Guests: Mike Papantonio, Walter Hang, David Frum, Karen Hunter, Mark Moreland, Rachel Moreland, Tony Blankley, Bill Press, Jonathan Alter, Lizz Winstead
ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans, and welcome to THE ED SHOW from the nation‘s capital tonight.
These stories are hitting my hot buttons at this hour.
Catastrophe has hit the Golf Coast again. This oil slick is now the size of the state of Maryland, and the damage done may eclipse the Exxon Valdez.
More on that in just a moment.
And all the heat over the new anti-immigration law in Arizona pushed the state legislature to pass some changes to the policy in the law today, but some opponents say it‘s not enough to stop racial profiling.
And Lizz Winstead is here again tonight. She‘ll be here to take on Goldman Sachs and Rielle Hunter. That‘s all coming up in “Club Ed.”
But this is the story that has me fired up tonight.
America is on the brink of an environment catastrophe beyond our imagination. Yet, BP, while they are raking in record profits, some think this was preventable, and the nation, I believe, deserves some answers tonight.
At this hour, oil is slamming into the Gulf Coast, destroying wildlife and the livelihood—the livelihood—how about those commercial fishermen? Let‘s call it millions of Americans.
The oil slick is now the size of Maryland, it‘s projected to be on a collision course, which includes Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. The governors of Louisiana and Florida have already declared it a state of emergency, and the spill may eclipse the Exxon Valdez disaster of some 20 years ago.
BP made a ton of money last year. This is now their mess to clean up. Some may wonder and are wondering, you know, gosh, could they have spent a little bit of that money on prevention, and if this entire catastrophe could have been avoided?
“The Financial Times” report BP‘s profit for the first quarter of 2010 was $5.6 billion. That‘s first quarter, folks, $5.6 billion.
Now, I wish they would have spent just some of that profit maybe on safety. But they will need these dollars now to clean up this mess. President Obama isn‘t going to let BP off the hook.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: BP is ultimately responsible under the law for paying the costs of response and cleanup operations, but we are fully prepared to meet our responsibilities to any and all affected communities. And that‘s why we‘ve been working closely with state and local authorities since the day of the explosion.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: The president is holding BP responsible, but the right wing is already accusing him of just acting too slowly. They want to say that, you know, this is his Katrina.
Well, wait a minute. We all remember this great Republican moment, don‘t we?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN ®, ARIZONA: We will drill new wells offshore and we‘ll drill them now. We‘ll drill them now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL STEELE, RNC CHAIRMAN: Drill, baby, drill. And drill now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUDY GIULIANI ®, FMR. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Drill, baby, drill?
Drill, baby, drill.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. SARAH PALIN ®, ALASKA: The chant is, “Drill, baby, drill.”
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Oh, yes. They had all the answers back then, didn‘t they?
Actually, it should be, “Spill, baby, spill.”
The “Drill, baby, drill” crowd, well, you see, they were in charge. You know, when they were in charge, the two oil boys of the White House, they did everything they could to make life easy for BP. Now we have an ecological nightmare on our hands.
President Obama has also taken plenty of heat from the left for opening up to more shoreline drilling—offshore drilling. This disaster might have put the brakes on his plan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Let me be clear. I continue to believe that domestic oil production is an important part of our overall strategy for energy security, but I‘ve always said it must be done responsibly for the safety of our workers and our environment. The local economies and livelihoods of the people of the Gulf Coast, as well as the ecology of the region, are at stake.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: And I‘ve got news for you, folks. We are just going to keep on drilling, aren‘t we?
You think we‘re going to stop? I don‘t think that anything is going to change the way we do business until we have a real energy policy that really has the safeguards in place.
And the climate bill has had to take a back seat because of illegal immigration because of what‘s going on in Arizona—this disaster—if it‘s as big as we think it‘s going to be.
Of course, when this all started, well, it‘s not leaking. Well, it‘s not as bad as we thought it was. What do you think of cap and trade now? Are they still dirty words?
In the meantime, Congress needs to catch up with the rest of the world, the rest of the world, and force the oil companies that work just off the American shores to seriously quit gambling with the planet. That‘s really what this is all about.
And I think the oil companies need to step up to the American people
tonight and say we‘re doing absolutely everything by the book, we‘re doing
and taking every, absolutely every safety precaution so this kind of stuff doesn‘t happen. It‘s going to happen.
Where‘s the teeth? Where‘s the guts? Where‘s the intestinal fortitude of the Congress to really step forward and make sure that this will be the last time this happens?
Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think on this issue tonight, folks.
Tonight‘s text survey question is: Do you want President Obama to permanently halt his plan to expand offshore drilling? Text “A” for yes, text “B” for no to 622639. We‘ll bring you the results later on in the show.
