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'The Rachel Maddow Show' for Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Read the transcript to the Tuesday show

Guest: Rev. Eric Williams, David Neiwert

KEITH OLBERMANN, MSNBC ANCHOR:  And now, with news of even more

trouble, the conservative D.C. which is known oxymoronically as the Family,

say nothing of round 97 of the epic fight of Senator Scott Brown versus

Senator Scott Brown‘s delusions, ladies and gentlemen, here is Rachel


Good evening, Rachel.


RACHEL MADDOW, HOST:  Good evening, Keith.  Has he gotten back to you

about you running for Senate against him?

OLBERMANN:  No.  He couldn‘t my—he couldn‘t spell my name and

couldn‘t me find on the phonebook.

MADDOW:  Thank you, Keith.

OLBERMANN:  Thank you.

MADDOW:  And thanks to you at home for staying with us for this next

hour.  We begin tonight with a developing story concerning C Street.  For

many years now, members of Congress, Democrats and Republicans, have lived

at a lavish 6,000-square foot, 12-bedroom, nine-bathroom townhouse right

near the Capitol.  It‘s a building called C Street.

Now, as we‘ve talked about on this show before, C Street is run by a

secretive religious group called The Family.  The Family has recently

denied having anything to do with this residence.  But the property deed to

C Street is signed by an employee of The Family and The Family‘s tax forms

show C Street to be an affiliated organization.

So, the Family‘s attempts to try to distance themselves from C Street

have not worked and, frankly, they‘ve been clumsy.

That said, lots of people have been trying to distance themselves from

C Street in the past year since a string of alleged and admitted C Street-

related extramarital affairs have come to light.

Mark Sanford that he received counseling about his extramarital affair

with the woman from Argentina while he was keeping that affair secret.

John Ensign said he got counseling at C Street, as well help

negotiating an attempted cash payout to his mistress while he was keeping

that affair secret.

And former Congressman Chip Pickering‘s wife says that C Street is

where Chip Pickering actually carried out his alleged extramarital affair

while that affair was secret as well.

So, C Street, because of all those sex scandals, got very famous very

quickly for all the wrong reasons.  It‘s particularly awkward given all the

wacka-chika-wacka going on there—particularly awkward was the fact that

C Street was, for tax purposes, listed as a church.

Earlier this month, as we reported, a group of Ohio pastors asked the

IRS to strip C Street of its federal tax-exempt status, because although it

does claim to be a church, in the view of these pastors, there isn‘t a

whole lot that‘s very churchy about it.  Well, now, the same group of

pastors has brought to light new information about C Street and the members

of Congress who live there or have lived there.  This new information

raises the prospect of serious violations of congressional ethics rules and

the prospect that members of Congress have violated tax laws to the tune of

tens of thousands of dollars potentially.

This group of pastors know what they‘re talking about.  The letter

they sent today to the commissioner of the IRS is drafted by their

attorney.  Their attorney is the former director of the exempt

organizations division at the IRS.  In other words, he‘s the man who used

to be in-charge at the IRS of groups getting tax-exempt status.

Here‘s the issue they‘re raising in their new letter.  Members of

Congress who lived at C Street, this 12-bedroom, nine-bathroom, maid-

serviced townhouse, a stone‘s throw away from the Capitol building—these

members of Congress were reportedly only playing $950 a month in rent. 

That was reported last year.  In 2002, it had been reported that they were

paying $600.  But again, as of last year, it‘s reported to be $950 a month.

If you compare that rent to what it would cost to live basically

anywhere else in that area with the same sort of amenities, it really looks

like these congressmen were getting a huge discount on their rent. 

Remember, this is a furnished townhouse on Capitol Hill, with housekeeping

services and meal services available.

Compare $950 a month at C Street to $4,000 at the Marriott ExecuStay

in the same area, which offers roughly the same type of services even if

it‘s not as posh.  Compare $950 that these members of Congress are paying

at C Street to $4,500 at the Capitol Hill Suites nearby.  Compare $6,000 at

the Capitol Hill Liaison Hotel.

If you want to ignore all the extra amenities and furnishing and

housekeeping services that the C Street congressmen were enjoying, if you

want to just rent a one bedroom apartment in that same area without all the

bells and whistles, try $1,700 a month.

So, when you look at these figures, surprise, surprise, right, members

of Congress getting a sweetheart deal—an obviously subsidized deal on

their living arrangements.

Here‘s the rub—if you or me or a member of Congress was paying that

kind of way below market rate for their housing you have to tell the IRS

that.  It‘s income.  They call it imputed income.

If you were, say, paying $1,000 to live somewhere and the actual fair

market value of that place was $2,000 a month, you‘d have to report that

$1,000 difference as taxable income when you filed your taxes.  So, if

these members of Congress were paying $950 instead of a conservative

estimate of what that housing was, which is worth probably 4 grand a month,

that would mean these members of Congress were getting as income a rent

subsidy of about $3,000 a month.  $3,000 a month over a year, that means

they would have had $36,000 of extra income to tell the IRS about and to

pay taxes on.  Did they?

