Skip to main content

tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  August 13, 2013 2:00pm-3:01pm PDT

2:00 pm
governor himself. thank you so much for watching this afternoon. "hardball" is next. >> voter i.d. laws, a solution in search of a problem. let's play "hardball." \s>> good evening oop i'm michael smerconish. leading off tonight, carolina on our minds. yesterday, the governor of north carolina, republican pat mccrory signed one of the most sweeping is voting reform bills we've seen yet. seven weeks after the supreme court crippled parts of the voting rights act which required states with a history of discrimination to preclearance by the justice department, governor mccrory and his republican legislature leaped at the opportunity to institute strict voting changes. now, this bill doesn't stop at merely requiring a government i.d. to vote. it also reduces early voting by
2:01 pm
a week. it eliminates same day registration, ends preregistration for 16 and 17-year-olds, discontinues a statewide voter registration drive and decreases public disclosure for dark money groups. governor mccrory shied away from a public signing is ceremony instead taking to youtube to announce his signature and to also take some swipes at the bill's opponents. >> photo i.d. has become a part of our everyday life. you need a photo i.d. to board an airplane, to cash a check, or even apply for most government benefits. in fact, just recently, both democrats and republicans joined together to require a valid government issued photo i.d. to buy sudafed at your local corner drugstore. let me be direct. many of those from the extreme left who have been criticizing photo i.d. are using scare tactics. they're more interested indy
2:02 pm
advice sieve politics than ensuring that no one's vote is disenfranchised by fraudulent ballot. >> it seems mccrory himself is it doing the disenfranchising since 80s largely minority voters in other words democrats who will be be disproportionately affected. opponents of this bill and more than 80 bills proposes liking it propose this had year believe this legislation is designed to reduce voter turnout for key constituencies like minorities, the elderly and students. hillary clinton eager to jump back into the fray last night delivered the most political remarks she's made since leaving the state department and made clear what she believes is behind these new voter laws. >> legislators in north carolina have pushed through a bill that reads like the greatest hits of voter suppression. restricted early voting, no more same day registration, or extending voting hours to accommodate long lines, stricter photo i.d. requirements that
2:03 pm
disqualify those issued by colleges or public assistance agencies and it goes on and on. >> joining me to discuss this are former pennsylvania governor ed rendell, an msnbc political analyst and maggie haberman, reporter for politico an expert on the clintons. governor, i'm sure if i were to ask you, if you were governor and this came to your desk, what would you do and you'd tell me veto it. a different question. are there any redeeming aspects of what this man just signed into law? >> none that i can think of and some are absolutely impossible to explain. why would you reduce the time period for early voting? just to suppress voting. we should be in this country trying to increase voter participation. in a presidential election, we have 65% turnout. we think that's great. that doesn't count the unregistered voters. we have less than 50% who vote for president of the united states. look, the bottom line is, as you said in the intro, this is a solution looking for a problem.
2:04 pm
there is no problem. in pennsylvania, are our home state, michael, when the attorney general was asked in court to produce evidence of voter fraud by fraud u lent voting, someone voting in someone's name, they admitted to the court in a consent decree they could not find one example. one example to present to the court. >> let me give you data from the north carolina. republicans in north carolina and many other states are determined to find a solution to a problem that doesn't appear to exist. consider this. in 2012, 6.9 million ballots were cast in the north carolina in the general and two primary elections. the state board of elections said that only 121 alleged cases of voter fraud were referred to prosecute s. which means of the nearly 7 million votes cast, alleged voter fraud accounted for just.00174% of the ballots. even governor mccrory conceded that the number of voter fraud cases are low. this is what he wrote yesterday in the raleighnous and observer.
