updated 10/13/2010 1:06:42 PM ET 2010-10-13T17:06:42

Guests: Kerry Sanders, Bruce Dial, Jeff Gardere, Keith Ellison, Todd Webster, Karen

Hanretty, Kjersten Forseth, Kerry Sanders, Dr. Charles Marmar, Tony Oppegard, Thomas Kolditz, Katrina Vanden Heuvel

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

I‘m Ed Schultz.

Breaking news right off the top tonight.  The nightmare is almost over for 33 miners trapped alive in Chile at the San Jose mine. 

The miraculous rescue effort about to begin as many of the families have been praying for this to begin for a long time.  The miners have spent the past 68 days trapped a mile underground in stifling heat and darkness, writing letters and praying to pass the time, and dealing with the pressure of it all.  The mental and physical fortitude these guys have shown is nothing short of extraordinary and miraculous. 

How have they done it?  Put yourself in their position.  How would you have done it? 

They survived the first two and a half weeks on two days of emergency food rations, nothing but a few bites of tuna and peaches, before they finally made contact with the people above ground, and no one knew exactly what the situation was. 

Now, one by one, they will step into a special cage capsule, barely big enough to fit a grown man, and inch their way back to the real world.  It‘s been a different world for them for 68 days. 

Each trip should take about 15 minutes.  If all goes according to plan, the entire rescue mission should take about 48 hours. 

But the tunnel is only as wide as an airplane seat.  Imagine that.  And for these guys, already stressed to the max, it will require all of their mental strength and fight, of course the claustrophobic feeling they may have coming up through that tube.  I mean, this is coming up.  This is going to be something to watch tonight. 

The rescue effort, folks, this has been massive.  A thousand engineers, doctors, scientists from all over the globe, all working to get these miners out safely. 

Now, the capsule has arrived at the rescue site and is expected to be lowered down very soon, possibly in this hour.  You see our graphics right there. 

Let‘s go live to NBC‘s Kerry Sanders, who is on the scene. 

Kerry, the emotion outside where this is taking place tonight, give us a description of what the people are feeling outside tonight. 

KERRY SANDERS, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT:  Electric.  Imagine the family members who have been gathered here, living in this desert, the driest location on earth, where, in the daytime, it hits up into the 80s and at night it is down into the upper 30s and the low 40s, camping in tents, dealing with the environment because every day, they had hope that this day would come. 

And now, it‘s finally here.  The wives, the daughters, the mothers, the brothers, the cousins all gathering here today with smiles, but also a little bit of anxiety, because it‘s not been executed yet.  The men are not yet up. 

I did see some women who spent some time today putting on a little extra makeup.  They had added some perfume.  They are certainly anxious to see their loved ones come out of that hole there.

As you know, because some families are so large, that they have decided the best thing to do is to limit the number of people who are going to greet the miners as they come up from each family.  So there‘s been some family discussions topside, as well as the miners down below involved in all of this, and there will be three family members to greet them when they come up.

But the truth be told, they will be hugged and greeted by those three families, but they‘ll also be embraced by a nation, as well as a world.  Everybody hanging on every moment here, Ed, with the expectation, the hope and the prayer that every test that they have run means that they have double-checked, triple-checked, the redundancies are in place and there is going to be a successful extraction of 33 miners from deep down, 2,040 feet deep into the earth—that is the distance of two Empire State Buildings stacked top to top—that they‘re going to make it out of that hole down there after what amounts to a total of 69 days. 

SCHULTZ:  And Kerry, the number of scenarios that have been played out by these thousand engineers, figuring out how to completely do this mission successfully, is there any chance that this might not work off—there might be some type of problem?  How confident are they that they are going to be able to rescue all of these folks? 

SANDERS:  They have a high degree of confidence because the escape capsule has been inserted into the shaft yesterday and again today.  And yesterday, they took it down to within 40 feet of where the men were.

And it‘s not a straight shaft, it‘s not like you can look down and look up and see light.  It‘s a little bit of an S-turn here, about a 10-degree turn there.  And so the engineers modified the capsule and added some wheels to the side.

So, as it does those turns, the wheels touch and they bring it down.  It‘s driven by gravity.  It simply goes down by gravity, and then a winch pulls it back up.  It‘s kind of like you have a heavy-duty deep sea fishing rod and it‘s pulling it up. 

They expect it to come up at about what would be equivalent to a New York City elevator, maybe a little bit slower.  They do feel confident they have answered one of the big questions, which was they felt—the engineers were tackling this yesterday—that that cable that they brought in—and it‘s a cable from a chair lift that you use on a ski mountain, specially designed, flown in from Germany—they feared that perhaps the capsule would turn, maybe even rotate around, causing a dizzying feeling for those who are coming up. 

