IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for Friday, September 4, 2009

Read the transcript to the Friday show

Guests: Clarence Page, Markos Moulitsas, Rep. Maxine Waters, Jonathan Alter, Ana Marie Cox



KEITH OLBERMANN, HOST (voice-over):  Which of these stories will you be talking about tomorrow?

Good soldiers?  A president at the crossroads, as all signs point to Obama punting the public option, at least for a few years, it gets worse.


DAVID GREGORY, NBC NEWS:  The president is preparing to tell liberals in Congress it is time to be a good soldier here.


OLBERMANN:  Mr. Brown of Ohio, “The White House should not take progressives for granted.”  More than 200 former Obama staffers, 13,000 Obama volunteers, 23,000 Obama donors on a petition—a bill without a public option would not be “change we can believe in.”

The real death panels, the HMO scoreboard from the California Nurses Association: 40 percent of claims to PacifiCare, denied; 33 percent of claims to CIGNA denied; 22 percent of claims to all carriers in California, denied.  The insurance industry right now is a death panel.

Paranoia: Reagan explained his own politics in a speech to school kids.  Bush 41 spoke to students in class by TV.  Bush 43 was reading to school kids in a classroom on 9/11.

But if Obama gives them the “stay in school” spiel, suddenly, it‘s mass hypnosis.


MICHELLE MALKIN, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST:  We know that the left has always used kids in public schools as guinea pigs.


OLBERMANN:  Exhibit A for staying in school and listening to the president kids.  If you don‘t, you can wind up all Michelle Malkin.

And—and—and—and—you thought I was finished with the Glenn Beck about the communist symbols in Rockefeller Center?  No!  No, I am not.  I am not finished with the Glenn Beck about the communist symbols in Rockefeller Center.


GLENN BECK, FOX NEWS:  Right above syphilis is, right here, oh, Rockefeller.  Yes, the artist didn‘t like Rockefeller too much.  Now, what does this have to do with today?  I don‘t know.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You‘ve got to tell ‘em!  Set them free these people!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  (INAUDIBLE) everyone!  They‘re here already!  Join me!  (INAUDIBLE) of the world!


OLBERMANN:  Oh, yes, and look what happened overnight to the communist symbols in Glenn Beck‘s part of Rockefeller Center.

All that and more—now on COUNTDOWN.


BECK:  And it drives—it drives me nuts that nobody knows what this is.



OLBERMANN:  Good evening from New York.

After swallowing a compromise on the Iraq withdrawal timetable and enduring an escalation of troops in Afghanistan, after accepting a stimulus package that included 40 percent tax cuts and after standing by in shock and dismay as the Obama Justice Department decided to investigate only the most extreme, the least policy-making outliers from Bush‘s torture regime, in our fifth story on the COUNTDOWN: Progressives are being told tonight by the White House to be good soldiers because the White House has to again pander to the whining, screeching, lying minority party that will never support the president on anything and will see compromise only as a triumph of their threats and blackmail campaign against him.

Despite a recent poll showing the super majority support for the public option—more on that in a moment—the president is prepared to tell liberals in Congress it‘s time to be good soldiers—according to our own David Gregory—and the Democrats should start with an achievable foundation.  The White House is also—according to NBC News sources—contemplating legislative language in the president‘s upcoming speech, pulling together the 80 percent, they believe, all four congressional bills agree upon.

And senior White House advisor, David Axelrod says, quote, “I don‘t think there‘ll be any ambiguity where the president thinks we have to go from here.”

Well, that‘s a relief, but will it miss the point?

As noted by Senator Sherrod Brown, quoting, “I know that the White House is debating it internally, but Congress is writing the bill.  The president‘s not.  The White House should not take progressives for granted, it‘s not just the conservatives he needs to be in the fold, it‘s the progressives who have been in the vineyards fighting for reform for years.”

The president discussed health care reform today in the conference call with leaders of the Congressional Progressive Caucus who express absolute commitment to a robust public option.  The president suggested the dialogue should continue, but the spirit and letter of Mr. Obama‘s campaign for president has now been invoked in the form of a petition, saying that a bill without a public option, quote, “would not be change we can believe in.”  And in less than one day, that petition has been signed by more than 200 former Obama staffers, 13,000 Obama volunteers, and 23,000 Obama donors.

Then there is the gang of tricks or if you prefer their official name, “gang of six.”  The Senate Finance Committee negotiators who held a conference call today describing it as productive will meet again in person on Tuesday next.  But the committee‘s ranking Republican, the personification of bad faith bargaining, Senator Chuck Grassley, putting it gently, continues to disappoint, saying he expects a bill to pass before Christmas.  But, quote, “It may be kind of miniature to what we‘re talking about now.”

And there is some frustration in the White House with that Senate Finance Committee—according to NBC news sources.  Some are urging the committee to complete a skeleton bill.

Markos Moulitsas in a moment.  First, let‘s call in “Chicago Tribune” editorial board member and Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated columnist Clarence Page.

