updated 4/21/2010 10:13:44 AM ET 2010-04-21T14:13:44

Guest: Rep. Raul Grijalva, David Weigel, Rob Pegoraro

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(MUSIC)

KEITH OLBERMANN, HOST (voice-over):  Which of these stories will you

be talking about tomorrow?

We are “petulant teenagers.”  Chris Dodd erupts on the Senate floor

over Republican obstructionism against big bank reform.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. CHRIS DODD (D), CONNECTICUT:  Imagine being between 80 percent

and 90 percent in agreement, and yet we are being told by the minority we

can‘t go forward.  Want us to rewrite the whole bill?  Is that when we can

go forward?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

OLBERMANN:  The Republicans respond with an inexplicable claim that

they are getting their way—that they are negotiating a new bill with

some invisible friends of theirs.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MINORITY LEADER:  I‘m heartened to hear

that bipartisan talks have resumed in earnest.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

OLBERMANN:  But Mr. McConnell may need instead to talk to a fellow

Republican who obviously didn‘t get the GOP talking points.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BOB CORKER ®, TENNESSEE:  This bill is anything but tough on

Wall Street.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

OLBERMANN:  Arizona moves from pro-birtherism to pro-racism.  Police

could stop anyone with or without cause and demand to see their immigration

papers.  It is so bad that economic boycott of Arizona is proposed by

Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva.  He is our special guest.

Dorothy Height in memorial; Charlie Crist in trouble; “South Park,” no

friendly faces, no humble folks, no ample parking, just people shouting

death threats.

And the plan of Lonesome Roads Beck—not so much a plan as an

ecstatic religious vision.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GLENN BECK, FOX NEWS:  God is giving a plan, I think, to me that is

not really a plan.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

OLBERMANN:  And so, this guy walks into a bar and at the bar there is

a prototype of the next iPhone and is ordering a Mojito with two straws and

a little umbrella in it, and the guy says—

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  It was found by a person in the bar.  It was left

by the software engineer.

   

(END VIDEO CLIP)

OLBERMANN:  You know what?  Not everyone believes that story is true.

All the news and commentary—now on COUNTDOWN.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  There‘s an app to that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(MUSIC)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

OLBERMANN:  Good evening from New York.

Events on Capitol Hill this afternoon suggesting the “party of no” has

a plan “B” when the country will not take no for an answer.  The party will

instead take credit for the yes.

Our fifth story: Republican leadership saying a bipartisan agreement

on Wall Street reform is within reach, congratulating themselves for a

breakthrough in negotiations.  But the Democrats‘ point man on negotiations

this afternoon is likening both sides to a couple of petulant teenagers, in

a barnburner of a speech—much of which we will show you.

Minority Leader McConnell appearing to have done a 180 this afternoon,

suggesting that his top negotiator, Richard Shelby of Alabama, believes an

agreement could be struck with Democrats on a Wall Street reform bill

sooner rather than later, while crediting his veiled filibuster threat

having broken an apparent impasse.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCCONNELL:  Serious discussions have resumed.  I think the 41 letter

last week indicating that Republicans wanted to see serious negotiations

occur rather than just political sparring has worked at least for the short

term, and we‘re hopeful that Democrats and Republicans on the banking

committee plus those involved on the agriculture committee on the

derivatives piece can come together and give us a bipartisan—truly

bipartisan bill we can move across the floor of the Senate.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

OLBERMANN:  Majority Leader Reid‘s office dismissing Senator

McConnell‘s claim that it was his letter which restarted negotiations.  The

statement in part, quote, “Really, Senator?  Are you sure it isn‘t the

blistering criticism you‘re receiving from closed door meetings with the

Wall Street executives or that even members of your own party aren‘t buying

your message?”

That an obvious reference to Republican Bob Corker of Tennessee

seeming to be of two minds—on the one hand, accusing his party of

misrepresenting the Democrats‘ bill, as well as of having moved the

goalposts on financial reform.  On the other, Senator Corker apparently

having again sipped the GOP Kool-Aid, saying this morning that the

Democrats‘ legislation does not do enough.  Quoting the senator, “This bill

is anything but tough on Wall Street.  There‘s nothing in this bill tough

on Wall Street.

Corker and others Republicans are also defending their friends on Wall

Street, openly questioning the timing of the prosecution of Goldman Sachs.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. ORRIN HATCH (R-UT), SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE:  This whole Goldman

Sachs thing—isn‘t that a little odd that all of a sudden, right at the

height of this legislative period, we suddenly have the SEC filing suit

against Goldman Sachs?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You think the timing of those charges—

(CROSSTALK)

HATCH:  It‘s very suspect.  Secondly, think about it.  Goldman Sachs

on the deals that they are talking about was dealing with the most

sophisticated people in the business.  You know, there‘s something terribly

wrong here and I don‘t know what it is.  But to do that right at this

particular time, yes, the timing is very suspect in my eyes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

OLBERMANN:  You notice the FOX guy‘s script was obviously marked

wrong.

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel himself is having met with

Wall Street executives this past Sunday night.  The “Washington Post”

reporting that Mr. Emanuel met privately with some of the city‘s top

investors, warning them that the administration supports tough new rules.

