Monday, June 7, 2010

'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for Monday, June 7th, 2010
video podcast

Video via MSNBC: Twitter Report, Oddball, Tea Time, Worst Persons
The toss: Much closer

Guests: Bob Cavnar, Philippe Cousteau, David Corn, Michael Musto



KEITH OLBERMANN, HOST (voice-over): Which of these stories will you

be talking about tomorrow?

Forty percent to 50 percent containment of oil-pocalypse estimated,

probably. But 100 percent containment of the free still spill of news: BP

confirms it blocked the Google and Yahoo! searches so it decides what you

see when you search the net for oil spill.

The fine will be up to 4,300 bucks per barrel discharge into the Gulf.

No wonder there's no exact figure.



It may take some time and it's going to take a whole lot of effort.


OLBERMANN: Rationalization bordering on insanity: Liz Cheney insists

this has nothing to do with her father, or Bush/Cheney.


LIZ CHENEY, DICK CHENEY'S DAUGHTER: It's incredible, the extent to

which people are now trying to shift blame.


OLBERMANN: Bob Cavnar on the latest progress from cut-and-cap, Howard

Fineman on the politics and BP's suppression of the news, David corn on Liz

Cheney's delusions, and with more overwhelming images from the Gulf,

environmentalist Philippe Cousteau.

"Tea Time": Rand Paul is back, and there's something else he doesn't

like. "I'm opposed to the government telling restaurant owners that they

cannot allow smoking in their establishments."

How about "bridge out" signs, Rand? What do you think of "bridge out"


"Worsts": The Republican state senator in South Carolina opposed to

the Republican Indian-American candidate for governor because, quote, "We

already got one raghead in the White House. We don't need a raghead in the

governor's mansion." He has now made a "Worsts" remark.

And Rush Limbaugh gets married with Elton John as the wedding singer,

and George Brett and Justice Clarence Thomas as the celebrity guests. We

have exclusive video.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): And I think it's going to be a long,

long time. Till touch down brings me round again to find. I'm not the man

they I am at home.


OLBERMANN: All the news and commentary-now on Countdown.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm a rocket man.




OLBERMANN: Good evening from New York.

For those awaiting the articulation of national anger against the

perpetrators of the oil spill disaster, preferably words spoken softly,

accompanied by the implied threat of the big stick, they are tonight yours.

The president in an exclusive interview for "The Today Show" telling Matt

Lauer that some of the information he has sought about the catastrophe is,

quote, "so I know whose ass to kick."

In our fifth story, that clip in a moment, it comes juxtaposed against

BP's quite announcement today that it plans to replace the cap on its

wellhead with a slightly bigger, better fitting one next month, thus left

unsaid by BP, the current cap necessarily does not fit-just like

everything else BP has done or tried throughout the seven weeks of the


One mile down in the Gulf, the Deepwater Horizon is still gushing.

Admiral Thad Allen saying that it is not clear how much oil is being

captured by the cap. Government officials guessing that the containment

cap now collects 11,000 barrels and has done so during the last 24-hour

period out of the government estimated 25,000 barrels a day still spewing

from the well, that's a little more than 40 percent, not even close to good


At today's briefing, White House Press Secretary Gibbs pointing out

that the flow rate will determine how much BP is fined by the government,

up to $4,300 for every barrel leaked into the Gulf. That, according to a

provision in the U.S. Clean Water Act.

Gibbs' boss is showing some anger or at least angry words on the topic

of how he's handled the crisis thus far.


OBAMA: I was down there a month ago, before most of these talking

heads were even paying attention to the Gulf. A month ago I was meeting

with fishermen down there, standing in the rain, talking about what a

potential crisis this could be. And I don't sit around just talking to

experts because this is a college seminar, we talk to these folks because

they potentially had the best answers, so I know whose ass to kick.


OLBERMANN: President Obama in the interview with Matt Lauer which

will air in full tomorrow on "The Today Show."

This afternoon, in a cabinet meeting, the president is also expressing

optimism that there will be an actual end to this ever-unfolding crisis.


OBAMA: This will be contained. It may take some time, and it's going

to take a whole lot of effort. There's going to be damage done to the Gulf

Coast and there's going to be economic damages that we've got to make sure

BP is responsible for and compensates people for. But the one thing I'm

absolutely confident about is that as we have before, we will get through

this crisis.


OLBERMANN: Speaking of compensation, the president repeating the

warning he gave BP first on Friday.


OBAMA: I do not want to see BP nickel-and-diming these businesses

that are having a very tough time.


OLBERMANN: But the evidence suggests that nickel-and-diming is

exactly what BP is doing, by at the very least drowning Gulf Coast

claimants in paperwork. "The New York Times" reporting on the extensive

documentation that the company is requiring in its claims process,

documents often hard to come by in a cash-based industry like fishing.

Then those documents being bottlenecked through claims adjusters who-

well, adjust the claims. Do they ever adjust claims higher than what a

victim has requested?

One shrimper telling "The New York Times" that he got a check for

$5,000 from BP last month. Usually at this time of year, he says he could

make twice that much in two days, or make that much in two days.

