tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC November 6, 2014 9:00pm-10:01pm PST
evening. >> good evening. we've had a 2016 no-talk ban written on the white board in my office. today, i tried to erase it. it's been up there for so long, it's now permanent. that would be hilarious if you just obeyed that through 2016. >> thank you. and thanks to you at home for joining us tonight.y thing just of the most conservative places in the country. i mean that in the technical sense. the study ranked the most conservative and most liberal cities in the country. you might have seen this when it came out. it got some buzz. the top ten list for for liberal cities were kind of what you expect, right? there were some surprises. for example, the ranking for the most conservative city in the
whole country went to mesa, arizona, of all places. here's mesa, arizona. it's part of what the sprawl of phoenix turns into, as you head east of phoenix. it's the sprawl between phoenix proper and the phoenix air port. they're all right there in the same vague, suburban sprawl east of phoenix. matt salmon has a 100% matt salmon has a 100% perfect rating. on opposing his own son's right to get married and his own views that gay people, including his son should be banned from
adopting children, wouldn't change his elections one bit. these are the local election result headlines. they're voting for congress and state senators and state legislatures. check this out. something funny just happened in this part of the country. last week, the school board made some news when they decided they were going to where i happen pages out of the biology textbooks. the section of the biology textbooks that mentioned contraception and abortion, a local school board decided to cut those pages out of the textbooks. they cited an arizona law signed two years ago which man dates that instruction and public schools in arizona be explicitly anti-abortion. and, based on that law, they decided in gilbert, arizona, that the page of the biology textbook that explains that there is such a thing as abortion, they decided to cut
that out. that was last week. that was a 3-2 vote on the local school board. sort of tea party majority on the local school board decided that those books should be redacted. they came and gave a presentation to that school board encouraging them to do it. the senate president and two other republican state senators came to the school board meeting and encouraging to vote to cut those pages out of the biology textbooks. and they took that vote last week and it passed. they say they're gathering volunteers from the community who want to help rip out pages from the school textbooks. now, two things have happened. gilbert, arizona, voted just like the rest of the country did
on tuesday night. as i said, they're back in with conservative republican state legislatures and conservatives. it was a conservative, republican romp there, just like it always is, except on the school board. that specific, local body that just voted to tear out the pages from the biology textbook, they just lost their tea party majority. >> meantime, in gilbert, the controversial school board most recently in the news for removing pages from a biology conservative majority. >> so the people who voted against censoring the biology textbooks and there will be one new member who agrees with them
on the issue. that will be the new majority. so that specific part of the election went the other way. in the run-up to the election, teachers were reportedly painting the names of their anti-tea party candidates on their car windows to support a school board that wouldn't tear up the books. the tea party candidate will be sworn in in january. so what happens in the meantime? the page-tearing parties, they
are apparently already planned. the board members who voted to take the pages out of the textbook, they said, as soon as they got that vote, that vote, the cheapest, least disruptive way to solve the problem is to remove the page. remove the page. so do they go ahead with it now? if the kids in the high schools hide until january where the new school board gets sworn in, will that save their textbook, save their school books from getting cut up? that's one thing that's happened. the election had a very interesting result there. here's the other thing that's happened there. when that news first broke in arizona that they were going to start cutting pages out of the biology textbook, we got copies of that page that they wanted to cut out. and we posted online in order to cover the story properly, i felt like you should be able to see
what they had decided to sensor in arizona. so we bought arizona honors biology.com. if you go there, you can see what's so offending that they decided they would have to rip that page out of the books. that said, if you've ever read a book, you'll know that the way books are printed, you can't actually just tear out one side of a page. right? if you tear a page out of a book, there's something on the other side of that page, too. we have been wondering ever since we first started tearing out of that book because it just happened to be on the flip side of that page that had the dreaded mention of abortion. it has taken us a few days to find it. we did finally get what aes on the backside of that page. it turns out it's the page on sperm. a whole page about sperm and how sperms work.
i had no idea. well, we've got that page, now, too. and we have apparently saved the sperm for arizona. how ironic. at arizona honors biology.com, you can see the page on abortion and you can also see the innocent bistandard sperm page that was just getting cut out of the book by being on the flip side. arizona honors biology students, if you get to section 28 and you find that you're a state senator and your school board had succeeded in getting the pages ripped out there, they're accessible online. you can actually read the page. arizonahonorsbiology.com.