They resolved that with those wheels.  That wasn‘t the intention of the wheels, but they did that.  And so they are actually very confident that every checklist is completed, the redundancies are in place, the I‘s are dotted, the Ts are crossed, however you want to put it.  They feel confident it‘s ready to go—Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  NBC‘s Kerry Sanders with us tonight on THE ED SHOW from Chile. 

Thanks, Kerry.  Appreciate it so much. 

Joining me now is mine safety expert Bruce Dial.  He‘s a former Mine Safety Health Administration official, now head of Dial Solutions.  And psychologist Jeff Gardere, an NBC News contributor. 

Gentlemen, thanks for your time tonight. 

Bruce Dial, what are the chances of this coming off without a hitch? 

BRUCE DIAL, DIAL SOLUTIONS:  Well, hopefully it will.  And it has been well planned.  And if the equipment 00 if there is no happenings with the equipment itself, it should come off pretty good. 

SCHULTZ:  And equipment failure, I mean, how can you be absolutely sure that nothing‘s going to go wrong?  I mean, how do you practice for something like this? 

DIAL:  Well, like they just said, they have run it up and down the shaft.  The first, I think, 600 feet, or something like that, it‘s got a steel cage.  It‘s like inside of a pipe.  But the rest of it is just strictly rock. 

And so the vibration and the—will rock fall out that might cause a problem, they don‘t know.  But they can be pretty sure that it will be OK. 

SCHULTZ:  Mr. Gardere, the anticipation of the rescue, how do you prepare for something like this, counsel these men?  They are so close, they have been in there for 68 days.  These closing hours, how tough is it going to be for them? 

JEFF GARDERE, NBC NEWS CONTRIBUTOR:  Well, there is going to be a lot of elation here.  These guys are very anxious, they want to get out, Ed, as you can imagine.  And so they know that there is a certain plan, a certain number will be going up first. 

Right now the plan is that they are going to send the four most able-bodied, mentally healthy people up, just in case there is some issue with this capsule.  That‘s the plan right now.  It may change. 

And then they are going to be followed by the 10 weakest and sickest ones.  And then the rest will come.  And then the shift commander will go last. 

But right now, what you can only tell these guys is, look, this is the last step.  We know that you feel enclosed.  We know that being in this tubing—you have to explain this to them, Ed, that it will be more claustrophobic.  But this is what you can expect.

But this is the last step you take to get to freedom, to get to your loved ones.  And that adrenaline in itself will be able to carry them through emotionally, psychologically to get to the top. 

SCHULTZ:  It‘s going to take a great deal of intestinal fortitude and mental toughness to make this journey all the way to the top. 

Mr. Dial, is there anything that they could do that would maybe hinder the operation?  Are they instructed to sit perfectly still?  Is this a big part of the rescue mission as well, their behavior inside there?  Because there‘s going to be such pressure on these guys. 

What about that? 

DIAL:  Yes, they will be taking some training before they get into the capsule about how not to panic.  And they will be in communication with the surface at all times and have plenty of oxygen.  And it will be getting cooler as they go up, so it will help them in that regard. 

SCHULTZ:  Jeff, it sounds like it‘s a pep talk, isn‘t it? 

GARDERE:  It is. 

SCHULTZ:  I mean, that‘s basically what it comes down to.  You have got to, I would imagine communicate with these gentlemen, the first one up, set an example, show us how to do it, be motivated and be a leader.  I mean, is that part of the mix here? 

GARDERE:  Absolutely.  And we have been seeing emerging leadership amongst these men while below ground.  And this is just going to be an extension of it. 

They will have to be strong emotionally, but as Bruce is saying, once they are in that capsule, they will be in contact with the surface and they will be guided through this.  And so once they start panicking—and they will, believe me, because they are already suffering from some claustrophobia—then they will be able to make it to the top with that quiet guidance going on in their heads. 

SCHULTZ:  It is amazing.

Bruce Dial, what about the speed of the capsule?  If things go well, is there a set speed at how they‘re going to do this, how many feet per second?  And take us through that, exactly the methodology of it.

DIAL:  Yes, there is a set speed on it, and when they first get started they will go very slow.  That‘s why they‘re sending the healthiest ones up first, just to mainly test to see how much vibration, that type of thing.  And then they can communicate with the other ones, the weaker ones, as they come up, and tell them what to expect as they‘re doing it, and tell them that they should be getting out in so many seconds, so many minutes, and that type of thing.

SCHULTZ:  Jeff, is there special counseling and conversation directly with the last man up?

GARDERE:  Yes, absolutely.  That last man up certainly will be the most anxious at this point.  He wants to make sure that the men are all right that are going up, because he‘s been the one who‘s been the leader, taking care of them.

He‘s going to hope that everyone is OK.  And because he is the last one coming up, Ed, perhaps he‘ll be the one who may be the most famous, the most celebrated.  So he has to prepare himself to be able to get to the surface and still keep his wits about him, because at the end of the day, even though he has been able to be strong, he may be the one who may suffer the most because he‘s been keeping it inside so he can guide his men.

