updated 5/19/2009 12:03:46 PM ET 2009-05-19T16:03:46

Guests: Jack Rice, Mark Richie, Paul Rinaldi, Jan Schakowsky, Sheldon Whitehouse, Joe Klein; Mike Allen; Bill Press; Ron Christie

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

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

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SCHULTZ:  Good evening, Americans.

Live from Washington, D.C., it‘s THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.

CIA Director Leon Panetta speaks.  What he said today about the torture uproar.

The GOP attack dogs are gunning for Nancy Pelosi‘s job.  Will the White House have the speaker‘s back?

How the Bush Pentagon sold the Iraq War as a religious crusade.

President Obama picks a rising Republican star to be ambassador to China.  Get him out of town.

When will the 60th Democratic senator finally be seated?  I‘ll get the latest on Al Franken‘s future from Minnesota‘s secretary of state tonight on the show. 

Plus, “Psycho Talk.”  We‘ve got a great panel coming up for you tonight. 

But first, tonight‘s “OpEd.” 

I have to say, in Chris Matthews‘ studio, it‘s a little different sitting down from being up in New York.  OK?  So bear with me tonight. 

All right.  The Republicans, you know how they do it.  They are back at it.  They are cloaking themselves in national security, calling for Nancy Pelosi‘s head.  Or should we say their gavel? 

That‘s what they really want.  They want her to resign.  They are saying how dare Nancy Pelosi question the CIA?  How dare she say our counterterrorism fighters would ever mislead us? 

Well, I asked the question tonight, what CIA is she talking about?  The one that was under Bush or the one that‘s under Obama?  And furthermore, which CIA is Leon Panetta talking about, the one that was under Bush or the one that‘s under Obama?  Key point here. 

The Bush Pentagon used bible quotes to justify going to war?  Now, I need to ask again, is Obama‘s CIA doing that kind of stuff? 

Now we‘re expected to believe the CIA, under Bush, gave Democrats a full and honest accounting of what the heck was going on and what they did with detainees and Gitmo?  Give me a break. 

Leon Panetta glossed right over this today.  It‘s like he wants to be done with this.  And what was he supposed to say, oh, by the way, we do lie?  No, he‘s not going to do that. 

Is this the same CIA that George Tenet ran that said it was a slam-dunk about, let‘s see, WMDs?  Is this the agency that Leon Panetta is talking about?  They don‘t lie?

Now, Pelosi said the Congress misled the country.  Was the country misled? 

Do you think as an American sitting there tonight, do you think that we were misled going into Iraq?  Let‘s get the big picture here. 

Now, I‘ve always said that the metal that they put around George Tenet‘s neck was basically a dog tag or, should I say, a bark collar, better known as a shock collar?  Can we get that guy under oath as well? 

I think this is a classic he said/she said.  Keep in mind, no video, no audio, no record of the briefings that just went on.  We just have an invasion, no WMD, billions of dollars lost and unaccounted for.  But the Republicans, you see, they‘re correct, and they say the CIA, they just never get anything wrong.

Are we losing our minds in the truth on this story?  I mean, if the CIA was telling the truth about torture back then, do you think Nancy Pelosi would have said OK? 

The Republicans keep asking us to remember where the country was back in 2002 and 2003.  Now, I remember that—those years.  I remember that.  I remember the White House on this Iraq group.  You know, they had this Iraq group out there.  They were on this massive, full-scale PR campaign to sell us on the war.  Cheney‘s office was trying to shut up this guy named Joe Wilson about this thing, about uranium and Africa. 

Remember all that? 

Now, today we learned Rumsfeld‘s Pentagon was delivering its intelligence reports with quotes from the bible.  How nice.

The Bush-Cheney crew tortured.  They tortured to get the link between al Qaeda, Iraq and Saddam.  They were searching for backup.  They were trying to prove their lie, cover their tracks, basically.  And I think this is really a classic bait and switch. 

They are trying to make Pelosi seem as if, well, you know, she never supported the CIA, just like she‘s from San Francisco, a liberal.  And, of course, she never supported the troops.

Have you heard that audio before?  Folks, this is just like an old movie. 

And I say tonight that the country just can‘t be stupid about this.  We have to be smarter than this.  And we can‘t be weak.  We know the conservatives have no facts to prove Nancy Pelosi is wrong. 

If there‘s any Republican out there who is just a truth seeker, who was in the room with her at the time, please stand up.  Prove that she‘s not telling the truth. 

None of them can.  None of them can.  But that‘s not stopping them.  You see, Liz Cheney is now out there defending her father again, trying to justify torture because it was—well, you see, there were only three that were tortured. 

Now, she‘s a lawyer.  She knows better than that.  Maybe we can pass a law that says you only get arrested after you get three DUIs, or you only get arrested after you rob three homes or maybe even murder three people. 

Now, John Boehner wants an apology from Nancy Pelosi.  I ask tonight, what do we get from Bush and Cheney?

Now, the key question for the White House tonight I also think is, what is the downside for the White House when it comes to supporting Nancy Pelosi?  They are ominously and curiously silent on all of this, just hoping this all goes away.  And I don‘t think that‘s a good play for the Democrats. 

