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All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 02/17/15

Guests: Joaquin Castro, Erika Andiola, Bob Kincaid, Zach Bissonette, NaomiSchaeffer Riley, George Hatcher

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is giving rights and benefits to those who are violating the law. The president does not have that power. HAYES: President Obama`s immigration action stopped dead in its tracks by a Texas judge. Tonight, the political explosion on Capitol Hill and the human toll across the country. Then, the fire is still burning in West Virginia as we learn more about the supposed safety of crude oil trains. And then, an exclusive interview with one of the hundreds of finalists vying for a one-way trip to Mars. And, the Republican 2016 front runner is a college dropout. BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS: Isn`t kind of strange a presidential candidate who didn`t finish college? HAYES: Tonight, why I say a college degree should not be a prerequisite to becoming president. SCOTT BROWN (R), FORMER U.S. SENATOR: I don`t think we need another Harvard professor or a Harvard graduate at the White House. HAYES: ALL IN starts rights now. (END VIDEOTAPE) HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. One of President Obama`s signature accomplishments of late and the fate of as many 5 million people have been thrown into legal limbo today. Late last night, a federal judge in Texas blocked President Obama`s executive action on immigration, which the president announced in a primetime address to the nation in November, and which would offer work permits and protection from deportation to millions of undocumented immigrants. The preliminary injunction from the Federal District Court Judge Andrew Hanen does not rule on whether the president exceeded his constitutional or statutory power. Instead, it finds that the 26 mostly Republican-led states that filed a lawsuit against the executive action have standing to do so. It prohibits the Obama administration from carrying out its action as the lawsuit moves forward. President Obama today promised to appeal the ruling, saying he was well within his authority to act. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I`m not willing to just stand by and do nothing and engage in a lot of the political rhetoric. I`m interested in actually solving problems. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Republicans reacted to the ruling with glee, casting as a repudiation of the president`s executive overreach. (BEGIN AUDIO CLIP) SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: Last night`s decision was a major turning point in the battle to stop President Obama`s lawless amnesty. The president is bound by federal law just like everybody else. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: This rule doesn`t come as the huge surprise. The president`s reporters say the plaintiffs in the lawsuit chose to file in this district, the 7th district in Texas in Brownsville, precisely because Judge Hanen, a 2002 George W. Bush appointee, was seen as likely to rule in their favor. "New York Times" points out the judge has excoriated the Obama administration immigration policies in several initially outspoken rulings, declaring last summer its deportation policy endangers America and was, quote, "an open invitation to the most dangerous criminals in society." Joining me now, Representative Joaquin Castro, Democrat of Texas. Congressman, your reaction to the ruling? REP. JOAQUIN CASTRO (D), TEXAS: Well like others, I was disappointed. You know, you never want to go to court and lose. But as you mentioned in your opening segment, this was an attorney general in Greg Abbot at the time who is now governor of Texas and folks in 25 or 26 other states who were determined to court shop and find a judge that they were pretty sure would rule in their favor. And so, this is an injunction. Hopefully, the Fifth Circuit will put a stay on that injunction. But it was not a ruling on the merits at all. And so, I think in the end, whether it`s at the Fifth Circuit or if this case finds its way to the Supreme Court, the president`s actions will be upheld. HAYES: The states -- the plaintiffs in this case are saying the president doesn`t have the authority to do that, that basically that they did not take proper care to allow for commenting in the manner that is required by a federal statute, that make sure that regulations have been promulgated. Do you think -- do those arguments hold water with you? Or do you think this is entirely a bad faith political exercise? CASTRO: No. I think what you see now is that Republicans are trying to use the courts to do their dirty work. And the reason I say that is because if you think of the civil rights era for example, Brown versus Board of Education, all that work was to get the courts to confer rights upon people to honor rights in the Constitution. What you see today is Republicans repeatedly going to court and trying to take rights away from people. whether it`s this example with immigrants, on gay marriage, marriage equality and on other issues. So, I think that because they can`t in this case even among themselves come to an agreement on immigration, they are having the courts do a lot of their work for them. And so, it`s a very cynical ploy. HAYES: Well, my question to you though is, there are some precedent here. There`s this lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act the Supreme Court is going to hear. When that started, King versus Burwell, people said there is not much to it legally. And lo and behold, here we have it before the Supreme Court. Do you see this as an indicator as how hard they are going fight, scratch and claw to do whatever they can to make sure this does not happen? CASTRO: Oh, absolutely. There is no question that they are going to fight it every step of the way. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. And I think the advocates and the administration needs to be prepared for that. And I think if you listen to Eric Holder, they are prepared for that. And also, Chris, I think that we shouldn`t lose in all of this debate the fact that we`re dealing with the lives of human beings here. The expanded DACA that was put on hold would affect the lives of hundreds of thousands of young people who were brought here through no fault of their own, had no choice in coming to the United States and many of them are for the most part just as American as any of us. And so, there are real human lives at stake here. And it`s disappointing to see Republicans go after these young people and go after their parents. This will lead, if DAPA is treated the same way, this will lead to more deportation, it will lead to more families being separated, more parents being separated from their young children, and more children - - who had no choice in coming here -- being deported. HAYES: But Republicans would say, fine, you want to pull on heartstrings Mr. Bleeding Heart, then pull on the heartstrings. But the president said 22 times -- that`s the line John Boehner has been using and others -- the president said he couldn`t do this, that he did not have the authority, and then he turned around and did it. CASTRO: Yes, no. He went back and he examined the legal record and his legal ability to do so, and made a decision to take this executive order. And, you know, over 230 legal scholars from across the political spectrum, both liberal and conservative, have said that the president acted within his authority. Similar challenges, Joe Arpaio for example challenged these actions before, his case was thrown out. And I`m confident whether it`s now with the Fifth Circuit or eventually with the Supreme Court, this case will be revolved in the same way. HAYES: What do you think, Congressman, does this effect the capitalization on Capitol Hill where there is impasse of funding DHS precisely over this issue? It occurs to me this gives Republicans a way to retreat or to back out of a corner they painted themselves into and just say, well, we`re going to go ahead and fund DHS because the courts have now put a stop to this? CASTRO: Yes, you would think that that makes the most sense. But they haven`t always done the most rational thing. I think you could go -- they could go two ways here. I think they could take the tact that you have described and say, hey, we don`t need do this because the court is going take care of it. But I suspect what is more likely to happen is that the Steve Kings of the world -- and they often take their marching orders on immigration from people like Steve King, those guys will go back in to the Republican conference and say, listen, we told you so, so we were right on this issue and you better not give in to the Democrats or the president on this. I would bet, based on what I`ve seen the past, in my past two years of service, and how they have treated this issue before, I would bet that that`s more likely the route they take than the one you`ve described. HAYES: Congressman Joaquin Castro, thank you very much. The timing of Judge Hanen`s ruling was not accidental. The first applications for protection from deportation under the president`s November executive order, from up to 270,000 undocumented immigrants, who came to the U.S. as children, those were supposed to be accepted tomorrow. Millions more, the parents of U.S. citizens or permanent residents, would have been eligible to apply for safe harbor starting in May. In a memo accompanying his injunction, Hanen wrote that if the president`s executive order took effect, quote, "The genie would be impossible to put back into the bottle." Adding that granting legal status to millions is a, quote, "virtually irreversible" action. Instead, his ruling, as the president noted today, has left a huge swath of people at risk of seeing their families torn apart. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) OBAMA: We should not be tearing some mom away from her child when the child has been born here and that mom has been living here for the last 10 years minding her own business and being an important part of the community. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Joining me now Erika Andiola, co-director of the Dream Action Coalition. Erika, what does -- what does this mean for the people that you represent and organized amongst who might be eligible, who might have been eligible literally tomorrow? What does this decision mean for them? ERIKA ANDIOLA, DREAM ACTION COALITION: Yes, I mean, it`s just frustrating. It`s been really, really frustrating to see that just like now. In the past, there`s also been so many political games that have happened, specifically on immigration rights. It is such a politicized issue now that both parties just really continue to really play with the lives of so many people. I mean, even within my family, my sister actually didn`t qualify for DACA in 2012 when it came out because she was a year older. So, now, you know, the president announced this in November, he took off the cap so now she`s able to qualify. And she was definitely ready to apply tomorrow. She started her GED program. She was ready to go. And she`s definitely discouraged by it, but also she knows just like we were telling the rest of the community that this is -- this is a roadblock on the way of justice and we think we`re going to win at the end. HAYES: Yes, why are you confident you are going to win? ANDIOLA: We`re confident. I mean, we`ve -- you know, when we pressure the president -- and, you know, you were asking the congressman in the past, you know, the president did say a lot that he didn`t know or he didn`t have the ability to do so. And many advocates across the country, a lot of DREAMers were like, yes, you do. It`s constitutional. We`ve worked with tons of attorneys with legal scholars. And all of them were able to work with us to figure out that this is constitutional. So, we know that it is. We just think that, you know, right now, the GOP is trying to send a message and it`s pretty much a scare tactic to be able, you know, get as less people as possible to apply for this. And that`s not what we want. We want as many people that qualify to know that they can apply for it. And that -- you know, it makes the program a success. HAYES: So here is a trajectory in short form of the kind of activism that`s come from the DREAM coalition. There was a lot of