updated 4/29/2010 9:13:53 AM ET 2010-04-29T13:13:53

Guests: Clarence Dupnik, Jonathan Turley, Richard Trumka, Richard Wolffe.

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

be talking about tomorrow?

               

Rebellion in Arizon-astan.  The sheriff of Pima County, from Tucson, a

Mexican border, says he has no intention of enforcing the new “show me your

papers” law.  Clarence Dupnik calls it “unnecessary, racist, disgusting.” 

The Sheriff Dupnik joins us.

Yet others demand more.  “We want the National Guard on the border,”

says Republican Congressman Poe of Texas.

Republican Congressman Hunter, the younger, of California, wants

deportation of children born here to undocumented immigrants because the

kids‘ souls are not American enough.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

               

REP. DUNCAN HUNTER ®, CALIFORNIA:  It takes more than walking across

the border to become an American citizen.  It‘s what‘s in our souls.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

OLBERMANN:  It sure is.

And the half-governor as usual sees a plot.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH PALIN ®, FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR:  I think that President Obama

is playing to his base on this one, and I think that‘s quite unfortunate.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

OLBERMANN:  That woman is an idiot.

Who‘s playing to the base, Sister Sarah?  While Jan Brewer says God

made her governor of Arizona, Jeb Bush and Karl Rove speak out against the

law.  The GOP in crisis—with Howard Fineman.

Big banking reform, Democrats call for all-night sessions requiring

actual GOP filibusters.  Faced with working late, Republicans cave on

preventing debate.

“Worsts”: The would-be Iowa congressman and his solution to illegal

immigrants: put microchips in them.

And “Bushed!” her version: Laura Bush chastises her husband‘s critics

for, quote, “calling him names.”  Names that seem like love letters

compared to jargon of the tea party.  She wonders if the whole family was

poisoned at the G8 in Germany.  And the car crash when she was 17, and she

ran a stop sign and she collided with the car of her friend and he was

killed, what was to blame?  The small size of the stop sign.

All the news and commentary—now on COUNTDOWN.

(MUSIC)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

OLBERMANN:  Good evening from New York.

Significant developments from Pima County in embattled Arizona.  The

sheriff of that jurisdiction bordering Mexico, including the city of

Tucson, is saying—in our fifth story on the COUNTDOWN—that he was no

intention of enforcing a law that he considers racist, disgusting,

unnecessary.

As at least three Arizona cities, plus the federal government

contemplate lawsuits to block the so-called “breathing while Latino” law,

Pima County sheriff, Clarence Dupnik, joins us in a moment.

On the defensive, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer taking a page out of the

Palin playbook, turning to her Facebook page to lash out at critics and

rationalize the immigration law.  Quoting the governor, “On Friday, I

signed into law Senate bill 1070.  Since then I have come under fire from

President Obama, Mayor Phil Gordon of Phoenix, the liberal east coast

media, Al Sharpton and others who want us to back down from securing our

borders.  Rest assured we will not back down until our borders are secure”

even though nobody told her not to.

               

President Bush‘s Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, who may know

something about securing borders, telling the “Associated Press” he‘s

uncomfortable with Arizona‘s new law, saying, it allows police to question

people without probable cause.

And the son of former Congressman Duncan L. Hunter, who succeeded his

father representing the California 52nd, is now saying he would support the

deportation of natural born American citizens if they were born to

undocumented citizens, on the grounds that they cost too much and because

their souls are insufficiently American.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HUNTER:  It‘s between $10 billion and $20 billion in the state that

we‘ve spent on illegal immigration, like he said, that‘s health services,

that‘s education and jails.  We just can‘t afford it anymore.  That‘s it. 

And we‘re not—we‘re not being mean.  We‘re just saying it takes more

than walking across the border to become an American citizen.  It‘s what‘s

in our souls.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

OLBERMANN:  Congressman Hunter, whose father once pointed to the

glazed chicken as proof of the good treatment at Gitmo, is proposing

overturning the part of the United States Constitution that conservatives

are so fond of citing as defense against liberal tyranny.  The 14th

Amendment, Section 1: “All persons born or naturalized in the United

States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United

States and of the state where in they reside.  No state shall make or

enforce any law which shall bridge the privileges or in immunities of

citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of

life, liberty or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any

person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

In Washington, Senators Menendez, Schumer and Reid are saying today

they will keep drafting an immigration overhaul bill despite the fact that

Republican Lindsey Graham has pulled out of negotiations. Congresswoman

Sheila Jackson-Lee is saying today that Graham‘s defection and promise to

block immigration reform reminded her of the southern Dixiecrats who

attempted to block civil rights legislation during the 1960s.

Ms. Jackson-Lee and other House Democrats taking to the capitol steps

today to condemn the Arizona law, calling for steps to fix it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

REP. NYDIA VELASQUEZ (D-NY), CHAIR, CONG. HISPANIC CAUCUS:  This bill

would not make our borders more secure, but it will open the door to

discrimination and racial profiling.  It panders to the worst elements of

our national dialogue.