SCHULTZ:  Well, there has to be tremendous anguish.  That last man out, you‘re going to be the only person down there for a certain amount of time.  And the positive thinking has got to control the environment at that particular time.

This is absolutely stunning, what is unfolding right now.

Bruce Dial, Jeff Gardere, I appreciate your time tonight.

And of course we will stay on top of this miner rescue story as it develops.  It is amazing.

The San Jose mine, 33 men, 68 days.  No one on the face of the earth has been underground this long.  A massive effort, 1,000 engineers, journalists from all over the globe, doctors from all over the globe, and it has been—the preparation—I have to ask you, Mr. Dial, what would you—if I can, if you‘re still with us—what would you compare this to? 

Is there anything to compare this to?  Is this like a shuttle mission when it comes to check, recheck, double check, backup, all of this preparation when it comes to making sure it is completed correctly? 

DIAL:  It is a lot like that.  They rescued nine men from a mine in Pennsylvania several years ago, but they were near—weren‘t nearly that deep and never underground that long. 

SCHULTZ:  Yes. 

DIAL:  But a lot of the details have been thought through and been taken care of before the men ever get into the capsule. 

SCHULTZ:  Yes.  And we‘re seeing live pictures right now.  This is the actual capsule that they will be traveling up through that mine, through that shaft to get out. 

God bless them.  Let‘s hope the next 48 hours is exactly what those family and the world wants. 

Thank you, gentlemen.  Appreciate your time tonight. 

GARDERE:  Thank you. 

SCHULTZ:  We continue with THE ED SHOW here on MSNBC. 

Coming up, “Psycho Sister” Michele Bachmann refuses to hammer “Crazy” Carl Paladino for being homophobic, although he mildly apologized moments ago. 

And Ann Coulter steps up to defend him.  Is she going to apologize? 

Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison tears into it next on THE ED SHOW.

And a shocking skeleton just flies out of Ken Buck‘s closet in Colorado.  The former district attorney refused to take a rape case because he suspected that the victim had “buyer‘s remorse” over her boyfriend?  More on that one in the “Playbook.” 

Coloradoans, do you know about this story? 

All that, plus a federal judge orders the United States military to stop enforcing “don‘t ask, don‘t tell.”  Sarah Palin backs the hicky blue collar look in West Virginia.  And John McCain sucks up to Fox. 

We‘re getting it all in tonight on THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. 

Stay with us. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

You know, let‘s follow the money on the campaign trail right to Minnesota‘s 6th Congressional District.  The mostly rural area is the most expensive district in the country in this election cycle because of one person, Michele Bachmann. 

Bachmann, well, she, I guess you could say, doesn‘t have the chops to condemn the bigoted, homophobic statements of New York Tea Party candidate Carl Paladino.  She was asked about Paladino this morning on “The Today Show.” 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MEREDITH VIEIRA, “THE TODAY SHOW”:  Do you think that he was wrong to say that, especially given all these hate crimes that we have seen recently aimed at gays? 

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN ®, MINNESOTA:  I think people in the Tea Party movement agree on about a 70 percent set of issues, and it is a fairly wide umbrella.  But it has been uniform from the rise of the Tea Party movement until today.  The message hasn‘t changed.  It‘s the overreach.

VIEIRA:  But again, Congresswoman, do you think that Carl Paladino was wrong to say what he said about homosexuals and homosexuality? 

BACHMANN:  Well, I think, really, that isn‘t the issue that we are focusing on in this election. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Well, Michele Bachmann dodging a straight question how many times?  Twice. 

She didn‘t have the character to given an opinion because, you see, she wants the Tea Party to look mainstream and just wonderful to everybody. 

Bachmann‘s “Psycho Sister,” Ann Coulter, she is not afraid to hide her feelings on the issue.  The hate merchant is opening embracing Paladino‘s bigotry. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL O‘REILLY, FOX NEWS:  You want to stick up for Paladino, do you? 

ANN COULTER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR:  Yes.  I mean, someone on this network should, this great warrior to cut your taxes, New Yorkers.  I think it‘s a little bit offensive to merge gays with gay left-wing activists.  That was the only thing he was condemning. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  I think the word that Mr. Paladino used was “brainwashing.” 

I think the dirty little secret of the Republican Party is that they are all thinking what Paladino was saying.  Bachmann, Coulter, Paladino, they want gay people to take a back seat in the bus for the American dream. 

Three weeks from tonight, Bachmann and the Republican Party plan to take America back, I guess you could say, to the 1800s.  My next guest is going to do what he can to help stop that from happening. 

Joining us now is Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison. 

Keith, good to have you with us tonight. 

We want to point out before this interview that Mr. Paladino has just released a statement, somewhat apologizing. 

“Yesterday, I was handed a script.  I redacted some contents that were unacceptable.  I did also say some things for which I should have chosen better words.  I said other things that the press misinterpreted and misstated.”

