Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
Date: February 13, 2015
Guest: Tim Carney, Andrij Dobriansky, Jamila Bey, Dean Obedallah, Evan
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN --
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MAJORITY LEADER: Let me make it clear: There
will be no government shutdown.
HAYES: A high-stakes game of chicken leaves Mitch in a box, as Republicans
officially turned on each other after running Congress for a month.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t think Mitch McConnell should let the Senate
rules trump the Constitution.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where is our Republican Senate leadership?
HAYES: Then, as the president weighs in on the Chapel Hill shootings,
should atheists have to denounce the murder of three Muslim students?
Plus, the true story behind the rise and fall of a champion Little League
And saying goodbye to a legendary journalist.
DAVID CARR, THE NEW YORK TIMES: If you`re going to get a job that`s a
little bit of a caper. That should be hard to do. No wonder everybody is
lined up trying to get into it. It beats working.
HAYES: ALL IN starts right now.
HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
Only 38 days into the 114th Congress, the era of unity and productivity we
were promised under Republican leadership has completely fallen apart. The
GOP`s state of disarray centers on what has been a colossally failed
strategy to rebuke President Obama over his executive action protecting
millions of people from deportation.
Now, the president announced that action and it was met with outrage on the
right, and vows to do whatever it took to block his so-called executive
amnesty. The plan Republicans said once they assumed control of Congress
was to pass a bill to pay for the Department of Homeland Security which
included provisions that would have gutted the president`s executive
actions on immigration. This was done with the goal of setting up a
dramatic moment which the president of the United States would be forced to
veto the bill, thereby singlehandedly shutting down the Department of
Homeland Security and getting egg all over his face.
The House passed the DHS funding bill on January 14th. But then they ran
into a completely foreseeable problem. Republicans can`t get it out of the
You see, there is a little thing called math standing in the way.
Republicans may be in the majority now but they only hold 54 seats, and
thanks to the routine abuse of the filibuster by Mitch McConnell pioneered
by Mitch McConnell when he was in the minority oh just months ago, that 54
votes are not enough to get a bill through the Senate. You need 60 votes
to pass a cloture motion, the procedure use to break a filibuster.
Observe the rate of cloture motions in the past few sessions of Congress,
which is pretty much the best way to gauge the frequency of filibusters,
you`ll see something pretty remarkable. They shot up quite a bit under
none other than Mitch McConnell`s leadership. Despite his history,
McConnell has been willing, trying to will himself past the simple math he
himself should know better than anyone. But alas, that math has prevailed,
with Senate Democrats filibustering three attempts to debate the House
bill. Homeland security runs out of funding on February 27th. And as the
clock ticks down, House Republicans have been watching the prospect of
sticking it to the president grow dim.
And then this week, things started to get crazy. On Wednesday, Congressman
Mo Brooks, conservative Republican from Alabama, took to the House floor to
blast Senate leadership for failing to follow Harry Reid`s example and use
the nuclear option.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MO BROOKS (R), ALABAMA: Where is our Republican Senate leadership and
why aren`t they doing the same thing. We have 54 Republican senators.
Mitch McConnell, the last time I checked is the Senate Republican majority
leader. Why don`t they do the same thing in respect to bills that we have
to pass to prevent government shut downs, bills dealing with spending
matters, say only 51 votes is need. No longer can a minority with a
filibuster shut down the United States government.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Interesting proposal. That idea seems to have caught on for House
conservatives, pleading for filibuster reform to put an end to Senate
gridlock. At the Heritage Foundation`s monthly conversations with
conservative event yesterday, several congressman called for a change to
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. RAUL LABRADOR (R), IDAHO: This is important enough for Mitch
McConnell to change the rules of the Senate. We had the Democrats do the
nuclear option for low level appointments, for a bunch of other things.
We`re talking about a constitutional crisis.
REP. TIM HUELSKAMP (R), KANSAS: I don`t think Mitch McConnell should let
the Senate rules trump the Constitution. That`s the issue here.
REP. MICK MULVANEY (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: The rule is not constitutional.
The rule is by tradition, right? And the rule that is in place now has not
been sacrosanct since the beginning. The rules have been changed from time
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: They were even joined by a spokesman for none other than John
Boehner, the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, who said on the
tweet, "The best way to move forward is to end Senate Democrats`
undemocratic and senseless filibuster." And you know what? I think House
Republicans are 100 percent right.
Joining me now, Tim Carney, senior political columnist of "The Washington
Tim, there`s nothing we love more than process hypocrisy. I love nothing
more than hearing the arguments that they have been making for years,
(INAUDIBLE) conservatives, it`s not in the Constitution, this is crazy,
this is undemocratic. I 100 percent agree, are we going to get
conservatives on board with this?
TIM CARNEY, THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER: I don`t think you`re going to get
that many conservatives on board because getting rid of the filibuster and
the nuclear option that Harry Reid did last Senate, last Congress, is very
un-conservative. Whether you count it democratic or not democratic, it`s
very unconservative to change the Senate rules with 51 votes. That`s a
He had to say the rules are not rules the rules are what the majority says.
