Skip to main content

tv   The Last Word  MSNBC  May 28, 2013 7:00pm-8:01pm PDT

7:00 pm
say it may be the biggest money laundering scheme ever in the history of the world. $6 billion with operations based in costa rica, cyprus, morocco spain, australia, and other places. we on the rachel maddow show luf a new heist story. it is a whole new technological level of heist. now time for "the last word with lawrence o'donnell." thanks for being with us. in washington, the president and democratic senators are pondering the nuclear option in the senate. but on the jersey shore it seems at least one democrat and one republican can get along. >> the republicans aren't defined by what they're for, they're defined by what they're against. >> 386 fill busters. >> excessive political polarization. >> unprecedented obstruction. >> preventing us from tackling our problems. >> republicans now treat
7:01 pm
judicial filibuster as the rule. >> 386 filibusters. >> it fills your soul, doesn't it? >> it is time to get the senate working again. >> you don't miss it at all, do you? >> i don't. >> so many elected officials have forgotten the power of positive politics. >> the president could use a friend in the gop. >> it is my privilege to introduce the president of the united states of america. >> right now, president obama is on his way to the new jersey shore. >> thank you to governor christie for that introduction. >> republicans, democrats, we all came together. >> the political odd couple. >> they're back together once again. >> this is both of them doing their job. >> the president has a job to do which is to lead the country. >> i told you we would not quit until the job is done and i meant it. >> of course there's a political sub text. >> we made great progress. >> he is running for re-election. >> looks good for him to be hanging out with the president now. >> in both their benefits to show bipartisanship. >> this is bipartisanship at its best. >> the president could use a
7:02 pm
friend in the gop. >> i've got to say it, if they ever let me have any fun, i'd have some fun here. the second most important court in the land is less than a mile from the most important court in the land. down the hill from the supreme court in washington is the united states court of appeals for the district of columbia circuit. it is a feeder court to the supreme court in more ways than one. many of the cases brought there involve challenges to federal law that end up being finally decided just down the street by the supreme court. and there's no clearer path to membership on the supreme court than the d.c. circuit court of appeals. four of the nine supreme court justices served on the d.c. circuit court of appeals. there are now three vacancies on the d.c. court of appeals. the court has two more seats
7:03 pm
than the supreme court, filling the three vacancies will bring the court to its full strength of 11 judges. but filling those vacancies might require president obama and the democrats to use the so-called nuclear option in the senate in order to get those judges confirmed. "the washington post" has reported senate majority leader reid consulted with president obama on the need to revisit filibuster reform, the president told the majority leader he will support the exercising of the nuclear option if reid opts for it. the aide says reid is eyeing a change to the rules that would do away with the 60 vote threshold on all judicial and executive branch nominations. the aide says. then there was this debate on the senate floor. >> i just want the senate to work well. this republican obstruction has created unreasonable, unworkable
7:04 pm
standard, where minor issues are raised to block major nominees or require 60 vote super majority for confirmation. >> i don't know what the leader thinks advise and consent means. listening to him it means sit down, shut up, don't ask any questions, confirm immediately. >> joy reid, the confirmation process especially on judicial nominations in the past used to be a routine thing. in fact, before the television age, they didn't bother to have confirmation hearings for supreme court justices. it wasn't evenness. we have now come to this. the challenge for harry reid is, what happens when we end up in the minority. how should they weigh that? >> yeah, remember you talked about the d.c. circuit court being a feeder to the supreme court, remember a guy named robert bork that reagan tried to get on there and he was blocked. democrats want to preserve the
7:05 pm
ability to block something like that. >> but i don't think he was blocked by a filibuster maneuver. i think ari did they have a vote on bourke? wasn't a filibuster. >> i don't think so. >> he was just defeated. >> the audience will have it googled by the time we finish the conversation. >> it is an important court that feeds into the supreme court. the problem is even nominees that have bipartisan support, like the one most recent nominee from the obama administration that was just empanelled whose name i would butcher, he was overwhelmingly supported once he got to a vote. but you have three vacancies. and republicans are actually accusing the administration of trying to pad the court by filling the three remaining vacancies. that's insane. it is the president's prerogative to try to fill the vacancies, it is something he is supposed to try to do. >> pack the court is a phrase that republicans get very excited about because franklin roosevelt did try to do that, he tried to expand the number of supreme court justices so
7:06 pm
