Monday, August 29, 2011

'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for Monday, August 29th, 2011
video 'podcast'

ShowPlug1: Worst News Interview Of All Time? NatGeo's love letter to President Bush about 9/11. @JohnWDean on facts, @Markos on tone

ShowPlug2: Plus Powell pushes back on Cheney, and Apple Daily delightfully pushes back on both he and Bush, who thinks he "projected calm"

ShowPlug3: Bachmann says claim God sent hurricane to get us to cut spending was a joke; she's she got a great sense of humor. w/ @SamSteinHP

ShowPlug4: Plus Perry now on tape calling social security a ponzi scheme, and Santorum insists there's a Gay Jihad against him

ShowPlug5: Cantor's Jobs Plan is great, if you already have a job. @RepJohnLarson of CT joins me to reply, address his own plan

ShowPlug6: Worsts: Bush buddy in Senate of Puerto Rico resigns after bizarre photos (that was no bathing suit accident!)

ShowPlugLast: + Forecast that by 2030 50% of us will be obese. Special Guest: Chef Anthony Bourdain of @NoReservations

watch whole playlist

#5 'Bush, Lies & Videotape', John Dean

#5 'Bush, Lies & Videotape', Markos Moulitsas
YouTube, (excerpt)

#4 'Divine Comedy', Sam Stein

# Time Marches On!

#3 'Jobs Agenda', Rep. John Larson

#2 Worst Persons: Obama administration, Roberto Arango, Rep. Eric Cantor, YouTube

#1 'War on Obesity', Anthony Bourdain
YouTube, (excerpt)

printable PDF transcript

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

Portrait of a megalomaniac.


GEORGE W. BUSH: I made the decision not to jump up immediately, and I didn't want to leave the classroom. I didn't want to rattle the kids. I wanted to project a sense of calm.

OLBERMANN: Sure, that look of panic on your face was exactly the sense of calm they needed. George W. Bush rewrites history in one of the worst examples of TV journalism in history.


BUSH: At some point in time, in the immediate aftermath of the attacks, I, uh -- thought about why didn't we know this.

OLBERMANN: Because you didn't read the presidential daily briefing of August 6th -- "Bin Laden determined to strike at U.S." And why throughout the interview did Mr. Bush describe that day as monumental and significant, but never tragic?

How can we miss you if you won't go away? Colin Powell blows back on Dick Cheney?


COLIN POWELL: I hoped in his book that's what he will focus on, not these cheap shots that he's taking at me and other members of the administration.

OLBERMANN: Irene was a message to cut spending, she hallucinates.


MICHELE BACHMANN: I don't know how much God has to do to get the attention of politicians. We had an earthquake, we've had a hurricane. He said, "Are you going to start listening to me here?"

OLBERMANN: Congresswoman, maybe Irene was God telling you he doesn't want you to run for president. Rick Perry doubles down, calls Social Security a Ponzi scheme on tape. And the gays are after Rick Santorum, or the Muslims. Or maybe the gay Muslims. It's hard to tell.


RICK SANTORUM: So the gays said, "He's comparing gay sex to incest and polygamy. How dare he do this." And they have gone out on what I would argue a jihad against Rick Santorum since then.

OLBERMANN: The Eric Cantor jobs plan is out. First, you neuter the National Labor Relations Board, then you hit the unions, then you'll have all the low-paying jobs you can imagine. Half of all American adults obese by 2030. The thoughts of the Travel Channel's Anthony Bourdain.

And ruh-roh. The Senate of Puerto Rico is now in session. All rise.

All that and more on "Countdown."


MAN: My bum is on the phone!


OLBERMANN: Good evening from New York. This is Monday, August 29th -- 435 days until the 2012 presidential election.

It's less than a week now until the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, marked, or perhaps marred, last night by an exclusive interview on National Geographic Television with former President George W. Bush.

The fifth story on "The Countdown," that the President Bush gives his version of September 11th while his consigliere, former Vice President Dick Cheney, is still out spinning his version of the Bush presidency in his book, "My Time." We'll have comment and analysis on both from John Dean and Markos Moulitsas.

First, the Bush interview.


BUSH: September the 11th has -- was a monumental day in our nation's history. Significant day. And it was obviously -- it changed my presidency.

OLBERMANN: It's not mincing words to suggest that the word missing from that description was "tragic." And yes, it changed the Bush presidency. Apparently incidental to that, how it changed the history of the nation and the world and the 3,000 more dead, just as President Bush apparently feels compelled to change the story of what he did that day.


BUSH: I had been notified that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. At first, I thought it was a light aircraft, and my reaction was, "Man, either the weather was bad, or something extraordinary happened to the pilot."

OLBERMANN: Unfortunately, Mr. Bush has recounted that story a little differently before. On December 4th, 2001, he told an Orlando town hall he saw the first plane hit the first Trade Center tower on TV. Guess that didn't happen. This did, though not as he describes it.


BUSH: I had been in enough crises as governor to know that first thing the leader of an organization or a state or country's got to do is project calm. Because if the leader is not calm, it's likely many others won't be calm either.

OLBERMANN: There are words to describe President Bush's expression at that moment. Calm is not one of them. Confusion, panic. Either would do and may underlie the differing descriptions of what Bush did after he left the classroom for Air Force One and a trip to destination unknown.


BUSH: So the first decision I made on Air Force One was to give our Air Force orders to shoot down commercial aircraft that did not respond to orders to land.

