The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 1/8/2016

Guests:
Bill Nemitz, Billy Damota
Transcript:

Show: THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW
Date: January 8, 2016
Guest: Bill Nemitz, Billy Damota

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Thanks to you at home for joining us as well
this hour. Happy Friday.

Vice President Joe Biden this week did a bunch of TV interviews with local
stations around the country mostly on the issue of gun violence and
President Obama`s new executive actions to try to tighten up background
checks shows and make other sorts of gun safety reforms.

But at one of these interviews, the one with WVIT in Hartford, Connecticut,
Vice President Biden also made some news when the local reporter from
Hartford, Keisha Grant (ph) asked the Vice President Biden if he regretted
his decision this past year that he would not run for president himself.
Got a whole bunch of headlines this week because the vice president was
very blunt in his response.

He said yes, he regretted it. He says he regretted that decision not to
run every single day, but then he also said something else that didn`t get
as much attention. That might have been one on those patented Joe Biden
spills the beans moments. He says something that`s not quite true yet but
it is about to be true.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REPORTER: Any regrets to not throwing your hat in the ring?

JOSEPH BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Sure, I regret it every
day. It was the right decision for my family and for me. I plan on
staying deeply involved. We`ve got two candidates.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: Two good candidates. Which two? I honestly don`t think that was
Vice President Biden himself winnowing the Democratic field and saying only
two of these people are real candidates. I don`t think it was him
conniving to throw some secret shade at one of the three candidates and we
have to guess which one he meant to insult.

That said, if you are Martin O`Malley this was not a good week for Vice
President Biden to have said the Democratic Party has two good candidates,
however inadvertently he meant it. We learned at the beginning of this
week that Governor O`Malley would not have his name printed on the ballot
in the Ohio Democratic primary this year.

And this is not like what happened with George Pataki. One of the reasons
we saw it coming before George Pataki dropped out of race is because we
noticed, And I think we were the only national news service to report that
Governor Pataki was not even bothering to try to get his name on the ballot
in a bunch of important primary states. That looked like a sign, it turns
out it was a good sign, that Governor George Pataki wasn`t really competing
anymore and he was about to drop out. He did, in fact, drop out of the
race over the holiday break.

But that`s not what`s going on with Martin. Martin O`Malley tried to get
on the ballot in Ohio. He tried really hard. He needed a thousand valid
signatures. He turned in more than a thousand signatures, but less than
800 of them were validated by the state in terms of being actual signatures
for registered voters in the state of Ohio. Because he didn`t make that
thousand votes threshold, his name will not be printed on the ballot there.

We then found out yesterday the second piece of bad news for Governor
O`Malley, which is that his likely plan B in Ohio had also fallen through.
Even though he knows he`s not going to have his name on the ballot,
Governor O`Malley conceivably could have run as a write-in candidate in
Ohio had he turned in paper work to the Ohio secretary of state asking for
that by Monday of this week. Governor O`Malley again tried to do it but
his campaign did not get the paper work in until Tuesday of this week.
That`s day late.

That means he will not be running in the Democratic primary either as a
person with his name on the ballot or a write in candidate in the great
state of Ohio. Ohio is not everything, but Ohio is Ohio. Ohio is
something important.

That seemed like a very bad sign for Governor Martin O`Malley`s campaign
when we learned that new news as not qualifying as a write in. Well, now,
today, the headlines for Governor O`Malley`s campaign got even worse.
Headlines like these running at politico.com today and the newspaper of
“The Hill”. O`Malley could be axed from Democratic debate. O`Malley in
danger of missing Democratic debate.

Part of the reason you know these are bad news headlines is they ran these
very sad pictures of Martin O`Malley. Look how sad he looks. He`s a very
handsome man. These pictures make him look like he`s 107 years old and
recovering from a bad case of the itch. He doesn`t look like that. Those
are terrible pictures of Martin O`Malley.

And it turns out those are kind of terrible headlines about Martin O`Malley
too, in the sense that I don`t think those stories are right. And I don`t
think those headlines are fair to him.

What the headlines are getting at is the fact the next Democratic debate,
which is next weekend, it`s going to be hosted by NBC. The qualifying
criteria for that Democratic debate were published today by NBC.

I also should tell you, even though NBC and MSNBC are connected as news
organizations, I want you to know, I have no access to inside information
about these criteria. They wouldn`t even give me more of a quote on the
record than they would give to any other reporter about this criteria. I
don`t have any special information because I work in this building.

