Guests: Dennis Kucinich, Katrina Vanden Heuvel, Jim McDermott, Jan
Schakowsky, Heidi Harris, Laura Flanders, Al Sharpton, Brian Bilbray
ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans and welcome to “The Ed Show.” Tonight from Minneapolis, these stories are hitting my hot buttons and on the table at this hour. In just a couple of hours, the president of the United States will make his first Oval Office address to the nation. I don‘t know about you, but I‘m going to tell you what I don‘t want to hear from the president tonight in a commentary coming up in just a moment.
Right-wing Congressman Steve King thinks the president is racist against white folks while Glenn Beck is accusing Democrats of perverting the dream of Martin Luther King. Reverend Al Sharpton will be here to fire back on that. And Tea Party nut job Sharon Angle and Rand Paul, there‘s a couple of them in the news tonight. They‘re both under fire for character issues. We‘ll get rapid-fire response coming up on those stories tonight.
But this, of course, is the story that has me fired up tonight. President Obama needs to step up and make the call tonight. Now, this is not a time for negotiating with BP. It‘s not a negotiating moment. I believe the president. I think he has done a lot. I think he‘s done as much as he can do, but tonight I don‘t think that he can go to the Oval Office without drawing a line in the sand and making demands. President Obama needs to use his power and really show some guts. That‘s really what this is all about at this point. Can the president of the United States take it to a multi-national corporation that is butchering our environment? This is what the president said earlier in Pensacola today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: My administration is going to do whatever it takes for as long as it takes to deal with this disaster and that includes something else, making sure BP pays for the damages that it has caused because—because this isn‘t just an environmental disaster. For many families and communities it‘s an economic disaster.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Now, I want a ticket to this show. The president is right. It is all about the money. Who pays and for how long? BP or the American taxpayer? How is this going to unfold? Keep in mind, folks, that we are dealing with a company here that has a notorious reputation of being able to dodge the financial bullet incident after incident. Take a listen to BP‘s CEO Lamar McKay today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LAMAR MCKAY, BP AMERICA PRESIDENT: We‘ve been very, very clear from day one that we‘re—we as a responsible party under OPA 90, we are going to be responsible in living up to the obligations of OPA 90. I cannot comment on whether there will be a fund set aside or not.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Can‘t comment on whether there is going to be an escrow fund. Now it is getting interesting. Tonight, the president, I think has to be crystal clear and change the DNA of British Petroleum guaranteeing to Americans that we‘re not going to get stuck with the bill and say up front the $20 billion is chump change in this escrow account and that we‘re going to get a third party that‘s going to look out for American citizens and our environment. Our environment is not and does not have a price tag on it. That‘s really what we want to know tonight, Mr. President. Can you stand up to BP?
BP has vast oil reserves and a big bank account, but getting money out of these guys is like getting blood out of Iraq. Look at all of the different incidents that they‘ve been involved in and have been able to weasel out of it legally in the past with minimal price paid. Mr. President, I want to see the boot on the neck of BP tonight. I want to see some finger-pointing whether it‘s in your personality or not and it‘s OK tonight to act kind of like a dictator and call the shots saying this is the way it‘s going to be.
BP has lied to the citizens of this country long enough. It‘s been one misstep after another. One lie, one half-truth after another. It‘s time for the president of the United States to lay it out there in full force for the citizens of the United States and make it very clear that BP is going to make us whole, whole again and whole for a long time. The president also needs to hammer down with the Congress and get a 21st century energy plan this year.
And here‘s what I don‘t want to hear tonight. I don‘t want to hear anything about bipartisanship. Liberals, we‘re supposed to be in the majority here. I don‘t want any more olive branches. I don‘t want any more reaching across the aisle—didn‘t we do that dance during healthcare and where did it get us? Don‘t be offended by this, conservatives, but damn the Republicans, this country can‘t afford any more political games. We are in crisis. The majority of Americans believe we are in crisis right now and we have to stop what is happening in the gulf.
And the thing that I say about guts, this is a chance for President Obama in a very historical moment of anybody‘s presidency to finally stand up to a multinational on behalf of the American citizens and say you‘re not anything to do this to us and if it costs me my presidency, it does. It won‘t, though. The president knows, has to know that we as Americans are behind him in this fight. BP‘s not doing us any favors. Let‘s just remember they were down there digging for profit. They were down there digging for energy independence for America. Absolutely not. And today on Capitol Hill, there wasn‘t any apology from any of these oil executives. Hell, this is how they do business, and they couldn‘t even—they couldn‘t even, the guy from BP you just heard the sound bite, he just couldn‘t bring himself to saying OK, we‘ll put $20 billion into an escrow account and we‘ll start there. They won‘t do that.