And as promised—here‘s what happened on the Senate floor this

afternoon.  The author of the Democrats‘ bill, Banking Committee Chairman

Dodd of Connecticut, painting a bleak picture of where things stand with

the opposition which conflicts entirely with the minority leader‘s

assessment of where those negotiations are.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DODD:  The letter from the minority leader said we‘ve got 41 votes

here to stop you from debating this bill.  When you explain that to the

American taxpayer, to the small business, to the American family and to

others out there who are paying an awful price because of the mess these

institutions, who are today leading the charge against us getting to a bill

-- explain to them why the status quo is in their interest and their

benefit.

Mr. President, those who vote to block this bill will be sending a

clear message to American families, businesses, community bankers and

taxpayers.  And that message will be: I‘m sorry, but we‘re not on your

side.  We‘re choosing another side of this equation.

The memo that suggested this game plan written by the political

strategists was written long before even one word was written on the bill. 

They were told how to fight the bill that didn‘t even exist out here by

accusing the bill of leaving open the too-big-to-fail, even though they

knew—at least those who read the bill—that those provisions had been

written so tight that no one could possibly argue that too-big-to-fail

would ever be allowed again under the bill we‘ve written.

And the Republican leadership returned promising that every member of

their caucus would vote to kill this bill before the debate even began.

I have never, ever passed a major piece of legislation in this body

over three decades when I have not had the cooperation or backing of a

member or members on the other side of the aisle—never once—on every

major piece of legislation I‘ve been involved in.

And here we are at the brink of going forward with the largest—of

the single largest proposal to reform the financial service sector of our

country and we‘re divided.  Here, like a couple of petulant teenagers

instead of sitting around and coming together as I‘ve offered for months to

get behind a bill that would allow us to go forward.  It‘s long overdue.

We grow up and recognize this isn‘t some, you know, athletic contest. 

This is about whether or not our economy can get back on it feet, whether

or not we can grow and prosper and create jobs, have credit flow and

capital farm so that businesses and wealth can be created.

And nothing less than that is at stake in this debate and discussion. 

And all the more reason why we need to go forward—and to go forward like

adults, like members of the greatest deliberative body—we are told over

and over again—in the history of mankind, the United States Senate, to

resolve these matters.

Now, I‘ve worked for hours with my colleague from Alabama, as he well

knows, Senator Shelby, to the point that he has said and I commend him for

it and appreciate it very much, that we are 80 percent of the way to a

bipartisan consensus.  In fact, I suspect that if Richard Shelby were asked

today whether that number was 80 percent, I suspect he‘d have a higher

number.

Well, imagine being between 80 percent and 90 percent in agreement and

yet we are being told by the minority we can‘t go forward.  Want us to

rewrite the whole bill?  Is that when we can go forward?  You got 80

percent or 90 percent, what you think is a good bill, but no, no, we‘re

going to stop any further debate.

In all my years, I‘ve never heard of such an argument.  When I‘ve been

in the minority or the majority, that I agree with 80 percent or 90 percent

of what you written, Senator, but I‘m sorry, we‘re going to have to stop

even considering any further debate on the floor of the United States

Senate.

I‘ve worked for many hours with the senator from Tennessee, Bob

Corker, to try to get to 100 percent, as he well knows.  No matter what was

said in the meetings between the Republican leadership and Wall Street

executives, the fact is that the bill that I‘ll be bringing to the floor

reflects not only a bipartisan input but good common sense as well.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

OLBERMANN:  Goodness.

Time now to call on our political analyst Richard Wolffe.

Richard, good evening.

RICHARD WOLFFE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  Good evening, Keith.

OLBERMANN:  I‘m thinking as I listen to this that Chris Dodd

summarized more than where this stands, this particular issue of financial

reform.  He really hit about 10 nails on the head right there, didn‘t he?

WOLFFE:  He did.  And you can understand his frustration.

But at the heart of it, you know, there have been tactical mistakes by

the Republicans, which the Democrats have effectively seized on, the Frank

Luntz memo you heard from Senator Dodd, but also this meeting between the

Republican leadership and the Wall Street executives.

But even if you take the tactical stuff aside, there was a massive

strategic error for the Republicans.  They could not portray themselves as

they did a couple of days ago—as they tried to do a couple of days ago

as being tough on Wall Street while also opposing provisions to be tough on

Wall Street.  This whole show was about to unfold in a day or two on the

floor of the Senate where Republicans were going to have to go down there

and argue against and vote against these provisions to get tough on Wall

Street.

And over the last month, not only has the Republicans‘ tone changed on

this, back and forth, but the public polling has shown increased support

for these measures.  So, as public opposition to stopping this bill has

come down, then, you know, really, the Republicans‘ whole strategy just

fell apart right before our eyes.

OLBERMANN:  So, where is it actually right now?  I mean, Dodd‘s

frustration, as you suggested, was transcendent.  Meanwhile, Republican

leadership is hailing this breakthrough based on what they did and what

they threatened to do, it does sound like when we put it together, this

bill is going to pass—pass comfortably—and the Republicans have

collapsed under it.

WOLFFE:  Yes, look, the barrier to this has not actually been poor

Senator Corker from Tennessee who has been working with Chris Dodd all the

way through this.  It has always been the strategy of Mitch McConnell and

his leadership to block this stuff just as he blocked health care and try

to pick off anyone who waivered on the side.

The unity has gone for them.  They are starting to lose significant

numbers.  They needed to lose one or two for the whole thing to collapse.

It looks like they‘re going to lose a whole lot more, maybe 10.  White

House folks said to me, I asked them, you know, are you going to—which

one or two are you going to pick off?  And they said, we could easily pick

of 10 or 12.

