tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC February 12, 2016 1:00am-2:01am PST
thank you for joining us in this hour. we don't do this very often. we're starting show with something we call a special report. we did one of these late last year and it drove our coverage for months. this is our follow up to that special report. bear with me here. we're going to start in the summer of 1996. an athlete gina was a gymnast, a world class gymnast. she was preparing for the olympics on the romanian national team. in the lead up to the summer olympics she got really, really sick. she was traveling by train and on board the train, she got suddenly and violently and painfully ill. it was the kind of sickness that it was the kind of sickness that
you have to do something about right way. it's the kind of thing where it can kill you if you don't act quickly. what happened to her on that train is the world class gymnast got appendicitis. she was going to have to come out. she needed surgery, she needed abdominal surgery on an emergency basis right away. this was a month before the olympics. so, like, career disaster. if your entire nation is expecting you to do this kind of thing on a world stage then having to have emergency abdominal surgery the month before, that's a disaster. it wasn't a train out in the boonies somewhere. it was heading into her capital city. the hospitals were set up to do a high-tech surgery that will be much easier than the kind of
surgery she would have had to have in romania. they could take out her appendix using laparoscopic surgery. they could use a camera to kind them throw without making a large incision. it's not nothing. it sure beats a four inch long slice all the way through your abdominal wall. summer of '96. she got on that train. she got in acute bout of appendicitis. she went to the hospital.
she had the new surgery to take her appendix out at the hospital and she returned to training in less than two weeks. then she went to the olympics and she did this. her team medaled. they won the bronze. she won a silver medal in the all around. she won an individual bronze in the vault and she won another bronze for the balance baem. she looked a little bum at the time. it was kind of a miracle. it was super lucky she was able to compete at all. the whole reason she got there is because she didn't have to get the old kind of surgery. she got the new kind. laparoscopy, small cuts instead of big ones, that saved her olympics. today, we went out to see another kind of laparoscopy. not on another person in operating room but on a city street. the work you are seeing here, we shot this today.
this used to require digging a trench, tearing up the whole treat and the whole front yard of a house and making a huge mess. turning a treat into an unusable construction site. now, they can do the same work by punch these two little holes in the ground. what you see them doing here is replacing one kind of old pipe with a newer, safer kind. this particular city, this city has been working on this for over a decade. they replacing with copper pipes. they are using them with tools and techniques they invented for this purpose. >> we have a tool that we build in house and what it does is it allows us to hook the copper
pipe to the back end and the cable we push through and it kind of cuts the lead cable to make it easier to pull out. there's water main that services the entire street and there's tap for each resident. what we're doing is replacing that with copper. the way we do that is we go to the water main here, cut it and then dig up the valve here, cut it. we run a cable through. hook it to the copper pipe. the lead service comes out and the copper goes in. we do the same thing from the customer shut off into the basement. takes about four hours on a good day. >> about four hours to do this work. two small holes. they run the cable underground without having to dig the entire
trench of where everywhere the pipe is. they use a laparoscopic technique to get this done. the city where they're almost done replacing the lead pipe s the capital city of the state of michigan. it's about an hour away from flint, michigan. lansing decided they want to replace the old pipes. they've been able to do this one house at a time on an ongoing basis for years now. they invented this easy new way and fast way that doesn't involve digging everything up. they dig two small holes. they get it done in a fraction of the time. down the road in flint, they're having a full on lead pipe disaster. here's an important point about this story especially since it's gotten a lot of national
attention. lots of places in the country have lead pipes. that's not great. cities and town replace their lead pipes when they can. in flint, it's something different. in flint what the state government did is they sent through all the pipes in flint something that no one else in america puts through their city's pipes. they put through their water system, through all of their pipes, untreated water that was 19 times as corrosive as normal drinking water. they did it for 18 months. for 18 months that aggressively usually corrosive water stripped a whole range of contaminants out of the lead pipes. only flint had this done to it because of utterly disasterous decision making by the rick schneider administration. what's happened in flint, i know a lot of people want to say there's a million flints. no, you know what, what happened in flint is unique.