But I can tell you, because anybody can tell you, that the new criteria for
the Democratic debate next weekend are these. Candidates qualify for that
debate if they get an average of 5 percent from the five most recent polls
in either Iowa or New Hampshire or South Carolina or nationwide polls. You
just need to hit a 5 percent average in one of those venues, one of the
three early states or nationwide.

The reason Martin O`Malley got these downcast pictures is right now in
current polling, he only meets that 5 percent threshold to get into the
debate in one of those venues. He doesn`t meet it nationally or in South
Carolina or New Hampshire. He does meet it in Iowa.

And yes, that means he`s close to maybe not making it into the next
Democratic debate but close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.
He`s either in or he`s out. Right now, he`s in.

NBC additionally says it will round its polling average up to the nearest
whole number which means that Governor O`Malley doesn`t really need to get
5 percent in one of those three states or a nationwide polls. He only
needs to get 4.5 percent. That would be enough to round him up to get into
the next debate.

And as the poll stands now, he makes it because of Iowa. The only scenario
where I could see the math working against him is if another Iowa poll
comes out that is a qualifying poll for this debate comes out between now
and the end of the qualifying period of polls for this debate and the next
Iowa poll puts him at 1 percent or less in Iowa.

If he tanks that badly in a qualifying poll, absolutely tanks, 1 percent or
less in Iowa, true, and there`s only one more poll in Iowa, it`s true he
wouldn`t make it. But that seems unlikely. Right now he`s all right.

So, stop with the doom and gloom for Martin O`Malley. He`s going to maybe
it, probably. But these headlines today obviously did not help him. This
kind of perception is bad for any campaign. And Governor O`Malley today in
Iowa expressed some righteous anger and the headlines saying he might be
boxed out.

I`m going to play the clip here. He has this righteous anger. He`s mad
about this stuff. He`s fired up. His righteous anger is briefly
interrupted by a super excited aside when he recognizes someone in the
crowd, but then he goes back to be bad.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARTIN O`MALLEY (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: News of the day. News of the
day. The news of the day is that some executives at NBC think the next
debate maybe should only have two candidates instead of three.

(BOOS)

They`re treating your presidential selection process as if it`s another
episode of “The Apprentice”.

(LAUGHTER)

Bad enough that they let – Mr. Chairman of Scott County. Thank you for
being here, Mr. Chairman.

Bad enough that we would be limited to only four debates and they hide them
on Saturdays behind football games. But now, they tell us that they can`t
really manage a three-way race.

I`ve got news for them. This election is not up to NBC executives, not up
to pollsters. It`s up to you, the people of Iowa.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: It doesn`t actually look like Martin O`Malley is in danger of
getting boxed out. You see him fighting back, effectively, just in case.

He`s right there not a lot of Democratic debates and they are absolutely
hidden. The latest Democratic debate needle in a haystack, as I said, is
going to be next weekend. But remember next weekend is Martin Luther King
weekend. It`s going to be on Sunday night of Martin Luther King. So, it`s
Sunday in the middle of a three-day weekend when most people have following
Monday off.

Still, though, I`m guessing that despite the Democratic Party`s best
efforts to get nobody watching, I think there`s chance the Democratic
debate will get a pretty good audience in part because the Democratic fight
for the nomination is getting to be more heated and more exciting than it
has been at any time so far. Martin may not look particularly competitive
but it is looking competitive between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders
particularly in some of the early voting.

Today, after President Obama announced that he would not support for any
Democratic candidates that don`t embrace common sense gun safety reforms.
Hillary Clinton pounced on that and basically effectively claimed that
Bernie Sanders wouldn`t qualify for President Obama`s support because of
past votes against the Brady background check bill and his vote in favor
for legislation that basically protects the industry from lawsuits.

The Bernie Sanders campaign is pushing back very hard on that and saying,
actually, there`s no daylight between Bernie Sanders and President Obama on
the issue of guns. So, it is a legitimate policy fight that`s getting very
heated between the top two Democratic candidates. That`s exciting.

In addition, a new poll out from FOX News tonight says the Democratic race
for the nomination could be quite a contest in the early states. Yes,
Hillary Clinton is still far ahead in the national Democratic polling. A
new FOX News national poll out tonight puts her 15 points ahead nationwide,
but we don`t vote nationwide to pick a nominee. We vote state by state.

Look at this new poll, a new New Hampshire poll that FOX just published
tonight. Again, this is a poll done by FOX News, but don`t let that
disturb you. It`s a real poll. It`s a scientific poll. The last time FOX
did this poll for the Democratic race in New Hampshire, Bernie Sanders was
leading Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire by one point. That was in
November.

