The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 05/08/15

Mike Donoghue, Katrina Plonczynski

THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts right now.

Good evening, Rachel.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Chris. Thank you, my
friend. Have a good weekend.

HAYES: You bet. Thank you.

MADDOW: Thanks to you at home for joining us this hour.

A big show tonight. Today marks 70 years since the Germans
surrendered in World War II. The Nazis surrendering 70 years ago today
marked the end of the war in Europe, but it did not mark the end of World
War II. VE Day, Victory in Europe Day, after Germany surrendered, was May
8th, 1945.

But VJ Day, Victory in Japan, did not come until August of that same
year, after the U.S. used nuclear bombs to force a Japanese surrender, more
than three months after Hitler had killed himself and the Nazis had thrown
in the towel.

And I did not know this before this week. But in the closing days of
the war, Japan managed to inflict the only American casualties that
happened on the U.S. mainland in all of World War II. Yes, there were
millions of American who went overseas and fought in World War II, all over
the globe. There were hundreds of thousands of Americans killed in World
War II. There were millions of people who were killed worldwide, tens of
millions of people who were killed worldwide. In terms of attacks on
American targets specifically, there was, of course, the devastating
Japanese attack on the Pacific fleet in Pearl Harbor in 1941, where more
than 2,000 Americans were killed in what was then the U.S. territory of

But in terms of the U.S. mainland, in terms of the Axis Powers in
World War II killing Americans here, killing Americans inside the
Continental United States on American soil, it only happened once during
all of World War II. And it happened right at the end of the war.

They killed a 13-year-old girl named Joan Patzke. They killed an 11-
year-old boy named Sherman Shoemaker. They killed two 13-year-old boys
named Jay Gifford and Edward Eagen. They killed Joan Patzke`s 14-year-old
brother Dick Patzke. And they also killed a young American woman Elise
Mitchell. And Elise Mitchell was pregnant when she died.

The only American casualties of World War II who were killed on the
U.S. mainland were those five little kids and that pregnant woman, who were
killed on a Sunday school outing just outside of Bly, Oregon, in 1945, and
they were killed by the Japanese military in Oregon. And this is how they
did it.

This is old footage from the 1940s showing what looks like a hot air
balloon floating through the skies, but what that is is, in fact, a
powerful bomb. It is a self-guided balloon. It doesn`t have any steering
or directional mechanism at all. It just floats on air currents. It`s
made out of really light paper that was made out of tree bark. That`s what
the balloon itself is made out of.

It`s really big. It`s about 33 feet across. It`s filled with
hydrogen, which is how it floats on air. And this 33-foot in diameter
paper balloon filled with hydrogen is carrying a military-grade explosive
payload. It`s a balloon bomb.

Somewhere between 6,000 and 9,000 balloon bombs like this one were
launched by Japan during World War II at the United States and Canada. And
they were intended to detonate on North American soil.

The Japanese did not have the ability to send squadrons of bombers
over the U.S. mainland to bomb American cities the way American bombers had
hit them, but they invented these balloon bomb contraptions, basically to
try to be the next best thing.

So, what they would launch these balloons off the Eastern coast, the
Pacific coast of Japan, right, and their plan was to get them high enough
up into the air, that the jet stream would pick them up and carry them all
the way across the Pacific Ocean to North America. And depending on where
the winds carried them, these balloon bombs would come down, all up and
down the West Coast of North America.

This is newsreel footage from just after the war. Watch.


REPORTER: Hundreds of the balloons came down in Canada and the
United States. Incendiaries and high-explosive bombs caused some damage,
but demolition squads were on constant alert. Most landed without
exploding. The threat, however, persisted until the war`s end. And only
today, we learn a secret long-shrouded in wartime censorship.


MADDOW: The Japanese military could not know where these bombs were
going to come down on the West Coast once they launched them in Japan.
Obviously, they wanted to cause maximum damage, they wanted to cause
maximum terror, it`s part of the reason there was a news blackout about
what was going on, to limit the scare factor in the American public.

But one of the things the Japanese particularly hoped these balloon
bombs would do, is they particularly hoped they would cause forest fires
along the heavily-wooded parts of the West Coast, especially in places like
Oregon and Washington. And they did start some fires, none of them
terribly devastating.

But these balloon bombs came down, you know, all over the place,
depending on where the wind blew them. One of them made it all the way
east to Nebraska and blew up over Omaha, Nebraska, on April 18th, 1945.

This one was found on the ground with the bomb still attached to it
in Bigelow, Kansas. This one is one that was photographed after it got
caught up in some wire fencing, somewhere. The exact location of this one
has been lost to history, although we do still have this photograph.

