tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC March 5, 2014 6:00pm-7:01pm PST
>> we'll come back to this again in the future. do the republicans support the doubling of the earned tax credit in the president's budge sunset. >> they should. that's the big test, put it all aside about putting their cards on the table. thank you for joining me. thanks to you at home for joining us this hour, we have an exclusive story tonight out of texas. something that is happening in texas tonight as he speak. we are reporting this here at this point, nobody else in the country has this story except us. i'm going to explain that news in a moment. but it relates in a way to the headlines that you may have already seen today out of texas, the political news out of texas is about the primaries that just happened there. the big national headline out of the texas primaries is george p. bush, of course, jeb bush's son and george bush's nephew, he avoided a runoff and became the republican nominee for land commissioner in texas. which is a powerful job in that
state. hey america, get ready for more bush family politicians. also, the two members of congress who were facing tea party challengers in their primaries, john cornyn and pete sessions, those veteran republican legislators fended off their challengers from the tea party, and that, of course, must be a relief to them. but tea party candidates did do pretty well in some other races against other incumbent republicans running at the state level in texas, that's what happened on the republican side yesterday. on the democratic side, what happened was really really interesting. it's kind of a good news/terrible news kind of a day for democrats in texas. the good news for texas democrats is that it was smooth sailing for wendy davis and laetitia van depewt who are the solid candidates for governor and lieutenant governor in texas. then there's also the terrible news for texas democrats.
in the united states senate race, so in the race where democrats are picking who they're going to have run against john cornyn, that is where we get the texas democratic party nightmare news, the relatively low profile but mainstream democratic front returner for that senate race is this guy, his name is david alameal. he did not lose the democratic primary for the u.s. senate race in texas last night. he also did not win. he has now been forced into a runoff in the electoral equivalent of the bar scene from star wars. he can't just head into the general election and start running against john cornyn in the fall. first, he has to go through another election where it is him against alarusy. they tend to run against democrats but there's nothing about them that has to do with the democratic party. they're more like the westboro baptist church fred phelps
people than anyone else in electoral politics. you may have seen their obama is hitler posters and all the rest of the stuff that they do. the whole cult and conspiracy theory story is a story for another day. but the fact that the texas democrats could not get their u.s. senate candidate over the hump to avoid a runoff with the beyond the nutball lyndon larush is not a good sign for texas democrats. there are a bunch of states that went all republican, that had complete republican takeovers in the last few years. republicans won more seats in state legislatures than any time since 1928. and that huge republican tide in 2010, it sealed complete republican control of the legislature and the governorship and a bunch of american states. one of the things that we have covered intensively on this show, is what the consequences
of that have been specifically for reproductive rights. social conservative issues are not all alike. the culture war is not being fought on one big right wing front. on gay rights, for example, gay rights in the states and federally, have sort of been on the march these past few years, as gay rights have advanced all across the country it has fractured the republican party on that issue along the way. on the issue of abortion, though, it's been completely the opposite. republicans have become 100% unified against abortion rights over the past few years. and since 2010, republicans have used their control in the states to roll back abortion rights more than at any time since roe versus wade. that's true for tons of states all over the cun. it is not true of texas, texas is not on that same time frame as the rest of the country. texas went first essentially.
texas did it before everyone else thought it was cool. republicans didn't wait until 2010 to take over texas like they did in all those other states this they took over the texas state government election completely after the 2002 election. and in texas, once republicans got control of the state government in texas, they used that control to immediately start going after reproductive rights and access to abortion. after winning everything in the 2002 election, republicans got swoorn in and took control in 20034. the first omnibus anti-abortion bill was passed in 2003. that bill established a waiting period for texas women who wanted to get an abortion and also restricted the types of places where abortions could be obtained in the state. that was 2003, as soon as they got in power, they passed that bill, then in 2005, texas republicans passed another anti-abortion bill. in 2007, they tried to pass another anti-abortion bill, interestingly they failed that year.
