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The Ed Show for Monday, August 30th, 2010

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Guests: Jim Wallis, Al Sharpton, Stephanie Jones, Virg Bernero, Joe

Madison, Karen Hanretty, Connie Kaplan

ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC ANCHOR:  Good evening, Americans, and welcome to THE ED SHOW tonight, live from Minneapolis. 

These stories on the table and hitting “My Hot Buttons” at this hour. 

Well, Glenn Beck took his freak show to the nation‘s capital over the weekend, had plenty of angry old white folks.  But you know what?  No solutions, although he says he‘s bringing the nation back to God. 

I‘ve got a commentary on that in just a moment. 

Last month, Tennessee‘s lieutenant governor called Islam a cult.  Now the site of a proposed mosque near Nashville, Tennessee, has been set on fire.  Accusations of a hate crime and a terror attack are flying around.  Investigators are trying to get to the bottom of what really happened. 

And I had the privilege of speaking at the real rally commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.‘s “I Have a Dream” speech on Saturday.  I‘ll talk to the man who led the charge, Reverend Al Sharpton, and show you what I had to say at the rally in the “Playbook” coming up. 

But this is the story that has me fired up tonight.  At this hour, millions of Americans, they‘re desperate, searching for answers on where we do we go now on this economy.  False prophet and Fox News hate merchant Glenn Beck gave thousands of his followers this message—


GLENN BECK, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  Something beyond imagination is happening.  Something that is beyond man is happening.  America today begins to turn back to God. 


SCHULTZ:  Well, this is a new act for “The Beckster.”  His crowd was filled with thousands of old, white, angry McCain/Palin leftovers from the election who just can‘t seem to stomach the fact that we have a black man in the White House.  That‘s how I call it. 

These ralliers, they weren‘t Obama turncoats.  These weren‘t progressives that were out there.  Beck‘s Tea Party faithful sat in lawn chairs on the National Mall, listening to a man who can‘t bring himself to apologize for calling President Obama a racist. 

Chris Wallace asked Beck if he has any regrets for making that remark. 


BECK:  Of course I do.  I don‘t want to retract the—I want to amend that I think it is much more of a theological question, that he is a guy who understands the world through liberation theology, which is oppressor and victim. 

“Racist” was—first of all, shouldn‘t have been said, it was poorly said.  I have a big, fat mouth sometimes, and I say things, and that‘s just not the way people should behave. 


SCHULTZ:  So, where‘s the “I‘m sorry”?  Where‘s the “He‘s not a racist”?  You just can‘t amend a comment like that. 

There was no honor stored on Saturday in Washington, D.C.  This was about a multimillion-dollar broadcaster wrapping himself up in God and the troops while pushing his hysterical agenda.  The self-admitted former substance drug abuser and college dropout offered no solutions for the problems that are crippling this country right now. 

“USA Today” just reported one in every six persons in this country are on a government-run anti-poverty program.  More than 50 million Americans are on Medicaid and more than 40 million people get food stamps.  Almost 10 million people receive unemployment insurance, and millions more unemployed wage earners get nothing in the way of government help. 

Beck has no answers for any of these Americans.  Just this month he called unemployed 99ers un-American.  He compared government-run health care or any kind of government assistance in health care to communism and Nazism.  Beck has also said he hates 9/11 victims and called Katrina victims scumbags. 

Now we‘re supposed believe that this guy on Fox, he‘s all about the Lord, he‘s a man of God?  I don‘t believe Beck is ready to give up his platform on Fox News to run a church anytime soon.  Do you? 

He also doesn‘t seem to be interested in public service.  Wallace asked him about a Palin/Beck dream ticket in 2012. 


BECK:  Not a chance.  I don‘t know what Sarah‘s doing.  I hope to be on vacation. 

I have no desire to be president of the United States.  Zero desire.  I don‘t think that I would be electable, and there are far too many people that are far smarter than me to be president. 


SCHULTZ:  Oh, The freak show continues.  The American people don‘t want Beck‘s buddy Palin anywhere near the Oval Office either. 

According to a “60 Minutes”/”Vanity Fair” poll, 59 percent of Americans don‘t think that Palin would be an effective president.  You think? 

At the end of the day, Beck and Palin, they don‘t have anything for anybody other than rhetoric and media talk.  They just want to call the plays from the sidelines with a bunch of phony rhetoric and line the streets and line their pockets.  That‘s how they do it. 

This rally, I think, is absolutely no indication of how the midterms are going to turn out and how everything‘s going to take place.  These rallies are not being held by progressives.  They‘re just a bunch of McCain supporters with Palin out in front of them.  That‘s it. 

They‘re old, they‘re white, they‘re angry.  They can‘t believe Obama won.  They have no answers for America.  They accept the “Party of no,” saying, well, I guess that‘s what we‘ve got to do, because we hate Obama. 