Over the weekend, BP's chief executive, Tony Hayward, having told the

BBC that the company has paid every claim presented to it-actually, his

company admits to "The New York Times" that it has paid only about half of

all claims submitted.

Two more things seemingly working in the company's favor: First, its

P.R. team managing to manipulate Internet search engines, paying Google and

Yahoo! so that should anyone search the term oil spill, the sponsored

result at the very top of the page is a link that redirects you to the

company's Web site. Quoting from the Google result, "Info about the Gulf

of Mexico spill, learn more how BP is helping."

Secondly, should anyone try to follow a federal suit against BP, it's

likely to be difficult to find judges without conflicts to hear the cases.

An "Associated Press" investigation is revealing that more than half of

federal judges in Gulf States have financial connections to the oil and gas


This morning in Louisiana, the wives of two workers who died on the

Deepwater Horizon taking their testimony to Congress, more specifically

Congress came to them. The widows are telling a special meeting of a House

energy subcommittee about the problems their husbands had controlling the

well in the weeks before the fatal explosion.


NATALIE ROSHTO, HUSBAND DIED ON RIG: They had had problems with well

control before and actually lost the well and lost a lot of tools and

everything, several millions of dollars worth of equipment that had been

lost. They were also receiving a lot of kicks from the well, a lot of gas

pressure, and that had been going on throughout the duration of this well.


OLBERMANN: In a moment, the presidential politics of the kicks from

the president, with our own Howard Fineman. But we begin with the state of

the containment effort by turning to oil and gas industry expert and

veteran, Bob Cavnar, now contributor to "The Huffington Post," as well as

founder and editor of "The Daily Hurricane" blog.

Bob, thanks again for your time tonight.


OLBERMANN: This announcement by BP, it's going to swap out the

current cap with a bigger one, a slightly bigger one, some time next month.

Is that just a nice way of saying the current cap is not working correctly?

CAVNAR: You know, Keith, I watched the briefing this afternoon,

listened to it over the phone and looked at the presentation. And it's

pretty clear there's several things going on. One is that the well is

producing far more than they've admitted and that the Enterprise, which has

a 15,000-barrel-a-day capacity probably can't handle anywhere close to the

flow of the well.

The other thing it told me was that this is going to drag on way into

hurricane season and they have to have a configuration where they can

either survive a hurricane or they can pull off and get back on without

having to deal with the cap itself.

OLBERMANN: Is there a reason that they did not go for a larger cap in

the first place and why would they wait until next month?

CAVNAR: I think the real problem here is when they couldn't make that

precision cut last week, and they had to make the rough cut with the shear,

gave them the only option, the cap that doesn't fit very well, and there's

so much oil escaping from underneath it that they've got to change


OLBERMANN: The flow rate is going to determine, as we found out from

Mr. Gibbs today, how much BP is fined by the government. Do we now have an

answer-another-or clearer answer at least about why BP never wanted

anybody to know exactly how much oil was flooding the Gulf?

CAVNAR: Well, you know, I think BP thought that they were going to

get this well killed way before they were going to have to deal with the

actual volume that was, or reporting the volume that was flowing. And so,

I think they were really low-balling the number, hoping to get it shut in.

Now that it looks like it's going to drag into the fall, they're really

facing a serious issue about how much volume there is because the fines

from the EPA are per barrel, and it could go well into the billions at the

rate it's flowing now.

OLBERMANN: Day 49, Admiral Thad Allen saying today there's still no

good number. There's no accurate data about how much oil is gushing, has

gushed, will gush in total into the Gulf. What needs to happen for the

government to get these numbers? Is this something that will be

investigated by a panel 10 years from now just to get a number?

CAVNAR: You know, I think that the presidential commission really

needs to get into this when they start studying this, after the panel is

formed. In the meantime, we know that they have a pretty good idea of what

the well is flowing, because they're designing a very sophisticated sea

floor system to recover the oil through both their production platform that

they have there, and another production ship that they're going to add.

So we-I think they know pretty much how much is flowing and it's

way more than the 15,000 to 19,000 barrels they're reporting.

OLBERMANN: Now, you've said that twice. Is that any kind of

indication for where this oil was going on to those tankers once it gets

through this suction device? Is there problem with where it's going? Do

they have a place to keep it?

CAVNAR: I think they're going to be able to get a tanker large

enough. And they have a tanker that's being loaded on to from the

Enterprise. So, I think capacity's not going to be the issue here. The

issue is going to be just being able to keep up with the well.

Another interesting thing, Keith, I just wanted to mention, that this

new cap actually latches on to the top of the wellhead. So, this tells me

that they're not-they can't actually shut the well in for some other


OLBERMANN: Bob Cavnar, oil industry expert, once again, thanks again

for making some of this clear for us tonight.

CAVNAR: Thanks for having me, Keith.

OLBERMANN: As promised, let's turn now to our own political analyst,

Howard Fineman, senior Washington correspondent for "Newsweek" magazine.

Good evening, Howard.


