updated 8/24/2010 11:22:44 AM ET 2010-08-24T15:22:44

Guests: Al Sharpton, Alan Grayson, Jonathan Alter, Joan Walsh, Joe Madison, Scott Hennen, Jeffrey Breit, Connie Kaplan

ED SHULTZ, HOST: Well, the Republican hate machine, they‘re back at it and they‘re in high gear.  The highest ranking Republican in the Congress says that he‘ll take the president‘s word that he‘s a Christian. 

I got commentary on that coming up in just a moment. 

Howard Dean is slamming the president‘s advisors for taking the progressive base for granted.  Dean thinks that they need to get out of Washington, get out and talk to some folks, and I couldn‘t agree with him more. 

And Glenn Beck went on a hate-filled tirade about the unemployed.  He‘s not going to get away with it.  I‘m with these folks.  I‘m fighting for these folks.  I know their story and I don‘t think he‘s interviewed them.  I got something to say about all of it later on in the show. 

This is the story that has me fired up tonight.  Republicans, well, they‘re dusting off the old playbook of hate and FOX News, of course, is peddling it, doing all their dirty work across the street. 

And it‘s working in some instances.  According to a “TIME” magazine poll, 24 percent of Americans still think—they still think—the president is a Muslim.  Gosh, where did they ever get that idea? 

Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell threw gasoline on the fire yesterday. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL ®, MINORITY LEADER:  The president says he‘s a Christian.  I take him at his word.  I don‘t think that‘s in dispute. 

DAVID GREGORY, “MEET THE PRESS” HOST:  And do you think—how do you think it comes to be that this kind of misinformation gets spread around and prevails? 

MCCONNELL:  I have no idea, but I take the president at his word. 

(END OF VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  He has no idea.  Gosh, who the heck is purporting that ad story around the country?  But he‘ll take his word for it. 

There‘s a vote of confidence. 

McConnell gave cover.  That‘s what he did.  He gave cover to all those low information voters out there who still believe this garbage about President Obama being a Muslim.  Thirty-one percent of Mitch McConnell‘s party, well, they believe this.  They believe these lies because the Republican leadership just loves to feed the fire. 

Now think about it.  Last August, the Tea Party spread their racist message all across America with, you know, signs making President Obama look like a witch doctor.  Well, one year later, Americans are fighting in the streets of New York City over the Ground Zero mosque. 

Is that their best issue?  And you can still see these hate signs and all the ugliness that goes along with it.  These people—you know what they should be protesting?  They should be protesting that we don‘t have bin Laden yet and that the terrorists that brought down the towers, many of them still at large. 

They should be protesting the Republicans in the House who blocked the 9/11 responders bill.  Any protests out there about that yesterday?  Instead, they feel the need to protest the Muslim faith and President Obama because you see he‘s really a part of it all. 

McConnell and his fellow Republicans need to ask Glenn Beck if he‘s a man of his word.  The hate merchant across the street has spent the last week whipping up fear over the mosque story.  Listen to this. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GLENN BECK, FOX NEWS ANCHOR:  Anniversary of after you‘ve killed 3,000 people, you‘re going to now build your mosque on there?  Really? 

(END OF VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Just indict all of them. 

Back in 2006 Beck didn‘t mind having a civil conversation with a so-called killer on “Good Morning America.”  Evidently he didn‘t feel the need to look evil in the face and eliminate the imam when they were sitting across from one another from Diane Sawyer. 

Beck is bringing his message of hate to the capital—the nation‘s capital this weekend with his restoring honor rally?  What honor?  Is racist talk now honor?  Is it honorable behavior? 

Forty-seven years to the day that Martin Luther King gave his “I Have A Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, the man who says that the president has a deep-seed hatred for white people is bringing in Sarah “Reload” Palin to deliver the 100-year plan for America. 

I hope Mitch McConnell has the guts to go to the rally and tell these lunatics that the president is a Christian.  And by the way, he takes President Obama at his word. 

Get your cell phone out, folks.  I want to know what you think about all of this tonight.  Tonight‘s text survey question is, do Republicans and FOX News want Americans to believe President Obama is a Muslim? 

Text A for yes, B for no to 622639.  We‘ll bring you the results later on in the show. 

Now there‘s another twist to this story coming up this Saturday in Washington.  Joining me now is Reverend Al Sharpton, the president of the National Action Network.  Reverend Sharpton, as always, will be hosting the “Reclaim the Dream” rally in Washington, D.C. this Saturday. 

And I‘m announcing tonight that I am more than proud to be joining Reverend Sharpton and Martin Luther King III and countless other civil rights icons as we celebrate the anniversary of Martin Luther King‘s “I Have A Dream” speech. 

He was a visionary.  He was a leader.  He was a lover of the people. 

And he was also a man that wanted America to succeed. 

And I don‘t think that the people that are going to be across town from us, Reverend Sharpton, are in that category.  Great to have you with us tonight, Reverend. 

REV. AL SHARPTON, NATIONAL ACTION NETWORK:  Well, thank you very much. 

SCHULTZ:  I appreciate the opportunity to be with you on Saturday. 

SHARPTON:  And we appreciate you coming.  And we look forward to your speech and other civil rights leaders from Marc Morial to Donna Brazile to Janet Murguia of La Raza.  All of us will be there. 

I think what people ought to do, Ed, is realize that the speech Dr.

