updated 2/24/2010 11:17:15 AM ET 2010-02-24T16:17:15

Guests: James Clyburn, Debbie Stabenow, Dennis Kucinich, Sen. Jeanne

Shaheen, Joan Walsh, Joe Madison, Karen Hanretty, Rep. Bruce Braley, Roy

ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Americans, and welcome to "The

Ed Show" tonight from Minneapolis. These stories are hitting my hot button

tonight. It's amazing, Dick Cheney, five heart attacks, five deferments.

I'll have more on that later in the show.

And people are just flat-out fed up with Washington. They want change

by any means necessary including reconciliation. More on that in just a


And early retirement could be the key to jump-starting this economy?

Congressman Dennis Kucinich is going to be here to talk about his bold

plan, a new plan to create jobs in our economy.

Plus, how the Republicans are making the Toyota investigation all

about socialism. Have we heard that before? They truly have no shame.

I'll explain all of that in my "Playbook" tonight.

But first, the story that should have every American fired up is the

functioning or should I say the nonfunctioning of the United States Senate.

They're broken. One hundred people have held this country hostage for long

enough. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the House of Representatives, they

have passed-here's the number, over 290 bills that are stuck in some

drawer over on the Senate side not being acted on. The stalled bills,

let's see, they include some pretty major stuff like health care reform,

climate change, food safety and the Wall Street reform and consumer

protection act. Now these are the very changes that the 64 million people

who came out to vote for Barack Obama, these are the changes that they were

counting on. Vice President Joe Biden said it himself.



is broken. I don't ever recall a time in my career where to get anything

done, you needed a supermajority, 60 out of 100 senators. I've never seen

it this dysfunctional.


SCHULTZ: Well, the American people agree. A recent CNN/Opinion

Research poll shows that 86 percent of the people think that our system of

government is broken. Average Americans don't understand why 59 Democrats

can't do anything to make their lives better for the American people.

Wall Street got $700 billion of taxpayer money overnight because they

were too big to fail. You know what you are, folks? You know what we are?

We're just too small. And sometimes I think that they don't care if you

and I fail. You need to be patient, though, while the mighty 100 make all

of the sausage that they have been talking about. These senators, keep in

mind, these senators, they get a paycheck every two weeks and that baby is


Millions of Americans don't even know what a paycheck looks like

anymore, millions of Americans. Americans want change by absolutely any

means necessary. And if you don't have a job, you can't be patient. If

you don't have health care, you can't afford to have four, five heart

attacks because you see, you would be a dead person. You would be out

there on your own. But, when shooter's bum ticker misses a beat, he can

get the best medical care on the face of the earth. Now you tell me where

the fairness is in that.

Don't get me wrong, I want Dick Cheney to stay above the grass for a

long time. He is the poster child now for health care in this country. I

just want to make sure that the government wasn't between shooter and his


The American people are fresh out of patience with the Senate. Day by

day, they are losing faith in the way this White House is responding to

problems and obscurities and obstructionists. We don't care about the cute

little rules of the Senate anymore. Use reconciliation. Get it done. Use

anything you possibly can.

That's why we voted for President Obama. We want to see this change

take place in Washington and the clock is ticking. President Obama, all

the pressure, I think, is on this president Thursday when he goes over and

talks in front of the television cameras for everybody to see on this

health care meeting. He's got to accomplish something. And I think the

president has to bring his "A" game. This is the last card on the table

when it comes to dealing with the Republicans. Mr. President you need to

start acting like the 44th president and stop acting the 101st senator.

Tell me what you think, folks. Here's the telephone survey number

tonight, the number to dial is 1-877-ed-msnbc. My question tonight is, do

you think the United States Senate is broken? Press 1 for yes. Press 2

for no. I'll bring you the results later on in the show.

Joining me off the top tonight, South Carolina Congressman James

Clyburn. He's the House majority whip. Congressman, great to have you

with us tonight. Late this afternoon, Senator Harry Reid told the

Republicans to stop crying about reconciliation. Now, when the American

people hear that, we get a sense that this might be a turning point. But

you guys over on the House side, have passed 290 bills they haven't acted

on in the Senate. How is this all shaken out? Jim, what do you think?

