Guests: Ed Rendell, Peter Morici, Robert Greenwald, Melanie Sloan, Jon
Soltz, Bill Press, Ron Christie, Julian Phillips, A.B. Stoddard
HOST: Good evening, Americans, and welcome to THE ED SHOW
from New York tonight.
These stories are hitting my hut buttons tonight.
Cash-strapped states, they are looking to tax everything from clowns
to haircuts in order to pay the bills in these recessionary times.
Governor Ed Rendell will join me to talk about the tough choices states are
facing in just a moment.
Michael Steele is in hot water again after the RNC reported dropping
nearly $2,000 at a bondage-themed strip club in Hollywood. I guess what
went on the road didn‘t stay on the road.
And a right-wing militia group is busted by the FBI for allegedly
planning a major domestic terror attack on cops. This story is
unbelievable. We‘ll bring you the details coming up.
And Sean Hannity, is he cooking the books with his charity? We‘ve got
a full report at the bottom of the hour. You won‘t want to miss it.
All right. This is the story that has got me fired up tonight.
There‘s no free lunch. Why are we afraid to say that as Americans
right now? There is no free lunch.
States have just been absolutely rocked by this economy. They‘ve got
to make some tough decisions, cut services or raise taxes. What do you
want to do?
According to the Center on Budget and Priorities, 48 states will have
a shortfall—a shortfall in 2010. They also project states will have to
deal with a total budget shortfall of $375 billion for the years 2010 and
Now, no governor wants to increase property taxes or increase income
taxes. Now, in New Jersey, Governor Chris Christie, he‘s found a way. He
slashed $820 million out of public schools, fired 6,000 teachers. In
California, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, well, he may release prisoners
out on the street because of budget shortfalls. And, of course, states
from coast to coast are choosing to tax services now.
No politician wants to do this. It‘s a tough call. But this is the
only way they see an out. Garbage pickup, dating services, bowling night,
haircuts—I mean, all of that could be on the table to be taxed.
Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm wants a 5.5 percent tax for
haircuts. Governor Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania wants to raise the taxes on
accounting, advertising and data processing.
Now, the Bush administration cut taxes. This is what we continue to
forget, and I think as liberals we‘re afraid to say it.
The Bush administration cut taxes for the top two percent. That cost
this country $1.8 trillion. And, of course, the feds couldn‘t get it to
They got us into a couple of wars that weren‘t on the budget, a
Medicare prescription drug bill that of course was an unfunded mandate, and
now it‘s time to pay the price. It‘s all coming home to roost. Somebody
has to pay for what‘s going on in this country.
The Republican Party, they treat tax cuts like a religion. They don‘t
care what they have to cut. The rest of us are sitting here picking up the
pieces, picking up the tab.
And I‘m a small business guy. I know it‘s a hard pill to swallow.
But, you know, somewhere along the line, folks, we have to be honest in our
budgeting. This has to end.
When you cut education and put criminals on the street, I believe
that‘s bad policy. I think the best way to solve this crisis is that we
have to realize that this is a changing economy that we are living in.
It is time for an Internet transaction tax. Oh, that hurts, Ed.
Wait a minute. The Internet is one of the last tax-free zones in
America. It hurts small business if I go down the street and buy a fishing
rod, if I do it online instead of doing it at the local shop. When my wife
goes out and buys a pair of shoes, well, if she does it online it‘s going
to hurt that local store on the corner as well.
Why should any online retailer have a safe haven and advantage?
Because local stores, of course, let‘s see, they hire people, they pay
health care, they pay property tax, they contribute to the community. You
can go down there and get money for any kind of organization to help
support the local communities.
Online sales—let‘s pay attention to this—are projected to hit
$172.9 billion this year. That‘s seven percent of all retail sales that is
going untaxed, and it‘s putting the burden elsewhere. If that money is
taxed, it will help small businesses, it will help state budgets, it will
curb the budget deficits.
It‘s really, folks, in my opinion, an untapped stream of revenue that
is just sitting there right now. And we are a changing economy and we‘ve
got to balance these things out.
We have dug ourselves into a hole, and now we‘ve got to dig ourselves out
of this economic ditch Bush put us into.
That‘s right. You can‘t do stuff unless you pay for it, right?
Now, we just can‘t be the most selfish generation again and again and
again and again. America is better than that, and we need our leaders to
stand up and make the tough call.
Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think about this
I want to know—tonight‘s text survey question: Would you be willing
to pay Internet sales taxes to keep your state from going broke? Text “A”
for yes and “B” for no to 622639. We‘ll bring you the results later on in
Joining me now is Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell. His state is
considering a tax on accounting, advertising and data processing.
Governor, good to have you with us tonight.
I think the discussion‘s long overdue that we have got to address a
changing economy. We buy stuff, we service things differently than what we
How do we start this conversation in this country instead of keep
going back to income taxes and property taxes?
GOV. ED RENDELL (D), PENNSYLVANIA: Well, you couldn‘t be more right,
Ed. And the frustrating part is there‘s a federal moratorium on taxing
Now, that‘s coming close to—the time period is coming close to
ending. But we‘ve got to do that.
