Tuesday, September 8, 2009

'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for Tuesday, September 8, 2009
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Video via MSNBC: Oddball, Worst Persons
The toss: The shirt

Guests: Howard Fineman, Lawrence O'Donnell, Chris Hayes, Shannyn Moore


KEITH OLBERMANN, HOST (voice-over): Which of these stories will you be talking about tomorrow?

The indoctrination has begun!


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Here in America, you write your own destiny. You make your own future.


OLBERMANN: This just in - the Republican Party is now opposed to you writing your own destiny, making your own future, and especially writing your own future destiny.


GEORGE MCFLY: I'm George - George McFly. I'm your density.


OLBERMANN: And they don't like that either!

The conservative "National Review" calls it the finest speech of Obama's presidency, the speech to school kids praised by Laura Bush and Newt Gingrich.

But the deranged head of the Florida GOP, who had insisted Obama would defend health care reform, the stimulus and socialism, is now backpedaling faster than a unicyclist tornado chaser.


JIM GREER, FLORIDA REPUBLICAN PARTY CHAIRMAN: This was never about the president speaking to children about the importance of education. It was about the White House writing lesson plans.


OLBERMANN: Twenty-four hours before the president's address to Congress, the majority leader of the House says health care reform could pass without the public option. While the speaker of the House says.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I believe a public option will be essential to our passing a bill.


OLBERMANN: Glenn Beck wants the truth - whether it's true or not. Watchdogs, find everything you can on Cass Sunstein, Mark Lloyd and Carol Browner.

And when other watchdogs are told, find everything you can on Glenn Beck, he goes all messianic again.


GLENN BECK, RADIO AND TV HOST: This game is for keeps. This is - who controls the United States of America.


OLBERMANN: Yes, we had that election already. Next question.

Well, wait until he hears what we found out about him. The most damning, horrible truth about Glenn Beck revealed tonight.

And Sarah Palin, the excuse. Pull the plug on grandma, Grassley speaks.


SEN. CHUCK GRASSLEY (R), IOWA: Well, Sarah Palin said that presumably before I said it about the death boards. But I never used the word.


OLBERMANN: Plus, 25,000 bucks to charity for dinner with Sarah and Todd? I should bid, right?

All that and more - now on Countdown.


SARAH PALIN (R), FMR. ALASKA GOVERNOR: Thanks, but no thanks.



OLBERMANN: Good evening from New York.

Despite the right's passionate attempt to stop him, today, President Obama pulled it off.

In our fifth story on the Countdown tonight: The president beamed his words and images directly into the classrooms and thus the minds of America's 60 million defenseless schoolchildren. They were instantly assimilated into the board collective - I'm sorry, I meant instantly indoctrinated. I mean - I'm sorry, I meant instantly aware that wasn't Spider-Man talking.

The speech worked so well, some grown-ups were indoctrinated, Republican grown-ups even. Former House Speaker Gingrich after reading Obama's speech over a nice, refreshing glass of Kool-Aid said, quote, "It's a good speech. I recommend it to everybody if you have any doubts." Laura Bush, former teacher - and Michelle Malkin has warned us all about the teachers - quote, "I think there is a place for the president of the United States to talk to schoolchildren and encourage schoolchildren.

"The National Review's" Jim Geraghty, "Obama's school speech is the finest of his presidency." Karl Rove said the president must have changed his speech from its first draft - its first draft is evil.

And Florida's GOP chairman revealed to his evidence that the speech was changed.


GREER: It's an upbeat speech, but is it the one the president was always going to give? You know, the White House should not have been involved in writing lesson plans.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN: So, you suspect that this isn't really the speech that he was going to give?

GREER: No, because, clearly, last week, there was a plan with the Department of Education. When you ask students to write a letter to the president on, "How we can help you with your new ideas, Mr. President," that is leading the students in an effort to push the president's agenda.

MALVEAUX: They did change the lesson plan. But you have no information that the White House actually changed the text of the speech? You don't have any inside knowledge of that?

GREER: No, I don't.


OLBERMANN: No, I don't.

Those terrible letters in which kids were supposed to write to Obama and tell him they would help him by staying in school and listening to their parents. Only a handful of the perceptive, like Lou Dobbs, saw that today's speech, a secretly evil speech, was still indoctrination.

But it took Boss Limbaugh to explain why - because urging kids to take personal responsibilities for their future, to drop their excuses and seize on the opportunity of education amounts to robbing them of their right to be losers - a right Mr. Limbaugh will always defend. Quote, "He's not even going to allow personal responsibility in your lifestyle. You're going to have that dictated to you, too. That's why the speech to kids today was about personal responsibility is a trick, it's a scam."

We will survey specific Republican complaints about the speech presently, but first, some obvious examples of passages that the rabid right-wing would naturally find objectionable. For instance, President Obama explained why education shapes not just individual futures but the future of the country.


