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tv   All In With Chris Hayes  MSNBC  May 9, 2014 12:00am-1:01am PDT

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maybe not this year but in the years to come. you can't build a brand by painting a bathtub ring around your rivals. why? people are watching when you do it. so is the media. nobody wants somebody in the white house who got there through scare tactics and keeping people from voting. 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. today was set to be an absolute dogfight on capitol hill. a very highly anticipated, hotly contested, rock them, sock them partisan brawl over obamacare. after all these years with hearing after hearing and 50-plus repeal votes, a after attempts to defund it right up to and including the government shutdown, republicans today were going to get their chance to stick it to president barack obama in the confirmation hearing of the woman to succeed kathleen sebelius, omb director sylvia matthews burwell.
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the confirmation should be an opportunity to examine the failures of obamacare and how people are hurting because of it. >> but republican opposition to the health care law could mean a tougher time this go-around. >> it is still going to be painful for the administration to go through every detail of obamacare. >> the republican minority leader mitch mcconnell says we should expect the shortcomings during confirmation hearings. >> god love her. i don't know why she would want to do that, chris. is she going to have trouble getting confirmed to this position? >> these confirmation hearings are going to be a goat roping. you mark that down. >> we've marked it down. goat roping. i don't know what it means. and here was the dramatic packed room beginning to the burwell hearing. >> we have convened this hearing to consider the nomination of sylvia matthews burwell to be the next secretary of the at the present time of health and human
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services. >> can you hear the goats? can you feel the drama? no, you're not seeing things. not too many people showed you up for the goat roping of sylvia matthews burwell. in fact, it was serene with one of her chief supporters being john mccain. >> regardless of my objections to the affordable care act, the department of health and human services need competent leadership in the position of secretary. i believe ms. burwell has the qualifications to run hhs and have the assurance that she will work with members of congress as she has as director of omb. i recommend strongly ms. burwell and hope the committee will endorse her nomination. >> so that happened. well, that's sort of change although, if you had been paying attention to the republican attempt to cross raid from obamacare to something else, it wouldn't necessarily surprise you. because they are trying to very subtly move two different levels on the rhetorical switchboard at the same time it's easy not to notice.
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there was a similar scene one day before. the republican controlled house was holding a subcommittee hearing with a bun of insurance company executives. but exits on the republican side allowed multiple democrats to speak in a row and let heavy democratic criticism of republicans go unanswered. there was a dearth of lawmakers on the left side of the rostrum and a full bench on the right. as republicans grew bored, democrats held sway to get to the bottom of how many americans were paying obamacare premiums, 67% as republicans have prematurely reported, or was it far higher? >> on the exchange 85% of the people paid, is that correct? >> that's correct. >> 86% paid, correct? >> that's correct. >> for 3-1-2014, 81% paid, is that correct? >> yes. >> and for 4-1-2014, 83% paid, is that correct? >> that is correct. >> and you're still waiting for everybody else to pay because
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their deadline has not passed yet, is that correct? >> that's correct. >> so it turns out people are paying of the republicans who managed to stick around for the hearing were getting a bit frustrated. >> identify any states where you are offering products in the exchanges where consumers can expect a premium decrease. >> at this juncture we do not have the information. >> you don't have the information? a lot of uncertainty floating around out there. okay. so you don't know if your consumers are going to see any decreases. you know they were promised decreases. i thought that reading your reports you all did analysis and trend lines for the near term, the midterm and the long term. has anybody done any kind of analysis? >> so what were republicans focused on now that they were no longer getting any traction on obamacare? now that they are slowly, gently, sadly backing away from something that is working for many people. they are not passing legislation to end work place discrimination.
