'The Rachel Maddow Show' for Friday, March 9, 2012
Read the transcript to the Friday show
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Guests: Melissa Harris-Perry, Ezra Klein
RACHEL MADDOW, HOST: Good evening, Ed. Thank you. Have a great
weekend, my friend.
ED SCHULTZ, "THE ED SHOW" HOST: You, too.
MADDOW: Thanks to you at home for staying with us for the next hour.
Great news -- great news for this show at least. One of the problems
we have on this show is that I cannot persuade any Republican elected
officials of any stature or Republican candidates for office of any stature
to come on this program. Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell said out loud
last month he would come on the program, he said that to Laura Ingraham, a
conservative host, he said live on the air. It was even on tape.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLP)
GOV. BOB MCDONNELL (R), VIRGINIA: See if you can get little Rachel
to set that up for me?
LAURA INGRAHAM, RADIO HOST: Yes. I will send her a note for sure.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
MADDOW: I thought you meant it! Awesome.
Will Governor McDonnell actually come on the show? No, he will not.
Even when they say they will come on the show, Republicans will not come on
And so, our aforementioned great news we have an actual Republican
who has agreed to come on the show next week! Yay! And it`s a
conservative Republican United States senator, James Mountain Inhofe of
Oklahoma. He will be on this program on Tuesday, hurray!
Senator Inhofe has a new "I don`t believe in global warming" book
out. I`m totally done with it yet, but I will be by the time I talk with
him on Tuesday.
But in publicizing the book, Mr. Inhofe has been talking up one of
his main arguments for how we can be sure there is no global warning. And
his argument is: Genesis 8:22. "While the earth remains, seedtime and
harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not
cease." Genesis 8:22. God is taking care of it, so we do not have to
Mr. Inhofe elaborated this argument to a Christian radio show this
week, saying, quote, "My point is God still up there. The arrogance of
people to think that we human beings would be able to change what he is
doing is to me outrageous. We could not screw the earth up even if we
wanted to, only God can do something that big a deal."
You know what the Ohio Department of Natural Resources said today?
They said apparently we can cause earthquakes. And we have been, in Ohio.
Quote, "Since March 2011, the Youngstown, Ohio area has experienced
12 low magnitude seismic events, ranging from 2.1 to 4.0, 12 earthquakes
all in Youngstown, Ohio."
Youngstown, Ohio, is not exactly San Francisco. It`s not really
earthquake territory. But all 12 of these earthquakes were clustered less
than a mile around this.
This is the North Star one well -- a class two deep injection well
used for oil and gas fluid waste disposal.
Remember the night of the Michigan Republican primary when Rick
Santorum pulled that rock out of his pocket and started banging it on the
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICK SANTORUM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is oil, oil, out of
rock. Shale. It leaches oil.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: The way you get oil out of rock like that is that you shoot
water in a whole bunch of chemicals in the ground to crack open the rock,
to crack open the shale to get oil and gas out of it. You pump enormous
amount of fluid in the ground, but then what do you do with all of that
fluid that`s now waste water once you`re done?
Well, quoting from "The Associated Press" today, municipal water
treatment plants aren`t designed to remove some of the contaminants found
in the waste water, including radioactive elements.
So what do the oil and gas out of rock people do with this water
then? They drive it to Youngstown, Ohio, and shoot it in the ground there.
It`s called a deep injection well. They drilled down 9,000 feet in the
rock underneath Youngstown, Ohio, and they dump their toxic waste there.
What could possibly go wrong?
Well, when Youngstown started shimmying and shaking last year, like
it was on one of those 1940s era weight loss belt, the Ohio Department of
Natural Resources decided to look into what was going on. But it didn`t
exactly hurry, it did take 11 earthquakes before they looked into it. But
they did look into it.
And their report is out today, and the report says there is a, quote,
"compelling argument" that the Youngstown earthquakes were, quote,
"induced." Induced by man. Induced specifically by the toxic radioactive
fracking waste water being injected into Ohio`s bedrock.
Now, a little later on in the show, we`re going to be talking with
the great Ezra Klein about all of the new economic data that came out
today, good jobs numbers, good economic numbers, 1.2 million jobs created
over the last six months.
As the economy picks up -- I mean, it`s still not good, but it is
definitely going in the right direction, and has been for some time now --
as the economy picks up the Republican candidates for president and
Republicans in Congress have seen their Obama tanked the economy talking
point go a little bit wobbly. And it`s in place, they have increasingly
focused on -- well, sometimes on birth control, but when they get back to
economic issues, they focused on the one economic issue they really think
that they, Republicans, have the upper hand. And that is gas prices,
energy, this year`s "drill, baby, drill," right?
So, you got Rick Santorum pulling that shale rock out of his pocket
and banging on the podium. You`ve got Newt Gingrich reconfiguring his
whole presidential campaign to be all about gas prices. He waggles his
little gas can everywhere he goes now.
