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The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 09/18/13

Guests: Amy Klobuchar, Miriam Rotkin-Ellman

RACHEL MADDOW, HOST: And thanks to you at home for staying with us this hour. There was an unexpected announcement today from the Federal Reserve that the Fed was not going to dial back on its efforts to help the economy. The Feds said today they would continue their own version of an economic stimulus for the country as best they can. News of that surprised decision today led to -- look at this -- led to a huge rally on Wall Street. You can see the before and after very clearly there. The S&P 500 hit a new record high today. The Dow went through the roof today. Happy days, right? If you own stocks better go catch them. They have taken off running again. And you know, they basically have run all year, stocks up by 20 percent overall. Happy days on Wall Street -- particularly today where they just put an exclamation point on the dollar sign today. Don`t get too excited, though. Because in a week or two we`re about to throw down the tire-popping speed strip in front of the racing economy, because on purpose, we`re going to shut down the federal government. And maybe default on the national debt for fun -- for fun and for profit. This is one of the weirdest and most entertaining hallmarks of this era in conservative politics in our country. It is the scam part of conservative politics. And usually, the scam part of conservative politics is just funny and sometimes a little sad and exploitative. But right now, it is why we are going to shut down the federal government for no good reason and why we are maybe going to default on the debt. We have seen how this works in sharp relief for the past few years now. Exhibit A, back in 2010, the politician Mike Huckabee needed a job. He used to be governor of Arkansas. He tried to be president of the United States. Those things were over or they didn`t work out. So, instead, he created for himself a new job, the job of Obamacare repealer-in-chief. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MIKE HUCKABEE, FORMER ARKANSAS GOVERNOR: It`s one thing to have to take our medicine when we`re kids. But American voters are grownups. We expect and demand to be treated like it, and we weren`t. Well, now, we`ll do our spanking on the Congress and show them that we still rule in this country. That`s the way it`s supposed to be and the way it will be when we get this petition signed. ANNOUNCER: Call right now to sign the petition, or go online before serious damage is done to our health care system and our economy. We must leave Washington no options. HUCKABEE: We can do something about it. Join me in the most massive petition drive the nation has ever seen and help us repeal it now. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Do our spanking on the Congress. Repeal Obamacare. Join the most massive petition drive the nation has ever seen. And by all of that, we mean send Mike Huckabee a check. Hit that giant button at the bottom of the screen, help fund the battle. Preferably at the $2,500 level, which is also known as "The Huckabee Special." Act now, operators are standing by. Seriously, operators are standing by. Mike Huckabee wants you to call this number, the number right there on your screen so he can repeal Obamacare. I was watching the Mike Huckabee "repeal Obama care ads" today. And I thought, sitting there on my desk, you know what, I`m going to call, OK, dialing. Here`s what happens when you call. (BEGIN AUDIO CLIP) (RING) OPERATOR: To ensure proper handling, this call may be recorded. RICHARD SIMMONS: Hi, this is Richard Simmons. Thank you for calling to order Project Hope. I`ve taken everything I`ve learned over my 38-year career and packaged it into one 90-day program that will change your body and it will change your life. You can leave your living room motivating you every step of the way. It`s time to get off that couch and get the body you have always dreamed of. Don`t you think you`re worth it? (END AUDIO CLIP) MADDOW: Yes, you call Mike Huckabee`s repeal Obamacare number and what you get is Richard Simmons. You call Mike Huckabee to repeal Obamacare and you get the astonishing hair guy with the glittering exercise suits who is ready to give you the body you have always dreamed of. Mike Huckabee has been working this scammy anti-Obamacare thing for so long that the infomercial gods have recycled his toll free number and given it to Richard Simmons, who is still thin and lithe after all of these years. And you know what? And I am quite sure that jumping around with Richard Simmons will at least burn a calorie or two, but how exactly sending Mike Huckabee a check is going to lead to the end of Obamacare? That part does not compute. But that is what Mike Huckabee is promising, send me money and I will take care of this whole Obamacare thing -- even though there is no conceivable connection between Mike Huckabee getting your money and that outcome. This is a standard con. You find people who have fears or strong desires, particularly if those fears and desires are poorly informed and very visceral, and then you capitalize on those fears and desires, you capitals on them literally, by getting those folks to send you their capital, to send you some of their money, because you tricked them into thinking you will take care of it, that you`re going to get it done. But, you know, in this case, this is not just some run of the mill con man. Mike Huckabee is a very specific kind of con man. He came in second to John McCain in 2008, in the nominating race for president of the United States. The guy who came in second last time in the Republican Party, the guy who came in second to Mitt Romney in that race, he`s also now got the same kind of gig -- just set up a Web site and then email