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tv   All In With Chris Hayes  MSNBC  September 12, 2013 11:00pm-12:00am EDT

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unless they make the arguments, the anti-gun control argument is going to continue to be made on cultural termentz. and continue to be made no matter what the carat krademocrs good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. tonight, on "all in," the russians have invaded the editorial page of "the new york times," and wow, it is getting a reaction. vladimir putin's letter to america coming up in a moment. and speaking of reactions, do you remember u.s. senator jesse helms? would you say we need more or less people like him in washington? ted cruz leans towards more. 100 more, to be exact. we'll get some reaction to that, coming up. plus, pope francis, best pope ever? i'm totally serious and i'll tell you why, ahead. but tonight, we start with russian president vladimir putin, who has gleefully jumped
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into the international spotlight with an op-ed published last night by "the new york times." certainly the most discussed op-ed i have ever seen. a lecture to the american people, peppered with an artful rewriting of history. putin writes, "from the outset, russian has advocated peaceful dialogue, enabling syrians to develop a compromise plan for their own future. we are not protecting the syrian government, but international law. the law is still the law and we must follow it whether we like it or not. putin then claims without any supporting evidence and in direct opposition to the united nations, the u.s. intelligence and human rights watch, to name a few, that it was rebels who used chemical weapons last month, writing, no one doubts that poison gas was in used in syria, but there is every reason to believe that it was not used by the syrian army, but by opposition forces, to provoke intervention by their powerful foreign patron. and he ends with a rebuttal to the president's assertion the other night that america is exceptional.
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he says, "i would rather disagree with a case he made on american exceptionalism, stating that the united states' policy is what makes america different. it's what make us exceptional. we are all different, but when we ask for the lord's blessings, we must not forget that god created us all equal." >> he says that we are all god's children. i think that's great. i hope that applies to gays and lesbians in russia as well. >> i was insulted. >> i think this is really a lot of bluster. >> i think he's looking for an excuse to show off his super bowl ring. >> it sickened me that we would have to sit there and read that. >> i almost wanted to vomit. >> and this, this is the context for secretary of state john kerry touching down in geneva today, to begin very delicate, fraught talks with -- drumroll -- his russian counterpart, sergey lavrov. kerry made sure to lay the ultimate responsibility of
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success or failure for the negotiations at the feet of the russians. >> expectations are high. they are high for the united states, perhaps even more so for russia to deliver on the promise of this moment. >> white house press secretary jay carney reiterated the same theme, that for now, this is on russia. >> russia, as we saw just now in geneva, has put its prestigious and credibility on the line in backing this proposal, to have syria, the assad regime, give up the chemical weapons that until two days ago, it claimed it did not have. turn them over to international supervision, with the purpose of eventually destroying them. >> this week, the president talked to the country about the burdens he saw in global leadership, that we as americans must bear. perhaps today he is taking a small amount of solace in placing some of that on the shirtless shoulders of vladimir putin. joining me now is kenneth ross, executive director of human
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rights watch. your organization has been very critical of the putin government. but let me ask you this. the line in the op-ed, the law is the law, we can't ignore it. that is a true statement, isn't it? >> i love that line. what he was obviously talking about is the law that says that the united nations can't do anything important without the agreement of the five permanent members, including russia. he's upholding his veto. what he's ignoring is the law against indiscriminately targeting civilians in syria. the law against torturing prisoners in syria. the law that says you don't bomb bread lines, you don't bomb clinics. you don't send incendiary weapons in schools. that's the law too. >> that's international law. >> same international law that says that you can't -- that the u.n. security council can't act without russia's approval. >> isn't this precisely the paradox? when he is talking in that op-ed about what international law is, he is basically rebuking the u.s. for threatening to use force outside of the two situations that are lawful under
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the u.n. charter, which is a security council relugs, even with all five vetoing members going along with it, or in self-defense. he is correct about that, isn't he? >> this is the problem with the current state of international law. >> thank you, yes. >> in the sense that if you happen to be a friend of one of the permanent members of the security council, you don't really have to worry about the law against mass murdering of your civilians being enforced. that's what assad is profiting from, because putin is saying no, no, no, whenever the security council wants to investigate assad's atrocities. whenever it wants to send the atrocities to the international criminal court. when it even wants to condemn the atrocities, putin says no. that's the law that's in perfect state of the law, as it exists today. >> do you think that the american reaction to the putin op-ed shows -- i'm curious as someone who has to deal with the sort of international view of human rights, ow you interpret americans' reaction to the putin's op-ed? >> frankly, i was happy that "the times" published it. i wished that "the times" counterpart in russia would
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publish something on human rights. but i think it was important for the american people to see his logic. both his rationale, the reference to a very partial view of the law, the fact that he ignored assad's atrocities. he ignored the fact that russian has been the principle weapons supplier of assad, as he runs around killing his people. he's even in denial about the fact that the chemical weapon attack on october 21st, all the evidence points to the syrian government. >> for those who have been skeptical of intelligence only presented by the u.s. or presented by the u.s. and allies, human rights watch has actually conducted an independent investigation. what have you found? >> human rights watch actually put out our report this pastmond. we did not use secret cia intelligence. we used our own investigation. and what we found is that all the evidence points to the government. in fact, it doesn't even make sense.
