Guests: Howard Dean, Justin Coussoule, Joe Sestak, Tony Blankley, Sam
Stein, Scott Hennen, Philippe Cousteau, Eric Boehlert
ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans, and welcome to THE ED SHOW tonight from New York.
These stories on the table and hitting “My Hot Buttons” at this hour.
Now, by my count, Minority Leader John Boehner spent more than 74 days on the golf course last year. It would be dangerous to put this guy in a leadership position and give him the gavel.
My commentary on that, plus reaction from Howard Dean, and the Democrat who‘s running against Boehner in Ohio, coming up in just a moment.
Remember when the righties, they didn‘t want Al Franken in the Senate because he was on “Saturday Night Live”? Well, there‘s an explosive “GQ” report that alleges that Rand Paul‘s Saturday nights were anything but funny. We‘re talking abduction, drug use and a secret society.
We‘ve got “Rapid Fire Response” on all of that.
And Karl Rove, he was awesomely horrible today filling in for “The Drugster.” Totally confused, dazed, unprepared. And, of course, stumbling through all of his words.
What do you expect from “Bush‘s Brain”?
We‘ll play you the tape coming up in “Psycho Talk,” where it belongs.
But this is the story that has me fired up tonight.
The Democrats need to use two words to frame the midterms: “Speaker Boehner.” The House minority leader wants Americans to work longer, harder and cheaper than ever before. At the same time, he wants the richest Americans to keep every dime of the Bush tax cuts, but he has no idea how to pay for it.
David Gregory on “Meet the Press” yesterday pinned him down on the issue several times.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID GREGORY, HOST, “MEET THE PRESS”: How can you be for cutting the deficit and also cutting taxes as well when they‘re not paid for?
REP. JOHN BOEHNER ®, MINORITY LEADER: Listen, you can‘t raise taxes in the middle of a weak economy without risking a double dip in this recession.
GREGORY: But tax cuts are not paid for. Is that correct?
BOEHNER: I am not for raising taxes on the American people in a soft economy.
GREGORY: That‘s not the question, Leader Boehner. The question is --
BOEHNER: And the people that the president wants to tax—
GREGORY: -- are tax cuts paid for or not?
BOEHNER: Listen, what you‘re trying to do is get into this Washington game, and they‘re funny accounting over there.
GREGORY: Do you believe tax cuts pay for themselves or not?
BOEHNER: I do believe that we‘ve got to get more money in the hands of small businesses and American families to get our economy going again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Now, I have to say this: Boehner has no clue what he‘s talking about. All along, the Republicans have been talking about, well, if we keep the tax cuts where they are right now, it‘s going to create jobs, so that would mean that maybe the tax cuts would pay for themselves, because if it created more jobs you would have more money coming into the Treasury. The bottom line here is it‘s comical.
They don‘t have a clue what they want do. Boehner and his Tea Party mignons have been screaming about out-of-control government spending for the last 18 months. Now he wants to add billions of dollars to the debt, to your children‘s future, so he can protect his golfing buddies in the top two percent. Boehner is completely out of touch with working class Americans.
Justin Coussoule, the man running against Boehner, well, he hit the nail right on the head.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NARRATOR: Rounds of golf: 100-plus. Golf expenses: $83,000. Membership at all-male club: $75,000. Special interest travel including golf junkets: $159,000.
Raising the retirement age to 70 and voting to end unemployment benefits: priceless.
For those who want an out-of-touch pro golfer for a congressman, there‘s John Boehner. For everyone else, there‘s Justin Coussoule.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: If you want me to run that ad every night, you‘re going to have to send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. I think that is brilliant.
But now we know that the guy—why he‘s so tan. It‘s not the tanning beds. Heck, he‘s on the golf course every day.
I think Boehner—seriously, I think this guy‘s addicted to golf. He probably doesn‘t know how to pay for the Bush tax cuts because he‘s—well, he‘s just thinking about his next round. And that‘s how it is when you love that game.
But let‘s do some beginning math here if we can tonight.
Boehner golfed 119 rounds last year. It‘s kind of a lot, isn‘t it?
An average round takes about five hours.
That equals 595 hours of golf. An average workday is eight hours for most people, which means more than 74 workdays golfing last year? Wow.
The average worker puts in 260 days a year. That means Boehner spends about a third of his time working on his handicap, which, by the way, is registered with the USGA at 7.
Boehner isn‘t spending his time or money on municipal courses either. Last November, Politico reported that Boehner‘s political action committee named the Freedom Project spent over $20,000 at the Robert Trent Jones track in Gainesville, Virginia, an invitation-only private club, and $29,000, a little bit north of that, at the Jack Nicklaus-designed Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio.
Boehner is the poster child for just how out of touch the elite Republican Party is. And I want to se his bar tab along with all of this. You know how they have a couple cool ones after the round.
His cell phone records would be interesting because, of course, the Republicans would say he‘s in touch all the time. He‘s got texting and he‘s e-mails and whatnot, his cell phone.
