'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for Monday, November 7th, 2011
#ShowPlug 1: We are not covering the Michael Jackson trial, because, y'know, it's a political newscast, not Entertainment Tonight
#ShowPlug 2: Cain demands Sexual Harassment accusers speak on record. One does. He claims he's victim of anonymous accusers.
#ShowPlug 3: But is this mere harassment, or is it also Sexual Assault? We'll explore the law, then the politics w/Politico's @KenVogel
#ShowPlug 4: #OccupyOakland supporter @AngryWhiteKid Scott Campbell, shot as he filmed police, joins us in wake of his amazing video
#ShowPlug 5: XL Pipeline on ropes as State Dept investigates own investigation, protest grows, jobs claim explodes, w/ @BillMcKibben
#ShowPlug 6: Koch Bros + Kasich bite off more than they can chew: Ohio voters likely to repeal SB5 w/ @OhioAFLCIO Pres Tim Burga
#ShowPlug Last: Worsts: how the propagandists respond to Cain's career-ending crisis: Limbaugh's amazing assault on Cain's victim
watch whole playlist
#5 'Four... More?', Debra Katz
YouTube, Current.com (excerpt)
#5 'Four... More?', Ken Vogel
#4 'Occupy Day 52', Scott Campbell
YouTube, Current.com (excerpt)
# Time Marches On!
#3 'Pipeline Pushback', Bill McKibben
#2 Worst Persons: Mike Huckabee, Tony Perkins & Rep. Joe Walsh, Rush Limbaugh
#1 'Taking It To The Polls', Tim Burga
printable PDF transcript
Categories: Show Transcripts
KEITH OLBERMANN: Which of these stories will you be talking about tomorrow?
(Excerpt from video clip) SCOTT CAMPBELL: Ow! Ow! Ow! F - ! You shot me!
OLBERMANN: Oakland police, again out of control, shooting Scott Campbell, armed with a video camera. The madness at Occupy Oakland. The second veteran hurt.
The 19 arrested in Atlanta over the weekend. The five more early today.
(Excerpt from video clip) MAN: We are peaceful!
OLBERMANN: And you still can't stop the stupid.
(Excerpt from video clip) RUDY GIULIANI: How about trying something different to help our economy, instead of occupying Wall Street and occupying Boston and occupying Oakland. How about you occupy a job?
OLBERMANN: How about you occupy a brain - or a soul?
Herman Cain gets his wish. Demands his sexual harassment accusers come forward. Is this sexual harassment or sexual assault?
(Excerpt from video clip) BIALEK: Instead of going into the offices, he suddenly reached over and he put his hand on my leg, under my skirt, and reached for my genitals. He also grabbed my head and brought it towards his crotch.
OLBERMANN: "Nine-nine-nine" may soon represent the number of women he's violated.
The Keystone XL pipeline scandal, its chief executive admits he lied about the number of jobs it would create. The State Department now investigating its own investigation of the pipeline. And 12,000 people protest at the White House.
(Excerpt from video clip) CROWD: Hey, Obama! We don't want no climate drama!
OLBERMANN: Irony in Ohio. His bid to kill collective bargaining all but dead, Governor Kasich suddenly wants to bargain.
(Excerpt from video clip) MAN: Right now, he's asking us to do what he's trying to take away, our ability to negotiate.
OLBERMANN: And with Herman Cain on the verge of being finished, the lunatic right wing has to attack his victim Sharon Bialek, any way it can.
(Excerpt from video clip) RUSH LIMBAUGH: Her name is Bialek as in...
OLBERMANN: All that and more, now on "Countdown."
(Excerpt from video clip) LIMBAUGH: You're just a glittering jewel of colossal ignorance.
OLBERMANN: Good Evening from New York. This is Monday November 7th, 365 days - correct, one year - until the 2012 Presidential Election.
Today, Herman Cain's fourth accuser spoke publicly. Meanwhile, Cain himself still claiming the women - all of them - are lying.
Sharon Bialek, a self-described Republican, alleging Cain groped her, when she went to him for help after losing her job at the National Restaurant Association in the late '90s. This not only increases the number of alleged victims, but it could also increase the severity of the charges from harassment to assault.
Our fifth story tonight - even as Cain vehemently denies the new allegations and bizarrely sticks to the insistence that he is the victim of anonymous charges, is his campaign over? Miss Bialek, who is not anonymous, saying today she wants to "give a voice" to other women who might have been harassed by Cain. Describing an incident in when she says she went to see him to ask for career advice and help, and then he brought her outside the headquarters of the National Restaurant Association.
(Excerpt from video clip) SHARON BIALEK: Instead of going into the offices, he suddenly reached over and he put his hand on my leg, under my skirt, and reached for my genitals. He also grabbed my head and brought it towards his crotch. I was very, very surprised and very shocked. I said, "What are you doing? You know I have a boyfriend. This isn't what I came here for." Mr. Cain said, "You want a job, right?" I asked him to stop and he did. I asked him to take me back to my hotel, which he did.
OLBERMANN: Miss Bialek then calling on Mr. Cain to admit what happened.
