Thursday, September 30, 2010

'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for Thursday, September 30th, 2010
video podcast

Video via MSNBC: Twitter Report, Oddball, Worst Persons
Video via YouTube: Worst Persons
The toss: Goldilocks planet

Guests: Ezra Klein, David Corn, Josh Marshall, Derrick Pitts



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

O'Donnell's phony claim that she went to Oxford University - she blamed it on a Web site. But, tonight, a conservative institute says the application she sent to it includes her resume reading, "Oxford University, Oxford, U.K. Certificate awarded summer 2001."

When you do that, what's that called again?


CHRISTINE O'DONNELL (R), DELAWARE SENATE CANDIDATE: A lie. Whether it be a lie or an exaggeration is disrespect to whoever you're exaggerating or lying to you. It's not respecting reality.


OLBERMANN: Perhaps this will refresh your memory. The house keeper for the Republican candidate for governor in California produces the smoking gun.

Speaking of smoking -




OLBERMANN: Carl, did you say that? What a guy.

The Republican candidate for governor of New York prophesizes his own near-brawl with a reporter from the friendly "New York Post."


PALADINO: I'll take you out, buddy.

FRED DICKER, NEW YORK POST: You're going to take me out?


DICKER: How are you going to do that?



OLBERMANN: In the traditional paradigm, the Tea Party self-destructing. But in reality, don't they want to be seen shoving the media?

Just a cave before I go: The Democrats inexplicably agree: no recess appointments by the president.

Emperor Palpatine testifies on a path to citizenship. He's in favor of it. "Funny," asks a congresswoman, "Isn't your TV network anti-immigrant?" Then he pulls a Freud.


RUPERT MURDOCH, NEWS CORP. CEO: I don't think we do take an anti-Democratic - we're very happy to welcome any Democrats on to FOX News.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I didn't say anti-Democrat. I said anti-immigrant.


OLBERMANN: Still living in the rubble, nine months later in Haiti.

Why? The senior senator from Oklahoma, that's why.

And we found a new planet, not too hot, not to cold. Just right for life. But what's it made of, Mr. Science Fella?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It could be marshmallow cream or it could have a liquid cherry center with, you know, chocolate crystal outer zone.


OLBERMANN: Welcome to planet cherry marshmallow chocolate cake!

All the news and commentary now - on Countdown.



OLBERMANN: Good evening from New York.

The Tea Party is about real people speaking the truth about restoring honor to government. It's about openness and transparency. And it's about honesty, personal responsibility, accountability.

So, in our fifth story tonight: keep those attributes in mind as you see the tape of New York Republican Tea Party gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino that has been playing all day and the tape of him beforehand that you have not seen all day. That's coming up.

But keep those attributes in mind, too, as you peruse the tattered shreds of the what was once known as the academic transcript of Delaware Republican Tea Party Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell. The latest today? A conservative think tank reveals what she herself put on the resume she submitted to them.

It has already been reported widely that O'Donnell claimed for years that she had graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University back in 1993. But that because she had failed to pay them $4,000 she owed and to finish her coursework, she did not actually graduate until 2010, September 1st, 2010 actually. And we knew a lawsuit of hers falsely claimed she was going to Princeton Graduate School, a claim she blamed on her lawyer despite the fact that she had filed the suit herself.

This week, we learned she claimed to have attended Claremont Graduate University, when, in fact, she went to a conservative think tank called the Claremont Institute.

Then "The Plum Line" blog turned up O'Donnell's LinkedIn page with both the bogus Claremont and University of Oxford claims. "The Plum Line" asked her campaign about the LinkedIn page on Friday, yesterday.

Five days later, O'Donnell issued a statement. "There have been reports that I have released false information on a LinkedIn page under my name. This is categorically untrue. I completed a summer program run by the Phoenix Institute at the Institute Oxford University location. I also completed a Lincoln Fellowship at the Claremont Institute."

LinkedIn took down the profile, saying it could not confirm O'Donnell's claim that she did not write it. Her own Web site still says it was a Lincoln graduate fellowship. But as of today, that one is small potatoes because LinkedIn is not the only personal profile Web site.

Meet ZoomInfo Christine O'Donnell. It turns out this Christine O'Donnell also claims she went to the University of Oxford, except that this Web site says that O'Donnell herself verified it. And even though it was last updated months before O'Donnell got her degree, it also said she already had her degree, quoting a ZoomInfo spokesperson, "We scanned the Web to pull most of our info. So, it is pulled from a variety of sources just as a starting point. The profile was actually claimed in 2008, which means that she has verified the information and updated it."

If it's still not clear that O'Donnell herself generated the Oxford University lie, there is this tonight from the "Talking Points Memo." The conservative Claremont Institute still has her application with the resume she wrote and submitted back in 2002.

And here's what they say it says: "Oxford University, Oxford, U.K.

Certificate awarded, summer 2001."

To the story of baffling Carl "the truth" Paladino in a minute.

First, here's David Corn, Washington bureau chief of "Mother Jones" magazine and a columnist at

David, good evening.

