The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 4/22/2016
Show: THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW
Date: April 22, 2016
CHRIS HAYES, “ALL IN” HOST: That is “ALL IN” for this evening. Tune in on
Monday at our normal time for my special town hall Bernie Sanders, followed
by a Hillary Clinton town hall hosted by the one and only, Rachel Maddow.
Speaking of her, her show starts now.
Good evening, Rachel.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: I`m not going to sleep all weekend. How about
HAYES: Yes, it`s going to be an interesting one.
MADDOW: I`m already really stressed and excited about it.
HAYES: It would be great.
MADDOW: I`m so psyched that you`ve got the Bernie one and I`m psyched
we`re stacking them back to back, because the town hall audiences getting
to evaluate them back to back.
HAYES: That`s right. This is sort of like this laboratory of democracy
we`re creating in Philadelphia.
MADDOW: It`s going to be great. The only problem with it is that I`m
following you, which is going to be difficult and nerve-racking.
HAYES: You need more practice. We`ll see.
MADDOW: Thanks, my friend, see you Monday.
And thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. One of the unexpected
news stories of this decade, one of the unexpected things that has happened
all over the country, particularly in the last five years, is that there
has been a huge and rapid escalation in heroin use in our country, and also
in the number of deaths in all age groups, in all strata of society in all
states, from heroin overdoses.
And because the heroin epidemic has been so big and because it has not been
geographically concentrated in any one place, it`s been all over, right, in
the cities, in suburbs in rural areas, everywhere – blue states, red
states, everywhere, it has led to some surprising alliances, in terms of
people coming together to try to find a solution to this problem. It has
led to some surprising policy outcomes.
For example, in Indiana, the I.V. drug use problem was so pervasive in some
Indiana communities the state not only had this huge drug problem on its
hands, with all the things that go along with that, it also specifically
had a huge increase in the kinds of serious diseases that can be spread
through people sharing needles, including HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
And so, in Indiana, of all places, with their very conservative legislature
and their very, very, very conservative governor, Indiana ended up having
to institute a needle exchange program that was both sanctioned by the
state and funded by the state, just because their public health crisis
around heroin use got so bad.
In the state of Maine, Maine is a state that looks big on the map but has a
very small population, 1.3 million people in the whole state. The state of
Maine has had just an incredible problem of people dying from drug
overdoses last year. I mean, Maine only has a population that`s slightly
bigger than the population of Rhode Island, 1.3 million people in the
state, Maine had 272 people die of drug overdoses last year.
That means just in the state of Maine, a person died from a drug overdose
every 32 hours in that state all last year. And that was a 31 percent
increase over the number of people dying from drug overdoses the previous
year. So, it`s a terrible problem and getting much worse very fast.
Now, one life-saving development alongside this huge spike in heroin use
and heroin overdoses has been the increasing availability of a drug called
Narcan. Narcan is essentially a last resort way to save somebody`s life if
they`re overdosing, to keep them alive until paramedics can get there if a
person is overdosing on opiates. It`s not expensive, it`s not that hard to
administer, but it can be the difference between life and death.
It`s basically an emergency antidote. And it has frequently been used to
save lives. Take –just look at the example of Maine, take one city in
Maine. Let`s take Portland, Maine, and the Portland, Maine, fire
department, just that one first responding agency in that one city in that
In 2014, the Portland, Maine, fire department administered Narcan as an
emergency heroin antidote, to reverse an overdose, 107 times, in 2014. So
like every three days or so, saving somebody`s life with this drug. That
We don`t have the final numbers for last year but they were using it at a
faster pace last year than the year before. As heroin use and heroin
overdoses have skyrocketed, this little cheap drug, Narcan, has brought
back hundreds of people who would probably have otherwise died. Not just
in that one state but in that one city.
And so, last year, Angus King, he`s the independent senator from the state
of Maine, but he`d previously been governor of Maine. Last year, Angus
King wrote to the biggest drugstore chain in the state, CVS. He wrote to
CVS, and he asked CVS to please take steps to make this life-saving drug
more easily available to people who might need to have access to it in
And CVS said they were willing to do that, but in order to do it there
would have to be a change in state law so they could let pharmacists at CVS
stores dispense it more easily without a prescription, right? The idea is
very simple. If you`ve got a drug user in your life, if there are people
in your circle or people in your community who are at risk for OD-ing, that
is a terrible thing. If you can have a dose of Narcan on you or in the
glove box of your car or somewhere accessible in your house, in the awful
event something like that happens, you might have one last chance to keep
them alive. There might be one last chance to keep them alive for a few
minutes until the ambulance gets there and they can save them.