They play every legal angle they possibly can, and this is why the president has to be crystal clear tonight that you and I aren‘t going to get gamed for the bill on all of this. Tell me what you think in our telephone survey tonight, folks. The number to dial is 1-877-ED-MSNBC. My question tonight is does President Obama have the guts to force BP to pay every dime for this disaster? Press the number one for yes, press the number two for no. I‘ll bring you the results later on in the show.
Joining me now is Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich, joining us here on “The Ed Show” tonight. Congressman, great to have you with us.
REP. DENNIS KUCINICH (D), OHIO: Thank you very much, Ed.
SCHULTZ: I know that my radio audience is asking what is full restitution? What is being made whole actually mean? Take us down that road. What‘s your perspective?
KUCINICH: Well, it certainly means that the Gulf environment has to be restored, and that is going to take years. It may take decades. Full restitution means that the people have made a livelihood off the Gulf waters have a means of getting restored. Full restitution means that every hotel and motel on the coast where people frequent to be able to enjoy a vacation, that they‘re made whole. Full restitution means that wild life is restored.
It is going to take decades to do that. There may never be full restitution. The real question is whether or not we as a nation take what happened in the Gulf as a sign and an example that we have to take a new direction with our energy policy, with our environmental policies, that we have to realize that this beauty, this beautiful country that we have is at risk because of not just the spill, but because of the drilling. I mean—
SCHULTZ: So is this—is this the moment for President Obama to pivot, to make sure that we head towards energy independence? Is tonight the big speech?
KUCINICH: I think it‘s an opportunity for sure, Ed, to take the country in a direction of what renewable energy would look like. Look, if you‘re going to drill, there is going to be a spill. It‘s just automatic. So we now have to ask ourselves, are we ready to continue to pay this price that we‘re paying with this oil catastrophe in the Gulf? Are we going to continue to see these kind of spills? Because you know what? Once they drill, there‘s no guarantee. There‘s no risk assessment that says it‘s risk-proof to start drilling a mile beneath the surface of the water. We have to realize that.
We have exorbitant expectations and we have to start being realistic in what we‘re asking to do here. I think we can still have the same quality of life in the United States if we move towards renewables. We have to start today and the president, hopefully, will give us a new direction and let‘s keep in mind, it‘s the people and it‘s also the natural environment and the aquatic culture that‘s under attack. That‘s all part of who we are.
SCHULTZ: Don‘t you think this is a moment where President Obama has to make sure that he lets everybody know that he‘s calling the shots, and almost in words of maybe a dictator, that this is the way we‘re going to do it? And when I hear reported today by Chuck Todd here on MSNBC that the Obama administration is negotiating with BP over a third independent party as to whether they‘re going to oversee the claims process, it just makes me think that BP is calling the shots and not the American people. What do you think?
KUCINICH: Well, I think the president and his administration fully understand that this is a moment where the American people want real strength in dealing with not just BP, but in dealing with the challenge of the oil catastrophe itself.
We may not all agree, but we have to pull together as a country in order to protect our environment or to take a new energy direction and the president has an opportunity, it‘s a very important opportunity and I hope that he‘ll be able to rally the country on behalf of new energy policies but on behalf of protecting that environment. That environment is our precondition for life not only as a nation, but the precondition for life on the planet and we‘ve got to start paying more attention to that natural world which provides us for the basis for life.
SCHULTZ: Congressman, good to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much, Dennis Kucinich on “The Ed Show.”
KUCINICH: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: All right, Katrina Vanden Heuvel is the editor of “The Nation.” She joins us tonight. Katrina, what does the president have to say? How forceful does he have to be tonight or should I say how effective must he be at this, what some people call a defining moment?
KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL, EDITOR, THE NATION: Yes, I think Congressman Kucinich is right that this administration understands this is a defining opportunity. Just think that this president has not spoken to the American people from the Oval Office despite a near financial collapse, two wars. They see this as the president said, it‘s more than an oil spill and more than an oil crisis. It‘s also an economic crisis.
I think, Ed, you‘re absolutely right. He needs to talk tough. He needs to talk straight. He needs to level with the American people and he needs to hold BP accountable for brazenly, as we have learned from Representative Waxman‘s letter, brazenly gambling, risking the lives and the environment of this country to make an extra buck and he needs to lay out a new plan to wean us off our addiction to oil and to do so in a way that is common sense. It‘s not left-right.
It‘s what most industrialized, civilized nations are doing now, investing in alternatives and efficiency in technologies. So he has a real opportunity to do that and to redefine his leadership and to do so not in an angry way. I find all this talk silly. It‘s what he does, what he does in this period that is so critical.