Joining me now is Mike Papantonio. He is an environmental attorney, lawyer whose firm has filed a class-action lawsuit in three states on behalf of the shrimpers, fisheries, oystermen and business owners.
Mike, good to have you with us tonight.
MIKE PAPANTONIO, ENVIRONMENTAL LAWYER: Ed, how are you?
SCHULTZ: I‘m doing fine. And I appreciate what you‘re doing, because this is going to have a domino effect on jobs in that region down there unlike anything we have ever seen before.
Where‘s the liability? Where‘s the culpability here? What‘s the call for the lawsuit?
PAPANTONIO: You nailed the story perfectly at the beginning of this program. Deepwater Horizon had two trip devices to use in blowout catastrophes. Both of them failed because of either human error or defect.
Now, here‘s what people don‘t know. BP didn‘t want to spend the money for a system. It‘s a fail-safe system, absolutely fail-safe. It‘s a device system that‘s used all over the world except in the United States, because we give them a free pass in the United States.
SCHULTZ: What system is that, Mike?
PAPANTONIO: The system‘s called the acoustic switch system. It‘s a relay system that blows out the bottom of the catastrophe. In other words, it stops the oil where it—exactly from the source.
Now, here‘s what‘s interesting. If BP has to do business in Norway, they have to use the switch. When they do it in the U.S., they don‘t have to use it.
It happened because of this—during the Bush deregulation years, you had the Minerals Management Service that told companies like BP that, gee whiz, we have a new policy. It‘s the closed-door Dick Cheney policy.
That Dick Cheney program allowed the industry to bypass safe systems like the acoustics switch, and there was no need to spend $500,000 with a company that was making $40 billion. It was a complete bypass of safety.
SCHULTZ: OK. So, Mike, are you telling our audience tonight that they were too cheap to spend $500,000 on the heels of record profits to put in an acoustic switch which would have triggered the blowout preventer, which could have stopped all of this?
PAPANTONIO: It‘s the most unreported part of this story out there, Ed. I done know why the media is not talking about this, but that‘s what it came down to.
Dick Cheney changed political policy with the energy industry. We all remember when he met behind closed doors with the industry. This is one of the things that came out of there.
SCHULTZ: So they did all of this—I mean, I‘m taken by this. They did all this to save $500,000? I mean, or was this just a wealth of paperwork and a paper trail and safety precautions they just didn‘t want to mess with? What is it?
PAPANTONIO: When this story is told, it‘s going to look just like the other deregulatory stories where the Bush years, they deregulated this industry, just like they did the drug industry, just like they did all parts of the environment, the SEC. You look at it, it‘s all a deregulatory problem.
Now, what we‘re stuck with is we‘re stuck with a problem where 20 million gallons of oil are spilling into the Gulf. There‘s no way to clean up.
In a perfect world, Ed—think about this, in a perfect world, if everything goes perfectly, we‘re going to be able to get 20 percent of the oil from the Gulf. And what ends up happening is the rest of that crude, it becomes catastrophic for an entire ecosystem.
SCHULTZ: I think the issue now is that the Senate, somebody in the Congress has got to step forward and call for a hearing on this and have an oil engineer step forward and say, you know, we really didn‘t need this acoustic switch that was a $500,000. I mean, this is the fundamental piece of your lawsuit, is it not?
PAPANTONIO: Well, it‘s one of them, along with all the other—failure to inspect, failure to train, failure to have a proper group of working people on—and you know what the other part is, Ed? It‘s their willingness to cover up the truth.
As you said starting this program, day one there was no problem. Day two, there might be a problem. Day—just day after day it grew and grew and grew.
You know why? Because corporate thought that this thing could happen without anybody knowing that there was an oil spill. The longer they could keep it quiet, the better.
And in the big picture, we have a Gulf that‘s still struggling with a $110 billion loss because of Katrina. We have a dead zone that‘s already out there, Ed.
SCHULTZ: It‘s out there.
PAPANTONIO: The dead zone is as big as New Jersey, beyond this new problem.
SCHULTZ: Mike Papantonio, thanks for joining us tonight.
And when you think about the impact of this, the tourism, who wants to go on an oily beach? Look at all the wildlife that‘s going to be affected. Look at the fisheries industry that‘s going to be affected.
I mean, this is—it‘s unbelievable. But remember, it really wasn‘t that big when it first started.
Let‘s go now to Walter Hang. He‘s an anti-drilling activist and president of Toxic‘s Targeting.
Mr. Hang, at this hour, how do you see the magnitude of this disaster?
