tv The Last Word MSNBC April 30, 2013 7:00pm-8:01pm PDT
son died, some escaped and lived whiem he reloaded. he said dillon wasn't able to escape. i ask myself every day, every minute, if they had 30 rounds instead of 40, would my son be alive. groups pushing for reform are pushing. the senators that vote against that are paying the price. this is not over. this is not over by any stretch of the imagination. now it is time for "the last word with lawrence o'donnell." thanks for being with us. if you have a job, you probably missed the presidential press conference, but don't worry, you didn't miss anything. as usual it was more about the press than the president. >> president obama marks a major second term milestone today. >> president obama marking the first 100 days. >> day 100 of the president's second term.
>> does he have any leverage left. >> how's he doing. >> to mark the occasion, the president plans a press conference at 10:15 a.m. >> the 39th press conference of his administration. ♪ >> the washington press corp meeting the president for the first of his weekly conferences. there are 234 of the elite journalism present. >> things are pretty dysfunctional on capitol hill. >> a rapid fire of questions and answers. >> do you have the juice to get the rest of your agenda through congress? >> the questions the president answers frankly. >> maybe i should pack up and go home. >> this is democracy in action. >> let's just step back for a second. >> the president also addressing the continued partisan stalemate. >> the sequester. >> this thing already happened. >> it is a ridiculous side show. >> damaging our economy, hurting our people. we need to lift it.
>> no grand bargain anywhere in sight. >> does he have leverage left? you could see his exasperation. >> the sequester is stupid in name and practice. >> whether we can get it done or not, we'll see. 100 years ago woodrow wilson held the first presidential press conference. 58 years ago, dwight eisenhower had the first televised presidential press conference. >> i think we're trying a new experiment this morning. i hope it doesn't prove to be a disturbing influence. >> turns out television has proven to be a disturbing influence as dwight eisenhower feared, but not on the president, on the press. these rituals are called press conferences because they're not really about the president, they're about the press. the president's job is to tell
us nothing new, nothing we didn't already know, while appearing open and honest in response to the questions, which is actually quite easy because presidents are never asked truly difficult questions at presidential press conferences, they're asked about their feelings, they're asked about unprovable things like what congress might do a few months from now. they're never asked the details of any of the intricacies of the tax code they claim to dislike, never asked difficult questions about medicare part a or medicare part b or part d, each of which is a government enterprise of life or death importance and stunning complexity. they're not asked detailed questions about the government's biggest program, social security. social security is the largest item in the federal budget. virtually every american participates in it. has an almost infinite number of moving parts, but no president is ever asked about more than one of those parts at a time, say the retirement age or cost
of living increases, and it is only the politics of what you might do with those things. the white house press corp doesn't ask detailed questions about governing and never has because they don't know the details of governing. that's not their job. their job is to know a little about everything that the white house has been publicly working on lately, and that's a lot of stuff. that's a lot to keep up with. if you want the president to get detailed questions about medicare, no white house correspondent can ever ask those questions. we'd have to bring in from the bullpen the "the new york times" medicare expert robert pear. for that it would take robert pear to ask questions about medicare, and if robert pear was allowed to ask the president questions about that, it wouldn't take him very many questions to find the limits of any president's knowledge of medicare, medicaid, or social security, but facts, new information, real information,
how the government really works, that's not what presidential press conferences are about. they're about the press getting presidential quotes about something, anything, to fill up the paragraphs in their newspapers, and most of all, they're about reporters, usually television reporters, trying to ask the question with the catchy sound byte we all want to use on our news shows. you see them doing it every time. today, it was abc's jonathan carl's turn. he asked a question that elicited an answer that contained nothing we didn't already know, but jonathan carl didn't really care about the answer. his investment was entirely in his question. it was entirely in the self centered dream of watching his question played on his network and on all cable news shows. he actually asked the president of the united states a question about juice. p. >> jonathan carl.