Clarence, good evening.

CLARENCE PAGE, CHICAGO TRIBUNE:  Good evening, Keith.  How are you?

OLBERMANN:  We heard it from you first, that the White House would, at least, float the idea to the trigger to the public option, Senator Snowe‘s pet project.  Is this still fluid?  What are you hearing now out of the White House?

PAGE:  Well, seems like this is the new pivot point now—that trigger idea.  It is something that Olympia Snowe has been pushing and it‘s something that could break the ice here as far as this jam-up over the public option itself.  Since there aren‘t enough votes in the Senate to get it passed, there are enough—it‘s already passed the House.  And how do you break that up?

It‘s something that—it seems like Obama is sounding very favorable toward it from what we hear, as he talked to—as you mentioned—talked to the progressives today.  From what we hear, he was asking them, “How much are you willing to give?”

He‘s said—David Gregory indicated earlier that he‘s working on a speech for next Wednesday, which is going to essentially ask the progressive side, you know, “Are you willing to give up a public option in return for other benefits that can be done,” and then down the road, possibly, get that or something else.

So, it seems like that‘s become the new negotiating point.

OLBERMANN:  Why that route given that if the White House is having difficulty now in getting enough senators from its own party to vote for a public option, why is the inclination to cave rather than convince given that they have pulled out of the deck as large a stage as could be presented right now?  We haven‘t had a non-State of the Union or State of the Union style joint session of Congress address since 2001.

PAGE:  That‘s right.  I don‘t want to sound too much like the administration has given up on it, like Obama‘s given up on a public option.  I think this is going to be a very, very important speech next week.

He‘s got to make up for what he had hoped to do back in July, which is to educate the public on what the public option and the other options are in regard to health care.  A lot of the public just simply doesn‘t know yet.  And he‘s got to try to bolster the courage of the Democrats that he‘s got on his side.  Then maybe—maybe—he can begin to persuade some of the others who he doesn‘t have on his side as far as the public option is concerned, Mary Landrieu, Joe Lieberman, Kent Conrad, the various Democrats -- or in Lieberman‘s case, an independent—who are on the fence about this or dead set against this.

OLBERMANN:  But the context of this, the president‘s pollsters are reportedly pleased with their own surveys, which show as other recent polls do, that when health care proposals are explained, that they‘re not just a series of catch phrases and scare buzz phrases, the public is in favor of this.

PAGE:  That‘s right.

OLBERMANN:  So, among the advisers, does anybody realize that they‘re actually, at this point aiming conceivably for something lower than they could still achieve despite the bloody summer?

PAGE:  Well, I‘m glad you pointed that out.  Because this does get lost in the shuffle that when you do explain it to the public, they tend to favor the public option.  It really hasn‘t been explained that well.  President Obama had hoped to do so before the August recess.  That didn‘t quite work out so well.

And now, he‘s trying to make up for lost time, but that‘s not that much time left.  They really do want to try to get something passed here sooner than what Charles Grassley was talking about earlier in terms of “by Christmas.”  That‘s a long time.

OLBERMANN:  Clarence Page of the “Chicago Tribune”—great thanks as always.  Great information and have yourself a fine Labor Day weekend, sir.

PAGE:  You too, Keith.  Thanks.

OLBERMANN:  Thank you.

And there continues to be, underneath this debate, the utterly false notion that that public option is a progressive cause alone.  Since 77 percent still deem the public option extremely or quite important—that according to a recent poll which used language identical to a June NBC News/”Wall Street Journal” Poll.  Indeed over the past month, a slew of recent polls asking about the choice of a public option has produced support between 55 percent and 77 percent—not just the progressives, but of gosh, Americans.

Let‘s turn now to founder and publisher of “Daily Kos,” author of “Taking on the System,” Markos Moulitsas.

Good evening, again, Markos.


OLBERMANN:  Yes, not really.

Those poll numbers are broadly consistent.  So, how is the public option been rather successfully painted as solely some sort of progressive pet, outlier, kind of outlandish project?

MOULITSAS:  Well, it‘s a lot easier to demonize in the campaign of lies and fear if you paint the public option as a communist, liberal path to kill your grandmother.  In reality, it‘s a plan that would introduce competition, market competition, into a field that is very much monopoly-based.

But that‘s not as big of a sell.  To me, what‘s interesting is that the American people have sort of rejected that campaign of lies and fear.  It still enjoys broad public support, not just among Democrats, not even among independents, but also a significant minority of Republicans.

OLBERMANN:  The notion—if this is true and all the reporting seems to suggest it is, including what we‘ve just heard from Clarence Page—that the president is preparing to ask liberal Democrats to be good soldiers.  It also seems horse back of the cart here, millions of progressives, not just—you know, maybe independent-minded Republicans or lawmakers voted for Barack Obama for president.  Are they not simply asking that—actually for the first time in this administration—he be the good soldier and do simply what he was elected to do and what he said he would do?