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you know what they're doing. >> and we will not take any shortcuts to the truth, accountability, or justice. and we will not allow any side shows that distract us from those goals. >> house speaker john boehner announcing how the select committee on benghazi will not allow any side shows. of course not. the great obamacare/benghazi is happening right before our eyes. the early plan for republicans to run on the fail europe of obamacare has collapsed underneath them and they are searching for something to replace it. they've decided benghazi is that thing. so while republicans can barely be bothered to stick around on health care, just hours ago the house passed resolution to establish a select committee on benghazi largely along party lines. and almost every one of the 230-plus house republicans is clamoring to be among the seven members placed on that benghazi select committee that will be chaired by tray gowdy.
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he said republicans shouldn't be fund-raising off four dead americans. speaker boehner in between his revved up base and common human decency. >> four americans died in benghazi. should the nrcc fundraise off of your efforts to the select committee? >> our focus is on getting the answers to those families who lost their loved ones, period. >> but the campaign committee which you are very involved in is fund-raising off of this. why is that happening? >> our focus is on getting the truth for the american people and these four families. >> if elected republicans understand one thing, they understand where the energy of the base is. and their behavior is always a great way to figure out what the base is exercised about and what they're not that into. the base is no longer so worked up about obamacare. it's working. and as it does, little by little, each day with each small fact of people getting insurance, it shrinks as a political target. and so republicans need something new.
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if you don't believe the gop politicians are the best weather vane, how about roger ailes at fox news, probably better than any single human being on earth can sense the anxieties of his audience. fox news programming on these two topics, the obamacare/benghazi at fox news on one graph. wendall, are you surprised by both the sort of substantive success and enrolling people and the slow backaway from it as a political target by republicans? >> not at all. i saw that the health insurance industry was going to be having this kind of information as we've been watching the enrollment figures over the past several weeks. keep in mind that the insurance industry during the health care reform debate, they were siding with the republicans. they wanted to just spread this fear of uncertainty and doubt, and i might note that congresswoman blackman used that word, with which is at the core
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of their campaign to try to confuse people about the affordable care act. but the numbers are telling a different story and that's what we're going to be seeing, i think, between now and november. >> well, that was what was fascinating about that hearing yesterday, the kind of curtain raising moment republicans hyped this report. the insurance company said don't go with this data. it's shoddy. they were prepared to have their big political moment in the sun. the insurance executives who have been on both sides of obamacare at different times said actually, yes, people are paying. >> that's exactly right. and we've been -- i've been saying this -- i've been watching the analyst reports for health insurance companies as they've been releasing earnings. they've been doing very well, thank you, since the health care law was passed. their earnings have been almost off the charts in many cases as more people are signing up, which, you know, it makes the argument this was a government takeover of health care all that more ridiculous because private insurance companies are doing quite well.
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>> so are republicans just going to walk away from this and this will end up being something that two, three years from now is no longer a central political issue? >> i think they will after the mid-term elections because it will continue to dissipate as a campaign issue for them. but they're heavily invested in this and i think you will see certainly in some districts and some states that they will keep this up. once again, it will be a campaign based on fear, uncertainty and doubt, and it will be important for the democrats to dispel that and to remind people of what is in this law that benefits every one of us. >> every day that more people are enrolled in had it, it gets easier to make that case. wendall potter, thank you very much. >> thank you. all right. we are heading into the last two years of a two-term incumbent democratic president, with which means we're at the peak scandal point of the political cycle. while independent counsel ken starr was in full lewinsky mode and while then president bill clinton's secretary testified
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before the grand jury for a third time on this day 16 years ago. the republican focus on scandal proved disastrous for house republicans who ended up against all odds losing seats in the midterm election. by comparison how much do republicans really hope to benefit from benghazi. charlie pierce, writer at large for "esquire" magazine and charlie, do you see any parallels here? i've been saying they're not the that dumb, they're not that dumb, they're not going to go through this again. i'm beginning to question what i thought before. >> well, i mean, it takes a while to get the kangaroo suits out of mothballs. i do think -- i do think they understand the dynamic and i do think they have short-term political goals that have blinded them to long-term political liabilities which is basically what happened in 1998. >> that's right. what happened in 1998,s and here is where i see the replay, they started creating these institutions and bodies that had their own gravitational pull and momentum and once you had the independent counsel it kind of
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got out of everybody's hands pretty quickly. there were some people urging it on. to me, that's the danger -- that's the real danger by john boehner. you get subcommittees, you get stalling, invocations of executive privilege and the next thing you know you're on the road to escalating. >> that's the thing. when you compare the obamacare issue and the benghazi issue -- i shudder to call it an issue but let's call it that for argument's sake -- you can make it up. you can make up the numbers on obamacare but sooner or later math is going to crush you. you can make up anything you want about the benghazi thing, and if the president withholds one e-mail, it's no longer about benghazi. it's about what are they hiding? and you get another two weeks out of that. >> and it's the scandal which is the other part of it that is reminiscent of the clinton years.
