tv Countdown With Keith Olbermann MSNBC September 17, 2010 8:00pm-9:00pm EDT
pause,ong from that ment will their own people still believe in them? that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "countdown with keith olbermann" starts right now. which of these stories will you be talking about tomorrow? christine o'donnell and the tea hottests convene in d.c. ready for my clo-up, mr. demille. >> there are more of us than there are of them. >> politico's report. the vetting process for o'donnell and the others? there is no vetting process. if it was popular to be really liberal now says her former campaign manager, maybe she'd do that. sarah palin vouched for joe miller he was the real deal. then there is the o'donnell treasure trove. obama -- >> is so liberal that he's anti-american. we took the bible and prayer out of public schools.
now we're having weekly shootings practically where -- >> 49-49, i call that a tie. >> no, christine, he won in votes. you know that. >> no, no. what do the election results say that i got? >> they say that you got less results than he did. >> which ken vogel of politico and all the christine o'donnell sound bites you can eat. the values voters summit. that's a brand name. >> like speaker pelosi, who has been busy sticking the taxpayer with her $100,000 bar tab for alcohol on the military jets that she's flying. >> except nancy pelosi doesn't drink alcohol and there's no alcohol on military flights in this country and there's no penalty for b.s. or is there? a conservative icon calls it on a conservative strategist.
>> shut up. i listened to your racist [ bleep ]. >> and the would be president who would deny you insurance for preexisting conditions and compares you to a car wreck or a burned-out house. and fridays with thurber, a story of panic and rumor as fit for today as it was the day the dam broke. all the news and commentary now on "countdown." good evening from new york. if you were told delaware's christine o'donnell would become a hero to the tea party not because she will win but because she will lose or that nevada's sharron angle because of all her baggage was exactly what the tea party was looking for alaska's joe miller got the backing of tea party express exclusively because half governor sarah palin had vouched for him, then in our fifth story you would at least be getting closer to the truth. after all, the tea party express doesn't care about vetting.
who better tohead than the most startling product of nonvetting, the former vice presidential candidate ms. palin? the fierce backing of christine o'donnell reported today including $300,000 in advertising explained by sal russo, the founder of that political action committee. quote, i heard pretty candidly her strengths and weaknesses. we knew what we were getting into this. in this year she was a terrific candidate. in the extraordinary piece by politico mr. ruse yoe claims that the tea party express is adept at picking candidates who are aligned at the movement's core issues and is not so concerned with anything else but some tea party activists outside of tea party express pact are lest than enthuse amount. from the main state coordinator for tea party patriots in the state of maine -- they aren't really looked into some of these candidates. it's enough to say they are in favor of freedom. the other darlings of the tea party express including alaska's
miller whose main claim to fame was a failed effort in 2008 along with then governor palin to force out the state gop chairman. he also lost a 2004 bid to win a house seat in the alaska state legislature. but for mr. russo, quote, governor palin vouched for joe miller that he was the real deal and we took her word for it. pure poetry it is that sarah palin, the product of presidential candidate john mccain's nonvetting would represent the 5:00 shadowy joe miller to the tea party express. senator lisa mruczkowski set to announce her writin candidacy as early as tonight. it would create a three-way race. back to the tea party express's favorite candidates. when politico asked mr. russo if the tea party would claim express if both sharron angle and o'donnell lost, he said --
goldwater lost but he gave birth to reagan. let's bring in the author of politico's main piece on this senior political reporter ken vogel. good evening. mcgovern, mccarthy, barry goldwater. "a," really? "b," the premise is it doesn't matter if they get elected but who comes after them? is there more to it than that? are the backers of these candidates making personal ganl off the candidacies by establishing themselves even if the candidates fall by the wayside? >> absolutely. the tea party express and leaders of tea party movement who have been instrumental in the victories of christine o'donnell and sharron angle, two tea party candidates who won republican nominations and reduced the republicans 'chances of re taking the senate, these groups and individuals have seen their own profiles and own earning potential on fund raising power boosted by virtue of critical roles in this campaign. of course this is all music to
the ears of democrats who are saying, hey, if you want to elect these people, pull the republican party to the right, possibly re shape it for a future election 20 years down the road, which is how long it took the goldwater revolution to yield the reagan revolution. that's great by democrats who are eager to run against these tea party candidates. >> is the nonvetting of these candidates you cried today, is that reckless? is it moegelly indifferent or like how the stock and gloom went through the play scripts and producers? >> like they were intoxicated by the momentum. they did have a background with sharron angle who in spite of them knowing more about her has been revealed to have substantial pieces of her track record that are going to make her a target for democratic attacks. we've seen from polls, make her something less than the best candidate to take on senate majority leader harry reid in nevada. however, once they won that, they were on a role and looking for the next big upset.
