The Ed Show for Wednesday, November 17th, 2010
Read the transcript to the Wednesday show
Guests: Steny Hoyer, Robert Greenwald, Joe Crowley, Dennis Kucinich, Laura Flanders, John Feehery, Al Sharpton, Stephanie Miller
ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening, Americans, and welcome to THE ED SHOW tonight from New York.
These stories are hitting “My Hot Buttons” and on the table at this hour.
Well, Republican leaders are disrespecting President Obama. Nothing new there.
When the president of the United States calls a meeting at the White House, aren‘t you supposed to show up out of respect for the office? Boehner and McConnell decided, well, to push the meeting back. And I think their behavior is absolutely appalling.
My commentary on that, plus reaction from House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer in just a moment.
One House Democrat is calling Republicans hypocrites on the carpet. Congressman Joe Crowley says any Republican lawmaker who wants to deny affordable health care coverage to Americans should ditch their own health care in the Congress. He‘ll join me to put the hammer down in a moment.
And more blatant race-baiting from “The Drugster,” Rush Limbaugh. You know, his two favorite targets as of late, the president of the United States and little old Eddie—that would me. He also had some hateful things to say about Reverend Al Sharpton, and the Rev is here to blast back tonight in “The Playbook.”
But this is the story that has me fired up tonight.
Now, we‘re in the midst of record unemployment, two wars that we haven‘t figured out how we‘re going to pay for, and a financial mess, an economy that‘s struggling. Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, well, they decide to diss the president. Apparently, they are just too busy to get on over to the White House for dinner.
It took them two weeks to figure that out? Boehner and McConnell said that they couldn‘t meet with the president this Thursday night due to scheduling conflicts in organizing their caucuses.
They just have to teach everybody how to say no all over again. I think that is complete garbage.
Now, traditionally, when the president of the United States invites you to the White House, and gives you two-week notice, you normally show up. In my opinion, it is obvious that McConnell and Boehner are just trying to stick it to the president one more time to prove a point.
Now, the White House summit has been moved to November 30th, which happens to be the same day that 800,000 Americans will lose their unemployment benefits. And by the end of the year, that number will be two million, just adding to the pile of Americans who are in the unemployment line right now.
McConnell and “The Tan Man” don‘t have enough respect for the president to look him in the eye at a meeting, ASAP, and explain why the Republicans don‘t want to help these Americans. This is all about respect.
And the president has been disrespected by this crowd time and time again.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
SEN. JIM DEMINT ®, SOUTH CAROLINA: If we‘re able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo. It will break him.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The reforms I‘m proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally.
REP. JOE WILSON ®, SOUTH CAROLINA: You lie!
OBAMA: That‘s not true.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Just so we don‘t forget how they act in high-profile positions.
I think McConnell didn‘t want to explain his agenda at the White House because the president might ask him, isn‘t it more important that we get things done than you try to see if I‘m a one-termer or not? That‘s really all he wants to do, is make Barack Obama a one-term president.
The Republican Party has been missing in action when it comes to solving problems in this country for years. Instead, they‘ve spent all their time trying to destroy President Obama. That‘s all they‘re about.
Democrats never turned down a White House meeting with President Bush when he was in the Oval Office. So we see the midterms were just a snapshot in time, but the Republicans are acting like they‘ve got some unbelievable mandate from the people.
Well, McConnell and Boehner are obviously trying to run the clock out of the Democratic majority. And if they can drag this thing out long enough, the Republicans will be able to kill just about any progress Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid can make during this lame-duck session.
There is even more evidence of all this Republican obstruction today.
Here we go again.
Senator Jon Kyl is threatening to block a nuclear disarmament treaty with the Russians. Need more evidence? President Obama has spent a lot of time on this.
But Kyl and the Republicans don‘t want him to get a win on anything, even though when this treaty was put up before three Republican presidents in the past, none of the Democrats ever really objected to make an issue of it. So, if the Republicans can‘t agree on this issue, which is reducing nuclear arms, how in the hell are they ever going to come to a compromise on the tax cut policies that were put in place by the Bush administration?
I want Democrats to call their bluff, just let this tax policy ride itself out. Just let it sunset. Put McConnell and Boehner and the righties in charge of the next move of the economy, because if the Democrats sign on to this, they‘re going to be tagged along with it, see, you know, you didn‘t go far enough, and it‘s your fault, too.
So I think it‘s time for the Democrats, just sit back and be patient on this one. Let their tax policy expire. Let them have the next move on the economy.
We all know we‘re not bleeding 800,000 jobs a month anymore, and we all know that we have turned it around in moving—adding jobs to the private sector. So if the Republicans think that the tax cuts to the top two percent are really going to turn things around, prove it again. It won‘t, and the Democrats will have a better shot in 2012.
Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think on this issue tonight.
Tonight‘s text survey question is: Do you think Republicans are being disrespectful to President Obama?
Text “A” for yes, text “B” for no to 622639. We‘ll bring you the results later on in the show.