WALTER HANG, TOXIC‘S TARGETING: It‘s simply getting bigger and bigger. There are very high seas, there‘s high wind that‘s going to blow the oil in these very wavy breakers right over those booms. It‘s going to be a complete bust.
It‘s just going to spread throughout that area. It‘s going to soak into all those very fragile habitats. And the impact is going to be just simply catastrophic.
SCHULTZ: From your knowledge, who has the equipment that could go down this many feet and shut this thing off? And how long is it going to take?
HANG: No one really knows. I mean, they had the preventer. The preventer was supposed to be fail-safe, and it just didn‘t work.
And that‘s how come we have this massive, uncontrolled release of oil. They‘re trying everything they possibly can, because every hour that more oil gushes out of the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, their liability is going to go up. But they can‘t just shut off this oil.
The forces down 18,000 feet below the bottom of the Gulf are enormous, and that‘s how come that oil is just gushing out under tremendous pressure. And once it‘s into the Gulf, it‘s just going to float to the surface, and then the wind is going to blow it wherever it‘s going to go.
SCHULTZ: You know, you‘re presenting it as if this is irreversible damage and it could be weeks. Is that true? It could be weeks, maybe a month before they can shut this thing off?
HANG: It could be multiple months. I mean, they‘re going to try to trip the, you know, blowout preventer, but that hasn‘t worked so far. They‘re going to try to drill relief wells. That could take three months. They‘re going to try to put, like, a big umbrella over the releases of oil to capture it and funnel it.
But the bottom line is they don‘t know how to stop this catastrophe. Meanwhile, the winds are blowing this oil into some of the most pristine beach areas and wetlands anywhere in the country.
SCHULTZ: And finally—
HANG: This day never should have come.
SCHULTZ: Well, this is the oil slick, and this is where it‘s going to hit. Look at all these tourism areas. Look at all—just imagine the commerce that‘s done in the fisheries industry. It‘s going to ruin the oyster industry, the shrimping industry, all of it, all the restaurants, all the hotels, all the vacation spots, the infrastructure, and it‘s going to go on for years.
And finally, Mr. Hang, from the way it sounds tonight, with no end in sight on this, this could be the world‘s worst catastrophe.
HANG: It absolutely could because it‘s such an incredibly pristine habitat. Secretary Salazar said today that he was going to require BP to clean up every drop. But if they get 10 percent of all the oil that‘s gushed out so far, it will almost be a miracle.
SCHULTZ: Walter Hang, great to have you with us tonight.
HANG: What about all that oil that sunk to the bottom of the Gulf?
SCHULTZ: Yes. Thanks so much. And we still haven‘t cleaned up all of the Valdez either.
Thanks so much, Mr. Hang. Appreciate your time.
Coming up, “The Drugster‘s” got a conspiracy theory that will blow your mind. He thinks a bunch of environmentalists deliberately caused the oil slick. I‘ll sink him deep into the “Zone.”
And I don‘t know what they‘re drinking in Nevada, but a shocking number of righties are listening to “The Chicken Lady.” I‘ll try to save them from themselves at the bottom of the hour.
All that, plus David Frum and I will go head-to-head about immigration.
And “Daily Show” co-creator Lizz Winstead headlines “Club Ed” tonight.
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.
Tomorrow is May Day, also known as International Workers Day. Hundreds of thousands of people across the country are expected to take to the streets to show their support for immigrant rights.
To put it in perspective, the pro-gun rallies around D.C. turned out a few hundred people. The Tea Party protests at the Capitol in the final weekend of the health care debate, well, it got a few thousand folks. If history is any guide, these pro-immigration rallies could top a million people.
Back in 2006, the last time immigration was a hot topic, more than a million protesters turned out on May Day. Right now, many in the Hispanic community feel the Arizona law and the copycat bills now being considered in other states is legalized racial profiling.
So far, no one in Arizona has been able to explain what the criteria is for “reasonable suspicion.” Governor Jan Brewer couldn‘t even do it when she was asked about it at the bill‘s signing.
Now, but, today, the Arizona legislature passed changes to the law that would prevent officers from stopping a person unless they suspected illegal activity. However, since being in the country illegally is illegal, it‘s questionable if these changes are meaningful.
For more, let me bring in Karen Hunter, a journalist and publisher, and also David Frum, former Bush speechwriter and founder of FrumForum.com.
The changes made today, as you understand them, Mr. Frum, what are they and what impact will they have on this law?
DAVID FRUM, FOUNDER, FRUMFORUM.COM: The changes today clarify that the police have to have stopped you first for some other reason before they begin to inquire about your immigration status—you made an illegal turn, you look like a drunk driver, something like that. Drunk driving by aliens is a big problem in the state of Arizona.
