tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC November 21, 2013 11:00pm-12:01am PST
wasn't just dealing with the mother he had a responsibility to serve and protect the five children. joy read. thank you very much for joining us. attack. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in new york. let me start with the daring attack. the democratic breakout that could change the course of this political war. nothing is more daring or more effective than the attack from a defensive position. it's how henry v. go for the offensive and make take on the attack. today struck with all the pent up fury. it broke through the lines and
strangled in every effort to kill every nomination and policy and initiative. rebuilding the economy, fixing the immigration, bringing quality of opportunity to the work place. the same forces that tried choking the president's health care law in its crib. as diana washington sang "what a difference a day makes." due to the action today, there will be no more 60-vote requirements to get the appointments confirmed. no
more delaying tactics, no more mickey mouse. and with any luck, there will be action. steve kornacki and joan walsh. well, the president's enemies have made history in the ferocity and frequency of their attacks on the most basic jobs of the president in febds they challenged his right but filibustering the confirmation of chuck hagel.
to protect consumers by holding up his nominee for the protective bureau. for two full years. that nominee was finally confirmed in july. in october they challenged his right of blocking mel watt to head the federal housing finance committee. while it was to be the first member of congress to be denied confirmation since the civil war. and most recently, any judges between october 31st and november 18th. shot them all three of
the president's nominees to d.c. court of appeals. today they invoke what's called the nuclear option. it kills the republican threat of a filibuster on most presidential appointments. but the bigger message is clear. democrats and this president have gone to war with their enemies finally. let's listen to the president. >> today's pattern of obstruction, it's not what our founders envisioned.
a deliberate and determined effort to obstruct everything no matter what the merits. just to re-fight the results of an election is not normal. and for the sake of future generations we can't let it become normal. this isn't obstruction on substance. on qualifications. it's just to gum up the works. >> that's what they've been doing. run through the implications of this. i was -- i knew this might be coming. the senate majority leader harry reid was talking about it. they cut some deals. mccain did good work there. but they kept comes at obama. they kept saying you don't count as president. you can't pick your cabinet. we're going to question the patriotism of your cabinet. we're going to vote against everything. leading the charge, of course, has been ted cruz the worst of the bunch who votes against everything. i've said this. if caroline kennedy nomination had come to the floor, i would have bet on cruz to vote against that. total negativity. now the democrats have taken the attack against it.
>> well, that's just the interesting thing about this. when we first started hearing rumblings of the nuclear option the last few weeks and started looking at denying the up or down vote the democrats wanted. this was a scene in a play we've seen before, we're about to see again where harry reid will make the threats. it will come to the wire. then there will be a gang of six, gang of eight, gang of four teen. whatever it is. they'll want to step forward to preserve this in the senate. one is republicans put president obama, they put harry reid, and the democratic party in a position where if they did anything other than what they did today, they would have looked weak. this is a move democrats had to make. republicans put them in a position saying we're not going to honor the power of the president to put his appointees through. they put them in a position they had to do this. but you did not hear in the last few days as this moment drew closer, we did not hear what you've heard in the past. the mccains and the grahams, whoever stepping forward and
saying okay let's find a way out of this. i think at a certain level, republican senators not the republican base, but republican senators are relieved that this happened today. >> that's what i'm hearing. let me go to joan on the broader political fight. i've been arguing for years the president needs a bunch of soldiers ready to take on the enemy and charge. and here they're doing it. harry reid has guts. he's basically saying it's better to get something done rather than pretend to be majority leader. he wants to be the leader. >> i agree. they also voted today -- >> unlike boehner. >> yeah. i think they voted today to let barack obama. be president finally five years after he was elected. he's been elected twice. and he's been treated like no other president and he's been ham strung like no other president. so i've given harry reid a hard time over the years. but i have to say he has not necessarily securely had the votes until now.
and you've had democrats like diane feinstein or baucus or boxer say they were worried about this step. they wanted to protect the rules and the way things worked. but even they have been driven over the edge by that litany of obstruction that you opened this segment with. i mean, really -- chuck grassley and mitch mcconnell, they went too far. by saying that simply appointing judges to the d.c. circuit was, quote, court packing. they forced the hand of the democrats. they cannot be reasoned with or compromised with. this is a obstruction and finally democrats went along with harry reid and said we'll do it. >> as i said, diana washington's song "what a difference a day makes." this is going to be a difference we all remember. those blocking appointments they've been out there challenging the legitimacy. and this is the senate's top republican.