A man true to his word—he said he would give us his first interview once this leadership issue in the House was all settled—joining us now is Majority Leader Steny Hoyer.
Congressman, good to have you with us today.
REP. STENY HOYER (D), MAJORITY LEADER: Hi, Ed.
SCHULTZ: You are going to be the Democratic whip with the new Congress getting into session. A lot of people want to know about your relationship with Jim Clyburn and the rub that took place, if there was any, because there are those over on the right that were trying to make this an issue of race.
How are you working together?
HOYER: Well, it wasn‘t an issue of race at all. It was an issue we lost the majority, and therefore we have one less leadership spot.
And Mr. Clyburn and I had discussions about it. And we‘re good friends, we‘ve been friends for 45 years. We‘re still very good friends. And we‘re going to work together.
It was obvious that we had to do something other than simply run against one another, and that happened, and I‘m pleased about it. And I look forward to working with Jim Clyburn, who is a very effective leader of our caucus, very well respected within our caucus.
SCHULTZ: Congressman, the night of the election, President Obama reached out to the Republicans and said let‘s get together. And then 48 hours out from that meeting which was scheduled for tomorrow night, November 18th, they say no, we‘ve got caucus issues, we can‘t make it. Are they disrespecting the president?
HOYER: You know, I can‘t remember a time—and you just referenced it earlier—when President Bush invited me and Democratic leaders to come down to the White House for a meeting that we didn‘t—even if it was a 24-hour notice—redo our schedules to make sure that we could make it.
I think it was unfortunate. The American public have sent a pretty clear message, I think, that they want us to work together. They‘re not too happy with either one of us. Obviously, we lost control of the House, but the message we should be getting from the American people is, look, you guys need to find common ground to solve our problems and stop playing politics.
SCHULTZ: So it goes from November 18th to November 30th. Is that critical time, in your period?
HOYER: Well, it certainly is time that we could use for planning on what we‘re going to do during the week of November 29th in terms of some very important issues, taxes being one of them, certainly, as you‘ve just referenced. But the fact of the matter is, I think it sends a message very early on that we‘re not going to be responsive to the president‘s requests to come down and talk.
SCHULTZ: So are they disrespecting the president?
HOYER: Well, I think it is a disrespectful act on behalf of the Republican leadership. Certainly, it‘s hard to believe the organizing caucuses are now out of the way. It‘s hard to believe that two weeks out, that they couldn‘t make themselves available tomorrow to meet with the president of the United States.
SCHULTZ: Congressman, what about all of this talk about compromise? Where are the Democrats and how far are you willing to go in the House, you and Nancy Pelosi, when it comes—Speaker Pelosi—when it comes to tax cuts and this policy that‘s in place right now, this legislation could sunset?
Why not go down that road? How do you feel about it?
HOYER: Well, we feel very strongly, Ed, that the only taxes we want to keep from increasing are the taxes on those $250,000 and under, middle class families.
HOYER: We want to make sure in this economy that is growing jobs now, as you pointed out, but still not moving at the pace we want to move to create the kinds of jobs we need to replace the eight million that were lost under the Bush administration, we feel that that—keeping those tax decreases in place is an important thing to do.
SCHULTZ: And where is the line for wealthy? Yes.
HOYER: We don‘t believe, however, that we ought to add $700 billion to the deficit, have our grandchildren paying for those of us who are well off. That‘s not a penalty on those of us who are better off. It is a statement that Americans also wanted fiscal responsibility and fiscal balance. And we need to get that.
SCHULTZ: So where is the line drawn for the wealthy? Is it 500 grand, a million dollars? Is there any line that‘s going to be drawn?
HOYER: Well, we have drawn it at $250,000.
HOYER: And I‘ve talked to Chairman Levin of the committee. And is there room to talk about perhaps a different level? There is obviously talk about different levels in the Senate and, frankly, the White House as well. But we‘re very focused on the $250,000 figure we‘ve been using.
SCHULTZ: But as it stands tonight, the Democratic position is, no doubt, you will get something extended for the middle class and those below $250,000?
HOYER: That is our effort. That‘s our objective.
SCHULTZ: All right. Thank you on that, Congressman.
Now, the next issue is, Darrell Issa is talking about more power for inspectors, subpoenas, investigating the Obama administration. He‘s been on record saying that this is the most corrupt president, and then he backed off?
What do you think his mission is? And how concerned are you about Darrell Issa and the Government Oversight and Government Reform Committee?
HOYER: Well, first, let me say government oversight is absolutely necessary. We need to effect oversight of the executive department. That‘s one of the purposes of the Congress of the United States. That‘s one of our legitimate objectives.
However, misusing that objective to harass and politically attack an opponent is a wrong use, a misuse of that authority. And I would hope that Mr. Issa uses the authority in an appropriate way. Very frankly, as we saw during the course of the Clinton administration, I think an abuse of investigative power.
SCHULTZ: You think he is on the road to abuse?
