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updated 10/16/2013 12:20:07 PM ET 2013-10-16T16:20:07

ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
October 14, 2013
Guest: Scott Rigell, Chris Van Hollen, Robert Costa, Steve Rattner, Josh
Barro, Robert George, Michelle Goldberg

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.

And we have just three days to go until an unprecedented possible U.S.
default, and there is some hope at this hour of a deal to reopen the
government, raise the debt ceiling and put an end to this ugly, unnecessary
crisis.

Fourteen days into a government shutdown, the timeliness to avoid possible
economic calamity just three days is truly unforgiven, given the sheer
mechanics of getting something passed through both houses of Congress even
after a deal is finally reached.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch
McConnell spent the day inching closer to a deal after House leaders were
unable to arrive at something the president could accept.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV), MAJORITY LEADER: We`ve made tremendous progress.
We are not there yet, but tremendous progress.

And everyone just needs to be patient. Perhaps tomorrow will be a bright
day. We`re not there yet. We hope it will be.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MINORITY LEADER: Let me echo the remarks of
the majority leader. We`ve had a good day, had a good day yesterday, had
another good day today. I think it`s safe to say we`ve made substantial
progress.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: That rare display of bipartisan harmony. The very latest
pronouncement from Reid and McConnell about negotiations came just about 90
minutes ago.

Earlier today, the duo engaged in a similar attempt at soothing everyone`s
collective nerves.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REID: I`m very optimistic that we will reach an agreement that`s
reasonable in nature this week. I deeply appreciate my friend, the
minority leader, for his diligent efforts to come to an agreement.

MCCONNELL: Let me just echo the remarks of my good friend, the majority
leader. We`ve had an opportunity over the last couple of days to have some
very constructive exchanges of views about how to move forward.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: A 3:00 p.m. meeting between President Obama and congressional
leaders was postponed so that negotiations between Reid and McConnell could
proceed.

However, McConnell did meet with Speaker Boehner for nearly a half hour,
and McConnell will meet with Senate Republicans tomorrow morning to review
the emerging agreement.

Here are the contours of the deal as we know them:

Reopening the government and funding it through January 15t.

Lifting the debt ceiling through February 7th.

Requiring a budget conference report in which both houses would come
together to negotiate a budget by December 13th.

And, flexibility for agencies to implement budget cuts from sequestration.

There may be some other aspects of the deal we`ll get into.

This deal comes after Democrats rejected a plan crafted by Republican
Senator Susan Collins, in part because it would have extended sequestration
level budget well into 2014. There is at least recent precedent for
McConnell and Reid striking a deal the White House signs off on, a deal
that Speaker Boehner then brings to a vote in the House, despite the
opposition of a majority of Republicans.

It happened on the fiscal cliff and it happened on Sandy aid. Of course,
the great irony is that that is how this ultimately plays out, it could
have happened two weeks ago. If Speaker Boehner had brought the Senate`s
short-term budget to a vote in the House, it very likely would have passed.

Meanwhile, as the shutdown continues, Republicans continue to pay a steep
political price for their intransigence. The latest poll putting their
disapproval numbers at 74 percent, compared to Democrats in Congress at 61
percent and President Obama at 53 percent.

Joining me now is Congressman Scott Rigell, a Republican from Virginia.

And, Congressman, as far as you can tell, given the details emerging from
the McConnell and Reid deal, is that something you can imagine the House
Republican caucus voting for?

REP. SCOTT RIGELL (R), VIRGINIA: Well, Chris, like so many things that
come my way up here in Washington, it`s not actually what I`d like. But
look, the pressure and the pain is very real from this shutdown. It`s
hurting the Virginia 2nd congressional district, it`s hurting our country,
and I really think the fight, to the extent there is a fight, and there is
one, should really be about overall funding of our government and not the
debt limit.

And so, I would -- based on what I know, I would support it, based on what
I know.

HAYES: You, sir, are an outlier. You are, if I`m not mistaken, the only
Republican in the house to vote against the defunding of Obamacare in this
last round that caused the shutdown, a vote that I happen to agree with.
But if you were going to vote for this, that doesn`t necessarily tell us
where the heart of the House Republican caucus is.

My question to you is, what is the sense you get from your colleagues? Is
there communication happening in the House Republican caucus right now
about this emerging deal?

RIGELL: Not yet. There certainly will be tomorrow morning.

And, Chris, let me be clear, you know, I don`t support what I really
believe is the "unaffordable care act" and I voted no on that first
continuing resolution because of my just absolute repudiation of how we
don`t budget up here, continuing resolutions hurt our country.

What`s really needed is for us to get through this, to have a short-term
solution, but really, I think every member of Congress, member of the House
or the Senate, should be required to answer this question -- what specific
plan do you support to get a hold of our long-term spending? I have a
plan. It`s the America First Plan. I offered it last week.

And what`s largely absent up here is specificity --

HAYES: Yes.

RIGELL: -- because people are so afraid of grabbing something. This has
bipartisan appeal, it has things that Democrats like and things that
Republicans will like, and it also has things that both parties will object
to, which means I think we`re on the right track.

HAYES: Well, I want to talk about the sort of budget negotiations that may
come in a second, but first of all, if it comes to pass, a deal is hammered
out in the Senate along the lines of what we`ve seen so far, it goes to the
House.

And if it comes to pass that John Boehner brings it to the floor for vote,
which is an open question, and if it comes that it passes, what will you
and the Republican Party tell your constituents about what the heck the
purpose of this shutdown was?