That`s the first step to the nuclear option. That is an incredibly
unconservative thing. That ends the idea of the Senate all together.
And then, the filibuster itself, I think there should be a national
consensus before we change a law. That`s why I think having the ability to
block a final vote on the bill in the Senate, unless you get to at least
60, I think there`s a real virtue to that.
HAYES: I like you saying this, because I think this actually is deeply
clarifying. I think that the filibuster actually is a conservative
institution. I think it`s not in conservatives` interest to get rid of it.
I think it`s in conservatives` interest to maintain the filibuster. It`s
part of the reason that I want to see it done away with it.
But my question is do you -- this is -- we`re only 38 days in. You`ve
already got some people are calling for the end of this. This is going to
be, I`m telling you, I`ve been there, we have all been there for the last
few years, this is going to be what it looks like when you have 54 votes in
the Senate. It`s going to be a lot of this time and time again. There is
no way to turn back the clock to not using the filibuster all of the time.
Do you see pressure mounting whether you think it`s a good idea or not?
CARNEY: Well, yes, and the question is what does Mitch McConnell in his
heart of hearts want to do? I think he would want to do away with it. I
think that most of the Republican senators don`t feel that way.
Ted Cruz has said, I don`t want to do this. Ted Cruz is not known for
somebody to sort of abide by longstanding traditions just because they`re
there in the Senate. But he sees it as a valuable tool.
So, what we had that`s really different, Chris, I think is that the parties
are fully aligned ideologically. Back in the day, there were conservative
Democrats or liberal Republicans. And so, to get a procedurally unanimity
that you need to hold a filibuster wasn`t as easy. But now, it`s more easy
for a party leader to just say, look, you`ve got to stick with us on all of
this, you`ve got to hold the line and that makes it possible. So, the
ideological alignment of the parties has made the world completely
different than it was like in 1950, 1960.
HAYES: What`s interesting here is I watch this dynamic play out on the
left among Democrats, in which you had an activist base, particularly back
in 2009, 2010, that were saying, look, this is ridiculous, the way the
filibuster is being used. This is not constitutionally -- this is not part
of the Constitution. The Founders were very specific about when they
wanted super majorities. All these arguments, right?
There was an elite leadership that didn`t want to do it. I mean, Harry
Reid stood in the way of this for a very long time, finally gave in. I
wonder if you end up seeing a dynamic like that, particularly because Harry
Reid just gave you guys the precedent.
CARNEY: Well, yes, the Harry Reid -- again, the biggest difference, and I
want to emphasize this, the biggest deal is that Harry Reid said, you can
change any Senate rule with 51 votes. I would say that makes is that there
are no rules, then. It is Calvin ball. It is like whatever team ahead in
baseball can change the rules.
There are no rules. And so, if that precedent -- that was a giant dam that
was broken down by Harry Reid. It wasn`t that he got rid of filibusters on
nomination. It was a rules change. And so, with that weapon in his
pocket, you could see Mitch McConnell bucking the party.
The reason I don`t think it`s worth it is you still have the veto pen. You
can`t nuclear option the veto pen out of the way.
HAYES: That`s right.
CARNEY: So, until they have two-thirds, they can`t actually pass laws by
HAYES: You have identified the thing that what will stop them from blowing
(ph) the filibuster is the knowledge that all that will then do is be able
to send bills to the president to be vetoed, and I think they understand
the seismic importance of it, such that they`re not going to do that if all
it means is sending stuff to the president to be vetoed.
Tim Carney, thank you very much.
CARNEY: Thank you.
HAYES: All right. In Barack Obama`s video for BuzzFeed this week, which
has gotten more than 26 million views, we got a glimpse of what he does
when no one is looking. Today on Capitol Hill, we may have gotten a window
into what John Boehner does when no one is looking, which is to pretend
he`s the president of the United States. This morning, he performed one of
the most bizarre feats of political theater I have ever seen.
What you`re seeing there in front of you is a pretend signing of the
Keystone pipeline bill which was just passed out of Congress, in which
President Obama has already vowed to veto. This bill is not becoming law
because the person signing that, that wasn`t the president.
This appears to be the Republicans` favorite new method of showing everyone
how productive they`re being and I`m willing to vet it comes from the same
PR geniuses who brought you this photo tweeted up by Eric Cantor during the
government shutdown, showing House Republicans on one side of an empty
table ready to negotiate.
I`m joined now by MSNBC contributor Howard Dean, former governor of
Vermont, and former DNC chair.
Howard, I love that --
I love the optic (ph) of John Boehner there with the pen, as if -- implicit
in that I guess is Republicans want to do away with Article 2 of the
Constitution and just go full out parliamentary system.
HOWARD DEAN, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: You know, the interesting thing about
this, Chris, is actually think there is a part of the Republicans,
particularly Boehner and McConnell that are very happy to have the
situation they have with the filibuster.
HAYES: You`re so right, yes.