So, the numbers have been moving.  The strategy was falling apart. 

When you hear McConnell say, yes, OK, let‘s go ahead with the negotiations,

it really doesn‘t matter who gets the credit.  It means McConnell‘s

strategy has moved and the master tactician has—well, ended up without

any clothes on.

OLBERMANN:  Does this explain why there was less of an effort by Mr. 

Emanuel to conceal his meeting with Wall Street, that this suddenly this—

all the various the sturm and drang that we‘re ready to see again reenacted

after the various fights back and forth during health care reform just are

not going happen and there was no reason to keep this meeting in which he

laid out the White House‘s plans to reform Wall Street from Wall Street—

to keep that a secret?  There‘s no longer any reason to do that?

WOLFFE:  Yes, I don‘t know that it was intentioned—“The Washington

post” should break that story.  You know, what the White House points out

is that this was not a fundraising session as Mitch McConnell and John

Cornyn‘s meeting was with their Wall Street executives, that Rahm Emanuel

was going out there and it was just one question among many.  What he did

was he argued for reform.

What you have from the other side—from McConnell and Cornyn—was

arguing against reform.  What kind of provisions did Wall Street want to

change in all of this?

But the appearance of Rahm Emanuel‘s meeting in New York, the

geography, the timing—all of that—is really unfortunate, ill-advised. 

It could not have been helpful.  I cannot believe they wanted that story to

get out.

OLBERMANN:  So, what happens on Thursday when the president speaks at

Cooper Union?  Is that going to be—is he going to take this kind of

proffered insincere olive branch from the Republicans and proclaim

bipartisanship on this and say that it‘s basically been decided?

WOLFFE:  Well, he may well go out and say these signs are encouraging. 

But White House folks tell me that the real message here is the folks on

Wall Street to say, this is tough medicine but you‘ve got to take it

because everyone gets stronger.  This is about the system, just like the

TARP funds were for the system, not to bail out any individual institution. 

This is to make everyone stronger.

So, take your lumps, eat your medicine, and everyone will be better

for it.  And drop your opposition because behind the Republicans are the

Wall Street folks, their lobbyists, who don‘t want to see various

provisions go through.

OLBERMANN:  Richard Wolffe of MSNBC, the author of “Renegade”—great

thanks as always.

WOLFFE:  Thank you, Keith.

OLBERMANN:  Today, we also saw something perhaps unprecedented in

American political history, certainly recent history.  A U.S. congressman

saying it may be time for a financial boycott against a state—the state

he represents.

Yesterday, Arizona‘s House passed a pro-birther law.  Now, both houses

passed (INAUDIBLE) has passed.  One that was seemingly right out of a

Hollywood World War II movie, a “show us your papers” lawyer, directed at

immigrants and people who were born here.

Congressman Raul Grijalva—next on COUNTDOWN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

OLBERMANN:  After the preliminary passage of two measures, anti-

immigration, anti-civil liberties, pro-birther that harken back to 1920s or

maybe the Wyatt Earp days—an Arizona congressman says it may be time for

an economic boycott of his own state.  He‘ll join us.

The House majority whip endorses not the Republican governor of

Florida for the Senate but the tea party guy, the purge of the GOP hive

accelerates.

His plan is called “The Plan.”  But he has now revealed that it isn‘t

his plan and, in fact, it isn‘t a plan, but there is God.  God.

And that new prototype of the next iPhone, you found it in a bar.  Who

was it left there, by Elvis?

Ahead on COUNTDOWN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

OLBERMANN:  She was born a black woman when by law, women could not

vote and when this despite law, when blacks could rarely vote.  When she

was 17, she was admitted to Barnard College, the women‘s half of Columbia

University, but was not allowed to take classes there because Barnard was

already its unofficial quota of two black women students.

She was one of the team leaders in the civil rights movement, on the

platform with Martin Luther King during his “I Have a Dream” speech.  She

worked with leaders from Eleanor Roosevelt to President Kennedy to

President Obama.

Dorothy Height died this morning in Washington of natural causes.  She

takes with her the love of thousands, the admiration of millions, and an

extraordinary slice of American history.  Dorothy Irene Height was 98 years

old.

Her death and her life-long fight against prejudice provides an

extraordinary context for our fourth story.

Only the governor of Arizona now stands in the way of an

extraordinarily new immigration bill that seems right out of the pages of

Barnard 1929.  It is so heinous.  It has inspired one of Arizona‘s

congressmen to propose an economic boycott of his own state.  He will join

us in a moment.

Today, Latino members of members called on Arizona‘s governor, Jan

Brewer, to veto the bill now passed by the state legislature.  The proposed

law would require immigrants to carry their alien registration documents at

all times and require police to question people if they have a reason to

suspect that they are in the United States illegally.  Translation: stop

people of color at will.

Congressman Luis Gutierrez, the chairman of the Congressional Hispanic

Caucus, said the proposed bill also infringes on the federal government‘s

authority to enforce immigration laws and will open the door to abusive

enforcement.  Quoting the congressman, “I‘m Puerto Rican.  I was born in

Chicago.  My family has been U.S. citizens for generations.  But look at my

face.  I‘d probably get picked up in Arizona and questioned.  Is that what

we want in America?”