RIGELL: Well, Chris, the first day of the shutdown, I sent out this tweet,
and I knew it would put us in maybe an odd position, but I knew it was the
right one. I said look, it`s time for a clear C.R. Here`s why.

I looked out as best as one could and says how does this look day 3, day 6,
day 12, indeed day 14?

It didn`t look good to me, and our objective became muddier, and I didn`t
think it`d be good for our conference or our country. So, I`m not happy
with this process that we`ve been through, so I think your point`s well
taken there, but --

HAYES: The answer to that is there`s nothing to tell constituents because
nothing was genuinely gained from this.

RIGELL: Well, you know, if we`re going to take the American people through
a very painful process of not funding the government, look, it`s not that
I`m unwilling. And I understand the full ramifications of it, Chris. This
has real impact on real families all across America. You know some are
furloughed, and they know they`re going to get their pay when they come
back.

A lot of families are not in that situation. I mean, they`re flat out
unemployed, 900,000 jobs have, you know, are estimated to have been lost
because of this whole thing. I mean, this is deeply troubling.

But what`s equally troubling is our failure as a country and this
institution and the president to agree upon a long-term plan that slows
down the growth of mandatory spending.

HAYES: You will not get any argument from me that the short-term
government by C.R. is no way to go.

Congressman Scott Rigell of Virginia, thank you so much.

RIGELL: Thank you.

HAYES: With me now is Congressman Chris Van Hollen, Democrat from
Maryland, the ranking member of the House Budget Committee.

The first question to you, Congressman, is John Boehner going to bring this
to a vote? If the contours of the deal are the ones that we`re reporting,
and I`d be curious if House leadership is being read into this, which don`t
do much to Obamacare -- there`s some talk about one tax being delayed for a
year, relatively small in the scheme of things, some stronger income
verification, possibly, a few things around the edges -- if that`s the
contours of the deal, then is John Boehner going to bring it for a vote?
And if you bring this to a vote, why didn`t he just bring C.R. to a vote
two weeks ago?

REP. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN (D), MARYLAND: Well, Chris, that`s obviously the big
question. First, I should say we don`t know all the details to this
agreement. We believe that we should have a clean C.R. and a clean debt
ceiling extension. The dates you talked about are the dates that I think
have been under discussion, but we don`t think you should have the
extraneous provisions, even the so-called medical device tax, which would
add to the deficit if you get rid of that. So, we`re really focused on
clean measures.

But the big question is the one you posed -- will Speaker Boehner bring
this up? We know that he has refused to bring up the legislation that`s
before the House right now, which would immediately reopen the government,
and we have the votes between Republicans and Democrats to do it.

So, will he be willing to bring up this larger agreement? And this is the
moment of truth for John Boehner, because on the one hand, stands his
reckless Tea Party Caucus, and he`s been feeding that beast all along,
thinking that they`d be satisfied, but in fact, they`ve just gotten
stronger and more demanding, or will he stand up for the good of the
country?

And look, when the country`s on the edge of default and the country
continues to be in government shutdown, you would hope he would stand up
for the good of the country.

HAYES: Congressman, I want to play a piece of tape of you having an
exchange with one of your Republican colleagues in the House about the
rules. And it`s a piece of tape that went viral this weekend, because it
looks a little bit like a smoking gun on the shutdown. I`m going to play
it and ask you to explain what was happening.

Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VAN HOLLEN: This standing rule of the House, which I have here, has been
altered by the House. Is that what the speaker`s saying?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The House adopted a resolution altering.

VAN HOLLEN: The rules committee under the rules of the House changed the
standing rules of the House to take away the right of any member to move to
vote to open the government and gave that right exclusively to the
Republican leader. Is that right?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The House adopted that resolution.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: So, you were pointing out a change to the rules. What were the
change to the rules and what effect did they have?

VAN HOLLEN: Yes, Chris, this is really important, because I think people
realize now that Speaker Boehner, you know, shut down the government and
has refused to allow a vote. What people are learning now is that the
Republicans on October 1st, in the middle of the night, actually changed
the rules of the house in order to keep the government shut down. Because
under the standing rules of the House, in the particular circumstance we`re
in, where there`s a disagreement between the House and the Senate, the
regular rules of the House would allow any member, Republican or Democrat,
myself or anybody else, to cal up the Senate bill which would immediately
reopen the entire government. Republicans realized that, and so, they
changed the rule so that the Republican leader would have that exclusive
right.

In other words, they took a right that belonged to any member of Congress
and gave it exclusively to Eric Cantor or his designee.

HAYES: Just so we`re clear, they understood that a vote to reopen the
government would pass the House. They did not want it to happen. They
wanted to keep the shutdown going because they saw it as leverage.

And so, they rewrote the rules of the House of Representatives to make sure
only Eric Cantor or someone he said could bring up the Senate bill to
reopen the government because they were so terrified that any member
bringing that to the floor would pass it and reopen the government?

VAN HOLLEN: That`s exactly what happened. I mean, they were afraid of the
democratic process, because they can count.

HAYES: That is the smoking gun. And the big question now is, whatever
deal comes out of the Senate, the thing we`re going to watch and hopefully
we can get you back here to talk about it is does Speaker Boehner bring it
for a vote?

Congressman Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, thank you so much.

VAN HOLLEN: Good to be with you, Chris. Thank you.

HAYES: Joining me now is Robert Costa, Washington, D.C. editor for
conservative "National Review" and CNBC contributor.

