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The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 11/11/11

Guests: Steve Kornacki, Tammy Duckworth, Jonathan Carlson

RACHEL MADDOW, HOST: I recommend sleep, beer and football. I`m a doctor. So, you can take that to the bank. ED SCHULTZ, "THE ED SHOW" HOST: That works. I love the potion. MADDOW: Thanks, Ed. All right. And thanks to you at home for staying with us for the next hour. Happy Friday. After President Obama`s State of the Union Address this year, do you remember there were two official Republican responses to him? I mean, actually it was only on CNN, were there two different official Republican response. You had President Obama`s State of the Union Address before a joint session of Congress, then you had the official, official Republican response from Paul Ryan, the congressman from Wisconsin. And then you had what CNN billed as another official Republican response, a speech by Michele Bachmann. So, it was the president`s address then the Republican response, and then, only on CNN, another official Tea Party Republican response from Congresswoman Bachmann. It was not actually an official response. The Republican Party was not doing two official responses. That would be insane. There was no way in which this was an official State of the Union night speech except for the fact that CNN called it that. I`m still amazed CNN did this. They never apologized for doing it or justified it, but they did it. And in the end, they got exactly what they deserved for doing it, which is that this is what it looked like when they aired that fake official speech that night. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), MINNESOTA: Good evening. My name is Congresswoman Michele Bachmann from Minnesota`s sixth district. I want to thank the Tea Party express and Tea Party HD for inviting me to speak this evening. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: The only airing on CNN. CNN was the only broadcast network that put this on TV. And Michele Bachmann is not at all looking at their camera. So, it seemed like that night like we didn`t know why Michele Bachmann was looking at the wrong camera. Maybe it was a Michele Bachmann crazy eyes thing. Later, it turned out the reason she wasn`t looking at the CNN camera, though CNN was building this as an official response to the State of the Union, was because she was actually looking into camera from something called Tea Party HD. Tea Party HD, a fake TV network for the Tea Party. Tea Party HD today was the subject of a lawsuit in Tennessee. A group of investors who collectively sunk nearly $300,000 into this scam claiming in their filing that, quote, "the alleged purpose of Tea Party HD was to be the word`s first HD provider of news about the Tea Party. In reality, it was an investment scheme to defraud politically conservative-minded citizens who support the Tea Party mission." One of the people who alleges he was defrauded in the Tea Party HDTV scam which proves it`s not just Nigerian princes you have to watch out for, one of these guys was involved in the other great Tea Party scams. Do you remember the for-profit $549 a ticket self-proclaimed official Tea Party national convention thing in Nashville a couple years ago? One of the guys who was scammed in the Tea Party TV thing sued over that, too, because he said he put up $50,000 for the Sarah Palin speaking fee at that event, which is only half a which he got paid. He said he put up half Palin`s $100,000 speaking fee and he didn`t end up getting whatever it was that he was promised in exchange for that money. If you`re now getting confused about all of the different ways that conservative scam artists have been ripping off suckers through Tea Party branding, don`t worry, I`m here to help. Tea Party HD was the wrong camera that Michele Bachmann was staring into. That`s the one that allegedly defrauded its investors, according to this lawsuit in Tennessee today. Tea Party Nation was the scam $550 a ticket for-profit convention that Sarah Palin got paid $100,000 to give a speech at. And it`s Tea Party Express that does the giant vinyl wrapped luxury bus tours. Incidentally, CNN also got in bed with those guys. CNN co-sponsored a debate with them earlier this year. Here`s the scam from the bus tour guys. Tea Party Express was a bus tour launched by a Republican political consultant named Sal Russo. Sal Russo raised lots and lots of money from Tea Party supporters under the Tea Party Express banner, money that -- thanks to some careful reporting from Web sites like "Talking Points Memo" -- we later found out went mostly back into old Sal Russo`s pockets, specifically into the pockets of his consulting firm, Russo Marsh, and other for-profit firms affiliated with him. So, raising Tea Party donations and spending all those Tea Party donations on themselves. That`s Tea Party Express. CNN sponsored a debate with those guys. What? CNN aired the Tea Party Express Michele Bachmann staring into the wrong camera speech on State of the Union night and called it something official, and then sponsored a debate with the Tea Party Express vinyl wrapped bus tour give us all your money organization. CNN, the most trusted name in falling for Tea Party scams and getting your audience to fall for them, too. Here`s the thing, though: the big vinyl wrapped bus scam people, the Tea Party Express people, that scam where you raise money from people who think they`re donating to a cause but they`re actually giving you money to spend on yourself, that scam is not just for the Tea Party bus tour people. That`s also roughly speaking, that`s the big Newt Gingrich scam. So, that scam is the biggest news in Republican presidential politics, because as you have probably heard by now, we are in the middle of the promised Newt Gingrich presidential surge. A new poll out today by CBS showing Newt Gingrich climbing all the way up to second place, tied with Mitt Romney. Actually "don`t