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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Read the transcript to the Thursday show

Guest: Paul Rodriguez, Sen. Robert Menendez, Howard Dean, Joe Romm, Dave Foley             



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

be talking about tomorrow?

The cry gets louder.


CROWD:  Arizona boycott!  Arizona boycott!


OLBERMANN:  The cry in Chicago—the symbols, the Arizona

Diamondbacks, ironically is the only team in baseball without a prominent

Hispanic player.

The cry in Phoenix—where the four immigrant rights advocacy groups

announced a legal challenge.

The cry at the state capitol—where Governor Brewer would not meet

with the Colombian singer, Shakira.

The cry in Washington—where Democratic senators outline border

security and rational immigration reform—and where the House minority

leader says his party believes now is the time to do nothing.

Our special guests: Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey, and comedian

and advocate, Paul Rodriguez.

The storm in the tea cup: Scalded by the tea party, the Republican

governor of Florida who polls as well as anyone in a three-horse race goes



GOV. CHARLIE CRIST ®, FLORIDA:  It‘s your decision.  It‘s not one

club‘s decision or another—or even a club within that club.


OLBERMANN:  The new crisis in the Gulf.  With the oil slick nearing

Louisiana, how‘s that “drill, baby, drill” crap working for you?



responsible for funding the cost of response and cleanup operations.


OLBERMANN:  “Worsts”: Ratings drop 19 percent but FOX is still

crowing, Baier, Smith, Bill-o, Mannity, Greta—isn‘t somebody missing?

And speaking of that—prophecy, Dave Foley, “The Kids in the Hall,”

1994.  Does this remind you of anybody?


DAVE FOLEY:  Communism never dies.  Communism is a cancer—a cancer

sleeping, awaiting a moment to devour our freedom, to devour our democracy. 

Oh, I know what you‘re thinking.


OLBERMANN:  1994!  Our special guest, 16 years later, the man who saw

Beck coming: Dave Foley.

All the news and commentary—now on COUNTDOWN.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  They‘re crazy!




OLBERMANN:  Good evening from New York.

A baseball fan arrived outside Wrigley Field, Chicago, for this

afternoon‘s Cubs game.  There he saw evidently to his surprise people

protesting the new “show me your papers” law in Arizona.  Arizona, where

the team the Cubs were to play, the Diamondbacks, are based—where in

evident coincidence, the only one of the 30 Major League teams without a

potential Hispanic 2010 all-star player or Hispanic future Hall of Famer is

the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The fan saw the protest, ripped up his ticket and went home.

If the micro sometimes represents the macro, the boycotts and protests

are already having impact.  Advocate and comedian Paul Rodriguez and

Senator Robert Menendez join me in a moment.

First, the latest details.  Only about 50 gathering outside Wrigley

today, the Diamondbacks beginning a four-game series with the Cubs.  The

protesters are chanting, “Boycott Arizona,” “Reform, Not Racism,” “Shame on


However, organizers are expecting more than 100,000 at a march in Los

Angeles over the weekend.  An immigration rights rally in that city in

2006, having drawn half a million participants.  This Saturday‘s march is

one of 70 May Day protests being planned in cities across the country.

California Congressman Duncan D. Hunter today is elaborating,

meantime, on his suggestion that children born here to undocumented

immigrants be deported because the children‘s souls are not sufficiently

American.  Mr. Hunter telling “The Plum Line‘s” Greg Sargent that his

policy is all about keeping families intact.  In other words, if the

parents are deported, the kids,, even if they are natural-born citizens,

must follow.  Quote, “We should empower the government to forcibly maintain

that family unit and send them with the parents back home.”

I wonder how retroactive he‘s willing to make this.

The congressman adding he‘s supporting legislation that would undo the

14th Amendment to make this possible.  As we like to say around here—

good luck with that.

Fellow Republican Mike Huckabee, the former presidential candidate and

former governor of Arkansas, making the analogy that for immigrants, quote,

“America is a lot like Disneyworld, and that once you get a ticket, you‘re

in.  You don‘t have to keep showing your ticket to keep riding the rides. 

That‘s the whole point of liberty.”

Mayor Bloomberg of New York City is saying that Arizona‘s new

immigration law is not good for the country.  We love immigrants here.  Mr.

Bloomberg is adding his beliefs that this country is committing national

suicide, though, if federal lawmakers continue to evade tackling

comprehensive immigration reform.

President Obama is saying tonight that his administration will play an

active role in working with both Republicans and Democrats on immigration. 

And earlier tonight, Senate Majority Leader Reid and fellow Democrats

unveiling what they call a framework for a sweeping overhaul of federal

immigration laws.  The highest ranking Hispanic in the Senate pointing out

that this economy would likely come to a standstill without immigrant



SEN. ROBERT MENENDEZ (D), NEW JERSEY:  This morning, if you had

breakfast and you had fruit for breakfast, it was probably picked by the

bent back of an immigrant worker.  If you had chicken for dinner last

night, it was probably plucked by the cut-up hands of an immigrant worker. 

If you have someone who is infirmed in your family, probably their daily

needs are being tended to by an immigrant worker.


OLBERMANN:  In a moment, Senator Menendez will join us.

