updated 4/26/2010 11:00:15 AM ET 2010-04-26T15:00:15

Guests: Frank Sharry, Jonathan Alter, Cynthia Tucker, Rev. Barry Lynn,

Stephanie Miller, Bill Press, Michael Brune, Steven A. Smith, Lizz Winstead

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

These stories are hitting my hot buttons tonight. 

I guess you could say it‘s gut check time for the Congress.  Now that Arizona‘s Republican governor has signed a harsh anti-immigration bill right into law this afternoon, the president wants the Congress to get moving on this political hot potato and lightning rod.  It is a big one. 

Crazy, I guess, is the standard now.  It‘s catching on.  Arizona passes a birther bill.  Now Republicans in Georgia are looking to do the same thing.  We‘ll have reaction.

And Lizz Winstead will be here in “Club Ed” tonight—it‘s Friday—to tell us just how much health care can you get if you show up with a chicken. 

And preacher Franklin Graham is in hot water with the Army.  I‘ll tell you all about that and have commentary tonight here on THE ED SHOW.

This is the story that‘s gotten me fired up to start tonight.  The Arizona legislature is actually shaping national politics. 

There were several protests across Arizona today.  The Latino community is furious with this legislation, but long-time residents say it‘s about time that the state got tough on illegal immigration.  Arizona Republican Governor Jan Brewer just signed a bill that will make her state‘s immigration laws absolutely the toughest in the country. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. JAN BREWER ®, ARIZONA:  We in Arizona have been more than patient waiting for Washington to act.  But decades of federal inaction and misguided policy have created a dangerous and unacceptable situation.  Today, with my unwavering signature on this legislation, Arizona strengthens its security within our borders. 

Let me be clear, though.  My signature today represents my steadfast support for enforcing the law. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  You think health care was hot?  The president is laser-focused on Arizona.  He set the stage for the governor earlier today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  Failure to act responsibly at the federal level will only open the door to irresponsibility by others, and that includes, for example, the recent efforts in Arizona which threaten to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and their communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  The president knows this is a civil rights powder keg ready to ignite all across America. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA:  I have instructed members of my administration to closely monitor the situation and exam the civil rights and other implications of this legislation.  But if we continue to fail to act at a federal level, we will continue to see misguided efforts opening up around the country. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  You can‘t deny it.  Immigration legislation has been a political landmine for Democrats for years.  It‘s helped sink Hillary Clinton‘s campaign for president.  She butchered a response on this issue early in the debates.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TIM RUSSERT, MODERATOR:  And I just want to make sure what I heard.  Do you, the New York senator, Hillary Clinton, support the New York governor‘s plan to give illegal immigrants a driver‘s license?  You told the Nashua, New Hampshire, paper is made a lot of sense.  Do you support his plan? 

SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D), NEW YORK:  You know, Tim, this is where everybody plays gotcha.  It makes a lot of sense.  What is the governor supposed to do?  He is dealing with a serious problem.  We have failed and George Bush has failed. 

Do I think this is the best thing for any governor to do?  No. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Nobody has had the right answer for this for a long time. 

President Obama made a promise to move on immigration reform in his first year, and it really helped galvanize the Latino vote in 2008.  Now health care is over with.  He knows he has to live up to his promise. 

Numbers clearly show Hispanics are the fastest-growing ethnic group in this country.  More than 46.9 million Hispanics live in the United States.  They make up more than 15 percent of our entire population. 

Any non-favorable legislation will be viewed negatively.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has pushed immigration reform to the front of the list on the agenda.  He knows the stakes.  Twenty-six percent of the population in his state is Hispanic, and he‘s politically in trouble.

It‘s gut check time for the Obama administration and the Congress.  Senator Lindsey Graham and Senator Chuck Schumer in New York have drafted the outline for an immigration bill which calls for illegal immigrants to admit, number one, that they broke the law.  They‘d have to pay a fine, along with back taxes, and perform community service if they want to move towards legal status in the country. 

Well, are you going to go along with that? 

The reason we‘re facing this mess is because we just don‘t have and never have had the intestinal fortitude to guard the border.  And I think it‘s time to take our military maybe off the border in Afghanistan and put them on the border down near Mexico and Arizona. 

At the same time, we need to come together and grant some sort of amnesty for these 10 to 20 -- how many of them are—undocumented workers already here in the country.  They‘re not going away.  The problem is not going away. 

The issue might be harder to solve than health care.  I believe that.  The politics of this are very toxic.  But the bigger issue I think is morality.  And if we allow this crisis to go another year with not doing anything about it, it‘s only going to get worse. 

I don‘t think that President Obama wants to walk away from this saying, you know, I didn‘t tackle this, other people didn‘t, I didn‘t either.  He‘s not like that.  He‘s going after it. 

And I think that if he does, how about this for a plan?  We‘ve got a lot of experts on illegal immigration.  How about if you‘re in the United States right now, we have Amnesty Day, you‘re declared an American, you‘re legal?  If you‘re on our soil, you‘re legal?

