The Ed Show for Tuesday, August 31st, 2010
Read the transcript to the Tuesday show
Guests: Nicole Lamoureux, Joan Walsh, Robert Greenwald, Ron Christie, Karen
Hunter, Anthony Weiner, Rani Whitfield, Philip Herbert
ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening, Americans, and welcome to THE ED SHOW tonight, live from the convention center in New Orleans.
We are here for a free clinic, and this place is full of true heroes.
We‘ll focus on them tonight. We‘ll have a lot about it throughout the show this evening.
But these stories are hitting “My Hot Buttons” at this hour tonight.
President Obama will officially mark the end of the disaster in Iraq tonight. Bush and Cheney squandered our savings on the war. The surplus could have been used to help these struggling Americans behind me. My commentary on that in just a moment.
“The Tan Man,” well, he‘s going to unveil his master plan to fix the economy just as soon as his vacation is over with.
And a summer of scare-mongering by Fox News has basically paid off. Republicans are crushing Democrats in a new midterm poll. Democrats better get their butts back to Washington and start listening to the folks and start acting and fighting like they want to win.
Congressman Anthony Weiner will blast off on that in the “Playbook” later on in the program.
But first, this is the story that has me fired up tonight.
We‘ve done this before and we‘re going to continue to do it. I‘m joining you tonight from New Orleans at the infamous Ernest Morial Convention Center.
Hundreds of people have lined up at this free health care clinic which is run by the National Association of Free Clinics and sponsored by generous MSNBC viewer donations. And we thank you for that. You‘re affecting a lot of Americans.
Thousands are expected to come through the door before this ends tomorrow—it‘s a two-day event—hoping basically to get just basic health care and get their lives back on track. So many of them are hard-working Americans who have found themselves, through no fault of their own, out of a job.
Many of them have been through probably more than any one person can take. They have lost their homes because of Katrina. They‘ve lost loved ones. And then they get back on track only to be taken down again by the BP oil disaster.
What I see here, besides the resilience of these people, is that we have got a long way to go to help our fellow man in this country.
Here‘s something interesting though, and I find it interesting that this story is breaking today that we‘re down here. You see, these folks are here because Washington has basically let them down.
The decision-makers who had the power to decide Americans should get universal health care got richer, while the rest of the country got a lot poorer in this recession. “The Hill” newspapers has published the top 50 richest lawmakers in Washington. I think it‘s gross.
Look at this. Lawmakers are making millions. The top 50 were worth almost $1.4 billion in 2009 alone.
Now, these are lawmakers that wouldn‘t push for a public option, let alone, well, they wouldn‘t even put universal health care on the table. So we ended up passing a health care bill. And in the end, it‘s not coming fast enough and it‘s not affecting enough people soon enough. But, you know, they sure have been pretty fast to cut the endless checks to fund a deadly war, haven‘t they?
Well, tonight, President Obama will sit in the Oval Office and declare that we have officially ended combat operations in Iraq. Well, the total to date is that we have spent $748 billion on this war. It‘s going took well over a trillion. That‘s the forecast. We‘ve lost 4,416 brothers, sisters, mothers and daughters in this conflict that we didn‘t need.
We‘ve seen over 30,000 of our bravest return from the battlefield injured, and it‘s not over. We‘ve still got a bunch of troops, thousands of troops, that are still in that country. It kind of breaks my heart that this country has thrown money at a war built on a lie, and at the same time failed to take care of the very people in their own back yard.
Basic health care in the United States of America should not have to depend on the volunteers and MSNBC viewer donations. And Glenn Beck can go out there and talk all he wants and lecture us all he wants about how we need to restore honor in this country. I‘ll tell you how to restore honor in this country—do something for these folks. Make sure that every American has health care in this country.
The folks behind me, they deserve a heck of a lot better. All of us do, but we have basically gutted our infrastructure for what happened in Iraq. And I hope the president tonight reminds all of the country that we were told by Mr. Wolfowitz that Iraqi oil was going to be paying for all of this.
Who is going to be paying for this? You are.
We still have a for-profit health care system in this country, and it‘s not getting any better. In fact, it‘s getting worse. And we‘ll talk about that in a moment.
Tell me what you think in our telephone survey tonight, folks. The number to dial is 1-877-ED-MSNBC.
My question tonight is: Do you think millionaires in Congress care enough about helping Americans in need? Press the number 1 for yes, press the number 2 for no. We‘ll bring you the results later on in the show.
Joining me now is the executive director of the National Association of Free Clinics, Nicole Lamoureux.
Nicole, great to have you here tonight. Thank you for all of your work.
You‘ve got 600 volunteers here. But this region has been hit so hard, and I‘ve had two doctors tell me today that you‘re seeing sicker people come through the door.
Do you think there‘s a correlation there?
NICOLE LAMOUREUX, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FREE
CLINICS: Completely. There‘s completely a correlation.
First and foremost, here‘s what we know. We know that our volunteers got sick of waiting for Congress or the president to do something about the health care, so they‘re here. But we‘re seeing patients who were our patients last year when we were here in November.
So they had to wait an entire year to come here. People are coming to me saying, “You know what, Nicole? I don‘t have until 2014. You know how many of us are going to die before that health care bill comes into play?”
These people don‘t have anywhere to go. They don‘t know what‘s going on.
