updated 2/8/2010 11:51:55 AM ET 2010-02-08T16:51:55

Guests: Michael Brunker, Peter DeFazio, John Nichols, Peter Morici, Heidi Harris, Bill

Press, Ernest Istook, Matt Miller, Lizz Winstead

ED SCHULTZ, HOST:  Good evening, Americans, and welcome to THE ED SHOW tonight from New York.

Hitting my hot buttons off the top, the president exhausting every effort.  He wants to call out the Republicans once and for all for obstructing health care reform.  But if he‘s going to do it, he‘s going to need the Democrats in Congress to show some backbone and finally stand up to those Bozos across the aisle. 

Also, there‘s a Tea Party going on in Nashville, Tennessee, this weekend.  They‘re holding their first convention and Sarah Palin is headlining for $100,000.  But with a lot of high-profile members bailing, the movement, I think, is already losing steam.

More on that at the bottom of the hour. 

And just two days left before the big game.  The Colts and Saints go at it in the Super Bowl.  But the Super Bowl is really not all about football.  It‘s about those TV commercials that you won‘t want to miss. 

We‘ll talk about that tonight as well. 

But first, the Democrats—how do I say this politely?  They‘ve got to get a pair. 

They‘ve got to get tough.  They‘ve got to get after it.  Take some steroids.  Heck, they do it in baseball all the time. 

President Obama wants to put the Republicans on the spot publicly on health care.  And the Democrats in Congress I think ought to listen to him once and for all. 

Last night, at a DNC fundraiser, the president said he wants to give bipartisanship one more shot, then go right through them with or without the Republicans. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  What I‘d like to do is have a meeting whereby I‘m sitting with the Republicans, sitting with the Democrats, sitting with health care experts, and let‘s just go through these bills.  And then, I think that we‘ve got to go ahead and move forward on a vote.  If Congress decides we‘re not going to do it, even after all of the facts are laid out, all of the options are clear, then the American people can make a judgment as to whether this Congress has done the right thing for them or not. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Now, I thought we—I thought we made a judgment.  There was an election.  All of these people came to the Mall in Washington for the inauguration. 

I was there.  I saw it.  I wasn‘t hallucinating. 

See, the deal here is for the president‘s strategy to work, Harry Reid has to get a backbone and has to start standing up to these guys on the other side of the aisle.  Right now I don‘t see the Democrats showing any muscle at all except squabbling between themselves.  He‘s showing no pushback at all against these stall tactics, and if Harry Reid doesn‘t shape up, he really stands the chance of going down in history as one of the worst Senate Democratic leaders ever.  People are going to remember who was in charge. 

I don‘t mean to pick on you, Harry, but there‘s an old saying from the Midwest—the rocks go with the farm. 

And it‘s not just Harry, it‘s the entire personality of the Democratic Party that has completely changed in the last six months.  I mean, they have completely turned into the party of total political correctness. 

All you have to do is accuse a Democrat of something, and they will cower and they‘ll fall all over themselves and they just can‘t wait to apologize.  And they are just handing these seats away.  This is where the frustration is in this country right now with this attitude. 

Now, you know, you‘ve got to ask yourself the question, who‘s going to be motivated to go out and vote for wimpy Democrats after they‘ve been given this big majority?  The president.  The president.

He shouldn‘t have to go to a Democratic fundraiser and beg his base to keep the faith on health care reform.  What the hell is going on here? 

The Democrats need to say, forget the midterms.  Now is the time to get it done.  Now. 

Don‘t worry about the elections and having a job next year.  Quit worrying about what‘s going to happen to you and stop worrying about what‘s going to happen to the American people.

And maybe there‘s still a glimmer of hope, because Politico reporting that Senator Al Franken—it takes a good old talk show host to go out there and get after it—he goes after White House senior adviser David Axelrod yesterday after a closed-door meeting with the Democrats and says—just blasting the administration for their lack of real clear leadership on health care reform. 

The fact that Franken did that is evidence that I guess there‘s still a pulse in the Senate and the Democratic Caucus.  But it starts with leadership.  And if the Democrats don‘t want to lead, they are going to get run over.  And to sit there and say, well, we‘re going to try to do with the Republican, we‘re going to try to do this—do it. 

Get your cell phones out, folks.  I want to know what you think tonight on this text survey.

Do you think the Democrats have shown enough guts this year?  Text “A” for yes and “B” for no to 622639.

We‘ll bring you results later on in the program. 

All right.  Now, this first interview we have tonight is with Democratic Congressman Peter DeFazio of Oregon.  We selected him because he tells it like it is.  And I appreciate that.

Congressman, thanks for your time tonight. 

REP. PETER DEFAZIO (D), OREGON:  Thank you, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  Have the Democrats lost their guts on health care?  There was a quote today.  Senator Bernie Sanders says that they are now lacking the political will on Capitol Hill to pass health care reform. 

I want your thoughts on that. 

DEFAZIO:  Well, I mean, come on.  The Senate made a total hash of it, and they just conceded to the likes of Joe Lieberman, who was thrown out of the Democratic Party by the Democratic rank and file, yet he had veto power over the bill.  It was an absurd procedure and it came to a very bad end. 

