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tv   All In With Chris Hayes  MSNBC  October 14, 2021 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT

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courage but who called colin kaepernick a rich spoiled athlete for taking a knee against police killing people who look like kyrie irving. hey, professional karen laura ingraham, should kyrie shut up and dribble or not? being a contrarian does not make you an intellectual. it does not make you a hero. it most certainly does not make you anything near the greatest. in fact, it makes you and those using you as an anti-vaxx celebrity pawn the absolute worst. that's tonight's "reid out." "all in" with chris hayes starts now. tonight on "all in" -- steve bannon will face the full force of the law. >> we did tell you today's not just a rally. the president's going to give you his opening argument. i think eastman's up there actually throwing down. >> what we know about today's announcement of criminal contempt proceedings with congressman adam schiff. plus donald trump raises the stakes in virginia. >> i hope glenn gets in there
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and he'll straighten out virginia. >> and republicans connect the insurrection to the next election. >> she's carrying an american flag that was carried at the peaceful rally with donald j. trump on january 6th. >> plus senator kyrsten sinema's european fund-raising vacation. and as workers go out on strike in iowa and more strikes planned, a look at what's fueling this historic moment for workers' rights in america. when "all in" starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. last night there was a rally in virginia organized by a right-wing radio host in support of the republican running for governor in that state. and what happened over the course of that evening demonstrates beyond a reasonable doubt that there is no way to divorce the republican party from the authoritarian cult that has seized it. it does not matter what anyone wants the party to be or what they might pretend that it is. the party is now the vessel for
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donald trump's authoritarian aspirations. and they are now metaphorically reloading the gun for another attempt on american democracy. so last night several hundred people gathered at a restaurant in richmond, virginia for this rally. it was broadcast on the right-wing network real america's voice. and they were there to drum up enthusiasm ahead of virginia's elections next month when republican glenn youngkin will take on the democrat former governor terry mcauliffe. and this event perfectly embodied the wink wink nudge nudge relationship between the so-called mainstream republican party and the authoritarian coup aspirants. glenn youngkin is running in a state that joe biden won by ten points. if he wants to beat terry mcauliffe he has to win over some biden voters. which means probably would not be the best idea for youngkin to run on a affirm of yes, i support the violent interruption
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of the peaceful transfer of power against the will of the people. but of course that notion is all the most popular figure in the republican party cares about. he said it again just yesterday releasing this statement. "if we don't solve the presidential election fraud of 2020 republicans will not be voting in 2022 or 2024." and so glenn youngkin has tried to pull this trick off, where he needs to distance himself from the ugly authoritarian movement that's at the heart of his party but while also harnessing the energy from those same folks. and this downright surreal scene last night is what that looks like in practice. glenn youngkin did not show up to the event. one of his running mates, a candidate for the lieutenant governor, left early with no explanation. but the former president called in to this richmond restaurant livestream, as he regularly does on right-wing tv, and predictably delivered a rant about guess what, the election
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being stolen. >> we won in 2016. we won in 2020, the most corrupt election in the history of our country. probably one of the most corrupt anywhere. but we're going to win it again. we're going to take it all back. >> imagine getting haranged about the corrupt election over your chicken dinner. again, this is donald trump's singular focus. this is the issue that he wants to define the republican party in american politics. are we a democracy or are we a trump dictatorship? he very clearly wants to polarize the republican party and our politics along those lines. he's not like being shy about this. but i want to show you the moment from this rally that was even crazier and honestly more chilling. it came at the very beginning of the event. pledge of allegiance. you know, most political events, a lot of political events begin with one. i know it looks like just a normal pledge. but take a listen to how they introduced this particular flag. >> i also want to invite kim from chesapeake. she's carrying an american flag