They have nothing for the unemployed.  They speak out against nothing that the Republicans have tried to stop.  Nothing at all. 

It is a circus.  And in the meantime, while our elected officials are at home watching this freak show, they‘re listening to unemployed Americans say, can you get something done on the economy?  Can you do something about small business? 

We‘ll talk about that angle a little bit later on in the program tonight. 

Get your cell phones out.  I want to know what you think about this issue tonight. 

Tonight‘s tech survey question is: Do you believe Glenn Beck‘s rally restored honor in America?  Text “A” for yes, text “B” for no to 622639.  We‘ll bring you the results later on in the show.

Joining me now is Reverend Jim Wallis.  He is the president of Sojourners. 

Reverend Wallis, good to have you with us tonight.  I appreciate your time. 

You have been pretty much, quite often a target of Glenn Beck‘s commentaries.  And he says that he is not for social justice, yet all of a sudden he purport himself to be a man of God in front of hundreds of thousands of people there in Washington, D.C.  And you and I have spoken before about the roots of social justice come from biblical terms. 

Where do you stand on all of this tonight? 

REV. JIM WALLIS, SOJOURNERS PRESIDENT:  Boy, do you feel strongly about this?  Trying to figure it out.  All America is.

I watched the speech, Ed, and I really—I wondered if I was seeing some kind of conversion here from a man who called himself an entertainer to someone who sounded like an evangelist on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and calling us back to God.  Now, a lot of Americans, a lot of us have been trying to turn back to God, we try and do so every day.  The question is, who speaks for God? 

Does Glenn Beck?  Does Al Sharpton?  Does Jim Wallis?  Who speaks for God?  Are we listening to God‘s voice is the question here. 

I was glad to see at least an amendment, maybe not the apology that should have been, to calling the president a racist and saying he has a deep hatred in his heart for white people.  But is there a new tone, a new civility?  I don‘t know.  I hope so.  I heard him say we can disagree and still respect each other and maybe come together. 

So I would say tonight to Glenn Beck, maybe you should stop saying such vitriolic things about social justice Christians and let‘s have that conversation.  Martin Luther King Jr., you know, was somebody whose personal faith led him to call for social, economic, racial justice. 

And so that‘s all I‘ve been saying to Glenn Beck. 

I‘ve been saying, Glenn, let‘s have a conversation, let‘s have a talk, a civil dialogue about what the gospel means.  So I‘m hoping maybe as a result of this new tone, this, perhaps, beginning of civility, we can see that civil conversation.  I hope so.  I really do. 

SCHULTZ:  Reverend Wallis, he sounds like he‘s—when he uses the word “amend,” that‘s such a conditional term.  It‘s not absolute. 

So can he run from that comment in that manner in your opinion? 

WALLIS:  Well, “sorry” would be better.  Repentance is, I was wrong, I‘m going in a new direction again.  So I think when—I would like to see him apologize to the president, also for challenging his faith, his integrity as a Christian. 

All of us struggle to follow Jesus, who believe in Jesus, we try and follow him.  But to talk about someone‘s version of Christianity being wrong, I mean, let‘s have that conversation. 

The president‘s been influenced by Martin Luther King Jr.‘s version of Christianity, which is to say that the gospel is not just personal.  I remember when I was a 14-year-old kid, an elder in my church said, “Jim, Christianity has nothing to do with racism.  That‘s personal.”

And our faith, he said, “That‘s political.  Our faith is personal.” 


WALLIS:  And, you know, I left that night and I came back to faith later.  And now I would say God is personal, but never private. 

So when you reduce the gospel to just private terms, and then you begin to suddenly add politics, which I was afraid of on Saturday, something goes wrong.  We should not let politics to use religion. 

Religion should hold politics accountable, across the board, left and right.  So I want to talk about what it means to be prophetic and not just political. 

If we listen to God‘s voice, we‘re going to have some pretty hard challenges for all of us.  So I want Glenn Beck to have a civil conversation, and let‘s do that.

SCHULTZ:  Well, if our government did listen to God, we wouldn‘t be treating the poor in this country the way we do, and we would have a much stronger social agenda.  So I think it‘s contradictory on all levels on his part.

WALLIS:  Well, the question is how we treat the poor.  How we treat the poor is the first question.

There are 2,000 verses in the bible about the poor, about poverty, about injustice and oppression.  This is biblical language.  So I want to take Glenn at his word on Saturday that he wants to maybe turn to a different tone, maybe be more civil—

SCHULTZ:  It will never happen, Reverend.  It will never happen.

I appreciate your time tonight.  It‘s great to have you with us.

WALLIS:  I would say, Ed, when you use that language, though, the language of God, you begin to make yourself accountable for what you say.  So I hope that‘s true.

SCHULTZ:  Yes.  Reverend Wallis, good to have you with us tonight.