And you‘re absolutely right. Why should that little bookstore who
hires people and pays real estate taxes, et cetera, why should that
bookstore have to pay sales tax and Amazon not pay sales tax? There‘s
absolutely no rhyme or reason to it.
But I want to add one thing to what you said. And I thought what you
said was great and on point.
We owe Barack Obama a great debt of thanks. States and the people who
live in those states, which means all of us, because in the stimulus he
gave significant relief to states. This year‘s state budget, the one I‘ve
just proposed in Pennsylvania, has $2.7 billion of federal stimulus funds
out of about a $29 billion budget.
SCHULTZ: What if you didn‘t have it?
RENDELL: Take away that—we would have to lay off somewhere between
20,000 and 30,000 people. And that would have not just been state workers,
it would have been down to the counties—police, firemen, emergency
service workers, teachers, all of those things.
Now, Pennsylvania happens to have a better economy than almost every
large state in the union. We have a fairly decent unemployment rate.
Nothing‘s good these days, but fairly decent.
But we‘re facing—this year we‘re going to be OK thanks to the
stimulus money. We might be able to get through this year without any
additional taxes. But next year, when the stimulus money goes off, and the
following year, it‘s going to be hell to pay.
And what I‘ve suggested is raising taxes now, putting them into a
fund. I don‘t want to say lock box, because Al Gore gave lock boxes a bad
name, but essentially putting them in a lock box. They couldn‘t be used
until the stimulus money goes away the following year, when I‘m no longer
governor, so that we‘ll be prepared to begin to deal with that almost $3
And if we didn‘t have Barack Obama—and by the way, he‘s also saving
the states bacon because in his budget proposal there‘s something called
enhanced FMAP he‘s going to give the states for this calendar year, another
two quarters of additional enhanced FMAP. Without that states would be in
terrible shape, Pennsylvania included. But when that falls off we‘re going
to have to do things.
SCHULTZ: Well, Governor, why did you pick accounting, advertising and
data processing? Those are businesses.
RENDELL: Well, those aren‘t the only three.
SCHULTZ: Oh, you got some other ones in there as well? Because the
middle class has been butchered in this economy. I mean, families, they
just can‘t, you know, bear the brunt anymore of what‘s going on.
So where do you think you should go for revenue?
RENDELL: Well, we have a sales tax that‘s at 6 percent, Ed. And we
have 74 specific exemptions. Most of those exemptions are the results of
lobbyists and special interests.
For example, candy and gum are not taxed in Pennsylvania. They‘re
considered food. They had a good lobbyist.
Popcorn is taxed—sales taxed. It‘s not considered food. They had
a bat lobbyist. Simple as that.
So I want to remove every single exemption except food, clothing,
pharmaceuticals, manufacturing exemption, and for non-profits. Other than
that we want to take—but the good news is we‘re cutting the sales tax,
my proposal, from 6 percent to 4 percent --
RENDELL: -- which will make us competitive with all the surrounding
states. And with that cut, by eliminating the exemptions, we still produce
over a billion dollars a year in new revenue.
SCHULTZ: Governor, I‘m telling you, you‘ve got 7 percent of the
retail economy out there that‘s not getting touched. They‘re not hiring
local people. I mean, when it gets to 10 percent, when it gets to 15
percent, it‘s going to happen. It‘s going to happen.
And if states aren‘t bringing the money into the Treasury because
these kind of sales are going out of town and off of Main Street in
Pennsylvania, it‘s going to be hell to pay for everybody‘s economy.
RENDELL: Keep pushing this, Ed, because the original moratorium made
sense. When the Internet was young, we didn‘t want to in any way restrict
SCHULTZ: Yes. But it‘s a changing economy now.
RENDELL: It‘s powerful now. Now‘s the time to tax it. And you‘re
absolutely right. Local small businesses, they‘re the ones who will
SCHULTZ: Governor, good to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much.
RENDELL: Nice to be with you.
SCHULTZ: Governor Ed Rendell from Pennsylvania.
For the other side of the story, let me bring in an economist who
thinks it‘s really not a good idea to do this—Peter Morici. He‘s an
economist and professor at the University of Maryland.
Peter, if we‘ve got a changing economy, don‘t we have to change the
way we collect?
PETER MORICI, ECONOMIST, UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND: Oh, absolutely.
There are too many holes in the state tax base.
They rely on sales taxes. Some goods are in, some goods are out.
Generally, they don‘t tax services. I‘m with the governor, but I want to
go across the board, no exemptions, lower the rate.
The other thing I think we need to consider is the states are very
reluctant to play with their income taxes because they don‘t want to seem
competitive relative to their neighbors. You know, it‘s about time we
stopped having 51 IRS‘s.
Let‘s just collect one income tax, let the states put a surcharge on
the federal income tax, the structures there, and have money flow directly
to the states. That way they‘re not disadvantaged and we save a lot on
What I‘m really against is taxing haircuts or funeral parlors. Why
don‘t we tax redheads?