First, as promised, let‘s bring in comedian, actor and representative,

Paul Rodriguez, who was scheduled to headline at the Wild Horse Pass Resort

in Chandler, Arizona.  He‘s canceled that event and he‘s good enough to

join us now.

Paul, thanks for your time tonight.

PAUL RODRIGUEZ, COMEDIAN AND ACTOR:  You‘re welcome.  Thank you for

having me, Keith.

OLBERMANN:  I know a little bit about this.  You‘ve gone back and

forth on whether or not to perform that show.  Tell me the reasons and the

thinking that went into both the debate and what you ultimately decided

about Saturday.

RODRIGUEZ:  Well, it is—I got a call from the tribal members,

technically it‘s an independent nation, you know?  And I could find many

other excuses.

But in reality, no boycott that we could possibly put upon Arizona is

going to be harder than the hotel industry, for example, it won‘t be us

renting the rooms, they won‘t find anybody to clean it.  Senator Menendez

is absolutely right.  The farming industry—who‘s going to pick it? 

Let‘s be realistic.

The federal government has to face this up.  Now, Arizona, and like

every other state, has perfect rights to curtail the illegal immigration. 

And I want to make this clear.

We, those of us, we are not for illegal immigration.  Our protest is

that this law is too broad.  This law—would Montana pass this same

thing, to restrict Canadians coming over?  What is an illegal alien look

like?  Is the police going to have the power to stop someone for anything,

for any particular reason?

I read it, paragraph “E,” it says that a law officer, without a

warrant, can stop you, if he suspects you are in this country illegally. 

That‘s too broad.

We agree that Arizona‘s going through a terrible situation.  And if

the governor, Brewer—if she did this to bring national attention—

she‘s done a good job and I applaud her for that.  But this law won‘t do. 

We‘re not going to allow this to become second class citizens.

Every time there‘s an economic pinch, Hispanics, Mexican-Americans to

be more precise, we‘re the whipping boys.  That ain‘t going to happen. 

We‘re more numerous than African-Americans.  You‘ve got to remember, many

of us have status in this country and we‘re going to speak up when we can.

OLBERMANN:  And you‘ve lived that immigrant experience in this

country, the good parts of it and the bad parts of it.  What Arizona has

done is obviously the worst of it in terms of people who are here.

How representative do you think Arizona is of all of your experiences? 

I mean, those who got here earlier than you did—are they mostly more

sympathetic and empathetic than the people who passed this law?

RODRIGUEZ:  Well, I think that people are sympathetic to the needs. 

Look, I‘ve been through Douglas, Arizona, and I‘ve seen pictures that the

police have shown me of people who have literally died of thirst.  I mean,

the devil‘s highway.  It‘s a terrible situation.

But let us remember why they‘re coming.  They‘re being attracted here

by cheap labor.  They‘re being attracted here by the farming industry. 

They‘re being attracted—look, if we can—if North Korea and South

Korea can have an airtight border with nobody crossing over there, and I‘m

not saying to those extremes, grenades and stuff like that, or bombs or

landmines or anything like that, but if they can have an airtight border,

we certainly have the technology to do that here.

They won‘t do it simply because there are too many interests in

Washington, D.C. that don‘t want the Democrats or the Republicans to get

together.  Why don‘t they go back to the Bracero Program that my father

came many years ago in the ‘40s when young American men were overseas

fighting the war?

They had a Bracero Program where they would go to Waymos (ph), Mexico,

they would get a permit.  They work the season harvesting whatever they‘re

going to harvest.  They‘d gladly return to Mexico.

The only reason many of them just stay here is because it‘s so hard to

go back and forth.  Either we—either we need to have cheap labor or we

want to pay $10 for a tomato.  It‘s as basic as that.

OLBERMANN:  Wow.  You summed it up beautifully.

Comedian and actor and advocate, Paul Rodriguez—great thanks for

your time tonight, Paul.

RODRIGUEZ:  Thank you.

OLBERMANN:  As promised, now, let‘s turn to Robert Menendez, the

Democrat of New Jersey, one of the senators who developed the immigration

overhaul framework unveiled tonight by the Democrats.

Senator Menendez, thanks for your time tonight.

MENENDEZ:  Good to be with you, Keith.

OLBERMANN:  What are the things the framework aims to do?

MENENDEZ:  It does several things.  Number one, make sure that we have

the appropriate border protection so we don‘t have unlimited crossings of

people who are undocumented.  It makes sure that those people who are in

this country in an undocumented status can have a temporary status upon the

passage of the law and come forth.  I‘d rather know who is here to pursue

the American dream versus who might be here to do it harm.  And I won‘t

know that if I have millions of people in the darkness.

It also says to those individuals, you‘re going to have to pay your

taxes.  You‘re going to have to go through a criminal background check. 

You‘re going to have to wait a series of years as we clean up the back log

of those who have been waiting under the present system to be reunified for

families.  But then you‘re going to have an access to permanent resident if

you‘ve been a good resident during this whole period of time, if you‘ve

paid your taxes, learned English and have no criminal background check.

We‘re going to deal to make sure that in doing that, we don‘t depress

wages for all other workers because now, you don‘t have an underground

economy and you don‘t have exploitation of workers.

So, it has a broad framework.  It looks at future flows of what we

need in our economy and also family reunification—a lot of ideas that

Republicans had, particularly on border enforcement.  It‘s an invitation

for them to come and join us in a bipartisan effort to get something that

is both in the national security interest and the national economic

interest of the country.