Mr. President, would you please move forward with this and say something about a truth commission? 

Joining me now is former CIA officer Jack Rice. 

Jack, great to have you with us tonight. 

I have to ask you, is the CIA the same organization under every president, no matter who the president is?  Do they all act the same way, do the same things, and take the same marching orders?  Or is there ever any difference between the agencies under presidents? 

JACK RICE, FMR. CIA OFFICER:  Come on, Ed, we‘ve seen pushes back and forth multiple times.  There was a reason.

When Dick Cheney was pushing the agency to see certain things, they responded back . They know where the money is coming from.  The  last thing they want to be is an enemy of the White House.  So they kind of give what you expect.

But there‘s a bigger question here.  And I was listening to what you were saying earlier, and the big part is this, is we‘ve realized that what the Republicans are doing right now is they are arguing that Nancy Pelosi is as bad as they are. 

I mean, contemplate this.  This is a rouse.  We‘re not talking about torture anymore, about whether or not the soul of the American people is really what is at stake here.  Instead, we‘re trying to decide whether or not we can get Nancy Pelosi. 

Now, think about that for a second. 

SCHULTZ:  You know, Jack, I‘ve often wondered, is it within the character of the CIA, or would they be viewed as turncoats, if we had this truth commission and some of these CIA agents who actually gave the briefing to Congress, do you think they would step forward?  Are we maybe interviewing the wrong people here?  Do you think maybe there might be some Americans that would side with truth and step up and tell Congress what they knew, what they said, who they told? 

RICE:  Ed, when I was in the agency, one of the things I always thought was we needed more transparency, because every time the CIA fails, the American people know about it.  But the successes are something they don‘t even understand.  They do need to understand what‘s going on here, and a truth commission, transparency, whatever we want to call it, it‘s of benefit of all people involved. 

SCHULTZ:  So you think some CIA agents might be out there that were involved that would step up and tell the true if they were asked? 

RICE:  I hope so.  I know that there are people inside the CIA who are patriotic here.  And it‘s not left or right. 

See, this has been turned into a political fight.  Maybe it‘s the nature of the beltway, that everything becomes a left-right, a conservative versus progressive.  Instead it has to be about America, really, first and foremost.  And if we could actually approach it from that perspective, we would be much better. 

SCHULTZ:  Well, when Leon Panetta steps up and says that the agency doesn‘t lie, OK, I‘m going to take him for his word.  But he wasn‘t running the agency back when all of this took place in 2003, and 2002 -- 2003, 2004. 

So how does Leon Panetta know whether they were lying or not?  I mean, he‘s kind of muddied the waters here, hasn‘t he? 

RICE:  Yes, absolutely he has.  I mean, contemplate here.  You think he‘s going to come out and say, well, you know, sometimes lies just take place?  You know, it‘s just the way things go. 

I mean, come on.  He‘s not going to say that.

SCHULTZ:  Well, that‘s what you guys over at CIA are supposed to do. 

You‘re supposed to lie so it benefits us as a country and protects us. 

Always a pleasure, Jack.  Good to have you with us tonight.

Joining me now is Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, a member of the House Intelligence Committee. 

Congresswoman, great to have you with us tonight. 

REP. JAN SCHAKOWSKY (D), INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE:  Thank you, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  Now, being on the Intelligence Committee, but, first of all, being in the Congress, how are Democrats behind closed doors responding to all these constant attacks by conservatives and Republicans on Nancy Pelosi? 

SCHAKOWSKY:  Well, first of all, it‘s incredible to me.  It‘s like, who are we kidding that Nancy Pelosi is responsible for this torture policy when she was informed it had already taken place, they were notifying her?  And it‘s just absolutely amazing to us that she has been the subject of this debate when it‘s a complete diversion from the issue of torture. 

How did we get there?  What really happened?  And in fact, weeks ago I instructed the staff of the Intelligence Committee because I chair the Oversight and Investigation Subcommittee to begin looking at how we can do a thoughtful and reasonable and responsible inquiry. 

SCHULTZ:  OK.  So all this talk that the Republicans are out on (ph) the talking heads, saying that she‘s got to resign, she‘s got full support, you think, by all Democrats in the House right now?  This is a non-issue.  Is that what I‘m hearing?

SCHAKOWSKY:  Absolutely.  And really, I think it‘s shocking that she becomes the center of this debate. 

SCHULTZ:  Well, you‘ve got to give them credit for getting the attention of the media, because there‘s actually some people out there that think she should resign and there‘s a precedent here.  I think for her to resign, she‘s got to lose people in her caucus, but I don‘t think that‘s happening. 

What do you think this whole thing is going to come to?  Are we going to get a truth commission?  Would you advocate for that? 

SCHAKOWSKY:  I would. 

SCHULTZ:  And is there support on the House side? 

