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The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 02/24/15

Guests: Amy Klobuchar, Seth Moulton

RACHEL MADDOW, HOST: Good evening, Chris. We`ll have updates on the live updates coming in from Chicago in terms of the mayoral election tonight. HAYES: Very close, interesting stuff. MADDOW: Very close and the question about whether he avoids the run off is like of national interest so we`ll have that as those returns come in. Thanks. And thanks to you at home for joining us. So, it is fight night apparently. It is fight right now. In terms of big fight nights, this is sort of like the biggest one of recent 50 years memory, right? Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, they fought at Madison Square Garden in New York City, March 1971. They billed that thing as the fight of the century. There were a lot of other big boxing matches in the 20th Century so maybe it is hyperbole to say it was the fight of the century, but the hype for Ali-Frazier, the amount of money spent on that fight, it was like nothing that had come before it. The fighters themselves, Mohammad Ali and Joe Frazier, themselves benefitted from the hype and the hoopla, their payday for that one fight was the two of them personally split $5 million in prize money in 1971 dollars. And whatever else you think about boxing, the sport of boxing is very, very good at figuring out how to turn big marquee fights, once in a generation or at least once in a decade match ups, they know how to turn really big fights into really big money including for the boxers themselves. Probably the biggest one after Ali-Frazier was Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield in 1997. That one is famous for the ages even among people who don`t care about boxing because that is the one when Mike Tyson tried to bite the dude`s ear off, right, and got disqualified. Even with the disqualification, though, Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield split prize money of $65 million between the two of them for that one fight. Ten years later, the next huge one was Floyd Mayweather versus Oscar Dela Hoya. That was 2007. They split nearly $80 million between the two of them for that fight. Big fights like this, everybody makes a lot of money, but the fighters themselves can make a really big payday on these really, really big fights. Even with that history there is nothing like what is about to happen on May 2nd. May 2nd, it will be Floyd Maywhether again but this time he is going to be fighting Manny Pacquiao. Whether or not you care one wit about boxing as a sports event, this thing as a cultural spectacle, as an economic milestone, this boxing match that`s going to happen on May 2nd, is almost impossible to overstate in terms of the hype. They have been trying to get these two guys to fight since 2009. Can you imagine paying $95 to watch one TV show once? The pay per view cost for this fight is going to be $95 per TV set and millions of Americans will pay to see this fight. Usually huge fights like this are either on HBO or Showtime. This one is so big it will be on HBO and Showtime. The fight is going to be fought at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. When the date for this boxing match was announced and people started gaming out how much money was going to involved here, the estimates were that the MGM Grand would sell about $19 million worth of tickets just to people who paid for a seat in the room to watch the fight live. That estimate of $19 million in ticket sales is based on the tickets for the fight going somewhere between $1,000 and $4,000 a seat. Right now online, tickets for the fight are being bid out at more than $22,000 a seat. Every room in that huge hotel sold out within minutes of them announcing the date of this fight. This is one boxing match. This is one boxing match that will probably last up to an hour, maybe, but that one single event. That one hour or less, will earn hundreds of millions of dollars. And all of the money raised and spent around that fight that will happen on May 2nd. Of all of that money, $200 million of it will go to the two guys fighting the fight. Between them, Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather are going to split a fifth of a billion dollars between the two of them for this one fight. It`s on. People have been waiting for this particular fight for years. It has become sort of an article of faith that this dream fight could never happen, but it is happening. And it is a whole new era in fighting. Kind of like this. Barack Obama has been president since January 2009. In all of the time that he has been president, he has never fought like this before. He has never, before today, done this for a significant piece of legislation. But today he did it, veto, boom. I am returning herewith without my approval, Senate Bill 1, the Keystone XL Pipeline Approval Act, through this bill Congress attempts to circumvent long-standing and proven processes for determining whether or not building and operating a cross border pipeline serves the national interest. The presidential power to veto legislation is what I take seriously, but I also take seriously my responsibility to the American people because this act of Congress conflicts with established executive branch procedures and cut short thorough consideration of issues that could bear on our national interest including our security safety and environment. This bill, the president says has earned my veto, love Barack Obama. President Obama today