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tv   All In With Chris Hayes  MSNBC  February 25, 2014 5:00pm-6:01pm PST

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the spring tussle with dan rather. remember that one? we'll see. as i said at the start of the show, i can't think of a reason why joe biden would do this match with hillary clinton if he wasn't going to come roaring out at the bell. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. good evening from new york. i am ari melber filling in for chris hayes tonight. we begin with a story where progressives are on offense this evening. the plane carrying governor jan brewer touched down in arizona and the conservative governor came home here with a lot of baggage. her colleagues in arizona and around the nation are waiting on her to decide whether she will sign or veto arizona's senate bill 1062, the controversial bill that would authorize businesses to discriminate against gay citizens. such diskr kricrimination is gey prohibited but the bill would
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create a religious exemption. passed out of the arizona lectu legislature and sitting on jan brewer's desk. she has until saturday morning to make her decision. yesterday brewer in washington for a national governors association event said she'd not yet made up her mind on how she would act. and she implied she needed to get home to give it a close read. >> i'm going to go home and when i receive the bill, and i'm going to read it and i'm gong to be briefed. i can assure you as always, i will do the right thing for the state of arizona. >> now, look, that might sound reasonable, but it's not. the bill that the governor wants to read and to be briefed on is two pages long. she could read it in the tsa line at the airport with plenty of time to spare. there's another reason we know governor brewer is stalling, not studying. the legislature sent her an almost identical bill last year, just two pages and she actually vetoed that version of the bill because of actually a separate
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skirmish with the legislature and that, of course, drew less national political heat. this time is different. brewer's returning to a state that's in open revolt over this bill right now. a lot of the state's residents and its politicians and its businesses don't want this law and they don't want arizona to be defined by it. >> a day after the arizona legislature passed a hotly debated religion bill, business leaders across the state are calling on governor jan brewer to veto the proposed law or risk damaging the state's image and its economic recovery. >> opponents now include the arizona chamber of commerce, the arizona super bowl host committee, apple which has major interests in this state, and both americans airlines and mare rot. now, as local and national businesses are making their voices heard, politicians both in and outside of arizona are pushing to distance themselves from the law.
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three senators from arizona who voted for the bill are now, actually, get this, are urging the governor to veto it. and state senator steve pierce told chris hayes last night, it was some sort of crazy mixup. >> i believe it was going to be slowed down, wasn't going to come to the floor as soon as it did. i can tell you there's a number of us that we were terxting eac other madly, do we go with it, do we not? so we made a mistake. that's about all i can tell you is we went the wrong way. >> yes. they went the wrong way. and it's too late to reverse that because arizona's most powerful republicans want brewer to fix what the legislature mixed up. senators john mccain and jeff flake are, you can see it right here, now calling for a veto. the party's most recent national standard bearer mitt romney as well. that's because mitt romney and john mccain, i think they now understand what the equality movement has been arguing for decades. discrimination against any of us
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is discrimination against all of us, and politicians who invoke religious freedom for discrimination make for very bad allies. arizona's bill is wrong. it's almost certainly unconstitutional and may run into a brick wall this week. we have to see. a similar measure is also winding its way through the georgia legislature. we have a federal constitution to protect our rights, but just like the old saying about politics, most discrimination is still local. governor brewer can re-read this two-page bill all she wants. she'd be better off giving her constitution a read tonight. you know, it's longer, but i think it would be worth it. now joining us to talk about this is congresswoman an kirkpatrick of arizona. she previously served in the state legislature and actually currently facing a challenger, for your congressional seat, from the republican speaker of the arizona house, andy tovin. thanks for joining us and let's start right there. tell us about how this is
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playing out in your race and what you think governor brewer should do tonight. >> well, there's no question she should veto it, ari. i'm a native arizonan. this bill does not represent who we are. arizona is a beautiful welcoming state. in my district we have the grand canyon which brings millions of dollars in revenue, thousands of job. what arizona needs right now, after being hit so hard in the great recession, is jobs. not this. and so we've got to ask some really hard questions about how this happened. how did the speaker of the house, andy tobin, allow this bill and why did he ramrod it through the legislature? >> is it helping him politically? >> i have no idea. it's hurting the state. we've heard from so many businesses. you know, arizona is supposed to be hosting the super bowl next year. that's a big deal for us. now the nfl said they're watching this. >> to you buy the governor's argument she needs time, as we mentioned here in our lead? >> well, she needs to veto it
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and she's got until saturday. the sooner the better. arizona's already been hurt by this bill, and, again, goes back to the lack of leadership in the house of representatives and the speaker of the house needs to answer some really tough questions about why he did this. >> what do you expect her to do then? >> i have no idea. i really don't. i'm asking her to veto it as well as all of the other businesspeople in arizona who see that. at this time, when our economy is fragile and we're just starting to recover, we need jobs. that has to be our focus. and we know already that companies are starting to say, you know, maybe we won't come to arizona. yesterday i was talking to chamber leaders in flagstaff where i live, and they said they're already getting e-mails and phone calls and letters from people who said we were going to come to arizona, go to the grand canyon, but, nope, we don't think we'll do that anymore. >> it's an interesting point you raise because this is a tourism story. it is a business story. it's an economic story.
