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The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 03/09/12

Guests: Melissa Harris-Perry, Ezra Klein

RACHEL MADDOW, HOST: Good evening, Ed. Thank you. Have a great weekend, my friend. ED SCHULTZ, "THE ED SHOW" HOST: You, too. MADDOW: Thanks to you at home for staying with us for the next hour. Happy Friday. Great news -- great news for this show at least. One of the problems we have on this show is that I cannot persuade any Republican elected officials of any stature or Republican candidates for office of any stature to come on this program. Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell said out loud last month he would come on the program, he said that to Laura Ingraham, a conservative host, he said live on the air. It was even on tape. (BEGIN AUDIO CLP) GOV. BOB MCDONNELL (R), VIRGINIA: See if you can get little Rachel to set that up for me? LAURA INGRAHAM, RADIO HOST: Yes. I will send her a note for sure. (END AUDIO CLIP) MADDOW: I thought you meant it! Awesome. Will Governor McDonnell actually come on the show? No, he will not. Even when they say they will come on the show, Republicans will not come on the show. And so, our aforementioned great news we have an actual Republican who has agreed to come on the show next week! Yay! And it`s a conservative Republican United States senator, James Mountain Inhofe of Oklahoma. He will be on this program on Tuesday, hurray! Senator Inhofe has a new "I don`t believe in global warming" book out. I`m totally done with it yet, but I will be by the time I talk with him on Tuesday. But in publicizing the book, Mr. Inhofe has been talking up one of his main arguments for how we can be sure there is no global warning. And his argument is: Genesis 8:22. "While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease." Genesis 8:22. God is taking care of it, so we do not have to worry. Mr. Inhofe elaborated this argument to a Christian radio show this week, saying, quote, "My point is God still up there. The arrogance of people to think that we human beings would be able to change what he is doing is to me outrageous. We could not screw the earth up even if we wanted to, only God can do something that big a deal." You know what the Ohio Department of Natural Resources said today? They said apparently we can cause earthquakes. And we have been, in Ohio. Quote, "Since March 2011, the Youngstown, Ohio area has experienced 12 low magnitude seismic events, ranging from 2.1 to 4.0, 12 earthquakes all in Youngstown, Ohio." Youngstown, Ohio, is not exactly San Francisco. It`s not really earthquake territory. But all 12 of these earthquakes were clustered less than a mile around this. This is the North Star one well -- a class two deep injection well used for oil and gas fluid waste disposal. Remember the night of the Michigan Republican primary when Rick Santorum pulled that rock out of his pocket and started banging it on the podium. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) RICK SANTORUM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is oil, oil, out of rock. Shale. It leaches oil. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: The way you get oil out of rock like that is that you shoot water in a whole bunch of chemicals in the ground to crack open the rock, to crack open the shale to get oil and gas out of it. You pump enormous amount of fluid in the ground, but then what do you do with all of that fluid that`s now waste water once you`re done? Well, quoting from "The Associated Press" today, municipal water treatment plants aren`t designed to remove some of the contaminants found in the waste water, including radioactive elements. So what do the oil and gas out of rock people do with this water then? They drive it to Youngstown, Ohio, and shoot it in the ground there. It`s called a deep injection well. They drilled down 9,000 feet in the rock underneath Youngstown, Ohio, and they dump their toxic waste there. What could possibly go wrong? Well, when Youngstown started shimmying and shaking last year, like it was on one of those 1940s era weight loss belt, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources decided to look into what was going on. But it didn`t exactly hurry, it did take 11 earthquakes before they looked into it. But they did look into it. And their report is out today, and the report says there is a, quote, "compelling argument" that the Youngstown earthquakes were, quote, "induced." Induced by man. Induced specifically by the toxic radioactive fracking waste water being injected into Ohio`s bedrock. Now, a little later on in the show, we`re going to be talking with the great Ezra Klein about all of the new economic data that came out today, good jobs numbers, good economic numbers, 1.2 million jobs created over the last six months. As the economy picks up -- I mean, it`s still not good, but it is definitely going in the right direction, and has been for some time now -- as the economy picks up the Republican candidates for president and Republicans in Congress have seen their Obama tanked the economy talking point go a little bit wobbly. And it`s in place, they have increasingly focused on -- well, sometimes on birth control, but when they get back to economic issues, they focused on the one economic issue they really think that they, Republicans, have the upper hand. And that is gas prices, energy, this year`s "drill, baby, drill," right? So, you got Rick Santorum pulling that shale rock out of his pocket and banging on the podium. You`ve got Newt Gingrich reconfiguring his whole presidential campaign to be all about gas prices. He waggles his little gas can everywhere he goes now. Do you remember when Bob Dole endorsed Mitt Romney this year and complained that one of the reasons he never like Newt is because when Newt Gingrich was speaker, he would always turn up at events carrying an empty bucket that was supposed to be a symbolic thing that nobody understood and it was just