So, Angus King asked this drugstore chain to start doing that, the
drugstore chain said we`d love to but there needs to be a change in state
law. And so, the drugstore chain requested the state legislature take this
up. The Maine state legislature for all its partisanship, all its
dysfunction like any other legislature in the country, they came together
around this. And the legislature passed a bill that would make Narcan much
more easily available in the state of Maine. Simply so more lives could be
All the medical associations came out in favor of it, all the law
enforcement organization in the state came out in favor of it. It was not
a partisan thing. Democrats voted for it, Republicans voted for it, full
And Maine`s governor vetoed it. That is a little bit of an unexpected
thing if you take a broad view of it. Something like 30 other states have
done this, what Maine just tried to do. Something like 30 other states
have taken steps to expand access to Narcan. It`s not like Maine was going
out on a limb and trying somebody nobody had ever done and they didn`t know
what the effects of it would be.
Lots of states have done this, most other state in the country have done
this. And Maine`s problem with heroin is as bad or worse than any of the
states that have done this. But Maine`s governor stepped in, after
everybody else in the state basically came to consensus on this.
At one point, one part of passing this through the legislature, the paced
unanimously, part of it. And everybody agrees that this is a thing that
can provably change lives. And the governor steps in and says, nope. I
won`t allow it.
It`s kind of amazing, right? I mean, Maine once again is paying the price
for having this particular governor. Who also makes decisions and says
stuff and does stuff that sometimes make it even just hard to cover him as
a news story.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MALE TV ANCHOR: We`re about to put onscreen 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 30 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
he was asked if he realized 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.”
GOV. PAUL LEPAGE (R), MAINE: The other thing I`ve heard is if you take a
plastic bottle and put it in a microwave, and heat it up, it gives off a
chemical similar to estrogen. And so, worst case is some woman might have
These aren`t people that take drugs. These are guys with the name D-Money,
Smoothie, Shifty, type of guys that come from Connecticut, New York. They
come up here, they sell their heroin. Then they go back home.
Incidentally, half the time, they impregnate a young white girl before they
I`m not going to apologize to the Maine women for that because if you go to
Maine, you will see that we`re at essentially 95 percent white. If you
want to make it racist, go right ahead, do whatever you want.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Maine`s Republican governor, his name is Paul LePage, is so
overtly and unapologetically obnoxious and specifically racist and so
frequently ridiculous that I think most of the rest of the country, if they
know anything about him at all, they think of him as funny, right? He`s
essentially a joke. And he`s made Maine politics into a nationwide joke.
Or at least he`s made himself into the punch line of a joke about public
service these days or the Republican Party these days or how about that
list of people who endorse Chris Christie this year, right? Paul LePage is
sometimes funny in a laughing at him, not laughing with him, kind of way.
But what he just did here, this is different, because this is the veto
message that Paul LePage signed and published and sent to us today
explaining why he was vetoing this bill on the heroin thing. This bill
that would expand access to the overdose reversal drug, this drug that has
saved hundreds of lives in his state alone. This drug that has no purpose
other than to keep people who are otherwise dying alive for a few extra
minutes so first responders can get to them. And they will not die.
This is his veto message saying he doesn`t want that to be more available.
I saw the veto message quoted in the Maine newspapers and even though those
are great papers I couldn`t believe it until I saw it myself. So, we got
the veto message from the governor`s office and it`s true, this is it.
Here is his explanation for why he vetoed the bill. “Naloxone,” which is
the generic name for Narcan, “Naloxone does not truly save lives. It
merely extends them until the next overdose.”
Think about that for a second. He`s saying, if you overdose, you should
not be kept alive if there`s an option to keep you alive, because you are
probably just going to overdose again. Why bother?
Look at that, Narcan does not save lives, it merely extends them. If you
think about it further, I guess we all are going to die someday. So you
could really say that about any medical treatment. I mean, why treat your
infection with penicillin or antibiotics? All it`s going to do is extend
your life until it ends anyway someday.
You have a treatable form of cancer, why should the state of Maine abide
you getting any treatment for it? Why extend your life when your life`s
going to end anyway? You`ve been in a car accident? Frankly, it`s a pain
in the butt to patch you back together, make sure you don`t bleed to death,
that would just be extending your life. Which is, after all, a finite
thing. Why bother extending your life? Why not just let it end now?
