updated 9/11/2009 10:46:53 AM ET 2009-09-11T14:46:53

Guests: Lawrence O‘Donnell, Rep. Anthony Weiner

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KEITH OLBERMANN, HOST (voice-over):  Which of these stories will you be talking about tomorrow?

The three-ring deather-birther-shouter circus comes to the biggest tent of them all.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOE WILSON ®, SOUTH CAROLINA:  You lie!

(CROWD BOOING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

OLBERMANN:  Congressman Wilson, the chief clown of the circus, apologizes but not formally and for the wrong thing.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  He apologized quickly and without equivocation, and I‘m appreciative of that.

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  I wish he had not.

WILSON:  I want to tell you this, that it was spontaneous.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

OLBERMANN:  So as most flatulence.  The outburst might have been spontaneous but Wilson being wrong on the facts of Section 246 was not—the enabling of, the celebration of the Republican culture of being wrong at the top of your voice.  Tonight—a “Special Comment.”

With opposition to reform now reduced to deather-birther-shouters, can the president now get the reform he outlined passed?  He meets with Democratic senators on the fringe and with nurses in the trenches.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA:  If there are real concerns about any aspect of my plan, let‘s address them.  If there are real differences, let‘s resolve them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

OLBERMANN:  Congressman Anthony Weiner on if this is enough and what‘s next.

Sarah Palin mushes further into the wilderness.  Obama last night “demonized victims of the war on terror” when he pointed out the Iraq war costs money.  Must have been the speech given by the voices inside her head.

Speaking of which.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

OBAMA:  Insurance executives don‘t do this because they‘re bad people. 

They do it because it‘s profitable.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS:  He said tonight that insurance executives are bad people.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

OLBERMANN:  “Worst Persons” has another landslide winner.

And a “Special Comment”: It isn‘t being a jerk that‘s the problem.  It‘s being a jerk who‘s wrong on the facts.  We must reclaim this land from the—yes, sir—from the morons!

All that and more—now on COUNTDOWN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

OLBERMANN:  Good evening from our very temporary accommodations in New York.

The memo having instructed those who were against health care reform to, quote, “rock the boat early in the presentation, to yell out and challenge the statements, to rattle him, get him off his prepared script and agenda, stand up and shout and sit right back down.”

Our fifth story on the COUNTDOWN: Republican Congressman Joe Wilson of South Carolina apparently taking that advice, mixing in his long-standing anger management issues and mistaking a presidential joint address to Congress for a town hall meeting.

Later in this newshour, my “Special Comment” on Congressman Wilson‘s behavior and the true problems therein.

We begin with the latest details.  Mr. Wilson today apologizing, which seemed only reluctantly and only under duress for having shouted at the president of the United States, “You lie.”

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WILSON:  Well, I last night heard from the leadership that they wanted me to contact the White House and state that my statements were inappropriate.  I did.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

OLBERMANN:  He has not yet resigned.  Having apologized only because somebody else wanted him to do so, no big leap then that Congressman Wilson still believes that President Obama is lying.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WILSON:  In particular, on the issue, which I think is very important, of whether the bills cover—would include illegal aliens or not.  Indeed, the bills that are before Congress would include illegal aliens.  And I think this is wrong.  We need to be discussing issues specifically to help the American people.  And that would not include illegal aliens.

These are people—I‘m for immigration, legal immigration.  I‘ve been an immigration attorney.  But people who have come to our country and violated laws, we should not be providing full health care services.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

OLBERMANN:  Now, just as last night, the facts not even close to backing up the bluster.  According to the folks at Pulitzer Prize-winning PolitiFact.com, the health care reform legislation being discussed in the house leaves in place the status quo on illegal immigration—meaning that no benefits specific to illegal immigrants would be provided under the new plan.  The White House is reiterating today that undocumented immigrants would not be allowed to buy into the public exchange.

A broader point perhaps and more relevant: the president was not discussing two amendments in one bill, making its way through the House.  He was outlining the entire plan as it will look once it reaches his desk.

We rejoin Congressman Wilson with possibly the most relevant sound bite of a long day.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WILSON:  It was spontaneous.  It was when he stated, as he did, about not covering illegal aliens when I knew he had those two amendments.  And I say that respectfully.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

OLBERMANN:  Frankly, sir, you don‘t know what that latter word means, respect being something that a colonel in the reserves would have for his commander, let alone his commander-in-chief.  Colonel Joe Wilson of the South Carolina National Guard Reserve having breached military protocol on top of everything else.  Republican Congressman Wilson apparently at liberty to abandon respectful conduct, his leadership today backing him up by insinuating that the president did, in fact, lie in last night‘s speech.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOHN BOEHNER ®, MINORITY LEADER:  Thirdly, he said illegal immigrants wouldn‘t get benefits.  H.R. 3200 does not contain any restrictions on non-citizens participating in and paying for coverage available through the exchange, whether the non-citizens are illegally or illegally present or in the United States temporarily or permanently.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

OLBERMANN:  This is a health care reform debate.  If you want to have an immigration reform debate, wait your turn and tell your side that what you are asking is that every person in this country who seeks medical attention in a hospital in the United States, including native-born Republicans, would have to present proof of birth every time.  In other words, you want national identity cards to be checked and rechecked and—faked?

Senator Graham of South Carolina taking a page out of the Karl Rove playbook by today accusing the president—the president of having behaved in an undignified manner last night, criticizing the tone of his speech, not the crazy tone of a member of his own state‘s congressional delegation but the tone of the president.

Boss Limbaugh, meanwhile, apparently upset that he was not consulted before the apology.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LIMBAUGH:  I‘m going to tell you something.  One of the things that‘s really irritated me all morning and last night was listening to Republicans, even after Wilson has apologized—and I wish he had not—but he‘s apologized, and even after he‘s apologized, members of his own party are all over television denigrating him—yes was bad decorum.

Folks, can I tell you what‘s happening here?  This is not—this speech last night and this administration is not your average presidential administration.  This is not a garden party.  This is not a lecture at Harvard or in any other university.  We are in the process—we are in the midst of an administration that is trying to totally tear down the institutions and traditions that have made this country great.

He is lying—President Obama is—from the moment he opens his mouth until he ends the speech.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

OLBERMANN:  Elsewhere on your insane radio dial, Sean Hannity assuring his guest, Congressman Wilson, that he was right and the Democrats have treated President Bush with just as much disrespect.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

HANNITY:  So, at the end of the day, you‘re right and the president was wrong.

The left is going to mobilize against you—and I say this because they have called the president every name in the book.

And they never apologized, by the way, Congressman.  Do you think there‘s a double standard here?

WILSON:  Oh, quite a double standard.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

OLBERMAN:  Yes.  Yes, there is.  Elected Democrats never shouted lies at President Bush during any of his speeches.  If they‘d done that, Bush never would have finished his first speech.

Meantime, the denouement to all this—overnight, Mr. Wilson‘s very safe house seat in the high-rent tourist area of South Carolina shifted to “in play.”  Congressman Wilson‘s challenger in next year‘s midterm election, Rob Miller, today raising more than half a million dollars and counting.  That was some shout.

The president, meantime, always eager to find common ground, today accepting Congressman Wilson‘s apology.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA:  I‘m a big believer that we all make mistakes.  He apologized quickly and without equivocation, and I‘m appreciative of that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

OLBERMANN:  Time now to call in our own Lawrence O‘Donnell, contributor to “The Huffington Post,” former chief of staff on the Senate Finance Committee.

Lawrence, good evening.

LAWRENCE O‘DONNELL, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  Great to be here, Keith.

OLBERMANN:  With everything that Congressman Wilson said today, that minority leader Boehner said today, Limbaugh, Hannity—did the Republicans take what was already an untenable position for them and manage somehow to succeed in making it worse?

O‘DONNELL:  Well, they‘ve become very good at that.  And following campaign manager Limbaugh is to follow him off the cliff.  He has advised the Republicans into a series of losses here, 2006 congressional campaign, the presidential campaign this time around, congressional campaigns this time around.  He is not the guy to listen to.

You know, I didn‘t listen to Rush today, Keith, but here in Washington, I did listen to some African-American talk radio.  There‘s another phenomenon out there, which is, in black America, they are noticing that the very first president in the television age to be heckled, the first president to suffer a heckling in that situation is the first black president.  That has not gone unnoticed.  There is a very particular offense being taken in the African-American community tonight.

OLBERMANN:  And, by the way, thus the first congressman to heckle a president during the speech happens to be a member of the radicalized group the Sons of Confederate Veterans.  So, if there is any implication there, in fact, there are two implications there.

But back to this—the meaning of this incident going forward.  When

the Dixie Chicks criticized President Bush on stage at a concert in London,

the right tried to blacklist them.  The Iraqi journalist who threw the shoe

at the last president of the United States wound up probably appropriately

·         at least temporarily if not in terms of length—in jail.

           

Am I wrong in thinking that if a Democrat in Congress had, indeed, yelled “You lie” at President Bush—and Lord knows there was opportunity to do that—the outcry here would have been almost indescribable?

O‘DONNELL:  And I don‘t think we‘d hear from the congressman again.  They‘d get him shipped off to Guantanamo overnight.  I mean, yes, Keith, the reaction—I mean, Sean Hannity—it‘s just unimaginable to me what the reaction would be because the truth of the matter is guys like Hannity do not believe in the First Amendment.  They believe that the First Amendment applies to them and that there are things you must not and cannot say to Republican presidents.

So, yes, it would be just hysterical reaction on their part, absolutely.

OLBERMANN:  And this was obviously the childish action during that speech that got the most attention last night.  But was it actually the worst?

There‘s now photographic evidence that the Congressman Shimkus of Illinois, who is the “God will stop global warming, don‘t worry” guy, walked out on the speech.  He didn‘t even have a Democratic opponent for 2010.  Did he just buy himself one?

