updated 11/23/2009 10:57:22 AM ET 2009-11-23T15:57:22

Guests: Debbie Stabenow, Brent Budowksy, Alan Grayson, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Ron Christie, Jack Rice, Jeff Corwin. Lizz Winstead

ED SCHULTZ, HOST:  Good evening, Americans.  And welcome to THE ED SHOW.

After all the threats, hey, tomorrow night‘s the big night.  Harry Reid, does he have the votes?  He might.  And the Senate Democrats will stand united tomorrow night—we certainly hope so—if there are no defections or surprises in the 11th hour.

Ben Nelson announced his vote today, that he is going to go ahead and go with the public option, at least for debate.  Mary Landrieu hasn‘t made it official, but she seems to be moving in the right direction.

This is a big victory for Harry Reid if he can pull this off after everything we‘ve been through. 

Ben Nelson is already making threats about the final bill.  He said in a statement today, “I support parts of the bill and oppose others I will work to fix.  If that‘s not possible, I will oppose the seconds cloture motion needing 60 votes to end debate and oppose the final bill.” 

So we‘ve got a long way to go, folks.  But let me tell you something.  Here is the number that Senator Nelson and his constituents should be concerned about. 

Between 2007 and 2008, more than 400,000 Nebraskans went without health insurance all or part of the year.  That‘s a huge number.  This should have been a no-brainer for Ben Nelson. 

Instead, he‘s choosing to stands with the insurance companies against a public option in the final bill.  We‘ll see what happens. 

Mary Landrieu, she wants government-run health care when it‘s good for her state.  Harry Reid is trying to buy her vote with a pledge to send $100 million to Louisiana for Medicaid, which is, of course, a government-run health care program. 

The lone holdout right now seems to be Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, and she‘s trailing big time in the polls down there.  She won‘t be alone.

And then, of course, there‘s Joe Lieberman.  He will vote yes tomorrow night.  That‘s the word, but he‘s still threatening to block an up-or-down vote. 

He‘s holding the public option hostage.  He says it‘s become a litmus test?  It‘s a litmus test? 

Well, yes, Joe.  Are you either for or against your constituents?  Fifty-six percent of the people in Connecticut support a public option according to the latest Quinnipiac poll, including three-quarters of Democrats and 54 percent of Independents Joe claims to represent. 

Sixty votes tomorrow night will be a victory, and I have to commend Harry Reid for his leadership on all of this.  He‘s been a Cool Hand Luke throughout it all.  He‘s said all along that he was going to get them to get it to this point. 

Now, progressives need to keep the pressure on.  Now, I know that there‘s a lot of frustration in the progressive community throughout the country.  This isn‘t good enough, it doesn‘t go far enough.  But right now, folks, we‘ve got to take what we can get.  We‘ve got to get this bill on the floor. 

I feel encouraged that guys like Tom Harkin are going to be in the conference committee when it‘s all said and done and there‘s going to be some people who are going to be ardent supporters of a public option.  And that‘s where the legislation is going to be written.

Get your cell phones out tonight.  I want to know what you think about this. 

Joe Lieberman has said he‘ll vote with the Democrats.  Do you trust Joe Lieberman? 

Text “A” for yes and “B” for no to 622639.  We‘ll bring you the results later on in the show. 

Joining me now is Michigan Senator Deb Stabenow. 

Senator, good to have you with us tonight.

SEN. DEBBIE STABENOW (D), MICHIGAN:  Good to be with you. 

SCHULTZ:  Why has this taken so long?  And I‘m excited that this vote is finally going to take place and the headcount is just about completed.  But this whole stalling that the Republicans have done, and all of the badmouthing of the public option that has taken place has really stalled the process, hasn‘t it? 

STABENOW:  Ed, this really has been stalled.  And, you know, I first want to start, though, by saying, don‘t forget, 40 Republicans look like they‘re going to vote in lockstep, not even to debate the health care bill.  Business as usual for the insurance companies seems to be what the Republicans, the majority of Republicans, are saying. 

But they have taken what is now—I believe we‘re going into the 37th week, and we have over 33 weeks of the 37 in which they have been filibustering, blocking, stalling.  Not just health care.  Four weeks on unemployment compensation to try to get an extension for families, when it could have taken one day. 

SCHULTZ:  And I‘m sure we‘re going to see this when it gets to the floor, all the amendments and the stall tactics that are going to take place. 

STABENOW:  No question.  No question. 

SCHULTZ:  Liberals in this country feel that the Democrats have made a lot of concessions to get to this point.  How confident are you that a lot of the good stuff that‘s been taken out is going to be amended in this final bill on the floor? 

STABENOW:  Ed, this really is an incredible step forward for the country.  What we have in front of us is a bill that will save lives and save money. 

It‘s going to strengthen Medicare.  It‘s going to stop insurance abuses.  And in the end, it‘s going to save jobs, which, as you know, is incredibly important to me. 

There are things in here we‘ve been trying to do for years, to create a health care bill of rights so the insurance companies can‘t continue to do what they do with people who are paying in all the time and don‘t get what they are paying for.  Strengthening Medicare, which we know needs to happen for our seniors.  That is in here, no matter what. 

You know I‘m a strong proponent of a public option as one of the choices for people that currently don‘t have insurance today. 

