'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for Thursday, November 3rd, 2011
#ShowPlug 1: Aftermath of Anarchist Hijacking of #OccupyOakland w/Oakland Trib City Hall rptr Sean Maher @InsideBayArea
#ShowPlug 2: Missed W, made it to Goldman Sachs for mock trial. 16 more arrests at #OWS; Bloomberg's "Marie Antoinette Moment" w/ @MTaibbi
#ShowPlug 3: "Occupy Sen. McConnell" #OurDC sit-in may be template for next stage of Occupy protests, w/Robert @RBReich
#ShowPlug 4: A Voters Rights Act to push back against Voter ID, Registration Repression w/its author Cong. @KeithEllison
#ShowPlug 5: Herman Cain's victim now said to call it "unwanted sexual advance" upon which her job depended. Plus, a 4th victim
#ShowPlug 6: And a new person for Cain to blame. We give this story the seriousness it deserves, with @ChristFinnegan
#ShowPlug Last: Worsts: why is Chris Christie paying $80m for 9 new jobs in NJ? + why is the Judge who beat his daughter defending himself?
#ShowPlug PS: Judge Adams is offering his so-called rationale for belt-whipping his daughter - it'll be in Worst Persons
watch whole playlist
#5 'Oakland Redux', Sean Maher
#5 'Occupy the Banks', Matt Taibbi
#4 'Tactic: Occupy', Robert Reich
YouTube, Current.com (excerpt)
# Time Marches On!
#3 'Fight For The Right To Vote', Rep. Keith Ellison
YouTube, Current.com (excerpt)
#2 Worst Persons: Gov. Rick Scott, Gov. Chris Christie, Judge William Adams
#1 'The Cain Blame Game', Christian Finnegan
printable PDF transcript
Categories: Show Transcripts
KEITH OLBERMANN: Which of these stories will you be talking about tomorrow? Oakland - off the rails again. After police and the mayor praise a day of peaceful protests at Occupy Oakland, it all goes wrong.
(Excerpt from video clip) HOWARD JORDAN: We do have continued concerns about a group that we've identified as anarchists that have been roaming through the crowds. We are watching them.
(Excerpt from video clip) PROTESTER: This is not sanctioned by Occupy Oakland movement. It's not what it's about. This is not what it's about.
OLBERMANN: Nor, was two protesters hit by a car - a One-Percent Mobile, a Mercedes. Back to Goldman Sachs.
(Excerpt from video clip) PROTESTERS: Crooks and thieves, protected by police!
OLBERMANN: Having sought, but not found, George W. Bush there last night, Occupy Wall Street stages a Goldman Sachs mock trial.
And Occupy - McConnell? Protesters go from marches, to a sit-in, at the office of the Minority Leader, Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell. Is this the next stage for Occupy? Not high-volume events, but high-profile targets?
Occupy, Day 48 - with a live report from Oakland. With Matt Taibbi on Mayor Bloomberg's "Marie Antoinette moment." With Robert Reich on the next form of Occupy protests.
A Voter's Bill of Rights. "For the first time in our nation's history," writes Congressman Keith Ellison of the I.D. laws and registration restrictions, "we would shrink the voting franchise instead of expanding it." He joins us with his plan to change that.
"Worsts," the Texas judge who did this to his daughter with cerebral palsy insists he was right.
Happy Birthday to world's worst-ever newspaper headline, "Dewey Defeats Truman!"
And it's Perry's fault, unless it's Rahm Emanuel's fault. Oh hell, it's everybody's fault - except his.
(Excerpt from video clip) HERMAN CAIN: "That is the D.C. culture. Guilty until proven innocent."
OLBERMANN: Not only is there a fourth accuser and another new Cain story, but that sound bite? That was from a hard-hitting, totally unbiased interview by veteran journalist, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence "sexual harassment" Thomas. All that and more, now, on "Countdown."
(Excerpt from video clip) CAIN: Blame yourself.
OLBERMANN: Good evening from New York. This is Thursday November 3rd, 369 days until the 2012 presidential election. The general strike went, in short, brilliantly. What happened after the general strike - anything but.
Our fifth story on the "Countdown" - Occupy Oakland organizers decrying the violence, which they and police say was perpetuated by outside anarchists. Eighty arrests, 5 injured protesters - including two run down by a guy in a Mercedes - several injured policemen and an as-yet-uncalculated amount of damage to local businesses.
Occupy Oakland spilling from its camp at City Hall yesterday afternoon, peacefully marching towards the port, with concerts, prayer sessions and free food along the way. The action culminated with a shutdown of the city's port, where an estimated seven thousand people gathered - peacefully, again - to stop trucks from entering.
Protesters also blocking access to banks and business that did not shut down for the "Day of Mass Action." One group did shatter windows at several businesses and defaced a Bank of America branch - spray painting the glass and destroying an ATM. Oakland Mayor Jean Quan yesterday afternoon praising the movement and the police for staying peaceful:
(Excerpt from video clip) JEAN QUAN: People seem to be dis-assembling peacefully, we will be watching throughout the night. We will act if we need to, tonight, to maintain safety but it looks like this was a good day for the demonstrators and for the 99 percent movement.
OLBERMANN: It was a good day, not a good night. Late last night, things took a vicious turn. According to both protest organizers and the police, a small group of anarchists hijacked the last hours of the protest. Oakland police say they "began hurling rocks, explosives, bottles, and flaming objects at responding officers." And had also "broken into and occupied downtown building and set several simultaneous fires." Police using flash-bang grenades and tear gas to break up the crowd.
In the midst of the mayhem, two marchers are even hit by a car, after one of them apparently banged on its hood. The driver was questioned and then permitted to drive away. Citing the fires, hundreds of police in riot gear then moved in, making eighty arrests by the time all of it was over. And today, Occupy organizers expressing concern at the direction the protests took.
