The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 10/9/15
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: You talking to Seth Meyers is
spectacular. You talking to Lawrence Lessig is spectacular.
CHRIS HAYES, “ALL IN” HOST: Oh, good.
MADDOW: You`re doing – like, A, you`re always great. But your
interviews on the Democratic side in terms of what`s going on presidential
politics is so much better than anyone else`s.
HAYES: Thank you, Rachel. It`s very kind of you.
MADDOW: You`re amazing.
HAYES: Have a great weekend.
MADDOW: You, too. Thanks, Chris.
And thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. Happy Friday.
Fridays are supposed to be boring in the news business.
Whether you are a liberal or a conservative or neither or you`re not
sure or you don`t even care enough to care what you are, you, right now, by
virtue of the fact that you are living right now, all of us right now, we
are all living through an era in American politics that is, A, very
exciting, but, B, it`s one where there is one super interesting unresolved
and now enduring question at the heart of everything else that happens in
politics. It`s one big unanswered question.
And that`s not to say that there aren`t important questions out there
about policy, right? That`s not to say there aren`t open questions out
there about the world of challenges that our countries are going to have to
But in terms of how we`re going to face our challenges when it comes
to just political questions, questions about our political system and us as
a political nation, there really is just one, one big one. One big
unresolved question that equally applies to all of us, because it controls
almost everything that happens.
And that big question is this – who runs that one party? Who is in
charge over there? I mean, we`re supposed to be a two-party system.
That`s the way the whole kit and caboodle is supposed to run in this
country. We all know who runs the Democratic Party?
There`s no lack of clarity around in leadership and who`s in charge
on the Democratic side. But on the Republican side, on the other side, who
is in charge?
And I say this as an enduring question, because, obviously, at the
turn of the century, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney won the White House for
the Republican Party, thanks in part to an arcane and contested Supreme
Court decision, but they got two terms in office and their two terms in
office were consequential, to say the least, a pretty good proportion of
the people in this country would agree those two terms overall were
But they left office after those two terms, and since then, what has
happened to the other party, what has happened to their party in American
politics? I mean, who is it? Who`s in charge? Is it John McCain? Mitt
Romney? Mitt McCain? John Romney?
A swing and a miss for both of those guys, right, and what`s happen
to them since their presidential runs. And I don`t mean to suggest that
you have to be elected president in order to have an important leadership
role in this country.
But in the absence of being able to elect a Republican president,
it`s really hard to say that there is a person who leads Republicans.
Frankly, it`s hard to find a single person in the country who you could
say, ah, Republicans generally tend to like that person. Who`s in charge?
Who are they?
And seven years of Republicans struggling with this issue and
fighting over this issue and not solving this issue. Seven years of this
unresolved question so far led this year to something we`ve never seen
before and I thought we would never see again. It led to a picture of the
Republican Party`s presidential field this year that looks like a yearbook
page from a really, really big high school with a really, really small
yearbook budget. Got to cram everybody on to the same page.
I mean, this is two whole Brady bunches of candidates. This is not a
normal field of candidates for one party`s nomination for president. I`m
not impugning any of their individual normalcy. I just mean it is abnormal
to have so many people in the running. The Republican Party is in such a
weird place right now that their presidential field this year started off
as 17 candidates.
Rick Perry and Scott Walker have already dropped out and there are
still 15 of them, which is an unimaginably large number itself. It`s just
remarkable. This is a remarkable number of people running. It is a
remarkable picture of a presidential field.
Look at that and know we will never see anything like that again.
Oh, except for what happened today, except for this. We have another one
Oh, Republican Party, when you have a leadership vacuum, you really
like to show it off, don`t you? After 17 Republicans filed to run for
president this year, now, here is the cast of Republicans whose names have
been put forward from second most powerful job in Washington after the
presidency. These are the 20 Republicans, the 20 people whose names have
been put forward so far, for the new leadership hole at the top of the
Republican Party, the position of speaker of the House – the person who
gets to run Congress.
Here is the list of the names that are out there thus far. And the
only reason, frankly, we can even get it down to 20 is because we decided
not to count Newt Gingrich, which, please, God, do not make me count Newt
Gingrich, because it would break our chart.
I mean, technically, he can do it. He says he would love to do it.
He told Sean Hannity yesterday that he would love to do it. And maybe
they`ll pick Newt Gingrich and we`ll have to blow up our chart.
But Newt Gingrich is not a member of Congress right now. All of
these other people are. All 20 of them are being discussed as potential
choices for speaker.
Big John Stanton from “BuzzFeed News” is going to be here in just a
moment to tell us the latest reporting on the 20. Who they`re going to
pick and how they`re going to do it, more importantly.
