HAYES: Right.

ROSENTHAL: We had an interesting documentary on our website,

HAYES: That is what it is?

ROSENTHAL: That is what it is.

HAYES: You know, I keep googling and I never --

ROSENTHAL: I know. Try "Wall Street Journal." It was about a guy in
Montana, who is growing marijuana. You see him showing this head of state
police, the attorney general, the governor --

HAYES: Right.

ROSENTHAL: The D.E.A. decided to raid him. And, because he had
rifles in his truck, because he was going hunting with his children, he got
80 years for obeying the law. It is completely insane. And, right now,
while we are talking, probably three or four young black men are getting
arrested somewhere, their lives are being destroyed for some minor
marijuana violation.

HAYES: And, that is -- obviously, that is a lot of that state law,
but there are big federal consequences as well.


HAYES: Because it is all legal under federal law.

ROSENTHAL: Right. Even now when the federal government is supposedly
taking a benign attitude to what is going on in Colorado and Washington, or
at least they are not prosecuting people.

HAYES: Right.

ROSENTHAL: The federal government is saying, for example, "You cannot
use federal water in Colorado to irrigate marijuana plants." All the water
in Colorado is federal. It is ridiculous. You have one branch of the
federal government that is saying one thing, another branch that is saying
another. And, the fact of the matter is the federal government should not
be involved in this at all. This should be up to the states.

HAYES: The laboratories of democracy. Andrew Rosenthal from "The New
York Times." Really a pleasure.

ROSENTHAL: Thanks very much. I am glad to be here.

HAYES: All right. Have you noticed all this impeach Obama talk
lately? Is it possible this is a masterful stroke of democrats running a
false flag operation? We will discuss, ahead.



there. I hope you will come back and we will talk politics and midterm and
all kinds of things going around in the house. I appreciate your time.

think it is important to note, though, that through all of this, the
republicans are trying to sue the president on a path to impeach the
president, while we are trying to create jobs and have stability in our
country and in the world. And, I am sorry that we did not get a chance to
talk more about that.

CROWLEY: We will do that the next time. I promise.


HAYES: All right. If you are looking for smoking gun evidence that
democrats sense impeachment talk is a political winner and they are the
ones pushing it, that is a pretty good example. At the end of an interview
about Israel and the war in Gaza, Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi makes sure
to get it in after Candy Crowley tells her the interview is over.

White House Adviser Dan Pfeiffer raised the impeachment issue with
reporters at a breakfast meeting last Friday. Democratic National
Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz echoed the idea that
republicans might move from suing the president to impeaching him when she
spoke before the national urban league later the same day.

And, democrats have sent out highly successful fund-raising e-mails
with the subject lines like "Breaking: Impeachment." Let`s be clear.
Democrats have been floating the idea of republicans impeaching the
president with the entirely cynical political desire to pump up fund-
raising and activate the base. That is true, but here is the thing. This
has not been done in a vacuum. It really does take two to tango.

And, let`s remember, a lot of this started with Sarah Palin, who say
which you will, a lot of people still listen to. When she wrote in a
Breitbart Op-Ed that it was time to impeach the president, that was the
main item sparking those democratic fund-raising e-mail. There is polling
saying that 57 percent of republicans support impeaching the president.
And, though, House Speaker John Boehner says he disagrees with those
callinf for impeachment. He is fully backed the soon to be filed lawsuit
against Pres. Obama.

And, if that lawsuit is ultimately dismissed by a court, well it is
pretty easy to see how that could increase calls to start impeachment
proceedings. So, democrats do have good reason to wonder just what exactly
an emboldened republican majority might do after the midterm elections.
And, here is the really crucial part. If republicans actually want to stop
fanning the flames as what they view as a bad faith effort by democrats to
pump up impeachment talk, then this really does not help.


CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS SUNDAY HOST: Will you consider impeaching the

REPRESENTATIVE: This might be the first White House in history that is
trying to start the narrative of impeaching their own president.
Ultimately, what we want to do is see the president follow the laws. So,
we are going to continue to be a check and a balance against this

WALLACE: But impeachment is off the table?

REP. SCALISE: Well, the White House wants to talk about impeachment
and ironically going out to try to fund raise off of that, too.

WALLACE: I am asking you, sir.

REP. SCALISE: Look. The White House will do anything they can to
change the topic away from the president`s failed agenda.