REP. BARBARA LEE (D-CA), CHAIR, CONG. BLACK CAUCUS:  It is really a

national disgrace—a national disgrace that will result in people being

harassed simply because of how they look.  And as an African-American, I

can tell you that this opens the floodgates to racial profiling and to

many, many, many of the issues that we had to deal with during the civil

rights struggle.  Allowing law enforcement officials to arbitrarily stop

anyone—anyone—and challenge their citizenship is not only wrong, it‘s

un-American.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

OLBERMANN:  On Air Force One tonight, President Obama telling

reporters that he wants immigration reform because the federal government

has been abdicating its responsibilities on the issue for a very long time,

but also that his administration is examining Arizona‘s new law.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  What I think is a

mistake is when we start having local law enforcement officials in power to

stop people on the suspicion that they may be undocumented workers because,

you know, that carries a great amount of risk that core values that we all

care about are breached.  We have to do more, though, in the context of a

comprehensive plan that maintains our status as a nation of laws and a

nation of immigrants.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

OLBERMANN:  As promised, we‘re joined now by the sheriff of Pima

County, Arizona, Clarence Dupnik.

Sheriff Dupnik, thank you for your time tonight.

SHERIFF CLARENCE DUPNIK, PIMA COUNTY, ARIZONA:  Thanks for inviting

me.

OLBERMANN:  I summarized what you told a local Arizona station about

this law today, but would you kindly say in your own words what you intend

to do about its enforcement?

DUPNIK:  Well, let me first point out something that I think the vast

majority of people nationally and in our state as well don‘t understand. 

First of all, law enforcement people—state and local law enforcement

people—now have the authority to stop and detain people who they believe

are illegal immigrants and turn them over to the border patrol.

We have been doing that for—I‘ve been a police officer here for 52

years, 30 years as sheriff—and we‘ve been doing that for as long as I‘ve

been a cop here.  And the Pima County sheriff‘s department does that in

greater numbers than any other state and local law enforcement agency in

our state.  We don‘t brag about that.

One of the reasons we do it is because we‘re situated directly in the

corridor from Mexico to the United States where the vast majority of

smuggling of contraband and illegals is taking place.  And that‘s one of

the reasons that we do that.

But my objection to the state law that was enacted by the governor and

the legislature is twofold.  One: I believe it‘s unconstitutional.  I don‘t

think, as you pointed out earlier in this show, that the states have the

authority to preempt federal government when it comes to immigration

issues.

And second of all, I think it‘s going to be held unconstitutional on

the basis of the key phrase in the bill that says we can stop them and ask

them for papers and so forth on reasonable suspicion.  Now, I‘ve been a cop

for 52 years.  I‘m not sure what reasonable suspicion means, and I suspect

that‘s going to be constitutionally vague.

The third thing is, why would I take the hundreds of people that we

arrest regularly and put them in the local jail and subject them to the

local criminal justice system and then send the local taxpayers a huge bill

for doing this when I—all we have to do is what we‘ve been doing all

along and turn them over to the border patrol?

Why was this bill enacted in Arizona?  I think it was enacted in

Arizona to make the legislature feel good, possibly to deflect some of the

attention they get on the poor management, especially of financial issues

in this state.  They‘ve done a horrible job.  And, second of all, I think

it‘s just racist.

OLBERMANN:  To that point, the governor and State Senator Pearce who

sponsor this law, originally, both said the law is written specifically to

prevent racial profiling and will not lead to racism.  I gather from your

last statement that you have reasons to believe that‘s not true.  What are

they?

DUPNIK:  Well, let me tell you, they say that the law that they

crafted mirrors the federal law, and in a lot of respects it does—with

the couple of exceptions.  One is this reasonable suspicion business, and

the other, they have set up the police in an impossible situation.  On one

hand, we get sued by people whom we stop who we would stop—this happens

a great deal in another county north of here—for racial profiling.  They

have put a clause in this bill that I don‘t think anybody has looked at

that says any citizen in this state can file a lawsuit against any law

enforcement official that doesn‘t enforce this law.

So, now, we‘re damned if we do and we‘re damned if we don‘t.

OLBERMANN:  So, what—speaking of that point, what—are you

putting yourself or your position at risk by saying what you have been

saying the last 48 hours?

DUPNIK:  Well, first of all, let me say this—this law will not go

into effect until 90 days after the legislature adjourns, which will

probably be soon.  My guess is there‘s going to be several lawsuits filed

on some of the points that I raised and other points as well.  My guess is,

when the courts take a look at this, that they‘re going to issue an

injunction from its enforcement and, eventually, it‘s going to be declared

unconstitutional.

OLBERMANN:  Sheriff Clarence Dupnik of Pima County, Arizona—very

illuminating and great thanks for your time tonight, sir.

DUPNIK:  Thank you.

OLBERMANN:  Many Republicans have doubted the constitutionality of the

law.  Few on either side have actually sat down and analyzed it.  So, let‘s

do so now with constitutional law expert, Jonathan Turley, professor of law

at George Washington University.

Jon, good evening.

JONATHAN TURLEY, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY:  Hi, Keith.

OLBERMANN:  All right.  There‘s something that Sheriff Dupnik just

said that I want to get to.  But give me the big picture first.  What is

the constitutional challenge to the whole thing?