O‘DONNELL:  Well, he‘s in about as safe a district as it gets.  He‘s in southern Illinois, one of two congressional districts that voted against President Obama in Illinois.  His district went for McCain but with 54 percent of the vote.  He wins—his last election, he won at about 64 percent versus 33 percent for the Democrats.

So, he‘s got to lose 30 points in this exchange, and I don‘t think that‘s very likely for just walking out.  And if he does risk the wrath of his voters for that, I think he probably has time to make up a good excuse about how urgently he needed to get to that men‘s room before anyone else.

OLBERMANN:  Right.  He forgot his sign.

Last question about Congressman Wilson—did we reach a low-water mark—or high-water mark in terms of the stupid out here?  Because—I‘m just wondering if there is such a place, and if that wasn‘t it, and I‘m advised that Bill O‘Reilly just referred to the Lewin Group and the Lewin Group study that the conservatives are so fond of talking about in regards to health care.  He referred to it as an independent research group owned by United Health, which might actually be stupider than what Wilson said last night.

O‘DONNELL:  I‘m going to stick with Wilson.

OLBERMANN:  OK.

O‘DONNELL:  . for this news cycle, Keith.

I spoke to a lawyer in South Carolina today, who went to law school with Wilson, and “idiot” was the most generous word he could come up with in a string of words to describe his experience with Wilson.  He maintained to me that no one in Wilson‘s district has any right to be surprised by this.  You could see this coming a long way off.

OLBERMANN:  Are the Democrats going to try to keep it alive, censure, or let this thing go after getting such milk out of it in one day?

O‘DONNELL:  I think they‘ve enjoyed what they‘ve gotten.  And I—they don‘t really have their hearts in pushing this very far.  And so, actually, I think the Republicans, as we know, would never let it go, but the Democrats are probably done with it by tomorrow.

OLBERMANN:  Lawrence O‘Donnell of MSNBC and “The Huffington Post”—as always, thanks for your time.

O‘DONNELL:  Thanks, Keith.

OLBERMANN:  The president clearly move reform far ahead of where it stood, perhaps even in June or July, despite the distraction provided by Congressman Wilson‘s outburst.  And the real point about that outburst, of course, is that, had some Democratic legislators stood up and shouted “liar” at President Bush before the Iraq war, they might have been run out of the country on a rail, but at least they would be right.

If you‘re going to throw the last remnant of political decency under the oncoming B.S. train, at least have the facts on your side.  And therein lies the hidden real importance of Congressman Wilson—he was wrong.  And not only last night but back when he self-identified as a deather and when he insisted that Strom Thurmond‘s love child, black love child, should have kept her identity to herself even after the senator‘s family had acknowledged his paternity.

Nothing has ever changed in this country without first somebody opening his mouth but not only if he opens it to put his foot in it.  The Republican culture of glorying in being wrong.

“Special Comment” ahead here on COUNTDOWN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

OLBERMANN:  The president offers the landscape of health care reform, support for his plans skyrockets, back to 2/3.  So, the Republican offer of return compromise?  Well, maybe they‘ll stop trying to shout the president down and they certainly won‘t call him the N-word.  Probably.  Congressman Anthony Weiner next on where this goes from here, the reform that is.

And tonight, “Special Comment.”  It‘s neither how nor where Congressman Wilson blurted out his nonsense last night; it‘s that it is nonsense.  And an entire political party is now delegating itself to promulgating stupidity.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

OLBERMANN:  In the same speech during which he rejected the lies of the right about health care, Mr. Obama also gave ground to the right on health care.  And the question today is: did he move enough to get the right to move to him at all?

Our fourth story tonight: Democrats called the speech a game-changer. 

New polling says it was a game-changer for millions of Americans. 

Republicans, however, are still playing the previous game.

House Republican Whip Eric Cantor, who corrals Republican votes in that chamber and sends texts during presidential addresses—I am sitting on my butt—was asked whether he, like the president, could make concessions in his party‘s positions on health care.  As you will see, his response entailed turning into the big concession he wants Democrats to make.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROBIN ROBERTS, TV ANCHOR:  The president did show some support for what you just talked about, John McCain—Senator John McCain.  He did show support for that plan and he did make some concessions.  You talk about the guarantees, but are you willing to some compromises of your own now to go back to the table?

REP. ERIC CANTOR ®, HOUSE WHIP:  Well, you know, Robin, I think it‘s very important that we dismiss this notion of a government option.  I think, if we listen to the American people right now, the fear surrounds this notion that somehow the government will replace the health care system that we know in this country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

OLBERMANN:  Republican refusal to budge markedly out of step with the country, new polling suggesting today, not only does the majority of this nation continue to support both Mr. Obama on health care generally and on the public option specifically, but a stunning number of Americans who watched the speech last night—after a month of Republican sound and fury about health care—changed their minds; perhaps in part explaining why Senate Majority Leader Reid today called the speech a game-changer, predicting or at least hoping for a passage of a Senate bill before Thanksgiving.

Before the speech, 53 percent of those who watched supported Mr.  Obama‘s plan to reform health care.  After the speech, 67 percent of those who watched, two-thirds, supported Mr. Obama‘s plan to reform health care.  An even more seismic shift occurred among those who had opposed Mr. Obama‘s health care before watching the speech.  That number fell from 36 percent to 29 percent, meaning the speech led one-out-of-five opponents to drop their opposition.

And Republican members of Congress were exempt from this shift among real Americans, may have something to do with the fact they get money from insurance and big pharma, while real Americans, of course, send money to insurance and big pharma, and their health care is more perilous.

Mr. Obama emphasized today, telling nurses at the White House, that the numbers have gotten worse in less than 24 hours since his speech last night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA:  Over the last 12 months, it‘s estimated that the ranks of the uninsured have swelled by nearly 6 million people.  That‘s 17,000 men and women every single day.  And we know that during this period of time, the number of adults who get their coverage at the workplace has dropped by 8 million people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

OLBERMANN:  With us now, Congressman Anthony Weiner, Democrat of New York, member of energy and commerce committee.

And great thanks for your time and your patience with our logistics tonight, sir.

REP. ANTHONY WEINER (D), NEW YORK:  Thanks.  Good to be here.

OLBERMANN:  If this was a game-changer, what should we expect from the game that we would not have expected at this time yesterday?

WEINER:  Well, we spent a lot of time over the month of August explaining to the American people why we needed to do anything.  A lot of Americans said, “You know what, I got health care, I think everything‘s fine, why do we have to tamper with this?”

The president gave the kind of speech that only presidents can give, laying out why this is a chronic problem that needs to be addressed by all Americans.  But I think he also did something else that makes things a little more complicated.  He referred—as your previous guest had mentioned—to his plan, and I think that there still needs to be more meat put on the bones of that plan.

But more and more Americans, after watching the president last night, are saying, “OK, we have a problem that we need to solve, let‘s get to it.”  That frankly has been a real weakness on the Republican side of the aisle.  They‘re not even conceding there‘s anything that needs to be fixed.  That‘s why they haven‘t offered many ideas of their own.

OLBERMANN:  Where are you about the amount of meat on these bones, given your strong public support, consistent public support for the public option?

WEINER:  Well, the speech is kind of a Rorschach test for members of Congress.  You know, I heard him say that he though—his argument in favor to the public option is pretty profound.  He said we needed competition, he said we needed some choice, and we needed some way to drive down insurance prices—only by having a public option do you do that.

You know, I‘ve compromised here.  I believe in a single-payer plan as you know.  I think we should have Medicare for all Americans.  It‘s simple and it worked.

But if we‘re not going to have that, we need some government option that allows people, if they‘re being mistreated by their insurance company or the insurance company charges too much to go to.  If the president walks away from that, and I think he‘s going to walk away from enough votes to pass this bill.

There are still some questions that need to be answered, but I think now we‘re on a path—at least the American people understand, that all the shouting of August notwithstanding, we do have to address this problem.

OLBERMANN:  Congressional Republicans, as evidence by Mr. Cantor and others, who spoke today, have not budged on this in any respect.  Few of them applauded at key moments.  Few of them from the Senate did, to their great credit, I think.  But in that respect, with their reaction, would you still consider the speech ultimately successful?

WEINER:  Well, I don‘t think we‘re going to win over many Republicans members of the House or Senate.  I think they‘re almost a lost cause.  Republican members of the population as a whole, I think, are much more fertile ground for us getting support for this.

I think most Americans, even the most ardent congressional district in the country, realize they‘re paying too much for health insurance, too many of their neighbors don‘t have it, and realize that we‘re going to be bankrupt if we don‘t solve this problem.  I think, if we‘re waiting for Eric Cantor to come around to be helpful on this, we‘re going to be waiting for a very, very long time.

OLBERMANN:  I was wondering last night as I heard that speech, the key thing that people who were not hugely involved politically would have taken away was, the idea that it would now be illegal to deny insurance based on pre-existing conditions.  This seem—would seem, I would think, to the average person—who may or may not know what party President Obama belongs to—to be something akin to manna from heaven.

WEINER:  Yes.  Well, no, there‘s no doubt about it.  And frankly, let‘s remember, for all the criticisms of a government-run health plan, we never heard of the term pre-existing condition when it was just Medicare and Medicaid.

That‘s exactly right.  We do need to help reform insurance.  You know, I hear these surveys of people who like their insurance companies.  Most like their insurance companies until they actually have to get in touch with their insurance companies and get care from them.

But, you know, the Republicans have to realize they‘re going to get left by the side of the road here.  Some of the concerns we, Democrats, have is, look, we‘re in charge of governing the House and the Senate, and now, the White House.  We‘ve got to have initiatives that work.  If we‘re going to be waiting for that cooling saucer of democracy, the United States Senate, to act, we‘re going to be waiting a very long time.