Members of Congress don‘t have to release their tax returns—but

this group of pastors would like the IRS to find out.  In their complaint

they read this, quote, “If C Street is indeed charging a below market rate

in effect subsidizing the rent for the members of Congress who live

there—and the residents are not including its value in taxable income,

then the members may have significant unreported income tax liabilities.”


And there‘s more.  Now, if it were you or I in this situation, if I

were in this situation or you were in this situation, anybody who‘s not a

member of Congress, we might have a tax problem on our hands with this. 

And, you know, that‘s what Al Capone went to prison for.

But because these are members of Congress, they have something else to

worry about.  They may also have a congressional ethics problem on their

hands.  Members of Congress have to declare any gift to them that‘s valued

over $50.  If this subsidized rent was to given to them a gift or a

donation, they are required to declare it as such.  Every year, members of

Congress fill out these financial disclosure reports.

And according to a review done by this pastor‘s group none of the

current members of Congress who live at or have lived at C Street have ever

declared that they received any sort of gift in the form of a rent subsidy,

let alone, say, $36,000 a year in a gift in a form of a rent subsidy.

Today, we contacted every current member of Congress we know of who

either lives at C Street now or has reportedly lived there in the past.  We

contacted Senator Jim DeMint, Senator John Ensign, Senator Tom Coburn,

Senator Sam Brownback.  We contacted Congressman Zach Wamp, Congressman

Bart Stupak, Congressman Mike Doyle and Congressman Jerry Moran.

We asked each them whether they reported their subsidized rent, the

subsidized rent they allegedly received to the IRS, whether they would make

their tax returns public, and whether any of this was declared as gifts on

their financial disclosure reports.

So far, two of these members of Congress have gotten back to us,

Congressman Mike Doyle and Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma.  I want to

sincerely thank both of them for having their staff get back to us and I

really hope the rest of them will as well.

Here‘s what Mr. Doyle told us today, quote, “While I no longer live at

C Street, I never received any subsidized rent there.  My living

arrangements then and now have always complied with House rules and


When we asked how much Congressman Doyle paid in rent while he lived

at C Street so we could assess the veracity of his statement that it wasn‘t

subsidized, Mr. Doyle‘s office declined to comment.

A spokesman for Senator Coburn also got back to us tonight, telling us

this, quote, “He hasn‘t received subsidized rent.  He pays more than

$10,000 a year for a room and bathroom only.”

Just to be clear if you do the $10,000 a year in rent, breaks down to

about $833 a month—which is obviously even less than the $950 a month

figure that had been reported.

We also contacted the IRS today to find out if they intend to look

into these allegations.  They, too, declined to comment.  They told us they

were not at liberty to discuss any individual‘s tax information.  As I said

before, this is a developing story—really, really developing.

Joining us now is the Reverend Eric Williams.  Reverend Eric Williams

is senior pastor at North Congregation—excuse me—North Congregational

United Church of Christ in Columbus, Ohio.  He and 12 other pastors have

filed this latest complaint with the IRS.

Pastor Williams, thanks very much for joining us again.


MADDOW:  As I just mentioned, the IRS is pretty tightlipped with us

today when we spoke to them about these allegations.  Has your group heard

back from them at all?  Or do you expect to?

WILLIAMS:  We did hear back after the initial complaint.  And it was a

standard letter saying they received our concerns and would look into it if

it merited.  And if we have any further concerns to forward those.  And

really, that‘s with this second letter is, a supplement to our original


MADDOW:  These allegations of potential tax violations, potential

ethics violations are very serious charges.  With the exception of

Congressman Doyle and Senator Coburn, none of these current or former

residents of C Street, at least to us, have yet come forward to try to

clear their names.  Have any of them tried to come to you to clear their

names?  Do you expect that they—that they can or that they will?

WILLIAMS:  I‘ve had no contact from any of them.  And quite frankly, I

would be pleasantly surprised if they did reach out to us.

MADDOW:  Your complaint makes a detailed case, appears to be a solid

case that these members of Congress were paying well below market value


WILLIAMS:  That‘s right.

MADDOW:  Is the tax-exempt status of C Street as a purported church

relevant to the way that you think these congressmen and senators may have

been evading taxes here?

WILLIAMS:  I think that goes to the heart of it, because this boarding

house, is purportedly a church, there‘s no opportunity to look at their

finances.  There‘s no obligation to do any reporting, therefore—you

know, quite frankly, I don‘t know if the members of Congress even paid any

rent at all.

And the subsidy, was it a gift that was given?  Was it imputed income? 

We don‘t know anything like that.