So, the question today, Robert, is, Mitch McConnell is working out a deal
with Harry Reid, we`ve seen this before. And the way this has ended up
with John Boehner going to the House floor to bring up a vote on something
that he does not have a ton of Republican support for and that passing with
Democratic votes.

Are we headed down that road again?

ROBERT COSTA, CNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Chris, I just met with some house
Republicans this evening on Capitol Hill and I asked for predictions about
what Speaker Boehner would do tomorrow, especially when House Republicans
meet in the basement of the capital for their conference meeting, and they
think because the Senate is now brokering a deal, they think Boehner is not
ready to come to his conference and ask them to accept it. The deal isn`t
even finalized.

So, House Republicans as of now, based on my reporting, are looking at
sending their own package back to the Senate.

HAYES: If they do that, of course, let`s keep in mind -- this is precisely
what happened with the continuing resolution. It is precisely the series
of events that have led us to the shutdown which continues to this moment,
and yet, we are doing this up against a very, very different kind of
deadline with the debt ceiling just three days away.

COSTA: Here`s the mindset in the house, especially among Republicans and
conservatives, Boehner those exhaust all of his ammunition, and that
includes sending something back to the senate, perhaps on Tuesday or
Wednesday, before finally, perhaps, at the 11th hour, the 11th hour, he
embraces some kind of Senate compromise.

HAYES: So, this is essentially political theatrics, I mean, meaning, John
Boehner has to show to his caucus he fought until the last second before
the clock ticked over and the world financial markets went into disarray,
in order to be able to save face with his caucus, that`s what you`re
saying?

COSTA: This isn`t exactly a new story. We`ve seen since Speaker Boehner
decided to adopt the Ted Cruz strategy, to push for a defunding Obamacare.
We`ve seen Speaker Boehner very much work in sync with the right flank of
the House. He is not acting as an independent operator.

I think that`s a misconception about Speaker Boehner. When you watch him
in action every day, this is someone who is an independent thinker, used to
be a committee chairman, but when it comes to being speaker of the House,
he very much walks in step with the right.

HAYES: I want to play a clip for you of Sheldon Whitehouse saying why he`s
untroubled by a temporary continuing resolution and a temporary raising of
the debt ceiling for only four months because he thinks Republicans have
learned a political lesson from this. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. SHELDON WHITEHOUSE (D), RHODE ISLAND: The Republicans, and
particularly the Tea Party Republicans, really burned their hands on this
hot stove, and the idea that in January, they`re going to want to grab it
again and burn themselves all over again doesn`t seem very likely. I think
they learned a lesson from the damage that they did to our country with
this latest stunt.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Do you think he`s right?

COSTA: Partially. I think Republicans privately look at the poll numbers
and they see 74 percent of Americans are dissatisfied with the way they`re
operating. They`re aware of that. They`re aware of the constituent calls
coming in.

But because of the way the conservative movement operates today and the way
it influences the Republican Party, if Speaker Boehner does embrace the
Senate deal, you`re still going to see many, many House Republicans oppose
it because it does not include provisions related to Obamacare.

HAYES: And the biggest question I think are the outside groups, Heritage
Action, for instance, who pushed the whole defend of Obamacare strategy,
will the entire sort of machinery of movement conservatism then crank
itself up for another one of these fights in four months because they
didn`t need to go through this to understand this would be unpopular the
first time around.

Robert Costa from "The National Review," thank you so much for your time
tonight.

COSTA: Thank you.

HAYES: Coming up --

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

REP. MARK WAYNE MULLIN (R), OKLAHOMA: This country isn`t ran by just one
individual. It`s ran by four branches, but three branches that are in
control of this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Our feature, "These are the people who are running the country,"
continues tonight with this guy, a U.S. congressman who thinks we have four
branches of government. We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: If you have a Twitter account and watch this show, you probably
know by now I tweet, often, and like Twitter because it`s a direct line of
communication. You tweet at me, I tweet at you. That`s exactly what I
intend to do tomorrow, 9:00 p.m. Eastern right after the show. I`ll be
taking over the ALL IN account for 30 minutes right after tomorrow night`s
show to answer any questions you might have for me. So, please, hang out
with me tomorrow night at 9:00 p.m. Eastern on Twitter.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: If no deal is reached in Congress, America may hit its debt limit
just three days from now, which very likely means default, possibly
financial chaos and chaos for the world economy.

But a bunch of Republicans have this new line. They`re saying don`t worry
about it. Once the government can no longer pay all its bills, all it
needs to do is prioritize who it pays so that bondholders come first, and
that way, there`s no default and everything will be fine.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: There`s no reason for us to default. We
bring I $250 billion in taxes every month. Our interest payment is $20
billion. Tell me why we would ever default?

SEN. TOM COLBURN (R), OKLAHOMA: I would dispel the rumor that is going
around that you hear on every newscast that if we don`t raise the debt
ceiling, we will default on our debt. We won`t. We`ll continue to pay our
interest.

REP. JOE BARTON (R), TEXAS: We are not going to default from the public
debt, but that doesn`t mean that we have to pay every bill the day it comes
in, 100 cents on the dollar.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

HAYES: In fact, House Republicans even passed a bill in may called the
Full Faith and Credit Act, requiring the Treasury to prioritize payments to
creditors, rather than, say, Medicaid payments to doctors, in the event of
a debt ceiling breach.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. TIM GRIFFIN (R), ARKANSAS: This bill requires, not allows, requires
treasury to continue to pay principal and interest on existing debt if and
only if we hit the debt ceiling before a deal is reached. This is a
backstop that takes default off the table.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Now, in isolation, that sounds almost reasonable, doesn`t it? It`s
not. It`s nonsense, and here`s why.

