The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 11/11/11
RACHEL MADDOW, HOST: I recommend sleep, beer and football. I`m a
doctor. So, you can take that to the bank.
ED SCHULTZ, “THE ED SHOW” HOST: That works. I love the potion.
MADDOW: Thanks, Ed.
All right. And thanks to you at home for staying with us for the next
hour. Happy Friday.
After President Obama`s State of the Union Address this year, do you
remember there were two official Republican responses to him? I mean,
actually it was only on CNN, were there two different official Republican
response. You had President Obama`s State of the Union Address before a
joint session of Congress, then you had the official, official Republican
response from Paul Ryan, the congressman from Wisconsin. And then you had
what CNN billed as another official Republican response, a speech by
So, it was the president`s address then the Republican response, and
then, only on CNN, another official Tea Party Republican response from
It was not actually an official response. The Republican Party was
not doing two official responses. That would be insane. There was no way
in which this was an official State of the Union night speech except for
the fact that CNN called it that.
I`m still amazed CNN did this. They never apologized for doing it or
justified it, but they did it. And in the end, they got exactly what they
deserved for doing it, which is that this is what it looked like when they
aired that fake official speech that night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), MINNESOTA: Good evening. My name is
Congresswoman Michele Bachmann from Minnesota`s sixth district. I want to
thank the Tea Party express and Tea Party HD for inviting me to speak this
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: The only airing on CNN. CNN was the only broadcast network
that put this on TV. And Michele Bachmann is not at all looking at their
So, it seemed like that night like we didn`t know why Michele Bachmann
was looking at the wrong camera. Maybe it was a Michele Bachmann crazy
Later, it turned out the reason she wasn`t looking at the CNN camera,
though CNN was building this as an official response to the State of the
Union, was because she was actually looking into camera from something
called Tea Party HD. Tea Party HD, a fake TV network for the Tea Party.
Tea Party HD today was the subject of a lawsuit in Tennessee. A group
of investors who collectively sunk nearly $300,000 into this scam claiming
in their filing that, quote, “the alleged purpose of Tea Party HD was to be
the word`s first HD provider of news about the Tea Party. In reality, it
was an investment scheme to defraud politically conservative-minded
citizens who support the Tea Party mission.”
One of the people who alleges he was defrauded in the Tea Party HDTV
scam which proves it`s not just Nigerian princes you have to watch out for,
one of these guys was involved in the other great Tea Party scams. Do you
remember the for-profit $549 a ticket self-proclaimed official Tea Party
national convention thing in Nashville a couple years ago? One of the guys
who was scammed in the Tea Party TV thing sued over that, too, because he
said he put up $50,000 for the Sarah Palin speaking fee at that event,
which is only half a which he got paid. He said he put up half Palin`s
$100,000 speaking fee and he didn`t end up getting whatever it was that he
was promised in exchange for that money.
If you`re now getting confused about all of the different ways that
conservative scam artists have been ripping off suckers through Tea Party
branding, don`t worry, I`m here to help. Tea Party HD was the wrong camera
that Michele Bachmann was staring into. That`s the one that allegedly
defrauded its investors, according to this lawsuit in Tennessee today.
Tea Party Nation was the scam $550 a ticket for-profit convention that
Sarah Palin got paid $100,000 to give a speech at. And it`s Tea Party
Express that does the giant vinyl wrapped luxury bus tours.
Incidentally, CNN also got in bed with those guys. CNN co-sponsored a
debate with them earlier this year.
Here`s the scam from the bus tour guys. Tea Party Express was a bus
tour launched by a Republican political consultant named Sal Russo. Sal
Russo raised lots and lots of money from Tea Party supporters under the Tea
Party Express banner, money that – thanks to some careful reporting from
Web sites like “Talking Points Memo” – we later found out went mostly back
into old Sal Russo`s pockets, specifically into the pockets of his
consulting firm, Russo Marsh, and other for-profit firms affiliated with
So, raising Tea Party donations and spending all those Tea Party
donations on themselves. That`s Tea Party Express.
CNN sponsored a debate with those guys. What? CNN aired the Tea
Party Express Michele Bachmann staring into the wrong camera speech on
State of the Union night and called it something official, and then
sponsored a debate with the Tea Party Express vinyl wrapped bus tour give
us all your money organization.
CNN, the most trusted name in falling for Tea Party scams and getting
your audience to fall for them, too.
Here`s the thing, though: the big vinyl wrapped bus scam people, the
Tea Party Express people, that scam where you raise money from people who
think they`re donating to a cause but they`re actually giving you money to
spend on yourself, that scam is not just for the Tea Party bus tour people.
That`s also roughly speaking, that`s the big Newt Gingrich scam.
So, that scam is the biggest news in Republican presidential politics,
because as you have probably heard by now, we are in the middle of the
promised Newt Gingrich presidential surge. A new poll out today by CBS
showing Newt Gingrich climbing all the way up to second place, tied with
Actually “don`t know,” right down there at the bottom, is really in
second place. Don`t know is now polling better than both Mitt Romney and
Newt Gingrich. Also, “someone else” is placing fourth in this poll ahead
of all the other Republican candidates.