SCHAKOWSKY:  Well, I would certainly advocate a truth commission.  In the meantime, I‘m doing what we can, taking as a mandate for the Congress to look into this and feel very responsible as a member of the Intelligence Committee that we not let this thing go, this reengineering of this program that was used on our own troops and now made into a torture program. 

You know, it‘s not just about this president, it‘s about the next president and the next.  And the Congress does have a responsibility. 

SCHULTZ:  Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky on the Intelligence Committee, why do you think the White House is so quiet?  Why doesn‘t the White House come out and say Nancy Pelosi‘s the speaker of the House, she‘s our leader, she helped us win a lot of seats in ‘06 and ‘08, we‘re going to run strong in ‘10? 

Ominously silent from the White House.  Nobody wants to step up and say this is our leader. 

Do you find that strange? 

SCHAKOWSKY:  Well, really, I don‘t think we need—that Nancy Pelosi needs defending by the White House.  What we need to do is to get back to the real issue. 

I don‘t really understand how the press has glommed on to this diversion from the issue of torture.  This is a really serious and important issue for our country, and how Nancy Pelosi now, with this cheap shot at her, you know, it‘s just amazing to me that this—that we‘re at this place right now when we have so much business to do to figure out how we‘re going to make sure that this never happens again. 

SCHULTZ:  Well, I know Nancy Pelosi, as you do, and I know that she is not a liar.  And I know that she is a fantastic person, and she wants to go under oath and wants the briefings made public.  And I hope all the Republicans jump on that issue. 

SCHAKOWSKY:  Ed, can I say one more thing? 

SCHULTZ:  Yes. 

SCHAKOWSKY:  You know, on our subcommittee, we are beginning an inquiry into a situation initiated—this investigation initiated by the ranking minority member to look at a situation where the CIA did mislead the Congress.  This is a totally unrelated situation. 

He would agree with that.  He‘s furious about that.  Everyone, in a bipartisan way on the committee, is furious about it. 

SCHULTZ:  Well, I‘m ready.

SCHAKOWSKY:  This is a documented issue of the CIA misleading the Congress of the United States. 

SCHULTZ:  Well, let‘s go.  Congresswoman, great to have you on THE ED SHOW tonight.

SCHAKOWSKY:  Thank you. 

SCHULTZ:  Thanks so much.  I appreciate that. 

You can‘t get any stronger audio than that on this subject, folks.

Coming up, two recent airplane crashes with very different endings. 

It‘s got a lot of people asking the question, how safe are our skies? 

We‘ll talk about that coming up on THE ED SHOW.

Stay with us.

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SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

The Republicans are trying to make a torture story about Nancy Pelosi. 

That‘s a diversion tactic. 

They want to talk and take the focus off the real issue, which is whether the Bush-Cheney crowd broke the law.  Now, this is important.  Americans want to know the truth, really want to know the truth.  Will we ever get a truth commission? 

Joining me now is Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.  He held the first and only hearing on the torture memos. 

Senator, good to have you on tonight. 

And from the standpoint of the story is so important because they continually go after Nancy Pelosi, where there is smoke there is fire, Americans want to know, what has to happen for us to get a truth commission and get to the bottom of all of this? 

SEN. SHELDON WHITEHOUSE (D), JUDICIARY COMMITTEE:  I think that the two steps that will form the foundation for I think a truth commission, really, or an accountability commission becoming inevitable, one is the Office of Professional Responsibility report coming out of the Department of Justice about what went wrong at the Office of Legal Counsel that allowed such a proud and famous office to produce such rotten work in the form of the torture memos. 

SCHULTZ:  And what‘s the time frame for that? 

WHITEHOUSE:  That should be—I would say days or weeks.  I mean, they closed off the input from the subject back on May 4th.  So it‘s been two weeks since then.  And it could be any day now with the result. 

The other thing is going to be the investigation that the Senate Intelligence Committee is doing under the leadership of Chairman Feinstein into the full aspects of the torture techniques, their effectiveness, their application, the conditions of humanity and hygiene in which they were applied, all of it.  And I think that will lead to very significant knowledge that we don‘t have now, or at least many people don‘t have now. 

SCHULTZ:  OK.  So I‘m hearing you say that the wheels are in motion, heading in the right direction, and you think that we‘re going to get a truth commission.  You think that this is long from over.  Is that what I‘m hearing tonight?

WHITEHOUSE:  Yes.  I think between the OPR investigation, between what Chairman Levin has done in Armed Services, between what Chairman Feinstein is going to continue to do in Intelligence, it‘s going to build to a point where people are going to realize, A, they haven‘t been told the truth, and B, this is important enough that we should really take it out of the political realm and have somebody kind of look at the whole picture and summarize it and make recommendations for the American people. 

SCHULTZ:  Is all this conversation about Nancy Pelosi, has it sped up or intensified anything at all with these processes that are in motion?

WHITEHOUSE:  It‘s been a sideshow.  I think it‘s ramped up press interest a little bit.  But it‘s meaningless, and the more people understand about the underlying facts, the more meaningless and silly this escapade is going to seem, and the more it‘s going to look, I think, as if she‘s been the victim of a political stunt here. 

SCHULTZ:  OK. 