“I sincerely apologize for any comment that may have offended the gay and lesbian community or their family members.  Any reference to branding an entire community based on a small representation of them is wrong.”

What‘s your response to all of this?  Obviously, liberals accept apologies.  Does this go far enough? 

REP. KEITH ELLISON (D), MINNESOTA:  Well, no, it doesn‘t.  But the fact is, why doesn‘t he just say that gay, lesbian Americans are full equal Americans, that we embraced them as Americans, and they have every right to pursue happiness as any other Americans do? 

That‘s not what he said.  What he did is he put—he said what he really believed.  He got in it trouble for it, and now he is trying to back out of it. 

And the fact is that he did this before, when he said he was going to take somebody out, whatever that means.  Of course, you and I know what it actually means.  And so he is one who is prone to saying outrageous, crazy, now bigoted things, and then trying to back his way out of it. 

SCHULTZ:  What do you make of Michele Bachmann, who has been the lead person, the lead personality beyond being elected official, the lead media talker when it comes to the Tea Party, yet she would not condone what Mr.  Paladino said? 

ELLISON:  Well, Michele was Minnesota‘s number one gay hater when she was a state legislator.  So, she was famous.  She made herself famous about campaign about gay issues, being against them. 

So this is something that is perfectly in line with her political history.  I mean, she may not want to promote that because since she has been in Congress, she hasn‘t talked about her history.  But everybody in Minnesota knows Michele Bachmann very well for her rallying against the gay community while she was a state legislator. 

SCHULTZ:  So you could come to the conclusion that her answer on “The Today Show” was not completely truthful or paralleling her political career of the past? 

ELLISON:  Hey, man, she was doing a political two-step, and she was, you know, doing some dancing, some fancy dancing up there.  The truth is, is that she has said things perfectly in line with what Paladino said in his first set of comments in her own political history.  So I don‘t know why she wouldn‘t just come up and say she agreed with him, because if you look at her service in the state legislature, she clearly does. 

SCHULTZ:  Congressman—

ELLISON:  If she doesn‘t agree, maybe she could come on and say so. 

SCHULTZ:  I would love to have that happen.  I would love of the both of you on the program, but, of course, she is very selective of where she goes.  She likes the safe havens, and she could not answer the direct and tough question on “The Today Show” this morning.  I think it‘s very telling about the Tea Party movement. 

Keith, good to have you with us tonight. 

ELLISON:  Why wouldn‘t she just say it‘s wrong? 

SCHULTZ:  Well, it‘s not in her heart.  It‘s not in her belief system. 

ELLISON:  Yes, I agree. 

SCHULTZ:  It‘s not in her heart.

Congressman, good to have you with us.  Thanks so much.

ELLISON:  You bet.  See you later.

SCHULTZ:  Coming up, “The Maverick” is sucking up to Fox News?  I‘ll tell you, this will damn near make you sick.  It does me. 

I will report, you decide when he spins right into the “Zone,” next. 

Plus, the Republican behind this hicky blue collar commercial is now saying that he wants to abolish minimum wage?  We‘ll get “Rapid Fire Response” on that.

And we‘re all over this miracle in Chile.  After 68 days, the longest period of time anyone has ever been trapped underground, 33 miners will be lifted to the surface and reunited with their families. 

MSNBC will have full coverage of this as the dramatic rescue unfolds right here, live on MSNBC.

Stay with us. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, Senator John McCain. 

Ooh, he has been working hard, trying to win back the hard right wing of his party that voted for had his primary opponent.  The one-time maverick is sucking up to the Tea Partiers by using talking points from his former running mate. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN ®, ARIZONA:  The president says that “we‘re the party of no.”  No we‘re not the party of no.  We‘re the party of hell no. 

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH PALIN ®, FMR. ALASKA GOVERNOR:  Let‘s become the party of not just no, but hell no. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  McCain kept up the Tea Party pandering, giving the crowd credit for changing America.  But he really crossed into the “Zone,” into the territory, when he launched into an ode to Fox News. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCCAIN:  I‘ll tell you how proud I am when I turn on Fox, the best place to get your news, and I—

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  The best place to get your news.  That is “Psycho Talk,” is it not? 

It sounds like John may be auditioning to join his fellow 2008 righty losers and 2012 hopefuls on Fox.  He fits the demographic of old, angry white folks, and he is the original McCain/Palin leftover, isn‘t he?  Fox maybe the best place to get Republican Party talking points, but saying it‘s the best place to get your news? 

Johnny, that‘s “Psycho Talk.”  

Coming up, one of the most powerful progressives in America has an avalanche warning for the Democrats, but President Obama is out rallying the base. 

Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of “The Nation,” sounds off on the midterm homestretch run in “The Battleground” story tonight. 