OLBERMANN:  At that news conference today, you invited your Republican

colleagues to join you in fleshing this framework out.  Mr. Boehner from

the House said that this is not the time to attempt anything in terms of

broad-based immigration reform.  Politically, it‘s the wrong time, he said,

to do so.

I‘m gathering they‘re not clamoring to join you on this, even though

they view this as an issue of national security?

MENENDEZ:  Well, you know, you can‘t have it both ways.  You can‘t

have Republican governors in Arizona saying the federal government failed

so we‘re going to act in a way that totally is unconstitutional, from my

view.  You can‘t have members of Congress say that the federal government

has failed, but then say, politically, it‘s untenable to deal with.

This is truly a national security and a national economic issue.  And

so, Congress‘s failure to act leads to the Arizonas of the country, where

even U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents—you know, Keith, we

have 200 cases of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents unlawfully

detained in immigration raids in violation of their constitutional rights

as a United States citizen.

That is not acceptable and that‘s where we continuously see this

situation leading to.

OLBERMANN:  Well, there‘s a lot of things wrong with that law in

Arizona—but is that last point of yours is not the key ingredient?  Is

it not theoretically that if you were traveling in Arizona, under that law,

if it gets to be enforced as of August, and you had no documents that

proved you that were in the U.S. Senate, that you might be questioned?

MENENDEZ:  Oh, yes.  I mean, if I‘m standing with a bunch of day

laborers and I look a certain way, and the police come in lawful contact

which means lawful contact, you have two police officers walking down the

street towards a crowd, they‘re in lawful contact.  They‘re in a patrol car

and stop by a group of people, they‘re in lawful contact.  If we‘re having

a rally in Arizona and the police are there, they‘re in lawful contact.

And now, that gives them the opportunity to question anybody under

reasonable suspicion.  What is reasonable suspicion?  Is it the way I look? 

Is it the way I speak?  Is it, you know, the nationality that I have?

What makes someone—you know, I don‘t have—I don‘t carry my U.S.

citizenship birth certificate where I was born in the United States.  I

don‘t carry my passport with me unless I‘m traveling.  What proves I‘m a

United States citizen?

And so, what we‘re going to have is what we‘ve already had, where U.S.

citizens and legal permanent residents, already green card holders who

followed the rules, obeyed the laws, and ultimately came through this

country through family reunification have been caught up in these raids and

often detained for months before they‘re released.

OLBERMANN:  Senator Robert Menendez, the Democrat of New Jersey—

again, great thanks for your time tonight.

MENENDEZ:  Thank you.

OLBERMANN:  Still on the subject of the Senate, the polling set he

would get thumped in the Republican primary by the tea party kid.  But it

also said he could easily win as an independent.  Guess which Charlie Crist

has just decided to try in Florida?


OLBERMANN:  Damn the tea party and full speed ahead.  What this man

announced late this afternoon about the Senate in Florida.

Spill, baby, spill—she was mocked for her naive call to drill

everywhere.  The slick from the exploded oil rig now threatens Louisiana. 

Maybe they should name it after her.

Tea party meets shark.  Not only does this man endorse the birthers,

he now admits Obama is driving the birthers nuts.  Nice work to you, Mr.


And the videotape of the year: how did this comedian and actor come up

with the perfect impression of Glenn Beck 15 years before Glenn Beck

brought the crazy to your television—our special guest.

You‘re watching COUNTDOWN on MSNBC.


OLBERMANN:  As of tonight, Florida Governor Charlie Crist is now

officially running for the Senate as an independent.  He will either win,

lose or draw.  Draw, that is, just enough votes away from the Republican to

allow a little-known Democrat to win that seat.

But regardless of the outcome—in our fourth story tonight—Crist

is and will be a symbol of a Republican Party that has tried to win despite

part of itself.  The “will he or won‘t he” question answered today by a man

who has been a prominent Republican in Florida, the nation‘s fourth largest

state, for more than a decade.  Governor Crist, the early favorite for that

Senate seat but whose poll numbers steadily dropped against the tea party

contender Marco Rubio.

Governor Crist joined a debate with Rubio less than a month ago ruled

out running as an independent candidate, today announced he will run as a

candidate without affiliation - -in other words, as an independent.


CRIST:  Unfortunately, our political system is broken.  I haven‘t

supported an idea because it‘s a Republican idea or it‘s a Democratic idea. 

I support ideas that I believe are good ideas for the people.  Now, I could

have chosen to stay in the primary, but frankly, for me, it‘s your

decision.  It‘s not one club‘s decision or another—or even a club within

that club.

It is a decision too important, it is a decision for all the people of

Florida to be able to make.  And so, that‘s why we go straight to November.


OLBERMANN:  Former speaker of the Florida House of Representatives,

Mr. Rubio, basically scoffing in response.  His statement which reads, in

part, “Governor Crist still doesn‘t get it.  This election‘s outcome was

never going to hinge on whether he chose to run as a Republican or not.”

Rubio may, in fact, be the one who doesn‘t get it.  The Democratic

candidate for the Senate seat, Congressman Kendrick Meek, was quick to

signal his strategy in a three-way race, today saying that Crist was in

line with Rubio on most issues, but it was hard to differentiate them and

that, otherwise, Crist is a flip-flopper.

