updated 7/27/2010 9:44:16 AM ET 2010-07-27T13:44:16

Guests: Howard Dean, Tony Blankley, Jeffrey Breit, Mort Zuckerman, Joe
Madison, Scott Hennen, John Soltz

ED SCHULTZ, HOST:  Good evening, Americans, and welcome to THE ED SHOW tonight from New York.
These stories are hitting “My Hot Buttons” at this hour.

Howard Dean says Fox News coverage of the Shirley Sherrod story was absolutely racist.  But even now, Newt Gingrich is refusing to apologize to her. 
My commentary on that, plus reaction from Governor Dean coming up in a moment.  And I‘ll have another go-around with Newt‘s former press secretary, Tony Blankley.  His guy Newt is dead wrong on this one big time. 
Wall Street fat cats think President Obama is anti-business.  He should wear it as a badge of honor.  I‘ll take on business tycoon Mort Zuckerman in the “Battleground Story” tonight. 
And the Senate, well, I guess you could say is the known place for where good ideas go to dry.  House progressives are going ballistic on the Senate and why they‘re not taking action on all those bills.  Congressman Raul Grijalva, head of the Progressive Caucus, sounds off in the “Playbook” tonight. 
But this is the story that has me fired up to start our program tonight.  Newt Gingrich and his allies at Fox News are on a seek and destroy character assassination against President Obama and the Democrats. 
Six days after recklessly throwing Shirley Sherrod under the bus without any facts, Newt was back at it.  He was back at it again, and you guess it, on “Fox News Sunday.”  This time he has his sights set on President Obama. 
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NEWT GINGRICH, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR:  A fair case can be made that this administration acted with destructive irresponsibility in the way that they fired her. 
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ:  Take a look at how destructively irresponsible Newt was when he attacked Sherrod the night the story broke. 
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GINGRICH:  Firing her after that kind of viciously racist attitude was exactly the right thing to do.  And the fact that we have to be genuinely color blind, you can‘t be a black racist any more than you can be a white racist. 
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ:  Was that a 180?  Chris Wallace asked Newt if he wanted to apologize for being irresponsible.  Got a classic Newtster answer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GINGRICH:  Remember, I was operating in the context of the secretary of Agriculture having summarily fired her, and therefore there was no reason to disbelieve the clip.  And what you see was one more example of the Obama administration‘s continuing incompetence. 
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ:  So you accept Breitbart as a journalist. 
Gingrich has zero credibility on this issue, and he isn‘t man enough to apologize to an innocent woman he smeared on national television. 
The only continuing incompetence in this story belongs to Fox News and the rest of the conservative media for trying to convince you, the viewer, that Barack Obama has a deep-seated hatred for white people. 
Howard Dean went into their own foxhole and gave it right back to them. 
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HOWARD DEAN, FMR. DNC CHAIRMAN:  Let‘s just be blunt about this.  I don‘t think Newt Gingrich is a racist, and you‘re certainly not a racist.  But I think Fox News did something that was absolutely racist. 
They took—they had an obligation to find out what was really in the clip.  They had been pushing a theme of black racism with this phony Black Panther crap and this business, and Sotomayor and all this other stuff. 
I think you‘ve got to be very—the Tea Party called out their racist fringe, and I think the Republican Party has got to stop appealing to its racist fringe.  And Fox News is what did that. 
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ:  Well, Chris Wallace broke out the Fox talking point to defend the right-wing network‘s coverage. 
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS:  I know facts are inconvenient things, but let‘s try to deal with the facts.  The fact is that the Obama administration fired or forced Shirley Sherrod to quit before her name had ever been mentioned on Fox News Channel. 
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ:  Fox wants you to believe when Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack jumped the gun, that it gave them just free rein to use an edited clip to paint the Obama administration as a bunch of closeted African-American radicals. 
Newt and his buddies Beck and Hannity have pushed the fringe to believe that President Obama has a hidden agenda to destroy white America.  They desperately have tried to scare little old white ladies that the Black Panthers are just out to get them across the board. 
Howard Dean nailed it.  Fox News did exactly—what they did was absolutely racist during the Shirley Sherrod story.
Until Newt Gingrich shows the guts to apologize, he‘s no better than “Slant Head” or Andrew Breitbart.  Sources don‘t matter.  It‘s the mission that is so important.  It‘s the mission to destroy the progressive movement in this country. 
That‘s their agenda over there.  And that was the theme, one of the themes of my talks at the Nation Netroots national conference the other night in Las Vegas. 
Democrats, we cannot be afraid to tell it like it is.  Fighting fire with fire with 99 days to go to make sure Americans make the correct choice is really what it‘s going to take, all hands on deck.  And every time they state something that is false, or every time they try to position the Obama administration as nothing but a bunch of radicals, if we sit here and just take that stuff, then we‘re going to have an outcome that‘s not good for America. 
They are out to destroy the progressive movement in this country at all costs.  And if they have to play the race card to do it, any morsel of information, they‘ll find somebody like a Breitbart that will twist up the tape and slant it out there, and that‘s really what they do best. 
Get your cell phones out.  I want to know what you think.
Tonight‘s text survey question is: Do you believe Newt Gingrich has the character and judgment to lead this country?  Text “A” for yes, text “B” for no to 622639.  We‘ll bring you the results later on in the show. 
