Guests: Kelly O‘Donnell, Joan Walsh, Barry Lynn, Rep. John Boccieri, Rep. Alan Grayson, A.B. Stoddard, Michael Medved, Rep. Gary Peters, Robert Greenwald, Lizz Winstead
ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans, and welcome to THE ED SHOW tonight from New York.
These stories are hitting my hot buttons tonight.
Yes, they will. Today, three more Democrats change their votes from “no” to “yes.” I‘ll talk to one of them, Congressman John Boccieri of Ohio, coming up later in the program.
Here is one for all the Republicans who claim we can‘t afford health care reform. Today marks the seventh anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, the $700 billion blunder that wiped out our budget surplus.
And Sarah Palin wants more than $1 million an episode for her reality show? Our panel takes that on in tonight‘s “Rapid Fire Response.”
Great to have you with us on this Friday night.
This is the story that has me fired up and the nation, I believe.
Less than 48 hours away—that‘s right—the House will vote on this health care bill on Sunday afternoon. Democrats on the fence are facing extraordinary pressure before they cast an historic vote. It‘s become the issue of our time.
The holdouts, you have to say, are breaking with Nancy Pelosi. She‘s getting her way.
Today, Congressman Elliot Engel of New York, Allen Boyd of Florida, and Brad Ellsworth of Indiana, and John Boccieri of Ohio, they all came on board with this bill. Boccieri is going to be joining me a little bit later on in the show.
Now, the president made a strong pitch in Fairfax, Virginia, today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don‘t know how passing health care will play politically, but I know it‘s right.
Teddy Roosevelt knew it was right. Harry Truman knew it was right.
Ted Kennedy knew it was right!
And if you believe that it‘s right, then you‘ve got to help us finish this fight. You‘ve got to stand with me just like you did three years ago and make some phone calls and knock on some doors. Talk to your parents, talk to your friends.
Do not quit! Do not give up! We keep on going, we are going to get this done, we are going to make history!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: The president taking it to the firewall. If this bill passes, President Obama will have played this perfectly down the stretch.
It‘s been a political war for more than a year. In fact, seven years ago to the day, we started a war on false intelligence and spent $747 billion on Iraq. We are finally in a position to do something for the middle class in our country, America.
The magnitude of the hour, it‘s exciting. It‘s really unbelievable. The Democratic dream of universal health care is within the grasp. This is a first big generational step.
“Mr. Tan Man” doesn‘t see it that way.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN BOEHNER ®, MINORITY LEADER: Now, there‘s not one American who thinks that we‘re going to save money with this, because they all know we‘re going to spend $1 trillion here in the first 10 years to provide benefits for just six of those 10 while the tax increases will come in over the 10-year period. The American people do not want any part of this. And if anyone thinks the American people are going to forget this vote, just watch.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: I‘d kind of like to go to Vegas and bet on whether he‘s actually read the bill. Oh, different show. I almost feel sorry for the guy.
The Republican Party is about to get hit with a political shock and awe. The American people will finally get a fair shake.
This isn‘t over. It‘s not over. The House still has got some work to do on the Democratic side on some holdouts, and they‘ll meet until Sunday.
I know one of them very well, Congressman Earl Pomeroy of North Dakota. Earl, interesting background.
He was elected in 1992. He‘s now in his 18th year in the Congress. And Pomeroy was the deciding vote for the Clinton budget back in 1993, the budget that delivered 22 million jobs and surpluses, and it was a tax increase.
Well, in 1994, all the other freshmen lost. Newt and the boys came in, swept into office in 1994.
And now we fast forward to 2010. The former North Dakota insurance commissioner could be the deciding vote again.
Pomeroy and other Democrats on the fence have this moment in their hands. They need to do the right thing for the middle class and forget about re-election. This is a monumental move for the American people. It is of historic proportions.
Folks, you‘ve got to be with me on this tonight. Tell them to do it.
Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think.
Tonight‘s text question is: Do you think Republicans will live to regret not voting for the historic health care reform bill? Text “A” for yes and “B” for no to 622639. We‘ll bring you the results later on in the show.
NBC‘s Kelly O‘Donnell joins me now from Capitol Hill.
Kelly, I‘d have to, from the numbers rolling in, say that it‘s been a pretty good day for the Democrats. Confidence has got to be high.
KELLY O‘DONNELL, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, certainly when you talk to Democratic leaders, they use all the positive words, and there‘s been a lot of talk to momentum. At the same time, they have to be careful about that, because if they create too much of an air of this is going to easily happen, then they might have a harder time convincing the remaining holdouts when they get down to the nitty-gritty if they need a vote here or there to make it work.
It might be harder if people have the sense that it‘s going to happen. So they‘re really trying to send two messages—a feeling that things are going well, and still wanting to keep the pressure on.