in 2009 they tried again to pass that same bill and failed, it wasn't for want of trying. in 2011 they did pass that bill. it was the forced ultrasound law in texas. governor ultrasound, bob mcdonnell in virginia now indicted on 14 felony counts of interruption. he's the governor who got famous as governor ultrasound. he's the governor who got famous for his forced ultrasound legislation. he was not the first, first was texas, in 2011, the texas legislature meets every two years and every two years since republicans have taken over, they have done what they could to pass new limits on abortion rights in the state. 2003, 2005, 2007, 2011 with the ultrasound bill, and then 2013, the most sweeping omnibus anti-abortion bill in the state yet. the compounding effect of those laws already had been to make abortion very, very difficult to
get. and very difficult to provide in texas. the second most populous state in the country. but the most recent law, the law passed by texas republicans in 2013, the one that wendy davis made her mark with. in texas, they have made getting abortion not just hard, but in some places in the state, they have made it basically impossib impossible. >> what you've seen with these cumulative restrictions, in 2011 there were 44 places in october there were 34. in november of 2013 it went down to 22. which is where we're at right now. >> 44 clinics down to 34 clinics, down to 22 clinics.
that was amy miller, started doing so right about the time that texas republicans took over and started passing laws to shut down as many clinics as possible. the state keeps just piling on new requirements year after year after year, they're not just on the clinics, they're on people who want to obtain that service in texas. new requirements, new expenses, new hurdles to jump through, new delays, all for women who want to get an abortion in texas. and they're having to get them with all of those new hurdles and delays and expenses, from fewer and fewer and fewer clinics in the state. and you combine that, and the results have been stark. their results are predictable. texas is a state where 60,000 abortions happened every year, now that it's becoming increasingly possible to get one legally, to get one within the
medical system, women in texas haven't just stopped having abortions, women in texas are doing them themselves without doctors. >> we're also seeing more and more women take matters into their own hands and this has been well publicized that people go over the border, they try to self-induce abortion. sometimes they'll come to us afterward for an ultrasound to see if they're still pregnant. sometimes they'll be actively bleeding and we'll refer them somewhere where they can get a dnc. we've seen an even greater increase right now, with flee markets, crossing the border. the sad thing is the misuse of the medication that something that is actually pretty safe, women could do harm to themselves by not knowing what to do, because they're not getting professional advice or
care. it's heartbreaking for some of the physicians i work with who are highly trained to provide safe care. >> it's almost difficult for me to talk to. i have compassion for the listener, when i describe some of the stories we're hearing, i want them not to be true. we have seen women putting things into their vagina, trying to dilate the cervix. we've seen people douching with coke or lie sol. different things they hear. it's very much like preroe. this is the conundrum that is maddening for me, the law didn't do anything to prevent the need for abortion. we didn't change the amount of women in the community who are still going to need the service, we just blocked their access to getting it safely.
it's just. it's obvious we're going to have a public health problem on the hands. whether it's this side of the border or the other side of the border to meet the need of the population, the need didn't change. >> this side of the border or another side of the border when she says that, she's talking about the u.s. border with mexico. she was talking with us from mcallen texas. you see it there at the bottom of the map. it's the southernmost tip of texas. that part of texas is so far south that a good number of good sized cities in mexico are actually north of that part of texas even though they are in mexico. for ten years, amy has been operating one of only two clinics providing abortion services in the whole rio grande valley, that's an area the size of connecticut. it's got a population of over a
million people. the clinic where she's been operating has been there for decades. it was the first abortion clinic that opened in the state of texas after roe versus wade. it's a block away from city hall. amy bought the clinic from the same doctor who had opened it immediately after the roe versus wade rolling in 1973. >> i was called one day to see a lady who was very sick, because she had terminated her pregnancy in mexico. and she became sick and she die. and then about one week after we have another call for a doctor
say i saying -- she was from mexico, the second one she had the infection, and then i have to check her, she was very sick, so we decide to do it, and they do the whole examination and show she became -- with no chance to have babies after that. but she lives, so i said well, we have to remove from mexico, they're doing the abortion, there was not very good. and then in '73 they opened the chance to do the termination. so i was the only one guy in the area to do the termination. but i am not able to write it
down do termination, because it would scare some people. that's the way it started. >> for 40 years, that doctor was one of only two doctors providing abortions in the whole rio grande valley. he started doing it as soon as roe versus wade said it was legal to do so. the other doctor providing abortions was a doctor he trained. who opened his own clinic about 40 minutes away. as we reported on this show this past friday, dr. minto says he gets so many death threats because of his work, he carries a pistol and wears a bulletproof vest to work. >> the legislation that passed last year, requires any doctor who wants to do an abortion in texas to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. no hospital has been willing to give him admitting privileges.