DEAN: Let`s just suppose for a moment that they actually did do the
nuclear option, which I might add was designed by Republicans and
threatened previously when the Republicans were in the majority under Bill
Clinton. Let`s just suppose they did do the nuclear option and they pass a
shut down -- I mean, undoing all of the immigration stuff. They have got
to get to 35 percent minimum Hispanic votes in the next presidential
election for their nominee to have any shot whatsoever and what kind of
chance do you think they`ll do, because I actually think that Boehner and
McConnell are secretly thrilled that there`s s a filibuster.
HAYES: You`re a -- this isn`t perfect, this is a really important point --
it`s like if you go and try to buy a used car and the salesman says I have
to go check with my manager, right?
HAYES: Or any other situation where someone says, a customer says, well,
I`m sorry, my boss won`t let me, the filibuster is the best excuse as
you`re like your phantom goes to boss, if you`re running Senate leadership.
I would love to, but we can`t do it.
DEAN: This is going to be the real hard part for them because they`ve got
to get a bill to the president`s desk for their -- no matter what happens,
for whatever reason, if the Department of Homeland Security shuts down, the
Republicans are going to get the blame.
DEAN: Yes, they`ll spin it because they have done this before. And the
American people are not going to believe that it`s Obama, it`s his
department, they`re going to believe it`s the Republicans doing it again.
So, they`ve got to figure out how to do this and this is going to be really
hard with the far right wing, especially in the House. And that`s what
Boehner is quaking in his boots about, that`s why he`s thrashing McConnell.
He`s got to get along with McConnell, he`s thrashing him, because he hopes
that he can placate the 80 or so nut jobs in the House he has to worry
about and they will somehow let him go when they fully fund the Department
of Homeland Security, which they`re going to do sometime in the next two
HAYES: That is an excellent point, and we should stay here. I mean, one
of the kind of subtext to all of this is the way in which the Democratic
Party and the president of the United States and the groups that push for
this executive action on immigration have as of to now successfully called
the bluff of the Republicans who said at the time, don`t do this, it will
start a nuclear war between our parties, you don`t what to know what`s
coming, don`t do it, don`t do it. Here we are, and they`ve got nothing. I
mean, they had nothing other than this kind of ritualized, bringing the
bill up, getting it filibustered, hoping that they can pull enough stunts
that people turned on the president as having shutdown the DHS. But that
does not seem very likely to me.
DEAN: Well, I think they were somehow hoping that some of the Democratic
senators would lose their nerve, but it`s pretty easy no matter what your
constituents think of immigration to vote to stay with your party,
particularly after what the Republicans have been doing to the president
for the last four years.
HAYES: Yes, that is a very good point here too, which is that here we are,
38 days into the Congress, and we`re seeing, you know, the kind of "I
learned it from watching you dad" moment that we`re getting from the
Democrats, is they -- you know, they saw how effective in certain ways the
McConnell system of being in the Senate minority was, which was block,
block, block, obstruct, voters are block, voters are block. Keep your
people together. You all hang together, or surely, you`re hang separately.
And they`re doing that and it`s been pretty effective so far.
DEAN: Well, that`s true. They`re positioning themselves for the 2016
elections for sure. You know, the Democrats have a fairly good chance to
take back the Senate in 2016, just the way the math works. A huge turnout
compared to what we just had, which is the lowest turnout in about 50
years. A lot more blue states and battlegrounds -- excuse me, red states -
- excuse me, red senators in blue states is what I`m trying to say, you
know, Pat Tomei and people like that up in a presidential year, they didn`t
have to run in a presidential year last time. More conservative than his
constituency, and there`s a number of senators like that. So, the math
works in our favor in 2016, and a lot of this is positioning for that.
HAYES: Thank you, Governor Dean. Always a pleasure.
HAYES: All right. The story of Senator James in Inhofe, he gave a right
wing publication photos that, well, pretty badly misrepresented the current
situation in Ukraine. That`s ahead.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
GOV. JOHN KITZHABER (D), OREGON: I am announcing today that I will resign
as Governor of the State of Oregon.
It is not in my nature to walk away from a job that I have undertaken -- it
is to stand and fight for the cause. And so, I apologize to all those
people who gave of their faith, time, energy and resources to elect me to a
fourth term last year and who have supported me over the past three
(END AUDIO CLIP)
HAYES: The Democratic governor of Oregon, John Kitzhaber, resigned from
office today. There was no press conference, and there were no cameras.
Just that statement and a recording of the governor reading it aloud, as
you just heard. His resignation is effective on Wednesday, and the move, a
bizarre one I would say, comes as he was under growing pressure from all
sides to step down amid allegations that his fiancee used her relationship
with the governor benefit her consulting business. Those allegations have
prompted criminal investigation by the state`s attorney general, who says
she will continue the investigation after the governor steps down.
Kitzhaber has denied any wrongdoing. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" has been on
this story. They`ve been doing incredible reporting it. And Rachel -- and
that show will have the whole story for you in 9:00, including what makes
the next governor of Oregon so groundbreaking. So, stay tuned for that.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)
HAYES: The fight that erupted between two members of Ukrainian parliament
yesterday fails in comparison to the violence consuming Eastern Ukraine
right now. Five and a half thousand people have died since the conflict
erupted between Ukrainian government and Russian-backed separatists and
even with a new ceasefire agreement scheduled to take effect this Sunday,
the shelling and mortar strikes continue this week.
