tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC July 16, 2015 8:00pm-9:01pm PDT
anything presidential anything nothing is beyond bounds to ask the president of the united states and that was a presidential question. >> april, thank you. lawrence o'donnell and for bill tonight on "all in" -- >> we are conducting this as an act of domestic terrorism. >> a mass murder in tennessee. four marines killed, the alleged gunman is dead. tonight we're learning more about the motive. we'll go to chattanooga for the latest. then, the verdict in the colorado theater shooting is in. we'll go to aurora for the latest. plus, the president makes history inside an american prison. >> these are young people who made mistakes that aren't that different than the mistakes i made. >> and all in america water wars. there is a knockdown, drag-out fight over bottled water, and we got inside the bottling plant. >> why should you be able to do
this in the midst of this resource stream? >> "all in" starts right now. good evening from castaic lake in california. we're here as part of our week-long series of the crucial water shortage in this state but we begin tonight with breaking news. this morning a gunman apparently acting alone opened fire at two military offices in chattanooga, tennessee, killing four marines. the gunman was also killed. that alleged gunman has now been identified as 24-year-old mohammod youssuf abdulazeez. officials say he is a naturalized u.s. citizen born in kuwait. according to the "chattanooga times free press" this is a bobbing photo of abdulazeez from april, 2015, dui arrest. at about 10:30 this morning, shots rang out at a recruitment center at a strip mall where five branches of the military reportedly have adjoining offices. later, seven miles away, shots
were fired at a navy and marine corps center. it is there that four marines were killed, along with the shooter. three other people were also injured in today's shooting. president obama was briefed on the incident and spoke just hours ago. >> at this point a full investigation is taking place. the fbi will be in the lead working closely with local law enforcement. we've also been in contact with the department of defense to make sure that all our defense facilities are properly attentive and vigilant. my main message right now is obviously the deepest sympathies of the american people to the four marines that have been killed. it is a heartbreaking circumstance. >> joining me now, nbc news correspondent gabe gutierrez. gabe, how much do we know about how this unfolded, and at what point law enforcement or marine
or navy officials knew what was happening? >> reporter: well, chris, good evening. yeah, that is the big question right now, exactly when -- there was no advance warning of this, we're told. witnesses here at the scene were here at the strip mall you mentioned that was the site of the first shooting scene around 10:35 in the morning. witnesses say that they heard a quick succession of loud noises, they weren't even sure they were gunshots at the very beginning. they thought it was some sort of construction work or something that was making all that noise. but as you mentioned, the shooting started here. there were more than 25 rounds that were fired at this location. then the gunman moved on to another location seven miles away, that reserve center, and that was where four marines lost their lives. amazingly at this location
everyone inside the building survived. there was at least one officer -- or one military officer that was wounded in the leg. now, as you can see behind me, the fbi is now on the scene. they're taking the lead in this investigation. the big question right now is what exactly the motive is. federal officials, as you reported, are treating this as an act of domestic terrorism, but they're looking to see if he may have been inspired by someone outside the country perhaps. at this point we just don't know. this evening officials have been going through his home near chattanooga to see what they can learn from here and they'll be going through who he spoke with in the last couple of weeks, what type of e-mail communications he may have had. so all those are questions right now that we're hoping to learn more about. chris. >> gabe, so you're saying that first location, this was essentially it sounds like a drive-by. he did not -- we don't know, but it appears he didn't even get
out of the car, but a huge amount of gunfire was aimed into that center. miraculously no one was killed there. then a second location. if nothing else, it does seem at this early point this was highly targeted in terms of where the alleged gunman was going. >> reporter: well, it would appear so, chris. i mean he targeted two military offices. those were his two targets. there were no shots fired in any other locations. and again, he fired more than 25 shots at this location alone and then moved on to that other location. so yes, federal officials are treating this as this was a targeted mass murder. he was apparently trying to inflict great damage at these military offices and he succeeded, unfortunately. and right now the big question is why he did so. chris. >> i imagine, gabe, there's a tremendous sense of shock in chattanooga. we saw some of the local officials talking, and tremendous grief among members of the marines and their families there. we do not know yet the names of those who were killed, but there's got to be just a tremendous sense of grief washing over those folks down there. >> reporter: immense grief here. it's a very somber scene here at this parking lot. the other scene is blocked off. but local officials here are