(Excerpt from video clip) PROTESTER: This is not sanctioned by the Occupy Oakland movement. It's not what it's about. This is not what it's about.
OLBERMANN: Several supporters hanging handwritten signs to express their displeasure. One, over a shattered bank window, reading: "We are better than this." Activist Cindy Sheehan, who was arrested at the protests two weeks ago, urging protesters to stay peaceful, but saying she also thought police held some responsibility:
(Excerpt from video clip) CINDY SHEEHAN: I think the police caused a lot of the problems. I think that for the movement to be credible, we have to remain peaceful.
OLBERMANN: Hundreds of protesters from Occupy Portland marched through their city in solidarity with marchers in Oakland, and to keep attention focused on Scott Olsen, the Marine whose skull was fractured during the violent clash with Oakland police last week.
In Seattle, more than a hundred protesters marching through a cold rain last night to the Sheraton Hotel, where J.P. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon was giving a speech at a private dinner. Activists held signs calling for Dimon's arrest, and compared his hourly wage - which is about ten thousand dollars - to the average American worker's, which is about $23. At least three protesters reportedly hit with pepper spray there. Dimon traveling today to Portland, for a lunch at the Hilton Hotel. Protesters were there to meet him as well.
And finally, to Rochester, New York - police arrested sixteen protesters there last night after they refused to vacate a downtown park by 11 PM. Which brings the tally of arrests in Rochester alone to 50, among the thousands nationwide.
Let's talk about Oakland first. Joining me now - Sean Maher, the city hall reporter of the Oakland Tribune who was at the protest yesterday. Thanks for your time tonight, sir.
SEAN MAHER: Good to be here.
OLBERMANN: Describe for me the mood during the day. When did it go bad?
MAHER: Well, the mood during the day, I think, was one of almost a sense - of excited relief. There have been quite a few major protests in downtown Oakland in the past few years, and a lot have ended badly, with a lot of vandalism and looting.
And I think people were excited to see - not only that the crowd seemed a lot larger than, I think, folks expected and a lot more positive, but also that the police, for the most of the day, were nowhere to be seen. So, people felt a lot more relaxed, I think, than they would have otherwise.
The mood changed at some point after dark. You mentioned the two protesters who were hit by a car. That didn't go over very well. People were sort of upset by it, and then particularly confounded when the police let the driver drive away. It was about 8:00 at that point, and the sun was going down. And the main goal of the day had been accomplished already. The port had been shut down. Everybody was very excited about that, and there was a sense that the direction was beginning to drift away from the crowd. And that in the darkness - having the troublemakers there being able to, sort of, hide and duck into the crowd more easily, felt that there was more of a chance for mischief to start happening.
OLBERMANN: Was it, indeed, a small group of anarchists? I mean, organizers and police both used that phrase. Is there a concurrence on this - that there was some sort of outside group that was involved in this?
MAHER: Well, that's what we hear frequently, as I mentioned. We've had protests end violently before and what we often hear is that it was a group of anarchists. The problem with that particular designation for them is that - these are all people wearing masks who are often not caught. So it's difficult to say, for sure, that these are people who subscribe to the ideology of anarchy, but there is definitely a contingent that regularly shows up at protests in downtown Oakland and regularly tries to cause this kind of trouble.
OLBERMANN: Is the public differentiating in this case? Is there general sentiment toward the protests now, after what happened last night?
MAHER: I think on the whole, people are - there is an exciting sort of sense that everyone has changed their tune a little bit. There is still some frustration on all sides. A lot of businesses got vandalized. A lot of - a handful of people got badly hurt, there's graffiti everywhere, broken windows everywhere - but at the same time we have last Tuesday to compare this to, which I think both sides felt really badly about.
I think that people in the camp felt that it reflected poorly on them, that people had been throwing things at the police and that, you know, the camp had been shut down under, you know - accusations that it was dangerous and full of rats and needles and things. And they comported themselves, on the whole, very different last night.
The police, on the other hand - as well - came under a lot of fire, not least of which from you, for having used things like tear gas on the crowd. And they kept, I think, a much-more-restrained hand on the crowd last night. And, on a whole, ended up instigating, I think, a lot less trouble.
OLBERMANN: This may be a Pollyanna-sounding-like question, but it seems - if your description is correct - that both sides had regrets after last week. Is there a scenario you can envision, in which the Occupy protesters and the police work together to stop the infiltration of this by outside groups - or even mitigate against that if it happens again?
MAHER: Well, I think that's actually what's really exciting about what happened last night. It's easy to run the headline that, you know, a handful of people broke windows and caused trouble, and that that's all that happened. But what I think, really, you saw was both sides learning from their mistakes.
There was definitely a sense that - people tend to sort of pick a side on things like this and dig in and just look for the other people to screw up - and I think what you saw, instead, here was people beginning to look at the other side a little bit differently. I think the police showed more trust in the crowd yesterday, by taking the hands-off approach that they did, and I think that the crowd also showed an understanding that the public-safety concerns that the police and the mayor were raising were concerns that they needed to take seriously and be more organized about handling.
OLBERMANN: Sean Maher, the city hall reporter of the Oakland Tribune. Mr. Maher, thanks greatly for coming on tonight.
MAHER: Thank you.
OLBERMANN: Now to New York, where there were more arrests today following a protest outside a major investment bank. And as we reported last night, protesters had assembled outside Goldman Sachs headquarters where former President George Bush was, indeed, meeting with top executives. By the time they were in position to attempt a citizens' arrest on him, he had evacuated the premises. Today, Occupy Wall Street protesters holding a mock trial on the same company, the so-called "People's Hearing" featuring testimonials from witnesses who say they were affected by Goldman's manipulation of the markets - victims of housing foreclosures, pension losses, student debt. Also testifying Professor Cornel West and former New York Times writer Chris Hedges.