WALLIS:  Great to be with you.

SCHULTZ:  For more, let‘s bring in the man who really honored Dr. King with his “Reclaim the Dream” rally this weekend in Washington, D.C., Reverend Al Sharpton, president of the National Action Network.

Reverend, how did your rally go?  What was the mission?

REV. AL SHARPTON, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL ACTION NETWORK:  The mission was to say that we were there to, one, celebrate the speech Dr. King made, “I Have a Dream,” at the biggest civil rights march at that time, the march on Washington, and to talk about where that dream applies today.

I think that my only real criticism of Mr. Beck—he had the right to have the rally, he had the right to raise what he wanted—is that he started saying that he was going to reclaim the civil rights movement.  And I challenged him then and now to say, well, what does that mean? 

He did not address civil rights at all.  He did not address what Dr.  King talked about.  And to say you admire Dr. King as a man, but not deal with his message, I think is something that is clearly not what that day was about. 

This wasn‘t Dr. King‘s birthday.  That was in January.  This was about a speech that talked about the economic inequality, that talked about the racial inequality, talked about police brutality. 

If he had read that speech, I wonder whether or not that crowd would have roared in approval, or even he could have said that he believed what the speech said.  We dealt with the speech, we dealt with how that speech applies today.  And we had a multi-racial array of speakers to deal with it.  And probably the most fiery and charismatic was you, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  Well, I did have a few things to say.  I did the best I could in three minutes. 

SHARPTON:  You were great.

SCHULTZ:  We‘ll play it a little bit later on in this broadcast. 

But, Reverend Sharpton, do you expect to see a different Glenn Beck in the media now that he says he wants to lead the country to God?  And it‘s almost like it was a turnabout moment for this guy.  After all the hateful stuff that he has said not only about the president, but about workers in this country, about workers who want to organize, your thoughts on the future with this guy?  Or is this just a freak show? 

SHARPTON:  Well, I mean, what I was surprised at is I didn‘t see the guy that was promoting the rally.  The guy promoting the rally said he was going to reclaim civil rights and he had terrible things to say about the president. 

He shows up with this, “I want to turn the country back to God.”  But what he never said is, and then what?  Turn them back to God to do what? 

How does God want us to behave?  How does God want us to close the gap with race and with those that have and have-nots.  How do we deal with those that are different than us? 

He never went into any of that, which is exactly what Dr. King did.  Dr. King is probably the most well-known social justice minister, theologian in American history. 

He didn‘t go near that.  He made Dr. King just a man with no substance. 

And I don‘t know what we‘re going to see in the future, but if he is serious, he would answer specific questions.  If you read the bible, the Torah, the Koran, God never called people without specific, applicable ways that their faith is expressed.  Not just turn to God and not tell us then, what do we do after we do that? 

SCHULTZ:  Reverend Sharpton, thanks for being with us tonight.  And I certainly appreciate the opportunity you gave me to speak at your rally on Saturday.  It was a career highlight for me.

SHARPTON:  Again, you were great, Ed.  People should stay tuned and hear what you had to say.  It was very, very—I think it was something that reminded me of those that marched in the South before your and my time. 

SCHULTZ:  I appreciate it, Reverend.  Thanks so much. 

And we‘ll show you those remarks later on in this broadcast tonight. 

Coming up, there‘s a lot of smack talk about “The Tan Man” leading the Republican sweep in the midterms.  Well, I‘ve got something to say about that.  Put a cork in it.  That‘s coming up next. 

President Obama keeps brushing off the rumors that he‘s a Muslim, and now Reverend Jeremiah Wright, he wants to get in on the action.  We‘ll get “Rapid Fire Response.”

All that, plus we‘ve got Michael Steele‘s going to Guam, and 100 Chris Christies land in the “Zone.” 

You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.  Stay with us. 


SCHULTZ:  Coming up, the Republican Party is leaving small business in the dust in their effort to “Waterloo” the President Obama recovery.  Americans are mad as hell across this country at the obstructionists in Washington.  They‘re looking for leaders to do something, leaders who have got passion, who have got dry, who have got fire in the belly. 

And now they‘re saying, well, Democrats are angry.  Self-proclaimed “The Angriest in America,” Virg Bernero, well, he‘s going to be blowing a gasket coming up in “The Battleground.”

Stay with us. 


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

Republicans, well, they‘re already popping the champagne bottles, you know, out there, saying, oh, we‘re going to win in the midterms, ,we‘ve got this thing locked in.  Not so fast. 

Chris Van Hollen, the head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said at the National Press Club that the Democratic enthusiasm across this country “is rapidly rising,” and that the Democrats will absolutely keep the majority in November.  Well, if that‘s going to happen, boots are going to have to hit the ground big-time. 