And, of course, Paul LePage is not making those arguments for anybody else.
He`s only making this why extend your life argument for people whose lives
are at risk because of drug overdoses. Because once you`re overdosing, if
we have the option to save your life, the governor of that state says, we
as a society would be better off not saving your life.
Maine, the state of Maine would prefer that you were dead. We have the
option to keep you alive, we`ll choose not to exercise it. Maine`s
governor would prefer you dead.
This veto message says he`s vetoing access to the overdose antidote because
it serves, quote, “only to perpetuate the circle of addiction.” By which
he means it serves only to perpetuate the lives of people who are addicted.
And he would prefer they die. That would be better for Maine.
It is – I mean, feel like I have a thick skin when it comes to absorbing
information about Paul LePage. I feel like I have a thick skin about
politicians in general. But this slays me. It is almost impossible to
believe that a politician is making this argument. Not just in an off the
cuff, stupid, maybe half-drunken remark they regret later. This is his
written statement why he would prefer some of his constituents should die
rather than have their lives easily saved by a drug about costs about 5
bucks. But he`s really just done this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People are using heroin, they are dying every day.
And this drug can actually prevent those deaths. It is our responsibility
to make sure that it`s in the hands of people who can use it to save
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gideon`s bill would let far more people have access to
Narcan to keep it handy in case a friend or loved one OD`d.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s 30 states that already allow pharmacists to do
this. This idea that we`re reinventing the wheel here is not true.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But Governor LePage vetoed the bill. Stating in part,
Naloxone doesn`t truly save lives, it merely extends them until the next
Pharmacist Joe Bruno says Naloxone does save lives, but that it`s no cure.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This drug, when you administer it, is good for about 30
minutes. Just enough time to call 911 and get this person to the hospital.
This isn`t, you know, here`s a dose of Narcan and you wake and up
everything`s fine. That`s not how it works.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gideon agrees but says the governor`s objection is
wrong. Citing a local woman who wanted the antidote for her own son.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If it could save his life ten times over, if it took
ten times to get him clean, then it would be worth it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Paul LePage is an amazing thing in the state of Maine. As of
tonight he`s also vying for a role at the Republican national convention
this summer in Cleveland. Maine is holding its Republican state convention
today and tomorrow to pick its delegates for the RNC. Maine has a history
of controversy and chaos when it comes to picking delegates for the
Republican convention. Last time around in 2012, you might remember the
Maine delegation wearing clothes pins on their noses that were decorated
with lobsters to indicate, A, they were from Maine and they thought the
process of are the RNC stunk.
Since the National Republican Party in 2012 threw out half the Maine
delegation for supporting Ron Paul and instead replaced them with people
that led to Mitt Romney, that led to colorful and aggressive and tearful
screaming confrontations on the floor of the RNC in 2012 and the hallways
afterwards, after the Maine delegation got thrown out.
Well, this year, they`re picking delegates right now. This year, Ted Cruz
won the Maine caucus when it took place last month. Nobody really knows
how the delegates are going to be picked today and tomorrow.
Governor Paul LePage, fresh off his saving lives veto, he`s going to try to
get himself and his wife both picked as delegates to the Republican
National Convention. After initially supporting Chris Christie for
president, Paul LePage switched his allegiance to Donald Trump. He said
he`s opposed to Ted Cruz getting the nomination because he`s a Ted Cruz
birther. He doesn`t believe Ted Cruz is eligible to become president
because he was born in Canada.
So, this is – this is a busy and complex time in the process of picking
the Republican presidential nominee. I mean, what`s going on in Maine this
weekend right now as I speak is just one indication of the kinds of complex
and sometimes sordid and sometimes unbelievable state politics and state
political characters who get themselves dragged into the local process of
picking delegates to pick the Republican presidential nominee. And this
happens weekend after weekend after weekend in these state conventions
where all local state politics ends up playing a role in this big national
This weekend, they`re picking delegates in Maine, also in Utah, next
weekend it will be Alaska, Virginia, California, Delaware, and Arizona.
And that whole process of picking all the delegates and all of the local
politics that plays in, that`s taking place among the more high-profile,
big, splashy state primaries of which we are about to have five on Tuesday
We have polling right now in four of the five states that are going to vote
on Tuesday. In Pennsylvania, Donald Trump is winning by a mile. In
Maryland, Donald Trump is win big a mile. In Connecticut, Donald Trump is
win big a mile.
We just got our first poll out of Delaware. Say it with me now. Donald
Trump is winning by a mile.