OLBERMANN: Maybe he did and maybe he didn't. According to the 9/11 Commission, it was Vice President Cheney in the White House bunker who gave the order "to engage the inbound plane." The order was never received by a fighter pilot and would've been too late in the event. And while Cheney says he spoke to the president first, the Commission could not confirm that conversation ever happened. We also have the president's word he made this comment to a military driver after arriving at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana.


BUSH: The kid driving the thing is going -- it felt like 100 miles an hour. I mean, we're bouncing along and charging along. Finally, I told the guy, I said, "Slow down. I mean, al-Qaida's not here." Uh -- that's about as humorous a moment as the day had.

OLBERMANN: George Tenet's CIA had warned the president on August 6th, 2001 that al-Qaida wanted to strike within the U.S. Perhaps that's why Mr. Bush could not remember exactly when he first thought of al-Qaida on September 11th, adding a little later in that interview --


BUSH: My first indication it could be al-Qaida was during the national security meeting at Offutt Air Force Base.

OLBERMANN: According to reporter Ron Suskind, Bush's response to the CIA briefer who passed on the al-Qaida warning in August was, "All right. You've covered your ass." And covering ass, his own, may have been Mr. Bush's chief motivation in not going after the Intelligence Committee for its failures leading up to the attack.


BUSH: I didn't want to start the finger-pointing and, you know, say to our Intelligence Committee, "You fouled up. You should have caught this. Why didn't you know?"

OLBERMANN: And then there's the response to 9/11 -- not how to strike al-Qaida, but when to strike Iraq.


BUSH: The first real discussions about Iraq and their involvement, or potential involvement, in the attacks took place on September the 15th at Camp David. And I, uh -- I made the decision that we would deal with Iraq later on.

OLBERMANN: According to former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill and General Wesley Clark, Bush made the decision to deal with Iraq well before September 11th, 2001. In his memoir, O'Neill writes that Bush wanted to strike Saddam Hussein from day one in his administration. And as for former Vice President Cheney, he's been striking at his former boss with his own version of their relationship.


WOMAN: President Bush writes, "I turned to the team gathered in the Oval Office, and said, 'Let's go.'" You write, "The president kicked everyone else out of the Oval Office, looked at me and said, 'Dick, what do you think we ought to do?'"


DICK CHENEY: That's the way I recall it. And I was giving advice. I wasn't making the decision.


WOMAN: Don't you think it will embarrass him that you point out the difference?


CHENEY: I -- I didn't set out to embarrass the president or not embarrass the president.

OLBERMANN: Though Mr. Cheney seems to have had no problem embarrassing former National Security Advisor, later Secretary of State Rice, claiming she came to him with tears in her eyes to admit he was right not to apologize for having misled the world on the alleged threat posed by Iraq.


CHENEY: She was tearful. That's what I wrote. If I'd wanted to say she was crying, I would have said she was crying.

OLBERMANN: And Bush's first Secretary of State, Mr. Powell, didn't think much of Cheney's claim that his book would cause heads to explode in Washington.


POWELL: "It's going to cause heads to explode." The kind of headline you might see at one of the supermarket tabloids, right? It's not the kind of headline I would have expected to come from a former vice president of the United States of America.

OLBERMANN: "Countdown" contributor, Nixon White House Council, author of "Conservatives Without Conscience," John Dean joins us now from Los Angeles. John, good evening.

JOHN DEAN: Good evening, Keith.

OLBERMANN: You worked for a president who had issues with the truth, multiple truths, multiple falsehoods. Should we just believe the version of this that we prefer? It seems President Bush does. Or do we wait until we get documentation on all these things he's now told two different ways, you know, 50 years from now?

DEAN: Well, this National Geographic series was certainly not Nixon-Frost as far as either the responses or the questions. I don't know what Bush, you know -- we're wading in to a very fuzzy area when you go into Bush's mind and motives, and it's clear this is not anything more than an effort to puff up his presidency with a very friendly interviewer in a very friendly program that's cut just the way they want it to make George Bush look good.

OLBERMANN: Mr. Bush said that he'd been through enough crises to know that he should project calm. And I guess that's the first time I ever heard anybody use that word to describe that infamous footage in the classroom. Should he have learned by now that just saying it so, does it make it so, or was that the point of the interview in the first place?

DEAN: It might be, well, his effort to characterize what he thinks is calm, to try to put that spin on it, to try to make that the image of what a deer looks like when caught in the headlights. The deer is calm for the moment, when panic is all about. It's clearly an effort to portray this in a way that is contrary to what actually happened. The facts are awfully hard to make go away with 9/11. They've been well probed and well explored, and I don't think this is gonna succeed. And I certainly hope it doesn't because it's highly exploitive of 9/11.

OLBERMANN: Mr. Bush's confusion about al-Qaida and when that came into the equation. It seems he can't remember what he remembered when about al-Qaida. Do we think that's real confusion or is he just adding -- if everything is confused about where al-Qaida came into the equation, then the president's daily briefing in August doesn't mean that much anymore. Was that the goal or is this just general confusion? Is there a way to tell?

