IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 07/25/14

Guests: Bernie Sanders, Jen Moreno

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Chris. Thank, man. Have a great weekend. And thanks to you at home for being with us. Happy Friday. So, you thought our American Congress could not be any more embarrassing than it is, right? You thought there`s really no way that our concern Congress could further humble itself in the eyes of the American people more than it already has? You thought we sort of bottomed out, right? You thought that was true, but you were wrong. Oh, my God, were you wrong. This is amazing in all the wrong ways. Meet Republican Congressman Curt Clawson of the great state of Florida. Curt Clawson represents Florida`s 19th district. He`s a Tea Party guy. He won a special election there last month to fill the seat of a former congressman named Trey Radel. You may remember him resigning after being convicted of cocaine possession. So, if you`re the guy who replaced the guy who got kicked out of Congress for cocaine possession, there`s sort of nothing that you can do to be more embarrassing than the coke guy, right? But that shouldn`t stop you from trying and God bless Curt Clawson, he is trying his best after getting sworn in as a member of Congress just late last month, Congressman Clawson landed a plum assignment. He was assigned to the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The foreign affairs committee is a big deal especially if you are a freshman member of Congress. You`re dealing with all sorts of important world issues, you know, arms control, diplomatic relationship with countries around the world. It`s a big deal. Yesterday, Congressman Clawson`s subcommittee held a big hearing on U.S. relations with India. And India is a big and influential country. Our relationship with them is always important. Our relationship with them is particularly important right now because they just elected a whole new government and a whole new prime minister. So, the Foreign Affairs Committee called to testify two top officials of the U.S. government. The guy you see on the right is an official in the U.S. Commerce Department. The woman you see on the left is an official at the U.S. State Department. These are both senior members of the United States government. They are Americans. They work for the U.S. government as senior officials. Let me reiterate that -- senior U.S. officials. Congressman Clawson, take it away. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REP. CURT CLAWSON (R), FLORIDA: I am familiar with your country. I love your country. And I`m hopeful with the new change in regime that the future and the land of promise and the land of opportunity of India can finally become so. And I understand the complications of so many languages and so many cultures and so many histories all rolled up in one. So, just as your capital is welcome here to produce good-paying jobs in the U.S., I`d like our capital to be welcomed there and there to be freedom of capital, so that both sides are on the same territory. And I ask cooperation and commitment and priority from your government in so doing. Can I have that? NISHA BISWAL, U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT: I think your question is to the Indian government, and we certainly share your sentiments and certainly will advocate that on behalf of the U.S. government. CLAWSON: Of course. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Gah. Not a skit. Our actual Congress. Gah. I need a new pen. I`m sorry. Republican Congressman Curt Clawson, everybody. Your tax dollars at work. Amazing. That amazing moment. Humiliating moment, really, flagged today by "Foreign Policy" magazine. See their headline, "Freshman congressman mistakes senior government officials for foreigners." "Foreign Policy" magazine helpfully, quoting, "During the hearing, Congressman Clawson repeatedly touted his deep knowledge of the Indian subcontinent and his favorite Bollywood movies." I love it when you guys do the -- oh my God. How could you possibly be a member of Congress? You thought that it could not be possible for Congress to be more embarrassing than it already is, then along came today. Who knows what tomorrow will bring. Republican Congressman Curt Clawson, thank you for redefining wrong. Wow. The united nations recognizes 193 nations in the world. There are 193 member states in the United Nations. As far as our country goes, we just call it the United States, we don`t treat all of those places equally as countries. The ones recognized by the U.N. I mean, some places we recognize as countries, but we refuse to have formal relations with them, places like Iran or North Korea. We don`t have embassies there. Then, there`s little tiny countries we do recognize as countries but I guess maybe the reasoning is they`re too small to squeeze in an embassy. Places like Dominica and St. Lucia and St. Vincent in the Grenadines, all the little islands and a bunch more, they get all their embassy services in Barbados rather than having a specific U.S. embassy on each one of those lovely islands. So, the overall list of places that are considered to be countries on this earth internationally, that overall list is always a little bit influx around the edges. That`s in part why we have wars. But as far as the United States is concerned, there is a hard and fast count of the number of nations on earth where our government, the U.S. government, maintains an embassy. We have U.S. embassies abroad in 169 countries. And consider this: right now, there is nobody home at a quarter of those embassies around the globe. In 1/4 of the world`s nations where we have an embassy, and therefore we are supposed to