>> mr. president, you are 100 days into your second term, on the gun bill, put seems everything into it to try to get it passed, obviously it didn't. congress ignored your efforts to try to get them to undue the sequester cuts. there was even a bill you threatened to veto that got 92 democrats in the house voting yes. so my question to you is do you still have the juice to get the rest of your agenda through this congress. >> oh, the juice. you could tell the president thought it was a ridiculous question like most of the questions he gets. so he played with it. >> you put it that way, jonathan, maybe i should just pack up and go home. golly. >> and the president's little joke line actually provoked very serious graphics on cnn today, streaming across the screen, the president says maybe i should just pack up and go home. cnn thought that that was news.
the joke line was news. cnn thought we'd learn something important when the president said that joke. back in president kennedy's day when televised press conferences were still a novelty and reporters weren't fully committed to doing their own star turns before the camera everyone knew when a joke was a joke. >> i wonder if you could tell us whether if you had it to do over again you would work for the president, whether you can recommend the job to others. >> well, the answer to the first is yes, and no, i don't recommend it to others, least for awhile. >> if cnn had been around in those days, they would have put up a banner all afternoon, jfk doesn't recommend presidency to others. abc has a rich tradition of white house correspondents who believe their questions are more important than the president's answer. here was how the abc white house
correspondent made it all about him last year. >> go ahead. jake. >> it seems to a lot of observers that you made the political calculation in 2008 in your first term and 2012 not to talk about gun violence. you had your position on renewing the ban on semi automatic rifles that then senator joe biden put into place, but you didn't do much about it. this is not the first issue, first incident of horrific gun violence of your four years. where have you been? >> now there's a substantive question for you, for the president of the united states. where have you been? and of course it produced an answer that told no one other than possibly the reporter that just asked that question something we didn't know. >> well, here's where i've been, jake. i've been president of the united states, dealing with the worst economic crisis since the great depression.
an auto industry on the verge of collapse, two wars. i don't think i've been on vacation. >> when the foreign press gets a shot at the president of the united states, they can be much rougher than the white house press corp, but they don't really care much about how much camera time they get. >> everybody calm down. first of all, thank you for apologizing on behalf of the iraqi people. it doesn't bother me. if he wants it back, it is a size 10 shoe that he threw. thank you for your concerns. do not worry about it. >> and there you have president george w. bush's finest moment in all of his presidential press conferences. it tieks takes a lot for a president to steal the spotlight
away from the more than a few white house reporters who want to hog the camera for themselves. but richard nixon managed to do it. >> i want to say this to the television audience. i made my mistakes, but in all my years of public life i have never profited, never profited from public service. i earned every cent. and in all my years of public life, i have never obstructed justice, and i think, too, that i can say in my years of public life that i welcome this kind of examination because people have got to know whether or not their president is a crook. well, i am not a crook. >> that was the most memorable moment from all of president nixon's press conferences, but it wasn't exactly, how should i put it, true. he did try to obstruct justice and he was enough of a crook to be forced to resign the
presidency. joy reid, ari, i don't think everyone in the press room is an ego maniac. the camera finds more than enough of them every time. >> they do. the reality is presidential press conferences used to be really important to print reporters back in the days when the average beat reporter didn't have access to the white house and didn't have access to day to day movements of the president. when the american public wasn't accustomed to seeing the president in candid moments. that was nixon unscripted, these weren't the news reels we saw on the staged access to the president. the press conference was a chance to see the real them. now we live in an age, you and i are on the list, get dispatches from the white house every day. we know what the white house thinks about issues. the reporters already know. >> i don't get them.
>> we can get you on the list. >> we can make a phone call. >> they know what his policies are, so what is the job of the guys in that press corp, ones that have access, draw him into the news cycle which is why you get the most interesting questions from the reporters in the back of the room that don't get asked as much. >> ari, anything in today's press conference where you thought okay, i didn't know that? >> there was one good question out of the 12. two questions on benghazi. one was from bill plant at cbs, raised the hunger strikers at guantanamo. the president hasn't been pressed ton, had a good answer, partly congress tried to defund operation that would make these problems and strikes at gitmo less likely. the other point, lawrence, if you ask good questions, we would hear the answers and not
thinking about the questions. everyone knows when you depose someone, it is the answers. >> didn't hear anything from the president we didn't already know when it was his turn to answer the question. >> he didn't reveal new information, i'll give you that, but i don't think he was asked a lot about the hunger strike. in that sense he chose not to say more. i think a good question would give us an answer that's revealing, interesting, important, and not make us all remember the silliness of the question. i think that shows why people in these positions lose sight of that. the white house like to call on tv reporters. they didn't call on any serious print reporters in today's press conference, those folks are there, there's an assigned seating grid which the white house correspondent's association works on. tv in front, i have a background in print, now at msnbc, i love being at msnbc, but at the basic level of diversity, you want to call on print reporters, too.
