updated 5/20/2010 9:36:03 AM ET 2010-05-20T13:36:03

Guests: Bill Halter, Chris Van Hollen, Walter Hang, Rep. Dennis Kucinich,

Adam Green, Stephanie Miller, John Feehery, Laura Flanders, Robert

Greenwald

ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC HOST:  Good evening, Americans and welcome to THE ED

SHOW tonight.  From New York, these stories are hitting my hot buttons

tonight at this hour.

Say, the progressive base, in case you were wondering, is alive and

well and kicking in this country.  It feels good, doesn‘t it?  Joe Sestak,

he swept Pennsylvania.  In Arkansas, Blanche Lincoln is headed to a runoff. 

Her opponent, Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter, will join me in just a

moment.

The Tea Party also got a big victory last night.  Rand Paul is the

republican Senate nominee in Kentucky.  With all the crazy stuff this guy

has said, this is going to be a lot of fun.  I think the democrats will

chalk one up here.

And BP‘s sorry record on safety is catching up with its leadership

while republicans are trying to tack this on to President Obama.  It isn‘t

going to happen.

But this is the story that has me fired up tonight, and every

progressive in this country should be fired up tonight about this.  You

see, Mr. President, it‘s okay and it is time to go left.  The seasoned

political experts are spinning last night‘s election as a win for the Tea

Party and a big loss for President Obama. 

Hold the phone. Listen up, everybody.  The most liberal candidates in

Pennsylvania won, and Blanche Lincoln and Bill Halter are headed to a June

8th run-off.  To be fair, President Obama is 0 for 5 after endorsing losers

in Virginia, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and the robo-call

that he cut for Blanche Lincoln, well it didn‘t come too close, right? 

Now, the White House needs, in my opinion, they need to view this as

really a pre-midterm mandate.  They need to put the hammer down with an

aggressive, progressive agenda and don‘t be embarrassed about it. 

They can‘t miss this opportunity.  Not this time around.  Political

traditional thinking really is outdated at this point with the mood of the

country the way it is.  People are focused and they want change. 

The fact that the entire democratic leadership and establishment in

Pennsylvania totally missed this, I think is kind of troubling.  The

democratic establishment pretty much has egg on their face right now. It

seems to me the official era of workers versus the corporations, well,

they‘re at the starting gate.  It has begun.

And the question comes up basically for every candidate, whose side

are you on?  The White House can‘t receive this in any kind of a passive

manner in my opinion.  You know, nothing went wrong last night. 

The people have spoken.  Joe Sestak said to me on this program a month

ago this was how it was going to come down.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  What about the Quinnipiac poll that‘s out right now.  He‘s

up on you 53-32, but 15 percent are undecided.  How are you going to turn

this around if this is accurate?

REP. JOE SESTAK (D-PA): Well, as you know, the last two polls since

then have me down like the Rasmussen, 44-42 so it‘s a dead heat right now. 

The polls are changing rapidly right now because you know, Ed, out there—

not in Washington, but out there—

SCHULTZ:  Yes.

SESTAK: People are trying to keep their jobs.  They‘re just trying to

hold on, and now they‘re turning to this primary.

SCHULTZ:  Congressman—

SESTAK: And you know, they‘ve already made a verdict on Arlen Specter,

because that other poll I mentioned is 52 percent undecided.  We‘re going

to win this for the working families.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Got to hand it to him, he was the Lone Ranger standing with

the people who still want change.  This is what I said about it last night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  I think that Joe Sestak did President Obama a huge favor

tonight.  He was certainly more the progressive candidate.  Mr. President,

it‘s okay to go left.  It‘s okay to move forward with progressives. 

Republicans haven‘t done anything with the democrats. 

They‘ve tried to block everything Obama wants to do, and I think Joe

Sestak has come up in favor or workers, in favor of a stronger health care

bill.  He‘s ready to hold Wall Street accountable, and he connected with

small towns.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Who he connected with was lunch bucket democrats who are

sick and tired of big insurance, sick and tired of big oil, sick and tired

of Wall Street calling the shots in Washington, and they want a better

shake.  As American workers, they want a better shake. 

Labor poured in $5 million in to Bill Halter‘s campaign in Arkansas. 

AFL CIO President Richard Trumka said last night, “Our efforts were about

more than a single race.  We said we were going to be aggressive about

supporting candidates who stand with working families, and we backed that

up with action.”

Organized labor knows that Blanche Lincoln is Corporate America‘s

favorite democrat.  They know Bill Halter is with them and the American

worker.  This is the decision time I think for President Obama.  He has

three weeks now to decide if he wants to go along with the people‘s choice,

or he wants to back a big corporate democrat, Senator Blanche Lincoln in

Arkansas.

And really what it comes down to as well, I think this is a residual

of the health care fight.  I really do.  There were four senators that were

really tough in liberals throughout this entire thing.

It was Joe Lieberman from Connecticut.  It was Ben Nelson from

Nebraska, of course Blanche Lincoln from Arkansas, and Mary Landrieu from

Louisiana.  Everybody talked about the Louisiana Purchase. 

Well, you know, what‘s different about this, the only thing is here is

that Blanche Lincoln just happened to be the first one up.  If he had been

Ben Nelson last night, it would have been his number. 

