Guests: Rep. Lynn Woolsey, Tom Andrews, Heidi Harris, Bill Press, Sam Stein, Kevin Ormes, Liz Winstead, John Harwood, Jerry Flanagan
ED SCHULTZ, HOST: I‘m Ed Schultz. This is THE ED SHOW.
SCHULTZ: Good evening, Americans.
Live from 30 Rock in New York City, it‘s THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.
Well, the torture tennis match wages on. Nancy Pelosi says she wants all briefing memos released. How about it, Republicans? Can you handle the truth?
Roughly 2,000 American car dealerships are being forced to close. How many jobs will be lost? I‘ll talk to a local dealer who got ditched by Chrysler.
And another $100 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan? Anybody counting?
What‘s the end game with these wars?
Plus, “Psycho Talk.”
All of that, a great panel, and “Daily Show” co-creator Lizz Winstead here to lighten things up for us tonight.
But first, tonight‘s “OpEd.”
Can we please just put everything on the table? I mean, let‘s get everything out there. You know, it‘s this thing called full disclosure.
Now, Republicans, I‘m talking to you tonight. I‘m talking to you conservatives. Prove to us that Nancy Pelosi is not just a political target because you‘ve got nothing else happening.
Pelosi did her part. She said don‘t take my word for it, let‘s release all the briefings and let‘s get it all out there in the open. What do you say?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), HOUSE SPEAKER: So, it‘s on the subject of what‘s happening in Iraq, whether it‘s talking about the techniques used by the intelligence community on those they‘re interrogating, at every step of the way the administration was misleading the Congress.
Perhaps they should release the briefings. I would be very happy if they would release the briefings. And then you will see what they briefed in one time and another, House and Senate and the rest.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: All right. My teams in town this weekend, the Twins and the
Nancy, boom, hit it out of the park. She wants full disclosure, total transparency. Just to be fair, just to be fair, let‘s hear from Senator Kit Bond, who was on “The Today Show” today.
He thinks she‘s lying.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. KIT BOND ®, MISSOURI: The people who were briefed were asking about the kind of information that was received. And they wanted to know what information had been received.
They were not saying, hey, don‘t do waterboarding or any other of the enhanced techniques. They said, are we getting enough information? I‘ve been in on quite a few of those briefings and found them always to be accurate. And, of course, I was not there when she was briefed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Ooh, that‘s kind of a key part of the sound bite, isn‘t it?
Did you hear that? He wasn‘t in the room when she was briefed. Yet, he‘s the best critic you can find.
So let‘s release the briefing notes so Senator Bond and all of us can know exactly what was said and when about waterboarding. How tough is that?
Now, of course, this isn‘t stopping the conservative attack machine. Of course, they‘ve got their own set of facts. Facts never get in their way. So they‘re out there saying we don‘t want to look backwards and do this truth commission except unless we‘re going to investigate just Nancy Pelosi and find out what she knew.
Folks, let me tell you something, that is flat out honky tonk, and the country doesn‘t need that. What we need is full disclosure.
Do they really expect us to believe a San Francisco liberal who said “Bring it on” about torture? Did she really say that? I‘d like to know. I‘d like to see the memos, I‘d like to see the briefing notes.
Nancy Pelosi, remember, opposed the war in Iraq when all they were talking about was Saddam Hussein and mushroom clouds. She stood up and said, no, I‘m not buying this.
So this idea that she was afraid of looking weak on terrorism just doesn‘t wash. But again, this is not about Nancy Pelosi and what the Democrats knew. You see, the Republicans are basically trying to shift the focus of this whole thing.
This is about—this is about the actions of Bush and Cheney, not what the Democrats knew. Democrats weren‘t in power.
Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, on this program last night, said it right. If all 435 members of the House said torture was OK, it would still be wrong. It would still be illegal.
And keep in mind, folks, there are no transcripts, there are no briefings, there‘s no audio. OK, there‘s no video. So the only way that we‘re going to get to this—to the bottom of all of this is the use of a truth commission or maybe a special prosecutor, or both. I think they could both work together on this thing.
Now, the righties will say absolutely anything about Nancy Pelosi on Fox News. That‘s their favorite place. But let‘s see what they‘ll say under oath.
And the same goes for the speaker. I mean, full disclosure.
Nancy, you‘ve got to raise your right hand on this. So do you, Dick Cheney. So do all you Bush cronies, because we, as Americans, want to know what the heck is going on, because we do want to achieve the moral high ground and we do want to make sure that the country is safe.
I think the American people deserve this.
Now, there really is another issue here—the Washington culture. I think right wing conservative electeds in D.C. really have a hard time with strong-willed women. Yes.
They‘re having a hard time with this woman being respected and in charge kind of thing over in the House with this big majority. So she‘s the target.
See, they can‘t go after the president because the president‘s just too popular. It reminds me of the comment Dick Cheney made back in 2007 regarding the speaker. I think it sounded something like this...
