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The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 09/26/14

Guests: Celinda Lake

RACHEL MADDOW, RACHEL MADDOW SHOW HOST: I was all set to hear what the good news is. Oh, oh, that`s my cue. Thank, Ari, have a great weekend then. And thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. An experienced journalist named Corey Hutchins has just published a scoop at Medium.com about Congress and the military. And something that is not supposed to happen between Congress and the military. The member of Congress at the center of this scoop is Doug Lamborn, he is a conservative Republican congressman from a conservative Republican district in Colorado. And on Tuesday this week, he was speaking at a campaign forum. Apparently it was held in the basement of a bar in Colorado Springs, Colorado. And we`ve got tape of this. I should tell you we`ve got multiple sources for the tape on this. Because we wanted to make sure it really happened. We did get a video - which appears to be from a campaign tracker, but we didn`t just want to go with that one source. We also then got audio tape of the same event from a different source. And it turns out the two tapes, as best as we can tell, they match exactly. So, with those two sources, we think this really did happen as it appears to have happened. It`s in response to a question about the military. And whether Doug Lamborn as a member of Congress supports the military adequately. And in response to that question, as you hear on the tape, the Congressman explains that he and others, he sort of implied that it was him and other members of Congress. He said he and others were actively working right now behind the scenes to try to get multiple generals from the U.S. military to resign from the military. Doug Lamborn is a member of the House Armed Services Committee, he`s on the subcommittee on readiness, which is all about U.S. military training and being prepared for war. He`s on that subcommittee on strategic forces and that congressman says that he is right now actively working to try to get U.S. generals to quit the military in what he calls a "blaze of glory" So, watch this: this starts with a question from the audience. A question - I should tell you it was very hostile to President Obama, but then Congressman Lamborn gives his answer. Watch. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) AUDIENCE MEMBER: Please, work with your their congressmen on both sides of the aisle, and support the generals and troops in this country despite the fact that there`s no leadership from the Muslim Brotherhood in the White House. (APPLAUSE) (END VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) REP. DOUGH LAMBORN (R-CO) ARMED SERVICES: (INAUDIBLE) reassuring you on this, a lot of us are talking to the generals behind the scenes saying hey, if you disagree with the policy that the White House is giving you, let`s have a resignation. You know, let`s have conflict resignations and see you prove test and go out in the (INAUDIBLE). And I haven`t seen that very much. I haven`t seen that at all for years. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Again, this is a serving member of Congress, Republican congressman, he`s a member of the Armed Services Committee in the House, he made those remarks this week. The tape emerged today. He says that he and others are working behind the scenes talking to generals trying to persuade them to quit the military. Not incidentally, he`s saying he`s doing that while we are at war in three countries. There are about 29,000 Americans serving in Afghanistan right now, there are more than 1500 Americans serving in Iraq, where American pilots in military aircraft have flown more than 200 airstrikes in Iraq in recent weeks. Now, dozens of airstrikes as well in Syria, and a new air war that spans both those countries alongside the existing ground war still being fought in Afghanistan. And in the middle of all of that, serving members of U.S. Congress on the Armed Services Committee are trying to get U.S. generals to quit. Because that would be a blaze of glory. We contacted Congressman Lamborn`s office today for comment or an explanation. I mean what he said leaves some outstanding questions. Congressman Lamborn, if you would ever like to talk directly to me about this, I would really welcome the opportunity. The questions I still have include, which generals has Congressman Lamborn been trying to persuade to quit the military? Are any of those generals actively involved right now in planning for or training for or actively fighting in the war we are in Afghanistan right now. Or the war we are in Iraq or the war we are in Syria? And Congressman Lamborn says "a lot of us are talking to generals about quitting behind the scenes, telling them to resign." Who do you mean by "a lot of us"? Are there other members of Congress who are working on this plan? Is that other members of the Armed Services Committee? Is it Republicans and Democrats? Is it just Republicans? As a member of Congress, as a member of the Armed Services Committee, as somebody from a military-happy district in Colorado, Congressman Lamborn, do you believe it would be good for the military? And in the best interests of the United States? Especially in wartime? For lots of generals to start quitting right now, for, apparently, political reasons. We were not able to reach Congressman Lamborn himself today. But we did speak to his office. And what the Congressman`s communication director told us today was this. The congressman`s communication director told us, quote, "What the congressman was saying there, he was not referring to any current actions." He told us that when Congressman Lamborn said he`s contacting U.S. generals to try to get them to quit, he was not describing "any kind of active or habitual or organized endeavor." When we asked specifically if Congressman Lamborn had encouraged generals to resign and when he did that. The spokesman said, "I can`t speak to that." But the quotation making the rounds is referring to things in the past." To be clear, again, the Congressman said this on Tuesday. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) LAMBORN: A lot of us are talking to the generals behind the scenes saying hey, if you disagree with the policy that the White House is giving you, let`s have a resignation." (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Now, because the god of politics is also the god of irony, it should be noted that also Dough Lamborn is in a fairly conservative Republican-leaning district in Colorado, he does have a strong opponent this November, as he campaigns on basically trying to incite mutiny among America`s generals during war time. And it turns out his opponent is a retired Air Force major general who spent 32 years in the service. He`s a conservative Democrat with the memorable name of Irv Halter. General Halter has already put out a response to Congressman Lamborn on this issue. He told "The Colorado Independent," "It is inappropriate for Congressman Lamborn to politicize our military for his own game. Our elected officials should not be encouraging military leaders to resign. Congressman Lamborn`s statement shows his immaturity and lack of understanding of the American Armed Forces. Someone who serves on the House Armed Services Committee should know better." Now, at one level, maybe this is just a misstatement. Maybe this is just a gaffe. I do not know Congressman Doug Lamborn`s track record in politics well enough, to know if he`s the kind of guy who should be expected to just accidentally say something that`s totally nuclear, but he doesn`t really believe it and he didn`t really mean to say it. We don`t know that much about him on the national stage, the only way he`s ever really been nationally noticed before in his eight years in Congress was when he tried to get Congress to defund NPR. So, who knows, maybe Congressman Lamborn did mean it or maybe Republicans in the House Armed Services Committee are on mass trying to incite mutiny in the military. Because that`s the prospect he raised, this deserves a little elaboration. A lot of people may have some follow up questions on these matters. So that`s the death of the republic news from this side of the water. Our great allies, the Brits, actually recalled their parliament out of recess today in order for them to have a full-fledged proper debate and a binding vote about whether the British military would start participating in this military campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. British planes have thus far been flying surveillance routes over Iraq to help with the supposedly humanitarian part of the mission against ISIS, but they haven`t been participating in any hostilities against ISIS targets thus far, because their version of Congress, their parliament had not authorized them to do that. Well, today, after a very, very good and entertaining debate, the parliament voted by a large margin that they would give that military authorization. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How long will this war last and when will mission creek start? DAVID CAMERON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: But let me put on to that very directly. This is going to be a mission that will take not just months, but years. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Killing extremists doesn`t kill their ideas, so the country cannot feed their ideas. CAMERON: And we`ve also got to think of the consequences of inaction. How much stronger will they be before we decide we need to take action as well? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look at what the House of Commons agreed to? Iraq, Afghanistan, and this government Libya - none are success stories. CAMERON: We do have to realize that whether we like it or not, they have already declared war on us. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why is it right to carry out such actions against ISIS in Iraq, but not in Syria? The government has welcomed the action corridor by the United States and other Arab countries and Syria in recent days. If it is to be welcomed and right by others, why is it not welcome and right for us? GEORGE GALLOWAY, BRITISH MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: The words on the motion are about bombing Iraq. There`s a consensus in here that we`re going to soon be bombing Syria. The words don`t mention boots on the ground. But there`s a consensus here that there will be boots on the ground, the only question, the only question being, whose boots are they? (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: After that full-blown robust formal debate today in the British parliament, they took a vote and the parliament voted overwhelmingly that Britain should join the military campaign against ISIS, the vote was 524- 43. It`s an overwhelming vote. But the motion they voted on was really specific. It`s air war only. No ground troops. And it is Iraq only, and not Syria. And you heard that they were debating that point quite intensely. But that line was drawn essentially as a legal matter rather than a matter of strategy. The British Labor Party in particular argued that an air war in Iraq would be legal because it was at the request of the Iraqi government. But because the Syrian government doesn`t want other countries launching airstrikes on their territory, they have not invited it. The opposition in Britain argued that no war in Syria would be legal without authorization from the United Nations, which, of course, does not exist. Well, the United Nations exists, the permission from the United Nations does not. It`s an interesting question not just for Britain, but for us as well, right? The question of the legality of either or both of these wars. That said, our Congress is not debating whether or not to authorize these wars. We`re just doing these wars without any pesky politics getting in the way. Except apparently, in Colorado where at least on Republican member of the Armed Services Committee is trying to get the generals to quit. In Oklahoma, yesterday, there was an instant of workplace violence. That wiled very, very tragic. It never would have become a national story, hadn`t it been for the tactic chosen by the disgruntled employee who decided to kill one of his fellow co-workers and then tried to kill another. 