Sunday, October 31, 2010

'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for Sunday, Oct. 31st, 2010
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Special Comment: (replay)
If the Tea Party wins, America loses
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Guests: Howard Fineman, Rep. Nancy Pelosi



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

At the start of the week that will determine if she continues in the job, the speaker of the House versus the plot to buy America.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: It's about our democracy and they give new meaning to the term "buy American." They want to buy these elections.


OLBERMANN: The means, Citizens United - and one of the men who saw its impact the day it was decided: Howard Fineman.

The red herring that is "voter fraud," ballot security "election monitoring."


DICK ARMEY (R), FORMER HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER: The Democrats are always much more active in the areas where the ballot security is reduced.


OLBERMANN: How the trumped up fear of a few individuals voting without the right to do so becomes the excuse to keep thousands with the right from voting at all.

And, 32 Tea Party and Republican candidates, 29 direct quotes about policy - ranging from defunding rulings they don't like from the Supreme Court, to keeping the violent overthrow of democracy on the table if we do not elect them.

My "Special Comment": Vote backwards. Vote Tea Party.

All the news and commentary - now on a special edition of



RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY SENATE CANDIDATE: We've come to take our government back.




OLBERMANN: Good evening, from New York. It is Sunday, October 31st, two days until the 2010 midterm elections.

There are 435 congressional districts in the United States. And in our fifth story: it would appear that our first guest seems running in all of them based on the television advertisements attacking her - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a moment.

Of course, the voting has already begun and there have been numerous reports of the early voting favoring Democrats as well as poles indicating that the Republicans will make up the difference come Election Day. But spending by outside groups fueled by undisclosed donations have dominated the narrative and that is where we began with Speaker Pelosi.


OLBERMANN: As promised, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and congresswoman from the California eight congressional district, Nancy Pelosi.

It's good to see you. Thanks for coming in.

PELOSI: My pleasure. Thank you.

OLBERMANN: I want to talk about the elections, obviously, but let me start with what we mentioned earlier tonight, this "New York Times" report on the Chamber of Commerce. The first, or half of the Chamber of Commerce donations in 2008 came from 45 donors, half of the total of the $149 million from 45 donors. It's the nation's largest lobbying group. It's essentially representing a constituency in double digits and it is all over the election without identifying who gave it its money.

Did you know that the Chamber was so concentrated towards the super rich?

PELOSI: Well, it's interesting because they have about 300,000 members and half of the money coming from 45 corporations. It's a bigger issue. It's about our democracy and they give new meaning to the term "buy American." They want to buy these elections.

So, elections are always about the future. You know that, Keith.

About what is our vision for taking America forward as the president says. We're going forward. We're not going backward. We're fighting for the middle class.

This election is also about our democracy. If they win, which I fully intent to stop them from doing, but if they were to win, that would mean that we are a plutocracy, an oligarchy. Whatever these few wealthy, secret, unlimited sources of money are can control our entire agenda.

OLBERMANN: And because of this "Times" report, we get sort of the vague outlines of who we're dealing with. Prudential Financial, $2 million when the chamber was launching its offense - the offense again - or offensive against regulating Wall Street. Dow Chemical was $1.7 million as the Chamber was working against tighter regulation of chemical facilities. Similar stories for Goldman Sachs, for Chevron Texaco, for Edward Jones Brokerage.

How do we fix our laws after that Supreme Court decision so that we're no longer prey to companies that are blocking our attempts to improve this country?

PELOSI: Well, first, let me just say, as you read those names, it's clear that there are those on Wall Street who want to block Wall Street reform - some of the greatest reforms in decades and for consumer protections, the biggest in our nation's history.

There are those who want to stop our creating good, clean energy jobs. You see energy and chemical companies who want to stop that.


PELOSI: So, they have an agenda that is counter to the reforms that we have put forth. What we have to do is say to them, stand by your ad. You're so proud of yourself, identify yourself.


PELOSI: And that's what the DISCLOSE Act in Congress would have done. We have passed it in the House. There are 59 votes in the Senate. We couldn't get one Republican to say, disclosure is the right thing to do.

The court made a terrible decision. It was contrary to the fundamentals of our democracy. But at least people should be able to know where this money is coming from.

OLBERMANN: Obviously, the first step towards that is getting this message out. You've spoken extensively about it. The president has spoken extensively about it. We've reported about it, whenever there was something new and worthwhile to report.

Has the message gotten through is the message I've gotten through in time for the midterms?

PELOSI: Well, first let me say, the president mentioned this in the State of the Union address. So, this goes back a long way. That was very, I think, important for him to do. And he, again, has kept that beat going.

Because it is essential and fundamental to our democracy that we not have it be wholly owned subsidiary of these corporations.


PELOSI: And as part of the Chamber of Commerce. But as far as the message coming through, our members who are getting hit seven to one, just brutal in terms of these negative ads that are going out there. And I might add: some of them - one of the secret organizations is asking the Hispanic community not to vote.


PELOSI: To depress the vote. And the impact of some of these ads, they're so on negative, is to depress the vote.

So, again, this is a - this is a real challenge to our democracy. And members are getting the word forward. But it's important to make the link. It's not just that Wall Street is contributing to whatever political beliefs they have. They are stopping Wall Street - they want to stop Wall Street reform.

The Republicans have been very clear. If they take office, they will not allow funding to go forth to implement new reforms. Same thing with energy companies, same thing with health insurance companies. The list goes on and on.

And so, you have to make the link. Not only are they weighing in. What did I see today that perhaps $7 million was contributed by the swift boaters?

OLBERMANN: To the two Rove's PAC, yes.

PELOSI: To Rove's PAC.


PELOSI: Again, we have a distortion of our democratic system. So, this is not just about the election but our future. It's an election about our future and our democracy.

OLBERMANN: All right. And in this election, will there be a political upset on November 2nd? And how would you define upset?

PELOSI: Well, let me say that - I have always though, remain calm. I'd rather be in our position than the Republicans' position. Our members are battle-ready. They believe in what they voted for. They're proud of it. They're fighting for it.

They've all come - the ones who are under challenge have come from very difficult districts. So, they know how to win those districts.

OLBERMANN: The former president spoke in Chicago today. He said his greatest failure as president was not passing as he called it, Social Security reform. The softball is headed your way. And you can pick which favorite member of the San Francisco Giants you'd like to pretend to be as you swing on it. Please give me your response to that.

PELOSI: Well, I thank the president for validating the point that we made during the campaign, because when we were saying that the president initiated the idea that he wanted to privatize Social Security, people said we were exaggerating, we were fearmongers and the rest and it wasn't really so. But we stayed our course.

He gave us a gift then and he's the gift that keeps on giving. He's giving us a gift now because he's proving the point. That's what he intended to do.

I remember during the course of that campaign, I was speaking with him at one of our breakfasts - leadership breakfasts. I said, Mr. President, I understand you're going to 60 cities in, I don't know how many days to talk about your welfare reform. I want you to go to 120 days, because when you go there, we will be inoculating before you get there, educating after you leave and making the distinction that Social Security as a pillar of our security for our seniors and American people. And we will make that differentiation.

Now, he's - and, you know, after it was over and we've won, I said, "Mr. President, the results are in." And he said, "Actually, I achieved my goal. I really wanted to call attention to the situation."

OLBERMANN: OK. Well, he also has provided something else during this campaign, that perhaps - there's been a lot of criticism that the Democrats did not take - and, obviously, the House doesn't operate in a vacuum. But the Democrats did not take enough advantage over this - what the polling suggests it was a winning position: Bush tax cuts for the rich and if you want to call them Democratic tax cuts for everybody else. And yet, the House adjourned without having a vote on this.

Why did you - why did you - to the degree you let that happen, why did you let that happen?

PELOSI: Well, we could have taken the vote and we would have known. But knowing the distortion that the Republicans would have applied to that, I said, they're going to be political. We're not giving it. We know what our position is.

And, by the way, it's a tax cut for everyone. It's just not an additional tax cut -


PELOSI: - for the people at the top 2 percent in our country. Everybody gets the tax cut. Just - they don't get more at the top 2 percent.

So, knowing how they would distort it, the president's clear in his campaign. The president is clear in his message about that.

It would cost $700 billion to give an extra tax cut to the people at the top 2 percent - $700 billion added to the deficit with no performance. You know, in other words, when that happened before, it did not produce jobs.

OLBERMANN: Obviously.

PELOSI: And speaking of jobs, I want to say - because I think everybody should know that in the first eight months of 2010, did you know, that more private sector jobs were created under the Obama administration, Democratic Congress, and the ingenuity and the entrepreneurial spirit of the American people - more private sector jobs were created in the first eight months of 2010 than in the eight years of the Bush administration.

OLBERMANN: Let me close with this last question: Do you expect to be speaker of the House in January 2011?

PELOSI: The Democrats intend to win. What's important is that we have a Democratic majority to protect what we have done, something very big, health care for all Americans as a right, not a privilege; Wall Street reform, to give more leverage to working families in our country, affordability for college education.

They want to reverse this and our Democratic victory will prevent that.

It's about the future, moving America forward, not going back to the failed policies of the past, which they said they would do, the same exact agenda. And now, it's about saving our democracy from those who want to buy it.

OLBERMANN: Indeed. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi - always greatest thanks to your for doing that and safe travels in the next 12 days.

PELOSI: Thank you very much.


OLBERMANN: My interview with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Her key point that the Chamber of Commerce, Karl Rove's American Crossroads GPS, the countless groups with nameless donors are changing the meaning of "buy American." They want to buy the American election.

What Citizens United has done to American democracy - next.