OLBERMANN:  Speaking of things and acting and influences—ultimately, did it help last night, the progressives in any event, who would prefer to go purely Democratic on this bill and sort of drop the pretense that you‘re going to get a huge Republican crossover on this?  Did it help to have a Republican making a fool of himself and of the process the way Congressman Wilson did last night?

WEINER:  Well, having a Republican member of Congress making a fool of himself is not an uncommon occurrence in the House of Representatives.

(LAUGHTER)

WEINER:  But in all seriousness, I think, it is—it is a distraction.  But it shows something else.  All of the shouting and yelling that went on during the month of August actually seemed to get into the Republican body politic, and that‘s problematic.  We should stop the shouting, but we should start solving problems.  Republicans aren‘t good at that either.

OLBERMANN:  You‘re exactly right on your observation about it getting into the body politic.

Representative Anthony Weiner of New York—again, great thanks.

WEINER:  Thank you.

OLBERMANN:  It never stops.  Sarah Palin now attacks the president for, quote, demonizing the victims of 9/11 by last night mentioning the price of the war in Iraq.

Meanwhile, among the other “Worsts Persons”—two racists and one constitutional illiterate with one stone.  Lou Dobbs defends Glenn Beck on First Amendment grounds.

Ahead on COUNTDOWN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

OLBERMANN:  “Worst Persons”: It turns out Lou Dobbs does not under the First Amendment, and Sean Hannity does not understand the English language.

First, from the party that has done everything to 9/11 but turned it into a sitcom comes Sarah Palin‘s claim that last night, the president demonized the victims of terror.

And a “Special Comment”: The real transgression of Congressman “Wrong Way” Wilson.  Not so much the instability as lionization of stupidity.

You‘re watching COUNTDOWN on MSNBC.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

OLBERMANN:  Last night, while President Obama made new policy, former Governor Sarah Palin made a brand-new pretzel.  In our third story on the COUNTDOWN, Palin was reacting to a comment the president made about the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  And, through her particular pretzel of logic, she actually claimed he was demonizing the victims of 9/11. 

Palin, of death panel infamy, again used her Facebook page as war room.  Quoting, “finally President Obama delivered an offhand applause line tonight about the cost of the war on terror.  As we approach the anniversary of the September 11th attacks, in honor of those who have died that day and those who have died since in the war on terror, in order to secure our freedoms, we need to remember their sacrifices and not demonize them as having had too high a price tag.”

What the president actually said was this, “add it all up, and the plan I‘m proposing will cost about 900 billion dollars over ten years, less than we have spent on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and less than the tax cuts for the wealthiest few Americans that Congress passed at the beginning of the previous administration.”

First of all, complaints about the cost of wars began years before this president took office.  Those complaints have emanated from both parties, and have never been intended to impugn the troops, much less the victims of the 9/11 attacks.  And 9/11 had, as has been proved repeatedly in small words, suitable for people like Mrs. Palin, nothing to do with the war in Iraq. 

Mrs. Palin has not only managed to connect those unconnectable dots, she also used 9/11 to attack the president. 

Let‘s turn now to the Washington editor of “The Nation,” Chris Hayes. 

Chris, good evening. 

CHRIS HAYES, “THE NATION”:  Good evening, Keith. 

OLBERMANN:  It‘s hard to ask a serious question about this kind of logic, because it is so incredibly off. 

HAYES:  It is. 

OLBERMANN:  Is this just another dog whistle?  Is this just another, you know, dart thrown against the wall in the attempt to delegitimize the president? 

HAYES:  Well, yes.  I mean, it is.  But it‘s also sort of part of—it‘s real bedrock kind of right-wing rhetoric.  They‘ve been saying this for 40, 50 years.  I mean, the notion is anytime anyone tries to question the size of the American national security state, the amount of wars we‘re involved in, the amount of bases we have overseas, the expenditures related thereto, then they are impugning the troops, and I guess in this case, in a particularly creative flourish, impugning the victims of 9/11.  And that‘s something that the right wing has been basically trying to argue for four decades. 

OLBERMANN:  When—there are presumably at least a few Republicans left who might want to use actually policy points to differ with the president, to argue against his proposals.  Does a Palin do a disservice to herself and to those Republicans when she goes this far out on the logical limb? 

HAYES:  Well, yes.  I mean, yes in the sense of she does a disservice to the—you know, the state of vibrant opposition that can actually substantively contribute to the American process of self-governance.  But I don‘t think in the political short term she does, because, again, the audience for all this is a relatively small and very ideologically extreme portion of the populace that‘s going to be, you know, basically voting in the Iowa caucuses in 2012.  And that is a sort of sample of public opinion.  It‘s just incredibly different from the American people as a whole. 

I think everything—if you kind of refract it through that lens, it may make perfectly fine short-term political sense to do this kind of grandstanding. 

OLBERMANN:  And yet here is Senator McCain, who got a shout out, basically, a surprise last night from the president last night in that speech, and full credit for one of the ideas the president adopted for his reform, and his vice presidential candidate, Ms. Palin, now complaining that the president disproved the death panel crap.  Limbaugh now applauding Palin, saying you call us out, we‘re going to hit back twice as hard.  We touched on this previously tonight.  But isn‘t that part of the dynamic here, to be as loud as possible, and truth and accuracy are really irrelevant to the equation? 

HAYES:  yes, absolutely.  I mean, look, at this point, it is destroy

this bill, specifically.  Destroy health reform, specifically.  Destroy the

president broadly politically by any means necessary.  I mean, I think that

·         you know, I actually witnessed—very interestingly, when the original kind of murmurs of death panel came up, there were some conservatives who were like, oh, that‘s a little too far.  Next thing you know, Chuck Grassley is repeating it at town halls, because it embedded itself in people‘s consciousness and then thought, hey, this weapon is lying around, I might as well use it.  Right? 

So, yes, I don‘t think that the rhetorical posture that the right has adopted toward health care reform or the president has anything to do with the substance of the charges they‘re making.  And there are substantive charges one could make.  That‘s what‘s so crazy.  You can attack the actual bills that you‘re presented from a conservative perspective.  There‘s perfectly legitimate conservative attacks to be made.  They‘re just not actually being made. 

OLBERMANN:  Yes, but that takes work.  Chris Hayes of “The Nation,” as always, great thanks, Chris. 

HAYES:  Thank you, Keith. 

OLBERMANN:  That Mrs. Palin is at the forefront of this culture of superstition, assumption and wrong-headedness does not mean the field is hers alone.  A special comment tonight on the real problem with Congressman Heckle and Jeckle. 

When Rachel joins you at the top of the hour, a look at the right-wing wing nut groups supporting Representative Wilson.  That‘s a good idea.

First, in the worst, you may think you know how much Fox Noise twists the news, but you have never seen it done as starkly as Sean Hannity did it last night. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

OLBERMANN:  The outrage of Congressman Joe Wilson; right sound, right volume, wrong reason.  Incivility?  He‘s a Republican town haller.  It‘s the wrongness that matters.  A special comment next.  But first time for COUNTDOWN‘s number two story, tonight‘s worst person in the world.

The bronze to Lou Dobbs at CNN, whose craziness seems to be impacted by the phases of the moon.  Now defending Glenn Beck‘s description of the president as racist, with a deep-seated hatred of white people, defending Beck‘s campaign against Van Jones, because Van Jones four years ago founded the organization whose protest has now stripped 62 advertisers from Beck‘s show.  “I didn‘t hear Howard Dean get excited about that.  Trampling all over the First Amendment, trying to coerce sponsors of Glenn Beck, just because he had the guts to say what he meant.  You know, there‘s a shortage of that.  That ought to be encouraged.”

Never mind the inanity of defending Beck‘s right to say something outrageous, even psychotic, rather than defending the public‘s right to protest an irresponsible broadcaster.  Jesus, Lou, how long have you lived in this country?  You still don‘t know that there is no first Amendment Right protecting you against backlash by viewers, or sponsors, or anybody, except backlash from the government?  I promise we‘ll get Lou up to speed on broadcasting and how it has nothing to do with the First Amendment, and soon.  He‘s only been doing this 39 years. 

The runners-up, the host of Cluster Fox and Friends.  Right into the Republican talking points this morning in defense of Congressman Shout out.  And wow, are those talking points thin on the ground.  Brian Kilmeade, “didn‘t Pelosi, the speaker, call CIA a bunch of liars?”  Steve Ducey, “But when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the CIA liars and Congress called President Bush a liar, was there outrage there?”

Yes!  Plenty.  Most of it by you charlatans.  You left out Dixie Chicks.  You buffoons started a blacklist of a musical group for being critical of the president while they were in London.  Wilson interrupted this president in his audition as a real man of genius.  Somebody had done that to Bush, you meat puppets would have called for human sacrifice. 

But our winner, Sean Hannity.  This one defies belief, as Hannity apparently defies medication. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA:  Without competition, the price of insurance goes up and quality goes down.  And it makes it easier for insurance companies to treat their customers badly by cherry-picking the healthiest individuals and trying to drop the sickest, by over-charging small businesses who have no leverage, and by jacking up rates. 

Insurance executives don‘t do this because they‘re bad people.  They do it because it‘s profitable. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

OLBERMANN:  “Insurance executives don‘t do this because they‘re bad people.  They do it because it‘s profitable.”  So, Hannity‘s response?  I hope you‘re sitting down. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR:  When he said tonight that insurance executives are bad people, it took me back, because it was so harsh and I think unfair, but it‘s part of their polling. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

OLBERMANN:  Took me aback.  Aback is the word, Sean.  Obama says insurance executives aren‘t bad people.  Hannity says he said tonight that insurance executives are bad people.  If you ever need a Fox News bald-faced lie for argument or debate, use this one, Wednesday, September 9th, 2009. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA:  Insurance executives don‘t do this because they‘re bad people. 