This is one that landed in an open field in Oregon in a town called
Echo, Oregon, up in the northeast corner of that state. That one they
recovered intact and they eventually put it on display.

But the bomb that came down in southern Oregon, in Bly, Oregon, and
killed those five little kids and that pregnant woman who stumbled upon it
in their Sunday school outing in 1945, that is the only balloon bomb that
is known to have killed anyone. And they marked it with a monument near
the spot where it blew up in Bly, Oregon, in 1950.

Because Japan sent so many of these things up in the jet stream in
World War II, it is thought that some of the thousands of them that made it
as far as North America might still be out there in the wilderness. Just
last year, they found an exploded one that drifted all the way up to
British Columbia. Two forest workers found it half-buried in the dirt, in
the middle of the woods, 70 years after it had been launched.

Those forestry workers were smart enough to know not to move it or
try to handle it themselves. They called in the Mounties, the Royal
Canadian mounted police to handle it. The Mounties investigated, realized
what it was, and promptly decided that he would blow it up with a big
charge of C4. That was just last year.

People still look for these things all up and down the West Coast,
from California all the way up into Canada.

But the one balloon bomb that killed anyone, the one instance of the
Axis powers killing American citizens, American civilians on the American
mainland during World War II, it happened 70 years ago this week. It
happened two days before the German surrenders, two days before VE Day.

Today to mark the 70th anniversary of the German surrender, today to
mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day, more than 50 World War
II era planes flew in 15 different formations, low and loud, over downtown
Washington, D.C. They flew right down the National Mall, right over the
Washington Monument.

It was basically a big public air show in what is normally the
nation`s most restricted air space. These restored planes, these are
restored planes. They`re not reproductions. They`re not copies of World
War II era planes. These are the real deal, from then, restored and
maintained and kept air-worthy by civilian owners who commit to spending
not small fortunes, actual fortunes, to keep these planes flying,
basically, as a very expensive historical labor of love.

This huge flyover that all these restored planes did today, this was
the first time that civilian-owned aircraft have been allowed to fly
through the restricted air space over downtown Washington, D.C., since
9/11. 9/11 is when they made the whole area of downtown Washington, D.C.,
with the U.S. Capitol and the White House and all the rest of it, they made
it protected air space. It`s only military and law enforcement and
official aircraft that are ever allowed in that space since 9/11, except
for today. Today is the first time they have made an exception for these
historic planes.

In Russia, tomorrow, they`re going to hold the largest commemoration
that Russia has ever held to commemorate the role the Soviet Union played
in defeating the Nazis and winning World War II. This is actually what
you`re seeing is rehearsal for the big day tomorrow. I think Russia can
often be a little squeamish about reminding the world that they were very
recently the Soviet Union, but if there is one soviet accomplishment
they`re very happy to broadcast to themselves as a nation and to the world,
if there`s one thing they want to unabashedly brag about, it`s about
beating the Nazis when they were still the Soviet Union. So, there will be
the biggest commemoration of that ever in the former Soviet Union in
Moscow, tomorrow.

In Britain today, in Britain today, it was really striking. In
Britain today, they also held a large national commemoration to recognize
this 70-year anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe. But Britain
also just yesterday had a huge super-divisive, in many ways, shocking
national election that resulted among other things in the heads of three
major political parties resigning last night.

But today, in London, 12 hours after those election results shocked
that country, all of that country`s political leaders, including the ones
who just quit last night, they were all there together, side by side, at
this commemoration, exhibiting whatever it is that is the polar opposite of
partisan politics.

So, this week, 70 years ago, it was not the end of the bloodiest war
in human history, but it was the beginning of the end of the bloodiest war
in human history. And this is one of the last times we will have a major
commemoration of the ending of that war, at which a good number of the
people who fought in that war will still be here to accept the nation`s

President Obama released his weekly radio address early this week, so
it would be ready in him for today`s VE Day commemorations. He said in his
address, he said, quote, “This was the generation that literally saved the
world, that ended the war, and laid a foundation for peace.”


that generation of Americans whose courage and sacrifice are the reason
we`re here today in peace and freedom. Their spirit lives on in our brave
men and women in uniform and their families, who continue to defend the
very freedoms our parents and grandparents bought for them.


MADDOW: So, there`s a lot going on in the news today. There is
running for president news, there is national security news. There is
really freaking fascinating news out of that U.K. election, and some things
that might happen globally because of what happened in that one country`s
election last night – and we`re going to get to all of that and more over
the course of this next hour for Friday night`s show.

