The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 07/17/15
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: You can`t see this, Chris, I`m guessing,
because you are out in the field, but I`m applauding you. It`s been an
amazing week. I learned so much from you this week.
CHRIS HAYES, “ALL IN” HOST: Thank you, thank you.
MADDOW: I thought I already knew about that topic. It`s just been
amazing. Well done. Well done.
HAYES: That means a lot. Thanks, Rachel. Thanks. Thanks a lot.
MADDOW: Appreciate it.
Chris Hayes should win awards for this week that he did in California.
That reporting that he did all week, the stuff he explained, the stuff that
he figured out, the stuff that went out and saw, bring it on.
All right. Thanks to you at home for joining us this hour, too.
We actually have a very big show for you tonight right here. We are
beginning with an exclusive that, I`m sorry, happens to be about Republican
presidential candidate Donald Trump. You are not going to see this story
anywhere else. This is ours alone, and honestly, I have to tell you, it`s
a little weird.
It starts about a decade ago when Donald Trump made a big and very
public donation. Mr. Trump had bought several hundred acres of land in New
York state, in Westchester County in the 1990s.
Now, the funny thing about that part of New York state is it is super
close to New York City, even though it doesn`t feel like it. From
basically anywhere in Westchester County, you can easily drive back and
forth to work in Manhattan, or you can take the train and then back every
day, in and out of Manhattan. You are in the immediate orbit of the
biggest city in the country, but this is what it looks like. You would
never know it.
You are also in the land of bears and deer and coyotes and state
parks. Like, for instance, the Donald J. Trump State Park.
This all happened about ten years ago. The governor of New York, Mr.
Trump`s home state was George Pataki at the time. Governor Pataki is now,
more or less running for president though most people would not notice.
Unlike Mr. Trump, former New York Governor George Pataki right now is in
the very bottom tier of the Republican candidates.
But back in 2006, he was governor of New York. And part of George
Pataki`s politician brand, one of the centrist, popular noncontroversial
things that he did as a New York governor was he added parkland and he
preserved natural places all over New York state. Governor Pataki
preserved a million acres of open space for his state. He preserved or his
time in office, more places – excuse me, more space inside New York state
than the entire size of the state of Rhode Island. Just a ton of natural
And as George Pataki was coming to the end of the his time as New York
governor, Donald Trump, it turned out, had a few hundred acres of his own
in New York state that he wanted to give away. Mr. Trump had been holding
on to this chunk of real estate that he had in the woodsy part of
Westchester County, just north of New York City. He had been trying to
build a golf course on it, maybe build condos on it.
But despite how undoubtedly classy and huge and great, very great that
golf course and condos were going to be, the little towns around where he
wanted to build basically wouldn`t let him doing. The pesky little towns
has questions about how this development would affect their traffic and
drinking water and all the rest of it. And those little towns beat Donald
Trump. He didn`t get to build his big development in Westchester County.
And so, it was time for billionaire plan B. Mr. Trump took that land
he owned, which he wanted to build on, but he couldn`t. He wanted to build
on it and he couldn`t. He paid $3 million for the land. He took that land
that he had not done anything with for years, and he decided to give it to
the state of New York as a gift.
They had a big ceremony with Donald Trump and George Pataki to
announce this donation. When they asked Mr. Trump how much the land was
worth, he said, at the time, quote, “People have told me about $100
But wait a second. He bought it for $3 million. He did nothing with
it. He then proclaimed it to be worth more than 30 times that amount, $100
million and then he gave it away, presumably for the tax break. Of course,
the higher the value of the thing you are giving away, the bigger the tax
break you get. Nice.
But, of course, there was more in this for Donald Trump than a classy,
huge and great tax break. He also got something else. Right after he made
that donation, the New York Parks Department under George Pataki put up big
signs on the highway, where thousands and thousands and thousands of people
have now driven past these signs every day for going on ten years. Turn
here for Donald J. Trump State Park.
Well, after seeing these signs on the highway, myself, after a few
different people went to sendittorachel.com and sent local press reports
about people complaining about seeing those Donald Trump signs on the
highway every day, people complaining that you saw those signs on the
highway, but then you actually found in Westchester County if you follow
those giant signs didn`t necessarily add up.
After figuring out that there might be something – we just decided to
go up there to see what Donald J. Trump State Park has to offer.
Now, we heard – it`s been reported that the state never made it into
a park and the way you think of a functioning park with like staff parking
areas and hiking trails and, you know, nature walks and whatever. In fact,
what New York state did is officially closed it as a state park in 2010
when New York was having a budget crisis.
