The Ed Show for Wednesday, July 7th, 2010
Read the transcript to the Wednesday show
Guests: Bill Richardson, Frank Sharry, Pete Tomitsch, Mike Papantonio, John
Feehery, Jack Rice, Stephen A. Smith, Jonathan Alter
ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans, and welcome to THE ED SHOW from New York tonight.
These stories on the table and hitting “My Hot Buttons” tonight.
McCain flip-flops on immigration—how interesting—in a desperate attempt to keep his Senate seat in November. My commentary, plus reaction from New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson on the federal lawsuit. That‘s coming up in just a moment.
One of the most conservative cities in the nation, well, they‘re cutting police patrols and telling residents, basically, you‘re on your own. I guess this is what it would be like if the Tea Party government takes control. We‘ll take a look at that.
And a new investigation shows that the Gulf of Mexico is a ticking time bomb. The BP gusher might just be the start of things to come.
And the water cooler story is LeBron James. The most celebrated player in the NBA will make his decision tomorrow night. Stephen A. Smith makes his prediction in the “Playbook” coming up tonight, and I‘ll make my request right now.
I don‘t even follow the NBA that much. In fact, I just found out that this guy played for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Just kidding.
I‘d like to see some loyalty to the fans. I‘d like to see LeBron James stay in Cleveland. Wouldn‘t that be different strokes for the times we live in?
This is the story that has me fired up when it comes to politics tonight. John McCain has reclaimed his position as the poster boy for the Republican Party.
The new Arizona immigration law has turned the maverick basically into
the biggest political opportunist in the country. McCain‘s classic anger -
and he‘s got a dandy of a temper—reared its ugly head again when the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit to stop the Arizona law.
Now, McCain, in an interview, told a Tucson FM radio station, KQTH, “No amnesty. Many of them need to be sent back.”
Wow. Is that the guy that ran for president? This is the biggest flip-flop of the year.
Back in 2007, McCain, he cosponsored an immigration bill with the late Senator Ted Kennedy which had a guest worker program and a path to legalization. Now that McCain is facing the re-election fight of his life, things have got to change. He wants to round them up, ship them out.
I‘ll tell you, if America goes down this path, I think this has the potential to divide this nation deeper than it‘s ever been divided before.
Congressman Raul Grijalva put McCain in his place on this show last night when he said this—
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. RAUL GRIJALVA (D), ARIZONA: John McCain the maverick is gone. John McCain the independent is gone. John McCain the expedient, what do I need to do to get elected, is with us. And that‘s part of what he‘s doing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Check the record. McCain has been in the Congress since President Obama was a 20-year-old college kid. That‘s right. But he‘s found a way to pin the immigration crisis on the current president.
Have you ever seen a Senator switch on such a huge issue and completely mishandle the problem in his own back yard? This is someone who ran around this country for a couple of years saying, “Country first.” That was his slogan.
Now he is really sunken down to a political candidate who is so desperate to keep his job, he‘s basically resorting to KISS politics, Keep It Simple, Stupid. See, lame commercials telling us to build the danged fence and calling to send them back may be just easy messages for low-information voters to consume, but they do nothing, do absolutely nothing to solve the crisis.
John McCain is, I think, the perfect face for the Republican Party on immigration: old, white, out of touch, and certainly not having a grasp of the issue.
Now, if you think about Arizona and all of the things that come down with illegal immigration, how the laws have not been paid attention to by both Republicans and Democrats, and how long McCain has been in the Congress, and how he‘s just hot off the campaign trail from 2008, and all of a sudden he does a mammoth reversal, this is what the Republican Party is all about. You can‘t trust them.
Get your cell phones out, folks. I want to know what you think about this tonight.
Tonight‘s text survey question is: What do you think McCain cares about more, fixing our immigration problem or getting re-elected?
Text “A” for immigration reform, text “B” for getting re-elected to 622639. We‘ll bring you the results later on in the show.
Joining me now is New Mexico Governor and former presidential candidate Bill Richardson.
Governor, great to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much for joining us.
GOV. BILL RICHARDSON (D), NEW MEXICO: Thank you, Ed. Thanks for having me.
SCHULTZ: What do you make of this reversal? I think it‘s big, because, obviously, he was the choice of the Republican Party. He‘s hot on the campaign trail of just less than 24 months ago. He ought to have a pulse of where the country is. And now he does a 180.
Do you think that is really connected to their lack of focus in the Republican Party? Your thoughts?
RICHARDSON: Well, my view is that he is in a tough re-election and a primary against J.D. Hayworth, and this is such a hot issue in Arizona.
My hope, Ed, is after he gets re-elected, that he will come back to his old position, which was, as you said, the Kennedy/McCain bill, which has increased border enforcement, but also has a path to legalization, a guest worker program, cracking down on illegal hires. But most importantly, a path to legalization. What do we do with the 11 million that are here?
And his bill had very sensible provisions. To stay, you have to learn English, pay back taxes, you have to pass a background check. You have to embrace American values. That‘s the comprehensive immigration that we need.
