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The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 12/12/14

Guests: Bernie Sanders, Richard Selke, Susan Selke, James Brown

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. Julia got some money for Christmas. Congratulations, Julia. Looking good. Julia, in fact, got so much money for Christmas that she doesn`t want to keep it under the mattress in the shady neighborhood in which she lives. So, she has decided that she will keep her money safe by putting it in the bank. In this scenario, I am the bank. Julia, thank you very much. Appreciate your business. Blah, blah, blah. We`re going to keep your money safe. I`m the bank. Ha, ha. As the bank, it`s my responsibility to give Julia back her money when she wants it back. I`m supposed to be keeping it safe, right? So, it`s here when she needs it. But, in reality, until she needs it, I`ve got it. Look at all of this money I`ve got, whoo! Right? If I, as the bank, do something so stupid with Julia`s money that I lose it, right? It`s gone. Can`t find it. Here`s a pen. Now, it`s over. And I don`t have the money to give back to her when she comes back and asks for it? JULIA NUTTER: Where`s my money? MADDOW: Well, it turns out that -- as a bank, it turns out the taxpayers are actually on the hook to make you whole, to make sure that you get your money back, even though I lost it. So, here you go. Sorry. What happened in the financial crisis is that in turned out the banks were basically doing this in your money. They`re basically taking your money to strip clubs and playing Three-card Monte with the guy in the alley outside. They were doing these incredibly risky transactions with your money that you deposited in the bank. And when all of those risky transactions failed and they lost all of that money they were playing with, guess who was on the hook? The taxpayers were on the hook. So, after the financial catastrophe, after that crash that we still haven`t recovered from, the biggest financial disaster since the Great Depression, after that, one of the things in Washington to try to prevent that crisis from ever happening again is they passed some new rules saying banks, you know, can do the riskiest things in the world if they want to. They can do all sorts of crazy stuff that is super risky. They can play Three-card Monte in alleys outside strip clubs with their money if they want to -- but not with Julia`s money, right? If the taxpayers are going to be on the hook to reimburse people, reimburse depositors, right, real people put their money in the banks. So, that can`t be the money that the banks play with when they decide to play. When they decide that they`re feeling really lucky and so they behaved really stupidly and they put that money at risk. So, that`s it. It`s not that complicated an idea. That`s the part of Wall Street reform that the Republicans just undid in the house last night. That`s what all the upset is about. In the financial catastrophe, the financial crisis, it turns out it was derivatives trading and credit default swaps that were these super- risky things that blew up and put the taxpayers on the hook when the crisis happened back in 2008. The reform afterwards told the banks they couldn`t do that with real people`s money. They couldn`t do that in a way that would implicate the taxpayers if things went bad again. It`s not a complicated thing. But that very simple, very crucial reform passed as part of Dodd- Frank. And then, without debate, last night, that part of it got killed. That`s what they killed. One former treasury official told "The Washington Post" today, quote, "It really is outrageous. This was the epicenter of the financial crisis. This is what brought AIG down. This is what brought Lehman Brothers down." And now, the rules are such that it can happen again, and it will be us, we, the taxpayers, who have to pay for it again. The language to undo this reform, the language to go back to the old way of doing stuff was written by Citigroup, written by Citigroup. The banks have been trying to get rid of this reform since it went into effect, basically. Citigroup drafted the language they wanted to use to kill this reform, and the language that got put in the bill with no debate last night is almost exactly, word for word, Citigroup`s language. It`s one of the main, most basic reforms, one of the most necessary things that we did to protect ourselves from another total collapse in the financial system, to insolate taxpayers so that we don`t have to pay for what the banks did wrong, finally. That is what they just undid. That`s why Democrats got so mad. That was the really simple idea. It`s called Section 716 of the Dodd-Frank Act. And the banks hate it. Of course, they do. Who wouldn`t want the United States government and its taxpayers to promise to come and rescue you if you lost money? You can keep it on the upside, but if it goes south, the taxpayers will pay. Who wouldn`t want that? But that very simple thing, that`s the basis of the giant fight that just happened in Washington that took the whole Beltway by surprise. And because that was what the fight was about, that`s why the headliner in the Democratic Party leading the fight was seemed to be Elizabeth Warren. It`s not just that she`s a liberal and Democrats like her and everybody knows her name. It`s subject specific. This is her wheel house. This is how she came to Washington in the first place, right? Elizabeth Warren first became known as a public figure because she was tapped by President Obama to oversee the bail out. I mean, her outrage over the banks screwing the taxpayers is the whole reason she got into politics and ran for the Senate and became this Democratic household name. It`s not an accident as she`s the Democrat who`s seen as throwing the first punches in this fight. It`s