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The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 07/10/13

Guests: Dan Rather, Barbara Favola

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. The Washington Post leads today with a scoop that is the biggest development yet in the scandal that envelopes a man who the Republican party nearly chose to be their party`s nominee for vice president just this past year. "The Washington Post" reporting on its front page today on another $120,000 in loot, just in plain cash, that Virginia governor Bob McDonnell has seen fit to pocket, without telling anyone, during his time as governor. This brings over $140,000, the tally of undisclosed cash that the governor McDonnell and his family accepted from the CEO of a troubled Virginia company that`s now under federal securities investigation. The very same day that this CEO handed over a $15,000 check to cover catering costs at the McDonald`s daughter`s wedding. "The Washington Post" now reports that the same CEO, also that same day, handed over a check for $50,000 that was just made out to the first lady, made out to Maureen McDonnell personally. Then when other McDonnell daughter was getting married, cough it up again, big guy. Another $10,000 check written out to the eldest McDonnell daughter. See, that`s how you have to do it if you want it to not turn up on the governor`s financial disclosures. If you give it to him he`s supposed to disclose it. But if you give it to the wife and kids, then maybe we can get away with this, at least for a while. But wait, there`s more. Yet another $50,000 check and then another $20,000 check beyond that that actually do go to governor Bob himself except they go to Governor Bob by means of a corporate entity that he and his sister set up to pay the mortgages on their beach houses in Virginia beach. So, those $70,000 in cash gifts or loans the governor and his sister, those don`t have to get reported either, since a little corporate entity like that functions as actually like a family member in terms of it insulating you from having to report it. $120,000 in cash, who knows what else is going to turn up. Since it seems like every day brings something new. But the tally so far, in terms of what Virginia Republican governor Bob McDonnell has taken from this company since he has been governor, now includes a check for $15,000 made out to that company that catered the governor`s daughter`s wedding, a $6500 Rolex watch, purchased by the CEO and given to the governor, although the governor told reporters that was a gift from his wife. Also a $10,000 Oscar de la Renta suede jacket given to the governor`s wife on a shopping trip to New York with the CEO. A Louis Vuitton handbag, also given to the governor`s wife on the shopping trip to New York with the CEO. Also, two pairs of designer shoes given to the governor`s wife, same trip, a designer dress given to the governor`s wife, same trip, a lakefront home vacation given to the McDonnell family. Thousands of dollars in trips on a private jet given to the governor. A loan of the CEO is $190,000 white Ferrari for the governor to drive. And now a check for $50,000 made out to a corporate entity owned by the governor and his sister. And another $20,000 check made out again to that same corporate entity owned by the governor and his sister. And a check for $50,000 made out to the governor`s wife, and a check for $10,000 made out to one of the governor`s daughters, a different daughter than got the $15,000 check that went to catering. That is what is known so far in terms of cash and expensive gifts that Governor Bob McDonnell has taken for himself and his family from one specific company since he has been governor. A company that it turns out the governor also took numerous official actions to assist. The governor is denying that, but I don`t see how long he can keep this up. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GOV. BOB MCDONNELL (R), VIRGINIA: In the particular case of Mr. Williams and Source Scientific, that company has received no state benefits, no economic development grants, no targeted money out of the budget, no board appointments. They have really -- they`ve received nothing. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Nothing? Nothing except a launch party for the magic tobacco pill that`s made by the CEO`s company, a launch party held at the governor`s mansion and hosted by the governor and the first lady. They still have the press release up on their Web site, bragging about how their product launch was being held at the Virginia`s governor mansion today. So, this company didn`t get nothing from the Virginia governor. They got that. And they got the first lady of Virginia touting the benefits of the magic tobacco pill at multiple events both inside Virginia and outside Virginia. Her, traveling around the country helping tout the benefits of the company`s product and they got a top level meeting with Virginia state health officials for the magic tobacco pill company CEO. Where the CEO was able to pitch his idea of a Virginia state funded study of his magic pills benefits to the state. And they also got another meeting with the state secretary of health, a meeting with the cabinet secretary that was set up either by the governor`s office directly or by the governor`s wife. And that seemingly would never have happened without the governor or the first lady intervening to make that meeting happen, since the health secretary says himself the magic tobacco pill was not ready for prime time. But, yes, governor McDonnell, other than the one on one meeting with the cabinet secretary and the other meeting with the health official that you set up and the launch party for the magic tobacco pill. The governor`s mansion which you attended and your wife attended and other that this picture of you as Virginia governor holding a bottle of the magic tobacco pills and your wife traveling around the country touting the magic tobacco pill, yes, other than that -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MCDONNELL: They`ve really, they`ve received nothing. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Yes, other than that, really nothing. Bob McDonnell maintains the company got nothing in value in exchange for the more than $140,000 in cash plus all the other gifts that this company has given him and his family since he has been governor of the state of Virginia. If the company did get things of value from the governor, and it can be proven that those things were given in exchange for all the money and gifts the company gave to the governor and his family, then the governor will go to federal prison for violations of the Hobbs act which is what prohibits that kind of official corruption even at the state level. And that is one half of what`s wrong right now for Virginia governor Bob McDonnell. There`s also the other category of things the governor took for himself and his family and charged to Virginia taxpayers. Allegations of him either charging things on the state credit card or asking state employees to do personal business or straight up the McDonnell family just lifting stuff from the governor`s mansion and taking it away for the McDonnell family`s personal use. Even after state officials intervened and told the governor this was improper and the state`s taxpayers should not be paying for the McDonnell family`s personal expenses, he kept doing it. Quote "sales receipts released by the state indicate that they went on to bill taxpayers for myriad medicine cabinet products, vitamins and the specifically the body wash that officials already told the governor should not be billed to the taxpayers. Then when "the Washington Post" started to publish the list of things the governor McDonnell had taken for himself, the body wash, the gastrointestinal digestive cleans, that dog vitamins, all the rest of that petty list of miserableness, governor McDonnell denounced "the Washington Post" for having published false charges. And then after he said it was false, he changed tact and said, OK, maybe the list is not false, but it`s actually fine for him to take all that stuff. The thousands of dollars worth of stuff that was charged to the governor`s mansion credit card that never came to the governor`s mansion at all. That the McDonnell just charged to the credit card and then gave to their kids to take to their college dorm rooms with them. Those thousands of dollars the lawyer for governor McDonnell said were just like, and I`m quoting here, "the cold meat ball sandwich that his own mother used to pack for him when he went back to school as a gift. Every family treats their kids like that, the lawyer said, the first family should not be treated any differently." That was the argument. Although presumably, the lawyer`s lovely Italian mother did not steal the cold meat ball sandwich from her employer to give to her kid to take to school the way Bob McDonnell charge everything to the state credit card for his, the stuff that his kids took to college. But that was the argument. First, the governor said it was false that he had ever taken that stuff, then he said it was fine, it was just like a cold meat ball sandwich, he didn`t have to pay for any of it. He just thought it was part of his salary, or at least it ought to be for the taxpayers of Virginia to pay for that stuff for him and his family. And then he relented and finally decided yes, I guess he would pay back the state for some of that stuff. On Friday of the July 4th long holiday weekend the governor quietly paid for some of the stuff that he first denied existed and that it shouldn`t have to pay for. So, for our tally, you can add this list to stuff that the governor took for himself and his family to the previous stash that we already knew about. Gatorade, paper towels, laundry detergent, cold cuts, microwave food, chips, energy shakes, toilet paper, body wash, deodorant, and quote "other items purchased with the mansion credit card and sent off to school with the of the governor`s five children." Plus, don`t forget the digestive system cleans, a cherry-flavored sleep elicsir and a variety of vitamins including vitamins for the dog that we are all, at least, initially put on the governor`s mansion visa card. And that is all in addition to the Ferrari and the $145,000 in cash, and the $6,000 Rolex and the Oscar de la Renta suede jacket and all the rest that the governor has taken for himself and his family from the company that he helped out with the launched party and all the rest. Nice haul, right? As governor, Bob McDonnell gets paid $175,000 as his real salary. He doesn`t have to take it from anybody, it`s actually paid to him officially. He also gets a free place to live. But all of the stuff that he has taken for himself and his family, this is all on top of that. And now, there`s a new twist in all this, when governor Bob McDonnell first got elected it was not a surprise that a Republican won the Virginia governorship. I mean, Virginia has been trending blue in presidential election years, but when Virginia holds its statewide races in odd off years it, as they do in the commonwealth, it ends up being a lower turnout affair. And lower turnout elections often tend to benefit Republicans. So, it`s not crazy that a Virginia Republican won the governorship. What was unusual about Bob McDonnell specifically getting