DEAN: I don't think there's a real way to tell. We do know this was an issue after the fact. It came up during the 9/11 hearings. There was this scorching cross-examination by Ben Veniste of Condoleezza Rice about the briefing. Bill Moyers dealt with her on the issue. They were certainly aware after the fact that this was going to be an issue about what was in that briefing, so, you know, the fact that he might not have remembered it at the time -- is certainly something he well remembers now, and certainly hasn't done a very good job of articulating or explaining in any way, in any legitimate effort to put it in proper perspective.

OLBERMANN: President Bush's refusal, and he made a specific point of this on a couple occasions, to do any finger-pointing about the failures of the intelligence community. The CIA knew two of the future hijackers were Al-Qaeda and living in San Diego. They had an informant with them. The FBI agent who, of course, famously warned that these Arab men were trying to learn how to fly jetliners, but didn't seem to give a damn whether or not they learn how to take them off or land them. And I use this next term very carefully, 'cause I'm referring to the hiding of gross incompetence, but is it plausible that this interview is just sort of another ad hoc part of a cover-up to keep all of the various failures of that time at least below the surface, rather than constantly in our minds?

DEAN: Keith, we know that the Bush White House fought hard against the 9/11 commission really getting into the facts. They tried to undermine it from the time it started. There has been an ongoing effort to not be forthcoming. We don't know what the Bush library's going to do with this information. But I suspect that it will be long hidden down there, so, the fact that he's spinning it and giving rather confused answers doesn't surprise me at all. He doesn't want to really explain 9/11 while he's alive, and I doubt we'll ever get a full explanation while he's around.

OLBERMANN: John Dean, "Countdown" contributor, Nixon White House counsel, author of "Conservatives without Conscience." Always great to have you, sir. Thank you for your time tonight.

DEAN: Thank you, Keith.

OLBERMANN: For more on the tone of the interview, and the premise of the interview itself, we are joined by Markos Moulitsas, "Countdown" contributor, and of course founder and publisher of Daily Kos. Good evening, Markos.

MARKOS MOULITSAS: Good evening, Keith.

OLBERMANN: Who gets the worst grade on this -- President Bush for those answers, or the Nat Geo channel for what somebody on Twitter, I think, aptly described as "this infomercial quality of the program."

MOULITSAS: It was much of a -- it did look like an infomercial. I would think Nat Geo gets the worst grade. I mean, can you blame Bush for trying to white wash what was a disastrous presidency? So, he's going to go, and he's going to try to rewrite history. That's what politicians do. I think clearly, Nat Geo, by giving them that platform, was the worst off. I mean, that's the kind of stuff you leave to Fox News.

OLBERMANN: There are 50, and speaking of headlines, not really -- headline questions not asked. There are 50 of them in this, and certainly not answered. What would have been the easiest one to ask that they didn't? What would have been the one that the interview subject would have taken the least offense, and we still might have gotten something useful out of?

MOULITSAS: I don't know. 50 of them -- I mean, we could keep going.


MOULITSAS: As far as what would take least offense, I don't know. But, I think what I would have done is I would have probed deeper into why he really ignored that report about Osama Bin Laden determined to strike the U.S. I don't know if you remember, but Dick Cheney was supposed to be in charge of a terrorism -- counterterrorism task force, which he basically ignored because he started a new one that was more focused on how to get kickbacks to his oil buddies. He was more concerned about the energy stuff than he was about fighting terrorism. So, to me, that's sort of the biggest question, because when George Bush sits there and wonders why he didn't know, it's clear that there's something going on, and maybe what was happening, given what Cheney is saying these days, was that Cheney was really in charge. And maybe while Bush was floating around in the air, hiding off in some remote airbase in the Dakotas, he had Cheney in charge at that command and control bunker. And I wonder did George Bush care for that, or did he not realize till much later that he had lost control of his presidency.

OLBERMANN: So, do you think having seen this that we've learned anything of value in the whole interview?

MOULITSAS: I don't think anything of value, but I got to say, it was fascinating seeing Bush finally try to justify those minutes and minutes of long drawn out painful moments of panicked silence after he was -- after he received the news. So, I don't think I've ever seen him try to justify that, or anybody else for that matter, so it was good to see that spin attempt.

OLBERMANN: Yeah, he was projecting calm. That's what he was doing when he looked like Clarence the cross-eyed lion from the TV series in the '60s. He used the terms monumental and significant, but there wasn't -- there was nothing in there about tragic, or sad or cataclysmic. There certainly -- it sounded like that was -- he was sort of disconnected from the event, even 10 years later.

MOULITSAS: Yeah, I mean it clearly changed his presidency, and there's no doubt about that.


MOULITSAS: And, it was monumental, and whatever those words he used. But, the fact is that for him, and I think for Republicans in general, 9/11 was an opportunity, not a disaster, because they were able to take that, and use it to stifle their domestic critics, push through a radical agenda, try to silence anybody that opposed them. And it essentially won his re-election in 2004, based on 9/11, because he wasn't popular on any other matters. So, for Republicans, even today, 9/11 is the gift that keeps on giving. The fact that 3,000-plus people died is incidental to them. They don't care about that. What was there was a political opportunity, and he took it.

OLBERMANN: Yeah, it is amazing that they had all that curtailment of civil rights ready to go within weeks, but, you know, ten years later, he still really doesn't really understand why he didn't know that it was going to happen in advance.



MOULITSAS: No, and he also talked about -- you know, when he quickly talked about how he had to put the plans on invading Iraq on hold.

OLBERMANN: That's right.

