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Thu, 5 Apr 2018 22:34:36 +0000 Date: Thu, 5 Apr 2018 22:34:31 +0000 (UTC) From: Jonathan Goeij <jonathango...@yahoo.com> To: Yahoogroups <email@example.com> Message-ID: <1393491.2245821.1522967671...@mail.yahoo.com> Subject: Trump business entanglements survive Indonesian mining scandal MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="----=_Part_2245820_1753395847.1522967671389" References: <1393491.2245821.1522967671397....@mail.yahoo.com> X-Mailer: WebService/1.1.11701 YMailNorrin Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/65.0.3325.181 Safari/537.36 Content-Length: 113862 X-eGroups-Remote-IP: 126.96.36.199 ------=_Part_2245820_1753395847.1522967671389 Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8 Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable Ulasan Rachel Maddow tahun lalu:--- Trump business entanglements survive Indonesian mining scandal |=20 |=20 |=20 | | | | | |=20 | |=20 Trump business entanglements survive Indonesian mining scandal Rachel Maddow follows the intertwined threads of an Indonesian corruption s= candal, an American mining company, a... | | | The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 1/2/2017 |=20 |=20 |=20 | | | | | |=20 | |=20 The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 1/2/2017 Show: THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOWDate: January 2, 2017Guest: Ed O`Keefe RACHEL M= ADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Ari.... | | | 01/02/17 09:00 PM Guests:Ed O`KeefeTranscript: Show: THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW Date: January 2, 2017 Guest: Ed O`Keefe RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Ari. I want to thank you in=C2=A0 particular for all you did to fill and hold things together last week. It= =C2=A0 was great. Thank you, my friend. ARI MELBER, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Great. Thank you. Happy New Year. MADDOW: Thanks. And thanks to you at home for staying with us for the next hour. It was really nice to have a few days off. It is really, really nice to be= =C2=A0 back. I keep running into old friends and family members and people on the= =C2=A0 street and people like, you know, out on the dog walk and stuff. People=C2= =A0 want to talk to me about politics. They say with concern in their eyes,=C2= =A0 how are you feeling about 2017? And I found myself by the end of my vacation saying, I`m really excited for= =C2=A0 2017. I am. My job is to explain stuff. And oh, my God, is that a good=C2= =A0 job to have this year already? Case in point, this story is amazing. And it starts with copper, the=C2=A0 mineral copper. There`s copper in brass. There`s copper in bronze. The=C2= =A0 Statue of Liberty is sheathed in a layer of copper. That`s about the=C2=A0 thickness of two pennies. Pennies themselves used to be copper, but now they`re just copper-covered= =C2=A0 zinc, which sort of seems sad. But it makes financial sense, because=C2=A0 copper over time became too valuable to use in something as cheap as a=C2= =A0 penny, because most of what we use copper for now is conducting=C2=A0 electricity. We use copper for wiring. There is a massive global appetite= =C2=A0 for copper. And the world`s largest producer of copper is an American company. It`s a= =C2=A0 company that used to be based in New Orleans but now the mining company=C2= =A0 Freeport is based in Phoenix, Arizona. And the Freeport mining company of= =C2=A0 Phoenix, Arizona, they do still mine copper in Arizona and they mine copper= =C2=A0 in New Mexico and in Colorado. But they are a gigantic firm. And they`re=C2= =A0 a global operation. In South America, they mine copper in Chile, and in Peru. In the=C2=A0 Democratic Republic of Congo, they mine cooper and also cobalt. In=C2=A0 Indonesia, they operate the largest gold mine in the entire world, which is= =C2=A0 also the third largest copper mine in the world, which is also a huge=C2=A0 silver mine as well. This is an American company, but the physical footprint that Freeport has= =C2=A0 in Indonesia, it isn`t just visible from space. It`s easily visible from=C2= =A0 space. It`s massive. Their mine in Grasberg, which is in Papua province=C2= =A0 in Indonesia, it`s basically a massive upside down mountain. It`s almost a= =C2=A0 half million acres. They first discovered mineral wealth there in the 1930s when it was a Dutch= =C2=A0 colony. By the 1970s, Indonesia was an independent country and that mine=C2= =A0 at Grasberg was one of the biggest open pits in the world. Among the many products and byproducts of that mine are, of course, all=C2= =A0 that silver and copper and gold. Also hundreds of millions of tons of=C2=A0 mining waste that they have dumped in the surrounding jungle and rivers.