The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 09/19/14
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Chris. Thanks, madam. And
thanks to you at home for returning to us this hour. So the political
process in one U.S. state today fell completely apart. And while all
states are equally important at some level right now, this is a
particularly important state and their Democratic process today just went
Ker splat. In an unexpected way. I mean we have been following the story
for a few days, actually I guess for a couple of weeks now. As the story
has been getting stranger and stranger, but today, truly, it went off the
rails in a way that nobody saw coming. OK, here`s the stage for what
happened. His name is Kris Kobach. He`s the secretary of state in Kansas.
He is the top elections official in that state. But he`s also a national
figure. He`s trying to make himself basically the national model of a
national evangelist for how conservative Republicans should run elections.
Kris Kobach has been marketing this program to states around the country.
It`s called the interstate cross check program. The idea is to have as
many states as possible dump all of their voting records into this giant
pool and then everybody sorts through those records, looking for any
nefarious Americans who might be registered to vote in two places at once.
Since Kris Kobach started coaxing other states into this project, that he
started, it`s grown to include more than 20 states, a hundred million
voters are now voting under Kris Kobach`s intertstate cross check program,
even though the program guide itself warns about a “significant number of
false positives.” False positives for this Kris Kobach program makes it
look like people are committing voter fraud when actually, they`re doing no
such thing. Kris Kobach has also been national evangelist for making
voters hand over new kinds of documentation as a condition of being - being
allowed to vote. Documentation they`ve never had to show before. He has
evangelized voter I.D. laws for everyone. For states all across the
country. In Kansas, where he is in charge, he`s pushed the whole voter id
thing even further. He`s ended up in court defending Kansas` new law which
didn`t just make you have to prove your identity with an I.D. card. It
made you have to prove your citizenship. How would you prove your
citizenship? Do you know where your birth certificate is right now? Could
you put your hands on it? That`s the kind of thing that Kris Kobach wants
to see or as far as he can tell, you`re not a citizen and you`re not voting
Kris Kobach made these new voting rules that were so strict in Kansas, they
have to have a whole second parallel set of rules for voting in Kansas
state elections and voting in federal elections. I mean, if you can`t meet
this new requirement being pushed by Kris Kobach in Kansas, then, in all
likelihood, you can still vote for president and for Congress, because
those are federal elections. But you can`t vote in your local races. You
can`t vote for governor or mayor or secretary of state. Kris Kobach just
doesn`t trust you to vote under Kansas law. Even if in the rest of the
country you are recognized as a legal voter. So Kansas has created two
separate classes of voting. We haven`t seen much of this in this country
since they used two-tiered voting systems in the Jim Crow south to keep
African Americans from voting. And we tried to get rid of two tiered
voting system in this country generations ago. But Kansas has brought it
back. And is voting that way again in 2014 because if you ask Kris Kobach,
some Kansas voters are really only half qualified to vote.
17 percent of the people who had otherwise lawfully registered to vote in
Kansas since that law took it back last year, were not allowed to vote this
year. They went through the trouble of registering, but Kris Kobach said
you`re not registered enough. Yeah, that might be good enough for you to
vote in other elections, but not here. That is the system that was
championed by Kris Kobach in Kansas.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KRIS KOBACH, (R) KANSAS SECRETARY OF STATE: So those people haven`t
completed their registration yet. And they can complete it tomorrow and
vote tomorrow if they want to. Nobody has been denied any rights
(INAUDIBLE) finished yet. And by the way, 72 percent of the people who
have registered to vote since January 1, 2013, have completed their
application. And have set and proven the citizenship. So those are the 28
percent procrastinators. And I procrastinate sometimes too. I`d probably
be one if I had - if I were registering to vote.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Listen, 72 percent of people trying to register to vote are
getting there eventually. But the rest, procrastinators. 19,000 Kansans
have registered to vote in a way that would work to vote in any other state
and would work for them to vote in a federal election, but not in Kansas.
Not under Kris Kobach. Kris Kobach is a national conservative icon on this
stuff. He is there crusader. On this stuff, not just for Kansas, but for
states around the country. He is the national poster boy for stopping any
shenanigans in voting even if nobody`s quiet sure what these supposed
shenanigans actually are and if - the cost of stopping these shenanigans is
actually stopping thousands of people from voting in Kansas who legally
ought to be able to vote under - would be able to vote under any regime
other than his. You`ve got to stop the shenanigans. So, that`s who Kris
Kobach is. That`s the stage here. And today, Kris Kobach is reaping the
whirlwind. What is happening with him right now in the election in his
state, it`s, like, the fact that it`s happening to him – it`s like – when
a family values politician like gets caught in bed with a goat or something
and it turns out it`s a boy goat? Like really? It happened to this guy?
