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tv   All In With Chris Hayes  MSNBC  October 14, 2013 5:00pm-6:01pm PDT

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real operator's manual on how the government should be run, an optimistic look at how it still could. and that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. and we have just three days to go until an unprecedented possible u.s. default, and there is some hope at this hour of a deal to reopen the government, raise the debt ceiling and put an end to this ugly, unnecessary crisis. 14 days into a government shutdown, the timeliness to avoid possible economic calamity just three days is truly unforgiven, given the sheer mechanics of getting something passed through both houses of congress even after a deal is finally reached. senate majority leader harry reid and senate minority leader mitch mcconnell spent the day inching closer to a deal after house leaders were unable to arrive at something the president could accept.
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>> we've made tremendous progress. we are not there yet, but tremendous progress, and everyone just needs to be patient. perhaps tomorrow will be a bright day. we're not there yet. we hope it will be. >> let me echo the remarks of the majority leader. we've had a good day, had a good day yesterday, had another good day today. i think it's safe to say we've made substantial progress. >> that rare display of bipartisan harmony. the very latest pronouncement from reid and mcconnell about negotiations came just about 90 minutes ago. earlier today, the duo engaged in a similar attempt at soothing everyone's collective nerves. >> i'm very optimistic that we will reach an agreement that's reasonable in nature this week. i deeply appreciate my friend, the minority leader, for his diligent efforts to come to an agreement. >> let me just echo the remarks of my good friend, the majority leader. we've had an opportunity over the last couple of days to have some very constructive exchanges
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of views about how to move forward. >> a 3:00 p.m. meeting between president obama and congressional leaders was postponed so that negotiations between reid and mcconnell could proceed. however, mcconnell did meet with speaker boehner for nearly a half hour, and mcconnell will meet with senate republicans tomorrow morning to review the emerging agreement. here are the contours of the deal as we know them. reopening the government and funding it through january 15th, lifting the debt ceiling through february 7th, requiring a budget conference report in which both houses would come together to negotiate a budget by december 13th, and flexibility for agencies to implement budget cuts from sequestration. there may be some other aspects of the deal we'll get into. this deal comes after democrats rejected a plan crafted by republican senator susan collins, in part because it would have extended sequestration level budget well into 2014. there is at least recent precedent for mcconnell and reid striking a deal the white house
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signs off on, a deal that speaker boehner then brings to a vote in the house, despite the opposition of a majority of republicans. it happened on the fiscal cliff and it happened on sandy aid. of course, the great irony is that that is how this ultimately plays out, it could have happened two weeks ago. if speaker boehner had brought the senate's short-term budget to a vote in the house, it very likely would have passed. meanwhile, as the shutdown continues, republicans continue to pay a steep political price for their intransigence. the latest poll putting their disapproval numbers at 74% compared to democrats in congress at 61% and president obama at 53%. joining me now is congressman scott ridgel, a republican from virginia. and congressman, as far as you can tell, given the details emerging from the mcconnell and reid deal, is that something you can imagine the house republican caucus voting for? >> well, chris, like so many things that come my way up here in washington, it's not actually
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what i'd like. but look, the pressure and the pain is very real from this shutdown. it's hurting the virginia 2nd congressional district, it's hurting our country, and i really think the fight, to the extent there is a fight, and there is one, should really be about overall funding of our government and not the debt limit. and so, i would, based on what i know, i would support it, based on what i know. >> you, sir, are an outlier. you are, if i'm not mistaken, the only republican in the house to vote against the defunding of obama care in this last round that caused the shutdown, a vote that i happen to agree with, but if you were going to vote for this, that doesn't necessarily tell us where the heart of the house republican caucus is. my question to you is, what is the sense you get from your colleagues? is there communication happening in the house republican caucus right now about this emerging deal? >> not yet. there certainly will be tomorrow morning. and chris, let me be clear, you know, i don't support what i really believe is the unaffordable care act and i voted no on that first continuing resolution because of my just absolute repudiation of how we don't budget up here,
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continuing resolutions hurt our country. what's really needed is for us to get through this, to have a short-term solution, but really, i think every member of congress, member of the house or the senate, should be required to answer this question -- what specific plan do you support to get a hold of our long-term spending? i have a plan. it's the america first plan. i offered it last week. and what's largely absent up here is specificity, because people are so afraid of grabbing something. this has bipartisan appeal, it has things that democrats like and things that republicans will like, and it also has things that both parties will object to, which means i think that we're on the right track. >> well, i want to talk about the sort of budget negotiations that may come in a second, but first of all, if it comes to pass, a deal is ham yard omered the senate along the lines of what we've seen so far, it goes to the house and if it comes to pass that john boehner brings it to the floor for an open vote,