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it starts out, though, first and foremost, i think, as an equality story and whether this kind of discrimination should be thor authorized and written into the law. it's scary to people we're still having these debates now. congresswoman, thank you for your time tonight. >> thank you, ari. >> appreciate it. joining us, sinyndicated columnist dave savage. author of "american savage." and lois melling for the aclu. dan savage, you don't need a big long question. tell us what's on your mind tonight. >> i think it's important to know the law doesn't twhal single out gays and lesbians alone for discrimination. it is so broadly worded that anyone in arizona can discriminate against anyone else in the provision of goods or services or anything else for basically any reason, so long as they claim that they're discriminating because of a sincerely held religious belief. a muslim cab driver could refuse
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to drive home someone from a bar because his faith disapproves of drichi drinking alcohol. someone in a grocery store could refuse to selling groceries to a single parent because she believes having children out of wedlock or premarital sex is wrong. a decision overturning amendment 2 in colorado that the law can't be specifically targeted at one group. it's really a target on the backs of everyone. >> you mentioned that ruling, of course, written by justice kennedy. 7-2 ruling. strong ruling from the supreme court back all the way in 1996 against, as you mentioned, a colorado rule that was trying to single out gay citizens, but to your point, i want to read from the ruling because it makes that point about what you're calling overbreadth there. justice kennedy writes of that rule, "its sheer breadth is so discontinuous with the reasons offered for it. the amendment seems inexplicable by anything but animus toward the class that it affects. it lacks a rational relationship to legitimate state interests."
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louise, walk us through that. it shouldn't have to get to the court, of course, as i was mentioning. yet from what we can tell, this kind of rule as dan mentions would almost certainly be unconstitutional if enacted. >> this absolutely shouldn't get to the courts. we've heard from business leaders, we've heard from politicians. we've heard in polls. what this bill is is a license to discriminate. it's a broad license as dan was saying and the governor needs to veto it. it isn't targeted by its language at any specific group, but at the end of the day, it is just a license to discriminate and we've said no to that. we've said no to that historically and need to say no to that again today. >> yeah. i think, i mean, to be clear for folks who are wondering, okay, if it isn't targeted and it's on the face as they say, the lawyers say on the face of the bill, why are we talking about it this way? it's because of the context. of course, legislative purpose is relevant to that. relevant as a legal inquiry and relevant to politics when we know what kind of basically
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politicking has gone on here. dan, i want to play as well some sound from attorney general eric holder on a related issue. take a listen. >> i believe we must be suspicious of legal classifications based solely on sexual orientation and must endeavor in all of our efforts to uphold and advance the values that once led our forebearers to declare unequivocally that all are created equal and entitled to equal opportunity. you know, this bedrock principle is immutable. it is timeless. >> and dan, as you know know, t attorney general today was basically giving an address encouraging state attorneys general to use their judgment not to defend gay marriage bans and he likened that side of the debate. today, the u.s. attorney general, pretty significant, he likened that to being on the side of segregationists. what did you make of that? >> well, it's a tremendously gratifying development to see in the top law enforcement officer in the united states coming to the defense of gay and lesbian
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citizens. to finally be written in to full citizenship in this country. lgbt people. is, you know, literally not something i thought i would see in my lifetime. really. i'm gratifiedfy it and i am thrilled that you've seen attorney generals in virginia, now new mexico, refuse to defend. they're clearly unconstitutional anti-gay marriage bans. there's one other thing i wanted to note about arizona and its law. it's currently not illegal in arizona to discriminate against people based on their sexual orientation. right now people can be fired in arizona or denied services or thrown out of their apartments for being gay, lesbian, bi, or transgendered. so this law not only was completely unnecessary, but the vetoing of this law isn't going to protect lgbt people in arizona who are currently facing anti-queer discrimination. >> i mean, look, that's such an important point. you can cast this as in some ways a hopeful sign because as