And second, they made clear that race and ethnicity cannot be factors in deciding whom to stop. So they clarify both those issues and put this law, I think, on a good course to be law-enforceable the way New York City enforced gun laws in 1990s. If we stop you for another reason, we get to search your car.
SCHULTZ: Karen Hunter, from what you hear, the amendments that are being made to this Arizona law, do you think they go far enough? Will this ease the tension somewhat? What do you think?
KAREN HUNTER, JOURNALIST: Absolutely not. And we‘re still talking about the discretion of the police officers—at their discretion.
What does a drunk driver look like? Are we talking about someone who swerves? I mean, they still can stop you for, what, a busted taillight, and you look suspicious based on a busted taillight?
I‘m very uncomfortable with this. And I‘m almost—I‘m so amazed that we‘re living in America in 2010 and this is actually going through.
SCHULTZ: Well, this law in Arizona, a Gallup poll is showing now that it‘s pretty popular. Of the 78 percent of the people who have heard of it, 51 percent favor it, 39 percent oppose it.
But David, don‘t you think that‘s a very low number, 11 percent with no opinion?
FRUM: Look, this in is a hot-button issue, and it has been for a long time. But one after another, rational enforcement measures, have been passed and then voided.
What happened to the border fence? What happened to the virtual fence? What happened to the REAL ID card? In every case, they were enacted and then abandoned.
I think people rightly suspect that the authorities are not interested in enforcing these laws, and that they need action, especially in Arizona, which has been hit by a wave of crime because of the reach of immigrant drug gangs into Phoenix, which has become a major center of drug crime and kidnapping. And also by that tragic murder of that rancher at the end of last month who discovered illegals who were possibly carrying drugs crossing his property, confronted them, they killed him.
SCHULTZ: Karen, the Democratic proposal calls for a national identification card. How do you think that‘s going to go over?
HUNTER: What‘s wrong with our driver‘s license? What‘s wrong with our Social Security cards? I mean, don‘t we have identification already?
And David clearly pointed out in his piece that the immigration or the instance of immigration went down during the recession. So, obviously, there‘s supply and demand.
We haven‘t done enough to put the onus on people who are hiring folks who are coming over here hoping to get a better life. Obviously, we‘re not doing the right job.
And as far as these fences, we‘re spending billions of dollars on our space program. Maybe we can divert some of those funds to build a wall. The wall works in Israel and other countries. We‘ve seen that work with security at different spots at the wall. Maybe we should be more concerned with the aliens here, as opposed to the aliens in outer space.
FRUM: Look, I don‘t disagree with what Karen just said. The best way to do this would be to have a universal, tamper-proof I.D. card. Social Security cards are very easily tampered with.
SCHULTZ: Well, that‘s big brother, isn‘t it?
FRUM: Well, every other democratic country in the world has it. And if you want to—the question, I guess, is, is there any form of enforcement that people favor?
What needs to be the case is an employer has an applicant come before them, and the employer takes some secure I.D., puts it into a reader, and says you can have the job or not. But we haven‘t done that. And failing that, I understand why people in Arizona say let‘s do what we can do.
SCHULTZ: Do you go along, David, with going after the employers who hire undocumented workers?
FRUM: I think that‘s absolutely essential. Under the Clean Water Act, if you violate that, you face a fine of up to $25,000 per offense, per day. Immigration offenses carry fines of a few hundred dollars.
SCHULTZ: And finally, Karen, is President Obama focused on this the way he should be after his comment on Air Force One the other day?
HUNTER: I think this is going to turn into a very hot-button issue. People are focusing on what‘s going on with the oil spill, the piece you just had before this.
And this may be his Hurricane Katrina, if you want to put it like that. But he needs to put more energy on this, because this is not just about whether we want immigrants here. This country was built on the backs of immigrant, both legal and illegal, and slaves.
We‘re forgetting that, right? We‘ve had a history in this country. There‘s something more insidious going on, and we‘re getting people used to getting their rights usurped.
Why don‘t we just put a patch who are on folks illegally? That will be easy, too, right?
SCHULTZ: Karen Hunter, David Frum, great to have you with us tonight.
HUNTER: Thank you.
FRUM: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Thanks so much.
Up next, Rush has fallen off his rocker again. His conspiracy theory on the oil spill is so slimy, you‘re going to want to take a shower after you hear this one. He oozes right into the “Zone” next.
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, you can always count on “The Drugster” for a good conspiracy theory. And he gave us a dandy yesterday about the oil rig explosion out of the Gulf of Mexico. Neither the federal government, nor BP seemed to know what caused it yet, but Rush thinks he‘s got the answer.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I want to get back to the timing of the blowing up, the explosion out there in the Gulf of Mexico of this oil rig.