just devastated by this. people from this town, we've been seeing them come to the scene throughout the afternoon, throughout the evening, and there's a small makeshift memorial with lots of american flags. people here in this area -- this was a targeted attack it appears on the military. and these are people that, you know, serve this country. it appears somebody targeted them for that. and this community is devastated. there's a lot of questions right now about why, how this could have happened, and as we learn more about that over the next coming days, what we can tell you right now is there are several prayer services scheduled for tonight and many people around here are grieving. chris. >> all right. gabe gutierrez, thank you so much for that reporting. joining me now by phone is the board member of the islamic society for greater chattanooga. mr. issa, i imagine you're reeling in shock at this as well? >> yes, we are. terrible shock. we as americans, as tennesseeans, as muslims of
chattanooga, we are totally shocked, in full disbelief. a shootout with police. still unclear if he killed himself. he is a naturalized you a citizen from kuwait. let's take a listen to this news conference. >> please respect our inability to answer some of your questions questions. otherwise, we will explain what we can. i would ask the general public him if you are contacted by the law enforcement agencies or the f he i please cooperate. if you think you have information that might assist this information these call the f he i, and they will deal with
that accordingly. otherwise, this as far as we know, at this juncture to mo theremo there are no safety concerns for the general public. with that being said, i turned it over to governor bill haslem donovan or of tennessee. >> thank you, sir. chattanooga is a great city with a broken heart tonight. it has been a tragic and long and sad day and i think all of our hearts go out to the families of the 4 mack marines who lost their lives. in the middle of that, there have been some heroic action. the marines who lost their lives and others at the facility who did everything they could to minimize the damage. chattanooga police officers and department officers. i will then turn it over to -- i have been impressed with the
fbi's commitment to finding out everything possible in this and devoting the resources to answer every question that we all want answered and that we would like answered tonight but i am incredibly impressed with the commitment they have already shown and with the commitment of the local law enforcement folks the state people, as well as the federal officers to do everything they can. on behalf of the state of tennessee, we are grateful for that. with that, i will turn it over to senator corker. >> thank you, gavin. our nation mourns the loss, senseless loss of 4 mack of ourfour of our nation's heroes, and another one lays in very serious condition here in a local hospital. also today, one of arab rate men in blue is wounded in the hospital. someone who certainly came to the aid.
this is a great city, and i know that our city, as well as nation, come around to families who need support and have the sudden shock and loss of a loved one who came to work today carrying out their duties in a normal way, doing the things that our great military men and women do to protect us and to carry out the duties and support of making sure that we continue to be the great nation that we are. today, senselessly, four of them are gone, and one is fighting for their lives. i also want to think the outstanding state and local officials that have come to the aid. the fbi has been outstanding. they have done a great job. fbi will very soon lay out the details for you as they can, but i want to thank them so much. again, i know this community will come around these families.
this community will do everything they can to ensure that these law enforcement folks have everything they need to understand why this young person had the motive, the desire to do this simplest thing, which has shaken our nation. i will turn it over to the mayor of this great city, city full of people who care deeply about one another. >> thank you, senator. this has been a long day for our city. hopefully soon i will put my head down for a little while, and i just thought i would say a couple things i am going to think about as i drift off for a few minutes. i want to think about this afternoon as i came back to the police service center with chief fletcher and walked up to see a woman who was at the scene telling the chief about the hero
it needs that one of her fellow officers did to help her in to save her and to save another one of our officers. i'm going to think about another officer was at the scene who engaged the criminal telling us about how the training that he had received helped make sure that the actions didn't have greater affect. and i'm going to think about another officer who is truly my friend who as i hugged him and said good job, shook just a little bit. this is the reality of what happened in our city today and the tremendous work of our law enforcement officers. also, i'm going to be thankful that these people who, over the course of my couple years, aren't just employees of the city but truly people that we
care about and know that they are home with their families tonight. and i'm going to think about those who aren't. we have four families, four people who died who won't be seeing their families this evening. we live in the volunteer state come a a state that is rich with tradition and affiliation with our armed forces. we cannot countenance what happened to those four families today. our hearts ache for them pierre it we understand as a community what it takes to heal. we are thankful for those who are home safely to my and we will certainly give a prayer in all of our heart for those 2 aren't pierre it we thank you for coming out tonight. as we close out this portion we want to answer whatever questions that you have. i will bring back the fbi.