If it had been Mary Landrieu it would have been her number.  The

bottom line here is that all this talk about the Tea Party movement and the

republicans are on the surge, notice how quiet John Boehner was today.  How

about Michael Steele?  See any interviews with him? 

They don‘t know what‘s going on because they‘re out of touch with the

people.  They‘re about tax cuts.  They‘re about corporate favors, and

they‘re not with the people.  Get your cell phone out, folks.  I want to

know what you think about all of this tonight.

Tonight‘s text survey question is, do you believe President Obama will

get the message from last night‘s election and move to the left? Text A for

yes; text B for no to 622639.  I‘ll bring you the results later on in the

show.

Joining me now from Arkansas is Arkansas Lieutenant Governor Bill

Halter.  He will face Senator Blanche Lincoln in a run-off election for the

democratic senate nomination on June 8th.                       

You didn‘t win, but it‘s the best victory I think a guy could have. 

How do we look at that? Bill, great to have you with us tonight.  You

closed the gap.  It was 45 to 43.  Recent polls had you ten down.  What

happened?

BILL HALTER, LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR OF ARKANSAS:  Well, at the end,

voters decided that they wanted change and not just the status quo.  We

said over and over again, Ed, if you send the same people back to

Washington, you‘re guaranteed to get the same results, and 55 percent of

Arkansans yesterday said in a democratic primary, we don‘t want to send the

same people back.

That‘s why we have a run-off and that‘s why we‘re going to win on June

8th.

SCHULTZ:  Well, D.C. Morrison got 13 percent of the vote last night. 

Where are those voters?  Who are they?  Where are they going to go on June

8th

HALTER:  I think we get the lion‘s share of those voters on June 8th

because D.C. Morrison and I both talk about fiscal responsibility and

having Washington not just irresponsibly writing checks.  And we also

talked about how on the estate tax, D.C. Morrison and I agreed. 

Blanche Lincoln, by contract, wants to give another tax break to those

with $10 million in wealth or more.  I think they‘re going to come our way. 

I think the overwhelming vote yesterday was a vote for change; a vote to

send somebody to Washington who‘s going to stand up for Arkansas‘s middle

class families.

SCHULTZ:  Governor, you have gotten the grass roots support, I mean

overwhelming compared to your opponent.  Is it going to be there between

now and June 8th?  Can you count on the same people that got you close last

night to close the deal for you?

HALTER:  Well, Ed, I‘m just going to ask them right now.  Go to

billhalter.com. Our average contribution has been $30.  That‘s something

that people across Arkansas and across the United States can do, and I can

guarantee you this, we‘re going to put that money to good use. 

We‘re up against the Chamber of Commerce.  We‘re up against $1.5

million in negative ads from a republican group trying to intervene in a

democratic primary to buy a Senate seat.  We need everybody‘s help, but

we‘re going to win.

Make no mistake about it, yesterday was step one.  June 8th will be

step two.  Step three is in November.

SCHULTZ:  Yes, OK.  What‘s the tone of this campaign going to be like

this battle between you and Senator Lincoln between now and June 8th

Is it going to be negative?  Is it going to be, you know knock-down drag-

out?  Your thoughts on that.

HALTER:  Well, look, I‘m not going to be negative, but I‘m not going

to be afraid to talk about her votes and her positions on issues, and to

make sure that everybody knows what the comparison is.  The estate tax is a

clear position there that‘s different.

Senator Lincoln has had a number of different positions on health

care. We‘re going to talk about that.  But what I‘m really all about here,

Ed, is a positive, affirmative vision for middle class families in Arkansas

and standing up against powerful interests who don‘t have those families‘

best interests at heart.

SCHULTZ:  Governor, good luck to you.

HALTER:  Thanks, Ed.

SCHULTZ:  Looking forward to seeing you down there on June 8th.  It‘s

going to be a heck of a battle.  We‘ll follow it all the way. Thanks so

much.

HALTER:  Come on down, Ed.

SCHULTZ:  Well, I think, you know, you‘ve got union help. You‘ve got a

lot of grass roots support which tells me that Arkansas could tell a lot to

the American people about change in this country.  Good luck to you.  We‘ll

see you again.

HALTER:  Thank you so much, Ed.

SCHULTZ:  Got to be, really, the democrats getting a big win in a

major bellwether race last night.  The special election to fill the seat of

late Congressman John Murtha.  In Pennsylvania‘s 12th District, a district

John McCain won in 2008, democrat Mark Critz beat republican Tim Burns by

almost 10 points.

Congressman Chris Van Hollen, Chairman of the DCCC praised the face

that the republicans couldn‘t take the seat. Now the focus shifts in

November.  Maryland Congressman joins us right now here on THE ED SHOW. 

Congressman, this is one that a lot of people were watching thinking that

if the republicans couldn‘t win this one, which one are they going to win? 

REP. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN (D-MD):  Well that‘s exactly right.  This was

the one race in the country yesterday where you actually had a democratic

candidate against a republican candidate, and the republicans in this race

test drove their strategy for November, and they crashed. 