And why do you think the White House has been so silent on a truth commission?  It would seem to me, with all this coverage and all this conversation, that they would—or do you get a sense from them which they would go on this?

WHITEHOUSE:  I don‘t have a sense on that yet.  I think that the president is still dedicating all of his primary efforts to steering America out of the economic morass that President Bush left for him.  He needs to clean that up.  Families all over the country are depending on him, and he does not want to show that he‘s distracted in any way. 

I can appreciate that.  We have one president, and we need his attention devoted to that.  We have a lot of members of the Senate, a lot of members of Congress, we have committees that have particular duties and responsibilities. 

SCHULTZ:  Yes. 

WHITEHOUSE:  And I think for us to pursue our duties and responsibilities is the right thing to do, and for the president to focus on turning America around is also the right thing to do.  So I don‘t see a real conflict there. 

SCHULTZ:  Senator Whitehouse, good to have you on THE ED SHOW tonight. 

Thanks so much. 

WHITEHOUSE:  Good to be with you. 

SCHULTZ:  You bet.

If I‘m going to Vegas, I‘m betting there‘s going to be a truth commission. 

All right.  Next up on THE ED SHOW, “Psycho Talk.”  

Nancy Pelosi is the first woman speaker, second in line to the presidency, and a major asset to President Obama‘s agenda.  But the right talkers aren‘t attacking her policies or her politics. 

Their sexist “Psycho Talk” next on THE ED SHOW. 

Stay with us. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

In “Psycho Talk” tonight, this is psycho talk—attacks on Nancy Pelosi‘s looks?  What century is this?  Not her politics, her looks? 

Now, on Friday, I spoke about right-wing conservative electeds in Washington.  I think they have a hard time with a strong-willed woman.  It‘s not just the electeds, it‘s the media types, too. 

How do these people handle a strong-willed woman like Pelosi?  Well, they revert to calling her offensive names like “hag,” they make demeaning comments like “botox withdrawal,” they talk about fashion and they couple it with waterboarding. 

Now, Media Matters compiled sound clips of all of this.  Here are the media types responding to the controversy over what Pelosi was told about the use of torture. 

Let‘s listen. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALEX CASTELLANOS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR:  If Speaker Pelosi were still capable of human facial expression, we would see she would be embarrassed because right now she‘s in a very Nixon-like position. 

NEAL BOORTZ, “THE NEAL BOORTZ SHOW”:  How fun it is to watch that hag out there twisting in the wind.

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  All right.  All right.  It wasn‘t a lie.  It‘s a fashion statement.

She wears Armani clothes—fashionable.  Botox shots—fashionable. 

She‘s against waterboarding—fashionable. 

She was shaking.  Well, that could be botox withdrawal.  I don‘t want to be too hard on the shaking.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Yes, that‘s the drugster, an expert on withdrawal tremors. 

Even a former presidential candidate is on the game.  Mike Huckabee has an “Ode to Fancy Nancy,” as he calls it.  Let me read the first three lines of this. 

“Here‘s a story about a lady named Nancy, a ruthless politician, but dressed very fancy.  Very ambitious, she got herself elected speaker.”

An ambitious and fancy lady getting herself elected.  Now, there‘s nothing new here.  How to degrade a successful and intelligent woman in power?  Go after her looks.  It‘s old, it‘s sexist, it doesn‘t work, and it is absolutely “Psycho Talk.”  

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT:  I also want to congratulate the class 2009 for all your accomplishments and since this is Notre Dame, I mean...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  (heckling)

(BOOING)

OBAMA:  We‘re fine, everybody. 

We‘re not going to shy away from things that uncomfortable sometimes. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: President Obama knows how to keep his cool, doesn‘t he?  He didn‘t flinch when protestors interrupted his commencement speech at Notre Dame, this weekend.  He didn‘t duck his critics or the issue.  In fact, he spent quite a bit of time in his speech talking about the abortion debate.  President Obama knows where he stands and he‘s not afraid to challenge anybody when it comes to opposing views or be challenged for that matter.  He just tapped Governor Jon Huntsman to be the next ambassador to China, a Republican star who was a major player in John McCain‘s 2008 campaign. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA:  I knew that because Jon is not only a Republican, but a Republican who co-chaired my opponent‘s campaign for the presidency, this wasn‘t the easiest decision to explain to some members of his party.  But, here‘s what I also know.  I know that Jon is the kind of leader who always puts country ahead of party, is always willing to sacrifice on behalf of our nation. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Joining me now is “Time” magazine‘s Joe Klein. 

Joe, good to have you on THE ED SHOW, tonight. 

JOE KLEIN, TIME MAGAZINE:  Good to be here. 

SCHULTZ:  I guess we could put it this way, ask the question, did the president get a victory at Notre Dame this weekend.  What do you think? 