he has not been doing abortions in texas at all since october. he's only been assisting women who have tried to end their pregnancies themselves. as we reported here on friday night, he had to give up offering even that last service. he closed his clinic forever, because he could not afford to keep it going because the new rules from the state of texas make it difficult for him to keep practicing. when we reported that on friday, that brought the number of clinics in the entire rio grande valley in texas down to just one clinic. the last one standing in that whole part of the state is amy's, it's been offering care for women since roe versus wade. the doctors at that clinics,
those doctors needed to get and sought to get admitting privileges from local hospitals. they asked the local hospitals one by one. in some cases they asked over and over and over again. these are board certified obgyn's with published cvs. there's no reason for them to be denied. they made those requests, letters, phone calls, all the hospitals said no. and so that clinic has not been able to perform abortions since november, they told us they have been seeing multiple patients each week who have tried to end their pregnancies on their own and who need help because of it. even if they can't help women have abortions safely and legally, they at least have been able to try to keep providing the rather desperate service of keeping women alive and safe after they did did themselves. that desperate service the
clinic has been able to provide until now. amy runs the clinic in texas. we can report that she is closing down two of her five clinics. one of them is in coastal beaumo beaumont. the other is in mcallen. it's the last place for women to turn to in the vast border region and it is shutting down as of tonight. they treated their last patient today, tomorrow they will lock the doors forever. >> it may have taken me a little too long to accept, i don't back down easily, because the need is still here. that's what's so heartbreaking, is that the women are -- still need the care, and we're perfectly able to provide it. >> now that the clinic is having to close. this clinic that's been open since you started it in '73, what does that mean for you? >> i think it's going to be
something -- none sense. the people who need to do that, are going to go to some place where they're not trained. and they will suffer. so i think myself, we don't force anybody to have a termination in the country. we have more babies than terminations. but the one who try to take the decision to do that, we need to help her. >> every day that we're open, monday through friday, we see -- we hear -- our phones are ringing off the hook sometimes. and i mean, they're asking that question, are you guys -- are you still -- are you not offering abortions yet. it's heartbreaking, but we just tell them no, we're not. >> there used to be eight of us at one point. and now there's three. we can hear echos in the
building, and it's just so quiet and so -- and, you know, i'm working and all of a sudden i just stop what i'm doing and say, we're about to close. this isn't -- this isn't real. >> i think it's unthink abable t a complete stranger, whether it's an individual or a group, such as the supreme court, they can make such a personal decision for someone that they don't even know. i just think that's crazy. >> when you talk to people on the front lines of this story in texas, you can hear some sadness and sort of wonderment, also outrage over what is happening. they see what happens to the women caught up in the policy choices made for them by powerful people in the state capit capitols, in courtrooms hundreds of miles away.