MOULITSAS:  Not just progressives, Keith, also independents.  I mean, this was a campaign that was predicated on “change we can believe in.”  And time and time again, we‘ve seen, you know, so-called change watered down into sort of tinkering around the edges as a compromise.

This is a signature issue for Democrats.  This was the number one issue after the war in Iraq.  And if they can‘t deliver on this, even though those progressives and independents and even some Republicans delivered historically large majorities in Congress and in the White House, then I think there‘s nothing that Democrats can‘t do no matter how big a majority.

OLBERMANN:  What is going on in the White House at the moment?  What do they—how do they see it that they have come to this conclusion that everybody who got them in there who provided the margin for it, who provided the steam to the election, even to the nomination, is somehow to be told to shelve cashing in on a promise that was made to them as a predicate of the entire process?

MOULITSAS:  I think there‘s this assumption that you can always count on that progressive base to be there for Obama whenever he needs them.  So therefore, he needs to go out and find support elsewhere.

I don‘t know if they have confidence in those polls, not the public ones—not just the public ones, but the internal ones, that show this has broad based support amongst all Americans, including a big majority of independents and even some significant support among Republicans.  So, to me, the notion that they‘re going to compromise and sort of abandon the people that worked their butts off to get them elected, I think, is ludicrous.

OLBERMANN:  So, what—and what is the—what is the victory for them?  What are they getting out of it?  It‘s—as I suggested before—it seems to me if the Republicans make significant gains on this on the final bill, it‘s not going to make them feel—well, this is a great president, we‘re going to support him the rest of his term.  We‘re not going—we‘re not going to all—we‘re not going to run anybody against him in 2012.  They‘re just going to view this as blackmail that worked, aren‘t they?

MOULITSAS:  Oh, absolutely.  I think it emboldens the Republicans, knowing the White House is weak.  That they negotiate from a position of weakness even in dealing with legislation with policy that is incredibly—incredibly popular with the American people.  We‘re not asking the Obama administration to do the impossible or the unpopular, we‘re asking them to deliver on a popular policy, on an issue that they campaigned on, deliver on your promises.  It shouldn‘t be that difficult.

OLBERMANN:  Yes, you‘re ahead late in the fourth quarter, don‘t deliberately lose the game.

Markos Moulitsas of “Daily Kos,” the book is “Taking on the System.” 

It‘s now out in paperback.  Thanks.  Have a great weekend.

MOULITSAS:  You, too.  Thank you.

OLBERMANN:  The details and the panic in the town halls may be utterly artificial, but the fear is very real—fear of a change to, in particular, insurance.  Fear that a modified system might result in—I don‘t know -- 22 percent of insurance claims being rejected or a third of them—or God forbid, 40 percent -- 40 percent claim rejections would mean, if not death panels, and certainly bankruptcy panels.

Here‘s the problem, those are the rejection rates now.  Today, 22 percent of all claims in California, a third of claims made to CIGNA, 40 percent to the astroturf-funding United Health Groups specific care.  Right now, right now—there are bankruptcy panels in California.  Next.


OLBERMANN:  Congresswoman Maxine Waters of California on how this wonderful system—the Republicans and the ordinary people they are terrorizing—is currently rejecting nearly a quarter of all insurance claims in her state.  The same pretzel logic convincing right-wingers to force their kids to become truants next week.

And that logic that‘s one fellow Glenn Beck never met—part two of his apocalypse now analysis, how the artwork nobody looks at here in Rockefeller Center.  It‘s part of 75-year-old plan to indoctrinate us into supporting the socialist, fascist, communist Obama-ist Obama.

I know it‘s the plot of the “Da Vinci Code.”  Don‘t tell Glenn.


OLBERMANN:  In health news today, the group Consumer Watchdog has asked California Attorney General Jerry Brown to investigate whether the nation‘s two biggest health insurance companies, included United Health Group, which we‘ve reported on here before, broke state law by pressuring employees to oppose health care reform.

And in other health news today, California Attorney General Jerry Brown announced he‘s now investigating possible wrongful business practices by his state‘s five biggest health insurance companies, including one owned by the United Health Group.

Specifically—in our fourth story tonight: It turns out death panels are kind of real.  And it took a group of nurses to find the real ones.

Brown‘s investigation comes after the California Nurses Association analyzed state data and found that one in five medical claims there is rejected.  United Company PacifiCare rejected 39.6 percent of claims two-out-five.  The insurance companies claim the figures are misleading although the data came from their own filings.

The state‘s managed care agency said most rejections do not mean denying treatment.  No, in those cases it just means denying reimbursement -- which helps to explain why medical bills are a top cause of personal bankruptcy, meaning: we still don‘t know the exact numbers who have had to go before insurance company death panels and have already died as a result.

PacifiCare, part of United Health Group told the “L.A. Times” its rejection rate had been inflated because it reflects internal disputes with physician groups that never affect patients.  The state‘s managed care agency told the paper, quote, “Department examiners are at the health plan right now reviewing its payment practices.”