2:05 pm
"even if the instances of misichded people casting votes are low, that shouldn't prevent us from putting this safeguard in case "just because you haven't been robbed doesn't mean you shouldn't lock your doors at night or when you're away from home." maggie, when i heard that, okay, but neither should you go out and purchase an expensive security system or live in a bunker if you're not in a threatening neighborhood to fit into his analogy. >> i think that none of these arguments are surprising. you are seeing republicans making a line here that they have for a while. i think what you heard senator clinton former secretary clinton saying is also not surprising. this is where democrats are. i think this is going to be an ongoing fight. it is also a fight i think democrats believe they can win and that is mostly on their side despite the ruling of the supreme court. >> you heard in the setup piece the audio where governor mccrory the criticism coming from the extreme left. i don't know what that is, but i
2:06 pm
know i'm not a part of it. i think people in the middle are offended by this, and governor, i think in 2012, this came back to bite them in the fanny because independents took a look and said, you know, play fair and win honestly and don't go trying to change the rules. do you agree with me, governor, that this impacted voters who are centrists? >> no question. not only did it impact centrist voters but the best way to get someone to vote who isn't necessarily a regular voter is to tell them they can't vote. the backlash had two effects. one with independent voters as you say, michael, but two, when we were preparing in pennsylvania, we eventually got the voter i.d. law stayed in court but when we were preparing to try to deal with it, we found people absolutely adamant that they would do whatever it took to get the necessary identification to vote. and the turnout was far greater than we expected because i think people were ticked off. they were angry that will someone was trying to take their
2:07 pm
votes away. but when governor mccrory says it's nonburdensome, that's ridiculous. there were so many accounts published. people don't have the photo i.d. if they don't have the cars how do they get the motor vehicle license bureau places to get the photo i.d. when they're infirmed? it's impossible-to-do in many cases. there was one 918-year-old woman who voted in 71 consecutive elections who didn't have i.d. she went to get it and they told her she couldn't qualify because the only identification she had was her marriage license and her marriage license had her listed at her maiden name. she didn't have anything to prove she was married in had your current married name. ridiculous. >> maggie in, hillary clinton's fiery speech to the american bar association, she said she is laws are revibing old demons of discrimination insisting legislation like the north carolina law is a deliberate and unnecessary barrier to voting. >> right. >> in the years since, we've
2:08 pm
seen a sweeping effort across our country to obstruct new obstacles to voting. often under cover of addressing a phantom epidemic of election fraud. not every obstacle is related to race but anyone who says that racial discrimination is no longer a problem in american elections must not be paying attention. >> are you surprised by her subject matter? >> i'm not surprised by her subject matter per se. i am surprised by something you hit it on the head earlier which as you said, she is eager to jump into the fray. what is surprising. she doesn't need to be out there as early as she is right now. people around her have said she wants to take time, she doesn't want to get sucked into every issue in washington right now but she is putting herself in in front of a lot of these issues. she said at the bar association she's going to give a speech on the nsa debate right now which is really interesting given that in 2008, the primary was lost in part because of the left's upset with her vote for the iraq war.
2:09 pm
the nsa is an issue liberals are very unhappy about and the base of her party is unhappy about. i'm surprised she's getting out there ahead of things. >> and very forward looking. she could go in and reminisce about being first lady or talk about her tenure as the secretary of state. governor, the $64,000 question. here it is. how much are these movements across the country by the gop precipitated by census data pertaining to what's to come in this country in 2050 when whites become a minority as a group of the population? >> i think a lot of it's being driven by that. by the way, you're showing your age. no one under 35 knows what the $64,000 question was. but you're absolutely right. it's being driven by that, and it is truly despicable. i don't care where you are, and by the way, it's not just presidential elections. they're aiming at in north carolina. kay hagan is running for
2:10 pm
re-election as senator in 2014. it's going to be a close election. they're hoping that voter i.d. can cause kay hagan to lose her re-election bid. i think north carolina voters have a surprise coming for them because they ought to be ticked off, really ticked off. >> look at who gets disproportionately affected. it will affect nonwhite voter who's tend to vote democratic. the state's population is 30% nonwhite but look at this, according to the north carolina secretary of state's office, 33% of those who voted early in 2012 were nonwhite. 46% of voters without a state issued photo identification nonwhite. and among veeters who registered to vote the last day they cast their ballots, 56% were nonwhite. i think maggie, something else telling is that a college i.d. is not permissible. so i mean, to me that's what exposes this for what it really is. i personally don't have a problem with saying show an i.d. when you vote but you ought to take into consideration what
2:11 pm
form of identification the folks inning that particular community are most likely to possess. if they don't drive cars because they don't own cars and sorry if i'm preaching at you, it shouldn't be the voter i.d. >> without getting into motive, there is no question there are core constituencies that are affects and in many of those cases -- younger voters have been voting democratic. i have think that is going to be a real issue of exactly whose constituencies are impacted here. the question is what the governor said is do people get upset about this, feel targeted and turn out because of that. >> all good points. thank you maggie and governor. nice to see you both. coming up, progressives were thrilled with attorney engeneral eric holder's speech against minimum sentencing laws but not everyone agrees. they argue the new policy could give criminals more incentive to deal drugs. also, it's hard to ignore. birtherism and race are playing a disturbingly big role in anti-obama protests this summer and no doubting whitey bulger's
2:12 pm
criminalate but guess who may have. his faithful protector? the fbi and finally anthony wien ser known for exposing things that should be kept private. has he just exposes a secret about hillary. this is "hardball," the place for politics. my asthma's under control. i don't miss out... you sat out most of our game yesterday! asthma doesn't affect my job... you were out sick last week. my asthma doesn't bother my family... you coughed all through our date night! i hardly use my rescue inhaler at all. what did you say? how about - every day? coping with asthma isn't controlling it. test your level of control at, then talk to your doctor. there may be more you could do for your asthma.