here's mitch mcconnell speaking to the senate earlier today. >> here's the problem. it doesn't distract people from obama care. it reminds them of obama care. it reminds them of all the broken promises. it reminds them of the power grab. it reminds them of the way democrats set up one set of rules for themselves and another for everybody else. >> you know what, steve, i think he's making a kind of heroic effort to change the subject. it reminds me of the damn filibuster itself. now people are thinking back of all the games played. there's ted cruz. remember why we don't have a budget this year? why we had a government shutdown? why it was easy? because cruz wouldn't let the budget committees meet. all these games they play on the hill now to stop this president from being president, to get him off the record books so they can
claim well he never really was president. look. he wasn't able to do this or that. i hope reid sticks to it. >> i think this is why a lot of republicans that will never admit it publicly, but i think they're secretly relieved by this. because the more and more absurd it got, when it got to the argument from grassley and mcconnell wasn't that these individual nominees are unqualified. that there's a specific problem with the specific nominee. the argument was the court itself is too big and therefore we're not going to confirm anybody to sit in it. when it got to that point, i think republicans really found themselves trapped. republican senators, between the war their base wants against any and every nominee that obama sends up. and the fact they as senators who represent full states, not these republican friendly districts in a lot of cases. but states where they've got to answer to a difficult general election electorate. having to defend these filibusters or risk the primary challenge that would come with breaking from the filibuster and
allowing to come through.em off the hook for that. and it's going to have them playing victim for the next year. >> i know. let me go back to joan. look at the game they play. they say sebelius is no good, this guy's no good or whatever. then one of the reasons i think why the president doesn't change anybody who may not have done a great job is they know they'll never get the next person through. it's a double whammy. the one reason the president can't make changes, he knows he'll never get anybody through without another benghazi attack. another three or four days of benghazi. lindsey graham's waiting to bring it and pound away with benghazi. he did it again with this. he's now attacking again on benghazi because of ending the filibuster power. >> and threatening to block janet yellen who had nothing to do with benghazi. >> weren't they over there somewhere?
>> she must have been. i don't know where she was that night. so she needs to answer questions. >> unbelievable. >> it is unbelievable. that is what they're doing. and similarly on the affordable care act, there are fixes that need to be made. we've all known it. we've known it since the day after it was passed because that's what happens with big legislation. but they won't collaborate on common sense fixes. so you've got the legislative path completely obstructed. you've got the appointment path. you've got the judicial nominations held up. it's a complete breakdown. and now democrats have realized we've got to go ahead. we're going to let him make these appointments. we're going to govern as best we can. >> here's lindsey graham going at it again with the one word he's learned. this is his word. let's watch. >> 14 months later, steve, the survivors, the people who survived the attack in benghazi have not been made available to the u.s. congress for oversight purposes. so i'm going to block every appointment in the united states senate until the survivors are
being made available to the congress. i'm tired of hearing from people on tv and reading about stuff in books. >> i don't know what he's talking about. we're not reading from k boos. here's a guy saying we can't have a fed chairman awhile back because we can't get more witnesses on benghazi. this sense of a senate hold, one-man rule, not the president. not the president. but any one senator like ted cruz or lindsey graham can pretend for a day or two or on an issue like benghazi or fed chairman that they're the boss. this is getting to be pretty chaotic. >> yes, it is. you know, they're going to continue to look for ways to continue to obstruct. i think we know that. but, you know, i think the other thing that democrats saw, i think there was some hope at the beginning of the year that we'd have move on immigration reform. didn't want to poison the well because they were hoping for collaboration. and we did have some collaboration in the senate. when you have a house gop like you've got that won't do anything either, you've got ted cruz in the senate and the tea
party caucus in this house. democrats can't do anything. reasonable republicans can't do anything. so democrats had to go ahead and do this. >> it wasn't always just like this. i was reading a book about the role the republicans played in civil rights. it's breathtaking. totally different party. thank you. coming up, the smoking gun. i love this. we now have because of the reporting by "the new york times" the republican playbook. it's an actual document about how to kill affordable care. it's how to collect the stories of people who have complained about the law and make it seem like it's happening to everyone even though it's only happening to six tenths of 1% of people. and if you're willing to give 10 million or 20 million bucks to fund voter suppression efforts, the gop will keep your name secret. isn't this wild? you don't have to have a name even to give billions of dollars in. but try to vote somewhere like
in texas. and case closed. attorney and best selling author makes the case that lee harvey oswald alone killed jack kennedy. finally, anchorman ron burgundy had fun last night on conan at rob ford's expense. >> my dear, dear friend mayor rob ford of toronto is running for re-election. i hold him in the highest regard. he is the best. >> i watched that last night. it was so good. this is "hardball," the place for politics.