OBAMA: What you're learning in school today will determine whether we, as a nation, can meet our greatest challenges in the future. You'll need the knowledge and problem-solving skills you learned in science and math to cure diseases like cancer and AIDS, and to develop new energy technologies and protect our environment.


OLBERMANN: Curing AIDS, protecting the environment. Bad enough to promote that kind of liberal, progressive agenda but he wants to do it using this - science stuff.

Obama also rejected right-wing staples, such as poverty and discrimination, in favor of progressive pet causes like equality and thinking.


OBAMA: You'll need the insights and critical thinking skills you gain in history and social studies to fight poverty and homelessness, crime and discrimination, and make our nation more fair and more free.


OLBERMANN: Time now to turn to MSNBC political analyst Howard Fineman, also senior Washington correspondent and political columnist of "Newsweek" magazine.

Good evening, Howard.


OLBERMANN: Did you watch today? Are you one of us now, Brother Fineman?

FINEMAN: I did, and I am.


FINEMAN: And I want you to know, Brother Keith, that I'm going to work really hard this fall on my reporting and my analysis, and I'm not going to quit because that would not only disappoint me and my family, but this broadcast and our country.

OLBERMANN: Good. Because staying in school is apparently only a Democrat - how foolish does this look now that the speech has been delivered? And this Florida GOP chairman who pushed the idea, oh, this is the second speech, when confronted with the question, what's your evidence there was another speech earlier, says, "I don't know."

FINEMAN: Well, you know, you're only as good as your sources, I admit. But the White House sources I have insist that the speech was not changed. Yes, the lesson plans were. Susan Malveaux said on CNN, but not the speech itself.

And this isn't silly. There's an undertone of fear here among certain parts of the country, that you have to look at and examine closely when you see this kind of reaction. I mean, to object to the idea that the president is calling on kids to work hard in school and be proud of themselves and do the right thing is crazy.

And for Rush Limbaugh to say that it is now unpatriotic to say that it's patriotic to stay in school doesn't make sense - especially when back in the Bush administration, they accused everybody of unpatriotic activity if they so much as dared to question the president's conduct of the war, for example.

OLBERMANN: And going back further, of course, it was the first President Bush who asked kids to write to him telling him how they could help him. And Mr. Greer here has shown up at schools without parental permission, without making any kind of official quality to this, has given talks that have pushed his political agenda, according to "The Orlando Sentinel," this included jokes about Hillary Clinton.

So, how is the right's indoctrination effort going in schools today?

FINEMAN: Well, I don't think very well. And I think it's important

to distinguish between the activist right or some parts of the activist

right that really have a deep-seated fear of this president on many levels

policy, personal, geographical, you name it - and the Republican Party.

And leaders of the Republican Party, people who care about the future of the party, many of whom not only backed off but never got in the fray to begin with, and once they saw the speech, as you showed in the setup, were pretty supportive of it.

OLBERMANN: What - that was basically - what he told the kids today was a very traditional, conservative speech. It touched - the age-old complaint from the right that poverty, discrimination, personal circumstances do not excuse failure, let alone excuse bad behavior. Why can't the right not rejoice when they get what they want, especially from a Democratic, even a liberal, president?

FINEMAN: Well, it's because they're hearing it from Barack Obama. That's the reason. This speech was a - you know, as you quoted people saying, from the right, from the "National Review" and elsewhere, a very wonderful speech because it focused on individualism. It focused on family responsibility.

It focused on measurable benchmarks of achievement. It focused on patriotism. It focused on the future. It focused on innovation.

That was a speech that any Republican president that I can think of, including both Bushes and Ronald Reagan, would have been proud to give. And in some respects, in other words, did give.

OLBERMANN: Does the Republican Party risk harming itself by attacking what used to be - as you suggest - mainstream American events, like the president speaking to schoolchildren? Never mind the message, just the venue. And if they succeed in undermining that kind of, you know, apolitical event, how do they govern in the future if they ever manage to return to power?

FINEMAN: Well, that's why I think some of them came out making supportive statements - including Laura Bush, including Karl Rove, including Newt Gingrich, who are three people who cared about and do care about the institutional future of the Republican Party. And also, by the way, are identified with a brand of sort of big government conservativism, if you will, or a values conservativism in government.

Don't forget, both Bush presidencies tried to lay down markers on education. They cared about education. They tried to make as mark as so-called compassionate conservatives about that. This is something that George W. was proud of down as governor of Texas.

So, they care about this kind of thing. That's why you're hearing people who want to position the Republican Party again as a compassionate force in using government to foster individual responsibility. That was Obama - Obama stole the message of compassionate conservativism that the Bushes ran on.

OLBERMANN: MSNBC political analyst Howard Fineman, also of "Newsweek," of course - as ever, great thanks for your time, Howard.

FINEMAN: Thank you, Keith.

OLBERMANN: As promised now, a more in-depth analysis of today's mass indoctrination of American youth. Our crack Countdown staff pored over an endless amount of right-wing warnings, actually, it wasn't that much but it felt endless to them, and in carefully correlated their complaints with the corresponding portions of Mr. Obama's speech.