KLEIN:  Well, this is one very cool dude.  He‘s really, you know, he can disarm his opponents.  And the most important thing about him in that regard is that he always wants to hear the opponents point of view.  I mean, when I hear about meetings within the White House, if someone in the room is sitting there quietly and Obama senses that he might have a different view in the audience, he‘ll seek him out and say, you‘re being pretty quiet, what‘s that look on your face?  And I think that that‘s very effective because after the last 8 years, well, after the last 16 years I think the public really wants to have a conciliator as a president, not someone who divides us. 

SCHULTZ:  And Joes I‘m told that the White House that the four words that he uses the most is “what do you think?” I mean, this is a guy—he wants input from a lot of people.  Now, what about his selection of the governor from Utah to go to China, here.  Is he again disarming the competition? 

KLEIN:  Well, I think that he‘s doing two things.  It‘s smart and it‘s also wicked clever because, it‘s smart because Huntsman has a background in China, he was a missionary there, he speaks Chinese.  This is really important with the Chinese government and people who are very concerned of matters of face. 

This is a—you know, a major figure who will confer a great deal of, you know, of strength to the position in the eyes of the Chinese and make them seem more important to themselves.  That‘s No.  1.  But in terms of being wicked clever, this is also a guy that was one of the leading candidates, contenders to be the Republican nominee in the year 2012. 

SCHULTZ:  Do you think President Obama is going to pick more Republicans as he moves forward?  I mean, do you think it‘s a trend that we‘re going to continue to see? 

KLEIN:  Well, I don‘t know if he‘s going to pick more Republicans.  I think he‘s shown a steady tendency to picked not just Republicans, but people like General Jim Jones, the national security adviser who is of no known political party. 

I think that what he is going to do for sure—you know he isn‘t just making a show of bipartisanship.  It‘s not the first week when you come to office, you invite them into the White House and forget about him, which is what George W.  Bush did.  He‘s going to keep on inviting him and inviting him to Super Bowl parties and, you know, and cocktail parties and films and all of the rest of those things that a president can do.  He‘s going to keep on doing that whether they‘re with him or not because the audience isn‘t just the Republican Party, it‘s the American people.  He wants to seem to the American people to be the reasonable one and he really has done that so far. 

SCHULTZ:  He‘s a master at it.  Joe Klein, always a pleasure.  Good to have you on THE ED SHOW, tonight.  Thanks so much.

KLEIN:  Good to be here.

SCHULTZ:  For more on all of this, let‘s turn to our expert political panel, tonight.  Mike Allen, chief White House correspondent for “Politico.” Bill Press, nationally syndicated radio talk show host.  And Ron Christie, Republican Strategist and former special assistant to President Bush.

Ron, let‘s start with you?  Smart move by President Obama?

RON CHRISTIE, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST:  I do, as it relates to Governor Huntsman, I think it was a very smart move.  I think what we need to do here is have diplomats in very sensitive positions abroad, particularly China.  With a governor you have someone who has fluent in Mandarin Chinese, someone who‘s very comfortable working with the Chinese people and someone for the American people. 

SCHULTZ:  Disarming the competition, Bill? 

You know what I love?  It‘s like saying, hey, your party doesn‘t want you?  We‘ll take you.  No.  1 and No.  2, it takes the most attractive guy for 2012, guys that can really bring the party back off the table.  I mean, and a better pick than Judge Greg. 

SCHULTZ:  This is a rather statesman move by the governor of—

This is an example of the president and the people around him really knowing their targets.  A very soft spot and talked about it a lot and picking up on the point.  This also even more immediately, the only moderate GOP voice out there, the only person making the case on immigration gone.  So now the face of the party and the people you‘ve been talking about.  Gingrich, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, now it‘s true. 

SCHULTZ:  Gosh, Ron Christie.  This president seems bound and determined to make sure that Republicans love the guy. 

I think it‘s a smart move politically not only for governor Obama but for huntsman. 

OK.  Now, China is pretty tough customer when it comes to being a trade partner with the United States.  I mean, we‘ve got trade agreements that labor doesn‘t sit very well with.  How is this going to be viewed by core Democrats concerned about outsourcing, concerned about trade issues?  What about it, bill? 

SCHULTZ:  The labor people that I‘ve talked to and I think you too, Ed, are looking for President Obama for tougher action on the trade deals.  It‘s not going to be necessarily huntsman but President Obama who has got to come up and say what are you going to do about it? 

Stay with us, panel.  Before we go to break, let‘s talk about what President Obama is going to do tomorrow about car emission standards.  I don‘t think there‘s any doubt that the president is trying to move this thing forward.  Good reporting on your part at the “Politico.” How far is he going to go? 

ALLEN:  Well, this incredible, and this White House can really keep a secret.  The White House has been working in secret with every major state, every major auto manufacturer, foreign and domestic.  There are auto executives flying in from around the world to attend this event at the White House, tomorrow. 

The president has gotten California, all of the states, GM, Ford Chrysler, all your friends, BMW, Toyota, a bunch (INAUDIBLE) all to sign off on this new standard of a standard that will ramp up for 2016.  It‘s a little bit of a compromise by the White House.  They could have imposed a harsher standard (INAUDIBLE), but what they‘re going to say is that as far as the—curbing greenhouse gas emissions, that they will accomplish the same thing by doing it over time and getting more cooperation. 

