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tv   All In With Chris Hayes  MSNBC  May 14, 2013 12:00am-1:01am PDT

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deal with ken star and tom delay and the rest. but she came through it looking pretty good. i think she can deal with benghazi because at its bottom line, she didn't do a thing wrong. and that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in" with chris hayes starts right now. good evening from new york, i'm chris hayes, and thank you for joining us. tonight, president obama comes out swinging after a weekend of benghazi outrage by republicans. >> the whole issue of this -- of talking points, frankly throughout this process has been a side show. >> one of the people who emphatically agrees with that is house minority leader nancy pelosi. today she gave me her reaction to the latest scandal mongering from the right as well as a
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frank assessment of house speaker john boehner. >> if he were a woman, they'd be calling him the weakest speaker in history. >> how about that? all of that and in "click 3," there's a man in space making awesome music videos about space you need to see. but we begin tonight with two irs scandals. one that is positively roiling the beltway and the country and another that has received so little attention it might as well be a secret. the president today responded to the scandal everyone's heard about, the one that broke open. when the irs admitted the agency targeted for extra scrutiny conservative and tea party groups seeking nonprofit status. >> this is pretty straightforward. if, in fact, irs personnel engaged in the kind of practices that had been reported on and were intentionally targeting conservative groups, then that's outrageous. and there's no place for it.
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and, they have to be held fully accountable. i've got no patience with it, i'll not tolerate it and we'll make sure that we find out exactly what happened on this. >> the president taking the position pretty much all reasonable people are taking on this scandal, which is that it's outrageous that a government agency would be targeting political groups based on ideology. it's unacceptable and the sort of thing that cannot be allowed to happen in this country. but that scandal does not exist in a vacuum. in order to fully understand the irs targeting conservative scandal, you really need to know about the other hidden untold irs scandal because that virtually unknown secondary scandal is actually the fertile soil in which the seed for this new scandal was planted. so, here's what you need to know about the scandal behind the scandal. it starts with groups applying to the irs for what's called 501c4 status. thatst a classification given to groups dedicated to social welfare because they are dedicated to social welfare, they don't have to pay taxes,
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which makes sense. and here's where the scandal part starts, exactly. what exactly counts as social welfare. how does the irs decide if your group applying for the special nontax paying status qualifies? well, here's the irs's own documentation on this classification. the irs lists as examples of social welfare organizations a group aimed at helping unemployed people over a certain age find work. a group working to build a stadium for a school district, a group dedicated to counseling for people in financial trouble, a group that subsidizes kids' tickets to sporting events to get them interested. a neighborhood beautification group and on and on. you basically get the idea, i think. now, those all sounds like the sorts of groups that should be counted as tax exempt and most people are probably more or less fine with that group not paying taxes. now, there has been a very bright line for a very long time between organizations like those and organizations that were engaged directly in political campaigning. one side of that line was regulated by the irs, the other
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side by the sec and electoral rules. anyone on the left or right or nonprofit knows there has been a genuinely important separation in tax law based on that distinction. are you doing campaigning? are you on this other side, the social welfare side? and then something happened. something happened to destroy that distinction. the supreme court's decision in citizen's united came along and blew it out of the water. citizen's united said essentially any organization of any kind can spend money out of its general treasury to run political ads. and that decision brought about a pivotal moment for politics and taxes and campaign spending in this country and we're still dealing with the fallout because carl rove looked at this ruling and said, wait a second, maybe i want to make a social welfare organization. a social welfare organization that also happens to run lots of ads during campaign season, you know, as part of bettering the community and stuff. yeah, ads like these.