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if you look at the particular rockets used, these are rockets that were specially constructed, made from materials and elements that only the government has. there's no evidence of the rebels having it. the rockets only came from government-controlled areas, only went into rebel-held areas or contested areas. even the quantity of sarin used, the only people known to have that are the government officials. >> and today we got news that the assad regime is signing on to the chemical weapons ban. and in some ways, that's a triumph for international law, but, again, ends us up in a similar cul-de-sac to the one you just enunciated. which is, well, who's going to enforce it? >> i'm very happy he's going to sign the convention, it's about time. but of course, he's already ratified the geneva convention, which says you don't indiscriminately slaughter your people. and it's important to keep in mind 1,400, approximately, civilians died with this particular chemical attack. there probably are 40,000 civilians that have died as a result of the conflict. most of them by conventional weapons.
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we've got to focus on that. we've seen that putin can get assad to act. he said, you know, hand over your chemical weapons and like that it happened. how about using that same influence to stop the killing of other civilians. >> joining us now, jennifer yafi. so what was putin's play here? how do you understand this in the mind of putin and his advisers, what generated this op-ed? >> i think in the mind of -- i won't speak for ketchum, who planted this op-ed in "the new york times," but i think in putin's mind, this goes perfectly with his world view, that he's a counterweight and a foil to the u.s. that he has to be reckoned with. that he is an important world leader that is as important if not more important than president barack obama. and the fact that he's now presented this plan, the fact that secretary kerry has to fly to geneva and meet with putin's foreign minister, the fact that jay carney is talking about -- the fact that we're having this conversation about putin -- >> putin is the a-block tonight! >> that's right. he made us do it. >> right. that's my question, though,
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actually. do you think -- this is what i thought was interesting. do you think the absolute allergic reaction that i think a lot of americans and certainly american political class had to reading this was the intended reaction or did he just completely misjudge his rhetoric? that's what i can't get about this text. >> well, i don't think -- maybe the political class had this reaction, but i saw on the social networks a lot of people were saying, you know, he makes a good point. also, look at the other, the other half of the political class and what's being said on, you know, on fox or in conservative circles. you know, this is exactly their logic. why do we get involved in a messy, exotic situation where al qaeda is involved? are these really the people we're going to support? are we going to topple a regime that's protected christians? so he has found some -- he has struck a chord with some people, i think, it's just not the people that you've shown tonight. >> pat buchanan, i think, last night called it masterful, if i'm not --
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>> it is masterful. it's quite masterful. i mean, he, yeah -- >> why is it masterful? explain that. >> i think he -- first of all, he reappropriated the language of president obama on international law and the importance of enforcing international norms. he's just talking about different international norms. he succeeds in muddying the waters. i think most people don't have an intimate knowledge of russia. they don't understand that this is double speak, that a lot of the stuff that he's -- that putin laid out in his op-ed does not apply at home in russia. that one of the reasons that we're having such a bad time with the russians right now is because of the very heated anti-american rhetoric that's been turned on in russia for the past two years. but it does, you know, it reappropriates a lot of american language, a lot of western language, which, you know, international -- >> and we were allies and defeated the nazis. a little bit of nostalgia. >> and it's telling a country that for most of its history has been pretty isolationist and has not wanted to get involved in such things. and a country that's pretty war weary over the last ten years
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and the last two wars, he's telling them what they want to hear. the people who are already confused and reluctant to get involved in syria, he's telling them what they want to hear, over the heads of their own president, who spoke 24 hours before that. and putin makes an allusion to the speak, saying, i studied it carefully and it's a bunch of, you know. >> right. kenneth, as someone who works for human rights watch, and you've been critical of the bush administration's torture record on the drone program. you've been critical of human rights violations across the globe. how do you sit down -- because you get into these arguments where people say, you cannot separate what someone says from their record. and people throw that back at you and say, well, the u.s. tortured people and the u.s. goes around lecturing to other countries and the u.s. violated these international norms. how do you, as the head of human rights watch, read a document like that in context with the human rights record of the person that voted? >> well, firstly, you've got to