=C2= =A0 That environmental damage associated with that giant mine is one of the=C2= =A0 things that mine is most famous for around the globe. But it is also unappreciably massive, both geographically and economically.= =C2=A0 Freeport`s operation in Indonesia is so big, that in Indonesia that company= =C2=A0 is the single biggest taxpayer for the whole country. And it`s not like Indonesia is some rinky-dink country, right? Indonesia=C2= =A0 has 260 million people. The biggest countries on earth by population are=C2= =A0 China first, then India, then us, then Indonesia. Indonesia is ginormous. But of all the 260 million people in Indonesia, its biggest tax payment=C2= =A0 every year comes from Arizona, comes from this American company. It`s just= =C2=A0 huge. In our presidential election this past year, do you remember when Indonesia= =C2=A0 had a weird little cameo role? It was in the Republican primary. It came=C2= =A0 up. It was so strange, so unexpected, so not just inexplicable but=C2=A0 unexplained. At the time and until now, it didn`t ever make sense until now. And I love= =C2=A0 it when a story like, you know, doesn`t make sense for a year, and then all= =C2=A0 of a sudden, it does. It rarely happens when you get it so clearly, like=C2= =A0 light dawns on marble head, oh, that`s why that happened. But in this=C2=A0 case, light dawns on marble head, now we get it. It started off strangely with no explanation. It was last September,=C2=A0 September 2015. So, that was just a few months into the start of the=C2=A0 Republican primary. The Donald Trump candidacy had started in June of=C2=A0 2015, and it was almost, honestly, treated as a joke from the beginning. I= =C2=A0 mean, his supporters can crow about that now, and they do, but at the time= =C2=A0 it was treated mostly as a joke. And there were some funny things, some laughable things about the launch of= =C2=A0 the Trump candidacy, up to and including reports that the candidate had to= =C2=A0 hire extras, he literally had to pay actors to pretend to be his supporters= =C2=A0 at his day one announcement at Trump Tower. But however soft and even silly his candidacy seemed at the very start, it= =C2=A0 caught fire for real very quickly, so much so that by the fall of 2015, the= =C2=A0 Republican Party was already worrying openly about Donald Trump`s poll=C2= =A0 numbers. He was definitely leading. And the were worried that even if one= =C2=A0 of their more normal candidates could beat Trump to get the nomination,=C2= =A0 they were worried that he was showing such support in the polls, maybe he= =C2=A0 might bolt the Republican Party and run as a third party, an independent=C2= =A0 candidate against whoever the Republican nominee was. And so, in the fall of 2015, this was a real worry, real concern,=C2=A0 moderators at the debates, and then ultimately the party itself, they=C2=A0 started asking all the Republican candidates to make a pledge, to pledge=C2= =A0 that they would support whoever the party ended up nominating. And there=C2= =A0 was a little question as to whether the other candidates would really=C2=A0 pledge to definitely do that, because there was a chance that Donald Trump= =C2=A0 might become the nominee and would they all be comfortable making that=C2= =A0 pledge. There was a little question about that, but mostly the Republicans were=C2= =A0 worried about Trump himself. Would Trump make a pledge like that? Would=C2= =A0 he really pledge, not just to not run as an independent, but to=C2=A0 wholeheartedly support whoever the Republican nominee was, even if it was= =C2=A0 somebody like Low Energy Jeb Bush or Lyin` Ted or Little Marco? I mean, the Republican Party was very worried about that, because initially= =C2=A0 the answer from Trump was that he would make no such pledge. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DEBATE MODERATOR: Is there anyone onstage, and can I see hands, who is=C2= =A0 unwilling tonight to pledge your support to the eventual nominee of the=C2= =A0 Republican Party and pledge to not run an independent campaign against that= =C2=A0 person? Again, we`re looking for you to raise your hand now. Raise your=C2= =A0 hand now if you won`t make that pledge tonight. Mr. Trump. (BOOS) So, Mr. Trump, to be clear, you`re standing on a Republican primary debate= =C2=A0 stage =E2=80=93 DONALD TRUMP (R), THEN-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I fully understand. DEBATE MODERATOR: =E2=80=93 he place where the RNC will give the nominee th= e nod. TRUMP: I fully understand. DEBATE MODERATOR: Just to be clear, we`re going to move on, you`re not=C2= =A0 going to make the pledge? TRUMP: I will not make the pledge at this time. DEBATE MODERATOR: All right. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: That was August 2015. Major point of contention in the Republican= =C2=A0 Party. Major point of contention at the Republican debates. Lots and lots= =C2=A0 of drama around that issue. All the other candidates say, yeah, I`ll make the pledge. But Donald Trump= =C2=A0 for a long time would not. And that is why it was genuinely a big deal.=C2= =A0 It was the resolution to something around which there was a lot of tension.= =C2=A0 It was a big deal when on September 3rd, Donald Trump changed tack, finally= =C2=A0 announced that yes, he would sign this pledge. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: I have signed the problem. (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) So I will be totally pledging my allegiance to the Republican Party and the= =C2=A0 conservative principles for which it stands. And we will go out and we=C2= =A0 will fight hard and we will win. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: He signed it. He signed the pledge. I have signed the pledge. It sort of feels like a silly turn in the campaign, now looking back at it.= =C2=A0 But at the time, it was a big deal in the Republican primary. And there were two things that were weird about it when it happened. The=C2= =A0 first one was when he held up that piece of paper, everybody could see that= =C2=A0 the date on it was wrong. It was September 3rd, not August 3rd. So, that=C2= =A0 was kind of weird, the date was wrong. The second thing that was strange was, hey, what`s this random Indonesian= =C2=A0 guy doing there for this announcement? It was a weird moment at the time=C2= =A0 and it really made no sense until now. We`re having one of those moments=C2= =A0 when something that previously made no sense, makes sense. Watch this. This is what happened that day. This is how Donald Trump, he=C2= =A0 wrapped up, and then restarted his press conference about signing that=C2= =A0 silly Republican pledge. It was so weird at the time. Watch. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: Thank you, everybody. Thank you. Thank you. (APPLAUSE) Hey, ladies and gentlemen, this is a very =E2=80=93 an amazing man. He is, = as you=C2=A0 know, right, speaker of the house of Indonesia. He`s here to see me.=C2=A0 Setya Novanto, one of the most powerful men and a great man and his whole= =C2=A0 group is here to see me today. We will do great things for the United=C2=A0 States; is that correct? SETYA NOVANTO, INDONESIAN POLITICIAN: Yes. TRUMP: Do they like me in Indonesia? NOVANTO: Yes, thank you very much. TRUMP: Speaker of the house in Indonesia. Thank you very much. (APPLAUSE) (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: That was such a random moment in the presidential election, right?= =C2=A0 Such a random moment in the Republican primary. Press conference is over, he convenes this press conference to announce he= =C2=A0 signs this pledge, holds the pledge up with the wrong date on it, does a=C2= =A0 press conference about that, ends the press conference, thanks everybody,= =C2=A0 thanks everybody, walks away, then comes back to the podium, starts up the= =C2=A0 press conference again to tell everybody how awesome it is that he`s=C2=A0 meeting with his friend, the speaker of the house of Indonesia. His whole= =C2=A0 group is here to see me today. We will do great things for the United=C2=A0 States, won`t we? It was weird at the time, totally inexplicable. Well, now, we get it.