It is against this backdrop that the right wing publication, "The
Washington Free Beacon" published a big scoop on Tuesday, purporting to
show exclusive photos of the Russian army not only aiding Ukrainian
separatists but streaming into Ukraine in 10 columns. Look pretty damning.
And while many are all but sure that Russia is actually aiding the
separatists, these particular photos would appear to provide stunning
evidence of the escalating conflict and direct Russian involvement in it.
The photos were supplied to "The Washington Free Beacon" by Senator James
Inhofe, who just happens to be author of a bill to arm Ukraine with lethal
But we now know there were some issues with these photos and very big
issues. As reported by Gawker, this photo on the left, which was published
in "The Washington Free Beacon" is apparently the same as the photo on the
right from a photo accompanying a 2012 article which looks very similar to
other tank photos from 2008. Likewise, this photo on the left as published
from "The Washington Free Beacon" is apparently the same as the one on the
right from August 2008 of Russian heavy armored vehicles heading towards
the Georgian border.
And here we go again. The photo on the left published by "The Washington
Free Beacon" is apparently the same as the photo on the right from October
of last year. Now, it does show Russian separatists in the Luhansk, but
that tank movement was already known and monitored by NATO.
A few other photos used by "The Washington Free Beacon" haven`t been
verified yet one way or the other, but these caches of photos provided "The
Washington Free Beacon" by Senator Inhofe were given to him by a delegation
consisting of Ukrainian members of parliament, a parliamentary leader, and
one Georgetown professor.
Senator Inhofe said in a statement, "The Ukrainian parliament members who
gave us these photos in print form as if it came directly from a camera
really did themselves a disservice. We felt confident to release these
photos because the images match the reporting of what is going on in the
region. I was furious to learn one of the photos provided now appears to
be falsified from an AP photo taken in 2008. This doesn`t change the fact
that there is plenty of evidence Russia has made advances into the country
with T-72 tanks and that pro-Russian separatists have been killing
Ukrainians in cold blood."
So, the reason the public saw those photos in that false context, courtesy
of Senator Inhofe and "The Free Beacon" is because there are Ukrainian
interests lobbying American politicians to arm the Ukrainian army so it can
defeat the separatists.
And joining me now, Andrij Dobriansky. He`s spokesman for Ukrainian
Congress Committee of America, someone I have a lot of respect for, someone
who emails me all the time about what is going on, and someone who thinks
we should arm --
ANDRIJ DOBRIANSKY, UKRAINIAN CONGRESS COMMITTEE OF AMERICA: Yes,
HAYES: OK. Let`s start up with this. My general heuristic is that if
James Inhofe and "The Washington Free Beacon" are for it, I`m pretty
skeptical of it. So, just -- you know, in a sort of calculating, you know,
for people probably watching the show, it`s like these are these people,
Lindsey Graham, John McCain, Inhofe, who want to arm the separatists --
DOBRIANSKY: Chris Murphy, Senator Menendez --
HAYES: So, you`re saying there is bipartisan support.
Why should we be arming the Ukrainian army?
DOBRIANSKY: What we should be giving them defensive support. A lot of the
casualties right now in Eastern Ukraine, especially 70 percent of the
casualties specifically, are coming from rocket fire, missile fire. Now,
just during this ceasefire period, when it was being signed, 15 new tanks
came in, as well as missile launcher systems and the associated missiles.
If we were to give Ukraine a counter battery radar system, if we were to
give Ukraine early radar protection for these, we could be saving a lot of
lives and yet, we`re not doing that. What we could also do is we could be
giving basic supplies to the Ukrainian military, which we haven`t done.
Even though President Obama speaks that he has given them things, we know
through Josh Rogin`s reporting in Bloomberg, that that includes 176 radios,
18 water purification kits, maybe 4,000 blankets.
HAYES: OK. So but let`s say we gave them, right, is the ultimate end here
a military defeat of a Russian-backed separatists and the reclamation of a
unified Ukraine, is it a negotiated political ceasefire? Is a military
victory possible? Let`s say we give them weapons and Putin supplies more
weapons and the fighting intensifies.
DOBRIANSKY: This fighting will go on no matter if there`s a ceasefire now
or not. This is going to --
HAYES: OK, thank you for admitting the obvious.
DOBRIANSKY: Well, yes, of course, because you can`t trust any deal that
the Russians make. They couldn`t even acknowledge in the deal they have
their own foreign soldiers. They just mentioned all foreign military will
leave, even though that`s only one party here and that`s Russia.
So, in terms of what`s going on, the fighting will continue. But what we
need to do is acknowledge that we need to be helping these people for the
sole reason -- if not anything -- for the sole that the United States --
HAYES: Who are these people?
DOBRIANSKY: The Ukrainian army.
HAYES: Right, but here is the problem it seems to me, and this is piece
from Max Seddon, from BuzzFeed today. And I`ve heard similar reports from
people who were there.