Look, this is what the American people are paying for, and this guy wants to run the House? The only thing he‘s working on right now, folks, is his golf game. If he spent less time on the golf course and more on his job, maybe he could, you know, be a little deeper than this --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOEHNER: The only way we‘re going to get our economy going again and solve our budget problems is to get the economy moving.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: “Get the economy moving.” If “The Tan Man” puts down his pitching wedge and picks up the Speaker‘s gavel, it‘s going to be a gut shot to the middle class in this country. He‘s kicked the American worker in the teeth, let‘s see, on health care, on unemployment benefits, and now Boehner is whining about the fact that he‘s got to come back and work again. And oh, by the way, don‘t forget he wants you to work until you‘re 70 years old before you can dip into Social Security.
Now, this is the kind of leadership that, number one, is selfish; number two, out of touch and dangerous for this country. And this is what the Republicans want. That‘s the guy they want right there, a country-clubber.
And how many jobs has Ohio outsourced? How many jobs has Ohio lost?
This guy is the poster child for the Republican Party. And I think the Democrats have all the material in the world. And I find it absolutely disgusting that there‘s conservative Republicans in this country that are criticizing Michelle Obama‘s trip.
Why don‘t you give a little critique to what your minority leader is doing in the House? What‘s he doing with his time? Of course, his lifestyle is perfect now that the Supreme Court has said that he can go out and raise unlimited funds for anything he wants to do politically.
It fits the lifestyle, doesn‘t it?
Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think.
Tonight‘s text survey question is: Do you think John Boehner cares more about playing golf or helping Americans?
Text “A” for playing golf, text “B” for helping Americans to 622639.
I‘ll bring you the results later on in the show.
And why am I doing this story tonight? Because I think the American people, we as a country, deserve better.
And let me say this: I don‘t care if it‘s John Boehner, I don‘t care if it‘s Steny Hoyer, or the president of the United States who likes to swing the sticks every now and then. At this point in time in our history, the issues are too crucial. There are people suffering. That is not time well spent for $193,000 a year.
Mr. Boehner, I‘m going to back out of that town hall meeting, because your light, buddy. You‘re really, really light. I wouldn‘t gain anything by going to one of your town hall meetings.
We‘ll have his opponent coming up in just a few moments.
But joining me now is Howard Dean, former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, with us here on THE ED SHOW tonight.
Governor Dean, it would just seem to me—and you‘ve gotten more Democrats elected in the last two election cycles than we‘ve seen in a long time, in 2006 and 2008. It would seem to me that John Boehner is all the ammunition politically the Democrats need to pick up more seats.
Isn‘t this who they are?
HOWARD DEAN, FMR. DNC CHAIRMAN: Well, first of all, Ed, I think we ought to have you be the next chairman after Tim Kaine gets done of the DNC. That was quite a pacing you gave the Republicans. But it‘s true.
The fact of the matter is, they advocate for Wall Street, they advocate for the wealthiest Americans that they‘d like to give our tax money to while they take it away from people on Social Security. They advocate for all the people who are trying to hurt America and not for the people who are trying to help America. Not for the people who got hurt, but for the people who did the hurting, and they‘ve always been like that.
I think the president is on the right track campaigning now when he talks about, if you want to move the country forward, you put the car in D, if you want to move it backward, you put the car in R. Everybody gets that, and it‘s true.
This is not a referendum on the Democrats or even a referendum on Washington. This is about, who do you want to be in control? Do you want the people who drove us into the ditch, as the president says, in control, or do you want people whoa re trying to get us out of the ditch?
And I think we are getting out of the ditch. It‘s slow, it‘s tough. We got put in an awful bad spot here, and we‘re not going to get any better if we go back to where it was.
SCHULTZ: Governor, do you think the American people want to hear that, what you inherited, how it‘s happened? Is that old vernacular at this point?
What do you think?
DEAN: I think we don‘t want to the campaign solely on that, but I think we do have to remind them, because they know very well whose fault this is.
DEAN: So I do not think we ought to campaign on that. No, I don‘t.
I think we ought to the campaign on the things that we‘ve done:
financial reform, improving the health care system so more people can have some access to it, the stimulus package. We shouldn‘t be afraid of that. It saved 3.5 million jobs. The unemployment benefit extension for ordinary working people.
SCHULTZ: But Michael Steele says they‘re the party of the people. Michael Steele said just last week that the Republicans, they‘re the party of the people.
What would you do with that?
DEAN: They are. They‘re the party—you forgot one “p.” They‘re the party of the people in the penthouse.
SCHULTZ: Well, that‘s very true.
When you take a look at some of the things that you have been talking about, conviction politics, I hear you say this quite often.
SCHULTZ: What does this mean, that we have to go out and get people that are absolutely totally focused, tunnel vision on how to turn this thing around? And golfing and all this other sideshow stuff, it isn‘t going to work?
DEAN: The most important thing is to stand up for what you believe in. People want that more than anything.