But in “The Journal News”, local paper in Westchester County, “The
Journal News”, a local columnist named Phil Reisman has been explaining
even though the Donald J. Trump State Park is officially closed, it`s not
like the land disappeared when they closed the state park. The signs are
still there on the highway, pointing you to Donald J. Trump State Park as
if it exists. Something is there, if you follow the signs, kind of. But
it`s not a park. It`s like, an undead zombie park. It`s like a phantom
And so, Phil Reisman of “The Journal News” agreed to meet us there at
the end of a long and very, very bumpy ride.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Here we are in this nice patch of weeds.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Behind us here is, I got to tell you, when I
came up to Donald J. Trump state park, this, I did not expect to see.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I don`t know. Shade Trump, there it is.
It`s graffiti covered. You can see that this was once some kind of a
driveway. Nature is taking over.
The last time I was up here, I mean, I was hoping I could find some
trace of Donald Trump. There`s nothing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Like a piece of graffiti.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Something like that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, here is a trace of Donald Trump.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is a dollar sign.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There it is, we found it. There`s some people
that are really incensed about the signs. They want them removed, the one
on the parkway.
Nothing gets people`s blood up more, or one of the things that gets
their blood up, is these signs on the parkway. You know, basically saying,
right turn, get off the road. Here`s a state park and it`s really not a
How is it he gets these signs out there, basically advertising his
name, you know? The point up the road is the Franklin Delano Roosevelt
State Park. It`s a real park. He`s also a real president.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Donald Trump might become a real president.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He might, you know? He`s leading in the polls,
you know? I mean, who knows? Anything is possible. It`s like a Stephen
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: RACHEL MADDOW SHOW producer Laura Conaway there with Phil
Reisman from “The Journal News” in Westchester County.
Donald J. Trump State Park is not much of a park. You can see a few
abandoned buildings. There`s one gaping cellar hole that you can fall ten
feet into. If you did 10 feet into it, you would land on the old truck
left to rust there inside the hole. It`s got lots of very, very aggressive
weeds. You can see where they meant to put up maps for this would-be park
or signs or something.
But today, there are no maps. There`s no trail marks. There`s no
picnic tables. There`s no bathrooms. There`s nothing like you would plan
to see if you plan a day at a state park because you saw a sign for it on
the highway telling you it was the very classy, very huge, very great state
park named after Donald J. Trump.
What is there? If you follow the signs on the highway, it could be a
nice place to walk your dog if your dog is adventurous and not too short.
Obviously, what I feel like is it could be good for hiding in the woods and
drinking beer where your parents can`t find you and I do not recommend that
as a course of action at all.
But it`s interesting. I mean, this is the major governmental legacy
in New York state for a man who is known primarily as a businessman and
reality TV star, who is now in the running, who is now the leading
contender to be the Republican nominee for president of the United States.
This is his governmental legacy. In terms of the art of the deal
here, in terms of how much money he made on that tax break and whether it
was more than he paid for the land in the first place, that part of it we
still don`t know for sure.
We have reached out to Mr. Trump to see how well he made out in the
deal. No answer so far. But if we do get an answer, we will let you know.
We live in hope, because he really does seem to love talking to the press.
And he may love having the signs out by the side of the road. The
people who have to live around the falling down disused place the signs
point to don`t seem to feel the same way about it.
But, hey, the New York state government must have a reason for
basically advertising Donald Trump`s name on state property while he`s
running for president because they want to direct people to a nonexistent
facility that they closed down five years ago and have since let fall down.
Donald J. Trump State Park, you will win bets this weekend if you tell
people this story. But fair warning, if you try to go there, if you try to
go to Donald J. Trump State Park, you will get lost. You will get five
minutes – you`ll get about five minutes lead time and you get lost, then
about five minutes, you`ll get scared.
MADDOW: So, we have some breaking news tonight. We are keeping an
eye on a Southern California wildfire, which very dramatically and very
dangerously jumped Interstate 15 at the beginning of rush hour this
evening. I-15 is the highway that connects Southern California to the Las
People had to abandon their vehicles and flee for safety as they set
on fire the cars and trucks that were trapped in its path. This wildfire
has already burned through 500 acres. Fire crews have enlisted helicopters
and planes to stop the fire from spreading any further.
The San Bernardino Fire Department is not confirming injury numbers,
but they`re saying there is an evacuation order in effect for people who
live in the surrounding area.
As of this hour, the fire department has put out the vehicle fires, we
are told, but they are still working on the scene, getting people back to
their cars, in some cases, burned out cars on I-15. They are clearing the
road there. We`ll keep an eye on the situation as the story develops.
MADDOW: A new FOX News national poll is out in the presidential race
today. Donald Trump of Donald J. Trump state park fame, Donald Trump wins
in the latest FOX News poll. He wins by a lot. He`s in first. Both he
and Scott Walker leapfrogged ahead of Jeb Bush, who is either won the poll
of tied for first since it`s been done back to May.