well, a little travel note. i'll be down south this weekend in the great miami book fair international. i'll be presenting a book that's true to the season. it's about how great politicians can compromise to get things done. it's really the story of my political coming of age. and therefore a great companion book for "hardball" fans.
welcome back to "hardball." the republican party's now engaging in an organized relentless attack to destroy the affordable care act. we know that. but now the "new york times" has obtained this smoke gun to the attack. a republican memo that maps it out. it highlights things the republicans will try to use to disperse into the public discourse. it urges republicans to collect stories, quote, about the impact of insurance cancellations to citizens. politico reports today that house republicans will also make sure congress focuses on pretty much nothing but health care. at least eight different house committees are launching investigations. congressman darrell issa plans on holding hearings all around the country in the weeks ahead. nice way to celebrate christmas. anyway, the republican memo also lays out talking points to use like premiums are increasing,
millions of americans will lose the plan they have, and obama care is hurting job creation. how's that been going? let's watch. >> every day we hear heart wrenching stories from americans who are getting letters about their health care plans being canceled. or the cost of their new plan has skyrocketed. or they can't keep their doctor. >> they're writing me about cancellation notices of plans they wanted to keep. rising premiums so their deductibles, some of them are doubling. >> moms and dads are worried that they're going to lose their health care plan. >> the final wave of the principle of failure is going to be cost. it's going to raise the cost. >> young adults are now witnessing the increase in health care costs and are wondering whether they're going to be able to afford a basic policy. >> millions of americans have lost their health insurance because of obama care. and others are paying more for the insurance they have.
people are going to be losing their doctors. prices are going to skyrocket. >> anyway, first of all, wrong again reince priebus. showed that, quote, health care spending has grown by 1.3% since 2010 the year the health care law passed. that's the lowest rate on record for any three-year period in health cost spending. david axelrod is a political analyst and jonathan capehart is an msnbc contributor. david how important is it to get ahold of the war plan? there you have it's all laid out. there's no spontaneity to this. they're going to ignore the fact the people have been dismayed and angry about the fact they didn't get to keep the health care they wanted. a good complaint, i must say. is six tenths of 1%. while the republicans are out there -- health care to 40 million people surviving in emergency rooms.
that never gets mentioned in the mainstream press. your thoughts. >> not just the 40 million, chris. since the law was signed, you've got 3.1 million young people under 26 who have gotten insurance. 17 million kids with pre-existing conditions that can't be barred from their family's policies anywhere. just this year 8.5 million americans who got rebate checks from their insurance companies because the insurance companies over-spent on administrative costs and executive salaries instead of health care. and everybody who has health care, 105 million americans now cannot -- don't face lifetime caps. if you get seriously ill, your insurance company can't throw you off of insurance. so i want to see the republican party write letters to all those people and tell them they're taking that away from them. that they think it's a bad deal for them. >> congratulations to you, sir, in the role you played for getting health care passed. >> thank you.