SCHULTZ: Well, if they did I‘d pay it. I mean—
MORICI: I know.
SCHULTZ: You know, no one‘s asked me to pay more through the two wars
and the Medicare prescription, the unfunded mandate. No one‘s come to me
in the top 2 percent and said, hey, you‘ve got to do a little bit more.
Now the Bush tax cuts are going to go off and whatnot, but the point
is, the changing economy, none of these states are going to be able to have
7 percent of the retail taken out of their state—and some states it‘s
more than that because of the population—without them having to address
how they‘re going to collect money. I mean, this is just the tip of the
iceberg because of the purchasing habits of Americans that are out there.
I‘m against taxes, but I realize that they have got to be paid. And I
think this country is really at a crossroads of recognizing that there‘s no
free lunch. You can‘t cut everything.
MORICI: The states are in a terrible bind. The federal government
has the income tax. The local governments have the property tax.
Property taxes went up a lot during the boom, and as a consequence
people feel adequately taxed. But not all that money was used by
municipalities very wisely. You know, if you build a deck these days, you
have a lot more inspections than you did 10, 15 years ago.
The states, themselves, have to renegotiate to some degree their
relationships with the municipalities and how they give money to the local
governments. And at the same time, if you want to talk about a broad-based
sales tax, you know where you really need to go? The value-added tax,
because that‘s the only way you can do this equitably, across states, so
one state isn‘t trying to rob Peter to pay Paul in competition and so
forth. And that requires a national solution.
Professor, I don‘t hold it against you for picking on redheads. You
know, it just happens all the time.
MORICI: My mom was a redhead.
SCHULTZ: Then you know.
Good to have you on, Professor. Appreciate your time tonight.
Coming up, in the past year we‘ve had a 244 percent rise in hate
groups in this country. A psycho band of WMD-loving cop killers just got
busted by the FBI. You won‘t believe what they had planned in this
And I‘m not the only one asking if Hannity‘s charity is a scam. A top
veterans organization and a Washington watchdog group have filed complaints
with the IRS. We‘ll have that at the bottom of the hour.
All that, plus RNC parties at strip joints?
And “The Beckster‘s” sub lands in the “Psycho Talk” zone tonight.
Stay with us. You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The United States of
America does not quit once it starts on something. You don‘t quit. The
American armed services does not quit.
We keep at it. We persevere. And together, with our partners, we
will prevail. I am absolutely confident of that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: President Obama made a surprise visit to the U.S. troops
fighting in Afghanistan this weekend, and his message was very clear—
we‘ll stay until we win. That means dismantling al Qaeda and its allies.
But as the president was giving a pep talk to the troops inside Bagram
Air Force Base, the Taliban was bragging about launching rockets at him.
The United States military confirms there was rocket fire, but it says it
happened after the president had left.
This is a stark reminder that after eight years of fighting and nearly
a thousand American lives have been lost, the Taliban is still very much in
power in Afghanistan.
For more on that, let‘s bring in Robert Greenwald, Brave New Films, he
is the director of “Rethink Afghanistan.”
Mr. Greenwald, good to have you with us.
What message did you take from the president‘s visit when he says
we‘re going to stay there until we get the job done? What does that mean?
ROBERT GREENWALD, FILMMAKER: Well, I think it means that he‘s sending
a message to the troops, he‘s supporting them. But all the reports from
what‘s going on over there, Ed—and we‘re hearing this at “Rethink
Afghanistan” from person after person who‘s stationed over there—it‘s a
Morale is down. People are being killed. And, you know, you earlier
were talking about there‘s no free lunch. We also have to remember war is
During the time the president was giving that speech, we spent $2.5
million on the war in Afghanistan. And I cannot wait until he gives the
speech when he talks about spending that same amount of money on jobs and
homes and all the things that the states so desperately need in this
SCHULTZ: Well, the United States has spent $6 billion since 2002
setting up a police force, arsenals, academies, training, all of this
stuff. And what do we have to show for it? When does it end?
Now, the president reportedly told Mr. Karzai you‘ve got to get it
together and knock off this corruption. But—
GREENWALD: Yes, but Karzai is a corrupt leader, Ed. I mean, he was
elected with a false election. Millions of votes that were not even cast
were somehow tallied for him. So the notion that he‘s going to change his
way when he and his family are making billions of dollars, to say nothing -
you know this, the number of private corporations that are ripping us off
over there is an obscenity.
And the timing couldn‘t be worse, because as you reported earlier, the
states are going out of business in this country. And meanwhile, we‘re
pouring this insane amount of money. It‘s going to be $300 billion for the
war in Afghanistan, and we are no safer than when we began.
SCHULTZ: So from your reporting, and your documentary work in
Afghanistan, Mr. Greenwald, this is Iraq all over again when it comes to
the private contractors?
GREENWALD: In some ways worse because there‘s more money flooding in.
