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The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 11/16/11

Guests: Eugene Robinson, Al Sharpton, John Hodgman

RACHEL MADDOW, HOST: Good evening, Ed. Thank you. And thanks to you at home for staying with us for the next hour. Tell me if this reminds you of anything. This is about a year before the presidential election. This is the front-runner for the Republican nomination. He sat down with a local but hard nosed aggressive reporter. And the candidate totally blew it. Just fell right on his face. What does this remind you of? (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REPORTER: Can you name the president of Chechnya? GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: No, can you? REPORTER: Name the president of Taiwan? BUSH: Yes. Lee. REPORTER: Can you name the general who`s in charge of Pakistan? BUSH: Is this a 50 questions? REPORTER: No, it`s four questions of four leaders and four hot spots. BUSH: The Pakistani general has just been elected. He`s not elected. This guy took over office. He appears he`s going to bring stability to the country. Think that`s good news you. REPORTER: You can name him? BUSH: The general. I can name the general. REPORTER: And it`s in. BUSH: General. REPORTER: Finally, I asked Bush to identify the leader of India`s government. And the prime minister of India? BUSH: The new prime minister of India is -- no. REPORTER: Which led to this. BUSH: Can you name the foreign minister of Mexico? REPORTER: No, sir. No, sir, but I would say to that, I`m not running for president. BUSH: I understand. I understand. But the point I say to you is that, you know, if what you`re suggesting is, is that -- what I`m suggesting to you, if you can`t name the foreign minister of Mexico, therefore, you know, you`re not capable of what you do. But the truth of the matter is you are, whether you can or not. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Truth of the matter is you is. Does that remind you of anybody at all? (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REPORTER: Are you ready for the gotcha questions? They`re coming from the media. HERMAN CAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`m ready for the gotcha questions. They`re already starting to come. When they ask me who`s the president of Ubecky, becky, becky, becky, stan, stan. I`m going to say, I don`t know, do you know? REPORTER: Can you name the president of Chechnya? BUSH: No, can you? (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: People say it is impossible the Herman Cain art project could result in a Republican presidential nomination, but why not? (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REPORTER: You agreed with President Obama on Libya or not? CAIN: OK. Libya. I do not agree with the way he handled it for the following reason. Nope. That`s a different one. REPORTER: And the prime minister of India? BUSH: The new prime minister of India is -- no. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: In year 2000, people apparently did not care about picking a guy who had foreign policy chops. Today, President Obama made his first trip to Australia as president and made the surprise announcement there that 250 U.S. Marines are going to be stationed there starting next year. Eventually, 2,500 American troops are going to be rotated through Australia. President Obama says it will be a permanent outpost for us. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are here to stay. This is a region of huge strategic importance to us. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: The posting of U.S. Marines in Australia is being seen as a brush back to China, essentially asserting America`s place in that very far flung part of the world. Now whether sending the Marines to Australia seems to you like a bad use of the U.S. military or a great use of the U.S. military, that move today did afford the opportunity in our domestic politics for the Republican Party`s presidential hopefuls to show off their own foreign policy chops. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R-MN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`m the only candidate that`s running right now that is currently engaged in foreign policy. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Michele Bachmann. You know, in their infinite wisdom, the Republican Party in the House did decide to put Michele Bachmann on the intelligence committee this year. So, as a candidate, she is trying to use that to claim foreign policy expertise -- letting Iowa voters know today that she is Johnny on the spot when it comes to all the latest on foreign policy. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I heard this morning on the local station here in Spencer, Iowa, Obama was sending troops to Australia. Yes, that`s what I heard. BACHMANN: Are you kidding? For what reason? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t know. BACHMANN: Now, that`s -- OK -- -- I don`t know what that reason is, but I will definitely look into that. (END VIDEO CLIP) BACHMANN: Michele Bachmann currently, I guess, looking into it. Do you remember at the dawn of Rick Perry? Part of the reason we knew that Rick Perry was getting into the race for president was they kept leaking that Rick Perry was meeting with foreign leaders. Remember? In his capacity as Texas governor, of course, he happened to need to meet with the former president of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf. Also with the prime minister of Latvia. Rick Perry looks like governor of Texas but in actuality, he`s an international statesman. It seemed like Rick Perry, himself, believed that enough to go for it on foreign policy at first in the debates. That overconfidence, however, led to tragedies like this one. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MODERATOR: Governor Perry, if you were president and got a call at 3:00 a.m. telling you that Pakistan had lost control of its nuclear weapons at the hands of the Taliban, what would be your first move? GOV. RICK PERRY (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, obviously, before you ever get to that point, you have to build a relationship in that region, and that`s one of the things that this administration has not done. Just yesterday we found out through Admiral Mullen that Haqqani has been involved with, and that`s the terrorist group directly associated with the Pakistani country. So to have a relationship with India, to make sure that India knows that they are an ally of the United States. For instance, when we had the opportunity to sell India the upgraded F-16s, we chose not to do that. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: So, if Rick Perry were president, he got the 3:00 a.m. phone call saying Pakistan has lost control of its nuclear weapons, he would make sure that we sold India some F-16s, which we already did. Whatever Rick Perry meant about what`s associated with the Pakistani country, the other candidates realized in that moment -- this is when Rick Perry was flying high. Other candidates realized this was an advantage to seize an advantage over Rick Perry. Here`s Rick Santorum making his move. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) RICK SANTORUM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: To answer the question on Pakistan, I`m not too sure was answered -- (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Rick Santorum, very excited, going in on Rick Perry because Rick Perry didn`t make sense on Pakistan. As you can see, Rick Santorum has come up with his own answer on this and he`s going to hit a home run where Rick Perry has just struck out. You can see the gleam in his eye. He`s super excited. He`s going in. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SANTORUM: We should be establishing relationships in Pakistan with allies of ours, folks like, you know, relationships with president Musharraf, with others in the country. If, in fact, something like that would occur, we could work in concert to make sure that coup could be overturned and make sure the weapons do not fall into those hands. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Rick Santorum saying if he got the call at 3:00 a.m. that Pakistan lost control of its nukes, he would call the former president of Pakistan, President Musharraf, the former -- I think who is in Texas right now meeting with guys like Rick Perry. Rick Santorum when in the senate was on the intelligence committee. Michele Bachmann is still on the intelligence committee, which is amazing. Rick Perry did apparently have some fixer hook him up with a meeting with the prime minister of Latvia and Pervez Musharraf. This guy tried to develop some expertise on foreign policy, it`s not just really working out this year. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you view China as a potential military threat to the United States? CAIN: Yes, they`re a military threat. They`ve indicated they`re trying to development nuclear capability. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: For the record, China is not trying to develop nuclear capability. They have had nuclear weapons since 1964. The Herman Cain campaign has tried to deal with its foreign policy problem every time it manifests, using a few different strategies. At one point, his campaign told the "Daily Caller" Web site that Mr. Cain was getting a one-page briefing on foreign policy issues almost every day. A full page, almost every day. But when things did not get any better, despite that extensive briefing, instead of trying to explain it away, make people try to not worry about it, they have now tried to turn this into an asset. Mr. Cain telling the "Milwaukee Journal Sentinel" after his interview if which he didn`t know what Libya was, he`s telling "The Journal Sentinel," quote, "I`m not supposed to know anything about foreign policy." To be fair, Mr. Cain also says that about things other than foreign policy. He also says now he`s not supposed to really know much about much. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CAIN: I`m often criticized about the fact that I`ve never held public office. And criticized that I don`t know this and I don`t know that and I don`t know that and I don`t know this. You know, a leader doesn`t have to know everything. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: I don`t think I have to try to prove this anymore. I think the evidence is overwhelming. Can we just concede that we agree on this? No, you need more? OK. Watch. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REPORTER: Would you favor a military strike against Iran to stop that country from developing a nuclear capability? CAIN: That`s not a practical top-tier alternative, and here`s why. If you look at the topography of Iran, where are you going to strike? It`s very mountainous. That`s what makes it very difficult. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: The American military needs flatness. If there isn`t flatness, we can`t do anything. Bumpy areas, steep areas, steepness is very peaceful. Has to be. Mr. Cain went on to say he would consult -- actually, just play it. Just play it. Come on. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CAIN: The United States to unilaterally go in and attack Iran, to try and stop them, I would want to consult with the intelligence community, the commanders on the ground in that part of the world. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Before attacking Iran, Herman Cain would want to consult with America`s military commanders on the ground in Iran. See, they must be in the flat part. Today, at a campaign stop in Miami, Herman Cain asked, how do you say delicious in Cuban? In what? In Cuban, he asked. All right. The common wisdom right now about the weakness of the Republican field on the issue of foreign policy and all things foreign is that it doesn`t matter very much. This isn`t going to be a foreign policy election, so who cares if Rick Perry can`t tell Pakistan from Pashmina? Who really cares that this guy cannot tell becky, becky, becky from 9-9-9? Although today, Herman Cain tried to make it nueve, nueve, nueve, which is awesome, and also, I`m just saying, I win. The other reason there`s no generalized alarm about this in the Republican field is because the common wisdom that Republican candidates, no matter how individually idiotic they may appear on international issues, they sort of count on the Republican Party having a good brand on national security and foreign policy. That is the Beltway common wisdom. That common wisdom may be changing. "The New York Times" today quoting Republican foreign policy heavyweights who are not pleased with this crop of Republican candidates and all the stuff they keep screwing up on foreign issues. A former George W. Bush national security official telling the "Times" quote, "This is the core of the Republican brand. You mess with it at your peril. Republicans should be concerned about this." A former White House counsel for the first President Bush saying, quote, "People are taking this stuff in stride. But at some point, the public picks up on it." Ronald Reagan`s former chief of staff saying, quote, honestly the Republican debates have become a reality show. People have to be perceived as being capable of governing this country.: Now that we`re less than two months out from the voting in Iowa, candidates trying to get themselves into the top tier, trying to keep themselves in the top tier are realizing they do have to make some gesture toward seriousness on foreign policy, make some gesture toward not being laughably ignorant on foreign policy. And so, they are starting to go after each other on this. Newt Gingrich saying about Herman Cain on a conservative radio show today, quote, "I think it`s fairly important in a dangerous world to have a president who knows something about foreign policy." Take that Mr. I don`t need to know anything about foreign policy. I think it is at least encouraging that Mr. Gingrich is trying to say foreign policy matters. That said, glass house, throwing stones. Newt Gingrich this year, you will remember, went from demanding U.S. intervention in Libya before President Obama made that decision, to totally reversing his position and insisting we should not do that once President Obama decided what we should do. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS: What would you do about Libya? GINGRICH: Exercise a no-fly zone this evening. Communicate to the Libyan military that Gadhafi was gone. This is a moment to get rid of him. Do it. Get it over with. I would not have intervened. I think there are a lot of other ways to affect Gadhafi. I would not have used American and European forces. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Newt Gingrich is trying to sound like the serious guy on foreign policy. But like the other Republican candidates this year, he has not exactly distinguished himself on this. In order to seem like a serious candidate, you have to seem like you can handle some basics of foreign policy. That`s why it`s important for the likely nominee, Mitt Romney, to seem serious on this issue as well. But Mitt Romney, in turns, for all his perceived seriousness, is just as bad as the rest of them on basic foreign policy issues. ABC News recently adding up Mitt Romney`s positions on the issue just of Libya, they ended up with a grand total of five. First, it was that President Obama didn`t act fast enough. And, then, Mitt Romney decided that he would go totally silent on the issue. No comment at all. Then, Mr. Romney argued that Mr. Obama was being too aggressive in Libya. Then Mitt Romney cheered Mr. Obama`s aggressiveness after Gadhafi was toppled. And finally, Mitt Romney returned to his original position which is that President Obama didn`t act fast enough. The response so far to anybody who might question whether or not Mitt Romney knows anything about foreign policy, he`s never worked in foreign policy in his life, the response from the Republican establishment is essentially don`t worry, he`s surrounding himself with a great foreign policy team. That`s what they said about George W. Bush, too. In the case of Mitt Romney, though, the great foreign policy team that Mitt Romney is loading up with are foreign policy advisers from the last Republican administration, which would be the administration of George W. Bush. If there`s one thing the American people think of when they want to be comforted about foreign policy expertise, naturally, it`s the administration of George W. Bush. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REPORTER: Can you name the president of Chechnya? BUSH: No, can you? REPORTER: And the prime minister of India? BUSH: The new prime minister of India is -- no. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: No. Joining us now is Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for "The Washington Post" and MSNBC political analyst, Gene Robinson. Gene, I`m sorry about the banner. EUGENE ROBINSON, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: The banner is great. MADDOW: I want to stop saying. I figured I would show it instead. ROBINSON: We`ve talked about this before. I`m down with your theory. I`m with you on this. It`s true. It has to be an art project -- getting a little old, but never mind. MADDOW: The art project or the assertion? ROBINSON: No, the art project. MADDOW: Yes, you know, foreign policy is supposed to be a big political strength for the Republican Party, broadly speaking. Is this a throw in the towel moment? Is this all of the campaigns saying, you know what, we don`t care so it doesn`t matter if we screw it up? Or are they actually trying and just failing? ROBINSON: I think they`re trying at this point. Look, Mitt Romney in a normal cycle, we`d say, you know, he`s a fairly credible candidate. He`s a little weak on foreign policy. Compared to this field, he looks like Benjamin Disraeli -- Henry Kissinger, name your sage. You can chalk up his five positions on Libya to the Republican imperative to be against whatever Obama is for. He