Think for just a second about how massively complicated it is to deal with
all of the money flowing through the United States government every single
day. You`ve got intakes like payroll taxes and bond purchases coming in
and all sorts of money going out, interest to bondholders, Social Security
payments, even payroll checks to members of Congress.

The treasury is literally processing millions of invoices every day, and
it`s got an automated system that does this processing on computers dozens
of times per second, and these computers are designed to, quote, "make each
payment in the order it comes due." There are no built-in mechanisms to
pick and choose.

Yet, what Republicans are saying is to undo this entire automated system,
which it`s not even clear that this could be done legally, it may be
illegal to forego payment to a defense contractor so you can pay a Chinese
bondholder the next day. But more importantly, it`s just not doable. I
mean, it means asking the federal government to disrupt a sprawling,
massive payment system that includes multiple interacting computer systems
and agencies.

Take a second to consider the thought process here. OK? The same people
who so often cast the federal government as incompetent and useless, the
same people who`ve been delighting in the stories of a long-planned health
care exchanges central to Obamacare beset with glitches and failures, those
same people believe the Treasury Department can take, perhaps, the most
complicated payment system in the world, the one processing millions of
payments a day, trillions of dollars a year, and just rewire it on the fly
to pick and choose payments to avoid default.

The reality is there is no magic fix that would make breaching the debt
ceiling smooth, and anyone who claims otherwise is selling you something
you should not buy.

Joining me now is Steve Rattner, former counselor to Treasury Secretary Tim
Geithner in the Obama administration. He`s now the chairman of Willett
Advisors, investment for Mayor Michael Bloomberg`s assets.

All right. Treasury has already been taking what`s called extraordinary
measures, right?

STEVE RATTNER, WILLETT ADVISORS: Correct.

HAYES: For months. Is there anything they can do if we -- I mean, if we
go over on Wednesday, if you`re sitting there as Jack Lew, and the civil
servants who have to run this payment system, what do you do? I mean, what
do you do on Thursday morning if a debt ceiling hasn`t been reached?

RATTNER: I think first thing to know is Wednesday`s a very important day.
It`s the last day they can borrow using these so-called extraordinary
measures, but it`s not the day we actually default. Treasury will have
about $30 billion of cash on hand. More cash comes in every day.

As you point out, cash goes out every day. And probably somewhere between
October 23rd and November 1st is when we literally won`t have the money to
pay the next day`s bills.

HAYES: Part of what`s complicated here, right, is that these payments, the
money coming in and the money going out is lumpy. You might get a big
bunch of money one day and have a bunch of payments the next day and it`s
the unpredictability that makes it so harrowing, right?

RATTNER: Yes, but I mentioned October 23rd for a reason, because there`s a
Social Security payment that goes out that day and I mentioned October 31st
and November 1st, because there`s an interest payment on the debt and
Social Security and Medicare payments that go out that day.

So we know the day of some big amounts that have to go out.

HAYES: What do you think of the whole prioritization of payments? I mean,
you work in Treasury, you know your way around ledgers and numbers. What
do you think about this idea?

RATTNER: I think it`s generally ludicrous. I agree with pretty much
everything you said. I would just for complete accuracy say that the
Treasury has a couple different payment systems and interest is handled
somewhat differently from all the other bills. So you might be able to
separate that a little bit, but you can`t separate all those other bills
the way you just talked about.

There`s questions about their technical ability. There`s questions, as you
say, about their legal authority. And then there`s questions about simply
what do they want to do. Do you really not want to pay a Social Security
recipient so that you can pay interest to the Chinese?

HAYES: And the whole thing is while all you`re doing is empowering the
executive in the supreme way at the same time you`re accusing Barack Obama
of being a tyrant, the same time you`re saying he`s picking and choosing
political targets to impose the most pain in the government shutdown,
you`re also saying I hand over to the executive, the White House, the
president and the Treasury the ability to choose who gets paid and who
doesn`t.

RATTNER: That`s true, and there`s also another important point, which is
you can default by means other than simply not paying your interest. In
other words, if you don`t pay your interest on your home mortgage, yes,
you`re in default, but if you choose to pay that but not pay your utility
bill or not pay your Saks Fifth avenue bill, that`s default, too. That
could put you in bankruptcy just as surely.

So, either way you look at it, the Treasury simply doesn`t have enough
money without borrowing.

HAYES: OK. So, how do we think about the debt line? October 16th is when
the Treasury says extraordinary measures, we run out. You say it won`t be
probably until October 23rd that we actually go into default.

I guess the question is, what do we look for? What happens? When we had
the shutdown, we had the countdown clock because there was a statutory
moment at which authority for the government to spend money ran out.

How should we think about the countdown that we`re engaged in this week?

RATTNER: There`s not as easy a way to count this one down, because I don`t
even think, frankly, as you point out, Treasury knows from day to day
exactly when the day is going to come. The point is, we`re playing with
fire. And so, you can keep a safe distance from the fire, which is what we
have been doing, and even until October 17th, we`re a safe distance from
the fire.

Or you can get up really close to the fire, but you don`t know when your
clothes are going to catch on fire exactly, you don`t know the precise
moment, and that`s the position we`d be in after October 17.