Do you know what that would do to the tax base?  Gosh, all these righties who want cheap labor, they‘d actually have to pay minimum wage.  This would level the playing field for small businesses across the country, and a lot of people would fall by the wayside, and we would certainly change the landscape of labor in this country and it would make the progressive movement in this country a lot stronger. 

This is going to take a lot of guts by the Democrats in the Congress.  Don‘t count on the Republicans.  They‘re not going to be there.  I don‘t believe that you‘re going to find the 11 that voted for it before to come back and help out President Obama. 

President Obama has a chance to really change the economy and change the landscape of this illegal immigration issue for good.  And, of course, with Amnesty Day, what do you say we really protect the border the way we‘re supposed to? 

Aren‘t we concerned about national security?  Tea Partiers, where are you?  Don‘t you want to keep the illegals out?  But if the undocumented workers are here, isn‘t this what America is all about? 

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

Tonight‘s tech survey question is: Do you believe all undocumented workers currently in the United States should be granted citizenship?  Text “A” for yes and text “B” for no to 622639.  We‘ll bring you the results later on in the show. 

Now, joining me now is Frank Sharry.  He‘s the founder and executive director of America‘s Voice, an immigration advocacy group. 

Mr. Sharry, good to have you with us tonight.

FRANK SHARRY, AMERICA‘S VOICE:  Great to be with you, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  What do you think about—well, let‘s just do this—let‘s have Amnesty Day.  Let‘s give them an easy path to citizenship.  Let‘s be done with this, and it would change the labor force in this country, it would change the tax base in this country, and it would also loosen up, I think, a lot of burden on law enforcement right now. 

What about this? 

SHARRY:  All right.  I think you‘ve got the right elements, but here‘s how I‘d do it. 

You‘re right about we‘ve got to do more in securing the border.  We‘ve done a lot there, but, see, what we‘ve had, we‘ve had this keep out sign at the border and a help wanted sign about 100 yards in. 

The real key to stopping illegal immigration is to crack down on the employers who hire illegally.  And it‘s usually the employers who hire illegally who underpay their workers, who look for cheap lever, who undercut honest competitors.  That‘s the real key to getting control in the future.

And, as you were saying, we‘ve got to deal with the fact that we have got 11 million people here.  They‘re not going to up and leave.  Most of them have been here for about 10 years.  Let‘s make sure there‘s a process. 

Now, I don‘t believe in amnesty.  What I think people should do is meet certain criteria.  Pass background checks, study English, pay their taxes, get to the back of the citizenship line, meet criteria, and then they can earn their way to citizenship. 

SCHULTZ:  Well, the way it is now, they‘ve got to have a lot of money. 

SHARRY:  You‘re right.

SCHULTZ:  They‘ve got to have a bank account.  I mean, we‘ve made it awfully tough for these undocumented workers to be a part of our society. 

It‘s our problem.  We‘ve let them come across the border.  We haven‘t done what we were supposed to do. 

SHARRY:  That‘s right.

SCHULTZ:  And I do credit the Arizona governor for having the guts to say that the feds haven‘t stepped up and gotten the job done.

But the bottom line here is, is that this is our fault, isn‘t it? 

SHARRY:  It is.  Look, there is no line for workers in the country illegally go get into to apply for citizenship.  I hear it all the time—why don‘t they go to the post office and just apply?

There is no line.  They would love to have a line to get into.  They are Americans in all but paperwork.  But we‘ve got to create a new law that allows that system to happen.  And the combination is crack down on employers so that illegal hiring and evasion of taxes is cracked down on, and make sure these people are legal. 

SCHULTZ:  Now, you know, all the undocumented workers in this country are not Hispanic. 

SHARRY:  Correct. 

SCHULTZ:  I mean, we have to state that.

Is this a racist law that is now in effect in Arizona?  I mean, tonight the landscape of law enforcement has changed. 

SHARRY:  It has.  No, it‘s a really sad day.

I mean, I think this law in Arizona will go down much like some of the segregationist laws in the late ‘50s in the South.  I don‘t think it‘s an exaggeration. 

This says if you are suspected of being illegal, the police must ask for your papers.  Let‘s be honest.  If you or I are in Arizona, we‘re not going to asked for our papers.  But if you have a military veteran who‘s put his life on the line in this country, but his name is “Rodriguez” or “Salazar,” he‘s going to be stopped and asked for papers. 

That‘s the way—this puts a target on the back of every Hispanic in the state.  Can you imagine kids going to school feeling uncomfortable? 

SCHULTZ:  There‘ll be a lot of social friction, there‘s no doubt about that.

SHARRY:  It is an inflammatory law.

SCHULTZ:  Mr. Sharry, good to have you with us tonight.  Thanks so much for your time.

SHARRY:  Thank you, Ed.

SCHULTZ:  For more, let me bring in Jonathan Alter, national affairs columnist in “Newsweek” and MSNBC political analyst. 

Jonathan—

JONATHAN ALTER, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  Hi, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  -- let‘s talk about where the president is on this.  Is this a real opportunity for the president?  What do you think? 

ALTER:  I think it is.  This is a terrible law.  But sometimes out of crisis or bad policy comes opportunity.