have an ambassador at our embassy, we don`t have an ambassador. A quarter of the earth and that`s because our Congress is a disaster. Our Congress, our current Congress, has some sort of inexplicable injury which prohibits them from doing even the basic noncontroversial work of keeping the government going or recognizing American officials sitting in front of them with name tags. Approving ambassadors is not like passing Obamacare or something complicated, right? Approving ambassadors is not the world`s most controversial thing. But this Congress cannot even do that, not this Congress. It`s astonishing. And the problems with this Congress have been building throughout this Congress. This is the least productive Congress in the modern history of the United States. But at this particular moment in the news, with our roaring international crisis headlines, right, it is newly shocking and newly problematic that these countries that aren`t just far-away places, these countries that directly affect the most important things going on in our own country right now, these are places where we`re basically staffing our embassies with temps thanks to Congress. The tens of thousands of kids and young families turning up on the U.S. border, thus creating the biggest domestic news story of the summer, those kids are coming from three specific countries in Central America -- El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. The United States is doing intensive multilayered policies with the countries to try to stop the flow of these kids, try to top them leaving those countries to come to our country. We`re running ad campaigns in those countries. We`re sending cab innocent officers to those three countries. We sent the vice president to two of those countries to go meet with the leaders of those nations. The presidents of those three nations came to the White House today to meet personally with President Obama. But you know what? When anybody from the United States goes to one of those three countries, Guatemala, to try to do this very important work for probably the most important thing going on in the United States right now, there`s no U.S. ambassador there. We have no U.S. ambassador in Guatemala. We just don`t have one. Haven`t gotten around to it. Why bother? It`s just a country sending tens and thousands of its kids to our border. Why would we need somebody there to answer the phone or do America`s work there? If you do not believe that the crisis of unaccompanied Central American kids on our border is the biggest news story facing country right now, if you don`t think that`s the biggest story in the country, it`s probably because you think the biggest news story facing the country right now is Russia, also a reasonable choice, also a place where we do not have an ambassador right now. In Russia, we have been in this incredibly tense, incredibly dramatic standoff for basically six months now over Russia rekindling the idea of a Russian empire, taking over parts of their neighboring countries. The war that Russia has been cooking next door in Ukraine. Last week, of course, resulted in the apparent shoot-down of a passenger jet carrying 300 civilians who had absolutely nothing to do with that war. The U.S. government is now accusing Russia of not just aiding the pro- Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, but of firing artillery rounds across the border from Russia into Ukraine. This stuff between us and Russia right now is off the hook. And it is getting more intense every day. We have no ambassador to Russia because that`s Congress` job. And so, therefore, it is a job that is not done. Anything that Congress is responsible for, we apparently just have to get by without, including having someone in charge of American interests in one quarter of the nations on the earth. And it`s not like Congress is only shirking its responsibility on stuff people don`t care about. Just take the Russia issue. Americans are paying attention and Americans care. The new CNN poll on how Americans view Russia shows that over the course of this really tense period that we`re having with them, over the course of the last five month, the proportion of Americans who view Russia in a favorable light has dropped in five months from 41 percent to 19 percent. That`s a plunge. Americans are horrified at how Russia is behaving. Their favorability rating dropped more than 20 points in just a few months. That`s unheard of. And for a major world power to be viewed by Americans with only a 19 percent approval rating, that is terrible to the point where it is almost shocking. But you know who Americans hate more than we hate Russia? More than we hate Russia, we hate our own Congress. The latest CNN poll puts the Russia approval rating at 19 percent. The latest CNN poll puts the latest Congress approval rating at 14 percent. So, we American citizens are basically in a cold war with the 202 area code. And this Congress, being the most failed Congress of all-time, this Congress that has done less than any other Congress in the modern history of Congress, that fact about them has been true all year long. It`s been evident all year. By rights, this really should be the center of what we talk about when we talk about Washington right now. This is truly historic failure. But right now, this week, that failure is newly horrible and newly consequential in part because the world is on fire and we don`t have ambassadors in places we`re involved in intense and consequential negotiations with, places like Guatemala and Russia where these huge crises that really affect Americans right now. That`s part of it. But the other part of it is we are just wrapping up right now the one month this year in which