Guests: George Miller, Debbie Stabenow, Leo Gerard, Jesse Jackson, John Feehery, Todd Webster, Jerry Nadler, Holland Cooke
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.
It‘s a serious one. Unemployed Americans are now at the mercy of Republicans. How do you feel about that? And thousands of people‘s benefits are about to expire. Nancy Pelosi will show the leadership she‘s going to be doing everything that she can to take care of business before Speaker Boehner grabs the gavel.
Congressman George Miller will tell us how they plan to fight and win on this issue in just a moment.
There‘s been a staggering jump in the number of Americans without health insurance in this country, and the Republicans are fighting to repeal the law that would help them get the coverage.
Reverend Jesse Jackson takes on the GOP‘s destructive agenda in “The Battleground” story tonight.
And Sarah Palin is already booking performers at her inauguration party? Plus, she‘s declaring war on big government with cookies.
But this is the story that has me fired up tonight. It‘s the lame-duck session of the Congress, and what should our expectations be?
Well, I‘ll tell you this—judging by the voices on radio, liberals don‘t want any compromise. They want action.
And keep in mind, folks, this may be the last time the Democrats have the House, Senate, and White House for decades to come. Why? Well, it‘s the money.
This is a time for Democrats to get a heart, get a soul, and grow a spine. No better time to do it.
Two million people—two million Americans will join the ranks of the 99ers if Congress doesn‘t reauthorize unemployment insurance by the end of November.
Speaker Pelosi told “The Huffington Post” helping the unemployed is one of her top priorities. She also remind jobless Americans that Republicans flat-out are not on their side.
She says, “I have this impression that some of the people who did not vote Democratic are people who don‘t have a job. And they need unemployment insurance, and the Republicans are not for it.”
Now, Pelosi isn‘t going to let Boehner and Cantor frame the midterm election into a mandate against the Obama agenda. She went on to say this:
“The election was no ringing endorsement of Republicans. We do not accept their version of what the midterm election was all about. It‘s not about rejecting President Obama and what he has done. It didn‘t go fast enough to create jobs. That‘s what it‘s about.”
I agree, big time. No doubt. It‘s about jobs.
She is spot on. And the Republicans basically don‘t have a clue what the American people want. I think they got lucky.
Now, Democrats need to put the midterms out of their minds. Get it off the table. It‘s over. We‘re going to come back. Get back to Washington and jam through everything—and everything possible—before weepy “Tan Man” gets his hands on the Speaker‘s gavel and starts yelling things like this --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN BOEHNER ®, MINORITY LEADER: Hell no you can‘t! Hell no you can‘t! Hell no you can‘t!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: I just like that, so we play it a lot.
Now, look, folks, I don‘t care what anybody thinks. At this point, this is no time for compromise if you‘re a good lefty out there. Republicans aren‘t going do it. And I think there‘s a lot of Americans out there who lean to the left that agree with me.
Here‘s what we can expect. Republicans, they won‘t give a dime to the unemployed. They are laser-focused on making the Bush tax cuts permanent.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL ®, MINORITY LEADER: We‘re willing to start talking about getting an extension of some kind --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
MCCONNELL: -- so that taxes don‘t go up on anybody.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ERIC CANTOR ®, MINORITY WHIP: I am not for raising taxes in a recession, especially when it comes to job creators.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOEHNER: Let‘s make sure that we extend all of the current tax rates for all Americans. That will begin to reduce the uncertainty.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: You know, I predict in two weeks they‘re going to come up with a proposal—hell, let‘s not pay anything to the Treasury.
Republicans, their addiction to making the rich richer has left this country on the brink of economic disaster. The “L.A. Times” reports, “According to an analysis by Edward Wolff of New York University, the top 20 percent of wealthy individuals own about 85 percent of the wealth, while the bottom 40 percent own almost nothing. And many of that bottom 40 percent not only have assets, they have negative net wealth.”
Now, is that fair in this country? When does the greed stop?
Now, Gallup data shows 18 percent of Americans said they have been—well, at times over the past year, it‘s been awful tough for them to go out there and even afford to put food on the table. That‘s in America.
Tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires will only make those numbers worse. Boehner and Cantor, well, they have promised when they‘re in charge, they‘ll cut programs like food stamps every week.
So, during this lame duck, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, I think, need to go on the offensive and don‘t look back, and tell every Democrat, whether they won or loss, got a job in January or not, to get in line and do it for the people.
And, oh, by the way, the president‘s Deficit Commission, well, it came out today, and they recommended cuts in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid. So predictable.
Are you ready to compromise on that? Because that‘s where the righties are going to be going.
The ideological fight for America is officially on. OK, they won the midterms, they picked up some seats. The wrong guys are going to be holding the stick at the chair. But the fact is, we cannot stick our head in the sand and say well, let‘s just have a lousy lame duck. No, let‘s have a great lame duck and realize that power is what it is all about.