REP. JAMES CLYBURN (D), SOUTH CAROLINA: Well, I'm very glad to hear

Senator Reid make that statement. The fact of the matter is, I didn't hear

a word about reconciliation and how bad that is when George W. Bush passed

his tax cuts. Nobody discussed reconciliation back when President Bill

Clinton passed welfare reform. Reconciliation is a normal thing to do in

the Congress. It's just simply a majority vote. It is nothing out of the

ordinary. And why people keep acting as if they are someone extraordinary

is beyond me. So I'm very glad to hear Leader Rid tell them to check it.

SCHULTZ: OK, 290 bills. How in the world can the House get all of

that work done, but they can't get it done over on the Senate side? Is it

all the obstructionists or is that just tough to get things done in the

American governmental system these days?

CLYBURN: I would just see the chart, Ed, that I just took a look at,

the number of filibusters-the way filibusters have spiked since

President Obama has been in office and since the Senate has been in the

control of the Democrats. It has more than doubled its highest point when

the Republicans controlled.

So, I think the American people know that. The problem is, they

remember the filibusters of when somebody was forced stand on the floor and

be there irrespective of what nature may be calling. Today though, you've

got to get 60 votes even to bring the issue to the floor and then 60 votes

to sit the person up and then 60 votes to call it to a vote. This new

updated filibuster, people just don't quite understand it. But we've got

to shine a bright light on it.

And I want to say one other thing. Everybody's talking about jobs.

Look, if we pass health care reform, the studies indicate that over a 10-

year period, it will create 4 million new jobs. This is a big jobs bill

and people ought to start looking at it as such. It's a big deficit

reduction bill. And people ought to look at it as such. People keep

talking about whether or not it's insurance reform. It is much more than

that. And so I think that we ought to stop focusing on how many jobs will

be created and start focusing on how big the deficit reduction this bill

will have.

SCHULTZ: And one final point I want to make with you Congressman

Clyburn tonight is that the story confirmed that Dick Cheney of course has

had another heart attack. But isn't it true that the Senate Republicans

and those obstructionists as well over on the House side who are

Republicans against health care reform, aren't they actually voting against

for the American people the exact same health care that Dick Cheney has and

could the Democrats not make the case that if he didn't have health care,

he would be a dead man tonight?

CLYBURN: Well you know, that's exactly we have been all talking

about. This bill, when you look at it, it provides the choices for the

American people that we as members of Congress had today. Maybe different

insurance companies, but it's a big choice. That's what this health

insurance exchange is all about, it is putting all of these insurance

companies in one big market basket and the American people being able to

make choices from that basket.

SCHULTZ: Congressman Clyburn, always a pleasure, great to have you

with us tonight. And if you can pass another 290 bills, we would

appreciate it.

CLYBURN: Thank you so much. Thanks for having me.

SCHULTZ: Good to have you with us. Look, I know that the Senate is

this deliberative body and that's the way the founding fathers set it up

and legislation moves slow. They cogitate, cogitate, and they do it

differently from the House side. But the Senate, I mean, this idea of

filibuster after filibuster is absolutely nuts. The Republicans are

abusing the filibuster to hijack the Democrats and the president's agenda

to slow everything up.

Just look at these numbers, 70 percent of major legislation of the

last Congress was filibuster. In the 1960s, it was 8 percent. The

filibuster should be a weapon of last resort. But the Republicans are

using it to make a mockery of our governmental system. The American people

voted to put the Democrats in charge. Republicans are using the filibuster

clearly to stop the people's will of getting anything done in this country.

For more on that, let's bring in Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow.

Senator, good to have you on. I want your reaction tonight to Harry Reid's

comment that the Republicans need to stop crying about reconciliation. Is

it time to roll up the sleeves and get after it, senator?

SEN. DEBBIE STABENOW (D), MICHIGAN: There's no question about it. I

was so glad that Senator Reid said what he said. And you know, Ed, you are

absolutely right. As you and I have talked about before, it's actually 111

times in this Congress, more than at any other time, double any other time

in our history that they have blocked moving forward to solve problems or

to stall the clock.

And the bottom line is on the 290 bills that you're talking about from

the House, what we want is a simple up or down vote. We want a vote. Stop

blocking things with filibuster. Give us an up or down vote. People can

vote no if they are against the idea. But they don't have the right to

block us from moving forward and solving problems and creating jobs.

SCHULTZ: All right, senator, now if Senator Reid is telling the

Republicans to stop crying about reconciliation, doesn't that set the table

for more senators to sign on to this letter from Senator Bennett that you

have signed on to move forward with the public option, an up or down vote

through reconciliation?