But the sheer number of people who are considered to be in the
running is just amazing. I mean, we`re all just barely over learning to
squint and tell the difference between George Pataki and John Kasich from a
distance, right? But now for this contest at the top of the Republican
Party, this other top position in the Republican Party, this other top
political plum, get ready to memorize and tell the salient differences
between Tom Cole, Candace Miller, Mac Thornberry, John Kind, Greg Walden,
Marsha Blackburn, Patrick McHenry, Jeff Miller, Darrell Issa, Mike Conaway,
Trey Gowdy, Jim Jordan, Jason Chaffetz, Lynn Westmoreland, Daniel Webster,
Jeb Hensarling, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Tom Price, Pete Roskam, and, oh,
yes, Paul Ryan. That last one, I know that one. Paul Ryan.
But as that pile of 20, right? As that wild, giant scrum in the
Republican Party takes shape, the second wild, giant scrum in the
Republican Party this year, as that is bestowed upon us, there is this
other thing going on right new in today`s news that is also about how the
parties are doing in general with and this looming question of who`s going
to be the next president and how those two things speak to each other.
I have to say, this other story, it cuts totally across the currents
of the speaker of the House catastrophe that house Republicans have just
brought upon themselves, though. Because at catastrophically bad as things
are for Republicans in Washington right now, things are actually kind of
good right now in Washington for Democrats. And that has consequences that
may be just as big.
Things are good, specifically, in Washington for Democrats in one
very, very specific way. And that is, you`ll be surprised to hear, the
Right now, obviously, Republicans control the Senate. They have 54
out of 100 senators, are Republicans. But in the next election, Democrats
are looking really good. Really good for taking the Senate back for the
I mean, just by happenstance, Republicans are going to have to defend
a lot more seats than the Democrats are in this next election. Twenty-four
of their Senate seats are up. Only ten of the Democrats` seats are up. So
the Democrats have a structural advantage, anyway, just by the accident to
have that math.
And if you think about it, the Democrats have two structural
advantages for the Senate for the next election. Because the next election
for Senate is November 2016. People will also be turning out to vote for
president on that same day, and a bigger turnout, which you tend to get in
a presidential election year, that`s generally better news for Democrats.
So, the field tilts in Democrats` directions – Democrat`s direction,
because it`s a presidential year, the field tilts in their direction
because of which seats happen to be up this year.
And on top of those two structural advantages they`ve got, the
Democrats have also done really, really good work this year at getting the
candidates, who they want to run. Now, don`t be mad at me for saying this.
I mean, I realize the primaries have not happened, this is not all settled
yet. There will be plenty to argue about in terms of who really is the
best candidate for the Democrats in a bunch of these states, but just
simply in terms of who the Democratic Party wanted, who their number one
choice was, who the Democratic Party wanted to recruit to run, because they
thought that individual person would be most likely to win that seat for
the Democratic Party, in all of these states, the Democratic Party
successfully persuaded their number one choice to actually make a run for
That`s a huge number of states in which they`re getting their number
one candidate. And in addition to that, in these three additional states,
the Democratic Party is also psyched, doubly psyched, because in those
three states, they`ve been able to persuade three incumbent Democratic
senators to stay on and defend their Senate seats in 2016. All three of
the Democratic senators from these states, from North Dakota, Missouri, and
West Virginia, they will probably all be able to hold on to their seats
when they run as incumbents for reelection.
But the Democratic Party was worried if they had to put a new
Democrat in there. If they had to run some new Democrat for the seat,
because it was an open seat, they might have hard time getting any other
Democrat elected. In the event that Claire McCaskill in Missouri or Joe
Manchin in West Virginia or Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota stepped down or
decided to run for some other office, the Democrats were very worried about
holding those seats.
Now that Claire McCaskill and Joe Manchin and Heidi Heitkamp have all
decided to stay on and run to stay in the Senate, run as incumbents for re-
election, that is as big a coup for the Democratic Party as all their
recruitment efforts in all those other states.
So, it may or may not work out well for the Democrats in all of these
states. But the Democrats have gotten everything they want to set up next
year`s election in all of these states. And this never happens in terms of
the Democratic Party`s strategic best guess and them getting everything
The headline about this in the Beltway newspaper “Roll Call” this
week pretty much summed it up. The headline you see there on the left,
Senate Democrats nearly run the table in recruitment. And when Democrats
run the table, when they get everything they want, when they set themselves
up, at least in their own minds to have the best possible shot at the most
possible Senate seats in a year that`s already going to be good for them,
we now know what that does to the Republican side.
We can now say, conclusively, that what happens to Republicans in
this circumstance, what happens to Republicans when Democrats do this great
on an issue like this, we can now say, because we`ve seen it. So what
happens to the Republicans is that they freak out about Rand Paul.