Congress has actually gone to work. When the Republican Party took over control of the House of Representatives, you may remember that one of the things they did is gave themselves a lot less time at work. They changed the calendar for themselves. They expanded their vacation periods. They said they would work fewer days. The way they move d around the calendar made it so this month that we`re in right now, July, is the only month in this session of Congress so far in which they have actually worked four weeks in a row. It`s exhausting. And so, naturally, now they have to give themselves an entire month off to recover, maybe a little longer. Congress is due to leave at the end of next week for at least a month, and one of the things they are now warning they may not be able to do is anything about what was the other biggest scandal of the summer that they all said they cared about so much -- the crisis that they were going to put aside all partisanship for, right? They were going to put aside everything to deal with it because it meant so much to us as a nation, it was a matter of our national honor. Congress is apparently now maybe not going to do anything about it, about the V.A. The V.A. scandal that riveted the nation for weeks, that got every member of Congress pounding their chest about how they were going to the right thing and how important this was to fix. Well, the Senate passed a bill for the V.A. The House passed a different version of a bill for the V.A. They`re supposed to be working right now to resolve the differences between those two bills and send something to the president`s desk but it`s been sitting there for six weeks, totally bottlenecked. House Republicans say they don`t want to spend the money. And apparently that is the basis of it not going forward. So, it`s fizzling. No fix. This week, 16 major veterans organizations wrote to Congress. They all signed on to the same letter pleading for Congress to please get it done. Listen. Both Houses passed a bill. In the Senate, the two co- sponsors were John McCain and Bernie Sanders, right? That`s almost a bridge too far in terms of the ideological spread. The work here is 95 percent done, but because it is this Congress, apparently they cannot finish it. There was a glimmer of hope coming into this week that maybe this was the week that Congress might be able to get this done. That`s how the week started. Here`s how it went over the course of the week. "Roll Call," "V.A. talks collapse." Military Times", "V.A. reform bill stalled by partisan bickering." "The Hill," "Talks on veterans bill in full meltdown." There are four working days between now and when Congress pats itself on the back for having done nothing and takes more than a month off. They have left more undone than any other Congress in the history of the United States of America, including our basic responsibility to have American ambassadors around the world. But even for a Congress this failed and this reviled by the American people for it, the one thing they all say they supposedly care about, they supposedly want to get done, is take care of our veterans and fix the outrageous problems they have all been complaining about in which veterans were not getting care. Congress now has four days to it. All of the major veterans organizations in the country say it looks like it`s not going to happen unless something changes. They are sounding the alarm this week. This Congress is, quantitatively speaking, the worst Congress ever. But if they cannot get this done, if they cannot get it done for veterans, they are not only worse than ever before, they are worse than anyone thought possible. This is astonishing if they cannot get this done. Can they get it done? Joining us now is the chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. He has been working in an off again/on again difficult kind of way with House Veterans Affairs Committee chairman, Florida Congressman Jeff Miller, to try to find a compromise reform bill here. Senator Sanders, thank you for being here. SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: My pleasure. MADDOW: Are you now optimistic, when you took to the Senate floor on Wednesday, you sounded like you were worried that this would not pass. The headlines since then have not been good. What`s the status? SANDERS: I got to tell you, Rachel, that in the last few weeks, my moods go up and they go down and they go up and they go down. Yesterday was a very rough day, and I thought we were not going to make it. But I have to tell you that Chairman Miller and I had a productive discussion last night. I believe that Jeff Miller is a serious guy. I think he wants to do something. He knows, as I do, just as you said, that we will look abysmal if we cannot produce legislation to address the very, very serious needs of our veterans and the V.A. So what I can tell you is that today, his staff and my staff have been working nonstop. We plan on working tomorrow. They plan on working Sunday. And I hope, despite all of the huge ideological differences that exist between the House and the Senate, that, in fact, we can come together and provide a significant piece of legislation to help the veterans of this country who put their lives on the line to defend us. MADDOW: Congressman Miller is not a member of Congress who veterans groups complain about. A lot of them are very supportive of him. They`re supportive of both the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, your committee, and the House Veterans Affairs Committee. They feel like they get a good hearing from the leadership of your committees. It doesn`t seem like there`s personal issues here either between you and chairman or between veterans groups and either of