not an accident that her first press conference on this was with a woman you see on her left there, Maxine Watters. That wasn`t just because Elizabeth Warren and Maxine Watters, oh look, liberals, right? It wasn`t just because liberals wanted to pound their chests a little bit. It`s because Maxine Watters is the top Democrat in the Financial Services Committee. It`s subject-specific. It`s not an accident that the prominent former member who the Democrats had called reporters on this and put out a statement on this, calling it outrageous, something that needed to be stopped. It`s not an accident that they called Barney Frank. It`s because Barney Frank is a beloved liberal. It`s because he`s Barney Frank who used to run the banking committee, right? He`s the Frank in Dodd-Frank. The outrage here is subject-specific. The other -- one of the other Senate Democrats whose name keeps turning up in stories about working this fight behind the scenes is Sherrod Brown, the senator from Ohio. And that`s not just because Sherrod Brown is a liberal senator and this is a liberal fight. It`s because Sherrod Brown is about to be the top ranking Democrat on the Banking Committee in the Senate. This is a substantive fight about a specific thing. This is not just liberals blowing off steam. The Beltway has been saying, oh, look, liberals blowing off steam. That`s not what this is. The Beltway wants the left and the right to be mirror images of each other. What`s the lefty version of the Tea Party? They want -- they want the center to always be correct and they want to ideological edges to always be equally crazy and impractical in just the same way. But it`s almost never what`s going and it`s not what`s going on here. There`s this great moment that happened accidentally on our show last night. We do our show from 9:00 to 10:00 Eastern and then we`re on again midnight to 1:00 a.m. and then we came midnight Eastern Time, after the House had narrowly averted shutting down the government with less than 3:00 hours to spare and this is vote where nobody knew it was going to happen until the votes started coming in. And in our midnight show, we had Congressman John Sarbanes on the air from Capitol Hill. And as you can see, he`s not like in a boy band. This isn`t like fashionable stubble. He had like, an 11:00 shadow because it had been such a long day. He was obviously kind of beat. You know, he had been one of the 139 Democrats who voted no on this thing and he was fired up when he talked to us. But it had been a long day. And we booked him to explain why he voted no. Why so many Democrats voted no on this thing, whether it was a legitimate surprise, like it seemed that it did actually pass in the end, and this funny thing happened. So, I first started talking to him. And the sound was kind of cacophonous. It wasn`t just like he was in a loud room. There was these other specific really loud voices in the background, so at times, I almost couldn`t hear what he was saying. Somebody else was speaking really loudly really near him while he was doing this live TV interview with me. So that was weird. But then I realized what was going on, where that noise is about, when, in the middle of my interview with him, from the Capitol buildings, the people who had been talking really loudly just off camera next to him, actually, look, walked through the background of his shot while I was talking to him. And when they did that, then the talking stopped. So, these people who had been talking near him very loudly kind of skulked away in the middle of my interview with him, and it turns out, look, it`s Steve King and Michele Bachman, and Louie Gohmert. These were Republicans who also voted no, like John Sarbanes did, but obviously, for totally different reasons. Steve King, Louie Gohmert, Michele Bachman, right through the back of my shot. Hey, come back. Be on my show. I mean, had the Democrats not had their revolt yesterday, the big news would have been just how many Republicans revolted against John Boehner, revolted against their own party. John Boehner got 67 no votes from Republicans, 67 noes from his own caucus, for his own bill to avoid a government shutdown. So we`ve been heading toward these votes, the showdown last night. The expectation was that John Boehner might lose like 20 or 30 votes, possibly even 40 votes. He lost 67 votes. The only reason that wasn`t the biggest story in the country is that the Democrats provided all the drama. They provided all the drama that they needed by refusing to provide any votes in the first procedural vote of the day to keep the government funded. And then, once they got passed the procedural thing with just Republican votes, nobody had any idea if the Democrats would show up to save John Boehner`s bacon and get the thing finally passed at the end of the night before the midnight scheduled government shutdown. Super- dramatic. But the people who revolted inside the Democratic Party were not, hey, Beltway, were not the Democratic equivalent of Michele Bachmann and Steve King and Louie Gohmert. The people who revolted inside the Democratic Party, it`s not a mirror image. They weren`t the fringe of the party. Like they were revolters on the right. I mean, they were, like, Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader, and Congressman John Sarbanes who we had on the air, and Congressman Steve Israel who we had on the air, the guy who just run the House Campaign Committee -- all of them and 130 other Democrats. This wasn`t the Louie Gohmert fringe of the Democratic Party. It was the leadership and most of the Democratic Party who all said no, and who said no against the wishes of their own White House, right? And no, the Democrats who revolted, they didn`t win. They didn`t win in the end. They got enough Democratic votes that it passed. But they did fight. They did