Last we checked in on Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, among the polls
that will be used to qualify candidates for the next Republican
presidential debate, Senator Paul was polling at an average of 2.75
percent. The cutoff to get in that debate is 2.5 percent. It has been
reported by some of the bean counters in the beltway media that for that
debate, that if two individual people, two fewer people, told pollsters
that they liked Rand Paul, if he lost two individual supporters out of all
of those polls combined, losing two people would be enough to lower his
poll average enough that he would not make it into the Republican debate.
He is that close to not even making it on to the main stage. And
that comes on top of a bunch of other bad news for Rand Paul. There used
to be three super PACs supporting his presidential bid. One of them
recently shut down, call as his bid for the presidency futile.
Another one of the super PACs supporting Rand Paul lost its top
leadership recently when they were criminally indicted. Two of the top
leaders of that Rand Paul Super Pac will be going on trial next week in
Iowa on federal charges related to Rand Paul`s dad`s presidential campaign
from 2012. Rand Paul`s dad, Ron Paul, is actually expected to testify in
person at that criminal trial in Iowa next week.
Rand Paul also just turned in his own campaign`s fund-raising numbers
for this quarter and they`re terrible. His fund-raising numbers have
dropped by almost 65 percent from his second quarter to his third quarter.
And now on top of all of that bad news, there`s this. This was the
splash page, front page headline all day today at Politico.com, and it`s
not like there wasn`t other political news to compete with it. From the
article, quote, “Rand Paul is under increasing pressure from Republicans in
Kentucky and in Washington to pull the plug on his stagnant presidential
Quote, “Operatives worried about Republicans retaining control of the
Senate are ready for him to start spending a lot more time in Kentucky and
a lot less time in Iowa and New Hampshire.” One national Republican
strategist granted annuity to discuss Rand Paul`s situation candidly tells
Politico.com, quote, “This presidential dream needs to come to an end.
Senate Republicans can`t afford to have a competitive race in Kentucky.”
One member of Kentucky`s Republican Party executive counsel tells
“Politico”, quote, “He needs to pay attention to the Senate race or we
could lose the seat.”
So, you get, you know, one man`s ambitions, one man`s vision of his
future, one man`s quirks and ego and capability, you get that, that
personal specific stuff about one guy, thrown into this bubbling caldron of
what`s going on with his party, what`s going on with politics more broadly.
I mean, Rand Paul throwing away a Senate seat for a fantasy
presidential bid would probably just be a poll family story. It would be a
Kentucky story, if Republicans didn`t have to be so desperately worried
about every single Senate seat this year because Democrats are running the
table, because Democrats are setting themselves up so well, they really
might take the Senate back.
But at some point, if Rand Paul is not just jeopardizing his own
career and he`s not just jeopardizing that one seat in Kentucky. If the
Republican Party sees Rand Paul as jeopardizing, potentially, their whole
hold on one whole institution in American politics, if he might throw the
Senate to the Democrats by what he`s doing – well, we get back to that big
question, is there somebody in Republican politics who can tell Rand Paul
what he has to do here?
Is there somebody in charge who can direct him that this is not going
to happen any longer? That can push him out of this presidential race and
tell him to focus on the Senate? And is there any way to tell whether or
not he should listen? Is there any reason he should listen?
Who runs the Republican Party?
Whether or not you`re a Republican, it is the story of our time. And
it matters in this insane vacuum, in Republican leadership and the scrum
that it has caused with the House speaker collapse. It matters in the
vacuum and the insane scrum it has caused in Republican presidential
And this must be a very weird and very confusing time to be in
politics if you are an elected Republican. We`ve got all those reports
yesterday with the Kevin McCarthy speaker bid collapsing that there was
audible sobbing in the Republican cloak room. That Republican elected
officials, Republican members of Congress, were crying so loudly, that
reporters could hear them.
It must be a very weird and confusing time to be a Republican in
politics. Elected Democrats, to the extent this is a zero sum game, right,
they`re probably having the time of their lives watching the Republican
Party completely lose the thread.
But if you are a Republican, this is losing the thread. I mean, this
is somewhere between the great unraveling – I mean, maybe it`s the great
unfolding, maybe it`s the great unhinging for us citizens and those of us
who get paid to watch this stuff, it is an amazing scene to watch.
I don`t think anybody knows what happens here next. But we`ve got
the latest reporting on how things are continuing to unhinge even tonight,
coming up next.
MADDOW: There are not many absolutes in Washington particularly
right now, but I`m going to posit one for you tonight. This guy, this one
large reporter, I hereby posit, is the single most tattooed reporter in
And you know what? That seems like as good a qualification as any,
if we`re looking for people who might understand what`s going to happen
next in politics right now. I mean, bottom line, I`ll cut to the chase
here. Nobody knows what`s going to happen next here. Nobody`s seen
anything like this before.