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and if it comes that it passes, what will you and your republican party tell your constituents about what the heck the purpose of this shutdown was? >> well, chris, the first day of the shutdown, i sent out this tweet, and i knew it would put us in maybe an odd position, but i knew it was the right one. i said look, it's time for a clear cr. here's why. i looked out as best as one could and says how does this look day 3, day 6, day 12, indeed day 14? it didn't look good to me, and our objective became muddier, and i didn't think it'd be good for our conference or our country. so, i'm not happy with this process that we've been through, so i think your point's well taken there, but -- >> the answer to that is there's nothing to tell constituents because nothing was genuinely gained from this. >> well, you know, if we're going to take the american people through a very painful process of not funding the government, look, it's not that i'm unwilling. and i understand the full
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ramifications of it, chris. this has real impact on real families all across america. you know some are furloughed, and they know they're going to get their pay when they come back. a lot of families are not in that situation. i mean, they're flat out unemployed. 900,000 jobs have, you know, are estimated to have been lost because of this whole thing. i mean, this is deeply troubling. but what's equally troubling is our failure as a country and this institution and the president to agree upon a long-term plan that slows down the growth of mandatory spending. >> you will not get any argument from me that the short-term government by cr is no way to go. congressman scott rigell of virginia. thank you. chris van hollen, ranking member of the house budget committee. first question to you, congressman, is is john boehner going to bring this to a vote? if the contours of the deal are the ones that we're reporting, and i'd be curious if house leadership is being read into this, which don't do much to obama care -- there's some talk about one tax being delayed for a year, relatively small in the
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scheme of things, some stronger income verification, possibly, a few things around the edges -- if that's the contours of the deal, then is john boehner going to bring it for a vote? and if you bring this to a vote, why didn't he just bring it to a vote two weeks ago? >> chris, that's obviously the big question. first, i should say we don't know all the details to this agreement. we believe that we should have a clean cr and a clean debt ceiling extension. the dates you talked about are the dates that i think have been under discussion, but we don't think you should have the extraneous provisions, even the so-called medical device tax, which would add to the deficit if you get rid of that. so, we're really focused on clean measures. but the big question is the one you posed, will speaker boehner bring this up? we know that he has refused to bring up the legislation that's before the house right now, which would immediately reopen the government, and we have the votes between republicans and democrats to do it. so, will he be willing to bring up this larger agreement? and this is the moment of truth
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for john boehner, because on the one hand stands his reckless tea party caucus, and he's been feeding that beast all along, thinking that they'd be satisfied, but in fact, they've just gotten stronger and more demanding, or will he stand up for the good of the country? and look, when the country's on the edge of default and the country continues to be in government shutdown, you would hope he would stand up for the good of the country. >> i want to play a piece of tape of you having an exchange with one of your republican colleagues in the house about the rules. and it's a piece of tape that went viral this weekend, because it looks a little bit like a smoking gun on the shutdown. i'm going to play it and ask you to explain what was happening. take a look. >> this standing rule of the house, which i have here, has been altered by the house. is that what the speaker's saying? >> the house adopted a resolution altering. >> the rules committee under the rules of the house changed the standing rules of the house to take away the right of any member to move to vote to open the government and gave that
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right exclusively to the republican leader. is that right? >> the house adopted that resolution. >> so, you were pointing out a change to the rules. what were the change to the rules and what effect did they have? >> yeah, chris, this is really important, because i think people realize now that speaker boehner, you know, shut down the government and has refused to allow a vote. what people are learning now is that the republicans on october 1st, in the middle of the night, actually changed the rules of the house in order to keep the government shut down, because under the standing rules of the house, in the particular circumstance we're in, where there's a disagreement between the house and the senate, the regular rules of the house would allow any member, republican or democrat, myself or anybody else, to call up the senate bill which would immediately reopen the entire government. republicans realized that, and so, they changed the rule so that the republican leader would have that exclusive right. in other words, they took a right that belonged to any member of congress and gave it exclusively to eric cantor or