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hold everybody to the same standards. you've got to look at the facts. yove got to get past the rhetoric. so i think that putin has been masterful in terms of making himself important again, because russia's a fading power, but suddenly, he's diplomatically important. but it's very double edged. because he's showing that he has influence with this guy, assad, who has been killing tens of thousands of civilians. he's been the principle weaponier for this guy, who clearly he can turn on and off like that. >> in fact, showing that card in the next play by the white house that you're seeing now is to put it on him. basically saying, the credibility of vladimir putin and russia in the community of nations now rests upon them, managing to bring assad along. kenneth and julia, thank you both. >> thank you. coming up, i'll tell you which moral cretin senator ted cruz idolizes. and michael steele will be here right at this table to respond. stay with us. coming up next on "all in," ted
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coming up next on "all in," ted cruz hearts a famous bigot. but first, after vladimir putin took to "the new york times" to speak directly to the american people on war, peace, and american exceptionalism, i got to thinking it would be pretty awesome if world leaders, present and past, regularly addressed the day's biggest issue in op-eds. so i want to know your thoughts on our facebook page, answers to tonight's question, if you could pick any leader living or dead to write an op-ed on any issue, who would be and on what. you're the assignment editor. head over to and post your answer. i'll share my favorites later on in this very show. and be sure to like us while you're there. we'll be right back. a writer and a performer. i'm also a survivor of ovarian and uterine cancers. i even wrote a play about that. my symptoms were a pain in my abdomen and periods that were heavier and longer than usual for me. if you have symptoms that last two weeks or longer, be brave, go to the doctor. ovarian and uterine cancers are gynecologic cancers.
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one of the gop's rising stars thinks the problem with the party is that it doesn't have eugh racists. tea party darling, senator ted cruz of texas gave a speech at the heritage foundation's jesse helms lecture series. he relay laid a story in which he was talking to john wayne. >> apparently john wayne said, oh, yeah, you're that guy saying all those crazy things. we need a hundred more like you. the willingness to say all those crazy things is a rare, rare characteristic. and you know what, it's every bit as true now as it was then and we need a hundred more, like jesse helms in the u.s. senate. >> that line grabbed a few headlines, because it's a provocative statement and it's ted cruz doing what he does
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best. but there was no real uproar. and i couldn't help but remember another republican senator from the south celebrating another notorious republican senator just a few years back. >> when strom thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. we're proud of him. and if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we would haven't had all these problems over all these years, either. >> you will recall, that was followed by total outrage and rightly so, because strom thurmond ran for president on an explicitly segregationist ticket. well, jesse helms, i guess to his credit, never ran on an explicitly segregated ticket, but this is who jesse helms really was. helms was elected to the senate in 1972, opposing interracial marriage and integration. he was against the civil rights act, and called it, quote, the single most dangerous piece of legislation ever introduced in
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the congress. helms supported an appropriations bill, co-sponsored by none other than strom thurmond, appropriately, that would have gutted the justice department's ability to enforce busing. helms described the university of north carolina chapel hill as the university of negroes and communists. in 1982, the voting rights act was reauthorized, despite a helms' filibuster. in 1983, he led a 16-day filibuster against the creation of the martin luther king national holiday, which obviously ultimately overcame his racism. in 1990, helms ran the infamous hands ad against an african-american challenger, harvey gant. >> you needed that job and you were the best qualified, but they had to give it to a minority, because of a racial quota. >> in 1990, helms stayed away in protest when nelson mandela addressed a joint session of congress. and just in case you think this was posturing, no, which was jesse helms to the bone.