All we can do is ask the questions and ask the IRS to compel C Street

center and the members of Congress to comply.  We‘d like to know.  We would

like to know.

MADDOW:  When Congressman Doyle and Senator Coburn told us today that

they didn‘t any receive subsidized rent, as you heard me describe, neither

one of them willing to elaborate particularly on that claim, it may be that

members of Congress were in the dark and thought that rent was super cheap

in Washington and they didn‘t know they were getting a subsidy?  Does that

seem possible?

WILLIAMS:  Well, that‘s a far stretch if possible at all.  As far as I

know, C Street center is the only boarding house and steps away from work

that offers this kind of luxurious housing.  So, I would think anyone who

was staying there would certainly understand they were getting a pretty

sweet deal.  This is a special relationship they had with this boarding


MADDOW:  To that point—I mean, aside from whether these members of

Congress were accurate with the IRS and accurate in terms of their

disclosure forms with Congress, if you think they were aware of getting

this sweetheart deal.  And it seems conceivable that they did, I don‘t

think any of them are dummies and thought this was everybody else was

paying in rent.

Are you concerned about access, influence, other forms of quid pro quo

with whoever was subsidizing them and what they may have been expecting in


WILLIAMS:  Well, I can‘t believe they were getting subsidized housing

because they had a financial need.  They make quite a bit of money,

$174,000.  So, it wasn‘t a gift just to help meet ends.  So, I have to

think that they were receiving a favor with some kind of expectation.

And, of course, the whole Family code of secrecy really suggests that

there was a lot of conversation, private conversation, private influence

going on well below the radar.  And I have to think all these members who

were enjoying the favors of staying at C Street center were involved in

that kind of communication.

MADDOW:  Reverend Eric Williams, senior pastor at North Congregational

United Church of Christ in Columbus, Ohio—I guess, thank you for your

continued vigilance on this subject.  I have a feeling it‘s not going to be

the last time I talk to you about this.  Thanks for your time tonight.

WILLIAMS:  We‘ll stay on it.  You bet.

MADDOW:  Appreciate it.

WILLIAMS:  Thank you.

MADDOW:  OK.  So, long after pretty much everybody concluded that the

minority party in Washington would try to stop everything on President

Obama‘s legislative agenda, President Obama himself appears to have

concluded the same thing, and he said so out loud on TV today.  That

remarkable landmark statement, that video and the evidence that he‘s not

just saying it, he believes it—coming up next.


MADDOW:  Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts has been running a sort

of fake campaign against me for his Senate seat.  It‘s fake because I‘m not

running.  I thought I made that clear and that this whole thing has blown

over.  But Senator Scott Brown is not letting it go.  He is still lying

about it.  His latest prevarication and my latest bewildered attempt to

hold him accountable for totally making stuff up for money—is coming up.





OBAMA:  What we now have is the basic principle that in a country as

wealthy as ours, nobody should have to go without basic health care.

ANDREA MITCHELL, NBC NEWS (voice-over):  Emboldened by his health care

victory, the president also took on Senate opponents, bypassing them to

appoint 15 of his stalled nominees as soon as Congress left for its spring


OBAMA:  The United States and Russia have agreed to the most

comprehensive arms control agreement in nearly two decades.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  The government will pay lenders to refinance and

lower the principal for borrowers who pay on time but are deeply under


MITCHELL:  The president was back on home soil this morning after

surprising the world by showing up Sunday in Afghanistan.

His twin purposes, boosting morale for the troops and pressuring

Afghan President Hamid Karzai to clean up his corrupt government.

OBAMA:  Today, we mark an important milestone on the road to health

insurance reform and higher education reform—when a great battle pitting

the interests of the banks and financial institutions against the interests

of students finally came to an end.


MADDOW:  As presidential weeks go, this has been a big presidential

week.  President Obama signing health reform into law, signing student loan

reform into law, announcing new help for people in trouble on their

mortgages, using recess appointments for the first time to finally get some

of his nominees through, announcing a giant new treaty with Russia on

nuclear weapons, a surprise trip to visit troops in Afghanistan and to

jawbone President Karzai there about getting his act together—all in one


Everyone who says you can‘t get anything done in Washington with just

one party, you can‘t get anything done unless the opposition party agrees

to help, they‘re wrong.  They‘ve been proved very wrong even if you just

look at what has been done this week.


OBAMA:  Look, I think that the Republican Party made a calculated

decision, a political decision, that they would not support whatever we

did.  And I think that‘s unfortunate because when you actually look at the

bill itself, it incorporates all sorts of Republican ideas.  I mean, a lot

of commentators have said, you know, this is sort of similar to the bill

that Mitt Romney, the Republican governor and now presidential candidate,

passed in Massachusetts.

