The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 10/10/14
STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC GUEST HOST: Good evening, Chris. I think I was here
for the elephants last time.
CHRIS HAYES, “ALL IN” HOST: Yes, you were.
KORNACKI: Tough acts to follow. Anyway, thanks for that, Chris Hayes.
Thanks to you for joining us this hour. Rachel has the night off. We will
be hearing, though, from her later in the hour, so stick around for that.
Congress is smack dab in the middle of its 54-day vacation. But, today,
members of the House Homeland Security Committee went to Dallas and
specifically, they went to the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport.
They had a hearing at the airport.
It`s known as a field hearing and field hearings don`t happen that often
when it comes to Congress. And they definitely don`t happen that off when
you`re in the middle of a congressional vacation. But there was a field
hearing today and it`s because of Ebola.
It comes a day after the director of the Centers for Disease Control said
something about Ebola that made anyone paying attention to what`s going on
right now with Ebola sort of stop dead in their tracks.
The head of the CDC, this is one of the foremost, this is probably the
foremost medical expert in America had this to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM FRIEDEN, CDC DIRECTOR: In the 30 years I`ve been working in public
health, the only thing like this has been AIDS and we have to work now so
that this is not the world`s next AIDS.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: We have to work now so that this, this Ebola virus, so that this
is not the world`s next AIDS. That was yesterday and then this was today
at that House field hearing on Ebola.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPRESENTATIVE MICHAEL MCCAUL (R), HOMELAND SECURITY COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN:
Now is not the time for politics. Congress has been loathed to get
anything done in this session. If there`s ever a time to come together and
put pettiness aside, it is now.
We must get this right and make sure that federal protocols are put in
place and communicated to our state and local partners when a situation
this critical occurs.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: Now the goal of the hearing today was supposedly apolitical. It
was about trying to come up with technocratic solutions to Ebola,
communication, working together toward a common goal that sort of thing.
But the mood at the hearing was fear. Members of Congress asking health
officials over and over, why can`t we just close our borders to Ebola? Why
isn`t it that simple?
MCCAUL: Many of my constituents and many Americans are asking the
question, why aren`t we banning all flights from West Africa into the
REPRESENTATIVE JOE BARTON (R), HOMELAND SECURITY COMMITTEE: If we were
really treating this as a public health issue, why would we not immediately
stop these flights?
REPRESENTATIVE MARK SANFORD (R), HOMELAND SECURITY COMMITTEE: Why not,
again, prohibition on civilian travel from this part of the world, that
part of the world? If you`re over there, don`t come here. Why not?
DR. TOBY MERLIN, CENTER FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION: Disease
outbreak in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leonne, is now at a point where we
may be able to stop it.
In order to stop it, we need uninhibited transit into and out of the
country so that we can bring the resources there to bear that are needed to
stop it as well as to keep the countries from collapsing.
If we don`t do that, the disease will grow exponentially by delaying,
stopping the epidemic in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, you create a
much larger epidemic that is impossible to control.
KORNACKI: It definitely feels logical to be afraid of Ebola. The details
of the disease, the images related to Ebola, what we see here about this
disease, all of those things are terrifying. The media coverage is all
And it could be difficult as a member of the public. Remember that the
risk to us as Americans of actually contracting Ebola, though, is tiny.
But logic unfortunately doesn`t always mix that well with politics
especially when you are at the height of a campaign season.
So in the face of all of those obvious and understandable concerns that
Americans have right now, and in the face of all the serious, but
reassuring information that medical experts are putting out there, in the
face of all of that, we still have politicians running for office in trying
to get elected by stoking and channelling that fear.
At a debate in North Carolina last night, Republican Tom Tillis insisted
that we need to, quote, “Seal the border and secure it to prevent the
spread of Ebola.”
In Colorado, Congressman Cory Gardner who is also running for the Senate
said in a debate that there should be a ban on all flights from the
countries affected by Ebola in West Africa.
It is not just Republicans who are doing this either. This week a group of
Democratic and Republican members of Congress, a bipartisan group of
members of Congress wrote a letter to President Obama asking him to ban any
travel to and from the West African countries affected by Ebola.
They did this even though the head of the CDC has said repeatedly that this
is not only a completely unnecessary step to take, it is also, in his
words, a wrong step to take. At least for now, that is the approach that`s
Right now, there is no travel ban nor does one seem imminent, but here`s
what we as a country are doing. The freelance camera man working for NBC
who contracted Ebola while in Liberia remains in isolation at Omaha
He`s being given an experimental anti-viral drug and today, doctors say
that his condition has improved slightly. Doctors remain, quote,
“cautiously optimistic.” Starting tomorrow, passengers arriving from
Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea will be screened for Ebola-like symptoms
at New York`s JFK Airport.
