The Ed Show for Friday, November 19th, 2010
Read the transcript to the Friday show
Guests: Bernie Sanders, Jan Schakowsky, Holland Cooke, Hilary Shelton, Todd
Webster, Heidi Harris, Alan Grayson, Lizz Winstead
ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening, Americans, and welcome to THE ED SHOW tonight from New York.
These stories are on the table and hitting “My Hot Buttons” at this hour.
Finally, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are stepping up and showing some spine and some fight. They‘re not going to be caving in on the Bush tax cuts for the rich. They‘re calling out the Republicans and making sure Americans know just how selfish and out of touch the GOP really is.
Hang them high, Harry.
My commentary on that, and Senator Bernie Sanders will dish out some straight talk to the president. That‘s coming up in just a moment.
Here we go again. Sarah Palin is recycling racially-charged attacks on the president and the first lady. Now, they didn‘t work for the failed campaign back in 2008, but she‘s trying like hell to put Reverend Wright back into the conversation.
“Caribou Barbie,” you better watch out this time. The NAACP is listening.
And the richest people in America are going to be able to afford another 20,000 jars of Grey Poupon if they get this Bush tax cut extended. That ought to be enough to cover all the wienies in the Republican Party, don‘t you think?
Congressman Alan Grayson sounds off in “The Playbook” coming up in just a little bit.
But this is the story that has me fired up tonight.
Finally, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi getting together. I guess they‘re saying they‘re done playing games with the Republicans when it comes to the Bush tax cuts for the top two percent.
Now, Harry Reid has the power to do something the president does not have, and that‘s call a vote. And he can also choose what the vote is going to be for. And he‘s got, I think, a pretty doggoned good plan.
Instead of having the Senate just vote on extending the tax cuts for everyone, the rich and the poor, he‘s going to focus on just the middle class. Reid will call a vote on whether or not tax cuts should be extended for the middle class. Not the rich, just the middle class.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV), MAJORITY LEADER: We want opportunity and maybe plural to vote, if we have to do it more than once, twice, whatever it takes, to show the American people that we support the middle class, and that we do not believe that if we‘re going to continue to talk about debt and deficit, that we can walk away from how much these tax cuts costs.
The question is, do I think I have the present backing for middle income tax cut only? And I say yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: OK, hold on now. I‘ve got a red flag here. How many votes on the middle class?
Now, you see, if the first vote doesn‘t work, then they‘re going to jockey the wording a little bit, and then kind of appease the Republicans and then take another vote? No, no, no, no, no. No, no.
One vote. One vote. You‘re either going to do it for the middle class or you‘re not.
Now, the president ought to go through this one with a fine-tooth comb. Now, the plan, he should be happy with the fact that they‘re having a vote. A vote like this will be a good maneuver, because it would, of course, expose the Republicans for who they really are.
But hold it right there. Don‘t be getting into this three, four, five votes kind of thing just because some folks over on the right might not be happy if the super rich aren‘t getting exactly what they want. The super rich, they‘re always in the game. Just remember that.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is stuck on making all the Bush tax cuts absolutely permanent. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL ®, MINORITY LEADER: The American people spoke loudly and clearly on Election Day. They want us to put aside the liberal wish list and focus on jobs.
And the more important thing we can do to create jobs between now and January 1st is to send a message to job creators that we‘re not going to raise their taxes. That‘s why I offered a bill back in September, S-3773, that would make current tax rates permanent.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Did you hear that? Liberal wish list.
It‘s a liberal wish list to cut a break to the middle class in this country. That‘s how they think. It‘s their DNA. It‘s who they are.
They are, you know, ready and willing to vote against tax cuts for the 98 percent of the American people. Are Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, who talk about, this is what the what the American people want, they‘ve spoken, are they ready to go against helping 98 percent of the population out just because their two percent country-clubbers wouldn‘t get a tax break? And the answer to that is, hell, yes.
McConnell wants Americans to think that Harry Reid and the Democrats, they‘re just not serious about this vote. Now, I have to say, if it‘s one vote, yes, they‘re serious. But if they get into a series of votes, that‘s not going to be good.