2:13 pm
voters in new jersey are going to the polls today to pick nominees for the senate. on the democratic side, newark mayor cory booker has a sizable lead in recent polling. for the republicans, steve lon i gan is the prohibitive favorite. polls close tonight at 8:00 eastern and assuming he wins today, booker will be the heavy favorite in the october 16th general election. we'll be right back. help the gulf recover and learn from what happened so we could be a better, safer energy company. i can tell you - safety is at the heart of everything we do. we've added cutting-edge technology, like a new deepwater well cap and a state-of-the-art monitoring center, where experts watch over all drilling activity twenty-four-seven.
2:14 pm
and we're sharing what we've learned, so we can all produce energy more safely. our commitment has never been stronger. this man is about to be the millionth customer. would you mind if i go ahead of you? instead we had someone go ahead of him and win fifty thousand dollars. congratulations you are our one millionth customer. nobody likes to miss out. that's why ally treats all their customers the same. whether you're the first or the millionth. if your bank doesn't think you're special anymore, you need an ally. ally bank. your money needs an ally.
2:15 pm
together today that too many americans go to too many prisons for far too long and for no truly good law enforcement reason. these are issues the president
2:16 pm
and i have been talking about more as long as i've known him, issues he's felt strongly about ever since his day is as a community organizer on the southside of chicago. >> attorney general eric holder left no doubt that the president was behind him when he announces the reduction of mandatory minimum drug sentences but plenty of people are not, including former special counsel to former president george herbert walker bush, william otis who is characterized holder's move as a victory for drug dealers. professor otis joins me now along with laura murphy, director of the washington legislative office of the aclu. professor, why is this a win for drug dealers. >> it's a win for drug dealers because under the attorney general's proposed policy, the cost of doing business has gone down. he has said he is going to allow indeed he's going to require federal prosecutors from now on to omit the amount of drugs being dealt from the indictment.
2:17 pm
that in turn will permit judges to go below the otherwise applicable mandatory minimum sentence. when the price of doing business goes down, that's a win for the person doing the business. unfortunately, the business here is selling drugs and we're not talking just about marijuana. the federal mandatory minimums apply, as well toll child pornography, to selling heroin, meth amphetamine, pcp. these are not harmless drugs and they lead eventually to severe injury and in some cases for an addict death. >> professor, your argument seems to suggest no punishment will be forthcoming. what this program really says is discretion is going to again be vested in the hands of judges. not that you're going to get a free pass or a get out of jail free card. >> i don't think i did suggest that no punishment would be forthcoming. i don't think that's true. i also think the judges ought to have discretion. i just don't think they should
2:18 pm
have 100% discretion which they will once the mandatory minimum goes away. judges right now have considerable discretion in sentencing but it seems to me that congress is well within its rights in saying there are some crimes so serious that a judge cannot go below a rock bottom minimum. again, i'm all for giving the judge a great deal of discretion, just not 100. ers. >> laura murphy, the statistics that are a part of this argument we've all heard, the u.s. has 5% of the world population, 25% of the prison population. at the same time, we're told that will crime is at a 40-year low. isn't crime at a 40-year low because so many are incarcerated and isn't that an argument for the continued incarceration of them? >> scholars disagree what the reason is behind the low rate in crime right now. it's like me though saying i have an elephant gun in my office and there are no
2:19 pm
elephants in my office. you can't attribute the war on drugs and mandatory minimums you know, all this power that they alone have stopped the rate of crime. scholars really vigorously disagree. but where the american people are in agreement is that we don't want cookie cutter justice. we don't want a one size fits all penalty not allowing judges to take individual factors into account. and i totally disagree with mr. otis. i think the attorney general made it clear that this is about nonviolent low level offenders, and the question he asked is, is this in the federal interest for the federal prisons to be filled up with drug offenders? in 19 4, only 25% of the prisons were filled with people are drug convictions. now it's 55%. is this good for society? is this good for our economy?
