updated 4/10/2009 10:45:09 AM ET 2009-04-10T14:45:09

Guest: Chris Dodd, Tom Tancredo, Lars Larson, Heidi Harris, Rev. Al Sharpton, David Smith

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ED SCHULTZ, HOST: I‘m Ed Schultz.  This is THE ED SHOW.

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SCHULTZ:  Good evening, Americans.  Live from 30 Rock in New York City, it‘s THE ED SHOW here on MSNBC.

There‘s some great news tonight, folks.  There are signs that the TARP program is working.  Wells Fargo turns a big first-quarter profit of $3 billion. 

Senator Chris Dodd is going to be here with us tonight because the credit card companies are making the squeeze on the American consumer. 

And President Obama wants you to refinance your home.  Rates haven‘t been this low since 1971. 

The gay marriage issue—another governor steps forward and says he‘s open to change. 

The immigration debate is heating up again. 

We‘ll have a great panel for you tonight.  That‘s our lineup here on the Ed program.

But first, tonight‘s “OpEd.”

There is good news tonight.  One of the first banks to step forward and get the TARP money, Wells Fargo, recorded a report profit today.  And folks, here are the numbers.

After taking over Wachovia, Wells Fargo got $25 billion from the taxpayers back in the fourth quarter of 2008.  Tonight, they are reporting record profits for the first quarter of 2009, $3 billion. 

Now, I have to temper my emotions a little bit here tonight, folks, because this is a victory.  Now, first of all, here‘s what I want the treasury secretary to do. 

I want Timothy Geithner to come out to the American people tonight and say, these books, they‘re not cooked.  This is real profit, this is working, this is the first report card that‘s in, because I think he needs to do this, because you and I have had quite a conversation on talk radio across America about bailouts, about loans, about bonuses.  And we as taxpayers, you know, we haven‘t been too cool about this thing.  We‘ve been skeptical all along. 

Folks, let me tell you something.  I believe that we cannot have an economic recovery in this country unless the banks show that dirty word—profit.  No, no, no, no.

Liberals, listen to me.  Progressives, listen to me.  “Profit” is a good word. 

We need this to work.  This is a great victory for our country today. 

What President Obama and his team has put together, the plan is working. 

I know it‘s only a first step, but “profit” is a good word.  We‘ve got to turn this around. 

What if it was a $3 billion loss?  What do you think the conservatives would be saying?  This is a $3 billion profit.  And there‘s no doubt about it that, as we move forward with good news, the antis are going to be there. 

Now, here‘s another thing we need to take a close look at, and that is some other news that took place today that‘s not really all that good.  OK? 

How are they going to pay for it?  Bank of America announced some credit card changes today, and I don‘t like them.  And neither does Chris Dodd.  He‘s going to join us in just a moment. 

They‘re doing three things.  They are raising rates.  They are eliminating customers.  And they are tightening credit. 

I don‘t like any of that stuff, and this is where the regulation has got to come in.

Now, as far as raising rates is concerned, I don‘t know how many phone calls I‘ve taken on this on my radio show—“Ed, my rates just went from 9 percent to 29 percent.  How did that happen?”

I wish I knew.  I mean, these are confiscatory rates.  You might have been a day late on your payment, you might not have given them exactly what they wanted, and they changed the rules.  It‘s the fine print that I‘ve told you all along that the middle class is sick and tired of, so we‘ve got to reel this in. 

Now, as far as eliminating customers, there are credit card holders across America who are being told by the credit card companies, well, you know, you missed your car payment over here.  You‘ve been pretty good with us, but you were late on that payment over there, so we don‘t want you anymore and you‘re out of here. 

Is that fair?  Is that how we want to treat Americans?  Is that the kind of way we want to be treated if we pay our taxes? 

The other thing is that they‘re tightening credit.  Now, if they‘re tightening credit, this is a bad thing, because we‘ve got to get this economy moving.  But as far as the banks are concerned, I believe, folks, this is great news, and this is what the president of the United States wants to hear. 

Now, he of course has a demeanor.  He didn‘t want to get too excited about this stuff because it‘s only a quarterly report.  But it came out later today that some of this money, they did a stock deal, the Treasury Department is going to be made whole early on, on this.  In fact, they think by the end of this year that they could pay all of that money back. 

I hope so. 

Joining me now is Democratic Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut.  He‘s the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, and he‘s here to kick off this program tonight. 

Senator, if you can just give us your quick take, how good is this news?  With all the conversation about the TARP program, there is the first report out that somebody made a dollar. 

How important is this, in your opinion? 

SEN. CHRISTOPHER DODD (D-CT.), CHAIRMAN, BANKING COMMITTEE:  Well, it‘s very important, because the most important words in all of this, and has been since September, is “confidence” and “optimism.”  And unless we restore confidence and optimism among consumers, among the public at large, among our institutions, then this isn‘t going to work. 

