Guest: Paul Rodriguez, Sen. Robert Menendez, Howard Dean, Joe Romm, Dave Foley
KEITH OLBERMANN, HOST (voice-over): Which of these stories will you
be talking about tomorrow?
The cry gets louder.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CROWD: Arizona boycott! Arizona boycott!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: The cry in Chicago—the symbols, the Arizona
Diamondbacks, ironically is the only team in baseball without a prominent
The cry in Phoenix—where the four immigrant rights advocacy groups
announced a legal challenge.
The cry at the state capitol—where Governor Brewer would not meet
with the Colombian singer, Shakira.
The cry in Washington—where Democratic senators outline border
security and rational immigration reform—and where the House minority
leader says his party believes now is the time to do nothing.
Our special guests: Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey, and comedian
and advocate, Paul Rodriguez.
The storm in the tea cup: Scalded by the tea party, the Republican
governor of Florida who polls as well as anyone in a three-horse race goes
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. CHARLIE CRIST ®, FLORIDA: It‘s your decision. It‘s not one
club‘s decision or another—or even a club within that club.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: The new crisis in the Gulf. With the oil slick nearing
Louisiana, how‘s that “drill, baby, drill” crap working for you?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: BP is ultimately
responsible for funding the cost of response and cleanup operations.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: “Worsts”: Ratings drop 19 percent but FOX is still
crowing, Baier, Smith, Bill-o, Mannity, Greta—isn‘t somebody missing?
And speaking of that—prophecy, Dave Foley, “The Kids in the Hall,”
1994. Does this remind you of anybody?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVE FOLEY: Communism never dies. Communism is a cancer—a cancer
sleeping, awaiting a moment to devour our freedom, to devour our democracy.
Oh, I know what you‘re thinking.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: 1994! Our special guest, 16 years later, the man who saw
Beck coming: Dave Foley.
All the news and commentary—now on COUNTDOWN.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They‘re crazy!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: Good evening from New York.
A baseball fan arrived outside Wrigley Field, Chicago, for this
afternoon‘s Cubs game. There he saw evidently to his surprise people
protesting the new “show me your papers” law in Arizona. Arizona, where
the team the Cubs were to play, the Diamondbacks, are based—where in
evident coincidence, the only one of the 30 Major League teams without a
potential Hispanic 2010 all-star player or Hispanic future Hall of Famer is
the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The fan saw the protest, ripped up his ticket and went home.
If the micro sometimes represents the macro, the boycotts and protests
are already having impact. Advocate and comedian Paul Rodriguez and
Senator Robert Menendez join me in a moment.
First, the latest details. Only about 50 gathering outside Wrigley
today, the Diamondbacks beginning a four-game series with the Cubs. The
protesters are chanting, “Boycott Arizona,” “Reform, Not Racism,” “Shame on
However, organizers are expecting more than 100,000 at a march in Los
Angeles over the weekend. An immigration rights rally in that city in
2006, having drawn half a million participants. This Saturday‘s march is
one of 70 May Day protests being planned in cities across the country.
California Congressman Duncan D. Hunter today is elaborating,
meantime, on his suggestion that children born here to undocumented
immigrants be deported because the children‘s souls are not sufficiently
American. Mr. Hunter telling “The Plum Line‘s” Greg Sargent that his
policy is all about keeping families intact. In other words, if the
parents are deported, the kids,, even if they are natural-born citizens,
must follow. Quote, “We should empower the government to forcibly maintain
that family unit and send them with the parents back home.”
I wonder how retroactive he‘s willing to make this.
The congressman adding he‘s supporting legislation that would undo the
14th Amendment to make this possible. As we like to say around here—
good luck with that.
Fellow Republican Mike Huckabee, the former presidential candidate and
former governor of Arkansas, making the analogy that for immigrants, quote,
“America is a lot like Disneyworld, and that once you get a ticket, you‘re
in. You don‘t have to keep showing your ticket to keep riding the rides.
That‘s the whole point of liberty.”
Mayor Bloomberg of New York City is saying that Arizona‘s new
immigration law is not good for the country. We love immigrants here. Mr.
Bloomberg is adding his beliefs that this country is committing national
suicide, though, if federal lawmakers continue to evade tackling
comprehensive immigration reform.
President Obama is saying tonight that his administration will play an
active role in working with both Republicans and Democrats on immigration.
And earlier tonight, Senate Majority Leader Reid and fellow Democrats
unveiling what they call a framework for a sweeping overhaul of federal
immigration laws. The highest ranking Hispanic in the Senate pointing out
that this economy would likely come to a standstill without immigrant
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ROBERT MENENDEZ (D), NEW JERSEY: This morning, if you had
breakfast and you had fruit for breakfast, it was probably picked by the
bent back of an immigrant worker. If you had chicken for dinner last
night, it was probably plucked by the cut-up hands of an immigrant worker.
If you have someone who is infirmed in your family, probably their daily
needs are being tended to by an immigrant worker.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: In a moment, Senator Menendez will join us.