At the end of next week, four more major airports across the country will
be implementing that same screening process. There`s also the hope of some
actual legislative action coming from Congress, believe it or not.
After initially refusing to lift its hold on a $750 million in funding for
the Pentagon to send troops to West Africa to combat the crisis, Senator
Jim Inhofe, Republican of Oklahoma today had a change of heart. Now, he
will allow that funding to go through.
In Dallas, where the first patient diagnosed with Ebola on American soil
was treated, the Texas Department of State Health Services says it is now
considering investigation of the hospital where that patient was treated.
That patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, his death in Dallas is now included in
the World Health Organization`s new estimate of the number of people who
died from Ebola worldwide thus far and that number 4,033 worldwide, 4,033
deaths from Ebola.
Also, in Dallas, the Dallas County sheriff`s deputy who entered the
apartment where Duncan was staying was admitted to the hospital this week
fearing that he had contracted the virus. We learned late last night that
he does not have Ebola. He was released. He was allowed to go home.
He spoke to reporters today and he described his most frightening moment
this week. That was the moment not surprisingly that he and the nurses
treating him knew that they may be dealing with something serious. It was
the moment that he found out that he had a fever.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SGT. MICHAEL MONNIG, DALLAS COUNTY SHERIFF`S OFFICE: I was scared when I
was in the E.R., encapsulated room and they tell me my temperature is
101.7. I know 101.5 is the point when they talk about that being a key
point for Ebola, a symptom of Ebola.
And when I heard 101.7 and I saw the two nurses look at each other with
white eyes, I wondered if my ticket was punched. I wondered if it was
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: He knew, the nurses at the Texas Presbyterian Hospital knew that
a 101.5 may be a cause for alarm in a situation like this. The fever was a
key and everyone knew it in treating this patient. This wasn`t the case
when it came to Thomas Eric Duncan.
We knew before today that the first time that Thomas Eric Duncan went to
Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, the first time he went, he told the
nurses that he was feeling sick and that he had just come from Liberia.
Despite that, despite telling them that, he was sent home with antibiotics.
Today, though, we learned in addition to all of those other factors that
should have served as flashing red light warning signs to hospital staff,
we learned today that Thomas Eric Duncan also had a fever of 103 degrees.
In addition to everything else the medical staff knew about him, he was
still sent home and told to take Tylenol. The “Associated Press” learned
these details from health records provided by the family of Thomas Eric
These records are more than 1,400 pain pages long and raise the question,
what else are we going to learn about his diagnosis and treatment and about
his death, and being sent home despite 103-degree temperature? If it
contributed in any way to his death, well, what happens then?
Joining us now is Emily Schmall. She is the “Associated Press”
correspondent who obtained those medical records and broke the news about
Thomas Eric Duncan being sent home from the hospital despite that 103-
degree fever. Thanks for joining us.
Let me just start with the most obvious question here I think and that is,
you know, what is the explanation for this? Is the hospital putting
forward an explanation for how they can have a patient who they know has
come over from West Africa, who now we see documented with a 103-degree
temperature and they still sent him home? Is there any explanation for
EMILY SCHMALL, “ASSOCIATED PRESS”: Well, actually at this point, Texas
Health Presbyterian Hospital is saying that they reviewing the decisions
made in the case of Thomas Eric Duncan. But they have not yet returned our
calls seeking explanation and comment on the specific decision to release
Mr. Duncan after he`d reached a fever point of 103 degrees.
KORNACKI: Well, so now the family were finding all these out because the
family is putting his records out there, putting out 1,400 pages of his
medical records. Does the family believe that he was treated differently?
That an American patient – any of these American patients with Ebola have
been or would be?
SCHMALL: Yes, the family is fairly convinced that because of Mr. Duncan`s
race and the fact that he came from Africa and had no insurance when he
first appeared at the hospital that he was treated not equally to the white
Ebola patients who have so far survived this disease. They think it`s
conspicuous that the only black Ebola patient in the U.S. to date did die.
KORNACKI: And have they said anything about what he was saying? What he
might have been telling them or telling people around him in those days in
between when he was sent back from the hospital initially and when he went
back into the hospital? Have they said anything more about anything he was
saying, his state of mind, anything like that?
SCHMALL: Well, they say that he really hadn`t anticipated that he might
have Ebola. That he would not have come to the U.S. and potentially
endangered the woman he planned to marry, his children and his extended
family if he knew he had Ebola.