But you know what, one thing we are not going to talk about or report
on tonight is the freaking Jade Helm conspiracy theory on the right. This
ongoing and in some ways now worsening conspiracy theory on the political
right that the U.S. military is somehow an enemy of the American people,
and the U.S. military is conspiring to round up American conservatives
around the guise of what they say is a military training exercise, but
which is really – well, you know, these military guys, they just can`t be

That conspiracy is basically turning into a movement in the American
political right, right now. And it is not going away. And in some ways,
in today`s news, it got worse. And we have been covering it over the last
few days and we will cover it in days ahead if it continues to get worse.

But you know what? Not today. Today is VE Day. Today is 70 years
since VE Day. And so today, out of all days, at least for this hour, we
will give it a rest. And you can give it a rest.

And for now, instead, I will leave you with Harry Truman and then we
will be back with the rest of today`s news.


but glorious hour. I wish that Franklin D. Roosevelt had lived to see this
day. General Eisenhower informs me that the forces of German have
surrendered to the United Nations. The flags of freedom fly all over

For this victory, we join in offering our thanks to the providence
which has guided and sustained us through the dark days of adversity and
into life.




pick swag items for this week`s Friday night news dump. So, I`m going to
start with a book that you found in your pile of books.

MADDOW: Is this our only copy?

MCKINNEY: I think it might be our only copy.

MADDOW: I think this is important –

MCKINNEY: But, look! Eric Cantor –

MADDOW: Oh, Eric Cantor was still there. Kevin McCarthy is still
there, looks different now. Paul Ryan, yes, I think, this is – OK.

MCKINNEY: Think about it.

MADDOW: All right.

MCKINNEY: We also found, no idea why we have these, the Axis of Evil
finger puppets.




MADDOW: The ayatollah and Saddam and Kim Jong-Il and George Bush?


MADDOW: They put George Bush on the axis?

MCKINNEY: He coined the axis of evil, so it`s like –

MADDOW: OK, all right.

MCKINNEY: I don`t know where that came from.

MADDOW: Saddam was actually kind of cute.

MCKINNEY: And then the third thing is, this was from 2010, we did a
bunch of stories about people throwing waffles at hockey players.


MCKINNEY: And some of the people, some of the fans of the Vermont
Canucks – not Vermont, Vancouver Canucks used to wear these green outfits.
So, I believe at one point we had Kent Jones in this, throwing waffles at

MADDOW: It has a tag on it.

MCKINNEY: It`s new with tag.

MADDOW: Invisible man.

MCKINNEY: Yes. This?

MADDOW: I think. Don`t you think?

MCKINNEY: All right.

MADDOW: Let`s make sure it`s been – you know – yes.





MADDOW: In this great land of ours, when we are fully staffed, the
number of people who have a job in this country being a state legislature
is 7,383. And it turns out, having more than 7,300 people in that job
category in our country makes for a lot of opportunity for wide and varied
criminal experience by public officials.

For example, just during this past year, speakers of the house from
four different states have been indicted on corruption charges, speakers of
the house, four states. In New York, not only has the house speaker been
indicted, but as of this week, so has the leader of the state senate.
That`s tidy. And that`s on top of the half dozen lawmakers who have not
just been arrested is and indicted in recent years, they have been

So, getting arrested, getting indicted, even getting convicted as a
serving state lawmaker, is sort of getting to be a dog bites man story. Is
that even newsworthy anymore? Sometimes, though, a particular criminal
indictment rises above the general hubbub of your particular indictments of
imprisonments of state lawmakers.

For instance, there`s Senator Leland Yee of California, who was
indicted on charges of not just corruption, but also of racketeering and
money laundering, and also gun trafficking. He`s being charged with being
an illegal gun runner, while being a state senator. Former Senator Yee did
step down from his post and he is fighting the charges. He says he`s

In Virginia, the lawmaker in question is named Joe Morrissey. He was
accused of having sex with a teenager. He pled guilty. And for a while,
even after pleading guilty, he kept his day job in the Virginia state
house. He would go to his work in the day at the state capital, and then
at night, he would return to his home, which was a cot in the local jail.

State lawmakers end up in some truly creepy criminal proceedings all
over the country, it happens. But tonight, even given that recent history,
we have a new nomination for perhaps the creepiest one yet.

Vermont state legislature. Take it away.


HANNAH MCDONALD, REPORTER: A pretty full courtroom here at the
Franklin County courthouse, witnessed the senator, by way of his attorney,
deny any involvement in what police are calling years of sexual assault.

REPORTER: Are you resigning?

MCDONALD: The Republican state senator who represents Franklin
County and the town of Alburgh didn`t talk to reporters as he walked into
court to answer six sex charges. The 63-year-old senator, who lives in
this home in Franklin, allegedly forced his female farm workers to engage
in sexual acts, according to investigators. Court paperwork says victims
were told they could live in this trailer in exchange for sex.

In addition, at least one victim told police the senator offered to
take her to a farm, where she could have sex with a group of farmhands for
more money.



