Guests: Katrina vanden Heuvel, Steve Rosenbush, Adam Schiff, Rev. Al
Sharpton, John Feehery, Bill Press, Joel Davis, Louis Skrmetta, Eric
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.
Now, let‘s put the cards on the table. The color of oil isn‘t black.
A whole lot of politicians in this city are walking around with BP money
in their pockets. I‘m taking on the worst offenders in just a moment.
Two cities in Arizona become the first to sue the state over its new
anti-immigration law. The Reverend Al Sharpton is leading a rally in
Phoenix tonight, and he‘ll join me at the bottom of the hour to talk
And Fox News coverage of the oil disaster, well, it‘s all washed up.
It‘s still, “Drill, baby, drill.” Damn the consequences.
Well, you know what tonight? I‘ll report, you decide. That‘s coming up
on THE ED SHOW.
But this is the story that has me fired up tonight.
Look, it‘s all about the money. Let‘s just cut to the chase.
Congress is trying to be good citizens all of a sudden, and they‘re
telling us that they‘re going to raise the liability cap on oil spills
from a measly $75 million? What do you say we take it up to $10
Congress doesn‘t get it, folks. What the hell is $10 billion? What
does that do? What does $10 billion do? That‘s chump change in the oil
All this does is give oil executives a line-item budget for disaster.
Hold it right there. It gives them a target.
OK, we‘re going to get charged $10 billion if we have an oil spill,
boys. So put that in the budget in case it happens. Now let‘s run the
And who‘s going to pay for it at the pump? You and me. No doubt about
“Limitless” is the term that should be in the legislation. Who can put
a price tag—and this is what these folks are dealing with along the
coast—who can put a price tag? Anybody in Congress can put a price
tag on losing a career, losing a family business, losing an industry?
That‘s what we‘re talking about right now. They can‘t.
The way the Congress, in my opinion, is rationalizing this, is
insulting. And it bears no fruit or justice.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MARY LANDRIEU (D), LOUISIANA: You‘ve got to put this accident in
perspective. The last thing we need to do is shut this oil and gas
industry down. We need to fix it. We need to hold BP and other oil
companies accountable. We need to make sure the right regulations are
in place, and continue to be the world leader in this technology as we
move to alternative fuels.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Put what in perspective, the destruction of our ecosystem in
the Gulf, in the coral reef system off the Florida Keys? Anybody got—
call me up. What‘s the price tag on that?
Nobody can put a price tag on that. The Congress isn‘t fooling anybody
Americans are getting a real education on what the color of oil is.
It‘s green. It‘s real green. It‘s big money and influence.
Just so you know what‘s coming down, Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu
received almost $1.8 million from BP over the last decade. She
addressed the money this morning on this network. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LANDRIEU: I‘ve received money from oil companies. I‘ve received money
from environmental groups. I‘m very proud to actually receive money
from both sides of this debate because they, I believe, understand that
I‘m as honest a broker as I can be here. I mean, I am not a handmaiden
to the oil industry.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Now, do you think that the environmental groups give as much
money as big oil in this country?
Senator, if you really want to prove you‘re not a handmaiden to big oil,
then just give the money back. Just give it back.
It seems to me that the oil companies can buy off Washington any way
they want right now. Heck, the Supreme Court cleared the way for them
to do that earlier this year. They got the exact position they wanted.
So, beyond the money, it‘s time for this country to stop drilling
offshore. That‘s right, put a moratorium on it.
Make us, as Americans and consumers, go without oil for a little while.
Let‘s try it. Do we have the intestinal fortitude to do it?
Oh, it will screw up the economy, Ed. No, it won‘t. We‘ll find
something else to do because we‘re Americans. Maybe it will make us be
more innovative when it comes to the energy sector in this country.
Let‘s go to the moratorium on the drilling to see where it all shakes
down. Well, we can‘t do that. Heck, they give too much money to the
Congress. We‘re really not serious about energy policy in this country.
Get your cell phones out, folks. I want to know what you think about
all of this.
Tonight‘s text survey question is: Do you think—do you think big oil
owns the Congress?
Text “A” for yes, text “B” for no to 622639. We‘ll bring you the
results later on in the show.
And I‘ve got a quick question for you. Do you know who Transocean is?
I‘m going to tell you who they are, and you‘ll be interested to know
where they‘re doing their business. It ain‘t in America.
Joining me now is Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of “The Nation.”
Katrina, good to have you with us tonight.
KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL, EDITOR, “THE NATION”: Thank you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: We really have to cut to the chase here, don‘t we? It‘s about
the money. It ain‘t about energy. That‘s my opinion.
VANDEN HEUVEL: Yes. I mean, it‘s about the money, it‘s about big oil
money, it‘s about big banking money, it‘s about big mining money. You
know, someone said today that this oil spill is to the environmental
what the subprime mortgage mess was to the finance world.