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before we got to monica lewinsky and the impeachment and some people remember or may not remember, this was this carousel of scandals, it was about hillary clinton's investment in cattle futures, it was about everything, travel gate. and eventually they got somewhere and that's what's similar to me about benghazi. what the scandal is keeps changing. >> there was a memorable moment, i'll never forget it, in a congressional hearing when ken starr came before a house committee and was being questioned, i think much to his unhappiness by barney frank, and ken starr admitted that there wasn't anything on whitewater. there wasn't anything on travel-gate. there wasn't anything on the cattle futures. there wasn't anything on the billing records. there wasn't anything on the suicide of vince foster. i think barney looked at him and said something like, it would have been nice if you told us that a year and a half ago. >> that's exactly right. charlie pierce, thanks always for your time, man. >> thanks, chris.
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last week we met the maryland gun dealer who wanted to sell the personalized ip-1, the nation's first smart gun. >> this is all about freedom. it really is, man. even when the nra, the bastion of great freedom, they say this should be prohibited, how hypocritical is that? they're bowing down to fear, bro he'. it's cowardice. they're afraid, so they bow down to that. and that is cowardice. that is not what people who stand for freedom do. you stand up and you fight for what you believe. you do not bow down. >> after word got out about his position, he got death threats and changed his mind about the smart gun. andy joins me again tonight, this time from his gun shop. next.
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ask your doctor about experiencing cialis for daily use and a free 30-tablet trial. it has now been three days since our special report on that digital smart gun that could be a potential game changer that cannot be purchased anywhere in america t. has been three days since new jersey senate majority leader a democrat, a longtime gun control advocate came on the show, made a truly remarkable offer to compromise. >> if the nra, the gun owners of america, those people who have stood in the way not only of the retail sales, they have also gone after gun manufacturers.
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>> yep. >> who were beginning to develop other technology other than armatix that if they would, in fact, get out of the way of preventing the research, development, and manufacture, distribution and sale, i would move to repeal this law in the state of new jersey. >> she is offering it to repeal the law she helped write, that mandates once smart guns like the digital handgun that i tried out last week at a maryland gun range, a gun that can only be fired by an authorized user with a special watch, that once a gun like that goes on sale anywhere in the country new jersey gun sellers must eventually take all other guns off the shelves and only sell smart guns. the law was designed to encourage the development of safer, smarter guns that could save lives. for second amendment activists it served as proof the government wanted to use smart
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guns to take traditional guns away. two different gun store owners who planned to sell the smart gun were bullied and intimidated into reversing course. i met one of them last week, andy raymond, staunchly pro-gun conservative who told me bringing smart guns to the market was all about freedom but it was subsequently decided not the to sell them after he received death threats. >> we will not sell the armatix pistol. i will not be part of anyone [ bleep ] over anyone when it comes to guns. i believe my principles were correct. unfortunately maybe i was wrong. i don't know. so the people of new jersey, my apologies. you have nothing to worry about from me. >> andy raymond like loretta weinberg was trying to find common ground, trying to make a
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little bit of progress in this intractable war of attrition that is american gun politics. the national rifle association has simply not engaged. we have tried over and over again to get someone are from the nra to come on the show and respond to the offer to say whether the nra will stop blocking smart gun technology in repeal for the new jersey law. the nra just will not come to the table. it will not accept the olive branch. it will not even acknowledge the olive branch has been extended. right now it remains impossible to buy a smart gun anywhere in this country thanks in part to an organization that claims to stand for americans having the right to buy whatever gun they want. joining me now from his store in maryland is andy raymond, co-owner. andy, how are you doing? >> i'm doing okay, boss. how are you doing? >> i'm doing well. i wanted to check in on you because it was remarkable after we had that conversation to watch the trajectory of what happened, to read your facebook page, which we were all reading and the ugliness and nastiness on the facebook page, to watch your video about the decision