SCHULTZ: If he can‘t get—you know, Katrina, if he can‘t get BP to pay, his presidency is going to be viewed as a failure. I mean, I know health care, I know the financial package and the automotive loan and everything else and saving jobs and the high unemployment, trying to turn that around with the stimulus package, but this—if he can‘t get BP to pay the bill and if the American taxpayer gets stuck with this in any way, shape or form, doesn‘t he run his administration—
VANDEN HEUVEL: He runs a terrible risk, but I think that we, the people, have to fight the forces of big money and big oil, those forces of establishing power which may well work to surround BP and protect them, they must be held accountable. There must be no bargaining over what they owe. There must be a serious and large, large escrow account. They should be paying for a Gulf recovery program. They should pay for the lost wages that this oil spill has brought about.
VANDEN HEUVEL: And I think the president understands what is at stake, and they should, by the way, BP should not get any deduction for the losses they may incur. They probably have swarms of lawyers around them at this point advising them. They should have swarms of lawyers helping those in the Gulf Coast who have lost their livelihoods, who have lost their land, who have lost their environment, who have lost their lives.
SCHULTZ: Here is Henry Waxman talking about their operations and what they found in their investigation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. HENRY WAXMAN (D), CALIFORNIA: We found a pattern where every time they had a decision to make they decided to cut corners, to do things faster than otherwise should have been done, to do it less extensively and the consequence of this is one industry expert told us was, horribly negligent.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: And if BP can‘t survive in this free market, that‘s the way it goes. I mean, it‘s very clear that they were operating in the free market, doing exactly what they wanted to do, trying to make a dollar and now we‘re going to be paying the price with the environment and the loss of jobs and everything else?
VANDEN HEUVEL: This is not a free market, what we‘ve seen. What we have seen is greed and corruption. I am not against a market, but I am against a market that allows companies like BP to violate safety and worker and environmental safety for a quick buck. That is what the president needs to level with the American people about. We are for the people, of the people, by the people, not for BP.
SCHULTZ: Katrina, great to have you with us tonight.
VANDEN HEUVEL: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Thanks so much.
And of course, I‘ve got a book out “Killer Politics” and “Politico” did an interview with me via BlackBerry and asked me this question, what would I do if I knew I wouldn‘t fail? Well, I‘d run for president. I mean, think about that. If you knew it was guaranteed success, what would you do if you knew you wouldn‘t fail? I‘d really like to call the shots on Air Force One. I think that would be a blast.
Coming up, Tea Party nut job Sharon Angle made her first TV appearance since the primary. She‘s got some serious explaining to do. Her “Fox and Friends” interview was a complete disaster. I‘ll show you the tape and—
I want to see your papers, Dr. Paul. Red flags emerge in Rand Paul‘s medical background. The psycho talker might not be board certified after all.
And General Petraeus passes out on Capitol Hill today and Reverend Al Sharpton is going to be taking on Glenn Beck in the playbook. Stay with us. You‘re watching “The Ed Show” on MSNBC.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, BP‘s CEO Tony Hayward finally faces Congress in the next 48 hours. No doubt that we will see some political grandstanding here, but I want to know if anything will get done. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky of Chicago will be on the front lines. She‘ll join me at the bottom of the hour. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to “The Ed Show” and thanks for watching tonight. This is one of those stories that I just won‘t let go. I think it defines who we are as a country, just how compassionate are we? Just how much do we understand what‘s going on out there in this tough economy? Because by the end of the month, 1.25 million Americans might see their unemployment benefits expire.
If the Senate doesn‘t get its act together, that is exactly what‘s going to happen. The Senate is expected to vote on a bill that includes an extension of unemployment benefits this week. It has been, of course, held up by members of both parties who object to a part of the bill that would close a tax loophole exploited by the very richest Americans.
Haven‘t we heard this song and dance before? I just—it—we have to do something for the rich people all the time, don‘t we? I say whatever it takes, get it done. These folks, and I‘ve met them on the road, they are in need. There are many people who are unemployed and have been for a couple of years not because they want to be. It‘s because they can‘t get back into the economy, and I think that there‘s a lot of age discrimination going on in this country and it‘s underreported.
Joining me now is Congressman Jim McDermott, a member of the Ways and Means Committee. He held a meeting last week pushing to extend unemployment benefits. Congressman, thanks for your work.
REP. JIM MCDERMOTT (D), WASHINGTON: You‘re welcome.
SCHULTZ: I have really been hit emotionally by a lot of these Americans, no fault of their own, have been outsourced and can‘t get back into the economy. And they see more jobs being lost in some of their communities across the country. What‘s our obligation, in your opinion? What do we do?