Do you remember when Bob Dole endorsed Mitt Romney this year and
complained that one of the reasons he never like Newt is because when Newt
Gingrich was speaker, he would always turn up at events carrying an empty
bucket that was supposed to be a symbolic thing that nobody understood and
it was just weird that he was carrying a bucket.
Well, Newt Gingrich is doing it again. Now, it is a gas bucket.
That`s the whole focus of the Newt Gingrich campaign now.
Mitt Romney also on the same 2012 version of the "drill, baby, drill"
thing -- yesterday, Mr. Romney was in Pascagoula, Mississippi, talking
about how President Obama is against drilling for oil.
Now, factually, that is not true. Here`s oil production under
President Obama compared to George W. Bush. So, you can`t say that this is
an anti-oil production president, but those are only the facts and politics
are only very rarely about the facts.
And Republicans finding themselves in an economic environment that is
disturbingly positive have decided that they can count on high gas prices
as their economic argument. They can`t count on high gas prices making
President Obama look bad, and making them by extension look good.
But there is a flip side to being the "drill, baby, drill" guys. I
mean, when the result of the drilling is that you are creating man-made
earthquakes in Youngstown, Ohio -- Youngstown, Ohio, is not psyched about
In the United States Senate this week, Republicans forced a vote
again on the Keystone tar sands oil pipeline trying to force President
Obama to build that tar sands pipeline even though he made clear it`s not
going to happen at least any time soon.
Republicans think that is a slam dunk, home run, touchdown, mix all
your sports metaphors, perfect political issue for them. America loves tar
sands. America wants tar sands.
You know what? It turns out America has already got some tar sands.
(BEGIN VIDEO LCIP)
BRIAN WILLIAMS, NBC NEWS: There is another oil clean-up underway in
this country tonight. In Michigan, following a leak in a pipeline, it is
calling attention to an environmental danger we don`t often think about,
the 200,000 miles of oil pipelines that crisscross this country.
REPORTER: Good evening, Brian. From the banks of the Kalamazoo
River outside Battle Creek, as you can see, there is a thick coating of oil
on the water here. The boom stretches right over to the other side and you
can smell it, Brian. Oil is in the air.
This is where they are skimming. The oil is coming up. It`s coming
in the skimmers, and they are bringing it in on shore here.
What is happening now, Brian, is that they say they are going to be
here approximately for the next month so they can clean this up and get it
back to the recreational use that it was before. But as I said, it`s going
to take a month along here, they`ve got 10 of these locations up and down
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: It`s going to take a month. That was NBC "Nightly News"
coverage of America`s first ever major tar sands oil spill two summers ago,
in July of 2010.
You heard the reporter, Kevin Tibbles, saying that the oil company
thought it was going to take a whole month to clean up that spill.
But because that was not just normal oil, because that was tar sands
oil, because that was the kind of oil that would be in the Keystone XL
Pipeline, it did not take a month to clean up, it did not take a year to
clean that up. It has so far taken 20 months to try to contain and clean
up the spill and it is not over yet in Michigan.
Although Kevin Tibbles could see some of that oil on the surface of
the water, the problem with the kind of oil spill there, and with the kind
of oil that would run through Keystone is that most of it doesn`t sit on
the surface where it can be boomed up and scooped up. This oil sinks.
On the occasion of the Keystone vote this week, "Mother Jones" and
this Canadian paper that you see on the screen here, they have been writing
about that Kalamazoo River spill, explaining that tar sand oil, this
bitumen, quote, "is thick and heavy, and has to be diluted with a noxious
chemical cocktail so it can flow in the pipe. When spilled, the dilutant
evaporates into the nearby atmosphere. Marshall, Michigan, residents
reported nausea, migraines and burning eyes in the throat. Meanwhile, the
tarry oil, the bitumen, separates from the dilutant and it sinks to the
The oil sinks -- how do you get oil out of a river once it sunk to
the bottom of the river bed? Nobody had any idea -- until there was this
big spill all over the Kalamazoo River. The technique they have come up
with to clean it there is what they call agitating the river bed, shaking
the bed of the river bit by bit, to try to bring the oil globules to the
surface to try to collect them there. I`m sure that`s great for the river.
So far, it has been 10 times as expensive per gallon as a normal oil
spill to clean up and it is still not cleaned 20 months later and the
people who live there are mad.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At the time of the spell, my children were at a
daycare center, within a mile of the creek in the Kalamazoo River. My son
had throwing up. My daughter developed a very strange rash on her body.
There were headaches, nausea, vomiting, upset stomach. We had a burning
sensation in our throat, burning in our eyes.
The 40-mile span is still closed to this day. There is a no contact
order to this day. If we tried to put our hands in this river right now,
you`d get in trouble. It looks beautiful, but it is not.
We just hope people will learn from it, before you continue to run
tar sands through pipelines or propose new pipelines -- be better prepared,
and study it. Just hold off until you know just what you`re dealing with.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Hold off until you know just what you`re dealing with. But
the Keystone vote this week in the Senate was to rush the approval of
Keystone. Don`t bother studying it anymore, just go ahead with it.
