'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for Thursday, August 18th, 2011
ShowPlug1: GOP, the modern Know-Nothings: Perry denies evolution, planet history. Tonight Bachmann warns of the "rise of the Soviet Union"
ShowPlug2: @BrianBeutler on willful embrace of ignorance, poor Huntsmann's tweet defending reality. Science w/Joe Romm, @ClimateProgres
ShowPlug3: What? A Jobs Bill with actual jobs, in an actual bill? @RepRaulGrijalva on his bill that would boost jobs, infrastructure
ShowPlug4: Kasich on the retreat in Ohio as Dems and Unions reject his plea for deal to stave off repeal of SB5; @Markos Moulitsas joins me
ShowPlug5: Murdoch-Gate: NewsCorp getting ready for James's exit? Another Hacking Arrest; Editor worked in Hollywood
ShowPlugLast: Worsts: the unbelievable comment about being armed on the Senate floor that should cost a Senator his job.
watch whole playlist
#5 'Ignorance is Bliss', Brian Beutler
#5 'Ignorance is Bliss', Joe Romm
#4 'Order on the Border', Rep. Raul Grijalva
Current.com: part 1, part 2
Time Marches On!
#3 'Ohio Union Busting', Markos Moulitsas
#2 Worst Persons: Ray Sandoval, Mitt Romney, Sen. Tom Coburn
#1 'Heir Today...', Peter Lauria
#5 'Ignorance is Bliss', Joe Romm:
Keith Olbermann: We are now joined by Joe Rome, editor of Climateprogress.org. Thank you for your time.
Joe Romm: Thank you for having me.
Keith Olbermann: Gov. Perry went on to say at some length that global warming is a myth propagated by scientists who want money for their projects. How do you begin to answer for willful ignorance like that?
Joe Romm: Four pinocchios for this claim. Perry took $11 million in campaign contributions from "Big Oil" over the past 12 years. It's politicians who take money from teams to make up crap. Scientists need to have reproducible conclusions and results and that's how they protect their reputation. Most people who know scientists know they didn't go into it for the money, which is not something you can say about politicians.
Keith Olbermann: Now, once this has turned into a policy point, the republican war against the EPA -- how far do they want to roll back environmental protections? Do they think this works as an issue in the election because the they say the EPA is a "job-smothering" device?
Joe Romm: They would like to go far. I think there is no question that, for instance, Bachmann said that she is going to shut the doors and turn out the lights if she is elected. I think they're banking on people not knowing what the EPA does, which is to say, use science to protect our clean air and clean water for our children and ourselves.
I mean, you know, we are talking about laws that reduce asthma attacks, hospital visits, protect people's lives, keep arsenic out of the water so, you know, I think it's just crazy to campaign against clean air and clean water. It is among the most popular issues among the public, and, you know, one of the things... being anti-science is being anti-jobs. Where do people think the jobs -- where did the internet come from? It was created by scientists. All of these medical advances, again created by scientists. If you don't teach science f you don't encourage science, you are never going to compete against China and India and, of course, the Soviet Union [said jokingly].
Keith Olbermann: Is that how you see the actual impact on 21st century science, America having a president who denied climate change, thought the theory of evolution was or needed to be balanced, right after the inauguration, going about dismantling the EPA?
Joe Romm: It would be catastrophic. Aside from the fact that the nation that leads the world in science and technology will create the most jobs, you know, the EPA is a matter of public health. The bare minimum requirements of the government is to make sure the water we drink is safe and the air we breathe is safe.
Keith Olbermann: Do you have any idea how widespread these fantasies about science are in the tea party or just things they say so they can use them as excuses for battering a president they don't happen to like?
Joe Romm: The tea party has bought this hook, line and sinker, tim pawlenty having to say, no, I don't believe in climate science. The tea party is backed by polluters like the Koch brothers. They funded think tanks. To repeat, Fox News is in on this. There is this denier industrial complex.
Keith Olbermann: Thanks, Joe.
#2 Worst Persons:
Did NewsCorp just give James Murdoch the kiss of death, and does the latest arrest suggest phone-hacking...in Hollywood?
