'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for Tuesday, April 20th, 2010
Video via MSNBC: Twitter Report and Oddball, Tea Time, Worst Persons
The toss: Lost
Guest: Rep. Raul Grijalva, David Weigel, Rob Pegoraro
KEITH OLBERMANN, HOST (voice-over): Which of these stories will you
be talking about tomorrow?
We are "petulant teenagers." Chris Dodd erupts on the Senate floor
over Republican obstructionism against big bank reform.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHRIS DODD (D), CONNECTICUT: Imagine being between 80 percent
and 90 percent in agreement, and yet we are being told by the minority we
can't go forward. Want us to rewrite the whole bill? Is that when we can
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: The Republicans respond with an inexplicable claim that
they are getting their way - that they are negotiating a new bill with
some invisible friends of theirs.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MINORITY LEADER: I'm heartened to hear
that bipartisan talks have resumed in earnest.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: But Mr. McConnell may need instead to talk to a fellow
Republican who obviously didn't get the GOP talking points.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BOB CORKER (R), TENNESSEE: This bill is anything but tough on
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: Arizona moves from pro-birtherism to pro-racism. Police
could stop anyone with or without cause and demand to see their immigration
papers. It is so bad that economic boycott of Arizona is proposed by
Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva. He is our special guest.
Dorothy Height in memorial; Charlie Crist in trouble; "South Park," no
friendly faces, no humble folks, no ample parking, just people shouting
And the plan of Lonesome Roads Beck - not so much a plan as an
ecstatic religious vision.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GLENN BECK, FOX NEWS: God is giving a plan, I think, to me that is
not really a plan.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: And so, this guy walks into a bar and at the bar there is
a prototype of the next iPhone and is ordering a Mojito with two straws and
a little umbrella in it, and the guy says -
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was found by a person in the bar. It was left
by the software engineer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: You know what? Not everyone believes that story is true.
All the news and commentary - now on Countdown.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's an app to that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: Good evening from New York.
Events on Capitol Hill this afternoon suggesting the "party of no" has
a plan "B" when the country will not take no for an answer. The party will
instead take credit for the yes.
Our fifth story: Republican leadership saying a bipartisan agreement
on Wall Street reform is within reach, congratulating themselves for a
breakthrough in negotiations. But the Democrats' point man on negotiations
this afternoon is likening both sides to a couple of petulant teenagers, in
a barnburner of a speech - much of which we will show you.
Minority Leader McConnell appearing to have done a 180 this afternoon,
suggesting that his top negotiator, Richard Shelby of Alabama, believes an
agreement could be struck with Democrats on a Wall Street reform bill
sooner rather than later, while crediting his veiled filibuster threat
having broken an apparent impasse.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCONNELL: Serious discussions have resumed. I think the 41 letter
last week indicating that Republicans wanted to see serious negotiations
occur rather than just political sparring has worked at least for the short
term, and we're hopeful that Democrats and Republicans on the banking
committee plus those involved on the agriculture committee on the
derivatives piece can come together and give us a bipartisan - truly
bipartisan bill we can move across the floor of the Senate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: Majority Leader Reid's office dismissing Senator
McConnell's claim that it was his letter which restarted negotiations. The
statement in part, quote, "Really, Senator? Are you sure it isn't the
blistering criticism you're receiving from closed door meetings with the
Wall Street executives or that even members of your own party aren't buying
That an obvious reference to Republican Bob Corker of Tennessee
seeming to be of two minds - on the one hand, accusing his party of
misrepresenting the Democrats' bill, as well as of having moved the
goalposts on financial reform. On the other, Senator Corker apparently
having again sipped the GOP Kool-Aid, saying this morning that the
Democrats' legislation does not do enough. Quoting the senator, "This bill
is anything but tough on Wall Street. There's nothing in this bill tough
on Wall Street.
Corker and others Republicans are also defending their friends on Wall
Street, openly questioning the timing of the prosecution of Goldman Sachs.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ORRIN HATCH (R-UT), SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE: This whole Goldman
Sachs thing - isn't that a little odd that all of a sudden, right at the
height of this legislative period, we suddenly have the SEC filing suit
against Goldman Sachs?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You think the timing of those charges -
HATCH: It's very suspect. Secondly, think about it. Goldman Sachs
on the deals that they are talking about was dealing with the most
sophisticated people in the business. You know, there's something terribly
wrong here and I don't know what it is. But to do that right at this
particular time, yes, the timing is very suspect in my eyes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: You notice the FOX guy's script was obviously marked
White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel himself is having met with
Wall Street executives this past Sunday night. The "Washington Post"
reporting that Mr. Emanuel met privately with some of the city's top
investors, warning them that the administration supports tough new rules.