I am frustrated that Republicans who I think had an opportunity to

help shape this bill declined that opportunity.  I will continually reach

out to Republicans.  I will continue to incorporate their ideas even when

they don‘t vote for the ideas I presented.  But what I‘m not going to be

dissuaded from is us going ahead and taking on these big challenges that

are critical in terms of America‘s long-term economic health.


MADDOW:  President Obama speaking on the “Today Show” today.  That‘s

where he stands now, as he considers how to use this new accumulation of

political capital that he‘s got.  Capital accumulated not just from winning

the election but now from what he has been able to do in office.

Republicans, meanwhile, are also trying to capitalize on what

President Obama and the Democrats in Congress have been able to pass. 

Republicans are fundraising on claims that they‘ll be able to repeal these

reforms magically somehow—maybe.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN ®, ARIZONA:  If the intensity level is as high as

it is, I could draw you a scenario, albeit unlikely, that the president

would be forced to repeal or really replace it with the provisions that we



MADDOW:  Albeit unlikely—yes, you think?

Maybe President Obama will repeal his own health reform law.  That‘s

the pitch now.

After John McCain initially tried to convince donors that he, John

McCain, could repeal health reform somehow, now, he wants donors to believe

that President Obama might repeal health reform.  And if you believe that,

I‘ve got a flashing red siren and a code red, code red panic button to sell


Remember when House Republicans were doing that “code red, code red”

thing from before health reform passed.  Code red, send us money, we‘ll

stop health reform.  We promise.

Well now that they didn‘t stop health reform, they have decided to

keep the Code Red Web site up anyway.  This is the Web site.  It‘s still


They can‘t very well ask for more money to stop health reform passing. 

That already happened.  So, now, instead, the Code Red Web site is to get

people to send them money to repeal health reform even though that would

require President Obama to go along with their plan—just maybe a little


Still, it‘s probably good for a few bucks though.

Top House Republican John Boehner today saying, “Republicans will

fight to repeal ObamaCare.”  He sent out a fundraising email today asking

supporters to “make a generous contribution of $25, $100, $250, or whatever

you can spare.”

He also promises that Republicans “will match every contribution made

before midnight on Wednesday.”  Quick, donate now.  We have created an

arbitrary deadline to give the impression of urgency!

Republicans in Congress are against health reform that just passed. 

Republicans in Congress are against student loan reform that‘s just passed. 

Republicans are against proposed new help to stop the millions of

foreclosures, to stop creating more new blighted neighborhoods full of

empty houses in America.  They are against the treaty with Russia to reduce

nuclear weapons.  They are against proposed new rules to reform Wall Street


One thing that‘s different about chapter two of the Obama presidency

as compared to pre-health care chapter one is that now, Democrats appear to

have figured out that they can do stuff.  They can pass legislation even

when Republicans are against it.  Democrats can pass stuff and Republicans

can‘t repeal it any time soon.  But don‘t tell their donor lists.


MADDOW:  During the show last night, we were able to report on the

arrest of the ninth suspected member of a terroristic militia group who is

allegedly planning an attack on law enforcement officers and planning to

wage war against the United States government.  Police say Joshua Matthew

Stone was hiding inside a rural Michigan home.  When police played messages

over a loud speaker from his family and friends urging him to surrender, he

did so peacefully.  Mr. Stone was arraigned today.

So, here are all nine of the militia members who have been arrested

and now indicted.  One of the nine is a man named Kristopher Sickles. 

According to the federal indictment against him, Mr. Sickles also goes by

the name “Pale Horse.”  He appears to have made a pretty overt traceable

footprint online over time.

As the rest of the militia movement and right wing anti-government

fringe in this country tries to distance itself from this Hutaree militia

and these people who have been arrested, we don‘t actually just have to

take their word from it.  Some of the evidence is available, open source

online for anyone to see.

To that end, I want to show you a bit of a video that was reportedly

posted online in October 2008.  It‘s just before the ‘08 election.  It was

posted online by an Ohio militiaman who called himself “Pale Horse.”  It‘s

been since been taken down but here‘s an excerpt of it that was played on

Ed Schultz‘s show last year.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Oh, America.  It‘s your wakeup call from the Ohio

militia.  You people need to make up, start buying some of these.  See? 

Ask yourself, why do you not have one of these?  Go out and buy a gun, OK? 

They‘re not that expensive, OK?  You can get a gun and lots and lots of

ammo for these guns, OK?


MADDOW:  Southern Poverty Law Center is a group that monitors militias

and extremist groups.  They took note of that video and others that were

posted to the now defunct Ohio militia Web site back in April of last year. 

They noticed that one of those videos included a shout-out from the Ohio

militia to the Michigan militia.  Quote, “Thanks for letting us train at

Camp Stasa with you guys.”  Camp Stasa is thought to be a Michigan militia

training ground.