Governor Crist now faces problems with fundraising.  Senator John

Cornyn says he expects GOP donors to ask Crist for their money back and any

Republican currently on Crist‘s election staff who wants a future in the

Republican Party would probably have to quit.  The Republican polling firm

of Public Opinion Strategies announced today that it is resigning from its

contract with Governor Charlie Crist‘s campaign team.

And at the national level are some Republicans shuddering at this

latest boldest bit of evidence at a party at odds within itself, the

establishment Republican candidate for the Senate race in Kentucky, Trey

Grayson, is trailing the tea party favorite there, Rand Paul.  And top tier

Republican recruits like Carly Fiorina in California and Rob Simmons in

Connecticut are trailing their rivals in their own party for their party‘s

nomination for the U.S. Senate.  And those are just a few of the examples.

Let‘s turn now to the former governor of Vermont, former chairman of

the DNC, consultant to McKenna, Long & Aldrich, as well as Democracy for

America, contributor to CNBC: Governor Howard Dean.

Governor, good evening.

HOWARD DEAN, FORMER DNC CHAIRMAN:  Thank you very much, Keith, for

having me on.

OLBERMANN:  It‘s one of those great long introductions that you expect

at a convention.

DEAN:  Yes.  My Lord, that‘s going to be longer than the segment if

we‘re not careful.

OLBERMANN:  All right.  Florida first.  According to the polls, Rubio

would have shellacked Crist in the Republican primary.

DEAN:  Right.

OLBERMANN:  But that three-way polling is really close and many of

these polls, Crist is ahead.  Even if Rubio gets that seat ultimately, did

the tea party wing of the Republicans hurt itself because just of that


DEAN:  Well, I don‘t think the tea party wing cares if it hurts the

Republican Party very much.  This is—this is a real split in the

Republican Party and it‘s actually one that Republicans have to deal with

because they can‘t appeal to young people under 35.  They‘re not going to -

the people under 35 in this country, 63 percent of them voted for Barack



It‘s a new generation.  And, of course, they get older every year. 

They aren‘t haters.  They‘re not angry people.  They want to actually work


Charlie Crist has really symbolized that in his governorship.  Now,

I‘m, of course, supporting Kendrick Meek, who I think, as of now, has a

great shot at winning this thing.  But any of the three of them could win

this thing.  And, you know, I think this is a Republican Party that‘s

really got a problem here.

OLBERMANN:  All right.  Strategically, how does Mr. Meek inherit

Florida, if not the Earth?

DEAN:  Inherit the Earth?


DEAN:  He‘s a hard working guy.  He‘s got a campaign—he‘s got some

good, smart people who are supporting him, who I‘ve been talking to some. 

And he‘s going to get—you know, that he certainly going to get the

Democratic base and then the rest of it is up for grabs.

You know, I think the conservative base is clearly going to Rubio. 

The Democratic base is going to Kendrick.  And the rest of it‘s up for

grabs.  And in that one, any of these guys has a shot.

OLBERMANN:  Back to Governor Crist and his statement this afternoon. 

He seemed to be dancing around this to some degree.  He referred to his

candidacy being less about himself and more about the state of the

political system in Florida and in the country.  It seemed like he was

saying something meant for the tea party and the divisiveness that exists


Was that what he was saying?  And if it was, why was he not more

explicit about that?

DEAN:  Well, you know, you never want to insult people who might vote

for you, and some might.  But this is a lot of overtones of the vote, the

special election up in District 23 in New York, where the Republican Party,

the right-wing of the Republican Party—the Palin, Romney, whatever right

wing—just didn‘t think the Republican candidate was good enough for


Now, you know, Crist has got a very solid record as governor.  He‘s

probably got better numbers among Democrats than he does among Republicans. 

He was basically turned out by his own party.  And this is a pattern that‘s

been going on for a while as Republicans figure out how they‘re in the

world they‘re going to appeal to this under 35 crowd.  I think Kendrick

Meek will have no trouble appealing to the under 35 crowd.

And let me remind everybody that Barack Obama won in Florida.  It was

his greatest victory and his most difficult victory in 2008.

So, this is going to be really the most interesting race I think in

the entire country, where you have a Republican governor forced out of his

own party because of the far-right who‘s now running as an independent,

more popular among Democrats than he is among Republicans.  I think

anything can happen in this race.

OLBERMANN:  Looking at this at a national perspective—are Democrats

advised to assume that this is the way things may play out when there is a

semi-moderate Republican, or is there a danger of relying too much on the

tea party sort of pulling the extreme and leaving the middle there for the

Democrat to beat a very challenged Republican?

DEAN:  There is a danger in that.  You can‘t—you have to assume the

tea party is going to energize conservatives to get out and vote.  So, if

they‘re going to energize their own base—in some instances, that energy

is going to split their party, and in other instances, it‘s going to be

helpful to Republicans.

So, I don‘t think the Democrats—I think the Democrats need to work

very hard to focus on what‘s going on.  I think—frankly, I think the

last week has been great for Democrats when the Republicans are trying to

block the financial reform bill.  They have very little sympathy among the

electorate for that.

