Wednesday, November 2, 2011

'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011
video 'podcast'

#ShowPlug 1: Worst police abuse yet as cop holds #OccupyTulsa protestor's head, pepper-sprays him in face. Occupy round-up

#ShowPlug 2: General Strike coverage with Gabriel Thompson of @TheNation and Tim Simons of @OccupyOakland

#ShowPlug 3: #OWS marches in solidarity with injured protestor #ScottOlsen. His friend Joshua Shepherd of @IVAWSF joins me

#ShowPlug 4: Six Democratic senators introduce Constitutional Amendment to overturn Citizens United; @SenatorSanders joins me

#ShowPlug 5: Third alleged victim in Herman Cain case comes forward, as does a "witness" - who just happens to work for Rick Perry

#ShowPlug Last: Cain also whiffs on Chinese nukes; & the Goldline scam artists of Glenn Beck infamy face 19 criminal fraud counts

watch whole playlist

#5 Breaking news on Occupy protests, Gabriel Thompson

#5 Breaking news on Occupy protests, Tim Simons

#4 Breaking news on injured Marine Scott Olsen, Joshua Shepherd
YouTube, (excerpt)

# Time Marches On!

#3 'Campaign Cash', Sen. Bernie Sanders
YouTube, (excerpt)

#2 Worst Persons: Gov. Jan Brewer, Herman Cain, Glenn Beck, YouTube

#1 'Cain't Comment?', Alexander Burns

[8:17] Still story-chasing tonight: After rumors of GW Bush at Goldman-Sachs, #OWS protestors went there, chanting "Arrest George Bush"

[8:29] From our producer at the scene of #WheresW - #OWS protestors heading back to Zuccotti Park from Goldman-Sachs; rumor never confirmed

[8:45] RDevro: NYPD told us step back, 5 cars-2 NYPD, 3 unmarked-sped out of Goldman Sachs. I asked a white shirt if it was Bush. He said, "Yeah." #ows

[8:56] Our producer-reporter Erica Ferrari confirms from her sources: George W. Bush WAS at Goldman-Sachs HQ when #OWS headed there

[9:00] Marchers left Godman-Sachs to return to Zuccotti Park; upon confirmation Bush was there, they headed back, by which point he was goner

[9:00] And so, President Bush was NOT subjected to a citizens' arrest by #OWS at Goldman Sachs.

printable PDF transcript

Categories: Show Transcripts

KEITH OLBERMANN: Which of these stories will you be talking about tomorrow?

Brutal conduct by police against Occupy protesters rivaling anything seen to date. Tulsa, Oklahoma - as a cop holds a man's head, and pepper sprays him directly in the eyes.

(Excerpt from video clip) DEPUTY CHIEF WEBSTER: Pepper spray is used in cases where there is resistance. In this case, it was used only on persons who were actively resisting arrest.

OLBERMANN: The general strike at Occupy Oakland.

(Excerpt from video clip) CAT BROOKS: Today is about saying no to the one percent, saying yes for the 99 percent and letting them know that you can disregard our humanity, but there is something we have that you care about, and that's buying power.

OLBERMANN: Solidarity with injured Occupy Oakland protester Scott Olsen. Our guest, Joshua Sheperd of Occupy San Francisco - at Occupy Wall Street.

(Excerpt from video clip) JOSHUA SHEPERD: My friend Scott -

(Excerpt from video clip) CROWD: My friend Scott -

(Excerpt from video clip) SHEPERD: - was utilizing -

(Excerpt from video clip) CROWD: - was utilizing -

(Excerpt from video clip) SHEPERD: - his freedom of speech -

(Excerpt from video clip) CROWD: - his freedom of speech -

(Excerpt from video clip) SHEPERD: - and that is exactly -

(Excerpt from video clip) CROWD: - and that is exactly -

(Excerpt from video clip) SHEPERD: - what they took from him.

OLBERMANN: The Constitutional amendment to close Pandora's box - the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision.

(Excerpt from video clip) TOM UDALL: Campaigns should be about the best ideas, not the biggest checkbooks. It's time to put elections back in the hands of American voters, not corporations and special interests.

OLBERMANN: Our guest, Senator Bernie Sanders. "Worsts," Glenn Beck's Goldline sponsors charged with 19 counts of criminal fraud. The Herman Cain case - a third alleged victim comes forward. The first one tries to speak publicly. A witness already has - a witness who just happens to work for Rick Perry.

(Excerpt from video clip) CHRIS WILSON: If she does go on the air and talk about it, I think it will be the end of his campaign.

OLBERMANN: So? You can say that about a lot of things, like when he revealed he doesn't know how Constitutional amendments work. Or, when he said it didn't matter if he didn't know who was president of -

(Excerpt from video clip) HERMAN CAIN: Ubeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan

OLBERMANN: Or the newest one about China.

(Excerpt from video clip) CAIN: They've indicated that they're trying to develop nuclear capability.

OLBERMANN: Um, buddy - China's had nuclear capability since you were 18 years old. It was in all the papers. All that and more now on "Countdown."

(Excerpt from video clip) CAIN: Stupid people are ruining America.


OLBERMANN: Good evening from New York. This is Wednesday, November 2nd, 370 days until the 2012 presidential election.

At this hour, an Occupy Wall Street group - responding to an unconfirmed rumor that the 43rd President of the United States was at Goldman Sachs headquarters in Manhattan, in New York - is behind that building now chanting, "Arrest George Bush."

The fifth story on the "Countdown" - as we further investigate that detail, thousands of Occupy protesters took to the streets of Oakland today. Their goal? To shut down the city of Oakland and the one percent. Their weapon? A general strike, the first in that city since 1946.