=C2=A0 Because that was last September, September 2015. Donald Trump was doing=C2= =A0 Donald Trump business that day. His presidential campaign was only a few=C2= =A0 months old. The Indonesian speaker of the house was there meeting with him= =C2=A0 at Trump Tower that day to talk about Trump`s business dealings in=C2=A0 Indonesia, a planned golf course and planned hotel. Since then, that guy, the Indonesian speaker of the house, has gotten into= =C2=A0 and out of a lot of trouble, because that company I was talking about,=C2= =A0 that`s the largest taxpayer in Indonesia, that mining company that operates= =C2=A0 a giant open pit mine that`s the largest gold mine in the world and you can= =C2=A0 see it from space, that company with those huge holdings in Indonesia, one= =C2=A0 of their executives met in Indonesia with that same politician who we just= =C2=A0 saw with Donald Trump, and he secretly taped him. Secretly taped him=C2=A0 trying to shake down the mining company for $4 billion. That mining company, Freeport, their contract to operate in Indonesia runs= =C2=A0 out in 2021, runs out in four years. They would very much like to extend=C2= =A0 that contract. They have a big new underground mine that they want to=C2=A0 build there too along with their biggest gold mine in the world. And that politician, that Indonesian speaker of the house, the guy who was= =C2=A0 standing there with Trump who got introduced at that press conference, that= =C2=A0 politician was caught on tape telling the mining company that yeah, he=C2= =A0 could get them an extension of their contract, in fact he could get them a= =C2=A0 20-year extension of that contract with the Indonesian government, they=C2= =A0 could get a deal to operate in that country until 2041, if they could=C2=A0 provide him with a little something. They would have to hand over 20=C2=A0 percent of the company, shares worth roughly $4 billion. He said they could hand that over, what do we call it, an administrative=C2= =A0 fee? They would have to hand that over through him. He would pass the=C2=A0 money on to the president and vice president of Indonesia. And that is how= =C2=A0 Freeport could get their new contract with the government of Indonesia. It`s a classic shakedown, right? And it was caught on tape. And the tape=C2= =A0 went public in Indonesia just a few weeks after Donald Trump inexplicably= =C2=A0 introduced this guy to the American press corps during the Republican=C2=A0 primary in the lobby of Trump Tower when he was making that announcement=C2= =A0 about the stupid pledge. And here we`re all like, who`s that guy? In Indonesia, that`s one of the=C2= =A0 most powerful politicians in that huge country. And he`s caught red handed= =C2=A0 and it`s on tape, and the tape goes public. Huge scandal. The tapes were lurid. They were played over and over again in the=C2=A0 Indonesian media. By December of that year, by December 2015, three months= =C2=A0 after he had that weird meeting with Trump that nobody understood, that=C2= =A0 guy, the speaker of the house in Indonesia, forced to resign in the midst= =C2=A0 of this scandal. And then over the course of the ensuing year, things got even more wild=C2= =A0 than that. He was facing this ethics tribunal for this caught on tape=C2=A0 corruption scandal. But then the tape itself got ruled inadmissible as=C2= =A0 evidence before the tribunal. And this guy was powerful enough and=C2=A0 connected enough that even though he had had to resign in disgrace, even=C2= =A0 though everybody had heard the tape, right after our election in November,= =C2=A0 this past November, they actually returned this guy to power as speaker of= =C2=A0 the house again. And now two things have happened that sort of make us understand our new=C2= =A0 world. Two things have happened that make this all make sense. Number one= =C2=A0 is that the Trump organization has just confirmed to =E2=80=9CThe New York = Times=E2=80=9D=C2=A0 that Donald Trump`s new real estate deals, that golf course he wants to=C2= =A0 build, that resort he wants to build, the Indonesian resort deals that=C2= =A0 brought this politician to Trump Tower in the first place, Trump=C2=A0 Organization has just confirmed to =E2=80=9CThe New York Times=E2=80=9D tho= se deals are on.