First, as promised, let‘s bring in comedian, actor and representative,
Paul Rodriguez, who was scheduled to headline at the Wild Horse Pass Resort
in Chandler, Arizona. He‘s canceled that event and he‘s good enough to
join us now.
Paul, thanks for your time tonight.
PAUL RODRIGUEZ, COMEDIAN AND ACTOR: You‘re welcome. Thank you for
having me, Keith.
OLBERMANN: I know a little bit about this. You‘ve gone back and
forth on whether or not to perform that show. Tell me the reasons and the
thinking that went into both the debate and what you ultimately decided
RODRIGUEZ: Well, it is—I got a call from the tribal members,
technically it‘s an independent nation, you know? And I could find many
But in reality, no boycott that we could possibly put upon Arizona is
going to be harder than the hotel industry, for example, it won‘t be us
renting the rooms, they won‘t find anybody to clean it. Senator Menendez
is absolutely right. The farming industry—who‘s going to pick it?
Let‘s be realistic.
The federal government has to face this up. Now, Arizona, and like
every other state, has perfect rights to curtail the illegal immigration.
And I want to make this clear.
We, those of us, we are not for illegal immigration. Our protest is
that this law is too broad. This law—would Montana pass this same
thing, to restrict Canadians coming over? What is an illegal alien look
like? Is the police going to have the power to stop someone for anything,
for any particular reason?
I read it, paragraph “E,” it says that a law officer, without a
warrant, can stop you, if he suspects you are in this country illegally.
That‘s too broad.
We agree that Arizona‘s going through a terrible situation. And if
the governor, Brewer—if she did this to bring national attention—
she‘s done a good job and I applaud her for that. But this law won‘t do.
We‘re not going to allow this to become second class citizens.
Every time there‘s an economic pinch, Hispanics, Mexican-Americans to
be more precise, we‘re the whipping boys. That ain‘t going to happen.
We‘re more numerous than African-Americans. You‘ve got to remember, many
of us have status in this country and we‘re going to speak up when we can.
OLBERMANN: And you‘ve lived that immigrant experience in this
country, the good parts of it and the bad parts of it. What Arizona has
done is obviously the worst of it in terms of people who are here.
How representative do you think Arizona is of all of your experiences?
I mean, those who got here earlier than you did—are they mostly more
sympathetic and empathetic than the people who passed this law?
RODRIGUEZ: Well, I think that people are sympathetic to the needs.
Look, I‘ve been through Douglas, Arizona, and I‘ve seen pictures that the
police have shown me of people who have literally died of thirst. I mean,
the devil‘s highway. It‘s a terrible situation.
But let us remember why they‘re coming. They‘re being attracted here
by cheap labor. They‘re being attracted here by the farming industry.
They‘re being attracted—look, if we can—if North Korea and South
Korea can have an airtight border with nobody crossing over there, and I‘m
not saying to those extremes, grenades and stuff like that, or bombs or
landmines or anything like that, but if they can have an airtight border,
we certainly have the technology to do that here.
They won‘t do it simply because there are too many interests in
Washington, D.C. that don‘t want the Democrats or the Republicans to get
together. Why don‘t they go back to the Bracero Program that my father
came many years ago in the ‘40s when young American men were overseas
fighting the war?
They had a Bracero Program where they would go to Waymos (ph), Mexico,
they would get a permit. They work the season harvesting whatever they‘re
going to harvest. They‘d gladly return to Mexico.
The only reason many of them just stay here is because it‘s so hard to
go back and forth. Either we—either we need to have cheap labor or we
want to pay $10 for a tomato. It‘s as basic as that.
OLBERMANN: Wow. You summed it up beautifully.
Comedian and actor and advocate, Paul Rodriguez—great thanks for
your time tonight, Paul.
RODRIGUEZ: Thank you.
OLBERMANN: As promised, now, let‘s turn to Robert Menendez, the
Democrat of New Jersey, one of the senators who developed the immigration
overhaul framework unveiled tonight by the Democrats.
Senator Menendez, thanks for your time tonight.
MENENDEZ: Good to be with you, Keith.
OLBERMANN: What are the things the framework aims to do?
MENENDEZ: It does several things. Number one, make sure that we have
the appropriate border protection so we don‘t have unlimited crossings of
people who are undocumented. It makes sure that those people who are in
this country in an undocumented status can have a temporary status upon the
passage of the law and come forth. I‘d rather know who is here to pursue
the American dream versus who might be here to do it harm. And I won‘t
know that if I have millions of people in the darkness.
It also says to those individuals, you‘re going to have to pay your
taxes. You‘re going to have to go through a criminal background check.
You‘re going to have to wait a series of years as we clean up the back log
of those who have been waiting under the present system to be reunified for
families. But then you‘re going to have an access to permanent resident if
you‘ve been a good resident during this whole period of time, if you‘ve
paid your taxes, learned English and have no criminal background check.
We‘re going to deal to make sure that in doing that, we don‘t depress
wages for all other workers because now, you don‘t have an underground
economy and you don‘t have exploitation of workers.
So, it has a broad framework. It looks at future flows of what we
need in our economy and also family reunification—a lot of ideas that
Republicans had, particularly on border enforcement. It‘s an invitation
for them to come and join us in a bipartisan effort to get something that
is both in the national security interest and the national economic
interest of the country.