Now, when the Hutaree suspects were all rounded up and arrested over

the weekend and last night, all the other militia movements rushed to

distance themselves from this group of people who was being hauled off to

jail.  But even amid the militia movement‘s rush to declare “Those arrested

guys don‘t have anything to do with us,” even amid that rush came an

admission from the spokesman for the Southeast Michigan Volunteer Militia

that the Hutaree trained with them on at least a couple of occasions.  So,

you‘re getting a sense of the connection here, right?

This guy, Kristopher “Pale Horse” Sickles gets arrested as a member of

Hutaree.  He has an online record on which he appears to be the man

describing himself as being associated with the Ohio militia.  He connects

himself and is connected by other militia members in that state to Michigan


Now, Michigan militias have a heck of a history.  In 2005, this

decade, 2005, a Michigan militia member named Norman David Somerville was

arrested for possessing and distributing more than 2,000 machine guns.  In

2003, a Michigan state trooper was shot and killed in a standoff with a

Michigan militia member named Scott Woodring who was himself fatally shot

by troopers a week later.  A Michigan militia member named Paul Darland was

convicted in 2001 of the fatal shooting of another militia member‘s


And of course, most infamously, Terry Nichols, a Michigan native,

and Timothy McVeigh attended at least one Michigan militia event before the

Oklahoma City bombing.  Even the Michigan militia folks admit to that. 

What else is this Pale Horse guy known for online?  Watch this

short clip and see if this one is about it. 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Here‘s my idea.  We have a one-million-man, armed

militia men, march on Washington - a peaceful demonstration of at least a

million.  Hey, if we can get that million, even better.  But at least one

million armed militia men marching on Washington. 


A peaceful demonstration.  No shooting.  No one gets hurt.  Just a

demonstration.  The only difference from any typical demonstration is we

will all be armed. 


MADDOW:  That again is the man identifying himself as “Pale Horse” who

we think but cannot confirm is the same “Pale Horse” arrested this weekend

as a member of the Hutaree militia and accused of plotting an assault on

police officers and wage war against the United States government. 

That‘s a man calling himself Pale Horse calling for a million

militia man armed march on Washington.  He wants people to show their

weapons, bring their firearms to Washington, D.C. for a march on the


Does that idea sound familiar at all?  Of course, Pale Horse‘s

armed march on Washington didn‘t happen.  He was calling for it to take

place on July 4th of last year.  Instead, though, an armed march on

Washington is going to happen this year on April 19th, on the anniversary -

the 15th anniversary of the bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal Building

by Timothy McVeigh. 

How did we come to know about this current planned armed march on

Washington, or march on as close as these people can think they can legally

get to Washington?  We found out about it because the guy who is calling

for people to throw bricks to a Democratic Party headquarters around the

country, a former militia leader from Alabama, is a keynote speaker at the

armed march on Washington event. 

I can already feel the common wisdom congealing around this story

that these militia members who were arrested were part of some offshoot,

unique standalone religious cult that has nothing to do with anything else

that‘s going on in the world of anti-government extremism in this country

right now.  But if you just scratched the surface of the story, just barely

scratched, that common wisdom falls apart. 

Joining us now is Dave Neiwert.  He‘s the author of “In God‘s

Country,” a book about the patriot movement.  He‘s also the author of “The

Eliminationists: How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right.”  He is a

managing editor of a Web site I like a lot which is called “Crooks and

Liars.”  Mr. Neiwert, thanks very much for coming on the show.  It‘s nice

to have you here.

DAVID NEIWERT, AUTHOR, “IN GOD‘S COUNTRY”:  Always a pleasure, Rachel. 

MADDOW:  So we are coming up on this planned armed carry march on

Washington on the anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing.  These folks

are going to show up to D.C. with guns.  What do you expect to happen that

day and do you think that is an important occasion? 

NEIWERT:  Probably not.  I mean, I expect there will be probably more

people than showed up for the million man militia march of last summer

which we covered it at the time.  You know, we wrote about it at the time

that they were talking about those.  And we said they were probably just

shooting off a lot of hot air. 

And sure enough, yes.  As far as anybody knows, nobody showed up

in D.C. on July 4th of last year.  But I expect there will probably be a

few more.  You know, I was in D.C. just about a week and a half ago for the

I was there on Sunday for the immigration march, the march for America. 

And that attracted about 200,000 people at least. 

But it got very little coverage.  So I‘ll predict this - there

will be a lot fewer people than there were for the march for America.  But

I bet it gets a lot more coverage than the march for America. 

MADDOW:  But the charges against the Hutaree militia in Michigan and -

frankly, my coverage of this planned event for April 19th.  The charges

suggest that authorities are very much concerned about domestic terrorism. 

I‘m covering the April 19th march, not because I think it is

going to be giant, but I think it is a sort of red flag if there is

something going on in terms of anti-government extremism right now and a

potential for domestic terrorism. 

