The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 10/25/13
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: And thanks to you at home for joining us
this hour. Happy Friday.
I should tell you right now, there is not a cocktail moment on
tonight`s show. If you want to hit pause and go get a drink right now, I
would understand though.
Because Ted Cruz is in Iowa and that violates the rule from bans all
reasonable people from talking about the 2016 presidential race. That`s
the rule. It`s on our white board, in our office. We try to never violate
it. And there`s good reason not to.
The last presidential race was less than a year ago. There`s another
really big nationwide election that has to happen between now and the next
presidential race. Nobody is allowed to talk about 2016. It is against
But Ted Cruz is in Iowa right now. And Iowa Republicans are kind of
at war with themselves right now.
The state`s Republican governor, Terry Branstad, is now talking
nationally about how he is leading an effort inside the Republican Party in
Iowa to try essentially to reclaim the party from the social conservatives
who have taken over in Iowa – and who especially have dominated the states
presidential politics, so much so that also-runs like Mike Huckabee and
Santorum are now winning not just straw polls of conservative activists in
Iowa, but they`re actually winning the Iowa Republican caucuses, sort of.
It`s gotten hard to tell who has won recently because as the social
conservatives have taken over the party, that has occurred simultaneously
with the caucuses process collapsing on the Republican side and the whole
structure of the Iowa Republican Party collapsing.
Recently, since 2012, the Tea Party guys have taken over the official
leadership of the state party in Iowa. That has meant the Iowa Republicans
have not been able to do just the brass tacks stuff that you need to do to
be a major party like fundraising, for example. The Branstad side in this
argument is saying that under the Tea Party guys who`ve taken over the
state party, fundraising has fallen by double digits.
Also, Iowa Republicans have a really specific problem named Diane.
Diane Crookham-Johnson, who not that long ago was the single most prolific
fund-raiser for the Iowa Republican Party. She raised more for Iowa
Republicans than anybody in the state. But she is pro-choice. So, she
explained to “The Associated Press” that the social conservative takeover
of the Iowa Republican Party has been a little alienating.
Can mainstream Republicans get somebody like her back? Can mainstream
Republicans regain their strength and take back control from the groups
that have taken over? Can they get themselves back into power? Can they?
Magic 8 ball, can they? Magic 8 ball says, oh, look, this is bad.
Ted Cruz. This is not going to help.
Tonight`s big annual fundraising dinner for the Republican Party of
Iowa featuring the Tea Party Republican senator, Ted Cruz. This is not
going to help. And, you know, Ted Cruz is not famous for it, but he is a
Rick Santorum-style social conservative and he always has been.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is known to us when he was in Washington,
during the Bush years, he worked for the U.S. Department of Justice and as
a policy adviser of the 2000 Bush-Cheney campaign. But we were well-
acquainted with him while he was in Washington and we certainly welcome him
back to Washington as a U.S. senator and we want to be able to give him the
opportunity to do even more, in a Senate majority so that he is a majority
senator who can vote on all those pro-life bill and give them through the
So, with that, I would like to give you Senator Cruz.
SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: This is a room of warriors. This is a room
of patriots. This is a room of men and women willing to sacrifice,
sacrifice on your knees in prayer, sacrifice standing up for the unborn.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Speaking in June at the National Right to Life conference,
getting a standing ovation.
And what he`s saying there about standing up for the unborn, that`s a
fairly standard part of his stump speech to conservative audiences, even if
the national press doesn`t always pick it up about him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CRUZ: This is an administration that is telling Christian companies
like Hobby Lobby, is telling – that the Little Sisters of the Poor, they
must provide abortifacients, or pay millions of dollars in government
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: The audience shouting, oh, no, no. The audience is correct
there. Because no, no, what Senator Cruz said there is not actually
happening. No! He totally made it up.
The Hobby Lobby is a company that sells knickknacks and glitter and
stuff. This week, as long as you`re not willing to buy from the seasonal
department, you can get 50 percent off on decorative vegetable and fruit
filled bottles or men`s metal and wood decor. The Hobby Lobby is a shop
where you can shop by gender.
The Hobby Lobby is a for-profit company. They are suing the federal
government because they as a company disapprove of contraception and they
want to be able to block their employees from having birth control covered
on their health insurance.
And birth control, contraception, is not the same thing as having an
abortion. It`s not as Ted Cruz put it, an abortifacient. It`s not.
Contraception and abortion, birth control and abortion, they`re not the
same thing unless you are a Rick Santorum-Ken Cuccinelli type out there
social conservative like Ted Cruz is.