HOYER: I think that certainly if he believes this president is the most corrupt in history—now, he‘s backed off from that, but I thought that was absurd when he made it. I think it‘s an absurd conclusion, clearly nowhere close to the truth.
In fact, this president has adopted a number of reforms to make government more transparent and more honest, and higher integrity. But the fact is, we need to watch what Mr. Issa is going to do. Mr. Issa is the chairman of the committee.
SCHULTZ: You bet.
HOYER: Hopefully, I think the American people will want to see him proceed in a judicious manner, in a fair manner. Yes, we have to make sure the executive department is acting honestly and consistent with policies that the Congress has adopted. But what we don‘t need is to have kangaroo court types of proceedings putting the administration just through the griddle for political purposes.
SCHULTZ: OK. Congressman Steny Hoyer, always a pleasure. Thanks for being with us tonight.
HOYER: Thank you, Ed. Appreciate it.
SCHULTZ: Joining us now is progressive activist and award-winning filmmaker Robert Greenwald.
Robert, your response to what Mr. Hoyer just said about Darrell Issa?
ROBERT GREENWALD, FILMMAKER: Well, I think he makes a very good point. The last thing we need is kangaroo courts, Ed.
And the obscenity of this—and it‘s truly an obscenity—is the number of people who are in extraordinary pain. You know people, I know people, everyone in the audience does. They‘ve lost their jobs, they‘ve lost their homes, their kids can‘t go to school. And the notion that these politicians should hang out and play around like schoolyard bullies, it really boggles the mind.
SCHULTZ: What do you think President Obama should do in dealing with Republicans when it‘s well documented they don‘t even want to go to dinner with the guy on his time?
GREENWALD: Well, you know, that‘s quite a challenge on all levels, because they are changing the rules as we sit here, Ed. I mean, can you imagine a year ago or two years ago having this conversation about elected officials absolutely refusing to meet with the president of the United States because they are too busy?
You know, what I‘d love to see is the several million unemployed people calling them and tell them, “We‘re not too busy, and we‘re calling you to tell you do your damn job, meet with the president, and focus on us.” We need jobs, we need to go to work, we want to go to work, and you‘re playing around like a school child.
SCHULTZ: Mr. Greenwald, to the point and well put. Always a pleasure. Great to have you with us.
Coming up, “The Drugster” is a hater, plain and simple. His latest racist rant included calling President Obama‘s presidency graffiti on the walls of American history. Then he put this disgusting picture up on his Web site.
Reverend Al Sharpton will be here to set the record straight in “The Playbook.”
Sarah Palin just told Barbara Walters that she thinks that she could beat President Obama in an election.
Sarah, please run.
Plus, Ann Coulter blows up over being patted down; Roger Ailes is talking smack.
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW, and thanks for watching tonight.
Well, it‘s put up or shut up time. Republicans who railed against health care reform during the campaign, well, they better watch out.
One House Democrat is calling them out for their hypocrisy. He is daring them to walk the walk and turn down their own taxpayer-funded health care benefits.
Congressman Joe Crowley wrote this stinging letter to the incoming House Speaker, John Boehner. “If your conference wants to deny millions of Americans affordable health care, your members should walk the walk. You cannot enroll in the very kind of coverage that you want for yourselves and then turn around and deny it to Americans who don‘t happen to be members of Congress. We look forward to your response in the coming days about exactly how many of the members in the Republican conference will be declining their taxpayer-supported health benefits.”
Congressman Joe Crowley in New York, joining us now.
Why are you doing this, Congressman? I love this. It does bring it out big-time. I don‘t think anybody has done this before.
But why are you doing it?
REP. JOSEPH CROWLEY (D), NEW YORK: I think it‘s really a request to understand the ironic hypocrisy. Really, what‘s going on here is they ran against the health care bill that we passed, an opportunity to give our constituents, including their constituents, an opportunity millions of Americans who don‘t have an opportunity to get health insurance today to have options, to have choice in their health care coverage.
They want to deny them that opportunity, and yet go on the public roll themselves and get publicly-sponsored health care here in the House of Representatives. I think it‘s hypocrisy and it‘s ironic at the same time.
SCHULTZ: OK. It‘s on an average that the taxpayers are forking out $10, 500 per member. Their response is going to be, hey, it‘s a job benefit like any other American.
What do you say to that?
CROWLEY: What I say to that is that‘s exactly what every other American wants. They want to have a job, but they also want to have health care. And so many people don‘t have.
And the reality is, if they‘re coming to Congress and they want to walk the walk and speak the talk, they need to decline this health care. It‘s publicly sponsored. They don‘t have to take it.
There is no requirement that any member of Congress must take the health care that‘s provided under this package. They can walk away from it. They can still get their salary, but they can pay for their health care on their own, like they used to do.
SCHULTZ: Joe, do you expect a response from Boehner on this?
CROWLEY: I certainly don‘t at this point. There has been no response. And I don‘t expect one. It would be nice if we got one, but I think at the same time, the proof will be in the pudding.
At some point—I think this is one of the first questions every person who campaigned against this health care bill should be asked: “Are you going to take the public health care plan provided by Congress? Yes or no?”
SCHULTZ: What do you make of that doctor that made news a couple days ago when he stood up and he was whining about not having health care after leaving the hospital, there was going to be a gap of no coverage there. I was thinking, why the hell don‘t you just pay for COBRA.
CROWLEY: For 28 days. Welcome to the real world. Welcome to—you know, millions of Americans who lose their job and have to wait not 28 days, maybe two months, maybe sometimes go for a year without health care coverage. Welcome to the real world, I say to Mr. Harris.
And, you know, things aren‘t getting better for people. They‘re getting worse. And here is an opportunity to help people get health care coverage, and he wants to repeal it, but he wants to keep it for himself. I think that‘s hypocrisy.
SCHULTZ: Congressman, let me switch subjects on you, if I may.
SCHULTZ: Do you think the Republicans are disrespecting the president by backing up this meeting to November 30th?
CROWLEY: There‘s no question about it. I think that that‘s exactly what‘s going on, trying to diminish the office of the presidency. I think the president was offering an olive branch, wants to sit down, see what we can agree upon moving forward, if there is anything.
We don‘t want to be the Congress of “no” like they were to us. We want to have an opportunity. If it benefits the American people, let‘s work it out, let‘s talk about it, and let‘s work cooperatively together moving forward.
I think this was very desire respectful what the Republican leadership did in terms of pushing back this meeting. But we‘ll get beyond it. We‘ll have to. The country will move on.
SCHULTZ: And quickly, your response to Nancy Pelosi being the leader for the Democrats again?
CROWLEY: I think it‘s important that we put behind us this election. We need to look forward, and I think that no one begrudges or blames Nancy Pelosi for the loss of 60-plus seats.
CROWLEY: We know she‘s a strong leader, We know that she‘s a strong party builder for us. And I think that this caucus realizes we have to hit the ground running. No one knows how to do that better than Nancy Pelosi right now.
SCHULTZ: Congressman Joe Crowley, New York, good to have you with us tonight.
CROWLEY: Thank you, Ed. Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Thank you.
Coming up, leave it to Ann Coulter to equate air support security pat-downs to Hitler‘s last revenge. I think her brain needs a scan. Don‘t you? Well, she‘ll fly right into “The Zone” next.
SCHULTZ: And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, well, the right-wingers over on Fox, they‘re just going absolutely nuts over all of these new TSA safety measures. They are lashing out at the Obama administration over these new full-body scanners and the pat-downs at airport security checkpoints.
Now, last night, O‘Reilly had aviation safety expert Ann Coulter on to talk about it. And as always, Ann, well, she cut to the heart of the issue. It‘s all about Nazis.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANN COULTER, AUTHOR, “GUILTY”: I think the point is, as many have said, this is Hitler‘s last revenge.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Oh, that‘s deep. You know, with these group of nut-jobs over there, it always comes down to Hitler, doesn‘t it?
Now, this is coming from the same person who called the Patriot Act the most important piece of legislation passed since 9/11. So, warrantless invasion of privacy is just fine when a Republican is in the White House, but during a Democratic administration, a security measure that directly protects Americans is fascism?
That kind of hypocrisy makes old Ann Coulter guilty of high-flying “Psycho Talk.”
Coming up, Darrell Issa.
Buddy, you may want to slow down on this witch-hunt thing, because there are some folks that are really going to be pushing back hard on this.
Congressman Dennis Kucinich is ready to fight. He says Issa is reckless, out of control, and has officially jumped into the ring to challenge him.
Now, I don‘t know what the heck this dancing show is all about. I‘ve never watched it, but I know you can call in and tell them what you think. It just so happens that Palin‘s kid, she can‘t dance, but she sure has a lot of people calling in to help her win.
Smell any Tea Party conspiracy here, folks? Radio talk show host Stephanie Miller will be here to give her take on it.
Plus, Reverend Al Sharpton will fire back at the racist Rush Limbaugh. Fox News chief Roger Ailes proves he‘s basically unfair and unbalanced and out of his mind. And Alvin Greene, well, says he‘s ready to run.
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. It‘s all coming up in the next half hour.
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. The “Battleground” story tonight, well the oversight fight in the House. It‘s going to be a dandy. Progressive champion Dennis Kucinich is ready to do battle with presumptive oversight chair Darrell Issa. I want to see this. He is running to be the committee‘s ranking member. In a letter to Democrats, Kucinich calls the leadership election potentially the most critical vote regarding the new Congress.
He says, “Congressman Darrell Issa of California has already made wild and unsubstantiated charges, which threaten to turn the principle oversight committee of the House into a witch hunt. We cannot simply stand by idle. It is a matter of highest importance that any intemperate use of power by the chair be challenged at every turn.”
Congressman Dennis Kucinich joins us tonight here on THE ED SHOW. Congressman, why are you suited to do this? I mean, I‘m a fan, I know what you‘re all about, but I want to hear you say to the American people that you‘re going to be there on the watch as Issa in my opinion is already off the rails. Why do you want to do this?
REP. DENNIS KUCINICH, OVERSIGHT AND GOVERNMENT REFORM COMMITTEE:
Because I think that the oversight process has to be handled with a great deal of deliberation and calmness and fairness without any smears or innuendoes, that we have to realize the real power of government on this committee is the power to destroy people‘s reputations. And you have to proceed in a way that is dispassionate and that where fairness as your watch word. And any attempt to use the power of the chair in a way that points a finger to some and accuses someone of something without facts is something that is very dangerous in a democracy and so I‘m prepared to step forward to defend our democratic institution of oversight and to do it in a way that is fair and vigorous.
SCHULTZ: Darrell Issa‘s already commented about your attempt to be the ranking member on this committee. He commented that the Dems, they aren‘t serious if they elect you, they animated that. What do you feel about that?
KUCINICH: Well, I think that it‘s unseemly for Mr. Issa to try to make any comments about this election. It‘s not up to him to pick who will be the democratic counterpart on the committee. It‘s up to the members of the democratic caucus. And I have throughout this day been in contact with members of the caucus to discuss the concerns that I have about what would be an effective response to the approach that Mr. Issa wants to use. You know, this is a discussion that people are just starting to have. So, people have to have a chance to breathe in the idea of a challenge to the way that Mr. Issa apparently wants to do business. I‘m a very fair person. But I‘ll tell you something. I cannot be rolled. I cannot have someone sit next to me, making base assertions or smears against people and let it rest. I will challenge anything like that at every turn in order to protect the institution of Congress‘s oversight capacity.
SCHULTZ: What about Ed Towns? He wants to stay in this position.
Would you do a better job than Ed Towns?
KUCINICH: Well, he‘s a good man. You know, Ed Towns is my friend. I‘m talking about an approach which I think is going to be necessary to deal with Mr. Issa, the presumptive chair, because of the charges that he‘s already made about the White House, the charges that he‘s made equating the American recovery act money with walking around money, the recklessness to proceed with conclusions without gathering evidence, that‘s very dangerous. And I want Mr. Issa to know he‘s my friend, that friend though we may be, I will challenge him at every turn.
SCHULTZ: Is he after President Obama?
KUCINICH: Well, I think he already made it clear, on Rush Limbaugh‘s show what his intentions are with respect to the White House. And as a matter of fact it‘s not just Mr. Issa, it‘s Senator McConnell made it clear that the sole duty as far as he‘s concerned is to try to destroy the Obama presidency. We cannot let oversight become a vehicle for the destruction of individuals or destruction of a presidency. We have to have facts follow where they may and then you draw the conclusion from the facts but when you start making unsubstantiated allegations that you then try to pass off as fact, that is not what oversight‘s about. That‘s something that‘s not democratic and I am determined to preserve Congress‘s role as an effective oversight capacity without any—without any hint of innuendo or smears of anyone.
SCHULTZ: Congressman Dennis Kucinich, always a pleasure. I hope you get it.
KUCINICH: Well, I appreciate what you say.
SCHULTZ: I think the base in this country needs a strong lefty that won‘t back down in a position. And I‘ll tell you, if it‘s not you, the Democrats better come up with a real solid strategy on how to counterpunch all of this because in my opinion, this is all about 2012, this is all about slowing down the progressive agenda, it‘s all about getting rid of President Obama and gumming things up, dis-focusing the country. Dennis, I hope you get it. Good to have you with us.
KUCINICH: I‘m going to take a stand.
SCHULTZ: Thank you, congressman.
Now, let‘s get some rapid fire response from our panel on these stories. FOX News President Roger Ailes says, President Obama is a far left socialist who has a different belief system than most Americans.
The president calls a meeting on the tax cuts on other issues.
Republican leaders say, yes. Then they ask for it to be pushed back. After all of this wrangling about tax cuts and the media. I think it‘s proof that they have no respect for the man in the oval office.
And our new NBC Wall Street Journal poll shows that 52 percent want the Congress not the president to set the agenda.
With us tonight, Laura Flanders, host of Grit TV, editor of the new book “Tea Party.” And John Feehery, a republican strategist and president of the Quinn Gillespie Communications. Were you the president of that communications the last time you were on there? I don‘t remember that.
JOHN FEEHERY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I was, Ed.
SCHULTZ: You were?
FEEHERY: I didn‘t get promoted, I was. Yes.
SCHULTZ: I thought being on the show might have elevated you.
All right, John. Let‘s talk about this poll first. What do you make of this? Who should take the lead in setting policy for the country and 52 percent of the people are saying the Congress. This is a strange number, is it not?
FEEHERY: It‘s very unusual, Ed. Usually, the president proposes and a Congress disposes. That‘s kind of how the system works in this country. But I think so many have lost faith with the president, they want the Congress to set the agenda and the agenda of many people coming into Congress and the Tea Party is to cut spending and create jobs. I think that‘s where a lot of people want this country to go.