>> i'm going to show a clip of a question i liked at today's press conference. i am going to be accused of being a home team guy. so let's just roll it. >> mr. president, thank you. maximum balkus referred to the implementation of health care law as a train wreck. has other democrats whispering in nervousness about the impact it may have on their own political campaigns in 2014. curious, why does senator baucus, who essentially helped write the bill say that. >> i think any time you're implementing something big, there's going to be people who are nervous and anxious about is it going to get done until it is actually done. >> then he goes on and makes a speech about the health care bill.
he tried to get him into serious area, implementation of health care reform bill, there are going to be a lot of problems with it. but he couldn't get into it because the president's job is i'm not -- chuck, i am not here to tell you that we are having big problems with implementing this, even if we are. but i think the elements chuck brought in, quoting a senator, train wreck, get the imagery. i kind of like that. >> i was surprised the president didn't jump on the fact that max baucus, if it is a train wreck, he had the conductor hat on. >> senators have written plenty of bills that they think are messes that they have gotten passed. >> that is fair. >> joy, is there something you said i'm glad i heard that? >> i agree with you, there wasn't anything new or anything i didn't already know. i agree with ari, the most
interesting piece was the gitmo piece bought we haven't heard about it, because the press hasn't covered it that much. i thought it was interesting the president answered it. i think like the juice question it ignored the big elephant in the room called congress. juice is 68 senators, juice means being able to compel the opposition to at least listen to your ideas. the president doesn't lack juice because he isn't feeding congress enough dinner, it is because there aren't 60 plus democrats in the senate. >> had wild majorities back then. we can reassure people on the west coast while this went on, everyone on the east coast at work, they missed absolutely nothing. >> they missed very little. >> joy reid, ari, thank you. jason collins wears 98 to honor matthew shepherd murdered.
by osha and was last inspected by the epa in 1996. also, was the fertilizer plant storing ammonium nitrate without telling the department of homeland security, the same explosive used in the oklahoma city bombing? up next, the parents of matthew shepherd will join me. lindsey! i just discovered these new triscuit are baked with brown rice and sweet potato! triscuit has a new snack? no way. way. and the worst part is they're delicious. mmm, you're right. maybe we should give other new things a chance. no way. way. [ male announcer ] we've taken 100% whole grain brown rice and wheat, delicious sweet potato, and savory red bean... and woven them into something unexpected.
be prouder of him. one of the extraordinary measures of progress that we've seen in this country has been the recognition that the lbgt community deserves full equality. >> that was president obama today on jason collins who made history when he wrote this in "sports illustrated." i am a 34-year-old nba center, i'm black and i'm gay. jason collins is the first openly gay athlete on a major professional sports team in this country's 142 years of professional team sports. today he discussed his phone call with the president. >> he was incredibly supportive and he was proud of me and said that this not only affected my life but others going forward. >> last season jason collins wore jersey number 98. collins writes in "sports
illustrated" the number has great significance to the gay community, one of the most notorious gay hate crimes occurred in 1998, matthew shepherd. he was kidnapped, tortured, lashed to a prairie fence. he died five days after he was finally found. >> each time i put on jersey 98 this past season i was already sort of having that moment with myself, with my family, with my friends who knew the significance of why i picked that number. >> jersey 98 format u shepherd. >> jersey 98 format u shepherd. that's why i wore jersey 98. >> joining me, matthew's parents. they have founded a foundation. thanks for joining me tonight. judy, what did it feel like for you to hear matthew -- jason collins talking about your son like that? >> made me cry to know that