OLBERMANN: The plot to buy America is not all about money or philosophy. Sometimes, it's just vengeance. His group's banker is being prosecuted by Jack Conway in Kentucky. So, his group rolled out $1 million worth of ads attacking Jack Conway in Kentucky.

And they want to take America back all right, back to 1939 or 1857 or 1789. My "Special Comment" on what a vote for the Tea Party means for America - ahead.


OLBERMANN: In the past week, the last week leading up to Election Day, we've seen several stories emerge that slam home just how corrosive one Supreme Court ruling has been on the firewalls American democracy has relied upon to ensure that our elections cannot be bought - bought by a flood of anonymous millionaires - millionaires spreading smears and lies against any who stand in the way of them getting more money. The truth and their identities not it to see the light of day until it's too late.

Our fourth story tonight: What the Supreme Court said would not happen when it opened the doors for unlimited secret spending has happened, when a split Supreme Court issued its ruling in the Citizens United case. Justice Kennedy justified the ruling by writing, quote, "With the advent of the Internet, prompt disclosures of expenditures can provide shareholders and citizens with the information needed to hold corporation and elected officials accountable."

What I said at that time was that the Citizens United ruling would change democracy as we knew it. Here's what my next guest, Howard Fineman, said about my assessment then.


HOWARD FINEMAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: I have a confession to make. Sometimes I think you get a little turbo-charged, shall we say, about an issue.


FINEMAN: I think you're understating this one.


OLBERMANN: I didn't know where he was going with that.

Case in point, though, Karl Rove's group Crossroads pouring more than $1 million into Kentucky, into ads that have been refuted by nonpartisan groups, in order to defeat Democratic Senate candidate Jack Conway.

Where is that million coming from? All we know is that the Crossroads bank is located not in Washington, but in Lexington, Kentucky. It's a bank run by this man, Terry Forcht, a right wing millionaire whose many businesses include a nursing home now being prosecuted for covering up the sexual abuse of an 88-year-old resident, prosecuted by the state's attorney general, Jack Conway, who was therefore unable to comment on all of this.

This is what Citizens United now allows, the pursuit of private agendas mostly but exclusively financial, behind the cloak of politics.

The biggest such cloak, of course, still belongs to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. What do they want?

At their annual summit on tort reform this week, the Chamber called for weaker laws against American companies bribing foreign officials. And president, Tom Donohue, talked about pushing back against the trial bar - meaning lawyers who represent you against big companies.


TOM DONOHUE, U.S. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: In 2008, the trial bar made a significant investment in the election and they have been working hard to get a return on that investment ever since. The trial bar is looking for a handout to further undermine the economy while lining their own pockets. You can't make that stuff up.


OLBERMANN: But if you do make that stuff up, you just might get pushed back even from your own keynote speaker, Kenneth Feinberg, the 9/11 and BP damages paymaster, who was invited there because of his experience circumventing traditional lawsuits.



I'm a lawyer. I happen to believe that in the run-of-the-mill, everyday life in America, the legal system works pretty well. I can also cite examples like 9/11, where the victim compensation fund created by Congress only succeeded because the trial bar helped.


OLBERMANN: Coming full circle on this with us, MSNBC political analyst Howard Fineman, senior political editor of "The Huffington Post."

Good to see you, Howard.

FINEMAN: Hi, Keith.

OLBERMANN: So, of the three of us, who is as right, Justice Kennedy, who predicted transparency, and thank goodness for the Internet and the Google, me, in predicting the end of democracy, or you for saying I was understating it?

FINEMAN: I think we were all wrong. Justice Kennedy for sure. You probably because we're still here.

OLBERMANN: It's only October.

FINEMAN: It's only October. And I was wrong, too, because I think what we're seeing now is the beginning of a cycle like what we saw 100 years ago -


FINEMAN: - when the big corporations overplayed their hand, when the McKinley era, they owned the political system lock, stock and barrel. And eventually, a guy from here New York named Teddy Roosevelt came along and said, "These are my people, this is my class, but enough."

And I think I have enough faith in our country and democracy that what's going to happen is that the roves of the world are going to overplay their hand at some point. This election is not really going to be about this topic but the next election will.

OLBERMANN: Yes. Of course, to get Teddy Roosevelt into the White House, you had to have a bunch of people who put him in the vice presidency because they thought that's where they could keep him and contain him.


OLBERMAN: Unfortunately, an assassination is involved in that equation. Not that we want to ever see another assassination in American politics. But I mean, there are a lot of - there are a lot of very strong bulwarks that have been built since this decision that would keep the next Teddy Roosevelt from getting elected president, aren't there? I mean, because of Citizens United?

FINEMAN: Well, there maybe.

OLBERMANN: Would you have to be elected and then suddenly say, aha, I'm a trust buster and rip the mask off?

FINEMAN: No, I don't think so. As I say, Keith, this election season, we're talking a lot about the money. And the money from all places, especially from the Forchtes of the world that you were discussing is important.

But the American people want to vote on the something else this time around. They want to vote on the economy and they want to vote on about their fears and for their jobs and their mortgage foreclosures, et cetera. They're not seeing from the beginning the connection between the economic circumstances they're in and the people who are supplying the money for this ad campaign. That conversation really can't happen with three weeks left in a midterm election.

But I think it's going to be incumbent upon President Obama and such Democrats are left in the Congress to say, look, let's unpack this a little bit. Let's go back a little bit here and see who's running this conversation, who's controlling the conversation and what we can really do about it - because it's related to what kind of country we have and what kind of economy we have.

It's hard to make that connection unless you start from the beginning of your presidency to do it.


FINEMAN: And don't forget, Barack Obama said, I'm going to come in, I'm going to change things because I'm me and we're young and we're going to do it - and he took on some of the powers that be. But he didn't really want to be that Rooseveltian kind of guy confronting all the economic powers in America. For whatever reason, he wanted to be the guy who was going to make peace with everybody.


FINEMAN: It's not going to work that way the next time.

OLBERMANN: Eight of the Supreme Court justices in Citizens United said that disclosure laws were vital. It wasn't just Justice Kennedy. Nonprofit groups, secret donors, not supposed to be primarily political in nature. So, between that intent and the IRS and the FEC, how can Rove and the Chamber and so on and so forth get away with this even now?

FINEMAN: Well, because there's a lot of money involved, number one.

And as between the IRS and the FEC, there's a big hole.

The IRS looks at these groups from a tax lawyer point of view. OK, you're in this category, you're a not for profit group, fine.

The FEC is a wholly owned subsidiary, in my view, of the campaign industry. We're talking about - like most regulatory agencies in Washington. So, we're talking about maybe $3 billion in television advertising. They're going to tell half a billion of it that you can't play the game? I don't think so.

So, what the FEC said was, we're not going to make you disclose the donors to the 501 - these particular type of tax-exempt groups, unless the secret money is given specifically for a single ad, which is defining away all regulation of it. So, basically, they punted. That's the answer to your question.

OLBERMANN: Howard Fineman of "The Huffington Post" and MSNBC - as always, a pleasure to see you, sir.

FINEMAN: Thank you, Keith.

OLBERMANN: If the secret money is not enough to make the Republicans feel safe, they can always depend on their voter integrity squads to insure the vote is not fair, not free and not for Democrats. The return of voter fraud - next.


OLBERMANN: He wants you to believe there are secret armies of invisible Democrats try to commit voter fraud so you will not look at the Republicans' very real plans to insure, quote, "voter integrity."

And she wants to believe she can threaten a radio station with a lawsuit, threaten to crash it, if the station will not do as she says.

My "Special Comment": Tea Party America - ahead.


OLBERMANN: Despite the perpetual and aggressive efforts to prove otherwise, voter fraud is strawman pop up by Republicans every election cycle. And this year, they are joined in many instances by the Tea Party. But all you really need to know about so called anti-voter fraud efforts is that they are anti-voter and the term voter integrity might as well be code for voter intimidation. At least, Arizona has once again shown the country how not to do it. Now that the three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has struck down one of Arizona's laws. This one required people to provide proof of American citizenship. To register to vote, the court said, that the law conflicted with the National Voter Registration Act.

Since the offending Arizona Law was passed in 2004, few illegal immigrants tried to register to vote according to the Mexican-American Legal Defense Fund. But 30,000 actual citizens have been rejected to vote under the law and there you have the template. It's all about intimidation of legitimate voters and the suppression of votes. Except that most anti-voters fraud efforts are even more overtly partisan. In Saint Paul, Minnesota, Tea Party organizers and related groups announced that they were offering a $500 reward for anyone who turned in a person eventually prosecuted for voter fraud is according to "The New York Times." Organizers also announced surveillance squad to video tapes so called irregularities.

In Milwaukee, there have been protests over this billboard. We voted illegally with images of people behind bars. The Republican Party of Wisconsin says, it has no idea who put that up.

In West Virginia, Republicans had launched a large scale anti-voter fraud program. "This is strictly our effort," said Robert Cornelius of the West Virginia GOP. "And we have what we have turned our ballot security teams will going to be out in these countries and have been out already."

In North Carolina, two dozen complains already about intimidation by so-called poll watchers who have reportedly been standing behind registration tables which is illegal and who have been taking pictures of the license plates of curb side voters which is also illegal.

In Illinois, Republican Senatorial Candidate Mark Kirk has been criticized for declaring his intent to send voter integrity squads to African-American neighborhoods in Chicago, that is according to Washington Post. The Republican National Lawyers Association has been training lawyers for Illinois as well as for other states like Nevada. According to its Chairman David Norcross, Mr. Norcross has called voter fraud, quote, "an epidemic." The reality is quite different.