But the dynamic here at work is this: Herman Cain is now in this poll,
at least, the sole national front runner, be still my heart. But his
numbers are softening. Herman Cain`s support among women, for example, has
fallen from 28 percent last month to 15 percent this month.
So, Herman Cain losing support among women, duh!
But interestingly, Mitt Romney losing support among men. Why is that?
Actually I have no idea why that is.
But look at Newt Gingrich. Newt Gingrich is tied with Mitt Romney for
second place in this poll. A new poll out today by Marist and McClatchy
shows Gingrich alone in second place, trailing Romney by just four points.
But overall, Newt Gingrich`s poll numbers are sort of heading in an upward
direction right now. I mean, they started at nil, but are pointing up.
As Rick Perry as self-emulated and as we are all watching the art
project known as Herman Cain basically self-emulate as well, it`s not
surprising that the beleaguered Republican primary voters of this year will
turn to yet another candidate begging them to please not be Mitt Romney.
They`ve gone through this with Donald Trump now and Michele Bachmann,
and Rick Perry, and Herman Cain. We sort of expect them to do this with
everybody in the field – I mean, except for Rick Santorum. Nobody`s going
to vote for Rick Santorum, come on.
But the idea of a Newt Gingrich surge is almost as absurd as people,
you know, Googling Rick Santorum and saying, I like what I found here, I`m
going to vote for this guy.
I mean, if you know nothing else about Newt Gingrich, what is the
other notable thing that`s happened to Newt Gingrich since he`s been
running for president this year? What`s the one other thing? Back in
June, right? Remember?
Gingrich`s staff resigns. Gingrich presidential campaign implodes.
Gingrich to forge ahead after campaign staff quits. Gingrich campaign
staff resigns on mass. Newt Gingrich`s senior staff staged a mass exodus
off the good ship Newt Gingrich this summer.
Why? According to ABC News at the time, senior staffers demanded that
Gingrich focused on pressing the flesh and fund-raising and that he stopped
touring the country promoting film projects with his wife.
At point, Gingrich was focused on film premieres and book signings,
one senior staffer e-mailed the team, quote, “We didn`t sign up to be
hucksters for products for sale.”
This was a bombshell when it happened. Everybody thought that would
be the end of Newt.
There was also a question at the time of what exactly did the staffers
expect from Newt Gingrich? I mean, this is Newt Gingrich we`re talking
With Mr. Gingrich, you kind of should have known what you were getting
into. You should have known, say, on December 7th of last year, otherwise
known as Pearl Harbor Day, Newt Gingrich commemorating Pearl Harbor Day
last year by tweeting, quote, “The 69th anniversary of the Japanese attack
is a good time to remind people of our novels, `Pearl Harbor` and `Days of
Pearl harbor, schmharbor, buy my book.
If that didn`t make it clear enough, perhaps they should have known a
few weeks later when Newt Gingrich used the occasion of Christmas to launch
Gingrich Productions` 12 days of Christmas presents list. Get all of your
shopping down at Gingrichproductions.com.
Newt Gingrich exists in this world to sell Newt Gingrich-related
products. He is a one man book and DVD empire. And he would very much
like you to please buy every single one of them, thank you very much, buy
them in multiples. They make nice gifts.
If you like Pearl Harbor, we`ve got Pearl Harbor. You like Reagan,
we`ve got Reagan. You like the pope, we got the pope. We got lots of
We take cash, checks, money orders, credit cards, debit cards, you
name it. How about gold?
Since Newt Gingrich left Congress 13 years ago under a cloud of fund-
raising ethics charges, Mr. Gingrich has been very busy making himself very
rich by taking conservative suckers` hard earned money.
My favorite was the Newt Gingrich fake awards scam. One of Newt`s
many enterprises, this one called American Solutions, would blast-fax
businesses, seemingly at random, and tell them they were winners of Newt
Gingrich`s entrepreneur of the year award. All this business had to do to
claim its award was send American Solutions a check for $5,000.
The whole Newt Inc Empire is basically kind of a fund-raising scam.
In 2010, that American Solutions group raised $14.5 million. And then
they turned around and they spent $13.8 million of the $14.5 million they
raised. What did they spend all of that money on?
Well, they hired vendors such as the Gingrich Group, run by a
gentleman named Newt Gingrich.
So, Newt Gingrich is being paid to administer the Newt Gingrich fund-
raising empire which spends a large amount of the money it raises on Newt
Gingrich. Newt Gingrich is really good at raising money from people who
think they are donating to a cause when really the money raised just goes
It is the same scam as the Tea Party Express. It is a scam. It is a
If you get anything in the mail or in your e-mail or on the Twitter
from Newt Gingrich, check for your wallet.
But now, since everybody gets a turn in the Republican primary this
year, everybody except Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich gets to be tied with
Mitt Romney this week. Everybody gets a turn.