So, yet another national poll in which Republican voters say they want
Donald Trump to be their presidential nominee more than they want any other
candidate to be the nominee.
Since FOX News is choosing which candidates are allowed to debate
based on national polling, we will plug the latest poll into our who`s
allowed to compete cable news derived random number generator, which is our
best estimation of how FOX is going to cut off the Republican field this
The cable news derived random number generator tonight puts Mr. Trump
not just first in the poll, but first in the average of the last five
polls. He leads a group of seven or eight candidates, whose places on the
debate stage are more or less safe at this point. Those candidates are
Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Walker, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Mike
Huckabee and this last one, he`s a little bit on the bubble, but maybe Ted
Cruz get as slot in the debate, too.
But then, thanks to FOX News and its rules, there look to be nine
candidates competing for the remaining two slots on stage. Those would be
Chris Christie, both Ricks, Santorum and Perry, John Kasich, Carly Fiorina,
Bobby Jindal, Lindsey Graham, George Pataki, Jim Gilmore. They`re all
competing for the last two spots.
And national polls are basically meaningless at this stage of an
election like this, and it is very early yet, so early in the process. But
because of FOX News, and because of FOX`s plan to cut out of the debate
seven or more of the major candidates at this stage, just based on national
polling. I mean, the race may look like early days on the calendar. But
for a lot of guys, their presidential race is almost over. A couple weeks,
then they`ll be done.
Larry Sabato writing today at Politicom.com, quote, “Let them debate.
The cable channels shouldn`t get to decide who gets to be president.” He
explains that what FOX is doing will effectively end some of the Republican
presidential candidacies this year, end it before where anywhere near early
Quote, “If a candidate can`t even make it to the debate stage, why
would rational donors and volunteers continue giving money and time to what
is apparently a lost cause? It`s hard to look presidential languishing at
home while your opponents are discussing Social Security on national
It really is early days. For guys like Chris Christie and Lindsey
Graham and Ohio Governor John Kasich and both Ricks, the race really is
about to be over for most of those guys, by the first week of August
because FOX News says so. And so, most of those guys are fighting back.
They have to if they want to run.
South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham is nowhere near on track to get
a place in the debate under FOX`s rules about national polling. Lindsey
Graham`s last effort to try to goose his national numbers was to mention
Brad Pitt a lot. Brad Pitt, Brad Pitt. Subject line: Brad Pitt. Did I
mention Brad? P.S., Brad Pitt.
That did not work to bring up Lindsey Graham`s numbers. Two months
ago, he was polling at 2 percent in the FOX poll. Last month, he fell from
2 percent to 1 percent in the FOX poll. Today in the new FOX poll, he has
completely off the cliff. In this new FOX poll, Lindsey scratches. They
don`t even give him a zero, they just give him a dash.
Senator Graham`s new strategy to try to keep his candidacy alive is
apparently to give up on his old friend Brad Pitt. Instead, he`s e-mailing
supporters, promoting a Twitter hashtage, #ourpodium. So, people will
demand FOX News let him compete. We`ll see.
The Ted Cruz campaign is lobbying FOX News about who they are going to
let compete and who FOX News is going to decide who they let compete.
Politico.com reports that the Ted Cruz campaign has been trying to lobby
the other Republican campaigns to join them in that effort.
But now, this is amazing, I think. This – I almost can`t get my head
around this. Now, FOX News responded to the Ted Cruz effort by taking a
giant public FOX News backhand to Senator Ted Cruz and his campaign.
Look at this. Look at this. I can`t quote – “I can`t wait until
Senator Cruz is president so we can tell all the networks how to run their
business”, said FOX News executive vice president Michael Clemente. I
mean, part of me is like, rrr. Ted Cruz and FOX News, right?
But step back in just a second. I mean, it`s one thing to deal with
if your hosts endorse candidates or denounce candidates and your network is
going to host a debate for the candidates.
But how can network executives who are organizing the debate endorse
or denounce specific candidates and then also run the debate which that
candidate has to compete?
FOX News, you know I love you, but I think you`re in over your head
here. And it`s only going to get worse as the field gets bigger and bigger
and flatter and flatter.
Ohio Governor John Kasich is going to get in on Tuesday. You guys are
going to exclude him from the debate? FOX News, you are going to hold the
debate in the state where he is currently the governor. He`s going to have
to watch the debate from home, at the governor`s mansion because he`s not
good enough for FOX News to let him on stage? Seriously?