SCHULTZ: Laura, where is this number coming from?
LAURA FLANDERS, HOST, GRIT TV: You know, these numbers just a month ago, the same polls were showing that you had a majority of people thinking Democrats were the right ones to deal with the crisis faced in this country. If we spent half the time that we spend talking about polls, trying to explain or explaining how deficits work, how stimulus works, how our health care system, Social Security works, people might be smarter when they speak to pollsters. We waste an awful a lot of time talking about polls.
SCHULTZ: Well, the fact is, they are part of the news culture, Laura. And people do pay attention to them. And the question is, is this just a result of poor communication out of the White House and not telling the American people all the good things the Obama administration has accomplished?
FLANDERS: Well, I hear your criticism and as well placed but it also may be the wording of the polls. I mean, I know it‘s part of our culture but it cannot be a really distracting and silly part of our culture.
SCHULTZ: Well, the wording of this one must have been a dandy because it is definitely in favor of the Congress on this one. All right. John Feehery, why are the Republicans pushing back a very important meeting at the White House when the president—when the election took place, he calls the leadership over on the republican side. John Boehner even talks about not having a Slurpee but having a glass of Merlot having dinner and talking this stuff over. And then, it‘s getting backed up. I mean, aren‘t they disrespecting the president? Steny Hoyer said earlier tonight that they are. What do you think?
FEEHERY: Well, Ed, I actually talked to Mr. Boehner‘s office about that. They say that this is a scheduling snafu, they want to meet with the president, they want to talk about creating jobs, they want to talk about the agenda, they want to talk about getting the tax cut issue off the table to give certainty to business but the scheduling just didn‘t work out. And they actually blame the White House. They told the White House, they couldn‘t meet on this day because of all of the orientation meetings, all these guard. I do not think the answer to the question, Ed, this is not about disrespect. This is about scheduling.
FLANDERS: John, you know Washington better than that and you know that this is all carefully choreographed and stage managed. Just a snafu, I don‘t think so. I think there are two things going on, one may be just waiting out the clock on this particular Congress and two, maybe the Republicans remember that nasty meeting they had in Baltimore in January with the president where he just wiped the ground with them talking about health care. I think they may be worried.
SCHULTZ: Laura, do you think there connection—you think that Baltimore incident has everything to do with it?
FLANDERS: Yes, I do.
SCHULTZ: Well, let me.
(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)
FEEHERY: They‘re not going to bring cameras into this meeting, so I don‘t think that‘s the problem. I do think it had to do with the scheduling snafu. And frankly, what‘s going on on both sides of the Congress, House and Senate, Democrats and Republicans, they‘re trying to get organized for the New Year and this is a bad time to have the meeting.
SCHULTZ: Oh, come on.
FLANDERS: A meeting, a meeting. That‘s all we heard.
FEEHERY: That‘s what I‘m reporting.
SCHULTZ: OK. All right. Fair enough. But you know, they did use a Clinton term, snafu. They got to get their own stuff. All right. Now, here is the bottom line here. We‘re losing critical days here from the 18th to the 30th. The American people are thinking what the heck‘s going on, we got an economy that needs some help, we got unemployed Americans that are going to be coming up on their benefits. I mean, there‘s a lot of stuff to take care of. Are they gaming the lame duck Congress?
FLANDERS: Absolutely, it‘s what they do.
FEEHERY: No, of course not they‘re not. You know what? The Democrats still run the Congress. The Democrats are still in charge. The reason now that this work not got done is because the Democrats didn‘t do any of the work.
FLANDERS: And the longer the GOP holed out, the longer they can keep saying exactly John Feehery‘s talking point.
SCHULTZ: Roger Ailes slamming President Obama. He says the president has not been very successful. He has to be told by the French and the Germans that his socialism was too far left for them to deal with. He just has a different belief system than most Americans. Laura Flanders, your response.
FLANDERS: Well, you know, I was going to laugh this off and then I remembered Katrina Vanden Heuvel over a year ago a responding to Michelle Bachmann‘s comments. And this is, you know, not to be Congress person channeling Joe McCarthy, this is the head of a very powerful media organization. I think it‘s frightening, I think it‘s dangerous, distracting talk. And I don‘t know. Does Roger Ailes want to be the new Joe McCarthy. I think he‘d like to have his ghost on his network.
SCHULTZ: Welcome to 2012, John.
FEEHERY: Let me say this. First of all, Roger Ailes is a genius when it comes to television. I love the guy. Second point, is President Obama socialist, I disagree with Roger Ailes, I don‘t think he is a socialist but I do think he‘s on the far left of the political spectrum. And you know, I don‘t know.
FLANDERS: Speak up against the red baiting, John, speak out against the red baiting, we‘ve been here before. Come on. Doesn‘t have the same belief system. This is dangerous stuff.