But, you know, Ed, let‘s get Mary Landrieu not only to give back that
money, but she should commit to two good pieces of legislation, one in
the Senate, one in the House—clean money. It levels the playing
field, it‘s pro-democracy, it allows people‘s voices to be heard and not
drowned out by the lobbyists, by those who gut and disembowel and dilute
the reforms that make this a more healthy, more secure America.
SCHULTZ: Now, Katrina, do you believe that the oil companies—this
one, in case and point is BP—do you think they will fight the payback
to take care of this, making restitution to the environment, making
restitution to our economy? I mean, they‘re going to fight this. I
believe they are.
VANDEN HEUVEL: Of course they‘re going to fight it, Ed. I mean, this
company has been fighting safety regulations. According to “The Wall
Street Journal,” it‘s one of the leading oil companies which has fought
safety regulations, which has fought procedures which might have made—
averted this disaster.
You know, this is a moment, Ed, for rebirth of smart, tough regulation
that has to be enforced. We have gone through three decades of
deregulation. We‘re seeing the deadly consequences of that.
BP should be held accountable. There are going to be hearings in
Congress. Instead of just finger-pointing, there should be some real
rethinking about what these oil companies‘ profits are doing.
You talked earlier about chump change, $10 billion. BP made $14 billion
last year. Let‘s make sure that they are redirecting their R&D, energy
companies spending one quarter of one percent of R&D into clean energy.
We need to recommit. It‘s a wakeup moment to clean energy. And the
government subsidies should be redirected from fossil fuels to
Last week, during this disaster, was the first time regulators approved
a wind farm. We need to really ramp that up if we are going it be
economically secure, nationally secure and environmentally secure.
SCHULTZ: But I just think, Katrina, $10 billion, what is the Congress
trying to do here? And these are Democrats. Ten billion dollars is
chump change. Why isn‘t it limitless?
I mean, if we‘re really concerned about the environment, if we‘re really
concerned about, you know, making sure that we could have some real
protections in there, why is the Congress—why do they want to put a
limit on it? All it does is give them a target that they have to meet
in the budget.
VANDEN HEUVEL: Well, as you said earlier, Ed, in not so many words,
there are too many in Congress which make this seem like the best
Congress you can buy. There are some good people in Congress. We‘ve
got to get the clean money legislation through, but the other thing we
need to do is, I would suggest we make these oil companies public
There are places around this great country—I mean, this world where
that is the case. They are to be managed and regulated. And I think
that should be put on the agenda.
And I am waiting for a good legislator who has not been bought up by one
of these oil companies to stand up and say they should serve the people
and the energy needs of this country and not the profits. And I bet you
could get some shareholders involved in that now, because we are seeing
the enormous historic calamity that is falling apart in this country.
SCHULTZ: Yes. We need some honest brokers when it comes to energy.
And you know what? The Democrats, they‘re not any better than the
Republicans when it comes to the money and big oil. That‘s how I see
Katrina, great to have you with us tonight.
VANDEN HEUVEL: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Thanks so much.
You know, I want to know more about Transocean. Ever heard of them?
Well, they‘re the self-proclaimed largest offshore drilling contractor
in the world. Transocean, that‘s their name.
Now, what was their role in all of this? BP sure thinks that they‘re
the blame for this mess.
Here‘s the BP CEO, Tony Hayward, on “The Today Show” earlier this week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MEREDITH VIEIRA, “THE TODAY SHOW”: Does the buck stop at your desk?
TONY HAYWARD, CEO, BP: Well, it wasn‘t our accident, but we are
absolutely responsible for the oil, for cleaning it up, and that‘s what
we intend to do.
VIEIRA: How can it not be your accident, sir?
HAYWARD: We‘re working very hard to—well, the drilling rig was a
Transocean drilling rig. It was their rig and their equipment that
failed, run by their people with their processes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: What was the name of that company? Transocean. With that
British accent, I couldn‘t quite get it. Transocean.
Hayward said, let‘s see, it was their rig, it was their people, it was
their equipment. So my question is, are they just free from liability
in all of this?
Well, you see, folks, they have a Houston, Texas, office, but they‘re
really incorporated in the Cayman Islands. Yes, you know, where the tax
rate is, you got it, zero.
Their shareholders voted to move to Switzerland back in 2008. And I‘m
sure it‘s because they really wanted some good downhill skiing and some
snowmobiling going on. I don‘t think it had anything to do with the
taxes at all.
Now, I want to know, who are these people? They operate off our waters
and they put money in Swiss bank accounts? They rip apart our
environment and it seems that nobody in the Congress has the guts to
call them on it and say, you know what? You guys were out there when
you were digging for profit.
BP is saying, well, it‘s not our thing. It‘s Transocean. Tran who?