This has a chance of really jump-starting debate on the immigration bill, which has been languishing, and the White House didn‘t want to deal with it until they got health care off the table.  Now they are ready to deal with it.  And the upside, politically, is considerable for the president if he can get this legislation through. 

SCHULTZ:  Well, let‘s talk about that. 

ALTER:  And it‘s toxic.  You‘re absolutely right, it‘s toxic in a lot of ways.  But as you also mentioned, the fastest-growing group of voters, Hispanics, if the Democrats can solidify them, that can be very important for their prospects moving forward, on top of which—and this is the important thing—it‘s the right thing to do, to have comprehensive immigration reform.

And they should do it along the lines that none other than John

McCain, who has now, in supporting this awful of Arizona bill, deported his

principles.  The bill in Washington should be along the lines that John

McCain envisioned a couple of years ago, and they should sell it that way -

all we‘re doing is debating and passing the old McCain bill. 

SCHULTZ:  Now, if the president is integral in this, do you think that he could, for the Democrats, help solidify the Latino-base vote?  I mean for generations to come.

ALTER:  Yes.

SCHULTZ:  He would be viewed as the compassionate president who addressed the problem.  And if there is any kind of road to citizenship, that it‘s a lot faster than what we‘ve had before for undocumented workers, it‘s going to change the workforce in this country and the economy.  And it would seem to me, I‘d venture to say, that there would be more money into the Treasury. 

What do you think? 

ALTER:  Oh, there definitely would.  If you could get these people out of the shadows, into the workforce, paying taxes, it would help with the deficit.  It would also help on entitlements. 

You know, we are a younger country than our European and Asian competitors, mostly because of immigration.  But the ratio between retirees and workers is shrinking, and so we need these younger immigrants to be paying taxes, to pay for you and me in our retirement. 

SCHULTZ:  Yes.

ALTER:  And if we don‘t have them, we‘ve got a huge boulder on top of our fiscal future.  So this immigration problem is connected to a lot of other problems, but short term, it‘s really flammable and it is really treacherous.  So it has to be done right. 

The president has to tread carefully, but also be aggressive in moving forward to show real progress on this, because it‘s been languishing.  Because it has upside potential for the Democrats, you can bet that almost every Republican will be against it. 

SCHULTZ:  Which would be the wrong thing to do if they care about the future of their party, in my opinion. 

ALTER:  I agree.

SCHULTZ:  Jonathan Alter, always good to have you.  Thanks so much. 

ALTER:  Thanks, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  Coming up, the loony birther wildfire is spreading east.  Activists in Georgia are now trying to force the president to show his birth certificate. 

That‘s next. 

And “Shooter‘s” waxing nostalgic.  Oh, the good old day when he told Pat Leahy to go whatever himself on the Senate floor.  More on that at the bottom of the hour.

Plus, “Daily Show” co-creator Lizz Winstead tells us about the SEC‘s porn problem.  And Stephen A. Smith will talk Tebow in the “Playbook.”

That‘s all coming up.

You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

Well, a second state is following Arizona‘s example and playing to the extreme right-wing fringe.  Lawmakers in Georgia are now considering a bill that would require President Obama to present his birth certificate if he wants to put his name on the state ballot in 2012. 

The Arizona legislature has already passed a bill like that.  The Georgia bill is being sponsored by state representative Mark Hatfield, who claims he‘s not a birther.  He‘s just trying to serve any constituents who might be.

Hatfield‘s quote is: “In view of all the uncertainly and all the disagreement about any proof of citizenship the current president, I believe that no citizen should ever have any doubts about the citizenship of the highest elected official of the land.” 

For more, let me bring in Cynthia Tucker, columnist and editorial page editor for “The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.”  And she has been writing about this.

Cynthia, thanks for your time tonight. 

What is the undercurrent in Georgia about this?  What is this all about?  Why do they want to do this? 

CYNTHIA TUCKER, ATLANTA “JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION”:  Well, Ed, you know perfectly well why they want to do it.  It‘s just playing to the Tea Partiers, to the Birthers, to all those folks who claim that they don‘t believe that the president was born in the United States. 

It‘s interesting that Hatfield said he wants to clear up any doubts because no citizen should have any doubts about whether the president was really born in the U.S.  Well, if it were possible to clear up the Birthers‘ doubts, I would say, by all means, let‘s pass this law. 

But the simple fact of the matter is, the president and, you know, legitimate news organizations have done everything they could to show that the president, yes, we‘ve seen his birth certificate, of course he was born in Hawaii.  There was a birth announcement concurrent with his birth.  Did his mother somehow know that he would one day be president of the United States and plant a birth announcement in a Hawaii newspaper at the time? 

SCHULTZ:  So who‘s stroking the emotions of this?  Is it the right-wing talkers in your state?  I mean, is this all they have to talk about? 

TUCKER:  Well, of course there are right-wing talkers stroking it, there are right-wing bloggers stroking it.  But there is a pretty strong Tea Party movement in Georgia, just as is there in many southern states and across much of the West, like Arizona.  And these Republicans are running to catch up with the Tea Party. 