It‘s flooding in with a government in Afghanistan that‘s part of the
We didn‘t exactly have that in Iraq. It was our contractors taking
it, stealing it all. Here, the government over there is taking it and
There is no government that is respected. And we‘re seeing that day
after day after day.
Look, Ed, we cannot paint this as the good guys versus the bad guys.
It‘s an awful civil war over there. Terrible things are going on. And we
have to decide and really embrace the idea war is not free.
SCHULTZ: But what about defeating al Qaeda? Are we not accomplishing
anything in Afghanistan?
GREENWALD: Well, al Qaeda‘s been defeated. General Petraeus has said
there‘s no al Qaeda. The CIA has said there‘s less than 100.
Go after al Qaeda, but don‘t invade and occupy a country to get a
couple of bad guys. Get them wherever they are, but the notion we need to
have 120,000 troops and 150,000 contractors over there, and spend $72
billion this year, it doesn‘t make any fundamental sense. And we all have
to support Obama in pushing back against the Pentagon.
SCHULTZ: A hundred and fifty thousand private contractors. That‘s a
SCHULTZ: Mr. Greenwald, good to have you with us tonight. Thanks so
GREENWALD: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, I never thought I‘d miss “The Beckster” if he
ever took a day off. But the guy subbing for him, he didn‘t disappoint
anybody. He‘s one sick puppy. His conspiracy theories put him right where
he belongs, the zone.
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, Glenn Beck has taken a break
from his radio show this week, but don‘t worry. They found somebody almost
as crazy as him to fill in—Joe Pagliarulo.
Joe showed the world, or at least the wacko world that listens to “The
Beckster‘s” show, that he can spout conspiracy theories with the best of
Here he is talking about the economic crisis.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
JOE PAGLIARULO, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: What else can happen while this
crisis is going? And again, a crisis I believe is being perpetuated
purposefully by this administration, and they‘ll do so, I think, until
about, I don‘t know, September or October of 2012. That‘s when the crisis
suddenly will start seeing a crack in the crisis.
Our economic and employment crisis, our jobs and employment crisis,
that was what this president was going to take care of if he got elected.
And he got elected and he‘s ignoring it on purpose. He‘s made it worse on
purpose, because as long as the crisis continues, you can keep on kicking
off the agenda items.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Worse on purpose.
I‘ll tell you what, it‘s that show prep that really puts the righties
over the top in talk radio, isn‘t it? So entertaining.
Joe is trying to convince us that President Obama is purposely keeping
the country in a recession so that he can magically, just in the nick of
time, pull us out of the recession just before re-election. Even I don‘t
think Obama‘s that talented.
Also, I seem to remember an $800 billion stimulus package specifically
aimed at fixing the economy. That doesn‘t seem like ignoring the crisis to
And experts don‘t think we‘ll have to wait around until 2012 for
things to improve. They‘re already happening. Economist Peter Morici even
came on this show and predicted that the recession will end this month.
So, congratulations, Beckster. Your understudy, he‘s just as psycho
as you are, and he‘s in the zone.
Coming up, Sean Hannity is being accused—the great American is
being accused of cooking the books. Two people just filed complaints
against him with the IRS and the Federal Trade Commission. Uh-oh. They‘re
going to be here next to talk to me about that.
Plus, “Caribou Barbie” says the press is making stuff up about violent
Tea Parties. OK.
And you won‘t believe what the RNC is doing with your donated dollars.
That‘s all coming up.
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Thanks for watching tonight
here on MSNBC. Sean Hannity may be getting a visit from the tax man very
soon. Vote Vets and the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in
Washington, they‘re calling for the IRS and the FTC to investigate
Hannity‘s Freedom Concerts Charity. Now, Freedom Concerts supposedly
benefits children of killed and wounded troops. But conservative blogger
Schlussel recently outed the charity and labeled it a, quote, “huge scam.”
She claims only a fraction of the funds raised actually went to the
cause, while most of the money was used to shuttle Hannity and his pals
around in private jets. Freedom Alliance denies the allegations.
For more, let‘s bring in Jon Soltz, who is the chairman of Vote Vets,
and also Melanie Sloan of the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in
Melanie, you first. Allegedly what has Hannity‘s charity done wrong?
MELANIE SLOAN, CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON:
I think the biggest thing is Hannity gets on television and promotes
Freedom Concerts, and says all the money is going from the Freedom Concert
ticket sales to the charity for college scholarships for children of
wounded and killed veterans.
That simply isn‘t the case. The money all goes to something called
Premiere Marketing. Premiere Marketing is run by a guy named Dwayne Ward,
who is a longtime associate of Oliver North‘s. Mr. Ward also happens to
run the Premiere Speakers Bureau, which represents both Hannity and North.
At the concerts, they sell tour collectibles under Premiere Collectibles.
Basically, the whole thing is a money-making enterprise for Premiere
Marketing. Then some portion of the ticket proceeds—and we don‘t know
how much—goes over to the Freedom Alliance for the scholarships.
SCHULTZ: OK. Again, who owns Premiere Marketing?
