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All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 02/13/15

Guests: Tim Carney, Andrij Dobriansky, Jamila Bey, Dean Obedallah, EvanMoore

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN -- SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MAJORITY LEADER: Let me make it clear: There will be no government shutdown. HAYES: A high-stakes game of chicken leaves Mitch in a box, as Republicans officially turned on each other after running Congress for a month. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t think Mitch McConnell should let the Senate rules trump the Constitution. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where is our Republican Senate leadership? HAYES: Then, as the president weighs in on the Chapel Hill shootings, should atheists have to denounce the murder of three Muslim students? Plus, the true story behind the rise and fall of a champion Little League team. And saying goodbye to a legendary journalist. DAVID CARR, THE NEW YORK TIMES: If you`re going to get a job that`s a little bit of a caper. That should be hard to do. No wonder everybody is lined up trying to get into it. It beats working. HAYES: ALL IN starts right now. (END VIDEOTAPE) HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. Only 38 days into the 114th Congress, the era of unity and productivity we were promised under Republican leadership has completely fallen apart. The GOP`s state of disarray centers on what has been a colossally failed strategy to rebuke President Obama over his executive action protecting millions of people from deportation. Now, the president announced that action and it was met with outrage on the right, and vows to do whatever it took to block his so-called executive amnesty. The plan Republicans said once they assumed control of Congress was to pass a bill to pay for the Department of Homeland Security which included provisions that would have gutted the president`s executive actions on immigration. This was done with the goal of setting up a dramatic moment which the president of the United States would be forced to veto the bill, thereby singlehandedly shutting down the Department of Homeland Security and getting egg all over his face. The House passed the DHS funding bill on January 14th. But then they ran into a completely foreseeable problem. Republicans can`t get it out of the Senate. You see, there is a little thing called math standing in the way. Republicans may be in the majority now but they only hold 54 seats, and thanks to the routine abuse of the filibuster by Mitch McConnell pioneered by Mitch McConnell when he was in the minority oh just months ago, that 54 votes are not enough to get a bill through the Senate. You need 60 votes to pass a cloture motion, the procedure use to break a filibuster. Observe the rate of cloture motions in the past few sessions of Congress, which is pretty much the best way to gauge the frequency of filibusters, you`ll see something pretty remarkable. They shot up quite a bit under none other than Mitch McConnell`s leadership. Despite his history, McConnell has been willing, trying to will himself past the simple math he himself should know better than anyone. But alas, that math has prevailed, with Senate Democrats filibustering three attempts to debate the House bill. Homeland security runs out of funding on February 27th. And as the clock ticks down, House Republicans have been watching the prospect of sticking it to the president grow dim. And then this week, things started to get crazy. On Wednesday, Congressman Mo Brooks, conservative Republican from Alabama, took to the House floor to blast Senate leadership for failing to follow Harry Reid`s example and use the nuclear option. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REP. MO BROOKS (R), ALABAMA: Where is our Republican Senate leadership and why aren`t they doing the same thing. We have 54 Republican senators. Mitch McConnell, the last time I checked is the Senate Republican majority leader. Why don`t they do the same thing in respect to bills that we have to pass to prevent government shut downs, bills dealing with spending matters, say only 51 votes is need. No longer can a minority with a filibuster shut down the United States government. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Interesting proposal. That idea seems to have caught on for House conservatives, pleading for filibuster reform to put an end to Senate gridlock. At the Heritage Foundation`s monthly conversations with conservative event yesterday, several congressman called for a change to Senate rules. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REP. RAUL LABRADOR (R), IDAHO: This is important enough for Mitch McConnell to change the rules of the Senate. We had the Democrats do the nuclear option for low level appointments, for a bunch of other things. We`re talking about a constitutional crisis. REP. TIM HUELSKAMP (R), KANSAS: I don`t think Mitch McConnell should let the Senate rules trump the Constitution. That`s the issue here. REP. MICK MULVANEY (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: The rule is not constitutional. The rule is by tradition, right? And the rule that is in place now has not been sacrosanct since the beginning. The rules have been changed from time to time. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: They were even joined by a spokesman for none other than John Boehner, the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, who said on the tweet, "The best way to move forward is to end Senate Democrats` undemocratic and senseless filibuster." And you know what? I think House Republicans are 100 percent right. Joining me now, Tim Carney, senior political columnist of "The Washington Examiner". Tim, there`s nothing we love more than process hypocrisy. I love nothing more than hearing the arguments that they have been making for years, (INAUDIBLE) conservatives, it`s not in the Constitution, this is crazy, this is undemocratic. I 100 percent agree, are we going to get conservatives on board with this? TIM CARNEY, THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER: I don`t think you`re going to get that many conservatives on board because getting rid of the filibuster and the nuclear option that Harry Reid did last Senate, last Congress, is very un-conservative. Whether you count it democratic or not democratic, it`s very unconservative to change the Senate rules with 51 votes. That`s a first step. He had to say the rules are not rules the rules are what the majority says. That`s the first step to the nuclear option. That is an incredibly unconservative thing. That ends the idea of the Senate all together. And then, the filibuster itself, I think there should be a national consensus before we change a law. That`s why I think having the ability to block a final vote on the bill in the Senate, unless you get to at least 60, I think there`s a real virtue to that. HAYES: I like you saying this, because I think this actually is deeply clarifying. I think that the filibuster actually is a conservative institution. I think it`s not in conservatives` interest to get rid of it. I think it`s in conservatives` interest to maintain the filibuster. It`s part of the reason that I want to see it done away with it. But my question is do you -- this is -- we`re only 38 days in. You`ve already got some people are calling for the end of this. This is going to be, I`m telling you, I`ve been there, we have all been there for the last few years, this is going to be what it looks like when you have 54 votes in the Senate. It`s going to be a lot of this time and time again. There is no way to turn back the clock to not using the filibuster all of the time. Do you see pressure mounting whether you think it`s a good idea or not? CARNEY: Well, yes, and the question is what does Mitch McConnell in his heart of hearts want to do? I think he would want to do away with it. I think that most of the Republican senators don`t feel that way. Ted Cruz has said, I don`t want to do this. Ted Cruz is not known for somebody to sort of abide by longstanding traditions just because they`re there in the Senate. But he sees it as a valuable tool. So, what we had that`s really different, Chris, I think is that the parties are fully aligned ideologically. Back in the day, there were conservative Democrats or liberal Republicans. And so, to get a procedurally unanimity that you need to hold a filibuster wasn`t as easy. But now, it`s more easy for a party leader to just say, look, you`ve got to stick with us on all of this, you`ve got to hold the line and that makes it possible. So, the ideological alignment of the parties has made the world completely different than it was like in 1950, 1960. HAYES: What`s interesting here is I watch this dynamic play out on the left among Democrats, in which you had an activist base, particularly back in 2009, 2010, that were saying, look, this is ridiculous, the way the filibuster is being used. This is not constitutionally -- this is not part of the Constitution. The Founders were very specific about when they wanted super majorities. All these arguments, right? There was an elite leadership that didn`t want to do it. I mean, Harry Reid stood in the way of this for a very long time, finally gave in. I wonder if you end up seeing a dynamic like that, particularly because Harry Reid just gave you guys the precedent. CARNEY: Well, yes, the Harry Reid -- again, the biggest difference, and I want to emphasize this, the biggest deal is that Harry Reid said, you can change any Senate rule with 51 votes. I would say that makes is that there are no rules, then. It is Calvin ball. It is like whatever team ahead in baseball can change the rules. There are no rules. And so, if that precedent -- that was a giant dam that was broken down by Harry Reid. It wasn`t that he got rid of filibusters on nomination. It was a rules change. And so, with that weapon in his pocket, you could see Mitch McConnell bucking the party. The reason I don`t think it`s worth it is you still have the veto pen. You can`t nuclear option the veto pen out of the way. HAYES: That`s right. CARNEY: So, until they have two-thirds, they can`t actually pass laws by nuking something. HAYES: You have identified the thing that what will stop them from blowing (ph) the filibuster is the knowledge that all that will then do is be able to send bills to the president to be vetoed, and I think they understand the seismic importance of it, such that they`re not going to do that if all it means is sending stuff to the president to be vetoed. Tim Carney, thank you very much. CARNEY: Thank you. HAYES: All right. In Barack Obama`s video for BuzzFeed this week, which has gotten more than 26 million views, we got a glimpse of what he does when no one is looking. Today on Capitol Hill, we may have gotten a window into what John Boehner does when no one is looking, which is to pretend he`s the president of the United States. This morning, he performed one of the most bizarre feats of political theater I have ever seen. What you`re seeing there in front of you is a pretend signing of the Keystone pipeline bill which was just passed out of Congress, in which President Obama has already vowed to veto. This bill is not becoming law because the person signing that, that wasn`t the president. This appears to be the Republicans` favorite new method of showing everyone how productive they`re being and I`m willing to vet it comes from the same PR geniuses who brought you this photo tweeted up by Eric Cantor during the government shutdown, showing House Republicans on one side of an empty table ready to negotiate. I`m joined now by MSNBC contributor Howard Dean, former governor of Vermont, and former DNC chair. Howard, I love that -- (LAUGHTER) I love the optic (ph) of John Boehner there with the pen, as if -- implicit in that I guess is Republicans want to do away with Article 2 of the Constitution and just go full out parliamentary system. HOWARD DEAN, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: You know, the interesting thing about this, Chris, is actually think there is a part of the Republicans, particularly Boehner and McConnell that are very happy to have the