this is not business as usual. it's not even poor neglected american city business as usual. flint is having a humanitarian crisis because of a single botched policy decision by the state that wrecked the city's lead pipes and lead poisoned the water and the town. now, it's been four months since they switched flint back to a normal water supply but the pipes are so deeply corroded they are still leeching lead into the clean water. there's enough random lead floating around in their city water level that a house can test at zero one day and test like a hazardous waste dump the next day. flint is in trouble. it's not fixed. bottled water is not a fix in flint. it's necessary as long as people are still living in that town, but it's not a fix. the good news is that now we know what the fix is. it's both amazing and infuriating. check this out. flint's mayor, karen weaver announced she wants the lead pipes out. she wants this fixed. she wants the old lead pipes taken out and replaced with new
safe pipes right away. mayor karen weaver announced her plan to swap out the pipes the same way they did this lansing. she wants to use the new technique that's way faster and way cheaper. you don't need to turn the entire city into an unusable construction zone. you can use this other way of doing it. two relatively small holes, four hours per job, four hours per house. faster and cheaper than anybody had thought it could be done before they saw the way they invented to do it in lansing. the mayor thinks they can start now. they will start at houses with high lead readings and houses with kids under the age of six or elderly people or women who are pregnant. when the mayor made this announcement, the mayor of
lansing stood next to her when she made the announcement. they stood by to not just show it could be done but how it could be done. what happened is that michigan governor said no. his office told reporters that the state, didn't want to do that. they wanted to wait and see whether it would be wise to take out the pipes or when that should be done. he said he was going on advice from nationally recognized experts like professor mark edwards of virginia tech. he really has been a hero in this flint story. we met him at our town hall. he and his team of grad students documented the really high levels of lead in flint water. they sounded the alarm and forced the state to admit there was a problem. he said he doesn't support any old plan to dig up and replace flint's pipes. he said be you rush into a poorly thought plan to dig up pipes, you could make things worse. he was preaching caution, but,
and this is key. turns out professor mark edwards goes way back with these geniuses in lansing who invented this way to take out the lead lines. part of the reason they started this work is because of professor mark edward's research on lead pipes and water systems. they know each other. they go way back. he's said not every plan to rip out lead pipe s a good plan, but this plan, the plan that's cooked up with advice and support from lansing, that particular plan to get rid of flint's lead pipe, he likes. we asked about the model, he told us about the team. these guys know what they're doing. he said, quote, society needs to decide if lead pipe replacements
are a good investment. personally, i think so. i support this plan. i support this plan. society needs to decide if lead pipe replacements are a good investment but i support this plan. the professor is saying if flint wants to replace the pipes in this new way, go. do it. the only question is whether we as a public, whether we as a society want to pay for it or hope that flint fixes itself somehow or depopulated over time. look at this. governor rick schneider has estimated the cost of fixing the water system at north of $700 million. we've seen other estimates of twice that. the estimate for this whole
portion of the problem, for getting the lead pipes out the way it's just been done in lansing with the new technique. that estimate is $55 million. forgive me for saying so but that's totally doable in terms of scale of this problem. if so, digging those two little holes outside everybody's house to pull out the pipe, that can start now if they just say yes. if the state just makes it happen. governor schneider's initial response to this plan was no. no, we shouldn't do that. people like mark edwards say we shouldn't do that. actually, governor, mark edwards says we should do this. governor schneider continues publicly to say wait and see. wait and see. his public comments have been hard to follow including some public comments today. here's the breakthrough. even though he has public comments are sort of impossible to discern on this matter. rick schneider asked michigan state lawmakers yesterday for the money. for the money to start the mayor's plan.