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you made to not sell the gun. i'm curious what the reaction has been after that after we did the pace and in the wake of this whole fallout. >> well, in the wake of all of this, things have been pretty positive. i got a lot of e-mails from a lot of people including the people i wanted to reach originally with the gun, fence sitters, anti-gun people. and i've even gotten e-mails from pro-gun people saying you have every right to sell what you want to sell. that's what i do. i'm a gun dealer. so i thought that was pretty cool. i haven't gotten a lot of negativity in the past few days and that's been refreshing. >> i thought we had a really good conversation. we've exchanged e-mails. we're coming at the gun issue from very, very different sides of it. but one of the things i found worrisome or disturbing about what went down was that it's one thing to argue about policy, but there was this real ugliness unleashed. you had that moment you said pro-gun people, how about not
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calling people up with death threats. and i wonder if your view of some of the darkness that is in the pro-gun movement has changed in response to seeing that ugliness up front. >> it has. you know, i think guns are one of the most divisive things we have in this country to a certain degree. if people work on it it's a black and white issue, i guess, to he so many people. it really brings out the best of people and the worst of people when we talk about this sort of stuff. i clearly ran into a lot of the worst of that. but, yeah, it's definitely disheartening from people when i thought of this community and what not and everybody is calling for my head that, yeah, it definitely made me rethink about what i was doing and what i'm doing here and what i'm hoping to accomplish, what i'm dedicating my life to.
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>> do you consider yourself dedicating your life to -- you have a business but to me it always struck me that it's bigger than that. it's a cause for you. >> it is, it is. that's why i'm here. to a certain degree, yes. it is a paycheck and it's important to me but, you know, we deal with so much anti-gun sentiment and these messed up laws in maryland, it's almost a point for me to fight it. i don't want to lose and i don't want to back down and that's sort of how i am. so, yes, i do this to a certain degree because i also believe in it. >> what do you think of -- we were sort of amazed when we called loretta weinberg and she said, you know what, how about we come to some middle ground on this? and i said to you when we were in that range, i've been persuaded this new jersey mandate law is bad law. you don't mandate something ten years ahead of market. what do you think of loretta weinberg's offer? >> chris, that was the most -- that was exactly what i'm trying
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to get at with this whole thing. you, a guy i would consider anti-gun, cool guy. don't get me wrong. you're my buddy, but a guy i would consider anti-gun, senator weinberg, you guys are actually sitting there talking about repealing an anti-gun law. that is the common ground we found with this. okay? we were able to say, hey, this law is actually against the free market. it's against the principles of the second amendment. however you want to say it. we were able to find common ground on this. how amazing when you had senator weinberg say i will repeal it, this law, under certain conditions but that is progress, man. that is what we were trying to do with this whole thing was trying to reach out across the aisle, so to speak, and get fence sitters and anti-gunners, we can kind of work together on this stuff. >> the obstacle we have now is the fact we cannot -- i literally want to talk to someone from the nra on the show. you can maybe, you know, vouch
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for me that i'm not going to jump down their throat or make them look bad. it does seem to me let's try to follow through on that and we just can get nothing from them. >> well, you have to understand from the pro-gun standpoint this technology is kind of dangerous. there is a law in new jersey mandating this stuff -- she did offer to repeal it, but there is a law on the books so, yes, that sort of stuff -- this sort of technology is dangerous when you're talking from a pro-gun standpoint. but the fight we need to make is not against the technology. the fight is against legislation. you know what i'm saying? i don't know why -- i would also think the nra is about free market and stuff like that, too. i would -- i don't know what to say about that. i'm not a member. but, yeah. they should have at least come on and talked to senator weinberg and at least thanked her, you know what i'm talking about, reaching across the aisle again. >> that's what we're looking for. that's what we do. andy raymond, co-owner of engage armament, who is a great guy to go to the range with.