“Senate Democratic leaders march to the tune of Nancy Pelosi to the extent that I had not seen. Frankly, with any previous speaker.
I‘m trying to think how to say it all in a gentlemanly fashion, but in the Congress I served—and that wouldn‘t have happened. They‘re not carrying the big sticks that I would have expected.”
I don‘t know about the size of anybody‘s stick, Mr. Cheney, but I do want to remind you that the speaker and her party have an ironclad 78-seat majority in the House after an election.
Now, here‘s what‘s happening with the conservative sound machine. And it‘s starting with this whacko congressman out of Iowa named Steve King.
You know, King, he‘s always on the edge of outer space, especially on Fridays. I don‘t know what it is before the weekend, but King is trying to say that, you know, for national security purposes, Nancy Pelosi, she should resign her seat as House speaker. And they‘re trying to make the case that there‘s some big problem with Nancy Pelosi and the majority party.
Listen to the drugster on the radio today.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Will Nancy Pelosi resign as speaker of the House? That‘s the test. Come on now, we‘ve had two men resign, maybe even three.
So if women really want equal treatment, if they really want to crash through that glass ceiling, there is no better benchmark than Nancy Pelosi taking herself and her place right alongside two men who resigned.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Now, Rush, I know you‘re not big on academics and you didn‘t graduate from college. I got all that. But a little history lesson here.
First of all, Nancy Pelosi does not have Jim Wright issues. Secondly, Newt Gingrich was losing support of his party and he saw the election coming and he bailed out. They weren‘t behind him.
The key question, to be fair about commentary here—let‘s be fair—is Nancy Pelosi losing support in the Democratic Party because the Republicans want to make her a target?
Joining me now is CNBC Chief Washington Correspondent John Harwood. He‘s also a political writer for “The New York Times.”
John, good to have you with us tonight.
I understand you interviewed the speaker yesterday. Personally, John, how is she taking this? Is she feeling special pressure that maybe she has never felt before?
JOHN HARWOOD, CNBC CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think she‘s certainly feeling pressure and she‘s getting tested in a way she hasn‘t with so many people calling her dishonest, and people like Rush Limbaugh calling for her to resign. But I tell you, she was pretty feisty in that interview, Ed, and she threw it right back.
She said, “If I weren‘t effective, they wouldn‘t be making up that junk about me,” and she shifted the topic to the economy and said, “The people who are criticizing me haven‘t created one job. We‘ve acted in concert with Barack Obama to do that.”
So I‘ve got to tell you, I don‘t think there‘s any sign whatsoever that she‘s either going anywhere of her own volition or that House Democrats have any intention of kicking her out.
SCHULTZ: Well, that‘s the key point, that House Democrats are still very much behind her in all of this. There‘s really no shaky ground here at all?
HARWOOD: You know, Steny Hoyer has said a couple of things that people have parsed to indicate that he was not solidly behind her. I don‘t really think that‘s the case.
I think what Hoyer was doing was simply trying to rope a dope through a series of interviews and not take a stand one way or the other in terms of what was said in meetings that he wasn‘t present at. But I think, you know, Nancy Pelosi does have a problem in two ways.
She has a direct contradiction between her recollection and the CIA‘s recollection of that September 2002 briefing. As you mentioned earlier, Ed, in your “OpEd,” there are no really good records of that and so there‘s no audio tape. That‘s not really going to be settled.
I think more problematic is her statement to the news conference subsequently in April suggesting that she had never really known that waterboarding had been employed. We now know that one of her aides went to a subsequent briefing in 2003 and she was advised of that.
And the question‘s going to be, was she hypocritical because she‘s jumping on Republicans so hard now on this issue, wasn‘t making a lot of noise about it then? But if hypocrisy is the worst crime someone can be convicted of, you‘d have a lot more members losing their jobs than we see in politics.
SCHULTZ: I understand that Pete Hoekstra, a congressman who‘s on the House Intelligence Committee, saying tonight—he‘s applauding Nancy Pelosi asking for full disclosure. Doesn‘t that disarm the critics who are out there saying, hey, Nancy said this, then she said that, the speaker has got a contradictory remark here?
I mean, now she‘s coming out saying full disclosure, let‘s release these briefing papers, let‘s get to the bottom of it. I think that somewhat disarms them, doesn‘t it?
HARWOOD: Well, to some degree. And I suspect that in the inquiries under way on Capitol Hill, including the Senate Intelligence Committee, you‘re going to see moves in that direction because now both sides have established that they‘ve got a stake in trying to clear this up.
I don‘t think, however, that you‘re likely to see at the end of the day that truth commission that so many people have talked about, because there‘s one guy who does not want that, and that‘s Barack Obama. And the Nancy Pelosi episode just shows what a morass that‘s going to end up being, not serving Barack Obama‘s purposes and his agenda, which is so extensive. He‘s got so much to do on Capitol Hill.