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>> obama's $830 billion stimulus failed. >> barack obama's got lots of excuses for the bad economy. >> obama personally lobbied to kill a pipeline bringing oil from canada. >> claire mccaskill voted for billions in waste and spending projects. >> the $44 trillion budget tammy baldwin voted for was too extreme. >> john tester votes to raise taxes on montana families and small businesses. >> elizabeth warren sides with extreme left protests. >> tim kaine loves taxes. >> we are a long way from neighborhood beautification. all of that, that social welfare. and here's why the carl rove move was so brilliant. those 501c4s, the welfare organizations, helping the unemployed or building stadiums, not only do they not have to pay taxes, they don't have to disclose their donors. carl rove figured out how he could have his cake and eat it too. went around the country looking
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all of us straight in the face telling us he had started up a social welfare organization. never mind it was dumping $70 million into partisan campaign ads. it's not just carl rove, it's also bill burton on the progressive end, they also have a 501c4, which is supposed to be a social welfare organization. pretty much every super pac has its own exempt 501c4 group fueled by secret donors. and this, my friends, is the context for the untold irs scandal. suddenly this distinction between political campaign groups and social welfare groups which the irs is tasked with patrolling and maintaining is effectively obliterated by the citizens united decision. people are running around the country making an obvious mockery of the social welfare nonprofit rule. and the folks at the irs can turn on the television and see karl rove, they know what he is doing is political campaigning plain and simple. but then it turns out rove's
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great success is inspiration and the irs gets a flood of new applications from other political groups and strategists and says turns out i too want to set up a social welfare organization that happens to be focused on taking the country back from barack hussein obama. here's the thing the irs has done unequivocally wrong, which we all agree was inexcusable. they reacted to all of this by targeting one part of the ideological spectrum. being skeptical about a new wave of wolves in sheep's clothing invading the nonprofit game was entirely appropriate. and the question today which is something i'll discuss later in the show with my interview with nancy pelosi is how is this scandal going to unfold? are we going to spend the next few months beating up on the irs and the bush appointed former head of the irs in charge of this when all of this happened. or are we also going to take the opportunity to try to figure out what exactly we should be doing
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to sort out this completely intractable mess now finds itself created by citizens united. joining me tonight, columnist for and keith ellison, democrat from minnesota. great to have you both here. david, can i begin with you? you're the man i want to turn to. what is your reaction to what we have learned about this office in cincinnati, the division that did this in dealing with this and the president's reaction to it today? >> well, first of all, chris, your explanation of this is so much better than anything else i have seen by anyone. thank you. really, really superb. i thought you were going to be saying something different and i was ready to start a tussle with you. >> throw me under the bus live on national television. >> the irs has an absolute duty
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under the law as passed by congress and court rulings since 1913 to investigate anyone who wants this tax exempt status to make sure they aren't partisan, they aren't primarily political and they are not to benefit an individual. well, they suddenly get flooded with a doubling of requests and many of them come from groups who have now put out the letters they were sent asking for more information and those letters revealed that they said, well, we want to influence legislation. we are holding candidate forums. those are things that require the irs to investigate. so the mistake was not to investigate. they were required to do this by congress. the mistake was to in shorthand say, oh, tea party, all the tea party groups saying i want to influence. we'll flag those. that's relatively minor because they should have investigated every one of those. and they appear to have approved all of them as best as we can tell, by the way. >> yeah, that's an interesting end to this, which is they were approved. of course, they had to go
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through additional scrutiny and additional scrutiny has a kind of force when it's the irs doing the scrutiny, right? we don't -- there's something about that -- >> but they should have gone -- >> -- very careful about. >> they should have gone through that scrutiny. they are required, the irs is required to do this. now, congress should be talking about exactly as you make the point, what are the rules going to be for what is a social welfare organization? do we really want political organizations posing as this? and one of the organizations that got approved and has raised the biggest scream about it is glenn beck's 912 project. well, therest a requirement that you cannot have a group that benefits an individual. now, chris, if you start tomorrow, the chris hayes 1112 project, do you think it might benefit you? >> yes, i'm hoping. that's the hustle i'm trying to run. i've got to keep my options open. congressman keith ellison, what is your reaction to this? what is your reaction to the president's approach to talking about this today? >> well, the president's reaction was appropriate. but i think the irs has apologized. now i think the thing to do is