Here now the results of our analysis revealing exactly what values and ideals the right-wing's media outlet of choice considers so offensive.


OBAMA: Thank you, everybody. All right. Everybody go ahead and have a seat.

MONICA CROWLEY, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Just when you think that this administration can't get any more surreal and Orwellian, here he comes to indoctrinate our children.

OBAMA: Every single one of you has something to offer.

GREER: I don't want them to take children away. I don't want him to take their minds away, either.

OBAMA: And I'm calling on to you set your own goals for education.

MICHELLE MALKIN, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: They are using these kids as political guinea pigs for hope and change.

OBAMA: Your goal can be something as simple as doing your homework.

BECK: They are capturing your kids.

OBAMA: Maybe you'll decide to get involved in an extracurricular activity.


OBAMA: Maybe you'll decide to stand up for kids who are being teased or bullied.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To many parents, in particular, it's a little threatening.

OBAMA: And you won't necessarily succeed at everything the first time you try. That's OK.

CROWLEY: This is what Chairman Mao did, Laura.


OBAMA: If you get a bad grade, that doesn't mean you're stupid.

MICHAE SAVAGE, SAVAGE NATION: That is something you would see out of the master leader, Kim Jong-il.

OBAMA: There is no excuse for not trying.

ANDREA TANTAROS, CONSERVATIVE COMMENTATOR: They do this type of thing in North Korea and the former Soviet Union.

OBAMA: So, if you get in trouble, that doesn't mean you're a troublemaker.

SHELLY HARRINGTON, PARENT: I'm afraid he's going to try to push what so many Americans do not agree with onto the children.

OBAMA: By the way, I hope all of you are washing your hands a lot.

INGRAHAM: People are rightly worried.

OBAMA: You might have to do a math problem a few times before you get it right.

BECK: Stand guard, America.

OBAMA: You might have to read something a few times before you understand it.

BECK: Your republic is under attack.

OBAMA: Today, I want to ask all of you, what's your contribution going to be?


OLBERMANN: Did it ever occur to any of them that if Obama actually was capable of indoctrination or hypnosis or even just, say, Hall of Fame quality salesmanship, he probably would have saved all that for tomorrow's speech about health care reform to the far-less sophisticated minds of nation's lawmakers during that joint session of Congress?


OLBERMANN: The number two Democrat in the House says health care reform could pass without the public option. But the number one Democrat in the House says health care reform cannot pass without the public option. Is anybody wondering why the Republicans are pressing this point as if this were the morning of Armageddon? The latest with Lawrence O'Donnell.

Plus, today, he asks his listeners to pray for him. And Glenn Beck is wise to do so, because we have found the awfulest of awful truths about him, and we will reveal it tonight here on Countdown.


OLBERMANN: And the forum could not be any bigger. The actual question is whether the president will bring the fighting spirit to match it.

But in our fourth story on the Countdown: 24 hours before his speech to giant session of Congress, still no firm indication that President Obama will deem the public option as essential to health care reform or will not. This as Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the House majority leader contradicted each other on whether the public option is politically optional.

The speaker and the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, met with the president today. Speaker Pelosi is saying the House is prepared to combine its health care bills, all three of which include a public option.


PELOSI: I believe that a public option will be essential to our passing a bill.


OLBERMANN: But Speaker Pelosi also said that what happens in the legislative process is another matter.

Senator Reid said the Senate was for the public option or something

like it. And he pushed the White House argument that health care bills

across the House and Senate agree on most provisions, 80 percent to 90



SEN. HARRY REID (D), SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: We want a bipartisan bill. We do not want to do reconciliation unless we have no alternative.


OLBERMANN: Meanwhile, the number two Democrat in the House, Congressman Hoyer, today said he could envision a bill without a public option, even though he has been and still claims to be a strong supporter of the public option.

And a few members of the House Progressive Caucus who once insisted on the public option have now indicated some willingness to support a trigger.

As for the president, aides leaving no doubt that he will be more forceful and quite specific in tomorrow night's address.

But will the public option get more than a one-line message? That's how much time it got yesterday when the president spoke to the AFL-CIO in Cincinnati.

Time now to call in our own Lawrence O'Donnell, contributor to "Huffington Post," former chief of staff to the Senate Finance Committee.

Lawrence, good evening.


OLBERMANN: So, which is it? In the House, could a bill without a public option pass per Hoyer or not per Pelosi? And is the White House for us or against us at the moment?

O'DONNELL: Well, the White House is for a bill, Keith. The president is with the public option, but he would happily sign a bill without the public option. Rahm Emanuel's made this clear from the start.

Since January, Rahm Emanuel has been saying publicly - the most important thing is to get a bill. That's a bill with anything in it that involves the health care sector. It does not have to include the public option for the White House. That's actually been very clear from the beginning on this thing.