TURLEY:  Well, there‘s probably two grounds for challenge.  One,

probably the most important early challenge could come from the Justice

Department.  There are various reports that the Justice Department is

preparing to challenge this law.  If that‘s the case, the most likely

grounds would be on preemption, to say that the state is acting in an area

that is occupied by federal law and that they can‘t do that.  They can‘t

have their own immigration scheme.

Now, that‘s not going to be as easy as it sounds.  There‘s a case

called Decannes (ph).  It was a case in 1976 where the Supreme Court ruled

that California could have this type of what‘s called concurrent

jurisdiction.

So, what the Obama administration would have to be able to show,

because the law itself does not rule out that type of concurrent

jurisdiction, what they‘d have to argue is that it is implied.  That the

scheme does not allow for this type of state law.

And that‘s going to be an interesting fight.  It‘s not as easy as

people seem to suggest.  There‘s going to be a close question in my view.

The second grounds—which is the one that I‘ve been focusing on—

is in fact reasonable suspicion.  In my view, that is a perfectly horrible

provision, and I consider it to be perfectly un-American.  It is correctly

condemned as a, sort of, “your papers please” provision.

But the greatest challenge of reasonable suspicion provisions would be

as applied, to wait for it to be enforced and then to show there‘s no way

to do this except using improper racial criteria—you can‘t look at two

people and say, I have reasonable suspicion of what you have or do not have

in your wallet.

But these lawsuits are likely to move before that.  They‘re going to

go, I think, very, very early.  And so, there will be facial challenges.

I happen to believe this is an unconstitutional law, but it is going

to be more difficult than people are suggesting in showing the

unconstitutionality.

OLBERMANN:  Where does the term “reasonable suspicion” currently fit

into our laws and punitive actions against lawbreakers?  Isn‘t that a stage

before you go and ask a judge for a warrant?

TURLEY:  Well, reasonable suspicion can be traced back to a case

called Terry v. Ohio where the Supreme Court allowed officers to do a pat

down of suspects if they had reasonable suspicion they were carrying a

weapon for their own protection.  And that obviously has some objective

elements to it.

What you‘re doing in this case is to say you‘re looking at someone and

saying these two people might be different in terms of whether they have

correct papers on them.  It‘s very hard to imagine how you could have an

objective and constitutional basis for doing that type of thing.

OLBERMANN:  Any citizen can sue any officer who does not enforce this

law, I‘m paraphrasing the sheriff there.  Is that constitutional?

TURLEY:  Well, it is probably constitutional for the state to say it. 

In my view, it‘s a perfectly ridiculous provision.  It is so subjective.

I can‘t imagine how a court is going to deal with it.  It talks about

suing people for, quote, “policy” that‘s don‘t allow, quote, “the full

enforcement,” closed quote, of these laws.  That is so riddled with

subjectivity it‘s perfectly maddening.

But yes, this sheriff is correct.  He is—when he says he‘s damned

if he does and damned if he doesn‘t, that pretty much means you‘re damned.

OLBERMANN: Yes.

Last one and speaking of the damned, Duncan D. Hunter, the

congressman, Hunter the younger, in California, that is what he wants—

throwing children out who were born in this country.  That is as ridiculous

as it sounds, right?  The 14th Amendment sort of covers that?

TURLEY:  Well, first you need to get over the 14th Amendment which

talks about all persons born or naturalized in the United States.  You also

have to get by the Wong Kim Ark decision which is about 1998 when the

Supreme Court said that being born in this country makes you a citizen.

That‘s a lot of water to haul, but I wouldn‘t bet on them.  And this

may make for good press.  It may for good rhetoric but it doesn‘t make for

good law.

OLBERMANN:  Nice to see Congressman Hunter living up to the family

tradition on that.

Jonathan Turley of George Washington University—thank you, Jon.

TURLEY:  Thank you, Keith.

OLBERMANN:  Two of those now doubting the constitutionality of the law

will shock you.  Two with no doubt whatsoever that it‘s good will not. 

What Palin and Rove and Hannity and Ridge represent in the way of an

internal Republican rift—next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

OLBERMANN:  He thought lying the nation into war was constitutional,

suppressing opposition, wiretapping everybody constitutional.  Torture,

rendition, vote rigging, gerrymandering—constitutional.  The Arizona

law?  Unconstitutional.  Presumably now, the tea party will have to

denounce him.

What this union leader doubtlessly finds ironic, Republicans faced

with working late, completely fold on a threat to block debate of financial

reform.  The president of the AFL-CIO joins us.

A little Lonesomer Rhodes than usual.  His ratings close down 29

percent in the first four months of this year.

And honestly, you expected her to write a book in which she called her

ex-president husband a schmuck?  It‘s how much of a non-schmuck she thinks

he is that is proving startling.

You‘re watching COUNTDOWN on MSNBC.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

OLBERMANN:  And another improbable and telling name to the list of

Republicans voicing opposition to the Arizona “show me your papers” law:

Karl Rove.  George W. Bush‘s former political guru thinks the Arizona

effort to crackdown on illegal immigration has, quote, “constitutional

problems.”

In our fourth story, he, obviously, did not run that comment past the

tea parties constitutional experts, his fellow FOX Newsers, Sarah Palin and

Glenn Beck.

Also, the governor of Arizona thinks she‘s on a mission from God.