OLBERMANN: At that news conference today, you invited your Republican
colleagues to join you in fleshing this framework out. Mr. Boehner from
the House said that this is not the time to attempt anything in terms of
broad-based immigration reform. Politically, it‘s the wrong time, he said,
to do so.
I‘m gathering they‘re not clamoring to join you on this, even though
they view this as an issue of national security?
MENENDEZ: Well, you know, you can‘t have it both ways. You can‘t
have Republican governors in Arizona saying the federal government failed
so we‘re going to act in a way that totally is unconstitutional, from my
view. You can‘t have members of Congress say that the federal government
has failed, but then say, politically, it‘s untenable to deal with.
This is truly a national security and a national economic issue. And
so, Congress‘s failure to act leads to the Arizonas of the country, where
even U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents—you know, Keith, we
have 200 cases of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents unlawfully
detained in immigration raids in violation of their constitutional rights
as a United States citizen.
That is not acceptable and that‘s where we continuously see this
situation leading to.
OLBERMANN: Well, there‘s a lot of things wrong with that law in
Arizona—but is that last point of yours is not the key ingredient? Is
it not theoretically that if you were traveling in Arizona, under that law,
if it gets to be enforced as of August, and you had no documents that
proved you that were in the U.S. Senate, that you might be questioned?
MENENDEZ: Oh, yes. I mean, if I‘m standing with a bunch of day
laborers and I look a certain way, and the police come in lawful contact
which means lawful contact, you have two police officers walking down the
street towards a crowd, they‘re in lawful contact. They‘re in a patrol car
and stop by a group of people, they‘re in lawful contact. If we‘re having
a rally in Arizona and the police are there, they‘re in lawful contact.
And now, that gives them the opportunity to question anybody under
reasonable suspicion. What is reasonable suspicion? Is it the way I look?
Is it the way I speak? Is it, you know, the nationality that I have?
What makes someone—you know, I don‘t have—I don‘t carry my U.S.
citizenship birth certificate where I was born in the United States. I
don‘t carry my passport with me unless I‘m traveling. What proves I‘m a
United States citizen?
And so, what we‘re going to have is what we‘ve already had, where U.S.
citizens and legal permanent residents, already green card holders who
followed the rules, obeyed the laws, and ultimately came through this
country through family reunification have been caught up in these raids and
often detained for months before they‘re released.
OLBERMANN: Senator Robert Menendez, the Democrat of New Jersey—
again, great thanks for your time tonight.
MENENDEZ: Thank you.
OLBERMANN: Still on the subject of the Senate, the polling set he
would get thumped in the Republican primary by the tea party kid. But it
also said he could easily win as an independent. Guess which Charlie Crist
has just decided to try in Florida?
OLBERMANN: Damn the tea party and full speed ahead. What this man
announced late this afternoon about the Senate in Florida.
Spill, baby, spill—she was mocked for her naive call to drill
everywhere. The slick from the exploded oil rig now threatens Louisiana.
Maybe they should name it after her.
Tea party meets shark. Not only does this man endorse the birthers,
he now admits Obama is driving the birthers nuts. Nice work to you, Mr.
And the videotape of the year: how did this comedian and actor come up
with the perfect impression of Glenn Beck 15 years before Glenn Beck
brought the crazy to your television—our special guest.
You‘re watching COUNTDOWN on MSNBC.
OLBERMANN: As of tonight, Florida Governor Charlie Crist is now
officially running for the Senate as an independent. He will either win,
lose or draw. Draw, that is, just enough votes away from the Republican to
allow a little-known Democrat to win that seat.
But regardless of the outcome—in our fourth story tonight—Crist
is and will be a symbol of a Republican Party that has tried to win despite
part of itself. The “will he or won‘t he” question answered today by a man
who has been a prominent Republican in Florida, the nation‘s fourth largest
state, for more than a decade. Governor Crist, the early favorite for that
Senate seat but whose poll numbers steadily dropped against the tea party
contender Marco Rubio.
Governor Crist joined a debate with Rubio less than a month ago ruled
out running as an independent candidate, today announced he will run as a
candidate without affiliation - -in other words, as an independent.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CRIST: Unfortunately, our political system is broken. I haven‘t
supported an idea because it‘s a Republican idea or it‘s a Democratic idea.
I support ideas that I believe are good ideas for the people. Now, I could
have chosen to stay in the primary, but frankly, for me, it‘s your
decision. It‘s not one club‘s decision or another—or even a club within
It is a decision too important, it is a decision for all the people of
Florida to be able to make. And so, that‘s why we go straight to November.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: Former speaker of the Florida House of Representatives,
Mr. Rubio, basically scoffing in response. His statement which reads, in
part, “Governor Crist still doesn‘t get it. This election‘s outcome was
never going to hinge on whether he chose to run as a Republican or not.”