So, the drama on the Republican side is, capital “D” drama and heading
for a break down. The drama on the Democratic side, thus far, has been
But look at this, a live picture right now from Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
This is the Cedar Rapids Convention Center. This site tonight, that stage
is about to host all five Democratic candidates for president all at once.
This event in Iowa tonight is the first time the five Democrats running for
president will all be in one place at one time.
Tonight, in just a few minutes, we are expected to hear from all the
declared Democratic candidates, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Martin
O`Malley, Jim Webb, Lincoln Chafee. That`s in roughly polling order. This
event tonight is technically a celebration for the state of Iowa`s
Democratic Party. They are inducting seven new members in the Iowa
Democratic Party Hall of Fame. Mazel tov!
Honestly, thought, the main event will be hearing from the candidates.
The latest polling out of Iowa shows Hillary Clinton with a commanding
lead. She leads the rest of the pack by 19 points. Any of the other
Republican candidates would like to have 19 points. Her margin is 19
But check this out. Here is what`s happened in Iowa in the span of a
few weeks. Since May, Bernie Sanders has more than doubled his support
among Iowa Democrats. Hillary Clinton may still have a 19-point lead, but
she used to have a 45-point lead. And that`s still – what she`s got is
still, of course, a comfortable lead, but there is movement there.
The Clinton campaign has been telegraphing to reporters, that they are
concerned about Sanders catching fire in Iowa, about Bernie Sanders
potentially catching Secretary Clinton or surpassing her in the Iowa polls.
So, there is a little drama there. And that is the context in which this
event is happening.
In terms of the crowd, the Cedar Rapids Convention Center has a
capacity of about 1,200 people. Each of the campaigns was allowed to buy
tickets, but no campaign could buy more than 200 tickets. So, no one
campaign could have an overwhelming advantage when it came to the reaction
from the crowd there. That was smart.
Each of the candidates tonight will be given 15 minutes to speak. Out
of fairness, because it`s Iowa and they are nothing but fair, the
candidates tonight in this Democratic event, they are going in alphabetical
order by last anytime, which means that Lincoln Chafee with the CH comes
before Hillary Clinton with the CL, so, it will be Lincoln Chafee first
then down the line, Lincoln Chafee, Hillary Clinton, Martin O`Malley,
Bernie Sanders and finally Jim Webb.
So far, all the 2016 attention has been gobbled up by the absolutely
bananas fight on the Republican side and rightfully so. But this event in
Iowa, tonight, with all five candidates on stage is the biggest event, so
far, on the Democratic presidential calendar.
And joining us now from there is my old pal, one of my favorite people
in the world, MSNBC reporter Anthony Terrell, just outside the convention
Anthony, it`s great to see you. Thanks for being here.
ANTHONY TERRELL, MSNBC REPORTER: Thanks, Rachel. It`s nice to be
MADDOW: So, I know each campaign was able to buy up to 200 tickets
for this event. Do we know if every campaign was actually able to find 200
supporters to fill their seats?
TERRELL: Well, I`m told by the Iowa Democratic Party they weren`t
saying who sold out, but there was a wink and nod that you can guess who
was able to find 200 supporters.
One of the campaigns came up to me afterward and said although they
had maxed out, they had supporters who are attending the event inside here,
that they were going to be there. So, they weren`t part of the 200 cap,
but they were also in attendance.
There`s an open bar inside, so everyone is in a jovial mode. All the
candidates came out in alphabetical order as you`ve mentioned earlier. And
Bernie Sanders got cheers of “Bernie! Bernie!” after the Pledge of
Even though these campaigns were capped at 200, you can feel the Bern-
mentum going on inside.
One thing I heard that I noticed here that other campaigns weren`t
specifically used to was that everyone who went inside had to get patted
down. That`s obviously because of Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary
Clinton, former first lady, all her events have the Secret Service agents
wanding and patting people down. All the other candidates, you can just
walk right in.
So, that`s a little bit of a difference that supporters of the other
candidates had to endure ahead of this dinner tonight.
MADDOW: So, Anthony, you know, looking at this from a national
perspective, we are looking at the race overall. The race on the
Republican side is so freaking nutty, it`s easy to even forget sometimes
that the Democratic campaign is going on. It`s certainly on a day-to-day
basis, more fun to cover what`s happening on the Republican side.
But on the ground in Iowa, not the candidates, not the candidates die
hard supporters, but the Iowa Democrats turning out for their event. Are
they psyched? Are they into it? Are people paying close attention here?
TERRELL: Rachel, they are. When I came here to the event, an hour or
two before, there were supporters of Martin O`Malley and of Hillary
Clinton. Across the street from one another, dozens and dozens of
supporters, chanting at each other. The Hillary Rodham Clinton folks
chanting, “I believe she will win, I believe she will win.” The Martin
O`Malley supporters chanting back things that Martin O`Malley did in
Maryland, the Dream Act, minimum wage, he was for gay marriage.