Yesterday, Secretary of State Kris Kobach lost a ruling in the state
supreme court in Kansas. Kris Kobach had been trying to force a Democrat
to remain on the ballot for the U.S. Senate race in Kansas this year. The
Democratic candidate had tried to quit the race, but Mr. Kobach was
refusing to let him quit the race. And the race we`re talking about here,
of course, is the Senate seat - the race for the Senate seat now held by
Republican incumbent Senator Pat Roberts. This race has arguable become
the most important Senate race in the country as the Republican Party tries
to take over the Senate and they do not want to have to defend what ought
to be safe seats in deep red places like Kansas. But Senator Roberts is in
real trouble especially if the Democrat in the race drops out, as he wants
to. Because that leaves the unpopular Pat Roberts trailing a popular and
well-funded independent candidate. And in a two-way race between these two
guys, I mean everybody in Kansas understands the dynamic here. Pat Roberts
has a much harder time keeping his seat in the Senate. If the Democrat
drops out, so that vote is no longer split three ways. Head-to-head, the
independent guy looks like he beats him and beats him handily.
And national Republicans would have a much harder time winning the six
seats they are desperate to win in order to flip control of the U.S. Senate
from blue to red, if that happens. I mean, all states are important. But
this Kansas race is important like that. I mean, it`s the whole country,
right? So Kris Kobach, this is his moment. And as the chief elections
official in Kansas, he has tried to force the Democrat to stay in the race.
Yesterday, the Kansas Supreme Court ordered him that he needed to take the
Democrat`s name off the ballot. The court ruled unanimously, all the
Democratic appointed judges and the Republican appointed judges, it was
unanimous. Kris Kobach kicked the guy`s name off the ballot. So Kris
Kobach lost that court fight yesterday. And after he lost the fight, he
went back to try and to make this a three-way race anyway. He announced
that he`d given the Democrats eight days to pick a new candidate to put on
the ballot. Kris Kobach also said he was pushing back the deadline in
order to allow time for that to happen. He was pushing back the deadline
that had been put on him because there`s a certain date by which he`d have
to send out overseas military ballots. He said he was going to push that
deadline back to September 27.
Now, it`s important to know here that the Democratic Party says Kris Kobach
can`t order them to do anything. They don`t want to put anybody on the
ballot. They like the independent guy running against Pat Roberts. That`s
why their candidate drops out. The Democrats are not going to rush to fill
that ballot line on Kris Kobach`s say so.
But it`s also important to know what Kris Kobach told the court before they
ruled against him. He told them, officially, that as secretary of state,
he was up against a hard deadline of tomorrow. Saturday, September 20, to
get those ballots out to the National Guardsmen and women. And other
Kansas troops serving overseas. He told them already that`s the deadline.
That`s a hard deadline and there`s a reason he said that, because that is
actually federal law with a deadline of tomorrow to get those ballots sent
out. Well, the Associated Press reported yesterday in Kansas that the
Justice Department had agreed to give Mr. Kobach a one-week extension on
that deadline. I don`t know why the AP reported that. Today, the Justice
Department said we don`t know what you`re talking about. There`s no waiver
for Kansas. Kris Kobach hasn`t got any waiver for us. There`s no
extension here. That`s the law. We haven`t been asked to extend it. We
are not extending it. This is new stuff. So now, the Kansas secretary of
state has changed his mind again.
Late today, Kris Kobach said OK. Fine. I will send those ballots out
tomorrow. I will meet that deadline because, you know, it is the law. But
Kris Kobach is still trying to pull more rabbits out of his hat. He`s not
going to send just the ballot that show Pat Roberts running against the
Independent guy and no Democrat. He is not going to just send that out,
because that makes him too uncomfortable. It`s - said, he`s invented a new
way of electioneering. This particular Senate race, he`s going to send the
ballots, but he`s also going to send a disclaimer with them. A disclaimer.
Like an asterisk? A disclaimer on a federal ballot. Kansas, I could not
love you more. Seriously, are you trying to get away with this? I thought
I couldn`t love them more. But then we actually got a copy today of the
disclaimer. We got the letter/disclaimer that Mr. No Shenanigans Secretary
of State Kris Kobach is about to send out with the ballot in this race and
it is fantastic. Ready? Quote. “To Kansas voters”, excuse me, “to Kansas
voters receiving ballots pursuing to the uniform Absentee Voting Act.
Accompanying this letter, your - for the general election to be held on
November 4, 2014. As you may be aware, case is pending before the Kansas
Supreme Court concerning the Democratic nomination for the office of United
States Senator. It is possible that as a result of that litigation the
court may order that a replacement ballot be sent to you, which contains
the name of the Democratic nominee for the office of United States Senator.
Regardless of what the court decides, we`ll be sending you a subsequent
letter once the case is decided. To further inform you about this ballot.