They made the whole race about trying to make President Obama and

Nancy Pelosi the bogeyman.  Mark Critz, the democratic candidate focused on

jobs.  He focused on investing in the community, and he focused on making

sure that we get rid of tax incentives to send jobs overseas rather than

invest in jobs in America.  So Mark Critz made a very clear choice. 

SCHULTZ:  Are we now defined as the people versus the corporations?  I

mean last night in Pennsylvania the democratic establishment got it totally

wrong.  Joe Sestak steps up, you know, he—it‘s David and Goliath.  He

didn‘t have anybody on his side except the people.  What do you make of

that?

VAN HOLLEN:  Well that was certainly the issue in the special election

in Pennsylvania because essentially you had the republican candidate

following the same economic agenda and policies of the republicans in the

house.

It was a Washington republican economic agenda, which is essentially

the same agenda that got us in to the mess to begin with.  And remember,

Ed, in the House, the republicans voted against all these bills.  They

voted against Wall Street reform.  They voted against health care reform. 

They voted against fiscal responsibility.  They voted against reducing the

role of banks and providing more—

SCHULTZ:  I got all that.  I don‘t mean to interrupt you, but I‘m

concerned that democratic leadership—how could the mayor of

Philadelphia, the governor of Pennsylvania, Senator Casey on this show last

night saying Specter was going to win.

The president, the vice president, I mean I‘m a little concerned—

and I think progressives around the country I‘ll take the liberty to say

that the question is democratic leadership listening to the people? 

VAN HOLLEN:  Look, Ed, I can speak to the House democratic leadership.

SCHULTZ:  Yes.

VAN HOLLEN:  We were involved in the House race.  I will say with

respect to the Senate, you know, my understanding is when Senator Specter

moved over and helped deliver the deciding vote on the Economic Recovery

Plan, at that point you had a number of the, you know democratic leadership

in Pennsylvania rally around him.

I‘m not defending it. That‘s my understanding of it. Again, in the

House, we‘ve been focused on the special election in Pennsylvania and for

that election, it was a clear early test of the republican strategy of

trying to make this all about Washington and the president and Speaker

Pelosi versus focusing on the issues and giving the voters a choice on

where they want to go and the kind of agenda that you‘re talking about. 

SCHULTZ:  OK.  Now do you feel a lot better, I mean there‘s all this

talk about, you know Newt Gingrich out there, Boehner out there saying that

there‘s an avalanche coming.  You got to be feeling pretty good that you

might not lose anywhere near as many seats as the righties have projected. 

VAN HOLLEN:  Well, look, we know this is a challenging political

environment, but what happened last night certainly meant that the

republican hype about taking back the house and this being a 1994 wave all

over again, that hype ran into a brick wall of reality last night and the

brick wall won.

You know, Tom Davis, who‘s the former chairman of the National

Republican Campaign Committee said if the republicans can‘t win in that

kind of district, that McCain carried, then where is the wave? 

SCHULTZ:  That‘s right.

VAN HOLLEN:  That was his question, and we have the same question but

that doesn‘t mean we you know, we still understand this is a tough

political environment.  But if we follow through on an agenda for working

Americans, if we work on the jobs bill that‘s before the house including

the provision that Mark Critz talked about in his campaign—

SCHULTZ:  Yes. It‘ll all work out.

VAN HOLLEN:  -- which is to eliminate those tax subsidies for sending

jobs overseas.  That‘s the kind of agenda we need.

SCHULTZ:  Congressman, good to have you with us tonight, and

congratulations.

VAN HOLLEN:  Good to be with you.

SCHULTZ:  Good to get the victory. 

VAN HOLLEN:  Thank you.

SCHULTZ:  All right.  This is exactly the kind of stuff that I‘ve got

in my book coming out, going to be released on June 1st.  It‘s called

“Killer Politics: How Big Money and Bad Politics Are Destroying The Great

American Middle Class,”  you know, the middle class that spoke last night. 

We got a series of town hall meetings coming up and book signings.  You can

go to my website, wegoted.com, for the entire schedule. 

Coming up, disturbing new video reveals how bad the gusher is . New

photos from space show the direction it‘s headed.  I‘ll tell you what this

all means from the eastern shores, next.  And Congressman Souder‘s sex

scandal has me wondering if it was in the righty water back in 1994?  We‘ll

talk about that republican revolution at the bottom of the hour. 

Plus, Miss U.S.A. wants to be Hilary Clinton when she grows up.  And a

pirate walks the plank.  You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.  Stay with

us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  And I am still fired up about the message sent to Washington

last night.  The progressives in this country are speaking loud and clear. 

This is a huge wakeup call for the president.  Congressman Dennis Kucinich

is going to give me his take at the bottom of the hour.  You won‘t want to

miss it.

And I‘ll tell you why the Tea Partiers will have nothing to party

about in November. That‘s in the Playbook.  Stephanie Miller‘s here. Stay

with us.  We‘re right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

Five billion gallons of oil have been spilled and all Washington can do is

play the blame game.  Take a look at this stunning new picture from NASA of

the disaster from high above earth.  It shows just how far out the oil has

spread.