HAYES: Ukrainians` bloody and callous attempt to reclaim its eastern
provinces has only made locals there hate the central government even more.
The problem now is that it has been a very bloody campaign there. There
had been many civilians caught in the midst of it. The Ukrainian
government, completely understandably, cut off financial support for the
breakaway Republic, leaving pensioners having to travel across a border to
get their pensions, right? People are not in that region necessarily
(INAUDIBLE) be rejoined Ukraine.
DOBRIANSKY: But for the most part, the people who were left in that region
are the million people who have been displaced. So, I was there in May of
last year, and already, I spoke to priests, community leaders, anybody who
could be a troublemaker in that area was basically run out of that town.
So, what`s left, you have a lot of elderly, you have a lot of people with
Now, for the elderly people, they grew up in the town of Donetsk that was
called Stalino in that town, named after Stalin who ethically cleansed that
area and then colonized it with other people.
HAYES: So, there`s a sort of vestigial loyalty there. Right.
DOBRIANSKY: Well, there`s a lot of trouble, but the important thing is to
close the border. And this ceasefire, for one thing, doesn`t close the
border. It says that by the end of the year --
HAYES: Supportive of Russia.
DOBRIANSKY: Yes. By the end of the year, Ukraine can have access to the
HAYES: OK. So, then what`s the end game here. This is what I don`t get.
Like what, so is the end game, a Ukrainian military victory over Russia in
its eastern provinces?
DOBRIANSKY: The end game is to help Ukraine build itself up. Ukraine is
in the process of a revolution. It is getting more money to stabilize
itself. All civil society institutions are going to be redone, militarily
as well, by the end of this conflict --
HAYES: Answer that question.
HAYES: Is the end game, a Ukrainian military victory over the Russian-
backed separatists in its southern territories?
DOBRIANSKY: The only way that Ukraine can stabilize itself is to close
that border. How that happens, whether it`s a response of other nations or
not, has to be with the United States` help, because the only people who
were in Minsk, were two countries, France and Germany, that have economic
deals with Russia but did not sign the Budapest Memorandum where Ukraine
gave over 1,200 nuclear warheads, and that is the United States and Great
HAYES: Andrij Dobriansky, thank you very much.
DOBRIANSKY: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: OK, my tribute to the three journalists we lost this week. That`s
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID CARR, NEW YORK TIMES: If you`re going to get a job that is a little
bit of a caper, that isn`t really a job, that is -- you know you get to,
under ideal circumstances leave the building or at least leave your
desktop, go out find people more interesting than you, learn about
something, come back and tell other people about it, that should be hard to
get into. That should be hard to do. No wonder everybody is lined up
trying to get into it. It beats working.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: When someone we love or admire is taken from us too quickly, too
young, with no preparation, there are really only two small efforts I can
think of to be found in their absence. The first is the occasion to bask
in the ghostly warmth of stories and tales of the person we lost. Last
night in the minutes after it was confirmed that legendary New York Times
media columnist David Carr had died at the age of 58, tributes and
anecdotes and remembrances poured forth for David Carr was not only admired
and respected and envied, he was also loved. His death came as a shock.
Just on Tuesday night, he called into this program to discuss Jon Stewart
and Brian Williams. Last night he moderated a panel with Glenn Greenwald,
Laura Poitras and Edward Snowden about the film Citizen Four.
Hours later, he collapsed at The Times and was pronounced dead shortly
Carr meant something very special to all of us in the media. He was a
reporters reporter who reported on reporters. I knew him casually, but
admired him deeply. And as many have noted, he had this way of making
everyone feel like they were his best friend -- not in a disingenuous way
of a con artist or politician but in the way of someone who had achieved
some elevated spiritual level.
And if Carr was operating on a higher plane, he paid deraly to get there.
As he recounted in his incredible, indelible memoir "The Night of the Gun,"
he had been a junky, an abuser of women, and a man who left his twin
daughters in a freezing car on a cold Minnesota night to go into his
dealer`s house and shoot cocaine.
He hurt people. He helped ruin people`s lives. He almost ruined his own.
And then he hit rock bottom, found recovery, gained custody of his twin
daughters and rebuilt his life centered around a relish for living and
being the probably only comes to those who have come this close to losing
Carl wasn`t the only terrible loss journalism suffered this week. The
truly great fearless and independent 60 Minutes correspond Bob Simon died
in a car accident in New York at the age of 73. And former NBC
correspondent Ned Colt who left journalism to devote himself fulltime to
professional humanitarian work, he died after suffering a massive stroke.
And like Carr, he was also just 58.
They are mourned and missed as well.
Which brings me to the second comfort one can find in the wake of sudden
inexplicable death, which is to learn from the life someone led, to glean
clues to the one mystery that stalks us all in every moment we inhabit this
earth: how should we live?
Watching the love and admiration cascade down my Twitter time line last
night for David Carr, I remember a few elementary truths about this work we
do. And they are truths that are far too easy to lose a grip on amidst the
gales of pressure and stress we face very day.