Get your cell phones out, folks. I want to know what you think on this issue tonight.
Tonight‘s text survey question is: Do you think Democrats should compromise with Republicans in the lame-duck session?
Text “A” for yes, text “B” for no to 622639. We‘ll bring you the results later on in the show.
I don‘t think lefties are up for compromise right now. There‘s too much at stake.
Joining me now is Congressman George Miller, chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee.
Congressman, good to have you back with us.
REP. GEORGE MILLER (D), CALIFORNIA: Thank you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: What‘s the game plan? What‘s your priority list as you go into the lame duck with the power?
MILLER: Our priority list is the same as it was before, and that is to grow this economy, to create jobs, to help small businesses be able to expand to hire people.
You know, when we tried to take care of 80 percent, 90 percent of the small businesses with 16 different tax cuts, the Republicans voted against them 15 times. Fifteen out of 16.
They clearly made a choice over the last two years to put the party before the country, to put the party before working Americans, put the party before unemployed Americans, put the party before economic growth. That‘s a decision they made.
There were multiple opportunities here to help grow jobs. They stalled it in the Senate. They walked it all around. And when those opportunities passed, they celebrated because they thought they could make this president into a failure. They started out with the party first, America second.
SCHULTZ: Congressman, what about extending the tax cuts for another year or two for the top one or two percent income earners? Do you think the Democrats are willing to do that, or is that where you draw the line?
MILLER: I hope not, because what you‘re really talking about is whether or not you can provide a tax cut for middle class families that need it, that will spend it, that will help the economy, or whether you‘re going to protect one or two percent of the top earners who have massed more wealth, more income, more assets than the other—as you pointed out, the other 80 percent of the people in this country.
SCHULTZ: Do you think the public‘s with you on that, Congressman?
MILLER: I do believe that they‘re with us, and the polling data suggests that they‘re with us. And they know that that comes with a $700 billion deficit.
So these deficit hawks have decided that the deficit doesn‘t count when you‘re giving money to the rich. But if you try to help unemployed workers, then the deficit counts.
I mean, this is going to turn out to be one of the great assaults by the Republican Party on middle America in this country, one of the great assaults on working families in this country. They‘re rapidly trying to transfer wealth as fast as they can to the one or two top percent of the people in this nation.
They want to say they‘re job creators. When we offered tax cuts to the small business that create 80 percent of the jobs in this country, they were nowhere to be seen because they wanted the economy not to grow so they could win an election.
They won an election now, and America should wake up and understand what they have in place for middle America. It‘s not good.
SCHULTZ: Will the attitude of the Democrats in these last months in power be one of aggression, be one of try to get as much done as you can for the people? I mean, you‘ve got a lot out there.
You‘ve got the Dream Act. You‘ve got unemployment insurance, which is going to expire. You‘ve got—you know that Republicans aren‘t going to help these folks out at all. The tax cuts that you were talking about, the helping out small businesses.
I mean, will it be an aggressive period for the Democrats?
MILLER: It‘s going—we hope to be an aggressive period. Clearly, the questions of the Dream Act have come up, the questions of unemployment extension have come up, additional assistance to small businesses, to child nutrition, children that are in need of nutrition in their schools, whether or not we can pass that legislation. And this is a very important time.
SCHULTZ: It is.
MILLER: And the problem when people are talking about compromise at this particular point, what they‘re really talking about is the compromise coming out of the bank account of the middle class.
MILLER: So we can protect middle class tax cuts. We can extend the Obama middle class tax cuts. And we need to do this for the sake of the economy and for these families that have been losing ground all through the last decade.
SCHULTZ: Congressman George Miller, always a pleasure. Good to have you with us tonight.
MILLER: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: I hope it is an active lame-duck session.
For more on this, joining me now is Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow, who had the guts to step up and try to help the 99ers just not long ago, before the election.
And as we go into this lame-duck session of the Congress, what hope do they have, Senator, at this point? Because we know the Republicans won‘t do anything. How important is it going to be to extend those unemployment benefits for those who are going to be falling off?
SEN. DEBBIE STABENOW (D), MICHIGAN: Ed, it‘s extremely important we extend the unemployment benefits, and that we continue to focus on jobs as well. I mean, this is about working families who are barely keeping their head above water. Their house may be under water, their small business may be under water.
We‘ve not changed at all our focus. And we know whose side we‘re on. When those tax cuts come up, we‘re fighting for the middle class, for small businesses.
SCHULTZ: How do you think, Senator—
STABENOW: We just want to make sure those top two rates, we don‘t continue those, because that‘s going to double the national debt, if you do everything the Republicans want to do. And you put that back to investing in jobs, and then the debt goes down.
SCHULTZ: Yes. OK.
Now, some of the Democrats who are leaving the Senate—Blanche Lincoln, Evan Bayh—there are some others—are they going to vote on the side of the people, and vote on that of the progressive agenda to help these Americans out? Will you get, you think, the 60 votes to get this thing through on some crucial issues, or will it be a lame-duck session and nothing gets done, another filibuster city?