(Excerpt from video clip) BIALEK: I want you, Mr. Cain, to come clean. Just admit what you did, admit you were inappropriate to people. Mr. Cain, I implore you, make this right, so that you - and the country - can move forward and focus on the real issues at hand.
OLBERMANN: Her accusations are different from those made by the other women, who all said harassment happened while they were working at the Restaurant Association. Still, the lawyer for one of the anonymous women telling The New York Times today that these new allegations fit the same pattern.
Joel Bennett, who spoke last week on behalf of the accuser he represents, telling The New York Times today that Bialek's claims were "very similar" to the incident his client described. And that Bialek's story "corroborates the claim."
Meanwhile, Cain responding to the allegations in a statement, saying, "Activist celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred is bringing forth more false accusations against the character of Republican front-runner Herman Cain. Mr. Cain has never harassed anyone."
And then at 5:30 Eastern Time this evening, four hours after the news conference, Cain's office sent an email to its supporters in which he feigned ignorance and seemed to completely ignore the events of the news conference. This was written, "I had thousands of employees working for me. I can't begin to recall how many conversations I had with people during that time, how much friendly banter might have taken place."
And then - acting as if Bialek had not gone public today - saying, "It's easy to make accusations when, by virtue of your anonymity, you don't have to be held accountable for the claims you're making."
This, after Cain's attempt this weekend to deflect attention from the increasing number of women coming forward with various allegations.
(Excerpt from video clip) HERMAN CAIN: Okay, if you all listen - if you just listen for 30 seconds - I was gonna do something my staff told me not to do and try to respond, okay? What I'm saying is this: we are getting back on message, end of story. Back on message. Read all of the other accounts. Read all of the other accounts where everything has been answered End of story, we're getting back on message.
OLBERMANN: But the new allegations making it harder to stay on any kind of message. And Cain's rivals not missing the opportunity to call attention to them. Jon Huntsman, speaking on one of the morning chat shows yesterday.
(Excerpt from video clip) JON HUNTSMAN: Herman Cain, a person I've come to know as a decent, decent man and a good candidate. And now, it's been said, over and over again, it's up to Herman Cain to get the information out and get it out in total.
OLBERMANN: Ron Paul, meanwhile, seemingly jealous of all the attention Cain is now getting.
(Excerpt from video clip) RON PAUL: I think the media's blown that way out of proportion. I mean, I think there are a thousand stories out on that. And I think that dilutes the real debate - because his views on foreign policy, for instance, are dramatically different than mine.
OLBERMANN: One thing it overshadows - the harassment charges are not the only ones Cain is now facing. A watchdog group filing a written complaint today, asking the IRS to investigate the allegations that Cain's chief of staff used $40,000 of funds from a tax-exempt non-profit he founded - that would be Smoking Guy - to pay for private jets, other travel costs and computers for the campaign. That non-profit, called Prosperity USA, reportedly has its own ties to oil billionaire and conservative funder David Koch.
Before today's news conference, the scandals had done little damage to Cain's popularity among supporters. According to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, the majority of Republican voters saying they were not worried about the allegations - 54% not concerned at all. Again, this is before today's news. And 15%, just a little concerned. Already today, though, indications that his popularity among Republicans could be beginning to fade.
Penny Nance, who heads a conservative group called Concerned Women for America, issuing a statement today that - in light of today's events - Mr. Cain must address the "shocking new allegations." How shocking are they indeed?
Joining me now to shed some light on the legal issues here, behind what Mr. Cain is alleged to have done, is the attorney and partner at Washington, D.C., law firm Katz, Marshall & Banks - Debra Katz. Thank you for your time, Miss Katz.
DEBRA KATZ: Thank you for having me.
OLBERMANN What Miss Bialek described - we only, obviously again, have her word on it - is that still sexual harassment, or does that move into sexual assault or abuse?
KATZ: Well, it's both. This is clearly in the context of someone coming to him and seeking his assistance with a job. And him, essentially, trying to inflict himself on her sexually, coerce her to perform a sex act to get a job - that's sexual harassment. It is also a sexual assault. Here, we have a sexual battery. He has touched her in an offensive manner, and I think it has criminal implications as well.
OLBERMANN: Does it, at this point, have criminal implications or even civil implications? Is this not - whichever definition applies, even if they both apply - is it long past statute of limitations?
KATZ: Well, look - it is long past the statute of limitations. The court where it will apply most, now, is the court of public opinion. And hopefully, with the victim coming forward and having a face to this, I think that this will shift - hopefully - it will shift public view of this issue.
OLBERMANN: Miss Allred and a couple of others said that this might not be sexual harassment per se, because Miss Bialek did not work for Mr. Cain. Does that, in fact, matter? Is that any relevancy to this at all?
KATZ: You know, I disagree with that legal analysis. The law clearly covers job applicants. If an employer conditions getting a job on performing sex acts for you to get a job, that's illegal. That's sexual harassment. And I think that's what happened here.
OLBERMANN: Is there any indication of how often this happens? People, obviously, who are looking to defend Mr. Cain will say, "Well, this happened some time in the '90s, why didn't she do something about it?" Is there any indication about - even today, or even in that time - the percentage of events that are believed never to be reported in any way?