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we're reporting the incredible united backlash to something bad. it's a long ways from full equality under the law and we should mention we reported, i think, favorably, that senator mccain has spoken out against this. it's not as if all the republican senators are onboard with a comparable federal protection for employees. we reported on that. chris hayes reported on that. we're a long ways from that. definitely a mixed ruling. sinyndicated columnist dave sa e savage, loise melling. thanks for your time. tomorrow, chris will have an "all in" investigation behind the groups and people behind the push to pass these anti-gay laws across the country under what we think is the guise of religious freedom. you don't want to miss that. first, he's back. >> i have obviously not been a strong supporter of barack obama, but this really is over the top. it does enormous long-term damage to our military. they act as though it's like highway spending. you know, you turn it on and
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off. >> dick cheney speaking out against president obama over the pentagon's budget, one republicans have actually been pushing. that's up next. all comers. turbocharged engines against...engines. best in class rear legroom against other-class legroom. but then we realized. consumers already did that. twice. huh. maybe that's why nobody else showed up. how does one get out of a death cage? vo: hurry in and lease the 2014 passat for $189 a month. visit today. where their electricity comes from. they flip the switch-- and the light comes on. it's our job to make sure that it does. using natural gas this power plant can produce enough energy for about 600,000 homes. generating electricity that's cleaner and reliable, with fewer emissions-- it matters. ♪
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president obama formally ordered the pentagon to make plans to pull all american troops out of afghanistan by the end of year. you heard that right. the administration had hoped to make an agreement with the karzai government that would keep some kind of u.s. military presence in afghanistan, but in the absence of a deal, the department of defense today announced it's moving forward with what it calls a contingency plan that would actually withdraw all of the remaining troops. there's about 37,000 there now. the decision is coming, of course, just one day after the pentagon announced plans to scale back military spending partly due to republican demands in the sequester. we're going to have more on all of that, straight ahead. i take prilosec otc each morning for my frequent heartburn.
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i think the whole thing is not trifen by any change in the world circumstances, it's driven by budget considerations. would much rather spend the money on food stamps than he would on a strong military or support for our troops. >> indeed. former vice president dick cheney hopped on the line with fox news last night to bash the president over these military spending cuts. what dick cheney said and what he didn't mention was that these planned cuts are what amounts to a serious attempt by the white house to reckon with, yes, republican spending priorities. the proposed cuts were announced by secretary hagel yesterday. now, he said the cuts would actually be worse if congress had not agreed to the obama administration's plan to add an extra $26 billion to the pentagon budget to prevent some of the more drastic cuts that were called for under the original 2011 budget control
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act. now, the spending cuts hagel is proposing is an atotal to deal with this country's global foot print to create new strategic environment where the u.s. is supposedly more likely to be dealing in surgical operations and not heavy ground invasions. since the former vice president chose to compare food stamps and the defense budget, let's go ahead and take a look at what's actually happening on that front, too. the recently enacted farm bill cut the food stamp program by $8 billion which means about 850,000 households will lose $90 in monthly benefits. we've reported on that. this year, after 47 million people saw their food stamp benefits reduced because of budget cuts, that's the context, and yet everyone's talking about the military cuts because secretary hagel's proposed pentagon budget makes for an easy headline. like this. "pentagon plans to shrink army to pre-world war ii level." okay. here's what some of those cuts actually look like. this is the context behind these headlines. on the left there, see the military's current level. in the middle i, the proposed
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level. on the right, 1940 levels. here are total numbers. so while it may be sure, technically accurate, these cuts will bring about the smallest force since before world war 2, the proposed force would still, it would still be far greater than the troop levels of 1940 and not actually in the big swing of things a huge reduction from current levels. joining us to unpack this further, larry korb, and a man who knows a thing or two about the pentagon for serving as assistant secretary of defense under president reagan. thanks for being with us. >> nice to be with you. >> walk us through this comparison. we see a lot of headlines about the decline in the force, but we also know we still spend far more than many other countries combined on our military. >> we spent more than the next 16 nations, biggest spenders in the world combined. and back in 1940, right before pearl harbor, we were the 17th in terms of military spending and the size of the force.