sarah palin recommended them that they endorse joe miller, this little known candidate who had previously lost a state legislative race in which he ran sort of as a moderate according to his opponent. they seized on that. he won and beat senator lisa murkowski in a huge upset for republican primary for senate in alaska. then they looked for the next one. christine o'donnell they endorsed her and subsequently acknowledged they were unaware that she had not been -- she had not graduated from college, she did not have a college dploe ma, that she had some problems with bad campaign debts still owed. they said they weren't aware of that but still thought she was the best candidate. so whether it's in the best interest of the tea party express and some of the tea party groups that are endorsing these candidates, it may be a different calculation than what is in the best interest of the republicans and perhaps of the tea party at large. >> there isn't consensus even among tea party type organizations on some of the
candidates. that lend itself to kind of a french revolution quality that today's extremist is top's oldtimer who has to be guillotined? someone compared it to the movie "all about eve" with the understudy basically cutting the throat against metaphorically of the star actress. >> there's definitely an element of -- there's a lack of institutional knowledge within the tea party movement. it's not just the big groups that are out there, many of which we should point out have been able to recast themselves and be successful in the tea party movement because the activists aren't aware they have a track record. tea party express was a group formerly called our country deserves better, a pac in california who supported yellow jacket who is an anathemma to tea partiers. nevertheless they were able to cast themselves as the lead group because many of the activists are new to politics and didn't know this group had this background or dick armey,
the leader of another prominent tea party movement freedom works was the house majority leader and pharmacist who worked for pharmaceutical companies. many that seized the mantel were able to despite having run different campaigns unsuccessfully in previous years like christine o'donnell who campaigned as a social conservative and we now see her reembracing that mantel. it's a testament to the lack of political savy frankly of some of the tea party activists. >> in what amounts to breaking news from tea party citizen zero sarah palin is at the reagan dinner in iowa rather than the values summit in washington and has just said -- either asked or just made a statement about 2012. if the american people were to be ready for someone who is willing to shake it up and get back to time tested truths and lead our country to a more prosperous and safe future and
happened to think i was the one, if it was best for my family and my country of course i would think about giving a shot. there are a lot of if's in that one. >> there are. and she's positioned herself in kind of a nontraditional way if she were to launch a presidential campaign. but there's no doubt that the option is available to her. she has proved through some of these primaries that she has incredible clout within the sort of tea party wing of the republican party and of the conservative base. and certainly if she were to run, she would be formidable just by virtue of the tea party activists, whether they are spectacularly unsuccessful in the midterm elections and cost republicans control of the senate or are successful and deemed to sort of have changed politics in much the same way mr. russo from the beginning of the segment the tea party express predicts that they will. >> wonder if there's been a presidential campaign that was in essence a book tour. ken vogel of politico. great thanks. few forsaw the perennial and
losing candidate from delaware cat putting herself to infamy. but a look into history would indicate she was destined for this role. now christine o'donnell's greatest hits. her many pronouncements with think progress cannot be fully detailed but she fears that coed dorms will become orgy rooms. handing out condoms is like legalizing kids driving drunk or further the pred of aids. think about that one. women should submit to their husbands. allowing women to attend academies cripples the national defense and considers herself a feminist. >> do you consider yourself a feminist? >> absolutely but let me qualify, an authentic feminist, not as defined by the modern movement. let me clarify that a little bit more. i'm an england major. ist means one who celebrates.