DAVID CORN, MOTHER JONES: Good evening, Keith.

OLBERMANN: All right. So, here's a second Web site that says she verified the info. Here's a conservative think tank that says she submitted the resume. It is one thing to get caught in a lie or maybe with such a wonderful academic record to get your various degrees and education backgrounds confused.

What happens when you get caught in a lie denying the first lie?

CORN: You know, politicians tend to get the scandals they deserve. She's not a very serious candidate, so she's getting a not very serious scandal in some ways. We have LinkedIn-gate morphing into a ZoomInfo-gate. But it does show what we like to say is a pattern, that she doesn't get it right.

And, you know, in Washington, the old saying is, it's not the wrongdoing, it's the cover-up. Well, now, we seem to have a cover-up of a cover-up. And I wonder how much more is going to come out on her background.

OLBERMANN: To that point, "The Associated Press" walks on tiptoes when implying a candidate's dishonesty in the weeks before a campaign. It has written, quote, "O'Donnell has made incorrect or misleading statements about her education before."

There was a time in our distant pass, you know, four, six years ago when somebody running for the Senate might be expected to bow out of a race based on just a statement by "The Associated Press," an assessment like that. What does a 2010 Tea Party candidate do on when faced with such damning evidence?

CORN: That's easy. You blame the media.


CORN: I mean, why worry about facts at this point? I mean, she's already said this week that, you know, she believes her campaign is inspired and guided by God. And so, if you actually believe that, why would you let a little thing like lying on your resume get in the way? If God's brought you to this point, God's obviously not too worried about your resume.

OLBERMANN: Apparently, God has lowered journalistic standards than he thought also.

CORN: Well, he has (ph).

OLBERMANN: This is the party that's supposed to bring - as I said before, there are some nobility at least in this concept of honesty and transparency to Washington. But if lying is OK with the voters who support this group, is that because there's a feeling that anything is OK in the service of the cause because they know the cause is, you know, righteous?

CORN: You know, you'd like to think that voters of all stripes care about competency and intelligence in their candidates. So, therefore, we end up with competent and intelligent government.

But I think at this stage, you have a slice of the electorate - we don't know how big it truly is. We won't know until November 2nd, that really cares about one thing, anger. And they'll vote for anybody, regardless of their background, regardless of whether they are telling the truth or not, if it expresses their anger.

You know, they don't want competent, intelligent government. They want angry government, which is really not going to end up giving them anything that they think they need or that the country requires.

OLBERMANN: Is there anything instructive in this about the rest of the Republican Tea Party? Does this affect other candidates' approach based on the O'Donnell candidacy or towards the O'Donnell candidacy?

CORN: Well, I think, you know, we like - we pundits and analysts and commentators and journalists like to look at the Tea Party as a national phenomenon. But when it comes to the elections, really, each teabag is in its cup. So, you know, she has to convince Delaware voters, Joe Miller has to convince Alaskan voters, Sharron Angle, the same in Nevada, Rand Paul, the same in Kentucky.

And while O'Donnell may be making the Tea Party look bad. You know, they're rushing to give her lots of money nationally, I doubt it's going to have much of an impact on those other races. At the end of the day, when we're looking at the results on November 2nd, November 3rd, we're going to look at those individual results and try to draw national results out of that. But they all take place within their own horizons.

OLBERMANN: Yes. Just because it is a bunch of people who've never been out of their homes before does not mean they don't know - they all know each other already.

David Corn of "Mother Jones" magazine and - as always, David, thanks for your time tonight.

CORN: Thank you, Keith.

OLBERMANN: Now, as promised, the Tea Party candidate restoring honor to government by smearing his rival, standing by his lack of evidence for it, and threatening to take out a reporter on camera. And not even a member of the lamestream media, it turns out the Tea Party can't get a fair shake from Rupert Murdoch and "The New York Post."

New York Republican Tea Party gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino was already in the headlines this week for his family values, specifically, he likes families so much he started a second family outside his own, furthering a daughter 10 years ago with a woman who was not his wife. On Tuesday, he was asked about the tone of the campaign.


REPORTER: The campaign is being characterized as being nasty.

PALADINO: It's going to get nastier.

REPORTER: It's getting nastier.

PALADINO: Sheldon Silver and Andrew Cuomo should get ready, strap in, because this is your life, Andrew Cuomo.

REPORTER: OK. If it gets nasty and stuff, as it gets nastier and stuff, is that something that some people - OK, when you first came out -

PALADINO: I don't mind being nasty.


OLBERMANN: That same day, it got a lot nastier. Paladino told "Politico," that Cuomo, his rival in the election, has had paramours, when he was marriage, Paladino's campaign added about Cuomo, who has never been publicly accused of infidelity and whose marriage ended in divorce after reports of infidelity by his wife, his wife who is still supporting his campaign.

Then last night, Fred Dicker of Murdoch's "New York Post," something like the dean of Albany journalists, dared to ask Mr. Paladino for evidence. The bleeped word from Mr. Paladino you will now hear, we should note, is the "F" word.