MCDERMOTT: Well, I think first of all, Ed, we have to provide a safety net. That includes unemployment insurance, and I think it should include COBRA assistance so people can maintain their health care benefits. I think that‘s the minimum as a civilized society we have to do.
The second thing is we have to go at finding ways to create jobs, and I think infrastructure construction in this country needs to be done. There are plenty of things in the green energy area. There are a whole lot of areas where we can create jobs. We just have to get about it, but some people are so worried about the deficits. They don‘t want to spend money, but the middle class is being clobbered today by this unemployment.
SCHULTZ: Well, the number jumps out at me, 48 percent of unemployed people in this country have been unemployed for six or more months. Now that‘s 7.5 million people in this country. Now you can‘t tell me that they‘re all lazy and just like sitting home picking up the check and of course, there are some Republicans who are saying that. So if we get this extension until the end of the year, what could be put on the table that would maybe give us kind of a works project out there that would put people back to work?
MCDERMOTT: Well, you know, I made a suggestion to my staff a couple of days ago, why don‘t we write a bill for CCC, you know, sort of a conservation corps like Franklin Delano Roosevelt had, put it out along the beaches of the Gulf Coast and start picking up oil?
If they could do this, this is needed work, this could easily be paid for by BP because they say they‘re going to pay for the cleanup. So it‘s not going to the taxpayers, but we could put people to work in legitimate things that really make a difference in this country. There are a lot of things we could do if we went after it.
SCHULTZ: No doubt about it. Now what about the tax loophole? And let me simplify this. Are these unemployed people being held hostage by the rich and those protecting the rich in the Congress?
MCDERMOTT: Well, Ed, I laughed when I heard your description because that‘s exactly what‘s happening. It is absolutely unbelievable that somebody is running a hedge fund making $30, $40, $50 million should be taxed at a 15 percent rate and you and I are in a 35 percent, and as Warren Buffett said I pay—my secretary pays more taxes than I pay. There‘s just something wrong with the tax structure that works that way and we try to close it and suddenly people say oh my god, these poor hedge fund managers, whatever what ever will we do for them? It‘s laughable.
SCHULTZ: It is. Congressman, great to have you with us tonight, thanks so much.
MCDERMOTT: You‘re welcome.
SCHULTZ: And of course folks, you bet. Of course I write about this in my upcoming book that is out now, actually came out on June 2nd. It‘s called “Killer Politics,” how big money and bad politics are destroying the great American middle class. You heard the congressman talk about the middle class. I wrap up the book tour in Denver on Thursday, then back to New York City for a town hall on the 22nd, next week. It‘s been a real eye-opener for me to go around the country.
This country is very compassionate. This country wants their neighbor to succeed, but because of the forces of our politicians in Washington that have outsourced so many jobs and given so many breaks to the corporations and the selfishness that is permeating through our business community, we‘re going to have to do something here, folks. We can‘t live with 10 percent unemployment and this is a heavy lift for not just the president and the Democrats, for everybody. “Killer Politics,” I tell it like it is.
Coming up, a Republican congressman says a clean energy bill will cause senior citizens to die from hypothermia? He wasn‘t joking, either. I‘ll fry him in the zone next here on “The Ed Show.” Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, the righties are fear mongering about pulling the plug on grandma again, except this time the plug is connected to granny‘s air conditioner. The culprit, no, it‘s not the health care bill. This time it‘s the clean energy bill. Congressman Paul Brown of Georgia is the brain wizard behind this argument. He explained his psycho theory the other day on the House floor.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PAUL BROWN, ®, GEORGIA: A lot of old people in Georgia and Florida and all out through the Southeast and through the Southwest are depending upon air conditioning just to live, and if their electricity bill goes sky high as the energy taxes are going to make it happen, if that ever passes, there are a lot of people that can‘t afford to run the air conditioning anymore and people actually will have a hard time with hyperthermia is what we call it in medicine as a medical doctor and it is going to make a greater impact on our health care system and people will die because of that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: You know, this people are going die line has become Paul Brown‘s answer to just about everything this guy disagrees with. Last year he said the public option was going kill people. He compared Obama‘s health care reform plan to the great war of Yankee aggression. And now he‘s recycling the same old bogus line of attack, and I ain‘t buying it for a minute. Saying that a clean energy bill would kill grandma is overheated psycho talk.