now, here's the latest. now that the tea party majority was just voted off of the school board, now that there's all this uncertainty as to whether that means that the textbooks are going to be safe before the new school board gets sworn in, today, we heard from the gilbert arizona school district. and they told us, basically, that the ante is being upped. according to the gilbert, arizona, school district, it is used at four local high schools that is going to have the pages torn out, now they are also planning to "redact" these four other biology textbooks as well. some of them are used in the school's advanced placement biology classes for which you're supposed to be able to get college credit.
none of these textbooks advocate abortion or get anywhere near advocating abortion. they are boring, middle-of-the-road textbooks. all they have is political information, accurate information, about human reproduction and how it works. the lawyer for the state board of education in arizona has told the local school board that there's nothing in these textbooks that violates any laws. they don't have to rip anything up. >> but in gilbert, arizona, they have decided to go for it anyway. in state legislatures, among governors and the u.s. senate where they just took over for the first time in eight years, they not only got more power, they became a more conservative
party as they took power. the part of the country that, by some measures, is more conservative than any other part of the country took full part in electing the kind of really conservative americans that part of the country has favored for a long time. but, even there, this is too much. arizona law really did post that it overtly teaching. but tearing the pages out of textbooks? and the sperm page gets torn out, too? what did sperm ever do wrong? when it comes down to seeing laws like this in action, not just ideologically debated on tv or not just batted around as a campaign issue, when you see
these laws in action in your kid's pool, apparently the country is conessentialtive enough. i guess we'll see if the schools can hold them off long enough. in the meantime, there's arizona honors biology.com. we will keep you posted. there's lots more ahead tonight. stay with us. then there's trusting your vehicle maintenance to ford service confidence. our expertise, technology, and high quality parts means your peace of mind. it's no wonder last year we sold over three million tires. and during the big tire event, get up to $140 in mail-in rebates on four select tires. ♪
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operation eagle claw. that was the official name of the top secret joint operation of the u.s. army, navy and air force. they were all supposed to work together on the night of april 24th, 1980, to do something that, on paper, looked like it was going to be impossible. their mission was to fly into iran and rescue american hostages who were being held there. get the hostages out alive, get themselves out alive. get in and out of iran. in and out of hostile iran on a top secret, very difficult rescue mission. that was the plan, 1980. it did not work. >> we're reporting to you on the extraordinary developments that we've been learning about throughout the night here on
washington and the middle east. briefly to summarize before you, president carter went before the nation at 7:00 a.m. to report on the failed effort of the united states rescue team to get the hostages out of teheran. >> late yesterday, i cancelled carefully planned operation, which was underway in iran, to position our rescue team for a later withdrawal of american hostages who have been held captive there. >> eight members of the armed forces were killed in that operation in 1980 trying to free
those hostages in iran. and beyond the enormity of the tragedy of those eight deaths and of those 52 americans still being held hostage in iran, it was a very sobering realization about newly learned limits of what we can do. this was supposed to be the united states of america doing this top secret thing. no one was supposed to know about it until it had succeeded. it did not succeed. instead, it was the united states of america aborting its plan, and, in the process, suffering this accident resulting in eight deaths and having to tell the whole world about what happened. it was just a disaster. and as disasters often do, it resulted in a lot of people and, a lot of change. that mission resulted in the united states changing, in some ways, the very
structure of the u.s. military. changing the structure so that it could perform a high-level mission like operation eagle claw in the future. one of the things it did was focus on one of the most difficult and secret missions that the military was ever asked to do. and one of the organizations created was seal team 6. they're not really called that officially. they're called the development group, but they are famous as seal team 6. they're really famous as seal team six. they are what we use as shorthand for elite special operations forces. we think of them, especially as civilians who know only of them what we're told. we think of them as superhuman. frankly, they are assigned tasks repeated by our country that assume they are superhuman. in our culture, they evoke a deep feeling of, wow, those are the guys that can do anything.
and the guys who can do anything and will never talk about it. and we think about it. they really do do stuff that no one else can do. in april 2009, almost three decades after that failed recovery effort in iran, an american ship called the maersk alabama was captured by pirates. they were threatening to kill the captain. the united states has a policy of not paying ransom. and the u.s. government, in this case, decided to mount a rescue operation instead. >> just hours after four pirates took captain richard phillips hostage, two separate teams of navy seal experts were air dropped at night. over the next four days, the navy kept up constant surveillance from the water and above with an unmanned drone.