SCHULTZ:  Yes. 

STABENOW:  And that‘s very important.  But it‘s one of a number of things.  And for the first time, what is the most important thing about this debate?  America is now debating, and is very close, to saying we believe every American should be able to find affordable insurance in this great country. 

SCHULTZ:  Well, they might be able—you know, with this setup, they might be able to. 

Now, Senator, I‘ve never wanted to be a senator.  I‘ve never wanted to be a senator.  I don‘t know how you do all this, but... 

STABENOW:  Oh, come on, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  No, no, no.  But I‘ve got to say this—if I were going to the Senate floor, Senator Stabenow, this is what I would say about the Republicans.  If you read the Senate bill as it is right now, if you make under $90,000 a year, you will qualify for the public option. 

You will have an opportunity, as I see it, as I read it.  You‘ll have an opportunity to get some kind of help with your premium.  And if you‘re on the higher end of the income, not under $200,000, but doing pretty well, they can‘t do any more than 9.8 percent of your gross salary. 

STABENOW:  That‘s right. 

SCHULTZ:  This is going to help out small business. 

I want to see the Democrats go to the Senate floor and tell the Republicans they are anti-business.  They are not doing anything to help small business.  All they know about is tax cuts. 

But this bill does help small businesses across this country, because most small businesses have—and I‘m talking about the payrolls of under 100 employees.  You check it out.  Most of these people in this country are making under $90,000 a year. 

STABENOW:  You know, Ed...

SCHULTZ:  They are going to be helped by passing this legislation.  Damn it, the Republicans are undoubtedly against small business on this. 

STABENOW:  Well, and let me just add to that, you are so right, Ed.  And in committee, over and over again, the Republicans offered amendments to take away the tax cuts we have in the bill for small business and middle class families in order to make sure the insurance companies got what they wanted. 

Look for those amendments on the floor.  The insurance industry sent us a letter of all of the things they didn‘t like in the bill.  And the Republicans offered amendments to address every single one of those, and they paid for it by taking away the tax cuts for small businesses. 

So, you are right on.  Look for this in the debate on the floor.  They‘re going to side with the insurance companies, we‘re going to side with small businesses, families who don‘t have insurance, and everybody who pays for insurance today and wants to know they are actually going to get what they are paying for. 

SCHULTZ:  Yes.

You just found out that this bill has got my blood pressure up, but it‘s worth it, because I think—look, I think the Republicans are in a real bad place here.  All 40 of them are going to be against it. 

I asked John Barrasso here last night, “Is there anything in the bill that you can like?”  And he finally embraced the—getting rid of the pre-existing condition.  It was hard for him to do that. 

Senator Stabenow, thanks for fighting.  Thanks for going after it.  I appreciate your time tonight. 

STABENOW:  Thanks, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  Brent Budowsky joins us.  He‘s a columnist for “The Hill” and long-time congressional aide, has seen these fights before. 

How do you score it right now, Brent?  What do you think is happening?  Is it all going to turn out tomorrow night? 

BRENT BUDOWSKY, “THE HILL”:  Well, first of all, Ed, when you said you didn‘t want to run for the Senate, there are some pretty nice homes available in Connecticut, I understand.

(LAUGHTER)

BUDOWSKY:  I think if you were to move up there in a couple of years, I‘ll move up there and help run your campaign, and we‘ll change America yet again. 

SCHULTZ:  You know, I‘ve been reading this—you know, Brent, I‘ve been reading this bill, and I say, OK, if I‘m going to the floor, what am I doing to do to make my point?  The Democrats have to get aggressive and go after the Republicans on this good stuff that they don‘t support, and I think that‘s going to embolden the progressive movement to continue to stay contacted with Capitol Hill to push other things, because if they can make the case on the stuff that‘s in there right now, they can tip them over on some other things as well and win the support of the American people further than what they‘ve got right now. 

How do you call it? 

BUDOWSKY:  I think you‘re right.  And first of all, I think tomorrow night, the Democrats will get 60 votes.  And we‘ll fight it out from then on.  But I think we win tomorrow night. 

But you and I are among those who have been very active, and the Democrats have to fight a harder caucus.  And what‘s happening now in Washington—and you‘re seeing this literally this minute—is as the president comes back from abroad, there are Democrats in the House, Democrats in the Senate who want to make that fight. 

You‘re seeing a new attitude by Democrats in Congress in the last couple of days, in the last couple of weeks, with the unemployment numbers coming up and the polls getting rough and the president coming back from abroad.  Democrats are in a fighting mood. 

And, you know, to repeat what Senator Stabenow said, she‘s absolutely right.  We‘re going to be watching in the next couple of weeks, next few weeks going into Christmas, “It‘s a Wonderful Life.”  We‘re on the side of Jimmy Stewart and we‘re on the side of George Bailey. 

(LAUGHTER)

BUDOWSKY:  And those Republicans and the gentleman from Connecticut, more than he should, they‘re on the side of Mr. Potter.  And it‘s the same issue again and again and again—insurance premiums, credit card rates going up, people being foreclosed. 

How many Americans, Ed, watch “It‘s a Wonderful Life” and root for Mr. Potter? 

SCHULTZ:  Well, I got what you‘re saying. 