Unfortunately—and the Birthers.  Unfortunately, that has become the reliable base of the Republican Party.  They need these folks to turn out and vote for them, and so they are running to catch up with them. 

SCHULTZ:  Well, how do you think moderate Republicans feel about this?  I mean, not everybody in Georgia has extreme feelings.  How do moderate—or is there maybe a strong showing of people in Georgia that think that this is really overboard? 

TUCKER:  Some are embarrassed.  And this bill certainly isn‘t go anywhere in this session of the legislature because moderate Republicans are going to—first of all, it‘s too late in the session.  But moderate Republicans are going to try to do battle against it. 

You know, Georgia has not yet become a laughing stock like Arizona has.  And there are many Republicans who don‘t want Georgia to become a laughing stock.  But if it doesn‘t make it through in this session, look for it to come up again next year and the year after that.  They are going to hammer this and hammer this and try to embarrass the president as much as they can. 

SCHULTZ:  Does it just come from the dislike of the president? 

TUCKER:  Of course it does. 

SCHULTZ:  I mean, that‘s really the whole thing.  It just focuses the agenda for the American people.  I mean, it‘s all about hating Obama.  That‘s what it seems like to me. 

TUCKER:  Of course it is.  It is about viewing Obama as “the other.” 

He‘s not really one of us. 

SCHULTZ:  Yes. 

TUCKER:  He was born in Kenya.  And so, yes, there‘s actually nothing that the president can do to relieve the doubts of folk who don‘t want to see him as a real American. 

SCHULTZ:  Cynthia Tucker, thank you for joining us tonight on THE ED

SHOW.

TUCKER:  Thanks, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  Be sure to tune in Monday.  I‘m going to be going head-to-head with the sponsor of this Georgia birther bill, state representative Mark Hatfield.  That will be right here on this program, THE ED SHOW, Monday night, 6:00 p.m. Eastern, here on MSNBC. 

Coming up, the bartering for health care.  Crazies, well, they‘re just out there multiplying.  A Tennessee lawmaker out-clucks the chicken lady and says vegetables—yes, vegetables—are the way you can pay your doctor bills.  He‘ll plow his way into the “Zone” next. 

Stay with us. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, a great Friday edition. 

The Republican Party has finally given us a health care plan.  They want you to barter.

First, we had the chicken woman out of Nevada, Senate wannabe Sue Lowden.  Now Tennessee state representative Mike Bell wants you to pay your doctor with vegetables. 

Bell thinks that we should all live like Mennonites.  He said, “They‘re some of the healthiest people you have ever seen.  I know someone in the medical field who has been paid with vegetables from the Mennonite community.”

Now, let me be very clear.  Nothing against the Mennonites, but I don‘t think many doctors want to get paid in the form of zucchini.

The chicken lady is still taking heat.  A progressive group in Nevada has put a commercial out mocking Lowden‘s comments. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SUSAN LOWDEN ®, SENATORIAL CANDIDATE:  Before we all started having health care in the olden days, our grandparents, they would bring a chicken to the doctor.  I‘m not backing down from that system. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LOWDEN‘S VOICE:  Just bring a chicken to the doctor.  Bring a chicken to the doctor.  A chicken to the doctor.  Bring a chicken to the doctor.  Bring a chicken to the doctor. 

I‘m not backing down from that statement.  Bring a chicken to the doctor.  Bring a chicken to the doctor.  Bring a chicken to the doctor. 

I‘m not backing down from that statement.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(LAUGHTER)

SCHULTZ:  For any Republican to think bartering is the answer for health care, it‘s just delirious “Psycho Talk.”  

Coming up, Franklin Graham is taking heat for saying Islam is wicked. 

But Sarah “Barracuda” and Sean Hannity, well, they‘re in her corner.

My thoughts on that in just a moment.

And the incredible sinking of a gigantic oil rig has got a lot of folks worried about the president‘s plan to drill, baby, drill.  The White House says it‘s not having any second thoughts, but the Sierra Club has got a lot to say about that.

That‘s coming up. 

Plus, Dick Cheney is bragging about how nasty he is.  And “Daily Show” co-creator Lizz Winstead goes gangster on Michele Bachmann. 

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

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW and thanks for watching tonight.  This is the battle ground issue.  For decades, Billy Graham has counseled presidents in crisis.  His son, Franklin Graham, is now carrying the torch for the Graham family.  But he‘s found himself in the midst of a big controversy.  After 911, he said that Islam was, quote, “evil and wicked.”  He hasn‘t changed his tune.  Just a few months ago, Graham called Islam “a very violent religion.”  He has also said true Islam couldn‘t be practiced in the United States because it‘s illegal to beat your wife or murder your children. 

These remarks led the United States Army to rescind an invitation for Graham to take part in their upcoming prayer.  Graham stands by his comments.  Here‘s what he had to say over on the right wing network.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Some comments that you had after 911, where you said Islam is a very evil and wicked religion.  Do you still believe that, Mr. Graham? 