but there was no clear shot at taking down the pirates without risking captain phillips' life until sunday. as the seas turned rough, the navy convinced three remaining pirates to allow the banebridge to tow the life boat. you would see one pirate in the pirate house, holding a gun on captain phillips who was tied up. suddenly, the other two were in sight. in an instant, all three fired a shot at the same time killing all three of the pirates. >> that rescue. was one of the more high profile operations that navy seals have carried out in the last few years. it's not the most high profile, though. tonight, i can report to the american people and the world that the united states has conducted an operation that has
killed osama bin laden, the leader of al qaeda and a terrorist who's responsible for the murder of thousands of men, women and children. >> landmark moment in our country's history. a moment a lot of the people will never forget. president obama announcing that osama bin laden was dead. at the time that that announcement was made, we were told that there was a team of 23 navy seals. it was a team that had 23 seals, a translator, a combat dog. we were told those basic details about who was there on the ground conducting that incredibly difficult, dangerous mission. there's never really any expectation that we would never know who exactly those people were, right? but in the years since that raid, two of the people on that raid have made themselves publically known. one wrote a book and gave a
national tv interview about how the raid happened and his initial role in it. he initially used a pen name, but he has since started using his real name. that second navy seal team member did not reveal his name. he apparently was planning on doing that, revealing his identity. next week on the fox news channel. fox has been announcing for a week now that they will reveal the identity of the man who killed bin laden. meanwhile, sources have been telling him will never in a million years be public about his role. therefore, it was not either guy
who has publicly spoken about his role. you know, among those of us who are not navy seals. among the who have not deployed in war zones in the last ten years and all of these things that incredible elite forces have done, among us, are you really less impressed with the navy seals on the ground in that pakistani compound but who didn't fire the shot that killed bin laden? are we any less impressed with the accomplishments or the capabilities of some seal team six members? i don't think any of us expected to know who did what, but that is now what's being fought about out in the open. and what are we supposed to make of it?
for who these elite forces are, who these guys are. not just what they have accomplished, but who they are and what it took to become that elite as a member of the united states armed forces. for us to see them fighting publicly, what are we civilians supposed to make of this? has this sort of thing happened before? honestly, it feels to me like i don't know how to feel about it. let me ask you what we're expected to know? is that fair? >> yeah, i think it is fair. there are a lot of things that have to take place which are
best to take place behind closed doors is too much of a cliche. what's really important is not how it's done, but the fact that it is done. if we say anything else, as admiral said, we diminish the efforts of all of those who participated. one of the interesting things about a seal taking in any military team is the motion of team. yes, there's a lot of individual effort, but, at the end of the day, we do achieve to fight the mission and all of that. we fight to defend the american public. but we fight as a team for each other. >> as far as i can can tell, the
first place that the shooter's name was openly reported was on a web site ha is maintained by retired seals. it appears to have been posted essentially as a protest to the fact that this man was going to be known as an individual. is there a case to be made that these guys ought to identify themselves once they're out of the service? the military has been marketing what the seals can do. literally, they made a movie about special operations capabilities and what the seals can do specifically that essentially uses what these folks can do. >> there are two levels to look at this.
the first is whether or not releasing a name, an action or, indeed, anything else, is going to have a deleterious effect on our ability to conduct operations in the future. or on the safety of individuals who are still in the business. our second level -- or another level, is the notion that we don't have an official secrets act like they do in great britain, where you are sworn to secrecy. you're not allowed to say anything ever. and you sign it. by the way, maybe some of the fallout from this would with a move to do something like this in the united states. if you want to be a member of a special operations unit, you're going to have to sign it. we have a different view of the first amendment in this country
than anybody else does anywhere. you can actually say anything you damn well please. unlike other countries, including in great britain, where slander is very easily proved, where libel is very easily improved. and, in this country, you can say just about anything about anybody and very nearly get away with it unless you can show intent and damages and all the rest of that stuff. so the whole notion of being in a country where we have the first amendment where we can say anything is at odds with what people who serve this country ought to be doing with themselves, even if they're no longer in service to this country. i remember many years ago when i was decorated, one of the guys there was jimmy doolittle.
medal of honor recipient, i was actually in the room with doolittle. he came up and took me in the corner. he said, let me tell you something, son. you're no longer jack jacobs. you're jack jacobs, medal of honor recipient. there's an argument that says once you're a seal you're always a seal and you can't act any differently for the rest of your life. >> seeing the commanding officer of the seals make this public statement, both talking to seals and saying it publicly, this is our culture. this is the cultural norm here and we will enforce it, essentially, within our community is a message to us about the seals as much as it is a sort of rebuke of anything going on in that community. it's a rebuke of our desire to know absolutely everything. >> retired u.s. army colonel jack jacobs. our nation's highest military award.