And so, it was quite a scene out here before the event inside. I`m
told the Martin O`Malley campaign had 200 people at his event. I was at
the Hillary Rodham Clinton event, and she was packing the house as well.
So, there`s a lot of grass roots enthusiasm here, sign waving
supporters. They are pretty excited about the Democrats being here in
MADDOW: MSNBC reporter Anthony Terrell, who has never not been
excited about wherever he is at the moment that he is there – Anthony, I
miss seeing your face every day from when you worked on this show. And I`m
so glad you`re out there doing what you`re doing tonight. It`s great to
have you there, man. Great to have you here.
TERRELL: Thank you, Rachel. Thank you for having me. I miss you.
MADDOW: Me, too.
Anthony Terrell is – we`ll all be working for Anthony Terrell one
day. Seriously. Remember that name. Two R`s, two L`s.
All right. Lots more ahead tonight, including the story I like to
think of as nuns win, Koch brothers lose. Happy Friday. That`s ahead.
Please stay with us.
MADDOW: I`m going to be very specific here. There are four things we
learned today about the attack that killed four U.S. marines in
Chattanooga, Tennessee, yesterday. It has been an emotionally tense day,
as Chattanooga recovers and the country and people close to the victims
coped with the direct impact of what has happened.
But in terms of what we have learned today we did not know yesterday,
I see we have four new pieces of information. The first concern this is
visual, this memorable visual from yesterday. The raid on the suspected
gunman`s house yesterday, produced this image of a woman being led away in
We now know the woman, despite the fact she is handcuffed here, she
was not arrested. The FBI special agent in charge of the investigation
said today that unidentified woman was handcuffed simply as a precaution
while agents secured the scene. Once it was determined that she wasn`t a
threat, the handcuffs were taken off. The special agent says she was taken
So, again, that`s new today that we have that confirmation, even
though that looked like an arrest, it was not an arrest.
The second thing we learned today was about the guns used in the
shooting. A law enforcement official telling NBC News he had three guns,
an AK-47 type assault rifle, a .12 gauge shotgun and a .9 millimeters
pistol. At least one gun appears to have been purchased from a dealer, one
appears to have been purchased from a private individual, although it`s not
clear which of descriptions attend to which of those guns.
I should also say it`s worth noting the phrase AK-47 type assault
rifle, that can mean a lot of things. There are a lot of AK-47s in the
world. There were a lot of AK-47 rip-offs and variants in the world. But
it`s also true, in reporting and in layman`s descriptions after shooting
incidents, it`s often the case any assault rifle of any kind gets called an
AK-47 type assault rifle.
So, just take that with a grain of salt. We don`t know what that
means exactly about that long gun. Specifically, we don`t know whether it
was semiautomatic rifle or a fully automatic rifle, but we do believe, at
least from that description, that it was a rifle.
The third thing we know today that we did not know yesterday is, I
think, the first concrete detail we have about how those marines might have
died, specifically. About how the attack that killed the four U.S. marines
actually happened. And, honestly, that`s the biggest black box, so far,
outside the motive and any potential terrorist connections.
That third thing we learned about the actual attack is geographic
basically. What we learned today is that all four marines and the shooter
were killed inside the fence, inside the perimeter fence that surrounds the
Navy reserve center in Chattanooga. So, the shooter killed those four
marines and he died himself inside the center. Once he got through the
gates, the FBI said today the shooter was, quote, “most likely killed by
So, that was new specific information about how that attack may have
gone down at that naval and marine center.
Of course, the fourth thing we learned, the fourth and final thing is
the identities of the four U.S. marines who were killed.
Gunnery Sergeant Thomas Sullivan, 40 years old, he was from western
Massachusetts. He`s from Hamdan, Massachusetts. He had been in the
marines since 1997. He served two tours in Iraq as field artillery
cannoneer. He was awarded a Purple Heart.
Staff Sergeant David Wyatt had served in both Afghanistan and Iraq
since enlisting in 2004. He was a field artillery operator. He was from
Burke, North Carolina.
Sergeant Carson Holmquist was from Polk, Wisconsin. He served one
tour in Afghanistan and as an automotive maintenance tech.
Lance Corporal Skip Wells was reservist, who had just entered the
service last year. He was a field artillery cannoneer from Cobb, Georgia.
He was only 21 years old.
A convoy of hearses transported the bodies of the four marines to
Dover Air Force Base today where they were flown to their home cities.
Back in Chattanooga this evening, the community gathered for a
memorial service in their honor. It has been an emotionally intense day.