There have been six vote switchers, and that is significant. Six in total as we‘ve been keeping track. And we will see over the next couple of days a lot of interest in getting to those who still have not commented. And that‘s going to be a focus of a lot of attention.
What‘s happening behind the scenes? There are lots of conversations, there‘s lots of meetings, there‘s lots of intensity.
The White House today says that if you count back from Monday to now, the president has made 64 either phone calls or meetings with House members. That is significant, because the president has not always enjoyed the sort of personal arm-twisting part of the job. That, according to people who have been in the room when he‘s been in those sorts of sessions. So, that‘s not his favorite thing to do, but the White House has been keeping track and they tell us 64 time he‘s reached out by phone or in person.
He‘ll be here tomorrow, and that‘s significant. There was a lot of talk about, should it be at the White House, should it be here? But the president will be here mid-afternoon to meet with all of the House Democrats.
We‘re told that Senator Harry Reid, the majority leader will also appear. And that‘s important because one of the things that House members want is as much of an assurance as they can get from the Senate that they will follow through. So, if the House passes this as the Speaker would like, they want to know the Senate will follow through.
So, something a little different. A letter signed by 51 House—I‘m sorry, Senate Democrats would be presented to the House. Now, they‘re not releasing it publicly, and there are Republican who are saying that‘s a back room deal. But this letter is intended to tell House members who are still concerned the Senate will back you up.
So that‘s where we are now. Tomorrow, the Rules Committee on the House meets. They are the ones who sort of put forward the deem and pass idea, the 2 for 1 vote.
And then, Sunday, sometime after 2:00, somewhere in the mid-afternoon, is our best guess right now, would be the vote on this important piece of legislation. And as you know, it is widely believed that Speaker Pelosi won‘t call for the vote unless she‘s confident she has the votes.
SCHULTZ: Kelly O‘Donnell on Capitol Hill.
Thanks for joining us tonight for the latest. Interesting times we are living in.
And also, we want to remind our viewers tonight that we will have full coverage here on MSNBC on Sunday when the vote is taken.
Joining me now is Joan Walsh, editor-in-chief of Salon.com.
Joan, great to have you with us tonight.
JOAN WALSH, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, SALON.COM: Thanks, Ed. It‘s a very historic evening.
SCHULTZ: You know, it is a great night. It‘s on the eve of something fantastic, and I just think that this is going to be really well accepted by the American people.
I‘ve got a lobbying firm—I‘ve got a document today, a lobbying firm for an insurance client. And I think that Democrats probably could have done a better job of telling the American people what comes into this bill right away.
SCHULTZ: There are four big things that go into this right away. And I want to share them with you.
It ends the health insurance rescissions. In other words, they can‘t drop you, folks. Right away.
SCHULTZ: The new limits on the pre-existing condition exclusions, that goes into effect right away. Ban on annual and lifetime limits. And also, the dependent coverage increase age to 26. So, if you‘re on your parents‘ insurance policy, that will continue on.
There‘s some good stuff in this bill right away. But the antis have been really pushing hard, saying nothing gets involved until 2014.
Where are we right now, in your opinion right now?
WALSH: Well, I‘m optimistic, but, you know, Kelly‘s report was good and sobering because they do not have the votes right this minute. And we shouldn‘t act like they do. There‘s still a lot to be done in the next couple of days.
But I am optimistic. I‘m not going to lie about that.
I mean, I agree with you they‘ve done a not so good job to this point in talking about what‘s happening. But on the other hand, if everything went into effect next year, Ed, you know what we would be hearing? Oh, my God, government takeover right away, revolution.
So the Republicans will not let them win no matter what happens. But what I‘m sure about, I saw John Boehner today. And, you know, his mom should have told him that a pink tie clashes with the orange. But he looked scared.
He left the podium and just said, “See ya” in this contemptuous way. He doesn‘t speak for Americans. If they really believed this hurt Democrats, they wouldn‘t be fighting it so hard, Ed.
So, you and I both know they know that if Democrats get this passed and help the American people in this way, there will be Democratic majorities for a long time. So they‘re running scared, but it‘s not over yet. People still need to be convinced.
SCHULTZ: In 2011, next year, what will be implemented is that they will collect almost $5 billion in fees from the pharmaceutical manufacturers.
SCHULTZ: This is money that‘s going to come right into the Treasury within the first 13 months of this passing from the pharmaceutical industry.
Now, that is a big number right away. I‘m surprised that the Obama White House has not really pushed that number out there to sell this.
What do you think?
WALSH: You know, right, because you and I have both been sitting here for months saying they‘re not hard enough on the drug companies or the insurance companies. And to some extent, you know, I can‘t speak for you, but I‘m sure we both feel somewhat the same way. We wanted a public option, et cetera.
But there are industry concessions in here. There is money. It‘s not what we would want, but it‘s an enormous start.