democrats would control it for a long time. but this as joy says isn't that at all. >> this is just trying to fill the court. the sound from mcconnell was in strucktive. he says the president wants us to confirm the nominees immediately and we refuse to do it. in fact, it is the opposite. if you look at the numbers under george w. bush, all his nominees for the courts were delayed an average of 34 days. they got through, got an up or down vote. for president obama, the average is 116 days. this is rumsfeld's famous thing, in democracy, you need not say no, say it later. the d.c. circuit is the most important appeals court in the country. >> there's two different things here. the nuclear option for legislation which i think democrats aren't even close to considering, this is a very
7:07 pm
targeted idea that harry reid has just for nominations and certain kinds of nominations. we are going to override this 60 vote necessity. i've got to say, i think and i am very conservative about changing senate rules, because i worry about what happens when your party is in the minority, this seems to be one that they can change and the consequences they will get by being in the minority are not that different from the way things used to be. it used to be that the republicans could get their judges confirmed with 53 votes if needed. >> and you said you were conservative about changing the rules, so was harry reid. we have seen that he is reluctant to pull the trigger -- >> if you worked in the senate in the minority, you love these rules. no minority has ever used them the way the republican minority does. >> the other issue with d.c. circuit court, they can look at
7:08 pm
regulations, upheld obama care, struck down regulations on power plants. the republican party in a lot of ways wants to keep it the way it is. up until the recent nominee, it had four republican nominated judges and elite three democrats and they liked the ratio and averages they were playing at the time, they sort of liked court the way it is. they're claiming because the work load isn't big enough to have the other three people filled in. i think it is in part also about the second issue, which is always in the back of the republican consciousness, can we get this court to rule our way on regulation, which is the other thing they hate almost as much as they hate the obama administration. >> the other thing if the democrats are serious about this, they have to get off the nuclear option thing. this is the democracy option, the up or downer vote option. >> you would like a new phrase. it doesn't sound quite so scary, anti-democratic as the nuclear option. >> i think nuclear was not designed by people necessarily trying to get over the line. reminded of bob edgar, common cause president congressman, died earlier this year, had a simple line to your point, yes,
7:09 pm
people do care about some continuity here. he said look, you can take what's in the constitution and the lines there for what requires a super majority and you can look at places they intended to go slowly. then look at nominations in the courts, right, where you say advise and content, but not delay endlessly, to endlessly delay consumer protection bureau has never had a permanent leader because every nominee from elizabeth warren people remember to cord roy now, less famous, no one got an up or down vote on staying there, that's not what they intended, that you could have a government without people because congress would say no to everybody. >> joy, the problems here for mcconnell are many, including his own re-election which looks very bad. he's polling 45, 45, below 50, bad for an incumbent, has a
7:10 pm
democratic potential challenger with the same vote he has now. is his obstructionism part of the problem in kentucky for him? it doesn't seem to be playing great in kentucky. >> yeah, i mean, part of the overall problem of the republican brand and their failure to recognize what their basic brand problem is. you saw the same on guns. they see themselves as members of the house of representatives, they almost see themselves all in a district, and only see the red part of their base. they don't understand there are still even in kentucky some moderates, some independents that look at obstructionism as a bad thing. people send their legislators to washington to legislate and make decisions, john mccain had to be the voice of reason say not just to obstruct the president. >> briefly in rand paul's shadow a guy there during the purity politics with none of the responsibility and he is stuck dealing with the caucus, which made him look weak back home and less able to actually do things to get legislation through.
7:11 pm
>> joy reid, ari melber, thanks for joining me. later, the irs official that used to be in charge of overseeing 501(c)4s will join us to tell us what he thinks the irs did wrong, if anything. in the "rewrite," gun companies and their executives managed to rewrite laws to make sure they avoid any responsibility for what their products are doing to this country. but one gun executive is in prison tonight for among other things stealing a gun. and that's in the rewrite. [ kitt ] you know what's impressive?
7:12 pm
a talking car. but i'll tell you what impresses me. a talking train. this ge locomotive can tell you exactly where it is, what it's carrying, while using less fuel. delivering whatever the world needs, when it needs it. ♪ after all, what's the point of talking if you don't have something important to say? ♪ we didn't have u-verse back in my day. you couldn't just... guys... there you are. you know you couldn't just pause a show in one room, then... where was i... you couldn't pause a show in one room then start playing it in another.