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so we're still way, way ahead. the army and the marines grew to fight the land wars in iraq and afghanistan and after every war, you bring them back down. and what vice president cheney doesn't mention is two things. when he was secretary of defense, he actually cut it more than what has been cut under the budget control act, and this was not obama's idea. in fact, as you mentioned, he's asking for $26 billion more than the sequestration allows, and another $100 billion over the next couple of years o th s so n get relief from sequestration. he's not cutting it. he's asking for more than the congress. >> larry, i'm glad you mentioned that. when it comes to dick cheney on these issues, the fact check takes a lot longer than the original lie. i have to tell you, i don't have a high standard for him, but this was pretty outrageous what he is saying both for, as you mentioned, the context of military spending and when he was, you know, for it before he
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was against it. second, the fact that we can't report it enough, this is all under a sequester demanded by republicans in the house. these are their cuts. senator rubio also hypocritically lashing out at the president today when he wanted these cuts. then on the food stamps issue, i'm sorry, food stamps can be a loaded term. it's also something a lot of people use because they need assistance to feed their families. turns out, dick cheney having been a defense secretary, certainly knows this. turns out a lot of food stamps go to military families. i want to put up a defense department review that showed last year military families more reliant on food stamps in 2013 than any previous year. $100 million in food stamp spending in military grocery stores there. have been food stamp cuts as well. if you take his cheap attack at face sprvalue, it's wrong. number two, what's wrong with food stamps that are going to help people in need including our veterans and their families? >> there's nothing wrong with
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it. the other thing, nondefense discretionary spending has actually grown less under obama than defense has. i mean, people forget sequestration applies to everything else other than entitlements and obama has proposed basically that the extra $50 billion he's asked for will be split between the pentagon and all the other agencies. and, you know, even with the budget this year that, you know, hagel's budget under sequestration, that only brings us back to 2007 levels in real terms. so it's not like even going back to when dick cheney was secretary of defense. >> no, it's still post certainly a post-9/11 footing which is a terminology i know the vice president appreciates. before i let you go, real quick, on the foreign policy question, your reaction to this d.o.d. announcement today. regarding karzai. >> well, i think it's a smart move because let me tell you, i dealt with it, i was part of a team that went over there. he really thinks we want to stay more than he needs us.
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and so i think this is great to call his bluff and say, okay, you don't want us, we're pla plannipla planning on -- that will get his attention and particularly the people who will succeed him in the election. >> yeah, you know, i don't want to make light of it, but i can't imagine after 12 years why he'd have the impression we may be there for a very long time, but i do understand some of the complexity regarding the cat and mouse game there of trying to show him we are serious on a foreign policy footing. really great to hear your thoughts tonight, larry korb. >> thank you for having me. up next, did you wonder why senator rand paul suddenly started talking about bill clinton last month? >> i love chi ckentucky. you've been great to me. you voted for me twice. you've been great to hillary. i love kentucky. >> >> we have great southern politics, where the past is always prologue. bill clinton on the campaign trail. that's up next.
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politics is not rocket science. it's either creative cooperation or constant conflict. it's either a focus on people or a focus on keeping yourself in power by keeping people torn up and upset so they can't think anymore. when i honestly got in this race and i talked about it, i said, your opponent is a genius at that ladder course. he skated a couple of elections here doing that. >> former president bill clinton was in the great state of kentucky today speaking at a fund-raiser there for allison lundergan-grimes. a democrat who's looking to
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unseat republican leader mitch mcconnell. mcconnell is facing perhaps the tough et senate election of his career. that's not to say he hasn't had primary problems before. back in 2010, there was a race for an open seat in kentucky left vacant by jim bunning's retirement. republican primary that year saw a guy you might recognize, rand paul. but he wasn't big rand paul at the time and he was the underdog going up against kentucky secretary of state trey grayson. grayson was mcconnell's main man. he was said to have hand picked grayson and, of course, publicly endorsed him. then when the election came around, rand paul crushed mcconnell's man, grayson, at the polls. in other words, mitch mcconnell, one of the most powerful republicans in washington, no one argues that, but he couldn't carry trey grayson to victory in a primary in his home state at which point mcconnell may have realized something. he had a self-preservation problem. he went out and hired rabid paul's adviser, named jesse benton to run his campaign.