During the presidency of George W. Bush, whose Justice Department aggressively pursued the so called voter fraud, only 95 people were ever charged. Only 55 convicted. Of those 55, fewer than 20 were convicted of casting fraudulent ballots, again according to "The New York Times." Only five were convicted of registration fraud. But the imagery of veritable armies of ghost voters continues to escalate from the right. With Dick Armey, one of the founding representatives of the Tea Party, actually suggesting Democrats are establishing an edge in early voting due to voter fraud.


DICK ARMEY (R), FORMER HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER: Well no. I am not surprised. This is an aberration that is born out of the fact that in early vote, there is less ballot security. The Democrats are always much more active in the areas where the ballot security is reduced. If you start focusing on this, it is pinpointed to the major urban areas, the inner city. Those areas.


OLBERMANN: What we have shown here are illustrative examples far from an exhaustive list of all these reckless charges and intimidating practices and many outside Republicans groups are devising voter integrity efforts according to Washington Post because they come under less legal scrutiny than the actual party, the Republican National Committee. Sound familiar at all?

Next, the positions and proposals of 32 different Tea Party and republican candidates and their vision of the America they want to force you to live in. My Special Comment, ahead.


OLBERMANN: Now as promised a Special Comment on the madness of the Tea Party and the elections of next Tuesday.

It is as if a group of moderately talented performers has walked on stage at a Comedy Club on Improv night. Each hears a shout from the audience, consisting of a bizarre but just barely plausible fear or hatred or neurosis or prejudice. And the entertainment of the evening is for each to take their thin, absurd premise, and build upon it, a campaign for governor or congressman or senator. The problem is, of course, when it turns out there is no audience shouting out gags, just a cabal of corporations and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and political insider bloodsuckers like Karl Rove and Dick Armey and the Chicken Little Chorus of Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck.

And the instructions are not to improvise a comedy sketch, but to elect a group of unqualified, unstable individuals who will do what they are told, in exchange for money and power, and march this nation as far backward as they can get, backward to Jim Crow, or backward to the breadlines of the '30s, or backward to hanging union organizers, or backward to the Trusts and the Robber Barons.

Result, the Tea Party. Vote backward, vote Tea Party. And if you are somehow indifferent to what is planned for next Tuesday, it is nothing short of an attempt to use Democracy to end this Democracy, to buy America wholesale and pave over the freedoms and the care we take of one another, which have combined to keep us the envy of the world. You do not think your freedom is at stake next Tuesday?

The Tea Party-and-Republican candidate for Senator from Nevada Sharron Angle jus just decried divorce and Social Security as some of this nation's, quote, "wicked ways." This is Angle also compared rape to, quoting, "lemon in a lemon situation in lemonade." She would deny an abortion even to a teenaged girl who had been raped by her own father.

The Tea Party-and-Republican candidate to be the only Congressman in Delaware, Glen Urquhart, said "there is no problem that abortion can't make worse. I know good friends who are the product of rape." Mr. Urquhart also says, he does not believe the phrase "separation of church and state" was said by Thomas Jefferson. He thinks it was Hitler. "The next time your liberal friends ask you about the separation of church and state, ask them why they are Nazis."

The Tea Party-and-Republican candidate in the Ohio 9th, Rich Iott, not only ran around in a Nazi uniform celebrating their military tactics, but implies he is a veteran and as late as this March listed his occupation as soldier even though the volunteer militia to which he belongs has never been called, will never be called, to any active service, in the 29 years in which he has belonged to it. Mr. Iott now claims Mr. Boehner is campaigning with him over the final days.

It's more than just dress-up. They mean business, literally. The Tea Party-and-Republican candidate for New Jersey's 3rd House seat, Jon Runyan, defended corporate tax loopholes. "Loopholes are there for a reason. They are to avoid people from really having to pay too many taxes."

The Tea Party-and-Republican candidate for the Senate in West Virginia, John Raese, explained, quote, "I made my money the old-fashioned way, I inherited it. I think that's a great thing to do. I hope more people in this country have that opportunity as soon as we abolish inheritance tax in this country." The inheritance tax applies only to estates larger than $3.5 million. For the 99.8 percent of Americans not affected by the estate tax, there is the minimum wage, which Mr. Raese also wants abolished. Or there is Social Security.

The Tea Party-and-Republican candidate in the Indiana 9th, Todd Young, says "Social Security, as so many of you know is a Ponzi scheme." The Tea Party-and-Republican candidate in the Wisconsin 8th, Reid Ribble disagrees. Social Security "is, in fact, a Ponzi scheme."

The Tea Party-and-Republican candidate in the Arizona 8th, Jesse Kelly, wants to resurrect President Bush's scam to transform Social Security into private investment accounts so the government can force you to spend part of your paycheck on Wall Street commissions, and so that market manipulators can wipe out your retirement money.

The Republican candidate in the Wisconsin 1st, Congressman Paul Ryan, has a more sophisticated plan. Personal investment Social Security, guaranteed dollar for dollar by the government. A fiscal fountain of youth, until you find out its cost. Ryan would pay for it by taxing the health insurance you get from your employer. If you are not employed, Mrs. Angle of Nevada says, unemployment benefits can neither be increased nor extended because that "has caused us to have a spoilage with our ability to go out and get a job. There are jobs that do exist. That's what we're saying, is that there are jobs."

The Tea Party-and-Republican candidate for Senator in Alaska, Joe Miller, says this is academic, because unemployment insurance is unconstitutional. His own wife received unemployment insurance after losing a temp job he got for her. Mr. Miller also called Medicaid unconstitutional. It proved his entire family had received Medicaid funds. Mr. Miller also claims Social Security is unconstitutional, yet hypocritically he says it should still be paid out, and then the entire issue dumped into the laps of the states.

The Republican-and-Tea Party candidate for Senator in Colorado, Ken Buck, would not stop at butchering just Social Security. "Would a Veterans Administration hospital that is run by the private sector be better run then by the public sector? In my view, yes." The Tea Party-and-Republican candidate in the Pennsylvania 4th, Keith Rothfus, has promised to overturn anything the Supreme Court decides, with which he disagrees. "Congress's ultimate weapon is funding. If the Supreme Court rules you have to do something, we'll just take away funding for it."

Back in Nevada, Mrs. Angle decries health care reform, and also health care itself. "Everything that they want to throw at us, she says, is now covered under, quote, "autism." As to educating those children, Mrs. Angle will not pay for, Mr. Buck of Colorado, waxes nostalgic. "In the 1950's, we had the best schools in the world, and the United States government decided to get more involved in federal education, well, since, we've made education worse, we're going to get even more involved."

In Ken Buck's America of 1957, fewer than one in five Black children graduated high school. Fewer than half of white children did. To the Tea Party-and-Republican candidate in the California 11th, David Harmer, Mr. Buck is a wild-eyed liberal. Mr. Harmer once advocated eliminating public schools all altogether, and returning education into country into where it was before 1876. "People acting in a free market found a variety of ways to pay for a variety of schools serving a variety of students, all without central command or control." And without girls, blacks, or even the slightest chance you could go to college.

The Tea Party-and-Republican candidate in the Virginia 11th, Keith Fimian is, "not so sure we need a federal bureaucracy for education." The Tea Party-and-Republican candidate in the Florida 2nd, Steve Southerland, wants to "de-fund" the Department of Education because "we can't afford it." The Tea Party-and-Republican candidate in the Texas 17th, Bill Flores, offers a tri-fecta plus a delusion. Get rid, he says, of "the pornographic endowment of the arts, Department of Energy, Department of Education," and with them, he says, ACORN. ACORN, which went out of business last April 1st.

The Tea Party-and-Republican candidate in the Arizona 5th, David Schweikert, he is passionately, he says, trying to eliminate the Department of Education because it's, quote, "unconstitutional." And while one of the few threads uniting the ragamuffins who have constitutes the slate of Tea Party candidates is so-called strict interpretation of that Constitution, Mr. Miller of Alaska wants, in fact, to change the constitution. He wants to repeal the 17th amendment.

The Tea Party-and-Republican candidate for Senate from Utah, Mike Lee called the 17th amendment "a mistake." Last year, Mr. Buck of Colorado said the 17th amendment, took us down the wrong path.

The 17th amendment, of course, permits the direct election by the voters of U.S. senators. Buck and Lee and Miller not only demand you elect them to the Senate now, they then hope to deny you the right to elect somebody else, next time.

The ubiquitous Mrs. Angle, meanwhile, wants to repeal the 16th amendment. It provided for a federal income tax. Mrs. Angle does not explain how, without it, the federal government would pay for keeping out the Mexicans she specifically attacks in her newest commercial.

The Tea Party-and-Republican candidate for Senator from Kentucky Rand Paul wishes to repeal the 14th amendment because it interferes with a private business's right to ban black people from its premises, and also because it allows anyone born here in America to be American. He is worried about anchor babies.

The Republican candidate for the 1st District of Texas, Louie Gohmert, fears not anchor babies but terror babies, unborn infants brought to this country in the womb, ready for American citizenship and pre-programmed to blow things up fifteen or twenty years from now. Curiously, Mr. Gohmert has not been asked if he is in favor of aborting them.

The Tea Party-and-Republican candidate for Governor of Arizona, Jan Brewer, sees not terror fetuses but headless bodies in endless deserts murdered by immigrants who are nearly all drug mules.

The Tea Party-and-Republican candidate for Governor of Colorado, Dan Maes, believes a bike-sharing program is part of a plot to turn Denver into a metropolis run by the United Nations.