SCHULTZ: But now he says ship them back. I mean, how are you going to move, 12, 15, 20 million people out of the country? Isn‘t this somewhat of a --
RICHARDSON: You can‘t.
SCHULTZ: It‘s a radical position, is it not?
RICHARDSON: It is. It‘s the extreme position of the Republican Party, which basically says all we need to do is shout down the border and have no legalization, and that‘s our immigration policy.
That not only is going to divide the country, it‘s going to hurt our foreign policy. It‘s going to really discriminate against racially profiling Hispanics. It‘s the worst of all worlds.
SCHULTZ: Now, Governor Richardson, just an honest take on this, and not partisan, and I know that your character plays to that. You‘re a straight shooter.
Has President Obama doesn‘t job on this issue? Now, he‘s only been president, you know, less than two years. He‘s thrown more resources at the border. But has he done as much as he can do, in your opinion?
RICHARDSON: Well, and I‘m going to be honest. I do think he has.
I was very pleased with the lawsuit that was filed yesterday that basically says this is a federal issue. It‘s an unconstitutional law what Arizona passed.
It really, Ed, is the Congress that has to respond. And the president has laid out a path on legalization.
He has said that he‘s going to increase National Guard at the border.
He‘s done that—Border Patrol.
I was pleased with his speech last week. But, you know, at the same time, if you‘re going to get into immigration reform, you‘ve got to have some Republicans. And right now it doesn‘t seem we have any. Maybe Lindsey Graham. Hopefully, John McCain after he gets re-elected.
So I do think the president has stepped up. I want to see Democrats in Congress step up, and a few Republicans.
I want them to say that we‘re not just going to do energy, we‘re not just going to deal with the economy, because this immigration reform issue is really a hot-button issue that, unless we act, Ed, a lot of other states are going to do what Arizona did, and that really is going to hurt the country. It‘s going to hurt our image abroad. It‘s going to hurt our foreign policy.
And it‘s basically, if the law is implemented in Arizona, you‘re going to have a lot of Hispanics that are Arizonans. Thirty percent of that state is Hispanic. They‘re going to get racially profiled, and that‘s wrong.
SCHULTZ: So the Arizona law, in your opinion, does lead to racial profiling?
RICHARDSON: Well, it does, because what it is, is you have to basically carry some kind of identification papers. The law says that. And who is the ones that are going to get pulled over by some very honest and competent policeman?
It‘s going to be those that look suspicious, i.e. Hispanics. So, it is going to lead to that. And what I think is also important is that the administration proposed an injunction so this law doesn‘t take effect at the end of this month. It‘s really important that the Congress—yes.
SCHULTZ: Governor Richardson—yes, no doubt. Thanks for joining us on your vacation. I didn‘t mean to have you put on a tie tonight.
RICHARDSON: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: I‘m feeling guilty. I just got off vacation. I know how important those things are. You know?
Bill, thanks so much.
RICHARDSON: Thank you. Thank you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: For more, let‘s bringing in Frank Sharry, founder and executive director of America‘s Voice. He is a key leader in the immigration reform community.
Frank, good to have you with us tonight.
FRANK SHARRY, AMERICA‘S VOICE: Good to be here, Ed.
SCHULTZ: I‘m curious, as we come to the 11th hour here, a decision that has to be made very soon, you see the polls in Arizona about how people are in favor of this, and nationally in favor of this Arizona law. But then law enforcement in the state of Arizona are against it.
What‘s the play here? How can that be?
SHARRY: Well, law enforcement‘s against it because they think that a law that puts a target on the backs of Hispanics will create a divide between Hispanics and police. And police have made tremendous progress in reducing crime by having minority communities be the eyes and ears so that they can report crimes and serve as witnesses.
So, I think the cops have it right on this one. Look, I mean, the fact is, is that Arizona has usurped federal authority. It‘s like we don‘t have 50 states with their own foreign policy. We can‘t have 50 states with their own immigration policy.
And look, when it comes to public opinion, you know, there‘s support for the Arizona law. But there‘s more support for comprehensive immigration reform that will solve the problem.
SCHULTZ: And how much tension do you think there will be in these communities when people know that law enforcement doesn‘t like it, are they favoring one side or another, it‘s well publicized where the people are? If this goes into effect late July, how do you feel? How much tension is going to be in these communities?
SHARRY: Well, it‘s already happening. There‘s two police officers who have filed suit saying that when they go into Hispanic communities, their friends and the people that they used to work with no longer want to talk to them because they‘re afraid they‘ll be turned over.
SHARRY: The fact is, is that the police chief from Phoenix, the police chief in Tucson, strongly against—all the police chiefs in Arizona are against it. They think it will increase crime, not reduce it.
SCHULTZ: Does john McCain saying ship them out, does that throw fuel on the fire? What do you think?
SHARRY: It‘s stunning, honestly. I worked with Senator Kennedy, and also with Senator McCain a couple years ago, and McCain was a hero.