So they claim that he was fairly surprised by the progression of events,
but of course in the final days, he was sedated and so they didn`t really
get really very much information from him, ultimately.
KORNACKI: Right, as you say, 1,400 pages here. Are we learning anymore,
have you learned anything more, anything else new and revealing from these
1,400 pages of records?
SCHMALL: Well, we found out that in the first visit, the triage nurse who
first saw him noted that he had come from Africa. It`s not specified that
he came from Liberia, but still that he had come from Africa. That he had
arrived with abdominal pain, nausea, dizziness, and a very severe headache
and all of these are signs that he could have Ebola.
And, yet, Ebola was not mentioned at all or considered, at least according
to the records that we have, until the second visit. So we found it a bit
surprising, again, that he was discharged after having a 103-degree
And with the knowledge of at least some of the medical professionals there
that he had come from Africa and could possibly have this disease.
KORNACKI: You know, the more we are learning about what was going on with
his hospitalization, interactions with that hospital, I think the more
questions that are being raised. Anyway, Emily Schmall, correspondent with
the “Associated Press,” thank you for your time tonight. Really appreciate
SCHMALL: Thank you.
KORNACKI: And lots more ahead in the show tonight including how red state
Republicans are finding themselves threatened by a surprising new
And, through some television magic, we will hear from a popular MSNBC host
named Rachel Maddow. And I`m told you might like her.
KORNACKI: So two years ago, the last time there was a big election in this
country, these were the results of the presidential race in the state of
Kentucky, Romney, 61, Obama 38, a landslide for Mitt Romney, the
Republican, a landslide against President Obama, the Democrat.
Kentucky was one of Romney`s best states in 2012, although that really
wasn`t a surprise, because Kentucky`s been a red state for a while now and
so a red state that`s only gotten redder and redder during the Obama
In fact, if you look at President Obama`s average approval rating in
Kentucky right now, it`s sits at just 31 percent, at least 10 points worse
than he is doing nationally. He`s not doing that great nationally at the
moment, but in Kentucky, the bottom has just about fallen out for President
Obama. All of that is worth keeping in mind as you watch this.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you vote for President Obama in 2008-2012?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know, this election isn`t about the president.
It`s about making sure we put Kentuckians back to work. And I was actually
a delegate for Hillary Clinton.
I think Kentuckians know I`m a Clinton Democrat through and through. I
respect the sanctity of the ballot box and I know that the members of this
editorial board do as well.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So you`re not going to answer?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Again, I don`t think the president is on the ballot,
as much as Mitch McConnell might want him to be. It`s my name.
KORNACKI: And that`s Alison Grimes, the Democratic candidate for Senate in
Kentucky and that was at an editorial board meeting on Thursday. Grimes,
of course, is running against Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader in the
Senate and she has a real chance of winning that race.
McConnell isn`t that popular in Kentucky so he is vulnerable in this race
and it`s a close race right now. The entire McConnell strategy basically
boils down to this.
The strategy is to remind voters that Alison Grimes belongs to the same
party as President Obama. And if you don`t like him, McConnell`s campaign
is saying, if you don`t like President Obama, then why would you ever vote
So that`s where the incredibly awkward video clip comes from. Grimes is a
Democrat running in a red state where President Obama is very unpopular and
she is running against an opponent who is looking for any opening he can
find to link her to President Obama and to the national Democratic Party
So she was asked in that editorial board meeting a very simple question did
you vote for Barack Obama? She was asked that question three times.
Instead of answering it, she decided that all of that awkward, painful,
bobbing and weaving was better than just saying, yes, I did.
And in a way, this is the story of 2014. This is the story of American
politics today. Why it`s so polarized? Why there`s such gridlock? Why
nothing seems to ever get done.
Think about that video of Alison Grimes in Kentucky. A Democratic
community in a red state thinks it`s politically suicidal to say that she
once casted ballot for a Democratic candidate for president.
Now think about this, the Senate battleground this year is actually filled
with states just like Kentucky. It`s dominated by red states, by
Republican states. States where President Obama lost in 2012 and was even
more unpopular now.
That`s just the way the math happened to work out this year. There are
seven Democratic seats in the Senate that are up this year in states that
Mitt Romney won in 2012, most of them in states that Mitt Romney won big in
These are red states, some of the reddest states in the country. States
like Alaska, Arkansas, West Virginia, every one of them. It`s a golden
opportunity for Republicans to pick up a Democratic Senate seat.