Rubio may, in fact, be the one who doesn‘t get it. The Democratic
candidate for the Senate seat, Congressman Kendrick Meek, was quick to
signal his strategy in a three-way race, today saying that Crist was in
line with Rubio on most issues, but it was hard to differentiate them and
that, otherwise, Crist is a flip-flopper.
Governor Crist now faces problems with fundraising. Senator John
Cornyn says he expects GOP donors to ask Crist for their money back and any
Republican currently on Crist‘s election staff who wants a future in the
Republican Party would probably have to quit. The Republican polling firm
of Public Opinion Strategies announced today that it is resigning from its
contract with Governor Charlie Crist‘s campaign team.
And at the national level are some Republicans shuddering at this
latest boldest bit of evidence at a party at odds within itself, the
establishment Republican candidate for the Senate race in Kentucky, Trey
Grayson, is trailing the tea party favorite there, Rand Paul. And top tier
Republican recruits like Carly Fiorina in California and Rob Simmons in
Connecticut are trailing their rivals in their own party for their party‘s
nomination for the U.S. Senate. And those are just a few of the examples.
Let‘s turn now to the former governor of Vermont, former chairman of
the DNC, consultant to McKenna, Long & Aldrich, as well as Democracy for
America, contributor to CNBC: Governor Howard Dean.
Governor, good evening.
HOWARD DEAN, FORMER DNC CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much, Keith, for
having me on.
OLBERMANN: It‘s one of those great long introductions that you expect
at a convention.
DEAN: Yes. My Lord, that‘s going to be longer than the segment if
we‘re not careful.
OLBERMANN: All right. Florida first. According to the polls, Rubio
would have shellacked Crist in the Republican primary.
OLBERMANN: But that three-way polling is really close and many of
these polls, Crist is ahead. Even if Rubio gets that seat ultimately, did
the tea party wing of the Republicans hurt itself because just of that
DEAN: Well, I don‘t think the tea party wing cares if it hurts the
Republican Party very much. This is—this is a real split in the
Republican Party and it‘s actually one that Republicans have to deal with
because they can‘t appeal to young people under 35. They‘re not going to -
the people under 35 in this country, 63 percent of them voted for Barack
It‘s a new generation. And, of course, they get older every year.
They aren‘t haters. They‘re not angry people. They want to actually work
Charlie Crist has really symbolized that in his governorship. Now,
I‘m, of course, supporting Kendrick Meek, who I think, as of now, has a
great shot at winning this thing. But any of the three of them could win
this thing. And, you know, I think this is a Republican Party that‘s
really got a problem here.
OLBERMANN: All right. Strategically, how does Mr. Meek inherit
Florida, if not the Earth?
DEAN: Inherit the Earth?
DEAN: He‘s a hard working guy. He‘s got a campaign—he‘s got some
good, smart people who are supporting him, who I‘ve been talking to some.
And he‘s going to get—you know, that he certainly going to get the
Democratic base and then the rest of it is up for grabs.
You know, I think the conservative base is clearly going to Rubio.
The Democratic base is going to Kendrick. And the rest of it‘s up for
grabs. And in that one, any of these guys has a shot.
OLBERMANN: Back to Governor Crist and his statement this afternoon.
He seemed to be dancing around this to some degree. He referred to his
candidacy being less about himself and more about the state of the
political system in Florida and in the country. It seemed like he was
saying something meant for the tea party and the divisiveness that exists
Was that what he was saying? And if it was, why was he not more
explicit about that?
DEAN: Well, you know, you never want to insult people who might vote
for you, and some might. But this is a lot of overtones of the vote, the
special election up in District 23 in New York, where the Republican Party,
the right-wing of the Republican Party—the Palin, Romney, whatever right
wing—just didn‘t think the Republican candidate was good enough for
Now, you know, Crist has got a very solid record as governor. He‘s
probably got better numbers among Democrats than he does among Republicans.
He was basically turned out by his own party. And this is a pattern that‘s
been going on for a while as Republicans figure out how they‘re in the
world they‘re going to appeal to this under 35 crowd. I think Kendrick
Meek will have no trouble appealing to the under 35 crowd.
And let me remind everybody that Barack Obama won in Florida. It was
his greatest victory and his most difficult victory in 2008.
So, this is going to be really the most interesting race I think in
the entire country, where you have a Republican governor forced out of his
own party because of the far-right who‘s now running as an independent,
more popular among Democrats than he is among Republicans. I think
anything can happen in this race.
OLBERMANN: Looking at this at a national perspective—are Democrats
advised to assume that this is the way things may play out when there is a
semi-moderate Republican, or is there a danger of relying too much on the
tea party sort of pulling the extreme and leaving the middle there for the
Democrat to beat a very challenged Republican?
DEAN: There is a danger in that. You can‘t—you have to assume the
tea party is going to energize conservatives to get out and vote. So, if
they‘re going to energize their own base—in some instances, that energy
is going to split their party, and in other instances, it‘s going to be
helpful to Republicans.
So, I don‘t think the Democrats—I think the Democrats need to work
very hard to focus on what‘s going on. I think—frankly, I think the
last week has been great for Democrats when the Republicans are trying to
block the financial reform bill. They have very little sympathy among the
electorate for that.