He stood up to the radical right. He said here‘s the way forward with a commonsense immigration policy that‘s going to secure the border, and do it right with a number of provisions, including a paths to citizen ship for those here illegally. And now he‘s saying they have to go home?
I have to say, I thought he was once a man of principle, and he now looks like an ordinary politician just trying to get re-elected.
SCHULTZ: The maverick has left the building.
Frank Sharry, good to have you on tonight. Thank you.
Coming up, Rand Paul, who prides himself in being a fiscal conservative, well, just broke a campaign promise. He‘s got Mr. Wall Street himself, Steve Forbes, hosting his fund-raiser.
And Michael Steele laying pretty low as of late. The embattled RNC chairman canceled a public appearance after making those controversial remarks about the war. Isn‘t it kind of tough to raise money when you‘re in hiding?
We‘ll get “Rapid Fire Response” from our panel on that.
Plus, South Carolina‘s Senate candidate Alvin Greene has a plan for creating jobs. You won‘t believe what he has in mind.
And, of course, “The Drugster” is back where he belongs, 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.
This is one of those stories in fly-over country that I want to give some exposure, because I think this is what it could come to.
Now, out in Colorado, we can see a real world example of what could happen across America if the anti-tax Tea Party crowd ever gets in power and gets its way. Colorado Springs, nice community, very conservative, severely restricted its local government‘s ability to tax and spend.
Since the recession, the city budget has taken a huge hit. And, of course, voters refuse to increase taxes.
So what do you get? Which means the only way to balance the budget is to cut services.
So now here‘s the deal in Colorado Springs. The buses stop running at 6:15 in the evening. Most street lights stay dark. Public pools and parks can only stay open with the help of volunteers and, of course, private donations, which are scarce. And the city‘s fire and police departments have slashed jobs, putting public safety at risk.
For more on this, let me bring in Pete Tomitsch. He is the president of the Colorado Springs Police Protective Association.
Great to have you with us tonight, Pete.
How serious is it?
PETE TOMITSCH, PRESIDENT, COLORADO SPRINGS, POLICE PROTECTIVE
ASSOCIATION: Thank you for having me.
SCHULTZ: You bet. I wanted you because I really think everybody doesn‘t want to pay taxes, nobody wants to pay anymore taxes. But when it comes down to the chase, services end up getting cut.
Is it less safe of a community today because of this? What do you think?
TOMITSCH: I don‘t know if it‘s less safe of a community, but it‘s definitely had an effect on the quality of life in Colorado Springs. And, you know, if you speak to the victims of certain crimes that we used to take reports on and investigate, that we are no longer able to do, then I would tell you that they would tell you that yes, it is a less safe community than it was 18 months ago or two years ago.
SCHULTZ: What aren‘t you making calls on that you used to?
TOMITSCH: There‘s a whole slew of calls that we no longer respond to, or if we do respond, that we don‘t even investigate anymore. Calls as serious as felony calls such as a car break-in.
If the victim doesn‘t have any really solid suspect information, we take a report a lot of times, or the majority of times over the phone, and that victim gets a case report number. That case, from that point on, isn‘t investigated by the officers. A year ago, two years ago, we would have investigated those type of cases.
SCHULTZ: What about burglaries? If a home gets broken into and gets trashed, do you show up for that?
TOMITSCH: We may show up for that and we may not show up. Again, it‘s about prioritizing calls. Our chief and administration have been forced to look at which calls are the priority in this community, and they are—they are focused on being there for violent offenses when they occur and being there for crimes against persons rather than crimes against property.
SCHULTZ: The Taxpayers‘ Bill of Rights, the TABOR laws, is this where it all started?
TOMITSCH: It‘s a major part of the problem, yes, sir. Colorado‘s got a TABOR amendment, but we also have a local TABOR amendment down here in Colorado Springs that really hampers our ability to provide essential city services.
SCHULTZ: They‘ve shut down the pool. They‘re asking for volunteers to work the parks.
Where is it going to stop?
TOMITSCH: Well, we‘ve also—we‘re turning streetlights off. I don‘t know where it stops.
There‘s a lot of frustration with the people I work with, the cops on the ground. You know, we live here in this community, also. And we‘re alarmed at the trend that is going on in Colorado Springs.
It‘s a beautiful place to live, to raise a family. But we‘re absolutely alarmed of what‘s going on here. We don‘t have a sustainable, consistent source of revenue to sustain essential city services at this point.
SCHULTZ: All right. I want our viewers to look at these numbers.
Colorado Springs, and the sales tax rate is at 3.2 percent. You‘ve got Denver at 4.82. You‘ve got Aurora, Colorado, at almost five percent.
The property tax rate, Colorado Springs at 0.4 percent. Denver at 2.65. And Aurora at 1.66.
The bottom line is these services cost money, and if there‘s going to be cuts, then people are going to having to pay the price and serve it up.
How is the community responding to this?