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care moseley braun, the only african-american woman ever elected to the united states senate offered this anecdote. she got into an elevator with senator helms and he started singing "dixie," and helms says to senator orrin hatch, i'm going to make her cry. i'm going to sing "dixie" until she cries. and just for good measure, helms was also a notorious nasty, broodish homophobe. this is who this guy was. jesse helms was a racist and a scoundrel. and that is who ted cruz is saying there should be 100 of. and the gop wonders why they have such a hard time broadening their appeal. joining me now, michael steele, former chairman of the rnc and msnbc contributor. for real, should ted cruz apologize. >> and with that, michael steele. >> no, really, i am genuinely, in good faith curious what you think of this. >> i don't know. i mean, apologize for what? i mean, i think you need to explain it. i mean, because i think -- i understand being at the jesse helms, you know, center of
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program and want to say something nice about jesse helms, who lest we forget was a good southern democrat for many, many years before he became a good southern republican. holding those same views. but i think there are so many other individuals that ted cruz and many others in this party can speak to. everett dickerson, the conservative from illinois who championed the civil rights act. edward brooks, the first african-american elected -- >> but michael, this is the problem. there are no everett dirks in big events because that's not where the base is at. >> understood. and i think that's where the party needs to recognize it is and where it needs to move to. it needs to understand its history and put it in the proper context. you know, a hundred jesse helms or strom thurmonds in the united states senate does not broadening the party make. does not inclusion make. does not send the kind of message to not just folks who aren't in the tent with us, but to those who are already inside the tent, that you're not really understanding where this party needs to go.
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>> and part of this, though, is that the incentives are for ted cruz to say things like this. the kind -- this is where i think the rubber hits the road. i understand conservative friends of mine, conservative colleagues of mine who say, don't call us racist, don't call the tea party racist, don't call the conservatives racist, and i say, no, that's painting with a broad brush. but he was a racist. >> that is one man's opinion about who he wishes to praise. that is not representative of who i would recommend in a situation like that. >> but you could -- but what you are not doing right now is trying to win over primary voters in the republican party for 2015 and 2016. and ted cruz is. and ted cruz is making a calculation about what those folks want to hear. my question to you is, is that the wrong calculation? >> it is the wrong calculation and it's a sad state for the party, if that's the only appeal that we could have, is to go out and to make those types of statements. now, you know, again, he can idolize whoever he wants and say nice things about whoever he wants, but it's not reflective
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of where the party is or where the party needs to go. and individuals like ted and others need to make sure they understand that. you're not just speaking to the folks in the room. >> that's the most dangerous thick for a politician. >> it is. let me tell you how you get into trouble, and i understand trouble very well, but when i was rnc chairman, i remember saying to some members, why do you think every time i open my mouth i'm talking to you. there's a broader audience. if you're really serious about broadening this tent and making this party responsive to people, you've got to begin to communicate with them. so not every utterance, it has to be this hard-right core base and say, you know, if they don't understand you're with them by now, they're not going to get that me think. learn how to pivot off of that and have a conversation where you bring them along, but you're also looking to bring others into it. >> but you just said a second ago, that's not where the party is and it's not where it should be. convince me that's the case, that's not where the party is.
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>> because i'm looking at individuals like susanna martinez, the governor of new mexico who's going phenomenal work. chris christie in new jersey, raul labrador, who's doing tremendous work in states. even those who have been in the news that you've talked about, whether you're talking ohio or wisconsin, those governors, that's where they're doing some things, yeah, some of it is hot spot stuff. >> we don't like it. >> you may not like it, but tem poo do. and you look at their numbers and look at how they've grown through the rust patches in their polls. their policies are beginning to click with people, their messages are beginning to click with people, and that's where we need to concentrate our firepower and our energy to get those examples of good republican leadership in the states. >> does it handicap the republican party that it is now governing from the house and it's governing from the south in the house. >> yes, absolutely it does. and it is the one thing i did not want to have happen as national chairman, was to have