list, and go. Since he finished as the runner up in the 2012 Republican presidential primary, Rick Santorum has kept close tabs on his great big donate button, as well. Here you can -- see it at the bottom there? Donate today. Rick Santorum appeal, this one is against a U.N. treaty on the rights of disabled people. How will sending money to Rick Santorum stop that U.N. treaty? No idea. But hey, send some money. Here is a big donate button as well on a Rick Santorum pledge to keep the gay people from getting married in this country, because with your most generous contribution to our campaign, he can urge the Supreme Court to rule his way. Donate now, or else, the apocalypse. This leveraging of political fear and rage and not knowing any better into personal financial gain, this has been around since the first huckster kicked over a soap box and stood on top of it yelling about the end of the world and his snake oil that could save you, right? This is a phenomenon that is always without beginning. But it also appears to have no end. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) NARRATOR: Join hundreds of thousands of Americans who simply want the truth. As a thank you for being part of this petition drive, you will receive this specially created "got a birth certificate" bumper sticker. Also, you can help the United States Justice Foundation in their efforts to force President Obama to produce his birth certificate by making a gift of $30, that will enable us to send a fax on your behalf to all 50 state attorney generals, U.S. attorney General Eric Holder, demanding they force President Obama to supply his official state of Hawaii birth certificate. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: A fax? Really? You send us $30 dollars and by fax, we`ll get President Obama the unmade president of the United States. That, I`m sure, very profitable late night profitable infomercial was the product of a man called named Gary Kreep. I`m not calling him a creep. His last name is Kreep. He has now parlayed his birther, huckster, fax everybody in sight mini strip mall empire into an actual role in government. Last year, it was Gary Kreep who got himself elected as a San Diego county judge. He`s an actual judge now. You can make something of yourself in a racket like this. You can make yourself famous, and you might just get rich while you`re trying. Just the other day, the folks at the way out there World Net Daily Web site, they opened an impeachment online super store. I think it was first spotted by the folks at Talking Points Memo. In the new World Net Daily impeachment super store, you can buy books on impeaching President Obama and bumper stickers on impeaching him. You can buy a bumper sticker telling everybody to honk for impeachment or turn their car lights on for impeachment. You can buy an impeach Obama magnetic easy off adhesive bumper sticker that peels right off. Quote, "Do not be afraid to assert your opinion" with your bumper sticker that peels right off. None of that is going to get President Obama impeached. Not the books, not the stick-on bumper stickers, not the magnetic ones either. But that`s how that works in the scam sector of the conservative movement. Find a fear, preferably one that doesn`t make sense, find a visceral desire, say that you will do something about it. And because people don`t know quite what they`re afraid of and they have this desire, they might just believe you. So convince them that you can fix it for them, put a donation button next to your pitch and voila. And now, it is happening again. This is the Web site for FreedomWorks, "End Obamacare" with your generous donations. Same deal at the Senate Conservatives Fund, do not fund Obamacare. Instead, fund us. Hit the donate button. The National Liberty Federation is standing by to defund Obamacare as soon as you send them your money. Over at Heritage Action for America, the Jim DeMint thing, quote, "you - you can ensure that Obamacare is defunded. Find out how." Hint. Donate today. The scam end of conservative politics has been running this racket for long enough, and in a way that is sort of repetitive enough, that it is becoming obvious when they`re doing it -- so much so that it`s making other parts of the right a little uncomfortable. The conservative magazine "The National Review" noted this week that, quote, "business has boomed on the right since the push to defund Obamacare caught on." "The Daily Beast" flat out named the booming business on the right as a swindle. But diagnosing this swindle, this sort of profit-driven ruse is not the same thing as making it go away. This is what we are coping with now as a nation. I mean, the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, right, passed Congress, signed into law by the president, survived challenge at the Supreme Court, it was ruled constitutional. It has already resulted in expanded Medicaid in 20 states. The number of uninsured Americans is already dropping. The exchanges where people can buy health care coverage, those are set to open at the end of the month. The ads for the new state-based exchanges are running in states all across the country. Premiums for health insurance that people are going to be able to buy through the exchanges premium rates are being released, turns out premiums are turning out in lots of cases to be lower than what is expected. Health reform is under way. It is happening, no matter what. But because there is still the possibility of eking just a few more dollars out of the most gullible conservative patsies out there, who still think that Mike Huckabee`s patsies are going to change American, because there`s still a possibility of eking a few more bucks out of enough patsies in this country who are not savvy enough to realize them sending money to the Heritage Foundation is not going to make it likely that