7:13 pm
and...i'm talking to myself... [ male announcer ] call to get u-verse tv for just $19 a month for 2 years with qualifying bundles. rethink possible. today to no one's surprise, president obama endorsed ed markey in the massachusetts special election to fill the senate seat that john kerry
7:14 pm
vacated to become secretary of state. also today, the president took a walk on the board walk in new jersey, the jersey shore, with republican governor chris christie. that's next. [ male announcer ] frequent heartburn? the choice is yours. chalky... not chalky. temporary... 24 hour. lots of tablets... one pill. you decide. prevent acid with prevacid 24hr. whoa! hey, we got a weather alert for this location... golf-ball sized hail and damaging winds are on the way... kids... eh, don't worry. it's tornado-proof. anyway, i'd put the car in the garage and secure these things. they could become flying debris. kids! watch this. [ beep ] [ children screaming ] [ car alarm chirps ]
7:15 pm
awesome. [ male announcer ] mobile weather alerts from your home insurance? that's allstate home insurance. great protection plus helpful tools to make life better. talk to an allstate agent... [ doorbell rings ] and let the good life in. her long day of pick ups and drop offs begins with arthritis pain... and a choice. take up to 6 tylenol in a day or just 2 aleve for all day relief. all aboard. ♪ here we go. that one was out. >> mr. governor, want to give it a shot, sir? >> try to go low.
7:16 pm
>> oh! >> that's because he's running for office. >> seven months after hurricane sandy devastated the new jersey coastline, president obama and chris christie toured parts of the jersey shore today. >> governor christie and i just spent some time on the point pleasant boardwalk. i got a chance to see the world's tallest sand castle being built. we played some touchdown fever. i have to say christie got it in the tire the first try. although i did pay for his throws. >> the president and chris christie also met with hurricane sandy victims, still recovering from the storm. >> now we all understand there's still a lot of work to be done, but thanks to the hard work of an awful lot of people we've got wonderful shops and restaurants
7:17 pm
and arcades opening their doors and i saw what thousands saw memorial day weekend. you are stronger than the storm, after all you've dealt with, after all you've been through, the jersey shore is back and it is open for business, and they want all americans to know that they're ready to welcome you here! >> everybody came together, republicans, democrats, independents. we all came together because new jersey is more important and our citizens' lives are more important than any kind of politics at all. >> but of course politics is in there somewhere. appearing with president obama won't hurt chris christie's re-election campaign, especially since 42% of the republican governor's supporters voted for president obama in november. according to a recent nbc news poll, 60% of registered new jersey voters say they will vote for christie in november. 28% now say they will vote for
7:18 pm
democratic state senator barbara bono. joining me, karen finney and nia malika-henderson. nia, what is president obama up to here? there's a governor's campaign going on in new jersey now. he can't be unmindful of that. >> you're right, he can't be unmindful of that. i guess at some point he had some sort of contact with the democrat there, but it wasn't the photo op he had with chris christie. getting out of washington is great for obama. you saw him out there tossing the football at the carnival game. he's got something of a mess on his hands in washington with the irs thing, benghazi, the ap, and fox stuff going on with department of justice. him being out in oklahoma first and then in new jersey, you get a different sense of this president and you also have an argument about government. it's an argument about
7:19 pm
bipartisanship, an argument that putting ideology aside and getting something done is good politics. >> listen to rush limbaugh's take on this meeting today in new jersey. >> bipartisanship here, obama has money, governor christie wants the money. governor christie needs the money so the people will be helped, so christie praises obama. it is a master servant relationship. that is exactly the kind of bipartisanship that the drive by media wants. master servant. that's bipartisan. that's what's going on here. master servant, master staff, don't take it any further than that, not going there, i am just telling you, obama has the money, christie needs the money. obama wants to walk the beat, that's what we are going to do. obama wants a photo op, that's what we are going to do. >> karen finney, your reaction
7:20 pm
to mr. limbaugh? >> oh, my god. you know, i'm going to just leave him be. >> you can also ignore him. >> i feel like he can't be more of an idiot. there he goes, he is more of an idiot. from the political side, it is a win-win for both. let's be honest. it is good for christie. the other reason it is good for president obama, it shows that within the realm of the things that he can control, things are working, that he is willing to be bipartisan, but also in terms of this argument about government, things are actually working. fema is actually there doing the job it is supposed to do. the problem that i have with all of this talk about the bromance, when i was growing up, my mother told me you don't get extra credit for doing what you're supposed to do. i think we should remember. this is why i find rush limbaugh so cynical, they're doing what they're supposed to do, this is their job. their job is supposed to be you put aside your differences where you can, you come together where you can, and it is supposed to be about the people.