SLOAN: Dwayne Ward, longtime conservative. He started his career
with Jerry Fallwell.
SCHULTZ: OK. All right. Mr. Soltz, what does this mean to the
veterans if this is true?
JON SOLTZ, VOTEVETS.ORG: Look it‘s horrible. There‘s a lot of great
Americans out there, American families, that give money to veterans
charities. The “Washington Post” did a huge expose about a year and a half
ago that exposes a lot of these charities that spend 90 percent of the
money that comes in on overhead. This looks to be a classic case of what
Sean Hannity‘s involved in. It makes it difficult for Americans to trust
that the money they give is actually going to help fallen soldiers.
SCHULTZ: This is the response today from Freedom Alliance: “today,
Freedom Alliance was attacked with baseless complaints. There is
absolutely no merit to the scurrilous charges launched against Freedom
Alliance from two of the most left week organizations in the country. The
smear mongers who have launched this politically motivated witch hunt
against Freedom Alliance will be proven wrong as we aggressively defend
ourselves in the days and weeks ahead.”
It was written by the president. But I tell you what, it sure sounds
like Hannity wrote it to me. Melanie, where‘s the violation here? I mean,
I understand that if there‘s not a whole lot of money that goes to those
it‘s supposed to benefit, you violate the spirit of what you‘re trying to
accomplish. But where is it written that you have to have so much go to
SLOAN: That‘s not actually the essence of our complaint, how much
money has gone to the cause. The essence is that they‘ve been on TV saying
all of the money goes to the cause, when, in fact, the money doesn‘t all go
to the cause. That‘s really the problem. The Federal Trade Commission
regulates deceptive marketing. You can‘t trick people. You can‘t say all
the money goes for something when it doesn‘t.
SCHULTZ: Do you think this is a scam? From what you see, do you
think this is a scam?
SLOAN: I do. I think it‘s a scam that makes a lot of money for
Premiere marketing. That benefits Hannity and Oliver North.
SCHULTZ: Hannity last week, in front of the Talkers Convention, a
little get together here in New York, he actually received an award for
this, a public service award for this. I asked him, straight up, I said,
what‘s happening with your charity? He said to me, I haven‘t taken one
dime. He also went up to the microphone and said that this organization
has got 15 million dollars in the bank. And Mr. Soltz, your thoughts when
you hear that kind of number tossed around.
SOLTZ: I could personally care less if Sean Hannity took a dime.
What he‘s doing is he‘s promoting a Republican corporation or conservative
corporation that‘s basically marketing something that doesn‘t exist.
They‘re out there selling and branding that they‘re non-profit. Their
charity raises—all the money they raise goes to the children of service
members that have fallen. They‘re using that money to sell. What they
should say is 10 percent of the money you give to this concert goes to
children of the fallen.
So he‘s basically complicit in a lie that‘s benefiting unfair and—
actions that we believe are possibly illegal, from a corporation that he‘s
basically in bed with.
SCHULTZ: Melanie, what do you want the IRS to do?
SLOAN: The IRS needs to look at the Freedom Alliance. The Freedom
Alliance is engaged in partisan political activity in violation of its
status as a charitable organization. They have been promoting Oliver
North‘s commentary, running these Freedom Cruises, where people like
Michael Steele and Newt Gingrich come on board.
This is a C-3 organization, which means it‘s not supposed to be
involved in partisan activity. So that‘s what we want the IRS to look at
SCHULTZ: What is the next move here? You‘ve filed your complaint.
You made it known you don‘t agree with it. Mr. Soltz, what do you want
veterans to do?
SOLTZ: I want all Americans not to give money to Sean Hannity‘s
concerts. I think that‘s the first thing. They‘re not giving the money to
the fallen troops and family members. I think there‘s a lot of other good
organizations, like the Wounded Warrior project, that help our troops that
have been wounded do activities. I think that‘s the first thing.
You know, we eagerly await the results of the investigation.
SCHULTZ: Thanks, Jon. Thanks, Melanie. Thanks for being on tonight.
We‘ll have more on the story as it develops.
Now let‘s turn to our panel for some rapid fire response. Senator
Lindsey Graham continued the Republican war on the nonpartisan
Congressional Budget Office on “Meet the Press” on Sunday. He says calling
health care reform a deficit reducer is, quote, “a flat-out lie.”
Sarah Palin accused the media of lying about the Tea Party protesters
harassing Democratic lawmakers who voted for the health care bill. She
must not be watching the news.
And the RNC Chairman Michael Steele is under fire again after the
organization reported drooping nearly 2,000 dollars at a bondage theme
strip club in Hollywood.
For more on that, let‘s go to nationally syndicated radio talk show
host Bill Press and former Bush/Cheney aide and Republican strategist Ron
All right, let‘s get to the smut early on here. What is going on with
this bondage club? Bill Press, does the—the RNC is now saying they‘re
going to investigate internally. We should point out it was not Michael
Steele there. It was somebody else. This is where allegedly their money
BILL PRESS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Yes, I just want to point out, the
RNC did pay these expenses. Now they‘re asking for the money back. Ed,
two things. One, as a former resident, a longtime resident of West
Hollywood, I want to thank the RNC for helping the local economy, going out
there and helping out the strip club.