SCHULTZ: And finally, John Harwood, tonight, I want to know from your experience in Washington, this doesn‘t seem to be the kind of situation where a party would leave their speaker. I mean, this whole war thing, this whole intelligence thing has been such a hot-button issue. I mean, the Democrats ran on this.
What kind of credibility would they have right now if they ran from Nancy Pelosi when she‘s sticking it right back to the righties?
HARWOOD: Well, exactly, and she‘s not somebody who departed from her caucus on a matter of policy. This is about how enthusiastically or loudly she protested a policy which she affirmatively disagreed with.
She was against the war. She participated in the passage of legislation to outlaw torture once Democrats won control of Congress. So I don‘t think Democrats have any particular political reason to run away from her, and I don‘t expect that to happen.
SCHULTZ: John Harwood, always a pleasure. Great to have you with us tonight on THE ED SHOW.
HARWOOD: You bet.
SCHULTZ: I want to know what you think. Our text survey tonight—and I think this is a critical question, because this story isn‘t going to be going away—Does the Obama administration have Nancy Pelosi‘s back on this issue? Text “A” for yes, “B” for no, the number right there on your screen.
We‘re going to bring you the results later tonight in the show.
Coming up, President Obama gets burned by the health care industry? Still think these guys are ready to work with us, or is it time to start from scratch again?
That‘s next on THE ED SHOW.
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.
Now, remember on Monday when the bigwigs from the insurance and hospital industries did a photo-op after a meeting with the president outside the White House? They said that they were really committed to lowering health care costs over the next 10 years. In fact, the president described it as a watershed event.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK H. OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Some of these groups were among the strongest critics of past plans for comprehensive reform. They are pledging to cut the rate of growth of national health care spending by 1.5 percentage points each year, an amount that‘s equal to over $2 trillion.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Well, I don‘t want to say that I told you so, but I did. I told you I don‘t trust these folks.
I said that this was really a head fake in open field to dodge reform at any cost. And they‘re going to try to derail it at any cost. Watch the lobbying money.
I said that when it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Well, yesterday, the head of the American Hospital Association proved me right.
He got on a conference call with 230 companies and said, hey, wait a minute here. The conversation had “spun way away from the original intent,” and we‘re the ones they are trying to spin right now, you and me.
“The New York Times” reports that the American Hospital Association put out a bulletin telling its members, “The AHA did not commit to support the Obama health plan or budget.” And it said, “The groups did not support reducing the rate of health spending by 1.5 percentage points annually.” Instead, he said 10 years down the road, eventually costs would be 1.5 percent lower in all.
Now, other insurance executives are saying reform will ramp up gradually, and that there really is no specic understanding of exactly when this whole thing is going to take place.
Now, joining me now is Jerry Flanagan. He‘s a health care policy director for Consumer Watch Dog.
Mr. Flanagan, good to have you with us tonight.
I was skeptical from day one. You‘ve got the foxes who have been guarding the hen house, are going to the White House to say, hey, we‘re really going to work with you now, we‘re going to keep these costs down.
Is this a signal early on that we‘re not going to be able to trust these organizations that have really nailed us with double-digit increases year after year?
JERRY FLANAGAN, CONSUMER WATCHDOG: Well, when can we ever really trust these guys? I mean, this is the insurance industry, this is the hospital association. These are the folks that have driven up costs that have largely created the problem. And, you know, really what the insurance company‘s trying to do right now—and the hospitals are trying to turn reform into a bailout.
This week in Congress, both the Senate and the House announced plans that would require every American to buy health insurance and pay for hospitals, but not cap what the hospitals and insurance companies could charge. What a great deal...
SCHULTZ: Jerry, are we seeing the Obama strategy, you know, talk to the folks who have made it tough and then we‘ll get to the advocates later? What do you think?
FLANAGAN: Well, I think what‘s happening is the insurance companies are trying to dodge Obama. But Obama‘s doing something, I think, still on the lead on this one, which is that, you know, he gets out of this that you came to my house, the White House, on Monday and said we‘re going to pledge to lower rates, and I‘m going to use that pledge against you in the future.
If the hospitals really do try to back out of this, the one thing the Obama administration has is the bully pulpit. And the question is what Congress and the House does.
Right now they‘re looking at a plan that would require Americans to buy from the hospitals but not cap what the hospitals could charge. And that‘s what Monday was all about.
Monday was about the hospitals voluntarily pledging to reduce rates so that they aren‘t regulated. That‘s what they don‘t want, is to actually be required to lower rates.
SCHULTZ: I just find it so unusual that a president who is so consuming of a room and information, who is so academic about the issues, just somehow there happened to be some miscommunication about the way this thing came down with the American Hospital Association, the insurance companies, the pharmaceutical manufacturers.
I mean, all of a sudden, we‘ve got some real miscommunication. I find that hard to believe.
I want to know, are you disappointed that we‘re maybe not off to the start that we need to be off to?