Remember, it has to pass the House twice. It has to pass the House once to get it into conference with the bill from the Senate. And then it has to pass the House again in final passage. It might go through the House with a public option the first time if Nancy Pelosi feels that her troops demand that.

But it - I don't see any way it will go through final passage with the public option. I have strong doubts that the House - that even with the first passage, that Nancy Pelosi will insist on the public option.

OLBERMANN: We also keep hearing that the White House has been frustrated that the public option has gotten far too much attention in its opinion in this entire debate. How did they misread this? It seems that the public option is the hinge on which forcing insurance prices down exists or does not exist.

O'DONNELL: Well, what they misread, Keith, was how much uproar this would cause on the left. And they were using the old playbook, the 1994 playbook.

And what you have to remember about 1994 is, there were no blogs in 1994, and for the 15 - for the 15-year-olds out there, I hate to tell you, but MSNBC did not exist in 1994. And so, when we were legislating this in 1994, we did not worry about risking the wrath of the left if we start - if we were trying to move the bill towards the middle, because we knew the left would have to be with us in a vote when we actually get to the Senate floor and the House floor.

That's the normal formula that the Democrats don't worry about the left. And that is the formula that they're using this time.

I - Nancy Pelosi firmly believes that when the moment comes, she can gather her caucus together, tell them that she fought harder for the public option than Barack Obama did, than Harry Reid did, than any senator did. No one fought harder for it than Nancy Pelosi, and she is now telling her troops they're going to have to go forward without it. That moment is going to come.

OLBERMANN: But there's still - there's a calculation here in the other direction that doesn't add up, either. Assuming no Republican votes in the House. The speaker can only afford to lose 38 Democrats - 23 blue dogs said they will not vote for the bill as it now stands - but there are 60 to 100 Democratic members, progressives, who might vote without a public option.

Doesn't both sets of math fail her?

O'DONNELL: They do, but what she believes is, and what they always believe in the Democratic Party, is that when it comes down to the actual legislating moment, they will get those 100 liberals in the House to go along with this more centrist position. They won't - they'll give up on the blue dogs, and they'll simply talk to that 60 to 100 voters on the left in the House to be on board with this and be on board with this president. And it will work because it always works.

OLBERMANN: Is it going to work this time?

O'DONNELL: I don't see how it wouldn't work. If Nancy Pelosi gets it to the point where the only way to get this through is without the public option, and she gathers her caucus together and she tells them that, in one of those hold hands, prayer meetings in effect. And Charlie Rangel, who's been very strong on this, and chairman of the ways and means committee, stands up and says, "We've got to do it this way, because that's what chairman always do." Chairmen want to get a bill in the end and they will basically hold hands and say, "Let's do it this way."

OLBERMANN: And what happens then on the left and perhaps in the middle and to some degree on the right when a bill passes that doesn't have a public option, and thus, basically forces more people to buy over-the-counter insurance from insurance companies that are not seriously regulated because there is no public option? What do we have then - protests in the streets?

O'DONNELL: And does not provide universal coverage. What's been lost in this discussion all year is that none of the bills that have come out of any of these committees actually provide universal coverage.

And so, in the end, what the left would have been fighting for all year if it ends up being a bill that simply supports and expands the business of the private insurance companies does not provide universal coverage falls short by 10, 15, possibly 20 million people. That's when we see the explosion that we would get on the Internet as something we had never seen before in our politics - because, as I say, at these legislative junctures in the past, the Internet did not exist.

OLBERMANN: All right. We'll see what the Internet can do to change the equation, but I think we're still going to have to meet at the barricades one way or another.

Lawrence O'Donnell of MSNBC and the "Huffington Post" - as always, great thanks.

O'DONNELL: Thanks, Keith.

OLBERMANN: For all those times you've ever dreamt of a politician saying, "OK, let me make this easy for you, let me draw you a map," Senator Al Franken draws us a map. Look at that.

And apparently the first real Obama Kenyan birth certificate she produced was not real. Now, Orly Taitz has a second real Obama birth certificate. There's a problem with this one, too. And also, somebody stepped on it. "Worst Persons" is ahead on Countdown.


OLBERMANN: Ahead: We have discovered the worst thing imaginable about Glenn Beck. The end draws near, Glenn. Prepare thyself.

First, on this date in 1992 was born one of the greatest American comedic geniuses, Sid Caesar, born the same day, Lyndon LaRouche, now behind some of the Nazi imagery at the health care town halls. The difference between the two men, Sid Caesar realized he was funny.

Let's play "Oddball."

Happy Birthday, Sid Caesar.

We begin in the "Land of 10,000 Lakes" with Minnesota's junior senator, Al Franken, entertaining folks at the state fair by drawing a map of the United States freehand and from memory. We have speeded it up, I think. His map-making skills prove Senator Franken an accurate alternative to Rand McNally as well as a great party guest. Later on, Norm Coleman dropped by and he drew a spiral representing his career options.