The only state that is voting on Tuesday for which we do not yet have any
polling is the great state of Rhode Island. It`s a little bit weird we
don`t have polling from Rhode Island. The polling unit at Brown University
had said that they would have their first poll results in that state ready
to go last night. But look at this, according to the “Providence Journal,”
quote, “Brown University pollsters are having a tough time getting Rhode
Islanders to answer questions about the presidential race.” So now that
poll results are not scheduled to come out until noon on Sunday.
They were supposed to be out last night, now not until the weekend, quote,
“The pollsters have “never seen this much pushback” in terms of people
unwilling to do the poll, unwilling to answer the pollsters` questions.
People are so sick and tired of this race, they don`t want to talk about
it, they don`t want to hear about it, they want to sit back and drink a
beer, I can`t blame them,” says the pollster.
Because of the amount of beer drinking or whatever, Rhode Island pollsters,
people who were going to do the only poll in Rhode Island, they now say,
maybe we`ll have results this weekend, who knows? Let`s see who answers
their phone when we call. In terms of Rhode Island election officials,
though, they have decided to inject a little suspense into the race.
Remember those huge lines that happened in Maricopa County, Arizona, after
Arizona inexplicably cut the number of polling locations in that county by
70 percent so there were huge long terrible lines that got national press
coverage in Maricopa County? Remember that from Arizona last month?
Well, in the state of Rhode Island, they have also made a decision for this
primary on Tuesday that they too are going to cut the number of polling
stations by 70 percent. Having already seen how well a 70 percent cut
worked in Arizona, Rhode Island has decided to do it too. Instead of their
400 plus polling places, they`re only going to open up 144 of them on
Tuesday night. Because yeah, might look like this is a hotly contested
presidential race where more is riding on Rhode Island than any other time
in recent memory in terms of presidential politics. Yes, there might have
been record turnout at least on the Republican side in state after state
after state after state all over the country.
But Rhode Island election officials are apparently banking on the idea that
people in that state just don`t care. They can`t be bothered to be polled.
They`re all just drinking beer.
We`ll know soon enough, right? If you live in Rhode Island, I want to tell
you, they`re cutting the number of polling places that you can vote in on
Tuesday night by 70 percent. If you are planning on voting on Tuesday,
bring one of those little portable chairs, maybe, or maybe a cooler full of
beer to sit on, maybe bring a tent.
We`ll be right back.
MADDOW: Happy Friday night. We`ve got a big show tonight. There`s
details ahead. On the big event that Chris Hayes and I are doing with
Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton on Monday night. Very exciting.
We`ve also got a happy, slightly drunken celebration of a great American
due to come up at the end of the show tonight. There`s lots going to
happen in this hour.
Stay with us.
MADDOW: Just over two hours ago, about two hours and 20 minutes ago,
starting at 7:00 Eastern Time, the legendary radio station called The
Current in the Twin Cities area in Minnesota started doing something that
I`m here to tell you, the whole country really appreciates. What they are
doing is playing 26 straight hours of Prince. And I don`t mean they`re
playing “Purple Rain” and “1999” on repeat for 26 hours.
What The Current is doing in Minneapolis right now is playing his entire
catalog. Every single Prince song he recorded and put on a record, every
single song in alphabetical order. Starting with “A Case of You”, because
it starts with “A”, through to “Wow” because it starts with “W.” They`d
keep going through songs that started with X, Y, Z, if he`d recorded any
songs starting with those letters but he didn`t. They`re playing the
entire catalog back to back.
And if you are lucky enough that The Current is your local station in
Minnesota, if you are lucky enough to live in that part of our great
country, you can listen to this as God intended – which is on your car
radio with the windows rolled down no matter how cold it is.
If you are not in Minnesota the rest of us poor slobs, we can still listen,
we can listen online. Which I can tell you our control room is doing right
now, apparently right now, they tell me that we are up to the song “Black
The Current was Prince`s local radio station. He was a big supporter of
theirs. Sometimes he would release new singles on the current first. The
programming director at The Current told “The Daily Beast,” “for somebody
that`s this mysterious, enigmatic, global superstar, he had a great
relationship with us. He was so involved in our local music scene. He
fostered that relationship with us.”
In return, this weekend, the station is turned over to him. As the whole
country is listening in and doing whatever else we can to adjust to the
idea that he`s gone.
Outside of his home in suburban Minneapolis, mourners have left flowers and
photos and notes and balloons. In Minneapolis last night, look at this.