he is most likely to have answers about the ongoing investigation. >> questions? >>. [ indiscernible question ] >> we have no idea what his motivation was behind the shooting. >> do you have -- >> we are just beginning this investigation. at this point, we don't have anything that directly ties to an international terrorist organization. [ indiscernible question ] >> i cannot speculate on what his motivation would have been or what, or if any, affiliation he might have. [ indiscernible question ] >> again, i'm not going to discuss that. let me just say, we are at the beginning of this investigation. we still have three active crime scenes that we are investigating
investigating. it's going to be a long night for our folks. we will be here for several days processing just the crime scenes scenes. we continue to cover every possible lead and, again, if i can reiterate what they u.s. attorney said, if you have information to mo please contact us. i have it written down, our phone number. 865-602-7582. if you have information please call us or contact the local police department who will provide the information to us. yes, ma'am? >> any national connection? [ indiscernible ] >> we are checking every possible place that he could restart or could have resided, where he has shopped, where he went to school, who his friends
were, if he worked out at a gym every possible lead. we have information that he has been various locations, and we will check each and every one of those. [ indiscernible question ] >> that has not been determined as far as how he died. an autopsy will be performed this weekend by the u.s. government, and we will determine how the cause of death for him. yes, ma'am? i'm sorry? [ indiscernible question ] >> at this point, it's preliminary, he started his shooting over at the recruitment center on lee highway. we moved from there. we do not believe he exited his vehicle. he then moved over to the naval naval/marine corps center here about 15 miles away, where he did enter the facility, exited
his vehicle and engaged in gunfire there. >> were there any others involved in this? >> there is no indication that anybody else was involved. we are still at the beginning of this investigation, and we will explore anything. that includes whether anyone else was involved. >> i'm sorry. let's go back here. [ indiscernible question ] >> we will not release the names of the marines. it our policy to not release the names of the victims at all. the department of defense will have to make that determination as to whether or not they want to release those names. [ indiscernible question ] >> the chattanooga police department has requested that officer we be named not be release for his privacy. we will honor that. >> speak to his condition. >> he is doing as well as can be expected after being shot by a brazen criminal like this.
>> it appears that he made it past the barriers, crashed through the gates and entered the building. >> i'm sorry? he entered the facility, inside the gate. >> into the building? >> we are still investigating that as a possibility. [ indiscernible question ] >> know. >> he had several weapons. i won't go into what those were. that is potential evidence for future prosecution. >> what can you tell us about -- [ indiscernible ] >> i'm not familiar with it. [ indiscernible question ] >> there is a residence that we are in the process of searching to see if there is any evidence connected to this investigation. >> can you tell us who she -- >> nobody else has been taken into custody. it's a common practice for us when we enter a location to secure anybody just for the safety of the officers not back.