And so what you‘re seeing tonight with this news—you don‘t want to overstate it and you haven‘t, Ed, in my view—is this is hopefully going to build some confidence, that we, in fact, will overcome all of this, we‘ll get out of this.  It‘s not going to be easy, it‘s not going to happen overnight, but it‘s the first indication, along with some of the stock market increases over the last week or two—I wasn‘t sure whether that was a false start or not, and we want to be careful to not overstate the case.  But for the naysayers who just say no to everything—and that‘s all they‘ve done over the last number of weeks—to President Obama and his team and others, the idea that these ideas are beginning to work, we hope, bit by bit, ought to restore some of that confidence which is absolutely critical in our country. 

SCHULTZ:  Senator Dodd, I‘ve got to ask you, you, of course, chairing the Banking Committee, you brought forth some legislation that came out of committee, you brought it up early so the lobbyists couldn‘t take it apart.  You got this thing through committee with a 12-11 vote. 

How important was this?  And I want to detail out exactly what this credit card bill calls for. 

DOD:  Well, Ed, this is an issue that I‘ve been working on for 20 years, the gouging that goes on.  Just to give you in perspective, since March of last year, 2007 (sic), to February of this year, the credit card industry has raised the rates on one out of every four accounts.  Seventy million accounts have gone up in the last year, many of them for no reason at all, because the language in the small print says we can raise rates for any reason, any time. 

That‘s their language, any reason, any time.  And, ,of course, you‘re seeing that today with Bank of America.  Citigroup and others, I think, are going to raise rates, or knock people off these rolls.  You literally are charging rates in some cases that you would have gone to jail for even a few years ago.  And so I‘m deeply concerned about it. 

The bill we passed doesn‘t allow any time, any reason rate increases.  You covered the universal default issue.  You got it exactly right, Ed, that if you were late on a utility bill or some other unrelated matter to your credit card, they use that as a justification for adding fees and penalties or penalty rates on individuals.  That ought to be wrong. 

The whole idea that you can charge interest rates on the penalties you get charged, or increase your rates, and despite the fact you‘ve been current for six months or a year, they never bring them back down again.  Those are permanent rate increases.

All of those things, among others, are things that we changed with this credit card bill, including that youngsters, people who are getting these unsolicited, pre-approved credit cards with credit limits of $3,000 to $5,000, in some cases $10,000, knowing full well that that youngster has no credit history, no assets, no income, and knowing full well that, in many cases, they‘re going to run up those debts, of course, which they‘re saddled with for years to come, or their parents are, we changed that, too. 

SCHULTZ:  Senator, I‘ve got to ask you, how are you going to stop the outrageous rates?  I mean, are you going to write in there that there‘s going to be a limit as to what they can charge?  There‘s got to be special conditions?  How are you going to do that? 

DODD:  Well, it‘s coming to that.  Bernie Sanders, my colleague in Vermont, Dick Durbin, a senator from Illinois, among others, have been suggesting that we ought to have a cap on rates. 

Now, I know there are many who are opposed to that idea.  But as you pointed out earlier—and I had a case here the other day here in the state of Connecticut, Samantha Moore (ph) and her husband, small business owners here in Connecticut, good credit history, perfect, they were late for the first time in 18 years, three days late. 

They saw their credit rates—the interest rates double and their credit limits go from $31,000 down to $4,000 for being three days late on a payment for the first time in 18 years.  That story gets repeated over and over and over again. 

Those kind of rates they‘re now being asked to pay I think are criminal.  And so it may come that we have to put a cap.  And if we have to do it retroactively, I would say to Bank of Americas and others, don‘t think you‘re going to get away with this by trying to get this done before my bill gets to the floor of the United States Senate.  This is wrong, it‘s unfair, it hurts people out there who are in desperate conditions today. 

SCHULTZ:  This affects every American, especially the middle class.  And I‘m going to tell you, if it was a Republican majority, we wouldn‘t even be talking about this tonight, because the chairman of the committee wouldn‘t be pushing the issue the way you have, and I really commend you for that. 

DODD:  Thanks.

SCHULTZ:  I want to talk about the housing industry.  The president made an appeal today to a lot of Americans to go out and refinance their home.  Here‘s what he had to say. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK H. OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  There are seven to nine million people across the country who, right now, could be taking advantage of lower mortgage rates.  That is money in their pocket.  And we estimate that the average family can get anywhere from $1,600 to $2,000 a year in savings by taking advantage of these various mortgage programs that have been put in place. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Now, what about folks who can‘t do the refinancing, Senator? 

What‘s your answer to them? 

DODD:  Well, the president and others put together this package using $75 billion of the so-called TARP money available mitigating foreclosure issues, and so allowing people who are on that brink, who may fall into having a distressed mortgage or a mortgage that‘s under water, of reworking that mortgage in a way so they can stay in that home, that‘s going to be needed in those cases.  Others the president talked about don‘t need that, but can refinance and put themselves in far better shape.  So you‘ve got a combination of ideas here that would allow us to mitigate the problem. 

And this really gets to the heart of it, Ed, because at the heart of all of this is the residential mortgage market, is the foreclosure problem.  Ten thousand people a day are falling into foreclosure, 20,000 a day losing their jobs.