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he could at least go out and hire the general. you have mitch mcconnell working with rand paul's guy and suddenly something makes sense here. rand paul, not even up for re-election right now has been going around, you may have seen this, saying stuff like this about former president clinton. >> he took advantage of a girl that was 20 years old and an intern in his office. there is no excuse for that. and that is predatory behavior and it should be something we shouldn't want to associate with people who would take advantage of a young girl in his office. this isn't having an affair. i mean, this isn't me saying, oh, he's had an affair, we shouldn't talk to him. someone who take es advantage oa young girl in their office. >> strong stuff. maybe rand paul is trying to blunt bill clinton's power as a midterm campaign surrogate. maybe that's why he's suddenly obsessed with the scandal clinton did survive, after all, 15 years ago. as for mcconnell, himself, he's
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taking a different approach. >> welcomie inhim back. the last time he ran in 1996, he eked out a narrow victory in kentucky while i beat the current governor by 160,000 votes, 10 points. in 2008, both bill and hillary clinton came to town including the day before the election and i won by 100,000 votes. so i welcome president clinton back to kentucky. every time he's come, it's been really good for me. >> we welcome another kentucky native son, joining us is one of the other people who spoke at the rally today. democratic congressman john yarmuth of kentucky. thanks, how are you? >> i'm good, ari. how are you? >> i'm good. i'm not a kentucky expert. i don't have a kentuckying ing . i've heard of the good cop/bad cop routine. i don't know if you all do that in kentucky. what's going on here with these two senators? >> well, i think this is kind of an unholy alliance, if you will, between rand paul and mitch mcconnell. you know, if -- there was a poll recently in kentucky among republicans. they said, who do you prefer?
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rand paul or mitch mcconnell? 59% to 27% republicans prefer rand paul. so what mitch is trying to do right now, obviously, is to cozy up to rand paul as best he can. he drove literally 100 miles to bolinggreen, kentucky, so rand paul would sign his filing papers. that's how much mitch is concerned about rand paul's stature among republicans and particularly with tea party. so i think rand is out running for president and i think this clinton ploy is really to show the republican base nationally that he's willing to stand up to the clintons. more so than to really effect the senate race. >> let me jump in there. >> sure. >> there's no question when it comes to your own race in these kind of political games, if senator mcconnell wanted senator paul to back off this trip down intern memory lane, they could have that conversation. >> they could. >> they're not having it. your point, though, is that it's not necessarily only about the
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local race. it may be a net even thing, but it helps rand paul nationally? >> i think this is what rand's about. yeah. i think this is really to show the republicans throughout the country that he's willing to stand up and fight against any democrats. the most powerful and most popular democrats. i don't really think it's about the senate race. rand was on glenn beck's show a couple weeks ago. they asked him why he endorsed senator mcconnell. he said, well, he asked me and, well, he was the only person in the race at the time. so, i mean, if there was ever a more lukewarm reason for endorsing senator mcconnell, he gave it. again, i don't think there's really a lot of love lost. this is an association of kind of expediency between the two of them. but in the final analysis, this is going to be a referendum on mitch mcconnell and after 29 years, i'm convinced the people of kentucky, including a lot of republicans in the commonwealth have had enough of him. they're tired of him. >> let me jump in again, sir.
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>> sure. >> you mention the idea of a referenda. grimes who you were working out there today out there supporting a fellow democrat with president clinton as we showed, she's up within the margin of error a couple points in these polls. if you're going to do straight talk with us tonight, you're going to admit that reflects some kind of bonus that's not necessarily going to hold steady. mitt romney won the state by 23 points. she's benefiting from the conservative attacks on mitch mcconnell at this point. isn't sththat right. >> to a certain extent. look at it this way. most people who know about polling will tell you after 29 years if an incumbent can't get past 42, 43%, which mcconnell hasn't been able to do in the last polls, at least, that's desperate for an incumbent. opinions about that person after 29 years are pretty well established. there's not much he can do. he's got this attack from the left -- i mean, from the right.
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he has a primary opponent, matt bevin, causing him heart acache. he's in political quicksand. he can't move much. if you can't get close to 50% after that long as an incumbent, you're in very, very difficult trouble. >> well, you're a man of kentucky, of kentucky, for kentucky. all eyes have been on kentucky. it's been a busy day for you. appreciate you spending time with us, congressman. >> thanks very having me. >> absolutely. coming up, the lawyer for the exxon ceo who didn't want the water tower that could be used for fracking in their neighborhood. they're speaking out. ed up. because tomorow we go live... it's a day full of promise. and often, that day arrives by train. big day today? even bigger one tomorrow. when csx trains move forward, so does the rest of the economy.