We‘re going to give them a chance to redeem themselves.  Next week in the House we‘re going to take up something that I found my Tea Party constituents and my single payer constituents both stood up and cheered for.  Take away the unfair special treatment, the antitrust exemption enjoyed by the health insurance industry, so they can get together, collude to drive up prices, exclude you from coverage and divide up competition. 

There‘s huge pushback coming up on this already.  But if we send this bill over to the Senate, I‘m told it was blocked by one Democratic senator that is a former insurance executive, Ben Nelson. 

Look, let‘s call their bluff.  And why wouldn‘t some Republicans vote for that?  Don‘t they believe in free markets?  Do they think the industry should be able to collude, price-gouge and screw consumers?   

SCHULTZ:  Well, I commend you for bringing that up, to go after the antitrust.  And that is something that Americans do grasp and understand. 

Is that the way this whole thing should be done, Congressman DeFazio, is that just maybe piecemeal health care reform as we move along instead of one big bill?  What do you think? 

DEFAZIO:  No, the speaker has not given up on a bigger bill, but we find many provisions of the Senate bill unacceptable, and she‘s trying to figure out if we can work together on this.  I mean, remember, the House bill had a public option, gave people a chance to get out from underneath the thumb of the insurance industry.  And we have national exchanges and we have regulation. 

The Senate bill has state exchanges, weak regulation, no public option.  People are going to still be jacked around by—and they didn‘t have antitrust.  They didn‘t take away the antitrust immunity. 

I mean, their bill really was kind of written for and by—I mean, look, insurance stocks went up as the Senate moved along in their bill.  They went down when we passed ours. 

SCHULTZ:  I want to talk about Rahm Emanuel making the comment about “f-ing retarded,” when he made that comment behind closed doors in a meeting last summer in dealing with liberal Democrats and some of the proposals that liberals had.  Now, he‘s already apologized to the Special Olympics, and rightfully so.  But what does that say about the White House‘s position, when liberals start taking about single payer, public option, and holding insurance companies available?

I mean, what is the White House attitude, in your opinion, behind closed doors?  Is it “f-ing retarded?”  I mean, when it comes to liberals and health care reform.  Why isn‘t Rahm Emanuel apologizing to that wing of the Democratic Party?

DEFAZIO;  You know, the White House has really checked out of this debate. 

I mean, they have not been directive. 

I mean, the president came to our caucus, and then in response to one member said, he supported a public option.  Well, that‘s great, but where was the bully pulpit behind the support for the public option, something that definably would save people money and give them an option, get them out from underneath the big insurance companies? 

I just haven‘t seen them deliver at all in this debate.  And remember, they started by cutting a deal with the pharmaceutical industry.  It couldn‘t have been a worse start.

SCHULTZ:  Yes.

Congressman DeFazio, appreciate your time tonight.  Thanks so much. 

DEFAZIO;  Thank you. 

SCHULTZ:  From Oregon, with us tonight, Congressman Peter DeFazio. 

Now John Nichols, Washington correspondent of “The Nation.”

Give me some fire, brother.  Give me some personality.

Who‘s left in the ring for the Democrats that wants to fight down the stretch and tell the Republicans see you, we‘re moving forward?  The election is now, Johnny.  It ain‘t in November. 

That‘s my take.  Yours? 

JOHN NICHOLS, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, “THE NATION”:  You are so right, Ed Schultz.  And first off, I want to tell you, I am voting “B” on your poll, because the Democrats have—as one of their best members of Congress, Pete DeFazio, said, made a hash of this thing. 

The truth of the matter is, the American people don‘t care what a filibuster is.  They don‘t care what cloture is.  There‘s a new Pew Center poll that says they don‘t even know what those things are. 

What they care is whether their kids, whether their parents, whether they have health care.  And if the Democrats don‘t get this—and I start with Barack Obama, let‘s—nobody gets off the hook here.  Barack Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and the whole Democratic Party, if they don‘t get that the issue is health care, not Senate rules, they are going to be beaten awfully badly this fall. 

They may not lose all their majorities, but they will lose their ability to function.  And in so doing, they will have sacrificed the ability to set this country right.  That isn‘t just bad politics, that‘s bad morality.

SCHULTZ:  Here‘s the deal—John Nichols of “The Nation,” with us tonight on THE ED SHOW.

Here‘s the deal that I believe.  The American people are out there saying these politicians are doing nothing for us.  The middle class, especially. 

OK.  Are you going to give up on health care or you going to work with the Republicans?

The Republicans are going to obstruct on jobs as well.  The Republicans aren‘t going to do anything on energy policy. 

What the Democrats have to realize is that now is the time.  We‘re in a critical time right now to get something done.  And to put something off on the back burner is only hurting themselves even further. 

Harry Reid is going to lose.  No matter how you cut it, he‘s going to lose. 

It is going to take a miraculous comeback for him to win in Nevada. 

So why doesn‘t he just say, let‘s go get it done?  To hell with the Republicans.  They‘ve obstructed—the people get that!  They understand that! 

What are the Democrats waiting for? 

NICHOLS:  Well, they are waiting for what you said, they need to grow.  But let‘s be blunt about this.