Maybe I`m prejudiced because I live in New England, but when I think
of the state that is most likely to raise the bar for horrifying indictment
of sitting state lawmaker, I don`t think of Vermont. I don`t. It`s not
the first place that pops into mind, but now you have it.

In technical terms, State Senator Norm McAllister faces three counts
of felony sexual assaults and three counts of prohibited acts. In terms of
the particulars, you can almost feel the Vermont press today trying to sort
through how much was too much to print about these allegations. There`s
the allegation about how frequently he approached the women for services.
There`s the allegation that he suggested a woman sell services to other men
besides himself, because it would provide, quote, “a good, steady means of
income for both of us.”

The Vermont state police initially said last night that Senator
McAllister would be charged with human trafficking in addition to the sex
assault charges, but today in court, the prosecutor did not end up charging
him with human trafficking.

An affidavit in the case includes the transcript of a phone call, in
which Norm McAllister allegedly apologizes to one of the women who says she
is his victim. This woman reportedly came to local police, told them what
she said this senator had been subjecting her to, she then agreed,
reportedly, to have her conversations with the senator recorded by the
police, as she called him from the Vermont state police barracks.

According to the affidavit, the senator told the woman, quote, “I
knew I was forcing you to do something you didn`t want to do.”

Police confronted Senator Norm McAllister at the Vermont state
capital during a break in the Senate debates yesterday. They arrested him
at the state capitol.

At one point, two other Republican state senators briefly stepped in
during the arrest to act as his lawyer, while the police questioned him.
But then today in court, the senator entered a plea with a different
lawyer. He entered a plea, not guilty, on all counts.

Three of the charges against him carry a possible sentence of life in
prison. He`s out on bail now, on $20,000 bail. We reached out to Senator
McAllister this evening for comment. If we hear back, we will let you

But tonight, in Vermont, it remains an open question whether this
state senator will resign or will try to stay in office while fighting
these charges. And nationwide, a new bar has perhaps been reached for what
you can stay in office while facing in a court of law.

Joining us now is Mike Donoghue, senior staff writer for the
“Burlington Free Press”, who is the reporter who broke this story last

Mr. Donoghue, thank you very much for being here. It`s a pleasure to
have you here.

MIKE DONOGHUE, BURLINGTON FREE PRESS: Thank you very much. Good to
be with you.

MADDOW: As far as I understand it, there is nothing in the Vermont
state constitution or in the Senate rules which say you have to resign, or
you have to do anything in particular, if you are arrested and indicted,
even on very serious charges. Is it still an open question as to whether
Senator McAllister will still be a senator?

DONOGHUE: Well, he – his term, it`s a two-year term, and he is –
this is the end of his first year coming up. So, he still has another year
that he can serve. But, you`re right, there is nothing in state law or the
Constitution or whatever that makes him forced to step down.

MADDOW: So he could, theoretically, continue doing the work of a
senator now that he`s out on bail, while facing these charges.

You broke this story. Your long time reporter in Vermont and
everybody I know in Vermont tells me you have great sources, you`re the
unimpeachable reporter of your beat.

When did you first learn about these allegations? Did you have a
heads up that this was coming?

DONOGHUE: I was fortunate enough to hear it earlier this week.
Obviously, because of the sensitive nature of the charges and who he is, I
wanted to make sure that, you know, it was legitimate, and that wasn`t
political in nature.

And, Wednesday, I was making some phone calls, a lot of people
dodging me, and – but eventually, there was some basis to believe that he
was about to be arrested.

MADDOW: It appears from what we`ve seen in terms of the court
documents that authorities moved quickly. That some of this investigation
seems to have started as recently as Monday. Obviously, the arrest made
yesterday at the state capital. Is that your understanding that they moved
very quickly on this?

DONOGHUE: I think they were very concerned about what the
allegations are. I`ve also been told that the “Burlington Free Press” had
learned about it and may have forced them to move a little quicker than
they had planned to initially.

MADDOW: I understand.

In the complaint as it`s laid out, there are three women who appear
to be his reported victims or alleged victims for the crimes for which he`s
now charged. Do the prosecutors and police believe that they understand
the magnitude here, or do they believe that there may be other victims that
they haven`t yet found?

DONOGHUE: I think it`s still undecided as to whether there could be
more victims out there. The charges against him, some of them go back as
much as like 2 1/2 years. Senator McAllister owns a big dairy farm in
northwestern Vermont, unclear as to how many people he employed or how many
people he knew on other farms. And it`s still coming together, as you
said, Rachel.

It all broke initially a complaint on Monday that was fielded by the
Vermont state police.