And even as Mr. Gingrich luxuriates in the inevitable Newt surge, he
cannot stop himself even now. He cannot stop himself even now. He cannot
make himself seem less scammy even now, even in his moment in the
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I recently wrote a book
called “A Nation Like No Other” designed to deal with American history.
We recently made a movie called “A City Upon A Hill” that explains the
origins of American exceptionalism.
I wrote a book in 2002 called “Saving Lives and Saving Money” and I
outline what we could do.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is running,
as we all know, for the Republican nomination for president and he`s also
the author of the new book called the “Battle of the Crater.”
GINGRICH: I should say like a brief commercial. Callista couldn`t be
here because she`s in a bookstore in Dubuque signing her new book which is
called “Sweet Land of Liberty,” which is for 4 to 8-year-olds.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
MADDOW: It`s not like we had to scroll through, you know, hours of
tape of Newt Gingrich talking for the last few years, we just checked the
last couple of weeks. I mean, there`s – this is – this is what he does.
What`s Newt Gingrich up to on the campaign trail right now?
Well, yesterday, his big campaign event was a book signing in
Michigan. Today, even as he`s opening up his big campaign headquarters in
New Hampshire, there`s a big shout-out at the headquarters opening from
Newt today, big shout-out today to his novels about the civil war. You
know, they`re available on Amazon, or at the Gingrich Productions Web site.
It is a scam, it is a scam, it is a scam. We`re all looking into the
wrong camera here.
Joining us now is Steve Kornacki, political news editor at Salon.com.
Steve, it`s good to see you.
STEVE KORNACKI, SALON.COM: You, too.
MADDOW: How do you think Newt Gingrich will perform in the primaries?
Do you think it`s a permanent surge?
KORNACKI: Well, it`s interesting. It`s like the political equivalent
of the producers I think. It`s the thing that starts working in despite of
how it was designed and conceived because this was, I think, definitely a
money-making venture from the beginning and still is a money-making
However, the Republican field so unbelievably weak this year. There
is such a strong desire among the Republican base not to sign on with Mitt
Romney and yet they have no other choice. And what are they doing this
year? They`re watching debates in larger numbers than ever. You know, 5
million, 6 million, 7 million people watching these debates.
And Newt Gingrich has the perfect training to handle these debates
because he gets to be a pundit. That`s what he`s been for the last 10
years. He stepped down as speaker. He was out of politics and he`s a
cable news personality now.
And he`s not treated like a serious candidate because everybody kind
of knows the scheme is going on. So, he gets to be a pundit who`s never
challenged, never asked tough follow-up questions. And he kind of
bloviates and it sounds very compelling. And in the absence of
alternatives, people start coming to him.
But I`ll say, if it gets to the point where the numbers get to 20
percent, 25 percent, 30 percent in some of his opponents and the more
importantly, the media starts saying, well, this is getting a little
serious, then I think we`re going to have a repeat of what we saw earlier
this spring when there was a two-week period I would say when people
actually considered Gingrich a serious candidate and he got a serious
interview on “Meet the Press” and he contradicted himself wildly and argued
against the Paul Ryan plan and he called it socialism. And two days later,
he went out to Iowa and there was a horrible scene where the Republican
voters came up to him and said, “You are a disgrace.”
KORNACKI: I think that happens again if they start taking him
MADDOW: My favorite sort of denouement of all that was when he said,
if you quote me, you are lying.
KORNACKI: And he will go to every district in the country next fall
and he will say that and every Republican would welcome him.
MADDOW: This is turning out to be sort of an interesting political
science exercise in that we get to see the same pattern happen with all
sorts of different failing Republican candidates.
So, we had a Donald Trump moment. We had a Michele Bachmann moment.
We had a Rick Perry moment. We did have a Newt Gingrich moment, which I
think I had mostly forgotten about. We had our Herman Cain moment that
seems to be ending, although who knows.
Do they all follow the exact same pattern, wherein they get attention
and appreciation but no scrutiny, until they get enough attention and
appreciation that they have to get scrutiny and the scrutiny is what kills
KORNACKI: It seems to be because if you look at all these previous
examples, you can kind of point to a moment where each one really kind of,
you know, hit the peak and collapse. With Trump, it was when the
birtherism exploded in his face and it all reached, you know, critical max.
I think with Michele Bachmann, it was partly Rick Perry getting in the
race and just stealing her thunder, but it was also kind of the HPV stuff.
And even Rush Limbaugh turned on her for saying this vaccine is going to
make your children retarded.
You know, with Herman Cain now, it`s the sexual harassment. You know,
it`s tough to gauge the impact of the attacks on the 9-9-9 plan because the
sexual harassment stuff came so quickly.
But, I think, you know, there`s a cable news universe, this FOX News
universe, which really – it`s like a closed information loop on the
Republican side now that`s really emerged in the last decade.
It allows for these characters to sort of come into existence and to
flourish and they don`t actually have to do anything significant with their
public lives. They don`t have to be in office. They don`t have to pass
laws. They don`t have to have any real driving policy rules.
