The Ed Show for Monday, September 27th, 2010
Read the transcript to the Monday show
Guests: Jim McDermott, Craig Fritsche, Bernie Sanders, Dennis Van Roekel,
Joe Madison, Michael Medved, Eric Boehlert
ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening, Americans, and welcome to THE ED SHOW tonight from New York.
These stories are hitting “My Hot Buttons” and on the table at this hour.
Wannabe House Speaker John Boehner proves he isn‘t qualified to be dog catcher. The wizard behind the “Pledge to America” says the American people aren‘t ready for solutions. How about that?
Well, I‘m ready to give him a few words on my mind coming up in a moment.
Governor Chris Christie, he‘s the biggest threat to our nation‘s schools when he‘s not yelling at people at town hall meetings or looking to trim the fat at expense of our teachers. Well, I‘m doing my part for NBC‘s “Education Nation,” and I‘m exposing him tonight about how he is against public education.
And the false prophet Glenn Beck is absolutely freaking out about dangerous killers coming from the left. His rhetoric is what‘s dangerous, and it needs to stop.
But this is the story that has me fired up tonight. House Minority Leader John Boehner has been out in the sun just probably a little bit too long, hasn‘t he? “The Tan Man” is flustered and backpedaling on his “Pledge to America.”
The Republicans‘ so-called new governing agenda to set a different course for the country is nothing but a garbage sale. And the American people aren‘t buying it.
After 20 months of offering no ideas, he and his cronies did a dog and pony show to lay out their playbook for the American people. Late last week he sounded pretty confident.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN BOEHNER ®, MINORITY LEADER: The American people are speaking out like never before. They‘re concerned about the future of our nation and the future for their children, and they see a government in Washington that isn‘t listening, doesn‘t get it, and frankly, the American people think that Washington doesn‘t really care.
We‘re here today to put forth a new governing agenda built by listening to the American people that offers a new way forward.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: You know, that sound bite was from last week, but I just can‘t get enough of it.
Now, I told you his 21-page “Pledge to America” wasn‘t worth the paper that it was printed on. And “The Tan Man” proved me right on “Fox News Sunday.” Chris Wallace asked him about solutions.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOEHNER: Let‘s not get to the potential solutions. Let‘s make sure Americans understand how big the problem is. Then we can begin to talk about possible solutions and then work ourselves into those solutions that are doable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Boehner can‘t even give a straight answer on Fox News. After months of waiting, he says the pledge was only just to lay out the problems.
Here‘s a good place to start, Mr. Boehner—you. You are the problem.
Boehner has the nerve to say that Americans aren‘t ready for solutions? It‘s pretty clear “The Tan Man” was thinking more about his handicap and where to catch some rays instead of developing a real agenda for America.
Boehner‘s sidekick, Mike Pence, caved when asked if there is anything new about the “Plague on America.”
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MIKE PENCE ®, INDIANA: What we have in this proposal is not necessarily new. The idea of fiscal responsibility, pro-growth policies, openness and transparency in government are solid American ideas.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: “Not necessarily new.” I just want to make sure I got that written down.
Boehner and his crew, they don‘t want to talk about solutions even though, as Think Progress found, his own pledge states, “We recognize that these solutions are ambitious.” The pledge also states that “Republicans will fight to promote and advance solutions.”
John Boehner, you know what he is? He‘s a cheater.
He‘s cheating the American public every time he opens his mouth and offers nothing but the word “no.” He cheated people out of unemployment benefits, jobs, health care reform, and a decent chance at the American dream. Just look at the housing market. Have they done anything to help it out?
President Obama is now hammering the Republicans over the pledge.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The Republicans who want to take over Congress offered their own ideas the other day. Many were the very same policies that led to the economic crisis in the first place, which isn‘t surprising since many of their leaders were among the architects of that failed policy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Boehner and his posse of “Young Guns” never want to talk solutions. The only thing they‘re good at is creating problems for President Obama and the country.
And the same day the Republicans claim to have a small business plan, they voted against the small business bill. They have nothing for education, job creation, or anything else that will move this country forward.
Boehner is dead wrong. Americans are starving for solutions. And the only way we can get solutions, if two parties act statesmen-like and work together.
Five weeks from tomorrow, America has a crystal-clear choice. You can stick with the party who voted for health care, financial reform, small business and unemployment benefits, or you can vote for the “party of no solutions.”
They condemn themselves out of their own sound bites, yet they run around the country telling us that we‘re going to get hit if we don‘t vote for them, and that they‘re the only way to save the economy to make sure that their fraternal brothers of the top two percent get all the tax cuts when it‘s been proven that crowd isn‘t going to create any jobs. This is a complete fraud being played on the taxpayers of this country. They ought to be embarrassed what they put out in front of their party last week. And now they‘re coming back a few days later saying, well, not really.
Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think about all of this tonight, folks.
Tonight‘s text survey question is: Do you believe Republican leadership has solutions for anything? 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 Democratic Congressman Jim McDermott of Washington.
Congressman, good to have you with us tonight.
REP. JIM MCDERMOTT (D), WASHINGTON: How are you, Ed?
SCHULTZ: I want to focus—I am perplexed that they would come out with this plan, so to speak, and then turn to the American people and say they don‘t understand how big the problem is and they‘re not ready for solutions.
What‘s your response to that, sir?
MCDERMOTT: Well, Ed, as I listened to your presentation, it makes me really angry to hear them say this stuff, because they have resisted working with us on every single proposal we‘ve made.
In health care, we had a plan to reduce the impact on small business. They voted no. This week we gave $12 billion in tax cuts to small business. They voted no.
I mean, the list is as long as my arm. And when they say they have solutions, if we put them in charge, you know, you have to give some evidence of that or at least talk about some. But they won‘t even talk about what they‘re going to do. John Boehner says, well, first we have to convince the American people there‘s a problem.
Hey, John, wake up. They know there‘s a problem. The question is, what are you going to do about it?
And they really—they really run from any solution we put on the table. They won‘t work with us. It drives us really—I mean, it‘s infuriating.
SCHULTZ: Congressman, do your constituents get that? I mean, do you run into any resistance at all from people who are saying, gosh, the Republicans have really got the good ideas? Do you hear that at all out there?
MCDERMOTT: All I heard this weekend when I got home to Seattle was laughter. They said, “Did you see what those guys said?” And then on Sunday they got up there with a straight face and said it again.
It‘s sort of like what Groucho Marx said—the first thing you do when you go into politics, you‘ve got to be able to keep a straight face. Well, they‘ve got that down. They can make you believe they have a solution, but there‘s no evidence anywhere of any solution.
SCHULTZ: Well, if this tax cut goes through, it would add $4 trillion to the debt of this country. And yet, they offered $16 billion to offset that.
How could the Democrats not just take that and go to the barn big-time and just hammer them on the fact that they‘re screaming about fiscal responsibility, yet they want to add trillions of dollars to our financial woes? What about that?
MCDERMOTT: Well, that‘s why we turned down their proposal, because they never want to pay for it. They didn‘t want to pay for the tax cuts of George Bush in 2001 and 2003. They didn‘t want to pay for the wars. They didn‘t want to pay for anything.
And they still are talking about that the answer to everything is cut taxes. Well, frankly, we tried that, and we‘re in the ditch we‘re in today because we tried that. And there is no sense in going that way again.
MCDERMOTT: We need to pay for what we do. And we put a program out there and they said, no, no, we don‘t like to pay-fors because you‘re taking it away from one of our friends.
SCHULTZ: Congressman, great to have you with us tonight.
Jim McDermott of Washington.
Appreciate your time on this Monday evening.
MCDERMOTT: Good to see you again.
SCHULTZ: And now let‘s bring in the small business owner that hosted the Republicans‘ dog and pony show last week, Craig Fritsche. He is the president of Tart Lumber Company.
Mr. Fritsche, nice to have you on THE ED SHOW tonight. I appreciate your time. And thanks for offering up your business to the Republicans last week to get involved. I think it‘s great when businesses are active.
CRAIG FRITSCHE, TART LUMBER COMPANY: Well, Ed, it‘s nice to meet you.
And I‘m glad you would have me on to represent small business.
SCHULTZ: OK. Do you feel the Republicans with the “Pledge to America” have your interests at heart?
FRITSCHE: Yes, I do. And I realize it‘s short on some specifics, but the point is that they realized the last time they had control—and I waited most of my life for the Republican Party to have control of the House and the Senate and the presidency—they knew they blew it.
They didn‘t control spending. They let things get out of control.
It‘s even worse now. We have got to get it back under control.
And I am appreciative that they‘ve at least put a stake in the ground and they‘re trying to tell you something about what you‘re going to get when you vote for them. I realize it‘s short on specifics, but I realize that politicians don‘t always like to say that tough choices are going to need to be made in order to get spending down.
SCHULTZ: Do you think President Obama has been genuine in his effort to help small business? And your response to this most recent bill that was signed that‘s going to give, as you heard the congressman say, so many billions of dollars in tax breaks to small businesses? What do you make of all of it?
FRITSCHE: I do like that bill, and I‘m glad that they‘re making efforts to help us borrow money. But on the flip side, they‘re going to raise our taxes. And I am—you know, if we get back to profitability, I‘ll be in that tax bracket, and that‘s the unfair thing about the small S corps where the income has to flow through our personal tax returns, and it makes it harder for us to buy the truck or the forklift, or put GPS‘s in our trucks and hire more people.