30-year old Alton Nolen was released from prison last year in Oklahoma. He had a long, criminal history. He was employed at Vaughn Foods in Moore, Oklahoma, and if that town name is familiar it`s because yes, that is the same town that was devastated by a huge tornado in May of last year. It was previously hit by another devastating tornado in May of 1999. And now, Moore Oklahoma is the site of this workplace killing that has resonated across the country in the way most incidents of workplace violence do not. Because the way that Alton Nolen killed one of his coworkers and apparently tried to kill the second, was with the knife, and in the fatal attack, he cut off his victim`s head. Moore, Oklahoma police called then the FBI for assistance in dealing with this case. The alleged perpetrator is in custody. He was shot by an Oklahoma County reserve deputy, who happened to work at the plant where the attack took place, but he survived. The local police say they brought in the FBI on this case, essentially because of motive and tactics. Because the alleged perpetrator was a Muslim who was said by coworkers to be trying to convert people in the workplace to Islam and because further, this attack follows the recent very highly publicized beheadings of hostages by the terrorist group ISIS in Syria. This week by a group that pledges allegiance to ISIS in Algeria as well. The man who is killed by the group in Algeria was a 55-year-old French tourist. Before he was killed, France, as a nation, was already on board with the U.S. military campaign against ISIS in Iraq, but not in Syria. In the wake of the beheadings of their own citizen in Algeria, France is now reportedly considering expanding its national authorization for its military to also include strikes in Syria and not just in Iraq. Though there`s no indication from any local authorities in Oklahoma or from any national security sources at all, that the fired employee who allegedly went on this brutal rampage today in Moore, Oklahoma, who killed one of his coworkers by beheading her and tried to kill somebody else. There`s no indication that he has any avert links to any terrorists groups, or that he was thought to be carrying out instructions from anyone else. But beheading is a tactic that screams not murder, but terrorism. No matter where it is done or for whatever insane or mundane reason. And in that mix, right, the worry now is what happens to a national debate that so far, has been either inane or non-existent. Or in the case of Congressman Doug Lamborn, basically unbelievable. Does the continuing influence of terror, just the feeling of being scared, does that threaten to make our decisions and our debates about these issues worse and worse and worse before they ever have a chance of getting better? Joining us now is NBC News foreign correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin. Ayman, thank you for being here. It`s nice to see you. AYMAN MOHYELDIN, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: It`s always a pleasure. Thanks, Rachel. MADDOW: I`m not going to ask you to talk about Congressman Doug Lamborn. We have to hear from him. (LAUGHTER) MADDOW: Don`t worry. But I do ask you about Iraq and Syria. The British parliament voted today to join the airstrikes inside Iraq, but not Syria. France is already in Iraq, they are willing to go - they may be willing to go to Syria now, too. The Belgium`s - and the Dutch, others are joining in. As these - European countries either join the coalition or decide to get further into their involvement. Is that going to make a material difference in terms of what can be done against ISIS? MOHYELDIN: Well, from a military perspective, the short answer is the U.S. could have gone this alone. They have the military capability to sustain this operation. Quite frankly, the presence of those European allies is important symbolically and is going to alleviate some pressure on the U.S. They`re not going to make the difference in the fight. But it`s a coalition. It shows an international willingness. There`s a diplomatic support, effort behind it. And I think that`s the more important part that`s going to be - what is brought to the table by their presence. MADDOW: And the more potent diplomatic and political presence is not the European allies, but the Arab countries, obviously, that are participating. What kind of risks are those countries running domestically by agreeing to participate in these U.S. strikes? MOHYELDIN: They`re going to make themselves targets to sympathizers of ISIS. What we saw in Algeria is a group that beheaded a French hostage, not because they have any kind of operational link to ISIS, but because they`re sympathizers. And sympathetic to what ISIS has done. And that could wreak havoc inside these countries. Now, many of these countries have robust domestic intelligence services. But they also have a pretty bad track record on human rights. That concern is, that now they are going to say, OK, well, we are participating in this coalition, that`s going to draw the anger of a lot of their domestic constituents and that means that these governments can then, in turn, crack down even further and really demonstrate of more abusive human rights . MADDOW: So, as the U.S. says, we`re looking at a years` long effort. Which