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real natural chemistry between you two. >> that was just one of the many highlights from last night's premiere of "late night with seth myer." five floors above the "all in" studio and didn't even capture one of the best things about that show, this guy. >> i cannot tell you how happy i am that you're here. >> i'm so psyched. it's so great. >> he's the best. you were on "jimmy fallon" tonight. >> yes. >> you're doing this show. >> yes. >> season 4 starts this week. >> yes. thursday. >> you have all these projects. i heard you talking backstage. i don't know if this is true. were you saying to somebody you have a new show on the history channel? >> i do. it's called "recent history." it only goes back this past hour or so, but with a historical spin. so you know the importance of everything. very serious, very dry. >> okay. i have to stay, friend, it seems like you're making this up. >> a channel devoted to recent history? i like the sound of that. that's a cable news joke.
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but, no, fred armeston does not have a new show on the history channel but will make "all in" history tomorrow night when he sits down for an exclusive 30 rock interview with chris hayes. what will they talk about? chris may ask about fred's playlist in the newly created role as late night band leader or comedic inspiration for his coastal progressive satire which posed the famous question you should never ask your liberal waiter, was the chicken happy? now, if you have a favorite moment, go ahead and tweet us. i'm @arimelber and of course @allinwithchris. last night, you may remember chris brought you the story of exxon ceo rex tillerson and his fight to stop fracking activity near his home. that's understandable. tonight we have an update. mr. tillerson's lawyers are responding to these stories, calling for new rhetoric in their legal battle to keep the oil industry's impacts away from one of its leaders.
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[ male announcer ] find out how fast aflac can pay you does it end after you've expanded your business?? after your company's gone public? and the capital's been invested? or when your company's bought another? is it over after you've given back? you never stop achieving. that's why, at barclays, our ambition is to always realize yours. welcome back. last night, we introduced you to rex tillerson, ceo of the biggest oil company on earth. exxonmobil. company is now on the forefront of a fracking revolution in the u.s. mr. tillerson is leading the charge. >> there has not been a
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documented case of substantial or even, i would argue, insignificant contamination or fresh water as a result of hydraulic fracturing. now, what i say to people, you know, with a million data points, over 50 years, if it was a problem, don't you think we would have figured that out by now? >> maybe, but it appears mr. tillerson will only lead this fracking revolution as long as it stays far away from his own backyard. as the "wall street journal" reported, tillerson joined a lawsuit along with his neighbors to stop the construction of a 160-foot water tower in bartonville, texas, a suburb of dallas. the tower is adjacent to mr. tillerson's rather large 83 acre horse ranch and could supply water to a nearby fracking site. as you can see, well, it's not that pretty. mr. tillerson and his neighbors who include former house majority leader dick armey argue the water tower's unsightly appearance is at odds with their wishes. can you blame them? "each of the homeowners built or
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purchased their homes in bartonville to live in an upscale community free of industrial properties, tall buildings and other structures that might devalue their properties and adversely impact the rural lifestyle they sought to enjoy." and that's problematic for tillerson and his neighbors because as their lawsuit states, the company that owns the tower could sell water to oil and gas explorers for fracking shale formations leading to traffic with heaving trucks creating noise nuisances and traffic hazards. that's also reasonable sounding. rex tillerson is all about fracking as long as all the ugly trappings that come along with it that are really built into it are nowhere near his property. now, the attorney representing mr. tillerson and his neighbors is trying to distance his clients from scrutiny. michael witten tells the ft. worth "star telegram" he wishes he'd been more careful drafting the language in the suit we've been reporting on. "this is not an anti-fracking lawsuit. nothing could be further from the truth." i want to pause here. that response that you just
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heard shows they really still don't get it. this is not about the technical definition of fracking. it's about whether we're going to have an honest reality-based debate about the cost of our energy policies. and look, those costs can get pretty ugly. unsightly water towers. fracking wells. strange smells. and the kind of air and noise pollution that just about anyone would avoid if they could afford it. that's what the listee family lives with. they run an organic farm on the edge of the eagle ford shale, a strip of oil and gas extraction that stretches from south to eastern texas but they, well, no surprise, don't have the money or lawyers or connections of exxonmobil ceo and they have to live with those costs. >> it just makes constant noise. day have bright lights on all night long. and that one was completed last summer. it flared nonstop for a year. >> we're standing on the road. we own that kind of the road .