And so, you know, I think on the left, they‘ve been hampered by a lack of enthusiasm. And on the right, they‘ve been scaring people. And now that we get down to crunch time, people like you and me and Dennis Kucinich, who did a marvelous thing this week, are all focusing on, you know, people who have insurance will be protected, people who don‘t will have it extended.
We‘ll all be better off. American business will be better off. And we see that this is really worth doing.
So, that‘s why the optimist in me, Ed, I cannot imagine a Democrat this weekend sitting on his or her hands and not wanting to ultimately be there for the American people—
SCHULTZ: They don‘t want to be on the wrong side of history, that‘s for sure.
WALSH: They will be on the wrong side of history if they vote against this. And Republicans are used to that. They opposed civil rights legislation and everything that has been good for this country.
Democrats are never on the wrong side of history. So I expect that group to get into line.
SCHULTZ: Joan Walsh, great to have you with us, Salon.com. Thanks so much.
WALSH: Great to be here.
SCHULTZ: And I thought the president was just absolutely outstanding today. I mean, he was on fire in front of that crowd in Fairfax, Virginia.
Coming up, “The Beckster” is going off the rails again. He‘s trying to freak out the faithful because the health care vote is happening on a Sunday.
Reverend Barry Lynn will set the record straight in just a moment.
And we hear “Caribou Barbie” is asking for over $1 million an episode for an upcoming reality show? I hope that means that we get to watch her shoot something out of a helicopter.
All that, plus Congressman “Tell it Like it is” Alan Grayson will be here.
And “Daily Show” co-creator Lizz Winstead here tonight for “Club Ed.”
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW tonight.
Right-wingers are desperate to kill the health care reform bill. And they‘re running out of time. So they‘re pulling out all the big guns. They‘re bringing God into the picture and the conversation.
Listen to Iowa Congressman Steve King and Glenn Beck talking about the House health care vote on “The Beckster‘s” radio show.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
REP. STEVE KING ®, IOWA: They intend to vote on the Sabbath during Lent to take away the liberty that we have right from God.
GLENN BECK, FOX NEWS: Faith has been perverted. They are going to vote for this damn thing on a Sunday, which is the Sabbath during Lent.
You couldn‘t have said it better. Here is a group of people that have so perverted our faith and our hope and our charity, that it is a—this is an affront to God.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: OK, history lesson time.
Beck and, of course, King, they seem to have conveniently forgotten that in 2005, the bill that allowed the courts to intervene in the Terri Schiavo case was passed by a Republican-controlled Senate on Palm Sunday.
For more, let me bring in Reverend Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
Reverend, good to have you with us tonight.
REV. BARRY LYNN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, AMERICANS UNITED FOR SEPARATION
OF CHURCH AND STATE: Nice to be here.
SCHULTZ: A little hypocrisy going on here? What do you think?
LYNN: Oh, overwhelming hypocrisy. They‘re bringing back members of Congress on Palm Sunday to vote for the Terri Schiavo matter.
Of course, in the Terri Schiavo case, there really was an effort by Congress to micromanage the health care and the medical decision-making of doctors 1,200 miles away. They saw that as no problem. Now, hypocritically, they moan about this vote that might occur on Sunday, and forget that they‘re also making these ridiculous arguments that this health care bill somehow impedes people‘s choices about medical attention.
It‘s utter hypocrisy. And Ed, they don‘t even understand what the Sabbath is.
Although Congressman King and Glenn Beck apparently believe everybody celebrates the Sabbath on the same day, the truth of the matter is that Jewish-Americans, members of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, all of those folks will already be finished with their Sabbath. This is the Sabbath as practiced by their fundamentalist Christian allies.
SCHULTZ: Reverend, the moral equivalent to this, is it a vote that has moral fiber to it, in your opinion? I mean, should the moral factor of this be really weighing on those who are making the final decision?
LYNN: Well, I think every law, Ed, has a moral condition, an ethical dimension. I don‘t think that we should be making laws in the Congress of the United States based on anybody‘s scriptural understanding or based on what a holy figure says.
LYNN: And, ironically, in this case, of course, Jesus, a fellow named Jesus that many people are familiar with, actually said you can work on the Sabbath, because the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. He went specifically and said, healing, of course, can be done on the Sabbath.
So those Republicans who are grousing about this, want to do something good for healing, I guess if they want to keep the current medical health care system in this country -- 45,000 people die because they don‘t have health insurance—go right ahead. They can vote that way on Sunday.
But it‘s hypocritical. They are the ones who are constantly bringing religious arguments into the debate. It shouldn‘t be there.
We‘ve got commonly shared values as Americans that ought to define this debate. And evidence to look at.
SCHULTZ: Reverend, let‘s talk about the Catholic Church for a moment.
What do you make of the split between the nuns and the bishops on this issue?
LYNN: Well, I‘ll tell you, it‘s symptomatic of a split between church-going Catholics all over the country and the bishops. The United States Catholic Conference does not speak for a lot of rank and file Catholics. Many of us have known that for many, many years.
