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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Read the transcript to the Tuesday show

Guest: Rep. Raul Grijalva, Sen. Ted Kaufman, Richard Wolffe, Jonathan Turley



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

be talking about tomorrow?

The “Show me your papers” law.  Mexico issues a travel warning about

the state of Arizona.  “It should be assumed that any Mexican citizen could

be bothered and questioned for no other reason at any moment.”

San Francisco debates canceling all contracts with Arizona.

A Florida tea partier blasts the law.

Lindsey Graham even acknowledges reality.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM ®, SOUTH CAROLINA:  Good people are so afraid of

an out-of-control border that they had to resort to a law that I think is



OLBERMANN:  Reaction from Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva and Gene

Robinson asks: where‘s the tea party now that “overreaching government

poses a grave threat to individual freedom?”

Fire storm at the Goldman Sachs hearing in the Senate—


SEN. CARL LEVIN (D), MICHIGAN:  Look what your sales team was saying

about Timberwolf.  “Boy, that Timberwolf was one (EXPLETIVE DELETED) deal. 

Should Goldman Sachs be trying to sell a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) deal?


OLBERMANN:  The amazing quotes and we will not bleep them again.  Our

special guest: Senator Ted Kaufman of Delaware.

There is no racism on the right.  Yes, the front page headline of this

reactionary D.C. paper does say Obama disses white guys.  But that‘s not

racism.  They say Obama‘s the racist.


RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  This is the regime at its

racist‘s best.


OLBERMANN:  Yes.  Wow, fella, the man has really kept you down, huh?

Chicken-based health care is off the table.  Miss Lowden of Nevada

says she was taken out of context.  She adds—cluck, cluck, cluck.

And Jonathan Turley on the big next legal question: are bloggers

journalists or can police raid their homes because one bought and wrote

about a prototype iPhone that some idiot at Apple lost at a bar?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Sir, I have no comment.  I‘ll refer you to my



OLBERMANN: All the news and commentary—now on COUNTDOWN.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  The rest is pretty much just an iPhone.




OLBERMANN:  Good evening from New York.

Mexico has issued a travel alert warning that it might be unsafe for

its tourists to travel in the United States of America, specifically in the

state of Arizona.

In our story fifth tonight: Arizona‘s reaction to its porous borders

has created common ground among everyone from a tea party Senate candidate

to the city of San Francisco and all of Latin America.

The head of the Organization of American States is calling the law


Mexico‘s President Felipe Calderon said the new law which imposes up

to six months in prison for legal immigrants if they fail to have their

papers on them when stopped, quote, “opens the gate to intolerance, hate,

discrimination and abuse.

The Mexican state of Sonora pulled out of its annual meetings with


The alert from Mexico‘s foreign relations office warning Mexican

residents—Arizona‘s biggest source of international tourism, by the way

of that state‘s adverse political environment in which Mexican citizens

could be bothered and questioned without much cause.


Mexican legislators are pondering a trade boycott with Arizona which

sends nearly a third of its exports to Mexico.

San Francisco official are looking at boycotts and how to cancel

contracts with Arizona companies—a move endorsed by the nation‘s largest

Spanish language newspaper, “La Opinion.”

L.A.‘s city council today introduced a boycott resolution there. 

D.C.‘s city council is expected to consider one as well.

And, so far, at least six conventions have canceled plans to conduct

their business in Arizona.

All this as Governor Jan Brewer of that state last night low-balled

concerns about the economic impact on Arizona.

And while national tea party panderers, like House Republican Leader

John Boehner today defended the Arizona law, Florida tea party favorite,

Marco Rubio, the son of Cuban exiles, called out the law as “government

overreach.”  Florida Governor Jeb Bush, whose brother tried as recently as

2007 to pass immigration reform, actually raised, quote, “civil liberties


But despite the fact Bush and other conservatives will hold a news

conference Thursday to push Congress for immigration reform, Republican

Senator Lindsey Graham, who last month wanted reform done soon, today

warned against trying even the 2007 bill anytime again soon.  Also

criticized, you know, the drawing the criticism of the Arizona law while

also questioning Arizona‘s former governor, now Homeland Security Secretary



GRAHAM:  I would bet everything I own that the answer is this 2007

bill will not pass.  Can you agree with that or not?


everything I own that the Congress needs to take up immigration reform

because it‘s not going to go away.

GRAHAM:  Yes, ma‘am.  What happened in Arizona is that good people are

so afraid of an out of control border that they had to resort to a law that

I think is unconstitutional.  It doesn‘t represent the best way forward and

it is impossible for me and any other serious Democrat to get this body to

move forward until we prove to the American people we can secure our

borders and, quite frankly, Madame Secretary, we got a long way to go.  But

once we get there, comprehensive reform should come up, will come up, and I

believe we can do it by 2012.


OLBERMANN:  Joining us once again tonight, Arizona Congressman Raul


Thank you, again, for your time tonight, sir.