As for the birther bill, it has so far only passed the Arizona House

of Representatives.  It calls for future presidential candidates to prove

that they are citizens before their name can appear on that state‘s ballot

and gives the Arizona secretary of state discretion to keep a candidate‘s

name off the ballot for reasonable cause.  And if it became law, it would

presumably apply to President Obama should he run for re-election in 2012. 

Such a law could provide more than anything else, another way for the

birthers to sue over the issue of the president‘s citizenship.  Past

lawsuits on that issue have been summarily dismissed.

Let‘s bring in, as promised, Congressman Raul Grijalva of Arizona‘s

seventh district.

Congressman, thanks for your time tonight.

REP. RAUL GRIJALVA (D), ARIZONA:  Thank you, Keith.

OLBERMANN:  I have never heard of a congressman in the history of this

country proposing retribution against his own state.  So, I‘m assuming

you‘re even angrier about this than I am.

GRIJALVA:  No.  It is—we are codifying into law—if the governor

signs this—racial profiling, discrimination under the Constitution. 

We‘re codifying the fact that law enforcement now has a free hand to stop

anybody that looks the part in terms of undocumented people, ask them for

verification.

It‘s unprecedented.  It is a horrible, horrible precedent for the

nation.  And it—and we can‘t allow it to continue as though there are no

consequences.

And the consequences that we can only bring up right now is economic

sanctions.  We‘re asking organizations, civic, religious, labor, Latino

organizations of color to refrain from using Arizona as a convention site,

to refrain from spending their dollars in the state of Arizona until

Arizona turns the clock forward instead of backwards and joins the rest of

the Union.

OLBERMANN:  This is your state.  You know the politics of it.  Is this

going to hold or are reasonable minds going to come in and go nowhere in

the 21st century, this is not tombstone 1889?

GRIJALVA:  Unfortunately, we also have Sheriff Arpaio.  We have a

mentality that has made immigration the whipping child for every issue

involved.  And I—well, I hope that the governor uses her veto discretion

to stop this bill.  I‘m not optimistic and I think this fight is going to

be both legal, political and economic.

OLBERMANN:  Am I wrong about this—this sort of behind the “Iron

Curtain” quality here that somebody whose ancestors moved to this country

in 1777 could be pulled over and asked to produce their papers like we were

in some sort of, as I said before, Hollywood World War II movie?

GRIJALVA:  Absolutely.  You know, I‘m a citizen.  I‘m a member of

Congress.  I can be pulled over in my hometown of Arizona by local law

enforcement and produce verification that I am, indeed, legally in this

country.

So, it‘s not just looking to see who‘s undocumented.  The profile is

toward a group of people, and when you make that profile, you make it

discriminatory.  You make it fundamentally racist because that‘s what

you‘re asking people to enforce.  And in doing so, you have violated all

the important tenants of the Constitution and the rule of law.

OLBERMANN:  And what stops this from being expanded even further?  Not

to suggest this isn‘t bad enough as it is, and the racism element is not as

disturbing as anything I‘ve seen.

But what if—I mean, I come on now and say Arpaio is a jackass and

my picture now goes up on a wall somewhere, could they pull me over, could

they pull anybody over, anybody in Arizona, any Republican in Arizona and

say, let me see your papers and if you don‘t have it you are going in for a

while?

GRIJALVA:  It‘s discretionary.  That‘s the whole problem with the law. 

And the discretion is not with us.  The discretion is with the authorities. 

And that‘s what makes this dangerous.  It‘s a dangerous precedent.

This is where we‘re asking the Obama administration to intercede, to

say they will not cooperate with this law if it‘s signed into law.  And if

f they don‘t cooperate, then the law has no effect.

Second of all, it begs the question—if we don‘t pass immigration

reform in this country, we‘re allowing Arizona to set a precedent for other

states, other communities to be equally unconstitutional, equally

discriminatory and equally punitive.  And I think this precedent needs to

be defeated and has to be defeated on many fronts.

OLBERMANN:  It almost overwhelms and obscures this other action about

the Arizona House passing the birther bill.  Give me a few of your

reactions to that.

GRIJALVA:  That‘s unbelievable.  To give a secretary of state

discretion on who can be on the ballot and if you don‘t produce whatever

information you‘re being asked to produce, then you‘re not a candidate—

it‘s unbelievable.  It‘s embarrassing to those of us from the state of

Arizona who feel that we‘re much better than that.

OLBERMANN:  Congressman Raul Grijalva, who is one of the great

representatives of that state—great thanks for some of your time

tonight.  Good luck with this and we‘ll stay in touch with you on it if we

can.

GRIJALVA:  Thank you very much.

OLBERMANN:  Thank you.

Another establishment Republican endorses the bizarro world candidate,

not the governor for Senate from Florida.  And other tea party news

tonight: the starting polling showing how its members seem to support

George W. Bush and the Republican Party more than Republicans did.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

OLBERMANN:  Charlie Crist will not withdraw and the mainstream GOP

will not endorse him—implosion in Florida.

First, Twitter day 13, number follows: 47,000, number of photos I

self-tweeted: none.  I was too busy cleaning up the office here.  Tweet of

the day, apropos the video the tea party put out just proving charges of

racism by showing six African-Americans at a rally at which they claim

25,000 attended.  From Terry Peeler (ph): “Six black folks met near

Washington, D.C., and a 25k white tea party broke out.  Rim shot.”

Let‘s play “Oddball.”