must have done something wrong. Even if, you know, I would have done the same thing. He must have done something wrong. Maybe this is just wishful thinking that Romney is not a total foreign policy idiot, because frankly, the rest of them sound like foreign policy idiots. MADDOW: Graded on the curve. ROBINSON: Yes. MADDOW: Once Republicans do pick a candidate, and they want their nominee, if only for the sake of the party, to not look disqualified on foreign policy, how do they do that? I mean, what George W. Bush did, everybody thought -- I mean, that performance made an impact in 1999. It was about this time in the campaign, in the 2000 presidential campaign, and the way that the Republican establishment reassured everybody is they said: don`t worry, people like Dick Cheney and his dad`s advisers will be around and they`re grown-ups. Who are the grown-ups now that are available to a Republican nominee? Everybody`s a George W. Bush person. ROBINSON: Exactly. I mean, they`re all kind of associated with and dare I say tainted by that association with the Bush administration. So, what`s hard to figure exactly where you go to -- you`ve got to, you know, you`re going to have to search through the weeds and try to find the few Republican leaning foreign policy experts who had doubts about Iraq and there were some, and who weren`t really in favor of torture, and there were some, although I guess that would be for OK for candidates. (CROSSTALK) MADDOW: It wouldn`t bother them. ROBINSON: Torture is very popular. MADDOW: Is there an opening for Ron Paul? I ask that seriously. Ron Paul, perking up in the polls right now in Iowa. He has a very distinctive foreign policy vision. He`s a Pat Buchanan-esque isolationist. Something that clear from any one of these candidates, and it`s seemingly informed on the issue, more than any of these guys at least seem to be. Could that be an attraction in a field that is essentially a vacuum on this issue? ROBINSON: You know, I think that can get him some support. I don`t think it can get him the nomination, but it can get him some support. The problem is that, I think there is this growing sense in the Republican Party, this growing faction in the Republican Party, that is more isolationist, that thinks we ought to bring back the troops and do what Ron Paul essentially said we should to. However, some of those people who go to the Ron Paul side are going to hear him start talking about the Austrian economic school and how we should all be wheeling around our wheelbarrows full of gold ingots to do our shopping and they`re going to say, that`s a little too far. MADDOW: Eugene Robinson, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for "The Washington Post" and good humored friend to sit here while I was doing ridiculous things with a banner, thanks. ROBINSON: This banner goes in the Smithsonian. MADDOW: Thank you, Gene. All right. Tonight on the interview, it`s John Hodgman from the "Daily Show." He`s here. He has some angle on Occupy Wall Street that he will not tell me about, but I predict it will be detailed, strange, and strangely detailed. John Hodgman just ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: The Reverend Al Sharpton is my guest coming up next. And the interview tonight is the one and only John Hodgman. That`s coming up. That is all. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: You may love Thanksgiving, you may hate it, I don`t know. It`s your business. But you know who never finds Thanksgiving fun? The turkey. The turkey is always invited and never wants to go. The turkey does not care whether your grant aunt puts marshmallows in the sweet potato casserole or not. The turkey does not care if the stuffing is actually stuffing or is in fact dressing cooked on the side. The turkey just knows that it does not love Thanksgiving. It`s kind of like when you`re a governor, like Wisconsin Scott Walker, say, and your constituents decide they`re going to try to recall you. A campaign to recall Governor Walker started yesterday. These photos were posted yesterday on the liberal Web site Daily Kos from the rally in Milwaukee. The recall effort from their perspective looked pretty much like party at this point. Look at this -- they made a big battery powered sign out of LED Christmas lights you can carry around with you, lights and all. "Recall Walker" in bright, glowing LEDs. They carried that sign around Governor Walker`s neighborhood while they collected signatures for their recall petitions. From the perspective of the recallers, recalls are fun, as long as you`re not the turkey, right? The subject of the recall effort, Governor Scott Walker today told public radio that this idea of recalling Scott Walker he thinks is a bad idea. (BEGIN AUDIO CLIP) GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), WISCONSIN: I think most of your listeners across America probably are scratching their head on the recall to begin with, because most states have recalled and say misconduct in office, some sort of thing like that, that triggers it, not just I disagree or agree with a piece of legislation. (END AUDIO CLIP) MADDOW: Recalling Scott Walker a bad idea according to Scott Walker. The effort to recall him gets under way this week, a brand new poll says a large majority of Wisconsin voters do want the recall effort against him to succeed. They say they would vote to throw Governor Walker out of office. This is a new news. Democrats have always wanted to get rid of Governor Walker by a huge margin. Now nearly a quarter of Wisconsin Republicans said they, too, would like to vote to recall Scott Walker. The Wisconsin Republicans who say they want to recall Walker tend to be younger. They also tend to make less money than other Republicans. And perhaps totally unrelated Wisconsin news, Republicans have moved this week to make it much harder to vote in Wisconsin. If you`re a student at a technical college, students at technical colleges do tend to be younger than your average voter and they tend not to come from highfalutin backgrounds. Wisconsin