Coming up, we‘re just two days away from Tony Hayward‘s appearance on Capitol Hill. He will face fire, I hope. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky sounds off with me before sounding off on him. And war shenanigans on Alvin Greene‘s Senate nomination in South Carolina. Congressman Jim Clyburn believes the machines were tampered with. We‘ll get rapid fire response on that. And the general saints, Meg Whitman fights and an American hunts down Bin Laden with a sword. It‘s all coming up. You‘re watching “THE ED SHOW” on MSNBC. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to “THE ED SHOW” thanks for watching. Tonight‘s Battleground story? Well, it‘s oil. It‘s going to be a real circus on Capitol Hill Thursday when BP CEO Tony Hayward comes to testify in front of the Congress. I‘m sure there‘s going to be a lot of political theater by the elected officials and a lot of hallow apologies or hollow apologies from Mr. Hayward and the head of BP.
No one—no one and absolutely none of this is going to help the people of the Gulf Coast. Those folks want to know when the hole is going to finally be plugged. What is their plan, and have they done the full-force effort of trying to making it right since the start?
And is the government going to be using the fullest extent of the law to make sure that BP pays every dollar to make them whole again? Joining me now is Illinois Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, one of the lawmakers who will question Mr. Hayward on Thursday. Congresswoman, good to have you with us tonight.
REP. JAN SCHAKOWSKY (D-IL): Thank you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: What do you want to hear, and what do you want to know?
What can Hayward say?
SCHAKOWSKY: I want Hayward to say that whatever it takes, however many billions of dollars it takes that BP is going to compensate the people that have lost their livelihoods; that they‘re going to clean up every glob of oil that there is, and that they are going to be fully responsible for the years to come of this mess that they caused.
SCHULTZ: How tough are you going to be on him because the American people have expectations, I think.
SCHAKOWSKY: Well I am really looking forward to seeing Mr. Hayward and if he tries to weasel out as they have with their full-page ads that they‘re talking about, and you know, if they think their advertising is going to placate the American people, then they have another think coming.
I think the entire committee—because we went down to Louisiana. We talked to the shrimpers. We talked to the real estate people. We talked to the environmental folks, and people who are not being adequately compensated and you know, Ed, I think an issue that‘s not getting enough attention, the workers that are helping to clean this up.
I‘m afraid we‘re going to end up with a 9/11 situation with a lot of sick people that aren‘t being protected during this cleanup from the toxic chemicals.
SCHULTZ: I don‘t disagree with you at all. The reports are very clear what these folks are going through down there and the effects of them being out on the water for a long time trying to clean up this mess.
What is your definition of full restitution? And I don‘t know how there could be a number put on it, Congresswoman, because the oil is still flowing. They haven‘t stopped it. So how can you tell us how much money this whole thing is going to cost? What‘s your definition of full restitution?
SCHAKOWSKY: The full restitution, in my view, is open-ended; that BP is going to have to—you know, look, this is a company that made $91 million a day in the first quarter of this year. They‘re going to have to keep the checkbook open until all of the people are compensated and until all of the Gulf is cleaned up.
I don‘t know what it‘s going to take. Nobody knows what it‘s going to take except that we do know that the estimates now of the flow out of this hole has been double—not doubled, but gone up 50 percent. So it‘s way worse than we even thought. This is the biggest environmental disaster in the history of our country. BP, one of the richest companies, is going to have to keep its checkbook open.
SCHULTZ: Well, it would be nice if you could get Tony Hayward to say open-ended because then you would be a hero to get them on record saying that, but we know how they operate. Congresswoman, great to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much.
SCHAKOWSKY: Thank you, Ed. Appreciate you.
SCHULTZ: You bet. Now let‘s get some rapid-fire response from our panel on these stories tonight. The DNC is calling out Sharron Angle. Calling her out for an interview that she gave at the Tea Party headquarters. She never corrected the Fox News interviewers when they wrongly said that she had been endorsed by Sarah Palin.
Rand Paul is refusing to answer questions about the fact that he has practicing medicine without being board certified? Can I have an appointment?
Congressman Jim Clyburn says voting machine shenanigans or malfunction or manipulation or whatever is really how to explain the unknown candidacy of Alvin Greene and how he managed to win the democratic nomination in South Carolina. With us tonight, Laura Flanders, author of “Blue Grit” and host of “Grit TV” and radio talk show host Heidi Harris. All right, let‘s talk about this interview on “Fox and Friends” with Sharron Angle. And Heidi, you fess up, because when you were in New York you told me she was a psycho talker.
HEIDI HARRIS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I did not.
SCHULTZ: Right? You did tell me that, right?
HARRIS: Oh, you‘re a liar. I did not tell you she was a psycho talker.