So far, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, tea party darling Marco

Rubio and Senator Lindsey Graham are all on record as criticizing the

Arizona immigration law.  In fact, Graham, a former JAG attorney, is flatly

calling it unconstitutional.

Karl Rove has joined these Republicans in dissent, telling a book tour

crowd in Florida, quote, “I think there‘s going to be some constitutional

problems with the bill.”  Adding, “I wish they hadn‘t passed it in a way.”

At the other end of the spectrum, Lonesome Rhodes Beck sees Nazis in

his breakfast cereal but he does not like the “show me your papers” tag on

the new Arizona law.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GLENN BECK, FOX NEWS:  This guy wants you to believe he can ask for

your papers on health insurance and you can be punished if you don‘t have

them, but he wants you to believe that same government cannot ask you for

your legal information.  I don‘t understand.  I—explain that to me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

OLBERMANN:  I know, I know you don‘t—jail terms and deportation

over health insurance in Beck dreamland.

Then there is the half-governor of Alaska on the right—on Sunday,

Sarah Palin at that baseball game in Phoenix with Arizona‘s governor, Jan

Brewer.  That‘s Governor Jan Brewer who turns out in a speech to a pastor‘s

conference last year told the audience that, quote, “God has placed me in

this powerful position of Arizona‘s governor to help the state get through

difficult times.”

Last night, Sarah Palin visited the sycophant hour, telling Sean

Hannity that she loves the new Arizona law and that the racial profile

thingy is a mythy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PALIN:  There is no ability or opportunity in there for the racial

profiling.  I think it‘s shameful, too, that the Obama administration has

allowed this to become more of a racial issue by perpetuating this myth

that racial profiling is a part of this law.

This law in Arizona that has recently been signed, it essentially

replicates, duplicates, the federal law any way.  So, I don‘t know why

Obama has a problem with that.  And as we‘ve said, Sean, it is telling the

federal government that they better wake up, buck up, and do their job in

securing our borders.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

OLBERMANN:  You know what?  It just dawned on me.  I‘m going to call

the Arizona law a death panel.  And don‘t call me Sean.

Howard Fineman is “Newsweek” magazine‘s senior Washington

correspondent and political columnist, also an MSNBC political analyst, and

the author of “The Thirteen American Arguments” which is now out in

paperback.

Good evening, Howard.

HOWARD FINEMAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  Hi, Keith.

OLBERMANN:  Since this death panel passed, it worked for her, what the

heck—each day, we‘ve had a couple more Republicans who‘ve endorsed it, a

couple more—perhaps bigger ones—who have disavowed it.  Is there a

policy on that side of it?  Is there a divide?  Or is the majority on this

keeping silent so as not to touch this third rail?

FINEMAN:  Well, I think there‘s a growing divide and I think the

people who are silent in the Republican Party leadership are silent because

they‘re scared.  And I think Karl Rove is a good indicator of where that

silent majority probably is—and not because Karl Rove has suddenly

become a constitutional philosopher, it‘s because—in talking to some top

people in the Republican leadership yesterday about this, they‘re scared. 

They‘re scared about the long-term prospects of a Republican Party that

becomes branded and identified by Arizona—by what‘s going on in Arizona.

George W. Bush spent years building up some credibility in the Latino

community, got over 40 percent of the Latino vote in the last presidential

election.  Karl Rove and George Bush were very proud of that.

But if Arizona becomes the emblem of the Republican Party and people,

like Brewer and Palin, are trying to make it so, then the Republicans can

forget the allegiance of the fastest growing and largest minority group in

this country for a generation or more.

OLBERMANN:  What about Rove specifically?  Because we had that number,

that 57 percent of tea partiers believe George Bush was a fine president,

exactly the opposite of the rest of the electorate.  How do they wind up

disagreeing with Bush‘s brain but not Bush?

FINEMAN:  Well, I‘m not sure they all do, frankly.  You said Sarah

Palin, favorite of the tea party.  I looked on the Arizona tea party Web

site.  Interestingly, there‘s nothing on there about immigration.  They‘re

focused on taxes and smaller government, et cetera.

And I‘m fascinated by the libertarian streak of this, because a lot of

real small government libertarians have expressed concerns about it.  I

think that is part of the reason why some people are—on the conservative

side are concerned.

And Barry Goldwater certainly would have been.  You know, I can‘t

speak to him, but I did talk to one of his main biographers, Lee Edwards,

who‘s here at the Heritage Foundation.  And he said that Barry Goldwater in

Arizona would have been very, very uncomfortable with this, would have been

very upset about it because of what it says about government.

And Glenn Beck was right.  It is big government.  It‘s much more big

government than the health care bill that he was complaining about.

OLBERMANN:  On the other side of the political spectrum, the Democrats

were not slating summer 2010 as immigration reform time.  This is financial

reform time.  Will it nevertheless become immigration reform time whether

they like it or not?

FINEMAN:  Well, I keep saying and keep reporting based on what they‘re

telling me that they really don‘t want to go to the immigration bill.  We

used to have a saying down in the Kentucky legislature that I covered that,

you know, so-and-so wanted the issue, not the bill.