(Excerpt from video clip) CHRIS HEDGES: I covered all of the street demonstrations that brought down Slobodan Milosevic. I covered the two Palestinian uprisings, the intifadas. And the fact is - when you hold fast to a moral imperative, when you hold fast to a truth and when you have the courage to walk out into the street to defend that truth - you don't know the power that you've unleashed.
OLBERMANN: The group of about 100 protesters then marched to the headquarters of Goldman Sachs to deliver its guilty verdict. Protester Daniel Levine saying they were met there by police.
(Excerpt from video clip) DANIEL LEVINE: When we got outside the cops were waiting for us with Goldman Sachs security. We read the verdict from our "people's trial." They told us if we didn't move, we we'd be arrested. A bunch of people sat in a circle, including a bunch of little girls and - and a priest, and they were arrested brutally. They were knocked to the ground. They were pulled by their limbs, by their bags, by their coats - it was quite brutal.
OLBERMANN: In all, police taking sixteen protesters into custody - including the aforementioned Chris Hedges, one of the expert witnesses at the trial. Even as anger toward these banks swells, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg denying they had anything to do with the economic crisis, expressing his feeling towards the protesters in this fashion:
(Excerpt from video clip) MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: I hear your complaints. Some of them are totally unfounded. It was not the banks that created the mortgage crisis. It was, plain and simple, Congress - who forced everybody to go and give mortgages to people who were on the cusp.
OLBERMANN: My next guest, Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi says that those comments expose the mayor for what he is. Taibbi writing, "To me this is Michael Bloomberg's Marie Antoinette moment, his own personal 'Let them eat cake' line. This one comment allows us to see under his self-designed 'centrist' Halloween mask and look closely at the corrupt, arrogant aristocrat underneath."
Joining me now - "Countdown" contributor, contributing editor for Rolling Stone, Matt Taibbi. Good to see you, sir.
MATT TAIBBI: Good to see you, Keith.
OLBERMANN: You also wrote, "The entire crisis was the fault of that janitor in Oakland who took out too-big of a loan with the help of do-gooder liberals in Congress and their fans in bleeding-heart-liberal la-la land." So this was - I mean this is - the victim, the true story of Occupy Wall Street so far is that we've finally worn down the Michael Bloomberg façade, and he is, in fact, the corporate out-of-touch guy that many people assumed he was when he first ran for mayor?
TAIBBI: Right. He's been sort of celebrated, on both sides of the aisle, as this reasonable voice, this guy who's - you know - he's socially a liberal, he's fiscally a conservative, he's the best of both worlds. But these protests, you know, it took maybe this long for it to come out. But, with these comments about how all the crisis was caused by, you know, people who took out too many loans and by, you know, liberal do-gooders in Congress who forced the banks to lend to these people - that just let's the cat out of the bag completely, because that's completely preposterous.
OLBERMANN: So - he also said, yesterday, that the city is being inundated and may have to act because of the complaints from the residential neighborhood around Zuccotti Park, which surprises me on two levels. I used to work there - right there across the street from it. There are about 20 to maybe 40, at the high end, apartments that have any view of Zuccotti Park.
OLBERMANN: It's not a big residential neighborhood. And the fact that he would say that surprises me, because it implies the mayor of New York has never been to New York.
OLBERMANN: What's happening to him here?
TAIBBI: The residential - they're not on top of the park. I mean, they are maybe nearby, but it's certainly not right there.
OLBERMANN: Yeah - what's going on? What's happening with Bloomberg is - what? Was this sort of a really tense thing for him the last few weeks, to not say something like this?
TAIBBI: Yeah. I think what we're seeing is that this whole act of being a caring, compassionate - you know, socially liberal guy was a put-on the whole time. And now what we're seeing is - the real guy underneath is this, sort of, impatient aristocrat who just doesn't have any tolerance for any of these people.
And the way that he could say - you know, one of the - the comment that particularly struck me - was the way that he said that, "Oh, I understand that protesting is cathartic and entertaining for people." You know, there are millions of people out there who are in foreclosure, who have lost their homes, who have lost their pensions, and if he thinks they are doing this for entertainment, that just shows how completely out-of-touch this guy it with the real pain that actual people suffer.
OLBERMANN: He takes the subway though, Matt. Or at least he did in 2002, I don't know about now. In reality, they never got close to George Bush last night, but I would assume - from the establishment's point of view - that that must have been their equivalent, in this equation, of a near-death experience. Is Bloomberg now looking for any excuse - 'cause they've thrown a lot of things out in the last week, including public defecation and allowing violence to take place and now all the residents in the neighborhood complaining about I don't know what - are they just looking for an excuse now? Are we at that stage of this game?
TAIBBI: Yeah, I'm starting to hear from people who work on Wall Street that the anxiety level is ratcheting up a little bit. I mean, just looking at your show tonight - people following Jamie Dimon around, coast to coast. You know, there is a sense out there that the atmosphere, publically, has become unsafe for a lot of these bankers. And I think they're becoming impatient with government authorities to do something about this and clear out the rabble. Find some way for these people to protest, but in a way that doesn't force them to come into contact with the rabble. And I think that that pressure is going to start ratcheting up.
OLBERMANN: But of course that's always - I mean the "Marie Antoinette" moment, you can actually argue - although I think your point was well taken - you can actually argue that everybody involved in this, from a government point of view, has had five to 10 "Marie Antoinette" moments each.
OLBERMANN: They've been doing this all along. If they - if they try to crack down on this now, in some specious manner, it's just going to make it grow again? Isn't it?