KATZ: Yeah, I mean the percentage is extremely high, because people who come forward get pilloried. You see this happening, already, with her today. It's a very brave act to come forward and give voice to the other women who have been too scared to come forward. The incidents of sexual harassment that get reported are really small compared to what happens every day in the workplace. It's a shocking number of incidents. And the fact that women get tarnished and their motivations get impugned - just as Mr. Cain did as the first woman did, and said "witch hunt," "made up," and impugned their integrity - it makes it very hard for people to come forward. It's a brave act that this woman did so today.
OLBERMANN: As to the other women - the other accusers who have the confidentiality agreements with the National Restaurant Association - why it is that Mr. Cain can comment on those cases, but the accusers cannot?
KATZ: Well, I don't believe the accusers cannot. I think that he is ducking behind a confidentiality agreement. There is no confidentiality left. He has discussed, from his perspective, the allegations. He said nothing happened. "If it happened I said this." He said, "This is how much money they were given." That turned out to be false.
I can see no confidentiality that is to be protected at this point. And were I to advise the women involved, I would tell them, "They have breached it on their end and you are free to talk." And I would encourage them to do so.
OLBERMANN: Debra Katz of Katz, Marshall & Banks, thanks for your insight. We appreciate it.
KATZ: Thanks for having me.
OLBERMANN: For the political implications of the events today, I'm joined by Ken Vogel, chief investigative political reporter for Politico. Ken, good evening.
KEN VOGEL: Hey, great to be with you, Keith.
OLBERMANN: Any gauge, yet, on how Cain supporters have responded to this? I mean, they were demanding names and specifics and they sure got them.
VOGEL: That's right. And we have actually seen a surprising amount of durability support for him, even as this scandal has sort of started to percolate and seep into the media bloodstream. However, we saw for first time today a round of polls that show that his favorability rating had suffered. And you're right, this is going to put his supporters to the test, especially those who have adopted a sort of attack-the-messenger approach to handling this, saying that it's - you know, turning their fire on the media and demanding specifics - both specific individuals, as well as specifics of these allegations.
Well, as you mentioned, now we have them, and you do see some folks - including Penny Nance, who you cited, who is a very prominent conservative who is involved in the, sort of, Clinton-era culture wars - and she said, in her statement, that "we said this when Bill Clinton was president, and we say it today, that character matters." So, you already see some folks who would be inclined to - and in fact, Penny Nance specifically supported Herman Cain previously - who are now saying, "Hey, you have got to do something for us and prove that these are unfounded allegations, and not just ignore them."
OLBERMANN: I know you that - pushing three hours ago - you tweeted a lot about this. What did you make out of the email that the Cain campaign sent out - after the news conference - that was critical of anonymous accusers, even though this woman had been on the record for four hours? Is the campaign overmatched here? Or what was that all about?
VOGEL: Yeah, I mean - this has just been a textbook example of how not to deal with scandal, how not to handle a crises. From the very beginning - when we reached out to Herman Cain's campaign on that first story, ten days before we ran it - and got absolutely nothing from him. Then we ran the story. Herman Cain said he was unaware of any settlements. He quickly had to turn around and say he was aware of one settlement. We subsequently proved two settlements.
And now, you see him sending out this email that seems to completely ignore the facts of the day and accuses the media of trivializing the democratic process and the Republican primary process. Well, these are not trivial issues. This speaks directly to his character. And he would be wise to come up with a more-coherent response. He's not going to be able to try to turn the page, as he has indicated that he hopes to do, particularly now that there is a face and there are specifics attached to these allegations.
OLBERMANN: Turning the page - the attempt to dictate the terms of what someone will talk about and what he refuses to talk about - to your experience, how often does this work in politics or presidential campaigns, or - maybe even more specifically - how often does it not destroy the person who insists he's not going to talk about something that the media is intent on talking about?
VOGEL: It very seldom works, Keith. And, you know - even more particularly in this case, where Herman Cain has cited and leaned on his management experience, his experience in the private sector - this is part of that. He is - these are now women - four women at least - who have come forward, one who come forward for attribution, others who have come forward anonymously and said, "Hey, this guy harassed me." That speaks directly to the narrative that he is trying to push of himself - as someone who is an accomplished manager. And, it also speaks more generally to this issue of character. Candidates now, they sell themselves. They sell themselves as personalities. Herman Cain has certainly done that. This is part of the package. You can't sell yourself and management experience and not speak to the negative aspects of that.
OLBERMANN: And, of course, if this were to somehow go away tomorrow and all of the women said, "No, we were just kidding," there would suddenly be a far more dry - but nonetheless, substantive - complaint against the Cain campaign about this $40,000 from "Smoking Guy" from the campaign commercials. What is - what is the status of that? And obviously, if there is a watchdog group asking the IRS to investigate, it doesn't mean the IRS is going to investigate - but is it being taken seriously by any relevant authorities?