And the parent company, United, Attorney General Brown‘s office says he is considering a request to investigate both United and WellPoint, both of which deny that urging their employees either to support bipartisan reform at best or to explicitly, to oppose congressional bills, violates state laws against coercing employee political activity.

Let‘s turn now to Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters of California.

Great thanks, once again, for your time tonight.

REP. MAXINE WATERS (D), CALIFORNIA:  Delighted to be with you.  Thank you for inviting me.

OLBERMANN:  One investigation already underway in your state and another under consideration.  Let me start with the denial of claims.


OLBERMANN:  Is that a criminal investigation there, too?

WATERS:  Well, I am so pleased that Attorney General Jerry Brown has decided to take this issue up.  These stories we‘ve been hearing for years.  People who pay their premiums year in and year out, and then, when they file a claim, the war begins.  They‘ve got to fight.  They‘ve got to do everything to try and get these companies to pay, and then they‘re often times rejected.

This information by the California Nurses Association is extremely important.  This is a credible organization, representing over 86,000 nurses in the United States of America, and this finally put the facts before us—that with which we suspected all along that there were huge rejections.

This 39.6 percent of PacifiCare, that is outrageous.  And then, they ask us to somehow compromise and have a trigger to let these insurance companies keep on committing these crimes and somehow set some kind of benchmarks to give them an opportunity to do right.  They‘ve been ripping off the taxpayers, the American people, the citizens of this country, for far too long.  No compromise should be entertained by anybody.

OLBERMANN:  Yes.  And the idea was, we‘re going to have triggers if the system doesn‘t work.  The point is.


OLBERMANN:  . the system doesn‘t work right now.  We‘ve already met whatever triggers could be established.

But let me ask you back about Attorney General Brown, with all due respect to what he‘s trying to do.  Does our nation‘s health care problem, including the denial of claims, does that—is that owed more to the fact that sometimes laws are being broken?  Or more to the fact that so much is actually legal and the insurance companies can get away with effectively murder?

WATERS:  Well, the fact of the matter is, we don‘t regulate them in ways that would even suggest what their rates should be, whether or not they are—should or should not be denying claims.  This is all within their power to do.  They can take someone again who‘s been paying premiums for 10 or 15 years on time, regularly, in one of these HMOs, whatever you want to call it, and they can decide after they do their own review whether or not to reject or to deny.  We don‘t clearly have a lot of control over that.

OLBERMANN:  We already know about the financial implications of this.  And I hesitate again to use that incendiary term “death panels.”  But do people die, in fact, because of decisions made by insurance company executives?

WATERS:  We absolutely have stories.  We have information from people who have had the experience that there have been deaths.  As a matter of fact, there are several that was cited by the nurses association as they presented this information about young people who have been denied certain procedures and consequently died.

OLBERMANN:  This request for the inquiry into WellPoint and United, that they coerced employees to go and oppose health care.  Even if they did, from the company‘s point of view—so what?  What could possibly happen to the companies that would outweigh the benefits of creating these kind of fake public testimonials against health care reform?

WATERS:  Well, the fact of the matter is, if they have decided to treat their employees that way and to intimidate them and maybe even suggest in some ways that they may not continue to be employed if they don‘t follow the company lie, it‘s something that we ought to be investigating.  We should not allow them to do that.

OLBERMANN:  Congresswoman Maxine Waters of California—as always, great thanks for your time, and good luck as you continue your fight on this.

WATERS:  Thank you.  Thank you so very much.

OLBERMANN:  “Oddball” tonight is devoted to this individual you see here.  This is a 400-pound individual.  And the latest related delicacy, deep fried butter.  And that‘s a subject for an insurance panel.

And “Worst Persons” tonight is devoted to those who just stand and nod.  More insanity from the hand-picked audience at a McCain-McConnell one-side only town hall and Mr. McCain promptly offers the man who speaks the insanity a job.


OLBERMANN:  When I was a kid, the strict conservative parents I used to know told their children, stay in school.  Now they‘re telling them cut class.  That‘s ahead.

First, on this date in 1968 was born actor John DiMaggio, who may have made his American primetime TV debut as a cameo, as a bartender on “Law & Order,” but he‘s much better known for a role which has never called for him to be seen on camera, the alcohol-powered kleptomaniacal cigar-chomping robot on “Futurama,” Bender.  His voice is supplied by John DiMaggio.

So bite my glorious metal—let‘s play “Oddball.”

Hey, we begin in Beijing, China, where we find Laifu getting his daily supplements which include vitamins and calcium.  It seems Laifu has been eating like a pig ever since his owner took him in now tipping the scales at 400 pounds.  Laifu‘s owner was told by a fortune teller that she should raise a pig when she turned 50, and it looks like she‘s really doing the job.  Laifu has two nannies, goes for walks twice a day, all downhill after clearing the steps for the apartment complex.