You may vote using the ballot accompanying this letter as soon as you
receive it, or you may wait to vote until you`ve received further
notification from us. To ensure that your vote is counted, though, you
ballot must be received by November 4, 2014, unless a letter dubbed minus
communicated in our subsequent correspondence to you. If a replacement
ballot was sent to you, and you have already returned the ballot that
accompanied this letter, only your replacement ballot will be counted.”
Literally, what I just read to you, without any - that`s what they`re
sending. That`s the clear instructions they`re sending. That`s what they
want the ballot to be. That`s what they want one of the ballots to be. Of
the couple of different kinds of ballots they`re going to have people
voting onto vote for Senate in Kansas and the two different kinds of
ballots might have different lists of candidates on them. And you`re
supposed to interpret that when you get that. You`re, like, serving in
Germany. You`re in the National Guard when you get this with your ballot.
And like what exactly are you supposed to do? I mean if you vote with the
ballot that Kris Kobach send you, puts in the mail to you tomorrow, with
this disclaimer sent along with it, right? If you vote that ballot, and
then Kris Kobach sends you a second ballot, which of your ballots is going
to throw out? Is it going to throw out the first ballot that you sent?
Because he mailed you another one? What if you didn`t actually use the
other one that he sent to you? I mean what if you like the way you`re going
to vote when you see the one list of candidates, but then when he sends you
a different ballot with a different list of candidates on it later, you,
like, maybe want to change your vote because you like that different list
of candidates better. Which ballot are they going to count? And how are
they going to know which one to count? And how are you going to know which
one they did count, or if they counted it? Do you send back the
disclaimer? Do you need to initial every line? No shenanigans. We also
learned today that Kris Kobach says he is negotiating with the Justice
Department to now try to move the date of the entire election. The
election. You know, the Election Day this year, in November 4TH, check
your calendar. It`s pre-printed in there. It`s kind of a federally set
thing. Not for Kansas. Kris Kobach wants the election in Kansas to,
instead, be November 12th. No shenanigans.
Kris Kobach was already amazing to watch when he was just trying to force
the Democrat to stay on the ballot. And then he ordered to the Democratic
Party that they must choose a new candidate. And then they said they would
not and then he changed the date for sending out the military ballots
despite the law, and then he changed the date back again and now he wants
to send one ballot now with a disclaimer and then he wants to send a
replacement ballot that he says is the only one he will count and not the
one he`s sending now with the disclaimer. And all of this from the man
who`s been lecturing America on how to run your elections right. Bring
your I.D.s. Prove your citizenship. You want to vote? Jump through
flaming hoops with Chihuahuas. This is Kansas. I`m Mr. No Shenanigans.
Cut the shenanigans, even if that costs 18,000 registered voters from
voting, they`re procrastinators and I`m Kris Kobach. Oh, and maybe this
year, we`ll delay the election a week. Just for Kansas. This story has
been getting more fascinating with every passing day. But, today, it went
completely nuts. I`ll be right back.
MADDOW: Let`s say you live in beautiful, rural North Carolina. You live
in a place so beautiful it`s literally called Eden. And, yes,
unfortunately, there was a giant toxic coal ash spill in your river when a
Duke Energy toxic coal lash lagoon burst its banks and flooded your local
river in Eden this past year, but still, it is a lovely part of the state
and a lovely part of the country. If you live in that part of rural North
Carolina, your congressman, forever, has been this guy, Howard Coble. He`s
been a congressman there for 30 years. He`s finally retiring now, but the
political prognosticators say, there`s no real race for his seat. There`s
no chance that a Democrat will capture that seat, that rural district in
northern North Carolina is rated safe Republican, solid Republican. So,
whoever wins, the Republican primary is the Republican nomination is
expected to have a lock on that seat.
So, imagine you are from there. Now, imagine that you are a Muslim. I
don`t know how many Muslims live in that Congressional district, the North
Carolina, there are 2 or 3 million people who are Muslim in the United
States. Statistically, the odds are some of them are in North Carolina and
some of them are probably even in that district. But imagine you are
Muslim and that is the Congressional district where you live and you have
just learned that this guy is about to be your Congressman.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK WALKER (R) NORTH CAROLINA CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: I`ve read the
Koran, as a minister, I have a copy of that. And if you hold the Koran,
every one of you people who are not Islam in belief, you`re infidel. Do
you know what infidel is? They have every right to kill you. And I would -
I would - I respect George W. Bush and some of the things he did, but I
would beg to differ that Islam is a religion of peace. Because you can`t
have a religion of peace where you get nearly a billion people chopping off
heads all over the country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: A billion people chopping off heads all over the country. That`s
what being Muslim is. Meet Mark Walker. He won the Republican nomination
for Howard Coble seat in North Carolina this year. This video is from his
speaking earlier this summer, the website “Daily” hosted it today and it
started to get some attention in the North Carolina press. Not so much for
him saying that Islam is a billion people who all want to murder you. A
billion people chopping off heads. That`s getting less attention then what
he goes onto say in the same event about wanting the United States to
declare war on Mexico. And not just any kind of war, but laser war.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`ve got other people, other countries. Why can`t we
guard our own?
