updated 11/17/2010 9:11:47 AM ET 2010-11-17T14:11:47

Guest: Mark Warner, Ernest Istook, Luis Gutierrez, Sheila Jackson Lee, Joe Madison, Ron Christie, Katrina Vanden Heuvel, Bill Press

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

These stories are number one, hitting “My Hot Buttons,” and on the table tonight.

Well, the Tea Party has succeeded in breaking Mitch McConnell on earmarks. 

He caved.  Now they are hoping to break the Democrats on tax cuts. 

The president and Harry Reid‘s message tonight: you cannot cave on this. 

Commentary on that coming up in just a moment. 

Rush Limbaugh‘s racist remarks toward Democrats cannot go unchallenged.  He is attacking several African-American members of Congress, and me.  Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee was one of the targets.  She‘ll fire back at Rush in tonight‘s “Battleground” story. 

A newly-elected Republican—you‘ll love this one—who rode our bashing the public option, he just can‘t just get enough of this government-funded health care.  He just can‘t get it fast enough. 

I‘ll tell you what, they are nothing but a bunch of hypocrites.  This is a story that I love.  We‘ll get to it later. 

And this just in.  I‘ve got a source on Capitol Hill reporting that a Democratic aide has seen a letter circulated by Congressman Dennis Kucinich citing the threat Darrell Issa poses to the Oversight and Government Reform Committee process, and stating that he, Kucinich, intends to seek the position of ranking member of the Oversight Committee.  We‘ll touch on that a little bit later on in the program. 

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

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, I guess could you say, is buckling to the Tea Party on government spending.  McConnell is trying to break his billion-dollar addiction to pork barrel spending. 

This is what he said about earmarks --  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL ®, MINORITY LEADER:  Nearly every day that the Senate‘s been in session for the past two years, I have come down to this very spot and said that Democrats were ignoring the wishes of the American people.  When it comes to earmarks, I won‘t be guilty of the same thing. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Wishes of the American people?  We‘ll get to that in a moment. 

McConnell, well, he‘s now got sainthood amongst his colleagues because he is going after earmarks.  Interesting, after over $1 billion went to Kentucky on his behalf. 

Now, eventually, folks, you know what this is going to do?  This is going to gut middle America, if they are successful on that, and destroy America‘s infrastructure even further. 

The party that gave us two unfunded wars, tax cuts for the wealthy, now thinks that doing projects for the American people, well, that‘s just too much. 

Folks, you won‘t recognize rural America in five years if they get their way.  It‘s all part of the plan to get smaller government in their world and—listen to me—justify even more tax cuts in the future. 

Look, this big conversation that we‘re having nationally right now about the Bush tax cuts and how they‘ve got to be extended and permanent and all that stuff?  No.  The Republicans, mark my words, they want more. 

Well, President Obama broke out—here come the olive branches for McConnell—after he swore off earmarks.  So the president says this: “I welcome Senator McConnell‘s decision to join me and members of both parties who support cracking down on wasteful earmark spending which we can‘t afford during these tough economic times.”

How dumb are the Republicans going to be on this one?  This is all part of their plan, the righties. 

Where do these earmarks stop?  Anybody got an end game on this one? 

Taxpayers, now, here is the deal.  You‘re going to be paying for international intervention, but not projects in your own back yard.  That‘s not the Republican way.  We can‘t do that.  That‘s pork barrel stuff. 

Meanwhile, the Tea Party Republicans are hell-bent on extending the tax cuts for the top two percent while millions of Americans are, yes, suffering.  “Psycho Talker” Michele Bachmann is trying to act like she is looking out for the little guy.  This is what she said on “Good Morning America.”  Believe it. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN ®, MINNESOTA:  It‘s a massive tax increase, and it‘s on the people who are the job creators.  And people want to think that these are millionaires sitting in leather chairs lighting their cigars with $100 bills.  That‘s not what we are talking about. 

These are people who are carpet layers, who maybe employ two or three other guys, or a plumber,  maybe himself and his brother, and it‘s $250,000 in gross sales for their business.  They are the ones that are looking at massive tax increases. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Congresswoman, why don‘t you produce one of those carpet layers from your district with that scenario you just pointed out, and let‘s meet these hard-working Americans that you claim you are sticking up for. 

That is as bogus as it gets, my friends.  Bachmann and the Republicans, they want the American people to think eliminating tax cuts for the top two percent is going to hurt “Joe the Plumber.” 

I think the Democrats should let all the Bush tax cuts expire, end it, it‘s over.  Make them do it.  Make Boehner and McConnell try to write their own bill.  Let‘s see where their priorities are.  If they did, the American people will clearly see that they only want to protect the super-rich in this country. 

Now, the Republicans‘ fixation on tax cuts has done incredible harm to the middle class and the working poor.  Over 15 million people are unemployed, and the Republicans want to eliminate their benefits.  Forty-two million Americans, well, they need food stamps.  And the United States Department of Agriculture just reported nearly 50 million Americas have had trouble finding enough food to put on the table in the last year. 

Is this the America you want?  Is this the priority list? 

President Obama needs to look Mitch McConnell and “The Tan Man” right in the face this week and tell them that there will be no room for compromise when it comes to giving tax cuts to millionaires, when millions of Americans can‘t afford to eat.  Now, the American people are not addicted to pork, they just need some help bringing home some real bacon. 