But, the amazing part of this is he‘s got, buy in from the stats, the auto manufacturers, EPA, DOT,Ss this is quite an amazing announcement. 

SCHULTZ:  Does it go far enough—Bill.

PRESS:  Two quick points.  The huntsman nomination did not leak either.  So, these guys are running a tight ship. 

The other thing is, you know who‘s going to be there tomorrow, Ed, Jennifer Granholm, governor of Michigan.  Remember, there‘s a Supreme Court nomination coming up, too.  I wouldn‘t be surprised if there might be a little private conversation on the side.  Let‘s get CAFE standards and then let‘s talk civilian report. 

ALLEN:  The “Governator,” Arnold Schwarzenegger also will be there, but she‘s not going to get Supreme Court.  They‘re just trying to show her love after all of the things that he‘s done to Michigan. 

CHRISTIE:  Exactly, but here‘s the thing I think that we‘re overlooking on all of this.  Will altering the CAFE standards by 2016 to 35 miles, will that really make Americans safer?  Because you know, when you move CAFE standards, you‘re going to have a lighter vehicle, if you have a lighter vehicle, if there‘s a crash, if there‘s a collision, you could have people who are in harm‘s way because they‘re in a lighter vehicle. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCHULTZ:  Ron, the way the economy is, I think they‘re going to be willing to get in a less safe vehicle because they want that mileage, my man.

(CROSSTALK)

We will come back.  All right, we will come back.

Coming up, Norm Coleman.  The election, my man, it‘s over, you lost.  It‘s time for the senator of Minnesota to take his seat.  When is that going to happen?  I‘ll ask Minnesota secretary of state, next on the Ed Show.  Stay with us. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  Will the Democrats get the 60th senator in time for the next Supreme Court confirmation?  I‘ll get the latest on Al Franken‘s future next on THE ED SHOW. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  In tonight‘s “Playbook,” it‘s time for Minnesota to seat Al Franken.  I mean, this is about one thing and one thing only, delaying seating of Al Franken for as long as possible to keep Democrats from getting the 60th vote in the Senate.  The politics of this has got to end.  It‘s time for Minnesota to have the proper representation in the Senate. 

That means two votes, two, senators.  It‘s so easy. 

Last week Al Franken‘s legal team asked the Minnesota Supreme Court to force Republican governor, Tim Pawlenty to sign an election certificate once it makes a final ruling.  Well, will Minnesota Supreme Court do it?  If it doesn‘t, this could take many more months.  Can you believe that? 

Some argue the governor would be allowed to hold off the signing until Coleman has exhausted absolutely every legal appeal through the federal courts.  This never ending Senate race, I mean, it‘s been going on for six months.  When is it going to end? 

Joining us now is Minnesota secretary of state, Mark Richie.  Mark, where do Minnesotans stand on this?  Are they getting frustrated by all of this?  Is there a lot of conversation in coffee shops in Minnesota saying seat Al?  What‘s happening? 

MARK RICHIE, MINNESOTA, SECY OF STATE:  I think people are frustrated with that.  They are really concerned that our one senator, Amy Klobuchar, who is a dynamo, is going to get overworked and too tired.  But people here have been happy so far for it to be very carefully done.  But the Minnesota Supreme Court already set the date, June 1.  There‘ll be about an hour or two of oral arguments.  They‘ve had four weeks now of the written documents, so we know they‘re probably working on.  We expect a ruling from those Supreme Court justices fairly quickly because they‘ve been looking at this and ruling on this for months now. 

SCHULTZ:  Now, do you think Governor Pawlenty will go along with the state Supreme Court or do you think he‘s going to side with Coleman and let him go all the way to the United States Supreme Court, if he so be? 

RICHIE:  Well, I—you know, I really can‘t speak for the governor.  I know that if the state Supreme Court ordered me to sign a certificate and I refused it, I would be in contempt of the Supreme Court and that would be bad for my political career and be bad for the citizens of Minnesota.  So, I don‘t know what the governor will decide.

SCHULTZ:  OK, so you think that Governor Pawlenty may be playing

around with his political carrel, as well, in Minnesota if he doesn‘t

follow the state Supreme Court

RICHIE:  I don‘t know, can‘t speak for the governor. 

SCHULTZ:  Well, can you speak for the people of Minnesota?  What are you hearing?  I mean, is this politically hurting the governor of Minnesota by saying that, hey, I‘ll go along with Coleman as long as he wants to fight this thing?

RICHIE:  Well, we know that a huge majority of Minnesotans have said that they think the process was fair to both candidates.  And we now know that a large majority have said that they think that the loser at the Supreme Court should quit So we‘ll see those political numbers, probably stay close and after the Supreme Court rules, then there will be a moment of truth for everybody. 

SCHULTZ:  All right.  Thanks, Mark.  Appreciate your time, tonight.  I think it‘s going to hurt Tim Pawlenty.  I think he‘s going to go along with whatever the state Supreme Court does.  We‘ll follow the story.  Thanks so much.