And as promised - here's what happened on the Senate floor this
afternoon. The author of the Democrats' bill, Banking Committee Chairman
Dodd of Connecticut, painting a bleak picture of where things stand with
the opposition which conflicts entirely with the minority leader's
assessment of where those negotiations are.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DODD: The letter from the minority leader said we've got 41 votes
here to stop you from debating this bill. When you explain that to the
American taxpayer, to the small business, to the American family and to
others out there who are paying an awful price because of the mess these
institutions, who are today leading the charge against us getting to a bill
- explain to them why the status quo is in their interest and their
Mr. President, those who vote to block this bill will be sending a
clear message to American families, businesses, community bankers and
taxpayers. And that message will be: I'm sorry, but we're not on your
side. We're choosing another side of this equation.
The memo that suggested this game plan written by the political
strategists was written long before even one word was written on the bill.
They were told how to fight the bill that didn't even exist out here by
accusing the bill of leaving open the too-big-to-fail, even though they
knew - at least those who read the bill - that those provisions had been
written so tight that no one could possibly argue that too-big-to-fail
would ever be allowed again under the bill we've written.
And the Republican leadership returned promising that every member of
their caucus would vote to kill this bill before the debate even began.
I have never, ever passed a major piece of legislation in this body
over three decades when I have not had the cooperation or backing of a
member or members on the other side of the aisle - never once - on every
major piece of legislation I've been involved in.
And here we are at the brink of going forward with the largest - of
the single largest proposal to reform the financial service sector of our
country and we're divided. Here, like a couple of petulant teenagers
instead of sitting around and coming together as I've offered for months to
get behind a bill that would allow us to go forward. It's long overdue.
We grow up and recognize this isn't some, you know, athletic contest.
This is about whether or not our economy can get back on it feet, whether
or not we can grow and prosper and create jobs, have credit flow and
capital farm so that businesses and wealth can be created.
And nothing less than that is at stake in this debate and discussion.
And all the more reason why we need to go forward - and to go forward like
adults, like members of the greatest deliberative body - we are told over
and over again - in the history of mankind, the United States Senate, to
resolve these matters.
Now, I've worked for hours with my colleague from Alabama, as he well
knows, Senator Shelby, to the point that he has said and I commend him for
it and appreciate it very much, that we are 80 percent of the way to a
bipartisan consensus. In fact, I suspect that if Richard Shelby were asked
today whether that number was 80 percent, I suspect he'd have a higher
Well, imagine being between 80 percent and 90 percent in agreement and
yet we are being told by the minority we can't go forward. Want us to
rewrite the whole bill? Is that when we can go forward? You got 80
percent or 90 percent, what you think is a good bill, but no, no, we're
going to stop any further debate.
In all my years, I've never heard of such an argument. When I've been
in the minority or the majority, that I agree with 80 percent or 90 percent
of what you written, Senator, but I'm sorry, we're going to have to stop
even considering any further debate on the floor of the United States
I've worked for many hours with the senator from Tennessee, Bob
Corker, to try to get to 100 percent, as he well knows. No matter what was
said in the meetings between the Republican leadership and Wall Street
executives, the fact is that the bill that I'll be bringing to the floor
reflects not only a bipartisan input but good common sense as well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Time now to call on our political analyst Richard Wolffe.
Richard, good evening.
RICHARD WOLFFE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Good evening, Keith.
OLBERMANN: I'm thinking as I listen to this that Chris Dodd
summarized more than where this stands, this particular issue of financial
reform. He really hit about 10 nails on the head right there, didn't he?
WOLFFE: He did. And you can understand his frustration.
But at the heart of it, you know, there have been tactical mistakes by
the Republicans, which the Democrats have effectively seized on, the Frank
Luntz memo you heard from Senator Dodd, but also this meeting between the
Republican leadership and the Wall Street executives.
But even if you take the tactical stuff aside, there was a massive
strategic error for the Republicans. They could not portray themselves as
they did a couple of days ago - as they tried to do a couple of days ago
as being tough on Wall Street while also opposing provisions to be tough on
Wall Street. This whole show was about to unfold in a day or two on the
floor of the Senate where Republicans were going to have to go down there
and argue against and vote against these provisions to get tough on Wall
And over the last month, not only has the Republicans' tone changed on
this, back and forth, but the public polling has shown increased support
for these measures. So, as public opposition to stopping this bill has
come down, then, you know, really, the Republicans' whole strategy just
fell apart right before our eyes.
OLBERMANN: So, where is it actually right now? I mean, Dodd's
frustration, as you suggested, was transcendent. Meanwhile, Republican
leadership is hailing this breakthrough based on what they did and what
they threatened to do, it does sound like when we put it together, this
bill is going to pass - pass comfortably - and the Republicans have
collapsed under it.
WOLFFE: Yes, look, the barrier to this has not actually been poor
Senator Corker from Tennessee who has been working with Chris Dodd all the
way through this. It has always been the strategy of Mitch McConnell and
his leadership to block this stuff just as he blocked health care and try
to pick off anyone who waivered on the side.
The unity has gone for them. They are starting to lose significant
numbers. They needed to lose one or two for the whole thing to collapse.
