Tuesday, November 9, 2010

'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for Tuesday, Nov. 9th, 2010
video podcast

Video via MSNBC: Intro (Keith's back!), Twitter Report, Oddball
Video via YouTube: Intro, Discussing the suspension
The toss: Consecutively serving

Guests: Heather Hurlburt, Michael Moore, Chris Hayes

KEITH OLBERMANN, HOST: Oh. Hi. So what's new? I don't want to minimize my gratitude to you for the kind of support that's usually reserved for like, Chilean miners. I'll be talking about it and the issues and the rest of my little adventure later in the show.

But I need to address one thing right now. I read in a couple of places that this has to have been a publicity stunt. This was not a publicity stunt. Of course, if I had known that all this would happen, I would have done this years ago!


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

The president and the word "jihad." He's just not bloodthirsty enough for the radical right.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The phrase jihad has a lot of meanings within Islam and is subject to a lot of different interpretations.

BILL O'REILLY, FOX NEWS HOST: Mr. Obama delivers platitudes.

OBAMA: This great religion, in the hands of a few extremists, has been distorted to justify violence.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: Why couldn't he say jihad killed 3,000 Americans?


OLBERMANN: Do you mean the way President Bush was unflinching and black and white about it in 2005?


GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: These extremists distort the idea of jihad into a call for terrorist murder.


OLBERMANN: What the right is really saying: The esident-pre is an uslim-may (ph).

Our investigation reveals the real evidence of Mr. Obama's real religion.


OLBERMANN: His favorite team: the Chicago Bulls, who just happen to play in the same division as the Milwaukee Bucks, whose arena just happened to be known as "The Mecca." Coincidence?


OLBERMANN: The Wall Street shuffle. Big business's latest fix, avoiding taxes on their big bonuses. My special guest: Michael Moore - including his response to shots taken at him by President Bush in his new autobiography.

Bush versus reality. Waterboarding?


MATT LAUER, NBC NEWS: So, if it's legal, President Bush, and if an American is taken into custody in a foreign country, not necessarily in uniformed American.

BUSH: Look, I'm not going to debate the issue, Matt.


OLBERMANN: The Tea Party rallies against Michele Bachmann. Ron Paul endorses her opponent for chairman of the House Republican Conference. Plus -


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bachmann is just - is just a loud mouth.


OLBERMANN: And - so how was your weekend?


JON STEWART, COMEDIAN: MSNBC has a hard and fast rule that political donations represent bias in journalism unless you ask first.


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


OLBERMANN: Are you ready? Here we go.




OLBERMANN: Good evening from New York. This is Tuesday, November 9th, 728 days until the 2012 presidential elections.

President Obama spent the night in the world's largest predominantly Muslim nation, Indonesia. This leg of his 10-day Asian tour cut short, though, preventing him from visiting the homes where he lived between the ages of 6 and 10, or the schools - Catholic and secular - which he attended.

But in our fifth story: even though the trip will advance U.S. economic interest and cooperation in the fight against terrorism, Mr. Obama came under fire here at home for failing to use anti-Islamic rhetoric. The trip cut short to prevent the airborne volcanic ash of Mount Merapi from interfering with Mr. Obama's takeoff for the G-20 summit in South Korea. Indonesia, of course, has been a target for Islamic terrorists who struck in Bali and Jakarta in the years after 9/11.

And the president, who was disappointed some in the Muslim world by doubling down on Afghanistan, made the argument to Indonesian Muslims that he believes the U.S. is on the right path to eliminate some of the mistrust that still remains of the U.S.

Of course, Obama's boyhood years in Indonesia gave fodder for those claiming he is a Muslim, despite the fact that his first school there was named Saint Francis of Assisi.

Not surprisingly, Mr. Obama's critics have seized on his remarks earlier in this trip about jihad, in other country plagued by Islamic terrorism, India.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My question to you is, what is your take or opinion about jihad or jihadi? Whatever is your opinion, what do you think of them?

OBAMA: Well, the phrase jihad has a lot of meanings within Islam and is subject to a lot of different interpretations. I think all of us recognize that this great religion, in the hands of a few extremists, has been distorted to justify violence towards innocent people that is never justified.


OLBERMANN: On FOX News last night, even though Mr. Obama's phrasing might help win Muslims to our side, even though he is attacking al Qaeda ferociously, President Obama was criticized for not tossing, quote, "most Americans" some saber-rattling.


O'REILLY: While soothing words can help persuade peace-loving Muslims that we are not the enemy, I'll submit to you that most Americans don't want that kind of presentation exclusively. To be fair, Mr. Obama has attacked al Qaeda ferociously and is not backing down from the Taliban in Afghanistan. But he simply will not - will not define the overall jihad problem in any meaningful way at all.


OLBERMANN: Perhaps you'd like to look up the word, sir.