The Tea Party-and-Republican candidate for Senate from Delaware, Christine O'Donnell, believes she was cleared to read secret classified documents about China because she's been working for Non-Profit Organizations for the past fifteen years. She also believes China is plotting to take over the United States and the first evidence of this is that, quote, "China is drilling for oil off the coast of Florida." This fear of the Chinese clearly does not extend though to the Tea Party-and-Republican candidate for Senate from Illinois, Mark Kirk. One day he held a fundraiser with American businessmen in China. The next day, he voted against closing tax incentives for outsourcing American jobs to places like China.

The Tea Party-and-Republican-candidate for Senate from Wisconsin, Ron Johnson is also in favor of relocating employees. He testified against toughening laws on pedophiles and employers who shield them. He argued this could damage a business. A business like the Catholic Church.

In Utah, the anti-bailout Senate candidate Mr. Lee, insists on not raising the liability limits for the next BP from $75 million to $10 billion. "You have a set of settled expectations that you give to a business when it decides to make an investment in this. Our country benefits from this type of activity." Asked by the Salt Lake City Tribune if that's a kind of bailout, if it leaves taxpayers on the hook for part of the damage, Lee admitted, "Well, yes, probably does."

Mr. Paul of Kentucky called the nationwide pressure on BP to increase its damage payments un-American. He is also opposed to Federal Mine Safety regulations. "The bottom line is, I'm not an expert, so don't give me the power in Washington to be making rules. You are here, and you have to work in the mines. You'd try to make good rules to protect your people here. If you don't, I'm thinking that no one will apply for those jobs." Mr. Paul's admission that "I'm not an expert" does provide one of the few dovetails of this campaign. It matches nicely with Mr. Johnson of Wisconsin, who refuses to offer any specifics about his plan to deal with homeless veterans. He says, quote, "This election is not about details."

Details have proved devilish for the Tea Party-and-Republican candidate for the second district of Virginia, Scott Ridgell. He campaigned against the stimulus bill, including the Cash-for-Clunkers program. Mr. Ridgell is an automobile dealer, and made hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Cash-for-Clunkers program.

The Tea Party-and-Republican candidate in the Missouri 4th, Vicky Hartzler, says she and her husband are just small business owners. "We just want the government to leave us alone," she said. Hartzler and her husband have a farm. In the last fourteen years, that government they want to leave them alone, has given them subsidies totaling $774,000.

Mr. Raese of West Virginia told the Associated Press that, "America is in an industrial coma," he blamed the "restrictor plate" that is "a bloated federal government." "I can't think," he added, "of very many times when a government agency has helped me." The companies Mr. Raese owns have received $2.4 million in contracts from the federal government since 2000, and $32 million in contracts from the state government since 2000.

Back in Colorado, Mr. Buck apparently thought he was just speaking to a campaign worker when he self-exposed his hypocrisy. In fact he was talking to a Democratic operative with a recorder in his pocket. Out of the blue, Tea Party nominee Buck blurted, quote, "will you tell those dumbasses at the Tea Party to stop asking me about birth certificates while I'm on the camera? God, what am I supposed to do?" The contempt of Mr. Buck towards his own Tea Party, extends in many cases to reporters and thus by proxy, to actual citizens.

For instance, the Tea Party-and-Republican candidate for Governor of Maine, Paul LePage threatened to punch a radio reporter. The Tea Party-and-Republican candidate for Governor of New York, Carl Paladino, threatened to "take out" a reporter from the most conservative newspaper in any major American city. A spokesman told the reporter that he was now off the Paladino mailing list, which has, in the past, consisted of e-mails featuring racism, and pornography, and bestiality. Mr. Miller's private security guards in Alaska detained and handcuffed one reporter, and threatened to handcuff two more, without any legal right to do so, at an event at a public school.

The security company was operating with an expired license, its chief has links to extremist organizations, and the defense was that the guards didn't know the individual was a reporter, which implies it would be just dandy to handcuff an ordinary citizen.

Ms. O'Donnell threatened to sue a Delaware radio station if it did not destroy the videotape of her interview there. When she did not like a question, she snapped her fingers at her own press aide then shoved him. The campaign manager threatened to crush the radio station if it did not comply with them.

The Tea Party-and-Republican candidate for the Senate from Florida, Marco Rubio dreams more of deportation than of crushing. He said, in March, quote, "There are millions of people in America that hate our country, so why can't we just do a trade? We'll send you Sean Penn, Janeane Garofalo, and Keith Olbermann, and you can send us people that actually love this country." This incidentally, carries with it a tinge of irony. I don't know that any of his opponents has ever accused Mr. Rubio of not loving this country. He just doesn't love a lot of its people. And the person they all love the least is of course the President.

The Tea Party-and-Republican candidate for Congress from the Florida 22nd, Allen West, had to leave our military after threatening to kill an Iraqi, he was interrogating Iraq. Now he claims to have a higher security clearance than does the President. Mr. West also told his supporters that they could defeat his democratic opponent by making the man afraid to leave his own home. And Tea Party-and-Republican candidate for the House from the Michigan 7th, the ex-Congressman Tim Walberg, wants to blackmail the President into showing his birth certificate to Rush Limbaugh. He figures he can extort this from President Obama by threatening to impeach him.

You are willing to let these people run this country? This is the America you want? This is the America you are willing to permit? These are the kinds of cranks, menaces, mercenaries and authoritarians you will turn this country over to? If you sit there next Tuesday and let this happen, whose fault will that be? Not really theirs. They are taught that freedom is to be seized and rationed. They can sleep at night having advanced themselves and their puppeteers and to hell with everybody else. They see the greatness of America not in its people but in its corporations. They see the success of America not in hard work but in business swindles. They see the worthiness of America not in its quality of life but in its quality of investing. They see the future of America not in progress, but in revolution to establish a kind of theocracy for white males, with dissent caged and individuality suppressed.

They see America not for what is, nor what it can be. They see delusions, specters, fantasies, they see communists under every bed and a gun in every hand. They see tax breaks for the rich and delayed retirement for everyone else. They fight the redistribution of wealth not because they oppose redistribution, but because their sole purpose is to protect wealth and keep it where they think it belongs, in the bank accounts of the wealthy. They want to make the world safe for Bernie Madoff. But you know better. If you sit there next Tuesday, if you sit there tomorrow, and the rest of this week, and you let this cataclysm unfold, you have enabled this. It is one thing to be attacked by those who would destroy America from without. It is a worse thing to be attacked by those who would destroy America from within.

But it is the worst thing to sit back and let it happen, to not find the time and the means to convince just one other sane voter to put aside the disappointment of the last two years and look to the future and vote. Because the disappointment of the last two years, those will be the "good old days" in a Tea Party America. This is the week in which the Three-card Monte dealers hope to take over the government. The candidates who want their own way, who will say anything to make palatable their real identities as agents of regression, repression, and corporate sovereignty. They are here, they have energized the self-serving and the greedy and the proudly ill-informed.

And if no other fact convinces you of your obligation to vote and canvass and phone and drag even to the polls the most disheartened moderate or democrat or liberal or abandoned the republican or political neutral, to vote for the most tepid of the non-insane candidates, if no other detail hands you that spark of argument with which to invigorate the apathetic, you need only commit to memory the words of Steffan Broden and Sharron Angle.

She can run from reporters but she cannot run from this quote from January, and all the horror and insurrection it implies. "Thomas Jefferson said it's good for a country to have a revolution every 20 years. I hope that's not where we're going. But, you know, if Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment Remedies." Is Sharron Angle, too subtle for you? Second Amendment Remedies, guns instead of elections, too implicit? Fortunately, to our rescue, to the speeding of the falling of the scales from our eyes, comes the Tea Party and Republican nominee for the 30th Congressional District of Texas, Pastor Steffan Broden. "Our nation was founded on violence," he said, "on tape." Was armed insurrection, revolution, an option in 2010? "The option is on the table. I don't think that we should ever remove anything from the table, however, it is not the first option."

Thank you! The attempt to overthrow the government of the United States by violence is not The Tea Party's first option. Next Tuesday is the first option!

The words are those of Nedrick Young and Harold Jacob Smith from the screenplay from the movie "Inherit the Wind." As the attorney for the man on trial for teaching evolution, Spencer Tracy cuts to the gist. "Fanaticism and ignorance is forever busy, and needs feeding. And soon, your Honor, with banners flying and with drums beating we'll be marching backward, backward through the glorious ages of that 16th century when bigots burned the man who dared bring enlightenment and intelligence to the human mind!"

The angered judge replies, "I hope counsel does not mean to imply that this court is bigoted." The attorney mutters, "Well, your honor has the right to hope." But judge warns, "I have the right to do more than that." The attorney explodes, "You have the power to do more than that."

And you have the power to do more than that. Good night and Good luck.


Friday, October 29, 2010

'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for Friday, Oct. 29th, 2010
video podcast

Video via MSNBC: Twitter Report, Oddball, Worst Persons

Fridays with Thurber: online-only this week
The Catbird Seat, part 3
via YouTube, h/t PresidentObama3

Guests: Rep. Kendrick Meek, David Corn, Arianna Huffington, Faiz Shakir,

Chris Kofinis



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

Kendrick Meek versus Marco Rubio versus Charlie Crist versus reports President Clinton discussed Meek dropping out with Meek and Crist.


GOV. CHARLIE CRIST (I), FLORIDA SENATE CANDIDATE: I had numerous phone calls with people very closed to President Clinton.


OLBERMANN: And all of this versus reports Crist told President Clinton he would caucus with the Democrats.


REP. KENDRIC MEEK (D), FLORIDA SENATE CANDIDATE: My position is that Charlie Crist needs to get out of the race.


OLBERMANN: Our special guest: Florida Congressman Kendrick Meek.

Karl Rove's Crossroads and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are on the air.