is astonishing giving that our Congress isn`t weighing in on it at all. It`s my personal bugaboo about this, but if it is going to be a year`s long effort, a year`s long military effort, what should we watch for with countries like Saudi Arabian and emirates and Jordan and these other countries? What should we watch for in terms of trying to figure out if they are also going to be there for the long haul, or if they essentially put an initial stamp on it, for the initial diplomatic push, but they won`t be able to sustain it? MOHYELDIN: Listen, as a U.S. citizen, what I want to see is are these countries doing something beyond the military cooperation? They are military cooperation is, as I said, symbolic. Really, it`s not - it`s not going to make or break the fight. Where this important - are these countries doing something to reform their own societies, to show ISIS that you know what, we are going to drain this ideology. We reject this ideology. Countries like Saudi Arabia that have an important religious role in the Muslim world, what are they doing publicly to condemn it? I`m not talking about a press release or a statement, what are they doing to reform their education system? What are they doing to reform a lot of their programming that goes on the air? That is spread across the Muslim world? These are the things that I would look for. Now, Americans aren`t going to see that stuff. This is behind-the-scenes stuff. But this is the kind of stuff that we need to monitor and see these country do in a systematic way that`s going to over a generation. Not a year. I mean the operation may be a year, but ISIS is a generational problem. You look at where we were in 2001 when we went to war against al Qaeda in Afghanistan? We look at where we are today in 2014. Al-Qaeda has spread to al Qaeda in - in North Africa, in Yemen and now we have this crisis in Syria and Iraq. It doesn`t look good when you stand up at like 10,000 feet and look down at how this is spreading. MADDOW: I mean even more directly to the point in eastern and south- eastern Afghanistan, today reports of ISIS or ISIS-type militants embedding with the Taliban from multiple beheadings attack in an area, targeting the family members of police. You know, the American ground warrior in Afghanistan goes on. We think of this as a separate war, but it may be turning into one. NBC News Foreign correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin. Ayman, it`s great to see you. MOHYELDIN: Always a pleasure. Thanks very much. Thank you. MADDOW: All right. We`ve got lots more ahead, including me stepping off the podium and letting somebody else do it better for a moment. Plus the best new thing tonight. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: It`s Friday, happy Friday. There`s a lot of show still to come tonight, there`s no cocktail moment tonight, I`m not in the mood for a drink. But we do have a best new thing in the world which is really delightfully good news to set you up for the weekend. We`ve also got a story ahead about an oil company that nobody else is reporting in TV news at least. But it will curl your fricken hair. It`s amazing. Some really good investigative reporting went into this one. We`ve also got some news on politics and elections coming up. There`s a lot going on, there`s a lot ahead. But it is Friday. And I`m going to take a point of personal privilege here. Because over the course of this week, there was one story that was really, really, really widely covered in the news. And it`s a story that we did not touch here. And the reason we didn`t touch it here, even though it was all about - anyone was talking about in the beltway. For not one, not too, but three news cycles this week. The reason we did not do this story that everybody else did, is that it is a really stupid story. And you know the story I`m talking about. It is exactly the thing that our media is wired to chew on like cud so it can make its daily patties for the pasture. But it is an absolute nonsense story. And so, we hear at this show, made an overt decision to ignore it. But it turns out there really is another responsible way to deal with a fake story like that. You can ignore it, like we did, which I`m happy we did. Or it turns out the other option, is you can destroy it. Which is what Jon Stewart did on "The Daily Show." The Daily Show" is always great, so what they did with this story was something on another level. That from one thing in "The Daily Show" episode that had a lot of jokes and a lot of laugh out loud laugh lines in it. For this part of it, Jon Stewart let go a little bit in trying to be hilarious with every line. And instead, he just wrongly emoted about it. And that`s the thing that can be really risky. Right? It can be alienating for somebody that just let rip on this topic or on any other topic. It can turn people away for you to just emote. But when you do it right, it can achieve Casardic (ph) perfection. Which is what they did here and I know this is a little weird, but it`s Friday, and you deserve this. Just watch this. All hail. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JON STEWART, "THE DAILY SHOW": Now, to be fair, lattegate wasn`t all the news talked about yesterday, but where I might have given the president salutes with coffee cup story an espresso size of attention, the news channels went for the full double venti coverage with one network going especially deep. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Learn the proper respect of the salute. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s insensitive. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What`s the meaning of it? That`s it. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It looks terrible. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s outlandish. And it`s disappointing. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Put your coffee in the other hand. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our commander in chief displayed his complete disrespect for the men and women in uniform. STEWART: Shut up. (LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE) (END VIDEO CLIP) STEWART: We don`t really care. We don`t really care about this. You have no principle about this. You`re just trying to score points in a game that no one else is playing. Here`s how we know. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s an arrogance that you portrayed these people - put their lives on the line for us. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You are right. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Show the respect, salute these guys. (END VIDEO CLIP) STEWART: So the principle here is show respect for the people who are putting their lives on the line for this fight. Here`s Eric Bolling on that very same episode. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The first female pilot piloting for the UAE dropped the bombs on ISIS on Monday night. BOLLING: Would that be considered boobs on the ground or no? (END VIDEO CLIP) (BOO) STEWART: First of all, forget the rampant sexism in that statement. Second of all, she`s a pilot. So, whatever gender-specific equipment she might be carrying, it doesn`t (EXPLETIVE DELETED) matter. And thirdly, what was the quote that someone said earlier in your program, these people are putting their lives on the line for us, show respect. So, (EXPLETIVE DELETED) you and all your false patriotism. When Bush took us to war . (CHEERS) STEWART: But shouted down as treason. When Bush turned to war, any prisoner - shouted down is treason, with this president you don`t like, has the country poised on the same precipice, no transgression about how immaterial and ridiculous this - of evidence that this president isn`t as American as you are. You want a hot cup of cognitive dissonance, watch this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEAH HANNITY: Would President Bush ever do that? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, are we surprised? I mean, after all, we`ve got a chai - golf playing, basketball trash-talking, leading from behind, I`ve got no strategy Osama bin Laden is dead, GM is alive community organizer and commander in chief. How disrespectful was that? (END VIDEO CLIP) STEWART: Yeah, yeah- Palin in a bald cap was feeding us a steaming bowl of liberal appetite. (LAUGHTER) STEWART: He drinks chai. So that means when he`s (EXPLETIVE DELETED) in the back of a Volvo, it has that cardamom zing. (LAUGHTER) STEWART: But in their haste, this is about to answer the questions, would President Bush ever salute the troops with the cup of coffee in his hand? And the answer is no. Because his hands were too filled with dog, a Scottie out of respect. (LAUGHTER) STEWART: So here we`ve got two presidents. Both sending the United States to war citing the same legal authorities, both without any seeming exit strategy. And both holding EXPLETIVE DELETED in their hands while saluting our troops. (LAUGHTER) STEWART: But in their diseased minds, only one did that because he loved America, the other did it because he hated it. We`ll be right back. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: We`ll be right back, too. But with great humility and thanks for the "Daily Show" and Jon Stuart giving the stupidest beltway nonsense story of the week the ending it properly deserved. All hail. Well done. Enough said, at last. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: And now, here`s the thing. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SARAH PALIN: Those truly prejudice folks, just remember this. They scream racism are just to end debate. Well, don`t retreat. You reload with truth, which I know is an endangered species at 1400 Pennsylvania Avenue, anyway. Truth. (END VIDEO CLIP) PALIN: Don`t retreat. You reload with truth, which I know is an endangered species at 1400 Pennsylvania Avenue, anyway. Truth. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: That is a thing that happened today. (LAUGHTER) MADDOW: We`ll be right back with the left of the segment. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: When the liberal lion Ted Kennedy passed away and Martha Coakley ran as the Democratic nominee, which she lost - which she lost - excuse me, that U.S. Senate seat to Republican Scott Brown, a big part of the reason is that she didn`t clubber Scott Brown in the women`s vote. Martha Coakley did win the vote among Massachusetts women, but she only won it by three points and that was not enough to conquer the giant man slide of men voting for the men in the manly truck. Well, now this year, Martha Coakley is back on the ballot. She`s the Democratic nominee for governor this year. And the Republican guy who was running against her, is named Charlie Baker. And Charlie Baker has been trying to rekindle that all manly Scott Brown electoral magic. He`s trying to compete with women voters, to at least suppress the margin for women, for the Democrat running against him. Don`t let Martha Coakley appeal to too many women. Stay competitive with the Ladies, Charlie Baker. Or don`t, don`t do that at all. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Even though polls show the race in the dead heat, they also show with women, Baker is trailing Coakley by double digits. His commercials featuring his daughter and his wife target women. Monday, Baker did shake up his campaign by changing out the firm that runs his media strategy. He says it was just over a disagreement. When I tried asking one last question, about how Democrats believe it could mean the start of negative ads, here`s what Baker said to me. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Democrats are saying they just put out a couple of them. CHARLIE BAKER: OK, it`s going to be the last one, sweetheart. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: She`s asking him about his bad image with women voters. And he pats her and says this is going to be the last one, sweetheart. But then watch how she responds. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Democrats are saying, they - they just put it out an e-mail a couple of minutes ago. BAKER: Ok, it`s going to be the last one sweetheart. (CROSSTALK) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sweetheart! BAKER: I`m kidding. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: I`m kidding. Charlie Baker, he kids. He also loses very badly among women voters. And if old Scott Brown used to have the magic something with women voters that Charlie Baker was trying to learn from, I`ve got to tell you, Charlie Brown -- excuse me, Charlie Baker. Scott Brown also now appears to be losing his touch with the ladies. After losing his Massachusetts Senate seat to Elizabeth Warren, Scott Brown decided to move to New Hampshire and try to win a Senate seat there instead. In New Hampshire, Scott Brown now trails incumbent Democratic senator Jeanne Shaheen, but he is really trailing her when it comes to women. In polls right now women voters are picking Jeanne Shaheen over Scott Brown by a 12 point margin. To try to cut down that margin, Scott Brown has been trying to pump up his pro-choice credentials, but that means he has to pretend to not remember anti-abortion legislation that he sponsored back in his old home state when he lived in Massachusetts. Now, when Scott Brown gets asked about that stuff, that legislation that he sponsored he`s resorting to the all-time great response. Sorry . (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: I wanted to ask you about your co-sponsorship a couple of years back of a bill called "The Woman`s Right to Know" act, Senator Brown. It would require woman to wait 24 hours before getting an abortion, review pictures and information about her fetus. Why did you think that this was a good approach? BROWN: I`m not familiar with the specific bill, and you are referring to . MADDOW: OK. I`m so sorry. I feel like I have wrong information then. BROWN: I`m not sure what`s wrong . (CROSSTALK) BROWN: I`ve just voted on probably 8,000 bills that I`ve taken in my lifetime. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Yeah. So many bills I couldn`t possibly remember. It`s not great argumentative ground for Scott Brown, particularly in the week that the magazine, which once bestowed upon Scott Brown the title "America`s Sexiest Man", that magazine this week unendorsed him and said they want him to lose to Jeanne Shaheen. Cosmo writing, "His policy positions just aren`t as solid as his abs were in the 1980s." So, all right, Charlie Baker one, Scott Brown, two. But the two of them have done it with compared with Colorado Congressman Cory Gardner. He`s the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in the state of Colorado against Democratic Senator Mark Udall. Here`s how "The Denver Post" this week nodded up Cory Gardner`s troubles in just one line. "If Colorado`s U.S. Senate race were a movie, the set would be a gynecologist office complete with an exam table and a set of stirrups" Congressman Cory Gardner has been a longtime proponent of what`s called "personhood legislation at both the state and federal level. It`s fairly radical anti-abortion legislation, which Colorado voters have rejected by large margins multiple times. And they`ve rejected it in part because in addition to banning all abortion in all circumstance the proponents of personhood also concede that it would likely ban the most common forms of birth control in the country. Cory Gardner supported that for years in Colorado. Even as Colorado voters kept turning it down, he was collecting ballot signatures for it and championing it across the state. He even signed on to sponsor personhood as federal legislation for the whole country. But now that he`s running for Senate, Cory Gardner has changed his mind. Oh, I`m sorry, I was wrong about that thing for years now. Here`s the problem that Cory Gardner has, though. Even though he says he has had a change of heart about this personhood stuff, Congressman Gardner still is a co-sponsor of the Life at Conception Act in Congress, which is the federal personhood thing. Now, among the many consequences of Congress leaving early this month and not planning to come back until after the election next month, among the many tiny granular, but consequential consequences of that is the fact that Cory Gardener literally now cannot take his name off that federal personhood legislation. Even though he says he no longer supports it. In order to unsponsor something in Congress, you have to make a speech on the floor of the House when the House is in session. That`s how you take your name off the bill that you sponsored. Cory Gardner forgot to do that before Congress left. And now Congress will not be back until after the election, whereupon presumably, it will be too late for him. Republicans hate what Democrats call their war on women. They hate it. But in the case of the Charlie Baker gubernatorial run and the Scott Brown Senate run, and the Cory Gardner Senate run, this is what it looks like. Joining us now Celinda Lake, president of Lake Research Partners, the Democratic polling and strategy group. Celinda, it`s great to see you. Thanks for being here. CELINDA LAKE, DEMOCRATIC POLLSTER & STRATEGIST: Thank you for having me. MADDOW: So, is it - is it clear to you as a pollster, is there clear data about how much more motivating issue things are like abortion rights and birth control and personhood legislation for women voters in the midterm year? LAKE: Yes, it`s very clear. And it`s a two four, because it influences the opinions of late deciding independent women, because they don`t want the government and politicians making these personal decisions for