While in Tulsa, Oklahoma, police used a favorite weapon - pepper spray - to remove Occupy protesters from a downtown city park. As many as nine protesters sprayed in the face at close range as they sat on the ground. At least one was being restrained by the cop who sprayed him.

Protesters focusing tonight on the Port of Oakland, the nation's fifth largest. Operations there earlier today reportedly slowed, but not stopped, by the general strike. A spokesman for the International Longshore and Warehouse Unions saying that, while the union supports the concerns raised by the Occupy movement, its contract does not allow them to strike in support.

The main march began this morning after a rally near the Occupy camp at Franco Ogawa Plaza. Unions - including the California Nurses Association, SEIU, and California Federation of Teachers - offered support. City workers were also given the option of using a paid leave day if they wished to take part. About fiver percent of Oakland's city workers indeed took the day off, including 18 percent of the city's teachers.

Three banks near the plaza targeted for protests - including this Wells Fargo branch - all were closed for the day, a quick victory for a general strike. Some office workers supported the marchers, and some businesses closed their doors in sympathy with the 99 percent. Others did not.

Carl Chan, with the Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce, saying, "We will be open for business, and we have to live on. We may support the cause, but we cannot afford to be counterproductive." Meanwhile, a construction executive complained:

(Excerpt from video clip) ERIC KISSHAUER: There's no plans to remove the people who are camping illegally and causing major disruption to commercial - to commerce - in downtown Oakland.

OLBERMANN: Some people live up to their names - Kisshauer. Causing disruption, of course, is part of the point of protest. Welcome to the United States of America, Mr. Kisshauer. So is support for Scott Olsen, the Iraq War veteran, peace activist and Occupy Oakland protester, whose skull was fractured by a police tear-gas canister last week. An Olsen friend, activist and fellow Iraq veteran says Olsen is following the protests.

(Excerpt from video clip) EMILY YATES: Scott is doing better and is aware of all of the stuff that's happening, and is completely stoked about it. He's getting better and that's awesome. And we hope to have him back out here with us before too long.

OLBERMANN: And we hope the same. In New York, about 100 military veterans marched with Occupy Wall Street to show their support for Scott Olsen. Details of that coming up presently. While a protest in Philadelphia, in support of the general strike in Oakland, saw about a dozen arrests. And other Occupy protesters backed the general strike in Boston.

But the most extraordinary scene of the last 48 hours - at least until these reports about the Bush protest at Goldman Sachs - came last night in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Police firing pepper spray from close range into the faces of protesters after they refused to leave a park where they were told they were violating curfew. Police say five protesters were hit with the spray. Protesters say the total was nine. Deputy Police Chief Daryl Webster defended this action.

(Excerpt from video clip) DEPUTY CHIEF WEBSTER: Pepper spray is used in cases where there is resistance. In this case it was used only on persons who were actively resisting arrest.

OLBERMANN: Resisting arrest by sitting on the ground, arms linked, demanding their constitutional right to free assembly. Resisting so much, and so threateningly, that a policeman was able to hold a man's head in his hands and bravely douse him with pepper spray.

Tonight meanwhile, pepper spray has also been used against Occupy protesters in Seattle. Scuffles between protesters and police reportedly broke out after 200 marchers occupied a Chase Bank branch there.

Back to Oakland. From there I'm joined by Gabriel Thompson, a contributing reporter for The Nation. Thanks for your time tonight, sir.

GABRIEL THOMPSON: Thanks for having me here.

OLBERMANN: Any estimate on how many people have taken part today? And were there a lot of union marchers among the Occupy Oakland folks?

THOMPSON: There were certainly thousands of people. It's hard to gauge when you're on the ground how large it is. 'Cause you just look around and see people as far as the eye can see. Unions certainly turned out. I mean, I saw SEIU, teachers - so I think they played a really critical role in mobilizing and really getting their members on the streets quickly.

OLBERMANN: We had video, or at least images, of windows - or one window anyway - smashed by a group wearing black clothes and black masks. Is there any indication that there was any connection to Occupy per se? Was there any direct violence - any confrontation of the police? Anything as discernible as being involved in the protest?

THOMPSON: My impression, and I was there when that happened, was that - there is 95, 96 percent of the people that are very dedicated to peaceful civil disobedience. And so, on many marches they made sure that - that sort of thing didn't happen. But I think it's - media will harp on this. And I think it's very unimportant when you're talking about the problems of global capitalism, of corporate control, to think about one glass being broken when - right now, at this moment - you have tens of thousands of people marching to the port of downtown Oakland. And, for the first time, really expressing an incredible grassroots anger at the banks and the financial institutions that have wreaked havoc on their lives. So, I think that's the big story. I think we need to make sure that - not - not to let that story get blown out of proportion, because it's actually not that important.

OLBERMANN: So, give me an assessment, as I asked there. Is there any indication that the sort of mainstream, if you will, part of the protest had any friction with the police or the authorities today?

THOMPSON: No, no. And, in fact, when I was at different marches that went by the bank - and all the banks, the major banks, were shut down - but they - all those shutdowns were very peaceful. And I think that was foremost on people's mind - is that they wanted to make sure that the story that comes out of this day is that this is a historic moment in which people finally are rising up and saying, "You know what, we've been alone for awhile, we've all been abused, we've been foreclosed upon, our jobs are gone but - let's come together and figure out what we can do in the future." It's a real big issue, if you're alone sitting in your house being isolated - now, when you've got all these people together - you know, they're moving forward and they're gonna do a lot of incredible things, I think, in the next coming weeks.

OLBERMANN: The - the part of this that pertained to the Port of Oakland - do we have any sense of how many people were taking part? Because one of the goals was to try to disrupt the 7:00 PM shift, 10:00 Eastern time. We don't know how that's gonna turn out - hasn't happened yet. Does it seem that - that late shift might be shut down? Is that plausible, or is this sort of a partial victory in terms of what Occupy attempted to do?