weird that he was carrying a bucket. Well, Newt Gingrich is doing it again. Now, it is a gas bucket. That`s the whole focus of the Newt Gingrich campaign now. Mitt Romney also on the same 2012 version of the "drill, baby, drill" thing -- yesterday, Mr. Romney was in Pascagoula, Mississippi, talking about how President Obama is against drilling for oil. Now, factually, that is not true. Here`s oil production under President Obama compared to George W. Bush. So, you can`t say that this is an anti-oil production president, but those are only the facts and politics are only very rarely about the facts. And Republicans finding themselves in an economic environment that is disturbingly positive have decided that they can count on high gas prices as their economic argument. They can`t count on high gas prices making President Obama look bad, and making them by extension look good. But there is a flip side to being the "drill, baby, drill" guys. I mean, when the result of the drilling is that you are creating man-made earthquakes in Youngstown, Ohio -- Youngstown, Ohio, is not psyched about that. In the United States Senate this week, Republicans forced a vote again on the Keystone tar sands oil pipeline trying to force President Obama to build that tar sands pipeline even though he made clear it`s not going to happen at least any time soon. Republicans think that is a slam dunk, home run, touchdown, mix all your sports metaphors, perfect political issue for them. America loves tar sands. America wants tar sands. You know what? It turns out America has already got some tar sands. (BEGIN VIDEO LCIP) BRIAN WILLIAMS, NBC NEWS: There is another oil clean-up underway in this country tonight. In Michigan, following a leak in a pipeline, it is calling attention to an environmental danger we don`t often think about, the 200,000 miles of oil pipelines that crisscross this country. REPORTER: Good evening, Brian. From the banks of the Kalamazoo River outside Battle Creek, as you can see, there is a thick coating of oil on the water here. The boom stretches right over to the other side and you can smell it, Brian. Oil is in the air. This is where they are skimming. The oil is coming up. It`s coming in the skimmers, and they are bringing it in on shore here. What is happening now, Brian, is that they say they are going to be here approximately for the next month so they can clean this up and get it back to the recreational use that it was before. But as I said, it`s going to take a month along here, they`ve got 10 of these locations up and down the river. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: It`s going to take a month. That was NBC "Nightly News" coverage of America`s first ever major tar sands oil spill two summers ago, in July of 2010. You heard the reporter, Kevin Tibbles, saying that the oil company thought it was going to take a whole month to clean up that spill. But because that was not just normal oil, because that was tar sands oil, because that was the kind of oil that would be in the Keystone XL Pipeline, it did not take a month to clean up, it did not take a year to clean that up. It has so far taken 20 months to try to contain and clean up the spill and it is not over yet in Michigan. Although Kevin Tibbles could see some of that oil on the surface of the water, the problem with the kind of oil spill there, and with the kind of oil that would run through Keystone is that most of it doesn`t sit on the surface where it can be boomed up and scooped up. This oil sinks. On the occasion of the Keystone vote this week, "Mother Jones" and this Canadian paper that you see on the screen here, they have been writing about that Kalamazoo River spill, explaining that tar sand oil, this bitumen, quote, "is thick and heavy, and has to be diluted with a noxious chemical cocktail so it can flow in the pipe. When spilled, the dilutant evaporates into the nearby atmosphere. Marshall, Michigan, residents reported nausea, migraines and burning eyes in the throat. Meanwhile, the tarry oil, the bitumen, separates from the dilutant and it sinks to the bottom." The oil sinks -- how do you get oil out of a river once it sunk to the bottom of the river bed? Nobody had any idea -- until there was this big spill all over the Kalamazoo River. The technique they have come up with to clean it there is what they call agitating the river bed, shaking the bed of the river bit by bit, to try to bring the oil globules to the surface to try to collect them there. I`m sure that`s great for the river. So far, it has been 10 times as expensive per gallon as a normal oil spill to clean up and it is still not cleaned 20 months later and the people who live there are mad. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At the time of the spell, my children were at a daycare center, within a mile of the creek in the Kalamazoo River. My son had throwing up. My daughter developed a very strange rash on her body. There were headaches, nausea, vomiting, upset stomach. We had a burning sensation in our throat, burning in our eyes. The 40-mile span is still closed to this day. There is a no contact order to this day. If we tried to put our hands in this river right now, you`d get in trouble. It looks beautiful, but it is not. We just hope people will learn from it, before you continue to run tar sands through pipelines or propose new pipelines -- be better prepared, and study it. Just hold off until you know just what you`re dealing with. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Hold off until you know just what you`re dealing with. But the Keystone vote this week in the Senate was to rush the approval of Keystone. Don`t bother studying it anymore, just go ahead with it. Eleven Democratic senators voted with Republicans for that, but it did still fail in the Senate. Republicans think that this is a great issue for them. They think in an election year, this is one they can count on. I think it is more complicated than that. Joining us now is Melissa Harris-Perry, who is not afraid of complicated things. She is the host of "MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY," which you can catch on MSNBC, Saturdays and Sundays," from 10:00 to noon Eastern. Melissa, thank you for being here. MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY, MSNBC HOST: Absolutely. MADDOW: Good economic news, gas prices are still high. Does the Republican Party right now have a coherent argument on energy that is resonating with people? HARRIS-PERRY: Well, I think -- you know, it`s interesting sort of how you ended that -- around, you know, a woman saying, OK, let`s wait until we know. But I think exactly what the Republican Party is banking on here is that it is extremely complicated and it`s complicated in two ways. One, for ordinary people who live near where these gas issues and these oil issues and these energy issues survive, these are economic and environmental issues. So, you know, I live on the Gulf Coast. I live in New Orleans. And the fact is when the B.P. oil spill was happening, it was both a question of livelihood around oil, and also about the reality of oil spilling right there in our backyards. Youngstown, Ohio, where you were just talking about fracking, part of what brought Youngstown back has been a new company that is actually making the very thin steel rods that do what? Frack. So, fracking is both great for and awful for them. And I think that`s part of what the GOP is relying on here, this idea that environmental issues are biblical, that they`re way out in, that they`re in some future moment and that the pocketbook issues are today. MADDOW: Also, the environmental issues are liberal clap trap, that anything that anybody is complaining about in terms of environmental impact of things that also have economic impact, if you look at anything other than the economic impact, you should be doubted. You might not be telling the truth. You are certainly part of an anti-economic conspiracy. I mean, that -- I feel like the global warming denialist movement has actually really informed every discussion about energy, with any environmental impact it`s made the ascertaining of that as an impact of a policy to be a suspect thing. HARRIS-PERRY: Yes, and part of it is that there is a great deal of simply untruth about the economic impact of these polluters, right. So, whether it`s polluters that are polluting air or those who are creating fracking earthquakes in Youngstown, Ohio -- the idea that they are bringing tons of jobs, that they are going to sort of put everybody to work, tends to -- the environmental impact tends to be underestimated and the economic impact tends to be overestimated. MADDOW: Yes. It`s interesting. One of the Democratic amendments on the Keystone vote this week was to say, all right, well, if you guys think this is a huge jobs issue, which is the way Republicans have talked about it, let`s amend the scope of the project you build with it U.S. steel and we`re building it with U.S. workers -- rejected by the Republicans. HARRIS-PERRY: Right, exactly. MADDOW: Holding the question in effect. HARRIS-PERRY: Yes, right. Exactly. And to say that, OK, if we`re going to make it have economic impact, here are the ways that it can. No, I just love that tonight, it was you quoting from the Bible. Every once in a while, I take over your show and I end up doing these God segments and your staff is always like, is this OK? MADDOW: I`m good with God. (CROSSTALK) HARRIS-PERRY: But I love that in part, because if we were to spend time in that book, we would see there`s another narrative about sort of the responsibility of human beings vis-a-vis the earth, right, and the notion that the earth just kind of always takes care of itself. So, we have economic questions, we have political ones. But I think there`s also a set of ethical questions about how we treat our neighbor, how we worry about being stewards of the thing that is the earth. And I think that part of what progressives have to do is make bigger arguments that are values-based exactly. MADDOW: Is there is a reason there not are using the phrase, "drill, baby, drill"? Is it become a patented Sarah Palin phrase? Is that that problem? HARRIS-PERRY: No. They very well may still come back to it. This is a primary, but I do think that stories like BP -- BP was the thing that silenced `drill, baby, drill." It was "drill, baby, drill" until it was gushing out and then it felt like -- oh, maybe we`ll pause on `drill, baby drill." So, haven`t brought it back. But give it time there is yet a convention and speeches to be made. MADDOW: Let me ask you on a totally different matter. How are you looking doing your show? HARRIS-PERRY: It`s -- well, I love it. (LAUGHTER) HARRIS-PERRY: No, I absolutely love it. MADDOW: The kindest, most generous. HARRIS-PERRY: I absolutely love it. MADDOW: Are you working harder than you ever thought that you`d have to work? HARRIS-PERRY: It is way harder than I thought. And I thought I knew how hard it was just from sitting in, but it`s actually harder than that. But the thing about it being hard, it`s funny, your executive producer said to me, we have to remember what an incredible privilege it is that we have the opportunity in interesting political times to help set the agenda what we should talk about and how we should be talking about it. And so, even when I get a little tired, I just remember that is a huge, huge and incredible gift to have this opportunity. MADDOW: Yes. And I have to say it makes me -- it makes me proud to work at MSNBC, that you are not only hosting the show, but that you are doing it with the agenda that you are. Because I meant that about saying you`re not afraid of complexity. You have been approaching the issues that you have treating on your show the way that you have ever since we first started talking in radio, which is that you are not afraid of not only the other side of the argument, you are not afraid of nuance and complexity and detail that deepens your