And it would seem to me that the White House is waiting for the grass

roots to do their jobs so they will have political cover saying this is

what the people want. And now you've got half the Senate Democrats signing

on to this letter. What are we going to see in the coming days? Does this

still have a chance?

STABENOW: I think it does have a chance, but let me say two things,

Ed. You know I support the public option as a way to create competition to

bring costs down for families. And look at what we've seen in double digit

increases with the insurance companies recently. And there's no reason

that won't continue.

So I strongly support the public option. I also strongly support the

other provisions in the bill. And what we need is the message being sent

that we need to pass health insurance reform. The changes that the

president is talking about to hold the companies accountable, even more

accountable than what we've done in the Senate bill, making the Senate bill

more affordable which is something that I have championed as you know,

since the beginning for middle-class families and small businesses. So we

need, yes, we need to do everything possible to pass the public option.

But we also need the bill.

SCHUTZ: Are you comfortable with what the president put on the table

yesterday? And is there, I guess you could say, enough there to move it

forward? And would you go for reconciliation at this point with what he put

on the table yesterday?

STABENOW: Absolutely. Now again, I would like to see a public

option. But absolutely, and reconciliation only means we're not going to

let them block an up or down vote. That's what we want. Let the majority


SCHULTZ: Don't you think the Democrats run the risk, if they don't go

down the road of reconciliation, that they run the risk of losing a lot of

credibility with the people that expect your party to govern?

STABENOW: Well here's what I know, Ed, and that is we want to govern

and get things done and nobody's more frustrated than we are. Nobody's

more frustrated than I am. Highest unemployment in the country, I want us

focused on jobs and frankly health insurance reform is about jobs. It's

about saving jobs. And so, you know, we are-we are ready to move

forward. We hold our hand to work with whoever wants to work with us. We

are glad we have five Republicans join us last night, but the reality is,

we want to vote and have a majority vote on the things that matter to

people and move this country forward.

SCHULTZ: Senator, great to have you with us tonight, I appreciate

your time on "The Ed Show." Thanks so much.

STABENOW: Thanks, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Now the Senate just passed Harry Reid's bill but my next

guest has an idea that would put a million people to work right now and it

could mean an early retirement for a million more. Congressman Dennis

Kucinich is here next.

Plus, 23 senators have signed on to a push for the public option.

Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire will be here to tell us why she put

her name on the dotted line. And I'll have more on Dick Cheney's top-

shelf, absolutely top-shelf medical care, and a great "Psycho Talk" tonight

with John Boehner. You're watching "The Ed Show" on MSNBC. Stay with us.


SCHULTZ: Congressman Dennis Kucinich of Ohio has a limited time offer

that could help you get you a job or give you a chance to retire early.

That's change I can believe in. Joining me next is the congressman from

Ohio. You're watching "The Ed Show" on MSNBC. Stay with us.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to "The Ed Show." President Obama has said job

creation is the number one priority and the Senate is on a track to pass a

$15 billion jobs bill this week. But unions say it's just not good enough.

Now, Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich has his own $15 billion jobs plan

that he says will create a lot of jobs in the country. He wants to

encourage older workers to retire sooner by temporarily lowering the age at

which people qualify for Social Security. To tell us all about this

proposal, let's bring in the Ohio congressman, Congressman Dennis Kucinich.

Great to have you with us, Dennis. This is very intriguing. You want to

lower the eligibility of Social Security. Tell us how this is all going to

work and how you think this will create jobs.

REP. DENNIS KUCINICH (D), OHIO: Right. First of all, it's strictly

voluntary. If anyone wants to retire at age 60 under my plan, they would

be able to apply for Social Security retirement as though they were 62-

years-old. This is only for a six month period. We estimate that 1

million people would apply. That would create 1 million job openings and

mostly it would cause a move up in every company. Most companies already

are working at bare bones. So that answers the question about whether

companies would hire anyone. We believe that for $15 billion, we can

create a million job openings and take unemployment down from 15 million to

14 million. It's a step in the direction of trying to get people back to


SCHULTZ: And what about the money that would be needed to get to

these people from 60 and above, you would obviously be increasing the

obligation from the Social Security fund? Where does that money come from?

KUCINICH: No, the money would not come from Social Security to pay

for this. It would come from unused funds into TARP funds. I didn't vote

for TARP, but you know, the money is there, let's create some jobs with the

money instead of just giving it away to banks.