And one other issue that I think that the Democrats, the majority party in this lame-duck session, what they really can do for the American people—and I have been inundated with e-mail and calls on this subject.  Fifteen million Americans in this country who are unemployed, many of them have their credit shot just trying to keep their head above water. 

You know, it‘s no fault of their own, but they have exhausted their benefits, they have exhausted their savings, they have dug into their 401(k), they can‘t get back into the economy.  And so what do they do? 

Their credit gets shot, no fault of their own.  They have been outsourced. 

And so now when they go to apply for a job and get back into the economy, they are marked as a person, an American, with bad credit out of no fault of their own.  This is something that Congress could do in the lame-duck session and nobody is talking about it.

This is a real problem on the kitchen table for a lot of Americans right now.  Their credit‘s gone just because they are trying to keep their head above water. 

They are not concerned about the deficit and earmarks.  You‘ve got millions of Americans out there who are trying to survive, trying to keep their credit.  That‘s the story. 

Tell me what you think on our telephone survey tonight.  The number to dial is 1-877-ED-MSNBC. 

My question tonight is: Do you think the Republican attack on pork barrel spending will improve your life?  Press the number 1 for yes, press the number 2 for no.  We‘ll bring you the results later on in the show. 

Now, we‘re fixated with this conversation, well, what are we going to do with the Bush tax cuts?  Joining me now is Virginia Senator Mark Warner, a member of the Senate Budget Committee and the Joint Economic Committee.

Senator, good to have you with us tonight. 

SEN. MARK WARNER (D), VIRGINIA:  Ed, thanks for having me on again. 

SCHULTZ:  You can speak with authority.  You‘re a successful businessperson.  You‘re a compassionate man.  What should we do about taxation in this lame-duck session? 

WARNER:  Well, here is where I feel like both sides have kind of got to be willing to maybe listen to some other alternatives.  I mean, what some in our party and some of the Republicans proposed is a two-year extension from the top.  And everybody agrees the 98 percent of Americans below $250,000 ought to go ahead and get their tax cuts made permanent. 

But the top end, that‘s what we‘re fighting about.  But the problem with these two-year extensions tell me that Congress is going to have more courage two years from now to take on this issue. 

And the independent analysis has said giving folks like me—I was a very successful business guy—an additional tax break right now is not the best way to spend the money.  So here is my alternative suggestion. 

You know, we‘ve got to recognize that in certain ways, government has used its tools.  We have lowered interest rates about as far as we can.  And, Ed, whether we like it or not, the kind of appetite for more additional federal spending in terms of stimulus has been pretty much dried up. 

The one good piece of news out there that doesn‘t get reported is that larger American corporations are actually more profitable today than they were before the recession.  They have got more than $2 trillion in cash sitting on their balance sheets right now. 

So my idea is, rather than—go ahead and let the top end expire for the top two percent.  And for the two years of revenue that we are going to collect, about $65 billion, why don‘t we go ahead and use that for targeted business tax cuts to engage—to get that $2 trillion off the sidelines, back reinvesting in America and creating jobs?  Stimulus, but a private sector stimulus with the cash that‘s already out there. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCHULTZ:  But, Senator, you‘re banking on the good will of a lot of small business people out there who might not want to see President Obama succeed when it comes to creating jobs.  You give them a break, they sit on t. 

WARNER:  But that‘s where I‘m saying this would be—some of these would be targeted towards small business, some of these would be targeted towards larger business.  The fact is, if we‘re going to be pro-job growth, which I absolutely am—I spent both my whole career both in the private sector and in the public sector—you‘ve got to have the business community kind of at least pulling in the same direction. 

SCHULTZ:  OK.

WARNER:  And my sense is there was a way here to get this cash off the sidelines.  These companies have got more cash on their balance sheets today than they did before 2007.  We need to get that reinvested. 

SCHULTZ:  Senator, the question in a CBS poll is, “What should the new Congress focus on first?”  Fifty-six percent say the economy and jobs, and only four percent, budget deficit and the national debt.

And this conversation we‘re having about earmarks, are we disfocused (ph)? 

Is the Congress disfocused (ph) on this subject?

WARNER:  Well, it‘s kind—I know folks have got hot about earmarks, but the fact is—and I think you‘re going to see a lot of these new members who got on elected on the Republican side.  Their campaign rhetoric is going to hit reality.

Earmarks make up less than one percent of federal spending.  So we‘re talking about stuff around the margins.

There‘s a lot of folks who campaigned saying that if you got rid of earmarks, you‘re going to get rid of the deficit.  At the end of the day, if we got to get rid of earmarks, so be it if that takes that issue off the table. 

It is not really the focus.  Our focus ought to be job creation.  Our focus ought to be how we get the private sector regenerating jobs, and that‘s where we ought to be first, second and third. 

SCHULTZ:  Senator, good to have you with us tonight.  Appreciate your time. 

You have a plan.  I give you credit.  You have a plan.

WARNER:  I‘ve got at least an alternative that maybe gets both sides out of their corners and willing to start talking. 

SCHULTZ:  Senator Mark Warner of Virginia.

Good to have you with us tonight.  Thanks so much, sir.

WARNER:  Thanks, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  All right.

Let‘s turn now to Ernest Istook, a former Republican congressman, now a fellow at the Heritage Foundation. 

Ernie, what about earmarks?  You just heard the senators say, actually, it is .3 of one percent.  What‘s the big deal? 