Jobs, and dealing with people‘s homes.  Not everyone wants to sell their home.  You‘ve got an awful lot of them who are under water.  That is, the mortgage is a greater cost than the value of the home at this juncture.  But if we‘re able to get to the bottom of this residential mortgage market, those people in distress, then I think along with the information you talked about at the top of the program, would begin to indicate that we may actually get out of this problem sooner than we thought earlier. 

SCHULTZ:  Well, I‘ll tell you what, if the banks don‘t pay back the TARP money, and this is just a snapshot of a great beginning, there‘s not going to be an economic recovery.  We have got to have the financial institutions in this country be successful early on, I think, to start this entire comeback, and I think it can happen. 

Senator, I‘ve got to ask you about some pretty troubling poll numbers that you‘ve got in Connecticut, if I may.

Fifty-eight percent of your constituents think that you‘re not getting the job done, 33 percent approve.  This is a fallout from AIG.

How much do you think that hurt you, the reversal of your position, and also the way you changed your position on the bonuses as to who was responsible for how the bonuses were dished out? 

DODD:  Well, it hurt terribly.  And I acknowledge that. 

In February, when this matter—I wrote an eight-page amendment to deal with bonuses, golden parachutes, luxury items, and the like, to try and deal with these issues across the board, not one fact (ph) situation after another.  And that was the right thing to do, and I still stand by it. 

And in February, if I had known then what I now know—no one had brought up or had any idea there were any bonuses for AIG involved in all of this—then we obviously would have taken a different position.  But the administration came to me, along with some others, and said, look, this is going to create some real legal problems.  It made some sense, I thought, at the time. 

I now know that it was a mistake.  Would love to have that moment back.

SCHULTZ:  So you were afraid of the legal aspect of all of this? 

DODD:  Those were the arguments raised to me.  As I said, no one ever brought up AIG at the time.  And had they done so, or I had known that we would be confronting the problem here, I would have had a very different position. 

I regret that deeply.  It caused an awful lot of frustration, an awful lot of anger at me in my state.  I understand it, I acknowledge it, and I‘m going to try to fix it. 

SCHULTZ:  Senator, good to have you on the program tonight.  And thanks for being with us, and thanks for the work you‘re doing to help families deal with these credit card issues in America. 

We‘ll do it again.  Thanks a lot. 

DODD:  Thanks, Ed.  Thank you very much.

SCHULTZ:  You bet. 

There are 12 million illegal immigrants living in the United States.  Now President Obama is going to take a stab at immigration reform.  This issue is a lightning rod for conservatives, and it could put the president at odds with centrist Democrats and some union workers. 

Can he get a reform deal done?  That‘s next on THE ED SHOW.

Stay with us. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

The president wants to take on illegal immigration.  Some are questioning his timing and his position on this issue, because it crosses all party lines.  For those who just don‘t like the president, this could be a real political opening. 

The question is, when do the unemployment numbers in this country enter into the illegal immigration debate? 

Let‘s go to former presidential candidate and former Republican congressman Tom Tancredo, who has been a staunch supporter of tough immigration laws in this country. 

Tom, good to have you on the Ed program tonight. 

TOM TANCREDO ®, FMR. CONGRESSMAN:  Hey.  Thank you, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  I have to ask you right off the bat—you bet.  Thank you.

TANCREDO:  Well, let me first...

SCHULTZ:  I appreciate you being here.

TANCREDO:  Let me first tell you, success—congratulations on your show and its success.  I‘m happy to be here. 

SCHULTZ:  Thank you, sir.  I appreciate it. 

Have the conservatives lost on this issue, or is this an issue that they can make a political comeback on?  I mean, it just seems to me that the staunch conservatives, early on, have staked this position out to be tough on illegal immigration, but the country seems to have softened on this.  Or am I wrong? 

TANCREDO:  Well, I think you‘re wrong.  I think the economy took almost all the oxygen out of the room in the political sense. 

There was—you know, it was a big issue for a while, then the election.  We had Obama and McCain.  They did not have much of a difference in opinion about this, so it wasn‘t much of a topic. 

The economy, of course, took over everything.  But believe me, when you tie immigration to the economy, which in fact we can do, and we will do during the debate on this issue, it rises right to the top pretty quickly. 

SCHULTZ:  You know, Tom, do you think that the president of the United States is trying to do too much too soon?  Does he have to get to this issue this year?  What do you think? 

TANCREDO:  Well, if I were advising him, and on the other side of this issue, I would tell him, this is not the time to do this, Mr. President.  There are so many other issues involved.  And the only place where your numbers are going down, by the way, is on the economy.  And this issue is directly related to that, and you can‘t afford it. 

From my point of view, I couldn‘t think of a better time for him to bring it up.  If I had to construct a debate format and the time frame for that to occur, this would be it, while unemployment rates are at 10 percent and going northward.  That is, believe me, from my point of view, the best time to debate this topic. 

SCHULTZ:  But hasn‘t the president put more troops on the border and reinforced the troops that are trying to defend our borders down there to stop illegal immigration?  I would imagine you would be in favor of that. 