And the second part of it is that money in the Recovery Act, it would

take about $5 billion out of the Recovery Act, $10 billion out of the TARP,

$15 billion, create a million job openings. It will give people a chance

to take early retirement, start some movement in the job market. It's got

to be a step in the right direction. It's a small step, but I think it

could be an important step.

SCHULTZ: How do you figure for every person retiring it would create

a job? How do you know that companies just wouldn't not fill that position?

How do you calculate something like that?

KUCINICH: Well, here's the calculations. First of all, let's look at

how many people are taking retirement now at age 62 -- 70 percent of the

people are eligible to take retirement at 62 are taking it now. Why?

Because many people have just worked themselves out. They want to take a

break. Now if just get a fraction of those people, we calculated $4

million might be eligible to retire at age 60. If only 25 percent of them,

not 70, 25 percent take early retirement, they would create a million job

openings. Now you're right, the employer may not want to hire someone.

But the truth of the matter is, the people who are working in the senior

positions at these various companies are people who are doing necessary

work and if they leave, the job needs to be filled. That's our


SCHULTZ: You got House leadership with you on this?

KUCINICH: Well you know, I have talked to a number of leaders in the

House of Representatives and I hope they're giving it thoughtful

consideration. I've covered a lot of bases on this, I'll tell you that,


SCHULTZ: Congressman Dennis Kucinich, good to have you with us


KUCINICH: Thank you, Ed Schultz, appreciate it.

SCHULTZ: You bet, appreciate your time. And an update for you hockey

fans out there tonight, the Swiss have Belarus two to one in a shootout.

That means the United States Olympic hockey team will take on the Swiss

tomorrow night in the quarter finals.

Also coming up on "The Ed Show," we all know about the Republicans

don't like to read that much, but John Boehner might prove that the theory

is wrong next in "Psycho Talk." Stay with us.


SFHULTZ: Go OK, in "Psycho Talk" tonight, House Minority Leader John

Boehner is still pushing his half-baked objections to the Democrats health

care plan. You'll remember that last fall, Boehner got all bent out of

shape over the length of the health care bill on the House side.


REP. JOHN BOEHNER ®, MINORITY LEADER: The best way to get a sense

of what Speaker Pelosi's take over of health care looks like is to actually

look at it. Just shy of 2,000 pages, it runs more than 620 pages longer

than the government-run plan Hillary Clinton planned in 1993. This 1,990

pages of bureaucracy will centralize health care decision making in

Washington, D.C. 1,990 pages. Now tell me how we're going to fix our

health care system with 1,990 pages of bureaucracy.


SCHULTZ: Well, John, let's see now, you've had a holiday break.

You've had a snow break to get caught up on all of your reading, plus

President Obama, you know, he released just some cliff notes of his health

care plan yesterday. I mean, it's only 11 pages long. Now you ought to be

able to get through that and have enough time left to go hit the tanning


But Boehner is proving to be the Goldilocks of health care reform.

First, the House bill was too long. Then today, his spokesman slammed

Obama's plan for being too short. He said, quote, "The White House's plan

consists of an 11-page outline which has not been scored by the

Congressional Budget Office or posted online as legislative text. So they

want to reorganize one-sixth of the United States economy with a document

shorter than a comic book, and they're complaining they can't find our plan

on our Web site?"

Now clearly the only outcome that will be just right for John Boehner

is failure. His only objective is scoring a political victory.

Criticizing it for being too short just months before, after hollering that

it was just too long. That is "Psycho Talk."

Coming up, the president's health care plan doesn't have a public

option. But that's not stopping the grass roots from fighting and fighting

the good fight. New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen will be here to tell

us if it still has a chance.

Plus, the chairman of the populous caucus in the House took it to

Toyota today. The executives were talking on Capitol Hill. Iowa

Congressman Bruce Braley will tell us if he thinks they got the message.

Plus, we've got a lot more on Dick Cheney's fifth heart attack. How

does a guy keep surviving? It must be good health care. How come you can't

have that? You're watching "The Ed Show" on MSNBC. Stay with us.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Thanks for watching tonight.

Big day on Thursday. President Obama's going to go right to the American

television set, and right into the homes of Americans, and put it right to

the Republicans when it comes to health care.

The Republicans are going to have to make a choice here, in front of

the entire country. Do they want to cooperate? Do they want to work

together? Or do they want to say "no" to everything?

Meanwhile, Senate Democrats are getting ready for plan B, getting a

bill with a public option through reconciliation. Twenty three Democratic

senators have signed on to a plan that I think every Democratic senator

should sign on to. New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen is one of those

senators and she joins us tonight.