Yes, you know, those folks at the Cayman Islands.
This is what Byron Dorgan wrote about in his book, “Take This Job and
Ship It,” about how all these mailboxes are down in the Cayman Islands
while they‘re doing business in our territory, and they‘re not paying
tax. That‘s my question tonight.
I want someone from Transocean to hold a press conference. Well, it
just so happens that tomorrow, they‘re going to be having a worldwide
teleconference explaining their first quarter profits. I can‘t wait to
hear what they are.
These are big people. They call the shots, folks. This is your energy
These are big people. They‘re damn near untouchable. They co can go to
the Cayman Islands, they can go to the Swiss. They control it, and
they‘re the largest company in the world, and they have bought out
everybody out there that has offshore oil rigs.
And Mary Landrieu is sitting on the Senate floor saying, well, we have
to just keep expanding and we have to just keep doing the research and
development. And we just can‘t slow down oil.
We can‘t slow down who? The biggest companies in the world, and she‘s a
Democrat? Give me a break.
For more, let me bring in somebody who knows all about Transocean, Steve
Rosenbush. He‘s a senior writer for Portfolio.com. He says Transocean
might not have a great record when it comes to safety engineering, but
it‘s—their real expertise is in the area of financial engineering.
I‘ll tell you what, it just never stops. My ears went up when I heard
the gentleman from BP say, “It wasn‘t our accident.”
Steve, what did you think when you heard that?
STEVE ROSENBUSH, SR. WRITER, PORTOLIO.COM: Well, it seems like they
really have—or they don‘t feel that they have any skin in the game.
Over the years, the company, you know, as we can see, hasn‘t necessarily
had the best record when it comes to safety engineering, but they‘ve
been awfully creative and awfully successful at financial engineering,
cashing out a huge $15 billion dividend to pay for one of their biggest
SCHULTZ: You can‘t do business offshore without these folks, can you?
ROSENBUSH: It‘s the largest oil drilling company in the world. Their
presence is significant in every—you know, in every single active
drilling exploration area.
SCHULTZ: Yes. So, it would be probably tough to do an environmental
impact study where they‘re working, because they‘re so big, they can‘t
be challenged, not even by the Congress.
Now, I may be leaping a little bit here, but let‘s face it. The
environmental impact study, BP got out of it. That means that
Transocean got out of it, because we were told, oh, there‘s not going to
be any oil spill down there.
That‘s basically it, isn‘t it?
ROSENBUSH: Their position has been that they can monitor and control
themselves. They opposed safety regulations which would have required
regular inspections on the theory that they can inspect their equipment
on their own, at their own pace.
SCHULTZ: Oh, that‘s a classic sound bite you just gave us, Steve. They
can inspect their own equipment, at their own pace, ,and they don‘t need
any oversight. Did I hear that correctly? You‘re in New York. I‘m in
Did I hear that correctly?
ROSENBUSH: That‘s been the position of the company, yes.
SCHULTZ: Amazing stuff. Steve, we‘ll have you back. I‘m not done with
Transocean. Good to have you with us tonight.
ROSENBUSH: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Thanks so much.
ROSENBUSH: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, the Times Square bomber, well, he‘s singing like a
canary, but the righties just keep talking smack. Congressman Adam
Schiff will confront the nitpickers next, here on THE ED SHOW..
And Al Sharpton, well, the Rev, he‘s all revved up leading a massive
immigration rally in Phoenix tonight. He‘ll join us live at the bot tm
of the hour.
Plus, oh yes, I cost “The Drugster” in another slick lie. That lands
him in the “Zone.”
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. And thanks for watching tonight.
For the third day in a row, the suspected Times Square terrorist is
answering investigators‘ questions. Counterterrorism officials are
following up with the information he‘s giving them, chasing down leads
and adding to the authority‘s overall understanding of how terrorist
networks actually operate.
But the Republicans, they just won‘t quit, will they? They‘re trying to
turn the capture of a domestic terror suspect into a failure for
Now, they found the bomb. They caught the suspect. The suspect is
providing information. And the Republicans can‘t argue with any of
So what are they doing? They‘re making stuff up. They‘re nitpicking.
John McCain is out whining about reading the suspect Miranda rights even
though he‘s an American citizen.
What did you say during the campaign, John?
But this really takes the cake. New York Governor George Pataki, OK,
he‘s blaming the Obama administration for not preventing the attack in
the first place. But when he was asked on “MORNING JOE” exactly what
the president should have done to prevent this, Pataki, the former
governor, couldn‘t really answer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE PATAKI ®, FMR. NEW YORK GOVERNOR: The policies of this
administration just weaken our efforts to protect ourselves. We were
lucky with the Christmas Day bomber on the airplane. We were very
unlucky with the Fort Hood shooter.