2:20 pm
is this good for the american values we hold dear? >> mr. the compelling answer is no. >> respond to that. >> professor, go ahead. >> one interesting thing about the attorney general's talk is that he said a good deal about low level offenders without ever defining what exactly that means. i don't know what it means. i don't know that he knows what it means. >> if you read his. >> excuse me. as to your other answer about we don't know what has been the cause of the reduction in crime, first there has been an enormous reduction in crime, 50% over the last 20 years. secondly, the subject has been studied by the university of chicago. and the study by professor levity indicates that a quarter or more of the reduction in crime during that time has come about because of the increases in incarceration. >> but the human cost of incarceration is just extreme as well as the financial cost. in 1984, we -- in 1980 rather,
2:21 pm
we had about 20,000 people in the federal prison system for drug offenses. and now we have 500,000 people. and you can't tell me that the difference in the rate of drug use justifies such an extreme growth in our federal prison population. and putting people in prison destroys their lives. they can't vote. it's hard for them to find housing. it's hard for them to get college loans. it's just a terrible pox on our society. >> professor otis, do you believe that the congress should be taking this initiative given that it was congress that put on the books the mandatory minimums supposed to the justice department through the attorney general taking this path? >> it seems to me that present law is what we continue -- what we should be continuing to do. present law already provides for three methods for defendants to
2:22 pm
escape mandatory minimums where they're deserving. one of them, the most frequently used is plea bargaining. it's very frequently the case that defendants will plea bargain out of a mandatory minimum offense to a lower grade offense in exchange for considerations they give the government. in addition to that, current federal law already contains a safety valve proposed i might add by then senator joe biden. that safety after valve allows the judge without any motion from the prosecution to go below a mandatory minimum if a defendant comes clean about all that he's doing, if his crime has not involved violence, if he has a relatively low criminal history. so we have that, and the third current method for getting below a mandatory minimum sentence is a motion made by the prosecutor in exchange for the defendant's giving information about who his suppliers are, who his customers are, who else is working with
2:23 pm
him in the drug ganging >> laura murphy, take my final 20 seconds. zell you get the final word. go ahead. >> 94% of the people in prison are there because of plea bargains and most of the people who go to prison do so because they have inadequate counsel. so the attorney general addressed that too, but the attorney general made a great change government policy. the war on drugs is a failure. it leads to huge racial disparities. it leads told expensive overburdened prisons and this is the right move for the federal government. >> everything that you laura murphy and williamtis for the dialogue. up next, did anthony weiner just spill the beans on a hillary clinton campaign for president? that's ahead. you can listen to my radio programs 9:00 a.m. east enon pote tus channel 124. this is "hardball," the place for politics. credible things. otherworldly things. but there are some things i've never seen before. this ge jet engine can understand
2:24 pm
5,000 data samples per second. which is good for business. because planes use less fuel, spend less time on the ground and more time in the air. suddenly, faraway places don't seem so...far away. ♪ thto fight chronic. osteoarthritis pain. suddenly, faraway places don't seem so...far away. to fight chronic low back pain.
2:25 pm
to take action. to take the next step. today, you will know you did something for your pain. cymbalta can help. cymbalta is a pain reliever fda-approved to manage chronic musculoskeletal pain. one non-narcotic pill a day, every day, can help reduce this pain. tell your doctor right away if your mood worsens, you have unusual changes in mood or behavior or thoughts of suicide. anti-depressants can increase these in children, teens, and young adults. cymbalta is not for children under 18. people taking maois, linezolid or thioridazine or with uncontrolled glaucoma should not take cymbalta. taking it with nsaid pain relievers, aspirin, or blood thinners may increase bleeding risk. severe liver problems, some fatal, were reported. signs include abdominal pain and yellowing skin or eyes. tell your doctor about all your medicines, including those for migraine and while on cymbalta, call right away if you have high fever, confusion and stiff muscles or serious allergic skin reactions like blisters, peeling rash, hives, or mouth sores to address possible life-threatening conditions. talk about your alcohol use, liver disease and before you reduce or stop cymbalta.
2:26 pm
dizziness or fainting may occur upon standing. take the next step. talk to your doctor. cymbalta can help. glass on floors. daily chores. for the little mishaps you feel use neosporin to help you heal. it kills germs so you heal four days faster. neosporin. use with band-aid brand bandages.
2:27 pm
back to "hardball." time for the sideshow". political dynasties are all too familiar inside the beltway. but is washington ready for the duck dynasty in? according to the washington examiner, republican operatives are reportedly trying to draft the star willie robertson to run for the louisiana congressional seat that will be vacated by rodney alexander in september. the self-described redneck millionaire has not commented on the speculation. he is not exactly a stranger to washington. he and his wife attended the 2013 correspondents' dinner just last april. next up, it anthony weiner accidentally confirm that hillary clinton plans to run for president last night? listen to how he answered this question about his fwhif an interview with buzz feed's ben smith. >> do you know what her role in hillary's 2016 campaign is going to be. >> i do. >> what will it be?
2:28 pm
>> i'm not telling you. >> sounds like a 2016 campaign is in the works. he also took a shot at buzzfeed after he was asked about his former roommate, jon stewart. yes, the same john stuart we've come to know on the daily show, the two of them shared an apartment together when weiner was working for chuck schumer in the '80s. here was that exchange. >> someone else who is hard on you is your old friend i think roommate, jon stewart. and i wonder, i wonder kind of what the state of your relationship with him is these days. >> what, he's a comedian. >> come on, he's your friend. is he still your friend? >> no. >> i'm going to ask you about stop and frisk soon. but i think this is something interesting. >> you can do this or show videos of cats or whatever else it is you do at buzzfeed. >> we do it all. >> i mean, jon, this notion that somehow i was a victim of late night comics or a victim of someone else, look, i did these things. they were embarrassing.