Journalism matters and good journalism is a mission, it`s a privilege, and
it`s a joy, it`s not a job. So be honest, and work hard, tell the story,
earn the privilege every day that you have been afforded.
And if, in our professional lives, we must sometimes be ruthless and hard
and tough, in life we will ultimately be judged by how we are to loved ones
and strangers alike.
And reading testimonial after testimonial of David Carr, I came away with a
simple but profound answer to how a person should be: be good, be generous,
be kind, and remember to enjoy it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
D.J. BUTLER, JACKIE ROBINSON WEST: It was cool being here. The president,
I have to thank him for letting us enjoy coming here to the White House.
And it is cool to just explore the White House and get to see what hardly
people ever see.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: So, one of the feel good stories of last year, Chicago`s own Jackie
Robinson West little league team captivated the country and became the
first all black team to win the national title. They later came up short
in the little league world championship final against a team from South
Korea, Mayor Rahm Emmanuel hailed the kids as, quote, the pride of Chicago
and the city threw a huge
parade and rally in their honor.
A few months later, another public official with Chicago roots welcomed the
kids to the White House and gave them a tour of the Oval Office.
To see the first all black team to win the U.S. little league title get the
same praise the world series winners do is particularly striking
considering that black participation in major league baseball has massively
In 1984, according to the Society for American Baseball Research, a little
more than 18 percent of major leaguers were black. In 2012, the percentage
dropped to just over 7 percent.
And now Chicago`s Jackie Robinson West, a symbol for African-Americans in
sports and baseball has gone from a feel good story to a full-blown
controversy. On Wednesday, Little League International stripped the kids
of their U.S. title, accusing the coaches of knowingly violating the rules
by putting players on the team who lived outside of the team`s residential
Now, the person who brought this to everyone`s attention is Little League
official Chris James from neighboring and rival Evergreen Park Athletic
Association who had seen one of his teams demolished by Jackie Robinson
West 43-2 last year. And who in October, according to DNA Info Chicago,
accused Jackie Robinson West of, quote, manipulating, bending and blatently
breaking the rules for the sole purpose of winning at all costs.
Little League has now suspended Jackie Robinson West manager, removed their
district administrator, and perhaps most heartbreakingly for the kids on
the team, who didn`t do anything wrong, invalidated all of Jackie Robinson
West wins last season.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRANDON GREEN, JACKIE ROBINSON WEST: We went down there to play baseball
and we weren`t involved in anything that could have caused us to be
stripped of our championship. We know that we`re champions. Our parents
know we`re champions, and the team`s parents know we`re champions and
Chicago knows we`re champions.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now is Evan Moore from Redeye Chicago who writes about
politics in sports.
Evan, I get the sense there is a tremendous amount of anguish and anger in
Chicago over the decision to strip these kids of the title and the wins.
EVAN MOORE, REDEYE CHICAGO: Yes, you feel the tension everywhere you go.
In person, social media, Twitter, Facebook, everyone is talking about it.
HAYES: What is the back story here? I mean it seems to me two that
things. One the fact that they were basically the whistle was blown on
them by a rival neighbor, who if I`m not mistaken had been accused of
similar shenanigans earlier. And also the idea that somehow the kids are
being punished for the transgressions of adults.
MOORE: Well, Evergreen Park and Jackie Robinson West have butted heads for
years. Every time they go over there, they get the best of them. And the
game we just discussed, they bated around three times in the first inning.
So if I was Evergreen Park that would probably make me mad, too.
HAYES: So they absolutely slaughtered them. And then Evergreen Park went
and said -- and essentially told the officials and said hey do you know
those guys had some players on the team who weren`t from the district?
MOORE: Yeah, it`s tough. And I can see why people are questioning Chris
Jenkin`s timing because this game happened so long ago.
HAYES: That`s what is so weird about it. He comes forward in October of
last year, after all this has gone down, after they`ve come back
triumphant, that`s when he came forward with this information. I don`t
quite get the times on it.
MOORE: Well, it was tough. And I know a lot of us in Chicago and all over
the country to throw race into this. And for more people I`ve spoke to on
both sides of the issue at Jackie Robinson West and Evergreen Park, James
doesn`t have a racist bone in his body. They just think he`s
overcompetitive and he thought something was wrong.
HAYES: You also had some reporting that there had been scuttlebutt in
neighboring Southside black teams that Jackie Robinson had sort of been
lenient with how they considering the geographical area they were taking
MOORE: Yes, I`ve talked to former little leaguers and people currently in
the sport and they all made those hints. They weren`t shy about it once
the news got out.
HAYES: So what happens next? It seems like the city is sticking with the
team. I think they were at the Blackhawks game tonight. I`d imagine
they`re probably actually going to get a heros welcome.
MOORE: Well, they should. I mean, they were at the Blackmakes game. And
they didn`t do anything wrong. And even though it`s technically they`re
not the champions anymore, but they`re still winners and these are kids.
They didn`t do anything wrong. They did what they were told. They went
out there and played the
game the right way, and actually when you think about it they were more
than thankful to be there and went out of their way to exude sportsmanship.