Well, this is a case where most of the Democrats would rather have the

issue and not the bill.  Right now, the Republicans are maneuvering

themselves into a corner here because of Arizona.  The Democrats would

rather let them be divided on it and not bring it up themselves—because

if the Democrats bring it up, they‘re going to have to deal with the

question of path to citizenship, they‘re going to have to, of course, being

responsible.  But they don‘t necessarily want to.

The president would like them to.  He says.  We‘ll see.

I‘m very skeptical of the Democrats bringing the major reform

legislation up before the election in the fall.  They might possibly do it

in a lame duck session after.  Who knows?

OLBERMANN:  Howard Fineman of “Newsweek” and MSNBC—great thanks as

always in joining us here to discuss these new Arizona death panels.

FINEMAN:  Thanks, Keith.

OLBERMANN:  Thank you.

As promised, the president of the AFL-CIO and the news off the

financial reform menu, the Republicans do not want to stay late in the

office.

First, tweets of the day—next on COUNTDOWN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

OLBERMANN:  The president of the AFL/CIO and tomorrow‘s protest march

on Wall Street.  First, the Tweets of the day.  A variety of topics, from

the chickens for clunker doctors program, to Arizona, to Glenn Beck‘s

assessment of George W. Bush. 

The second runner up, from @JazzGuyAl—have to say this carefully—

“the cluster cluck that is Sue Lowden, insert your recording of the chicken

dance here.” 

The runner up, from @FrankConnoff, TV‘s Frank, of “Cinematic Titanic”

and “Mystery Science Theater 3000” fame, “expect that new law will result

in huge influx of folks immigrating from Arizona to America.”  Push the

button, Frank, the button of revenge against the outsiders. 

And tonight‘s winner, from @bishopAP, “Beck says Bush was a

progressive?  I thought Beck wanted us to think progressives were Nazis. 

Does that mean—“

Wait, I‘ll get a chalk board and spend 60 minutes pretending to figure

it out.  That‘s Glenn Beck now featuring 29 percent off, off his ratings

since January. 

Let‘s play Oddball.

We‘ll try it again.  Another cluster cluck in Brighten, Massachusetts. 

I didn‘t know Sue Lowden had fans this side of the Mississippi.  I didn‘t

know I could say it twice.  After last night‘s show, you never know.  These

folks are hoping to make history with the world‘s largest rubber chicken

toss; 265 people tossing hundreds of them, which means they either broke a

world record or they have just been bartering for a group health care plan.

In Shanghai, the brand-new Obama nightclub, no memorabilia, nor photos

of the president inside, but the club‘s owner, Dragon Chang, says the

club‘s name was inspired by Mr. Obama‘s change platform.  “We also hope

that this nightclub, a pinnacle of culture and entertainment, can be an

instrument of change.”  Changing your clothes, obviously.  And by pinnacle

of culture, I‘m referring—I believe Mr. Chang is referring to the

dancing ladies and big screen TVs.  Does the RNC‘s Young Eagles program

know about this place? 

Not to be outdone, the McCain Diner in Phoenix hopes to earn change

with a new early bird special, get you out by 4:00 pm, before the Gendarmes

come hunting for your Green Cards. 

Did you know President Bush and his First Lady might have been

poisoned at the G-8 Summit three years ago?  No?  Neither did the Secret

Service.  They called it a virus.  COUNTDOWN continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

OLBERMANN:  The Republicans may have revealed the way Democrats can

beat them on any piece of legislation: insist they work late.  In our third

story tonight, the GOP wall of opposition has now cracked in the face of

Democratic plans to force them to defend their intransigence during an all-

night session on the subject of financial reform.  After three test votes

in which the Republicans staved off the start of the debate, the Senate,

less than two hours ago, moved to open discussion of finance reform by

unanimous consent. 

Now the bill can actually be debated in the open.  A few hours prior,

the senior Republican on the Banking Committee, Senator Shelby, had

announced an impasse on negotiations with the Democratic chairman, Senator

Dodd.  But Shelby also noted that progress had been made on one issue, how

to deal with banks too big to fail when they fail. 

It was just this morning that Republicans had unified for the third

time in as many days to block the debate.  And for the third time,

Democratic Senator Ben Nelson had voted along with the Republicans.  A

company based in Nelson‘s home state has billions of dollars worth of those

so-called derivatives that might be affected by the bill, and Senator

Nelson owns between 1.5 and six million dollars worth of stock in that

company, Berkshire Hathaway, according to his own financial disclosure

statement. 

Is it a coincidence that the GOP‘s implosion came after a decision by

Senate Democrats to turn the Republican opposition into an all-nighter. 

Ezra Klein of the “Washington Post” even posits that “Senate Minority

Leader Mitch McConnell might want to forestall the Democrats‘ strategy to

force the Republicans to filibuster endlessly, since the Kentucky Derby is

this weekend, and the senator from Kentucky might want to attend.” 

Priorities, your tax dollars in action. 

In a different kind of debate, the AFL/CIO is organizing a march on

Wall Street tomorrow to protest the lack of financial reform.  The

president of the AFL/CIO, Richard Trumka, joins me here now.  It‘s a

pleasure to meet you, sir.  Thanks for coming in. 

RICHARD TRUMKA, PRESIDENT, AFL-CIO:  Keith, thanks for having me on. 

OLBERMANN:  This turned out to be something of a loser for the GOP. 

Are they finally figuring that out? 