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>> thanks, brother. be safe. >> you too. new details on who is investigating the botched execution in oklahoma and how close they are to the governor who ordered the same execution.
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remember new jersey governor chris christie's's attempt to investigate himself and clear his name of any wrongdoing in the bridge-gate scandal that? is that strategy is a trend now.
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this time there are far, far more serious stakes and dire consequences. the day after the horrific botched execution of convicted murderer clayton lockett this month, died of a heart attack 43 minutes after receiving a totally untested lethal injection cocktail, oklahoma governor mary fallin who, as we have reported, went to extreme lengths to put this man to death, made an announcement. >> i also ask the department of public safety and our commissioner, michael thompson, to lead an independent review of the state's execution procedures. >> independent review. well, it turns out that independent review is anything but. the man, mary fallin appointed to spear head it, michael thompson is, as she said, the commissioner of the state's department of public safety but that department, quote, reports to her within the executive branch and thompson is a former employee of the department of corrections, which also reports to fallin. the same department the of corrections that carried out lockett's execution. and that's not all.
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the oklahoman reports that thompson was at the lethal injection in an official capacity. the man tasked with evaluating the state's execution protocol because of a botched execution that may have resulted directly from fallin's disregarding the supreme court when it ordered her to temporarily halt lockett's and another inmate's executions, that man not only reports to her, works for her, used to work for the very same department he's investigating, and is a material witness to the very execution that prompted this entire thing. so, mary fallin, we see what you're doing there in oklahoma. you are not fooling anyone. this entire mess deserves a genuine independent, thorough investigation. i always say be the man with the plan but with less energy, moodiness, and a low sex drive, i had to do something. i saw my doctor. a blood test showed it was low testosterone, not age. we talked about axiron the only underarm low t treatment that can restore t levels to normal in about two weeks in most men. axiron is not for use in women or anyone younger than 18 or men with prostate or breast cancer.
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ever since the infamous time for traffic problems in ft. lee e-mail went public chris christie has been challenged with the future. imagine working up for the guy whose administration is under five, count them, five, state and federal investigations, thinking how do we get the gov
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back on track? perhaps he might be tempted to use christie's high-profile national position, chairman of the republicans association. christie could find a beloved fellow governor and do some photo-oping and some coattail riding if he could just throw his arms around a really popular republican politician. it might remind everyone how popular chris christie used to be. that's almost what chris christie did it this week except instead after popular, beloved fellow republican, he decided to appear in public with this guy. >> reporter: when the governor declined invitation to the naacp martin luther king breakfast monday as well as a special dinner sunday night, portland chapter president rachel talbott ross expressed concern that lepage declined the organization's invitations. a reporter asked the governor his thoughts. >> and what's your response to them saying this is more than one instance but a pattern? >> tell them to kiss my butt. >> he seems nice. yes, that's right, governor
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christie went to the great state of maine this week to campaign for the massively unpopular tea party governor paul lepage started his tenure by telling them to kiss his butt. and christie didn't just campaign with paul kiss my butt lepage. he let everyone know chris christie and lepage are two peas in a pod. >> we don't sound like everybody else. we tell the truth. we're very direct and the other people who don't like that are those who don't agree with our opinion. >> that's right. they are very direct. sometimes people don't like it. for instance the fine folks of the naacp who would rather not kiss lepage's butt. paul lepage being direct over the years like the time he defended the reverse ban on the chemical bpa in baby bottles by saying with a smirk, the worst that could happen was some women may have little beards.