OLBERMANN:  The House is not going to move on immigration according to

the leadership of the Democratic Party until the Senate does.  Is Senator

Graham right that immigration is dead in the Senate until your state‘s

border with Mexico is closed?

GRIJALVA:  Well, I think that‘s grasping at straws and a very

convenient way not to deal with comprehensive reform to say until the

border is secured, we cannot do anything else.  I think it‘s a mistake.  I

think we can chew gum and walk at the same time.

The security issues need to be dealt with, everybody knows that.  The

cartels and the gun runners and the people smugglers are in control of the

border right now, and that has to be dealt with.  But you also deal with it

with comprehensive reform by knowing who‘s here, why they‘re here, and

should they be here.  And part of that process has to be part of

immigration reform.

If you don‘t do the essential human part of the undocumented in this

country, sealing the border, pretending that everything is secure is not

the answer.  And good people that live on the border know that.  That part

of security has to be comprehensive reform that deals with the path to

legalization for the people that are here being decent and working hard.

OLBERMANN:  Congressman, what is the point of the various boycotts? 

Not just the ones that you suggested last week but the ones across the

nation, San Francisco, Los Angeles, possibly D.C., over a law that as its

been rolled out, almost nobody with any kind of legal brain believes it‘s

going to pass muster in court.  Don‘t—is the first thing still necessary

if the second thing is true?

GRIJALVA:  No, I think the first thing is necessary.  And I think

that‘s part of the reaction.

And as I said to you earlier, there has to be economic consequences to

something as unjust and stupid as this law is and we‘re hoping that the

Obama administration, through their Justice Department, joins—goes for

an injunction because it is a supremacy clause, and we should not be—the

state of Arizona should not be enforcing federal law.

Second of all, I think that all the reaction across the country to

this law is that good people are beginning to say, if we allow this box to

be opened, where racial profiling, documentation required of all, including

United States citizens, based on appearance and racial profiling, then

we‘re opening up a box that takes us back to the pre-civil rights era, and

many people in this country think we‘ve already fought that battle and

don‘t need to fight it again.

OLBERMANN:  This travel alert from the state of Mexico, it really sort

of sends a shutter through anybody who happens to live in this country,

that we should get into such a state that other countries are warning their

residents, don‘t come here, it may not be, at least in terms of your

freedom, safe for you.

But I‘m wondering, the people who passed this bill, even the governor

who signed it—did they know that Mexico is Arizona‘s top source of

international tourism or that Mexico is responsible for a third of

Arizona‘s international exports?

GRIJALVA:  Well, the Department of Tourism and Commerce should have

known that and they should have advised them of the consequences.  Because

when Governor Brewer signed that law, she dragged the state of Arizona into

a bigger dark hole economically than any one convention or San Francisco

not doing business with Arizona—billions of dollars of trade, billions

of dollars of retail sales, visitation, tourism—all from Latin America. 

They‘ve been great trading partner and a great source of consumers for the

state of Arizona, and justifiably so, they‘re saying, there‘s a law that

identifies me as a criminal and why should I go spend my money there.

OLBERMANN:  Last question and you couldn‘t know about this because

it‘s been happening while you‘ve been standing there.  But as we‘ve been

speaking, surprisingly enough, you‘ve been attacked on FOX News Channel as

a congressman who‘s hurting his own constituents by hurting his own

businesses.  That‘s a summary of it, but Lord knows what they said in


But I‘m wondering if you wanted to address that while the camera is


GRIJALVA:  Yes.  The biggest hurt I can do for the citizens of Arizona

and the people I represent and for the people that will be profiled by this

law is to keep quiet.  And by bringing attention to and nationalizing the

issue in Arizona, I‘m doing the people of Arizona a favor, so we can get

out from under this horrible shadow that extremists have put us in in


OLBERMANN:  Well said, sir.  Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva, as

always, thanks again for your time.  We‘ll talk to you again on this.

GRIJALVA:  Thank you.

OLBERMANN:  As promised earlier, let‘s bring in MSNBC political

analyst Eugene Robinson, also associate editor and Pulitzer Prize-winning

columnist for “The Washington Post” to address this subject, particularly

the reaction or non-reaction from the tea party.

But, first, Gene, quick point of fact before we get to the thesis in

your piece today—legal immigrants face up to six months if they don‘t

have their papers on them.  What happens to a U.S. citizen stopped who

cannot demonstrate citizenship in Arizona?


unclear to me, Keith.  And I suspect it will depend on who does the

stopping.  I mean, you know, I presume, that, for example, if it‘s a deputy

of crazy Sheriff Joe Arpaio who does the stopping, I‘m going to assume that

the citizen could be somehow induced or required to eventually produce

proof of citizenship.

Most police agencies hate this law, think it‘s going to make their

jobs harder to do and so they might react differently in making a stop,

although the bill—and another crazy provision—allows police agencies

to be sued if they are not aggressively enforcing this law.  So, it‘s—it

is—we‘ll have to see.  I hope we never see how it works out, but we‘re

not really clear on that point.