FRED DICKER, NEW YORK POST: Do you have any evidence of that? And if you don't, isn't that going into the gutter?

PALADINO: Hmm. Well, a guy that's been in the gutter and spent a good part of his life in the gutter with Andrew Farkas should think twice about trying to characterize me.

DICKER: But you're a lawyer. You've heard the term.

PALADINO: I'm also a lawyer that -

DICKER: Yes. But what evidence do you have for something that most people on would consider a smear?

PALADINO: I want to know why you sent your goons after my daughter.

DICKER: I sent no one after her.

PALADINO: I want to know, Fred. I want to know about it.

DICKER: Your charge against Cuomo, do you have any evidence or do you not?


PALADINO: I will - at the appropriate time, you can hear it.

DICKER: Do you have it?


DICKER: You got three daughters. How can you say that about him?

PALADINO: Oh, I have a daughter too, Fred! I have a daughter.

DICKER: You brought it out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fred, that's it.

PALADINO: Stay away from me.


PALADINO: What evidence do you have?



PALADINO: No, come on.

DICKER: Don't touch me. Who are you? Who the hell are you? I'm asking a question. Do you have any evidence to the charge you made?

PALADINO: At the appropriate time, you'll get it.

DICKER: This guy is the attorney general of New York.

PALADINO: And you're his stalking horse, Fred Dicker. You're his talking horse. You're his bird dog.

DICKER: What's the evidence? You made the charge.

PALADINO: You send another goon to my daughter's house and I'll take you out, buddy.

DICKER: You're going to take me out?


DICKER: How are you going to do that?


DICKER: What are you - are you threatening me?


OLBERMANN: With us tonight is Josh Marshall, the editor and founder of the news Web site, "Talking Points Memo."

Josh, good to see you. Thanks for coming in.

The only words I made out of that were "I've got to go to the bathroom" or something like that. It looked like something out of a cheap movie.

JOSH MARSHALL, TALKING POINTS MEMO: Like "Goodfellas" maybe or something like that.

OLBERMANN: No. Like the cheap somebody goes to see "Goodfellas," goes home, writes a script based on what they remembered when they saw "Goodfellas." That's what it turns out.


OLBERMANN: How do you run a right wing campaign - we'll go small first - how do you run a right wing campaign in New York State when you've just royally ticked off "The New York Post"?

MARSHALL: It's tough because, you know, as a Republican, certainly, as a conservative Republican, you've got the candidate, the campaign manager, and "The New York Post." You know, so they're going into it with, you know, a big resource. But, yes, calling, threatening to rub out, kill, I don't know what it is, a "New York Post" - you know, one of their top reporters and calling them liars, that's - that's not good.

OLBERMANN: But what is the choice here? I mean, you got "The New York Post" editor-in-chief made a statement today in which he said the claim of sending photographers, "The Post" did not send photographers to follow Paladino's daughter. So, either the Republican Tea Party candidate or "The New York Post" is lying. You want to be able to say both, right? But there's no choice now.

MARSHALL: Yes. Well, you know, with almost any other candidate, there might be a credibility issue on both sides. But Carl Paladino, going backs six months or a year, I mean, he's got, you know, the racist e-mails and the threats and this. I mean, this guy cam into this incident with credibility sort of, you know, kind of on the red line, you know, on empty. And you know, once you're - once you're threatening to take out reporters, that doesn't - that doesn't give anybody a good feeling anyway. So, I think - I think this sounds like it's on him for the moment.

OLBERMANN: But this isn't the Los Angeles kind of take-out, in which you go and take somebody on a date. This is the other kind of -


MARSHALL: The New York take out.

OLBERMANN: Empty parking space.


OLBERMANN: We look at this and rightly shake our heads because we grew up in this country and we have a certain premise of what the lines are. They may be very broad in this country between the most able and honest politician and the least.

But isn't - isn't this here what Tea Partiers in their souls want to see? The threat of physical violence, particularly against reporters, isn't this the logical end from the premise that they're the fighters of pure evil in this country?

MARSHALL: You know, there is this question, you know, which Tea Party candidate is going to lose it and beat the crap out of someone before November 2nd, because you've got a situation with the governor candidate up in Maine where something somewhat similar happened a few days ago.

Yes, I think you're right. The problem is, is that, especially, in a state like New York, Tea Partiers make up, like, maybe 15 percent of the electorate, 10 percent, you know, depending on how you want to define them. A Tea Party candidate has got to be able to make some pivot towards sanity in the general election.

And, so, you know - so I think that even though there's a lot of discontent in the country right now, you know, people don't want to hear the person who's going to be running the state government saying he's going to take you out. That doesn't - people don't feel good about that.

OLBERMANN: Governor, you're going to be sleeping with the fishes.

We have "New York Post" calling Paladino out for dishonesty. Thanks in large part to "Talking Points Memo," we know that Christine O'Donnell has been sort of serially dishonest about her academic background. We haven't even got to Meg Whitman yet. That's later in the program.