OLBERMANN: All right. That clip we put a little while ago, the

president saying he talks to experts, folks who know, so he knows whose ass

to kick, and it's his phrase, not mine. I know there a lot of criticism of

his tone has been oversimplified, that he should get emotional, I don't

know, weep or shake his fist or something.

My point was, you don't have to yell, just articulate the rage that is

out there. Do you think he did that?

FINEMAN: No. I don't think so, because I think that he doesn't fully

understand just how deep and widespread that rage is. It's bipartisan,

it's coast to coast. This is now considered to be a worst disaster than

Katrina, the government response is considered to be worse than Katrina.

British Petroleum is like the biggest corporate evildoer, to borrow a

phrase from a previous administration, than we've seen potentially in a

long, long time. And Barack Obama sometimes still seems to be behaving

like he's operating in a courtroom with a reasonable witness.

OLBERMANN: The president did also express in a general briefing

today, confidence that the spill is going to be contained, that the

nation's going to get through the crisis-leaving the second part of that

out of it, the first part that it's going to be contained. In light of the

last 49 days, was that the most bold statement of the week? And was it an

advisable one for him to make?

FINEMAN: Well, I think it's one that any president has to make in

that kind of situation. But the problem is carrying through. The problem

is he's at the mercy of events, to some extent.

As your previous guest was explaining, the well is not properly

capped. There are questions increasingly about how the government has

responded as well as BP has responded. And Congress is back in town,

Keith, which means all the finger-pointing and all the rhetoric is going to

get even more heated once members of the Congress hit the floor, which is

going to happen tomorrow.

OLBERMANN: To that point, this "Washington Post" poll that came out

that shows that those who see the spill as a disaster overwhelmingly want

criminal charges against BP, including 50 percent of Republicans want

criminal charges against BP. What does that tell us what to expect as

Congress returns and sees a clear field to beat up an obvious target in BP?

FINEMAN: Well, it's going to be interesting because that poll shows

Republicans want to do that too, the way it's gone so far is that the

Republicans have tried to blame Barack Obama for inattention, for failures

for this and that, but the public overall is focused more on British

Petroleum. I've been really amazed at how little BP has really been

focused on. It's all been Tony Hayward and the commercials and so on.

British Petroleum is the fourth largest corporation in the world.

It's based in the city of Westminster in London. It has 100-year history

of buying off politicians, beginning with Winston Churchill in 1925. It

has a quarter of a trillion dollars a year in annual revenues.

They view most governments that they deal with as appendages of their


The United States cannot be viewed as an appendage of British

Petroleum's enterprise, and that's the thing that Barack Obama, who isn't

really a populist by nature, and kind of shies away from taking a

confrontational stance has to understand, it's nice that Tony Hayward is

saying, hey, don't worry, we're going to pay all, quote, "legitimate

claims." You know, it's nice that they're going to get 1,000 boats out

there when only 100 are actually skimming oil.

But at some point we have to say, the United States has to say, we are

bigger than British Petroleum. And not many countries do say that.

OLBERMANN: If you are BP and is putting a feel-good commercial in the

middle of "World News" on ABC and buying sponsored links to manipulate

Google and Yahoo! searches, is that really going to solve this other

spewing problem for them? Can they-


OLBERMANN: - can they suppress this anger even if perhaps the

president has not tapped it fully?

FINEMAN: Well, to make the obvious analogy, they can't cap that well

any more than they can cap the first one.

But a couple of things about the searches on Google and Yahoo! It's

not just that thing you showed there, Keith. It's not just the sponsored

link at the top. I was fooling around with it this afternoon. They're

buying the Google algorithm. They're not just buying that first thing up



FINEMAN: If you put in all kinds of other combinations and you do the

search, the top several responses you get in the un-highlighted area that's

supposedly the journalistic area also takes you directly to the BP page.

So I think there are questions to be asked about how that whole thing is

working, number one. And number two, I haven't done the exact

calculations, but I would say one single picture of an oiled pelican equals

100,000 hits on the BP sponsored page.

And by the way, the Twitter page for the real BP is not nearly as

popular as the quite acidic, sarcastic fake Twitter page about-for BP

which has many more-many more visitors to it.

OLBERMANN: BP world P.R., if I'm correct, off the top of my head.

Howard Fineman of "Newsweek" and MSNBC, turning on my softball and

hitting it out of the park there-I appreciate it. Thank you, Howard.


OLBERMANN: None of this, of course, owes at all to the Bush/Cheney

administration. Ask any independent expert, like, say, Liz Cheney.

And the view from a helicopter above, what was the Deepwater Horizon

site just last Friday indicated to the trained eye, an oil slick that was

horizon to horizon, between 500 and 1,000 miles square, that was just on

the surface.

More appalling images in tonight of the spill of its earlier victims

and the analysis of environmentalist Philippe Cousteau-next.


OLBERMANN: His is one of the best known names for environmental

concern, and this, says the White House energy adviser, is, quote, "The

biggest environmental disaster ever faced in this country." New images,

new estimates of dead animals and their poisoned homes tonight from the

Gulf assessed for us by Philippe Cousteau.