So, putting me up to a 39.6 tax bracket, when GE or Microsoft will pay 35 percent, just isn‘t fair.
SCHULTZ: And what about the fact that you‘re a member of only two percent of the people in this country that would be in that tax bracket, correct?
FRITSCHE: Sure. But the point is, I take a five-figure salary. We put the money we earn back into the business.
The whole reason we‘re getting through this recession is we had saved our money when times were profitable. We had no debt.
I‘ve lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in 2008 and hundreds of thousands of dollars in 2009, and yet I kept everyone on the payroll. I protected their jobs because we believe in our people. And that‘s the way small businesses are, at least our small business. And now we are struggling to make sure we can make money again.
I would be profitable this year, except when my largest customers filed Chapter 7 in June, so this year, once again, I‘ll have about a $120,000 write-off in December, and we‘ll probably be in the red. But we are getting better.
And eventually I‘ll be back to up maybe we can make $400,000, $500,000 profit. But I‘m still going to pay 35 percent to the federal government, 5.75 to the Commonwealth of Virginia, personal property tax to Loudoun County.
I pay plenty of taxes -- 41, 42 percent will end up going to the government in some way, shape or form. And the rest of it I put into the business to create more jobs.
And the small businesses in this country are the ones that are closest to the problem. We‘re willing to take a risk, we‘re willing to hire one or two more people. And with the hundreds of thousands of small businesses in the country, if you let us do it we‘ll create more jobs.
SCHULTZ: And the fact is, is that 98 percent of the people aren‘t in your category. You‘re very fortunate. And congratulations on being successful.
But with all those taxes that you mentioned that you pay, Mr. Fritsche, don‘t you deserve a government in Washington that will at least work together? And it took the president and his agenda 22 months to pass this bill that will directly help you and your business. Don‘t the Republicans deserve you at least a little bit more than that?
FRITSCHE: I will agree with you that the biggest problem we have right now is the partisanship in Congress. And if the Republicans do get elected, and we have the same problems we have now, they‘ll be booted out in two years as well. We have got to find a way to work together like Tip O‘Neill used to do in the old days, like Ronald Reagan did.
SCHULTZ: So you really can‘t subscribe to the way the Republicans have been operating in the last 22, 23 months. They‘ve said no to everything. They‘ve said no to your business getting better.
FRITSCHE: Well, I will say this—we have a trillion dollars—and this is hard to talk about. People cannot fathom these numbers. We have a trillion-dollar deficit and a $13.4 trillion debt.
FRITSCHE: So, the fact is, some of the things we‘re doing I don‘t know how in the world we pay for. And I‘m scared for my children and my grandchildren.
So, I don‘t think it‘s so bad to say no if you‘re not sure how things are going to be paid for. And I know this happens on both sides, because the government doesn‘t run the way a small business does.
At the end of the fiscal year, they‘re racing to spend all their money so their budgets don‘t get cut. In small business, we‘re proud of the fact that we can save on costs. For some reason, in government, it‘s let‘s spend everything that was budgeted, otherwise they‘re going to cut it next year. We have got to change that attitude in Washington.
SCHULTZ: Well, the tax cuts, should they be made for? Because the tax cuts during the Bush year added tremendously trillions of dollars to the debt. It was $2 trillion. So I guess it really—it‘s how you want to solve the problem, is what it comes down to.
FRITSCHE: It‘s an honest disagreement, because I believe that if you can create more jobs and get the economy moving again, you‘ll have a bigger pie to take the taxes from. The problem is, you get the taxes too high, you‘re going to hurt the economy and then it‘s all for naught.
SCHULTZ: Mr. Fritsche, good to have you with us tonight. You‘re a good sport. Appreciate your time being on the program.
FRITSCHE: Thank you, Ed. Thanks for having me.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, in honor of NBC‘s “Education Nation” campaign, I‘m revealing one of the biggest problems and threats to learning—this guy, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. I‘m taking him to school in “The Battleground” story tonight.
And speaking of school, Tea Party whacko Christine O‘Donnell proves once again that there are children left behind. Wait until you hear what her take is on evolution.
All that, plus false prophet fraudster Glenn Beck says killers are coming.
And I will introduce you to an NFL Hall of Famer who has spent his life helping American children in education.
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW and thanks for watching tonight.
Senate Democrats are making a last-minute push to punish companies who ship jobs overseas and reward companies who keep and create jobs here in the United States. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is doing everything in their power to kill this bill.
The bill titled Creating American Jobs and Ending Offshoring Act provides a two-year payroll tax holiday for companies that hire employees in America for jobs that are currently being done overseas. U.S. Chamber Executive Vice President Bruce Josten sent letters to senators urging them not to pass the bill.
Josten wrote, “Replacing a job that is based in another country with a domestic job does not stimulate economic growth or enhance the competitiveness of American worldwide companies.”