King made “I Have A Dream”—in fact people can go to

NationalActionNetwork.net on the Web and read the speech right on our homepage.  NationalActionNetwork.net. 

See what he says and see if that‘s what any of these people are talking about because we‘re going to be talking about how you bring the country together to protect everyone‘s civil rights, how everyone has a fair chance. 

We can have all of our different opinions on Dr. King but we can‘t have different facts.  There was one speech made that day 47 years ago.  Look at the speech and you‘ll know that the rally we‘re having is around the principles of the speech. 

You cannot rewrite what Dr. King‘s dream was.  And that‘s why thousands will be joining us as we have this as we celebrate every year what Dr. King said and we mark how far we have gotten and whether we‘ve achieved it or not. 

SCHULTZ:  Reverend Al, do you think that the Republican Party is skirting the truth here?  Twenty-four percent of Americans believe that President Obama is a Muslim.  You know who‘s peddling this story and you know how they‘re doing it.  And they don‘t walk away from it at all. 

It‘s throwing out there.  It‘s going to be consumed by some.  What should be the response here? 

SHARPTON:  I think it should be major pushback.  And I think it is outrageous that we deal with something as fundamentally important to someone as their religion and then stroke fears and bias against people based on their religion, whoever it is. 

I think that it is wrong.  I think that it only divides America and it all sets all Americans up for the retaliation of those that don‘t believe in respecting people regardless of their religion. 

One of the things that I think was so wonderful after 9/11, after the most despicable attack we ever saw, was people came together.  I live in New York.  I work in New York.  National Action Network‘s main headquarter is in New York. 

Americans came together.  The divisiveness we‘re seeing now is the exact opposite of how we all tried to come together September 12th, 13th and on, including what Muslim Americans, who were the first ones to step up and say this doesn‘t represent the tenets of our belief. 

To now for political gain, to try and go back to some kind of divisiveness -- 

SCHULTZ:  Yes. 

SHARPTON:  -- is unpatriotic. 

SCHULTZ:  And finally, Reverend, do you think the president should speak to this number?  Is this a big enough number?  Because it seems to me that the Republicans are using this as fuel to get people out to vote for them in November. 

They have no plan for America.  They absolutely will—have said we‘ll wait until September to give you an idea where we want to take the country if we do get the majority back.  Should the president speak to this number? 

SHARPTON:  I think he should speak to the high principles of what the country is about.  I think he should speak to the high principles that he stands for.  I don‘t think he should go tit-for-tat with them but I think that he should make it clear to the world that we are still a country that believes in the principles of freedom and freedom of religion is basic, and that we‘re not going to even in a political season step back one inch from that. 

SCHULTZ:  Yes.  Reverend Sharpton, we‘ll see you on Saturday in Washington, D.C. 

SHARPTON:  Looking forward to your speech. 

SCHULTZ:  Well, I‘m honored to be asked. 

SHARPTON:  Thank you. 

SCHULTZ:  And I can‘t wait to do it.  I appreciate it very much. 

SHARPTON:  All right. 

SCHULTZ:  For more, let‘s bring in Florida Congressman Alan Grayson. 

Congressman, great to have you with us tonight. 

REP. ALAN GRAYSON (D), FLORIDA:  Thank you, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  If there is one progressive out there who has been aggressive when the righties have told lies it has been you.  And you were obviously a congressman who has been successful in business and you‘ve gone to Washington without any strings attached other than to represent the people and go for the truth and speak truth to power. 

How do you -- 

GRAYSON:  Thank you, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  How do you think the White House should handle this thought process that President Obama is still a Muslim, you know, that this is how they say—and now you‘ve just seen Republican leadership, they won‘t unequivocally say that he‘s a Christian. 

They‘ll just take his word for it and they cut a big swathe for these psycho talkers out there to think that President Obama is a ringleader in the middle of some big problem we have in America. 

What do you make of this?  How do you handle this? 

GRAYSON:  It‘s just another manifestation of right-wing racism.  It‘s that simple.  Why do we keep talking about these same subjects over and over again?  What‘s wrong exactly with being a Muslim? 

The Constitution in Article 6 specifically says that there shall not be a religious test for any elected officials in America.  So what difference does that make exactly?  Why are we talking about this? 

Because the Republicans are trying to stir up racism, hatred and division all through this country for political gain. 

SCHULTZ:  What do you make of Mitch McConnell, his response on “MEET THE PRESS” yesterday? 

GRAYSON:  Mitch McConnell is an enabler.  He‘s right in the middle of it.  This is the way he operates.  He‘s just as much part of it as anybody else. 

SCHULTZ:  And what kind of response have you seen in your district and around the country when have you been aggressive on Robert Gibbs and how the messaging of the White House in your opinion has been off base and not on point?  What kind of response have you got? 

GRAYSON:  Well, look, people like a congressman with guts.  They like somebody who‘s going to fight for the benefit of ordinary people and not get distracted.  Just today we‘ve had over 6,000 people come to our Money Bomb Web site, Congressmanwithguts.com, that contributed over $200,000 to our campaign. 

This is the way people want it to be.  They want Democrats who can fight.  Democrats who can throw a punch. 

SCHULTZ:  There are some political experts who say that the Republicans will win the House.  What‘s your take on that?  I mean, if you look at the bills that the House has passed, they‘re aggressive progressive bills that the Senate has either watered down or not even acted on. 