>> if you listen to the unrelenting message, you would think americans are going to lose health insurance. that's not the case. a new study from families usa looked at all those at risk. their conclusion found only .6% of americans under age 65 will be at risk of losing their current individual market plan and will not be income eligible for financial assistance. that will make their insurance plan more affordable. that's the point here. there is going to be friction here. i never denied it. but the thing is you're trying something new here. something that will have a grand historic impact positively on people's lives. it wouldn't have been accomplished if the president hasn't gotten his votes in the senate. >> right. and it wouldn't have been accomplished if the president hadn't tried it. when scott brown won his election the story was and the president gave an interview saying maybe we should think about going incrementally. but they changed their mind and
pushed to get it done. you know, chris, this plan which i have here in my hand, it's a pr document. it has nothing in there -- it was david that talked about all the things that affordable care act is. a lot of people think it's just healthcare.gov. and it's not the case. what republicans refuse to talk about and is not in here at all is what happens if they do succeed in getting rid of the affordable care act or defunding it? what do they do about all those kids on their parents' health insurance? what do they do about, you know, no lifetime caps? what do they do about the millions of americans who would suddenly find themselves without health insurance? yes, the 0.6% of the american people who find themselves getting cancellation notices and in a fearful position, it's heart wrenching, it's unfortunate. but we're talking as you said
about a greater good here. change is hard. and people get hurt. i don't mean to sound callus, but there is a greater good here. >> what do you think about their game here? i know american politics is often negative. i voted against the iraq war in my thinking. but how do you put a -- mcconnell's no fool. the minute this came up, the nuclear option thing, they were going to put up with no more filibusters, he immediately said they're trying to distract from health care. unless you're lindsey graham, then everything goes back to benghazi. what do you make of that? >> i think it was the admission on the part of the republicans that they weren't going to advocate any new policies. they were just going to engage in oversight. to try to scuttle health reform. this is one of the reasons why their numbers are historically
low. congress' number and the republican party's number. people recognize they're against everything and stand for nothing. they have no health care plan. challenge them and ask them how they're going to deal we the problems we've been talking about. and they have no answer. and i think ultimately they're going to pay a price for that. >> here we have a classic example ted cruz at texas. listen to these crocodile tears from him. remember texas has the largest number of people -- don't think this is all about minorities -- don't have health insurance. and would not get any under the republicans. he's a total no guy when it comes to this. here he is complaining publicly about his heart wrenching story about meeting people having trouble with this new law. let's watch. >> when i go back to texas, i travel the state and see people all the time who come up to me, men and women across texas, and they grab me by the shoulder. they're afraid.
they say, ted, i just lost my health insurance. i've got a child with diabetes. i need my health insurance. i'm scared. stop this from happening. those are real facts. >> and what do you say to them? i looked at the list of bills you sponsored. there's not one that offers a solution to the current problems with health care except to get rid of the existing law. is that enough? >> well, that's the only solution that will work. >> only solution that will work, his answer is do nothing. maybe senator cruz wouldn't be worried about the huge number of people in his state who have no insurance and would be helped by something at least like the new health care law. here's the facts about texas. in addition to having the highest rate of people without nurns in the country, texas also has the highest rate of children and poor adults without insurance. more than 852,000 texas children without health insurance. let me go to jonathan on this. the way the media's been playing this, if you complain you're somehow empathizing. sometimes it's appropriate and
maybe necessary. all they're listening to are people who have nothing in their pockets as an alternative. who have spent their careers opposing getting anything done. and they come out and complain. it's not like they're umpires. they're on the opposing team. and they don't believe in it. your thoughts. >> right. i mean, we love conflict and we love the bad sides of stories. i think what has to happen here is -- and the great thing about having this playbook which is hardly shocking is that the democrats and people who are supporters of the affordable care act have to counter this. every time republicans show up on fox news saying they've been harmed by the affordable care act and somehow they've lost their health insurance. there should be someone else in front of cameras on a show talking about how for the first time ever they've gotten health insurance. for the first time they haven't been dropped because of pre-existing conditions.
this is a pr plan. the democrats have to have a pr plan to push back on this. >> i wonder if the network you mentioned has ever done a study on the lack of health insurance and how to get it. david axelrod, you did a big job in getting this done. thank you. and thank you jonathan capehart. up next, ron burgundy and mayor rob ford. this is "hardball," the place for politics. [ female announcer ] can it get any cleaner?