And I think what this shows is that there is a legitimate and forceful debate where those nuns who are saying look, whatever the health care bill does, it‘s going to do a lot of good, and that they should never—the bishops should never have encrusted this bill with all of this religious anti-choice language, which, sadly, is in the Senate and the House bill. Mr. Stupak said it was because he was a Roman Catholic that he decided to add his so-called Stupak Anti-Choice Amendment.
I‘m telling you, he said that to “The New York Times,” but the truth is, I guess you give him some points for honesty, because most people don‘t admit it, but that‘s, of course, the driving force in this one issue. It shouldn‘t have been in this bill at all.
Reverend, good to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much.
LYNN: Always nice to be here. Thank you.
SCHULTZ: You bet.
Coming up, the right-wing attacks on an 11-year-old boy who lost his mother have been nothing short of disgusting. It should make anyone with a pulse want to just regurgitate it all.
All those losers, we‘ll get them in “Psycho Talk” next.
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And a very serious edition of “Psycho Talk” tonight.
The right-wing media, they have been relentlessly attacking an 11-year-old boy whose mother got sick. Then she lost her job, lost her health insurance, and finally she died.
Now, this little dude, Marcelas Owens, I saw him last week in Washington. He came down to testify with his grandmother to tell the story and also advocate for health care reform.
Well, Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin, she‘s just quick to pounce all over this. She wrote a column about Marcelas called “Desperate Dems Cling to Human Kiddie Shield.” And she called Marcelas, “The new dubious poster boy for Demcare.”
But that wasn‘t anything compared to Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, what they had to say about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BECK: How did young Marcelas and his grandma get to Washington to talk to these powerful, compassionate senators? The trip was paid for by Health Care for America Now.
That‘s the George Soros-funded, Barack Obama-approved group fighting for health care. Since all of these groups are so concerned and so involved now, may I ask, where were you when Marcelas‘ mother was vomiting blood?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I would also say this to Marcelas Owens—well, your mom would have still died because Obamacare doesn‘t kick in until 2014.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: That just shows how low the righties will stoop to kill health care reform.
Now, 11-year-old Marcelas is far more mature and honorable than any of those two “Psycho Talkers” you just saw. Here‘s what he said in response to Limbaugh and Beck.
He said, “My mother always taught me they can have their own opinion, but that doesn‘t mean they are right.”
That‘s a classy young man, a mature young man.
Michelle Malkin, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, all of those righties who have been attacking this kid because he wants health care reform, that is shameless “Psycho Talk.”
Coming up, Sarah Palin wants Republicans in Florida to take out my next guest? Well, he thinks she‘s a chillbilly. Congressman Alan Grayson has more on “Caribou Barbie” next.
And Sean Hannity is taking heat from a conservative blogger who claims that he‘s shortchanging a charity that helps families over wounded soldiers. Is “Mr. Intellectual Honesty,” is he cooking the books? I‘m just asking the question.
That‘s coming up in my “Playbook.”
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Here‘s the bottom line: that‘s our proposal, toughest insurance reforms in history, one of the biggest deficit reduction plans in history, and the opportunity to give millions of people, some of them in your own family, some of the people who are in this auditorium today, a chance for the first time in a long time to get health care. That‘s it. That‘s what we‘re trying to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: President Obama on a roll this morning at George Mason University in Virginia, making what the White House hopes will be the last push for health care reform. Welcome back to THE ED SHOW tonight. Thanks for watching.
The House is expected to vote on Sunday afternoon. Today, another four Democrats announced that they were switching their votes from no to yes. Ohio Congressman John Boccieri, Florida Congressman Allen Boyd, and Florida Congresswoman Suzanne Kosmas, and, just minutes ago, New York Congressman Scott Murphy.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was seen talking to him on the floor today. That makes a total of seven Democrats who have changed their votes. And late today, Congressman Brad Ellsworth announced, from Indiana, that he will vote yes. He voted yes in November, but now he‘s running to replace Senator Evan Bayh in Indiana. He obviously feels voting for the health care reform will help him in November. Democrats in Indiana were very nervous about which way he was going to go.
Joining me now is Ohio Congressman John Boccieri, who announced today that he will vote for the health care reform bill. Congressman, you voted against it, and now you‘re going to vote for it. What turned you around?
REP. JOHN BOCCIERI (D), OHIO: Well, thank you, Ed, for having me on the show tonight. I was very encouraged by the deficit reduction numbers. I‘m a fiscal conservative. I‘m very pleased that we see a 1.2 trillion dollar reduction in the budget, in the deficit, in the second 20 years, and 138 billion dollars in the first ten years. That‘s extremely significant, and the first—largest reduction since 1994, I believe.