It seems to me that if Democrats want to get fired up and progressives want to be appreciative about what is taking place with the party platform, it‘s happened in the House.  It‘s just been stalled in the Senate.  Or am I reading this wrong? 

GRAYSON:  It‘s absolutely true.  But listen, it‘s far worse than that.  I would suggest to all Americans they vote Republican if they want to go broke.  Vote Republican if you want $4 a gallon gasoline.  Vote Republican if you want to see more endless wars 8,000s miles from home. 

Vote Republican if you want to take that—what the Republicans did for eight years, bring us to the brink of national bankruptcy, and let them finish the job. 

Anybody who feels that way, feel free to vote Republican. 

SCHULTZ:  Congressman Alan Grayson, always a pleasure.  Good to have you with us tonight.  Thank you so much. 

GRAYSON:  Thank you, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  Coming up, Howard Dean just slammed President Obama‘s advisors.  He‘s telling them to get out of the D.C. bubble?  See what‘s really going on around the country.  I couldn‘t agree more. 

Jonathan Alter tells us how President Obama is reacting to the strong words. 

And I‘m not done with this clown Beck across the street.  He had some nerve to talk about the unemployed 99ers about how they should be ashamed to be calling themselves Americans. 

He ought to be ashamed of himself.  I‘d like to know how many 99ers he has actually interviewed. 

All that, plus Brad Pitt wants the death penalty over the Gulf disaster.  Quite a story.  And the jury is in, Judge Napolitano now is officially—officially—a psycho talker.  You won‘t believe what this nut job had to say about Michele Bachmann. 

You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.  Great to be back with you. 

Stay with us.  We‘re right back. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  Coming up, Mitch McConnell is a clueless hypocrite.  The same guy who wants to, quote, “obstruct more,” is now criticizing the president about job creation. 

Joan Walsh is going to rip him a new one when we come back.  That‘s in the battleground.  Stay with us. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.  And thanks for watching tonight. 

President Obama‘s advisors.  The question is, are they in a bubble?  They are professional politicos in the eyes of some who don‘t understand what the heck is going on out there and they don‘t understand that they are facing the danger of possibly losing the progressive base. 

Here‘s the history. 

Rahm Emanuel called the liberals bleeping retarded during the health care debate.  Nobody liked that.  Earlier this month Robert Gibbs said that the so-called professional left needed to be drug tested. 

I have been drug-tested.  I‘m clean.  I always have been. 

Former DNC chair Howard Dean hit it out of the park on this subject. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HOWARD DEAN, FORMER DNC CHAIRMAN:  I think that the people around the president have really misjudged what goes on elsewhere in the country other than Washington, D.C.  I don‘t think this is true of the president but I do think his people, his political people—go out and spend some time outside Washington for a while. 

The average Democrat is a progressive. 

(END OF VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  I think Howard Dean is exactly right.  The progressives put the Democrats in power and the base is the only chance the Democrats have to hold the majorities come November. 

If progressives stay home, we‘ll be swearing in Speaker Boehner in January. 

Joining me now is Jonathan Alter, “Newsweek” national affairs columnist and MSNBC political analyst. 

Jonathan, great to have you with us tonight. 

JONATHAN ALTER, NEWSWEEK:  Welcome back, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  You bet.  Good to be back.  It‘s—in the stories in many respects are still the same when you look at the Republicans. 

ALTER:  Yes, they are. 

SCHULTZ:  Do you agree with Howard Dean?  Does the White House have to get out of the beltway?  Is their staff in touch with the rest of the country?  What do you think? 

ALTER:  They definitely need to get out of the bubble more.  They understood coming in that the bubble was a problem, and that they have not worked hard enough lately to get out and around the country or to talk to more people around the country. 

The jobs and the White House are so overwhelming.  It‘s important to correct the record on some of the lead-in, Ed. 

You know, Rahm Emanuel wasn‘t calling everybody on the left f‘ing retarded.  He was talking about certain folks on the left who wanted to run ads against Democrats. 

SCHULTZ:  Exactly. 

ALTER:  That was what that referred to. 

SCHULTZ:  Yes. 

ALTER:  So we should be clear on -- 

SCHULTZ:  Well, he -- 

ALTER:  -- on some of this.  And Howard Dean, and there is bad blood, has been, you know, since 2006 between Howard Dean and Rahm Emanuel.  So you‘ve got to have that context. 

But having said that, Dean is right.  They need to listen more.  And they need to get a job creation program out there right around Labor Day to give people something to sink their teeth in before these midterms. 

Now there‘s been a lot of talk about them doing a big infrastructure proposal.  I certainly hope those rumors are true.  They have to do that.  Not just for the progressive base but for this country. 

And they have to—they have to orchestrate it right.  They‘ve fallen down on some of the stage craft, Ed, in terms of explaining to the American people that they really are interested in creating jobs, really are on the side of the middle class. 

And they will—I think Obama is.  But they haven‘t express it had right.  And in order to do that it would help for them to get out and listen to a wider circle of advice. 

SCHULTZ:  Well, I have to come back to you on the Rahm Emanuel issue.  Is that—competition is a great thing.  And that many liberals in this country didn‘t think the White House was going far enough on health care and they flat out didn‘t appreciate being classified like that after working very hard to get the president elected. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCHULTZ:  That‘s where the rub was.  And I think -- 

ALTER:  This is a very specific fight. 