And the big thing about this is this: Fox is masterful at finding people like Newt to back up anything they throw out there.  It‘s like a machine.  And in this information culture that we have, give it to me fast, make it easy for me to understand, don‘t bore me with the details, it‘s just unfortunate that so many Americans just suck it up carte blanche and say, oh, it‘s easier just to listen and think it. 
We‘ve got to be better than that as Americans. 
Joining me now is Governor Howard Dean, former chairman of the DNC. 
Governor Dean, good to have you with us tonight here on THE ED SHOW. 
Thanks so much. 
You had yesterday -- 
DEAN:  Good to be back.  Thanks.
SCHULTZ:  You bet. 
You had a very aggressive nature yesterday.  And I think a lot of people across this country who are liberals were saying it‘s about time. 
Is this what the Democrats have to do to hold the majority in the midterm, in your opinion? 
DEAN:  Yes, we have nothing to be ashamed of.  The truth is that the stimulus package has saved a ton of jobs, that the Bush economy, recession, would be much worse without the stimulus package. 
The truth is that the president has a very good, for example, environmental record.  He signed the first executive order in the history of the country requiring the federal government, most of it, to comply with Kyoto.  The truth is the Wall Street package didn‘t go as far as a lot of people wanted, but it is much further than the Republicans wanted.  And the truth is we dug a deep hole by Bush and these very same people who want to go back to the Bush agenda. 
And we‘ve got a lot to be proud of, and we ought to stand up and be proud of it. 
SCHULTZ:  No doubt.
So do you think that the conservatives and the conservative broadcasters are going to play the race card any chance they get because of some of the successes you think that President Obama and his team has had?  What do you think? 
DEAN:  Sure, they always do.  And by the way, you know, I happen to like Chris Wallace, but he was really not being exactly accurate when he talked about we didn‘t say one word about this before the secretary of Agriculture fired her. 
The fact of the matter is they were pushing this story very, very hard all day.  It may be true that they didn‘t mention her name, but they sure did run the tape without mentioning her name.  And they cranked up this story after getting this piece of junk from Breitbart, which any third grader could of told you was cut off. 
SCHULTZ:  So is Fox News racist in what they do?  You said that Chris Wallace is not, but --  
DEAN:  Sure they are. 
SCHULTZ:  OK.
DEAN:  No, I don‘t think Chris is.  I like Chris.  I wouldn‘t go on his show if I didn‘t think he was a decent guy. 
But the fact of the matter is, what Fox News is doing is inflaming racial hatred.  They have this story line of black racism tolerated by the Obama administration.  Their anchors do it, all kinds of people do it.  In fact, Fox News is not news at all, it‘s propaganda. 
SCHULTZ:  Looking forward, why do Democrats go on Fox News?  What do they gain from it? 
DEAN:  Well, you know, there‘s a debate about that which I think is legitimate.  I go on because I like Chris and I think he‘s a straight shooter, even though he does occasionally have to mouth the propaganda that Ailes tells him to.  But I think he‘s a good guy.
I think other Democrats sometimes go on it because they do have an audience, and we need to talk to that audience.  It‘s really sort of like the 50-state strategy.  If you never talk to people, then they get to believe all that nonsense they see on Fox every day.  So I do think—even though I don‘t do it myself except for the shows -- 
(CROSSTALK)
SCHULTZ:  So you think that—so wait a minute.  You think that Democrats, liberals have to go on Fox to be successful? 
DEAN:  No, I don‘t think so, and I think it‘s sort of a matter of conscience.  I don‘t criticize people like myself who pretty much refuse except for Chris, nor do I criticize Democrats who decide to go on. 
I think everybody has to make that choice for themselves.  There‘s things to be said in favor of talking to the Fox audience, and there‘s also things to be said staying off the programs run by bullies. 
SCHULTZ:  Governor Dean, good to have you with us tonight.  Thanks for being aggressive on this issue.  They play the race card every chance they possibly can. 
I appreciate your time tonight.
DEAN:  Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ:  You bet.
For more, let me bring in Tony Blankley, a syndicated columnist.  He was a long time ago press secretary for former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich.
And Newt really is the issue.  Why does Newt always feel like he has to comment to prop up a Fox story?  I mean, there‘s a real pattern here, in my opinion.
What do you think, Tony?
TONY BLANKLEY, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST:  Well, Ed, we have a pretty interesting pattern.  In this last week—let me just review the bidding (ph) briefly.
In the last week, the NAACP accused the Tea Party of being racist. 
Breitbart accused the NAACP and maybe Shirley Sherrod of being racists. 
Shirley Sherrod accused the Republicans and Breitbart of being racists. 
The mainstream media accused Breitbart.
Howard Dean, former governor, your recent guest, accused Fox of being racist.  The secretary of Agriculture accused Shirley Sherrod of being racist.  And, of course, Spencer Ackerman, on the Journolist that got released last week, suggested accusing Fred Barnes and Karl Rove of being racists. 
What we have here is an (INAUDIBLE).  Everybody is calling everybody racist.  And by doing so, they‘re diminishing the impact of the charge, rooting (ph) it for when there‘s a real need to accuse somebody honestly of racism.  And I think it‘s been a farcical but entertaining week. 
SCHULTZ:  OK.  I understand where you‘re coming from on all of that, but I‘m coming from a leadership position. 
What you say is true, all of that was going back and forth.  But who started it in a leadership position on opening night of this full volley of racism?  It‘s Newt Gingrich, who wants to be the president of the United States. 
BLANKLEY:  Well—
SCHULTZ:  I mean, when does the Republican Party take on the role of leadership and talk about solutions for America instead of throwing fuel on the fire that they always seem to start over there? 
BLANKLEY:  I‘m not sure what you mean by leadership.  I mean, we strongly believe the White House encouraged the NAACP to make the first charge against the Tea Party. 
Last year, Speaker Pelosi accused the Tea Party of being Nazis.  Steny Hoyer, the Democratic majority leader, accused them of being un-American. 
SCHULTZ:  Well, look at their signs.  But Tony, look at their signs.  They allow these signs to show up and they don‘t tell anybody to take them down.  They have operated in many respects -- 
BLANKLEY:  Oh, they do try to take them down. 
SCHULTZ:  -- irresponsibly. 
BLANKLEY:  My only point is this charge has been going back and forth and back and forth, and I don‘t know that we‘re illuminating the American political scene very intelligently. 
SCHULTZ:  I totally agree.  I totally agree.  We‘re not making any progress when you‘ve got people who want to be in a leadership position like Newt Gingrich that just regurgitate all of the bullet points and support anything that Fox throws out there when it‘s not substantiated and he doesn‘t vet the story. 
Now, there is another component to this.  Does the White House have a race problem? 
Jim Clyburn was quoted in a story by Maureen Dowd in an op-ed in “The New York Times.”  He says, “I don‘t think a single black person was consulted before Shirley Sherrod was fired.  I mean, come on.  The president is getting hurt real bad.  He needs some black people around him.”
What do you make of this? 
BLANKLEY:  I saw Maureen Dowd‘s piece.  It was hysterical.  I mean, the fact that our first black president, she alleges, needs -- 
SCHULTZ:  Hysterical? 
BLANKLEY:  I mean, she was being funny, obviously.  The fact that our first black, president genuinely black, not Bill Clinton simply by Tony Morrison saying he was, but our really first black president needs more black people to tell him how to be black, whatever that means?  I think that‘s—I mean, it‘s silly. 
Of course, he needs to have the most able staff of all races that he can put together.  And frankly, he started off this his presidency in an admiral position.  He got a higher vote from the white votes than John Kerry did. 
He started off with less racial division in this country on a presidential election basis than we‘ve seen in modern times and probably ever.  And yet, it‘s degenerated to this discussion we‘ve had in the last few weeks. 
SCHULTZ:  Well, you know, this president has reached out to Fox. 
BLANKLEY:  He has.
SCHULTZ:  He did an interview with them in the time period of this show.  He‘s done everything he possibly can, has allowed them to have access just like everybody else.  But they keep purporting the race card, and they have an agenda to destroy the liberal movement in this country. 
That is what they‘re all about, Tony.  And you know that. 
I‘m out of time.  I‘ve got to run.  I enjoyed talking to you.
BLANKLEY:  I saw him on the O‘Reilly show.  He was very fairly treated on O‘Reilly. 
SCHULTZ:  And O‘Reilly apologized for all of the shenanigans that‘s going on. 
BLANKLEY:  No, I mean last year when he did the interview.
SCHULTZ:  O‘Reilly did apologize. 
Tony, good to have you with us.  We‘ll do it again. 
BLANKLEY:  Good to be here.
SCHULTZ:  Coming up, self-appointed “Psycho Talker” Tom Tancredo, he‘s going rogue on his fellow Republicans and wreaking havoc out West.  I‘ll show you what he‘s up to and get “Rapid Fire Response.” 
Michele Bachmann and “Smoky” Joe Barton can‘t keep losing sleep about a BP shakedown. 
The pay czar has got writer‘s block when it comes to cutting the checks.  Really?
And a top attorney suing BP has a plan to twist arms tomorrow.  He‘ll sound off. 
All that, plus a Republican congressman is talking about seceding from the union.  Again? 
And billionaire Mort Zuckerman and I will go head to head on the economy.  He thinks that President Obama is bad for business.  I don‘t think so. 
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.  Stay with us.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK)
SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW and thanks for watching tonight. 
BP CEO Tony Hayward may soon officially get his life back.  The company‘s board of directors met today to discuss a change in leadership, and reports suggest that Bob Dudley, the man currently in charge of BP operations in the Gulf, will replace Hayward this fall. 
Meanwhile, here‘s the story.  It seems that the folks who have seen their livelihoods devastated by the oil spill have yet to receive any money from the $20 billion escrow account because BP, well, they haven‘t funded it yet. 
The fund‘s administrator, Ken Feinberg, told Gulf residents he hasn‘t made any payments because he doesn‘t want the checks to bounce.  What about the shakedown?  What about the deal?  Where is it? 
This was a 10-day story.  The conservatives were just ripping into the president because he shook down BP.  We‘re back to the basics, folks—show me the money. 
Joining me now is Jeffrey Breit, a lawyer representing more than 500 fishermen in the Gulf region. 
Mr. Breit, good to have you with us tonight. 
JEFFREY BREIT, ATTORNEY REPRESENTING GULF FISHERMEN:  Thanks for having me back, Ed. 
SCHULTZ:  You can‘t get any more of a serious source on this story than the guy who‘s supposed to be overseeing, writing the checks out to the folks who have been hammered by this situation, and that‘s Mr. Feinberg. 
How frustrating is this for your clients? 
BREIT:  Well, it was helpful to have him jump on the bandwagon because we‘ve been yelling and screaming at people that just don‘t seem to want to listen. 
On Friday, they sent us $1,000 checks when BP, it looks like the head‘s going to get about $15 million to $20 million to go to Siberia.  And so we‘re wondering, when is this fund going to get funded and when are my clients going to start seeing money?  I would like to think in the next 30 days we‘ll get some money coming down here to the Gulf. 
SCHULTZ:  Well, it‘s supposed to be $5 billion in installments over the next several years that equal up to $20 billion.  They‘re being awfully tight with the dollar, yet they‘re running all of these television commercials—and I‘m sure that your clients are seeing this stuff—about how hard they‘re working in the Gulf. 
But it really comes down to restitution to them, doesn‘t it? 
BREIT:  Well, the public relations campaign by BP, while my people are suffering, is very frustrating.  I hear it every day on the telephone.
We want the money to be funded.  BP had promised they weren‘t going to change the system when Feinberg took over—or at least until he took over.  And immediately, on July 7th, they changed the system and how people were going to get paid. 
And when people are making their paycheck-to-paycheck lives get through, they can‘t do it anymore, it‘s a real problem and it‘s very frustrating.  And until the courts decide what we can do, all we can do is scream at the moon right now. 
SCHULTZ:  Do they badmouth President Obama?  I mean, the folks have got to be down there thinking, you know, where is the deal, where is the escrow account? 
This got a lot of publicity.  It was called a shakedown by one political party, and of course the Democrats have been saying we‘re going to make these people whole. 
What takes so long? 
BREIT:  Well, unfortunately, it‘s very, very frustrating when you have families who are trying to put food on their table.  And so they get mad at BP.  And it‘s easy to get mad at BP because of this public releases campaign. 
But there is a lot of frustration at the president and at the legislature, but the legislature can‘t do anything.  The White House can‘t do anything until BP puts this money in play.  I would like to think that Feinberg, after this Friday, will put the $20 billion in play and we can start this process, a meaningful way to get people back, at least to have some food on the plate. 
SCHULTZ:  And there are very few legal options that you have.  Is that fair enough to say?  I mean, we‘re finding out what it takes to bring down a multinational to its knees and do restitution.  That‘s what we‘re looking at.
BREIT:  Well, the legal process has been held up until this Thursday.  We‘re all going to Boise, Idaho, to argue where this case is going to be heard. 
It will either go to New Orleans or Houston, most likely.  And once it gets assigned to a judge, which I imagine will happen in the next week, then the judges will be here, then the courts will be here, and then things will move a lot faster, trust me. 
SCHULTZ:  Mr. Breit, good to have you with us tonight.  Thanks so much.
BREIT:  Thanks a lot.  Appreciate it. 
SCHULTZ:  And I do want to say that the political component to all of this, folks, just like President Bush had his issues with Katrina, I mean, President Obama could be facing a political downslide if he doesn‘t get this thing squared away. 
I mean, no word from the White House today about—that I could hear from when it comes to the $20 billion.  Where is the money?  Why is it taking so long? 
And you would think that the Republicans would be wanting to get these people‘s lives straight financially after what they‘ve been through.  It‘s not their fault. 
Coming up, after sprinting away from cameras, Nevada Tea Party candidate Sharron Angle may have traded in her running shoes for a pair of flip-flops.  She‘s just reversed direction on a major issue, and that just bolts her down right on into the “Zone.” 
That‘s next.  Stay with us. 
(COMMERCIAL BREAK)
SCHULTZ:  And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle is making “The Chicken Lady” she defeated in the primaries actually look pretty good right now. 
Talking Points Memo reports at a conservative blog convention this weekend, Angle denied she called for an end to Social Security saying, “I‘ve never said I want to eliminate.  I always said I want to save Social Security by paying back.”
Whatever all that means. 
The problem is, Sharron Angle, that‘s a flat-out lie. 
Here‘s what she said back in May during a Republican primary debated. 
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHARRON ANGLE ®, NEVADA SENATORIAL CANDIDATE:  -- that we need to phase Medicare and Social Security out in favor of something privatized. 
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ:  “Phase out” Social Security is just another word for eliminating it. 
So, Sharron, either Talking Point Memos—either they‘re lying or you‘re lying, and I know which organization I‘m putting my money on. 
Sharron Angle claiming she never called for the elimination of Social Security is blatantly false “Psycho Talk.”  
Coming up, Michael Steele is officially—well, he‘s out of his mind, I guess.  Guess who he‘s got signed up for an RNC fund-raiser?  Andrew Breitbart? 
Hey, Michael, you might want to rethink this one, big guy. 
Major moguls like Steve Forbes and Mort Zuckerman have accused the president of being anti-business.  I want to know why.  Mort and I are going to be duking it out in just a minute on is this story. 
All that, plus Jim Webb, the senator from Virginia, wants to end affirmative action, Zach Wamp is talking about seceding from the union, and I‘ll show you the tape of a jet pilot narrowly escaping death in the “Playbook.”
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.
Stay with us. 
(COMMERCIAL BREAK)
SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.  The Battleground story tonight, business leaders are blaming the Obama administration for the sluggish economy, that‘s despite the fact that Wall Street is in the middle of its best month in a year.  The Dow is up again today.  It closed up 100 points to end at 10,500.  That looks pretty good, isn‘t it?  A lot of complaints from the business community focus on the president‘s anti-Wall Street rhetoric saying, it‘s taken a toll on confidence.  That‘s what the business tycoons Steve Forbes and also Mort Zuckerman said on the Sunday show circuit when asked if President Obama is anti-business. 
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVE FORBES, BUSINESSMAN:  The president clearly is.  I mean, you can take excesses and tar the whole business community which is like taking election fraud and saying that‘s why we shouldn‘t have free elections.  He caricatures them.  
MORT ZUCKERMAN, “U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT” PUBLISHER:  They demonized the business world.  They‘ve blamed everything on the business world.  Frankly, I don‘t think that‘s accurate but more than that, it‘s counterproductive. 
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ:  Well, trying to hang the lack of business confidence on the president I think it‘s pretty unfair.  Big business is holding their money hostage hoping the Obama administration will give them Carte blanche the way the Bush administration did and they can do it whatever they want.  President Obama has been crystal clear from day one that we are not going to go back to the bubble economy built on monopoly money that caused this crash in the first place.  Mort Zuckerman, publisher of “U.S. News and World Report” and “The New York” daily news joins me now. 
Mr. Zuckerman, good to have you with us tonight.  I‘m curious, with all of the Wall Street numbers that are out there, JP Morgan, their profits up big-time, insurance companies are reporting you know, profits big time again this year.  How is that bad for business?  How do you see this?  
ZUCKERMAN:  Nobody says that that‘s bad for business.  Of course, it‘s not bad for business.  What‘s happened to all the big companies of America is that they‘ve been in a position to significantly reduce their costs.  And that amongst other things means cutting a lot of jobs in order to do that because they really, we‘re very concerned about what‘s going to happen and what was happening in the economy.  That‘s not what I was referring to before.  I think it is fair to say that it is the first time in at least since I‘ve been in business that all three major business organizations, the business roundtable, the chamber of commerce and most importantly,  the National Federation of Independent Business which represents small businesses, all came out very strongly against this administration and their policies.  So, you can‘t just ignore it because like it or not, when businesses invest, they don‘t invest for a week or month, they invest for several years.  And there is clearly an issue of confidence in this administration.  
SCHULTZ:  Mr. Zuckerman, you have quoted some pretty extremely conservative organizations.  The Chamber of Commerce never lines up with the way journals in this country.  The National Federation of Independent Business, they are about as right wing as you can possibly get.  The fact is that this president has set the table for growth and the big money people on Wall Street and the banks are tight with the dollar right now.  Don‘t you think?  I mean, what else can the president do?
ZUCKERMAN:  Look, with al due respect there, if you haven‘t paid attention to the degree to which the  president has demonized the business community and the financial world, then you haven‘t been paying attention to what he‘s been saying.  But then, you know, that‘s what he‘s been doing.  And all I‘m saying is that.  
SCHULTZ:  In what way?  What policies has he put in place that have demonized and strangled business when they‘re making big profits? 
ZUCKERMAN:  Well, excuse me.  Some of the businesses are making big profits, OK?  But, let‘s not just say that all businesses are making big profits when.  
SCHULTZ:  All the banks are making big money, Mr. Zuckerman, you know that.  
ZUCKERMAN:  Look, Ed.  I‘m got going to dispute to you, whether the banks are making.  I‘m just telling you, the business community, I travel a lot in that community.  I‘m just telling you, the business community really feels that they‘re being made the scapegoat for all the problems of the country.  And let me tell you what they are concerned about.  They are concerned about the huge increase in regulation, the cost of regulation, increased taxes, increased medical costs.  That these are serious issues for them and they do not get the feeling that there is—look, I work with the Clinton administration.  Bill Clinton raised taxes in the first year that he was there.  And raised—but he also tried to attack the deficit.  People didn‘t think that the Clinton administration was anti-business.  There is a reason why they think that this administration is anti-business because their rhetoric is so anti-business.
SCHULTZ:  But their actions, their actions have not hurt big business as big business continues to flourish.  
ZUCKERMAN:  I‘m not trying to defend big business.  I didn‘t say that, OK.  The big businesses are flourishing not on the basis of what the government is doing but on the basis of what business is doing.  The fact is their bottom line is doing better than their top line.  That is their revenue line is not increasing as much as they‘ve been able to cut costs.  That‘s been a part of the problem, the problem is when they cut costs, they cut people.  So, we have a huge level of unemployment.  
SCHULTZ:  And how they cut costs, they outsource jobs to other countries. 
ZUCKERMAN:  Look, of course, there is some outsourcing. 
SCHULTZ:  Some outsourcing?  
ZUCKERMAN:  Look, I‘m not going to have an argument with you over every word that I use, OK?  What business has done primarily is to cut costs.  Some of it is outsourcing, it‘s a small portion.  They‘ve been outsourcing for decades.  What we have done and we have seen the effects of it is they‘ve cut personnel because they were very worried about what was going to happen to their businesses, OK?  Their top line which is the revenue line has not grown nearly as much.  And that‘s the one that protects in a sense a lot of the employees that they‘ve had.  So, they‘ve been forced to do that.  Yes, they have done well, I don‘t disagree with that and Wall Street has done well but Wall Street isn‘t the whole business community.  
SCHULTZ:  It starts on Wall Street.  That‘s people‘s 401(k)s, that‘s their education.  That‘s their retirement.  That‘s the whole thing.  Wall Street does well, the middle class does well.  But the fact is big business in this country or however you want to call it has outsourced millions of jobs because of labor issues in this country.  They want cheap labor.  And to say that the Obama administration has done nothing to stop outsourcing.  Nothing. 
ZUCKERMAN:  But that‘s not.
SCHULTZ:  And they have given tax breaks to small businesses.  Whereas you say that this is going to hurt businesses, the health care reform that‘s gone on, the CBO says, that‘s going to save a trillion dollars over the next ten years.  But this conversation that the country‘s having, we‘re talking ourselves into some negativity when the administration hasn‘t done anything to hurt business, Mr. Zuckerman.  
ZUCKERMAN:  You know, you may not think so.  But somehow or other, the business community and I‘m talking all levels of business which employs after all 110 million people in this country, really do feel that there is a hostility coming out of Washington towards the business world and toward business activity. 
SCHULTZ:  Feel, they feel it.  
ZUCKERMAN:  I‘m sorry.  
SCHULTZ:  Feel, they feel it, they don‘t feel it in their pocket but they feel it.  
ZUCKERMAN:  A lot of businesses feel it in their pockets as well, and particularly the smaller and medium sized businesses.  And all I‘m saying to you is if feeling to you may not be important but confidence is a very important part of business decision making.  And you don‘t have to demonize.  I have said it‘s counterproductive.  I mean, I don‘t know why he‘s doing it.  Well, I do know why he‘s doing it, because it‘s good politics as they see it for the Obama administration.  I don‘t happen to agree with that.  I don‘t think it is good politics.  So this is my problem with it, OK?
SCHULTZ:  OK.
ZUCKERMAN:  I think it is counterproductive to the growth of the economy to do that.  And if you don‘t think that the business community doesn‘t feel that they‘re being, you know, attacked, I‘m just telling you, that isn‘t the case.  They do believe it.  
SCHULTZ:  OK.  They may believe that, Mr. Zuckerman.  
ZUCKERMAN:  Because they are.  
SCHULTZ:  But credit is tight.  Money is tight.  Small businesses getting money is a huge issue and Wall Street in my opinion, the bankers tight with the dollar because they want to see this president fail.  
ZUCKERMAN:  Oh, that‘s absolute nonsense Ed, well, it may be your view.  I mean, I‘ve worked with the...  
SCHULTZ:  I‘ve been around the country a little bit too and I can tell you exactly what small businesses are saying in this country.  Access to capital is a crucial component.  
ZUCKERMAN:  I agree.  There is a tightness because why?  Because the regulatory authorities have said to the banks, we want you to be very careful, how you lend your money because we have had a huge amount of defaults on loans that the banks have made.  So, they‘re being a lot very cautious on the one side, excuse me, on the one side the regulatory authorities are restraining them.  On the other side, the government of course, wants them to open the spigots and they‘re not doing that because they‘re very worried about the future of the economy.  That‘s where the level of confidence.  
SCHULTZ:  We are, we are all worried about the—Mr. Zuckerman.  
ZUCKERMAN:  That‘s where the issue of confidence becomes relevant.  
SCHULTZ:  OK.  
ZUCKERMAN:  And that‘s what you have to avoid if you‘re sitting there in Washington and you want to encourage the business community to invest.  And that‘s the way jobs are created. 
SCHULTZ:  The business community isn‘t investing because they want this president to fail.  Just my opinion.  Mr. Zuckerman, great to have you with us tonight.  I appreciate your time.  
Let‘s get some rapid fire response on some of our stories tonight from our panel.  Right wing Tennessee Congressman Zach Wamp has run into trouble running for the republican nomination for governor.  First he was talking up seceding from the country, now he‘s doing damage control. 
And right wing character assassin Andrew Breitbart will be the RNC‘s special guest at a major fund raiser with Michael Steele next month.  The RNC is sending out invitations boasting about Breitbart‘s appearance.  
And Democratic Senator Jim Webb of Virginia wades into the race wars, he‘s saying it‘s time we scrap some affirmative action programs. 
With us tonight, Joe Madison, XM Satellite radio talk show host and also Scott Hennen, conservative radio talk show host from Good old Fargo.  All right.  Let‘s talk first of all about what‘s going on in Tennessee, Joe.  
You‘ve got a guy named Zach Wamp and he says this, “I hope that the American people will go into the ballot box in 2010 and 2012 so that states are not forced to consider separation from the government.  Patriots like Rick Perry have talked about these issues because the federal government is putting us in an untenable position at the state level.”  Is this a fringe candidate or is this a mainstream candidate?  What do you think?  
JOE MADISON, XM SATELLITE RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  Well, he‘s obviously mainstream because of his party nomination.  He has fringe opinions.  I mean, to talk about seceding from the union, what does that mean, that I now have to get a passport to go to Memphis to get barbecue, I mean, the reality is that it‘s just wild talk to get attention, and it‘s part of the fringe discussion.  It really is.  And it should stop.  No one is taking such discussions seriously.  And if it happened, can you imagine how the investment in Tennessee would stop,  particularly with foreign autoworkers who are now looking and employing people in that state?
SCHULTZ:  And he backtracked of course.  He says, “Of course, we will not secede from the union but we will also not have a governor who will cave in to Barack Obama.”  What‘s the message here?  Scott Hennen. 
SCOTT HENNEN, CONSERVATIVE RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  Well, I think the message is one from the American people.  They‘re screaming.  They are tired of this.  I saw a new poll today, Rasmussen reports 58 percent of American people want a repeal of Obama care, they‘ve said it again and again.  The Obama administration ignored them, Pelosi, Reid.  The majority of democrats ignored them.  I think this is a venting by Zach Wamp on behalf of the American people who are screaming to say why are you not listening to us?  We don‘t want what you‘re selling.  And that‘s what he was saying.  And by the way, he said, if and I know he‘s back tracked now but he said, if we don‘t get change in 2010 and 2012.  I think we‘re going to get change big time.  
SCHULTZ:  Let‘s go to the RNC and raising money.  Scott Hennen, what about Andrew Breitbart, he‘s being treated almost like a hero by the right wing and they want to raise money with him.  What do you make of this?  You are cordially invited to the Republican National Committee‘s Election Countdown.  Is he an asset to the conservatives?
HENNEN:  Well, for one, I think Andrew Breitbart is a bit of a hero for this reason.  He is counter to the mainstream media and what you see in the evening newscasts and “The Washington Post” and “New York Times,” and all of the establishment media types.  Andrew Breitbart is very much a part of the new media, he‘s out there and running for that reason, he‘s not afraid to go out there.  By the way, I think, well no, I think, honestly his tape last week for instance on the Sherrod case, he was trying to say the NAACP is hypocritical.  Listen, all these people are jumping up and now they‘re cheering, obviously racist comments from this woman.  That‘s an example of the NAACP being racist. 
(CROSSTALK)
HENNEN:  So, I think, he is the bad guy.
SCHULTZ:  Joe, go ahead.  
MADISON:  Whew.  If there ever was a woman who showed this country what reconciliation is all about, here is a woman whose father was murdered and no one was held accountable.  I think his brother was lynched.  No one was held accountable.  And when anyone listened to the whole truth that whole tape, she talked about reconciliation.  
SCHULTZ:  So Joe, with that in mind, the RNC has decided to use this guy to raise money.  What do you think of it?
MADISON:  You know what?  I‘ve tried to defend Michael Steele but I tell you, I don‘t understand what the hell he is doing.  This guy should be discredited because I like the word that was used.  He‘s a bit of a hero.  There‘s no such thing as bit hero.  You either are or you aren‘t.  And he is not. 
SCHULTZ:  Gentlemen, we‘ll have to leave it there.  Joe Madison, Scott Hennen, good to have you with us tonight. 
Coming up, the Tea Party candidate out in Colorado, Ken Buck, has been talking some serious smack lately.  First, he made fun of an opponent for wearing high heel shoes.  Then he called a bunch of his own supporters, dumb asses.  I‘ll show you the tape, next in the Playbook.  Stay with us. 
(COMMERCIAL BREAK)
SCHULTZ:  And it‘s not too late to let us know what you think.  Tonight‘s text survey question is, do you believe Newt Gingrich has the character and judgment to lead this country?  Text A for yes, text B for no to 622639.  I got results coming up.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK)
SCHULTZ:  And in my Playbook tonight, the House of Representatives have passed a couple hundred bills that are not yet law because the senate, well, they just have failed to act on it.  Probably because the republicans, don‘t you think?  And members of the Congress are venting their frustrations.  In a panel discussion at the Netroots Nation on Las Vegas over the weekend, Congressman Chris Murphy called the senate‘s 60-vote requirement a, quote, “bastardization of the United States constitution.”  Congressman Tom Perriello also called the senate‘s failure to act on the jobs bill, “Soul Crushing,” I‘ll say and the chairman of the House Progressive Caucus, Congressman Raul Grijalva said, “The inertia in the senate is jeopardizing democrats and progressives opportunity in the midterms.”  Well, I have to say, after visiting with some of the folks out there at the Netroots Convention, confidence isn‘t real high right now because of comments like this.  Harry Reid spoke to him over the weekend, as well.  And this is what Harry had to say to the baser out there. 
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. HARRY REID (D), NEVADA:  There are times I‘m told that I get on your nerves. 
(APPLAUSE)
I‘m here to—I‘m here to tell you, you get on my nerves sometimes. 
(APPLAUSE)
But let‘s all understand, this country would be in a lot more trouble if we weren‘t around. 
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ:  So let me get this straight.  We have to support the democrats because the country will be a hell of a lot worse off if we don‘t.  Is that the best the democratic leadership has to offer the Netroots who just kicked ass for every democrat and progressive to get this majority?  The speech I gave was it‘s about time that the democratic leadership live up to what they say they‘re going to do.  Now, how do you go to the national convention, the Democratic National Convention and make universal health care a party platform?  And then when it‘s time to start the health care debate, well, we got to take universal health care.  We have to take that off the table.  Look, the democrats have done a hell of a job of negotiating against themselves for a long time and a lot of issues.  And they ended up going reconciliation anyway. 
So, they should have never taken it off the table.  The other side tries to manipulate voters and scare the hell out of them with fear tactics and I believe that the democrats don‘t stand up to that enough.  Communication skills is what it‘s all about.  The leadership team of the Democratic Party I think has done a very poor job up to this point.  Oh, we don‘t have the votes.  Go get them.  Well, we can‘t, you know, it‘s the Bush administration.  Wait a minute.  You got to create jobs.  You have to get this jobs bill done.  You have to sell to the American people that there‘s no doubt that the republicans have been in the way.  And Harry, you got to be more aggressive about it. 
And to tell the Netroots that, you know, well, gosh, you know, you kind of make me a little uneasy too or gosh, you just don‘t understand how this is all going, how you could feel about our leadership team no, they‘re frustrated.  And now the democratic leadership has got a real problem on their hands.  How do you motivate this base in the next 90 days?  Just running around saying, well, your options aren‘t as good as ours, that ain‘t going to cut it. 
A couple of final pages in the Playbook tonight.  A Canadian fighter Jet Pilot had a very close call last week during a training exercise gone wrong, it happened in Alberta, Canada, as the pilot was practicing a low speed low altitude maneuver, he lost control.  The plane crashed into the ground and burst into a spectacular fireball.  The pilot managed to eject just seconds before impact somehow.  He suffered only minor injuries and is expected to be just fine.
Also, our friend and psycho talk star Tom Tancredo is running for governor of Colorado.  The former congressman plans to switch parties and run for Governor on the American Constitution Party ticket.  He‘s going to register his new party affiliation with the Colorado secretary of state.  And his new party will form a vacancy committee to put him on the ballot.  He says that other republicans have no chance of winning.  So, he‘s jumping in. 
Coming up, an explosive report alleges Pakistan is in bed with the Taliban.  A top general says, the leak of thousands of classified documents has put the troops‘ lives in danger.  I‘ll get to the bottom of this with another great interview in just a moment here on THE ED SHOW.  Stay with us.    
(COMMERCIAL BREAK)
SCHULTZ:  And welcome back.  Finally tonight, nearly 100,000 documents leaked on the internet provided a stark picture of the United States war in Afghanistan.  And very troubling revelations about our alleged ally Pakistan, the most disturbing, the United States government may be indirectly funneling billions of dollars to the Taliban through aid to Pakistan.  All this as American troops continue to die in Afghanistan. 
Joining me now is Jon Soltz, Chairman of VoteVets.  If this isn‘t a morale killer, I don‘t know what is.  How are the troops going to receive something like this?  
JON SOLTZ, CHAIRMAN OF VOTEVETS:  Well, I mean, I think they‘re going to be concerned.  It depends on what‘s in these reports, supposedly thousands of pages.  So, if it‘s stuff that mentions names of troops who have been involved in investigations regarding civilian casualties, it‘s going to suck.  If it‘s talking about tactics and how we maneuver in regards to IEDs or what our procedures in these types of things, and how we help our casualties, that‘s also going to suck.  But also, I think when you start hearing about the Pakistani government and their implication with the Taliban, I think a lot of people who have been watching this situation and served over there have been the military, have been well aware of some of the complexities of what‘s really the difference on the ground versus what we‘re hearing back in the state...  
SCHULTZ:  Well, the circle here John is that we are giving money to the Taliban or to the Pakistan, our alleged ally.  They‘re cutting deals and filtering stuff to the Taliban who are killing American soldiers.  This is a vicious circle.  
SOLTZ:  Sure.  
SCHULTZ:  How do we stop this and it just underscores, we shouldn‘t be there in the first place.  
SOLTZ:  Yes, I mean, I don‘t think that‘s really big news today.  To be frankly honest, I mean, you can put all these troops into Afghanistan and control certain sectors of the terrain.  But when you look where the problems are in Afghanistan, you know, they have a direct relationship to the cities that they border in Pakistan.  So, I think, people who have served in the military, on the ground there, it‘s long been known that there‘s, you know, Pakistan likes to play both sides of the fence.  I mean, look, we have a timeline in place in Afghanistan.  Of course, the Pakistanis are going to have a relationship with the Taliban because they‘re not sure how long Karzai will stay in power.  
SCHULTZ:  John Soltz, we will have you back to talk more about this. 
SOLTZ:  Thanks.
SCHULTZ:  I appreciate your time tonight.  Tonight in our text survey question, I asked, do you believe Newt Gingrich has the character and judgment to lead this country?  Thirteen percent of you said yes, 87 percent of you said no. 
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 back here tomorrow night.  Have a good one. 
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