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to take the right lesson, which is that we need congress to act to say we're going to scrutinize all groups that have -- that are electioneering when they should be doing social welfare. i fear that the irs will be backed off. >> yes. >> and that's the thing i don't want. i think the irs should get more engaged, not less. >> we have new reports that they had planned subcommittee hearings in the senate, they're now saying they're not -- they're going to delay those. and this is -- this is what the fallout's going to be. things like the disclose act, a piece of legislation that would've regulated these groups to make sure they disclose their donors. don't you think that's not going to be harder to pass on capitol hill? >> it may be harder to pass, but it would be the wrong reaction. i think we need to re-double our efforts to bring real campaign finance reform forward. you know, here's the reality. as wealth has been more concentrated in this society, political power has gone in
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fewer and fewer hands and it's been manifested in some of these organizations we talked about. there are clearly flagrant misuses of the term social welfare. this needs to be reined in, congress should move forward to do it on a fair basis not back off. >> let me ask you this question, david, why was it that karl rove's 501c4 was allowed to operate. i think the thing most galling is big/little. bill burton and karl rove are running around the country obviously flouting the intent of the social welfare classification in front of all of us sitting at the table of my show, right? >> right. >> and they're not the ones getting investigated. >> both democrats and republicans are doing this because congress has now and the supreme court changed the rules with citizens united. and one little point. you know how many corporations there were at the time of the revolution in this country? >> i'm going to get this wrong. >> six. >> six. >> six. and they were basically what we would today either call charities or public utilities.
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our congress was very skeptical of corporations and it wasn't until the 1800s that corporations took off and even then william rehnquist said don't give corporations political power. they're not natural persons. >> so i want to talk about another breaking -- bit of breaking news today that looks like at first blush an abuse of power. and i find deeply troubling. the a.p. has reported that the department of justice notified them on friday that the doj had secretly obtained phone records from more than 20 separate phone lines assigned to "a.p." journalists. this was pursuant to a story the "a.p." ran in may of last year about a foiled plot on the part of al qaeda in yemen to blow up a more high-tech version of the underwear bomb that unsuccessfully sent. after that reporting, there was a leak investigation that was initiated by the attorney general.
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this is really, david, you're someone who -- i think you're president of the investigative reporters organization. this is really -- >> investigative reporters and editors. >> this is really deeply troubling. >> this is what police states do. you know, congress, we created the government for the benefit of the people. and this is what police states do. these are the same "a.p." reporters who worked on the stories about the nypd spying on muslims because of their religious beliefs as best we can tell. certainly engaging in broad spread spying. and what's very troubling here is this is not raiding a newsroom after the fact. this is ahead of time secretly recording and we should be very concerned about the attitude of the obama administration about this. people are not going to talk to journalists. and government leaks classified information every day of the week. every day, whenever they want to leak something, they do. it's the secrets they want to keep. >> congressman, i want to get
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your reaction to this. >> my reaction is that this is one of those moments as a member of congress, do you standby your oath and stand next to the constitution? or do you yield to the moment, the issue of the moment? and i'm deeply troubled by it because i believe in our first amendment, congress shall make no law bridging the freedom of the press. to me, this is deeply disturbing. >> keith ellison of minnesota and david johnston, thank you both for your time. >> thank you, chris. >> good job. you would think there is no way that more than 400 school students could be tossed aside like yesterday's trash by an entire state government. and you would be wrong. more on this mind-boggling story next.
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still to come, my interview with democratic house leader nancy pelosi and her take on the number one most important issue of this country and why it's being completely ignored.