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everything concentrated in washington, at a federal level, at a congressional level. i wanted to push the resources, the messaging, the energy out into the states, because that's the best laboratory. >> and you're more likely to get susanna martinez in mexico. >> absolutely. >> michael steele, thank you so much. >> thank you. >> we'll be right back with click three. 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. ♪ ♪ ♪
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coming up, i have a confession to make about the catholic church. something i never, ever thought i'd say. and senator elizabeth warren rips into congress for failing to get their act together five years after the financial
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collapse. those stories are ahead. but first, i want to show you the three awesomest things on the internet today. we begin on the east coast of england, where drunken revelry in the streets at 3:00 in the morning led to something getting fixed instead of smashed pieces. a group of dude bros happened across a damaged metal bike rack in the wee hours of the morning. a car accident left the bike rack bent in half, but these lads couldn't stand to see their beloved city in disrepair. after a drink or two or twelve, these guys decided to make things right. the group mustered its civic pride and put their backs into it, and no thanks to the guy in the hoodie on the left, weak on that assist, buddy, mission accomplished. credit where it's due. they fixed the hell out of that thing. look at how straight it is. one councilman called the video very positive. this round of high fives and man shakes is well deserved. hats off to you, fellas. the second awesomest thing on the internet. love in the time of instagram. this is andrew drummond. 20-year-old nba player recently revealed his crush on
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nickelodeon actress jeannette curby. drummond used his instagram account to announce its infatuation with the tv star over the course of several weeks, using the #wcw or woman crush wednesday, his persistence paid off as the starlet giving him a shout-out, admitting that she had no idea who he was. drummond kept the pressure on until the courtship was no longer digital. the two were going on real-life date, doing early 20-something activities. they go so much attention, he wrote an essay from the "wall street journal," praising the ability to share adorable videos rike this. >> the cutest thing i've ever seen in my entire life. >> thanks for reminding us all that love still rules. and the third awesomest thing on the internet today, is one of the great photo bomb images of all time. in a scene familiar to anyone
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who spent time playing the frog bog game at the boardwalk this summer. today, nasa released this image from last week's launch of the spacecraft in virginia, you can see as we enhance the image, nasa says it is a real frog, spread eagle, getting tossed in the air by the rocket. i can see my lily pad from here! unfortunately, there is only one still photo of what will likely be this amphibian's highest and final jump. nasa officially says the frog's condition is uncertain and there really is no way to tell where he came down. we do know one thing for sure, mr. toads isn't alone taking wild rides in front of rocket ships. the people have compiled the best of the bet, including this bat as it clinged to the space shuttle discovery in 2009. also the turkey vulture that had a ticket to ride space shuttle "discovery" in 2005. the killer spider that attacked a cameraman's lens before "atlantis" blasted off, or how about the herd of cattle who got
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freaked out when the spacex grasshopper lifted off next to a dairy farm. it goes on and on and on, unfortunately, our friend the frog will not. just in case you're still feeling bad, here's the greatest video ever of a dog riding on a roomba. ♪ >> you can find all the links for tonight's click 3 on our website, we'll be right back. wisest kid in the whole world? we need a new recipe. hmmm. let us consult the scroll of infinite deliciousness. ♪ oh! perfect. [ wisest kid ] campbell's has the recipes kids love. like easy chicken and cheese enchiladas. so good! can i keep this? you already have it at nice. [ blows ] [ gong ] m'm! m'm! good!
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a huge and enthusiastic welcome for pope francis' weekly audience. in the six months he's been pope, crowds have quadrupled, drawn by his warm and welcoming style and a new openness. >> you know what i freaking love? this new pope. pope francis. you know who i'm talking about, right? the pope? are you guys watching this guy? because you should be.
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it's early, but i'm thinking, best pope ever? now, i have a confession to make. like millions of other people in this country and around the world, i was raised catholic, but stopped going to mass, my freshman year at brown, to be exact. and while i still have affection for the church of my childhood, the smell of incense, the saying of our father and all the rituals, i haven't felt very warmly about the institutional catholic church to say the least in the years since. but somehow this guy, pope francis, is turning me around. i liked him from the beginning, because he, like my father, was a jesuit. a liberal order that promotes social justice and teaching and i love me some jesuits. right out of the gate, francis offered up a few gestures to demonstrate a break from his predecessor, benedict. rather than living in the grand papal apartment, francis resides in the modest vatican guest house. the vatican's garbage collectors are the first employees he invited to morning masses.