SCHULTZ:  Well, I said -- 

ALTER:  It was—run ads against Democrats.  And that people can disagree on the tactics.  Obviously the language was appalling.  I‘m not defending that. 

SCHULTZ:  Yes. 

ALTER:  I don‘t—I think that there‘s this thing on the left now, Ed, that somehow Rahm Emanuel is this bad, you know? 

SCHULTZ:  Well, he is.  In many respects he is. 

ALTER:  No, he‘s not.  That‘s preposterous. 

SCHULTZ:  Well, it‘s not preposterous -- 

(CROSSTALK)

SCHULTZ:  He sold out a lot of the base. 

ALTER:  A lot of times, Ed, he‘s the guy who gets it done.  He‘s one of those people you go to to get it done.  I‘m not defending everything about the guy.  I disagree with him on a lot of stuff.  Like he didn‘t even really want do health care. 

He told me for my book that—you know, he said, quote, “I begged the president not to do health care.”  Well, that was the wrong view.  So don‘t mistake me.  I‘m not defending everything about Rahm Emanuel.  But turning him into the big bad wolf is silly. 

SCHULTZ:  I‘m not turning him into the big bad wolf. 

ALTER:  Yes. 

SCHULTZ:  But I think that—I think the story that I referred to, which was over a year ago now, plays right into where they are disconnected with their base today. 

ALTER:  I agree with you.  I think there is a disconnect there.  It‘s not just with the base.  It‘s with the middle class.  They‘re not connecting.  They‘re not framing the issues in a way that really breaks through. 

And some of it is theatrics and some of it is substance.  They need something else out there on jobs to capture the imagination of voters.  And it‘s very important for him to do that. 

SCHULTZ:  Well, the Republicans have obstructed everything they possibly can. 

ALTER:  Yes, they have. 

SCHULTZ:  When it comes to trying to create any kind of jobs whatsoever. 

ALTER:  Yes. 

SCHULTZ:  I mean they starved off money to community banks.  I mean it‘s just unbelievable. 

ALTER:  And now they‘re even—the Chamber of Commerce has gotten together with the Obama White House which they normally detest for tax credits for small business.  Who‘s blocking it?  The Republicans just to deny Obama any kind of victory. 

They would rather have more people be unemployed literally.  This is no exaggeration, Ed, being against this tax credit for small business to hire more Americans for them to be against that and to delay it is outrageous.  That is hurting people every day. 

SCHULTZ:  Hurting—yes.  Certainly. 

ALTER:  They‘re doing it just for political advantage in November. 

SCHULTZ:  They‘re all about power.  They‘re all about the power grab.  They don‘t want anybody else to get credit for the next 70 days.  And if it hurts a few more people in the unemployment line that‘s just -- 

ALTER:  And progressives should come together now and stop these inter

intraparty struggles and get with the program. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCHULTZ:  Well, I don‘t appreciate Robert Gibbs telling me that I should—I don‘t appreciate Robert Gibbs saying that the professional left needs to be drug tested. 

ALTER:  Well—OK. 

SCHULTZ:  I mean you can‘t say stuff like that. 

ALTER:  OK.  But he -- 

SCHULTZ:  And expect people to say hey, I just can‘t wait to support the White House the way they‘re talking about us. 

ALTER:  He was responding—agreed.  But he was responding, you know, to certain shots incoming that they were taking every day, you know, from the left.  Why can‘t liberals act a little bit more like conservative Republicans do politically and just come together. 

SCHULTZ:  Well -- 

ALTER:  Show some party discipline. 

SCHULTZ:  You know, I‘m not -- 

ALTER:  Get it done. 

SCHULTZ:  I hear what you‘re saying, Jon. 

ALTER:  Prevent the bad guys -- 

SCHULTZ:  Jonathan, I hear what you‘re saying. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCHULTZ:  But don‘t tell me 75 percent of the oil is cleaned up.  I mean the White House is buying into some stuff I can‘t get there.  You know. 

ALTER:  Look, I -- 

SCHULTZ:  I got to run. 

ALTER:  You and I have been exactly the same on—for being critical of them for not using leverage against banks.  We could talk all day about things that we agree that the Obama White House has done wrong. 

SCHULTZ:  You bet. 

ALTER:  But why spend this fall doing that.  That‘s not productive. 

That‘s not smart. 

SCHULTZ:  Well—it‘s not.  And the White House bears responsibility to get their messaging right to the middle of the country. 

ALTER:  Absolutely. 

SCHULTZ:  Or the party‘s going to pay a price.  Jonathan, great to have you with us. 

ALTER:  You got it. 

SCHULTZ:  It‘s good to be back with you. 

ALTER:  Thanks, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  You bet. 

Coming up, FOX News resident judge thinks Michele Bachmann is a constitutional expert?  I can think of a lot of things that she is.  That is not one of them, my friends.  This guy, well, you know where he‘s going.  He‘s going to the zone.  That‘s next.  Stay with us. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  And in “Psycho Talk” tonight.  I miss this segment when I was gone.  It‘s good to be back. 

Some of Michele Bachmann‘s crazy seems to be rubbing off on FOX‘s favorite judge Andrew Napolitano.  Now this guy hasn‘t quite reached the psycho level of his fellow FOX-ites like master (INAUDIBLE) and the kids on “FOX and Friends” in the morning but he got a lot closer over the weekend when he interviewed Michele Bachmann on his show. 