But none of it is his fault, ask his daughter. She said everything

except claiming we didn't even discover oil until last December.

What was Elton John doing singing at Rush Limbaugh's latest wedding?

Rush "makes jokes about Barney Frank's sexuality" Limbaugh. We have

exclusive video-not from the wedding but we'll just pretend it is.

And when you're a state senator in South Carolina, what do you say

after you said, "We already got one raghead in the White House, we don't

need a raghead in the governor's mansion," unquote? Apparently, you say

something a lot worse.


OLBERMANN: It's one thing to know that the nation's biggest

environmental disaster ever will take years to clean up.

But in our fourth story tonight, there is so much we do not know as

the BP oil slick only begins to slime its way through the Gulf's abundant

food chain.

Environmentalist Philippe Cousteau joins me in a moment.

The difficulty of cleaning up this mess re-evaluated by the

government's point man of the spill, Admiral Allen, saying today that the

Coast Guard had trained four disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico,

but not one that rippled outward and broke up to this extent. Quoting, "No

one anticipated that this would spread across such an area. We're no

longer dealing with a monolithic spill. We're dealing with an aggregation

of hundreds of thousands of patches of oil. We're adapting to an enemy

that changes. As the spill changes, we need to change."

This will require far more vessels armed with skimmers, though Allen

did say that he was heartened by the 1,500 vessels currently involved in

the cleanup effort, most of them private craft.

Meantime, new numbers are expected soon on the early toll on wildlife.

Birds coated in oil may die of oil ingestion, of drowning, or exposure.

And we know BP has already tried to minimize this grim marker of the


The efforts to rescue animals must be, quote, "ramped up

significantly." That in a request to Admiral Allen from that man, Senator

David Vitter, Republican of Louisiana.

Now, let's bring as promised, environmentalist and the CEO of the

nonprofit organization EarthEcho International, Philippe Cousteau. Of

course, part of the legendary family of explorers and environmentalists.

Great thanks for your time tonight, sir.



OLBERMANN: Deep underwater plumes of oil, and as we heard Admiral

Allen say, hundreds of thousands of patches of oil on the surface. Did BP

make this worse after the disaster by using those dispersants?

COUSTEAU: Well, it's a complicated issue, Keith. You know, most

certainly, the goal at the very beginning of the oil spill was to try and

keep as much oil from reaching the very sensitive wetlands that exist along

the coast of Louisiana, critical nurseries for larvae and fish and shrimp,

et cetera.

You know, 40 percent of the wetlands that exist in the entire 48

states are along the coast, the lower 48 states, along the coast of

Louisiana. However, by applying these chemical dispersants, I think there

was an idea that, you know, out of sight, out of mind might play a role

here-and that by applying them, much of that oil with a sink into the

water column.

This is unprecedented. This has never happened before. We've applied

900,000 gallons or more of this Corexit 9500.

And I think there was-there was a goal to actually take it away and

out of sight so that people might forget that it's there in the first

place, when it actuality, it just distributes down into the water column.

And we have to remember that there are a lot of animal that live

within the water column. It's a very important habitat and, in fact, the

largest migration of all animals that occur on the planet occurs every

night in the oceans when deep water animals rise to the surface and then

descend back, swimming through this toxic soup that I was able to see when

I went diving two weeks ago.

So, it's possible, very possible, that they have made the whole

problem worse and I think it's incumbent upon us to start doing the

research to understand exactly the scale and scope of the damage that's not

only happening along the Gulf Coast, but also within the water column.

OLBERMANN: From your own immersions in the toxic soup, what's your

greatest fear right now?

COUSTEAU: Well, I think my greatest fear is that we don't know. This

is an uncontrolled experiment. We've never had an oil spill with this

amount of oil coming into U.S. waters at this depth, a mile beneath the

surface. We don't know what impact the chemical dispersants are having.

All we know is that it's going to be very, very severe. And as I saw

when I dived into the Gulf, this oil is suspending down into the water

column-very likely that there are these purported plumes that

researchers are finding deep in the ocean that are spreading out throughout

the entire Gulf. I think what scares me the most, I know what scares me

the most, is that we just don't know the extent of the damage. What we do

know is that it will be extensive and that it's going to get worse before

it gets better.

OLBERMANN: If you were to be put in charge of this cleanup, how would

you prioritize? What would you want to do first?

COUSTEAU: Well, I think of course, as we all acknowledge, the most

important thing to do is to cap the well as soon as possible. On top of

that, what we need to be doing is collecting as much of the oil as we can

at the surface. But I think, you know, booms and skimmers and this type of

technology, which has advanced very little, if at all, in the last few

decades, underscores the fact that, you know, we can only typically, on

average, catch about 20 percent of the oil through booms and skimmers.

The reality is this highlights how little the technology has advanced.

We need to be investing in technology quickly. We also need to be doing

the science. This is going to cause tremendous amounts of damage.