They`re characters. And that`s what we`ve really seen this year, is
each character has got a shot. And when each character gets treated
briefly like a candidate, they fizzle, except, you know, Mitt Romney is
MADDOW: But that`s the big question. Does this apply to Mitt Romney
as well? I mean, Mitt Romney has been running for president permanently
for longer than – definitely longer than people have known what Herman
Cain`s name is.
MADDOW: But for longer than this reiteration of the Newt Gingrich
direct mail scam. I mean, because he is a permanent candidate and people
are used to him in that role, is his character the candidate so that makes
him the last one standing?
KORNACKI: Yes, I think the model I have in mind for how this is going
to shake out in the end is sort of what happened – how Bob Dole got the
nomination in 1996. And it was sort of similar in that, you know, he was
the guy nobody really wanted to nominate. He was boring old Bob Dole. He
was moderate and everything, but there was really no alternative.
And what happened was it took Pat Buchanan winning the New Hampshire
primary in 1996 to scare the bejesus out of the Republican Party and say,
Pat Buchanan is never going to win anything again in the party so it`s time
to get onboard with Bob Dole. And within two weeks, he basically won
I think that might what we`re moving towards here. I mean, there`s a
scenario where Romney could win Iowa. But, I think, listen, if it`s
Gingrich, if it`s Cain, if it`s Perry, if it`s somebody – if somebody can
beat Romney in one of these early contests, I think we get that reaction
and the Republicans get their act together and that`s when it ends.
MADDOW: I agree with you, except my only tweak on that would be once
that happens then Mitt Romney announces that bejesus is going to be his
KORNACKI: It`s the winner.
MADDOW: Steve Kornacki, Salon`s news editor, it`s always great to
have you here, Steve. Thanks.
MADDOW: All right. We scanned the globe for 11/11/11 weirdness. And
in the process, the weirdest thing we could find about the world`s
treatment of 11/11/11 was in Detroit. That`s next.
MADDOW: On Tuesday, Americans went to the polls. They announced with
a clear, strong voice that they would like easier access to liquor, please.
The people cry out tonight for a cocktail moment. That`s just ahead.
MADDOW: One of the things that is hard to do on television is convey
the size of large things, because no matter what I do, I am in a box that`s
this big on your television. And so, in talking like something about an
aircraft carrier, I cannot really show you its enormousness. All I can do
is describe it in a way that uses other large, imaginably large things in
multiples for the purpose of your mental comparison.
So, for example, the USS Carl Vinson, a Nimitz class aircraft carrier,
is, in fact, enormous. It is very, very large. It is over 1,000 feet
long, which means it is longer than three football fields.
To use another form of imaginable measurement, it`s big enough to
accommodate 21 basketball courts. So that one measly little basketball
court they installed today on the deck of the USS Carl Vinson was, frankly,
geospatially speaking, no big whoop.
The court was set up for what they are calling the carrier classic
basketball game between the University of North Carolina and Michigan State
tonight. They did not just remove the fighter jets and set up the court,
they also set up bleachers for the audience tonight. The bleachers will
hold 7,000 members of the Armed Forces, who will be there to watch the
game. And an alternate playing area they`re also setting up in case of
But the exciting uncertainty of what wind gust might do to the three-
pointer percentage in a top play basketball game played out in the open at
sea, there`s also just a rather, you know, cool show offy way to celebrate
Veterans Day today.
Magic Johnson and James Worth served as honorary captains of their
respective alma maters for the teams. Both teams wore camouflage uniforms,
very fancy. President Obama was at the game on the carrier tonight.
As we talked about on last night`s show, Veterans Day is not the same
thing as Memorial Day. Memorial Day is the time we set aside to remember
people who gave their lives for our country.
Veterans Day is a day to celebrate. Veterans Day is a day to
celebrate everybody who served in the military, all our nation`s veterans.
If there`s a theme for this year`s Veterans Day, at least as it is
being officially marked in Washington, the theme this year is not just to
celebrate and appreciate America`s veterans, it is to hire them. The
Department of Labor putting out this top 10 list of reasons to hire
Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki writing in the “Wall
Street Journal” today about the skills veterans have to develop in order to
succeed in the military make them good employees when they`re back here at
home. The wives of the president and vice president, the first lady and
Dr. Jill Biden this week announced a major agreement with private
businesses to hire tens of thousands of American veterans.
In Congress, even Congress, Congress actually seemed to be on its way
to passing a tax credit for hiring veterans when sometimes this Congress
feels like it couldn`t pass the salt if you asked nicely.
The overall idea of all these initiatives is that hiring American
veterans is not a favor. It is not a mitzvah. Even this generation of
veterans is a prized resource that American companies would be wise to tap.
Joining us now is the former assistant secretary for Veterans Affairs,
an Iraq war veteran, one of the first women to fly combat missions in Iraq.
She lost both her legs in a helicopter crash in 2004. She`s Tammy
Duckworth. She`s running for Congress in Illinois` newly redrawn eighth
Tammy, thank you so much for being on the show. It`s nice to see you
TAMMY DUCKWORTH, IRAQ WAR VETERAN: Good to see you, too, Rachel.