Senator, good to have you with us tonight. If you have got half the

Senate Democrats that have signed on to this, doesn't that send a message

to the White House that maybe they made a mistake in not putting it in the

president's plan? What do you think?

SEN. JEANNE SHAHEEN (D), NEW HAMPSHIRE: Well, these are preliminary

discussions. I think the summit on Thursday is an effort to try and bring

people together to go forward with a health care bill that we can get

through the Congress. And hopefully, it will include a public option. I

have supported from the very beginning because I think it provides more

competition in the health insurance markets, and that should help lower

costs for people. And that's, at the heart, one of the things that we got

to do with this health care legislation. We got to stabilize health

insurance costs for people.

SCHULTZ: No doubt about it. They're going through the roof. It's

the same story that we were talking about it a year ago. The White House

announced today that the president is going to be there from 10:00 in the

morning until 4:00 in the afternoon. He's going to be there for the whole

session. It's interesting the names of the Republican senators who are

going to be there: McConnell, Kyl, Alexander, Grassley, Enzi, McCain,

Coburn and Barrasso. These aren't anybody-any of these senators who

have ever really shown any willingness to cross over and work with the

president on health care reform. So what do you think is going to come out

of this group of senators on Thursday?

SHAHEEN: Well, look, it's another opportunity for the president to

make the case for why we need health care reform in this country. And you

have been talking about it all night tonight, and for the last year. We've

got to do something to help people with the cost of their health insurance.

We got to put in reforms that make sure that insurance companies can't deny

people health care because they have a preexisting condition, that can't

cut them off if they get a serious illness that's going to cost the

insurance company money.

We got to do something about prescription drugs for people on

Medicare. So-and we have got to, long term, help small businesses who

can't afford to cover their employees.

SCHULTZ: OK, all of these things-you bet. Senator, you're listing

all of the important things that have to be done. Are you ready to go to

reconciliation on all of these? Is Thursday the last card that the

Democrats should play before they move in favor of what the American people

want, and all of the polls are putting in that direction?

SHAHEEN: I think we need to get this done. It's important for people

to know that we're going to get health care reform done. I don't think we

should take any option off the table. I think we have got to move forward

in whatever way possible to make sure we get these reforms done, for middle

class families who are having trouble with costs for small businesses, for

our seniors. This is something that we need to get done.

SCHULTZ: Senator, good to have you with us tonight. And I appreciate

you signing that letter. It's for the American people.

SHAHEEN: It's important. It's a good reminder.

SCHULTZ: Well, I want to ask you finally, what's the political

downside-what's the political risk of signing a letter demanding an up

or down vote on the public option and reconciliation?

SHAHEEN: Well, I don't know if there's one.

SCHULTZ: There isn't.

SHAHEEN: This is something that I have been clear with the people of

New Hampshire that I support from the very beginning of this debate. I

think we need to be honest with people.

SCHULTZ: Thank you, senator. There is no risk. I appreciate your


Let's bring in our panel tonight. Joan Walsh is with us first

tonight, editor in chief of Salon.com. Joan, great to have you on. I want

you to put in perspective for us from I guess you could say working

Americans, would this be the last card that the Democrats should have to

play on Thursday? Maybe the last card the president should play in the

deck? I mean, is it time to fish or cut bait, what do you think?

JOAN WALSH, SALON.COM: Well, you know that I think it's been time to

fish or cut bait for a while, Ed. I know you feel the same way. We've

been very frustrated. But clearly Thursday should be the last opportunity

to let the Republicans offer ideas if they have any. Then I think it's

already pretty clear that they're going to have to go the reconciliation

route. I've been happy to hear the president sound open to that.

On the other hand, I think we're all disappointed that the public

option wasn't in his plans, and that Robert Gibbs today seemed to be poo-

pooing the efforts of Senator Shaheen and the others who have signed on to


So, there's still some frustration with the White House's level of

commitment, but I think we're getting close to an up or down vote on some

kind of bill.

SCHULTZ: Do you think that the White House has a defeatist attitude

when I comes to the public option? They just don't seem to want to fight

for it.

WALSH: You know, I don't really-I don't understand it. As you

said, the polls show that Americans support it. It does bring costs down

more than any of the existing bills do without it. I'm proud of our friend

Adam Green for standing up, for organizing this letter, and for blasting

the White House loser mentality.