The Democratic Party has bad political leadership.  Right now, the signal that they are getting is that they should be a managerial party.  They should come in and manage the mess that the Republicans left. 

The fact is, nobody in America, not liberals and not Tea Party conservatives, want that mess to be managed.  They want it to be cleaned up. 

They may have different ideas about how to do it, but they want somebody stepping in to act.  And as long as this White House and too many people in this Congress decide to manage the mess rather than to address it, they are playing with fire. 

Al Franken was right. 

SCHULTZ:  Yes, he was.

NICHOLS:  The political team in the White House is blowing it.  They are blowing it badly. 

SCHULTZ:  And Debbie Wasserman Schultz, congresswoman from Florida, said that they could lose up to 25 seats in the House. 

Do you think that‘s an accurate number?

NICHOLS:  Yes.  I‘ve charted it, Ed.

You know, the fact of the matter is that bad auto bailout—it was a badly structured auto bailout—is going to see the closing of roughly two dozen auto plants across America.  Many of those plants are in upper Midwest districts where working people took a chance on Barack Obama.  They believed in him. 

The fact is, if these plants keep closing, we‘re going to lose a lot of seats that voted for Obama, not just in the South.

SCHULTZ:  All right.  Just one last thing.

Correct me if I‘m wrong, and maybe I‘m wrong, but in today‘s political environment, if you‘re not willing to run over somebody, then you don‘t deserve to be in the majority.  Because that‘s what it takes in American politics to get something done. 

It‘s not just about working across the other aisle.  It‘s about power.  It‘s about having the ability to do something, being in a position to do something. 

And I‘ll tell you, John, the Democrats really run the risk of setting themselves back for several election cycles to rekindle the confidence in that party if they don‘t strike while the iron is hot.  The American people are with them, but they‘ve got to move on this stuff and stop waiting for the obstructionists. 

NICHOLS:  Ed, there‘s only one party of change at a time.  It‘s either going to be the Democrats or the Republicans.

Some of us might like to see more parties, but the bottom line is, we‘ve got two of them.  Right now, the Republicans, by basically—without doing anything, have established themselves as the party of change. 

SCHULTZ:  Yes. 

NICHOLS:  If Democrats don‘t seize that back and stop being managers and start being leaders, then they are going to suffer.  And you know what the fact of the matter is?  The American people aren‘t going to feel sorry for them for a long time. 

SCHULTZ:  Yes.  All right.  Two redheads that know how to shovel snow, John Nichols from Wisconsin and Ed from Minnesota. 

NICHOLS:  You‘re a good man, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  Good to have you on, John. 

NICHOLS:  All right, brother.

SCHULTZ:  We‘ve got to tell—we‘ve got to keep the feet to the fire, no doubt.

Coming up, the unemployment rate dropped under 10 percent as the Dow went on a roller-coaster ride around the 10,000 mark.  I‘ll ask a leading economist what it all means for you next. 

Plus, the Tea Party nuts have invaded Nashville to plug down mega-bucks just to hear Sarah “Barracuda.” 

We‘ll bring you the latest from the three-ring circus at the bottom of the hour. 

And, of course, “The Beckster.”  He is double-parked in psycho zone.

And “Daily Show” co-creator Lizz Winstead joining us tonight.  It‘s Friday; it‘s “Club Ed.”

You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. 

The U.S. unemployment rate fell unexpectedly in January to 9.7 percent.  That‘s down from 10 percent in December.  Unemployment is now at its lowest level since August, but last month we still managed to lose over 20,000 jobs, and overall this recession has cost 8.5 million jobs to our economy. 

For more, let‘s turn now to Peter Morici.  He is a professor at the University of Maryland. 

Professor, did we get a mixed bag today?  Is that how you read this? 

PETER MORICI, ECONOMICS PROFESSOR:  Yes.  There are still clouds in the sky, but, you know, I saw some rays of sunshine that gave me some hope. 

We had manufacturing jobs for the first time in a very long time.  And retailing, Ed, in some jobs. 

Now, one month is not a trend.  You know, with unemployment, we need to get this thing completely turned around by bringing back some of those outsourced jobs and exporting more, as the president would like to us do. 

SCHULTZ:  What would you do right now to keep this trend going.  9.7, is it unrealistic to think that maybe a month from now we‘re looking at 9.5 or 9 percent?  What has to happen? 

MORICI:  The thing that I want to look at most is not so much the unemployment rate, because it varies so much on the basis of who chooses to look for a job as the jobless count, and whether we start actually adding jobs.  And what I would want to do is, the president is now starting to raise the volume on the trade with China and the value of the yan.  That‘s very critical, we get them to revalue their yan. 

Then with regard to a jobs bill, let‘s face it, we‘re not going to spend new money.  We‘re going to be talking about carving and spending, taking it from someplace else in the budget. 

We want to see to it that we really do come up with infrastructure projects that employee people that work right here in the United States, use American steel and plastics and so forth and concrete.  And that can be done quickly, like renovation projects in our nation‘s schools, libraries, things of that nature. 

SCHULTZ:  Professor, what about the statistics that is out there that people are unemployed now for a longer period of time, that it‘s becoming tougher for them to get back and recycle back into the economy? 