If only they could supplement his diet with something that might help the weight problem.  Say, butter?

Butter—not just butter, butter, but better butter, fried butter.  For those of you near Dallas, who eat like the Laifu pig but still maintain your cholesterol level is just fine, this guy‘s come up with a perfect dietary solution.  After wrapping butter in dough and dropping it in the deep fryer, you‘re all set to start clogging those arteries and preparing to be kicked off the insurance rolls.  He‘s named these “death panels.”  Insurance rolls.  Ahhh!

Part two of our analysis of Glenn Beck‘s hallucination that Rockefeller Center is one giant undulating, socialist, fascist, communist symbol.  Just remember, (INAUDIBLE), it‘s made out of people.

And referencing back to Bender from “Futurama,” right-wingers are seriously suggesting the president has some sort of Hypnotoad ability to indoctrinate their kids to not drop out of school and do their homework.  God knows a lack of education worked fine for Sarah Palin.



OLBERMANN:  Of course, it had to come down to this point.  After cheering on a president who ridiculed academic achievement, the Republican Party having shed hundreds of thousands of smart—the former Republicans -- is now resorting to the purest distillation of its many and hare-brained messages.

Our third story tonight Republicans Party‘s last hope: urging America to just stay home from school.  Just say no to education.  Reading are fundamental.

It stems, of course, from Obama-phobia, irrational fear of a black man running the country and in his speech on Tuesday addressing America‘s school children.  Naturally the idea of an American President addressing America‘s school children is inherently terrifying.

So Glenn Beck and other academic elites on the right are now actually telling parents to keep their kids home from school on Tuesday.  Skip school, now a mainstream Republican position.  We‘ll show those truant officers.

Why is this?  Because the Department of Education lesson plan has suspicious questions for kids to ask.


SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEX ANCHOR:  I would not normally have a problem with any president that wants to address school children, wants to encourage them to study hard, to develop—to learn, to have a great education.  To inspire them that America‘s the greatest country and they can be all they can be.  But when you read the specifics here, what is the president asking me to do?  How can I help the president?

Now we‘re getting into an area where it seems very close to indoctrination or at least has the potential.


OLBERMANN:  You missed the question, Sean, how about this one?  Does the speech make you want to do anything?  Because, of course, all good indoctrination first asks you whether or not you want to be indoctrinated.

And then there‘s Michelle Mulkin in that blank stare warning that quote, “it‘s not about the text, he‘ll actually deliver an innocuous speech.”  Wait, what—oh, I see, teachers will then urge their kids to write letters to demonize Obamacare—to demonize Obamacare opponents.

So where did this insidious idea come from that President Obama should teach America‘s kids?  Perhaps from the article for the cover of “Parade” magazine last month, “What President Obama can teach America‘s kids” by Mr.  William O‘Reilly.

Or maybe from this guy who spoke to America‘s kids as campaign season began in October 1991 asking kids to write him telling them what they could do to help him achieve his goals.

Let‘s turn now to MSNBC political analyst Jonathan Alter and also, of course, senior editor at “Newsweek” magazine.  Jon thanks for your time tonight.


OLBERMANN:  I know a lot of liberals are really upset about this but it‘s so stupid, I can‘t take it seriously.  I mean, if Michelle Mulkin suggested that kids should wear a clove of garlic around their necks at all time to ward off Obama, I would not be laughing as hard as I am now.  Can you explain this crap for us?

ALTER:  Well, they‘re just rank hypocrites.  I mean, I didn‘t see any of these characters complaining about President Reagan in 1988 when he did this.  And, in fact, Reagan in his session with America‘s schoolchildren talked about the importance of cutting taxes.  I didn‘t see them—I didn‘t see them talking about indoctrination at that point on Limbaugh‘s program.

And then of course as you mentioned, President Bush did the same in 1991.  I think what you have here is a bunch of people who really don‘t believe that Barack Obama‘s legitimately President of the United States, whether that‘s out of racism or some other motivation is not clear.

But they‘re trying to delegitimize him in any way they can, be as disrespectful, not just to him but to the office as they can.  And to my mind, to be actually, what I would call unpatriotic in their approach.  And by that I mean that if you believe in this country, you know that education is the only route up.

And that doesn‘t mean that missing a day of school on the President‘s speech matters that much.  But the point is Obama has tremendous influence, particularly with African-American school children and getting them to stay in school and work hard and work to improve this country.

And this school superintendent in New Orleans has spoken about the Obama effect.  That when the teachers tell the kids, “the president wants you to do your homework,” it helps.  Now, why would they want to undermine that?  Why would they want more children growing up, dropping out of school, causing problems for themselves and for society?

These people are so myopic and so hypocritical it never ends, Keith. 

And you‘re right that it‘s funny, but on some level it‘s kind of pathetic.

OLBERMANN:  But also it‘s self-defeating, because if you think about this, the Democratic parents are going to tell their kids to stay in school that day and presumably they‘ll get this message and whatever value this is...