One last thing in page in my “Playbook,” tonight.  Last week, the National Transportation Safety Board held hearings into the tragic crash of Continental Flight 3407 which killed 50 people when it crashed outside Buffalo, New York in February.  The flight was operated by a small regional airline called Colgan Air. 

Then a passenger on a Newark to Buffalo flight took this dramatic video of a wheel coming off the turbo prop plane as it landed.  There‘s confidence for you.  Is the infrastructure in place to keep this country safe in the skies? 

Joining me now is Paul Rinaldi, who is the executive vice president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association—they‘re holding hearings this week in Washington and taking it to the White House and Capitol Hill. 

Are we safe above the ground in this country—Paul. 

PAUL RINALDI, NATL AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS ASSN:  We are safe, Ed, and I‘m happy to be here with you.  But the margin of safety is deteriorating and we must be careful to make sure that we do focus and make sure that we get to redundancy of the safety is that it‘s built in. 

SCHULTZ:  Do you think that this has caught the attention of the Obama administration? 

RINALDI:  Oh, absolutely.  The Obama administration knows that we have some serious problems with the FAA, they‘re rushing to get a very qualified candidate for the FAA administrator and we‘re looking forward to working with that administrator and working on the safety of the system. 

SCHULTZ:  And now the president within the first 100 days moved forward with a mediation team, did he not? 

RINALDI:  Absolutely. 

SCHULTZ:  And is that positive or is it stalling, in your opinion?  I mean, he didn‘t come right out and say, OK, I‘m with the air traffic controllers? 

RINALDI:  No, he‘s looking for a fair process.  That‘s all we want.  We always wanted to go to the table and get a fair process to resolve these disputes. 

SCHULTZ:  So the work rules have changed for air traffic controllers, which have made it tougher over the skies? 

RINALDI:  Absolutely.  The work rules, the pay rules, everything has changed.  In September 2006 they imposed these draconian work rules which we‘re still living under, right now.  The most seasoned air traffic controllers have decided to retire and not stick around and be treated like a child. 

SCHULTZ:  All right, now, another thing is that the air spacing is changing, the design of how to handle planes, commercially in this country, is changing.  Like, for instance, in New York they‘re redesigning.  Is it true that the air traffic controllers are not a part of this process with the FAA? 

RINALDI:  That‘s absolutely true.  They‘re designing airspace  and changes and they—without us, with people that really never work the airspace, so they have no idea what they‘re doing, but they‘re just moving forward on it. 

SCHULTZ:  Do you want President Obama to change that? 

RINALDI:  Absolutely. 

SCHULTZ:  Do you need to be at the table? 

RINALDI:  We need to.  If you want something that is going work properly, we need to be at the table and design that airspace. 

SCHULTZ:  Keep up the fight, Paul.  Thanks so much.

RINALDI:  My pleasure.

SCHULTZ:  The public needs to know that. 

Coming up, Bible quotes on the front pages of intelligent briefs?  Are you kidding me?  Disturbing images from inside the Bush administration, next on THE ED SHOW. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W BUSH ®, FMR UNITED STATES PRESIDENT:  We understand and the American people are beginning to understand.  This is—this, this , this, this, this—this crusade, this war on terrorism is going to take a while. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW that was president bush in 2001.  By 2003, Bush and Cheney had taken the crusade into a war of choice in Iraq that we‘re still fighting, of course, to the tune of billions of dollars. 

They were willing to us use any means to justify this for war.  They cherry picked intelligence to sell the war and they justified it with religious language.  “GQ” magazine got its hands on the coversheets that went out from the Pentagon to daily intelligence briefings in 2003. 

The coversheet, thee days before we invaded Iraq quotes Isaiah and says, “Whom shall I send and lord send me.”

Well, let‘s bring back our panel.  Ron Christie, the president of the United States, Barack Obama, just sent 17,000 troops to Afghanistan.  What if he had had an intelligence briefing that had—and we‘re a country of freedom of religion, what if he had had on there maybe some Muslim quotes.  Is this not over the top? 

CHRISTIE:  I don‘t know.  I think it‘s a little bit overblown.  I mean, so the secretary of defense on a coversheet had a couple of religious items.  Who cares?  I think that there‘s so much that‘s being overblown, saying oh, Bush and Cheney manufactured evidence, they, you know, took the country to war, necessarily. 

They‘re not focusing on the fact that the Clinton administration believed that there were weapons of mass destruction, that the Clinton administration believed that Iraq posed a serious and significant threat to this country.  That‘s what we need to focus on, Ed.

(CROSSTALK)

SCHULTZ:  I agree, I agree, but why the religious quotes?  Why are the religious quotes necessary? 

CHRISTIE:  I think it‘s—Secretary Rumsfeld can speak for himself in this particular issue.  My point is it‘s not like Secretary Rumsfeld was trying to proselytize with religious.  He put it on there, you‘d have to ask him that.  I‘m not here to defend him on that.  I don‘t think it‘s that big of a deal.

SCHULTZ:  What about it—Bill.