TOMITSCH: Well, unfortunately, I think there‘s a division in the community. There are the people that are realistic and understand that we need some other type of funding source to provide for the safety of this community, and there‘s the people that are digging in and don‘t want to even debate the issue.
SCHULTZ: Pete, good to have you with us tonight.
SCHULTZ: Thank you. I appreciate your time.
TOMITSCH: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: I mean, I just think this is what the Tea Partiers want, and this is what they‘re going to get. And I just think that the quality of life in that city is going to diminish, and it‘s going to put a lot more pressure on you law enforcement guys who have already got a heck of a lot do and more to do now.
Thanks so much for your time.
TOMITSCH: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, somebody call a doctor. “The Drugster” needs to have his head examined—again. He‘s having a death panel flashback.
I‘ll straighten him out next in the “Zone.”
SCHULTZ: And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, “The Drugster” sounds like he took a time machine right back to the summer of 2009. He‘s all bent out of shape over President Obama‘s recess appointment of Donald Berwick as the head of Medicare and Medicaid services. But listen why Limbaugh thinks Obama decided to bypass the Senate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: There is another reason why Obama and the Democrat do not want any confirmation hearings of Donald Berwick. And that‘s because we will hear that the death panels are back.
In fact, they never left. We would hear that death panels are in and here to stay in Obamacare.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Good show prep there, Rush. We‘re back to death panels? That bogus argument went out of style back when politifact.com called it the lie of the year in 2009.
So get over it, Drugster. Health care reform passed, and Obama‘s not going into hospital rooms pulling the plug on grandma.
Recycling debunk arguments about death panels is lazy show prep “Psycho Talk.”
Coming up, there are 27,000 ticking time bombs in the Gulf? Experts say that‘s how many oil wells have been abandoned. Any of them may explode like a volcano at any time.
Mike Papantonio is going to be blasting off about that, and he says BP is on the cheap on the cleanup.
And the Justice Department‘s lawsuit against Arizona‘s anti-immigration law has John McCain running his mouth and Democrats laying low.
I‘ll get “Rapid Response” on that.
All that, plus Stephen A. Smith, he talks LeBron in the “Playbook.” And Alvin Greene has a very playful idea for job creation that involves toys.
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. Stay with us. We‘re right back.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.
A new investigation shows the Gulf of Mexico is a ticking time bomb and the current uncontrollable oil leak could be just the beginning. The Associated Press has found that there are more than 27,000 oil and gas wells just abandoned in the Gulf, 27,000 wells that no one is keeping tabs on. Their seals could be broken. Crude could be gushing out of thousands of wells that we don‘t even know about?
Joining me now is Mike Papantonio, environmental lawyer whose firm is leading the class action lawsuits against BP and there are some other issues we want to talk about besides this one. But I would like to know, Mike, if Secretary Ken Salazar knows that the number was 27,000. Now, the only source on this is the associated press. Did you know about this?
MIKE PAPANTONIO, ATTORNEY‘S FOR FAMILIES SUING BP: Ed, I did not. I thought it was 9,000. Let me just tell you this. The only good that‘s come out of this disaster, this BP Halliburton disaster is that every week, good reporters are looking at stories that we wouldn‘t have paid attention to a year ago, they won‘t have been stories. Every week, Ed, I know that you get the same thing. Reporters call and they say what about this and then they follow up. That‘s the good that‘s coming out. This story is an ugly story. Because, first of all, I‘m in this, you know, I‘m in the midst of this business in the midst of this lawsuit and I did not know it was 27,000. I thought it was somewhere around 9,000, which was still a problem. But here‘s the point.
SCHULTZ: It just tells me they do whatever the hell they want and they do whatever they want.
PAPANTONIO: Well, they do.
SCHULTZ: You can‘t tell me there are 27,000 permits.
PAPANTONIO: You know, here‘s the real problem. There‘s nobody—if you were to ask who‘s in charge, there are no regular inspections, there‘s no regular oversight. No one‘s checking to see if these things are leaking, nobody is trying to find out if they‘re deteriorating. Nobody is really doing anything and that‘s because, it‘s because again, the petroleum industry has overtaken control of our regulatory agencies.
PAPANTONIO: The reason they‘re able to do this is because it‘s cheap. They don‘t have to fix them. So, nobody makes them fix them. Nobody makes them inspect. Nobody makes them do what they should do. It‘s because they can squeeze another penny out of the system by doing nothing. That is the petroleum industry‘s way. And we‘re seeing it more and more as stories like this come forward. And frankly, I have to tell you, these are the kind of stories we won‘t have even heard about a year ago until this BP disaster.
SCHULTZ: No doubt about it. Mike, you‘ve told me off the air that BP is doing the clean-up on the cheap, that the pictures of the laborers on the shore are a heck of a lot more impressive and the equipment being out there than it is getting skimmers out there doing the job. Are you saying that BP is not doing everything it can do?