So, this has been a solid, solid week for Democrats.  And, certainly,

the movement of Charlie Crist out of the Republican Party has I think

helped us and it‘s going to help Kendrick Meek—we hope Senator Meek.

OLBERMANN:  Governor Howard Dean, a man who needs no introduction—

great thanks as always.  Good to talk you, sir.

DEAN:  Even though I‘ve got a long one.  Thanks.


From the same TV station that brought us “keep blanking that chicken,”

something that might be even grosser.  And the chickens come home to roost

for the “drill, baby, drill” crowd faster than anyone dreamt possible to

the great dismay of Louisiana.

We‘ll continue.


OLBERMANN:  Drill, baby, drill—the disastrous oil rig explosion as

the slick heads for Louisiana.

First, birthdays: Michelle Pfeiffer, Barbaro, my friend Gary Cohen,

the play-by-play man of the New York Met who turns 52, and one of his color

men, Keith Hernandez, who turns 206.

Tweets of the day now run from the spill to fixed news to the

birthers.  The second runner-up from @penndyd2: “If Obama visits Arizona,

can birthers sue local police for not arresting him as suspected illegal

alien?”  Now, that sounds like a Beckian conspiracy theory.  And, again, so

does the Arizona legislature.

Runner-up from @Wyleknowords: “What‘s the easiest job in the world? 

Fact checker for FOX News.”

And our Tweet of the Day from @MenaOH: “Sarah Palin‘s energy policy,

drill, baby drill—spill, baby, spill—burn, baby, burn, new location,

drill, baby, drill, et cetera.”

That would be a lot funnier if it weren‘t literally true.

Let‘s play “Oddball.”


OLBERMANN:  We begin 18 blocks north of here at the studios of “Good

Day New York”—in the very news room in which I began my TV career as an

intern in 1978.  At issue, the National Milk Producers Federation‘s latest

assertion: a product can only be called milk if it comes from a lactating

animal.  Anchors Greg Kelly and Rosanna Scotto discussing the dilemma with

medical correspondent Dr. Safnah Parikh (ph), and Ms. Scatto has a

suggestion.  Warning, potentially offensive language is used now. 


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There are things like the soy milk, rice milk. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  What else are we going to call it?  Soy juice? 

You can‘t do that. 



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  OK.  That‘s an option too. 


OLBERMANN:  She said socialism. 

In her defense, perhaps Ms. Scatto was trying to follow in the

footsteps of her former co-anchor there. 



UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I‘ll do that. 


OLBERMANN:  To the Oddball mug shot hall of fame.  It‘s a been a while

since we‘ve checked.  Time now for a new inductee, joining such other

living legends as Tom DeLay, Boss Limbaugh and, of course, the I heart

midget porn guy.  Perhaps inspired by another hall of famers dastardly

facial hair, tonight we welcome the inverse of Mr. Handlebar Mustache Guy,

this guy, arrested for violating parole and sending out subliminal messages

on the upper lip area.  Actually, just for the first thing.  The picture is

courtesy of the Smoking Gun Website.  And I think it—what does that say? 

Oh, no.  Move along.  Nothing to see here. 

As the oil rig disaster in the Gulf literally spreads towards the

cities of the Gulf, how‘s that whole drilly spilly thing working out for



OLBERMANN:  The edge of an oil slick more than 100 miles long is less

than three miles away from land, from the mouth of America‘s river, from

the Pasalucha (ph) Wildlife Reserve, one of Louisiana‘s fragile marshland

ecosystems.  In our third story tonight, it‘s already made an impact

farther away in Washington.  The president today unleashing the federal

government to respond.  And even though Tea Partiers don‘t seem to mind

this government bailout, Mr. Obama assured taxpayers private industry will

be picking up this tab too. 


OBAMA:  While BP is ultimately responsible for funding the cost of

response and clean up operations, my administration will continue to use

every single available resource at our disposal, including potentially the

Department of Defense. 


OLBERMANN:  Triggered by the explosion and sinking of a Gulf rig more

than a week ago, the spill itself from the pipe that once connected the rig

to the well, almost one mile down, is now gushing five times faster, says

the government, than BP first claimed, pouring 210,000 gallons into the

Gulf every day.  Putting it on pace to surpass by next week the milestone

1969 spill off Santa Barbara, California. 

Putting Mr. Obama on the defensive.  The White House hinting it could

reconsider plans to expand offshore drilling.  As “Huffington Post”

reports, the administration gave BP some exceptions for this rig, based on

BP estimates of a worst case scenario that was better than this spill.  And

that BP executives pushed back against new rules last September, claiming

“the industry‘s current safety and environmental statistics demonstrate

that the voluntary programs have been and continue to be very successful.” 

And though BP is now considering cleanup methods never tested this deep,

including under water chemical disbursements and a 100-ton steel dome. 

Earlier this month, Sarah Palin told Republicans in New Orleans, no

more study is needed to drill for new oil in the Gulf. 


SARAH PALIN, FMR. GOVERNOR OF ALASKA:   We can produce it safely and

responsibly.  We don‘t need more studies, we need more action.  Because

energy produced in America is security for America.  And it is jobs for

American workers, jobs that can‘t be outsourced.  Let‘s drill, baby drill,

not stall, baby, stall. 