7:21 pm
i know that gets lost a lot of the time, being a bit too po pollyanna. >> i think you're right, they're both doing what they're supposed to do, it doesn't mean they come to agreement on any legislative action as is necessary in washington. so nia malika, hard to see what the bipartisan lesson is from this visit that could possibly have anything to do with the way things work in washington. >> no, that's probably true, i mean, other than this idea that speeches don't really matter, i mean, people in washington, senators and congress folks are obsessed with this idea of speeches and acting like that's actually accomplishing something. only thing it accomplishes is sound bites on fox. here, the lesson for bipartisan and governing is that people expect things to get done. when voters get to the polls, their question is what have you
7:22 pm
done for me lately. i think this is something that will serve him quite well for the campaign coming up and possibly 2016 if he can get forgiveness from his party. >> listen to what the former senate leader and former presidential nominee bob dole had to say this weekend about bipartisanship. this is from the guy who when we look back on it now was better at bipartisanship than any republican working in washington today. listen to what he had to say. >> i think they ought to put a sign on the yosemite doors that says closed for repairs until new year's day next year. >> people like bob dole, even ronald reagan, could you make it in today's republican party? >> i doubt it. >> i think he is absolutely right, karen.
7:23 pm
bob dole and ronald reagan wouldn't have a chance in today's republican party. >> and the key point to that quote is that he went on to say because we have ideas. that's the reason they wouldn't fit in today's republican party is that they actually had ideas that they were willing to fight for, that they were willing to sit down and work with the other side to accomplish, hey, if we can't get 100%, let's do the 40%. come back for the other 60. that's not the mentality of this republican party. having ideas, not so much the republican party these days. >> and nia, at one point i was watching bob dole there, wondering at what point do we say okay, history has drawn a line and that is ancient history, and we must deal with the republicans as they now exist and forget any of these previous models. >> well, the republicans in some ways have certainly forgotten those previous models. there with bob dole, you're reminded what a statesman he
7:24 pm
was. when he ran, he picked jack kemp and some republicans would say you lost, you were a moderate, that's why you lost. that's the argument a lot of conservatives make, but again, i think there are many republican parties, maybe it will take somebody like chris christie, does appear to be something of a statesman to turn the party around. >> thank you both for joining me tonight. >> thank you. coming up, former irs official will join me with his reading of the inspector general's report. and the new republic cover story this week, the nra is going down. the author will join me later. as hourly associates. there's opportunity here. i can use walmart's education benefits to get a degree, maybe work in it, or be an engineer, helping walmart conserve energy. even today, when our store does well, i earn quarterly bonuses. when people look at me, i hope they see someone working their way
7:25 pm
up. vo: opportunity, that's the real walmart. there you go. come on, let's play! [ male announcer ] there's an easier way to protect your dog from dangerous parasites. good boy. fetch! trifexis is the monthly, beef-flavored tablet that prevents heartworm disease, kills fleas and prevents infestations, and treats hook-, round-, and whipworm infections. treatment with fewer than 3 monthly doses after exposure to mosquitoes may not provide complete heartworm prevention. the most common adverse reactions were vomiting, itching and lethargy. serious adverse reactions have been reported following concomitant extra-label use of ivermectin with spinosad alone, one of the components of trifexis. prior to administration, dogs should be tested for existing heartworm infection. to learn more about trifexis, talk to your veterinarian, call 888-545-5973 or visit trifexis.com. you don't have to go to extremes to protect your dog from parasites.