So, this has been a solid, solid week for Democrats. And, certainly,
the movement of Charlie Crist out of the Republican Party has I think
helped us and it‘s going to help Kendrick Meek—we hope Senator Meek.
OLBERMANN: Governor Howard Dean, a man who needs no introduction—
great thanks as always. Good to talk you, sir.
DEAN: Even though I‘ve got a long one. Thanks.
From the same TV station that brought us “keep blanking that chicken,”
something that might be even grosser. And the chickens come home to roost
for the “drill, baby, drill” crowd faster than anyone dreamt possible to
the great dismay of Louisiana.
OLBERMANN: Drill, baby, drill—the disastrous oil rig explosion as
the slick heads for Louisiana.
First, birthdays: Michelle Pfeiffer, Barbaro, my friend Gary Cohen,
the play-by-play man of the New York Met who turns 52, and one of his color
men, Keith Hernandez, who turns 206.
Tweets of the day now run from the spill to fixed news to the
birthers. The second runner-up from @penndyd2: “If Obama visits Arizona,
can birthers sue local police for not arresting him as suspected illegal
alien?” Now, that sounds like a Beckian conspiracy theory. And, again, so
does the Arizona legislature.
Runner-up from @Wyleknowords: “What‘s the easiest job in the world?
Fact checker for FOX News.”
And our Tweet of the Day from @MenaOH: “Sarah Palin‘s energy policy,
drill, baby drill—spill, baby, spill—burn, baby, burn, new location,
drill, baby, drill, et cetera.”
That would be a lot funnier if it weren‘t literally true.
Let‘s play “Oddball.”
OLBERMANN: We begin 18 blocks north of here at the studios of “Good
Day New York”—in the very news room in which I began my TV career as an
intern in 1978. At issue, the National Milk Producers Federation‘s latest
assertion: a product can only be called milk if it comes from a lactating
animal. Anchors Greg Kelly and Rosanna Scotto discussing the dilemma with
medical correspondent Dr. Safnah Parikh (ph), and Ms. Scatto has a
suggestion. Warning, potentially offensive language is used now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There are things like the soy milk, rice milk.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What else are we going to call it? Soy juice?
You can‘t do that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Soy jism.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rosanna?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. That‘s an option too.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: She said socialism.
In her defense, perhaps Ms. Scatto was trying to follow in the
footsteps of her former co-anchor there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Keep (EXPLETIVE DELETED) that chicken.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I‘ll do that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: To the Oddball mug shot hall of fame. It‘s a been a while
since we‘ve checked. Time now for a new inductee, joining such other
living legends as Tom DeLay, Boss Limbaugh and, of course, the I heart
midget porn guy. Perhaps inspired by another hall of famers dastardly
facial hair, tonight we welcome the inverse of Mr. Handlebar Mustache Guy,
this guy, arrested for violating parole and sending out subliminal messages
on the upper lip area. Actually, just for the first thing. The picture is
courtesy of the Smoking Gun Website. And I think it—what does that say?
Oh, no. Move along. Nothing to see here.
As the oil rig disaster in the Gulf literally spreads towards the
cities of the Gulf, how‘s that whole drilly spilly thing working out for
OLBERMANN: The edge of an oil slick more than 100 miles long is less
than three miles away from land, from the mouth of America‘s river, from
the Pasalucha (ph) Wildlife Reserve, one of Louisiana‘s fragile marshland
ecosystems. In our third story tonight, it‘s already made an impact
farther away in Washington. The president today unleashing the federal
government to respond. And even though Tea Partiers don‘t seem to mind
this government bailout, Mr. Obama assured taxpayers private industry will
be picking up this tab too.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: While BP is ultimately responsible for funding the cost of
response and clean up operations, my administration will continue to use
every single available resource at our disposal, including potentially the
Department of Defense.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: Triggered by the explosion and sinking of a Gulf rig more
than a week ago, the spill itself from the pipe that once connected the rig
to the well, almost one mile down, is now gushing five times faster, says
the government, than BP first claimed, pouring 210,000 gallons into the
Gulf every day. Putting it on pace to surpass by next week the milestone
1969 spill off Santa Barbara, California.
Putting Mr. Obama on the defensive. The White House hinting it could
reconsider plans to expand offshore drilling. As “Huffington Post”
reports, the administration gave BP some exceptions for this rig, based on
BP estimates of a worst case scenario that was better than this spill. And
that BP executives pushed back against new rules last September, claiming
“the industry‘s current safety and environmental statistics demonstrate
that the voluntary programs have been and continue to be very successful.”
And though BP is now considering cleanup methods never tested this deep,
including under water chemical disbursements and a 100-ton steel dome.
Earlier this month, Sarah Palin told Republicans in New Orleans, no
more study is needed to drill for new oil in the Gulf.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH PALIN, FMR. GOVERNOR OF ALASKA: We can produce it safely and
responsibly. We don‘t need more studies, we need more action. Because
energy produced in America is security for America. And it is jobs for
American workers, jobs that can‘t be outsourced. Let‘s drill, baby drill,
not stall, baby, stall.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: That woman is an idiot. Let‘s bring in Joe Romm, senior
fellow at the Center for American Progress, the editor of
ClimateProgress.org and the author of “Straight Up.” Thanks for your time
JOE ROMM, CLIMATEPROGRESS.ORG: Thanks for having me, Keith.