PAPANTONIO: BP is cash strapped right now. They might want to make you to think otherwise, Ed, but they are not. They are cash strapped. Look, Tony Hayward is on a whirlwind tour right now, Saudi Arabia, China, Libya. He‘s going everywhere to try to raise cash. One way that they‘re trying to save cash is to pass the problem on to us, on the coast. And the way they do that, rather than doing what we know, what you were talking about, ten weeks ago, rather than doing what we know they could have done which is to bring in super tankers, they have this optic thing going on where they put on this show, where they put workers out there with a shovel and with a bag. Making it look like they can really solve this problem.
The truth is this. One of those super tankers can pick up 21 million gallons a day of this oil. These people on the beach in ten weeks have only been able to pick up 28 million gallons. They want to do it on the cheap because they don‘t want to go back and tell their shareholders that they have to cost them another penny. That is the corporate mentality here. And on the coast, we want to believe that they‘re doing the right thing but we‘re seeing Tony Hayward is a desperate man right now. Now, he‘s going to lose his job. He might lose his company. So, one way you save the company is to cut back the costs that they‘re spending right now and project them over ten to 15 years, make the clean-up a 15-year proposition rather than 18 months.
SCHULTZ: And Mike, one other aspect to this story. I am getting—our team is getting inundated with e-mail from listeners and viewers that the media is not being able to tell the story, that they are being denied. And this story‘s been out there for a while. But some of the confrontations that are taken place are really overboard. Is that what you‘re seeing? Is that what you‘re hearing? Is that what‘s happening?
PAPANTONIO: Well, the confrontations that are taking place right now are taking place because BP has taken control of our local government. BP is telling the police what they must do. BP is telling people on these beaches where they can go and where they can‘t go. The confrontations are this. People now understand that we are not in charge of this. Government‘s not in charge of this.
SCHULTZ: Where is the administration on this? Where is the Obama administration on this allowing BP to start directing traffic of local law enforcement if that‘s actually happening?
PAPANTONIO: Ed, it‘s not fair to blame it on Obama because this is not something Obama that should be.
SCHULTZ: I know, Mike. I‘m not blaming it on Obama but somebody‘s got to be in charge of BP. BP‘s invaded our shores. They‘ve invaded our shores and telling our people what to do.
PAPANTONIO: Two things. Ken Salazar needs to be gone. That‘s the first thing. The second thing is we need to understand that nothing happens, nothing happens until we make our attorney general do what they‘re supposed to do, and that is to get back in control of this case. The case is, we have a corporation that‘s completely out of control. That‘s coming down to the coast. That‘s running our lives. We‘re not running their lives anymore, Ed, they‘re running our lives.
SCHULTZ: But the media can‘t tell the story. The media can‘t tell the story and they‘re being held away. That is going to infuriate a lot of Americans.
PAPANTONIO: Right now, they can‘t even get 65 -- they can‘t get closer than 65 feet to a clean-up or they can be arrested for a class D felony. They can look at five years in prison and they can be fined $40,000. That is the government allowing that to happen. That‘s not Obama allowing it to happen. It‘s our U.S. coast guard, Thad Allen is a buffoon. He needs to be gone. Salazar needs to be gone and Obama needs to come out of this like he should which is a leader.
SCHULTZ: All right. Mike Papantonio, always a pleasure. Good to have you with us.
Now, let‘s get some rapid fire response from our panel on these stories tonight. Tea Party poster boy Rand Paul is heading to Manhattan for a high-priced tight tie fund-raiser with multimillionaire Steve Forbes. So much for being a man of the people.
Democrats are split over the Justice Department lawsuit against Arizona‘s harsh anti-immigration law. This could have a major impact on the race in November.
And RNC Chairman Michael Steele, well, he bags on his scheduled appearance at the Aspen Ideas Festival after his controversial comments about Afghanistan being President Obama‘s war. With us tonight, Jack Rice, criminal defense attorney and former CIA officer and also with us tonight, John Feehery, republican strategist. I don‘t know, John, you‘ve been around this political circle a long time. How the hell do you raise money when you‘re a no show?
JOHN FEEHERY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, Ed, Michael Steele is not raising money for republicans. Barack Obama is. I think that republicans are giving money to put a check on the president and his administration and that‘s what‘s going to be the best message. I don‘t think of anything that Michael Steele can say or will say is going to have republicans open up their wallets. You know, the fact of the matter is that the RNC is not going to be the lead on this election. It‘s going to be the NRSC and the NRCC. They‘re the ones who are going to be on the ground with the candidates. If you look at the republican governors association under Haley Barbour, he‘s taking on tremendous responsibility and done a pretty good job of raising money. So, Michael Steele is really not the issue on this campaign.
SCHULTZ: Well, he is the issue, he is the most controversial figure in the Republican Party right now. He‘s a no show—how fitting is that Jack Rice that the head of the Republican Party is a no show at the Ideas Festival?
JACK RICE, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes. It‘s pretty amazing, is it?
SCHULTZ: You can‘t make this stuff up.