What do you think?
STABENOW: Well, Ed, first of all, as you know, we don‘t have 60 votes. And so if the Republicans don‘t work with us, we‘re right back where we were in terms of filibusters.
But I can tell you, the overwhelming number of Democrats are going back more determined than ever. We know that people are hurting, that this economy hasn‘t turned around fast enough even though it is beginning to turn around, that people need jobs. They need to know that they can put food on their table.
It‘s really a national crisis, Ed, the numbers that are being talked about now, with one out of five families some time this year—
SCHULTZ: So what do you think should be done? I mean, the point is that you are losing some Democrats. You‘re going to need their votes to get to that 60-vote level, is what I meant to ask. And I know you don‘t have 60, but you know where I‘m coming from.
SCHULTZ: I mean, because there are some Democrats that—I mean, look, you had to go reconciliation to get health care done. There are some Democrats who are leaving that weren‘t very good Democrats.
So what are your expectations in this session?
STABENOW: Well, my expectation is that we‘re going to fight and we‘re going to do everything in our power to be able to extend unemployment benefits, get middle class tax cuts, and tax cuts for small businesses, stop those for the millionaires and billionaires, put it back into investing and jobs. My hope would be, Ed, that not just looking at Democrats, but a few of our Republicans who have worked across the aisle in the past, who are retiring, would decide that part of their legacy will be in these last few weeks of this session.
SCHULTZ: So you think George Voinovich of Ohio will help you? Do you think Voinovich of Ohio will help you?
STABENOW: I‘d love to see that happen. He certainly comes from a state like mine.
SCHULTZ: OK. Yes.
STABENOW: Ohio and Michigan, very similar. We‘ve got too many people out of work, too many people who have a new job, but it pays less. And they‘re trying to keep their house.
So I would hope that folks that are retiring would decide, you know what? I‘m sick and tired of this. George stepped up with us --
SCHULTZ: Yes he did.
STABENOW: -- on the small business bill and was very courageous, and I‘d love to see that happen again.
SCHULTZ: Senator Stabenow, good to have you with us tonight. But I think it needs to be a wake-up call to all those wage earners of America. You don‘t have friends in the Senate anymore—or in the House anymore because the majority is with the Republicans.
SCHULTZ: This is going to be tough sledding for the unemployed, no doubt.
Great to have you with us, Senator. Appreciate your time.
STABENOW: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, W. may be facing a prosecutor soon. Congressman Nadler, he wants to throw the book at him for what he‘s been admitting to on his shameless book tour.
He‘ll tell me the plan in “The Playbook.”
“Caribou Barbie” just dropped a cookie bomb. She‘s attacking the Obama administration and tackling serious issues with baked goods.
I‘ll show you the tape. You won‘t believe what you‘re going to see.
Plus, an incoming congressman hired a shock jock to be his chief of staff. She wants illegal immigrants hanged. That‘s right.
And Alvin Greene, well, he‘s got his eye on 2012.
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAY LENO, “THE TONIGHT SHOW”: President Obama was in India yesterday visiting our jobs, and—
LENO: -- tomorrow he goes to China to visit our money. So it‘s a nice trip. A nice trip.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: It‘s great late-night comedy, but, folks, the joke‘s on us. Thousands of American jobs have been shipped to India, yet the president downplayed outsourcing as a bogeyman.
Now he‘s on his way to the G-20 in Asia. I think it‘s time to confront China for cheating, big time.
China‘s currency manipulation is putting American manufacturers flat-out out of business. President Obama will meet with the Chinese president tomorrow, and I hope he goes to the mat for the American worker.
Joining me now is Leo Gerard, president of the United Steelworkers.
Mr. Gerard, good to have you with us.
What do you want President Obama to say at the G-20? What does he have to say, in your opinion?
LEO GERARD, PRESIDENT, UNITED STEELWORKERS: Well, Ed, first, it‘s good to be with you.
And I think when President Obama gets to the G-20, he‘s got make sure that he spells out very loudly and very clearly that it‘s time that China quit cheating—not just with its currency manipulation, but its export subsidies and all the other different ways it cheats. Let‘s not forget that only a few weeks ago, they held back rare earth minerals. Holding back rare earth minerals is a way of trying to control the economy. That‘s a violation of trade rules.
I think he‘s got do that, and I think he‘s also got to go and get some allies, because there‘s a lot of other countries that held back rare earth minerals from Japan. There‘s other countries that have accused China of manipulating its currency. It‘s affecting not just the loss of jobs in America, it‘s affecting world trade. And we‘ve lost enough jobs in this country.
SCHULTZ: But is it going to be hard for him to be a tough broker when we owe them so much money and they, in a sense, have got us over a financial barrel?
GERARD: Let me say this, two things.