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and instead of watching the feet of 12 priests during an easter week ritual, francis washed the feet of 12 young inmates, including two women and two muslims. i thought to myself at the time, well, that's cool, but he's new at the job and will probably start becoming more pope like as time goes on. but he keeps becoming more awesome. he showed up to rio de janeiro in the back of a rental car. he plans on driving a used car around town and has urged others to do the same. it hurts me when i see a priest or a none with a latest model car. a car is necessary to do a lot of work, but, please, choose a more humble one. if you like the fangsy one, just think about how many children are dying of hunger in the world. if you don't understand the concept of catholic guilt, i think that's it. perhaps most amazing of all, the pope is now picking up the phone and calling people who write to him for advice and prayers. he phoned a woman who had been raped by a police officer in arrange the tina telling her she
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was not alone. he comforted a pregnant woman whose married boyfriend tried to pressure her into an abortion. francis offering to personally baptize her baby. now, all of that, while incredibly awesome, is symbolism. but francis has showed he's pretty good substantially. on the subject of homosexuality, he told reporter, if someone is gay and he searches for the lord and has goodwill, who am i to judge. on the subject of atheism, francis says that nonbelievers should obey their conscience and that god's mercy has no limits. he's even admitted he's open to a debate on married priests. his second in command telling a newspaper that celibacy is not dogma, there the concept of priestly celibacy should reflect the democratic spirit of the times. now, i don't have a whole lot of hope the church itself is going to come around and change its tenants or official positions on things that i deeply oppose, like gay marriage, a woman's autonomy over her own body, but given the constraints of what being pope is, you can operate in one of two ways. you can be a jerk about it or you can be awesome. and this guy is choosing to be
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awesome. and not only is that great for the church, it's great for the world, to have a pope talking about what this pope is talking about. grace, humility, peace, and compassion for others. because that is the church at its best. and it's the one that some small part of me still loves. amen. people choices. especially today, as people are looking for more low, and no calorie options. that's why on vending machines, we're making it easy for people to know how many calories are in their favorite beverages, before they choose. and we're offering more low calorie options, including over 70 in our innovative coca-cola free-style dispensers. working with our beverage industry and restaurant partners, we're helping provide choices that make sense for everyone. because when people come together, good things happen. ♪ forever young ♪ i want to be forever young ♪ do you really want to live forever and ever? ♪
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the tsunami began this weekend. >> one of the worst days ever
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for the american financial system. >> as lehman brothers filed for bankruptcy protection just after midnight. with $613 billion in debt on its books, lehman is by far the largest bankruptcy ever in this country. >> while merrill lynch, the giant brokerage firm, sold itself to bank of america in order to save its own skin. >> as the merrill lynch deal was harm hammered out, word came late that insurance giant aig was also struggling to raise $40 billion to stay afloat. >> good evening and even congratulations. you are now the proud owner of a massive insurance company. >> the federal government steps in to rescue insurance giant aig to the tune of $85 billion. >> so many people within the industry, within the banking industry, tell me they have never seen anything like this. >> that was almost five years ago to the day, september 15th, 2008, the beginning of the financial disaster, a by-product of decades of deregulation and malfeasance, that threw the country and the world into complete panic. and as americans began to grow
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increasingly anxious about their finances, president bush famously told treasury secretary hank paulson, in his imimitable way, if money isn't loosened up, this sucker could go down. i remember the tension of those days, like we were sitting on the precipice of an apocalypse. the crater in the housing market got a whole lot bigger. the u.s. economy was contracting at close to 9% quarterly. the dow jones industrial took a swan dive. unemployment reached double digits for the first time in 20 years, and five years later, things are a lot better than they were in the depths of the crisis. there is no question. we're adding jobs, slowly but consistently. gdp growth has expanded to more than 2.5% in the second quarter of 2013. housing prices are on the rise. so is retail spending, possibly a sign that spending might help sustain economic growth in the second half of the year.
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and in the intervening years, the president signed into law against tooth and nail opposition dodd/frank, the most sweeping financial reform since the great depression, prompting the president to say this. >> the american people will never again be asked to foot the bill for wall street's mistakes. >> but after three years since dodd/frank, there's still a pretty long to-do list. only 40% of the rules in the bill have been implemented, and more than 60% of their deadlines have been missed. in an eye-opening speech today, senator elizabeth warren, who made her political career off of seeing the financial crisis coming and holding the banks accountable in its wake, says she fails to understand how this state of affairs is tolerable. >> since when does congress set deadlines, watch regulators miss most of them, and then take that failure to meet the deadlines as a reason for congress not to act? i thought that if the regulators failed, it was time for congress to step in. that's what oversight means. and it's certainly a principle that would have served our country well prior to the last crisis. what i want to know is how much longer should congress wait for
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regulators to fix this problem? do we wait another three months, another three years, until the next big bank comes crashing down and threatens the entire economy? >> joining me now is alexis goldstein, who used to work on wall street, now a member of occupy wall street. neil barofsky, former special inspector general, in charge of oversight of t.a.r.p., and author of the "bailout," and joshua green, national correspondent for "bloomberg businessweek," where he just wrote a big new feature on where the lehman brothers ceo is five years later. great to have you all here. okay. i want to play this clip from morgan stanley ceo james gorman from his views on the probability of another big bank collapse. take a listen. >> i would say the probability of it happening again in our lifetime is as close to zero as i could imagine. >> and you say that because? >> the way these firms are managed, the amount of capitol that they have, the amount of
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liquidity they have, the changes in their business mix, it's dramatic. >> that's just from september 5th. that's recently. and i feel comforted. you guys, that's right, right? that's correct? >> this is the policy of the obama administration, is the same policy is that of wall street, is extend and pretend. or fake it until you make it. if we say that everything is okay, if we tell everyone that everything is okay, everything is really okay. >> but it has been okay for five years. here is where the white house will come back at you. >> tell that to someone who's making less than $30,000 a year. >> all of that i agree with. but we're talking about the stability of the financial system. take away, for a second, the fact that we have this massively unequal recovery, lots of paem out of work, all that stuff.