For more, let‘s bring in Stephanie Jones.  She is a veteran political adviser and has served as a congressional chief of staff and executive director of the National Urban League Policy Institute.  Stephanie is current a public affairs and government relations strategist. 

Stephanie, good to have you with us tonight. 

Your thoughts on—in the wake of Saturday‘s rallies, what was happening at these two rallies, where do we go from here as far as energizing a base?  You‘ve got the Republicans over there saying, hey, we‘re on our way to the majority. 

What‘s your sense?  Will this be a wake-up call to liberals? 

STEPHANIE JONES, GOVERNMENT RELATIONS STRATEGIST:  Ed, definitely, this is a wake-up call.  I think we are going to eventually look back on last Saturday as an important turning point when the sleeping giant awoke. 

The spirit and the excitement and the feeling at the rally on Saturday

that you felt and you were a part of—and it was so good to see you there

I think is indicative of how we feel across the country.  People of all races, progressives, all across the country, I think, are energized.  And as Labor Day approaches and as we get geared up for the fall election, I think people are really going to be, as you said, putting boots on the ground and making it happen. 

SCHULTZ:  Stephanie, the president has been subjected to some ruthless attacks, some ruthless comments and depictions.  We all know what has been said about him and we all know what the mission has been of the Republican Party, to take down his presidency and not work with him on anything. 

Is that going to fire up the minority vote?  There‘s a lot of talk about the base not being energized, but if they can‘t get energized for President Obama after what he‘s been through, when are they going to get energized? 

JONES:  Ed, I think you‘re right.  I think that will energize not just the minority vote, but I think a lot of voters across the country who really care about policy, who want the government to work, who want to improve their communities.

All of us are very concerned about that tone and that attitude.  And we want to shift the focus away from that kind of approach. 

And I think just as I said, that this was going to be seen as a turning point, I think the rally at the Mall is also going to be a turning point, because something we‘ve seen, for some of these folks, some of these cheerleaders are best left off the field, on the sidelines.  When they take the field and people can really see what they‘re about and how little substance there is, that‘s when folks, I think, begin to pull away and really start to reconsider some of the support for that approach to politics, because that‘s not what we need. 

SCHULTZ:  Stephanie, I think you hit the nail on the head—lack of substance, it‘s a lot of generic rhetoric.  If this doesn‘t fire up the base, I don‘t know what will. 

I think that Glenn Beck did liberals a big favor on Saturday.  I‘m glad—let‘s just say they had two million people there to feel better about it. 

Great to see you and great to have you with us tonight.  Thanks so much. 

JONES:  Thank you. 

SCHULTZ:  You bet. 

Coming up, Michele Bachmann‘s dream for the Congress is enough to get me to wake up in a cold sweat.  Chris Christie-filled nightmare is next here in the “Zone.” 

Stay with us.


SCHULTZ:  And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, well, Glenn Beck wasn‘t the only right-wing whack job to hold a rally in D.C. this weekend.  You see, Dick Armey‘s FreedomWorks group, they held a convention on Friday night.  And Tea Party darling Michele Bachmann, well, she found her way to the microphone. 

She was crowing about a Republican takeover of Congress this fall, but she really went off the rails when she brought up the governor of New Jersey. 


REP. MICHELE BACHMANN ®, MINNESOTA:  All the grit that that

wonderful governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, has been displaying, I

think we‘re going to see a United States Senate filled with Chris Christies



SCHULTZ:  Bachmann wants to fill the Senate with how many Chris Christies, that governor of New Jersey?  I mean, this guy is Bush on steroids. 

He gave his millionaire buddies a nice big tax cut while he slashed budgets for schools, cut teachers and other public services.  Then he missed out on $400 million of federal grant money for schools because his education commissioner couldn‘t figure out how to fill out the application form. 

Michele Bachmann says a Senate full of Chris Christies is a good thing?  That is, my friends, “Psycho Talk.”  

Coming up, Glenn Beck says he regrets calling the president a racist. 

Really?  What does that mean?  But, of course, he‘s too small to apologize. 

And he just wants to amend all of that? 

We‘ve got commentary on that coming up with the panel. 

Also, the Republicans have completely abandoned the middle class.  They‘ve got nothing on the table for them.  And America‘s mayor isn‘t going to let them get away with it.  He‘ll tell it like it is.  Virg Bernero gets after it next.

All that, plus Michele Bachmann gets her hands on a deadly weapon.  The RNC chairman is setting sail to the South Pacific.  What‘s going on with that?  And there‘s Sharron Angle buyers‘ remorse in the state of Nevada. 

You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.  Stay with us.


SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.  Thanks for watching tonight.  Our Battleground story this evening, well, Americans are right to be angry that the economy is struggling and the republicans are working for failure.  No question about it.  One in ten people, one in ten people in this country out of work.  Right now, there is a bill in the Senate that could put some of those Americans back to work.  It would literally change their lives.  It could lower the unemployment rate and help boost confidence in this economic recovery, but the republicans, you see, they‘re blocking it because, you know, helping the country would certainly help somebody else in November.  They don‘t want to do that. 