VOGEL: Yes, it's being taking seriously by Americans for Prosperity. They are not an authority, but this is the big Koch-backed group that was affiliated with these nonprofits in Wisconsin that were run by Mark Block - Herman Cain's campaign manager - and they have said they will look into it. And from what I know of the Kochs, and of Americans for Prosperity - they take these things pretty seriously. You can question their ideology and you can question the way that they have used - the way that they have sort of navigated - the campaign-finance landscape, but there is no doubt they take seriously compliance of these rules and laws. And they will act, I imagine, pretty quickly and harshly if they find out that, in fact, this group has mis-allocated some of their money.
OLBERMANN: Not a good day to be Herman Cain, again. Ken Vogel of Politico, great thanks for some of your time tonight, Ken.
VOGEL: Thank you, Keith.
OLBERMANN: Nineteen arrested in Atlanta, and the cops' pendulum in Oakland swings so violently back to the right that they are willing to fire rubber bullets at a protester as he is videotaping them. He is our guest, next on "Countdown."
OLBERMANN: Over the weekend, the Occupy movement passed 50 consecutive days of protesting and, sadly, it also passed its first point-of-view shooting of one of its own participants.
In our fourth story - as a busy weekend of police arresting Occupiers spilled into today, more videos showing just how much Oakland Police Department has lost control of its ranks emerged.
In Chicago today, hundreds of senior citizens marched in Federal Plaza to protest cuts to Medicare and Social Security after a sit-in brought traffic to a halt. Forty-seven of the protesters were arrested.
In New York City, protests today joined by local nonprofit groups and labor unions. Then protesters went on an 11-mile march in an attempt to connect all of New York's communities. In terms of police response - today's march a far cry from Saturday, when at least 20 protesters were arrested as they marched on the New York Supreme Courthouse.
Elsewhere, 13 arrested in Fresno after their permit to remain in their park expired. Eleven more from Occupy Riverside, California. Eleven members arrested in Orlando while participating in a peaceful teach-in, some in costume. In Atlanta, 19 protesters arrested in Woodruff Park over the weekend for remaining in that park past curfew, 5 more arrested early this morning.
But all eyes remain on Oakland, after the police department again squandered good will built during its comparatively low-key response, the night of trouble during the general strike. Occupy Oakland rallied with Occupy San Francisco for a successful Bank Transfer Day. Over the past week, 65,000 customers moved their money to local credit unions for a total of $4.5 billion.
But the scars of last week's violence continuing to show. Kayvan Sabeghi, the second Iraq veteran to be sent to intensive care by Oakland PD continues to recuperate after surgery to repair a ruptured spleen, allegedly caused by police batons. And new video is out today that shows just how much the Oakland PD lost control of their own last Thursday. Quick preface, the video you are about to see is graphic in nature.
(Excerpt from video clip) SCOTT CAMPBELL: It's okay? Is this okay?
(Excerpt from video clip) MAN #2: March all over this, I dare you! March all over this! 99%!
(Excerpt from video clip) CAMPBELL: Ow! Ow! Ow! F - He shot me!
OLBERMANN: Joining me now, Scott Campbell, a participant in the Occupy Oakland movement and the victim of that unprovoked police attack. Mr. Campbell, thank you for your time tonight.
SCOTT CAMPBELL: Thank you, kindly, for having me on.
OLBERMANN: First off, how are you?
CAMPBELL: I am healing, day by day. I'm feeling a little better, but still in quite a bit of pain with some severe swelling and bruising.
OLBERMANN: Do you mind if we show the picture of what that looked like?
CAMPBELL: If viewers want to see it. It's graphic, but sure, go ahead.
OLBERMANN: It pretty much is. Did you have any idea that that was about to happen? I mean was that - let me take it back, before I ask you that question. As that tape starts, is that your voice asking, "Is this okay?" Were you asking for, essentially, for police permission to videotape?
CAMPBELL: Yes, that's correct. I was approaching the line. An officer told me to stop. And so, I stepped back five to ten feet and asked the officer if this was okay. And he didn't respond, and I figured I was in public space, it was legal to film the police, I was a decent distance away. And that's when I began filming.
OLBERMANN: What was the rest of the situation that we can't see in this videotape? Were there other protesters behind you? Or was it, essentially, just you, walking in that - towards your own right, there?
CAMPBELL: There were several protesters behind me, but I was a bit away, a bit separated from the rest of the crowd. There was really, absolutely nothing going on. It was a calm scene. People were milling about, sort of seeing what was going to happen next. And I - after I was shot, some people ran up and helped me. But there was no provocation or violence of any kind underway.
OLBERMANN: Any warning? Whoever shot you, anything from any of those officers? Any indication they were about to move?
CAMPBELL: No, there was absolutely no warning whatsoever. There was no order to disperse. There was no warning that weapons might be used. And in fact, after I was shot, the police officers remained there. And I was well out of the scene before they even moved further into the plaza.
OLBERMANN: I'm assuming you were not arrested or detained. Anything happen, involving the authorities, after that? Has there been a word from the Oakland PD? Did the mayor send you a note? Anything like that?
CAMPBELL: I have not heard a word from the Oakland police or City Hall. I have been in touch with several journalists who have been trying to get comment from both of those agencies and both have, so far, declined to comment. So, I'd be very interested in hearing what their response was to this unprovoked shooting.