ALTER:  Yes.

OLBERMANN:  ...towards keeping them in school, there‘ll be more Democratic kids or kids of Democratic parent will be staying in school than getting degrees and colleges and scholarships and things and the Republicans will be working at Burger King.

It‘s self-defeating, isn‘t it?

ALTER:  Well, you know, it really is.  It‘s something that people don‘t quite understand is if you look at the 19 -- the 2008 election returns, the Republican Party is not only becoming more regional, more of a southern party, obviously an older white party, but also a much less well-educated party.

For the first time in many years Democrats carried college-educated voters and of course, they‘ve long carried graduate school educated voters.  So you can see scientists go overwhelmingly Democratic.

So they‘re becoming whiter, more southern and more stupid as time goes on.  And I‘m not sure that that helps the other party or the country.

OLBERMANN:  Well, the conservatives also used to be conservative, go to school, listen to your teacher, shut up, respect at least the Office of the President whether you care about the president or not.  What exactly is the value system they‘re espousing now?

ALTER:  I think it‘s resistance to, you know, a political opponent.  And a very doctrinaire, ideological approach to analyzing issues.  And it works a lot of the times.

Keith, there‘s a hard core 20 percent, I don‘t think it‘s that much higher than that, but 20 percent of the country that listens to these programs and that takes their marching orders from clowns like, you know, Glenn and Rush.

OLBERMANN:  No, well, I think actually they‘ve hit one that I like.  Stay home; keep your kids at home, conservative parents.  Keep them at home and then watch them not get into college.  Which is fine because they don‘t learn anything because they want to keep that evolution and other science and stuff like that.

Jonathan Alter of MSNBC and Newsweek, great thanks; have a great weekend.

ALTER:  Thanks, Keith.

OLBERMANN:  Once more unto the Beck.  You thought he brought the crazy last night, well, wait until you see round two.

Speaking of which, inside another town hall without pity, there‘s a woman who invokes Hitler again and the Congressman says thank you.

And on the “Rachel Maddow Show” at the top of the hour Senator Al Franken takes on the health Tea party protestors.


OLBERMANN:  Sean Hannity thinks the president is named Jeremiah Wright, and neither John McCain nor Mike Pants (ph) has the guts to stop an anti-reform health care speaker from referencing death panels or Hitler.

“Worst Persons” next, and then the rest of the madness of Glenn Beck on the combined Communist-Fascist-Socialist symbolism here at Rockefeller Center including his observations that quote, “nobody notices it.”  Which begs the question, why did you just spend 15 minutes talking about it, dumb-dumb?

You‘re watching COUNTDOWN on MSNBC.


OLBERMANN:  Part two of our deconstruction of the Glenn Beck attack on the symbolic artwork of Rockefeller Center, Rockefeller Center which he still doesn‘t realize he works in.

That‘s next, but first on COUNTDOWN number two story tonight.  The Bronze to Sean Hannity of Fixed Noise who has now thrown so much, you know, Hannity dung against the wall that he no longer knows where he is.  “I think the president is Jeremiah Wright.  He did sit in the Pews for 20 years.  I say he is Bill Ayers, not the terrorist, but the radical Bill Ayers.”

Hannity probably went home and said to himself.  “Look how fair I was to the President, I said he wasn‘t the terrorist Bill Ayers.”

The runner-up Senator John McCain continuing with his farcical two-man act in which he and Senator McConnell pretend to hold health care town halls in front of only critics of reform and medical industry and hospital employees.  In such a hot house, no dissent environment Mr. McCain‘s might be excused from missing something from the audience, but not for missing this.

This is the President of a Florida Medical Association Jim Dolan pushing the death panel lie.


JIM DOLAN, PRESIDENT, FLORIDA MEDICAL ASSOCIATION:  The only way that‘s achievable is by going to the draconian rationing that Rahm Emanuel‘s brother Ezekiel talks about as though it‘s going down to take longer bread.  When is that going to be part of the conversation?  And when are the very young and very old understand that the people advising this president are expendable?

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, ® ARIZONA:  Doctor, I know you have a day job, but I‘d like to take you with me wherever I go.  I‘ve never heard it more eloquently put than you just stated the situation.


OLBERMNN:  My God, John McCain ran for president.  Instead of being honest and saying to this man Dolan, I‘ll give you the benefit of the doubt you‘re exaggerating.  Seniors will not be expendable even under the strongest proposed health care reform.

McCain lies through his teeth, offers the guy a job on their sham town hall tour.  The one in which Mr. McCain presents his firm belief in suppressing dissent.

Speaking of which, our winner Congressman Mike Pence of Indiana, listen to this response as a panicked audience member in another members only town hall.  Anderson, Indiana, claims that health care reform will guarantee a better health care reform for members of Congress and will thus quoting her set them up as a superior race.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  To the rest of us, that sets them up as a superior race.  They are better than we are.  And you know who came up with the terminology of a superior race.  It sounds a bit like Hitler.