WALKER: My first answer to that would be to utilize the National Guard as
much as we can. But I will tell you, if you have foreigners who were
sneaking in with drug cartels, to me, that is a national threat. And if
we`ve got to go laser blitz somebody with a couple of fighter jet to make a
point, I don`t have a problem with that, either. So, you know.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I hope you wouldn`t have any qualms about stopping up a
little war with Mexico?
WALKER: Well, we did it before. If we need to do it again, I don`t have a
qualm with that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Why would I have a qualm with that? Laser`m. Laser`m. Boom.
He`s probably going to Congress this year.
I mean do you think the House Republicans are going to put him on the
foreign relations committee? Maybe the science committee? Laser`m.
It`s been a long time since foreign relations was a strong suit in the
United States Congress. Or since having even like a third grade level
grasp of the subject was a prerequisite for anybody wanting to try to join
that aghast body. And yes, maybe the Democrat in that race whose name is
Laura Fjeld, maybe she will beat Mark Walker because he apparently believes
that every Muslim on the earth is a murderer or he is trying to kill you.
And he wants to start up laser war with Mexico. Maybe she will beat him,
but the demographics of that district suggests that she will not and he is
on his way to Congress.
Today, President Obama signed legislation that passed the House and the
Senate this week, which funds the government through mid-December and also
approves the expanded training program for Syrian rebel groups. Now,
there`s no money attached to that authorization. Congress is not actually
voting to pay for anything and the authorization only goes for a few weeks
until mid-December. So, it`s not like this is exactly landmark
legislation. Also, the CIA is already doing this arming and in training of
the rebels anyway. What they approved is just a non-secret version of
something they`re already doing. Today, the Pentagon announced two more
U.S. airstrikes against ISIS targets inside Iraq. And they also announced
that the first airstrike was completed by somebody other than the U.S.
military. A French military jet today also completed an airstrike against
an ISIS logistics depot, somewhere in northeastern Iraq. So, this is now
officially a joint U.S. -French air war in Iraq. A joint U.S. French air
war in Iraq that Congress has never weighed in on, declared, approved or
even debated. But we are now partners in this air war with France, which
does raise one small point of potential awkwardness. Because the terms we
use to describe that war are very different. I mean when we talk about who
it is that we are fighting against in Iraq and soon-to-be Syria, it`s been
confusing enough just over here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: In this case, a strategy to
degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: To degrade and
ultimately destroy the terrorists group known as ISIL.
MARTIN DEMPSEY: ISIS will only truly be defeated when it`s rejected.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: ISIL, ISIL, ISIS, ISIS, the Islamic State, IS, we use them all.
But, in France, our new partner in our air war, that we haven`t declared,
in France, they do not call them any of those things. And that`s not just
because French is a different language than English. In France, this is
what they called them.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FRANCOIS HOLLANDE, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE (speaking French)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Qui s`appele Dash. Is that the French pronunciation of ISIS? Or
ISIL? Not at all. Dash is essentially an Arabic acronym for ISIS. That`s
used by some of the Arabic states in the region. The Saudis call them
that, Lebanon calls them that, some of the rebels who hate ISIS in Syria
call them that. The Syrian government calls them that. One of the great
advantages to calling them that is that they apparently really hate it.
The ISIS guys really hate it. Dash is just an acronym for their name.
Theoretically, it shouldn`t bother them, but, apparently, it sounds similar
to an Arabic word that means to tremble upon, which implies something to do
with feet. And when you`re talking about feet and shoes that is not a nice
thing to say about anybody in Arabic. So, because it bothers them, that is
what the French call them. Dash. Or Daash (ph). And it apparently makes
ISIS or whatever you want to call them, it makes those guys really mad.
Really annoyed. And that is good in its own right. Does it unsettle you?
How about if I say it louder? But even though the French have made that
choice, in our system of government, it is hard to imagine our members of
Congress in particular being able to grasp the importance of a culturally
sensitive nuance like that. Laser blitz`m.
MADDOW: But as our Congress goes home now until mid-November, until after
the elections, what is likely to happen now in the war effort that is
proceeding without any Democratic debate in our country at all? While
Congress is out, are we about to start bombing ISIS not just in Iraq, but
in Syria, too. Does the administration feel constrained in anyway in terms
of what they can do given that Congress has not weighed in in any
substantive way at all and they`ve just gone away for another two months.
And is the fact that the U.S. is now operating within a 40 nation
coalition, that President Obama explained last night, is that either
constraining to what the U.S. would otherwise be doing if they were acting
purely alone? Or is that coalition driving the U.S. in any particular
direction? Is the course here set? Joining us now is Anne Gearan. She is
diplomatic correspondent for “The Washington Post. ” Miss Gearan, thank
you very much for being here.