ERNEST ISTOOK, FMR. GOP CONGRESSMAN:  Well, they‘re the sweeteners that help to spend more money.  Members of Congress say I don‘t want to vote for a big spending package unless I have got something in it for me.

That‘s the problem.  That‘s why Mitch McConnell was right to say that it‘s the abuse of earmarks that has become the trouble.  We can‘t get at the bigger spending unless we knock the earmarks out of the way so that we can get—

SCHULTZ:  .3 of 1 percent is the big problem? 

ISTOOK:  That‘s what‘s used to pass bigger bills.  People say I‘m not going to vote for this big bill unless you give me some earmarks.  That‘s the (INAUDIBLE) problem. 

SCHULTZ:  OK.  So you think a lot of legislation would not pass, and the appropriations, the whole scope of it, would change if these smaller percentage of earmarks—

ISTOOK:  Yes. 

SCHULTZ:  OK.

ISTOOK:  Exactly, because a lot of members vote not based upon the big part of the bill, but just the little piece of the pie that they can take home.  But the problem is the cost of their little piece of pie is you‘ve got to pay for the whole big picture. 

SCHULTZ:  Well, that would just make bills a heck of a lot smaller.  They could just curtail you voting on a lot more legislation --  

ISTOOK:  They could. 

SCHULTZ:  -- but it wouldn‘t be as big at the time.  So how does that change the spending? 

ISTOOK:  Well, you change—if you‘re voting on smaller legislation, Ed, you‘re not spending as much money.  I think you answered your own question. 

SCHULTZ:  No, but wouldn‘t you be voting on more stuff?  Look, just introduce something on its own merit.  You know how the back-scratching goes, especially with the Republicans, on how to get deals cooked up. 

ISTOOK:  It happens with everybody. 

SCHULTZ:  I don‘t see—

ISTOOK:  I was on the Appropriations Committee.  I know. 

SCHULTZ:  I don‘t see the fundamental change—yes.  I don‘t see the fundamental change that would take place if we do this earmarking.  I mean, personally, Ernie—

ISTOOK:  Let me give you the calculation, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  -- the Republicans are grandstanding on this.  That‘s what I‘m saying. 

ISTOOK:  Well, the people have spoken.  They‘re listening to the public on this.

For example, if you as a member of Congress say that you want $5 million to take home to your district—

SCHULTZ:  Wait a minute.  Hold it.  Back up a second.  No, no. 

ISTOOK:  That means that every—all 435 members each get $5 million.  You multiply that out, now you‘re talking about billions.

SCHULTZ:  You say that the people have spoken.  They have not spoken on this.  The people have not spoken on this, because earmarking was not the big issue when it came into the election, and you know that. 

ISTOOK:  It was an important issue. 

SCHULTZ:  OK. 

(CROSSTALK)

ISTOOK:  It was not the only issue.  You‘re exactly right. 

SCHULTZ:  How do you explain this poll, that four percent of the people care about the deficit and the national debt?  Now, that‘s a number. 

ISTOOK:  Well, that‘s not the only people who care about that. 

SCHULTZ:  OK. 

ISTOOK:  You‘re saying they care about both of those things.  Just because they care first about the economy and jobs, doesn‘t mean that their concern about the deficit is small. 

SCHULTZ:  I‘m saying that—

ISTOOK:  It just means it‘s secondary. 

SCHULTZ:  -- that I don‘t think there‘s any doubt that this is grandstanding by McConnell and the Tea Partiers.  And until you have some real fundamental change on how you fund—and you know because you were on Appropriations—

ISTOOK:  That‘s right. 

SCHULTZ:  -- there‘s really not going to be any real cut in spending.  The only cut in spending that‘s going to come is if you wipe out massive parts of programs, which the Republicans want to do when it comes to Social Security and Medicare and other entitlements that are out there that.  That, and, of course, the wars that aren‘t paid for.

There you have it.

ISTOOK:  What you‘ve got to do is wipe out this huge national debt that‘s going to crush our kids and our grandkids, Ed.  That‘s hanging over all of us. 

SCHULTZ:  I agree.  The best way to do that is make you rich guys pay a little bit more. 

Ernie, good to have you with us tonight.

ISTOOK:  No.  Have them invest to create real jobs, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  No, no.  They‘re not the job creators.  That has not been proven, that the top two percent—

(CROSSTALK)

ISTOOK:  I agree with Senator Warner—free up private enterprise, take away the uncertain.  Take away the overkill with regulations and taxation. 

SCHULTZ:  All right.  Thanks, Ernie. 

ISTOOK:  Thanks, Ed.

SCHULTZ:  Good to have you with us tonight.

ISTOOK:  You bet.

SCHULTZ:  Two sides of the story here on THE ED SHOW.

Coming up, “The Drugster.”  Well, he just can‘t seem to just spewing racist hate from his big mouth.  A black congresswoman he attacked is furious.  She sounds off at the bottom of the hour, right here on THE ED SHOW.

Lisa Murkowski just ripped “Caribou Barbie.”  She may be the most honest person in Washington.  She said Palin lacks intellectual curiosity—you think? -- and can‘t be president. 

That has Fox‘s Gretchen Carlson all upset.  It‘s funny how they all flock together, isn‘t it? 

Plus, Darrell Issa has met his match; Charlie Rangel got convicted; and Michael Vick,  what a night. 

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.

Time for the priority list to be checked.  It‘s time for the Democrats to get up off the mat and be counted.  And it may be time for a lot of elected Democrats who are going back to Washington on the skin of their teeth to do something in this regard. 