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that was carried at the peaceful rally with donald j. trump on january 6th. [ cheers and applause ] >> what's that now? to be clear, that is a flag that was at the insurrection on january 6th? i mean, let's give them the benefit of the doubt a little bit. they're making a fine distinction that it was at the rally that took place the morning of the 6th where donald trump whipped up the crowd and encouraged them to march to storm the capitol. but honestly we don't really know the chain of custody of the flag on that day. it's an insurrection flag. today youngkin distanced himself from what happened at the rally saying he had no role in the event and "it is weird and wrong to pledge allegiance to a flag connected to january 6. as i have said many times before, the violence that occurred on january 6 was sickening and wrong." now, a bunch of people, historians and observers on twitter and elsewhere pointed out a really unnerving and jarring historical echo here. in 1923 adolf hitler carried out
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his own successful attempted coup. you probably know about this. it's called the beer hall putsch. it began in a beer hall in munich and then hitler led a mob of about 2,000 nazis in a march through the city as he tried to seize power. and it ended in a clash with police that left several people dead. and hitler, he and a bunch of his confederates got away but then arrested, tried for his actions, convicted of high treason. he served less than a year in prison. but that's when he wrote the first volume of his autobiography and political manifesto "mein kampf." hitler and the nazis after the beer hall putsch created a mythos around that failed coup. and a flag that was present that day, the so-called blood flag, stained from the violence, became a totemic relic for the nazi party. hitler used it to consecrate new nazi flags. now, of course the people at the virginia rally yesterday are not nazis clearly. but when you hear the story, you look at them pledging allegiance to a flag used on the day of the insurrection at the capitol, a
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day when the trump mob tried to destroy more than 200 years of american democracy and people died. it does not give you a great feeling in the pit of your stomach. and of course to top it all off the headliner of the event last night was none other than trump's two-shirted strategic genius steve bannon, a man with obvious contempt for american liberal democracy who very clearly wants to destroy it. that's aside from the fact that he was facing charges for defrauding trump's own supporters in a scheme to help build the wall on the southern border only to be saved by donald trump's pardon on his final days in office. we also know steve bannon was involved in donald trump's insurrection plot. he spoke to trump the week before and encouraged him to focus on the date of january 6th. he was present at a meeting the day before the insurrection held to try to persuade members of congress to block the certifications of electoral votes. he has been quoted as saying on january 5th, and i quote him here, "all hell is going to
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break loose tomorrow." the select committee investigating january 6th is trying to learn more, which is why they quite reasonably subpoenaed steve bannon at the end of last month. but bannon is defying the subpoena, citing nonsensically donald trump's claim of executive privilege, a claim the biden white house has formally rejected. keep in mind bannon didn't work for the white house. he's just a guy with two shirts. today the committee announced that they are moving forward with proceedings to refer bannon for criminal contempt and will convene for a meeting tuesday evening to vote on adopting a contempt report. congressman adam schiff is a member of the january 6th committee. he's chairman of the house intelligence committee. he led the prosecution in trump's first impeachment. he's just published a memoir called "midnight in washington: how we almost lost our democracy and still could." which includes harrowing details from inside the capitol during the insurrection. and congressman schiff, thanks for joining us tonight. first let's start on the bannon
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question. the members of the committee have said we're not playing around here. it sounds like of the four who were subpoenaed three have been engaging through counsel, bannon just saying no, screw you. what happens next? >> well, we'll take up this report on tuesday night. we'll vote it out to the house. the house will then vote to hold him in criminal contempt. and once that takes place the speaker will send that to the justice department. and then the statute says that they have a duty to present it to the grand jury. so he will be prosecuted. that's our expectation. and i think the reason why bannon feels he can get away with this is for four years that's exactly what trump administration people did. when bannon came in to the committee room during the russia investigation, he came with a list of only 25 questions he would answer, and they were written out for him by the white house. he got away with it. he scammed and ripped off trump's own supporters, got pardoned for it. he apparently feels he's above the law, but he's about to find out otherwise.