And crazy “Psycho Talker”—well, she is a big moneymaker—Tea Party queen Sharron Angle hauled in how much?  Fourteen million dollars in the last quarter, in her attempt to take down Harry Reid.  And Democrats tell me he is in trouble. 

And now we are all over the miracle in Chile, the first miner will be lifted to the surface shortly.  MSNBC will have full coverage of this as the dramatic rescue unfolds right here, MSNBC.  Stay with us as we lean forward.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.  The Battleground story tonight, one of the most powerful progressives in America has an avalanche warning for Democrats.  Democrats are getting hammered by an onslaught of outside conservative money from the Chamber of Commerce and Karl Rove‘s American crossroads.  But billionaire democratic donor George Soros is sitting this one out, he is on the sidelines, even though he thinks Republicans are headed for a landslide victory.  The “New York Times” reports, “Asked if the prospect of republican control of one or both of the houses of the Congress concerned him.”  Soros said, quote, “It does because I think they are pushing the wrong policies, but I‘m not in a position to stop.  I don‘t believe in standing in the way of an avalanche.”

Time out.  I don‘t like hearing that word, “avalanche.”  I think there is a lot of time left.   I think voters on top of these issues.  We don‘t need a billionaire donor.  This is about power to the people.  That is what the march was all about.  President Obama is firing up the base, drawing huge crowds at rallies and packing the campaign trail and the schedule is packed from now until November 2nd.  And Bill Clinton is making the rounds of the republican territory, rallying voters in Kentucky and West Virginia.  Both presidents are trying to save Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.  President Clinton is going to be stumping for Reid tonight and President Obama will head to Nevada next week.  

For more, let‘s bring in Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of “The Nation.”  Katrina, it seems like everything is in high gear for the Democrats right now.  Is there a Clinton factor in your opinion?  What do you think?

KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL, EDITOR, “THE NATION”:  Everything is in high gear and I think it comes down to just a few seats, just a few thousands of votes difference between Speaker Pelosi and Speaker Boehner.  Bill Clinton is the comeback kid, come back so many times, we forget in this country, but he was really the one who resurrected Kendrick Meek‘s candidacy in Florida for the Senate race since you know, Ed.   Out there stumping, out there also in a definitional way, whether you like it or not in Arkansas and in Colorado, but he is someone who has a lot of affection among core constituencies of Democrats and he is someone who we shouldn‘t forget, people talk about him moving to the center but when really came back in ‘94, it was when he took on Newt Gingrich.

SCHULTZ:  Yes.

VANDEN HEUVEL:  And when he fought hard to protect Medicare, Medicaid, the environment and fought harder for the economy and I thank that‘s a lesson worth thinking about these days.  

SCHULTZ:  I am disappointed that so many Democrats are running from the accomplishment of health care reform.  I mean, the pre-existing conditions and of course, insurance companies can‘t drop you, I mean, that is all positive stuff for every single American.  I want to ask you, Karl Rove, him now being visible in the mix, we all know how liberals in this country despise what this guy does, what he stands for and how he operates, would this be a motivating factor?

VANDEN HEUVEL:  Absolutely.  And he is out there peddling false hoods, peddling mendacity, trying to compare what these covert, conservative, corporate, money operations, just filling our politics with polluted  money, comparing those to groups like move on or the League of Conservation Voters.   Move on by the way does have to disclose its contributors.  League of Conservation Voters, we are talking like 1.3 million.  I mean, we‘re talking key stuff.  And the key point, is that people like Rove blocked disclosure and they are just filling our politics, their money is a dagger to the very heart of our democracy and a democracy of the people, by the people, for the people, organized people is what we need to see in these coming years if we are going to have a non-corporate-ridden country. 

SCHULTZ:  Well, and it was just not long ago that the Republicans blocked the Dorgan amendment. 

VANDEN HEUVEL:  That‘s right.

SCHULTZ:  That, of course would have brought some real incentives to companies that create jobs in  this country, which I think plays right into the hands of all the accusations of foreign money, who are they protecting?  Why won‘t they show us where it‘s coming from?

VANDEN HEUVEL:  I think, the key thing Ed, is that Democrats have to understand that if they want to be for an economy that works for working people, it shows that you establish trust and credibility with working people by taking on corporate lobbyists, by taking on the corporate powers in this country. 

SCHULTZ:  Katrina, great to have you with us tonight. 

VANDEN HEUVEL:  Thank you. 

SCHULTZ:  Thanks so much.  Now, let‘s get some rapid fire response from our panel on these stories tonight, lots of news today.  

Late-breaking news today, a federal judge has ordered the Department of Defense to stop enforcing, “Don‘t Ask, Don‘t Tell.”  This effectively ends the ban on openly gay men and women serving in the United States Military. 

In West Virginia, Republican Senate Candidate John Raese just told ABC News, he absolutely wants to abolish minimum wage, and Sarah Palin just endorsed him today.  

In Wisconsin, the Senate debate got heated when embattled incumbent Russ Feingold slammed his republican opponent for refusing to say no to help from outside shadow groups.  

And in Nevada, Sharron Angle, can you believe this?  She has raised an unbelievable amount of money in the last fund-raising quarter, she‘s hauled in $14 million to use at her final push to beat Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader.  

With us tonight, democratic strategist Todd Webster and republican strategist, Karen Hanretty.  Let‘s talk about “Don‘t Ask, Don‘t Tell.”  What Washington and President Obama couldn‘t get done, Todd, here we go, it is coming from the bench, what do you make of it?

TODD WEBSTER, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST:  Oh, it‘s part of the beauty of our constitutional democracy, we have checks and balances.  The court stepped in where the Congress was unable to, it‘s the right policy, a time we are fighting two wars around the world.  We can‘t be discharging soldiers whoa re trained and skilled and able to do the job because of a characteristic which they have no control.  It is no different than skin color or hair color or any other characteristics.

SCHULTZ:  What do you think, Karen?

KAREN HANRETTY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST:  I think President Obama is probably relieved today that he didn‘t actually have to do anything himself.  He didn‘t have to sign any executive order that the courts are going to do the heavily lifting for him. 

SCHULTZ:  Now, the Justice Department has 60 days to do something about this but they‘re not obligated legally to do it.  This could be the final ruling but for the military, is it going to create a problem, Todd?  There‘s a lot of gay people in the military, do they come out and now and say it with the possibility of this being turned over?

WEBSTER:  Well, the people in the military who are serving with more concern with whether you shoot straight or whether you are straight, and the highest uniformed military officer in this country, the chairman of  the joint chiefs, Admiral Mike Mullen has come out and said that this is the wrong policy.  So, I would tend to listen to him and to the soldiers who are fighting and to make sure that we continue to have the best trained, best, most able fighting force.  

SCHULTZ:  Karen what do you think?

HANRETTY:  Yes, you know, if the military brass come out and said—don‘t encourage justice to push become on this, I think this issue is over. 

SCHULTZ:  All right.  To West Virginia, the Senate candidate John Raese, he‘s just come out saying that he is against minimum wage.  This I think is amazing.  He says, “The minimum wage is something that FDR put in place a long time ago during the great depression.  I don‘t think it worked then.  It didn‘t solve any problems then, and it hasn‘t solved any problems in 50 years.”  Is this out of the mainstream, Karen?  Is this where the Republicans are going?

HANRETTY:  This race was john Raese‘s to lose and I just wish Republicans would stop talking about the minimum wage, stick to their message.  This isn‘t something they need to be talking about.  We are not going to get rid of the minimum wage in America.  He never should have gone down this road.  I hope he just keeps his head down, keeps his mouth shut.  This race is going to belong to John Raese on November 2nd if he can just try hard not to divert the message. 

SCHULTZ:  Todd.

(CROSSTALK)

I mean, this puts him against working families, doesn‘t it Todd?

WEBSTER:  Well, it follows up on the kerfuffle last week about him trying to recruit hicks to be actors in the NRSC television ads.  Look, John Raese has never worked a day in his life.  He openly bragged about the fact that he got his money the old-fashioned way, he inherited it.  He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth.  He doesn‘t understand working families and this is yet another example, and another reason why. 

SCHULTZ:  He did say that Karen. 

HANRETTY:  You know.

WEBSTER: .people are scratching their heads.  People scratching their heads and this race is going to  tighten and I think over the next few days, Manchin is going to pull ahead because he is the real deal, he‘s a straight shooter, as his spot today demonstrates.  

SCHULTZ:  What do you think, Karen?  He did say that, what do you think?

HANRETTY:  OK, first of all, you know, he had nothing to do with that hicks ad, there is a complete firewall. 

SCHULTZ:  It‘s his campaign. 

HANRETTY:  No it‘s not.  Did he that—that is the NRSC and you know for a fact—you know for a fact, Todd, you know what the campaign laws are, just like you know what the campaign laws are with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

(CROSSTALK)

SCHULTZ:  Hold on, Todd, Karen. 

HANRETTY:  Todd, I like you but that is such a line, such a distraction and you know that there is no accuracy no truth in that.  I don‘t even know why you brought that up. 

WEBSTER:  He said, I got my money in the old-fashioned way, I inherited it with a big smile. 

(CROSSTALK)

HANRETTY:  He had nothing to do with those ads and you know it, and that would be against the law if he had anything to do with those ads and you know that. 

WEBSTER:  It speaks to. 

SCHULTZ:  Why would the—hold on, Todd.  Why would the Republicans do that to him, Karen?  I mean, you can‘t just—yourself from an ad like that.

HANRETTY:  It is a stupid ad.  It is a stupid ad but he can distance himself from it and you know the campaign finance laws, Todd, just as well as I do. 

WEBSTER:  But if you can‘t find.