They do it because it‘s profitable. 

HANNITY:  He said tonight that insurance executives are bad people. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

OLBERMANN:  Sean Hannity, today‘s worst people in the world.  Or as he might say tomorrow, Keith Olbermann called me the best person in the universe!

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

OLBERMANN:  And finally, as promised, a Special Comment about the shout of “You Lie” during the presidential address to the joint session of Congress last night on the matter of health care reform.

The 43rd president of the United States lied the nation into the war, lied 4,343 of his fellow citizens to death in that war, lied about upholding the constitution, and lied about weapons of mass destruction.

He lied about how he reacted to al-Qaida before 9/11 and he lied about how he reacted to al-Qaida after 9/11.  He lied about getting Bin Laden, and he lied about not getting Bin Laden.

He lied about nation-building in Iraq, lied about the appearance of new buildings in the nation of Iraq, and lied about embassy buildings in nations like Iraq.  He lied about trailers with mobile weapons labs in them, and he lied about trailers with Cuban prostitutes in them.

He and his administration lied—by the counting of one non-profit group -- 532 times about links between al-Qaida and Iraq.  Only 28 of those were by that President, but he made up for that by lying 231 times about WMD.

And yet not once did an elected Democratic official shout out during one of George W.  Bush‘s speeches and call him a “liar.”  Even when the president was George W.  Bush, even when he was assailed from sidelines like mine, even when the lies came down so thick the nation needed a hat he was still the President and if he didn‘t earn any respect, the office he held demanded respect.

More over, that President and his Congressional tools like Congressman Addison Graves “Joe” Wilson of South Carolina insisted not just unquestioned respect for the office; they wanted unanimous lock-step compliance with the man.

And when the blasphemy of mere respectful criticism somehow came anyway—say by, or built on that by, the real Joe Wilson—Lord help he who might have made the slightest factual error in that criticism.

Congressman Wilson and his masters and the flying monkeys of right-wing media would pursue the erroneous critic to the ends of their careers, firing hot accusations of moral or intellectual confusion and incompetence at the unbelievers.

And that is the line Congressman Wilson crossed last night when he shouted “you lie” at this President of the United States.  Not the respect line.  The stupid line.  Hey, Mr. Wilson! 

“This evening I let my emotions get the best of me when listening to the President‘s remarks regarding the coverage of illegal immigrants in the health care bill,” you hurriedly said last night as a nation caved in on you, and your own party‘s leadership coerced you into saying something.

“While I disagree with the President‘s statements, my comments were inappropriate and regrettable.  I extend sincere apologies to the President for this lack of civility.”  For the lack of civility, Congressman?  Is that what you think this is about?

Of course your comments were inappropriate and regrettable—you are a Republican trying to de-legitimize the elected president of the United States—that‘s all you do, and that‘s all you‘ve got.

Of course you let your emotions get the best of you.  At a figure of $435,296 in campaign donations from the Health Sector, of course your emotions would take over when your gravy train was threatened.  It isn‘t about “inappropriate and regrettable,” Sir! 

Your comments were inappropriate and regrettable and wrong!   You got up in front of the world, embarrassed your district, embarrassed your state, embarrassed your party, embarrassed your nation, shouted at the President like he was a referee at a ballgame and you were a drunk in the stands, and you were wrong.

House Bill 3200 specifically says, Sir, in language made precise and binding—in section 246 -- under the heading, quote: “No federal payment for undocumented aliens.”

            Look, Congressman!   All capital letters!   For the benefit of the

factually-challenged!   “Nothing in this subtitle shall allow Federal

payments for affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States.”

            You got it wrong!   There is no ambiguity, Sir.  There is no

disagreement!   The bill says those here illegally will not be covered; yet

whether through stupidity or a willful attempt to mislead the gullible, you decided to spend whatever credibility remained to you, on a position in which you are utterly, inarguably, and—in a manner obvious to newborns and the more sophisticated of farm animals—wrong! 

You apologize for your lack of civility?  When are you going to apologize for your lack of being right?  Wrong-Way Wilson.  Whatever it is, it‘s congenital.  Wrong-Way Wilson just wrote an op-ed, on August 27th for the Columbia, South Carolina newspaper “The State,” about the non-existent death panels that he and Mrs.  Palin saw in their dreams—or something:

“Those who have stood up and shown up to have their voices heard have already made a difference in this debate.”  Perhaps henceforth Mr. Wilson should soft-pedal the “have their voices heard” part.

“...citizens have discovered and brought to light numerous aspects of the health care overhaul (H.R.  3200) that are deeply troubling.  These include the end of life counseling program, which has been correctly highlighted by former Alaska Gov.  Sarah Palin as a program which could lead to seniors being encouraged to seek less care in order to protect the government‘s bottom line.”

Perhaps henceforth Mr. Wilson should soft-pedal the Palin Paranoia, since he caught enough of it that last night, he made himself look like an uninformed eight-year old screaming at an adult.

“Americans...  want and deserve this honest debate.”  Perhaps henceforth Mr. Wilson should remember that the word “honest” is as important as the word “debate.”  The latter without the former is better known as Political Tourette‘s Syndrome.

The evidence that Wrong-Way Wilson and reality are strangers goes back much further than last night.  When Congressman Rob Filner said the U-S had helped Saddam Hussein‘s chemical and biological weapons, Wilson went nuts.  Worse, he accused Filner of a quote “hatred of America,” and insisted “you shouldn‘t say that” and “you should retract it” and “you know it is not true.”

It was true.  It had been confirmed by the Commerce Department in 1994.  Wrong-Way Wilson was wrong.  A year later, when it was asserted that Sen.  Strom Thurmond from Wrong-Way‘s home state had fathered a daughter with a black woman, Mr. Wilson called the assertion a quote “smear on the image” of Sen.  Thurmond.

This was after Sen.  Thurmond‘s family had acknowledged not just paternity, but the fact that the Senator had maintained a secret relationship with his daughter, and provided her money, for decades.  After  this was admitted, Congressman Wilson considered references to it a “smear” and said Thurmond‘s daughter should have kept it to herself.

Coincidence, of course, Wrong-Way, that it would be you who would consider the confirmed, acknowledged bi-racial child of Strom Thurmond as a “smear.”  And then it would again be you who—in the middle of a festival of blind racial rage dressed up as a health care debate—would shout out, “you lie” at a bi-racial President of the United States as he addressed Congress.

And just a coincidence that you‘re a member of a radicalized, insurrection-glorifying group, accused of harboring white supremacists, called “Sons Of Confederate Veterans.”

Back to this incident.  You have swallowed some of the Kool-Aid you mix up for those damn fools who believe you, Congressman.  You sounded as pathetic as one of those poor souls, stampeded by corporate funding from the insurance and health care industries, who shout out nonsense at those demonstrations of willful stupidity that have been mislabeled “Town Halls” these places where a citizen‘s life is reduced to acting out that ridiculous maxim, if you‘re going to be wrong, be wrong at the top of your voice.

But Congressman—you‘re not supposed to be a Town Hall panicker, you‘re not supposed to be a Rube defending the efficacy of the Snake Oil, you are a Congressman—and still you were wrong at the top of your voice!   Town Halls, Death Panels, Oligarhys, a multi-racial president who is accused of hating half his own ancestry, neuroses about communist artwork, the idea that fascism and socialism aren‘t mutually exclusive, grass-roots protests bought and paid for by lobbyists and corporations, scared seniors terrified enough to turn to insurance companies for protection against reformers who want to increase their coverage and cut their rates, birchers, birthers, deathers, the voices in Michele Bachmann‘s head, the Republican rebuttal to the President of the United States given by a guy who thought he could become “Lord Boustany” by paying a couple of English con men.

And now to top off this pile of stupidity: Congressman Wrong-Way Wilson, who—when a President publicly, and ostentatiously, gave credit for part of his health care reform proposal to the very Republican he swamped in the election last year—Wrong-Way Wilson followed that bi-partisan gesture, by shouting “you lie” as soon as he heard the truth.

It is this week, evident that the greatest threat to the nation is not terrorism nor the economy nor H1N1 nor even bad health care.  It is rank, willful stupidity.  When did we come to extol stupidity ahead of information, and rely on voo-doo, superstition, and prejudice ahead of education?

How many Republicans believe in Death Panels and Brownies and Elves?  When did we start to listen to elect the impregnably dense?   I was almost too fearful of using the word “impregnably” because of the prospect that Governor Palin would go after me the way she went after Letterman.

The time has come to rise up and take this country back, to again make it safe.  for people who actually completed the seventh grade.  The crime of Wrong-Way Wilson was not reflected in his emotions, nor his disagreement, nor his inappropriate conduct, nor in his incivility.  It was in his prideful wrong-ness.

There are many vague portions of this bill, but section 246 says it plain: “No federal payment for undocumented aliens.”  I defend Congressman Wilson‘s right to incivility.  A little incivility six years ago might have stopped the Iraq war.  He can shout anything he wants, at anybody he wants, in any circumstances he wants.

Providing that he is willing to suffer the consequences of his actions, I am willing to suffer him.

This nation can survive a president being disrespected by some nickel-dime congressman from Beaufort; the shame falls onto the shouter and not the one shouted at.

But this nation cannot survive the continued acceptance, the continued

endorsement, the continued encouragement, the continued

institutionalization. of stupidity

I think if Mr. Lincoln were alive he might re-cast his most famous imagery in the light of the truest of our present crises: A house divided against itself cannot stand.  I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half smart, and half stupid.