What does that signal to us? 

MORICI:  That signals fundamental structural change in the economy because of the huge trade deficit we‘ve had.  People have lost their jobs.  A lot of the people you talk to so often in the Midwest, in manufacturing, to imports from China and elsewhere in Asia that are unfairly traded in this market, that benefit from subsidies and things of that nature, we need to get that turned around.  In addition, a lot of middle-aged white collar workers, when they lose their job, you know, they are recently replaced by my new MBAs because their experience in the firm they‘re in doesn‘t necessarily carry over so well into another industry. 

SCHULTZ:  And these numbers, how accurate is this survey?  You‘ve got 9.7.  That comes from a household survey, but that doesn‘t feel very good to the 20,000 people that lost their job, which is a business survey. 

So there is somewhat of an inexact science in all of this, isn‘t there? 

MORICI:  The jobs count, they basically survey employers one day in the month—how many people are you paying payroll tax?  That‘s a pretty good number, but, still, it gets revised by a million every year, you know, whereas the jobless number is a household survey. 

They call up homes and they say, are you working?  But if you worked just one hour this week, they count you as employed. 

And a lot of the people that got counted as employed and caused the unemployment rate to go down, were newly self-employed people.  Hundreds and thousands of people who can‘t find a job, so they start selling some kind of service from their home.  They are hardly really employed. 

There‘s still a great deal of pain out there.  This is no time for foot-dragging by the Republicans or the Democrats.  If they are going to have a jobs bill, they better get busy and they better make it one that has traction immediately. 

And the president and Mr. Geithner have to finally get tough with China.  We export only $88 billion a year to China.  China exports $330 billion to the United States.  We can‘t afford that kind of imbalance if we‘re going to put America back to work. 

SCHULTZ:  That is what it‘s all about, the trade deficit and the trade deals with foreign countries. 

Professor, good to have you on tonight.  Thanks so much. 

MORICI:  We‘ll see you again, Ed.  My pleasure. 

SCHULTZ:  You bet.

Peter Morici from the University of Maryland Smith School of Business.

And some other good news is you‘ve got 11,000 manufacturing jobs that were startups in January.  You‘ve got Ford and you‘ve got GM showing some positive numbers for the month of January.  So I think it is turning.  Some positive stuff out there. 

Coming up, The Beckster‘s babble about Toyota sends him into the zone faster than a speeding GM vehicle. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  And it‘s Friday night.  A special one tonight—“Psycho Talk.”  

Hey, it looks like “The Beckster” is positioning himself for a leadership spot in the Tea Party.

Today, on his radio show, Glenn injected his big government fear-mongering into the Toyota recall story. 

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

GLENN BECK, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  Is the U.S. bullying Toyota to recall all of their cars only to help government motors?  I think that‘s a possibility. 

(END AUDIO CLIP)

(LAUGHTER)

SCHULTZ:  That kind of conspiracy theory, that just feeds the Tea Partiers, doesn‘t it?  Those wingnuts will seize on any morsel of information no matter how crazy, and they just run with it.

And they are one issue, folks.  Have you noticed that?

Let‘s see—they don‘t want government interference, and they will buy into just any allegation that plays into their single-theory-minded narrative.  Right?

They completely ignore the fact that their schools go to public school, that fire and police departments take care of them, that they have clean running water, all thanks to the federal government, because folks like Glenn Beck blind them with these false patriotism thoughts.

Glenn, General Motors had a fantastic month in January.  That is a great American story and comeback, thanks to the taxpayers.

If you were truly patriotic, you would be talking about that.  But instead, you‘re feeding the Tea Partiers with “Psycho Talk.”  

Coming up, Caribou Barbie and her first dude.  They are sipping high-dollar tea in Tennessee.  But troubles on the horizon.  An investigative report turns up e-mails that show that Todd did a whole lot more than just snowmobiling when she was governor. 

And now that the Vikings will be playing on Sunday, I can tell you what you should be doing during the big game.  I‘ll have that in the “Playbook.”

Plus, “Daily Show” co-creator Lizz Winstead here tonight to talk to us about the worst songs she‘s ever heard in her life.  It‘s hilarious.

You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.  Thanks for watching tonight.  America‘s wing nuts are descending on Nashville, Tennessee for the first ever Tea Party Convention.  Probably be the last.  To put in perspective just how crazy this thing is, Representatives Michele Bachmann and Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee backed out for ethical reasons.  This convention is to tea off the wall for Michele Bachmann. 

Of course, ethics aren‘t a huge concern for Sarah Palin, the convention‘s key-note speaker.  MSNBC.com and NBC News obtained e-mails between Palin‘s husband Todd and Alaska state officials.  The e-mails show the first dude did a lot more than ride snow mobiles and pump oil while his wife was governor. 

Joining me now with details is MSNBC.com editor Michael Brunker.  Mr.  Brunker, good to have you on tonight.  When I saw the number, 3,000 e-mails, I thought, that‘s an awful lot of e-mails to be sending to state employee, if you‘re not really involved in something.  What do you think these emails show? 