know," right down there at the bottom, is really in second place. Don`t know is now polling better than both Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich. Also, "someone else" is placing fourth in this poll ahead of all the other Republican candidates. But the dynamic here at work is this: Herman Cain is now in this poll, at least, the sole national front runner, be still my heart. But his numbers are softening. Herman Cain`s support among women, for example, has fallen from 28 percent last month to 15 percent this month. So, Herman Cain losing support among women, duh! But interestingly, Mitt Romney losing support among men. Why is that? Actually I have no idea why that is. But look at Newt Gingrich. Newt Gingrich is tied with Mitt Romney for second place in this poll. A new poll out today by Marist and McClatchy shows Gingrich alone in second place, trailing Romney by just four points. But overall, Newt Gingrich`s poll numbers are sort of heading in an upward direction right now. I mean, they started at nil, but are pointing up. As Rick Perry as self-emulated and as we are all watching the art project known as Herman Cain basically self-emulate as well, it`s not surprising that the beleaguered Republican primary voters of this year will turn to yet another candidate begging them to please not be Mitt Romney. They`ve gone through this with Donald Trump now and Michele Bachmann, and Rick Perry, and Herman Cain. We sort of expect them to do this with everybody in the field -- I mean, except for Rick Santorum. Nobody`s going to vote for Rick Santorum, come on. But the idea of a Newt Gingrich surge is almost as absurd as people, you know, Googling Rick Santorum and saying, I like what I found here, I`m going to vote for this guy. I mean, if you know nothing else about Newt Gingrich, what is the other notable thing that`s happened to Newt Gingrich since he`s been running for president this year? What`s the one other thing? Back in June, right? Remember? Gingrich`s staff resigns. Gingrich presidential campaign implodes. Gingrich to forge ahead after campaign staff quits. Gingrich campaign staff resigns on mass. Newt Gingrich`s senior staff staged a mass exodus off the good ship Newt Gingrich this summer. Why? According to ABC News at the time, senior staffers demanded that Gingrich focused on pressing the flesh and fund-raising and that he stopped touring the country promoting film projects with his wife. At point, Gingrich was focused on film premieres and book signings, one senior staffer e-mailed the team, quote, "We didn`t sign up to be hucksters for products for sale." This was a bombshell when it happened. Everybody thought that would be the end of Newt. There was also a question at the time of what exactly did the staffers expect from Newt Gingrich? I mean, this is Newt Gingrich we`re talking about. With Mr. Gingrich, you kind of should have known what you were getting into. You should have known, say, on December 7th of last year, otherwise known as Pearl Harbor Day, Newt Gingrich commemorating Pearl Harbor Day last year by tweeting, quote, "The 69th anniversary of the Japanese attack is a good time to remind people of our novels, `Pearl Harbor` and `Days of Infamy`." Pearl harbor, schmharbor, buy my book. If that didn`t make it clear enough, perhaps they should have known a few weeks later when Newt Gingrich used the occasion of Christmas to launch Gingrich Productions` 12 days of Christmas presents list. Get all of your shopping down at Newt Gingrich exists in this world to sell Newt Gingrich-related products. He is a one man book and DVD empire. And he would very much like you to please buy every single one of them, thank you very much, buy them in multiples. They make nice gifts. If you like Pearl Harbor, we`ve got Pearl Harbor. You like Reagan, we`ve got Reagan. You like the pope, we got the pope. We got lots of pope. We take cash, checks, money orders, credit cards, debit cards, you name it. How about gold? Since Newt Gingrich left Congress 13 years ago under a cloud of fund- raising ethics charges, Mr. Gingrich has been very busy making himself very rich by taking conservative suckers` hard earned money. My favorite was the Newt Gingrich fake awards scam. One of Newt`s many enterprises, this one called American Solutions, would blast-fax businesses, seemingly at random, and tell them they were winners of Newt Gingrich`s entrepreneur of the year award. All this business had to do to claim its award was send American Solutions a check for $5,000. The whole Newt Inc Empire is basically kind of a fund-raising scam. In 2010, that American Solutions group raised $14.5 million. And then they turned around and they spent $13.8 million of the $14.5 million they raised. What did they spend all of that money on? Well, they hired vendors such as the Gingrich Group, run by a gentleman named Newt Gingrich. So, Newt Gingrich is being paid to administer the Newt Gingrich fund- raising empire which spends a large amount of the money it raises on Newt Gingrich. Newt Gingrich is really good at raising money from people who think they are donating to a cause when really the money raised just goes to Newt. It is the same scam as the Tea Party Express. It is a scam. It is a scam. If you get anything in the mail or in your e-mail or on the Twitter from Newt Gingrich, check for your wallet. But now, since everybody gets a turn in the Republican primary this year, everybody except Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich gets to be tied with Mitt Romney this week. Everybody gets a turn. And even as Mr. Gingrich luxuriates in the inevitable Newt surge, he cannot stop himself even now. He cannot stop himself even now. He cannot make himself seem less scammy even now, even in his moment in the spotlight. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS) NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I recently wrote a book called "A Nation Like No Other" designed to deal with American history. We recently made a movie called "A City Upon A Hill" that explains the origins of American exceptionalism. I wrote a book in 2002 called "Saving Lives and Saving Money" and I outline what we could do. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is running, as we all know, for the Republican nomination for president and he`s also the author of the new book called the "Battle of the Crater." GINGRICH: I should say like a brief commercial. Callista couldn`t be here because she`s in a bookstore in Dubuque signing her new book which is called "Sweet Land of Liberty," which is for 4 to 8-year-olds. (END VIDEO CLIPS) MADDOW: It`s not like we had to scroll through, you know, hours of tape of Newt Gingrich talking for the last few years, we just checked the last couple of weeks. I mean, there`s -- this is -- this is what he does. What`s Newt Gingrich up to on the campaign trail right now? Well, yesterday, his big campaign event was a book signing in Michigan. Today, even as he`s opening up his big campaign headquarters in New Hampshire, there`s a big shout-out at the headquarters opening from Newt today, big shout-out today to his novels about the civil war. You know, they`re available on Amazon, or at the Gingrich Productions Web site. It is a scam, it is a scam, it is a scam. We`re all looking into the wrong camera here. Joining us now is Steve Kornacki, political news editor at Steve, it`s good to see you. STEVE KORNACKI, SALON.COM: You, too. MADDOW: How do you think Newt Gingrich will perform in the primaries? Do you think it`s a permanent surge? KORNACKI: Well, it`s interesting. It`s like the political equivalent of the producers I think. It`s the thing that starts working in despite of how it was designed and conceived because this was, I think, definitely a money-making venture from the beginning and still is a money-making venture. However, the Republican field so unbelievably weak this year. There is such a strong desire among the Republican base not to sign on with Mitt Romney and yet they have no other choice. And what are they doing this year? They`re watching debates in larger numbers than ever. You know, 5 million, 6 million, 7 million people watching these debates. And Newt Gingrich has the perfect training to handle these debates because he gets to be a pundit. That`s what he`s been for the last 10 years. He stepped down as speaker. He was out of politics and he`s a cable news personality now. And he`s not treated like a serious candidate because everybody kind of knows the scheme is going on. So, he gets to be a pundit who`s never challenged, never asked tough follow-up questions. And he kind of bloviates and it sounds very compelling. And in the absence of alternatives, people start coming to him. But I`ll say, if it gets to the point where the numbers get to 20 percent, 25 percent, 30 percent in some of his opponents and the more importantly, the media starts saying, well, this is getting a little serious, then I think we`re going to have a repeat of what we saw earlier this spring when there was a two-week period I would say when people actually considered Gingrich a serious candidate and he got a serious interview on "Meet the Press" and he contradicted himself wildly and argued against the Paul Ryan plan and he called it socialism. And two days later, he went out to Iowa and there was a horrible scene where the Republican voters came up to him and said, "You are a disgrace." MADDOW: Right. KORNACKI: I think that happens again if they start taking him seriously. MADDOW: My favorite sort of denouement of all that was when he said, if you quote me, you are lying. (LAUGHTER) KORNACKI: And he will go to every district in the country next fall and he will say that and every Republican would welcome him. MADDOW: This is turning out to be sort of an interesting political science exercise in that we get to see the same pattern happen with all sorts of different failing Republican candidates. So, we had a Donald Trump moment. We had a Michele Bachmann moment. We had a Rick Perry moment. We did have a Newt Gingrich moment, which I think I had mostly forgotten about. We had our Herman Cain moment that seems to be ending, although who knows. Do they all follow the exact same pattern, wherein they get attention and appreciation but no scrutiny, until they get enough attention and appreciation that they have to get scrutiny and the scrutiny is what kills them? KORNACKI: It seems to be because if you look at all these previous examples, you can kind of point to a moment where each one really kind of, you know, hit the peak and collapse. With Trump, it was when the birtherism exploded in his face and it all reached, you know, critical max. I think with Michele Bachmann, it was partly Rick Perry getting in the race and just stealing her thunder, but it was also kind of the HPV stuff. And even Rush Limbaugh turned on her for saying this vaccine is going to make your children retarded. You know, with Herman Cain now, it`s the sexual harassment. You know, it`s tough to gauge the impact of the attacks on the 9-9-9 plan because the sexual harassment stuff came so quickly. But, I think, you know, there`s a cable news universe, this FOX News universe, which really -- it`s like a closed information loop on the Republican side now that`s really emerged in the last decade. It allows for these characters to sort of come into existence and to flourish and they don`t actually have to do anything significant with their public lives. They don`t have to be in office. They don`t have to pass laws. They don`t have to have any real driving policy rules. They`re characters. And that`s what we`ve really seen this year, is each character has got a shot. And when each character gets treated briefly like a candidate, they fizzle, except, you know, Mitt Romney is sitting there. MADDOW: But that`s the big question. Does this apply to Mitt Romney as well? I mean, Mitt Romney has been running for president permanently for