And this new image from NOAH confirms the oil outlined in red has

spread into the loop current, and the blue line that carries the water

around Florida and up the Atlantic Coast.  Officials said that the oil

would likely reach the beaches of the Florida Keys in 8 to 10 days. 

But scientists confirm that the tar balls found there this weekend did

not come from the Gulf oil spill.  Walter Hang is the president of the

Toxics Targeting Company that tracks environmental data from the

government.  Mr. Hang, what do you make of the loop current? 

How serious is this and how do we know exactly how much oil is going

to be getting around if it does?

WALTER HANG, PRESIDENT, TOXIC TARGETING:  This is a very serious

development.  The problem is that there‘s a massive amount of oil in the

Gulf.  But once it gets into the loop current, it can spread out of the

Gulf, go through the Florida Strait and go up the eastern seaboard.  So

that could tremendously increase the area that could ultimately be impacted

by this massive, uncontrolled release.

SCHULTZ:  What about this solution that they‘re putting on top of the

oil to break it up?  What does it do?  How dangerous is it?  Is it working? 

HANG:  This could actually make things a lot worse. What it does is it

breaks up this huge accumulations of oil into tiny droplets.  But those

droplets might actually spread a lot father a lot faster.  So there‘re huge

underwater plumes of these oil droplets, and they might actually get

carried away by the loop current and by these other massive ocean currents,

and ultimately just staggering areas might be impacted. 

SCHULTZ:  Do you think that the impact of this could be global? 

HANG:  It‘s really hard to tell. I think in the beginning, you know

they thought it would be localized in the Gulf. They were worried about the

beaches.  They were worried about the wetlands in Louisiana, Mississippi,

Alabama, Florida.  Now, they‘re more concerned perhaps about Texas all the

way around the Florida coast up the seaboard.

SCHULTZ:  Yes.

HANG:  But if it gets into the Gulf Stream, it could really go a long

way, and the question is how soon if at all are they going to be able to

control this massive release?  I mean we‘re a month into this disaster. 

SCHULTZ:  Yes.  And you deal with toxic spills and such stuff as this

when it comes to disasters.  The permitting process, is it just flat out

crooked in your opinion?  I mean is there any oversight whatsoever? 

HANG:  There is oversight, but it‘s completely ineffective.  What

happens is the industry says we have proven technology.  We have a

wonderful track record. Nothing‘s going to go wrong, and they basically are

allowed to pretty much do what they want. 

But the liability is capped. So if, heaven forbid, there‘s a problem

they know they‘re not going to really get hit.  And then everything is

going along, and when these problems invariably occur, the situation is

that the government doesn‘t require all of the pollution to be cleaned up. 

And that‘s how come when you hear BP responding to the president‘s

request that they clean up everything they say we‘re going to deal with all

the legitimate claims?

SCHULTZ:  Yes.

HANG:  They say they‘re going to pay for the spill response, but

they‘re also saying we‘re not going to clean up all of that deep water oil. 

SCHULTZ:  Yes.

HANG: And so they basically just want to lie low, wait for this

problem to kind of go away, and they‘re going to hope that Mother Nature

will break this pollution down, but it probably won‘t happen. 

SCHULTZ:  It ain‘t going to happen, no.

HANG:  It‘s just going to be bigger and bigger, go father and farther,

and ultimately the—

SCHULTZ:  Very good.

HANG:  -- the economic and environmental impact could be

unprecedented.

SCHULTZ:  Mr. Hang, good to have you with us tonight.  Thanks for

joining us on THE ED SHOW. 

HANG:  Thank you.

SCHULTZ:  Psycho talk spreads from Fox newscasters to Fox

Sportscasters.  I‘m calling a major foul on Chris Myers.  We‘ll send him

into the timeout zone next.  Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  Oh, we got a dandy tonight in Psycho Talk.  We‘re bringing a

new member into the crazy club.  Fox Sports Reporter Chris Myers shows he

has Fox News potential.  He filled in on the Dan Patrick Radio Show

yesterday.

He started off, well, okay, praising Americans for their ability to

pull together in tough times. But then, he drove right into the Rush

Limbaugh territory.

(BEING AUDIO CLIP)

CHRIS MYERS, REPORTER, FOX SPORTS:  It‘s a great country here.  We

have disasters, issues when people pull together and help themselves, and I

thought the people in Tennessee, unlike—and I‘m not going to name names

when a natural disaster hits, people weren‘t standing on the rooftop

trying to blame the government, OK?  They helped each other out through

this.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Buddy, even though you didn‘t name names, I think we cracked

your code on this one.  The people standing on the rooftops were victims of

one of the deadliest hurricanes in U.S. history.  They weren‘t on the

rooftops blaming the government.

They were there because it was their only shot at survival. George W. 

Bush and his buddy Brownie failed them.  And President Obama isn‘t getting

blamed for the flooding in Tennessee because his administration actually

did a heck of a job.  FEMA was on the ground before the rain even started. 

Now that he‘s in Psycho Talk, he‘s really going to probably get in a

lot of trouble.  Media Matters reporting tonight that Fox Sports is going

to have, quote, internal discussions with Myers about all of this.

You know, why can‘t these sports guys just stick to sports?  They

always get in trouble when they screw up the toy department. So Chris

Myers‘ disgusting attack on the victims of Hurricane Katrina puts you right

in the Psycho Talk zone.