THOMPSON: You know, my sense - being two miles away from the port but watching thousands and thousands of people leave - is that it's not only a potential, but it's probably probable. I mean, people real very dedicated. You just watch the swarms going out there, knowing how important it is to shut down the ports. I'd be surprised if they don't get shut down.

OLBERMANN: Give me a sense of the mood of the protesters over the course of the day, both at the Port and where you are.

THOMPSON: What's incredible - you know, I think there's two kinds of, sort of, message discipline. One is this kind of false political message discipline, in which everyone has to say the exact same line because they've been told they have to say the same line. And then there's more organic message discipline, which is where everyone has the safe grievances, and they express in somewhat different ways, but they've all been affected by a system that doesn't work. And so - it's amazing.

You know, people criticize the Occupy movement for having a million and one demands, and I don't think that's necessarily a fault of it. But today - tonight - the message about banks - needing to reform banks, needing to reform the power of corporations - it couldn't be more disciplined. And so, I've been really inspired by that. And I don't think it's because anyone got together and said, "We have to make sure we hit all of these points." It's just - everyone's been living in the same sorts of situations over the last few years, and they have the same grievances.

OLBERMANN: Gabriel Thompson, a contributing reporter with The Nation at Occupy Oakland. Great thanks for your time.

THOMPSON: Thank you.

OLBERMANN: And he mentioned the banks. I'll mention once again that we're trying to get some confirmation. We have a reporter/producer on the way to downtown to Goldman Sachs to check this out in Manhattan. We're responding to an unconfirmed reporter - report - from people, supposedly working in the building, that former President Bush was at the Goldman Sachs headquarters. A group from Occupy Wall Street headed to that location and was chanting "Arrest George Bush." Whether or not the president - the former president is in New York or New Mexico, we have no idea. But we know protesters are outside Goldman Sachs, and we'll be getting you an update on that when it's available.

Mentioning the general strike - it's the first time Occupy has tried a general strike. It may not be the last. One Occupy Wall Street organizer suggesting today that more may be forthcoming, and in cities other than Oakland. Let's resume on the topic of Occupy's general strike in Oakland. I'm joined by Tim Simons on of the organizers with Occupy Oakland. Thanks for your time, Tim.

TIM SIMONS: How's it going, Keith?

OLBERMANN: The goal of a general strike, in general, has been to put a stop to most commercial activity in a city. Was that the goal here? And if so, how close do you think the protest came to accomplishing that?

SIMONS: I mean - I think the important thing today is that this is a experiment of what's possible with the Occupy movement. I think it's really clear over the past month and a half. We've seen this movement grow - you know - I think, beyond what any of us could have imagined. There's a sense, here in Oakland, that after the police violence last Tuesday, that it was really time with the world - you know, the eyes of the world watching us - that we needed to take this outside the plazas, outside the parks, outside the squares and really start - you know, bringing this it into workplaces, schools, neighborhoods, things like that - into the streets.

So, this is an experiment. This is the first - you could say it's a warning shot to the one percent of what's possible right now. And I think you're right. You're very right. You're gonna see a lot of other cities take up this call. You know, we're already hearing rumors of national general strike. So, I think that's gonna be what's next. But in terms of today, we feel that it is a huge success.

OLBERMANN: And do you have - I already asked Gabriel Thompson this question - but do you have an estimate as to how many people participated in one way or the other today?

SIMONS: You know, it's so hard to tell. I mean, there's marches crisscrossing downtown all day long. People have been picketing all the banks. There's - you know, multiple stages set up here with music and dancing. I would say easily over 10,000. That's a safe estimate. But right now, a lot of the crowd has just left to go march on the port from behind me here.

OLBERMANN: All right - two questions about why this thing accelerated the way it had. Do you think that this connects, largely, to how the police brutalized Scott Olsen last week? And secondly, does that - does the mayor's attempt to retrench, to some degree - at least to save her reputation among liberals and the left and Democrats - has that also, in some sense, accelerated things? Are you guys getting a wider berth today than you would have if Scott Olsen had never been hit by that gas canister?

SIMONS: I mean, I think - if you look history, if you look at how these things happen, there's a very similar pattern - where you see a movement growing and growing, getting more powerful. And when police crack down - when there's repression - you know, you have a huge outpouring of support. That's how the 1946 general strike started in Oakland, just up the street. And I think you saw the same thing here.

You know, the night after the general - the night after the police repression - we had a general assembly of - I guess it was close to 3,000 people. That was way bigger than anything we had ever had here before. And that's where we decided to have a general strike. So yeah, I mean the outpouring of support has exploded over the past week. And I don't think we should - we shouldn't give the police thanks for that. It's the fact that people stood up again and again and didn't back down, it's an extremely inspiring situation. Even despite all that violence on behalf of the police, people are still here and in bigger numbers than ever.

OLBERMANN: And to your knowledge, everything today has been relatively cooperative among the authorities and Occupy, and that - you have any knowledge about what happened with the smashed bank window and the guy in the ninja outfit?

SIMONS: I know of - I've heard through the grapevine here - a number of banks were - had their windows smashed. A Whole Foods that said it would fire any employee that participated in today's demonstration had its window smashed as well. These were all - you know there's all sort of different kinds of marches and people out here.

But I think - it's clear that police are staying far away from this demonstration today. I think they - the police - don't, you know - they don't want to repeat what happened last week. They know they gave Oakland a black eye. And if they come crashing down again today they're going to do that again. But right now I think - everyone's really proud of Oakland. We feel like we're really standing up, setting an example for the rest of the country.