TRUMKA:  I think so.  More than 70 percent of the American public want

Wall Street reform.  They‘ve been standing there defending the banks, not

having anything to offer in its place, and the American public started

pushing back.  Now, we‘ve conducted over 200 demonstrations around the

country at Wall Street banks, these Wall Street banks.  And tomorrow, we‘re

going to have a big one.

We‘re asking for three things.  One, that they stop fighting financial

reform, or Wall Street reform.  Two, that they start paying their fair

share for the 11 million jobs that they destroyed by their fiasco.  And,

three, that they start lending to small and mid-size business again, so

they can actually start creating some jobs, we can get an economy going,

and put America back to work. 

OLBERMANN:  What else is the point of this march tomorrow?  Is there

also some effort going to be made by your members to say—to underscore

the point that you‘re not opposed to people making money just because they

happen to own the place?  This has been painted in a very black and white

sense.  It‘s the rising tide lifts all boats, correct? 

TRUMKA:  Absolutely. 

OLBERMANN:  And so, is there some sort of olive branch to the bankers

and to those defending them to say, go along with the reform, play by

rules, and that will be good enough for us? 

TRUMKA:  Well, absolutely.  Not just play by the rules, because while

we do want financial reform, the Wall Street reform, that‘s what these

rules will do, we want them to play by the rules, same resumes that

everybody else does. 

OLBERMANN:  Right. 

TRUMKA:  And then we want them to pay for the 11 million jobs that

they destroyed.  We‘re talking about several different ways for paying for

it.  We want a financial transaction tax.  That‘s one way they can do it. 

A quarter of a penny tax on each one of those derivatives that you talked

about will raise about 150 billion dollars a year to create jobs. 

And then the big hedge fund operators and private equity operators—

one guy made four billion dollars this year, in a recession year, I might

add.  And he pays half the tax that every other American pays out there. 

Let him start paying the same amount of taxes that we do, so they can start

paying for jobs, the 11 million that they destroyed. 

OLBERMANN:  Republicans tried to sell the public that big business are

their protector and unions are their enemies.  As illogical as it sounds,

if you analyze it for more than 30 seconds, it has often worked in American

history, sometimes to the country‘s great detriment, and other times just

to its regular detriment.  Why do you think it has just failed so roundly? 

And did this Goldman Sachs hearing this week really sort of put the final

nail in the idea? 

TRUMKA:  I think it did.  I think the American public got to see that

they haven‘t learned anything.  You know, people are mad, not because they

made money, but because of the way they made money, and the vast obscene

amount of money they made, and the fact that they put the whole system at

risk, and the fact that they destroyed 11 million jobs.  And they haven‘t

learned anything from it. 

So we have to have financial reform to get them back into it.  Why it

didn‘t work this time?  Because everybody could see that their excesses

caused the system to almost collapse.  And they‘re not willing to do that

again.  They destroyed 11 million jobs, and they want those jobs back. 

OLBERMANN:  The president kept plugging away at this.  It‘s been a

fairly simple and constant message from him on this point.  What he said in

Illinois today, “this crisis was not part of the normal economic cycle. 

They were making bets.”  Are you confident that what we see in terms of

reform is not going to wind up being watered down past some acceptable

level? 

TRUMKA:  No, our job is to make sure it isn‘t watered down.  During

the debate we‘re going to try to strengthen it.  One of the amendments that

will come out is Sherrod Brown.  Sherrod Brown will put an amendment in

saying banks that are too big to fail should really be busted up so they‘re

not too big to fail. 

And the Republicans will get a chance.  They said they didn‘t like the

last bill.  They filibustered it because it allowed banks to continue, and

we would have to bail them out again.  Well, here‘s their chance to show

how much they mean it.  They can vote for that amendment, bust those banks

up, keep them at a size where they can make money and compete in the world,

but not be too big to fail and jeopardize us and the system. 

OLBERMANN:  And honor a great Republican in the process, Theodore

Roosevelt, go out and bust some trusts, at the very least.  Richard Trumka,

the president of the AFL/CIO, good luck with the event tomorrow.  Good luck

with the demonstration.  And great thanks for coming in. 

TRUMKA:  Keith, thanks for having me.  Keep up the good work. 

OLBERMANN:  Thank you, sir.  You too.

In our literature segment tonight, you expected to roll your eyes over

President Bush‘s autobiography, but Mrs. Bush‘s book too? 

Great idea, would-be Iowa congressman, catch all undocumented

immigrants and implant them with micro chips.  And the candidate is a

doctor.  Worst persons imminently.

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

the DNC chairman, Tim Kaine, on the twisted logic from the right that

President Obama‘s 2010 campaign video was racist.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

OLBERMANN:  Worst persons in a moment.  So, can I use a chicken to pay

a doctor to implant a tracking device inside an undocumented immigrant? 

First, no, that isn‘t your water boiling now, it‘s time for our nightly

checkup on the something for nothing crowd.  It is Tea Time.

Meet Christy Kavare (ph).  Hello, Ms. Kavare.  She is seeking the

Republican nomination from the 19th congressional district in New York, and

she promises to be a great deal of fun.  First, a local paper, “The Times

Herald Record,” reported that her spokesperson claimed she raised a record,

a national record 300,000 dollars for her campaign in just six weeks, and

she‘d be adding another 100,000 after a busy weekend.  But the paper then

discovered there was no way to verify that because she hadn‘t filed her

financial disclosure report with the Federal Election Committee on time. 