longer than -- definitely longer than people have known what Herman Cain`s name is. KORNACKI: Right. MADDOW: But for longer than this reiteration of the Newt Gingrich direct mail scam. I mean, because he is a permanent candidate and people are used to him in that role, is his character the candidate so that makes him the last one standing? KORNACKI: Yes, I think the model I have in mind for how this is going to shake out in the end is sort of what happened -- how Bob Dole got the nomination in 1996. And it was sort of similar in that, you know, he was the guy nobody really wanted to nominate. He was boring old Bob Dole. He was moderate and everything, but there was really no alternative. And what happened was it took Pat Buchanan winning the New Hampshire primary in 1996 to scare the bejesus out of the Republican Party and say, Pat Buchanan is never going to win anything again in the party so it`s time to get onboard with Bob Dole. And within two weeks, he basically won everything. I think that might what we`re moving towards here. I mean, there`s a scenario where Romney could win Iowa. But, I think, listen, if it`s Gingrich, if it`s Cain, if it`s Perry, if it`s somebody -- if somebody can beat Romney in one of these early contests, I think we get that reaction and the Republicans get their act together and that`s when it ends. MADDOW: I agree with you, except my only tweak on that would be once that happens then Mitt Romney announces that bejesus is going to be his vice president. KORNACKI: It`s the winner. MADDOW: Steve Kornacki, Salon`s news editor, it`s always great to have you here, Steve. Thanks. KORNACKI: Sure. MADDOW: All right. We scanned the globe for 11/11/11 weirdness. And in the process, the weirdest thing we could find about the world`s treatment of 11/11/11 was in Detroit. That`s next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: On Tuesday, Americans went to the polls. They announced with a clear, strong voice that they would like easier access to liquor, please. The people cry out tonight for a cocktail moment. That`s just ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: One of the things that is hard to do on television is convey the size of large things, because no matter what I do, I am in a box that`s this big on your television. And so, in talking like something about an aircraft carrier, I cannot really show you its enormousness. All I can do is describe it in a way that uses other large, imaginably large things in multiples for the purpose of your mental comparison. So, for example, the USS Carl Vinson, a Nimitz class aircraft carrier, is, in fact, enormous. It is very, very large. It is over 1,000 feet long, which means it is longer than three football fields. To use another form of imaginable measurement, it`s big enough to accommodate 21 basketball courts. So that one measly little basketball court they installed today on the deck of the USS Carl Vinson was, frankly, geospatially speaking, no big whoop. The court was set up for what they are calling the carrier classic basketball game between the University of North Carolina and Michigan State tonight. They did not just remove the fighter jets and set up the court, they also set up bleachers for the audience tonight. The bleachers will hold 7,000 members of the Armed Forces, who will be there to watch the game. And an alternate playing area they`re also setting up in case of inclement weather. But the exciting uncertainty of what wind gust might do to the three- pointer percentage in a top play basketball game played out in the open at sea, there`s also just a rather, you know, cool show offy way to celebrate Veterans Day today. Magic Johnson and James Worth served as honorary captains of their respective alma maters for the teams. Both teams wore camouflage uniforms, very fancy. President Obama was at the game on the carrier tonight. As we talked about on last night`s show, Veterans Day is not the same thing as Memorial Day. Memorial Day is the time we set aside to remember people who gave their lives for our country. Veterans Day is a day to celebrate. Veterans Day is a day to celebrate everybody who served in the military, all our nation`s veterans. If there`s a theme for this year`s Veterans Day, at least as it is being officially marked in Washington, the theme this year is not just to celebrate and appreciate America`s veterans, it is to hire them. The Department of Labor putting out this top 10 list of reasons to hire veterans today. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki writing in the "Wall Street Journal" today about the skills veterans have to develop in order to succeed in the military make them good employees when they`re back here at home. The wives of the president and vice president, the first lady and Dr. Jill Biden this week announced a major agreement with private businesses to hire tens of thousands of American veterans. In Congress, even Congress, Congress actually seemed to be on its way to passing a tax credit for hiring veterans when sometimes this Congress feels like it couldn`t pass the salt if you asked nicely. The overall idea of all these initiatives is that hiring American veterans is not a favor. It is not a mitzvah. Even this generation of veterans is a prized resource that American companies would be wise to tap. Joining us now is the former assistant secretary for Veterans Affairs, an Iraq war veteran, one of the first women to fly combat missions in Iraq. She lost both her legs in a helicopter crash in 2004. She`s Tammy Duckworth. She`s running for Congress in Illinois` newly redrawn eighth district. Tammy, thank you so much for being on the show. It`s nice to see you again. TAMMY DUCKWORTH, IRAQ WAR VETERAN: Good to see you, too, Rachel. MADDOW: Let me start with a little bit of politics and recent politics. Were you surprised at the Veterans jobs bill passed with nearly unanimous support in the Senate yesterday? The Senate has not been happy about passing much of