NEIWERT:  Yes, absolutely.

MADDOW:  Do you think there is a reason we don‘t hear more about it in

our politics right now? 

NEIWERT:  Well, a lot of it is the fact - I mean, this is something,

you know - Rachel, I have been writing about the extremist right since the

1990s.  It has not been an easy road a hoe as a freelancer because it is

very difficult to sell these kinds of stories. 

I think in the mainstream media, this kind of narrative really

runs counter to what a lot of people want to talk about, especially when we

talk about terrorism. 

You know, I think it is very popular to sort of conceptualize

terrorists as somebody with a turban and brown skin, especially since

September 11th

But the reality is as we remember from April 19th, 1995 is that,

far more often, the terrorists that we encounter in this country are people

who look like our neighbors. 

MADDOW:  In terms of the overall - the way this fits overall into

politics, are there moderating influences in the sort of anti-government

wing of the conservative movement right now, the more mainstream part of

the anti-government wing who are trying to draw a hard line against

extremist rhetoric that might encourage folks inclined toward terrorist


NEIWERT:  Well, yes.  I mean, you know, there are always the David

Frums out there, the folks who are - have at least - you know, they‘re

traditional Republicans and traditional conservatives. 

And I think that they understand that the extremist right is very

much a threat to conservatives as much as it is to liberals.  I mean, if

nothing else, it is going to destroy the name of the American right for the

next decade if these people - if the extremist right really gains control

of the conservative movement. 

MADDOW:  Dave Neiwert, thank you very much for coming on the show. 

Author of the book “Eliminationists,” managing editor of “Crooks and

Liars.”  It‘s great to see you, Dave.  Thank you. 

NEIWERT:  Hey, thank you, Rachel. 

MADDOW:  So Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts has still got a problem

with me.  I thought this whole thing was over, but he said I was running

against him for the Senate.  And I said, “No.  Really, I‘m not.  Cut it

out.”  Turns out he is not cutting it out.  He has made up his story and he

is sticking with his made-up story.  That‘s coming up.


MADDOW:  Is there anything cooler than obliterating protons at a

velocity approaching the speed of light?  Is there anything cooler than

that?  A subatomic “Moment of Geek,” straight ahead. 

But first, a couple of holy mackerel stories in today‘s news.  An

important follow-up on one of the weirdest arguments ever made about the

military‘s anti-gay “Don‘t Ask, Don‘t Tell” policy.  We call this surreal

back and forth between Sen. Carl Levin in the Armed Forces Committee and a

retired Marine general named Jack Sheehan.



massacre in Europe since World War II. 

SEN. CARL LEVIN (D-MI):  Did the Dutch leaders tell you it was because

there were gay soldiers there? 

SHEEHAN:  It was a combination -

LEVIN:  But did they tell you that?  That‘s my question.

SHEEHAN:  Yes.  They included that as part of the problem.


MADDOW:  Pressed to name these people he said were Dutch leaders who

supposedly told him that the Srebrenica massacre happened because the Dutch

had gay soldiers on their payroll, Gen. Jack Sheehan said he based his

allegation on something he was told by a man named Hankman Berman.

The Dutch responded by saying, “Hankman who?”  There was a former

chief-of-staff in the Dutch Defense Ministry whose name was Gen. Henk van

den Breemen. 

But if that‘s who Gen. Jack Sheehan was thinking about as

“Hankman Berman,” the general made it clear that he had never actually said

such a crazy thing about the gay soldiers or the Dutch military. 

Gen. Sheehan has now apologized.  He has written an apology

letter to Gen. Breemen, saying that the U.S. Military.  This is the letter

that the U.S. Military released today. 

In it, Gen. Sheehan says, quote, “I am sorry that my recent

public recollection of those discussions of 15 years ago inaccurately

reflected your thinking on some specific social issues in the military.  To

be clear the failure on the ground in Srebrenica,” he said, “was in no way

the fault of individual soldiers.” 

You hear that, liberal, not discriminating Dutch soldiers?  You

are not responsible for a genocide.  You‘re welcome.  As you were. 

Meanwhile, in our country that does discriminate against gay

people who want to serve in the military, the president seems to be at odds

with his own Department of Justice. 

President Obama has called himself a fierce advocate for gay

rights.  He says he wants to repeal “Don‘t Ask, Don‘t Tell.”  He even put

that pledge in the State of the Union Address this year. 

But the Federal Justice Department filed a brief last night

asking for a case challenging “Don‘t Ask, Don‘t Tell” to be thrown out of


Now, the Justice Department has to defend acts of Congress.  It

says it is required to do so although some say there is some wiggle room

there.  But you know what the Justice Department definitely doesn‘t have to


The Justice Department definitely doesn‘t have to use anti-gays

in the military quotes from former Chairman of the Joint-Chiefs-of-Staff

Colin Powell from the ‘90s.  The Justice Department‘s brief repeatedly

quotes Colin Powell from 1993 speaking against gay people in the military. 