in texas, policy comes from the state capitol. the consequences come home in places like the very poor and very medically underserved rio grande valley. which now as of tonight has no clinics serving women's reproductive health needs and those consequences have not yet finished rolling in. these two clinics closing tonight texas goes from 21 clinics to 19 to serve 26 million people. another part of the law that was passed last year, threatens to close 14 of the remaining clinics in the state by september. and we're going to have more reporting on that in the days ahead. stay with us. [beep] [clicks mouse]
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review. today there is a new and even uglier firestorm. the senate intelligence committee started a detailed review into the cia's detention and interrogation program under the bush administration, including the makeshift prisons the cia set up. and the results of the program and those results came with a high price tag, because the cia would only allow staffers and senators to allow classified cia cables, they would only allow those cables to be reviewed at a secure facility in virginia. that apparently helped up the cost. that report was finished in 2012. the report details how the cia
misled the bush administration and congress about the use of interrogation techniques that many experts consider torture, and shows how the techniques did not provide the intelligence that led the cia to the hideout in pakistan where osama bin laden was killed by navy seals. of course, we do not know what is in this report. it remains classified even though it was finished in 2012. where it's held up right now is the cia. the report was finished in the senate sent to the cia for their vetting before it would be partially declassified. john brennan responded with a 122-page rebuttal. he challenged the effectiveness of the spy agency's tactics, that's not the explosive stuff that's just broken about the cia tonight. according to new reporting, the
cia has not been merely reacting to the reporting. it's believed the cia may have been spying on congress spying on the committee with the information they gave them. this is kind of death of the republican kind of stuff, the whole separation of powers thing pales in comparison to the seriousness that a nation's own spy services have been turned against the government. particularly where the government is supposed to be ov overseeing the spy services. it's clear senator udall says in
the letter, the cia has taken unprecedented action against the committee. i find these actions to be troubling for the oversight responsibilities and for our democracy. the cia's inspector general now is investigating these action u sayings, that employees were allegedly spying on members of congre congress. john brennan has issued a vehement denial. i'm dismayed that some members of the senate have decided to make allegations that are wholly against the facts. where wrongdoing if any occurred was either in the executive branch or the legislative branch. until then, i would encourage others to refrain from outburts that do a disservice that needs
to be maintained. it's also being reported today that the inspector general at the cia is not just looking into these matters, he may have made a criminal referral on these matters to the department of justice, so these potentially could be prosecuted as criminal acts by employees of the cia. joining us now is mark missetti. >> thanks for having me on. >> i want to ask you, big picture about the seriousness of these allegations, it seems to me it's a very unusual for members of congress to allege that the spy agency has been spying on congress itself? >> it's been called unprecedented. you laid it out well, what you
had was this dispute twin the cia and the intelligence committee over basically the history, who writes the history of this extraordinarily controversial program that took place during the bush administration. but what we've seen is, it's really escalated from there, it's gone to this issue of separation of powers, congressional oversight, how independent is congress in overseaing intelligence agencies, that's what makes it a much bigger deal, certainly in the eyes of congress whether they can conduct their own oversight independent of the cia. there seem to be two issues here, one is the constitutional issue i described, which is whether congress can do its work independently, and secondly, was there -- were there any criminal acts here, did anyone break the law by spying on or monitoring congress's computers. and that's -- that's one of two issues at stake here. >> from your reporting, is it
possible for you to tell if it is technically feasible, whether the cia would have been in a position to monitor computers that were supposedly secure, that were being used by congressional investigators to put together this report? >> you referenced earlier this facility in virginia, that the committee staff was using to review the documents, that's what the center of this episode, the committee staff was granted access to this facility as a way to pour over millions of classified files, they were given new computers and told that they had secure access. it's our understanding that in recent weeks or months, the cia did a search of those commuters in order to find out who may have gained access to specific files related to the interrogation program. and basically at the heart of it is, the cia was trying to find
out where the senate got access to a certain internal review of the cia by the interrogation program. >> we've seen some pointed questioning between members of the senate intelligence committee and john brennan and others from the cia about whether or not there was that internal cia document they had never disclosed. the cia wasn't owning up to it. if this is the way it happened, if the cia did without authorization look at those computers to find out what senate investigators were looking for on those computers or what they had access to, is it clear to you that that would be an illegal act by cia staffers? >> well, i talked to law professors today about where would it be? and it centers around something called the computer fraud act of
1986 which prohibits government employees from gaining unauthorized access to government computers. the real question, though, the facts aren't out yet to be able to answer the question is, who's computers were there? we think that they were the cia's computers, but were they set aside so is that only congress, only the senate committee had access to them, and, therefore, wasn't inappropriate or even unlawful for the cia to do the search? the law professors i spoke to said, basically, until we know more, you can't make a determination about whether there was a crime committed. and so that's what we're going to have to keep following in the coming days. the constitutional question is already out there, and that's what i think is going to end up being more significantly, really politically because it really gets to the relationship the committee has with the spy agencies and, in a democratic administration, how much a democratic controlled committee
is going to lean on president obama to change things, change the business of the cia. >> yes, and structurally, regardless of the partisan politics here, is congress capable of exerting not just oversight but in some ways control over an intelligence agency that by design operates in secrecy with very wide latitude. fascinating story. mark, thank you very much for helping us understand this tonight. i appreciate your time. >> sure, thanks, rachel. fully half the people watching this program right now, believe that mark was made to cough by the cia. we'll be right back.