OLBERMANN: As the event that's probably either first or second, in terms of total participation so far in the movement, obviously you have a right to be. I guess the question then becomes - where do you take this momentum and attempt to direct it next?

SIMONS: Yeah, I mean - I think that's a good question. I think the first - you know, the port blockade is a real interesting example of what we can do with this. We can start targeting specific places where - you see the one percent getting richer off of the backs of everyone else. And we can start regularly bringing people out to those points, and making sure that we shut down those flows of capital.

I think another place is - people are starting to talk about occupying foreclosed homes, occupying schools that are being shut down. You might not be aware of this - but on the same day the police attacked everyone here, Oakland closed down five public schools. So, there's things like that, that people are talking about.

You know, making sure - again, we take this movement out - you know, we're not going to abandon the parks, we're not going to abandon the plazas - but we need to start bringing this into the places where people - you know, where their lives are - in schools, you know, community centers, workplaces, et cetera. So, I expect occupations to go in that direction as well.

I also think we need to look at - you know, where the rest of the country is going to stand up here. I really expect to see other general strikes happening across the country and I think that's extremely exciting.

OLBERMANN: Yep, use your imagination. It seems to have done you guys real good so far. Tim Simons of Occupy Oakland on the latest there.

SIMONS: Thank you.

OLBERMANN: Great thanks, all the best.

Solidarity nationwide for Occupy Oakland's injured Marine Iraq vet, Scott Olsen.

Plus, we'll continue to follow this report of a possible George Bush sighting in downtown Manhattan. And a definite response to that rumor by Occupy Wall Street, which peeled off and is now protesting at that building.

Plus, Bernie Sanders on the movement and a Senate bid for a Constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. Coming up on "Countdown."


OLBERMANN: A New York march in support of the injured Occupy Oakland protester Scott Olsen.

And George Bush may or may not be at Goldman Sachs in New York at this hour, but Occupy Wall Street protesters are. We'll have the latest.

Six Democratic Senators propose a Constitutional amendment to overturn the infamous Citizens United Supreme Court decision. I'll get the reaction of Senator Bernie Sanders.

The walls are caving in on Herman Cain, as a witness comes forth to say he saw the sexual harassment, and if the details come out, the Cain campaign is over. Better still, the witness just happens to work for Rick Perry!

And trouble in Glenn-becki-becki-becki-becki-stan-stan. The company he personally endorses, Goldline, charged with nineteen counts of fraud. At least when Glenn cries this time, we'll understand why.


OLBERMANN: The general strike in Oakland - and we have live pictures of what it looks like at the port. Let's show those as I describe this to you - is proving to be a pivotal moment in the Occupy Movement. But a march around Wall Street today could prove, ultimately, to be just as significant as this action in Oakland you're seeing live. Not because of its size, but because of who the marchers are.

In our fourth story - veterans of all generations, as well as active service members, marched on the sidewalks of lower Manhattan today to honor of one of their own. Led by friend of Scott Olsen and Navy veteran Josh Shepherd, who joins me presently.

In response to Iraq veteran Scott Olsen's injury, around a hundred members of the military amassed in New York's financial district this afternoon to show that they too are the 99 percent. After marching to the stock exchange, the protesters held a moment of silence to honor Marine and Iraq vet Scott Olsen, and then it was time for the veterans to step up to the proverbial "peoples' mike."

(Excerpt from video clip) VETERAN: I'm a two-time Iraq war veteran.

(Excerpt from video clip) CROWD: I'm a two-time Iraq war veteran.

(Excerpt from video clip) VETERAN: And this is the only occupation -

(Excerpt from video clip) CROWD: And this is the only occupation -

(Excerpt from video clip) VETERAN: I believe in. I'm a veteran and I am the 99 percent.

(Excerpt from video clip) JOSHUA SHEPERD: My friend Scott was injured last Tuesday.

(Excerpt from video clip) CROWD: My friend Scott was injured last Tuesday.

(Excerpt from video clip) SHEPERD: This is unacceptable. My friend Scott -

(Excerpt from video clip) CROWD: My friend Scott -

(Excerpt from video clip) SHEPERD: - was utilizing -

(Excerpt from video clip) CROWD: - was utilizing -

(Excerpt from video clip) SHEPERD: - his freedom of speech -

(Excerpt from video clip) CROWD: - his freedom of speech -

(Excerpt from video clip) SHEPERD: - and that is exactly -

(Excerpt from video clip) CROWD: - and that is exactly -

(Excerpt from video clip) SHEPERD: - what they took from him.

(Excerpt from video clip) CROWD: - what they took from him.

(Excerpt from video clip) SHEPERD: We are veterans.

(Excerpt from video clip) CROWD: We are veterans.

(Excerpt from video clip) SHEPERD: We are the 99 percent.

(Excerpt from video clip) CROWD: We are the 99 percent.

OLBERMANN: On the same day America's bravest marched as members of the Occupy Movement, Mayor Bloomberg of New York decided it was a good opportunity to once again paint the protesters as no-good troublemakers. Saying at an event today, "This isn't an occupation of Wall Street. It's an occupation of a growing, vibrant, residential neighborhood in lower Manhattan, and it's really hurting small businesses and families."

The mayor's comment is for out-of-towners and easily frightened children. Zuccotti Park is catty-corner to the World Trade Center site. The number of residents within sight of the Occupy headquarters might be as few as 20 or 25.

As mentioned, joining me now - Navy veteran, friend of Scott Olsen, Josh Sheperd. Good to see you. Thanks for coming in.


OLBERMANN: We heard from his roommate, Keith Shannon, that he's in rehab and he's said a few words. What do you know about how he is, and how he's responding to all that's happened since his injury?

SHEPERD: Well, we got a text from him a couple of hours ago. If you would like -


SHEPERD: I'll read it.