them, and it also motivates women to turn out to vote. And there are tens of millions of women voters who voted in 2012, who are not planning to show up in 2014. This could them out. MADDOW: Well, where is it most resonant? I mean we are seeing a play out in the press and the polls, in those three states that I just described, in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Colorado. Obviously, there are policy differences like those I just described in some of the races, but can you tell where in the country the resonance is strongest on these issues for voters? And might have the biggest effect? LAKE: Well, I think, first of all, I can say that women and the gender gap are going to determine the control of the Senate. And you said it very well, Rachel, when you said that the key here is for Democrats to win women by more than we lose men by. So, that`s the battle right now. Republicans aren`t trying to win women, they`re just trying to keep the gap down. We are trying to win women by more than we are losing men. MADDOW: In terms of the - sorry, go ahead. LAKE: Oh, I`m just going to say, places that there are winning candidates, you see this accentuated, it`s not accidental, that the Baker and the Brown races are against women candidates. The other one I would add to you is the Gillespie Warner race in Virginia where, of course, Terry McAuliffe was elected because of women voters, and Gillespie has announced a thousand women for him and he said that he doesn`t want government intrusion in women`s lives. And he knows women doesn`t - don`t want that either. But I`m sorry, a lot of women would be glad to have government on their side, to ensure that they are paid the same, to ensure that their insurance company doesn`t gouge them. To ensure that the food they serve their family at dinner at night is safe. So, this is not a winning team, but they`re trying to turn this whole government intrusion theme against the Democrats - women don`t really want government intrusion. MADDOW: It has been fascinating, I`ve got to say. And that Ed Gillespie race - that`s Ed Gillespie, the Republican sort of chieftain against Mark Warner, the incumbent Democrat there and Ed Gillespie has been such a maestro when it comes to orchestrating other like - Republican campaigns, the Republican efforts around the country, and behind of the scenes way, but as a candidate, he`s - I mean not only is he getting clobbered by Mark Warner, but it`s been amazing sort of how - how purely he is showing as a candidate. Just what a bad job - standing for himself. It`s been hard to see. Linda Lake, Democratic pollster, the president of Lake Research Partners, thanks very much for being with us. LAKE: Thank you for having me. MADDOW: Nice to see you. All right. Lots to come. Including a best new thing in the world and the richest industry in the world reduced to some unseemly begging. Please stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: I do not know if it`s possible for an inanimate object to be cursed. But if it is possible for a thing to be cursed, than this thing right here might be slightly cursed. This is a ship, specifically it`s a drilling ship called the Noble Discoverer, its job is basically to sail out to the middle of the ocean somewhere and drill for oil. A few years ago, the giant oil company, Shell, sent this ship up to Alaska, up to the Arctic. Shell was given the OK by the federal government to start drilling the Arctic. Shell said it was going to be a piece of cake. They said they were the best in the world. They were really excited to do it, they sent the Noble Discoverer up there and the Noble Discover promptly melted down. Here you see the Noble Discoverer after it ran aground in the Aleutian Islands. The ship`s anchor didn`t take hold. It just started drifting and drifting out of control towards shore and then it crashed. Four months after that incident, the Noble Discoverer "briefly caught fire" while in port in Alaska. That apparently had been some kind of explosion onboard the ship. The next stop for the Discoverer was the port city of Seward, Alaska, when the Nobel Discoverer got there, members the U.S. Coast Guard boarded the ship to check it out. They found more than a dozen violations involving the rig`s safety and pollution equipment. The Coast Guard discovered, for example, that the ship`s main engine piston cooling water was contaminated with sludge and oil. The way the crew was dealing with that, is that they were skimming the oil off with a ladle and a bucket. The Coast Guard detained the ship in port and then they asked the U.S. Justice Department to please look into it as a potentially criminal matter. Shell just had a disastrous run in the Arctic when they were allowed in and that ship, the Nobel Discoverer, was part of the reason why Shell had to pull out of the Arctic entirely without drilling a drop. But now they want back in. Shell has submitted a formal request to start drilling up to six different wells up in the Arctic and one of the ships that they want to use to do that drilling is -- oh, yeah. The Noble Discoverer. Why not? What could possibly go wrong? It`s been there before. Shell is apparently not at all embarrassed about this. Not only are they trying to get that specific nightmare rig back up to the pristine Arctic, they are also actively lobbying the Obama administration to weaken the rules about what they have to do once they get there. Just-released documents, these are incredible, show that Shell has been pleading with the Obama administration in private meetings to try to ensure that new rules governing drilling in the Arctic do not force them to stash emergency equipment nearby. Shell says having all that stuff around - that would just be too expense. The world`s giant oil companies, for decades now, have been trying and mostly failing to uncork that part of the world`s fossil fuels. But the Obama administration decides whether to allow more of that drilling to go forward despite the track record, they`re also making the case to the world about the necessity of weaning off fossil fuels. And as the White House is making most pleas, not only publicly in this country, but to the world, now we know that there`s the richest industry on earth begging this administration behind closed doors to please not only let them try again to drill the Arctic. But let them do it even less safely this time. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Happy Friday. Best new thing in the world today. Relax into this. It`s so good. On September 5, 1977, this titan centaur rocket went up into the sky from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Its payload was a probe called Voyager One. The first mission of Voyager One was that it was going to explore Jupiter and Saturn. Which Voyager One accomplished within a few years. But after that, Voyager One kept going and going and going and going as designed. And now Voyager 1 has traveled farther away from Earth than any other object ever made by humans. Last year, NASA announced that Voyager 1 is finally in interstellar space. Which means that for all intense and purposes, it has left our solar system. That`s our star, right? Our Sun can no longer count Voyager 1 as part of its collection of satellites. Voyager 1 is out there now. And that`s kind of mind blowing, right? I mean even if you`re not kind of a space person. If you sit and think about it, your mind is suddenly trying to wrap itself around such vast distractions of space, and then beyond that, to the galaxy and to the universe. It`s amazing, right? It can also be a little unsettling. And for a very smart five-year-old boy in Canada those thoughts about a spacecraft traveling on and on and on and on and on and never coming back home, he has found those thoughts to be upsetting. And here is what his mom wrote in a letter to a Canadian radio show. "For the past year and a half, my five-year-old son goes to bed worried, sometimes in tears. He`s worried about the Voyager 1 interstellar spacecraft. The fact that it`s out there all by itself. He wants it to come home and to be safe. What do we tell him?" OK, first of all, aww. Second of all, when you need to hear something - when your kid needs to hear something reassuring about space, apparently, what you do is you call in this guy, Commander Chris Hadfield. He`s the awesome Canadian astronaut who on his last trip in space had the most fun of anyone on or off planet. You may remember his series of YouTube videos showing us earth links how astronauts wash their hands in microgravity, or what happens when you squeeze a wash cloth on the international space station. It`s so cool. And, of course, there was his music video where he performed David Bowie song "Space Oddity." So Chris Hadfield is this kind of the unofficial ambassador from space to the earthbound right now. And he called the scared Canadian kid. He called Timor to see if he as an astronaut could answer some of these questions that Timor had about voyager. These questions that were making him so anxious. And that conversation between the two of them really is the best new thing in the world today. Let this wash over you. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TIMOR: What if something goes wrong and there`s nothing to fix it out there? What happens if it runs into a planet, and what if it gets lost? What happens if it`s broken and like outside of our solar system and there`s nothing to fix it? CHRIS HADFIELD: Well, Timor, I think the real question is, is Voyager happy or not? Is Voyager a happy machine or a sad machine? Machines really like to do something. They like to do what they`re built for. A tractor is happy when it`s pulling a plow and working a field. And to me, Voyager is so happy because it`s the bravest satellite of all. It has gone the furthest, and it`s not lonely because it`s talking to us. It phones home and it tells us all about the wonderful things that it`s seeing. I think it`s as happy as it can possibly be. Timor, I hear you whispering with your mom. Did you guys have another question? TIMOR`S MOM: Well, he was worried that there are no people around it. Who would fix it if it gets broken down? HADFIELD: Well, Timor, it`s been going for a long, long time. Almost my whole life. It`s a very tough little spaceship and it knows what it`s doing. And it`s not worried about breaking down and having somebody fixing it. It`s worried about exploring. The purpose of exploring is not to worry about being maybe breaking down and being fixed. The purpose of exploring is finding new things. And discovering and then telling people what you saw. And that`s what Voyager is doing. It`s loving life. It might have been safer for it to just stay home and stay inside a building, but then it would have been sad forever. Because it never would have done its purpose. It never would have discovered things. It`s all a wonderful story of great discovery and success. And it couldn`t have happened if Voyager hadn`t been brave. Tim, did you understand what I said? TIMOR: Yes. HADFIELD: And does it make you happier? TIMOR: Not really. (LAUGHTER) HADFIELD: Yeah, well, it`s just sort of part of life, Timor. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Does it make you happier? Not really. Commander Hadfield did the best job anybody could do to make this vast, scary idea comprehensible to a smart kindergartener, right? But you know what, that`s not the best new thing in the world. The best thing in the world is Timor`s answer, right? Honest, brave adventurous and perfectly five years old. Does it make you happier? Not really. (LAUGHTER) Best new thing in the world today. That does it for us tonight, we will see you again on Monday. Now you have to go to prison. THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END