People showed up by the thousands at the iconic First Avenue Nightclub to
dance until dawn. Look at that. At the Apollo Theater in Harlem, people
last night sang and left homemade memorials on the sidewalk.
On Broadway, the cast of “Hamilton” and “The Color Purple”, they post-
scripted their performances with Prince songs. Across the world, from the
Melbourne Arts Center in Australia to the Carmike Cineplex in Hickory,
North Carolina, people paid public tribute to him. Today in Carver County,
Minnesota, which is where he died, local authorities briefed the press
today. They were very courteous, they were gracious I think in terms of
handling this press of international interest, people trying to get
information about what exactly happened to him.
But despite the fact that they were as forthcoming as they felt they could
be, the bottom line is still that we just don`t know. He was 57 when he
was found at his estate yesterday. The answers about how he died are still
at this point open questions.
Joining us now is Toure. He`s the author of “I Would Die 4 U: Why Prince
Became an Icon,” and, of course, Toure is an MSNBC contributor.
Toure, my friend, it`s nice to you. Thank you for being here.
TOURE, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Thank you, Rachel. Thank you.
MADDOW: First, let me ask you, I feel like people really focused on the
cause of death because he was only 57, because he was playing shows really
recently, because there`s mystery around it. I feel like it`s a little bit
of a morbid fascination and the important thing that is he`s gone.
But I wanted to get your take on that. How important it is for us to know
and what you think we will end up knowing in the end.
TOURE: I have no idea what we`re going to end up knowing. We`re partly
intersecting here with some of the biases we have with the war on drugs in
that we don`t treat addicts with respect, right? Politicians can say,
addicts are not our citizens, we can demonize them. Rather than, in other
countries like Switzerland, Portugal, they say, these people are citizens
and we have to take care of them as well.
And so, if we can locate somebody as an addict, then we can discard them,
attack their legacy, downgrade them. If there was a problem, I don`t know
that there was, I know that throughout his life, he was against using drugs
even as a teenager eschewing smoking weed with the rest of the guys,
eschewing hip medicine, painkillers when he had a hip problem, the
beginning of that problem.
He rejected this sort of medicine. So, if he went against that at this
point, that deviates from what he did most of his life. What everybody
around him is telling me he did most of his life. And if he had an
addiction problem that damaged his body, hopefully we can be more sensitive
to the problems of addicts and not try to take his legacy down a peg
because of it.
MADDOW: Or at least put it – I mean, I feel like the most important thing
about his cause of death is that we don`t know. And rumor mongering about
it disrespectful, especially at the time when he`s not yet buried. I think
the appreciation of his legacy is what – at least what I feel we still
ought to be talking about right now. To that point, I`m struck by how
local he was in Minneapolis, how his local station felt like, listen, we
loved him, he`d do anything for us. Does that fit with what you understand
TOURE: Yes, I mean, he loved living in this small community because he got
to be the big fish, everyone knew he was the business dog, but he got his
privacy as well. Everyone knows where Paisley Park is. And it`s there and
there`s no need for us to go and looky loo or these things because that`s
In New York City, we see famous people and don`t make a big deal out of it,
we see them all the time. I saw Steve Martin the other day, running for a
cab, and I didn`t like, oh my God! Internally I did. But externally,
there`s Steve Martin and there`s, you know, Danny de Vito on the next
street or whatever, and –
MADDOW: He got that kind of treatment in Minnesota.
TOURE: When I was in Minneapolis, a lot of people didn`t want to talk
about him because they wanted to be part of protecting his privacy, because
they knew him. They met him. They knew his dad, mom, sister, brother,
what-have-you. They wanted to protect him.
I want to talk about the radio station aspect that you brought up. When
Prince is growing up, this is the first time in history that gospel tropes
are being heard on the radio in popular music. In the music of Aretha
Franklin, James Brown, Al Green, Ray Charles, you don`t have to go to
church to hear this music, gospel tropes are coming in through popular
music. That has a huge impact on how Prince is formed as a musician.
MADDOW: You write – I`ll finish by complicating you in the piece in the
“New York Times” talking about how people appreciate his bawdiness and how
open he was about sexuality and how that freaked people out, but he was
just as open about the religious aspects what was he was literally
preaching through some of his songs and you being willing to tie those
I mean, sex and religion are two things people are so freaked out about.
He did put them together and I think your statement on that is smart and
brave. So, thank you for being here.
TOURE: Thank you, Rachel.