situation they have with the filibuster. HAYES: You`re so right, yes. DEAN: Let`s just suppose for a moment that they actually did do the nuclear option, which I might add was designed by Republicans and threatened previously when the Republicans were in the majority under Bill Clinton. Let`s just suppose they did do the nuclear option and they pass a shut down -- I mean, undoing all of the immigration stuff. They have got to get to 35 percent minimum Hispanic votes in the next presidential election for their nominee to have any shot whatsoever and what kind of chance do you think they`ll do, because I actually think that Boehner and McConnell are secretly thrilled that there`s s a filibuster. HAYES: You`re a -- this isn`t perfect, this is a really important point -- it`s like if you go and try to buy a used car and the salesman says I have to go check with my manager, right? DEAN: Yes. HAYES: Or any other situation where someone says, a customer says, well, I`m sorry, my boss won`t let me, the filibuster is the best excuse as you`re like your phantom goes to boss, if you`re running Senate leadership. I would love to, but we can`t do it. DEAN: This is going to be the real hard part for them because they`ve got to get a bill to the president`s desk for their -- no matter what happens, for whatever reason, if the Department of Homeland Security shuts down, the Republicans are going to get the blame. HAYES: Yes. DEAN: Yes, they`ll spin it because they have done this before. And the American people are not going to believe that it`s Obama, it`s his department, they`re going to believe it`s the Republicans doing it again. So, they`ve got to figure out how to do this and this is going to be really hard with the far right wing, especially in the House. And that`s what Boehner is quaking in his boots about, that`s why he`s thrashing McConnell. He`s got to get along with McConnell, he`s thrashing him, because he hopes that he can placate the 80 or so nut jobs in the House he has to worry about and they will somehow let him go when they fully fund the Department of Homeland Security, which they`re going to do sometime in the next two weeks. HAYES: That is an excellent point, and we should stay here. I mean, one of the kind of subtext to all of this is the way in which the Democratic Party and the president of the United States and the groups that push for this executive action on immigration have as of to now successfully called the bluff of the Republicans who said at the time, don`t do this, it will start a nuclear war between our parties, you don`t what to know what`s coming, don`t do it, don`t do it. Here we are, and they`ve got nothing. I mean, they had nothing other than this kind of ritualized, bringing the bill up, getting it filibustered, hoping that they can pull enough stunts that people turned on the president as having shutdown the DHS. But that does not seem very likely to me. DEAN: Well, I think they were somehow hoping that some of the Democratic senators would lose their nerve, but it`s pretty easy no matter what your constituents think of immigration to vote to stay with your party, particularly after what the Republicans have been doing to the president for the last four years. HAYES: Yes, that is a very good point here too, which is that here we are, 38 days into the Congress, and we`re seeing, you know, the kind of "I learned it from watching you dad" moment that we`re getting from the Democrats, is they -- you know, they saw how effective in certain ways the McConnell system of being in the Senate minority was, which was block, block, block, obstruct, voters are block, voters are block. Keep your people together. You all hang together, or surely, you`re hang separately. And they`re doing that and it`s been pretty effective so far. DEAN: Well, that`s true. They`re positioning themselves for the 2016 elections for sure. You know, the Democrats have a fairly good chance to take back the Senate in 2016, just the way the math works. A huge turnout compared to what we just had, which is the lowest turnout in about 50 years. A lot more blue states and battlegrounds -- excuse me, red states - - excuse me, red senators in blue states is what I`m trying to say, you know, Pat Tomei and people like that up in a presidential year, they didn`t have to run in a presidential year last time. More conservative than his constituency, and there`s a number of senators like that. So, the math works in our favor in 2016, and a lot of this is positioning for that. HAYES: Thank you, Governor Dean. Always a pleasure. DEAN: Thanks. HAYES: All right. The story of Senator James in Inhofe, he gave a right wing publication photos that, well, pretty badly misrepresented the current situation in Ukraine. That`s ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN AUDIO CLIP) GOV. JOHN KITZHABER (D), OREGON: I am announcing today that I will resign as Governor of the State of Oregon. It is not in my nature to walk away from a job that I have undertaken -- it is to stand and fight for the cause. And so, I apologize to all those people who gave of their faith, time, energy and resources to elect me to a fourth term last year and who have supported me over the past three decades. (END AUDIO CLIP) HAYES: The Democratic governor of Oregon, John Kitzhaber, resigned from office today. There was no press conference, and there were no cameras. Just that statement and a recording of the governor reading it aloud, as you just heard. His resignation is effective on Wednesday, and the move, a bizarre one I would say, comes as he was under growing pressure from all sides to step down amid allegations that his fiancee used her relationship with the governor benefit her consulting business. Those allegations have prompted criminal investigation by the state`s attorney general, who says she will continue the investigation after the governor steps down. Kitzhaber has denied any wrongdoing. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" has been on this story. They`ve been doing incredible reporting it. And Rachel -- and that show will have the whole story for you in 9:00, including what makes the next governor of Oregon so groundbreaking. So, stay tuned for that. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (VIDEO CLIP PLAYS) HAYES: The fight that erupted between two members of Ukrainian parliament yesterday fails in comparison to the violence consuming Eastern Ukraine right now. Five and a half thousand people have died since the conflict erupted between Ukrainian government and Russian-backed separatists and even with a new ceasefire agreement scheduled to take effect this Sunday, the shelling and mortar strikes continue this week. It is against this backdrop that the right wing publication, "The Washington Free Beacon" published a big scoop on Tuesday, purporting to show exclusive photos of the Russian army not only aiding Ukrainian separatists but streaming into Ukraine in 10 columns. Look pretty damning. And while many are all but sure that Russia is actually aiding the separatists, these particular photos would appear to provide stunning evidence of the escalating conflict and direct Russian involvement in it. The photos were supplied to "The Washington Free Beacon" by Senator James Inhofe, who just happens to be author of a bill to arm Ukraine with lethal military aid. But we now know there were some issues with these photos and very big issues. As reported by Gawker, this photo on the left, which was published in "The Washington Free Beacon" is apparently the same as the photo on the right from a photo accompanying a 2012 article which looks very similar to other tank photos from 2008. Likewise, this photo on the left as published from "The Washington Free Beacon" is apparently the same as the one on the right from August 2008 of Russian heavy armored vehicles heading towards the Georgian border. And here we go again. The photo on the left published by "The Washington Free Beacon" is apparently the same as the photo on the right from October of last year. Now, it does show Russian separatists in the Luhansk, but that tank movement was already known and monitored by NATO. A few other photos used by "The Washington Free Beacon" haven`t been verified yet one way or the other, but these caches of photos provided "The Washington Free Beacon" by Senator Inhofe were given to him by a delegation consisting of Ukrainian members of parliament, a parliamentary leader, and one Georgetown professor. Senator Inhofe said in a statement, "The Ukrainian parliament members who gave us these photos in print form as if it came directly from a camera really did themselves a disservice. We felt confident to release these photos because the images match the reporting of what is going on in the region. I was furious to learn one of the photos provided now appears to be falsified from an AP photo taken in 2008. This doesn`t change the fact that there is plenty of evidence Russia has made advances into the country with T-72 tanks and that pro-Russian separatists have been killing Ukrainians in cold blood." So, the reason the public saw those photos in that false context, courtesy of Senator Inhofe and "The Free Beacon" is because there are Ukrainian interests lobbying American politicians to arm the Ukrainian army so it can defeat the separatists. And joining me now, Andrij Dobriansky. He`s spokesman for Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, someone I have a lot of respect for, someone who emails me all the time about what is going on, and someone who thinks we should arm -- ANDRIJ DOBRIANSKY, UKRAINIAN CONGRESS COMMITTEE OF AMERICA: Yes, absolutely. HAYES: OK. Let`s start up with this. My general heuristic is that if James Inhofe and "The Washington Free Beacon" are for it, I`m pretty skeptical of it. So, just -- you know, in a sort of calculating, you know, for people probably watching the show, it`s like these are these people, Lindsey Graham, John McCain, Inhofe, who want to arm the separatists -- DOBRIANSKY: Chris Murphy, Senator Menendez -- HAYES: So, you`re saying there is bipartisan support. Why should we be arming the Ukrainian army? DOBRIANSKY: What we should be giving them defensive support. A lot of the casualties right now in Eastern Ukraine, especially 70 percent of the casualties specifically, are coming from rocket fire, missile fire. Now, just during this ceasefire period, when it was being signed, 15 new tanks came in, as well as missile launcher systems and the associated missiles. If we were to give Ukraine a counter battery radar system, if we were to give Ukraine early radar protection for these, we could be saving a lot of lives and yet, we`re not doing that. What we could also do is we could be giving basic supplies to the Ukrainian military, which we haven`t done. Even though President Obama speaks that he has given them things, we know through Josh Rogin`s reporting in Bloomberg, that that includes 176 radios, 18 water purification kits, maybe 4,000 blankets. HAYES: OK. So but let`s say we gave them, right, is the ultimate end here a military defeat of a Russian-backed separatists and the reclamation of a unified Ukraine, is it a negotiated political ceasefire? Is a military victory possible? Let`s say we give them weapons and Putin supplies more weapons and the fighting intensifies. DOBRIANSKY: This fighting will go on no matter if there`s a ceasefire now or not. This is going to -- HAYES: OK, thank you for admitting the obvious. DOBRIANSKY: Well, yes, of course, because you can`t trust any deal that the Russians make. They couldn`t even acknowledge in the deal they have their own foreign soldiers. They just mentioned all foreign military will leave, even though that`s only one party here and that`s Russia. So, in terms of what`s going on, the fighting will continue. But what we need to do is acknowledge that we need to be helping these people for the sole reason -- if not anything -- for the sole that the United States -- HAYES: Who are these people? DOBRIANSKY: The Ukrainian army. HAYES: Right, but here is the problem it seems to me, and this is piece from Max Seddon, from BuzzFeed today. And I`ve heard similar reports from people who were there. DOBRIANSKY: OK. HAYES: Ukrainians` bloody and callous attempt to reclaim its eastern