Ted Cruz does not get billed that way, but that`s absolutely what he
is. And at home in Texas right now, in Ted Cruz`s home state, Republican
Party there is on the brink of a social conservativism breakthrough.
You remember back in June when Democratic state senator, now
Democratic candidate for Texas governor, Wendy Davis, stood up for 13 hours
and filibustered a real filibuster against Texas Republicans draconian new
antiabortion law, which was designed to shut down abortion clinics across
the state of Texas. Wendy Davis succeeded in her filibuster that day,
succeeded in delaying the passage of that bill.
But ultimately, Texas Republicans were able to force it through and
that bill is due to go into effect in Texas on Tuesday. Between now and
Tuesday, a federal judge is set to rule on whether or not that law is
constitutional. The trial was held this week. The state called basically
no witnesses. Didn`t make an argument in favor of the law because they`re
so confident they`re going to win this court battle.
But the federal judge in this case says that he hears the clock
ticking. He knows those regulations are due to go into effect on Tuesday,
and he will try to get in his ruling before then. If the law is upheld or
if the ruling is too late, and the new law goes into effect on Tuesday as
scheduled, that is expected to force essentially the immediate closure of
13 clinics that provide abortion in Texas. A third of the places in the
state where you can get an abortion will shut down.
Texas, of course, is a state where even before this law, Republican
pressure against access to abortion was already forcing some women into
crossing the Mexican border to try to buy medicine to self-induce an
abortion at unregulated Mexican pharmacies. It`s also been reported
there`s a thriving illegal trade in those same kind of medicines at Texas
flee markets. People just guessing what it might take to cause an
abortion, because they can`t go to a doctor, because there isn`t one
That was before what is due to happen in Texas next week. And that is
a dramatic and down to the wire situation in Texas which is a really big
state where a ton of people live, but is not unlike what is happening
around the country in Republican controlled state.
In Ohio right now, clinics are shutting down across the state, one
after the other – thanks to the un-debated, last minute additions to the
Ohio state budget, that Republicans slipped into that budget with no
hearings and no debate before John Kasich signed it into law in July.
You see John Kasich there signing the Ohio budget at the meeting of an
Ohio women`s group, as you can see there. The caption must be wrong on
No, the lead in “The Cleveland Plain Dealer” this week was this: at
the start of 2013, there were 14 abortion clinics in Ohio. Today, there
are 11 and thanks to newly enacted state restrictions, at least two more
facilities are reportedly in danger of closing.
Just this year, Republicans in Ohio have been able to shut down a
clinic in Cleveland, and a clinic in Cuyahoga Falls, and a clinic Toledo.
The only other clinic in Toledo is now on the brink of closure, as is the
fifth clinic in the suburbs of Cincinnati.
The head of the Ohio Right to Life group is bragging openly in the
Ohio press now about how the Right to Life groups and the Republicans wrote
the law, wrote this legislation that they stuffed into the budget in a way
that was specifically designed to shut down as many clinics in the state as
possible, and now, it`s working the way they intended.
This is putting pressure now on bordering states. The clinic just
over Ohio`s northern border in Michigan is reporting a huge spike in
patients crossing the border from Ohio into Michigan because you can`t
really get abortions in Ohio anymore since the Republicans took over there.
Quote, “The number of Ohio women scheduling abortions at the Michigan
clinic has grown so rapidly that the company is hiring additional staff to
handle the demand. There`s been a, quote, “noticeable increase in patient
from the Buckeye State.”
Ohio prides itself on having state-of-the-art world class medical
facilities, right? The Cleveland Clinic, right? Come on. But, right now,
women in Ohio are having to leave the state or having to flee the state and
cross borders in order to get health care that just isn`t available in Ohio
anymore because the Republicans are in charge of the state government there
and that`s what they decided to do with their power.
And so, this fight in Ohio right no now, about whether or not the
Republican Party there really is the party of social conservatism, whether
it really is a party so defined by its antiabortion activism that it`s
going to repel the party`s top fund-raiser because she doesn`t agree with
them on that one issue.
This fight in Iowa, as birth control equals abortion, Ted Cruz takes
the dais right now at the Reagan dinner in Iowa tonight, this fight in Iowa
is the same fight that the Republican Party is having nationally.