TAIBBI: Yeah - no, absolutely. The one thing that they can do that would be absolutely fatal, from their point of view, would be to - you know, send in a thousand riot cops and clear these people out and have, you know, a 1968-style scene where they're dragging kids by their hair off of the streets. That would only make the movement grow 10, 15, twenty times as big as it is now. I think that what they are going to do - and what I am hearing that they are probably going to do - is wait for the weather, you know, use the Russian strategy from, you know, World War II - just wait - wait for the snow to make the people go away. And that's what they're hoping, I think.
OLBERMANN: Yeah, then what happens if it's a mild winter? We have had them here. Not recently. We're probably due for one. Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone contributing editor, "Countdown" contributor. Thanks as always, Matt.
TAIBBI: Thank you.
OLBERMANN: Occupy Oakland organizer Tim Simons suggested here last night that the next stage for the movement might not be just huge marches and port closings and general strikes, but focused events - high-profile individual targets. How about Occupy Mitch McConnell? The highlights from that - today, in Washington, next.
OLBERMANN: Whether or not named exactly that, it was Occupy McConnell day in Washington, DC. Hope they brought enough turtle food for everybody. We're joined by the Minnesota congressman, who has just offered two pieces of legislation that would push back against the Conservatives' bid to disenfranchise minorities, the poor, the elderly.
So, now there is now a description of his scandal, not as sexual harassment, but as an "unwanted sexual advance" upon which the woman thought her job depended. Plus, there are now four women with complaints against him. Well, I'm assuming it's still only four.
And so does the Texas judge caught beating his then-teenaged daughter with a belt, even though she had cerebral palsy. He's blaming other people - her. Claims it was a kind of blackmail on her part. "Worst Persons" ahead on Countdown.
OLBERMANN: A group of unemployed D.C. residents went to the Capitol Hill office of Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell this morning and did not leave voluntarily.
In our fourth story on the "Countdown" - as the Occupy movement looks for new worlds to conquer or, more realistically, new ways to try to conquer - a template may have been afforded them in Washington today.
Somewhere between 20 and 40 members of the jobs' advocacy group Our D.C. camped out in the top Senate Republican's office this morning until they were forced to leave by the Senator's staff about 6:00 PM this evening. The group had initially vowed to stay put until they met with the Kentucky Senator. They were offered a meeting with the Senator's staff, but there were no takers for that.
The protesters arrived as the chamber prepared to vote on a $60 billion infrastructure spending bill, a key piece of President Obama's jobs' plan. Americans making more than a million dollars a year would have been hit with an income-tax increase to pay for this plan - just seven-tenths of one percent. Big surprise, Republicans did not support the measure. It was killed. It garnered only 51 of the 60 votes necessary to start work on the bill. A Republican version of the infrastructure jobs bill also failed today.
Meanwhile, Senator McConnell was not only D.C. official getting occupied. Hundreds of nurses joined the Occupy DC movement today, marching from the White House to the Treasury Department, demanding President Obama and Secretary Geithner impose a tax on Wall Street's financial transactions to help heal the ailing U.S. economy.
So, how does the rest of the nation feel about the mission of these occupiers? A split decision, depending on who you ask. According to a poll taken just days ago by ORC International, the movement is gaining support. Thirty-six percent of those adults surveyed say they agree with the occupiers' overall positions, 19 percent disagree. In this poll in early October, only 27 percent supported the occupiers.
But in a poll by Quinnipiac University, conducted on days overlapping that ORC poll, more registered voters - a different group - had an unfavorable view of the movement than favorable - 39 to 30. Still, the poll found the occupy movement was still more popular than the tea party movement, which got a 45 percent unfavorable rating.
I'm joined now by a veteran of three presidential administrations, the author of "Aftershock" - former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich. Thanks again for your time tonight, sir.
ROBERT REICH: Good evening, Keith.
OLBERMANN: Occupy McConnell, if you will - though it was technically the "Our D.C." event - is that an effective, as I suggested, sort of protest template for the Occupy groups to copy?
REICH: Well, you know, when you first mentioned Occupy McConnell, I was kind of fantasizing about how to occupy his brain, or how to occupy his body. I don't know that that's possible. I don't know that there is very much there.
But I do think that the Occupy movement is becoming more political. I think the next phase is going to be some set of political actions. We're going into a political year after all. I don't expect - given what we have seen so far - that the Occupier movement is going to be enormously, hierarchically organized, as the tea party movement seems to be. At least, very hierarchically at the local level. But I do think there will be more politically-charged and politically-focused activities.
OLBERMANN: It suggests sit-ins and just as - like chasing President Bush in New York last night or Jamie Dimon around the country or at least the northwest - real inconvenience to people who are supposed to be, or need to be, made to listen in this equation. Can they avoid - can they run fast enough? Or can Occupy get these folks to listen?
REICH: Well, in America, being rich - at least until recently - meant you didn't have to deal with anybody who wasn't. But it is going to be possible - unfortunately, for Jamie Dimon and for others - to trail them, to be find out where they are meeting. I think Occupiers are trying to do that. And they're trying to do that, really, to make a point. I think that they have got to be very careful not to be seen as harassing certain people personally, but I think that the point is accountability. A lot of these people on Wall Street, including Jamie Dimon, have never been held accountable for what they did to bring the economy to its knees. And accountability - I think it's a major theme here - we're seeing, obviously, the unprecedented concentration of income and wealth and political power at the top and it is time that some of these people were held accountable.
OLBERMANN: Another way to, obviously, keep people accountable and get their attention is, perhaps, reflected in this other movement we've been hearing about - the Bank Transfer Day movement. They're urging consumers to transfer their money to credit unions or local banks. Some of the Occupy movements are joining that effort as well. It's the fifth. Are we going to see more and more groups using a tactic like that to try to affect change?