You know, it should be pointed out that this is the most political the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been ever. And why did it just happen during the Obama administration?
Big business addiction to cheap labor in my opinion is un-American. They have no sense of economic patriotism anymore, and it seems to me that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce wants to protect American jobs in India and doesn‘t give a damn about jobs in Indiana.
Joining me now is one of the lead sponsors of the bill, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.
Senator, good to have you with us tonight.
Can you respond to Mr. Josten‘s comment about domestic jobs does not stimulate economic growth or enhance competitiveness of American worldwide companies?
What about that?
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: Well, I‘ll give you an example. During the Bush years, large multinational corporations in this country threw two million American workers off of their payrolls. Simultaneously, they hired two million workers in foreign countries.
We have lost during the Bush years, alone, 30 percent of our manufacturing jobs, going from 17 million down to 12 million. One of the reasons that the working class in this country is being decimated and the middle class is disappearing is that we‘re not producing manufacturing jobs in this country.
We‘re not making the products that the American people are buying. And clearly, from the Chamber of Commerce‘s point of view, if they could make five cents more by shutting down a plant in America and moving to China, or moving to India, that‘s what they will do, that‘s what they have been doing. It is an absolute outrage.
And the demand from the American people must be that if these corporations want us to purchase their products—and they certainly do—it‘s high time that they started manufacturing those products here in the United States and putting our people to work so they can in fact buy these products.
SCHULTZ: Senator, will you get any Republican support on this?
SANDERS: I certainly hope so, because I think all over this country, whether you‘re Republican, whether you‘re Democrat, or whether you‘re Independent, as I am, the American people are sick and tired about the fact they can‘t buy products manufactured in the United States of America. They‘re sick and tired of buying products made in China, China, China, Mexico, other countries. They would like to see products produced in this country.
And you‘re quite right—this is an issue of economic patriotism. And I think the Chamber of Commerce and the multinationals are selling the American working people down the drain. And we‘ll keep going all over the world for cheap labor, and I think we‘ve got to stop that.
SCHULTZ: Senator, are these incentives, in your opinion—do they go far enough? Only two years.
SANDERS: No. They don‘t no anywhere near far enough.
What we‘re talking about now is just tax policy, and modestly at that.
What we have got to do is move boldly into trade policy.
I voted when I was in the House against NAFTA, against free trade with China. I think it‘s time to revisit those policies. Trade, Ed, is a good thing when it benefits both sides.
SANDERS: Trade is a bad thing when American workers are being forced to compete against people who make 30 or 40 cents an hour. We‘ve got to rethink those policies.
SCHULTZ: What do you say to the critics that the Democrats are doing this because it‘s election-year politics just weeks out from the midterm?
SANDERS: Democrats should have done this two years ago. They should have done it four years ago. They should do it today, they should do it tomorrow. This is a hugely important issue.
The real question is, why is it so hard for us to get a couple of Republicans to stand up to the big money interests and corporate America on this issue?
SCHULTZ: What did you make of John Boehner‘s comment about Americans aren‘t ready for solutions?
SANDERS: I think Americans are crying out for solutions.
SANDERS: They understand that we cannot go back to the people who caused this economic crisis in the first place.
SCHULTZ: Senator, good to have you with us tonight. Congratulations on being a part of this.
This is really the key. This is why we are losing jobs in this country, because of the outsourcing. This is why we have high unemployment.
It‘s this culture of a race to the bottom line, and the economic patriotism for only a few, I mean, it really is—this is where we are. And I don‘t know how we‘re going to replenish these jobs. And it‘s good to see the Democrats who care about people do something about it.
Good to have you with us.
Up next, Christine O‘Donnell is evolving into an all-star “Psycho Talker.” First team, I‘d say. She went off about mice with fully functioning human brains. Now she‘s talking about monkeys?
I‘m tracing her roots back to the “Zone,” next.
SCHULTZ: And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, education is the theme of the day here on MSNBC.
This morning, President Obama told Matt Lauer he wanted to hire 10,000 new math and science teachers. Let me tell you why. It‘s because of children who are getting left behind like this one --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTINE O‘DONNELL, PRESIDENT, FAITH AND FLAG ALLIANCE: American scientific companies are crossbreeding humans and animals and coming up with mice with fully functioning human brains.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
O‘DONNELL: You know what? Evolution is a myth, and even Darwin himself—
BILL MAHER, “POLITICALLY INCORRECT”: Evolution is a myth?
O‘DONNELL: Yes. You know what?
MAHER: Have you ever looked at a monkey?
O‘DONNELL: Well, then why aren‘t monkeys still evolving into humans?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Christine the teenage witch is, my friends, Exhibit A in the case for hiring more science teachers in America. And if the Texas School Board has anything to say about it, we‘re going to get a whole new generation of Americans who are just like her.