All right.  To your point in the paper today—this law essentially

should have been right in the tea party wheel house based on what we‘ve

heard from them for a year.

ROBINSON:  It seems to me they‘ve been saying for a year that big

government, oppressive big government is overreaching, that it‘s a grave

threat to your individual liberties, to our freedoms, and that‘s that one

of the main reasons they‘re out there to get government out of—out of

areas where it has no business, that this country is founded on individual


Well, here you have a—here you have a law that guarantees that U.S.

citizens are going to be stopped and going to be—going to—demand is

going to be made of them that they demonstrate that they have a right to

live in their own country.  And they can be stopped arbitrarily.  They

don‘t have to have done anything wrong.

This has—this is exactly in the tea party wheel house, and so where

are the demonstrations?  And I wondered in the column this morning whether

there‘s some sort of asterisk or exception for citizens who happen to be

brown and who might speak Spanish.

OLBERMANN:  Well, then, that brings us to the senatorial candidate,

Mr. Rubio, in Florida—is he exempt from the myopia of the tea party that

seems to envelop him on every other subject because of his own ethnic

background?  Or what is the rationalization here?

ROBINSON:  I suspect it does have something to do with his own ethnic

background and his understanding of the immigrant experience through what

his parents went through.  You know, maybe there‘s a bit more there than we

have seen from his earlier pronouncement.  But at least it is kind of

encouraging that on an issue that one assumes hits this close to home for

him, he can stand up and say, you know, this really is not a good thing.

OLBERMANN:  It sure is different when it turns out you are them.


OLBERMANN:  Gene Robinson, the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist of

“The Washington Post”—as always, Gene, great thanks.

ROBINSON:  Great to be here, Keith.

OLBERMANN:  An epic day for the United States Senate.  Not only was

the deliberate pedaling of failed investments by Goldman Sachs revealed

there, not only was Senator Levin of Michigan on fire, not only will

Senator Kaufman of Delaware join us, but the one word you always wanted to

hear said in or about the Senate was said on the senatorial record—so we

have to run it without bleeping it—the S-word.


OLBERMANN:  If they can say it in the Senate, we can show them saying

it on the news.  The bad deal Goldman Sachs sold its customers, only this

senator did not use the word, bad.  We‘ll let him use the real word.  And

we‘ll be joined by Senator Kaufman of Delaware as well.

The president calls upon African-Americans, Hispanics and young people

to support Democrats this fall as they did in 2008.  So the right-wing

obviously calls him a racist.

Hugo Chavez on Twitter.  Tweeting now mandatory in Venezuela?

And Nevada‘s chicken lady finally announces that her barter-birds-for-

blood-test idea was not a policy suggestion.  It tastes like political


You‘re watching COUNTDOWN on MSNBC.


OLBERMANN:  Today on Capitol Hill, representatives of Goldman Sachs

testified before a Senate panel and not to worry, as complicated as its

business activities were, they can fairly simplified to their truest terms. 

Those Wall Street executives were betting against you and they acknowledged

that what they were selling you was shoddy—only they didn‘t say shoddy,

the exact word you‘ll hear in a moment, no bleeping.

Senator Ted Kaufman, a member of that Senate panel today will join us

in a moment.

And our fourth story tonight: The very legislation designed to do

something to prohibit that kind of insanity in the future was once again

this afternoon blocked by Republican senators.  And both first, which marks

the second time in 24 hours that the Republicans have stood united to stop

the mere opening of debate on the Senate‘s financial reform bill, 57-41,

with all Republicans who were present voting no.  Democratic Senator Ben

Nelson tagged along also of voting no, as he did yesterday.

President Obama is holding a town hall in Ottumwa, Iowa, today

describing this struggle thusly.



we didn‘t have common sense rules on Wall Street that some of these firms

could take these huge risks to oppose just even talking about reform in the

front of the American people and having a legitimate debate.  That‘s not



OBAMA:  The American people deserve an honest debate on this bill.  We

can‘t let another crisis like this happen again, and we can‘t have such a

short memory that we let them convince us that we don‘t need to change the

status quo on Wall Street.


OLBERMANN:  The vast disconnect between Wall Street and regular people

best exemplified by today‘s Senate hearing.  Just 11 days after the

Securities and Exchange Commission accused Goldman Sachs fraud in $1

billion civil lawsuit, executives testified before the Senate Subcommittee

on Investigations.  The topics, that alleged fraud as well as the broader

economic meltdown that Goldman and other firms helped to create.

Senator Carl Levin, the committee chairman, focused on Goldman‘s

obligation to disclose to clients that it was betting against the same

risky investments it was trying to sell them.  One example, $1a billion

scheme called Timberwolf.  And the unburnished highlighted the day, perhaps

of the year, a nugget that captures what happened to this nation‘s economy

at the hands of Wall Street‘s gamblers.  Senator Levin was questioning the

former head of Goldman‘s mortgage department, Daniel Sparks.