MADDOW: I know it`s tough circumstances, but I`m happy to have the chance
to have you here.
TOURE: Happy to be here with you. Thank you.
MADDOW: All right. We`ll be right back. Stay with us.
MADDOW: Supposed to be a happy thing when people go on vacation, right? I
mean, even if you`re not the one going on vacation, we`re not supposed to
be mad about it when other people do. We agree not to get mad like in the
office when one of our colleagues steps out to go enjoy the other parts of
his or her life, leave work behind for a little bit. We`re supposed to be
OK with that.
But you know what, there is one American politician who has just decided to
take a little jaunt, a little traipse abroad, and for a very specific
reason, that decision has people really, really, really, really mad.
They`re so mad. He even says he`s going to work while he`s away but people
are so mad at him for doing this. That`s next.
MADDOW: Hey, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder is going to Europe, for a week.
Of course he is.
When we last saw him, Governor Rick Snyder was at this nice house in Flint,
Michigan, taking away gallon jugs of water from the kitchen faucet of this
family to show how safe he thought it was to drink water from the tap in
Flint, Michigan, as long as you pour it through a filter. The governor
said he would be drinking Flint water not just that one day in that nice
lady`s kitchen in Flint, he said he would be taking Flint water away and
drinking it for 30 days. But now, as the governor jets off to Germany,
Switzerland, Italy, and the Netherlands, his spokesperson is now clarifying
when Governor Rick Snyder said he`d be drinking Flint water for 30 days, he
didn`t mean 30 days in a row.
So, this European jaunt will not feature state-paid water carriers bringing
jugs of Flint water with him everywhere he goes. He apparently will resume
his publicity stunt about Flint water when he comes back.
Meanwhile, Flint continues to post its lead-testing results from Flint
houses every few days. They continue to test water coming out of the taps
in homes across the city. And today, the city of Flint just posted the
highest lead rating they have ever taken from a home in that city.
Now for context here, if you`ve got 15 parts per billion of lead, that`s
the federal action level, 15 parts per billion. If you get up to 5,000
parts per billion, that`s hazardous waste. The previous record for any
test since the crisis was uncovered in Flint was just under 12,000.
What was posted today in Flint is nearly double that number, 22,905 parts
per billion. The house on the western edge of the city in a neighborhood
nestled into a bed in the Flint River. Well, now, with the first criminal
charges filed this week in the Flint lead poisoning disaster and with the
state attorney general saying that announcement that these charges against
these three relatively low-level government employees, they`re only the
At one level, we`re all now just waiting to see if and when more charges
will be filed and against whom. But in the very, very short term, there
are a couple of things to watch for right now. One is on Monday, because
Monday it`s the two-year anniversary of when Flint made its fateful switch
in the source of its water without treating it properly, which caused the
lead poisoning of that whole city in the first place.
And that anniversary on Monday, that`s going to bring a whole new round of
not just national attention, but probably global attention to this crisis.
The question is, does a new round of attention make it any more likely that
Flint will get fixed? That the pipes will get replaced? That there will
be any more urgency actually fixing this problem? Or to even finally
starting to deliver clean water to people in Flint, which still does not
happen, even now.
Will the anniversary bring about any more urgency in terms of trying to
make this better in the day-to-day life of people in Flint and trying to
fix this city that had its water pipes ruined by the state government?
That`s one thing to watch for.
The other thing to watch for is a matter that is a very sober thing and has
just arisen the last couple of days. It is personal, it is tragic. But I
think it is worth keep an eye on because it is as yet unexplained.
That is that a foreman, a man who worked as a foreman at the Flint water
treatment plan, men who worked there over 18 years, he died this week. In
as yet unexplained circumstances. He was a young man, he was my age, 43
Local authorities are investigating his death. They have not yet said what
the cause of his death was but they don`t suspect foul play. This man
worked at the Flint water treatment plant as a foreman. Today, the office
of Attorney General Bill Schuette, who brought charges, today the A.G.`s
office confirmed this young man who died this week is one of the people
they had just interviewed for their criminal investigation.
There are so many different levels of tragedy and mystery around what has
happened in Flint. This new personal one involving this long-time employee
of the Flint water treatment plant, it`s just the latest new thing that we
have learned about and it is as yet unexplained. If we learn more about
that, we will let you know more.
But the Flint water source switch-over which started this disaster, which
poisoned that city and ruined its infrastructure because of what the state
did to that town, the anniversary of that is Monday. Watch this space.
