updated 11/16/2010 9:29:30 AM ET 2010-11-16T14:29:30

Guest: Dennis Kucinich, Clarence Page, Adam Green, Elijah Cummings, Leo Hindery, Michael Medved, Holland Cooke, Lionel

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

These stories are hitting “My Hot Buttons” at this hour.

Well, here we go.  Republican attack dog Darrell Issa is on a witch hunt to try to take down the president of the United States and his administration.  He wants death by a thousand hearings.

Congressman Dennis Kucinich is the man with the plan to stop him right in his tracks.  He‘ll join us in just a moment, and I‘ll have commentary. 

Rush Limbaugh—has this guy lost his marbles?  He‘s attacking me because I called him out for his racist hit job on Congressman Jim Clyburn?  I‘ve got something to say back to the old Rush (ph) in the playbook.

And Sarah Palin mama grizzly propaganda show had millions of folks busting the gut last night.  You betcha.  We‘ve got the tape of all the worst moments as she tried to show us Russia from her back yard. 

It‘s all coming up.  Stay with us. 

But this is the story that has me fired up tonight. 

The brand-new Congress, the new members, they‘re invading Washington, D.C.  And of course, folks, they are out for political blood. 

The Republicans and their Tea Party henchmen don‘t take control of the House until January, but they already have got their lead attack dog on the hunt.  Darrell Issa, out of California, is the incoming chairman of the Government Reform and Oversight Committee.  He has set his sights on taking President Obama down one subpoena at a time. 

This is what Issa said on “The Drugster‘s” radio show --  

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

REP. DARRELL ISSA ®, CALIFORNIA:  He has been one of the most corrupt presidents in modern times.  He has ignored the very laws that he said were so vital when he was a Senator.  And, you know, he‘s going to have to come back a direction. 

(END AUDIO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  OK.  Issa tried to back away from those comments, but he made this outrageous claim about the stimulus package on “Good Morning America” -- 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ISSA:  His administration received $700 billion worth of walking around money in the stimulus and used it just that way.  A great deal of it was used for political payback. 

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 to do a lot to end.  I think those have to be dealt with. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  So, welcome to the new Congress. 

Congressman Dennis Kucinich jumped all over that statement when he heard it on my radio show.  He immediately fired off a letter to Issa demanding he produce the evidence of “walking around money,” or offer a retraction of that statement. 

I think, I believe, I want Dennis Kucinich to step up and run for the Democratic leadership position on Issa‘s committee.  Kucinich would be, I think, a great check and balance for Issa to make sure that he doesn‘t get away with smearing people and coming up with phony charges and making outlandish statements. 

Kucinich, I think, is the best counter-punch the Democrats would have against Issa‘s witch hunt.  He is an honest broker and would make Issa prove every shred of evidence. 

Now, in the meantime, the Tea Party wave is set to take over the Republican Party.  This January, I‘m convinced the Tea Party Republicans will make sure Issa forces President Obama to show his birth certificate to, I guess, Rush Limbaugh.  They‘ll demand that Issa does everything in his power to set the table for impeachment of the second Democratic Party in a row. 

And if you‘re wondering where Darrell Issa‘s going to go, remember that I said it right here—he‘ll go everywhere and anywhere to defeat this president—every morsel of information he will seek out, any tip that he can get, anybody that will leak to him any kind of information or speculation that there might be some wrongdoing in the Obama administration.  And throw that kind of stuff to a guy who claims that the president‘s corrupt, throw that kind of stuff to an ideologue who will stop with nothing with the use of the gavel, I think this is bad for the country, it‘s part of the plan. 

I don‘t think that Issa is working on this on his own.  I think that he is the appointed attack dog.  I think this is all part of the plan.  And the Republicans are going do everything they can to just wire things up for the next two years.  It‘s all about defeating the president in 2010. 

Get your cell phones out.  I want to know what you think on this. 

Tonight‘s text survey question is: Do you believe Republicans will try to impeach President Obama?  Text “A” for yes, text “B” for no to 622639.  We‘ll bring you the results later on in the show. 

Now, for the record, Mr. Issa has told us that he doesn‘t want anything to do with impeaching President Obama.  That‘s not what it‘s all about. 

He just happens to want to have a hearing every week.  And he just happens to be going on national shows saying that the president is handing out “walking around money.”  That, in itself, I think, should disqualify him as the chairman. 

But of course the Republicans love that stuff.  They have no shame. 

Joining me now is Congressman Dennis Kucinich, a member of the Oversight and Government and Reform Committee. 

Congressman, good to have you with us tonight. 

REP. DENNIS KUCINICH (D), OHIO:  Thank you very much, Ed.  It‘s great to be with you. 

SCHULTZ:  You bet. 

How serious do you think Issa is?  And should this be a wake-up call to the country.

KUCINICH:  Well, as you point out, this is the committee that has the ability to be able to investigate anything, and to compel witnesses to come by virtue of subpoenas, to compel the production of documents.  If an individual is chairing that committee who has no compunction about making unsubstantiated charges or using smears and innuendo, what that can do, it can plunge the entire oversight responsibilities in the United States Congress into suspicion, into a lack of public confidence. 