HAYES: Evan Moore, thanks for joining us.
MOORE: Thank you.
HAYES: All right, should an atheist or a Muslim, or anyone for that matter
have to condemn acts of violence by people who share their beliefs? We`re
going to talk about that ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What are you doing, Charlie Brown?
UNIDENTIFEID MALE: I`m waiting for a valentine.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh well, good luck.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFEID FEMALE: You`ll need it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You didn`t have to say that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: You know who else is waiting for a valentine? Our Facebook page.
I`ll admit, it`s in need of a little liking this Valentine`s Day. Look at
all of the things Facebook.com/allinwithchris can bring to a relationship.
We give you sneak peeks at things we`re working on, stories we like, some
of our favorite moments from the show every night, and opportunities to ask
questions of yours truly.
Like this Monday at noon eastern, when I`ll be doing a Facebook chat,
that`s right, ask me anything. And while you don`t have to like the page
to ask a question, it would warm my heart if you did.
Back in a moment.
HAYES: President Obama today weighed in on the murder of three young
Muslim Americas in North Carolina: Deah Barakat, his wife Yusor Abu Salha
and her sister Razan saying in a statement, quote, "no one in the United
States of America should ever be targeted because of who they are, what
they look like or how they worship. Michelle and I offer our condolences
to the victims` loved ones."
Yesterday, after thousands gathered to remember the victims at funeral
services and a vigil where many, including the father of the two slain
sisters labeled the killings a hate crime driven by anti-Muslim bias, the
FBI announced it has opened a preliminary inquiry into the killings to
determine whether federal laws had been violated. Police have charged
Craig Steven Hicks who lived in the same complex as the victims with the
murders, which Chapel Hill police say their
initial investigation indicates were motivated not by anti-Muslim bias,
but, quote, "an ongoing neighbor dispute over parking."
The New York Times reported today that Hicks was threatening to many in the
condominium complex, a disruptive presence with a reputation that prompted
residents to hold a meeting about his angry behavior.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Hicks had a history of reporting
neighbors for parking in spaces that weren`t theirs and creating, quote, a
lot of drama.
What appears to be Hick`s Facebook page suggests he was also hostile to
religion. It`s filled with posts that mock prayer and other religious
activity and heaped contempt on believers of all stripes, whether Christian
Hicks`s opposition to religion, which he called anti-theism, has prompted
some uncomfortable conversations among atheists on Reddit and elsewhere
which have included concerned that atheists will be blamed for the attack
in much the same way that Muslims are often blamed for violence committed
by Muslim extremists.
Those concerns are strong enough that the group American Atheist felt
compelled to release a statement in response to the killings, which
condemned violence in any form including violence against people of faith.
Last night on this program, I asked Faris Barakat (ph), the brother of one
of the victims what he thought of that statement.
(BEGIN VDEO CLIP)
FARRAS BARAKAT: For atheists to think that they need to condemn this act
is kind of -- would be hypocritical for me to expect, because as a Muslim I
know that one act of violence does not represent all Muslims and this act
does not represent all athetists. And to me, I tell the community we know
that this does not represent any sane and loving human being as atheists
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: I`m going to talk about precisely that issue with a practicing
Muslims and a practicing atheist next.
HAYES: Joining me now Dean Obedallah, Daily Beast columnist, Sirius XM
radio host and co-director of the comedy documentary The Muslims are
Coming. And Jamila Bey, journalist who has written extensively on issues
concerning religion and atheism. Jamila, good to see you.
So, Jamila, let`s start with this. I mean, what is your reaction? I
it was so fascinating that American Atheist put out this statement
condemning, because it has become this ritual after ISIS -- after Charlie
Hebdo particularly, a bunch of Muslim groups I saw putting out immediate
statements we condemn this, we condemn this, we condemn this, we condemn
this and this seemed like a logical extension of it, but then I also
thought OK have we now created some bizarre new norm where everyone has do
JAMILA BEY, JOURNALIST: first of all, thank you for having me. I need to
disclose, I am a board member of American Atheists. We`re the largest
first amendment civil rights groups that concerns itself with making
America a better place for atheists.
And to be honest, yes, there is a bit of a let`s rush to show that we are
not those who are being condemned for acts of violence. Any time one is
part of a minority group, an oppressed group, a group that is seen as other
and violent, and apart from the society that is the dominant one, those
folks who are in a similar group to the currently reviled individuals or
individual does feel we need to make sure that everyone knows that that is
a individual, that is not who we are.
And we as atheists, we don`t have dogma or doctrine. It is sort of like
everyone who loves a particular music group, one person wearing the shirt
of a music group commits an act, there aren`t concerts and all of that.
Which does speak to your point why do we need to do it?
HAYES: Well, it also just feels like -- it feels like in some ways Dean,
like now we`re going -- we`re leveling down as opposed to leveling up. By
which I mean to say we need to rather than further the notion that a
heinous violent act, committed by a person with a certain ideological
profile or belief system, whatever that is, is broadly representative and
has to be condemned, we should just instead be interrogating the assumption
that makes people feel like they have to condemn.