FLANAGAN: I‘m very disappointed.
First of all, the Senate and the House debate so far has really locked consumers out of the process. And look at the letter the hospitals wrote. It wasn‘t unclear. It said 1.5 percent annually.
You know, the president was relying on the text, but what‘s going on here is the hospitals are trying to create a moment where they can get something out of reform that benefits them and not the patients. And that‘s to require folks to pay whatever costs they want to charge.
Unfortunately, the consumers have really been locked out of the Senate debate so far. And that‘s...
SCHULTZ: Sure they have. They have been. They absolutely have been locked out.
We‘ve got to run. We‘re short on time tonight, Jerry. I appreciate your time. Thanks for your take on this. We obviously will follow the story.
Next up on THE ED SHOW, “Psycho Talk.” Ron Paul wants to close the Department of Agriculture?
I‘ll tell you what that‘s all about on “Psycho Talk” next.
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.
Have you heard some of the crazy things that elected conservatives have been saying?
It‘s time for “Psycho Talk.”
Uh-oh, here we go.
In tonight‘s “Psycho Talk,” we‘ve got an elected official. Congressman Ron Paul of Texas brings back an old favorite talking point.
Now, if we really want to save money in this country, you‘ve got to cut out the deficit; right? Well, you should abolish a few departments, is what he‘s talking about.
Why not? Ron Paul said it today on “MORNING JOE.”
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. RON PAUL ®, TEXAS: How about getting rid of the Department of Education and the Department of Agriculture? Just go down the list. Get rid of it.
Cut the budget in half. Everything that‘s not constitutional. That‘s a good place to start.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Oh, now wait a minute, Congressman Paul. Let‘s see, the Constitution also didn‘t call for traffic lights or the FAA, and I‘m sure glad they‘re around. You know?
Now, listen, if you claim—it‘s a claim that you really heard before by the Republicans, telling everybody that the government just isn‘t necessary. And I‘m just getting kind of tired of that. Throw it all overboard like tea. You know?
If you get rid of the Department of Education, I want to know what happens to the communities that can‘t pay for public education on their own.
Now, how ironic is this? Tomorrow is the anniversary of Brown versus Board of Education.
Now, you want to get rid of an institution that promises access to school for all, includes all children, Congressman Paul? And the Department of Agriculture, oh, is that hitting me right in my heart. I‘m from the Midwest.
You mean to tell me that you want to get rid of the Department of Agriculture? You don‘t want food safety, food security, and a good food supply to have a nice strong nation called the United States of America?
Hey, what do you say we become a third world country, constantly telling everyone that the government is the bogeyman?
I‘m sorry, Congressman Paul. You‘re in the zone tonight.
That‘s “Psycho Talk.”
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. The House has approved a 97 billion dollar war supplement. The Senate‘s going to be taking it up next week. The money is going to be funding the wars until September, almost 100 billion dollars for four months. Dozens of anti-war Democrats voted against it.
Joining me now is one of them, Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey, and founder of the Out of Iraq Caucus. Congresswoman, thanks for your time tonight. Let‘s see here, the vote was 368 to 60. That‘s a Bush-like vote for the war, is it not? What‘s going on here?
REP. LYNN WOOLSEY (D), CALIFORNIA: Well, there just weren‘t enough members who think the way I do that no more funds to keep our troops in Iraq. We want to bring them home. And no more troop—no funds to send our troops to Afghanistan indefinitely, without any kind of plan, without a mission, and absolutely knowing, Ed, that there is no military solution to Afghanistan.
SCHULTZ: Well, Congresswoman, I thought the Democrats across the country campaigned on change, and brought a lot of new people into the process across the country, a lot of House seats won because we thought that this thing in Iraq was going to end. Is it going to cost this much money to get the heck out of there? What‘s going on here?
WOOLSEY: Well, actually, these funds aren‘t about bringing our troops home. If these funds for the Iraq part had been dedicated to bringing our troops and the military contractors out of there, Barbara Lee and Maxine Waters and I probably would‘ve voted for it.
But instead, it‘s to keep them there. They say no longer than the end of 2011. But I‘m telling you, that‘s way too long.
SCHULTZ: OK. So you would like, obviously, to see it stepped up and moved faster. Do you think the president is caving into the generals?
WOOLSEY: Well, I think he inherited a mess. And I think there‘s a lot of members of Congress that want to give him the benefit of the doubt, and give him this year to, you know, untie the knots, and get out of the mess. But I, for one, think that marching into Afghanistan is just going to prolong the mess. And instead of investing in human needs and diplomacy, it was almost 10 to one in that supplemental for the military over diplomacy.
SCHULTZ: And Congresswoman, I just want to bring this up. We have no trouble giving money to Wall Street. We‘re tight with the dollar when it comes to the automobile manufacturers in this country. A lot of people lost their jobs yesterday and will over the weekend with the closings of these dealerships. Yet, we hardly have any debate or conversation in the media in this country over, oh, another 100 billion dollars for Iraq and Afghanistan. Is this ever going to change in your opinion?