Eleven Democratic senators voted with Republicans for that, but it
did still fail in the Senate. Republicans think that this is a great issue
for them. They think in an election year, this is one they can count on.
I think it is more complicated than that.
Joining us now is Melissa Harris-Perry, who is not afraid of
complicated things. She is the host of "MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY," which you
can catch on MSNBC, Saturdays and Sundays," from 10:00 to noon Eastern.
Melissa, thank you for being here.
MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY, MSNBC HOST: Absolutely.
MADDOW: Good economic news, gas prices are still high. Does the
Republican Party right now have a coherent argument on energy that is
resonating with people?
HARRIS-PERRY: Well, I think -- you know, it`s interesting sort of
how you ended that -- around, you know, a woman saying, OK, let`s wait
until we know. But I think exactly what the Republican Party is banking on
here is that it is extremely complicated and it`s complicated in two ways.
One, for ordinary people who live near where these gas issues and
these oil issues and these energy issues survive, these are economic and
environmental issues. So, you know, I live on the Gulf Coast. I live in
New Orleans. And the fact is when the B.P. oil spill was happening, it was
both a question of livelihood around oil, and also about the reality of oil
spilling right there in our backyards.
Youngstown, Ohio, where you were just talking about fracking, part of
what brought Youngstown back has been a new company that is actually making
the very thin steel rods that do what? Frack. So, fracking is both great
for and awful for them. And I think that`s part of what the GOP is relying
on here, this idea that environmental issues are biblical, that they`re way
out in, that they`re in some future moment and that the pocketbook issues
MADDOW: Also, the environmental issues are liberal clap trap, that
anything that anybody is complaining about in terms of environmental impact
of things that also have economic impact, if you look at anything other
than the economic impact, you should be doubted. You might not be telling
the truth. You are certainly part of an anti-economic conspiracy.
I mean, that -- I feel like the global warming denialist movement has
actually really informed every discussion about energy, with any
environmental impact it`s made the ascertaining of that as an impact of a
policy to be a suspect thing.
HARRIS-PERRY: Yes, and part of it is that there is a great deal of
simply untruth about the economic impact of these polluters, right. So,
whether it`s polluters that are polluting air or those who are creating
fracking earthquakes in Youngstown, Ohio -- the idea that they are bringing
tons of jobs, that they are going to sort of put everybody to work, tends
to -- the environmental impact tends to be underestimated and the economic
impact tends to be overestimated.
MADDOW: Yes. It`s interesting. One of the Democratic amendments on
the Keystone vote this week was to say, all right, well, if you guys think
this is a huge jobs issue, which is the way Republicans have talked about
it, let`s amend the scope of the project you build with it U.S. steel and
we`re building it with U.S. workers -- rejected by the Republicans.
HARRIS-PERRY: Right, exactly.
MADDOW: Holding the question in effect.
HARRIS-PERRY: Yes, right. Exactly. And to say that, OK, if we`re
going to make it have economic impact, here are the ways that it can. No,
I just love that tonight, it was you quoting from the Bible. Every once in
a while, I take over your show and I end up doing these God segments and
your staff is always like, is this OK?
MADDOW: I`m good with God.
HARRIS-PERRY: But I love that in part, because if we were to spend
time in that book, we would see there`s another narrative about sort of the
responsibility of human beings vis-a-vis the earth, right, and the notion
that the earth just kind of always takes care of itself. So, we have
economic questions, we have political ones.
But I think there`s also a set of ethical questions about how we
treat our neighbor, how we worry about being stewards of the thing that is
the earth. And I think that part of what progressives have to do is make
bigger arguments that are values-based exactly.
MADDOW: Is there is a reason there not are using the phrase, "drill,
baby, drill"? Is it become a patented Sarah Palin phrase? Is that that
HARRIS-PERRY: No. They very well may still come back to it. This
is a primary, but I do think that stories like BP -- BP was the thing that
silenced `drill, baby, drill." It was "drill, baby, drill" until it was
gushing out and then it felt like -- oh, maybe we`ll pause on `drill, baby
So, haven`t brought it back. But give it time there is yet a
convention and speeches to be made.
MADDOW: Let me ask you on a totally different matter. How are you
looking doing your show?
HARRIS-PERRY: It`s -- well, I love it.
HARRIS-PERRY: No, I absolutely love it.
MADDOW: The kindest, most generous.
HARRIS-PERRY: I absolutely love it.
MADDOW: Are you working harder than you ever thought that you`d have
HARRIS-PERRY: It is way harder than I thought. And I thought I knew
how hard it was just from sitting in, but it`s actually harder than that.
But the thing about it being hard, it`s funny, your executive producer said
to me, we have to remember what an incredible privilege it is that we have
the opportunity in interesting political times to help set the agenda what
we should talk about and how we should be talking about it. And so, even
when I get a little tired, I just remember that is a huge, huge and
incredible gift to have this opportunity.