I‘m concerned about the institution of Congress here.  I‘m concerned that the Oversight Committee not be used to smear people, to engage in witch hunts.

And so I came forward after hearing my friend, Mr. Issa, a week ago make the comments that spoke about the “widespread corruption inside the administration,” and basically said, look, put up.  What do you have?  Come forward. 

But don‘t conclude with a charge unless you have the evidence.  That‘s not the American way. 

In America, you don‘t smear people when you‘re trying to get to the truth.  You hold hearings.  You bring forth the evidence.  You come to conclusions. 

So, I think, Ed, that we have to have zero tolerance for smears and innuendo, immediate response to any unsubstantiated charges, and a firm commitment to the process of oversight which gives people a chance to testify without charging them with anything. 

SCHULTZ:  Congressman, do you want to be the ranking member? 

KUCINICH:  Well, I‘m going to be talking to my colleagues about what would be the best route to take to ensure that the oversight responsibilities of the Congress will, in fact, not be compromised by a mentality of a star chamber.  And so this is inside baseball, effectively, Ed.  Members have to make the decision about who they think would be best ready to be able to take this challenge. 

SCHULTZ:  But do you think—

KUCINICH:  Because it is a challenge. 

SCHULTZ:  -- it will take a special effort to thwart Issa? 

KUCINICH:  Well, listen, he‘s a very clever man.  He‘s quite skillful. 

He is someone who is formidable, should not be underestimated. 

And I think, yes, it is going to take a concerted and special effort to be able to meet the chapter and verse allegations that are already floating out there.  When you say that the president of the United States is corrupt, you better have some facts before you say that. 

And when you‘re chairman of an investigative committee, you could—you may conclude that after a body of evidence.  But if you say that without having the evidence to prove it, what you‘re doing is you‘re undermining public confidence in government and you‘re assaulting the presidency of the United States, which isn‘t about one man.  It‘s about our nation. 

And we have to be very certain that in this oversight, that we don‘t let it run on to smears where people have their reputations damaged, and then somebody comes back later on and says, oh, you know what?  I guess that we didn‘t find anything.  You know, first you get the evidence. 

SCHULTZ:  Congressman, I think you should be the ranking member on this committee.  You have the working knowledge.  You have the passion, the desire.  And you know how serious this guy is.  I mean, this is going to be a full-time job, big-time, watching these people, because I think that their mission is to take down this president. 

Congressman—

KUCINICH:  Well, it is. 

SCHULTZ:  -- good to have you with us tonight. 

KUCINICH:  And we have to stay on top of this.  And I‘ll keep you posted, Ed.  I‘m talking to my colleagues next. 

SCHULTZ:  OK.  Thank you so much. 

Congressman Dennis Kucinich with us here tonight. 

Joining me now is Clarence Page, columnist for “The Chicago Tribune.”

Clarence, they want to go after White House job offers, ACORN, BP, economic stimulus, and czars. 

Would there be anything here, or is Issa just a loose cannon with some power now?  What do you think?

CLARENCE PAGE, COLUMNIST, “THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE”:  Well, he‘s got power now.  I don‘t think he‘s a loose canon, although he talked like one, especially before the election.  His rhetoric has mellowed a little bit now. 

But he has said he wants to go after stimulus, for example.  He‘s already got a Web site up asking people to send in pictures of stimulus signs, calling them a waste of money or a taxpayer-funded political move. 

That‘s news to me.  It‘s a pretty old practice, putting up signs of federal projects.  But he is out for bear. 

And I think his hope is, though, he can sit people down in hearings, he can get attention.  Maybe he can get somebody to trip up and make a contradictory statement, and that‘ll generate into a controversy, or maybe even charges of lying to Congress, something like to. 

You know, you could do a lot of mischief or you can do a lot of good on oversight.  Heaven knows, government needs serious oversight.  So it remains to be seen just how serious Darrell Issa‘s going to be. 

SCHULTZ:  Well, we also know that Senator Byron Dorgan held countless hearings on waste, fraud and abuse in Iraq, and the Republicans didn‘t do anything about it.  But now, all of a sudden, they‘re all ginned up over the fact that Issa, over in the House, is going to go after it and have a hearing every week.

PAGE:  You‘re right.

SCHULTZ:  But, now, would this, in your opinion, be part of a bigger plan, that Issa is just the attack dog on this to set the table for 2012, to throw the administration off, but maybe even to go so far as to set the table for impeachment?  Or is that too grand?

PAGE:  Well, I think you‘re on to something as far as the General scenario, Ed.  I only disagree to the point of not thinking there‘s that, what, well planned of a plan right now.  There‘s still some disarray in Republican leadership.  John Boehner is still figuring out how to deal with the moderates, which his heart is really with, and the Tea Party folks who have given energy to the Party right now.

But Darrell Issa‘s committee certainly is the kind of, you know, point of the spear when it comes to attacking the administration.  Even if you all do is tie people up with putting documents together, to come and testify, that‘s an arduous process, and it gets in the way of the kind of programs the administration is trying to push.  And it‘s red meat for the right, which is also what the Party wants.

So he‘s got an important, significant function here.

SCHULTZ:  Yes.

Clarence Thomas (sic), columnist, “Chicago Tribune.”  Clarence Page.

PAGE:  Thank you.

SCHULTZ:  Good to have you with us tonight.

PAGE:  Thank you even more, Ed.  Thank you.

(LAUGHTER)

SCHULTZ:  It‘s always good to get the name right, isn‘t it?

PAGE:  You‘re not the first one to do that.

SCHULTZ:  We love you.  Thanks so much.

PAGE:  Thank you, Ed.

SCHULTZ:  Coming up, Darrell Issa isn‘t the only Republican we need to worry about.   “The Tan Man” is dishing out advice to his new flock of righties. 

I‘ll give him something to think about at the bottom of the hour. 

And “The Drugster” takes a shot at little old me, the guy from Fargo?  He‘s defending the racist remarks he made about Jim Clyburn.  And just wait until you hear what he said about affirmative action. 

I refuse to let him get away with this kind of hate speech.  And I‘ve got a commentary, and it‘s all coming up in “The Playbook.”

Plus, Bubba‘s got a hangover; Bush sit down with Doocy; and I‘m throwing Rand Paul, the new senator from Kentucky, into “The Zone.”

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

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

Fight, don‘t cave.  That‘s the message progressives have for President Obama regarding the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.  The American people don‘t want another round of tax cuts for the top two percent, especially if it means cutting Social Security and having the middle class having to pay for it. 

The Republicans keep throwing around the word “compromise,” but their idea of compromise is President Obama crying “Uncle!” and agreeing to whatever they demand. 

For more, let‘s bring in Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and, we should say, the fastest-growing liberal organization in America. 

Great to have you with us, Adam. 

All right, you say fight, don‘t cave.  What‘s your definition of caving?  What do you want the president to do?  What‘s the PCCC demanding? 

ADAM GREEN, CO-FOUNDER, PROGRESSIVE CHANGE CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE:  Well,

I say it, and about 134,000 people have now gone to our Web site, BoldProgressives.org, and told Obama fight, don‘t cave.  And what we mean is pretty simple. 

If one side goes into a negotiation saying we really, really want to compromise, and the other side says we‘re willing to fight, it‘s obvious who‘s going to win that negotiation.  President Obama is lining himself up for failure right here, and what we need him do is say, look, I‘m fighting for 98 percent of the people, the Republicans are fighting for two percent of the people.  I‘m not going to cut a 50/50 compromise if they insist on doing wrong by the American people.

I will fight them.  I will hold them accountable to their constituents.  I will bloody them up back home.

And if he does that, then they‘ll come to the table in good faith. 

But right now he‘s lining himself up for failure and we need him to fight. 

SCHULTZ:  So, the president has stated tax cuts for the middle class, the top two percent, they‘ll negotiate that number, whether it be $250,000, $500,000, or $1 million a year.

Would your organization go along with that?  Do you think the liberals in this country would accept that as a framework? 

GREEN:  No, absolutely not.  Let‘s not be mistaken.  The fact that we‘re potentially helping an extra two percent of the people does not mean it‘s an extra two percent of the price tag. 

George W. Bush did very right by the super wealthy by making the portion of the tax cuts that went to the super wealthy gigantic, somewhere between 30 percent and 50 percent.  I mean, it‘s huge. 

It would add about $700 billion to our deficit.  And especially at a time when we‘re talking about potentially having Social Security on the chopping block, it is crazy to even think about having tax cuts for the wealthy. 

So, no, no temporary, no permanent extension for the rich.  It has to be just about the middle class. 

SCHULTZ:  OK.  Just about the middle class is the only ground that you would accept. 

What if the president or the Democrats were to get together and come back and say—take the position, let‘s just let this legislation fade away and let‘s turn it over to the Republicans in the House and force them to come forward with their plan, and let‘s see who they really care about?  What‘s wrong with that strategy? 

And I say that because it‘s rather unusual that the tax plan that was put in place back in 2002 and 2003 just happens to fit our dire economic situation that we face right now.  There‘s no way. 

So why don‘t the Democrats just purport the idea, let‘s let it sunset and let‘s start over, and let‘s see if they really want to work with us with the majority in the House?  What would be wrong with that? 

GREEN:  Well, I wouldn‘t call that wrong.  I think there‘s one step before that. 

What we‘re advocating and what the AFL-CIO and Howard Dean‘s Democracy for America and others are advocating is the Democrats say there will be one vote and one vote only on the middle class tax cuts, and we dare the Republicans to oppose it.  But part of that is saying, if they oppose it and kill it, it will die, it will fade away, and we‘ll be fully willing to blame them and hold them accountable for it. 

It has to be part of the equation.  And to folks out there who love President Obama, you have to understand, when he says, no matter what we will pass a middle class tax cut, what he‘s saying is, if we do a strong strategy and we fail, I will then accept whatever the Republicans put on the table and I will cave. 

So, we can‘t have coated language here.  The president has to be strong, say we will have one vote on the middle class tax cuts.  And if the Republicans kill it, they kill it and we‘ll take the blame.  That‘s what fighting and not caving looks like. 

SCHULTZ:  Adam Green, good to have you with us tonight. 

Fight, don‘t cave, is the message from the PCCC.  Thanks so much. 

GREEN:  Yes. 