MADDOW: This coming Monday night on the eve of the next big primary night,
the great Chris Hayes and I are going to host back-to-back events in
Philadelphia with the two Democratic presidential candidates, Bernie
Sanders and Hillary Clinton. And we`re going to do it in front of a live
audience town hall style.
Town hall style means people in the audience get to ask questions in
addition to Chris and I getting to ask questions. And of course real
people talking to the candidates can be way more fun than just bozos like
us. It`s going to be awesome.
Eight Eastern, Chris Hayes will host with Bernie Sanders. And at 9:00
Eastern, he`s going to tag out and I will tag in along with Hillary
Clinton. Monday night, Bernie Sanders and Chris Hayes at 8:00, Hillary
Clinton and me at 9:00. I`m not going to sleep all weekend.
We`ll be right back.
MADDOW: We got a truth-telling moment this week from presidential
candidate John Kasich. Governor Kasich was sitting with “The Washington
Post” editorial board, and because the Washington in “Washington Post” is
for Washington, D.C., the editorial board asked Governor Kasich for his
view on whether D.C. should be allowed to become a state.
John Kasich had voted against that when he was a congressman, so “The Post”
asked him if there had been any change in his position since then. And
this was his answer. It`s amazing.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
GOV. JOHN KASICH (R-OH), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Probably not. I don`t
know. I`d have to – I mean, to me, that`s just – I just don`t see that
we really need that, OK? I don`t know. I don`t think so.
THE WASHINGTON POST: But you realize though that people in the D.C. pay
taxes, go to war and they have no vote in Congress.
THE WASHINGTON POST: How is that –
KASICH: Well, look, I`m not – you know what, what it really gets down to
if you want to be honest is because they know that`s just more vote in the
(END AUDIO CLIP)
MADDOW: More votes in the Democratic – OK. “A” for honesty. That`s
exactly why Republicans are against D.C. statehood.
Later in the interview he told “The Post” he might have to revisit that
decision that he might flip-flop on D.C. statehood. And now, this week, we
learn there`s somewhere else where John Kasich supports statehood, and that
is Puerto Rico.
Last month, Puerto Rico held its Republican primary, Marco Rubio won. He
scooped up 23 delegates, those delegates remain bound to him on the first
ballot. But after that, they`re free.
And throughout this process, the Puerto Rico delegation`s made it clear
they`re going to stick together, vote as a bloc, for one candidate in
Cleveland, all 23 of them, and they have made clear they will all vote for
– whichever candidate supports Puerto Rico statehood. That`s their one
demand. Do you support statehood? You get 23 delegates.
So, John Kasich`s saying, deal me in. John Kasich as of this week now
supports Puerto Rico statehood. He announced it after meeting with Puerto
Rico`s delegates on the sidelines of the RNC meeting in Florida.
Statehood would have to be passed with an act of Congress, there seems
little chance of that happening particularly with this Congress, so
presumably there`s no downside for John Kasich coming out in favor. One
Puerto Rico delegate told us he understands why support for the cause might
seem a little cynical.
The delegate told us the Trump and Cruz campaigns have also been in touch
with Puerto Rican Republicans but only Governor Kasich has offered support
like this. In a letter to Puerto Rico delegates expressing his newfound
love for Puerto Rico statehood, John Kasich got straight to the point.
His opening paragraph, right off the top, quote, “It`s now clear we`re
going to have an open convention. As a delegate from Puerto Rico, you`ll
have a critical role in selecting our nominee. Ahead of the convention, I
want you to know Puerto Rico statehood has my full support.”
To which I say, well played, Puerto Rico Republicans. You have leverage.
It makes sense to use it, especially when you have one ask and asking it
from people who are very, very desperate to say yes to you.
More ahead tonight. Stay with us.
MADDOW: OK. This is a good story. This is the back of the $20 bill.
It`s kind of an awesome one, right? On the right side it`s got a steam
ship. Steaming past the Statue of Liberty, alongside a really cute little
fierce tugboat. And then on the left side, it`s got a train, steaming
along, right under a biplane and right next to a car full of gentleman in
The back of the $20 bill used to have a beg ship, little ship, and plane
and a train and car on it. And when that was the awesome back side of the
$20 bill, the guy who was on the front of it was Grover Cleveland. Grover
Cleveland, who was president two terms in the 1880s and 1890s. Grover
Cleveland used to be on the $20 bill.
Around the time when Cleveland was president, the guy who was on the front
of the $20 then was James Garfield. This is what the $20 looked like then.