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apparently he forgot the party of the tea party story where you dump the product in the harbor before the cops show up. folks, personally i hate to lose a congressman so fiscally conservative that i'm sure he snorted his blow through a $1 bill. >> time now for the sideshow. that was stephen colbert on trey radel. i guess there's a first for everything. but as it turns out radel's also the first congressman to be known as a hip pop conservative. in an article he wrote for buzzfeed. he credits his love of hip hop and gangster on his love of politics. look at this interview he gave last spring. >> is there a lyric or a song that explains how you feel about the situation in washington? >> you know, the first one that i would have to refer to would
be "fight the power" by public enemy. this is a song that came out, really, if you really get down to it, in many ways reflects the conservative message. i think at the end of the day and this is where i take my love of hip hop music, of where you can see where there have been issues and problems with heavy handed either law enforcement like the department of justice like we've seen right now or heavy handed government in and of itself. >> earlier today radel checked into rehab. anyway, speaking of drug use, mayor rob ford got an unlikely tribute last night from ron burgundy of "anchorman" fame. will ferrell remained in character on conan for the whole interview. here's what happened. >> my dear, dear, dear friend mayor rob ford of toronto is running for re-election. and i hold him in the highest regard. he is the best. >> okay. so you've chosen to sing the campaign song for mayor rob ford. >> of course. who wouldn't?
♪ everybody's working for the weekend ♪ that's right, rob. ♪ everybody wants a new romance ♪ everybody's going off the deep end ♪ don't do anything stupid, rob. ♪ everybody needs a second chance ♪ >> will ferrell will have himself on the show next month december 18th. mark your calendars. up next, republicans want to make you show i.d. to exercise your basic right to vote. but if you have millions to help campaign, they want to keep your identity secret. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics.
kennedy cousin michael skakel is out on bail. this as he awaits the new trial of his 1985 neighborhood martha moxley. the full senate is expected to give a final vote after thanksgiving. let's get you back to "hardball." welcome back to "hardball." the right wing is all for identification when it's used to suppress the voters of people who might vote democratic. but when it comes to making enormous anonymous contributions to elect right wing candidates, identification is the last thing they want. harold meyerson said this points
to the question here about hypocrisy. it begins, better bring identification and not just any identification if you plan to vote in republican controlled state. however, if you contribute tens of millions of dollars to sway an election on a republican's behalf, the party will try to keep your identity a secret. look at this from cross roads, gps. look at that $18 million contribution. who's it from? person. just person. meanwhile if you want to vote in the state of texas, something that is your right, you better be able to identify yourself by producing driver's license, military i.d., gun permit. but not a student i.d., of course. one of ten registered voters lack an i.d. steve mcmahon is a democratic strategist. i want to start with the overall notion here.
just to make it simple, steve, for everybody watching. why would the republicans want to make it hard to vote but easy to give money secretly? >> well, if you make it hard to vote for african-americans and hispanics, then of course democrats get fewer votes and republicans might be able to win more elections. if you make it easy to hide the money which republicans also like to do, then you have wealthy republican businessmen like the koch brothers and others who can contribute $18 million to slander a democrat and no one ever knows who did it. >> why do the koch brothers want to remain secret like the lone rangers? why -- most people when they give money to hospitals for example, they want their name on the door. why do they want to keep it secret? >> well, in polite company, it's not considered appropriate to engage in this kind of skull duggery and character assassination. i think it has to do with the cocktail association. in this case they want to hide and they're doing a pretty good job hiding under rocks and
hiding behind anonymous campaign filing reports. >> again, let's go back to a topic we have talked about before. i don't think everybody who is a republican is a racist, but i think they think blacks tend to vote democrat. it's just political advantage they achieve by denying people their constitutional rights. >> that's right. that's right, chris. these laws were surgically crafted in ways to hit african-americans, latinos, and young voters. we know that the effect of these voters i.d. laws and the other voter suppression tools really are to hit the folks they don't want to vote. in places like texas, this is called the texas two step, right? you have first let's buy an election and make sure we can get the right people in the seat. then let's make sure we silence the people that we don't want to
vote. so that we get the right outcomes in terms of elections. and they don't want to put their names out there because they know that it's undemocratic and it's un-american. >> so some guy like ted cruz would look at this like a survival kit. not only does he deny the chance of him getting defeated but getting anybody in there that would approve health care. making sure a million people in texas don't get health care. that's the fact. those are the facts. he gets it, they don't. they don't get to vote. they don't get health care. as long as you can suppress the vote. >> and they've done their calculations. they know america is changing, the changing demographics and the rising electorate leaves them with having to sway women and people of color. and they're not ready to do that. they're not ready to make sure that their policies meet the needs of all americans.
and we are diversifying but they're not ready to make that move. instead they'd prefer to silence voters. >> there's one other thing going on here. that is with the voting rights act being gutted by the united states supreme court, it's easier to do these things than it was before. there used to be an article section five of the voting rights act had preclearance of anything that would suppress the vote. now what you're seeing is moving throughout the south. but it's also moving into states like wisconsin and other places where there are republican governors who now see an opportunity to depress the vote among minorities, among young people and among those who are likely to vote democratic. >> what's karl rove's gps -- cross roads gps. how is that different than any other pac? >> well, it's different. first of all, it's different because it can take unlimited amounts of money.