WOOLSEY: Well, Ed, I think it must. We must have a smarter policy. We must join the 21st century. We have to know that there has to be another way, besides militarily to solve our differences.
SCHULTZ: All right, Congresswoman.
WOOLSEY: Otherwise, what are we going to do as a human species?
SCHULTZ: Congresswoman, Lynn Woolsey, thank you your time tonight.
Thanks for weighing in on this.
Tom Andrews is the national director of Win Without War, and a former Congressman from Maine. It‘s more of the same. I thought at least that there would be more of a reduction of funding. But this is one of the biggest four month allocations of money we‘ve seen ever. What‘s your response?
TOM ANDREWS, WIN WITHOUT WAR: Well, Ed, I think the whole thing is very disturbing. I think it‘s a wake-up call for those of us, of course, who campaigned for these Democrats who were going to very clearly turn this thing around.
Look at what happened in this debate. There was a Congressman from Massachusetts, Jim McGovern, who said, look, before we give all of this money to this Afghanistan policy, let‘s at least require the administration to come back to us with an exit strategy. Didn‘t say when we were gong to come home or how we were going to come home, just present us with an exit strategy before we give you this additional money.
Well, he wasn‘t even allowed to bring that to the floor for even a vote. But when the Republicans objected to the president‘s request for money to shut down that blight called Guantanamo Bay, the Democrats responded by taking that money out, and saying we‘re not going to give any money to taking out that Guantanamo Bay, unless you provide us with a plan for closing it.
So it‘s disturbing, not just the outcome, but also how we got to that outcome.
SCHULTZ: Are the Democrats forgetting who took them to the dance?
ANDREWS: Well, apparently that is the case. And I think what‘s happening is that they‘re getting intimidated by, in this case, Republicans and Karl Rove who says, look, the Democrats—you know, once we shut down Guantanamo Bay, we‘re going to have terrorists in American neighborhoods all over the country. It‘s like you were going to say Abu Zubaydah in the local Starbucks two weeks from now.
The Democrats, instead of fighting, standing up and saying, no, there is a reason Americans stood for change in November. There‘s a reason when the president said he was going to close Guantanamo Bay that the Americans supported this. And we‘re going to close that place down, because it‘s not only a blight on our character and who we are as a country, but it‘s also been used as one of the most powerful recruitment tools that terrorist have.
Instead of making that argument on the floor of the House and fighting for that, they simply withdrew the proposal, took the money off the table and demanded that the president come back with more of a plan.
SCHULTZ: I don‘t mean this to be a cheap shot. But is this change we can believe in? I want out of Iraq. I understand the 17,000 more troops going into Afghanistan. But I thought we‘ve been told time and time again that the Iraqi people had to stand up for themselves. Is this change we can believe in at this point?
ANDREWS: Well, clearly the Iraqi people want us to get out. And certainly there‘s going to be instability. There‘s going to be violence. There‘s a lot of compromises that still have yet to be made in Iraq.
But the bottom line is that Iraq should be controlled and run by Iraqis. Eighty percent of Iraqis want that. Most of Americans want that. That‘s what they should be given.
As a matter of fact, 80 percent of Afghanis do not want to see a military escalation in Afghanistan. They think it‘s going to make things worse.
SCHULTZ: But there‘s terrorist camps there, and I understand addressing that. Tom, thanks for joining us tonight. Appreciate your time.
For more on all of this, let‘s bring in our political panel tonight. Bill Press, nationally syndicated radio talk show host, also Sam Stein, political reporter for the “Huffington Post,” and Heidi Harris, radio talk show host on AM 720, KDWN in Las Vegas.
Bill Press, what‘s happening here? This a bunch of money that if you told Democrats before they went to the polls, hey, we‘re going to be spending billions of dollars on a four-month allocation, would that have changed the vote? What do you think?
BILL PRESS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Look, Ed, it‘s very disturbing, I think. And it‘s disturbing it‘s so one-sided. Only 60 Democrats that would vote against this. This is not change. This is more of the same, Ed.
And, look, here‘s the problem that I have with it too. You can‘t look at this just alone. You just hinted at this, Ed. But in the last week or so, the president said he‘s not going to release those torture photos. He‘s going to claim national security. The president also said now yesterday we‘re going to continue the military tribunals, which reverses the position. And now we‘re putting all this money into Iraq and Afghanistan.
Ed, I think, you know, we‘re slipping back a little bit from what we expected.
SCHULTZ: Heidi Harris, do you read this as a position of strength for the conservatives? Are they still the authority when it comes to securing this country? And also is the fear mongering still working? What do you think?
HEIDI HARRIS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Well, listen, I appreciate Barack Obama coming to the party and realizing it‘s not as easy as he thought it would have been in the Middle East, or as easy as he made it sound on the campaign trail. We‘re glad he‘s finally seen the light. And we welcome him to rational thinking on this. We‘re happy to have him.