(MUSIC)

OLBERMANN:  To Topeka, Kansas, where a turkey is unceremoniously

escorted out of a pet and garden store.  Actually just playing carried out,

turkey was not unwanted inventory but rather an unwanted guest, having

somehow gotten in there of his or her accord.

I know somebody in there.  I know somebody in there, man.

Turkey didn‘t have his paper.  No, no.  I‘m sorry.  It‘s Kansas, not

Arizona.  By means is yet unknown. 

Meantime Ardmore in Pennsylvania, watch closely as Mr. Deer escapes

from the RiteAid.  And there she goes.  And judging by her speed and

frenzy, she may have gotten into the pharmaceuticals. 

Police are not sure how that animal got in either.  Maybe all these

animals are simply just seeking shelter from that new Supreme Court ruling

legalizing animal cruelty videos. 

The lake bed in the California desert and a different kind of mystery. 

NASA‘s space shuttle program is ending.  So what is this thing?  The new

iPhone?  No, the X-37B orbital test vehicle.  A new unmanned shuttle

prototype that could be used to send stuff into space once the regular

shuttles have been retired. 

It‘s only 29 feet long and just a 15-foot wingspan.  The Air Force has

landed the X-37B in the desert.  It‘s an EX-37B.  I‘m pronouncing it as an

X. 

On Thursday the prototype is scheduled to launch into space for the

first time from Pad 41 at Cape Canaveral.  After having spent hundreds of

millions on the project, the Air Force is being secretive about the other

potential uses of the drone that looks like it‘s going backwards? 

Eric Cantor dumps Charlie Crist out of fear of the tea party.  Is John

McCain the next to try that?  Stand by. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

OLBERMANN:  Because the Republican Party, as you know, puts country

first, they are reaching out to independents like the tea partiers.  And

yet, it turns out on our third story tonight, the Republican Party is now

on record saying their inclusion of independents extends as far as getting

their votes but does not include actually electing a true independent. 

Before we get to the smoking gun on that, however, the president last

night said Democrats are in trouble even in California, telling a

Democratic fundraiser for Senator Barbara Boxer not to take her reelection

this year for granted, warning that, quote, “Unless she‘s got our support

she might not win this thing.”  A phrasing he did not use at subsequent

events for her last night. 

But it is the campaign of Florida Republican governor Charlie Crist—

hoping to become Senator Crist—that grabbed the political headlines

today even as it twisted his party into knots. 

The state‘s primary is not until August 24th but the deadline to

switch parties is just 10 day away.  And with Crist trailing his opponent

badly in the polls and even canceling some of his own ads, he now tells

“The National Review,” quote, “Damn right, I‘m staying in this race.” 

He (INAUDIBLE) going farther than he has so far in suggesting he might

stay in the race as an independent.  Crist telling WFTF TV, “I‘m getting a

lot of advice in that direction.  I‘m a listener and so I‘m certainly

listening to it.” 

Today Senator John “country first” McCain said he will withdraw his

endorsement of Crist depending on which party he belongs to.  McCain

telling “The Hill” newspaper, quote, “I support Republicans.” 

This just 24 hours after House Republican whip Eric Cantor endorsed

Crist‘s challenger, Marco Rubio, and the executive producer of the party‘s

Senate campaign committee which endorsed Crist last night, sent an internal

GOP e-mail yesterday predicting Crist swill not win the primary. 

And despite the Republican claims to embrace independents, despite his

own endorsement of Crist, he said if partisanship is all that matters. 

Quote, “Whether or not you supported our endorsement of Governor Crist, we

all share the same goal of keeping the seat in Republican hands.” 

Let‘s bring in “Washington Post” political reporter, David Weigel,

also author of the “Right Now” blog. 

Dave, thanks for your time tonight. 

DAVIS WEIGEL, THE WASHINGTON POST:  Thanks for having me. 

OLBERMANN:  So there it is, from John McCain, from Republican Senate

Campaign Committee, it‘s party first.  What should independents be taking

away from this news? 

Well, that doesn‘t sound like the kind of thing a maverick would do

but we all know John McCain was never a maverick. 

OLBERMANN:  That‘s right. 

WEIGEL:  Independents are watching.  The tea party movement drive the

Republican Party as they‘ve been doing really since April of last year. 

The message from this is that the Republican Party apparatus—from top

and bottom—are going to chase out anyone who makes independent noises. 

Remember the tipping point for Crist over the past few days—

remember the things going into this.  The tipping point was him vetoing an

education bill backed by Jeb Bush, backed by conservative Republicans. 

He made a stab towards a more independent position, something liberals

would like.  That got his campaign manager to quit.  That got an avalanche

of endorsements to go from him to Marco Rubio.  So they are enforcing their

ideology here.  That‘s what independents are saying. 

OLBERMANN:  Correct me if I‘m wrong, but the Republicans are pushing

out the guy who has the better shot at roping in independents who actually

wins the Senate seat in a three-way race?  Is that the latest polling? 

WEIGEL:  Well, that they‘re also pushing out—that‘s true.  The

Quinnipiac poll that came out this week shows Crist winning narrowly in a

three-way race.  It shows him doing better against the likely Democrat than

Marco Rubio does. 

But Crist‘s fundraising has really collapsed.  And one reason, I

think, you‘re seeing Republicans do this full corps press against him is

because, as of a political animal he is, there might be some chance of just

getting him to drop this instead of going independent. 