OLBERMANN: So, your response to this, I guess, would have to be - you were walking, the police told you to back up a little bit. You backed up. You then asked if it was all right where you were and you were filming this. And nobody stopped you. Nobody said a word. Until some guy simply shot you without any warning. Is that about it?
CAMPBELL: That's exactly correct. What you see in the video is exactly what happened.
OLBERMANN: Did you ever theorize, even, going in - knowing the troubles that there have been between the Oakland PD and the Occupy protesters - that something like this was imaginable as happening to you or anybody else?
CAMPBELL: I feel that any time you go out to a demonstration, especially in Oakland - which has a legacy of police violence, not only against the Occupy movement and protesters in general, but against the community, especially people of color - that there is always a chance that they will use violence when it's completely uncalled for. But a situation like this, it reminds me more of scenes from the West Bank and Israeli assaults on Palestinian non-violent protesters, than happening in the city center of Oakland, California.
OLBERMANN: Well, I mean - actually, it reminds me more of some of those black-humor comedy sketches where the cop shoots - or somebody shoots - and then says, "Stop, or I'll shoot," after shooting. It's - are you going to go back? Is this enough for you, or will you go back to those protests?
CAMPBELL: Oh, I'll certainly go back. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to so far. My mobility has been extremely limited in the past days. I can, you know, hardly walk, and just being able to get myself around. But as soon as I'm able to get out of the house, I will be going back to Occupy Oakland.
OLBERMANN: Is there anything - what kind of camera was that? Is there any way that they could have mistaken that for something other than a camera?
CAMPBELL: I don't think so, at all. I was holding it up. It was obvious that I was filming. It's a small, sort of, point-and-shoot digital camera. It's not a video camera. And in my other hand - which you can't see in the video - I was holding up a peace sign, to show my intent was non-violent. And they still shot me. And you would think that if they felt under threat, someone would've acted before 30 seconds had passed.
OLBERMANN: Well, it probably took them that long to figure out that your fingernails constituted a threat.
CAMPBELL: Something like that.
OLBERMANN: Scott Campbell, the victim in Occupy Oakland, I think it's tremendous of you to share this with us, and we wish you the best in your recovery - physically and psychologically.
CAMPBELL: Thank you kindly. And thank you for sharing this with the rest of the world.
OLBERMANN: Of course. Thank you. America, 2011. Welcome, you have just been shot.
The 13,000 jobs that the dangerous Keystone XL pipeline is supposed to create? Turns out that's measured by something called "one job, one year." Meaning - they lied about it, and doubled and possibly trebled the estimate. That, and the State Department investigating its own investigation of the plan. The pipeline may not happen. Ahead on "Countdown."
OLBERMANN: The first signs of possibly victory in the fight to stop the Keystone XL pipeline. The latest, next with Bill McKibben.
First, the "Sanity Break." And 20 years ago today, in a tiny room inside the Los Angeles Forum, in a surreal atmosphere of disbelief, fear and sadness - and with worldwide television coverage provided by people like me and my then-role as sports director of a local TV station - basketball's greatest star, Irvin "Magic" Johnson confirmed reports that had swept the country earlier in the day - that he tested had positive for the virus that caused AIDS and would retire immediately. If there was anybody in that room - besides Johnson - who did not think it was a death sentence, he or she did not say so out loud.
Twenty years later, having been one of the first to try the so-called HIV "cocktail" of drugs, "Magic" Johnson is healthy and a businessman worth at least half a billion dollars, who's talking about buying the L.A. Dodgers.
"Time Marches On!"
We begin with some recently uncovered footage of Mitch McConnell playing the piano. Just kidding, he's actually pretending to play the piano. It appears somebody is holding the Senator up to the keyboard and moving him back and forth making it seem as if he's playing. It's cute, you have got to give him that. But still, it seems he should really focus less on his piano playing and more on the creation of jobs. I mean, besides the job of holding up the Minority Leader and having to pretend to play the piano like a cat on the Internet. All right, fine, one more song.
To Canada, where these guys heard something rustling around in the trash and they went out to investigate. Little did they know they had awakened - ninja squirrel! Trained for many years in the ancient art of kung fu, he lays dormant, Grasshopper, just waiting for the right Canadian stoners to attack. "Hey, what? Oh, ow." He had just gotten home after winning the World Series with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Finally, we end - as we always do - with game show bloopers for a thousand. Here, with one of our favorite game show answers in a while, this is "Jeopardy"!
(Excerpt from video clip) ALEX TREBEK: "If any Andy yearns for Brenda & Brenda cares about Charlene who pines for Andy, the three of them form one of these."
(Excerpt from video clip) WOMAN: What is a threesome?
OLBERMANN: No, close. Everybody on the stage crew asked for her number after that. You should have seen her awkward performance on "Three's a Crowd," too.
"Time Marches On!"
The fraud that is the Keystone XL pipeline is so obvious that even the State Department is now investigating its own conduct relative to it - next.
OLBERMANN: "Ted Mack's Original DuMont Amateur Hour" will not be seen tonight, so we can bring you "Countdown," the longest continuously running 8:00 p.m. news hour on cable, unless you consider Fox - news. Primary replays at 11:00 p.m. Eastern, 11:00 p.m. Pacific. We call it "our little guest lecture."