But given that, I think we should ask John Stanton what he thinks is
going to happen next. He`s a great reporter. He`s got great sources, and
I can at least promise you he will not have the same take as everyone else.
John`s here next.
MADDOW: Who wants the job? Who wants it?
One of the most powerful jobs in the world, one of the highest
profile political jobs in the world. It`s next in line to the presidency
of the United States of America after the vice president, in terms of the
line of succession. I mean, you get to run Congress. Also, the job comes
with a really nice office with its own balcony.
Who wants this job? Everybody wants the job, it turns out. And no
one does, at the same time. These are the 20 Republicans whose names have
been floated publicly thus far as the possible next Republican speaker of
the House. Twenty!
If you read all the beltway press, listen to the pundits and a lot of
Republican members of congress, you already know that only one of these
people is being talked about as a potentially viable choice. Only one of
these people is being discussed as somebody who could actually get the
votes to get the job if they expressed interest in the job. That person,
of course, is Paul Ryan.
The Beltway all day today and many members of Congress keep saying
today, he`s the only one. Congressman Jason Chaffetz told reporters today,
that even though he`s in the running himself, he would get out of the race
if Paul Ryan got in.
Congressman Darrell Issa has also said the same thing, that he`d be
in the running himself, but if Paul Ryan runs, he won`t run against Paul
Ryan. Darrell Issa today described Paul Ryan as the consensus candidate.
He`s the guy for the job.
Darrell says everyone agrees on that, except everyone doesn`t agree
on that. I mean, Paul Ryan himself doesn`t agree that he should with
speaker. He`s said he does not want the job.
And honestly, the same Republican hard line forces that took down
John Boehner as speaker and apparently blocked Kevin McCarthy from trying
to become speaker, those same elements in the modern insurrectionist
Republican Party, well, element of that part of the party are now coming
out and saying that Darrell Issa is wrong. There`s no consensus around
Paul Ryan, are now saying that they don`t like Paul Ryan either! They`d
block him, too.
The former editor in chief of “Red State”, Erick Erickson, today
called Paul Ryan a dangerous pick for conservatives. A conservative
website called Breitbart says, Paul Ryan is the absolute worst choice for
Hardliner Congressman Thomas Massey told CNN today that he would not
support Paul Ryan for speaker. Hardliner and occasionally hilarious Texas
Congressman Louie Gohmert said the same thing, he would about do it.
I mean, so maybe Paul Ryan is the only one who could actually do it,
the only one that could elected speaker, only if he could be persuaded to
say yes. Or maybe we should pay attention to the process that got us here.
The process inside the Republican Party that just politically killed off
John Boehner and Kevin McCarthy, and maybe ask why that same process
wouldn`t kill off the chances of Paul Ryan as well?
And if Paul Ryan isn`t viable, if he arguably the only widely known
name on this chart, the only name that people say nice things about, if
he`s not even a viable candidate for speaker, then maybe none of the people
who have been mentioned as potential speakers are actually viable as
potential speakers. Maybe none of the 20 of them could be elected speaker.
We went through this process earlier this year and had the giant
chart of all the potential Republican candidates for president and when a
few said they wouldn`t run, like John Bolton said they wouldn`t run, and
Rick Snyder said he wouldn`t run and those guys said they wouldn`t run, we
poofed them off the list, right?
There are a lot of Republicans still running for president, but the
ones out of the running, we poofed off the list.
If we apply that same discipline to this other Republican leadership
vacuum. If we want to poof off the list all the Republicans who really
can`t make it, who aren`t in the running when it comes to being speaker,
you know, there`s no way they`ll be a viable candidate – honestly, if you
do that, here`s how you have to poof off the list. You ready? Three, two,
I mean, if Paul Ryan`s not even viable, and nobody else is viable
either, because he`s the most viable of all of them, then it doesn`t matter
if it`s 20 or 200 Republicans whose names are being floated for that job.
If none of them can get it, none of them can get it, so John Boehner has to
Is that what happens here? Is he really the only viable option?
Joining us now is John Stanton, D.C. bureau chief for “BuzzFeed News”
and somebody I can confidently say is not going to be the 21st person on
the list for the speaker`s job.
John, great to see you. Thanks for being here.
JOHN STANTON, BUZZFEED: It`s good to be here. God, I hope I`m never
on that list.
MADDOW: You never know who`s going to get tapped at this point. Do
you think we actually need a bigger chart? We`ve got 20 names so far. Do
we need room for more?
STANTON: There`s 240 members of the conference, right? Take out the
three that don`t want it, Ryan and Boehner and McCarthy and probably all of
them will be there. Probably master blaster from Thunderdome will come out
of retirement to try to get in at some point, too.