In terms for further reporting on this story and what happened and
why, we`ve got a little more information that we had yesterday but not
much. There will be a lot more that we learn about this before it`s over.
Watch this space.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICK TUTHS, TRMS PRODUCER: It`s for the (INAUDIBLE) swag.
MADDOW: Where`s Trisha?
TUTHS: Trisha is out today, so I`m filling in. I`m doing double
MADDOW: OK, all right. I`m okay. Change is fine. I don`t mind.
TUTHS: Up first, we have a hat that was sent to us by one of our
producers` family members.
MADDOW: It`s like an American Mohawk hat.
TUTHS: It is exactly like that.
MADDOW: All right.
TUTHS: The other thing –
MADDOW: It works.
TUTHS: – that we have is from the Bob McDonnell trial when the
MADDOW: Great. The little paper dolls of all the swag, the Rolex and
TUTHS: Yes, absolutely.
MADDOW: You got them on cards stack and everything. I have to choose
between these two?
TUTHS: You do.
MADDOW: I think we give our winner the choice. I can`t decide. They
are both awesome and different. Is that OK? Is that disappointing?
TUTHS: No, it`s good, I think.
MADDOW: All right. I think we get them the choice.
MADDOW: Thank you.
See you later.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Texas likes to brag about how big it is. But actually,
Alaska is freaking enormous.
The way it looks on most maps, you can`t always tell how freaking
enormous it is. But Alaska is really freaking enormous. Here is an
accurate, to scale representation of Alaska versus teeny, teeny, tiny, tiny
Despite that, Texas is still pretty big. Alaska, Texas. California
and Montana, those are the biggest four states in the country by area.
Alaska, Texas, California, Montana.
Two of those four states are absolutely full with people, right?
Texas and California are not only giant in terms of land mass, they`re also
right up there as the top two states in terms of population.
Montana and Alaska, though, yes – different. There`s almost nobody
in Montana and Alaska. I mean no offense. For all the huge land mass of
Alaska, the population is the same size as Washington, D.C.
A similar situation with Montana, Montana is physically ginormous, but
its population is about the size of Rhode Island, slightly less than the
population of Rhode Island. About 1 million people live in all of Montana,
which made this very funny.
After Montana`s legislature voted to expand health insurance in that
state, the Koch brothers group, Americans for Prosperity, they released a
furious statement in response. They said, quote, “This decision stands
against the voices of millions of people in Montanans.” Millions of
Montanans – there are not millions of Montanans. Again, no offense, but
there`s only one millions of Montanans.
It`s possible the Koch brothers people didn`t know that. That same
Astroturf, parachute in, fake grassroots Montana Koch brothers group held
town meetings around Montana, lecturing Montana residents about the dangers
of Obamacare and health insurance expansion. They were so completely out
of touch that Montana`s deputy secretary of state said to the local paper,
quote, “Please take a moment to saver the image of a young man from D.C.,
showing up in a small, Montana town, wearing a tailored suit, and dressed
short but no tie and pointy shoes, looking like he`s expecting bottle
service at a night club, to answer an audience of burly men wearing flannel
shirts and overalls and likely carrying concealed weapons.”
I said it was a local paper, it was actually salon.com.
This was the group that was trying to appear to be a grassroots
Montana organization with all this funding for the Koch brothers. They had
such a fundamental misunderstanding of the state, that they made mistakes
that no real Montana grassroots group would make about that state.
Also, there`s this – that group trying to be Montanan and not fool
anyone. It really was a Koch brothers-funded operation designed to look
like a Montana interest group, designed to convince people not to give
people health insurance under Obamacare.
Now, at a surface level, when Montana decides a few months ago they
were going to expand health insurance under Obamacare, it`s a surprising
headline, right? I mean, Montana does have a Republican legislature there.
The Democratic governor of Montana wanted to do it, figured out a way to do
It turns out all the kids with the pointing shoe that is don`t know
about the population density of Montana, they – the Koch brothers just got
beat on the issue. Montana did it, despite the Koch brothers flying in
that operation to try to oppose it.
And the Koch brothers just got beat somewhere else, too, in a state
that has even fewer people than Montana. Koch brothers just got beat in
Alaska. Alaska also has a Republican legislature. They`ve got a
Republican-turned-independent as their new governor.
And, yes, Alaska, too, has their own fake grassroots Koch
brothers/AFP-funded effort to try to make the expansion of health insurance
not happen in Alaska just the way they tried to make it not happen in
Montana. But again, it turns out, the Koch brothers were apparently no
match for other actual, real Alaskans who wanted this thing.