7:26 pm
you need trifexis. visit our website to save up to $25. available by prescription from your veterinarian. [ male announcer ] a car that can actually see like a human using stereoscopic cameras ♪ and even stop itself if it has to. ♪ the technology may be hard to imagine... but why you would want it is not. the 2014 e-class, see your authorized mercedes-benz dealer for exceptional offers
7:27 pm
7:28 pm
in the spotlight tonight, what did the irs do wrong? rush limbaugh thinks he knows, and today rush actually said that what the irs did was nothing less than win the presidential election for president obama. >> you look at the 2012 election returns, you see obama's turnout was millions of people less than it was in 2008, and he still won sizable margin. now, you can chalk some of it up to the republicans again not having a genuine conservative candidate, but this irs scandal saw to it that there would be less money supporting romney,
7:29 pm
less money supporting republican candidates, and there would probably be less people voting for the republicans. it worked. the irs scandal achieved the suppression of tea party votes. you have different kinds of scandals, and a lot of scandals are where people get mad at what was attempted. nixon, he tried to bug the democratic headquarters. he was trying to do whatever. he didn't succeed in any of it, but you look at the irs scandal, it wasn't so much just the attempt, there was blatant success there. >> wow. there's so much to pick at there. there's so much to talk about, but less me see, i'm going to leave out the nixon craziness. what's the most succinct way to respond to what rush just said. oh, yeah, there's this. >> it is noteworthy that zero cases have been denied. >> joining me now, marcus owens, former head of the irs exempt
7:30 pm
organization division and julian epstein, democratic strategist, former counsel for the house judiciary committee. mr. owens, you have the job where all this action took place for years, unperturbed, no investigations of anything. you have read the inspector general's report about what happened in your old job. what do you read in the inspector general's report? what do you think the irs did wrong here? >> well, actually i couldn't find anything that suggested the irs had acted inappropriately, acted perhaps ineffectively in a couple of places, but not inappropriately. >> i have to tell you if you were on any other program in america, you would have just shocked the audience, but i have been saying that over a week now. i haven't seen what they did wrong. they are supposed to evaluate how much political activity a
7:31 pm
501(c)4 wants to engage in according to regulations of the irs, it is specifically their job to do that, but do you think in the inspector general's report that he kind of just accepted this notion that there was something wrong with this basic screening process that they have to engage in? >> well, that is one of the fundamental concerns i have with the report. it really doesn't describe the process that has to take place with the processing of applications for exemption. this whole idea of targeting, that's a pejorative term. in reality what happens is the irs opens the morning mail and in the mail there will be a pile of applications for exemption. those applications have to be sorted and the most complex applications assigned to personnel with the most experience. that's simply the way complex
7:32 pm
legal work is handled. and that's what happened. and it was the sorting mechanism with the use of nomenclature, rather than some other less flamboyant or incendiary terminology was seized upon by the inspector general as evidence of bad acts when in fact it was simply an effort to sort applications, those more likely to trigger the need for careful evaluation of this concept of political activity, which is a very difficult concept to wrestle with as the inspector general did suggest. >> the spin specter general reported this, but most of the applications that were screened through the process didn't have conservative sounding titles in the applications or conservative sounding terminology in the
7:33 pm
applications. >> that's right, some democratic ones had their status denied or revoked. an interesting survey today of 100 or so conservative groups that were selected for further screening, what it found, it was random, a disproportionate number seem to be involved in what could have been imperfect miscible level of political activity. if that's the case and they didn't qualify under the statute for tax exempt status, this whole so-called scandal complex of it will change and it will change for two reasons. if they under the law didn't qualify for the tax subsidy and cloak of secrecy they get with that 5014 c status, it is difficult for the republicans to argue they shouldn't have had more scrutiny and that shouldn't have had some degree of profiling, if in fact they
7:34 pm
showed a pattern, a disproportionate pattern of engaging in political activity. that's point one. point two, you heard john boehner and other republicans call for special prosecutor, suggest that criminal laws might have been broken. well, i am not aware of any really strong case that can be made that criminal laws were broken, but in "the new york times" report this morning, it also speaks about one group in particular that claimed that it would not be involved in any political or election activity, when in fact it was running ads for political candidates. if there's one thing to get you in trouble under criminal laws, it is lying to the irs, false statement. i would advise my republican friends before they start talking about criminal violations and special prosecutors, they may want to be certain their friends on the political right that were making the applications for the tax subsidy, that's what it is, a tax subsidy, may want to be 100% certain that none of them were making misrepresentations for that tax subsidy.