I think the president has done himself and our party a lot of good in the last few weeks by going out there and really giving it to the Republicans Harry Truman style. Don‘t apologize. Don‘t make excuses for the fact that the stimulus wasn‘t perfect. Don‘t make excuses even for the fact that we have a big debt. If we hadn‘t done that, everybody who‘s watching that program complaining about it would be in the poor house right now, especially the Tea Party people.
So, don‘t make excuses for what you‘ve done. We‘ve done the best we can.
Have we made some mistakes? Yes, we sure have. But look at what the Republicans did to us. There‘s a big difference between doing the wrong thing and trying to do the right thing, and we‘ve tried to do the right thing.
SCHULTZ: We have.
Governor Dean, great to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much.
DEAN: Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Now let‘s bring in the politician running to unseat Boehner in November, Justin Coussoule, the Democratic candidate for Congress in Ohio‘s 8th District.
Mr. Coussoule, good to have you with us tonight.
JUSTIN COUSSOULE (D), CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: Good to be here, Ed.
SCHULTZ: You bet.
I want to tell our audience—sir, you can explain to our audience, what happened to your job?
COUSSOULE: Well, Ed, I worked at a corporate employer here in Cincinnati outside the district until May, and then I got sort of an ultimatum. And that was either stay in the race and lose your job, or drop out of the race and keep your job. So I‘m still in the race. There‘s nowhere I‘d rather be, and no task I think is more important for me right now.
SCHULTZ: You‘re a West Point graduate. You were a captain in the Army.
And is this pretty much a red district? Do you really have an uphill battle, as some people have told me today? How do you see it?
COUSSOULE: Well, you know, it‘s an uphill battle, Ed, but I‘m used to uphill battles. I‘ve never done anything easy in my life.
I wouldn‘t say it‘s a red district. It‘s an Independent district. By registration, 55 percent Independent. In Ohio, we call them unaffiliated.
SCHULTZ: OK. So by that, the dichotomy, you feel like you‘ve got a good shot.
You told me today on the radio that Mr. Boehner is not serving the people. Is that right?
COUSSOULE: Yes. I think, you know, amen to everything you said at the top of the show, Ed, in the lead-in. And where this is all relevant, all this golf and how much time he spends and how much he plays, you know, what this issue is about, what this race is about here in the district is as much about public service as it is about politics. And we lack a public servant here in the 8th District. We lack a voice in the House.
SCHULTZ: Is he out of touch with the constituents in the 8th District?
COUSSOULE: Absolutely. This is a district of working middle class people. This is a district that has cities like Hamilton and Middletown and Dayton. You know, places where we used to make the things that Americans bought and used in this country, a real manufacturing base, a real blue collar base. Not too many people that golf 119 times a year in the 8th District.
SCHULTZ: Are you offended by that?
COUSSOULE: Well, again, I think that it‘s what it says about where Mr. Boehner‘s head is at, and the policies and the party that he represents. You know, we need a laser focus on the working middle class and how we‘re going to move the country forward.
SCHULTZ: And you are that?
COUSSOULE: And the last thing—well, that‘s what this campaign is bringing. That‘s what we‘re talking about. We‘re going out there and meeting the voters and meeting the people, you know. And I think that‘s the dramatic difference between me and John Boehner.
SCHULTZ: Yes. Mr. Cassoules, we‘ll do it again. I appreciate your time. Keep up the fight.
By the way, your TV ad was about as effective as I‘ve ever seen.
You‘ve got to keep running that thing, buddy. That is something else.
SCHULTZ: Good to have you with us tonight. Thank you.
COUSSOULE: Thanks for having me, Ed.
SCHULTZ: And we‘ll play it again as well because I like it.
Up next, the whining from Michele Bachmann and her fellow Republicans has gotten downright disgusting. They‘d rather vacation than save hundreds of thousands of jobs with a plan that‘s already paid for.
Retired three-star Admiral Congressman Joe Sestak running for the Senate in Pennsylvania. We‘ll put them into place next.
And Tea Party nut job Rand Paul may be an eye doctor, but he needs some serious help when it comes to reading. You won‘t believe his idea to slow government down.
We‘ve got “Rapid Fire Response” to that.
All that, plus Tebow gets scalped, Tiger hits rock bottom on the golf course, and “Turd Blossom,” he‘s not a talk show host, but he is pretty good in the “Zone.”
That‘s coming up.
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW, and thanks for watching tonight.
The Republicans apparently care more about their vacations than protecting American jobs. GOP House members are whining because Speaker Pelosi forced them to come back to work for one full day to vote on a jobs bill. That saves 160,000 teachers across the country from being laid off, and saves thousands of jobs in law enforcement and fire firefighters.
Republicans are opposed to the $26 billion bill because, you see, it adds to the deficit. They‘re all of a sudden so concerned about the money. That‘s absolute garbage.
The bill is fully paid for. The fact is saving jobs doesn‘t play into the Republican‘s Waterloo strategy.
For more on this, let‘s bring in Congressman Joe Sestak, Democratic nominee for Senate in Pennsylvania and retired three-star admiral.