thank you for being here, sir. >> thanks for having me. >> while we were still trying to figure out how tuesday's elections will change the way we do politics, one particular politician is already hard at work trying to change the way his state does elections. stay with us. ♪ there it is... this is where i met your grandpa. right under this tree. ♪ (man) some things are worth holding onto. they're hugging the tree. (man) that's why we got a subaru. or was it that tree? (man) introducing the all-new subaru outback. love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru. here we go, here we go, here we go. ♪ fifty omaha set hut ♪ losing feeling in my toes ♪
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won re-election where his party got control of the united states senate. so he gets to run the senate now. it's a big change for the country. it must be a very exciting time of life if you are mitch mcconnell. senator mcconnell gave a very rousing, nine-minute speech after he won standing on the stage with his wife. but that speech, that was not the only action on stage on tuesday night. about half an hour before mitch mcconnell came out to address his supporters, mcconnell became rand paul head quarters. rand paul took the stage half an hour before mitch mcconnell did. but rand paul being rand paul, he barely even mentioned mitch mcconnell in his speech. instead, he just gave a version of his own rand paul stump speech. >> tonight, we begin to rebuild
america by freeing up american ingenuity, freeing up all forms of energy. tonight, we say to the president, yes, we did build that. we say to hillary clinton, yes, businesses do create jobs. >> and to be clear, this was not rand paul re-election night. he wasn't running this year. this was mitch mcconnell re-election night. but in case rand paul didn't put too fine a point, he finally just got right to the point about what exactly he was doing there. >> if the president rejects the will of the people, then in 2016, we rise up and elect someone who will restore the
values of our founding fathers. >> rand paul, even though he was not on the ballot this year, he had a lot personally riding on what happened in kentucky this year. rand paul, obviously, really, really wants to be president. and rand paul has a significant, technical problem in kentucky if he does want to make a run for president. there's a pesky kentucky state law that says you cannot run for two federal offices at the same time. 2016 is also the year that he wants to run for president. a kentucky state law says you can't run for both. pick one. you can't run for two federal offices at the same time. republicans in kentucky have
been trying to fix this for rand paul for a while now. earlier this year, the kentucky state senate, which is controlled by the senate, they passed a bill to run for president and senate at the same time, but republicans only controlled the senate. democrats controlled the house. and the democrats have said that they have no intention of changing state law just to give rand paul job security in the senate while he simultaneously runs for president. republicans thought they could solve this problem this year by flipping the kentucky house on tuesday night to republican control, but that did not happen. republicans didn't take the house. democrats hung onto control of the kentucky house on tuesday night. and so problem, right? this is a problem. tonight, there is an amazing, new development about how they're going to try to finagle this thing for rand paul.
while rand paul was at that mitch mcconnell victory rally on tuesday night, he reportedly huddled in private for about 30 minutes with the chairman of the republican party. the two discussed the idea that would allow rand paul to run for president and senate at the same time even though it says you can't do that. if you can't be on the ballot, the new idea is that they won't be doing a ballot for running for president in kentucky. they'll get rid of the kentucky presidential primary. seriously. that's the idea. kentucky state law says your name cannot be on the ballot for more than one office. the solution is to get rid of the ballot for president. one idea is to change kentucky's main primary into a caucus system, instead, since most do
not vote by paper ballot. rand paul could theoretically avoid that restriction in the law. the law is about putting your name on the ballot. they're apparently not kidding with this. he said he's got as many questions about it as i do. he's just curious about how it would work. how would it work? is this actually a thing kentucky republicans can do? how psyched will kentucky be to abolish its means so they can help one of those candidates who is apparently thinking about running but losing because he wants to have a backup job for when he loses?
joining us now is joe gerth, a political reporter for the journal in kentucky. how would this work, exactly? would republicans just be changing the presidential nominating system for themselves, or would they be changing it for the whole sing? >> i'm not sure if it can work, to be perfectly honest with you. just a little bit before i came on the air here, i looked up the state law. and the state law says that political parties shall state all their candidates by primary. >> it may be that they are just spit balling the way it's getting into the national
political press, increasing frequency about rand paul's political process. does it seem like to you that this is a technical matter? >> it is a problem, but, at the same time, there may be some workarounds. there has been some talk of him just not running for president in the primary in kentucky. that would allow him to be on the ballot for the u.s. senate. kentucky's primary is very late in the year. if he would do that, he could run for senate, he could run for president and he wouldn't be harmed if he lost. the problem with that is kentucky also has a law that says if you're somehow disabled, incapacitated and can't finish out the election, then if you drop off the election, or off
the ballot, your party can't replace you. so if you were to do that, candidates would be high and dry and unable to place him on the ballot. >> that's amazing. even if it worked the prospect that you have to run for president without running at home because home won't let you, i mean, it's been interesting to see the public's reaction to this. a poll conducted earlier this year by your newspaper on the subject showed that 66% of kentucky voters would oppose changing the state law to allow rand paul to run for both offices. are they not -- is that the ground conversation in kentucky about this? are people talking about it yet, or is it trivia at this point? >> i think it's more trivia at this point.