MICHAEL BRUNKER, EDITOR, MSNBC.COM:  The ones we were able to review, which is not the entirety of them—some of them were with held because of executive privilege and being part of the deliberative process of governing that goes on.  But the ones that we looked at showed he was a pretty active participant in the governing of Alaska.  He was kibbutzing on judicial choice in one case, was being regularly asked about appointments to state boards and agencies.  And often those emails weren‘t cc-ing his wife, the governor on the to line. 

SCHULTZ:  This is the email regarding the judicial appointment.  He says, “Hey Ivy, I‘m getting calls from Soledatna (ph) about the next judge appointment.  Is” name redacted “on the list?  I‘m getting calls from folks hoping he‘s not selected.  Let me know what‘s happening, so I can put to rest some of the rumors.  Thanks, Todd.” 

Does this indicate that this guy was so involved in the process, he was making decisions as to who was going to get appointed in the judiciary? 

BRUNKER:  Well, it‘s not really clear from that particular exchange.  He seems to be—that he was acting almost like a legislator might, kind of conveying the concerns of his constituents, if you will.  And we don‘t know—since the judge‘s name was redacted, we can‘t really tell whether that judge was reappointed or not. 

SCHULTZ:  What about the tanning beds?  How involved was Sarah Palin in maybe misusing state resources for personal and private gain? 

BRUNKER:  Well, the tanning bed is an interesting exchange.  It was an e-mail that went between her and some staffers.  And there wasn‘t much money involved.  It was really a fairly small expense to hook up this tanning bed.  But it was going to require a little bit of rewiring or something in the governor‘s mansion. 

And the concern on her part was that this is going to get out; the press is going to get it; it‘s going to make us look bad.  So she was really cautioning her staff, we don‘t want this to happen.  We need to kind of do what we can to keep it under wraps, if you will. 

So not a lot of money, but it shows she was kind of in a defensive crouch at that point, even while she was still pledging publicly transparency and the like. 

SCHULTZ:  And what about the use of the state airplane for her children to fly around in, and arranging schedules to make sure it coordinated so they would get free travel? 

BRUNKER:  Yes, there were a couple of exchanges involving that, of trying to figure out how they could justify paying the expenses of the children to fly with them to an event, for instance.  And some of those things were done after the fact, as they were trying to retrofit it, to say, well, isn‘t there something on this trip that we did that could qualify as official business, so therefore it would be justified in doing this? 

So, once again, not necessarily a serious, clear cut case of wrong doing, but it raises ethical concerns.  And some of those came out previously, when she was still serving, or right towards the end of her term. 

SCHULTZ:  Michael Brunker, good to have you with us tonight.  Thanks so much.  Folks, you can see those e-mails on MSNBC.com.

The emails add another layer of controversy to the Tea Party conventions.  These type of events are supposed to bring folks together.  But this one is fracturing the movement.  Part of the problem is money.  You have to shell out 550 dollars to get in.  And Palin is reportedly getting 100,000 dollars for her 45-minute address. 

But another issue is that the Tea Party movement is just a collection of people who are all focused on just one issue.  And it‘s not the same issue all the time.  They are pro gun, or anti-tax, or anti-abortion, Tenthers, Birthers, all of that.  It just goes on and on. 

They all want limited government.  But they can‘t tell you what that really means.  That‘s why this movement, I think, is losing steam.  Let‘s bring in radio talk show host and conservative Heidi Harris with us tonight.  Heidi, good to have you on here tonight.  You‘re in Las Vegas.  I didn‘t mean to call you Harry Reid. 

HEIDI HARRIS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  Please don‘t.  We‘re looking forward to getting rid of him in November.  But thanks, Ed.  Appreciate that. 

SCHULTZ:  All right, Heidi.  What do you—is this movement losing steam?  Are these people that are just looking to try and get in front of the camera?  Or do you think they got a legitimate effort here that could impact our government?  What do you think? 

HARRIS:  I think they have a legitimate effort going.  I‘ll tell you what, the Tea Party movement is coming to Searchlight, Nevada March 27nd.  That‘s, of course, as you know, Harry Reid‘s home town.  People from all over the country are going to be there.  It‘s going to be an incredible event.  Sarah Palin will be there.  Everybody is talking about.  Our radio station is going to be all over it.  It‘s going to be a huge event. 

I‘ll tell you what, it‘s not slowing down as much as some of you would to think so. 

SCHULTZ:  What do they stand for?  What do they want?  If you were to ask me what the Democratic platform is, I‘d say that, well, universal health care is part of the convention platform.  What do these people—what is their platform.  Everyone of them that I‘ve talked to, they have one or two issues, and it‘s scattered all over the political spectrum.  How would you reel it in? 

HARRIS:  Well, I think basically what they want is they want less government interference.  You kind of characterized it that way.  They are tired of being taxed.  They‘re tired of feeling like no one listens to them. 

By the way, they weren‘t thrilled by some of the things the Bush administration did.  They felt that a lot of the money spent during the Bush years were some of the things that ushered Obama in.  So we want to go back a step from all of that, left and right.  So it‘s—people are just fed up with not being listened to.  That‘s the biggest issue. 

SCHULTZ:  Heidi, one of the seminars down there today in Nashville was “President Obama‘s Connections to a Marxist/Socialist Leaders in South America.” 