fight even against the wishes of their own White House because they disagreed with the White House on this, as a substantive matter of policy. A matter of policy that they care a lot about, it turns out. I mean, on the right, there is sort of a permanent insurgency inside the Republican Party. Conservative activists have increased their influence within their own party and, thereby, pretty much dragged all of American politics to the right by just kind of being a constant insurgency. By fighting constantly, just for the sake of fighting, even when they know they can`t win, they fight all of the time. They fight their own leadership. They gum up the works. They screw up the best-laid plans. They make a ton of noise and that`s how they maintain their influence. They say you can`t take us for granted. We are going to make noise and make things hard for you every step of the way. Even when we can`t win, we`re going to make it hard for you to do so. That`s been the insurgent strategy on the right, within the Republican Party. Democrats haven`t had something like that. Democrats, mostly, have not had that as a strategy. But now, all of the sudden, the Democratic Party, not in a fringe way, but in almost a holistic way, are starting to make noise. Now, in the Senate, they`ve got a two-day extension. So they have until tomorrow night, Saturday night, before the government shutdowns, if they can`t pass the same bill that the House just did to keep the lights on. The Senate may have the option of a further extension, we`re told maybe until Wednesday if they decide to go that route. They could just vote themselves extensions. Now, senators are human beings. They obviously all want to go home and start their holiday break. But it`s a little complicated right now. Nobody exactly knows what`s going to happen. Part of the reason it`s complicated is because Harry Reid knows that the longer he keeps the Senate in session right now, the longer he can stay in charge. This is his last hoorah, right? And maybe he can get some nominations through or some other legislation, something. Once they gavel this session to a close, he`s done as majority leader. So, he knows that as long as he can keep them there, that they can keep passing stuff and maybe some passing nominations. That`s a sort of expected thing. The other unexpected complication is the fact that nobody knows if it`s going to be as crazy getting this thing through the Senate as it was through the House. And, for the first time in forever, that is because it is the Democrats who are willing to be unpredictable. That is because it is the Democrats who are willing to mount even very inconvenient, very late-breaking, fast-moving, unpredictable political fights because they have found the thing that they want to stand up for. This was all supposed to be done by now. Today was supposed to be a sleepy day after the lame duck. The lame duck is still quacking. And it turns out, it`s not all that lame. Joining us now is Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. He`s a member of the Budget and Joint Economic Committee. Senator Sanders, thank you for being here in helping us understand what`s going on right now. MADDOW: First things first, I just have to ask you about what`s happening now. As far as we understand it, it seems that we may not be getting a vote on the funding bill tonight? Is that how you understand it? SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: Well, Rachel, I may be going to the airport, I may not. I may be voting tonight, tomorrow, Sunday, or Monday. That`s about what I know. MADDOW: Do you know if Harry Reid has the votes to get this through? Do you know if there`s a filibuster threat that could meaningfully slow it down or potentially stop it? SANDERS: I don`t know that. If I were a betting guy, I would assume the votes are there. MADDOW: In terms of this fight that`s happened in the House, you and Senator Warren and others have been on the record opposing this spending bill, specifically calling out the rolling back of Dodd-Frank, this big fight was mounted in the House. It wasn`t enough to stop it, but they made a lot of noise and made a lot of people very nervous yesterday. What`s the status among Democrats in the Senate and how it feels there? SANDERS: Rachel, this is a bad bill for a number of reasons. I think you effectively talked about the outrage of repealing a section, by the way, whose title is Prohibition Against Federal Government Bailouts of Swap Entities. In other words, these guys will be able to make incredible, risky investments. If they win, they make a lot of money. If they lose, the taxpayers of this country bail them out. That is totally crazy. But that`s not the only objectionable aspect of this bill. This bill is about a trillion dollar bill, 60 percent of the money is going to military spending. Our infrastructure is collapsing. Kids can`t afford to go to college. Child care is a total disaster. We`re spending 60 percent of our discretionary money on the military, a military who can`t even account or audit its budget. So, that`s another objection. And the third objection, which has not gotten a lot of attention, but is very, very important, there is language in this bill which repeals 40- year-old federal law protecting workers pensions. And if this bill goes through, millions and millions of workers who have worked for 20 or 30 years on a job, may found out find out that the pensions they expected were cut by 30 percent, 40 percent or 50 percent. So, I`m going to vote very strongly against this legislation. I think we can do a heck of a lot better in terms of protecting working families. MADDOW: In some of -- not in terms of the overall scope and aims of the bill, but in terms of some of the really specific stuff, some of the really specific complaints, things that were at it as riders in