7:35 pm
once you get a special counsel in place, they can look at anybody, including people making false representations to again get this tax subsidy and this cloak of seek rcrecy that they weren't entitled to under the law. >> the report lists seven categories of requests that irs made to some of the applicants for information, but those are identified as unnecessary requests for information, but he was just adopting what irs officials had already decided in their review of the process were unnecessary, so it was actually their finding they were unnecessary. i just wanted to go through a few of those, requests for names of donors, requests for issues that are important to the organization, questions about whether any of the directors of the organization might run for public office. you've looked at those questions
7:36 pm
that were being asked. do you have problems with those questions? >> well actually no. some of the categories are extremely vague. it's hard to tell what the actual underlying questions were. but for example, the question about donors, about sources of the organization's revenue has actually been found to be a relevant area of inquiry by the u.s. tax court in the context of processing application for exemption. it demonstrates or can demonstrate a link to particular political parties which would suggest political campaign activity as a purpose of the 501(c)4. it can also suggest possible private benefit if the source of the revenue perhaps is a commercial enterprise that's being promoted by the 501(c)4. it could be a relevant question.
7:37 pm
>> marcus is right. there's nothing that forbids these questions. if it turns out as we take a closer examination that these groups were engaged in political activity, the case is out the window. they're for racial profiling, driving while black, crossing the borders while hispanic, when it comes to flying while muslim, but if you have a pattern of activity by groups whereby karl rove like groups look for secrecy, they shift the view on profiling, say there should be none. it is a tough case to prosecute, if "the new york times" reporting is borne out. >> every one of them was engaged in political activity, the question they wrestled with was how much. marcus owens, julian epstein, thank you very much. we will have you back to talk about this more. thank you for joining us tonight. >> thank you, lawrence.
7:38 pm
>> you're welcome. why gun manufacturers can get out of being responsible for gun deaths in this country and why one gun executive is in prison tonight, that's in the "rewrite." are you still sleeping?
7:39 pm
just wanted to check and make sure that we were on schedule. the first technology of its kind... mom and dad, i have great news. is now providing answers families need. siemens. answers. it's been that way 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. tell your doctor about all your medical conditions and medications, and ask if your heart is healthy enough for sexual activity. do not take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain, as this may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. do not drink alcohol in excess with cialis.
7:40 pm
side effects may include headache, upset stomach, delayed backache or muscle ache. to avoid long-term injury, seek immediate medical help for an erection lasting more than 4 hours. if you have any sudden decrease or loss in hearing or vision, or if you have any allergic reactions such as rash, hives, swelling of the lips, tongue or throat, or difficulty breathing or swallowing, stop taking cialis and get medical help right away. ask your doctor about cialis for daily use and a 30-tablet free trial.
7:41 pm
the great state of colorado made marijuana history today. governor john hickenlooper signed several bills into law that will govern cultivation, sale and taxation of recreational marijuana, yes, recreational, not medical, adults over the age of 21 can possess up to an ounce of marijuana, and there are strict rules as to how pot can be grown and how much can be grown, as well as a legal limit to how much marijuana you can have in your system while driving. if you need the skinny on the legal limit right now before you get in your car, you will find it on our website, if you can make your way to the internet right now. the "rewrite" is next. male anno] purpose elevates what we do. raises it to a more meaningful place. makes us live what we do, love what we do
7:42 pm
and fills our work with rewarding possibility. aarp connects you to a community of experienced workers and has tools to help you find what you're good at. an ally for real possibilities. aarp. go to aarp.org/possibilities.