the paul talked to people about challenging i believe it was a supreme court case in alaska that ruled that the states could not put term limits on federal office holders. they believe that that law says that they cannot put additional restrictions on a candidate in kentucky and, therefore, limiting ballot access is illegal. >> that would take some gymnastic lawyering, but i bet they do it if they have to. i should note that we originally had commitments tonight from two of the top democrats to discuss this issue tonight. but, then, just a few hours before the show, suddenly, neither of them were available any longer. a sudden and unforeseen
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in the federal court system at the first level, there are trial courts, federal district courts all over the country where federal judges hear trials. they hear from witnesses. there's a jury. everything you expect from a normal trial. one level above that are courts that just hear appeals. at the circuit court level, they don't oversee trials like they do in the lower courts. they just hear appeals from other court decisions. but then one level above the appeals court, that's the supremes. the supremes, sorry. the supreme court. they are the top appeals court in the country. and that means that one of the important things they do is when the appeals court below them disagree on something, it is the supreme, the supreme court has to settle the disagreement. there's lots of different ways that constitutional law gets made, but a big part of it is just that there is this hierarchy of the courts. and somebody has got to be diana
ross. somebody's got to be supreme. and over the last year or so, there have been rulings from a whole bunch of those circuit courts, the courts in the middle, right? a whole bunch of rulings that all said that same-sex marriage cannot be banned by the states. the fourth circuit, the seventh circuit, the ninth circuit, the tenth circuit court all said the same thing about gay marriage. tonight for the first time, a circuit court has said the opposite. it's the sixth circuit court that has jurisdiction over kentucky, michigan, ohio and tennessee. today, that appeals court there, that circuit court said that those states can ban gay marriage. so now because of the hierarchy of the court system, now that means that the supreme court may have to weigh in here directly, because for the first time, there is a split in the courts that are just one level beneath them. and there's only one constitution, and a right either has to be a constitutional right or it's not. and the supreme court has been desperate to not have to decide this matter for the whole country. but now with what happened tonight, they're probably going to have to. unless they can weasel out of it
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all right, chart imitates life. 2010, the last time the republicans had a huge mid-term year. the most seats since 128. how many times have we said that in terms of explaining what's going on in the states for the last four years. they just ran the table in terms of taking over the states. tuesday this week, republicans increased their control over state governments. they took another, oh, 310 seats in state legislatures. so look at what that means in terms of overall control in the states. total control of state legislature, one party having majority in the whole state legislature. there are nine states now under complete democratic control, oregon, california, hawaii, illinois, vermont, rhode island, connecticut, delaware. they all have legislatures that are all blue, nine of them, as opposed to 29 of them that are totally red.
as of the close of the polls on election night, the republican party had control of state legislatures in 29 states. 29 out of 50 states. you know what? then today, let's make it an even 30. overnight last night, a state senator in west virginia, a democrat, left the democratic party and flipped his registration to republican. in west virginia, the state senate had been a tie between the two parties, but him switching flips control of the senate there to the republicans. republicans also got control of the state house in west virginia on tuesday night for the first time in 83 years. by this decision, he made west virginia the 30th state in the country where republicans now control both houses of the legislature. complete republican legislative control in 30 states. and we've only got 50 states. elections, consequences. democrats, do you guys have a
catchup plan for the states here or what? because the trend here is obliterating. that does it for us tonight. we will see you again tomorrow. now it's time for "the last word" with lawrence o'donnell. well, it's person of the year time and the "advocate" magazine is the first one out of the gate. the editorial director will join me exclusively to reveal the person of the year. but first, what should democrats in the senate do now? >> hope springs eternal. >> john boehner returned to capitol hill this morning. >> i missed you all. >> he wasted no time coming at the president. >> you play with matches, you take the risk of burning yourself. >> it almost sounds like the honeymoon is over before it started. >> a lot of people scratching heads today. >> mcconnell and boehner still talking about repealing obama care. >> the house at some point next year will move to repeal obama care. >> both sides are going to be on the defense.