Colin Powell, of course, has since said that he thinks “Don‘t

Ask, Don‘t Tell” should be repealed.  Still, the Justice Department is

quoting pre-changing his mind Colin Powell as being in favor of a policy

that current Colin Powell opposes. 

Don‘t let the man‘s actual views get in the way of a not-very-

good argument, right?  Right, fierce advocate guys? 


MADDOW:  Keith asks Michael Musto about the GOP‘s apparent embrace of

art - at least art involving nearly-naked ladies in West Hollywood


But first on this show, freshman Senator Scott Brown is still

going after me even after I spent a whole week reiterating that I am not,

not, not, not, not, not, not running against him.  The lie that will not

die.  Next. 



MADDOW (on camera):  I‘m not running.  That I am not running.  I never

said I am running.  The Democratic Party in Massachusetts never asked me to

run.  I‘m not running.  I‘m not running for anything. 

That I‘m not running against him.  I really am not.  I never was. 

I‘m not running for office.  I never said that I would run for office. 

Nobody‘s asked me to run for office. 

I‘m not running against Scott Brown.  I‘ve never said I‘m running

against Scott Brown.  Massachusetts Democrats never talked to me about

running against Scott Brown.  Honestly, I‘m not running.  They never asked

me to run.  Never.  Not.  Didn‘t. 


So my effort to not run for Senate in Massachusetts is not going

well.  I keep trying to not run.  But Scott Brown won‘t let me.  I thought

this was over.  He sent out a fundraising letter last week asking

conservatives around the country to give him money because of my planned

run against him for his Senate seat. 

In the letter, he attacks me for having a far-left agenda and

says that “Democratic Party bosses in Massachusetts want a rubber stamp who

will vote for their plans to expand government, increase debt and raise

taxes, someone like Rachel Maddow.” 

Someone like Rachel Maddow who is not running against Scott Brown

for Senate, who was never recruited to run against Scott Brown for Senate,

someone who has been made over into a fake Senate candidate against Scott

Brown just so Scott Brown can raise money around the country on what an

awful person I am and how America can‘t afford my far-left agenda. 

I thought this was over.  I thought this was weird but at least I

thought that it was finally over.  Turns out, it is not.  Sen. Scott Brown

of Massachusetts is not letting this go if you can believe it. 

Yesterday, Sen. Brown came out to my neck of the woods in western

Massachusetts to attend a ribbon cutting.  And while he was there in

beautiful downtown Greenfield, Massachusetts, in Franklin County, he went

back after me again. 

He told Democratic State Senator Stan Rosenberg, quote, “She‘s

trying to boost her ratings.”  Oh, but wait.  It‘s even on tape. 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You stirred quite a thing up, you know, with

Rachel Maddow.  Everybody‘s talking about it in the neighborhood. 

SEN. SCOTT BROWN (R-MA):  Whatever.  She‘s trying to boost her



MADDOW:  I‘m boosting my ratings.  I‘m boosting my ratings, how,

Senator?  How am I boosting my ratings?  I‘m boosting my ratings by being

the subject of a lie that you‘re telling about me to raise money? 

I didn‘t do this, Senator.  You did this.  You dragged me into

this.  You made something up that is not true.  You have such a lack of

respect for your conservative donor base around the country that you don‘t

care if what you‘re telling them is true or not. 

You think it doesn‘t matter in politics if what you say is true

or not, “Just give me the money.  It makes for a good story - good, scary

liberal story.  Do you feel scared?  Then send me your money.  Who cares if

the story is true or not?  Who cares? 

It turns out I care.  Somebody‘s got to draw a line somewhere. 

Lying should have consequences.  You shouldn‘t get to flat-out lie in the

conduct of your business as a United States senator and get away with it. 

Everybody says that this is just the way people do things.  This

is just politics.  But politics is for something.  Politics is about more

than just politicians.  Politics is about our country. 

And I don‘t concede that the only thing we can expect is from

people in politics is for them to lie to us and not care and get away with

it because we don‘t expect better.  So I recognize this is probably futile,

but I‘m going to say it. 

Sen. Brown, you need to stop lying about this.  Since the

original fundraising letter that lied and said I was being recruited to run

for Senate against him, Sen. Brown has presented no evidence that I am

running against him or that Massachusetts Democratic Party officials ever

recruited me to do it. 

He hasn‘t presented any evidence that those things are true,

because they‘re not true.  But he keeps saying them, even after I said

flat-out that these things are not true.  He told Boston talk radio, for

example, “Bring her on.” 


BROWN:  Bring her on.  I don‘t care. 