ANNE GEARAN, WASHINGTON POST: Thank you.
MADDOW: I will not ask you about the laser war stuff.
GEARAN: Oh, darn.
MADDOW: Unless you want to go there.
Congress has not weighed in substantively on the U.S. war in Iraq and
Syria. Therefore, it is a sort of diplomatic measure in terms of how the
U.S. is deciding how to proceed. Do you - do you know enough from your
reporting in terms of what the U.S. is planning on doing moving ahead?
GEARAN: Well, certainly, what happened in Congress over the last week was
remarkable. There was a really sort of a crisis of conscience among both
Democrats and Republicans about what to do on this really minor funding and
MADDOW: A few weeks to make unsecret something we`re already doing.
MADDOW: With no money.
GEARAN: Right. Because they are all looking ahead to what happens next.
Which is when after the midterms, they will actually have to reckon with
whether this is a war effort that the United States Congress wants to get
behind. And that`s a big deal. And so you have a – you have a real issue
of Democrats who want to support the president on many other issues, really
not wanting to go all that far to support him on this. You had Republicans
who would ordinarily be going yeah, let`s go after him, not wanting to give
the president something that he`s asking for. And then you have the
noninterventionist Republican wing saying, wait a minute, we don`t really
want to go start being the world`s policeman. And all of those things are
going to come to bear after the midterms when Congress really does actually
have to be reckon with what will be an antiwar president asking for a war
MADDOW: If they go there.
MADDOW: It seems like - it seems like if they`re going to go there. I
sort of felt like they were starting to get embarrassed enough about having
not gone there that they might have tried to do something before they left.
I got all excited when the House came back a day early from their long
weekend, this past weekend. But now they are gone forever.
GEARAN: Well, and this is a fig leaf. I mean the idea that you can do it
under the 2001/2002 authorization in military force for - in Iraq. No one
really thinks that that`s a viable war authorization going forward.
MADDOW: But the administration is saying that in order to say they have a
legal basis for going forward. They don`t really believe that that`s a
GEARAN: It`s a placeholder until after they get passed the election.
MADDOW: In terms of the U.S. and its relationships with its allies. And
now there`s this very important alliance with France, which is not just a
paper alliance they are actually showing up and drop the bombs .
GEARAN: Right. They`re shooting things.
MADDOW: They`re shooting things. Are the U.S. negotiations in discussions
with other countries about things like this at all constrained by the fact
that we haven`t done anything about it properly in our own democracy at
home? The other country scared that Congress doesn`t said anything?
GEARAN: Well, Britain does. Right? I mean they have this very problem
last year when – right, exactly. Parliament would not get behind David
Cameron and all of the sudden, had to go oh, wait, not so fast. I guess
they won`t be doing that with you. So, yes, parliamentary democracies
completely understand the president`s predicament. Not so much when you
get to the authoritarian regimes, which are our partners in this very
effort. Right, I mean in Saudi Arabia last week, just like ponied up 500
million bucks. They can just do that, and give it to the U.N., and it -
they don`t have to have a Congress to say yes or no on it. So, it`s a very
different set of circumstances for them. And, yeah, they do kind of wonder
whether the United States can deliver on everything that it says it
promises when the president goes out and says X or Y is going to happen and
he can`t totally 100 percent guarantee that Congress is going to back him
MADDOW: And that`s putting it a very small point. The absolute defining
feature of his presidency on anything. I think if the president decides
that bombing raids are going to start in Syria while Congress is on
vacation, it`s going to be a critical moment in terms of .
GEARAN: Yeah, there .
MADDOW: Anne Gearan, diplomatic correspondent for “The Washington Post.”
GEARAN: Thank you.
MADDOW: Thank you.
GEARAN: All right, much more ahead tonight including more breaking news at
the end of a very busy news week and a cocktail moment tonight. Please
stay with us. We`ll be right back.
MADDOW: One sign that things are going badly for you, is when you find
yourself having the impulse that you should create your own Internet.
Another sign of things going badly is scrambled U.S. Fighter jets. And
both of those things happen to the same guy tonight. And that`s ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If any of these victims had been someone you loved?
Would you be satisfied with the way the league has handled this crisis?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why do you feel like you should be able to - contain
you in this role?
MADDOW: Roger, you`ve had pretty extreme unilateral power and deciding
discipline, but as you`ve said a few times, you`ve got it wrong in a few
cases, and that tends to happen when there`s no checks and balances. How
willing are you to give up some of that power?
ROGER GOODELL: Well, Rachel, as I said in my statement, everything is on
MADDOW: So, you`ve mentioned on TV last week that you guys checked and
tried to get the Ray Rice video. And any information. The Atlantic City
prosecutor`s office in an open records check says they don`t have any
electronic communication from the NFL asking for those kinds of
documentation or the video.