SCHULTZ: Yes you did. You told me that this Angle gal was a psycho talker. Anyway, here‘s the interview right here. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHARRON ANGLE, REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE: Harry Reid has truly failed and we‘re saying Harry Reid, you‘re fired.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well there you go. You got the backing of two important entities. Former governor, Sarah Palin gave you a nod, endorsed you, but also the Tea Party did and a very, very large way. You know, there are a lot of people in the mainstream media who are trying to marginalize the Tea Party. They shouldn‘t, should they?
ANGLE: Well, I don‘t think so. I think really, we‘re the mainstream.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: They‘re the mainstream. Heidi, does she have a hard time with the truth? What do you think?
HARRIS: You know what? I‘ll tell you what I think. I was listening to that interview live, and I think she didn‘t want to be rude and correct the host. That‘s what I‘m guessing because Sharron Angle, I‘ve never known her to lie about anything. So that would be my guess. We all know Sarah did not endorse her, but I don‘t know. The DNC is going to pick every nit they can on her. Come on, you know that.
SCHULTZ: Well, it‘s about—part about being under the microscope.
FLANDERS: That‘s right.
SCHULTZ: Laura Flanders, what do you think?
FLANDERS: Well, I mean Palin actually gave a shout out to Angle‘s opponent I think. But the more interesting thing about all of this is the endorsement she got from the Tea Party. I mean let‘s try to get this clear.
The Tea Party movement that really came into its own, fueled by an erroneous view that health care reform was going to maybe kill people by taking their Medicare is now backing a candidate who wants to do away with Medicare altogether.
I mean this goes back to the early part of your show, Ed, to illustrate why this moment is so important. We need a really serious teaching moment about a whole lot of things from BP to health care, to the role of government. Some of this stuff is a distraction from what I wish we could be focusing on. Did Palin endorse Angle?
SCHULTZ: All right. Now there‘s another Tea Partier out there that might have credibility issues and that is Dr. Rand Paul. “The Louisville Courier Journal” reported on Rand Paul‘s medical certificate. Rand Paul who practices in Bowling Green, says he is certified with the National Board of Ophthalmology, a group that he incorporated in 1999 and that he heads. But that is not recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties which works with the American Medical Association to approve such specialty boards.
His response, Mr. Paul says “It‘s a personal assault on my ability to make a living. You vilify me and make it out to sound, oh, there‘s something wrong with him as a physician because he chose not to register.” Laura Flanders, is this a credibility issue, professional issue that could affect Rand Paul?
FLANDERS: I‘m not going to say anything about whether Rand Paul should be certified anything in particular, but he is a certified hypocrite. I mean this is a guy who ran against Washington all the way to Washington which is where he‘s been over the last few days.
Apparently signing up for the very support that he, you know, tortured his opponent in the primary for going after, the support of Mitch McConnell. I mean I think the hypocrisy is the topic here. These ethics charges, again, every candidate wants to say you‘ve got ethics problems. We‘ve got ethics problems in our electoral system far bigger than—
SCHULTZ: Heidi, what do you think?
FLANDERS: -- whether he can recertify his ophthalmology degree.
HARRIS: We‘ve all got ethics problems on the left and the right. You know, as I understand that he forms his own board because he was frustrated with the original board; that they basically would tell people they could be grandfathered in and not have to recertify every ten years which punished, he felt, the younger ones and not the older ones. Well, you know, I don‘t want a doctor who doesn‘t have a certification in 20 or 30 years necessarily working on my eyes. So I think he made a good point.
FLANDERS: More importantly, I don‘t want someone who doesn‘t believe in government in government. Why is he running for office anyway?
HARRIS: He wants to make government better, that‘s why. More responsive for us.
FLANDERS: It‘s really been great, the bettering of government under people like this.
SCHULTZ: All right. Let‘s go to South Carolina. This is Jim Clyburn. He has some concerns about the voting machine malfunctions in that state that got Alvin Greene the nomination for the democrats.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JIM CLYBURN (D-SC): Look at what happened in that particular race on the machines. And Joe, I think you all have been reporting that for some reason the administration in South Carolina decided to use machines that all other 49 states, they have rejected. These machines were bought by South Carolina second-handed from, of all places, Louisiana.
JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC HOST: This would be massive fraud, and I just don‘t know how you do that in this day and age, do you?
MIKA BRZEZINSKI, MSNBC HOST: Without it being found.
CLYBURN: You can do that if you have something to do with programming the machines.
SCARBOROUGH: So you think somebody programmed these machines?
CLYBURN: Something went wrong with these machines.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Heidi Harris, what should the democrats do about this?
HARRIS: You know, I have no idea. I don‘t think they‘re going to win trying to complain about the machines. I don‘t know how a guy with no money, no brains, and no campaign won. I mean you go figure. Is he a plant? I don‘t know, I‘ve got house plants with more intelligence. I don‘t know what the answer is. What a mess though for them.