OLBERMANN: BP originally said it could handle a spill by itself. It
originally said it would just be 1,000 barrels a day. How has that
affected this whole thing, what they said?
ROMM: Yeah, well BP gave us—you know, they said trust us. And
they said—they gave us a low ball estimate for the spill rate, and left
everyone with the impression they could take care of it themselves. I
think, thankfully, the Obama administration didn‘t trust them. NOAA did
their own calculation and realized that this spill rate was five times what
BP said. It‘s 200,000 gallons a day.
And so Obama declared all hands on deck. And he sent out the Coast
Guard, EPA and Interior. But I think BP‘s initial reaction has been—has
made this mess a lot tougher to clean up.
OLBERMANN: The—the cause of the explosion is yet to be determined.
The cause of the safety valve not engaging fully yet to be determined. But
does that mean it‘s too early to determine whether or not regulation was an
ROMM: Well, you know, you had the quote from Palin, everyone said
this is clean, this is safe. The fact of the matter is that BP was not
using the latest technology. Brazil requires this backup cutoff switch
that BP was not using. The fact of the matter is that BP has fought
tougher regulations. They want the voluntary self-regulation, trust me
approach. Obviously, that doesn‘t work.
But I don‘t think this should come as a big surprise. For eight
years, this country was led by two oil guys, two fossil fuel guys. They
looked the other way. They didn‘t regulate tough. So we‘ve had the worst
mine disaster in decades. We had just had another mine disaster. Now,
we‘ve had a big oil disaster. I don‘t think it‘s a coincidence.
OLBERMANN: And this whole press to get past regulation, as summarized
by Ms. Palin‘s really sort of—I can‘t quite describe what kind of
misunderstanding she has of this situation. But it is so simplistic as to
be maddening. Ninth of April she said in New Orleans, it‘s perfectly safe
to drill in the gulf. Eleven days later, 11 people are missing and
presumed dead, and now we have this situation at 20 days later. How is
that energy credential naivete thing working out for her?
ROMM: Palin, you know, she said she was an expert on foreign policy
because she could see Russia from her home. If she‘d looked in the other
direction, she would have seen Prince William Sound, where the Exxon Valdez
spilled all that oil and caused environmental disaster. This BP spill, if
it keeps up at the current rate, in 50 days, it will be worse than the
Exxon Valdez. And I spoke to a friend of mine who was a 20-year Coast
Guard veteran, and he said these well blowouts can take months to cap, and
that this oil is going to percolate and cause devastation to fish.
I think we all remember the Exxon Valdez pictures of the oil covered
shores, birds and fish. So I think we‘ve—we believe people when they
said you can drill clean and safely in the Gulf. But I think we‘ve now
OLBERMANN: Very briefly, is this going to change the Obama
administration‘s point of view on this subject?
ROMM: I think the Obama administration—you know, this is going to
go on for a while. I think this is going to change the Obama
administration position. The good news is, just this week, they announced
the first offshore wind project off of Cape Cod. They‘ve announced the
biggest fuel economy standards. So they‘ve always had an approach that was
aimed on clean energy. And I think that‘s—it‘s the clean safe energy of
the 21st century that never runs out, which is where the future lies.
OLBERMANN: Joe Romm with the Center for American Progress, great
thanks for your time tonight.
When someone asks, where did this Glenn Beck get this crap? The
answer is he got it from this Dave Foley sketch from “The Kids in the Hall”
in 1994. The sketch and Dave Foley ahead.
The Facebook page with a million friends, devoted with praying to God
to take the president. So what if others prayed to God to take them?
And when Rachel joins you at the top of the hour, she‘ll interview a
member of the group FAIR, which helped write the new Arizona show me your
papers law. Yes, FAIR, that‘s just a brand name.
OLBERMANN: Worst persons in a moment. First, no, this isn‘t your
water coming to a boil, it‘s our nightly checkup on the something for
nothing crowd. It‘s Tea Time.
Yet more opportunities tonight to track the slow motion jump of the
Tea Parties over the proverbial shark tank. The lead speaker at the
National Convention of the Tea clan, Tom Tancredo with a new theory, Obama
has a valid and American birth certificate, but he‘s holding it back
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM TANCREDO, FMR. CONGRESSMAN: They may very well not want to show
it simply because they want to propagate this whole thing going on about
Birthers. They may be doing it for that reason. They want it propagated
ALAN COLMES, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: It makes your party look nuts.
TANCREDO: That‘s why—maybe that‘s why they don‘t produce the
document. I don‘t know.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: Deliberately holding back his birth certificate to make
the Tea Partiers nuts. If true, Mr. President, you‘re doing a hell of a
job. Keep it up.
Here‘s one I haven‘t seen before, but I‘m told this is a hoot too.