HARRIS:  Yeah. 

SCHULTZ:  I mean, can you take these people seriously? 

HARRIS:  Well, what‘s wrong with someone saying that?  I don‘t know what they said at that particular speech.  All right?  I wasn‘t in on the seminar.  So who knows. 

SCHULTZ:  They don‘t believe that President Obama is the United States citizen.  Do you believe he‘s a United Citizen?

HARRIS:  I don‘t know if he is, Ed.  I know there—

SCHULTZ:  Wow. 

HARRIS:  I know people still want to see proof.  How do I know?  There are still people who say they have not seen a birth certificate of his that‘s legitimate proof that he‘s a citizen.  I don‘t know.  My guess is that he probably is.  I don‘t know, though.  There are people that probably think otherwise. 

SCHULTZ:  Do you think President Obama is a socialist? 

HARRIS:  Yeah, I mean, I do think that his policies tend to go in that direction.  Absolutely.  I know that you want to see a single payer and you‘re not happy even with the Senate bill, because it didn‘t go far enough on the left.  But ultimately that is socialism when you have government pay for all of that stuff.  Sure, absolutely. 

SCHULTZ:  So Medicare is socialism, right?

HARRIS:  Sure it is.  There are a lot of programs that we already have in place that I think are wrong for America.  Absolutely.  So it‘s not just Obama‘s plan. 

SCHULTZ:  But 94 percent of the American people who have Medicare, they like it. 

HARRIS:  Sure. 

SCHULTZ:  And the majority of Americans—and I‘m giving you facts.  The majority of Americans want a public option.  The majority of Americans actually want single payer.  So wouldn‘t you say that the Tea Partiers are out of the mainstream, and really somewhat fringe political players in the spectrum?  What do you think? 

HARRIS:  The majority of who?  Who are you talking to?  The majority of people I know, and many polls have shown the majority of Americans don‘t want a single payer system or any kind of government health care, which is one of the reasons that Scott Brown got elected, because he got money from all over the country, because Americans like me looked at this and said, oh, my gosh; let‘s at least put a speed bump in their plans.  And Scott Brown was a representation of that for all those who are against it. 

SCHULTZ:  That‘s not why Scott Brown got elected.  Scott Brown didn‘t get elected in Massachusetts.  He got elected because he‘s different and people are fed up with inaction in Washington.  Sixty eight percent of the people in Massachusetts want the public option. 

But it‘s interesting, you‘re a radio broadcaster with a good audience, and you‘re pretty much right with the Tea Partiers.  I want to know, are you in the mainstream? 

HARRIS:  Yes, absolutely.  I‘m in the mainstream.  Sure.  I think most American people do not want more government running their lives, because they are very concerned.  And one of the biggest issues with this health care plan was the fact that they promised us transparency, and then went into to smokey little rooms and did all this thing privately.  

SCHULTZ:  I don‘t disagree with that.  I don‘t disagree.  There were some deals that were cut.  But to think that the president is not a citizen and he‘s a socialist and that Medicare isn‘t working, that‘s pretty much out of the mainstream.  

HARRIS:  But you said—

SCHULTZ:  Go ahead.  I don‘t want to blow you over here.  I want you to finish your comment. 

HARRIS:  When you said that 94 percent of the people like Medicare—listen, if you gave me something free—I realize you pay into it.  People always want freebies.  You can always get the majority of the public—

SCHULTZ:  Heidi, Medicare is not free.  Medicare is not free.  People do pay for it. 

HARRIS:  I said that.  We pay into that.  I understand that.  But there are a lot of people who like government programs.  If you asked me if those were socialists, yes.  I don‘t think that is what America was founded on, those kind of programs. 

SCHULTZ:  Heidi, I‘m going to give you an invitation right here on MSNBC.  We go to some free health care clinics.  I will pay your way to go to a free health care clinic.  I want to have you on the next time I broadcast at a free health care clinic.  And I‘d like to you see some of the people in this country that are being deprived, that have a preexisting condition.  And I want you to talk to them, because I‘d like them to tell you the story of what‘s really happening out there in America. 

We‘ll arrange it.  I‘d like to convert you to thinking that health care reform in this country is a must for the citizens of this country.  I appreciate your time. 

HARRIS:  I will take you up on that.  But you act as if I‘ve never talked to somebody that hasn‘t been in that situation, because I have. 

SCHULTZ:  No offense, but you do kind of sound like it.  Heidi, we‘ll visit again.  Thank you.  I‘ve got to run here.

Our panel coming up now is nationally syndicated radio talk show host Bill Press and also Ernest Istook, distinguished fellow at the Heritage Foundation, and former Republican congressman. 

Bill, I‘ll start with you tonight.  The Tea Party—you just heard a Tea Partier broadcaster say that she‘s in the mainstream.  Do you go along with that? 

BILL PRESS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  What I want to know is why isn‘t Heidi in Nashville, Ed.  What‘s going on?  No.  Look—

SCHULTZ:  She didn‘t want to pay the 500 dollars. 