MOULITSAS: Why were there plans to invade Iraq in the first place at that point? And the fact is we know as -- for a fact that they actually were at that time planning to invade Iraq. Now, they had a really great excuse to do so.

OLBERMANN: Well, you know, a good rationalization is a rationalization that lasts a lifetime. So, he's got them in a small car-load lot. Markos Moulitsas, founder, publisher of The Daily Kos, and "Countdown" contributor. Again, thank you, sir.

MOULITSAS: Thank you very much.

OLBERMANN: And, let's take a moment to lighten this up a little bit. At least for Mr. Cheney, we have the good folks at "Apple Daily" to thank for some nice deft brief satire. If there is any doubt in the next few seconds, Cheney is the one who looks like he's wearing a cross between Elmer Fudd's attire and the uniform at the fast food franchise Hot Dog on a Stick.


WOMAN: [Speaking foreign language]

OLBERMANN: Today's tears -- Michele Bachmann's, but they're tears of laughter -- her claim that the hurricane was a message from God to cut spending, just her great sense of humor in play. She's very funny. She'll tell you. That's next. This is "Countdown."


OLBERMANN: First, she says that God sent the earthquake and the hurricane to get us to cut spending said a spokesman. And she said she was just kidding. How can you tell anymore? Wonder if you can get her to blurt out something about spending by just sneaking up behind her and saying, "Michele, this is God." But, he really did mean it when he said Social Security was a Ponzi scheme. This time it is on tape. Democratic congressman John Larson of Connecticut reacts to the Republican jobs proposal, which is heavy on breaks for employers at the expense of employees. He'll also discuss his plan tied to the super debt committee. And the host of the Travel Channel's "No Reservations" on the disturbing forecast that within 19 years half of the adults in this country will be obese. Only half? Anthony Bourdain ahead on "Countdown."


OLBERMANN: The east coast is now drying out from what most people assume was simply a nasty late summer hurricane. But according to presidential candidate Michele Bachman, the storm was actually a message from God, who two months after telling Bachmann it was her duty to run is now sending low-pressure systems spiraling up from the South to encourage the government to spend less. In our fourth story tonight, the GOP presidential race makes a turn for the ridiculous, or the religious, or both as Ms. Bachmann helpfully translates for the Lord, Rick Perry calls Social Security a monstrous lie, and Rick Santorum claims that gay people are waging jihad against him. Speaking in Florida, Ms. Bachmann calling Hurricane Irene, which caused at least 35 deaths and an estimated $7 billion in damage, a divine rebuke on government spending. Federal funding for emergency preparedness programs, which likely kept those figures from being higher, presumably not factoring into God's plan.


BACHMANN: And I don't know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians. We've had an earthquake, we've had a hurricane. He said, "Are you going to start listening to me here? Listen to the American people because the American people are roaring right now. Because they know what needs to be done. They know that government is on a morbid obesity diet. It's got to rein in the spending."

OLBERMANN: Stop telling me what God is saying. Bachmann later said she was just kidding about the whole "what God is saying" message thing, and that, "I am a person who loves humor. I have a great sense of humor. I think it's important to exhibit that humor sometimes when you're talking to people as well." Like right there. That's hilariously funny. Whenever you hear somebody explain, or having them explain to you that they have a great sense of humor, check for the nearest exit and check to make sure your wallet is still where you left it. Meantime, Texas Governor Rick Perry put on the video record his previous contention that Social Security is, among other things, a Ponzi scheme.


PERRY: It is a Ponzi scheme for these young people. It is a monstrous lie on this generation, and we can't do that to you.

OLBERMANN: And meanwhile, in South Carolina, Rick Santorum claiming the gay community is waging holy war against him. Santorum, who has criticized same-sex marriage saying his definition of wedlock has never involved "man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be," now says he can't imagine why the gay community would be critical of him, and he also speaks here in the third person, which is nearly as bad.


SANTORUM: And they have gone out on a jihad against Rick Santorum since then.

OLBERMANN: While Santorum and the other Republican candidates soldier on in their crusade to take the White House, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty will not be among them. He dropped out earlier this month not because God told him to, but as "The Huffington Post's" Sam Stein is now reporting, because his campaign was deeply in debt, perhaps half a million dollars worth, according to one of Stein's sources. If only he had received a divine message about limited his spending. As if on cue, here is Sam Stein, "Huffington Post" political reporter. Good evening, Sam.

SAM STEIN: Thank you for having me, Keith.

OLBERMANN: Let's start with your reporting on Pawlenty. How did he get so far in debt so early in the campaign?

STEIN: Well, for starters, he chose a campaign that based very much on a non-Minnesota structure, and I think that really ended up hampering his chances. He hired top-notch strategists throughout the party including the prized Nick Ayers, who had led the Republican Governors Association. He hired top-notch strategists, and then they basically formulated a strict policy that was based in Iowa where the notion of spending big time on the Ames Straw Poll. The idea was that they were going to invest everything that they had, which was limited to begin with, and if they came up really up high in the Ames Straw Poll, then they'd catapult the candidate back up into the polls and they'd lure more investors into donating to his campaign. Of course, it didn't happen. They put too much emphasis on a top finish. They hired too many top-ranking people, and they ended up broke.

OLBERMANN: Let me move on to Bachmann.

STEIN: Sure.

OLBERMANN: And I don't suppose the hurricane tax-cutting message from God comment is the surprise here. Is it the attempt to pull the thing back the surprise?