Lest we forget, Ladies and Gentlemen, the carbon tax bill, cap and trade? That was scheduled to be announced on Earth Day.
The cap and trade bill was strongly criticized by hard-core environmentalist wackos because it supposedly allowed more offshore drilling and nuclear plants. What better way to head off more oil drilling, nuclear plants, than by blowing up a rig? I‘m just noting the timing here.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Well, as long as we‘re just noting the timing, let‘s try this one on for size.
“The Drugster” is an anti-cap and trade dude, has been all along. And we all know he‘s been rooting for President Obama‘s failure since day one.
What better way to try and destroy the president‘s credibility on the environment than by engineering a massively destructive oil spill on his watch on Earth Day? Today, Rush even called the spill Obama‘s Katrina.
Hey, I‘m just noting the timing. Think that‘s crazy? Maybe so, but “The Drugster” saying that the environmentalists caused an oil spill that could be worse than the Exxon Valdez, that is “Psycho Talk.”
Coming up, as the entire Gulf region copes with the oil spill catastrophe, Newt Gingrich is still pushing his, drill here, drill now, garbage. “The Newtster” is topic a in tonight‘s “Rapid Fire.”
Harry Reid had better watch out. His opponent is making hay day and big head way with her chickens for checkups idea. Come on, Harry, you got to be able to pluck this one, can‘t you?
Plus the economy just had a major growth spurt. Yeah, major. I‘ll tell you what that means and what it means to your wallet in just a moment. You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Thanks for watching tonight. The FBI is investigating the company in charge of the West Virginia mine, where 29 workers died in an explosion earlier this month. Today, a government official said agents are looking into whether Massey Energy Company was criminally negligent in its attention to safety concerns. A separate report suggests the feds are also investigating whether inspectors from the Mine Safety and Health Administration accepted bribes to ignore safety problems. The Labor Department denies that allegation.
This news comes on the heels of a report that Massey Energy offered a settlement of three million dollars to the families of each of the miners who died. That is not justice. Massey Energy and their CEO, Don Blankenship, are trying to cash whip grieving families. That‘s what it is. It seems to me that Massey is trying to buy their silence.
How can a company that is so wealthy justify having the money to pay the families of the dead miners, but not spend a dime to keep their workers alive in the first place, and work on the safety of the environment? Now, at least one family is suing Don Blankenship and Massey Energy. The lawyers are Mark and Rachel Moreland. They join us here tonight on THE ED SHOW.
The Morelands, thank you so much for joining us. The target of the lawsuit is Massey and also the CEO. What is your contention here? The three million dollars isn‘t enough? Where does this lawsuit take us?
MARK MORELAND, ATTORNEY FOR MINERS‘ FAMILIES: Well, first, Ed, I think it‘s important to note that the three million dollar offers that have been made by Massey are only made, to my knowledge, to families that are not represented by counsel. They‘ve not made those offers, to my knowledge, to any families that are represented by counsel.
The case that we have filed sues Performance Coal Company, which employed Mr. Griffith, our deceased miner, Massey Energy, which owns Performance Coal, Massey Coal Services, another subsidiary of Massey Energy, which was in charge of and ran the safety program at the mine, and also Don Blankenship, individually, who is the CEO of Massey Energy.
SCHULTZ: Rachel, how are the families responding to this three million dollar offer? Have you had any contact with them?
RACHEL MORELAND: Our clients haven‘t had any contact with anyone from Massey.
SCHULTZ: OK. But have you had a response in the community from any of the families that have been offered this three million dollars? How are they viewing this?
R. MORELAND: With mixed emotions. This is the most difficult time of their lives.
SCHULTZ: Mark, how are they viewing this—go ahead.
M. MORELAND: Ed, as you mentioned, it‘s a whipsaw. These folks are overwhelmed. The—I think it‘s important to understand that the family structure in these communities is very traditional and very tight. The patriarch of these families have been removed. Burdens that that patriarch used to carry are now placed on the widow. Adult children and infant children, young children, are looking now to the mother of the family, not the father, because he‘s gone.
And these folks are trying to deal with the shift in those responsibilities. Of course, Massey is aware of this, and is trying to take care of this—or take advantage of this time when not only widows but the families are in a great state of emotional flux. I might add, taking advantage of it by dangling out a paltry sum in these cases.
SCHULTZ: OK. Attorneys for a few of the families, Mark and Rachel Moreland, with us here tonight on THE ED SHOW. Thanks so much.