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plus, melissa harris perry is with me on the shooting not heard around the world. and don't forget to follow us on twitter and on facebook. stay with us. [ female announcer ] you walk into your laundry room and it just hits you! that nasty odor coming from your washer. say farewell to the smell with tide washing machine cleaner. it goes straight to the source of the stink to lift odor-causing residues off your washer's drum. tide washing machine cleaner. to lift odor-causing residues off your washer's drum. as soon as you feel it, weigh you down? try miralax. it works differently than other laxatives. it draws water into your colon to unblock your system naturally. don't wait to feel great. miralax. take the miralax pledge to feel better sooner. get a reward like a beauty treatment, a dance class or a $5 gift card with purchase of a specially marked pack. go to for details.
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there's absolutely stunning news out of michigan today. with a school year for students and teachers in saginaw county's school district is officially over. yeah, you heard me correctly. although the last day of school was supposed to be june 13th, saginaw's superintendent richard serick made the announcement they are just cancelling the rest of the school year. as reported last week, the students have not been in school since friday, may 3rd because
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the buena vista school district is out of money. the state has cut off their funds because state officials said buena vista took money to educate students who no longer go to school in the district. and republican governor rick schneider has refused to give them any more. what we have is a district that has laid off all 27 of the teachers, all but three of the employees and has essentially cast aside the constitutional right to an education of some 400 students for the next six weeks. it doesn't have to be that way. the state of michigan, get this, is sitting on a $500 million rainy day fund and state lawmakers like democratic representative stacy irwin oaks and gretchen whitmer are asking to tap michigan's rainy day fund to provide emergency money to the buena vista schools. they're asking for $500,000, just 1/1,000 of the total in the account to fund the last four weeks of school for these kids.
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so far, the governor is refusing to make any of that money available. >> that's not what the rainy day's fund really intended for. people are trying to look for good constructive solutions that wouldn't require that. >> good constructive solutions. right now the only solution they could come up with was that the buena vista district was trying to use a federal funding stream to set up and run four to six weeks camps over summer break to help students make up what they missed. they're calling it a skills enhancement camp which the district hopes will focus on math, writing and reading and will be held in the district's building. so to recap here, republican governor rick schneider refuses to release the funds but okay with replacing the rest of the school year with a voluntary camp to be funded by the federal government will take place in the same buildings where these kids should be going to school and getting educated. joining me tonight, democratic congressman who represents the
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fifth district of michigan where this horror show is playing out. congressman, how is this happening? i cannot believe that it is legal to just throw kids out of school, fire all the teachers and -- i mean, there are requirements attached to federal funding. there are requirements to educate kids. it's the basic duty of a local government, how is this happening? >> well, i can't believe it. this is a case where it came down to a question of the money or the kids and the state government chose the money. and this is a very simple situation. the state of michigan is required to provide a free public education to the kids. they can't wave a magic wand and say, well, school year's over now. everybody else in michigan goes to school. these kids get a full public education. because these kids have the misfortune of being born in the wrong zip code, their school year ends six weeks early.
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here's the thing, they can't make up those six weeks. i understand the local folks -- >> that's not school. we have school for a reason. there's a word school and word camp and those are two different words for a very good reason. >> the teachers were willing to work without guarantee of pay until a solution could be found. they said no. the state of michigan has a legal responsibility to provide this education, they said no. and now we came up with this concept of which is a day camp, which is not mandatory. the teachers they've been learning from all yearlong -- >> have to reapply for their jobs. >> may or may not be selected. and a good number of the kids probably won't attend. >> you have expressed concern about the -- a need even more basic than education, which is kids getting food. >> right. >> 91%, if i'm correct, 91% of the kids in this district qualify for free or reduced meals at school. and you're asking they be provided those meals somehow,
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some way for this last month. >> minimally. they should be in school. there's no question about it. these kids should be in school. getting a decent meal is what we provide as a part of that school experience to make sure that they're learning and that they have a nutritious diet. but the fact of the matter is, this wouldn't happen in other places. other areas of the state of michigan, these kids are going to school, they're going to finish the school year, they're going to go through june. it shouldn't be a case that because you live in a community that clearly has been mismanaged, that local school district was a failure. but the kids should not pay the price. >> there seems like there is real problems of the local school district and i don't want to take them off the hook for their role in this. >> the state's responsibility. >> the state is responsible -- i have to ask you this kwi -- >> it's interesting they would be willing to take federal money to come up with a camp when the state government is the only level of government that's mandated to provide this public education. >> quickly, it's not an accident
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that this is happening in the district where 91% of the kids qualify for free or reduced meals. to me what this says is the state is saying this is a bunch of poor kids, i wash my hands. >> well, that's certainly the impression. you know, if we can't realize that these kids, first of all, they're -- they have one hand tied behind their back as it is, they live in a community that's impoverished, struggling to get through the school year as it is. if we can't realize these kids need to be in school more than any other group of kids you can imagine, they need to finish their school year so that in september they can start where they left off. this way, they may never get this six-week period back. >> there's 25 seniors who look like in a deal are going to graduate. but it's still unclear where the funding of the graduation ceremony is going to come from. congressman, we're going to stay on this story. thank you. >> thank you very much. this weekend, there was a shooting at a mother's day parade with 19 casualties, two of them children. the natural response can generally be described as a collective shrug.