FRANKLIN GRAHAM, SON OF BILLY GRAHAM:  Gretchen, first of all, I love Muslim people and I want Muslims everywhere to know what I know, that God loves us, that he sent his son, Jesus Christ, into this world to take our sins, and he died for our sins, and rose from the grave.  And Christ can come to their heart and change them.  And they can have the hope of eternal life, salvation. 

I want them to know that they don‘t have to die in a car bomb.  They don‘t have to die in some kind of a holy war. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  I didn‘t think all of them believed that.  This isn‘t about political correctness.  Franklin Graham didn‘t make a verbal gaffe.  This is what he believes.  These are views that he‘s expressed publicly for a decade.  What Graham said are confrontational statements from a man of the cloth. 

I don‘t think it has anyplace at the Pentagon prayer service either. 

For more, let me bring in Reverend Barry Lynn.  He‘s the executive director of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State.  Reverend, good to have you with us tonight.

REV. BARRY LYNN, AMERICANS UNITED FOR THE SEPERATION OF CHURCH AND

STATE:  Nice to be back.

SCHULTZ:  It‘s very clear that Mr. Graham didn‘t want to repeat what he said in that interview.  Do you think he really believe what he says about Islam being evil? 

LYNN:  Absolutely, he believes.  Congressman Randy Forbes, very conservative Republican from Virginia today said, what was the Pentagon worried about?  What did they think he would say?  The answer is they were afraid he would repeat some of the very vile things that you‘ve talked about, that Islam is evil and wicked and violent, and you cannot have the Defense Department of the United States becoming an enabler of that kind of speech. 

That kind of hateful speech only says to the real extremist in the Middle East, the people we really need to worry about, this is a confirmation that we‘re really in a crusade.  It‘s Christianity, as would have been represented by Mr. Graham showing up at the Pentagon—it‘s a war between Christianity and Islam. 

That‘s the most dangerous we can present, including to our men and women in service in Afghanistan and Iraq. 

SCHULTZ:  Saying that Islam is evil and then saying that you don‘t have to fly planes into buildings and blow people up and things like hat—isn‘t he indicting the entire faith? 

LYNN:  This is absolutely correct.  He‘s indicting the entire religion.  There‘s one way, his way.  It‘s the highway.  And if you‘re not on it, there‘s something seriously wrong with you.  And in the case of Islam, you‘re evil. 

SCHULTZ:  Do you think other Christians would call him on it, other than yourself?  Does James Dobson, does he feel this way?  Does Focus on the Family, do they feel this way? 

LYNN:  No, in fact, it‘s even worst.  Because Shirley Dobson (ph), the spouse of James Dobson of Focus on the Family, is the guy who got him invited to the Pentagon in the first place.  And I should tell you that we‘ve been following this issue of the connection between the Dobson‘s little private national day of prayer group and government activities for almost two decades.  This woman believes that National Day of Prayer, next Thursday, should be for Christians, that if you are a Muslim, for example, you could listen to someone pray who is a Christian, but you can‘t lead the prayers. 

In other words, she was not expecting some kind of kumbaya moment of spirituality at the Pentagon.  This was an effort to promote Christianity, to convert everyone, and to use the rubric of an official event to do it. 

SCHULTZ:  In the lead to your interview tonight, I pointed out that Billy Graham has counseled presidents in times of crisis many times before.  How do you think President Obama will receive this?  Would he be severely criticized if he were to seek the counsel of Franklin Graham?  Does this put him out of the White House? 

LYNN:  I don‘t know if it puts him out of the White House.  But I do think that President Obama has already made nicer, I think, than he should have with people like Rick Warren, who is a notorious homophobic pastor in California, has people like Joel Hunter, who was almost selected to head the Christian Coalition of Pat Robertson, on one of his advisory counsels at the White House. 

He‘s already flirting—more than flirting.  I don‘t know, he‘s maybe getting to first base with some of these religious right activists.  It‘s time for this administration, I think, to recognize the right doesn‘t like him. They are going to criticize every single thing that he does, and that we have to start talking about real progressive and constitutionally supportable doctrines out of this administration. 

SCHULTZ:  Reverend Barry Lynn, always a pleasure.  Good to have you with us tonight.  Thank you. 

Now let‘s get some rapid fire response from our panel on these stories tonight.  The conservative Christian group the American Family Association says the United States government is more dangerous than al Qaeda and Timothy McVeigh.

And it‘s gut check time for the president and the Democrats on immigration reform. 

And Shooter‘s up to his old tricks.  Now that the former vice president says the best thing he‘s done is telling the United States senator to bleep himself. 

With us tonight, two nationally syndicated radio talk show hosts, of the flock, Stephanie Miller and, of course, Bill Press.  Who says we need righties on the show.  

We can gang up on them now.  First of all, what do you make of this Christian group, Stephanie?  Who is this outfit?

STEPHANIE MILLER, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  Isn‘t it amazing, Ed, the people calling themselves Christian in this country today?  It really—how do you even vaguely make that association that government—they mean government by Obama is as bad as al Qaeda?  You could make the argument that George Bush‘s government, who killed 4,000 Americans unnecessarily in Iraq, who missed 9/11 on his watch, who responded to Hurricane Katrina disastrously, you know, he was pretty disastrous for Americans, in my opinion.  But no one on the left ever said that, did we?  