FLANDERS: Well, you know—
SCHULTZ: Laura Flanders?
FLANDERS: -- I kind of wish we lived in a world where it was so obviously absurd that an unemployed vet could run and get the primary. But this machine issue is a serious issue, and it didn‘t just come up now. It‘s been raised in South Carolina and around this country every election cycle. It is something we have to take seriously.
SCHULTZ: It is obviously absurd. I have to hand you that. I mean I guess I‘ve never seen anybody get the nomination for anything because this guy just does not perform very well, and I think the democrats have got a credibility problem. They better nip it in the bud in South Carolina before it spreads elsewhere.
FLANDERS: Well can I just say—
SCHULTZ: That‘s my take on it.
FLANDERS: -- all right, I‘ll stop, but I would love to see a party that could build some credibility over having an electoral system where an unemployed vet actually could possibly, reasonably, and with some intelligence get elected. This isn‘t that, but I sure wish it wasn‘t such a crazy scenario we‘re looking at.
SCHULTZ: Laura Flanders, Heidi Harris, great to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much. Coming up, Congress‘s Steve King and the Beckster are spewing the disgusting hate again. They‘re trying to re-write history when it comes to race. Well, the rev will set the record straight next in “The Playbook.” Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: It‘s still not too late to let us know what you think. The number to dial is 1-877-ED-MSNBC. Tonight‘s telephone survey question is does President Obama have the guts to force BP to pay every dime for this disaster? Press the number 1 for yes. Press the number 2 for no. The number to dial again is 1-877-ED-MSNBC.
SCHULTZ: And in my “Playbook” tonight, Tea Partiers keep insisting they‘re not racist. Saying the offensive signs and rhetoric represent a minority of their group. I don‘t buy it. I hear too much disturbing talk coming from some of the Tea Party‘s biggest supporters, Michelle Bachmann‘s good old friend Iowa Congressman Steve King thinks the president and the attorney general have it out for white people.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
REP. STEVE KING (R-IA: Eric Holder said that we were—that the white people in America are cowards when it comes to race, and I don‘t know what the basis of that is, but I‘m not a coward when it comes to that, and I‘m happy to talk about these things and I think we should. But the president has demonstrated he‘s got a default mechanism in him that breaks down on the side of race, on the side that favors the black person.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Representative King was supposed to speak at a republican fundraiser in Colorado next weekend. It‘s been cancelled since he made those remarks. Glenn Beck is another whack job who called the president racist, saying that he had a deep-seeded hatred for white people. But the Beckster was just getting started. Lately, he‘s been promoting himself as an expert on Martin Luther King‘s dream.
(BEING AUDIO CLIP)
GLENN BECK, FOX NEWS HOST: Martin Luther King‘s dream is being massively perverted. It has been perverted for a long time. Abraham Lincoln‘s dream was perverted all through Reconstruction. It‘s been perverted. It‘s time to set it right.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Let me turn now to Reverend Al Sharpton, president of the National Action Network. Reverend Sharpton, what do you make of this? All of a sudden you‘ve got Glenn Beck talking up about Martin Luther King saying it‘s a perverted dream. What do you make of that?
REV. AL SHARPTON, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL ACTION NETWORK: I think that it is a blatant attempt to hijack Dr. King‘s dream. They have even said that they‘re going to be at Lincoln Memorial on the day he made the speech “I have a dream.” Many of us will be in Washington at another site really talking about the dream.
What they represent is the opposite of what Dr. King said. Dr. King fought for government to enforce and protect all citizens and rights. They are saying they don‘t want government to intervene. Dr. King fought for full health care, full employment. He died working on the poor people‘s campaign. They would call that handouts.
It is almost insulting and certainly historically inaccurate for the political and spiritual ads of Barry Goldwater to now interpret to those ads of Dr. King and what Dr. King was about.
SCHULTZ: Do you think Glenn Beck is trying to make up for his comment that he made about President Obama having a deep seated hatred for white people and maybe trying to draw some connection to Martin Luther King is going to sure up whatever minorities do think he‘s a regular guy?
SHARPTON: I don‘t know that that‘s his attempt. If it is, I think he‘s adding insult to injury. To desecrate the dead Dr. King‘s dream and to act as though he is an expert on a dream that clearly from a government function all of the way across to policy represents everything that he and others on that side in the Tea Partiers are claiming to represent is insulting.