=C2=A0 Those projects are moving forward. Remember when Donald Trump said right after he was elected that there would= =C2=A0 be no new deals by the Trump organization now that he`s president-elect?=C2= =A0 There are new deals that are absolutely under way in West Java, that`s the= =C2=A0 golf course, and in Bali, that`s the hotel. Must be nice to have a very=C2= =A0 powerful politician like the country`s speaker of the house helping you out= =C2=A0 with real estate deals like that. And what does the Indonesian speaker of= =C2=A0 the House get out of this deal? The man who was caught on tape trying to=C2= =A0 squeeze $4 billion out of that gigantic American mining company, that`s the= =C2=A0 largest taxpayer in his country? And that brings us to the final piece of this, which is apparently how it`s= =C2=A0 going to work in our country. We`re used to reading about how stuff works= =C2=A0 like this, like, you know, autocratic leaders who have been in power for=C2= =A0 decades, and their extended families who own more wealth than the rest of= =C2=A0 the country combined, right? Politicians who get caught for corruption in= =C2=A0 big foreign companies and how deals get done that helped people with the=C2= =A0 right connections, right? I mean, we`re used to reading about this in like= =C2=A0 terrible human rights reports on countries that end in =E2=80=9Cstan.=E2=80= =9D But now, we get an American chapter of this story, because the last piece= =C2=A0 of this is that just as this speaker of the house in Indonesia gets=C2=A0 reinstated, after his corruption charges get thrown out on a technicality,= =C2=A0 just as this speaker of the house helping Donald Trump with his real estate= =C2=A0 deals gets put back in power, and just as those deals that will enrich the= =C2=A0 next American president personally, just as those real estate deals get=C2= =A0 turned back on in Indonesia, at the same time our incoming president=C2=A0 announces the newest member of his administration, a man who will serve=C2= =A0 without a formal job title and without a salary and who will not be asked= =C2=A0 to give up or even disclose any of his business contacts in order to take= =C2=A0 this new position, a man who has been consulted already on the head of the= =C2=A0 EPA, who is consulting now on picking the head of the SEC, who will=C2=A0 apparently be in charge of reviewing all corporation regulations in the new= =C2=A0 administration, this new key member of the federal government for whom they= =C2=A0 have invented a job without a formal portfolio, he is the single largest=C2= =A0 shareholder in that mining company, whose mines in Indonesia you can see=C2= =A0 from space. The company that did not pay the $4 billion shakedown price to that=C2=A0 politician who is personally helping Donald Trump get richer in Indonesia= =C2=A0 as president. And now that company will presumably be in an excellent=C2=A0 position to do whatever needs to be done to benefit whoever needs to be=C2= =A0 benefitted. You scratch my back. I scratch a giant hole in the earth that= =C2=A0 can be viewed from Mars. This is apparently what it`s going to be like now. Everybody`s got to pay= =C2=A0 attention now. I know it feels like time to not pay attention. We`ve all=C2= =A0 got to pay attention. A lot more ahead tonight. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Four years ago, in 2012, Democrats won the White House, when=C2=A0 President Obama was elected. Democrats also held on to control of the=C2=A0 Senate in 2012, which meant that after the 2012 elections, Republicans only= =C2=A0 held the House. Things got better for the Republicans two years later, in= =C2=A0 2014. In 2014, Republicans increased their hold on the House, but they=C2= =A0 also took control of the Senate. And so, as you know, for the last two years, for the last two years of the= =C2=A0 Obama presidency, for this past Congress, even though President Obama has= =C2=A0 been in the White House, Republicans have been in complete control on=C2=A0 Capitol Hill. And they had very high hopes for what they would be able to= =C2=A0 do with complete control of Congress. We`re looking at archived tape today= =C2=A0 of the first day of the Congress that ended today, like what happened,=C2= =A0 today is the final day, what happened on the first day? There was this great metaphor come to life moment on day one, at the very= =C2=A0 start of this past Congress. It was then-Republican House Speaker John=C2= =A0 Boehner. He was formally taking the podium to start this new Congress, to= =C2=A0 start the session. And we learned something we had never known before. Watch right over that black banner, see the black banner there? Watch=C2=A0 there. Whoop! See that? The podium is a machine. It goes up. Whoop!