SCHULTZ: Sam Stein, I want to bring you in on this obviously. Is this trouble for the White House? Is this trouble politically? Does the president have to step out and say we‘re spending a lot of money here until September, 100 billion dollars, but I am going to bring this to an end?
SAM STEIN, “THE HUFFINGTON POST”: No, I don‘t think so. I have to go back—this is more or less—put the dollar figure aside. This is sort of what Obama promised during the campaign, which was an escalation in Afghanistan. And during the general election, he said we‘re going to keep some troops in Iraq. This is what he has provided.
The money is a lot. The vote in the House was a little bit one-sided.
We had 50 Democrats opposing the measure, nine Republicans.
And the troublesome aspect was the Guantanamo money. I think Bill hit on a lot of points that, taken in a broader context, yes, you might have some political problems. But this supplement alone, I don‘t think so.
SCHULTZ: OK, stay with us, panel. We‘re coming back with a lot more tonight.
Coming up, nearly 2,000 General Motors and Chrysler dealerships are being forced to close. I‘ll talk to a man who got the word that his dealership is being shut down. We‘ll put a face to it. He has to layoff 50 employees. That‘s just at one dealership. This is going to be really rough on the economy. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: In my play book tonight, a lot of numbers. In just two days, 2,000 dealerships have been notified they‘re going to get shut down. That‘s small businesses. That‘s family businesses.
Today, General Motors began telling 1,100 dealers they‘ll need to close their doors by next year. And that‘s just the start of it, folks. GM is planning to shrink its retail network by 40 percent.
Yesterday, Chrysler announced its dropping almost 800 of its Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep dealers.
Now, you take a town and shut down its dealership, depending on the size of the town, it really has an impact, jobs.
Well, tonight, we‘re going to put a face on this. Kevin Ormes is a partner at Jeep dealership in Paramus, New Jersey. He had to fire 50 people yesterday, 50 people that didn‘t do anything wrong. It‘s just the sign of the times.
Well, how is it? We‘ll find out. Mr. Ormes joining us tonight on set here at 30 Rock. What a lousy deal.
KEVIN ORMES, PARTNER, JEEP 17 OF PARAMUS, NJ: That sums it up pretty good. Yes, we were—to say we were devastated was an understatement.
SCHULTZ: Now, your wife owns the dealership. I understand that‘s the word. She‘s devastated.
ORMES: She really is. She worked her way through college, came from Poland, became a U.S. citizen.
SCHULTZ: The American dream.
ORMES: Saved up enough money to buy this dealership, has run it for 19 years. The dealership was in the top one percent of all of the Chrysler dealers in the United States. At one time, it was the number one customer satisfaction and sales dealer for Jeep franchise.
SCHULTZ: Mr. Ormes, what happened?
ORMES: I think we‘re kind of getting back our sea legs right now. We were back on our heels yesterday. As late as April 28th, we met with the local business office. We had talked about our relocation. You know, we‘ve got and invested pretty close to five million dollars on a new facility, a 26,000 square foot facility for Chrysler, that they approved and gave us the go ahead to do.
And as of April 28th, everything was moving fine. We met with them, and then we get the letter yesterday.
SCHULTZ: So they turned their back on you?
ORMES: That would be one way to put it, yes.
SCHULTZ: So where do you go from here? What‘s the plan?
ORMES: Well, we‘re exploring every option that we possibly can at this particular point in time. You know, we know we‘re not going to be Chrysler dealers. We‘ve been in the car business over 35 years. And we‘re looking at other opportunities. And we‘re looking to see exactly what we can do and how we recover.
SCHULTZ: Is there a new normal in the American automobile industry? Or will it ever bounce back to the millions of units that were sold across the country? Or is there a new normal?
ORMES: I think there‘s a new normal. But you also have to look at
each of the individual manufacturers. The people that are winning in this
and needless to say right now the market is tough and everybody‘s off.
But the American consumer is going to determine who is successful and who is not.
SCHULTZ: How do you feel about the administration? Should they have bailed them out? Should they have just let it work and this is the way the world turns? How do you feel about that?
ORMES: I think they should have let it work itself out.
SCHULTZ: No bailout?
ORMES: No bailout.
SCHULTZ: At all?
ORMES: At all.
SCHULTZ: Hard working families, just no bailout at all to help them out to get to the next level of good economic times, to give them some time?
ORMES: Well, when you say hard-working families, the hard-working families out there making things happen and doing the right things and taking care of their customers, they‘re going to be successful.
SCHULTZ: But you were doing that.
ORMES: Yes, we were.
SCHULTZ: And you were doing that and they threw you under the bus.
ORMES: Yes, well, we‘re not in a Chrysler facility. And the dealer that will probably end up with our franchise is housing one of their facilities. And so it‘s scratch my back and I‘ll scratch yours.