And another warning: there is a common place but offensive word.  It

is being quoted from a Goldman Sachs internal e-mail.  It is repeated

several times within this portion of the hearing.  We are not bleeping it



LEVIN:  Before you sold them, this is what your sales team were

telling to each other.  “Boy, that Timberwolf was one shitty deal.”  They

sold that shitty deal.


LEVIN:  That context—let me tell you—that context is might

clearly.  June 22 is the date of this e-mail.  “Boy, that Timberwolf was

one shitty deal.”  How much of that shitty deal did you sell to your

clients after June 22, 2007?  You didn‘t tell them you thought it was a

shitty deal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Well, I didn‘t say that.

LEVIN:  No.  Who did?  Your people, internally.  You knew it was a

shitty deal and that‘s what your email showed.  How about the fact that you

sold hundreds of millions of that deal after your people knew it was a

shitty deal?


OLBERMANN:  The answers from Goldman executives at that hearing could

best be summed up as laborious and evasive.  Though one did concede that it

was unfortunate that emails like the one described by Senator Levin and

other potentially incriminating emails have been disseminated.

Senator Claire McCaskill brought it home while connecting the dots—

the offensive word again is referenced.


SEN. CLAIRE MCCASKILL (D), MISSOURI:  We‘re trying to hone in on why

I‘ve got so many unemployed people in my state and why so many people that

I work for in Missouri have lost incredible amounts of money in their

pensions.  That‘s we‘re honing in on today, this synthetic derivatives.  By

the way, this is—this is the same one that your folks called shitty

later.  This is the same one.  OK?

What‘s clear here is that there didn‘t seem to be a great deal of

confidence in the long side of this particular instrument, but the sales

people were being pushed to move it.  And you know, it just looks like that

you guys are not only making the market, you‘re playing the market and

mucking it up.


OLBERMANN:  Joining me now, as promised, Senator Ted Kaufman of


Great thanks for your time tonight, Senator.

SEN. TED KAUFMAN (D), DELAWARE:  Hey, Keith.  How are you doing?

OLBERMANN:  We have saved your participation in this key hearing today

to let you describe it.  The deal-making at issue was complex.  But how

would you characterize it?

KAUFMAN:  I‘d say complex, but really very simple.  I say it‘s really

simple about the fact exactly what the point people were trying to make is

it just seems like none of the people at Goldman Sachs were aware of the

fact of the incredible conflict of interest of what they were doing.

OLBERMANN:  Not aware or pretending it didn‘t exist?

KAUFMAN:  You never know.  I mean, you can‘t tell.  But these are

very, very—I mean, it‘s hard to believe, I think your point is well

taken.  As I said during the hearing, these are very smart people, and the

idea that you could be out selling something to people at the same time

shorting it is such an incredible conflict of interest.  They wouldn‘t even

recognize a conflict of interest.

Now, I think what they‘re concerned about is a very thin line between

conflict of interest and fraud.

OLBERMANN:  To that point, since accountability is not forthcoming for

these executives, are lawsuits and investigations like the one you‘re part

of here in the Senate, are they the only things that would force this into

the light?

KAUFMAN:  No, no.  I think what‘s going on—remember, earlier this

year, Senator Leahy and Senator Grassley and I got a bill passed to get

$175 million to the Department of Justice, the Securities Exchange

Commission, for the FBI and the Securities and Exchange Commission to just

go after fraud on Wall Street who‘s responsible for this.  And I think we

had an oversight hearing a couple of months ago.  They‘re moving ahead on


I think the Goldman Sachs case just announced a week or so ago is just

the first step.  Now, I think we‘re going to see more of this.

OLBERMANN:  To the idea of getting the finance reform bill passed—

KAUFMAN:  Right.

OLBERMANN:  Republican Senator George Voinovich has said within the

last few moments that he will eventually vote with Democrats to get the

bill to the floor after giving negotiations a bit more time.

KAUFMAN:  Right.

OLBERMANN:  So, there is reason to believe that this will actually

happen or at least the debate will happen?

KAUFMAN:  I absolutely believe.  I mean, I don‘t see how—I mean, I

have a hard time figuring out, it‘s always—it‘s always dangerous trying

to figure out what the, you know, Republicans are doing.  I‘m a Democrat

and it‘s hard for me sometimes to figure out.  But I don‘t understand what

they‘re doing on this.  I mean, everywhere I go, people are concerned about


And the idea that—you know, I can understand lots of behavior, but

to filibuster the motion to proceed—and I said on the floor last night,

you know, one of the things after hanging around this place as long as I

have and teaching about it for so long is that American people just aren‘t

interested in process and procedural votes, but every once in a while, it‘s

so in their face.