I think someone‘s got a crush on the psycho talker from Minnesota. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDREW NAPOLITANO, FOX NEWS HOST:  You are not only an outstanding and outspoken member of Congress, you are also a well-known expert on the Constitution. 

(END OF VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Wow.  Sure.  Michele Bachmann and her friends.  Well, they‘re all about the Constitution, aren‘t they?  Unless you‘re gay or a Muslim or an American-born child of an illegal immigrant. 

Napolitano seems to have left his undying love for Michele Bachmann cloud his judgment at that moment because the only thing Michele Bachmann is an expert on is “Psycho Talk”. 

Coming up, the Senate obstructionist leader can‘t stop complaining about jobs so he laid out the genius Republican plan.  More tax cuts for the rich. 

Joan Walsh is getting after Mitch McConnell coming up and I‘ll help her a little bit on that. 

And Michael Steele knows all about borrowing money but now the RNC is having major trouble even raising money.  We‘ll get “Rapid Fire” response on that. 

All that, plus Elin is officially a single mom.  And I‘m ripping into “The Beckster”.  Stay with us.  You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.  We‘re right back. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to “The Ed Show.” “The Battleground” story tonight, the Republicans are total hypocrites when it comes to reducing the deficit.  Mr. Obstruction himself, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell thinks tax cuts don‘t need to be paid for.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID GREGORY, NBC NEWS HOST:  For a final time, I‘ll go back to my question which is the extension of the tax cuts would cost $3.2 trillion.  That‘s borrowed money that adds to the deficit.  Do you have a plan to pay for that extension?

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MINORITY LEADER:  You‘re talking about current tax policy.  Why did it all of a sudden be—become something that may—quote paid for? Raising taxes in the middle of recession on the major job generator in America, small business, is a very, very bad idea. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Oh, no, it‘s not.  What McConnell means when he says tax cuts don‘t need to be paid for is that they need to be paid for by the middle class, by teachers, by senior citizens.  Let‘s cut their numbers, too.  And, of course, to be paid for by the unemployed who can‘t get a job in this country.  More on the 99ers coming up later on the show. 

By cutting programs and services that benefit most Americans across the board, meanwhile, McConnell and elected Republicans are running scared, scared of the Tea Partiers. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GREGORY:  The Tea Partiers are talking about a hostile takeover of the Republican Party.  What is their impact do you think in the fall?

MCCONNELL:  I think it‘s been entirely positive.  It‘s an indication of broad public support for doing something about too much spending and too much debt.  And this kind of—genuine popular uprising against excessive government spending I think has been extremely helpful.  It has produced a lot of energy in our primaries and I think it‘s going to produce victories in November.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Joining me now is Joan Walsh, editor-in-chief, Salon.com.  It is comical to listen to this.  The Republican leadership is like a ship without a rudder right now.  Months ago they were distancing themselves from the Tea Partiers and now they‘re saying that they‘ve had a positive effect on what‘s going on.  What do you make of it?

JOAN WALSH, SALON.COM:  Can we just start with the fact that Mitch McConnell did not support the Tea Party candidate for the Republican primary? He was against Rand Paul.  You know, he ran a standard candidate who lost.  So this is a new tune from Mitch McConnell.  But he‘s a complete opportunist.  He‘s a complete hypocrite and he just says what he feels like he needs to do.

I don‘t even know where to start here, Ed.  This idea that Dick Armey had that the Tea Party‘s a hostile takeover of the Republican Party, that‘s ridiculous.  They will are the Republican Party.  So the Republican Party having a hostile takeover of the Republican Party, I don‘t know, that‘s just kind of too confusing for me. 

And then of course, the tax cuts, Ed.  We know that they were cowards and they did not when they had the chance, the Republicans, make those tax cuts permanent.  We know why.  Doing them for 10 years, it let them use reconciliation so they didn‘t have to get the 60 votes, they could do it with a simple majority. 

I don‘t know where to start with the lies.  Poor David Gregory did his best there.  But it was the same as it was with John Boehner and David Gregory a few weeks ago.  These guys will just lie and lie and lie.  And reporters can‘t get them to admit the hypocrisy and dishonesty of what they‘re saying. 

SCHULTZ:  This is what Mr. Krugman wrote on tax cuts.  “This has nothing to do with sound economic policy.  It‘s about a dysfunctional and corrupt political culture in which Congress won‘t take action to revive the economy pleads poverty when it comes to protecting school teachers and firefighters but declares cost no object when it comes to sparing the already wealthy even the slightest financial inconvenience.” 

Their base is the top 2 percent and they will not budge from them.  And they will protect them financially at all costs.  But what‘s the game plan, you think, for the Republicans? They claim they‘re going to win the House.  How do they go to the middle class in this country and say hey, we really didn‘t outsource your job, it just happened to go there.

WALSH:  I don‘t know how they do it.  You know how they do it though, Ed.  What they‘re doing is scaring people around race, around ethnicity, around religion.  They‘re using the Ground Zero mosque.  They don‘t have an economic plan.  What I don‘t understand, Ed, is if tax cuts work so well to create jobs, why was there not a job boom during the two Bush administrations, those eight years?  Instead, job creation was just a pale, pale shadow of what it had had been under the Clinton administration for eight years with higher taxes.

SCHULTZ:  Given all that, what‘s the best play for the Democrats going into November right now? I mean, Howard Dean is saying they‘ve got to get out of Washington, they‘ve got to get more in touch, sell their package.  What do they have to do in your opinion?