MADDOW: Let me start with a little bit of politics and recent
politics. Were you surprised at the Veterans jobs bill passed with nearly
unanimous support in the Senate yesterday? The Senate has not been happy
about passing much of anything.
DUCKWORTH: You know, I was really surprised. But on the other hand,
I wasn`t surprised. We`ve seen so much gridlock in Washington, you know,
this extremist politics has really caused nothing to happen. But on the
other hand, having been at Veterans Affairs for the last 2 1/2 years before
I quit to go home to run, I saw a lot of bills passed. You know, we passed
a G.I. bill. We passed caregivers legislation.
So, I think there`s hope. But we have to stand firm and found common
ground to pass bills that will help this nation.
MADDOW: From your experience as a veteran, and I now your husband
served in the military as well and you`re from a military family. From
that personal experience, but also from your time in the V.A. and as a
candidate – what do you think it`s going to take to bring down the
unemployment rate among veterans?
We understand a lot of the reasons why veterans are doing more poorly
than the general population in this job environment, it`s in part because
they have been serving in an environment that doesn`t – people don`t
always appreciate as having job relevance, being translating to domestic
But what`s it going to take to bring that down?
DUCKWORTH: Well, I think there`s two things, Rachel. I think that on
the one hand we have to do a better job of helping them seamlessly
transition from the DOD to their civilian status. That is they need
faster, better access to their health care. They need faster, better
access to their G.I. bill so they can go right into those training
programs, the vocational rehabilitation programs. And we need to be there
with them, unemployment services and the employment training services for
On the other hand, we just got to educate our employers and show them
that these veterans are going to be very best employees. Give you an
example – you know, when I flew my helicopter, my soldiers guaranteed the
quality of their work with their lives. My crew chief when he handed me
the keys to that helicopter and he said, I checked the oil and made sure
every safety wire was twisted properly, he didn`t hand me the keys and walk
away. He climbed in the back of the helicopter and went out on a mission
with me. He guaranteed the quality of his work with his life every single
And our employers need to learn that is what our veterans are capable
MADDOW: You are running for office now. I know you ran as well back
in 2006 in Illinois. The districts have since been redrawn in Illinois, so
it`s not an exact rerun of the previous campaign.
But what are you finding it`s like being a candidate now, in 2011,
compared to when you were running back then? What do you think changed in
terms of our politics?
DUCKWORTH: Our politics in this nation has been hijacked by
extremism. You know, nothing is happening in Washington. And, Rachel,
I`ve never run from a fight in my life, but I also know how to win some
And I think what we need in Washington are more people who can find
common ground, who can build coalitions to pass the bills that help our
Frankly, I think families across thus country need victories right
now. And that`s why I`m running in my district because I want to replace -
- the congressman from my district is Joe Walsh. I want to replace him in
Washington because he`s certainly one of the folks who has brought
Washington to a gridlock and held our nation`s work hostage when we really
should be out there working for the people of this country.
MADDOW: Let me ask you about one broad political issue. The
frontrunner, at least one of the front-runners for the Republican
nomination is Mitt Romney. And today at an event with veterans, he floated
the idea of privatizing – at least partially privatizing the functions of
Do you have any reaction to that?
DUCKWORTH: Yes. I think he is completely wrong. You know, he needs
to stop worrying about how to balance a budget on the backs of veterans and
he needs to start thinking about maybe making corporations like General
Electric pay their taxes for a change and pay their fair share.
Stop trying to balance the budget on the backs of our veterans.
People have shed blood for this country, or even our most vulnerable. You
know, Rachel, this is exactly the extremist politics I`m talking about.
I mean, who votes to cut funding for suicide prevention for veterans?
I mean, who votes to cut funding for supplemental nutrition for women,
infants and children? I mean, who votes against providing medical care for
our heroic first responders of 9/11 when they get cancer because they ran
into the buildings to save others?
You know, that`s the exact reactionary extremist politics that doesn`t
help this nation. And that`s why we need more folks in Washington to find
common ground and who are going to break through this gridlock.
MADDOW: Tammy Duckworth, former assistant secretary for Veterans
Affairs, Iraq war veteran, now congressional candidate running in Illinois`
eighth district – better known right now for Joe Walsh screaming at his
constituents in bar videos on YouTube – Tammy, thank you for joining us
tonight. Nice to see you again. And happy Veterans Day.
DUCKWORTH: Thank you, Rachel.
MADDOW: All right. We got a cocktail moment straight ahead. Much-
Plus, the really unexpected thing the Detroit Lions are doing with
their football stadium right now. It involves something that the people in
that stadium want to happen to Muslims while Muslims are sleeping. It is
just as creepy as it sounds. That`s coming up.
MADDOW: As the Republican presidential candidates were debating in
Michigan this week, we were still getting in election results from Tuesday
night`s elections in Michigan. One state legislator was on the ballot for
recall. A Republican closely allied with Republican Governor Rick Snyder.
The candidate was – excuse me – the state legislator was recalled by the
voters in his district. He lost his seat.