The chief executive of the company that would build it has now admitted he padded the estimate of the jobs it would create, doubling - perhaps tripling - the reality.
In our third story on the "Countdown" - now the State Department's chief investigator has announced today a review of the approval process for the 1,700 mile, $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry dangerous, heated oil sludge from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, except wherever it spilled it. This comes a day after thousands of protesters linked hands and surrounded the White House in a peaceful, but forceful, demonstration.
(Excerpt from video clip) CROWD: Hey, Obama, we don't want no climate drama! Hey, Obama, we don't want no climate drama! Hey, Obama, we don't want no climate drama! ... Stop the pipeline, yes we can! Stop the pipeline, yes we can! Stop the pipeline, yes we can!
OLBERMANN: Among other things, the State Department is going to look into cozy friendships between Canadian pipeline officials and American governmental officials. A decision was expected this year, but could be delayed. Its memo read in part, "The primary objective of the review is to determine to what extent the department and all other parties involved complied with the federal laws and regulations relating to the Keystone XL pipeline permit process."
Then there were the claims that the whole thing would create 20,000 jobs - or was it 13,000, or was even that number based on something called "one job, one year," in which a construction position that lasted two years would be counted as two jobs? TransCanada's chief executive Russ Girling finally admitted there would only be 6,500 new jobs, which now turns out to have been around half the number of those who protested the pipeline at the White House.
(Excerpt from video clip) Barak Obama: Thank you, guys. We're looking at it right now. All right? No decision has been made. And I know your deep concern about it.
OLBERMANN: Let's bring in one of the organizers of yesterday's protest, and the protests throughout this process, Bill McKibben. Bill, good to talk to you again.
BILL McKIBBEN: Good to be with you as always, Keith.
OLBERMANN: Have you got them on the run, do you think?
McKIBBEN: Well, you know - six months ago, it was 100-1 against us. Those odds have narrowed a lot. The oil companies still have more money than God, but after yesterday, this has become the biggest environmental - and, really, the biggest political - flashpoint that Obama's got to deal with. And there's at least some signs that they're paying attention now.
OLBERMANN: Is there an indication that the president himself is paying attention? And may, in fact, have stepped in, in the State Department, to at least put in this - obviously, it is justified, because if there was contact between the lobbyists and representatives of our government in Canada that was inappropriate, there should be an investigation. But the investigation by itself slows the process down for a certain period of months - is there any suggestion that the president has heard this directly and got involved, or would we even know that?
McKIBBEN: Well, we wouldn't know. Much credit to Bernie Sanders, for being the guy who really pushed for it, and Representative Steve Cohen, who spoke at yesterday's rally. I think what's going on is - they're beginning to realize this is their base, the people who elected them last time. There were college kids descending from around the east coast on buses yesterday. They're the ones who were lined up around dorm rooms, you know - three deep - waiting to vote in 2008. Now, they are lined up around the White House three deep - not angry, exactly - saying, "We want that Obama from 2008," - the one who said, "I'm gonna be the guy that ends the tyranny of oil. In my administration, the rise of the oceans will begin to slow." We know some of the time Congress has gotten in his way. But not this time, he's got an absolutely clear shot - 20 foot jumper, top of the key - will he square up and take it?
OLBERMANN: What's - other than the, sort of, extra halftime that it provided, to continue the analogy - what do you think the meaning is, of that State Department special investigation of itself?
McKIBBEN: I think it means that the process was so crooked and inept that they had no choice but to investigate. There was a story that came out last week saying that, basically, one twentysomething employee had been the only person assigned by the State Department to do this. I mean, you can't - you know, you can't get a permit for a strip mall in the most environmentally-lax state in the union with that kind of review. If we're going to do environmental-impact statements that way, we might as well just, sort of, assign them to random junior-high-school civics classes. There was - It was terrible.
That's only half of the battle, though. The process is wrong-headed, but that's the least part of this. It's the substance that, in the end, is the real problem. This tar sands in Alberta is the second-largest pool of carbon on Earth. Only the oil fields of Saudi Arabia are larger. When we plumbed the oil fields in Saudi Arabia, we didn't know about climate change. Now if we do, if we just repeat the same thing - then, we're idiots. And that's why Jim Hansen, our foremost climatologist, said, "Tap this stuff heavily, and it's 'Game Over' for the climate." As bad as the process is, it's that reality that is the real trouble here.
OLBERMANN: And by the way, I think turning it over to junior-high civics classes would be an improvement from the federal government under almost all circumstances.
Last point, the company's job creation estimate has dropped from 20,000 to 13,000 to 6,500 - or was it 6,500 all along and they just padded it with this "one year, one job" nonsense?
McKIBBEN: Well, here's the most amazing part of this thing - the only study not funded by TransCanada - funded by a labor think tank, as it turns out - shows than the plan will kill as many jobs as it will recreate, because it's gonna raise gas prices across the Midwest.