the bill, is there any hope of getting anything out of it? Is there any legislation -- (CROSSTALK) MADDOW: You have to defeat the whole bill? SANDERS: Absolutely. The House passed the bill. It now goes to the Senate. So, what the Senate has to do is defeat the bill, rewrite the bill and send it back to the House. I think what is working for us is if more that people learn in terms of what`s in the bill, they are absolutely disgusted. We`re getting calls from Vermont. Many, many of them. And people are sick and tired of seeing the people on Wall Street whose greed and illegal behavior drove this country into this horrendous recession impacting millions of people. And now, they`re back in power and they are writing the legislation. Literally, Citigroup is writing the legislation that House Republicans are putting into the bill. People do not want to see that. MADDOW: Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, still at work tonight, indefinitely there with the Senate, we don`t know how long it`s going to take. Sir, thank you for helping us understand. I appreciate it. SANDERS: Thank you. MADDOW: All right. We`ve got lots more to come tonight. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: If you want to hear what it has been like in the United States Senate tonight as they fight over this fight from last night -- check this out from Elizabeth Warren. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: You know, there`s a lot of talk lately about how Dodd-Frank isn`t perfect. There`s a lot of talk coming from Citigroup about how Dodd-Frank isn`t perfect. So, let me say this to anyone who is listening at Citi -- I agree with you. Dodd-Frank isn`t perfect. It should have broken you into pieces. (END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: On December 1st, our friends at the FOX News Channel, they knew that this thing was about to be done. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS: So, you see a couple more days on this? Maybe this week will be the end? MEGYN KELLY, FOX NEWS: I think passed this week, that will be it. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Passed this week, that will be it. That was December 1st on the FOX News Channel. It turns out, what they were talking about wasn`t it. It wasn`t over. Our friends at FOX were talking about the protests, about police killings of black men. Back on December 1st, they were sure at FOX that these protests were about to peter out. It turns out, the FOX News Channel did not have their finger on the pulse of the protesters. This weekend, the Justice for All march is scheduled in Washington. MSNBC`s Al Sharpton is part of that. He`ll be there with the families of Mike Brown from Ferguson, and Eric Garner from Staten Island, and Kai Gurley, who`s killed in a New York housing project stairwell. And Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old boy killed in Cleveland, and Trayvon Martin, the family of Trayvon Martin is going to be there, as well. Beyond that Washington march tomorrow, there are protest events elsewhere this weekend, including a big one in New York under the banner Millions March Day of Anger. There`s lots of other events planned Saturday and Sunday. I know they keep expecting these protests to peter out, but they are not petering out. We`ll know more when it happens. But the protests have continued solidly over the past few weeks. The ones this weekend look like they are going to be big. We`ll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: So, the House has gone home. The Senate has not gone home and we don`t know when they will. Senator Sanders just telling us he may be getting on a plane soon, he may not be. One of the things still to do before the Democrats hand over control of the Senate to the Republicans is the long list of Obama nominees who still have not been confirmed. One of them is Dr. Vivek Murthy, President Obama`s nominee for surgeon general. His confirmation has been held up for nearly a year now, specifically by the NRA. One of the things that made Vivek Murthy such a boogie man for the NRA was this tweet. NRA press conference, do we have the tweet there? There we go. "NRA press conference disappointing but predictable, blame everything in the world except guns for the Newtown tragedy, #wakeup." That tweet from Dr. Vivek Murthy came a week after the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting. This Sunday, December 14th, marks the two- year anniversary of that shooting. Two-year anniversary of that mass killing of first graders at Sandy Hook Elementary School, 20 kids and 6 school staffers shot and killed that morning while they were at school, two years ago this weekend. And it would be sort of fitting, should it happen, if this weekend, the weekend of that somber anniversary, if it were also the weekend when they were able to get passed the NRA and move on the nomination of Vivek Murthy to be surgeon general. He got in all of that trouble with the NRA for saying that gun violence is violence and it therefore should be seen as a health care I shall shoe. But, again, we`re hearing tonight that Senate Democrats are not going home tonight and that they are planning, as part of what they do before they leave, to move on at least some nominations. They`re still in session tonight. They`ll be in session possibly for the next few days. If they keep doing real work while they are there, watch for the Vivek Murthy nomination for surgeon general. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. TOM COBURN (R), OKLAHOMA: Most of the bills that passed the Senate never received a vote. We all know that. It`s the vast majority of the bills. They are approved by unanimous consent. It just takes a single senator to withhold consent to stop most legislation. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: This is farewell season in the Senate, even as that eminent chamber has been rushing to pass a spending bill. And maybe vote on some more nominations, even as they played this last round of beat the clock. They also make time for farewell speeches, for members who won`t be returning after this session. And so, Republican Senator Tom Coburn yesterday gave his good-bye remarks about the all mighty power of a single senator to shut down the whole thing. Doing that, blocking bills, is how Tom Coburn earned his nickname that he likes so much, "Dr. No". (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) COBURN: It just takes a single senator to withhold consent to stop most legislation. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: It just takes a single senator. For the past few weeks on Capitol Hill, we`ve been watching a bill that tries to do something about the grinding tragedy in this country of U.S. military veterans committing suicide at a rate of 22 per day. The bill is named after Marine Corporal Clay Hunt who served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan before he came back home and dedicated his life to helping others, especially veterans. He had been diagnosed with PTSD. In March 2011, Corporal Clay Hunt took his own life. The Clay Hunt suicide prevention bill is basically an amalgamation of a bunch of different provisions that would boost care and boost suicide prevention measures for veterans within the V.A. Obviously, nothing will be perfect. But the veterans think that this is the best shot they`ve got to try to make things better. The bill has broad support from veterans groups. It has bipartisan support, not token bipartisan support, but real, like almost equal support from both sides of the aisle. Clay Hunt`s parents, Susan and Richard Selke, they testified for the bill in Congress. This week, they personally lobbied both Speaker John Boehner and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy at their offices, trying to get this bill passed before the lame duck session ends. In the House, the Selkes have succeeded. On Tuesday, the Clay Hunt bill passed by a voice vote. All in favor, say aye, passed in the House. In the Senate, the bill has very real substantive bipartisan support, broad support throughout the chamber. But it has not passed in the Senate and nobody knows if it will, and that`s because in the Senate, it only takes one senator to block a bill. And this particular bill is blocked on purpose by one senator -- the guy who likes you to call him "Dr. No". Senator Tom Coburn is in his final couple of days in the United States Senate. He`s retiring after two terms in office. He`s apparently decided that blocking the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention bill for veterans is going to be the last thing he does that anybody ever knows about. And when it became clear this week that the bill named after their son would come down to this one senator, with time really running out, the Selkes made a direct appeal to that one senator holding up. Watch this. This is incredible. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) RICHARD SELKE, CLAY HUNT`S STEPFATHER: Dr. Coburn, my name is Richard Selke and this is my wife, Susan. Susan and I are conservative Republicans from the state of Texas. And what I would say to you is thank you for your vigilance over our budget. But this is an exception. There are things in that bill that may be duplicative. I don`t know. But I know there are things in that bill that aren`t. I know there are things in there that fill up some plugs, some gaps. Might have saved clay`s life. Might have saved some other veteran`s life if they had been there. And so, if I had $22 million right now, I`d write that check. I don`t have it. You don`t have it. But what you do have is you have power. All you have to do is not say no. All you have to do is allow this bill to unanimously pass the Senate today or tomorrow, hopefully, by the end of the session. Would you please do that? Would you please do that for Susan and for me, for Clay, and for every other vet whose passed on or is still with us. These are valuable, valuable, precious children of God and precious, precious members of our society. It`s on your back. This is personal. Please, please don`t say no. Thank you. I hope we have the opportunity to meet some day soon. God bless you. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Joining us now for the interview are Richard and Susan Selke, who you just saw there. They are the parents of Marine Corporal Clay Hunt for whom this bill is named. Mr. and Mrs. Selke, thank you so much for joining us this evening. I know it has been a very, very long day for you. RICHARD SELKE: Thank you, Rachel. SUSAN SELKE, MOTHER OF CLAY HUNT: Thank you for having us. MADDOW: First, let me just ask you bluntly -- do you believe the bill is going to pass? You guys more than anybody got it through the House. Do you think it will pass the Senate and become law? RICHARD SELKE: We don`t know. We`re not sure. MADDOW: In terms of Senator Coburn`s opposition, he -- it seems like he really is the man standing between it passing and it not. Do you understand what his objections are? Do you think that they can be addressed in a way that might move him on this issue? SUSAN SELKE: From what we understand, his objection is the cost. And the cost is $22 million, in the scope of the federal budget, it is just so small. And there is no way you can put a price on the lives of these young men and women who serve in our military. So, it is baffling, the thinking that is going behind this. RICHARD SELKE: In our humble opinion, he`s focused on the wrong numbers. (CROSSTALK) MADDOW: I`m so sorry to interrupt. This is awkward with the satellite delay. I`ll ask you to elaborate on that. I also should ask you so I don`t have to interrupt again. You expressed