OLBERMANN: Absolutely.

SHEPERD: So he says, "What kind of pie?" And which goes along, "Occupy. I see the success there. Keep it up. Non-violent in the face of police brutality."

OLBERMANN: So - we - obviously that's great news, and it indicates among other things that he's - he's coherent, he's just having trouble talking. That's the gist of this at this point?


OLBERMANN: Great. What would he think - as we look at the pictures from Oakland and - thousands now - of people, in absolute apparent concord, if you will, with all of the people on the docks and at the port and no reports of trouble - interaction with the police, some random breakage of windows, but we don't know how much that's connected with what's going on there - but this kind of event would have been probably thought unlikely, at best, two weeks ago - before what happened to him.

SHEPERD: Absolutely. I'm sure he's enthralled.

OLBERMANN: The idea of you being here today - explain how that happened and why it was important for you.

SHEPERD: It materialized after - there was just this collective rage from veterans expressed - you know, through various media outlets, online, blog posts, photos, et cetera - and so the mood struck, and Iraq Veterans Against the War was instrumental in coordinating this action and getting veterans out to New York - to Wall Street - to lend our support with our voices.

OLBERMANN: Did the police act differently than you've experienced previously, because you were in uniform?

SHEPERD: Well, that's interesting you ask. In New York - or in Oakland, rather - I expected the police to act differently, because I was in uniform at that point, as well - as was Scott. You know, he had uniform items on. We were standing there with the Veterans for Peace flag. That didn't stop the police in Oakland. However, here in New York, everything went off without a hitch. We were able to march right up to the stock exchange, which is the international center of economic might. So, the police were very accommodating and there were no negative interactions. I couldn't have asked for a better activity.

OLBERMANN: When - apart from what happened in Oakland, despite the fact you were in uniform - when you hear people who are critical of Occupy say that, "Those aren't real servicemen. Those have to be guys who just bought stuff at Army Navy stores." How does that - how does that make you feel about the rights that you fought to protect in this country?

SHEPERD: Well, you know - they're free to say that. But it's insulting, a little bit. But I think it's very easy to say. You know, I hate to generalize, but I'm sure a lot of the people that are just spewing this stuff have not served. And, you know, like now - our numbers are getting stronger and stronger, as veterans lending our voices to the movement - it's harder and harder to deny.

OLBERMANN: Yeah. I think it's impressive that the first thing you said was that you're protecting their rights, too. I didn't expect that answer. It was a very good answer.

Last point - the issues that face young veterans have gotten almost no attention since the Iraq war began, certainly, and the actions in Afghanistan. Do you see an opportunity here for these specific issues - the poor conditions at VA hospitals, the overwhelming spread of undiagnosed PTSD and all of the other problems - you know them better than I do, you can enumerate them better than I can. Do you see an opportunity in this, for these issues to really come to the forefront?

SHEPERD: Absolutely. And, you know, it's interesting that this opportunity has arisen, because it was something that Scott was incredibly passionate about. And, you know - just a couple of weeks prior to his injury - he was out at Fleet Week San Francisco with us, outreaching for these very same issues.

So, we are bringing attention to the fact that we are losing 18 veterans a day to suicide. One in three female veterans - or female military members - will experience sexual assault while they're in the service. These are astronomical figures that - you know, the general public would be horrified to know. But they get no attention.

OLBERMANN: And here's another venue in which they may get that. Josh Shepherd of Occupy San Francisco and today of Occupy Wall Street. Great thanks for some of your time. Obviously for your service. And give your friend, Scott, our best.

SHEPERD: Thanks so much.

OLBERMANN: Not to over-dramatize this, but it may be the only chance to preserve any semblance of democracy in this country. A Constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United is presented. Senator Bernie Sanders on that, and on Occupy. And we'll keep following the "Where is George Bush?" - "Where in the World is George Bush?" - story, ahead on "Countdown."


OLBERMANN: This from our producer/reporter Erica Ferrari, at Occupy Wall Street - the Where is W.? event is apparently concluding, Occupy Wall Street protesters - having neither confirmed nor denied the rumor that former President George W. Bush was somehow at Goldman Sachs headquarters in New York, after going there and chanting "Arrest George Bush" - have now headed back to Zuccotti Park. So, whether or not he was there, they are no longer at Goldman Sachs.

A Constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. Senator Bernie Sanders, coming up.

First, the "Sanity Break," and on this date in 1957, two farm workers telephoned the police department at Levelland, Texas - population ten thousand - to say that four miles out of town there'd been a blue flash of light that killed the engine in their truck, and then this rocket-shaped object rose toward them. An hour later, another driver reported a blue egg-shaped object in the road four miles on the other side of Levelland that killed his engine.

Six more people, who did not know each other, would call in over the next three hours with identical stories, and eventually the city's sheriff and its fire chief saw the same thing. The Air Force dismissed it all, saying it was explained by thunderstorms. Even though there hadn't been any.

Far more fitting, I think, the explanation offered by the late great comedian Bill Hicks - that there is life on other planets, but that they're "just hillbilly aliens lookin' for a place to whittle some."

"Time Marches On!"

We begin with the romantic, or - maybe the not-so-romantic. Forget blushing bride, it's the texting bride. As her father disappointedly looks on, this San Diego bride wastes no time telling her friends all about her wedding. "OMG, I'm getting married. Can't see the text because of the veil. LOL, I wonder why my fiancé hasn't shown up yet." Maybe the fiancé saw the sign behind her and took it as good advice. Stop. That's bitter of me.

To the Internets, where this girl's making an attempt to do the classic trampoline-to-pool dive. Degree of difficulty is three point - oh. The dismount - and she did not quite nail the entry. Fortunately, after this past weekend, it's clear summer is over, so she'll have the entire off-season to work on the routine. Release, rotation, splash.