HANRETTY:  Nothing to do with t.  

WEBSTER:  In a state of 2 million people, if you can‘t find three guys who are real people who want to come out and speak on behalf of the NRSC and behalf of the campaign.

HANRETTY:  I agree, the ad is ludicrous, not like there is a lot of Italians in plaid walking around West Virginia, no argument from me there, but don‘t tie that to Raese, this is still his race to lose.  Manchin should have—look, Manchin has approval ratings in the 70s.  The fact is he‘s going to lose this thing is just atrocious and really speaks to what people.

SCHULTZ:  Karen Hanretty and Todd Webster, great to have you with us tonight.  Fiery debate.  Appreciate your time. 

WEBSTER:  Thanks, Ed.  

SCHULTZ:  Coming up, a bombshell from Ken Buck‘s past in Colorado.  The Senate candidate is now being haunted by rape case he refused to prosecute when he was district attorney.  My next guest has been advocating for the alleged rape victim.  She will share the story next.  

And we will go become to the scene of the miracle in Chile, the rescue of 33 miners is about to get started.  We will have full coverage of this as the dramatic rescue unfolds right here on MSNBC.  Stay with us. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  And coming up, the dramatic rescue is about to begin in Chile at the San Jose mine.  Imagine what it would be like if you were there for 68 days, one of those 33 men, and the anticipation of being rescued.  It will unfold live here on MSNBC in a moment.  Stay with us.  

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  And in my Playbook tonight, a serious story, Colorado Republican Senate candidate Ken Buck is under fire for refusing to prosecute an alleged rape case when he was district attorney back in 2005.  At the time, Buck told the media he declined to prosecute because the case could be interpreted as—by a jury as, quote, “buyer‘s remorse.”  The alleged victim recently released an audiotape of the meeting she had with Buck five years ago where he explains why he didn‘t want to take the case to trial.  And the whole thing sounds a lot like he is blaming the victim.  

Joining me now is interim executive director of Progress Now Colorado, Kjersten Forseth.  Kjersten, good to have you with us tonight. 

KJERSTEN FORSETH, DIRECTOR, PROGRESS NOW COLORADO:  Thank you. 

SCHULTZ:  Why is this story coming out now, five years after the fact?

FORSETH:  Well, the story has always been out there, it is not a new story.  She came to the media five years ago and talked to them about it.  The reason why it is coming forward now and she feels like it is important is that it really hasn‘t surfaced throughout this campaign and people really need to understand how Ken Buck feels about women, in particular, rape victims.  

SCHULTZ:  Did he actually use the term “buyer‘s remorse”?

FORSETH:  He did.  And that was actually to a local media outlet and the quote that he was quoted in the “Greeley Tribune” was this could be interpreted as a case of buyer‘s remorse.  

SCHULTZ:  So this victim, alleged victim came to the prosecutor at the time, Mr. Buck, told him that she had been raped.  He didn‘t buy the story and it never went anywhere?

FORSETH:  Right.  Well, he actually convinced her in a tape—in the audiotape that she released, he actually convinced her over and over again that her case wasn‘t worth it and at one point, he actually said that this entire case would go public and that that she should be ashamed of it and basically go away.  And so, as a prosecutor, he was not acting as a rape victim advocate.  He was actually acting more like a defense attorney.  He was attacking her and blaming her. 

SCHULTZ:  Is he anti-woman?  I mean is that the case that your group is trying to make?

FORSETH:  Well, I think that this is a long line of offenses that we have seen from Ken Buck.  He had the high heels comment where he was at an event, asked why people should vote for him and he said, well, you know, because I don‘t wear high heels.  Then he is recently been very strong in his support for banning abortions in the cases of rape and incest.  

SCHULTZ:  Yes. 

FORSETH:  And then, now you get the facts behind this case and I think. 

SCHULTZ:  How is the alleged rape victim doing?  How has she handled this?

FORSETH:  She is doing amazingly well, I have talked to her personally quite a bit and you know, we have developed a great friendship over time. 

SCHULTZ:  But she feels wronged in all of this, correct?

FORSETH:  She does, she feels awful, you know, about how this case turned out.  I think what is most inspiring to me is how strong she has been throughout this entire thing but she is very angry and she never received justice.  

SCHULTZ:  She feels in her heart that she has not received justice and Ken Buck is at fault for that. 

FORSETH:  Absolutely. 

SCHULTZ:  Kjersten Forseth, I appreciate your time tonight.  Thank you. 

FORSETH:  All right, thank you. 

SCHULTZ:  Interesting story out of Colorado.  

Up next, the miracle in Chile is under way, 33 miners are about to be rescued after 68 days underground.   We are going live to the site with NBC‘s Kerry Sanders next on THE ED SHOW.  Stay with us.   