These are seven states where the Democrats running would probably scorn
just as painfully, just as awkwardly if they were confronted with the same
question that Alison Grimes got. So that`s why Republicans have been so
excited all year and it`s why it looks like for Democrats are going to lose
Because for Democrats to hang onto it, they`re going to have to put some
wins in red states or are they? Because if Democrats having to win red
states was the story for most of this year, now all of a sudden there is a
new story, take Kansas.
It`s as red a state as they come. Romney won it by 22 points. It hasn`t
elected a Democrat to the Senate in 84 years. It wasn`t on anyone`s radar
until – well, until the Democratic candidate dropped out actually.
And then all of the sudden that left to Republican incumbent, Pat Roberts
in a one-on-one race with an independent candidate named Greg Orman and now
Greg Orman is ahead of Pat Roberts and could actually win this race.
What has happened in Kansas has totally and completely blown up the
Republican Party`s 2014 playbook. All year they just assumed and for a
very good reason, they just assumed that any Republican name on a ballot in
a state like Kansas would win in November.
I mean, they knew that Pat Roberts wasn`t that popular. They knew that
Roberts had moved far to the right to protect himself from a primary
challenge, but none of that worried because it`s not like Kansas voters
were going to turn around and vote for a Democrat.
They weren`t going to turn around and vote for someone from President
Obama`s party. That`s the genius, politically speaking, the genius of what
Greg Orman is doing as a candidate because he is not a Democrat.
And so suddenly all those Kansas voters, who don`t like Pat Roberts, but
who also don`t like President Obama, now they can vote for someone who
isn`t Pat Roberts and who isn`t in Barack Obama`s party.
There is a lot of winking and nodding going on here. Democrats are betting
that Orman, if he does win, will caucus with them. It will be a vote to
give Democrats control of the Senate. But Orman won`t say anything about
So Democrats are definitely taking a chance here. But they`ve also put
Kansas, of all states, in play. That was something that no one saw coming
and the same thing may be happening right now in South Dakota, another
deeply red state.
Voters there don`t like the Republican candidate, former governor, Mike
Rams, and they obviously aren`t too happy with President Obama. Again,
it`s South Dakota, but they have a third choice in this race, an
independent candidate, Larry Pressler, a former Republican who left the
party because he says it`s gotten too extreme.
Now, he`s running in second place in that race. The Democrats are suddenly
pouring money into South Dakota, pouring money into that race. Not
necessarily to help their own party`s candidate, but to tear down the
Republican. They are betting, in other words, that Larry Pressler can win
And then if Larry Pressler does win this race then he`ll then vote with
them to control the Senate. The question is whether this is the start of
something bigger in American politics, something that might actually blow
up the paralysis in Washington.
Will we start to see this in other red states? Red states where the
Republican Party has moved far to the right, where voters are increasingly
uneasy with that, but where those same voters also don`t want to vote for
What happens if Democrats in those states do what we`re seeing right now in
Kansas in South Dakota? What if they make common cause with independent
candidates? Candidates who aren`t going to be scared of answering that
same basic question that tripped up Alison Grimes in Kentucky?
Candidates who can actually win in red states, but who might then turn
around and help Democrats get control of the Senate? Is this a way? Is it
the way, maybe? To get around the gridlock and paralysis that everyone
hates in Washington right now?
Joining us now to talk about it is NBC senior political reporter, Perry
Bacon. Perry, thanks for taking a few minutes tonight. So Kansas, South
Dakota, you know, two months ago, no one thought either one of these states
was in play.
These are both going to be guaranteed Republican pickups. Democrats have
succeeded in putting them both into play. It`s not necessarily because of
the Democratic candidates in the inner state. Is this something we might
be seeing maybe in 2016 in a lot more states?
PERRY BACON, NBC SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: This is really fascinating.
You tend to think of third parties in terms of Ross Perot in the 1990s
running for president. You know, the talk about Michael Bloomberg running
for president last time or 2008.
But the key thing is it`s really hard to validate these states. It`s
really hard to raise money for a presidential campaign, but the system
there is set up for two parties.
But in these small states like Kansas, South Dakota, very small
populations. You can spend $1 million in South Dakota is a huge amount of
money and will make a big difference.
So there is a model here both for red states and probably even blue states,
very blue states too. Where you can go in, support the independent
candidate and that can really shake things up and where you couldn`t do in
a presidential level.
KORNACKI: I was looking at this today and it turns out it looks like we`ve
only – the most independents who have served at one time together in the
U.S. Senate is two and that`s basically – it almost never happened, but
two is the most.