as a feminist i celebrate my fem 90. >> as once mentioned she believes in the united states companies are cross breeding humans and annals and coming up with mice with fully functioning hugh man brains. she says factual evidence supports creationism over evolution. her belief or nonbelief in science directly affecting policy positions. cap and trade. >> cap and trade is the most destructive piece of legislation in american history. i think it's the final nail in the coffin of pushing us towards becoming a socialist economy. not only will it raise utility bills. not only will it paralyze our economy. it affects the movement of goods. it affects the creation of goods. it kills jobs. it's a bad bill. >> of course accusations of socialism much favored by tea party candidates -- >> america is now a socialist economy. the definition of a socialist economy is when 50% or more of
your economy is dependent on the federal government. >> also there's the unamerican bit or as o'donnell says anti-american. >> who do republicans want to run against? barack obama or hillary clinton? >> i would prefer barack obama because he is so liberal that he's anti-american. let me tell you a couple -- >> anti-american. >> let me explain why. he's beating the change drux but let's look at the change. he did not vote for english as the official language. >> o'donnell has also said that the aclu is trying to, quote, institute a communist country. but she returns again and again to what appears to an on session. declining morality represented by just about everything. britney spears she says sends a dangerous message about sexuality to the girls. sex and the city is very dangerous. which might be no big deal. just her opinion except she
preys the kind of censorship prevalent in the middle east. i just came back from the middle east and it was freshg with all that's going on. refreshing not to be constantly bombarded with smut all the time. this interview from this month where she's caught in a lie about how many counties she won when she ran against then senator joe biden in 2008. >> when you were speaking at an out of state group recently and you told them that you won two out of three counties in delaware, what did you mean? >> i don't think i ever said i won two out of three counties. but i certainly -- >> let's listen to the audio. hold on one second because i have the audio right here. >> i was the 2008 endorsed candidate against joe biden and i won in two counties. didn't have the support -- >> you said you won in two counties. >> that probably was -- on the
campaign trail a lot. i meant tied. they have a microphone waiting for you to trip up. >> christine, i'm just saying why -- you didn't tie him either. >> oh, absolutely i did. you look at the results. we tied in suffolk county and that had everything to do with your voters -- your listeners, dan. i mean, it was so exciting to see the results against the vice presidential candidate. we spent so much money. >> christine, christine. this is the easiest of the questions i have. >> didn't see something you were looking for at all there? don't like the rest of the business we're still looking for the american scientific companies cross breeding humans and animals and coming up with mice with fully functioning human beings. having acknowledged there there's so much "a" material. she's not yet released her first full-pledged campaign commercial
so we decided we'd do it for her. >> i'm christine o'donnell and i approve this message. >> now that christine o'donnell has won over the hearts of 30,561 delawareans, the support is coming in from everywhere about. >> there's just a lot of nutty things she's been saying. >> america is now a socialist economy. >> christine o'donnell looking to touch the political world but in a way it has never been touched before. >> masturbation is the same as adultery. >> so you can't master bait without lust. >> i know many sexual virgins who are not sexually pure. >> i still hold the same positions. >> you cannot expect people to get over these things quickly. >> christine o'donnell has all the experience tea partiers love. she has all the credentials tea partiers knead. >> turns out she never graduated from college. >> i'm kind of aware what's going on. >> this is not a race we're going to be able to win. >> christine o'donnell, when voting to abstain is just not enough.
in a very real sense her modest success in delaware produced a kind of arms race of tea party belligerence and fabrication. if there's an escalation in the stupid the safe money is always on michele bachmann. today she made stuff up about nancy pelosi and alcohol on air force planes. somewhere in america... there's a home by the sea powered by the wind on the plains. there's a hospital where technology has a healing touch. there's a factory giving old industries new life. and there's a train that got a whole city moving again.
somewhere in america, the toughest questions are answered every day. because somewhere in america, more than sixty thousand people spend every day answering them. siemens. everyone knows a fee is a tax. you raised some taxes during that period, particularly the property tax as well as a lot of fee increases. as you know, there's a big difference between fees and taxes. but...they're the same. it's a tax. it's a tax. it's a tax. it's a tax. there's a big difference between fees and taxes. fees and taxes are one in the same. if it comes out of my pocket, it's a tax. now he says it isn't true. we didn't raise taxes. what? still doing the same thing, paying out more money. typical politician. definitely.
speaker proves the most valued of values is making stuff up about nancy pelosi. he's thrown out the first pitch of the 2012 presidential campaign by mocking those with preexisting conditions which can now only get insurance for them and vowing to end the chance to zo. the day the dam broke. another hilarious warning on fridays with thurber. a veteran republican wigged out on fox, swearing at a conservative and calling him a racist. get out your popcorn. here's a myth:
the values voters summit kicked off with a familiar refrain from the master of ceremonies. the media is watching so, quote, don't be the weird one. let your laughter die down before i resume. in our fourth story the overarching message from today's tea party revival we can only restore the greatness of this country by electing ultra conservative republicans that will deny reproductive rights to and marriage rights to gays. the main attraction was a late addition, the new senate candidate from delaware wooing with her palinesque stage craft. >> thank you.