HAYES: Would you anticipate we would see big movements in global financial
markets on, say, Thursday morning, if and when the government were not to
raise the debt ceiling?

RATTNER: The paradox of the financial markets right now is that the more
they think there`s going to be a deal, the more they just go, OK, so what?
As you saw today. And then people in Washington say, you see the financial
markets don`t care, after all.

HAYES: Right. They`re using it as evidence there will be a deal.

RATTNER: I know, but then you turn around, and the moment the deal looks
like it`s falling apart, the financial markets will fall apart.

HAYES: Quickly, shouldn`t we just get rid of this thing? Should there not
be a debt ceiling?

RATTNER: There shouldn`t be. Of course there shouldn`t be. It`s a crazy
way to run a railroad and this is not the way any policy should be made.

HAYES: I think that should be part of the deal. I think, in this deal, if
you`re negotiating anyway about getting this, let`s just kill it.

RATTNER: But that`s the one thing I will confidently predict will not
happen in all this. They will not get rid of it.

HAYES: Steve Rattner, thank you so much for your time.

RATTNER: My pleasure.

HAYES: We`ll be right back with #click3.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: A real-life Joe the plumber is the congressman we are featuring
tonight in our special segment, "these are the people who are running the
country." Wait until you hear his claim to fame. That`s coming up.

First, I want to share the three awesomest things on the Internet today.
We begin on the streets of New York, which for the month of October have
been turned into a citywide canvas for the mysterious street artist known
only as Banksy. Banksy has been leaving his mark around the five boroughs
with one art project per day, some of them outright beautiful like this
delivery truck turned into a charming woodland scene, and others more
cutting, like a caravan of squealing stuffed animals being driven through
the meatpacking district.

Yesterday`s piece involved a table outside of the Central Park signing
original canvases. The sale price, a clean $60. The actual value of all
this stuff, well over $1 million.

The table was manned by an older gentleman who sat and sat and yawned and
waited. His first sale didn`t come until three hours later when a woman
bought two pieces but only after talking him into a 50% discount.

Not a single person seemed to realize they were purchasing for peanuts what
serious art dealers would pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to get their
hands on. Banksie will continue to keep New York on its toes for the rest
of the month, meaning we have another 17 days to find out if this vendor
guy actually was Banksie. We will keep you posted.

The second awesomest thing on the internet today, super villains united.
"Breaking Bad" may be history, but people are still finding ways to enjoy
the celebrated drama. Some are creating inventive new Halloween costumes
for their kids. That is slightly inappropriate. And, others are getting
into the groove by binge-watching the entire series.

One new fan who watched every episode over the course of two weeks wrote a
letter to star, Bryan Cranston. The letter writer happened to be sir
Anthony Hopkins who wrote "Your performance as Walter Wright was the best
acting I have seen ever." Just in case the point was missed, he added,
"You and all the cast are the best actors I have ever seen."

They may sound like a good lung full of smoke blowing, but it is not.
Still not clear? OK, one more. "Congratulations and my deepest respect.
You are truly a great, great actor. Best regards, Tony Hopkins." Gawker
confirmed the letter did in fact come from one of the world`s most renowned
actors and who better to compliment their show about charismatic sociopath
and the guy who made cannibalism endearing.

The third awesomest thing on the internet today, this is Todd. He is the
composite of an average American male in his 30s. He is actually a little
more physically fit than we were led to believe. Todd is the product of
graphic artist Nikolai Lamb, who made the 3d models using body mass index
measurements.

Here is how Todd compares the average man from Japan. A bit paunchier, but
overall not terrible. This is the average man from France. Again, U.S. is
not looking so bad. In fact, they are looking like, "Oh, yeah! Well, that
is not good." This is the version of Todd from the Netherlands, and he is
pretty damn fit. He stands head and shoulders above the other four. And,
the side, you really extenuate from tummy trouble everyone else is in.
Suck it in, Todd! Suck it in.

American males have not felt this inferior to the Dutch since the heyday of
Marcus Schenkenberg. You can find all the links for tonight`s "Click 3" on
our website, allinwithchris.com. We will be right back.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: It is time once again for another installment of our new "All In"
feature, "These Are The People Who Are Running The Country," which we take
a closer look at the very small group of men and women in congress who have
shut down the government.

Tonight we turn the spotlight on a small businessman from Oklahoma with a
pension for common sense cuts to federal spending and their version to
bureaucratic red tape. Congressman Markwayne Mullin from Oklahoma`s 2nd
district.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HAYES (voice-over): Markwayne Mullin covers Oklahoma`s sprawling 2nd
district, which covers about a quarter of the state, and he is one of two
American Indians in congress. He came to Washington as a political
outsider to flush out the waste.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARKWAYNE MULLIN, (R) OKLAHOMA REPRESENTATIVE: Hi, I am Markwayne Mullin
with Mullin Plumbing at the Red Rooter. You know, we are known for all
those red bands that crisscross all over Oklahoma and taking care of all
your plumbing, septic, and aerobic needs. If it has to do with gas, water
or sewer, we are your experts in it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES (voice-over): He is the real-life Joe the plumber. If Joe the
plumber ever got elected to congress and was actually a plumber. Mullin is
fed up with the protruding tentacles of the federal government getting in
the way.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MULLIN: Government needs to start operating like we have to operate a
business.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES (voice-over): And, he means all four branches of government.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MULLIN: This country is not run by just one individual. It is run by four
branches, but three branches are in control of this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES (voice-over): Not only does Congressman Mullin have an alternative
view of the government`s constitutional structure, he also has an
alternative take on where the president was born.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MULLIN: Who would have thought we would ever actually -- actually be
questioning if we had a natural-born president being president?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES (voice-over): But, if this notion that the federal government is too
big, too meddlesome and too wasteful that really gets Mullin worked up.
Like this summer when he told a group of constituents about the horror
watching a couple defraud the federal food stamp program. He knew just by
looking at him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MULLIN: This guy was built like a brick house. I mean he had muscles all
over him. He was in a little tank top, pair of shorts and really nice Nike
shoes. They were both physically fit. And, they go up in front of me and
they pay with that card. Fraud, absolute 100% all of this is fraud.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES (voice-over): Shortly that, he voted to cut funding to the food
stamp program by billions of dollars, even though abuse of the program is
at an all-time low. And, it`s not just food stamps he sees as waste. He
believes the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was a, quote,
"Horrible Waste Of Tax Dollars," yet his plumbing company was awarded
almost $400,000 of that very same federal stimulus money.