MADDOW: There is reporting tonight that Mitt Romney has joined the
effort to try to press gang Paul Ryan into taking the job even though he
doesn`t want it for obvious reasons.
I mean, all this – all this effort around Paul Ryan, I mean, is it -
- is it folly, not just because he`ll keep saying no, is it folly, because
he could just be hard-lined in the same way that John Boehner and Kevin
STANTON: I mean, look, his stance on immigration, his stance on
taxes, I mean, cutting a budget deal with Patty Murray, who is, you know, a
very progressive Democrat, these are things that have basically turned him
into a squish for a lot of ideologically pure conservatives who see the
things he`s done as being bad for the brand.
And I think, you know, he`s a guy that`s very willing to compromise,
he`s willing to work with Democrats, he`s willing to work with moderate
Republicans. He`s by no means a moderate himself. He`s a very
You know, but, he`s willing to work with people who don`t believe in
everything he believes in. And that, for these guys, is just an absolute
disqualifier. They do not believe in any sort of, you know, cooperation
with Democrats, giving up anything. They want them to hold the line and to
constantly hold the line. And that`s the deal. It`s “take it or leave it”
MADDOW: Do you think there are approximately 30 members of the House
Republican caucus who look at Paul Ryan and think he`s a squish and
wouldn`t support him? That`s kind of roughly the magic number that they
need to pull together in order to block anybody from becoming speaker.
STANTON: Yes, I do. I think there are. I think, because, there are
a enough that would do it on their own who might believe that and there are
a lot of members of the Republican conference, who all they are, are scared
incumbents and they don`t want to lose their seat. And the only people who
are challenging them at this point in their primary races are the
conservatives. They`re from the hard right.
So, if they – let`s say Mark Levin, who`s a very influential
conservative, you know, radio guy, says – well, Paul Ryan is a squish and
Republican X should not have voted for him, some guy decides he`s going to
run against him in a primary, that`s the thing these guys don`t want.
So, that makes them feel like, maybe I shouldn`t vote for them. I
don`t want to be guy that gets primaried out of my seat.
MADDOW: Let me ask you the apocalypse question here, John, which is
– I keep thinking, right, if nobody`s viable, including Mr. Viable, Paul
Ryan is not viable or he won`t run, that the fallback position is that John
Boehner has to stay speaker. Is there so much turmoil among Republicans
right now that maybe that`s not viable either?
STANTON: Yes, I mean, conservatives have already said that if it
looks like he`s going to be staying around a long time, particularly if it
looks like he`s going to pass a debt ceiling increase and longtime budget
bill and spending bills, that they will go back to what they were doing
before, which is getting ready to try to force a vote on his speakership.
And the reason he decided to retire was because he realized that they were
going to keep him from getting to the 218 votes he needed, which would put
him in the position of either trying to retire or something that would be
remarkable for him, to go get Democrats to vote him. And cut some of a
power-sharing deal with Pelosi or some kind of an arrangement with her, to
make sure he remains speaker.
But if he does that, that creates an all-out civil war in the
Republican Party, between establishment types and conservatives. And that
would spill over into the Senate. It would spill into the presidential
election, and that could just have absolutely disastrous effects frankly
for the party. So I think it`s something that he doesn`t want to have
happen, at all.
MADDOW: But it may be totally out of his control.
MADDOW: This is amazing. It`s like – I feel like I`ve sort of run
out of exclamation points, but this is becoming a superlatively epic
political catastrophe in Washington.
John Stanton, D.C. bureau chief for “BuzzFeed News” – it`s great to
have you here, John. Thank you.
STANTON: Thank you.
MADDOW: I will say, on that point – if none of the 20 candidates
for speaker, names who have been floated are viable, and if John Boehner is
not viable, right, Paul Ryan`s not viable, including in that 20, and John
Boehner`s not viable to stay on, and something happens like what John just
described, literally what we are talking about is Congress shutting down,
Congress ceasing to exist as an institution. They can`t convene without a
Or some group of Republicans and Democrats have to work together to
create a coalition speaker. Imagine what the Republicans who disagree with
that would then do.
We`ll be right back.
MADDOW: One thing to watch for over this weekend is whether or not
the White House announces any new executive actions by President Obama on
the issue of guns.
President Obama took that big trip to Roseburg, Oregon, today. He
did not announce anything policy specific on that trip. He only met with
the families of the victims of that mass shooting in Oregon. He said there
would be another time to talk about what needs to change in our country, to
stop things like this from happening.
But “The Washington Post” is now reporting that a version,
interestingly, of some of those gun reforms, some of those gun reform
executive actions that Hillary Clinton proposed on her campaign, earlier
this week, those elements may actually potentially be on deck for President
Obama as executive actions on the issue of guns.