You talked about it. So many people told me, “I lost my house. I lost my family. I get back on my feet, and they are not here.”
But the biggest thing that surprised me, Ed, the majority of our patients, 40 to 60 years old. They can‘t find a job. They don‘t know where they are supposed to go, and they don‘t have a doctor.
SCHULTZ: I was told today that New Orleans and Baton Rouge are number two and number three on the list for increased cases of HIV and AIDS, and the most vulnerable demographic is black women between 20 and 40 years old.
Is that what you‘re seeing here today?
LAMOUREUX: That‘s completely what we‘re seeing here today. That‘s why we have to have rapid HIV testing here today. We‘re encouraging every single patient that comes through this door, get the test you need and get the counseling you need so we can help you.
SCHULTZ: I asked the doctor why. Why is that happening? He says it‘s education and income. And, of course, unemployment has taken a drastic toll on this part of the country, and people are idle.
SCHULTZ: And their behavior is catching up with them. And now we‘ve got almost a re-epidemic starting to take place in this country.
Miami, by the way, is number one. New Orleans, two. And Baton Rouge, three.
Where do these folks go from here? They come here today—the folks that are watching tonight, and also Keith Olbermann‘s show that have donated a tremendous amount of money to make this happen—where do they go from here?
LAMOUREUX: Well, each of the patients that come here will be connected with a local free clinic, community health center, for them to be able to get the follow-up care. But where do they go when they need someone to lift them up? Where do they go for the jobs? Where do they go just to say that they feel that they are an important part of America?
They don‘t have anywhere else that they are going. They come to this convention center and they give us hugs. They feel great because we clap for them, and we tell them that they are important. We need to step up as Americans and start doing that because Congress isn‘t paying attention to it.
SCHULTZ: Are you saving lives here today?
LAMOUREUX: We know for a fact that we‘re saving lives here today. We‘ve had people walk up to me and say, “I wouldn‘t be here tomorrow.” Two people told me that.
Two people told me last year that “I wasn‘t going to be here
tomorrow.” Two people again came up to me, and said, “I was going to end
my life, but I came here instead.” If that‘s not proof that we‘re saving
lives, there‘s nothing else that I can tell everyone
SCHULTZ: Nicole, I told our team before we came here—I said, “We‘re going to see basically four things,” and I‘m just going to test it on you here. We‘re going to find a woman in the crowd here that has a lump in her breast.
SCHULTZ: OK. We‘re going to find someone who has got a blood disorder and didn‘t know it.
SCHULTZ: We‘re going to find a bunch of people that are dealing with diabetes and they didn‘t know it.
LAMOUREUX: Oh, yes. Right.
SCHULTZ: And we‘re going to get a bunch of folks who have got heart disease --
SCHULTZ: -- and they are dying. And I was told by a doctor that because of the stress of this area, and because of all of the things that they have been through, he believes that has really played into hypertension.
SCHULTZ: And the blood pressure is through the roof. He hasn‘t seen anything like it before.
LAMOUREUX: We‘ve already seen all of those today. We‘ve seen two women that have had lumps in their breasts.
We had a man who had a heart attack in February. Had a heart attack yesterday. He didn‘t know he had it yesterday and we had to send him straight to the hospital. He had no idea. He was living with the pain. He told me, “It hurt a little bit.”
SCHULTZ: The National Association of Free Clinics, I‘ve had a lot of e-mail. People want to know, how often do you do this? What determines what you do?
SCHULTZ: Obviously it takes money. Our viewers have been fantastic -
LAMOUREUX: Oh, wonderful.
SCHULTZ: -- in donating to make this happen. But how does this work?
LAMOUREUX: Sure. Well, we can‘t thank the viewers enough, and I think I have to say that.
Thank you for your generosity.
And what we do is we work very closely with our counterparts on the state level to make sure there is a place for follow-up care. So our next location will be Charlotte in December, and we‘re really excited to be going there.
There‘s 78 free clinics in North Carolina, and we know that we have a very strong network. That‘s usually how we pick the locations that we go to next, making sure the patients don‘t just come to a place for a day, but they have somewhere else they can go for that follow-up care.
SCHULTZ: Now, you have been out in the community here in New Orleans the last few days.
SCHULTZ: And you‘ve actually had people come up to you and say, “Are you really going to do this? “
SCHULTZ: I mean, there are people out here that have been so burned by disaster, have not been able to put their lives back together. And then when the National Free Clinic folks, you folks come into town and say, OK, we‘re going to do this, they don‘t believe you.
LAMOUREUX: They don‘t believe me. They come and they say, “Are you sure you‘re going to be there?”
We made phone calls today just reminding people, and they said, “Oh, you really are going to be there? We‘ve been told time and time again, someone‘s coming to help, and then they don‘t show up.”
SCHULTZ: There were people sitting back here that couldn‘t believe that there was still room for people to come off the street and get some help.
SCHULTZ: They were calling their friends and asking them—saying, “No, you‘ve got to get over here. This is the real deal.”
SCHULTZ: Why do you think that is? Why do you think people didn‘t believe that this was really going to happen?
LAMOUREUX: I think in this region specifically so many promises have been made to these patients, and just the residents. We‘re going to come and help you, whether it be money or volunteer areas. And we know that many people did come, and they came over the weekend.
But we really wanted to make sure that we were here, especially let your viewers know that. We stayed after the celebration of the five-year anniversary of Katrina because it‘s important that these patients know that the National Association of Free Clinics, MSNBC and their viewers, are here for the long haul, and we‘re going to help them. But so many of them have been told that they were going to get help and it just didn‘t come through.
SCHULTZ: There‘s a poll out there that says the American people are getting cold feet on the most recent health care bill that was passed. It‘s down 10 percent.
What sense do you get of people that are coming through the day getting help? Do they think, like, that the last health care bill that was passed is going to help them? You said some of them don‘t think they‘re going to be alive in 2014. But, I mean, right now? And a lot it‘s going to be implemented in September.
LAMOUREUX: No, they don‘t feel it‘s going to help them at all, I‘ll tell you quite frankly. They are hopeful, but they really don‘t believe it.
Many of them said, “I went to the doctor the day the bill was passed, I thought I could get health care.”
LAMOUREUX: They don‘t really believe it‘s going to help them. But they will understand that here, today, what we can give them today is true help, real help for now.
SCHULTZ: Nicole, thanks for joining us. Thanks for what you do.
SCHULTZ: We‘ll visit with some doctors a little bit later on in the show. The stories are—they really—they pull on your emotions—
LAMOUREUX: They sure do.
SCHULTZ: -- the folks that come here. And these are hard-working Americans, many of them working two jobs.
SCHULTZ: They can‘t afford health care and they‘ve got family members who are sick. It‘s amazing.
SCHULTZ: Thank you.
LAMOUREUX: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, on a lighter note, “Mr. Tan Man” promises the Republican plan after the summer recess. I bet he‘s thinking long and hard about it in between those rounds of golf. Just trying to keep it in the fairway.
Joan Walsh swings away next.
Fox News brain wizard Gretchen Carlson hammers Robert Gibbs because he won‘t give Bush credit for winning the Iraq War? I‘ll get “Rapid Fire Response” on that tonight.
And we‘ve also got Republican young guns make fools of themselves. And Michele Bachmann is accused of stealing something from her own back yard.
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC live from New Orleans.
Stay with us. We‘re right back.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, it‘s almost predictable. Another August onslaught from Fox News has Democrats running scared, and it could cost Nancy Pelosi her job. Congresswoman Weiner is showing some guts and fighting back. That‘s coming up in the “Playbook.”
Stay with us. You‘re watching THE ED SHOW.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW, and thanks for watching tonight.
Well, “The Tan Man” isn‘t letting the midterm election get in the way of his golf game. On Hannity‘s radio show, John Boehner said that we‘re just going to have to wait until the recess is over to get the full details on the Republican plan to run the country, which means it won‘t happen until at least mid-September. It just reinforces the Republicans as a party of no ideas.
Joining me now is Joan Walsh, editor-in-chief of Salon.com.
Joan, I‘m curious, how can the Republicans repeatedly get away with stalling the country on what they would do if they did get the majority, and yet they are surging in the polls? Isn‘t this rather a strange scenario that‘s playing out politically here? What do you think?
JOAN WALSH, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, SALON.COM: It‘s really not that strange, Ed, because if they were talking about what they would do for the country, they would be sagging in the polls. So the more they keep up an air of mystery and concentrate on a kind of fear-and-smear strategy against Democrats, they succeed. They have found what seems to be a very successful strategy.
I want to say though I think you‘re being a little bit unfair to John Boehner, because when you and I last talked about him, I went and read an interview he did with “Golf Digest” in which he talked about he likes to golf with lobbyists. So I think golf is part of his developing his platform, and it‘s going to mean that he‘s a lot better informed when he comes back from his vacation.
So that‘s what I see in that statement, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Well, on a lighter note, I know a guy that‘s got a 7 handicap. The last thing he wants to do is get into double digits and the first thing he wants to do is maybe get it down to a 4 to a 3. So he has the worst handicap of a guy who really shouldn‘t be playing golf, if you know what I mean. I mean, it gets addicting people—
WALSH: But spends a lot of time.
SCHULTZ: -- when they get to that level. He‘s spending a lot of time out there, there‘s no doubt about it.
But he has also been very effective in just constantly attacking the Speaker and attacking the president, and he said recently, “I‘m not Barack Obama and I‘m not Nancy Pelosi. I say what I mean and I mean what I say. We‘re not going to put anything in a document that we‘re not going to do.”
How do you take that?
WALSH: Well, you know, I also think, to be totally serious, they are having a hard time deciding what to put in a document. I mean, you know, you were joking about the young guns, and even the three young guns, Cantor and Ryan and McCarthy, can‘t agree on what they believe. And they wrote a 200-plus-page book.
There are some really radical ideas out there. Paul Ryan‘s plan would effectively privatize Social Security and Medicare. Cantor won‘t sign on to that. Boehner won‘t sign on to that.
So you‘ve got a certain amount of disagreement within the party, and I think that they really do know that, you know, more tax cuts for the wealthy will not sell, will not be the thing that revives the economy. So, you know, I think it‘s to their advantage to just to try to ignore it and try to kind of fake their way through November.
SCHULTZ: What is Nancy Pelosi doing, the Speaker? I mean, you‘re in that Bay area. Is she going home, working hard?
She‘s not anywhere on the national spotlight. We don‘t see any interviews with her. We don‘t see her quoted very much, interviewed very much.
And I think a lot of people are looking at her. I mean, I think she‘s done a great job as Speaker, but when do we start seeing the Democratic leadership out there pushing hard and making things happen to try to turn these numbers around?
WALSH: I don‘t really think that that‘s Speaker Pelosi‘s role. I think she‘s much more effective behind the scenes.
I respect her a lot. She‘s not the best speaker—as in public speaker—you know what I mean. I don‘t think that she needs to be the public face of the party.
I think she‘s been really effective in pulling together a work group that put the Senate to shame in the last year in terms of what they accomplished, so I‘m not putting it on Speaker Pelosi. I think that we do need to see a much more vital national campaign, and we need to see the president feistier, you know, taking on Wall Street, and really taking on the jobs issue.
I mean, I feel that we‘re becoming complacent as a country with 10 percent unemployment, that it‘s those people. And, you know, you are obviously fighting the good fight, Ed, but so many of us are comfortable and we‘re—those of us talking about this stuff are in professions where, you know, we‘re not seeing a lot of that suffering around us. The Democrats need to stand for jobs, jobs, and jobs, and I‘m not hearing that message nearly loud enough.
SCHULTZ: Well, I think the Democrats need to tell the American people that 10 percent unemployment is not the new normal, and they can turn this thing around.
SCHULTZ: And just hammer home the fact that it‘s been the obstructionists. They have had all kinds of incentive bills on the table that Boehner and his crowd have fought against all along.
Joan Walsh, Salon.com, thanks for joining us tonight. Appreciate your time.
WALSH: Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, the only thing worse than the Republicans having no plan is the plan Arizona Congressman Shadegg put on the table this morning. I‘ll show you why the stooge belongs in the “Zone” next.
SCHULTZ: And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, retiring Republican Congressman John Shadegg.
He‘s got a three-year plan for turning the country around. Let me tell you, it‘s a dandy. That is, as long as you‘re in the top two percent of income earners in America, and, of course, if you don‘t get sick.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN SHADEGG ®, ARIZONA: You want to stimulate this economy? Suspend implementation of the health care bill for three years, promise no new regulations burdening the economy or American business for three years. Promise no tax increases for three years. Watch this economy take off.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: How about we don‘t pay any congressional members for three years?
The bottom line is Shadegg wants to screw over the middle class by following the Republican playbook, but he won‘t be sticking around to face what happens next. He‘s giving up his seat at the end of this term, making room for this guy --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEN QUAYLE ®, ARIZONA CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: Barack Obama is the worst president in history. Somebody has to go to Washington and knock the hell out of the place.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Calling for a moratorium on everything except extending the Bush tax cuts when you don‘t have to deal with the consequences is irresponsible, typical Republican “Psycho Talk.”
Coming up, the self-proclaimed “Young Guns,” Eric Cantor and his two buddies, are out with this absolutely pathetic commercial for their book. You will not believe how bad this thing is. I‘ll show you the tape coming up in a moment.
And the president officially ends the combat mission in Iraq. And the morning crew over at Fox wants this man to get the credit? Award-winning filmmaker Robert Greenwald sets the record straight on all of that.
All that, plus false prophet Glenn Beck has found another way to peddle his garbage. I‘ll get “Rapid Fire Response.”
That‘s all coming up.
Stay with us. You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. We‘ll be right back.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Thanks for watching tonight.
Our “Battleground” story this evening? Ninety minutes from now President Obama will address the nation from the Oval Office to announce an end to combat operations in Iraq. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, no friend of the professional left, went on “Fox & Friends” this morning to preview the speech.
Gretchen Carlson hammered Gibbs on one question: Will President Obama give former President Bush credit?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRETCHEN CARLSON, “FOX & FRIENDS”: Will President Obama recognize the success of the surge put in place by President Bush tonight? No political games here.
Will President Obama credit President Bush tonight in his speech for the success in Iraq?
Will president Obama thank President Bush tonight? Will he credit President Bush tonight for the success of the surge? Will he credit President Bush tonight?
ROBERT GIBBS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Gretchen, I don‘t know whether this is you actually interviewing me or just a tape of you looping the same question over and over again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: This is exactly why democrats shouldn‘t even be wasting their time going on over at FOX. They are on a mission to pressure President Obama to give Bush credit for the surge? Look, I don‘t know about you folks, but I hate old news, but I just cannot let this one go unanswered. I want President Obama to look into the camera tonight and explain that we wouldn‘t have been in this mess if it wasn‘t for W. Bush led America into our first preemptive war on a lie cooked up down in Texas. He wasted time, money and intelligent resources on a country that had nothing to do with 9/11 to settle a score for his day.
And in the meantime, where‘s Osama bin Laden? He‘s still out there, and the war in Afghanistan, no end in sight. Thanks Bush. President Obama, don‘t listen to these hate merchants out there on FOX. George Bush doesn‘t deserve any kind of credit for Iraq. He deserves the blame, and I‘m not so sure that some of us his folks shouldn‘t be brought up on charges, but that‘s just my opinion. And it just seems to me that there are so many Americans out there that are thinking, oh gosh, this war of choice was a success. $748 billion, we‘re going to go north of a trillion. I‘ve got Americans behind me here tonight in New Orleans that would like a piece of that change, but, of course, let‘s remember.
This isn‘t paid for by the taxpayers. Guess what? No one told us about what it was really going to cost in Iraq. In fact, it was Mr. Wolfowitz who told us that Iraqi oil was going to be paying for all of this. Mr. President, how about telling them you‘re going to send them a bill tonight, and we‘ll take an exchange for oil. That would be the heartless thing to do, because, you see, there are a lot of Iraqis who have been run out of their country because of what we‘ve done. There are a lot of refugees around the world because we decided to invade Iraq, and here‘s FOX saying that we‘ve got to give Bush and Cheney credit? Cut me some slack on this one, will you? We can‘t revise history. The facts are the facts. We should have never been in that hell hole.
Joining me now is award-winning filmmaker Robert Greenwald of Brave
New Films. Robert directed and produced, uncovered the whole truth about
the Iraq war. Robert, like me, I know you‘ve got a mouth full to say about
this, but asking President Obama to admit that Bush did the right thing is
it‘s a full hour of psycho talk is what it is. Your thoughts on all of this. You‘re the journalist. You were there.
ROBERT GREENWALD, BRAVE NEW FILMS: Well, I guess disgusting comes into mind and outrageous and infuriating. I would like for them to talk to the 4,416 Americans who were killed over there, to the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who were killed and to say nothing of, as you said, Ed, the $748 billion that we spent. That does not define success. That defines disaster, and for the money we spent on the Iraq war, we could build, and I know you‘re down in New Orleans at one right now, Ed, one million, one million community health centers around this country.
SCHULTZ: Well, it‘s—it‘s just amazing. I think you take a look at what has happened in Iraq. It was a war of choice. We were 45 minutes away from a mushroom cloud. We all remember that rhetoric. We have to fight them over there so we don‘t fight them over here, and there‘s no proof that we‘re any safer today because of what we‘ve done. And so, here we are. Are we going to get this onslaught of how the republicans are supposed to get credit for Iraq? What do you think politically?
GREENWALD: Yes. Well, we‘ve seen, it right. I mean, we saw the clip that you showed from FOX News, the Republican Party‘s mouth piece, and that‘s going to be the line over and over again, and I‘m with you, Ed. I have no idea why democrats would continue to appear on FOX News because remember, this is the organization that just gave $1 million to the Republican Governors Association, so every time a democrat goes on FOX, it‘s like putting money into the pocket of the Republican Party, and it mystifies me why intelligent men and women would continue to do that.
SCHULTZ: Here‘s Mr. Boehner. He says, “Some leaders who oppose, criticized and fought tooth-and-nail to stop the surge strategy now proudly claim credit for the results. Today we mark not the defeat those voices anticipated but progress.” What‘s your response to that and your response to those who say that the surge made this all happen?
GREENWALD: Well, my response would be that the war in any way you measure it is a complete and total disaster. If you sat down a thousand people today and say, do you want to go to war, do you want to lose 4,416 American lives, do you want to spend these billions of dollars, and do you want to come out of it no safer and in fact, Ed, as you well know, you can make a very strong argument, we‘re less safe because the war has fundamentally served as a recruiting organization for terrorists, and if we took that same $748 billion, listen to this. We could put three million Americans to work, and you know the war is supposedly over, Ed, right? So just this year alone with the war over, if we took that same money, we could pay for every single high school graduate in this country to have two free years of university education. That‘s staggering, and damn it, I don‘t see any way that you can define that as a success.
SCHULTZ: Gutting our infrastructure, what are we leaving for the next generation?
SCHULTZ: I‘ll tell you, that‘s what it‘s all about. Robert Greenwald, always a pleasure. Great to have you with us tonight. You continue to do fabulous work for the country. I appreciate it so much.
Now, let‘s get some rapid fire response from our panel on these stories tonight. As I mentioned, we‘re just 90 minutes away from the president‘s speech, and the big question is whether he‘ll give credit to George W. Bush. I want response on that.
Eric Cantor and two of his republican pals, well, they got a ridiculous YouTube trailer pushing themselves as “Young Guns,” ready to make conservative history.
And Glenn Beck launches a new website, the blaze, dedicated to right wing beliefs and, of course, putting more money in his bank account, you think?
With us tonight, Karen Hunter, journalist and publisher and Ron Christie, republican strategist with us tonight. Ron, let‘s start with the Iraq conversation, if we can. Do you think that President Obama should give President Bush some credit tonight when he announces where we‘re going in Iraq, ending combat operations? Your thought on that, Ron?
RON CHRISTIE, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I do. I think it‘s not only President Bush. I think it‘s the commanders that we had in the field and our joint military leadership, that we made a determination in 2007 that the war wasn‘t going well, that we need to rethink and we need to reassess the strategy and that‘s where the surge came in. I think it was very well executed by General Petraeus, so I think that there‘s much to do about nothing here. I think one commander in chief recognizing that the actions of his predecessor have helped stabilize Iraq, what‘s so wrong with that?
SCHULTZ: Well, there‘s a lot wrong with it because we never should have been there. But that‘s just my thinking.
CHRISTIE: We can relitigate why we were there or not. But again, I‘m only acknowledging that he made a tactical decision along with Petraeus and I think that we should recognize that for being factual.
SCHULTZ: Well, I‘m not so sure of that. There‘s a lot of different ways that we could have fought that particular thing. To give credit to Bush for what, for gutting our infrastructure? Well, it‘s either a right war or it‘s a wrong war. It was a war of choice, it was not a war of necessity, so how can you give credit, Ron, to someone who makes a decision to go in on a grudge after lying to the country, outing CIA operatives, gutting our intelligence community, and fabricating the story in the lie to the American people? What the hell is Obama supposed to do, say thanks, President Bush?
CHRISTIE: Where do I start with you, Ed? Where do I start? Outing an operative, that‘s a lie. We all knew that it was Richard Armitage who leaked the name. It wasn‘t President Bush, it wasn‘t Dick Cheney even though you want that to be true. Next you want to say.
SCHULTZ: OK, OK. So nobody knew who Valerie Plame was at the end of the day and nobody knew that her husband went over there and told the truth and ended up on the “New York Times.”
CHRISTIE: You guys—you guys can try this all you want.
SCHULTZ: What do you mean you guys? You got a guy that got convicted.
CHRISTIE: Oh no, actually.
SCHULTZ: All right. Karen, I‘ve got to get you in here. Karen, let me ask you, what about President Obama even mentioning President Bush tonight? What do you think?
KAREN HUNTER, JOURNALIST: It would be a mistake, but if he‘s going to give him credit for anything. He can give him credit for the current state of our economy, the current state of how we‘re viewed around the world. He can give Bush a lot of credit if he wants to. Bush took over with a surplus and took us into this war, as you mentioned and by the way, I want to commend you. Your last segment was so eloquent and anybody with a brain who is not shrilling for a partisan politics would totally agree with what you‘re saying. It just makes no sense that you would give this man credit for taking us into a war that we shouldn‘t have been in the first place.
CHRISTIE: I just don‘t know what to tell you. I think that you look back at the time. You had Vice President Biden, then Senator Biden, you had, of course, Senator Clinton who is now the secretary of state who were all making very, very.
HUNTER: All based on that information that the Republican Party rammed down our throats. That‘s the reality.
CHRISTIE: Excuse me. I didn‘t cut you off. Why don‘t you show a little respect? The fact of the matter is that these senators were actually making these comments before President Bush actually took us into Iraq. The fact of the matter is we can try to relitigate this or not. I think the certain thing that we find here is that there‘s a lack of comity in politics today because people are more interested in scoring partisan political attacks. Let‘s try to take the country forward. We actually were in Iraq. The president is going to lay out his vision tonight. Why we are ending combat operations? Let‘s not relitigate the Bush administration. Let‘s talk about how we‘re going to make this country stronger as Americans, not republicans or democrats, but Americans.
HUNTER: I agree with you wholeheartedly but you should take your own advice, Ron.
CHRISTIE: Oh, yes, sure.
SCHULTZ: I also think that all—I think all of us here should admit the fact that the president of the United States tonight is living up to a campaign promise to end combat operations in Iraq. Let‘s go to the “Young Guns.” It seems like the republicans just can‘t get enough of firearms and wars and everything else.
CHRISTIE: Keep it up, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Here‘s part of a commercial—well, it‘s the truth. I mean, of course, you see our story last night. Michele Bachmann, she goes over to an ammo dump in Minnesota and shooting target, I mean, it‘s just more of the same, Ron. You know that.
Anyway, here is the “Young Guns” commercial right here with the three hot shots that think they are going to make conservative history.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: The new team is ready to bring America back. Eric Cantor, Kevin McCarthy, Paul Ryan, joined by common sense conservative candidates from across the country. Together, they are ready to make history. Together they are the young guns, innovative, energetic, forging new solutions. One book will outline a vision to restore America‘s prosperity. “Young Guns,” a new generation of conservative leaders.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: I‘ll tell you what, I don‘t know if that‘s the shootout at the O.K. Corral or whatever it is. So, Karen, what do you make of that commercial? It‘s a very interesting technique politically.
HUNTER: No. It‘s brilliant actually, as a publisher I like it. It‘s going to sell a lot of books, but the reality is they want to reclaim America or take America back. Where were they eight years ago when the last administration was driving us into the abyss? They weren‘t anywhere to be found when they could have done something about it then, so now they want to take the country back to where exactly?
CHRISTIE: Well, I‘ll tell you where we want to take the country. We need to take the country forward. If you look at Paul Ryan and Eric Cantor and Kevin McCarthy, these are the three brightest leaders in the House that we have. We‘re talking about ways of making sure we can have a strong Social Security for our seniors. We‘re taking about making ways that we can streamline the Medicare, the Medicaid system. We‘re talking about ways that we can have meaningful entitlement reform, tax reform, so, yes, we are moving forward, and, again, I would suggest to those who say oh, the last eight years that drove us into a ditch, it doesn‘t match up with the reality. The reality of the situation is when the Bush administration came in, we were dealing with a minor recession, when, of course, you talk about the surplus, the fact of the matter is.
HUNTER: What country were you living in, Ron?
(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)
HUNTER: Where were you living?
CHRISTIE: I was living in this country. You guys make up facts to make—to fit your little narrative.
SCHULTZ: It is not speech time about Bush, OK?
CHRISTIE: You keep bringing it up. It‘s your obsession with Bush.
It‘s your obsession.
SCHULTZ: You don‘t see any democrats out there making these goofy films about “Young Guns” almost like a move trailer. Who are they going to be shooting at, guns for what? Who do they want to shoot at? It‘s absolutely crazy.
CHRISTIE: Let me give you the rapid fire thing. I think what‘s going to happen, you find a ten-point now difference for people who want to vote for republicans as opposed to democrats which is the highest in the history of the Gallup poll. I think we‘ve seen the democrats.
SCHULTZ: Do your high fiving now, Ron. It‘s not going to happen.
You‘re not taking over the House.
CHRISTIE: Hey, Ed. I will come back here the day afterwards.
SCHULTZ: Karen Hunter, Ron Christie.
HUNTER: Thank you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: You will be the first guest on the program, my man.
CHRISTIE: I will hold you to it.
SCHULTZ: Karen Hunter and Ron Christie, good to have you with us tonight.
CHRISTIE: Thank you, folks.
SCHULTZ: And a programming note tonight. You can watch the president‘s oval office address tonight starting at 8:00 p.m. right here on MSNBC followed by “COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN.”
Coming up, the summer hatchet jobs from FOX News work, again. Congressman Anthony Weiner is not standing for it, he‘s fighting back with the truth. That‘s next.
Plus, armed and dangerous. Michele Bachmann is accused of stealing? I‘ll explain it all in the Playbook. Stay with us. You‘re watching THE ED SHOW.
SCHULTZ: And it‘s not too late to let us know what you think. The number to dial is 1-877-ed-msnbc. Tonight‘s telephone survey question is, do you think millionaires in the Congress care enough about helping Americans in need? Press the number one for yes. Press the number two for no. Again, the number to dial is 1-877-ed-msnbc.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Thanks for watching tonight. Playbook action. A new Gallup poll shows that republicans will have a ten-point advantage on the generic mid-term ballots. Fifty one percent say that they plan to vote for a republican, I don‘t get it, 41 percent say, they plan to vote for a democrat.
Joining me now is New York Congressman Anthony Weiner. Congressman, good to have you with us tonight.
REP. ANTHONY WEINER (D), NEW YORK: My pleasure.
SCHULTZ: I appreciate your time. Why do you think these numbers are what they are? I mean, let‘s face it, polling today is pretty accurate as opposed to what it used to be. Why do you think this number is where it is?
WEINER: Well, listen, the other side has been a lot more disciplined, and that discipline is extended to making stuff up and they have also done a brilliant job campaigning against the status quo and saying they don‘t like the way things are going in this country and neither do we democrats. But I‘ve got to tell you, Ed, I think sometimes, we as democrats walk into knife fights carrying library books. We have to make this a choice between us and then. And what do they want to do, your “Young Guns,” whatever you want to call them, they want to privatize Social Security, they want to deregulate the banks, they want to take back the middle class tax cut that we gave them in the stimulus bill. The fact is that if we make this a choice between democrats and republicans, they were going to win but they have done an excellent, excellent job driving the narrative that this is a choice between the status quo and them and no one is particularly happy right now. I can attest to that.
SCHULTZ: FOX News has gone wild on this Islamic culture center that could be built down near Ground Zero. How much do you think that has played into all of the negativity that‘s gone on right now towards democrats?
WEINER: Well, it certainly hasn‘t helped because it‘s been a classic distraction. You know, the fact of the matter is I believe that we in politics should be staying out of this debate. This is not a place that politicians should be, but I do think we should be engaging the republicans on their plan to privatize Social Security. Do the American people really think that‘s a good idea? Do they really think it‘s a good idea when the republicans rail against the stimulus bill? Do they realize that in that stimulus bill was a tax cut for 95 percent of working Americans. The republicans oppose that idea. If we keep this on the issues that Congress is really going to be working on and that we really need to move forward in Washington, we‘re going to win. So long as we‘re distracted by everything else, they‘re going to do pretty well.
SCHULTZ: Congressman, don‘t you think that democrats have to explain to the American people what you‘re going to do if you keep the majority? I mean, the silence I think has been deafening. I realize everybody is home in their district and what not, but the fact is the democrats have not been out there on the national platform and September and October, it would seem to me, that the democrats are going to have to explain, OK, this is the way the world is going to turn if we stay in the majority, pick and choose. Do you think they have done a good job of that so far?
WEINER: I don‘t think, we‘ve done a very good job at all and I think the part of the problem is we have not explained to the American people what I think intuitively they‘re going to get to between now and the first Tuesday in November. And this is a choice between two platforms. And let‘s look at what the republican platform is. As little we‘ve heard of it, we know a couple of things for sure. We know that they plan on privatizing Social Security. We know that because it‘s right in that book that you talked about earlier. We know, for example, that they have said over and over again, they are against the financial reforms so imagine that they are going to try to deregulate Wall Street. We know where that got us.
WEINER: We know, for example, that they have said that they are in favor of extending tax cuts, for get this, billion airs, but opposed the stimulus bill which had tax cuts for the middle class. So, if we can make that a choice, then we‘re going to do just fine in these elections because the American people respect the idea that they want to know what they are choosing, not just what they are against.
SCHULTZ: And quickly, congressman, are you worried about democratic turnout in the mid-term? I mean, are you afraid that there‘s going to be a lackluster attitude out there?
WEINER: Yes, frankly, I am. I need a little bit of that Obama magic dust to be sprinkled on the electorate like it was in 2008. We need the president out there.
SCHULTZ: He needs to engage.
WEINER: As only he can do. But yes, you know, I think all Americans need to realize that if they are not careful, they are going to wake up and the people that are going to be in charge of the House and Senate are going to be people that fundamentally don‘t agree with the values of the American people.