We need to be understanding what's happening in the ecosystems, both

within the spill and outside of the spill, so we can do base line

comparative analysis later. You know, we can't stop all the damage, and we

need to understand now and begin restoration now. That's also critical.

OLBERMANN: Philippe Cousteau, environmentalist, CEO of EarthEcho

International-great thinks for your perspective and some of your time

tonight, sir.

COUSTEAU: Thanks very much.

OLBERMANN: Still, the most important fact about the disaster in the

Gulf, this happened on President Obama's watch, thus it is his fault, so

says Liz Cheney. And thus what happened on her father's watch must be his

fault-like, you know, 9/11.


OLBERMANN: Glenn Beck praises a book from the '30s by a woman he says

was, quote, "doing what we're doing now." And it turned out she was an

anti-Semite who wanted America to cut a deal with Hitler. That's what

Glenn's doing now? Who knew? Worst Persons ahead.

First, tonight's tweet of the day, night today's tweet of the night,

repeat winner from Don Millard, Otoolefan, "Breaking: BP now reviewing

season one of 'MacGyver.'"

Let's play "Oddball".


OLBERMANN: We begin in Gloucester, England with a 17th century

tradition updated for modern times. It's the Annual Shin Kicking

Championships. The rules are few and the objective is simple. Grab on to

the nearest drunk guy's soldiers and kick the living shin out of him.

Participants are allowed to stuff their pants with straw, which is a big

departure from the original sport, in which competitors used performance-

enhancing iron boots. The event was followed by more humane activities,

the crowd pleasing wedgy war, the swirly war and the president's ass

kicking competition.

To Yong Yin (ph), South Korea. What's that on the television then?

Looks like a penguin. The good folks at the Egoland Aquarium have come up

with a cure all for a world gone mad. It's penguins playing soccer. It's

almost as good as the real sport. OK, I'll hear about that. Eleven of the

nation's most fearless and flightless birds, all sporting the red jerseys

in support of South Korea's other soccer team, the human one. The bird's

trainer hopes this gets fans excited about the World Cup. Looks like a

foosball table. It's alive. Someone let the foosball table come alive.

No word on how the score was kept in this wild card game. I notice

it's an empty net. Though the little guy there is known to bend it like


I'm sorry.

Living in denial; who could possibly think the disaster in the Gulf

owes in no part to the policies of the Bush/Cheney administration? Well,

Liz Cheney, for one. David Corn joins me next.


OLBERMANN: We've already laid out the case for calling this spill

Cheney's Katrina, after almost a decade of handing over this country bit by

bit to big oil. But in our third story tonight, his daughter now says not

only are his hands clean, so are those of his company. From almost day

one, progressive commentators on this news hour and elsewhere have

acknowledged the Obama administration's role in failing to the Deepwater

Horizon spill from occurring in the first place. Commentators on the

right, however, have been unable to concede even a drop of Bush/Cheney


Watch what happens when Arianna Huffington objects to Liz Cheney's

suggestion that this is solely President Obama's fault. Ms. Cheney

apparently utterly oblivious to the irony of denying her father's cronyism,

despite the fact she is on TV only because of her employment history, which

is working for him.



catastrophe on the Gulf Coast, a catastrophe that happened on this

administration's watch, which this administration is failing to clean up

and be responsive and lead, frankly. And it is a problem we're seeing with

this president across the board. A president with no-leadership -


poster child of Bush/Cheney crony capitalism, Halliburton, involved in

this. We haven't said about that. They, after all, were responsible for

cementing the well. Here's Halliburton, after it defrauded the American

taxpayers hundreds of millions -

CHENEY: I don't know what planet you live on, but that's not Planet

Earth. It's not. What you're saying has no relationship to the facts.


HUFFINGTON: How can you say there's no relationship?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Halliburton was cementing the pipe.

CHENEY: Her assertion that Halliburton defrauded the U.S. government




CHENEY: It's absolutely not true. It's absolutely not true.

HUFFINGTON: I'm so glad Politifact is going to be checking this. I'm

so glad.


OLBERMANN: Liz Cheney is a stone-cold liar. At least last check

rather, Politifact had not checked it. Media Matters, Think Progress have,

as have we. Ms. Huffington was being polite. Of course the company run

for years by Dick Cheney and now by his protege is up to its cement casings

in this spill. Even the Bush/Cheney Minerals Management Service blames 18

out of 39 offshore blowouts since 1996 to bad cementing, just one of the

many fine services offered by Halliburton, which also did the cementing

which is also being blamed for this 2009 spill off the Australian coast.

But defraud the U.S. government for hundreds of millions of dollars in

Iraq? Sorry, Arianna, but no, it was billions of dollars, in Iraq and

Afghanistan. According to Think Progress, in 2007 federal auditors

testified that Halliburton charged U.S. taxpayers 2.7 billion in overpriced

contracts or undocumented costs. Then there are the employees of

Halliburton subsidiary KBR, who actually pleaded guilty to fraud, theft,

taking kick-backs, et cetera. The Department of Justice, just this April,

suing KBR for, quote, "improper costs in Iraq."