DEAN OBEDALLAH, DAILY BEAST: I`m with you, but unfortunately that is not
the world we live in. I mean, what you`re saying is absolutely right. And
atheists and Muslims in popularity polls, we`re at the bottom together.
HAYES: It`s true. That`s a really good point.
OBEDALLAH: In fact when I first saw about the shooting and I saw it was an
atheist I tweeted immediately I do not blame atheism on any level for this.
And if there`s any hatred of Muslims it`s not because of atheism, I blame
ISIS, al Qaeda, and then the political -- the politicians on the right --
and I got a lot of flak on Twitter for saying this, on the right who gin up
I mean, it affects people. It infects even good people.
HAYES: OK. But let`s be clear, we have had a national conversation. Bill
Maher, Sam Harris, a number of prominent -- Richard Dawkins, Jamila, a
number of very prominent atheists have been spending a lot of time in the
last several months, particularly since the sort of rise of ISIS, talking
about the kind of
unique threat that is posed at this moment by violent extreme Islam.
I wonder if you feel as a fellow atheist like you have some responsibility
to bear creating an atmosphere of Islamaphobia.
BEY: Well, as a half Muslim person who is an atheist, as an American -- I
know, yeah -- well, my father and all of his family are Musilm -- my name
is Jamila, come on.
But unfortunately it is shorthand and it is short-sighted. We need to be
talking about issues of mental health in this country. We need to talking
about issues of easy access to guns. We need to be talking about the fact
that there are a lot of alienated people who behave violently and who are
known to be violent and the lack of mental health care that is easily
accessible in this country is an issue.
HAYES: One thing, just to make this point, you will notice that a group
that never does the condemning is the NRA, right? They don`t feel the need
-- the NRA, and I don`t necessarily think they`re wrong not to do this. I
mean, it should not be the case that the NRA has to come forward and
condemn every horrible thing done by a person with a gun...
BEY: Because they always...
HAYES: Right. ut they don`t play the game, one should note.
BEY: They don`t play the game, but they do say guns don`t kill people,
people kill people. And they target by that statement the individual
shooter, or the group of shooters so they don`t need to do that. It is a
But we, folks who are human beings, who believe that I cannot do well
unless my fellow brethen does well, it was a scary time. And it was the
most beautiful to hear the brother of one of the shooting victims say of
course we know not all atheists are hateful people and what not.
The fact that someone is an atheist or the fact that someone is a Christian
and does a heinous crime certainly doesn`t implicate us all.
HAYES: OK, but let me say this -- and let me press on this, there is a
difference, I want to say -- and an important one -- between violence done
someone who happens to have some background, and violence that is
explicitly done in the name of that ideology, right?
HAYES: Right. I mean, when we talk about the wave of terrorism that
racked Europe in the 1970s and 80s by leftists, explicitly avowed leftists,
right. The Red Brigades, Baader-Meinhof, they weren`t just like they
happened to be of the left and they were murdering people, it was terrorist
violence in the name of that ideology. And there does seem to be something
specifically monstrous about that kind of thing that we should be able to
name as such, don`t you agree?
OBEDALLAH: I think -- it would be great if we could. I think that`s
everybody wants. We want to be able to say that if it is Muslims doing it
because page 12 of the Koran says it. And that`s what it is about, it`s
about a power struggle. It`s about political gain. That`s what these
They slaughter Muslims more than anybody else, but we don`t see that on
American televisino. We see...
HAYES: Right. You`re saying ISIS, al Qaeda, yeah...
OBEDALLAH: ISIS, al Qaeda, slaughter Muslims more than anyone, 85 to 90
percent, on a daily basis...
HAYES: Boko Haram as well.
OBEDLLAH: Exactly. What we see in America are westerners are killed.
I mean, since 9/11, less than 40 Americans have been killed by Muslim
terrorists, less than 40.
There`s been 190,000 murders since that time, but we don`t talk about the
30 people killed by gun violence every day.
It`s easier to talk about the other, the brown person, who is the outside,
scary person that gets ratings. It engages people. And it scares people
into watching coverage.
HAYES: Right. And that gets to the sort of specificity and it gets to
this weird kind of psychologyizing, Jamila, we`re all doing with the person
at the center of this as if like that we`re going to resolve some --
resolve something grand if it turns out it was parking, or he hated
Like, the idea that there is some meaning that we could read from the
murder -- and I`m not even sure that`s the right way to think of it.
BEY: Unfortunately that is how people are thinking. Humans are pattern
seeking creatures. If we feel like we can figure out the specific thing
that that person was compelled to act in that way, if we figure it out,
then it won`t happen again.
Unfortunately there is the reason that there is the phrase lone wolf.
Sometimes people need help that they`re not getting and they fixate on a
group, a person, an idea and they do horrible things in the name of that.
And we really need to look out for all of our brothers and sisters to make
sure that doesn`t happen.
HAYES: This point about lone wolf is interesting, because I think it`s
scrambled some of those categories recently.
Dean Obedallah, Jamila Bey, thank you both.
That is ALL IN for this. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts now.
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Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES