The Ed Show for Friday, July 23rd, 2010
Read the transcript to the Friday show
Guests: Alan Grayson, Eric Boehlert, Luke Russert, Joan Walsh, Jack Rice,
ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans, and welcome to THE ED SHOW tonight from Minneapolis.
These stories are hitting “My Hot Buttons” at this hour.
Well, the caller said, “Someone is going to kill your boss today.” That‘s what some psycho told an intern who answered the phone in Congressman Alan Grayson‘s office.
My commentary on that, plus live reaction from the congressman in just a moment.
The CEO of Massey Mine, where 29 miners lost their lives, has no shame. He says guilt isn‘t the right word for how he feels.
I‘ve got a few choice words for him in the “Playbook” tonight.
Plus, I shook things up in Sin City last night during my speech at the Netroots Nation. The progressive base understands we are in an ideological war with the right-wing media in this country, but the Obama administration refuses to accept it.
We‘ll touch on that a little bit later on.
But this is the story that has me fired up tonight. The ideological fight between the left and the right in this country right now is at a fever pitch.
Congressman Alan Grayson, of course he speaks his mind on every issue. And his never-ending fight for unemployed Americans in this country has led to very serious threats, including a death threat that he says was stirred up because of his passion.
It started on the House floor Monday night during the debate on extending unemployment benefits.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ALAN GRAYSON (D), FLORIDA: The people who will lose their homes if this bill doesn‘t pass, the people who will be living in their cars if this bill doesn‘t pass, that‘s why we need this to pass. And I will say this to the Republican who have blocked this bill now for months and kept food out of the mouths of children, I will say to them now, may God have mercy on your souls.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Right-wing media critic Dan Gainor, who blogs for Brent Bozell‘s joke of a Web site called NewsBusters, tweeted this in response:
“I‘ll give $100 to the first representative who punches smarmy idiot Alan Grayson in the nose. He‘s a caricature of a congressman.”
Now, Grayson is a guy who never shies away from a fight. So he came on my show earlier this week to respond.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRAYSON: I think they intimidate people. That‘s what the right wing does. They try to instill fear in the other side. Just today, somebody tweeted, “I‘ll give $100 to anybody who punches Alan Grayson in the face.”
SCHULTZ: Well, that person was—I believe his name is Dan Gainor.
SCHULTZ: He‘s a blogger at NewsBusters, the Media Research Center.
That‘s Brent Bozell‘s clowns that work for him and his organization.
Do you consider this promotion of violence?
GRAYSON: I do. But I just want to let him know that I punch back.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Gainor, Bozell and other hate merchants on the right can‘t stand it when guys like Alan Grayson speak out.
The Republican Party is used to Democrats you see buckling over and, of course, apologizing. Alan Grayson speaks for millions of voiceless Americans, and it scares the hell out of the right because deep down they know that Grayson is correct on the issues.
They can‘t out-debate this guy. And now a death threat has come into his office.
A Grayson intern who answered the phone was told, “Ten people are going to kill the congressman within 24 hours.”
This is what it‘s come to in American politics today. If you want to run for higher office, receiving death threats is just part of the job description.
At this hour, authorities don‘t know who made the threat. The Senate sergeant at arms, Terrence Gainer, says the threats against members of Congress were up 300 percent in the first few months of this year.
Now, I believe the Tea Party movement, led by Sarah “Reload” Palin and Michele “Armed and Dangerous” Bachmann is teetering on the edge. The anger at Democrats for passing health care reform sick enough for those in this country who are unemployed, I think it‘s un-American the way these folks are being treated.
Tea Party leaders haven‘t had the character to tell the racists or the people who promote violence in their party to knock it off. And so it now is, I think, a leadership issue.
So, when you think of the Republican Party, who do you think of right now? Well, I think of Mitt Romney.
Mitt, you‘re awful quiet on all this hate rhetoric that‘s taking place in there country. Do you feel like maybe it‘s time for you to say something? Maybe cooler heads will prevail?
How about you, Newt Gingrich? You keep telling everybody that you‘re going to run for president but you‘ll have an announcement later on. And it was just this week that you were on Fox News throwing the accusations of racism at someone who was wrongfully accused by one of your favorite bloggers.
You see, this is how it plays out. Their passion on the right, their passion for hatred and despair for liberals in this country, is so strong, they just say, well, we just can‘t tone it down. We just can‘t say, hey, you can‘t do that. It‘s all freedom of speech.
They hide behind that. And they do believe that if they will allow this to go on, ah, the Graysons in the world, that is just the rocks with the farm. You know, that goes with the territory. You‘ve got to put up with it.
But this is how the righties in this country and those who are supposed to be in a position of leadership, they think that this is just going to rile up their base and they‘re just going to have an outpouring of support at the polls in November. This truly is their strategy.
Get your cell phones out, folks. I want to know if you agree with Alan Grayson.