This is the Tea Party candidate for governor of Alabama on the subject of
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TIM JAMES, CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR OF ALABAMA: Why do our politicians
make us give driver‘s license exams in 12 languages? This is Alabama. We
speak English. If you want to live here, learn it. We‘re only giving that
test in English if I‘m governor. And it makes sense. Does it to you?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: Well, to be—to be—I‘m sorry, every once in a while,
the accent on one of these guys, I just can‘t penetrate it. Thank goodness
we don‘t have an official language or anything, they probably wouldn‘t
allow that guy into Arizona. I caught that one part about Ali Baba. Is
he going to tell us the story of the 40 thieves?
OLBERMANN: The prophet Dave Foley, who un to us in 1994 foretold the
coming of the locust known as the Lonesome Rhodes. His prophesy, and yeah,
how he feels about it, and perhaps even a little bit about the new series
from the “Kids in the Hall.” Yeah, verily that‘s next, but first tonight‘s
worst persons in the world.
Fittingly, the bronze to the publicity department at Fixed News,
celebrating 100 months as the top rated outfit in the loosely defined
category of cable news. And the loss of 19 percent of its viewers from
last April to this April with a full-page ad in the “Washington Post.”
“The most powerful name in news” reads the modest slogan, as ever. Then
there are the stars, Bret Baier, Shepard Smith, Bill-O with a little hair
help, and Sean Hannity, Greta Van Susteren. And Lonesome Rhodes Beck is
where? Don‘t give me that they don‘t claim he‘s news. They don‘t claim
O‘Reilly‘s news, or Hannity. Murdoch himself said that.
They left Beck out. Now he‘s going to start crying again.
Our silver medal winner, Yantze Terrell Cochran (ph) of Davenport,
Iowa. Bailed out a friend last week who was at the Scott County Courthouse
for unpaid traffic tickets. Bail was 300 dollars. Mr. Cochran allegedly
gave the clerk six 50s, six counterfeit 50s. Two of them had the same
serial number. Now he‘s in jail too.
But our winner, the people behind a Facebook page. All we have is
location, Mariesville (ph), Ohio, 43040. It has a million Facebook
friends. It is filled with doctored photos of the president and it is
dedicated to what the lunatic fringe Bible thumpers called imprecatory (ph)
prayer for President Obama to die. A lot has been made about this and how
Facebook should have taken the page down days or weeks ago. I‘d like to
suggest a better idea. These people evidently believe imprecatory prayer
works, that you can pray another person to death. History would suggest
otherwise, but if they believe it, what would their lives be like if they
knew everybody else was making imprecatory prayers for God to kill them?
They‘d crap their pants. It won‘t even work. You keep your site and the
rest of us will, you know, keep you in our prayers.
Organizers of the anti-Obama prayer group, bye, nobody will ever miss
you, today‘s worst persons in the world.
OLBERMANN: Leonardo da Vinci drew plans for a helicopter 450 years
before anybody built one. There is an image of the Egyptian pharaoh Tutmos
III about to swing a bat at a ball. This is from 1475 BC. Now we‘ve
learned that Glenn Beck of 2010 is just a bad version of a sketch performed
by Dave Foley of the “Kids in the Hall” in 1994.
Our number one story, dude, this Beck guy totally ripped you off.
Sketch and Mr. Foley live in a moment. First, it was Beck voted by its
supporters as one of “Time‘s” most influential people, blurbed by Sarah
Palin. “Who would have thought a history buff with a quirky sense of humor
and a chalkboard could make for such riveting television?”
Only Sarah Palin would think that kaleidoscopic drug flashback
misunderstanding of past events was history. But anyway, the link to this
was Tweeted to me by Haley Adams (ph) the night before last. When I say
it‘s a kind of proto-Beck, I‘m not giving Dave Foley enough credit.
Watch from “Kids in the Hall,” season five, episode 12, now available
on DVD, “The Communist Threat.”
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVE FOLEY, “THE KIDS IN THE HALL”: Let sleeping gods lie. I say,
no! And you know what sleeping dogs I‘m referring to, don‘t you? No? Let
me refresh your memory, Russians. That‘s right, Russians, Ruskies,
Oh, now you remember. Well, you also remember how a few years ago all
we ever talked about was how the Russians were going to take over the
world, and how every household would be run by communists and their filthy
communism. Oh, yeah, we feared the Russians back in them days and for good
But now all I ever hears, poor little Russia. They‘ve got no money.
Poor little Russia. They‘ve gone broke. Poor little Russia this, and poor
little Russia that.
Don‘t you get it? Am I the only one that gets it? It‘s a trick.
Communism never dies, communism is a cancer, a cancer sleeping, awaiting
the moment to devour our freedom, to devour democracy.
Oh, I know what you‘re thinking. You‘re thinking this guy‘s just some
right wing paranoid reactionary who had a horrible upbringing and whose
father beat him every day with a Bible. Well, maybe that‘s true, but it
never did me any harm. All I‘m saying is, a few years ago people used to
listen to me. I fit in.
Well, listen to me now. The Russians, they‘re going to try to take
over the world again. Don‘t you forget that for one second, friend, or
else you‘ll find yourself lining up for toilet paper in some godless world.