Then Ms. Kavare‘s people claimed she had gotten a filing extension

because the money was here, quote, opening balance.  Then the paper called

the FEC and they said they had no idea what she was talking about, what an

opening balance was. 

Then she put out campaign literature advising that she has experience

at the Pentagon and, quote, “secret security clearance.”  Then the paper

revealed what she was talking about was an unpaid internship during her

final semester at graduate school. 

Then she announced that Democrats had taken credit for all the good

things Republicans had done throughout history.  “Republicans were the ones

in favor of women‘s suffrage.  The Republicans were the one who liberated

Europe in World War II.  And the Republicans are the ones who brought

freedom to millions of people in the Middle East now.” 

Yeah, 19th Amendment, the votes for women thing, that was Woodrow

Wilson‘s project.  World War II, Democratic president.  The top General

Eisenhower was apolitical.  America fought that war, not Democrats or

Republicans. 

We can debate how much freedom was brought to the Middle East.  But

guess what?  Democrats have fought there too. 

Anyway, all of these bizarre things had already happened to Kristy

Kavare when another paper really ticked her off.  The “Record Review”

identified her as the Tea Party Candidate.  And that‘s when her people

complained to the newspaper.  She‘s not the Tea Party candidate.  And there

we are.  When the intern with the secret security clearance who just raised

more money than anybody else ever, only you‘ll have to take her word for

it, who think the Republicans won World War II by themselves, when she

doesn‘t want to be identified with the Tea Party, the shark may have been

jumped.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

OLBERMANN:  Laura Bush claims she‘s still not sure she and the

president and some staff were not poisoned at the G-8 summit in Germany in

2007.  The Secret Service‘s conclusion?  It was a virus.  Richard Wolffe

was there.  We‘ll ask him if he was poisoned. 

That‘s next, but first tonight‘s worst persons in the world.

The bronze to Roger Ailes of Fixed News.  When only you feel one way

and everybody feels the opposite, there is the slight chance they are

right.  Highlights of his speech at Naples, Florida, “I don‘t believe it‘s

a partisan comment for me to say that last year the media went into the

tank for Barack Obama.”  That was last year during the Tea Parties.  “I‘m

not in politics anymore.  I don‘t do politics.  I do the news.” 

Best of all, according to the “Naples Daily News,” Ailes compared

perceived media complicity with government politics to the atmosphere in

Hitler Germany or Stalinist Russia.  Well, that explains 2001 through 2008. 

The runner up, the Commonwealth Foundation, a Tea Party Republican

group.  It will stage an event a week from Saturday in Lancaster County,

Pennsylvania, in which people can fire weapons into junked cars with words

painted on them like “card check,” “cap-and-trade” and “Obama-care.”  The

price is 65 dollars.  Crowds are not expected to be large, because to shoot

the correct cars, the Tea Party protesters would have to know how to read. 

But our winner, Dr. Pat Bertroch (ph).  He is seeking the Republican

nomination for Congress from the Iowa Third.  Dr. Bertroch says

undocumented immigrants don‘t pay taxes so he‘s got an idea.  As an aside,

he‘s wrong.  A nonpartisan group in Iowa found that the average

undocumented family in that state pays an average of 1,671 bucks in taxes

every year, about 80 percent of what the average documented family pays. 

Never mind the facts, Dr. Bertroch has a plan for illegal immigrants,

quote, “I think we should catch them.  We should document them, make sure

we know where they are and where they‘re going.  I actually support micro-

chipping them.  I can micro-chip my dog so I can find it.  Why can‘t I

micro-chip an illegal?” 

Are you going to pay for it with chickens?  When you can‘t do it,

doctor, can you imagine the reaction from your nut job supporters, the

anger, the sense of insult by the ones who believed they have already had

micro-chips implanted by the, by the government, or the world government,

or from the galaxy government from the planet of Skyron?  Dr. Pat “medical

experimentation on societal scapegoats, never heard of that before”

Bertroch, today‘s worst person in the world.  Call it a death panel. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

OLBERMANN:  Former First Lady Laura Bush‘s new book includes several

revelatory passages, but her reaction and name calling is notable perhaps

because of the truth contained there.  Mrs. Bush complains that House

Speaker Nancy Pelosi called her husband an incompetent leader, and that

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called President Bush a loser and a liar. 

Was there anything in there about him being called a foreigner or a

communist or having a secret religion? 

In our number one story on the COUNTDOWN, the Laura Bush biography

leaked ahead of its publication date because—see if this sounds familiar

somebody from a newspaper walked into a bookstore and got a copy.  “The

New York Times” was the somebody.  While she addressed the Time that she at

age 17 ran a stop sign and killed a friend in a second car, first she tries

to settle scores on her husband‘s behalf. 

               

Mrs. Bush takes great umbrage about the criticism the president

received for flying over New Orleans, on Wednesday, August 31st, 2005, two

days after Hurricane Katrina hit.  Quoting the book, “he did not want one

single life to be lost because someone was catering to the logistical

requirements of the president.  He did not want his convoy of vehicles to

block trucks delivering water or food or medical supplies, or to impede

national guardsmen from around the nation who were arriving to help.” 