The guy on the Christmas Day plane should have never been given Miranda
warnings. Khalid Shaikh Mohammed shouldn‘t be tried in a civilian
court. They should not have ended policy of the previous administration
that allowed monitoring of overseas phone calls.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Oh, Mr. Pataki, will you please come talk to me about all
this on THE ED SHOW?
He thinks the president is responsible for a bomb getting into Times
Square because Christmas Day bomber was Mirandized? No, we‘re doing
“Psycho Talk” in the next segment. Just hang on.
This is pure politics, pure and simple. Pure politics.
The righties would be crowing, saying if Bush was president, oh, Rudy
Giuliani, mayor of New York, this is the way we fight terrorism. It‘s
all who has the microphone and who has the conversation cooked up in
Joining me now is Congressman from California Adam Schiff, a member of
the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees.
Good to have you with us.
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D), CALIFORNIA: Great to be here.
SCHULTZ: There was a time in this country when we didn‘t have a no-fly
list, and then something happened and we made one.
Aren‘t we talking about logistics here?
SCHIFF: Well, we‘re talking about logistics, and we‘re also, as you
pointed out, talking about success in the sense that the bomb did not go
off. We were able to catch the suspect before he left the country.
We‘re getting valuable intelligence.
That‘s all very positive. And it‘s disturbing to see how, nonetheless,
people are attacking the president. And frankly, I think they would
have a lot more credibility on issues like the Miranda warning if they
had raised any kind of comment whatsoever when Richard Reid, the shoe
bomber, was Mirandized four times within 48 hours.
Now, of course that was during the Bush administration. But why do the
standards change from administration to administration?
And what does Senator McCain mean when he says, OK, this guy may be a
U.S. citizen, but still? But still what? U.S. citizens shouldn‘t be
Mirandized under any circumstance even when they‘re arrested on U.S.
soil? I mean, where do you draw the line?
SCHULTZ: Congressman, have we gotten to the point in this country where
absolutely everything is political, that there‘s a political angle to
everything, that we just can‘t put on the American flag and the pin and
be proud of—that the good guys won on this one, that we have to find
something wrong with everything? I mean, let‘s face it, the system
When the plane started coming back to the gate, do you think the guy
that got arrested, do you think he thought it was working? We almost
seem—we have such partisan divide in this country, we‘re afraid to
say that we‘re doing some good things here.
Now, what do we learn from this?
SCHIFF: You‘re absolutely right. You‘re absolutely right.
I mean, there was a time in this country when politics stopped at the
water‘s edge. When it was a foreign policy or national security issue,
both parties not only worked together, but didn‘t go out of their way to
attack each other in a way that was destructive to the national
interest. But, you know, unfortunately, those days, at least in terms
of what we‘re hearing in the last 24 hours, are gone.
SCHULTZ: What will the intel committee learn from this?
SCHIFF: We‘ll learn a lot. You know, we have to look at the claims
that these Pakistani Taliban are making of responsibility. They‘ve
claimed many things that they weren‘t responsible for in the past, but
they may very well have been intimately involved in this attack, if you
credit the statements that the suspect is making.
We have a much better relationship with Pakistani intelligence and the
Pakistani military, so we‘re going to learn information from our
Pakistani allies. And I think, you know, too, getting back to this
basing attack on the administration, what—you know, what is coming
out, if proved correct, is that this guy made this attempt in
retaliation for us taking out Baitullah Mehsud with a predator strike.
Well, you know, if that‘s what‘s bringing this on, you know, frankly, I
think we are putting pressure on by taking out al Qaeda and Taliban
leadership. That‘s exactly what we have to do. And we have got to do
everything we can to protect the homeland, but it‘s not like we can let
up on that campaign.
SCHULTZ: Great to have you with us.
Congressman Adam Schiff.
SCHIFF: Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Great to have you on.
Coming up, the oil fumes might be getting to “The Drugster.” He says
the slick is just going to take care of itself. Really?
I‘ll take care of him in the “Zone” next. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, this is a classic. “The
Drugster” is trying to make himself a victim in the big oil spill story.
He says that the big, bad media is just out to get him.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: The media is so far gone that
they‘re a joke, an absolute irresponsible joke. You would not believe
what they‘re trying to say about me and this oil spill. Before they‘re
through with this, it‘s going to be my fault.
I got e-mails last night from people: “Rush, did you really say that oil
and water mixes fine and it‘s not OK, and we shouldn‘t do anything?”
This is my NFL St. Louis Rams purchase all over again. They‘re making
things up I didn‘t say.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Rush, audio recording is just a wonderful thing. You
absolutely said the oil spill wasn‘t such a big deal. Listen to
yourself in the clip from last Thursday.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
LIMBAUGH: The ocean will take care of this on its own if it was left
alone and it was left out there. It‘s natural. It‘s as natural as the
ocean water is.