And they keep moving the goal posts on progressives. It was, we like

the public option, but we sure don't have the 60 votes for it, kids. Now

it's, well-they're not even saying the like the public option, but there

aren't 50 votes for it. I think there might be 50. With Joe Biden,

there's almost certainly 50. But it would require some leadership on the

part of either the president or Harry Reid, and I'm not sure we're going to

see that leadership for the public option.

SCHULTZ: You know, the comment about loser mentality that came from

Adam Green, he's spot-on with that, in my opinion. The other thing, Joan -

- and I want your response to this-why is it that there seems to be some

hesitation on the part of the Democrats-and certainly we don't want

anybody to pass away? But Dick Cheney has had now five heart attacks, and

the Republicans are trying to deny the American people the exact same

health care that Dick Cheney has had. And we can make the argument that if

he didn't have it, he would be a dead man tonight.

WALSH: He very likely would be.

SCHULTZ: Why are the Democrats, in your opinion-maybe it's not

your opinion-why are they afraid to make the case to the American people

that this does affect people's lives? And the Democrats are trying to save

lives on this.

WALSH: You know, they have been trying, talking about the 44,000 --

estimated 44,000 people who die every year because they don't have health

insurance. I think perhaps going after Cheney would seem a little bit

ghoulish. I'm willing to do it. So are you. But they have more of a

sense of decorum.

But the bigger issue is these guys-they're mostly guys, some women

-- are entitled to Cadillac health insurance. They have the best of the

best, while they're debating and denying it to other Americans. So I liked

all along the calls to say, we're going to cut off your health insurance if

you can't come to some kind of an agreement. It's part of why people on

both sides, Ed, are so frustrated with Washington, because these people

seem to be completely insulated from the cost of inaction. Their health

care continues. Their paychecks are deposited. And life goes on for them.

It's lovely.

SCHULTZ: Joan Walsh, always a pleasure. Great to have your insight


Joining us now on our panel is Joe Madison, XM satellite radio talk

show host, one of the best in the country, and also Karen Hanretty,

Republican strategist. I'm going to say something that, Karen, I don't

think you're going to like. Hello, hello.

You know, look at this list of Republicans that is going to be at this

health care get-together, soiree, summit, whatever you want to call it, on

Thursday: McConnell, Kyl, Alexander, Grassley, Enzi, McCain, Coburn, and


May I be bold enough to point out: they are all rich. They're all

white. There are no women. And it's certainly not a diverse outfit that's

going to be supposedly sticking up for the American people in this big

conversation that's going to be televised on Thursday. What are your

expectations coming into Thursday's meeting, Karen, now that the president

has made it on record saying that he's going to be there from 10:00 am to

4:00 pm?

KAREN HANRETTY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Let me get this straight; you

have held the White House, the Senate and the House majority for over a

year, and now health care comes down to the failure of rich, white,

Republican men. This is absurd. Joan Walsh just talked about a failure of

leadership in the White House, a failure of leadership in Harry Reid.

SCHULTZ: I don't disagree.

HANRETTY: -- a failure in leadership of the Democratic party. You

guys need to put up or shut up. If you're going to do reconciliation, do


SCHULTZ: I agree with you there. It's time to get after it.

HANRETTY: Why go after Republicans?

SCHULTZ: Because the Republicans have said all along-you're asking

me why go after the Republicans. Because all year long, the Republicans

have refused to work with this president on anything. Earlier in this

program, we talked about the number of filibusters that have taken place.

It's like standard operating procedure, Karen.

HANRETTY: Then why didn't Obama hold this summit last Summer? Why

didn't he hold this summit last Fall? Why didn't he hold this summit last

December, before the end of the year? He's waited until the end of


February to hold a summit. This is his Hail Mary. You know nothing is

going to be accomplished. We have irreconcilable differences. I don't

think it's going to go to reconciliation.

SCHULTZ: Irreconcilable differences, this is like a divorce, Joe

Madison. That is Divorce Court.

HANRETTY: Actually, that's within your own party.

JOE MADISON, XM RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Let me play offense here for a

minute. President Obama, on Thursday, will have to convince three groups

of people. One, people who are one layoff away from losing their health

care. Two, the people, like in California, who watched their premiums

increase by 39 percent. And the third group-the third group will be

people who have no health insurance.

Now, if the republicans refuse to address those three groups of

people, I guarantee you that we'll have a reconciliation vote, and we will

have health care reform, and the Republicans will look like they have

looked. Whether they had the summit a month ago, a year ago, the message

has been the same. So, the president needs to go on offense, because there

are more in those three groups than Republicans could ever put together to

overturn this effort.