What's going on here, though? Is it - is it the truth does not matter in pursuit of some sort of fantasy of higher patriotism? Or is something else?

MARSHALL: You know, I don't think truth matters a great deal in this cycle. That's pretty clear. I think, you know, you have that - the Republicans came out with their pledge a few days ago and basically what it says is that debt is the biggest problem facing the nation. And to solve it, we are going to increase the national debt by $4 trillion.


MARSHALL: So, that gives you a sense that there are bigger forces in play than the facts. Having said that, you know, I don't think Christine O'Donnell is probably going to win in Delaware. I don't think it's looking much better for Carl Paladino.

You've got this case in California with Meg Whitman which, I think, is different. I don't think people are saying that Meg Whitman is crazy. She got herself in a kind of tight spot here.

I think this cycle, truth is not a big factor, but it's not "no factor" and you can push things a little - a little too far. And even for 2010, you get into trouble. And I think Christine O'Donnell and Carl Paladino and I'm sure someone else over the next month is going to cross that line.

OLBERMANN: Well, we'll know what the line is, but unfortunately, we won't know until after the election.

"Talking Points Memo" editor and founder, Josh Marshall - as I said, pleasure to see you. Thanks for coming in.

MARSHALL: Thanks for having me.

OLBERMANN: And as he fights off another "say anything" Tea Partier in Nevada, Harry Reid inexplicably cuts a deal with the Republicans to preclude any recess appointments by the president. Oh, and Meg Whitman - oops.


OLBERMANN: So, why did he make a deal guaranteeing the Republicans that the president would make no recess appointments? The bag of magic beans. Or is at least a big bag?

He testifies his network is not anti-immigrant and not anti-Democrats.

Of course nobody asked him about being anti-Democrats.

She's still running for governor of California - though, after today's revelation, I'm really not sure how.

And it is impossible to believe that one senator from Oklahoma could personally be responsible for Haitian earthquake relief victims still living in rubble but it's true in "Worsts" - ahead.


OLBERMANN: Listen carefully or you might think you heard this wrong.

In November 2007, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid kept the Senate, technically, in session during an actual recess so that President Bush could not make any recess appointments. Last night, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid decided that he would keep the Senate technically in session during the actual recess so that his own party's president can not make any recess appointments.

In our fourth story: The so-called compromise that is really a precedent-setting cave-in as Senate Democrats slink out the door on their way home. Majority Leader Reid has to agree to schedule pro forma sessions every week for the next six weeks while senators are home during recess. That means the Senate will be in session on a technicality.

And with the Senate not in recess, President Obama will not be able to make recess appointment. The consequences of that in a moment.

In a deal struck with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, 54 of the administration's 110 pending nominees were confirmed. But the vast majority of those 110 stalled nominees would have been easily confirmed anyway by a simple up-or-down vote, except that such votes have been blocked as these nominees have been held up under a variety of Senate rules that are abused for maximum effect.

And Republicans have slowed President Obama's executive and judicial nominees to a degree never before seen.

So, where's the so-called deal? It gets worse. Minority Leader McConnell had threatened the Democrats with this. Under yet another rather obscure rule, McConnell would have sent Obama's more controversial nominees back to the House - to the White House rather. If McConnell had done that, those nominees would have to be resubmitted, slowing the process down even further.

McConnell did this very thing in August with five of the president's judicial nominees. And if all that seems like a highly lopsided compromise, it may be because of the very nature of Democrats.

When asked whether they admire political leaders who compromise or leaders who stuck to their positions without compromise, most Americans in a recent poll said they admired no-compromise ones. But while Republicans respondents, in strong numbers, were against compromise, Democrats were generally in favor of it, which in practice means that the non-compromisers draw the greatest concessions from the compromisers - not the other way around.

Let's turn to "Washington Post" staff reporter, "Newsweek" magazine columnist and MSNBC contributor, Ezra Klein.

Ezra, good evening.


OLBERMANN: I'm confused about this. I mean, I thought we had the parameters understood about how broken the Senate actually is. Explain why this indicates we were narrow-minded in our thinking.

KLEIN: Now, the rule about the Senate is, as broken as you think it is, wait a week. And this is what we're doing.

So, the deal is pretty much as you described it. There is going to be essentially fake sessions of Congress in the Senate for six weeks. And there will be fake sessions of the Senate because if these judicial nominees go 30 days without a vote, McConnell can send them back and he can then make them go to confirmation, the whole thing, the committee hearings all over again.

But in order to do that, it means no recess appointments. And that means that the OMB director can't be put in, who is being held up actually by a Democrat, Mary Landrieu. That means Larry Diamond (ph), who is going to be on (INAUDIBLE), is desperately needed over there, can't be recess-appointed or any of the other 100-odd.

So, it's really giving up quite a lot for it. Reid's people say they're very happy with the deal. But, from the outside, it looks like a pretty strange bargain they struck.

OLBERMANN: And did they make it because McConnell was basically saying, if you think this confirmation progress is stalled, I can make it much, much worse?