vetoing major legislation for the very first time in his presidency. Now substantively this does not mean that the Keystone pipeline will ever get built. What this veto means today is that President Obama has stopped Congress from overriding superseding him in terms of making this decision. He had stopped Congress from overriding his own ability as president to say yes or no to projects like this based on what he thinks is in the national interest. President Obama might yet say yes to Keystone, but this veto today means that it is his decision, hence the proverbial boom heard today in Washington. Now in terms of what happens next, the Republicans say they will schedule votes right away to try to override President Obama`s veto. There is no chance that they can override President Obama`s veto. This was the vote in the House on this bill and the vote in the Senate on this bill. This is the number of votes that they would need in each of those chambers in order to override President Obama`s veto of this legislation. There is now way they are going to get to those numbers in both houses, but for some reason they have decided to schedule these trying for an override votes, which will definitely fail. They`ve decided to schedule them right away. They say they will happen before this time next week. So President Obama just defeated the Republicans in Congress on this at the White House with this veto. Now they say they want to rush right away into President Obama defeating them on this in the House as well, and then into President Obama defeating them on the Senate after that. They want to make sure they rub their own faces in it a lot, all week long, I guess. That is what will happen next here, I guess. Welcome to the veto era of the Barack Obama presidency. We`ve never been here before. We didn`t know before today what this is going to be like. Now we know and it is kind of exciting. The new fighty feeling in Washington was heightened by this visual, the top Democrat in the Senate, Harry Reid, still looks, honestly, absolutely terrible. No offense after his bizarre home exercise equipment injury, which he suffered on New Year`s Day. Senator Reid has had two rounds of eye surgery to try to restore the vision in his right eye after that terrible injury. After appearing over the last few weeks in a variety of bandages and eye patches and sort of medical instruments on his face, today Senator Reid switched to this gangstery sunglasses look. Then he gave a really spectacularly hostile pregnant pause and clipped response when one brave reporter was frisky enough to ask him about the shades. Watch this. It starts off like it might be a funny moment, and very quickly it is clear this is not going to be a funny moment, it will be kind of scary or at least definitely hostile. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. HARRY REID (R-NV), MINORITY LEADER: Speaker Boehner says that`s what he`ll do, I take his word for it. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator Reid, is your bandage goes for good now? And is this a sign you`re getting better? REID: We`re working on my beauty here. I have these on. Tomorrow we`re going to try some other things. I can see out of my right eye, just not very well. It has not been healed. I have been patient. I appreciate your interest, but it`s the best I can do. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Senator Harry Reid today killing a reporter with the length of that pause before answering about his eye injury sun shades. What that press conference was about today, though, on day one of the veto era of the Obama presidency. On day one of this whole new form of fighting in Washington that we have never seen before during this presidency, what Senator Reid was there to talk about other than his eye injury was the next big fight in fighty, fighty Washington right now. It is about whether or not the Homeland Security Department is going to be shut down. This week, Republicans in the House and the Senate are in a hair pulling name calling fight amongst themselves right now about whether or not they are going to shut down the Homeland Security Department. And it is kind of fighty fun to watch in its own right, but it is an absolutely open question right now as to how expensive that fight will be. And what it will cost all of us and what it will cost the government, right? It is an absolutely questionable as to whether or not we are actually heading into another partial government shut down right now this week courtesy of the Republicans own fights among themselves within this Congress. Joining us now is Senator Amy Klobuchar from the great state of Minnesota. Senator, it`s great to see you. Thanks for your time tonight. SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D), MINNESOTA: Well, thanks, Rachel. We must point out, I thought you are going to have me on in boxing when I listened to the lead in, but let us remember that Harry Reid was once a boxer. MADDOW: He was once a boxer. KLOBUCHAR: Exactly and I think, you know, he looked pretty tough in that photo. MADDOW: Well, you know, when he first did his home video explaining I know I look like I have been run over. I know I looked terrible. Here`s what happened, he gave this whole litany about, you know, listen, I wasn`t fighting Manny. I was not fighting Floyd. I wasn`t riding a bull. I wasn`t doing all this other stuff. I slapped myself in the face with some exercise equipment. It feels like we`re in a new fighting era in Washington where we don`t know exactly what the contours are. I