any of this is going to happen, because of that, because there`s money to be made, we are apparently going to shut down the government. Let`s see what it does to the economy? We might even default on our national debt. We have a pretty good idea what that would do to the national economy, or at least going to threaten to do both of those things. There`s going to be a vote in the House of Representatives on Friday, that will pass presumably because it is Republican-controlled. And that vote will put us on track for a government shutdown. And because we can see it happening and because it is the same pattern over and over again in this era of conservatism, we know why this is happening. It is happening because of the racket. It is happening because people are making money off of it. We know why it is happening. That question is answered. The unanswered question is how we`re going to handle the consequences. Joining us now is Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota. Today, she convened a hearing to consider what the direct costs would be of going through with this shutdown and this default on the national debt. Senator Klobuchar, thank you very much for your time tonight. SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D), MINNESOTA: Well, thank you, Rachel. You did a great job there. In my old job as a prosecutor, I went after scams. And so, this is my job to day, to explain why this is such a scam, and why they are literally playing with the lives of the American people. As you noted at the beginning, we are in a fragile state right now. We have had some good news in many fronts. Unemployment is down to 7.3 percent, real estate market is turning around, stock market is good. And to just gamble that all away for attaching what is really a partisan poison pill to defund the affordable healthcare bill, which as you pointed out is starting to help people, the exchanges are going up, makes absolutely no sense. And we had actually two Republican economists that testified today, who talked about how you can`t let that debt ceiling lapse. So, you can`t just shut down the government. The consequences are enormous -- 57 million American`s Social Security could be at risk, 3 million veterans benefits could be at risk. Look at what happened in 2011 -- 2011, when they went to the end of the debt ceiling, the Dow plummeted 2,000 points, and Americans because of that credit downgrade had to pay about a billion extra in interest costs. That`s what we`re talking about -- real money for real families hurting their actual jobs. And it makes no sense when we`re on this cusp of economic recovery. MADDOW: Part of the reason that I wanted to talk about this committee hearing today was when I saw the guest lists with all of those Republican economists, Republican people who have been attached to the George W. Bush administration, advisers to the John McCain campaign, is this one of those cases where there are elements of the right, of the other side who were saying that a debt default or a shutdown would actually be a good thing. We saw some arguments like that for example around the sequester, where parts of the right started to say, oh, we actually think it would be good for the country to do that. Is that the case here, or does everybody admit this would be a terrible thing for the country? KLOBUCHAR: Actually, one of the witnesses who`s called by the other side said, you know, we could look at doing this, was making some arguments some arguments that might not be that bad. But the two witnesses that I had called, one, the former McCain adviser, Mark Zandi, and then the other former Bush adviser, both said that this would wreak havoc on the country`s economy, wreck on businesses, really wreak havoc on regular people out there. So, I think it was interesting we had these four Republican witnesses. It clearly shows the divide in their own party, but I can tell you one thing, Rachel, and that is that Democrats are united, as is the press, on allowing the Affordable Health Care Act to go forward with the benefits which you have pointed out. And then, also the irony of this whole thing is that of the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has shown that that actually, the Affordable Care Act in the long term brings the debt down. So, to repeal it, they actually added an extra $100 billion to the debt. It makes absolutely no sense. And what do I think we should be doing? We should get through this debt ceiling. We should get through continuing to allow the government to go on. And then we should work on a long-term government budget solution that replaces sequestration with a balanced approach, which in the Senate, there are Democrats and Republicans that would like to talk about that. And can I just add two more things? How about the immigration bill? MADDOW: Yes. KLOBUCHAR: Pass that over in the House. It would save over $160 billion in the next 10 years. That`s a debt reduction. MADDOW: In terms of how this is resolved, do you actually feel hopeful that we`ll solve the shutdown first, and then the debacle thereafter? Or do you feel like this is something we`re heading towards long-term? KLOBUCHAR: Well, I am hopeful because you hear a number of Republican voices in the Senate -- John McCain says that linking this defunding and delay of Obamacare to the debt ceiling issue is what he calls the height of foolishness. Other Republican senators have talked about it is a dumb thing to do, publicly. And so, I think you`ll have a number of Republicans that don`t want to go off that cliff. That understand we have some real opportunities here to move forward on good legislation. So, that`s what gives me hope, as well as the unity that we have in our own party. And it`s based what we`ve seen in the history, what we`ve seen in the past, what we know doesn`t work for the country. MADDOW: Senator