♪ >> where are my fellow bumble bees from delaware? hey. you guys are doing an awesome job. the small elite don't get us. they call us wacky. they call us wingnuts. we call us, we, the people. >> eve carrington is in the house. other speakers included two presidential hopefuls hoping to win sunday's presidential straw poll. mike huckabee and mitt romney scripting multiple jokes. romney's jokes apparently written by uncle floyd. >> yes we have serious enemies and growing threats around the world. unfortunately we have an administration whose idea of a rogue state is arizona. >> uncle floyd is in the house! and there was michele bachmann after fielding criticism from
her fellow opponent from minnesota electing to pull her name from the presidential straw poll. her speech however was not polled by anyone or anything. >> unlimited credit cards for our elected leaders have become an in entitlement. like speaker pelosi, who has been busy sticking the taxpayer with her $100,000 bar tab for alcohol on the military jets that she's flying. >> the speaker's office today responding to that, quote, speaker pelosi does not drink alcohol. there is no alcohol service on the domestic flights the air force operates for travel from washington to san francisco for the speaker. back in the rarefied area of the summit jim inhofe the agenda to re peel "don't ask, don't tell" problems will happen if you let openly gay into the military. them jim demint rubbing the
primary victories in their face. >> as some of you know i've been working for the last year to stir up some vigorous primaries between establishment republicans and -- between establishment republicans and republicans who stand for those principles of freedom. all over the country, we have candidates like pat toomey in pennsylvania and marco rubio in florida. we have rand paul in kentucky and sharron angle and christine o'donnell. i mean, we have some candidates, folks. this is no longer voting for the least worst on the ballot. >> get out there and vote for the worst on the ballot. in case you're interested there's more values action to be had this weekend. the director of the american families association brian fisher speaks tomorrow. we told you about him when he proposed a ban on new mosques. according to him each islamic mosque is dedicated to the overthrow of the american
government. he speaks tomorrow. there he is on the value voters summit between the duggars who have all the children in the world and newt gingrich. nate weigel attended today's summit. now he's backed down from the mountaintop. good evening. big picture first. the tone there was what? was this their mission accomplished day? was anybody wearing a flight suit? >> now, but it was jooub lant. it had a theme and exemplified by christine o'donnell and we're all going to see at least six more weeks. she was the embodiment of everything these activists have worked for. the proof that jim dee mint was talking about that they were right all along they could elect anyone at any time. somebody who didn't have much political experience or much of a record at all of campaigning. they could make them into a real candidate. and a lot of references to her. a lot of references to social issues too but more to just the election around the corner.