MADDOW:  Bring her on.  I don‘t care.  Sen. Brown, you‘re lying.  I‘m

not running and you know I‘m not lying.  And when you say, “Bring her on,”

to make people think that I‘m running against you, you‘re lying.  Stop it. 

Sen. Brown, you then had your spokesman put on this statement,

“It was an open secret that the Democrats were trying to recruit Rachel

Maddow to run against Scott Brown in 2012.” 

Sen. Brown, again, you‘re lying.  They didn‘t try to recruit me. 

It is a knowable fact.  It is an empirical, checkable statement.  You are

lying.  Stop it. 

Sen. Brown, then you had your spokesman tell “The Boston Globe”

that we hadn‘t been - my office, my team, hadn‘t been calling your office

to try to get you to come on this show. 

Sen. Brown, you‘re lying.  My office called you multiple times a

day, every day, over and over and over and over again to try to set this

right.  I will show you the phone records if you care.  You are lying when

you say that it didn‘t happen.  Stop it. 

Sen. Brown, then you had your spokesman tell “The Boston Herald,”

“I think Rachel Maddow would be an interesting candidate.”  And the ad I

published, he said, wasn‘t in fact - the ad that I published to say that I

wasn‘t, in fact, running, he said, quote, “looks like it was written by the

Democratic National Committee.” 

Sen. Brown, you‘re lying.  I wrote the ad.  If you had called me

back and asked me about it, I would have told you that.  And again, I‘m not

a candidate against you.  You know that.  When you say or you had your

spokesman say that “I think Rachel Maddow would be an interesting

candidate,” you‘re saying that in order to make people think I‘m running

against you. 

And you‘re lying and you know you‘re lying.  Stop it.  Stop

lying.  If you want to be nice, you might even want to apologize for having

told these lies.  But most importantly, I don‘t want you it to do it again. 

You‘ve been in Washington seven weeks and you‘re already lying

over and over and over again insistently, about something that, frankly, is

not worth it.  You picked something to lie about that you got caught for. 

And you picked someone to lie about who quixotically and probably

stupidly has decided not to just let it go, to not let you get away with

it.  Sen. Brown, I am sorry that you don‘t actually get me good ratings. 

To tell you the truth, our viewers seem to like it better when

I‘m talking about health reform or sovereign wealth funds or New Jersey

rest stops than when I‘m talking about you, if you want to crunch the

numbers about how our ratings tracked with what we talked about in the last


I keep talking about you lying about me, not because I want to

get ratings out of it.  You don‘t rate, sir.  The reason I keep talking

about it is because I want politicians to stop doing things like this, to

stop making stuff up to run against instead of running against actual not-

made-up problems that our country really has. 

I‘m trying to increase the cost of you lying so that you‘ll stop

doing it.  Stop doing it.


MADDOW:  What‘s the sound of two protons colliding?  Trick question. 

Subatomic particle collisions are silent, of course, you guys.  The protons

whiz around and collide inside a beam pipe with a really high vacuum.  So

no noise because sound requires a medium within which it travels, right? 


But even if we can‘t tell you the sound of two protons colliding,

how about the sound of this? 


MADDOW:  Geeks being very excited.  That is the sound of super-

psyched, totally geeked-out particle physicists reacting to the collision

of subatomic particles.  It happened at the Large Hadron Collider, 17 miles

of magnetic track buried deep under the Alps between France and


This morning, after not being able to make stuff work quite right

before, scientists - they were able to send the protons whipping around two

tracks in opposite directions at 99.9 percent of the speed of light.  Then

they crossed the streams, letting the protons collide with the combined

source of 7 trillion electron volts. 

And when they saw the first evidence that the collision was

successful, scientists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research

were so excited, they couldn‘t even type properly. 

Look at this message they posted on Twitter, “Experiment have

seen collisions.”  Here‘s what they were looking at that they were all so

geeked out by.  Very pretty.  I don‘t know what it means, either.

But there are going to be a lot more of those things.  They‘re

going to keep smashing stuff at this level for the next year and a half or

so.  And then they plan to get the Large Hadron Collider working at its

ideal capacity, which would cause particles to smash into each other at

twice the force of today‘s experiment, a level corresponding to the energy

of the Big Bang. 

And when that happens of course, that, of course, will be the

moment of geek to end all moments of geek.  And if this program and the

universe don‘t exist, we will definitely cover it right here. 

But that does it for us tonight.  We will see you again tomorrow

night.  Until then, you can download our podcast from iTunes.  You can also

check out our new blog at where we do all sorts of

things we can never get away with on the air. 

Right now, you can find links there to background information on

all the stories we covered tonight, including the complaint that‘s been

filed with the IRS about the tax status of members of Congress who live at

C Street.  It is totally worth reading.  It is only about seven pages long. 

Thanks very much for being with us tonight.  “COUNTDOWN” with

Keith Olbermann starts right now.  Have a great night.




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