It was the Bush administration that decided not to talk about, quote, "jihad." Former Bush undersecretary, Karen Hughes, quote, "Whenever they hear Islamic extremists, Islamic jihad, Islamic fundamentalism, they perceive it as a sort of attack on their faith."

Or, as President Bush put it:


BUSH: These extremists extort jihad into a call for terrorist murder. Some call this evil Islamic radicalism, others militant jihadism and still others Islamo-fascism. Whatever it's called, this ideology is very different from the religion of Islam.


OLBERMANN: For an assessment of Mr. Obama's non-semantic war on terrorism, let's turn to Heather Hurlburt, the executive director of the National Security Network.

Thank you for your time tonight.

HEATHER HURLBURT, NATIONAL SECURITY NETWORK: Thanks, Keith. It's great to be with you.

OLBERMANN: Let's actually get that semantic point out of the way first. What do his critics want Mr. Obama to say about jihad and what are the actual meanings of the term?

HURLBURT: Well, look, just real quick, what jihad actually means is an inner struggle to purify yourself or a holy struggle for a moral end. But, you know, who are we kidding? Obama's critics don't actually want to talk theology. There is nothing he could say that would be strong enough for them.

OLBERMANN: The nuance that this president has shown on the issue, it seemed to be, to some degree, understood well by his predecessor, by President Bush. Why is it - why was he so careful in phrasing it that way? Is that important, relevant to fighting al Qaeda and its offshoots and the sympathies for them?

HURLBURT: Yes. Well, the terrorists want nothing more than to have status within Islam as holy people. And using the word "jihad," which is how they want to be described as turning murders into martyrs and saints, which they certainly don't deserve. And as you said, Bush understood that. The 2006 counterterrorism strategy understood that.

It's really not controversial to say why would you give a bunch of murderers what they want? And, by the way, who are the biggest victims of al Qaeda? Muslims. Who do we depend on to give us tips and answers and help us track terrorists and prevent attacks? Muslims.

So, why does it matter to talk to regular Muslims in a way that shows we understand they're not the problem? Because it's the single most important thing we can do to keep ourselves safer. It's just shouldn't be even remotely controversial.

OLBERMANN: But to answer what Mr. Hannity said, as I guess just rhetoric to fire up that side of the equation, what he asked was - why he couldn't say jihad killed 3,000 Americans? Read that to me for its effect on those people.

HURLBURT: Well, let's see - if you're - if you're a teenage girl in India and what you want to know is: do you understand about the threat here in India to both Muslims and non-Muslims? Do you understand what al Qaeda is doing to our communities? Do you understand what it's doing in Pakistan? Do you see us Muslim as more than a bunch of kerchief-waving killers? That's what it says.

You know, when you - when you go around the world and you say, what we know about Islam is that some of you killed 3,000 of us. That shows you don't really know anything about the world outside your country, which frankly is not what Americans want their president - I don't know what Sean Hannity wants - but that's not what Americans want their president to do.

OLBERMANN: He wants money.

When it comes to shooting them, capturing them, stopping their plans -

how, in fact, does President Obama stack up against President Bush in that regard?

HURLBURT: Well, yes, it's very instructive to run through the numbers. If you - if you like killing, drone strikes have killed more than twice as many terrorists in the 18 months of this administration and in the last four years of the Bush administration.

If you're actually the kind of person who prefers convicting terrorists, then our civilian courts in the last 18 months have convicted more terrorists than military tribunals did, again, in the last four years of the Bush administration.

If you like deterring terrorists, then you'll be happy to know that jihadi chat boards are full of people complaining that Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri have gone silent because they seem to be afraid of being tracked by the drones.

So, by a sort of every significant measure you can come up with, Obama's counterterrorism policy really stacks up pretty well and pretty aggressively - which is why we have to fight about semantics. There's nothing else to fight about.

OLBERMANN: But does his background give him some cover in regarding -

taking a more aggressive stance and not alienating the moderates? Does he blow - deal with the tradeoff and blowback there, too?

HURLBURT: Well, it absolutely did give him some cover at first. And, frankly, what he did was built on his background to go out and talk to Muslims at every opportunity, in Cairo, at the U.N. Now, in Indonesia, and say, I understand who you are. I understand the greatness of your civilization and its contributions to our civilization. And I see you as more than the source of murderers. And, by the way, we're going to track the murderers aggressively.

That was working well for a while. And now, I think, you know, you are starting to see here at home especially some blowback that really limits sadly how much he can be go out and be an ambassador to the world.

OLBERMANN: Heather Hurlburt, the executive director of the National Security Network - great thanks. Most illuminating. Thank you.

HURLBURT: Thank you.