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melissa harris perry joins me next.
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yesterday, as americans across the country were celebrating their mothers, i was celebrating my mom and my wife who is an amazing mom and we went on our first family bike ride. while all of that was happening, a horrific scene was unfolding in new orleans where gunmen opened fire on a mother's day parade in the seventh ward. 19 people were shot, including two 10-year-old children.
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the one piece of good news out of this terrifying story is that all 19 victims are okay and in stable condition. a crowd of around 400 people marching down the street. a gunman approaches and fires directly into the crowd. do you see that? sending people to the ground and fleeing in all directions. police are looking for three suspects in the case. federal authorities have no indication a shooting is an act of terrorism but it was, quote, strictly an act of street violence. msnbc host melissa harris perry, and melissa, that is in your hood. that is very, very close to where you live. what is -- what are people saying there right now after this. >> well, yeah, i live in the seventh ward and, you know, on a normal weekend back before i had the show, i would have been in my house because the second lines are pretty regular occurrence on sundays especially in this weather and the mother's
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day one we knew was coming by. typically when the second lines come by our house, there's dancing in front of our street. so the idea that 19 people were shot, even if no one was shot, the idea those bullets were flying into that crowd feels extremely personal. and i think, you know, this is part of what those of us who live in cities like new orleans or chicago or detroit where the gun violence is rampant and it rarely gets any attention, we have for so long been saying we need people to pay attention to this. >> you know, i thought that line, i want to ask you what you make of that line. this was street violence. saw this on social media. shooting in new orleans. and then it was like, oh, oh, oh. that's just, you know, gang bangers in new orleans, probably a black neighborhood, you know, that's just life in the big city. street violence isn't terrorism, it's not terrifying, it's not terror that is being visited on
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people every day. >> yeah, i mean, it's not terrorism in that i don't think those shooters were -- >> having ideological motivation. >> right. they were shooting because of identity or something like that. but it is terrifying. >> right. >> and the whole point of why we need gun control legislation is part of why the background checks are insufficient although they are the first step we need. to stand there and fire into that crowd. >> that image is crazy. that image is really maniacal to be standing there pointing that gun. you can see it there. it strikes me -- there's polling numbers. >> and in one america, guns are -- my dad took me to the shooting range, i went hunting, and another america, i went to a
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mother's day concert, second line procession and got shot up. and this -- look at this polling here, this is support for gun control by race and location, among african-americans, 78% among white people, 48%. in urban areas, 65% support, goes all the way down to rural. this kind of thing with the national media pays no attention to is what is driving those numbers. it's why there's a totally different conversation that happens in that part of america on this issue. >> let me be clear, new orleans is both of those americas at the exact same time. we live here in the seventh ward, live in the city, also live in louisiana on the sportsman paradise in a place where going to the gun show is actually a pretty regular occurrence on saturday before the sunday second line. so actually new orleans is a perfect example of both of these americas at the same time. so when you have people talking about common sense gun control procedures in a place like new orleans, it's not because they don't understand gun culture, not because they haven't grown up around guns, not because
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they've never gone hunting with their granddaddy, they have done all of those things and recognize those things have nothing to do with the madness that occurred on sunday. and we recognize that we can pass laws that should protect us. the problem is our state legislature is, of course, dominated by the red parts of the state who are thinking of louisiana, and not caring about the people in my neighborhood getting shot while walking down the street. >> melissa harris-perry from new orleans, and you can watch melissa saturday mornings here on msnbc, amazing show this weekend on poverty, by the way. thank you for being with us tonight. >> thank you. we'll be right back with "click 3."