STEIN: I think it's the attempt -- the bad attempt at humor. It's such a bad joke. I mean, where was the punch line? I think I'm missing it. But, you know, in all honesty, what strikes me -- and let's give her -- let's say that it is a joke. Let's grant her that. What strikes me is how -- well, what the House would be like, for instance, if President Obama were to invoke God in such a manner. It would be sacrilege for a lot of these people. And the other thing that is striking about it is that there are legitimate implications or lessons to be learned from the earthquake here in D.C. and the hurricane that followed. Surely they are far up the east coast, and that's a very scientific lesson, which is that the Earth is actually changing its climate. And we can have a serious discussion about those things or we can joke about the divine lessons to be learned from them, and I think this Republican field, just not Michele Bachmann, would rather keep it to the divine.

OLBERMANN: Narrowing it to the divine, did she hurt herself, even in her own community, by joking periodically as opposed to being only serious when she supposedly gets these direct messages about running and other important stuff like that?

STEIN: I can't imagine that much. I mean, keep in mind this is a -- for all the Tea Party faction which is supposedly not interested in social conservatism or religion an more focused on the debt, the predominant force right now in the Republican party, especially in Iowa, are religious conservatives. And so you have governors like Rick Perry, for instance, who led a prayer service to have rain end a drought in Texas. Now that's a real blurring between the separation of church and state, but he's getting applauded for it, and so I think invoking God in this manner, even if it's cavalier, doesn't really hurt her.

OLBERMANN: Governor Perry repeating his previous line, which we'd only read about social security is a Ponzi scheme afflicting the young. Is he splitting enough hairs there? Are older people just going to hear "Ponzi scheme" and not hear the disclaimer about referencing newer members of it and react with astonishment and alarm?

STEIN: See, and I might be wrong here, but this is, I think, more problematic than anything Michele Bachmann said jokingly about God. I think people generally like social security and don't like to think of it as something that's going to disappear, and they don't want a governor who calls it unconstitutional and says it should be dictated by the states or privatized. They want to hear proposals for how to strengthen it. And this isn't a Democratic or progressive thing. This is something that polls consistently across ideological lines, so I think Rick Perry's playing with fire here.

OLBERMANN: The "Politico" headline today -- "Is Rick Perry Dumb?" Is that being asked seriously anywhere, or is that just "Politico"? No offense to "Politico."

STEIN: No, no, no. It's a great headline, and I'm sure it hooked a lot of readers, and, you know, the actually substance of the article was a really good piece, I thought. I think the gist of it is not whether he's intellectually smart or not. The real question is he intellectually curious or not, and I think the consensus is that he's not very intellectually curious. If you read his books, they're pretty straightforward. They're simple. A lot of complex policy issues are distilled into cheap cliché sports analogies. I've read the one about Boy Scouts. That's the gist of it. But he's, you know, a tactician at best, and he's a very good one. And he's never lost a contest in politics and he's very competitive, and I think people have learned their lesson by underestimating George W. Bush on this front. So Rick Perry is a politician. That's the end game.

OLBERMANN: Sam Stein of The Huffington Post cutting down to the nib as usual. Great thanks, Sam. Talk to you soon.

STEIN: Thank you, Keith. Take care.

OLBERMANN: And what about jobs? Eric Cantor reveals the outlines of his plan, which look just great for employers since they pretty much eliminate unions and the National Labor Relations Board. Democrat John Larson of Connecticut with a better idea, and he joins me coming up.


OLBERMANN: The Eric Cantor jobs plan: Bust up the National Liberations Board. Neuter the unions. In other words, a minimum wage job is still a job, next. First the Sanity Break, and on this date in 1962 in Belgium was born the writer and poet, Maurice Maeterlinck, the Nobel Prize winner for literature of 1911. He wrote a lot, but one of his quotes has been with me daily since I first heard it, "At every cross roads on the path that leads to the future, tradition has placed 10,000 men to guard the past." Motto of the Republican Party.

Time Marches On.

Let's check in on the animals of the T.M.O. Adorable Video of the Day, where this guy is just dog tired after a long day of barking at the mail man and consuming Snausages, all this pup wants to do is relax on the couch.You and me both, buddy. But, there is one fatal flaw, the grease he uses to style his ears is too slick to let him stay on the armrest. No matter how he tries to situate himself, it simply will not hold. Back and to the left. Back and to the left. The good news is, it looks like they've developed a new breed of dog, the Snoozer.

To the internet, where we find a tire on the run and boom goes the dynamite. Wow. Someone apparently did not check their lug nuts before driving, and the tire takes off down the road eventually using the back of a cab to stop itself. The cabbie said he saw the tire coming but really couldn't do anything to get out of the way. I don't know if you could -- saw the evasive maneuvers there. Luckily for this guy the tire seems to have come from a nearby fire truck. So, at least help was near by. This is definitely not what he expected when he'd opened that fortune cookie that said a "good year" was coming his way.

In sports, we travel to South Korea for the preliminary round of the 100-meter sprint at the World Championship, key word being sprint. And they're running, most of them. Sogelau Tuvalu of American Samoa quickly fell behind and ended up finishing at a blistering 15.66 seconds and not appearing in your picture. A personal best, not a joke. 17-year-old Tuvalu is not a sprinter, he's a shot putter as his size would suggest. He'd entered the 100 meters after he failed to qualify in the shot. Camera does its best to try to keep him in its shot, but he finished a respectable five seconds behind the winner. After the race he described the event as a dream come true. Next time he should dream about something that doesn't involve running. Time slowly marches on.