anything. DUCKWORTH: You know, I was really surprised. But on the other hand, I wasn`t surprised. We`ve seen so much gridlock in Washington, you know, this extremist politics has really caused nothing to happen. But on the other hand, having been at Veterans Affairs for the last 2 1/2 years before I quit to go home to run, I saw a lot of bills passed. You know, we passed a G.I. bill. We passed caregivers legislation. So, I think there`s hope. But we have to stand firm and found common ground to pass bills that will help this nation. MADDOW: From your experience as a veteran, and I now your husband served in the military as well and you`re from a military family. From that personal experience, but also from your time in the V.A. and as a candidate -- what do you think it`s going to take to bring down the unemployment rate among veterans? We understand a lot of the reasons why veterans are doing more poorly than the general population in this job environment, it`s in part because they have been serving in an environment that doesn`t -- people don`t always appreciate as having job relevance, being translating to domestic skills. But what`s it going to take to bring that down? DUCKWORTH: Well, I think there`s two things, Rachel. I think that on the one hand we have to do a better job of helping them seamlessly transition from the DOD to their civilian status. That is they need faster, better access to their health care. They need faster, better access to their G.I. bill so they can go right into those training programs, the vocational rehabilitation programs. And we need to be there with them, unemployment services and the employment training services for them. On the other hand, we just got to educate our employers and show them that these veterans are going to be very best employees. Give you an example -- you know, when I flew my helicopter, my soldiers guaranteed the quality of their work with their lives. My crew chief when he handed me the keys to that helicopter and he said, I checked the oil and made sure every safety wire was twisted properly, he didn`t hand me the keys and walk away. He climbed in the back of the helicopter and went out on a mission with me. He guaranteed the quality of his work with his life every single day. And our employers need to learn that is what our veterans are capable of doing. MADDOW: You are running for office now. I know you ran as well back in 2006 in Illinois. The districts have since been redrawn in Illinois, so it`s not an exact rerun of the previous campaign. But what are you finding it`s like being a candidate now, in 2011, compared to when you were running back then? What do you think changed in terms of our politics? DUCKWORTH: Our politics in this nation has been hijacked by extremism. You know, nothing is happening in Washington. And, Rachel, I`ve never run from a fight in my life, but I also know how to win some battles. And I think what we need in Washington are more people who can find common ground, who can build coalitions to pass the bills that help our nation. Frankly, I think families across thus country need victories right now. And that`s why I`m running in my district because I want to replace - - the congressman from my district is Joe Walsh. I want to replace him in Washington because he`s certainly one of the folks who has brought Washington to a gridlock and held our nation`s work hostage when we really should be out there working for the people of this country. MADDOW: Let me ask you about one broad political issue. The frontrunner, at least one of the front-runners for the Republican nomination is Mitt Romney. And today at an event with veterans, he floated the idea of privatizing -- at least partially privatizing the functions of the V.A. Do you have any reaction to that? DUCKWORTH: Yes. I think he is completely wrong. You know, he needs to stop worrying about how to balance a budget on the backs of veterans and he needs to start thinking about maybe making corporations like General Electric pay their taxes for a change and pay their fair share. Stop trying to balance the budget on the backs of our veterans. People have shed blood for this country, or even our most vulnerable. You know, Rachel, this is exactly the extremist politics I`m talking about. I mean, who votes to cut funding for suicide prevention for veterans? I mean, who votes to cut funding for supplemental nutrition for women, infants and children? I mean, who votes against providing medical care for our heroic first responders of 9/11 when they get cancer because they ran into the buildings to save others? You know, that`s the exact reactionary extremist politics that doesn`t help this nation. And that`s why we need more folks in Washington to find common ground and who are going to break through this gridlock. MADDOW: Tammy Duckworth, former assistant secretary for Veterans Affairs, Iraq war veteran, now congressional candidate running in Illinois` eighth district -- better known right now for Joe Walsh screaming at his constituents in bar videos on YouTube -- Tammy, thank you for joining us tonight. Nice to see you again. And happy Veterans Day. DUCKWORTH: Thank you, Rachel. MADDOW: All right. We got a cocktail moment straight ahead. Much- deserved. Plus, the really unexpected thing the Detroit Lions are doing with their football stadium right now. It involves something that the people in that stadium want to happen to Muslims while Muslims are sleeping. It is just as creepy as it sounds. That`s coming up. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: As the Republican presidential candidates were debating in Michigan this week, we were still getting in election results from Tuesday night`s elections in Michigan. One state legislator was on the ballot for recall. A Republican closely allied with Republican Governor Rick Snyder. The candidate was -- excuse me -- the state legislator was recalled by the voters in his district. He lost his seat. One of the signature policies of Governor Snyder has been his emergency manager law, whereby his state government can just declare any town or school district to be in an emergency situation and the state can install somebody to replace all locally elected officials. Under Rick Snyder`s law, his state government can even just abolish whole Michigan towns, take them over and declare them no more. It doesn`t matter who you elected to run your town, who you elected for mayor. Governor Snyder reserves the right to take it over. He did that in a town called Benton Harbor, in Michigan. He decided to overrule all local election results and install someone with unilateral personal authority to run Benton Harbor. Benton Harbor residents nevertheless voted this week. On Tuesday, they voted down all seven of the ballot measures this emergency overseer guy just unilaterally on his own decided to put on the ballot. According to the residents` votes, Benton Harbor elected a new mayor, some new counselors. But, of course, those votes are all pretty much moot. They went out and they went through the motions of voting. But thanks to Governor Rick Snyder emergency-manager law, votes in that part of Michigan just don`t have any effect anymore. Local elections are overruled by the state, for your own good. So, hey, Benton Harbor, thanks for playing, democracy, the game. The people you voted for, they`ll take power when and if this emergency overseer from the state who is unilaterally running your town ever decides to leave. It`s Benton Harbor now, they say they`re going to do it to Flint, Michigan, next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: In 1976, the city of Raleigh, North Carolina, merged its schools with those in the surrounding suburbs, making one big school district. And for decades now, that Wake County public school system was known as the best example of school integration in the country. Some of the school system`s best schools were in its worst neighborhoods. Wake County`s good schools for part of the engines that made it one of the fastest growing metro regions in the country. It`s part of why so many people wanted to move there. Good schools. Clearly, that can`t be allowed to stand. In 2006, the North Carolina chapter of the Koch brothers group, Americans for Prosperity, with strong support from North Carolina`s own local zillionaire, kind of conservative caucus, Art Pope, they tried hard to defeat a $970 million bond issue to get more resources to the schools. They did not succeed in that effort in 2006. By 2009, Americans for Prosperity and the Art Pope groups decided to go whole hog into the local school board`s elections. They supported a slate of very conservative Tea Party inflected Republicans and the Wake County school board changed, a lot. And they made plans to change wake county schools, a lot. Instead of keeping on with desegregation efforts, they came up with a new plan to just assign kids to schools in their own neighborhoods. Diversity be darned. Staring down the prospect of once again having all white schools in the suburbs and all black schools in southeast Raleigh, the superintendent at the time quit because he said he could not bring himself to implement the new Tea Party plan. But here`s where the plot thickens. The plan was not scheduled to be implemented until next school year, August 2012. In the unlikely event Democrats could win every single one of the school board seats that were up this year, all five seats, all the Democrats, they could conceivably stop the Tea Party Republican re-segregation plan before it actually went into effect. Of course, they would need to do that against all of the conservative money and organizing that brought about the conservative take over in the first place. So, that`s unlikely, right, that you have to win all of the seats. Except it happens. Last month, at the first round of voting, Democrats won four of the five seats outright that night. The fifth seat Democrats needed to retake the majority, that one went into a runoff. That runoff was this week and the Democratic candidate won that fifth seat, too. So, the conservative takeover is over in Wake County schools. There is a Democratic majority back in charge. But the plan they`re supposed to be working from for the 2012 school year now is the plan the Art Pope-funded conservative re-segregation folks left behind when they were all booted out of office. Joining us now is somebody who`s been covering this story extensively on the ground, Jonathan Carlson, reporter for our NBC affiliate in Raleigh, North Carolina, WNCN. Jonathan, thanks so much for being here. It`s nice to have you. JONATHAN CARLSON, WNCN: Yes. Good evening, Rachel. MADDOW: How central was the desegregation/re-segregation issue to the campaign for these school board elections? CARLSON: Well, you know, I don`t think in all my years of reporting I`ve ever seen this much attention, this much money spent on a school board election. It`s been consuming pretty much the airwaves here for months, pretty much a year now. MADDOW: How did the interest and the turnout for these school board elections, I guess, change people`s feeling about the stakes here? Was there resentment that there was so much money, so much interest, even national interest in this? Or were people sort of invigorated by this, by the fight? CARLSON: Well, you know, it`s just been fighting for the last couple of months and this is supposed to be nonpartisan. But you`ve pretty had Republican and Democrats contributing money to both these campaigns for the last couple months and it`s pretty turned into sort of a circus that I think a lot of voters are just glad it`s done right now. But now that the stakes have changed and the balance of power has changed, we`re likely going to see a lot of changes as we go forward in the next two years. MADDOW: You know, I`ve been looking at comments, for example, from some of the newly elected people on the school board, and you do get this real sense of -- I guess I