Amy Klobuchar, senior senator from Minnesota, thank you for being with us tonight. It`s nice to see you. KLOBUCHAR: Thank you, Rachel. MADDOW: Thanks. One thing to watch here as this proceeds, one of things that happened late this afternoon is that a big fight broke out between House Republican conservatives and Senate Republican conservatives. Republicans, conservatives on both sides sniping at each other between the two different houses of Congress, both accusing each other of being sellouts, and fighting a fake fight here. That is a very rare fight to have within the Republican conference. They have a lot of divide on this issue. Democrats do all seem like they`re on one side of it. Watching that Republican split is going to be fascinating over the next couple of days and it`s probably going to make all the difference as to how this resolves. That`s what to watch. We`ll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Here is something to keep an eye on in the upcoming week. Yesterday, here in New York, the U.N. General Assembly kicked off. It happens every year in September. It`s the start of two high-level talks at the U.N. In terms of big speeches and occasions for news, next Tuesday is likely to be a very big day. President Obama is going to address the U.N. that day very early. It`s like the second speech of the day I think. But then later in the day, there`s going to be a speech for the president of Iran. And if it is September and it is New York and it is the U.N. General Assembly, that speech from Iran is usually the thing that has everybody on the edge of their seats, because usually that speech is nuts. Sometimes it is threatening. And occasionally in recent years, it also included denying the Holocaust. But there`s reason to think, or at least hope that this time, everybody is not going to be getting up and protest and walking out during the speech from the president of Iran this year, because this year, Iran has a new president. It`s no longer the Holocaust-denying, 9/11 was an inside job, pint-sized podium pounder, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad anymore. This year, it will be a new president of Iran who is a very different guy. We don`t know exactly how much the new President Rouhani is going to either promise or deliver in terms of real change in his country, real moderation. But there have been some public indications that that`s the direction he wants to head, maybe towards moderation on key issues like Iran`s nuclear program, maybe toward less isolation of both the Iranian government and the Iranian people. The new president, for example, has a new Twitter account. Today, he tweeted this picture from his landmark interview with NBC`s Ann Curry, which aired on "NBC Nightly News" tonight -- his first interview with a U.S. news outlet since becoming Iran`s president. Also this week, Iranians were surprised to find out that for a day, at least, they had direct unrestricted access to Facebook and Twitter. Those sites have been blocked in Iran since the big protests against the government there in 2009. But for one day this week, they inexplicably came back. Was that a test? A test balloon? We don`t know yet. But it did happen. And then today, without warning the Iranian government released 11 political prisoners, all prominent political prisoners, all freed without warning on the eve of the Iranian president making his trip here to New York for the U.N. General Assembly. Now, that may all be essentially symbolic, they may all be trying to design it to make the new Iranian government seem more moderate and maybe they don`t really mean it. But signs are all going in that direction of moderation. And so, naturally, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina today decided that now would be the perfect time to start drawing up American plans to bomb Iran. Why not? Senator Graham has announced he has started work this week on a resolution to authorize the use of U.S. military force against Iran, because hey, sure, why not? It`s Wednesday. And he is Lindsey Graham. You think politics at the U.N. are weird? We are global competitors when it comes to weirdness. We are right up there with the best of them. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Cheating is terrible. It should never be condoned. Cheating is also occasionally amazing, amazing enough that it could be reenacting it live on television. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: The Dolphins player is running, running, running, in slow-mo now. And then what happens? It`s a coach from the other team sticking out his knee and tripping the nice man who plays for the Dolphins who was portrayed here by Jameel Smith (ph). See that, see, the telestrator? Yes, see? The Dolphin is running along the side line, which he is allowed to do. And here is the Jet`s strength coach, with a huge dose of weak-sauce sticking his knee out to trip an opposing player, very bad form. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: See, we`re not allowed to show the actual tape from the NFL so we reenacted it. We reenacted to the time when the coach came off the side line of an NFL game to trip an opposing player. Totally cheating. Today, we have another edition of amazing cheating in sports. But this time, there is tape that we`re allowed to show. And so far, this tape has been the brightest spot in my day, and maybe lots of days before that. That`s coming up. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST OF "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHHOW": Since the rain has finally stopped in Colorado and the flood waters have started to recede, the state and country are finally starting to get a sense of the toll of that disaster has taken. Colorado flooding has known to have claimed six lives so far. The number of people unaccounted for now stands at 306. And, that is a very high number, but it actually qualifies as improved to news. Yesterday it was closer to 600 people, whose whereabouts were unknown. The day before that, it was more than 1200 people. Being over 300, that number is still high but at least it is moving in the right direction. At least 1700 homes have been destroyed in Colorado. At least 30 bridges were destroyed, 20 more were damaged. They are thinking it is going to be over $100 million worth of damage just the bridges in the state, $2 billion worth of damage to property overall. But, as the water starts to recede, there is one other area of concern on the ground that is starting to get some national attention. And, it is the thousands of Colorado oil and gas wells that are under water or that have been under water in these floods. One Colorado anti- fracking activist has been documenting flooded drill sites in Boulder County and Weld County. He says a lot of tanks you can see in these areas that are at odd angles are overturned on the floodwater. Those tanks hold the waste material from the fracking process. In Weld County where there are more than 20,000 active wells. You can see here are ruptured gas lines, shooting up from under the flood waters. That sent the authorities scrambling to evacuate local residence using boats and helicopters. This picture appeared up yesterday on Weld County`s Facebook page, destruction in and around an oil and gas tank. Underneath it, it says fortunately it is shut off. How about the other thousands of other similar sites across the county and across the state? The local CBS affiliate in Denver asked the head of the Colorado oil and gas association, the trade group there, just that question. (Begin Video Clip) UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: What was in those tanks? What is now in the waters that are flowing down stream? TISHA SCHULLER, HEAD OF COLORADO OIL AND GAS ASSOCIATION: The tanks that we know of were empty. And, the tanks that are askew may have things like small amounts of condensate, which is a flow back water. UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: Is it possible that some of the chemicals used in fracking are going to end up being in the water or down stream? SCHULLER: We hope that our emergency response plans and the really heroic efforts of the oil and gas industry are preventing any releases from affecting, but we`re not going to know what is happening until the water recede. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: We hope it works out. We don`t know. We would like you to thank you to think about us as heroes and we`ll check on everything once the waters recede. Well, today, the waters are receding. What is the extent of the damage? And, was the industry ready for this? And, what needs to be done now to account for the affect of all the flooding now that it has happened? The third largest oil and gas company in Colorado today already has announced that had 150 wells that it shut down due to the flooding are back up and running now already. Joining us now is Miriam Rotkin-Ellman. She is a senior scientist with the National Resources -- Natural Resources Defense Counsel. Thank you very much for being with us tonight. MIRIAM ROTKIN-ELLMAN, NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNSEL SENIOR SCIENTIST: Thank you so much for having me. MADDOW: So, the industry in Colorado says they are unsure what kind of impact this flooding is going to have on their facilities in Colorado. They hope that chemicals have not spilled. When do you think we`ll have a sense of the magnitude of potential damage or environmental impact here? ROTKIN-ELLMAN: Well, it is going to be hard to say, you know, in days. But as the flood waters recede, we`re going to start seeing whether or not some of these facilities were compromised. From my research in other industrial facilities after major flood events, there is a real worry of widespread contamination. MADDOW: When -- I know one of the things that you said studied was the environmental impact of hurricane Katrina on New Orleans, the aftermath of the disaster in terms of contamination. Were there lessons from that disaster that could possibly help the people of Colorado as they are trying to deal with the aftermath of this flood? ROTKIN-ELLMAN: Yes. You know, I think there are two really two important lessons. The first is good science, good and comprehensive evaluation of the threats. That means testing of the waters. That means ultimately testing the sediment that is going to deposit out of the flood waters when the flood waters recede. And, then also really strong and transparent communication that brings that data to the community and the public health officials that need it most. MADDOW: In terms of communications, we actually, just in the last few minutes, just got a report from reuters first, but now confirmed by some other sources that there is a damaged oil tank on Colorado, South Platte River that has spilled 125 barrels of oil into the South Platte. In terms of the context here, overall, it is hard to know how big that it is compared to other potential contamination. But, it is that a large, a significance spill for that river? ROTKIN-ELLMAN: It is certainly a concern if you`re down stream from that spill. And, that is exactly the type of contamination concern that we have when flood waters go through these industrial sites. The containment unit that is supposed to keep all those -- that whole slew of toxic chemicals and are undermine by these flood waters and released those contaminates out into the environment, where they can go into drinking waters. They can end up in communities and they can ultimately also end up settling out into a sediment. MADDOW: Ahead of this flooding, one of the things about flooding like this is that you can see it coming, that we knew that there was going