MADDOW: Yes. And I have to say it makes me -- it makes me proud to
work at MSNBC, that you are not only hosting the show, but that you are
doing it with the agenda that you are. Because I meant that about saying
you`re not afraid of complexity. You have been approaching the issues that
you have treating on your show the way that you have ever since we first
started talking in radio, which is that you are not afraid of not only the
other side of the argument, you are not afraid of nuance and complexity and
detail that deepens your understanding, as well as sharpens it.
And I just -- I think you are great at this.
HARRIS-PERRY: Thank you. Well, you know, we`re going to talk about
the 15th anniversary of Notorious BIG being killed. So, I don`t if that`s
complex but it`s --
MADDOW: That`s called complexity. That is called complexity.
Melissa Harris-Perry, thank you so much for being here. I appreciate
HARRIS-PERRY: Thank you.
MADDOW: Of course, "MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY" -- new, excellent show is
here on MSNBC, , weekend mornings, Saturday and Sunday, at 10:00 Eastern.
Al right. This weekend, the seemingly endless Republican
presidential nominating contest takes a detour to Guam. And how nervous is
the supposedly inevitable Mitt Romney campaign? They actually sent
somebody to Guam because you know what they say, as goes Guam -- that`s
MADDOW: It is almost like the economy is improving just to ruin Mitt
Romney`s chances. Curse you, rising economic indicators. That`s coming up
with the estimable Ezra Klein. Stay with us.
MADDOW: Mitt Romney went to Michigan and said in Michigan, I like
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I love cars. I don`t know.
I mean, I grow up totally in love with cars. It used to be in the `50s and
`60s, if you showed me one square foot of almost any part of a car, I could
tell you what brand it was, the model and so forth. I love cars. I love
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Mitt Romney went to Tennessee, and told Tennessee, I like
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMNEY: This place always has a special feeling in my heart.
Because when I grew up, I was thinking about Davy Crockett, all right?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: And in Mitt Romney`s most reductive cliche tours of the
American states, now telling voters in the Deep South that he likes grits.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMNEY: He`s now turned me in an unofficial Southerner, I`m learning
to say y`all and I like grits. And the thing is strange things are
happening to me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: That wasn`t a one off thing like, oh, I can`t believe I just
said that thing about grits. He`s still saying it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMNEY: Good to be with you. I got started right this morning with
a biscuit and some cheesy grits, I tell you, delicious.
(END VDIEO CLIP)
MADDOW: And shortly after that, at that same event, there was this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMNEY: Look at that, look at that little guy, got him. It wasn`t a
cockroach, I promise.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Mitt Romney stomping to death an Irish setter on the
campaign trail today. I`m sorry -- cockroach.
A reporter looked at the thing he killed in the middle of his event
and turned out that it was actually a cockroach, though he said it wasn`t a
cockroach. It was a cockroach named Seamus.
But before Mitt Romney gets to reap the benefit at the polls of how
much he has convinced the Deep South that he loves grits, he will first
have to come up with a love for kelaguen. And that`s because before
Alabama and Mississippi vote on Tuesday, tomorrow it is Guam, where I
learned today that Guam`s tourism brags about the island delicacy of
chicken kelaguen, which is broiled chicken, lemon juice, grated coconut and
hot peppers, top with finadene sauce.
Mitt Romney has yet to try to convince the people of Guam that he`s a
huge finadene fan, always has been, but at this point, why would we think
that is out of the question?
In addition to Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands will be caucusing
tomorrow, and the Northern Marianna Islands, which desperately want to
become famous for something in Republican politics other than the Jack
Abramoff sweat shop scandal.
And right there in the middle, there is Kansas, which is in kind of
odd company. These are all the places that have their caucus tomorrow.
Mitt Romney is the only candidate with a surrogate in the Northern
Marianna Islands in advance of this weekend`s voting. That is Matt Romney,
one of Mr. Romney`s sons, and his wife, and some friends there. The only
people actively campaigning in Kansas have been Rick Santorum and Ron Paul.
Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney have pretty much left Kansas alone.
Now, are the Northern Mariana Islands going to decide who is the
Republican Party nominee? Well, you know, could do. In a race this weird
it`s at least worth watching. Nobody knows what`s going to make the
But there is something weirder that`s worth watching that starts
tomorrow as well. And it`s not getting attention because it pertains to
the great one of these kids is not like the other side bar story of the
Republican 2012 presidential field which is the Ron Paul campaign. Ron
Paul who has won zero states including zero caucus states, Mr. Paul`s
campaign had earlier talked about having a caucus straight strategy. That
was where they were going to win. But when they started losing all of the
caucus states, too, they have since talked about having just a delegate
The Ron Paul campaign`s delegate strategy is that even in states
where they don`t win the popular vote or even in states where they don`t do
well in the popular vote, they think that they can still maybe ultimately
win the state for Ron Paul anyway and they can do that by packing the
delegate process at the state level.