It looks like they're going to lose a whole lot more, maybe 10. White
House folks said to me, I asked them, you know, are you going to - which
one or two are you going to pick off? And they said, we could easily pick
of 10 or 12.
So, the numbers have been moving. The strategy was falling apart.
When you hear McConnell say, yes, OK, let's go ahead with the negotiations,
it really doesn't matter who gets the credit. It means McConnell's
strategy has moved and the master tactician has - well, ended up without
any clothes on.
OLBERMANN: Does this explain why there was less of an effort by Mr.
Emanuel to conceal his meeting with Wall Street, that this suddenly this -
all the various the sturm and drang that we're ready to see again reenacted
after the various fights back and forth during health care reform just are
not going happen and there was no reason to keep this meeting in which he
laid out the White House's plans to reform Wall Street from Wall Street -
to keep that a secret? There's no longer any reason to do that?
WOLFFE: Yes, I don't know that it was intentioned - "The Washington
post" should break that story. You know, what the White House points out
is that this was not a fundraising session as Mitch McConnell and John
Cornyn's meeting was with their Wall Street executives, that Rahm Emanuel
was going out there and it was just one question among many. What he did
was he argued for reform.
What you have from the other side - from McConnell and Cornyn - was
arguing against reform. What kind of provisions did Wall Street want to
change in all of this?
But the appearance of Rahm Emanuel's meeting in New York, the
geography, the timing - all of that - is really unfortunate, ill-advised.
It could not have been helpful. I cannot believe they wanted that story to
OLBERMANN: So, what happens on Thursday when the president speaks at
Cooper Union? Is that going to be - is he going to take this kind of
proffered insincere olive branch from the Republicans and proclaim
bipartisanship on this and say that it's basically been decided?
WOLFFE: Well, he may well go out and say these signs are encouraging.
But White House folks tell me that the real message here is the folks on
Wall Street to say, this is tough medicine but you've got to take it
because everyone gets stronger. This is about the system, just like the
TARP funds were for the system, not to bail out any individual institution.
This is to make everyone stronger.
So, take your lumps, eat your medicine, and everyone will be better
for it. And drop your opposition because behind the Republicans are the
Wall Street folks, their lobbyists, who don't want to see various
provisions go through.
OLBERMANN: Richard Wolffe of MSNBC, the author of "Renegade" - great
thanks as always.
WOLFFE: Thank you, Keith.
OLBERMANN: Today, we also saw something perhaps unprecedented in
American political history, certainly recent history. A U.S. congressman
saying it may be time for a financial boycott against a state - the state
Yesterday, Arizona's House passed a pro-birther law. Now, both houses
passed (INAUDIBLE) has passed. One that was seemingly right out of a
Hollywood World War II movie, a "show us your papers" lawyer, directed at
immigrants and people who were born here.
Congressman Raul Grijalva - next on Countdown.
OLBERMANN: After the preliminary passage of two measures, anti-
immigration, anti-civil liberties, pro-birther that harken back to 1920s or
maybe the Wyatt Earp days - an Arizona congressman says it may be time for
an economic boycott of his own state. He'll join us.
The House majority whip endorses not the Republican governor of
Florida for the Senate but the tea party guy, the purge of the GOP hive
His plan is called "The Plan." But he has now revealed that it isn't
his plan and, in fact, it isn't a plan, but there is God. God.
And that new prototype of the next iPhone, you found it in a bar. Who
was it left there, by Elvis?
Ahead on Countdown.
OLBERMANN: She was born a black woman when by law, women could not
vote and when this despite law, when blacks could rarely vote. When she
was 17, she was admitted to Barnard College, the women's half of Columbia
University, but was not allowed to take classes there because Barnard was
already its unofficial quota of two black women students.
She was one of the team leaders in the civil rights movement, on the
platform with Martin Luther King during his "I Have a Dream" speech. She
worked with leaders from Eleanor Roosevelt to President Kennedy to
Dorothy Height died this morning in Washington of natural causes. She
takes with her the love of thousands, the admiration of millions, and an
extraordinary slice of American history. Dorothy Irene Height was 98 years
Her death and her life-long fight against prejudice provides an
extraordinary context for our fourth story.
Only the governor of Arizona now stands in the way of an
extraordinarily new immigration bill that seems right out of the pages of
Barnard 1929. It is so heinous. It has inspired one of Arizona's
congressmen to propose an economic boycott of his own state. He will join
us in a moment.
Today, Latino members of members called on Arizona's governor, Jan
Brewer, to veto the bill now passed by the state legislature. The proposed
law would require immigrants to carry their alien registration documents at
all times and require police to question people if they have a reason to
suspect that they are in the United States illegally. Translation: stop
people of color at will.
Congressman Luis Gutierrez, the chairman of the Congressional Hispanic
Caucus, said the proposed bill also infringes on the federal government's
authority to enforce immigration laws and will open the door to abusive
enforcement. Quoting the congressman, "I'm Puerto Rican. I was born in
Chicago. My family has been U.S. citizens for generations. But look at my
face. I'd probably get picked up in Arizona and questioned. Is that what
we want in America?"