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president obama addressed the latest uproar over benghazi at a news conference today. but house democratic leader says the obsession is an intentional subterfuge to avoid action on
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jobs. my interview with the congresswoman coming up. first, i want to share the three awesomest things on the internet today. a web tool brought to the attention by a number of our twitter fans. the proportion of male and female comments retweeted by twitter users. it will take a user's most recent 100 re-tweets and figure out which gender you retweet most. it works by identifying names and gender from lists of given names. so companies and novelty twitter handles will be excluded. the results are surprising. an ideal twi-q number was ten. the average score is just 4.9. president obama got a 1.4, retweeting 87% men and 13% women. nancy pelosi faired slightly better with a 2.6 re-tweeting 80% men, 20% women, and as for me, i got a score of 4.6, retweeting 69% men, 39% women.
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see where you fall on the equality scale. the second awesomest thing on the internet today comes from twitter fan laura who says california highway patrol sergeant kevin briggs is a hero. the tale of sergeant briggs who patrols the golden gate bridge. he has prevented hundreds of suicidal men and women from jumping off the landmark. his work was featured in a recent documentary. briggs spent nearly an hour encouraging 22-year-old kevin to come back over the railing. he wasn't listening. >> he didn't want anything to do with me. so i just started talking to him. he was just having some very difficult times at home. as we progressed, he started to trust me more. he decided on his own, asked for help and he did come back over. >> eight years later, the two men have reunited. now a husband and father of two presented briggs with a public service award for the american foundation for suicide prevention. he tells yahoo news the meeting was like seeing an old friend
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and reportedly told briggs, my mom is your number one fan. it's an amazing and inspiring story of one man's ability to save lives. check it out. and the third awesomest thing on the internet today, an unprecedented number of tweets. space oddity in space. chris hatfield has spent five months aboard the international space station. he posted a number of highly educational and entertaining videos and developed quite a following. also a click three veteran. we've featured this really cool experiment where he explains what happens when you wring out a wet towel in space. now hatfield is returning to earth, but not before posting this epic performance of david bowie's "space oddity." gone viral grabbing 3 million views in 24 hours. take a look. ♪ this is major to ground control ♪ ♪ i've left forever more ♪ and i'm floating in a most peculiar way ♪
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♪ and the stars look very different today ♪ >> hats off to you commander hatfield, you nailed that high note for showing us how cool space exploration is. you can find all the links for tonight's click 3 on our website. we'll be right back.
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for months and with increased intensity for the last several days, we've been told how politically damaging the benghazi talking points are for president obama. if anyone thinks such pressure will break the president, you might want to check out his reaction to the latest hysteria during a news conference today. >> the whole issue of this -- of talking points, frankly throughout this process has been a side show. suddenly three days ago this gets spun up as if there's something new to the story. there's no there there. >> president obama went on to call out republicans for using the issue as a subject for fund raising. while the president was speaking, i was conducting an interview with nancy pelosi, addressing the dangers of dark money and the never ending political fund raising cycle.