The “USA Today” reports small businesses are literally ready to move on hiring Americans as soon as the bill passes.  But the republican minority is standing in the way.  The republicans are blocking business owners from expanding.  They are stopping unemployed Americans from going back to work.  If you‘re not angry about that, then you‘re just not paying attention. 

Joining me now is America‘s Mayor, Virg Bernero.  He‘s a democratic nominee for governor in the great state of Michigan.  Some folks in the media in Michigan are labeling him as angry.  You know, Virg, it‘s  interesting, when conservatives get passionate, they‘re labeled as great Americans, but when liberals or democrats get passionate, heck, we‘re just angry.  You have taken a very interesting position.  You embrace the term “angry,” and say, you know, if I don‘t get angry, who is?  How are you handling this in your campaign?

VIRG BERNERO (D), MICHIGAN GUBERNATORIAL NOMINEE:  Well, Ed, if you‘re not angry at this economy and what it‘s doing to people, when we see people thrown out of their homes, when we see people unemployed, when we see people losing hope completely and people having to, you know, take their kids out of school because they can‘t afford the tuition payments to clear the checkbook, if you‘re not a little angry, then I  wonder if you‘ve got a pulse in Michigan.  There‘s plenty to be angry about, but it‘s not enough to be angry.  We‘ve got to go out and advocate and fight for what we know is right.  One of the things is like you‘re talking about, this bill to provide help to small business. 

You know, even the most conservative business types know that in this economy, you know, we‘re being robbed of our recovery in Michigan.  We just did a couple of roundtable  meetings in Flint and Bay City  today, and we heard from business people, entrepreneurs who would like to get started—

I‘ve talked to them all over the state, with excellent balance sheets, excellent credit, never missed a payment.  All of a sudden, these Wall Street banks are calling in the loan, certainly denying any additional loan, so how are we going to get a recovery in Michigan when the credit is like this? 


BERNERO:  How can you, you know, most—as you know, Ed, the vast majority of jobs are created by small business.  And so if small businesses are denied credit, we‘ve got a stranglehold going on in our businesses, and we‘re stuck in our tracks economically.  And so those are the points where it‘s hard for them to have hope. 

SCHULTZ:  And the financial sector is working against President Obama and the democrats, no question about it.  The president came out today and talked about the very bill that we‘re touching on right now on small business.  Here‘s what he had to say. 


BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  There‘s currently a jobs bill before Congress that would do two big things for small business owners.  Cut more taxes and make available more loans.  Unfortunately, this bill has been languishing in the Senate for months, held up by a partisan minority that won‘t even allow it to go to a vote.  That makes no sense.  This bill is fully paid for.  It will not add to the deficit, and there‘s no reason to block it, besides pure partisan politics. 


SCHULTZ:  Virg, it seems to me that there‘s no better issue to run on than to free up this money and get it into the system for small businesses to go.  Is this the best card the democrats can play, you think?

BERNERO:  Well, it‘s a great one.  I mean, it‘s absolutely essential.  You know, the Coffman business report came out and it said the number one issue facing business is access to capital.  Taxes was number seven on the list.  So the reality is, this access to capital is absolutely crucial.  As I say, we‘re being robbed of our recovery, you know, and it‘s galling, in particular, because the very banks that got help from the federal government are the ones denying, really redlining Michigan, denying us the access to capital that we need, robbing us of our recovery, and keeping people in unemployment, and in very desperate situations. 

Meanwhile, the mortgage crisis, everything else is getting worse.  I proposed, you know, the Main Street Bank, modeled after North Dakota, the successful state bank that they‘ve got there, so that we can begin to invest in ourselves.  You know, why should we continue to invest in Wall Street banks when they‘re not investing in us?  They‘re taking our money from Michigan and investing in other states and even in other countries, but denying us the credit, and, you know, they don‘t find us creditworthy.  We‘re flyover country.  They‘ve left us for dead.  We‘ve got to invest in ourselves.  That‘s what my Main Street bank proposal would do.  We‘ve got $1 billion of state money, taxpayer money in JP Morgan Chase, a company that‘s specifically redlining Michigan. 

SCHULTZ:  So what should the president do?  I mean, it would seem to me that President Obama‘s best message right now is to go to your state of Michigan, help you win this gubernatorial race, and talk about where the money is.  I‘ve been talking about this on this show for a year and a half.  It‘s all about access to capital.  And the only thing the republicans are saying right now is, well, we don‘t feel very good right now, and that‘s why we‘re not hiring anybody.  Are you finding out in Michigan that people feel strapped because they can‘t get their hands on the money?  Is that really the issue?