SCHULTZ:  Coming up, the senator-elect who totally ignored this brutal behavior by one of his supporters has the audacity to accuse the president of the United States of being insensitive?  He feels sorry for the billionaires that run big oil? 

Rand Paul, I mean, he comes storming into “The Zone” tonight.  And deservedly so.  That‘s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, Senator-elect out of Kentucky Rand Paul.  This guy is still sticking up for BP, if you could believe it. 

Now, he may have run for office as a Tea Party and man of the people, but he‘s really just like every other Republican out there who‘s only in it to take care of his big business buddies. 

Now, this weekend he went after the Obama administration again for standing up to BP, looking for accountability after the oil spill. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN.-ELECT RAND PAUL ®, KENTUCKY:  I didn‘t think the president or his people should say something like putting the boot heel on the throat of a business—I didn‘t like that.  It wasn‘t that I thought that we shouldn‘t be tough.  I do think we should be tough, and if they broke the law, they should be punished, et cetera, et cetera.  They should be responsible, they should pay for the cleanup.

But I don‘t think an American president should be talking about putting a boot heel on the throat of a corporation, because it sends the wrong signal, that the government‘s the enemy somehow of business. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Senator, 11 people lost their lives in the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion.  But, Rand Paul, you, sir, you‘re worried about offending BP because corporations create jobs and you don‘t want to have a bad tone?  This isn‘t about tone. 

And he‘s quick to complain about a so-called boot on the neck?  When one of his supporters actually stomps his boot on someone‘s neck, where was Rand Paul?  For some time he completely ignored it. 

Attacking the president for standing up for the folks who are responsible for the largest oil spill in U.S. history is outrageous “Psycho Talk.”  

Coming up, folks, don‘t be fooled.  Nancy Pelosi has not been broken.  The Speaker is showing “The Tan Man” that she‘s no lame duck.  She‘s going to bang that gavel like there‘s no tomorrow. 

Congressman Elijah Cummings will lay out the progressive game plan next in our “Battleground” story. 

I cannot believe that “The Drugster” is attacking me, little old me, because I called him out for his racist “Driving Miss Nancy” slur against Congressman Jim Clyburn. 

Hey, Drugster, there‘s more where that came from in “The Playbook.” 

Can‘t wait for that.

Plus, Sarah “Barracuda” says she‘s no quitter; W. pals around with Doocy; and the Cowboys finally won a game.  We had to put that in tonight because our director is a big Cowboy fan.

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

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

“The Battleground” story tonight, this is the chance for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to once again show some leadership and tell everybody what it‘s all about.  The lame-duck Congress is officially back in session.  Democrats will have the majority of the House for the next six weeks.

Speaker Pelosi should use this time to put the hammer down and get things done on tax cuts; maybe the Dream Act; “don‘t ask, don‘t tell,” repealing that; and, of course, extending unemployment benefits.  She has more spine than any other Democratic leader in Washington, and I hope that she can get it done one more time before she hands the gavel over to “The Tan Man.”

For more, let‘s bring in Congressman Elijah Cummings from Maryland.  He sits on the oversight and Joint Economic Committees.  Congressman, good to have you with us tonight.  This is going to be a terribly important session.  You have got a lot of members coming back who are going to see their jobs end because they were defeated.  Is Nancy Pelosi going to be able to reel them in and get them to vote the progressive agenda in this short period of time in the lame-duck session?  What do you think?

REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D), MARYLAND:  I think Ms. Pelosi, who‘s a great leader, will have a lot of success.  The problem is going to be, Ed, what the Senate does.  Clearly, we have got to pass unemployment benefits because we‘ve got about two million people who are about to lose their benefits. 

SCHULTZ:  So you will do that in the House?  You think you‘ll get the unemployment benefits done in the House?

CUMMINGS:  Absolutely. 

SCHULTZ:  OK.  

CUMMINGS:  We‘ve got to get it done.  

SCHULTZ:  And how about the tax cuts?  

CUMMINGS:  I don‘t know exactly what‘s going to happen.  Many of us are urging Ms. Pelosi to make sure we vote on not extending the upper class tax cuts and making sure that the middle class tax cuts remain and that‘s the vote that we really, really want.  And I—and if anybody can do this, it‘s Nancy Pelosi.  I‘ve noted.

SCHULTZ:  What would.

CUMMINGS:  Go ahead.  

SCHULTZ:  What would be the cutoff number?  A half a million, $250,000, a million dollars like Senator Schumer is talking about over in the Senate?  Where do you think that line would be drawn?

CUMMINGS:  I‘m not sure exactly where it will be, Ed.  But I do—I think there may be some compromise, but, again, I mean, Senator Warner had a very interesting proposal.  And then certainly Schumer, Senator Schumer did, too.  But, clearly, perhaps maybe $500,000, maybe a little less than that.  But I think we ought to be able to find some kind of compromise on this.  I just don‘t want to see the tax cuts for the richest of the rich extended another two or three years. 

SCHULTZ:  Yes.

CUMMINGS:  But again.

SCHULTZ:  You think that‘s a political trap?  I mean if they extend it for couple of years because he‘ll going to be back having the same conversation in 2012.  