you. Given that, given that it doesn`t seem like it`s something petty or personal, can you tell us what the hang-up is? SANDERS: Well, the hang-up is a couple of major issues. It is my view that when you have abysmally and unacceptably long waiting periods in many facilities around the country. It is clear to me that the V.A. needs more doctors, more nurses, more medical personnel. In fact, in many facilities, they need more space. The new acting secretary, Sloan Gibson, came forward and said, look, that is what we need. If we don`t want to have this crisis recur every two years, every three years, we need to make sure we have the personnel that can deal with the fact that a million and a half more veterans have come into the system in the last four years. Many of them are dealing with very difficult issues, PTSD and TB. Rachel, today, close to 50,000 veterans got mental health outpatient treatment today and every day. So, we have to deal with that, in my view, 16 major veterans organizations said that we should help the V.A. get the funding that they need. And that is one of the controversial issues. And the second issue out there is how do you pay for all this stuff? This is expensive stuff. In my view, and what the Senate did, and John McCain was very, very strong on this. John and I disagree on almost everything. But when he was on the floor, what he said, if this is not an emergency, if not taking care of people who are hurt in war is not an emergency, what is an emergency? And I agree. So if it is an emergency, we pay for it as a cost of war. You know, we are spending trillions of dollars on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Nobody offset any of that. That`s a cost of war. Taking care of the men and women who fought in these wars should also be a cost of war. That is my view. That`s the Senate view. The House has a different point of view. So, what I hope very much is that Chairman Miller, as you indicated, he`s a serious man, he`s an honorable man. I like him. We are working as hard as we can so that, in fact, we can give a little bit of comfort, not only to the veterans community, but to the people of this country who recognize, as you`ve just said, how dysfunctional the United States Congress is. At least we should be able to take care of veterans and that`s what I hope and I think what chairman miller hopes will happen. MADDOW: Your comments that the work is continuing between you and the congressman and with your staffs through the weekend is very heartening, Senator. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, chairman of the V.A. -- chairman of the Veterans Affairs Committee, excuse me, thank you for your time tonight. Please keep us apprised. I think a lot of people across the country, whether or not it`s getting headlines, a lot of people across the country want to make sure this is done before you guys head home. Thank you, sir. Thank you. SANDERS: Thank you. MADDOW: Much more ahead, including one thing that Congress actually agreed on today. And also, there`s going to be a lot of crushed ice in the show today. That`s coming up. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: And one of the world`s most depressing and maddening and tragic and terrible conflicts, one that seems like it is never over and there is never anything good to say, today, I swear there is a tiny bit old good news. All this week we`ve been reporting on how U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has been trying to get Israel and Hamas to agree to a cease-fire. The last significant fighting in Gaza was 2012. That fighting was ended with a cease-fire that was brokered in Egypt. Secretary of State Kerry has been back in Egypt all this week trying to get another cease-fire agreed to now on similar terms to what ended the fighting in 2012. So far, though, that has not worked. The fighting has been going on in Gaza for 18 days. Now, the death toll is up over 800 on the Palestinian side and it is 38 on the Israeli side. And the two sides apparently want to keep fighting. Israel`s cabinet today would not agree to John Kerry`s proposed seven-day cease-fire when they voted on it. Outside of Gaza, protests in the West Banks with massive last night, bigger and more deadly today. They called it a day of rage in the West Bank today. There were 10,000 people protesting in the streets. By the end of the day, five pro-Palestinian protesters were killed there. Amid the signs of escalating anger and the mounting death toll, there is finally a small piece of good news to report. Seriously. Starting tomorrow, starting Saturday, both Israel and Hamas have now agreed not to stop their war, but to pause their war. They have agreed to a 12-hour pause in the fighting tomorrow for humanitarian reasons -- to allow civilians to try to get water and food and medical help and safe shelter. This is not an end to the war. They`re only agreeing to 12 hours. We`ll see if they can even do that, but it is a start. The first start. The U.N. proposed it. Israel and Hamas both agreed. And that is something. First ray of hope here in what is otherwise an unmitigated disaster in one of the most densely populated places on Earth. This newly announced pause in the fighting is supposed to start tomorrow at 8:00 a.m. local time. That`s 1:00 a.m. Eastern Time tonight. If it works, and we will know soon whether it works, it will be a small step, but that`s still a step. More ahead. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: One thing we`re about to do at the end of the show tonight involves crushed ice and Senator Rand Paul. So I`m crushing ice. I have to crush a lot of ice. See you in a minute. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: You know Shel Silverstein from "Where the Sidewalk Ends" and "The Light in the Attic." Great kids books. Great poetry for kids. But you know about the Shel Silverstein Quaalude song? (MUSIC) MADDOW: That song came out in 19d 80 when American drug users were more than a decade into a romance with a sedative that people often called "disco biscuits". Quaaludes did have a legal use. Your doctor might prescribe you Quaaludes for a good night`s rest. But it was the drug`s use and abuse as a party drug that eventually led to its disappearance. Under pressure from drug enforcement facilities one by one, American makers of Quaaludes stopped making them. They got out of that market, but Quaaludes did continue to pour into the country through the illegal drug trade. It was kind of a mystery because the key ingredient in Quaaludes was hard to make. You couldn`t just toss it together in a vat in your basement, couldn`t grow it the way you grew pot. But it turns out you could buy the complex compound at the heart of Quaaludes from legal manufacturers in Germany, Austria, Hungary, and China, those four places. And drug cartels in Colombia bought that drug compound from those factories. In the early 1980s, an officer with the Drug Enforcement Agency realized that that`s what was going on and he set out to stop it. And his name was Gene Haislip. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) NARRATOR: Haislip traveled around the world convincing the government of every country with a factory that made the chemical in Quaaludes to shut it down. GENE HAISLIP, DEA: Well, it took some time, but in the end the Colombians could to longer get their drug powder. They didn`t know what to do. They gave it up. We eliminated the problem. We beat them. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: It worked. Remarkably, it worked. We think of the drug war as a major failure, not with Quaaludes. There was a weak link in the Quaaludes market and it was that single compound, and now nobody does Quaaludes anymore. This week, the state of Arizona executed a man with a combination of drugs that the state had never used before. That execution dragged on and on and on and on while the man snorted and gasped for breath for nearly two hours. When we attempt to kill prisoners in state prisons now, we can not be sure about how that process is going to go. Over the past couple of years the makers of the drugs that we use for lethal injections have begun refusing to sell their drugs for that purpose in the United States. And so the states that have capital punishment, they`ve had to go hunting around for new sources of drugs and new drugs to try. And the new drug they tried in Arizona this week has been linked to three executions that took way longer than expected or that were seen as botched because of the way the prisoner responded to the drug infusion. And that particular drug is made by two companies in the United States. One of them is a company called Sagent. Sagent says they do not want their drugs used in capital punishment. They say they will ask their distributers to not sell that drug for that purpose. The other company that makes this drug Midazolam is called Akorn. Akorn with a "K." Akorn told us yesterday they don`t have a policy on their drugs being used in the death penalty. No policy one way or the other. Because of that, for now, that particular if flawed death drug pipeline to the state prison systems, that one appears to be open. After the botched execution this week in Arizona, the state attorney there declared a moratorium on executions in Arizona until the state can review what happened this week. The halt on lethal injections in Arizona now comes after botched executions using the same drugs in Oklahoma and in Ohio. Those states have also put their lethal injections on hold. There aren`t all that many states in the U.S. that actively kill people on death row. Three of those states that do have now stopped because they had to scramble for drugs and because the drugs that they scrambled to, they did not know how to use and the results horrified people. Does it become politically untenable for the makers of any execution drug to be part of the lethal injection process? Have critics of capital punishment basically done what the DEA did with Quaaludes? Have they found the weakest link? And the weakest link is the drugs, themselves. Because of that, is lethal injection basically disappearing from the face of the earth? Joining us now is Jen Moreno. She`s staff attorney for the Death Penalty Clinic at the University of California-Berkeley School of Law. Ms. Moreno, thanks very much for being with us. JEN MORENO, DEATH PENALTY CLINIC: Thank you for having me. MADDOW: Do you think this analysis that I just laid out in brief, do you think it`s basically true? Have critics of the death penalty essentially found the weak logistical link by putting pressure on the makers of these drugs? MORENO: Well, I think that what we`re seeing with the drug companies is decisions by the companies, themselves, that they don`t want their drugs used in executions. You know, we`ve seen documents coming from some of these companies, you know, from 15 years ago asking departments not to use the drugs in executions, and I think what we`re seeing now is finally these companies are taking steps to actually prevent their use. MADDOW: In terms of that distinction that you just drew there, we`re seeing that with one of these drugs, Midazolam that`s been used in three recent executions that received a lot of attention because of how long they took. One of the manufacturers of that drug says they don`t want the drug used, but as far as we can tell, they haven`t necessarily put into place effective measures to keep their drug from