I‘m just looking for the openings for the Democrats.  I think that they are going to be able to corner the Republicans. 

There is some good stuff in this thing.  And if they can catch all of them on the wrong side of helping small business, on the wrong side of helping people, that is going to be a campaign platform for the midterm, because when it was time to help the little guy, Republicans were still on Wall Street. 

When it was time to help the little folks who were living paycheck to paycheck—and believe me, small businesses do that, folks—they‘re going to be able to say, hey, those guys on the right, they weren‘t with you, they weren‘t with you on this.  And I think this is going to be the political opening, and I think this is where Obama is so good, when he can get out and explain what the playing field is all about. 

But Brent, down the stretch here, do you think that if there is any way that when we get into conference committee, that Tom Harkin is going to be able to strengthen the public option?  Nancy Pelosi is going to be in there.  When you get these conferees together, they have been staunch supporters of this. 

This might turn out to be a heck of a lot better.  If I‘m a Republican, I‘m nervous about this thing. 

What do you think? 

BUDOWSKY:  Oh, I think you‘re right.  I think you‘re going to get at least the Senate bill or the House bill on the public option.  I think Harkin and our friends there, Sherrod Brown—I think Harry Reid deserves the Medal of Honor for fighting for Americans on this thing right now.

And I think we‘ve got momentum.  And don‘t let anybody tell you otherwise. 

People don‘t want their premiums raised, their homes foreclosed, their credit card rates going up.  People don‘t want to be screwed.

People are on the side of Jimmy Stewart and George Bailey.  We‘re right, Ed, about the politics, as well as the morality.  And I think Democrats right now are in a stronger fighting mood than any time that I have seen them since the early days of the Bush administration. 

They‘re ready to fight back.  And on these issues, the people are with us. 

SCHULTZ:  All right. 

I want to make one thing perfectly clear tonight.  Now, I have been awfully tough on Geithner because—and we‘ll talk more about that later in the show—because I think more has got to be done for small business.  But I really do believe that this president has been dealing with the Bush recession. 

And I‘m asking all of the elected Democrats in Washington, will you start calling it that?  Do you know what you were left in the middle of the room when you came in and took the majority?  You had this big piece of garbage that you‘ve got to mop up. 

We‘re dealing with the Bush recession.  This is not an Obama economic policy.  This is an Obama mop-up policy.  And I think the Democrats have got to be more aggressive on that, and also they‘ve got to get cheap money to businesses.  If they can do that, they can win this thing. 

Brent, great to have you with us tonight.  Always a pleasure.  Keep fighting.  And enjoy reading your stuff all the time in “The Hill.”

Coming up, my next guest says that the Federal Reserve has more secrets than the CIA.  He‘s the new rabble-rouser on the left.  I love this guy. 

Alan Grayson, he will explain, coming up, what the Congress has got to do to straighten the Fed out. 

Plus, the Democrats are—well, they‘re scrapping over what to do with all this leftover TARP money.  I will tell you exactly what to do it, and  so will Jan Schakowsky from Chicago, on the House side. 

She‘s got a plan.  It‘s all coming up at the bottom of the hour.

Stay with us.  You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

Some members of Congress are demanding more transparency from the Federal Reserve.  It‘s about time. 

Yesterday, the House Financial Services Committee approved an amendment that would allow the Government Accountability Office to conduct independent audits of the Fed. 

One of the authors of the amendment, Congressman Alan Grayson, from Florida, joins us here tonight on THE ED SHOW.

Congressman, good to have you with us.

REP. ALAN GRAYSON (D), FLORIDA:  Thanks.  Thanks very much.

SCHULTZ:  What is—you bet.  What is the Fed doing wrong, in your opinion?  Why do we have to have an audit of the Fed? 

GRAYSON:  Secret bailouts.  It‘s that simple. 

They have been taking hundreds of billions of dollars of our money and handing it over to failed Wall Street firms to try to keep them afloat, and doing it secretly.  So now we‘re going to have an audit and find out exactly what‘s happened. 

SCHULTZ:  All right.  Now, the secret money that you‘re talking about, give us some examples for people who are just in on this stuff.

What do you think? 

GRAYSON:  Well, Ed, they are secret, OK?  But we did find out about one of them. 

It‘s $230 billion they took off of Citibank‘s books and accepted the liability while Citibank kept all the upside, all the income from the $230 billion in assets, and they just made it disappear.  They didn‘t even put it on the Fed‘s own balance sheet.

And they did that in exchange for nothing.  They got no stock from Citibank, no warrants, no nothing.  So they just gave the taxpayer the $230 billion hit in exchange for nothing. 

SCHULTZ:  OK.  So, number one, we need a law on the books so that can‘t be done again, because if you and I were to do that with our taxes, we‘d be behind bars where we belong on that. 

But there is an amazing amount of pushback on this. 

This is Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke giving his thoughts on the whole thing of an audit.  Here it is. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BEN BERNANKE, CHAIRMAN, FEDERAL RESERVE:  If the GAO is auditing not only the operational aspects of programs and the details of the programs, but is making judgments about our policy decisions, that would effectively be a takeover of monetary policy by the Congress, a repudiation of the independence of the Federal Reserve, which would be highly destructive to the stability of the financial system, the dollar, and our national economic situation. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  He‘s worried about the dollar.  Hell, I didn‘t know the dollar could get any lower against the Chinese currency. 