think of it as ideological battle fatigue? One of the new Democratic majority on the school board pledging to have the school board return to being seen as boring again. But there is this, which is great, I mean, which is -- we want to be technocratic. We don`t want to be ideological lightning rods. There is a neighborhood schools plan, a change for Wake County schools that`s still on the drawing board. Do you get the sense they`re still going to go ahead with the plan that was left in place by the majority that`s been elected out? CARLSON: Yes, you know, it sounds like they`re going to go forward with this. There maybe some changes, though. The Republican-led board tried to get this through earlier this year. The new Democrats are going to try to essentially have their voices be heard and try to make changes and tweaks to things. But pretty much everybody is onboard of knowing that because with all the growth that things to move forward and something needs to change in order for these kids to end up going to the schools that their parents want them to go to. MADDOW: In terms of future decisions on that, do you expect that there will be lots of community involvement, more protests, more interest groups -- like the kinds of big money interest groups we`ve seen weigh in on this as it`s received so much attention? CARLSON: Yes. You know, this has been contentious for months. They have board meetings that have just packed with people. There have been arrests. So, you can expect this to continue to have a lot of opinions as it goes on. It seems to have died down a little bit. We`ll just have to wait to see how the new board ends up deciding how they want to move forward with any changes to the plan. MADDOW: Jonathan Carlson, reporter for our NBC affiliate in Raleigh, WNCN -- thanks very much for helping us understand this. I really appreciate your time. Thanks. All right. Cocktail moment coming up. It`s Friday. And a really unexpected use for Detroit`s pro football stadium tonight. It`s being used overnight, all night long. And frankly, Detroit deserves better than what it is being used for. I`ll tell you about that, next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: First, a correction. I said James Worth when I was supposed to say James Worthy -- talking about the honorary captain of the basketball team on the aircraft carrier tonight. I`m very sorry. OK. Second, in Egypt today, they closed the great pyramid to tourists. The official explanation from the pyramid management is that the great pyramid needed maintenance, a day of fixing up after a few thousand years. The headline explanation, though, is that Egypt closed the great pyramid to keep groups from holding, quote, Jewish or Masonic rights there, to draw special power from today`s palindromic date 11/11/11 -- 11/11/11 is the same backwards as it is forwards, so it must be haunted or whatever, or maybe at least special. One Egyptian company apparently asked for permission to have people gather round and, quote, "hug the pyramid." But there would be no hugging the great pyramid on 11/11/11 today, and no plain old visiting either because the Egyptian president ordered the great pyramid closed for the whole day, because they were freaked about Free Masons and Jewish people and hugging people and prejudicial conspiracy theories about occult nonsense. Egypt, crazy over there. I want to know what`s happening at the Detroit Lion`s stadium? (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) LOU ENGLE: Eleven-eleven-eleven. The Lord clearly showed to up, said you have to pray all night long because it`s when the Muslims sleep and all over the world right now, Muslims in the night are having dreams of Jesus. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Very sneaky of those Muslims to sleep at night. Tonight, at the Detroit Lions football stadium, at Ford Field, our old pal Lou Engle is leading a 24-hour all night stadium revival to try to get mass conversions of American Muslims. This is his ad for the thing. He calls it The Call. Started just over three hours ago in Detroit. Lou Engle and the Call say they are in Detroit because Detroit is ground zero for the spiritual war in our nation -- poverty, racism and Islam are powerfully rooted here. Not to go all Burt and Ernie here, but one of these things is not like the other if you know what I mean. Lou Engle is a senior leader of the International House of Prayer who says he got the idea of going to Detroit because of a dream he had about a revival preacher named William Seymour more than a century ago in Louisiana. Now, one of the ways Lou Engle has been trying to persuade people to stay up all night with him in the Detroit Lions` football stadium to mass convert American Muslims in their sleep is with the ad you saw, and also this video of him and another white guy sitting in front of another giant lion painting talking about what they labeled here on the video as the one eyed black man. This is the Lou Engle dream that led to the 11/11/11 sleeping Muslims all nighter at Ford Field going on right now. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ENGLE: In the dream, there was a -- we went to an upper room in Detroit, in Detroit, in to the upper room in Detroit. And in Detroit, in that upper room, there was a old black man lying there, and he was a one- eyed old black man. Seymour. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One eyed. ENGLE: Yes, and he was blind in one eye. And in the dream, his iris was being operated on so that he would live. The iris, and the word iris actually means rainbow. I believe that God wants to bring the multi-colored together and I believe in Detroit, God is seeking to bring forth another sound of revival, the William Seymour anointing out of the black church, if you can -- black, white, multicolored church. And we believe as a black revival that we are coming saying, God, could you release William Seymour mantle again out of Detroit for another great outpouring of the Holy Spirit. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: So, that`s what is happening at the Detroit football stadium all night, that guy. You know when the nation of Uganda was considering making gay being a crime punishable by death, Lou Engle decided to help out there, too. He issued a statement saying he did not support that and then he showed up a Call rally in Uganda and praised Uganda for having the courage and righteous to push for kill the gays bill. Lou Engle, the same Lou Engle who`s holding the Call rally in Detroit tonight because he says that Detroit has demons. He says Detroit has demons because Detroit has Muslims. Lou Engle is also kind of a mainstream guy. Remember this summer when Rick Perry had his big stadium prayer rally, heal the nation. Remember when Rick Perry wasn`t yet the guy hugging the syrup, the one who seems vaguely like your uncle who comes around only Thanksgiving. Remember when people still thought Rick Perry`s could win the Republican nomination and maybe even presidency. Rick Perry stadium prayer rally was modeled after Lou Engle`s the Call rallies like the one in Detroit tonight. It was modeled after Lou Engle`s the Call rallies with the help of Lou Engle`s folk. Lou Engle who has since dreamed of a one-eyed black man to rid Detroit of poverty and racism and Muslims. Detroit, I`m sorry. You deserve so much better. You deserve congratulations for calling out whack job Lou Engle before he ever showed up at Ford Field tonight Detroit, you deserve all the help the country can give you in getting your economy going again because your economy is our economy. Detroit, you do not deserve (INAUDIBLE), like Lou Engle showing up into your football stadium with his, kill the gays, Muslims are demons vile dressed up as a sane way to help you help yourselves. And, Detroit, frankly, you probably deserve an apology from Rick Perry for hooking up with this insane machine and giving it a platform for even one single day on his way to trying and failing to run for president. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: A significant subplot of Election Day this week was booze. All over the country this week, Americans voted on booze, on access to booze. In Georgia, 127 cities and counties held a vote on whether you ought to be able to buy booze on Sundays -- 110 out of 127 cities and counties said yes, you ought to be able to buy booze on Sundays. In the great state of Washington, the vote was overwhelming to let grocery stores sell hooch for the first time. And in North Carolina, two towns voted for the first time to allow sales of liquor by the drink. Now, North Carolina has been fighting about liquor by the drink for a long time. They warned each other for example back in 1978 that liquor by the drink would turn North Carolina into Atlanta. Oh, the humanity! (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m opposed to liquor by the drink, because I have lived in Atlanta and I don`t want a bar on every street corner in every town. So, I`m going to vote no. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Yes, maybe. But just everybody who got to vote for booze on this Election Day this week voted yes. Cheers! Here`s how. So, time for an off-year election cocktail moment. What we`re going to make is a drink called the apple jack rabbit. This recipe is in Jim Meehan`s new really good cocktail book, "The PDT Cocktail Book," that`s just out. Here is the justification for making the apple jack rabbit. See, Washington state, they had the big statewide vote on booze this week, Washington state is the apple capital of the country. Washington state also named for George Washington. George Washington was a distiller of rye. But what`s believed to be the thing that George Washington actually like to drink himself is apple jack. Apple jack is like an apple whiskey basically. It`s delicious. It`s made by this company Lairds in New Jersey. It`s really good. So, you want two ounces of Lairds apple jack. You want to buy the bonded kind, bond means it is 100 proof, which means it`s 50 percent alcohol. And the bonded is better than the unbonded blended one. So, two ounces of 100-proof bonded apple jack. Very good. Next 3/4 ounce of lemon juice, and you have to use an actual piece of fruit. I know it`s very inefficient. But if you get lemon juice from the plastic thing in your refrigerator, God will strike you down and make Lou Engle into your boyfriend. So, actually that`s not true about Lou Engle. Nobody deserves Lou Engle to be their boyfriend no matter what they do to the lemon. So, 3/4 of an ounce of lemon juice. This is the thing that is unusual ingredient for a good cocktail. A lot of really bad cocktails have orange juice in them, and very few good cocktails do. But the apple jack rabbit is a good cocktail with orange juice in it. Again, you have to use an actual fresh orange or watch out, Lou Engle is coming to get you! So 3/4 ounce of fresh of squeezed lemon juice, two ounces of bonded apple jack, and the seasonal ingredient, maple syrup -- in this case it is grade B maple syrup, which is the darker kind. So, it`s sort of hard to find, but it is worth finding. And this is Jim Meehan`s recipe, and he recommends grade b, so find grade b. So, half an ounce of grade b maple syrup which is the only sweetener in this, which means it`s delicious and it`s not too sweet, even though it`s full of all of these things. Add way more ice than you think you need to, like 2/3 full of the cocktail shaker. Make sure you put the lid on the cocktail shaker. I almost picked it up and shook it without that. Excuse me, I need to shake. Excuse me. Sorry. Thank you. And this is your apple jack rabbit. The maple syrup gives it kind of a little foamy head which is delicious. So, listen, no garnish except your "I voted" sticker. Happy election week. Happy Veterans Day, and have a great weekend. Oh, my God. This is good. THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END