There‘s one more thing I‘d like to say. Killer bees, forgot about
them, didn‘t you? Well, that‘s just what they want us to do. That‘s
right. The Russian communists, the killer bees, they‘re like this! So
when people say to me let sleeping dogs lie, I say to them, friend,
sleeping dogs, they eventually wake up and chew out the throat of
Don‘t you think I don‘t know what you‘re up to, Russia. Don‘t think
I‘m unaware of the fact that Kevin McDonald, or should I say Ivan Chovski
is one of you!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He‘s crazy!
FOLEY: Crazy like a fanatic fox, I mean. Down red. One man, one
vote. One man, one—
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: That was Dave Foley and a bound and gagged Kevin McDonald
on “the Kids in the Hall” in 1994. Here‘s Dave Foley now. I believe Mr.
McDonald has been released in the interim. Good evening, Dave. Thanks for
FOLEY: No, nonsense. Thank you. Oh, my god, what damage 20 years
OLBERMANN: I‘m telling you. I‘m looking at that too and remembering
what I looked like when I first saw it. So we‘re even. Don‘t worry about
that part. Is it possible that Glenn Beck never saw that, because if
somebody were to create like a demo tape for an invention called a Glenn
Beck, that‘s what it would look like, except you‘d have a chalkboard
instead of the map, right?
FOLEY: Well, I like to comfort myself by thinking that Glenn Beck has
never seen it because I would hate to think that he was actually a “Kids in
the Hall” fan. I don‘t want to contribute to his happiness in any way.
OLBERMANN: Maybe he thought it was an instructional video rather than
FOLEY: Yes, or maybe—he may have seen it and thought it was a
vision, a Biblical revelation. Yeah, I don‘t—I guess—at the time I
guess, we were probably like thinking more about—Rush Limbaugh was
already around in those days.
FOLEY: So I guess if you take Rush Limbaugh‘s already insane paranoia
and exaggerate it to a point of absurdity, I guess what you end up with is
OLBERMANN: And you added the word fox there at the end, which really
does elevate this to the level of prophecy. But when this was aired on CBS
in ‘94, that got laughs. Obviously, the audience laughed, the audience at
home laughed. At the same time, the real Glenn Beck was still drunk and
stoned somewhere. And today, the people who watch Beck think he is this
political oracle. Either you missed your calling—you could have gone
into the political oracle business—or Glenn Beck‘s followers are unaware
they‘re worshipping a bad impression of a comedy sketch. Is that basically
FOLEY: Also another important point is we have to be really careful
who we let into rehab. Because clearly we could have saved ourselves a lot
of trouble if Glenn Beck was still drunk on the floor.
OLBERMANN: Goodness. Do you remember the creative process behind it?
It is quite a while ago. And if you don‘t have notes on every sketch—
other than Limbaugh, were you—were you perhaps afraid of a reconstructed
USSR yourself? Or hit by a bee? Or what happened?
FOLEY: No, I think we were just amused by sort of the paranoia of
people about—I mean, because let‘s face it, Canada is a communist
country. We‘re very socialist and proudly so. So, yeah, we were—in
those days, we weren‘t so—we were more afraid of you guys than the
FOLEY: But I have to give credit, too. I didn‘t actually write that
piece. It was written by a guy named Norm Hiskoch (ph), who is now one of
the producers on “Parks and Recreation.” So it was he who wrote that. I
think it was the same thing, we were sort of tickled by the absurdity of
OLBERMANN: And wonderfully so. I have to ask this, for all the fans.
There was a “Kids in the Hall” miniseries this year in Canada, aired on
Canadian TV. Are we going to get to see it here? Or can we borrow a copy
from you or what?
FOLEY: Well, I downloaded it illegally, myself. But it will be on—
OLBERMANN: There‘s --
FOLEY: It‘s going to be on IFC in August. So we‘ll be running here.
And it‘s eight half hours. It‘s not sketch. It‘s an ongoing story. And I
hope people like it. And lord knows what will happen 20 years from now,
what horrible monsters will rise out from this, rise up from this.
OLBERMANN: I really wonder if you shouldn‘t just summarize this, sort
of put yourself in the category of Paddy Chaefsky, who predicted all of
television today with “Network.” I think that‘s how quality this vision,
or whatever it was, was. But I did notice that in there, there were a lot
of camera turns, which I do all the time.
So, you know, it really was prophetic. The comedian and actor Dave
Foley, or as he‘s now known around here, the prophet Dave Foley. Been a
fan for 20 years, so thanks for all that. Thanks for your time tonight.
FOLEY: Thanks. I‘m a big fan of yours.
OLBERMANN: You prophesized my changing cameras, so there it is. I
owe it to you. Beck does too, but I‘m sure you‘ll never hear from him, if
you‘re lucky. Take care, Dave.
FOLEY: No, I hope not. Bye-bye.
OLBERMANN: That‘s COUNTDOWN for this the 2,555th day since the
previous president declared mission accomplished in Iraq. I‘m Keith
Olbermann, good night and good luck.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed,
transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written
permission of Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark,
copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>