First of all, I want to say that the president has been true to his word with us that he would enforce the trade laws. And every trade case that has come under his jurisdiction, including this most recent 301, he stood there and said we‘re going to enforce the law.
Secondly, I don‘t think we should let ourselves get bullied by China when we‘re having with them a close to $300 billion trade deficit. We‘ve got some bargaining power, and we need to have the guts to use it. As you said, some spine to use it.
And we need to make sure that the president‘s not out there offering Korea a bad trade deal and giving away more of our jobs. So I think the president has to stand tough, and he‘s got say this is about jobs in America, and I‘m going to stand up for America. And I again say that when it comes to enforcing the trade laws, he stood side by side with us.
SCHULTZ: Why has China been able to get away with the cheating? Why have they not—you know, why hasn‘t there been any ramifications? Where‘s the world trade agreement? Where‘s the board that oversees all of this? Where are the other nations calling China for their misdeeds in all of this?
GERARD: I think, Ed, it‘s exactly what you said, that too many of them, China‘s holding their mortgage, and they‘re afraid how China might react. We see what they did to Japan when Japan just held up a fishing boat that was in the wrong waters, how they responded.
And I think that the only country that could stand up to China in a real forceful way, if we wanted to by ourselves, is America. But if the president gets allies from Japan and from the European Union and from Brazil and from some other countries, then we can come to it in a collective fashion.
GERARD: But, Ed, we can‘t wait for them to do that. We can‘t get out of this economic mess we‘re in unless we start to make things in America.
SCHULTZ: No doubt. Well, we‘d be a heck of a lot better negotiator at the table if we were making the stuff that they‘re making. But you‘re looking at a $44 billion trade deficit. It‘s hard to be a tough negotiator when you‘re backed into the corner like that.
GERARD: Ed, we were sold a bill of goods, and we were sold that bill of goods, unfortunately, by people who had no idea of what they were doing when we negotiated what‘s called PNTR with China. Sixty percent to 65 percent of the goods that we import from China to America used to be made in America.
We don‘t make computer equipment, we don‘t make cell phones. Hell, we barely even make wind turbines, and all of those things were invented in America.
SCHULTZ: Yes. Mr. Gerard, always a pleasure.
GERARD: It‘s my pleasure.
SCHULTZ: Speaking the truth all the time on THE ED SHOW. I appreciate it.
Coming up, Fox businessman Eric Bolling, well, he‘s drinking the Kool-Aid and freaking out over tax cuts for his fat-cut buddies.
Well, we‘ll cut him down to size next, in “The Zone.”
SCHULTZ: And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, Fox business host Eric Bolling.
Well, he‘s doing everything he can to make sure he and his super-rich buddies get to keep the tax cuts they got from W. Extending those tax cuts would cost $700 billion. But the way Bolling tells it, oh, that‘s just chump change.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIC BOLLING, HOST, “MONEY ROCKS”: If you take the $700 billion and divide it by the 10 years that the CBO estimates, it‘s $70 billion. It‘s not a lot money.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Oh, the CBO estimates.
Gosh, Mr. Bolling what does the CBO estimates say about the health care bill? Another story we‘ll follow up.
Now, I don‘t care if you spread it out over 10 years, $700 billion is a heck of a lot of money. And Bolling sang a different tune just the other day. He was just hollering about the bogus report that said President Obama was spending $200 million a day on his trip to Asia.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOLLING: What‘s Obama‘s about to do? Go on a trip to India that will cost $200 million. That‘s $200 million per day.
Americans everywhere are suffering with the rough economy, at unemployment at an all-time high and people losing their homes left and right. President Obama still doesn‘t hesitate to take billions from taxpayers. Here‘s a guy who is spending hundreds of millions of bucks a day of our money.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Priceless tape. There‘s actually a righty in America who cares about Americans losing their homes. We‘re saving that one. I can guarantee you.
Now, the report about the president spending $200 million a day has been completely debunked. But who cares about facts?
But even if it were true, $200 million is less than .03 percent of the $700 billion Bolling says is not a lot of money. This guy is a complete hypocrite.
Saying that $700 billion in tax cuts for the top two percent is not a lot of money after wigging out over a fake report of the president spending a couple of million dollars on a diplomatic trip is financially corrupt “Psycho Talk.”
Coming up, Republicans don‘t seem to give a damn that, hey, now it‘s up to 59 million people -- 59 million people without health insurance. Hmm.
Mitch McConnell, well he is on a mission to help his billionaire buddies out. He ain‘t going to do anything.
Reverend Jesse Jackson will call him on it. He says the poor and the unemployed simply can‘t accept this in silence. His call to action is next in “The Battleground.”
New oversight chair Darrell Issa, my new buddy, says the Obama administration—listen to this, folks—treated stimulus dollars as walking around money? Congressman Dennis Kucinich has a stern warning for him. We‘ll get “Rapid Fire Response” on that.