OLBERMANN: Cutting to the chase, of course, underlying the specific criticisms of President Obama is the allegation that he is secretly a Muslim, that his secret Muslim faith is part of a plan spanning generations and continents, a plan to put a secret Muslim in the White House to carry out the secret Muslimification of America.

We at Countdown were intrigued by these allegations and shocked - shocked, I tell you - by what we found when we looked carefully into - as you will see in tonight's special report, it all began when Obama's Muslim father seeded his son with Islaminess.


OLBERMANN (voice-over): The Muslim seeded toddler engineered the divorce of his own parents to prevent people from learning that his father was Muslim. In his book, Obama claims that by then his father was no longer Muslim, instead portraying him as something much more popular with Americans, an atheist.

Obama still claims not to know whether his grandfather was Sunni or Shiite. But he sure looks Sunni.

To keep up appearances Obama cleverly violated his Islamic faith whenever he could, fooling everyone by never going to Mecca, breaking the fast of Ramadan, eating pork, and drinking alcohol, having a Christian wedding, baptizing his children, worshiping at Christian churches for decades.

He only faces Mecca from way downtown. Bang goes the dynamite.

He even sent his daughters to a school, a fancy Washington school that was really a madrasa, a fancy Washington madrasa. He never had a beard except for the Jewish people he cleverly picked out to carry out his secret Muslim agenda as White House chief of staff and Supreme Court justice.

The plan was working perfectly. But there were clues for those willing to do the incredibly hard work of seeing them. As a radical Muslim youth, he ran an Islamic journal whose Arabic name translates as "Harvard Law Review."

Islam permits men to take a number of wives - and that's exactly what Barack Obama did. The number he picked was one. And a woman with an Arabic name: Michelle Robinson, who insists on wearing a burqa.

His favorite team: the Chicago Bulls, who just happen to play in the same division as the Milwaukee Bucks whose arena just happened to be known as "The Mecca." Coincidence?

Then what about his legislative agenda? He openly practices Chicago-style politics - just like the Taliban does - extending benefits for the unemployed, including Muslims; expanding health care for all, including every single Muslim in the country - "unless already covered by employer health care plan."

To this day, President Obama continues to refuse to bomb not just one but many Muslim countries. He even refuses to close his secret tropical paradise safe haven for Muslims, just 90 miles from America's shores.

Obama nearly let the cat out of the bag on several occasions, openly attacking a long-time Christian leader, thanking his co-conspirators for keeping his secret secret.

OBAMA: John McCain has not talked about my Muslim faith.

OLBERMANN: Outlining his dream of an Islamic America.

OBAMA: You know, we'd be one of the largest Muslim countries in the world.

OLBERMANN: And bragging about how much he's done already.

OBAMA: We are no longer a Christian nation. There is a mosque in every state in our Union.

OLBERMANN: If few seem to care that Obama is America's first secret Muslim president, it might be due to the popularity of America's first openly Muslim president who won America's heart by turning the White House into a virtual mosque.

BUSH: This is the fifth year in a row that it's been my honor to host an Iftar in the state dining room.

OLBERMANN: Revealing how he came to embrace Allah.

BUSH: The revelation of God's word to the Prophet Mohammed in the form of the Quran.

OLBERMANN: Using the English word for Allah, God, he talked about the Bush family holidays.

BUSH: Ramadan is a time of heartfelt prayer and togetherness.

OLBERMANN: Explained how Islam helps America through tough times.

BUSH: It's a national and Islamic obligation to assist one's neighbors when they are in need.

OLBERMANN: And outlined his master plan to make America more Islamic.

BUSH: And I've encouraged American families to host exchange students from the Muslim world. I've asked young Americans to study the language and customs of the broader Middle East.

OLBERMANN: After getting rid of all the White House Bibles, he proudly announced their replacement.

BUSH: For the first time in our nation's history, we've added a Quran to the White House library.

OLBERMANN: So, the big mystery is not President Obama's secret Islamic faith - but why he won't simply admit to being the second Muslim commander-in-chief of the United States of Mecca.

OBAMA: Assalamu Alaikum.

BUSH: Islam is peace.


OLBERMANN: Meanwhile, you can relax. Wall Street is reformed. That's why its leaders are now trying to overturn the rules that keep them and all other addicted gamblers out of the casinos. In their case, the risky investments and deal (AUDIO BREAK) in 2008. Next, my special guest:

Michael Moore.


OLBERMANN: He's here on Wall Street's fight to regain the right to go to the casino and bet your job and the entire economy on a pair of threes, two face cards and the card with the rules for go fish on it.

Michael also comments on the crack made in his autobiography and I think it was Letterman who said of that book, I'll read it when he does.

Her bid for a House leadership role is under attack by fixed news and Rand Paul's father.

And the entire philosophical implications of news people making political contributions boiled down to 17 words by him. That includes a good joke, too.