As of tonight, Bernie Sanders is leading Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire
by 13 points. Look, 50-37. He`s, A, at 50 percent. That`s an important
mark, that`s an important thresholds, and B, he`s leading by 13 points in
New Hampshire. Huge margin, fascinating.

FOX News also put out new polling tonight in New Hampshire for the
Republican candidates. That poll is like a bucket of cold water in face
for the overall dynamic of Donald Trump leading that race might somehow be
changing.

A month ago in the FOX poll of New Hampshire, Donald Trump was leading with
27 percent of the vote. Now, he`s still leading but he`s leading with 33
percent of the vote. A month ago, Donald Trump was beating his nearest
competition, Marco Rubio in this poll by 14 points. Now, he`s beating
Marco Rubio in New Hampshire by 18 points.

More new FOX polling out tonight shows Mr. Trump is a close second behind
Ted Cruz. He`s pretty consistently leading now in Iowa. They also did a
national poll that shows Mr. Trump winning nationally by a 15 point margin,
and 15 points is down a little bit from where he was from the same national
poll last month, but 15 points is still a massive, massive lead.

And again, in terms of New Hampshire, these numbers just belie the common
wisdom now that somebody like Chris Christie or John Kasich might be
surging ahead in a place like New Hampshire, to steal the race. Look at
Christie, Christie is back at 5 percent. He`s tied with Rand Paul right
now. John Kasich is way down there at 7 percent. He`s below Jeb Bush.

Donald Trump, when you look at the numbers, whatever the dynamic say when
people look at them esoterically and anecdotally whatever, look at the
numbers, Trump is romping in New Hampshire.

And honestly, if you are looking for a sad face story in the presidential
race right now, despite the terrible headlines and sad pictures from Martin
O`Malley about him not probably not making the debate, when in fact he
probably will make the next debate, if you`re looking for sad, sad story
right now, the guy who actually is getting potentially thrown out within
the next week is not one of the Democrat candidates. It`s one of the name
brand Republican candidates.

The next Democratic debate is next weekend, but the next Republican debate
is sooner than that. The next Republican debate is Thursday. It`s being
hosted by the Fox Business Network. Their criteria says they`ll take the
top six finishers in national polling, the top five finishers from Iowa and
New Hampshire polling over a specified period of time.

And in that polling, right now, the Republican candidate who has been on
the main stage all along but who is maybe about to not be is Rand Paul.

You might remember at the last Republican debate, the one hosted by CNN,
Rand Paul similarly did not qualify to be on the main stage. CNN had
announced very clear criteria in advance about what it could take to get on
to the main stage in that debate, and Rand Paul failed to meet the
criteria. His polling numbers were too low for him to make the cut.

But CNN just decided to let him on the stage any way, which was really
weird. It continues to be a very strange decision by CNN.

But unless FOX Business Network decides they`ll do something similar for
Rand Paul, he is on track to not make it in this next one. He`s probably
out.

If the polling stays the same as it is now, unless there`s some unusual
spike or somebody else has an unusual implosion, Rand Paul is going to be
relegated to the kids table as of this upcoming week, the debate on
Thursday.

And we can speculate as to what kind of affect that big public demotion
would have on Rand Paul`s campaign two weeks out before the Iowa caucuses.
But in Rand Paul`s case, the speculation will be difficult because the
demotion of his campaign will apparently be compounded by the fact that he
says if he`s only invited to the kids table debate, if he`s not invited to
the main stage, he says, well, he won`t know up at all.

And again, this is a real prospect. Rand Paul really looks like he`s not
getting into the Thursday debate. If polling were a deciding factor today,
he would not get in. And if he doesn`t get in the stage, he says he won`t
turn up at all. That is a more likely outcome than not, which means, I
guess, this time next week, effectively, Rand Paul might have withdrawn
from the race.

And you would think that might get some sad, sad headlines. Sad pictures
make them look older. But no, the beltway saves those for the Democrats.

Lots to come tonight. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MADDOW: Every once in a while we do something from the show that people
find online, print out from their computers and once they printed it out,
they clip out what they have printed and put it up on their refrigerator
because it helps them win arguments that they are sick and tired of not
winning.

We`re about to have one of those moments. You may want to check the toner
in your printer now. That story is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MADDOW: Chart imitates life. This is amazing. And it`s exactly what you
think it is.

At our blog, the great Steve Benen has been keeping a running tally for
years now of who gets booked as guests on the marquee Sunday morning
political talk shows on our country.

This tally is hilarious because basically every year, you get the same
results. We`ll have more on that in a moment.

But in terms of what he`s counting we`re not talking journalists or TV
hosts. We`re talking political figures, policy makers, candidates, elected
officials, public officials, former public officials, et cetera. Among
those kinds of guests, the person, the individual person booked more often
than anybody else in the past year was – no surprise – Donald Trump.