If so, if that reporting is right, and President Obama does follow
some of the actions outlined by Secretary Clinton`s campaign this week,
then President Obama would not need Congress in order to go ahead with
So, something as controversial as that, actually, anything specific
on policy, did not come today on this trip to Roseburg, Oregon. But watch
for that potentially over the course of the next few days, potentially over
the course of this weekend.
We`ll be right back.
MADDOW: This is the best tape of any kind that I`ve seen in any news
context in a very long time. It`s old. It`s spectacular. This did not go
the way they expect it to.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Refusing to be rattled, the new first lady joins
in the crowd`s laughter.
Let`s see how her military aide meets the crisis.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: What was going on there and what it means for your weekend
is an excellent story that we`ve got next.
Stay with us.
MADDOW: When last we goggled with our mouths open at what was going
on in the great state of New Mexico, the first Republican elected secretary
of state in that state in more than 80 years, her name is Dianna Duran, she
had just been charged in a 74-count indictment.
Even though Dianna Duran has not resigned, there`s been some
conflicting reporting about whether or not she`s still working as secretary
of state while she fights off this giant indictment. The prosecutor`s case
against her is basically that she took thousands of dollars as what started
out as campaign funds and found a way to spend those thousands of dollars,
instead, on gambling at various New Mexico casinos.
Now, though, the criminal charges against Republican Secretary of
State Dianna Duran have gone from 64 to 65 and the latest one`s a doozy.
Prosecutors now say she forged her campaign papers. Specifically, they
say, she lifted a former Republican state senator as her campaign
treasurer, and she signed his name to her campaign papers, even though he
wasn`t really her campaign treasurer.
Now, the state senator says he has no idea why she did that. Quote,
“When asked by an investigator with the attorney general`s office why she
would list him as treasurer, former senator Dawn Kidd replied, according to
the complaint, `Well, I have no idea. I just don`t know. That`s
amazing`”, end quote. Agreed, that is amazing.
The other state where we have been watching a stunning criminal
indictment unfold against one of the highest ranking politicians in the
state is in Pennsylvania.
And in Pennsylvania, it`s the Democratic attorney general who is
facing 11 criminal charges. Attorney General Kathleen Kaine, like Dianna
Duran, she is also not resigning in the face of these charges. Like Dianna
Duran, she says she`s innocent.
But unlike Dianna Duran, Kathleen Kane of Pennsylvania has been going
to work. And after the state supreme court voted to strip her of her law
license, in light of this pending criminal charges against her, Kathleen
Kane in Pennsylvania said one of the things she would do at work before her
law license is suspended, while she still has the power to do legal things
as attorney general, she says one of the things she will do with this time
in office is that she promised to release to the public unredacted
pornographic and pornographically racist e-mails that she says were
exchanged by top-ranking law enforcement and other top officials in the
Kathleen Kane says that her watch dogging this issue of porn and
racist e-mails on the work computers of top-ranking officials in the state,
she says that`s what has led to what she calls the old boys network in
Pennsylvania bringing these charges against her.
Well, when we last checked in on Kathleen Kane, she said she was
going to start releasing those pornographic and racist e-mails with names
attached for which public officials sent and received them in Pennsylvania.
That`s what she was promising to do when last we checked.
Now, she has gone ahead and done that. Days after the state Supreme
Court voted unanimously to strip Kathleen Kane of her law license, she has
given investigators e-mails that she says are from a state Supreme Court
justice, and then some of them turned up in local papers.
In Philadelphia, the “Philly Daily News” describes the e-mails as,
quote, “Not pretty. One mocks gay people, some make fun of Mexicans or
African-Americans, some are pornographic. One e-mail contains a joke about
an abused woman. The joke ends with her doctor telling her, quote, `you
see how much keeping your mouth shut helps?`”
The Pennsylvania attorney general released those e-mails a few days
ago. Tonight, the state judicial conduct board announced a new
investigation based on those new e-mails into the Supreme Court justice,
who`s accused of sending and receiving them. The Supreme Court justice is
saying that he will fully cooperate with this inquiry.
But this is just Kathleen Kane`s first volley. She says there is
more to come.
I would tell you to watch this space, but I`m also afraid to, given
what she`s done so far.
MADDOW: I love this story.
All right, the banner these guys are holding, see the banner there?
The motto there in Latin means, in English, “None more brave.” And what
the none more braver than we are crew is standing underneath, what is
looming there and filling the dry dock behind them, that giant thing, that
is the most advanced submarine on earth. The USS Illinois has been years
in the making. It`s 377 feet long. It weighs 7,800 tons. Price tag, $3
billion, give or take. Congratulations, you paid for it.