to be a large storm system and knew that there was a potential for flooding in some scale if not on a giant scale that we saw in Colorado. Should the industries have done -- the oil and gas industries have done things that they didn`t do? Were there ways to prepare better for a flood event like this one, than what we know they did in this case? ROTKIN-ELLMAN: It is going to be really key in the aftermath of the storm that that question is evaluated. We`re going to need to know if those sites were located properly. If they responded properly in terms of shutting them down and containing all the contaminates within -- you know, so that they wouldn`t spread from the site. And, whether or not there were any additional steps that shouldn`t been taken to prevent this type of contamination. MADDOW: Miriam Rotkin-Ellman, Senior Scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council, thanks for helping us understand this. I appreciate your expertise here tonight. Thanks. ROTKIN-ELLMAN: Thank you so much. MADDOW: All right. Still ahead, the cheating in sports tape that honestly made my day, even though it is cheating. And, politics taking a turn for the weird in Virginia. Please stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: OK. We have got one more significant story coming up on tonight`s show, about the election in Virginia taking a very weird turn in the last 24 hours. That is still ahead on the show tonight. But, before we get to that real story, I think it is worth just acknowledging that this has been one of those weeks of pretty much unrelentingly and compoundingly terrible news, right? Once again, we are in a dark time in the news. And, sometimes when that happens, you just need a little bright spot, right? And, my little bright spot is this guy. See, we have circled him here. We have spot- shadowed him here. And, the important thing to know here is that this guy is not a player on either of these soccer teams that are playing in this game. The teams who are playing against each other in this game are these guys in the white uniforms, versus these guys in the black and white stripes. See how the guy we circled is wearing a totally different outfit than either of the two teams. Right, that is because he is not a player. He is not an either team. He is a trainer who works for the team in white. The team in white is the team that is on defense here. And, they are about to have a goal scored on them and then watch what happens. (VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Hold on a second, wait! What just happened there is the guy who is a trainer for the team jumped in off the side lines and stopped the goal. He is not the goalie. He is not a player. He is a trainer. He was on the sideline and he jumped in and stopped the goal. Highly illegal! Do you want to know what happened to him after that? Of course you do. And, I will show you that in just a second, because it is amazing. But, if this incident has some resident, some familiarity to you. It may be because this same thing famously has happened before here in our country, in our version of football. Famously in the 1954 Cotton Bowl, which was then one of the biggest football games in the country. That year it was Rice University playing Alabama. And, in the second quarter, a Rice player named Dicky Moegle took a handoff and broke free. Open field ahead of him. He is on his way to running free, 95-yard touchdown when an Alabama player named Tommy Lewis, who was not in the game, jumped out from the side line and nailed Dicky Moegle. He came off the sidelines when he was not playing and tackled Dicky Moegle to the ground at the 42-yard line. Highly illegal. Rice was awarded the touchdown and won the game. Tommy Lewis, the guy came off the side lines said, he felt great shame about this for many years after. But, you know, in the moment, that day at the game, Tommy Lewis got a standing ovation for what he did, the tackler did, the cheater. Because according to a Dallas Morning News Managing Editor, who was there at the game at the time, the crowd basically could tell, "Yeah, he cheated but you got to love a guy who cares enough to cheat that blatantly because he just cares so much he cannot help himself. In 1954, in the United States, the guy who could not help himself, got a standing ovation just for caring that much even though, blatant cheating. In 2013, in Brazil, what does the Brazilian trainer get when he jumped into the game and cheats because he cares so much? What does he get in Brazil? Watch. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW (voice-over): Stop it, wait a second, that guy is not a player. Hold on, what happens? Look out. Nobody is applauding. Oh, oh. Chase scene. No standing ovation. Oh, God -- there he goes. OK -- Yes. (END VIDEO CLIP) Today, because of what that guy did, his soccer team was kicked out of the playoffs. But, obviously, did you care about that team`s playoff chances anyway? No, no. Should any of us condone the abject cheating that cost the teams the playoff chances? No, of course we should not. But, you know what? In a world full of terrible news and apathy, this random guy who could not bear to see his team lose and who could not stop himself from doing something totally illegal to try to help them. You can`t technically be the best new thing in the world because you are a cheater, but I have to tell you, "Dude, you are appreciated." I needed that a lot. All right, we`ll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: I promise you I am not talking about 2016. That is still banned on this show. See, that is our whiteboard in our office. It has been banned since last November. So, this is not about 2016. But, it still has to be noted that there is something weird going on with Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida, who has been keeping a hand in, in