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the governor tried to cover up the fact that they had done it. they concocted a cover story, saying it wasn't a political vendetta that made them shut down that bridge, it was a traffic study. they didn't do it for some still unexplained political reason, they did it for a traffic study. it wasn't a traffic study. for a long time they tried to get away with saying it was. by the time bill baroni appeared before the new jersey legislature in november to sell the legislature on the idea that it was a traffic study. that whole attempt at a cover-up had been debunked. it was almost two months before that testimony when the head of the port authority was quoted in the media as saying, not only had he never heard of a traffic study, no one else had either. the wall street journal quoted unnamed sources saying, there was no study.
that was the environment in which bill baroni had to convince everyone it was a traffic study. when he got pressed, he named names. >> why september? what transpired to have somebody say we ought to look at having less lanes for ft. lee? >> as i said in my opening remarks, at some point in late july, members of the port authority police spoke to david wildstein, it was triggered by a conversation in late july. >> who were these police officers that raised the issue. >> names? >> paul nunziato. >> after bill baroni gave that testimony about the supposed traffic study being the explanation for what happened on the bridge, mr. nunziato, he was
one of the only people who corroborated bill baroni's bogus story. when lawmakers were calling the explanation a fairy tale, it was paul nunziato who stuck up for him. he raised his hand, took credit for that supposed traffic study that lead to the lane closures, he was right, he was telling the truth, there really was a traffic study. he should know, since it was all his idea in the first place. when the port authority executive director criticized what happened on the bridge, it was paul who said that criticism was a load of garbage. paul also helped bill baroni along with the other part of the traffic study cover story, which is that not only was there no political motivation for shutting down the lanes on that bridge. it was really an innocent traffic study. it was an innocent traffic study that caused no harm, nothing like ambulances being delayed or
police being delayed, nothing happened because of that traffic study. not only was it not a traffic study, ambulances were delayed, and police were delayed. we know that the e-mail criticizing the bridge shutdown was not a load of garbage. more interesting, the fact that he so adamantly and publicly tried to advance the cover-up. he took credit for it. bill baroni said, hey, it was all that guy's idea, and paul said, yes, yes, it was all my idea, that was me. on the day that david wildstein resigned from the port authority, on the day mr. wildstein resigned from the port authority, it was paul who defended him. he was working on an issue that i brought to his attention, and it was turned into a political ga game. when people said it couldn't have been a real traffic study
because the port authority engineers didn't know about it. paul said who cares about that, maybe they didn't know about it, because they [ bleep ] up everything. anyone who believed the lane closures was retaliatory in anyway, is crazy. you're a conspiracy theorist if you believe this was anything but a traffic study. paul has been the most vociferous defender of the cover-up, of the fake story about the fake traffic study. even when everyone else was saying that there was no traffic study. paul stood up not to just defend that story, but to take credit for it, it was me. until today. today paul nunziato took it all back. even though until today, he was the origin for the supposed traffic study.