Ms. Huffington polite enough not to mention exposing our troops to

toxic substances or the alleged rape cover-up or death by electrocution of

soldiers, including Staff Sergeant Ryan Mesa, in showers that were supposed

to be maintained by KBR. One Army investigator blaming KBR for, quote,

"negligent homicide."

At this point, let's turn to David Corn, the Washington bureau chief

for "Mother Jones Magazine," and a columnist for Good

evening, David.

DAVID CORN, "MOTHER JONES": Good evening, Keith.

OLBERMANN: Liz Cheney, whose political career has revolved around

working directly for him or doing jobs she got in his administration,

denies that the administration her father was central to was one of

cronyism. It is-I guess it's weird, isn't it, that she didn't say, now,

nepotism, that's a different story.

CORN: Well, we all know that conservatives hate affirmative action

unless it involves hiring their own children.

OLBERMANN: The reality of course here is that MMS, the Minerals

Management Service, was packed to the gills with cronies of Dick Cheney.

His former intern-and I mean that sounds like this is hyperbole.

Literally, his former intern signed off on the report on which the Obama

administration relied to grant the waiver that permitted Deepwater Horizon

to start up. It's stupid. It's inexcusable of the Obama administration,

no doubt, to let that happen. But how can any rational observer argue that

the Bush/Cheney administration was not run of, run by, and run for big oil?

CORN: Keith, may I answer your question with a dramatic reading from

the Bush/Cheney energy task force report? I think you know. This is

chapter five, section five. The title is great. It's called, "The Key to

Environmental Protection and New Energy Production, 21st Century

Technology." They say-this is Dick Cheney in his report talking-

"advanced more energy efficient drilling and production methods practically

eliminate spills from offshore platforms."

And it goes on to say "examples of advanced technologies include

deepwater drilling technology that enables exploration and production of

oil and gas at depths over two miles beneath the ocean's surface."

I mean, right there, this report asks for more economic incentives for

drilling of this type. And that-you know, maybe Liz Cheney hasn't

gotten around in the last nine years to reading her father's report.

OLBERMANN: Well, clearly her father's report indicates, from that

excellent dramatic reading, that there's no oil spill because this couldn't

have happened, because they had the technology, because it's the 21st

century. But I want to, in turn, read to you from the minutes of the 2001

meeting of the Cheney task force, the oil and gas task force at the White

House, and they say-what do you know? There are no minutes.

We didn't see this as part of the clip from ABC yesterday, but Arianna

very clearly said, yes, the Obama administration shares the blame here.

Why is it impossible for Liz Cheney or anybody else to the right, and many

in the middle, for any of them to not do the same about the previous


CORN: It's not in her DNA, quite literally. I mean, would you bring

on Chelsea Clinton, who I'm sure is a fine person, to give analysis of what

went on during her father's administration? Liz Cheney's mission in life

seems to be to defend her dad, even more so than President Bush, from all

sorts of accusations. I guess a question I'd like to put to her is, in

eight years, in eight long years, did the Bush/Cheney crew do anything

wrong? Did they make any mistake? I wonder what she would say to that.

OLBERMANN: They hired her. David Corn of "Mother Jones," as we trade

set up lines back and forth. Great thanks, David.

CORN: Thank you, Keith.

OLBERMANN: He is Mr. Rush Limbaugh III. She is Mrs. Rush Limbaugh

IV. So the women are leading here. Funny that Elton John sang at their

wedding. I'll ask Michael Musto about that.

And he called the president a raghead and one of his own party's

candidates for governor a raghead, but he was only kidding. And what about

the part about us being at war with India? Worst persons ahead.

When Rachel joins you at the top of the hour, on the shore, in the

wetlands, on the surface, the oil is obvious. Her guest, an expert with an

estimate of how much is below, trying to count the plumes of underwater oil

in the Gulf.


OLBERMANN: Could you really call the president and a candidate for

governor, quote, ragheads and then say something worse? Yes, you can.

Ahead in worsts.

First, no, that's not your water coming to a boil. It's our nightly

checkup on the something for nothing crowd. It's tea time. From wherever

he has been hiding, Rand Paul has emerged. The all seeing eye doctor has

returned to his favorite hobby, writing bizarre, almost antebellum pieces

for the "Bolling Green Daily News." You would have thought he would

learned to stop writing to that newspaper after the website PageOneKentucky

found his 2002 letter to its editor in which he came out against the Fair

Housing Act. In other words, in favor of a racist's right to keep the

black folk out of the neighborhood.

Nope, he didn't. He now has a new op-ed in "the Bolling Green Daily

News," which reads, in part, "for example, I am opposed to the government

telling restaurant owners they cannot allow smoking in their

establishments. I believe we as consumers can choose whether or not to

patronize a smoke-filled restaurant or do business with a smoke-free

alternative. Think about it. This overreaches now extending to mandates

about fat and calorie counts in menus. Do we really need the government

managing all these decisions for us?"