RICE: When you look at where Michael Steele is, what‘s kind of amazing about this story with Michael Steele anyway is that republicans are angry because in fact what Obama has been doing, he‘s been doing much of what the republicans have been talking about the whole time. But I actually think, and I‘ll say this, I think that Steele actually has a point here because yes, this is Bush‘s war, talking about Afghanistan. But if we really look at it, this is Obama‘s war which is Bush‘s war on steroids. He has driven this issue up. And the fact is that the republicans are frustrated, they don‘t know where to go and there are a lot of democrats who were looking, they were looking where Obama is and saying, wait a second. And I‘ve said this before to you Ed, myself, I‘ve been in Kabul, Kandahar, throughout the country and I‘ll say it again, Bush was wrong, Obama was wrong. This is a war that cannot be won and neither side will be able to play this thing out and shine it up like they want.
SCHULTZ: All right. Gentleman, illegal immigration, immigration reform in Arizona. The federal lawsuit. If you look at the numbers in Arizona, the immigration law that Arizona wants to put on the books, it has support of 64 percent of folks in Arizona, 34 percent oppose it, and also which congressional candidate would you be more likely to vote for, 40 percent republicans who support the law and 26 percent say, democrats who oppose the law. And in the meantime, the democrats are being very silent on all of this. John Feehery, what do you make of this? Is this a chance for the republicans to really make some gains that maybe they haven‘t seen in a year?
FEEHERY: You know, I still think the top issue in this campaign is going to be the lack of job creation for most people. I think jobs is the issue that the Obama administration has largely ignored. And that‘s why this is going to be a really bad election for the democrats. Now, this immigration debate is going to be part of that because it feeds into this animosity that people have towards illegal immigrants because they feel they‘re taking away jobs. I think that for Holder to do this lawsuit is a disaster for the democrats politically because it feeds into the job narrative, at the lace of jobs narrative. And I do think that republicans are going to take advantage of this and do very well in the election.
SCHULTZ: What do you make, Jack? The federal lawsuit, was it a mistake? Was it a political move or a move that really addresses reform?
RICE: It addresses reform. You know what? I don‘t care whether this is popular or not. I don‘t care whether the majority of Americans think this is right or not. The civil rights movement would have gone down in flames if we were talking about popularity. This is something that should be done. It‘s something that must be done. The Obama administration is actually making a hard call, a good call in this case. And you know what? They may pay the price in the short term but I would argue history will be on their side.
SCHULTZ: All right. Rand Paul, he‘s supposed to be a man of the people, an anti-government guy. And now he‘s hanging out with multimillionaire Steve Forbes and I don‘t think you can get any closer to Wall Street than Steve Forbes. How does he walk this tight rope, John?
FEEHERY: Ed, if you look at Rand Paul, his first name still was named after Ayn Rand. He‘s a libertarian objectivist philosophically. And that‘s exactly where Steve Forbes is. Steve Forbes was an early endorser of Rand Paul. I think politically are very well in tune with one another because they believe in the idea of very much limited governments and I think that.
SCHULTZ: But Forbes was in favor of the Wall Street bailout, right?
FEEHERY: I‘m not, you know, I think that.
SCHULTZ: He liked that money coming to Wall Street.
FEEHERY: Forbes, yes, you could be in favor of the fact that you didn‘t want the complete collapse of our financial system and still be in favor of limited government. I think that the fact of the matter is that Steve Forbes was an early endorser of Rand Paul. So, it‘s not in anyway a conflict there.
SCHULTZ: John, how can billions of dollars, hundreds of billions of dollars be limited government to save Wall Street and what they‘ve done? I think this is really an interesting pair, these two getting together, if Rand Paul is who he says he is. Jack Rice, your thoughts?
RICE: I totally agree. Rand Paul is another example of a bumper sticker politician. He wants to say something really quick, really slick and people go wow, that‘s fascinating. And then, you dig into what it is that he does, and he does exactly what it is that he says that he‘s against. And we‘ve seen this again and again and again. I guess it works if you don‘t look too closely. I think, we need to start looking.
FEEHERY: I think that‘s wrong. I think, Steve Forbes was the one of the first in history, really libertarian candidates to run for president. I think that Rand Paul follows that philosophy very closely. I don‘t think this is a sellout at all. I think, this is very consistent with their beliefs which is in limited government.
SCHULTZ: OK. John Feehery, Jack Rice, always a pleasure. Good to have you with us.
And this programming note, Rachel Maddow is live with her show in Afghanistan with a special report tonight, 9:00 p.m. Eastern right here on the place for politics, MSNBC.
Coming up, Stephen A. Smith is here to tell all of us where he thinks, LeBron James is going to be playing basketball next year.