Now, let‘s get some Rapid Fire response from our panel on these stories tonight. Newt Gingrich is plowing ahead with his drill here, drill now campaign, even as oil is still gushing into the Gulf of Mexico.
Senate Democrats unveil their plan for immigration reform. It includes a new national work card, although Democrats insist it‘s not a national I.D. card. Yeah right.
President Obama got news on the economy today. The GDP grew by 3.2 percent, spurred by strong consumer spending.
With us now tonight, radio talk show host, syndicated nationally, Bill
Press, and also columnist Tony Blankley. Lots on the table tonight. Bill
BILL PRESS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: all right.
SCHULTZ: Newt Gingrich.
PRESS: All I got to say is if Tony Blankley were still working for him, he wouldn‘t be saying such stupid things today. Look, let me tell you something, after this bill—by tomorrow morning, we‘re going to start seeing pictures, unfortunately, of oil-slick birds unable to fly and all that environmental damage. Offshore oil drilling—new offshore oil drilling is dead.
SCHULTZ: Is this a strategic mistake by Newt?
TONY BLANKLEY, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: No, it‘s exactly the opposite. Newt is ahead of his time. I agree with you. I was—earlier. I think, for the time being, offshore drilling is a dead leather politically. It can‘t be done. But when we get through this cycle, whether it‘s a couple years or longer, we‘re going to come back to the same issues we were facing, four dollars a barrel oil, gasoline, all the stresses on energy, and all this energy sitting out there. So at some point we‘re going to get back to it. Obviously, we know how long the Exxon Valdez effected the policy. I think this is going to affect it for several years.
PRESS: The earliest you could get this oil from offshore, any new drilling, is ten years from now. By that time, we‘re going to be way down the road. If I can just finish, we go way down the road on wind, way down the road on solar, and the Volt is going to be on the showroom floors next October—this October.
BLANKLEY: The argument that tomorrow‘s technology should be waited
for—it‘s always a different one. If you never start, you never get any
SCHULTZ: Gentlemen, isn‘t the issue here that we may have gone through some deregulation, and this company that is making record profits, they‘re not taking all the safety precautions. That‘s what some of the experts are saying. Now the Republicans are out there saying, drill, baby, drill.
BLANKLEY: I don‘t think other than newt—I haven‘t heard—I mean, Newt can see that we‘re going to need the energy down the line. I think working day politicians who are still standing for office, I think they‘re going to be probably lining up and saying, let‘s take a pause, because that‘s the politically smart play of the moment. Long term, it‘s destructive of our interest.
PRESS: Ed, I do have to say the one who, as you pointed out earlier, whom we remember mostly for drill, baby drill—we haven‘t heard a word from Sarah Palin in the last few days.
SCHULTZ: You have to admit that, Tony.
PRESS: It‘s really funny.
SCHULTZ: The most visible people of the Republican entourage right now, they—as Robert Byrd would say, they‘re ominously silent.
BLANKLEY: The person who started it, of course, was Newt, and Newt is being consistent, because he‘s that kind of a guy. I agree with you. I think people are ducking for cover. Look, politicians duck for cover when there‘s danger.
PRESS: There‘s no reason why those valves that Michael was talking about at the top of the show, which are required in every country except this country. That is outrageous.
BLANKLEY: We‘ve all become instant experts—
SCHULTZ: I‘m not—Tony, here‘s the point. If there are valves that are not in place—
BLANKLEY: I‘ve heard the same thing. I agree. It‘s makes common sense. Why—
SCHULTZ: When you‘re making billions, are you too cheap to throw in a half a million on safety? Look what it‘s going to cost this country.
BLANKELY: I‘ve lived through enough of these crises to know that I want to wait a little while and find out what the deeper truth is before jumping to conclusions. On the surface, obviously, why not spend a half a million dollars to save billions in damage. Doesn‘t make sense.
SCHULTZ: Let‘s go to the national I.D. card. The Democrats have come out with their proposal, the proposal on illegal immigration. Bill, do we have an appetite in this country for a national I.D. card? They say it‘s a work card. Come on. What do you think?
PRESS: I don‘t think there‘s any support among the American people or any future for a national I.D. card. I do think we need comprehensive immigration reform, otherwise more and more states are going to be following this absurd law and unconstitutional law in Arizona.
SCHULTZ: What do you think?
BLANKLEY: I‘m sorry I‘m going to disappoint everybody. In my first book that I wrote in 2005 regarding the threat of radical Islam, I said I thought it was inevitable that we were going to need to have a national I.D. card, because tracking potential nuclear terrorists—and that‘s ultimately where we‘re going to be at some day—is going to require that. I consider myself a libertarian, but unfortunately reality strikes me that we‘re going to need to have that for security.