they really feel like they've got one. >> bachmann on pelosi, when she is pull something that untruthful, why did she pull her name out of the presidency. isn't she sort of the apex of this crowd? >> she is a one of a number of republicans. not so much romney or huckabee who don't want to look like they're trying to run ahead of the pack. the mission is defeating nancy pelosi. the applause line is getting nancy pelosi out of there than getting harry reid out of there. it was all about that. the lack of focus on the presidency is kind of interesting. usually by this point in the year we're close to people declaring it. but they really -- give them credit, they really have gotten into this holy crusade of getting rid of democratic control of congress. that, if they fail, is the end of america and they believe it. much less interest in the presidential race than that. >> does that explain this? sarah palin is not there. she's head lining the gop ronald
reagan dinner tonight. she's said. if the american people are ready for someone ready to shake it up and getting back to time tested truths and help lead the country to moore prosperous and safe future and if they i was the one the best for my family and our country of course i would give it a shot. i'm not saying that's me. i know i can make a difference without a title. i'm having a good time doing that now. for her to address the 2012 campaign with comparative seriousness, comparative detail but not be at the values voters summit, is there anything in congress about that or are they comfortable with the flock being in one place and shepherd in the other? >> fine with that. a lot of activists say they love sarah palin. they want basically clonls of sarah palin. maybe that's in some way what christine o'donnell is but she doesn't have what it takes to be president. the way that palin talks about that as a serious candidate is revealing. the way christine o'donnell
reinvented herself today i thought was an interesting story. this is a candidate and person who has struggled a bit. she's used campaign funds to pay, for example, her mother. pay for her house. she writes it off as grassroots campaigning and that's fine. but it's interesting the way she reinvented all of this for this crowd which might not have been that familiar with it. an attack on her personally attack on them. an attack on her statements in the '90s is an attack on the christianity. to attack her is to attack one. palin is less of a presidential candidate than the body of them all being attacked. if you can get a group behind you that sympathetic and will follow you into fire because they think it's a personal attack, there's power there that the democrats don't have right now. >> history is dotted with such examples. msnbc contributor dave weigel. thanks for your time. we're saying the worst perhaps for last. somebody at that summit not only seeking to repeal the most popular part of health care
reform, insurance for preexisting conditions, but comparing those of you who have one to a car wreck or a burned house. the speaker, a man who was -- and we mean this literally -- once morbidly obese. or, maybe you want to help improve our schools? whatever you want to do, members project from american express can help you take the first step. vote, volunteer or donate for the causes you believe in at membersproject.com. take charge of making a difference.
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master bation for christine o'donnell. say, is that a preexisting condition? let's play "oddball." we begin in carthage, mississippi. the cat has just given birth to kittens. you think a herd of kittens would be enough for a mother cat to handle but emmy acquired an adoptee, a baby squirrel. he has assimilated himself into the group of kittens. surprisingly mother cat doesn't seem to mind. i'm guessing here mom just doesn't know. it's a volume issue here. the owners of emmy decided to keep the squirrel as a pet and given him the unoriginal name of rocky. everything seemed to be going smoothly until rocky invited himself over for a meal. bull something. popular slo vinnian news show "24 ur." the point where the anchorman appears to have an intense conversation seems normal until
you take a closer look. apparently, hello! the anchorman decided that the pants were optional. well, it's just a brief update. before it was a fake. i don't get it anchorman without pants. that happens every day. how often did you see walter cronkite's pants, huh? only in america. the transcendent part of health care reform. you can't be denied because of a preexisting condition. mike huckabee doesn't want to just appeal it but mocking it and those who have one. ♪ when the parts for the line ♪ ♪ come precisely on time ♪ that's logistics ♪ ♪ a continuous link, that is always in sync ♪ ♪ that's logistics ♪ ♪ carbon footprint reduced, bottom line gets a boost ♪ ♪ that's logistics ♪ ♪ with new ways to compete ♪ there'll be cheers on wall street, that's logistics ♪
the theory of the lifeboat goes thusly. boat sinks, you swim to the lifeboat, get in and use the oars and use them to keep anybody else from getting in with you. third story in the "countdown" latest proof former governor mike huckabee. he once weighed 300 pounds which is the ultimate medical preexisting condition. today having lost 110 pounds he compared your preexisting condition to a beatup ford focus. back at the values voters summit, window into a
prospective huckabee white house. first warmed up with light hearted humor about death panels and jeremiah wright. then that insurance companies can't deny coverage to those with preexisting conditions. >> it sounds so good and such a warm message to say we're not going to deny anyone from a preexisting condition. look, i think that sounds terrific but i want to ask you something from a common sense perspective. suppose we applied that that you can come on with any condition you have and cover you with the same cost as everybody else because we want to be fair. okay, fine. then let's do that with our property insurance. and you can call your insurance agent and say i'd like to buy insurance for my house. he'd say tell me about your house. well, sir, it burned down yesterday but i'd like to insure it today. and he'll say, i'm sorry, but we can't insure it after it's already burned. no preexisting conditions. >> try to figure out how denying