To the state fair in Texas, where the treat that clogged a very hard of "Oddball" last week, fried butter, has headed home with a blue ribbon, takes the prize for the most creative new fried food of 2009. Flavors include sweet cream, cherry and garlic. Hmm.

Honorable mention goes to the peach that was dipped in butter, rolled in graham cracker crumbs, filled in grease or fried in grease and topped with whipped cream. Talking about a piece of fruit there, originally. This year's victory, of course, setting up an arms race for next year's contest where someone will need to offer butter fried, butter fried butter.

To Uttaradit, Thailand, meet Suang Puangsri song and his house full of scorpions or house full of scorpions - 4,600 scorpions. See, in the past, Suang sold the creepy crawlers as food to restaurants. So to atone for his behavior, he now keeps them all as pets and meditates with them.

Mr. Puangsri claims he's been stung so many times he's built up immunity to the scorpions and now finds them quite lovable - although his neighbors find the whole situation a bit strange. In a related story, the cat lady from down the hollow street, the street points out, see, I'm not that bad. You got one in your mouth.

As "Lonesome Roads" goes after three new White House targets, we have discovered an awful truth about him, which we will reveal tonight.

And Governor Palin goes back to the wishing well that is death panels.

Where is that bottomless pit?



OLBERMANN: At Yankee stadium last night, a goober actually shouted at me from the safety of 20,000 feet and one story away that Van Jones is just the first and now dominos will fall.

On our third story in the Countdown in the Candyland world of racism dressed up as anything else, they will believe anything about the president and they will believe any rationalization, no matter how transparent, that what they're feeling is not racism.

Examples: death panels, presidential indoctrination of school kids that only their protest prevented and the idea that fascists and communists and socialists are the same and Zimbalists too; Ephraim and Stephanie Zimbalist.

The White House green jobs adviser Van Jones resigned in the middle of a storm in a tea pot over the holiday weekend. Most of the storm was about Jones' founding in 2005 of the group "Color of Change," which has thus far stripped 57 advertisers from the "Glenn Beck Show."

Beck retaliated, never once mentioning to his audiences that his enmity to Jones was not on behalf of the nation but merely on behalf of his own hinny (ph). He began calling Jones a radical and unearthing video of him calling Republican's holes. And they denied this. Wow? How?

Next up, Beck has tweeted to his zombies, quote, "Watch Dogs: Find everything you can on Cass Sunstein, Mark Lloyd and Carol Browner. Do not link before burning to disc." Sunstein is the Harvard law school professor whose nomination to run the office of Information and Regulatory Affairs is in limbo in the senate because of Republican obstructionism.

Lloyd is the FCC's chief diversity officer and Ms. Browner is Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change.

This in turn to led me to diary at DailyKos.com to find everything you can on Glenn Beck, Stu Burguiere, his radio producer and Roger Ailes and to promise that we, on this program tonight would announce a dedicated e-mail address to send tips on them. On that, more in a moment.

First, let's bring in the Washington editor of "The Nation" magazine, Chris Hayes. Good evening, Chris.


OLBERMANN: A former chair for the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights John Anner who was a friend of Mr. Jones has said what many are thinking here to quote it, "It struck me why go after this guy. He's a minor player. He has no power, no budget. Why take him? It's because he looks like Obama and he has all of those same attributes of being well-educated and he's an electrifying speaker with an elite education."

The line of racist attacks against the president, sometimes poorly disguised described as birthers or deathers or whatever, is that what's in play here principally?

HAYES: Well, first of all, one can never read the mind of Glenn Beck, nor would one want to. So I don't know. It seems absolutely the case that race is playing a major factor. I mean, in fact of the three names that were treated today, I wonder which one will he go after the hardest?

But, no, the fact of the matter is clearly, unambiguously racism is playing a big factor in this. And you need to look no further than Beck's own program where he's standing there and he's got Jeremiah Wright footage on one side of the screen and Van Jones' footage on other side of the screen. And he's sort of mugging for the camera, like oh look, huh, another angry black guy.

So I think there's no question that that was motivating a lot of it.

OLBERMANN: Is there a way of telling when you're dealing with this blatant racism, when the idea is so absurd that if you have a brain, you laugh. But other people take it damn seriously, you know, the idea that Van Jones is key to the Obama administration or Obama's going to indoctrinate our schoolchildren when it does not pass the craziest person's smell test but it is yet embraced by these people.

Is it not because they will take anything that lets them to believe that, that the emotion they're feeling is not - not racism?

HAYES: I don't know. I mean, I think the psychology of all of it is super complicated.


HAYES: I think people have all sorts of animus towards the president. A lot of it has to do with race. A lot of it has to do with his politics, his name. I mean, people have been led to believe all sorts of insane things about him from the beginning.

I mean, from the very beginning that he emerged on the national scene, people have been fed this steady diet of crazy misinformation about him. And what the source of this animus is, this misinformation that's kind of bizarre mythology that's grown up around Barack Obama, I can't tell.