SCHULTZ: Tony, are you in favor of breaking bad on these companies that hire undocumented workers?
BLANKLEY: Oh, sure, absolutely.
SCHULTZ: What fine is enough? I mean, we‘ve created this problem. We are—you know, we love cheap labor. That, of course, is another story.
BLANKLEY: The federal government has to—Republican and Democratic administrations have given a blind eye, and let these big companies, host companies and all the rest, hire these illegal people. There‘s no doubt about it. We do need to enforce it. There are two pieces to securing the border. One is try to firm it up mechanically. And two is to try to stop the attraction. The attraction is jobs. And so, yeah, I think business has been getting off with cheap labor.
PRESS: Enforce the law.
BLANKELY: You can‘t enforce a law—truth is, you can‘t enforce a law without the card.
PRESS: You never thought you‘d hear me say this, but George Bush had a good plan on comprehensive immigration reform. And his own party shot it down. Go back to that plan, we‘d be in good shape.
SCHULTZ: The economy, quickly. Tony, be the first conservative to step out and say the economy is turning around.
BLANKLEY: No, Larry Kudlow was the first conservative—
SCHULTZ: I don‘t listen to him. I pay attention to you. You‘re on THE ED SHOW. He‘s not.
BLANKELY: Kudlow is a different guy. Everybody expects—I hope the economy is going to get better. The question is whether it will get better at a magnitude that brings down unemployment.
SCHULTZ: Three point two percent growth ain‘t bad.
BLANKELY: Down from 5.7 percent growth the previous quarter.
PRESS: Here we go, first quarter of 2009 --
SCHULTZ: Three quarters in a row positive.
PRESS: First quarter of 2009 shrank by 6.2 press. First quarter of 2010 grew by 3.2 percent. Tony, just admit it, the economy is coming back. The stimulus package worked. You were wrong to oppose it.
SCHULTZ: If you guys are in the market, you got to love over 11,000.
I‘m out of time.
Coming up, the righties are treating this oil spill as this political opportunity. I really hope they won‘t succeed in making this the president‘s Waterloo. More on that with Jonathan Alter in just a moment.
SCHULTZ: In my playbook, tonight, the environmental wing of the Democratic party is blasting President Obama for his reaction to the oil rig disaster off the Gulf Coast. They were upset when the president announced he planned to expand offshore drilling last month. That was seen as a political necessity to win some Republican votes on the climate change bill. They think the damage the oil spill is doing to coastal industries and the ecosystem provide more than enough evidence for a change of heart by the president. Today the president seemed to defend his drilling.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Let me be clear. I continue to believe that domestic oil production is an important part of our overall strategy for energy security. But I‘ve always said it must be done responsibly for the safety of our workers and our environment. The local economies and livelihoods of the people of the Gulf Coast, as well as the ecology of the region are at stake.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Well, in contrast, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid issued a strong statement of caution. He said, quote, “this terrible event will undoubtedly require us to reexamine how we extract our nation‘s offshore energy resources. And we‘ll have to be taken into consideration with any legislation that proposes to open new areas to development.”
Joining me now is “Newsweek‘s” Jonathan Alter. He‘s also an MSNBC political analyst. As if enough hasn‘t been on the shoulders of this presidency and this president, here comes potentially the worst disaster our shoreline has ever seen in the country‘s history. Take us through this political minefield, if you may right now, Jonathan. How is the president playing it, and what is he up against?
JONATHAN ALTER, “NEWSWEEK”: You know, he has a difficult hand to play because he just converted to drilling earlier this year. You know, before that he was much more over on the environmentalists‘ side of this debate. And in order, as you indicated, to pick up some votes for his climate change legislation, he moved. He‘s not in the drill, baby, drill camp. Remember, that was the mantra of the 2008 Republican convention. That was what John McCain was literally running for president on in 2008.
So Obama‘s not there. And as a practical matter, there‘s not going to be new drilling. So in some ways this is a pointless argument we‘re having. This is one of the big news stories of this year. It‘s going to dominate the headlines for weeks. This is a very, very big deal, and a terrible environmental disaster.
What I think the conversation should become, after we move out of this period of immediate cleanup, is about developing a real comprehensive energy policy for this country, to move over the next decades to a point where we don‘t have coal mines, we don‘t have oil rigs, because we are off fossil fuel. Now, that‘s not going to happen in the next ten years or 20 years. But we can imagine a future where that is possible. And we need to put a price on carbon this year, with comprehensive energy legislation—
SCHULTZ: What does this—Jonathan, what does this do for cap and trade? Does this reignite the debate? Does this also give cap and trade steroids in the Senate?