MADDOW: Mike Donoghue, senior staff writer for the “Burlington Free
Press” in Vermont, breaking this story. Thanks for helping us to
understand this very disturbing and as of yet unresolved case. I
appreciate it having you here tonight.

DONOGHUE: Anytime, thank you.

MADDOW: All right. I got to say, we probably more than other
national news shows focus on state politics. I have a resistance to
focusing on any individual weird behavior, bad behavior, alleged criminal
behavior about any one state representative, because we do have more than
7,000 of them in this country.

But every once in a while, you start to realize that there`s either a
pattern or an individual allegation that is a freaking national news story,
even if it has emerged from this pool of state legislators, that are always
doing really creepy stuff if you look at them as a group across the

And, congratulations, Vermont, you`re now top of the list.

All right. We`ve got more ahead, including a follow-up to last
night`s story about securing the White House`s gates, now with even larger
and more dangerous props.

Plus later, something related to my mother.

Please stay with us.


MADDOW: I have something to show you next. CNBC`s John Harwood
tonight just posted a new interview with presidential candidate Ben Carson.
In that interview, I think Ben Carson sprained something in John Harwood.

We`ve just got the tape of this interview. It hasn`t been out there
at all tonight. It`s next. It`s astonishing.

Stay with us.


MADDOW: At the beginning of this week, on Monday, we got the latest
entrance into the jam-packed presidential Republican field. On Monday, the
first one of the week, in the great city of Detroit, retired neurosurgeon,
conservative base superstar, Dr. Ben Carson, jumped into the race. He held
a big political rally, complete with an excellent gospel choir.

And now that Ben Carson is rolling out his presidential campaign, one
of the things that you do in your big rollout week, if you can, is you try
to do as many interviews as you can with the national media, to try to
build national buzz around your candidacy.

So, Dr. Ben Carson sat down with my colleague John Harwood from CNBC.
We`ve got the tape of that interview.

And there was a moment during that interview that will now become
legend. Just watch this. This is from John Harwood`s Ben Carson
presidential interview.


JOHN HARWOOD, CNBC: There`s one passage in your book, where you were
talking about gay marriage, and you said, I believe in the traditional
definition of marriage and that no group has the right to change that. How
do you walk into this arena and manage that?

change the definition of marriage for one group, what do you say to the
next group.

HARWOOD: What is the next group?

CARSON: Do you say – well, we changed it for this group. But
that`s it. We`re not changing it for anybody else. Does that seem fair?

HARWOOD: Well, but what other groups are there?

CARSON: There are more groups, I guarantee it.


CARSON: I think you know that there are more groups. Everybody
knows there are more groups.

HARWOOD: Honest to God, I don`t know what you`re talking about.
What do you –

CARSON: Other variations on traditional marriage. You don`t think
there are any others?

HARWOOD: You mean like bigamy or something?

CARSON: That`s a possibility. That`s a possibility. Why would you
stop? With one group being able to change it and then say to the next
group, you can`t change it.


MADDOW: Oh, I think you know what I`m talking about. I think you
know about the groups. John Harwood, honest to God.

If this is any indication of what the Ben Carson candidacy is going
to be like – I will admit to being a little excited for what`s to come.

Speaking of which today, we learned about another Republican
presidential hopeful, who`s about to get into the race, Republican Senator
Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, is reportedly about to make it official.
Sources close to Lindsey Graham say he will announce his presidential run
June 1st, probably in South Carolina.

Lindsey Graham`s announcement will come, if you`re counting, roughly
240 days before the first actual nominating contest, which is the Iowa
caucus. It will come about 500 days before the actual presidential
election in November 2016.

So, assuming that Lindsey graham is the Republican nominee for
president in 2016 – hah! – he will spend the next 500 or so days
campaigning for that office.

This is not normal. I mean, it`s become normal, but it shouldn`t be
normal. It`s not globally normal. “The Washington Post” had a great chart
today, showing just how not normal this is, at least compared to our
closest allies in the democratic world. Compared to, say, how it works in
the U.K., which just had their big elections yesterday.

In the U.K. this year, they dissolved parliament on March 30th, which
is the first step toward having an election. Candidates filed to run for
office in the several days thereafter, and then the election was held
yesterday, on May 7th, a grand total of 38 days from the beginning of the
election process to the end of the election process, and now it`s over, 38

Here in the U.S., it`s more like 600 days. Whose process do you
think is better?

In terms of what happened in those U.K. elections last night, it was
sort of a political shock wave. You don`t need 600 days to build up to a
suspenseful ending. The big question heading into the British election day
was whether or not the conservative party prime minister – the
conservative party of Prime Minister David Cameron could win enough seats
to keep him as prime minister, to keep the conservatives in power. The
polls heading into the voting showed the liberal party in the U.K., the
Labour Party, essentially in a dead heat with the conservatives.