SCHULTZ: Do you think these moves will save Chrysler? Do you think the moves that GM is making will save them?
ORMES: Well, when you eliminate 25 percent of your dealer body, and, in most cases, the dealers that I talked to were actually better-performing dealers in those markets than the dealers that will end up with the franchises, how is that a recipe for success?
SCHULTZ: How tough was it to tell the employees?
ORMES: They were devastated. To put it into words is almost impossible.
SCHULTZ: Mr. Ormes, thank you for coming in.
ORMES: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, are we really looking to Shooter and W to give us the truth about torture? Right, because they‘ve been so honest with us in the past.
“Daily Show” creator Liz Winstead is here to talk about that and more next on THE ED SHOW. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Nancy Pelosi says she was misled. I tend to believe her. Now, Republicans are attacking her for saying that the CIA got it wrong. They got short memories. Maybe they‘ve forgotten the finger pointer in chief.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, FMR. PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Our people are going to find out the truth. And the truth will say that this intelligence was good intelligence.
Mislead is a strong word. I was disappointed to see how flawed our intelligence was.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Joining me now is comedian Liz Winstead, co-creator of the “Daily Show” and the brains behind “Wake Up, World.” We can‘t get the truth in this country. Who said this? Who said that? What do you make of all this this week?
LIZ WINSTEAD, CO-CREATOR OF “THE DAILY SHOW”: I‘m sort of apypleptic, because when I hear Kit Bond and John Boehner of my existence, the engineers of the no idea train, come out and harp on and on and on about the CIA, and the CIA would never mislead—how dare Nancy Pelosi besmirch the name of CIA, as though the CIA is a convent of cloistered nuns, beyond reproach.
This is an organization that when you say CIA, usually in the same sentence words like covert and clandestine are attached to them. So it‘s annoying to me that they keep saying how could they possibly be misled, when just the clip you showed of Bush is a perfect example. Bush misled us into a war using misleading information provided by the CIA.
The CIA will tell you that they did not mislead. They redacted the misleading information, and that Bush decided that this misleading information was his own choice.
SCHULTZ: I did not go over there and tell them to mislead this country.
WINSTEAD: Exactly. If you haven‘t blown your brains out by what I‘ve said so far and you‘re still listening, it‘s just amazing to me that this false sense of Nancy Pelosi as the boogyman thing is here. I do have to say, it‘s pretty bizarre. And I know, Ed, you want to stick up for her. I want to believe her, but I just think if you‘re sitting in a meeting --
SCHULTZ: Wait a second now. The whole thing changed yesterday. The whole thing changed yesterday when she said I‘m for full disclosure and release the briefing memos.
WINSTEAD: I‘m with you on that.
SCHULTZ: That gives us another chapter.
WINSTEAD: Here‘s what I don‘t get, is that everybody on TV and on the news, and every talking head and every politician, keeps only talking about water boarding, right? Now, she said the only reason that she heard water boarding in that meeting was because they brought it up saying we‘re not using water boarding.
But she did say they talked about enhanced techniques. Now, what are these enhanced techniques? Don‘t your ears perk up if you‘re on the Intelligence Committee when you hear the words enhanced techniques? When you hear CIA --
SCHULTZ: Is it bull whip or what is it?
WINSTEAD: It‘s not like swirlies. You‘re not shoving someone‘s head in a locker. Don‘t you think, gee, I wonder what that is?
SCHULTZ: All right, switching subjects, what‘s this uproar about Notre Dame now? What‘s happening here with the president and everything else?
WINSTEAD: I hear the wind baggery, again, of the right wing screaming. It‘s all about choice. It‘s all about abortion, screaming about Obama. I heard a woman on today screaming about how he shouldn‘t be able to come to Notre Dame because he is the number one pro-abortion president, and that she is exporting abortion overseas, which is crap.
Because here‘s the thing, one of the best things to me that Obama has done is reinstitute family planning funds overseas to places like Somalia, so they can have birth control, so they don‘t all breed pirates.
SCHULTZ: And what do you think about Miss California and Miss USA or whatever? Is she going to do a Fox morning show?
WINSTEAD: I love that they keep saying that Miss California represents all Californians. She should represent no one. Her skill is that she can walk in a bikini with high heels on the beach. She should represent only other people who can do that.
SCHULTZ: Liz, good to have you on.
WINSTEAD: Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Liz Winstead, a real treat for us here on THE ED SHOW.
Let‘s bring back our political panel tonight, Bill Press, Sam Stein and Heidi Harris.
OK. Let‘s get to this Pelosi issue. Heidi Harris, do you think that Nancy Pelosi should resign as speaker of the House?
HARRIS: Of course she should. She‘s like an alley cat. She‘s backed into a corner and she‘s got a bunch of claws and teeth coming out now. And she keeps lying. She can‘t even keep her stories straight. She has been embarrassed. She ought to resign and do the Democratic party a favor. They‘re even turning on her. Leon Panetta‘s turning on her. Nobody‘s buying her story.