This week, the post-2012 election laws Republican Party autopsy report
which said the party should reach out more to minorities and support
immigration reform, and also said the party should not be so doctrinaire
and social on conservative issues that they repel people who agree with
them on other issues – that autopsy report this week got a rebuttal from
an anti-abortion and antigay group who argued that the official Republican
Party report had it wrong. They say that the real reason that Republicans
lost in 2012 is because Republicans in 2012 were not socially conservative
enough and the reason Ken Cuccinelli`s going to lose that Virginia
governor`s race and the reason any Republican is going to lose any race
anywhere in the country is because they are not socially conservative.
They need to get more hard lined and that`s how they`ll start winning.
This is the national story for the Republican Party right now. There
is a fight in the Republican Party right now in the states and in
Washington, about whether or not Republicans should just give in and admit,
hey, this is what we have to offer. We make no bones about it. Elect us.
We will force you to give birth against your will.
I mean, that is what they have doing in the states. They affected
radical change in the states and the fight right now is not about whether
tor not to keep doing that, it`s about whether or not they admit to it and
pretending to be proud about it, instead of pretending right now that`s not
their first priority. If they pick Ted Cruz, that means the we`re proud of
it side wins.
Joining us now is Cecile Richard, president of Planned Parenthood
Action Fund. The group`s super PAC, Planned Parenthood Vote, is running a
TV ad in Virginia right now highlighting Ken Cuccinelli`s anti-abortion
Ms. Richards, thanks very much for being with us. I appreciate your
CECILE RICHARDS, PLANNED PARENTHOOD: Sure, Rachel. Good to see you.
MADDOW: We have talked before about the way that abortion is both
used in political campaigns and sometimes disappears. Conservatives have
been trying to use the abortion issue to turn out their base as the last
minute thing in this Virginia governor`s race. You`re trying to do the
opposite and opposing force in Virginia. How do you see your efforts there
RICHARDS: Well, if you look at what`s happening in Virginia, where,
of course, the Republicans have nominated the most extreme ticket ever in
the commonwealth, running not only Ken Cuccinelli for governor, but also
the down ballot races, what you`re seeing now is that women are leaving the
party in droves. I think the latest polls show that there`s a 20-point
gender gap of women supporting Terry McAuliffe, and this was a race dead
even in the spring.
Literally, women in the state of Virginia or the commonwealth of
Virginia will not vote for Ken Cuccinelli because he wants to get rid of
birth control. He wants to, of course, he said he wants to get rid of
Planned Parenthood. He`s tried to get rid of – he`s closed – supported
closing health centers in Virginia.
I don`t really get it. This is, again, we saw after the 2012
elections, women overwhelmingly voted to re-elect Barack Obama over these
issues. We`re seeing the same thing play out in Virginia. It seems like a
very bad strategy of the Republican Party and Ted Cruz is a classic
MADDOW: I`m fascinated to see in Iowa right now, this anecdote about
the former top fund-raiser for the Iowa Republican Party being totally
alienated from the party, and obviously not doing that great fundraising
work for them anymore because she is pro-choice and she feels like she
doesn`t have a home in that party anymore. Do you see any effort, with any
successful effort within the Republican Party to essentially bolster or
unify or at least somehow support pro-choice Republicans? Is there any
resistance in the Republican Party to what they`re doing nationwide?
RICHARDS: Well, honestly, Rachel, I`d say that there is enormous
disaffection in the rank and file. Of course, a lot of Republicans started
Planned Parenthoods around the country. That was the first thing that they
were concerned somehow the national Republican Party in Congress was trying
to defund Planned Parenthood. Then, they went after birth control. They
And so, I`d say that rank and file is very discouraged. That`s why
you`re seeing this big gender gap across the country. Unfortunately,
though, you know, we think of Ted Cruz as being an outlier, sort of some
lone wolf. But the truth is, he is lockstep, he is leading the Republican
Party. It`s incredible.
We talk about these antics to close down the government, which he took
part in, totally unsuccessfully, disrupting our economy, losing taxpayer
money and yet, the Republican Party, the Republicans in Congress voted
right along with him.
MADDOW: Do you see this could not become a litmus test issue for the
Republican Party in the future? Right now, there is no such thing as a
pro-choice Republican running for office at any sort of national level.
And I can`t imagine they will allow that to happen anytime soon. Can you
see any way to interrupt that process where pro-choice Republicans might be
able to gain any ground?
I know you`re saying it`s not happening already, but if you were
inventing a strategy for them and I bet you have been thinking about this,
how would you have them do it?