provinces has only made locals there hate the central government even more. The problem now is that it has been a very bloody campaign there. There had been many civilians caught in the midst of it. The Ukrainian government, completely understandably, cut off financial support for the breakaway Republic, leaving pensioners having to travel across a border to get their pensions, right? People are not in that region necessarily (INAUDIBLE) be rejoined Ukraine. DOBRIANSKY: But for the most part, the people who were left in that region are the million people who have been displaced. So, I was there in May of last year, and already, I spoke to priests, community leaders, anybody who could be a troublemaker in that area was basically run out of that town. So, what`s left, you have a lot of elderly, you have a lot of people with no money. Now, for the elderly people, they grew up in the town of Donetsk that was called Stalino in that town, named after Stalin who ethically cleansed that area and then colonized it with other people. HAYES: So, there`s a sort of vestigial loyalty there. Right. DOBRIANSKY: Well, there`s a lot of trouble, but the important thing is to close the border. And this ceasefire, for one thing, doesn`t close the border. It says that by the end of the year -- HAYES: Supportive of Russia. DOBRIANSKY: Yes. By the end of the year, Ukraine can have access to the border. HAYES: OK. So, then what`s the end game here. This is what I don`t get. Like what, so is the end game, a Ukrainian military victory over Russia in its eastern provinces? DOBRIANSKY: The end game is to help Ukraine build itself up. Ukraine is in the process of a revolution. It is getting more money to stabilize itself. All civil society institutions are going to be redone, militarily as well, by the end of this conflict -- HAYES: Answer that question. DOBRIANSKY: Yes? HAYES: Is the end game, a Ukrainian military victory over the Russian- backed separatists in its southern territories? DOBRIANSKY: The only way that Ukraine can stabilize itself is to close that border. How that happens, whether it`s a response of other nations or not, has to be with the United States` help, because the only people who were in Minsk, were two countries, France and Germany, that have economic deals with Russia but did not sign the Budapest Memorandum where Ukraine gave over 1,200 nuclear warheads, and that is the United States and Great Britain. HAYES: Andrij Dobriansky, thank you very much. DOBRIANSKY: Thank you, Chris. HAYES: OK, my tribute to the three journalists we lost this week. That`s ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DAVID CARR, NEW YORK TIMES: If you`re going to get a job that is a little bit of a caper, that isn`t really a job, that is -- you know you get to, under ideal circumstances leave the building or at least leave your desktop, go out find people more interesting than you, learn about something, come back and tell other people about it, that should be hard to get into. That should be hard to do. No wonder everybody is lined up trying to get into it. It beats working. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: When someone we love or admire is taken from us too quickly, too young, with no preparation, there are really only two small efforts I can think of to be found in their absence. The first is the occasion to bask in the ghostly warmth of stories and tales of the person we lost. Last night in the minutes after it was confirmed that legendary New York Times media columnist David Carr had died at the age of 58, tributes and anecdotes and remembrances poured forth for David Carr was not only admired and respected and envied, he was also loved. His death came as a shock. Just on Tuesday night, he called into this program to discuss Jon Stewart and Brian Williams. Last night he moderated a panel with Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras and Edward Snowden about the film Citizen Four. Hours later, he collapsed at The Times and was pronounced dead shortly thereafter. Carr meant something very special to all of us in the media. He was a reporters reporter who reported on reporters. I knew him casually, but admired him deeply. And as many have noted, he had this way of making everyone feel like they were his best friend -- not in a disingenuous way of a con artist or politician but in the way of someone who had achieved some elevated spiritual level. And if Carr was operating on a higher plane, he paid deraly to get there. As he recounted in his incredible, indelible memoir "The Night of the Gun," he had been a junky, an abuser of women, and a man who left his twin daughters in a freezing car on a cold Minnesota night to go into his dealer`s house and shoot cocaine. He hurt people. He helped ruin people`s lives. He almost ruined his own. And then he hit rock bottom, found recovery, gained custody of his twin daughters and rebuilt his life centered around a relish for living and being the probably only comes to those who have come this close to losing themselves entirely. Carl wasn`t the only terrible loss journalism suffered this week. The truly great fearless and independent 60 Minutes correspond Bob Simon died in a car accident in New York at the age of 73. And former NBC correspondent Ned Colt who left journalism to devote himself fulltime to professional humanitarian work, he died after suffering a massive stroke. And like Carr, he was also just 58. They are mourned and missed as well. Which brings me to the second comfort one can find in the wake of sudden inexplicable death, which is to learn from the life someone led, to glean clues to the one mystery that stalks us all in every moment we inhabit this earth: how should we live? Watching the love and admiration cascade down my Twitter time line last night for David Carr, I remember a few elementary truths about this work we do. And they are truths that are far too easy to lose a grip on amidst the gales of pressure and stress we face very day. Journalism matters and good journalism is a mission, it`s a privilege, and it`s a joy, it`s not a job. So be honest, and work hard, tell the story, earn the privilege every day that you have been afforded. And if, in our professional lives, we must sometimes be ruthless and hard and tough, in life we will ultimately be judged by how we are to loved ones and strangers alike. And reading testimonial after testimonial of David Carr, I came away with a simple but profound answer to how a person should be: be good, be generous, be kind, and remember to enjoy it. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) D.J. BUTLER, JACKIE ROBINSON WEST: It was cool being here. The president, I have to thank him for letting us enjoy coming here to the White House. And it is cool to just explore the White House and get to see what hardly people ever see. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: So, one of the feel good stories of last year, Chicago`s own Jackie Robinson West little league team captivated the country and became the first all black team to win the national title. They later came up short in the little league world championship final against a team from South Korea, Mayor Rahm Emmanuel hailed the kids as, quote, the pride of Chicago and the city threw a huge parade and rally in their honor. A few months later, another public official with Chicago roots welcomed the kids to the White House and gave them a tour of the Oval Office. To see the first all black team to win the U.S. little league title get the same praise the world series winners do is particularly striking considering that black participation in major league baseball has massively declined. In 1984, according to the Society for American Baseball Research, a little more than 18 percent of major leaguers were black. In 2012, the percentage dropped to just over 7 percent. And now Chicago`s Jackie Robinson West, a symbol for African-Americans in sports and baseball has gone from a feel good story to a full-blown controversy. On Wednesday, Little League International stripped the kids of their U.S. title, accusing the coaches of knowingly violating the rules by putting players on the team who lived outside of the team`s residential boundaries. Now, the person who brought this to everyone`s attention is Little League official Chris James from neighboring and rival Evergreen Park Athletic Association who had seen one of his teams demolished by Jackie Robinson West 43-2 last year. And who in October, according to DNA Info Chicago, accused Jackie Robinson West of, quote, manipulating, bending and blatently breaking the rules for the sole purpose of winning at all costs. Little League has now suspended Jackie Robinson West manager, removed their district administrator, and perhaps most heartbreakingly for the kids on the team, who didn`t do anything wrong, invalidated all of Jackie Robinson West wins last season. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BRANDON GREEN, JACKIE ROBINSON WEST: We went down there to play baseball and we weren`t involved in anything that could have caused us to be stripped of our championship. We know that we`re champions. Our parents know we`re champions, and the team`s parents know we`re champions and Chicago knows we`re champions. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Joining me now is Evan Moore from Redeye Chicago who writes about politics in sports. Evan, I get the sense there is a tremendous amount of anguish and anger in Chicago over the decision to strip these kids of the title and the wins. EVAN MOORE, REDEYE CHICAGO: Yes, you feel the tension everywhere you go. In person, social media, Twitter, Facebook, everyone is talking about it. HAYES: What is the back story here? I mean it seems to me two that things. One the fact that they were basically the whistle was blown on them by a rival neighbor, who if I`m not mistaken had been accused of similar shenanigans earlier. And also the idea that somehow the kids are being punished for the transgressions of adults. MOORE: Well, Evergreen Park and Jackie Robinson West have butted heads for years. Every time they go over there, they get the best of them. And the game we just discussed, they bated around three times in the first inning. So if I was Evergreen Park that would probably make me mad, too. HAYES: So they absolutely slaughtered them. And then Evergreen Park went and said -- and essentially told the officials and said hey do you know those guys had some players on the team who weren`t from the district? MOORE: Yeah, it`s tough. And I can see why people are questioning Chris Jenkin`s timing because this game happened so long ago. HAYES: That`s what is so weird about it. He comes forward in October of last year, after all this has gone down, after they`ve come back triumphant, that`s when he came forward with this information. I don`t quite get the times on it. MOORE: Well, it was tough. And I know a lot of us in Chicago and all over the country to throw race into this. And for more people I`ve spoke to on both sides of the issue at Jackie Robinson West and Evergreen Park, James doesn`t have a racist bone in his body. They just think he`s overcompetitive and he thought something was wrong. HAYES: You also had some reporting that there had been scuttlebutt in neighboring Southside black teams that Jackie Robinson had sort of been pretty lenient with how they considering the geographical area they were taking players from. MOORE: Yes, I`ve talked to former little leaguers and people currently in the sport and they all made those hints. They weren`t shy about it once the news got out. HAYES: So what happens next? It seems like the city is sticking with the team. I think they were at the Blackhawks game tonight. I`d imagine they`re probably actually going to get a heros welcome. MOORE: Well, they should. I mean, they were at the Blackmakes game. And they didn`t do anything wrong. And even though it`s technically they`re not the champions anymore, but they`re still winners and these are kids. They didn`t do anything wrong. They did what they were told. They went out there and played the game the right way, and actually when you think about it they were more than thankful to be there and went out of their way to exude sportsmanship. HAYES: Evan Moore, thanks for joining us. MOORE: Thank you. HAYES: All right, should an atheist or a Muslim, or anyone for that matter have to condemn acts of violence by people who share their beliefs? We`re going to talk about that ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What are you doing, Charlie Brown? UNIDENTIFEID MALE: I`m waiting for a valentine. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh well, good luck. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you. UNIDENTIFEID FEMALE: You`ll need it. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You didn`t have to say that. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: You know who else is waiting for a valentine? Our Facebook page. I`ll admit, it`s in need of a little liking this Valentine`s Day. Look at all of the things Facebook.com/allinwithchris can bring to a relationship. We give you sneak peeks at things we`re working on, stories we like, some of our favorite moments from the show every night, and opportunities to ask questions of yours truly. Like this Monday at noon eastern, when I`ll be doing a Facebook chat, that`s right, ask me anything. And while you don`t have to like the page to ask a question, it would warm my heart if you did. Back in a moment. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: President Obama today weighed in on the murder of three young Muslim Americas in North Carolina: Deah Barakat, his wife Yusor Abu Salha and her sister Razan saying in a statement, quote, "no one in the United States of America should ever be targeted because of who they are, what they look like or how they worship. Michelle and I offer our condolences to the victims` loved ones." Yesterday, after thousands gathered to remember the victims at funeral services and a vigil where many, including the father of the two slain sisters labeled the killings a hate crime driven by anti-Muslim bias, the FBI announced it has opened a preliminary inquiry into the killings to determine whether federal laws had been violated. Police have charged Craig Steven Hicks who lived in the same complex as the victims with the murders, which Chapel Hill police say their initial investigation indicates were motivated not by anti-Muslim bias, but, quote, "an ongoing neighbor dispute over parking." The New York Times reported today that Hicks was threatening to many in the condominium complex, a disruptive presence with a reputation that prompted residents to hold a meeting about his angry behavior. According to the Wall Street Journal, Hicks had a history of reporting neighbors for parking in spaces that weren`t theirs and creating, quote, a lot of drama. What appears to be Hick`s Facebook page suggests he was also hostile to religion. It`s filled with posts that mock prayer and other religious activity and heaped contempt on believers of all stripes, whether Christian or Muslim. Hicks`s opposition to religion, which he called anti-theism, has prompted some uncomfortable conversations among atheists on Reddit and elsewhere which have included concerned that atheists will be blamed for the attack in much the same way that Muslims are often blamed for violence committed by Muslim extremists. Those concerns are strong enough that the group American Atheist felt compelled to release a statement in response to the killings, which condemned violence in any form including violence against people of faith. Last night on this program, I asked Faris Barakat (ph), the brother of one of the victims what he thought of that statement. (BEGIN VDEO CLIP) FARRAS BARAKAT: For atheists to think that they need to condemn this act is kind of -- would be hypocritical for me to expect, because as a Muslim I know that one act of violence does not represent all Muslims and this act does not represent all athetists. And to me, I tell the community we know that this does not represent any sane and loving human being as atheists can be. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: I`m going to talk about precisely that issue with a practicing Muslims and a practicing atheist next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: Joining me now Dean Obedallah, Daily Beast columnist, Sirius XM radio host and co-director of the comedy documentary The Muslims are Coming. And Jamila Bey, journalist who has written extensively on issues concerning religion and atheism. Jamila, good to see you. So, Jamila, let`s start with this. I mean, what is your reaction? I thought it was so fascinating that American Atheist put out this statement condemning, because it has become this ritual after ISIS -- after Charlie Hebdo particularly, a bunch of Muslim groups I saw putting out immediate statements we condemn this, we condemn this, we condemn this, we condemn this and this seemed like a logical extension of it, but then I also thought OK have we now created some bizarre new norm where everyone has do condemning? JAMILA BEY, JOURNALIST: first of all, thank you for having me. I need to disclose, I am a board member of American Atheists. We`re the largest first amendment civil rights groups that concerns itself with making America a better place for atheists. And to be honest, yes, there is a bit of a let`s rush to show that we are not those who are being condemned for acts of violence. Any time one is part of a minority group, an oppressed group, a group that is seen as other and violent, and apart from the society that is the dominant one, those folks who are in a similar group to the currently reviled individuals or individual does feel we need to make sure that everyone knows that that is a individual, that is not who we are. And we as atheists, we don`t have dogma or doctrine. It is sort of like everyone who loves a particular music group, one person wearing the shirt of a music group commits an act, there aren`t concerts and all of that. Which does speak to your point why do we need to do it? HAYES: Well, it also just feels like -- it feels like in some ways Dean, like now we`re going -- we`re leveling down as opposed to leveling up. By which I mean to say we need to rather than further the notion that a heinous violent act, committed by a