Section 246 is written expressly: there will be no health care funding for those who are here illegally; that there will be no mechanism created to establish such funding.  I fear Section 247 will have to be written expressly: so that there will be a mechanism created to establish stupid panels.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, to detail the desperate defense of Congressman Wilson, Colonel Wilson of the South Carolina National Guard, by the way—so he was calling the commanding officer a liar—ladies and gentlemen, here is Rachel Maddow.  Good evening, Rachel.

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Guests: Clarence Page, Markos Moulitsas, Rep. Maxine Waters, Jonathan Alter, Ana Marie Cox

           

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KEITH OLBERMANN, HOST (voice-over):  Which of these stories will you be talking about tomorrow?

Good soldiers?  A president at the crossroads, as all signs point to Obama punting the public option, at least for a few years, it gets worse.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID GREGORY, NBC NEWS:  The president is preparing to tell liberals in Congress it is time to be a good soldier here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

OLBERMANN:  Mr. Brown of Ohio, “The White House should not take progressives for granted.”  More than 200 former Obama staffers, 13,000 Obama volunteers, 23,000 Obama donors on a petition—a bill without a public option would not be “change we can believe in.”

The real death panels, the HMO scoreboard from the California Nurses Association: 40 percent of claims to PacifiCare, denied; 33 percent of claims to CIGNA denied; 22 percent of claims to all carriers in California, denied.  The insurance industry right now is a death panel.

Paranoia: Reagan explained his own politics in a speech to school kids.  Bush 41 spoke to students in class by TV.  Bush 43 was reading to school kids in a classroom on 9/11.

But if Obama gives them the “stay in school” spiel, suddenly, it‘s mass hypnosis.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHELLE MALKIN, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST:  We know that the left has always used kids in public schools as guinea pigs.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

OLBERMANN:  Exhibit A for staying in school and listening to the president kids.  If you don‘t, you can wind up all Michelle Malkin.

And—and—and—and—you thought I was finished with the Glenn Beck about the communist symbols in Rockefeller Center?  No!  No, I am not.  I am not finished with the Glenn Beck about the communist symbols in Rockefeller Center.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GLENN BECK, FOX NEWS:  Right above syphilis is, right here, oh, Rockefeller.  Yes, the artist didn‘t like Rockefeller too much.  Now, what does this have to do with today?  I don‘t know.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You‘ve got to tell ‘em!  Set them free these people!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  (INAUDIBLE) everyone!  They‘re here already!  Join me!  (INAUDIBLE) of the world!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

OLBERMANN:  Oh, yes, and look what happened overnight to the communist symbols in Glenn Beck‘s part of Rockefeller Center.

All that and more—now on COUNTDOWN.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

BECK:  And it drives—it drives me nuts that nobody knows what this is.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

OLBERMANN:  Good evening from New York.

After swallowing a compromise on the Iraq withdrawal timetable and enduring an escalation of troops in Afghanistan, after accepting a stimulus package that included 40 percent tax cuts and after standing by in shock and dismay as the Obama Justice Department decided to investigate only the most extreme, the least policy-making outliers from Bush‘s torture regime, in our fifth story on the COUNTDOWN: Progressives are being told tonight by the White House to be good soldiers because the White House has to again pander to the whining, screeching, lying minority party that will never support the president on anything and will see compromise only as a triumph of their threats and blackmail campaign against him.

Despite a recent poll showing the super majority support for the public option—more on that in a moment—the president is prepared to tell liberals in Congress it‘s time to be good soldiers—according to our own David Gregory—and the Democrats should start with an achievable foundation.  The White House is also—according to NBC News sources—contemplating legislative language in the president‘s upcoming speech, pulling together the 80 percent, they believe, all four congressional bills agree upon.

And senior White House advisor, David Axelrod says, quote, “I don‘t think there‘ll be any ambiguity where the president thinks we have to go from here.”

Well, that‘s a relief, but will it miss the point?

As noted by Senator Sherrod Brown, quoting, “I know that the White House is debating it internally, but Congress is writing the bill.  The president‘s not.  The White House should not take progressives for granted, it‘s not just the conservatives he needs to be in the fold, it‘s the progressives who have been in the vineyards fighting for reform for years.”

The president discussed health care reform today in the conference call with leaders of the Congressional Progressive Caucus who express absolute commitment to a robust public option.  The president suggested the dialogue should continue, but the spirit and letter of Mr. Obama‘s campaign for president has now been invoked in the form of a petition, saying that a bill without a public option, quote, “would not be change we can believe in.”  And in less than one day, that petition has been signed by more than 200 former Obama staffers, 13,000 Obama volunteers, and 23,000 Obama donors.

Then there is the gang of tricks or if you prefer their official name, “gang of six.”  The Senate Finance Committee negotiators who held a conference call today describing it as productive will meet again in person on Tuesday next.  But the committee‘s ranking Republican, the personification of bad faith bargaining, Senator Chuck Grassley, putting it gently, continues to disappoint, saying he expects a bill to pass before Christmas.  But, quote, “It may be kind of miniature to what we‘re talking about now.”

And there is some frustration in the White House with that Senate Finance Committee—according to NBC news sources.  Some are urging the committee to complete a skeleton bill.

Markos Moulitsas in a moment.  First, let‘s call in “Chicago Tribune” editorial board member and Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated columnist Clarence Page.

Clarence, good evening.

CLARENCE PAGE, CHICAGO TRIBUNE:  Good evening, Keith.  How are you?

OLBERMANN:  We heard it from you first, that the White House would, at least, float the idea to the trigger to the public option, Senator Snowe‘s pet project.  Is this still fluid?  What are you hearing now out of the White House?

PAGE:  Well, seems like this is the new pivot point now—that trigger idea.  It is something that Olympia Snowe has been pushing and it‘s something that could break the ice here as far as this jam-up over the public option itself.  Since there aren‘t enough votes in the Senate to get it passed, there are enough—it‘s already passed the House.  And how do you break that up?

It‘s something that—it seems like Obama is sounding very favorable toward it from what we hear, as he talked to—as you mentioned—talked to the progressives today.  From what we hear, he was asking them, “How much are you willing to give?”

He‘s said—David Gregory indicated earlier that he‘s working on a speech for next Wednesday, which is going to essentially ask the progressive side, you know, “Are you willing to give up a public option in return for other benefits that can be done,” and then down the road, possibly, get that or something else.

So, it seems like that‘s become the new negotiating point.

OLBERMANN:  Why that route given that if the White House is having difficulty now in getting enough senators from its own party to vote for a public option, why is the inclination to cave rather than convince given that they have pulled out of the deck as large a stage as could be presented right now?  We haven‘t had a non-State of the Union or State of the Union style joint session of Congress address since 2001.

PAGE:  That‘s right.  I don‘t want to sound too much like the administration has given up on it, like Obama‘s given up on a public option.  I think this is going to be a very, very important speech next week.

He‘s got to make up for what he had hoped to do back in July, which is to educate the public on what the public option and the other options are in regard to health care.  A lot of the public just simply doesn‘t know yet.  And he‘s got to try to bolster the courage of the Democrats that he‘s got on his side.  Then maybe—maybe—he can begin to persuade some of the others who he doesn‘t have on his side as far as the public option is concerned, Mary Landrieu, Joe Lieberman, Kent Conrad, the various Democrats -- or in Lieberman‘s case, an independent—who are on the fence about this or dead set against this.

OLBERMANN:  But the context of this, the president‘s pollsters are reportedly pleased with their own surveys, which show as other recent polls do, that when health care proposals are explained, that they‘re not just a series of catch phrases and scare buzz phrases, the public is in favor of this.

PAGE:  That‘s right.

OLBERMANN:  So, among the advisers, does anybody realize that they‘re actually, at this point aiming conceivably for something lower than they could still achieve despite the bloody summer?

PAGE:  Well, I‘m glad you pointed that out.  Because this does get lost in the shuffle that when you do explain it to the public, they tend to favor the public option.  It really hasn‘t been explained that well.  President Obama had hoped to do so before the August recess.  That didn‘t quite work out so well.

And now, he‘s trying to make up for lost time, but that‘s not that much time left.  They really do want to try to get something passed here sooner than what Charles Grassley was talking about earlier in terms of “by Christmas.”  That‘s a long time.

OLBERMANN:  Clarence Page of the “Chicago Tribune”—great thanks as always.  Great information and have yourself a fine Labor Day weekend, sir.

PAGE:  You too, Keith.  Thanks.

OLBERMANN:  Thank you.

And there continues to be, underneath this debate, the utterly false notion that that public option is a progressive cause alone.  Since 77 percent still deem the public option extremely or quite important—that according to a recent poll which used language identical to a June NBC News/”Wall Street Journal” Poll.  Indeed over the past month, a slew of recent polls asking about the choice of a public option has produced support between 55 percent and 77 percent—not just the progressives, but of gosh, Americans.

Let‘s turn now to founder and publisher of “Daily Kos,” author of “Taking on the System,” Markos Moulitsas.

Good evening, again, Markos.

MARKOS MOULITSAS, DAILYKOS.COM:  Happy Friday, Keith.

OLBERMANN:  Yes, not really.

Those poll numbers are broadly consistent.  So, how is the public option been rather successfully painted as solely some sort of progressive pet, outlier, kind of outlandish project?

MOULITSAS:  Well, it‘s a lot easier to demonize in the campaign of lies and fear if you paint the public option as a communist, liberal path to kill your grandmother.  In reality, it‘s a plan that would introduce competition, market competition, into a field that is very much monopoly-based.

But that‘s not as big of a sell.  To me, what‘s interesting is that the American people have sort of rejected that campaign of lies and fear.  It still enjoys broad public support, not just among Democrats, not even among independents, but also a significant minority of Republicans.