insurance is a christian value he's not finished. this time comparing it to a car. maybe it's his way of endorsing the individual mandate. >> how would you like to call the insurance agent for your car, i want to insure my car. tell me about the car. pretty nice until my 16-year-old boy wrecked it out. like to insure it so we can get it replaced. how much would a policy cost if it covered everything? about as much as it's going to cost for health care in this country. >> joining me now washington bureau chief for mother jones magazine, columnist, david corn. good evening. the one part of health care re form that transcended the health care reform. insurance access for those with preexisting conditions. people totally against it say, no, keep that. why did he go there? >> only one explanation. he believes what he's saying. i know that's hard for people to
fathom. but i mean think about it. republicans when they were going against obama care, they said, there's all these things that we do like and why don't we just do these things and would include the preexisting conditions on that. and these conditions actually are kicking in or this provision is kicking in next week for children. will take longer for it to ally to adults. so if mike huckabee is serious about running for president, i can just see the president, president obama, running against him should huckabee become the nominee in 2012 saying to crowds, how many of you have preexisting conditions? how many of you have insurance? now, how many of you would like to lose that if mike huckabee becomes president? i mean, there's no gain here. it's just i think an ideological notion of his that he's just being very liberal in explaining to us. i mean, i salute him for telling us what he really believes. >> yeah, but even if that's the case, then the candidate, whoever it is in whatever the
race is can read those quotes and say why are you comparing -- it's a bad sale to compare human beings to burning houses and wreaked cars. >> and it also doesn't make sense. if you want to come up with an analogy you'd say that's like getting insurance for someone who is dead. if your car gets into an accident, you still get to have insurance on it later. and the whole thing about preexisting conditions, the nefarious side of this is you can have something like hay fever and then the insurance companies say we're not going to take you on for anything involving, say, your lungs or respiratory system, so we won't cover you for pneumonia or things like that. it's not like people are saying pay for the broken leg i broke yesterday. they're using this as a crutch to keep as many sick people off their rolls because they don't make money on those people. they don't make money on insurance if you don't have to provide the service. so his analogy is off. he's wrong politically. i don't know. he still plays a pretty good
bass. >> is he trying to tea party himself? is he trying to get tougher and more totalitarian to fit in with the new crowd? >> well, i mean, i don't -- he's always had the christian right on his side, which is what this values voters summit was. it was more religious right than tea party. i don't know if tea party people out there -- a lot of them who are older, let's put it that way, who are -- who may have insurance issues. maybe a lot are medicare already. i don't know if this is a winning issue to them. most people want the ability to get health insurance at a decent price. he's saying to them, sorry, i just see you as a burnt-out car. >> david corn of mother jones. great thanks. have a good weekend and nice drive home to your house. >> yes. thank you, keith. when rachel joins you at the top of the hour a look into christine o'donnell's past history with -- yes, the ex-gay movement. here fridays with thurber, another cautionary tale from the master. the day the dam broke. your hint, it didn't break.
twice in three days an often vitriolic conservative has a meltdown with somebody too conservative and too vitriolic even for him. al de-matte you hear what they're up to now? some in congress are getting squeezed by the special interests again. trying to delay action and give polluters free reign to keep dumping toxic pollution into the air. the air our children breathe. letting big oil lobbyists get their way again, and again, and again. it's a last-minute bill, written by special interests, looking for a payback. washington politicians need to get off the dime, and not let corporate polluters off the hook. ♪
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bent trees. they say a little old lady there owes $350,000 rubles and has ten days to pay that money or they're going to sell her puppies. you heard me. pay the $350,000 rubles, lady or the doggies get it. shar-peis, cute as a button. since she breeds them she has a lot to sell. the runner-up don blankenship head of massey energy who run the mine in west virginia where 29 miners were injured andc%
managed to get set up with the nonsensical uneducated hatred pushed by flip tea party types and called b.s. on it. the first karl rove wigging out over the lump of dumb and judgmental christine o'donnell. but now al de a m amato. >> most of these guys working in the post office should be driving cabs and i think we should stop importing labor from nigeria and ethiopia. that's about the skill level. that's why i allege they should be bumped down to driving cabs and stop importing labor to drive cabs. >> you are a nasty -- you are a nasty racist. when you begin to -- i'm going to just make my observation. i have a right to do it. you brought in the fact a bunch of nigerians.