Your USS Illinois comes with twin payload tubes that can launch six
tomahawk cruise missiles a piece. The USS Illinois and her crew of 150
plus will be able to drive more than 800 feet and remain submerged for
surveillance or secret missions for days without coming up.
But, first, before they do any of that, they have to give the
Illinois a proper public introduction. And that will happen this weekend
at the Navy submarine base in Groton, Connecticut.
First Lady Michelle Obama is going to be there. She is the
submarine`s official sponsor and her initials are welded into the hull of
And so, to launch the USS Illinois, First Lady Obama will show up and
do the honors of smashing a bottle of champagne across the bow.
I mean, christening a ship or a submarine or even a plane that way,
it`s a recognizable. It`s a well-known tradition. But here`s my note of
The whole christening the vehicle thing doesn`t always go as planned,
even when you are the first lady.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not prepared.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Poor Bess Truman. She gives it like this mighty go. Tries
two different grips.
Eventually they bring in a man to take care of things and he can`t do
it either. Look at him! Even with the – even with a baseball grip from
the other side.
Finally, mercifully, somebody, the way they fix this problem is that
somebody got a hammer and after one misfire even with the hammer, they
basically faked it and used the hammer to break that indestructible bottle
of champagne that could not be broken on that plane.
Turns out the bottle is supposed to be scored, kind of scratched with
some cuts before christening to allow for a clean break. And maybe they
forgot to do that for Bess Truman, which is what happened there. Hopefully
will remember that Bess Truman lesson and not but the First Lady Obama in
that pickle tomorrow in Groton, Connecticut, when they are going to welcome
this giant new submarine into the world.
Honestly, though, even if forget to scratch up the bottle for
Michelle Obama, if there were any first lady who could probably handle it,
if there were any first lady who were ready for a recalcitrant bottle and
its planned meeting with a giant nuclear powered submarine, I think it`s
probably the one we have now.
Honestly, I think I feel bad for the bottle. I may be even feel bad
for the boat.
MADDOW: I`m so ready for this. I`m so ready. Are you ready? Are
you ready? Are you ready?
Yes! “Friday Night News Dump.”
Wendy McNeal, who is playing tonight?
WENDY MCNEAL, TRMS PRODUCER: Tonight, Rachel, we have the fabulous
Emily Cooke from Perry Hall, Maryland. Ms. Emily is the mother of two
boys. She volunteers with boy scouts and football and she works part time
doing accounting for a small business.
Rachel, please meet Emily.
MADDOW: Emily, it`s very nice to meet you.
EMILY COOKE, PERRY HALL, MD: Nice to meet you, too.
MADDOW: So, is scout and football and it`s Friday night. Are we
actually taking you away from something very important and your boys are
going to be mad?
COOKE: No, no. It was raining and football was cancelled.
MADDOW: See, I made this all happen so this will work out for our
family and yours.
All right. It`s great to have you here, Emily. Simple game, as you
know. You get three multiple choice questions about this week`s news. If
you get two of them right, you will win this tender piece of junk.
Wendy, show everybody.
MCNEAL: The infamous and highly requested RACHEL MADDOW SHOW
MADDOW: Very good. It`s very small. It can`t do very much damage.
Emily, if you get them all right and you need extra credit or if you
need a consolation prize because you do exceptionally poorly, we also have
something random for you that until tonight has been cluttering up our
Now, Wendy, you`re going to be earning your keep here. Can you
please explain the random office swag?
MCNEAL: Yes. So, this #Boehner face may look familiar. It was on
the show last night. Well, Emily, you can have and make your own Boehner
MCNEAL: Boehner face kit.
MADDOW: We`ll send you all the dowels from the signs and the
pictures we put on the signs and you can make themselves as a crop project.
That`s one option. But there`s another option, too.
MCNEAL: Yes, as if that`s not fabulous enough, Emily. We have this
white board here which for years hung up in Rachel`s office where she would
write out all the stories of the day, and there`s even some information
still etched in this white board. It is highly coveted and gives you
exclusive access into the RACHEL MADDOW SHOW editorial process.
This could be yours, too, Emily.
MADDOW: Emily, I`ll tell you. The reason I got rid of that white
board last week after having it for seven years is because it stopped
erasing. So all the stuff you can still see, it just doesn`t come off
anymore. There`s a lot of stuff about Ben Carson`s birthday and all this
COOKE: I love the white board, but you would have to sign it before
you send it to me.
MADDOW: I will. I`ll send it in indelible sharpie.
Well, I need to bring in now the disembodied voice of Steve Benen
from MaddowBlog. He will determine whether or not you got the right
STEVE BENEN, MADDOWBLOG: Good evening to both of you.
MADDOW: Good evening.