TANCREDO:  Believe me, I would be in favor of it if he were actually to try to secure the border.  Rather than just using rhetoric, I would totally support it. 

All we have done is shift a few positions around.  We have not placed the military on the border.  What Janet Napolitano has done is to say we‘re going to move some people from other places down to the border, and down to especially the ports of entry. 

I assure you, Ed, that unless we actually construct the fence, and unless we put the military on the border, we will not have secured the border.  And they have no plans to do that, while at the same time they are talking about letting—we are bringing in—remember this, Ed—forget about illegal immigration for a moment. 

We are bringing in 138,000 people a month legally in this country, new workers under our present immigration program.  I don‘t know about you, I do not know of 138,000 jobs every month that are in excess of what American citizens need. 

They are coming in legally, let alone the approximately 800,000 a year that are still coming in illegally.  And they will not secure the border, but they talk about this issue as if it has been done. 

They talk about it as if it‘s a fait accompli.  No problem, border secure, now we‘re going to do this.  It is not secure, not in any way, shape or form. 

SCHULTZ:  Tom, thanks for joining us tonight.  We‘ll come back to you on this issue, because we definitely know where you stand on it.  Thanks so much. 

TANCREDO:  It‘s a deal.

SCHULTZ:  Coming up next on THE ED SHOW, it‘s “Psycho Talk.”

Communists are taking over your town, Bolsheviks are hiding under your be.  We‘re taking a trip into the warped world of Glenn Beck. 

Folks, you just can‘t make this stuff up. 

What did he say about a Marxist revolution in America?  It‘s coming up next on “Psycho Talk.”

Stay with us.  

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

Have you heard some of the crazy things that are being said by conservatives? 

It‘s time for “Psycho Talk.” 

Oh, this time it‘s Glenn Beck.  He has landed in today‘s “Psycho Talk.”  He‘s another one of those conspiracy theorists, and he‘s got one out there. 

Folks, this is a dandy.

Speaking on his radio show yesterday, which very few people listen to, he started discussing “The Wall Street Journal” story about spies infiltrating the electricity grid, and then he veers off into the second wave of the perfect storm has arrived, the claim that foreign nationals that wish our country harm have penetrated the U.S. and they are staging a Marxist revolution. 

Look out.  And you know what they‘re using?  They‘re using the weapons of our colleges and unions. 

Listen to this. 

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

GLENN BECK, FOX NEWS:  If you don‘t think that some of these Marxist revolutionary courses that are being taught out in California, the Marxist revolutionary influence in our own unions, in our own businesses, in our own, you know, protests out in the street, if you think those are spontaneously happening by Americans, you‘re an idiot. 

(END AUDIO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Oh.  I‘ll tell you what, I guess I‘m in that category. 

And it continues.  He says foreign nationals from China and Russia have infiltrated the whole system and they are in position.  They‘re just waiting for the moment to topple the government. 

Folks, this definitely qualifies for “Psycho Talk.”

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.  President Obama‘s to-do list just got a bit longer.  Let‘s take a look at it.  He has to fix the economy, get people working again.  He wants to overhaul the financial regulations in the country, and clean up Wall Street.  He‘s committed to getting universal health care done this year, and making it affordable for the middle class. 

He has two wars on his plate.  He‘s drawing down troops in Iraq and he‘s going after al Qaeda in Afghanistan.  He‘s got an energy plan that‘s meeting fierce resistance from Republicans and big business.  Now he wants to take on illegal immigration. 

Is President Obama trying to do too much?  We want all points of view on this show.  That‘s why we brings in folks like Lars Larson and Heidi Harris, Heidi Harris, who is has host of the “Heidi Harris Show” on AM 720, KDWN in Las Vegas.  Reverend Al Sharpton, the president of the National Action Network with us tonight.  And also, as I said, Lars Larson, host of “The Lars Larson Show” on Compass Media Networks. 

Reverend Sharpton, you‘re making news.  We‘ll start with you first tonight, if we can.  Do you think the president—the timing is right for him to go after illegal immigration? 

AL SHARPTON, NATIONAL ACTION NETWORK:  Yes, I do.  I think that, first of all, many of the things that you have listed, Ed, are things that he has to deal with it because it fell on his lap.  The whole Wall Street crisis, the banking crisis, these are not things that he planned for.  But I think that some of the initiatives in terms of what he‘s doing in Afghanistan, to pull-down in Iraq, these are things he committed to do them in a timely fashion, universal health care.

And I think immigration is something that he has to deal with.  And I think that a lot of the Republicans that will try to get some Democrats to go fight him on this are going to be surprised at how effective I think he‘s going to be able to fight this battle.  Let‘s remember, a lot of these illegal immigrants came in under their watch.  It is going to be very interesting how this debate develops, when they act like they didn‘t know what they themselves failed to deal with. 

SCHULTZ:  All right.  Lars, I can tell you don‘t agree with that.  But isn‘t this the perfect issue for you conservatives for the president to bring this up at this time?  Does this give you a political opening? 