GOODELL: There are security department works with law enforcement. They
are fully cooperative. We gather almost entirely all of our information
through law enforcement. And that`s something else we`re going to look at,
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE)
GOODELL: Oh, we asked for it on several occasions. According to our
security department, we went through it, we asked for it on several
occasions over the spring.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Adam Glyn here with (INAUDIBLE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Adam Glyn here with TMZ and TMZ sports. I have to go
back into the video and your curiosity to see the video. You suspended Ray
Rice after our video. Why didn`t you have the curiosity to go see - go to
the casino yourself? We found out by one phone call. You guys have a
whole legal department. And you explained that. We found out by just one
GOODELL: I can`t explain how you got the information. Only you can do
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: He did explain that. He said it took one phone call. That`s part
of why that didn`t go well. This was the splash page after that press
conference on “The USA Today” web site this afternoon. Roger Goodell
emerges with a big thud. This is the first line of our piece. Roger
Goodell would have been better off staying in hiding. The sports site SB
Nation ran this headline, Roger Goodell spends 45 minutes dodging
questions. They always reliably snarky dead spin. Headlined at thus -
Goodell, I suck at my job. Now trust me.
This was supposed to be the day that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell came
before the public, apologized for its handling of the mess and the league
started to put it behind them. But just hours after that press conference
ended today, the whole thing popped again in a huge way. Late tonight, the
ESPN investigative unit, which is called “Outside the Lines” published a
bomb shell seven thousand word report on the NFL handling of the Ray Rice
situation. And it`s a report that paints a picture basically of a straight
up cover up by the NFL`s Baltimore Ravens, which is the team that Ray Rice
used to play for. The public story, up until this point, right, is that
when the Ravens and the NFL saw the video of Ray Rice knocking unconscious
his then fianc‚e inside of an elevator in an Atlantic City casino. When
they saw that tape, which is released by TMZ Sports last week, the public
story said that was the first they were aware of the brutal nature of that
assault. The Ravens up until that point had retained Ray Rice on their
team. The NFL only suspended him for two games, but when they saw that
tape, they said everything changed. The Ravens released Ray Rice
immediately, the NFL suspended him indefinitely instead of just for two
And that public story holds up. As long as it`s true that the Ravens and
the league weren`t aware of what really happened inside that elevator until
last week when the rest of the public first learned about it because from
that video, as well. Well, according to this new report, that was just
published online tonight, the Ravens knew what transpired inside that
elevator right from the beginning. ESPN says they interviewed more than 20
sources inside the NFL and inside the Ravens organization, and what they
are reporting is that just hours after that assault by Ray Rice took place
inside that elevator, an official with the Ravens, the head of security for
the team, was on the phone with an Atlantic City police officer who had
viewed that surveillance tape. “While watching surveillance video shot
from inside the elevator where Rice`s punch knocked his fianc‚e
unconscious, the officer described in detail to the Ravens official what he
The Ravens official that night was made aware of what happened inside that
elevator, the Ravens knew in real time what happens and it was not
reportedly just this one team official who knew. According to ESPN, this
official “quickly relayed the damning videos play-by-play to team
executives in Baltimore.” So, that was February of this year. That`s
right when the assault happened. Ravens officials reportedly knew then
what happened inside that elevator, even though they professed shock when
that video was publicly released last week. Once Ray Rice was arrested
after that assault, he hired a defense attorney to represent him and while
the NFL and the Ravens have claimed that they had no access to the video
tape from inside that elevator. Ray Rice`s attorney, apparently, described
the tape in detail to the president of the Baltimore Ravens. His name Dick
Cass, “By phone, Rice`s attorney told the Ravens` president Dick Cass that
the video was “f-ing horrible” and that it was clear “Ray knocked the f-
knocked her the f-out.” The lawyer advised Cass that the video, if
released, would amount to a public relations disaster for the Ravens and
for his client.”
After being given that description from Ray Rice`s attorney, the president
of the Ravens, didn`t cut Ray Rice, he didn`t ask for a copy of a tape.
According to this ESPN reporting tonight, he then worked with Ray Rice`s
attorney to make sure that that tape never got out. “Ravens` president Dick
Cass strategized on the best next move for Rice in courts, agreeing with
Rice`s attorney that the video would almost certainly become public if the
Rice case went to trial. The two agreed that getting Ray Rice accepted
into New Jersey`s pretrial intervention program would be the best outcome
both for Rice and for the Ravens. It would not only keep Ray Rice out of
jail, it would also fortify the team`s argument to Roger Goodell that Rice
should be given a suspension of fewer games because he`d entered the
And that, of course, is exactly what happened. Ray Rice`s attorney kept
him out of jail, why Rice did only get a two-game suspension and the tape
never got out. Until it did last week. Roger Goodell was asked over and
over and over again today about who in the NFL saw this tape before they
all professed to being so shocked by it when it was released lags week.