Frankly, Dr. Paul should have quit while he was still ahead and still

talking about what are today abstract, virtually hypothetical, mental

perambulations about parts of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He's now moved

into stuff that is far more tangible to the voters of 2010. Many of them

have been saved from the choice of working in a miasma of second hand smoke

or unemployment. Many of them have been able to resist that Mocha Choc

Whipped-chino once they realized Starbucks hadn't been telling them it was

42,000 calories.

His op-ed began with that touch of martyrdom that sometimes flickers

behind the otherwise blank stare in those eyes. "In the end, all that

remains for any of us is our reputation. Mine has been sullied over the

past week by lies and innuendo."

No, Dr. Paul, it hasn't. Your reputation has been sullied by your

ideas. I am expecting the next bit of government interference you will

oppose is the poison label on the box of rat poison.


OLBERMANN: Rush Limbaugh gets married and Elton John performs.

Performs what? That's next, but first, with a thank you to Helen Thomas

for doing the right thing and bowing out before I had to reluctantly put

her out this list, get out your pitchforks and torches, time for tonight's

worst persons in the world.

The bronze shared by those human teleprompters at Cluster Fox and

Friends. News actress Gretchen Carlson says, "some people are saying it's

somewhat similar and some people are saying perception is a problem,

because the president did not acknowledge the D-Day anniversary as it

passed this year, and instead was at a party inside of a theater. Some

say, again, this is a perception problem."

And some people say Gretchen Carlson is an anamatronic product of

Disney imagineering. The president, of course, went to Normandy for the

65th anniversary of D-Day last year, meaning he's one for two. President

Bush, remember him, Gretchen? He went in 2004. So he was one for eight.

The runner up, Lonesome Rhodes Beck. Held up and praised a book

supposedly outing communists in America called "The Red Network," written

by Elizabeth Dilling in 1934 and said, "this is a book-and I'm getting a

ton of these-from people who were doing what we're doing now. We now

are documenting who all these people are. Well, there were Americans in

the first 50 years of this nation that took this seriously, and they

documented it."

Oops. Elizabeth Dilling also was an anti-Semite, a supporter of

Hitler. She blamed the Second World War on the Jews. She was an

advocating of making a deal with the Nazis, and a leader of the German

American Bund. After her side lost the war, she referred to President

Eisenhower as, quote, "Ike the Kike," unquote, and referred to President

Kennedy's program as, quote, ,"the Jew frontier."

Beck says she was, quote, doing what we're doing now. Ruh-roh. But

Beck has now explained it all away. Elizabeth Dilling was a rabid anti-

Semite, pro-Nazi, doing what you're doing now? "I don't know, because I

didn't look it up."

I had a dream the other night, and in the middle of it Glenn Beck

wanders in from nowhere, into the dream, he's painted his face with ketchup

and he's weeping uncontrollably. Well, I think it was a dream.

But our winner, State Senator Jake Knotts of South Carolina. First,

he won the hearts and minds of the heartless and mindless by saying of his

own parties would be Governor Nikki Haley, who is of Indian descent, "we

already have got one raghead in the White House. We don't need a raghead

in the governor's mansion."

Amazingly state senator Knotts has topped himself. His comments about

ragheads were, quote, in jest. Of course he then repeated them to

reporters and boasted, "this isn't the first time I have said it." He went

on to explain to "the Columbia Free Times," "Knotts says he believed Haley

has been set up by a network of Sikhs and was programmed to run for

governor of South Carolina by outside influences in foreign countries. We

need a good Christian to be our governor, he said. She's hiding her

religion. She ought to be proud of it. I'm proud of my god."

Knotts says he believes Haley's father was been sending letters to

India saying that Haley is the first Sikh running for high office in

America. He says her father walks around Lexington wearing a turban.

"We're at war over there," Knotts said.

We're at war in Lexington? Oh, he means India. We're at war in

India, with the Sikhs? Mr. Knotts clarified, "we're not at war with India,

just with," quote, "foreign countries." Sounds like he's at war with

reality. State Senator Jake Knotts, Republican, no neck, South Carolina,

today's worst person in the world.


OLBERMANN: According to his biographer, Rush Limbaugh believes gay

marriage is, quote, "culturally subversive." Saturday night, the famously

homophobic, gay baiting Limbaugh kicked off his fourth traditional marriage

serenaded by Sir Elton John. Anybody tell him the whole thing with Kiki

Dee only lasted the length of the record and the video? Our number one

story, we don't have a set list or pictures of the wedding. We do have

Michael Musto and a Countdown reenactment of sorts.

Limbaugh's fourth wife is Kathryn Rogers, reportedly a direct

descendent of President John Adams. She's also an event planner who is 26

years Limbaugh's junior. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Wedding singer Elton John, whose civil partnership is legally recognized in

England, is said to have received a million dollars to croon at the

Limbaugh reception. Although a Reuters story from last year lists Sir.

Elton's private party fee at two million dollars, and all money from

private shows is said to go to the Elton John Aids Foundation.

We requested clarification from Elton John's people, but did not get a

response. No truth to rumors that they didn't say, it was that Rush

Limbaugh? We also didn't get any wedding video. So we came up with our

own version of what the dance floor looked like.