matt's story has impact on young people. for jason to acknowledge matt's story, to come out at this time in this point in his life is amazing. >> dennis, what does it mean for people like jason collins, his unique position in our culture, unique in the sense no one else in that position has come out. what do you think it means in this country, this kind of moment. >> a lot of hope to young athletes all over the country, if they're gay. in the past, they've had to hide who they are and who they love. this gives them a chance to be themselves and focus on what they should be focusing on which is the sport that they're participating in and not focusing half their energy on trying to hide who they are. >> judy, the president talked
about you in his speech to human rights campaign in one of the speeches. i would like to listen to that now. >> i met her in the oval office and i promised her that we were going to pass an inclusive hate crimes bill. a bill named for her son. and i can announce that after more than a decade, this bill is set to pass and i will sign it into law. and it is a testament to matthew and others who have been victims of attacks not just meant to break bones but to break spirits, not just to inflict harm but to instill fear. today we will move closer to that moment where no one has to be afraid to be gay in america. >> judy, there have been many examples of how the tragedy that your son suffered have helped galvanize efforts in people
moving forward on this issue. was that the sense you got when you spoke to the president in the oval office? >> i really did. i felt like he understood what we were going through. it has changed, it has been amazing. >> dennis, this was something you started this foundation literally weeks after your son was killed. it's now become a life's work to you. what do you feel is the pace of progress now? >> it's like running downhill, speeding up faster and faster. to begin with, it was so slow and so difficult. judy especially, she was doing all of the traveling, i was overseas. she was fighting and fighting to be heard. and she was speaking to the
choir. but people are starting to realize that you either are related to somebody or you know somebody who's gay and you're finding out they're common, ordinary citizens like you who are trying to struggle to keep a job, to pay a mortgage, et cetera. and because of that and with support of the president and vice president being for gay marriage it's a downhill slide now with picking up speed by everybody. >> yeah. >> judy and dennis shepard, i am very sorry for your tragic loss. thank you for joining us tonight. >> thank you. what happened when the child of a newtown shooting victim confronted kelly ayotte for vote against gun safety legislation. that woman joins me for a last word exclusive. the race is set for who will
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gabriel gomez in the special general election june 25th, which markey will easily win like he won the primary. i am sweating a nail bite erin the senate district, state senate district in boston, lynn da dorsena running against nick collins, she's now ahead of nick collins and if i haven't gone too local for you, sorry, but this will be the first woman elected to this seat, the first person of color elected to this seat, and when i was living there, that senate seat was occupied by senator billy bulger whose brother was the murderous gangster, is the murderous
gangster, whitey bulger. all politics is local. joining me, ana marie cox. i want to get the local stuff out of the way, you probably don't have the numbers on that. >> i can't even pronounce it correctly. >> i am telling you, incredible night there. >> okay. >> big surprise, ed markey won. >> yes. everyone is shocked. the sun will also rise in the east tomorrow, i understand there are a lot of people in massachusetts waiting for that to happen. i have to say you're right, this is probably going to be a walk for markey, but i am entertained by his opponent who has a great story, was a navy s.e.a.l., you know, he is a latino, he is actually sort of in the rubio camp for immigration reform, all of this wonderful stuff. also apparently kind of a democrat, so it will be an
interesting race to the left. he wrote a letter -- go ahead. >> didn't gabriel gomez support president obama at some point? >> he did. in 2008 he donated to obama's campaign. my favorite tidbit about him, he was involved with this navy s.e.a.l. pac, accused of being a republican front. when they had to say we're not a republican front, they pointed at him as being part of the bipartisan membership. so you know, i mean, i guess it is nice to see the republicans moving to the left, and in massachusetts, that's understandable, but he doesn't really present a strong case in his campaign. so this is not going to be that exciting, but again, might be entertaining. >> he is a guy with a great life story. this thing about he supported obama, this is classic massachusetts republican stuff. you'll remember that mitt romney did everything he could -- >> wait, who?