You could possibly argue his win should get an asterisks since a lot were
on the phone instead of in person, which I`ve never really understood. But
regardless, in terms of sheer number of performances audiolly or visually,
Donald Trump wins.

Second place, interesting, is a tie between Ben Carson and Bernie Sanders.
Hmm, that`s interesting.

What is most interesting about this chart is that every year, Steve codes
the guests on the Sunday morning shows for political party. Red for
Republican guests, blue for Democratic guests.

And, yes, if you feel like Sunday morning beltway establishment politics is
thoroughly saturated with Republicans, which just a sprinkling of Democrats
thrown in, that`s not just you having an icky feeling, you are
mathematically correct in that feeling. Even with a Democratic
administration in its eighth year of power, of the 20 people who appeared
on Sunday shows the most this past year, sixteen of the 20 of them are
Republicans. Once again, pattern holds.

We are a two-party system in this country but for yet another year, we`re a
two-party system where only one of the parties gets asked what it thinks on
the weekends. Amazing.

We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TV ANCHOR: We`re about to put on screen what the governor said in
response. Some of our viewers who may find it distasteful may want to hit
the mute button and turn away for the next 20 seconds or so. The governor
told the reporters, “Senator Jackson claims to be for the people, but he`s
the first one to give it to the people without providing Vaseline.” When
asked if some people may find that comment offensive, he`s reported to have
said, “Good, it ought to because I`ve been taking it for two years.”

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: Governor LePage is a little bit of a fish out of water in his home
state of Maine. In a state used to Republican and independent elected
officials like Senator Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, and the Democrat-
turned-independent Angus King.

In the midst of politicians like that, there`s Paul LePage – new style
Republican with his thoughts on taking it without Vaseline and telling the
press he despises them and saying that he wants to blow up the building of
the biggest newspaper in the state, telling the main state NAACP that they
can kiss his butt, saying publicly that President Obama should, quote, “go
to hell”, reportedly telling Republican donors that President Obama, quote,
“hates white people”, although the governor denied saying that.

But then this week, this week, Paul LePage perhaps topped even himself.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. PAUL LEPAGE (R), MAINE: Number one, I got to bill into legislature
now to take the traffickers. Now, the traffickers, these aren`t people
that take drugs. These are guys named D Money, Smoothie, Shifty, these
type of guys that come from Connecticut, New York. They come up here, they
sell their heroin and then they go back home. Incidentally, half the time
they impregnate a young, white girl before they leave, which is a real sad
thing because now we have another issue that we have to deal with down the
road.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: Impregnating the young, white girls. Very sad.

This is the governor of the state of Maine. That was the news yesterday.
Today, we got the governor`s explanation for what he meant, sort of.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LEPAGE: I was going impromptu and my brain didn`t catch up to my mouth.
Instead of saying Maine women, I said white women. If you – I`m not going
to apologize to the Maine women for that. If you go to Maine, you`ll see
that we essentially 95 percent white.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: We`re almost all white any way. Why should I sound like I`m
talking about impregnating black women! I`m not! In any way, it`s the
press`s fault.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LEPAGE: There was many people there, lot of cameras. I made that comment.
It never ever was picked up by any of you. It was picked up by a blogger
who was an adversary and he spent a whole day selling it to you.

Folks, you are in the back pocket of Maine bloggers. Shame on you. Shame,
shame, shame. I find that appalling.

Having said that, I made a mistake, and I`m not perfect.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: But shame on you for listening when somebody told you about a
thing I said. It was a mistake and impromptu remark.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LEPAGE: My passion and my desire is to rid ourselves of domestic violence
and to get drug dealers off the street. I had to read a report in my
briefing binder of a young woman who got killed Christmas Eve, and she left
like a 6-year-old daughter. These are the type of things that while you
people look for the sound bite, like Rachel Maddow who were years has been
after me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: I didn`t know you cared.

That was Paul LePage earlier this morning. Meanwhile, a number of
lawmakers in Maine, Democrats and independents plan next week to move
forward with the motion that could result in the governor`s impeachment.
The impeachment motion concerns abuse of power allegations against the
governor, which are currently being investigated in the legislature.

The LePage impeachment motion has been floating around for months now as a
potential thing that could happen but it looks like it`s probably up next
week. In the middle of this guy`s name D Money impregnating the white
girls stuff, has Governor Paul LePage made this the new normal in his state
or is this actually trouble for him?