SCHULTZ:  Here‘s what Elijah Friedman for the American Family Association had to say: “if a radical home-grown terrorist group attached the United States following the example of Timothy McVeigh in Oklahoma City, it would be horrible, outrageous.  If al Qaeda managed to attack us again, killing thousands of people, the nation would be devastated, saddened, and enraged.  However, neither of these terrible events would affect the existence of America.  Big government, on the other hand, is set on destroying the individual on which America is built.” 

Bill Press, your response? 

BILL PRESS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  You know, there‘s so much wrong

with this, I don‘t know where to start, Ed.  First of all, let me just say

Stephanie alluded to this—imagine if somebody on the left had said something like that.  I mean, the right wingers would be demanding we call out the Marines to go after these people.  I mean, I think this is really sedition.  What I wonder is where are the responsible voices, if there are any left, who are going to stand up and say, this has just gone too far? 

           

And may I point out that the biggest expansion of federal government in our lifetime has been George W. Bush Medicare Part D.  Where were all of these voices then?  Is it just because Obama is black that they are upset now? 

SCHULTZ:  The biggest expansion of government was the development of the Department of Homeland Security.  That was the biggest expansion of government ever.  OK, let‘s talk about illegal immigration, immigration reform.  Bill, what does the president have to do now that just hours ago the Arizona governor has turned it into law? 

PRESS:  I got to tell you, we talked about this at the White House this morning with Robert Gibbs, Ed.  There‘s no doubt about it that this Arizona law means that immigration reform has leapfrogged ahead of climate change and global warming in terms of a priority for the White House.  They know they‘ve got to move.  And the president has told the attorney general he wants him to check into the constitutionality of this law, and whether or not it violates the civil rights of other Arizonans, who happen to be American citizens and also happen to have brown skin. 

SCHULTZ:  Stephanie, this really opens up the door for the Democrats to secure the Latino vote.

MILLER:  Absolutely.  We call it the Zeig Heil (ph) law on our radio

show, Ed.  May I see your papers?  Are you kidding me?  In the year 2010,

this is beyond mean spirited, Ed.  What we really need is a comprehensive

immigration reform, the kind that John McCain used to have his name on and

doesn‘t remember now.  But like you‘ve been saying it—you‘re dead right

we‘ve got to secure the border, but we‘ve got to give amnesty to a bunch of people, a path to citizenship, like, by the way, Reagan did.  All of those Tea Baggers that are holding the Reagan signs up, you might want to remember that. 

SCHULTZ:  Stephanie, where is your audience on immigration reform?  I want to ask you the same thing, Bill.  What are your callers saying? 

MILLER:  Well, just what I said, Ed.  I think we have to have a comprehensive immigration reform.  All of the people, Ed, that were screaming about amnesty the last time, you gave amnesty to all those millions of illegals last time by not doing anything and not passing McCain-Kennedy.  So we‘ve got to do it this time. 

SCHULTZ:  Any Republicans going to come on board, Bill?  And what are your callers saying? 

PRESS:  I tell you what my callers are saying.  We‘ve got to secure the border.  We‘ve got to enforce the law.  And we also have to do something to make it possible for those people who are here, and have been here for years, and have families, and have jobs, and are paying taxes, to get on the path to citizenship. 

You know what?  The Republican—I think Lindsey Graham is taking the lead on this. 

SCHULTZ:  Do you think there will be any Republicans that will help out here?  There were 11 that voted the last time.  What about this time? 

PRESS:  I don‘t know.  Because right now, Ed, they are in the mode, if Obama is for it, they are against it.  I wouldn‘t be surprised if they go south on it.

SCHULTZ:  How much does Harry Reid have to do with being in political trouble when 26 percent of his population is Hispanic in Nevada.  What do you think, Stephanie? 

MILLER:  Well, he‘s running against someone who thinks you can use a chicken to pay for your health care.  So it‘s clucking ridiculous.

SCHULTZ:  Speaking of the words that are out there, what about Dick Cheney saying it‘s one of the best things he ever did, when he laid it on Patrick Leahy on the Senate floor? 

MILLER:  You know what I think of Cheney, Ed?  I think the best thing that could have ever happened is if the Haig would tell him to blank himself. 

PRESS:  You know what, Ed?  Here‘s what gets me: imagine what he tells his grand kids, right?  Grand dad, what are you really proud of?  I‘m proud that I went on the Senate floor and told the United States senator to commit the impossible act. 

But, frankly, Ed, I thought that shooting his friend in the face was the best thing he ever did.   

SCHULTZ:  It certainly was for us on talk radio. 

PRESS:  You bet.

SCHULTZ:  Stephanie Miller, Bill Press, great to have you with us tonight.  Thanks so much.

Coming up, the second round of the NFL draft is in minutes.  We‘re going to focus on the family poster boy, Tim Tebow.  He popped up just in time for the Denver Broncos.  How about that.  And Steven A. Smith is our best available player to talk about that next in the playbook.  Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  In my playbook tonight, a massive oil rig explosion off the coast of Louisiana is raising some serious environmental concerns tonight.  The Coast Guard has reported seeing a one by five mile long oil slick floating in the area.  Meanwhile, the search continues for the 11 oil workers missing at sea. 