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in terms of the stability of the economic system and the comparative recovery versus other people digging their way out of financial crisis, the argument is, yeah, fake it until you make it, you muddle through, paper over the losses, and lo and behold, what you have are healthy banks. and all of those people that talked about zombie banks and a lost decade in japan, they were wrong, wrong, wrong, and we were right, right, right, and we're never going to have another crisis again, end of story. >> i think there's a confusion between safer and safe. look, we're safer than we were in 2008 and we are safer, probably, than in europe and then severely undercapitalized banks. but we're still two undercapitalized, our banks are still opaque. there still hasn't been the necessary regulatory reform. they're 30% bigger now than they were going into the last crisis, which means they'll need a 30% bigger bailout. all the perverse incentives that
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drove us into the crisis are still in place and perhaps even worse. it's not that we're safe, we're to some degree safer, but this sucker could go down again, from a shot in europe, from something here. we're still in a potentially very fragile system. >> and you've been interviewing people on wall street. you had this great retrospective of where dick fuld is, the head of lehman. they think we're safer. wall street has convinced itself. that is a representative view. >> and wall street is furious . i live in this weird universe where i'm split between washington, where people don't think these laws are strong enough, and wall street, where they think this dodd/frank is the most terrible thing that's ever happened. >> but watch how fast they praise dodd/frank when you start thinking about eminent domain. and watch how fast they praise dodd/frank when you think about student loans being given out. people will say whatever they
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need to say in order to get to their outcome, right? they're always measuring and calculating cost/benefit. >> the problem is they're both right, right? dodd/frank is an onerous, burdensome, regulatory morass that puts unnecessary burdens on wall street, but it doesn't go nearly far enough in achieving its objective and ending the threat to the next financial crisis. >> so stop that thought. i want you to explain that. and i want to sort of get a sense of what the obstacle is. like, why do we have all these deadlines that are blown through. why is it 40% of the deadlines of, you know, the regulations haven't been implemented. i want to get a sense of that right after we take this break. g signs of a gynecologic cancer, such as cervical, ovarian, or uterine cancer. feeling bloated for no reason. that's what i remember. seeing my doctor probably saved my life. warning signs are not the same for everyone. if you think something's wrong... see your doctor. ask about gynecologic cancer. and get the inside knowledge. ron: i'm sorry, who are you?
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jc: i'm your coworker! c'mon guys, i'm driving. jc: you guys comfortable? it's best-in-class rear legroom. jim: do you work for volkswagen? jc: what? no. i work for... the company we all work for. the place we just left. you know j.d. power ranked passat the most appealing midsize car two years in a row? i bet uh dan here wishes someone found him most appealing two years in a row. ron: it's ron. jc: ron... exactly. earlier in the show, we asked you to tell us who you would most like to hear from in a "new york times" op-ed. we got a ton of answers posted to our facebook page, including brit mccabe, who said jefferson on university health care. joel gillin says jesus on u.s. foreign policy. from phillip, kim jong-un on 2014 nba previews on playoff predictions, and keith seher who puts it simply, freud on the palins. we'll be right back. [ tires screech ] ♪
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back with alexis goldstein, neil barofsky, and joel green. we are talking about the economic collapse, upon which we are coming on the fifth anniversary. and you said the dodd/frank is both onerous and burdensome and doesn't go far enough. how is that possible? >> you think about what happened with the great depression, you had glass-steagall, which was 30 pages long and now you have dodd/frank, which is 3,300 and counting. so rather than going with a simple fix that was easy to follow and easy to understand, that was a level playing field for all participants and that would accomplish the goal of what glass-steagall did, which is truly ending too big to fail by splitting up the banks, what we have is this regulatory death by a thousand cuts, which nibbles around the edges and has exceptions and wavers and loopholes to the exceptions and the wavers, which gives the regulators and the lawyers plenty of stuff to work on. >> which is part of what happened? >> dodd/frank has the potential to end too big to fail, but we
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haven't done it yet, because it gives the power to the regulators. plus, we're coming up on the third anniversary of that whole process. there is so much power in section 265, they could institute glass-steagall. >> living wills, banks have to write a document saying, if i blow up, here's how you get rid of me without endangering the whole system. >> and here's how you take me through bankruptcy. you don't have to bail me out. but when people criticize this, i think it's criticizing the symptom rather than the cause. the sense that the legislation is that way because of the bank's power. the legislation was crafted around the bank's power to get it passed, right? the bank's power is still the fundamental issue. >> this is intentionally designed to fail, to be this morass. because -- >> i think that's not fair, though. there is potential within dodd/frank to be helpful, if the regulators could get a backbone. and the wave of this massive populism that's taken hold in this country. >> when you have these hundreds and hundreds of rules, who do you think is staying up at night? the lawyers and the lobbyists. and that's what this was designed to do.