It is more discipline than what Democrats did in 2006 when Joe

Lieberman kept making noise about running as an independent.  The loyalties

were divided.  So I think I think you‘re seeing here how much stronger the

Republican operation is at top and how much more they‘re listening to their

base compared to how much Democrats listened to their base when there is a

similar situation. 

OLBERMANN:  Cantor basically said Crist can be trusted.  Is this

election, the midterms—are they shaping up as the tipping point where

the party‘s last moderates go under for the third time?  You know, the tea

-- tea tsunami.  And what does trusted mean?  Trusted what?  To do

everything that the whips tell them to do or trusted to do what the tea

party tells them to do or what? 

WEIGEL:  Well, endorsing Charlie Crist at this point, (INAUDIBLE),

like that, is as controversial as liking the Beatles after “Sergeant

Pepper” came out.  I mean every Republican is finding a different way to be

more vocal in support of Marco Rubio, more critical of Charlie Crist. 

So, you know, I‘m not surprised to hear that kind of rhetoric.  The—

you know, what you‘re seeing is just—if Republicans win other seats in

other states, they‘re not going to be able to elect Marco Rubios. 

If they win in Delaware, if they win in Illinois, other seats that are

jewels to the crown in this election season, they‘re going to be electing

more moderates.  So this is a nice place to focus the attention of the

conservative base right now and convince them that everyone is gunning—

you know gunning for the right targets and listening to the tea parties. 

While at the same time they‘re fundraising to make sure they get a few

moderates in the seats that conservatives can‘t win. 

OLBERMANN:  One thing more, David, about the Obama remarks that he

only used one time.  Does he really think Boxer might not win in California

or is he basically using his own version of tea party hype to motivate

Democrats? 

WEIGEL:  Well, the second thing you said is true.  I mean Democrats,

for whatever reason, are not as excited by health care getting passed,

financial reform as perhaps be getting passed, as they are mobilized by

fear of the tea party movement. 

But at the same time, this isn‘t all a bluff.  Barbara Boxer has

usually won in years that were good for Democrats.  In 1992 Bill Clinton

was on the ballot.  1998 the impeachment was happening.  So she is in more

danger than before.  They are just trying to get enough Democrats in

California motivated if this race falls off the map.  And Republicans can

concentrate their fire elsewhere.  Democrats don‘t want to have to defend

California. 

OLBERMANN:  Dave Weigel of the “Washington Post,” thank you for your

time. 

WEIGEL:  Thank you. 

OLBERMANN:  You found the prototype of the next iPhone in a bar.  Yes,

I found a (INAUDIBLE) Wagner on 49th Street.  The famous plan of lonesome

roads Beck.  He says it isn‘t ready, it isn‘t his, and it isn‘t a plan, but

it‘s sponsored. 

And when Rachel joins you at the top of the hour, her special guest

Paul Krugman any time now.  Paul Krugman will pick apart Republican claims

about financial reform. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

OLBERMANN:  The sound of that rapidly rolling boil can only mean one

of two things.  Bill-O is about to explode or it‘s our new matinee feature

“Tea Time.” 

At his tea party rally in Concord, New Hampshire yesterday, tea

party/survivalist candidate for governor named Kimball—not even Dr.

Richard Kimball survivalist, said of taxes, “I don‘t mind paying my fair

share, folks.  I don‘t think any of us do but I do mind if I‘m raped.  It‘s

awful” 

A bit of standard TP bad taste, the newspaper the “Concord Monitor”

quoted a 17-year-old hostess from the T-bone‘s restaurant there who seems

to have been convinced by the movement that taxes began when she got her

job and when Barack Obama became president. 

“I‘m currently working,” she said, “and he‘s taking the money I work

for.  I have a real problem with that.” 

A lawyer for Manchester attended.  His name is Greg Jones.  He said,

“In terms of ethnicity it‘s a group that represents the country we live

in.” 

Mr. Jones said that he said that because he is African-American and he

saw two other black people in the crowd of about 900. 

What we‘re seeing here is one seldom analyzed but constantly repeated

reality about the folks who go to the something-for-nothing and nothing-

for-everybody-else parties.  They‘re obviously not the sharpest tools in

the political shed. 

Nate Silver‘s 538 Web site had an expert on the Ross Perot movement

from the early ‘90s compared the “New York Times” polling data on the tea

parties and those of the details of the Perot folks. 

Less than 5 percent of the tea gang said they usually or always voted

Democratic, 33 percent or more of the Perot-istas had voted for Mondale in

‘84 or Dukakis in ‘88.  Fifty-four percent of tea partiers gave a favorable

rating to the GOP.  Only 17 the Perot followers felt either party deserves

such a compliment. 

The Perot analyst also notes that in 1992 that crowd disapproved of

George W. Bush and Bill Clinton almost equally.  But he point out the fact

that 57 percent of the tea partiers rated George W. Bush favorably and this

thus takes us pack to the rusty tool point. 

If these are really small government, pay as you go, don‘t burden our

children tax protesters, and not—heaven‘s forbid—racists and

Astroturfers, why do they toe the Republican line and what are they doing

admitting admiration for the most spendthrift president in American

history? 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

OLBERMANN:  Some guy from Apple just happened to lose a prototype of

the next iPhone.  It just happened to wind up being sold to a top tech Web

site and just happened to result in suing $11 billion worth of free

publicity. 

That‘s next, but first tonight‘s “Worst Persons in the World.”  The

bond goes to Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey.  Cutting state budgets

and adding Draconian givebacks, mid contract from unions, destroying the

state‘s educational system. 