So, I think it's an offensive mood. That's a good one. And we'll see

what these-and of course, in one of those subsets of Republicans, they

don't have any choice but to send all white men. I mean, that's just the

way it goes.

SCHULTZ: Here's what I would like to see on Thursday: I would like to

see the Republicans stand up in this event and say that the American people

don't deserve the kind of health care that Dick Cheney has gotten in the

last 48 hours.

HANRETTY: Let's talk about it. If you had a heart attack and you

went to the emergency room, you would get health care, and the emergency

room can't deny you because you don't you have health insurance.

MADISON: OH, come on. Let's be real. This is what irritates me

about that.

HANRETTY: I like how you bring in Dick Cheney and old white men are

responsible for a failure of the Obama White House and Harry Reid to

successfully push through health care reform that Democrats can agree on.

I think Democrats have more irreconcilable differences.

MADISON: Excuse me. I'm sorry. Let's go back to the first point

about going to the emergency room. Of course you would go to the emergency

room. But you will not stay in that emergency room, and you certainly

won't get the kind of care that will be needed to sustain you through five

heart attacks.

HANRETTY: You think that the government is going to provide the level

of care that people like you, Ed and myself-



SCHULTZ: Karen, that's exactly the point that the Republicans are

against the very health care that Dick Cheney has gotten. He's on the

government plan.

HANRETTY: Guess what? On Thursday, you're going to have a summit and

Democrats and Obama and Reid can propose going to reconciliation and they

can provide this Cadillac health care to all Americans. Good luck, Ed.

SCHULTZ: All right.

HANRETTY: It won't happen.

SCHULTZ: All right, more and more people are thinking about going

back to the American-made car. Congressman Bruce Braley will tell us if he

thinks it's safe to get behind the wheel of Toyota. They were testifying

today. That's coming up in my playbook. You're watching THE ED SHOW on



SCHULTZ: In my playbook tonight, Toyota is under fire from Congress

for events leading up to the company's recent recalls of more than eight

million vehicles. The House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Oversight

and Investigation looking into the defects of certain Toyota models that

caused some cars to speed out of control.

In a hearing today. committee members attacked Toyota for chalking up

the problems up to floor mats and accelerator pedals, and ignoring the

possibility of bigger defects.


REP. BART STUPAK (D), MICHIGAN: Toyota all but ignored pleas from

consumers to examine sudden, unintended acceleration events.

REP. BRUCE BRALEY (D), IOWA: We have been looking for mechanical

failures that are a cheap, easy fix, and haven't done the type of rigorous

failure analysis to get to the heart of the problem.

REP. HENRY WAXMAN ®, CALIFORNIA: Toyota failed its customers and

the government neglected its responsibilities.


SCHULTZ: But the president of Toyota's US operations insisted that

the problem was not an electrical one.



problems exist in our electronic throttle systems in our vehicles. We have

been done extensive testing on this system and we have never found a

malfunction that has caused unintended acceleration.


SCHULTZ: Iowa Congressman Bruce Braley sits on the House Energy and

Commerce Committee and was at the hearing today. He joins us tonight on

THE ED SHOW. Congressman Braley, good to have you with us. Tell me, what

were your impressions of Jim Lentz, the USA Division of Toyota, the

president that represents Toyota in this country? What were your

impressions of his testimony today?

BRALEY: Well, I had several impressions, Ed. One of the things that

everybody knows is you can't fix a problem until you admit that you have a

problem. By starting his testimony discounting the possible impact of

their electronic throttle control system on these sudden, unanticipated

accelerations, he defied the information that the committee had collected,

which showed that many of these problems that had been reported have

nothing to do with a sticky accelerator or floor mats.

So that was disappointing. As the hearing progressed, he started to

acknowledge that there was more that Toyota could do, more that Toyota

would do.

He also gave some very compelling testimony, that actually caused him

to choke up, when he talked about losing his brother over 20 years ago in a

fatal auto accident. I reminded him that most of the decisions being made

about the recall of Toyota products are not being made here in North

America. They're being made in Japan. He needed to share that personal

story with the people who are making decisions in Japan about product

recalls, product defects, and product safety.

SCHULTZ: Congressman, I don't know if you're familiar with this

story, but there was an accident here in the Minneapolis area, and there

was a trial back in 2006 where Koua Fong Lee claimed that his brakes didn't

work. He ended up going 90 miles an hour on an off ramp. That was his

defense in court, that the breaks didn't work. Three people were killed.