in that video to Senator Coburn, you said I don`t know if this may be slightly duplicative. I know that it will fill some gaps. Can you tell me why it is you believe this is the right approach and that the numbers line up here the way you think they ought to? Sorry. RICHARD SELKE: The bill itself fills some gaps that our son Clay struggled with. One of those games is it allows the V.A. to hire additional psychiatrists, psychologists, additional care givers. There`s a real -- you know, Clay was in Houston, Texas, which has one of the largest veterans community in the nation. And there are three psychiatrists serving that. My understanding of psychiatric therapy is it`s talk therapy. If people need drugs to get stabilized, you give them drugs. But the drugs are not the permanent solution. And so, three psychiatrists in that large population is -- that is going to cause a lot of problems, a lot of delays in those men and women who need that care getting their care. Another thing it does is bring together a number of support partners who would offer additional therapeutic type of things, programs outside the V.A., things like equine (ph) therapy, different activities, hunting, fishing, all kinds of different programs that in conjunction with what the V.A. does, will help these veterans heal and become more holistic. It also allows a very, very important thing. Right now, veterans have to present whatever their abnormality (ph) is within five years. And often, the symptoms of PTSD don`t present themselves until that time. So, what this does is allow a one-year period of time to those veterans who are suffering from this to actually come back in and re-qualify under the veteran benefits. Those are some major things. It does some other things. But -- and it`s in no way, shape or form complete. It`s not the total answer. But we believe it`s a step in the right direction for our veterans. MADDOW: Richard and Susan Selke, taking your personal struggle here and being willing to make it a national cause to try to help others is a mitzvah in a big way. So, oh, I`m getting choked up talking about it. I`m sorry, this happens to me all the time. Thanks for being with us. Thanks for your work. SUSAN SELKE: Thank you very much for having us. Appreciate it. RICHARD SELKE: Thank you, Rachel. MADDOW: It`s part of my job to not do this. We`ll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: So, what are you doing on January 6th? I have something for you to put in your calendar. When Virginia Republican Governor Bob McDonnell was convicted of 11 felony corruption charges in September, we here on the show tried to figure out how much time he might get in prison when he got sentenced. Looking at the guidelines, my best guess was that he was looking at 8 to 10 years in prison. That was my guess as an amateur. Well, now, the pros have weighed in. The Federal Probation Office gives judges sentencing guidelines after they`ve convicted people. And the guidelines they have now issued in the Bob McDonald case range from 10 years plus a month in prison to 12 years plus 7 months in prison. Now, the judge in the Bob McDonald case does not have to follow those guidelines, but judges mostly do follow those guidelines. Bottom line, I figured 8-10 years. But now it looks more like 10-12 years for "Governor Ultrasound" in Virginia after his multiple felony convictions. We will find out for sure on January 6th. But if you have your calendar already for next year, you should write that in, January 6th. Save the date. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: You know, there`s a lot of talk lately about how Dodd-Frank isn`t perfect. There`s a lot of talk coming from Citigroup about how Dodd-Frank isn`t perfect. So, let me say this to anyone who is listening at Citi -- I agree with you. Dodd-Frank isn`t perfect. It should have broken you into pieces. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Senator Elizabeth Warren speaking on the Senate floor earlier tonight. So, there`s been a little bit of drama in Congress. As you know, last night at midnight, the government was set to shut down. The government was funded through last night at 11:59 p.m. and if Congress didn`t pass something, to keep the government funded there after, we were due to have yet another government shut down. Oh, hi, Ted Cruz. The thing that`s been dramatic is not only that there was so many Republican defections in the House from Joan Boehner`s own bill to keep the government funded. But then, suddenly, sort of a surprise, there were a ton of Democratic defections, as well. John Boehner was counting on Democrats to give him all the votes he was going to lose from his own side. For a long time yesterday, it looked like he wouldn`t have those votes. There were lots of Democrats who were whipping against it. The House was telling Democrats to vote for it. We learned today in "The Washington Post" that one of the people making calls to House Democrats, telling them to vote for it yesterday was Jamie Dimond, the head of JPMorgan Chase. If you`re a Democrat, that`s kind of a litmus test moment. When Jamie Dimond calls you and tells you to vote on something, is that a signal that you should vote on it? Or that you should definitely vote against it? Well, in the end, it did pass last night. We avoided a government shut down when the House passed that bill less than three hours before midnight. But it does still have to pass the Senate. Now, there`s been some short term extenders to try to give the Senate a little more time so they can get their act together and keep the lights on. But we`ve been watching them in session all night tonight not knowing if the vote was going to happen tonight, not knowing if there was going to be a filibuster, not knowing if it was going to have the votes, if it did pass, not knowing if they were going to