MADDOW: All right. First question here we go. Monday show, we
reported one new fact to mix in with all the fact-free speculation that`s
going around about whether or not Vice President Biden is going to run for
president. What was the actual factual thing about Vice President Biden
that we reported exclusively on Monday night that might be relevant to
whether or not he`s going to run?
Was it A, that somebody from Delaware this week bought the web
address Joe Biden 2016.com. B, Vice President Biden was seen wearing a t-
shirt with the presidential seal on it instead of the vice presidential
seal. C, Vice President Biden called MSNBC`s Reverend Al Sharpton this
week to talk to him about the Democratic primary debate schedule. Or D,
Vice President Biden called MSNBC`s Al Sharpton this week to wish him happy
COOKE: I am going to go with D. He wished Al Sharpton a happy
MADDOW: Happy Birthday.
Steve, did Emily get that right?
BENEN: Let`s check Monday`s show.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: I can hereby report this weekend for the first time ever in
the natural lifetime of Al Sharpton, Vice President Joe Biden called him to
wish him a happy birthday, which might just be a nice thing to do. It
might also mean that Vice President Biden is definitely running nor
president and called him to court Al Sharpton`s support so he called him on
his birthday. I don`t know.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Yay! Congratulations, very clearly correct on that one.
All right. Emily, you`re off to a strong start. You have to get two
right to win the first prize. This is from Wednesday night`s show.
We reported on a mysterious letter that was sent to the Republican
House leadership. It was sent from a long-serving member of Congress. The
letter was an appeal for all the new candidates for leadership in the
House, including the speaker. That those candidates should step down if
they had committed any misdeeds that would embarrass themselves or
embarrass the party.
Who wrote the mysterious misdeeds letter? Your hint in this is that
the author signed the letter with only a first name. Was that letter
signed A, Walter for North Carolina Congressman Walter Jones, B, Louie for
Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert, C, Mark Wayne for Oklahoma Congressman
Mark Wayne Mullen. Or D, Cher, for Congresswoman Cher?
COOKE: That would be interesting.
COOKE: That would liven up Congress.
MADDOW: Steve, what`s the right answer to is that?
BENEN: Let`s check Wednesday`s show.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: I`m asking that any candidate for speaker of the House
majority leader, majority whip withdraw himself from the leadership
election if there are any misdeeds he has committed since joining Congress
that will embarrass himself, the Republican conference and the house if
they become public. Thank you, Walter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BENEN: Yes, the correct answer is Walter Jones and Emily is right
MADDOW: Emily, you`re on a roll. This is amazing.
Are you ready for your last question?
MADDOW: This is for a chance to get the white board.
COOKE: I`m looking forward for that white board.
MADDOW: All right. On last night`s show, we ran through the various
options for Republicans to find their next speaker of the House. We
learned that one prominent Republican who`s not a current member of the
house, he says he could be easily persuaded to accept the job. Who said
that? Who said that last night about being speaker, quote, “Obviously no
citizen could ever turn down that kind of challenge.”
Was that A, Senator Ted Cruz, B, former First Lady Nancy Reagan, C,
former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, or D, Cher. Just Cher.
COOKE: Again, Cher would be a blast.
I will go with C, former Speaker Newt Gingrich.
MADDOW: Steve, got the answer for us?
BENEN: Let`s check last night`s segment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Why are you laughing at my idea? This is a serious
NEWT GINGRICH (R), FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER: No, I`m not laughing at it.
I`m saying, I`m being totally honest to you. You`re going to say 218 guys
call you up and give you your pledge, obviously, no citizen – I mean,
could ever turn down that kind of challenge. This is why George Washington
came out of retirement. There are moments you can`t avoid.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BENEN: Newt Gingrich is one of a kind and Emily is right once again.
MADDOW: Emily, you`re amazing. Wendy, did she win everything?
MCNEAL: You get the totally amazing cocktail shaker and the white
board, which will be signed by Rachel.
MADDOW: I will absolutely sign it. And we will not bother sending
you a bag of dowels and pictures of John Boehner.
COOKE: Thank you.
MADDOW: Thank you very much. It was really nice to have you here.
Congratulations by getting all right.
COOKE: Thank you so much.
MADDOW: Thank you.
All right. If you want to play, it`s very easy. All you have to do
is send us an e-mail, rachel@MSNBC.com. That really is the address.
Rachel@MSNBC.com. Just tell us who you are, where you`re from, why you
want to play.
There`s more junk in our offices every single freaking, fracking day,
including giant junk. I don`t know where it all comes from. But we`d love
to give it to you.
All right. It`s been a big news week. Lots of twists and turns in
this week. It`s been great to have you with us all week long.
But now, we are not going to prison. We are going to switch gears
because tonight right now is the new MSNBC documentary “Blood Lions.”
Have a good night.
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