But I do know the fact that at the end of the day, Glenn Beck's viewers, no one will - very few people know what the council on environmental quality is.


HAYES: People haven't heard of Van Jones, they're just hearing this kind of scary person conjured out of the ether and it plays a role in this mythology that does not have any kind of real tether into reality.

OLBERMANN: Yes, he's a czar. He's one of the Romanovs. He's a rightful czar of all of the Russians. Beck said today on the radio, this game is for keeps and he asked his audience to pray for his safety and he's got Sean Hannity and Boss Limbaugh right there with him.

But do they mark up another win here unless the White House stands up to it next time, whoever it is, whether it's Carol Browner or somebody else?

HAYES: Well, I don't want to - I don't want to help him self-aggrandize too much. I mean, we're talking about a mid-level staffer in the council on environmental quality.


HAYES: But, I think one lesson from the Clinton administration is that you cannot appease the Gods of reaction with human sacrifice. And they only grow angrier and hungrier. And at the end Bill Clinton himself found himself on the altar being shipped up the side of a volcano.

And I think that's a really useful lesson that this will go away unless they're stood up to, absolutely.

OLBERMANN: So does this close now and no defense of this man and the noises from the Beck jungle are victorious and look, we got the biggest one of the bunch instead of a - you know, a small fry?

HAYES: I don't know. I mean, we'll see where this goes. They're going to go after Cass Sunstein. And to me that just shows how un-tethered from reality their world view is. Cass Sunstein is the opposite in politics in almost every way from Van Jones.

This is a guy who is the heart of the American intellectual establishment. This is a guy whose politics, who has reached out to conservatives his whole life. So if they're successful with that, then there's no boundary to it.

OLBERMANN: Something just popped into my head. We'll have to look into it when there's more time. But I was just thinking all of the stories I was just told about - the crazy stories about FDR, same things that he was...

HAYES: Totally.

OLBERMANN: ...of Jewish descent from some other country, hadn't been born here.


OLBERMANN: ...I've to go look through this and just pile it on later on in the week.

HAYES: The Liberty League rides again.

OLBERMANN: That's right, there you go. Father Coughlin, he's on every day at 5:00. Chris Hayes on Fox - Chris Hayes, Washington editor of "The Nation." Great thanks, Chris.

HAYES: Thank you, Keith.

OLBERMANN: Now about calling on the Baker Street irregulars to gather interesting info on Beck and his enablers. David Carr blogged something provoking in "The New York Times" today.

"While Mr. Beck," he wrote, "may be serving as a proxy for the party of the opposition, his targets are members of the administration; a rugged game to be sure but not one that attempts to investigate journalists and commentators for having contrary opinions. What might Mr. Olbermann do if someone digs up dirt on his intended targets, who, like him in work in the infotainment industry and have been elected by no one? Once the game of oppo-research on the press begins, it's hard to tell where it might stop, no?"

It's a kind of admirable naivete about the idea that the opposition research is just dawning out there on the horizon in the news business. Fox, mostly through the co-owned "New York Post" has been running that kind of opposition research program on me since the day I left NewsCorps' employ in 2001.

"The Post" once printed an old address of mine. It sent a goofus (ph) to stand outside my house and shout at me about seven-year-old three-figure tax disagreements in the State of California - agreements that had been resolved five years previously. It has printed made-up quotes, questioned my sexual prowess and mocked me when the New York Police ordered me to a hospital to make sure that the fake anthrax sent to my home really was fake anthrax.

This is called opposition research and not even accurate opposition research. In fact two years ago, when he still worked for CNN, Beck retaliated against my criticism by going on a rant about where I wrote my scripts, where I kept the questions during a show and the fact that there was an old prop mailbox outside of my office.

Info that was supposed to terrify me into submission because it only could have come from an employee or ex-employee; this too is called opposition research.

So my idea was hardly a new one. It's underway right now, and the over/under on the dying "The New York Post" printing something bizarre or Beck calling me Joe McCarthy again is ten days.

But Mr. Carr's point begs a great question. Do I really want to be like Glenn Beck? Do I really want to be like Fox News and "The New York Post"? I don't mean I would stop calling them out for their inanities or for the next time Beck sounds that desperate sick dog whistle hope that somebody might blow up Rockefeller Center because it's full of fascist, socialist, Zimbalist art, even though he works in Rockefeller Center too.

Now, this is about having or not having a blind lead box on these people and then vetting information that arrives there. I don't know. I will reserve the right to summon the Baker Street irregulars, but I don't think so. I have some things Mr. Beck does not: a conscience, respect of my colleagues and self-respect.

Besides which, in just the last ten weeks, Beck has fantasized about poisoning the Speaker of the House of Representatives. He has agreed with a guest who advocated a bin Laden terror attack on this country and he's already personally called the President of the United States a racist.

What could we possibly find out that would be more humiliating to Glenn Beck, more embarrassing to Glenn Beck, more destructive about Glenn Beck than this one fact - he's Glenn Beck.