BERNERO:  Well, look, we just, I just talked to a couple of business people today and I‘ve talked to  them every day, people that—with inventions, people with great ideas, people with plans, people with orders, who could be adding to our economy, who could be hiring right now, but are being denied loans.  And why? Essentially because they‘re in Michigan.  Because it‘s geographic discrimination.  They‘re in Michigan.  Sometimes it‘s because they‘re in manufacturing, and Wall Street doesn‘t want to invest in Michigan.  They don‘t want to invest in manufacturing. 

We are desperate for this.  This loan fund for small business is absolutely crucial.  You know, these are businesses, Ed, who aren‘t too big to fail.  These are businesses who are here on Main Street.  And a lot of the empty, the empty storefronts that you see on Main Street, they are businesses that were doing just fine.  But the Wall Street bank decided to call in the note, even though they never missed a payment, they never had a problem.  Again, so we‘re being robbed of our recovery. 

SCHULTZ:  Keep up the fight, my friend.  Go after it. 

BERNERO:  Definitely.  Will do, Ed.  Thank you. 

SCHULTZ:  Great to have you with again.  Virg Bernero with us here, running for governor in Michigan. 

Now let‘s get some rapid fire response from our panel on these stories tonight. 

Glenn Beck amends his statement that President Obama is a racist, but won‘t retract it or apologize for it.  President Obama responds to all the misinformation about him, like the fact that one in five Americans think that he is a Muslim.  An arsonist allegedly set fire to the site of a future mosque outside Nashville, Tennessee.  Now the FBI is investigating whether it was a hate crime or even terrorism. 

With us tonight, Joe Madison, radio talk show host on XM SIRIUS Satellite Radio, and also Karen Hanretty, republican strategist with us tonight.  Let‘s talk about Mr. Beck if we can.  Joe, you had an interview with him the other day.  Did he fully walk back his comment that he said about President Obama having a deep-seated hatred for white people?

JOE MADISON, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  Twice.  You can go on YouTube and hear it.  Twice.  The first question I asked him, why did you call the president a racist?  He‘s not a racist?  I made a mistake.  I should not have.  In essence, I shouldn‘t have, it was wrong.  And then I concluded the 10, 15-minute interview, let me make it clear to everyone listening, you are not—you do not believe he‘s a racist?  That‘s absolutely right.  That‘s exactly what he said.  And within less than 24 hours, he got on network national cable television radio and did the moonwalk. 

SCHULTZ:  Well, here he is yesterday on his own network with Chris Wallace. 


CHRIS WALLACE, “FOX NEWS SUNDAY” HOST:  Do you regret having called him a racist and saying he had a deep-seated hatred for white people?

GLENN BECK, FOX NEWS ANCHOR:  Of course I do.  I don‘t—I don‘t want to retract the—I want to amend, he is a guy who understands the world through, liberation theology, which is oppressor and victim.  Racist was—first of all, it shouldn‘t have been said.  It was poorly said. 


SCHULTZ:  Karen Hanretty, can you make some conservative sense of this?

KAREN HANRETTY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST:  Well, as Glenn also admitted on that same interview, he‘s a big mouth, and I, you know, big mouths, and I know I can be a big mouth, you know, say things that they regret.  I think he‘s definitely said something he regretted.  Of course President Obama isn‘t a racist.  And I‘m not really sure what the point of going into what President Obama‘s theology is, either.  There is so much going on in this nation that government can control.  We should be having a healthy debate, you know.  Your prior guest said, you know, he‘s angry. 

There‘s a lot of anger by people on the right, by people on the left.  We have very different views on how this economy can be fixed.  Do we need more government, less government?  Those are the debates that I think we should be having.  I‘m not sure why we‘re having a debate about what liberation theology is.  Does president Obama believe in it?  It‘s not what really is going to fix this country.  And everyone, you know, you have your own theology, you have your own religious faith, and that‘s fine.  But I don‘t understand why this is part of the national debate right now. 

SCHULTZ:  What do you think, Joe?

MADISON:  Well, I think Karen is absolutely right.  People are feeling alienated.  And I think what Beck has done is that he has, he‘s tapping into fear, he‘s tapping into alienation.  We‘re all out here hurting.  I mean, you said it.  It is absolutely absurd.  You have a bill that won‘t add to the deficit, it gives small businesses that employ more people than all the major businesses, and they will not pass it for pure political reasons, and that is, we don‘t want the democrats to look good before November.  This is ridiculous. 

SCHULTZ:  Yes.  Let‘s talk about President Obama, doing an interview with NBC News anchor Brian Williams, talking about all the misinformation that is out there about him personally. 


OBAMA:  Well, the facts are the facts, all right.  So we went through some of this during the campaign.  You know, there is a mechanism, a network of misinformation that in a new media era can get churned out there constantly. 