>> in massachusetts to swear that he was not a reaganite, not that kind of republican. >> what is it in the water there? is it something only in republican water that has them flip flopping. >> you do what you've got to do to get elected in a democratic state. >> right. right. or not get elected as the case may be. >> as the case is going to be in that instance. he is an interesting guy. meanwhile, america, during the upcoming commercial break, i will be studying the local state senate race in dorchester. i will have the latest before we close it out tonight. ana marie cox, thank you for joining me. >> thank you. coming up, the daughter of a newtown shooting victim confronts one of the senators that voted against gun control legislation. that woman will join me. and the aftermath of the boston marathon bombing pushed rand paul and ron paul to new
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the director of national intelligence wants to know if the fbi and cia could have or should have done more with the intelligence that they had about the suspected boston bombers and their family. director james clapper announced independent review of information sharing procedures and handling of information related to the suspects prior to the attack. the inspectors general of homeland security security and intelligence agencies will carry out the review. president obama said based on what he had seen, the fbi and department of homeland security had done what they were, quote, were supposed to be doing, end quote. in the spring of 2011, russia's spy agency asked the fbi to investigate tamerlan tsarnaev. they concluded there was no evidence that he or his family were involved in terrorism. coming up next, rand paul lies about rand paul and ron
paul lies about the boston police, ron paul lies about the people of boston, lies about the people of cambridge analyze about the people of watertown. ron paul lies about all of that in the aftermath of the boston marathon bombings. that's next in the "rewrite." [ agent smith ] i've found software that intrigues me. it appears it's an agent of good. ge has wired their medical hardware with innovative software to be in many places at the same time. using data to connect patients to software, to nurses to the right people and machines. ♪ helping hospitals treat people even better, while dramatically reducing waiting time. now a waiting room is just a room. [ telephone ringing ]
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and blood clots in the legs. common side effects include skin redness or irritation where applied, increased red blood cell count, headache, diarrhea, vomiting, and increase in psa. ask your doctor about the only underarm low t treatment, axiron. in tonight's "rewrite," a libertarian double feature. rand rewrites rand paul and rand paul rewrites ron paul. rand paul rewrote himself on drones after the boston marathon bombing. >> i've never argued against any technology being used when you have an imminent threat, an active crime going on. if someone comes out of a liquor store with a weapon and $50 in cash, i don't care if a drone kills him or policeman kills him. >> don't care. here was rand paul on the senate floor last month.
>> no american should be killed by a drone on american soil without first being charged with a crime, without first being found to be guilty by a court. >> so rand paul at any time just rewrite himself on drones, he lied about what he had previously said about drones. he was attacked online by some libertarians that realized he wasn't just lying about his previous statements, he was violating libertarian principles. i disagree with shooting first and asking questions later. i am stunned by rand's statement, wrote another. they shouldn't be stunned. as i have pointed out in this space before, inconsistency and lying are rand paul trademarks, as is forcing his senate staff to lie for him. his press secretary put out a statement retracting the senator's statement about killing liquor store robbery suspects with drones. the retraction said armed drones
should not be used in normal crime situations. when asked if the senator was retracting his shoot to kill fleeing liquor store robbery suspects with drones nonsense, the press secretary was forced to lie. quote, not retracting, end quote, is what she said. yesterday rand's father ron paul finally gave the world his long awaited take on law enforcement reaction to the bombing in an op-ed for a libertarian website entitled liberty was also attacked in boston. ron is a much more consistent libertarian than rand, who is surely the slowest student of libertarianism in the paul family, but ron lies just as much as his son, and just as blatantly, and always has. the first word of ron's op-ed piece is a lie.
the first word! the first sentence is a lie, the first paragraph is a lie. let's count the lies in ron's first paragraph. forced lockdown of a city. let's listen to the governor announcing the forced lockdown. >> we're asking people to shelter in place, in other words, to stay indoors, with their doors locked and not to open the door for anyone other than a properly identified law enforcement officer and that applies here in watertown where we are right now, also cambridge, waltham, newton, belmont, and all of boston. all of boston. >> do you see that?
forced? he asked them to shelter in place. he didn't order anything to do anything. let's listen to the guy that stepped up to the microphone right after the governor, the boston police commissioner. >> mayor menino asked me to come here and tell you that the shelter in place recommendation has been extended through the city of boston. >> the shelter in place recommendation. so forced is lie number one. let's look at lie number two. tanks. okay. there were no tanks in boston. the boston police don't have tanks. this is a tank. and this is the most fearsome vehicle that the boston police used in the manhunt. it is about as scary as the
armored trucks that move cash to and from your neighborhood bank. it is not a tank. look at those tires on the police vehicle. now look at the tires on a tank. see? no tires on a tank. ron paul knows the difference. he served honorably in our military, he knows the difference between a tank and armored car, but for effect, he prefers the lie to the truth on that one. door to door armed searches without warrant. police don't need warrants. if property owners welcome them into their homes. families thrown out of their homes at gunpoint to be searched
without probable cause. no guns were pointed at any families. some families vacated their homes in cambridge as police searched homes in that area, in the area of the suspect's home. i was on the street in cambridge talking to the residents who were very glad to be out of their homes for the few hours it took the police to be sure there were no bombs in or near the suspect's home. the street the police were searching was full of spectators and reporters watching the bomb search from what we hoped was a safe distance. none of the spec ta ters were following the recommendation to shelter in place, and no police officer told them to go home because no police officer had the authority to tell anyone to go home because there was no
forced lockdown. no businesses were forced to close. that's another ron paul lie. no businesses. a wonderful cafe was doing a busy lunch business on the corner of the street being searched for bombs in cambridge. transport shut down. taxis were running most of the day, subways and buses were shut down. i will give ron paul that one. so the first paragraph has six sentences and five lies. he repeats lies, the shelter in place command, those are his words. there was no command.