Ahead on Countdown.


OLBERMANN: The most powerful bankers in America came together for a meeting yesterday and began to work out how to regain the right to do exactly what they did when they crashed the economy in the late summer of 2008, so that America's biggest banks can undercut the Obama administration's new Wall Street rules and get right back in there and restart that risky trading and speculating which they so spectacularly suck.

Our fourth story tonight: The chief lobbyist for Wall Street banks and financial firms put it this way, quote, "Our focus here is to help."

"Reuters" reports that James Gorman, the chief executive of Morgan Stanley, complained about, quote, "rhetoric," aimed at Wall Street and speaking to the public just days after angry Americans voted against bank bailouts, said the banks need more time to recover. Quote, "It's only two years on. You need a little bit of patience, to accumulate the capital you need," which is weird because bonuses are up from last year.

Morgan Stanley is not the only company that belongs to the SIFMA, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association. Other members include JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, "back of America" - you get the idea.

So, what is it that SIFMA wants to help with? It turns out the same thing the Republicans want. As we reported last week, the day after the election, expected new Financial Services Committee chairman, Spencer Bachus, wrote to bank regulators, urging weak enforcement of the Volcker Rule, which keeps banks out of the risky business that sunk some of them and us last time. Among those practices: proprietary trading, banks gambling not just with your money but with their own, give them a conflict of interest.

SIFMA, too, is very interested in the Volcker Rule's effect on proprietary trading. Here's the full quote from SIFMA president, Tim Ryan. "Our focus here is to help treasury determine what qualifies as proprietary trading."

"Mother Jones" magazine reports SIFMA, last week, asked bank regulators to do a study of the Volcker Rule as soon as the first study they asked for is done.

And if you think it's only Republicans like Bachus doing Wall Street's bidding, Democratic Senator Jim Webb tells "Real Clear Politics" he pushed for a vote on a one-time tax on Wall Street's bailout windfall bonus, he failed. Quote, "I got so much froth from Democrats saying that any vote like that was going to screw up fundraising."

With us tonight on this, documentary filmmaker, Michael Moore, whose works include "Capitalism: A Love Story."

Good to see you, Michael.

MICHAEL MOORE, DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKER: Well, good to see you. And here's a little advice for you. Next time, form yourself into a corporation.


MOORE: Then you can give to whoever as much as you want, nobody cares. And if your bosses have a problem, well, they can just take it up with Scalia.


OLBERMANN: All right.

MOORE: But welcome back.

OLBERMANN: Thank you kindly and thank you for your help in that.

To this larger thing -


OLBERMANN: The Volcker Rule, why is it so important?

MOORE: Well, first of all, I just have to say it's so funny that

President Obama did everything that capitalism in Wall Street would have

wanted him to do. He voted for the bailout. He put their boys in charge -

Geithner and Summers. He did the thing with the auto companies, gave them money - did everything they would have wanted him to do.

And their appreciation of it is to then fund candidates to remove Democrats from the House after essentially he saved their ass.


MOORE: It's so ironic. And it's - the other irony is that Volcker -

Paul Volcker - the younger people may not remember, he was Ronald Reagan's guy, OK?


MOORE: So, he's now considered the lefty -


MOORE: - by Wall Street.

And I just think that this is - what is so absolutely outrageous about this that they want to lighten up on the Volcker, lighten up on these things, don't attack us so much.

Are you kidding me? After what you did to this economy? After - again, short memory span -


MOORE: - let's remind people what they did was they encouraged all of their bank officers and loan officers to give loans, mortgages that they shouldn't have been granting.


MOORE: OK. And they resold those. They bundled them up and sold them off to make money off it and then they took bets against those mortgages that they knew were going to collapse so that they can make even more money. And then after the house of cards came down, they wanted you and I to pay for it and their - it just - the fact that they are even asking for this when they should be in prison.


MOORE: This is what I - I mean, seriously, are you - I just -

OLBERMANN: This is the greatness of capitalism. This is it. It's like - oh, we have all the money. Print some more. We don't have enough all the money.

MOORE: Yes. And let me kick you in the face while I'm doing it.

OLBERMANN: Right. And then charge you for using my boot.

MOORE: Exactly. Is it possible that we are going - we are going to see Roger Clemens in prison before any of the people that created the crash of this? I mean, a guy who - I mean, seriously -



OLBERMANN: That's the answer.

MOORE: He will go - he will go somewhere, but these guys won't.

OLBERMANN: To make this not look like a Republican thing only, the Jim Webb claim that Democrats refused to tax Wall Street bonuses because it would hurt Democratic fundraising, do you buy that?

MOORE: Yes. Absolutely, sure. Yes, yes. Of course. Of course.

I mean, let's - I mean, President Obama's number one private contributor were the PACs and people connected to Goldman Sachs.