As for the birther bill, it has so far only passed the Arizona House
of Representatives. It calls for future presidential candidates to prove
that they are citizens before their name can appear on that state's ballot
and gives the Arizona secretary of state discretion to keep a candidate's
name off the ballot for reasonable cause. And if it became law, it would
presumably apply to President Obama should he run for re-election in 2012.
Such a law could provide more than anything else, another way for the
birthers to sue over the issue of the president's citizenship. Past
lawsuits on that issue have been summarily dismissed.
Let's bring in, as promised, Congressman Raul Grijalva of Arizona's
Congressman, thanks for your time tonight.
REP. RAUL GRIJALVA (D), ARIZONA: Thank you, Keith.
OLBERMANN: I have never heard of a congressman in the history of this
country proposing retribution against his own state. So, I'm assuming
you're even angrier about this than I am.
GRIJALVA: No. It is - we are codifying into law - if the governor
signs this - racial profiling, discrimination under the Constitution.
We're codifying the fact that law enforcement now has a free hand to stop
anybody that looks the part in terms of undocumented people, ask them for
It's unprecedented. It is a horrible, horrible precedent for the
nation. And it - and we can't allow it to continue as though there are no
And the consequences that we can only bring up right now is economic
sanctions. We're asking organizations, civic, religious, labor, Latino
organizations of color to refrain from using Arizona as a convention site,
to refrain from spending their dollars in the state of Arizona until
Arizona turns the clock forward instead of backwards and joins the rest of
OLBERMANN: This is your state. You know the politics of it. Is this
going to hold or are reasonable minds going to come in and go nowhere in
the 21st century, this is not tombstone 1889?
GRIJALVA: Unfortunately, we also have Sheriff Arpaio. We have a
mentality that has made immigration the whipping child for every issue
involved. And I - well, I hope that the governor uses her veto discretion
to stop this bill. I'm not optimistic and I think this fight is going to
be both legal, political and economic.
OLBERMANN: Am I wrong about this - this sort of behind the "Iron
Curtain" quality here that somebody whose ancestors moved to this country
in 1777 could be pulled over and asked to produce their papers like we were
in some sort of, as I said before, Hollywood World War II movie?
GRIJALVA: Absolutely. You know, I'm a citizen. I'm a member of
Congress. I can be pulled over in my hometown of Arizona by local law
enforcement and produce verification that I am, indeed, legally in this
So, it's not just looking to see who's undocumented. The profile is
toward a group of people, and when you make that profile, you make it
discriminatory. You make it fundamentally racist because that's what
you're asking people to enforce. And in doing so, you have violated all
the important tenants of the Constitution and the rule of law.
OLBERMANN: And what stops this from being expanded even further? Not
to suggest this isn't bad enough as it is, and the racism element is not as
disturbing as anything I've seen.
But what if - I mean, I come on now and say Arpaio is a jackass and
my picture now goes up on a wall somewhere, could they pull me over, could
they pull anybody over, anybody in Arizona, any Republican in Arizona and
say, let me see your papers and if you don't have it you are going in for a
GRIJALVA: It's discretionary. That's the whole problem with the law.
And the discretion is not with us. The discretion is with the authorities.
And that's what makes this dangerous. It's a dangerous precedent.
This is where we're asking the Obama administration to intercede, to
say they will not cooperate with this law if it's signed into law. And if
f they don't cooperate, then the law has no effect.
Second of all, it begs the question - if we don't pass immigration
reform in this country, we're allowing Arizona to set a precedent for other
states, other communities to be equally unconstitutional, equally
discriminatory and equally punitive. And I think this precedent needs to
be defeated and has to be defeated on many fronts.
OLBERMANN: It almost overwhelms and obscures this other action about
the Arizona House passing the birther bill. Give me a few of your
reactions to that.
GRIJALVA: That's unbelievable. To give a secretary of state
discretion on who can be on the ballot and if you don't produce whatever
information you're being asked to produce, then you're not a candidate -
it's unbelievable. It's embarrassing to those of us from the state of
Arizona who feel that we're much better than that.
OLBERMANN: Congressman Raul Grijalva, who is one of the great
representatives of that state - great thanks for some of your time
tonight. Good luck with this and we'll stay in touch with you on it if we
GRIJALVA: Thank you very much.
OLBERMANN: Thank you.
Another establishment Republican endorses the bizarro world candidate,
not the governor for Senate from Florida. And other tea party news
tonight: the starting polling showing how its members seem to support
George W. Bush and the Republican Party more than Republicans did.
OLBERMANN: Charlie Crist will not withdraw and the mainstream GOP
will not endorse him - implosion in Florida.
First, Twitter day 13, number follows: 47,000, number of photos I
self-tweeted: none. I was too busy cleaning up the office here. Tweet of
the day, apropos the video the tea party put out just proving charges of
racism by showing six African-Americans at a rally at which they claim
25,000 attended. From Terry Peeler (ph): "Six black folks met near
Washington, D.C., and a 25k white tea party broke out. Rim shot."