REICH: I believe so, Keith. You know, using economic power to affect political change is something that a lot of people have done in the past in a lot of different countries, a lot of different moments - mainly because the people have the economic power. The political power may be held by Wall Street, or by the financiers in general, or by a small cabal at the top. But when it comes to the economy over all, it is, after all, all of us - our savings in banks, our spending, to the extent that we are spending - a general strike that basically said, "Stop spending for a day," would definitely have an impact, as would taking your money out of a big bank, putting it into a local bank.
OLBERMANN: Have we underestimated - would you have a better handle on this than the rest of us? - have we underestimated what the impact was when - I forget which it was, of the major banks, that had the $5 debit fee, debit-card-use fee - got such a blowback on that, and so many threats and so many people canceling their cards and all the rest of that, and such bad press that they actually reversed steam. Have we underestimated how important that was and what kind of shock that must have been to the banks?
REICH: Well, that was - yes, that was Bank of America, initially, came up with that debit-card fee. Other banks joined on very fast. You know, banks are looking for every way of making money that they can. But there was a huge blowback. I don't think it was the Occupier movement that did it, but it comes from the same source and that is - Americans are stretched to the limit, they are angry, the dice seem loaded, the game seems fixed and the banks are emblematic of the problem for many people. And so, when Bank of America came up with that debit-card fee people just almost - I mean, all of their customers - they actually suffered a lot of customers leaving Bank of America because of that.
OLBERMANN: It would be extraordinary to see that one, in some way, magnified around the country - and perhaps we will see it, with the "moving the money out" thing on Transfer Day on the 5th. The former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, as always, great thanks.
REICH: Thanks, Keith.
OLBERMANN: Congressman Keith Ellison, on his push to defeat the I.D. laws and the new restrictions on voter registration == what amounts to a Voter's Bill of Rights. Coming up
OLBERMANN: The Voters' Rights Acts and their author, Congressman Keith Ellison. Coming up.
KEITH OLBERMANN: First, the "Sanity Break," and on this date in 1948 this happened - probably the most famous newspaper headline in American history, and the most wrong. From the Chicago Tribune - "Dewey Defeats Truman."
The day the paper got the winner of the 1948 presidential election wrong, there wasn't just stupidity involved, or the Tribune's then-well-known, far-right bias - as you see in the upper-right-hand corner of this actual copy of the paper, this was the "Home" edition of the Trib. The second edition, printed early in the evening.
For the year preceding, the Tribune's deadline had been an hour earlier even than usual, because the paper's printers had been on strike and they had to use a cumbersome process by which the articles were produced on typewriters and then photographed. The "Dewey Defeats Tribune" edition may have gone to press as early as 6 PM Central Time election day. It was immortalized by another newspaper photo of President, and President-Elect Harry Truman, holding it up, saying "this is one for the books."
"Time Marches On!"
We begin, as we always do, with a tiny horse playing with a giant soccer ball. A horse is a horse, of course of course unless that horse is - Einstein, the world's smallest stallion. Weighing only six pounds, standing 14 inches tall at birth, Einstein has now topped out at a towering 20 inches. You should see the tiny jockey that rides him. He says one day he hopes to be tall enough to look a gift horse in the mouth. Nice idea, Einstein!
From tiny horses to tiny motorcycles. These guys in the U.K. just got their new mini dirt bike, which means it's time to try something stupid. And they have just the thing. The approach and he clears it. Unfortunately, that means there might still be future generations of both of those morons.
Finally, we end with a marriage proposal. It's no Jumbotron at a baseball game, but Cameron had a great plan for proposing to Brittany. He blindfolded her and took her to a park where her family and friends were waiting. And if she wasn't already swept off her feet, she would be soon. Cameron got down on one knee, Brittany got down, too. Down goes fianceé. When she regained consciousness, he tried it one more time. They're not sure where the wedding will be, but somewhere with a soft surface for the bride to pass out.
"Time Marches On!"
Down goes Frazier!
Congressman Keith Ellison on Voters' Bill Of Rights. Plus, we'll check in to see if the number of Herman Cain accusers has gone up since the start of this program.
OLBERMANN: "Dumont Brings You Pantomime Quiz" will not be seen tonight so we can instead bring you "Countdown" the longest continuously running 8 PM news hour on cable. Unless you consider Fox - news. Our primary replays at 11 PM Eastern and 11 PM Pacific. We call it "our little guest lecture."
It was a moment from last month that seemed like it better belonged in 1955 - a 96-year-old African-American woman in Tennessee went to vote bringing with her her Social Security Card, her Chattanooga police department-issued photo I.D., her voter-registration card, her rent receipt and her birth certificate. It was not enough. She did not have, under a new law, a state-issued voter I.D. card.
In our third story on the "Countdown" - Congressman Keith Ellison, who joins us presently, has had enough, and he's co-sponsoring one bill to permit same-day registration, another to fight back against the voter I.D. scam. Collectively, a kind of Voters' Bill of Rights. In addition, a larger group of Democrats is sending letters to every secretary of state and election administrator across country. One of them, Charles Gonzalez of Texas, says Governor Rick Perry declared a legislative emergency to ram through the disenfranchisement of certain citizens.
(Excerpt from video clip) CHARLES GONZALEZ: It's going to be the elderly. It's gonna be the minorities, of course. It'll be the disabled.
OLBERMANN: His Texas colleague, Al Green, added an ironic detail about Texas voter identification.
(Excerpt from video clip) AL GREEN: If it's your gun license, then it's a good photo I.D. If it's your student I.D., it's not enough of an ID.
OLBERMANN: Judy Chu of California said Asian-Americans will be harmed because they vote by mail more than most and that options being restricted.
(Excerpt from video clip) JUDY CHU: But this year, this right is being eroded right before our very eyes - an unprecedented 42 bills in states attacking the rights of U.S. citizens.