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the congresswoman also gave me a very pointed characterization of the republican opposition, particularly the job performance of house speaker john boehner. but first, i asked leader pelosi her reaction to the comments on benghazi. >> you can already hear the drums beating, the word impeachment made by your republican colleagues in congress. what was your reaction, the president's words on this? and what goes through your mind as you hear a republican member of congress talking about impeachment. >> well, i guess poverty of ideas on their part. i didn't hear any of them talking about when we went into the iraq war on the basis of a misrepresentation about what the motivation was for that war and the thousands of americans who died and hundreds of thousands of iraqis who died. but putting that aside. let's be serious about this, the fact is the talking points are what the consensus is what all of them come together and agree on consensus talking points
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based on the information that each of them has at any given time. but we should even be talking about talking points when four people died and the point is our intelligence community, our diplomats, they promote our values, they also protect our people by gaining intelligence to prevent other conflict. they go out there in dangerous situations and owe them a lot. and we need to help prevent something like this from happening again talking about talking points is not the point. let's get to the point of saying how can we protect our embassies further? i used to be an appropriator, we were always talking about how we can protect our consulates, our embassies, talking about the talking points gets us nowhere. >> and another day goes by and there's no question about jobs and there's -- >> well, again, as this is -- you know, they wanted to focus on secretary clinton who did a magnificent job as secretary of state. they don't want to focus on jobs which they have done nothing.
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they passed no bill to promote any good economic growth. >> let me ask you, i want to get back to this jobs question in regular order. let me ask you about the revelations of the irs and the fact that the irs apologized for improperly flagging new applicants for 501c4 political groups, nonprofits going to do politics by certain key words. there are now calls for investigations, a house bill that will be introduced to criminalize this behavior. what's your reaction to this? >> well, i think it's an opportunity. let me say it this way, if, in fact, the irs was targeting people because of their title, that would be wrong. it should be condemned. the whole idea, 501c4 is being engaged in politics is something we've got to put in a spotlight and maybe this is that opportunity. the fact is that the law says that as long as the funds, the 501c4s do not use as the primary purpose politics but instead promoting social well being, welfare.
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well, that's what primary purpose means, could be the secondary purpose. and here's what i'm calling for. as we look at this and we should, i think it's very wrong that they would have targeted them. we should be saying what are these groups. let's have transparency, disclosure. who are these contributors, a. b, let's have accountability for what this is. we need a clear definition of what a 501c4 is that someone could give them money and they don't have to pay taxes on it. we need accountability at the irs, of course, as to how this happened. we've really got to overturn citizens united which has exacerbated the situation. i've called for disclose, that's a dare, disclose, i've been calling for it for over a year, disclose, who are these people? transparency, amend the constitution to overturn citizens united, reform the political system, let's take money down as far as possible. public financing of campaigns,
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clean campaigns and empowerment of people because people feel very left out of the loop. but i do think that some scrutiny has to be placed on what these 501c4s are. >> you just mentioned money and politics. >> all sides. >> i want to read you this quote by chris murphy, new senator from connecticut. >> i was very proud of him. >> he says today more than ever before, the one question you have to ask when you run for the united states house, united states senate is are you willing to become a tell marketer and sit on the phones and slightly worse than that, absolute strangers to give you thousands of dollars to run for office? the skill of telemarketing does not translate to the skill of governing. he called the enterprise soul crushing. what do you make of that? >> well, his experience. i think it's easier to ask a total stranger than your friend myself. i try to avoid that. i still have some friends. but there are people who care about a progressive agenda in our country who are willing to
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help. and as i say to all of my candidates, if you have a vision about our country, if you have knowledge about a subject that gives you good judgment to make a plan, to get the job done and you can articulate that -- >> don't worry about the the telemarketing, we'll hold your hand on that. >> no, you will attract support. nobody likes to have to raise money. that's why i say in my dare reform, just take it down so that we have -- we empower small donors and you have many more of them, which is how we have been successful in the house side, actually. >> when we come back, the congresswoman tells me what she really thinks about the republicans and house speaker john boehner. stay with us. since the day you met. but your erectile dysfunction - it could be a question of blood flow. cialis tadalafil for daily use helps you be ready anytime the moment's right. you can be more confident in your ability to be ready. and the same cialis is the only daily ed tablet approved to treat ed and symptoms of bph like needing to go frequently or urgently.