Basically, every health care interest in the state, all the hospitals,
all the medical associations, because they`re going to be treating people
whether or not they have health insurance. Those medical institutions,
right, they`d rather have people have health insurance, since they`re going
to be providing health care to them, anyway. The independent governor, the
whole Democratic Party establishment, native communities in Alaska were
super in favor of this plan.
Also, religious communities were lined up in favor of getting this
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SISTER MARY PETER DIAZ: We are our brother`s keeper.
REPORTER: Sister Mary Peter Diaz is a daughter of charity here with
representatives from 15 anchorage congregations on a mission to remind
lawmakers there`s a moral imperative to help those who can`t help
DIAZ: Like the Good Samaritan. We have to help them. We can`t be
the ones that walk on the other side of the street.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: That nun, Sister Mary Peter Diaz, helping mobilize against a
billionaire funded effort to keep people from getting health care in
Alaska. In turns out, she is not just a force in the health care fight.
In turns out, she`s pretty good at dog sledding. That`s her. That is
Sister Mary Peter Diaz, mushing right along.
But because of her work, I don`t know if it was her work on the dog
sled, but her work as a nun, her work and the state`s governor and the
other people who pushed back about it, if you make less than 20 grand a
year in Alaska, you are soon going to get health insurance, even if you
couldn`t get it any other way – whether or not the Koch brothers agree.
We reached out to them and Americans for Prosperity. We have not
heard back in terms of our questions. We let you know if we do.
But here`s what we do know, 40,000 people in Alaska are going to get
health insurance because of this decision. And even in a state as big as
Alaska, 40,000 people is a surprisingly large proportion of the population.
MADDOW: Tomorrow afternoon, at the Richard Rogers Theater on
Broadway, the cast of the musical “Hamilton” will have an extra reason to
be nervous about their super high profile, super hot ticket show, because
tomorrow`s matinee will have a member of the audience, the president of the
United States. President Obama is in New York fundraiser tonight, but
instead of hopping back on Air Force One and going back to the White House
this evening, he decided to stay the night in New York City with his
teenage daughters, making the trip out of it and taking Sasha and Malia to
go see “Hamilton” with him at tomorrow`s matinee.
That`s a weekend trip to the theater with his daughters, just like
normal people. Don`t be nervous, you guys.
MADDOW: I`ve got a feeling that something amazing is about to happen.
Woo-hoo! Yay, it`s the Friday Night News Dump.
Nick Tuths, who is tonight`s lucky player?
TUTHS: Tonight, we have Carlos Pinero from Portland, Oregon. He`s a
photographer for the insurance industry. He used to work here at 30 Rock
and he plays Segway polo. Hey, me, too.
Rachel, meet Carlos.
MADDOW: That`s not true.
Carlos, it`s really nice to meet you. Thank you for being here.
CARLOS PINERO, PORTLAND, OREGON: Rachel, it`s great to be here.
Thank you for having me on.
MADDOW: Where – did you work at 30 Rock? Did you work at NBC?
PINERO: I worked at the rainbow room.
MADDOW: Oh, very nice.
PINERO: So it was the beginning of my career, it was first management
job. That`s where I met my beautiful wife, singer Barbara years ago.
MADDOW: Oh, that`s wonderful. That`s very exciting. See, I was
going to ask you about Segway polo, now we will make long-term friends and
you`ll show me that someday.
PINERO: You bet.
MADDOW: OK. All right. You`re going to get three multiple choice
questions Carlos, they`re all about this week`s news. If you get at least
two of them right, you will win this specific piece of junk. Nick, please
TUTHS: It`s THE RACHEL MADDOW mini cocktail shaker.
MADDOW: Not nearly nice enough to be used at the rainbow room ever.
If you need extra credit or you need a consolation prize, we also do
have one other random thing for you until tonight was cluttering up our
office. Nick, what is our random office swag tonight?
TUTHS: We have two options, a hat that was sent to one of our
producers by a family member.
MADDOW: It`s an American flag. OK.
TUTHS: It`s an American flag Mohawk hat. And we have a cut out of
Bob and Maureen McDonnell from the trial and all of the stuff.
MADDOW: They are bribes.
TUTHS: Yes, the bribes.
MADDOW: The paper doll cutouts. So you will be able to choose one of
though lovely items.
We will also bring in the disembodied voice of Steve Benen, lord of
Maddow Blog. He`s the guy who determines whether or not you got the right
STEVE BENEN, MADDOW BLOG: Good evening to you both.
MADDOW: Good evening.
All right. Carlos, are you ready for your first question?
PINERO: I`m ready.
MADDOW: OK. This is from Monday`s show. On Monday`s show, we
reported the decision by Donald Trump to run for president not only had
brought David Letterman out of retirement briefly this past week, it had
always also brought out of hibernation a beloved comic strip that had been
on hiatus for the past 25 years.