OLBERMANN: And Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri compared the Republican effort to poll taxes and literacy tests, the ones that stopped his own grandfather from voting in the Jim Crow era.
(Excerpt from video clip) EMANUEL CLEAVER: Every American ought to be ashamed at what's going on in this country.
OLBERMANN: As promised, here is representative Keith Ellison of Minnesota. Good evening, sir.
KEITH ELLISON: Hey, good evening Keith. How are you?
OLBERMANN: Very good, and yourself?
ELLISON: Well, you know, I'd be better if these crazy voter I.D. laws were not proliferating all over America, but we are fighting against it.
OLBERMANN: Is it too late to unravel this voter-suppression effort by the Republicans?
ELLISON: Well, it's too late to stop them from starting, but it's not too late to stop them at all. I mean, if we have a massive awakening of Americans all across this country, who insist that people get to vote and select their leaders, I think we can beat these things back. I mean, but by no means have we even begun to fight.
And so, I am entering my bills - I'm filing them, even against this very tough Republican majority - because I really want to see every person be able to cast a vote and select leaders of their choice. Which is something that these voter I.D. laws are trying to prevent. They don't want to win on the issues. They just want to exclude certain people from being able to vote - like Dorothy Cooper from Chattanooga, Tennessee, who you just talked about.
OLBERMANN: For people whose wallet might be stuffed with I.D.'s and more than they'd want and stuff from the state and stuff from the federal government - the nuisance factor may still be obvious, if you didn't have one and you have to go and get one, it's the same kind of pain in the butt no matter where you are, what your voter circumstances is, or the color of your skin or what religion you are. But explain the other part of it - why it becomes like a poll tax, why that comparison is apt.
ELLISON: Well, because - first of all, in some states - you have to pay for the I.D. And even when the states, where they say you don't have to pay for the I.D. - you have to pay for documents to get this state-issued I.D., such as a passport, or you might have to pay a fee to get your birth certificate. You have to get transportation to get these documents. And so - it is a poll tax in time and money. Just think about a person who may happen to be homebound, may not have a car, maybe they're even in a wheelchair - they may have to leave the place they live, perhaps a nursing home, get on a bus, travel across town and take what little money they have to get the documents to then go to the authority to get the state-issued I.D. This is a poll tax. It is a price to pay before you can vote.
OLBERMANN: Let me ask you about the second measure, the one about same-day registration. Is there any evidence where we have had this - where we experimented with short-term registration, registration by mail - is there anything that suggests that that enables the voter fraud the Republicans claim to be fighting against?
ELLISON: Their claims of fraud are a fraud. We've had voter - we've had same-day voter registration in Minnesota for a long time. And it has served both parties. I mean, Tim Pawlenty was a Republican governor elected with same-day voter registration. As was Mark Dayton. As was Governor Ventura, who was neither Republican or Democrat, but Independent. This does not favor anybody, except for those who want to get the vote out.
So, the fact of the matter is, is that there's no - we have the cleanest elections in the country, in Minnesota. We also have the highest voter turnout. Same-day voter registration is easy to do. And we should encourage the practice. Sad thing about the Republican onslaught of these 34 states, trying to reduce the electorate, is that the history of America has been increasing the trajectory of opportunity when it comes to voting.
You know, first of all - it wasn't good enough to be a white male to vote. You had to be a white male who was Protestant, who owned property. Then that changed. Then, of course, the Civil War came and black men could vote. Then women could vote, then 18-year-olds could vote. The trajectory of voting has been expansion of rights, and they are trying to roll this back. We cannot let it happen.
OLBERMANN: This is a little off what we've been talking about - but why do we vote on Tuesdays? Would not a switch to - say, either Saturday or Sunday or maybe, what the hell - do it both days, only going to vote ones once anyway, give them both days - wouldn't that undercut most of the suppression efforts almost as easily as pushing back on I.D.'s?
ELLISON: Absolutely. As a matter of fact, that's a great bill I did, Keith - you know, I'll get working on. But you know, there's are a lot of things that have been put in place to undermine people's ability to get to the polls. And I think voting on a week - work day is one of them. Saturday's a great idea to vote. We should have a national holiday so people can go vote. But you know, ever since - for the whole history of the vote - it's been fought over. We've had vote dilution. We've had raw, naked terrorism to stop people from voting at the polls. We've had every kind of trick and device to keep people from being a part of this electorate. And you know what? They're still up to.
But you know, when people come together, we can defeat these things. So I'm confident, you know, and I am telling you - all over the country, people are waking up to this stuff. You know, the NAACP is waking up to it, The Brennan Center issued a great report, saying up to 5 million people - or one and a half percent of the electorate - you know, could be shaved off if these bills are allowed to go into place. We're asking for, you know, in some cases, the Department of Justice, in some cases, lawsuits to be filed - but there's nothing better than good old people power, and I hope and pray that the Occupy movement takes this voter-suppression effort up as an issue of theirs. I am not trying to invade on their prerogative but I think that would be a very good idea, as they fight for a greater level of justice in America, to think about how this voter-suppression movement is trying to curtail their rights.
OLBERMANN: The two things go hand in glove, as they say. Representative Keith Ellison from the Minnesota Fifth. Always a pleasure, Congressman, thanks for your time.
ELLISON: Yes, sir. Bye.
OLBERMANN: The Texas judge caught on tape beating his then-16-year-old daughter who had cerebral palsy says it was totally justified, the real story hasn't come out yet and involves money. "Worst Persons" ahead on Countdown.
OLBERMANN: There is a fourth woman now in the Herman Cain case, and a second other politician his people are blaming for the story. Meanwhile, the first one he blamed - Rick Perry - is blaming Mitt Romney. This is fun. Meanwhile, the GOP's great next hope is suddenly in trouble. After, it turns out New Jersey is paying one company 80 million dollars in tax breaks to create nine new jobs. "Worst Persons" next. This is "Countdown."