Finally - baby? Yep. Cute dog? Yep. It must be the TMO Adorable Clip of the Day. This friendly pup was bummed when they first brought a new baby home from the hospital. Might steal some of his attention. Little did he know, he was actually getting a man on the inside. He quickly figured out how this new human could assist him in his never-ending quest for people food. "Stupid humans keep videotaping me and laughing, while I enjoy as many Cheerios as I want." "Now if I can only get this kid to help me with that long, furry thing that's chasing me."

"Time Marches On!"

Senator Sanders on Occupy, and a witness in the Herman Cain case. A witness who just happens to work for Rick Perry. That's next, this is "Countdown."


OLBERMANN: "Dumont Bowling Headliners with Joe Hasel" will not be seen tonight, so we can instead bring you "Countdown," the longest continuously-running 8 PM news hour on cable, unless you consider Fox - news. Our primary replays are at 11 PM Eastern and 11 PM Pacific. We call it "our little PowerPoint presentation."

The day it was handed down, I argued that it was a decision on par with the Dred Scott ruling. That was mocked then as hyperbole. It may ultimately be mocked as understatement.

In our third story on the "Countdown" - seven Democratic senators have now introduced a Constitutional amendment to overturn a Supreme Court ruling, and prevent money from having the loudest voice in our elections. The high court's 5-4 Citizens United decision last year, of course, allowed for unlimited spending by outside interest groups on behalf of political candidates, proclaiming that funding caps "on corporate, independent expenditures is an outright ban on speech."

Meaning - any limits on spending by so-called SuperPACs and others was really just a violation of their First Amendment rights, not the voters' rights to an election free of special interests. Oh, and corporations are just like people except without any real responsibilities or liabilities.

In a news conference yesterday the junior senator from New Mexico, Democrat Tom Udall said "The Supreme Court ruling, not limits on spending, was the real threat to our democracy."

(Excerpt from video clip) TOM UDALL: Campaigns should be about the best ideas, not the biggest checkbooks. It's time to put elections back in the hands of American voters, not corporations and special interests.

OLBERMANN: The senators believe that Congress and individual states should have the power to regulate and limit the raising and spending of money in support of, or in opposition to, candidates for elected office. It's an uphill battle for the Senators, obviously. In the history of this country, thousands of constitutional amendments have been introduced to Congress. Thirty-three have made it through both houses and, of those, only 27 have been ratified by the states.

Joining me now - a man who months ago called the Citizens United ruling a complete disaster - member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus Senator Bernie Sanders, the Independent from Vermont. Thanks again for your time tonight, Senator.

BERNIE SANDERS: Good to be with you, Keith.

OLBERMANN: Is it still possible to ever pass this amendment or has the money gradient changed so much that there's no way you could ever get this through the states?

SANDERS: Well, it's a good question. I think it is possible, because I think what we are seeing now - through the Occupy movement and other efforts - is a growing anger and frustration with the power of big money in this country. You are seeing it just the other day, when people actually defeated the largest financial institution in America - Bank of America - who wanted to impose that $5 debit fee. We beat them.

I think right now, whether you're talking to a Republican or a progressive - people are saying that that Supreme Court decision, Keith, is basically insane. Nobody that I know thinks that Exxon Mobil is a person, and entitled to the constitutional right of First Amendment and should be able to contribute as much money as they want without transparency, in secrecy, into a political campaign. That is so crazy that there are very, very few people who support that. And I think - with the growing upheaval in this country against the power of big money - we've got a shot to do something significant and pass this amendment.

OLBERMANN: We've all talked about the companies and corporations that would take advantage, and the politicians who would take advantage, of Citizens United. But there was a little news story from Politico that I wanted to get your reaction to - "Citizens United, the conservative political organization, will - on Thursday - begin blasting six figures' worth of advertisements throughout Ohio in support of limiting most state worker's collective-bargaining rights."

This isn't what Citizens United might do to the rest of the nation, this is Citizens United - that company - spending money to knock down worker's rights in Ohio.

SANDERS: Right. I mean this is - look, for years, we have had a horrendous campaign-finance system, by which politicians were beholden to big-money interests. As a result of Citizens United, that situation is now much, much worse.

The idea that - without disclosure, just by setting up phony operations and organizations - the wealthiest people in this country - the Koch brothers and right-wing billionaires, the heads of large corporations - can pump unlimited sums of money into the political process, into campaigns, is most certainly not what American democracy is supposed to be about.

And what I can tell you, Keith - this is how it plays out in real life. You know, if you are a senator and you're a congressman, and you're sitting up there deciding whether to vote to ask the wealthy to pay more in taxes, or to do away with a large corporate loophole - you may think twice about casting that vote, with the knowledge that - if you cast it - huge sums of money are going to come in your state to try to defeat you. So, this has a very insidious - it's playing a very insidious role in the Democratic process. I am a not - I am not a great believer in all kinds of Constitutional amendments, but this one is kind of unique, and I hope we can pass it.

OLBERMANN: You touched on this - whatever wind beneath the sails there might be, suddenly, for this kind of movement, how much has it increased - and how much has it increased because of the success of the Occupy movement?

SANDERS: I think, Keith, there is growing ferment in this country. I think - with the collapse of the middle class, with the increase in poverty, with people being more and more aware that we have, by far, the most unequal distribution of income and wealth of any major country, where large corporations are doing phenomenally well, the wealthiest people in this country doing phenomenally well, their effective tax rates are lower than they've been in decades - people are saying, "Enough is enough."

We've got to fight to rebuild the middle class of this country, and I think people understand that, to do that - you have to take on big-money interests. And if you're going to take on big-money interests, you've got to take on the Citizens United decision.