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>> what is the timeline here? i mean, it sounds like -- what i hear in your voice is you understand that rapidity here is of the essence. >> i do. i mean, look, after they stonewalled and played rope-a-dope in the courts for two years before we got to hear mcgahn's testimony it's pretty clear we need to move swiftly. now, we didn't have something during the last administration that we have now. we didn't have a justice department that was interested in justice or the rule of law. we had an attorney general in bill barr that was interested in turning the doj into donald trump's criminal defense law firm. but now we have an independent justice department with an attorney general who doesn't believe anyone should be above the law. so it's a very different expectation. and i think when people start to get prosecuted for ignoring lawful process it will send a message and a proper one that people need to cooperate when they're compelled to testify. >> let me play a little bit of
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sound from bannon. i think as i had been sort of tracking all this i knew he was kind of around and i knew that he was -- he's always got some weird side content podcasting hustle where he's like, you know, talking into a microphone. so i knew that was happening. but i didn't realize how much he had been hyping up january 6th. this is him actually the morning of january 6th. listen to the last thing he says. i don't know if you've seen this tape before but listen to the last thing he says here. take a listen. >> we did tell you today's not just a rally. the president's going to give you his opening argument. i think eastman's up there actually throwing down and maybe we can go -- if i get in my ear whether he's still up there we'll try to go live to him at 1:00 that starts and there's going to be some pretty controversial -- pretty controversial things going on. >> at 1:00 that starts. some pretty controversial, pretty controversial things going on. sounds like he knew what was coming. >> it certainly sounds that way. and one of the things we made reference to in seeking his testimony and compelling it was
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other statements about all hell breaking loose. these were statements that were reportedly made by him the day before the insurrection. so he's clearly someone that has information relevant to our investigation, and we're going to get to the bottom of it. >> the three other individuals who were in that first round of subpoenas, they include mark meadows, former chief of staff, kash patel who's an adviser and a staffer actually on your committee to devin nunes at one point, went over to d.o.d., and dan scavino who's the social media director, they've all gun granted a delay according to our own sahel kapur. short postponements. my understanding is there are open lines of communication with their lawyers about meeting the obligations of these subpoenas. is that fair to say? >> you know, i can't comment much beyond the fact that we are engaging with the attorneys for these potential -- well, these witnesses. but i can point to the
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situation, for example, with jeffrey clark, who we were engaging with his attorneys to try to seek his voluntary testimony. but those negotiations led nowhere and he has now been subpoenaed and compelled to appear. we're not going to wait long if people are just trying to delay and obfuscate. we're going to move quickly to subpoenas and as we're showing with bannon we're going to move quickly to criminal prosecution referrals when we need to. >> i don't know if you got a chance to see the opening monologue tonight as you were getting wired up there. but we played some sound of a pledge of allegiance at that rally for the virginia gubernatorial candidate glenn youngkin. in which the flag was brought out and noted that this was the flag present on january 6th at the, quote, peaceful rally. i just wonder what goes through your mind, what's your reaction to seeing that brought out as a sort of object of reverence in a republican rally that the president calls into for a current republican candidate?
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>> well, shock on the one hand. but on the other hand it's just as you say, the republican party has turned into an autocratic cult of the former president. it is no longer wedded to even the idea of democracy. this is something that i write about in the book when i describe insurrectionists wearing suits and ties. those people at that rally wearing suits and ties are trying to achieve the overturning of an election and the people's will by other means. they're going around the country stripping independent elections officials of their duties, replacing them with partisan boards or trump acolytes. and the whole lesson they apparently learned from january 6th and the aftermath is their mistake was they didn't have people in place as secretary of state in georgia who when the president called and asked them to find 11,780 votes were willing to do it. and now they're determined to find people who will do that. and that to me is the most grave
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danger we face. >> there's a passage in your book i wanted to ask you about. it leaps out. it's a description of some of -- there's quite a bit in the book about what happened that day. and this is a passage, you talking to some republican members as there's an awareness that the perimeter had been violated, the capitol had people within it that you all had to shelter somewhere. "you can't let them see you, a republican member said to me. he's right, another republican member said. i know these people. i can talk to them. i can talk my way through them. you're in a whole different category at first i was oddly touched by these gop members and their evident concern. but by then i had been receiving death threats for years and that feeling soon gave way to another. if these republican members hadn't joined the president in falsely attacking me for four years, i wouldn't need to be worried about my security. none of us would." do you think they understood at the moment -- i mean, among many things what this reveals to me is the people in that building, in that moment across ideological and partisan lines did understand what was