>> and it's also anonymous. >> it's anonymous. so people can run money through there in any amount. what you get on the finance disclosure, you get nothing. what you get in the tax disclosure as what you were looking at earlier is anonymous donor. person. democrats actually have some persons like that. there just respect as many persons like that in the democratic party giving money. when they do, they're guys like george sorros who is not afraid to say he's providing money. he, in fact, says i'm putting it in. that's what everybody ought to do. >> in the old days before you were born, judith, the few in the country and in the world said this country is run by the millionaires. it pretends to be a democracy. this crowd wants it to be as bad as the communists said we were. they want it to be a country not run by voters but by millionaires. thank you and we'll be right back. [ male announcer ] no matter what city you're playing tomorrow.
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no event in american history has inspired more speculation and curiosity than the murder of john f. kennedy in dallas, texas, 50 years ago tomorrow. the kennedy assassination has produced a bottomless pit of theories for five decades now. but vincent who prosecuted charles manson spent 21 years writing his book driving a heart through the conspiracy claims. his book is what "the washington post" called a prosecutor's airtight brief that leaves no reasonable doubt that lee harvey oswald acts alone. the deluge of ludicrous arguments range from fidel castro, the fbi, lyndon johnson. and he calls them all moon shine as he exposes every selective use of evidence and flawed logic by the conspiracy theorists and industry i should say. so case closed. he joins us now to discuss his conclusion of what the l.a. times called a book for the ages.
it's an honor to have you on. i'm totally with you. i have sat and watched oliver stone, a brilliant movie maker and terrible historian, say lbj had something to do with killing kennedy. nixon knew about it. some character told him about it the night before. nonsense, nonsense. nixon left town that morning on a commercial airline scheduled at 9:00 in the morning. american airlines. he didn't as oliver stone said snuck out on general aviation looking at the sky to see what it looked like on the day. that is moon shine. my question for you and the people who have doubts, what is the evidence that he alone shot kennedy? >> let me say first, it's always great to be back on your show, chris. in reclaiming history, i set forth 53 separate pieces of evidence pointing to oswald's guilt. under the circumstances it wouldn't be humanly possible for him to be incident. there would be one or two things
pointing towards guilt in innocence, but not 53 things let me point out these things. oswald's rifle a 6.5 millimeter arcano rifle was the murder weapon. after the shooting in dealey plaza, oswald was the only worker at the book depository building who fled the building. 45 minutes later, oswald shot and killed officer j.d. tippett of the dallas police department, because tippett stopped him on the street and wanted to question him. oswald killed him. 30 minutes later at the dallas -- not the dallas, at the texas theater, a motion picture theater in dallas, oswald resisted arrest by pulling his gun on the arresting officer. when he was interrogated for 12 hours over a three-day period, by the dallas police department, oswald told one lie after another, one provable lie after
another, all of which, of course, showed an unmistakable consciencenes of guilt. chris, i'm not satisfied beyond a reasonable amount of doubt on oswald's guilt, i'm satisfied on all doubt. in my book, "reclaiming history," i set forth 32 separate pieces of evidence, pointing in the direction, away from a conspiracy. let me just mention three of those points, if we have time. >> sure, you've got time. >> we cannot disregard the fact, although the conspiracy community would like us to do it, that the warren commission and the fbi and the house collected committee on assassinations thoroughly, completely investigated, extremely thoroughly, all of the theories and they all concluded that there was no credible, let's underline that word "credible," no credible evidence that the cia or mob or any other group was involved in the assassination. all they found was unsupported
allegations and naked speculation. now, before i get into my second point, let me very briefly touch on this word, "credible." to show you how noncredible the conspiracy theorists are, over the last 50 years, at one time or another, one or more conspiracy theorists have accused 42 groups, 82 assassins, and 2014 people being involved in the assassination. also, chris, you know as well as i do, from your own personal experience in life, from all of our experience, it's almost impossible to keep a secret. i told a jury once, you know, folks, three people can keep a secret, but only if two are dead. and here we have 50 years that have gone by, and not one credible word or syllable has leaked out of a conspiracy. why? because there is no conspiracy. it's all nonsense. point number two -- >> my question, vince, has always been to people i argue with. i say, look, he had the job at the book depository way before, he had the gun way before