OLBERMANN:  The notion—if this is true and all the reporting seems to suggest it is, including what we‘ve just heard from Clarence Page—that the president is preparing to ask liberal Democrats to be good soldiers.  It also seems horse back of the cart here, millions of progressives, not just—you know, maybe independent-minded Republicans or lawmakers voted for Barack Obama for president.  Are they not simply asking that—actually for the first time in this administration—he be the good soldier and do simply what he was elected to do and what he said he would do?

MOULITSAS:  Not just progressives, Keith, also independents.  I mean, this was a campaign that was predicated on “change we can believe in.”  And time and time again, we‘ve seen, you know, so-called change watered down into sort of tinkering around the edges as a compromise.

This is a signature issue for Democrats.  This was the number one issue after the war in Iraq.  And if they can‘t deliver on this, even though those progressives and independents and even some Republicans delivered historically large majorities in Congress and in the White House, then I think there‘s nothing that Democrats can‘t do no matter how big a majority.

OLBERMANN:  What is going on in the White House at the moment?  What do they—how do they see it that they have come to this conclusion that everybody who got them in there who provided the margin for it, who provided the steam to the election, even to the nomination, is somehow to be told to shelve cashing in on a promise that was made to them as a predicate of the entire process?

MOULITSAS:  I think there‘s this assumption that you can always count on that progressive base to be there for Obama whenever he needs them.  So therefore, he needs to go out and find support elsewhere.

I don‘t know if they have confidence in those polls, not the public ones—not just the public ones, but the internal ones, that show this has broad based support amongst all Americans, including a big majority of independents and even some significant support among Republicans.  So, to me, the notion that they‘re going to compromise and sort of abandon the people that worked their butts off to get them elected, I think, is ludicrous.

OLBERMANN:  So, what—and what is the—what is the victory for them?  What are they getting out of it?  It‘s—as I suggested before—it seems to me if the Republicans make significant gains on this on the final bill, it‘s not going to make them feel—well, this is a great president, we‘re going to support him the rest of his term.  We‘re not going—we‘re not going to all—we‘re not going to run anybody against him in 2012.  They‘re just going to view this as blackmail that worked, aren‘t they?

MOULITSAS:  Oh, absolutely.  I think it emboldens the Republicans, knowing the White House is weak.  That they negotiate from a position of weakness even in dealing with legislation with policy that is incredibly—incredibly popular with the American people.  We‘re not asking the Obama administration to do the impossible or the unpopular, we‘re asking them to deliver on a popular policy, on an issue that they campaigned on, deliver on your promises.  It shouldn‘t be that difficult.

OLBERMANN:  Yes, you‘re ahead late in the fourth quarter, don‘t deliberately lose the game.

Markos Moulitsas of “Daily Kos,” the book is “Taking on the System.” 

It‘s now out in paperback.  Thanks.  Have a great weekend.

MOULITSAS:  You, too.  Thank you.

OLBERMANN:  The details and the panic in the town halls may be utterly artificial, but the fear is very real—fear of a change to, in particular, insurance.  Fear that a modified system might result in—I don‘t know -- 22 percent of insurance claims being rejected or a third of them—or God forbid, 40 percent -- 40 percent claim rejections would mean, if not death panels, and certainly bankruptcy panels.

Here‘s the problem, those are the rejection rates now.  Today, 22 percent of all claims in California, a third of claims made to CIGNA, 40 percent to the astroturf-funding United Health Groups specific care.  Right now, right now—there are bankruptcy panels in California.  Next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

OLBERMANN:  Congresswoman Maxine Waters of California on how this wonderful system—the Republicans and the ordinary people they are terrorizing—is currently rejecting nearly a quarter of all insurance claims in her state.  The same pretzel logic convincing right-wingers to force their kids to become truants next week.

And that logic that‘s one fellow Glenn Beck never met—part two of his apocalypse now analysis, how the artwork nobody looks at here in Rockefeller Center.  It‘s part of 75-year-old plan to indoctrinate us into supporting the socialist, fascist, communist Obama-ist Obama.

I know it‘s the plot of the “Da Vinci Code.”  Don‘t tell Glenn.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

OLBERMANN:  In health news today, the group Consumer Watchdog has asked California Attorney General Jerry Brown to investigate whether the nation‘s two biggest health insurance companies, included United Health Group, which we‘ve reported on here before, broke state law by pressuring employees to oppose health care reform.

And in other health news today, California Attorney General Jerry Brown announced he‘s now investigating possible wrongful business practices by his state‘s five biggest health insurance companies, including one owned by the United Health Group.

Specifically—in our fourth story tonight: It turns out death panels are kind of real.  And it took a group of nurses to find the real ones.

Brown‘s investigation comes after the California Nurses Association analyzed state data and found that one in five medical claims there is rejected.  United Company PacifiCare rejected 39.6 percent of claims two-out-five.  The insurance companies claim the figures are misleading although the data came from their own filings.

The state‘s managed care agency said most rejections do not mean denying treatment.  No, in those cases it just means denying reimbursement -- which helps to explain why medical bills are a top cause of personal bankruptcy, meaning: we still don‘t know the exact numbers who have had to go before insurance company death panels and have already died as a result.

PacifiCare, part of United Health Group told the “L.A. Times” its rejection rate had been inflated because it reflects internal disputes with physician groups that never affect patients.  The state‘s managed care agency told the paper, quote, “Department examiners are at the health plan right now reviewing its payment practices.”

And the parent company, United, Attorney General Brown‘s office says he is considering a request to investigate both United and WellPoint, both of which deny that urging their employees either to support bipartisan reform at best or to explicitly, to oppose congressional bills, violates state laws against coercing employee political activity.

Let‘s turn now to Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters of California.

Great thanks, once again, for your time tonight.

REP. MAXINE WATERS (D), CALIFORNIA:  Delighted to be with you.  Thank you for inviting me.

OLBERMANN:  One investigation already underway in your state and another under consideration.  Let me start with the denial of claims.

WATERS:  Yes.

OLBERMANN:  Is that a criminal investigation there, too?

WATERS:  Well, I am so pleased that Attorney General Jerry Brown has decided to take this issue up.  These stories we‘ve been hearing for years.  People who pay their premiums year in and year out, and then, when they file a claim, the war begins.  They‘ve got to fight.  They‘ve got to do everything to try and get these companies to pay, and then they‘re often times rejected.

This information by the California Nurses Association is extremely important.  This is a credible organization, representing over 86,000 nurses in the United States of America, and this finally put the facts before us—that with which we suspected all along that there were huge rejections.

This 39.6 percent of PacifiCare, that is outrageous.  And then, they ask us to somehow compromise and have a trigger to let these insurance companies keep on committing these crimes and somehow set some kind of benchmarks to give them an opportunity to do right.  They‘ve been ripping off the taxpayers, the American people, the citizens of this country, for far too long.  No compromise should be entertained by anybody.

OLBERMANN:  Yes.  And the idea was, we‘re going to have triggers if the system doesn‘t work.  The point is.

WATERS:  Yes.

OLBERMANN:  . the system doesn‘t work right now.  We‘ve already met whatever triggers could be established.

But let me ask you back about Attorney General Brown, with all due respect to what he‘s trying to do.  Does our nation‘s health care problem, including the denial of claims, does that—is that owed more to the fact that sometimes laws are being broken?  Or more to the fact that so much is actually legal and the insurance companies can get away with effectively murder?

WATERS:  Well, the fact of the matter is, we don‘t regulate them in ways that would even suggest what their rates should be, whether or not they are—should or should not be denying claims.  This is all within their power to do.  They can take someone again who‘s been paying premiums for 10 or 15 years on time, regularly, in one of these HMOs, whatever you want to call it, and they can decide after they do their own review whether or not to reject or to deny.  We don‘t clearly have a lot of control over that.

OLBERMANN:  We already know about the financial implications of this.  And I hesitate again to use that incendiary term “death panels.”  But do people die, in fact, because of decisions made by insurance company executives?

WATERS:  We absolutely have stories.  We have information from people who have had the experience that there have been deaths.  As a matter of fact, there are several that was cited by the nurses association as they presented this information about young people who have been denied certain procedures and consequently died.

OLBERMANN:  This request for the inquiry into WellPoint and United, that they coerced employees to go and oppose health care.  Even if they did, from the company‘s point of view—so what?  What could possibly happen to the companies that would outweigh the benefits of creating these kind of fake public testimonials against health care reform?

WATERS:  Well, the fact of the matter is, if they have decided to treat their employees that way and to intimidate them and maybe even suggest in some ways that they may not continue to be employed if they don‘t follow the company lie, it‘s something that we ought to be investigating.  We should not allow them to do that.

OLBERMANN:  Congresswoman Maxine Waters of California—as always, great thanks for your time, and good luck as you continue your fight on this.

WATERS:  Thank you.  Thank you so very much.

OLBERMANN:  “Oddball” tonight is devoted to this individual you see here.  This is a 400-pound individual.  And the latest related delicacy, deep fried butter.  And that‘s a subject for an insurance panel.

And “Worst Persons” tonight is devoted to those who just stand and nod.  More insanity from the hand-picked audience at a McCain-McConnell one-side only town hall and Mr. McCain promptly offers the man who speaks the insanity a job.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

OLBERMANN:  When I was a kid, the strict conservative parents I used to know told their children, stay in school.  Now they‘re telling them cut class.  That‘s ahead.

First, on this date in 1968 was born actor John DiMaggio, who may have made his American primetime TV debut as a cameo, as a bartender on “Law & Order,” but he‘s much better known for a role which has never called for him to be seen on camera, the alcohol-powered kleptomaniacal cigar-chomping robot on “Futurama,” Bender.  His voice is supplied by John DiMaggio.

So bite my glorious metal—let‘s play “Oddball.”