OLBERMANN: One potentially-related story to this - there's a new Quinnipiac University poll - the president's approval ratings, they went up in one month from 41 to 47. Do you think Occupy has anything to do with that, or - more importantly - do you think that the president should read that as Occupy had something to do with, and his even-slight tilt in that direction was largely responsible for that growth in his approval numbers in one month?

SANDERS: I think the last point you made is the relevant point. I think, finally - I don't know who got to this president - but finally, he is begining to talk a language that makes sense to the American people. Instead of compromising and compromising with right-wing Republicans, and selling out working people - he is beginning to stand up and say, "Wait a second, we need a large jobs program to put millions of people back to work rebuilding our infrastructure, rehiring our teachers, our police officers, our firemen and - you know what? We're going to ask the wealthiest people in this country to pay for that jobs program." I think that is exactly the kind of issue that is resonating with the American people, and if the president keeps fighting on those issues, I think you're going to see his approval ratings going up and up.

OLBERMANN: Amen. The Independent senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders. As ever, a pleasure, sir. Thanks for your time.

SANDERS: Thank you.

OLBERMANN: The Herman Cain case now has a witness, and a victim trying to tell her side in a legal fashion. Oh, and he failed another world-politics quiz. Coming up.


OLBERMANN: The first victim, now perhaps of three different ones in the Herman Cain sexual-harassment case, tries to come forward. A witness already has. A witness who works for Rick Perry. Coincidence, no doubt.

A little more on George W. Bush and whether or not he was at Goldman Sachs.

First, the "Worsts." And they're finally getting around to impeaching somebody in Arizona. No - not her. A mapmaker. Seriously.


OLBERMANN: Herman Cain's harassment was witnessed, and what a coincidence - the witness just happens to work for Rick Perry! Coming up.

First - because the motivation for compiling this list was the two years I spent working for Rupert Murdoch - here are "Countdown's" top three nominees for today's "Worst Persons in the World."

The bronze - to Governor Jan "The Screaming Skull" Brewer of Arizona. The state Senate appointed a five-member bipartisan commission to independently re-draw the districting maps in the state. Its chairwoman was named Colleen Coyle Mathis. This week, Governor Brewer - pissed off that the new map did not favor her Republican minions - ordered them to impeach the redistricting chairwoman. Impeachment. And the Republican toadies did just that by a vote of 21-6. Chairwoman Mathis and the committee and the Senate are in court, trying to get the power grab by poor Arizona's insane governor overturned.

The runner-up? Pretend Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain - more of him in a moment. This is one of the dumbest people in this country. Not just one of the dumbest ones running for president - one of the dumbest ones, period.

Please remove all food and beverages from your mouth and nasal region, as we bring you this excerpt from an interview Cain did with my old colleague Judy Woodruff of PBS.

(Excerpt from video clip) JUDY WOODRUFF: Do you view China as a potential military threat to the United States?

(Excerpt from video clip) HERMAN CAIN: I do view China as a potential military threat to the United States.

(Excerpt from video clip) WOODRUFF: And what could you do, as president, to head that off?

(Excerpt from video clip) CAIN: My China strategy is, quite simply, outgrow China ... So yes, they're a military threat. They've indicated that they're trying to develop nuclear capability and they want to develop more aircraft carriers like we have. So yes, we have to consider them a military threat.

OLBERMANN: Um, China's had nuclear weapons since 1964. They're not indicating that they're trying to develop nuclear capability, Bozo. They had their first nuclear test 47 years ago. Ka-boom! It was in all the papers! The latest estimate is they have 250 nuclear weapons - 150 of them tactical - and an unknown number of thermonuclear warheads. And this ditz doesn't know it, and he's running for president.

Two weeks ago, Mr. Cain told the sycophants at the political whorehouse that is Fox News, "Have you ever heard the expression 'the tiger in the tall grass'? Just sort of wait? Do they think that for the last nine months I have not been studying the foreign-policy challenges that they face? Do they think for the last nine months I have not been consulting with a group of foreign-policy advisers about all the different situations that we're in? Do they think for a moment that I'm not a student of the position that I seek, and that I probably know more about foreign policy than they think? I hope they continue to think that I'm foreign-policy dumb, until the right time they will find out I'm not as foreign-policy dumb as they think."

That's right, Herm, you're not as foreign-policy dumb as everybody thinks. You're dumber. "China? Chyna Phillips?"

But our winner is "Lonesome Rhodes" Beck. Happy to say here that - not only has Beck lost 90 percent of his audience after Fox fired him - but between TV and Internet distribution, we are far and away ahead of him in audience.

And now, the people he shilled for - the ones we told you were corrupt and selling poor people, terrified by Beck, gold trinkets that had no investment value - those people, Beck's friends at Goldline - they've had 19 criminal charges filed on them by the city attorney in their home base of Santa Monica, California. The city attorney called Goldline a "bait-and-switch operation that sold highly overpriced coins via false and misleading claims."

And who is the pitchman who made the false and misleading Goldline claims? Among others, Goldline mascot Glenn Beck. At least next time he starts crying, we'll know why. "Lonesome Rhodes" Beck - today's "Worst Person in the World."


OLBERMANN: Guess who was at Goldman Sachs in New York tonight? President George W. Bush. Ryan Devereaux of Democracy Now having tweeted that he asked, after a series of cars peeled off, the NYPD - I'll read the tweet, that would probably be simpler. "NYPD told us step back, five cars - two NYPD, three unmarked - sped out of Goldman Sachs. I asked a white shirt" - that would be a supervisor from the NYPD - "if it was Bush. He said, "Yeah."

Our own producer/reporter Erica Ferrari talked to her own sources - people who were attending a conference at Goldman Sachs headquarters in New York - and asked if George W. Bush was there and they said, indeed, he was.