for the major to start replacing the lead pipes in flint. of course, because rick schneider continues to stun at every turn in this crisis, when i say he requested the money, i mean he requested slightly less than half the money flint needs to do this plan but it's enough flint to start. it's enough to start phase one. to get the highest priority houses fixed. that can happen. as soon as the money comes through, michigan. no hurry now. that can start. it can finally start. the governor's new position is this statement they just gave us saying the governor, quote, intends to move quickly to remove lead pipes from the high priority homes. okay then. when that happens it will be phase one. the tireless and aggressive flint mayor is drumming up support for phase two which is
getting all the lead pipes out of flint homes. it's taken all this time and being told no a thousands times. it's taken an invention of a new way to do this work that makes it seem feasible that they will try to start to fix it. this is a breakthrough. we're at the part where flint is about to get some new pipes, finally for flint's water. it will start to get fixed just as soon as the michigan legislature votes aye. ready to go. enough time wasted already. tick tock. keep it supple and hydrated day after day. formulated with hydrating hyaluronic acid which retains up to 1000 times its weight in water this refreshing water gel plumps skin cells with intense hydration and locks it in. for supple, hydrated skin that bounces back. hydro boost.
gas leak in southern california. the good news is that apparent ly they have fixed it. maybe. it's stopped for the first time since october. a relief well has finally intercepted the leaking well. the interception happened -- the intersection happened a full mile of and a half underground. officials are pumping heavy fluids into the leaking well to essentially plug it and it's working. the next step in the long term solution will be to pour cement into that well to seal it permanently. that occur within the next few days and it will take more days to know whether it's worked. tonight, that huge cloud of methane that's been billowing non-stop into the air is no longer growing. the largest gas leak in the history of the united states has tonight been stopped after nearly four months. if it stays stopped, that means the thousands of local residents who have been driven out of their home are one step closer to getting to return home. watch this space. in the new hampshire primary in 2004, john kerry won. pretty good second in 2004 was howard dean. people th
clark and john edwards who came in around 12% in new hampshire that year. below them in single digits it was joe leiberman. he had 9% of the vote. that was the result that night in 2004 in new hampshire race. we understand that's what happened. that's in the record books. so is the truly, inarguably thing about those results which is what joe leiberman said about the results the night they happened. >> based on the returns we have seen tonight thanks to the new hampshire, we are in a three way split decision for third place. >> that is among the funniest 12 second sound bites in the history of 12-second sound bites. he didn't come in third place.
there was no three-way split decision for third place. joe leiberman came in fifth place. fifth place. just like marco rubio did this year in new hampshire. did you see how marco rubio talked about that result today? >> i think we have to have some perspective here. governor bush spent a lot of money in new hampshire and finished tied with me and ted cruz. >> senator rubio, jeb bush did not tie you and ted cruz this new hampshire. ted cruz and jeb bush came in third and fourth. they both beat you. you came in fifth. you came in fifth place or as joe leiberman would call it. >> a three-way split decision for third place. >> senator marco rubio is having a funny run for president this
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of this family. it is an incredible blessing. i'm so fortunate to say that my family is my family. >> very happy birthday today to former florida governor jeb bush. the campaign moves on from new hampshire to nevada. the republican campaign moves onto south carolina. there's two things to keep in mind about the contest. first one is that south carolina may very well be wired for the bush family. you would not necessarily think that just by looking at south carolina's politics in general or what south carolina voters say is important to them but if you look at family history, both jeb bush's father and jeb bush's brother won south carolina presidential primaries twice.