Hey, we begin in Beijing, China, where we find Laifu getting his daily supplements which include vitamins and calcium.  It seems Laifu has been eating like a pig ever since his owner took him in now tipping the scales at 400 pounds.  Laifu‘s owner was told by a fortune teller that she should raise a pig when she turned 50, and it looks like she‘s really doing the job.  Laifu has two nannies, goes for walks twice a day, all downhill after clearing the steps for the apartment complex.

If only they could supplement his diet with something that might help the weight problem.  Say, butter?

Butter—not just butter, butter, but better butter, fried butter.  For those of you near Dallas, who eat like the Laifu pig but still maintain your cholesterol level is just fine, this guy‘s come up with a perfect dietary solution.  After wrapping butter in dough and dropping it in the deep fryer, you‘re all set to start clogging those arteries and preparing to be kicked off the insurance rolls.  He‘s named these “death panels.”  Insurance rolls.  Ahhh!

Part two of our analysis of Glenn Beck‘s hallucination that Rockefeller Center is one giant undulating, socialist, fascist, communist symbol.  Just remember, (INAUDIBLE), it‘s made out of people.

And referencing back to Bender from “Futurama,” right-wingers are seriously suggesting the president has some sort of Hypnotoad ability to indoctrinate their kids to not drop out of school and do their homework.  God knows a lack of education worked fine for Sarah Palin.

Ahead on COUNTDOWN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

OLBERMANN:  Of course, it had to come down to this point.  After cheering on a president who ridiculed academic achievement, the Republican Party having shed hundreds of thousands of smart—the former Republicans -- is now resorting to the purest distillation of its many and hare-brained messages.

Our third story tonight Republicans Party‘s last hope: urging America to just stay home from school.  Just say no to education.  Reading are fundamental.

It stems, of course, from Obama-phobia, irrational fear of a black man running the country and in his speech on Tuesday addressing America‘s school children.  Naturally the idea of an American President addressing America‘s school children is inherently terrifying.

So Glenn Beck and other academic elites on the right are now actually telling parents to keep their kids home from school on Tuesday.  Skip school, now a mainstream Republican position.  We‘ll show those truant officers.

Why is this?  Because the Department of Education lesson plan has suspicious questions for kids to ask.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEX ANCHOR:  I would not normally have a problem with any president that wants to address school children, wants to encourage them to study hard, to develop—to learn, to have a great education.  To inspire them that America‘s the greatest country and they can be all they can be.  But when you read the specifics here, what is the president asking me to do?  How can I help the president?

Now we‘re getting into an area where it seems very close to indoctrination or at least has the potential.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

OLBERMANN:  You missed the question, Sean, how about this one?  Does the speech make you want to do anything?  Because, of course, all good indoctrination first asks you whether or not you want to be indoctrinated.

And then there‘s Michelle Mulkin in that blank stare warning that quote, “it‘s not about the text, he‘ll actually deliver an innocuous speech.”  Wait, what—oh, I see, teachers will then urge their kids to write letters to demonize Obamacare—to demonize Obamacare opponents.

So where did this insidious idea come from that President Obama should teach America‘s kids?  Perhaps from the article for the cover of “Parade” magazine last month, “What President Obama can teach America‘s kids” by Mr.  William O‘Reilly.

Or maybe from this guy who spoke to America‘s kids as campaign season began in October 1991 asking kids to write him telling them what they could do to help him achieve his goals.

Let‘s turn now to MSNBC political analyst Jonathan Alter and also, of course, senior editor at “Newsweek” magazine.  Jon thanks for your time tonight.

JONATHAN ALTER, SENIOR EDITOR, “NEWSWEEK”:  Hi Keith.

OLBERMANN:  I know a lot of liberals are really upset about this but it‘s so stupid, I can‘t take it seriously.  I mean, if Michelle Mulkin suggested that kids should wear a clove of garlic around their necks at all time to ward off Obama, I would not be laughing as hard as I am now.  Can you explain this crap for us?

ALTER:  Well, they‘re just rank hypocrites.  I mean, I didn‘t see any of these characters complaining about President Reagan in 1988 when he did this.  And, in fact, Reagan in his session with America‘s schoolchildren talked about the importance of cutting taxes.  I didn‘t see them—I didn‘t see them talking about indoctrination at that point on Limbaugh‘s program.

And then of course as you mentioned, President Bush did the same in 1991.  I think what you have here is a bunch of people who really don‘t believe that Barack Obama‘s legitimately President of the United States, whether that‘s out of racism or some other motivation is not clear.

But they‘re trying to delegitimize him in any way they can, be as disrespectful, not just to him but to the office as they can.  And to my mind, to be actually, what I would call unpatriotic in their approach.  And by that I mean that if you believe in this country, you know that education is the only route up.

And that doesn‘t mean that missing a day of school on the President‘s speech matters that much.  But the point is Obama has tremendous influence, particularly with African-American school children and getting them to stay in school and work hard and work to improve this country.

And this school superintendent in New Orleans has spoken about the Obama effect.  That when the teachers tell the kids, “the president wants you to do your homework,” it helps.  Now, why would they want to undermine that?  Why would they want more children growing up, dropping out of school, causing problems for themselves and for society?

These people are so myopic and so hypocritical it never ends, Keith. 

And you‘re right that it‘s funny, but on some level it‘s kind of pathetic.

OLBERMANN:  But also it‘s self-defeating, because if you think about this, the Democratic parents are going to tell their kids to stay in school that day and presumably they‘ll get this message and whatever value this is...

ALTER:  Yes.

OLBERMANN:  ...towards keeping them in school, there‘ll be more Democratic kids or kids of Democratic parent will be staying in school than getting degrees and colleges and scholarships and things and the Republicans will be working at Burger King.

It‘s self-defeating, isn‘t it?

ALTER:  Well, you know, it really is.  It‘s something that people don‘t quite understand is if you look at the 19 -- the 2008 election returns, the Republican Party is not only becoming more regional, more of a southern party, obviously an older white party, but also a much less well-educated party.

For the first time in many years Democrats carried college-educated voters and of course, they‘ve long carried graduate school educated voters.  So you can see scientists go overwhelmingly Democratic.

So they‘re becoming whiter, more southern and more stupid as time goes on.  And I‘m not sure that that helps the other party or the country.

OLBERMANN:  Well, the conservatives also used to be conservative, go to school, listen to your teacher, shut up, respect at least the Office of the President whether you care about the president or not.  What exactly is the value system they‘re espousing now?

ALTER:  I think it‘s resistance to, you know, a political opponent.  And a very doctrinaire, ideological approach to analyzing issues.  And it works a lot of the times.

Keith, there‘s a hard core 20 percent, I don‘t think it‘s that much higher than that, but 20 percent of the country that listens to these programs and that takes their marching orders from clowns like, you know, Glenn and Rush.

OLBERMANN:  No, well, I think actually they‘ve hit one that I like.  Stay home; keep your kids at home, conservative parents.  Keep them at home and then watch them not get into college.  Which is fine because they don‘t learn anything because they want to keep that evolution and other science and stuff like that.

Jonathan Alter of MSNBC and Newsweek, great thanks; have a great weekend.

ALTER:  Thanks, Keith.

OLBERMANN:  Once more unto the Beck.  You thought he brought the crazy last night, well, wait until you see round two.

Speaking of which, inside another town hall without pity, there‘s a woman who invokes Hitler again and the Congressman says thank you.

And on the “Rachel Maddow Show” at the top of the hour Senator Al Franken takes on the health Tea party protestors.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

OLBERMANN:  Sean Hannity thinks the president is named Jeremiah Wright, and neither John McCain nor Mike Pants (ph) has the guts to stop an anti-reform health care speaker from referencing death panels or Hitler.

“Worst Persons” next, and then the rest of the madness of Glenn Beck on the combined Communist-Fascist-Socialist symbolism here at Rockefeller Center including his observations that quote, “nobody notices it.”  Which begs the question, why did you just spend 15 minutes talking about it, dumb-dumb?

You‘re watching COUNTDOWN on MSNBC.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

OLBERMANN:  Part two of our deconstruction of the Glenn Beck attack on the symbolic artwork of Rockefeller Center, Rockefeller Center which he still doesn‘t realize he works in.

That‘s next, but first on COUNTDOWN number two story tonight.  The Bronze to Sean Hannity of Fixed Noise who has now thrown so much, you know, Hannity dung against the wall that he no longer knows where he is.  “I think the president is Jeremiah Wright.  He did sit in the Pews for 20 years.  I say he is Bill Ayers, not the terrorist, but the radical Bill Ayers.”

Hannity probably went home and said to himself.  “Look how fair I was to the President, I said he wasn‘t the terrorist Bill Ayers.”

The runner-up Senator John McCain continuing with his farcical two-man act in which he and Senator McConnell pretend to hold health care town halls in front of only critics of reform and medical industry and hospital employees.  In such a hot house, no dissent environment Mr. McCain‘s might be excused from missing something from the audience, but not for missing this.

This is the President of a Florida Medical Association Jim Dolan pushing the death panel lie.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JIM DOLAN, PRESIDENT, FLORIDA MEDICAL ASSOCIATION:  The only way that‘s achievable is by going to the draconian rationing that Rahm Emanuel‘s brother Ezekiel talks about as though it‘s going down to take longer bread.  When is that going to be part of the conversation?  And when are the very young and very old understand that the people advising this president are expendable?

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, ® ARIZONA:  Doctor, I know you have a day job, but I‘d like to take you with me wherever I go.  I‘ve never heard it more eloquently put than you just stated the situation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

OLBERMNN:  My God, John McCain ran for president.  Instead of being honest and saying to this man Dolan, I‘ll give you the benefit of the doubt you‘re exaggerating.  Seniors will not be expendable even under the strongest proposed health care reform.

McCain lies through his teeth, offers the guy a job on their sham town hall tour.  The one in which Mr. McCain presents his firm belief in suppressing dissent.