understanding, as well as sharpens it. And I just -- I think you are great at this. HARRIS-PERRY: Thank you. Well, you know, we`re going to talk about the 15th anniversary of Notorious BIG being killed. So, I don`t if that`s complex but it`s -- MADDOW: That`s called complexity. That is called complexity. Melissa Harris-Perry, thank you so much for being here. I appreciate it. HARRIS-PERRY: Thank you. MADDOW: Of course, "MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY" -- new, excellent show is here on MSNBC, , weekend mornings, Saturday and Sunday, at 10:00 Eastern. Al right. This weekend, the seemingly endless Republican presidential nominating contest takes a detour to Guam. And how nervous is the supposedly inevitable Mitt Romney campaign? They actually sent somebody to Guam because you know what they say, as goes Guam -- that`s next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: It is almost like the economy is improving just to ruin Mitt Romney`s chances. Curse you, rising economic indicators. That`s coming up with the estimable Ezra Klein. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Mitt Romney went to Michigan and said in Michigan, I like cars. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I love cars. I don`t know. I mean, I grow up totally in love with cars. It used to be in the `50s and `60s, if you showed me one square foot of almost any part of a car, I could tell you what brand it was, the model and so forth. I love cars. I love American cars. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Mitt Romney went to Tennessee, and told Tennessee, I like Davy Crockett. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ROMNEY: This place always has a special feeling in my heart. Because when I grew up, I was thinking about Davy Crockett, all right? (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: And in Mitt Romney`s most reductive cliche tours of the American states, now telling voters in the Deep South that he likes grits. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ROMNEY: He`s now turned me in an unofficial Southerner, I`m learning to say y`all and I like grits. And the thing is strange things are happening to me. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: That wasn`t a one off thing like, oh, I can`t believe I just said that thing about grits. He`s still saying it. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ROMNEY: Good to be with you. I got started right this morning with a biscuit and some cheesy grits, I tell you, delicious. (END VDIEO CLIP) MADDOW: And shortly after that, at that same event, there was this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ROMNEY: Look at that, look at that little guy, got him. It wasn`t a cockroach, I promise. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Mitt Romney stomping to death an Irish setter on the campaign trail today. I`m sorry -- cockroach. A reporter looked at the thing he killed in the middle of his event and turned out that it was actually a cockroach, though he said it wasn`t a cockroach. It was a cockroach named Seamus. But before Mitt Romney gets to reap the benefit at the polls of how much he has convinced the Deep South that he loves grits, he will first have to come up with a love for kelaguen. And that`s because before Alabama and Mississippi vote on Tuesday, tomorrow it is Guam, where I learned today that Guam`s tourism brags about the island delicacy of chicken kelaguen, which is broiled chicken, lemon juice, grated coconut and hot peppers, top with finadene sauce. Mitt Romney has yet to try to convince the people of Guam that he`s a huge finadene fan, always has been, but at this point, why would we think that is out of the question? In addition to Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands will be caucusing tomorrow, and the Northern Marianna Islands, which desperately want to become famous for something in Republican politics other than the Jack Abramoff sweat shop scandal. And right there in the middle, there is Kansas, which is in kind of odd company. These are all the places that have their caucus tomorrow. Mitt Romney is the only candidate with a surrogate in the Northern Marianna Islands in advance of this weekend`s voting. That is Matt Romney, one of Mr. Romney`s sons, and his wife, and some friends there. The only people actively campaigning in Kansas have been Rick Santorum and Ron Paul. Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney have pretty much left Kansas alone. Now, are the Northern Mariana Islands going to decide who is the Republican Party nominee? Well, you know, could do. In a race this weird it`s at least worth watching. Nobody knows what`s going to make the difference. But there is something weirder that`s worth watching that starts tomorrow as well. And it`s not getting attention because it pertains to the great one of these kids is not like the other side bar story of the Republican 2012 presidential field which is the Ron Paul campaign. Ron Paul who has won zero states including zero caucus states, Mr. Paul`s campaign had earlier talked about having a caucus straight strategy. That was where they were going to win. But when they started losing all of the caucus states, too, they have since talked about having just a delegate strategy. The Ron Paul campaign`s delegate strategy is that even in states where they don`t win the popular vote or even in states where they don`t do well in the popular vote, they think that they can still maybe ultimately win the state for Ron Paul anyway and they can do that by packing the delegate process at the state level. You might remember Ron Paul`s advisor, Doug Wead, who came on our show a couple weeks ago and said that in the Ron Paul campaign`s mind, they, for example, think that they won Iowa. Not Mitt Romney, who the Iowa Republicans said that night had won Iowa and not Rick Santorum who the Iowa Republicans said two week later won Iowa -- the Ron Paul campaign who we all think of as coming in