What the ESPN is reporting tonight, is that Ray Rice`s team not only knew
about that tape, but they were reportedly in on an effort to cover it up
and to make sure that his suspension was only two games, even though they
knew exactly what he did. Just within the last ten minutes, the Baltimore
Ravens have released this statement. Quote.
“The “Outside the Lines” article contains numerous errors, inaccuracies,
false assumptions and perhaps, misunderstandings. The Ravens will address
all of this next week in Baltimore after our trip to Cleveland for Sunday`s
game against the Browns.”
Joining us now is Bill Rhoden, he is a sports columnist for “The New York
Times.” Mr. Rhoden, thank you very much for being here.
BILL RHODEN: My pleasure, and I`ll be in Cleveland.
MADDOW: Well .
WILLIAM RHODEN, NEW YORK TIMES SPORTS COLUMNIST: It just doesn`t get - I
mean it gets worse and worse and worse. But, you know, there is a couple
of things. If you don`t understand the job of the commissioner, then
everything you think you understand about this is going to confuse you.
RHODEN: The sole job of the commissioner, from the time he saw that young
lady get beaten up - I mean forget the second or the first. From the time
he saw that, everything was about protecting the shield. He gets paid $44
million a year to do anything he can do, lie, cheat, steal, to protect the
shield. He`s got 32 owners, a couple of whom are facing sexual abuse
charges themselves. And other guys are in drug rehab. This is the den of
thieves that he`s protecting. And so today`s performance, and that`s
exactly what it was, it was so disingenuous. Because the whole idea – he
threw money – now, thank God. I mean let`s look at the glass half full.
You know, thank goodness for the domestic hotline. That`s great. The
national sexual resource center - great. You know, but I could just
imagine what that conversation was like. Who do we – who do we get? Who
do we buy out? We got so and so - You heard what they said, he said, well,
their budget is - they are just struggling. You know, with what they make
in one Sunday .
RHODEN: They could throw it at him. And what are you going to do if
you`re the Senator? He said, thank goodness. So, they know, just like
most rich and famous institutions, I mean rich and wealthiest, they know
who to buy out. So .
MADDOW: What - with the power that Goodell has, obviously, that`s his
reaming. Protect the league, protect the image of the league, protect the
league`s ability to continue to make money - business in the way that`s
been so good for all of us. Given that that`s his realm, that`s his job
description, what could he do right? To make this situation better than it
is? The chaotic nature, with which they`ve addressed all of these
situations recently makes me feel like there`s incompetence there in
addition to lots of other stuff going on. What could he do to do it right?
RHODEN: Well, I think first of all, you could act out of a sense of
morality. There`s not one shred of morality in anything - everything he`s
done Rachel, from the very beginning, the two-game suspension, has been
done out of a sense of reaction to the public and the shield. OK? I give
him - I think he sees this video. And the first question asked, and, see,
this is why it`s not a moral thing. If that would have been his daughter
or one of his owner`s daughter, see, the players are just simply serfs and
minions, right? If that would have been his daughter or one of the owner`s
daughters, we wouldn`t be here today. We would not be here today. So -
so, but everything he`s done has been in reaction to public outcry. I give
you two games. Outcry. I come up with this harsh penalties that`s not
enough because there`s outcry. No, the video comes out. OK. Ray, you`re
gone. Right? Every single thing, including today`s performance, has been
basically a reaction, including throwing money at two institutions. But,
good. Good for these two institutions. But does that – the face of this
stuff has become - I mean there-is so - but the face of this has been black
man and black woman. OK? A black woman, black families. So the first
thing he does, and men do it a lot of times, too, when there`s a problem,
first thing the men do is hit the men button. First thing he do was hit
the right button. We`re going to have a black woman, young black woman.
We have a black guy, a lot of black families. So, to solve this problem,
we`re going to get four white women to be in charge to take care of this
problem. Well, why? It`s cynical. Now you`re going to believe that
because what the expansion of the new market is women. And not women of
color. Not women of color. So everything they`re doing is - is .
MADDOW: More white women that the NFL is under control.
RHODEN: Or on your side.
MADDOW: Yeah. Bill Rhoden, sports columnist for “The New York Times”.
Thank you for being here and good luck in Cleveland.
MADDOW: We`ll be right back.
RHODEN: I love Cleveland.
MADDOW: Stay with us. You`re the only one.
MADDOW: Russia is creating its own Internet. And why not? It works for
North Korea. The Kremlin today announced that security officials in Russia
are now making plans to get all Russian Web traffic rerouted, so that
Russians can only visit Web servers that are in Russia. So Russians will
no longer be able to access the worldwide part of the worldwide web. OK.