=C2=A0 It rises from the earth. If you snap your heels together right and say the magic word, it rises,=C2= =A0 whoop! Anyway. So, that was the first option day of this Congress, we=C2=A0 learned that about the podium. Today is now officially the last day of this Congress, and however excited= =C2=A0 the Republicans were, however much the metaphors all pointed in an up-going= =C2=A0 direction, for all the things they were going to do with complete control= =C2=A0 of the House and the Senate for these past two years, we can now say it has= =C2=A0 not gone well. Let`s start just for perspective with after World War II. This is all the= =C2=A0 congresses, all the sessions of Congress that have happened since 1947.=C2= =A0 Those blue lines show the number of bills that each Congress was able to=C2= =A0 pass. The last line with the arrow pointing to it, that is the Congress=C2= =A0 that comes to an end today. You will notice that Congress over the last=C2= =A0 few years has been a little stunted, is probably the polite way to put it. Since the Republicans took over the house in their big wave election in=C2= =A0 2010. Look at that, the three Congresses since then, the 112th, 113th, and= =C2=A0 114th Congress just ended today, those three are the least productive=C2=A0 congresses of all time. Since the Republicans took control of the House in= =C2=A0 2010, the three congresses since then rank first, second, and third as the= =C2=A0 least productive congresses we`ve ever had, since anybody started tracking= =C2=A0 the productivity of congresses at the end of World War II. This Congress just ending today also had the lowest confirmation rate for= =C2=A0 civilian nominees in modern American history. For the first time since the= =C2=A0 modern budget process was created in 1974, this Congress for the first time= =C2=A0 ever, they didn`t even try to pass a budget. At least in previous terrible= =C2=A0 congresses, they tried and failed to pass a budget. This time, they didn`t= =C2=A0 even bother to try before they failed. This Congress that just died =E2=80=93 excuse me, this Congress that just e= nded=C2=A0 today, they also worked the fewest days of any Congress in the last 60=C2= =A0 years. That`s impressive. Congress is less popular than gum on your shoe.= =C2=A0 Congress is less popular than gum on your socks. Congress is less popular= =C2=A0 than gum in your hair. And it has been for a good long time. But this Congress just wrapping up today, they are special. They have=C2=A0 truly distinguished themselves for doing absolutely freaking nothing. That said, a new Congress starts tomorrow morning. And the new Congress=C2= =A0 that starts tomorrow is going to be very different than it has been for=C2= =A0 these past few years. I mean, it`s possible they may be so atrophied from= =C2=A0 lack of activity that they`re all going to spring something when they raise= =C2=A0 their hands to get sworn in tomorrow. But barring that, we`re expecting that things will get very, very busy,=C2= =A0 very, very fast, start tomorrow, which will be a new thing to behold, after= =C2=A0 watching Congress doing zippo for six straight years. We have =E2=80=93 the= last=C2=A0 six years we`ve lived through have been the least productive time in=C2=A0 Congress ever. And that`s now what we`ve gotten used to. Tomorrow, that changes. If you have been zoning out since the election and= =C2=A0 not wanted to pay attention to the news, I understand it, I get it. Oh, I= =C2=A0 get it. But stuff really is starting to happen very fast now. The time to= =C2=A0 not pay attention to the news has come to an end. And especially we need to focus on something that is about to start=C2=A0 tomorrow that we`re not used to seeing. And the story of that is next.