One of the signature policies of Governor Snyder has been his
emergency manager law, whereby his state government can just declare any
town or school district to be in an emergency situation and the state can
install somebody to replace all locally elected officials.
Under Rick Snyder`s law, his state government can even just abolish
whole Michigan towns, take them over and declare them no more. It doesn`t
matter who you elected to run your town, who you elected for mayor.
Governor Snyder reserves the right to take it over. He did that in a
town called Benton Harbor, in Michigan. He decided to overrule all local
election results and install someone with unilateral personal authority to
run Benton Harbor. Benton Harbor residents nevertheless voted this week.
On Tuesday, they voted down all seven of the ballot measures this emergency
overseer guy just unilaterally on his own decided to put on the ballot.
According to the residents` votes, Benton Harbor elected a new mayor,
some new counselors. But, of course, those votes are all pretty much moot.
They went out and they went through the motions of voting. But thanks to
Governor Rick Snyder emergency-manager law, votes in that part of Michigan
just don`t have any effect anymore.
Local elections are overruled by the state, for your own good. So,
hey, Benton Harbor, thanks for playing, democracy, the game. The people
you voted for, they`ll take power when and if this emergency overseer from
the state who is unilaterally running your town ever decides to leave.
It`s Benton Harbor now, they say they`re going to do it to Flint,
MADDOW: In 1976, the city of Raleigh, North Carolina, merged its
schools with those in the surrounding suburbs, making one big school
district. And for decades now, that Wake County public school system was
known as the best example of school integration in the country.
Some of the school system`s best schools were in its worst
neighborhoods. Wake County`s good schools for part of the engines that
made it one of the fastest growing metro regions in the country. It`s part
of why so many people wanted to move there. Good schools.
Clearly, that can`t be allowed to stand. In 2006, the North Carolina
chapter of the Koch brothers group, Americans for Prosperity, with strong
support from North Carolina`s own local zillionaire, kind of conservative
caucus, Art Pope, they tried hard to defeat a $970 million bond issue to
get more resources to the schools. They did not succeed in that effort in
By 2009, Americans for Prosperity and the Art Pope groups decided to
go whole hog into the local school board`s elections. They supported a
slate of very conservative Tea Party inflected Republicans and the Wake
County school board changed, a lot. And they made plans to change wake
county schools, a lot.
Instead of keeping on with desegregation efforts, they came up with a
new plan to just assign kids to schools in their own neighborhoods.
Diversity be darned.
Staring down the prospect of once again having all white schools in
the suburbs and all black schools in southeast Raleigh, the superintendent
at the time quit because he said he could not bring himself to implement
the new Tea Party plan.
But here`s where the plot thickens. The plan was not scheduled to be
implemented until next school year, August 2012. In the unlikely event
Democrats could win every single one of the school board seats that were up
this year, all five seats, all the Democrats, they could conceivably stop
the Tea Party Republican re-segregation plan before it actually went into
Of course, they would need to do that against all of the conservative
money and organizing that brought about the conservative take over in the
first place. So, that`s unlikely, right, that you have to win all of the
seats. Except it happens.
Last month, at the first round of voting, Democrats won four of the
five seats outright that night. The fifth seat Democrats needed to retake
the majority, that one went into a runoff. That runoff was this week and
the Democratic candidate won that fifth seat, too.
So, the conservative takeover is over in Wake County schools. There
is a Democratic majority back in charge.
But the plan they`re supposed to be working from for the 2012 school
year now is the plan the Art Pope-funded conservative re-segregation folks
left behind when they were all booted out of office.
Joining us now is somebody who`s been covering this story extensively
on the ground, Jonathan Carlson, reporter for our NBC affiliate in Raleigh,
North Carolina, WNCN.
Jonathan, thanks so much for being here. It`s nice to have you.
JONATHAN CARLSON, WNCN: Yes. Good evening, Rachel.
MADDOW: How central was the desegregation/re-segregation issue to the
campaign for these school board elections?
CARLSON: Well, you know, I don`t think in all my years of reporting
I`ve ever seen this much attention, this much money spent on a school board
election. It`s been consuming pretty much the airwaves here for months,
pretty much a year now.
MADDOW: How did the interest and the turnout for these school board
elections, I guess, change people`s feeling about the stakes here? Was
there resentment that there was so much money, so much interest, even
national interest in this? Or were people sort of invigorated by this, by
CARLSON: Well, you know, it`s just been fighting for the last couple
of months and this is supposed to be nonpartisan. But you`ve pretty had
Republican and Democrats contributing money to both these campaigns for the
last couple months and it`s pretty turned into sort of a circus that I
think a lot of voters are just glad it`s done right now.
But now that the stakes have changed and the balance of power has
changed, we`re likely going to see a lot of changes as we go forward in the
next two years.
MADDOW: You know, I`ve been looking at comments, for example, from
some of the newly elected people on the school board, and you do get this
real sense of – I guess I think of it as ideological battle fatigue? One
of the new Democratic majority on the school board pledging to have the
school board return to being seen as boring again.