Republicans this year passed a law that says you cannot vote anymore in Wisconsin unless you show documentation you`ve never had to show before and hundreds of thousands of eligible Wisconsin voters don`t have. After Republicans initially said a college ID would not allow you to vote in Wisconsin at all, a deal was worked out so college ID would allow you to vote, except now Republicans are specifically trying to block IDs from technical colleges. There are 47 technical colleges in Wisconsin. It`s this huge system. There are 400,000 Wisconsinites who go to these schools. That`s 10 percent of all the voting age population of the state. But with your ID from that school, one in 10 Wisconsinites, you can`t vote, at least if the Republicans get their way. One Democratic lawmaker responding, quote, "Why do you want to treat tech college students as second class citizens?" Maybe because 10 percent matters in a close election, like a close recall election of your party`s unpopular governor, maybe. All year, we`ve seen Republican legislatures and Republican governors work to roll back voting rights. In Maine last week, voters repealed a Republican law that made voting harder. Voters put back the right to register to vote and vote on Election Day, which Republicans had taken away. Now, like Wisconsin, Maine Republicans say they want to block you from voting anymore in Maine unless you show documentation you`ve never had to show before and many eligible Maine voters do not have. In Ohio, this year, Republicans passed a law that cuts early voting in half and cuts absentee voting by almost as much. In September, a campaign to repeal that law delivered petitions to put it on the ballot this year. They got help in collecting the petitions from the Obama re-election campaign in Ohio. It`s a sign of how important Democrats think voting rights are to their political prospects in crucial swing states like Ohio. But even with that help from the Obama campaign, the petition drive on the Ohio early voting thing has fallen short so far by about 10,000 signatures. Ohio Democrats say they will turn in 150,000 more signatures this week, more than enough. And they say they`ll turn them in in plenty of time. But the fact that they got national help from the Obama re-election campaign and still had to go out a second time makes you wonder how strong the fight back is for the activists sticking up for voting rights, sticking up for voting rights against very, very, very concerted Republican opposition. Joining us now is the Reverend Al Sharpton. He`s host of MSNBC`s "POLITICS NATION." He`s the founder and president of the National Action Network and he`s an activist on voting rights and many other issues. Reverend Sharpton, it is great to have you here. Thank you. AL SHARPTON, "POLITICS NATION" HOST: Glad to be with you. MADDOW: You have seen a lot of organizing campaigns on a lot of issues. The effort to oppose Republicans rolling back voting rights in the states this year, how do you think that effort is going? SHARPTON: I think it`s going well. It needs to go even better, though. I think, the fact is, you have framed it right. This is a very serious voter rights issue. Not just a partisan issue. The ramifications of this clearly are designed for 2012, but it will go beyond that. Because in many ways, it will disenfranchise large percentages of voters ongoing. And I think that is where it must be framed -- seniors who don`t have a lot of the IDs and a lot of young people, disproportionately African-Americans. I think 25 percent. When you look at Wisconsin, when you`re talking about first college students, now technical college students. You`re talking about age. You`re talking about a class situation. And it is really geared toward the voters that are most likely to vote against someone like Governor Walker. So, there`s clear politics here, but it really speaks to the heart of voting rights in this country. MADDOW: And it also dovetails very nicely with groups that are probably least organized and, therefore, least able to fight back when their voting rights are taken away. I guess that`s why the Ohio result seems important to me. The fact that they didn`t get enough signatures first pass, they say they will ultimately, but even with Organizing for America, the Obama group (ph), trying to help them out, they did not turn in enough signatures. Do you think that`s an ominous sign? SHARPTON: I think that can be, but it also could be an energizing sign. Because it could mean we`ve got to dig in deeper, it could mean there`s got to be a lot more focus and a lot more public education because people need to "A," know what is at stake, and "B" know it is not hopeless. A lot of people will just give up. And I think people know they can win. When you look at the fact that two state senators were recalled in Wisconsin, which no one felt when Walker came in and his crew just totally went after collective bargaining and voting rights. So, I think you have to try to convince people that if you do fight, you can win, if you don`t fight, you`re guaranteed to lose. MADDOW: Reverend Al Sharpton, host of MSNBC`s "POLITICS NATION," which airs at 6:00 p.m. here on MSNBC and is doing great. I just have to tell you personally, your show is really creative and ambitious and cool. I enjoy it every day. SHARPTON: We don`t have a banner yet, though. MADDOW: I can loan you mine. The other side is not yet written on. SHARPTON: We speak Castro. MADDOW: You speak Castro? SHARPTON: It goes with our Cuban. MADDOW: Reverend Al Sharpton. Thank you, sir. SHAPRTON: Thank you. MADDOW: All right. John Hodgman is here for the interview tonight. Stick around for that. Speaking Castro. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Late last Friday night, Secret Service agents say they heard several gunshots near the White House in Washington. They then reportedly witnessed a car speeding away westbound on Constitution Avenue. That car and a semiautomatic rifle were found abandoned on Constitution Avenue shortly thereafter. Yesterday, the Secret Service confirmed that a bullet from somewhere did in fact hit the White House. Cracking a window in a room called the yellow oval room, which is apparently just down the hall from the president`s bedroom. The bullet was stopped by bulletproof glass. Another bullet was found on the grounds of the White House, but outside the actual building. Now, again, this was Friday night. President Obama and the first lady were not home. They`re traveling. And for the record, the secret service says the damage at the White House has not been conclusively connected to Friday`s reported shooting incident. They say an assessment of the exterior of the White House is ongoing. But this afternoon police arrested this man, Oscar Ramiro Ortega- Hernandez, after circulating his picture and description. Mr. Ortega- Hernandez was found and arrested at a Hampton inn in Indiana, Pennsylvania, a little more than four hours` drive from D.C. The suspect has the record of arrest for fairly minor offenses in three different states. He`s 21 years old. On the question of a potential motive here, one anonymous federal official is telling the "Washington Post" tonight that the suspect, quote, "hates the president, hates Washington, he hates society." That is all we know at this point and what we`ve got from the "Washington Post" on motive there is obviously anonymous hearsay. This is obviously a troubling story. We will let you know if and when we learn more. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Today was moving day at the sanitation garage on 57th Street in Midtown Manhattan. That`s where the Occupy Wall Street protesters` stuff was taken when New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg sent in the police to evict the protesters in the middle of the night on Monday. So, today, moving day at the sanitation department. The Occupy Wall Street library folks expecting to have lots of stuff to move, lots of stuff to pick up from there. They did their own version of the phone call you make to your buddies who are good at lifting heavy boxes and have a pickup truck. They put out a call for help. They put out this call for help with a handy map to guide volunteers to the sanitation garage to go pick up the library. They also included a list of what they thought they would need to move, an inventory of what had been taken during the police raid on the Occupy Wall Street camp. They expected to be moving between 2,000 and 4,000 books. Custom-made stamps for the Occupy Wall Street library, laptop computers, shelves, tables. Also, they were helping to collect two librarians. Quote, we are also missing two librarians, two young men are still in the system and we`d like them back, please, Mr. Bloomberg. The folks behind the Occupy Wall Street library tell us both of the young men librarians have been released from jail. But as for the contents of library, that didn`t fair so well. The Occupy Wall Street librarians who went to retrieve the library reported back that many of the books from the library were just destroyed and most of the equipment and the structures necessary to put the library together were missing. They said among that stuff that was missing was all of the reference section. They were particularly upset by that. Here`s a photo posted of a Bible that looks to have been very much damaged in all of the hullabaloo. The Occupy Wall Street librarians say more or may not be coming out of a giant trash pile at the back of the building. We asked the mayor`s office for permission, again, today to go inside the sanitation garage on 57th Street to look at the library to get our own photos of it. Again, the mayor`s office declined to give us that permission. Last night when the Occupy Wall Street librarians got back into Zuccotti Park, they started the library up all over again, started taking in book donations again. Tonight, they tell us they were back up to 100 newly donated books. But they say police told them they had 15 minutes to remove them tonight. When they didn`t, police and private security officers at Zuccotti Park worked together to confiscate the new books for the library. We`ve not been able to verify that account. We did reach out to the mayor`s office and the NYPD to ask about it. Neither of them had information for us on that yet. They did give us a statement, though. The statement is this: "Thousands and thousands of people read books in New York City parks every single day, but they don`t leave stacks of their stuff, books or otherwise." "The New York Times" reporting on what drove the mayor`s decision to break up the Occupy Wall Street protest early Tuesday morning. One of the factors is said to be the protesters were threatening to disrupt the stock exchange and city subways on Thursday. That would be tomorrow, with demonstrations marking their two months of occupation of Zuccotti Park. I guess the reasoning being that if you empty out the park and break up the protest a couple of days before that, then you will prevent disruptive demonstrations for Thursday, I guess? Right? Wrong. The Occupy Wall Street folks are planning their big day of action for tomorrow, involving the stock exchange and the New York City subway system and local bridges. They say that is still going to happen. It`s not going away, Mayor Bloomberg. Closing down the park, making a whole bunch of arrests, putting everybody`s stuff in a sanitation garage and tearing up the Bible isn`t going to end the movement. Tomorrow is not just a big day for the occupy movement in New York City, but looking to be a big day for occupying cities all over the country. Tomorrow, protesters will be occupying bridges they say in dozens of cities including Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., and Portland and Phoenix and Little Rock and Tulsa and Peterborough, New Hampshire, and Chambersville, Pennsylvania, and Normal, Illinois. Dozens of cities across the country expecting protests mostly on or around decrepit bridges. Police can clear people out, arrest people, but I do not believe this movement is going away. We will talk about where it looks to be heading with a deranged millionaire. John Hodgman joins us next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Next, John Hodgman is here -- which is one of the more promising things I ever get to say on television. Also, how do you imbue a mustache with the qualities of a cedar tree? That`s the subject of the best new thing in the world, coming up right at the end of the show. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: If you have been on the Internet in the last 24 hours, here`s what the Internet wants you to know about. The Internet wants you to see this photo by a "Seattle Post Intelligencer" photographer named Josh Trujillo. This is a photograph of an 84-year-old woman just after she was pepper sprayed in the face by Seattle police. Seattle police broke up a "we are the 99 percent" occupy demonstration in that city last night. They used pepper spray in mass quantities as you see here to break up that demonstration. Here`s a report from the local FOX affiliate. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REPORTER: Dozens of protesters were hit, including this pregnant woman. An 84-year-old elderly woman was also sprayed and just moments before, one woman had told us about taking a breather. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Folks thought that we`d take a little short rest here. REPORTER: But that wasn`t in the cards. This was the second time today pepper spray was used. Now, there`s been a lot of interest generated about this 84-year-old woman who was hit with pepper spray. We can tell you online tonight, a lot of e-mails, comments, sharing of her pictures, she said she`s doing OK and credits not being trampled in the crowd because a war veteran came to her aid. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: The Web site Think Progress today posted this video showing the moment when that Iraq war veteran escorted this elderly woman to safety. He introduces himself to her. You`ll see this -- it shows the immediate aftermath of the pepper spraying. It`s a little confusing at start. People are hurt. You can tell there`s some confusion. There`s this big strapping guy with this elderly woman who`s just been pepper sprayed and he`s telling her she`s safe. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m from the Army. I`m Sergeant Walls. You`re safe. You`re a strong lady. They were pushing me. You`re a strong lady. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: He says -- I think what he says there is, "I just got out of the Army. I`m Sergeant Walls. You`re safe." The woman who was pepper-sprayed, her name is Dorley Raney (ph), she`s 84 years old. After the incident last night, she wrote an e-mail to an alternative paper in Seattle called "The Stranger" describing what happened. Here`s what she said, quote, "Something funny happened on my way to a transportation meeting in Northgate. As I got off the bus at 3rd and Pine, I heard helicopters above. Knowing that the problems of New York would certainly precipitate action by Occupy Seattle, I thought I better check it out. Free speech does have its limits as I found out as the cops shoved their bicycles into the crows and simultaneously pepper sprayed the so- captured protesters. If it had been for my hero, Iraq vet Caleb, I would have been down on the ground and trampled. This is what democracy looks like." Then she said, "It certainly left an impression on the people who rode the number 1 bus home with me. In the women`s movement, there were signs which said, `Screw us and we`ll multiply`." Screw us and we`ll multiply. She`s 84. Joining now for the interview is my friend John Hodgman, author of the new book "That is All." He`s also, and I think this is a RACHEL MADDOW SHOW first, he`s a self-described deranged millionaire. Mr. Hodgman, thank you for being here. JOHN HODGMAN, AUTHOR: Hello, Rachel, how are you? MADDOW: I`m good. HODGMAN: It`s nice to see you. MADDOW: You, too. HODGMAN: Do you mind if I take my shoes off? I just would feel more comfortable. MADDOW: I understand you`re an eccentric deranged millionaire. HODGMAN: Well, now that I have my money right, no one can stop me, I have rights in this country now. MADDOW: Do you feel better? HODGMAN: My socks are still on, we`ll deal with that later. MADDOW: Is that mustache real? HODGMAN: Yes, it`s very real. MADDOW: It`s awesome. HODGMAN: Thank you. MADDOW: Watching that footage from Seattle last year, tear gassing 84-year-olds and here in New York City Mayor Bloomberg ordered everybody camped out at Occupy Wall Street to to scram, cleared Zuccotti Park -- HODGMAN: Good for Bloomy. MADDOW: Really? HODGMAN: Yes. He was doing his part. MADDOW: Does it matter for the importance of this movement that it is a billionaire mayor who is the "Occupy" figure? HODGMAN: Yes, it`s perfect. They couldn`t be more perfect. I mean, not to discredit the movement and their goals, whatever they may be, but it is a little bit like Herman Cain. It is an art project and demonstration of something. They chose one of the weirdest places in the world, a publicly -- a privately-owned public space, an exercise in contradiction, Brookfield`s own weird art project, to find out what is a public space, to put themselves in the way of Wall Street. To see what would happen if, you know, Wall Street traders had to look at hippies all day forever and ever. And when the masters of the universe had to listen to drum circles all day long, who was going to blink first? The confrontation of this kind of inevitable, and I think it`s only part of the project. There was no better way than to have a billionaire operating at the request of a major corporation to send in police to kick everybody out, and then throw a bunch of books in the garbage. I mean, he might as well as be a paper mache puppet in an anarchist`s parade. MADDOW: Does this -- understanding it that way, it means that the -- you`re seeing that the establishment essentially blinked first, that Wall Street blinked first? The protesters were perfectly happy