FEEHERY: Laura, first of all, Roger Ailes can say what he wants. He earned the right. Now, do I agree or disagree, I don‘t know and I have no knowledge.
FLANDERS: I don‘t hear you speaking up against.
SCHULTZ: But is it fair and balanced to make that judgment of the president when you‘re supposed to be in news organization?
FEEHERY: Well, Roger Ailes has earned the right to express his opinions. I think he has done that.
SCHULTZ: He hasn‘t earned the right to cast aspersions on our president like this and he hasn‘t earned the right to pretend he hasn‘t understood anything about history. If we really want to get into it and talk about who has made change in this country, you know, we would be a lot poorer without some of those on the left and the socialists who moved toward giving us safer roads and safer cars and safer...
SCHULTZ: All right. Laura Flanders.
FLANDERS: We don‘t need this kind of divide and distract. It‘s dangerous.
FEEHERY: Oh, come on, Laura.
SCHULTZ: Laura Flanders, John Feehery, great to have both of you with us.
FEEHERY: Thanks a lot, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Thanks so much. Coming up, the drugster attacked me again today. I guess I‘m just good copy. He can‘t believe I‘m calling him out for spewing racist garbage. And then he put this disgusting picture on his Web site. Rush, what do you think, I‘m going to back off? This is rotten, is what it is.
Reverend Al Sharpton is also being targeted by the drugster. His call to action next in the “Playbook,” stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And it‘s not too late to let us know what you think. Tonight‘s text survey question is, do you think Republicans are being disrespectful to President Obama? Text A for yes, text B for no to 622-639. We‘ll bring you the results coming up. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And in my “Playbook” tonight. The drugster‘s stream of race baiting just continues. Just days after posting this image of Jim Clyburn as the chauffeur in driving Miss Nancy, Limbaugh has done it again. He won‘t back off, this time, his posted this photo shopped image of Mount Rushmore and called President Obama‘s presidency, quote, “graffiti,” on the walls of American history. But Rush just keeps passing the blame onto everybody else. Today he targeted Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee for what she said on this show yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: They are convinced here that calling Sergeant Schultz, Sergeant Schultz is an ethnic slur.
REP. SHEILA JACKSON LEE (D), TEXAS: You have a name that may be ethnically connected to being a sergeant. I‘m not sure what that is but I find that insulting as well. I would say to Rush Limbaugh‘s listeners, we all have distinctive diction, have accents. I frankly find the take on various vernacular as absolutely outrageous.
LIMBAUGH: Folks, I can‘t keep a straight face. Play it again, Sam, listen to this. If you can make sense of it, help me out here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Well, it would help if you would watch the whole segment, drugster. The congresswoman wasn‘t talking about your Sergeant Schultz joke. When she said she was outraged by Limbaugh‘s take on various vernacular. She was referring to this clip of the drugster, that‘s you making fun of Reverend Al Sharpton.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LIMBAUGH: No, it‘s not just me mocking the standard, they misused the word as they. They mocking the standard. Who that? Who that say they mocking the standard? Al Sharpton say, they mocking the standard.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: I want to get response from Reverend Al Sharpton tonight. He joins us here on THE ED SHOW. The president of the National Action Network. Reverend, good to have you with us. What‘s your response to all of this?
REV. AL SHARPTON, NATIONAL ACTION NETWORK: Well, I mean, I think that Rush Limbaugh, the seriousness of what he does aside from the comedic kind of way he tries to play it, is he is really trying to use race to polarize this country and turn the country against the president at a time that we have some very critical issues. To talk about the majority whip until January as a chauffeur, and Miss Nancy, the speaker of the House in the back seat, similar to how he played the Obama is the good Negro. When you keep having all of these racial tones, that is supported by federally regulated radio, remember, these stations that he is on go to the Federal government to get consolidation, to get waivers, the government has a right to protect free speech but they also have an obligation to hold standards where American people are not subjected to this.
SCHULTZ: Well, Reverend, the standard is he cannot be stopped. I mean, he is too big to fail. We‘ve had a consultant on here Holland Cooke talk about that in the past, on numerous occasions. He is so big in the industry, even if you boycott his advertisers, he‘s got enough money to continue to be on the air. But he goes unchallenged. And I want your thoughts on this cartoon as they call it, on Mt. Rushmore. You know, calling President Obama‘s administration, the graffiti on American history, what about this?
SHARPTON: I mean, I think this is as ugly as it gets. It disrespects not only this president, it disrespects the whole history of the country. It disrespects our putting presidents at that level. And I think that even if his advertisers cannot be stopped with boycotts, the FCC must step in and deal with standards on how they give station clearances to people that just want to race bait. This is not about opinions, it‘s not about what you or I say in our college speeches or churches, this is on federally regulated airwaves that the FCC gives the license to stations to let them do this.
SCHULTZ: So, the answer really is, if he‘s too big to fail, that racism on America‘s radio stations is here to stay.