We have two right now. We could have four when this election is over. You
have Pressler in South Dakota, Orman in Kansas. You already got Angus in
Maine. You got Bernie Sanders in Vermont.
Now we can put Bernie Sanders aside a little bit because he is looking to
run as a Democrat for president right now. But those other three are kind
of similar in what they say in this sort of ideological moves that they
If you have three independents like that in the Senate at one time, we`ve
never seen that in history before. Do we have a sense what`s going to be
happening in the Senate then?
BACON: They haven`t said what they want to do yet because they haven`t
really talked about it. But you see an opportunity here if you have three
people who would determine who has control of the Senate.
Maybe they say they`re going to join the Democrats, but they want to run
committees and they want to run committees a certain way. Because you will
have a lot of power like Orman has said he is going to join whichever party
has the majority.
And if he can shake the majority, he can shake what it does, as well. The
other option is Orman and Pressler could decide I`m not going to join a
party at all and then kind of pick out – choose which issues, choose how
they`re going to vote each time, which will turn everything around.
You can imagine, Obama wants the appoint someone to replace Eric Holder and
there`s 49 Democrats. There is 49 Republicans and there are two people on
the side and those people have a huge sway in who might get appointed
attorney general, for instance.
KORNACKI: And to bring it back to this Grimes video, as well, because
that`s what got me thinking about this today. You could just see the
political terror, sort of, motivations there and she`s looking at this and
saying – she clearly thinks the biggest liability she has as a candidate
is the fact that she has a D after her name in a state like Kentucky and
she has some association with President Obama.
She doesn`t want to say something that`s going to be turn around and put it
into one of those 30 second ads where I voted for Obama. But it seems like
when I`m looking at somebody like Orman in Kansas, it seems politically
speaking, the genius of this is he`s not seen.
I know you`ve voted for Obama before, but he`s not seen as part of the
Democratic Party. He`s not seen as an all of the Democratic Party. He is
seen as an independent.
BACON: We should note for our viewer, Steve Kornacki interviewed Greg
Orman a few weeks ago and he was asked do you support Obamacare and would
you expand Medicaid, and he sounded very much like Alison Grimes. He
wouldn`t give a straight answer, kept evading the question.
So you do have those same kinds of concerns if you`re Greg Orman. But it`s
more natural for Greg Orman to say I`m not on Obama`s side. It`s really
striking for Alison Grimes, the Democratic candidate. Of course, she voted
So it`s really hard to distance yourself from the Democratic candidate when
you`ve gone to conventions for the Democratic candidate. They will assume
you`re Democrat when Bill Clinton is raising you money.
Greg Orman has managed to stay away from issues and it`s more expected that
he would in part because he is an independent. He`s not trying to run in
KORNACKI: It`s just so fascinating to me because we`re always hearing
about shrinking battlegrounds, how every state is getting more and more
predictable. There are blue states. There are red states. There is
nothing in between.
Now we`re suddenly looking at a potential way for each party. As you say,
this could work both ways, for each party to put states in play in
elections that nobody thought would be in play and that`s the story in
South Dakota and Kansas.
Anyway, Perry Bacon, NBC senior political reporter, thanks for being here
tonight. I really appreciate that.
And, next, Rachel has the amazing story of how half billion dollars of your
tax money turned into $32,000 worth of junk.
But first one more thing about running as a Democrat in a red state, I`ve
been trying to book all three candidates in that crazy South Dakota Senate
race, the Republican, the independent who used to be a Republican and the
And I`ve got good news. I`ve got two out of three, Sunday morning, on my
usual show, we`re going to have independent candidate, former Senator Larry
Pressler and Democratic nominee, Rick Wyle.
We`re going to have them back-to-back on Sunday, two-thirds of South Dakota
Senate field will join us live Sunday morning at 8:00 a.m. Eastern Time.
And there is still time between now and then for Mike Rounds to join us if
he wants to. We`ve invited him. If he wants in, we`ve got a seat for him,
too. I`ll see all of you there.
KORNACKI: Last night, on this show, we ended up with two different pieces
of breaking news, both on the question of voting rights. First, the
Supreme Court blocked the Wisconsin`s voter ID law and then, minutes after
that, a federal judge in Texas blocked that state`s voter ID law.
It was a huge night in the news and so much so, that we ended up cutting
one of our favorite segments of the night. The story involves half a
billion American dollars, the Afghanistan Air Force and an airplane
shredder. Here`s Rachel.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC ANCHOR: So here`s something amazing that has been
totally, totally buried in the news. In 2009, the Afghan Air Force began
receiving shipments of what would eventually be 16 G2-22 cargo planes.