MOORE: I mean, that's the - that's just a fact. And so, that's why I think he was very much in their corner. He was very much willing to do, carry the water for them, so to speak. And he got rewarded with that last Tuesday. I hope he comes back from this now and he just goes, OK, that's enough, boys.


MOORE: We're going to take you on now.

OLBERMANN: All right. Finally, later on we're going to through what's been - what's been missed in the Bush autobiography. But you're in it. Do you want a chance to respond to what your - what he's got - this craziness?

MOORE: Yes. Well, first of all, great to see President Bush back. You know, it's the short attention span. We missed - we actually needed him a couple weeks ago to remind ourselves who was responsible for these two wars, who was responsible for this crash on Wall Street, who created this mess that our grandchildren will be cleaning up. Nice to see him back.

I wish that NBC itself had a little more balance and a little more -

I mean, I just - I mean, I'm just not that I'm taking this personally, but I - he trashes me in his book, and he makes a reference between Osama bin Laden and myself. I mean, that shows how insane and crazy these Republicans are and have gotten.

And - you know, I mean, I made a film. This is what upset him. I made a film and I showed how he sat there for seven minutes -


MOORE: - after he was told the nation is under attack and then he just sit there reading "My Pet Goat."

OLBERMANN: He needed to know how it turned out.

MOORE: And other things I pointed out in the film, in terms of his connection to how the war happened and how he and Halliburton and the others were going to make money from it. I would love it actually if my plea - if (INAUDIBLE) anyone who's watching here at G.E., if they would - if they - I will give them for free "Fahrenheit 9/11" to run on NBC -


MOORE: - as balance to all the publicity they have been giving President Bush this week and his answers about, you know, the worst thing that happened to him was Kanye West and all this. I hope we never forget what this man did.

Parents, tonight, thousands of them sit at home, their children no longer with them because of a war that was essentially a lie. So, that's my answer to Mr. Bush.

OLBERMANN: A hell of an answer it is. Michael Moore, it's a pleasure to have you back.

MOORE: It's nice that you're still here. Please don't leave.


OLBERMANN: Good to see you, my friend. Wish I were in the book.

Michele Bachmann gets thrown under the bus by FOX and the symbolic leader of the Tea Party. This alone was worth coming back to work for. Chris Hayes joins us next.


OLBERMANN: Rand Paul pro earmarks? Ron Paul anti-Michele Bachmann? The Tea Party's latest strange brew next. First, the sanity break and the Tweet of the day. It's from one of my Twitter friends, my Tweep, Jake Tapper of ABC News. "Congrats to Keith Olbermann for his nomination to a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council. Sorry, Conan O'Brien."

U.N. Security Council? Nobody tells me anything around here.

Let's play Oddball.

We begin in Swabadsin (ph), in Poland, where over the weekend the finishing touches were put on the world's largest statue of Jesus. Of course, by finishing touches I mean they put his head on. This big freaking statue is now the largest structure of Jesus in the world, surpassing Christ the Redeemer in Brazil. The still-unnamed statue stands 170 feet high, including the golden crown, and gives you yet another chance to say, without anybody being able to criticize you, Jesus Christ, that's a big statue.

And in Abentura (ph), Florida, Dr. Lewis Stein has just turn 107 years old. There is only one way to appropriately celebrate, dancing. The swinging senior citizen celebrated his big day with what we call a centenarian shuffle. And why not? However, somebody has an appointment to see the doctor tomorrow.

Time marches on.

The father of the Tea Party goes after Michele Bachmann. Chris Hayes on what exactly is in that teapot next.


OLBERMANN: As far as straight-up conservatism goes, there isn't much daylight between Minnesota's Michele Bachmann and her opponent in the race to become the next House Republican spokesperson. But symbolically, Michele Bachmann, the founding of the House Tea Party Caucus, is Tea Party personified. In our third story, her hopes of becoming the fourth ranking Republican in the House appear to be in trouble.

Of course, Bachmann thinks she deserves that job, telling "Politico" today, quote, "I have" - "I have been able to bring a voice and motivate people to, in effect, put that gavel in John Boehner's hands so that Republicans can lead going forward."

She brings a voice all right. She claims the support of Representative Gohmert of Texas and King of Iowa. The she does not have the support of Pence, Cantor or Paul Ryan. Today, the original Tea Partier, Ron Paul, joined Pence, Cantor and Ryan in endorsed Jeb Hensarling, not Michele Bachmann, for Republican House chair. Asked about the rising establishment tide working against her, Bachmann told Fox PAC about her new creative idea to get her message to the peoples.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What does it signal to you when you hear from party leadership that say they want someone else and not you?

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), MINNESOTA: Well, I think that, again, we need to make sure that the House leadership reflects charting a new course, which the American people want us to do. I bring new energy, new ideas. I have been very successful in effectively communicating with people across the country.