There was also a time when the $20 bill had George Washington on it. That
one was around 1905.
Back in 1878, the $20 bill had Stephen Decatur on it. He was a heroic navy
Have you ever heard of Daniel Manning? Not Danny Manning, the amazing
basketball player, rather, Daniel Manning, who was secretary of the
treasury at some point.
That Daniel Manning used to be on the $20 as well. And he`s out there
right next to a heavily muscle little guy in a toga. See that good night
next to him? With George Clooney hair holding a big hammer? That was
Also John Marshall, the Supreme Court justice, he was once on the $20 bill.
A guy named Hugh McCulloch was once on the $20 bill. A lot of people have
been on the $20 bill.
But in 1928, they made a switch on $20 bill. They took Grover Cleveland
off. He`d been the previous guy and they put on Andrew Jackson. And it`s
interesting. Nobody is quite sure why Grover Cleveland got the boot in the
1920s and Grover Cleveland got put on that bill that year.
It`s a little bit of a weird choice. Whatever else you think of Andrew
Jackson, his presidency and owning slaves and absolutely horrifying
treatment of the Seminoles and other Native Americans, one thing that is
strange about Andrew Jackson ending up on the $20 bill is that Andrew
Jackson did not believe in the $20 bill.
Andrew Jackson did not believe in paper money. Andrew Jackson did not
believe there should be a Federal Reserve Bank to print money. His
farewell address was about what he called the mischief and dangers of a
So, it is entirely possible that putting Andrew Jackson on that bill in the
first place was a joke by the Federal Reserve, because they knew how much
he hated them. But still, somehow all of these years, Andrew Jackson got
to stay. After a zillion other people circulated on and off the front of
that $20 bill for more than 65 years, Andrew Jackson is the one that stuck.
Now, Andrew Jackson is finally being freed of the bill he would have never
wanted to be on in the first place, the bill that he vehemently objected to
its existence or principle. The bill he may have been put on as an ironic
insult against him.
1859, 50 years after she first ran away from slavery, and 50 years after
ferrying them safely to the north. In 1899, when Harriet Tubman was by in
her 70s, by then not just the mother of the underground railroad but
herself a civil war veteran and widow of a civil war veteran, in 1899
Congress pass add bill to increase Harriet Tubman`s military pension.
As a widow, she`d been getting $8 a month. But Congress decreed in 1899
her pension should be increased to – $20 a month. When Harriet Tubman`s
father in Maryland bought the freedom of her mother, he paid cash money to
free her. Specifically, he paid cash money in the amount of $20.
When Harriet Tubman famously staged a sit-in at a New York abolitionist
newspaper saying she would not leave until she raised enough money to go
into Maryland and free her elderly parents who were too old and frail to
walk to freedom without a wagon to ride in, which she demanded for that
trip, which she sat in and refused to leave, was the sum of exactly $20.
And so, now, Harriet Tubman has freed Andrew Jackson, and she`s going to be
on the front of every $20 bill in the country, which means you and I will
soon be able to spend a Friday night laying down a Harriet Tubman $20, to
raise a glass in her honor.
And the closest thing to the exact right drink for that occasion is the
20th century cocktail and she did live to see the 20th century. She lived
to 1913. So, it`s not even out of date.
But this is a classic. You start with gin. In this case, we`re using gin
from the great state of Wisconsin, just because. We`re using 1.5 ounces of
gin. And then we`re going to use .75 ounce of three other ingredients.
All right. One of which is, should be easier to open than this. Lille,
which is not that expensive and delicious over ice with an orange twist if
you`re really lazy. This is creme de cacao which comes in clear and it
also comes in dark brown.
They taste exactly the same but the clear one makes the drink look nicer.
Three-quarters of that one, and the last magic ingredients, as in so many
cocktails, is three quarter an ounce of lemon juice, which doesn`t come
from a plastic thing that looks like a lemon and gets refrigerated, it
comes from – this mysterious object that we call a lemon.
So, three quarters of an ounce of lemon juice, creme de cacao, and Lille,
one of the half ounces of gin, shake it like you mean it! Strain it into a
cocktail glass. Garnish it with a lemon twist.
And – say a toast to the new $20 bill. Anybody who truly respects Andrew
Jackson should be happy he`s off that bill. He was against paper money.
And anybody against Harriet Tubman being on the front of the $20 now,
frankly, needs to chill out and have a cocktail. Relax. It`s going to be
awesome. It`s great news.
Have a great weekend.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed,
transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written
permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark,
copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>