But there is this, which is great, I mean, which is – we want to be
technocratic. We don`t want to be ideological lightning rods. There is a
neighborhood schools plan, a change for Wake County schools that`s still on
the drawing board.
Do you get the sense they`re still going to go ahead with the plan
that was left in place by the majority that`s been elected out?
CARLSON: Yes, you know, it sounds like they`re going to go forward
with this. There maybe some changes, though. The Republican-led board
tried to get this through earlier this year. The new Democrats are going
to try to essentially have their voices be heard and try to make changes
and tweaks to things. But pretty much everybody is onboard of knowing that
because with all the growth that things to move forward and something needs
to change in order for these kids to end up going to the schools that their
parents want them to go to.
MADDOW: In terms of future decisions on that, do you expect that
there will be lots of community involvement, more protests, more interest
groups – like the kinds of big money interest groups we`ve seen weigh in
on this as it`s received so much attention?
CARLSON: Yes. You know, this has been contentious for months. They
have board meetings that have just packed with people. There have been
So, you can expect this to continue to have a lot of opinions as it
goes on. It seems to have died down a little bit. We`ll just have to wait
to see how the new board ends up deciding how they want to move forward
with any changes to the plan.
MADDOW: Jonathan Carlson, reporter for our NBC affiliate in Raleigh,
WNCN – thanks very much for helping us understand this. I really
appreciate your time. Thanks.
All right. Cocktail moment coming up. It`s Friday.
And a really unexpected use for Detroit`s pro football stadium
tonight. It`s being used overnight, all night long. And frankly, Detroit
deserves better than what it is being used for. I`ll tell you about that,
MADDOW: First, a correction. I said James Worth when I was supposed
to say James Worthy – talking about the honorary captain of the basketball
team on the aircraft carrier tonight. I`m very sorry.
OK. Second, in Egypt today, they closed the great pyramid to
tourists. The official explanation from the pyramid management is that the
great pyramid needed maintenance, a day of fixing up after a few thousand
The headline explanation, though, is that Egypt closed the great
pyramid to keep groups from holding, quote, Jewish or Masonic rights there,
to draw special power from today`s palindromic date 11/11/11 – 11/11/11 is
the same backwards as it is forwards, so it must be haunted or whatever, or
maybe at least special.
One Egyptian company apparently asked for permission to have people
gather round and, quote, “hug the pyramid.”
But there would be no hugging the great pyramid on 11/11/11 today, and
no plain old visiting either because the Egyptian president ordered the
great pyramid closed for the whole day, because they were freaked about
Free Masons and Jewish people and hugging people and prejudicial conspiracy
theories about occult nonsense. Egypt, crazy over there.
I want to know what`s happening at the Detroit Lion`s stadium?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LOU ENGLE: Eleven-eleven-eleven. The Lord clearly showed to up, said
you have to pray all night long because it`s when the Muslims sleep and all
over the world right now, Muslims in the night are having dreams of Jesus.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Very sneaky of those Muslims to sleep at night.
Tonight, at the Detroit Lions football stadium, at Ford Field, our old
pal Lou Engle is leading a 24-hour all night stadium revival to try to get
mass conversions of American Muslims. This is his ad for the thing. He
calls it The Call. Started just over three hours ago in Detroit.
Lou Engle and the Call say they are in Detroit because Detroit is
ground zero for the spiritual war in our nation – poverty, racism and
Islam are powerfully rooted here. Not to go all Burt and Ernie here, but
one of these things is not like the other if you know what I mean.
Lou Engle is a senior leader of the International House of Prayer who
says he got the idea of going to Detroit because of a dream he had about a
revival preacher named William Seymour more than a century ago in
Louisiana. Now, one of the ways Lou Engle has been trying to persuade
people to stay up all night with him in the Detroit Lions` football stadium
to mass convert American Muslims in their sleep is with the ad you saw, and
also this video of him and another white guy sitting in front of another
giant lion painting talking about what they labeled here on the video as
the one eyed black man.
This is the Lou Engle dream that led to the 11/11/11 sleeping Muslims
all nighter at Ford Field going on right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ENGLE: In the dream, there was a – we went to an upper room in
Detroit, in Detroit, in to the upper room in Detroit. And in Detroit, in
that upper room, there was a old black man lying there, and he was a one-
eyed old black man. Seymour.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One eyed.
ENGLE: Yes, and he was blind in one eye. And in the dream, his iris
was being operated on so that he would live.
The iris, and the word iris actually means rainbow.
I believe that God wants to bring the multi-colored together and I
believe in Detroit, God is seeking to bring forth another sound of revival,
the William Seymour anointing out of the black church, if you can – black,
white, multicolored church.
And we believe as a black revival that we are coming saying, God,
could you release William Seymour mantle again out of Detroit for another
great outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: So, that`s what is happening at the Detroit football stadium
all night, that guy.
You know when the nation of Uganda was considering making gay being a
crime punishable by death, Lou Engle decided to help out there, too. He
issued a statement saying he did not support that and then he showed up a
Call rally in Uganda and praised Uganda for having the courage and
righteous to push for kill the gays bill.