But several Bush aides told “Newsweek” that the severity of the

storm‘s damage did not sink in until Thursday night, the day after the fly-

over.  And White House Counselor Dan Bartlett even had made a DVD of

newscasts on the disaster for the president to watch.  He did go there

later with all his trucks and his impositions. 

But for sheer intrigue, no passage tops Mrs. Bush‘s suggestion that

the president, herself and several members of their staff may have been

poisoned during a visit to Hildengdam (ph), Germany for the G-8 summit in

June 2007.  After they all became ill, the president bed-ridden, the Secret

Service investigated the possibility of poisoning, but doctors concluded

they had all contracted a virus. 

The former president‘s own become “Decision Points” will be released

in November, and will include, according to its publisher, Bush‘s flaws and

mistakes, as well as his historic achievements. 

Let‘s bring in MSNBC political analyst and author his own self,

Richard Wolffe.  Richard, good evening. 

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

OLBERMANN:  All right, poison.  In the book, Mrs. Bush noted several

high profile poisonings around the world and, quote, wrote, “we never

learned of any other delegations became ill or if ours mysteriously was the

only one.”  You were at this in Germany.  Were you aware of these

illnesses? 

WOLFFE:  I did go to a bar and have some bratwurst and beer and felt

queasy the next morning.  But no, the illnesses themselves—it was a

strange moment when we found out about it.  Let me paint the scene for you. 

We‘re at this—the leaders are at this spa hotel on the banks—on the

shore of the Baltic Sea.  Huge police presence there—I believe it was

the biggest security presence since World War II, just troops and para-

military police everywhere. 

There was this clown army, thousands of protestors, anarchists and

environmentalists, who were trying to break in through the barricades and

everything else.  So the idea of a security breach there was kind of

unthinkable.  What happened was we were waiting outside for the first

meeting of the newly elected French president, Sarkozy, meeting Bush,

weirdly, in the hotel room.  Sarkozy comes out and says, in French, not

surprisingly—but he says the president is not feeling so well. 

And that was the first we heard.  Later on, his aide said that he

didn‘t want to come out in public in case he made a repeat performance of

what his father had done vomiting in Japan.  So that was it.  As far as we

knew, he got a stomach bug.  Weirdly, the French president was the one who

told us about it.  But a security breach at something like that was just

kind of unthinkable. 

OLBERMANN:  On the subject of the infamous flyover during Katrina, the

former First Lady defended that, of course, as did Bush advisor, Karl Rove,

in his book.  The problem is the flyover was only the symbolic issue.  The

administration‘s response or non-response was at issue for days at least. 

So how does this—does it successfully, this memoir, recast something

like that, to make that into noble self-sacrifice by not landing? 

WOLFFE:  You know, the disappointing piece of this account—and I

understand from the people who read this book that the early years that

Laura Bush describes are actually quite insightful and vividly portrayed. 

But the disappointing thing about her defense of her husband, especially

when it comes to Katrina, is this is exactly what they said at the time. 

And if you‘re going to write a book in hindsight, which she obviously is

doing, then you can engage in some what-ifs. 

Had her husband set foot in New Orleans or in that area at that time,

would they have managed to get help to the people who needed it earlier? 

Would he have had to have the DVD from Dan Bartlett to figure out what was

really going on the ground? 

I think that‘s the kind of missed opportunity with this book.  The

flyover itself, as you point out, wasn‘t the thing.  It was the delay in

understanding how desperate it was on the ground.  Clearly this book, from

what we can tell so far, doesn‘t really get to that. 

OLBERMANN:  And, briefly, the story of the fatal car crash when she

was 17, ran through a stop sign, caused the death of a boy in the other

car.  It‘s obviously  very painful stuff.  But she‘s seeming to blame

herself only equally to the darkness, the dangerous of the intersection,

and the small size of the stop sign.  Was that event, in your opinion,

pertinent to either presidential election?  If so, why wasn‘t it addressed? 

And what about her explanation? 

WOLFFE:  It came up in the first campaign in 2000.  We asked all sorts

of questions about it.  They stone-walled.  Very hard to establish the

facts.  It does sound like it was very painful.  And these accidents, if

anyone has been in one, you know it happens very quickly.  I think it‘s

hard to ascribe blame, at the time or afterwards, frankly. 

OLBERMANN:  Now we move on to the next one, President Bush‘s book,

“Decision Pants”—I‘m sorry, “Decision Points.” 14 key decisions which—

the volume of that—we are looking forward to the volume.  I thought

there might have been three or four.

Richard Wolffe, his book is called “Renegade,” and it‘s not written

from any of those perspectives.  Great thanks, Richard. 

WOLFFE:  Thank you, Keith. 

OLBERMANN:  That‘s COUNTDOWN for this the 2,554th day since the

previous president declared mission accomplished in Iraq.  I wonder if

that‘s in the book.  I‘m Keith Olbermann, good night and good luck. 

Now with her special guest, DNC Chairman Tim Kaine, ladies and

gentlemen, here with Citizen Kaine is Rachel Maddow.  Good evening, Rachel.

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

BE UPDATED.

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