SCHULTZ: Congressman Weiner, great to have you with us tonight.
Thanks for coming in. I appreciate your time
WEINER: Thank you, brother. You got it.
SCHULTZ: You bet. Final page in the Playbook tonight, armed and dangerous, Michele Bachmann‘s newest campaign commercial could have her in some legal trouble, folks. It uses the Minnesota state fair logo to look at her democratic rival‘s tax record. Just one problem, the logo is trademarked and the psycho talker from Minnesota used it without permission.
The state fair is asking Bachmann to stop using it because they don‘t endorse candidates.
Coming up, nothing can stop the Saints here in New Orleans, not a hurricane, not the worst oil spill of all time, nothing, and I can‘t wait to introduce you to two extraordinary people next on THE ED SHOW. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW here in New Orleans. Before we leave tonight, I want you to meet some of the people behind the scenes that have made this all happen. Dr. Rani Whitfield who is the director of Today‘s Clinic.
DR. RANI WHITFIELD, FREE CLINIC VOLUNTEER: Yes, sir.
SCHULTZ: I‘ve seen you before.
WHITFIELD: Yes, Ed, good to see you before.
SCHULTZ: You‘re one unselfish American. I appreciate you doing this.
WHITFIELD: Thank you so much.
SCHULTZ: What are you seeing here today, doctor?
WHITFIELD: A lot of hypertension, congestive heart failure, diabetes has been probably controlled, some diabetic ulcers, I have one guy that has pre-stages of gangrene. Some very sick people. None have an HIV but I‘m sure we‘ll probably pick some of that up by tomorrow.
SCHULTZ: When you see these Americans, can you believe you‘re in America?
WHITFIELD: It‘s hurtful. I‘m very disappointed in the outturn of the physicians and servants of the community. I mean, you‘ve got people coming from different states with...
SCHULTZ: You need help?
WHITFIELD: Definitely. We need doctors to come out, we need nurses
to come out
SCHULTZ: I understand you‘ve got 52 doctors from around the country.
A couple came from the state of Washington, is that right?
WHITFIELD: State of Washington, it‘s amazing that they came to volunteer but I was hoping that some people in my own backyard would have come out and helped as well.
SCHULTZ: Why is that? There were some people in the community that were asking, is this really going happen?
WHITFIELD: I‘m not sure. I can‘t explain that, but it‘s going to
happen. We‘re going to make it happen. I mean, there are so many great
volunteers in our community. People that want to see these individuals get
better. They are passionate about healing. You know, Louisiana had some
bad statistics, I mean, we‘re ranked 49th out of 50, when in comes to life
expectancy, high infant mortality, high rates of obesity and HIV/AIDS, so
we need help and, you know, post-Katrina and the gulf spill, we need help
SCHULTZ: I mean, it‘s really the disastrous conditions that have hit this area that has taken a toll on their health.
WHITFIELD: Yes. And we don‘t even note long-term ramifications of what happened in the gulf oil spill. So, you know, right now it‘s about acute care and getting these people well but also about connecting them with these free clinics in the community and the National Association of Free Clinics has done a great job of doing that today.
SCHULTZ: Dr. Whitfield, thanks for joining us.
WHITFIELD: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: I appreciate your time.
WHITFIELD: This folks have been through hell. This gentleman has, he‘s a commercial fisherman and St. John‘s Parish police officer. Philip Herbert.
PHILIP HERBERT, ST. JOHN PARISH POLICE OFFICER: Yes, sir.
SCHULTZ: What‘s life been like? You only, you can tell the story.
I‘m just here and all the things you‘ve been through.
HERBERT: I‘ll tell you, this region has been through a lot, Ed. During Katrina, I mean, there‘s horror stories. A gentleman like the doctor there, I mean, I‘ve seen some devastation. Now we‘re dealing with the oil spill in the region.
SCHULTZ: What have you personally been through?
HERBERT: Oh, well, I‘ve lost everything in Katrina, lost my mother during Katrina. I did a lot of search and rescue during Katrina. I could tell you I‘ve seen—I‘ve seen some terrible things and I talked to some people that has been in the military, and they said, they have never seen devastation of that sort.
SCHULTZ: And what happened with you in the oil spill?
HERBERT: Well, of course, we took a hit with our commercial fishing business. Everybody else did.
SCHULTZ: Is it going to come back?
HERBERT: Will it come back? Who knows what the long-term effects are going to be. They are seeing some signs of the seafood, the shrimp business anyway coming back.
HERBERT: At this point, but will there be a sale for it? You know, I can‘t say I would eat it. Will somebody in the other area of the nation eat it, who knows?
SCHULTZ: Mr. Herbert, I appreciate your time tonight. Thanks for joining us on THE ED SHOW.
HERBERT: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Earlier tonight, our telephone question was, I asked you, do you think millionaires in Congress care enough about helping Americans in need? These are the numbers. This percentage said yes and this percentage said no.
That‘s THE ED SHOW. I‘m Ed Schultz from New Orleans. We‘re back tomorrow night here on THE ED SHOW, 6:00 Eastern from New York. Thanks to all of you viewers of MSNBC, our show and “COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN” for donating and making this happen here in New Orleans. The president speaks tonight on “COUNTDOWN” followed by “COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH.” We‘ll see you then.
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