These are big cargo planes. They`re also called c-27s. These planes were
bought by the U.S. military from the Italian Air Force and then the U.S.
had them rebuilt and retooled by a defense contractor.
And then once they were bought from the Italians and then rebuilt and
retooled by the contractor, they were then sent to Afghanistan. These
planes were going to make up about 15 percent of the entire fleet of the
Afghan Air Force. This is a very big deal and expensive deal.
Here`s General Stanley McChrystal who at that point was commander of U.S.
forces in Afghanistan at an event celebrating the United States donating
all these planes to Afghanistan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GENERAL STANLEY MCCHRYSTAL, COMMANDER OF U.S. FORCES IN AFGHANISTAN:
Following the example of this effort to launch the C-27 fleet, we can look
forward to the day when Afghanistan, like this aircraft, will take off
under its own power to fly to peaceful skies.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Afghanistan, like this aircraft, will take off peacefully. It was
a $486 million plan. It was going to set the Afghan Air Force up to
thrive. There was just one tiny little problem with this plan. The Afghan
Air Force could not fly those planes. They could not maintain them.
They couldn`t manage the whole spare parts thing, which is an important
part of maintaining an air fleet. They got 16 of them starting in 2009.
By 2012, the whole fleet was grounded.
Since then, those planes have been sitting, quite literally, in the weeds
at the air base at Kabul. For years they have been sitting just off the
runway in the dirt.
Now, though, they are no longer there and the special inspector general in
charged with overseeing the reconstruction spending in Afghanistan, the
special inspector general have just found out why.
It`s because the planes have been turned into scrap metal. They were
broken up, shredded and sold for scrap metal for 6 cents a pound. The
enterprise brought in a total of $32,000. What does a plane look like
being scrapped? It looks like this.
It`s a pure Tonka trucks in reverse. That`s awesome. For the record, this
is not one of those exact planes shredded in Afghanistan, but it is a plane
getting shredded down to these tiny little pieces of scrap.
Fascinating right? Anyway, the U.S. military took that $486 million,
bought the Afghans a fleet of planes they could not fly and could not
maintain, somebody got a big maintenance and refurb contract to make them
fancy, dumped them in a field full of weeds, sat them for years, turned
them into scrap.
And that`s how one tiny little piece of a war in Afghanistan turned $486
million into $32,000. That`s a loss of 99.93 percent on the investment, on
our investment, actually ours. You get a better return for recycling the
bottles in a six-pack of Budweiser.
This week marked the 13th year of the war in Afghanistan and marked the end
of the 13th year of that war and the start of year 14, and counting.
KORNACKI: So this was the scene in greater St. Louis today, hundreds of
protesters marching in the rain outside of the federal courthouse calling
for justice. Yesterday marked the two-month anniversary of the shooting
death of un-armed 18-year-old Michael Brown by a Ferguson, Missouri police
The killing of Michael Brown kicked off weeks of anger and protest in
Ferguson and in the greater St. Louis area. Protesters called for justice
in this case and called for an end to racial profiling and police
misconduct around the country.
Now, another case of a police officer in St. Louis city shooting and
killing another teenager, just a few miles from Ferguson, has created new
outrage in the community.
On Wednesday night, an off-duty St. Louis police officer shot and killed
18-year-old Vonderitt Myers. The officer fired 17 shots. The St. Louis
police say that the officer shot Myers after the teenager had fired at him.
Police have described Myers as, quote, “No stranger to law enforcement.”
They say they recovered a gun at the scene and that the ballistic evidence
indicates that he fired at least three rounds at the officer.
Myers` family however insist that he was unarmed that night and he was
carrying a sandwich and not a gun. Surveillance video shows him minutes
before he died in a convenience store where a clerk says he sold Myers a
St. Louis police have not released the name of the off-duty police officer
involved in the shooting. He`s currently on paid administrative leave
pending the investigation.
And so in a community that remains a tinderbox after the shooting death of
unarmed Michael Brown, on the two-month anniversary of Michael Brown`s
death, yet another shooting has added another layer of confusion and
Yesterday, the demonstration started with a quiet candlelight prayer vigil
in a St. Louis neighborhood where Myers was killed. Hundreds of people
showed up. The crowd sang a version of “Amazing Grace,” but changed some
of the lyrics to include the words “don`t shoot.”