You might remember Ron Paul`s advisor, Doug Wead, who came on our
show a couple weeks ago and said that in the Ron Paul campaign`s mind,
they, for example, think that they won Iowa. Not Mitt Romney, who the Iowa
Republicans said that night had won Iowa and not Rick Santorum who the Iowa
Republicans said two week later won Iowa -- the Ron Paul campaign who we
all think of as coming in third in Iowa, the Ron Paul campaign itself
thinks that in the end, they will have won Iowa, because they say they will
get the majority of delegates out of the Iowa process -- essentially
through strategy of gaming the delegate process.
The process of picking delegates in Iowa starts tomorrow. It goes on
for a while, but it starts tomorrow. Same with Wyoming. And this is the
Ron Paul campaign`s reason for living. This is how they not only justify
staying in the race, having won nothing -- this is how they actually think
they can win even though it looks like they have won nothing.
So, not getting as much attention as the caucuses of Guam, which are
riveting the nation, but the Iowa and Wyoming processes start tomorrow and
those really are totally worth watching.
And we`ll be right back.
MADDOW: OK, this show has six segments. We label them A, B, C, D,
E, F, or six segments. We are in C right now for what that`s worth.
This is the wide spot in the hallway in our officers where we plan
out the show everyday in our news meeting. That`s Rebekah in the
foreground there, that`s Rebekah Dryden, who produced the D block tonight.
This is C, D is next. That`s our view of our news meeting spot from
Rebekah Dryden`s desk.
Behind -- in the distance there, that`s Nazanin Rafsanjani. Nazanin
produced the B block tonight. The one that we just did about what`s coming
up this week in the 2012 race.
And this -- this is the important part, this is on the big white
board which you saw on the wall there. This is the white board on which we
plan the show everyday. Now, I have horrible handwriting, but you can see
there on the left side organizational structure, A, B, D, E, F, each of the
segments in the show.
I think we can zoom in. Can we zoom in? See, there`s Nazanin`s
bock, the B block we just did on the upcoming primaries and caucuses, U.S.
Virgin Islands, Guam, Marianas, Kansas, Wyoming, Iowa, right?
And then, this is Rebekah`s D block, coming up next. Even though it
looks like it`s about elon, it`s actually about econ. And name in the box
is Ezra as in Ezra Klein.
But if you notice on the overall plan there, we are showing the
overall show. What I`m supposed to be doing now in this block, in the C
block is labeled as T.S. You see in the C block there, T.S.? T.S. means
tease -- which means I`m supposed to right now be telling you what is
coming up in the last segment of the show tonight before we go to prison.
That is what I`m supposed to be doing now but I can`t do it, because
if I tell you what we are doing in the last segment of the show, you will
think I`m lying. You will think I`m doing those wacky Friday bait-and-
switch things. You will think I`m baiting and switching you but I am not.
And the best way I can come up with to prove to you that we really
are doing this is just to show that it is in fact, the plan, it is what is
coming up. It is what we had planned honestly.
See, it`s -- look, it`s on the board. So you know it is coming.
Oddly compelling, creepy crime. Today in oddly compelling creepy crime is
what`s up at the end of the show. You would you not believe me if I did
not show you what`s it`s in the plan. So there it is in the plan.
Ta-da! Stay tuned.
MADDOW: No wonder Republicans want to talk about birth control. Did
you see the good news on the economy today? Here it is on "The Washington
Post" Web site, "U.S. adds 227,000 jobs." Here`s "The New York Times` home
page, "U.S. extends run of strong job growth another month." "The Wall
Street Journal," "Job gains build momentum."
Here`s CNN, right up top at the CNN Web site, "New jobs report more
hiring, but jobless rate unchanged." In MSNBC, "Employers create more than
200,000 jobs for third straight month."
Today`s job report headlines everywhere showing that the economy
added more than 200,000 jobs last month for the third month in a row. It`s
front page headline news all over the Internet machine today -- except on
the FOX News Channel homepage, it`s not even a side bar story.
Look, jobs report? What jobs report? We`ve got story about the
Titanic. And, hey, Bill Maher, what a jerk, right? Who new jobs numbers
when you`ve got the scope on the child`s temper tantrum on board a flight
Dylan Byers at Politico.com noticed FOX News burying today`s good
economic news. He posted those screen grabs at Politico this morning. Mr.
Byers did the same thing last month when again all the news Web sites were
leading with front page headlines about the startlingly good jobs news from
January. But FOX News put the job growth story off to the side in a teeny
font above their story on why Hollywood is a sex predators` paradise.
For folks whose professional identities are caught up in criticizing
President Obama on his handling of the economy, evidence the economy is
getting better, that jobs are being created, well, it may be good news, but
it`s unwelcome good news. Good news for country, bad news for anti-Obama
By this evening, the folks at FOX News found a solution. They are no
longer pretending the good jobs report doesn`t exist. They are claiming
it`s actually secretly bad. See the headline. "Jobless stats disputed as
economy starts to recover."