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back to my interview with house democratic leader nancy pelosi who spoke about her frustration with congressional republicans, the media and the constant distractions from the issue of jobs. >> why can we not keep the national focus on jobs? why not? why can't we? even though we have record unemployment. why can we not -- >> i think we're all probably complicit in that. it interests me when you go to a show everyone wants to talk about benghazi. >> no, fair, that's a fair -- yeah. >> but the fact is, that's what the public is concerned about. they're concerned about job creation, economic security, strengthening the middle class, doing so in a way that's fiscally sound but not with measures that undermine the economy instead of growing it with jobs. >> is john boehner a weak speaker? >> i'll say this about john boehner. if he were a woman, they'd be calling him the weakest speaker in history. >> why do you say that?
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>> well, what are the results? they've never been able to pass anything without our coming to the rescue. except their very nasty, in my view, unprincipled budgets. >> they've been able to appeal obama care quite a few times. >> they haven't done that. >> they've gotten the votes in. >> but that's not what i'm saying. they have not -- that's -- >> accomplished anything. >> they haven't accomplished anything. yeah. you know what, if a woman was speaker and nothing was happening in this way, they'd say, oh, my gosh. oh, my gosh. i'm just getting a little, shall we say -- tired of some of the way they take a pass on some and not on others. we get criticized for accomplishing things, they don't get criticized for not accomplishing things. >> how do you understand the essence of the house republican caucus? when you were analyzing their behavior, what is the thing that
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drives the house republican caucus? >> the house republican caucus is greatly influenced if not dominated by antigovernment ideologues. they do not believe in public/private initiatives. and if you don't believe in government as president washington a couple centuries ago as he left office warned against parties, political parties that are at war with their own government. so when you say how could they stand in the way of president obama's jobs act, american jobs act, how could they stand in the way of jobs, well, they don't believe in a public role. how could they go to the floor all the time opposing a budget they do and almost regular basis avoiding clean air, clean water, food safety, public safety, public housing, public transportation, public health, social security, they don't believe in a public role. once you understand that, bless their hearts, they act upon their beliefs and don't believe in a public role.
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and if you don't, then it's very easy for them in conscience to walk away from any initiatives that do create jobs, do clean air and food and all the rest for our children. >> the thing the tea party wave brought to power and the thing they were focused on was imposing austerity, right? bringing the budget deficit down, that's the thing they keep talking about. >> yeah. >> and it strikes me they have been remarkably successful in doing that. when you look at the debt ceiling debacle that led to the budget control act which has led to the sequester that actually -- >> oh, thank you for this question. it's so far off the course. first of all, the actions taken by president obama and the house democratic congress, house and senate when he became president was the american recovery and reinvestment act, many of the initiatives that he passed are what are coming to bear now
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including the affordable care act. affordable care act is bringing the cost of health care in our country down in both the public and private sector and that is what is largely responsible for the deficit coming down. we all care about frugality. we don't want to spend any money we don't have to. but we do want to invest in the education of our children, the safety of our neighborhoods and the rest and even if you don't, you have to remember that teachers and firefighters and police officers are consumers. >> right. >> those investments are important. so when we turned away, if you want to call frugality, we're wise about how we spend, okay. austerity cut the public role, that does nothing except hurt the deficit. if you want to reduce the deficit, the best thing you can do is invest in education. the education of american people brings more money to the treasury than anything you name, whether it's early childhood k-12, higher ed, lifetime learning, and to cut education
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is to increase the deficit. so thank you for posing that question. >> congresswoman, really great pleasure to have you here. thank you so much. >> thank you very much. my pleasure, good luck to you and congratulations. >> thanks again to democratic house leader nancy pelosi for joining me earlier today. that's all in for this evening the rachel maddow show starts now.