For instance, I would love to see all of our members have at least 100,000 people on their Facebook page.


OLBERMANN: Great. Now Henserling is going to steal Twitter. It gets worse, Ms. Bachmann. Today, her home state newspaper, the "Minneapolis Star Tribune," which did not endorse her reelection, decimated her leadership bid in an editorial. To quote, "Bachmann has specialized in nothing but campaign flame throwing and falsehoods, the most recent of which is the ridiculous claim that President Obama spent 200 million dollars a day on his trip to India. Her 40 plus appearances on Fox News since the beginning of the year also raise a logistical question. How would she have time for additional House leadership responsibilities? Her time is spent caucusing with Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck."


Obviously, she needs to do more caucusing with conservative commentator Mort Kondracke.


MORT KONDRAKE, CONSERVATIVE COMMENTATOR: There is no difference on policy that I can tell between Henserling and Bachmann at all. Bachmann is just a loud mouth.


OLBERMANN: Joining me now is non-loud mouth Chris Hayes, the Washington editor of "The Nation" and MSNBC contributor. Good evening, Chris.

CHRIS HAYES, "THE NATION": Good evening, Keith.

OLBERMANN: The highest profile Tea Party member in the House, the person who founded its caucus, pushed aside. Explain the significance, please.

HAYES: Well, look, here is the thing about leadership elections: they are a lot like student body elections, in that they generally are not decided on grand ideological questions. They are decided on personal popularity and relationships. You see this whenever you have these leadership fights. There is a sort of tendency to try to read in some kind f ideological valance to it. But on both Democratic side right now, in terms of what's going on with Hoyer and Clyburn, and in this Bachmann/Hensarling fight, I don't think there is a lot of ideological stakes in it.

I think what it says is that the colleagues of Michele Bachmann are not crazy about Michele Bachmann.

OLBERMANN: So she's just kind of like a darker haired Tracy Flick.

HAYES: Right.

OLBERMANN: We saw many of the Tea Party candidates for Senate once scrutinized after their primaries - O'Donnell, Buck, Angle - just sort of collapse under that white light and scurry away. Is this now happening to Bachmann? Is she getting scrutiny that she never previously had to endure?

HAYES: She is. Although, in some ways, she got her scrutiny up front. It was in 2008 that she said that crazy thing on this network to Chris Matthews about the investigation of the un-Americanness, and managed to turn what should have been a totally safe election into a hotly contested one. I think her opponent at the time raised something like a million dollars over the Internet in very short space of time.

She sort of narrowly survived that. Since then, she's kind of only gotten stronger, and partly because of this weird kind of politico-media complex that is the Fox News Republican party symbiosis, in which you have all this sort of cluster of figures who are kind of both politicians and media figures. And Bachmann is the only one who is a sitting elected representative who is kind of in that universe.

OLBERMANN: This - the news from the Senate in this day of weirdness from the Tea Party - Mr. DeMint issued a statement today. He says he has the support of ten senators for a plan to suspend earmarking. Among the ten senators is Senator Elect Rand Paul. But over the weekend in the "Wall Street Journal," they wrote "Paul will fight for Kentucky's share of earmarks and federal pork, as long as it is doled out transparently."

The Paul people say that's not exactly what he meant. But the "National Review" is now wondering aloud is Rand Paul already selling out? Is he?

HAYES: I love this story.


HAYES: Because from the beginning, it was always clear. There was always a narrative about the class of '94, right, the Gingrich revolution, that was this idea that we came to Washington to change Washington, and we were going to have term limits for Congress and ban earmarks and do all this stuff that was going to make - and, of course, they just became totally corrupt institutionalists who used the power of the state to enrich their friends and contractors and then get big lobbying contracts.

And then they said, oh, Washington changed us. Now they're back saying, no, no, we are furious this time. This time - forget what happened last time. This time, it's the real deal. You are going to see the exact same thing happen. Earmarks is - I don't think it is a big policy issue with huge stakes. It's a tiny sliver of the budget. But on this sort of - on the kind of quickness of the road to ruin for the supposed ideological purity of the new Republican class, I would bet a lot of money that they will not get rid of earmarks.

Let's remember, Mitch McConnell is one of the top earmark getters in the entire Congress. So it's a really good thing to keep an eye on.

OLBERMANN: Earmarks? We thought you meant Karl Marx. Chris Hayes - run with it. Chris Hayes of "The Nation," thanks as always, Chris.

HAYES: Thank you, Keith.

OLBERMANN: So Mitch McConnell told him to withdraw troops in 2006 because it would help Republicans in the midterms. Other gems that are falling out of the Bush autobiography like bed bugs.