mean, President Obama vetoing this legislation, but also the partial shutdown maybe coming. I feel like I don`t know what to expect. KLOBUCHAR: Well, first of all, let`s look at what we`re fighting for on Homeland Security. People in Minnesota woke up on Sunday morning to see a video. Someone from Al-Shabaab, a terrorist group, the ones that killed 60 people in that mall in Kenya basically standing up and saying, you know, we want to go after Mall of America in Minnesota. We want to go after Edmonton Mall in Canada, a mall in London, and really calling on people to do it, calling on them to go after Jewish-owned shopping centers. That happened. We are very glad the FBI and Homeland Security secretary said, look, you should be fell free to keep going to the mall and our people, they stood tall. They went on with their day. I talked that night to 500 hospitality workers that worked half of them in the mall, half of them near the mall. They went to work that day. They were people working at the front desk of the hotels. People working at the restaurants, pizza delivery people, they did their jobs. And the least that we can see coming out of the Republican side right now is to fund Homeland Security at a time when we have cyber security threats out of North Korea. We`ve got people being shot in Paris. We`re going to say to these terrorists, well, you know what? We`re having a fight over extraneous amendments on immigration reform, which will put on by the Republicans in the House, so we`re going to fund down our security. That is not the message we want to send to that guy that did the video. I was really glad my colleagues stood together today. I`m hopeful that senators like Lindsay Graham, John McCain, are saying this thing is in the Texas courts right now. Let`s get this done and vote on a purely funded Homeland Security bill for this country. MADDOW: Do you actually expect that will happen? I mean, we`re getting to the point right now where I know this has been threatened for a long time. Everybody sort of felt like this was a brinksmanship game. This is a way for the Republicans to talk with their base and fight it out with their base. But we`re getting really, really close to the deadline now and it seems to me like what Mitch McConnell put forward is his way to avoid this thing, I can`t see it happening. Not with conservatives particularly on the House side mobilizing against it and saying that would be a terrible vote. And nobody should cast that vote if they are Republicans. KLOBUCHAR: Well, I`m hopeful talking to some of my Republican colleagues that some common sense will prevail here. The key is the House. They have to get their act together and figure out how they will maneuver this procedurally. We can have debates about immigration reform and the courts can battle it out. It is very important to me. I was a big supporter of the comprehensive bill and we need to move forward. But right now this is about funding Homeland Security. Not just about terrorism at the Mall of America. It is also about our firefighters, the coast guard, and thousands of employees that will be furloughed or have to go to work without pay. And it`s just not the message that we want to send where we`ve got people being burned in cages and you`ve got, you know, young people that are watching this on TV. This is not the message that we want to send to the rest of the world. MADDOW: In terms of how things work in Washington or don`t, do you think that things are going to change meaningfully in Washington now that we do have this new dynamic that we`ve never had before under this president where he is vetoing stuff. The Republicans are saying they are going to try to override the veto. I see that there is no way that they can override the veto. I mean, we are going to have votes on that over the next week. The president sent his veto message today, it was stern and without fanfare, do you think that changes the dynamic in Washington at all? KLOBUCHAR: I think that right now we have a lot of energy coming out of the president`s State Of The Union where we finally talked about things like income inequality and how we have to move forward for the middle class. And you have heard some Republicans talk about funding infrastructure, moving forward on some education issues. I think at some point since they are now in charge of both houses, we`ll have to get to some governing. For me the first real test, Rachel, is what happens with this bill this week. Are they going to be able to shut down some extraneous amendments and fund this simple Homeland Security bill that was negotiated between Democrats and Republicans? So that I can go home to Minnesota and say to those workers that go to the mall every day and do their jobs, you know what? The United States of America is behind you. That is what we should be doing in Washington. MADDOW: Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, Senator, it is great to see you, thanks very much for being here. All right, remember when it looks like President Obama`s pick for attorney general would sail through confirmation that was so January. We`ll have latest details on that. Coming up later, we have an installment of debunction junction including some news about sledding down the actual Capitol Hill and my Fox News colleague, Bill O`Reilly. He loves it when I talk about him. Please stay with us. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REID: As most people know I fought for a couple years. After any of those fights I never looked like I do now. However, I didn`t get this black eye by sparring with Manny, by challenging Floyd Mayweather. I was not bull riding or riding a motorcycle. I was exercising in my new home. The doctors have told me I better take it easy. (END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: If you could please cue the music, election night, it is election night, in one place in Chicago. Voters are choosing a mayor and all 50 members of the Chicago City Council today. And now former Democratic congressman, former White House chief of staff, now Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is trying to win a second term as mayor tonight. He`s held the office since 2011 after he left the White House to go back home to Chicago. Mayor Emanuel is in the race against four challengers tonight including one very popular progressive Democrat named Jesus Garcia, who is a county commissioner. Now Rahm Emanuel is widely expected to finish with the most votes in tonight`s election in Chicago, but if he doesn`t get more than 50 percent of the vote, he will have to go through a run-off election on April 7th. The polls just closed in Chicago a little while ago, and so far these are the results that we have got. Rahm Emanuel right now with 46 percent of the vote. Jesus Garcia is second behind him at 34 percent of the vote. You see this is with 71 percent of the vote in. Again, the crucial threshold here, though, is by the 100 percent of the votes are in, Rahm Emanuel has to cross 50 percent or he will be in a runoff election in April. We`ll keep watching this over the course of the night as these results come in. More news to come, please stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: It has been just over three months since President Obama nominated Loretta Lynch to succeed Eric Holder as Attorney General of the United States. At the time the president nominated her, the Democrats still were in control of the Senate. The Democrats could have started the Loretta Lynch confirmation hearings right then and there before Republicans took over, but Senate Democrats decided apparently in some sort of gesture of good faith. I don`t know they decided to wait. They decided to roll her nomination over into the New Year and to allow Republicans to handle the Loretta Lynch attorney general confirmation process once they took over control of the Senate. Now at that time, that decision seemed to me to be a little bit ominous. True, at that time there now substantive objections to Loretta Lynch. Republicans really did want to see Eric Holder gone as attorney general. But the longer the Democrats let this thing roll on, the longer Republicans had to try to cook something up about this nomination. So it seemed to me like a worrying sign for the Loretta Lynch confirmation when Democrats decided to give Republicans control over the confirmation process. Well, last month, the new Republican-led Senate did indeed hold her confirmation hearings. Loretta Lynch sailed right through, unscathed, nobody laid a glove on her. But then when it came time for the Senate Judiciary Committee to vote and move the whole nomination process forward, without explanation they decided to delay their votes. They still have not voted on her. Now this week, more than four dozen Republican members of the House have sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee pleading with committee members to vote no on the Loretta Lynch nomination. Quote, "We contend that at the very least you should reject Ms. Lynch`s nomination to register your disapproval with this administration`s persistent lawless conduct. We respectfully ask that you refuse to vote Loretta Lynch out of committee." So now we have a sizable group in the House lobbying the Republicans on the Judiciary Committee in the Senate that they should vote against Loretta Lynch. We also know have Ted Cruz lobbying his fellow Republicans in the conservative media that they should block her nomination by any means necessary. Saying that even if she does pass the committee, the Republican leadership should just refuse to put her nomination on the floor for a full Senate vote so that`s what happens when you delay it and let them control the process. Now there is no clear sign that Republicans are going to confirm her even though they have raised zero objections to her. Zero objections to what she has done. There is no sign whether or not she has enough votes in the committee to survive. If the nomination is even allowed to go to the floor, amazing. The committee vote is scheduled for the day after tomorrow through no fault of Loretta Lynch`s own. The current attorney general says he will not step down until his replacement is confirmed. Republicans really hate him, but they get to keep him in office. And apparently he will be wrapping things up he says that the findings of the shootings of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri last year. They announced they will not bring federal charges in another high profile case, the shooting of Trayvon Martin in Florida. Eric Holder accused to be cleaning off his desk, a controversial matter, Loretta Lynch. But the same Republicans that hate him so much now appear to do whatever it takes. Whatever they can to keep him attorney general indefinitely, it doesn`t make sense. That doesn`t mean you could not see it coming. Then that committee voted for the nomination that is Thursday`s, the day after tomorrow. Nobody has any idea what`s going to happen. Watch this space. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: It is these 3 seconds of tape that landed one of the president`s members of the cabinet in hot water today. That is the Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald in a squib of tape that ran in a CBS News story about veterans and homelessness. Secretary McDonald has pledged to reduce homelessness among America`s vets. He participated in the annual count of the homeless population in L.A., and the VA invited a CBS News crew to come along and show the VA secretary doing that count, and that`s how they caught those 3-seconds. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ROBERT MCDONALD, VETERANS AFFAIRS SECRETARY: Special Forces, what years? I was in Special Forces. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: The reason the secretary is now in trouble for those comments is because Secretary McDonald was not in the Special Forces. He served in the military, the 82nd Airborne in the 1970s but Special Forces? No. And maybe he made it up on the fly, right, in an empathetic attempt to connect with that veteran, who he encountered on the street that night in L.A., but you know what? It doesn`t really matter. People noticed he was lying and it has become a big embarrassing deal. Today, Secretary McDonald apologized very forthrightly. He said that what he said was inaccurate and a misstatement and he had no excuse. There`s basically been a mixed response to his apology so far for veterans groups. Some are definitely angry with Secretary McDonald. There`s like the Iraq and Afghanistan vets group, IAVA. They said that he just made a mistake, it is a mistake, but they accept his apology. President Obama also had to come out and say he accepted the apology from Secretary McDonald. When anyone in public life gets caught lying, obviously, it`s a bad thing for them. It is particularly upsetting kind of lying though to lie about your military record, right, or about experiences of war that other people really have gone through and that you have not. And whether you are a presidential candidate who said you took sniper fire when you didn`t, or a member of Congress who said you received a specific naval honor when you didn`t, or another member of Congress who made it seem like he served in Vietnam when he didn`t, or a trusted news anchor who said his chopper took fire in Iraq when it didn`t, or a guy on cable news who said he was reporting from an active war zone, reporting from a combat zone when in fact he was covering a protest about the war, not the war itself. Not telling the truth and whole truth specifically about your time in the war or lack thereof, there is a reason that that sort of thing upsets people more than just regular lying. There`s a reason that sort of thing upsets people so much. And that rule applies to everyone, applies to everyone except our next guest, weirdly. Congressman Seth Moulton is a new member of Congress from Massachusetts. He`s also a United States marine who volunteered to be sent to Iraq even though he disagreed with the Iraq war. He served four combat tours in Iraq. And when Seth Moulton came home from the war and ran for Congress, even though people knew he was a marine and about his four combat tours in Iraq, he left out one very salient detail about his military record. He didn`t overtly lie about it, but he left it out. He never talked about it -- to the point where his hometown paper, "The Boston Globe", turned on the investigative unit to expose Seth Moulton`s real military record and what he was not talking about in his campaign. What "The Boston Globe" found, their shocked report, was that Set Moulton was, quote, "a former marine who saw fierce combat for months and months in Iraq. But Moulton chose not to publicly disclose that he was twice decorated for heroism, until he was pressed on the subject by "The Boston Globe". Congressman Seth Moulton did not even tell his parents about him winning the Bronze Star for heroism in combat. He never told a soul who wasn`t a fellow marine, even as he was running for Congress, until the local paper had to dig it up as like an expose of his humility. In a world full of people making it up, here is the guy who is not only the opposite of that, he is starting to feel like the antidote to that. And he is here tonight for the interview. Please stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: This has been a weird winter for us here in the United States, particularly in the Northeast, also in the South, which has been pounded by snow and ice for a few weeks now. And it has not just been a bad winter here in the U.S., though. This is Turkey. This is Istanbul in turkey. It does not usually snow a whole lot in Istanbul. But last week, Istanbul got more than a foot of snow. In some areas of the city, the snow broke records. It shut down whole huge parts of the city, including the airports. But all of that snow provided one brief cause for hope that an international manhunt in Turkey might be solved. One week ago today, last Tuesday morning, these three girls vanished in Britain during a half term break from school. They walked out of their London homes and essentially disappeared into the world. Instead of going to study together, which is what they told their parents, they went to the airport. They went to Gatwick Airport, just outside of London, and the girls boarded a flight to Istanbul. Two of the girls are 15. One of them is 16. And the fear was that they were traveling to Istanbul to eventually plan to cross the border into Syria and join up with the terror group ISIS. Since those three British girls disappeared last week, there has been a frantic search to try