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  And welcome back, more of the breaking news.  Thirty three miners have spent 68 days trap alive a half mile underground in Chile and their miracle rescue is about to begin any moment.  The cage capsule that will raise them back to the earth is being installed right now.  Paramedics will be lowered down first to check on the health of the miners before they can be brought up.  Let‘s go back to NBC‘s Kerry Sanders who is on the scene.  Kerry, what is happening right now?

KERRY SANDERS, NBC CORRESPONDENT:  It is an electric moment, I think we should take you live to the pictures.  This is the one camera that has been set aside for distributing the pictures of everything that has been going on around the world.  There you can see Laurence Golborne, who is the mining minister who is there.  We know that the first person who is going to be coming up is going to be Florencio Avalos and his uncle, Wilson, is standing here with me.  

(SPEAKING SPANISH).  How do you feel right now? 

WILSON, FLORENCIO AVALOS UNCLE:  (SPEAKING SPANISH).  

SANDERS:  He stays, it‘s very complicated right now, he is trying to maintain his calm, he is very happy.  (SPEAKING SPANISH).  You are not going to celebrate until he is here? 

WILSON:  Si.  (SPEAKING SPANISH). 

SANDERS:  OK.  Until he is up, no celebrations and that is when he will be very happy.  Gracias, Wilson. 

WILSON:  Si.

SANDERS:  Wilson of course has been out here.  In fact, I joined Wilson in a nearby mine along with his brother, who is the father of Florencio.  Florencio, 31-years-old, his younger brother, 29, Renan (ph) is also down in the mine.  So, Florencio will come up first, and his brother will come up later.  But clearly, the hope here is that everyone comes up without a hitch.  They think they‘ve got it all set up to do that.  So, we will see here as it begins in minutes.  

SCHULTZ:  And how about those brave paramedics that are going down there first?  This is an amazing story.  Kerry, thanks so much tonight. 

Dr. Charles Marmar is the—Dr. Marmar is the Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the Langone Medical Center, NYU.  And also with us tonight is Tony Oppegard, the mine advocate and former MSHA official.  And Colonel Thomas Kolditz, a social psychologist and the chairman of the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership at West Point.  

Dr. Marmar, being down there going through the stressful environment of 68 days, how much of a strain would that be on any human being?  Could the psychological makeup of a person change in that period of time?

DR. CHARLES MARMAR, DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHIATRY CHAIRMAN:  It is a tremendous change, a tremendous challenge.  Everyone will be changed in some ways in their entire life, but what‘s most remarkable is that human beings are exceptionally resilient and the majority will actually cope with this pretty well over time. 

SCHULTZ:  Tony, how about those folks that are going to be going down there, those paramedics? They are heroes to the nth degrees.  Tony is a mine safety advocate, take us through what they are going to be going through.  

TONY OPPEGARD, FORMER MSHA OFFICIAL:  Well, I‘m sure they have received training, what to expect and there has to be some trepidation on their part, that the capsule will make it down safely but I would think that the opportunity to help miners who have undergone this ordeal outweighs everything else and they are happy to do it. 

SCHULTZ:  And Colonel Kolditz, this is the epitome of mental toughness, is it not?  If you could just talk to us about dealing with the miners who are trapped down there and the immense anticipation of them getting ready to be moved.  

COL. THOMAS KOLDITZ, SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGIST:  Well, they have a tremendous amount of anticipation right now, but these are as you mentioned, tough people.  And I think the anticipation of the ride up, the reuniting with their families and being out of that mine is going to drive them through this experience.  

SCHULTZ:  Is there any textbook conversation that you would have with people, Colonel in this situation, before something were to happen, as far as the rescue?

KOLDITZ:  Well, the classic comment among military people would be something like, see you on the objective.  And so their focus needs to be the future and being reunited up top after they are all successfully rescued.  

SCHULTZ:  How much are they depending, Dr. Charles Marmar, how much are they depending on one another?  How does that play out?  You actually be saving your friend, would you not?

MARMAR:  The camaraderie, we know from the military, from police, from other situations, that camaraderie is their greatest resource.  They have bonded together and they will take care of each other, and this will be a life long experience. 

SCHULTZ:  Tony Oppegard, give us a percentage of this coming up without a hitch, 100 percent, 90 percent, 80 percent?

OPPEGARD:  That‘s a great question.  I think with all the expertise that has been brought in from around the world, I think it is close to 100 percent, but there‘s always mechanical failure, structural failure.  There are problems but we also have miners all throughout the world, coal miner, gold miners, silver miners, copper miners, they‘re all praying for these miners and their families and I think, it will be a tremendous accomplishment tonight. 

SCHULTZ:  Mr. Oppegard, Colonel Kolditz and Dr. Marmar, I appreciate your time tonight.  Thanks so much. 

That is THE ED SHOW, I‘m Ed Schultz.  Stay with MSNBC for complete coverage of the miners rescue.  Our breaking news coverage continues with Chris Matthews on “HARDBALL.”  That starts right now.  Stay with us.   

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