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this is the neighbor's where they're doing a massive frack job. you can hear the noise. loud. really echos late at night. that flame is always going. we don't feel safe having cattle or anything right here. >> there you see the other side of the tracks. and i think that's why our debate over environmental justice is also a debate over social justice. join get down to it, even those oil executives are environmentalists when it comes it their backyard. or their oceanfront views. yes, it's environmentalism for the 1%, and the industrial revolution for everyone else. joining us now to explain all this, the former mayor of dish, texas, calvin tillman who left dish because he feared the effect of fracking on his town and impacts on his family. he was featured in the documentary "gas land." welcome. tell us about your experience and any reaction to these reports. >> well, thank you very much. you know, in dish, we were basically forced from our home because of the air pollution that was caused by the oil and gas industry.
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our children began getting nose bleeds in the middle of the night, you know, multiple nights a week and basically forced us to move because of the health of our children. and so it's pretty disappointing when the ceo of one of the companies that do this sort of activity is complaining about something that's far less invasive that's going in his backyard than what his industry put into our backyard. and, you know, we were made out to be unreasonable when we spoke out and some people eventually filed lawsuits of their own against the oil and gas industry. they acted like we were unreasonable, and yet, you know, here we got the ceo of one of these companies who's complaining over a water tower. i'm pretty sure the water tower doesn't cause his children to have nose bleeds at night. >> when you look at some of his responses at least through his counsel counsel, do you feel like quite honestly he doesn't get it? >> absolutely i don't think he gets it, and i think, you know, when i was moving from dish, i offered people just like him the opportunity to come and live in dish and none of them took me up on that opportunity.
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you know, what i want is i wanted them to bring their children to live in the same environment that they were forcing me and the people of dish, texas, to live in. >> you know, you say that, it's interesting. a lot of writing and political organizing works around that idea. i mean, there's that famous book "nickel and dime" where a writer tried to live at the poverty line and try to share with people what's that like as we've reported on msnbc, there's some legislators in certain states trying to do that on the minimum wage to make the argument that it's hard to live on the minimum wage. you're talking about arguably something that from a health perspective can be even more dire. what does it take to, you think, wake up sort of the elites, the businesspeople who are doing this and the political elites to what you're talking about? >> well, i think that you're seeing some of it now. you're seeing what they ral really believe. they don't believe they souhoul have to deal with the same pain
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and suffering they're dealing out to other people. they need to come and feel some of the pain and see the damage they're doing. they need to feel that upclose. until they do that, they're going to keep living in their high-end homes and their elite neighborhoods where the activities that they're getting rich on can't happen. >> yeah, and let me read to you a statement from exxon. we, of course, have been tracking their views of this and said two things, one, they've said mr. tillerson's home issue is a private matter, and two, more broadly, they've said, look, the safety of people, communities and the environment is the top priority for all responsible companies and authorities working to develop unconventional gas resources, end quote. what do you say to that? their argument that there is basically energy demand for this and they try to do it safely. >> well, unfortunately, i've heard that story for about the last ten years and i've yet to see an instance where they were doing it safely and responsibly and respectfully. and, you know, this is personal to me, too, when i've run out of
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my dream home, you know, to save the health of my children. so i don't have to worry about what they may have or get somewhere down the line. and so this is personal to me, too. and so i just don't give anything that he says any credibility because i've had to live in what he is saying is responsible and respectful. and it's not. this industry is not being responsible and respectful. they are running over people. the minute that you question them, they start to threaten you. and then they try to attack your character and everything else if you speak out against them. and so they're not the industry that mr. tillerson wants to purport them to be. they're completely the opposite. >> yeah. i have to tell you, calvin, i appreciate you speaking out. in some sense from your own arguments and what you've shared, it's too late for your particular home yet you've made this a cause you want to share. i know that's why josh put you in the feature. it's why chris hayes has continued to report on these issues. at least for the sake of other people if not your own history.