Even places that have been devastated by oil slicks like—what was
that place up where the guy was drunk, ran a boat aground? Prince
William Sound. They‘re wiping off the rocks with Dawn dishwater
detergent and paper towels. The place is pristine now.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Prince Williams Sound is definitely not pristine. I guess
Rush is just smarter than all of these biologists that are so concerned.
Here‘s the deal, folks. A 2007 study found that more than 26,000
gallons of oil from the spill were still stuck in the beaches of Prince
Williams Sound. And it‘s declining at a rate of less than four percent
We‘re not done. Another study, a report in 2009, revealed, “Exxon
Valdez oil persists in the environment and, in places, is nearly as
toxic as it was the first few weeks after the spill.”
I know that‘s a little academic for you, Rush, but those are the
facts, buddy. So the drugster‘s saying that the Prince Williams Sound
is pristine, it‘s just simply slimy Psycho Talk.
Coming up, the immigration fight, well, it‘s burning hot in Arizona
tonight. The Rev, he‘s on the line with the folks down in Phoenix and
he‘ll join me in just a moment.
And African-American Republicans are coming out in droves. You
won‘t believe how many are running for Congress. We‘ve got the number.
Plus Joe the Plumber is one step closer to becoming an actual
politician. I‘ll explain all of that in detail in the playbook.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Battle Ground story
tonight, it‘s Cinco de Mayo. Reverend Al Sharpton‘s National Action
Network is taking their first—their fight against Arizona‘s new
immigration law to Phoenix tonight. They are holding a mass rally and
candle light vigil to protest the law. The protesters who marched on
May Day carried signs that said “we are all Arizona.”
They are right. The law doesn‘t just hurt Arizonans or the Latino
community. I think it hurts the entire country. The law offends the
values as we Americans cherish so much. The reverend Al wrote on his
blog “after passing this most draconian immigration bill in U.S.
history, Phoenix‘s government is not only serving its residents with
legal racial profiling, harassment and an environment of hate mongering,
but it is, in effect, impacting the civil liberties of all Americans
around the nation.”
Among the people attending the demonstration in Phoenix, Mayor Phil
Gordon, who was trying to legally challenge the state law. He‘s run
into a problem. He needs to get the approval of the city council first.
But there is good news on the report tonight. The cities of Tucson and
Flagstaff successfully voted yesterday to sue the state of Arizona over
the new law. They are the first cities in Arizona to approve a legal
Reverend Al Sharpton leading that rally in Phoenix tonight, joins
me live from Phoenix. Reverend Al, great to have you with us tonight.
What kind of response are you getting down there? What is the pulse of
the community? We had on Joe Arpaio last night. He says that Arizonans
are correct on this, and really is a slam-dunk issue on the way they‘re
going. What do you see?
REV. AL SHARPTON, NATIONAL ACTION NETWORK: No, we‘re getting a lot
of positive response. I‘ve been here all day. People are mobilizing.
There will be a church rally and then we‘re marching. I think one of
the things that was very interesting is that the Suns have come out and
said that in their home game tonight, they‘re going to wear jerseys that
identify with the people they do not and the owner does not agree with
the law. And they were given permission by Commissioner Stern, if
that‘s what they wanted to do to it.
When you have cities like Tucson all the way to the local team of
the Suns saying that, wait a minute, this is wrong, this is profiling, I
think the momentum behind this is increasing, and I think we will
ultimately win. We have to keep the pressure on, which is why we‘re
here tonight. Actor Danny Glover flown in. A lot of others will be
standing with the people of all races in Arizona here tonight.
SCHULTZ: Reverend Sharpton, is that why you‘re there tonight,
because you believe this law is racist and it opens the door, as you‘ve
told us before, to racial profiling? Is that why you‘re there? Or are
you there to promote immigration reform this year?
SHARPTON: This is about racial profiling first, and it‘s also
about the need for immigration reform. But we must first stop this
bill. This bill will go into effect. It has already been signed. It
will go into effect in 70 some odd days and must be stopped. The need
for immigration reform, Ed, is, in my opinion, escalated because states
are now using the fact that there is no federal laws that are really
being implemented as their excuse to come with state Draconian laws.
I think we have to push hard on immigration reform. But we must
stop this state that is now, in my mind, and in the minds of many
others, violating the civil and human rights of all of the citizens of
SCHULTZ: Reverend Sharpton, you‘re not alone when you use the term
escalated to the point where we have to do something. Cinco de Mayo
event moments ago—we‘re cutting the tape right now—President Obama
said he wants to do immigration reform within the year. Why do you
think he‘s doing that, when it was just a few weeks ago he said we might
not get it to because he‘s been working the Congress pretty hard?