For some of us, it's been a four day weekend full of gems. Details, correction, apologies and jokes about the - you know. And when Rachel joins you at the of the hour, don't be lame in the lame duck. Do something. Tax cuts, repeal DADT. Her guest is Ed Schultz.


OLBERMANN: We have been and will be, as Michael Moore pointed out, living with the decisions he made for quite some time, the decision to go to war, the decision to torture, the decision to watch New Orleans as it drowned. But in our number two story, never one for much introspection, former President George Bush hopes all his decisions will influence your decision now to buy his book. His memoir "Decision Points" is now officially out.

As we hear more from his interview with Matt Lauer and now today a sit-down with Oprah Winfrey. First, Mr. Bush defending his decision to continue reading "My Pet Goat" with school children after learning the country was under attack on 9/11.


GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I am not going to debate the critics as to whether or not I was in shock or not. I wasn't. And they can read the book and they can draw their own conclusion.


OLBERMANN: And following 9/11, Mr. Bush not apologizing for his decision to go to war with Iraq, partly because he's still trying to link Saddam Hussein to weapons of mass destruction.


OPRAH WINFREY, "OPRAH": We wouldn't have gone to war had there not been a case for weapons of mass destruction.

BUSH: Well, he was a threat. The interesting thing that happened after he was removed is they sent - we had a team of inspectors go in who reported that he was equally dangerous. We may not have found the vials, but he had the capacity to make weapons.


OLBERMANN: Is this before or after he was dead? Mr. Bush also explained his decision to torture.


BUSH: So I said to our team are the techniques legal? And a legal team said, yes, they are. I said, use them.

MATT LAUER, "THE TODAY SHOW": Why is water boarding legal, in your opinion?

BUSH: Because the lawyers said it was legal. They said it did not fall within the Anti-Torture Act. I'm not a lawyer. And - but you've got to trust the judgment of people around you, and I do.


OLBERMANN: Mr. Bush dismissing criticism from former 9/11 Commission co-chair Tom Cane, the Republican who previously asserted Mr. Bush got his own people to give him the legal opinions that he wanted. Mr. Bush's advice for Mr. Cane, buy the book.


BUSH: He obviously doesn't know. I hope Mr. Cane reads the book. That's why I have written the book. They can draw whatever conclusion they want.


OLBERMANN: Yeah, that's why he wrote it. Mr. Bush insisting those so-called techniques saved lives.


LAUER: If it's legal, President Bush, than if an American is taken into custody in a foreign country, not necessarily a uniform -

BUSH: Look, I'm not going to debate the issue, Matt.

LAUER: I'm just asking, would it be OK for a foreign country to water board an American citizen?

BUSH: All I ask is that people read the book.


OLBERMANN: Then there was the decision to ignore then GOP Senate Whip Mitch McConnell. Bush writes that McConnell asked him to bring troops home from Iraq before the 2006 midterms, because it would help the Republican party out. Instead, the president increased the number of troops as part of the surge. Nevertheless, his decision to be what he characterizes as a pro-life president came from an experience with his staunchly pro choice mother.

Mr. Bush detailing - thanks a lot for this - Barbara Bush's decision to show her teenaged son the remains of her miscarriage.


BUSH: No question that affected me, my philosophy, that we should respect life.


OLBERMANN: And explains everything about him. What about those lives so desperate for help in the chaos following Katrina?


BUSH: It looked like a nuclear bomb had hit the coast. I shouldn't have flown over and looked. I made a mistake.


OLBERMANN: She got him to say "nucular" again. No mistake made in the decision to call into Rush Limbaugh this afternoon. Tokyo Rose asking Mr. Bush to weigh in on Arizona's Papers Please Law.


BUSH: Now you see, you're trying to get me to make news. I don't want to make news. I want to sell books, of course.


OLBERMANN: So the takeaway here is he don't care what you think of him. He wants you to buy his book. I endorse this. Hell, we all need toilet paper.

Next, just my luck, I get a four-day weekend after the World Series is over.


OLBERMANN: I'd like to close tonight by discussing something that I'm sure has happened to you dozens of times in your own life. You know, when there is a petition supporting you and it winds up being signed by 300,000 people and you get 21,000 Tweets in 72 hour period, and then you are invited to be on television because you aren't on television, because they want you to be the lead story on "Good Morning, America" and "Larry King" and "Letterman," and you break the traffic records on the "Huffington Post," and you're on the front page of the "New York Times" without being dead or in jail or Charlie Sheen or something.

Well, maybe you are used to it, but for me it was kind of a surprise. All I can seriously say is I'm stunned and grateful and it still feels like a universal hug.

I owe you three apologies. Foremost for having subjected to all this unnecessary drama. The White House is on the phone for you. Seriously?

Another for not having known by observation, since it is not in my contract, that NBC had rules about getting permission for making political donations, even though any rule like that in any company is probably not legal.