Mullin maintains he is no hypocrite. He is a businessman. And, when,
quote, "Someone hires us to do a job, we don`t ask them where the money
comes from." That is businessman. Mullin believes that Obama Care will
wreak havoc on our economy and stifle job growth. so, when a letter was
circulated this summer demanding that John Boehner use the threat of a
government shutdown to support a bill to defund Obama Care, Markwayne
Mullin lent his support as a co-sponsor, and that`s how Congressman
Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma`s 2nd district became "One Of The People Who
Is Running The Country."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAYES: Tune in tomorrow night for our next installment of that. In the
meantime, Ted Cruz going to the mall protests today and railing against
government shutdown is like O.J. Simpson searching for the real killers.
Over the weekend, that was one political reporter`s take on this weekend`s
right-wing pageantry in the nation`s capital. It was really something. I
will tell you what else they were up to, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: Yesterday, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, Senator Mike Lee from Utah
with plenty of support from Sarah Palin headlined a march to protest the
federal government`s closure of the World War II Memorial. Now, the
memorial is shut down, we should note, because the government is shut down.
And, the government is shut down because Senators Cruz and Lee worked
tirelessly for months to make it so. No matter how disingenuously
channeling the raw anger and alienation of the Tea Party base is what Cruz
and company do best.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHAK HILL, (R) VIRGINIA, SENATE CANDIDATE: This is the wire our commander
in chief put up here to prevent you come being here today. Is it anybody
worried about this wire?

CROWD: No!

SEN. MIKE LEE, (R) UTAH, REPRESENTATIVE: Will we surrender our freedom?

CROWD: No!

ROB MONROE (?), (R) LOS ANGELES, U.S. SENATE CANDIDATE: God bless Ted Cruz
and Mike Lee!

SEN. TED CRUZ, (R) TEXAS, REPRESENTATIVE: Our veterans should be above
politics.

SARAH PALIN, (R) ALASKA, GOVERNOR: You look around, though, and you see
these barricades. This is a matter of shutdown priorities.

HAYES (voice-over): Understand the political spectacle at this weekend`s
million vet march. You have to go back two weeks when republicans shut
down the government, furloughing hundreds of thousands of government
workers, including many of the park rangers who patrol our war memorials.
You may remember one republican personally berated a park ranger for the
shutdown he helped cause.

RANDY NEUGEBAUER, (R) TEXAS, REPRESENTATIVE: Park service should be
ashamed of themselves.

PARK RANGER: I`m not ashamed.

NEUGEBAUER: You should be.

HAYES (voice-over): And the circus was on. Republicans and their allies
tried to sell closing of the World War II memorial as an evil Obama plot.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE SPEAKER: They want to make sure that World War II
veterans get shut out.

MIKE KELLY, (R) PENNSYLVANIA, REPRESENTATIVE: To put up barricades to keep
them away from their greatest accomplishments is an absolute sin.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s un-American and is despicable.

HAYES (voice-over): And, all of this political fear was to force the
president`s hand to delay or defund his health care law. It didn`t happen.
It is not going to happen. And, that brings us back to yesterday.

PALIN: We will not be timid in calling out any who would use our military,
our vets as pawns in a political game.

HAYES (voice-over): Yesterday, somewhere between hundreds and thousands of
people descended on the mall to stage a protest against the closing of the
war memorials, and it turns into something that looked a lot more like a
Tea Party town hall.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We want him to come here and apologize for the
treatment of our veterans!

HAYES (voice-over): The speaker succeed in whipping up the crowd around a
variety of conservative conspiracies

MIKE LEE, (R) UTAH, REPRESENTATIVE: How dare you commit an atrocity on
combat veterans` families!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Indict for Benghazi!

KELLY: Is anybody worried about this wire?

CROWD: No!

HAYES (voice-over): It was a protest of the shutdown headlined by the two
senators who are most responsible for the shutdown.

LEE: Are we going to let them shut us out of what is rightfully ours?

CROWD: No!

CRUZ: Why is the federal government spending money to erect barricades to
keep veterans out of this memorial?

HAYES (voice-over): Republican Congressman Steve Stockman, who previously
accused democrats of curb stopping veterans because Obama told them to, led
the crowd in a chant.

STEVE STOCKMAN, (R) TEXAS CONGRESSMAN: Tear down the wall!

CROWD: Tear down the wall!

STOCKMAN: Tear down the wall.