The other thing is, I have to tell you, if I were a Republican, I
would want to strip Michael Steele of his job. As a Democrat, I‘m OK with
this. My feeling is every dollar spent at a strip club is one dollar
that‘s not spent attacking Democratic candidates and running campaigns
SCHULTZ: Ron Christie, is this trouble for Mr. Steele?
RON CHRISTIE, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I think it is, Ed. I‘m getting
really sick and tired of the slow drips coming out of the RNC. First,
there‘s a memo that has some very disparaging things about President Obama.
Now you hear something about a strip club and spokesmen come out and say
it‘s a big misunderstanding.
These people need to raise money and recruit candidates to run for
office. I‘m getting sick and tired of these distractions coming out of the
RNC. I just wonder whether or not this might be the third strike for Mr.
Steele. I‘m not going to call him to resign just yet. But I‘m just about
a millimeter away from going on the airwaves. I‘ll probably do it on THE
ED SHOW, Ed, saying it‘s time for him to go.
SCHULTZ: I‘m not out to get anybody. This was rather unusual
spending. I know he was talking about getting a jet to be cruising all
over the place as well.
PRESS: Good for you, Ron.
SCHULTZ: Well, you know, when you give 25 dollars, you want to make
sure it doesn‘t get a G-String, if you know what I mean. All right. The
next thing is the Tea Party. Ron, I want to ask you, why is Sarah Palin
attacking the media when there‘s videotape of a black congressman being
CHRISTIE: I haven‘t seen that videotape. I can certainly say that
during the Bush administration there were several very, very violent
protests. There were several very disturbing protests launched against the
president. Of course, you didn‘t see anything about that in the mainstream
In this particular case, with the health care bill, now there are
allegedly individuals who said some very disturbing things. I don‘t
condone that language or that type of activity. It seems to me there‘s a
double standard in the way it‘s being reported.
SCHULTZ: What about that, Bill?
PRESS: First of all, can we all agree this kind of language, these
kinds of actions are wrong? I don‘t care whether they come from the left
or the right. The other thing is, look, John Lewis wasn‘t lying when he
said what happened to him. Barney Frank wasn‘t lying. The Capitol Police
were not lying when they investigated these and gave ten members—at
least ten members extra security. Who do you believe? The FBI, Capitol
Police or Sarah Palin?
SCHULTZ: Or the people that called Bart Stupak at home? You want to
believe? The tape doesn‘t lie. All right. Final point, Lindsey Graham—
Bill, you first. Is the CBO lying about the health care numbers?
PRESS: Well, again, look, Lindsey Graham is in trouble with the Tea
Partiers in South Carolina. He has to say crazy stuff to save his
political butt. Again, whom do you trust? The CBO says health care reform
is going to save 143 billion the first ten years, 1.2 trillion the second
ten years. Lindsey Graham says it‘s a ponzi scheme. I trust the CBO.
SCHULTZ: What do you think, Ron, ponzi scheme? Lying about the
CHRISTIE: They are lying about the numbers. Also, if you look at the
CBO, the CBO didn‘t have the opportunity to fully score the reconciliation
bill. What they‘re also not telling you about—Ed, you and I went at
this last week -- 500 billion dollars taken out of Medicare, in addition to
the fact that 249 billion dollars that‘s going to be put back for the doc
fix. These numbers aren‘t real. These numbers are illusory.
The Democrats knew it. They wanted to get their bill done. They got
their bill accomplished. I think the American people are the great losers
for the fiscal train wreck this is going to unleash.
SCHULTZ: Let‘s three of us remember this moment now. We have a
defining moment I think between the two parties on this health care bill.
It is monumental legislation in the scheme of how this country works.
Something like this hasn‘t been done for 50 years. We have got two parties
who just absolutely do not agree on the numbers. Bill?
PRESS: Ed, one other quick thing, let‘s keep this in mind, right?
This bill is paid for, unlike the tax cuts, unlike the war, unlike the
Medicare prescription program, all of which Lindsey graham voted for.
SCHULTZ: Not paid for.
CHRISTIE: I love Bill Press, but this is not paid for. This isn‘t
paid for. There are so many accounting gimmicks the Democrats used to push
this through. CBO has not fully scored this. Lindsey Graham is right.
This is a gimmick. As I said at the outset, the American taxpayers are the
ones who are going to lose here.
SCHULTZ: Bill Press, Ron Christie—Ron, the gimmick is we‘re just
going to tax you a little more.
PRESS: He can afford it.
SCHULTZ: Thanks, Fellows.
Coming up, I‘ve been a player and I‘ve been a coach. I know
competitive sports can bring out, I guess you could say, kind of the beast
in a man every now and then, in the heat of the moment. But when your last
name is play fair and you act like this, doesn‘t fit the name tag, does it?