I mean, the idea that here‘s an issue where—that‘s brought about so

much discomfort to so many people, and they don‘t want to move the bill, to

even talk about it?  Keith, I don‘t understand.  I don‘t think—I don‘t

think it can stand very much pressure.  I think George Voinovich is just

the beginning.  I don‘t think Republicans can withstand the idea that

they‘re standing in the way of getting reform.

Now, we have may have differences of opinion.  I have some difference

to the bill.  I think it‘s a good bill, but I have some differences with

the bill.  But the idea not even talk about it, not to debate it—and the

thing that really frankly upsets me is that all this discussion on health

care reform about transparency and we should be out in the open, and what

they want to do is they want to carry up there, they‘re holding—as

George Voinovich said, who I have a greatest respect for, he says, “Well,

I‘d like to negotiations to go further.”

Wait a minute.  Wait a minute.  I thought you guys were the ones for

out in the open.  Let‘s get on the floor.  Let‘s get past this negotiations

thing.  Clearly that‘s not working.

Let‘s get on the floor and actually people can offer amendments. 

Republican can offer their amendments.  Democrats can offer their

amendments.  I think I got some amendments to get good Republican support.

OLBERMANN:  Senator, I have to ask you this—it‘s off the point, but

so many have asked me and I‘m going to show in turn.  Is there any way they

can talk you into staying in the Senate?

KAUFMAN:  No, Keith, this is—this is a two-year contract.  I made

that deal.  I tell you, you know, now, this is—this is—I‘m doing the

right thing.

OLBERMANN:  All right.  Senator Ted Kaufman of Delaware—a great

pleasure.  Thank you kindly for your time.

KAUFMAN:  Thank you, Keith.  Thanks for having me.

OLBERMANN:  Police raided the home of a blogger who bought and

revealed the workings of the next iPhone.  Is a journalist protected

against that?  Is he a journalist?  Was he doing journalism?  We‘ll



OLBERMANN:  Obama seeks Democratic votes from minorities and young

adults.  Headline, “Obama Disses White Guys.”  That‘s ahead. 

First, the Twitter report, day—I don‘t remember anymore. 

Followers, 51 -- no, 51,000.  Number of Tweets today—what‘s it to you? 

You going to charge me for them?  Tweets of the day, they‘re all about


Second runner-up, @TBIBOK, “Great.  My g-pa swam the Rio Grande in the

1920s.  Do I have to go back too?”  Yes.  Yes, you do, all of us.  I do

because I can‘t find my great, great grandfather‘s papers.  Even Lou Dobbs

has to go back. 

Runner-up, @TracyStark, “I know I‘m a day late with this, but

Chateuneuf-du-Pape in southern France passed a law forbidding UFOs from

landing there.” Shh.  Don‘t tell the Arizonians. 

Winner, @DCDebbie, “only in a God fearing state like Arizona can you

get pulled, over, detained and fined if your name is Jesus.”  Sounds bad,

looks worse in print, and is worse in reality.  Let‘s play Oddball.

To Kiev, in the Ukraine, democracy in action.  This is the parliament

in a debate over whether to renew Russia‘s lease of a Naval port. 

Opposition law makers tossed eggs at the parliament speaker, whereupon

aides opened umbrellas, risking all sorts of curses to protect their boss. 

Then comes the smoke bomb.  Here come the smoke bombs.  At least it made

aiming those eggs far more difficult. 

Scoff now, we‘ll be lucky if it‘s only like this in Washington by


And to Krasnoyarsk, in Russia.  Great way to kick off the workweek,

although I have a sneaking suspicious it‘s all downhill from here.  The

event loosely translated as fun in Russian is a way that local skiers and

snow boarders commemorate the end of winter.  Costume daredevils competing

to end up face first in a pool of half-melted ice.  Area ski resorts enjoy

the longest cold weather season in the world, although with climate change

taking its toll, these folks are experiencing shrinkage of winter.  Of


The chicken lady again endorsing bartering them for health care, but

now says it is not a policy suggestion, but you should still do it. 

And Obama calls for those who voted for him to vote for Democrats this

November, so Rush Limbaugh calls him a racist.  Next.


OLBERMANN:  To keep a majority of Congress for his party, President

Obama is urging his supporters to rally the same voters who came out for

him in 2008 to show up at the polls for Democrats this November.  The

president, who read his 2008 exit polling, says those voters are young

people, African-Americans, Latinos and women.  In our third story, today,

according to the right-wing media, for identifying those groups, the

president is a race card playing racist race hustler, who disses white


Asking for the votes of young white guys is dissing white guys.  The

president‘s remarks, posted on on Friday, the Democratic

National Committee fearing the same results in the 2009 elections for

governor in New Jersey and in Virginia, asked the president to try to

energize the electorate. 



of you to make sure that the young people, African-Americans, Latinos and

women who powered our victory in 2008 stand together once again.  If you

help us make sure that first time voters in 2008 make their voices heard

again in November, then together we will deliver on the promise of change

and hope and prosperity for generations to come. 