Admiral, let me put it in these terms, if I may tonight. If you asked the men and women under your command to come back to Washington to work for one day, do you think that would be such a heavy lift?
REP. JOE SESTAK (D), PENNSYLVANIA: Absolutely not. I can remember getting notified on Christmas Day that they were going to send me off to Afghanistan. You just do that.
We are public servants. And how can they not be coming back here with the most brisk of pace at all? But here‘s why probably they don‘t want to and why Congressman Toomey, my opponent, is opposing this bill.
It actually closes tax havens for large corporations that have been hiding taxes overseas. You know, these large corporations that they have been supporting where tax breaks and wealth might trickle down, that helped drive us into this savage (ph) economy, I think that‘s part of the issue with these—the Republican leadership, that is, or those that believe in this type of trickle-down economics like Congressman Toomey.
SCHULTZ: So this addresses the offshore mailboxes that we‘ve heard so much about in recent years, about corporations paying their fair share?
SESTAK: It does, but not all of it yet. More to be done.
Look, if you have to do something for the future, Ed, you and I know that the majority of people across America, certainly in Pennsylvania, work in a small business. Giving them a tax credit, giving them some guarantee on community bank loans like we tried to do in another bill over sitting in the deep freeze of the Senate, and the Republicans opposed, because we‘re helping working families at small businesses, well, you know, they lost. Small businesses, less than 20 people, half the jobs in this recession.
That‘s what we have to do as we continue on in the future. Let‘s go back down there and do that and not have this two-month sojourn that the Republican leadership is saying they want. And it‘s politics again. That‘s what‘s wrong with Washington. We‘ve got to change it.
SCHULTZ: And I want to ask you about the story we had in the previous segment tonight -- 119 rounds of golf by the Republican Leader in the House, which, by our calculation, equates to 74 days off.
Considering your work ethic and considering the conditions of this country, are you offended by that?
SESTAK: Let me say that I don‘t have anything about golfing, but when you‘re not willing to come back for a bill, and yet go on golfing, but for a bill that would save 12,000 Pennsylvanians from losing their job—I‘m talking first responders, I‘m talking programs that help people who have been violated—these are—this is—then you‘re out of touch. And I think it‘s indicative of a mindset that, once again, you know, somehow everything will work out if you just kind of let the marketplace play somehow up on Wall Street.
And that mindset is what drove this economy aground. If there‘s anything that we need to do in the future, it‘s make sure that Washington, D.C., has people that are willing to focus on practical solutions like where the working people are, small business.
SCHULTZ: Congressman Sestak, keep up the fight. Thanks for your time tonight.
SESTAK: Thanks for having me again, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Next up, we all know the “Turd Blossom,” well, he can‘t dance. And it turns out he can‘t talk either.
He took over The Drugster‘s microphone today, and it was, well, a major swing and a miss. He cringes his way into the “Zone” next.
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, Karl Rove filled in for “The Drugster” on the radio show today. And I think old “Turd Blossom” should probably stick to his day job across the street over at Fox.
But on Friday, Rush, of course, had high hopes for his buddy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Almost everybody who has guest-hosted this program ends up with their own show. So I wonder how long it will be before Karl has his?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Based on today, quite a long time.
Rove‘s debut as a radio host was a total disaster right off the bat. He had a hell of a time finding the call-in number even though it was right on the screen in front of him.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
KARL ROVE, GUEST HOST, “THE RUSH LIMBAUGH SHOW”: Say that number again there, Snerdly (ph).
It is 800-282-28 -- yes. Even I can remember that, 282-2882 with the
yes, where? I don‘t see it. Nowhere.
Oh, there it is, above it. I see it.
See, they‘ve got all these very complicated, sophisticated devices here. I‘m used to people putting pieces of paper in front of me.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Oh, it‘s that high-impact, totally entertaining right-wing talk radio on five million stations across America that we just can‘t live without.
The fact that “Bush‘s Brain” can‘t handle reading a number off a computer screen actually sheds some light on the whole WMD debacle, doesn‘t it? Rove‘s incompetence as a radio talk show host continued with a rambling analysis of Christina Romer‘s 2009 policy paper on the Recovery Act. Then he went to commercial promising—promising more excitement ahead.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
ROVE: When we come back, we‘ll be talking about the most important part of Christina Romer‘s document. And I‘m talking about Appendix One. Remember the rules? Always read the appendix, always look at the charts, and always read the footnotes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Here‘s a footnote for you, Karl: Step away from the microphone. Take a nap. Do something.
Drugster, you‘ve got to dump this guy. Hit the dump button.
After Turd Blossom‘s performance today, for “The Drugster” to flat-out suggest that this guy is capable of having his own radio show, that is “Psycho Talk.”
Coming up, this guy knows all about “Newtering” the government, and now some righties are following his lead. They‘ve cooked up a plan to swindle a two-month paid vacation this fall. Former Gingrich staffer Tony Blankley and I are going to scrap it out in “The Battleground” next.