That‘s in the playbook next. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: In my playbook tonight, all the anti-census rhetoric coming
from the righties in Congress could end up costing Republicans
Congressional seats. Minnesota‘s Michele Bachmann kicked things off last
summer by connecting the census to the Japanese internment camps during
World War II.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MICHELE BACHMANN ®, MINNESOTA: Take this into consideration;
if we look at American history, between 1942 and 1947, the data that was
collected by the Census Bureau was handed over to the FBI and other
organizations at the request of President Roosevelt. That‘s how the
Japanese were rounded up and put into the internment camps.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Oh. That‘s one of the all-time greats, isn‘t it?
Bachmann‘s righty colleagues down in Texas, including Ron Paul, have also
slammed the census. And their state could end up feeling the effects.
Texas could add four new congressional districts, and get four more
electoral college votes from the census. But as of Friday, only 27 percent
of Texas households has sent in their forms. That‘s seven percent lower
than the national average.
And some of the state‘s most Republican counties have the lowest
return rates. Culberson County at 11 percent. Briscoe County is at eight
percent. King County is only at five percent.
For more on what this really means, let me bring in associate editor
and columnist for “The Hill,” A.B. Stoddard. And also with us tonight is
political analyst Julian Phillips.
Mr. Phillips, I want to ask you—I mean, the census is part of the
voting bloc in this country. It‘s all part of voter registration. Are the
Republicans, with their rhetoric, shooting themselves in the foot?
JULIAN PHILLIPS, POLITICAL ANALYST: I don‘t know if they‘re shooting
themselves in the foot or not, but I think once those lines of those
districts are redrawn by 2011, there‘s going to be a rude awakening on both
sides of the border, in terms of both Republicans and Democrats. As you
mentioned, Texas stands to gain four seats, Arizona two.
Eight states stand to gain seats. About 11 will lose. All the states
that will gain will be in the south. That‘s going to cause, I think, a
true debate amongst politicians where the issues will not just be black and
white, but will be gray there. For those folks who may—those
congressmen and senators who may have been for, say, immigration, or
against it, based on the new numbers, the new census figures, they may have
to rethink what they‘re going to say and how they‘re going to vote.
SCHULTZ: A.B. Stoddard, why don‘t both parties go all out and say,
get this thing done, it‘s to the advantage of everybody?
A.B. STODDARD, “THE HILL”: It‘s interesting you say that, Ed, because
on the Democratic side, I think they‘re going to get their demographics
out. I think they‘re going to get the census forms returned. I read today
that Pepsi is partnering with one of the largest Latina Internet companies
to make sure that U.S. Hispanics fill in their forms and submit them.
Obviously, the Republican party will stand to lose if anti-government
conservatives across this country are so afraid of the intrusive process of
filling out census forms that they are not counted, and the Republican
party ends up losing representation.
This is a an incredible irony and it really speaks so much—we‘ve
talked so much, Ed—I know have bored you with this 00 about how divided
the Democratic party is.
SCHULTZ: Not at all.
STODDARD: You look over on the Republican side and they are as well.
If they‘re going to have this huge faction of people who so mistrust the
government and worry that this process—that standing up to be counted in
the census is an invasion of your privacy, and that the Swine Flu Vaccine
was designed to turn you into robot or something—I mean, these people
are going to withdraw really in the end. The Republican party is going to
be much more divided than the Democrats are.
PHILLIPS: I think both Republicans and Democrats really basically
like the status quo. You‘re not seeing any promotion by Republicans or
Democrats promoting the census. They would like, basically, for things to
stay the way they are right now.
SCHULTZ: Well, Democrats have got more enthusiasm about this than the
Republicans and independents do, by 76 to 61 percent, in the most recent
polling on this, saying is the census very important for the country? The
Democrats are sold on it. They‘ve been through the gerrymandering of the
districts and they‘ve had enough of it. They do want to get their people
It would seem to me that the independents, if they‘re truly
independents, they would recognize that there‘s real value to this.
Mr. Phillips, I want to ask you, I was watching locally here the other
day in New York, and you made an interesting comment about Mr. Bloomberg.
You think that he is going to run for the Senate? I think we all know he
wants to be president. What‘s your take on that?
PHILLIPS: Look, if you look at the tea leaves now, reading them, this
is pure speculation, but it makes a lot of sense. After he won the
election this past year, he retains Howard Wolfson, big political guru, and
makes him deputy mayor. Why would he do that if he didn‘t have any future
aspirations for running for an office?
The key thing would be the Senate. If he‘s going up against Kirsten
Gillibrand, who is largely unknown, and Bruce Blakeman, who is running on
the Republican ticket right now, he could win easily. He can bankroll this
I think, also, here in New York, although he‘s largely popular here,
the unions are looking at him right now, would not mind seeing him get out
of New York and run for the Senate.
SCHULTZ: A.B., What do you think about that?