OLBERMANN:  Who came up with the terminology of the superior race?  Lady, you did.  You just said that Congress would be a superior race.  The reformers didn‘t say that, the president didn‘t say that, you did.

And by the way, what do we have now?  We have one group of people who are insured who maybe can afford doctors who don‘t take insurance who survive more often than everybody else.  And Congressman Pence, when a woman introduces Adolf Hitler into a conversation about improving this maze in a mine field of a health care system we have now, you‘re supposed to remind her that such comparisons are offensive and she‘s demeaning herself and demeaning the memory of everybody who died because of the real Hitler.

But you said and I quote, “Thank you.”  Congressman Mike “thank you for your psychotic inappropriate reference to Hitler” Pence, of Indiana today‘s “Worst Person in the World.”


OLBERMANN:  Last night we closed this news hour with the deconstruction of the rather startling and extremely lengthy conclusions of Glenn Beck of Fox News that the GE building, indeed all of Rockefeller Center here in New York, constituted some sort of giant communist fascist totem poll of symbols and imagery and subliminal indoctrination.

The number one story tonight; that‘s when we hit poor Glenn with something he did not know, that the building in which he does his show is part of Rockefeller Center that whatever malign influence that might be emanating from the very walls here are also eating away at his brain.

There‘s still of Beck paranoia soup-left-over, plus we never even got to his factual errors, so tonight, part two.


GLENN BECK, FOX NEWS ANCHOR:  Oh, you know what?  Show it.  This is it.  This is from Moscow; the farmer and the worker, the hammer and the sickle.  This capitalist had a hammer and a sickle?  Had the worker and the farmer just like Moscow on his building a progressive? 


OLBERMANN:  The owl and the pussycat, you left out the owl and the pussycat.  Factual error number one—the Rockefellers, he said were progressives.  John D. Rockefeller, the inventor of the oil business;

Nelson Rockefeller, four-term Republican Governor of New York, Republican vice president; David Rockefeller, head of the Chase Bank, tried to sneak the Shah into this country for medical treatment touching off the Iran hostage crisis—they were progressives?


BECK:  Oh, by the way, one other little tidbit, completely unrelated.  Commissioned by Rockefeller, all the things hidden by Rockefeller; a progressive, a big leader.  The Rockefeller foundation—they gave a big award an awful lot of credibility to, Van Jones, our new green jobs czar.  Yes, wow, that seems weird, huh?


OLBERMANN:  Weirder than the rest of your show?  Not really, no.  Van Jones, by the way is the guy who founded the organization that has already peeled off 57 of Beck‘s advertisers.  So he really doesn‘t like Van Jones.

And the Rockefeller Foundation once gave Van Jones a fellowship.  That‘s absolutely true, but that gives us factual error number 2.  The Rockefeller Foundation is a hot bed of communism?  The Rockefeller Foundation whose past and current trustees include such notable left-wingers as retired Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O‘Connor.  The Republican nominee for president in 1916 Charles Evans Hughes, and that wildest of Communists Eisenhower‘s Cold War Secretary of State John Foster Dulles.

I wonder if they know about this Van Jones?  He‘s such a Communist evil doer that Harper Collins published his book.  Harper Collins is the publishing house owned by Glenn Beck‘s boss Rupert Murdoch.

There‘s plenty of yelling and screaming to come here, but two more factual errors before we start to have the fun.


BECK:  The last question we had for today‘s show was, do 20th century progressives love freedom or fascism? 


OLBERMANN:  This just in, sparky, it‘s the 21st century now, it has been for nine years or eight years depending on your definition.  If these are 20th century symbols put up in the 1930s, what in the hell do they have to do with today?


What does this have to do with today?  I don‘t know. 


OLBERMANN:  I gathered.

Now we can cut to the core on the fourth and final factual error.


BECK:  All of the images that I‘ve shown you here, thousands of people walk by every single day.  Jack, our sound engineer; how long did you work in that building, Jack? 

JACK:  29 years.

BECK:  29 years he‘s been walking by that stuff and said I‘ve never even seen it, I‘ve never noticed it.  Of course not until somebody points it out.

During the height of the Cold War, Hammer and Sickle and the fascist Mussolini, carved there in Rockefeller Plaza and nobody notices it.


OLBERMANN:  And that begs the most essential questions.  Assuming the very walls here really do wreak with socialist propaganda.  That John D.  Rockefeller put up personally during his lunch hour in between squeezing his opposition into sawdust.

If nobody notices this stuff, what the hell are you talking about it for?  If it‘s totally indecipherable to the average person, why does it matter?  Glenn never explains that.  And after listening to him explain the rest of it, it is totally indecipherable.


BECK:  Let me show you what it is.  Here‘s a guy with a horse on the chariot.  There‘s a kid here with the sun.  Let‘s just take it piece by piece and I‘ll show you what this means.