CUMMINGS:  Ed, you took the words right out of my mouth.  That‘s what I‘m so concerned about that we‘ll be having the same battle again and again that we will have lost revenue that we desperately need.  And, you know, the interesting thing, Ed is that you know, it really baffles me is how I know that we‘re going to have to fight, for example, for unemployment benefits for people who are down and out and will not have a decent holiday.  On the other hand, we have our republican friends fighting to get the richest of the rich tax cuts.  So, I mean, you know, something‘s got to give.  But, again, I‘m glad that you, Ed, have stood up for Speaker Pelosi.  

SCHULTZ:  I think she‘s terrific. 

CUMMINGS:  She‘s phenomenal.  

SCHULTZ:  And I think that she‘ll be as good or better minority leader than she was a majority leader.  I mean, the bench mark has been said, you passed over what 240 bills?

CUMMINGS:  That‘s right.  

SCHULTZ:  And they sat over in the Senate, so getting things done has not been her problem.

CUMMINGS:  That‘s right.  

SCHULTZ:  And the issue now is going to be with the American people with, I think, the progressive community.  Why not let the tax cuts just expire?  And put the ball in the Republicans‘ court and make them come back and do something and hang it on them?  What about that?

CUMMINGS:  I think that that‘s a—I think that that may not be a bad idea.  We‘ve just got to strategize this thing, Ed.  Keeping in mind, what the Senate may or may not do.  But knowing our speaker, she will fight for what she thinks is best and what she thinks is right.  And you know, and I do think in the end, Ed, folks will look back on her speakership and realize what a great speaker she has been.  The other thing to keep in mind  and I hope that our republican friends will keep this in mind, and that is that, people don‘t want us to be worried so much about who we‘re fighting against, but they want us to worry about who we should be fighting for. 

SCHULTZ:  Yes.  

CUMMINGS:  And that‘s our middle class, our people who are struggling,

the people at my district who are losing their homes and jobs, that‘s what

they don‘t—I mean, all of this bickering up on Capitol Hill, it doesn‘t mean anything to them.  

SCHULTZ:  Yes.  

CUMMINGS:  But they want solutions to problems, and hopefully we‘ll be able to accomplish that.  

SCHULTZ:  Congressman, our show and recent shows has focused on some of the reckless comments that Darrell Issa has been talking about, about how many hearings, how many investigations, what he thinks of President Obama, accusing him just last week of taking stimulus money for political payback and spreading it around the country.  Is the—do you think he‘s serious, and do you think that this is a real danger to the Obama administration?

CUMMINGS:  I think—I think Mr. Issa is very serious.  He‘s a good friend, but I know he‘s serious and we—and I was just talking to some members of our committee today and Ed Townes and others and Kucinich, and we‘re going to have to fight back.  I think he has gone across the line, calling this president corrupt.  Even when we were going through difficulties with President Bush, you never heard members of our committee calling President Bush corrupt.  

SCHULTZ:  Who is goings to be the ranking member?  Are you up for that?  Would you take that job?

CUMMINGS:  Clearly, Mr. Townes is the ranking member, I support him and he will be the ranking member. 

SCHULTZ:  OK, Congressman Elijah Cummings, always a pleasure.  Great to have you with us tonight.  

CUMMINGS:  Good to be with you, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  You bet.  Now let‘s get rapid fire response from our panel on these stories.  The tan man has some advice for incoming freshman lawmakers, be humble and remember it‘s all about the people.  What‘s he been smoking? 

Senator John McCain says, he‘s willing to block the Don‘t Ask, Don‘t Tell repeal.  He doesn‘t buy a new study that says, most troops are totally fine with repeal.  

And I‘ll get the panel‘s take on how the president should handle the tax cut fight with the Republicans. 

Joining us tonight, Leo Hindery, “Huffington Post” contributor and Managing Partner at InterMedia Partners.  And Michael Medved, nationally syndicated radio talk show host.  Gentlemen, good to have you with us tonight.  I want to talk taxes first. 

Leo, Mr. Hindery, let me ask you, why wouldn‘t a good strategy for the Democrats be, let the Republicans own the next economic move in this country.  Let the tax cuts sun set.  Make them step to the plate and see who they really favor.  Wouldn‘t that be a good strategy or maybe not?  

LEO HINDERY, “HUFFINGTON POST” CONTRIBUTOR:  No, I think it would be a perfect strategy, Ed, but I think it should be accompanied by as strong as possible statement these tax cuts for the extremely wealthy, this country, is Representative Cummings‘ just described is simply inappropriate, they‘re unacceptable.  But let the next move on the taxes be a republican move with the statement of conviction about the tax cuts for the wealthy.  That‘s simply unacceptable.  

SCHULTZ:  Michael Medved, what‘s the best move for the Republicans right now in your opinion?

MICHAEL MEDVED, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  The best move for the Republicans is to make it clear that we‘re not talking about giving new tax cuts to anybody, not a single American right now.  What we‘re talking about is avoiding a tax hike and no American should have his or her taxes raised in the midst of this weak economy.  And that‘s a consensus of the American people.  You have 40 Democrats who agree with that and Republicans should use those Democrats and have a bipartisan extension of the Bush era tax rates. 