LARS LARSON, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  We killed it before.  We need to kill it again.  I‘m glad to see how Reverend Sharpton is willing to throw black working Americans under a bus so they‘re jobs can be cut by illegal aliens.  They‘re not immigrants.  They came into our country illegally.  They have identified themselves illegally.  They break the law when they sign that I-9 at work.  They take their money and they send it back to what they think is their real home.

SCHULTZ:  So Lars, what‘s your solution?  I got to ask you, what‘s your solution? 

LARSON:  Very easy.  Represent—Congressman Steven King from Iowa had it years ago.  He said if you tell every employer in America, if you have somebody on your payroll, whether it‘s a 1099 or W-2, and their name doesn‘t match their Social, you can‘t deduct their wages at the end of the year. 

SCHULTZ:  OK. 

LARSON:  Everybody in the world is afraid of the IRS.

SCHULTZ:  Heidi Harris, your thoughts.  Do you think the president is too liberal with his position?  And is this a political opening for the conservatives? 

HEIDI HARRIS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  Well, I think the president is too liberal on a lot of his positions.  Is it an opening for conservatives?  Yes, but he‘s got the majority.  So whatever he wants to do he‘s going to get away with, at this point, which is why he‘s trying to do all these things at once.  He‘ll probably get what he wants to get accomplished.  People will basically get some type of form of amnesty. 

But you‘re right about one thing, Ed.  The right has been just as bad, in a lot of cases, as the left on this issue.  Nothing has been done for a long time. 

SCHULTZ:  I don‘t think anybody‘s got an answer.  I don‘t think anybody‘s got the perfect answer on this. 

SHARPTON:  Which is the point, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  Go ahead, Al. 

SHARPTON:  Ed, I think that‘s the point.  The hysteria that he responded with throwing black workers under the bus—first of all, many of the people from Haiti and other places are black and our cousins and uncles and all. 

LARSON:  Kick them out if they‘re not illegal. 

SHARPTON:  I didn‘t interrupt you. 

LARSON:  Sorry, Al. 

SCHULTZ:  Go ahead.  Let him talk, Lars. 

SHARPTON:  Let‘s try to have a rational debate on how we deal with the fact that you have 12 million people in here.  We need to deal how we can, A, solve the problem, not just scream at each other, and solve the employment problem. 

SCHULTZ:  Lars, how are you going to round up 12 million people and get them out?  Is that what you want to do?  That‘s what Joe Arpaio is doing in Phoenix right now. 

LARSON:  By the way, I know that Al Sharpton has suggested prosecuting Joe Arpaio.  That‘s wrong.  Joe Arpaio is an American hero.  He ought to be given an award for it.  Here‘s how to solve the problem: Ed, did they let you go to work at MSNBC on a fake Social Security number so that you wouldn‘t have to pay your taxes?  I‘ll bet they didn‘t. 

SCHULTZ:  The fact is, Lars, there‘s no doubt about it that we have a problem in this country.  But political divide is not going to be the answer here.  We‘re all in this together. 

LARSON:  Well, then do it this way. 

SCHULTZ:  I think the unemployment numbers out there in this country is going to heighten the debate.  Heidi, what do you think.  Does the economy play into this issue right now? 

HARRIS:  Absolutely it does.  We have 10 percent unemployment here in Nevada.  Absolutely, it‘s an issue.  People who weren‘t even that concerned about it are now going, wait a minute, I didn‘t mind if the illegal across the street was banging nails on the roof, if I had a job, too.  But now I don‘t have a job, and he or she is potentially taking my job.  Yes, I do think that‘s an issue. 

When they talk about solving the immigration issue, what it ultimately comes down to is giving people amnesty.  Just make them legal and then you don‘t have an illegal immigration problem.  Yay, that‘s the solution. 

SCHULTZ:  A guy who has been really tough on some human beings, I think, down in Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, made this comment, yesterday, saying that he‘s going to run for office again.  People are just going to have to deal with it.  Here it is. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE ARPAIO, ARIZONA SHERIFF:  I plan on running for sheriff again.  They can put that in their pipe and smoke it.  The more they go after me, the more illegal aliens I‘m going to lock up.  That‘s my message to them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  And Reverend Sharpton, you have called for his resignation.  You want him to step down.  What is he doing that‘s bothering you, reverend? 

SHARPTON:  Well, the complaint that we‘ve got at National Action Network is not about what he‘s doing with illegal immigrants.  That‘s not the problem.  It‘s what he‘s doing to legal citizens, people who have been born, raised here, are legal citizens, that have been pulled over, harassed, almost made to travel around with like pass book in old—before pre-Mandela South Africa. 

SCHULTZ:  Is there racial profiling going on? 

SHARPTON:  He does not have the right to do that to American citizens. 

We‘re not talking about illegal immigrants.  We‘re talking about citizens. 

SCHULTZ:  Is there racial profiling going on, in your opinion? 