Let's play "Oddball."
OLBERMANN: To Topeka, Kansas, where a turkey is unceremoniously
escorted out of a pet and garden store. Actually just playing carried out,
turkey was not unwanted inventory but rather an unwanted guest, having
somehow gotten in there of his or her accord.
I know somebody in there. I know somebody in there, man.
Turkey didn't have his paper. No, no. I'm sorry. It's Kansas, not
Arizona. By means is yet unknown.
Meantime Ardmore in Pennsylvania, watch closely as Mr. Deer escapes
from the RiteAid. And there she goes. And judging by her speed and
frenzy, she may have gotten into the pharmaceuticals.
Police are not sure how that animal got in either. Maybe all these
animals are simply just seeking shelter from that new Supreme Court ruling
legalizing animal cruelty videos.
The lake bed in the California desert and a different kind of mystery.
NASA's space shuttle program is ending. So what is this thing? The new
iPhone? No, the X-37B orbital test vehicle. A new unmanned shuttle
prototype that could be used to send stuff into space once the regular
shuttles have been retired.
It's only 29 feet long and just a 15-foot wingspan. The Air Force has
landed the X-37B in the desert. It's an EX-37B. I'm pronouncing it as an
On Thursday the prototype is scheduled to launch into space for the
first time from Pad 41 at Cape Canaveral. After having spent hundreds of
millions on the project, the Air Force is being secretive about the other
potential uses of the drone that looks like it's going backwards?
Eric Cantor dumps Charlie Crist out of fear of the tea party. Is John
McCain the next to try that? Stand by.
OLBERMANN: Because the Republican Party, as you know, puts country
first, they are reaching out to independents like the tea partiers. And
yet, it turns out on our third story tonight, the Republican Party is now
on record saying their inclusion of independents extends as far as getting
their votes but does not include actually electing a true independent.
Before we get to the smoking gun on that, however, the president last
night said Democrats are in trouble even in California, telling a
Democratic fundraiser for Senator Barbara Boxer not to take her reelection
this year for granted, warning that, quote, "Unless she's got our support
she might not win this thing." A phrasing he did not use at subsequent
events for her last night.
But it is the campaign of Florida Republican governor Charlie Crist -
hoping to become Senator Crist - that grabbed the political headlines
today even as it twisted his party into knots.
The state's primary is not until August 24th but the deadline to
switch parties is just 10 day away. And with Crist trailing his opponent
badly in the polls and even canceling some of his own ads, he now tells
"The National Review," quote, "Damn right, I'm staying in this race."
He (INAUDIBLE) going farther than he has so far in suggesting he might
stay in the race as an independent. Crist telling WFTF TV, "I'm getting a
lot of advice in that direction. I'm a listener and so I'm certainly
listening to it."
Today Senator John "country first" McCain said he will withdraw his
endorsement of Crist depending on which party he belongs to. McCain
telling "The Hill" newspaper, quote, "I support Republicans."
This just 24 hours after House Republican whip Eric Cantor endorsed
Crist's challenger, Marco Rubio, and the executive producer of the party's
Senate campaign committee which endorsed Crist last night, sent an internal
GOP e-mail yesterday predicting Crist swill not win the primary.
And despite the Republican claims to embrace independents, despite his
own endorsement of Crist, he said if partisanship is all that matters.
Quote, "Whether or not you supported our endorsement of Governor Crist, we
all share the same goal of keeping the seat in Republican hands."
Let's bring in "Washington Post" political reporter, David Weigel,
also author of the "Right Now" blog.
Dave, thanks for your time tonight.
DAVIS WEIGEL, THE WASHINGTON POST: Thanks for having me.
OLBERMANN: So there it is, from John McCain, from Republican Senate
Campaign Committee, it's party first. What should independents be taking
away from this news?
Well, that doesn't sound like the kind of thing a maverick would do
but we all know John McCain was never a maverick.
OLBERMANN: That's right.
WEIGEL: Independents are watching. The tea party movement drive the
Republican Party as they've been doing really since April of last year.
The message from this is that the Republican Party apparatus - from top
and bottom - are going to chase out anyone who makes independent noises.
Remember the tipping point for Crist over the past few days -
remember the things going into this. The tipping point was him vetoing an
education bill backed by Jeb Bush, backed by conservative Republicans.
He made a stab towards a more independent position, something liberals
would like. That got his campaign manager to quit. That got an avalanche
of endorsements to go from him to Marco Rubio. So they are enforcing their
ideology here. That's what independents are saying.
OLBERMANN: Correct me if I'm wrong, but the Republicans are pushing
out the guy who has the better shot at roping in independents who actually
wins the Senate seat in a three-way race? Is that the latest polling?
WEIGEL: Well, that they're also pushing out - that's true. The
Quinnipiac poll that came out this week shows Crist winning narrowly in a
three-way race. It shows him doing better against the likely Democrat than
Marco Rubio does.