Dinner with Governor Sarah Palin is up for auction. Oh, I should place a bid, right?

And in "Worsts" Sean Hannity complains that liberals - I can't even say his line - liberals are going after Republicans with a 20-year-old thesis he wrote. Whose 38-year-old thesis did Hannity try to use against that last election?

And when Rachel joins you at the top of the hour: the White House czars. How the far right is conveniently forgetting that they were invented by Nixon and perfected by Ronald Reagan.


OLBERMANN: This is Obama's real birth certificate. No, sorry. This is Obama's real birth certificate. Damn it, wrong country again. Ok, give me a minute.

Orly Taitz is back facing Michele Bachmann and Sean Hannity in "Worst Persons."

Then Sarah Palin now off for auction on eBay, now that one kind of speaks for itself.


OLBERMANN: After Chuck Grassley blamed Sarah Palin for his claim that health care reform would lead to pulling the plug on grandma, Sarah Palin repeats the death panels BS. That's next.

But first I've got number two story tonight's "Worst Persons in the World."

The bronze to Orly Taitz, the first, the actual Obama Kenyan birth certificate she produced was apparently was a forgery. We say this because she has now produced another actual Obama Kenyan birth certificate. Somebody stepped on it. See, you can tell it's really Obama's birth certificate because the baby's footprint is black.

This one is so much worse than even - than even the serial birther Jerome Corsi has pronounced it a fake and said that the guy Taitz got it from also once tried to sell one of his own kidneys.

The two biggest mistakes on this one, it says Mumbasa British protector of Kenya and yet the dates are offered in American style month then day number rather than the British style, which is day number and then month. And also Mumbasa was not in Kenya in 1961 when Obama was born. Mumbasa was in Zanzibar.

I would give Ms. Taitz the benefit of the doubt here if she would just come back and echo that old Dorrito's ad, eat all you want. We'll make more.

And run up, Michele Bachmann another great wild guess from the Minnesota Congresswoman and she has announced that while the ratio of tax payments to earned income can now hit 50 percent, it was only five percent in 1950 and, "This is slavery, nothing more than slavery, the Constitution provides freedom."

The top tax rate in 1950 was 84 percent. You're off by 79. The current rate is 35 percent. It is lower than it has been for all but five of the last 77 years. She just made the numbers up. Which is it, is she crazy, is she stupid, or is she on something?

But our winner is Sean Hannity. Listen to this self-righteous humbuggery about the governor's race in Virginia. "There's been an all-out war declared by 'The Washington Post' against Bob McDonnell, a solid conservative, and the effort to smear, besmirch, demonize and impact that election is under full way here, and a lot of this has to do - well, they went through this great effort to dig up a graduate school thesis he wrote, and they're claiming that, well, he's saying that homosexuality, working women, and abortion are detrimental to traditional American families.

That was - let's see, 20 years ago. We'll go back to opinions that he might have held at a time when he's writing the thesis. You see how abusively biased the media can be? It's unbelievable."

Sure is, Sean. Sean Hannity - July 1st, 2007. "Chapter six, the thesis, he said as he read from Hillary Rodham's grad school thesis. It's a 38-year-old document that's been rumored about. 90 pages, steeped in intrigue and mystery. Hillary's thesis, elevated to mystical status from years of secrecy. It allows readers to decipher the true thinking of the former First Lady and now 2008 presidential hopeful."

You see how abusively biased the media can be? It's unbelievable. It's unbelievable. Wait a minute, I can't say that now. I contradicted myself. I just pooped my pants.

Sean "The H is for Hypocrisy" Hannity, today's "Worst Person in the World."


OLBERMANN: Unemployed and for now lacking a talk show, the ex-governor of Alaska repeats her death panel lie just as Senator Chuck Grassley blames her on the whole "pull the plug on grandma" hysteria.

Our number one story tonight, death panel redacts starring Sarah Palin, plus live bidding. Late this afternoon, Palin defending her original comments on death panels, after being invited to testify to the New York State Senate aging committee by its chairman Ruben Diaz, Palin posted this would-be testimony on Facebook.

"A great deal of attention was given to my use of death panel in discussing such rationing, despite repeated attempts by many in the media to dismiss this phrase as a myth. Its accuracy has been vindicated. The fact is that any group of government bureaucrats that makes decisions affecting life or death is essentially a death panel."

You know like presidents sending American troops into pointless wars. George Bush had a death panel; roger that. Meanwhile, fellow Republican Chuck Grassley says don't blame him for the whole "pull the plug on grandma" panic. Blame her.


SEN. CHARLES GRASSLEY (R), IOWA: Well, there's another political leader higher up in the hierarchy that used that than I did. And then "The Washington Post" or some newspaper later on said something about Sarah Palin. Well, Sarah Palin said that presumably before I said it about the death boards, but I never used the word.