OLBERMANN:  Yesterday, a conservative website made sure those comments

would be mischaracterized all over right wing media, by posting a headline

reading, “Obama Plays Race Card, Rallies Blacks, Latinos For ‘10 Upset.” 

That guy‘s nuts.  Surely that‘s worth a segment on Fox News.  Right?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Is President Obama playing the race card in

rallying the troops ahead of the midterm elections?  All right, panel, so

that‘s the headline on “The Drudge Report” today. 


OLBERMANN:  Hi, I‘m a news actress.  To his credit, Brad Blakeman,

that Republican panelist, disagreed.  Never see him again.  Boss Limbaugh,

on the other hand, did not. 


RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  This is regime at its racist

best.  What‘s the regime doing?  Asking blacks and Latinos to join him in a

fight.  What is a campaign if not a fight?  He‘s asking young people,

African-Americans, Latinos and women to reconnect, to fight who?  Who‘s

this fight against? 


OLBERMANN:  A robot skeleton army.  Today, Wesley Pruden editorialized

in “the Washington Times,” that the Obama comments were toxic, and that

Obama is a “race hustler and a race baiter,” and his Washington rag was not

alone in actually playing the race card.  There it is, the front page of

“the Washington Examiner,” which they actually print, “Obama Disses White


Joining me now, MSNBC political analyst Richard Wolffe, also author of

“Renegade, the Making of a President,” and, like me, a white guy.  Richard,

good evening. 


OLBERMANN:  The easiest part of this, if you ask young voters to vote

for you, whether you are Obama or Sarah Palin, how is that racism? 

WOLFFE:  Well, that is the easy one.  Of course, it‘s not racist at

all.  And what you‘re seeing here is just a sad and pathetic attempt to

distort, with this toxic mix of malice and ignorance, the words of someone

who has spoken more than any elected official about racial issues in this

country.  For heaven‘s sake, he was even raised by a white family.  It is a

complete disconnect and it just speaks to sort of despair that these people


OLBERMANN:  If you ask people who voted for you last time to vote for

your people this time, that‘s also racism?  Rush Limbaugh would not ask

Hispanics or black people or women to vote Republican? 

WOLFFE:  Well, Rush Limbaugh is a purveyor of outrage.  His issue all

along is that he doesn‘t have to get votes, so he can just do this kind of

thing to build up an audience.  But there is an interesting insight here to

the mentality of folks like Limbaugh or Wes Pruden.  Behind this is this

idea that something underhanded in getting African-Americans or Latinos or

women or even young people, young white people, of course, to vote. 

What is unequal about their vote?  For people who are like Rush

Limbaugh, portray themselves as the protectors of liberty and American

values, there is nothing less equal about African-Americans voting than

there is about white people voting.  They are Americans voting.  They

should be encouraged.  People of all colors and all faiths should be

encouraged to vote.  There‘s not an issue about that. 

I think it‘s interesting insight that for some reason, they feel

afraid of Americans, their fellow Americans, voting. 

OLBERMANN:  That‘s what‘s missing in this.  You reverse engineer it

and it becomes Republicans don‘t want Hispanics and young women people and

women and African-Americans to vote. 

WOLFFE:  And to be fair, you know, say what you like about George W.

Bush—and boy, did we ever do that—but, listen, he actually recognized

that African-Americans needed to come back to the Republican party, that

Latinos needed to come back, and that he actually made inroads with women

voters as well.  So for serious politicians—and there was a lot that was

unserious about Bush—but for serious politicians, for people who care

about the Republican party having a future, they know these people have to

go back to that party to make it successful. 

OLBERMANN:  Richard, it has been slowly dawning on me for about the

last year—I guest it‘s been crystallizing now—that the right‘s

challenge to Obama is based on the oldest one in the book, that you accuse

your opponent of what you are doing, the idea of I‘m rubber, you‘re glue. 

Is I‘m rubber, you‘re glue an effective way to maintain power in


WOLFFE:  It‘s an effective way to stay as an opposition.  Look, Wes

Pruden—the hypocrisy is stunning here.  These, for start, are people who

always complained about Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson throwing out the

accusation racism.  Here they are being the first to do so.  Wes Pruden

accused Barack Obama of being sired by a Kenyan father, quote, unquote.  He

said he didn‘t have the same genetic imprint as other presidents.  And yet,

yes, here he is accusing him of racism. 

What we are seeing here is something that is really age-old.  If you

want to go out in history and say, steal from Jewish people, what did you

accuse them of doing?  Stealing from people.  What do you do if you want to

inflict violence on people of color?  Well, you accuse them of being

violent.  This is the same.  It‘s being played out in politics.  But it‘s

an age-old tactic.  And it‘s deeply insidious. 

OLBERMANN:  Indeed, it is.  Richard Wolffe, the author of “Renegade,”

great thanks, Richard.  Have a great night. 

WOLFFE:  Thank you, Keith.

OLBERMANN:  Here we go.  The iPhone police show up at the home of

Gizmodo Guy, and here come the legal questions about blogger journalists,

blogger journalism. 