Saying evolution is a myth because we‘re not seeing monkeys turn into humans before our eyes is ridiculous, uneducated “Psycho Talk.”
Coming up, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is a huge problem for our schools. He gives money back to millionaires and he takes it away from our kids‘ futures. Dennis Van Roekel, the president of the National Education Association, has a lesson plan for him next.
And The Beckster‘s reckless talk about violence from the left has spun out of control. This loser is warning of dangerous killers showing up. My warning to him just ahead.
All that, plus how about Alan Grayson compares his challenger to the Taliban? And a serious conversation with a Supreme Court justice from Minnesota on education.
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. And the “Battleground” story tonight, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie‘s assault on our nation‘s teachers. Now, I figured while we‘re focusing on education, I‘d do my part and expose this guy as public enemy number one when it comes to schools. He slashed public education funding by more than $800 million while he gave tax cuts to millionaires in New Jersey. And when he‘s not hollering at voters, a Meg Whitman in California, he‘s going after teachers and their unions back in Jersey. It‘s all part of the Republican attack on labor isn‘t it? And our children will be worse off for it. Where is the moral compass when it comes to educating our young people in this country? This is the critical question. Is it all about the dollar or is it about performance and making things work in America?
Joining me now is Dennis Van Roekel, the president for the National Education Association. Mr. Van Roekel good to have you with us tonight.
DENNIS VAN ROEKEL, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION: Thank you very much. It‘s good to be here.
SCHULTZ: What is your response to some of the radical things that have taken place in education? How education is now becoming a political target as it was in New Jersey.
VAN ROEKEL: You know, it‘s sad to me. I grew up in a small town in Iowa, and my parents, my community members, and my teachers all told me that whatever dream I had education was the way I could get there. I was lucky. I got to live my dream. I was a high school Math teacher for 23 years. And it just seems sad to me that right now for political expediency we somehow want to shut that off. In New Jersey, they have one of the greatest systems in America. Pride and public education. Why cut it?
SCHULTZ: Well, how am I supposed or anybody else watching tonight supposed to believe that they just happen to have 6,000 incompetent teachers and they all had to be cut? It‘s all about the money, isn‘t it?
VAN ROEKEL: Yes, you know, what‘s not understood is when you eliminate 6,000 adults who work in those schools, there‘s not one less student coming to school which means higher class sizes, which means elimination some of the programs, which means special services to students that are no longer provided. To me we ought to invest in education. It‘s a simple principle, investment in education pays every single time. And that should be the last places we try and cut moneys, not the first.
SCHULTZ: This is the president of the United States today talking about hiring 10,000 more teachers. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: My administration is announcing that we are going to specifically focus on training 10,000 new Math and Science teachers. We‘ve got to boost performance in that area. We used to rank at the top. We are now 21st in Science, 25th in Math.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: What about that, Mr. Van Roekel?
VAN ROEKEL: Well, I agree with the president. We need to really focus on recruiting a whole new generation of teachers. We know in the next ten years, so many of our teachers are going to be retiring and we need to replace them. In terms of STEM, the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, we have a real need. I think building that interest in Math, in Science, in Technology begins in the elementary schools. Our elementary teachers play such an important role of building the interest of mathematics. Then of course, following high school, we have to keep them in those fields and encourage them to go into teaching.
SCHULTZ: The teachers union has been vilified quite a bit in this country. Make the case, why should a teacher join a union?
VAN ROEKEL: You know, my first year of teaching, I honestly believed that if I worked hard enough and I cared enough about each of my students, I could deliver what they needed. But the reality comes that while I‘m teaching in the classroom, there are every single decision made by a policymaker outside of education. My involvement, my membership in the organization was my way of getting my voice into that mix. If you‘re going to make policy about what‘s best for students, please include my voice as a teacher because I‘m with them every single day. So, for me the association is necessary.
SCHULTZ: Well, in “Time” magazine, a poll shows that 67 percent of the American people think that public schools are in crisis. Do you agree with that number?
VAN ROEKEL: I think the world has changed dramatically in the last 50 years, and we have to reassess what we want public education to accomplish. What‘s its purpose in the 21st century? Fifty years ago, there were jobs in agriculture and manufacturing and some of the students didn‘t need that career and college readiness because they were career ready as soon as they even dropped out of school. That‘s not true today.
SCHULTZ: Are school vouchers a threat to public education in your opinion?
VAN ROEKEL: I think the biggest threat to public education is the debate that says that somehow it‘s not important.
VAN ROEKEL: We have to understand as a nation that the bedrock, the future is dependent on a strong vibrant public education system. Every student ought to have a great public school no matter where they live, no matter who they are.