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or that time he was sitting in a fighter jet simulator and joked he wanted to blow up a local newspaper building. or the two times he compared the irs to the nazis. chris christie is right, paul lepage doesn't sound like everybody else. joining me now is michael michaud of maine who is running against paul lepage. i think what the heck are they doing up there in maine? what is going on in your state? you have to have such a reputation for being sensible. how did this happen? >> well, good evening, chris. maine is an incredible state and mainers have a lot to offer. unfortunately, because of our governor, we're on the late-night tv shows with some of the comments that he's made.
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that's not what maine is all about. maine cares about one another. mainers are there. we're a progressive state. and the fact the governor has come up with some of the comments like naacp kiss my butt type of comments, that's not what mainers are about. mainers care about everyone. and that's one of the reasons i'm running for governor, chris. i've been able over the years and both the legislature and in congress able it to work across the aisle, work out issues and respect people. even if you disagree with them, still respect their opinions. and that's one thing our governor does not do. >> so the respect is clearly an issue. let's put aside the kind of verbal aggressiveness. what's the record been for paul lepage in maine over the last four years? >> well, his record has been terrible. you look at this governor, he's issued more vetoes than any other governor. it's very clear he doesn't know how to govern. and the fact he's vetoed bills that have by partisan support such as the expansion under the affordable care act for the
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70,000 mainers for medicaid. it was a bipartisan compromise, republicans and democrats, and he's vetoed it a couple of times and that's wrong. >> he we put up this map on my show all the time. and there's this one state that sticks out like a sore thumb. you think to yourself how, of all the places, maine, for the love of god, that you're not expanding medicaid. is that issue a big issue in the campaign? >> it definitely will be a big issue. the governor feels comfortable that mainers do not want to expand it. an overwhelming majority of mainers do want expansion under the affordable care act. and as governor on day one, i'll submit legislation to expand access for the 70,000 mainers this governor has denied access to because of his vetoes. >> i don't find the guy particularly appealing. what's the paul lepage appeal? >> if you look at how we got elected, there are five individuals in that race. he was elected by a minority of votes, of mainers.
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and the fact that this race is primarily a two-person race between the governor and myself, i feel really good where i'm at today. we've been leading in all the polls. we will be debating the issues. >> congressman michael michaud who has never told me or anyone else, as far as i know, to kiss his butt. thank you so much. what could put ted cruz on the same side? the answer when we come back.
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tomorrow night we're going to be broadcasting live from atlanta. i'll be at the sweet auburn springfest. if you're in the area, please come by at 8:00 p.m. eastern. watch the show in person. go to i'm excited to see you in the flesh. ♪
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national educational standards for our kids, and it sounds benign enough -- >> i think it's one of the basic lies about common core that somehow it was state led and voluntary. >> it's insidious and we are not dealing with flesh and bone. we are not dealing with that. we are dealing with evil. >> across the country conservatives are rising up against something they call obama core, known to everyone else as the common core. mainstream republicans are railing against the standards, while fringe elements of the right wing peddle conspiracies to the end of our education system as we know it. >> two plus two equals five. teach 5-year-olds how to be transgender. if they can get away with that, they can do anything. that's what this is. >> states and parents are urged to opt out. in march indiana's republican governor became the first to
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sign a law getting rid of common core, and around 100 bills to stop, slow, or reverse the common core have been introduced in state legislatures this year alone. if you're a republican, common core is toxic. >> it's very unlikely that a supporter of the common core will be the nominee. >> and jeb bush is one of them. >> correct. >> what is the common core and why is it so scary? it is a set of national standards for what kids should know in each grade. >> common core does two basic things. it raises academic standards nationwide. and, for the first time, an "a" will mean the same thing for students everywhere. >> that may seem harmless but it is shaping up to be one of the most politically explosive issues of our time. across the country opposition is mounting against a new set of higher academic standards known as the common core, which many teachers say are being imposed too quickly.