But first, because we're still left with the phone-y, and the hacks. It's our number two story.
Time for Countdown's top three nominees for today's Worst Persons In The World.
The bronze to Ray Sandoval, who is in essence the "point person" for the President's re-election campaign in New Mexico.
He blasted out an e-mail...
Designed to blast...the left.
Mr. Sandoval is the New Mexico State Director of "Obama For America."
Right after the debt deal, asking recipients " please take five minutes to read this, please." He sent them a blog post which read in part:
"Paul Krugman is a political rookie. At least he is when compared to President Obama. That's why he unleashed a screed as soon as word came about the debt ceiling compromise between President Obama and Congressional leaders - to, you know, avert an economic 9/11."
"No, the loudest screeching noise you hear coming from Krugman and the ideologue Left is, of course, Medicare. Oh, no, the President is agreeing to a Medicare trigger!!! Oh noes!!! Everybody freak out right now!
"The more than half-a-trillion in defense and security spending cut "trigger" for the Republicans will hardly earn a mention on the Firebagger Lefty blogosphere. Hell, it's a trigger supposedly for the Republicans, and of course, there's always It'sNotEnough-ism to cover it.
The Firebagger Lefty blogopshere got the President nominated in 2008. It may or may not be all that can get him re-elected next year. But if it sits out, he can't win most of the swing states. So, Mr. Sandoval -- I believe the abbreviation is S.T.F.U.
Our runner-up: the rapidly self-destructing Mitt Romney.
First it was his plea "corporations are people too."
What about the corporations?
Who's looking out for the corporations?
Won't somebody think of the corporations!
Romney has ripped the President's vacation.
"He's going to be going to vacation on Martha's Vineyard for ten days. A lot of Democrats in Martha's Vineyard. I don't know why."
On August 27th, The President **will be** in Martha's Vineyard.
While, on August 27th, Mr. Romney will be in... Martha's Vineyard.
For a 2500-dollar a person fundraiser.
Just say oopse and get out.
Romney, of course, was just on Cape Cod at another fundraiser, hosted by...one of the Koke Brothers.
But our winner: Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma.
Who has crossed a very serious line.
Speaking in the town of Pryor, Dr. Coburn actually went to the County Medical Center, and insisted on cutting medicare and veterans benefits.
As the crowd guffawed, Coburn admitted some poor people might have gotten better care in the last 45 years after Medicare replaced the old system, which was called 'let the old and poor bleed to death.'
But he insisted: "You can't tell me the system is better now than it was before Medicare."
He also said the President advocated these kinds of programs because "As an African-American male Obama received tremendous advantage from a lot of these programs."
But when he moved from health care and casual racism to the debt ceiling deal, Senator Coburn took a step down from the simple mean-spirited, out-of-touch whiny elitism which has marked his political career, and moved towards ineligibility for the office which he holds.
He called his colleagues "cowards" and then added...
"It's just a good thing I can't pack a gun on the Senate floor."
Yes it is.
But apparently it is insufficient protection.
For a sitting U-S Senator to say, in public, that he even daydreams about the prospect of shooting other Senators is not just to ignore the supposed lessons of the shooting of Congresswoman Giffords and the other victims of Tucson...it is not just to ignore the years before the Civil War when Congressman Preston Brooks of Georgia went up to Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts in the Senate chamber and beat him into unconsciousness, and out of office for a year...it is to pull at the threads of non-violent democracy.
It is unacceptable.
It implies that other members of the U-S Senate merit being shot because they disagree with Senator Coburn.
And if that is indeed how he thinks -- and he has not disavowed, apologized for, nor even addressed his remark -- he is not just a personal danger to his colleagues, but more realistically, he is that kind of dangerous inspiration to those of his supporters, or constituents, or just anybody who hears his comments, who might be unstable enough to act on them.
As Senator Coburn admits, it is "just a good thing" he can't "pack a gun on the Senate floor."
But it'd be a better thing still if he were not on the Senate floor.
If that's who you are Senator -- resign.
Senator Tom Coburn -- of Senate Shoot-out dreams -- today's Worst Person In The World.