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his designee. >> just so we're clear, they understood that a vote to reopen the government would pass the house. they did not want it to happen. they wanted to keep the shutdown going because they saw it as leverage, and so, they rewrote the rules of the house of representatives to make sure only eric cantor or someone he said could bring up the senate bill to reopen the government because they were so terrified that any member bringing that to the floor would pass it and reopen the government? >> that's exactly what happened. i mean, they were afraid of the democratic process, because they can count. >> that is the smoking gun. and the big question now is, whatever deal comes out of the senate, the thing we're going to watch and hopefully we can get you back here to talk about it is does speaker boehner bring it for a vote? congressman chris van hollen, thank you for joining us. richard costa with "the national review" and cnbc contributor. the question is, mitch mcconnell is working out a deal with harry reid, we've seen this before, and this ends up with john boehner going to the house floor to bring up a vote on something that he does not have a ton of republican support for and that
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passing with democratic votes. are we headed down that road again? >> chris, i just met with some house republicans this evening on capitol hill and i asked for predictions about what speaker boehner would do tomorrow, especially when house republicans meet for their conference meeting, and they think because now the senate is brokering a deal, they think boehner is not ready to come to the conference and ask them to accept it. the deal isn't even finalized. so, house republicans as of now, based on my reporting, are looking at sending their own package back to the senate. >> if they do that, of course, let's keep in mind, this is precisely what happened with the continuing resolution. it is precisely the series of events that have led us to the shutdown which continues to this moment, and yet, we are doing this up against a very, very different kind of deadline with the debt ceiling just three days away. >> here's the mindset in the house, especially among republicans and conservatives, boehner those exhaust all of his ammunition, and that includes sending something back to the senate, perhaps on tuesday or wednesday, before finally, perhaps, at the 11th hour, the 11th hour, he embraces some kind
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of senate compromise. >> so, this is essentially political theatrics, i mean, meaning, john boehner has to show to his caucus he fought until the last second before the clock ticked over and the world financial markets went into disarray, in order to be able to save face with his caucus, that's what you're saying. >> this isn't exactly a new story. we've seen since speaker boehner decided to adopt the ted cruz strategy, to push for a defunding obama care. we've seen speaker boehner very much work in sync with the right flank of the house. he is not acting as an independent operator. i think that's a misconception about speaker boehner. when you watch him in action every day, this is someone who is an independent thinker, used to be a committee chairman, but when it comes to being speaker of the house, he very much walks in step with the right. >> i want to play a clip for you of sheldon whitehouse saying why he's untroubled by a temporary continuing resolution and a temporary raising of the debt ceiling for only four months because he thinks republicans have learned a political lesson from this. listen. >> the republicans, and
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particularly the tea party republicans, really burned their hands on this hot stove, and the idea that in january they're going to want to grab it again and burn themselves all over again doesn't seem very likely. i think they learned a lesson from the damage that they did to our country with this latest stunt. >> do you think he's right? >> partially. i think republicans privately look at the poll numbers and they see 74% of americans are dissatisfied with the way they're operating. they're aware of that. they're aware of the constituent calls coming in. but because of the way the conservative movement operates today and the way it influences the republican party, if speaker boehner does embrace the senate deal, you're still going to see many, many house republicans oppose it because it does not include provisions related to obama care. >> and the biggest question i think are are the outside groups, heritage action, for instance who pushed the whole defend of obama care strategy, will the entire sort of machinery of movement conservatism then crank itself up for another one of these fights in four months because
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they didn't need to go through this to understand this would be unpopular the first time around? robert costa from "the national review," thank you so much for your time tonight. >> thank you. coming up -- >> this country isn't ran by just one individual. it's ran by four branches, but three branches that are in control of this. >> our feature, these are the people who are running the country, continues tonight with this guy, a u.s. congressman who thinks we have four branches of government. we'll be right back. [ babies crying ] surprise -- your house was built on an ancient burial ground. [ ghosts moaning ] surprise -- your car needs a new transmission. [ coyote howls ] how about no more surprises? now you can get all the online trading tools you need without any surprise fees. ♪ it's not rocket science. it's just common sense. from td ameritrade.