Plus, Kanye West is sorry he called W. a racist. And “Caribou Barbie,” well, she‘s attacking government with cookies. I wonder if that has anything do with seeing them over in Russia and coming over to the top with cookies. I don‘t know. We‘ll get to it.
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Thanks for watching tonight. Our “Battleground” story, well, a new number, 59 million Americans don‘t have health insurance. And the question tonight is, do the Republicans even care? The democratic Congress and President Obama gave us a health care reform bill that gets every American covered. It flat out saves lives. And of course the CBO scored it to save a trillion dollars over 20 years. But Republicans don‘t care. They don‘t plan to do anything to solve the problem. John Boehner vowed to repeal the health care law. Mitch McConnell is helping states that are fighting the mandate in court. They created the problem and they don‘t even have a solution for it. They just want to repeal everything because they think it will cost too much.
For more, let‘s bring in Reverend Jesse Jackson, president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition. Reverend, good to you with us have tonight.
REV. JESSE JACKSON, RAINBOW PUSH COALITION: Thank you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: You bet. If this follows through now that we‘ve got 59 million Americans without insurance, the number is growing, if they repeal health care, what are we facing in this country? A social pushback of some sort? What do you think?
JACKSON: Well, the kind of creeping genocide. What is hypocritical is those who voted against the health care bill, themselves, have comprehensive health care for their families. You‘re talking about more infant mortality and short life expectancy. You‘re talking about more working poor people, more poor people and not only on welfare, they‘re not derelicts they work. Half of the veterans who are homeless, men who are homeless are veterans. A million and a half children who are homeless and often go to school without adequate health care. So, this really is a mass march for the kind of humane—a human destruction, in the likes in which we‘ve never known. We deserve better.
SCHULTZ: How do we get the attention of the lawmakers to realize the seriousness of the numbers that you just quoted?
JACKSON: People have to rise above the ideology, it seems to me. And I‘ve seen people who, in fact who are working poor, supporting people who voted against their interest. I‘ve seen people who need the jobs in the south where I am tonight, so, foreign people who are against to having a Senate bill for jobs. And so, we just cannot give up on the facts of the matter whether you‘re in Appalachia or rural Alabama. This is the one place where white, and black and brown find common ground. We need for a health care system for all people.
SCHULTZ: Reverend, would you consider the—or describe the republican position on this is heartless?
JACKSON: Well, it is heartless and I‘ll tell you what, there are people who have—we spent the last month focusing on pre-existing conditions and women and men with cancer, for example, who in fact need treatment and cannot afford to stop working. Too much children going to school with toothache. And some cannot see, they have eye problems. Among the children do not have the capacity to function. Again, I cannot help get out of my mind going homeless shelter in San Francisco, more folks in that shelter work every day and can‘t afford rent and don‘t have health care. Who are these people?
These are fast food workers who serve us these hamburgers. They don‘t have health care. These are cab drivers who don‘t have health care. These are people who come to our homes and take care of our children who work sick before our children and they pick up a disease. And so, this is—we as Americans deserve a greatest sense of humanity and the return on investment. Prenatal care, health care and day care on the front side, and jail care and welfare on the back side and shorter life expectancy when it‘s unnecessary.
SCHULTZ: The Democrats just cannot afford to lose this conversation.
I mean, the health care system in this country is crippling our economy.
That outsourcing and wars.
JACKSON: It‘s not just the Democrats. It‘s the democracy. It‘s not just the Republicans, it‘s the republic. This transcends the kind of fight that takes place every day. We‘re at ease giving the top two percent extended of the tax deal which is closer to a trillion I might add and $700 million, by the way, Ed.
JACKSON: We have no problems of sending unlimited amounts of money to Afghan or Iraq. When it comes to home, some people who are here who are the working poor who don‘t have health care, we can put them on the sides. I say people who need health care and who need a job who want to stay reinvest America, rise up and fight back. Do not think that without a fight.
SCHULTZ: Reverend Jackson. Great to have you with us tonight. And on a lighter note, I know the Vikings are playing the Bears in your backyard this weekend but whatever you do, don‘t show the Bears that fourth quarter tape of Brett Favre getting it done against the Cardinals because they were really demoralize your bears, there‘s no doubt about that.
JACKSON: Well, it‘ll be interesting to see how Brett survives Chicago. Doesn‘t always have good days there. It‘s Bear country.
SCHULTZ: Reverend, good to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much.
Now let‘s get some rapid-fire response from our panel on these stories. Pay attention to this one. Congressman Dennis Kucinich is telling incoming oversight chair, Darrell Issa, who‘s been lipping out about investigations to put up or shut up after Issa claimed that the Obama administration treated stimulus dollars as walking around money for political allies?
Tea Party extremists are invading the House. The new chief of staff of the incoming Florida Congressman Allen West is a conservative radio talker who wants that illegal immigrants should be hanged in public squares. Uh-oh, what are the righties going to say about this?