to find them before they got into Syria. British police officials went to Turkey to try to find the girls there. That totally out of the snowstorm -- totally out of the ordinary snowstorm in Istanbul gave officials some hope earlier this week that maybe just because of the weather they might not have been able to get transport arranged out of Turkey and into Syria. But, no joy. Over this past week, they have not been able to find them. Yesterday, the lack of progress opened up a minor diplomatic rift between Turkey and the U.K. Turkey`s deputy prime minister said it had taken the British three days to tell them the girls were in his country. He said that was condemnable. He said, quote, "It would be great if we can find them, but if we can`t, it`s not us who will be responsible, it would be the British who are responsible." That finger-pointing and searching for them in Turkey apparently ended today, when British police announced with some resignation that they do now believe that these three girls in fact made the crossing into Syria. The BBC reporting the day of the crossing might even have happened as long as four or five days ago. So, the British authorities now believe that despite their best efforts, these three British girls flew from London into Istanbul, then somehow they made their way to the other end of Turkey and crossed into Syria. Within the last few days, couple of hundred miles east from that border, near a town called Tal Tamer, ISIS, the group that these girls travelled all the way to join, we now know that ISIS carried out their latest propaganda atrocity. In predawn raids in rural villages, ISIS kidnapped dozens of Christians in Syria. Some reports put the captives as high as 150, including women and children. Three thousand people reportedly fled the assault into nearby cities. Now, nobody knows where the kidnapped Christians are, or what has become of them. ISIS, of course, has made a practice of executing prisoners for the sake of propaganda, though there is some hope, if you can call it that, that these new Syrian Christian captives, maybe they are holding them in order to try to exchange them with ISIS fighters that are prisoners, we don`t know. That`s the hope. These horrific stories about ISIS, you know, pile up by the day. And because there is so much fighting about other things in Washington right now, I think any real American political debate about what we as a country want to do about ISIS has been pushed back a little bit. It has been two weeks since President Obama asked Congress for a new authorization for the use of military force to combat ISIS. Two weeks since he set parameters for a military campaign that`s been going on for months already. If and when Congress does get around to debating that request for a war authorization, really, nobody knows what Congress is going to do. I mean, reaction to the president`s proposal hasn`t fallen along neat partisan lines so far. It is sort of all over the place. There are Republicans who say they will support President Obama`s authorization request, but they want to give him more power than he is asking for. There are Democrats who support the president on this and there are Democrats who oppose the president on this. The debate about this doesn`t break along the usual partisan lines or usual liberal conservative lines. That unpredictability can be seen specifically in someone like Democratic congressman Seth Moulton of Massachusetts. Seth Moulton served four tours of duty with the marines in Iraq. He won his House seat just last year. He defeated an incumbent Democratic congressman in a primary in order to win that seat. And on the president`s war authorization request, Congressman Moulton, this Iraq war veteran now serving in the House, he says he is a no right now, at least as the president`s request is currently written. Congressman Moulton is just back from a trip to Iraq and Afghanistan among other countries. It was his first visit back to Iraq since serving there as a marine. Joining us now for the interview tonight is Congressman Seth Moulton. Congressman, it`s great to have you back on the show. Thanks for being here. REP. SETH MOULTON (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Thanks, Rachel. MADDOW: Let me just ask you, before we talk politics or anything, let me ask you about this trip that you just took. I mean, obviously, having spent a lot of time in Iraq as a marine, now having visited as a congressman, what was it like for you? MOULTON: Well, it`s strange to go back. I spent almost three years of my life there, and I still have Iraqi friends. In a sense it was good to go see similar territory. But at the same time, it`s incredibly frustrating to see how much of our effort has gone to waste. Those of us who fought there for years, especially during the surge, really putting things back on track are now looking at a country that is rife with terrorists, a government that people don`t trust, and we`re looking at having to go back there again. MADDOW: The foreign policy discussion in thinktank-ville, if not in Congress officially yet, and certainly the case is being made by the administration, is that the military campaign that`s being waged against ISIS right now is effectively waged in Iraq if not so effectively waged in Syria. That Iraq with a combination of Iraqi security forces and what the United States is doing in terms of air strikes and support, it has been effective. It`s sort of containing and pushing back ISIS. Do you think that`s true? Do you see that while you were there? MOULTON: I would actually agree with that. But my concern is that there is no long-term political strategy to insure that whatever military effort we have today won`t be in vain. What I want to make sure is that even if we`re able to defeat ISIS militarily, we don`t have to go back there three or four years down the road just to do it again against ISIS or some other group that might crop up in the political vacuum left by a dysfunctional Iraqi state. MADDOW: Do you think there should be military force right now against ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria? Obviously, the authorization that the president is asking for is to authorize something already under way. Do you think the military campaign should stop and it should be potentially restarted in the future if it makes sense as part of a larger strategy? Or do you think that what`s happening right now should continue? MOULTON: Well, I think that what is happening right now as unfortunate as it is to be in this situation is important. I believe that ISIS is a national security threat to the United States. They brutally killed Americans abroad and made clear their intention to kill Americans here at home. And so, some action is necessary. But we`ve got to realize, this can be a very slippery slope. I mean, right now we put military advisors in Iraq. I was a military adviser 10 years ago. When the Iraqi unit that we were advising started to get overrun by the militia, we went to their assistance and that started some of the most brutal fighting of the Iraq war until that time. So, a military advisory mission can quickly become a ground combat mission. Let`s not forget, the Vietnam War started as a military advisory mission. MADDOW: Congressman Seth Moulton of Massachusetts -- I don`t know when this debate will start in earnest in Congress in terms of settling this request for the authorization of the use of military force. But I`m glad you`re going to be part of the debate. Thanks for your time tonight, sir. Nice to see you. MOULTON: Thank you, Rachel. MADDOW: Thanks. All right. Still ahead, Debunktion Junction featuring a special appearance bay FOX News host whose name is Bill O`Reilly who really likes when people on MSNBC talk about him. Please with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: OK, Debunktion Junction is still ahead. But this is my favorite visual news story of the day. If you`re washing the dishes right now and just hearing me in the background and not looking, you have to come over to the TV, this one is visual. All right. Today, we`ve got some news out of Cleveland, Ohio. The Cleveland Browns football team got a new logo. For a long time, sort of the thing to know visually about the Cleveland Browns didn`t have a logo. The Browns are the only team in the NFL that does not have a logo on their helmet. The helmet basically is their logo. I mean, for awhile they had this guy, Browny Elf until a new owner bought the team in 1961 and they got rid of the embarrassing elf because the elf was embarrassing. They pretty much since then, since 1961, their look has been this. Nothing. Right? No logo, orange helmet with a brown and white stripe and a white face mask. That is it. That`s always been it. Well, in 2013, the Cleveland Browns decided, you know what? It`s time to update our style. So, for the past two years they have been working on a revamp. They`ve been doing surveys and focus groups trying out different looks. And today, they were finally ready to unveil the new and improved Browns logo. Before I show it to you, remember, here is what it was up until today. OKkay, you got it? Now, as of today -- here is the new one. Tada! See that? Amazing. Maybe you don`t see the difference. Look at them side by side. See? The orange. Come on, it`s a different feel. It is so much oranger-ish. As the Browns announced today that the orange, quote, "matches the passion of our fans and city," we were all left to absorb this is the change they`re amounting. For the Browns, that makes the Browns, quote, "The Browns," the Brown is unchanged. The orange is more orange, everything else is -- change is good. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Programming note: tomorrow here on MSNBC, the great Jose Diaz- Balart, host of "THE RUNDOWN" here on MSNBC and anchor of Telemundo, Jose is going to be hosting a town hall tomorrow night on MSNBC, with President Obama. The town hall is at Florida International University in Miami. Unless Republicans in Congress find a way to pass a bill to fund homeland security, Jose is going to be talking to President Obama live on the eve of the Homeland Department Security shutting down. A potential shutdown that would happen as a protest against President Obama`s executive actions on immigration. Well, that town hall with President Obama is about immigration, and more. And it`s going to air at 8:00 p.m. Eastern right here on MSNBC tomorrow night. We`ll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Debunktion Junction, what`s my function? We start with a controversy involving an anchor at the FOX News Channel who is named Bill O`Reilly. Mr. O`Reilly, you may have heard, has been under fire in recent days over allegations that he embellished his time as a CBS correspondent in the 1980s. Specifically, he described himself as reporting from an active war zone in Argentina, saying he survived a combat situation during the Falkland`s war, when it appears that he did not. These allegations were raised by David Corn at "Mother Jones" magazine last week. Mr. O`Reilly has responded to that