2:29 pm
the jokes clearly write themselves, but as far as a comedian, he would get thrown out of the comedian's union if he didn't do these jokes. >> some on martha's vineyard seem to be welcoming president obama with open arms. retailers for one and several islander who's happened to catch a glimpse of the president getting lunch today. if you caught my let me finish last night, you know that i don't believe in begrudging a president of either party for taking time off to recuperate from the demands that have office. that said, criticism of presidential vacations is a routine part of our politics these days. i guess the haters are going to hate as they say but imagine this, a presidential vacation in a foreign country hosted by a hollywood celebrity. well, it happened back in 1982. take a look. >> president and mrs. reagan were fully on vacation in barbados today and as presidents do wherever he this go, mr. reagan an democraticed a lot of attention when he went swimming.
2:30 pm
john palmer now. >> with the business part of the president's working vacation now over, they went to the beach. the president was dressed for it. police in reagan was not. with secret service agents alongside, the 71-year-old president put on an impressive demonstration of aquatic skill, freestyle, diving, and backstroke. later the president was joined by mrs. reagan and their long time friend and former hollywood actress claude sket colbert. is the president's concern about budget battles with congress and foreign policy problems seemed a long way off. i'm very pleased to have a day off. >> i doubt we'll be getting that kind of footage from president obama at martha's vineyard. up next, birtherism is back and playing a bigg role an r at this summer's anti-obama protests. you're watching "hardball." somg that i can't have ♪ ♪ turn around barbara ♪ i finally found the right snack ♪
2:31 pm
2:32 pm
2:33 pm
2:34 pm
i'm ber that will comes with your cnbc mark wrap. the dow jump aring more than 30 points on the day, the s&p ending up 4, while the nasdaq gained 14 after fed president dennis lockhart hinted that the central bank may not taper 80s bonds buying program next month. the justice department is fighting plans for usair and american airlines to merge saying the end result would be higher fairs for consumers. and billionaire investor carl icahn tweeted he's taking on a large position at apple. prompting a spike in the company's stock today. that's it from cnbc, we're first in business worldwide. now back to "hardball." what i need from you is to
2:35 pm
know what you can do, you and your fellow noncommunist colleagues in the lower house, what you can do to stop these communist tyrannical executive orders laid down by this foreign-born american-hating communist despot. what can you do for me? >> welcome back to "hardball." if you're a fan of the program, you might remember that clip. that was representative martha robe being confronted by a rather energized audience member at a town hall in alabama, the kind of anger, hatred and at times racism that's infused recent conservative events and it's gotten so bad calling obama an america hating communist despot is hardly the worst of it. take for instance a rodeo clown putting on an obama mask prompting the announcers to mock and insult the president. one audience member said it was like something out of a klan rally.
2:36 pm
nfl arizona, they chanted bye bye black sheep and in orlando earlier this month, the president and first lady were greeted with signs that said kenyan go home. at town halls republican congressman are renewing calls for impeachment and investigations into the president's birth certificates that some read as veiled attacks on his race. this latest episode comes courtesy of congressman blake farenthold from texas. >> i think the horse is already out of the barn on this on the whole birth certificate issue that original kong -- they should have looked into thissen an they didn't. i'm not sure how we fix it. >> representative tedio ho a republican from south florida, said in a recent town hall he supports the birther movement. >> if it is truly illegal, he can't get rid of everything he's
2:37 pm
done. is that the best way wa to spend our time? >> it all has democrats and even some republicans asking, what in the world is going on? what on earth happened to the republican autopsy and rebranding that we heard so much about? michael steele is a form are rnc chair, joan walsh is the editor of and both are msnbcly analysts. michael, it's not emanating from the r in nc but impacts the brand. how do you control the bade behavior if you're the head of the party. >> you can't control the bad behavior but you can speak to it and speak out against it. i think that's something that as we see see coming off the 2012 cycle and getting ready for 2014, that i think the republican leadership not just the chairman of the party but the house and senate leadership will also i think vehement lit begin to push back against stupid. these comments are -- just beyond the pale particularly from members of the house. >> right. >> who take these arcane as nine
2:38 pm
positions that they know have no basis in fact or no grounding in reality. so the fact of the matter is it draws the party down. it stereotypes us further into the idiot class who can't figure out that america's changing and how to become a part of this change as opposed to resisting it. >> joan walsh, you would think to yourself, at least they'll be penalized by the voters, the congressmen involved in this bade behavior. they will represent hyper partisan districts which frankly reward this sort of she shenanigans. >> that's true. there's a portion of the republican base that's gotten more shrill or feels free to express racism. about the leadership stepping up on this, when steve king made lis remark about calves the size of cantaloupes, we all remember it, people did including john boehner step up and say there's no place in this party for that kind of language. why doesn't john boehner ever