paramilitary troops terrorizing the public, those are the words he used. terrorizing the public. here is how the public reacted to being terrorized by their local police. >> paramilitary police in tanks and pointing automatic weapons at innocent citizens. that's what ron paul wrote. what a vile lie. there were no tanks and there were no police pointing their weapons at innocent citizens. and you know who knows what a despicable lie that is? you know who knows how many police hating lies ron paul told in his op-ed piece? rand paul. rand paul knows. when he was issuing his nonretraction retraction about
supporting drone use in liquor store robberies, rand paul said this. fighting terrorism and capturing terrorists must be done while preserving our constitutional protections. this was demonstrated last week in boston. i'm sorry, libertarians, you deserve better spokesmen than ron and rand. but until you get better libertarian advocates, you're going to have to continue to endure paranoid lying politicians in the paul family. [ female announcer ] girls don't talk about pads... but they do talk about always infinity. [ marcy ] it's like memory foam. [ female announcer ] the only pad made from a revolutionary material. [ erina ] it totally fits to your body. [ female announcer ] it's incredible protection, you'll barely feel it. always infinity. tell us what you think.
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to thank you for that. you have mentioned that day the burden on owners of gun stores that extended background checks would cause. i'm just wondering why the burden of my mother being gunned down in an elementary school isn't as important as that. why is that not something that can be supported? >> so you're a united states senator from new hampshire, back home in front of your previously friendly crowds at your town hall meetings and you get a question about your gun vote from someone whose mother was killed in sandy hook elementary school. that's how it went for kelly ayotte today in new hampshire where her poll numbers have been sinking since she cast that vote against the popular will of her constituents. the senator's town hall meeting was in new hampshire for constituents, but the emotional center of gravity in the room was the woman that drove up from connecticut to ask a question about her mother.
joining me now for an exclusive interview, erica lafferty, daughter of dawn hochsprung, principal of sandy hook elementary school. thank you for joining us. >> thank you. >> erica, you decided to drive today from connecticut to new hampshire. what made you get in the car and go up there? >> i really just wanted an answer to the question that i had asked her the day after the vote, after she voted no, why doesn't my mother's murder matter to her and i got in my car at 6:00 this morning and drove to new hampshire to ask her exactly that, and again, i got the run around, no clear answer. so i guess just in a search for an answer. >> well, you weren't the only dissatisfied person in that room today. there were other people who had a lot of trouble with the way she voted. >> there were a lot of people in the room that had very strong
opinions about her, her no vote. >> let's listen to one of those people trying to question her about that. >> you can't deny people the right to speak because they haven't filled out a card. >> i didn't. >> i have a question but it is based upon something that was said here during the presentation. >> let me say that i do every town hall meeting that way. i have a process. we will get to as many questions as we can. >> you'd like to regulate that, but you don't want to regulate guns. >> well -- >> erica, her approval numbers as they say in politics are underwater since that vote, she has a 46% disapprove, 44% approval in new hampshire. i guess you could feel a lot of that disapproval in the room there today. >> absolutely.
there was definitely quite a few people that were very clearly upset with the vote that she decided to go with. it definitely got a little intense there at a couple of points and i don't know, being there, we felt her stumble a little. i don't know if she thought we were kind of going to disappear after she decided to vote against something so common sense. but i mean, i had promised since the very second that, you know, it came out that the legislation wasn't approved that i wasn't going away, and clearly i wasn't joking. >> erica lafferty gets tonight's last word. thank you very much for joining us tonight, erica, and i'm very, very sorry for your loss. >> thank you. thank you. >> thanks, erica. chris hayes is up next.