The third apology, meanwhile, is very specific and it doubles as a correction. It is accurate that I contributed to the campaigns of Attorney General Conway, Congresswoman Giffords and Congressman Grijalva on the same day I interviewed Mr. Grijalva. But the reporting I've seen has just sort of assumed that I donated then interviewed, and so I should have disclosed it when I interviewed.

The sequence was, in fact, the reverse. I didn't even think about contributing until hours after the interview with Representative Grijalva. If I had come on the air the next day and said, hey, I contributed to Grijalva and Giffords and Conway last night, knowing the way you responded to stories like the free health care clinics and the Cranick (ph) family in Tennessee, there would have been a lot of donations to them. And then suddenly I'm fund-raising for them, passive aggressively, and we're accidentally Fox.

However, the day after the donations, I included the opponent in the race against Congresswoman Giffords in the old Worst Persons segment. I never made the connection that he, Jesse Kelly, was running against her. And I should have either made it clear I had contributed to her or, better still, just dropped him from the segment. So I apologize to you and Mr. Kelly.

There's one more point on the ethics of the thing and disclosure, and I'll save that for the end. After I play the late night comedians jokes about me which I will do after a few personal thanks.

I would like to name all 300,000 signatories to the petition, but obviously I can't. Anyway, 99 percent of them were my relatives. I would like to thank the columnists and commentators and reporters who gave their support, or at least a fair hearing, and especially those in that group with whom my politics do not overlap. Jonah Goldberg, William Kristol and Dana Loesch probably treated me better than I would have treated them. Rick Sanchez clearly did that. They get my thanks and respect, although they probably wish they didn't.

Three more. Let me thank Thomas Roberts for filling in, and Chris Hayes for not filling in. And, of course, let me thank dear Rachel for saying so much when saying anything would have been enough.

Now let the party begin.


JAY LENO, "THE TONIGHT SHOW": Here's a story you may have heard about. MSNBC New Anchor Keith Olbermann will be back to work on Wednesday after being suspended without pay for giving campaign contributions to Democratic candidates, which is against the rules at MSNBC. See, if only he'd done like Eliot Spitzer and given his money to hookers, he would have gotten his own prime time show on CNN. See?


OLBERMANN: See, John Klein? I told you that's how we should have done it. OK, so that was Jay. Then there was Jon Stewart. We criticized each other a week back. I have to say I took the spirit of his larger meaning, and, as a result, benched Worst Persons. I think he took the spirit of my larger meaning, and he described parts of his rally as inartful.

But back to the subject of me. On that topic, Jon promptly hit a series of tape measure home runs.


JON STEWART, "THE DAILY SHOW": That's the great thing about America. We all have the freedom to have our own opinions and say and do what we wish.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: MSNBC has suspended Keith Olbermann for making political donations.

STEWART: Almost everybody has that right. It seems on Friday, Keith broke an MSNBC rule by making campaign donations without first obtaining permission from the network, because MSNBC has a hard and fast rule that political donations represent bias in journalism, unless you ask first.


OLBERMANN: I read somebody's 10,000 word essay on journalistic ethics of donations and Jon just boiled it down to 17, with a P.S. of 21 words.


STEWART: You learn your manners, boy, or I will knock you down to host of "Headliners & Legends" so fast your head will spin. Anyway, Olbermann was suspended indefinitely. I mean, it's bad enough they already suspended his mustache. Boom! Boom! Oh, that was gratuitous.


OLBERMANN: No, it wasn't. It was a bad mustache. I looked like I was dressed up for Halloween as Ming the Merciless from Flash Gordon.


STEWART: Anyway, suspended indefinitely. There is no telling how long it will be until we see Keith Olbermann again.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: MSNBC says Keith Olbermann will be back on the air tomorrow night.

STEWART: Lesson learned. Yes, MSNBC, it's a stupid rule, but at least it was enforced poorly.


OLBERMANN: It's not a stupid rule here or anywhere else. It just needs debate about it. It needs to be adapted to the realities of 21st century journalism.

To wrap this up, I will say something utterly contrarian about this. I think we saw where the political contribution system is working for transparency in democracy and where it is failing transparency and democracy. I made legal political contributions, as a U.S. citizen, near Midnight eastern on Thursday, October 28th. By 10:00 p.m. Eastern on Thursday night, November 4th, those contributions were public knowledge.

That's the point. I gave and you found out and you judged me, for good or for ill, as you felt appropriate. If I had given the money through the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, you would have never, ever known.

That's November 9th, seven days since the Republicans took control of the House. Mr. Boehner, where are the jobs?

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

Now to discuss what Democrats can and need to do during the lame duck session of Congress, ladies and gentlemen, here is the longest consecutively servicing - appearing anchor on MSNBC, Rachel Maddow. Good evening, Rachel.