OLBERMANN:  That woman is an idiot.  Let‘s bring in Joe Romm, senior

fellow at the Center for American Progress, the editor of and the author of “Straight Up.”  Thanks for your time


JOE ROMM, CLIMATEPROGRESS.ORG:  Thanks for having me, Keith. 

OLBERMANN:  BP originally said it could handle a spill by itself.  It

originally said it would just be 1,000 barrels a day.  How has that

affected this whole thing, what they said? 

ROMM:  Yeah, well BP gave us—you know, they said trust us.  And

they said—they gave us a low ball estimate for the spill rate, and left

everyone with the impression they could take care of it themselves.  I

think, thankfully, the Obama administration didn‘t trust them.  NOAA did

their own calculation and realized that this spill rate was five times what

BP said.  It‘s 200,000 gallons a day. 

And so Obama declared all hands on deck.  And he sent out the Coast

Guard, EPA and Interior.  But I think BP‘s initial reaction has been—has

made this mess a lot tougher to clean up. 

OLBERMANN:  The—the cause of the explosion is yet to be determined. 

The cause of the safety valve not engaging fully yet to be determined.  But

does that mean it‘s too early to determine whether or not regulation was an

issue here? 

ROMM:  Well, you know, you had the quote from Palin, everyone said

this is clean, this is safe.  The fact of the matter is that BP was not

using the latest technology.  Brazil requires this backup cutoff switch

that BP was not using.  The fact of the matter is that BP has fought

tougher regulations.  They want the voluntary self-regulation, trust me

approach.  Obviously, that doesn‘t work. 

But I don‘t think this should come as a big surprise.  For eight

years, this country was led by two oil guys, two fossil fuel guys.  They

looked the other way.  They didn‘t regulate tough.  So we‘ve had the worst

mine disaster in decades.  We had just had another mine disaster.  Now,

we‘ve had a big oil disaster.  I don‘t think it‘s a coincidence. 

OLBERMANN:  And this whole press to get past regulation, as summarized

by Ms. Palin‘s really sort of—I can‘t quite describe what kind of

misunderstanding she has of this situation.  But it is so simplistic as to

be maddening.  Ninth of April she said in New Orleans, it‘s perfectly safe

to drill in the gulf.  Eleven days later, 11 people are missing and

presumed dead, and now we have this situation at 20 days later.  How is

that energy credential naivete thing working out for her? 

ROMM:  Palin, you know, she said she was an expert on foreign policy

because she could see Russia from her home.  If she‘d looked in the other

direction, she would have seen Prince William Sound, where the Exxon Valdez

spilled all that oil and caused environmental disaster.  This BP spill, if

it keeps up at the current rate, in 50 days, it will be worse than the

Exxon Valdez.  And I spoke to a friend of mine who was a 20-year Coast

Guard veteran, and he said these well blowouts can take months to cap, and

that this oil is going to percolate and cause devastation to fish. 

I think we all remember the Exxon Valdez pictures of the oil covered

shores, birds and fish.  So I think we‘ve—we believe people when they

said you can drill clean and safely in the Gulf.  But I think we‘ve now

learned otherwise. 

OLBERMANN:  Very briefly, is this going to change the Obama

administration‘s point of view on this subject? 

ROMM:  I think the Obama administration—you know, this is going to

go on for a while.  I think this is going to change the Obama

administration position.  The good news is, just this week, they announced

the first offshore wind project off of Cape Cod.  They‘ve announced the

biggest fuel economy standards.  So they‘ve always had an approach that was

aimed on clean energy.  And I think that‘s—it‘s the clean safe energy of

the 21st century that never runs out, which is where the future lies. 

OLBERMANN:  Joe Romm with the Center for American Progress, great

thanks for your time tonight.

When someone asks, where did this Glenn Beck get this crap?  The

answer is he got it from this Dave Foley sketch from “The Kids in the Hall”

in 1994.  The sketch and Dave Foley ahead. 

The Facebook page with a million friends, devoted with praying to God

to take the president.  So what if others prayed to God to take them? 

And when Rachel joins you at the top of the hour, she‘ll interview a

member of the group FAIR, which helped write the new Arizona show me your

papers law.  Yes, FAIR, that‘s just a brand name.


OLBERMANN:  Worst persons in a moment.  First, no, this isn‘t your

water coming to a boil, it‘s our nightly checkup on the something for

nothing crowd.  It‘s Tea Time. 

Yet more opportunities tonight to track the slow motion jump of the

Tea Parties over the proverbial shark tank.  The lead speaker at the

National Convention of the Tea clan, Tom Tancredo with a new theory, Obama

has a valid and American birth certificate, but he‘s holding it back



TOM TANCREDO, FMR. CONGRESSMAN:  They may very well not want to show

it simply because they want to propagate this whole thing going on about

Birthers.  They may be doing it for that reason.  They want it propagated

because it—

ALAN COLMES, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  It makes your party look nuts. 

TANCREDO:  That‘s why—maybe that‘s why they don‘t produce the

document.  I don‘t know. 


OLBERMANN:  Deliberately holding back his birth certificate to make

the Tea Partiers nuts.  If true, Mr. President, you‘re doing a hell of a

job.  Keep it up. 

Here‘s one I haven‘t seen before, but I‘m told this is a hoot too. 