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happening. >> oh, they absolutely understood what was happening. and you know, they were scared. i walked out with a republican who had ripped a wooden post out of the floor with a hand sanitizer on it to use as a club to defend himself. he'd been at congress all of 72 hours. so they understood what was taking place. but what we have seen over the last four years time after time after time is every time donald trump brings about some new outrage, some new terrible development in the country, initially the reaction is okay, that's the last straw, we've got to stand up to him. but it so quickly falls away. just as we witnessed with kevin mccarthy blaming trump on the day of the insurrection and then going down to mar-a-lago shortly thereafter and begging forgiveness. it seems as if there is nothing that this former president can do that will cause at least the republican leadership as it
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exists today to stand up to him and defend the democracy. and you know, one of the terrible ephive nis for me over the last four years is i respected, even admired some of my republican colleagues because i believed that they believed what they were saying. but we've now learned that they don't believe it. it's all about power. it's all about maintaining their position and they're willing to tear at the foundation of our democracy if they can attain it. >> congressman adam schiff whose new memoir "midnight in washington" is out now. thank you so much for joining us tonight. >> thanks, chris. that governor's race in virginia we were just talking about, the one where organizers of a rally had attendees pledge allegiance to a flag from january 6th, that race, that raises one of the most political tests of the moment coming up very soon. we'll talk about why the stakes are so high after this. so high s and i earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through chase with chase freedom unlimited. that means that i earn 5% on our rental car,
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the most important real world test of politics in this moment, which are very unstable and uncertain amidst the delta variant, hopefully receding, president joe biden's poll numbers which have come down but may be stabilized, the incredibly difficult high stakes legislating democrats are attempting, is that in just over two weeks on november 2nd polls will close in virginia and the gubernatorial race will be over. and voters will weigh in, we'll sort of get a test of where things are. right now the race is quite close. the democratic candidate, former governor terry mcauliffe, leads by just 2 1/2 points in the polling average there.
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republican challenger glenn youngkin, meanwhile, is trying to have his cake and eat it too. he's courting the trump vote that is essentially the modern republican base but also trying not to be too aggressively pro insurrection. and at that rally to fire up republican voters organized by bannon and his two shirts that donald trump called in to and attendees pledged allegiance to the insurrection flag from january 6th. mcauliffe was quick will call out that rally reposting the video and writing, "this is not who we are as virginians. tonight's donald trump rally for glenn youngkin celebrating the insurrection against our country was unconscionable. pledging allegiance to a flag that was at the deadly riot. just watch." youngkin did not attend the rally and asked about it today he told reporters "i wasn't involved so i don't know but if that is the case then we shouldn't pledge allegiance to that flag," adding there's no place for violence in america today. the stakes here for the democratic agenda are enormously high because let me tell you, a republican victory would reverberate through the democratic caucus. it would give a very bad signal
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where things are just a year out from the 2022 midterms. no one knows that better than the former democratic governor of virginia senator tim kaine. you were a mayor, governor, now the senator. where do you see the state right now? >> i do feel it's close right now. i think we have the edge, especially with first time we've ever had a governor's race with 45 days of early voting in person or by mail. no excuse needed. but it's close, and it kind of follows a little bit of a trend. presidential years we turn out, 68%, 70% voting, and then the next year is the governor's race and often the turnout drops off significantly. so my colleagues and i, senator warner and governor northam, we're crisscrossing the state with congressman scott and others to make sure everybody knows just how important it is. this is a real definer for
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virginia's direction. and as you say, it's going to be interpreted very, very closely in terms of what it means for the entire country. >> the republican party has had a bunch of things they've tried to make this race about. the one thing they've really focused on is school and schooling, parental control of school curriculum. it was first about critical race theory, or whatever caricature of it they possess. it's also about a law that mcauliffe had vetoed that would give parents essentially direct control over school curriculum, particularly books that appear in their rivalries. this is a quote from a republican official. "there's just so much focus on the schools and it's visceral, former chairman of the republican party of virginia. it's not like the debt ceiling. this is like you're destroying our children's education and look, angry people vote." what do you think of that? >> well, i don't think that many people are angry in virginia about education, chris. terry mcauliffe has a record and the record was some of the biggest increases in funding for
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schools. virginia schools are ranked among the best in the nation whether you look at k-12 schools or our university system, which is superb. and glenn youngkin's had nothing to do with that. terry mcauliffe's fingerprints are all over virginia's school success. the other reason parents aren't angry is they get to vote for school board members. if they don't like what's going on in their local ski or county then they can put someone else in. and no one's getting in their way of doing that. but virginia's been on a roll educationally. when i was born virginia was one of the worst states for education in the country. you couldn't sit next to a kid if their skin color was different and women couldn't go to many of our universities. now we're one of the best states for education in the country. how dare a newbie like glenn youngkin come in and promise he'll turn it topsy-turvy? i think that's one of the last things virginians want. >> mcauliffe who of course was a national political figure before he became the governor recently weighed in on my colleague andrea mitchell's show about the infrastructure bill stuff that you guys are negotiating.