The Latino community saved Harry Reid in Nevada, and now they want the DREAM Act.  Today, a group of Hispanic lawmakers met with President Obama to talk about immigration and the bipartisan DREAM Act that has been stalled in Congress. 

Congressman Luis Gutierrez met with the president today.  He joins us. 

Congressman, this is a heavy lift.  How can we go through months of negotiation and effort on immigration reform, and then, all of a sudden, have the expectation, you know what, during this lame-duck session, we‘re going to get this thing done? 

What do you think? 

REP. LUIS GUTIERREZ (D), ILLINOIS:  I think we can get it done.  The votes exist, I believe, if we put our focus and our energy—but, Ed, we have got to prioritize. 

We have got to think, what‘s the priority, what‘s the objective, what‘s the goal?  Focus on that. 

And in this case, what we have said to the president, look, we are for comprehensive immigration reform.  But in this instance, right now, we have got Pelosi and we‘ve got Harry Reid. 

Let‘s coordinate their efforts, get yourself involved so that we can pass

the DREAM Act.  That‘s a part of—as a down payment toward comprehensive

--

(CROSSTALK)

SCHULTZ:  And what did the president say to you? 

GUTIERREZ:  And you know what he said?  He said, “Luis, as a down payment toward comprehensive immigration reform, which I believe in, which I want to accomplish in my presidency, I am going to ask people to join you.”  So he is going to be focused singularly on the issue of the DREAM Act. 

We‘ve got two million kids out there that can possibly benefit and become legalized.  And who are they?  They‘ve been to high school, they go to college, they go to the armed forces. 

They came here as children.  They shouldn‘t be held responsible for the actions of their parents. 

Look, they are as American as you or my kids in all but that piece of paper.  And I think the American public is going to be with us on this. 

SCHULTZ:  So, the detail in this, going to college, working your way to citizenship, going into the military, you unequivocally can say after this meeting that you believe the president is full on board with this? 

GUTIERREZ:  Absolutely.  He was clear about saying the following—I want to be very clear with you.  I‘m going to try to get as close to what he said. 

He said, I‘m going to call and ask people to join in an effort towards comprehensive immigration reform.  But in this moment, ask them to give me a down payment.  Let America and the Congress give a down payment for a comprehensive by approving the DREAM Act.  And he‘s going to focus exclusively on that in this lame-duck session. 

SCHULTZ:  Now, the House isn‘t going to be a problem.  And is this not going to be a test for Leader Reid?  The lad Latino community saved him.  The Latino community saved him.

What about that? 

GUTIERREZ:  Ed, you are absolutely—I spent three weekends, right?  Two of them.  I spent lots of time with Harry Reid.  But you‘ve got to give the man credit.  Right?

SCHULTZ:  Oh, I‘m giving him credit.  I just—

GUTIERREZ:  I‘m just trying to say, the more anti-immigrant, the more he embraced the immigrant cause, the more he embraced the cause of immigration reform.  And, you know, he was rewarded handsomely for it.

And I just think he says, hey, you know something?  A community of people in need and an issue I believe in.  And I think he‘s making it a top priority.

So, you know what?  I congratulate Reid for running the kind of campaign—he didn‘t run away from Latinos.  He didn‘t run away from—

(CROSSTALK)

SCHULTZ:  No, he didn‘t.  And you think there will be some Republicans that will come on board with this? 

GUTIERREZ:  That‘s what we asked the president, and we gave him a list of Republicans in  the Senate. 

SCHULTZ:  And what did he say? 

GUTIERREZ:  And he said he is going to work on that list with us, and Harry Reid is going to work on it.  Look, as Democrats, our responsibility is to show leadership and to set the table; right?  Say here‘s the menu, come on down, we are having dinner at 6:00.

If the Republicans don‘t show up, than the American people are the ones that are going to see their lack of corporation. 

SCHULTZ:  OK.  I‘m all for that, but the Republicans don‘t exactly have a track record of making sure you guys look good. 

GUTIERREZ:  You know what?  But this is about young men and women. 

OK, think about it.  In the last Congress of the United States, 11 of the senators that are currently in there were co-sponsors of the DREAM Act in the last Congress. 

SCHULTZ:  OK.  We‘ll see. 

GUTIERREZ:  Wait a minute.  Fifteen of them have already voted in some measure.  So, let‘s call them to the table and see if we can‘t get the spirit of bipartisanship on this critical issue. 

SCHULTZ:  Congressman Gutierrez, great to have you on. 

GUTIERREZ:  Thank you, Ed.  Always happy to be with you. 

SCHULTZ:  You met bet, my man.  Thank you. 

GUTIERREZ:  Thank you.

SCHULTZ:  Coming up, “Fox & Friend‘s Gretchen Carlson has absolutely no clue why anyone would think Sarah Palin doesn‘t enjoy governing. 

I‘ll explain it all to the beauty queen and her fans, next, in “The Zone.” 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, Fox‘s favorite beauty queen, Gretchen Carlson, lashes out at Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski. 

Last night, Murkowski told the truth.  She told Katie Couric why she wouldn‘t support Sarah Palin for president. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. LISA MURKOWSKI ®, ALASKA:  I just do not think that she has those leadership qualities, that intellectual curiosity that allows for building good and great policies.  You know, she was my governor for two years, and I don‘t think that she enjoyed governing. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Well, this morning, Gretchen was quick to defend her buddy Sarah. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GRETCHEN CARLSON, “FOX & FRIENDS”:  She gave a very interesting interview to Katie Couric of CBS yesterday where she went out of her way to attack Sarah Palin.  I just get so tired of females attacking females. 