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calvin tillman, appreciate your time tonight. >> all right. thank you very much. i do want to point out that just about ten miles up the road from mr. tillerson's horse ranch, in the city of denton, texas, currently they're toidoing a referendum to ban fracking in the -- inside of the city limits. this is, you know, basically in the heart of drilling country. they're attempting to put a referendum up to ban drilling in denton, texas. >> yeah. that's a story we'll continue to keep our eye on. thank you for your time. this isn't just in texas, folks. it's across the country. we're going to look at the cost of fracking to all of us. that's up next. all comers. turbocharged engines against...engines. best in class rear legroom against other-class legroom. but then we realized. consumers already did that. twice. huh. maybe that's why nobody else showed up. how does one get out of a death cage? vo: hurry in and lease the 2014 passat for $189 a month.
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joining us now from austin, texas, jim hightower, current editor and publisher of the
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"hightower low down" and author of "swim against the current: even a dead fish can go with the flow." and josh fox, "gas land" and "gas land 2." i want to start with you having reported on this extensively, josh. >> from the perspective of listening to calvin tillman, you know things are bad when the mayor moves out of town. you know things are bad when the ceo of exxonmobil, number one natural gas producer in the united states is suing to stop critical fracking infrastructure in his own backyard. i just want to respond to his lawyers by holding up the lawsuit where it says, quite clearly here, water to oil and gas explore ers, fracking, heav trucks, creating a noise nuisance. they talk about light pollution. this is clearly about fracking. they're in the business of denial. >> it's in the brief, it's in their statements. i'm going to bring in jim. josh brought show and tell. jim, what did you bring? >> well, what we have here is a
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case of fellic justice if you look at that tower, the 160 foot tower that tillerson is complaining about. here's a guy who got $40 million last year in payment in part, large part, for running around the country and fracking other eem people's lives. now he's in a big pout and a big whine because it's happening to him. i was with some people from denton county last night where tillerson's 83 acre little horse farm, that doesn't count his 18 acre personal home nearby. they're calling it rex tillerson's last direction up there in this thing. people are laughing at this goon, but, of course, it's not funny because it's running roughshod over just working day people in this country. and, you know, some of these guys are so rich they could afford to air-condition hell. i tell you what, ari, they better set money aside for that project, i think.
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>> josh, your response? >> the ultimate irony here is actually we don't need to be fracking these places at all. this is a campaign to install 2 million more onshore in the united states of america when in fact, there's a paradigm shift in energy development. what we need is a paradigm shift in energy development toward renewable energy. it's actually possible to have 100% renewable energy. i volunteer time with an organization called the solutions project which is the solutio and mapping out how we get to 100% renewable energy. just parking lots and buildings in new york, alone, could -- when solarized could provide more than we need for all electricity generation in new york state, for example. what this is about is they're for their profits. when it's not coming into their backyard -- >> briefly, you heard exxon basically say, well, this is a private matter. does this affect them as a company? >> how can this be private? we're talking about 15 million americans who live within one mile of a fracking well. we're talking about hundreds of thousands of people in a movement against fracking in the
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united states of america with thousands upon thousands of stories like mayor tillman. this is happening in public space. this is our air, this is our water, this is our public health. this is our land. this is ultimately our democracy. when we're talking about the future of energy development, we're at a precipice. we can frack the united states or move in the same direction. what mr. tillerson has exposed here is this absolute blatant hypocrisy of exxonmobil, the biggest oil company, i believe, on the planet earth. certainly this is an industrywide practice. deny what people are saying about what they're doing in their own backyards. >> i think that's a question for him, if all politics a personal as some say, how does he disentangle himself and company as corporate interests? we did run out of time. i appreciate your time, josh and jim hightower, former texas agricultural commissioner, josh fox, director and producer of "gas land." thank you so much. that's it for "all in" this evening. i'm ari melber in for chris hayes. chris will be back here tomorrow
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night. stay tuned for that. "the rachel maddow show" starts now. good evening, rachel. good evening, ari. great job tonight. nice to see you there, man. >> thank you. >> thanks to now at home as well for staying with us the nexthour. this was the top story in the country ten years ago today. watch. >> good morning. the cultural divide. a nation split down the middle and the 2000 presidential election could be a house divided once more. today's hot-button issues, constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. we're going to examine the cultural divide that could take center stage in this fall's election. will president bush's support on a ban be a key wedge issue? >> february 25th, 2004, exactly 10 years ago today after then-president george w. bush made one of the biggest domestic policy announcements of his first term. he'd been elected in 2000. he was in the throes of his re-election campaign already. and on february 24th, 2004, so 10 years a