Coming up, Admiral Sestak defied the odds.  The president didn‘t back

him, and it really didn‘t matter.  Congressman Dennis Kucinich joins me to

talk about the aggressive progressive movement next. 

Plus, Congressman Souder joins the same old friends in the hall of

shame.  A pirate gets locked up, and Miss U.S.A. wants Hilary to quit her

day job?  That‘s right.  You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.  Stay with

us.  It‘s all coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.  The Battleground Story

tonight, progressives are tired of watching the president‘s change agenda

just flat out die in the Senate bill after bill.  Last night proved that

they are fired up and ready to vote.  They helped Joe Sestak do the

unthinkable in Pennsylvania, beating Senator Arlen Specter by eight points. 

In Arkansas, they forced conservative Senator Democrat Blanche Lincoln into

a runoff with Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter. 

So much talk for all the, you know, fact that the Democrats aren‘t

motivated this year?  Yes, they are.  I think they are very motivated for

candidates who are willing to stand up to the powers and the special

interests in Washington and fight the good fight for the progressive

values. 

Joining me now from Ohio is Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich, actually

at the Capitol.  Congressman, good to have you with us tonight.  I wanted

to talk to you because there really is no bigger change agent in the

Congress than you.  What‘s your analysis of last night?  What were the

people saying in your opinion? 

REP. DENNIS KUCINICH (D), OHIO:  They‘re saying status quo, status no. 

They‘re basically taking a more anti-establishment approach.  And with so

many people unemployed, with so many businesses having gone down, with Wall

Street having walked away with the Treasury, people are saying, look,

there‘s got to be some changes.  I think we‘re seeing that reflected in the

votes that occurred yesterday. 

SCHULTZ:  How should the White House take last night‘s results?  How

could the Democratic establishment in Pennsylvania, from A to Z, be so

wrong on what was coming down? 

KUCINICH:  I think there‘s this desire on the part of the people to

keep the change that people voted for in 2008 actually moving in the

direction of putting America back to work, of rebuilding our country‘s

infrastructure, getting out of the wars.  And I think you‘re going to see

more and more demand for a change in the status quo.  Of course, we have to

remember that some of these elections do have local characteristics which

may, you know, argue against an analysis that says it really is a demand

for a change in the status quo. 

The bottom line is America is still churning with change, and that we

can expect to see more and more surprises in the coming months in

primaries, as well as in November. 

SCHULTZ:  So, what is this—does it bode well for Democrats in

November, what we saw last night?  And where the mood of the country is

right now?  I mean, I think the Tea Partiers have got some supporters, but

they‘re not in the majority.  And I think last night speaks volumes.  Your

thoughts? 

KUCINICH:  Well, you know, let‘s face it, Rand Paul‘s victory in

Kentucky was aloft by Tea Party activists.  I think we should respect the

fact that there are many Americans who feel that both parties have not done

their job, and they formed together in a Tea Party and they‘re picking and

choosing, you know, Democrats and Republicans to support.  And I think what

happened in Kentucky ought to be—we ought to pay careful attention to

it. 

However, if the Democrats are going to hold control of the House of

Representatives, we‘ll do it because we put millions more Americans back to

work.  We‘ll do it because we‘ve seen a recovery on Main Street, not just

Wall Street.  We should not confuse recovery on Wall Street with recovery

on Main Street.  I think that is still the challenge that faces the

Democratic party and faces the Obama administration. 

SCHULTZ:  It is exactly what Joe Sestak talked about in Pennsylvania. 

Congressman, good to have you with us tonight. 

KUCINICH:  Thanks so much, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  For more, let me bring in Adam Green.  He‘s the co-founder

of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, very involved in the race

down in Arkansas.  How do you view this?  It was closer than anticipated,

Adam. 

ADAM GREEN, PROGRESSIVE CHANGE CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE:  Yeah.  No one

expected it to be this close.  It‘s a real testament to the kind of people

power campaign that Bill Halter is running.  Let‘s be very clear, for the

next three weeks now, this race here in Arkansas is ground zero in the

battle between people power and big corporate power.  These big

corporations have invested millions and millions of dollars in Blanche

Lincoln.  She‘s gone to bat for them over and over again.  If Bill Halter

wins, which I think he will in three weeks, it will send shock waves

through the corporate establishment and, frankly, through the Democratic

party establishment, sending a signal that Democratic voters don‘t want

politicians that put big corporations ahead of their constituents.  

SCHULTZ:  Adam, what if the progressive movement in this country can‘t

pull it off in Arkansas?  Would this be a big setback?  Because I see this

as a real turning point right here.  I mean, she is the first corporate

Democratic senator that fought hard against health care reform.  I don‘t

think she held insurance‘s feet to the fire at all.  If she is successful,

is that a real blow to the progressive movement? 

GREEN:  Sure.  Any loss would be a blow to any movement.  But we‘re

going to win, and here‘s why we‘re going to win.  One by-product of the

fact that she has taken millions and millions of dollars from big

corporations is that she really has no grassroots support here on the

ground.  You can feel it.  Meanwhile, thousands of thousands of people are

chipping in with their time and their money to Bill Halter, either at

BillHalter.com or on our website, BoldProgressives.org.  This is a people

powered candidacy.  Because of that, we‘re going to win. 