RICHARDS: Well, I absolutely think that moderates of the party have
to run for office and they have to challenge people in the primary. And,
unfortunately, maybe it is that they have to just lose so many successive
elections that they realize that you cannot be elected in the United States
of America and be against women. We`re 51 percent of the voters in this
country. And that`s why, you know, you mentioned the Wendy Davis situation
in Texas. Wendy Davis has now put Texas in play because there are men and
women in that state who simply will not vote for this kind of extreme
So, I wish there was a short and simple answer. We work with moderate
Republicans at Planned Parenthood every single day and hope that many of
them will decide to run for office and take their party back.
MADDOW: Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Action
Fund – Cecile, thanks very much for being with us tonight. Appreciate
RICHARDS: Good to see you, Rachel. Thanks.
MADDOW: You, too.
All right. The breathtaking week of Republican outreach to minority
voters in North Carolina was pretty breathtaking last night. It got like
100 times worse today.
Amazing, amazing news out of North Carolina, next.
MADDOW: This has been a hard week for the kickoff of the Republican
Party`s outreach efforts to African-Americans in the state of North
Carolina. Republican Party`s presidential candidate may have won North
Carolina overall in 2012, but that was no thanks to the black vote.
African-Americans in North Carolina voted 96 percent for President Obama.
That was up from the 95 percent of black voters who supported him in the
More than one in five residents of North Carolina is African-American.
The black voters in North Carolina have really not seen much to appeal to
them from the Republican Party.
This was a really unfortunate week to pick for Republicans to try to
change black voters minds. This was the week the Republican governor of
the state went to court to defend the Republicans` new law restricting
voting rights in the state. A law that have been called the worst voter
suppression law passed anywhere in the country since the Voting Rights Act
in 1965 banned things like literacy tests and poll taxes.
So, Republicans went to court to defend those laws the same day they
opened up their black outreach office in North Carolina. Two days later,
“The Daily Show” on Comedy Central talked to a local North Carolina
Republican official about that law and what it`s for.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DON YELTON: The bottom line is, the law is not racist.
REPORTER: Of course the law is not racist. And you are not racist.
YELTON: Well, I`ve been called a bigot before.
Let me tell you something. You don`t look like me, but I think I`ve
treated you the same as I would anybody else. As matter of fact, one of my
best friends is – black.
REPORTER: One of your best friends –
YELTON: One of my best friends.
REPORTER: Is black?
REPORTER: And there`s more.
YELTON: When I was a young man, you didn`t call a black a black, you
called him a Negro. I had a picture one time of Obama sitting on a stump
as a witch doctor and I posted that on Facebook.
I was making fun of my white half of Obama, not the black half. Now,
you have a black person using the term nigger this, nigger that, and it`s
OK for them to do it.
REPORTER: You know that we can hear you, right?
REPORTER: OK, you know that. You know that we can hear you?
Then, I found out the real reason for the law.
YELTON: The law is going to kick the Democrats in the butt.
REPORTER: Wow! An executive GOP committee member just admitted that
this law isn`t designed to hurt black people, it`s designed to hurt
YELTON: If it hurts a bunch of college kids that`s too lazy to get up
off their bohunkus and go get a photo ID, so be it.
REPORTER: Right, right.
YELTON: If it hurts the whites, so be it. If it hurts a bunch of
lazy blacks that wants the government to give them everything, so be it.
REPORTER: And it just so happens that a lot of those people vote
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: And this is the week the North Carolina Republican Party is
kicking their outreach to black voters.
Mr. Yelton resigned from the North Carolina Republican Party
leadership job that he has yesterday after “The Daily Show” segment ran and
everybody got upset with what he said.
But he told a reporter today that he stands by everything he said in
the interview. He said local Republicans have long complained they can`t
get enough media coverage and he has finally provided some, then started
using a N-word again to the reporter, telling the paper when an N-word can
use the word N-word, he said it again, and it not be considered racist,
that`s the utmost racism in the world.