Does the right-wing media try to instill fear in the left?
Text “A” for yes, text “B” for no to 622639. We‘ll bring you the results later on in the show.
Joining us now is Florida Congressman Alan Grayson. He joins us here tonight.
Congressman, good to have you with us.
GRAYSON: Thank you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: You bet.
Did you expect a reaction like this? Did you kind of sense it might be coming, or are you surprised by this?
GRAYSON: This is the way they are, but despite their best intentions, I‘m still alive. I was surprised though that they thought it would take 10 people to bring me down. Do they think I‘m Rasputin or somebody?
SCHULTZ: What‘s your response to the threat? How serious is it, in your opinion?
GRAYSON: Oh, God, as serious as anything. As serious as John Kennedy or Robert Kennedy or Martin Luther King or Malcolm X or John Lennon. That serious.
SCHULTZ: Do you think that the leadership, if there is any over on the conservative side, at this point as an obligation, not just because of this situation with your office and some of the things that have been said, but the number of threats that have been made this year? Do you think there‘s maybe room for some leadership and some comments to maybe tell the American people, whoever these folks are, to settle down and it‘s not worth it?
What do you think?
GRAYSON: They‘re responsible for it. Sarah Palin left her home in Sasquatch, Alaska, or wherever she lives, came to my district in Orlando, and told her zombie minions a few months ago to take me out like she was trying to shoot a moose from a helicopter.
They‘re responsible for it. They instigate it. They need to stop, or we need to hold them accountable for it.
SCHULTZ: So it‘s just not the right-wing media. You think that—and based on what you just said, the people in a leadership role, those who get visibility, those who can hawk camera time any time they want it, they‘re leading these people, correct?
GRAYSON: Yes, absolutely. Isn‘t it obvious? Of course they are.
They‘re instigating hatred and fear. That‘s what they always do.
SCHULTZ: What has to change here, Congressman? What do you think should be done, if anything, at this point? Or is this just the territory that elected officials are going to be in?
GRAYSON: No, I don‘t think it has to be that way. And I think that we‘ve lived through enough tragedies to understand it can‘t be that way.
There‘s 171,000 people who wanted me to be their congressman. Why should one person be able to negate that?
We can‘t allow that to happen. Democracy is based upon the choices of the people, not the choice of one. So, of course we have to fight this, and we have to punish them at the ballot box for even thinking this way, for trying to turn this country into a dictatorship.
SCHULTZ: And do you think that this is part of a campaign strategy to instill fear, as you said earlier this week, instill fear in the left, but also to possibly make it a disincentive for Americans to be engaged?
What do you think?
GRAYSON: It‘s a disincentive they think for me. They think they can make me back down. But I‘m not afraid and I won‘t back down.
SCHULTZ: Congressman, great to have you with us tonight. I appreciate your time.
GRAYSON: Thank you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: You bet.
For more on this issue, let‘s go to Eric Boehlert, senior fellow at Media Matters.
Your response to what the congressman just said? How is he handling this, Eric?
ERIC BOEHLERT, SR. FELLOW, MEDIA MATTERS: Well, I think, you know, you have to let the sergeant at arms take over, you have to let the local police come in and take over if need be.
I mean, you saw that statistic, 300 percent increase this year. We saw a lot of these sort of death threats and intimidation after health care passed.
You know, the right-wing media, the Tea Party media, told all their followers there was no way health care reform could pass. And then it did. And we sort of had this collective unhinged reaction with lots of yelling and screaming. And that‘s fine in a way, but death threats are obviously way overboard.
And can I just say, where is Brent Bozell? You know, he makes a living whining about the coarseness of our culture, and he always blames it on Hollywood and he blames it on, you know, liberal media. He‘s got someone on his staff who is offering $100 to punch a congressman and Brent Bozell sits on his hands.
SCHULTZ: That‘s the Media Research Center, which is a conservative-funded group, or whatever, that hawks liberals in the media and also goes after people like Alan Grayson. It‘s very clear. I think you bring up a very valid point.
Are they showing more and more actions like this? Is this a trend that you‘re seeing from that organization?
BOEHLERT: Well, that organization which obviously turns a blind eye. You know, it whines about violence and rhetoric on the left, but then someone on staff offers $100 to punch a congressman and Brent Bozell pretends he doesn‘t know what‘s going on?
But the larger point here is the right-wing media and the rhetoric. And the rhetoric against Democrats and like the congressman from Florida, the rhetoric isn‘t taxes should be lower. The rhetoric isn‘t Obama should be more hawkish on foreign affairs. The rhetoric is these people are evil, literally.
I mean, if you go to Media Matters and you see what we document every day on talk radio and cable, they are portraying Democrats and progressives in the most vile, sort of satanic way possible. There was an op-ed in the conservative “Washington Times” today suggesting Obama is mother dangerous than al Qaeda. Andrew Breitbart‘s Web site recently described Obama as the “suicide bomber in chief.”
This is so far off the map. And it really is just hateful, sort of insurgent rhetoric that they‘re using.
SCHULTZ: All right. I believe we‘ve got a full screen here of what Mr. Breitbart is saying.
He claims that he is—well, here it is. “I am public enemy number one or number two in the Democratic Party, the progressive movement and the Obama administration based upon the successes my journalism has had.”
He calls it journalism. I call it smear and fear.
We found out this week that he‘s not very well researched, that he doesn‘t present a true picture, and he‘s an attack monster on people‘s careers. How much has Breitbart, in your opinion, played into some of the rhetoric that is now being put in the form of threats to some elected officials?
BOEHLERT: Oh, absolutely. Again, describing the president on your Web site as the “suicide bomber in chief,” what does that tell your readers? That tells your readers that the president has to be stopped at any cost.
I love Andrew Breitbart‘s runaway ego—you know, “public enemy number one.” Democrats and progressives couldn‘t care less about Andrew Breitbart unless he‘s smearing somebody, and then we‘re going to stick up for those people.
SCHULTZ: Eric, good to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much.
BOEHLERT: Thanks for having me.
SCHULTZ: Eric Boehlert, Media Matters.
Coming up, “psycho sister” Michele Bachmann literally trash-talked her way into the “Zone.” And get this—I‘m actually going to agree with what she said.
Tom Tancredo, I‘m in the “Zone” tonight. You watching?
And marathon runner Sharron Angle says she‘s ready to take questions from reporters as long as she can pick the topic.
Sorry, Sharron, it just doesn‘t have a habit of working that way.
I‘ll get “Rapid Fire Response.”
And we‘ve also got Charlie Rangel. He got into a scrap with Luke Russert.
The public option coming back? Back to life? The public option?
And Stephanie Miller headlines “Club Ed” tonight.
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW, and thanks for watching tonight.
Congressman Charles Rangel spoke out today against his lawyer‘s wishes and vowed to shoot down multiple allegations from the Ethics Committee.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. CHARLES RANGEL (D), NEW YORK: Most of you know all of the allegations that you see in the newspaper are the allegations that Congressman Charles Rangel referred to the Ethics Committee for what purpose? To investigate. And it‘s kind of awkward to explain that to your kids and grandkids, what you see in the front page, but hey, I‘m in the kitchen and I‘m not walking out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Congressman Rangel apologized to reporters for not being able to go into details, and personally apologized to NBC‘s Luke Russert for his memorable moment last night.
Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RANGEL: So until—
LUKE RUSSERT, NBC CORRESPONDENT: But you‘re not worried about losing your job?
RANGEL: What are you talking about? Are you just trying to make copy? What I got?
RUSSERT: Yes. I mean, these are considerably serious violations.
RANGEL: How do you think I got my job? I was elected. How do you think I lose?
RUSSERT: You lose two ways. You can lose it if (ph) your colleagues
voted you out of here because of ethics violations, or if your constituents
RANGEL: What station are you from?
RUSSERT: NBC, MSNBC.
RANGEL: Well, you‘re young. I guess you do need to make a name for yourself, but basically you know it‘s a dumb question and I‘m not going to answer it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Rangel, will you address—
RANGEL: How is it a dumb question?
RUSSERT: Sir, you have not filed taxes on properties in the Dominican Republic, allegedly. If that comes to be true, does that not sound (ph) like a problem?
RANGEL: It doesn‘t really sound like NBC asking these dumb questions, but it just shows what has really happened to a channel that did have some respect.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Joining us now on THE ED SHOW tonight, Luke Russert from Capitol Hill.
Luke, good to have you with us.
RUSSERT: Always a pleasure, Ed.
SCHULTZ: I‘ve been in situations like that before, and it‘s not any fun, but you‘ve got to do what you‘ve got to do. But when I first saw that, Luke, I thought Charlie Rangel is feeling the heat and hasn‘t figured out how to fully respond to everything that‘s surrounding him right now. It‘s almost like he‘s in disbelief.
What was your take when that was going on?
RUSSERT: Well, Ed, I‘ve been up here on Capitol Hill for about a year and change now, and been around politics my whole life in growing up in Washington. And there‘s usually a sort of tried and true method that politicians use which is to sort of blame the media and say that the media is not giving you the full facts. Once that I‘m allowed to shed light on my own situation, I will be exonerated and everything will come to fruition and I‘ll be OK.
That being said, in this situation, it did not necessarily work because I wasn‘t necessarily asking him about specifics about the case. I was just simply asking him if he was worried about losing his job, which is something that is very fair, and all my colleagues were asking from all networks, too, because he‘s facing a very tough primary opponent in September.
He‘s also going to be put on trial next week by the House Ethics Committee in regard to these allegations. He is correct when he said that he himself put them before the committee to be investigated, but those were found by newspapers first.
So when it‘s asking about whether or not he‘s afraid he‘ll lose his job, it‘s definitely a fair question simply because it is a possibility. And obviously that‘s going to affect how one would act in any profession, but especially one like the United States Congress, where your entire life relies on you being reelected.
SCHULTZ: Do you get a sense, Luke, that he is anxious to fight these allegations, that he doesn‘t appear to be a guy acting like he‘s innocent?
RUSSERT: I think he really wants to fight these allegations, and I think that he will I guess enjoy the attention he‘ll receive later this week because he‘ll believe in his mind he has an opportunity to shed light. And look, let‘s be honest. He hasn‘t been officially guilty of anything.
But that being said, Ed, he‘s about to take the Democratic Party through a public House Ethics Committee trial, which they‘re very rare. The last one that happened was James Traficant about eight years ago.
And we in the media don‘t really necessarily know how these operate, because the House Ethics Committee operates under such secrecy. But this is going to be a public spectacle. Cameras will be in there for this event, where the charges will be said against him and he‘ll have an opportunity to defend himself.
This is not something the Democrats want to see a few months before the November 2010 midterms. Remember, Ed, this is a guy, Charlie Rangel, who was chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee from January of 2007.
That‘s one of the most powerful committees up here on Capitol Hill.
Why? Because they‘re in charge of writing the nation‘s taxes.
So here you have a former chairman, Democrat, who could be on trial for evading his own taxes while for two years, he told the country how much taxes they should pay. These ads practically write themselves for Republicans. That‘s—not surprisingly, a lot of Democrats, especially ones in vulnerable districts that I spoke to today, really do not want to see this go forward. They want some sort of solution to come through this weekend.
SCHULTZ: And, of course, this speaks to the bigger picture of the midterms coming up. It‘s going to be political fodder, obviously, for the conservatives on Capitol Hill. They‘re going to milk this for everything it‘s worth.
Luke Russert, standing your ground professionally, good to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much.
RUSSERT: Always a pleasure, Ed. Be well.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, brace yourselves because I‘m about to say something you probably never thought I‘d say, but Michele Bachmann is finally correct about something. It has to do with garbage.
I‘m dumping her into the “Zone” next. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, trash-talking Minnesota psycho queen Michele Bachmann shoots back into the “Zone.”
Michelle‘s Tea Party Caucus held their very first press conference this week. Listen to how Bachmann describes her relationship between the Tea Party and the Tea Party Caucus.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MICHELE BACHMANN ®, MINNESOTA: We are also not here to vouch for the Tea Party or to vouch for any Tea Party organizations, or to vouch for any individual people or actions or billboards or signs or anything of the Tea Party. We are here to listen and to be a receptacle.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: What did she say there? Let‘s take another listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BACHMANN: We are here to listen and to be a receptacle.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: You know, that‘s probably about the smartest thing Michele Bachmann‘s ever said.
Just so we‘re on the same page here, the definition of the word “receptacle” is “a container or device that receives or holds something, a receptacle for trash.”
Now, I‘ll make this really easy for you, Michele. Here are some visual aids to this story.
You‘re comparing your caucus to a big, old dumpster. Or maybe you would like to see the Tea Party platform flushed down one of these babies.
For Michele Bachmann to imply her new caucus is a garbage can for the Tea Party movement is extremely accurate “Psycho Talk.”
Coming up, Michael Steele‘s days, well, they might be over. Somebody wants his job.
I‘m having too much fun with Steele running, but I guess maybe he‘ll get replaced. We‘ve got “Rapid Fire Response” on that.
And I spoke out as a featured speaker last night at the Netroots convention in Las Vegas.
And let me tell you this, Mr. President, your base is calling you.
My commentary is coming up on that.
All that, plus the Alvin Greene music video drops today; Bonnie rolls into the Gulf; and Stephanie Miller is here for “Club Ed.”
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. The Battleground story tonight, the ideological fight for the soul of the country. That‘s what I talked about in my speech to the Netroots Nation last night in Las Vegas. The progressive base gets it. They know Andrew Breitbart isn‘t a citizen journalist. He‘s a character assassin. FOX News isn‘t a network, it‘s a propaganda machine. But I don‘t understand why the Obama White House just doesn‘t seem to get it. The president says, it‘s the media culture? It‘s not the media culture, Mr. President. It‘s the right wing media that is on a crusade to Waterloo your presidency.
Last night, this is what I said to the Netroots Nation in Las Vegas. “They must have a war room at the White House. I think they‘ve got a sissy room, too. We‘ve got a White House that reacted to a blog story this week that was reported, promoted and sold on FOX News. They‘re not a news organization. They‘re a propaganda organization. They‘re about one thing, destroy the progressive movement, win at all costs, trash people, don‘t worry about the consequences. And hammer it home, it don‘t got to be the truth, we‘re just going to make sure we say it over and over and over again.”
Joining me now on this is Joan Walsh, editor in chief of Salon.com, to talk about the developments this week. Joan, thanks so much for joining us tonight.
JOAN WALSH, SALON.COM, EDITOR IN CHIEF: Sure.
SCHULTZ: Not to be overcritical of the White House, but has this been somewhat of a wakeup week, a wake-up call for the entire progressive movement as to what has happened with the Sherrod story and the reaction that followed? What do you think?
WALSH: I think it has been, Ed. And you know, I was prepared to defend the president a little bit. You and I did this yin-yang thing where you‘re praising him and I‘m kind of say, well, what about this. This time I‘m going to say, I was prepared to come in here and say, I think we need to strengthen the president with our criticism, not tear him down. I know you agree. However, you‘ve ticked something off just now when you quoted him blaming the media because that‘s ridiculous. It‘s just—it‘s exactly the way he blames Washington when he should really be blaming republicans. And it enrages, it enrages House and senate democrats that he‘s making them out to be the problem.
And frankly, it enrages me as a member of the responsible media that he‘s saying this is media culture because it‘s not. It‘s FOX. And Shirley Sherrod broke my heart this week. She‘s a hero. Her husband is a founder of the civil rights movement. They are both the most wonderful people in the world and they were trashed, she was trashed. And you know, we have to have a principle in this world. No one gets fired from a democratic White House because of something that‘s said on FOX. Or let alone in the gutter of that person whose name I will never even mention again. So you know, I was hugely disappointed in the president. However, this week really did show us what he‘s up against.
You know, FOX News is now a 50-state southern strategy. I believe I‘m stealing that from somebody. I don‘t remember who said it first but I saw it and I was like wow. They are spreading fear of black people, they are spreading fear of a black president, and they are inverting our race relations in this country to make us white people be the people who have to worry about being oppressed while these black people walk all over us. It is ridiculous.
SCHULTZ: So, Joan Walsh, moving forward. Well, I think it‘s great and I think I have tremendous respect for you as a journalist and I think you‘re absolutely correct. It is a teachable moment. We keep hearing that from a number of different elected officials on Capitol Hill this week. But if the democrats don‘t learn what they‘re up against, it‘s not a teachable moment. And if they don‘t respond to...
WALSH: We have to teach them.
SCHULTZ: So moving forward, what should be the operational standard of the White House when it comes to FOX News?
WALSH: You know, I think the president picked a fight with FOX News early on. He got advice that it wasn‘t a good idea. And I‘m not about picking a fight with them. I would basically ignore them. But I think, when things like this happen, you know, I was very critical this week of Robert Gibbs who I otherwise like. He‘s a good person but he kept using weasel words like misfortune, unfortunate. What happened to Shirley Sherrod was not a misfortune. That would be a hurricane or falling down the stairs. She was the victim of character assassination by right wing media. That‘s not unfortunate. It‘s tragic, it‘s wrong. And the White House needs to be able to say that. Don‘t gratuitously pick a fight with FOX or that other sad little guy, but when they pick a fight with you, fight back. My God, don‘t fire someone based on what you‘ve heard on these propaganda outlets.
SCHULTZ: Joan Walsh, always a pleasure. Appreciate your input on this tonight. Thanks so much.
WALSH: Thanks, Ed. Have a good weekend.
SCHULTZ: You bet. You too. Now let‘s have some rapid fire response from our panel on these stories tonight.
Michael Steele better watch out. Norm Coleman, former Senator from Minnesota reportedly wants Steele‘s job as the chairman of the RNC.
Sharron Angle, still doesn‘t get how this whole free press thing works. A day after running away from reporters at her own press conference, she says she‘s really willing to talk. But only on the one topic predetermined by her campaign. That‘s right out of the Bush playbook.
And democrats in the House are trying to revive the public option in order to cut the deficit.
With us tonight, Jack Rice, former CIA officer and criminal defense attorney. And also Scott Hennen, conservative radio talk show host. Let‘s go to Jack first, Jack, let‘s talk about Norm Coleman. He openly says you know, he would love to be the head of the RNC. Is somebody behind this? Is this a manufactured deal? What do you think?
JACK RICE, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Oh, I think Norm Coleman wants this. I mean, I‘m going to miss Michael Steele. Because this guy is a gift to keeps on giving. But the thing about Norm Coleman is he‘s a strange guy. I mean, if you look back to when he was a mayor in St. Paul, he was a lefty standing on a stage with Paul Wellstone talking about the future of the Democratic Party being Wellstone and then he became this conservative. And then, after 9/11, he became an extreme conservative voting with Bush, 97, 98, 99 percent of the time, and now, he‘s swinging back and fourth, the guy is a moral and political vacuum. And if they want that guy, the head of the RNC, bring it on, that‘s fantastic.
SCHULTZ: Scott Hennen, you‘re a friend of Norm Coleman. What do you make of this?
SCOTT HENNEN, RADIO SHOW HOST: Well, first of all, folks are coming to Norm saying, Norm, we‘d like you consider this post. I don‘t think it‘s so much Norm seeking the position as influential republicans saying, when Michael Steele steps aside which is obviously going to happen, he‘s not going to continue in that post and probably a pretty good signal to Michael Steele, it‘s time to get off the stage and he‘s not performed well on the stage, that Norm Coleman will probably be one of several candidates that ultimately will come forward and be interested in that post. By the way, Norm Coleman should still be a United States senator but for the felons who voted for Al Franken, he would be. And that‘s been proven now in Minnesota that election was stolen.
RICE: It‘s fantastic.
SCHULTZ: You know, it looks to me like somebody out there is seriously fishing to get rid of Michael Steele. I mean, this guy is—he‘s a walking, talking bad sound bite for the republicans right now and, of course, now there‘s this question about his fund-raising about whether he was hiding money. Heck, you got the bean counter of the RNC writing a letter to the members saying look, we were missing $7 million in debt that wasn‘t recorded. Jack, that is not good. They‘ve got to make a change, don‘t they?
RICE: Yes, so much for fiscal responsibility, huh. Fantastic. I think we should keep Michael Steele. Steele is perfect for the RNC. He represents them better than anybody I know.
SCHULTZ: All right. Let‘s go to Sharron Angle.
HENNEN: I‘ll tell what you though.
SCHULTZ: Go ahead, Scott.
HENNEN: I was just going to say, I mean, if you‘re concerned about the physical responsibility of the RNC, I hope you guys are concerned about Congress. As you see, the Obama administration in the midst this week, $1.47 trillion deficit.
SCHULTZ: Well, we weren‘t talking about that.
HENNEN: From the Obama administration. Well, but I‘m glad to see Jack‘s concerned about fiscal responsibility.
RICE: All right. I guess we got a new topic. All right. Let‘s go to the Sharron Angle story. She‘s running away from reporters. Scott, I‘ll let you take this one first. She calls a press conference, then runs away from reporters. What kind of tactic is this?
HENNEN: Well, first of all, I think Sharron Angle is rightly concerned about getting the Sarah Palin treatment from reporters. I don‘t know if you saw the story about the journalist out there and how they were liberal you know, journalists were coordinating their attacks against Sarah Palin. Clearly there‘s a lot of folks in the media trying to play gotcha. Sharron Angle is not a politician, she‘s not a professional, she‘s not a Harry Reid slickster. What she is someone that actually is, you know, done something in the private sector, been a mom, been involved in business and now is seeking the senate. Maybe she‘s not the most polished person in the world running a campaign. Who cares? She‘ll do light years better than Harry Reid who‘s been a miserable failure.
SCHULTZ: Jack, what do you think?
RICE: Oh come on. It‘s not about being slick, it‘s not about being polished. Just answer the questions. If you‘re going to stand up and say look, I‘m a practical pragmatist, I understand the world, let‘s talk about the real problems, what‘s hard about that and especially when it‘s your own news conference. Everybody comes there to ask questions. You should be expected to answer those questions and what you do is run for the hills? Really? That‘s the best you got? I mean, now you got Michael Steele and her together, that‘s a hell of a party. Bring it on.
SCHULTZ: All right. Now we‘ve got the democrats who were talking the public option again in the House. Jan Schakowsky is one of the representatives who‘s bringing forth the public option using again the Congressional Budget Office projection that it‘s going to save money. Scott, you‘re concerned about the deficit. If the CBO says that there‘s no doubt that the public option would reduce the cost of health care in this country to the tune of $68 billion, why not give it a shot? Why wouldn‘t republicans support it?
HENNEN: Well, first of all, the republicans aren‘t going to run supporting more government and health care. But I‘m not surprised whatsoever that again, democrats are talking about the public option because of course, we know all along that‘s been the plan in some way. When you have Donald Berwick heading up the senators for Medicaid and Medicare services talking about his love affair with the public run health care like they have in Britain, I guess, I‘m not surprised. But again, it probably only saves money according to the Obama care plan which is horrible which even the Congressional Budget Office says is ridiculous which is why the American people don‘t want this, they want it repealed. They can‘t stand it. It‘s got to go. I think, it‘s another example of how Obama and the democrats have failed on health care reform so far.
SCHULTZ: Well, actually, the Congressional Budget Office said that the current health care bill that just passed will save money, about a trillion dollars over the next ten years. Just jump change I guess. All right. Jack, your response. Why are the democrats going down the road of the public option? Are they trying to energize the base that they‘re going to continue to reform this thing as they go along if they maintain the power in the House and the Senate?