SCHULTZ: Do you give her any credit for wanting the briefing notes to be out in full disclosure?
HARRIS: Oh, give me a break.
SCHULTZ: You don‘t believe that?
HARRIS: She doesn‘t—she wants those notes out supposedly. I think it‘s a smoke screen. But she doesn‘t want the other notes out that Cheney would like to see come out.
PRESS: Whoa, wait. Talk about a smoke screen. This whole thing is a smoke screen. Ed, this is a big side show. Here‘s what I want to know: how many torture memos did Nancy Pelosi write? None. How many orders did she give to torture? None. How many people did she torture? None.
Let‘s get the focus back here. I don‘t care what Nancy heard in those briefings. It doesn‘t matter. The idea is torture was authorized by Alberto Gonzalez. It was ordered by George Bush and Dick Cheney. It was carried out by George Tenet. We ought to be talking about them and prosecuting them. Come on.
SCHULTZ: Sam, what‘s your take on this?
STEIN: Bill is absolutely right. I‘m surprised that none of the Republican party‘s making hay over Bob Graham actually saying the same thing that Nancy Pelosi did. This is just a smoke screen. It‘s pinning it on Pelosi.
Now, keep in mind, we uncovered today that part of the water boarding of Khaled Sheikh Mohammed took place, according to a 2004 intelligence report, when they were asking him directly to make a tie between al Qaeda and Iraq. That seems to me to be a much bigger revelation than whether Nancy Pelosi heard about water boarding in the fall of 2002.
They were trying to make a connection between al Qaeda and Iraq by using water boarding. Where is the outrage over that?
SCHULTZ: Sam, what do you think of the political tactic right now, the sound machine on the right in this country, that oh, Nancy Pelosi has to resign; she should step down. What do you make of that?
STEIN: It‘s a distraction. It‘s a total smoke screen. The fact of the matter is Pelosi says she wasn‘t briefed on water boarding in fall of 2002. She wouldn‘t put herself out there like that if the evidence didn‘t prove her correct. I just don‘t believe she would do that. A whole other debate could be made whether she objected enough. But that—to pin her and say she should resign is just ridiculous.
PRESS: Hey, Ed, let me make a quick point. Everybody‘s shocked that Nancy Pelosi said the CIA lied. Wait a minute, the CIA committed war crimes. The CIA tortured prisoners, and we‘re shocked that they lied. Is that so hard to believe?
SCHULTZ: Heidi, what do you think?
HARRIS: The Democrats started this whole thing. OK? By releasing these memos and this information to try to make—wait a minute, wait a minute. To try to make Republicans look bad. And now that they have—now Nancy Pelosi.
STEIN: These are Freedom of Information Act requests.
HARRIS: Well, I didn‘t know. They didn‘t tell me the truth. The Democrats started all this to bring it to attention, to make Republicans look bad.
PRESS: We don‘t have to make Republicans look bad. You look bad all of every day.
HARRIS: Oh really?
SCHULTZ: Next point I want to make here. The president does a reversal on the detainee photos. Heidi, what do you make of that?
HARRIS: What a shocker. You know why the president did it? I‘ll tell you why, because he didn‘t realize when he released the first memos—and Dick Cheney, of course, wants the information released that would balance the whole situation. It didn‘t work the way he thought it was going to. It‘s backfired. Nancy Pelosi looks bad. I don‘t believe the president‘s doing this because he‘s worried about our military. I wish I believed it. I don‘t. It‘s political, purely political.
SCHULTZ: Unfortunately, panel, time flies when we‘re having fun. Sam Stein, Bill Press, Heidi Harris, thank you so much.
At the top of the show, we asked you about all of the politics surrounding the torture debate. Does the Obama administration have Nancy Pelosi‘s back? We have a split decision; 60 percent of you say yes, 40 percent of you say no. What does that mean? We‘ll talk about it on Monday.
That‘s THE ED SHOW. I‘m Ed Schultz. You betcha. For more information, send me an e-mail or go to Ed.MSNBC.com or check out WeGotEd.com on my radio website.
Also, we got a town hall meeting coming up in Buffalo on June 13th. Get text alerts about THE ED SHOW sent to your phone; just text the word Ed to 622639. We‘ll be back here on Monday, same time, 6:00 Eastern, right here on MSNBC.
“HARDBALL” with Chris Mathews starts right now.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
Transcription Copyright 2009 CQ Transcriptions, LLC ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material other than for research. User may not reproduce or redistribute the material except for user‘s personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon NBC and CQ Transcriptions, LLC‘s copyright or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.>
Transcription Copyright 2009 CQ Transcriptions, LLC ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
No license is granted to the user of this material other than for research.
User may not reproduce or redistribute the material except for user‘s
personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed,
nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion
that may infringe upon NBC and CQ Transcriptions, LLC‘s copyright or other
proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal
transcript for purposes of litigation.>