And a baseball fan falls 300 feet trying to catch a foul ball and lives to tell about it. That‘s all coming up next in The Playbook. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And it‘s not too late to let us know what you think. The
number to dial is 1-877-ed-msnbc. Tonight‘s text survey question is, what
do you think John McCain cares about more? Fixing our immigration problem
or getting re-elected. Text A for immigration reform, text B for getting
re-elected to 622639. Results coming up. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And in my Playbook tonight, the suspense is almost over. In a little more than 24 hours, the world will know where LeBron James plans to play basketball next season. He‘ll announce his decision in a TV special airing tomorrow night on ESPN advertising revenue from the show will go to the boys and girls clubs of America. It‘s pretty cool.
For more, let me bring in nationally syndicated radio talk show host and columnist for the “Philadelphia Inquirer,” Stephen A. Smith. Stephen A., great to have you with us tonight.
STEPHEN A. SMITH, NATIONALLY SYNDICATED RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Always good to see you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: No one knows more about this than you do. Where‘s he‘s going to go? What do you think he‘s going to do?
SMITH: Well, I reported about a week and a half going on my radio show that he‘s going to South Beach. He‘s going to play for the Miami Heat. I predicted that Chris Bosh ultimately would sign there, Dwyane Wade would re-sign. I‘m two for two there. I‘m hoping, I‘m three for three. I‘m hoping that I don‘t have egg on my face in about 27 to 28 hours or but that‘s what I‘m hearing and I‘m sticking to that. He‘s going to South Beach.
SCHULTZ: What do you think he wants? Is it a championship?
SMITH: It definitely is a championship. He definitely wants to elevate his brand. He wants to elevate his marketability. You can see that what he‘s doing in terms of the press conference, the hour-long segment tomorrow night. You know, donating money to the boys and girls club of America, all the proceeds that is. It‘s a brilliant move on his part. I don‘t think there‘s any question about it and it shows how much he cares about his brand. But at the end of the day, he‘s smart enough to recognize that that brand will dissipate and dwindle and ultimately diminish significantly if this man does not start winning championships. He‘s been in the league for seven years, he‘s knocked on the door once in the NBA finals with the San Antonio Spurs, got to two eastern conference finals as well as that, but he‘s got to win a championship and he‘s got to win it soon.
SCHULTZ: If he stays in Cleveland, would he win the championship?
SMITH: Absolutely not. They‘ve already proven that. They‘ve had the opportunities. They‘ve had size. They‘ve had, you know, they‘ve had a lot of size. They‘ve had shooters. They‘ve had it all. It has not been good enough because the parts just don‘t mesh. And obviously, they can‘t completely transform that franchise because of the parts that they have in place, not a lot of people are going to be knocking on their door to give them the athletes that they need. He recognizes that, wants to play with the superstar. Understands that Michael Jordan never won a championship without Scottie Pippen, understands those things more importantly now than ever before and I think he recognizes the opportunity to pair with a superstar like Dwyane Wade, I believe is just too good for him to pass. It‘s just an easy call for me.
SCHULTZ: He‘s had some politicians in Ohio, Sherrod Brown, the senator, Governor Strickland make a plea that he stay in Cleveland because he‘s going to affect the local economy, to affect a lot of jobs and the attendance and what not. I‘ve never seen politicians get so involved in this. This is new territory.
SMITH: Well, they‘re desperate and they have every right to be simply because Cleveland was basketball purgatory at that time. You parking meter on the streets. It only cost you a dime to sit there for 30 minutes. Now, with LeBron James in town, it cost you a quarter to sit there for ten minutes. It‘s just that simple, he generated millions of dollars for the city of Cleveland, for the state of Ohio. He put them on his basketball map.
SCHULTZ: So, he‘s done Cleveland right. If he leaves, he‘s done them right.
SMITH: Well, I mean, he‘s done enough for them, he doesn‘t owe them anything. It would be nice to see him stay at home. But he‘s a big time, he‘s a global iconic figure. Sometime, it‘s time to move on.
SCHULTZ: Pretty cool deal, he‘s doing it for the boys and girls clubs tomorrow night.
SMITH: Very smooth. Very smart.
SCHULTZ: NBA needs a guy like that, don‘t you think?
SMITH: They‘ve got few of them, quite honestly.
SCHULTZ: Stephen A. good to have you on. Thanks.
SCHULTZ: Some final pains in the Playbook. Alvin Greene says, he‘s got the answer for job creation. The South Carolina senate candidate wants to create jobs by making action figures of himself. Greene is quoted in the British newspaper, the guardian as saying, “Another thing we can do for jobs is make toys of me, especially for the holidays. Little dolls, me. Like maybe little action dolls, me in an army uniform, air force uniform and me in my suit. They can make toys of me and my vehicle, especially for the holidays and Christmas for the kids. That‘s something that would create jobs. So you see, I think out of the box like that, it‘s not something a typical person would bring up. That‘s something that could happen. That makes sense. It‘s not a joke.”
You know, I have to say, I think maybe the senate could use a guy like this. So, here‘s what these action figures might look like one day. Here is Alvin Greene, the action figure Alvin Greene in an army uniform. Alvin Greene in his suit. I really thought this was some kind of a joke but we checked and it‘s not. No kidding. Really.