HAYES: Just say no. Just say no. Say we have no plans to impeach
the president. We cannot take it off the table because you can never take
it off the table. But, no, there is no plan to impeach the president. It
is a bad idea. It is incoming House Majority Whip, Steve Scalise, you have
no plans to impeach the president, just say it. And, if you think
Congressman Scalise is just keeping his options open and everything notice
how he responds to a question about a government shutdown during a
discussion of funding bills.


REP. SCALISE: Should not the senate at least be able to agree on the
bill to fund our troops? That is a bill that got over 100 democrats when
it passed out of the house.

WALLACE: But, no government shutdown?




HAYES: No government shutdown. No. Last but not least, there is
Congressman Steve King who on something called Breitbart News Saturday said
that if President Obama uses executive actions on immigration, like
granting work permits or what he calls amnesty, impeachment hearings will
be brought immediately before the House of Representatives. That is not
made up. That is not a figment of democratic imagination.

So, impeachment possibility; successful but distasteful trolling by
democrats or the dark political aid of conservative base that republican
elites are embarrassed to admit? We will debate, ahead.


HAYES: We are back. Joining me now, Ben Jealous, Former President
and CEO of the NAACP, now a partner at Kapor Capital and MSNBC Contributor
Josh Barro, reporter for the upshot of "The New York Times." All right,
Trolling Enterprise completely bad fate ginned up by democrats anxious to
excite a base?

JOSH BARRO, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think it is both of the things
you describe.


HAYES: That is no fun.

BARRO: Check "C." It is the id of the conservative base coming out
about which democrats are quasi gleeful because they then get to use it as
a fund-raising tool. But, also there has been this pattern in the last six
years of democrats liking various stories in which republicans make
themselves look silly.

This is kind of like the birth certificate and the White House holding
back the birth certificate because they liked the process of conservatives
wondering about, you know, is the long-form thing there? Then right at the
exact moment when Donald Trump is having his moment with it, the president
basically --

HAYES: Drops it on its head.

BARRO: Here it is, gets another great news cycle out of it.

HAYES: Right.

BARRO: So, I think this is one of those stories that can be good for
both Sarah Palin and the Breitbart crowd because it generates revenue for
them and generates fund-raising at their end and then also can be good for
democrats as their own --

HAYES: Right. There is sort of a mutual interest in this.

BARRO: The only loser here in s the republican establishment.

HAYES: Right.

I think frankly we all lose. I mean in politics when you raise money,
there is nothing better than to have a foe, who has a real threat. When
you have a foe who has a fake threat, think long and hard how much you want
to play that up. Because it starts to wear out your base. It wears out
the people in this country.

If people at this point are bit fed up with folks in Washington
running around screaming at each other telling us the sky is falling in.
Meanwhile, the sky is like actually falling on a whole range of issues.
They are not passing laws. They are not getting stuff done. We want our
leaders to come and lead and what the democrats should be doing right now
is going out with a big vision.

HAYES: Right.

JEALOUS: Saying, "Look, you know, the things that we have been
talking about as far as massive voter registration, like --

HAYES: Let me --

JEALOUS: -- One more thing. Let is win the freaking war.

HAYES: OK. I mean, they have been pushing hard on economic messages
and pushing hard on the minimum wage. It is something they have been doing
a ton of events about, right? And, to some extent, it is a little bit of a
chicken and egg thing because they do a ton of events on the minimum wage -


HAYES: They go to community colleges like no one covers it. And,
then it is impeachment that is -- not just them, not just the White House.

JEALOUS: But, there are things going on here. Basically, you have
sort of a lazy approach to getting out the base. You could have been
investing in cultivating your base over time, growing them throughout the
south, for example. Actually, disrupting politics, you know, with the Tea
Party, way that they disrupted politics for the democrats again and again.

HAYES: Right.

JEALOUS: But, the Tea Party has actually been the better organizers
here in the, you know, in the midterms. We do it for the presidential. We
go to sleep for the midterms. Then we come up with something trying to
jolt the base. I do not think this is going to do it.