Joining us now is Bill Nemitz, columnist for “The Portland Press Herald,
who I`m sure is going to incur the wrath of the governor by simply speaking
to me.

Bill, it`s great to see you. Thank you very much for being here

BILL NEMITZ, PORTLAND PRESS HERALD COLUMNIST: Welcome to the club, Rachel.

MADDOW: That was a very, very strange moment. I want to kind of leave it
there.

Is Governor LePage so known for saying stuff that is offensive that other
people apologize for that essentially is something that will have no
recourse for him?

NEMITZ: Well, it`s hard to tell. I mean, this one stood out, I thought
because of just the nature of what he said. You`re right, there`s a long
litany of utterances by the governor over the years. And I think to some
extent, LePage fatigue has set in in the state in which a lot of what he
says kind of flies by people.

There was something in the underlying racist nature of this remark that I
think touches a sensitive nerve for a lot of people. It touches upon the
real roots of racism in this country, that kind of primal fear that the
black men are coming and they`re going to take our white women. For him to
touch on that, particularly at a time when things are so incendiary in the
country right now, I think it`s why this one in particularly has taken off
so much.

And I think it`s – I`m surprised not only at the reaction nationally but
also at the reaction, at least in parts of Maine. You know, it`s typical
in Maine there are some people aghast at what he said and there are other
people who are saying they lining up behind him as they always have. So,
here we are, polarized again, as usual.

MADDOW: This comes at a time when, of course, the governor is in his
second term. But he has been making some noises about a next chapter in
his political life. He told talk radio host this week that he`s seriously
thinking about trying to challenge Angus King for his seat in the United
States Senate.

If he does that, do you expect the state Republican Party would get behind
him as a U.S. Senate candidate?

NEMITZ: That`s hard to tell right now. There`s been largely quiet on this
one. One day, he says he`s going to run for a particular office. The
next, he says he`s not. Today he said he`s not running for anything.

So, his future political life remains in question. But repeatedly when
something like this happen, it`s greeted usually by silence and little by
little the Republican powers that be in the state try to figure out some
way to respond without really responding. That`s really what`s happening
right now.

Basically, what they are all doing is going after this one particular
blogger, a Republican himself who has become an outlier in being critical
of LePage. And they`re going after him rather than going after the
governor right now, saying that he`s just a disgruntled Republican and he
should be keeping is mouth shut and leaving the governor alone, without
really addressing the essence of what the governor said.

MADDOW: Yes, it would be a devastating critique had the guy not drawn
attention to something the governor actually said. It`s an amazing Paul
LePage world, we all live in it.

Bill Nemitz, columnist for the “Portland Press Herald” – it really is nice
to see you, Bill. I know it`s been hell of a year for you. I really
appreciate you become back with us and I`m glad you are.

NEMITZ: Sure. Good to see you too, Rachel.

MADDOW: You too.

All right. We got a lot more tonight, including the answer to a question
we`ve been getting asked over and over by you, our viewers, about a story
we`ve been covering the heck out of. You asked and asked and asked this
question of us because you`re good people. And tonight, we`re about to
answer. That`s ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MADDOW: A horrible incident last night and some very chilling surveillance
video released today out of Philadelphia. It shows a police officer in a
squad car being ambushed late last night.

As you can see in the footage, the gunman approaches the squad car and then
basically fires at point-blank range. He shoots at the officer in that
squad car at least 11 times.

Somehow, it is a miracle ,but that the officer, 33-year-old Jesse Hartnett,
despite being shot at 11 times at that range, that officer was not killed.
He was shot three times in the arm, in the left arm, but Officer Hartnett
actually managed to give chase to the suspect. Got out of his car and
chased the suspect. The suspect was captured shortly after the shooting.

Tonight, the details surrounding the shooter`s motive are still a little
bit unclear. Police say he did tell investigators he had pledged
allegiance to ISIS, which may well turn out to be true. It`s also worth
nothing however that his mother told the “Philadelphia Inquirer” that her
son had been hearing voices recently and the family asked for him to get
help.

The suspect has prior convictions on assault and firearms charges. Police
are looking for trips he made to the Middle East in 2011 and 2012.

Again, the motive is still murky. Thankfully, though, and miraculously,
the officer in this case is expected to make a full recovery. Honestly,
it`s a miracle itself that he`s alive.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MADDOW: This is a water buffalo. Not a furry and legged water buffalo,
it`s the giant canteen version of a water buffalo.

When the water where you live goes bad, the National Guard or FEMA or
somebody can send one of these to your town on an emergency bases, so you
come down to the water buffalo with a jug and get safe water for your
family.