elected, it wasn`t the he was a Republicans, but it was the fact that the Republicans had picked him. That the Republicans had picked somebody so very deeply conservative for a statewide Virginia job like that. I mean, he had been a leading anti-abortion crusader his whole time in the legislature, he had done an adult masters degree at the Pat Robertson televangelist college, where his Masters thesis was about how public policy should be used to punish homosexuals, fornicators and adulterers. It was a real statement from Virginia Republicans to put this guy up for governor about five minutes after the state voted for Barack Obama for president. For ending wise though, reputation wise, the ideological saving grace for Bob McDonnell has turned out to be a man who he ran with that year when he first got elected. Because Bob McDonnell does not want to be seen as the new Jesse Helms, the new Rick Santorum, the new Gary Bauer, the new alma matter, Pat Robertson, the new (INAUDIBLE) George Allen. I mean, Bob McDonnell wanted to govern in that bane. He wanted the forced ultrasound bill and he wanted the bill that would close the state`s abortion clinics. He wanted to put out his commemoration honoring the brave confederate fighters in Virginia, the commemoration of confederate history month that dropped any mention of slavery. He wanted to govern that way, but he`s not wanted to be seen that way. And the bright shiny distraction that`s made Bob McDonnell not seem that way, not seem as out there as he is and always has been, is the states attorney general who got elected alongside Bob McDonnell. Ken Cuccinelli, known in Virginia as the Kuch, seen here as the target of Virginia`s (INAUDIBLE) watch protesters who dogged the attorney general at his public appearances to try to draw attention to whatever new radical thing the Kuch is doing now. Wrote to state universities as soon as he and bob McDonnell took office to tell state schools that they had to re-sinned their nondiscrimination policies that included sexual orientation. He told the state schools of Virginia, you`re not allowed to ban discrimination against gay people by order of the state. He is the guy who changed the state seal to cover up the terrible nakedness of the statue of virtue, which Thomas Jefferson had first seen felt to design for the state seal. He is the guy who launched the state attorney general`s office Jihad against scientist Virginia Universities trying to fair it out evil climate science research that they might be doing as scientists. When the Virginia state board of health declined to go along with Cuccinelli and Bob McDonnell in their effort to issue new regulations that would shut down abortion clinics in the state, it was Ken Cuccinelli who threatened the board of health individually that if they don`t go along in shutting down the clinics, he as attorney general would cease to provide any defense to them for any of their official actions. They would have to take on the legal expenses of the Virginia board of health out of their own pockets as individuals if they didn`t go along with what he wanted them to do to the clinics and so they went along against their own findings and recommendations and they shut the clinics down. Bob McDonnell is a whole new ball of wax for purple state Virginia. But Ken Cuccinelli, he is like a giant globe full of wax running down Virginia like Indiana Jones in a freaking cave sprinting for his life. And now, as Bob McDonnell fights for his political life in his overlapping corruption scandals that show him beneath the (INAUDIBLE) self- righteousness, to be the kind of g who may be able to hook you up for your launch party for your non FDA regulated wonder pill at the governor`s mansion, if you could hook him up with a ride in the Ferrari and a new Rolex. As governor ultrasound now frantically treads water try not to drown in his overlapping duo corruption scandals. It turns out that Ken Cuccinelli is being called to answer for his own role in the same scandals. It turns out that the company that gave the Rolex and the white Ferrari and all the rest of it to Bob McDonnell was also busy giving gifts to Ken Cuccinelli. One of the damning things about the mountain of cash and prizes given to this company by Bob McDonnell, is that he didn`t disclose them, at least no initially. He claimed that they were gifts to his family and not to him, or he claimed that he forgot they were presents. Did you enjoy your trip to the NCAA final four, Mr. Governor? Yes. How did you get there, private plane. It was awesome. Who`s private plane? The guy from the magic tobacco pill`s company, his plane. Well, I guess that`s a gift. I need to disclose it now. It is kind of how it has been going with Bob McDonnell, same deal, it turns out, with Ken Cuccinelli, who only belatedly disclosed his own multiple trips to the lake side vacation home of the same magic tobacco pill company CEO once the scandal broke publicly and who Virginia Democrats are now demanding disclose the details of his own relationship to the scandal that look set to end the career of Virginia`s Republican governor very soon. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MCDONNELL: The particular case of Mr. Williams and star scientific, that company has received no state benefits, no economic development grants, no targeted money out of the budget, no board appointments, they have really - - they have received nothing. UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Despite headlines now, you still plan to remain as governor until the end -- MCDONNELL: Yes. But I don`t know where these things come. The press is so -- press accounts have been completely out of control about rumors, about resignations, so forth. I`m thoroughly enjoying and being incredibly productive I think with my team as governor of Virginia. We have an awful lot of things that w do. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Republican governor, Bob McDonald, of Virginia said that yesterday, what I believe is his last interview, before today at another story broke of another $120,000 in cash payments that were made to governor and to his family, by the CEO of a troubled Virginia company. Joining us now is state senator Barbara Favola, She is a democrat who represents Arlington, parts of Fairfax and Loudon county, a senator for holistic day called for the resignation of governor McDonald. Senator Favola, thank you for being with us tonight. STATE SENATOR BARBARA FAVOLA (D), ARLINGTON: Thank you Rachel. It is my pleasure. MADDOW: Why do you think that the governor McDonnell should resign now, a federal investigation and a state investigation are both underway into these corruption allegations, why do you think he should not wait for the results of those investigations, but he should step down there? FAVOLA: Well, my view is, is that the governor has acted far beyond a reasonable parameter of ethical behavior. If you just look at the fact pattern, it`s hard to imagine that a company that did not make huge contributions at Star Scientific would ever get the governor and the first lady to host a launch party for their diet supplement pills, the governor and the first lady. The first lady primarily went around the state promoting products from Star Scientific, and they basically have had this sort of hand in glove relationship. I am convinced that a corporation or a donor does not contribute $145,000 and not expect something in return. And I can say and as you pointed out earlier on your show, there certainly have been examples of how this company has benefited from their relationship with the governor and that`s just not what Virginians expect, it`s not what Virginians deserve. We have a history of a clean government. We want, you know, we want a state government that runs on transparency, we want a government that operates in an efficient and effective manner and in honest manner in a way where companies are not given special treatment, simply because they write checks to the governor`s campaign. MADDOW: On the issue of whether or not they have received special treatment. The governor has been specific in saying what this company did not get. He says no state benefits. No economic development grants. No targeted money out of the budget. And no board appointments. And then he extrapolates from that to say nothing. We know a number of things that this company did get, though. The launch party, the first lady traveling around the country touting the benefits of the pills. The first lady or the governor`s office directly intervening to get meeting between the CEO and state health officials including the cabinet secretary. From what you know of the way business is done in Virginia, are those kinds of things that we know this company got, the kinds of things that lots of companies get and is a standard helping hand to business that the governor may get anybody even if they weren`t loaning them their Ferrari. FAVOLA: Well, I think you hit the nail on the head. I can`t think of another dietary supplement company that got the level of attention that Star Scientific received. I can`t think of another company where the first lady personally went out and marketed their products. And I believe that marketing efforts, especially when you`re talking about the head of a state or the first lady are of value, and any business person would tell you, they have to dedicate a certain amount of money to their marketing budget. And it is important to get their product out on the market and it`s important to have a known spokesperson. That`s why companies pay for politicians and sports heads and all kinds of public figures to promote their product, because it matters. Because it is of value. MADDOW: Let me ask specifically about the attorney general Ken Cuccinelli who is obviously the Republican nominee to -- for governor now, he would like to replace governor McDonnell in the state house. One of your democratic colleagues in the Senate says that he will put in a freedom of information act request to try to force the attorney general to disclose more information about his relationship to this same company and the same CEO, which we know the attorney general held a lot of stock in, made a lot of profit from the stock sales from and received a lot of personal gifts, including some he didn`t initially disclose. Do you feel that Ken Cuccinelli has disclosed his links to this scandal or do you feel there`s more that ought to be known and could be pried out of him. FAVOLA: I expect there`s more that needs to be known. I find it fascinating that both the governor and Ken Cuccinelli all of a sudden after three and a half years in office are remembering gifts that they received from Star Scientific, you know, years ago and they just remember them within the last ten days, I find that fascinating. And just as an aside on Ken Cuccinelli, of course, Ken Cuccinelli had to recues himself from defending governor McDonnell in this whole Star Scientific investigation because he, as you just mentioned, had received gifts from this company and had not reported them. So, I will certainly join that effort to ask for a freedom of information act request. Again, I am a very strong believer. As many Virginians are of having an open government and understanding how things work, and certainly recognizing where the money is -- where the money flows and who benefits from it. MADDOW: Senator Barbara Favola of Virginia, thank you for your time tonight, Ma`am. It is nice to meet you It is nice to have you here. FAVOLA: Thank you, Rachel. MADDOW: Thanks you. I should note, you know, having senator Favola here, we have had one other Virginia state senator on the show talking about this, who called not directly for the governor`s resignation, but said he should disclose more and if he couldn`t he should resign. But, that`s really it in terms of Democrats in Virginia who are calling for the governor`s head about this. The Democrats have been receipt sent to make political hay out of this. They have been watching the investigations going-forward and watching the reporting happen. But I think right now, the flood gates are broken, have to be. All right, still ahead, Dan Rather here tonight for the interview. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Hey, the one and only Dan Rather is here for the interview tonight talking about a $34 million present that it turns out nobody wants. That`s ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: In southern Afghanistan, in Helmand province, there`s a two-story, football field sized state of the art command and control center that has been built for the United States Marine Corps. It cost $34 million to build. It has an operations center with tiered seating, has a briefing theater, spacious offices, fancy chairs, powerful air conditioning. Generals have said that this brand new facility rivals anything that the Marine Corps or indeed the whole military has back at home. It is maybe beyond even state of the art. It`s the nicest thing out there. 1,500 people can work at this behemoth of a complex. How many American troops work there right now? Zero. Not one. Goose egg, because this brand new command and control facility sits completely empty. The Marines did not want it, they never asked for it, and they say they do not need it and will not move in. The special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction told Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in a letter released today, that this is the best constructed building he has seen in all his travels to Afghanistan. And he`s posted admiring pictures of this nice facility on Flickr, showing the theater with all its empty seats still in plastic wrap. Showing some empty but still very lovely offices. Showing an empty -- I don`t know what this is. Maybe a rec room? Is that a piano? No, a credenza. I don`t know. Here is what this modern marvel looks like from the outside. It`s a football field sized command and control facility that was just built, that will never, ever be used by U.S. troops, and now according to the special inspector general, its fate is that probably it`s going to be torn down. After you and I spent $34 million American taxpayer dollars to build it. NBC`s Jim Miklaszewski spoke with the special inspector general today. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) JOHN SOPKO, SPECIAL INSPECTOR GENERAL: This was designed originally for an Army three-star general`s headquarters, and it was actually a very large building for that, 64,000 square feet. Then we made a decision during the surge not to bring the Army down to (ph) leatherneck, so the Marines took over. The Marine Corps general who ran that area, after he saw the plans, I assume, said I don`t want it, I don`t need it, don`t build it. As far as we know, the Afghans don`t know anything about it, they don`t want it, and they probably couldn`t maintain it. If you go inside, it is beautiful. It is state of the art, from the air conditioning to the electronics, to the computers, beautiful chairs. It`s got a theater, it`s got a war room. And it will probably never be used. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Your tax dollars at work. You know there is new and contested reporting this week from the New York Times that the war in Afghanistan might be ending harder and faster than had been previously expected. Now, President Obama might be considering zeroing out the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan and pulling them out faster than he had previously announced. Does the $34 million headquarters that no one will ever work in, that will likely be demolished right after it got finished, does that kind of fiscal and public relations and strategic disaster affect the overall politics of the war? Does it affect whether or not we`re going to get Americans home from that war faster than we otherwise thought we might? Joining us now is Dan Rather. He is the anchor and managing editor of "Dan Rather Reports" on Access TV. Mr. Rather has been to Afghanistan 16 times since the start of this war. He was there most recently early this spring. Mr. Rather, thank you so much for being here. DAN RATHER, ANCHOR, "DAN RATHER REPORTS": Always a pleasure, Rachel. MADDOW: There`s never been a war without waste, without profligate waste, but does a humiliation like this change what people and politicians are willing to keep investing in the continuation of a war? RATHER: I think the answer is it could. But let`s see clearly. This is an outrage. It`s also something at least near a sacrilege to all the young men and women, American and others, who shed their blood in Afghanistan. This is a job for President Obama. Who authorized this building? Whose name signed off on the cost? What company was in charge of the overall construction? What are their political connections? Now, it may be that this is not a case of war profiteering, but the prima facie evidence so far is that it is just that. And when you talk about -- we should have a national debate about how much to spend on defense. This kind of thing, it undermines public confidence