SCHULTZ: This is the president again today talking and addressing the dropout rates. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: You can‘t defend a status quo in which a third of our kids are dropping out. You can‘t defend a status quo when you‘ve got 2,000 schools across the country that are dropout factories and they really are where more than half of the kids are dropping out. In those schools, you have to have radical change.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: What kind of radical change would you suggest or go along with to turn those numbers around, Mr. Van Roekel?
VAN ROEKEL: Well, I totally agree with the president that the status quo is not acceptable. And I think what we‘re doing as a union, the school improvement grants which are aimed and targeted to schools under performing, the ones that President Obama was talking about, every single one of those schools that receive funds, we‘re going to include in what we call our priority schools campaign. We don‘t call them high-need schools. We believe they ought to be high priority. We‘re going to part with them and say to them, get management, get the school board and the employees and their union at the table. Reach out to parents in the community and let‘s decide together, what are we going to do differently to ensure our students have a bright future?
SCHULTZ: But is that dropout rate a resource issue? Quickly.
VAN ROEKEL: Absolutely. We have to come up with new ideas and new programs to meet their needs because currently we are not.
SCHULTZ: Mr. Van Roekel, good to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much.
VAN ROEKEL: Thank you sir.
SCHULTZ: Now, let‘s get some rapid fire response from our panel on these stories. The Obama administration wants to wiretap the internet so that they can catch criminal and terror suspects who communicate online.
And flame-throwing Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson of Florida is out with another tough campaign commercial comparing his Republican challenger to the Taliban.
With us tonight, Sirius XM radio talk show host Joe Madison and nationally syndicated radio talk show most Michael Medved. Gentleman, good to have you with us tonight.
MICHAEL MEDVED, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Thank you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Michael, we have to keep America safe so we better let the government check our e-mail, don‘t you think? What do you make of this?
MEDVED: Well, I think, this is another example of an area where President Obama has followed the lead of the Bush administration and wisely so. How‘s that closure of Guantanamo going? The truth of the matter is that especially when you have people like Anwar al-Awlaki who are calling for the death of literally hundreds of thousands of Americans, it is important that our counter terror efforts continue and that they also include the internet.
SCHULTZ: What do you think, Joe?
JOE MADISON, SIRIUS XM TALK SHOW: Well, I‘m one who might take a different viewpoint on this. I may surprise you. Most of the necessary need for this comes from local law enforcement agents who are trying to catch drug dealers and people who do kidnapping. And now because they can‘t tap the basement wire like they used to, just go in, get a court order, tap the wire, now it‘s internet, now it‘s cyber space. And you need this permission. The problem we have, and I think we all agree with this, is we don‘t trust government when it comes to looking at the average citizen‘s internet response. There‘s the real dig. But this may be a national security issue because times have changed, Ed. It‘s not the old wiretapping like it used to be.
SCHULTZ: Well, I totally agree with you on that, Joe. But the fact is that the American people have got to be guaranteed that there‘s going to be some oversight.
MADISON: That‘s the point.
SCHULTZ: And not some targeting that‘s taking place.
MADISON: And who‘s going to do the oversight? Right.
SCHULTZ: Well, that‘s true. You get people—you get a political team in power and they go after people personally any way they want to and they could create a picture of someone that‘s not very favorable. Is this necessary, the oversight, Michael? How are you going to do it?
MEDVED: Some oversight is certainly necessary without any question.
MEDVED: We‘ve always have with our wiretapping efforts. But the truth of the matter is, look, people say all the time that you guys on the right, you don‘t give the president any credit. I do give the president some credit in his general conduct of our counter terror operations. He gets credit just like President Bush deserves credit for having kept us safe for the time that he‘s been in office. And I hope he continues.
SCHULTZ: Gosh, you‘re getting soft on us here Michael, what is going on here?
SCHULTZ: You read my book. That‘s what you did. You read my book. That really softened you up quite a bit. Look, gentlemen, we are just going to give the Obama administration and the government just free rein to go into the internet? I mean, I think you‘re going to have to have some new measures of oversight to make sure that people‘s lives are still going to be safe personally. I mean, this is how political people—how people are politically destroyed and the wrong people get the wrong power. Who knows what you‘re going to come up with.
MADISON: Yes. Well, we both—I think all three of us came up doing that survey here. You know, especially in the civil rights movement where, you know, it was just abusive. And there‘s the real concern. So just announcing that I want this without the oversight, you‘re absolutely right, everybody‘s right here. Who‘s going to do it?
SCHULTZ: I mean, I understand.
MADISON: Do you trust them?
SCHULTZ: I understand catching criminals and catching terror suspects and all that kind of stuff, but I also know that people in government can do some pretty tough things if they want to, if they‘re not checked out.