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if no deal is reached in congress, america may hit its debt limit just three days from now, which very likely means default, possibly financial chaos and chaos for the world economy. but a bunch of republicans have this new line. they're saying don't worry about it. once the government can no longer pay all its bills, all it needs to do is prioritize who it pays so that bondholders come first, and that way, there's no default and everything will be fine. >> there's no reason for us to default. we bring in $250 billion in taxes every month. our interest payment is $20 billion. tell me why we would ever default? >> i would dispel the rumor that is going around that you hear on every newscast that if we don't raise the debt ceiling, we will default on our debt. we won't. we'll continue to pay our
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interest. >> we are not going to default from the public debt, but that doesn't mean that we have to pay every bill the day it comes in, 100 cents on the dollar. >> in fact, house republicans even passed a bill in may called the full faith and credit act, requiring the treasury to prioritize payments to creditors, rather than, say, medicaid payments to doctors, in the event of a debt ceiling breach. >> this bill requires, not allows, requires treasury to continue to pay principal and interest on existing debt if and only if we hit the debt ceiling before a deal is reached. this is a backstop that takes default off the table. >> now in isolation, that sounds almost reasonable, doesn't it? it's not. it's nonsense, and here's why. think for just a second about how massively complicated it is to deal with all of the money flowing through the united states government every single day. you've got intakes like payroll taxes and bond purchases coming in and all sorts of money going out, interest to bondholders, social security payments, even
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payroll checks to members of congress. the treasury is literally processing millions of invoices every day, and it's got an automated system that does this processing on computers dozens of times per second, and these computers are designed to "make each payment in the order it comes due." there are no built-in mechanisms to pick and choose. yet, what republicans are saying is to undo this entire automated system, which it's not even clear this could be done legally it may be illegal to forego payment to a defense contractor so you can pay a chinese bond holder the next day, but more importantly, it's just not doable. it means asking the federal government to disrupt a sprawling, massive payment system that involves multiple interacting computer systems and agencies. take a second to consider the thought process here. the same people who cast the government as incompetent and useless, the same people delighting in the stories of a long-planned health care exchanges central to obama care but set with glitches and failures, those same people believe the treasury department can take, perhaps, the most
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complicated payment system in the world, the one processing millions of payments a day, trillions of dollars a year, and just rewire it on the fly to pick and choose payments to avoid default. the reality is there is no magic fix that would make breaching the debt ceiling smooth, and anyone who claims otherwise is selling you something you should not buy. joining me now is steve rattner, former treasury secretary to geithn geithner. with michael bloomberg assets. all right, treasury has already been taking what's called extraordinary measures, right? >> correct. >> for months. is there anything they can do if we -- i mean, if we go over on wednesday, if you're sitting there as jack lew and the civil servants who have to run this payment system, what do you do? i mean, what do you do on thursday morning if a debt ceiling hasn't been reached? >> i think first thing to know is wednesday's a very important day. it's the last day they can borrow using these so-called extraordinary measures, but it's not the day we actually default. treasury will have about $30
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billion of cash on hand. more cash comes in every day. as you point out, cash goes out every day. and probably somewhere between october 23rd and november 1st is when we literally won't have the money to pay the next day's bills. >> part of what's complicated here, right, is that these payments, the money coming in and the money going out is lu lumpy. you might get a big bunch of money one day and have a bunch of payments the next day and it's the unpredictability that makes it so harrowing, right? >> yes, but i mentioned october 23rd for a reason, because there's a social security payment that goes out that day and i mentioned october 31st and november 1st, because there's an interest payment on the debt and social security and medicare payments that go out that day, so we know the day of some big amounts that have to go out. >> what do you think of the whole prioritization of payments? you work in treasury, you know your way around ledgers and numbers. what do you think about this idea? >> i think it's generally ludicrous. i agree with pretty much everything you said, but i would say for complete accuracy is the treasury has a couple different payment systems and interest is
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handled differently than the other bills, so you might be able to separate that a little bit, but you can't separate the rest like you talked about. there are questions about the technical ability, about the legal authority, and then about simply what do they want to do. do you really not want to pay a social security payment so you can pay interest to the chinese? >> and the whole thing is while all you're doing is empowering the executive in the supreme way at the same time you're accusing barack obama of being a tyrant, saying he's picking and choosing political targets to impose the most pain in the political shutdown, you're also saying i hand over to the executive, the white house, the president and the treasury the ability to choose who gets paid and who doesn't. >> that's true, and there's also another important point, which is you can default by means other than simply not paying your interest. in other words, if you don't pay your interest on your home mortgage, yes, you're in default, but if you choose to pay that but not pay your utility bill or not pay your saks fifth avenue bill, that's default, too. that could put you in bankruptcy just as surely. so, either way you look at it, the treasury simply doesn't have enough money without borrowing. >> how do we think about the debt line?