Try as FOX might to convince you otherwise, this really is good news
for the country. The economy added 227,000 jobs last month. That`s more
than economists expected. And it turns out we added more jobs than we
thought last month in January and in the month before that in December,
The number of long term unemployed people dropped, part of why the
unemployment rate didn`t go down from 8.3 percent even as jobs were added
is because half a million people who weren`t even looking for work anymore,
started to look again.
So that`s all good news, right? Unless you`re Mitt Romney.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Governor, any comment on the new jobs numbers this
ROMNEY: Good to see you, thank you. Hi there, how are you doing?
Good, good to see you.
REPORTER: Anything on the new jobs report?
ROMNEY: We need your help. Hey guys, how are you? Good to see you.
REPORTER: Governor Romney, any thoughts on the new jobs report
today? Governor Romney, how were the grits?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: That was NBC campaign embed Garrett Haake trying to persuade
Mitt Romney to say anything about the jobs report or barring that, maybe he
would talk about grits.
Mitt Romney appearing to take the FOX News approach from this
morning, just pretend this good economic news does not exist.
Remember how Mitt Romney used to talk about the economy in the early
days of his campaign. He`d appear in front of shuttered factories or
depressed locations and talk down the economy. He`d talk about how bad the
economy was, but more importantly, how much worse the recession had gotten
under President Obama.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMNEY: When he took office, the economy was in recession and he
made it worse.
He didn`t create the recession, but he made it worse, and longer.
He did not cause this recession, but he made it worse.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: During the Obama administration, unemployment has gone from
a peak of 10 percent in October of 2009, to 8.3 percent now. This is what
has happened to jobs during the Obama presidency. The red columns are the
end of the Bush administration, the blood columns are the Obama
administration. Our economy has been adding jobs months after months.
The last year has been the best year for job creation in the last
five years -- December, January, February, those three month stretch, that
is the best three-month stretch for job creation in the past six years.
President Obama did not make the recession worse. And Mitt Romney
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: How can you continue to say things are worse when they
ROMNEY: I didn`t say that things are worse.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: I didn`t say things are worse except for all those times
that you said things are worse.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMNEY: And he made it worse.
He made it worse and longer.
He made it worse.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Trying to pretend he never said that in the first place,
Mitt Romney has stopped specifically claiming that President Obama made the
recession worse. But he has found a way to imply it. Listen to this, from
Mr. Romney`s speech in Boston on Super Tuesday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMNEY: You know, when he was campaigning, President Obama said he
would create jobs, but for 36 straight months unemployment has been above 8
percent. But my friends the truth is, 8 percent unemployment is not the
best America can do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: This is important. Mitt Romney is saying 8 percent
unemployment is terrible and it`s President Obama`s fault.
Unemployment is not 8 percent. Unemployment has gone from 10 percent
down to 8.3 percent in the Obama presidency.
It`s plain to everybody that the economy is getting better. So, what
is Mitt Romney doing by saying 8 percent is not good enough? We haven`t
reached 8 percent.
He is telegraphing that he knows the economy is gong to keep getting
better, that we could even get down to 8 percent unemployment in the near
future. And he is saying now that would be awful, too. He sees the
economy getting better so he`s trying to make the case the improved economy
of the future is already bad news.
Joining us is Ezra Klein, keeper of the wonk book blog for "The
Washington Post" and MSNBC policy analyst. Ezra, thanks very much for
EZRA KLEIN, MSNBC POLICY ANALYST: Good evening.
MADDOW: Was there secret suspect bad news in the jobs numbers today,
or was this actually good news?
KLEIN: No, these job numbers have gotten really interesting because
you keep going further and further down into them and I do that because I`m
a boring person, and the news inside keeps being good. Usually, you sort
of dig deep and find something bad in there, either employment
participation went down, unemployed person and jobs numbers, does not mean
somebody who doesn`t have work but somebody who doesn`t have work and is
looking for one.
So, sometimes, you`ll see unemployment go down, but it`s because
workers are discouraged. Sometimes, you`re seeing seasonal employment,
right, we have a good month in December and a lot of it was in the
messenger and carrier`s part of the economy. That looked like it was jobs
that he would go away. So many people thought we`d see more unemployment
in January, we didn`t.
And then the best part, which is something people don`t usually pay
enough attention to is revisions. We get these numbers. This is a
preliminary job number we`re talking about for February. It is not going
to be the final job number. But what we`ve seen for January and February,
I`m sorry -- yes, for December, and January was they went way up. We added
another 60,000 in those two months, above and beyond what we thought.
So it`s really remarkable report we had these for a couple months,
every surprise pretty much is on the upside.
MADDOW: The revision numbers that you`re talking about are
interesting because those are the sorts of things that inspire political
conspiracy theorizing. Wait, it turns out the old numbers were fake. And
now, there`s new numbers and they`re worse, whatever they are. I mean,
they always do get revised.