yeah, jeb bush is enthusiastically campaigning as being the latest member of his own nuclear family to run for president in south carolina. south carolina is where jeb bush's super pac started running this tv ad featuring straight to camera endorsement by his brother. his campaign is running radio version of that ad this south carolina. whatever you think of jeb bush's standing in the republican field, his shortcomings, a lot of people in south carolina politics say his chances in that state are better than you might think because his last name is bush. that's one thing know about south carolina's republican primary. other thing to know about south carolina and the republican primary in that state is that frequently it's disgusting. >> the charges or the
allegations or the constant comments you hear about carl rove is he was the guy behind the whisper campaigns. >> in south carolina. >> he was the guy with the pushpoll question about john mccain and suggesting impossible. how would you feel about john mccain in the primaries if he was to fathered an illegitimate black child. you said he had nothing to do with it. >> you said the bush campaign haven't hit john mccain's soft spots. they said i'm going to but i'm not going to do it on tv. >> i meant that by ads. i'm going to talk about issues where we have differences. the question is was i going to run a bunch of scorching ads and i said no. >> you're not going to do it on
all those dirty tricks, all that slim that was thrown, it worked. john mccain had won new hampshire by 19 points. he went to south carolina where he was heavily favored and after he got hit with that tide of toxic waste, in the end george w. bush beat him by 11 points. the reason south carolina had such a reputation for dirty tricks is south carolina has a lot of dirty tricks. the dirty tricks really seem to work there in republican politics. in 2008, south carolina republicans received a fake christmas card that claims to be from mitt romney that included lots of, the most controversial out of context quotes from the book of mormon that were designed to make him seem crazed. in that same campaign fred thompson was called a pro-choice
skirt chaser. when nikki haley ran there was a campaign she had extramarital affairs. newt forced one of his wives to have an abortion against her will. south carolina republican politics is nasty. consistently nasty. buzz feed had an interesting piece of reporting saying that one republican presidential campaign appeared to be locking up the highest profile, best known practitioners. the guy who ran the toxic campaign in 2000 and the the guy credited with the nikki haley had an affair and the anti-fred thompson skirt chaser, those guys are working for the same
candidate. they are working either for the marco rubio campaign or the pro-marco rubio super pac. knowing what we know about south carolina, will marco rubio exceed expectations in that state because he's kind of cornered the market in south carolina in terms of their republican political operatives who are known to play on the dark side. the website started web base submission tool where you can send in evidence they see of anonymous dirty tricks. people are describing the pushpolls and anonymous signs. it's already started. it's already started in south carolina. the question is how is it going to end? joining us is a long time south carolina republican. he was communications director. he's also former executive of the state republican party. i should be clear he's not supporting or endorsing any campaign in this race. it's great to see you. thank you so much for being here. >> thank you so much. good to be back. i feel like i need a shower after that intro of welcome to south carolina. >> i sort of get the sense that south carolina is a little embarrassed to be known like it's already started.
joining us is a long time south carolina republican. he was communications director. he's also former executive of the state republican party. i should be clear he's not supporting or endorsing any campaign in this race. it's great to see you. thank you so much for being here. >> thank you so much. good to be back. i feel like i need a shower after that intro of welcome to south carolina. >> i sort of get the sense that south carolina is a little embarrassed to be known like that. more than that, sort of proud.
>> times have changed a little bit. for many years you saw a lot of these high denyability to spread rumors about candidates. in some cases they worked and in some they didn't. people were smart enough to not have their fingerprints on them. >> there is an impression in the national political media that marco rubio has locked up a large percentage of south carolina operatives who are still happy to be known for dirty tricks. is that perception accurate? >> i don't think so. i know a lot of folks mention in that article. i think they are good guys. i know a lot of people for a lot of campaigns.
i think they are focused on helping their candidates with superior media plans. in as much as there are dirty tricks in south carolina this time around, i think it's probably going to be coming from inspect operators trying to make name for themselves. >> we know that good people do bad things. somebody had to do the bad things. the whole point is to have the high denyability about them. it's interesting these two things we all learned about south carolina if recent campaigns. we learned this dirty trick and there's also this threat of the bush family doing very well in south carolina. i don't know if those are connected autoat all. how do you think jeb will do? >> realistically looking at poll trajectory there's going to be
the strong for third place as you were talking about in the lead in. i think bush has a decent shot. i think his family has done well here. it was a time when they were a known commodity. now, by the rise of donald trump being a known commodity, being someone with a proven record is almost a liability with the gop electorate. we'll see how it shakes out when it comes to jeb's chances here. >> joel, will you please promise to come back on with me before the primary happens. >> absolutely. >> thanks for being here. >> thank you. >> we'll be right back. stay with us.