How are he and his staff doing, though, during the state‘s best fiscal

crisis?  Don‘t worry.  They‘re fine.  The members of Christie‘s

administration were making $100,000 or more, 34.  Under his spendthrift,

wasteful Democratic predecessor Jon Corzine, the number was 18. 

A tie at the silver.  Revolution Muslim.com and Contemporary Family

Services, a state foster home contractor in Maryland.  RevolutionMuslim.com

has posted a quote warning of the reality of what will likely happen to

“South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. 

“South Park‘s” latest episode portrayed the Prophet Mohammed in

disguise in a sendoff of the debate‘s—of whether or not he can be

depicted.  Alluding to a Dutch filmmaker murdered by an Islamic extremist

in  2004. 

The site says, quote, “We have to warn Matt and Trey that what they‘re

doing is stupid and they will probably wind up like Theo Van Gogh for

airing this show.  This is not a threat.” 

No.  It‘s a threat. 

Contemporary Family Services, meantime, is contracted by the state of

Maryland to place kids in foster homes.  Tashima Crudup, a former foster

child herself, always wanted to repay those good foster parents she had by

being one herself so she applied and was rejected. 

Why?  The agency explained it was concern for the wellbeing of the

child in her care because she doesn‘t keep pork in her house.  Because

she‘s a Muslim. 

Miss Crudup had completed 50 hours of training for perspective foster

parents and even volunteered to make sure any child she got was raised in

that child‘s religion, and not hers. 

So Contemporary Family Services wants us to believe that it thinks the

threat to the kid here was the absence of bacon.  Do they place foster kids

in homes of people who were Jewish or vegetarian who just don‘t like pork? 

But our winner is lonesome roads Beck.  You have to hear this to

believe it.  Especially the last part.  Remember his book “The Plan” and

his tour “The Plan”?  And his amusement park The Plan?  And tartar control

The Plan, and the Plan Light, and the Plan Smiley? 

He is not writing it.  It‘s being dictated to him. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GLENN BECK, FOX NEWS HOST:  Yesterday when I walked out of the studio

I looked at Pat and I almost said to Pat—I said, I can feel it coming. 

He said, I know.  He said it‘s just—they are just strong in power and

focus. 

And I said it‘s just—it‘s darkness and I can just feel it coming. 

And I started to say, I said the problem is, is that—and I stopped. 

Because I don‘t want to utter something like this without really thinking

it through. 

What I was about to say is the problem is, is that God is giving a

plan, I think, to me.  That is not really a plan. 

(END OF VIDEO CLIP)

OLBERMANN:  OK.  So the plan is in the plan.  Is whatever it is at

least tell us where to go and who to follow? 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BECK:  The plan that he would have me articulate; I think to you, is

get behind me.  And I don‘t mean me.  I mean him.  Get behind me.  Stand

behind me. 

(END OF VIDEO CLIP)

OLBERMANN:  I‘m confused.  Behind you?  Behind him?  You were left

behind?  Did you learn this at the university of—I don‘t remember?  But

wait, here‘s the big payoff where in the plan is accidentally revealed.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BECK:  Pat and I both went hope and prayed.  We both—opened our

bibles, and we found something the next day that I think is important for

you today to understand. 

He found one thing.  He found the first piece.  I found the second

piece.  The message was the same.  But I think the message is for you

today.  I‘ll give that to you here in just a second.  First I have to break

for our sponsor Goldline. 

(END OF VIDEO CLIP)

OLBERMANN:  That‘s the plan.  Buy more gold over the Internet. 

Hallelujah, we‘re saved. 

Lonesome roads Beck, now available in one, two, or three ounce

investment nuggets, today‘s worst person in the world. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

OLBERMANN:  A seriously improved prototype version of the iPhone was

found in a bar in Redwood City, California.  Our number one story, there

are three possible explanations. 

A, it was a plant by Apple to get free buildup publicity stories like

this one.  B, it was left there by an Apple employee by accident.  C, it

was left there by a visitor from the future who traveled back in time to

remember the good old days before Sarah Palin became the anchor of the “CBS

Evening News.” 

If C, then there‘s another story about another guy from the future who

traveled back in time and left his iPad here deliberately so he‘d never

have to see it again. 

The official story on the phone is that the preview comes courtesy

Apple software engineer Gray Powell, out celebrating his 27th birthday—

if Steve Jobs would have his way—his last birthday at a Silicon Valley

beer garden. 

“New York Times” reporting the tech Web site Gizmodo paid five grand

for the iPhone prototype disguised as the current model.  Mr. Powell

allegedly forgot it at the bar.  Editors dissected the phone, posing

pictures and analysis, said, “We‘re as skeptical if not more than all of

you.  We get false tips all the time.  But after playing with it for about

a week, the overall quality feels exactly like a finished final Apple

phone. 

“There is so much evidence stacked in its favor that there‘s very

little possibility that it‘s a fake.  It‘s heavier than the current phone,

larger battery, the back is completely flat.  It includes a front facing

video chat camera, improved back camera, a micro SIM card.” 

I don‘t know what micro SIM card is.  “As well as a better display

with higher resolution.”  I know what higher means.  I‘m 4 for 20.  Apple

senior VP and general counsel Bruce Sewell requested by a letter that

Gizmodo return the device that belongs to Apple. 

Apple now has the phone back.  Meanwhile, “I went drinking with Gray

Powell and all I got was a lousy iPhone prototype” t-shirt is now available

online. 