person with a certain ideological profile or belief system, whatever that is, is broadly representative and has to be condemned, we should just instead be interrogating the assumption that makes people feel like they have to condemn. DEAN OBEDALLAH, DAILY BEAST: I`m with you, but unfortunately that is not the world we live in. I mean, what you`re saying is absolutely right. And atheists and Muslims in popularity polls, we`re at the bottom together. HAYES: It`s true. That`s a really good point. OBEDALLAH: In fact when I first saw about the shooting and I saw it was an atheist I tweeted immediately I do not blame atheism on any level for this. And if there`s any hatred of Muslims it`s not because of atheism, I blame ISIS, al Qaeda, and then the political -- the politicians on the right -- and I got a lot of flak on Twitter for saying this, on the right who gin up the hate. I mean, it affects people. It infects even good people. HAYES: OK. But let`s be clear, we have had a national conversation. Bill Maher, Sam Harris, a number of prominent -- Richard Dawkins, Jamila, a number of very prominent atheists have been spending a lot of time in the last several months, particularly since the sort of rise of ISIS, talking about the kind of unique threat that is posed at this moment by violent extreme Islam. I wonder if you feel as a fellow atheist like you have some responsibility to bear creating an atmosphere of Islamaphobia. BEY: Well, as a half Muslim person who is an atheist, as an American -- I know, yeah -- well, my father and all of his family are Musilm -- my name is Jamila, come on. But unfortunately it is shorthand and it is short-sighted. We need to be talking about issues of mental health in this country. We need to talking about issues of easy access to guns. We need to be talking about the fact that there are a lot of alienated people who behave violently and who are known to be violent and the lack of mental health care that is easily accessible in this country is an issue. HAYES: One thing, just to make this point, you will notice that a group that never does the condemning is the NRA, right? They don`t feel the need -- the NRA, and I don`t necessarily think they`re wrong not to do this. I mean, it should not be the case that the NRA has to come forward and condemn every horrible thing done by a person with a gun... BEY: Because they always... HAYES: Right. ut they don`t play the game, one should note. BEY: They don`t play the game, but they do say guns don`t kill people, people kill people. And they target by that statement the individual shooter, or the group of shooters so they don`t need to do that. It is a brilliant strategy. But we, folks who are human beings, who believe that I cannot do well unless my fellow brethen does well, it was a scary time. And it was the most beautiful to hear the brother of one of the shooting victims say of course we know not all atheists are hateful people and what not. The fact that someone is an atheist or the fact that someone is a Christian and does a heinous crime certainly doesn`t implicate us all. HAYES: OK, but let me say this -- and let me press on this, there is a difference, I want to say -- and an important one -- between violence done by someone who happens to have some background, and violence that is explicitly done in the name of that ideology, right? OBEDALLAH: True. HAYES: Right. I mean, when we talk about the wave of terrorism that racked Europe in the 1970s and 80s by leftists, explicitly avowed leftists, right. The Red Brigades, Baader-Meinhof, they weren`t just like they happened to be of the left and they were murdering people, it was terrorist violence in the name of that ideology. And there does seem to be something specifically monstrous about that kind of thing that we should be able to name as such, don`t you agree? OBEDALLAH: I think -- it would be great if we could. I think that`s everybody wants. We want to be able to say that if it is Muslims doing it because page 12 of the Koran says it. And that`s what it is about, it`s about a power struggle. It`s about political gain. That`s what these groups want. They slaughter Muslims more than anybody else, but we don`t see that on American televisino. We see... HAYES: Right. You`re saying ISIS, al Qaeda, yeah... OBEDALLAH: ISIS, al Qaeda, slaughter Muslims more than anyone, 85 to 90 percent, on a daily basis... HAYES: Boko Haram as well. OBEDLLAH: Exactly. What we see in America are westerners are killed. I mean, since 9/11, less than 40 Americans have been killed by Muslim terrorists, less than 40. There`s been 190,000 murders since that time, but we don`t talk about the 30 people killed by gun violence every day. It`s easier to talk about the other, the brown person, who is the outside, scary person that gets ratings. It engages people. And it scares people into watching coverage. HAYES: Right. And that gets to the sort of specificity and it gets to this weird kind of psychologyizing, Jamila, we`re all doing with the person at the center of this as if like that we`re going to resolve some -- resolve something grand if it turns out it was parking, or he hated Muslims. Like, the idea that there is some meaning that we could read from the murder -- and I`m not even sure that`s the right way to think of it. BEY: Unfortunately that is how people are thinking. Humans are pattern seeking creatures. If we feel like we can figure out the specific thing that that person was compelled to act in that way, if we figure it out, then it won`t happen again. Unfortunately there is the reason that there is the phrase lone wolf. Sometimes people need help that they`re not getting and they fixate on a group, a person, an idea and they do horrible things in the name of that. And we really need to look out for all of our brothers and sisters to make sure that doesn`t happen. HAYES: This point about lone wolf is interesting, because I think it`s scrambled some of those categories recently. Dean Obedallah, Jamila Bey, thank you both. That is ALL IN for this. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts now. THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END