KLEIN: They will tell you they made it because this was a terrific deal. They got everything they wanted. They will stick to that and who knows, maybe they feel that way.

But, you know, McConnell and the Republicans have been enormously effective at holding up Obama's nominees. Judicial nominees alone, circuit court judge, they are waiting five times longer on average than they did under George W. Bush.

So, McConnell is doing pretty well there. And they struck a deal it seems to everybody else so they could get a bunch of the nominees out, about 50-some were confirmed last night. But in return for it, the controversial nominees are held. And these nominees, they're not necessarily all that controversial.

Of these 59 nominees who were passed with a unanimous consent last night, they were held up, too. Supposedly they were so controversial. But, in fact, they weren't controversial at all when it came down to it.

OLBERMANN: What would have happened if the majority leader had stood up to the threat?

KLEIN: It's not clear. I mean, in the Senate, the rules are, in large, agreements with one another. And you can try to change the rules and you can simply refuse to honor the agreements. What you're seeing now is something new happening in judicial - not just additional but nominations generally, this attempt to take recess appointments off of the table.

Now that this becomes a norm, now that both parties begin doing this, you now have, on the one hand, a process where you can't confirm nominees, and then on the other hand, a process where you can't recess-appoint nominees. And what you're going to end up having after that is that talented people are not going to go into government. Good people are not going to go into government. They're going to prefer to do what Elizabeth Warren did if they do go into government, which is get a temporary, non-Senate confirmed and less powerful position so they don't have to wait a year with no certainty of getting the job.

So, in the long run, what we're going to have is a much worse government, less talented people in it because you're not going to be able to attract people into this process.

OLBERMANN: And, Ezra, as if this were not all good enough news, Democrats also agreed to spending cuts to keep the government running through December?

KLEIN: Right. So, what's going on in there was Republicans threatened a government shutdown. In order to get a continuing resolution in which the government will continue being funded until, through the recess, they had to agree with Republicans that they would cut spending somewhat. It is interesting. It's the way of the Senate, the minority has a lot of power. But it is hard to explain to Americans why the majority party has to keep giving away so much.

OLBERMANN: Or doesn't have any at sometimes.

Ezra Klein of "The Washington Post" - as always, thank you, Ezra.

KLEIN: Thank you.

OLBERMANN: Elsewhere in the Senate, the staffer from Georgia, Senator Saxby Chambliss' office, who posted a threatening slur on a blog has been found and fired. Joe Jervis, the blogger at the site Joe My God posted this that the senator had called him personally to apologize and to tell him about the firing. The name of the - the job title of the staffer from Chambliss' office had not been released.

The original post read, "All blank must die," and it was posted in response to Jervis' blog about that day's DADT vote in the Senate. The I.P. address was traced back to Chambliss' headquarters in Atlanta.

There's also the senator who has personally kept almost all American rebuilding money out of Haiti and the congresswoman who today got to hear Rupert Murdoch deny what you hear on his network every day is what you hear on his network every day. Ahead.


OLBERMANN: So they asked Rupert about his network's anti-immigrant stance and he says, we're not anti-Democrat. Guilty conscience, Rup? That's ahead. First, the sanity break and the Tweet of the day.

And all we've got on an ID here is KillerTofu, who writes, "how long do you think it will be before we find out Christine O'Donnell claimed to have pitched for the '94 Royals?" No, she claims to have pitched for the '93 Orioles under the name John O'Donahue Jr. Let's play Oddball.

We begin in Anchorage, Alaska, with the new 2011 station wagon models that are out. Fred Keller decided that he need a retirement project to occupy his now ample free time, so he transformed his old pick-up truck into a drivable radio flyer wagon. After all, why drive a truck when you can look like you're rolling uncontrollably long in a wagon.

It took him over 11 months to complete the transformation. The wagon is completely street legal. It even gets great gas mileage, as long as, of course, it's rolling downhill.

To the Internets, the perfect gift for all you literalists out there:

a Kevin Bacon made out of bacon. Wait, Kevin Bacon? Looks more like Conan O'Brien. Either way, Conan O'Bacon, arrgh.

After deciding that cooked bacon would pose a, quote, rot factor problem, artist Mike LeHugh (ph) opted to go primarily with bacon bits. The bacon Bacon is being sold on eBay to help raise money for the nonprofit group Ashley's Team. The current bid - we have it at 353 dollars plus shipping. Looks like somebody really wants to bring home the bacon. Chelsey?

I don't have a co-anchor named Chelsey.

To the Windy City, where the contest for the next governor of Illinois is in full swing. Bill Brady has been hitting incumbent Pat Quinn hard about his promise to live in the governor's mansion more than his predecessor, Rod Blago-something did. To prove his residency there, Mr. Quinn used the saying, where I lay my hat is my home. But then he decided to describe a differently article of clothing.


GOV. PAT QUINN (D), ILLINOIS: It's very clear I live there. I have plenty of clothes there. Even my underwear are there. That's important.


OLBERMANN: Wow. TMI. Don't anybody ask him about the executive bathroom. Time marches on.