>> we will have to conclude the press conference at this time. we will schedule a press conference tomorrow at 3:00 and will do them daily at 3:00 unless something changes that causes us to do it earlier. thank you very thank you very much. >> you have been listening to a news conference from tennessee on the shootings in chattanooga that left four marines dead. there is no remaining set. in addition to the fbi, we heard from the governor, the mayor of chattanooga, senator corker, and we will continue. there will be a news conference tomorrow at 3 pem. stay tuned for the latest on all of that. stay here for the latest on msnbc. is for joining us. lzoom. don't let unanswered legal questions hold you up, because we're here we're here and we've got your back. legalzoom. legal help is here. ♪
a jury late today found james holmes guilty of multiple counts of first-degree murder in the july 2012 shooting rampage at a midnight screening of "the dark knight" movie in aurora, colorado. 12 people were killed, 70 more wounded. holmes' lawyers had acknowledged that their client carried out the attack but holmes pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity with the defense citing his delusion that each person he killed would increase his self-worth. police said he knew what he was doing was wrong and he meticulously planned the attack. holmes could now face the death penalty for his crime. joining me now, msnbc correspondent scott cohn. scott, the jury basically didn't have to decide if, but why essentially. if this was someone who essentially knew the difference between right and wrong could understand what he was doing. how was that case made?
>> reporter: well, the case by the defense was made in sort of clinical terms, much different from the prosecution, which played to the jury's emotions throughout its case. the defense calling the psychiatrist who basically -- who literally wrote the book on schizophrenia to talk about how holmes was in the throes of mental illness that went back to a suicide attempt when he was 11 years old. despite the planning that he put into it, that too was a symptom of this mental illness, of not knowing right from wrong, and that was what was controlling him. obviously the jury didn't buy it. >> yeah, the prosecution's case rested very heavily on that planning as a means of essentially them trying to show that he knew what he was doing. what was that case like? >> reporter: well, that was just that, and there was so much from his notebook to the fact that all of his purchases of the weapons and the explosives and everything that he did, the fact that he armed -- he armored
himself, dressed in armor to avoid being killed himself when he carried out this attack, to the calm way he went into -- he bought a ticket, went into the theater, made the display of sort of using a cell phone to get to the door that he then ultimately propped open so he could come back in armed and open fire almost exactly three years ago. it was so meticulously planned, the prosecution argued, that this was someone who did know the difference of right from wrong and that's obviously what the jury sided with. >> the reason this trial took so long to actually go to trial was because of a series of legal battles over whether he was fit to stand trial. does the defense now have recourse in terms of appeals on the decision that he was in fact fit? >> reporter: well, we don't know yet what the grounds for appeal will be, but it's a fair bet there will be lots of them. colorado does not have much of a
record of carrying out executions, only one since the 1970s, and so it's clear that holmes' ultimate mat fate may not be known for a while if the jury decides to go ahead and order the death penalty. that sentencing phase begins next week. >> scott cohn, thank you very much, appreciate it. still ahead, president obama visited a federal prison today to get a firsthand look at the rate of incarceration for nonviolent criminals. that's next.
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there are people who need to be in prison, and i don't have tolerance for violent criminals. many of them may have made mistakes, but we need to keep our communities safe. on the other hand, when we're looking at nonviolent offenders, we have to reconsider whether 20-year, 30-year life sentences for nonviolent crimes is the best way for us to solve these problems. >> today an image never before seen in the history of the country, the president of the united states inside a federal prison. barack obama became the first sitting president to do that today, touring el reno federal correctional institution in oklahoma. after meeting with inmates, the president seemed to reflect on a life that could have been, referencing his own experiences
with marijuana and cocaine when he was much younger. >> these are young people that made mistakes that aren't that different from the mistakes i made and the mistakes that a lot of you guys make. the difference is they did not have the kinds of support structures, the second chances, the resources that would allow them to survive those mistakes. >> today's visit was part of an effort to further highlight the president's agenda of criminal justice reform, which the president laid out in a speech to the naacp on tuesday, a day after he commuted the sentences of 46 nonviolent drug offenders. it's kind of hard to imagine that 20 years ago a democratic president pushing to shorten sentences and reduce incarceration would feel that he had the political room to do it. now it seems that having the world's largest prison population, full of racial discrepancies, is increasingly seen as a policy failure, even as a source of national shame. there seems to be surprising support from both democrats and republicans to do something about it.