PRESS:  The 549 bucks for the convention, not to count the airfare and the hotel.  The first sign that I think someone is on the extreme fringe is they think they‘re in the mainstream.  Ed, look, this is collection of misfits, I‘m afraid.  Some of them may be sincere.  They‘re aimless.  They‘re misguided.  They don‘t know what they stand for. 

I think they‘re letting themselves be too easily exploited by the extreme right wing of the Republican party.  Look at the speakers.  The first speaker was Tom Tancredo, for god‘s sake, then Sarah Palin, Roy Moore from Alabama, Angela McGlowen (ph) from Fox News.  They are letting themselves be lulled into thinking that the Republican party is with them. 

The Republican party gave this country the biggest budgets, the biggest deficit, the biggest government, the biggest workforce in history, when Ernest was in Congress. 

SCHULTZ:  Ernest Istook, I‘ll let you respond to that.  I want to follow up with another question.

ERNEST ISTOOK, FMR. CONGRESSMAN:  I‘ll tell you something, the more that you and Bill Press and other people call the Tea Party movement names, the more they‘re going to turn out at the polls, the more energized—you are feeding them with that kind of talk. 

SCHULTZ:  Look at the videotape of their signs.  Come on now.  Ernie

--

ISTOOK:  Have you ever seen the signs of the left? 

SCHULTZ:  Not like this, I haven‘t. 

ISTOOK:  Have you seen the loonies on the left? 

SCHULTZ:  So these are loonies on the right?  Is that what you‘re saying? 

ISTOOK:  No.  I‘m saying that you have people that put some outrageous signs up on both sides of the political spectrum.   

SCHULTZ:  They don‘t hold a convention.

(CROSS TALK)

SCHULTZ:  Here‘s the deal.  You have to admit—

(CROSS TALK)  

ISTOOK:  Obama‘s one year deficit surpasses eight years of Bush deficits. 

SCHULTZ:  This is a wing of the Republican party; would you admit that?

ISTOOK:  I don‘t think it‘s just the Republican party.  For example, I was was talking to somebody—I‘m up here in Boston—talking to somebody who was an Obama supporter.  OK?  Right now, his attitude is throw out everybody who is an incumbent in office.  It‘s not Republican.  It‘s not Democrat.  

SCHULTZ:  I don‘t disagree with that.  I think there‘s a real strong portion of our population that really, they don‘t like politicians at all right now, because everything has been so ineffective.  But these folks are baseless when it comes to some of the accusations that they make on the president of the United States.  It all sprung from the right wing.  You know that.

ISTOOK:  You‘re picking a small part of what they have to say. 

PRESS:  The money, too, is coming from the big corporations, from Dick Armey and the Peoples Works, right into the Tea Party movement, and they are letting themselves be used that way.  They don‘t even know what is going on. 

ISTOOK:  Have you seen how much Wall Street money goes to Barack Obama and the Democrats in Congress? 

ISTOOK:  Well, if you want to get the money out of politics, fine. 

Let‘s start with the Supreme Court.

(CROSS TALK)

SCHULTZ:  Gentlemen, we‘re having to much fun.  We will continue tomorrow night.  

ISTOOK:  These people are dedicated to reducing the size of government.  More power to them. 

SCHULTZ:  The president is committed to reducing it, too.  A quick programming note for you, folks: be sure to tune in to MSNBC tomorrow night and watch my special coverage of Sarah Palin‘s keynote speech.  Our coverage starts at 9:00 pm.

Coming up, even if you‘re not into football, there are some controversial ads set to air at the Super Bowl.  I‘ll give you a sneak peek of a few that will definitely have you talking on Monday morning at the water cooler.  That‘s next in the playbook.  Stay with us. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  In my playbook tonight, I was really interested in the Super Bowl until the Vikings got some real bad officiating.  So they‘re not in it.  So instead of doing a preview of the game tonight, because my team‘s not in there, we‘re going to take a sneak preview of some of the commercials that are going to be airing during the big game. 

Joining me now is Matt Miller, president and CEO of the Association of Independent Commercial Producers.  Mr. Miller, good to have you with us tonight. 

MATT MILLER, ASSOCIATION OF INDEPENDENT COMMERCIAL PRODUCERS:  Great to be here, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  The commercials, more expensive this year or less expensive?  How‘s the economy.

MILLER:  They are about the same.  They are ranging between 2.5 and three million.  Last year, they averaged at about 2.8.  So some got hit a little harder, some a little softer, depending on when they came in to the buy. 

SCHULTZ:  Now obviously the Super Bowl ads, they put a big investment into producing them.  This is the Snickers ad with Betty White.  I want your response to this.  Here it is. 

How important is it for these ads to be funny? 

MILLER:  It‘s really important.  Think about the way people watch the Super Bowl.  You watch it in a large group.  The sight gag and something that‘s easy to digest as far as humor goes a long way in that size group.  Look, you‘ve got an ad right there with Betty White playing football with a bunch of young guys.  Can‘t get funnier than that, right? 

SCHULTZ:  No Pepsi ad this year.  Why not? 

MILLER:  First time in 23 years Pepsi isn‘t in there.  They‘ve taken on a new campaign with a new ad agency, where it‘s all some sort of social responsibility.  And they felt that it wasn‘t in line with what their message was and where their marketing was going. 