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there's of course the bipartisan bill that was negotiated and passed by the senate. it's currently being held in the house as they try to work out the full deal. mcauliffe is calling for that to be passed. here's what he said to say. >> let's get everybody in a room, lock the door, what do you need, what do you need, and let's get this thing done. i'll tell you why. $7 billion for roads in virginia in the infrastructure bill. you know, all these folks up here, they love to go out and do their press conferences. do your job. vote and get this done. >> and your fellow senator from virginia mark warner made a bit of news today saying we should vote on that independent of the negotiations on build back better. of course progressives say if you do that the rest of the agenda's never going to get passed. what do you think? >> well, chris, look, i think the infrastructure bill needs to get to joe biden's kes k very quickly. it's going to do great not just for virginia but every zip code in this country. i understand members of the house want some assurances that the senate will pass a
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reconciliation bill at a reasonable level. we ought to be able to give them that assurance asap. there's no reason for dems to be coy right now. my belief is this. if the senate democrats say to the house we will do a reconciliation bill at this general level with these general programs, the house will say great, you can work out the i dotting and t crossing, we'll send this bill to the president's desk. we do need to get it to his desk asap. and i asked my senate democrats let's do what terry mcauliffe said and let's make plain to the house here's what we want to do in the reconciliation bill to help american families and we can get both of them done. we will get both of them done. i'm confident of that. but i agree with terry that time is of the essence, let's do it quicker to help more people. >> senator tim kaine of virginia, thank you very much. >> absolutely, chris. coming up, the united states senator who wants to do anything
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apparently but her job. from wine tachttasting to fund-raising what exactly is senator kyrsten sinema doing withler time? after this. oing withler time after this ♪ ♪ ♪ hey google. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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what are you waiting for? ♪ ♪ since kyrsten sinema was first sworn in as a senator in january of 2019 she has been exceedingly busy. in march of 2019 she ran an iron man triathlon in new zealand which she trained for by running half marathons in her home state of arizona. then two months later she ran a marathon in california with a fast enough time to qualify for the boston marathon. now, this is, let's be clear, exceedingly impressive. now, this june unfortunately she broke her right foot while running a marathon in washington state. but it's not just running that keeps her busy. she is teaching two classes this fall at arizona state university including one titled "developing grants and fund-raising." last summer she worked a two-week stint as a paid intern at a california winery. none of these activities are inherently bad at all. in fact, they all sound great. time intensive but great,
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rewarding, awesome. many politicians are active athletes. many others teach college classes. but senator sinema appears to be doing all these things instead of doing her job. as mother jones points out she hasn't held a single public town hall since being elected in 2018. public events of any sort are a rarity. just as they were during her senate campaign. she does not hold press conferences. constituents have been arrested this year for demonstrating outside her office. this year sinema missed a key vote to establish a bipartisan january 6th commission saying only she had a personal family matter. the most significant vote to date was in march when she used her whole body to give a thumbs down to the inclusion of a $15 minimum wage in the coronavirus relief package. now she's one of two key democratic senators holding up the entire biden agenda. but instead of sticking around to hammer out a deal she has left the country for a fund-raising trip in europe. her spokesman said sinema has continued to speak with president biden and her senate
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colleagues adding "phones and fax work everywhere." i mean, sure. true. still, it's pretty weird behavior for a u.s. senator. i mean, just here's an example of of what you could be doing. look at, say, her colleague chris murphy. chris murphy is spending his recess doing his annual walk across the entire state of connecticut, meeting with people and talking to constituents across the political spectrum and all walks of life and listening to their concerns because he represents them. that's a thing you can do with your recess. one idea. now, on top of all this reuters is reporting that at an online meeting sinema told fellow democrats in the house of representatives this week she will not vote for a multitrillion-dollar package that is a top priority for president joe biden, before congress approves a $1 trillion infrastructure bill. so my question for senator sinema is this. what are you doing here? if you don't meet with your constituents and you spend all your time doing everything except talking to them,