NARRATOR: North Dakota's economy is reeling, and Congressman Earl Pomeroy is making it worse.


OLBERMANN: Except North Dakota's economy is not reeling. Unemployment there is 3.7 percent, lowest in the nation. How the country has been convinced of a disaster that is not happening.

The Yemeni letter bombs: Some explosives found in packages handled by private shippers, like FedEx.

Palin talks presidency on "Entertainment Tonight"? And messes all over a State Department attempt to get the American hikers freed by Iran.

And now, she's banned all TV from all remaining campaign events. Can't imagine why after this answer to the question: what is your policy position on the two wars that we're in right now?


SHARRON ANGLE (R), NEVADA SENATE CANDIDATE: The two wars that we're in right now is exactly what we're in.


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


ANGLE: Those were exactly my words.




OLBERMANN: Good evening from New York. This is Friday, October 29th, four days until the 2010 midterm elections.

In the choice between idealism and pragmatism, Democrats may be feeling remorse for not having deployed more of the former much earlier in their fight to retain Congress.

But in our fifth story tonight: One pragmatic no doubt difficult choice has been framed as a potential key to keeping the Senate in Democratic hands - with reports that the former President Bill Clinton attempted to broker a deal.

Let's go first and directly to Congressman Kendrick Meek of Florida 17th district, the Democratic nominee for senator in that state.

Congressman, thanks for your time tonight.

MEEK: Thank you, Keith. Glad to be on the show.

OLBERMANN: For 24 hours now, these various reports have been flying in every direction, that President Clinton had discussions about dropping out of the race and endorsing Governor Crist, the independent, in that race, that there was a date chosen for an endorsement rally.

Is any part of this story true?

MEEK: It's not true. The president came down and performed two - had two rallies for me here in Florida, one in Orlando, one in St. Petersburg. In Orlando, we were talking about the race and the rumors that have been going on for several weeks that I was going to drop out of the race. I told him there was no truth to it.

Obviously, we know as of last night that learned the Governor Crist was not only calling the Clinton aides but also calling the White House and calling me, too. I got a call from him like at 4:57 a.m. Monday morning wanting to talk to me about getting out of the race was a nonstarter. I saw him later that day at an APAC event in Hollywood, nonstarter.

The president and I are good friends. He's held a number of events for my campaign. We talked about the issues. He told about his political past, never once said anything about me getting out of the race. I never once told him I was getting out of the race.

So, I'm here. I'm fighting on behalf of the people of the state of Florida and I'm not going to sell out on them now.

OLBERMANN: Let me play part of what Governor Crist said last night on this newscast about whether or not those discussions had occurred and his knowledge of it. Here's the tape.


CRIST: Well, those discussions did occur. I can tell you that much. How would I know? Because I had numerous phone calls with people very close to President Clinton.


OLBERMANN: Are you saying, Congressman, that Governor Crist is completely mistaken, that he just made this up out of whole cloth?

MEEK: What I can tell you right now, Governor Crist wasn't in the room when President Clinton and I were talking. And I'm just going to put it this way. There's something very wrong with Charlie Crist's accounts of the events that took place.

I mean, he's a Republican that went down and became an independent, still holding onto views that he brought with him from the Republican Party. He's in a three-way race right now. A part of his victory plan is me getting out of this race. That's a nonstarter.

We have people that have voted for me, Keith. He wasn't there. I'm telling you I was there.

President Clinton released a statement even today saying that he never asked me. I never said that I was getting out. So, whatever the governor wants to promote in his campaign strategy is his own account of what took place.

But I can tell you, the people of the state of Florida has rallied around my campaign and gone on They contributed. They are fired up. And people are going to the polls, because this is the kind of politics that folks don't look forward to and hate to hear about.

But unfortunately, it's being promoted by the governor. He wasted not time whatsoever to not only going to your show but other shows, to talk and proud of the fact that he called the White House and he called me, that he called the Clinton aides. He was pushing this issue.

Again, he called me at 4:57 a.m. Now, when your phone rings at 4:57 a.m., either a family member is in real trouble or it's something really bad going on somewhere. And to try to meet with me to get me out of this race is just not a part of my campaign strategy.

I'm working forward. I'm looking forward to being the next United States senator, and we're going to work all the way to Tuesday at 7:00.

OLBERMANN: What would you make then of the statement from President Clinton's spokesman, Matt McKenna and he told "The New York times" President Clinton had come close to persuading you to drop out?

MEEK: Well, I'm going to tell you this: when Matt McKenna, I don't know, he wasn't in the room. I never talked to him.

I can tell you this: President Clinton is a very good friend of mine. We talk politics all the time. Never once did he convince me or try to convince me to get out of this race. And he released a statement today saying that.

I think it's very, very important - and I'm smiling because, you know, you don't come down and do a rally on I-4 corridor in Orlando and St. Petersburg with a goal of getting a person out of the race. So, I just ask people to look at the logic of this whole thing.

And I am looking forward to whoever is behind the curtains pulling the lever, that they will be revealed. But I will assure you this and the people of the state of Florida, that they don't have to count on me - well, they can worry about me. They don't have to worry about me getting out of this race, because I'm not, and they can count on me because I've been there.

I'm the only pro-choice candidate. I'm the only candidate against offshore oil drilling. And I'm the only candidate endorsed by veterans.

OLBERMANN: With all respect to the effort that you made in this race, that latest Quinnipiac poll places you in third place at 15 percent of the vote. Obviously, polls fluctuate. They're wrong sometimes totally. They're wrong sometimes in small degrees. But that indicates a decline from the previous week.

And the argument, if there is one from Democrats who bought into this idea, is not that they prefer Crist over you, but that they prefer Crist over Rubio and they preferred anybody over Rubio, and that you could make a move that could affect that outcome even if you do not or not to win this race. If you pass on that opportunity and in January, Rubio is sworn in as the junior senator from Florida, how would you feel then?

MEEK: Keith, let me say this. Polls are polls. Today, Mason-Dixon came out and said I was at 21 percent. Charlie Crist is just six percentage points ahead of me. The only poll I believe in is one that comes in on Election Day. You're looking at a candidate that defeated a billionaire in the primary election. We were down by 10 points. We won by 26 points.

I am - me in and out of this race is not going to change the outcome.

We've been running for two years now. Everyone presented their case. We're running our campaign. Now, at the last minute, they kind of come up and say, hey, you're the problem. Now, you need to get out of the race now.

Now, you're looking at the candidate - again, Democratic nominee, and I qualify by petition. People of the state of Florida signed a petition to place me on the ballot. It took us over a year to do that. There are people that have already voted and there are people that are counting on me to be their next United States senator.

Again, I am the only candidate in this race: 100 percent environmental record, 100 percent pro-choice record and 100 percent behind the effort to stop offshore oil drilling in this state and willing to get Floridians back to work. I'm not going to - you know, there's not any back room deals with me, and anyone that knows me know that I have been in this place, in this position before. I was born down in the polls, and I work every day to make sure that we stretch (ph) our way to the top and Floridians understand that.

OLBERMANN: But let me finally just make sure I have it straight. The bottom line here is that you are willing to continue to bet that Senate seat that whether it's 27 polling points to be made up in one week or the 7 points that cite behind Mr. Crist that you can make that up in a three-way race in now four days?

MEEK: The bottom line is, is that I'm in this race. I mean, where I am in the polls should not be an issue, Keith. I mean, you know that. I mean, for me to say, OK, now I'm out - now, all of a sudden I'm behind someone I don't believe in, Charlie Crist, please? Marco Rubio, please?

People are voting right now. We have an opportunity to win this race as long as we're in the race. It's just - it is just silly that to even think anything else, and the bottom line - and all due respect and I have a great deal of respect for you - but anyone that believes in democracy knows that you don't surrender the flag because someone says you should surrender. You never surrender.

We changed the Constitution in Florida, making class sizes smaller. If I would have surrendered against George W. Bush when he wanted to privatize Social Security, saying - oh, because he's the president, he has the majority, we're not going to win. We fought and we will continue to fight. And just like the people who have gone on and supported us, Keith, they're going to continue to do that.

I guarantee you this and I'll say it right here, we're going to do better than a lot of people think. And I will tell you this, if Marco Rubio ran the best campaign or Charlie Crist or me, the victor will be rewarded with the people of the state of Florida, a plurality of those registered voters, they will vote for him to be the next United States senator.

To approach me and to release a story five days before an election day to say, oh, you're the problem - believe me, history will show that I did everything I was supposed to do, that I have an opportunity to become the next United States senator and anything else is really off the table.

And so, I think this is a testimonial to my word, testimonial to the people that believe in my candidacy and the testimonial to driving the Democratic vote and the moderate vote here in Florida out.

OLBERMANN: Congressman Kendrick Meek, the Democratic nominee for the Senate in Florida -

MEEK: Thank you.

OLBERMANN: - great thanks and a good journey the rest of the way.

MEEK: Thank you, sir.

OLBERMANN: We'll return to Florida with David Corn of "Mother Jones" in just a moment.

To round up the other last-minute decisions playing out across the nation in the Ohio Senate race, the Democratic nominee has dominated much of what remains in his diminished war chest to his party's get-out-the-vote efforts. Lee Fisher, with no more than $300,000 left in his campaign bank accounts as of two weeks ago, has given $100,000 to the Ohio Democratic Party - this according to "The Cleveland Plain Dealer." Mr. Fisher said he was not abandoning his campaign, that higher Democratic turnout will help him, too.

But Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown has described as spectacular and unselfish.

Meantime, another visit by President Obama to Wisconsin was eliminated, according to "The Washington Post" because the incumbent there, Senator - stalwart Russ Feingold has slipped in the polls to his Republican opponent Ron Johnson.