I mean, come on.  First and foremost, you‘re in the same political party. 

I mean it‘s just—it‘s ludicrous. 

And the part that bothered me the most was, “I don‘t think she enjoyed governing.”  How do you know? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes, exactly. 

CARLSON:  How do you know?  I mean, you are totally entitled to your positions and your feelings and your opinions, but to get inside somebody else‘s head and say that you know what they‘re thinking?  Uncalled for. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Fortunately, for us, we don‘t have to get inside Sarah Palin‘s head to find out if she likes governing.  She showed us how much she loves governing when she quit being governor after only two and a half years. 

Think there‘s a connection there, Gretchen? 

And more recently, Palin had this to say about it --  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH PALIN, “SARAH PALIN‘S ALASKA”:  I‘d rather be doing this than in some stuffy old political office.  I would rather be out here being free. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Oh, yes.  The money, freedom, the hell with governing.

So, Gretchen, attacking Lisa Murkowski for saying Sarah Palin doesn‘t enjoy governing when Palin has made it very clear she would rather gut fish on a reality show than govern her state of Alaska, Gretchen, that‘s clueless “Psycho Talk.”  

Coming up, “The Drugster.”  Well, this guy continues to poison the airwaves with all his racist hate.  Look at that guy.

I‘ll tell you what, I am sick and tired of this loser getting away with it time and time again.  So is one of his latest targets, Congresswoman Shellie Jackson Lee.  We‘ll rip into this story, coming up. 

I hope Congressman Darrell Issa is watching the program tonight.  He‘s in for a rude awakening.  A source tells me that Dennis Kucinich is making his case to be the ranking member on Oversight. 

Plus, Charlie Rangel‘s guilty.  Vick has a game for the books and a Tea Partying congressman, get this, who rallied against the health care bill, just flipped out when he went to Congress on the day when they kind of tell everybody how things are going.  He asked, where‘s my health care?  Oh, yes.  You are watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.  Stay with us.  

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW, the “Battleground” story tonight, Rush Limbaugh keeps getting away with blatant racism on the air waves.  He went after me and several of the guests that we had on this show after I called him out for posting this image of House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn chauffeuring Speaker Pelosi.  Rush spent about ten minutes trying to defend himself but he didn‘t have a leg to stand on, so he resorted to taking a shot at Reverend Al Sharpton. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  Still with sergeant Schultz, they went out and dragged in the river and Sharpton. 

REV. AL SHARPTON, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  People say whatever they want but not on the air, not on federally regulated air waves and not when those licenses are very difficult to get and should be upholding a standard that they mock the standard. 

LIMBAUGH:  No it is not just me mocking the standard, misusing words as they, they mocking the standard.  Who that?  Who that say they mocking the standard?  Al Sharpton says, they mocking the standard.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Racist comments cost Dr. Laura and Don Imus their jobs, in the old days, it costs Jimmy The Great his job.  But is a radio consultant told me on the show last night, Rush Limbaugh is, quote, “too big to fail.”  Here is just some of the things that he has said over the years that we have had to put up with.  He once asked, have you ever noticed how all composite pictures of wanted criminals resemble Jesse Jackson.  He also mocked the NAACP saying that the NAACP should have riot rehearsal.   They should get a liquor store and practice robberies and who could forget this gem?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LIMBAUGH:  Let me put it to you this way, the NFL all too often looks like a game between the bloods and the crisps without any weapons.  There, I said it. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Well, Rush has shown a consistent pattern of racism, stretching across decades, and basically, as a broadcaster, I‘m just asking the question, what are the guidelines?  I think a lot of Americans are sick and tired of being subjected to this.  Now, I know it‘s the free market at work but is the free market anything goes.

For more, let‘s bring in congresswoman from Texas, Shelia Jackson Lee, who has been one of the targets that Limbaugh has gone after in the past.  Congresswoman, is there anything that the African community can do about this?  The comments speak for themselves, or is Limbaugh just too big to fail, in your opinion?

REP. SHELIA JACKSON LEE (D), TEXAS:  Well, first of all, Ed, you have the right to ask any question you desire to ask and certainly, you need to ask pointed questions about what is the decorum if you will on the various radio stations of which Rush Limbaugh appears.  And I would never concede the point that he is too big to fail.  I think the sad part about it is that there are people who continue to listen to this diatribe and continue to listen to misinformation, misstatements.  The good news is and I think what irks Mr. Limbaugh so much is the fact that there was not the kind of conflict and racism that he tried dictate to the democratic caucus.  

In fact, we are getting along.  We have resolved the issue and I expect, though I can‘t dictate what the democratic caucus will do tomorrow, but I expect that tomorrow we will have a very reasoned debate and then an election of now Minority Leader Pelosi and all the others including Assistant Leader Mr. Clyburn and, of course, Minority Whip Hoyer and many others.  So, that it‘s shamefulness of it. 

SCHULTZ:  Well, this in-house competition for the Democrats jockeying for position, who was going to be responsible for what, Limbaugh clearly made this an issue of race.  And there is no question that he has targeted you, Jim Clyburn, it‘s been deplorable, despicable whatever adjective you want to use.  Do you think that broadcast companies should be obligated to put out a position state on racism?  Now, on the clear channel Web site, they talk a lot about diversity, they have a lot of African-Americans on the payroll, yet they allow this garbage on the air.  What do you have to say about that?