General Motors just posted a $2 billion profit! It‘s the largest quarter of profit in over a decade. So much for government motors, how about that?
With us tonight, Todd Webster, the democratic strategist and former communications director for Tom Daschle. And John Feehery with us tonight, republican strategist and president of Quinn Gillespie Communications. John, are you going to go out and buy a GM car since they‘re making money and all of that taxpayers helped them get their head get out of water? Isn‘t this a victory, Feehery, come on!
JOHN FEEHERY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I think I‘d actually rather buy a Ford because they didn‘t take the stimulus money and they actually have better products but you know what? I‘m really proud of GM. I‘m proud of any American car company that make any money in this tough economy.
SCHULTZ: It is a tough economy and they‘re making money and they wouldn‘t be at work, Todd Webster, had it not been for President Obama and his team, correct?
TODD WEBSTER, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: No question. I think this is one of the—this is one of the big achievement of the first couple of years of this administration, that they—Steve Rattner, they drew a hard bargain with Detroit, but as we now see, they‘re making money. We preserved an industrial manufacturing base in this country. We preserved over a million jobs and it‘s—they‘re making better cars. That‘s the bottom line.
SCHULTZ: John Feehery, are you willing to say that the Obama administration did the right call on this, it saved jobs, it knocked off the domino effect in the plastics industry, the rubber industry, the glass industry, the steel industry? I mean, this has been vilified by the right as government motors, as a socialist takeover. This was a loan that worked to save American jobs. Give it some credit, can you?
FEEHERY: I‘ll give it some credit and I think, Ed, that a lot of that happened during of the Bush administration the last day of the Bush administration, if you recall.
SCHULTZ: No, no, no, no, no.
FEEHERY: Has to go—they made some very tough concessions. The labor unions had to make very tough concessions.
SCHULTZ: Yes they did.
FEEHERY: And I think that‘s why they‘re starting to make some progress.
SCHULTZ: But the Republicans were ready to throw them under the bus, John. You know that. This has been vilified by the right wing talkers as government motors and it‘s a success story about how government can get involved and help business in this country.
FEEHERY: Ed, I think I came on this show and was in favor of it many years—a couple of years ago. So I‘m kind of not pure on this one when it comes to conservatives.
SCHULTZ: OK. All right, Darrell Issa. This is a comment he made on “Good Morning America,” ripping on President Obama when he was talking about possible investigations coming up. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. DARRELL ISSA ®, CALIFORNIA: His administration received $700 billion worth of walking around money in the stimulus and used it just that way. A great deal was used for political pay back. His administration has a lot of explaining where the $700 billion went, where investigations that should have gone on, particularly into ACORN, an organization that he had passed influence with and should be willing do a lot to end. I think those have to be dealt with.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: That‘s a hell of a statement. That‘s an accusation that there was political payback in his administration. He‘s got a lot of explaining to do. Congressman Dennis Kucinich responded on my radio show to that comment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. DENNIS KUCINICH (D), OHIO: Representative Issa needs to be cautious about making statements that are inflammatory. Walking around money, by the way, that, that phrase, that phrase relates to a practice that is now illegal of cash going into the pockets of political campaigners that‘s off of the books, OK? It‘s called walking around money. Now he may not be familiar with that, or if he is using that advisedly that‘s a pretty serious charge.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: And Congressman Kucinich on that government oversight committee sent a stern letter to Issa today basically telling him to watch his Ps and Qs on this and give us the detail of what you have. I mean, it‘s almost as if he‘s made up his mind but accusing them of political payback. Todd Webster, how do you call it?
WEBSTER: Well, I think, first of all, it‘s preposterous. Look, the stimulus money was broken into three pots. One was tax cuts, right, and every work the American got $400 tax cut last April. The second was aid to the states and the third part was for roads and infrastructure and building and putting people back to work. Now you can track where every nickel of stimulus spending is being spent by going to recovery—recovery.gov. The administrations put that up website, and if you prefer a private sector approach is a company out of Seattle that‘s put up a recovery.com which is also tracking government spending. So, this is a bunch of inflammatory stuff, to talk about ACORN and get the right wing whipped up but he knows better than that. And he‘s—he knows he‘s been to these Web sites and he knows that they exist.
SCHULTZ: Well, he wants 300 investigations or, you know, hearings and all of this. John Feehery is Mr. Issa, is he on a witch-hunt? That‘s what Jan Schakowsky said on this program last night.
FEEHERY: Ed, I really like Darrell Issa, I think he‘s going to be a very capable chairman. I think the fact of the matter is that the stimulus bill has not worked. Jobs have not come back to the extent that we hoped they would and I do think that there needs to be an investigation of where all the money went. I don‘t think it‘s sufficient at these Web sites. I think if you look at this recovery.gov, there are a lot of allegations of money going into places that they shouldn‘t have gone. I really honestly believe that the taxpayer‘s better off if we have these investigations to find out why this system, why this program did not work.