All right. The flame-throwing Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson has the hearts, the love and respect of many, many progressives across this country. He‘s come out with a blockbuster commercial. And here it is. Calling his opponent the Taliban. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ALAN GRAYSON (D), FLORIDA: I‘m Congressman Alan Grayson. And I approve this message.
ANNOUNCER: Religious fanatics try to take away our freedom in Afghanistan, in Iran and right here in central Florida.
DANIEL WEBSTER ®, RUNNING FOR CONGRESS: Wives, submit yourself to your own husband?
ANNOUNCER: Daniel Webster wants to impose his radical fundamentalism on us.
WEBSTER: She should submit to me. That‘s in the bible.
ANNOUNCER: Webster tried to deny battered women medical care and right to divorce their abusers.
WEBSTER: Submit to me.
ANNOUNCER: He wants to force raped women to bear the child.
WEBSTER: Submit to me.
ANNOUNCER: Taliban Dan Webster, hands off our bodies and laws.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Joe Madison, is that over the top?
MADISON: Yes. I mean, it really honestly is. He doesn‘t have to do it that way. I mean, what he said, obviously, he‘s taking Daniel Webster‘s words, but this association with the Taliban, look, we‘re at war with the Taliban. We‘re not at war with Daniel Webster and the radical right. They‘re not shooting women in the back of their heads. They‘re not stoning women. I mean, I hate to put it like this, but it‘s over the top. And Grayson doesn‘t have to do this. He‘s got a great record to run on. That‘s what I wish he would do is run on his record.
MEDVED: Well, it just seems to me that this is an indication of how desperate and how worried Alan Grayson is. He has a ton of money. He‘s raised as much money I believe as any Democrat running for re-election in the country. If he has to use his money like this, to talk about a veteran politician and a veteran office holder in the State of Florida, and to compare him with the Taliban, this is also a deeply bigoted ad. Because if he is saying that people who are evangelical Christians, with whom he may disagree religiously, are people with whom you‘re going to compare to the Taliban and compare to killers and oppressors and terrorists, it‘s completely unconscionable. Too typical of Congressman Grayson.
MADISON: Well, yes, but Michael, but let‘s be careful now. I mean, he‘s not the only one doing this. I mean, you know, we do have people on the right who have compared Obama to Hitler, to Marx.
SCHULTZ: You know, that‘s the key point. And that‘s why I think.
MADISON: This is not every congressman, either. I mean, when you say very few.
SCHULTZ: That‘s why this is such a very important point here. Because for once, there is a liberal out there who‘s willing to play on your home field there, Michael Medved. I mean, he‘s taking it right to you the same way the Republicans have done it to liberals and Democrats. So, I think the bigger point here is that this guy‘s views on women is clearly out of the mainstream. And of course, so is the Taliban.
MEDVED: No, again, if you want to debate some of the actual issues and what Dan Webster has called for in terms of legislation, that‘s perfectly legitimate.
SCHULTZ: That‘s weak.
MEDVED: But to take a speech that he gave in church out of context and to attack him for his religious viewpoint, is playing dirty pool.
SCHULTZ: You know, if Republicans, if Republicans left the politics at the altar and didn‘t talk about it when they got up on the stage, I would go along with that. But they have politicized churches in this country in a big, big way. Michael Medved, Joe Madison, got to run, gentlemen. Great to have you with us.
Up next, I‘m introducing you to a true American. Alan Page, former NFL, great MVP turned Minnesota Supreme Court justice for the last 18 years. This man has dedicated his life to helping young people. It‘s a story that needs to be told in the “Playbook.” That‘s next.
SCHULTZ: And it‘s not too late to let us know what you think. Tonight‘s text survey question is, do you believe Republican leadership has solutions for anything? Text A for yes, text B for no to 622639. We‘ve got the results coming up. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And in my “Playbook” tonight, education nation has been the theme here on the network for the last several days. Our story tonight is about a man who has made a difference to thousands of young people across America and in his home state of Minnesota. You may remember this man, Alan Page from the NFL days, he‘s playing days with the Minnesota Vikings. He was the MVP of the NFL back in 1971. A tremendous book has just been written about his remarkable life titled “All Rise.” I think it is a roadmap to a role model. Page is currently serving on the Minnesota state Supreme Court where he has been a justice for the last 18 years. Judge Page spoke with me recently about the value of education and how we as a country cannot let public education become the political football some have made it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: What do you make of the political climate today in this country when, for lack of a better term, public education becomes such a political football?
ALAN PAGE, MINNESOTA STATE SUPREME COURT JUSTICE: We are at a time when everything, everything becomes a political football, from the minuscule to the most important. And education is a pretty important thing. And we don‘t do anybody any favors by politicizing it. We have to figure out how, from whatever perspective we come from, to set aside our sort of political interests and figure out what‘s best for children. And then act on that as opposed to posturing to try to seek some benefit of some sort.