What do you make of this? 

GRAYSON:  Well, Ed, you know, Chicken Little said the sky is falling too.  It‘s interesting that somebody who tries so hard to keep confidence up concerning the American economy is so desperate to destroy confidence when it comes to showing exactly what he‘s been up to. 

SCHULTZ:  Where is the roadblock to this going through?  You‘ve got a lot of votes.  You‘ve got a lot of people -- 300 people on board in the House.

Where is the big roadblock here? 

GRAYSON:  Well, we have to worry about what the Senate is going to do.  But honestly, if out of the 435 members of the House, we‘ve got 311 cosponsors—and by the way, I spent weeks going around the floor of the House when we were voting on other things, signing people up for this bill, and I spoke to every Democrat who voted for this yesterday personally.  I explained the bill to them.

If we‘ve got that kind of support, it shows that Bernanke has got nothing, and it‘s time we looked behind the curtain and saw what was there.  It‘s that simple. 

SCHULTZ:  Congressman Grayson, you were a very successful businessman before you went into the Congress.  What do we have to do to turn this economy around, in your opinion?  What has to be done?  What fundamentals have to be put in place?  And how fast do we have to do it? 

GRAYSON:  Well, it goes back to you what were saying today.  I heard you on the radio at 3:00 today, and you‘re absolutely right.  We have to stop giving money to the bad banks.  They just eat it.  They don‘t actually hand it out to people or do anything useful with it. 

We have to give money to the good banks.  The fundamental strategy that‘s been followed since the Bush administration to try to recover from this is flawed. 

You know, ,you don‘t give scholarships only to the students who fail, who flunk out.  So why are we giving all this money, this government money and taxpayer money to all these failed banks?  We have to give them to the good banks, because the good banks will go and make good loans to people, to businesses, to small businesses in particular, and the economy will recover. 

SCHULTZ:  It seems now that the Democrats are going to have to engage in a war of words to get the opinion of the American people straightened out, because a CNN/Research poll right now says responsibility for the recession is starting to shift.  There are the numbers from the Republicans over to the Democrats. 

Your thoughts on this? 

GRAYSON:  Look, even a dog knows when it‘s being kicked.  The American people can remember very much what it was like under the Bush administration -- $4 a gallon gasoline, an economy where we lost 20 percent of our entire national wealth in 18 months. 

Does anybody seriously think the Republicans are capable of doing any sort of economic management that‘s other than mismanagement at this point? 

SCHULTZ:  Let me get back to the economics of the whole thing again. 

Congressman DeFazio, on this program earlier this week, said he thought that Tim Geithner should step down, should leave that post, and Barack Obama, the president, should get somebody else there. 

Do you agree with that or is that a bridge too far? 

GRAYSON:  Listen, what‘s not important is people, it‘s policies.  We have to pick the right policies. 

And that means the president, who is actually making these decisions, has to assert himself.  He has to make sure that ordinary people get their bailouts. 

I‘ve heard from so many people, “Where‘s my bailout?  Wall Street‘s getting all this money.  Where‘s my bailout?”

And the answer is the president has to focus on what‘s good for the people.  It doesn‘t matter if Geithner is in there or anybody else.  The decisions have to be the right ones.

SCHULTZ:  Congressman Grayson, good to have you with us tonight.  Thanks so much.

GRAYSON:  Thank you, Ed.  And by the way, you were smoking on the radio today.  You were smoking.

SCHULTZ:  Well, look, I am passionate.  And I appreciate that.  I‘m glad you‘re listening, by the way. 

I‘m passionate about the fact because I know I‘m correct.  There is a different set of rules for small community banks, as opposed to the big boys on Wall Street.

This is not brain surgery.  You don‘t have to go to the highest institution of academic prowess in this country to make sure that we get the economy going. 

You get money to people that want to spend it, and you loosen the credit markets, and you‘re going to be able to create jobs in this country.  And I don‘t see Geithner doing any of that. 

Congressman Grayson, great to have you on.  Appreciate it so much. 

GRAYSON:  Thank you, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  Coming up, more proof that “Crazy Like a Fox News” is totally out of touch.  We‘ll bust bowgate wide open, coming up in “Psycho Talk.”   

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, Fox News losing touch with most of America.  This week, the network has been obsessed with slamming President Obama for his bow to the Japanese emperor.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  How low did he go?  There‘s much...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Whoa.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  ... ado about President Obama‘s bow this morning.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  To have such a deep, almost—well, what angle would that be?  Ninety-degree bow. 

Let‘s get a bowing expert on. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  That deep bow from the waist actually, in the Japanese culture, speaks weakness. 

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS:  I‘d argue that they are bowing at the altar of socialism. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Sarah Palin would not have bowed to the emperor of Japan.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  American leaders do not bow to leaders of other countries. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Now, with an uproar like that, you would think that people across America were really upset with that bow, except a Fox News poll shows that they really don‘t have a problem with it. 

Sixty-seven percent of the people think it‘s appropriate for President Obama to bow to a foreign leader.  Even a majority of Republicans are thinking it‘s OK, like 53 percent. 