Joining us now is the tech columnist for the “Washington Post,” Rob

Pegoraro. 

Rob, thanks for your time tonight. 

ROB PEGORARO, THE WASHINGTON POST:  Thanks for having me. 

OLBERMANN:  Apple is known for great security measures and we know

that it‘s a standard publishing trick to let a couple of copies of a real

hot book out early, which then turns its discovery and review into a

seemingly legit news story. 

How could this have been an accident? 

PEGORARO:  I go by the principle of least weirdness.  It‘s weird that

an engineer would disregard whatever security measures Apple has, just

forget the thing in a bar.  But it‘s weirder that Apple would then—on

their own—decide we‘re going to make a fake iPhone, leave it in a bar,

hope somebody discovers it, hope it gets passed on to a tech Web site

instead of eBay. 

And the other thing is, you know, Apple likes to script their PR. 

They don‘t do improv.  This is way too much improve.  I think it‘s an

honest mistake.  A mistake that might—may cost this poor guy his job,

but a mistake. 

OLBERMANN:  But there are still some details of the story that don‘t

seem to add up unless you have further details on it.  And I appreciated

the guy who originally found it before selling it to Gizmo—said he

noticed that it had been bricked through MobileMe, which of course is that

service that Apple uses to track and wipe out lost iPhones. 

Why wouldn‘t Apple use MobileMe to actually locate the phone?  Why

send out a letter weeks later after all the pictures and the details had

been published? 

PEGORARO:  The story that Gizmodo has in a follow-up post is that

basically the GPS part of the iPhone, this prototype, doesn‘t work.  You

know this is a prototype.  They wanted to make sure some things work. 

Other things, you know, you fix in a later version. 

OLBERMANN:  Well, that‘s convenient, though, too.  Doesn‘t that go

against your first conclusion that the thing that sounds—the easiest? 

You know Occam‘s razor would apply to that, too? 

PEGORARO:  Well, the other thing is, you know, Apple doesn‘t really

need PR.  In some ways this is stepping on their PR between—they talked

about the new iPhone software.  They‘ve got, you know, the 3G version of

the iPad coming up. 

This is sort of a distraction that‘s going to get people—if

anything this is going to hurt iPhone sales between now and the summer

since everyone knows look, there‘s this great new model coming out. 

OLBERMANN:  All right.  Putting aside the origins of it—and I‘m

willing to vote for the guy came back from the future and just forgot it

because he had 12 of them within.  It looks like it‘s cool.  What are the

features that users should actually be interested in in that new one and

not buy a new one until then? 

PEGORARO:  I look at the screen.  The high resolution screen.  That

would be absolutely convenient.  You know Apple is now in the electronic

book business.  There‘s this iBookstore for the iPad. 

Now I‘ve read part of books on an iPhone.  It‘s not the most fun

thing.  But if you could actually, you know, it approaches the resolution

of the printed page.  That could be fun. 

Other thing is, the second camera.  It sounds like a joke but video

conferencing makes it useful to have not just one but two cameras on a

phone. 

OLBERMANN:  Last point.  This engineer who was supposed to have lost

it according to the story, Gray Powell, when they officially unveiled the -

- you know iPhone Six, or whatever it is, will he be on stage with Steve

Jobs or will he by that point be a cyborg or what happens to him? 

PEGORARO:  If he‘s on stage I hope it‘s all of him in one piece. 

Right now it‘s probably safe to say he‘s not the employee of the month at

Apple. 

OLBERMANN:  How many do you think would have been out there?  How many

prototypes would they have given to how many people in the company? 

PEGORARO:  Quite possible, there was—I think Apple actually said

this when they introduced the first iPhone.  They had about 200 people

testing them covertly.  So maybe there‘s another 199 other employees

counting their luck right now. 

OLBERMANN:  Well, we all know there are a couple of boulevards in Los

Angeles where every automotive company used to try out their new models

with -- 

PEGORARO:  Same thing. 

OLBERMANN:  -- blacked out.  So maybe that‘s the case.  I‘m still—I

still think it came from the future. 

Rob Pegoraro, the technology columnist of “The Washington Post.” 

Great thanks. 

PEGORARO:  You‘re welcome. 

OLBERMANN:  That‘s COUNTDOWN for this, the 2,546th day since the

previous president declared mission accomplished in Iraq.  I‘m Keith—

where is my phone?  It‘s a—look, it‘s a big fat one.  You have one of

those? 

I‘m Keith Olbermann.  Good night and good luck. 

And now to discuss the bizarre arguments coming out of the GOP on

financial reform with her guest Paul Krugman, ladies and gentlemen, here is

Rachel Maddow. 

Good evening, Rachel. 

RACHEL MADDOW, HOST:  Good morning, Keith.  What do you think about

the phone?  Do you think it was a hoax?  Or do you think it was the real

deal? 

OLBERMANN:  I don‘t think they‘ve ever lost anything in the last 15

years without planning to.

MADDOW:  I will take your—I‘ll take your perspective into account.

OLBERMANN:  Wait.  There‘s a call coming in for me.  Wait a minute.

MADDOW:  As a person who lost a lot of things in bars, I also believe

that you are right about that.

OLBERMANN:  Wait a minute.  Your experience as a bartender and this

was found in a bar—wait a minute.

MADDOW:  Thank you, Keith.

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

BE UPDATED.

END   

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