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>> children are stressed out and parents are upset. goofy exam questions are going viral on facebook and it all blew up in the last few weeks when parent and comedian louie c.k. went on a rant and showed up on "letterman." >> what about the standard testing? >> if a school's kids don't test well, they burn the school down. >> wow. >> it's pretty high pressure. >> a lot of pressure on the kids. wow. >> and the tests are written by people that nobody knows who they are. it's very secretive. >> so how do we get here? in america what kids learn in a classroom has traditionally been determined by states in local school districts. reformers have seen this as a weakness. in the 1990s, president clinton made the case for national standards. >> tonight i issue a challenge to the nation, every state should adopt high national standards. and by 1999 every state should test every fourth grader in
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reading and every eighth grader in math to make sure these standards are met. >> yet with the republican-controlled congress those policy proposals were met with resistance. but then came this guy. >> as of this hour, america's schools will be on a new path of reform. and a new path of results. >> no child left behind tied federal money to standardized testing. >> it turns out now three years after this law was passed, a growing chorus of critics say it's leaving the states and local school systems behind by requiring expensive testing but not paying for it. >> but it left the testing design to the states. so states could do one of two things. raise their students' performance or lower the bar they had to clear by making the tests easier. guess which one they started doing? education reformers then sought to create national standards everyone would adhere t.o. a bipartisan coalition of groups
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including the national governors association and the council of chief state school officers with money from the gates foundation hired a private company to help write and research what would become the nation's first common core standards. enter barack obama's signature education proposal. >> with the race to the top fund we will reward states that come together and adopt a common set of standards and assessments. >> race to the top worked with carrots rather than sticks, dangling tons of federal money in front of states that adopted the obama administration's education guidelines. and while common core wasn't required, states knew adopting the standards would help them get that money. oh, and one more thing, teacher evaluations would be tied to students meeting these new standards. as of today 44 states plus the district of columbia have adopted the common core standards. but very few parents in those states know the long checkered history of national standards. the way common core has been introduced into most people's
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homes is in the form of a stressed out kid laboring over a new set of problems for yet another standardized test. >> i'm there for them in those moments. come on, look at the problem. i look at the problems, bill has three goldfish. he buys two more. how many dogs live in london? something like that. >> right now we are in the midst of an attempt to change education for millions and millions of kids in this country. the only problem no one is being told what is going on. to many teachers it means yet another attack after decades of reform that have targeted them. to parents, it means stressed out kid in an era of high-stakes testing. and for some of america's right wing, it's all an insidious plot for obama to get into your child's mind. so we're going to have a debate between pro and anti-common core advocates ahead. stick around. she keeps you on your toes.
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this issue on the common core, and what i think is interesting about the common core looking at our feed, people are all over the map on it. across the -- ted cruz and louis c.k. and lefty teacher folks who hate it and alex jones on his radio show, and jeb bush who likes it, barack obama who likes it. what is the case for it? why do you support common core standards? >> so even i don't support it the way it's implemented right now in new york and wish that new york had done what we suggested last year which was a moratorium on the stakes of the test. >> that is crossing, part of the reason this is blowing up in living rooms across the country. >> what you're seeing in california where they did do that and gave teachers a chance to really get to know the transition, you don't have that. >> defend the idea. >> so the idea was that there is some knowledge that kids need to know and be able to do.