SCHULTZ: You get a sense that there‘s going to be other Democrats that will change their vote? There were 39 of them before. It looks like today has been a pretty good day at the office for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Do you get a sense there will be more like you?
BOCCIERI: I do, Ed. I think a lot of members, even the ones who couldn‘t get there on the first vote, would like to see reform. This vote may be close, but I think we‘re going to put it over the top here.
SCHULTZ: Do you think your district wants you to vote yes on this?
BOCCIERI: You know, Ed, I come from one of those quintessentially swing districts and moderate districts in a swing state and a moderate state. And I‘ve heard passion on both sides of this argument. And I believe that once we get this package done, and get out there and describe to the American people what we have actually done for them, ending the most abusive practices of the insurance industry, because you commit the sin of being sick or you have a pre-existing condition—you may have saw from our earlier announcement, I had a 10-year-old boy, Jay Hawkins, standing with me. He suffers from autism. And day one after this bill is passed, he will be able to get health care insurance.
SCHULTZ: So you‘ve heard enough personal story, that helped turn you as well. You made a statement today about Iraq. How does that play into your decision?
BOCCIERI: Ed, when I was flying missions over there as a C-130 pilot, I remember reading a clip in the “Stars and Stripes” that our secretary of Health and Human Services, Tommy Thompson, had flown to Iraq with one of many billion dollar checks in hand, to make sure every man, woman and child in Iraq had access to health care. Can you believe that American taxpayers are paying for Iraqis to see their doctor whenever they want, but we still have people in my congressional district, 39,000 to be exact, who can‘t see the doctor when they want? I think we need to turn the corner and invest in our nation.
SCHULTZ: Congressman Boccieri, brave vote. I commend you for doing it. I think you‘re doing the right thing. Thanks for keeping an open mind and doing what‘s good for Americans. I commend you.
BOCCIERI: Thank you, Ed. Thank you, sir.
SCHULTZ: We‘ll have you back for sure. Thank you so much.
Congressman Boccieri from Ohio tonight.
There‘s one other thing that I really want to point out, that goes into effect right away when the bill passes. I don‘t think there‘s been enough emphasis on what happens right away. Now, this comes from a lobbying firm that‘s working for an insurance client. It‘s going to require group and individual plans to provide an effective appeals process for coverage determinations.
That is huge. This means that when a determination is made on what‘s going to be paid and what‘s not going to be paid by the insurance provider, you now, as the consumer, are going to have an avenue to appeal it. Right now, they just say hang up, see ya, it‘s over, you‘re not going to get it. But now there are checks and balances in how they treat consumers. I just think that this is huge. This is part of the insurance reform that goes into affect right away.
Joining me now is Florida Congressman Alan Grayson. Congressman, good to have you with us.
REP. ALAN GRAYSON (D), FLORIDA: Thank you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: If you had to capsulize what kind of day it‘s been for the Democrats, how would you verbalize it?
GRAYSON: It‘s a good day. Pelosi is doing what she does so well, which is getting everybody to work together, getting everybody on the same page.
SCHULTZ: Your thoughts on how the president is playing doing down the stretch here?
GRAYSON: I think he‘s active. But I think what really matters is that people trust the speaker, and they listen to what she has to say. So she‘s having the most influence.
SCHULTZ: She‘s having the most influence? What is she saying?
GRAYSON: She‘s saying this is what the country needs and we‘ve got to get it done for the sake of country. This bill saves lives. It saves money. That‘s what she‘s telling people. She‘s making the arguments on the merits.
SCHULTZ: Well, arguments on the merit, because, you know, there‘s a perception out there, I think, with some Americans, at least that have called me on the radio, that deals are being cut, that promises are being made. Is that her character? Do you think that‘s what‘s happening?
GRAYSON: No. In fact, it shows the Republicans‘ unscrupulousness that they would try to damage people‘s reputations just by making up blatant lies. I saw it on the House floor today. Maybe you can get a clip of that and show it to people. They simply make up lies. They broadcast them out there. They destroy people‘s reputations. They don‘t care.
SCHULTZ: Congressman, put into perspective how big this is.
GRAYSON: Everyone I‘ve spoken to—everyone who has been here a long time says it‘s the biggest bill they‘ve voted on.
SCHULTZ: Are they nervous about the vote?
GRAYSON: No, they‘re looking forward to an America that has comprehensive, affordable, universal health care. That‘s how they feel.
SCHULTZ: That‘s how they should feel. Congressman, great to have you with us.
GRAYSON: Thank you very much, Ed.
SCHULTZ: You bet. Alan Grayson from Florida with us here tonight on
THE ED SHOW.
Now I want to get some rapid fire response from our panel on these three stories.
Idaho‘s Republican Governor Butch Otter has signed the Health Freedom Act. It‘s a pledge to sue the federal government if Idaho residents are forced to buy insurance.
Arizona‘s Republican Governor Jan Brewer just shafted 47,000 children in her state out of health care. She scrapped SCHIP. Maybe those kids can go beg for charity, right?