2:39 pm
say that about the birther movement? when he took over, he said it's not my business to tell people what to think. he puts his arm around donald trump, goes golfing with him and at this outbreak of idiocy at these town halls he doesn't say a word before where is his conscience on this question? >> i thought the same thing when the bade behavior was coming from the audience in the debates of 2012 that i wondered why don't some of the candidates from the stage single these folks out. i'm afraid to say the answer is because this sort of thing plays well with a certain constituency in the base. and they don't want to offend them. >> there's no val you'll in seeking elective it have office if you're not prepared to stand in the town square and speak truth to power in moments like that. i thought at the time and still do, that that was was a missed opportunity by those on that stage to really put a different brand, if you will, on the party and to stand up against that kind of ignorance. >> here's a question. could these distractions cost republicans the house? conservative columnist byron
2:40 pm
york says the party is at risk "behind the scenes in whispered asides, not for public consumption, some republicans are now worried keeping the house is not such a done deal after all. the majority is at risk, says one well connected republican strategist. it should be a good year but you need to run like you're trying to win and you need a good solid strategy." is that a realistic, joan walsh, possibility because of this? >> i think it's realistic. it turns off voters in the middle. you've seen the decline just since the last election in the number of people who identify as republicans. they don't even want to call themselves republicans. that happens. the other thing that happens is that i'm a democrat. our voters tend to stay home disproportionately in the midterms but as we saw in 2012 with voter suppression, when they get energized and angry, they are more likely to turn out. the disrespect with which they're treating the president and his agenda and obama carey think both turns off moderates but also energizes the
2:41 pm
democratic base. >> i said the same thing earlier with regard to voter identification methods. republicans have rallied around their dislike of obama but some are taking it too far. this is congressman farenthold at atown hall meeting about impeachment. >> a question i get a lot. if everybody's so unhappy with what the president's doing, why don't you impeach him. and i'll give you a real frank answer about that. if we were to impeach the president tomorrow, you could probably get the votes in the house of representatives to do it. >> michael, that kind of talk is the sort of thing you're saying should be singled out by the leadership among others. >> i think the congressman is flat wrong. he wouldn't get the votes in the house. i can't think outside of a small pool of people who would actually tolerate that the process to the point of a vote in the house. if you really want to giveaway the house, go ahead. start impeachment because the fact of the matter is the public
2:42 pm
as a whole would repel against that so much that it wouldn't even be funny going into -- you wouldn't bother with the 2014, skip right to the next election. i think the party needs to think beyond where it is right now and focus on how it can develop a message on the economy, on jobs, health care, those issues that matter to women, minorities, all americans, and talk more inclusively and openly how we grow the country and the economy and not how we look to make fun of the president or impeach him. >> michael steele, thank you. joan walsh, thanks very much. for more on this top pick, check out the story by bengie sar lynn on our website, go to and click on "hardball." up next, whitey bulge ser may be the worst case of fbi corruption in american history. this is "hardball," the place for politics. discover card. cashback concierge, here. what is a cashback concierge? well there's lots of ways you can get cash back. i'm here to help you get the most out of your cash rewards. it's personalized, and it's free.
2:43 pm
i want that. we have a concierge! at discover, we treat you like you'd treat you. get the it card with cashback concierge.
2:44 pm
♪ now you can give yourself a kick in the rear! v8 v-fusion plus energy. natural energy from green tea plus fruits and veggies. need a little kick? ooh! could've had a v8. in the juice aisle. president obama will be taking a bus tour through pennsylvania and upstate new york late next week. he'll hit the road for a two-day swing starting next thursday. it's part of his push to strengthen is the middle class ahead of the fall budget negotiations with republicans in congress. don't forget, you can follow me on twitter if you can spell smerconish. more "hardball" right after this. i think farmers care more about the land
2:45 pm
than probably anyone else. we've had this farm for 30 years. we raise black and red angus cattle. we also produce natural gas. that's how we make our living and that's how we can pass the land and water back to future generations. people should make up their own mind what's best for them. all i can say is it has worked well for us.