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>> but even so, you had the kind of late-breaking volcker rule put in there. because there is still a way that people, if they're outraged enough, can have some effect. the volcker still needs to be written and there are 22 regulators fighting over it. >> to me, the elements of the collapse are about -- are fundamentally about power, more than they're about technical -- about regulations. like too much power and wealth concentrated and also psychology. one of the fascinating thing about reading the crisis literature is the way in which this kind of crazy, ego maniacal thinking got all these banks into thinking they could take whatever risks they wanted to. and you wrote this amazing piece about dick fuld, who's the most chastened about these folks. >> most people on wall street have forgotten about dick fuld. one group who hasn't are professors who study management. and there's a big paper in the journal of management inquiry, on dick fuld's narcissism. and scholars think there are two kinds of narcissism. and it's rampant on wall street. it can be a force for good, as it was initially when fuld was building up lehman, and a force for bad. >> i think that same narcissism exists in the obama
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administration, who has the audacity to consider larry summers the architect of the delegislation that led to the crisis to run the fed. and he lost $1 million making a bad bet on interest rates, and we're like, i think you should be in charge of interest rates. that's a really good idea. you have a demonstrated history of failing to do that. >> the only people who have been sanctioned. where is the account skpblt where is the sanction? dick fuld has been the fall guy. it's not like he's poor or in prison or screwed over like tens of millions of americans have been. but he has kind of like weirdly fallen out of favor. but it's as if it was just the problem of dick fuld and lehman. >> that's the tragedy of dick fuld, that other wall street ceos that i spoke to don't look at him and think, geez, we've got to clean up our act so we don't wind up like dick. they think, that guy was a loser. >> right, that guy was a loser. >> he blew it and we're smarter. >> but no one has internalized the lessons of this crisis. the only people who have are the american people. >> the reason why dick fuld is a loser, he's the only one who wasn't bailed out. >> that's right!
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>> he was the wrong bank at the wrong time. >> that is exactly what dick fuld said. >> it's just not true. you know, a lot of those suckers would have gone down. but he's the -- >> that is such a great point. like, he's the loser, because he wasn't the one who got the welfare check from the government. he was just like, allowed to fail on his own. >> yeah. and it's such a myth. josh, when you say that they don't internalize him and just think it was dick fuld's fault, there's no reason for them to believe that other than this rampant narcissism. >> they also don't internalize it like there's this economic victim blaming. where not only are they not like mea culpa, sorry, we ruined the economy. they're like, you know what will ruin the economy, the people we gave predatory loans to that we conned into doing a cash refi or something like that.
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>> i think this lack of being chastened, and maybe this is sort of a strange theory of the case, but in my way, i think, actually, the lack of change in psychology is the most scary thing to me, when you talk about whether we're safe or safer. which is that, there has to be a cultural change. and that cultural change has not come about. and whatever kind of underlying technical writing of the law there is, like, that's the thing that i worry about the most. alexis goldstein from occupy wall street, neil barofsky, author of "bailout," and joshua green from "bloomberg businessweek," thank you all. that is "all in" for this evening. the rachel maddow show starts right now. >> thank you, chris. thank you at home for joining us this hour. when the soviet union fell apart, one of the most amazing things about that world-changing event is that we had no idea it


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