For weeks now, reporters - lazy reporters - have repeated this "jobs versus the environment" theme. Now that The Washington Post has done that excellent story, and made it clear that even those job numbers that they're talking about are just crazy - they depend on things like this pipeline motivating modern-dance companies to move from New York out to Nebraska and set up shop out there, I mean, the whole thing is just as crazy as can be - we'll see if it's enough to break the reporting out of this lazy, tired theme. The only place we have really got jobs - and there are millions of them - is when we decide to go to clean energy. When we start insulating homes and putting solar panels on top - the kind of jobs that those guys who are no longer building McMansions know how to do - that's what we need to do. And we really need the president to step up and get us on that path.
OLBERMANN: Tap dancing on the pipelines - Bill McKibben, environmentalist, educator, founder of 350.org, great thanks, Bill.
And there is more good news from Ohio, where a bill to "Wisconsin-ize" collective-bargaining rights there has awakened the state and threatened the governor. Coming up.
OLBERMANN: Don't let it happen here. Ohio's voters moving decisively to kick the Koch brothers in the can. Details next.
First - because we don't have Koch brothers, and this segment is one of our last lines of defense against these maroons - here are "Countdown's" nominees for today's top three "Worst Persons in the World."
The bronze - to Mike Huckabee, weekend announcer at the political whorehouse that is Fox News. Mike, frankly, isn't too bright. For instance, when it came his turn to defend Herman Cain Saturday, before the sexual-harassment charges turned into sexual-assault charges, he boxed himself completely into a corner by comparing Cain's problem with women to ordering at Popeye's Chicken.
(Excerpt from video clip) MIKE HUCKABEE: Especially - I just adore the staff there, because they speak the Southern language that I grew up on, and still understand. But, in light of the Herman Cain controversy, I realize it might not have been Southern gentility but sexual harassment - because the ladies behind the counter called me "honey," "sweetie," and "darling." Maybe, instead of feeling at home, I should have been offended, called a lawyer and demanded free, spicy chicken for life. I mean, I should've known something was inappropriate when they asked me if I wanted legs, breasts or thighs. And then they wanted to know, did I want them spicy? Or what about when they asked if I wanted my tea - sweetened?
OLBERMANN: And then, of course, the time they reached over and tried to grab your nuts - pistachios, almonds, whatever you have.
Runners up? President Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council and Congressman Joe Walsh of Illinois. Each a cement head in his own right, they have now joined forces. Congressmen Walsh has been given a True Blue award by the Family Research Council. "We thank Cong. Walsh who has voted consistently to defend faith, family and freedom. Cong. Wash and other True Blue Members have voted to repeal Obamacare, de-fund Planned Parenthood, end government funding for abortion within the health care law, uphold the Defense of Marriage Act, and continue support for school choice. I applaud their commitment to uphold the institutions of marriage and family."
Wash says he is proud and honored. "Defending American values have always been one of my top priorities, and this reward reaffirms my dedication to that fight."
Because, to Congressman Walsh and the tone-deaf, amoral Family Research Counsel, defending family values means voting in the doctrinaire way the lunatic right demands, not actually, you know - defending your own family. Congressman Walsh is $117,000 in arrears on his child-support payments. And he recently made up a story about his wife telling him that he didn't need to pay it, she didn't really want to go into all the trouble of putting it in writing. If you are confused, of course, the Family Research Counsel meantime, that's just a brand name.
And one more thing - can we show that quote from Walsh one more time? "Defending American have always been one of my top priorities, and this reward..." Seriously, you're a United States congressman and you don't know basic English grammar? "Defending Americans have always been one of your top priorities." Why don't you go defend fourth-grade English class?
Our winner - somebody who bailed out just about then - comedian Rush Limbaugh, responding to the news of a woman accusing Herman Cain of sexual assault - because his livelihood depends on protecting conservatives no matter what they might be guilty of. First, he demanded that the accusers come forth and stop hiding behind anonymity and use their own names and then - when Sharon Bialek came forward - he had to mock her own name.
(Excerpt from video clip) RUSH LIMBAUGH: Gloria Allred says that her name is pronounced Bialek, as in "buy-a-lick." Bialek, it's B-I-A-L-E-K. I assumed it was "bee-al-ick." But Gloria Allred says her name is Bialek, "buy-a-lick," as in "buy-a-lick."
OLBERMANN: No, he is not still high on oxycontin. Rush Limbaugh - today's "Worst Person in the World."
OLBERMANN: "Hoist with his own petard" may have evolved from Shakespearian flatulence pun to political cliché, but it is still happening to Ohio Governor John Kasich.
In our number-one story on the "Countdown" - the ex-Fox News fill-in thought he could pull a Scott Walker on the citizens of his state, which will, tomorrow, probably overturn - or be overturned - by the voters of his state, in what may also be a bellweather predicting Ohio's presidential vote next year - and Ohio's choice has been the nation's choice in the last dozen elections. Governor Kasich signed Senate Bill 5 - SB5 - into law at the end of March, claiming it was necessary to help trim the state's forecast $8 billion budget shortfall. It appears - or, its repeal - appears tomorrow on the ballot as Issue 2.
(Excerpt from video clip) CROWD: No on 2! No on 2!