SHARPTON: I think that he‘s hearing the cry of people all over the
country. I think he also wants to protect the citizens of the country.
When you have a state that is now trying to supersede federal law—
because the federal government‘s supposed to send I immigration policy.
I think the president has to respond because the union has to be
preserved. For us to go back into states rights, we‘re going back in
the 19th century.
SCHULTZ: All right. Here‘s what the president said just moments
ago. Let‘s play it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: -- need bipartisan
support. But it can be done. And it needs to be done. So I was
pleased to see a strong proposal for comprehensive reform presented in
the Senate last week. And I was pleased that it was based on a
bipartisan framework. I want to begin work this year. And I want
Democrats and Republicans to work with me. Because we have to stay true
to who we are, a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Reverend Sharpton, this is a reversal. He‘s got some gas
in the tank right now. This wasn‘t the conversation a couple of weeks
SHARPTON: Well, I‘m glad. I think that, again, he‘s responding to
what needs to be responded to. I think those of us who want to see that
reform need to keep in our various ways of communicating that we want
that, including what happens here tonight.
SCHULTZ: Reverend Sharpton, great to have you with us.
Now let‘s get some rapid fire response from our panel on these
stories tonight. The party of no just can‘t give the president any
credit for successful capture of the suspected Times Square terrorist.
The election of President Obama is bringing more African-Americans
into politics, and into the Republican party. Thirty two African-
Americans are running for Congress as Republicans this year, the most
And our panel will weigh in on whether lawmakers should give back
money they took from big oil, BP. I think it‘s a major conflict of
With us tonight is Bill Press, nationally syndicated radio talk
show host, and John Feehery, Republican strategist. Gentlemen, I‘m
going to switch gears here. On the heels of what President Obama said
about immigration reform, Bill, what do you think?
BILL PRESS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I thank it‘s huge. I think it‘s
absolutely a top priority. The president, as you said, he‘s got gas in
his tank, Ed. I think this can get done this year, if Republicans and
Democrats come together.
JOHN FEEHERY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: If the president brings this
up—by the way, illegal immigration is illegal, I want to make that
clear. I make the other point, if the president brings this up, it will
be like the crime bill in 1994. It will end the Democratic majority.
FEEHERY: Yes. No question.
SCHULTZ: The majority of Americans want immigration reform, which
by the way, immigration reform is legal.
FEEHERY: Illegal immigration is illegal. The fact of the matter
is that 70 percent of the American people, as Chris Matthews pointed
out, support the Arizona law. So if they bring up a bill that‘s like
the Arizona law, yes, it might pass. But a bill that gives amnesty will
not pass. I guarantee it.
PRESS: The idea that Republicans complain about all these people
here illegally and a president and a Congress say they‘re going to step
up and do something about it and you say that‘s going to be the end of
the Democratic party is simply outrageous. The American people want
results. They want this problem fixed, John. We‘ve been ignoring it
too long. Phoenix shows why it‘s important.
FEEHERY: Seventy percent of the American people think this bill in
Arizona was the right bill.
SCHULTZ: Fifty one percent—
SCHULTZ: You guys on the right love cheap labor. You‘re not going
to go with immigration reform.
FEEHERY: I think there should be immigration reform. Doing it in
a political context right now is the worst time to do it. If they do it
I‘m saying, if they do bring this up, it would be like the crime bill
in 1994 that ended the Democratic majority.
PRESS: We live in a political context. Every year is a political
context. It‘s the right thing to do. We‘ve been ignoring it for too
long. Arizona shows why we need to do it.
SCHULTZ: Gentlemen, what about the number of African-Americans, 32
of them, in the Republican party, that they‘ve gone out and recruited?
PRESS: You know what? I think this is good. I think this is good
news for America. I think it‘s good news for the Republican party. I
think it shows the appeal of Barack Obama. I would suggest these people
-- the mistake they‘re making is they‘re looking at the wrong party. I
think they ought to look at the record of the Republican party on
affirmative action, on minimum wage, on health care, and they might come
to the same conclusion that J.C. Watts father came to. He said that any
Republican who votes—any African-American who votes for a Republican
is like a chicken voting for Colonel Sanders.
SCHULTZ: You look at the 2008 Republican Convention in
Minneapolis, you can‘t find 32 African-Americans in the videotape.
FEEHERY: There are a lot of great African-American candidates.
Allen West, especially, I think is going to win. I think there are
several others that have a very good shot. The fact of the matter is
that it was an historic election when President Obama got elected. I do
think that opens the door. A lot of African-Americans now believe that
they can compete and win in white districts. I think they‘re going to.
SCHULTZ: Is this Michael Steele?
FEEHERY: I think Michael Steele‘s done a great job of reaching
out. But I also think that the agenda for Republicans fits in. I think
there‘s a social-conservative agenda that many African-Americans
support. And I think they‘re fed up with liberal governance that does
not work. They saying we‘re going to give Republicans a try.