energy at the president in 2012. He came out with DACA, which is DREAMers, right? Then, I think the energy and pressure turned to the Republicans to bring a vote to the House for comprehensive immigration reform. When it became clear that wasn`t going to happen, the pressure went back of the president, successfully I would say, in this executive action. Now, it seems if there is a place to place the political pressure, it is on essentially the Republican governors who are the plaintiffs in this lawsuit and the Republican members of Congress who are threatening to block DHS. Am I right about that? ANDIOLA: You are right, except that this in this case this is a little more frustrating when we`re dealing with the GOP, because we know that in many states, they don`t really care. I mean, many of them don`t necessarily think that they are going to be held accountable in anyway by perhaps the Latino community or constituencies who really support this issue. And I`m talking about my own state, right? I live in Arizona. And I tell you that now we have a new governor, Governor Ducey who also decided to join in lawsuit and, you know, seems like he doesn`t really care what the Latino community thinks in Arizona. And we`re a pretty big number. HAYES: That`s fascinating. ANDIOLA: So, it`s frustrating to see. But like I said, you know, we need to make sure that both parties are stopping this game. And we have demonstrated that we`re going to hold both parties accountable. HAYES: But what I`m hearing from you to be clear. What you are saying is you have leverage over Democrat, you have leverage over the president. They have to listen to you. And in some ways, that they`re more receptive, even though they`re more aligned in your position, you now find yourselves encountering Republicans who just do not care. ANDIOLA: Yes, and I mean, this is -- this is 2015, right? We`re in a year where perhaps they don`t care. And right now, we`re trying to see and we`re looking forward to 2016 to see how this -- HAYES: Yes, they`re going to start caring soon. ANDIOLA: Yes. I mean, how are they going to reverse this? I mean, they are going to be remembered as a party who took -- or tried to take away affirmative action. And Mitt Romney was the perfect case when he lost in 2012 the Latino community lacked the support for him. HAYES: Erika Andiola, thanks very much. ANDIOLA: Thank you. HAYES: The residents say it sounded like an atomic bomb going off when the train carrying crude oil derailed yesterday in West Virginia. It was bat. But here is the thing -- it could have been much worse, and I`m going to tell you why, ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: There is late breaking news regarding the Affordable Care Act tonight, which was announced by the president in a video posted for the White House Facebook page. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) OBAMA: We just got great news today, which is that during this open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, 11.4 million people have either reenrolled or enrolled for the first time. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: That`s up from 7 million last year when you don`t count the dental plans. Below certain estimates of 13 millions but above DHS. So, all in all, the White House probably feeling pretty good about that number. According to the White House, the greatest surge in enrolment they`d ever seen came on Sunday, the final day to apply. You can share the full White House announcement on the ALL IN WITH CHRIS Facebook page. If you would like, while you`re there, check this out -- you can watch that video absolutely free of charge. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: Fires are still burning near Mount Carbon, West Virginia, nearly 24 hours after a train carrying 107 tankers of crude oil derailed, triggering massive explosions, and sending a huge fire ball into the sky. The train company CSX said one person was being treated for possible smoke inhalation. But remarkably, when you look at that video, no other injuries were reported. At least hundred residents of nearby homes were forced to evacuate however and West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomlin has declared state of emergency in two counties effected by the derailment. Meanwhile, several of the tankers appear to be ruptured or leaking, and there are concerns that crude could be spilling into the river, running alongside the tracks. Those concerns have already led local water utility to close at least one intake at a treatment plant downstream, which caused 2,000 customers to lose running water. CSX train, which was transporting oil from the Bakken in North Dakota, to a depot in Virginia, was actually hauling a new model of tank cars, according to the company, tank cars which are supposed to be tougher and harder to puncture than the older model. These were supposed to be the good kind. As domestic oil production has ramped up over the last few years, there`s been an unprecedented surge in crude ship by rail throughout the U.S., with an increase in shipments from the Bakken of more than 4,000 percent since 2008. And the surge by rail has resulted perhaps not surprisingly in a surge in accidents, like the one yesterday. Now, because of the industry secrecy it is difficult to know where exactly the routes for those potentially explosive trains go. This map from the environmental group Forest Ethics gives you idea just how extensive the network is -- stretching through just about every region of the country, including some very populous cities. One of the main destinations for crude on the East Coast is none other than the city of Philadelphia, where the train tracks go right past University of Pennsylvania and through a tunnel under the Museum of Art. Now, take another look at the explosion yesterday in West Virginia, and imagine that happening right in the middle of Philadelphia, population 1.5 million. And if that that sounds farfetched, consider this -- a train carrying crude oil derailed in South Philly less than three weeks ago. Luckily for everyone involved, it did not ignite. Joining me now, Bob Kincaid, co-founder of the Appalachian Community Health Emergency Campaign. And, Bob, my