What does the world have got to offer that Vladimir Putin can`t offer
better? And that radical news out of Russia tonight comes as the most
profitable country – excuse me, the most profitable company in the world,
Russia`s best corporate friend Exxon has announced that it is pulling out
of a huge Russian drilling deal. It`s a deal that Putin himself had
championed. Exxon and a Russian state-owned oil company were due to start
a huge drilling project in the Arctic. Putin himself did a virtual ribbon
cutting to start that drilling project. 8 billion barrels of Russian oil
in the Arctic and Exxon is going to drill it for them. Not anymore. Exxon
now has had to pull out of that deal basically as soon as they started.
And it`s because of the sanctions against Putin and Russia that have been
organized by the U.S. government and the European Union. That`s the
world`s biggest and most powerful oil company, Exxon. Not being allowed to
do that giant Russian deal anymore.
And that radical news comes as we`re just being informed of something else
fairly radical concerning Russia. The night before last, two U.S. fighter
jets apparently intercepted a big bunch of Russian planes just outside U.S.
airspace off the Alaska coast. Now, U.S. military sources say that one or
two Russian planes get close to U.S. airspace near Alaska about ten times a
year. It`s not the most shocking thing in the world, but in this instance,
it was something different. It was six Russian planes, all flying
together, two Russian bear long-range bombers, two Russian refueling
tanker, and two Russian MIG fighter jets. But the fighter jets in
particular that is the sort of collection of Russian firepower that the
U.S. military says it hasn`t seen flying that close to the U.S. since the
Cold War. U.S. air space extends just 12 nautical miles from land. The
Russian planes did not get that close. They didn`t come into U.S.
airspace. They were within about 55 miles off the Alaskan coast. But
NORAD put out the notice about this happening tonight. Apparently the
incursion happened on Wednesday night this week. But with all this stuff
happening at once, this is worth keeping an eye on, particularly in terms
of whether there`s going to be some sort of American response potentially
over the weekend. After U.S. jets intercepted the Russians, I should tell
you that more Russian planes came back a few hours later and did the same
thing off the Canadian coast. So Russia is apparently trying to upset
everyone right now. Things right now with Russia are both tense and weird.
Just set a Google alert. Keep your eye on this one. Watch the space.
MADDOW: OK. Let`s say you`re a small subnational region of 5 million
people or so. You`re not that newsworthy ever. Nothing wrong with that,
you are just not having a war, you are not home to a murderous cult of
religious fanatics bent on world domination. In fact, short of epic
disaster, there`s really only a couple of things that could happen in your
part of the world that would put you on the front pages of newspapers
around the globe. Number one, is that you could declare independence. You
could try to form yourself into your own independent nation, a chance to be
the world`s newest country. That`s huge news, right? That is only one of
two ways that I can think of that a place like Scotland would make global
front page news. That`s one. The second way Scotland could make front
page news around the world is to change something fundamental about golf.
Scotland invented golf. The spiritual home of golf is St. Andrews in
Scotland, the royal and ancient golf club. For 260 years St. Andrews has
been an exclusive members-only affair. The spiritual home of golf, and
every single one of its members has always and ever been a dude. No women
allowed. Changing that, allowing women at St. Andrews, that is really the
only other way besides trying to become a new country that Scotland could
ever conceivably make global front page news. And so they decided to do
both of those things on the same day. Now, the independence bid didn`t
work out. The no votes won by 10 points over the yes votes. But letting
ladies into St. Andrews that apparently is working out. 2400 male members
of the club were eligible to vote on the issue. They voted 85 percent in
favor of letting women join. They`re going to move forward to admit the
first female members immediately.
So in honor of Scotland doing the two most newsworthy things it could
conceivably do and doing them both on the same day, and as a
congratulations to U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron who`s not going to
lose his job because of the way the vote went, here`s how you make a
classic drink called the Cameron`s Kick. Quick. I think we`ve made it
once before on the show, but it`s perfect for this occasion. Uses two
kinds of whisky, one from Northern Ireland, which is part of the U.K.,
we`re using an ounce of delicious Bushmill`s whiskey, the blended Irish.
So, an ounce of Bushmills, then we are also using an ounce of a different
kind of whiskey from someplace else that is also and still part of the
U.K., famous grouse is a nice blended scotch from Scotland. So you have an
ounce of each of those kinds of whiskies. It makes a difference actually.
Then you want half an ounce of fresh lemon juice, which weirdly enough
comes from this device. It`s called a lemon. You do a half an ounce of
lemon juice, you do a half an ounce of something French.
Did you know that Mary Queen of Scots was raised in France, and wrote
French and was kind of French-y? That`s my excuse for introducing a weird
French ingredient called almond syrup. French call it orgeat. You can
find it in more places than you think you can because people like to put it
in their coffee. Half ounce each of orgeat and lemon, one ounce of scotch,
one ounce of Irish whiskey with ice. Shake it for longer than that. Pour
it. It`s called Cameron`s Kick. you use an orange twist as your garnish
And when you are at St. Andrews, no matter who is on the fairground in
front of you, don`t forget to say “fore,” and cheers.
Have an excellent weekend. Good night.
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