The rig sunk yesterday afternoon after burning for almost two straight days.  Coast Guard officials say that the sunken rig is not currently leaking oil.  They claim that the oil on the surface is coming from the remaining initial explosion that took place. 

This tragedy comes shortly after the Obama administration announced plans to expand offshore oil drilling.  Just a few weeks ago, the president of Shell Oil had this to say about the administration‘s plans.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Can it be done safely? 

MARVIN ODUM, PRESIDENT, SHELL OIL:  Absolutely it can.  You know, we -

it‘s the critical piece of us moving into some of these areas.  I‘ll go back to what the administration said today.  Talking about exploration offshore Alaska and the areas that have been leased, they wouldn‘t be saying that if they weren‘t looking at the hundreds and millions of studies that the U.S. government did to answer the question, can it be done safely there.  So, yes it can. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  For more, let‘s turn to the executive director of the Sierra Club, Michael Brune.  Mr. Brune, what do those studies show tonight?  It doesn‘t look very good out there, does it? 

MICHAEL BRUNE, SIERRA CLUB EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR:  No, it doesn‘t.  First, let me say, our hearts go out to the families of those workers who have been killed or who are missing or injured.  It‘s really a terrible tragedy.  It‘s an avoidable tragedy.  We know—we have known for years that our dependence on oil is both dirty and deadly.  It‘s time to actually solve the problem, rather than talking about how bad it is. 

SCHULTZ:  Does this prove your case that we shouldn‘t be doing this this close to shore? 

BRUNE:  Yeah.  We shouldn‘t be doing it this close to shore.  We shouldn‘t be doing it at all.  We have solutions to our oil dependence that do not include more oil drilling. 

SCHULTZ:  We shouldn‘t use any oil at all?  The United States shouldn‘t use any oil at all? 

BRUNE:  No, of course not.  We need oil right now to power our cars and to power much of our economy.  But we also know that there are alternatives to oil.  We can increase fuel economy and gradually decrease the amount of both foreign oil and domestic oil that we need. 

We have to build an economy based on clean, safe, and secure power.  And drilling for more oil, close to the shores or even further out, doesn‘t actually solve the problem.  It only perpetuates our dependence. 

SCHULTZ:  What questions should environmentalists—what do you think they should be saying right now? 

BRUNE:  What actually we should be saying right now, in the next couple weeks, is can we get a climate bill that actually addresses these problems?  When you combine this accident with the coal mining disaster of a couple weeks ago, it‘s become more clear than ever that our dependence on dirty energy, it costs lives.  It costs a lot of money.  It‘s hampering our economy.  It‘s poisoning our water and our air. 

SCHULTZ:  What do you make of the Obama administration saying that they are not changing their plans at all because of this?  

BRUNE:  I think that the Obama administration should hear from all of us.  I love a lot of what they‘re doing.  But let‘s be honest, we need to help inspire the president to fulfill some of his campaign promises to break our dependence on dirty energy.  This has gone for far too long. 

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

One more page in my playbook tonight.  It looks like Focus on the Family got their wish.  Tim Tebow was drafted by the Denver Broncos yesterday in the first round of the NFL draft.  Focus on the Family ran a controversial ad featuring Tebow and his mother during the Super Bowl.  Now members of the Colorado-based organization will be able to make the short drive to Denver to check him out every Sunday. 

Joining me now for more on the draft is Steven A. Smith, nationally syndicated radio talk show host and columnist for the “Philadelphia Enquirer.”  Steven A, I guess I‘m more concerned about what the Vikings are going to do tonight.  What is happening?  What are they going to do? 

STEVEN A. SMITH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  I have no idea what they are going to do.  You have a situation right now where they are really waiting for Brett Favre to make a decision as to what direction he‘ll go.  And they already signed up their backup quarterback, Tevaris Jackson (ph), what have you, before the draft.  You know they don‘t need a quarter back.  You know they don‘t need a running back. 

They don‘t need to much on offense.  Their defense was stellar at times last year.  Their defensive front four is strong.  But there‘s some issues with their secondary.  But right now, who knows?  It‘s the second round.  Don‘t ask me.   

SCHULTZ:  How will Tebow do with the Broncos, do you think?  

SMITH:  You know, I don‘t think he‘s going to do anything, quite honestly, not any time in the near future.  He‘s a project.  Everybody knows that.  Everybody was shocked.  A lot of people were shocked that he got drafted in the first round, and particularly the fact that the Denver Nuggets actually—I‘m sorry, the Denver Broncos traded with the Baltimore Ravens to move up to the 25th pick in the draft.  A lot of people were speculating early on that he was going to be a third round pick.  Then his stock rose to a second round pick.

But I was shell shocked that ultimately he ended up in the first round.  It was a PR campaign, not on his part, but on the part of the media rooting for him.  I think Josh McDaniel, the coach, bought into that.  He had better produce soon, though, within the next year or two.  Otherwise, it‘s going to look like a very, very bad pick. 