give themselves some short term measure to give themselves even more time, to stay in session to do this funding bill and maybe more so they could piece it together as best they could. Well, we`ve just learned that they at least made a decision for tonight. What we`re told is that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell just jumped into an elevator on his way out of the building, and said, "See you Monday," which implies they`re not leaving for good, but they may be leaving us for the night. Joining us now to help us understand is NBC News Senate producer, Frank Thorp. Frank, thanks for being with us. FRANK THORP, NBC NEWS SENATE PRODUCER: Hey, no problem. MADDOW: So, what is happening tonight? Can we tell? THORP: Well, it sounds like what they`re going to do is they`re going to pass a short term CR that will go until December 17th, midnight December 17th, which allows them to have a couple more days to go through the procedural hurdles to actually consider their cromnibus. So, they`ll come back and they`ll work on the cromnibus, they`ll work on the terrorism insurance bill that they`ve been working on, tax extenders. And, to be honest, the real delay on this, because Democrats really want to focus on getting the nominations that they`ve been working on through before they give up the majority effectively once they leave for the year. MADDOW: So, am I to understand that -- I mean, I don`t want to read too much into this, but if I was guessing as to what`s going on, it sound if they wanted to pass the funding bill, they probably could get it passed tonight. But Harry Reid has decided to not make that happen as fast as he might because he`s got some other stuff he`d like to do, too. THORP: That`s exactly what`s happening. I mean, they could pass it tonight. I talked to the Senate appropriations chairwoman, Barbara Mikulski, as she was leaving the floor just about 20 minutes ago. She says they have to votes to pass it. It`s not a question of if it`s going to pass, it`s just when it`s going to pass. And, you know, having this bill on the docket makes sure that senators don`t leave town for good, for the year, and they still have a lot of nominations that their really want to make sure they knock out before the year ends. And they want to make sure that Senate stores come in town to make sure they consider those next week. MADDOW: Frank, it seems like there was a little bit of miscalculation on the other side of the Capitol. They thought it was going to be a little easier to pass, that government funding bill than it ended up being. Is there any worry that by giving senators a whole weekend to sit and stew about this, they might inspire some brave filibusterer on either side of the isle, that this might give people more time to be annoyed with what`s in this bill. THORP: I don`t think so. I mean, you don`t feel the same groundswell of opposition from this side of the Capitol. You know, you saw that when polls came out strongly against it and then Maxine Watters also did the same over on the House side. Over here on the Senate side, you have Reid supporting it. MADDOW: Right. THORP: You have a bunch of leadership members that are pushing for this to go. So I think that -- you know, it also, you know, the White House was making such a big push over on the House side to, you know, making calls, Biden was calling, you know, President Obama was calling, members of Congress, asking them to vote for this package. You don`t see that on the Senate. It`s not that worry here on the Senate because they actually feel that they do have the votes to pass it. MADDOW: NBC News Senate producer Frank Thorp, thanks for letting us know. Appreciate it, thanks. Appreciate it, Frank. Thank you. But again, the bottom line here tonight, the Senate seems to be leaving tonight. They`ll be back on Monday. That means there will be more Senate action between Monday and Wednesday, which is the new deadline for government shutdown. All right. Next up, something involving a teeny, tiny cocktail shaker. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Happy Friday. You know what that means. Splat! It`s time to dump some of this week`s news on one of our faithful viewers. Hello, producer Julia Nutter, nice to see you. JULIA NUTTER, PRODUCER: Nice to see you. MADDOW: Who`s playing tonight? NUTTER: Tonight, we`ve got James Browns. He hails from Sydney, Australia. He`s a university student studying psychology. He`s an American politics junkie for some reason. It`s the first U.S. sporting event he ever attended was the Red Sox versus Yankees at Fenway. MADDOW: Oh very nice. James, it`s very nice to meet you. Thank you for doing this. JAMES BROWN, SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA: It`s so nice to meet you. MADDOW: I was wondering until you spoke whether you were an American in Australia, who therefore is understandably obsessed. No, you`re actually Aussie. BROWN: Pure Australian. MADDOW: What kind of time difference are we talking about here? BROWN: It is midday on Saturday. MADDOW: Wow. So you`ve only had breakfast so far? BROWN: Yes, that`s it. MADDOW: OK. This is super weird. Friday night news dump, now with more vegemite. All right. OK. You know how this goes, it`s really cool to have you here. You get three questions. If you get two or more of them right, Julia, what will he win? NUTTER: This new and improved fancy mini-TRMS cocktail shaker. MADDOW: Is it all new and improved? NUTTER: Yes. MADDOW: How is it improved? NUTTER: It`s slightly slimmer. The logo is smaller. (LAUGHTER) MADDOW: We got you a diet cocktail shaker. Congratulations. I should also tell you, James, our office is getting a bit cluttered lately. We have found a junk in our desk to send. If you win either as sort of extra credit or as a consolation prize, Julia, do we have specific clutter to send James? NUTTER: We do. We have these fancy blue racquet balls. MADDOW: OK. BROWN: I thought it was going to be that. Yes. MADDOW: You thought it was going to be the what? BROWN: The balls, I thought it was going to be the balls. MADDOW: Oh, good. You were hoping for them. Congratulations, it`s the balls. BROWN: Yes! MADDOW: So awkward in any accent. I have to tell you the balls are used. BROWN: That`s fine. I don`t mind. MADDOW: Sorry. OK. We also need to bring in the disembodied voice of Steve Benen, who you probably know as the dark overlord of Maddow Blog. He is also for us the guy who determines the rightness and wrongness of thing. Say hello, Steve. STEVE BENEN: Hello, James. BROWN: Hi, how you doing. MADDOW: Very good. Steve, James. James, Steve. OK. James, are you ready for your first question? BROWN: Yes. MADDOW: These are not chronologically correct. We`re starting with something we did on last night`s show. On last night`s show, we reported that House Speaker John Boehner had an unexpectedly difficult time getting the government funding bill passed its first procedural vote, which happened at about midday. When Democrats refused to help him out, he had to beg some Republicans to change their votes. One Republican who agreed to switch his or her vote is a Republican who is leaving after this year and will not be back when the new congress comes back in January. So, was the vote switcher, Steve Stockman of Texas, Kerry Bentivolio of Michigan, Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, or Eric Cantor of Virginia? BROWN: I believe, unless I`m wrong, it is Kerry Bentivolio of Michigan, the reindeer person. MADDOW: The reindeer person. Steve, did James get that right? BENEN: Yes, it was indeed. It was the reindeer herder himself, Michigan`s Kerry Bentivolio. But it`s worth noting that Marlin Stutzman of Indiana also apparently wishes he could switch his vote. He said the party leadership tricked him into for voting for it. In either any case, James is one for one. MADDOW: OK, that excellent. So, we thought last night when Kerry Bentivolio was the switcher that he was the one guy. It turns out it was also Marlin Stutzman, but he thinks he was tricked. All right, I love it. I love these guys. OK. You have to get two right to win the price. We`re going to question two. What -- this is from Monday`s show. And Monday show, we reported about the ceremony that marked the end of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. The war in Afghanistan is not over. It just has a new name now. What is the name of the new operation to replace Operation Enduring Freedom? This is the one that`s going to keep more than 10,000 U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan for years to come. Is the new name Operation Resolute Support? Is it Operation Enduring Alliance? Is it Operation Steady Hand? Or Operation Firm Buttress? BROWN: I`m going to say maybe not D. This one slipped my mind, but if I`m looking through the answers I`m going to have to say it would be B? MADDOW: Operation Enduring Alliance is your guess? BROWN: Yes. MADDOW: Steve, how did he do? BENEN: Let`s check the segment from Monday`s show. MADDOW: OK. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Basically, they are changing the name from Operation Enduring Freedom to the new one, Operation Resolute Support. (END VIDEO CLIP) BENEN: So, yes, the correct answer was A, Operation Resolute Support. And I`m afraid James got this one wrong. MADDOW: You know, the thing that`s hard to remember about this one is if you think that Operation Resolute Support is anything, you probably think it`s a sports bra, you know what I mean? It doesn`t have that war feeling. BROWN: Yes. MADDOW: Anyway, but don`t worry, there`s still another chance. This one is kind of a hard one, but I have faith in you. All right. It`s from Wednesday`s show. On Wednesday`s show, we learned about the arrest of a chemical company executive after a huge chemical leak by his company poisoned drinking water for a big portion of West Virginia. Right after the leak happened, while nine counties in West Virginia still had no tap water because of what his company had done. That executive kept swigging water himself while he talked to reporters. What brand of bottled water did he drink in that famous presser? Was it a, Dasani, B, Fiji, C, Aquafina? Or D, for 4-methylcyclohexane methanol springs? What do you think? BROWN: D probably would be appropriate. But It wasn`t B, it wasn`t a Fiji bottle, I know that much. So I`m going to have to say I recognize the bottle of A, is it A? MADDOW: Steve, do you have the answer for us? BENEN: I`m afraid it was C, it was Aquafina. And I saw you drinking from a similar bottle on the air on Wednesday. MADDOW: I did. We dug one out, we found one so it would match the tape on that one. All right. So, the good news about this one, James, is that we are still going to be spending an insane amount of money on postage to send some junk to you in Australia. Julia, am I correct he does not get the cocktail shaker? Don`t worry. But you do get the racquet balls which we used to act out sending balls to John Boehner through the mail. BROWN: Thank you so much. MADDOW: James Brown, thank you very, very much. It was very fun to meet you and to play with you. Thanks a lot. BROWN: Thank you so much. MADDOW: All right. Thanks. Australia. I know, right? I know. Any of you out there or Down Under think you have what it takes to survive the Friday night news dump, will tell you how to apply. If you get two things right, you get one of our little cheap cocktail shakers, now smaller than ever before. And even if you don`t get two right, if you only get one right or you need extra credit, you can get some junk from our desks. So, head on over to Better do it quick because here comes the warden. THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END