And it is just so totally, blatantly inaccurate, it‘s insulting and it has to be resisted for what it is. To call President Obama—who‘s taken on a lot of issues in the African American community that people felt that he was harsh on in terms of other blacks—and he acts as though he has a deep-seeded hate for whites is about as blatantly false as you can get.
SCHULTZ: What do you make of Congressman King of Iowa, his comments.
How should you answer to that?
SHARPTON: Well, I mean first of all, it doesn‘t—I don‘t even know that you should dignify it with a response. The question becomes one would have to ask the Congressman, give us an example of any situation including when the president stood up against some of us in the activist community—his own former pastor where he always sides with blacks? Where? What?
This is the man that in the campaign made a very difficult choice to stand up against some of the things that many felt in the black community he didn‘t have to say. Here is a man who had the beer summit in the lawn of the White House trying to bring some healing.
I think that this is—this is, in my opinion, some demagoguery that we need to reject especially at a time when we all ought to be rallying around with what‘s going on with the oil spill that‘s affecting all Americans in that area and other major disasters.
To stop this kind of demagoguery, I think, is irresponsible especially to someone who has been clearly on the other side of any of those issues and has been attacked for it in his own base community.
SCHULTZ: Yeah. Reverend Sharpton, great to have you with us tonight.
SHARPTON: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Thanks so much. Final pages in our “Playbook.” An American construction worker was arrested in Pakistan for trying to hunt down and kill Osama Bin Laden. Gary Brooks Faulkner, a 52-year-old man was caught by Pakistani police near the border of Afghanistan. He was carrying a 40-inch sword, a pistol, bullets, night vision goggles and Christian religion books. He said he wanted to avenge the victims of the attack of 9/11. American embassy officials are now trying to meet with him.
And it was a tough day on Capitol Hill for General David Petraeus, the maverick. John McCain was grilling the general on the timeline for withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, and then he fainted. The general walked out on his own and came back to the room and got a round of applause. The general said that he‘d eat breakfast tomorrow when the hearing resumes, and that he joked his passing out was not a result of Senator John McCain‘s questions.
Coming up in just over an hour, President Obama makes his first speech ever from the Oval Office. He needs to use his power, and I think really show some guts and go after the multinational BP. Republican congressman Brian Bilbray weighs in on the other side next. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to “THE ED SHOW.” Finally tonight, in just about an hour President Obama will make his first address from the Oval Office. He‘s talking about oil and energy. For more, let me bring in Congressman Brian Bilbray, republican from California. Congressman, let‘s forget party right now. As an American, what do you think we need to hear from the president tonight? What does the country need to hear?
REP. BRIAN BILBRAY (R-CA): I think he needs to show as, you know, as aggressive about providing alternatives to oil as he‘s now talking about cleaning up the mess, and I think that he‘s really got some great opportunities.
I hope to see him say that we have to do more than just talk about or spend money for green technology. We ought to have the federal government involved. We have areas of the desert around Salton Sea in California that would be perfect for growing algae for alternative fuels.
And the federal government should make that land as much available for growing green technology and as we do our sea beds and our land all over the country for oil. Just be a little more aggressive on providing the alternatives rather than just trying to make up for the mistakes of the past.
SCHULTZ: Okay. So you as a republican congressman want the government to be involved in energy independence efforts, is that right? And not the private sector?
BILBRAY: And I think the way you do that is not just throw money at it, but we take a look at our lands and regulations. What are we doing to stop people from being able to use green technology and let‘s get away from the phony stuff.
Look, we‘ve got so-called green technology that everybody knows is wrong and is hurting the environment, but there are great opportunities like the algae issue that people across the board—scientists are waiting to produce algae fuel. Their biggest problem is getting the permits from government and getting land and the ability to produce this stuff and we ought to be proactive in doing that.
SCHULTZ: And quickly, can the president be tough enough on BP tonight?
BILBRAY: No, I don‘t think so, and I think he needs to really, really, really concentrate on being successful tonight. His whole credibility in this administration is really at stake here. He knows he‘s made mistakes by not being aggressive enough on this issue and hoping it would blow over. I think he understands it isn‘t blowing over.
BILBRAY: And this is where he‘s got to reinstate the confidence that the American people gave him last November.
SCHULTZ: Congressman, good to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much. Tonight in our telephone survey, I asked you does President Obama have the guts to force BP to pay every dime for this disaster? Seventy-one percent of you said yes, 29 percent said no. That‘s “THE ED SHOW.” I‘m Ed Schultz. Stay tuned with MSNBC for President Obama‘s Oval Office address. You can watch it live at 8:00 p.m. followed by a special edition of “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” and a special edition of “Hardball” with Chris Matthews starts right now. Here, on MSNBC. We‘ll see you tomorrow night.
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