But the president did choose to campaign today in a conservative district in central Virginia, a district that he lost in the presidential election, though just barely, a district which in 2008 ousted a six-term Republican incumbent in favor of this man, Tom Perriello, Congressman Tom Perriello, who has vigorously defended his health care vote, rather than running from it, as many other Democrats have done in districts that are not nearly as tough.

The congressman is trailing his Republican challenger, but only narrowly.

Today, Perriello became the only House member of this campaign season to get his own presidential rally. He has not voted strictly with the president's agenda. He voted against financial regulatory reform, but the president has singled him out, along with some other Democrats, from largely conservative districts, for making tough votes and for sticking by those votes.

Let's turn as promised to the Washington bureau chief of "Mother Jones" magazine, columnist for, David Corn.

David, good evening.


OLBERMANN: We'll get to Congressman Meek in Florida for a minute. But, first, Mr. Perriello in this district. He only won by 727 votes. He has ridden his health care reform like it was secretariat. Not the same story from many other Democrats.

What's wrong with this picture? What's right with that picture?

CORN: Well, what's wrong with the picture is that the president has had some very significant accomplishments. I think health - parts of health care reform, the stimulus bill, Wall Street regulation, and yet, he's allowed the party of rodeo clowns to define the terms of all these debates time and time again.

Now, maybe that's not fair to rodeo clowns, but, you know, it's put like Tom Perriello and other Democrats across the country on the defensive. You know, very few are embracing these measures that they believed in, and Tom, who is a populist Democrat and who's been critical of the administration's economic policies, you know, has stood by his guns and, you know, that may have made the race close in Virginia.

OLBERMANN: The narrative that obviously will be pushed by the right should the Republicans indeed take the House next week is that Democrats would have lost because they were too liberal. Would even a narrow loss by somebody like Perriello in his environment contradict that, blow that meme right out of the water?

CORN: You know, there are going to be 435 races that we can pick and choose from on the House side to try to come up with a common theme, that Obama has lowered taxes, he's cracked down on Wall Street. These are popular issues. You know, stimulus saved or created 2 million to 3 million jobs.

I mean, those are the issues that, you know, that he needs to fight on and that we're going to continue to fight about after the elections in determining the political story of this country.

OLBERMANN: All right, to the Clinton/Meek/Crist story. Does it look at this point as if President Clinton or his aides were trying to put public pressure on Congressman Meek? Does it look like an invention of Mr. Crist? What is it? How does this read to you?

CORN: Well, it certainly looks like Charlie Crist has gotten desperate in these final days, and it's not good news for Kendrick Meek who's trying to have this come from behind victory that this is what he's on the show talking about it. So, it's - you know, the only person that benefits out of this, Marco Rubio.

OLBERMANN: What - we take, obviously, you take Mr. Meek on his word on all of this because he, as he said, was in the room with President Clinton -


CORN: Yes, I wasn't in the room. I don't know, you know? And, at this stage, I don't think it made much of a difference that they drove him out of the race. I'm not sure that's enough for Crist to beat Rubio.

OLBERMANN: Four days until these midterms - obviously, not just Florida. Has the White House missed any opportunities, any big ones in terms of strategy or message, any deal breakers, decision makers over the top putters as the president makes these final stops? Could he done more for Russ Feingold?

CORN: I don't know how much time do you have tonight.


CORN: You know, the poet Hans Magnus Enzensberger has a line I like a lot, which is, you know, any cretin can throw a bomb. It's a thousands times more difficult to disarm one.

And I think the story of the Obama presidency to date has been, he's disarming one bomb after another and he's up against a bunch of people who are just bomb throwers. And he hasn't made that clear enough as he's had these legislative accomplishments. And, you know, the noise of the bombs, you know, has drowned out the message that the Democrats needed to get across for this election. And that's just been a missed opportunity, I think, from the very beginning of the presidency. And so, at this late date, it's hard to change that.

OLBERMANN: David Corn, the Washington editor of "Mother Jones" - have a good weekend, as much as that is possible. Thanks a lot.

CORN: Yes. It's a tough weekend for some of us.

OLBERMANN: Thanks, David.

CORN: Thank you.

OLBERMANN: The letter bombs from Yemen - attack, dry run or what?

And when FOX is just not enough, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce setting up fake news sites and paying commentators to attack its critics on TV. The spirit of Armstrong Williams lives.


OLBERMANN: U.S. counterterrorism officials say a tip from Saudi Arabia was key in thwarting what at this hour looks like multiple attempts to send letter bombs to U.S. addresses. The packages found in Dubai and in England within the past 36 hours did contain at least some explosive material.

President Obama this afternoon described it as a credible terrorist threat.

The United States packages originated in Yemen. One was shipped by UPS and other through FedEx. They were addressed to two synagogues in the Chicago area. Officials say the explosive device onboard a UPS plane in England was constructed inside a printer toner cartridge.

The possibility that other packages might be in route to the United States prompted a search of multiple planes and trucks in Philadelphia, in New York, in Newark. No other explosives were found.

U.S. counterterrorism officials think the attempt may be connected to Yemen's al Qaeda affiliate. The Nigerian man who failed to set off a bomb in his underwear aboard a Detroit-bound jet last Christmas is believed to have trained for that attack in Yemen.

When economic news hurts prospects of beating Democrats in the midterms, what do conservatives do? Spend millions to convince people the good news is really a towering inferno of disastrous, cataclysmic economic collapse. That's what - next.


OLBERMANN: No wonder Democrats are in trouble this year. Things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. Everybody is out of work and scared of losing their jobs, the dollars buys a nickels worth, banks are going bust, Washington flushed billions down the drain with Wall Street banks, the economy keeps shrinking, taxes keep rise. Everybody knows this.

Only problem is - in our fourth story tonight: when it comes to the last three things, everybody is wrong.

A new "Bloomberg" poll showing the number of likely voters who do not know the correct state of our economy is nearly twice of that of those who do. Sixty-one percent say the economy is shrinking, only 33 percent it's growing. In fact, we learn today, the economy grew at annual rate of 2 percent this quarter, making it more than a year of consecutive sustained growth right now.

Sixty percent say most of the taxpayer money used by TARP to bail out Wall Street banks will never be recovered. Only 33 percent say it will be recovered. Most of it has already been recovered.

The Treasury reporting just this month that it expects to make a profit, a profit of $16 billion on the money it used to prop up the banks and only 19 percent of likely voters say federal income taxes have gone down, 52 percent say they have gone up. More than half are unaware that 95 percent of the nation pocketed up to $400 extra for individuals, and $800 for married couples, and tax breaks for college and lower income families and for renewable energy purchases.

To be fair, not all the government bailouts will make money, but TARP was the big one. And it is astonishing that most Americans are ignorant of its success?

Why are they so pessimistic about the economy? For one thing, rich people keep using their politics and front groups to hit Democrats by dumping on the economy with secret campaigns like one we will tell you about later in the news hour. And also with advertisements that are factual, or as an example you're about to see, not factual at all.


NARRATOR: North Dakota's economy is reeling, and Congressman Earl Pomeroy is making it worse. While he should be helping us, he's supporting Nancy Pelosi and her failed agenda, voting for billions in new debt and reckless spending, including Pelosi's $800 billion stimulus boondoggle, filled with sweetheart deals and handouts to special interest.

Reckless spending, massive debt, helping Pelosi, not us. Earl Pomeroy

wrong for North Dakota.

Crossroads GPS is responsible for the content of this advertising.


OLBERMANN: Except North Dakota is in the middle of a record job boom.

Unemployment is 3.7 percent, the lowest in the nation.

Elsewhere, however, Americans are troubled by a national unemployment rate that is stuck between 9.5 percent and 10 percent with little hope for immediate relief on the horizon. That and the fact that even before the recession began, the economy was in trouble, with income disparities soaring, which is why today's news that profits in corporate America have soared over the past 18 months, faster than under Bush or Clinton or Bush or Reagan, and so on back for decades that would do little to inspire confidence because less of corporate America profits make their way to Main Street than ever before.

With us tonight on this topic, Arianna Huffington, author of "Third World America: How Our Politicians are Abandoning the Middle Class and Betraying the American Dream," cofounder and editor-in-chief, of course, of

Good to see you, Arianna.


OLBERMANN: TARP, we can excuse the pessimism and the growing economy. Very few people will see that in their hometown, you know, down on Main Street. But taxes? How do people - most people not know that their taxes went down?

HUFFINGTON: Well, there are two problems with that. One was that the almost $300 billion of tax cuts were actually built into the stimulus, so when people talk about over $700 billion in stimulus money, almost $300 billion was tax cuts. But the way it was presented, and which was done that way because the president, the administration, congressional Democrats thought that was the way to get Republicans on board for the rest of the stimulus -


HUFFINGTON: - well, as we know, that didn't exactly pan out. And in the process, they missed the opportunity to present the tax cuts by themselves.

OLBERMANN: Did the president earn part of the blame for the disconnect in terms of the message, because he didn't push through a larger stimulus or the structural changes that would have been seen like blooming flowers on Main Street?

HUFFINGTON: He did. And I think what is worse for me, Keith, is the fact that he still doesn't seem to realize that that's what happened. He was on Jon Stewart a couple of nights ago, and he actually said and it wasn't a pun - as he claimed it was, a heck of a job to refer to Larry Summers.


HUFFINGTON: And Larry Summers, of course, was responsible for painting a very different picture of the economy than the one that's unfolding right now. He really did believe that once Wall Street was saved, everything would unfold naturally and we'd now have about 8 percent unemployment if not less and kept going on shows talking about they will be growth in the spring like a chance (INAUDIBLE) and there wasn't.