=C2= =A0 Please stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: (VIDEO GAP) ready for the=C2= =A0 possible opportunity of having unified government in 2017. The House went= =C2=A0 through the entire exercise, every committee working every member of the=C2= =A0 House Republican conference. HOST: What were you smoking? No one thought that. RYAN: I know no one thought that but we wanted to be ready. What I told=C2= =A0 our committees a year ago, our members is, assume we get the White House=C2= =A0 and Congress, then come 2018, what do you want to have accomplished for the= =C2=A0 country? So, this is exactly what Congress and the House has been working on for the= =C2=A0 last year, getting everything ready to basically rock and roll in 2017 and= =C2=A0 get working. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is ready to rock and roll,=C2=A0 basically, in 2017. Republicans lost seats in the House and in the Senate in this election.=C2= =A0 They lost two seats in the Senate. They lost six seats in the House. But=C2= =A0 they are in charge on both sides of Capitol Hill and are about to have a=C2= =A0 president of their own party. Donald Trump will be sworn as president=C2=A0 January 20th. But the new Congress gets sworn in tomorrow. And what they say they`re going to start working on out of the gate is a=C2= =A0 tiny little list =E2=80=93 dismantling Obamacare, starting to rip up Medica= id,=C2=A0 which is the health insurance that more than one in five Americans are on.= =C2=A0 They want to kill the Consumer Financial Production Bureau. They want to=C2= =A0 kill the Wall Street reforms that were put in place after the crash, the=C2= =A0 Dodd/Frank law. They want to start privatizing the V.A., which most=C2=A0 veterans say they`re very opposed to. And, of course, they want big tax=C2= =A0 cuts for the wealthiest Americans and for corporations. And that`s just the start. That`s what they want to start with. It`s a=C2= =A0 very big and ambitious agenda. They`ve been wait to go fulfill it for=C2=A0 years, as you heard Paul Ryan just explain there. They have been planning= =C2=A0 it for some time now. Remember those dozens of times they fake repealed Obamacare? Now, we know= =C2=A0 why they did it so many times. Practice, practice, practice. But I have to tell you, we`re also just getting in some breaking news=C2=A0 tonight from Capitol Hill. This has just come in since we`ve been on the=C2= =A0 air. It`s apparently started already. House Republicans met in a closed=C2= =A0 door conference tonight and voted basically to scrap the Independent Ethics= =C2=A0 Office in Congress. This is the Office of Congressional Ethics that was created eight years ago= =C2=A0 after a particularly lurid period of repeated congressional scandals. It`s= =C2=A0 an independent ethics office that investigates misconduct of lawmakers and= =C2=A0 staff members in the House. But there was a closed door meeting of House=C2= =A0 Republicans tonight and they voted that instead of maintaining the=C2=A0 independent Office of Congressional Ethics, they`re going to put it under a= =C2=A0 congressional committee, under the House Ethics Committee. It sounds like a bureaucratic change, but what that means is there`s no=C2= =A0 independent ethics oversight of Congress. This means lawmakers themselves= =C2=A0 now get to police themselves now for ethics. And this means no ethics=C2=A0 investigation information will have to be released to the public. They can= =C2=A0 police themselves now. Nancy Pelosi put out a statement on this tonight. Quote, =E2=80=9CRepublica= ns=C2=A0 claim they want to drain the swamp but the night before the new Congress=C2= =A0 gets sworn in, the house GOP has eliminated the only independent ethics=C2= =A0 oversight of their actions. Evidently, ethics are the first casualty of=C2= =A0 the Republican Congress.