STODDARD: I think there‘s been—for the fact that everyone likes to
say that Kirsten Gillibrand is such a weak candidate, there‘s been a lot of
impressive figures falling away. After rumors that they‘re going to run
against her, we read within days they‘re not going to run against her. I
think obviously if the mayor plans to mount a campaign against her, he
should come out soon and get the job done.
He didn‘t do impressively in his last re-election as he wanted to. He
spent a lot of money. Obviously, he could self-finance and probably do
pretty well. I think the time is of the essence.
PHILLIPS: His popularity is still soaring here in New York, despite
his squeak by. But he has a 61 percent approval rate. I think that will
bode well for voters upstate. Term limits certainly will not be a concern
to upstate voters as much as it would be down here in New York City.
SCHULTZ: Julian Phillips, A.B. Stoddard, great to have you with us
tonight. Thank you.
One more page in my playbook tonight, the coach of the minor league
Canadian hockey team treated fans and a half a million Youtube fans to an
epic temper tantrum during the game over the weekend. After one of his
players got a five-minute penalty for charging the opposing team‘s goalie,
the coach screamed at the referee, tore off his jacket, and smashed a
couple of hockey sticks. He ended up getting kicked out of the game. He
paid a fine, but he will be back behind the bench for tonight‘s game.
My commentary on that, that‘s hockey.
Coming up, domestic terrorism is on the rise. A Christian militia
group planned to use weapons of mass destruction at police funerals? More
shocking details in just a moment. You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.
SCHULTZ: Finally tonight on THE ED SHOW, nine members of a Christian
militia group have been indicted on charges connected to an alleged plot to
kill police officers and spark a war against the United States government.
The FBI arrested eight of them this weekend in raids in Michigan, Ohio, and
Indiana. The ninth is still at large. The defendants have been accused of
plotting to use weapons of mass destruction, improvised explosive devices
and other weapons to start an uprising against the federal government.
NBC‘s Pete Williams joins us tonight. Pete, this is good old-
fashioned law enforcement work, is it not?
PETE WILLIAMS, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: It very much is, because we
believe that the FBI had actually penetrated this group, and was well aware
of its movements and plans for at least the part year and a half. So the
government basically held the on/off switch and could shut this group any
time they thought it was about to go operational, which is, in fact, what
There was a belief this group planned, as the court documents say,
some sort of a reconnaissance mission. We believe April 24th was the date.
There‘s a date on the group‘s website that says there‘s a training mission
April 24th. And they were concerned that if the group actually went ahead
and tried to do this, that people in the public might get hurt, because the
group had said anyone that didn‘t obey their orders could be shot.
So the FBI let this play out as long as they thought they needed to,
and then made the arrests over the weekend, moving very quickly with
decisive force, because they didn‘t know what kind of resistance this group
might put up. As it turns out, there wasn‘t much.
SCHULTZ: Are the leaders in custody tonight?
WILLIAMS: The leader of this group is David Stone from southern
Michigan. He‘s in custody. His wife is also in custody and one of their
two sons. The other son is still at large.
SCHULTZ: OK. Now it‘s interesting you said that the FBI infiltrated.
Were they actually doing drills with them or was this the Patriot Act at
WILLIAMS: Well, I suppose the Patriot Act—ironically, because some
people refer to these groups as patriot or militia-style groups. I imagine
the Patriot Act very much played a role here. There were unquestionably
wiretaps in addition to the government‘s own surveillance. So they really
had tabs on this group, were following their movements, following their
training. This group at one point wanted to make a trip and try to meet
with somebody they thought could give them explosives. As it turned out,
they didn‘t get the explosives.
You‘re looking at sketches of them today. Seven of the eight who were
arrested today appeared in court. They‘ll be back on Wednesday for a
detention hearing, and we‘ll see where it goes from there, in terms of
whether they get out on bail.
SCHULTZ: On their website, they said they were preparing for the end
times, defending themselves against the anti-Christ.
WILLIAMS: Yes. That‘s right. They said they believe that the anti-
Christ was coming, that they had to be prepared to defend themselves. What
isn‘t so clear is how did they get from that to believing very strongly in
an anti-government group, and believing that local police was the way to
According to prosecutors, what they wanted to do was attack police,
hoping that that would then spark some kind of anti-government revolt. And
they apparently discussed a number of ways to attack police, calling 911,
going to the home of the law enforcement person, or this very dramatic plot
to kill a police officer and then attack other officers at that officer‘s
SCHULTZ: NBC‘s Pete Williams with us tonight. Thanks, Pete.
WILLIAMS: You bet.
SCHULTZ: Tonight, in our text survey question, I asked would you be
willing to pay Internet sales taxes to keep your state from going broke?
Seventy five percent of you said yes; 25 percent said no. That‘s THE ED
SHOW. I‘m Ed Schultz. For more information on THE ED SHOW, go to
Ed.MSNBC.com, or check out my radio website at WeGotEd.com. Chris Matthews
and “HARDBALL” is next. We‘ll see you tomorrow night.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
Copy: Content and programming copyright 2010 NBC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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.>