Among the 400 guests at Saturday's Limbaugh affair, Karl Rove, Rudy

Giuliani, and baseball hall of famer George Brett. Since we also don't

have a million dollars, here's someone else covering Elton John.


OLBERMANN: Thank you, William Hung. "Village Voice" columnist

Michael Musto, author of the daily blog, and like me, he was

not invited to the wedding. Good evening.

MICHAEL MUSTO, "THE VILLAGE VOICE": Hi, Keith. By the way, William

was the only hung one at that party.

OLBERMANN: Boom boom. Even for a million dollars for charity, Sir

Elton John at Rush Limbaugh's wedding; was this some sort of community

service sentencing we didn't know about?

MUSTO: Yes, I think it was his punishment for duetting with Eminem,

or maybe for writing Hakuna Matata. It was certainly harsh punishment.

This was the most heinous scene since Elton himself married that German

woman in 1984. I mean, they had all the sexual heat of Kathryn Heigl and

Ashton Kutcher. Guess who was who.

OLBERMANN: Is it possible that Sir Elton took advantage of being

there to do something to befoul the punch bowl?

MUSTO: What was he, a club kid from the 1980s? What are you talking


OLBERMANN: Just thought it might have been his entree to spice up the


MUSTO: He should have done number two.

OLBERMANN: More of the guests at the wedding; Sean Hannity was there.

Fred Thompson was there. The Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who

was-officiated at the third Limbaugh marriage, was a guest this time,

despite the bad luck he obviously provided to the third marriage. Does

that sound like a fun crowd to you?

MUSTO: These people would have lynched me on-site. They would have

been throwing like lit matches at my polyester outfit. Clarence Thomas

would have been poking me with a pubic hair from his coke. Actually, it

sounds like fun. I would have slipped them all a roofie and hypnotized

them, you're all going to vote against Don't Ask, Don't Tell. I could have

changed history.

OLBERMANN: Obviously, Rush Limbaugh is one of the bastions of

traditional marriage. This is fourth of them for him. He's a volume

marrier. What advice would you give him to make the fourth time a charm or

at least a non-disaster?

MUSTO: He's a bastion all right. I would say, just keep going with

this until you beat Zsa Zsa's record. Hurry and break this one up, because

for the next wedding, I can guarantee you Ricky Martin, the Gay Men's

Health Chorus, Radical Fairies, the Scientology Male Cheerleading Team. It

will be a gay-palooza.

OLBERMANN: What do you suppose the gifts look like here? What do you

give somebody for their fourth marriage at age 59 at least?

MUSTO: Something returnable. But I would have actually given him a

demo tape with a note, please book me for the divorce. I need the money,

I'm remodeling the bathroom. But instead I sent him a lump of doggy caca.

OLBERMANN: Something to put in the punchbowl. A source tells "People

Magazine" that the couple will be honey-mooning in Mexico, then going to

Africa, and there will not be a stop in the Dominican Republic.

Unfortunately, it's my understanding that they're coming back. But my

question about this itinerary, no adventure at Sandals?

MUSTO: You mean the resort?

OLBERMANN: They could party with Joran Van Der Sloot, fun, fun, fun.

No, no, no, joking. Mexico is perfect. That's where obviously Rush can

get some cheap Oxycontin. That sounds dirty. And Africa is where he can

go fight AIDS and adopt future wives. What he needs is a way to get

through customs with all that Viagra and with all the strap-ons in case it

doesn't work.

OLBERMANN: Those-those-those-those are pop-ups you're

referring to, the things on the computers that you just referenced.

MUSTO: They're pop-ups, but not lately.

OLBERMANN: OK. I had another question, but for some reason, I just

forgot what it was.

MUSTO: I just think it's blood money, Keith. I think this is gross.

This is like if Helen Thomas took a million from the neo-Nazis and gave it

to the UJF.

OLBERMANN: Ultimately, what was Elton John doing there? How could

you rationalize that?

MUSTO: Well, even if he's giving it to charity-first of all-is

a charity that stops AIDS. No, it is. Elton is actually a pretty good gay

and he's done a lot for the causes. But this is kind of gross.


MUSTO: I was waiting for the transformation where he was going to

sprinkle fairy dust on Rush, and either come out of the closet or be gay

positive, but that hasn't happened. So Elton is just a whore.

OLBERMANN: Well, maybe we'll get an explanation later, and we can

readdress this at that point.

MUSTO: I'll be waiting by the phone.

OLBERMANN: The one and only Michael Musto, author "Fork on the Left,

Knife in the Back," a great thanks as always.

MUSTO: Thank you.

OLBERMANN: That's Countdown for this the 49th day of the Deepwater

Horizon disaster in the Gulf. I'm Keith Olbermann. Please join us again

for our special coverage of the second big primary night of the Spring.

Headline, Lincoln versus Halter in Arkansas. Tomorrow night, live at 8:00

and 10:00 Eastern, 5:00 and 7:00 Pacific. Until then, good night and good