I‘ll tell you, I‘ve seen it firsthand.  This is a grassroots campaign. 

Yesterday, there were hundreds and hundreds of people volunteering for Bill

Halter, calling over 54,000 people in one day, let alone the 100,000 people

they called a couple days before. 

SCHULTZ:  Why do you think he‘s going to win June 8th?  You think the

D.C. Morrison 13 percenters are going to go to over to Bill Halter?  He

said earlier tonight he thought they would.  Do you see it that way? 

GREEN:  Yeah.  Just look at the math.  Over 55 percent of the people

that voted just yesterday voted for change.  They want change.  They want

someone who is not blanche Lincoln, because she has not put them first. 

She has put her corporate contributors first.  We need to get those people

out to the polls.  Those who I said yesterday on your show will be most

energized are those who want to have a change in leadership and who support

Bill Halter. 

My guess is that a lot of the people who voted for Blanche Lincoln the

first time, because they were voting for other positions on the ballot,

actually won‘t return to the polls, and we‘ll have an even bigger infusion

of people for Bill Halter.  It‘s about people power. 

SCHULTZ:  It is.  It‘s the people versus the corporations at this

juncture in American politics. 

GREEN:  Ground zero here in Arkansas. 

SCHULTZ:  Adam Green, good to have you with us tonight. 

Now, let‘s get some rapid fire response from our panel on these

stories tonight.  Family-values Republican Mark Souder isn‘t alone in his

hypocrisy or his bad behavior.  In fact, he‘s the 15th member of the

Republican class of 1994 to go down in flames of scandal. 

Democrats are split over whether Connecticut Attorney General Richard

Blumenthal is dead in the water as a Senate candidate after he admits he

misspoke about fighting in Vietnam. 

Primary voters in both parties sent a warning to Washington last

night.  Our panel will take that on as well. 

Joining us now is Laura Flanders, author of “Blue Grit” and host of

“Grit TV,” and John Feehery, Republican strategist.  Great to have you with

us tonight.  I want to talk about this Mark Souder story.  I‘m sure back in

1994, we could have gotten hundreds of Americans to step out and give

character reference for all the people that were elected to Congress.  But

why so many of them have gone down when it comes to sex scandals or other

kind of scandals.  I want to ask you, John Feehery, does Washington just do

this to people, if they‘re there that long? 

JOHN FEEHERY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST:  Ed, I worked in the class of

‘94, ‘95.  I was in Congress when we passed unbelievable welfare reform. 

We balanced the budget.  We cut taxes.  And it was a product of divided

government.  President Clinton was president.  The Republicans controlled

Congress.  I think it‘s a harbinger of things to come when Republicans take

back the Congress.  We‘ll get hard won compromises and put the country back

on a balanced budget.  That‘s how I look at the class of ‘94, ‘95. 

SCHULTZ:  Despite the fact there‘s 15 of them that went down in

controversy.  Laura, what do you make of this?  Does D.C. do this to

people? 

LAURA FLANDERS, “GRIT TV”:  No, I don‘t think it‘s about D.C.  I‘m

glad John reminded us that he was there at the birth.  John was there with

the founding of I think it was called the Republican theme team, which was

great at training people like the class we‘re talking about to use sound

bites and talk family values talk, and use a lot of threats, too. 

The sad thing is they weren‘t actually teaching folks how to treat

their partners right.  It would be funny except it‘s really not.  All that

hypocrisy held an entire administration hostage.  You saw Democrats cave to

an attack that did bring us welfare reform and NAFTA and the kind of stuff

we‘re really paying a price for now. 

SCHULTZ:  Let‘s go to Connecticut.  If I‘m a voter in Connecticut, I

would probably be thinking that the number-one law enforcement official in

the state is having a hard time remembering what he did in Vietnam.  Laura,

is this a problem for Mr. Blumenthal?  

FLANDERS:  I think it‘s a problem for everybody.  Sure, it‘s a problem

for him.  But it‘s bigger than that.  It reminds us that a lot of people

have bent over backwards to try to show support for veterans and for the

troops.  There‘s only one way to show supports for the troops, and that‘s

with your actions, keeping troops out of harm‘s way. 

SCHULTZ:  Yes, but did he fabricate his war record?  I mean, John

Feehery, this could be—I mean, credibility—of course you could say he

could be a great senator because he speaks out of both sides of his mouth,

I guess you could say.  What‘s your take on this?  Where do the Democrats

go from here? 

FEEHERY:  I think it‘s devastating for Blumenthal.  I‘ll tell you why,

he had such a squeaky clean image.  People thought he was always a truth

teller.  Basically, I think people now think he‘s a big liar.  These are

not just exaggerations.  They‘re beyond exaggerations.  I think it‘s really

troubling for the voters of Connecticut.  And I think his campaign is in

big trouble. 

FLANDERS:  It may not just be senate, Ed.  You know, it was Nixon and

Johnson.  They all lied about what they did in Vietnam.  Maybe he‘s running

for president. 