=E2=80=9D Again, that news breaking in the last hal= f hour. Joining us now is Ed O`Keefe, congressional reporter for =E2=80=9CThe Washi= ngton=C2=A0 Post=E2=80=9D. Mr. O`Keefe, it`s really nice to see you. Thanks for your time tonight. ED O`KEEFE, THE WASHINGTON POST: Happy New Year, Rachel. Good to see you. MADDOW: Happy New Year and happy new Congress. Let me ask you about this breaking news that we just got about the=C2=A0 independent ethics office in Congress. Where did that =E2=80=93 where did t= hat=C2=A0 come from and why is this an important change? O`KEEFE: So, the office of congressional ethics was established back in=C2= =A0 2008, essentially in the wake of the Abramoff scandal, the Mark Foley=C2=A0 scandal. There was a public outcry and they realized they had to set up an= =C2=A0 independent watchdog to basically field complaints and concerns about=C2=A0 campaign improprieties, personal behavior, other things. It`s existed for= =C2=A0 the last eight years, barely has a set of teeth, and has presented some=C2= =A0 information over the past few years that has led to the removal or the=C2= =A0 resignation of some lawmakers. But there`s a belief that they could have=C2= =A0 done a lot more. What Republicans have done =E2=80=93 let`s be specific about this =E2=80=93= have done=C2=A0 tonight, is they had a closed door meeting, after the sun went down =E2=80= =93 yes,=C2=A0 those things actually do happen, and decided amongst themselves that when= =C2=A0 the new House convenes tomorrow afternoon, they`re going to present a rules= =C2=A0 package that has to be voted on by Republicans and Democrats that will=C2= =A0 include closing that office and putting it under the House Ethics=C2=A0 Committee. The reason is a majority of Republicans believe that the way=C2= =A0 this office has worked in the last eight years is in essence unfair to them= =C2=A0 because it doesn`t allow them a chance to appeal some of these complaints.= =C2=A0 The new office won`t be allowed to field anonymous tips, which is what the= =C2=A0 current one has been allowed to do. One other important thing to point out here: we know that Paul Ryan and=C2= =A0 Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy opposed closing this office, because they=C2= =A0 don`t want you and I having this conversation, and they don`t want this to= =C2=A0 become a PR nightmare for them, frankly, as the new Congress convenes=C2=A0 tomorrow. And this goes it seems against everything Donald Trump would=C2= =A0 have campaigned about, right, draining the swamp and the desire to do=C2=A0 things in Washington to make it an ethical place? Well, this seems to run counter to that. And it will be interesting to=C2= =A0 watch Republican lawmakers tomorrow explain why they want to do this. MADDOW: And, Ed, on that point, the substance of this change =E2=80=93 will= this=C2=A0 be =E2=80=93 will there be a difference now in terms of us, the press, and = we, the=C2=A0 public, getting information about ethics complaints, about ethics=C2=A0 investigations of lawmakers? Is there an issue in terms of just what we=C2= =A0 have access to when these complaints are made, when lawmakers are looked=C2= =A0 into in terms of ethical misdoings? O`KEEFE: Absolutely. And it was already pretty bad to begin with, because= =C2=A0 the process was so secretive that they couldn`t reveal information, you=C2= =A0 couldn`t get information out of this office for fear that they would get=C2= =A0 shut down the way they may tomorrow, frankly. But ultimately, we would get= =C2=A0 reports that either tell us that somebody was indeed facing some ethical=C2= =A0 questions or that they had been excused. But it was a months-long, very=C2= =A0 secretive process. It probably will be even more so now, if it goes=C2=A0 through. MADDOW: And, Ed, in terms of the politics here, you mentioned that very=C2= =A0 important point that House Speaker Paul Ryan and Majority Leader Kevin=C2= =A0 McCarthy, they didn`t want to do this. They did not want this to be the=C2= =A0 first headline of the new Congress, that they`ll be getting rid of the=C2= =A0 ethics office. That implies that they`re having issues controlling their=C2= =A0 own conference. I mean, this vote tonight didn`t involve any Democrats. This vote was=C2=A0 Republicans only. And they lost it by a lot. If their leadership was=C2=A0 telling them to vote no, the yes vote was 119-74. O`KEEFE: Yes. MADDOW: That suggests some deep clefts in the Republican caucus, even=C2=A0 before they get fully under way. O`KEEFE: Well, anyone who has been watching this television show known as= =C2=A0 Congress for the last eight years knows that clefts have existed, frankly.= =C2=A0 And I think this is just an example of the kinds of divisions we`ll see=C2= =A0 over the next few months. Yes, Republicans starting tomorrow are going to= =C2=A0