SCHULTZ:  Mr. Hindery, what do you think? 

HINDERY:  You know, I think Michael is just wrong, Ed.  This is not a tax hike.  These tax cuts are scheduled, scheduled to expire at the end of this year.  

MEDVED:  What do you call it when you raise someone‘s taxes?  You call that a tax increase.  It‘s a tax hike. 

HINDERY:  Michael, of the three of us probably talking this evening, I would be one of the wealthy. 

MEDVED:  Congratulations.  

HINDERY:  And it‘s been absurd since 1980 to argue on this trickle down forms of economics.  Rich people just get richer.  I‘m one of them.  I am not asking for a tax cut.  I didn‘t want the Bush tax cuts to begin with for the wealthy and to let them expire.  

MEDVED:  If you would like to give extra money to the government, no one is stopping you but the question is should the government take more money out of our private economy at a time like this when that private economy is struggling to recover?  

HINDERY:  We‘re talking mostly about the tax cuts for the extremely wealthy, the top two percent. 

(CROSSTALK)

Michael, none of them will spend moneys in a way that are productive to this economy.  They will simply become wealthier by reason of extension of their tax cuts and it‘s simply—it‘s unconscionable in this time of recession to be given a $680 billion benefit to the top two over the next ten years. 

SCHULTZ:  Michael.

MEDVED:  It‘s not giving anyone a benefit.  It‘s letting them keep their own money.  

SCHULTZ:  Michael, if the Bush tax cuts didn‘t create jobs for the last eight years, what‘s make you think it‘s going to work right. 

MEDVED:  OK.  It‘s not a question of creating jobs.  It‘s a question of the old Hippocratic oath.  First thing is, physician do no harm.  The idea that right now you‘re going to help a struggling economy by jacking up taxes on the job producers, on the small businessmen, on people who can create economic activity is simply wrong and look the point is.

(CROSSTALK)

SCHULTZ:  You‘re making it, you know, the standard point that I‘ve heard a thousand times by conservative talkers across America.  

MEDVED:  Because it‘s true.  

SCHULTZ:  If that‘s the case—why hasn‘t it worked?  Where were the jobs during the Bush administration, where have the jobs been with these tax cuts in place, this tax policy?  

MEDVED:  OK.  We‘re not now talking about a new strategy.  We‘re talking about a strategy to try to allow the private sector to recover.  Government cannot spend its way to prosperity.  President Obama has demonstrated that.  

SCHULTZ:  OK.  So, we can‘t recover unless the top one percent gets exactly what it wants.  Mr. Hindery, I‘ll let you finish on this, does—do tax cuts for the top one percent stimulate jobs in the economy?

HINDERY:  They have proven themselves completely ineffective at doing so, Ed, for the last—now 20 years.  Trickle down fails at the very top.  Michael is avoiding the issue.  We‘re not talking about the middle class here.  We‘re talking about the top two percent who will simply be wealthier by reason of having this tax benefit extended.  

SCHULTZ:  OK.  Let‘s go to the next subject.  We‘ve got Senator John McCain here talking about Don‘t Ask, Don‘t Tell on “Meet The Press.”  Here it is. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN ®, ARIZONA:  I will stand that I want a thorough and complete study of the effect on morale and battle effectiveness of the United States military.  I will listen as I‘ve said for years to our military leaders, and not a study that is leaked as we know this town‘s pretty good at that.  

DAVID GREGORY, HOST, “MEET THE PRESS”:  That‘s good, seven in 10 members of the military think it would be just fine to have it lifted. 

MCCAIN:  You and I have not seen that study and this study was directed at how to implement the repeal, not whether the repeal should take place or not.  I wanted a study.   

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Mr. Hindery, is Senator McCain in denial?  What do you think? 

HINDERY:  Senator McCain should be listening to his daughter Megan on this issue, Ed.  We‘ve had Don‘t Ask, Don‘t Tell for 17 years.  There‘s myriad studies and information available to all of us as to its effects and what the American people believe about this program.  All of the western developed nations have the equivalent of an open enlistment into their militaries.  We‘re the only one who persists in this archaic and cruel and bigoted behavior on behalf of roughly 12 percent of the American population.  The vast majority of Americans want Don‘t Ask, Don‘t Tell to be eliminated tomorrow.  And for Senator McCain to simply ask for another study after 17 years is putting his head in the sand.  There‘s all the information.  Every woman or man needs to make an informed and fair decision on this issue.  

MEDVED:  With all due respect, Senator McCain has a great deal more of military experience than his daughter Megan, than Mr. Hindery, than Ed or then me.  And the truth of the matter is. 

SCHULTZ:  Not more than Mike Mullen.  

MEDVED:  You‘re right.  

SCHULTZ:  The chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff.  

MEDVED:  And that‘s why, I think what Senator McCain said there that is crucial, which is to listen to the military leaders.  The commandant of the Marine Corps is totally opposed to removing Don‘t Ask, Don‘t Tell and the only standard for the military should not be as a social program, it should be what would help the military with its mission, which is to basically to defeat the enemy and to break their stuff.  And frankly, if you have a cross benefit analysis that suggests that repealing Don‘t Ask, Don‘t Tell is going to cost more and impact effectiveness, then it shouldn‘t be done.  