OLBERMANN: And yes, it gets better. If you would like to discuss the death panels with the former governor over, say a nice glass of Pinot Grigio or Mountain Dew, Palin is also offering a dinner for five with her and the former first dude. Those interested in dining with the ex-governor and Todd Palin can bid in an auction benefiting "Ride to Recovery" a program that helps wounded soldiers. The opening bid is $25,000. Organizers of the auction say the winner will most likely have to transport themselves to and from Alaska to participate in dinner with the Palins. But as the listing on eBay reminds us, the value is priceless.

Joining me now, Alaska radio host and contributor to the Huffington Post, Shannyn Moore. Good evening Shannyn.


OLBERMANN: I should bid, right? What would happen if I bid? What would happen if I won?

MOORE: You should. You absolutely should. You could invite David Letterman, Tina Fey, myself, maybe Levi Johnston. And one of two things would happen, either we could all just not show up.


MOORE: Which she tends to (AUDIO GAP). And she could stomp out halfway through dinner.

OLBERMANN: Or we could just not show up and you give the money to charity. I'm going to do it, okay.

MOORE: Go ahead.

OLBERMANN: It's just opened and there are no bids. I know you're looking at this upside down; that's the governor's face right there on eBay and I've already logged in. I just put in a bid for just slightly more than the minimum. I mean, I'm hoping to get it cheap. Let's find out what happens now.

Attention to Paypal - confirm bid and pre-approval required. I must be pre-approved by the seller. That idea's out the window. Ask the seller to ask to be in pre-approved list. We will take care of that off the air. You can see what happens when you do live TV.

The death panel talk is back meantime. The governor unaware that the death panels that we currently have, insurance not covering a pre-existing condition, or non-coverage due to whatever technicality they can dig up or the incredible expense death panels. These are the functions of the very free market principles she claims to want. Has she not made that giant logical leap from one to the other?

MOORE: I don't think she realizes how expensive the free market has become on American people by any stretch.

But, you know, I think it was April 16th, 2008, she had her own sort of health care decision day that she came up with, that she declare it for Alaskans that it was health care decision day. And so, you know, I don't know what the difference between sitting down with a health care provider and talking about how you want the end of your life to look with dignity is different than what she declared for Alaskans when she was governor.

OLBERMANN: So, in other words, this was approval of - if she had read this, that somebody else had done this somewhere, she would have concluded that it was leading to euthanasia and death panels and for all we know executions?

MOORE: Yes, what does she have against, you know, children in Asia? I'm not sure. It was really obvious in reading her Facebook today, and I did post it on the Huffington Post, reading this, that she didn't write this. There were no therefores, alsos, you betchas; all that was out of there.

And it made me wonder actually when she declared this - which I really supported, I really did as an Alaskan when she was governor, her health care discussion day. I think it's very important for people to have those discussions. It made me wonder if she even knew what she was doing then or if that was someone else.

OLBERMANN: What does it say now about the current state of Sarah Palin and its clout in the Republican Party, that Chuck Grassley to defend himself threw her under the bus?

MOORE: Well, I think I heard him right. She said it first.

OLBERMANN: Yes, exactly.

MOORE: That's what they have come down to.

I think what this is is the Republicans who want to be re-elected are really running away from guano crazy as fast as they can. They - if they want anyone to vote for them, they've got to sort of distance themselves from the death panels and then from just the sort of - you know, the crazies that we've seen in the last week or so that don't want a black president talking to their children.

OLBERMANN: How much - last point, how much do you think this dinner's going to go for? Is it going to go for $25,000? What should I bid when I finally get through the bidding process?

MOORE: Oh, it will be priceless. We all know that. If she actually shows and I don't know if you can get pre-approved, Keith. But I know there's a lot of people who would probably like to go to dinner with you and the Palins, the former Governor Palin, as she neglected to mention on her Facebook when she signed her death panel clarification notice today.

OLBERMANN: It's signed Governor Palin? She -

MOORE: It is signed Governor Palin.

OLBERMANN: She forgot. Alaska radio host, Huffington Post contributor Shannyn Moore in Alaska tonight for us. Great thanks, Shannyn.

MOORE: Always a pleasure, Keith.

OLBERMANN: Now to emphasize a point we noted last week in all of the hysteria over White House czars, the right is forgetting that it invented the White House czar.

Incidentally to celebrate her first anniversary on the air, thanks for the shirt, ladies and gentlemen, here's Rachel Maddow.

Good evening, my friend. Congratulations.


much, Keith. That looks very, very, very nice on you. You know how hard I had to fight to make sure it wasn't going to be Yankee pinstripes?

OLBERMANN: Who wanted Yankee pinstripes as opposed to the gaudy alternative Red Sox uniform color that you happened by coincidence to pick out?

MADDOW: See, I just said I want something that looks commie.

OLBERMANN: Notice I'm wearing it and you're not.

Once again, that's the story of my life right there. All right. Have a good show.

MADDOW: Thank you very much, Keith.