This is the Tea Party candidate for governor of Alabama on the subject of

English only. 



make us give driver‘s license exams in 12 languages?  This is Alabama.  We

speak English.  If you want to live here, learn it.  We‘re only giving that

test in English if I‘m governor.  And it makes sense.  Does it to you? 


OLBERMANN:  Well, to be—to be—I‘m sorry, every once in a while,

the accent on one of these guys, I just can‘t penetrate it.  Thank goodness

we don‘t have an official language or anything, they probably wouldn‘t

allow that guy into Arizona.   I caught that one part about Ali Baba.  Is

he going to tell us the story of the 40 thieves?


OLBERMANN:  The prophet Dave Foley, who un to us in 1994 foretold the

coming of the locust known as the Lonesome Rhodes.  His prophesy, and yeah,

how he feels about it, and perhaps even a little bit about the new series

from the “Kids in the Hall.”  Yeah, verily that‘s next, but first tonight‘s

worst persons in the world. 

Fittingly, the bronze to the publicity department at Fixed News,

celebrating 100 months as the top rated outfit in the loosely defined

category of cable news.  And the loss of 19 percent of its viewers from

last April to this April with a full-page ad in the “Washington Post.” 

“The most powerful name in news” reads the modest slogan, as ever.  Then

there are the stars, Bret Baier, Shepard Smith, Bill-O with a little hair

help, and Sean Hannity, Greta Van Susteren.  And Lonesome Rhodes Beck is

where?  Don‘t give me that they don‘t claim he‘s news.  They don‘t claim

O‘Reilly‘s news, or Hannity.  Murdoch himself said that.

They left Beck out.  Now he‘s going to start crying again. 

Our silver medal winner, Yantze Terrell Cochran (ph) of Davenport,

Iowa.  Bailed out a friend last week who was at the Scott County Courthouse

for unpaid traffic tickets.  Bail was 300 dollars.  Mr. Cochran allegedly

gave the clerk six 50s, six counterfeit 50s.  Two of them had the same

serial number.  Now he‘s in jail too. 

But our winner, the people behind a Facebook page.  All we have is

location, Mariesville (ph), Ohio, 43040.  It has a million Facebook

friends.  It is filled with doctored photos of the president and it is

dedicated to what the lunatic fringe Bible thumpers called imprecatory (ph)

prayer for President Obama to die.  A lot has been made about this and how

Facebook should have taken the page down days or weeks ago.  I‘d like to

suggest a better idea.  These people evidently believe imprecatory prayer

works, that you can pray another person to death.  History would suggest

otherwise, but if they believe it, what would their lives be like if they

knew everybody else was making imprecatory prayers for God to kill them? 

They‘d crap their pants.  It won‘t even work.  You keep your site and the

rest of us will, you know, keep you in our prayers. 

Organizers of the anti-Obama prayer group, bye, nobody will ever miss

you, today‘s worst persons in the world.


OLBERMANN:  Leonardo da Vinci drew plans for a helicopter 450 years

before anybody built one.  There is an image of the Egyptian pharaoh Tutmos

III about to swing a bat at a ball.  This is from 1475 BC.  Now we‘ve

learned that Glenn Beck of 2010 is just a bad version of a sketch performed

by Dave Foley of the “Kids in the Hall” in 1994. 

Our number one story, dude, this Beck guy totally ripped you off. 

Sketch and Mr. Foley live in a moment.  First, it was Beck voted by its

supporters as one of “Time‘s” most influential people, blurbed by Sarah

Palin.  “Who would have thought a history buff with a quirky sense of humor

and a chalkboard could make for such riveting television?” 

Only Sarah Palin would think that kaleidoscopic drug flashback

misunderstanding of past events was history.  But anyway, the link to this

was Tweeted to me by Haley Adams (ph) the night before last.  When I say

it‘s a kind of proto-Beck, I‘m not giving Dave Foley enough credit. 

Watch from “Kids in the Hall,” season five, episode 12, now available

on DVD, “The Communist Threat.”


DAVE FOLEY, “THE KIDS IN THE HALL”:  Let sleeping gods lie.  I say,

no!  And you know what sleeping dogs I‘m referring to, don‘t you?  No?  Let

me refresh your memory, Russians.  That‘s right, Russians, Ruskies,

Communists.  Communist. 

Oh, now you remember.  Well, you also remember how a few years ago all

we ever talked about was how the Russians were going to take over the

world, and how every household would be run by communists and their filthy

communism.  Oh, yeah, we feared the Russians back in them days and for good

reason, too. 

But now all I ever hears, poor little Russia.  They‘ve got no money. 

Poor little Russia.  They‘ve gone broke.  Poor little Russia this, and poor

little Russia that. 

Don‘t you get it?  Am I the only one that gets it?  It‘s a trick. 

Communism never dies, communism is a cancer, a cancer sleeping, awaiting

the moment to devour our freedom, to devour democracy. 

Oh, I know what you‘re thinking.  You‘re thinking this guy‘s just some

right wing paranoid reactionary who had a horrible upbringing and whose

father beat him every day with a Bible.  Well, maybe that‘s true, but it

never did me any harm.  All I‘m saying is, a few years ago people used to

listen to me.  I fit in. 

Well, listen to me now.  The Russians, they‘re going to try to take

over the world again.  Don‘t you forget that for one second, friend, or

else you‘ll find yourself lining up for toilet paper in some godless world. 