But Crist's fundraising has really collapsed. And one reason, I
think, you're seeing Republicans do this full corps press against him is
because, as of a political animal he is, there might be some chance of just
getting him to drop this instead of going independent.
It is more discipline than what Democrats did in 2006 when Joe
Lieberman kept making noise about running as an independent. The loyalties
were divided. So I think I think you're seeing here how much stronger the
Republican operation is at top and how much more they're listening to their
base compared to how much Democrats listened to their base when there is a
OLBERMANN: Cantor basically said Crist can be trusted. Is this
election, the midterms - are they shaping up as the tipping point where
the party's last moderates go under for the third time? You know, the tea
- tea tsunami. And what does trusted mean? Trusted what? To do
everything that the whips tell them to do or trusted to do what the tea
party tells them to do or what?
WEIGEL: Well, endorsing Charlie Crist at this point, (INAUDIBLE),
like that, is as controversial as liking the Beatles after "Sergeant
Pepper" came out. I mean every Republican is finding a different way to be
more vocal in support of Marco Rubio, more critical of Charlie Crist.
So, you know, I'm not surprised to hear that kind of rhetoric. The -
you know, what you're seeing is just - if Republicans win other seats in
other states, they're not going to be able to elect Marco Rubios.
If they win in Delaware, if they win in Illinois, other seats that are
jewels to the crown in this election season, they're going to be electing
more moderates. So this is a nice place to focus the attention of the
conservative base right now and convince them that everyone is gunning -
you know gunning for the right targets and listening to the tea parties.
While at the same time they're fundraising to make sure they get a few
moderates in the seats that conservatives can't win.
OLBERMANN: One thing more, David, about the Obama remarks that he
only used one time. Does he really think Boxer might not win in California
or is he basically using his own version of tea party hype to motivate
WEIGEL: Well, the second thing you said is true. I mean Democrats,
for whatever reason, are not as excited by health care getting passed,
financial reform as perhaps be getting passed, as they are mobilized by
fear of the tea party movement.
But at the same time, this isn't all a bluff. Barbara Boxer has
usually won in years that were good for Democrats. In 1992 Bill Clinton
was on the ballot. 1998 the impeachment was happening. So she is in more
danger than before. They are just trying to get enough Democrats in
California motivated if this race falls off the map. And Republicans can
concentrate their fire elsewhere. Democrats don't want to have to defend
OLBERMANN: Dave Weigel of the "Washington Post," thank you for your
WEIGEL: Thank you.
OLBERMANN: You found the prototype of the next iPhone in a bar. Yes,
I found a (INAUDIBLE) Wagner on 49th Street. The famous plan of lonesome
roads Beck. He says it isn't ready, it isn't his, and it isn't a plan, but
And when Rachel joins you at the top of the hour, her special guest
Paul Krugman any time now. Paul Krugman will pick apart Republican claims
about financial reform.
OLBERMANN: The sound of that rapidly rolling boil can only mean one
of two things. Bill-O is about to explode or it's our new matinee feature
At his tea party rally in Concord, New Hampshire yesterday, tea
party/survivalist candidate for governor named Kimball - not even Dr.
Richard Kimball survivalist, said of taxes, "I don't mind paying my fair
share, folks. I don't think any of us do but I do mind if I'm raped. It's
A bit of standard TP bad taste, the newspaper the "Concord Monitor"
quoted a 17-year-old hostess from the T-bone's restaurant there who seems
to have been convinced by the movement that taxes began when she got her
job and when Barack Obama became president.
"I'm currently working," she said, "and he's taking the money I work
for. I have a real problem with that."
A lawyer for Manchester attended. His name is Greg Jones. He said,
"In terms of ethnicity it's a group that represents the country we live
Mr. Jones said that he said that because he is African-American and he
saw two other black people in the crowd of about 900.
What we're seeing here is one seldom analyzed but constantly repeated
reality about the folks who go to the something-for-nothing and nothing-
for-everybody-else parties. They're obviously not the sharpest tools in
the political shed.
Nate Silver's 538 Web site had an expert on the Ross Perot movement
from the early '90s compared the "New York Times" polling data on the tea
parties and those of the details of the Perot folks.
Less than 5 percent of the tea gang said they usually or always voted
Democratic, 33 percent or more of the Perot-istas had voted for Mondale in
'84 or Dukakis in '88. Fifty-four percent of tea partiers gave a favorable
rating to the GOP. Only 17 the Perot followers felt either party deserves
such a compliment.
The Perot analyst also notes that in 1992 that crowd disapproved of
George W. Bush and Bill Clinton almost equally. But he point out the fact
that 57 percent of the tea partiers rated George W. Bush favorably and this
thus takes us pack to the rusty tool point.