>> bipartisan bill, criminal justice reform, will you allow that to move forward in your house? >> absolutely. >> so you'll let that on the floor? >> i'd like to see it on the floor. we've got a lot of people in prison, frankly, that really in my view really don't need to be there. it's expensive. the housed prisoners, sometimes frankly some of these people are in there under what i'll call flimsy reasons. and so i think it's time that we review this process they have and i'm looking forward to putting these recommendations on the floor. >> joining me now, anthony graves who spent 18 years behind bars for murder. in 2010 all murder charges against him were dropped and he was released from jail. he was formally exonerated in 2011. now he's working for the city of houston to help prevent wrongful convictions. mr. graves, the image today of the president in that prison was
very striking and i was surprised to learn that he was the first president to make this kind of visit. what did you make of the symbolism of this visit? >> i think it's time. i mean i think it's time that it goes all the way to the top in terms of the concern, because we do have a lot of people in prison that shouldn't be there. we have a lot of people in prison that's mentally ill. we have a lot of people in prison just because they didn't have any resources to afford the justice that we initiate in this country. so i am -- i am definitely proud of my president. i'm excited to see that he is pushing for reform and i'd like for him to continue. >> part of what was striking about the image is there was a period of time in the country's politics when they were the most kind of angry about crime and criminals in which it was very easy and very cheap for politicians to dehumanize the people in prison, to call them monsters or superhuman. you're someone who's spent a lot of time around prisoners. and what today seemed to be was in some ways about humanizing
them. what do you think people don't understand about the folks that are in prison? >> that they're someone's child, they're someone's father, they're someone's brother, they're someone's sister, they're someone's mother and they made a mistake. i mean a mistake for five minutes of your life shouldn't sum you up to be a bad person. it seems like in the system that's what we do. we take a five-minute mistake and sum them up to be a monster after that. i just think it's unfair. >> there's a lot of people watching this who say that five-minute mistake might have resulted in something horrible for someone else, injury, death, a loss of something, and that's going to stay with them for life. what do you say to folks that have that response, particularly when that ends up being so much of the emotional core of this debate we have about crime? >> i say that our system shouldn't become a criminal just because we're trying to arrest and convict a criminal. our criminal justice system has now become criminal.
i mean, look, i'm death row exonoree 148. our criminal justice system has become the criminal and i say to those says that those five minutes may have taken someone's life for the rest of their life, sure, yes, but that person needs help. that person needs to figure out why he did that. he can't do that in solitary confinement. i met men back there who had made grave mistakes and was so remorseful they was reaching out to the public trying to make amends for it. if you're going to sentence him to death and murder him, even though his life still has value, we won't know that. a young man that i know reached out to young men that were in gangs from behind bars, shared his story with them about his life, and these same young men that he reached out to put down their flags and started picking up books. they went to college because they did not want to be like the man who was writing them telling them not to be like him. so we give up on people too quick, that's just it. >> you're in houston, and it seems to me there's kind of two
conversations happening. a lot of this is national. the president, john boehner, there's some bipartisan support for this idea, but most of the people in prison aren't in federal prisons. most of what our criminal justice system does is at the local level like the prosecutor's office who prosecuted you. from your perspective down in texas, in houston, do you feel like the rhetoric and the language around this is changing. >> yes, i do. i do, because i get out and i talk to people. i crisscross the globe, particularly in the state of texas, i crisscross texas and i talk to students and i talk to church leaders and i talk to our politicians and i can tell you that the rhetoric is changing. people are getting concerned, because too many people every time you look up is walking out of prison after spending 30 and 40 years for crimes they did not
commit. >> now, in houston you are now working, if i understand it correctly, with one of the bodies that oversees the forensics in houston. it's precisely that misuse of forensic evidence that landed you on death row wrongfully for 18 years. >> yeah. i'm with the houston forensic science center and our job is to make sure the is are dotted, the ts are crossed and everybody is playing fair. i'm going to be right there to make sure that's what's happened. >> anthony graves, houston forensic science center, thank you so much. >> thank you, sir. still ahead in, drought-stricken california there's a nasty fight over bottled water. tonight we bring you to the front lines inside the nestle bottling plant. and donald trump's vicious twitter assault on his republican rivals has officially begun. we'll tell you which senator he called a dummy and which ex-governor he wants to take an iq test, next.