understanding is the fire is still burning. Have you seen the actual site? BOB KINCAID, APPALACHIAN COMMUNITY HEALTH EMERGENCY CAMPAIGN: Yes, I have, Chris. Good evening. I drove down the mountain this evening to get here, and I noticed that there is still a considerable amount of smoke that is pouring out of the wreck site across the river from approximately Boomer, West Virginia. It looked -- there was obvious there were a lot of responders with flashing lights on vehicles still over there. You could see the tank cars. And you could tell that it is another toxic disaster in West Virginia. HAYES: Yes. This recalls of course when you start hearing about crude spilling into the river, recalls the fact that last year that a chemical leaked into the -- one of the main water supplies for the biggest city in the entire state and shut down water for days. This is not something West Virginians are unaccustomed to. KINCAID: Sadly, it`s not. Like some toxic Groundhog Day, Chris. You know, we get Thanksgiving, we get Christmas, New Year`s and then the state of emergency. I saw a sign on a restaurant on the way down here that I never imagined I`d see in the first place a little over a year ago. Sorry, closed. No water. 2015, United States of America, how does that happen? HAYES: Well, and here`s what`s interesting, too. I mean, West Virginia obviously is an intensively extractive industry there. It`s the heart of coal country. But what we saw in West Virginia could be happening in lots of other places. I mean, we don`t even know where these oil trains are going. This is from the "Wall Street Journal" who just did an investigation. Finding the location of oil-filled trains is difficult even in states that don`t consider the information top secret. There are no federal or state rules requiring public notice despite several fiery accidents involving oil trains. What do you say to those Bob who say this is the exactly the reason that we should be building more pipeline, the Keystone pipeline among them. KINCAID: That`s a nonstarter. The fact of the matter is, what we ought to be doing is leaving the stuff in the ground, period. When you consider this crude oil that has such profound volatility that they can`t keep pretty spontaneously exploding, whether it`d be it in North Dakota, Dickens County, Alabama, Lac-Megantic, Quebec, or Lynchburg, Virginia, or now, Mount Carbon, West Virginia, the Lynchburg explosion happened a year ago. I predicted that we`d have one in West Virginia, and lo and behold, it turned out to be not if but when. This is not an argument for pipelines. This is an argument getting off of our fossil fuel habit that has -- well, it`s got us in what amounts to a death grip, Chris. HAYES: Yes, and that one up in Quebec was one of the most insane things I`ve ever seen. Basically, a fireball that essentially evacuated the entire town. The governor there, though -- I mean, the way we tend to deal with these issues are the people are rushed to the pipeline, first of all, and second of all, the idea is like -- yes, the stuff is, you know, it explodes, it`s dangerous. But we need it. KINCAID: Well -- but there`s got to be a balance there, Chris. Do we need this? Or do people who live along railroad tracks need to have their homes blown up? I might point out that this explosion took place just a few scant miles away from a national park. That`s a few miles from where I live. There is a bridge 800 feet above the railroad. What if this had gone off there? And again, we`re not talking about if, we`re talking about when. This is terrifying stuff. And sadly, it happens in a state where terrifying accidents seem to be the norm, where human beings, well-being is sacrificed for corporate profits. It`s kind of hard for me not to notice that this isn`t ISIS that did this, or any other foreign enemy of the United States. This is a good old domestic American corporation and they seem to be doing more harm in West Virginia than any foreign power. HAYES: This is CSX, of course, which is one of the largest shippers in the country, which has rolled out these new -- according to them -- safer versions of this. And your point, Bob, I think is important, is not if but when. The volume we`re seeing is completely unprecedented. We`re completely -- we`re running an experiment in oil transmission in this county right now. Running it through Cincinnati, running it through Philadelphia, running through Maine population centers and it really does feel like it`s only a matter of time before something either changes or something goes terribly, terribly wrong on one of those. Thank you, Bob Kincaid. I really appreciate it. KINCAID: Well, that`s certainly the case. It`s already been proven and these things have been proven to be unsafe. And frankly we`re talking about -- these to -- to coin on old phrase. This is unsafe at any speed. HAYES: Yes. KINCAID: And frankly, it is a failure of government that we are playing with the notion of transporting this stuff when it`s got a volatility -- I`m told by the scientific community -- that is higher than that of gasoline and it is not OK to transport gasoline by rail car -- unless the law has changed. HAYES: That`s a very good point, Bob. Thank you very much. All right. What would make someone want to take a one-way trip to Mars? I will ask someone who`s volunteered to do just that, ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been giving a fair amount of interviews recently, like the one she did with MSNBC`s own Irin Carmon, and other with "Bloomberg News". Ginsburg was asked how people across the country would react if the Supreme Court would to rule in favor of marriage equality. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) RUTH BADER GINSBURG, U.S. SUPREME COURT JUSTICE: The change in people`s attitudes on that issue has been enormous. In recent years, people have said this is the way I am. And others looked around and we discovered it is our next door neighbor. We`re very fond of them. Or it is our child`s best friend, or even our child. And the rest of us recognize that they are one of us. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Now, that sounds like a fairly accurate description of this country`s evolution on gay rights and marriage equality in recent years. But FOX News` Brit Hume called those comments, quote, "amazing impropriety". And the National Organization for Marriage or NOM, a conservative group that opposes marriage equality is seizing on those comments and calling on Ginsburg to recuse herself from the cases on same-sex marriage that are currently pending before the court this term. NOM, by the way, which has set itself the task of fighting marriage equality, has to be the single biggest failure of any political group in America right now. At this point, they might as well be the Washington Generals of activism. And the case they`re making is essentially this, because Justice Ginsberg has made it so clear in public that she is going to rule in favor of marriage equality she should disqualify herself from decisionmaking process altogether. Which, as an argument is just nonsense on stilts. Yes, we have a good sense of what Justice Ginsburg thinks of marriage equality. She officiated same-sex weddings and also written her joint opinions on the topic. We also know that Justice Antonin Scalia thinks of marriage equality and gay rights in general. As he rhetorically asked in 2012, quote, "if we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder?" Which gets to a fundamental issue that drives me crazy about the way the Supreme Court is perceived. This notion that justices are monks, or robots, or in the famous words of Chief Justice John Roberts umpires who simply call balls and strikes. In fact, Supreme Court justices are, wait for it, human beings with politics and belief systems and world views, and commitments, and life experiences that influence their interpretation of the law. No one should be pretending otherwise. And thank you, Ruth Bader Ginsberg for doing your part in blowing up that ridiculous, insidious deception. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mars One will establish human settlement on Mars in 2023. 1972 was the last time that humans walked on the moon. No human has ever gone as far as Mars. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: That is true. And if you had the chance to go to Mars, would you go? Well, sure, you might say, that would be cool. Here`s the catch, what if I told you it is a one way trip, meaning you can go to Mars, do stuff, then die there. Then would you go? That is what Mars One, a Dutch based nonprofit is offering. They want to start a permanent human colony on Mars. And they plan to help pay for the endeavor, which has an initial price tag of $6 billion by making a reality show out of it. Now, when Mars One first put out the call for volunteers, over 200,000 people applied, which seems like a staggering number of people willing to leave this planet forever. Mars One now whittled that number down to 100: 50 men, 50 women from around the globe. Eventually, 24 of them will have a shot in making it to Mars, six crews of four people. Then, if all goes to plan, in 2024 the first crew will head to Mars to begin the colony, living inside space capsules, growing their own food. The next crew will join them 2026, the following in 2028, and so every two years until all 24 colonists are living on Mars and with no return ticket dying on Mars, possibly very quickly. A computer simulation of the MarsOne plan put together by a group of engineering grad students at MIT using current technology projects the first crew fatality would occur approximately 68 days into the mission. If you wonder exactly who would volunteer for such a mission, meet George Hatcher, a avionics engineer at NASA`s Kennedy Space Center and one of the 100 hopefuls selected to potentially spend the rest of his life on Mars. George, I suppose I should begin with congratulations on your selection. GEORGE HATCHER, NASA ENGINEER: Thank you. HAYES: OK, there is so much I want to ask about this. First of all, is this real? Like I guess that`s the big thing. Are you --= would you actually, really -- you have a family, you have a wife and kids, right? HATCHER: That`s right. I have a wife and two children. HAYES: OK. So, project yourself -- let`s say all of this happens. And then Mars One people like come to the door on lift off day, you would really do this? HATCHER: That is the plan. That`s something that I have been working towards really my entire life. HAYES: What do you mean by that? HATCHER: Well, my parents gave me a Lego set when I was three that had a spaceman, and I told my mom I wanted to be an astronaut. And I got a scholarship to space camp when I was 11. And that`s where I learned about a human mission to Mars So, it is a goal that I`ve had and something I have work towards, and kind of built my degrees around and my career around since then. HAYES: what is the conversation like with your spouse about, you know, leaving everyone for mars? HATCHER: My wife and I were pretty up front with each other about what our life goals were before we got married. And I told her that I would like to be an astronaut and that Mars was the ultimate goal of a mission that could happen in my lifetime. I also told that her knowing the rocket equation, a one-way mission is going to be a lot cheaper. At the time, I was pretty sure NASA wouldn`t put forth a one-way mission. But I told her it was a possibility for a private organization. And she said, OK, as long as have kids first. HAYES: So you had that -- this is so classic. I mean who hasn`t had this conversation with someone you start dated. It is probable there is going to be a Mars mission, probable it has to be one way, because it will be cheaper, probable or hopeful that I am going to be no that, let`s get on the same page. HATCHER: Right. HAYES: OK. So now comes the second part of this, which is I have been reading about the Mars One stuff. It is one of these things that like gets shared a lot. It`s like, oh these people are so crazy, they`re going to go to Mars. But is it a real thing? I can`t tell if this is a real thing or not. And you, working as an avionics engineer at NASA made me think that it was perhaps more of a real thing than I thought it was formerly. HATCHER: I`m treating as if it`s a real thing. I`m putting full faith in the organizers. And I threw my hat in the ring as