And let me emphasize that Fox News conducted that poll. 

President Obama‘s bow is a non-issue, and the American people are with me when I say that this is just all outrageous “Psycho Talk” coming from Fox News. 

And, oh, by the way, speaking of which, now, there‘s been a lot of talk this week about Sarah Palin, “Going Rogue.”  Well, here in Minnesota, it‘s Michele Bachmann going crazy.  Truer words have never been spoken. 

One final chapter in the psycho zone tonight. 

All right.  Coming up, I want the president to win when it comes to the economic recovery of this country.  But the truth is the numbers don‘t lie. 

Mr. President, it‘s Main Street‘s turn to get the help. 

Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky will respond to all of that. 

Plus, we‘re pulling Jeff Corwin out of the wild.  And “Daily Show” co-creator Lizz Winstead is in the house tonight making headlines.

Stay with us.  You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. 

The double speak, the double standard alone with the waiting games - I tell you what.  All of this has to be addressed very soon, or, folks, this economy isn‘t going to turn around.  Now, I‘m a fan of the president.  I just think some people on his economic team are not serving him well. 

The Democrats definitely are going to be judged on job numbers.  We‘re going to have to turn this thing around to keep the majority, and right now the numbers don‘t lie, 10.2 percent unemployment, and it was 7.6 percent when the president took office.  Now, the numbers are shifting a little bit.  We‘re seeing some good trends, but this is Bush‘s economic mess that Obama is trying to mop up. 

But I think the president needs to show this country that he can be aggressive helping Main Street just as he was aggressive helping Wall Street.  There‘s just as big a crisis out in the heartland as there was on Wall Street, and the intensity has to be there.  Access to capital and deregulating the smaller banks with government guarantees is the quick answer to create jobs in this country. 

I guarantee you, the community banks, they are being held at a completely different standard.  That has to change, and Geithner can do something about there - about that right now.  The DOW is over 10,000.  That‘s fantastic.  But there‘s $200 billion left in the TARP fund - $200 billion left in the TARP fund. 

Wall Street‘s doing fine.  They don‘t need the rest of that bailout money, so I‘m going to give you a solution here tonight for Main Street, folks.  Get this $200 billion to community banks that want to participate in communities that need economic development and let risk takers go through the front door of that community bank and let them get the cheap money, damn near the same rate that they got on Wall Street, and give them flexible terms, let it shift in the terms, and you watch jobs get created. 

It will happen because then people are going to want to start manufacturing stuff again. It takes capital to get it done.

For more on this, let‘s bring in Illinois Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky tonight.  Congresswoman, that‘s my stick and I‘m sticking to it, so to speak, all right?  I need to know what you formulate...

REP. JAN SCHAKOWSKY (D), ILLINOIS:  I - and I not - OK.  I couldn‘t agree with you more, Ed.  The idea now is to focus entirely, wake up every morning and think about how are we going to create the jobs.  Send the money to community banks.  Get them out - get it out into the community.

But I‘m going to - I want to say something else.  I think there has been way too much focus on deficit.  I think right now what we need to do is spend to create the jobs, that once we get the economy going and we put money into actually creating those jobs, then the deficit is going to - is going to take care of itself, because people are going to be paying taxes, they‘re going to be buying things, they‘re going to have money in their pockets.

So I think we - we need to regulate - we need to regulate Wall Street.  We got to get the money to Main Street and we‘ve got to create more jobs.

SCHULTZ:  Why is this such a heavy lift for the Congress to do this?  I mean, it was so quick, so fast, so expedient to Wall Street. 

We‘ve got - we‘ve got small businesses across this country that are absolutely screaming for credit and capital.  The credit markets have tightened up.  The regulations on the smaller banks are - are like a grip on the - on the jugular.  It‘s frustrating to see the Democrats with the power to do something about this sit back and say, well, we got a stimulus package.  You know?  Where do you board (ph) on that?

SCHAKOWSKY:  Well, let me tell you, we‘ve been focusing a lot - no, I know.  We‘ve been focused on -

Well, let me just say, stimulus package, no.  I think we need to make major, major investments.  We don‘t have to think about them as, you know, cost to the - the government.  We need to make the investments.  We need to pass another transportation package that we‘re looking at in the - in the House of Representatives, get people to work in the new construction season that‘s - that‘s coming up.

But you‘re right.  We are thinking about this day and night now.  We‘re having the - the White House is going to have a job summit.  We‘ve been having back-to-back caucus meetings about this.  And you‘re going to be seeing a major focus on Main Street right now, and that does include exactly what you‘re saying, putting the money in the - in the community banks.

SCHULTZ:  There is no downside here.  First of all, you know the Republicans are going to be against it, because they‘re absolutely against everything, but if the Democrats can prove they can do jobs and they get health care done, even at the level that it‘s out right - at right now, these poll numbers are going to turn, Obama is going to look like, you know, everything he said on the campaign trail has come true in the first two years. 

But the key now - the key now with the majority is to make sure that the regulation takes place on Wall Street, but that also you - you loosen up the regulations for the small banks.  If that happens, we would be able to get more seats a year from now and really do health care the way the Democrats really want to do health care and really marginalize the Republicans.  I mean, I really see this being a successful conclusion. 