And more drama surrounding the Sarah Palin reality show. She wants more than a million dollars an episode.
With us tonight, A.B. Stoddard, columnist of “The Hill,” and radio talk show host Michael Medved with us tonight.
All right, what‘s happening, Michael, in Idaho? What do you make of some of the conservative-leaning states are going to push back on the federal government on a possible mandate? What do you think?
MICHAEL MEDVED, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: It‘s not just conservative-leaning states. They‘ve already passed a bill in Virginia. There are bills pending in 37 different state, including a lot of Democratic states. This bill is unpopular. People are scared about it. And the state legislatures are trying to push back.
Do I think this will have any consequence? Do I think this will, quote, protect people against Obama-care? No, probably it won‘t. But it is a demonstration of the really massive outpouring of opposition to what the Congress seems determined to do.
SCHULTZ: A.B. Stoddard, are we going to see is a fight between the state level and the feds?
A.B. STODDARD, “THE HILL”: Well, I think that the experts think, as Michael said, it won‘t make much of a difference, that federal law supersedes state law. But it is—you know, the foundation of this reform, Ed, is the mandate. I mean, if we don‘t—if people are not forced to buy health insurance, you can‘t expand the pool. You don‘t have a healthy enough pool. Prices will go up, et cetera.
Even if it doesn‘t, though, Michael is right. If the losses don‘t work, Michael‘s right, that a head of steam of opposition is building. It will be the foundation for what will become the Republicans‘ push for repeal.
SCHULTZ: A.B., doesn‘t this kind of set the table for the midterms coming up? When you‘ve got a governor denying SCHIP, after the president signed it into law, earlier—one of the first things he did when he got into the presidency?
STODDARD: In Arizona?
STODDARD: I mean, look, we see state budgets in crisis all over this country right now, Ed. It‘s unfortunate that schools are closing and education and health care is the first thing to be cut.
What I don‘t know about this health care reform bill is how much it anticipates what the result of this recession will be. How many people, jobless Americans, are going to forced in—swarming the Medicaid rolls. I don‘t know whether or not the health care reform bill will be able to absorb them. I think we‘re going to see more of this in other states possibly.
SCHULTZ: CBO numbers—go ahead.
MEDVED: There‘s another problem, Ed, If I may. And this Medicaid expansion, that falls directly on the states. And one of the reasons there is this objection in the states is our states are broke. Everybody knows this. They can‘t meet their own budgets.
SCHULTZ: But the bill is paid for, Michael. The bill is paid for.
MEDVED: No, no. It is not paid for in terms of the obligation for state Medicaid. I was with Texas Governor Rick Perry for three nights this week—
SCHULTZ: I wouldn‘t consider him a really good source. But whatever.
I wouldn‘t consider Rick Perry a very credible source, a guy that wants to
MEDVED: He just won renomination in a landslide and he‘s going to win the election in November.
SCHULTZ: Renomination doesn‘t matter. He doesn‘t have credibility when it comes to health care because he hasn‘t delivered it to the Texans down there.
All right, another rapid fire response on Sarah Palin. Michael, what do you think? Is she charging too much? Does this definitely put her out of the political arena?
MEDVED: I think it‘s an indication. It doesn‘t put her out of the political arena. But it‘s an indication that that‘s not where she wants to go. Because look—first of all, this is not a reality show about the sort of personal drama or melodrama of the Palin family. It‘s a reality show about her taking people on tours of the Alaska that she loves.
So it will probably be very gauzy and very nice. And right now, she‘s a very hot media figure. But she‘s hotter as a media figure than she is as a presidential possibility.
SCHULTZ: A.B., how will she do on a reality show? What‘s your prediction?
STODDARD: I think she‘ll do great. I think she‘ll set it up so that it goes well for her, she‘s portrayed in a flattering light. Michael‘s right. I think she‘s not planning to run for president. She‘s planning to make a lot of money. So far, she‘s really good at that. And this is part of it. And she wants to remain in the spotlight. She will for years to come.
SCHULTZ: A.B. Stoddard, Michael Medved, good to have you with us tonight.
Coming up, it‘s hard to believe how fast time flies. Seven years ago, Shock and Awe rocked Baghdad. Award winning filmmaker Robert Greenwald has an eye-opening update for us coming up next.
SCHULTZ: One year ago today, the House of Representatives passed a piece of legislation designed to get back the taxpayer bailout money that was used to pay massive bonuses to AIG executives. But at this hour, this bill is not law because it‘s one of the 290 bills that were passed in the House that the Senate has ignored.
If taxpayers are going to get their money back, the Senate is going to have to, I guess you could say, get with the program. And it‘s not even a partisan bill. This is what‘s so amazing. It passed the house by a vote of 328 to 93. One of the sponsors of the bill, Congressman Gary Peters of Michigan, with us tonight.