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october 16th is when the treasury says extraordinary measures, we run out. you say it won't be probably until october 23rd that we actually go into default. what do we look for? what happens? when we had the shutdown, we had the countdown clock because there was a statutory moment at which authority for the government to spend money ran out. how should we think about the countdown that you're engaged in this week? >> there's not as easy a way to count this one down, because i don't even think, frankly, as you point out, treasury knows from day to day exactly when the day is going to come. the point is, we're playing with fire. so, you can keep a safe distance from the fire, which is what we have been doing, and even until october 17th, we're a safe distance from the fire, or you can get up really close to the fire, but you don't know when your clothes are going to catch on fire exactly, you don't know the precise moment and that would be our position after october 17th. >> would you anticipate we would see big movements in global financial markets on, say, thursday morning, if and when the government were not to raise the debt ceiling? >> the paradox of the financial markets right now is that the more they think there's going to be a deal, the more they just go, okay, so what? as you saw today.
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and then people in washington say, you see the financial markets don't care, after all. >> right. they're using it as evidence there will be a deal. >> i know, but then you turn around, and the moment the deal looks like it's falling aparty, the financial markets will fall apart. >> quickly, shouldn't we just get rid of this thing? should there not be a debt ceiling? >> of course there shouldn't be. it's a crazy way to run a railroad and this is not the way any policy should be ran. >> i think that should be part of the deal. in this deal, if you're negotiating anyway about getting this, let's just kill it. >> that's the one thing i will confidently predict will not happen in all this. they will not get rid of it. >> steve rattner, thank you for your time. >> my pleasure. >> we'll be right back. my mantra?
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a real-life joe the plumber is the congressman we are featuring tonight in our special segment "these are the people who are running the country." wait until you hear his claim to fame. that's coming up. first, i want to share the three awesomest things on the internet today. we begin on the streets of new york, which for the month of october have been turned into a citywide canvas for the mysterious street artist known only as banksie. banksie has been leaving his mark around the five boroughs with one art project per day, some outright beautiful like this delivery truck turned into a charming woodland scene, and others more cutting, like a caravan of squealing stuffed animals being driven through the meatpacking district. yesterday's piece involved a table outside of the central park signing original canvases. sale price $60. the actual value well over $1 million. the table was manned by an older gentleman who sat and sat and yawned and waited. his first sale didn't come until three hours later when a woman bought two pieces but only after
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talking him into a 50% discount. not a single person seemed to realize they were purchasing for peanuts what serious art dealers would pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to get their hands on. banksie will continue to keep new york on its toes for the rest of the month, meaning we have another 17 days to find out if this vendor guy actually was banksie. we will keep you posted. the second awesomest thing on the internet today, super villains united. "breaking bad" may be history, but people are still enjoying the drama. some are creating inventive new halloween costumes for their kids. that's slightly inappropriate. others are binge-watching the entire series. one new fan who watched every epp over the course of two weeks wrote a letter to bryan cranston. it happened to be sir anthony hopkins who wrote "your performance as walter wright was the best acting i've seen ever "and" you and your cast are the best actors i've ever seen." still not clear? one more -- "congratulations and my deepest respect. you are truly a great, great actor.
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best records, tony hopkins." they confirmed the letter did in fact come from one of the world's most renowned actors and who better to credit the show about a sociopath than the man who made cannibalism endearing. and this is todd, the composite of an average american male in his 30s. he's actually a little more physically fit than we were led to believe. todd is the product of graphic artist nikolai lamb, who made the 3d models using body mass index measurements. here's how todd compares to the average man from japan. a bit pounchier, but overall not terrible. this is the average man from japan. so far, the u.s. is not looking so bad. okay, that's not good. this is the version of todd from the netherlands, and he's pretty fit. stands head and shoulders above it all. suck it in, todd! american males haven't felt this inferior to the dutch since the heyday of marcus shankenberg. you can find all the links for tonight's "click 3" on our website, we'll be right back.