Which beloved comic strip is back now because its creator could no
longer resist the desire to make fun of Donald Trump in comic strip form?
Is it the comic strip Cathy? Is it Hagar the Horrible? Is it Bloom
County? Or is it Marmaduke?
PINERO: This is a tough one. I can`t phone a friend, right? No,
Let`s see. I would have to go with Bloom County.
MADDOW: Bloom County. Steve, did Carlos get that right?
BENEN: Well, I think as we can put it on the screen, the brilliant
Bloom County is back and that is great news. In fact, there`s a new
installment today which I was thrilled to see which is also about Donald
Trump. And, of course, the good news is Carlos is one for one.
MADDOW: It`s about Donald Trump and I will tell you, I saw it on
Facebook today and it involves the name Donald Trump and the phrase poo-poo
sauce, so we can`t – obviously can`t go there on TV.
All right. Second question, Carlos, you actually have a choice on
this one. Do you want it to be – it is from Monday`s show, I`ll tell you
that either way. Do you want it to be a politics question or a non-
PINERO: I`ll go with politics.
MADDOW: All right. I will tell you the answer to the non-politics
question was Portland, Oregon.
Here`s the politics question. On Monday, Wisconsin Governor Scott
Walker officially launched his presidential campaign. On that night`s
show, we reported that the stylized E in his campaign logo looks like the
logo from the flagship radio station of the dearly departed liberal talk
radio network where I used to work, Air America Radio.
That logo however looks exactly like the logo for a thriving existing
eyeglasses business. From which national eyeglasses company did Scott
Walker apparently appropriate his campaign logo? Was it A, America`s Best
Contacts and Eyeglasses, B, GlassesUSA.com, C, 39dollarsglasses.com, or D,
PINERO: Oh, this really is a tough one. I think I`m going to take a
stab in the dark because I do not remember this topic. Let`s see.
GlassesUSA.com, I`m leaning that way. $39 glasses, that sounds like Scott
Walker, but – leaning towards b or a. I`m going to say A, America`s Best
Contacts and Eyeglasses.
MADDOW: Steve, what`s the right answer?
BENEN: Let`s check the segment from Monday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: That`s not Scott Walker`s logo. Come on, you guys. Put up
the right one. Oh, now that is Scott Walker`s running for president logo.
See? Totally different.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: America`s Best Contacts.
MADDOW: Yes, you got it right. The suspense was killing me.
OK. Carlos, last question. Wednesday`s show, we reported on the
truly epic corruption charges against a former public official named Steven
Reid. He has a 499 count criminal indictment against him which alleges he
spent thousand of dollars in public money, possibly millions of dollars in
public money on memorabilia and historic artifacts like a life size
sarcophagus, Wyatt Earp`s cane, a fake vampire hunting kit, a taxidermied
coyote, which beleaguered American city was Steven Reid the mayor of when
he allegedly spent his city`s money on taxidermy and all the rest of that
Was he the major of A, Detroit, Michigan, B, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania,
C, Hoboken, New Jersey, or D, Coyote Falls, Utah?
PINERO: This one I do remember. I was hoping you would have a
vampire kit as one of the contestant prizes for me today. The answer is B,
MADDOW: Steve, you got the answer for us, Steve.
BENEN: Let`s check the segment from Wednesday`s show.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: All of these things and thousands of other things, pistols,
saddles, anchors, anvils, stagecoach harnesses, crossbows, bowie knives,
strong boxes from stagecoaches, sheriff`s badges, all of this stuff
apparently millions of dollars worth of this stuff was bought by the former
mayor of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, with taxpayer money.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BENEN: Yes, correct answer is Harrisburg, PA, and Carlos is correct.
MADDOW: Yes! This is very good news. Nick, did Carlos win the
TUTHS: He won everything.
MADDOW: Carlos, we`re not going to make you pick between the hat and
paper dolls. You get it all. Thank you so much for playing with us
PINERO: Thank you.
I also have a prize for you, Rachel. Since you are always giving us
prizes, I thought I would reciprocate. And from the great state of
Arkansas, I have this lovely attack bird from the great state of Oregon
PINERO: I will send along. If the shirt doesn`t fit, you can always
regift it in a future segment.
MADDOW: I hear you. Absolutely. That`s very kind of you, Carlos.
You are an excellent guest. Thank you for playing, well done. Great to
Hello, Oregon. I love you. Great.
PINERO: Thank you, you bet.
MADDOW: And if you want to play, send an e-mail: rachel@MSNBC.com.
Tell us who you are, where you are from and why you want to play. We
cannot wait to send you our unwanted junk, but now you must go to prison.
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