Now as - if - you know, you can‘t go to the White House and have a photo-op.  I mean, what are - what are your expectations?

SCHAKOWSKY:  No.

SCHULTZ:  What are your expectations when it comes to this economic summit at the White House in December?

SCHAKOWSKY:  Well, I think we‘re going to see that the TARP money, which is supposed to end at the end of December, is going to be extended and that that money will - a significant amount of that are going to go just where you said it‘s going to go.  It‘s going to go into the communities, into the community banks.

You know, we‘re also concerned that we‘re buying things like wind turbines from - from China, that we‘re buying batteries for the new green economy from overseas.  We‘ve got to let the money go to the kinds of projects that are going to actually create these good green jobs and make our - our economy rolling again.

And so there‘s so much we can do.  You‘re right, Ed.  This is not rocket science.  We can figure out how to do this, and I think everybody really is focused on that now, from the White House, the House, the Senate, as soon as the Senate gets its health care bill, and I hope it‘s a good one with a public option and - and then we‘re - not even then.  Simultaneously.  We are moving right now in the House on jobs.  Jobs, jobs, jobs.

SCHULTZ:  And Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, always a pleasure to have you.  Thanks for speaking up.  This is going to be fun to watch because it‘s going to be fun...

SCHAKOWSKY:  Thank you.

SCHULTZ:  You bet.  It‘s going to be fun to see what the Republican response is when the Democrats do create jobs, because I think they‘re going to do exactly what we‘re talking about tonight.

For more, let‘s bring in our panel tonight.  Jack Rice, radio talk show host.  You could check him out at jackrice.org.  And also Ron Christie with us, Republican strategist and former assistant to George W. Bush.

Ron, give me your thoughts on how do we create jobs?  If you were - and you‘ve been an adviser, an assistant to President Bush, what would you tell President Obama right now, Ron?

RON CHRISTIE, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST:  First thing I think I‘d say to President Obama is that he needs to fire his current economic team, and, Ed, I have to say, you and I have our disagreements and we‘ve had them over the months, but your commentary for the last several days has been spot on. 

I think the TARP program has been a disaster.  I think that there have been individuals on Wall Street - firms in Wall Street that have prospered while the normal American people who are hurting right now haven‘t had their voices heard. 

I think that we do need to revisit the way that we are strangling small businesses in this country.  I would keep the capital gains rates low.  I would keep the dividends low.  But I would also look - looking at the heavy cost of health care, I would make it available for companies to buy insurance across state lines and try to keep the cost of business down so that they can promote economic prosperity.

           

SCHULTZ:  All right.  Jack Rice, it‘s your turn to go into the Oval Office and be an adviser to the president of the United States.  How do we get out of this quagmire?

JACK RICE, RADIO SHOW HOST:  I‘ll tell you what, here‘s the first thing that we don‘t do.  We don‘t cut taxed for the rich and deregulate everything.  We have already seen this during the Bush administration in 2001, 2003.  It was a disaster then.  This is not a hypothetical anymore, and yet this is the mantra that I‘ve seen from the Republicans.

The fact is is we need to invest in America, finally.  We didn‘t - need to make small businesses capable of getting capital.  That‘s number one.  But we also have to invest in America when it comes to infrastructure.

I was in Minneapolis when the 35W bridge fell.  I thought about that.  I thought about the decision that just came down in New Orleans when it was because of failures of infrastructure that cause so much of the problem.  We could be dealing with that.  Think of the jobs we could create there. 

We do this in every state in the nation.  We invest in ourselves for once.  I think that‘s the best start, at least for right now.

SCHULTZ:  What do you think of auditing the fed, Ron Christie?  Is this a good move by Ron Paul and also Alan Grayson?

CHRISTIE:  I think so.  I think it has very wide bipartisan support on this, Ed.  I think that there are a lot of people on the Congress right now that are looking at the role of the Federal Reserve Bank and you‘ve heard the criticism from the other side of, well, maybe the Fed will be a little cautious.  Well, heck, maybe we should have a little more cautious activity out of the Federal Reserve and we wouldn‘t be in this mess.

But let me say one thing, Ed, that you...

SCHULTZ:  Well now, I‘ve got to ask you, have you done a - a flip on us?  Because I think if you were working there in the Bush administration, I don‘t think too many Bushies would have been in favor of that.

RICE:  I‘m with you there, Ed.

CHRISTIE:  Well, Ed, I can only speak for Ron Christie.  I‘ll let President Bush and, you know, Vice President Cheney speak for themselves. 

But let me say one thing.  You know, I listened to you and Congresswoman Schakowsky say, oh, we need a jobs bill to get America moving again.  We need to invest.

We have invested $787 billion.  The administration told us that they would - the unemployment rate was at 7.6 percent.  If we got the stimulus through, we can go higher than 8.  Well, you know what?  It‘s 10.2 percent.

SCHULTZ:  They said it was going to go up, Ron.  They - they said - they said that the unemployment rate was going to go up. 

CHRISTIE:  Ed, they said it wouldn‘t go higher than 8 percent.

SCHULTZ:  You got to give the - President Obama a chance to get his - to get his plan working.  A lot of that stimulus money hasn‘t even been distributed out to where it‘s got to go.  I mean, this is a two-year plan.  It‘s going to take two years to get all of the stimulus money out.  You know that‘s what the calendar is on it.