Two years ago tomorrow, a chemical spill in West Virginia wrecked the local
source of drinking water in that community. West Virginia`s governor
declared state of emergency that same day. He asked the federal government
for help. The president responded right away and in came the water
buffaloes, in came the big trucks of potable water. Here is safe water for
you until this mess gets cleaned up.

I don`t mean to say that dealing with poison drinking water is ever an easy
thing. But we do have some ideas for how you do it, starting on day one.

In the currently ongoing, infamous case of a whole water`s town being
poisoned, we`re now on month 21 of the poisoning, and we`re on day four of
it being called a state of emergency. And even so, on day four, the
governor in this case is still considering what to do.

Governor Rick Snyder signed the declaration of emergency for Flint,
Michigan, on Tuesday of this week. His administration managed to poison
that town`s water with lead a year and a half ago. But now, supposedly,
they`re in an emergency response mood, there still is no government run
program for getting water to residents of Flint on any regular basis.

NBC News reporting on the ground this week found that people who can`t
afford bottled water are getting it through local charities, soup kitchens
and food banks. Some of whom are telling us they have been getting their
water from private donations, nothing from the state. This local pastor
told NBC News this week that he was just flat out of water to distribute.

So, people are mad and people are thirsty for clean water. Just a couple
of hours ago in Flint, protesters gathered outside Flint city hall in a
very cold rain. They called for Governor Snyder to be fired. They called
for him to be arrested. They handed out bottle water, because along with
the need for accountability and answers, people in Flint also need water
that is safe to drink. They cannot get it out of their taps.

We do have some breaking news to report tonight, some breaking news to
report tonight from the federal level about this emergency in Flint. We
have learned today from FEMA that FEMA has not received any request from
help from the governor of Michigan. FEMA tells us however that they
nevertheless decided to send two FEMA staffers to Michigan anyway.

They`ve sent FEMA staffers to the emergency command center that`s been set
up in the state capital in Lansing. Basically, those FEMA staffers who
have not asked to be there, they are there at FEMA`s idea, FEMA`s
insistence, FEMA`s own initiative to be the federal government`s eyes and
ears in Michigan to get familiar with what`s going on in Michigan just in
case Governor Rick Snyder ever decides he`s going to ask for federal help.

But until he asks, FEMA just can`t bring in the water buffaloes. They
can`t just provide direct help even if the state still isn`t.

At the state level tonight, a spokesperson in that Michigan command center
told us it`s too soon to know whether Michigan should ask for federal help.
A spokesperson told us she didn`t know whether the state intends to start
buying bottled water for Flint but she did say the state plans to go out
into flint and find where the bottled water may be in that community if
there is any. If they find some they will start moving it around to
distribution points.

And here, I would like to offer a clue – there may be bottled water in
government stockpiles somewhere in Flint, but really where there`s water
right now that`s accessible for human beings in Flint is at local charities
that have been doing it on their own by themselves with no help from the
state.

Except now, maybe the state might think about providing a truck to move
that water around. That`s their plan for an emergency response – four
days in.

Since we began covering the story a few weeks ago, we have received so many
requests from our viewers for us to please give you ways to help. We have
had so many people tell us they want to do something.

We have decided to put together a list of what we have so far, what we know
so far about how you could help if you wanted to. We`re usually not in the
business of doing this sort of thing, but, honestly, the requests have been
sort of overwhelming in number and in passion. And so, I personally, and
we here on the show, feel a responsibility to try to help you direct your
help to Flint if you feel like helping or donating.

So, we have put together a list. It`s at MaddowBlog.com. We`re going to
put it on our Facebook page. We have tweeted it out once already tonight.
I`m going to tweet it out again during the show.

Who knows if Governor Snyder will ever call in the water buffaloes for
Flint? But if you personally want the try to help, boy, has he left you
plenty of room to not step on the state`s toes while you do it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MADDOW: There`s a laundry list of rules around gift-giving and receiving
for politicians. The rules are especially strict when it comes to gifts
related to lobbyists.

Apparently, though, there`s no such thing as too strict when it comes to
politicians receiving gifts if lobbyists and the kind of gifts that ought
to hold sway.

Meet Missouri State Legislature Bart Korman. He has just filed a bill in
the Missouri state legislature, hoping to close what he sees, I guess we`ll
call them loophole when it comes to lobbyists palling around with elected
officials in the great state of Missouri. This is real bill and real state
government filed by a real life government official. I promise, I`m not
making this up.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REPORTER: Well, here it is, House Bill 2059. It changes the definition of
gift. Gift being something that lobbyists often give to lawmakers. Now
that definition includes sex.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: This new bill in Missouri requires lobbyists to report which
lawmakers they have stooped. Quote, “The term gift shall now include
sexual relations between a registered lobbyist and a member of the general
assembly or his or her staff.”