LEE:  Well, I say this, you know, I‘m always committed to the first amendment, because as you well know, you have been called a Sergeant Schultz, I don‘t know that to be your name.  I‘m little sensitive to what that is, to garner and it‘s because you have a name that maybe ethnically connected to being sergeant, I‘m not sure what that is but I find that insulting as well.  The point is, is that we should hold ourselves to a level of protocol that does not disrespect, if you will, the difference that people have. 

And I would say to Rush Limbaugh‘s listeners, we all have distinctive diction, we have accents, there are southern accents, there are Midwestern accents.  There accents that indicate that you may have been an immigrant.  I frankly find the take on various vernacular as absolutely outrageous and you are right.  If Dr. Laura can be held accountable, it is unfortunate that the advertising dollars are the only thing that drives the right for Mr. Limbaugh to stay on the air.  And so... 

SCHULTZ:  But Driving Miss Nancy, driving Miss Nancy is a clear shot at slavery, is a clear shot at demeaning black people in America.  I mean... 

LEE:  Well that -- 

SCHULTZ:  And putting this on his Web site with a chauffeur‘s hat on after all of the accomplishments that Congressman Clyburn has had, and how he went through the civil rights movement, I mean, it amazes me that—how some broadcasters get fired for this stuff, but I guess Limbaugh is just, too big to fail.  And the victims in all of these is the African-American community that just has to put up with it.  

LEE:  No, we are going to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, if you will.  You know, we are used to confronting the obstacles in America that want to divide us and not unite us.  Frankly, however, I believe again, as I said earlier, he is going to be eating his own words, because we in the democratic caucus are going to survive.  We are going to have strength in leadership.  We in the African-American community are Americans like anyone else and we will join with our Caucasian brothers, Hispanic brothers and sisters, Asian brothers and sisters and we are going to be Americans.  And I believe, Ed that sooner or later, we are going to come to a point where enough is enough with that kind of divisive, distasteful talk and we are going to stand up together by either saying to the advertisers that we find your support of this kind of poor taste language, this kind of caricatures that are back in the 1920s...

SCHULTZ:  Would you challenge—yes.

LEE: ...and 1800s that are unacceptable.  Well, here‘s what I‘m saying.  They listen to you as well.   You‘re very popular, more popular than those of us who are members of the United States Congress.  Let‘s hope that they are listening and will find the words and actions this commentator, this anchor hateful and shameful. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCHULTZ:  Congresswoman, there is a major broadcast company in this country that allows racist comments on the air.  I cannot believe that, you know, and then they purport on their Web site that they are all about diversity and the people, yet they allow their employees to be offended in a whole race by a guy because he makes money and he is on how many stations, whatever, he is the big talker and we want to know why we have a race relations problem in this country?  When this guy goes unchallenged.  And I tell you, in my opinion, if the black caucus can‘t stand up to this, I don‘t know you why meet. 

LEE:  Well, I‘m calling on America to stand up to this Ed, and as well I‘m calling up on advertisers and dollars not to be the only standard by which we judge whether someone is relevant.  The bad news about that kind of right-wing talk that brings in race is that there are a lot of clones around America.  It is distasteful and destructive.  What I will say to you is keep waiting and keep listening. 

SCHULTZ:  OK.

LEE:  They will, in turn, eat their own words, they will find that we will strengthened as a democratic caucus, as we protect heath care, Ed.  As we look to ensuring that black farmers and Indian farmers get their relief that they have been owed by the federal government for however long, as we provide unemployment insurance, why doesn‘t Rush Limbaugh talk about the millions of people, some of whom are his listeners, who need unemployment insurance. 

SCHULTZ:  Yes.

LEE:  Why doesn‘t he castigate the other party who seems to be holding us back on that?  Let me just say this...  

SCHULTZ:  I got to run, Congresswoman. 

LEE:  I believe he will eat his words and I believe that there will be a standard that will cause America to stand up against that kind of trash talk. 

SCHULTZ:  I hope so.  Congresswoman, great to have you with us tonight.  

LEE:  Thank you.

SCHULTZ:  Thank you for your time.

LEE:  It‘s a pleasure to be with you. 

SCHULTZ:  Now, let‘s get some rapid fire response from our panel on these stories.  I want the reaction to Rush‘s racist tirade about the leadership fight in the Democratic Party.  And it has been war between the incoming oversight Chairman Darrell Issa, and Congressman Dennis Kucinich.  A source tells me that Kucinich is running to be the ranking member of the committee because he thinks Issa is going to make a mockery of the oversight process. 

With us tonight, Joe Madison, XM satellite radio talk show host and

Ron Christie, republican strategist and author of the  book “Acting White:

The Curious History of a Racial Slur.”  Joe, your response to the story we just had. 

JOE MADISON, XM SATELLITE RADIO HOST:  Well, my response is something that Shelia Jackson Lee probably can‘t say but I will say it.  Rush Limbaugh is not too big to fail.  What it is really going to require is black and white.  I wouldn‘t put it all on the black caucus or black America.  I think there are many white Americans who are outraged by this.  And Ed, what it boils down to is the marketplace.  You identify the sponsors, you tell the sponsors that if you continue to financially support this type of action, these types of words, these insinuations, racial insults and he is not a satirist, he tries to impact public policy, let me make this clear, because that‘s what Ron is going to say.  