7:43 pm
to support strong bones. and the brand most recommended by... my doctor. my gynecologist. my pharmacist. citracal. citracal. [ female announcer ] you trust your doctor. doctors trust citracal. you live in a safer america
7:44 pm
tonight, indeed you live in a safer world, thanks to american product liability law. that's the law that allows you to sue manufacturers and sellers of products that are unsafe. this is one of those areas that republicans think of as frivolous litigation, but successful product liability lawsuits brought against automobile manufacturers, aircraft manufacturers, toy manufacturers, and every industry you can think of over the years has made our cars, our planes, our trains, our toys, our stoves much, much safer. everywhere you look in your home, your workplace, you'll find something that works better and is safer than it used to be, thanks to product liability litigation. even the potential threat of product liability litigation. so in the 1990s, some wise lawyers started to use product liability law against the most unsafe products ever made,
7:45 pm
firearms. this was the biggest threat ever aimed at the american weapons of death industry. the gun makers knew they had to stop the lawsuits and they knew they couldn't win them, couldn't win all of them. and so what do you think the gun makers did? the gun makers rewrote product liability law and exempted firearms from all product liability cases, and republican house and senate members passed that law in 2005, they signed it into law. before that happened, there were product liability civil lawsuits under way all over the country against the gun manufacturers and in today's "the new york times" mike mack in tire and michael lew did the hard work searching out testimony from many of those cases, giving us a
7:46 pm
tantalizing look at some of the gun manufacturer executives, some of what they had to say in depositions. when asked about gun trafficking, for example, a top executive at one gun maker said under oath i don't even know what a gun trafficker is. the gun executives claimed not to know if their company's guns had ever been used in a crime. one flash of honesty came in under oath testimony from the one executive that's not american, hugo barretta, whose name has been on firearms for 487 years testified under oath that he believed that the american division of his italian company, barretta usa, required its dealers to determine if there was, quote, a legitimate need. a legitimate need for someone to buy multiple guns. the times reports that when mr. barretta was asked why he
7:47 pm
thought that, he replied common sense. but of course, common sense was not the policy of barretta usa or any other american gun manufacturer. mr. barretta, it turned out, was wrong about his company's american policy, but he was right about common sense. one of the executives who made the least sense in his under oath testimony was glock's former chief operating officer paul januzo. he was asked if glock ever considered declining to sell high capacity magazines for its guns, he replied not for one half a second, no, sir. like all of the gun executives, there's nothing that mr. januzo would not sell in order to make more money, nothing legal anyway. but glock's merchant of death who was so eager to sell high
7:48 pm
capacity magazines, so eager to make money, turned out to be a little too eager to make money any way he possibly could, and last year he was convicted on theft and racketeering charges in a scheme to divert about $5 million from the glock company, and while they were at it, prosecutors convicted him of stealing a pistol that had been loaned to him by the company. when his sentencing day came, januzo, who is a former prosecutor, did the standard my family needs me plea. his father died years earlier, his sister testified their mother needed the thieving son at home. then took the stand to testify how much she needed her son, begged the judge for mercy. his lawyer told his life story in how he came to glock, how after serving as a prosecutor in
7:49 pm
new jersey he came to glock to be the company's general counsel, defending the company against product liability lawsuits. januzo's lawyer told the judge, quote, this man has been ruined. ruined. but not shot by a glock. this man was not sitting in the movie theater in aurora, colorado, when a mass murderer walked in carrying two glocks. this man was not one of the 12 people murdered that night. this man was not one of the 58 wounded that night. this man was not in the parking lot in tucson, arizona, when a mass murderer with a glock and a high capacity magazine shot congresswoman gabrielle giffords in the head and killed six people, this man was not one of the people who was killed simply because the shooter had a high capacity magazine and did not have to reload after firing ten
7:50 pm
bullets, this man was not hit with the 13th bullet that day. nine-year-old christina tailor green was hit with that bullet that day, her life was ruined by the 13th bullet, ended by a glock with a high capacity magazine, the murderous weaponry that paul januzo made sure that mass murderers could easily obtain. this man has been ruined, said his lawyer. ruined. it sounds like such an easy outcome, compared to murdered, killed, having your brain ripped to shreds by a bullet, a high capacity magazine of a glock has delivered to that barrel, rocketing out of the barrel 840 miles per hour, but his lawyer told the judge that this man who did everything he could to make sure that mass murderers could have glocks and could have high
7:51 pm
capacity magazines, this man has been ruined. his lawyer asked for a sentence of a fine, community service, or probation. georgia superior court judge sentenced him to 13 years of probation after serving 7 years in prison. so tonight, paul januzo is trying to fall asleep in his cell in a state prison in georgia. he is surely filled with regret about the money, about embezzling millions of dollars from glock. but he should regret so much more than that. the blisters were oozing, and painful to touch. i woke up to a blistering on my shoulder. i spent 23 years as a deputy united states marshal and i've been pretty well banged up but the worst pain i've experienced was when i had shingles. when i went to the clinic, the nurse told me
7:52 pm
that it was a result of having had chickenpox. i wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. vo: ta friend under water is end usomething completely different. i met a turtle friend today so, you don't get that very often. it seemed like it was more than happy to have us in his home. so beautiful. avo: more travel. more options. more personal. whatever you're looking for expedia has more ways to help you find yours. [ agent smith ] i've found software that intrigues me. it appears it's an agent of good.