ALTER: I sure hope so. If it doesn‘t, then they‘re really missing an opportunity. Because look, in the same way that the Arizona bill should give a boost to comprehensive immigration reform, this should give a boost to comprehensive energy reform.
We need to focus on moving away from piecemeal solutions to comprehensive solutions. The president is all for this. He wants us to look to the long term. So this is—after the immediate crisis passes, this, Ed, is a great opportunity to get the conversation where it needs to be, to move us off fossil fuels.
SCHULTZ: Well, I tell you, we have a midterm election coming up here, and the progressive movement in this country, which was mad at the president for doing this future plan of offshore drilling, they‘re going to be heard. They‘re going to take it out on candidates. They‘re going to have to change their position and be a lot more environmentally friendly in this election cycle. That‘s what I think.
ALTER: They should. They do need to be more environmentally
friendly, but instead of all the political energy going into the blame game
ALTER: -- why not focus that energy on getting comprehensive climate change legislation? Because the thing about climate change, it‘s a twofer. It helps the climate and also, you know, helps the planet, and also prevents these huge oil spills in the future, if we can get off fossil fuels.
SCHULTZ: Jonathan Alter, always a pleasure. Good to have you with us tonight.
ALTER: Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ: One final page in my playbook tonight, Republican candidate for Nevada Senate Sue Lowden, well, she may have ruffled some feathers across the nation with her chicken checkups—chickens for checkups. That‘s kind of hard to say. Her health care plan that you do a barter. So far, she‘s still standing strong in the polls. She‘s ten points ahead of her nearest challenger in the Republican primary. And she still has a four-point lead over Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Another poll question shows why; 27 percent of Republicans said that bartering for the medical care with things like chickens is realistic, 27 percent. So it seems Lowden‘s Psycho Talk hasn‘t hurt her too much as of yet. But there‘s a long way to go in this campaign. Lowden‘s top primary opponent, Danny Tarkanian, is already using chicken-gate against her.
Coming up, last night the show almost went to the dogs. Tea Party hero Tom Tancredo still has no idea if President Obama is American. “Daily Show” co-creator Lizz Winstead is going to unleash some Tommy tee-up in the next segment, with Club Ed. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And welcome back. If it‘s Friday, it‘s time for Club Ed with Lizz Winstead, co-creator of the “Daily Show.” You can follow her on Twitter at Twitter.com/LizzWinstead. I do all the time. What were you saying about me earlier this week? I got to do what with Tom Tancredo?
LIZZ WINSTEAD, “WAKE UP WORLD”: I keep sending you love letters on Twitter, Ed, things like “dear Ed, please break up with Tom Tancredo.” No one in the free world can understand why a smart guy like you would put on someone as challenged as Yosemite Sham. Nobody understands why. What are you doing?
SCHULTZ: OK, here‘s the fact: the guy comes on and says psycho talk. He gives us another segment in the show. We have Psycho Talk, then we put Tancredo on and we have Tancredo Psycho Talk.
WINSTEAD: OK, if you would just call that segment live Psycho Talk, then we can, I think, have a piece on that.
SCHULTZ: All right, we‘ll get a graphic on that. Rielle Hunter, what did you make with the interview on Oprah?
WINSTEAD: Man, Ed, there was so much crazy going on. First of all, both of them, despicable seeks its own level. Before I launch into her, John Edwards is the turd in the punchbowl of all time. I think it‘s amazing to see this woman. Actually, at one point she was asked about whether or not she hurt Elizabeth Edwards. She said the myth of their marriage was that I couldn‘t really ruin their marriage.
It‘s like, honey, you know what‘s not a myth? That they were married. There was a marriage. And it‘s just unbelievable for her to go, I‘m a really private person and I came here to tell you how private I am on Oprah. What is wrong with this woman?
The worst part, though, Ed, was when Oprah asked her why she decided to model without her pants on. She said she‘d been portrayed as a witch and wanted people to see her differently, maybe a naughty witch in bed, and a plushy fetish. I don‘t know.
She is horrible. He is horrible. The sad part is they‘re not still together, so that they would both stay off the market. Keep them together, so they don‘t go hurt other people who might be kind.
SCHULTZ: Lizz Winstead, I thought you‘d have something to say about this.
WINSTEAD: Just a bit.
SCHULTZ: Great to have you with us. Tonight, our text survey question is, do you want President Obama to permanently halt his plan to expand offshore drilling? Seventy five percent of you said yes; 25 percent said no. That‘s THE ED SHOW. I‘m Ed Schultz. Chris Matthews with “HARDBALL” is next right here on MSNBC. We‘ll see you Monday.
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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.> transcript
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.>