But, turns out, polls, schmoles. In the end, it was more like a
blowout and labor just tanked. The conservatives won their biggest victory
in the U.K. for more than two decades. The Labour party, which thought
they were going to end up gaining seats, ended up losing 26 seats. They
were really just wiped out. The labor party lost a seat in Wales, that
they have settled for more than a century. It`s a seat they have held
since 1906, but they lost it last night.

The leader of the Labour Party, Ed Milliband, resigned immediately as
head of the party as soon as the results came in. It was just a very bad
night for them last night.

And here`s the really interesting thing to keep an eye on that might
have implications for the whole world. It has to do specifically with the
results in Scotland. This is what the representation in the British
parliament looked like in terms of the Scottish seats, before last night`s
results. So, the seats in the British parliament from Scotland.

Parliament looked like this, in terms of party representation, before
last night`s results. The red bar there represents the labor party, the
yellow bar is for the Scottish national party, which led the effort for
Scotland to secede and become its own country last year, even though it
wasn`t successful.

But this is how it looked heading into last night. Here`s how it
looks now. Keep an eye on the red and yellow bars. Watch. Boing!

Yes, the Scottish National Party just cleared the house last night.
They swept almost every single seat that Scotland holds in the U.K.
parliament. And that could have very practical consequences for this.

This is the delivery system for the U.K.`s nuclear arsenal. This is
one of Britain`s advanced submarines that can be used to launch a nuclear
warhead. The British nuclear arsenal is completely submarine-based, and
those submarines are all housed off the coast of Scotland. And the newly
elected Scottish National Party campaigned on their complete opposition to
the nuclear weapons program in the U.K., which just so happens to be based
in their backyard in Scotland, where they completely control all the
parliamentary seats.

So, what`s going to happen to British nuclear weapons now? Don`t
know. But last night`s election sort of changes everything, with regard to
the politics of that. And it took them only 38 days from start to finish
to do it. It`s inspirational.

Watch this space.


MADDOW: This is a public service announcement. Call your mom. Or,
call somebody who`s been like a mom to you. Or at least call somebody who
is a great mom and tell them that you think so. It`s important.


MADDOW: My mom grew up in really, really poor northeastern Canada in
Newfoundland. They closed the fisheries and nobody had any work.

And so, my mom felt like she had three work options. Really, only
three. She could be a nun. She could be a nurse. Or she could be a

She didn`t want to be a nun, for a lot of reasons. Squeamish around
blood and not interested in the human body. And tried teaching and didn`t
like it.

And so, she fled the country. Left in the dead of night without
telling anybody and immigrated to the United States, where one of her other
sisters had also fled. They were these two, you know, hot blond girls from
Canada with no money and no connections, what were they going to do?

So they both got secretary jobs. I find pride in what my mom did in
her gumption. Like, given the range of opportunities she had, she was
like, I choose not to take any of those three options and instead to make
new options for myself.

That sense of self-worth that it took for her to do that rather than
passively accepting what was offered to her is totally inspirational to me.
Had she had the opportunities that I had, she`d be secretary something, not
somebody`s secretary, right? You know?


MADDOW: Happy Mother`s Day. Call your mom.

Public service announcement now over. We`ll be right back.


MADDOW: So if you want to drive your car up to the White House, the
first thing you should know is, no, no, you cannot do that. You can`t do
that you`re not allowed – not unless you, in this instance, are President
Obama – in which case, hello, Mr. President, I always hope that you watch

But if you are not President Obama, or the Secret Service, or
somebody else with official permission to do so, you really just can`t
drive up to the White House. If you try to drive up to the White House,
this is what you will see.

After the Oklahoma City bombing, they closed off one of the streets
where you used to be able to drive really close to the White House, and so,
there`s now that one block between the White House and Lafayette Park
that`s basically a big pedestrian mall, because no cars are allowed there
anymore. That change was made after Oklahoma City in 1995.

But then after 9/11 attacks, in 2001, they decided to close off other
streets and entrances as well, to keep cars and unscreened people even
further away from the White House. But when they made those changes after
9/11, admittedly, they did it in sort of a hodgepodge way. They put up
what were supposed to be these temporary concrete barriers.

But 14 years later, those temporary barriers are still there.
Basically, parts of the White House perimeter look like a poorly run
construction sites, with stacks of jersey barriers and a random mishmash of
bollards and planters that mostly don`t have plants in them and temporary
metal fencing and occasionally an unsturdy temporary-looking little guard
shack. That`s what it`s looked like for years.

But now, they`re going to tidy it up. They have just announced a
number of temporary security enhancements at the White House complex as
well as aesthetic improvements. One of the aesthetic improvements will be
removing some of those ugly concrete barriers at six of the vehicle
checkpoints around the White House. They`re going to replace the concrete
walls and planters and bollards and all the rest.