Congressman, good to have you with us. Why isn‘t the Senate moving on this? When you ask questions about this, why aren‘t they moving on it?
REP. GARY PETERS (D), MICHIGAN: It‘s outrageous, Ed, why they‘re not moving on it. As you mentioned, a year ago, we passed this bill. We had this outrageous situation where AIG was paying millions of dollars of bonuses to the very individuals that brought that company down, and in the process, contributed to the whole economy coming down. It‘s now gone over to the Senate. Nothing is being done. And now we have AIG issuing even more bonuses to these same individuals, 100 million dollars last month.
SCHULTZ: What answer do you get when you ask, why can‘t you guys move on this?
PETERS: I don‘t get a good answer. It‘s just part of what is, right now, a dysfunctional Senate, where things don‘t get done. I was on your program, as you recall, about the unemployment, where we had just one senator standing in the way of unemployment checks to hundreds of thousands of people.
There is no good answer. We need to see action out of the Senate. That‘s what the American people want. They want to see action, particularly on this Wall Street greed, where you‘ve got people who have abused the system, and are taking millions of dollars. It‘s got to stop. The Senate needs to step up to the plate and do it now.
SCHULTZ: So what does the bill actually do, besides get money back. Does it regulate bonuses? Does it really get into their business. What does it do?
PETERS: Well, this bill brings back that money. It says those companies that have substantial taxpayer investments, five billion dollars, or more cannot pay out any bonuses. If they do, it will be—
SCHULTZ: It‘s a guaranteed pay-back then?
PETERS: That‘s right, it will be paid back. And bonuses can be paid to employees only after the taxpayers have been paid back first. Certainly, that‘s what I hear all the time. Taxpayers are saying, wait a minute, we floated money to keep these companies alive? We need to be paid back first, before these executives, and the very ones that actually caused the problem get huge bonuses. It‘s absolutely unacceptable.
SCHULTZ: Congressman, appreciate you coming on. But I can‘t let you go without asking you about the issue of the hour, which is health care. We‘re so close to a vote. Have you decided what you‘re going to do? And since we‘re friends, I can just say, you‘re not leaving the camera until you give me an answer. What are you going to do?
PETERS: I‘m going to vote yes. To me, this is an important bill, particularly dealing with small businesses. I‘ve been hearing from small business owners in my state of Michigan that are finding it increasingly difficult to provide health insurance for themselves, for their families. This bill gives an immediate tax cut to those small businesses, and allows them to have affordable health care, where right now they can‘t provide it for their families and employees.
To me, this is a competitiveness issue, particularly for small businesses, which are the engine of growth. That‘s where the economy‘s going to grow. That‘s where most of the jobs are created. They now face a significant disadvantage when it comes to providing a critical benefit to their employees.
SCHULTZ: Congressman, great move. Appreciate you telling us straight up tonight you‘re going to vote yes on the health care bill on Sunday.
PETERS: Great to be with you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: You bet. Congressman Gary Peters from Michigan telling us tonight yes. There‘s another vote. I think that‘s eight now. Good day for the Democrats.
Another page in the playback; one more anniversary to talk about today. It‘s been seven years since the United States first invaded Iraq, hitting Baghdad with Shock and Awe. Since then, we‘ve spent almost 750 billion dollars in taxpayer money. At least 4,383 US troops have died. Close to 32,000 have been wounded. And almost 100,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed.
President Obama said he wants most of the troops out by August. But more than 100,000 of them are still there.
Let me turn now to Robert Greenwald, director of “Brave New Films.” Robert‘s production company has a new video commemorating the seventh anniversary of our invasion of Iraq. Mr. Greenwald, good to have you on tonight. The purpose of this is awareness. What is it?
ROBERT GREENWALD, BRAVE NEW FILMS: The purpose of putting out the video is to remind people to mourn the deaths and the money and the lives, and to make the connection, Ed, to—I don‘t want to be in your program seven years from today talking about Afghanistan, and the number of lives and the millions of dollars and the fact that we‘re not any safer.
And that‘s the critical thing that people need to be questioning and need to be asking. And that‘s why we‘re connecting the dots.
SCHULTZ: Here‘s a clip from your new film on Iraq. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was a promise the Bush administration was not able to keep: assuring the nation at the outset of the war that the military would finish the mission in Iraq quickly, for less than 100 billion dollars.
BRAD WOODHOUSE, AMERICANS UNITED FOR CHANGE: The recession that we‘re on the brink of, or many people think we‘re already in, we could come out of it a lot quicker if we weren‘t investing all of these resources, 12 billion dollars a month, in Iraq.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The problem with the war is we‘re getting nothing for it, as far as I can see.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Unless we learn some of the lessons that we learned the hard way in Iraq, we are unlikely to achieve success in Afghanistan.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Mr. Greenwald is it apropos for Americans to expect that Iraqi oil is going to start paying us back for this?