third in Iowa, the Ron Paul campaign itself thinks that in the end, they will have won Iowa, because they say they will get the majority of delegates out of the Iowa process -- essentially through strategy of gaming the delegate process. The process of picking delegates in Iowa starts tomorrow. It goes on for a while, but it starts tomorrow. Same with Wyoming. And this is the Ron Paul campaign`s reason for living. This is how they not only justify staying in the race, having won nothing -- this is how they actually think they can win even though it looks like they have won nothing. So, not getting as much attention as the caucuses of Guam, which are riveting the nation, but the Iowa and Wyoming processes start tomorrow and those really are totally worth watching. And we`ll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: OK, this show has six segments. We label them A, B, C, D, E, F, or six segments. We are in C right now for what that`s worth. This is the wide spot in the hallway in our officers where we plan out the show everyday in our news meeting. That`s Rebekah in the foreground there, that`s Rebekah Dryden, who produced the D block tonight. This is C, D is next. That`s our view of our news meeting spot from Rebekah Dryden`s desk. Behind -- in the distance there, that`s Nazanin Rafsanjani. Nazanin produced the B block tonight. The one that we just did about what`s coming up this week in the 2012 race. And this -- this is the important part, this is on the big white board which you saw on the wall there. This is the white board on which we plan the show everyday. Now, I have horrible handwriting, but you can see there on the left side organizational structure, A, B, D, E, F, each of the segments in the show. I think we can zoom in. Can we zoom in? See, there`s Nazanin`s bock, the B block we just did on the upcoming primaries and caucuses, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, Marianas, Kansas, Wyoming, Iowa, right? And then, this is Rebekah`s D block, coming up next. Even though it looks like it`s about elon, it`s actually about econ. And name in the box is Ezra as in Ezra Klein. But if you notice on the overall plan there, we are showing the overall show. What I`m supposed to be doing now in this block, in the C block is labeled as T.S. You see in the C block there, T.S.? T.S. means tease -- which means I`m supposed to right now be telling you what is coming up in the last segment of the show tonight before we go to prison. That is what I`m supposed to be doing now but I can`t do it, because if I tell you what we are doing in the last segment of the show, you will think I`m lying. You will think I`m doing those wacky Friday bait-and- switch things. You will think I`m baiting and switching you but I am not. And the best way I can come up with to prove to you that we really are doing this is just to show that it is in fact, the plan, it is what is coming up. It is what we had planned honestly. See, it`s -- look, it`s on the board. So you know it is coming. Oddly compelling, creepy crime. Today in oddly compelling creepy crime is what`s up at the end of the show. You would you not believe me if I did not show you what`s it`s in the plan. So there it is in the plan. Ta-da! Stay tuned. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: No wonder Republicans want to talk about birth control. Did you see the good news on the economy today? Here it is on "The Washington Post" Web site, "U.S. adds 227,000 jobs." Here`s "The New York Times` home page, "U.S. extends run of strong job growth another month." "The Wall Street Journal," "Job gains build momentum." Here`s CNN, right up top at the CNN Web site, "New jobs report more hiring, but jobless rate unchanged." In MSNBC, "Employers create more than 200,000 jobs for third straight month." Today`s job report headlines everywhere showing that the economy added more than 200,000 jobs last month for the third month in a row. It`s front page headline news all over the Internet machine today -- except on the FOX News Channel homepage, it`s not even a side bar story. Look, jobs report? What jobs report? We`ve got story about the Titanic. And, hey, Bill Maher, what a jerk, right? Who new jobs numbers when you`ve got the scope on the child`s temper tantrum on board a flight to Boston? Dylan Byers at noticed FOX News burying today`s good economic news. He posted those screen grabs at Politico this morning. Mr. Byers did the same thing last month when again all the news Web sites were leading with front page headlines about the startlingly good jobs news from January. But FOX News put the job growth story off to the side in a teeny font above their story on why Hollywood is a sex predators` paradise. For folks whose professional identities are caught up in criticizing President Obama on his handling of the economy, evidence the economy is getting better, that jobs are being created, well, it may be good news, but it`s unwelcome good news. Good news for country, bad news for anti-Obama conservative politics. By this evening, the folks at FOX News found a solution. They are no longer pretending the good jobs report doesn`t exist. They are claiming it`s actually secretly bad. See the headline. "Jobless stats disputed as economy starts to recover." Try as FOX might to convince you otherwise, this really is good news for the country. The economy added 227,000 jobs last month. That`s more than economists expected. And it turns out we added more jobs than we thought last month in January and in the month before that in December, too. The number of long term unemployed people dropped, part of why the unemployment rate didn`t go down from 8.3 percent even as jobs were added is because half a million people who weren`t even looking for work anymore, started to look again. So that`s all good news, right? Unless you`re Mitt Romney. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REPORTER: Governor, any comment on the new jobs numbers this morning? ROMNEY: Good to see you, thank you. Hi there, how are you doing? Good, good to see you. REPORTER: Anything on the new jobs report? ROMNEY: We need your help. Hey guys, how are you? Good to see you. REPORTER: Governor Romney, any thoughts on the new jobs report today? Governor Romney, how were the grits? (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: That was NBC campaign embed Garrett Haake trying to persuade Mitt Romney to say anything about the jobs report or barring that, maybe he would talk about grits. Mitt Romney appearing to take the FOX News approach from this morning, just pretend this good economic news does not exist. Remember how Mitt Romney used to talk about the economy in the early days of his campaign. He`d appear in front of shuttered factories or depressed locations and talk down the economy. He`d talk about how bad the economy was, but more importantly, how much worse the recession had gotten under President Obama. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ROMNEY: When he took office, the economy was in recession and he made it worse. He didn`t create the recession, but he made it worse, and longer. He did not cause this recession, but he made it worse. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: During the Obama administration, unemployment has gone from a peak of 10 percent in October of 2009, to 8.3 percent now. This is what has happened to jobs during the Obama presidency. The red columns are the end of the Bush administration, the blood columns are the Obama administration. Our economy has been adding jobs months after months. The last year has been the best year for job creation in the last five years -- December, January, February, those three month stretch, that is the best three-month stretch for job creation in the past six years. President Obama did not make the recession worse. And Mitt Romney knows that. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REPORTER: How can you continue to say things are worse when they aren`t worse? ROMNEY: I didn`t say that things are worse. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: I didn`t say things are worse except for all those times that you said things are worse. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ROMNEY: And he made it worse. He made it worse and longer. He made it worse. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Trying to pretend he never said that in the first place, Mitt Romney has stopped specifically claiming that President Obama made the recession worse. But he has found a way to imply it. Listen to this, from Mr. Romney`s speech in Boston on Super Tuesday. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ROMNEY: You know, when he was campaigning, President Obama said he would create jobs, but for 36 straight months unemployment has been above 8 percent. But my friends the truth is, 8 percent unemployment is not the best America can do. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: This is important. Mitt Romney is saying 8 percent unemployment is terrible and it`s President Obama`s fault. Unemployment is not 8 percent. Unemployment has gone from 10 percent down to 8.3 percent in the Obama presidency. It`s plain to everybody that the economy is getting better. So, what is Mitt Romney doing by saying 8 percent is not good enough? We haven`t reached 8 percent. He is telegraphing that he knows the economy is gong to keep getting better, that we could even get down to 8 percent unemployment in the near future. And he is saying now that would be awful, too. He sees the economy getting better so he`s trying to make the case the improved economy of the future is already bad news. Joining us is Ezra Klein, keeper of the wonk book blog for "The Washington Post" and MSNBC policy analyst. Ezra, thanks very much for being. EZRA KLEIN, MSNBC POLICY ANALYST: Good evening. MADDOW: Was there secret suspect bad news in the jobs numbers today, or was this actually good news? KLEIN: No, these job numbers have gotten really interesting because you keep going further and further down into them and I do that because I`m a boring person, and the news inside keeps being good. Usually, you sort of dig deep and find something bad in there, either employment participation went down, unemployed person and jobs numbers, does not mean somebody who doesn`t have work but somebody who doesn`t have work and is looking for one. So, sometimes, you`ll see unemployment go down, but it`s because workers are discouraged. Sometimes, you`re seeing seasonal employment, right, we have a good month in December and a lot of it was in the messenger and carrier`s part of the economy. That looked like it was jobs that he would go away. So many people thought we`d see more unemployment in January, we didn`t. And then the best part, which is something people don`t usually pay enough attention to is revisions. We get these numbers. This is a preliminary job number we`re talking about for February. It is not going to be the final job number. But what we`ve seen for January and February, I`m sorry -- yes, for December, and January was they went way up. We added another 60,000 in those two months, above and beyond what we thought. So it`s really remarkable report we had these for a couple months, every surprise pretty much is on the upside. MADDOW: The revision numbers that you`re talking about are interesting because those are the sorts of things that inspire political conspiracy theorizing. Wait, it turns out the old numbers were fake. And now, there`s new numbers and they`re worse, whatever they are. I mean, they always do get revised. What do the revisions really mean? It seems to me like what they mean is that we are having -- you are likely to be in a recovery phrase in a positive economic phrase when the numbers get revised upward. You`re likely to be in a negative economic base when they get revised downward. But are they -- should they also be seen as something as politically changed? KLEIN: They are not politically changed. I mean, the Bureau