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it's time once again for another installment of our new "all in" feature, "these are the people who are running the country," which we take a closer look at the very small group of men and women in congress who have shut down the government. tonight we turn the spotlight on a small businessman from oklahoma with a pension for common sense cuts to federal spending and an aversion to bureaucratic red tape. congressman mark wayne mullen from oklahoma's 2nd district. mark wayne mullen covers oklahoma's 2nd district, which covers about a quarter of the state, one of two american indians in congress, and he came to washington as a political outsider to flush out the waste. >> i'm mark wayne mullin with mullin plumbing. you know, we're known for all those red bands that criss-cross all over oklahoma, taking care of all your plumbing, septic needs. if those do with gas, water or sewer, we're your experts in it. >> he's the real-life joe the plumber, if joe the plumber ever got elected to congress and was
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actually a plumber. mullin is fed up with the protruding tentacles of the federal government getting in the way. >> government needs to start operating like we have to operate a business. >> and he means all four branches of government. >> this country isn't ran by just one individual. it's ran by four branches, but three branches are in control of this. >> not only does congressman mullin have an alternative view of the government's constitutional structure, he also has an alternative take on where the president was born. >> who would have thought we'd ever actually, actually be questioning if we had a natural-born president being president? >> but it's this notion that the federal government is too big, too meddlesome and too wasteful that really gets mullin worked up p up. like when he told constituents of a horror watching a couple defraud the food stamp program. he knew just by looking at him. >> this guy was built like a brick house. i mean, he had muscles all over
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him. he was in a little tank top, pair of shorts and really nice nike shoes. they were both physically fit. and they go up in front of me and they pay with that card. fraud, absolute 100% all it is is fraud. >> shortly that, he voted to cut funding to the food stamp program by billions of dollars, even though abuse of the program is at al an all-time low. and it's not just food stamps he sees as waste. he believes the american recovery and reinvestment act of 2009 was a "horrible waste of tax dollars," yet his plumbing company was awarded almost $800,000 of that very same federal stimulus money. mullin maintains he is no hypocrite, he's a businessman. and when "someone hires us to do a job, we don't ask them where the money comes from." that's businessman.
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mullin believes that obama care will wreak havoc on our economy and stifle job growth. so, when a letter was circulated this summer demanding that john boehner use the threat of a government shutdown to support a bill to defund obama care, mark wayne mullin lent his support as a co-sponsor, and that's how congressman mark wayne mullin of oklahoma's 2nd district became "one of the people who is running the country." tune in tomorrow night for our next installment of that. in the meantime, ted cruz going to the mall protests today and railing against government shutdown is like o.j. simpson searching for the real killers. over the weekend, that was one political reporter's take on this weekend's right-wing pageantry in the nation's capital. it was really something. i'll tell you what else they were up to. thrusters at 30%! i can't get her to warp.
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and that means more fuel, more power, more performance than the next leading brand. new duracell quantum. trusted everywhere. yesterday, senator ted cruz of texas, senator mike lee from utah with support from sarah palin headlined a march to protest the government's closure of the world war ii memorial. the memorial is shut down, we should note, because the government is shut down, and the government is shut down because senators cruz and lee worked tirelessly for months to make it so. no matter how disingenuously channeling the raw anger of the tea party base, here's what cruz and company do best. >> this is the line our commander in chief put up here to prevent you come being here today. is it anybody worried about this wire? >> no!
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>> will we surrender our freedom? >> no! >> god bless ted cruz and mike lee! >> our veterans should be above politics. >> you look around, though, and you see these barricades. this is a matter of shutdown priorities. >> understand the political spectacle at this weekend's million vet march, you have to go back two weeks when republicans shut down the government, furloughing hundreds of thousands of government workers, including many of the park rangers who patrol our war memorials, you may remember one republican personally berated a park ranger for the shutdown he helped cause. >> park service should be ashamed of themselves. >> i'm not ashamed. >> you should be. >> and the circus was on. republicans and their allies tried to sell closing of the world war ii memorial as an evil obama plot. >> they want to make sure that world war ii veterans get shut out. >> to put up barricades to keep them away from their greatest accomplishments is an absolute sin. >> it's un-american and it's
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despicable. >> and all of this political fear was to force the president's hand to delay or defund his health care law. it didn't happen. it's not going to happen. and that brings us back to yesterday. >> we will not be timid in calling out any who would use our military, our vets as pawns in a political game. >> yesterday, somewhere between hundreds and thousands of people descended on the mall to stage a protest against the closing of the war memorials, and it turns into something that looked a lot more like a tea party town hall. >> we want him to come here and apologize for the treatment of our veterans! >> the speaker succeeded in whipping up the crowd around a variety of conservative conspiracies -- >> how dare you commit an atrocity on combat veterans' families! >> indict for benghazi! >> is anybody worried about this wire? >> no! >> it was a protest of the shutdown headlined by the two senators who are most