not just in the war in Afghanistan, but in the Defense Department, and it pollutes, it`s toxic to a future debate on the defense of the United States. This is a job for the president. One would hope that tomorrow morning, I doubt this will happen, but I hope it happens, he comes out and as I say, who signed off on this, what company was in charge of the overall construction, who got the contracts, how did they get the contracts -- this would be about the best thing he could do in starting a real national debate about how soon can we get out of Afghanistan, how soon should we get out of Afghanistan. I just -- you know, I`m almost -- I can`t speak about it, because I feel so strongly, that this kind of thing goes on -- albeit on a smaller scale -- it went on in Iraq and it went on in Afghanistan. MADDOW: By the billions. RATHER: By the billions, by super billions, and thank heavens for these investigators who finally got to the bottom of this and exposed it. It says something good about the United States of America that we have such dedicated public service who say, listen, the public needs to know about this, we need to have transparency about it. MADDOW: These inspectors general who are aggressive and independent. They`ll put up the photos of it, they will tell you the background on it, and they won`t -- they are not shy about putting the stuff out there. I think you`re right, I think these guys, these are the kind of guys that ought to get a medal. RATHER: They play no favorites, they pull no punches, and in (inaudible) phrase, they shoot up lights on both sides of the street. MADDOW: Exactly. RATHER: It`s a good thing we have them. MADDOW: Dan, I know that you have solid sources, in military and political spheres, including in Afghanistan right now, where we still have got tens of thousands of Americans serving. What are you hearing about this contested reporting from the New York Times that President Obama is suddenly considering ending the war faster and ending it with a zero troop option? No residual force left? RATHER: When you see clearly that this option has always been around, the so-called zero option, which is to say at the end of 2014, we`re out of there, period. This is basically what we did in Iraq, but people tend to forget that we had a deal -- we thought we had a deal in Iraq for a long- standing security arrangement in Iraq, where U.S. troops would stay on. It fell apart at the last minute and we went out. My own personal opinion is, that I don`t think this is a realistic option for President Obama at the present time, and I think he knows it. I believe what the administration is trying to do, is say to President Karzai in Iraq (sic), listen, you have to stop dumping all over the United States and criticizing the United States. You have to get real about what we can and should do post 2014. Now, what the military needs, and they`ll tell you in a second. First of all, if we`re to leave some troops there, if there isn`t to be a zero option, which I don`t think is going to happen. Sometimes I`m wrong about these things, but I don`t think it`s going to happen. The military says for whatever numbers of troops you leave, what will be the strategy, what is the mission? MADDOW: Why are they there? RATHER: Why will they be there? And once that is made, and that is a decision at the end that only the president can make, once you make that decision, then comes how many troops do we need to carry out that strategy? Some say you could leave as few as 7,500. Others say 15,000, some say 20,000. I think the military at the moment is centered around the figure of 13,000 to 14,000 troops. But they keep emphasizing, tell us what you want those troops to do after 2014, and then tell us what the number is, and they need that decision immediately. They needed it yesterday. They`re a little reluctant to say so publicly. But that`s where the military is on this. And the number of diplomats of all persuasions, same-- MADDOW: And the political decision has to be made so that strategic decision can follow. Dan Rather. RATHER: Karzai has turned out to be something of a disaster, and I think the Obama administration is sorry they supported him for reelection in 2009. MADDOW: Well, whether he`s going to stay on whether he`s going to be turfed out, any agreement that he makes about keeping troops on is going to be hard to believe in for the long run, which is why I think the zero option is more viable. Maybe -- it`s a more viable option than you do -- but we all have to watch and see. Dan Rather, anchor and managing editor of "Dan Rather Reports," which is on Access TV. Dan, it`s always a real pleasure to have you, thank you. RATHER: My pleasure. MADDOW: Thank you. All right, something I`ve been working on all day today that has nothing to do with the $34 million headquarters that nobody will work in or with Bob McDonnell is coming up next. It`s chart imitates life, hold on. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: If you squint just enough, the fight over in North Carolina about the Republican plan there to shut down the state`s abortion clinics, it looks a lot like many of the other fights going on in Texas and Ohio and Indiana and all these many other states that are moving on Republican legislation to restrict access to abortion right now. But there`s one difference in North Carolina that makes the fight there unlike the fight in the other states. The one not so slight difference in North Carolina is that the Republican governor of that state made a campaign promise last fall that he would not sign any new abortion restrictions into law if he were elected governor. And he was elected governor. And we all know how campaign promises go once you`re elected, but that is what he promised. And as this debate continues to heat up and continues to escalate in North Carolina, Governor Pat McCrory`s pledge has been a really unique question mark in this particular Republican fight, will he or won`t he? After much wondering about whether or not the governor really meant that promise when he made it, early today Governor MrCrory put out a statement, saying he will veto what his fellow Republicans have been trying to race through the legislature. Quote, "Unless significant changes and clarifications are made addressing our concerns, Governor Pat McCrory will veto the existing bill," period. So there you go. Settled. Done. Not going to happen. Not exactly. Later today, just hours after Governor McCrory threatened to veto the abortion bill, the Republicans in the legislature adapted. What they did is they took a bill that had been about motorcycle safety and decided to turn it into a new abortion bill. They didn`t tweak the motorcycle safety aspects of this bill; they tweaked it with just enough anti-abortion changes to address the governor`s stated concerns, leaving most of the other anti-abortion provisions in the bill intact. These adjustments using the motorcycle bill, they happened so fast this morning, that the House Judiciary Committee set to vote on the motorcycle bill was only made aware that it was now an abortion bill three minutes before they convened to vote. Democratic State Representative Joe Sam Quinn (ph) tweeted at 10:26 a.m., quote, "New abortion bill being heard on the committee I am on. The public didn`t know. I didn`t even know." The committee did approve the motorcycle/abortion bill in a party line vote, 10/5. Now it has to go to the full House, where it can go for a vote tomorrow. And so now the question mark is back. Will Governor Pat McCrory still veto this wolf in sheeps` clothing of a bill that looks like a motorcycle bill but is really the anti-abortion bill? Will the Republicans figure out a way to somehow seem to address his concerns but still jam new abortion restrictions through? We still do not know, but in North Carolina, a state where it looked like a foregone conclusion that Republicans would be able to rush through his stealth attack abortion ban, that they would shut down access to clinics in most of the state, things have at least slowed down for the time being. But they are still moving and they are still uncertain. North Carolina is proving to be a weird one. Watch this space. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Chart imitates life. At the end of this one, you can take a picture of your TV screen, cut it out and tape it up on your refrigerator, or get a magnet and stick it up there indefinitely. Ready? Chart imitates life. Here is what the Republicans have done in government since the election in November. The great state of Texas has 42 facilities that provide abortions, among other women`s health needs across the state. Today, the Republicans in the Texas assembly voted again on legislation that is expected to close 37 of those 42 clinics. The bill now moves to the Senate, where the Republicans have the numbers to pass it there, too, and Republican Governor Rick Perry is eager to sign it, so under Republican governance this year, it looks like the number of places where Texas women can get an abortion will drop from 42 to 5. That is Texas. In Wisconsin, there are currently four facilities that provide abortions, among other women`s health needs, across the state. On this past Friday, after a long holiday weekend, Republican Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin signed into law the bill that Republicans passed through the legislature there that is expected to close two of those four facilities. So under Republican governance this year, it looks like the number of places where Wisconsin women can get an abortion will drop from four to two. That`s Wisconsin. In Mississippi, there is only one facility in the whole state that provides abortion, among other women`s health needs, just one place. Last year, the Republican governor there, Phil Bryant, signed into law legislation passed by the Republicans in the legislature, that would close that last remaining facility in the state. So under Republican governance in Mississippi, it looks like the number of places where the women of Mississippi can get an abortion will drop from one to none at all. There will be nowhere in Mississippi where a woman can go for an abortion. That is Mississippi. Same story in North Dakota. There was only one facility in the far eastern part of the state that provides abortions in the state. In March, Republican lawmakers passed a law designed to force that one remaining clinic to be closed. So under Republican governance in North Dakota this year, the number of places where women in the state can get an abortion will drop from one to zero. In North Dakota, there will be zero facilities providing abortions. That is North Dakota. Alabama. Alabama has five facilities that provide abortions, among other women`s health needs, across the state. In April, the Republican governor of Alabama signed a bill that would close three of those five facilities. So under Republican governance this year, it looks like the number of places where women in Alabama can get an abortion will drop from five to two. In Virginia, there were 20 facilities that provide abortions, among other women`s health needs, across the state. In April, after threats from the attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli, the state board of health voted to rubber-stamp a law passed by the Republican-controlled legislature that is designed to close 16 of those 20 