Speaking of which, our winner Congressman Mike Pence of Indiana, listen to this response as a panicked audience member in another members only town hall.  Anderson, Indiana, claims that health care reform will guarantee a better health care reform for members of Congress and will thus quoting her set them up as a superior race.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  To the rest of us, that sets them up as a superior race.  They are better than we are.  And you know who came up with the terminology of a superior race.  It sounds a bit like Hitler.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

OLBERMANN:  Who came up with the terminology of the superior race?  Lady, you did.  You just said that Congress would be a superior race.  The reformers didn‘t say that, the president didn‘t say that, you did.

And by the way, what do we have now?  We have one group of people who are insured who maybe can afford doctors who don‘t take insurance who survive more often than everybody else.  And Congressman Pence, when a woman introduces Adolf Hitler into a conversation about improving this maze in a mine field of a health care system we have now, you‘re supposed to remind her that such comparisons are offensive and she‘s demeaning herself and demeaning the memory of everybody who died because of the real Hitler.

But you said and I quote, “Thank you.”  Congressman Mike “thank you for your psychotic inappropriate reference to Hitler” Pence, of Indiana today‘s “Worst Person in the World.”

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

OLBERMANN:  Last night we closed this news hour with the deconstruction of the rather startling and extremely lengthy conclusions of Glenn Beck of Fox News that the GE building, indeed all of Rockefeller Center here in New York, constituted some sort of giant communist fascist totem poll of symbols and imagery and subliminal indoctrination.

The number one story tonight; that‘s when we hit poor Glenn with something he did not know, that the building in which he does his show is part of Rockefeller Center that whatever malign influence that might be emanating from the very walls here are also eating away at his brain.

There‘s still of Beck paranoia soup-left-over, plus we never even got to his factual errors, so tonight, part two.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GLENN BECK, FOX NEWS ANCHOR:  Oh, you know what?  Show it.  This is it.  This is from Moscow; the farmer and the worker, the hammer and the sickle.  This capitalist had a hammer and a sickle?  Had the worker and the farmer just like Moscow on his building a progressive? 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

OLBERMANN:  The owl and the pussycat, you left out the owl and the pussycat.  Factual error number one—the Rockefellers, he said were progressives.  John D. Rockefeller, the inventor of the oil business;

Nelson Rockefeller, four-term Republican Governor of New York, Republican vice president; David Rockefeller, head of the Chase Bank, tried to sneak the Shah into this country for medical treatment touching off the Iran hostage crisis—they were progressives?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BECK:  Oh, by the way, one other little tidbit, completely unrelated.  Commissioned by Rockefeller, all the things hidden by Rockefeller; a progressive, a big leader.  The Rockefeller foundation—they gave a big award an awful lot of credibility to, Van Jones, our new green jobs czar.  Yes, wow, that seems weird, huh?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

OLBERMANN:  Weirder than the rest of your show?  Not really, no.  Van Jones, by the way is the guy who founded the organization that has already peeled off 57 of Beck‘s advertisers.  So he really doesn‘t like Van Jones.

And the Rockefeller Foundation once gave Van Jones a fellowship.  That‘s absolutely true, but that gives us factual error number 2.  The Rockefeller Foundation is a hot bed of communism?  The Rockefeller Foundation whose past and current trustees include such notable left-wingers as retired Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O‘Connor.  The Republican nominee for president in 1916 Charles Evans Hughes, and that wildest of Communists Eisenhower‘s Cold War Secretary of State John Foster Dulles.

I wonder if they know about this Van Jones?  He‘s such a Communist evil doer that Harper Collins published his book.  Harper Collins is the publishing house owned by Glenn Beck‘s boss Rupert Murdoch.

There‘s plenty of yelling and screaming to come here, but two more factual errors before we start to have the fun.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BECK:  The last question we had for today‘s show was, do 20th century progressives love freedom or fascism? 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

OLBERMANN:  This just in, sparky, it‘s the 21st century now, it has been for nine years or eight years depending on your definition.  If these are 20th century symbols put up in the 1930s, what in the hell do they have to do with today?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

What does this have to do with today?  I don‘t know. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

OLBERMANN:  I gathered.

Now we can cut to the core on the fourth and final factual error.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BECK:  All of the images that I‘ve shown you here, thousands of people walk by every single day.  Jack, our sound engineer; how long did you work in that building, Jack? 

JACK:  29 years.

BECK:  29 years he‘s been walking by that stuff and said I‘ve never even seen it, I‘ve never noticed it.  Of course not until somebody points it out.

During the height of the Cold War, Hammer and Sickle and the fascist Mussolini, carved there in Rockefeller Plaza and nobody notices it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

OLBERMANN:  And that begs the most essential questions.  Assuming the very walls here really do wreak with socialist propaganda.  That John D.  Rockefeller put up personally during his lunch hour in between squeezing his opposition into sawdust.

If nobody notices this stuff, what the hell are you talking about it for?  If it‘s totally indecipherable to the average person, why does it matter?  Glenn never explains that.  And after listening to him explain the rest of it, it is totally indecipherable.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BECK:  Let me show you what it is.  Here‘s a guy with a horse on the chariot.  There‘s a kid here with the sun.  Let‘s just take it piece by piece and I‘ll show you what this means.

First the sun; the sun represents the bright tomorrow.  Right here underneath the boy.  Here‘s the sun, show me the boy.  This is the youth, the next one is the youth here.  Leading the way, notice he‘s ahead of the horses. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

OLBERMANN:  Are the horses Mr. Ed and Barbaro (ph)? 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BECK:  You notice he‘s ahead of the horses.  He‘s leading the way into the bright future of tomorrow.  Now, this man standing on a chariot the wheel is always representative of industry in any of these progressive pictures or paintings or artwork.  So you‘ve got the wheel.  Now let‘s go to the horses, please.  He‘s standing on a chariot; you have the industry and the engines of industry.  But who‘s in the back here? 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

OLBERMANN:  Colonel Mustard in the library with the candle stick?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BECK:  I‘ve showed you the NBC Building; I‘ve been showing you some of the things from Rockefeller Plaza that have been in plain sight for all these years. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

OLBERMANN:  It‘s all there black and white, clear as crystal, you stole fizzy lifting drinks, you bumped into the ceiling which now has to be washed and sterilized.  You get nothing, you lose, good day, sir.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BECK:  First let me show you what everything means.  It‘s going to be hard to see.  But in the back, here‘s the crowd of Americans, in the background you see the police beating people.  Angry mobs, I guess.

Here‘s the evil army of capitalism up here with the gas mask and war planes, and everything; capitalism, army, awful.  Then there‘s the wonderful people over here of Moscow.  And here are the onion domes of Moscow. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

OLBERMANN:  I see it happening, they‘ve got to tell people the ocean‘s dying, life is dying.  “Soylent Green” it‘s made out of people.  Next thing they‘ll be breeding us like cattle for food.  You‘ve got to tell them, you tell everybody.  Listen to me, Beck, you‘ve got to tell them, Soylent Green is people. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BECK:  You might define their freedom as fascism, but no, no, no.  At the time that was done, the progressives thought Mussolini was a good guy.  They thought that was the ultimate system of government.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

OLBERMANN:  You know I love you, baby, I wouldn‘t leave you.  It wasn‘t my fault, honest.  I ran out of gas, I had a flat tire, I didn‘t have enough money for cab fair.  My tux didn‘t come back from the cleaners.  An old friend came in from out of town.  Someone stole my car.  There was an earthquake, terrible flood, locusts.  It wasn‘t my fault, I swear to God.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OLBERMANN:  Let me show you the relief here again in front of the 636 fifth avenue in Rockefeller Plaza.  This was fascism.  If you see the young boy led there right into the sunrise a bright tomorrow and the strong man holding back.  Industry and the engines of industry, that in that picture, that represents Mussolini, that‘s what it was carved for.  That sounds like fascism to me and it drives me nuts that nobody knows what this is. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

OLBERMANN:  I am the fool for Christ and the Paraclete of Caborca (ph), I am the wrath of the lamb and the angel of the bottomless pit.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BECK:  The man‘s trying to control it here.  This is disease.  Right above syphilis is right here.  Oh, Rockefeller.  Yeah, the artist didn‘t like Rockefeller too much even though Rockefeller commissioned this art for the lobby of NBC.

Oh, and then one other thing, who‘s the savior?  Oh, right over here, Lennon. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

OLBERMANN:  The body snatchers are here, can‘t you see?  Everyone, they‘re here already.  You‘re next.  And look what they‘ve already done at the Fox News Building, it‘s part of the Rockefeller Center.

We took those pictures less than 36 hours ago.  An outdated hieroglyph of Alan Colmes.  Look, Bill O‘Reilly‘s bar-mitzvah picture, but not one symbol representing the Glenn Beck.

Overnight, overnight, overnight they sneaked in the Communist symbol-mongers sneaked in and magically it appears at Rockefeller Center, the symbol of the Beck.

This is a travesty, a travesty of a mockery of a sham of a mockery of a travesty of two mockeries of a sham.  And worst of all, worst of all, look what they‘ve done to this woman in (INAUDIBLE) New Jersey. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  If you notice I have recorded an episode of Glenn Beck, the 2:00 a.m. show for one hour on 8/5.

Now, look at my scheduled recordings.  Do you see what it says?  It says Glenifck—now, I wonder how that happened?  Who might have done that? 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

OLBERMANN:  John D. Rockefeller did that from the grave.  He really did it.  You maniac, you blew it up, oh, damn you.  Damn you all to hell.

Now, with a play by play look at Senator Al Franken versus the Tea party protestors: ladies and gentlemen, sitting in for Rachel Maddow, here is Ana Marie Cox.  Good evening Ana Marie.

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

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