Along with these protesters, state and city leaders have called for federal
investigation into the shooting of Myers. And later, on Thursday night,
police took to the streets in riot gear. Some of the protesters burned
Some of them broke the windows on a house. Police ended up using their
pepper spray and mace and eight people were arrested and one police officer
For weeks now, people in Ferguson have been planning four days of rallies
in memory of Michael Brown starting tonight. Michael Brown`s family
released a statement tonight, again, asking for people to protest
peacefully and lawfully.
Protest planners are calling this a weekend in resistance in the St. Louis
Ferguson area. Events will include rallies and teachings on police tactics
and on dealing with police, and on civil disobedience.
They`re also planning a party. They want this to be a peaceful weekend for
a community that still has many unanswered questions.
Joining us now is Liz Brown. She is a columnist for the “St. Louis
American,” and thanks for being with us tonight, Liz.
So it`s been two months, for a lot of people, nationally, this is obviously
something that people in your area are living with every day, but for
nationally, people remember this from two months ago, and they`re looking
at these protesters who are taking the streets for this event this weekend.
Do you have a sense that the people who are there this weekend, what
specifically they are looking for and they want to come from this weekend?
LIZZ BROWN, “ST. LOUIS AMERICAN” COLUMNIST: Well, I think that what people
that have gathered here in this region are looking for is to demonstrate to
not just to our region, not just to our state, but our entire nation and
That these issues have confront us about racism, about police brutality,
about dishonesty in reporting they haven`t stopped. That the world needs
to know that people are still convinced and still understanding that these
actions will continue until we address the root cause that caused the
killing of Mike Brown.
KORNACKI: So this is happening, as we say, this has been planned for a
long time now, but this week, then we have in the city of St. Louis, the
shooting of Vonderrit Myers and we have two very different versions of the
How has that, again, again, we`re not sure how that has fed into the mood
of the people who were here to Michael Brown and hold these protests this
BROWN: Well, Steve, I think it`s really important to understand that the
specifics of what happened with Mr. Myers, the killing of Mr. Myers and
whether or not that matches with the specifics of what killed Michael Brown
The issue that we need to be discussing and the issue that underlines all
of this is the issue of the distrust that the community, that the
residents, that the people that are gathering here in this region have for
And it`s not a distrust that was born out of a single incident, the killing
of Myers, the killing of Michael Brown. This is a distrust that is
generations old, with the collective understanding and the collective
experience specific experience that people can say about what has happened
to them that demonstrate that they do not trust the police.
KORNACKI: Does that spill over? I mean, the grand jury is still hearing
evidence right now. We don`t know what`s going on there. Is the general
expectation that there`s going to be an indictment or that there`s not
going to be an indictment of the officer?
BROWN: Well, Steve, I`m a former criminal defense attorney. I practiced
in the county of St. Louis, and from what I have seen and from what people
feel – few people believe that there is going to be an indictment.
And, again, that`s another way and another reason why people have gathered
here today. Because with our experience of the criminal justice system,
with a specific experience of what has happened in the decisions that have
been made to push this – to move this grand injure, nothing that has
happened, nothing that Bob McCullouh has done.
KORNACKI: All right, Lizz Brown, columnist for the “St. Louis American,”
thanks for your time tonight. Really appreciate that.
BROWN: Thank you, Steve.
KORNACKI: Up next, Rachel will be back, sort of. Stay with us.
KORNACKI: We`re back, well, more specifically, Rachel is back. She`s
about to reappear on your TV screen sitting right where I`m sitting right
now in talking about an amazing debate moment from the North Carolina
Senate race earlier this week. Check it out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STATE REP. THOM TILLIS (R), CANDIDATE FOR SENATE: For the last year you`ve
sat on the Foreign Affairs Committee and you`ve missed half the meetings.
Can you explain to me what other commitments you had that you thought were
more important than sitting in the committee? Mainly interested in where
were you and why were other commitments more important than sitting in that
Foreign Affairs Committee?
SEN. KAY HAGAN (D), NORTH CAROLINA: Well, let me clarify something,
George. I am not on the Foreign Affairs Committee. I serve on the Armed
TILLIS: I stand corrected.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: I could watch that over and over and over again. Let me just
clarify. This week we had debate night all across the country. All around
the same time on Tuesday night there were big important Senate debates,
Virginia and West Virginia and North Carolina, Georgia, Colorado, five
states, five debates all that same night.
While most of the debates this week went according to script and talking
points v talking points there were a few funny flubs here and there. Tom
Tillis, you know who you are, even if you don`t know where you are.
And also there was one really interesting substantive thing to come out of
these debates. Thanks to the Senate debates this week you can now add two
more sitting senators to the list of people who think that Congress maybe
ought not to be on a 54-day vacation right now.