HAYES (voice-over): And, finally there was the ugliest moment of the day
from Larry Klayman of the conservative group freedom watch.

LARRY KLAYMAN, FORMER CHAIRMAN OF JUDICIAL WATCH: We are now ruled, quote,
unquote, "By a president" who bows down to Allah. I call upon all of you
to wage a second American nonviolent revolution. Demand that this
president leave town, to get out, to put the Koran down, to get up off his
knees and to figuratively come up with his hands out.

HAYES (voice-over): After that, protesters carried barricades to the White
House and camped out with a huge confederate flag outside the residence of
the first black family to live in it. Also, apparently, just after Senator
Ted Cruz told the crowd that president was using military veterans as,
quote, "Pawns," he and his colleague, Mike Lee, left the protest.

(END VIDEOCLIPS)

And, the original organizers of the event may have felt like the protest
had been co-opted by the Tea Party. On their website, the group states "We
feel disheartened that some would seek to hijack the narrative for
political gain. The core principle`s all about honoring America`s veterans
in peaceful and apolitical manner.

Joining me now is Robert George, Editorial Writer for "New York Post" and
former aide republican Newt Gingrich, Michelle Goldberg, my colleague at
"The Nation" magazine, which she just join as a senior contributing writer
and Josh Barro, politics editor for "Business Insider." Robert, I mean, I
am -- who could have predicted that was Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz and Mike
Lee there that things would get political?

ROBERT GEORGE, NEW YORK POST EDITORIAL WRITER: I`m shocked. I`m simply
shocked. What I found was most interesting about this entire scenario is
Ted Cruz, who seems to be despised by most of the senate, with the possible
exception of Mike Lee -- well, obviously, with the exception of Mike Lee.

He`s clearly become sort of the leader of the Tea Party movement. And,
even though he`s only been in office for about nine months, if he really
wants to take that leadership and then, you know, use it as a springboard
to 2016, he`s going to have to be more careful about what kind of groups
that he decides to sort of associate with --

HAYES: You think?

GEORGE -- Yes.

HAYES: You don`t think sharing a microphone with a guy who says that the
president needs to put down the Koran and come out with his hands up?

GEORGE: I mean -- you`ve got this guy, Larry Klayman, who`s sort of the
ghost of democratic obsession past. I mean, he was big back in `98 when he
was leading Judicial Watch.

HAYES: Yes.

GEORGE: As part of the whole impeachment stuff, and then he had a falling
out with Judicial Watch because, apparently, Judicial Watch thought that he
was a little bit too nutty, even for them. And, so -- now, he`s somehow
crawled out of the wood work and is attaching himself to these things.

So, I mean, if Ted Cruz wants to be the head of the Tea Party and ride it
to Iowa and so forth, he can do that, but he is going to have to figure out
a way of making clear he`s the leader and you`re not going to have all
these nutballs attaching themselves to you.

HAYES: I want to read a tweet from our friend, Tim Carney, who is often on
the show, conservative guy, a guy I have a lot of respect for. He says,
"Give liberals this, they figured out the one clown with the confederate
flag on Pennsylvania avenue is the true leader of American conservatism."

Is it fair to take that iconic photo of the confederate flag at this
protest outside the White House and blow it up and say this represents
something deep and dark about what`s going on here? --

MICHELLE GOLDBERG, "THE NATION" SENIOR CONTRIBUTING WRITER: Well, it seems
like --

HAYES: Hold your thought. We are going to be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: We are back, and I am here with Robert George, Michelle Goldberg
and Josh Barro. We are talking about this big kind of Tea Party rally that
happened on the mall this weekend -- yesterday, actually. It was called
the million vet march. It was billed as an apolitical celebration of
America`s veterans and indignation the fact the memorial was close with the
shut down, but then it just became the big Tea Party rally, with flags and
quite famously. Now, this iconic photo, if we have it, of a guy in front
of the White House with a big confederate flag. My question to you is, is
it fair to show this and be like, this represents something about what
these folks -- where these folks are coming from?

GOLDBERG: Well, I think it wouldn`t be fair if a similar message hadn`t
been spouted by one speaker after another at this rally. I mean,
obviously, it`s in the nature of images to be reductive and sum things up
in a single person. But, we heard over and over and over again from these
speakers, both the delegitimization of the president, a celebration, if
not of treason of something kind of tip toeing up to wanting to overthrow
our democratically elected president. And, so, the idea that this is
unfair, this permeates their rhetoric, you know? And, not just -- and what
we are seeing in the shutdown and in this kind of grinding to a halt of the
federal government right now in a certain sense is the confederacy`s
revenge, right? I mean, we have seen this --

HAYES: Do you think that`s fair? This has been, by the way, this has been
a theme that has been going around liberal writers a lot, that this is kind
of a neoconfederate moment.

GEORGE: I don`t agree with that. I will say, however, though, given the
era in which we live where everybody`s got a cell phone and so forth -- you
know, of course it`s fair. If that`s going to -- if somebody`s going to be
out there popping up, you know that somebody`s going to be taking images of
it, and the organizers of these things are the ones who are going to have
to ultimately be responsible for, you know, for images and voices that
ultimately embarrass their movement.