SHARPTON: Well, and if that‘s the case then I think we‘re at a sad place. I think that the congressional black caucus, progressive caucus and others ought to take this up with FCC. There ought to be a line on race, on gender, on sexual status, there ought to be a line where people have the right to say what they want but they do not have a right to use federally regulated air waves to malign people because of groups. And I think that Mr. Limbaugh and others should have to be subjected to that line as you and I and anyone else and he will have to deal with that.
SCHULTZ: Reverend Al Sharpton, do you personally—is there—how do you personally feel when he takes shots at you?
SHARPTON: I mean, let me tell you something. If I worried about Rush Limbaugh taking shots at me, I would have nothing else to worry about. I think that Rush Limbaugh does what he does. I think what bothers me is that there are stations and networks allowed to make money off of him desecrating the presidents of the United States on Mt. Rushmore. That bothers me.
SCHULTZ: Reverend Al, good luck on your show coming up. We want to tell our audience that you should know that Reverend Sharpton is going to be launching a new nationally syndicated Sunday morning talk show called “Education Superhighway.” It is definitely needed in this country. This show premier this Sunday, November 21st, check your local listings. Thank you, Reverend.
SHARPTON: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, this Mama Grizzly might be gearing up for a presidential run. But first, let me tell you, her kids are making headlines for conspiracies and slurs. Stephanie Miller gives Caribou Barbie a reality check, next on THE ED SHOW. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And finally tonight, Sarah Palin says she hasn‘t decided if she‘s running for president. But she sure is pretty confident about her chances for success. Listen to what she just told Barbara Walters.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARBARA WALTERS, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: If you ran for president, could you beat Barack Obama?
SARAH PALIN, FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: I believe so.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Well, Tea Party faithful aren‘t waiting two years to vote for Palin. They are rallying behind Sarah‘s daughter Bristol on “Dancing with the Stars.” Last night, the audience vote sent Bristol to the finals. Even though she was the worst dancer left in the competition. Now, I‘m not an expert on dancing, but there are many that have a lot of different things going on here like voter fraud, and entertainment Web site found posts on conservative message towards urging Tea Partiers to take advantage of a glitch in the shows voting system. With these guys on her side, maybe Sarah does have a chance in 2012 to be president. Who knows? But I think I need to get some backup on this when it comes to the entertainment field.
Let‘s got to Stephanie Miller, nationally syndicated radio talk show host, you‘re smiling. Did you vote in this?
STEPHANIE MILLER, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Listen. With all of the right wing Web sites jamming the lines I couldn‘t get through, Ed. I wanted to vote for, you know, I don‘t know if it‘s a conspiracy, Ed. I think the fact that no offense but she sucks and she is still on the show is probably evidence enough that maybe there might be something. There was a story today, a guy shot his television out, her dancing was so bad.
SCHULTZ: Well, she‘s probably going to win the thing.
MILLER: We‘ll know, if she beats Jennifer Grey, we‘ll know there is something fishy. Because nobody puts Jennifer Grey in a corner, Ed. We‘ll know something‘s up.
SCHULTZ: And is she really that bad a dancer? I don‘t watch this show. I mean, I don‘t—you know, it‘s not—I just don‘t watch this show. So, I don‘t know. I don‘t know what to judge her, I guess. But you‘re telling me she‘s terrible.
MILLER: It‘s a professional term out here in Hollywood, Ed, but she sucks. Sucks is the word. Yes.
SCHULTZ: All right. Now, we don‘t make a habit of talking about 14-year-old daughters but her daughter responded, according to TMZ reported that the 16-year-old daughter posted some things on Facebook last night. Now, this is, you know, Sarah Palin has used her kids, put them out in a reality show, put them on the political campaign, put them up on stage. Is this overboard to pay attention to what her kids are doing on Facebook, in your opinion?
MILLER: I think you know, in a climate, Ed, honestly, where so many gay kids are killing themselves, I think the decent thing would have for her to come out and said, made a statement today that that was wrong. I mean, you know look. You know that this is going to be public on Facebook. And I got to tell you, Ed. You don‘t use those kinds of words unless you learn them from somewhere. And you know, I don‘t see how you can just excuse this.
SCHULTZ: And back to her interview with Barbara Walters, does she really believes she can beat President Obama? Your thoughts?
MILLER: Wow. Well, I mean, maybe if they can get the same groups that are voting for her daughter for “Dancing with the Stars,” perhaps. But I don‘t think in the real world, there is much chance of that.
SCHULTZ: That‘s the key, the real world. She hasn‘t been there. Stephanie Miller, always a pleasure. Tonight, our text survey I asked, do you think Republicans are being disrespectful to President Obama? Ninety three percent of you said yes. Seven percent of you said no.
That‘s THE ED SHOW. I‘m Ed Schultz. For more information on THE ED SHOW, go to ed.msnbc.com or check out my radio Web site at wegoted.com. You can comment on all the stories we have and blog with us at wegoted.com.
The radio show on 167 XM, noon to 3:00, Monday through Friday.
“HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews starts now. We‘ll see you tomorrow night.
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