So, the rumor that sent Occupy Wall Street protesters to the headquarters in Goldman Sachs in New York, and starting them chanting "Arrest George Bush" outside Goldman Sachs was, in fact, correct - according to several different reports. The protesters - having gone back to Zuccotti Park in disappointment when they did not see George W. Bush - are now, according to Erica Ferrari, headed back to Goldman Sachs in an effort to make a citizens' arrest of George W. Bush. But he has already left the building.

The number of clichés used in this update, from Occupy Wall Street and George W. Bush's brush with it tonight, was well over the national average. But just to repeat, George W. Bush was there, it was not a wild goose chase and - according both to Ryan Devereaux of Democracy Now and our own Erica Ferrari - there are sources confirming that George W. Bush was in the building, and is not any further.

Elsewhere today, yet another woman accusing GOP front runner Herman Cain of harassment, and one of his former colleagues who says he witnessed the incident - an incident like that anyway - saying that if the victims speak publicly it will end Cain's campaign.

Our number-one story on the "Countdown" - the original victim trying to tell her story without violating her non-disclosure agreement. The witness on the new victim comes with hilarious caveat - the guy now works for Governor Rick Perry. Cain himself at first denied the charges when they came to light three days ago, then he claimed he couldn't recall the specifics. Last night, he went as far as to say he believed they were racially motivated. Today, he just started yelling.

(Excerpt from video clip) HERMAN CAIN: I'm here with these doctors. And that's what I am going to talk about. So, don't even bother asking me all of these other questions that you all are curious about. Okay? Don't even bother.

(Excerpt from video clip) REPORTER: It's a good question, though, about these confidentiality -

(Excerpt from video clip) REPORTER 2: The fact that these women do want to -

(Excerpt from video clip) CAIN: What did I say? Excuse me. Excuse me.

OLBERMANN: No, no, excuse me. Today, we met Chris Wilson - a Republican pollster who worked for the National Restaurant Association when Mr. Cain did, and is now attached to the Perry campaign. He told Oklahoma's KTOK radio station that he was "around a couple of times when it happened."

(Excerpt from audio clip) CHRIS WILSON: This all occurred at a restaurant in Crystal City, and everybody was very aware of it. Everybody knew with the campaign that this would eventually come up. If she does go on the air and talk about it, I think it will be the end of his campaign.

OLBERMANN: One of the accusers apparently does want to talk about it. According to the unidentified woman's attorney Joel Bennet, who asked today that she be excused from her confidentiality agreement, because Cain has already violated his end of it.

(Excerpt from video clip) JOEL BENNET: I think the National Restaurant Association ought to wave the confidentiality and non-disparagement positions, and let the two women - if they choose to do so - come forward and tell their stories.

OLBERMANN: As for the second accuser, The New York Times reporting today that she received a year's salary from the National Restaurant Association in severance pay. Today, a third unidentified accuser coming forward, telling the Associated Press she considered filing a workplace complaint after Cain "told her he had confided to colleagues how attractive she was, and invited her to his corporate apartment outside of work."

Late today the Cain campaign trying another tack, blaming fellow GOP candidate Rick Perry's campaign. Chief of staff Mark Block - Cigarette-Smoking Guy - went on the attack this afternoon.

(Excerpt from video clip) MARK BLOCK: Actions of the Perry campaign are despicable. Rick Perry and his campaign owe Herman Cain and his family an apology.

OLBERMANN: Wait for that to happen. Joining me now by phone - Alexander Burns, a national political reporter at Politico. Alexander, thanks for your time tonight.

ALEXANDER BURNS: Thanks for having me.

OLBERMANN: Whatever this Perry pollster's motivations are, is there evidence that he could have been - indeed - a witness to something?

BURNS: Well, Chris Wilson did do polling work for the National Restaurant Association back in the 1990s. So, it's not something we can just rule out - that he actually has firsthand knowledge of some of this. It's important to clarify that he does not work directly for Rick Perry's campaign. He has done work for - or, his firm has done work for - the SuperPACs supporting Perry's candidacy. It seems like a hair-splitting definition, but it means that he is not personally on the Perry payroll.

OLBERMANN: Between what Mr. Wilson said today and what Karl Rove said - about how the women must be allowed to speak - does that undermine the far right's argument that this is all a liberal plot against Herman Cain?

BURNS: I think you are starting to hear powerful, credible voices on the right start to express concern about the account that Herman Cain has told. You mentioned Karl Rove. Haley Barbour - the Mississippi governor, former RNC chairman - said today that Herman Cain needs to make sure we are not still talking about confidentiality agreements a week from now.

So, I think there are folks in the Republican Party who are recognizing that this is not a helpful spectacle for them or their presidential candidate.

OLBERMANN: And would Cain actually ever withdraw, or is that sort of contrary to the, sort of, backstory to his campaign - which would be whatever is next for him, in the way of a job at Fox or whatever else?

BURNS: Well, I think that we see no indication so far that Herman Cain intends to retreat on this one step. I think that it would probably have to take some pretty dramatic additional revelations, or you'd have to hear some much-more-stern expressions of dismay from figures on the right in order to push him into that sort of step.

OLBERMANN: Alexander Burns of Politico. Great thanks for some of your time.

BURNS: Thanks.

OLBERMANN: Let's recap, briefly, the George Bush story. Protesters at Zuccotti Park at Occupy Wall Street heard that former President Bush was at the headquarters of Goldman Sachs in New York, raced over, began to chant "Arrest George Bush," left after being unable to confirm that Bush was, indeed, there. After they left, many sources confirmed George W. Bush was, indeed, there. Protesters headed back to try to do a citizens' arrest to President Bush. He had already left the building. As we will do now.

That's "Countdown." Good night.