of Labor Statistics protects these things like Fort Knox gold, even the Obama administration doesn`t know about them like yesterday. It just doesn`t happen. But let`s talk about revisions, because it`s actually interesting. When Mitt Romney says 8 percent, there`s something else going on I think than even what we talked about in the opening here. Eight percent was the number the unemployment number the Obama administration in December of 2009 -- 2008, I`m sorry, before they came in office, said unemployment wouldn`t get to if we passed the stimulus. This was something called the Bernstein- Roemer paper. And the reason they said that was we had a very preliminary GDP numbers for the fourth quarter of 2008. And it said the economy was shrinking at 3.8 percent. That`s bad, it`s not unbelievably bad but it`s bad. So, they figured, look, it`s 3.8 percent, we get the stimulus. If you run the numbers we can keep unemployment down to 8 percent. When we got the revised numbers six months a year later, it turned out the economy in the fourth quarter of `08 had shrunk at almost 9 percent. It was the worst quarter since the Great Depression. So, unemployment went way above 8 percent, it went way above 9 percent, up to 10 percent, as folks know. So, these revisions early in the recession were terrible, it was much worse recession than we knew at the time. And Mitt Romney takes full advantage of that. But we`re seeing the flip side not to the same degree but just as all the revisions tend to be bad early on. As you begin to recover, as models haven`t picked that up yet, the revisions are tending to be good now. So, you`re seeing it happen in the other. But insofar as revisions are political, the Obama administration has really suffered from revisions. They haven`t really benefited from them. MADDOW: What do you make -- as a wonky guy, Ezra, what do you make of this new troupe on the right, particularly on the FOX News Channel? But you hear from people in other venues on the right as well that any indicators, any economic indicators that show things getting better, particularly employment numbers that show things getting better, are suspect because they come from the government and now you`re saying they lock them up like Fort Knox and you don`t see them as politically charged. But what do you make of that political charge from the right that we shouldn`t trust the statistics? KLEIN: The main one you see actually is that what folks say is what these numbers don`t do is count the actual unemployed, right? They say that these numbers don`t have the full unemployed because the labor forces change. And there is really something to this. We should say this up front. These numbers don`t count all the folks who stopped looking for work. But, you know, I am, as you say a wonky guy. So, I went back and in the Bureau of Labor Stats and I looked at every one of these indicators, because they have all sorts, right? They have one that is unemployed and the one that`s the unemployed plus discouraged, and one that`s unemployed plus discouraged plus part- time, even though they don`t want to be part-time, which is called U6, just like the really misery measure in the economy. And every one of these indicators looks the exact same. Now they are at different levels because you count more and more people in unemployment, including part-time work as you again to get higher and higher numbers. But they both just sort of have the same shape, going up and up and up and up, and then over the last six months, they`re just going down and down and down. And so, for all the statistical joking folks are doing, the numbers are getting better. The economy is getting better. And in the end -- and this is going to be true for the Obama administration -- if things turn south, you can`t trick the American people about the economy. If things are getting better, they feel it because they have jobs, their personal disposable income is going up, their family members who got laid off found work again. In the end, that`s what`s going to matter, you can`t press release your way out of the bad economy or out of a good one. MADDOW: Ezra Klein of "The Washington Post`s" "Wonkbook," and MSNBC policy analyst -- Ezra, thank you. I really appreciate it, man. KLEIN: Thank you. MADDOW: All right. This show does not report most crimes especially ones that don`t relate to politics, politicians, big national news stories. However tonight, there is a compelling reason to deviate from the norm -- oddly compelling and creepy and crimey and it`s Friday. And if crime were all this oddly compelling and creepy, we might actually be a crime show. Stay tuned. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Today in oddly compelling creepy crime, I promise it is compelling oddly. That`s still ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Today an oddly compelling creepy crime -- two cases of things being removed from places they shouldn`t be and one creepy crime mystery finally solved. We begin in Ireland, a country known for its rolling green hills, its delicious whiskey and its churches. Like this very famous one, Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin. It`s a national landmark, one of the oldest buildings. Christ Church Cathedral is the latest victim of a creepy, strange and frankly perplexing crime that seems to have no profit motive. Somebody stole the church`s relic. And that church`s relic is the preserved heart of St. Lawrence O`Toole, the 12th century patron state of Dublin. The preserved heart, yes, his actual physical heart, was housed in this wooden heart-shaped box for centuries. The heart-shaped box was kept in a metal cage on the wall of the church. This weekend, somebody busted through two of the metal bars in that cage and stole St. Lawrence O`Toole`s 900-year-old heart. Police are reportedly focusing on two suspects who are in the church on Saturday when the heart was stolen. The stolen heart has no resale value to speak of. Like some artwork, it is too famous to sell. As for the extra boost it would give you in your relationship with the hereafter, you should know that church considers the theft sacrileges -- the point the church is making rather vociferously every time they get asked about it, like in this Skype interview with CNN. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It seems contradictory that someone would steal from a church because in my understanding, that`s desecration and it`s violation of a church. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Here is the weirder part of the story though. St. Lawrence O`Toole`s 900-year-old preserved heart in a box is just the latest relic to be stolen from an Irish church. For the last couple of the months, people have also stolen wood fragments believed to be splinters from the cross on which Jesus was crucified and according to "The New York Times," also a box that usually houses the jawbone of St. Bridget, the patron saint of Ireland. Thankfully, at the time of the robbery, St. Bridget`s jaw had been removed from the box for cleaning so the thieves ended up with the box but no jawbone. But still, these thefts -- the heart, the cross splinters, the attempt on the jawbone, they don`t make any sense. What are you going to do with a thousand-year-old body part? But, second, even though they are all sort of similar crimes and we sort of file them in the same section of our news memory, right? The people who solved crimes like this say it is key to keep in mind that even though some crimes seem connected, they very well might not be, and that might be important to solving them. Just ask the coroner`s office in British Columbia, where there is more oddly compelling creepy crime news. Over the last five years, nine human feet, all still wearing shoes, washed up on the shores of British Columbia in Canada and Washington state. Five years, nine feet, belonging to seven different humans. The feet were always inside shoes, shoes with rubber soles. So, it`s the same body part. It`s the same container for the body part. And they were all found in roughly the same area. It seems like these detached feet had to be connected to each other somehow. And there were a lot of theories, some people say it was the handiwork of a known serial killer who had already admitted to killing 49 people. Another theory is the feet belonged to victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami that killed a quarter million back in 2004. After foot number four was found investigators, they thought the feet had all come from four men who died in an airplane crash. That theory fell apart with the discovery of foot number five in this nine-foot saga. After foot number five was found, there was even a hoax foot, an animal foot, animal remains stuff into a running shoe. The mystery was so gripping, so strange, so inexplicable that the "Seattle Weekly" ran a cover story, speculating about where on this little blue planet all of these feet were coming from. Their headline for their cover story, "Where the feet have no name." We even tried figure it out on this show with some particularly vile props. Feet were from men and women. They were in different brands of sneakers. The sneakers were all different sizes. The only thing they had in common is the general area in which they were found. Well, this week British Columbia`s coroner`s office said they have solved the five-year mystery. The coroner`s office positively identified seven of the feet belonging to five people, they say. And the coroner`s office officially ruled those feet to have separated by natural causes from people who killed themselves by flinging themselves into the Fraser River or who ended up in the Frazier River dead but by accident. As for why only the feet were found and not the rest of the people, you can thank the running show industry for that. Apparently, shoes are so well made these days that they protect your body part that`s in the shoe even after death, even submerged in water while the rest of you disappears because it is not protected. Mystery solved. You may now cancel your Google news alert for shoe foot found. But on this day of oddly compelling creepy crime news -- one more. This is La Porte County Jail in La Porte, Indiana. The La Porte County Jail is losing prisoners. About a month and a half ago, one prisoner identified himself as another prisoner, having thus tricked a corrections officer, he was accidentally set free. A couple weeks after that, another prisoner was allowed to walk out of the La Porte County jail because he had the same last name as the guy who actually had served his time and was supposed to get out. And this week, the "South Bend Tribune" reports that a third person was erroneously mistakenly released from jail. The mistake wasn`t even caught until police turned up at the prison to pick up this guy only to be told the guy was missing. Missing? Missing from prison? The first two prisoners who were accidentally released were found immediately. But this third guy, still out there. Prison officials blame mistakes on overcrowding. But unless these prisoners were literally like squeezed out of the jail like lime juice from a lime wedge, I`m not sure this overcrowding business is a very good excuse for losing prisoners. Oddly compelling and creepy crimes can make for good creepy TV show segments on Friday nights, but honestly they are not great public relations if you are, say, hoping to be your party`s vice presidential nominee in Indiana. Ahem. Maybe governor ultrasound isn`t looking so bad after all. Have they lost in prisoners in Virginia? We`ll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: OK, all right, fine. I relent. I relent. I cannot take it. Here by popular demand, once again, that picture of Matt Romney, Mitt Romney`s son, in the Northern Mariana Islands, with all those other people. Here it is. I submit to you will. Jeez, now leave me alone and join me in prison. END THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END