PRESS:  I think it‘s a big deal.  If I‘m a Muslim and I see Christians quoting the Bible to justify and talk about—by the way, and cherry picking the Bible to justify a war against a Muslim country, I think you‘re talking about a crusade and that‘s exactly what we were trying...

SCHULTZ:  That is the word he used. 

PRESS:  That‘s a word he used.  And you know, by the way, I say cherry picking, let‘s talk about Isaiah.  Isaiah 2.4, right, “Beat your swords into plow shares.” Isaiah 9.6, “He shall be called the prince of peace.” They were perverting the Bible.  That‘s the worst of it. 

(CROSSTALK)

They were taking an instrument of peace and turning it into an instrument of war.  Shame on them. 

SCHULTZ:  Mike Allen, do you think that this is an issue?  Do you think the American people—do you think this scares the American people when they see stuff like this, and gets the appetite for a truth commission so we know everything that‘s going on? 

ALLEN:  Well, I think that this certainly shows that Secretary Rumsfeld had a lot of enemies in that building or in the administration or we would not have seen these—“GQ” would not have posted a bunch of these online.  So, I think that we‘re starting to see recriminations about the policy.  This is why the president is going to, later this week, have a speech where he‘s going to talk about all these things, trying to defend where he is, because as you know, he‘s getting more and more criticism for being just too much like the Bush-Rummy crowd.  Who would have ever thought that? 

SCHULTZ:  All right, the defense of the Cheney family and the administration continues on.  Liz Cheney now, this weekend, on ABC saying this.  Here it is. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LIZ CHENEY, ON ABC “THIS WEEK”:  I think it‘s very important for us to look at exactly what the facts are.  And the facts are that three people were waterboarded.  The people that are—claims to be waterboarded in these articles are not any of those people. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Only three people?  That‘s pretty good isn‘t it, Ron?  Only three people. 

CHRISTIE:  Look.  I happen to be friends with the Cheney‘s so obviously I think it‘s very good that Liz Cheney is out there. 

SCHULTZ:  I‘m friends with the president, but I tell it like it is. 

CHRISTIE:  I‘m telling it like it is.  I think it‘s important for the American people to know exactly what happened, specifically looking at waterboarding.  And I think—you talked about a truth commission, I think there‘s going to be a truth commission.  But, the fact of the matter is, it‘s not just going to be looking at what Liz Cheney had to say.  I think the true devil in the details, here, is Speaker Pelosi. 

SCHULTZ:  Oh!

PRESS:  Oh!

CHRISTIE:  Speaker Pelosi is going to be the big deal.  You can...

(CROSSTALK)

SCHULTZ:  Why would she be the big deal?  Ron, you had everything in 2002-2003, what Democrat had any influence back then? 

CHRISTIE:  No, that‘s not the issue.  The issue is you can‘t have the person who‘s second in line to the president of the United States go out and say that the CIA misled Congress.  That‘s a crime to make such a serious allegation that the CIA misled the Congress is something that needs...

PRESS:  She backed off from that, somewhat, as you well know, Ed.

Again, Ed, the point is, look, the CIA committed war crimes.  They committed torture.  They lied.  What do spies do?  They lie.  So we‘re supposed to be shocked to think that the CIA would lie to the congress, of course they lied to Congress. 

CHRISTIE:  Oh, no...

PRESS:  You know the thing about Liz Cheney—I just have to, I want to take the high ground here.  I admire any son or daughter who defends their dad.  You know, Saddam Hussein son‘s defended him, so Liz is defending...

SCHULTZ:  But, Bill, people have died in Iraq and they‘ve died in Afghanistan and to move intelligence like this and lie to the country, I mean, we have to do this.  I know what you‘re saying. 

PRESS:  Oh no, I‘m not defending him.  I‘m just saying the daughter, you know, she defends her dad and you just don‘t take her seriously because you know who she is.  That‘s all. 

SCHULTZ:  Only three people got tortured.  That‘s a pretty good number.  We didn‘t get into double figures:

ALLEN:  Yeah, you know, as long as you‘re not one of the people.

You know, that description of a recession is when it‘s your neighbor, depression is when it‘s you.  If you‘re one of the people who‘s involved you can see.  But, you know, the Cheney‘s think that they have shifted the terrain of the debate by being out there. 

SCHULTZ:  They have.

CHRISTIE:  They have.  And I think this is a very important debate for the country to with have.  I think we really need to have these discussions on both sides of the political spectrum, but I do think that the speaker, going back to my point, is going out and saying that the CIA lied... 

(CROSSTALK)

SCHULTZ:  Finally, Ron, I‘m out of time right now, but I just can‘t believe that you can sell that Nancy Pelosi had a lot of influence in 2002.  I got to run. 

Fellows, we‘ll come back and talk about...

(CROSSTALK)

For more information on THE ED SHOW, go to my Web site at WeGotEd.com.  we got a town hall coming up on June 13 in Buffalo.  For more information on that, you can get it on our Web site.  Chris Matthews is coming up next with HARDBALL, right here, on the place for politics, MSNBC.

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

END   

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