PRESS: I would point out that Michael Steele, himself a couple
weeks ago, said there wasn‘t a lot of reasons for African-Americans to
consider the Republican party.
SCHULTZ: Quick comment, Bill Press. BP dishing out a lot of
money. Big oil dishing out lot of money. Do the Democrats give it
PRESS: You know what, Ed? I don‘t think anybody who sits on the
committee should be taking any money from any company that comes before
them. I think they all ought to keep the money back. Let‘s keep our
eye on the prize here, right? The focus, the villain is BP. The
villain is Transocean, as you pointed out. The villain is Halliburton.
And the villain is the Bush/Cheney Interior Department that let these
guys get away with murder.
SCHULTZ: John? Should Mary Landrieu give the money back?
FEEHERY: I don‘t think she should give it back. I think the fact
of the matter is if you get the money, it‘s not to support particular
issue. It‘s to support the candidate. She shouldn‘t give it back.
SCHULTZ: Gentlemen, good to have you with us tonight.
Coming up, coming up, Joe the Plumber is hanging up the plunger.
Somali pirates are shaking down the Russians.
And a pro-basketball team is taking a stance against Arizona‘s
immigration law. That‘s all coming up in the playbook. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: In my playbook tonight, the gulf disaster is threatening
to wash out businesses from Louisiana to Florida. Louis Skrmetta is one
area business owner who is suddenly living in fear of bankruptcy. He
owns his family‘s company, Ship Island Excursions. The company ferries
tourists from Gulfport, Mississippi to a small island 12 miles off the
coast. For generations it has been an attraction.
Louis, good to have you with us tonight. What are you facing right
now? Tell us what you‘re going through?
LOUIS SKRMETTA, SHIP ISLAND EXCURSIONS: This is worse than
Katrina, Ed. I‘d much rather have another Katrina than this situation
right now. It‘s terrible. Everybody in the area, including everybody
from the Mississippi Delta around to Pensacola right now, has this
impending feeling of doom. This thing is growing every day. They can‘t
stop it. Five million barrels a day. In four weeks, if they don‘t stop
it, this thing at this rate will surpass Exxon Valdez.
SCHULTZ: You‘ve had how many cancellations so far this year not
based on just the water, but just based on fear that it‘s not going to
be a fun time? Tell us about that.
SKRMETTA: I normally carry about 150 people to the island on a day
like today. School‘s not quite out yet in this region. Our summer
begins in couple weeks. I had 29 people on a 300-passenger boat today
going out to the island, which is part of Gulf Islands National
Seashore, an incredibly beautiful seashore in this region.
SCHULTZ: Your family has owned this business—
SKRMETTA: School cancellations—
SCHULTZ: Your family has owned this business for some 80 years.
SKRMETTA: That‘s right.
SCHULTZ: When the Congress starts talking about liability and
restitution, what comes to your mind? Explain that.
SKRMETTA: I think about the poor folks in Prince Williams Sound,
that they‘re dealing with Exxon for 20 years. Half of them died before
they could reach a settlement. It‘s going to be a horror. I‘ve already
talked to several attorneys about it. They‘re telling us don‘t get
excited, because it may be seven or eight years before you can get any
kind of compensation out of this.
Meantime, if this is the worst-case scenario, as it probably will
be, we‘ll probably have to sell our boats. And this will be the first
time in 84 years that we don‘t have the service going out to the island.
SCHULTZ: Louis, we‘re going to have you back. I appreciate your
time tonight. All the best to you. It‘s got to be a real emotional
strain on you, your family and all the people in that region.
Also in my playbook tonight, I want to follow-up on a guest we had
on this program back in December. Noel Davis owns a company that makes
parts for wind turbines. Now, he‘s trying to build a new plant so that
he can make more of them in Indiana where they desperately need
manufacturing jobs. To make it happen, Noel is trying to get a loan
guarantee from the Department of Energy. Last year, we tried to help
him cut through some of the red tape. It helped a little bit. He got a
tax credit, but he has still not received the loan yet from the Energy
Noel Davis, founder of Vela Gear Systems, joins us now here on our
set in Washington. What‘s it been like? You keep hearing about green
jobs and independence when it comes to energy. You‘re living it.
What‘s it like?
NOEL DAVIS, VELA GEAR SYSTEMS: First of all, we‘re looking for
private money. I prefer to have private money. The money is not
flowing from private sector and from banks. That‘s why we‘re seeking a
loan guarantee, Ed. But that program wasn‘t really designed for small
startup American companies like mine.
SCHULTZ: Isn‘t that the problem, though? If the private sector is
tight with the dollar right now, and it‘s hard getting startup money and
capital, and if the government is concerned about us being energy
independent, aren‘t their mixed signals here?