to stay, but the establishment couldn`t handle it and so, they forced it out. Is that sort of a victory for the protesters? HODGMAN: Well, I think it certainly is a turning point, because it is essentially a wonderful closing act in a long period of tense confrontation. At some point, this confrontation was going to happen, and I think that to some degree this is the perfect way for it to end because if the occupation anticipated because of the winter, if the occupation turned ugly because it was co-opted by people who didn`t have the best intentions or whatever, it wouldn`t send the message that everyone is getting today, which is that there are tensions here that need to be resolved. So -- MADDOW: Can I see your socks? HODGMAN: Sure. Hang on. MADDOW: I just want to confirm that. HODGMAN: Sorry. MADDOW: That`s all right. HODGMAN: Now I feel much better. Now I can be comfortable. MADDOW: What do you think the protesters should do now that they`ve been kicked out of the park, or at least for staying overnight? HODGMAN: Well, I mean, it`s a real question. I mean, here`s the thing -- if you consider it a demonstration, kind of an art project, I know from years in entertainment the show goes on too long, it eventually becomes accused of spreading tuberculosis everywhere, that`s why they have to close "Cats," ride? What is the next logical thing? Occupying bridges, decrepit bridges in particularly, that`s a great way to destroy some bridges. Maybe they`ll have to build new ones then. Do you know what I mean? MADDOW: In Boston, the Occupy Boston protesters actually say they are going to demonstrate at the Charlestown Bridge but just right next to it because they`re worried that if they walk on to the Charlestown Bridge, the century-old rivets in the bridge will pop into the river and that will be it. HODGMAN: That would certainly make a statement. MADDOW: Yes. HODGMAN: That`s what liberals do best, right, make great, beautiful, descriptive statements about things. But what could you do, you could have one person standing in there in perpetually in shifts, so, you know, forever or whatever. But you know, it`s hard to say. I think they need someone to organize us a little bit. MADDOW: You think they need a leader? HODGMAN: Yes, well, a CEO. Maybe me, for example. MADDOW: Are you available? HODGMAN: Well, sure. I don`t know anything about running a business, but I don`t have to. I`m an art project, too. I`m like Herman Cain, too. And the thing is, they`re sitting -- they`re practically millionaires themselves. They`re sitting on half a million dollars of donations. Give that to me, I`ll put on some mortgage-backed securities and I`ll make them all deranged millionaires in three weeks. That`s the American Dream, right? MADDOW: Have you considered donating "That is All" to Occupy Wall Street people`s library? HODGMAN: I was actually -- have been invited to go down before the library before this happened, and I haven`t been able to because I`ve been on this book tour. I`ve seen the Occupy movement in Portland and have seen in Boston, all through the windows of (INAUDIBLE). But I was very impressed. And I was really looking forward to going down to the library, and it really hurt my heart. I mean, no disrespect to 84-year-olds being sprayed with pepper spray, that is awful obviously on its face. There is something really bad, too, about throwing books away. That is a demonstration of political force that never cheers anyone. You know what I mean? MADDOW: No. HODGMAN: To me, it seems so blinkered and weird that they chose to do that. MADDOW: I will note for the record just as a favor to the people doing this that messing with librarians never ends well for anybody except the librarians. HODGMAN: No, no, they will put you in order. That`s what they do. They put things in order. MADDOW: John Hodgman`s new book is called "That is All." It`s brilliant. Nice to see, my friend. HODGMAN: It`s lovely to see you. MADDOW: Thank you for being here. All right. We`ll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Today, ran a correction on a story that was titled, "Mustache group shaves Cain support." Here`s their correction, are you ready? "An earlier version of this story referred to Cain having a cedar- quality mustache. The proper term is theater-quality." The original piece not cedar quality instead of theater quality. It went on to define cedar quality as, quote, "a mustache that appears convincing as a full, proud mustache but doesn`t stand up under closer examination. You know, just like a cedar tree. That makes total sense. But that is not even the best Herman Cain-related recent correction in the media. That goes to a conservative media outlet called Pajamas Media. They recently ran a salacious and very anonymously sourced scoop alleging a sexual encounter between Herman Cain and a young staffer at the National Restaurant Association. You could tell just from the corrections they had to run on it how big a deal they thought this was and how badly they screwed it. Here we go, corrections, plural. "A previous version of this story mentioned that a source witnessed Cain and the women entering a taxi together. This was incorrect. The previous version also mentioned that the woman awoke in Cain`s bed. The source actually only claimed that the woman awoke in Cain`s apartment. The previous version incorrectly attributed comments from one source to the other source." Well, it turns out it was Herbie McCain, totally different guy. Our bad. But even the greatest Herman Cain correction pails against this one, which recently got a shout-up on the all: Books of the Times review described "Angry Birds," a popular iPhone game, incorrectly. Slingshots are used to launch birds to destroy pigs and their fortresses, not to shoot down the birds. "New York Times" revealed as "Angry Birds" posers in the most spectacular correction of the year, best new thing in the world. That does it for us tonight. Now, it`s time for "THE LAST WORD" with Lawrence O`Donnell. THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END