Mr. Yelton has also been enjoying time today on North Carolina local
radio. Here he is on Asheville`s WWNC.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
YELTON: No, I don`t take back anything that I said. Would I do it
again? Yes, but what has happened is through this appearance on this show,
has confirmed some things for me. Number one, it`s confirmed that the
Democratic Party can`t take the truth. When I said it`s going to kick the
Democrats in the butt, this law about having the voter ID, I meant it. To
heck with it, I don`t want to be part of a group that is that mealy mouthed
and that gutless.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
MADDOW: So, the North Carolina Republican Party`s efforts this week,
to move black voters away from the Democratic Party – that turning out to
be great timing, already. Then today, we got this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STATE REP. LARRY PITTMAN (R), NORTH CAROLINA: I saw on Facebook
recently, that there was – someone had posted something with a picture of
Barack Obama and across it said traitor. And, you know, I don`t always
agree with the guy, I certainly didn`t vote for him. But I got to defend
on him on this one. I just don`t think it`s right at all to call Barack
Obama a traitor. There are a lot of things he`s done wrong, but he is not
a traitor, at least not as far as I can tell. I haven`t come across any
evidence yet that he has done one thing to harm Kenya.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: North Carolina Republican State Legislator Larry Pittman
speaking at a town hall in North Carolina this week. So, the worst voting
law since Jim Crow, the lazy black people N-word guy hits “The Daily Show”
and then tours the state media, making himself a star. The president is
Anything else North Carolina Republican Party, is there you want to do
this week to woo black voters to kick off your outreach efforts to the
black community? Got anything else up your sleeve?
Today, Republican North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory will honor the
late Jesse Helms, right, because why not? If North Carolina Republicans
are really going all out this week to try to make it seem like they`re
super-welcoming to black people, why not do an event honoring this guy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AD NARRATOR: You needed that job and you were the best qualified.
But they had to give it to a minority because of a racial quota. Is that
really fair? Harvey Gantt says it is. Gantt supports Ted Kennedy`s racial
quota law that makes a color of your skin more important than your
qualifications. You vote on this issue next Tuesday.
For racial quotas, Harvey Gantt. Against racial quotas, Jesse Helms.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: When Helms was in the Senate in 1993, he stepped into the
Senate members` elevator, along with the first African-American woman to
ever be elected to the U.S. Senate, Carol Moseley Braun. She was the only
black member of the Senate at that time. Senator Helms saw her standing in
the elevator, alongside Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, he walked up to Senator
Moseley Braun in the elevator and started to sing, “I wish I was in the
land of cotton.”
Quote, “And he looked at Senator Hatch and said, `I`m going to make
her cry. I`m going to sing `Dixie` until she cries.”
When Jessie Helms retired from the United States senate, David Broder
at “The Washington Post” wrote that he was, quote, “the last prominent
unabashed white racist politician in this country. What is unique about
Helms is his willingness to pick at the scab of the ground wound of
American history, the legacy of slavery and segregation and to inflame
racial resentment against African-Americans.”
When Jessie Helms finally died in 2008, his “L.A. Times” obituary
noted that unlike other symbols of segregation like Alabama`s Governor
George Wallace or South Carolina Senator Strum Thurmond, who eventually
recanted their opposition to racial integration, Jessie Helms held firm on
that, until his death.
And so, that`s who North Carolina Republican Governor Pat McCrory is
honoring tonight to put the capstone on the North Carolina Republican
Party`s efforts this week to win over the African-American vote.
Anybody else besides me afraid to see what they`re going to try next
MADDOW: We reported on this a couple of weeks ago, an unusual a large
oil spill that happened on a wheat farm near Tioga, North Dakota, in the
central part of that state. A farmer was out harvesting his wheat and
noticed the spill. That was in late September.
The pipeline company that ran the pipeline that was spilling told the
state that it appeared about 750 barrels of oil had been spilled. As the
cleanup started, state regulators said nothing to the public. More than a
week later, state regulators got a new estimate for this spill they had
been keeping quiet about. They had thought it was 750 barrels. It turns
out, it was more than 20,000 barrels plus and that`s when they finally at
least told the state`s governor, more than a week into the clean up. But
even after that, nobody told the public what was happening, until a
reporter from the associated press started asks about it.
Left with our own devices, who knows when officials in North Dakota
would have said anything about the big, big oil spill if ever. Quoting the
lead state official, quote, it`s on a top of a low heel in the middle of a
wheat field and in an area with no residents at all. The public has a
right to know, but do I have a responsibility to run out and tell the
public every time there`s a spill that`s not going to threaten them or the
environment, that the company is aggressively cleaning up?
That was yesterday. Today, North Dakotans got more news about what
they do not know. It turns out that in the midst of their state`s headlong
oil boom, there have been hundreds of oil spills reported to the
government, but never revealed to the public.
According to these new documents obtained by “The A.P.”, North Dakota
logged 291 oil spills this year alone that the public was not informed of.
Since January 2012, North Dakota regulators have recorded more than 700 oil
field incidents. Again, none of them publicly reported.