JOSH BARRO, "BUSINESS INSIDER" POLITICS EDITOR: I think calling this
neoconfederate gives too much credit to the protest, that would imply that
it has a goal like the confederacy did, such as secession and the promotion
of slavery. This is, you know -- this is a protest about nothing. It
amazes me that they have settled on this thing about the monuments, like
this is one of the genuinely unimportant functions of the federal
government right here. Until nine years ago, we didn`t have a World War II
memorial --

HAYES: Well, there is a symbolic resonance, obviously --

GOLDBERG: But, their goal is the delegitimization of the president, and
that is -- the delegitimization not just of the president, but the
delegitimization of any democratic leadership, which is the right we`ve
been involved in for many, many years --

(CROSS TALKS)

GEORGE: It started ultimately back with his signature program. So, not
necessarily the delegitimization of him --

GOLDBERG: I`m sorry. They asked him to come out with his hands up.

GEORGE: That`s just a nutball, Larry Klayman. He is not a serious
individual --

HAYES: But, he was a nutball who had a microphone at the same event where
Ted Cruz, who engineered the shutdown, spoke. I mean that is the point,
right? It is like if you do not -- I am as someone who is a product of the
American left and who has been to a lot of protests and has been surrounded
by people who have all sorts of ideas that I find totally nutty and
abhorrent, I hate the kind of guilt by association game as a matter of just
-- a sort of general matter. And, yet, Ted Cruz knows what he`s doing when
he goes there. He knows the folks he is stoking. I mean like that is --

GOLDBERG: And, the folks they are putting up to speak.

GEORGE: I am not so sure about whether he does --

HAYES: right.

GEORGE: He does. I mean, look, he had just come, like the day before, he
ended up getting the most votes at the values voter -- voter summit. So,
he obviously has a certain, you know, ultimate track of where he is going
on. But, he is going at it so fast. I don`t think that there is a lot of
political organization around him to try and protect him from himself.

BARRO: Here is what I think is the difference between this on the right
and on the left. Both, you know, I mean, you look at occupy Wall Street
and there were all sorts of crazies involved in that in addition to people
who were not crazies. But, elites on the left are still in control of the
democratic party, and they were able to take the energy off of Occupy Wall
Street without creating a situation where you have democrats being told
that they have to shut down the government unless we get a single-payer
health care system and they are afraid that they will go back and lose
primaries if they don`t --

GOLDBERG: And there`s also no real --

(CROSS TALKS)

HAYES: -- And, perhaps for the worst, for the country.

GOLDBERG: Right.

HAYES: Because this kind of shutdown governance is bad, regardless of the
substance. I mean, the substance the Tea Party wants out of this is bad,
but also the process is bad. We have the situation where we don`t know
whether the federal government is going to be open in an hour or not --

GOLDBERG: But there is a different issue, which is that the right is
actually much, much better at kind of channeling its extreme grievances
through political parties, whereas the left, there`s no inner penetration
between the democratic party and Occupy Wall Street.

HAYES: Right. And, that`s the big thing. What you saw happen was that a
movement that happened in the rally, the Glenn Beck, the Big Glenn Beck
Rally, April 15th rally, then the town halls, right?

GEORGE: Right.

HAYES: These were all essentially street protests. These were using the
tools of politics outside of the electoral process that was then converted
into big electoral gains through primaries and through elections that now
has profound consequences for the house of electoral representatives.

BARRO: Well, that`s actually true. I mean the Tea Party movement for some
of its excesses was sort of actively engaged where the occupy people was,
frankly, sort of like literally occupying, sitting around on their butts
and hoping something`s going to change. Well, I mean --

HAYES: Well, they did not -- they did not consider themselves electoral
politics, but here`s what I find fascinating, is that as someone who grew
up in the American left, as someone who`s been to protests, right? I think
of that kind of politics as a kind of anti-majoritarian politics. That
when you`re marching against a war, sometimes the war`s unpopular, but
there is a certain degree to which you feel yourself as a kind of voice
conscience and dissident against the majority. And, what is fascinating to
me about the politics of the right in this moment is that they are
profoundly minoretarian.

GOLDBERG: Right. And, they -- but they will never see themselves that
way.

HAYES: But those are the tools they`re using.

GEORGE: Yes, but the irony is, though, is that it is Tea Party people who
have now become Solemn Lynnski`s biggest fan --

HAYES: Yes.

GEORGE: They are the one who are kind of, quoting, "Rules for radicals"
and so forth. I mean there is an interesting irony there.

BARRO: But, this isn`t an effective strategy. The thing it is tearing the
Republican Party apart. The Republican Party has been effective in some
sense to channeling these peoplein that it won elections in 2010, but it`s
not effective in maintaining a long-term brand that works for the party or
for achieving the policy.

HAYES: And, this is also ABC and "Wall Street Journal" poll suggesting
would you vote to defeat or replace every member of congress? 60%. Erick
Erickson was tweeting about us being on the brink of a third party, right?
Now, third parties don`t have a good electoral chance in this country
because of the electoral rules, but there is a level of factualism inside
the Republican Party now that is a genuine threat to just the functioning
of the institution, wouldn`t you say?

GEORGE: I would not completely disagree with that. I mean, no, no, they -
- I mean, you see with John Boehner trying to, you know, kind of get
control and actually end the shutdown that he`s being basically tempered by
the Tea Party group within the house.

HAYES: Maybe he should ask Larry Klayman if he should bring the senate
compromise to the floor for a vote. Robert George from "New York Post,"
Michelle Goldberg from the "The Nation" Magazine, Josh Barro from "Business
Insider." thank you all. It was great. That is "All In" for this
evening. "The Rachel Maddow Show" starts right now. Happy Monday and good
evening, Rachel.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Happy Monday. Thanks a lot.

END

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