SHARPTON:  Yes, and in the opinion of many people that have gone into this situation.  There‘s a Justice Department investigation.  Why don‘t we wait and let that play out and see?  People are not hallucinating being pulled over. 

SCHULTZ:  Lars, I take it that you‘re OK with the tactics of the sheriff down in Arizona, to go around and start checking IDs and rounding people up?  Is that what you want to do?

LARSON:  Absolutely.  Here‘s why: the fact that most of the illegal aliens happen to be Hispanic is not the sheriff‘s fault.  That‘s the nature of geography.  I guess Al Sharpton is willing to continue the economic slavery of illegal aliens who come into this country and work -- 

SCHULTZ:  Heidi, are you OK with Joe Arpaio going up to people on the streets, and forcing them to show ID?  If they don‘t have proper ID on them at the time—they could be legal.  They might not have their ID.  Bing, they‘re in jail.  You‘re OK with that? 

HARRIS:  Listen, there‘s some things he does I agree with.  I don‘t see stopping people on the street who haven‘t done anything else and checking IDs.  But I will tell you one thing, when somebody comes into a business with a fake ID, you don‘t just send them away, which is what happens here, happens all over the country.  You call the officials.  They come and take them away at that point.

But to stop somebody on the street and demand ID, no. 

SHARPTON:  That‘s not what he‘s doing.

SCHULTZ:  Panel, stay with us.  We have more coming up for you, folks. 

Thanks so much.  Stay with us.  We‘re coming right back. 

We just told you what President Obama is working on, the worst economy crisis since the Great Depression.  And he‘s trying to save the automobile industry, getting the economy moving again.  What are the conservatives talking about?  Well, it‘s same sex marriage, same old story, same old scare tactics.  We‘re going to talk about that crazy new commercial they‘re running next here on THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.  Stay with us. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE EDO SHOW on MSNBC.  Could the zombie banks be showing signs of life?  Remember this. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  The banks are insolvent.  They‘re zombies.  And they‘re going to be zombies—the great worry, when you read people who seem to know what they‘re talking about this—the great worry is we‘re just going to have a very expensive way of spending a lot of taxpayer money. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Declaring time of death may have been premature.  Wells Fargo announced its unbelievable first-quarter profits today of three billion dollars.  That‘s a billion more than this time last year, and much higher than Wall Street analysts predicted.  The Dow closed up 246 points on the news today, to end the day at 8,083. 

Does today‘s news mean taxpayers will goat their bailout billions back?  Is Obama‘s plan working?  Is the president on the right track?  Let‘s bring back our panel tonight, Heidi Harris, Lars Larson and Reverend Al Sharpton.  Let‘s start with you, Lars.  What do you think.  You have any of that Tarp money available?  It‘s working pretty good, isn‘t it?

LARSON:  Listen, I wish I was getting a bailout, but no, actually I don‘t.  I think it‘s great news that American industry and capitalism is working again.  I‘m not sure I‘m willing to give all the credit to President Obama.  He‘s finally straightened out with his message after a couple of months.  But listen, is it a bad thing that the banks are doing well again? 

SCHULTZ:  I think it‘s a great thing.  I just want to hear conservatives say we‘re on the right track with a liberal president.  Heidi, I got to ask you, it was just a few weeks ago that a lot of conservatives in this country, they wanted to throw Tim Geithner under the bus, saying he wasn‘t the guy for the job.  What does this report mean? 

HARRIS:  It doesn‘t mean anything to me.  I would be really solvent too if you gave me a bailout.  Of course, I would be in the black. 

SCHULTZ:  But what would you be saying if it was a three billion dollar loss in the first quarter? 

HARRIS:  Everybody has lost money now.  And the Tarp doesn‘t fix things.  It just puts a temporary band-aid on some companies.  It‘s not fixing the economy to throw money at it.  If you blow all of your money in your household, and I keep giving you money—

SCHULTZ:  Now, wait a minute.  I got to call time-out here.  Let‘s get a little philosophical talk in just a second.  Don‘t we need the banks to be solvent in this country?  Don‘t we need to make sure this Tarp program works?  Reverend Al, what do you think? 

SHARPTON:  We cannot get out of this situation without the banks being solvent.  If the banks can make profit—this is a first-quarter report, three billion dollars profit.  If this continues and they pay back the money and remain solvent, it becomes the foundation of the whole economy coming back. 

At some point, conservatives have got to put politics aside and do what is good for the country.  This is good for everyone.  It‘s clear this is working so far.  And we should hope it continues. 

SCHULTZ:  This is a good report card, Lars.  If you come home with a three billion dollar profit—and profit is a good thing.  You know I am a business guy.  I love this stuff.  It‘s a victory, man. 

LARSON:  It is a great thing.  You know, the credit goes to the banks that were in big trouble last year.  They were given some Tarp money.  A lot of them were forced to take it.  Some of them are now saying they would like to pay it back and the government is saying we‘re not going to take it back.  And they have an effective way of threatening them if they try to pay it back.

But you‘ve put me in the uncomfortable place where I have to at least agree with Reverend Al, what he said just a moment ago.  He is right. 