GREENWALD: Well, I have a bridge in Brooklyn that might be for sale, also. I think that the odds are equally similar. Again, we need to ask these fundamental questions. You and I have discussed this before. Look, war is a very serious business when you do it, or it‘s a very serious undertaking. And the essential questions weren‘t asked around Iraq.
And I‘m sad, and I‘m sorry to say, they‘re not being asked about Afghanistan. What are we doing there? Al Qaeda is no longer there. Why are we invading? Why are we occupying? Why the number of lives being lost? How is it going to make us any safer? I don‘t get it.
SCHULTZ: Where can people see this?
GREENWALD: They can go to RethinkAfghanistan.com. They can see this video. They can pass it along. And they can get all the other videos that are going to continue to ask these questions of the president, of the administration, of the deciders, what are we doing in Afghanistan, and how are we going to get out.
SCHULTZ: Brave New Films documentary producer and owner Robert Greenwald, here with us tonight on THE ED SHOW. Thanks so much.
One final page in my playbook tonight; Sean Hannity under fire, taking heat from a conservative blogger. He‘s being accused of misusing funds raised through his Freedom Alliance charity. Donations are supposed to send children off fallen soldiers to college, and support wounded veterans.
But this righty blogger, Debbie Sluchel (ph), says that less than 20 percent of the charity‘s earnings have actually gone to those causes? Instead, she says that millions of those dollars go to Hannity‘s expenses, including a Gulf Stream Five private plane to fly him, his family and friends to these Freedom Concerts. The Freedom Alliance has strongly denied all of this, and has posted a list of their expenditures online. I‘m sure the IRS is probably checking it out, too, Sean.
I mean, I‘m just asking the questions. Are you cooking the books, Sean?
Coming up, Lizz Winstead will have some—actually a lot to see about Rielle Hunter‘s pantless photo spread, and, of course, Sean Hannity‘s concert tour. That‘s next in Club Ed. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. 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 www.WakeUpWorld.tv.
Gosh, we‘ve got sot much to talk about tonight. Let‘s talk about the health care bill. What‘s the deal with Bart Stupak and the Catholic nuns? They can‘t get on the same page with this deal.
LIZZ WINSTEAD, “WAKE UP WORLD”: I just feel like, when you have someone like Bart Stupak, you will never make him happy. When it comes to abortion, there is just not going to be strong enough language. He wouldn‘t be happy even if NASA decided to stop saying abort the mission, and Netflix refused to rent out “The Terminator” anymore. The guy will not bend. We‘ve got to stop caving.
SCHULTZ: They are doing that. All right, we‘re going to get probably a positive vote this weekend. All right, Hannity, what‘s happening with this Freedom Concert? Is he cooking the books? What do you think?
WINSTEAD: It‘s very rare that the crazies turn on their own. So when she writes a blog piece that starts with “he put the con in charity concert,” of course I started salivating wildly. Then, as I read, it‘s actually sickening. If it‘s true, Sean Hannity‘s charity made about 10 million dollars, and about 300,000 of it actually went to the children of the fallen soldiers, of what he pretended.
Maybe now it‘s time for all the lemmings that follow this mallet-headed moron to stop listening to any numbers he says. He‘s the one who always talks about private charity and giving back, and don‘t have the government give money to help people. This guy is just pocketing it for himself.
And the best part of the story, Ed, is that Ollie North, who‘s in cahoots with him in this charity, is the voice of reason, and he called him and he said, you know, we‘ve got to put a stop to this. This is looking really bad. So then they downgraded Hannity to a Gulf Stream Four? I‘m not kidding. Then I think he only gets two fleets of cars now to bring he and his family to the charities.
SCHULTZ: Rielle Hunter, the pantless photo. What is that all about?
WINSTEAD: What is wrong with this woman? She poses for these photos and then she says that she didn‘t wear pants because she knew they weren‘t going to shoot her—they were only going to shoot her from the waist up. Now, I come to your show every week and I‘m only shot from the waist up.
Maybe you can show that. I‘m wearing pants.
She has to come to the photo shoot in pants. Did she then, in turn, take them off? You know, its like when you look at her, Edwards, and you look at Ensign and Vitter and stuff, and we talk about how we need to vet our candidates more, I think they need to vet their mistresses more, because these women are really a bunch of bag of hair.
SCHULTZ: Lizz Winstead, always a pleasure on a Friday evening.
Thanks so much.
Tonight in our text survey question I asked, do you think the Republicans will live to regret voting against this bill? Ninety two percent of you said yes; eight percent said no.
That‘s THE ED SHOW. I‘m Ed Schultz. We‘ll have live coverage of the historic vote on Sunday, right here on MSNBC.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
Copyright 2010 Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>
Copyright 2010 Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by
United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed,
transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written
permission of Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark,
copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>