And a shocking story surfaces alleging Rand Paul abducted a female student in college, tried to force her to take hits on a bong. Huffington Post‘s Sam Stein, he‘s all over it.
All that, plus the right-wing attack machine goes after Michelle Obama. And I‘ve got something to say about Orly Taitz and Kid Rock in my “Playbook.”
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Our Battleground story tonight, republicans want a two-month paid vacation after the midterms. GOP Study Committee Chairman Tom Price introduced a lame duck resolution to prevent democrats from introducing any major legislation between Election Day and the start of the new Congress in January. The house is already in recess for most of august and October. Now the republicans want to suspend work in November and December.
So, if the republicans get their way, Congress would work about three weeks between now and next year. Gosh, I wish I had a deal like that. The GOP wants to work three weeks in four months. Got that? While railing about wasteful government spending with a straight face. I don‘t know how they do it. It‘s absolutely stunning. No one knows better about shutting down Congress than someone who was right there working for Newt Gingrich when it happened before.
Tony Blankley was press secretary to the speaker and he‘s now a syndicated columnist. Tony, good to have you with us tonight.
TONY BLANKLEY, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Good to be here.
SCHULTZ: Do you think it plays to the sensibilities of Americans to suggest a plan that gosh, the Congress would only be in session to do something for the American people several weeks out of the next four months?
BLANKLEY: Well, first of all, I‘ve got to correct the record as I expected I would. Newt did not close down the government in ‘95. The republican Congress passed two bills and the President Clinton decided to veto them because he didn‘t like what was in the bill, which was funding plus requiring to balance the budget in seven years. And by the way, if you dispute it, I do have it in my little hands the transcript from night line of the night the government closed down with Cokie Roberts and President Clinton agreeing that he vetoed the bill. So, we decide, we didn‘t want to close down government, we want the balance of budget.
SCHULTZ: Let me—so you don‘t have history revisionism going on here, Tony, the fact is that it was Newt Gingrich who made the decision based on the action of President Clinton that OK, that‘s it. We‘re just going to shut her down. Now, the president was not advocating shutting down the Congress. Is that correct?
BLANKLEY: That is not true. Newt—we passed the bill with the money and the debt limit raise which is what was required. I have a congressional research service study that says the same thing. Republicans passed the bill. The president vetoed it.
SCHULTZ: I don‘t want to spend too much time on history but the fact is President Clinton was not advocating shutting down the Congress, and nor does he have the power to do that.
BLANKLEY: He did by vetoing the bill.
SCHULTZ: OK. Because he didn‘t play ball the way you guys wanted to.
That‘s what you interpret it.
BLANKLEY: There was a real argument to be had and you could haggle over it. We wanted cuts in Medicare spending, he didn‘t. But the fact is we passed the legislation that would keep the government open. He vetoed it because he didn‘t like the other provisions that were in it.
BLANKLEY: Let‘s go to.
SCHULTZ: So the next point is this. How did the next election go for the republicans after that?
BLANKLEY: We held onto the house for another ten years.
SCHULTZ: And how many seats did you lose?
BLANKLEY: ‘95 to 2006 before we lost it.
SCHULTZ: And how many seats did you lose after that? It didn‘t play well. It upset a lot of Americans. It really started the ranchoring (ph) that has gone on for that ten years that nobody can work with anybody in Congress, Tony.
BLANKLEY: No, it didn‘t start the ranchoring (ph). But I will concede that the issue of balancing the budget was contentious then and it is contentious today. And it‘s what the current discussion is also about.
SCHULTZ: The current discussion is also about a middle class that‘s out there suffering and an elitist bunch inside the beltway that is talking about hey, maybe we‘ll only work three or four weeks between now and the end of the year. You know that doesn‘t play well, Tony.
BLANKLEY: You know, what we‘re really talking about after the election should we have a lame duck session. And a lame duck session now, if the Congress doesn‘t change particularly, if the democrats still have a good working majority, then it really doesn‘t make any difference. But if by chance, the Congress that are coming in January would be very different from the Congress that would be there in that lame duck after November and before the new Congress gets sworn in, then it would be sort of anti-democratic with a small D to have them pass big legislation against the will of the people.
SCHULTZ: So this is a conditional thing, if the republicans take over the house, let‘s just party until the first of the year?
SCHULTZ: The point here is that the condition of the country right now, you‘ve got 99ers out there. You‘ve got a jobless rate that is as bad as it‘s been in the long time, you got a stimulus package that needs to be managed and the Congress is talking about taking three weeks off for four months. I‘m struggling how you would defend this.
BLANKLEY: Well, Speaker Pelosi had a lot of the legislation to get done, she could be keeping Congress in session. Now, she could have gotten more stuff done in July.
SCHULTZ: Well, she‘s bringing them back for the day and of course the republicans are—about that.
BLANKLEY: But understand, this is all symbolic because Congress can‘t force a future congressional session to do anything or not do anything. Anything they pass today could be undone tomorrow by the same Congress. So, this is a symbolic defiance that‘s being picked by the republicans in order to make a point about a lame duck Congress that would try to do things against the will of the people.