DAVIS: That‘s absolutely the problem. No private money. The loan
guarantee program is built for large companies. The money is not
flowing for small companies like mine.
SCHULTZ: Don‘t tell me it‘s bogging down in red tape, is it?
DAVIS: Absolutely. We would prefer private money. But since the
private money is not available, we‘re forced to look toward the
government. But there is a lot of red tape we have to go through.
SCHULTZ: You‘re looking for a private partner public relationship.
China is eating our lunch when it comes to wind energy.
DAVIS: As a matter of fact, so much infrastructure has been
invested in, and the return is not a quick return. So most foreign
companies do have subsidies in their own home countries for this type of
SCHULTZ: So the Chinese and some others countries have taken the
government money, moved forward into the energy sector. We‘ve been slow
in this regard, waiting for the private sector to take care of it. Of
course, capital is tight. Got to free up the purse strings. That‘s
really where we are. When you talk about energy independence, we have
to help guys like you.
DAVIS: I‘m not an expert at what‘s happening in foreign countries.
I have visited six companies in China. And they have these machine
tools and they‘ve got significant financial backing to make this type of
SCHULTZ: Instead of making these in the United States, we‘re
making the gear boxes for wind turbines in China, when we‘re supposed to
be energy independent. Go figure. Noel, keep up the fight, my man.
Good to have you with us tonight.
DAVIS: Thanks for having me.
SCHULTZ: A couple pages in my playbook tonight. Finally, Joe the
Plumber is one step closer to clawing his way out of obscurity. OK? He
won his first election yesterday, a seat on the Republican Party Central
Committee in Ohio‘s Lucas County. Look out, righties.
And finally, the Phoenix Suns are taking a stand on immigration,
which you don‘t see much in sports. At tonight‘s playoff game against
the Spurs, they plan to wear lost suns on their jersey, showing support
for the Latino members of the community. The team‘s owner came up with
the idea. The NBA Players Association strongly supports the repeal of
Arizona‘s new law. Good luck to the lost suns.
Coming up, Fox News really has no shame. They‘ve decided to push
drill, baby, drill as a policy, and take it to a whole new level. I‘ll
drill them, next. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Finally tonight, the drill,
baby, drill crowd is still alive and well. We‘re on the verge of the
worst ecological disaster in the history of the country and look what
Fox News is talking about.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The answer is now, as it was before the awful
spill in Louisiana, drill more.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look, it was a bad accident, but the fact is I
think we get something like one third of our domestic oil from the Gulf,
from offshore drilling in the gulf. We need it. We can‘t cut back on
it. I‘m a drill, baby, drill person.
ERIC BOLLING, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK: We need to drill here, drill
now and, hey, drill, baby, thrill.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We do have, ultimately, at the end of the
day, very safe offshore oil drilling. We should be trying to get more
of our own energy and harvest it. Look how much is down there. If it
was safe and we were able to harness it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Oil in the water is safe, how about that? Eric Burns,
president of Media Matters for America, joins us tonight. What‘s the
ERIC BURNS, MEDIA MATTERS FOR AMERICA PRESIDENT: Look, Ed, Fox is
clearly trying to prevent any real discussion about what we are going to
do moving forward with our energy policy from happening. You know, they
are invested—the Republican party and Fox News is invested in
drilling at all costs, at any cost. And they realize that they‘re going
to be seeing weeks of video of the entire Gulf Coast essentially being
destroyed, of wildlife. You‘re going to see horrible damage to the
tourism industry, fish and wildlife industry. It‘s going to be
affecting lives of millions of people, right in the backyard of the
energy industry‘s capital.
SCHULTZ: They‘re protecting their party is basically what they‘re
doing, and their corporate interests.
BURNS: They‘ve gone so far as to even suggest that this is somehow
a conspiracy. Dana Perino on Fox suggested this was a conspiracy
perpetrated by the Obama administration.
SCHULTZ: What about Brownie? I mean, he took it to a new level.
BURNS: He absolutely did. He absolutely did. We have multiple
instances of seeing this on Fox and, of course, from Rush Limbaugh. And
they‘re putting themselves in a league with the 9/11 Truthers. It‘s
SCHULTZ: That is out there. Big-time. Great to have you with us,
Eric. Thanks for joining us tonight.
BURNS: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: That‘s THE ED SHOW. I‘ve got to get to the text survey
first. I asked you, do you think big oil owns the congress? Ninety
four percent of you said yes; six percent of you said no.
That‘s THE ED SHOW. I‘m Ed Schultz. Chris Matthews and “HARDBALL”
starts right now on the place for politics, MSNBC. We‘ll see you back
here tomorrow night, 6:00 eastern from New York. Thanks for joining us.
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