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legislating, all while holding up your party's entire agenda, maybe you don't want to be a united states senator. maybe it's not the job for you. brian grimm is the washington, d.c. bureau chief for the intercept. he's reported extensively on senator sinema as well as dark money efforts to kill the build back better bill that contains the bulk of president biden's agenda. i want to start here, ryan, by putting to theside there's obviously an ideological issue here. progressives are very frustrated with her. it's unclear what she wants. but just putting that aside, like this is strange, the way that she is generally conducting herself as a u.s. senator is quite anomalous just across the political spectrum even compared to someone like joe manchin. >> i've been covering congress since i guess, what, 2006, and so you know, i've watched all sorts of negotiations unfold. immigration fights, the bailout, the affordable care act, wall street reform. debt ceiling. and now you know, this bipartisan infrastructure bill
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and this reconciliation package. and all sorts of supercommittees and other gangs of six, seven, and eight, in between there. nobody's ever seen anything like this. and so there's an impulse out there to say look, stop trying to overanalyze kyrsten sinema, it's quite simple, she raises a ton of corporate money and she's doing the bidding of her corporate donors. no. that analytical framework doesn't work because so many other politicians who take so much corporate money aren't behaving this way. >> that's correct. >> you need more. you need more. >> that is a great point. i mean, and i've been saying that to people also, like yes, clearly that's part of it and we should say that there's this leaked e-mail where no labels, the director of no labels praised her work for heroic efforts on the infrastructure bill. it is also the case i will note that when you don't talk to actual constituents, which she appears not to, then you do only hear from donors, which is really a problem. but even the lack of constituent -- like we were talking about this, chuck grassley was at the trump rally.
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right? and you know, if you look at him, he's in the background glad-handing. he's taking pictures and shaking people's hands. it's like that's what politicians do. and you talk to people in arizona, they're like we never see her, we can't talk to her, she doesn't come to the local chamber of commerce, she doesn't come to like the yuma town hall like ribbon cutting. like nowhere. >> there have been a few videos that have leaked over the last year of fund-raisers that she's held with national -- you know, national corporate groups, not the arizona ones but like the biggest lobbies that represent the major industries. and she's very normal in those videos. you know, just having a very casual back and forth, obsequious almost, telling them reach out to my staff, i want to do anything i can do to be helpful. it's true representative legislating and lawmaking. you say like oh, that is how a representative, you know, works
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on behalf of constituents. and you're like, i don't see that anywhere else except in this occasional leaked video. >> the other thing, i just asked the staff before -- our producers before i came on air, like she's teaching two courses? two? really? that's like a full teaching load. that's a lot. >> it is a lot. when the grading comes in. and you know, there's been a lot of reporting that her schedule, her personal schedule comes first. you know, whatever meetings are scheduled around senate business, you know, if she has something else to do, train, teach a course, i assume the internship at the winery, did not overlap, or was during recess, then she's going to take that. and in fact, the angriest that she has been all year long was when the republicans blocked a time agreement that would have allowed her to pass her bipartisan infrastructure bill on the senate floor faster.
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it would have shaved several days off of the time it took to pass it. and she got up on the senate floor and betrayed the only flash of emotion i've seen her show in the last year, and really -- and furiously objected to what republicans were doing. you know, she had -- and you know, she had been liking a bunch of wine tweets and she had this retreat that was scheduled. and it got in the way of that retreat. and she was absolutely furious at that unfolding. but to your point, the bipartisan infrastructure deal that she did strike, that's the most legislating she has done. like that was a significant accomplishment in the sense that it got more than 60 votes. it got through the senate. and she has spent the rest of the time imperilling that achievement while going around arizona touting it as this significant accomplishment. >> well, we're going to see -- i mean, the rubber's about to hit the road on this. i feel like the squeeze is on.
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the window is sort of closing. we're going to see where this all ends up. ryan grim, that was great. thank you very much. >> you got it. >> ahead, people are quitting their jobs in record numbers, and 10,000 union members hit the picket line. why this isn't a sign of economic weakness but of growing worker power, after this. growig worker power, after this ♪darling, i, i can't get enough of your love babe♪ ♪girl, i don't know, i don't know,♪ ♪i don't know why i can't get enough of your love babe♪ ♪oh no, babe girl, if i could only make you see♪ ♪and make you understand♪ get a dozen double crunch shrimp for $1 with any steak entrée. only at applebee's. now that's eatin' good in the neighborhood.