SCHULTZ:  Yes, Ron go ahead.

MADISON:  He impacts public policy.  So, let‘s put it—let‘s get to the bottom line.  

SCHULTZ:  Ron, what about it?

MADISON:  The reason everybody else went down is money. 

SCHULTZ:  Yes.

RON CHRISTIE, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST:  I think, look, this case is far overblown.  I think there are far more important issues facing the country.  As I said at the other day when we had this conversation with you two gentlemen, I think the Driving Miss Nancy thing was satire and it was a joke.  I wasn‘t racially offended, I didn‘t look at it as being offensive.  What I do find offensive unfortunately is there seems to be a double standard about applying racial outrage when it deals with black Democrats as it deals with black Republicans.  I don‘t remember any outrage on the air waves, on your show or on Joe‘s show, when Harry Belafonte referred to Colin Powell and Dr. Condoleezza Rice as house slaves.  

MADISON:  Slow down, Ron.  Slow down, Ron.  

CHRISTIE:  Hang on a second.

MADISON:  No, slow down.

CHRISTIE:  Hang on a second.  I‘m furnishing my point.  

MADISON:  No, you brought my name up. 

CHRISTIE:  I brought your name up.  I said, I don‘t recall it, are you going to let me finish my point?

(CROSSTALK)

MADISON:  America—he didn‘t listen to my show. 

CHRISTIE:  Are you going to let me finish my point? 

MADISON:  No.  You brought my name...

CHRISTIE:  My point of the matter is... 

MADISON:  You said Joe, I did take on Harry Belafonte.  So, correct yourself. 

CHRISTIE:  I‘m going to let you in when you stop—my point is...  

MADISON:  Correct yourself right now.  Correct yourself. 

CHRISTIE:  Outrage. 

(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)

SCHULTZ:  All right, gentlemen.  All right.

CHRISTIE:  My point is there‘s selective outrage in the media as it relates to black Republicans.  If you took that on your show, Joe, good for you but if you are the one, I don‘t remember hearing any other voices out there. 

SCHULTZ:  Ron.  Hold on a second, the standard has been set by certain companies.  Was there selective outrage when Imus lost his job or when Dr. Laura, you know, went through what she went through?  I mean, the bottom line is this.  Limbaugh is too big to fail.  That is the determination of many people out there. 

MADISON:  No he is not. 

SCHULTZ:  And there is a company out there that just allows racist comments on the air.  Now, I graphic up some of the things that he said.  Ron, are they racist or not to say about... 

CHRISTIE:  I‘m not here to defend everything that Rush Limbaugh said.  

MADISON:  Answer the question, Ron.  Answer the question.  Is it racist or not?

CHRISTIE:  For goodness sakes, are you going to let me finish or you‘re going to just sit there and filibuster?

MADISON:  No, I‘m going to insist you answer questions.  

CHRISTIE:  Well, you can insist all you want, Joe, there are people who have comments...

(CROSSTALK)

MADISON:  You dodge.  You dodge, you dodge. 

CHRISTIE:  I do not dodge.  You know it is so... 

SCHULTZ:  Gentlemen, we need an hour to do this.  

CHRISTIE:  There is so much racial outrage, there are so many real problems in this country and you guys just want to say, oh, Rush Limbaugh.  Why don‘t you deal with the fact that the fact of the matter is, I think it is racist, if you can want to talk about racist, the Democrats are running around trying to make up a position for James Clyburn so they doesn‘t get pushed out. 

SCHULTZ:  Ron Christie, good to have you with us tonight. 

CHRISTIE:  That‘s the outrage. 

SCHULTZ:  Joe Madison.  Pleasure having you guys on.

CHRISTIE:  Take care.  

SCHULTZ:  Always a spirited discussion. 

MADISON:  Answer the questions, Ron.  Answer the questions.  

SCHULTZ:  Coming up, a shocking amount of Americans think President Obama will be packing his bags and going back to Chicago in two years.  He needs all progressives behind them, it is time to fight.   Katrina Vanden Heuvel, editor of “The Nation” sounds off, next on THE ED SHOW.  Stay with us.     

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  And it is not too late to let us know what you think.  The number to dial is 1-877-ed-msnbc.  Tonight‘s telephone survey question is, do you think the republican attack on pork barrel spending will improve your life?  Press the number one for yes.  Press the number two for no, again, the number to dial is 1-877-ed machine MSNBC.  We‘ll right back. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  And in the playbook tonight, since the midterms, President Obama has been talking about working with Republicans, but I think he needs to focus on working with progressives.  It is the only way he can deliver on change that he promised us and the president needs all the help he can get.  A new poll shows that only 26 percent of the general public thinks that President Obama will be re-elected in 2012. 

For more, let‘s bring in Katrina Vanden Heuvel, editor of “The Nation.”  Katrina, in your opinion, what does this number mean?

KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL, “THE NATION” EDITOR:  You know, I recommend to your listeners, your viewers that they read “The Nation‘s” National Affair Correspondent‘s William Greider‘s piece, in the recent—at the Nation.com called “Obama Without Tears.”  This is a moment, a turning point moment for Obama.  Is he a leader?  Will he use his power?  Ly stand his ground after two years of working with the Republican Party determined to destroy president, the grand obstructionist party.  Will he find a way to remobilize and re-energize his base and citizens of conscience?