People who think that Congress ought to go back to Washington and take a
vote on this new war that we`re in, this new war that we`re in about which
Congress has said precisely this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAGAN: I do think that we need to have a reauthorization of the authority
for the use of military force. And I have called on the president to bring
that before Congress. I would go back to Washington in a moment`s notice
to have full debate in Congress on that use.
SEN. MARK WARNER (D), VIRGINIA: I think Congress should be called back
into session and debate this issue thoroughly. Because I believe as
Senator Kane, I think I strongly support leadership on this issue. I`m not
sure I fully agree with the authorization of force that he has put forward.
But that`s part of the process that will be fully debated in front of the
Foreign Relations Committee, amended and dealt with.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Democratic Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, Democratic Senator Kay
Hagan of North Carolina, the newest additions to lists of members of
Congress who say look it`s a new war. We never debated and we never voted
on. We should come back and debate it and vote on it.
Congress, it should be noted as yet is still not planning to reconvene and
debate and vote on these things. But with the addition of these two
senators there are now by our count 19 members of Congress who say that
they would end their vacations right now and go back to Washington to take
a vote on our undebated, undeclared air war in the Middle East.
So by our count that`s 19. Do I hear 20? Let us know at maddowblog.com.
If you are a senator or you are a member of Congress ought to be added to
KORNACKI: Tonight a possible answer to an international mystery. Where in
the world is North Korea`s supreme leader? The last few times the world
has laid eyes on North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-Un, he was walking with a
noticeable limp. This is video aired by the North Korean state news
It appeared to show the nation`s tiny dictator struggling to walk. That
was the first sign of trouble. Kim Jong-Un who`s been in power for about
three years now has for all of that time made a point of being publicly out
Visiting everything from amusement parks to factories to military bases
meeting with the people except now suddenly, he isn`t. The Korean central
news agency, which usually enthusiastically and creatively covers the
comings and goings of the dear leader has a few stories about floral
baskets being delivered to Kim Jong-Un, but no mention of his complete
absence from public view.
There`s a story about a new book release, collection of Kim Il-Sung`s
anecdotes Volume V. Yesterday, there was a report on Kim Jung-On`s book
being published in Mexico. There was even some American news put out by
the North Korean news outlet.
Quote, “Tragic comedy produced by unethical crimes in U.S.” It details the
recent Secret Service scandal that refers to former Secret Service Director
Julia Pierson as “he” and says a man with a dagger crossed the White House
fence while the president was giving a speech and quote, “everybody was not
aware of what was going on.”
It punctuates its report with the U.S. is in a cesspool of crimes. The
North Korean news agency is in the business of propaganda and went right
about its dear leader, the people`s leader, they usually lean less on fact
and more on fan fiction.
Lately other than flower deliveries they haven`t had much to talk about.
According to the KCNA, the last time the Kim Jong-Un made a public
appearance was more than a month ago when he took in a music concert. He
loved it and they love loved him.
Quote, “He congratulated the performers on their successful performance.
He waved back at the enthusiastic cheers of the performers and the
audience.” He waved back at the enthusiastic cheers from the performers
and the audience, but that concert was the last time that he made a public
And since then, the limping leader has missed a run of political events and
celebrations that he would normally attend, including a visit to the
mausoleum built for his father and grandfather, and a big celebration today
marking the formation of the Communist Party in North Korea.
Kim Jong-Un`s conspicuous absence from those events has led to a rumor mill
explosion. Is it his weight? Did he break both ankles because he`s eating
too much cheese? Does he have gout? Has there been a coup? Did his
sisters gain power?
Well, today, an answer to the mystery, today, a source with alleged access
to the North Korean leadership emerged and reported or rather spun to
Reuters that Kim Jong-Un has hurt his leg while inspecting military
Quote, “He ordered all the generals to take part in drills and he took
part, too. They were crawling. They were running and rolling around and
he pulled a tendon. The source is quite adamant that Kim Jong-Un is in
Before Reuters added that the source`s information could not be
independently verified. Why would you need verification? The only thing
I`m surprised by is the fact that Kim Jong-Un can be injured at all. There
you have it, the world, it is a leg injury. It`s nothing to worry about.
Soon enough Kim Jong-Un will be back to perfect health, defending North
Korea from the ills of capitalism and fighting off Voldemort and allowing
musicians to cheers for him in order to finish their concerts.
Anyway, that does it for tonight. Rachel will be back on Monday. I`ll see
you in a few hours on “UP.” It is time now for the ALMA Awards. Good
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