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responsible for the shutdown. >> are we going to let them shut us out of what is rightfully ours? >> no! >> why is the federal government spending money to erect barricades to keep veterans out of this memorial? >> republican congressman steve stockman, who previously accused democrats of curbstopping veterans because obama told them to, led the crowd in a chant. >> tear down the wall! >> and finally there was the ugliest moment of the day from larry claiman of the conservative group freedom watch. >> we are now ruled, quote/unquote by a president who bows down to allah. i call upon all of you to wage a second american nonviolent revolution. demand that this president leave to town, to get out, to put the koran down, to get up off his knees and to figuratively come up with his hands out. >> after that, protesters
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carried ba barricades to the white house and camped out with a huge confederate flag outside of the residence of the first black family to live in it. also, apparently, just after senator ted cruz told the crowd the president was using military veterans as "pawns," he and his colleague, mike lee, left the protest. and the original organizers of the event may have felt like the protest had been co-yopted by the tea party. on their website, the group states "we feel disheartened that some would seek to hijack the narrative for political gain. the core principle's all about honoring america's veterans in a peaceful apolitical manner. robert george is editorial writer for "the new york post" and former aide to newt gingrich, michelle goldberg, "the nation" magazine, a senior contributor writer and josh. robert, i am, who could have predicted that was sarah palin and ted cruz and mike lee there, things would get political? >> i'm shocked. i'm simply shocked. what i found was most interesting about this entire
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scenario was ted cruz, who seems to be despised by most of the senate, with the possible exception of mike lee -- well, obviously, with the exception of mike lee -- he's clearly become sort of the leader of the tea party movement. and even though he's only been in office for about nine months, if he really wants to take that leadership and then, you know, use it as a springboard to 2016, he's going to have to be more careful about what kind of groups that he decides to sort of associate with -- >> you think? >> yeah. >> oh, you don't think sharing a microphone with a guy who says that the president needs to put down the koran and come out with his hands up? >> you've got this guy, larry clayman, who's sort of the ghost of democratic obsession past. i mean, he was big back in '98 when he was leading judicial watch as part of the whole impeachment stuff, and then he had a falling out with judicial watch because, apparently, judicial watch thought that he
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was a little bit too nutty, even for them. and so, now, he's somehow crawled out of the wood work and is attaching himself to these things. so, i mean, if ted cruz wants to be the head of the tea party and ride it to iowa and so forth, he can do that, but he's going to have to figure out a way of making clear he's the leader and you're not going to have all these nutballs attaching themselves to you. >> i want to read a tweet from our friend, tim carney, who is often on the show, conservative guy, guy i have a lot of respect for. "give liberals this, they figured out the one clown with the confederate flag on pennsylvania avenue is the true leader of american conservatism." is it fair to take that iconic photo of the confederate flag at this protest outside the white house and blow it up and say this represents something deep and dark about what's going on here? hold your thought. we'll be right back. i'm beth... and i'm michelle. and we own the paper cottage. it's a stationery and gifts store. anything we purchase for the paper cottage goes on our ink card.
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we're back, and i'm here with robert george, michelle goalbrick and josh bauer. we're talking about this big kind of tea party rally that happened on the mall this weekend, yesterday, actually. it was called the million vet march, billed as an apolitical celebration of america's veterans and indignation that the memorial was shut down, but then it became the big tea party rally, flags and quite honestly, an iconic photo of a guy in front of the white house with a big confederate flag. my question to you is, is it fair to show this and be like, this represents something about what these folks, where these folks are coming from? >> well, i think it wouldn't be fair if a similar message hadn't been spouted by one speaker after another at this rally. i mean, obviously, it's in the nature of images to be reductive and sum things up in a single person, but we heard over and over and over again from these speakers, both the delegitimization of the
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president, a celebration if not of treason, of something kind of tip toeing up to wanting to overthrow our democratically elected president. and so, the idea that this is unfair, this permeates their rhetoric, you know? and not just -- and what we're seeing in the shutdown and in this kind of grinding to a halt of the federal government right now in a certain sense is the confederacy's revenge, right? i mean, we've seen this -- >> do you think that's fair? this has been, by the way, this has been a theme that has been going around liberal writers a lot, that this kind of a neoconfederate moment. >> i don't agree with that. i will say, however, though, given the era in which we live where everybody's got a cell phone and so forth, of course it's fair if that's going to -- if somebody's going to be out there popping up, you know that somebody's going to be taking images of it, and the organizers of these things are the ones who are going to have to ultimately be responsible for, you know, for images and voices that ultimately embarrass their