WALSH:  You know, just the way the Republican Party knows that their base is those 2 percent, the Democratic Party has to remember that the rest of us, the other 98 percent are who they speak for and particularly that they have to speak for the people who are really getting hammered here, the 99ers as you‘ve talked about.  They have to show that they‘re the party for the working class and the middle class and make clear everyone knows the Republicans are the party of that will top 2 percent.  Hammer that and I think they‘ll win. 

SCHULTZ:  Joan, good to have you with us tonight.  Thanks so much. 

WALSH:  Welcome back, Ed.

SCHULTZ:  You bet, good to be back.  Now let‘s get rapid fire response from our panel on these stories tonight.  President Obama slams the Citizens United ruling in his weekly radio address calling it a corporate takeover of our democracy.  Michael Steele is coming under fire for another dismal fundraising month for the RNC.  The RNC is far behind the DNC when it comes to raising the dollars.  And I‘ll get the panel‘s take on Minority Leader Mitch McConnell saying that he‘ll take the president‘s word that he is a Christian. 

With us tonight, Joe Madison, XM Satellite Radio talk show host and Scott Hennen, conservative radio talk show host in Fargo.  Let‘s talk about the money, gentlemen, if we can.  Scott, let me ask you, why can‘t the Republicans raise any money right now?

SCOTT HENNEN, CONSERVATIVE RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  Ed, who are you kidding? The Republicans can‘t even keep this organized their money‘s coming in so fast.  Look at Karl Rove‘s group.  Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie have a group nobody‘s ever heard of before called American Crossroads.  They‘re raising more money than they know what to do with.  It‘s happening everywhere, RGA, NRCC, NRSC.  Michael Steele at the RGA has not done a good job as the chairman of the Republican National Committee.  That one committee is the only committee out of all the others that is raising money that has basically Republicans in a position to say how many seats are we going to win, 80, 90, 100? North of 100? They‘re raising plenty of money. 

SCHULTZ:  What do you think of that, Joe. 

JOE MADISON, XM SATELLITE RADIO:  Well, they should fire Michael Steele but they won‘t, will they? That‘s the reality.  So they can complain all they want.  I agree.  I think that what Republicans are doing, Haley Barbour for example, he is raising a lot of money.  They‘re giving the money to other groups.  Look what Murdoch did.  He gave them, wow, $1 million only to Republicans? He sure is fair and balanced.  So look, if Michael Steele is such a terrible person, then do me a favor, but they won‘t do it because they know that will play against them, fire him but they won‘t. 

SCHULTZ:  So Scott, are you saying that the RNC fundraising at this point in our political system is pretty much insignificant?

HENNEN:  Exactly.  It just doesn‘t matter right now in any way, shape, or form.  And I think that‘s very evident if you look at some of these other groups.  He mentioned RGA and Haley Barbour.  I have information that tells me that Haley Barbour back channeled to Michael Steele, hey, just shut up.  Just go away.  He needs a “Sanford and Son” moment.  He‘s Lamont, OK, and he needs Fred Sanford to say you big dummy.  That‘s what Michael Steele needs right now.  He‘s being quiet.  It doesn‘t matter.  When the time is right, he‘ll be replaced.  He‘s effectively been replaced already.  All these other groups are raising the money.  This is a non-story. 

MADISON:  Well, the reality is, you heard me.  Fire him if that‘s the case.  You guys are so strong, you‘ve got the courage, you‘ve got the money.  No, no, I‘m not finished.  I didn‘t interrupt you.  Then fire him but you‘re not going to fire him because you know that‘s going to backfire on you.  So fire him.

HENNEN:  Let me say you‘re right.  You‘re right. 

MADISON:  But you won‘t. 

HENNEN:  That‘s why he‘s not been fired.  But he‘s effectively been fired. 

MADISON:  Hey, Ed, what you just heard is—his failure is his success.  You‘re right.  He‘s failed but we‘re not going to fire him. 

SCHULTZ:  Scott, you‘re saying basically the RNC is treating Michael Steele as the necessary evil and it would be too much of a public backlash, which really is a sad state of affairs to be in. 

HENNEN:  Right. 

SCHULTZ:  Now with all the money that‘s being raised, I don‘t deny the fact that the conservative groups are out there just raking in some cash.  And I think President Obama talked about this weekend in his radio address. 

Here it is. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  You don‘t know if it‘s a foreign-controlled corporation.  You don‘t know if it‘s BP.  You don‘t know if it‘s a big insurance company or a Wall Street bank.  A group can hide behind a phony name like Citizens for a Better Future even if a more accurate name would be corporations for weaker oversight.  We cannot allow the corporate takeover of our democracy.  So we‘re going to continue to fight for reform and transparency.  I urge all of you to take up the same fight.  Let‘s challenge every elected official who benefits from these ads to defend this practice or join us in stopping it. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  A lot of silent money out there, Scott Hennen.  I just can‘t believe that the $25 donors are out and about for these groups that you‘re talking about.  And President Obama in his weekly radio address addressed the corporate takeover of our elections.  How can this be positive for America in your opinion?

HENNEN:  Well, I‘m going to make you both of you apoplectic from this.  But listen, corporations, the private sector, businesses are the only thing that can save this democracy from Obama and the Democrats.  And let me tell you this.  Let me say very simply, that you guys invented this game.  So now when the Republicans are getting in the game because free speech is being defended at the Supreme Court level to scream bloody murder is ridiculous. 