SCHULTZ:  All right, this is Joe Sestak last night after the big

victory over Arlen Specter.  Here it is. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOE SESTAK (D), PENNSYLCANIA:  This is what democracy looks like,

a win for the people over the establishment, over the status quo, even over

Washington, D.C.!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Laura Flanders, how could the establishment get it so wrong? 

They all lined up with Specter.  He lost. 

FLANDERS:  I think that‘s one race in Pennsylvania to watch.  But the

other one that I think is very interesting, particularly in light of what

Adam Green just said, is that congressional race, the one party fight—

partisan fight, the congressional race for Murtha‘s seat, where you had a

Democrat, really a—

SCHULTZ:  Critz is not a huge lefty.  I mean, he‘s got—

FLANDERS:  he‘s a guy who campaigned on jobs.  That‘s what I was going

to say.  I think you saw in Pennsylvania that when a campaign really

focuses on jobs, as Critz did, you can be in a district that went for

McCain and get it back for the Democrats.  That anger around jobs—he‘s

absolutely not a liberal.  But the anger around jobs was addressed with a

really strong message around trade, around job creation. 

SCHULTZ:  John Feehery, nobody‘s safe?  Nobody‘s safe? 

FEEHERY:  Let me say one thing.  Behold the power of Ed Schultz.  No

Ed Schultz, no Joe Sestak.  He wouldn‘t have won without you, Ed.  He owes

you a lot of honor and campaign contributions. 

SCHULTZ:  He owes me? 

FEEHERY:  He owes you.  Without you, there‘s no Sestak. 

SCHULTZ:  I will tell you, he‘s one of the easiest books in cable TV. 

The guy is on a mission to get on shows. 

FEEHERY:  He‘s out every day.  Behold the power of Ed Schultz in the

Democratic primary. 

SCHULTZ:  I think a three-star admiral and his experience, when he

says he‘s not a Washington insider, I have to believe him because he spent

31 years in the military.  Laura and John, good to have you with us

tonight.  Thanks so much.

Coming up, Rand Paul‘s big win has the Tea Party crowd celebrating. 

One person not celebrating today is Mitch McConnell.  I say, enjoy it now,

big guy, because the party‘s over real soon.  Stephanie Miller, I think she

thinks the same thing.  Maybe not.  That‘s coming up in the Playbook.  Stay

with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RAND PAUL ®, KY SENATE NOMINEE:  I have a message, a message from

the Tea Party, a message that is loud and clear and does not mince words. 

We‘ve come to take our government back. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Back to what?  In the Playbook tonight, the Tea Party is all

fired up.  Their man, Rand Paul, steam rolled Mitch McConnell‘s guy, Trey

Grayson, in the Kentucky Republican Senate primary last night.  It was a

huge blow to the Republican establishment.  I think it makes Mitch

McConnell the biggest loser of the night. 

Here‘s a message for all you Tea Party folks out there: the party‘s

over.  For me, let me bring in radio talk show host Stephanie miller.  We

should point out that Mr. Rand Paul gave his acceptance speech at a private

golf club.  Stephanie, what does that tell us? 

STEPHANIE MILLER, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  Well, yeah, that‘s the one

section of the electorate they have yet to reach out to, the rich white

guys that play golf.  Yeah, they probably didn‘t have that segment nailed

down yet.  I think when he says take our country back, Ed, I think he means

back to a time when it was OK to discriminate against people of different

races or with disabilities, since he‘s apparently against the Americans

With Disabilities Act and other things like that. 

SCHULTZ:  This is the strange thing, he‘s actually on record with a

blogger saying he wants to repeal president 1990 American Disabilities Act. 

Nobody‘s ever even talking about that.  Can the Republicans control their

crazies at this point? 

MILLER:  I think this is all good news, Ed, the Tea Party.  I‘m sorry,

but to me they‘re driving the Republican party, as you‘re saying, farther

and farther to the right, to the lunatic fringe.  Good for them. 

SCHULTZ:  I don‘t buy this thing that he‘s not a Washington insider. 

His dad‘s been there 20 some years, wants to get rid of the IRS, which some

people might go along with.  What does this say about Mitch McConnell? 

MILLER:  I think you‘re exactly right.  He‘s the biggest loser of the

night.  They keep trying to—you know, talk about the power of the Tea

Party.  If I were the Republican party, I‘d be scared to death.  This is

what‘s happened so far, is they‘re driving anybody sane or moderate out of

the Republican party thus far. 

SCHULTZ:  Do you think John Boehner was tanning today or playing golf? 

I‘m not sure.  Which do you think? 

MILLER:  You know what, probably crying some of his bronzer off and

then reapplying it. 

SCHULTZ:  Stephanie, always a pleasure.  Good to have you with us

tonight. 

MILLER:  You, too, Ed.

SCHULTZ:  Final pages in the playbook tonight, President Obama hosts

Mexican President Felipe Calderon for his second state dinner at the White

House tonight.  Calderon arriving and shaking hands with Mr. Obama just

moments ago.  Of course, security‘s on the lookout for party crashers.  We

all remember this infamous couple that found they way into their first

state dinner back in November.  Pretty good pictures, too. 