being used in U.S. prisons. Is there sort of an agreed upon or known protocol that drug companies can use now if they really do want to not just say it but actually stop their drug from being used in executions? MORENO: Yes, a couple of years ago we saw drug company Lundbeck which made the only manufactured, or only FDA-approved version of pentobarbital put into place an agreement where they effectively prohibited the departments from getting the drug for use in executions but where they still made the drug available for legitimate medical or clinical uses. MADDOW: That distribution agreement for pentobarbital, as I understand it, tell me if I`m wrong, but this company, Akorn with a "K," they have a U.S. distributor of pentobarbital distributing that drug under that distribution agreement so it doesn`t get into prisons. They also are the distributor of Midazolam which is getting into prisons. So, theoretically, if they wanted to, they could apply the same distribution agreement, same contractual legal arrangements to this other drug that they use. MORENO: Yes, you`re correct. Akorn took over, basically took over the rights of pentobarbital and kept that distribution agreement in place. Certainly the model is there if they chose to apply it to the distribution of Midazolam. MADDOW: Wow. So it`s not only there, it`s there in their own company. I have to ask you, a federal judge this week in a ruling about Arizona said if we are going to execute people, we need to go back to systems that work, basically saying that lethal injection logistically doesn`t work to kill people efficiently enough. In your work in this in the legal clinical context, do you think that`s where the legal argument is going? MORENO: Certainly, we`ve seen a lot of statements from legislators, attorneys general departments. It seems a lot like bluster and I think it betrays their frustration with not being able to carry out executions by lethal injection. It shows how much they appear to want to carry out executions that they`re willing to go back or consider going back to methods that they abandoned in favor of a more humane method. Or at least what they thought was a more humane method. MADDOW: Jen Moreno, staff attorney for the Death Penalty Clinic at UC-Berkeley Law School -- it was very clarifying. Thanks for being here. Appreciate it. MORENO: Thank you. MADDOW: Still ahead, I have use for the crushed ice. And what that crushed ice and Senator Rand Paul have to do with one another is coming up. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We`re prepared to send a small number of additional military advisers, up to 300, to assess how we can best train, advise and support Iraqi security forces going forward. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: President Obama notified Congress he was sending U.S. troops back into Iraq 39 days ago. Since that initial announcement, the president has ordered another 400 to 500 military personnel into Iraq, bringing the final total to nearly 800. But it`s interesting, there`s kind of a constitutional expiration date on those deployment orders for those troops. War Powers resolution allows for the troops to be in place for 60 days. We`re on day 39. There`s the looming question of what`s going to happen 21 days from now. After that point, after August 13th, it should no longer be the president`s say so anymore as to whether the troops are deployed. At the end of the 60-day period, Congress is supposed to weigh in. That date when Congress should weigh in, that`s right in the middle of Congress` planned month of-long August vacation. Well, today, there was a surprise development on that front. The House passed a resolution with an overwhelming majority. It said explicitly that the president shall not deploy or maintain U.S. armed forces in a sustained combat role in Iraq without specific statutory authorization for such use, which basically means from here on out, the House is saying they want to vote to authorize troops if they`re going to stay in Iraq. They technically do not have to say that because the Constitution already says that`s true. But today`s vote at least means in theory that the Congress is cognizant that it`s their job to vote on this. They`re saying we want to take a vote, we must be allowed to take a vote, and they`re saying this right before leaving town for a month -- during which time that 60-day authorization for the president to authorize those troops, without Congress, that authorization will expire while they`re gone. It`s like if your boss demanded that you work until 10:00, but he closed up the office at 8:00. So, it`s a little ridiculous, but this is a real open question right now. Will the Senate also vote on something like this now that the House has? And with between 700 and 800 troops in Iraq right now, what really will happen when their 60th day in Iraq rolls around? Will they still be there? And if they are, on what legal grounds? Watch this space. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Maybe voting against the Civil Rights Act, which wasn`t just about governmental discrimination, but public accommodations, the idea that people who provided services open to the public had to do so in a non- discriminatory fashion. Let me ask you a specific so that we don`t get into the esoteric, hypotheticals here. SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: There`s 10 different titles, you know, to the Civil Rights Act and nine out of 10 deal with public institutions and I`m absolutely in favor of. One deals with private institutions and had I been around, I would have tried to modify that. But, you know, the other thing about legislation, this is why it`s hard to say exactly where you are sometimes, is that when you support nine out of 10 things in a good piece of legislation, do you vote for it or against it? I think sometimes those are difficult situations. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: And we have never seen him since. That was Rand Paul four years ago when he was first running for Senate from Kentucky. He has since then not only been elected to the United States Senate, he`s now also considered a realistic candidate for the Republican nomination for president, but he`s never again come back to this show. You want to see him lie? Because today, Senator Rand Paul gave a big speech that got a lot of press, and at that speech, he also did an interview with NBC`s Kasie Hunt, in which he looked right at her and he told a lie. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) KASIE HUNT, NBC NEWS: You noted in your speech that you support the Civil Rights Act. Specifically, do you think that private businesses should be allowed to discriminate based on race? PAUL: No. HUNT: So, you`ve changed from when you said before you were concerned about that title? PAUL: I never said that. HUNT: So, you`re not concerned about any of the title in the Civil Rights Act anymore? PAUL: No. HUNT: OK. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: That`s not true. Rand Paul repeatedly, and not that long ago and on tape, in multiple settings, has in fact insisted that there were parts of the Civil Rights Act that he was not down with, specifically the big part, the big part that made all of the difference in the world. But everybody remembers the part where the law was changed to tell private businesses say lunch counters in the South that if they wanted to serve the public as a private business, they no longer had the right to do so in a racially segregated manner. That is the part Senator Paul said he kind of wasn`t down with. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you have voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964? PAUL: I like the Civil Rights Act in the sense that it ended discrimination in all public domains, and I`m all in favor of that. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But? (LAUGHTER) PAUL: You had to ask me the but. I don`t like the idea of telling private business owners, I abhor racism. I think it`s a bad business decision to exclude anybody from your restaurant. But at the same time, I do believe in private ownership. But I think there should be absolutely no discrimination in anything that gets public funding. That`s most of what the Civil Rights Act was about to my mind. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Most of it he was OK with, but not all of it. Racism would be a bad business decision, but private ownership gives you certain rights. And Rand Paul just didn`t admit that once accidently to me on this show or another time accidently to the editorial board of his hometown paper. Rand Paul made this point a lot on tape, over and over again. There`s evidence. It`s all in the public record. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ROBERT SIEGEL: But are you saying that had you been around at the time, you would have hoped you would have marched with Martin Luther King but voted with Barry Goldwater against the 1964 Civil Rights is that correct PAUL: Well, actually, I think it`s confusing on a lot of cases with actually was in the civil rights case, because, see, a lot of the things that were in the bill I`m in favor of. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: A lot of the things that were in the civil rights act I`m in favor of. A lot of them. Not all of them. This guy is going to run for president. This guy in fact already is plainly running for president. And what he`s lying about here is part of his very recent political history. It`s not invisible. It`s not made up. It exists on the record. But for some reason, Rand Paul thinks if he says it`s not there, it isn`t there. It will become invisible by him insisting it`s not really there. It`s like look, I`m covering my eyes so you can`t see me. You can`t see me. I`m not here, peek-a-boo, I`m Rand Paul. I mean, it works on babies, maybe it will work on the United States of America. It kind of is working on the political press so far. I mean, the press that the senator gets is somewhat astonishing given the way he talks about himself in plainly untrue ways. I mean, the headline that Rand Paul got in "The New York Times" today, Rand Paul courting black support backs changing in voting rights and criminal justice. Rand Paul, in speeches like this one he gave today, covered by "The New York Times", gets a ton of national coverage. He declares himself to be a supporter, not just of voting rights for minorities but specifically declares himself to be a supporter of the Voting Rights Act. He gets headlined and says he`s a champion of the Voting Rights Act. But listen with this guy, be more careful. Just because he says something about himself doesn`t mean that it is true about him. I mean, look, there is actual legislation to reinstate the voting rights act since the Supreme Court struck it down. This is not some hypothetical, esoteric, do I support it. Do you mean, do I clap for it? Do I cheer for it thing? He`s an active legislator in the United States of America. So, if you say, do you support reinstating the Voting Rights Act, there`s a way to do that. There`s legislation to do that. Senator Rand Paul is not on the record saying he supports that legislation. Still, though, getting the headlines for being a supporter. Why does he get these headlines? I don`t know. He says it`s true about himself. If you check the record, it`s not true about him. On the Civil Rights Act, honestly, Rand Paul probably could