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i blow people away on leadership. i blow people away on economic development and anything financial, i blow them away. can you imagine, i'm dealing with bush. if i don't win that one, i think i'm going to just quit. i'm going to win the hispanic vote. bush isn't going to win, even though he'll say five words in spanish. no, he's not going to win because he's not going to put anybody to work. >> when you've got more than 15 republicans running for president, it is inevitable you're going to see candidates taking shots at the lead dog. the problem for them is the current lead dog has a nasty bite. a new poll from fox news shows donald trump leading the pack in the gop presidential race with 18% support. trump, who just wrapped up a campaign event in new hampshire today attacked senator john mccain, who lamented to the new yorker that at a recent event in
arizona, trump had, quote, fired up the crazies. trump fired up the twitter, first calling on mccain to apologize for calling his supporters crazy and then writing, quote, senator john mccain should be defeated in the primaries. graduated last in his class at annapolis. dummy, exclamation point. but the donald was not finished. he also went after gop presidential rival rick perry who said in a statement today that trump has been offering up a toxic mix of demagoguery and nonsense. trump shot back that perry doesn't understand what the word demagoguery means and governor perry failed on the border. he should be forced to take an iq test before being allowed to enter the gop debate. trump's polling suggests he will easily qualify for that first gop debate which takes place next month on fox in which only the candidates polling in the top ten nationally will be allowed onstage. perry, by contrast, is polling around just 2% and faces the real prospect of being left out
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standing in front of castaic lake, a reservoir that provides drinking water for residents of southern california. three years ago, it looked like this. today it's at 38% capacity. the water level has shrunk by 100 feet, leaving vast swaths of what used to be under water literally high and dry. this is what a historic water shortage in california looks like. with drinking water reservoirs like castaic lake at such lows, a lot of attention here in california is currently focused on the corporations that make a profit by bottling and selling california's water. we managed to visit one of those bottling plants. what we found out, next. sic] ♪ jackie's heart attack didn't come with a warning. today her doctor has her on a bayer aspirin regimen to help reduce the risk of another one. if you've had a heart attack be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen.
the drought here in california has certainly produced its fair share of cartoon villains. villains like the almond which takes over a gallon of water to produce just one. actor tom selleck who now has to pay more than $21,000 to settle a lawsuit alleging he stole water to put that water on his ranch. and of course bottled water. california water shipped to western states during an
unprecedented california drought. >> with so much focus on the drought, private companies making a profit on california's water has become an issue of perception. more than 100 other companies already bottling and selling water in california. >> this water comes from the municipal supply of modesto, california, or sacramento, california, and those places are hit hard by the punishing drought. >> bottled water companies point out that only a minuscule fraction of california's water is used to make their product. according to the state water resources board, that's absolutely true. the industrial sector overall uses just 1% of california's water and bottled water uses just a tiny percentage of that. companies like nestle, one of several bottling water in california, say they are implementing technologies to use water more efficiently. i took a tour of one of nestle's bottled water facilities in ontario, california, to find out more. later i got a chance to ask them about the controversy. >> this is where the bottle starts. i mean we bring in recycled
p.e.t. we blend it together and make a preform. this is the beginning of the bottle. >> p.e.t. is? >> polyethylene terisalate. it's every container that you drink out of every day is made out of p.e.t. >> okay. >> p.e.t. has an infinite life. with the recycle rates in california, which are said to be 3%, we're making bottles out of bottles. >> what am i looking at? >> this is the preform. >> this is raw material out of which the bottle is made. that's water you're bottling, but any big industrial process like this uses a lot of water to make the process run. what are you guys doing about sort of rigging the most you can out of that water. >> sure. we're implementing conservation