2:46 pm
i don'without goingcisions to angie's list first. with angie's list, i know who to call, and i know the results will be fantastic! find out why more than two million members count on angie's list. angie's list -- reviews you can trust. but when it comes to investing, i just think it's better to work with someone. someone you feel you can really partner with. unfortunately, i've found that some brokerage firms don't always encourage that kind of relationship. that's why i stopped working at the old brokerage, and started working for charles schwab. avo: what kind of financial consultant are you looking for? talk to us today. because of a migraine. so they trust excedrin migraine to relieve pain fast. plus sensitivity to light,
2:47 pm
sound, even nausea. and it's #1 neurologist recommended. migraines are where excedrin excels. hey, we're back. yesterday, boston mob boss james whitey bulge ser was convicted on 31 out of 32 counts of racketeering, conspiracy, murder, extortion and other charges. we know how the story will end, behind bars for the remainder of his days. but the case always raised troubling questions about the level of corruption in the system that allowed bulger 0 to be a long-time fbi informant while he was slaying witnesses, rivals and enplies under their noses. yesterday, bulger's lawyer told reporters the defendant was happy that some of the corruption had surfaced. >> jim bulger was very pleased at how the trial went and even pleased by the outcome. i don't think he expected that will nine times the jury would
2:48 pm
come back and say not guilty or not proven. it was important to him that will the government corruption be exposed and important to him that will people see firsthand the deals that the government was able to make with certain people. >> over a 20-year period, bulger seems to have gotten a lot more from the fbi than they did from him, his handler, the agency, john conley is serving a 40-year sentence for conspiracy to commit murder. he tipped bulger off about witnesses and informants who would testify against him. they wound up dead. michael kendall is a former federal prosecutor and told "the new york times." "this was it the worst case of corruption in the history of the fbi. it was a multigenerational systemic alliance with organized crime where the fbi was actively participating in the murders of government witnesses or at least allowing this em to occur." he joins me now along with msnbc can contributor mike barnicle, a
2:49 pm
long-time columnist in boston. michael, i'm sure people are just waking up to the fact wait a minute, the fbi was in bed with a guy who was responsible for the murder of 11 people? >> certainly parts of the fbi were. we had boston agents who were giving the names and locations of people so that organized crime could murder them. paul rico who died in jail before he col reach trial, john conley another one, john morris all played varying levels in that corruption. but we also had it at the local level too. >> what did washington know and when did they know it? >> washington was happy with the success that these people brought in for the prosecution of la cosa nostra, is the italian organized crime and didn't look deeply into the relationship with bulger. >> who is this john conley fellow? apparentlien whitey bulger called him zip. >> they grew up in the same lousing project is, john conley
2:50 pm
went to the boston college. joined the fbi as a young man, had a couple of postings before he ended up in boston. he was in charge of confidential -- he had his own confidential he recruited james "whitey" bulger as one of them. listening to mike kendall, mike kendall was in the u.s. attorney's office in boston. the level of frustration that people like mike kendall and others had had to have been overwhelming. >> why this did everybody know it in boston? >> many, many people knew it. my brother was a boston police officer. my cousin was an fbi agent. they both honest as the day is long, and they sensed it. and they knew it. and a lot of people knew it. and mike kendall would probably be one of the people who would have a sense that of as well. >> mike kendall, every christmas time envelopes would get distributed by whitey bulger. talk about that. >> well, the testimony was 30 envelopes would go out at christmas to law enforcement at varying levels.
2:51 pm
and it's just as mike barnicle said. at every level of law enforcement, really, at every place in life you have good guys and bad guys. the good guys were suspicious. that it were fighting it. they were trying to deal with it. and a smaller number of bad guys were able to corrupt the system and get away with it, at least for a period of time. >> mike barnicle, it was very important to whitey bulger during this trial, in fact, it seems like the only reason he didn't plead guilty is that he was trying to convince folks that he didn't kill women or didn't participate in the killing of women, and that he wasn't a snitch. he still at least publicly disputes this whole issue we're discussing. >> he was absolutely a snitch. he gave up people all along the way. he gave up people while he was running his own mob in boston. he gave up people in the and a half yarks which the 23ib was obsessed with the mafia for years. they stout bulger and flemmi could help them get into the la cosa nostra. they did. the fbi were actually able to
2:52 pm
record a la cosa nostra induction ceremony in bedford, massachusetts. and that was the highlight of the fbi for two decades. and they didn't care what jim bulger was doing on the side. >> they didn't care what they were getting in return. what was in it for the fbi? and was connelly just a guy who -- there are people like this, who wanted to rub shoulders with mobsters. was he enamored with this relationship and this friendship? >> according to bulger's lawyer, connelly was part of the game. they claimed he got at least $240,000, maybe more in cash payments. he got other benefits in help. connelly was taken care of when he left the fbi by bulger's brother by getting a good job after he left the fbi. so connelly got much out of it, benefitted directly and personally. it was not just rubbing shoulders. it was making money, getting career advancement. >> mike barnicle, we have a minute left together. where does this go from here? it seems like there is a whole other chapterer that ought to unfold to get to the bottom of