Congressman Larson of Connecticut on pinning a real jobs program to the Super Congress Debt Committee and Eric Cantor's new plan out today. Plenty of breaks for employers who add jobs like no regulations, no unions, no having to pay you a fair wage, next on "Countdown."


OLBERMANN: We are live from "Countdown" world headquarters in the M.C. Escher Complex in New York each night at 8:00 P.M. then we retransmit into your home at 11:00 P.M., 2:00 A.M., 7:00 A.M., Noon, and 3:00 P.M.

We call it our little miracle.

Eric Cantor knows how to create jobs. Fight against environmental protection regulations, attack the rights of union workers, push back against the health care law, and add a few tax breaks for businesses. In our third story on "Countdown," Cantor, the majority leader of from Virginia, unleashed his new plan today. His wish list letter to his Republican colleagues comes on the heels of a very different approach presented early this month by Congressman John Larson of Connecticut who will join us momentarily. This is to some degree a launch party for the GOP's newest war. It's not just Social Security and Medicare now, Mr. Cantor has new targets.


ERIC CANTOR: The National Labor Relations Board which has made decisions that stop companies from -- or begin to try and stop companies from relocating or expanding in states that they so choose to create new jobs, or whether it is the E.P.A.




CANTOR: Which has been on a rampage.

OLBERMANN: Of course, unemployment has rampaged since the financial crash that ended the Bush era. It currently stands at 9.1% down from 10.1% in October, 2009. Cantor, of course opposes any tax hikes on the rich or any new stimulus and despite its total failure during the Bush Administration, he is still centered on the premise of making things easier for the alleged job creators. We didn't create jobs then, aren't creating jobs now, and won't create jobs later.

"I expect the House to move quickly in the coming months" he says, "on this common sense and pro-growth small business proposal to create middle-class jobs. Our increased focus on the repeal of job-destroying regulations and pursuit of pro-growth tax relief will not distract from other equally important areas of our jobs agenda."

As promised, here is Representative John Larson of Connecticut, the Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus. Congressman, good evening.

JOHN LARSON: Good evening, Keith, great to be on the show.

OLBERMANN: Our pleasure. Eric Cantor's job plan it's really great isn't it provided you already have a job, or better yet provided you already have your own company?

LARSON: Other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play? Well, listen, as you point out, you know it basically guts most of the regulatory agencies that have done so much for this country, to protect the environment, to ensure the labor force, that they get fairly treated. But, we believe that every proposal deserves its day in the sun, and we -- we think that's it's -- that these things ought a see the light of day, and Mr. Cantor indicates that he's going to bring them to the floor of the House, the President has been saying that, look we ought to take up a number of jobs proposals, and as you indicated, I specifically want to link job creation and economic growth to the Deficit Committee.

Now, we have a select committee that's been charged responsibility, given a time frame, and its unique value is that of course there's sequestration or a trigger, that if congress fails to act, in the case of the deficit, there will be an across the field cut of two percent, but, no mention about jobs. Well, as you indicate, the jobs -- we're at 9.1 percent unemployment, full unemployment would be 5.5 percent. I think our goal should be to reduce unemployment to 5.5 percent by 2014. Give the same deadlines to this committee, give them the same opportunity and reporting dates, and the same trigger. And, this trigger, all it asks is for an up or down vote on what the committee proposals to create jobs, and put this country back to work.

OLBERMANN: You said of your proposal that this would call the Republicans bluff. What do you mean by that?

LARSON: Well, I think if you've been talking about job creation, if you've been talking about what's going to put America back to work, it's about time that we took something up before Congress that actually will. And, you know, actually, I'm encouraged by what I've heard from Rob Portman and Fred Upton and other republicans I've talked to just about everyone on both of the committees.

I think that this is an opportunity, actually, Keith to bring everyone together. It's a time for Eric Cantor to put his proposals out there, for the committee, to where each of them -- but no longer can the senate hide behind a cloture vote, and the house has to take up the initiative immediately. There should be an up and down vote in the full view of the American public, so that we have an opportunity to judge what we're all about. And, if we're talking about putting America back to work, let's do it.

OLBERMANN: I think we both touched on this already, but let me flesh this out.


OLBERMANN: Am I wrong about this, or have the Republicans -- seized on the bad economy, as an excuse to justify cuts to safeguards? In this case, they've mentioned, now, the National Labor Relations Board, not because that would, in fact, make it easier to create jobs, but because that would make it easier for businesses to make higher profits, and cut safety, and the employees be damned.

LARSON: Well, I think you've stated it well in the lead up to both segments. And, you know, this is -- it's incredible, but you know, there are true believers in the Republican party, and amongst the new Tea Party Republicans, that -- who really believe this. And so, I think the American public deserves not only your commentary, which is rich, but also to see these unfold in the full light of day with these proposals coming forward, and to analyze its impact and see what will really create the jobs and move the nation forward, or what will actually further penalize the working class and the middle class of this country.

OLBERMANN: To that point about seeing things play out, I'm sure you're aware of this. John Nichols of "The Nation" keeps hitting this point, and I keep asking every Democratic leader I can find. The results out of Ohio and Wisconsin in the special elections this year show democrats who have embraced what used to be considered core democratic values, like jobs, labor --

LARSON: Social Security, Medicare --

OLBERMANN: -- yes, the safety net -- are running about nine percent higher in the same districts than their comparisons did in 2010. Has that message gotten across to -- to everybody else who isn't in Wisconsin and Ohio?