BRIAN WILLIAMS, NBC NEWS ANCHOR:  What does it say to you?  Does it say anything about your communications or the effectiveness of your opponents to.

OBAMA:  Well, look, Brian, I would  say that I can‘t spend all my time

with my birth certificate  plastered on my forehead, all right?  It is what

the facts are the facts. 


SCHULTZ:  Karen Hanretty, what is your response to that?  Why is it that a lot of conservatives just won‘t get off this birther thing, won‘t get off this the religious thing?  You know, it coincides right with the Republican Party not helping the president do any of his agenda.  What about it?

HANRETTY:  No, those are completely separate issues, Ed.  Look, you have your fringe, and they‘re crazy, and for years they had conspiracies out there that George Bush and Condoleezza Rice knew about 9/11.  In every -- all political—both political parties have fringe elements.  I think that is one issue.  A separate issue of not wanting to pass this small business bill.  Look, this goes back to the debate between republicans and democrats.  Do we need more government intervention?  Do we need less government intervention?  That‘s a legitimate economic and political debate to have. 


SCHULTZ:  Access to capital is not government intervention.  Access to capital is not government intervention.  The point is, is that the republicans have made this the focal point to bring down President Obama.  Making people think he‘s a Muslim, number one.  Making people think that he‘s not born in the United States. 

HANRETTY:  Give me a break, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  And blocking everything he wants to do.  I‘m not giving you a break.  It‘s a fact.  That‘s exactly what the Republican Party has done for the last year. 

HANRETTY:  You know, you think the republican leadership is out there conspiring to have this debate about President Obama‘s faith?  You think John Boehner.

SCHULTZ:  Joe, you got the final word. 

HANRETTY: .and Mitch McConnell is out there?  That‘s crazy.  You‘re as crazy as those people if you believe that, Ed.  Come on. 

MADISON:  No, no.  Karen, it‘s not that they‘re maybe out there doing, it is their silence that really disturbs me. 

SCHULTZ:  Amen. 

MADISON:  The fact that they know, just like you said, these are crazies.  These are fringe.  This is where sensible men and women say, look, stop this.  Let‘s get down to issues that are impacting black and white people.  Get them.


SCHULTZ:  Joe Madison, you spot on.  Joe Madison and Karen Hanretty.

HANRETTY:  If only Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. 

SCHULTZ:  We‘ll have to do it another time.  I appreciate your time tonight.  We‘ve got to move along. 


SCHULTZ:  Coming up, Michele Bachmann wasn‘t kidding with that armed and dangerous one liner.  She just made a bus tour pit stop at an Ammo Factory and unloaded an automatic assault rifle.  More on that in the Playbook and my comments from the rally on Saturday.  Stay with us.


SCHULTZ:  And it‘s not too late to let us know what think.  Tonight‘s text survey question is, do you believe Glenn Beck‘s rally restored honor to America?  Text A for yes, B for no to 622639.  We‘ve got the results coming up.  Stay with us.                               


SCHULTZ:  And in my Playbook tonight, I want to show you a moment from Reverend Sharpton‘s “Reclaim the Dreams” rally in Washington, D.C. on Saturday.  The rally was awesome, it was a beautiful day, a wonderful group of people, and I was honored to be selected, asked to share a personal story with the crowd. 


REV. AL SHARPTON, AMERICAN BAPTIST MINISTER:  The job market in America, it starts right there in that building.  That‘s where it starts.  Let me tell you about Ed.  I went to a black high school, I‘m a product of forced busing for racial equality.  I know what it was like to be on a black football team.  I know what it was like to go undefeated in a regular season.  I know what it was like that night we went to the playoff game.  And instead of bringing one bus, like they did all season long, oh, we‘re in the playoffs, now, they decided to bring two buses.  And all the white kids got on this bus, and all the brothers got on this bus. 

And I was the last one out of the locker room, and I knew the political climate, I knew why I was there, and I want you to  know, I got on the bus with the brothers and I‘ve been riding with them for the last 40 years! And while the political forces in this country tell us that that building is not worthwhile, that there‘s no hope for public education and that we should defend it and that we should go to school vouchers, ask yourself the question, is that what Dr. King wanted?

(CROWD)  No!

SHARPTON:  Ask yourself the question, is public education important to us fixing the job issue in this country?

(CROWD)  Yes!

SHARPTON:  Let me tell you, and I talk about diversity, I am a proud product of the middle class.  I am a proud product of racial equality and forced busing, and I want to tell my white brothers and sisters and my Asian brothers and sisters and all the walks of the walk in America, it works!  Don‘t be afraid of it.  It works!


SHARPTON:  One final word.  I‘m not in the TV business, I‘m not in the radio business, I‘m living the life of telling the truth about America.  They just happen to put a microphone in front of me.  God bless you! Let‘s go!  Yes, we can!  Yes, we can!  Yes, we can!  Yes, we can!  God bless America!  Thank you!