products. so there's water we're taking from the process, filtering it and putting it back -- in this case we're using it in our cooling towers, so we're recycling or reusing that water. >> what's going on here? >> this carries the product from the filling process all the way to the packaging process. in the past this belt we would use a water-based lubricant so it would be kind of foamy and almost look like soap. several years ago we went to a dry lube. saved over a million gallons, just this factory. >> here's my question, why does that decision get made? someone in the company said -- took the time -- is that because we're several years into the drought? is that because we're actually paying on a cost basis for that -- the million gallons of water we're using for that wet lube? who makes that decision and why? >> as an organization we're always trying to drive down and be much more conservation
conscious. we want to reduce -- we have to reduce water. it's our responsibility. >> i think it is hard for people to get their heads around bottling water in the midst of the california drought. >> sure. >> people talk so much about the scarcity of this resource, and you've got farmers saying we need this to grow our almonds and you've got people in the city saying we need this for our businesses. it seems like if the low-hanging fruit is maybe we shouldn't bottle water. are people wrong to have that instinct? why should they not think that? >> access to water is essential. i mean it's essential. 70% to 80% of what we drink every day comes out of a bottle or a can. i think it's essential that people have a choice. they have a choice to drink a zero calorie beverage. whether they do it in their home, take it out of the tap, they fill their refillable container or when they're on the go. you're out, you go to a convenience store, you want to have access to water. this is just a great, healthy beverage. >> right.
but i mean this thing is being fought over. there's a sort of scarcity. you know, you guys run a business. you guys make money off it, right? >> right. >> why should you be able to do this in the midst of this resource stream? >> well, i think people are -- they are buying the product. they're getting out there. there's a demand for the product. >> the same reason people grow almonds. people want to eat almonds and drink their bottled water. >> we have a responsibility. our conservation methods and the technology we're applying out there, you saw some of it today. >> yeah. >> where we're -- you know, we reduce, reuse, recycle. it's engrained in every person that lives in california. they get that. >> i've got to admit it was pretty surreal to be inside a bottled water factory after we've been spending a lot of time around scenes like this. down in the central valley where we saw fallow fields and the juxtaposition was pretty intense. there are a lot of bottled water factories and they are right about the actual amount of water in the total pie chart of water used. what was most striking to me was this.
the price signals for water in this great state of california, in the fifth largest economy in the world seemed completely screwy. at one point in the interview in fact, if i didn't misunderstand, he said that their internal price for water hadn't even actually gone up. something is amiss fundamentally in the way that this very scarce resource is being priced and rationed. bottled water is just a small drop of california's water usage, but in a shortage where every drop counts, who gets what and what is the process that decides that? that's the question we've been asked since we've first started doing research for this package of shows. i'm going to talk to someone finally on the board in charge of helping figure out who gets what, next.
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technology designed for you. so you can easily master the way you bank. why should you be able to do this in the midst of this resource stream? >> well, i think people are -- they are buying the product. they are getting out there, there's a demand for the product. >> the same reason people grow almonds. >> sure. >> people wanting to eat almonds and they want to drink their bottled water. >> another piece people don't understand is we have a -- >> joining me now, francis spivy weber, vice chair of the california state water resources control board. i don't think i -- several months ago if you told me that you did that if we met somewhere, i would think, oh, that's nice. but i realize that's very powerful. >> it's very powerful. >> you are a powerful person. >> a very nice powerful person. >> i believe it. so you've got -- let's start here. who gets what and how do you
decide on that board? >> the rules were established long -- back in the 1800s and early 1900s. we implement -- we make those laws work. >> when you say the rules, does that mean i just bought a farm somewhere and it's got a title. attached to that title is the right to a certain amount of water? >> no, no. you would have to come -- if you just bought your farm, you would have to come to us and tell us how you were going to be using that water and we would give you a water right for that property. >> so i have to earn it from you. i have to come and bow before you. >> yes. >> no wonder the farmers hate you guys. >> right. >> i mean i'm serious, right?