SCHULTZ: But, John.
FEEHERY: And why people have not gone back to work—they have not worked.
SCHULTZ: John, if you investigate—if you follow the money you‘ll going to find republican governors who didn‘t do what they were supposed to do with the stimulus money. When you go so far on accusations and say, well it‘s walking around money, it‘s political payback. That‘s a hell of an accusation. Where‘s the proof? Where‘s the proof?
WEBSTER: And you‘re going to see the money.
FEEHERY: Well, I think that‘s what the investigation is all about. Let‘s find out. Let‘s find out who was right. Let‘s find out if there was a walking around money.
SCHULTZ: So, you are OK with Issa‘s comments.
FEEHERY: Well, of course I am. I think we need to get to the bottom
where all of this money went and, you know, it‘s not just on this thing
that Darrell Issa is going to be investigated. He‘s going to be
investigating food safety, for example. You know, he‘s going to be a very
a very capable chairman and I think he‘s going to do a good job.
SCHULTZ: Todd, your final comment.
WEBSTER: Well, I mean, it‘s crazy. You can logon, you can see where every nickel is being spent, it‘s being spent in Darrell Issa‘s district and the John Boehner‘s district. And now, 435 districts around the country, it‘s all there to see but I think these scavenger hunts and these witch-hunts that Darrell Issa‘s second-in-command Dan Burton waged throughout the ‘90s investigating the Clinton travel office in the Clinton Christmas card list is going to have repercussions because voters are going to say that this is crazy, your wage.
FEEHERY: Todd, I don‘t think that this will know.
WEBSTER: You‘ll waste a lot of time and there will be a repercussion for it.
FEEHERY: I think that these investigations are going to be very fruitful for taxpayers.
FEEHERY: I think we‘ll learn a lot. I really do, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Yes, he was 300 hearings but he‘s really not after President Obama. Gentlemen, good to you have with us tonight. I appreciate your time.
WEBSTER: Thanks, Ed.
FEEHERY: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, President Bush seems awfully proud of all of that water boarding. He authorize, well, New York Congressman Jerry Nadler says ordering torture is a severe crime and is demanding a full investigation. The congressman, he‘s on fire on this one. He‘s next on the Playbook.
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And it‘s not too late to let us know what you think. Tonight‘s text survey question is, do you think Democrats should compromise with Republicans in the lame-duck session? Text A for yes, text B for no to 633-639. Results coming up. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And in my “Playbook” tonight, President George W. Bush is under fire for an alleged crime of torture. In his new book, Bush admits to authorizing the use of water boarding. He insists it was legal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FMR. GEORGE W. BUSH ®, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And so I said, our team, are the techniques legal? And a legal team, says, yes they are. And I said, use them.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Why is waterboarding legal, in your opinion?
BUSH: Because the lawyer said it was legal. I said, it did not fall within the anti torture act. I‘m not a lawyer. And—but you‘ve got to trust the judgment of people around you and I do. I will tell you this using those techniques saved lives. My job was to protect America. And I did.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: My next guest is outraged by this. He thinks it proves President Bush sanctioned the criminal use of torture. He‘s demanding Attorney General Eric Holder appoints a special prosecutor to investigate. New York Congressman Jerry Nadler with us tonight on THE ED SHOW.
Congressman, respond to that sound bite. Thanks for joining us.
REP. JERRY NADLER (D), NEW YORK: Well, there are two things to say, first of all, the United States has always considered waterboarding torture except during the Bush administration. We prosecuted Japanese generals for waterboarding people. We prosecuted American soldiers for waterboarding people and pressed that cage. The current attorney general Mr. Holder has said that waterboarding is torture. We‘ve always regarded it as torture and under our statute, under our international law, we are bound to prosecute. The president has a duty under the constitution to take care the laws of faith to be executed and now that former President Bush said that he personally ordered waterboarding, there must be at least an investigation and a special prosecutor.
SCHULTZ: So is that sound bite and the book indict the president in your opinion?
NADLER: It absolutely indicts the president. Secondly, he said that it saved lives. Well there‘s no evidence of that whatsoever, there is considerable and we had in front of my subcommittee and at any number of CIA and FBI agents come in and testify that quite the contrary, we learned a lot more from different kinds of psychological techniques and not from torture but second of all, we do know that use of torture has been a major recruiting tool for Al Qaeda and for others who were killing American troops. And thirdly.
NADLER: .this will provide a purchase justification, excuse, for anybody who wants to harm American troops and may be captured in the future.
SCHULTZ: This is real, genuine new information, in your opinion, and you‘re asking attorney general Eric Holder to do this. Do you think he‘ll do it? And do you think this is the smoking gun?