kennedy was going to drive right by there. there could have been no -- what, did they bring -- the conspiracy theorists would have to argue, we brought the president to lee harvey oswald so he could shoot him. and then oliver stone tells me, well, johnson changed the route the day before, as if johnson killed the president. >> i know. >> that's crazy talk. why would johnson -- the idea that lyndon johnson would tell somebody to kill kennedy is unimaginable. go ahead, your thoughts. >> no, i agree. my whole orientation as a former prosecutor and a writer of true crime books is to focus on the facts. all of the facts show oswald as guilty. there are no facts pointing towards a conspiracy -- >> what's the grassy knoll? >> i do want to get into the second point here. >> sure. >> on why i say there was no conspiracy. let's assume that one of these groups decided to kill the president, which i find prodigiously unlikely, but who knows? anything is possible in life. oswald would have been one of the last people on the face of this earth, chris, whom they
would have gone to, to do their bidding for them. not an expert shot. he was a good shot, but not an expert shot. $12 mail order rifle. notoriously unreliable. very unstable. here's a guy, chris, that defected to the soviet union pre-gorbachev, 1959, even today, who in the world defects to russia? he gets over, desperately wants to become a soviet citizen, he's a devout marxist. they turn him down. what does he do? he slashes his wrists, tries to commit suicide, just the type of person the cia or the mob would want to rely on to commit the biggest murder in history. point number three -- >> very quickly. >> assuming that one of these groups decided to kill kennedy and they oswald to do the killing for him, they wanted him to do the killing. let's see where that takes us. after he left the school depository building, if the cia or mob were behind kennedy, there would have been a car, if the cia or mob were behind this, there would have been a car
waiting for him at the book depository building to drive him to his death. you know that would have happened. >> sure. >> and yet we know that oswald was out on the street with $13 in his pocket, trying to flag down buses and cabs. >> thank you. >> that alone tells any reasonable person that oswald acted alone. >> i'm with you 100%, vincent. thank you. thanks for coming on and we'll be right back after this. [ female announcer ] some people like to pretend a flood could never happen to them. and that their homeowners insurance protects them. [ thunder crashes ] it doesn't. stop pretending. only flood insurance covers floods. ♪ visit floodsmart.gov/pretend to learn your risk.
every american knows this picture well. it's the young john f. kennedy jr. saluting his father's casket in front of st. mathew's cathedral. awhile back, in researching my book on jack kennedy, i came across the scene of the kennedys enjoying a weekend, just prior to that deadly friday in dallas. at one point, i came across the young son playing in his army helmet and rifle, showing off that same smart military salute to his mother, who returns it, just as smartly. on the day of the funeral, you can see jacqueline kennedy encouraging her son to do the same before the world. as it says in the bible, you know not the day nor the hour. in returning your young boy's salute that fresh november weekend in virginia, jackie kennedy had no idea she would be asking him to repeat it again on a day and hour at such unknowable grief. no one knows the future, that includes the kennedy family in those last sweet days of november in 1963. it's for this reason that i think of jack and his family as a new life, grabbing every bit of it, not knowing for a second what was to come as he turned that plaza in dealey plaza.
tomorrow is the 50th anniversary of that tragedy. at 7:00 p.m. eastern, we will begin our coverage of what it all meant to those who lived it and to those who must wonder what it was like and why it hit us so hard and so permanently. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes and it is a historic, momentous day in the history of u.s. political system. >> the threshold for cloture on nominations, not including those of the supreme court of the united states, is now a majority. >> today for the first time in nearly 40 years, the senate changed its rules on filibusters, after a series of dramatic clashes over the last few years and repeated threats by the majority leader that always dissipated at the last moment.
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