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you've probably heard there is a labor shortage in america and you might have seen this statistic, that a record 2.9% of the u.s. workforce, or about 4.3 million workers, quit their jobs in the month of august alone. think of that, 3% of the entire workforce quitting in one month. now, i've heard some people frame this as a bad thing for the economy and for president biden. and there's some level at which it's true in the short term. labor shortage is not great for businesses that are trying to hire to keep up their productive capacity. but take a step back here and look at the big picture. this is what worker power looks like. people deciding that they're not going to settle for the bare minimum in terms of wages and
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working conditions. which is why it should come as no surprise that workers in the frontline food and hotel industries are quitting at a rate double the national average. citing among other things poor pay, harassment from customers, a lack of proper training. americans my generation and younger have never lived through a world in which workers have been particularly empowered in relation to their boss sxwz to capital. and it seems like we could be approaching one of those periods now. the american labor force is using this moment to its advantage. as of today, more than 10,000 employees of the tractor company john deere are now on strike across 14 plants in five states, demanding higher wages. as the company's expected to report record profits. the international alliance of theatrical stage employees, that's the guild representing the production crews who make the movies and tv shows you watch possible, is set to go on strike next monday if its demands are not met. more than 24,000 nurses and other health care workers have voted to authorize a strike
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against industry giant kaiser permanente, citing poor conditions exacerbated by the pandemic. those three strikes alone, just those three, would account for roughly 90,000 workers in this country walking off the job in the span of a few weeks. but that's not all. employees of the cereal giant kellogg's have been on strike for over a week now. you may have seen this truly amazing photograph of a lone striker holding down the line amid torrential rain. nurses and hospital workers are striking in buffalo, new york and worcester, massachusetts with the massachusetts nurses strike now the longest in the state's history. coal miners in alabama have been on strike since april, which is in addition to the successful strike by employees from snack companies frito-lay and nabisco that happened this summer. it really does feel like kind of a sea change moment in american politics or at least something we haven't quite seen before recently. i often cite this graph here as an example of the waning power of labor in this country. the bar represents the number of
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strikes in each given year since the post-world war ii period. you can see there were hundreds of major strikes a year in the 1950s through the 1970s and then ronald reagan gets elected 1980 on the back of a revitalized conservative movement. he breaks the air traffic controller strike quite famously, uses the newfound power and popularity to absolutely decimate collective bargaining in this country, and there you see it. worker action takes a nose dive. i don't know if the labor movement will ever reach the heights of the 1950s again when good high-paying union jobs built the american middle class but it does seem pretty clear this country's now at an inflection point. something has been disrupted. where we're seeing mass collective action in a way we have not in generations. we're going to try to get to the bottom of why, next. team at fi. his ira is professionally managed, and he gets one-on-one coaching when he needs it. so ben is feeling pretty zen. that's the planning effect from fidelity
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80 years ago, in 1941, nearly half of the 800 plus animators for the walt disney company went on strike over
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next, pay, and privileges. and because the strike involved disney animators, they produced some of the most credible picket sign art in history, as seen here in a pbs documentary. >> nearly half of the studio's art department had walked out. and it wasn't just the low wage workers. some of disney's most trusted animators were also on the picket line. >> the streets were full of strikers, not only from disney but from other studios, parading back and forth with signs and this wonderful, idyllic place was in shambles. >> the dispute was ultimately settled in the animators' favor. their union has been around since 1893. it represents people who work behind the scenes on movies and television. unless they're able to get a
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contract agreement with hollywood by this monday, approximately 60,000 of them will go on strike. it would become one of several strikes happening right now alongside john deere and kellogg and could be joined by kaiser permanente's health care workers. it's all leading people to wonder, what exactly is going on right now? i have two amazing people here to talk about that. josh idleson and jane mckelvey is author of "a collective bargain." josh, let me start with you. from a reporting question, the answer to this "why now" question. >> so there are obviously some differences in these strikes and potential strikes happening, different sectors, places from kellogg to kaiser to smaller employers like harvard. but there are some recurring themes. and i think some important trends that are now colliding