This legislator wants lobbyists in the state to declare their sexual
relations with members of the legislature as gifts on their monthly
lobbyist disclosure forms.

First of all, gift seems to apply it was not earned. I think that`s just
mean.

Second, this is real bill. Now, THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW has no official
position on this bill. We just report this kind of news.

But in the interest of helpfulness, if Missouri is going to do this,
they`re going to need updated forms. So, we went ahead and mocked
something up. Merely a suggestion, I`m like to introduce you to our
proposed Missouri state ethnics commission sexual rider.

Now, there are some differences between this and your run of the mill
disclosure form. You got the basics. You know, last name, first name,
company or industry you lobby for. Next is the contact information. Home
address, telephone number, but also who made contact first. Who Skyped
first or, if you`re older, two texted first and if you`re really old, who
called first.

Because this is a state document and very serious business, we also need
details on who received this gift of love and also a description, please,
height, hair color and a few of personality traits you like best about
them. This is not descriptive of the event itself. There`s a whole
separate section for you to draw pictures if you`d like for ethical
purposes.

I mean, typically with gifts you have to declare a certain value. Some
specific dollar amount you`d like to assign. The dollar amount provision
by statute would not apply to this declare which legislature you are
stooping rule. It actually says that in the bill.

Quoting from the bill, “The reporting of sexual relations for the purpose
of this subdivision shall not require a dollar valuation.” And thank God
for that.

In lieu of that section we substituted, rate your experience. Your
government needs to know. All that`s left is for you to list the dates,
the most recent three is fine. Thank you. No need to brag. Just sign the
bottom where it will be available through the ethics committee for the
public for their review.

This is a real proposal in history. Hey, lobbyists, please declare members
of the legislature you have be stooping. This is a thing. If you decide
to move forward, Missouri, consider this a helpful suggestion, committee
hearings are expected to start next week. We`ll keep you posted on how
this one develops. We promise this story will not be just a one night
stand for us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MADDOW: I have been waiting for this since last year.

Friday night news dump time.

Wendy McNeal, who is our first news dump player of 2016?

WENDY MCNEAL, TRMS PRODUCER: Well, Rachel, we have Billy Damota from our
home state of California, Glendale. Billy is a casting director. He is
originally from San Francisco. He likes to rescue cats.

Rachel, meet Billy.

MADDOW: Billy, it`s very nice to meet you. Thank you for being here. Can
you hear me?

BILLY DAMOTA, GLENDALE, CA: It`s great to be here and a pleasure to meet
you.

MADDOW: Oh, thank God.

DAMOTA: I can hear you, can you hear me?

MADDOW: I can hear you. It`s working. Don`t worry.

Are you – you are a casting director who rescues cats. We didn`t get that
backwards. That`s the correct alliteration there?

DAMOTA: No, that`s correct. I rescue actors once in a while. So, I`m a
casting director who rescues cats. That`s correct.

MADDOW: All right. Hard to pronounce but both very worthy endeavors.

All right. You`re going to get three multiple choice questions all about
this week`s news. If you get two of them right you`ll get this piece of
junk.

Wendy, please show everybody.

MCNEAL: This amazing cocktail shaker.

MADDOW: Not so amazing, but it is a cocktail shaker. Yes, it`s very
small.

If you get them all right and you need extra credit or you do poorly needed
a consolation prize, we also have something random for you that until
tonight has been cluttering up our office swag. It`s a little weird.

MCNEAL: A little weird, but a lot of fun. This happy New Year`s hat was
left behind in our office. Someone had a little bit too much fun in our
office around New Year`s.

MADDOW: Just a random happy New Year hat.

MCNEAL: With a big blue tassel on top.

MADDOW: OK.

MCNEAL: And then we have this from Ross` restaurant. You may remember
this story. This place in Iowa is the place to go on the campaign trail in
Iowa. It`s all of the rage among the candidates. And this hat here, these
guys came to the studio. They did our one and only cooking segment with
us.

MADDOW: Yes, that`s exactly right. And, Billy, if you`re at all a
politics nerd and you wear a Ross` restaurant hat anytime in the next six
weeks around the whole, leading up to Iowa and beyond, people will stop you
on the street and laugh out loud because they`ll get the joke.

DAMOTA: Nice. I hope I win that hat.

MADDOW: OK.

We also need to bring in the disembodied voice of Steve Benen from Maddow
Blog. He`s the man who will determine whether or not you got the right
answer.

Say hello, Steve, Billy. Billy, Steve. .