SCHULTZ:  That‘s why we have conservatives on this show, like you, Lars.  We just want all the love.  You know, we want all points of view on this program. 

Heidi, if you had to grade the president‘s job on the G-20, what would you give him, one to 10? 

HARRIS:  What did he come back with?  I give him about a four or five. 

SCHULTZ:  Nothing for good diplomatic work?  I mean, come on. 

HARRIS:  No.  What did he accomplish?  What did he accomplish besides going over there schmoozing and bowing to the Saudi king.  Don‘t get me started on that.  What did he actually accomplish?  Nothing.

SCHULTZ:  So he should have gone over there and been pretty cantankerous about the whole thing?  Reverend Al, what do you think?  How did he do on the G-20 trip?

SHARPTON:  I think he did an eight or nine.  Clearly, what did he go for?  He went to establish a new tone, a more hopeful world, a different view of America.  He more than achieved that.  I think he set us on a diplomatic course that we need with the rest of the world, and clearly we‘re going to need in terms of dealing with this economic crisis globally.  I think he did an outstanding job. 

SCHULTZ:  Lars, does it scare you that the president of the United States wants to rid the world of nukes?  Is that too passive for the conservatives? 

LARSON:  I think it‘s ridiculous.  Number one, it makes sense for this country to have nuclear weapons.  They‘ve have served an important role over the last 60 years.  And the idea of trying to rid the world so that, what, only the Iranians and Chinese have nuclear weapons, and we‘re defenseless?  That‘s ridiculous. 

Further, the new tone he set in Europe was America bad, Europe good.  And most Americans disagree with him on that.  He thinks this country is not a good country.  He says we‘re arrogant.  He says we‘re wrong.  We need to compromise to the Europeans more.  He‘s not being very pro-American. 

SHARPTON:  Most Americans gave him great reviews on his trip.  He went up in the poll, Lars.  Let‘s be serious.  Most Americans approved of what he did and was glad at what he did.  The poll numbers went up.  Lars, he didn‘t find the weapons of mass destruction for George Bush.  But he did find a new level of global dialogue.

SCHULTZ:  Heidi, I want your take.  Do you think we can have honest discussions with the Iranians?  Is this a new day, or is President Obama going down the wrong road? 

HARRIS:  You cannot negotiate with a terrorist.  When you negotiate with a terrorist, a terrorist nation—when I say terrorist, I‘m not talking about a specific person.  I‘m talking about the terrorist mentality.  If you give a terrorist, a bully on the playground, your lunch box, he doesn‘t look at that as nice.  He looks at it as weak. 

SCHULTZ:  So you think isolation is the way to go with the Iranians? 

HARRIS:  No, no, I don‘t think so.  But I think we have to watch them.  You cannot talk to people who want your destruction.  There‘s nothing to talk about.  There‘s no middle ground to achieve at that point.  You cannot take your eye off the ball.  They are terrorists.  That‘s their thinking.  You cannot chat with them and hope they like us and don‘t attack us.  It doesn‘t work that way. 

SCHULTZ:  Heidi Harris, Lars Larson and Reverend Sharpton, great to have all three of you with us tonight here on THE ED SHOW.  We‘re looking forward to the next time you‘re coming back.  Thanks so much. 

(CROSS TALK)  

SCHULTZ:  Up next, a new TV ad claims gay marriage could cost you your job.  We‘ll talk about it coming up on THE ED SHOW.  Stay with us. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.  Yesterday on this program, we played a new TV ad from the opponents of same-sex marriage.  This spots takes a different tactic, a Hail Mary pass by conservatives, if you will.  That‘s the subject of my playbook tonight.  Let‘s watch it again. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  There‘s a storm gathering. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  The clouds are dark and the winds are strong. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  And I am afraid. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Some who advocate for same-sex marriage have taken the issue far beyond same sex couples. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  They want to bring the issue into my life. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  My freedom will be taken away. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Some who advocate for same-sex marriage have not been content with same-sex couples living as they wish. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Those advocates want to change the way I live. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I will have no choice. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  The storm is coming. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  This ad is a game changer.  The National Organization for Marriage, which created the commercial, has made same-sex marriage about your freedoms.  They claim same-sex marriage affects you and your rights.  Some background here, two more states have legalized same-sex marriage this month.  And today, New York Governor Paterson said he‘ll support and sign a gay marriage bill. 

The Human Rights campaign released this response to the television spot yesterday.  They says “this ad is full of outrageous falsehoods and they don‘t even come out of the mouths of real people.” 

They‘re, of course, pointing out that this ad has actually actors doing all of this.  Joining me now is David Smith, who is the vice president of the Human Rights Campaign, a gay and lesbian rights organization. 

Mr. Smith, thank you for joining us tonight.  What‘s the big deal? 

It‘s just another ad by an advocacy group.  How big is this? 

DAVID SMITH, HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN:  Well, I don‘t think it‘s a big deal, to be honest with you.  It‘s too bad Boris Karloff isn‘t still alive.  They could have hired him to really scare people. 