today in dallas, texas, jim webb stepped to the podium to make an announcement the world had been waiting for. >> we are not able to put together the kind of funding that would allow us to get on the ballots and run a campaign that could seriously look at presidency. we're not going to do that. >> so, no cause for alarm. jim webb, no threat to run as an independent for president this year. stand down. if you are looking for cause for alarm, we do have that, next.
before 9/11 happened, a month before, presidential daily briefing was given to then president george w. bush and had a really ominous title. it seems really ominous in retrospect. it didn't set off too many alarms. >> isn't it a fact, dr. rice, that the august 6th pdb warned against possible attacks in this country, and i ask you whether you recall the title of that pdp? >> i believe the title was bin laden determined to attack inside the united states. >> bin laden determined to attack inside the united states. that warning went to the president august 6th, 2001, barely a month before 9/11. now, this week, actually on the day of the new hampshire primaries, it got zero political attention. here is the word from the director of national intelligence, james clapper. >> isil's estimated strength exceeds that of al qaeda.
the leaders are determined to strike the u.s. homeland beyond inspiring home grown violent extremist attacks. >> there was no director of national intelligence as a job before 9/11. they created the job to make sure someone was in charge of connecting the dots that didn't get connected before al qaeda pulled off the attacks. the guy holding that new job is publicly giving the exact same warning about isis now that the intelligence community was telling george w. bush right before 9/11. isil leaders are determined to strike the u.s. homeland beyond inspiring home grown violent extremist attacks. if, god forbid, there's another huge attack on the u.s., does anybody know how we would react as a country?
nbc chief foreign correspondent has written a barn burner of a book. it's about his exploits moving to cairo without so much as speaking the language when he was straight out of college. his exploits in egypt with the muslim brotherhood which loved him. because they didn't know about his secret whiskey and high dollar blackjack habit at the time. he covered some very serious stuff including his time as war correspondent this multiple theaters of war, covers his kidnapping in syria. describes the way hussein looked at him. it made him want to back up. a 20-year look at his time in the middle east before and after 9/11, before and after the disasterous iraq war. his time as a correspondent who lived in the middle east as the middle east has been blowing up. it's a look through his eyes.
it's really good book. it's really good. it's short. it goes really fast. it's written really well and it's great. richard's book comes out as the intelligence agencies are warning that isis is determined to strike in the united states, just as they warned about al qaeda in 9/11 and it comes out as we are getting late word since the civil war started in syria, there's an agreement for the first time for a cessation of hostilities, a mini cease-fire. what does that mean? there's nobody i would rather ask than richard engel. author of "and then all hell broke loose." congratulations. >> thank you. it's fun to be here. >> it's sickening because you're good at your job but you're a really good writer. it's really annoying.
it's a really good read. i hope you enjoyed writing it as much as i enjoyed reading it. >> the hardest part was coming up with the thesis. what is the principal? it's been 20 years in the middle east. watched a lot of things come. a lot of happy moments and sad moments. how do you digest that down into the thesis? i thought, i have an idea. i have way of digesting what i have seen and maybe guessing at what's to come and the rest was filling in all the color and the people i've met and the proof of why i think what i know. >> you show how you learned it. how you came to hold this thesis in the middle east. we see it happen through your eyes as you learn it by living it, which is really useful. i feel like this is sort of prescriptive in terms of the
united states and middle east. you're not saying anything is easy but you're describing what we've done wrong. >> the basic premise is the status quo. it existed for decades. it wasn't great. middle east muddled along. it was corrupt and the leaders were brutal. there was a lot of internal anguish, conflicts below the surface. they were all held in place, locked in place. through eight years of military action by the bush administration, we broke that status quo. through almost eight years of really inconsistent action from the obama administration that status quo was destroyed and all those pent up issues became unleashed. we're living in that chaos.