The - the key here is it‘s the credit markets.  The stimulus package is saving jobs.  You got - you got cops, you got teachers, you got firefighters, you got infrastructure jobs in community across America that have been saved because of the stimulus package.  That‘s how you save the jobs, but Jack Rice, sooner or later, it‘s got to be more than a stimulus package and this is going to be something that is going to come back and haunt Obama if these numbers don‘t turn around.

What do you think?

RICE:  Without hesitation.  I mean, based upon all studies we‘re seeing right now, we could see and excess of 10 percent unemployment.  But you know what?  This is a result of the failures of the Bush administration.  The fact that this is Obama‘s problem, yes.  He has to deal with it.  The buck stops with him.  But we know where this started.

CHRISTIE:  Jack, let me tell you something.

RICE:  Oh, please, Ron...

(CROSSTALK)

CHRISTIE:  Without hesitation, Jack, I have to cut you off.  That‘s absurd.

Yes, President Obama inherited a significant economic crisis.  He has tripled the size of the deficit in less than one year.

RICE:  That comes for a reason.  You - you drive an economy into the proverbial toilet and you wonder how difficult it is to get it out?  You think that‘s not a Bush mistake?  It is, without hesitation. 

CHRISTIE:  Let me say without hesitation that we had 9/11, we created the Department of Homeland Security.  We passed the Prescription Drug Benefit for Medicare.  We spent money for this country.  Oh, it‘s the same Democrats who wanted the prescription drug benefit, but let me educate you on something, Jack. 

It was the same Democrats who said we‘re going to save or create a million jobs - well, you know what?  The administrator of recovery.gov can‘t certify.  Why?  Because there were 400 congressional districts that were made up.  If the Obama administration wants to have any credibility with the American people, they need to be very honest and forthright with the numbers that they are saying to people and the jobs they are going to create, and economic...

SCHULTZ:  All right.  Jack Rice, you get the last word.  Jack Rice, you get the last word. 

RICE:  We‘ve seen - you know, we‘ve seen this before, Ron.  The argument that I keep seeing from Mitch McConnell and from John Boehner and the rest is this, just cut the taxes for the rich people and that somehow that‘s going to fix our problem.  It has not worked in the past.

SCHULTZ:  That‘s right.  You know, I would like...

CHRISTIE:  And you never answered my question, because of course - take care, Ed.

SCHULTZ:  All right.  Good to have you guys going at it in good spirit tonight.  I appreciate it.  Thanks so much. 

Coming up, it sounds hard to believe, but the scientists estimate that only half the world‘s animal species will be alive by the end of this century.  Jeff Corwin‘s coming out of the jungle to explain how we can bring them back from the brink.  Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  It‘s not too late to let me know what you think.  Tonight‘s text survey is do you trust Joe Lieberman?  Text A for yes and B for no to 622639.  Results coming up.  Stay with us. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  In my Playbook tonight, it‘s Green Week here at the networks of NBC Universal. 

Thousands of species of animals are on the brink of being wiped out by human actions, and scientists estimate by the end of the century, only half of the world‘s animal species will still be around.  A new documentary airing this Sunday on MSNBC investigates what‘s causing this trend and looks into what we can do to change it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEFF CORWIN, WILDLIFE EXPERT:  Take a look at your watch.  In the next 20 minutes, one species on our planet will become extinct.  This year alone, some 20,000 species will fall prey to extinction - gone forever. 

Join me in a global quest to protect the earth‘s future.  From Sumatra to Big Sur, from the African Savannah to the rainforest of Panama, our mission is to explore the plight of our planet‘s most endangered species and the heroes of conservation fighting to save them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Absolutely amazing footage, and it‘s fantastic to have this gentleman with us.  Joining us is the host of the special, wild life expert Jeff Corwin.

Mr. Corwin, good to have you on tonight.  Also the author of the book “100 Heartbeats: The Race to Save the Earth‘s Most Endangered Species.”  I have to say, that I - I didn‘t know it was this severe, and I‘m a guy who‘s loved the outdoors all my life.  How do we turn this around, Jeff? 

CORWIN:  Well, it‘s pretty terrifying, Ed.  We are almost at the point of no return.  We‘re not there yet.  There still is hope.  But science has now come to the conclusion that our planet has reached the sixth extinction.  We‘ve had five major extinctions in our planet, perhaps the most infamous is when dinosaurs were wiped out 70 million years ago.  But, of course, what wiped out the dinosaurs was an asteroid. 

But, unfortunately, what‘s wiping out animals today is us.  And perhaps the greatest contribution to extinction are two factors, two elements of what I call the perfect extinction storm.  One is climate change or global warming and the other is habitat loss.  Ultimately, though, Ed, I think the solution comes down to human beings.  We, in the end, are the solution and, of course, that connects with consumption.

SCHULTZ:  Habitat loss, do we have to protect the lands?  Is that what it is?  Is it development that is taking place in some key areas around the world?  Is that what it is?

CORWIN:  Absolutely, Ed.  I mean, we can look at some of the most important places in our planet with regard to habitat and wildlife.  Places like the rainforest. 