What do the revisions really mean? It seems to me like what they
mean is that we are having -- you are likely to be in a recovery phrase in
a positive economic phrase when the numbers get revised upward. You`re
likely to be in a negative economic base when they get revised downward.
But are they -- should they also be seen as something as politically
KLEIN: They are not politically changed. I mean, the Bureau of
Labor Statistics protects these things like Fort Knox gold, even the Obama
administration doesn`t know about them like yesterday. It just doesn`t
But let`s talk about revisions, because it`s actually interesting.
When Mitt Romney says 8 percent, there`s something else going on I think
than even what we talked about in the opening here. Eight percent was the
number the unemployment number the Obama administration in December of 2009
-- 2008, I`m sorry, before they came in office, said unemployment wouldn`t
get to if we passed the stimulus. This was something called the Bernstein-
And the reason they said that was we had a very preliminary GDP
numbers for the fourth quarter of 2008. And it said the economy was
shrinking at 3.8 percent. That`s bad, it`s not unbelievably bad but it`s
So, they figured, look, it`s 3.8 percent, we get the stimulus. If
you run the numbers we can keep unemployment down to 8 percent.
When we got the revised numbers six months a year later, it turned
out the economy in the fourth quarter of `08 had shrunk at almost 9
percent. It was the worst quarter since the Great Depression. So,
unemployment went way above 8 percent, it went way above 9 percent, up to
10 percent, as folks know.
So, these revisions early in the recession were terrible, it was much
worse recession than we knew at the time. And Mitt Romney takes full
advantage of that. But we`re seeing the flip side not to the same degree
but just as all the revisions tend to be bad early on. As you begin to
recover, as models haven`t picked that up yet, the revisions are tending to
be good now. So, you`re seeing it happen in the other.
But insofar as revisions are political, the Obama administration has
really suffered from revisions. They haven`t really benefited from them.
MADDOW: What do you make -- as a wonky guy, Ezra, what do you make
of this new troupe on the right, particularly on the FOX News Channel? But
you hear from people in other venues on the right as well that any
indicators, any economic indicators that show things getting better,
particularly employment numbers that show things getting better, are
suspect because they come from the government and now you`re saying they
lock them up like Fort Knox and you don`t see them as politically charged.
But what do you make of that political charge from the right that we
shouldn`t trust the statistics?
KLEIN: The main one you see actually is that what folks say is what
these numbers don`t do is count the actual unemployed, right? They say
that these numbers don`t have the full unemployed because the labor forces
And there is really something to this. We should say this up front.
These numbers don`t count all the folks who stopped looking for work.
But, you know, I am, as you say a wonky guy. So, I went back and in
the Bureau of Labor Stats and I looked at every one of these indicators,
because they have all sorts, right?
They have one that is unemployed and the one that`s the unemployed
plus discouraged, and one that`s unemployed plus discouraged plus part-
time, even though they don`t want to be part-time, which is called U6, just
like the really misery measure in the economy. And every one of these
indicators looks the exact same.
Now they are at different levels because you count more and more
people in unemployment, including part-time work as you again to get higher
and higher numbers. But they both just sort of have the same shape, going
up and up and up and up, and then over the last six months, they`re just
going down and down and down.
And so, for all the statistical joking folks are doing, the numbers
are getting better. The economy is getting better.
And in the end -- and this is going to be true for the Obama
administration -- if things turn south, you can`t trick the American people
about the economy. If things are getting better, they feel it because they
have jobs, their personal disposable income is going up, their family
members who got laid off found work again.
In the end, that`s what`s going to matter, you can`t press release
your way out of the bad economy or out of a good one.
MADDOW: Ezra Klein of "The Washington Post`s" "Wonkbook," and MSNBC
policy analyst -- Ezra, thank you. I really appreciate it, man.
KLEIN: Thank you.
MADDOW: All right. This show does not report most crimes especially
ones that don`t relate to politics, politicians, big national news stories.
However tonight, there is a compelling reason to deviate from the norm --
oddly compelling and creepy and crimey and it`s Friday.
And if crime were all this oddly compelling and creepy, we might
actually be a crime show. Stay tuned.
MADDOW: Today in oddly compelling creepy crime, I promise it is
compelling oddly. That`s still ahead.
MADDOW: Today an oddly compelling creepy crime -- two cases of
things being removed from places they shouldn`t be and one creepy crime
mystery finally solved.
We begin in Ireland, a country known for its rolling green hills, its
delicious whiskey and its churches. Like this very famous one, Christ
Church Cathedral in Dublin. It`s a national landmark, one of the oldest
Christ Church Cathedral is the latest victim of a creepy, strange and
frankly perplexing crime that seems to have no profit motive. Somebody
stole the church`s relic. And that church`s relic is the preserved heart
of St. Lawrence O`Toole, the 12th century patron state of Dublin.
The preserved heart, yes, his actual physical heart, was housed in
this wooden heart-shaped box for centuries. The heart-shaped box was kept
in a metal cage on the wall of the church.