And here`s the thing. The oil and gas industry in North Dakota just
closed a $25 billion year the part of the state economy involving pipelines
is worth more than twice the crops and livestock part of the economy.
The part of the economy and land that includes the wheat fields where
those pipelines sometimes spring their giant leaks.
North Dakota runs on oil and gas these days. The question is to what
extent oil and gas runs North Dakota governments.
Joining us now is Don Morrison. He`s executive director of the Dakota
Research Council, which is a group of more than 700 conservation-minded
landowners in North Dakota.
Mr. Morrison, thanks very much for being with us.
DON MORRISON, DAKOTA RESEARCH COUNCIL: Good to be here, Rachel.
Thanks for having me on your show.
MADDOW: Sure. Well, I got to ask if you were surprised by the number
of oil spills in your state as described today by “The A.P.” To me, it was
a surprisingly large number.
MORRISON: Well, I think from what we`ve been hearing from farmers,
ranchers, and small business folks out in western North Dakota, 300, not
surprised. But, really, it`s not good news. But it`s a large number.
MADDOW: Why do you think there hasn`t been more notice given to the
public when those spills happen? I mean, part of it is that the spills are
happening. The other part is that the public isn`t being told. Why do you
think that is or what`s your reaction to that at least?
MORRISON: Well, I think if I could go back, this is normal operating
procedure I think for the current North Dakota state government. We have
farmers, ranchers, small business owners, workers, Native Americans, and
folks who have been calling North Dakota state government agencies, whether
it`s the Health Department or other agencies, industrial commission, on
difficulties and problems they`ve had with pipeline sighting, well pads and
dust and roads and different kinds of difficulties, water contamination.
And for a while there, the state government didn`t respond very
quickly, or very fast. But we, the Dakota Resource Council, the
organization that I`m with, we started shining the light of the public on
what was going on. So, now, what happens, Rachel, is that some of these
things are reported and calls are going to the state government, they`ll
send somebody out. Then, they`ll go talk to the oil companies and they`ll
come back to the landowner, a person, or North Dakotan, and they`ll go –
well, the oil company said there` no problem and shrug their shoulders, and
go, so there`s no problem.
And I think it is – North Dakota state government, the current
government, is so intent on making sure that the oil companies and the oil
industry in North Dakota, that that`s their constituency.
MADDOW: How is that changed over time? Are you saying that the North
Dakota government used to be more responsive, if not ideally responsive,
when you complained? But as the oil boom has gone on in North Dakota, the
government has gotten more and more differential to the industry?
MORRISON: Yes and I think at the end, I – thank you for asking your
question that way. It really is, this isn`t the first oil boom or energy
boom or coal boom that North Dakota has had. In past booms, North Dakota
state government and the people of the state have reacted very differently.
Dakota Research Council formed in the late 1970s when there was coal strip
mining. And we have – because of the efforts of a different kind of
government and the Dakota Resource Council, we have one of the strongest
and toughest coal mining, strip mining reclamation laws in the country.
So, this really is a different way. North Dakotans weren`t expecting
that their state government would leave them out of this equation.
MADDOW: Don Morrison, executive director of the Dakota Research
Council –thank you very much for talking to us tonight, sir. Please stay
in touch. Appreciate it. We`ll be right back.
MORRISON: Good to be with you.
MADDOW: We`ll be right back. Thanks.
MADDOW: This is Alan Greenspan. When Mr. Greenspan was appointed
chairman of the Federal Reserve by President Reagan, he had already chaired
the president`s council of economic advisors for three years.
This is Ben Bernanke. Before he got appointed chairman of the Federal
Reserve, he held that same job Alan Greenspan had, but he`d only held it
for about six months. He also had been on the board at the Federal
This is Paul Volcker, who preceded both of them as chairman of the
Federal Reserve. Before Mr. Volcker got nominated for that job, he had
also run the New York Fed and he had worked at the Treasury Department.
So, that`s the history of the last three guys. Can we put that up
Chronologically, the first guy, he worked at the Treasury and at the
New York Fed. Second guy had chaired the president`s economic advisers.
The third had shared the president`s economic advisers and was on the board
of the Fed. So, that`s the experience of the three guys who have done this
Now, here is the person who President Obama has just nominated to do
it next. And she`s not a guy – Janet Yellen, who would be the first woman
to chair the Federal Reserve ever.
On paper at least, she is more qualified for the job than anyone in
modern history. Yes, Paul Volcker ran the New York Fed for four years.
She ran the San Francisco Fed for six years.
Greenspan and Bernanke both ran the president`s economic advisors.