Lou Engle, the same Lou Engle who`s holding the Call rally in Detroit
tonight because he says that Detroit has demons. He says Detroit has
demons because Detroit has Muslims.
Lou Engle is also kind of a mainstream guy. Remember this summer when
Rick Perry had his big stadium prayer rally, heal the nation. Remember
when Rick Perry wasn`t yet the guy hugging the syrup, the one who seems
vaguely like your uncle who comes around only Thanksgiving. Remember when
people still thought Rick Perry`s could win the Republican nomination and
maybe even presidency. Rick Perry stadium prayer rally was modeled after
Lou Engle`s the Call rallies like the one in Detroit tonight.
It was modeled after Lou Engle`s the Call rallies with the help of Lou
Engle`s folk. Lou Engle who has since dreamed of a one-eyed black man to
rid Detroit of poverty and racism and Muslims.
Detroit, I`m sorry. You deserve so much better. You deserve
congratulations for calling out whack job Lou Engle before he ever showed
up at Ford Field tonight
Detroit, you deserve all the help the country can give you in getting
your economy going again because your economy is our economy.
Detroit, you do not deserve (INAUDIBLE), like Lou Engle showing up
into your football stadium with his, kill the gays, Muslims are demons vile
dressed up as a sane way to help you help yourselves.
And, Detroit, frankly, you probably deserve an apology from Rick Perry
for hooking up with this insane machine and giving it a platform for even
one single day on his way to trying and failing to run for president.
MADDOW: A significant subplot of Election Day this week was booze.
All over the country this week, Americans voted on booze, on access to
In Georgia, 127 cities and counties held a vote on whether you ought
to be able to buy booze on Sundays – 110 out of 127 cities and counties
said yes, you ought to be able to buy booze on Sundays.
In the great state of Washington, the vote was overwhelming to let
grocery stores sell hooch for the first time.
And in North Carolina, two towns voted for the first time to allow
sales of liquor by the drink. Now, North Carolina has been fighting about
liquor by the drink for a long time. They warned each other for example
back in 1978 that liquor by the drink would turn North Carolina into
Atlanta. Oh, the humanity!
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m opposed to liquor by the drink, because I
have lived in Atlanta and I don`t want a bar on every street corner in
every town. So, I`m going to vote no.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Yes, maybe. But just everybody who got to vote for booze on
this Election Day this week voted yes. Cheers! Here`s how.
So, time for an off-year election cocktail moment.
What we`re going to make is a drink called the apple jack rabbit.
This recipe is in Jim Meehan`s new really good cocktail book, “The PDT
Cocktail Book,” that`s just out.
Here is the justification for making the apple jack rabbit.
See, Washington state, they had the big statewide vote on booze this
week, Washington state is the apple capital of the country. Washington
state also named for George Washington. George Washington was a distiller
of rye. But what`s believed to be the thing that George Washington
actually like to drink himself is apple jack.
Apple jack is like an apple whiskey basically. It`s delicious. It`s
made by this company Lairds in New Jersey. It`s really good.
So, you want two ounces of Lairds apple jack. You want to buy the
bonded kind, bond means it is 100 proof, which means it`s 50 percent
alcohol. And the bonded is better than the unbonded blended one. So, two
ounces of 100-proof bonded apple jack. Very good.
Next 3/4 ounce of lemon juice, and you have to use an actual piece of
fruit. I know it`s very inefficient. But if you get lemon juice from the
plastic thing in your refrigerator, God will strike you down and make Lou
Engle into your boyfriend.
So, actually that`s not true about Lou Engle. Nobody deserves Lou
Engle to be their boyfriend no matter what they do to the lemon.
So, 3/4 of an ounce of lemon juice. This is the thing that is unusual
ingredient for a good cocktail. A lot of really bad cocktails have orange
juice in them, and very few good cocktails do. But the apple jack rabbit
is a good cocktail with orange juice in it.
Again, you have to use an actual fresh orange or watch out, Lou Engle
is coming to get you!
So 3/4 ounce of fresh of squeezed lemon juice, two ounces of bonded
apple jack, and the seasonal ingredient, maple syrup – in this case it is
grade B maple syrup, which is the darker kind. So, it`s sort of hard to
find, but it is worth finding.
And this is Jim Meehan`s recipe, and he recommends grade b, so find
So, half an ounce of grade b maple syrup which is the only sweetener
in this, which means it`s delicious and it`s not too sweet, even though
it`s full of all of these things. Add way more ice than you think you need
to, like 2/3 full of the cocktail shaker.
Make sure you put the lid on the cocktail shaker. I almost picked it
up and shook it without that.
Excuse me, I need to shake. Excuse me.
Sorry. Thank you. And this is your apple jack rabbit. The maple
syrup gives it kind of a little foamy head which is delicious.
So, listen, no garnish except your “I voted” sticker.
Happy election week. Happy Veterans Day, and have a great weekend.
Oh, my God. This is good.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed,
transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written
permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark,
copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>