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to be able, these days, to have middle-class jobs in america, you have to be able to critically think and apply knowledge, not just know things. >> right. >> and so it was taking -- moving away from the rote memorization of no child left behind which did for 20 years create basically rote memorization and it was moving towards something i've seen in new york city a lot and i used to teach when i was a high school teach er which is how do you do the socratic method in high school social studies. >> no child left behind, we get the introduction of high stakes testing across the nation. there's a sense of teaching to the test, cramming. common core is the antidote to that. the idea is, yes, you should be able to do these critical thinking skills. everyone in second grade should be able to do this. in third grade be able to do this. you distribute it. you have 44 states who signed on. what's the problem? that sounds good to me.
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>> here had's the thing. as randi mentioned before common core she did a lot of really great things in her classroom. she did in-depth teaching. all of that was possible before. what was holding people back, number one, is a lack of resources and, number two, a lack of free tomorrow once high stakes testing came in and there was that increased pressure to teach to the test. so that's been the core issue in schools in terms of not teaching to high standards and not teaching critical thinking is this requirement to really teach down to what can we show on a fill in the bubble test. and so the issue here that many of us have is that we didn't need necessarily different standards. and so where did this push for standards come from? the two organizations that created this, their education work of the national governors association and state's chief officers is -- their education is heavily underwritten by testing companies and curriculum builders this is part and parcel of the co-modification of education that a lot of people have a problem with. >> this is the one place i disagree because i totally agree
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the testing has totally overtaken the teaching and, frankly, the co-modification has overtaken everything. but this is where -- >> and i just want so people understand -- >> market, market, market. >> growth of the test prep industry. the education industrial complex. >> exactly. >> which is managing both for profit and non-for-profit, billions of dollars floating around. >> the fact that this became about testing and not the about teaching has made it really terrible. but this is where i disagree. >> texas has an adopted common core, we're 60 years after brown versus board of education. all of the civil rights groups from lccr, from naacp, the national urban league, what they have said -- and that's been very compelling to me -- is that the only way we're going to
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break through equity is if we create some access to these higher standards for kids in alabama, for kids in buffalo. but, sabrina is quite right, you can't do it in a vacuum. you can't just say, okay, here are the standards. do nothing. you have to have the resources to work it. >> before you respond, i just want to make clear here -- because there's a lot of this. the standards are set by this -- they were written and it's a binder. you can go down -- >> exactly. >> it's a thing, right? the standards aren't a curriculum but the curricula adjusts to the standards and the high-stakes testing adjusts the curriculum and that's all bound up in people's minds. when they see the test, oh, it's the standards. >> the thing is first of all when you have people say that's exactly what bush said, what obama said. we're going to have high standards. we're going to test every year to make sure they're met. those things are linked. the other thing i would say, too, part of what makes the conversation so confusing is that a lot of people are conflating two different things.
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people are signing on to the idea of higher standards because they're thinking in their minds, i have high standards for people in my life. they're not thinking about academic standards. when all is said and done academic standards are words in a binder. without the supports, without the people in the room who bring this stuff to light -- >> why should it not be the case? >> so here is the standard. because this had is -- so for academics or for educators this is not a bad standard. delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a test assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence that is relevant and sufficient. so for eighth graders that's not terrifying but it's the testing that has made it terrifying and the lack of resources. >> this issue is much bigger. i could never do this on my cable news show. we'll have to leave it there. i want to come back to it. i am fascinated by this issue. i, myself, don't know how to feel about it. i learned a lot tonight. thank you both for coming.
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education activist sabrina joyce stevens and randi weingartner who is answering your questions on good evening, rachel. thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. the tea party in oklahoma, the sooner tea party in oklahoma, the one way you know they are in trouble, this right now is their website. you type in and look what comes up. that is a lot of things but it does not look like your typical tea party website. if you allow google to google translate it for you, things do not get that much better for you. the laundry! you do you are in how laundry? those are roughly have been awash in the washing machine of the house. but i guess some people the option of coin laundry ins