OLBERMANN: Cain says it's all Rick Perry's fault. Perry says it's all Mitt Romney's fault. An anonymous source says, "No, no, it's Rahm Emanuel's fault." The Herman Cain circus - now with a fourth harassment victim. That's next.
First, because this is how we can legally harass these dim bulbs, here are "Countdown's" nominees for today's "Worst Persons in the World."
The bronze - to Florida's Governor Voldemort - or, as you know him by his Muggle name, Rick Scott. The Tallahassee bureau chief of the St. Petersburg Times was one of the reporters in a coffee-and-doughnut meeting with the governor, and took the opportunity to tell him that the St. Petersburg Times was going to take on its rival the Tampa Tribune and change its name to the Tampa Bay Times. The governor - the governor of Florida - replied, "That's interesting ... does the region call itself the Tampa Bay region?" It was pointed out, in the governor's defense, that he only moved to Florida in 2003. Which still doesn't explain how - living in Illinois and Texas all those years - Scott had never heard of Tampa Bay or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or Tampa Bay Rays or Tampa Bay Lightning sports teams.
Or how - in the eight years since he moved to Naples, Florida - he'd never heard of Tampa Bay, given that Naples is about two hours from Tampa Bay. Because he's actually from outer space - duh!
The runner-up? Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey. Fraud. The supposed "jobs chief executive" has suddenly got some explaining to do. With four hundred eighteen thousand unemployed in his state, the Governor is under fire, for what appears to be a scam involving the creation of 175 new jobs that aren't new.
Governor Christie's Economic Development Authority is shelling out 80 million dollars in tax breaks for the Goya Foods Company. Turns out one hundred of the "new employees" already work for Goya - in New Jersey - as contractors. They will simply be made full-time. Turns out another 66 of the "new" employees will be moved from Goya's plant in Bethpage, New York. So, those 175 new jobs Governor Christie got for New Jersey at a cost of 80 million dollars? They're really only nine new jobs, at a cost of 80 million dollars. That'd be just under nine million taxpayer dollars per job.
But our winner? Judge William Adams, of Aransas County Court-at-Law, in Texas. You've probably heard about this - Adams's 23-year old daughter, who has cerebral palsy, posted a video from seven years ago in which her father viciously beats her with a belt, saying she'd finally had enough of his evidently-continuing abuse. Now Judge Adams has commented on the video, and his actions and the fact that most of the cases he hears involve children. What he said, after some of what he did. We warn you this is extremely graphic, and we're only going to show you a few seconds of the seven-minute video.
(Excerpt from video clip) WILLIAM ADAMS: Bend over that bed!
(Excerpt from video clip) GIRL: Dad!
(Excerpt from video clip) ADAMS: Bend over that bed! Bend over the bed!
(Excerpt from video clip) GIRL: Stop, stop, stop.
(Excerpt from video clip) ADAMS: Bend over the bed. I'm gonna keep beating you on your legs. Bend over the bed. Stand up. Bend over the [bleeping] bed.
OLBERMANN: And now the comments of the sadist you saw in that videotape, Judge Adams: "In my mind, I haven't done anything wrong except discipline my child after she was caught stealing and I did lose my temper. There is a story, and it will come out in due time."
Today, while county and state authorities began review Judge Adams's continued service on the bench, his attorney said Hillary Adams only posted the video now because her father had threatened to cut of financial support and take away her Mercedes. That, the judge thinks, is the story. You sadistically beat your challenged daughter, sir, and now you've switched instead to passive-aggressive punishment by money. The story, Judge Adams has already come out.
Judge William Adams, sadist, today's "Worst Person in the World."
OLBERMANN: Herman Cain proclaimed in March that he did not have any skeletons hiding in his closet. Except for the sexual-harassment charges from when he was CEO of the National Restaurant Association.
In our number-one story, new details tonight from the accuser in that case. Politico reporting that, at the time, she told two sources "Cain made a suggestion that she felt was overtly sexual in nature and that she perceived that her job was at risk if she didn't do it." Politico also quoted the alleged victim as describing it as an "unwanted sexual advance." Now Cain said he may sue Politico. Good luck with that.
Still, it's not just the tawdry that keeps this going. It is the game of hot-potato conspiracy theory about who fed it to reporters. And of course, it just isn't good right-wing paranoia unless it somehow connects to a progressive. When we last left the Herman Cain blame game already in progress, Chief of Staff Marlboro Man was demanding an apology from the Perry campaign for leaking the information. The Perry camp acted quickly and boldly, pointing the finger to another GOP contender, Mitt Romney.
Block now says - the Marlboro Man - that he believes the Perry denial. However, Mr. Cain has now said he still thinks that it's somehow connected to Perry. Then today comes another report from The Washington Times, it says a friend of the Cain campaign is laying the blame squarely on the shoulders of the most obvious person - Rahm Emanuel. Wait, what?
Okay, let's try to connect these dots. The friend says a National Restaurant Association employee from the Chicago office leaked the story to the Perry campaign via information and influence from Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office. Sure, why not? Are you sure it wasn't information that ACORN leaked to Occupy Wall Street, after it was discovered by the ghost of Che Guevara with Colonel Mustard and the candlesticks in the kitchen?
Undeterred, Cain train rolls on, using an interview with a conservative website as an opportunity to divert attention from the ongoing drama. An interview with Ginni Thomas - that's right, the famous journalist and wife of Supreme Court Judge - Justice - Clarence Thomas, who used to be the poster figure for sexual harassment.
(Excerpt from video clip) HERMAN CAIN: That is the D.C. culture. Guilty until proven innocent.