Rupert Murdoch testifies he's in favor of a path to citizenship. Unfortunately, he apparently thinks that means a path to citizenship for Democrats. We will resume.


OLBERMANN: Today, to a House subcommittee, an immigrant testified on behalf of immigration reform, advocating a path for citizenship, dismissing proposals to deport undocumented workers as impractical. One would expect Fox News to be all over that, considering it was the same congressional panel that heard testimony from Stephen Colbert last week, considering the immigrant was lobbying for, in Fox News speak, amnesty for illegals.

But in our third story, instead of hyperventilating into near hysterics, as it did over Mr. Colbert, the folks at Fox were rather subdued in their coverage of today's hearing. And when I say subdued, I mean they only mentioned it once.

Odd, considering that the testimony came from their boss, the CEO of Newscorp, the non-spiritual leader of Fox PAC, Rupert Murdoch. Mr. Murdoch along side New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, testifying as part of a coalition of mayors and business owners, citing his own experience as an immigrant to this country. Mr. Murdoch affirmed that reform would strengthen this nation's economy, if only, he lamented, there wasn't this partisan rhetoric driving the debate.


RUPERT MURDOCH, NEWSCORP CEO: Today, America is deeply divided over immigration policy. Many people worry that immigrants will take their jobs, challenger their culture, or change their community.


OLBERMANN: Whose bloody idea is that, sparky? Gee, I wonder where he got those crazy ideas.


SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: We have millions of people that have not respected American law, American sovereignty.

BILL O'REILLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: These are illegal immigrants cross into Arizona, committed violent crimes.




OLBERMANN: Nevertheless, Mr. Murdoch continuing his plea for reform.


MURDOCH: While supporting complete and proper closure of all our borders to future illegal immigrants, our partnership advocates reform that gives a path to citizenship for responsible, law-abiding immigrants who are in the U.S. today without proper authority. It is nonsense to talk of expelling 11 or 12 million people. Not only is it impractical; it is cost prohibitive.


OLBERMANN: Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters, one of Murdoch's network's most frequent targets of late, pressing Mr. Murdoch on why exactly those reasonable views don't seem to be reflected in any one of Mr. Murdoch's new outlets?


REP. MAXINE WATERS (D), CALIFORNIA: Why are you here with a basically decent proposal, talking about the advantage of immigrants to our economy, but I don't see that being promoted on Fox?

MURDOCH: We are home to all views on Fox. If you wish to come and state these views, we'd love to have you on Fox News.

WATERS: No, I don't want to be on there. That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about -

MURDOCH: We don't censor that or take any particular line at all. We are not anti-immigrant on Fox News.

WATERS: What is the difference? What is the contradiction? Why don't you use your power to help us to promote what you're talking about?

MURDOCH: I would say that we do. With respect, we certainly employ a lot of immigrants on Fox, and in all arms of Fox. You're talking about Fox News. We have many immigrants there. We do not take any consistent anti-immigrant line. We have debates about it from both sides.


OLBERMANN: We have over 4,000 Australians named Bruce working for the company in (INAUDIBLE) alone.

Later, Democratic Congresswoman Linda Sanchez, who unlike Mr. Murdoch apparently has seen Fox, questioned him on this response, as in isn't your network anti-immigrant?


MURDOCH: I don't think we do take an anti-Democratic - we're very happy to welcome any Democrats onto Fox News.

REP. LINDA SANCHEZ (D), CALIFORNIA: No, I didn't say anti-Democrat.

I said anti-immigrant.


OLBERMANN: Republican Congressman Lamar Smith to the rescue.


REP. LAMAR SMITH (R), TEXAS: There was an independent study done that actually showed that Fox was the most fair of all the television news programs. If you're coming from a liberal perspective, it might seem conservative. But to the objective observer, Fox actually has both sides more often than the three networks. I'll put that in the record in just a minute.


OLBERMANN: Oddly, Mr. Smith has a point about both sides. Here's Mr. Murdoch back in June on "Fox and Friends," discussing immigration with somebody who looks like host Steve Doocy.


STEVE DOOCY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: You touched a moment ago, Mr. Murdoch, on the politics of this. This is a political hot potato. How do you get by the partisanship that has been out there, and so biting for a while?

MURDOCH: I don't know. But I think it can be done. I think the mayor has shown how you get past it in the city of New York. I think we can show to the public the benefits of having migrants and the jobs that go with that.


OLBERMANN: Perhaps sensing panic and/or betrayal from the Fox viewer at home, after the boss left, the real Steve Doocy kicked out his more reasonable avatar and, alongside his co-host, got everybody back on message.


DOOCY: Tell us about the threat of illegal amnesty by executive order, where there are millions of illegals in this country. There's something going on where an executive order could make them legal?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thousands of illegal immigrants are being encouraged to participate in the 2010 census.

DOOCY: Illegals and the census. Including illegals. And the more illegals in a district, the better for people in Congress.


OLBERMANN: There you are, Congressman Smith, both sides out of the same guy's mouth.