reporting by essentially going ballistic against not only David Corn and "Mother Jones", but also his own former colleagues at CBS News, who have raised similar questions about the timing question, as well as other journalists who have even dared to try to report on this story last week and this week. And that leads us to the latest twist, ""Bill O`Reilly threatens reporter from `The New York Times`." Surely that`s got to be hyperbole. He is bombastic, that is his shtick, right, but this is about debunking bunk. So is it true or false that Bill O`Reilly threatened a "New York Times" reporter trying to report on this story? Is that true or false? (BELL) MADDOW: True. It is literally true, and not just a matter of interpretation or allegation. From "The New York Times" this morning -- during a phone conversation Mr. O`Reilly told a reporter for "The New York Times" there would be repercussions if he felt any of the reporter`s coverage was inappropriate. Quote, "I`m coming after you with everything I have", Mr. O`Reilly said. That`s the quote from Bill O`Reilly to this "New York Times" reporter who contacted him about this story. If any of your coverage is inappropriate I`m coming after you with everything I have. And just in case he didn`t make his point absolutely clear he followed up with this. Quote, "You can take it as a threat." Now, "The New York Times" reporter in question is Emily Steel. She followed the article in "The Times" today by tweeting the direct quote from Bill O`Reilly, just so everybody is clear on what happened. "I am coming after you with everything I have. You can take it as a threat." After David Corn first broke this story last week, Mr. O`Reilly responded to him by saying once the truth of this story came out, David Corn would be, quote, "in the kill zone where he deserves to be." "Mother Jones" asked for an apology for that, but Bill O`Reilly said it was just a slang, it was just a figure of speech and he wouldn`t apologize. But lest there be any confusion about whether or not Mr. O`Reilly is threatening reporters who report on this story, he really is. I mean, in his own words, you can take it as a threat to this "New York Times" reporter just covering the story. FOX News has a bunch of folks like Mr. O`Reilly on their shows. It`s part of why I call them Republican TV, right? They have a lot of folks like Mr. O`Reilly. But they also have a lot of real reporters on staff who do real reporting all day long on real news. They have White House reporters, and congressional reporters, and even media reporters. I`m sure they don`t take kindly when their own reporters get threatened for trying to do their job. But it is hard to imagine what this is going to do at the work environment for FOX News Channels for the FOX News Channel`s real reporters and they do have them. But this really did happen on the record and apparently without apology. Next up, a pallet cleanser. Is it true or false that this happened in real life? Look, look, oh! Just walking along and then, poof. Yes. Are you kidding me? Did that happen for real? Did that happen for real? (BELL) MADDOW: That is real. Those floor tiles ate those people. This is the people gobbling end of a sinkhole in Seoul, South Korea. Two people hopping up a bus this week turned to walk up the sidewalk and just dropped ten feet down a hole. They were rescued by firefighters, treated by for only minor injuries, which is a good thing. But now, we know that the earth can swallow us at any given moment. No fuss no muss. So, there is that. That is true. And finally, this is freaking unbelievable. When snow falls in Washington, D.C., it`s a local tradition for local families to head to Capitol Hill, which really is a hill to do some sledding on the snow. But it has recently been reported that after this week`s snowfall, the Capitol police have been dropping the fun hammer on would-be Capitol Hill sledders, turning kids away, telling them sledding is not permitted any more on Capitol Hill. Those are very bah humbug reports. But there has to be a kernel of truth at the bottom of this, right? Is it true or false that it is illegal to sled down Capitol Hill? Is that true or false? (BELL) MADDOW: True. Seriously, it`s true. Now, there`s a reason for the confusion over this issue, because people have been sledding on Capitol Hill for as long as anybody can remember, but technically, it actually is illegal. The sledding ban was put in place after September 11th, it`s there in the regulations of the architect of the Capitol. "No person shall coast or slide a sled within capitol grounds." That was apparently some sort of national imperative after 9/11, even though they don`t always enforce it. But for whatever reason, they are apparently enforcing it right now in D.C. snow. And D.C.`s delegate to Congress, Eleanor Holmes Norton is now trying to overturn what she calls this Scrooge-like ban, particularly because people have flouted the band with one day waivers from Congress, and also just whenever they can because no one is looking for years. And when people have flouted the sledding on Capitol Hill ban, miraculously, al Qaeda has not been able to take advantage of that to harm us and our national security. So, for the record, I`m with Eleanor Holmes Norton, free the toboggans. But right now, you should know, officially, there is a ban. That does it for us tonight. We will see you again tomorrow. Now, it`s time for "THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL." Good evening, Lawrence. THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END