RICE: Oh, it‘s fascinating to me when we think what the Congressional Budget Office says. I mean, at first, Scotty says, he agrees with what they said. And now he disagrees on what they said. So, in other words, he‘ll accept the numbers so long as they fit whatever it is he‘s pushing, whatever it is that the GOP is pushing, but when they say something else, all of a sudden it‘s irrelevant. I mean, wait a second. We‘re about fiscal responsibility or we‘re not. The Bush administration drove this country into a ditch. It‘s the Obama administration trying to pull it out. And if we‘re talking about numbers, let‘s accept them for what they are, whether you like it or not. Hey, I‘m willing to do that, Scotty come on, how about a little something, a little love, you and me, baby, come on.
HENNEN: Let me get this straight, Jack. More government and health care saves money? Yes, right, buddy. You didn‘t spend enough time in Minnesota. You‘re getting corrupted by being in Washington, D.C. too long. That‘s crazy talk.
RICE: I‘m right here in Minneapolis, my brother. That‘s where I am, right here in the heartland.
SCHULTZ: Jack Rice, Scott Hennen, good to have you guys with us tonight. Have a great weekend. Coming up, the CEO of Massey Energy. This guy will make you throw up. He seems to have no regret about the 29 miners killed while working in his mine. I‘ve got something to say about that next. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And it‘s not too late to take our tech survey question tonight. I want to know if you agree with Congressman Alan Grayson. Does the right wing media try to instill fear in the left? Text A for yes, text B for no to 622639. Results coming up. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And in my Playbook tonight, the CEO of Massey Energy says, he has no guilt about the 29 miners killed while working in one of his mines. Don Blankenship has no shame. He spoke to the National Press Club in Washington yesterday. Here‘s what he said when asked if he felt guilty about the deadly tragedy at his mine.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DON BLANKENSHIP, MASSEY ENERGY CEO: I think that the word guilty is, you know, is not the right word. I feel that you know, I don‘t want to experience it again. I feel sorry for the families. I feel concern for our current workers. I feel motivated to try to figure out what happened. And try to prevent it from happening again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Not only did he not take any responsibility, but he tried to make the case, the government‘s safety regulations are what makes mines unsafe.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BLANKENSHIP: We reduced the number of accidents at Massey over the past 20 years by 90 percent. We‘re very frustrated that many times the technical competence of the government inspectors is far less than the technical competence of our engineers. And many times, our engineers are overruled by the engineers of MSHA and other places. We believe that the ventilation systems being dictated on us by the government in many ways are less safe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: For more on this story, let‘s bring in Daniel Kane with the United Mine Workers of America. Mr. Kane, the past 20 years, they‘ve reduced the accidents by more than 90 percent? I thought that this particular mine had been just listed a plethora of infractions against it that were never addressed by the company. Who‘s telling the truth? What‘s happening here?
DANIEL KANE, UNITED MINE WORKERS OF AMERICA: Well, the truth certainly isn‘t being told by Don Blankenship. And I‘m not surprised that he doesn‘t feel guilty about his record over the last ten years. First off, to feel guilt, I guess you have to have a conscience and certainly Don Blankenship is devoid of any conscience. The terrible tragedy that‘s happening in the mining industry right now, it‘s time somebody points out, it‘s all happening on the non-union side because the workers there are not able to stand up for their own safety without some kind of repercussions. They know especially at Massey that if they speak out and demand safe working conditions, they‘ll be fired. Meanwhile, the companies are making record amounts of money. And there‘s no incentive for them to push safety. They push production first. And it‘s time that that has to stop.
SCHULTZ: Mr. Kane, when I saw that interview earlier today, when I saw that, the first thing I thought, well, they‘re back to business as usual and nobody‘s doing anything. What do you make of it?
KANE: Well, I think it‘s time that people who are endangering other people‘s lives, who are causing deaths by breaking the law are held accountable. When you force someone to break the law and that results in a death, that‘s negligence homicide. You go to jail for that. It‘s time we get tough on bad actors like Don Blankenship. We don‘t fine people for causing killings in this country. We put them in jail, and it‘s time that we get tough on people like Don Blankenship and companies like Massey.
SCHULTZ: But as the way they operate today, it doesn‘t sound like there have been changes whatsoever. What about that?
KANE: Well, first off, let‘s wait and see what happens out of this investigation. But, you are right. They seem to go on as usual. These big corporations are so powerful that they continue to break the law with impunity whether it comes to organizing or anything else. They can get away with it. It‘s time that have has to stop. The needs of the workers have to be put first. Workers health and safety has to come first.
SCHULTZ: Basically, what I‘m hearing you say Mr. Kane is that this tragedy that took place at this mine in West Virginia really hasn‘t changed anything. It‘s awfully sad that it happened to 29 families. But really, it‘s back to business as usual. And all these talk the Congress was doing, there really has not been much change at all. And now, it‘s almost as if Mr. Blankenship is mounting the offensive in this defense to the media by showing up at the National Press Club saying, “I don‘t feel guilty, that‘s not the right word.” How do you feel about that?