if it was a real endeavor. HAYES: And what makes you think it is? HATCHER: I`m hopeful that it is. I trust Dr. Craft. I know he`s selected astronauts for NASA and for ESA and JAKSA before. I take Basel Anstorp (ph) at his word. And I think that the organization is kind of purposefully slowly revealing a lot of the details of their plan to try to drum up interest and improve viewership for the reality television program. HAYES: You`ve worked for 10 years at Kennedy Space Center. So you actually work on the space program. You went to space camp. You are getting a PhD a this moment. How feasible is it? I mean, whether Mars One can pull it off from an organizational and funding standpoint, right, how feasible is that we see a Mars mission in our lifetimes, whether it is Mars One that does it, whether you`re on the capsule or whether someone else does? You know, when I look at Warner Von Braun`s plans for sending humans to Mars shortly after sending them to the moon, I know that this has been on the docket for really decades. And it comes down to funding in my opinion. I think it is a matter of will. I think there are enough people in the United States and around the world behind the idea of sending humans to Mars, but it is just a matter of can you get the money together because I really do believe that the technology either exists or can be developed for us to do this. And when I look back to the Apollo program, as an example, if the technology didn`t exist, they really did invent it. So I think if Mars One approaches a lot of existing aerospace companies and says we`ve got the budget for this, can you make this work, then think that I trust a lot of the engineers across the United States to make it possible. HAYES: So are the 100 of you that have been selected in this round, are you in contact with each other? Is there a listserv where people can just sort of call... HATCHER: A lot of people are communicating with each other personally on Facebook, on Twitter and through the Mars One website. I haven`t been incredibly active with meeting a lot of the other candidates really because I have a full-time job and I`m getting a PhD and a father of two in diapers. HAYES: Do you feel that there is some kind of kindred spirit for the kinds of people like yourself that are such believers, such that... HATCHER: I think that these are the kind of people that, given the chance, would be members of the Explorers Club. These are the kind of people who would be interested in visiting all seven continents. These are dreamers. These are people who feel a calling to something greater than what one might consider a quote, unquote "normal life." HAYES: Yeah, it`s funny. I have to say that I have zero subjective access to that feeling, but I admire it. It`s pretty remarkable. George Hatcher, thanks so much for joining us. HATCHER: Thank you. HAYES; All right, does the president of the United States need a college degree? I think the answer is no. I`ll tell you why ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: At 1:30 p.m. today, the National Weather Service in Boston sent out this tweet, "beginning January 24 through 1:00 p.m. today Boston has received an astounding 90.5 inches of snow." 90.5 inches, that`s a little over seven-and-a-half feet of snow, making this month the snowest month, and this winter, the third snowiest winter on record. While all this snow in Massachusetts has inspired some very cool time lapse videos like this one, it has created a lot of problems. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority said yesterday it may need a month to return to full service and it could take even longer if another storm hits. The city`s budget for snow removal has been blown so they`ve turn to prisoners to help shovel out. Meanwhile, the mayor of Boston also has this problem. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MARTIN WALSH, MAYOR OF BOSTON: People are jumping out of windows into snow banks. First of all, it`s a foolish thing to do. And you could kill yourself. So I`m asking people to start the nonsense right now. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: There`s also the issue of parking and the Boston tradition of space saving, placing traffic cones or household items in your parking spot after you dig your car out to save the spot for when you return. All the snow has caused problems for both the savers and the takers. This gentleman, for example, decided to put the snow back after someone else parked in the spot he had saved. It`s gotten so bad that forecasters have started apologizing before they deliver their weather predictions. The Weather Channel posting today, quote, "we`re sorry to be the messengers. And we know snow fatigue is reaching epidemic proportions. Snow may now be one of those four letter words you shouldn`t say. Unfortunately, the relentless cold continues. Here`s our current forecast, which, you guessed it, is for more snow. So get ready Boston." (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: If Scott Walker 2016 were a stock, he would be trading right now at a high. The governor of Wisconsin is having a bit of a moment with positive, albeit early polling, favorable conservative reaction to him in Iowa. And now, he appears to be launching the defining political battle of his pre-election year by taking on his home state`s beloved university system. Even though his decision spurred protests on Wisconsin college campuses, it could, I think yield big gains for his potential president candidacy. Governor Walkers budget, according to the New York Times, calls for a 13 percent cut in state aid across the university system for a total decrease of $300 million over the next two years while freezing tuition for two years to, quote, maintain college affordability. But it is not just a budget issue. According to the Times, Walker also suggested in a comment that infuriated university faculty and staff members, that professors could help make savings by teaching an additional class per semester. In other words, Scott Walker is taking on those pointed-headed elitist professors. It`s conservative populism at its finest, especially considering, and this is what`s so brilliant and devilish about it, the fact that Governor Scott Walker, himself, does not have a four-year colleague degree. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Former presidential candidate Howard Dean bashed Walker for not finishing college, watch this. HOWARD DEAN, FRM. GOVERNOR OF VERMONT: And this is a particular problem from Scott Walker, which has not been an issue yet, but it will. Scott Walker were he to become president, would be the first president in many generations who did not have a college degree. He`s never finished. So, the issue here is not just an issue of dancing around the question of dancing evolution for political reasons, the issue is how well educated is this guy? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I took a minute -- I talked to you earlier about the fact that you have a lot of very Mark Zuckerberg, Jesse Ventura, Richard Branson, Warren Buffett, Karl Rove, Barbara Streisand, Derek Jeter, Peter Jennings, these -- a lot of people, and as referenced earlier... UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Steve Jobs... UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Steve Jobs, yeah. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No college degree. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Washington, Lincoln, Johnson, Jackson. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get a little buzz about this mystery surrounding his college degree. We know he didn`t finish, but there`s a little bit of buzz going on about that because people are saying, hey, if you`re going to run for president shouldn`t you have a college degree? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think this is normal. And certainly Scott Walker dropping out of college is newsworthy. People would be interested to know and interested as an up by the boot straps story as well. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Before I continue with the text here, can we go back to Scott Browne`s list, which went from Mark Zuckerberg to Jesse Ventura? The first time those two met, I think they would have been placed next to each other on a list. Anyway, there are those who would argue that the president of the United States should have a college degree, which raises the question what exactly is the real value of a college degree. My beliefs on that are ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) WALKER: The bottom line is like a lot of Americans my senior year I was working at IBM, they moved their office to Chicago. One my clients was the American Red Cross. They offered me a job and like a lot of people out there today I jumped at that opportunity. In the back of my mind, I thought in a couple of years maybe I would go back, take a course here, a course there. Well, a couple of years later I met Tonette. We got married. A year after that we had Matt, a year after we had Alex. The next thing all your time and your money is spent on your family. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker addressing the issue, if there is one, of not completing his college degree. Joining me now New York Post columnist Naomi Schaefer Riley, author of The Faculty Lounges (ph); and Zach Bisonette, personal finance expert and author of Debt Free You. All right, you want to hear my theory on this? This is a classic Roger Ales bear trap that has been set for liberals to stumble into. Like, and Scott Walker, too, which is like Howard Dean said one thing once on Morning Joe, they ran that clip over and over. Like there you go, those liberals, snobby liberals don`t -- won`t respect a man without a college degree. And no one -- I don`t think anyone actually cares. ZACH BISSONETTE, PERSONAL FINANCE EXPERT: I don`t think that was a comment that anyone saw and was like, you know, score. Great point Howard Dean. He shouldn`t be president because he dropped out of college with like a semester left. I think no one other than Howard Dean is making that point. HAYES: Yeah, I think there is a desire to have -- there`s a desire to have a bunch of elitist pointed-headed intellectuals gaining up on Scott Walker because he didn`t graduate. But that has failed to materialize. NAOMI SCHAEFER RILEY, NEW YORK POST: Well, yeah, that is the narrative about Republicans that, you know, they don`t care about education. They lead with their gut. You know, it`s all Sarah Palin. I mean, and so you know there is this notion that, you know, the pointed-headed liberal intellectuals will make fun of him for this. But I do think, you know, he -- this sort of gets to the question, I think, of whether you want in your Republican candidate, you know, someone who you can have a beer with or someone who you are aspiring to be. Now, there are 31 million Americans last year, in the last 20 years who have started college, but not finished it. So, you know, he is somebody who a lot of people can relate to. HAYES: Also, let`s just be clear here, because we talk about college. I mean, the thing -- the real thing here is should it be a prerequisite to be president of the United States. I say no. What do you say? BISSONETTE: A prerequisite, I mean, no, just like it`s not a -- I mean, it`s not a prerequisite, I think in general... HAYES: It`s not disqualifying. BISSONETTE: No, it shouldn`t be a disqualifier, but you know, is there -- is it such a terrible thing to have the sort of best and brightest, you know, as president? I would say could argue that it wouldn`t be a terrible idea to try to, you know, elect the sort of the most... RILEY: Right, but there is no evidence that he is not smart or good at his job. He`s obviously succeeded on the merits of what he has done. HAYES: So, two things I want to say here. One is that before we get into like the everyman thing, like he was at Marquette, which is a good Catholic school, but that is a private four year institution which is itself a tiny sliver of American higher education activity. I feel like... RILEY: He is not the community college guy. HAYES: No, and like when we talk about college in this country there is this -- it is like oh, yeah, he went to Marquette. Like that`s like yeah that already, going to Marquette University, a private four year school, puts you in a small minority of American students, right? RILEY: Absolutely. It