And my biggest concern is that the president and the administration still don't get that. Because, you know, after all, being president there's no - there's no job that prepares you for it entirely. So, as long as you learn on the job, it's fine. But if you don't learn on the job, it's a problem.

OLBERMANN: Back to the public and this disengagement, willful disengagement almost. It certainly seems that way from actual facts. It seem to me sometimes we're six months away from people consulting magic crazy 8 balls and voodoo priestesses and Ouija boards. Where is this disengagement from reality on that path that you described, towards a third world United States of America?

HUFFINGTON: But, unfortunately, historically, disengagement from reality has always been part and parcel of times of deep economic anxiety and dislocation, whether it was the 1880s when we were deporting Chinese workers, the 1930s when we were deporting American citizens of Hispanic descent, people believe things that have absolutely no base in reality. And we've seen that in this election in an astounding degree.

So, the key here is recognizing that force and seeing what kind of contravening force other than rational argument can we counter it with. And I think the contravening force is the amazing amount of creativity and compassion unleashed around the country in communities, and the use of social media to scale it up.

OLBERMANN: Well, perhaps we can get that done by Tuesday and perhaps not.

Arianna Huffington, cofounder and editor-in-chief of "Huffington Post"

you're getting on a bus now?

HUFFINGTON: Tomorrow morning, Citi Field, at 5:30 in the morning, 6:00 a.m. departure. You're coming, Keith, right?

OLBERMANN: Where are you going?

HUFFINGTON: Going to D.C. for the Jon Stewart "Restoring Sanity" rally. And the reason we need to restore sanity is precisely because of what you said. Because the point of the rally that we're participating is that we may disagree each other but let's not demonize each other, as one of the signs (ph) said, if you're going to put a Hitler mustache on somebody, make sure it's Hitler.

OLBERMANN: That's excellent. Have a good trip.

The second of this story: The Chamber of Commerce has created its own fake news Web site and sent their own fake commentators out there to go on TV and slam those they're paid by the Chamber to slam. That story - ahead.


OLBERMANN: The US Chamber of Commerce secretly paying commentators and writers to spread the Chamber's opinions in the media, next. First the sanity breaks. I think sanity lost.

Here's the tweet of the day from DC Debbie. "I wanted to be a tea partier for Halloween, but I had a hard time walking around with a body attached to my foot. #Stomp." Let's play Oddball.

We begin in Brazil with what else but soccer - football. Two players fight over a long ball, not really paying attention to their surroundings. Probably the stadium was built to mimic the Roman Coliseum and they decided a hidden star case would work well on the field.

And boom goes the dynamite. The player emerged unharmed and play return to normal. Wee! That is until a tiger jumped out of its hidden gage and attacked another player. Are you not entertained?

And then to the Internets, where this man has one question. You feeling lucky, pumpkin? Apparently he thought that using a knife to carve a pumpkin was too dangerous this time of year, so why not a 40 caliber pistol? All you need to do is put the pumpkin on the tree stump and fire away. The jack-o-lantern ending up looking surprising good, but I'm not going to this guy's house when he carves the thanksgiving turkey.

Happy Halloween.

Time marches on. Did you know that a fairly prominent TV commentator, a guest seen frequently defending the US Chamber of Commerce is in fact paid by the US Chamber of Commerce?

We didn't. Next.


OLBERMANN: We told you know for weeks following a devastating report by the blog Think Progress about the US Chamber of Commerce. How it's funding ads in at least 31 states overwhelmingly for Republicans without disclosing who's paying for those ads or even offering any evidence that the money is not coming from its overseas members.

We told you in our fourth story tonight about the sweeping ignorance among voters about the state of the economy in this county. Voters are expected to pull the lever mostly for those US Chamber candidates rather next Tuesday.

Ignorant or not of the fact that the Chamber advocates for policies that benefits Americas richest at the expense of Americas everyone else's. And in our third story tonight two new investigations shedding light on just how the US Chamber pushes its narratives while keeping its own involvement like the identities of its donor's secret.

Think Progress now shining a light on public relations executive John Feehery. Feehery having appeared on air and in print defending the US Chamber after Think Progress revealed some of the money coming in from foreign companies.

What has not appeared alongside with Feehery is the fact that his company, the Feehery Group, counts among its clients the US Chamber of Commerce. And the Nieman Foundation's journalism lab has just uncovered a far more systematic attempt to push the US Chambers pro rich agenda without revealing its involvement.

As we reported one of the US Chambers pet causes is tort reform. Trying to make it tougher for you to seek justice in case some fat cat company's corner cutting actually does you harm. Now that Nieman J lab found out that the US Chamber owns a newspaper chain.

Law journals actually. Law journals that happen to be located in Louisiana, West Virginia, Beaumont, Texas and East St. Louis, Illinois. All of them legal jurisdictions where big business has complained about rulings going against them.

What does the US Chambers secret Illinois paper have to say about the area? A welcome mat to class action filings and lottery-like awards have helped create a judicial hellhole reputation. No mention on any of the newspapers websites of the US Chambers reputation.

With us again on this story Faiz Shakir, Editor & Chief of Think Progress. Good evening Faiz.

FAIZ SHAKIR, EDITOR & CHIEF OF THINK PROGRESS: Hi, Keith, thanks for having me back.

OLBERMANN: Sure, our pleasure. This is all perfectly legal so what's the problem with it?

SHAKIR: Well, the problem is disclosure, disclosure, disclosure. It's been our issue all along Keith and when we've talked about the fact that there were all these foreign companies who are giving money to the Chamber and the fact that they were running these ads.

Seventy-five million dollars' worth from companies that we don't know and we don't know what their agenda is. That's the issue. People deserve to know who's funding them, who's running these operations and what their agenda is and that's of course the case here.

You know I'm hard to see that there's actually a group of institutional investors who's given money to a lot of the Chambers members and they came out today. And said that we want disclosure from the Chamber. So they're starting to feel pressure in their own ranks.

And now you see some local Chambers in New Hampshire, Connecticut a few other places are breaking off. So I think there's some increasing pressure now on the Chamber to have to disclose their change as policies.

OLBERMANN: These papers, these legal journals that you mention do they maintain that they have editorial independence?

SHAKIR: Well, they maintained that. I mean, I think that they're presenting conservative news in a - with a patina of fair and balanced news. And I think we've seen something like that before. It doesn't quite workout as they portray it.

I think, you know the issue with a lot of this is that they have a perspective and they are hiding from that perspective. They don't want people to know. It's almost is as if they're afraid of the agenda that they support.

If they are comfortable with the fact that they are supporting a perspective then they should just come right out and say we the Chamber are funding these newspapers, funding these outlets and we have a perspective and we want you to know it.

But they're afraid to present the fact that they are behind these things.

OLBERMANN: So paint the big picture for us. Its buy all the advertising time you can and now its buy the non-advertising time to the degree that you can. You don't have to buy Fox they were already bought 14 years ago now.

What's the full universe of ways? Is there more to it in the way the US is the US Chambers pushing this pro rich agenda?

SHAKIR: Well, once you open the corporate flood gates of money they come in and they burst in and they're trying to do anything possible to try to help their own agenda. So one of my researchers who's led on this project, Lee Feng (ph), noted to me that if you try to Google US Chamber and foreign, the first thing that'll pop up is a Chamber website that distorts the facts about the case of its foreign funding. I mean, that's the kind of stuff that if you got millions and millions of dollars you're going to do.

You're going to give money to journalist to try to buy them up. You're going to give money to politicians to try to buy them off. And I think ultimately the problem is that we have to have some kind of regulation.

I don't know if you saw the story today about McDonalds now sending in Ohio, sending a memo to its employees telling them that they have to vote for Republicans. That's the kind of thing that we're going to see a lot more of if corporations can get away with the kind of behavior that they're exhibiting.

They're going to tell all of the people in this nation that our corporate interest are greater than your personal interest.

OLBERMANN: So you buy the journalist then you buy the independent organizations that would investigate any corrupt journalist and you buy the advertising time. And you then use the advertising time against those people who are trying to convince you not to use the advertising time the corporate investors that you referred to earlier.

Last point. Democratic administrations traditionally have been better for business. Simple dollars and cents math. How much of the US Chambers agenda is not really about business? How much is just helping the rich people who control the businesses squeeze out as much money out of those businesses and the economy as they can as fast as they can?

SHAKIR: That's exactly it Keith. I think, you know corporations don't see right and wrong. They see - they don't care about Big Governance. They don't care about transparency; they don't even care about American jobs. They care about their bottom line.

They care about whether they're making money and their profits are increasing. That might be good for them but that's not good for us. Greed is not good for us. And I think there's a challenge going on. This next Congress we're going to have a fight over Bush tax cuts.

Whether the rich deserve more tax cuts? Whether financial firms need to be more regulated? We're going to have those fights and the Chamber is trying to tilt the playing field so abnormally towards their perspective that it's going to drown out the American voices.

And the challenge for us is whether were going to step up and allow these corporations to take over. Democracy itself is at stake.

OLBERMANN: JP Morgan wishes he were alive today. Faiz Shakir the Editor & Chief of Think Progress great thanks have a good weekend.

SHAKIR: Thank you Keith.

OLBERMANN: When you can't read both parts of two part tweet that's pretty said. Sarah Palin interferes in a diplomatic effort to free Americans detained in Iran. Because it included birthday wishes to Ahmadinejad and she didn't approve of them.

And after this she says no more television until after the election. What's this? Very possibly the most non-sensible answer to a policy question in this election cycle. And if you're waiting for the conclusion of James Huber's epic the "Catbird Seat" with the press of news on this pre-election Friday.