SCHULTZ: It is a plan. Tony, let‘s be honest about here. You just see it differently. It is a plan to shut down government at all costs. That‘s what it is. It plays right in, it plays right into the obstruction attitude that the republicans have had since Obama has been in there. You know that.
BLANKLEY: Government would keep going. Congress wouldn‘t be in as they usually are not during the lame duck session. And usually when Congress isn‘t in session, the country is better off as you know.
SCHULTZ: Well, that depends, Tony on what they‘re working on. I thought health care was pretty doggone good.
SCHULTZ: Tony, good to have you with us. Appreciate the scrap tonight.
BLANKLEY: Good to be here. Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Now, let‘s get some rapid fire response from our panel on these stories.
Rand Paul wants the senate to stall even more. He told Kentucky voters, Congress should wait 20 days for every page of legislation. Now, under Rand‘s proposal, it would have taken, let‘s see, 58 years to pass the recovery act.
Here‘s a proposal that will get John Boehner off the golf course. He says, he‘s open to looking to changing the 14th amendment. And tonight, birth right citizenship to children born of illegal immigrants.
And the right wing attack machine is going ballistic over Michelle Obama‘s recent trip to Spain. Claiming it proves the first lady is like who?
With us tonight is Sam Stein, political reporter for the “Huffington Post” and Scott Hennen, conservative radio talk show host from good old Fargo, North Dakota.
All right. Sam, when you take a look at Rand Paul, he wants to 20 days, I mean, this is about the goofiest thing I‘ve ever heard. Do you think the Tea Partiers are going to go along with this?
SAM STEIN, “HUFFINGTON POST” POLITICAL REPORTER: Maybe, I mean, the
health care bill one of the major knocks against of that conservatives put
up was that it was so long, and of course it had to be bad legislation. I
mean, how could you take so many pages to write. But I have a great idea -
solution for Rand Paul‘s amendment. Use small fonts on the bill. Put all the bills on one page. I mean, it seems so easy. You get around the amendment and you get it considered very quickly. All the stuff in the waiting period is vanished. I mean, honestly, this is kind of a silly amendment. Congress already moves so slow and you know, I hate to admit it, but republicans have written long bills before, too. It‘s not about the size.
SCHULTZ: Scott Hennen, what do you make of this, Scott? Is this just a joke for a proposal to get people talking?
SCOTT HENNEN, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: No, it‘s Rand Paul listening to the American public. In this case, constituents, potential constituents down in Kentucky who say hey, very simply, read the bill. I mean, this is ridiculous. The last Congress does the better for the economy, the better for our country. And I love this idea. I mean, how many members of Congres.
SCHULTZ: You love the idea of taking 20 days for every page, for every page? Now, that—I mean, come on. I mean, this is ridiculous for 20 days for a single page right here. You got 20 days to read this. What are you paying these jokers for?
HENNEN: No, it‘s the premise.
SCHULTZ: The premise.
HENNEN: The premise of this idea is to listen to the people. Why Michele Bachmann is doing a town hall meeting tonight. I invite you and Sam to go to MicheleBachmann.com. Sign up after the show tonight because it‘s coming up in about an hour and actually listen to what the American public have to say. And one of the things they‘ll say is read the bill. That‘s all Rand Paul‘s.
SCHULTZ: OK. Read the bill but he‘s saying it takes 20 days to read one page. I‘m surprised that you would embrace that. All right now, staying with Rand Paul for a moment, Sam, what is the story in GQ? This is some pretty—and I should say that there is not a quotable source in there but GQ in the past has done some pretty solid reporting. How do you view the story on Rand Paul? What‘s it all about?
STEIN: Well, I think your disclaimer is very prudent and important. The only source here is an anonymous source who claims to have been at Baylor with Rand Paul and so until something is more confirmable than that, I think we should be taking it all with a big grain of salt. That said, the allegations in here a bit bizarre and in one sense, he was worshipping this fake God called Aqua Buddha. I don‘t know what that is. I goggled it. There is a song called Aqua Buddha be on that. I don‘t know what Aqua Buddha is. And then, on the other hand, there‘s this allegation that still again hasn‘t been proven true that he kind of kidnapped someone and tried to get her, this woman to smoke a bong. The Paul campaign is denying it as frivolous and tabloid stuff that actually threatened sort of a lawsuit in the past hour or so. I don‘t want to comment on it beyond that because no one knows what‘s going on. Really, no one‘s come forward to actually confirm it.
SCHULTZ: Scott, what are you laughing at?
HENNEN: Don‘t comment on it—oh, I mean, don‘t comment on it but give us all the salacious details. Is there a coke can and Anita Hill—anywhere here? Come on. This is a disgrace.
SCHULTZ: So the GQ article is a disgrace, in your opinion?
HENNEN: No, I think, your—as Sam said, your caution, Ed, was appropriate. I think Sam agrees with that and goes on to give us all the salacious details.