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into each other. one is companies in many sectors right now are finding it harder to replace workers. and one of the ways that u.s. law and business structure and economics have changed to make strikes harder to pull off is by making it easier for companies to replace workers who go on strike. so that's an important thing about this moment. second is, living through the pandemic and working through the pandemic has been radicalizing for a lot of people in a lot of different sorts of jobs. workers have shouldered new risks for their families as well as themselves by working. they have received political and public attention and support that they didn't support. and many have felt like, for all their sacrifices, their companies then were not doing what they should be doing to keep them safe and to reward them. and third, in many cases, union members in the u.s. have given up things that they had in their contracts the last time around or the time before that, where
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they've seen their working conditions get worse in ways recently. and so some of these fights are about trying to undo sacrifices from the past or trying to prevent new concessions. these are in many cases defensive as well as offensive fights. >> jane, you've been a practitioner and organizer for decades. what do you see here happening? what's your answer to the "why now" question? >> i think a couple of things. one is i agree with everything josh just said. i actually think it began before the pandemic. i think in 2018, we saw the beginning of a serious like "we don't want to take this anymore." there were huge walkouts and strikes by teachers, in arizona, in blue states, in red states. then there was the marriott strike. we had a round of private sector, huge strike against the marriott corporation. people said low wage workers couldn't take on marriott, and
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they did it, with largely low-wage immigrant workers in an economy when it was easy to replace them, and they pulled off an impressive strike. then we went into the pandemic with l.a. teachers walking out, 34,000 of them. then the oakland teachers went. and then the pandemic hit. i think the frustration -- there was -- >> there was something happening before. >> right. it does go up for the first time in 2018 for 30 years. workers were already frustrated, angry, and in the way josh was talking about, angry about a lot of giveback. a lot of ask for sacrifice at the same time we're producing in the pandemic now a new billionaire in this country every 80 hours. that's the statistic. >> josh, you mentioned the sort of replacement question, right? and it's striking to me, you've got these two things going side by side, they're related. 3%, three out of a hundred workers quit in august.
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nobody's seen anything like it. it does seem, josh, just in terms of the balance of power between the bosses and working people about how easy it is to replace them. >> one of the things that has come through in talking to people in what are thought of as very different sectors of the economy is the sense of betrayal, that it was we're all in here together, up until the point that [ inaudible ] that you think is important, as important as the thing they needed from you was. do you go off somewhere else or can you ban together and change something where you are? there were a lot of forces conspiring against people engaging in collective action but we're seeing people stand up to that now. >> the kind of individual, "i'm not taking it anymore," "take
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this job and shove it," sort of, and collective action for a shot. we've also seen interesting things like the great reporting on the delivery, folks that do delivery here in new york, who are just completely bottom up, banding together and creating some protections for themselves because they don't really have choices and they also don't have a union. >> there's a lot of collective action like that, independent drivers, lyft drivers, people pushing back, i'm doing a lot of work in europe, there was a huge -- the biggest strike in germany in decades just happened in berlin with 30,000 workers striking in berlin, hospital workers, just saying we're not going to take it anymore. so what's interesting is, we have a great minority of workers, sadly, who are represented by unions. but i think, to your point, there are a lot of people who are watching unionized workers going on strike, and winning. and that's the motivating factor, i think. when people see people going on strike and winning and not being
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punished, it actually emboldens more people to do it, and it shows american workers, if you act collectively you can win more. >> there's a psychological pandemic of the pandemic, the "life's too short" feeling. look at these numbers, 1952, 2.7 million workers on strike. in 2020, 27,000, that's a factor of a thousand diminution. >> a lot of zeroes. >> we think of the world war ii period and the period afterwards as this period of kind of national unity, but it was an intense period of labor strikes, shortages in goods, high inflation. there are some similarities there. >> there are, and there's also similarities to the '33-'34 period, meaning 1933, 1934. there was a lot of individual misery. i talk about in the new book, i make comparisons, what work
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looked like in an auto factory in 1933 and 1934 is not different than today's amazon factories. it would take a lot of illegal strikes across the country to get the right to collective bargain and then really unleash another wave of strikes in 1936. >> josh, jane, that was great, thank you both. that is "all in" for this evening. "the rachel maddow show" starts right now. good evening, rachel. >> good evening, chris. this billboard has just gone up in times square in new york city. as you can see there, it says "trump lost," no more, quote, audits. this was put up by a republican group, a group called the republican accountability project. we've talked about them a few times on the show. they're basically a group of anti-trump republicans, including people who served in the trump administration who are now anti-trump republicans basically trying to save their party from t

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