They`re going to replace them with steel plate barriers, like these
ones. They`re barriers that can be raised and lowered mechanically.
They`re much fancier than all t the concrete junk and much more

But they`ve announced that change now. They`re going to move to this
type of security instead. And that construction on those metal planks and
stuffs that`s all due to start really soon, is going to be done by the
middle of the summer, apparently. And that is really going to change what
it looks like, and in a way, what it feels like around the White House in

And speaking of what it feels like around the White House in
Washington, last night, we used this rather excellent foam core full-scale
mock-up of the White House fence, to show you the change they are about to
make to the big iron White House fence. After the recent spree of people
jumping the White House fence, the plan is now to install a whole new,
bigger, badder fence around the White House, as of next year.

But to get us to next year, in the meantime, they are also planning
to augment the existing fence, which looks like this, but not made of foam
core, and the way they are augmenting it, we showed you this last night,
they`re going to be clamping something that looks a little bit like this
right at the top. These extra spikes will bolt on to the top of the extra
fence and put these extra spiky bits in between the decorative spear points
that are already there. And the new spear points, the new spikes will be
sort of angled out a little bit.

And, you know, honestly, while it is, I will admit, very exciting to
have a scale mock-up of the White House fence, and what the change is going
to be to the White House fence – honestly, even doing this last night, I
still don`t really get it functionally. It doesn`t seem to me that this
will be any harder to get over than this.

And so, back to the drawing board, or rather, back to the welding

So, today we contracted with a nice guy named Hans at exclusive
ironworks in New York and we asked him to make it for us, for real. So,
look at what we`ve got now! This is very exciting. This is iron, and this
shows what it`s like now. This shows what the White House fence like is
now, basically.

And this shows what it is going to be like when they bolt on the new
spiky bits starting in the middle of the summer. This is what it`s going
to look like. Now I get it, right? I mean, this seems more awkward to get
ahold of than this. Because you`ve got a smaller hand hold, it also seems
more awkward to get yourself over because of the different heights of
things you need to negotiate.

And if you try to get over it, it seems way more pokey than it used
to. I mean, if you think about it, if you`re going over this fence, the
spear points are pokey, but they only poke you once you`re already going
over the fence. Yes, they`ll poke you, but when you fall, you might fall
over. These guys, by being angled out, will poke you before you`re
actually going over the fence, and therefore, they might stop you from
doing so.

So, thank you, Hans, for making this for us. And you know,
hopefully, some day, somebody soon will really want to win this on the
Friday night news stuff because we have nowhere to put it in the office.


MADDOW: Behold. A screeching tire. A mysterious thump.

Friday night news dump time. Woo-hoo!

Producer Julia Nutter, who is playing tonight?

JULIA NUTTER, TRMS PRODUCER: Tonight, we`ve got Katrina Plonczynski
from Saint Charles, Illinois. She`s an attorney who is married to an
attorney. She performs in community theater, and she has two French
bulldogs with names that are fun to yell.

MADDOW: Haha! Katrina, hello, welcome. Thank you for being here.


MADDOW: I`d like to know about the bulldogs, please?

PLONCZYNSKI: They`re adorable. They`re here with me. I can show
you them. I`m kind of obsessed with dogs. That`s Stella.

MADDOW: Stella. Stella!

PLONCZYNSKI: Yep. And our other one is Khan. As in, wrath of.

MADDOW: That is awesome. I always wanted to name a dog fire for
that exact reason. Well done.


PLONCZYNSKI: Don`t go in any crowded theaters.

MADDOW: Yes, that`s exactly right. Luckily, that`s not going to
happen. That`s just not going to happen, mostly because I don`t go to the

All right. Let`s talk about how this game works. We`re delighted to
have you here. Thank you for playing.

You probably know but I`ll just spell it out so that we got it
straight with the lawyers.


MADDOW: You`re going to get three multiple choice questions.
They`re all about this week`s news. If you get at least two of them right,
you will win a cheap thing we`re a little bit embarrassed about.

Julia, what is the cheap thing?

NUTTER: It`s very fancy mini cocktail shaker.


MADDOW: French bull dog size.

PLONCZYNSKI: I`m excited.

MADDOW: Yes, good, all right.

If you get them all right and you need extra credit or if you don`t
get them all right and you need a consolation prize, we do have something
else random for you that until tonight has been cluttering up our office.
Tonight`s random office swag is more random than usual. I will let Julia

NUTTER: Thanks. It`s this green man suit. That we had in the

PLONCZYNSKI: I want that so much.

MADDOW: Do you?

To be clear.

PLONCZYNSKI: I have no idea what I`ll do with it.