SCHULTZ: But we should point out that when John Edwards, the first story on John Edwards broke out, there wasn‘t much caution over on the right. There was a lot of people throwing him under the bus right away. And of course, we all know how it worked out. It‘s amazing. All right.
HENNEN: True. It‘s true.
SCHULTZ: All right. Let‘s play golf here. Sam Stein, is this an issue for John Boehner when you look at the numbers, it looks pretty damaging.
STEIN: That‘s a lot of golf. And I‘m kind of jealous, I have to say. My game could use a little practice like that. You know, the right has been very critical of President Obama for going on weekly jaunts to the golf course. And the White House dismisses this as sort of the necessary release from the wear and tear of work. And I get that. And to a certain extent, John Boehner should be excused for that, as well. That said, you know, he has spent a lot of his money on the golf course, most of it‘s done for the purposes of fund raising to help the Republican Party, to the extent that his critics can say, well, he‘s spending all these money and time there and ignoring working families by, you know, voting against unemployment insurance, voting against small business tax cuts, I think that works.
SCHULTZ: Here‘s Mr. Boehner on “Meet the Press” talking about the 14th amendment. Scott, we‘ll get your response. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN BOEHNER ®, OHIO: To provide an incentive for illegal immigrants to come here so that their children can be U.S. citizens does in fact draw more people to our country. I do think that it‘s time for us to secure our borders and enforce the law. And allow this conversation about the 14th amendment to continue.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: But do you have a position on it?
BOEHNER: Listen, I think it‘s worth considering. But it‘s a serious problem that affects our country, and a certain parts of our country, clearly our schools, our hospitals are being overrun by illegal immigrants. A lot of whom came here just so their children could become U.S. citizens.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Go ahead, Scott. Your thoughts on that. All of a sudden it‘s an issue with the republicans but it was never an issue when the Bush White House was in charge.
HENNEN: I think I just heard John Boehner say, we have a serious problem which illegal immigration is. Republicans, democrats, independents all agree. And he said, let‘s seriously consider one option. I don‘t think there‘s anything radical about that. I think, once again, he‘s listening to the American public taking his cues from a lot of the folks who won some solutions to this problem.
SCHULTZ: You‘ve got to get rid of that bullet point about listening to the American people. You got to get rid of that bullet point about listening to the American people. All of a sudden, the republicans have a lock on the market listening to the American people. Gentlemen, good to have you with us tonight. I got to move along.
Coming up, the White House oil team is, I can‘t believe the sell job that they‘re doing on the American people. I‘m not real comfortable with it. World renowned environmental expert Philippe Cousteau will join us, coming up here in just a moment. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And it‘s not too late to let us know what you think. Tonight‘s text survey question is, do you think John Boehner cares more about playing golf or helping Americans? Text A for playing golf, text B for helping Americans to 622639. We‘ve got the results coming up. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And in my Playbook tonight, BP has finally started to pay into the $20 billion escrow account that they promised would help victims of the gulf oil spill. The company announced today an initial deposit of $3 billion. Meanwhile, the sell job is in full effect at the White House. They‘re on an all-out offensive to convince us, the American people that everything is just going fine. President Obama‘s Energy Adviser Carol Browner and Admiral Thad Allen are leading the cheers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAROL BROWNER, PRESIDENT OBAMA‘S ENERGY ADVISER: The goal was to keep the oil off the beaches and out of the marshes in the estuaries. Now, some of it did get on the beaches, some of it got into the estuaries. That has to be cleaned up. But I think, you know, there was the skimming, there was the burning, there was the containing. It was very successful.
THAD ALLEN, UNITED STATES COAST GUARD ADMIRAL: There has been a remarkable response like this for this country‘s history for an environmental issue and I think, that‘s something we should pause and reflect on as we move on towards our ability to kill this well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: And President Obama is selling the Gulf Coast sea food hard. He told the New Orleans Saints all about it today when they visited the White House.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: With the ongoing reopening of gulf fisheries, we‘re excited that had fishermen can go back to work and Americans can confidently and safely enjoy gulf seafood once again. We‘re certainly going to enjoy it here at the White House. In fact, we had some yesterday.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Joining me now is Philippe Cousteau, CEO of EarthEcho International and Chief Ocean‘s correspondent for planet green. Mr. Cousteau, what do you make of this? It‘s almost, gosh, it‘s amazing what 30 days has turned around. Are you buying this?
PHILIPPE COUSTEAU, EARTHECHO INTERNATIONAL CEO: No, I‘m not buying this at all. You know, and I‘ve been speaking to a lot of people both down here in the gulf, I‘m in New Orleans right now. And I was in New York last week and traveling around and speaking to a lot of public. I don‘t think there‘s many people in the public that are buying this either.
SCHULTZ: So, when does the scientific community push back? And how do they do it? How much pushback do you think that the scientists are going to give the White House because clearly, this is at level of promotional talk now, isn‘t it?