Emperor Palpatine testifies the same day that a new world suitable for life is discovered. Coincidence? I think not.

So you say the judge was handing out acorns filled with condoms? And he's from a Pennsylvania town with a legendary name.

And when Rachel joins you at the top of the hour, how to fight the super PACS with their super secret money.


OLBERMANN: We found a new planet that might sustain life. Literally, we found it with taxpayer dollars. Hey, Tea party, should we un-find it?

That's next, but first get out your pitchforks and torches, time for tonight's Worst Persons in the World.

The bronze to Magisterial Judge Isaac H. Stoltsfutz (ph), who presides just outside Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He was discovered last month outside the soldiers' grove near the state capital, allegedly approaching women and handing them acorns. Inside the acorns, he had stuffed condoms. He said it was a joke, apparently one he read about on the Internet. Police said it was disorderly conduct.

There's considerable confusion over how Judge Stoltsfutz did this, leading to this great quote in the Lancaster newspaper "The New Era," "it is unclear how Stoltsfutz concealed the condoms in the acorns. Capital police are holding several unopened nuts as evidence, the 'Patriot News of Harrisburg' reported."

Condoms, acorns, unopened nuts. What ties this all together? A little town outside Lancaster in which judge Stoltsfutz resides and presides, Intercourse, Pennsylvania.

Our runner-up, Meg Whitman, Republican candidate for governor of California, running on a hold employers liable for undocumented workers platform. When it was revealed that for nine years she had employed an undocumented immigrant as a house keeper, Whitman blamed it on an agency that had sent the woman to her. Then the house keeper claimed there was a letter sent by the government in 2003 to Whitman's husband saying there was a discrepancy with her Social Security number and that the woman might be here illegally.

Then Whitman said her husband never got that letter. She suggested that maybe the house keeper had stolen the letter so that Whitman wouldn't see it. Then this happened.

Perhaps this will refresh your memory. Gloria Allred, the lawyer for the hours keeper, released a giant copy of the letter. It was information requested by the government. It was partially filled out on the letter, along with a note to the house keeper, "Nicky, please check this." Even Whitman's husband says it's possible that the hand writing on the letter is his.

So a candidate for governor of California lied, then suggested the victim was a liar and a thief. Then the proof turned up. Ms. Whitman, just say oops. Just says oops and get out.

But our winner, Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma. You and I sat here in horror last January as Haiti was nearly destroyed by an earthquake and its aftershocks. And we sat here proudly as this government of ours pledged 1.2 billion in emergency aid. Now you and I will have to sit here dumbfounded to learn that of the 917 million dollars for reconstruction passed by the House and Senate, not a dime of the aid has gotten to Haiti yet.

This is because the Senate has not passed the authorization bill directing how the money is to be spent. And this is because the bill has had a senatorial hold placed on it. The Associated Press reports that hold was placed there by Senator Coburn. His objection? The creation of a senior Haiti coordinator, whose salary, staff, offices, et cetera would cost a million dollars a year.

He says it's unnecessary because we already have an ambassador to Haiti. So 1,300,000 Haitians are still homeless tonight, nearly nine months after an earthquake, and all so that Tom Coburn can boast to his conservative buddies that he has prevented some wasteful spending, and they can clap him on the back and tell him what a big man he is, instead of telling him the truth, that he is, in fact, committing an atrocity against the people Haiti, and doing so in the name of we, the people of the United States.

Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, today's Worst Person in the World.


OLBERMANN: Twenty light years from Earth, way out in the Libra constellation, there is a star called Gliese 581 that has three planets circling it in what astronomers call a habitable zone. Of those three, one is too hot for life to exist. Another is too cold. But the third planet is just right.

In our number one story, yesterday, scientists announced existence of a planet they believe can support organic life forms. It has been dubbed the Goldilocks Planet. Though, if you take that comparison to its logical end, we should avoid colonizing the Goldilocks Planet, because at some point, the three space bears will return, and they will be pissed to find us there.

The announcement coming in the form of a National Science Foundation webcast, and publication in the astrophysical journal. Scientists Steve Vogt of UC Santa Cruz and Paul Butler of the Carnegie Institute of Washington led the teams that discovered Gliese 581-G.

The planet is three times the Earth's mass, close enough to the red dwarf star it circles to be able to sustain an atmosphere and contain liquid water on its surface. The planet tidally locked to its star, so it doesn't spin. On half the planet, it's always night. The other half, the sun is always up. It's like a celestial McBLT. The hot side stays hot and the cold side stays cold.

The line fixed between the light and dark is called the terminator, and is believed to be the most habitable place for life. Here is scientist Vogt.


STEVEN VOGT, ASTRONOMER, UC SANTA CRUZ: So you have on this planet, over billions of years, very stable zones where the ecosystem stays the same temperature. You have eco-longitudes. If you like hot zones, if you're a creature that evolves to have hot things, you move a little bit towards the star side. If you're a polar bear or something that likes cold zones, you move a little bit towards the shadow side. And you find your zone where you're the most comfortable. It stays like that basically forever.