SCHULTZ:  So bigotry is OK as long as the numbers work out?  I mean, come on, Michael.  

MEDVED:  OK.  I‘m sorry, is it bigotry, Ed do you believe it‘s bigotry if men and women run don‘t bunk together in the military.  

SCHULTZ:  It is absolutely a policy of bigotry.  The military wants to change it.  And now here comes a red herring and Senator McCain saying, he wants to see the real study.  I mean the facts are clear where they are.  Gentlemen, we‘re out of time.  Spirited discussion.  Mr. Hindery, Mr.

Medved, good to have with us tonight here tonight on THE ED SHOW.

Coming up, Rush Limbaugh and I, well I guess we‘re in a fight.  It seems I struck a nerve with the drugster when I blasted him for saying racist things about Congressman Jim Clyburn.  He shot back at me today.  I‘ll play you the tape and tell you who is going to let him get off the hook.  Nobody.  That‘s next on the “Playbook.”  Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  And it‘s not too late to let us know what you think.  Tonight‘s text survey question is, do you believe the Republicans will try to impeach President Obama?  Text A for yes, text B for no to 622-639.  We‘ll bring you the results in a moment.  Stay with us.   

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  And in my “Playbook” tonight, oh, I touched a nerve by pointing out Rush Limbaugh‘s racist attack on Congressman Jim Clyburn.  On Friday, I called Rush out for suggesting the Democrats, so their leadership conflict by making Clyburn Nancy Pelosi‘s chauffeur.  Limbaugh referred to his plan as Driving Miss Nancy.  Today on his radio show, well, the drugster lashed out at me. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  They call us racist, sexist, bigots, homophobes just for getting out of bed and here they were trying to figure out how to ace out the black guy so that the white guy kept the leadership gig.  What‘s that?  They‘re supposed to lay down and let the black guy have it.  That‘s what they teach us.  That‘s what teaching affirmative action is.  So Sergeant Schultz not happy about what he saw the way we presented this at RushLimbaugh.com.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Any fair-minded American knows that this is no slip of the tongue.  Limbaugh posted this Driving Miss Nancy image of Clyburn and Pelosi on his Web site hours after he called the Democrats racist. 

Here‘s the photo shopped image that I was talking about.  Rush Limbaugh laughing about this.  I just put this on my Web site.  The image is undeniably offensive, but Limbaugh thinks it‘s funny. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LIMBAUGH:  We did, we had a graphic up there.  Well, hey, we didn‘t create the movie.  We didn‘t catch the movie.  “Driving Miss Daisy.”  The way this was all presented, it was a race between the black and they guy, the white guy, I didn‘t make this up and that‘s the way that Politico and everybody else was covering this.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Rush, settle down, you know, I‘m just that $4 an hour guy from Fargo who you said would never make it.  That is classic drugster material right there trying to dodge responsibility by throwing the blame on everyone else. 

For more, let‘s bring in talk radio host consultant, Holland Cooke.  Holland, how does he get away with this?  He‘s quite the master at maneuvering the facts around.  

HOLLAND COOKE, TALK RADIO HOST CONSULTANT:  Well, Rush is too big to fail.  The radio stations he‘s on just have more stations under one roof than they can afford to manage or have time to listen to.  I got a call Saturday night from the owner of a radio station that Rush Limbaugh is on.  And he says, what did he say?  Because these people aren‘t even listening to their own stations.  Rush did what he did on Thursday.  So the guy gets to hide in plain sight and pedal this anger as freely as he does.  Today, he broke rule number one, never pick on somebody smaller than you. 

Today, he gave you a commercial on his show.  And the underlying premise of this whole Driving Miss Nancy thing is phony baloney to begin with because the democratic leadership is still the same three people in the same order at the of the leadership.  So, these guys are going out of their way to create discord and anger and divisiveness.  

SCHULTZ:  Well, the way Limbaugh does it, he comes out and makes the racist comment, then he twists it and comes back, oh it was just a joke and we didn‘t make up the movie.  He was just a classic for that.  But he says racist things and gets away with them, correct?

COOKE:  And he lives a consequence-free existence.  Rush Limbaugh is not an FCC licensee.  The hundreds of radio stations he‘s on have pledged to serve in the public interest, convenience, and necessity.  And Rush Limbaugh does this rude gesture and picks a fight with the father of an FCC commissioner.  I have met Commissioner Clyburn, and she is a tireless champion of enabling technology like broadband for all.  

SCHULTZ:  Sure.  

COOKE:  These are good people that he‘s calling out for no good reason.  

SCHULTZ:  We will follow-up on this story again tomorrow.  Because I think there‘s going to be a lot of congressional reaction.  You‘re just allowed to say racist things on the air and get away with it?  I find it amazing. 

COOKE:  Whatever you want.  

SCHULTZ:  Yes.  Holland, good to have you with us tonight.  Thanks so much.  

COOKE:  You bet, pal.  