SCHULTZ:  How is Bradford going to play for the Rams?  Is he a game changer for them?

SMITH:  He‘s a game changer.  He‘s a game changer.  Everybody‘s talking about there‘s only one quarterback definitively worthy of being picked in the first round.  You thought that Tim Tebow had a shot, even though it was a long shot.  A guy like Jimmy Clawson was projected to be a first rounder.  That didn‘t happen.  But you knew that Sam Branford was going to be the top overall pick.  You know that he‘s a franchise caliber quarter back.  There‘s no question about that.

SCHULTZ:  Quickly, does Favre come back?  Yes or no? 

SMITH:  Of course he is.  It‘s just the media wants the attention.  He‘s coming back.  It‘s a complete waste of time that we even wonder about it.  It‘s ridiculous.

SCHULTZ:  Steven A., you‘re always picking on my Vikings.  Good to have you with us.

Coming up, I hear “Daily Show” co-creator Lizz Winstead just got back from a doctor‘s appointment.  We‘ll find out how she paid for it.  Was it chickens?  Was it a bushel of corn, a sack of potatoes?  Her take on the barter health care idea of the Republicans in just a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  Welcome back.  If it‘s Friday, it‘s time for Club Ed, with Lizz Winstead, co-creator of the “Daily Show.”  Tonight, Lizz is performing at the Bridgetown comedy festival in Portland, Oregon.  You can also follow her on Twitter at Twitter.com/LizzWinstead.  I‘ve seen her in action.  She does the crowd great and she‘s Twittering.  This is a multi-talented lady. 

The chicken lady in Nevada, what is happening here? 

LIZZ WINSTEAD, CO-CREATOR, “THE DAILY SHOW”:  Ed, leave it to the Republicans to want to go back to the 19th century with the health care plan.  I don‘t even understand where this even starts.  A, who has chickens?  You know, I can barely even have a dog in my apartment.  I‘ll tell you, I‘d be more than happy to use some of my dried of up eggs to pay for my health care.  I‘m telling you, whatever is left of my eggs, I‘m happy to give it to a doctor in exchange for an exam. 

SCHULTZ:  Well, chickens are ten bucks now. 

WINSTEAD:  I know. 

SCHULTZ:  If you have a procedure for 4,700 dollars, you‘re going to have to get your own farm, I guess. 

WINSTEAD:  Not to mention, that doctor has got to split up that chicken amongst his staff at the end of the week.  You know, the receptionist gets a giblet.  Somebody gets some feet.  It‘s the most ridiculous thing ever.  The sad thing is that she‘s still beating Harry Reid by ten points. 

SCHULTZ:  It is amazing.  It is absolutely amazing.  All right, Michele Bachmann says we have a gangster government.  What is your response? 

WINSTEAD:  Well, then she also said that it was thuggy.  Twice in one week.  Ed, here‘s a little fun fact for you: if you were going to line up all of the crap Michele Bachmann has said, end to end, you could circle the Earth three times. 

SCHULTZ:  And then some. 

WINSTEAD:  Isn‘t that amazing? 

SCHULTZ:  All right.  The sexting with the Supreme Court, where are we going with this? 

WINSTEAD:  Well, Ed, I think that it‘s pretty frightening that when you have a Supreme Court case that is about technology and the justices don‘t understand technology, and you have John Roberts not understanding the difference between a pager and e-mail—A, it makes me glad I‘ll never get a sext from John Roberts.  But, B, when Obama talks about someone with real life experience, he‘s got to start at the question, do you know how to e-mail.  I feel really afraid for our country. 

SCHULTZ:  What is happening over the Security Exchange Commission? 

What are they doing at the office?

WINSTEAD:  They‘re sexting.  They‘re very, very well versed.  I don‘t know.  Maybe the SEC should just be changed to the SEX and then we got it. 

SCHULTZ:  There you go. 

Goldman, what are we going to do with them?  Financial reform, where do we go? 

WINSTEAD:  I don‘t know.  I guess I‘m glad that maybe somebody will finally go to jail.  I think when you destroy an entire financial institution, somebody should be held accountable.  I mean, I‘ve been late for jobs and gotten fired, and I didn‘t destroy the world economy in the process.  So maybe we‘ll actually see some justice here, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  Liz, you knock it out of the park tonight, as you always do, in Portland.  We‘ll see you next week.  Thanks so much. 

WINSTEAD:  You bet. 

SCHULTZ:  Tonight, our text survey question is—I asked you: do you believe all undocumented workers currently in the United States should be granted citizenship?  Fifty two percent of you said yes, 48 percent said no.  That‘s THE ED SHOW.  I‘m Ed Schultz.  For more information on THE ED SHOW, you can go to Ed.MSNBC.com, or check out my radio website at WeGotEd.com.  And you can hear my radio show on XM 167, Noon to 3:00 Eastern time, Monday through Friday.  Have a great weekend.  HARDBALL with Chris Matthews starts right now on MSNBC.  We‘ll see you Monday.

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

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