And the newly crowned Miss USA has been on the job for three days and

already show is talking about a career change.  She joined David Letterman

for the top ten things she wants to do as Miss America.  Looks like she‘s

interested in working in Washington.  Let‘s take a look. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID LETTERMAN, “THE LATE SHOW”:  Here we go.  Top ten things I want

to do as Miss USA.  Number ten. 

RIMA FAKIH, MISS USA:  Fill in as secretary of state whenever Hillary

Clinton‘s on vacation. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Finally, for the first time in over 100 years, a pirate has

been convicted in a U.S. courtroom.  One of the Somali pirates who held

Captain Richard Phillips hostage off the coast of Somalia last April

pleaded guilty to hijacking a U.S. ship and kidnapping.  He‘s expected to

serve up to 33 years in jail. 

The top commander in Afghanistan says no one is winning.  The cost is

growing.  More troops are being deployed.  Yesterday, we hit a sobering

milestone.  Award winning filmmaker Robert Greenwald will help us “Rethink

Afghanistan” next.           

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  Finally tonight on THE ED SHOW, a sobering milestone in the

war in Afghanistan; 1,000 American troops have been killed since the war

began.  The death toll has significantly picked up in recent years.  The

first 500 American deaths spanned nearly seven years.  But it took less

than two more to reach a thousand. 

Now that progressives have shown they can win elections, it might be

time for President Obama to take a left turn on Afghanistan as well. 

Joining me now is Robert Greenwald, the founder and president of Brave New

Films and director of the documentary “Rethink Afghanistan.”  Good to have

you with us tonight.  Can we comprehend how much money we‘re spending in

Afghanistan? 

ROBERT GREENWALD, BRAVE NEW FILMS:  It‘s really hard to understand or

to really put a face to the numbers, Ed.  But just think about this for a

moment.  How many people in our country are without jobs?  Schools?  Health

care?  Homes?  And this month we‘re going to spend seven billion—

billion, not million, dollars in Afghanistan on a war that everybody knows

is not making us safer, and everybody knows if we weren‘t other there now,

we wouldn‘t suddenly be going over spending seven billion in one month to

find less than 100 al Qaeda. 

It fundamentally makes no sense. 

SCHULTZ:  It‘s over a trillion dollars, isn‘t it, for the entire—

GREENWALD:  It‘s going to be over—May 28th, it will be a trillion

dollars we will have spent in this war.  It‘s mind-boggling to think of

where that money could have gone.  Again, the number of jobs—the

elections that you were talking about before, jobs, jobs, jobs.  I want

some candidates to run for office and say, yeah, I think the best use of

your money is to send it over there and not provide jobs and not provide

health care and not provide schools. 

It doesn‘t make any sense.  I tell you, on our “Rethink Afghanistan”

Facebook page, the comments from people who are unemployed, the comments

from military people, over and over again, are talking about the waste and

abuse of our money and our resources, and the lives of Afghans and

Americans. 

SCHULTZ:  From your independent reporting, can you say that we simply

are not making progress there?  What do you think?

GREENWALD:  We can say it for sure.  Our producers in Afghanistan can

say it.  We have video showing it.  Then you have General McChrystal saying

it.  Nobody is winning.  That‘s a horrific admission after what will be a

trillion dollars, 100,000 troops, over 100,000 private contractors. 

When I was in Afghanistan, Ed, they need help there.  It‘s the third

poorest country in the world.  They need teachers, they need job programs. 

They need health care.  Not people with guns intimidating, killing and

occupying their country.  It‘s fundamental to the way that our security can

be protected.  And we‘re not protecting our security.  And I‘m looking for

smart policy from Washington, not this policy. 

SCHULTZ:  Gosh, it sounds like they need all the things we need here

in America.  Look at the age of the soldiers that we are losing.  I find

this terribly interesting and troubling.  From 2002 to 2008, the average

age was 28 years old.  Last year, it was 26 years old.  What do you make of

this?  Now in 2010, the average age of loss of life of soldiers is age 25. 

What do you make of that? 

GREENWALD:  First of all, Ed, it‘s heartbreaking.  A thousand of

deaths, think of the number of families that are permanently scarred and

ruined and pulled apart because of those thousand deaths.  And it‘s younger

and younger men being who are being taken from their families, taken from

their homes and taken from their cities. 

It‘s a draft, but it‘s an economic draft of poor people going into the

service because it‘s the only way they can provide for themselves or their

families or their loved ones or get an education.  And they‘re being killed

at a horrible rate. 

I know it‘s unpleasant.  And I know people want to turn their eyes

away from it.  But I think we all have an extraordinary responsibility to

speak to our senators and speak to the members of the House in saying, what

is going on here?  And how are—

SCHULTZ:  That time is coming.  Mr. Greenwald, good to have you with

us tonight. 

Tonight our text survey question, I asked, do you believe President

Obama will get the message from last night‘s election and move more to the

left?  Fifty one percent of you said yes‘ 49 percent of you said no. 

That‘s THE ED SHOW.  I‘m Ed Schultz.  Chris Matthews and “HARDBALL” is

next.  We‘ll see you tomorrow night.

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

BE UPDATED.

END   

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