OLBERMANN: No, no - the culture is innocent, until you sign a settlement paying the accusers off and barring them from speaking. Besides the two women Cain paid off, two more accusations have now appeared. One from another NRA employee, who did not file an official complaint with the NRA, but alleges "unwanted, sexually aggressive behavior" from Cain. And a radio host in Iowa alleges that Cain made "inappropriate and awkward" statements to a female employee, the receptionist at their radio station. But it's a good thing Cain doesn't have any skeletons in his closet. Let's bring in comedian and actor - and skeleton - Christian Finnegan. Good to see you, sir.
CHRISTIAN FINNEGAN: Wonderful to see you.
OLBERMANN: Do you have any idea where the blame is going to go next, from the Cain camp, on this?
FINNEGAN: I don't know - Alexander Graham Bell, Johannes Gutenberg, whoever invented the time machine that these women took to accuse Herman Cain of sexual harassment, thereby torpedoing his presidential run? You can't even call - it's not leaking when the hole was never plugged in the first place - this is not vague innuendo, like "John McCain has a black baby." These are provable facts. There are check numbers involved. You know what I mean?
You know, if your whole basis of running for president is that you're "the business guy," it's not crazy to examine the things you did while you were a business person. I mean, he's not running on his foreign-policy credentials. So, it's like - that would be me saying, like, "I want you to hire me as a babysitter," and then I get mad when you bring up I happen to own a sweat shop a few years ago.
OLBERMANN: Working with babies. Is the right move when you are looking for good publicity to go to Ginni Thomas and sort of go - "That's what I was thinking of, Clarence Thomas!"
FINNEGAN: That was - I don't actually question him as much so much as I question her. It was a great interview - immediately afterwards, she drunk-dialed Anita Hill and demanded another apology from her. I was actually impressed that she was able to annunciate the questions so well, being that her head was stuck so far in the sand. But, I just feel like - I kind of felt bad for Clarence Thomas in this situation. It was just kinda like, "Isn't this a conflict of interest? It's not a conflict of interest. Are you sure?" Like, "how did I get dragged into this again?"
OLBERMANN: Plus, Herman Cain's thing here - this whole story - has kind of shunted Justice Thomas off to the side. I mean, frankly, Justice Thomas has not done anything on the Supreme Court. His last real claim to fame was this great moment in the American political stage - were those hearings.
FINNEGAN: In a fifty-word obituary, Anita Hill's gonna be in there somewhere.
OLBERMANN: "Clarence Thomas, served 90 years on the Supreme Court ... sexual harassment hearings." Cain is still ahead of the Republicans' polling. Is there some indication he is being bolstered in the polls by charges of sexual harassment, or is he being hurt by it? Because I - I've given up trying to figure out Republican voters. Which way is this going?
FINNEGAN: I feel like it would only take one more accuser to ruin his campaign - if that accuser's name was, like, Steve, or something. But, uh, I don't really feel like this is going to hurt him with hardcore conservatives. I mean, we don't know the specifics of the complaints yet, but these are social conservatives. These are people who roll their eyes at the notion sexual harassment to begin with. These are people who watch the movie "9 to 5" and think Dabney Coleman got a bad wrap. So, I don't see - like, if there was, like, a physical altercation - which, there's no evidence right now that there is - then that's a different story. But I don't see the conservatives really getting that upset if it turns out that 20 years ago Herman Cain was telling women about his "69-9-9 Plan."
OLBERMANN: Thank you very much.
FINNEGAN: Thank you. I was really proud of that one, I am not going to lie to you.
OLBERMANN: The Mrs. - Mrs. Herman Cain - was supposed to make her big, sort of, public debut - we don't know, haven't seen anything - on Fox - friendly, you know, home-court advantage and she's backed out of the interview. Is that bad for him? Is that, by itself, going to be a problem?
FINNEGAN: This is actually the one thing I think he's done right in this whole thing, Because, you know - it wasn't like she was on the campaign trail and now she's going to be off. She really hasn't been present. So, to trot her out now would just be kind of awkward, you know, because she can't win. It's not her fault. She didn't do anything to bring this on herself, and people watching it - they're either going to be mad at her because she is like a Stepford wife, or they're gonna be mad at her because she is not running around like an Andy Capp cartoon with, like, a rolling pin. So, I think she should take that Republican red power-lady suit and keep it in the closet for now.
OLBERMANN: How great would that be, if she brought out a rolling pin and hit him in the head with it?
FINNEGAN: Very Ruth Buzzi.
OLBERMANN: Well first off, she's the wife of an ex-pizza guy. She should have a rolling pin. Shouldn't she?
FINNEGAN: I didn't even make that connection.
OLBERMANN: Bingo! It would have the logo of the Gravediggers pizza or whatever it was called. All right, 30 seconds as a political strategist - what does Cain do tomorrow to try and salvage this whole thing?
FINNEGAN: I think that this point you gotta shoot the moon. You know, like - just go all the way with it. You know, don't just talk about one Uzbeki-beki-stan-stan. Like, name all the countries you don't who leads them. Don't just say that "I didn't know that China had nuclear weapons." Like, say you're gonna arrange a meeting with General Tso, or something like that.
OLBERMANN: Excellent, excellent. And his chicken.
FINNEGAN: It doesn't take much to distinguish himself. I mean, the Republican field is just like a roster of Tim Tebows.
OLBERMANN: Comedian and insightful guy Christian Finnegan. As always, good to see you.
FINNEGAN: Thank you, Keith.
OLBERMANN: That's "Countdown" for this, the 303rd day since the Republicans took control of the House. Three hundred and three days without them having passed one jobs bill of any kind. I'm Keith Olbermann. Congratulations on wading through another day of this crap. Good night and good luck.