OLBERMANN: The labor coalition We are Ohio was able to obtain nearly four times the necessary number of signatures to bring the measure directly to voters in the form of a referendum on tomorrow's ballot. The state has the fifth-largest number of union members in the nation. According to The Columbus Dispatch, labor groups have raised $30 million for the campaign to repeal the law. Republican-allied groups have raised seven and a half million in support of it. Citizens United - the group that won a Supreme Court case to allow corporations and unions to spend an infinite amount in elections - launched a $100,000 ad buy late last year backing the law, SB5. SB5 goes even further than the similar measure in Wisconsin, which caused protesters to occupy that state's capitol building over the winter, later demanding the recall of state senators who backed the legislation.
According to a recent Quinnipiac University poll, Ohio voters overwhelmingly favor the repeal of that state law, 57 percent to 32 percent. Nationwide, a Reuters/Ipsos poll, conducted in late last month, found overall union support - 51 percent of Americans saying they feel labor unions have an important role to play in U.S. work places, compared with 43 percent who feel the unions have too much power. Joining us from Columbus, president of the Ohio AFL-CIO, Tim Berga. Mr. Berga, thanks for your time tonight.
TIM BERGA: You're welcome, Keith.
OLBERMANN: Where do things stand going into the vote tomorrow, to your knowledge?
BERGA: Well, when the polls close in 23 hours from now, the momentum and energy that has been building all year long, the incredible outpouring of opposition to Issue 2 and Senate Bill 5 - if we keep that energy going, we're able to sustain and turn out the vote like we know we can, we'll be successful in overturning Issue 2 and Senate Bill 5.
OLBERMANN: How - how do you think you got into this happy position of being able to strike such an important blow for - well, I was gonna say, "for various parts of this country" - but how did you get in this position to able to strike an important blow for this country?
BERGA: Well, Senate Bill 5 represented a tremendous political overreach by Governor Kasich. And the effort and the campaign to repeal Senate Bill 5 and Issue 2 has always been about supporting Ohioans that deliver public services, teach our children, keep us safe. And by stripping nurses, and teachers, and firefighters and police officers, and all of those who deliver public services of their basic collective-bargaining rights at the workplace is unfair. It's unsafe. And Ohioans know now that it's gonna hurt us all going forward. So, from day one, Ohioans have felt like this has been a tremendous political overreach.
OLBERMANN: What happened to the Koch brothers' money? Did they leave Governor Kasich to twist in the wind there, once some of those polls began to come and suggest that he was on the wrong end of this by a margin of as much as 2-1?
BERGA: Well, I mean, you can suspect that. When you look at what has happened all year long, right out of the gate, Ohioans smelled something rotten in Columbus with Senate Bill 5. They knew that we should be working cooperatively to create jobs - get our economy back on track - rather than lowering the bar for all workers and punishing public employees. They knew that was gonna make things worse. Teachers, nurses, firefighters, police officers - that's the fabric of our society. They're - throughout every community in the state, every city in the state, every township - that's who we are. That's Ohio. So, from day one, this is a - Senate Bill 5 - piece of legislation that lacked a constituency.
OLBERMANN: There is an irony here, too, on top of everything else - the Governor, having failed to kill off collective bargaining, is still trying last-second bargaining. What does he want? How does he hope to pull his irons out of this fire?
BERGA: Well, I don't know. He seems to be changing the bar, at least in terms of what expectations are come 7:30 tomorrow night. What we can say - with this campaign to repeal Senate Bill 5 and Issue 2 - is we're going to continue to make sure Ohioans know what is at stake here. And know that this is really a referendum - not only on a bad piece of legislation, and it's a terrible, anti-worker piece of legislation - but it's also a referendum on the future of Ohio, how we're going to value work, what Ohio is going to be about, and protecting and supporting working families in the middle class.
So, Governor Kasich has been flip-flopping around here, as of late. But we're going to continue to make sure we're knocking on doors, we're making the phone calls, we're doing the leaflets at the worksite, everything possible to make sure that we turn out the vote, and get this stake through the heart, so to speak, of Senate Bill 5.
OLBERMANN: One would look at this and note that stat that Ohio has the fifth-largest number of union workers in the nation. Why on Earth would they want to push this in Ohio? Is that, in fact, the reason that Ohio was subjected to this? Because it's such a concentration of unions and they thought this would be a tremendous victory if they could push back in your state?
BERGA: Well, Keith, when you look at the facts - when you look at the anti-worker legislation that's been proposed or enacted in Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, Florida, Ohio - it makes you wonder, "Is this politically motivated to try to cripple organized labor?" As we are one of the last, remaining institutions that have the ability to push back on the super wealthy and the investor-class forces that want to control the complete public-policy agenda, in our opinion, to create a permanent low-wage work force. So, certainly, it appears to be - to have political motives involved.
OLBERMANN: I would think just a little bit, about 150 percent. Tim Berga, the head of the Ohio AFL-CIO. Great thanks for some of your time tonight, all the best tomorrow.
BERGA: Thank you, Keith.
OLBERMANN: That's "Countdown" for this, the 307th day since the Republicans took control of the house, 307 days thus without them having passed one jobs bill of any kind. I'm Keith Olbermann. Congratulations on surviving another day of this crap. Good night and good luck.