LARSON: Yes, it has, and I want to commend Steve Israel, and of course, our leader, Steny Hoyer, Jim Clyburn, and Xavier Baccera and Chris van Hollen, who will be on our committee, and will be pressing these issues forward. We welcome the full debate, and I think it's important that the whole country get an opportunity to see this discussion that juxtaposes deficits and job creation. And to know that the two are wed, to know that we can, by reducing unemployment, we can actually reduce the deficit -- I think this is good news for the American people. And, we ought to hold Congress' feet to the fire to make sure we take action on it.

OLBERMANN: Representative John Larson of Connecticut -- thanks for some of your time tonight, sir.

LARSON: Thank you, sir.

OLBERMANN: All the best.

How does the President of the United States make it onto the "Worst Person's" list? By having his administration drop hints that they are going to approve that Tar Sands oil sludge pipeline -- next.


OLBERMANN: An era of chicken fried fried chicken. Where does an innovative and health conscious chef and world traveler go to react to the news that by 2030, half of American adults are expected to be obese? Anthony Bourdain is going there.

First, the worst -- and Senator Roberto Arango, the leader of the majority party in the senate of Puerto Rico. Or, at least he was, before all the photographs.


OLBERMANN: Anthony Bourdain on the new prediction that by the year 2030, half of American adults will be obese -- that prediction is available now, deep-fried in a special double butter batter.

First, because these people aren't fried, they merely fry us, here are "Countdown's" top three nominees for today's "Worst Persons in the World."

The bronze, to the Obama administration -- we told you last week of the protest outside of the White House against the Keystone, or Tar Sands pipeline that will transport heated sludge from Canada to Texas, unless the administration stops it. On Friday, though The State Department issued its environmental impact statement, concluding that the 17,000-mile spill waiting to happen was okay by it. That's not final, there are still public meetings in every state, and open public comments. But now, the former coordinator for International Energy Affairs to Secretary of State Clinton says he expects she will also sign off on this project, the surest sign yet that the administration is going to let this mistake happen.

Snakes of a different kind by our runner-up Roberto Arango -- he has finally resigned as head of the majority party in the Puerto Rican senate, the PNP, after a series of photos he took of himself appeared on a site used by gay men to arrange assignations. Mr. Arango's original explanation was "You know I've been losing weight. As I shed that weight, I've been taking pictures. I don't remember taking this particular picture, but I'm not going to say I didn't take it. I'd tell you if I remembered taking the picture. But, I don't." Former Senator Arango was also in 2004, the co-chair in Puerto Rico for Bush reelection campaign. No jokes here. But, if you'd been a Kerry supporter, you would have been seeing those photos every 11 minutes on Fox News.

But, our winner, House majority leader Eric Cantor -- it was one thing to hear him say that any disaster funds for his own district after the earthquake with it's epicenter in his own district, would have to be offset by budget cuts elsewhere. But, it's quite another to hear him continue to say after what might have been $7 billion in damage in his state, his community, his part of the country, his coast of the country, from Hurricane Irene that quote, "We're going to find the money. We're just going to have to make sure that there are savings elsewhere to do so." The first targeted cut from this? A billion and a half from the fuel efficient vehicle development fund. It's funny that he didn't say this when unfunded wars were begun, nor when the economy of this country was deranged under a Republican administration to pay for often useless, naive, and even paranoid supposed counterterrorism measures. The only conclusion would seem to be that Mr. Cantor is deliberately exploiting the misery of his own constituents, and others, to enact cuts to programs that -- you know might conceivably reduce the profits of his corporate masters by a penny. Frankly, Mr. Cantor and his corporate masters can go to hell. House majority leader Eric Cantor, today's "Worst Person in the World."


OLBERMANN: When each week brings a new State Fair or the new deep fried menu selection, perhaps only the percentage and the time frame is really a surprise. By that I mean, too low, and perhaps too far away.

Our number one story on the "Countdown," a study in a British Medical Journal projecting that by the year 2030, the percentage of obese American adults will jump from a third to a half. That means more than 150 million obese Americans, almost 8 million more cases of diabetes, over 6 million more cases of coronary heart disease and stroke, and more than 530,000 causes -- cases of cancer. Such degrees of obesity could see annual total health care spending rise by as much $66 billion a year. Researchers on the study believe government intervention is necessary to treat an epidemic.

Chef Anthony Bourdain, from the Travel channel program "No Reservations," weighed in against what he sees as unhealthy diets and recipes hyped on places like the Food Network. A recent interview with "TV Guide," Mr. Bourdain blasted celebrity chef Paula Deen for her famously butter heavy recipes in which he said, "She revels in unholy connections with evil corporations and she's proud of the fact that her food is f--ing bad for you." Sounds like something I would say, "I would think twice before telling an already obese nation that it's okay to eat food that is killing us." To which Ms. Deen responded in an interview with the "New York Post" saying, "Not everybody can afford to pay $58 for prime rib or $650 for a bottle of wine."

Joining me now is Chef Anthony Bourdain, author of "Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine To The World of Food and the People Who Cook," and host of the TV show "No Reservations," the final episode of the season airing tonight at 9:00 P.M., which is -- you better get started.