A Texas Ranger fan is in fair and stable condition today after taking a 30-foot plunge at the ballpark last night. I said earlier in this broadcast 300 feet. Well, he‘s a firefighter. They‘re tough guys. The 25-year-old firefighter was reaching for a foul ball from his seat of the first row, of the second deck during the game between the Rangers and the Indians, he lost his balance and fell into the seats below. The video doesn‘t show the actual fall but you can see fans rushing to see what happened and the players from both teams looking concerned. The fan was rushed to the hospital, he suffered a head injury and a sprained ankle. Dropping 30 feet to get a ball. Well, what the heck. Only at the ballpark.
Coming up, it‘s the toughest job in America but I think the daily grind is wearing on President Obama. Lately, I think he looks like a professor who‘s been upgrading papers all night. I don‘t mean to be tough on the guy but let‘s face it, he looks tired.
Jonathan Alter, what does he make of it? Next on THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And finally tonight, on THE ED SHOW, I‘m a big fan of the president. Big fan. But lately, I just get a sense that he‘s lost some of his spark. It‘s been a tough run here. He‘s missing some of the passion that we saw a year ago. Here‘s what I‘m talking about. He‘s talking about jobs today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: As I‘ve said many times, the United States of America should not, cannot, will not play for second place. We mean to compete for those jobs and we mean to win.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Hey, I‘m not faulting the guy. He just seems a little tired to me, looks run down. And I know the job takes a major toll on anybody who‘s ever had it. Look how much President Obama has aged since January of 2009. But he‘s still got a lot of work to do. And I want to see the fight in this guy come back because I really do believe that he is holding all the cards for the democrats to hold the house and the senate.
For more, let‘s bring in Jonathan Alter, “Newsweek” columnist and author of the book “The Promise: President Obama, One Year.” Great book. Jonathan, great to have you with us tonight. What got me thinking on these lines is the story or should I say, the commercial that John Boehner put out. He used some excerpts of President Obama on the stump talking in front of crowds where he just—he looked tired. Now, can a tired President Obama or one that doesn‘t have the spunk or the spark that he had on the campaign trail be as effective? What do you think?
JONATHAN ALTER, “THE PROMISE” AUTHOR: Well, first of all, when the other side‘s picking the ads, you know, picking the shots that they use, they always use the worst ones that make the president look the worst. I don‘t think that he‘s, you know, he‘s run down. I don‘t think that he‘s overwhelmed by the job. But when I was researching “The Promise,” I talked to an old friend of his from law school and this is what the president said. He said, and this is a quote, he said, “I don‘t know why anybody would want this job for more than one term but I‘ll be damned if I‘m going to let Mitt Romney get credit for all the good things we started after we‘ve been through all this crap,” unquote. So that to me summarizes his basic attitude. He‘s going to run for re-election. He‘s going to work to get his, you know, his mojo back but he does feel like he‘s been through an awful lot of crap and a lot of what he‘s done, he doesn‘t feel he‘s gotten proper credit for.
SCHULTZ: Yes. Well, he‘s gotten credit on this program for sure, but there are times when I see him that I think, I wonder if he‘s thinking about not running again.
ALTER: No, but that‘s what this indicated. And he said to this friend from law school, he‘s running, you know. So, I don‘t think you have to worry about that. But you know, I do think that he does feel that there‘s just so much on his plate. And when I interviewed him, Ed, for “The Promise,” he said, you know, you‘ve got a lot on your plate when an H1N1 virus, a pandemic is fifth or sixth on your list of things to do.
ALTER: You know, so every day, he gets up. Look what he‘s got, you know, just this week. Dealing with Netanyahu, dealing with, you know, the republicans preventing him from getting the person running his health care plan he wants. He has to use a recess appointment.
SCHULTZ: What‘s he going to be like in the med terms? John, what‘s he going to be like in the med terms?
ALTER: Well, he‘s going to be out there campaigning. I think, honestly, this part is speculation.
ALTER: But I think one of the things that‘s not depressing him but leaving him feeling a little bit dispirits is he likes his vacations like anybody else. He works so damn hard and when he looks forward to August, when it‘s not an election year, he can take some time off. And chill a little bit but this year, he‘s got to be out campaigning for the democrats, for the midterm. So, he‘s not even really going to get much of a vacation this year at all. He will be out there campaigning hard.
SCHULTZ: Well, he‘s going to have to be effective. They‘re going to need his help for sure.
ALTER: They‘re going to need his help.
SCHULTZ: Jonathan, it‘s a great to have you with us.
ALTER: Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Tonight, our text survey question, I asked you, what do you
think McCain cares about more? Fixing our immigration problem or getting
re-elected. Eight percent of you say immigration reform, 92 percent of you
said, getting reelected. Tomorrow night on this show, I will give a commentary on the 99ers and how the democrats cannot leave these folks out. That‘s THE ED SHOW. I‘m Ed Schultz. “HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews starts right now on the place for politics, MSNBC. We‘ll see you tomorrow night.
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