MADDOW: The dogs can help. I have to tell you, you don`t get the
man. You don`t get the mannequin. You just get the suit.

PLONCZYNSKI: Yes. I wouldn`t have enough room for the whole man
inside. I think I would just put that on my wall or something. I don`t

MADDOW: All right. That`s what you`re playing for.

We`ll also bring in the voice of Steve Benen. Lord of Maddow Blog,
he`s the man who will determine whether or not you got right answers.

Hello, Steve.

STEVE BENEN, MADDOW BLOG: Good evening to you both.

MADDOW: Good evening.


MADDOW: OK, Katrina, you`re ready for the first question?


MADDOW: From Monday`s show.


MADDOW: Monday`s show, we reported that a very unusual law was
passing through the state legislature in Oregon. It would soon head to the
governor`s desk. Republicans in the legislature voted against it.
Democrats had the votes to pass it, though.

So this is a question: what unusual new bill is about to be signed
into law by Oregon Governor Kate Brown? Is it, A, a bill making attack
owls the state bird of Oregon? B, a bill giving landmark status to the old
carpeting at the Portland airport? C, a bill to automatically register all
Oregon residents to vote? Or D, a bill to require a background check for
all gun sales in the state of Oregon?

PLONCZYNSKI: It`s D, gun background checks.

MADDOW: Steve, did she get that right?

BENEN: She did. The correct answer is D, background checks, and I
can update us tonight.


BENEN: That Governor Brown told President Obama just today she will
sign this bill into law early next week.

MADDOW: Tah-dah.


MADDOW: So, you got one right, Katrina. Well done.

The president`s conversation with the governor about it seemed like
it was a little weird. He got off the tarmac in Oregon. They talked about
the weather. He said where he would like to go hiking in Oregon, and then
he asked about the gun bill.

So, it was right at the top of this mind. Obviously, he was reading
your mind.

OK, second question. Are you ready?


MADDOW: You have to get two right to win the price. This is from
Wednesday`s show. We reported a shocking election result this week in
which a really conservative place, a place that had been governed by the
conservative party for more than 40 years this voted to throw the
conservatives out and elect a new liberal government.

Where did that happen this week? Was it A, Kazakhstan, B, Alberta,
Canada, C, Scotland, or D, Scarborough Country?

PLONCZYNSKI: Alberta, Canada.

MADDOW: Alberta, Canada. Steve, what`s the right answer?

BENEN: Let`s check the segment from Wednesday`s show.


RACHEL NOTLEY: Friends, I believe the change has finally come to


BENEN: Yes, the correct answer is B, Alberta Canada, and our
contestant is two for two.

MADDOW: Two for two. You are now just playing for glory and the
green thing. Are you ready for your last question, Katrina?


MADDOW: OK. All right. Last night`s show, if you were listening
carefully, you might have heard me get a shout out to somebody named
Limberbutt McCubbins. Who is Limberbutt McCubbins?

Is Limberbutt McCubbins: A, somebody who was arrested for erecting an
Edward Snowden statue in a Brooklyn Park, B, one of the two New England
staffers named in the NFL`s deflategate report, C, a failed White House
fence jumper, or D, a candidate for United States presidential candidate?

PLONCZYNSKI: Presidential candidate.

MADDOW: Steve, you`ve got the answer for us?

BENEN: Let`s check last night`s segment.


MADDOW: This is not a list of cranks and protest candidates and
people who change their name to something embarrassing so they can see for
office and see their funny name on the ballot. I`m looking at you,
Limberbutt McCubbins.


BENEN: Yes, Limberbutt McCubbins is in fact an official candidate,
and Katrina is right again.

MADDOW: All right.

PLONCZYNSKI: Do we know that was a name change, though?

MADDOW: It – you know, it`s true. The McCubbins family is very
angry with me. They named all their kids things that start with “L.”
That`s great.

Julia, will you do the math? Did Katrina do well?

NUTTER: Yes, she totally wins the green man suit and the cocktail

MADDOW: If you don`t want the green man suit, I would understand.
Just refuse delivery, but we`re going to put it in the mail.

PLONCZYNSKI: My husband just said we want it. He`s in the next


MADDOW: So it turns out we want it.

Katrina, it was really, really nice to meet you and your husband by
Proxy and Stella and Khan. Thank you so much for playing.

PLONCZYNSKI: This was so much fun. Thank you.

MADDOW: Well done.

All right, if you want to play for the chance to win junk from our
office, whether or not you have a cute dog to hold up to your Skype, send
us an e-mail, Just tell us who you are, where you`re
from, and why you want to play the news dump. You could win our unwanted

Now, though, it`s time to meet your cell mates, the good news is that
I hear they`re very nice tonight.


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