But it left the door open for Coke to come in with three different ads this year.  The last few ads, Coke and Pepsi have been in and battled it out.  But now it‘s Coke‘s turf. 

SCHULTZ:  And this Super Bowl is not without controversy, with Focus on Family and a football star from the University of Florida, Tim Tebo, and his mother being involved.  How do you think that‘s going to play out? 

MILLER:  Well, you know, it‘s going to be interesting to see.  The Super Bowl has tended to veer away from anything that deals with advocacy and a controversial issue.  CBS itself, back in 2004, rejected an ad for a church that was welcoming gays into their congregation.  Even this year, CBS rejected a male gay dating service.  So people are feeling like it‘s not really across the board that they‘re accepting advocacy ads, and just being on the right side.  

SCHULTZ:  All of a sudden, it‘s not about the game anymore. 

MILLER:  It‘s not.  

SCHULTZ:  The Dove Soap.  I‘ve got to show this and your response. 

Here it is. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(SINGING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  What do you think? 

MILLER:  Well, you know, Dove did some interesting things with sort of the aging with women years ago.  And they did that on the Super Bowl, which was kind of interesting.  This is men, so it‘s a little more light-hearted.  It‘s a coming of age type thing.  It‘s a get real.  We‘ve seen statistics saying that, in recent years, men use grooming products more than ever before.  So they are hitting that market and they‘re doing it in a fun way. 

SCHULTZ:  Mr. Miller, good to have you with us tonight.  Thanks so much.  

MILLER:  Great to be here, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  Hopefully it‘s going to be a good game.  Coming up, “Daily Show” co-creator Lizz Winstead will play us an ode to Sarah Palin that will make your dogs howl, and your stomachs turn.  That‘s next on “Club Ed.”  Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  Welcome back.  It‘s Friday, time for Club Ed, with Lizz Winstead, co-creator of “The Daily Show” and the brains behind “Wake Up World,” which you can watch at www.WakeUpWorld.com.  Hi, Lizz. 

LIZZ WINSTEAD, WWW.WAKEUPWORLD.COM:  Hi, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  We‘ve got Sarah Palin now.  She‘s got the big speech tomorrow night down in Nashville.  This song—is this—she‘s got a song that‘s been dedicated to her.  Tell us about that. 

WINSTEAD:  Apparently some country singer, shocking enough, at a Tea Party convention, has written a song all about Sarah Palin.  And through all of the crud, which I hope we get to talk about, like Tom Tancredo‘s crazy racism, this song will be prominently featured.  I think that we can have a listen.  Can we? 

SCHULTZ:  Yes. 

WINSTEAD:  Thank you.

(SINGING) 

SCHULTZ:  Real change, the kind you won‘t forget.  All right, Liz, where does that end up on the Casey Casan (ph) charts? 

WINSTEAD:  Somewhere below Tea Bagging, I think, Ed.  I don‘t really understand this whole convention anyway.  It‘s never good when your political sort of rallying involves a costume.  If you‘ve seen these people showing up in these sort of half baked Revolutionary War costumes, they look like a cross between someone who works at Long John Silver and a rejected Village People character.  They‘re ridiculous, these people.

You know, you never ask Tom Tancredo anywhere.  You do.  I don‘t know why.  I still love you.  But if Tom Tancredo shows up anywhere, you simply say, here‘s your ass-hat, what‘s your hurry.  You get rid of the guy. 

I can count on one hand the number of times he hasn‘t said something racist.  He‘s the second biggest draw that they‘ve got?  Please. 

SCHULTZ:  All right.  What is this?  Harry Reid being kind of lame with the Democrats?  He can‘t lead, can he? 

WINSTEAD:  Kind of lame?  Kind of lame?  He couldn‘t rally a whip salesman to an S&M convention.  He is absolutely checked out.  He‘s done.  If Harry Reid was the protagonist in “the Lord of the Rings,” the trilogy would become a leaflet.  It would be like here come the orcs, and Harry saying, just give them the ring.

SCHULTZ:  All right, Super Bowl, Saints/Colts, what do you think? 

WINSTEAD:  I‘m hoping for the Saints, just because they beat the Vikings and they deserve it.  And Harris Lacewell will kill me if I don‘t.  So I‘m going with the Saints.  But really, I‘m kind of annoyed that it‘s just one more opportunity to cut away to one of those Kardashians.  That‘s what‘s going to happen.  It‘s going to be football, Kardashian.  Football, Kardashian. 

SCHULTZ:  I thought you‘d be rooting for them because there‘s a Bush on the roster, Reggie Bush. 

WINSTEAD:  Exactly, the Kardashian boyfriend. 

SCHULTZ:  All right.  There you go. 

WINSTEAD:  Thanks, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  Tonight in our text survey, I asked you, do you think the Democrats have shown enough guts this year?  Five percent say yes; 95 percent no. 

That‘s “THE ED SHOW.”  I‘m ed Schultz.  Be sure to tune in tomorrow night to MSNBC, 9:00 eastern, special coverage of Sarah Palin‘s speech at the Tea Party convention.  You won‘t want to miss it.  “HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews is next. 

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

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