NADLER: Well, it is a smoking gun. I‘m dubious that he will do it because this administration, unfortunately, has taken the opinion—has taken the attitude that they‘re not going to look at any criminal actions within the prior administration. They say, let‘s look forward, not backward, by that standard no one would ever prosecute any crime and this is a violation of our obligations under the torture treaty, under the torture convention, that Ronald Reagan signed.
SCHULTZ: Well, you got the attention of your colleague Peter King. He has just responded to Politico saying that, he thinks President Bush deserves credit here, he saved lives, in fact he should get a medal for what he did. Your response?
NADLER: Well as I said, there‘s no evidence that that saved lives other than the president‘s self-serving statement. And no one should get a medal for violating the law, the United States has always considered waterboarding torture. This administration says, it considers waterboarding torture. Torture is illegal and it‘s the end of that.
SCHULTZ: Congressman Nadler, quickly, what do you think the attorney general is going to do? Will he pay attention to this? Will he respond?
NADLER: Judging by the record of this attorney general, he will not pay attention, he will not respond.
SCHULTZ: OK. Congressman.
NADLER: And that is shameful.
SCHULTZ: It is. And you say it‘s shameful, well doesn‘t that go right to the president‘s desk?
NADLER: Well, that‘s up to him.
SCHULTZ: Congressman, good to have you with us tonight. Thank you.
NADLER: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, Caribou Barbie is fighting big government with sugary sweets. What a mavericking way to shake things up. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And finally tonight, Pennsylvania, well the state of Pennsylvania‘s trying to make their school kids healthier and Sarah Palin, well she‘s not having anything to do with it, actually she‘s fighting against it in a sense. During a visit to a Pennsylvania school yesterday, she decided to protest the state board of education‘s proposed guidelines to curb unhealthy eating in the classroom.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH PALIN ®, FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: I had to kind of shake it up a little bit because I have heard that there‘s a debate going on in Pennsylvania over whether public schools are going to ban sweets, cakes, cookies, that type of thing. And so I had to bring to these private school students to show them how privileged they are, I brought dozens and dozens of cookies to these students. Who should be making the decisions what you eat and school choice and everything else? Should it be government or should it be the parents? It should be the parents.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Well, Palin‘s mavericking this as really lost its edge, hasn‘t it? Her definition of shaking things up used to be accusing the guy who‘s living in the White House of palling around with terrorists. Now, she thinks, she‘s making the splash by feeding cookies to school kids but she got the crowd buzzing by saying this while praising the kid who sang “God Bless America” before she took the stage.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PALIN: That singing is absolutely beautiful. Daniel, would you like to sing at an inauguration, not necessarily mine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Let‘s bring in radio talk show consultant Holland Cooke.
Holland is she still hot copy on talk radio in America?
HOLLAND COOKE, RADIO TALK SHOW CONSULTANT: Listen you do talk radio every day. I listen to talk radio for a living so we‘re hearing the same thing, Sarah Palin is a punch line for everybody except the holy trinity, Beck, Limbaugh and Sean. But I think it‘s a mistake to dismiss her as a nit-wit which people on the left and the right are prone do given all of her bloopers because she is media savvy and I was impressed in Pennsylvania that she invoked Hershey‘s which is of course, a local brand.
Which she neglected to allude to is that school launchers are set by local school boards, so the issue is phony baloney. And what was troubling in Pennsylvania, is the story less reported, about how they disperse the protesters across the street, are we going to see more of this Joe Miller handcuff stuff and Rand Paul‘s people stomping on somebody‘s head for people who tout the bill of rights? These folks are pretty lean on the first amendment.
SCHULTZ: And how about the former president? How‘s George W. scoring with talkers across America with his book tour?
COOKE: Well, he‘s playing to the righties, obviously. Rachel didn‘t get her wish. And if you want to see the W. book tour, don‘t sneeze you‘ll miss it. He and I have a mutual friend a neighbor in Texas who goes to church with him knows him well and says that this guy wants his life back. He‘s out here to get his manifesto, his autobiography on the record, which every ex-president should do. It is suitable for the public record, but people who know him say, he just wants to disappear. And go back to his life in Texas.
SCHULTZ: And how about the online petition right wing fanatics pushing for Michele Bachmann to run for speaker of the House?
COOKE: Please. We in talk radio would eat that with a fork and spoon.
SCHULTZ: Holland Cooke, always a pleasure.
COOKE: You bet, pal.
SCHULTZ: Great to have you with us tonight.
Tonight our text survey question, well, I asked, do you think Democrats should compromise with Republicans in the lame-duck session? Seventeen percent of you said yes, 83 percent of you said no.
That‘s THE ED SHOW. I‘m Ed Schultz. For more information on THE ED SHOW, go to ed.msnbc.com or check out my radio Web site at wegoted.com. You can see all of the news stories, and blog along and comment right there at wegoted.com. And then my show plays on XM 167 noon to 3:00 Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.
“HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews starts right now on the place for politics. MSNBC. We‘ll see you back here tomorrow night.
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