Yes, she did that, too, for two years. Also, she did three years on the
Fed Board of Governors, and she`s vice chair there now as well and she also
worked at the Fed as an economist back in the day.
The day before Janet Yellen was announced as President Obama`s nominee
to be the next Fed chair, “The Washington Post`s” economic policy blog
called her perhaps the most qualified fed chair in history. Yes, she
predicted the financial crisis when other people were pooh-poohing it and
yes, she would be the first woman ever at the Fed, but brass tacks, ignore
all of that, she is more qualified for the job than any of the men who have
gone before her in modern times.
So, naturally, Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky today said
that he would put a hold on her nomination next week. Senator Paul has
just released this new weird audio message that has videos titles saying
that his fight to stop Janet Yellen will be the fight of our lives.
Everybody needs to join this fight against the most qualified person to
ever be nominated for that job.
That said, he pledged to block the Janet Yellen nomination is only
start. The other thing they just said they are going to block has got to
be some kind of special Halloween treat or something or trick, yes, I don`t
know. But in any case, that is amazing. And that story is next.
MADDOW: Republicans say that if you only know one thing about what
the party stands for, you should know that Republicans stand for smaller
government. One of the most awkward things about that is how much
government has actually grown whenever Republicans are in charge of it,
from President Ronald Reagan, to President George H.W. Bush, to President
George W. Bush.
When they were in charge, government grew a lot. Now, it also grew
under Clinton, but what`s awkward now is that under President Obama, the
socialist-communist-Marxist-big-government-bogeyman, during his time in
office, government has actually shrunk. The size of the government right
now, about 2.7 million employees is the lowest it`s been since 1966.
Government under President Obama is shrinking. Under Republican presidents
like George W. Bush, government grew.
One of the ways the government grew under President George W. Bush is
that after 9/11, Republicans supported a plan to combine 22 agencies into
one new giant mega federal agency, smaller only than the V.A. and Defense
Department. It was and remains the mammoth Department of Homeland
Security. Because it has the word “homeland” in its name, it is also the
creepiest named government of all.
The Department of Homeland Security hasn`t been around that long.
It`s only had three leaders since it officially opened for business in
The nominee to be the fourth ever leader of this agency is now Jeh
Johnson. He was the top lawyer for the Defense Department in President
Obama`s first term. President Obama has nominated Mr. Johnson and now, he
must be approved by the Senate.
And in the Senate, guess what the objections are? Republican Senators
John Cornyn of Texas and Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III of Alabama,
they`ve decided to raise the alarm about Jeh Johnson as a nominee for
Homeland Security because Jeh Johnson donated money to Democratic
candidates in the past, including to President Obama. Senator Sessions
said about those donation, quote, “this is deeply concerning.” Senator
Cornyn included Mr. Johnson`s political donations as among his grave
concerns about this nomination.
I mentioned before that there have been only been three total leaders
of this agency the whole time it has existed. Two of those three were
nominated by President George W. Bush and then confirmed by the Senate.
One of them, former Pennsylvania governor, Tom Ridge. He raised and
bundled over a quarter million dollars for President George W. Bush, who
then nominated him for Homeland Security secretary.
The second one, Michael Chertoff, also gave thousand of dollars in
direct donations to Republicans, including to George W. Bush, who then
nominated him for Homeland Security secretary. When each was nominated to
run the Homeland Security Agency, Senators John Cornyn and Jeff Sessions,
were in the Senate, they raised no objections to the political donations
from either candidates. Both senators voted to confirm both nominees
without a peep.
Now though they profess to be outraged that Jeh Johnson has done the
same thing that guys did. It bothers them. It is deeply concerning them
to when a Democrat does it. But when a Republican does it, oh, that was
It`s OK if you`re a Republican. It is the single most consistent
principle in Congress today. That said, if this is the best they could
come up with, if this is the quality of the opposition to Jeh Johnson`s
nomination, I think it is safe to say this is pretty much a done deal.
But watch this space.
MADDOW: It is a rule in American politics whatever party the
president is in, the other party tends to do better in the midterm
elections. So say it`s 1970, before Watergate. The president was
obviously a Republican, Richard Nixon. And in the midterm elections that
year, 1970, the president`s party, the Republican Party, got crushed.
Democrats took 12 seats from Republicans in the House that year.
Republicans also lost a ton of governorships in 1970. GOP is set back in
major states. It`s just a bad year for the Republicans that year.