Because I think the lessons of the midterm, Ed, were misinterpreted, it was not about Obama overreaching, it was about Obama not fighting hard enough for working people, middle class in this country and for working for those people who brung him, you know, the base, those who worked their heart and soul out for him.  And I think it is time to recalibrate and show where he stands, who stands with and show that he is not leading like a boy scout or mediating but he is a lead leader standing his ground.  

SCHULTZ:  And the question is, do you think he has it in him to change?

HEUVEL:  I think that the progressive community needs to work independently to organize and push this president, but I think he has it within him.  This is a man who rose almost out of nowhere, who had the audacity and the strength to get elected as president of the United States and he must understand that he needs to recalibrate.  In some ways, someone said to William Greider, he was rolled by the bankers, rolled by the generals, rolled by the blue dogs, rolled by the Republicans, he is a man of intense intelligence.  He has to see, this is not a faith-based presidency. 

The reality is that it is time now to lay down bright markers to fight for jobs, to fight for Social Security and to work where you can to find compromise, cut the defense budget with Ron Paul, Rand Paul but find ways to rebuild this country.  Americans voted on November 2nd for change, not the change Republicans are talking about, but for a bold plan to find a way to avert the decline this country is facing and to help those who are in economic pain.  And the elite in this country is not offering solutions with their fixation on deficit reduction at the expense of creating job and reinvesting in this country‘s future. 

SCHULTZ:  Yes.  Katrina Vanden Heuvel.

HEUVEL:  Thank you.

SCHULTZ:  Artfully as always.  Thank you for joining us tonight.  

And we should point out that the tax cut meeting at the White House with Mitch McConnell and John Boehner scheduled with the president on Thursday, it has been delayed until November 30th, so the suspense continues.  

Coming up, this freshman congressman fought tooth and nail against Obama-care, what he called it, but he is going bananas because he needs to wait a few more days for his government health care program to kick in the Congress.  Bill Press can‘t wait to sound off on this one, next on THE ED SHOW.  Stay with us.   

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW, and finally tonight, the new class of republican lawmakers, well, they have only been in Washington for a couple of days, but they are already showing what a bunch of hypocrites they are.  Case in point, newly elected Congressman Dr. Andy Harris of Maryland, as if he couldn‘t afford it, he rode to power by fear mongering about Obama-care. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. ANDY HARRIS ®, MARYLAND:  What I think we ought to do is just increase the choice that Americans have for the health care insurance products, not go to a—if we go to a public option, government-run insurance plan, in the end, that‘s what everything will be, look like Canada and England.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  So, what was Dr. No‘s first question at the congressional orientation, Monday meeting?  The headline on Politico, Harris demanded to know why his government-subsidized health care plan takes a month to kick in.  According to one person in the room, Harris stood up and asked, why it had to take so long, what he would do without 28 days health care?  OK.  Well, he wants to know what he is supposed to do without 28 days for health, well, doctor, remember, your advice to the millions of uninsured Americans, just go to the emergency room. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN:  Forty six million uninsured, we‘ve kind of broken down the numbers.  Is there anybody that is not getting treatment?  Is there anybody that lacks health care?  Not health insurance but health care?

HARRIS:  No, Brian, under current law, of course, if it is an emergency situation or urgent and you need care, if you go to an Emergency Room, they can‘t turn you away, they are going to treat you. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Joining me now, nationally syndicated radio talk show host Bill Press.  Chew this one up, there is a hypocrite for you, huh?

BILL PRESS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  Oh, yes, another phony Tea Party hypocrite, Ed.  How unusual, right?  But look, as you know, that is not the whole story.  So then he says, OK, now, if I have to wait until February the 1st for this to kick in, 28 days or whatever it is, can I buy in ahead of time to get it any earlier for my family.  You know what that is, Ed?  That is the public plan option that this guy railed against.  I mean, total hypocrite.  But here‘s what gets me Ed, I did a little checking today.  He is not the only one, I couldn‘t find one member of Congress, democrat or republican, who voted against health care reform, right, who has since opted out of it.  So, I mean, I think we ought to have a new rule, if you vote against it democrat or republican, you automatically lose it for your family. 

SCHULTZ:  One other story tonight, Charlie Rangel convicted on 11 of 13 counts by the ethics committee.   Next up, they‘re going to have to decide what the discipline is.  Where is this going to go?

PRESS:  You know what, Ed, this is really sad.  I mean, Charlie has had a great career, I hate to see it end this way.  But look, the guy abused his position.  I don‘t think the Democrats have any choice.  I don‘t think the house has any choice.  

SCHULTZ:  Will he leave on his own volition, do you think?

PRESS:  I don‘t think he is going to leave, I think he is going to have to stand and should in the well of the house and face a reprimand from the entire house and maybe pay a fine, he will keep his job, his effectiveness in Congress, sadly is over. 

SCHULTZ:  Bill Press, great to have you with us tonight.  Thanks so much. 

PRESS:  Thanks, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  Tonight in our telephone survey, I asked, do you think the republican attack on pork barrel spending will improve your life?  Seven percent of you said yes, 93 percent of you said no. 

That‘s THE ED SHOW, I‘m Ed Schultz.  Join me tomorrow night right here on MSNBC.  And check out my radio show, my website at wegoted.com, Channel 167 XM Monday through Friday, noon to three.   That‘s where you can catch the radio show.  “HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews starts right now.  We will see you tomorrow night.  

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