The chicken lady still defends bartering for your buffering, but

clucks a new tune about trading chickens as Republican and Tea Party


And when Rachel joins you at the top of the hour, more on why the

Republicans are so hell bent to keep immigration reform off the table. 


OLBERMANN:  Worst persons in a moment, with Hugo Chavez on Twitter. 

First, no, that isn‘t your water coming to a boil.  It‘s our nightly

checkup on the something for nothing crowd.  It‘s Tea time.  Chickens for

check-ups, bartering for your B-12, cocks for docs; it had many names, but

now it belongs to the ages.  The chicken lady, Sue Lowden, seeking the

Republican senatorial nomination in Nevada, and still courting Tea Party

votes and addressing their rallies, again today initially defended her idea

that Americans should trade poultry for health care, insisting that the

Democratic incumbent, and evidently the rest of us, do not know the reality

of farm life in rural Nevada. 

“I want to say,” she told a talk show host, “that I know that

bartering takes place here in Nevada.  It takes place throughout the

country.  That Harry Reid has been saying something like that—the truth

is it is happening, and that‘s how out of touch he is.”

But later in the day, the idea of the chicken in every doctor‘s pot

clucked its last cluck.  Ms. Lowden, who reduced herself to a national

laughing stock—a national laughing live stock, if you will—says the

chicken swapping idea was just a casual statement.  Her spokesperson later

told the “Plum Line” blog that Sue‘s comment on bartering was never a

policy proposal, except, of course, Ms. Lowden kept talking about how

bartering is really good, and it could prices down in a hurry, and “I‘m not

backing off that system.”

But she wasn‘t actually suggesting anybody go ahead and barter with

your doctor, except that time when she said, quote, “go ahead and barter

with your doctor.” 

But the political chickens have now come home to roost and

evidentially as far as Tea Party or Republican health care policy, you can

simply forget about the chickens.  You can dismiss the chickens.  In fact,

you can choke the chickens.


OLBERMANN:  Is blogging journalism?  Were police right in raiding the

home of the guy from Gizmodo who wrote about the lost iPhone prototype? 

Was the lost iPhone prototype stolen?  Jonathan Turley next, but first

tonight‘s worst persons in the world.

The bronze to Hugo Chavez, the quote, president, unquote, of

Venezuela.  He is now going to start on Twitter.  Spokesman says he is sure

Commandant Chavez will break records for numbers of followers.  This guy

goes on radio and TV for like eight hours at a stretch every Sunday, just

him, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.  And he is going to do 140 characters at

a time? 

The runner-up, Lonesome Rhodes Beck.  Why are the ratings down?  Maybe

this beaut about presidential spending will explain: “what has Obama done

that is different?  I think he‘s done exactly what George Bush was doing,

except to the times of a thousand.  I mean, we‘re talking about a

progressive.  And George Bush was a progressive.” 

George Bush was a progressive?  George Bush, George Bush?  OK, now

I‘ve got to defend George Bush from Glenn Beck? 

But our winner, Coronica Jackson.  Well, that‘s what she said her name

was.  Pulled over for an improper taillight in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida,

she was asked by police for her name and license.  When the officer asked

how she spelled Corinica, she said “Corica.”  Then her passenger, quote,

nudged her in the shoulder and she then said, no, “I mean Cornaica.”  Then

her passenger interrupted her and said, “no, it‘s Coronica.”  So the

officer finally asked the officer to write out Coronica Jackson and she

wrote “Coninan Junise.” 

Before you wonder if we‘re making fun of the functionally illiterate,

Ms. Jackson Junise laughed about this.  She didn‘t laugh quite as loudly

when the officer noted that the photo on the license didn‘t look anything

like whoever she was, and that while she claimed to be 27 years old, the

license was suspended in 1997, when she would have been 14.  That‘s when he

cuffed her and that‘s when she threatened to quote, pee in his car,

unquote, which she then did. 

Mrs.  Corn—whatever your name is, today‘s worst person in the



OLBERMANN:  An Apple employee leaves a prototype of the next

generation iPhone at a California beer garden.  Somebody finds it, sells it

to the editor of a tech website, who writes about it, posts pictures and

video of it.  Does that give police the right to raid his house? 

Our number one story, legally is bogging journalism and are loggers

entitled to anything like the same kind of protection from events like

that?  By the way, did Apple know this would happen?  And why would they

want to buy themselves this horrible kind of publicity?  Jonathan Turley

will join us. 

California police raiding the home of Gizmodo editor Jason Chen,

searching for evidence associated with the now-famous lost iPhone

prototype.  Investigators taking Mr. Chen‘s hard drives, digital cameras,

cell phones, American Express bill and copies of his checks.  A search

warrant, signed by a San Mateo County superior court judge, stating those

items may have been used as a means of committing a felony, or could show a

felony has been committed. 