OLBERMANN: You're due in six minutes on the Travel channel. It's good to see you.

BOURDAIN: Good to be here, thanks.

OLBERMANN: Thanks, thanks for your time. We have everything now in this country except deep fried wine, where they just stick the bottle in and then serve it to you, and you just lick the batter off of it. How in the world do we ever reverse this -- begin to reverse this process?

BOURDAIN: You know, we're not gonna win it on the facts, clearly. We've been publishing dietary information where if anything -- we seem to be polarizing and into a red state/blue state issue, rich/poor issue. Which is all wrong, wrong, wrong. To me, the way to win the argument is to make it a matter of patriotism. Of military readiness. On one hand, our political leaders are saying we're a country surrounded by enemies, an increasingly hostile world, and yet we're also an increasingly obese population. How will we defend ourselves? How will we seek out the evil-doers if we cannot raise a military? If we're -- I'm not suggesting, or I wouldn't -- I'd make the argument that as decent as it is to tell our children that they should grow up to have anorexic, supermodel bodies or actor bodies, which is grotesque to ask of anyone. It is also grotesque to suggest that they would be unable to serve in the military to defend their country if called upon to do so. What kind of society would we have then? A society that says, "Let someone else do it."

OLBERMANN: Well, but also there's a point in there about "Let somebody else do it," there are people who will hear this report and take it very seriously. So if 50% of the country by 2030 will be obese, oh, you're referring to the other 50%, those poor bastards. Nobody internalizes this information, they just internalize the food.

BOURDAIN: You know, I -- instinctively, I'm Libertarian on this issue. I mean, this is the most primary decision a person can make -- at infancy, what should you or shouldn't you put in your face? I hate the idea that the government might have to step in and do a fat tax, or outlaw certain foods, but clearly, just as a matter of preparedness, of patriotism, you know -- there's nothing patriotic or good about diabetes or gout. Both of which are skyrocketing.

OLBERMANN: Gout. In the 21st century, gout is skyrocketing. Beyond belief.

BOURDAIN: Diabetes related amputations are said to be -- you know, I read somewhere, a friend's blog, that it is considered a bullish investment, right now. Prosthetic devices for limbs that are anticipating being amputated in the future.

OLBERMANN: This is -- but, it's not -- we didn't create, this generation did not create this kind of thing because my grandmother, who had diabetes, had first the toes, then part of the foot, then the foot to the ankle, then part of the leg and was eating chocolate the day she died. Something just happened where we jumped from these were few and far between to this being the norm, and as you suggested, anybody who attacks it is -- the First Lady's very, very low scale kind of attempt to get people to eat once in awhile a little bit better, has been viewed as if it was "Invasion of the Body Snatchers."

BOURDAIN: This is not a personal liberties question. It isn't. It is a matter of -- you know, patriotism. This is the one area where Ted Nugent and I agree. You know, and that should tell you something. It's just -- it's wrong to say, "Let somebody else handle," you know, take care of -- you know, just manufacture. Who will manufacture things? We were having problems manufacturing things in this country to begin with. You know, it just seems wrong. We're not talking about -- this is not a class issue, although some would like to portray it as that. That people -- poorer people, the working poor can't afford to eat, you know, well. This is nonsense. We are sending a message that this is what the poor should eat. We're telling -- these are what your options are. These are the flavors you should expect, and in fact, when you see people eating the deep fried butter sticks recently at this political circus out there, somehow you're making a positive political statement by eating a stick of butter in batter? In what way is this good for our country?

OLBERMANN: See, I can survive this. You elect me for unlikely to live through the term. How do you -- when you do your show, and with the final episode that's about New Orleans and the extraordinary range of cooking and Cajun cooking -- how do you, how do you meld these two things together where it is a travel show, it's a cultural show, it is a cooking show, and yet you have this sense of responsibility that many in that field don't. How do you put all these things together?

BOURDAIN: I'm not an advocate for healthy living particularly. But I mean, I notice in my travels what people eat, how proud they are of what they eat, how hard they work to make something delicious often out of very little, and I think particularly Cajun cuisine and Creole cuisine, this emerged as so many great cuisines that we pay a lot of money for now, out of the needs of hard-working people who had no time, very little money, and yet somehow managed to make delicious food that if not exactly slimming was at least nowhere near as appallingly fattening as you know, a bacon cheeseburger between two donuts.

OLBERMANN: Can we sell it perhaps as a sort of self-protective eating, or non-destructive eating, or non-suicidal eating, is that the way to go?

BOURDAIN: You know, I'm all for shaming people into behaving better. I see nothing wrong with a little shame and ridicule in the schoolyard honestly. You know? You know, when you're over -- when it takes you 10 minutes to get out of your car, this is -- you know, this is a problem. It's not a body image question, it's someone's gonna have to help you, and I think as a society we should be willing to help you and encourage in every way. You know, you're slowing people down. You're blocking means of egress. We're in a burning building and we're all leaving together, you're 600 pounds, you're a problem for the people behind you. So you're a societal problem, you're not an alternate lifestyle choice.

OLBERMANN: Anthony Bourdain, the premiere of this season's finale of "No Reservations," starting in moments on the Travel channel. And you'll be live blogging it, so have fun.

BOURDAIN: Will do. Thank you.

OLBERMANN: That's "Countdown." I'm Keith Olbermann. Good night, and good luck.