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movement. >> i think calling this neo confederate gives too much credit to the protest. that would imply that it has a goal like the confederacy did, such as secession and the promotion of slavery. this is a protest about nothing. it amazes me that they've settled on this thing about the monuments, like this is one of the genuinely unimportant functions of the government right here. until nine years ago, we didn't have a memorial -- >> there as a symbolic -- >> it's the delegitimization of the president, not just of the president, but the delegitimization of any democrat, which is the right we've been involved in for many years -- [ everyone talking at once ] >> started ultimately back with his signature program. so, not necessarily the delegitimization of him -- >> i'm sorry, they asked him to come out with his hands up. >> that's just a nutball, larry clayman, he's not a serious individual -- >> but he's a nutball who had a microphone at the event where ted cruz, who engineered the shutdown, spoke. that's the point, right? i as someone who is a product of
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the american left and who's ha been to a lot of protests and has been surrounded by people who have all sorts of ideas that i find totally nutty and abhorrent, i hate the kind of guilt by association game as a matter of just a sort of general matter, and yet, ted cruz knows what he's doing when he goes there. he knows the folks he's stoking. >> and the folks they are putting up to speak. >> i'm not so sure about whether he does -- >> right. >> he does. i mean, look, he had just come, like the day before, he ended up getting the most votes at the values voter summit. so, he obviously has a certain, you know, ultimate track of where he's going on, but he's going at it so fast, i don't think there's a lot of political organization around him to try and protect him from himself. >> here's what i think is the difference between this on the right and on the left. both, you know, i mean, you look at occupy wall street and there were all sorts of crazies involved in that in addition to people who were not crazies, but elites on the left are still in control of the democratic party, and they were able to take the energy off of occupy wall street
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without creating a situation where you have democrats being told that they have to shut down the government unless we get a single-payer health care system and they're afraid that they'll go back and lose primaries it they don't -- >> and there's also no real -- [ everyone talking at once ] >> perhaps for the worst for the country. >> right. >> because this kind of shutdown governance is bad, regardless of the substance. i mean, the substance the tea party wants out of this is bad, but also the process is bad. we have the situation where we don't know whether the federal government is going to be open in an hour or not -- >> but there is a different issue, which is that the right is actually much better at channeling its extreme grievances through political parties, whereas the left, there's no inner penetration between the democratic party and occupy wall street. >> that's the big thing. what you saw happen was that a movement that happened in the rally, the glenn beck, the big glenn beck rally, april 15th rally, then the town halls, right? >> right. >> these are wr all essentially street protests, using the tools of politics outside of the electoral process that was converted into electoral gains
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through primaries and through elections that now has profound consequences for the house of representatives. >> that's actually true. the tea party movement for some of its excesses was sort of actively engaged where the occupy people was, frankly, sort of like literally occupying, sitting around on their butts and hoping something's going to change. >> well, they did not -- they did not consider themselves electoral politics, but here's what i find fascinating, is that as someone who grew up in the american left, as someone who's been to protests, right, i think of that kind of politics as a kind of anti-majoritarian protest. when you're marching against a war, the war's unpopular, but you feel yourself a voice of conscience and dissident against the majority, and what's fascinating me about politics at the moment is thr profoundly momentarian. >> but they will never see themselves that way. >> but those with the tools they're using. >> the irony is, though, is that it is tea party people who have now become solemn lynn ski's biggest fan, quoting "rules for
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radicals" and so forth, so there is an interesting irony there. >> but this isn't an effective strategy. it's tearing the republican party apart. the republican party has been effective in some sense to channeling people in that it won elections in 2010, but it's not effective in maintaining a long-term brand that works for the party or the policy. >> and this is the abc and "wall street journal" poll suggesting would you vote to defeat or replace every member of congress? 60%. erick erickson was tweeting about us being on the brink of a third party, right? now, third parties don't have a good electoral chance in this country because of the electoral rules, but there is a level of factualism inside the republican party now that is a genuine threat to just the functioning of the institution, wouldn't you say? >> i would not completely disagree with that. i mean, no, no, they -- i mean, you see with john boehner trying to, you know, kind of get control and actually end the shutdown that he's being basically tempered by the tea party group within the house. >> maybe he should ask larry clayman if he should bring the
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senate compromise to the floor for a vote. thank you all. it was great. that is "all in" for this evening. "the rachel maddow show" starts right now. happy monday and good evening, rachel. >> happy monday. thanks, chris. thanks to you at home as well for joining us this hour. before the giant nuclear accident at chernobyl in ukraine in 1986, the biggest accident before chernobyl involving a commercial nuclear reactor was the one at three mile island in pennsylvania. that nuclear meltdown happened in march of 1979. >> good evening. a nuclear power plant near harrisburg, pennsylvania, the cooling system broke down this morning. some radioactive steam escaped into the air. radiation passed through the 4-foot concrete walls and was detected a mile away from the plant. >> it was shortly after 4:00 this morning at the three mile island nuclear plant when a valve in a water pump that cools the number two reactor blew out. the blowout triggered