7:53 pm
♪ [ agent smith ] ge software connects patients to nurses to the right machines while dramatically reducing waiting time. [ telephone ringing ] now a waiting room is just a room. [ static warbles ] the new republic says the nra is going down. that's next. it's not a candy bar. 130 calories 7 grams of protein the new fiber one caramel nut protein bar. i am an american the i'm a teacher. i'm a firefighter. i'm a carpenter. i'm an accountant. a mechanical engineer. and i shop at walmart. truth is, over sixty percent of america shops at walmart every month. i find what i need, at a great price. and the money i save goes to important things. braces for my daughter.
7:54 pm
a little something for my son's college fund. when people look at me, i hope they see someone building a better life. vo: living better: that's the real walmart. the day building a play set begins with a surprise twinge of back pain... and a choice. take up to 4 advil in a day or 2 aleve for all day relief. [ male announcer ] that's handy. ♪ you know who you are. you can part a crowd, without saying a word... if you have yet to master the quiet sneeze... you stash tissues like a squirrel stashes nuts... well muddlers, muddle no more. try zyrtec®. it gives you powerful allergy relief. and zyrtec® is different than claritin® because zyrtec® starts working at hour one on the first day you take it. claritin® doesn't start working until hour three. zyrtec®. love the air. ♪ even if it's so wrong
7:55 pm
♪ i wanna scream out loud ♪ boy, but i just bite my tongue ♪ ♪ this one's for the girls messin' with boys ♪ ♪ like he's the melody and she's background noise ♪ [ volume decreases ] thanks, mom! have fun! you too. ♪ ♪
7:56 pm
since april when the from succeeded intimidating enough senators to vote against the modest background check bill introduced by joe man chen and pat toomey, momentum is gaining for groups opposing the nra. in the new republic, he writes
7:57 pm
the defeat did not cause the activists' momentum to dissipate, in turn, turned into a potent recruiting tool. gabby giffords group raised an astonishing $11 million in the past four months. moms demand action continued to hold protests at the district offices of lawmakers they believe are persuadable. joining me, alec magillis, senior editor of the new republic. do you see an arch of opposition to the nra that over time will be financially competitive with it? >> definitely. i think what we're seeing is the emergence of a serious opposition of the sort we haven't seen ever. >> the nra has been outspending the other side more than 10 to 1 in politics. >> exactly.
7:58 pm
now with michael bloomburg and gabby giffords, raised $11 million in four months, an amazing sum, you have the ability to come back on the other side and basically try to shift the calculus to the point where candidates who vote the long way, against gun control, are facing serious repercussions at home. these ads running against kelly ayotte, these are harsh. these are repercussions never faced before. you see politicians start to rethink what is the -- >> we are watching kelly ayotte rethink it live as she goes to microphone in new hampshire. >> the problem for bloomberg and giffords, the time is a bit off. the people they would like to target aren't up for a couple years. >> you make a fascinating point. i thought the nra was more powerful than what i am about to read here from your work, that in the last senate elections, the 16 senate races they
7:59 pm
participated in, they lost 13 of them. >> exactly. this is the thing about the nra, why the emergence of the opposition is a big deal. their power has always been overstate, goes back to 1994, when the legend started to build in '94 after mid term loss for democrats that year. bill clinton and others concluded the reason of the story of the loss was that the nra had done it. >> had nothing to do with the biggest tax increase in history. >> all these other things, scandals that were popping up. the convenient story was guns. >> i always thought it was the tax bill. i worked on the tax bill. >> it is this legend grew out of that, which is basically for almost two decades, kept the democrats from taking on this issue, even though you were starting to see the signs that the nra simply wasn't as powerful as legend might hold. you have all these senators, six, seven, eight from tough
8:00 pm
purple red states, winning consistently with f ratings. nobody took notice until recently. you are seeing people saying wait, can i maybe get away with supporting sensible gun control, that's the key. people like joe manchin. i was in deepest west virginia with joe manchin in counties that obama lost by 50 points. joe manchin there after lost, still working on it. >> he was on here still working. you get the last word. thanks. chris hayes is next.

56 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on