what case do i make? what if i say, look, i bought this farm. you know, we want to grow cantaloupes, almonds and cherries and i want to employ a bunch of people and make as much money as i can. can i have water, please? >> fortunately, in the past you probably would get the water that you needed for that particular enterprise, whatever it was. and now, however, because we're in a drought, we're having to cut people back. you said you needed a certain amount of water, but you are very new farmer. you're going to have to cut way, way back. >> so there's some seniority here. >> exactly. >> if i'm farming a farm that's been in the family for a hundred years, right? >> right. >> and that's been passed along, i'm senior in that line to get
that water. >> exactly. >> so then there's also this -- there's a central valley project, a huge federal public works project for the central valley. then there's the stuff that you guys mostly do, right, which is the municipalities, right? >> we do it all. >> you do it all, okay. >> we do it all. >> how do we decide -- like, okay, i have a new business idea. my business idea is to hook up a hose in my house in malibu and make bottled water. and it's awesome because it doesn't cost me a lot of money and i can then sell that bottled water for a dollar, right? that to me is sort of like zeros in on the prime issue here. it does not seem that the inputs for whether it's industrial processes or bottling water are keeping up with the actual amount of scarcity there is. the price does not seem to be responding to the scarcity we're seeing out here. >> the scarcity is new. we've had scarcity from time to time but never at the level that we have right now. but you are absolutely right. we are realizing that what we have set up doesn't work and it may continue to work even more
poorly in the future. >> so there were claims that you have out there that are sort of established that you say yes to, whether it's municipalities or farmers that can be met essentially. >> right. so what we're asking of people is we're asking them based on their seniority, we're asking -- we're ordering the juniors to not use the water that they might be taking out of the stream. now, some of them will have groundwater and so they will be able to keep their farms alive using groundwater. >> for years california did not regulate groundwater. >> yes. >> and ground water is a little like the thought experiment with the faucet. i'm just going to draw it out. i can use it for my farm. i don't know who i'm taking it from in some sense. now you guys are going to regulate that too? >> well, we are going to regulate it if it needs to be regulate. if the locals can't organize themselves and regulate it among themselves. in some areas, particularly in southern california, you have courts that have allocated the water.
they call adjudicated basins. and now people will be asked to organize themselves to go to the courts for adjudication. >> water courts? >> well, no, these are just regular courts. >> regular courts, okay. >> that take on the water issue. you know, a judge will say, okay, usually after about 20 years in court you get this and you get that and someone else gets something else. >> well, it seems to me that this -- if this drought continues or this era of climate change we're now entering strains us, there's a lot that has to be done in the guts of how this system works. >> exactly. >> so people don't end up outside your door with pitchforks. frances, thank you for coming. you are a very nice powerful person it turns out. >> thank you. tomorrow we're wrapping up our week in california by taking a look at the state's largest lake. it's a body of water that was created totally by accident. once a beloved vacation spot. today it is on the brink of a major environmental disaster. we'll bring you that story, plus a look at some of the possible solutions to the drought that include taking the salt out of ocean water. our final installment of "all in america water wars" is tomorrow. and that is "all in" for this evening live from castaic lake in california.
"the rachel maddow show" start right now. >> good evening, chris. thanks, my friend. in just a moment we'll have an eyewitness account from somebody who was inside the military recruiting center in chattanooga today when the shooting started there. that's coming up in just a moment. we've got a live interview tonight with a survivor of the attack today. joining us now from chattanooga is the mayor of that fine city, andy berke. mr. mayor, i know this is a day like no other for you. thank you very much for taking time to be with us tonight, i really appreciate it, sir. >> well, this has been a really difficult day for our city. certainly when i woke up this morning, we thought it was going to be a normal day. instead, it's really turned into a nightmare. >> what can you tell us about the ongoing response, specifically about the investigation, the work that's still being done at this hour. what things aren't knowable, aren't answered yet but might be