You can see this footage right here, that is a scorched rainforest in Sumatra.  Sumatra will lose all of its rainforest within a decade from today, which means that‘s a death sentence to creatures like the orangutan, the elephant, the Sumatran rhino.  You can see it right there as we were just destroyed after four days journey, trying to find a way into the last bit of jungle to get these orangutans in. 

Poaching also a big problem.  Right there, we‘re actually having to saw off the horn of a rhino to destroy the temptation for the poachers.  And while we‘re there, the crew we were working with actually end up getting in a firefight with poachers.  And, of course, we have pollution, another aspect devastating our planet. 

Of course, this stuff looks incredibly dramatic, and it is.  But the truth is, there is great hope.  And while we look at the challenges and the problems in protecting our planet, which ultimately is an - is an investment in the next generation, we also look at the heroes that are trying to save these incredible creatures.

SCHULTZ:  Jeff Corwin, it‘s an amazing story.  It took you a year to film this.  You were in seven countries, four continents.  It‘s fabulous work, and we‘re looking forward to it. 

You can watch the entire two-hour special feature “Future Earth, 100 Heartbeats” this Sunday, November 22nd at 8:00 PM Eastern time right here on MSNBC.  That‘s fabulous stuff, Jeff.  Thanks so much.

CORWIN:  Thanks, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  Coming up, “Daily Show” co-creator, she crashed a Tea Party and lived to tell about it.  I can‘t wait for Club Ed.  That‘s coming up next right here on THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  It‘s Green Week here at MSNBC.  Small things can make a big difference when it comes to saving our environment.

For easy ways to make your life and planet a little greener, go to green.msnbc.com.  Green matters here.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.  It‘s Friday.  That means it‘s time for Club Ed with Lizz Winstead, co-creator of “The Daily Show” and the brains behind “Wake Up World.”  You can also find Lizz at twitter.com/lizzwinstead. 

It‘s always great to see you.  Now, I‘m a little concerned.  Are you - you‘re not - you weren‘t shaken up because you infiltrated a Tea Party.  How did you?  I haven‘t heard of anybody infiltrating a Tea Party, but you were able to do it.  Tell us what happened on this deal.

LIZZ WINSTEAD, COMEDIAN:  Well, you know I‘m on Twitter way too much and sort of one of the cool - one of the cool things about Twitter is sometimes people get inside information about what the kook bags (ph) are doing. 

So, somebody on Twitter got the conference call number and the pass code to the Tea Party Movement Organization Planning Meeting for this new website they‘re launching called “73 Wired.”  And so we got on the call to listen up to what they were planning, and I listened up and listened up and listened up and then they opened it up for questions, and I think you guys might have a clip of the question that I asked. 

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

WINSTEAD:  Hello? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Hello.

WINSTEAD:  Hi.  This is Marge from Minnesota, and sometimes it gets confusing about the issues that really impact people.  So I was wondering if there was any specific issues that you guys are recommending we looked into that really resonate with people that can really help them change their minds.  You know what I mean?

(END AUDIO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Now, I understand that everybody started cross talking as soon as that question got done.  They just had all kinds of answers.  What happened?

WINSTEAD:  So what happened was - so then I - they said, well, read Drudge and write about that.  And then I was like, well, I don‘t really understand what you mean, or I can‘t remember exactly what I said.  And then there started to be cross-fighting where people just started yelling at me saying, talk about dithering, talk about lying, they are lying and dithering.  And I was so - 

They started heckling each other on the call.  They couldn‘t even pull it together.  I mean, you can sort of read all about it.  Huffington Post has it posted.  It‘s pretty amazing and so then I was -

SCHULTZ:  All right.

WINSTEAD:  Yes.  It‘s crazy.

SCHULTZ:  Not too many brains behind the Tea Party management team, I would imagine. 

WINSTEAD:  There was no organization.

SCHULTZ:  All right.  Check this out.  You know about this, Lizz Winstead, being from the Twin Cities.  This is “Cityscapes,” and this is - you‘ve heard about, obviously, Sarah Palin “Going Rogue.”  How about Michele Bachmann “Going Crazy”?

WINSTEAD:  Sums it up.

SCHULTZ:  They got - they‘ve got an article in here obviously on her - her political prowess.  She‘s on FOX every nine days.  I mean, that‘s - that‘s almost being on the payroll, isn‘t it?

WINSTEAD:  You know what?  It‘s sad that I watched today - Oprah is retiring, Poprah, as I say.  I wish that Michele Bachmann would just come out and say I‘m retiring.  I - she‘s on the payroll at FOX.  I mean, this -

Ed, I don‘t even know what to make of it anymore, because when you don‘t ever say anything that‘s not crazy, shouldn‘t you be institutionalized rather than be a talking head on a news network?

SCHULTZ:  Lizz Winstead, always great to have you with us on Club Ed on a Friday night.  Thanks so much.

WINSTEAD:  Thanks, Ed.

SCHULTZ:  Earlier in the show, I asked our viewers tonight, do you trust Joe Lieberman?  Six percent of you say yes, 94 percent say no.

That‘s THE ED SHOW.  I‘m Ed Schultz.  We‘ll see you back here Monday in New York. 

HARDBALL with Chris Matthews starts right now here on MSNBC.  Have a great weekend. 

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

END   

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