You know, I think it‘s a disgrace that President Obama when we have an economy in meltdown and he‘s running off on his 11th vacation uses his radio address for this?  Where is the jobs?  Where is the economy being fixed?  And he‘s talking about this is a non-issue with anybody.  You know what, you guys invented how to play this game.  The unions invented how to play this game.  All they‘re following your playbook.  Come on, this is a non-issue. 

SCHULTZ:  Joe?

MADISON:  Well Ed, every white collar worker in this country when blue collar workers got 40 work-week, when blue collar workers got hospitalization, when blue collar workers got fair pay, do you know not a single white collar worker paid union dues?  And in every corporation, they get the same benefit that those union people worked for?

And I hope my colleague will also feel this way about corporations when people come up sick at the Gulf from all of this oil that‘s been spilled and that they‘re ready to treat those corporations the same way they do individuals and are prepared to sue them to make sure that these people receive some type of restitution. 

So if we‘re going to treat corporations like individuals, then let them be prepared to sue them.  And as far as employment is concerned, somebody go ask General Motors how you can make record profit, bank profits, thanks to President Obama and still not employ more than 2,000 people? Facts speak for themselves.

SCHULTZ:  And finally Scott, I‘ve got to call you on inventing the game.  Union money that is raised is identified.  It comes right from those who contribute who work every day and are well identified.  The money that the Republicans are raising right now is unidentified money.  And that‘s exactly what the president was talking about.  And the Democrats did not invent that, the conservatives springboard did. 

HENNEN:  Here‘s a name for you, George Soros, George Soros.  Do you know how many things he‘s funded his name‘s not on? Come on.  This game is -- by the way, there‘s nothing to be ashamed of here.  It‘s free speech.  Let it flow.  The only reason President Obama is giving that speech is because he‘s worried the Republicans are catching up.

SCHULTZ:  So you think the American people don‘t want to know where the money comes from?

MADISON:  He can‘t answer that one. 

HENNEN:  I don‘t have a problem with full disclosure. 

SCHULTZ:  Well, that‘s what this is, it gives cover to those who don‘t want to know who‘s bank rolling.  Gentlemen, good discussion, good to have you with us.

MADISON:  Transparency. 

SCHULTZ:  Coming up, today, Ken Feinberg takes over BP‘s $20 billion fund from the Gulf Coast victims but I see strings attached all over the place.  Attorney Jeff Breit represents over 600 fishermen and he‘s fuming about it.  He will sound off.  And I‘ll help him. 

And 33 miners trapped underground for two weeks, they are alive.  I‘ll tell you how they survived coming up in the “Playbook.”  Stay with us.  You‘re watching “The Ed Show” on MSNBC.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  And it‘s not too late to let us know what you think.  Tonight‘s text survey question is, do Republicans and FOX News want Americans to believe President Obama is a Muslim? Text A for yes, text B for no to 622639.  Results coming up.  Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  And in my “Playbook” tonight, the $20 billion account BP set up to compensate oil spill victims is up and running.  Today, administrator Ken Feinberg took control of the fund and began accepting claims.  But if you want him to give up a lump sum, you‘re going to have to give up to waive your right to sue BP. 

I got to be honest with you here, I don‘t trust this whole scenario the way it‘s playing out.  We don‘t know the full extent of damages from the worst oil spill in history.  We‘ve been sold a commercial package that‘s unbelievable.  So it makes no sense to make folks give up their right to a future lawsuit when we don‘t know what the damages are. 

Let me bring in Jeffrey Breit.  He is an attorney representing more than 600 shrimpers, oystermen and crabbers down in that region.  Mr. Breit, a town hall meeting today, a lady stood up and said after listening to Mr.  Feinberg said, Linda St. Martin said, “I don‘t trust him.  I think he is a very honorable man but I think that he is boxed in by these very narrow prescribed limitations.”  Would that be a pretty good snapshot of what you heard today?

JEFFREY BREIT, LAWYER:  Well, I‘m a little bit worried what we‘re going to see at the end of this year, at the beginning of next year.  But the interim payments that started today is a different scenario all together.  If he wants to help out those people in the Gulf who need the help and there are thousands of them, fine.  But if you want people to give up their right to sue, BP give up your right to sue Transocean and Halliburton, that‘s a whole other story.  I don‘t think that‘s going to happen in the long run.  Right now the final plan isn‘t in shape yet but the interim payment plans have started. 

SCHULTZ:  OK the interim payment plans have started.  But we were told by many politicians that people were going to be made whole, that businesses were going to be made whole.  Do you feel confident that we‘re on that road?

BREIT:  I don‘t think that‘s going to happen except for a certain number of people.  The geographic limitations by the interim plan is going to make it very, very difficult for businesses to get interim payments.  They‘re going to have to go into the court system.  The court system is not going to be as easy as we would like it to be because the law to help people like BP is pretty tough.  And so I think that the people outside the closeness to the Gulf are going to have real problems.

SCHULTZ:  Mr. Breit, do you get a sense that Mr. Feinberg is going to make sure it doesn‘t go a dime over $20 billion or even get to that number?