2:53 pm
this, and perhaps some prosecutions. >> i don't know what the statute of limitations on several of the crimes that were committed, obstruction. i don't know what the statute. mike kendall would know better about that than i would. but there are several fbi agents, former fbi agents that were complicit in allowing james "whitey" bulger to conduct business as usual, killing, murdering people, drug dealing, extortion. they knew it and they allowed it. >> mike kendall, in ten seconds or less, will there there be prosecutions of those folks? >> for corruption, the statute has probably run. some of the murderers that worked with bulger have not yet been convicted, and there is no statute of limitations for murder. >> i appreciate both you have having been here. thank you, mike barnicle. nice to see you. kendell, we appreciate you as well. we'll be right back after this. i can tell you - safety is at the heart of everything we do. we've added cutting-edge technology, like a new deepwater well cap and a state-of-the-art monitoring center, where experts
2:54 pm
watch over all drilling activity twenty-four-seven. and we're sharing what we've learned, so we can all produce energy more safely. our commitment has never been stronger. and you wouldn't have it any other way.e. but your erectile dysfunction - you know, that could be a question of blood flow. cialis tadalafil for daily use helps you be ready anytime the moment's right. you can be more confident in your ability to be ready. and the same cialis is the only daily ed tablet approved to treat ed and symptoms of bph, like needing to go frequently or urgently. tell your doctor about all your medical conditions and medications, and ask if your heart is healthy enough for sexual activity. do not take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain, as this may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. do not drink alcohol in excess with cialis. side effects may include headache, upset stomach, delayed backache or muscle ache. to avoid long-term injury, seek immediate medical help for an erection lasting more than four hours. if you have any sudden decrease or loss in hearing or vision, or if you have any allergic reactions such as rash, hives, swelling of the lips,
2:55 pm
tongue or throat, or difficulty breathing or swallowing, stop taking cialis and get medical help right away. ask your doctor about cialis for daily use and a 30-tablet free trial. from capital one... boris earns unlimited rewards for his small business. can i get the smith contract, please? thank you. that's three new paper shredders. [ boris ] put 'em on my spark card. [ garth ] boris' small business earns 2% cash back on every purchase every day. great businesses deserve unlimited rewards. read back the chicken's testimony, please. "buk, buk, bukka!" [ male announcer ] get the spark business card from capital one and earn unlimited rewards. choose 2% cash back or double miles on every purchase every day. told you i'd get half. what's in your wallet?
2:56 pm
2:57 pm
let me finish tonight with this. yesterday's decision by a federal judge regarding stop and frisk has stopped a national conversation about crime and punishment and race. in her nearly 200 page opinion, judge shira scheindlin said it amounted to indirect racial profiling violating the 4th and 14th amendment. terry versus ohio. that's a 1968 ruling that said stop and frisk is permissible under certain circumstances. importantly, it's got to be based on more than an officer's hunch. mostly in new york, individuals have been stopped for so-called furtive movements.
2:58 pm
that means a person was fidgety or changed directions or walked in a certain way. maybe grabbed a pocket, or even looked over their shoulder. furtive movements were the factor cited in 48.3% of the cases where blacks were stopped, 42.2% for hispanics. 39.9% for whites. another important stat, about 83% of stops between 2004 and 2012 involved blacks and hispanics, even though they comprise just over 50% of city's residents. were the stops relevant? the nypd conducted over 4.4 million terry stops. 52% of all stops were followed by a protective frisk for weapons. a weapon was found after 1.5% of these frisks. said differently, in 98.5% of the 2.3 million frisks, no weapon was found. now, were the number of
2:59 pm
minorities stopped for furtive movements and stopped and frisked for her reasons far exceeds the rates for whites, it sounds reasonable for the judge to say this is indirect racial profiling, especially where few weapons were found. still, before we champion this decision as a victory for civil rights we need to consider who it will impact. here is new york city mayor michael bloomberg yesterday. >> we go to where the reports of crime are. those unfortunately happen to be poor neighborhoods and minority neighborhoods. >> when he spoke, i thought of what president obama said in the aftermath of the trayvon martin case. >> now this isn't to say that the african-american community is naive about the fact that african-american young men are disproportionately involved in the criminal justice system. that they're disproportionately both victims and purposes of violence. >> here is my observation.
3:00 pm
should crime rise as a result of limiting stop and frisk? the most victimized, sadly, will be from the same community as those whose civil liberties the judge sought to protect. that's "hardball" for now. thank you for being with us. "politicsnation" with al sharpton starts right now. thanks, michael, and thanks to you for tuning in. tonight's lead, the collapse of the gop law and order scare tactic. today republicans were trying to defend new york's stop and frisk program, even though a federal judge ruled that it violates people's constitutional rights. >> if holder and obama want to investigate a police department, why don't they look at chicago? >> this single act alone is enough to cause it to go in another direction. it's another step closer to making new york city like detroit. >> we've heard this kind of talk before.