SCHULTZ:  Couple of final pages in the “Playbook” tonight, W. paid a visit to the kids across the street this morning on “FOX & Friends,” and the former president thought it would be OK to tell us a story about his dad terrorizing nurses.  Take a look at this one. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH ®, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  I was trying to explain his sense of humor.  And I tell this true story, believe it or not.  So he‘s implying about after an operation and the nurse walks in and he says, ma‘am, are my testicles black?  And you can imagine the nurse‘s reaction to former president asking that question.  And she said, Mr. President—and he said, no, no, are my testicles black?  And so she reaches for the sheet and he said, are my test results back?

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Oh, funny.  And finally, TMZ is reporting that Former President Bill Clinton shot a cameo for “The Hangover II” in Thailand on Saturday.  I can‘t wait to see how that one ends up.  

Coming up.  Caribou Barbie has been released into the wild.  Her Alaskan adventures had a lot of folks rolling on the floor last night.  I‘ll show you the tape.  And get reaction from Lionel in just a moment on THE ED SHOW.  Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  And finally tonight on THE ED SHOW, Sarah Palin‘s eight-part reality series kicked off on TLC yesterday drawing almost five million viewers.  The most in the network‘s history for a premiere.  Palin is reportedly raking in about a million dollars per episode.  And has editorial control over the program.  So it wasn‘t much of a surprise when this show resembled an extra-long campaign commercial.  For example, the half-term government used a rock climbing scene to try to convince us that she‘s really not a quitter. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH PALIN ®, FORMER GOVERNOR OF ALASKA:  This may flipping take me all day.  

UNIDENTIFIED MAN:  You‘ve always wanted to be a rock climber, Sarah.  

PALIN:  It was a rock climber or a rock star, hmmm.  

About halfway up the rack, I didn‘t know if I was going to be able to finish the task.  But I didn‘t want to quit.  I didn‘t want to quit in front of other people.  If I was getting tired, I knew that, you know, I couldn‘t quit because there was nobody that was going to come rescue me halfway up there.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Oh, joining me now for more is New York‘s PIX 11 Commentator Lionel.  You can find him on lionelmedia.com.  Are you inspired to climb that rock?

LIONEL, NEW YORK‘S PIX 11 COMMENTATOR:  Ed, not only am I inspired, I‘m leaning forward.  Not really sure what that means but I‘m leaning.  First, Ed, a couple of things here.  You know you‘ve got us speaking of black testicles which I think this is a family show, you‘ve got quite a set yourself making fun of this woman when she basically does what you do every weekend.  She‘s an outdoorsman.  She does the same thing.  I know all about you, Ed, on your Facebook.  Look, I‘ve gutted a carp.  I‘d rather suck a hospital map than spend a weekend with you or her doing whatever it is she does out in the woods. 

But, Ed, this was the biggest show in TLC‘s history.  It was a fun festive extravaganza from the get-go.  Nobody watches a reality show, if that‘s what you call it.  To learn something, to like these people.  But a couple of things, first, the whole thing I love was, there she was, Ed, and you‘re an outdoorsman, you‘re a mountain man, she‘s within, what, killing distance of a Kodiak?  I don‘t understand this, isn‘t that beautiful?  Look, when a Mama Grizzly, I would have—I would have been nowhere near this place.  I‘m telling you, I would rather lick a bar rug that sitting go from one adventure to another. 

Why can‘t these people just have a couple of drinks at the top of the Bellagio?  Reagan did his horror stuff and he cleared brush.  And then Bush was clearing the brush.  Clinton he cleared brush but in a different way and then we‘ve got this lady.  What is with this, the message, that I‘m out there and I‘m going to go from one spirited adventure to the next?  And by the way, as far as the rock climbing goes, she looks stranded and to have the—as we say in the Latino world, the Co-Jones to say I don‘t quit, when in fact she quit, goes to show you not only the Chutzpah, but the genes gets off this woman, genes. 

(LAUGHTER)

SCHULTZ:  All right.  Here‘s Palin talking about the real Mama Grizzlies.  Here it is.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PALIN:  I love watching these mama bears.  They‘ve got a nature, yes that a humankind can learn from.  She‘s trying to show her cubs.  No one is going to do it for you.  You get out there and do it yourself, guys. 

It was amazing to watch this Mama Grizzly, brown bear really, protecting her cubs and saying, you know, nobody‘s going to mess with my cubs.  Nobody‘s going to mess with the future of these species.  

SCHULTZ:  Will this series be a hit?

LIONEL:  Grizzly—oh, absolutely.  By the way that was symbolic of John McCain, when he first heard who his running mate was going to be, that was McCain arguing with his campaign—I‘m going do what, who with who, Sarah who?  I waited my whole life for this Sarah who?  I love this, she could take the complexity of the nature and reduce it to the most simplistic—and yes, it will be a hit.  Hit, Ed.  

SCHULTZ:  Lionel.

LIONEL:  Lean forward, Ed.  

SCHULTZ:  Good to have you with us tonight.  I‘m always leaning, buddy.  

LIONEL:  Bless your heart, Ed.  Bless your heart.  

SCHULTZ:  Tonight, our text survey question is I asked you, do you believe the Republicans will try to impeach President Obama?  Eighty seven percent of you said, yes, 13 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.  Check out my radio show noon to 3:00 Eastern, 167 on XM.  And my radio Web site, wegoted.com.  “HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews starts right now.  We‘ll see you tomorrow night.

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

END   

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