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

MADDOW: Good evening. Very good.

All right.

DAMOTA: Hi.

MADDOW: Here`s your first question, Billy, Tuesday`s show, we ran a side
by side comparison of the presidential campaigns of Donald Trump in 2016
and Alabama Governor George Wallace in 1968. All but one of the following
quotes was said by George Wallace in 1968. The other one was said by
Donald Trump. Which of these is the Trump quote?

A, speaking about protesters, there are two four-letter words they don`t
know, W-O-R-K and S-O-A-P. B, speaking to a protester, “You`re a little
punk. That`s all you are.” C, again speaking to a protester, “You are a
loser. You really are a loser.” Or D, speaking about reporters, quote,
“They`re more interested in two or three pickets now than thousands of
people here, and that`s what they show on television.”

Which of those was not said by Alabama Governor George Wallace but was, in
fact, said by Donald Trump?

DAMOTA: I`m going to say it`s the huge number C, you are a loser.

MADDOW: You are a loser. Steve, did Billy get that right?

BENEN: Let`s check Tuesday`s show.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE WALLACE, FORMER ALABAMA GOV.: Two four-letter words they don`t
know, W-O-R-K and S-O-A-P.

You`re a little punk, that`s all you are.

They`re interested in two or three pickets not the thousands of people
here. And that`s what they show on television.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You are a loser. You really are
a loser.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BENEN: Billy is not a loser. He`s correct. He`s 1-1.

MADDOW: Exactly right. A huge winner.

Got to get two right to win the tiny cocktail shaker. Let`s go to question
two.

Wednesday show, heart warming story, we reported this the U.S. Navy has
decided to name a ship after civil rights icon and U.S. Congressman John
Lewis. Not only will there be a ship named after him, they`re going to
name an entire John Lewis class of U.S. Navy ships now.

What kind of ships is the Navy naming for Congressman Lewis? Are they A,
hospital ships, B, amphibious transport docks, C, replenishment oilers, or
D, aircraft carriers?

DAMOTA: I know it sounds like a sports team from somewhere, but I think C,
replenishment oilers, and I hope they win the Super Bowl this year.

MADDOW: Steve, is that the right answer?

BENEN: Let`s check Wednesday`s show.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: Today, the U.S. announced a brand-new fleet of these guys, the
replenishment oilers. The next generation of these ships is about to be
built. Want to know what the first one of them is going to be called? The
U.S. Naval Ship John Lewis.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BENEN: Yes, the correct answer is C, and Billy is right again.

MADDOW: All right, last question. This is for all the money, or all the
hats or whatever.

Last night`s show, we reported ones from – on remarks from Maine Governor
Paul LePage, remarks that raised some eyebrows. I`m going to play you the
first part of his remarks and then we`re going to see if you can correctly
complete them. Here from Maine Governor Paul LePage is the first part.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAINE: Now, the traffickers, these aren`t people who take drugs. These
are guys named D-Money, Smoothie, Shifty, these type of guys that come from
Connecticut and New York. They come up here, they sell their heroin, then
they go back hem home. Incidentally, half the time they`re –

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: According to Governor LePage, half the time these out of state
drug traffickers do what? A, they commit an act of gun violence while
they`re here, B, they don`t go back home, they set up heroin operations
here in Maine. C, they get lost on the back roads of our beautiful state.
Or D, they impregnate a young white girl before they leave.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DAMOTA: That would be D, impregnate a white young girl before they leave.

MADDOW: Steve, you got the confirmation for us on that one?

BENEN: Let`s check the cringe-worthy video.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LEPAGE: Incidentally, after the time they impregnate a young white girl
before they leave.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BENEN: The correct answer is D, and Billy was right once again.

MADDOW: So disturbing.

DAMOTA: Just half the time, by the way.

MADDOW: Only half the time. Statistics say.

Wendy, did Billy win?

MCNEAL: Yes, Billy you win the awesome cocktail shaker and the really
cool, amazing hat.

MADDOW: With the weird blue tassel and the Ross` restaurant one.

DAMOTA: So I can get drunk and wear the hat.

MADDOW: Yes. I might recommend putting the h hat on first. If you wait
until you`re drunk, it`s awkward. You know how it is.

Billy, thanks so much for playing. It`s been really nice to meet you.

DAMOTA: Thanks for the invitation. Great meeting you.

MADDOW: If you want to be a news dumpee, send us an e-mail,
Rachel@MSNBC.com. We do read our e-mail. Tell us who you are and why you
want to play. 2016 could be your year.

First, though, you have to start in prison.

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
BE UPDATED.
END

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