let me just tell you that's a bunch of bull [ bleep ] and you should be ashamed of yourself and have your mouth washed out. what the hell are you talking about? it's one thing to say they're out -- wait a minute -- shut up. i listened to your racist bull [ bleep ]. it's one thing to say that they're hiring people who are unskilled, that they're -- that you can save money, that you can run it better, that it is inefficient, ineffective and i agree to all of those things but for you to bring in this bull [ bleep ] about a bunch of nigerians et cetera, that's out of line. >> when he once filibustered a job killing jobs by singing down in mexico way when he's the voice of introspection, when he's calling out the b.s. and racists all i can say is he's right. my nasal allergies are ruining our camping trip. i know who works differently
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we know that good writing is sometimeless but this is ridiculous. week after week james thurber offers warnings from his time about our time. for my money this is another of his classic perfect recollections of his youth in columbus, ohio. the story is true. thurber would have been 18 on the march day this all happened or in this case didn't all happen. it appeared first in "my life and hard times" in 1933. as usual i'm reading from the library of america thurber writings and drawings recently reprinted because you asked for it and so did all those who ran first and thought about it second in "the day the dam broke" buy james thurber. my memories of what my family and i went through during the 1913 flood in ohio i would gladly forget and yet neither the hardships we endured nor the turmoil and confusion we
experienced can alter my feeling toward my native state and city. i am having a fine time now and wish columbus were here. but if anyone ever wished a city was in hell, it was during that frightful and perilous afternoon in 1913 when the dam broke or, to be more exact, when everybody in town thought the dam broke. we were both ennobled and demoralized by the experience. grandfather especially rose to magnificent heights which can never lose their smrenldor for me. even though his reactions to the flood were based upon a profound misconception, namely that nathan bedford forrest cavalry was the one we were called to protect. we were going to leave the house which grandfather forbade brandishing his army sword. let the sons of mm-mmm mm come he record. many were screaming "go east, go
east!" we had to stun him with the ironing board. impeded buy him -- he was taller than six feet and weighed almost 170 pounds -- we were passed in the first half mile by practically everybody else in the city. had grandfather not come to at the corner of parsons avenue and town street, we would unquestionably have been overtaken and engulfed by the roaring waters. that is, if there had been any roaring waters. later, when the panic had died down and people had gone rather sheepishly back to homes and offices minimizing the distances they had run and offering various reasons for running, city engineers pointed out that even if the dam had broken, the water level would not have risen more than two additional inches in the west side. the west side was at the time of the dam scare under 30 feet of water. as indeed were all ohio river towns during the great spring floods of 20 years ago. the east side where we lived and where all the running occurred had never been in any danger at
all. only a rise of some 95 feet could have caused the floodwaters to flow over high street. the thoroughfare that divide st. the east side of town and the west and engulfed the east side. the fact we were all safe as kittens under cook's stove did not assuage in the least the fine despair and grotesque desperation which seized upon the residents of the east side when the cries spread like a grass fire that the dam had given way. some of the most dignified, staid, cynical and clear thinking men in town abandoned their wives, stenographers' homes and offices and ran east. there are fewer things more terrifying than "the dam has broken." there are few capable of stopping to reason when that cry strikes upon their ears, even if persons who live in towns no nearer than 500 miles to a dam. the columbus, ohio, broken dam rumor fwan as i recall it about noon on march 12th, 1913.
high street the man canyon of trade was loud with the buzzing of placid businessmen arguing, computing, compromising. darius cunningway one of the most foremost lawyers in the mid the west was saying in the language of julius caesar that they might as well try to move the northern star as to try to move him. other men made their little boasts and little gestures. suddenly somebody began to run. it may be that he had simply remembered all of a sudden an engagement to meet his wife for which he was now frightfully late. whatever it was, he ran east on broad street probably toward the maramore restaurant, a favorite place for a man to meet his wife. someone else began to run. another man, a portly gentleman of affairs broke into a trot. inside of ten minutes everybody on high street from the union depot to the courthouse was running. a loud mumble gradually
crystallized into the dread word "dam, the dam has broke." the fear was put into words by a little old lady or an electric or traffic cop or a small boy. nobody knows who, nor does it now really matter. 2,000 people were abruptly in full flight. "go east" was the cry that arose. "east away from the river, east to safety. go east, go east, go east!" that is where time requires us to stop for the first part of our story. remembering always that the dam did not break. part one of the day t"day the d broke." monday something sption here. those small businesses republicans keep talking about protecting, tax breaks and new jobs and such, we're making a list. funny thing. those small businesses really are not that small.