today his attorney says, actual actually, no, that was never true. this is amazing. paul nunziato had nothing to do with nor knowledge of the planning, implementation or closing of the access lanes. and about saying it was a load of garbage that anyone would criticize the lane closures, calling anyone who questioned the motives of the traffic study a conspiracy theorist, he was just trying to be loyal to his political allies. his attorney said my client was trying to be supportive of people who were supportive of his union. as for all those things he said about the traffic study that he now admits didn't happen? he never intended to mislead the new explanation for the bolstering he did of the cover story, those were colorful statements to the press. so after sticking by the cover story for months, after saying, this was a traffic study, i'm the guy who came up with the idea, now today his lawyer puts
out a statement saying, oh, my god, you guys didn't really believe that, did you? all this time? there was no traffic study, and when he said there was a traffic study, he didn't really mean it. those were colorful statements to the press. he was trying to stick up for his friends, he fell in with a bad crowd. you shouldn't have believed that. today the cover story fell apart. the cover story advanced by the governor himself, advanced by the governor's allies, the cover story finally died, and here's the most interesting thing, what does it mean now for the investigation? that the most ardent defender of the cover story has changed his tune and now says he's going to start telling the truth about it. paul nunziato has been subpoenaed more than once already he's responded so far by saying he had nothing to turn over that was relevant to the investigation. in a statement provided to us
tonight. he absolutely now disputes bill baroni's testimony about this supposed traffic study. and in the coming days, he will have much more to say. you ever heard people say it's not the crime that gets you, it's the cover-up? well, now, today, the guy at the center of the cover-up has given up the cover-up, has given up the cover story and admitted it's not true, and he's about to have much more to say in coming days. if he talks, he knows something about who was in on the cover-up. does he know what they were covering up? does he know why the bridge lanes got shut down and who was in on it? i always say be the man with the plan
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>> i still don't know whether there was a traffic study that morphed into a -- >> you still don't know at this point whether there was a traffic study? >> what i'm say, eric, did this start as a traffic study that morphed into political shenanigans? or did it start into political shenanigans that became a traffic study? >> you know what, today that traffic study nonsense finally died. the cover story in the new jersey bridge scandal is now dead. joining us now is a reporter of new jersey's "star ledger" newspaper. thank you for being with us. >> always great to be here. >> so paul nunziato, the port
authority political union leader who says that he came up with the traffic study idea in the first place now says, actually, i didn't. i was saying that to keep my friends happy. it wasn't true. how important is that? >> it's important. it does, as you say, it seems to undercut the whole premise of a traffic study, but i think it's quite a while since anybody thought there was any traffic study to begin with, particularly mr. wisniewski or senator weinberg who co-chair the investigative committee. just as a point of clarification, i think what -- if you go back and look, baroni wanted to intimate that a traffic study was nunziato's idea, but i think what paul, the president of the union will tell you, is that he approached wildstein with some concerns about traffic, some concerns about whether or not you would improve the flow of the main
approach to the bridge if you limited the local access to the bridge from ft. lee. i don't know if he would go so far as to say it was his idea to conduct a traffic study. >> well, now he says it wasn't his idea. >> right. >> and sbi sbim mags any sbiini press was him using colorful language. it feels the cover story is dead, so now we should talk about what really happened. mr. nunziato's attorney said his client will have much more to say on this matter in coming days and he will not continue to advance the traffic study idea. is he somebody in a position to know more about what really happened? >> paul is in that position, as the head of the police union, you know an awful lot about every aspect of the port authority operations, from the crossings to the airports to the ports. everything. and one reason why it was -- it
seem sod important for david wildstein and bill baroni and governor christie to get on the good side of paul nunziato is because when you control the police force of aen organization, you have a pretty good hand on that organization from the very bottom up. and you know the guys who carry the guns. >> i will say that as this new leaf has just opened up in this investigation, mr. nunziato, mr. nunziato's attorney, any folks who are now wanting to talk about this who didn't before, we would love to have you here, as would steve from the "star ledger" newspaper. thanks for being here. nice to have you back. be right back. [ male announcer ] new gain flings! smell so amazing, they're like music to your nose. ♪ your love ♪ ♪ love keeps lifting me
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>> do you dvr this show and watch it later? if you set up your tv to record the rachel maddow show tomorrow night, there's a good chance you will not automatically record tomorrow night's show. there's a simple fix, go to your tv's guide menu right now, scroll ahead to tomorrow night and then hit the record button where it says "why we did it" because it might say "why we did it" and now the rachel maddow show. you will be able to dvr tomorrow's show without having it set on auto play. i think. tomorrow night, our new documentary, 9:00 eastern here on msnbc. now it's time for "the last word" with lawrence o'donnell. have a great night. tonight, the russian tv reporter who quit live on the air today in protest of the russian invasion of ukraine will join me tonight. and darryl issa did something today in a congressional hearing that you and i have never seen.