SCHULTZ: And we‘re not doing a good job with that?
PAGE: Well, in Minneapolis, for students of color, and I don‘t have the precise number in front of me, but roughly 50 percent, maybe a little bit more than that, drop out. We can‘t be doing a good job if that‘s happening.
SCHULTZ: Why is that? Is it the home or is it the school?
PAGE: It‘s home life. It‘s what goes on in the school. That creates what—it all comes from the home, but I don‘t know that things are that dramatically different than—today than they were when I was in school.
SCHULTZ: Do we not do a good job of teaching responsibility in public education?
PAGE: Let me put it this way. When all is said and done, more is said than done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: And tomorrow, more of my sit-down interview with Alan Page. He is a role model for America. He has the Page Education Foundation which has brought a lot of kids not only to the classroom but to community. I‘ll explain tomorrow night here on THE ED SHOW.
And coming up, Glenn Beck, this guy, he‘s lost his mind on the other hand. Spirits are telling him dangerous killers are coming. Every time he opens his mouth, we‘re all in danger. My message to the golden boy next. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And finally tonight, the false prophet Glenn Beck took some time away from shilling gold today to preach about government growing out of control. The Beckster was freaking out saying government uses fear tactics to scare us. He has some nerve talking about the government using fear tactics. This is coming from the guy warning everyone for months how violence is coming from the left. Today, he took it a step further.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GLENN BECK, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: They‘re going on the paradigm of fear now. I told you this would happen. I told you just last week that I believe these are the most dangerous two years of our republic. Because in the end, in revolutions, the real dangerous killers show up when things start to fall apart. When the nudge moves to shove and the shove doesn‘t work, the killers show up. It happens every time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Absolute psycho talk. This guy is completely reckless. I think for a broadcaster to be sounding an alarm about dangerous killers is absolutely disgusting and it really needs to stop. Do they have any moral compass at all when it comes to being in front of a microphone? He has followers. He has some listeners.
Joining me now is Eric Boehlert, senior fellow at Media Matters for America. Eric, where does this stop?
ERIC BOEHLERT, MEDIA MATTERS FOR AMERICA: Yes. That‘s a good question. I mean, a year ago they were talking about, you know, the Obama administration is part of a march towards tyranny, and then it became very open that this was becoming Nazi Germany. And now he‘s just talking about killing people. I mean, it is crazy, and it‘s insane, and as you mentioned he does have followers. Look, the sort of subliminal message for a year or so that Glenn Beck was telling viewers was, do something, you know? This country is out of control, Obama was elected in order to destroy this country. And now, supposedly, there‘s this wave of violence that‘s coming. It‘s really—what‘s creepy is it‘s almost sort of a preemptive justification for violence from the right. Saying they‘re going to attack you, they‘re going to come after you with killers. And so if people on the right act out, it might be OK. The whole thing is really nonsense and it‘s really off the charts and it‘s creepy.
SCHULTZ: I think it‘s important for those of us who have the opportunity to broadcast in front of a microphone, in front of a camera, to challenge him on that.
SCHULTZ: He used the word “revolution.”
SCHULTZ: Do we need to ask the question, is that what he wants?
BOEHLERT: Well, that‘s a good question. And what is he talking about? I mean, he‘s talking about a democratic administration that‘s passed some legislation. I mean, how is this some sort of, you know, violent uprising? How is this some sort of revolution? How is this some sort of Armageddon in our times? It doesn‘t make any sense. And actually, what‘s creepy, again is he‘s starting to sound like sort of a store-front preacher. You know, not only does he have this hate rhetoric, but in the last couple of weeks, he‘s starting to cloak it in the sort of this religious talk. He was talking today about how progressives are the enemy of God and darkness is looming and things like that. You know, it‘s one thing just to be sort of a hatemonger like Rush Limbaugh. He hates people, he wants other people to hate him, so he‘ll lie about him. Now, Beck has this sort of weird shtick where he‘s going to cloak it in religion. And it‘s just insanely offensive.
SCHULTZ: Is his audience growing?
BOEHLERT: It‘s about the same. You know, it‘s been about the same for the last six or nine months. It hasn‘t grown despite, you know, his big march on Washington and things like that. But he does have, there‘s no question he has a sizable audience. And for him to be talking about how progressives are the enemies of God, about how their killers looming is just incredibly.
SCHULTZ: Thanks, Eric. Good to have you with us tonight.
BOEHLERT: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Tonight in our text survey question, I asked, do you believe Republican leadership has solutions for anything? Eleven percent of you said yes, 89 percent of you said no.
That‘s THE ED SHOW, I‘m Ed Schultz. For more information on Saturday‘s one nation march in Washington, D.C., you can go to wegoted.com. Chris Matthews and “HARDBALL” is next. We‘ll see you tomorrow night.
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