COUSTEAU: Well, you know, I think it‘s getting a little enthusiastic. You know, the lack of the precautionary principle, if we had adhered to a precautionary principle this never would have happened in the first place. And I would say at best, this is the end of the beginning. You know, by the government‘s own estimates over—roughly around 26 percent of the oil is still floating around in the gulf. That‘s 50 million gallons. That‘s five times “Exxon Valdez.” That is very, very significant. Even though, we can‘t necessarily see it from the surface, I‘ve been diving in the gulf. There were times when we couldn‘t see the surface. But I‘ll tell you, when I was in the water, I could see it.
In scientific research is just starting to come out today, I saw a research report talking about how oil is showing up in crab larvae. So this eagerness to reopen this fishing grounds, I‘m sure that the EPA and the government is doing testing on these animals. But I think, what we‘re overlooking is the long-term impacts of the spill which will be significant. “Exxon Valdez,” 20 years later Prince William Sound still has evidence of oil in that area. Still has impacted the food chain. And none of the animals in ecosystems have recovered fully since 21 years ago. So, saying this all pg (ph) and this is all over and this is all a success, I think is premature.
SCHULTZ: Mr. Cousteau, I appreciate your time tonight. We‘ll do it again. Thank you so much.
COUSTEAU: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: A couple of final pages in the Playbook tonight, even focus on the family‘s Timmy Tebow isn‘t immune from hazing. The Denver Broncos first round draft pick got this stylish haircut along with some other rookies when asked how long he planned to keep it with the teammate Kyle Orton, he said “forever.” I think this haircut pretty much matches his politics, don‘t you? It‘s all wrong.
And Tiger, at his worst tournament of his career over the weekend. He finished 78th in an 80-player field. This is a tournament that he‘s won seven times in the last 11 years. He told the media that he‘s not having any fun and sum it up by saying, quote, “it‘s been a long year.”
Up next, Liz Cheney fills in for Slanthead. Turd Blossom fills in for Limbaugh. The FOX News propaganda machine is well oiled machine these days. That‘s next.
SCHULTZ: And finally tonight, FOX News, the Republican Party are one and the same. The right wing network is even pretending to be fair and balanced. Their airwaves are filled with folks who were shaping up to be heavy hitters for the republicans in 2012. Today, Karl Rove took a break from his pushing his agenda on FOX to fill in for Limbaugh, the voice of the Republican Party. And on Friday, Dick Cheney‘s daughter Liz Cheney filled in for Slanthead. Sean Hannity. There‘s just no daylight between FOX News and the Republican Party.
For more on that, let‘s bring in Eric Boehlert, senior fellow at Media Matters for America. Gosh, I bet there‘s a lot of radio talkers across the country that would have given anything to have that opportunity but it went to an ideologue. What‘s it say?
ERIC BOEHLERT, MEDIA MATTERS FOR AMERICA: Yes, like what you said, there‘s no daylight. I mean, talking about cutting out the middleman, I mean, FOX News with Liz Cheney just going eliminating the host and just going straight to fulltime republican operative, Liz Cheney‘s job is to get republicans elected and to attack and demean democrats. So, FOX News there is just saying, you know what, there‘s no difference between her and Sean Hannity. So, let‘s just have them all on and Rush Limbaugh who claims, you know, he‘s not in the pocket of the Republican Party or he‘s Mr. Independent and he does his own thing, for a fill-in host, he turns to Mr. GOP, Mr. Insider. I mean, listening to Karl Rove fill in for Limbaugh today was like listening to a conference call for the RNC. I mean, it was just nonstop inside baseball for the GOP.
SCHULTZ: What about the corporate responsibility? Does Clear Channel just doesn‘t give a damn who they put on the air unless they‘re right wing or what?
BOEHLERT: Oh, Clear Channel stopped carrying what Rush Limbaugh did a long time ago. He makes them enough money, they look the other way. There have been no standards with the Rush Limbaugh program for years.
SCHULTZ: And Eric, what about Liz Cheney? I don‘t know her background. Does she have any journalism credentials whatsoever?
BOEHLERT: No, I mean, in a year ago, the question is why was she on TV every five minutes? What has she done? What has she accomplished? And now, is she a broadcaster? I mean, if you watch her Sean Hannity fill-in, not exactly magical broadcasting. I mean, there are other people who can do that much better. But again, you know, FOX News is the opposition party. They‘ve adopted almost the British system where the shadow government, the shadow cabinet exists at FOX News and they‘ve cut out the middle man, they‘re just putting on republican activists, republican operatives in the place of their own hosts at this point. They don‘t even care.
SCHULTZ: Eric, good to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much.
Great work over at Media Matters. I appreciate your time.
Tonight in our text survey, I asked, do you think John Boehner cares more about playing golf or helping Americans? Eight nine percent of you said playing golf, 11 percent said helping Americans.
That‘s THE ED SHOW. I‘m Ed Schultz. For more information on THE ED SHOW, you can go to my radio website at wegoted.com. “HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews starts right now on the place for politics MSNBC. We‘ll see you back here tomorrow night.
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