There‘s one more thing I‘d like to say.  Killer bees, forgot about

them, didn‘t you?  Well, that‘s just what they want us to do.  That‘s

right.  The Russian communists, the killer bees, they‘re like this!  So

when people say to me let sleeping dogs lie, I say to them, friend,

sleeping dogs, they eventually wake up and chew out the throat of


Don‘t you think I don‘t know what you‘re up to, Russia.  Don‘t think

I‘m unaware of the fact that Kevin McDonald, or should I say Ivan Chovski

is one of you!


FOLEY:  Crazy like a fanatic fox, I mean.  Down red.  One man, one

vote.  One man, one—


OLBERMANN:  That was Dave Foley and a bound and gagged Kevin McDonald

on “the Kids in the Hall” in 1994.  Here‘s Dave Foley now.  I believe Mr.

McDonald has been released in the interim.  Good evening, Dave.  Thanks for

your time. 

FOLEY:  No, nonsense.  Thank you.  Oh, my god, what damage 20 years


OLBERMANN:  I‘m telling you.  I‘m looking at that too and remembering

what I looked like when I first saw it.  So we‘re even.  Don‘t worry about

that part.  Is it possible that Glenn Beck never saw that, because if

somebody were to create like a demo tape for an invention called a Glenn

Beck, that‘s what it would look like, except you‘d have a chalkboard

instead of the map, right? 

FOLEY:  Well, I like to comfort myself by thinking that Glenn Beck has

never seen it because I would hate to think that he was actually a “Kids in

the Hall” fan.  I don‘t want to contribute to his happiness in any way. 

OLBERMANN:  Maybe he thought it was an instructional video rather than


FOLEY:  Yes, or maybe—he may have seen it and thought it was a

vision, a Biblical revelation.  Yeah, I don‘t—I guess—at the time I

guess, we were probably like thinking more about—Rush Limbaugh was

already around in those days. 


FOLEY:  So I guess if you take Rush Limbaugh‘s already insane paranoia

and exaggerate it to a point of absurdity, I guess what you end up with is

Glenn Beck.   

OLBERMANN:  And you added the word fox there at the end, which really

does elevate this to the level of prophecy.  But when this was aired on CBS

in ‘94, that got laughs.  Obviously, the audience laughed, the audience at

home laughed.  At the same time, the real Glenn Beck was still drunk and

stoned somewhere.  And today, the people who watch Beck think he is this

political oracle.  Either you missed your calling—you could have gone

into the political oracle business—or Glenn Beck‘s followers are unaware

they‘re worshipping a bad impression of a comedy sketch.  Is that basically

the choice? 

FOLEY:  Also another important point is we have to be really careful

who we let into rehab.  Because clearly we could have saved ourselves a lot

of trouble if Glenn Beck was still drunk on the floor. 

OLBERMANN:  Goodness.  Do you remember the creative process behind it? 

It is quite a while ago.  And if you don‘t have notes on every sketch—

other than Limbaugh, were you—were you perhaps afraid of a reconstructed

USSR yourself?  Or hit by a bee?  Or what happened? 

FOLEY:  No, I think we were just amused by sort of the paranoia of

people about—I mean, because let‘s face it, Canada is a communist

country.  We‘re very socialist and proudly so.  So, yeah, we were—in

those days, we weren‘t so—we were more afraid of you guys than the

Russians.  So—


FOLEY:  But I have to give credit, too.  I didn‘t actually write that

piece.  It was written by a guy named Norm Hiskoch (ph), who is now one of

the producers on “Parks and Recreation.”  So it was he who wrote that.  I

think it was the same thing, we were sort of tickled by the absurdity of


OLBERMANN:  And wonderfully so.  I have to ask this, for all the fans. 

There was a “Kids in the Hall” miniseries this year in Canada, aired on

Canadian TV.  Are we going to get to see it here?  Or can we borrow a copy

from you or what? 

FOLEY:  Well, I downloaded it illegally, myself.  But it will be on—

OLBERMANN:  There‘s -- 

FOLEY:  It‘s going to be on IFC in August.  So we‘ll be running here. 

And it‘s eight half hours.  It‘s not sketch.  It‘s an ongoing story.  And I

hope people like it.  And lord knows what will happen 20 years from now,

what horrible monsters will rise out from this, rise up from this. 

OLBERMANN:  I really wonder if you shouldn‘t just summarize this, sort

of put yourself in the category of Paddy Chaefsky, who predicted all of

television today with “Network.”  I think that‘s how quality this vision,

or whatever it was, was.  But I did notice that in there, there were a lot

of camera turns, which I do all the time.

So, you know, it really was prophetic.  The comedian and actor Dave

Foley, or as he‘s now known around here, the prophet Dave Foley.  Been a

fan for 20 years, so thanks for all that.  Thanks for your time tonight.

FOLEY:  Thanks.  I‘m a big fan of yours.  

OLBERMANN:  You prophesized my changing cameras, so there it is.  I

owe it to you.  Beck does too, but I‘m sure you‘ll never hear from him, if

you‘re lucky.  Take care, Dave. 

FOLEY:  No, I hope not.  Bye-bye. 

OLBERMANN:  That‘s COUNTDOWN for this the 2,555th day since the

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

Olbermann, good night and good luck. 




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