This weekend, somebody busted through two of the metal bars in that
cage and stole St. Lawrence O`Toole`s 900-year-old heart. Police are
reportedly focusing on two suspects who are in the church on Saturday when
the heart was stolen.
The stolen heart has no resale value to speak of. Like some artwork,
it is too famous to sell. As for the extra boost it would give you in your
relationship with the hereafter, you should know that church considers the
theft sacrileges -- the point the church is making rather vociferously
every time they get asked about it, like in this Skype interview with CNN.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It seems contradictory that someone would steal
from a church because in my understanding, that`s desecration and it`s
violation of a church.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Here is the weirder part of the story though. St. Lawrence
O`Toole`s 900-year-old preserved heart in a box is just the latest relic to
be stolen from an Irish church. For the last couple of the months, people
have also stolen wood fragments believed to be splinters from the cross on
which Jesus was crucified and according to "The New York Times," also a box
that usually houses the jawbone of St. Bridget, the patron saint of
Thankfully, at the time of the robbery, St. Bridget`s jaw had been
removed from the box for cleaning so the thieves ended up with the box but
no jawbone. But still, these thefts -- the heart, the cross splinters, the
attempt on the jawbone, they don`t make any sense. What are you going to
do with a thousand-year-old body part?
But, second, even though they are all sort of similar crimes and we
sort of file them in the same section of our news memory, right? The
people who solved crimes like this say it is key to keep in mind that even
though some crimes seem connected, they very well might not be, and that
might be important to solving them.
Just ask the coroner`s office in British Columbia, where there is
more oddly compelling creepy crime news. Over the last five years, nine
human feet, all still wearing shoes, washed up on the shores of British
Columbia in Canada and Washington state. Five years, nine feet, belonging
to seven different humans. The feet were always inside shoes, shoes with
So, it`s the same body part. It`s the same container for the body
part. And they were all found in roughly the same area. It seems like
these detached feet had to be connected to each other somehow.
And there were a lot of theories, some people say it was the
handiwork of a known serial killer who had already admitted to killing 49
people. Another theory is the feet belonged to victims of the Indian Ocean
tsunami that killed a quarter million back in 2004.
After foot number four was found investigators, they thought the feet
had all come from four men who died in an airplane crash. That theory fell
apart with the discovery of foot number five in this nine-foot saga.
After foot number five was found, there was even a hoax foot, an
animal foot, animal remains stuff into a running shoe.
The mystery was so gripping, so strange, so inexplicable that the
"Seattle Weekly" ran a cover story, speculating about where on this little
blue planet all of these feet were coming from. Their headline for their
cover story, "Where the feet have no name."
We even tried figure it out on this show with some particularly vile
props. Feet were from men and women. They were in different brands of
sneakers. The sneakers were all different sizes. The only thing they had
in common is the general area in which they were found.
Well, this week British Columbia`s coroner`s office said they have
solved the five-year mystery. The coroner`s office positively identified
seven of the feet belonging to five people, they say. And the coroner`s
office officially ruled those feet to have separated by natural causes from
people who killed themselves by flinging themselves into the Fraser River
or who ended up in the Frazier River dead but by accident.
As for why only the feet were found and not the rest of the people,
you can thank the running show industry for that. Apparently, shoes are so
well made these days that they protect your body part that`s in the shoe
even after death, even submerged in water while the rest of you disappears
because it is not protected.
Mystery solved. You may now cancel your Google news alert for shoe
But on this day of oddly compelling creepy crime news -- one more.
This is La Porte County Jail in La Porte, Indiana. The La Porte County
Jail is losing prisoners.
About a month and a half ago, one prisoner identified himself as
another prisoner, having thus tricked a corrections officer, he was
accidentally set free. A couple weeks after that, another prisoner was
allowed to walk out of the La Porte County jail because he had the same
last name as the guy who actually had served his time and was supposed to
And this week, the "South Bend Tribune" reports that a third person
was erroneously mistakenly released from jail. The mistake wasn`t even
caught until police turned up at the prison to pick up this guy only to be
told the guy was missing.
Missing? Missing from prison? The first two prisoners who were
accidentally released were found immediately. But this third guy, still
Prison officials blame mistakes on overcrowding. But unless these
prisoners were literally like squeezed out of the jail like lime juice from
a lime wedge, I`m not sure this overcrowding business is a very good excuse
for losing prisoners.
Oddly compelling and creepy crimes can make for good creepy TV show
segments on Friday nights, but honestly they are not great public relations
if you are, say, hoping to be your party`s vice presidential nominee in
Maybe governor ultrasound isn`t looking so bad after all. Have they
lost in prisoners in Virginia?
We`ll be right back.
MADDOW: OK, all right, fine. I relent. I relent. I cannot take
Here by popular demand, once again, that picture of Matt Romney, Mitt
Romney`s son, in the Northern Mariana Islands, with all those other people.
Here it is. I submit to you will. Jeez, now leave me alone and join me in
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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