First the sun; the sun represents the bright tomorrow.  Right here underneath the boy.  Here‘s the sun, show me the boy.  This is the youth, the next one is the youth here.  Leading the way, notice he‘s ahead of the horses. 


OLBERMANN:  Are the horses Mr. Ed and Barbaro (ph)? 


BECK:  You notice he‘s ahead of the horses.  He‘s leading the way into the bright future of tomorrow.  Now, this man standing on a chariot the wheel is always representative of industry in any of these progressive pictures or paintings or artwork.  So you‘ve got the wheel.  Now let‘s go to the horses, please.  He‘s standing on a chariot; you have the industry and the engines of industry.  But who‘s in the back here? 


OLBERMANN:  Colonel Mustard in the library with the candle stick?


BECK:  I‘ve showed you the NBC Building; I‘ve been showing you some of the things from Rockefeller Plaza that have been in plain sight for all these years. 


OLBERMANN:  It‘s all there black and white, clear as crystal, you stole fizzy lifting drinks, you bumped into the ceiling which now has to be washed and sterilized.  You get nothing, you lose, good day, sir.


BECK:  First let me show you what everything means.  It‘s going to be hard to see.  But in the back, here‘s the crowd of Americans, in the background you see the police beating people.  Angry mobs, I guess.

Here‘s the evil army of capitalism up here with the gas mask and war planes, and everything; capitalism, army, awful.  Then there‘s the wonderful people over here of Moscow.  And here are the onion domes of Moscow. 


OLBERMANN:  I see it happening, they‘ve got to tell people the ocean‘s dying, life is dying.  “Soylent Green” it‘s made out of people.  Next thing they‘ll be breeding us like cattle for food.  You‘ve got to tell them, you tell everybody.  Listen to me, Beck, you‘ve got to tell them, Soylent Green is people. 


BECK:  You might define their freedom as fascism, but no, no, no.  At the time that was done, the progressives thought Mussolini was a good guy.  They thought that was the ultimate system of government.


OLBERMANN:  You know I love you, baby, I wouldn‘t leave you.  It wasn‘t my fault, honest.  I ran out of gas, I had a flat tire, I didn‘t have enough money for cab fair.  My tux didn‘t come back from the cleaners.  An old friend came in from out of town.  Someone stole my car.  There was an earthquake, terrible flood, locusts.  It wasn‘t my fault, I swear to God.


OLBERMANN:  Let me show you the relief here again in front of the 636 fifth avenue in Rockefeller Plaza.  This was fascism.  If you see the young boy led there right into the sunrise a bright tomorrow and the strong man holding back.  Industry and the engines of industry, that in that picture, that represents Mussolini, that‘s what it was carved for.  That sounds like fascism to me and it drives me nuts that nobody knows what this is. 


OLBERMANN:  I am the fool for Christ and the Paraclete of Caborca (ph), I am the wrath of the lamb and the angel of the bottomless pit.


BECK:  The man‘s trying to control it here.  This is disease.  Right above syphilis is right here.  Oh, Rockefeller.  Yeah, the artist didn‘t like Rockefeller too much even though Rockefeller commissioned this art for the lobby of NBC.

Oh, and then one other thing, who‘s the savior?  Oh, right over here, Lennon. 


OLBERMANN:  The body snatchers are here, can‘t you see?  Everyone, they‘re here already.  You‘re next.  And look what they‘ve already done at the Fox News Building, it‘s part of the Rockefeller Center.

We took those pictures less than 36 hours ago.  An outdated hieroglyph of Alan Colmes.  Look, Bill O‘Reilly‘s bar-mitzvah picture, but not one symbol representing the Glenn Beck.

Overnight, overnight, overnight they sneaked in the Communist symbol-mongers sneaked in and magically it appears at Rockefeller Center, the symbol of the Beck.

This is a travesty, a travesty of a mockery of a sham of a mockery of a travesty of two mockeries of a sham.  And worst of all, worst of all, look what they‘ve done to this woman in (INAUDIBLE) New Jersey. 


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  If you notice I have recorded an episode of Glenn Beck, the 2:00 a.m. show for one hour on 8/5.

Now, look at my scheduled recordings.  Do you see what it says?  It says Glenifck—now, I wonder how that happened?  Who might have done that? 


OLBERMANN:  John D. Rockefeller did that from the grave.  He really did it.  You maniac, you blew it up, oh, damn you.  Damn you all to hell.

Now, with a play by play look at Senator Al Franken versus the Tea party protestors: ladies and gentlemen, sitting in for Rachel Maddow, here is Ana Marie Cox.  Good evening Ana Marie.



Transcription Copyright 2009 CQ Transcriptions, LLC ALL RIGHTS  RESERVED.

No license is granted to the user of this material other than for research.

User may not reproduce or redistribute the material except for user‘s

personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed,

nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion

that may infringe upon MSNBC and CQ Transcriptions, LLC‘s copyright or

other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal

transcript for purposes of litigation.>