national politics. Recently, trying to seem viable as a national republican contender, just in case America ever decides that we want yet another one of them to be president. Since the second President Bush left the White House a few years ago, Jeb Bush has been careful to try to not just stay in the public eye, but to also cultivate and maintain an image as a reasonable sort of republican. He is trying to be seen as a policy-driven guy as oppose to the ideological-driven crazies of the post-Sarah Palin era. He is all sorts of belt-weight credit as a relatively moderate if not centrist guy, who might be essentially the grown up republicans alternative to the wing nuts -- to the other kind of wing nutty republican who keeps running for national office. Jeb Bush gets all sorts of political credit for not being one of these guys for representing a whole different wing, a more reasonable, adult wing of the Republican Party. He gets tons of credit for that. But, that it`s not actually what he is doing with his time. I mean in beltway shorthand, Jeb Bush may be the diametric alternative to Herman Cain. But, in real life, in April, Jeb Bush appeared at a private retreat hosted by Herman Cain. Then a few weeks after that, he did a Ralph Reid gig at Ralph Reid`s Christian Coalition Faith and Freedom event. So, you know, there is Ralph Reid. There is Donald Trump. There is crazy old Allen West, and there is Jeb Bush, who is supposedly this other kind of republican. But, he is at all their events doing all their gigs. Then, later this summer, Jeb Bush did an event for Tea Party Republican Governor of Maine, Paul LePage. The one who said in July that democrats are bending the state over and giving it to them without Vaseline. Paul LePage said the Vaseline thing, which the right got excited about, talking about how they feel sodomized by the leftists. So, Paul LePage says the thing about Vaseline. Then, a few days after that, there is Jeb Bush doing a fund raiser for him. And, then a few days after that, Paul LePage says he wants to fly an airplane into the Portland Press Herald Newspaper Building and blow it up. I don`t know why Jeb Bush gets all this beltway political credit for his distance from these guys on the fringe of his party, because he is right there with them. He keeps doing events with them even the fringiest ones. And, now, this week, por ejemplo, Jeb Bush has hopped into proverbial bed with the Cucc, Ken Cuccinelli , the struggling Tea Party Republican candidate for governor in Virginia. That gubernatorial election of Virginia is just a few weeks from now. Then Ken Cuccinelli is running behind. He has had a long career as a really quite right-wing Tea Party guy in Virginia. But, up until about the past week he had been trying to run his campaign for governor as a more centrist seeming candidate. Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell had done the same thing when he ran successfully for governor in Virginia. But, it hasn`t been working thus far for Ken Cuccinelli. Whether that has to do with ideology or Mr. Cuccinelli`s own entanglement in the Bob McDonnell corruption scandal that has been mushrooming all year long. It is Hard to tell. I should note that Bob McDonnell corruption scandal is due for a new chapter any second now as Bob McDonnell`s legal team was asked to meet again this week with federal prosecutors to talk about whether or not, Governor McDonnell is going to be criminally indicted for helping a Virginia businessman from whom he and his family to tens of thousand of dollars in cash and personal gifts. If governor Bob McDonnell is indicted presumably he would have to resign the governorship and that would elevate to be the new governor -- the lieutenant-governor of Virginia, who is himself a republican but who is very, very anti-Ken Cuccinelli. At this late date, if there was a criminal indictment of Bob McDonnell and therefore a resignation in the governorship that would elevate a centrist republican candidate, who has been widely respected and who cannot stand Cuccinelli to the governor`s seat just days or weeks before Virginia votes on Ken Cuccinelli. So, we are going to know about Bob McDonnell and the federal prosecutors meeting presumably very soon. Reporters are basically watching the back doors of all the lawyers` offices trying to figure out when the indictment decision is going to be made. The "Washington Post" reported late today that the meeting has maybe been put off for this week. But, if so that only pushes it closer to the election heightening the stakes. In the meantime, while everybody waits for that shoe to drop about governor ultrasound -- about Governor Bob McDonnell, Ken Cuccineli in the meantime is busy losing the governor`s race for the Republican Party. It is close like everybody knew it would be, but he is losing. It has been more than two months since Ken Cuccinelli was ahead in any state wide poll in Virginia. The democratic candidate, Terry Micallef, is leading in every pole now. The Rothenberg political report has moved the governor`s race in Virginia from a tossup to leans democratic. So, now to try to shake the race up and change the momentum, Ken Cuccinelli has decided to return to his base to go back to his conservative roots. When he had been trying to seem more moderate, Ken Cuccinelli exerted exerted a lot of energy trying to distance himself from his running mates that are going to be on the ballot with him this fall. The republican`s attorney general candidate is best known for sponsoring a bill in 2009 that would required any woman in Virginia, who had a miscarriage to report it to the police within 24 hours. Think about that for a second. You are pregnant. You suffer a miscarriage. Then within one day of that you have to call the police and tell them you had a miscarriage. So, the police can investigate your miscarriage? So, that`s the republican`s attorney general candidate running with Ken Cuccinelli. The republican`s lieutenant-governor candidate in Virginia is this guy. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: E.W. Jackson, the ultraconservative minister turned politician address a room of less than 12 today, half of which were his staff members. It was his first public news conference since he received a republican nomination for Virginia`s lieutenant- governor possession. He refuted claims that he thinks birth defects are caused by sinful parents and that yoga is the work of the devil. E.W. JACKSON, REPUBLICAN`S LIEUTENANT-GOVERNOR CANDIDATE IN VIRGINIA: I do not believe that birth defects are caused by parents` sin. And, I do not believe that yoga lead to satanism. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: To be clear, now believing that yoga doesn`t lead to satanism. That is an evolution if we all believe in that, that is a new position. Because in E.W. Jackson`s book, the misspelled "Ten Commandments" to an extraordinary life, he in fact says that yoga, "Lets Satan get inside you," quote, "The purpose of meditation is to empty one`s self. Satan is happy to invade the empty vacuum of your soul and possess it. Beware of system of spirituality, which tells you to empty yourself. You will end up filled with something you probably do not want." See every time somebody downward faces their dog, Satan wins another mignon -- hubba hubba So, Ken Cuccinelli, did not want to seem like that kind of guy in his campaign. So, he has been distancing himself from E.W. Jackson -- E.W. Jackson and his other far right running mate, the attorney-general guy. And, they are all going to be on the ticket together as the republican slate this fall. Ken Cuccinelli, up until now, had been trying to distance himself from those guys, but he is not anymore. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) E.W. JACKSON: Would you please greet a man who I have the utmost faith in and honor for. WE are friends. We are working together. Don`t believe the rumors. We`re working together. And, this is our leader, the next governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Ken Cuccinelli. KEN CUCCINELLI: Thank you, thank you very much. It is my job to start the program, to calm you down. It is great to be here with the whole ticket. As E.W. just said we are running togrther, and we are running hard. (END VIDEO CLIP) As E.W. just said we are running together and we are running hard. Ken Cuccinelli then tweeted this picture of himself with his running mates. If you look at the look on Ken Cuccinelli`s face he is frankly looking a little terrified. But, he can`t really afford the luxury of running away from these guys anymore. He can`t really afford to be running away from the republican base anymore. He is losing the race. So, this has been the change intact. He is re-embracing the right, re-embracing these guys he is running with. He has also shaken up his campaign staff. He is put back in charge, some of the old Ken Cuccinelli loyalists from back in his hard right-wing days before he decided to try to sound like a moderate. Yesterday, in Virginia, Ken Cuccinelli held a Tea Party rally where he introduced a rather hardcore right-wing radio host, named Mark Levine. He also brought back one of the guys who nominated him initially for governor at the Republican Party Convention that picked him for the job this past spring. He is a local Republican Party official in Virginia. And, that guy, kicked off Ken Cuccinelli`s Tea Party rally yesterday in Virginia with this joke. This poorly told but rather amazing anti-semitic joke about those darn money-grubbing Jews. Watch, this, this is -- watch this just because it its amazing, but watch specifically for the part where the guy who is holding the camera says, "What the?!" -- this is amazing. Just watch. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JOHN WHITBECK, 10TH DISTRICT CHARIMAN: Well, you know, I`m a Catholic, and one of the things that we -- by the way I`m John Whitbeck, I`m the 10th district chairman. One of the things that we celebrated recently is new Pope. Two new popes in a relatively short time. And when the Pope is elected, the head of the Jewish faith goes to the Vatican and brings a ceremonial piece of paper. It`s very old. It dates back hundreds of years. And, he comes into the Pope`s office and he ceremonially hands the piece of paper to the pope, the new Pope. And, the new Pope ceremonially rejects it. And,t he head of the Jewish faith leaves, and he goes about his business. Well, this time around the Pope said, I got to find out what`s on this piece of paper. So, he actually takes it from the head of the Jewish faith, he opens it and he looks at it and he closes it. And, the Jewish counterpart says, "What was it?" He says, "Well that was the bill from the last supper." CAMERA MAN (off Camera): What the hell?! WHITBECK: Well, on that note, we are waiting for Ken Cuccinelli. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: On that note -- and then Ken Cuccinelli comes. His campaign later distanced himself from those remarks. And, then later that night, Ken Cuccinelli went onto his fund raiser with Jeb Bush. With this hosted by Fred Malek who is the guy from the Nixon administration, who President Nixon assigned to count all the Jews in the labor statistics so they can be sidelined from that important work, because they were Jews. That was the Ken Cuccinelli fund raiser after the rally that started with the money-grubbing Jews joke and that where he met up with the old Mr. moderate Jeb Bush. Tah-dah! Welcome to the today`s Republican Party. It is 2013. I swear I checked my watch before the show. Now, it is time for the Last Word with Lawrence O`Donnell. Have a great night. THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END