If these are really small government, pay as you go, don't burden our
children tax protesters, and not - heaven's forbid - racists and
Astroturfers, why do they toe the Republican line and what are they doing
admitting admiration for the most spendthrift president in American
OLBERMANN: Some guy from Apple just happened to lose a prototype of
the next iPhone. It just happened to wind up being sold to a top tech Web
site and just happened to result in suing $11 billion worth of free
That's next, but first tonight's "Worst Persons in the World." The
bond goes to Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey. Cutting state budgets
and adding Draconian givebacks, mid contract from unions, destroying the
state's educational system.
How are he and his staff doing, though, during the state's best fiscal
crisis? Don't worry. They're fine. The members of Christie's
administration were making $100,000 or more, 34. Under his spendthrift,
wasteful Democratic predecessor Jon Corzine, the number was 18.
A tie at the silver. Revolution Muslim.com and Contemporary Family
Services, a state foster home contractor in Maryland. RevolutionMuslim.com
has posted a quote warning of the reality of what will likely happen to
"South Park" creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone.
"South Park's" latest episode portrayed the Prophet Mohammed in
disguise in a sendoff of the debate's - of whether or not he can be
depicted. Alluding to a Dutch filmmaker murdered by an Islamic extremist
The site says, quote, "We have to warn Matt and Trey that what they're
doing is stupid and they will probably wind up like Theo Van Gogh for
airing this show. This is not a threat."
No. It's a threat.
Contemporary Family Services, meantime, is contracted by the state of
Maryland to place kids in foster homes. Tashima Crudup, a former foster
child herself, always wanted to repay those good foster parents she had by
being one herself so she applied and was rejected.
Why? The agency explained it was concern for the wellbeing of the
child in her care because she doesn't keep pork in her house. Because
she's a Muslim.
Miss Crudup had completed 50 hours of training for perspective foster
parents and even volunteered to make sure any child she got was raised in
that child's religion, and not hers.
So Contemporary Family Services wants us to believe that it thinks the
threat to the kid here was the absence of bacon. Do they place foster kids
in homes of people who were Jewish or vegetarian who just don't like pork?
But our winner is lonesome roads Beck. You have to hear this to
believe it. Especially the last part. Remember his book "The Plan" and
his tour "The Plan"? And his amusement park The Plan? And tartar control
The Plan, and the Plan Light, and the Plan Smiley?
He is not writing it. It's being dictated to him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GLENN BECK, FOX NEWS HOST: Yesterday when I walked out of the studio
I looked at Pat and I almost said to Pat - I said, I can feel it coming.
He said, I know. He said it's just - they are just strong in power and
And I said it's just - it's darkness and I can just feel it coming.
And I started to say, I said the problem is, is that - and I stopped.
Because I don't want to utter something like this without really thinking
What I was about to say is the problem is, is that God is giving a
plan, I think, to me. That is not really a plan.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: OK. So the plan is in the plan. Is whatever it is at
least tell us where to go and who to follow?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BECK: The plan that he would have me articulate; I think to you, is
get behind me. And I don't mean me. I mean him. Get behind me. Stand
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: I'm confused. Behind you? Behind him? You were left
behind? Did you learn this at the university of - I don't remember? But
wait, here's the big payoff where in the plan is accidentally revealed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BECK: Pat and I both went hope and prayed. We both - opened our
bibles, and we found something the next day that I think is important for
you today to understand.
He found one thing. He found the first piece. I found the second
piece. The message was the same. But I think the message is for you
today. I'll give that to you here in just a second. First I have to break
for our sponsor Goldline.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: That's the plan. Buy more gold over the Internet.
Hallelujah, we're saved.
Lonesome roads Beck, now available in one, two, or three ounce
investment nuggets, today's worst person in the world.
OLBERMANN: A seriously improved prototype version of the iPhone was
found in a bar in Redwood City, California. Our number one story, there
are three possible explanations.
A, it was a plant by Apple to get free buildup publicity stories like
this one. B, it was left there by an Apple employee by accident. C, it
was left there by a visitor from the future who traveled back in time to
remember the good old days before Sarah Palin became the anchor of the "CBS
If C, then there's another story about another guy from the future who
traveled back in time and left his iPad here deliberately so he'd never
have to see it again.
The official story on the phone is that the preview comes courtesy
Apple software engineer Gray Powell, out celebrating his 27th birthday -
if Steve Jobs would have his way - his last birthday at a Silicon Valley
"New York Times" reporting the tech Web site Gizmodo paid five grand
for the iPhone prototype disguised as the current model. Mr. Powell
allegedly forgot it at the bar. Editors dissected the phone, posing
pictures and analysis, said, "We're as skeptical if not more than all of
you. We get false tips all the time. But after playing with it for about
a week, the overall quality feels exactly like a finished final Apple
"There is so much evidence stacked in its favor that there's very
little possibility that it's a fake. It's heavier than the current phone,
larger battery, the back is completely flat. It includes a front facing
video chat camera, improved back camera, a micro SIM card."
I don't know what micro SIM card is. "As well as a better display
with higher resolution." I know what higher means. I'm 4 for 20. Apple
senior VP and general counsel Bruce Sewell requested by a letter that
Gizmodo return the device that belongs to Apple.