OLBERMANN: See? What'd I tell you? Bears. The reason we know about Gliese 581-G is because of these two scientists and the hard work of their teams, teams that are supported financially by the National Science Foundation and NASA, both of them governmental agencies, each funded by you, the taxpayer at home.

So come up with a better name than Gliese 581-G. Of course, if these astronomers are proven correct, the discovery of the so-called Goldilocks planet has implications beyond science. It could fly in the face of long-standing arguments that Earth's unique and intelligent design implies a special purpose for humanity. Not if you can do it over there too.

So what now? Let's turn to Derrick Pitts, the chief astronomer at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, who is the man we always turn to when I have stupid questions about serious subjects. Derrick, good evening.


OLBERMANN: Apart from the space bears - I think we've covered that sufficiently - how important is this, in your assessment?

PITTS: This is going to be an opportunity for someone to invent space bear mace, Keith. So it is going to be a big industry in the U.S. pretty soon.


PITTS: So how big a thing is this? It is a really big thing, because when we look at - when we look around the universe, we find that the most numerous stars in the sky are these red dwarf stars. So by finding a planet like this, or system like this orbiting red dwarf stars, it also means that we're going to find many, many more of these kinds of planets.

OLBERMANN: I was going to ask you about this, because I took two years of astronomy in high school. Both times it was right before lunch. I sort of faded in and out of the class, because the room would get dark and it would be very quiet, and the hum of the projector and everything else. I thought red dwarf stars were basically, in terms of the prospects of life around them, on the planets around them, essentially inert and useless.

PITTS: It would seem that way. But the thing is if you get - the problem is - not problem, but what's going on is that the red dwarf stars radiate a very small amount of energy. So what you do is you pack the planets in closer to the star, and then they can get the kind of radiation they need to create a livable environment, if you will.

So the idea, though, is that it's now become apparent that these red dwarf stars are the most numerous stars throughout the entire universe. So lots of possibilities for other places where we might find some life.

OLBERMANN: So did the number just change, one out of every 500 planets could support life? There are billions of planets. Are we going to get more Goldilocks planets? And did the prospect of it, the actual statistical prospect just improve?

PITTS: I think it really did improve, because now we've been able to identify clearly that there is a habitable zone around these stars, and that within that zone, it is possible to find planets that are getting closer to the size and mass of Earth. That's the other important piece.

OLBERMANN: There are people on this planet who believe that as a species we're unique, we're alone in the universe, we were deliberately placed here. Then the arguments begin over who, what, when and for what purpose. What does this discovery mean for those people? Is it significant enough to sort of say, hey, we have some more facts to throw at you?

PITTS: I think it really means that the people who choose to go in that direction of believing in, let's say, a supreme being that has created just this one planet with this life as being unique may have to expand their thinking about what their supreme being is really capable of. Imagine that as a supreme being, you create this entire universe. Would you create just one planet alone, out of the billions of stars and possible tens of billion of other planets? You could experiment, if you wanted to, with different kinds of life forces - life styles on all these other planets, if you wanted to.

OLBERMANN: Of course, if we were the first experiment, whoever it was might have just stopped while they were behind.

Something more practical here, and literally down to Earth. As I mentioned, funding on this, to discover this place, from NASA, from the National Science Foundation. Without them, who knows whether or not we ever find the Goldilocks planet here. Explain the importance of our tax dollars specifically in this kind of research.

PITTS: In this kind of research - what's happening here is that these tax dollars are driving astronomical research. But that also drives the education system that creates the astronomers to be able to do this work. It also is the funding that drives the development of our technological capability to do this.

So what we're doing with these dollars is we're making ourselves smarter and we're making ourselves more technologically capable. These technologies then trickle down throughout the culture, and provide improvements in all kinds of other ways that we see further down the road.

But it also - the most important thing is that it gives us the opportunity to train people to be quality thinkers. That's really important these days. It's going to become more important in the future.

OLBERMANN: Do you get - not to get overly political on you - and this is a science segment. But do you get the feeling, generally speaking, that science is under attack, not merely philosophically, which it's always been under attack, and not even educationally, which it has been off and on for the last 500 years, but monetarily? Like somebody is trying to shut the tap off just when the good, clean water is coming out.

PITTS: Well, it certainly seems that we are not putting the dollars where we really need to put the dollars. Science is a place that extraordinarily important for that. We can't think about the possibility of shutting down science. Science is what makes it possible for the billions of people on this planet to hopefully, at some point, improve their quality of life on the planet. As we get more and more people here, it is going to become more and more important for that technology to help us make it better for everybody.

OLBERMANN: Plus, we now have interstellar bears. Derrick Pitts, chief astronomer of the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, always a pleasure, sir. Thank you.

PITTS: Watch out for the bears, Keith. Thank you.

OLBERMANN: Especially if you give the points. That's September 30th. It's 2,709th days since President Bush declared mission accomplished in Iraq, 2,298Th since he declared victory in Afghanistan, and the 164th day of the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf.

I'm Keith Olbermann, good night and good luck.