facilities. So under Republican governance in Virginia, it looks like the number of places where women in Virginia can get an abortion will drop from 20 to four. That`s Virginia. In Ohio, there were 12 facilities that provide abortions, among other women`s health needs, across the state, but Republican lawmakers there passed a law to close four of those 12 remaining facilities, so under Republican governance this year, it looks like the number of places where Ohio women can get an abortion will drop from 12 to eight. That`s Ohio. In North Carolina, there are currently 16 facilities that provide abortions, among other women`s health needs, across the state. Because of what the state has been going through in the state legislature in the last couple of weeks, just today, Republicans sneaking abortion restriction language into a motorcycle safety bill. Because of that maneuvering in the North Carolina state legislature, 15 of the 16 clinics in the state are now in danger of closing. So under Republican governance this year, it looks like the number of places where women in North Carolina can get an abortion may drop from 16 to one. That`s just North Carolina. We have been covering this state by state, as this has been happening this year. First in Mississippi, then in North Dakota, then in Virginia, and now almost everywhere where Republicans have control. But if you stop looking at it per individual states, it is a pretty dramatic thing that is happening to American women right now. If instead of covering it just state by state, you put it all on the same map, look at what Republicans have set in motion just since the November elections. This shows the current number of clinics where an American woman can access abortion now, in states where Republicans are in charge and they`ve decided to go after that right. This is before the Republican Party`s blitz to shut down clinics this year. And this is after. We have been covering this state by state, but we never before looked at the overall impact. This is what Republican governors and Republican legislators have done across the country. All of these trap laws that use targeted state regulations to shut down clinics, this is the impact. Don`t let anybody tell you -- right, look at that -- don`t let anybody tell you that governing doesn`t matter. Where Republicans have taken the reins of state power across the country, they have used it single-mindedly to shut down women`s health clinics (inaudible), just since the last election. And it is not like we didn`t have a national fight about this issue in that election. I mean, for their national ticket in 2012, the Republicans picked an anti-abortion hard-liner ticket, a vice presidential contender who said he would even force rape victims to bear a rapist`s child against their will. And a presidential contender who, for his part, pledged frequently, to end Planned Parenthood. He said he would cut off federal funding for Planned Parenthood, he would end it. He said he would overturn Roe versus Wade. That is what he hoped for. The Democrats responded to the Republican`s initiatives on that front by stepping up their support for women`s rights. President Obama addressing Planned Parenthood directly. Democrats running ads up and down the ticket, not just at the presidential level, but throughout the country in Republican-Democratic general election races all over the country, saying that Democrats will be the ones to defend women`s rights and ability to decide themselves on their own pregnancies without the government. Democrats warning across the country that a vote for Republicans would be a vote to ban abortion in this country. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ANDERSON COOPER, CNN: If Roe v Wade were overturned, Congress passed a federal ban on all abortions, and it came to your desk, would you sign it? Yes or no. MITT ROMNEY, FORMER GOVERNOR OF MASSACHUSETTS: Let me say it, I would be delighted to sign that bill. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Banning all abortions? ROMNEY: I would be delighted to sign that bill. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Trying to mislead us. That is wrong. But ban all abortions? Only if you vote for him. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: And it turns out even if you don`t vote for him. Because, you know, in the last election, in November 2012, which was not that long ago, Mitt Romney lost in a landslide. Republicans lost the last election nationally really badly. They lost the White House really badly. They lost seats in the Senate, they lost seats in the House. Nationally in the last election, Republicans lost, and Democrats won. But national is not everything. And if Republicans are in control in your state, this is what they have decided to do with state governance now. Since that election, that is what they have decided state governance is for now. If you live where the Republican Party is in control, right now, this is your life. I know it is not a Beltway story, doesn`t feel like a national story because nobody adds up what happens in the individual states to see how it affects American women, to see how it affects American rights in an aggregate sense. That is not the way we do Beltway reporting in this country, but this is a national story that is significant in terms of the way it`s going to affect women`s health, women`s lives, and American families for generations to come. This is a national story. That does it for us tonight. We`ll see you again tomorrow night. Now it is time for "THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL." Have a good one, thanks for being with us. THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END