BREIT:  Well, that‘s going to be interesting to see because the fund is actually a $5 billion a year fund.  And they‘re getting the money from their oil leases in the Gulf.  And so it‘s not from their assets.  It‘s actually from the income they‘re going to make by continuing their drilling which is a problem in and of itself.  I would think if the laws are as expansive as we would like them to be, we‘ll get to the $20 billion just because of the damage to the states of Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida, Alabama.  But for the individuals, I think it‘s going to be a much harder road.

SCHULTZ:  Is it hard for you to tell your clients to be patient on one hand and not give up their right to sue when they‘re being bombarded with a PR campaign that everything‘s going to be OK and they‘ve cleaned up 75 percent of it?

BREIT:  Well, my clients know that they haven‘t cleaned up 75 percent of it.  I‘m flying down to New Orleans this week.  I‘m meeting with all 600 of my clients on Saturday just because this PR campaign has made them all very nervous about what they‘re supposed to do, do we have a case?  Should we give up our case?  I‘m not giving up our cases and I‘m not going to tell anyone else to do it.  But I am hoping Feinberg‘s actions will speak as loud as his words. 

SCHULTZ:  Mr. Breit, good to have you with us tonight.  We‘ll stay on the story as always.

Final pages in the “Playbook” tonight, Brad Pitt would consider the death penalty for whoever was at fault for the deep water horizon disaster.  In Spike Lee‘s new HBO documentary about New Orleans, Pitt says, “I was never for the death penalty before but I‘m willing to look at it again.” Pitt and Angelina Jolie own a home in New Orleans and have been very involved in rebuilding the city after Katrina.

And nine months after his infamous car crash, Tiger Woods and his wife Elin are officially divorced.  In a joint statement they said that “We are sad our marriage is over and we wish each other the very best for the future.”  They will share custody of their two kids.  No word on how much money Elin will receive. 

Finally, miners in Chile that have been trapped underground for nearly two and a half weeks are alive and well.  Rescue workers were able to drill down almost 2,000 feet and sent a video camera to check on the miners.  They saw one man safe and sound.  The miners attached a message to the probe that said all 33 of us are fine in the shelter.  However, the miners‘ ordeal, it is far from over.  Officials said that it could take up to four months to rescue all 33 people.  Amazing story.

Coming up, Glenn Beck says that you should be ashamed to call the long-time unemployed “Americans.”  This guy has absolutely no clue.  Just an absolute American idiot in my opinion.

The woman Beck took a shot at has something to say about all of that next on “The Ed Show”.  Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  And finally tonight, I won‘t let this story go.  I have some unfinished business with psycho-talker Glenn Beck.  He went after the 99ers.  Listen to what the Beckster had to say. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GLENN BECK, TALK SHOW HOST:  The 99ers, these people, some of which I frankly I bet you‘d be ashamed to call them Americans, they think that 99 weeks on unemployment benefits just aren‘t enough.  Last week they went down to Wall Street and they‘re protesting.  99er Connie Kaplan asked, are you going to tell us, Mr. President, and Congress that our lives are not worth saving? Connie, here‘s an idea.  I‘ll help save your life.  Don‘t spend your remaining money on travel to get to a protest.  Go out and get a job!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  I went to that rally in New York just the other week.  There were about 70 people there.  They weren‘t from all over the country.  They were local folks.  I spoke to these folks that Beck calls un-American.  One of them is Connie Kaplan, who he‘s referring to, the woman that you heard him attack.  Connie, you have been unemployed since February of 2008.  You‘ve had no benefits since March of this year.  How do you feel about being referred to as un-American?

CONNIE KAPLAN, UNEMPLOYED:  I know I‘m American just as much as he is.  And he can say whatever he likes because not too many people who watch this show believe him.  He is just a puppet for the extreme right on the Republican side.  What is that famous phrase, sticks and stones will break my bones? I would like to know what gives him the right to make us the scapegoat all of a sudden, or maybe the Republicans are telling him to do that. 

SCHULTZ:  What is your response when he says, you know, 99 weeks. 

What is the number that you got to have?

KAPLAN:  And some of the long-term unemployed did not receive or do not get 99 weeks of unemployment benefits.  Some of them get as little as 37.  The number is irrelevant.  There aren‘t enough jobs out there.  I‘ve been searching for two years.  Believe me, I want to work.  I‘ll take any job except working for Glenn Beck.

SCHULTZ:  What should the president do?

KAPLAN:  The President Obama?

SCHULTZ:  Yes. 

KAPLAN:  He should definitely hold town meetings, town hall meetings with the 99ers.  He needs to hear us.  He needs to be the person who tells Congress that we desperately need Americans Want to Work Act passed as soon as Congress returns from their recess.  This is a dire emergency.

SCHULTZ:  Connie, I appreciate you being on this program tonight.  But I‘ve got to ask you.

KAPLAN:  What‘s that?

SCHULTZ:  Because our audience—why can‘t you get a job? What‘s out there?

KAPLAN:  Because for every position that‘s available, there‘s six applicants.  It‘s a numbers game.  There just aren‘t enough jobs for the amount of people who are unemployed.

SCHULTZ:  Connie, thanks for joining us tonight.  We‘ll do it again.  Our text survey question tonight, I asked, do Republicans and FOX News want Americans to believe that President Obama is a Muslim?  Eighty-nine percent of you said yes, 11 percent said no.  That‘s “The Ed Show.”  Great to be back with you.  Chris Matthews is next.  We‘ll see you tomorrow night.

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