get more credit, could get more political capital out of this issue if he just acknowledged that he used to be against part of the Civil Rights Act. He used to oppose anti-segregation laws applying to private businesses, but now, he has changed his mind on that. Now he sees that he was wrong. Here`s why he changed his mind. Here`s why other people should change their mind about that, too, if there is anybody else left in America who`s not against the desegregation of lunch counters in the South. I mean, he could get more out of it politically if he was honest, I think, and acknowledge that he, until recently was against the most important parts of the Civil Rights Act. But instead, he`s just lying. And saying he was never against it. He never said these things. He never said these things which he plainly said over and over and over again on record, on tape. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you have voted for the civil rights act of 1964? PAUL: I like the Civil Rights Act in the sense that it ended discrimination in all public domains, and I`m all in favor of that. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But? (LAUGHTER) PAUL: You had to ask me the but. I don`t like the idea of telling private business owners, I abhor racism, I think it`s a bad business decision to exclude anybody from your restaurant. But at the same time, I believe in private ownership. HUNT: You noted in your speech that you support the civil rights act. But, specifically, do you think that private businesses should be allowed to discriminate based on race? PAUL: No. HUNT: So, you`ve changed from when you said before you were concerned about that title? PAUL: I never said that. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: I never said -- yes, you did. And, Senator, you are lying about it. And you are using that lie in part as the basis of what appears to be a run for president of the United States. And you know what? If nothing else, that deserves a salute, that deserves cheers for an almost sociopathic level of chutzpah like that. So, you know what? At the end of a tough week, in celebration of politicians -- at least one of them -- cheerfully, blatantly lying about very checkable facts, here`s how you make a drink called the me description julep. It`s delicious, it`s technically, though, like Rand Paul, is a little bit bogus. See, a real julep is from Kentucky, as we all know, made with bourbon. This is not from Kentucky, neither is Rand Paul, I should mention. He was actually born in Pittsburgh. But it`s also not made from bourbon. This is made from a combination of rye and cognac. And if you like a mint julep, the typical way, with bourbon, it probably sounds gross that you`d make one with rye and cognac, but trust me, this is a delicious thing. And others not containing bourbon, it`s similar to a pretty regular mint julep. So in terms of the sweetness, you can use simple syrup where the sugar and the water are already combined into a syrup. For this drink, though, for texture purposes, I like to use just regular granular sugar and then add water in the glass. I don`t have much of a sweet tooth, so I`m only adding a teaspoon. But you can add two to three times that amount depending on, you know, your blood sugar levels and you like them to be in the morning. Then you add an ounce of water. And the sugar and water doesn`t need to be perfectly dissolved, but you want that to dissolve at least a little bit. Then you need some fresh mint. You want like six or eight leaves of good, fresh mint. The reason you don`t drop the whole sprig in there is because the -- the stalk kind of has the wrong texture and kin of the wrong flavor. So you just want the leaves. And you don`t get to go crazy with the muddling or anything. The mint is your friend, she smash it up with sugar water and mint leaves. You can muddle if you want to, if you like to have some aggression that you need to get out, but just, you know, it`s OK. You`ll be final. So, you get the mint and the sugar and the water sort of incorporated. And then, where you would expect to add bourbon, instead think of Senator Rand Paul and instead add an ounce and a half of cognac or good brandy, the better the liquor you add, the better the drink because it`s not that complicated. There`s an ounce and a half. And then the thing that makes it super delicious, delicious rye whiskey. And if you are making -- you got a half of ounce of rye whiskey. And then if you were making a proper julep, you would have what they call powdered ice, where it`s not only ice that`s crushed, you then pulverize it with a giant mallet and turn it into dry ice powder. I am frankly not that excellent and every time I try to crush something, I end up breaking something that cost a lot and people have to come fix it. So, we`re just going to use plain old crushed ice. Thank you, swing away corporation. Stir it up, stir it for as long as you want. You got the ice in there. You got a proper julep cup. Julep cup are muddle and they frost over and that`s how you know when they`re ready. But basically, this is sort of it. This is a prescription julep. You want a big sprig of mint as your garnish. It`s very boozy. It`s not for sissies, except I mean sissies in a good way. You probably want a straw to go with this, but if you don`t have a straw, who am I to bother you? As julep go, I have to tell you, this is bogus, but it works and it`s delicious. Rand Paul is lying about the Civil Rights Act, so he`s bogus in that way, too. But just as this julep is delicious, him lying about the Civil Rights Act politically so far is working for him. Bogus but wonderful. Cheers. Happy weekend. Go to prison. THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END