Apple now has the phone back. Meanwhile, "I went drinking with Gray
Powell and all I got was a lousy iPhone prototype" t-shirt is now available
Joining us now is the tech columnist for the "Washington Post," Rob
Rob, thanks for your time tonight.
ROB PEGORARO, THE WASHINGTON POST: Thanks for having me.
OLBERMANN: Apple is known for great security measures and we know
that it's a standard publishing trick to let a couple of copies of a real
hot book out early, which then turns its discovery and review into a
seemingly legit news story.
How could this have been an accident?
PEGORARO: I go by the principle of least weirdness. It's weird that
an engineer would disregard whatever security measures Apple has, just
forget the thing in a bar. But it's weirder that Apple would then - on
their own - decide we're going to make a fake iPhone, leave it in a bar,
hope somebody discovers it, hope it gets passed on to a tech Web site
instead of eBay.
And the other thing is, you know, Apple likes to script their PR.
They don't do improv. This is way too much improve. I think it's an
honest mistake. A mistake that might - may cost this poor guy his job,
but a mistake.
OLBERMANN: But there are still some details of the story that don't
seem to add up unless you have further details on it. And I appreciated
the guy who originally found it before selling it to Gizmo - said he
noticed that it had been bricked through MobileMe, which of course is that
service that Apple uses to track and wipe out lost iPhones.
Why wouldn't Apple use MobileMe to actually locate the phone? Why
send out a letter weeks later after all the pictures and the details had
PEGORARO: The story that Gizmodo has in a follow-up post is that
basically the GPS part of the iPhone, this prototype, doesn't work. You
know this is a prototype. They wanted to make sure some things work.
Other things, you know, you fix in a later version.
OLBERMANN: Well, that's convenient, though, too. Doesn't that go
against your first conclusion that the thing that sounds - the easiest?
You know Occam's razor would apply to that, too?
PEGORARO: Well, the other thing is, you know, Apple doesn't really
need PR. In some ways this is stepping on their PR between - they talked
about the new iPhone software. They've got, you know, the 3G version of
the iPad coming up.
This is sort of a distraction that's going to get people - if
anything this is going to hurt iPhone sales between now and the summer
since everyone knows look, there's this great new model coming out.
OLBERMANN: All right. Putting aside the origins of it - and I'm
willing to vote for the guy came back from the future and just forgot it
because he had 12 of them within. It looks like it's cool. What are the
features that users should actually be interested in in that new one and
not buy a new one until then?
PEGORARO: I look at the screen. The high resolution screen. That
would be absolutely convenient. You know Apple is now in the electronic
book business. There's this iBookstore for the iPad.
Now I've read part of books on an iPhone. It's not the most fun
thing. But if you could actually, you know, it approaches the resolution
of the printed page. That could be fun.
Other thing is, the second camera. It sounds like a joke but video
conferencing makes it useful to have not just one but two cameras on a
OLBERMANN: Last point. This engineer who was supposed to have lost
it according to the story, Gray Powell, when they officially unveiled the -
- you know iPhone Six, or whatever it is, will he be on stage with Steve
Jobs or will he by that point be a cyborg or what happens to him?
PEGORARO: If he's on stage I hope it's all of him in one piece.
Right now it's probably safe to say he's not the employee of the month at
OLBERMANN: How many do you think would have been out there? How many
prototypes would they have given to how many people in the company?
PEGORARO: Quite possible, there was - I think Apple actually said
this when they introduced the first iPhone. They had about 200 people
testing them covertly. So maybe there's another 199 other employees
counting their luck right now.
OLBERMANN: Well, we all know there are a couple of boulevards in Los
Angeles where every automotive company used to try out their new models
PEGORARO: Same thing.
OLBERMANN: - blacked out. So maybe that's the case. I'm still - I
still think it came from the future.
Rob Pegoraro, the technology columnist of "The Washington Post."
PEGORARO: You're welcome.
OLBERMANN: That's Countdown for this, the 2,546th day since the
previous president declared mission accomplished in Iraq. I'm Keith -
where is my phone? It's a - look, it's a big fat one. You have one of
I'm Keith Olbermann. Good night and good luck.
And now to discuss the bizarre arguments coming out of the GOP on
financial reform with her guest Paul Krugman, ladies and gentlemen, here is
Good evening, Rachel.
RACHEL MADDOW, HOST: Good morning, Keith. What do you think about
the phone? Do you think it was a hoax? Or do you think it was the real
OLBERMANN: I don't think they've ever lost anything in the last 15
years without planning to.
MADDOW: I will take your - I'll take your perspective into account.
OLBERMANN: Wait. There's a call coming in for me. Wait a minute.
MADDOW: As a person who lost a lot of things in bars, I also believe
that you are right about that.
OLBERMANN: Wait a minute. Your experience as a bartender and this
was found in a bar - wait a minute.
MADDOW: Thank you, Keith.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
BE UPDATED. END