HAYES: I think the challenge with going out with a big vision thing
is that the president has been president for six years. When you go out
with your big policy vision, the obvious response is, well, you have been
president. Why have not you done that? The president has an answer to
that. It is not always a very satisfying answer. It is, well, the
republicans are here and obstructing me and I cannot do it. But, I think
that is what the problem here --

Let me make this argument. The problem with that is the next argument
would be go out and get me a democratic house and we get stuff done. That
would be the next affirmative argument. But, there is also the sense in
which like the numbers are against them in terms of the way districts work
and mood of the country.

JEALOUS: Because the numbers are only against them because they
repeatedly keep seeding the opportunity to flip the numbers. It is just
like, you know, come on, guys, let is get serious about being organizers

HAYES: But, let me say this. I remember covering -- I remember we
led the show one night with it last summer, OK? It was a night where there
was not much going on. We covered a Ted Cruz event where he was doing this
thing with Heritage talking about a shutdown.

And, if you watched us cover that show, you could have said, there
goes MSNBC inflating up the possibility of a shutdown because they think it
will make the republicans look bad, and they are basically counter-
trolling. And, then Lo and behold, despite John Boehner said we are not
going to have a shutdown. He did not quite take it off the table but he
did not want to do it.

What happens is we got a shut down, because that part of the base
ended up running things. And, so, there is an argument to be made that
covering this right now does actually suggest that it is a possibility
because let is remember the tail has wagged the dog before.

JEALOUS: Does not mean they are all out to get you. But, in the
meantime, we can diagnose he is being paranoid.

HAYES: No. I do not know if that is true.


BARRO: The mechanics here are different. The reason the shutdown
happened and the reason the debt limit hikes happened is that the
republicans have to vote for a bill that does something, the base comes
back and says, "You voted to fund Obamacare. You voted to borrow another
trillion dollars."

Whereas here, there is not going to be a vote on impeachment where
republicans have to vote, "No, I am not going to impeach." What will
happen is simply, republican leadership will not hold hearings on it.
There will not be articles introduced.

HAYES: OK. I think that underestimates the way the momentum gets
going. I mean you are going to have the Trey Gowdy Benghazi group and we
are going to have the lawsuit, right? There are going to be these things
that are moving forward, both of which have been designed, let is be very
clear, to let the air out of the pressure vessel. Right?

BARRO: Right.

HAYES: Those things can take on a life of their own. It is not crazy
to say that.

BARRO: Well, but I think the laws -- you can have other lawsuits and
you can have things that get tied up in the courts for a long time. They
do not have to run the clock out forever. They basically have to --

HAYES: That is right.

BARRO: -- pass the November elections.

JEALOUS: That is just it. This is a short-term ball, short-term
vision and the democratic party, if they are going to reboot and get
powerful again, has to have an actual long-term vision. They actually have
to wait -- it is painful to watch them go through 2010 and here we are in
2014 and have not learned their lessons from 2010.

HAYES: Why now? What --

JEALOUS: Because they are fundamentally focused on the presidentials.
I do not know what is wrong with the Democratic Party that they do not
focus on actually building the base to turn them up. How can we go through

HAYES: Particularly, after what we saw happen in 2010.

JEALOUS: No. No. How can you go through 2012, spend $1 billion on a
presidential and not tip the balance of power?

HAYES: It is partly a product of what the different bases are. I
mean it is a much harder project for democrats than it is for republicans

JEALOUS: It is only a hard project because we never get around to
actually doing it and you are starting to see people at the state level
say, "OK, fine. We will take back our states. And, the national is not
going to help us." But, for 40 years they have written it off and we are
paying a huge price for it.

BARRO: I do not think that is something that is a party can
successfully do while it holds the presidency. I cannot think of an
example of party that ran a midterm election on a policy platform
independent of it`s own --

HAYES: I will give you an example. I will give you an example. You
know the last time the house and the White House won in that midterm? Bill
Clinton was facing impeachment.

BARRO: Right. And, that is why the republicans -- And, that is why
John Boehner and the Republican leadership will not allow impeachment.
That is the sort of --

HAYES: Right. Everyone understands that history.

BARRO: And, the thing is, the democrats, they love it as a fund-
raising tool. They would love it if republicans actually impeached the
president. That would be a huge political victory for the --

HAYES: Well, no -- it would be a political victory but there will be
real consequences.

JEALOUS: It would be a shame for our country.

HAYES: Ben Jealous from Kapor Capital, MSNBC Contributor Josh Barro.
Thank you. That is "All In" for this evening. "The Rachel Maddow Show"
starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.


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