KANE: Well, what he‘s trying to do is change the subject. He can‘t defend his safety record, so he changes the subject and he tries to blame other people. It‘s not MSHA‘s fault, it‘s not the government‘s fault and it‘s not the media‘s fault. It‘s his fault. He is running that coal mine and it‘s his responsibility to see that it operates safely. I will also say that it is the government‘s responsibility to stiffen enforcement and pass good laws, we have to have good enforcement. But I‘ll tell you what, Don Blankenship can‘t duck the blame on this one, he‘s the CEO of that company. He could have shut that mine down anytime he thought it was unsafe and he didn‘t.
SCHULTZ: Mr. Kane, Daniel Kane, United Mine Workers of America.
Good to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much.
A couple of pages, final pages in the Playbook tonight. Tropical storm Bonnie was just downgraded to a tropical depression. But it‘s headed straight towards the BP‘s spill side in the gulf. The storm is expected to heat the area early Sunday morning. Ships are heading back to shore, including the rig drilling the relief well. It will delay plugging the well an extra 12 days.
Also, watch out Senator Waterloo. The fun just doesn‘t stop with South Carolina‘s newest candidate for senate. Take a look at Alvin Greene‘s newest approved message.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
When I say Alvin, you say Greene. Alvin Greene. When I say Alvin, you say Greene. Alvin Greene for senator. Let‘s talk about the issues one time, if you don‘t think it‘s cool enough, he‘s going to give lots of money to the schools and stuff, he loves family and lives with his mom and dad, and Jim DeMint should be ready to lose.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: I‘ll tell you what? If this guy wins, it is going to revolutionize campaigns in America. Coming up, Shirley Sherrod, Bill O‘reilly, and Sarah Palin, all made the news this week. Stephanie Miller. Stay with us. She can‘t refudiate that, in Club Ed, next. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: If it‘s Friday, it‘s time for Club Ed with nationally syndicated radio talk show host Stephanie Miller and my little sister in the radio business. Great to have you with us, Stephanie.
All right. Yes. Let‘s talk about Shirley Sherrod. She becomes a celebrity this week in what they‘re calling a teaching moment. What do you make all of this?
STEPHANIE MILLER, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Well, you know, they are saying, she‘s still considering this. What are they calling it a unique position. If they have called me and I would have said, you know what? You are in a unique position to kiss my black ass. That‘s what I would have said. That‘s probably why I‘m not offered positions like that. You know, and I‘m with you, and I think democrats ought to boycott FOX News. And I would, if they aren‘t boycott FOX News, if they hadn‘t already banned me. But I just want you to know, I‘m with you on that.
SCHULTZ: All right.
All right. Sarah Palin compared herself to William Shakespeare when she makes up the word, refudiate. What‘s next? Refudiate, misunderestimate. Win up. English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words, too. Got to celebrate it. Are we celebrating this, Stephanie?
MILLER: Ed, we can‘t call her Caribou Barbie anymore. We must call her the Caribou bard at this point. She, yes, at least she‘s united the entire world. I‘m sure Muslim‘s would refudiate the mosque ground here Ed, if any idea what she meant by that. I think, she‘s united the whole world and everyone finally going, wow, this woman is an idiot.
SCHULTZ: Well, there‘s another one out there too, her name is Sharron Angle. She calls a press conference, and then she runs from the media. What do you make of it?
MILLER: Well, I don‘t think she‘s going to make much of a senator, Ed. But I think, if there‘s no doping scandal, the Olympics might be an option for her. I think we might be seeing the next Mary Ann Jones.
SCHULTZ: Speaking of sports, O‘reilly, Beck and Geraldo go to a Yankees game this weekend and somehow they ended up in the front row. How in the heck did they ever manage that, Steph?
MILLER: Oh, Ed, you know, if ever there was a time I wish the Yankees would bring back fat day and give a bunch of drunken New Yorkers bats, that would have been the day.
SCHULTZ: Stephanie Miller, nationally syndicated radio talk show host. Great to have you with us tonight on THE ED SHOW and Club Ed. Thanks so much for joining us.
MILLER: Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Tonight, in our text survey, I asked you, do you agree with Congressman Alan Grayson that right wing media tries to instill fear in the left. Eighty eight percent of you said yes, 12 percent of you said no.
That‘s THE ED SHOW. I‘m Ed Schultz. For more information on THE ED SHOW. Go to ed.msnbc.com or check out my radio website at wegoted.com. You can catch my radio show noon to 3:00, Monday through Friday on XM 167.
“HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews starts now. We‘ll see you Monday right back here on THE ED SHOW. Have a great weekend.
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