SCHULTZ:  Do you think it will work? 

SMITH:  No, of course not.  Let‘s go back to what the court in Iowa, one of the states you just referenced, said, is that gay and lesbian couples are no different than heterosexual couples.  We love the same.  We‘re committed the same.  We parent the same.  We look out for one another the same. 

The only difference is the law treats us differently.  And the supreme court said that there‘s no justification—no Constitutional justification to—

(CROSS TALK)

SCHULTZ:  Mr. Smith, how many other states do you anticipate are going to be following the four states, the most recent Vermont?  How many more states do you think? 

SMITH:  It‘s hard to put a number on it.  But New York is considering it, as you said.  Possibly New Jersey, Maine, Rhode Island, perhaps in the future.  So it is something that is being looked at across the country.  In California, the Supreme Court is deciding whether Proposition 8, which invalidated marriages in that state, should stand.  But nonetheless, if that‘s not a successful ruling, it will likely come on the ballot.  So it‘s an on-going struggle. 

SCHULTZ:  During the midterm, do you think it will be back to the G word for the Republicans, gays, guns and god?  Here we go.  It looks to me like they‘ve run out of the issues.  They don‘t want to support the president on anything.  So they‘re now working over the gays and lesbians.

SMITH:  I think they do so at their own peril.  The country has changed.  We‘re all facing difficult economic times, two wars.  If they‘re going to focus on attacking people for political gain, that‘s not going to sell with the American public.  They want solutions for everybody. 

SCHULTZ:  Don‘t you think it will sell in red states? 

SMITH:  I‘m sorry? 

SCHULTZ:  Don‘t you think it will sell in red states? 

SMITH:  It might sell in some parts of the country.  but Ed, I think the country is changing.  This week we have seen a turning point.  Now, we still have a lot of work to do.  We have to roll up our sleeves and educate, and talk to our neighbors, and show the sky is not going to fall, as it didn‘t fall in Massachusetts or Connecticut.  It won‘t fall in Iowa.  It won‘t fall in Vermont. 

SCHULTZ:  Well, the big thing about Vermont is the fact that there were enough votes in both the House and the Senate to override a veto.  Now, is this a barrier broken?  And then Iowa, in the middle of the country, in the farm belt, goes along with this?  Is this a barrier and really a red-letter day, turning point in America? 

SMITH:  Yes, Vermont was a landmark, because it was the first time marriage was enacted by the legislature.  But in our history, our nation‘s history, the courts have oftentimes been ahead of where public opinion was on a particular issue.  But they have caught up.  Look at Massachusetts.  There was 42 percent only supported in 2004 when that was enacted.  But five years later, in 2008, 59 percent of people in that state support it. 

So once they have a chance to live with their gay and lesbian neighbors, they know there‘s no problems.  And all the threats, and all the scary things conjured up in that commercial you just aired won‘t come to fruition.  Everything will be fine. 

SCHULTZ:  Do you think that the federal marriage amendment is finally dead in the conservative movement? 

SMITH:  There‘s no appetite in Congress for that.  It‘s never dead, because Congress is Congress.  But there‘s no indication that there‘s a willingness to move forward on that. 

SCHULTZ:  OK.  Mr. Smith, good to have you with us tonight. 

SMITH:  Congratulations on your show. 

SCHULTZ:  Well, thank you. 

SMITH:  It‘s really great. 

SCHULTZ:  I appreciate that.  We‘ll sure have you back as this issue is going to be very contentious in the debate.  Thanks so much.

SMITH:  Thank you. 

SCHULTZ:  I want our viewers to know tonight that we asked Brian Brown, the executive director of the National Organization for Marriage, to join us.  It‘s their TV commercial.  I don‘t know how else to say this.  I know what we say about people that don‘t show up on talk radio, but I guess I‘m told to say tonight on TV tonight he‘s just missing in action. 

Another item for our playbook, the first round of the 73rd Masters Tournament is under way at Augusta National.  I have to tell you, this is one of my favorite sporting events.  And Tiger Woods is a two to one favorite to wince his fifth green jacket.  Just yesterday, Woods said he thinks he‘s enter the prime of his career, and finally understanding how to play the game?  Modesty at its best. 

One of the best golfers out there says he‘s just learning how to play the game, and getting this thing called golf?  Wow.  Just a couple weeks ago, Tiger drained a birdie on the 72nd hole to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the first victory since returning from knee surgery. 

Now, that‘s why I love Tiger Woods right there.  The guy has won 66 PGA events.  And he acts as if every time it‘s the first one.  That guy is so American.  I love Tiger Woods.  I love the way he competes.  He inspires me.  You just can‘t get good enough.  You just don‘t know what your potential is unless you work hard and play to win every day.  He sure as heck does that.

Tiger, good luck at the Masters. 

That‘s it for THE ED SHOW.  I‘m Ed Schultz.  For more information on THE ED SHOW, go to Ed.MSNBC.com or check out my radio website, WeGotEd.com.  Good night and we will see you tomorrow on THE ED SHOW.

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

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