puts you in the elite. HAYES: So -- right, that puts you in the elite. So then the question becomes for me is, is college worth it? Is college -- there are two ways to think of it, it is a place where people get this necessary set of skills, human capital, engage in sort of betterment as people, as citizens, and then the other is that it is basically a means of essentially stamping people for the job market or for the American elite to say like this person gets the stamp on the wrist. He enters the club. RILEY: It is the credential. It says you can show up places on time, you can be a responsible middle class kind of person. And unfortunately I think college is doing less and less of actually giving people the skills that they need, or even giving people the traditional kind of strong education that they once had, and instead it is this four years of hanging out, partying -- a great survey that showed that people are spending less than 25 hours a week in an out of class ding anything academic in college. What could they possibly be getting four years? HAYES: What do you think, Zach? BISSONETTE: No, I mean I think -- I don`t really disagree with any of the sort of macro criticisms of like -- you know, I don`t think college is the greatest institution that it could be. You know, on the other hand, the unemployment rate is about half for college grads what it is. And what a lot of people don`t understand is because during the recession there was all this talk about college students, you know, getting jobs that didn`t require college degree. But incomes and unemployment escalated far worse for people without college degrees during that time. So really going to college is a better idea now than it has ever been just if you look at the income gap. A lot of that has happened because of the falling incomes of people who didn`t go to college. HAYES: Right. So, the question then becomes, though, is -- and this gets to the sort of deep, sort of policy question, but also this political question for Scott Walker, right? Is like is this -- is the college four- year college degree conferring a valuable thing or is it just marking people as more employable, right? Because there`s a circularity. RILEY: I think it`s marking people as more employable. And one of the problems is we don`t have good alternatives. We don`t have an apprenticeship system. We don`t have ways of putting people into skilled jobs and marking them as middle class, show up on time kind of people beyond the college degree. And the problem is a lack of alternatives. I don`t think that the lower unemployment rate for college graduates shows that college is doing anything other than giving them that stamp. HAYES: Well, but it does show from a sort of strictly like investment perspective, right, that like there are monetary gains to be gotten from it. RILEY: Right. I mean, there are two questions here. There is the social question that, you know, we need to answer as a society and then there is a question for individuals should you send your kid to college? And the answer is probably going to be yes because yes your kid will be more employable as a result. HAYES: Right. BISSONETTE: We agree on that. HAYES: So then the question to me becomes like what would a good version of this look like? I mean, one of the things that`s happened in this country is we have seen wage stagnation, right. Everyone is told you have to go to college, right. I mean, the president says this all the time. It`s like, this is as necessary in the 21st Century as high school was before. He`s announced this new community college initiative right, to sort of expand that. The question then becomes like, what would a good version like -- what would a good version of this look like such that people had access to the kind of education they needed to be more employable, or... RILEY: But if you really want to start from scratch, you would ask yourself why is it that now you need to go to college in order to get the skills that people got in high school 50 years ago. I mean, part of the problem is our K-12 system has completely broken down. HAYES: Is that really true though? RILEY: Oh, yes, absolutely. HAYES: No, no, like -- I mean, when you say the skills that people got in high school. Like what is the metric for that? What`s the citation? RILEY: Oh, I think, reading and math skills. People are graduating - - I mean, there is an amazing statistic. In California half of the kids graduating from California schools, when they go to a state university they need to take remedial classes, so what are they learning in high school? HAYES: Well, I don`t know. I mean, I think part of the problem here, though, right is that you have a situation in which we have not answered a question definitively about what we want to produce out of the college system, right? We have this sort of patchwork system. We have some that work very well like the University of Wisconsin system. The California system, which both of which are sort of under attack. But there is still in this act, there is no sense of like what is the job here to make people that are employable, is the job here to make citizens, is the job here to make people that are self-actualized? Is the job to make people that can essentially ace a job interview? BISSONETTE: Well, I think you have to -- I agree with her on most of those macro issues. I think the thing you have to be really careful a bout is from a personal finance perspective and policy is not tackling these macro problems in a long term way, in a way that you sort to ruin things for people in the short-term. So it may be that we should be investing more in apprenticeship programs, but that is maybe a long-term solution. But for right now the priority I think really has to be access and affordability to higher education. Because we don`t have a system that can give people jobs. HAYES: I love the idea of Scott Walker going to night school on the campaign and just like showing up at some interview like actually I got it. Actually it`s over. Naomi Schaffer Riley, Zach Bissonette, thank you both. That is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts now. Good evening, Rachel. THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END