He's behind bars. He's serving a prison sentence because of that. Doesn't

that make you wonder what's going on here, and doesn't this guy deserve to

have his case looked at again?

BRALEY: Anyone who was operating one of these vehicles where there's

an unexplained on whether or not the electronic acceleration problem is

related to a product defect needs to get answers to what is causing these

problems. There was a recent example in San Diego, Ed, where four people

were killed in a vehicle and the driver of the vehicle was a California

highway patrol officer. So these explanations about accelerators sticking

and floor mat problems don't make sense when you look at the facts on of

the accident.

SCHULTZ: All right. Here's some response from the Republicans from

today's hearings, hitting the Democrats in all of this, as far as the

bailout was concerned for American car makers.


REP. MICHAEL BURGESS ®, TEXAS: This government, through the

Troubled Asset Relief Program, has given 64 billion dollars to prop up

General Motors and Chrysler. This is an inherent conflict of interest.

This is why we need to get out of the business of bailing out business.

REP. PHIL GINGREY ®, GEORGIA: Some have expressed concern with the

possibility that since the federal government now has a vested interest in

some of our domestic auto manufacturers, it may have some incentive to

highlight potential flaws with competing manufacturers. While I hope and I

believe this is not the case, just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean

somebody isn't out to get me.


SCHULTZ: Congressman Braley, what's your response to all of that?

BRALEY: Hogwash. That's what we would say in Iowa. These claims are

bogus and ridiculous, Ed. I started my remarks at the hearing by reminding

everybody that I'm an equal opportunity consumer safety advocate. I don't

care if it's General Motors, Chrysler, Toyota, we cannot allow defective

products to kill and severely injured Americans. That's why getting to the

root cause of the problem is the most important thing. That's not a

Democratic or Republican issue. That's an American issue.

SCHULTZ: Congressman, I would like you to look into that Lee case,

because I think there's real merit. We know now that the brakes don't

work. That was his defense. He's behind bars because he was driving a car

where the brakes didn't work. I just think this is affecting a lot of

Americans and these hearings have got to undercover the truth. I

appreciate your time. I'm short on it tonight. I appreciate you being

with us, congressman.

Dick Cheney just survived a heart attack. Just survived heart attack

number five. I want to know if he's ready to let Americans have access to

the same kind of care he received? That's next on THE ED SHOW. Stay with



SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Thanks for watching tonight.

Final segment, Dick Cheney's going to be released from a hospital in a day

or two, after suffering a minor heart attack. I wish the former vice

president a speedy recovery, because he's now the poster child for health

care in this country.

Americans would love to have the same health care coverage that Dick

Cheney has. Joining me now for all of that is Roy Sekoff, founding editor

of the "Huffington Post." I mean, five deferments and five heart attacks.

That's a hell of a life, isn't it, Roy?

ROY SEKOFF, "THE HUFFINGTON POST": You nailed it, Ed. He has now

matched the deferments as he had with the heart attacks. As you say, the

average American-if Dick Cheney was Joe Schmoe, he would have lost his

insurance a long time ago. He would have lost his house. He would have

lost his job. He would have lost his car. He would have lost his credit

cards. Because we know that 50 percent of all bankruptcies are the result

of a medical emergency like this.

Could you imagine Cheney, if he was an average guy, trying to get

insurance? I'm 69. Can you imagine that phone call? I have had five

heart attacks. I have had quadruple bypass, two angioplasties, and I have

had a defibrillator stuck in. Hello? Hello? Not going to happen.

SCHULTZ: Roy, I think the Democrats should use Dick Cheney as the

example as to what the Republicans have been voting against all along.

This is the kind of health care Americans could have if we went with

President Obama's plan.

Great to have you with us tonight. I'm short on time. As time flies

when we're having fun on talk television. Thanks, Roy.


SCHULTZ: Tonight, in our telephone survey, I asked you, do you think

the United States Senate is broken? Sixty three percent of you said yes;

37 percent said no. Thirty seven percent of the people who watched this

program still have the hope that it's all going to work out.

That's THE ED SHOW. I'm Ed Schultz. "HARDBALL" with Chris Matthews

starts right now. More Olympic coverage tomorrow, Thursday and Friday.

I'll be back with you on Monday from New York. Have a great one. Chris

Matthews is next.




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