Last week, Mr. Chen posting photos and details about the found iPhone

Gizmodo paid five grand for.  Apple acknowledging the device belonged to

it, demanding its return.  Gizmodo says Apple has the phone back. 

Meanwhile, Gizmodo‘s parent company, Gawker Media, expects, quote, “the

immediate return of the materials seized from Mr. Chen.” 

Chief Operating Officer Amy Derbshire, writing, “under both state and

federal law, a search warrant may not be validly issued to confiscate the

property of a journalist.  It is abundantly clear, under the law, that a

search warrant to remove these items was invalid.”

Meanwhile, the founder of Gawker, Nick Denton, asking perhaps the most

pressing question, in an email to the Associate Press, “are bloggers

journalists?  I guess we‘ll find out.”

Joining me now is the constitutional law professor at George

Washington University, Jonathan Turley.  Jon, thanks for some of your time



OLBERMANN:  All right, Gawker says Mr. Chen is a journalist.  Legally

speaking, is he?  Was what he was doing as even a blogger journalism?  And

if he had been Chen of the “L.A. Times,” what would or would not have

happened here? 

TURLEY:  Well, you know, unfortunately, that is a question that has

divided courts.  We just had a New Jersey court, in the Hale case, say that

a blogger was not a journalist.  The California courts in 2006 said that at

least bloggers were covered by the state‘s privileged law. 

The concern by a lot of courts, but also some journalists, is that if

you define journalists so broadly to cover anybody with a blog, then it

becomes a distinction without meaning, and that eventually you‘re going to

lose protections of the media, if everyone can be classified as a


In my view, he is a journalist, but not a very good one if this is the

way that he practices that profession.  Most mainstream organizations, most

professional journalists do not engage in checkbook journalism.  That‘s

what this does appear to be.  I mean, he paid 5,000 dollars, according to

reports, for something that is arguably stolen property. 

OLBERMANN:  Is it, in fact, stolen property?  That may be at the heart

of this, too, correct? 

TURLEY:  Yeah, under the California Code, Section 485, it is arguably

stolen.  Just because somebody leaves a phone at a bar doesn‘t mean that

it‘s abandoned property that anybody can take.  You‘re supposed to take

what are called reasonable and just efforts to get the phone back to the

owner.  Now, the source, as they call it, supposedly said he made such

efforts, although that, unfortunately, contradicts his later actions, which

was—or her later actions, which were to accept 5,000 dollars to hand the

phone over to a magazine. 

So, I think there is an arguable theft here under state law. 

OLBERMANN:  This premise of checkbook journalism is also ill-defined. 

Certainly it‘s ill-defined legally.  What‘s the difference between doing

something like that and a news organization paying a citizen for a piece of

videotape of an event that is recorded only by a citizen‘s camera, other

than that issue of whether or not this was stolen?  Just that idea of, you

know, some money changed hands for the rights to use something? 

TURLEY:  Well, Keith, that‘s part of the problem with this case. 

There certainly are some analogous circumstances that come close.  I don‘t

think it quite gets to this point.  But one of the concerns is that this is

going to be a bad case that makes bad law for journalists.  This is not the

case that journalist want to fight these issues on. 

Here you‘ve got someone who is being paid not for information in a

typical checkbook journalism case, but actually for property that belongs

to someone else.  That makes it even worse than most of these

controversies.  And I think what you‘re going to see is if this case goes

forward, it may define what that standard is.  And I think a lot of us who

support press rights are very concerned how that might come—turn out. 

OLBERMANN:  So if it had been video of it that he had sold for some

nominal fee, or if no money had changed hands, just given them the phone,

what would have happened then? 

TURLEY:  It would have been much better if he had just given them the

phone.  That certainly would have made Gawker and Gizmodo more plausible in

their argument he was a, quote, “source” and to protect their

confidentiality.  The problem with many of the laws they cite, including

the federal law, is that exceptions have machine been made when you have an

allegation of a crime.  For example, in California, the Grady Case in 2006,

Apple lost that case against bloggers that were found to be covered by the

law.  The footnote of that case, the court says that it really isn‘t

looking at this as an alleged criminal act, and that it might not reach the

same conclusion if it was. 

The federal law defines protected—the protected sources of material

by excluding material that is part of a criminal act.  So, those laws

really don‘t take them all the way, at least where they need to go to get

out of this problem. 

OLBERMANN:  At least Apple got good publicity, being involved in a

raid against Apple sort of consumers.  That was a genius move too.  Anyway,

that‘s not really a legal issue.  Jonathan Turley of George Washington

University, as always, Jon, thanks you for your time. 

TURLEY:  Thank you, Keith. 

OLBERMANN:  That is COUNTDOWN for this the 2,553rd day since the

previous president declare mission accomplished in Iraq.  I‘m Keith

Olbermann, good night and good luck. 

Now with more on why Republicans are adamant in trying to prevent

federal action on immigration reform, ladies and gentlemen, here is Rachel

Maddow.  Good evening, Rachel. 




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