SCHULTZ:  I just wish I could have talked about social justice, but, of course, they kept everybody to three minutes.  I did my best. 

A couple of final pages in the Playbook tonight.  Psycho queen Michele Bachmann finished up her bus tour with a bang.  Bachmann made an appearance at a federal ammunition factory in Minnesota and decided to end her visit with a little target practice.  According to the employees of the factory, Bachmann fired off several rounds of a semi automatic rifle before switching over to a fully automatic assault rifle.  She shot at human profile targets and decided to keep them as a souvenir. 

And Michael Steele plans to travel to Guam two months before the November elections in hope over raising some fast cash.  Steele is to headline two early September fund-raising events, almost 8,000 miles away from Washington, D.C., even though representatives from Guam are not allowed to vote.  He‘s counting on island communities for support and money.  And voters in Nevada are feeling some buyers remorse after they nominated crazy old Sharron Angle of the United States Senate.  Sixty eight percent of Nevada voters would have preferred if the state‘s republicans had nominated someone other than the Tea Party and Angle.  The scary thing is that two out of three of the voters say that they‘re still going to be voting for Angle because they don‘t like Harry Reid.  It will be a close one. 

Coming up, all Glenn Beck‘s preaching on restoring America‘s honor won‘t help a lick unless the unemployed get back to work.  We‘ll talk to a 99er.  What really needs to happen to restore honor in this country when it comes to the unemployed?  That‘s next.  Stay with us.


SCHULTZ:  And finally tonight, Glenn Beck spent the weekend hollering about restoring honor, but all he offered was a bunch of self-serving rhetoric and no solutions.  I got a suggestion for how we can really restore honor in America.  Help the unemployed, help the 99ers.  My next guest is in Washington, D.C., to deliver a letter to the White House on behalf of herself and her fellow 99ers, begging to be heard. 

Connie Kaplan joins us.  Connie, conservatives, namely Beck, as labeled 99ers as un-American, saying that you‘ve had benefits long enough and then asked the question, how long should these benefits last?  What‘s your answer to that?

CONNIE KAPLAN, UNEMPLOYED FOR 99+ WEEKS:  My answer?  The benefits have to last until we have jobs in America.  We can‘t stay unemployed.  We have to do something.  I‘m going to plead with President Obama tomorrow and with the DNC and the RNC.  We want jobs.  If you pass—if Obama and Congress work on Americans want to work act and get that bill passed, this will be a moot point.  We just need jobs.  And there are ways to create jobs and there are jobs that are available in the green jobs.  People just don‘t even know about the training that‘s available. 

I try to get the word out.  But in the meantime, we need to be included in some sort of an extension for unemployment benefits, so that people stop taking their lives, so people don‘t starve, so children don‘t become homeless.  Because that‘s what‘s happening, and we‘re not going to be ignored, and we‘re going to go vote in November.  And we‘re going to vote for the people who are the politicians interested in hour lives being saved. 

SCHULTZ:  Connie, do you blame the obstructionists in Congress, the republicans for a lot of the problems for the unemployed?

KAPLAN:  Yes, I do.  They are so out of touch with reality and even those that do know about it, they really don‘t care.  They have their own agendas.  They just want to play games at the expense of the 99ers.  What kind of an American are they?

SCHULTZ:  Well, there‘s a lot of social networking taking place by the unemployed.  Do you think they‘re motivated and will support democratic candidates?

KAPLAN:  If I believe who will support democratic candidates?

SCHULTZ:  If unemployed folks in this country, I mean, the unemployed, the people who are idle in this country. 

KAPLAN:  Yes. 

SCHULTZ:  Do you think that they will mobilize and come out and support.

KAPLAN:  Yes, we will. 


KAPLAN:  Yes, we will.  We are.  And we‘re mobilizing right now as we speak.  There are meetings going on in the United States, in New York and in California.  We are mobilizing.  And I‘m part of that cause.  I‘m going to make this happen, and it will be the last thing I do, but I‘m going to help the 99ers every single day until my dying breath.  This is an issue for everyone. 

SCHULTZ:  Connie Kaplan, you are perfect to end this show tonight, because you are restoring honor with your drive and determination to help your fellow Americans who have fallen on hard times in this economy.  I commend you.  Thank you for joining us. 

KAPLAN:  Thank you so much. 

SCHULTZ:  Tonight in our text survey, I asked you, do you think Glenn Beck‘s rally restored honor to America?  Twenty six percent of you say yes, 74 percent of you say no.  I think a lot of conservatives tuned in tonight to see what I was going to say about it all. 

That‘s THE ED SHOW.  I‘m Ed Schultz.  “HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews next.  We‘ll see you tomorrow night from New Orleans at the Health Care Clinic.



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