It available to you online right now at our website


OLBERMANN: The two wars that were in right now is exactly what were in. Foreign policy statement from the would be Republican Senator from Nevada. And when the State Department issues a subtle diplomatic tweet wishing Iran's President a happy birthday and suggesting he celebrate by releasing the detained American hikers.

You know what she does yes she tweets we shouldn't have wished him a happy birthday. There are corpses smarter than she is.


OLBERMANN: Sarah Palin undercuts the State Department's overture to get American freed in Iran and disses Joe Miller. That's next, but first going to have to (inaudible) forks and torches, time for tonight's worst persons in the world (inaudible) in ABC news.

Media Matters confirms that Andrew Breitbart, the comically dishonest propagandist, has been hired to provide analysis for ABC during Tuesday's election coverage, appearing in an ABC town hall meeting form Arizona.

Analyze the elections for ABC News. The guy who couldn't analyze a speech from a low-level employee of the Department of Agriculture? The question was immediately raised in our Countdown office, what could a Breitbart possibly do during an actual news organizations coverage of the elections? The answer - fart.

The silver, Jesse Kelly, the Tea Party and Republican candidate for the Arizona Eighth Congressional District. He was a guest on a radical right wing radio show and was asked by the host Mark Levin about Democratic dirty tricks. And Kelly just sort of took off.


JESSE KELLY, CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE (R-AZ): People have video of them busing people across from our southern border - where our border district, they literally bus people across from Mexico to have them vote at the polls on Election Day, give them a meal and then bus them back. It's been done in the past, so we're really fighting against that down here.


OLBERMANN: Mr. Kelly is seeing Mexicans being bused across the Arizona desert - he must be high on peyote. Or the supposed video tape for that matter - as Mr. Kelly's campaign spokesman himself pointed out, he couldn't have seen them busing Mexicans to vote illegally in Arizona this year because the election isn't until next Tuesday.

As to it happening in the past, a Nexus search turned up no arrests, no investigations, no reports of Mexicans being brought in by bus to vote in previous Arizona elections. Would-be Congressman Kelly apparently just made it up.

Or maybe some of those headless torsos that Arizona's Governor Jan Brewer claims were found in the Arizona desert told him about them.

But our winner, Sharron Angle, a new high in low. A Los Vegas TV station has repeatedly been rebuffed trying to get a straight answer out of her on her national security and military policies.

They finally tracked her down at McCarron Airport in Vegas.


NATHAN BACH, REPORTER: We have many Air Force people (inaudible) Air Force base. We have two wars that were prosecuting right now. You haven't talked about how you would prosecute those wars. No answer at all? You are literally staying silent about the two wars that were in right now?

SHARRON ANGLE, U.S. SENATE CANDIDATE: You know, the two wars that we're in right now is exactly what we're in.


OLBERMANN: What? You have me there. Angle campaign had two responses. It directed that reporter Nathan Bach to its website for a policy statement on the wars, which turns out to be one sentence long. And then it banned all TV crews from its remaining campaign events.

Sharron freedom, except freedom of the press, Angle. Today's worst person in the world.


OLBERMANN: Subtlety has never been her strong point. Nuance, context talk to the hand. But tweets? 140 characters each. Even two of them should not have exhausted her attention span. Yet our number one story tonight as the State Department made another attempt to free two American hikers detained in Iran.

Sarah Palin interpreted that as the US sending Iran President Ahmadinejad a kind of candy graham. It started with two tweets from State's Department spokesman PJ Crowley. Happy Birthday President Ahmadinejad celebrates by sending Josh Fatal and Shane Bauer home what gift that would be.

Your 54th year was full of lost opportunities hoping your 55th year you will open Iran to a different relationship with the world. The sarcastic nature lost on Mrs. Palin.

She soon followed with two tweets of her own. Happy B-day Ahmadinejad which sent by US Government. Mind boggling foreign policy kowtow & cuddle enemies, snub allies Obama Doctrine is nonsense. Americans awaken to bizarre National Security thinking of Obama admin. Ahmadinejad B-day greeting after call for Israel destruction speaks volumes.

Palin stepping out of the foreign policy arena, her area of expertise, to appear last night at a rally in Anchorage her Republican Senate nominee Joe Miller.

The latest poll put Miller in third behind Senator Lisa Murkowski and Democrat Scott McAdams. Perhaps prompting Mr. Miller to tell the crowd that the only left in his arsenal is "prayer". Prayer and several pretaped video messages from Inhofe, DeMint, Huckabee, Bachmann.

As for Palin, her participation at the event seems less about her support for Mr. Miller and more about her personal grudge against Senator Murkowski. The New York Times reported that after she spoke, Palin stood away from the stage with her husband and others for a few minutes, chatting, taking pictures and scrolling through her phone as Mr. Miller spoke.

He never thanked her publicly and she appeared to leave before he was finished. This following comments made to London's telegraph by Palin's Fox News colleague Karl Rove.

Mr. Rove questioning Palin's ability to be president. Like pointing to her involvement in her own reality show. I am not certain how that fits in the American calculus of that helps me see you in the Oval Office.

There are high standards that the American people have for the presidency, and they require a certain level of gravitas. Half-term governor countered that with an appearance on Entertainment Tonight. Here is sister Sarah telling Mary Hart about her presidential ambitions.


PALIN: It's going to entail a discussion with my family, a real - a real close look at the lay of the land, and to consider whether there are those with that common sense, conservative, pro-Constitution passion, whether there are already candidates out there who can do the job or whether there's nobody willing to do it and to make the tough choices and not care what the critics are going to say about you, just going forward according to what I believe the priorities should be. If there's nobody else to do it, then of course I would believe that we should do this.


OLBERMANN: Joining me now, Democratic strategist Chris Kofinis. Good evening, Chris.


OLBERMANN: The most relevant part of all this news here is that Joe Miller event, or did she not see it as a Joe Miller event? Was it only a kind of a get-even-with-the-Murkowskis event?

KOFINIS: I think this has always been about Murkowski. This battle that Palin has had with the Murkowski family dates back years, and clearly now this is the first appearance she has had with Miller, you know, spends 15 minutes and then basically runs off the stage. What she sees is this campaign imploding, and the consequences of that for her brand, not only in Alaska but politically across the country, I think she realizes it's pretty damaging. But at the end of the day, I think Miller had a right, given where the polling is and how quickly he's collapsed, prayer may be the only thing that saves him.

OLBERMANN: This presidency stuff boils down to if there's no one else, she'll step in, if, you know the 200 million or so more qualified Americans all decide they don't want to run. Is Entertainment Tonight her idea of branching out beyond Fox News to the mainstream news media?

KOFINIS: I think apparently so. I'm not sure if this is an insult or a threat to the Republican Party. Either way, it's not a good thing. I think the Republican Party has now officially entered the fifth circle of hell, because, you know, Palin's wrath is going to come regardless of whether she runs or not. I mean, if she runs, she's going to stand on the sidelines and drive the Republican Party to the far extreme right. If she doesn't run, she's going to stand on the sidelines and drive the Republican Party to the extreme right. It is a lose-lose situation. And I think you have already seen the consequences of this play out not only in the Senate race in Alaska but the Senate race in Nevada, in Colorado, in Delaware, where the Republicans had - I dare say this - more mainstream candidates that probably would have been much more competitive. But if they lose, they will lose because these Palin candidates are just completely out of touch with where voters are.

OLBERMANN: The Ahmadinejad tweets - I mean, we usually only know of her policy positions through Twitter and FaceBook, but I mean, honestly, it was half-overture, half-satire in there, and it was double-length tweet. It was 280 characters. Was that too subtle for her in some way?

KOFINIS: Apparently so. But we got a glimpse, Keith, of what it will look like if she becomes president. She will bomb another country via Twitter. Bombs are on the way. Watch out.

This I think again is stunning, given the fact that her entire post-vice president candidate career has been basically twittering about policies or political issues. And you need more substance than that if you are going to run for president.

But again, I think it's her strategy to basically go outside the mainstream media, go outside and not have to have any kind of filter or debate or discussion. It just begs the question, what does she think is going to happen if she runs for president? You can't Twitter on the stage during those debates. You are going to actually have to answer questions and actually do press interviews.

OLBERMANN: And the sort of preview of that, Mr. Rove's comments, is that a declaration of war by Mr. Rove, do you think?

KOFINIS: Absolutely. I think Karl Rove I think realizes what a disaster Sarah Palin has been for the Republican Party. Regardless of what happens on election night on Tuesday, Karl Rove thinks back and thinks, what we could have won had Sarah Palin not gotten involved. And now he looks forward to 2012, and he says, can you imagine the disaster in the Republican primary field if she runs?

And so when he looks in terms of which horse is he going to back, I can tell you it's very simple. He's going to back any horse that's not Sarah Palin. He does not want Sarah Palin to run. I think she's going to run because she cannot help it. She loves the spotlight, and that I think is going to be damaging for the Republican Party. And from the Democrats' perspective, that is probably a godsend.

OLBERMANN: It could run a horse. It would be a better choice. The Democratic strategist Chris Kofinis, thanks for your time tonight. Have a good weekend.

KOFINIS: Thanks, Keith. You too.

OLBERMANN: That's October 29th. I'm Keith Olbermann. We'll see you on Sunday night on a special edition of Countdown (inaudible) presentation of my special comment on the Tea Party. Until then, good night and good luck.

And now to discuss the Democrats' get-out-the-vote efforts in the last four days of these midterms, sitting in for Rachel Maddow - obviously, you have a television, you can see him - here is Chris Hayes. Good evening, Chris.