But into every rain storm, a little sun must shine. So, even in that
bad year for Republicans, they did have some bright spots. Por ejemplo,
that year, 1970, a gentleman named Bill Young was first elected to the
House of Representatives from Florida. Although he did not know it at the
time, Bill Young would go on to hold that seat in Florida for 42 years.
Congressman Bill Young, first elected in 1970, he went on to become
the longest continually serving Republican member of Congress ever in the
history of the country. He was serving in his 22nd term when he died last
Friday at the age of 82.
This week, thousand of people gathered in Largo, Florida, for
Congressman Bill Young`s funeral. The House canceled their scheduled
business yesterday afternoon in honor of Congressman Young`s funeral, so
members who wanted to attend could do so. And more than 100 members of
Congress did attend the funeral. They all flee down to Florida.
And no disrespect to Congressman Young, some members of the House said
they were ticked off that House business got canceled for the funeral. And
they were mad specifically that John Boehner arranged military transport
for the members of Congress who wanted to fly down for it. They flew down
there in big C-32 and C-40 planes that were flown by the Air Force.
But even though some conservatives said they were mad about it, more
than 100 members of Congress did fly done to Florida to pay their respects.
And as such this was all right most a variety of a state funeral.
One of the more interesting things about Bill Young`s long time in
Congress is that he was a huge supporter of the military, and specifically
of increased military spending. He was on the appropriations committee.
From that influential position in Congress, in recent years, Congressman
Bill Young was one of the most outspoken and avowed supporters of the war
in Afghanistan. For the first 11 years of that war, he was very much in
favor of it.
And that made it a huge deal when Congressman Bill Young told “The
Tampa Bay Times” last year that he thought it was now time for that war to
end. The congressman told “The Times” editorial board, I think we should
remove ourselves from Afghanistan as quickly as we can.
The congressman said he was moved to the position in part by a young
staff sergeant from his district who had written to him from Afghanistan
about the conditions of combat there. And then shortly after he wrote off
to the congressman, he was killed in Afghanistan by an IED. Staff Sergeant
Matthew Sitton was 26 years old when he died. He left behind his wife and
their 9-year-old son.
Congressman Young told “The Times” about his communication with
Sergeant Sitton before he died and then he told the paper, quote, “I just
think we are killing kids that don`t need how to die.” And he turned
against the war.
So, rest in peace, Congressman Bill Young, the longest serving
Republican in Congress. Rest in peace.
And now, because Congressman Young was a congressman from Florida this
is the part where the story has to take a weird turn now. I am sorry, you
can blame Florida.
Shortly after Congressman Bill Young died, his widow started sending
letters to a list of people who she wanted to make sure did not show their
faces at her husband`s funeral. So, dear Charlie Crist, quoting Mrs.
Young`s e-mail – “Charlie, this e-mail is to officially advise you that
your presence at my husband`s memorial service will be unacceptable. I
have watched over the years as Bill had your transparent attempts to
manipulate the political arena. I don`t want my husband`s memorial service
to be another opportunity for that. I will not tolerate anyone turning
this into a platform for political gain.” And then she signed it,
She also said similar “I`ve see your face around here” warnings to two
of the congressman`s former Democratic opponents, people who had run
against him unsuccessfully in his district. So, yes, that happened.
When it comes to the congressman`s now vacant seat in the House
though, here is where things get even more Florida. Local press reports
indicate that among those considering running to replace Bill Young in
Congress, is the congressman`s younger brother. Now, that`s not all that
strange, but it will be an awkward Thanksgiving this year if Congressman
Young`s son also tries to run for the seat. So that would be uncle versus
nephew, or depending on how you look at it, brother versus son.
And if you think that`s awkward, consider also that Bill Young`s wife,
his widow of the “don`t show your face” at the funeral emails, she is also
reportedly considering running for the seat. Congressman`s brother, son,
and congressman`s wife are all trying to get his seat. So, the
congressman`s brother, the congressman`s son, and the congressman`s wife
are all trying to get his seat against each other, leading “The Tampa Bay
Times” to suggest that just as a matter of common decency, perhaps before
anybody hold a Democratic primary or Republican primary for that now open
seat in Florida`s Eight District, perhaps we should first have a primary
just for members of Bill Young`s immediate family, just to be courteous.
Leave it to Florida to turn a stately and somber affair into a story
this – eh, and awkward. Florida if you did not exist, some creep would
invent you. I swear.
That does it for us tonight. Thank you for being with us.
Now, it`s time for “UP LATE WITH ALEC BALDWIN.”
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