the chi i don't say is really represented by isis. i think it's very chilling to hear senior intelligence officials say that isis is coming to attack the u.s. engel thesis but we see it happen through your eyes as you learn it by living it, which is really useful. i feel like this is actually sort of prescriptive in terms of the united states and middle east.
isis is going to die out. isis is not going to live forever. it doesn't have a winning strategy, but it may do some horrible acts in this country and it already has in other countries before it does. >> the book is called and then all hell brook loose, two decades in the middle east. congratulations. >> thank you. >> really glad you're here. stay with us. instantly quenches skin to keep it supple and hydrated day after day. formulated with hydrating hyaluronic acid which retains up to 1000 times its weight in water this refreshing water gel plumps skin cells with intense hydration and locks it in. for supple, hydrated skin that bounces back. hydro boost. from neutrogena
cease fire, but a cessation of hostilities that they're calling for in syria. >> in principal it could work. everyone has a vested interest in calming things down. the u.s. is now talking to iran which means the u.s. indirectly is talking to the regime which means they're indirectly talking to the russians. everyone has an interest in calming things down because the refuge crisis is getting worse and the bloodshed is getting worse. in principal, yes, after the iran deal there has always been room. >> it seems like russia and syria are about to retake the second largest city in syria. it seems like things are going their way. >> i would have signed this deal if i was at the table, yes, sign it.
there are a lot of practical reasons why it might not work because the russians and syrians seem to be on the doorstep of retaking the city. this could be a tactic by them to buy some time. the two main groups aren't part of this deal. so i think we have a situation in principal it makes a lot of sense. in practice it's going to be very, very difficult to implement. >> if it does work, it will be a one week cessation of hostilities. >> the idea is maybe it can build traction and you can build on it. every reason it should work but it probably won't.
>> the new book is called and then all hell broke loose, two this is really funny. say you're a member of the republican establishment who up until recently you've been saying you could never support donald trump and don't worry he's never going to be the nominee. right about now you're looking at the new hampshire results and the states coming up and you're realizing that is now the opposite of inconceivable that donald trump will be the republican presidential nominee. that can be awkward. at least it was awkward today here on msnbc. please watch this. what about your role in all this? i saw you over the summer when donald trump made some comments about megyn kelly. you seemed to say that would rule out donald trump for you. is that still true? >> i like every other -- what's the word i'm looking for? anyway, i couldn't -- he has broken every single mold, every single piece of political convention out there. i would have thought that would have been it.
that's not proved to be the case. >> could you see yourself supporting him? >> i don't think so. again, i'm going to leave it to voters to decide. i'm staying out of this race. i'm watching and spectating. i think that i can't emphasize enough who i hear at the grassroots level with the status quo. i will say, i think the field is going to narrow. i think in some ways cruz and trump are going after the same real estate and i don't know who gets the insider lane whether it's rubio or jeb, but i think you're going to see a three way jump ball. >> what is the word you were spending so much time looked for there? maybe a three way tie in south carolina and i would have to figure out how to support donald trump. or maybe the voters in your party want him to your presidential nominee.
it's an exciting time to be covering politics. that does it for us tonight. we'll see you tomorrow. now it's a time for a special look at the year of the outsiders. >> "first look" is up next. it's friday, february 12th. right now on "first look" -- life threatening windchills record cold. the polar vortex is hitting the northeast and midwest with a vengeance. riding high after new hampshire, bernie sanders took a few punches from the former first lady on debate night. >> the kind of criticism that we have heard from senator sanders about our president i expect from republicans. i do not expect from someone running for the democratic nomination to succeed president obama. >> that is -- [ applause ] madam secretary, that is a low blow.