Here‘s what McConnell says about it. He says, “Votes structured for symbolic reasons in December won‘t prevent a tax hike in January. It‘s not enough to talk about the problems of the looming tax hike on families and hundreds of thousands of small businesses across the country, we have to fix it.”
Knock off this small business talk, Mr. McConnell. You know that‘s a red herring. That isn‘t going to happen.
McConnell and other phonies in the Republican Party, you know, they only worry about the American people and this mandate they claim they have as long as they can get their tax cuts for the top two percent. But when it comes to helping the middle class, oh gosh, that‘s nothing but a liberal wish list. See the difference?
On Thursday, House Republicans—here we go again—voted against a $12 billion unemployment extension for the poorest Americans. But they have no problem whatsoever giving $700 billion in tax breaks over the next decade to the richest Americans. And you just heard Mitch McConnell, let‘s not do this for the job creators.
Well, you‘ve the Bush tax cuts. Where are the jobs?
The president met with the Democratic leadership to talk about the game plan on tax cuts, and it sounds to me like it‘s—they‘re going to need more time. According to The Associated Press, “Democratic officials said that President Obama did not embrace”—here we go again, we‘re going to stall—“did not embrace a particular approach to tax cuts in his Oval Office meeting. He indicated that he wanted a meeting with the Democrat and the Republican leaders on November 30th before staking out a position.”
I am sick and tired of this, Mr. President. You‘re going to wait for the Republicans. Hey, if they don‘t want to come over and meet with you to help out the middle class, tell them dinner‘s already done.
You don‘t need a meeting with these people on November 30th. And you don‘t have to listen to what they had to say. They play you like a fiddle in the media, day in and day out.
You just heard Mitch McConnell. You know what he‘s after. What do you have to meet with him for? Why do you want to negotiate with him?
This is exactly why you had some senators behind closed doors recently give the president some tough love. I want the president to follow Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi on this, follow them on this issue. Let‘s get a chainsaw out and start cutting off all of the olive branches, and let‘s knock off the capitulation. OK?
I know it‘s the holiday season and we‘ve got to be in a good mood, but this one just does it for me. Stop it.
They are not on your side, Mr. President. And they don‘t have the majority—not yet. Because, you see, when they get the majority, they‘re really going to stick it to the middle class and they‘re really going to favor the rich.
Let‘s go to Senator—well, first of all, let‘s do our text poll here tonight. We‘ve got—well, we‘ll do this first. Here we go.
You know, I‘m off script tonight, Senator. It‘s a Friday night and I‘m in New York, and I‘m normally in Minnesota, so I‘m a little bit (INAUDIBLE).
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: Hey, Ed, you haven‘t left me anything to say. You said it all. I‘m going home. Bye.
SCHULTZ: OK. Hey, it‘s Friday. Take the night off, Bernie.
What is it? OK, you gave the president some tough love in a caucus meeting. You got together and said, look, we‘ve to get tough on this. Tell us what went down.
SANDERS: I think that there is a growing understanding that the Democratic leadership cannot continue to be on the defensive. Barack Obama is in the White House. He‘s a Democrat. The Democrats have the majority in the Senate, and we have got to stand tough on issues that the vast majority of the American people support.
Listen, we‘ve got a $13.7 trillion national debt, largely caused by Republicans—two wars, tax breaks to billionaires, the Medicare Part D program, the Wall Street bailout—and now these guys, who have the nerve to say that they are concerned about the national debt, worried about our kids and our grandchildren, you know what they want to do? Another $700 billion in tax breaks—
SCHULTZ: So, Senator—
SANDERS: -- for the top two percent.
SCHULTZ: -- why doesn‘t President Obama—why doesn‘t he get that? I mean, it seems to me like, here he is just saying, well, we want to get together and see what the Republicans want to do on November 30th.
Doesn‘t he know what they want to do?
SANDERS: If he doesn‘t—no, of course he knows what they want to do. And I can‘t answer your question, Ed. All that I can tell you is that I‘m cautiously optimistic --
SANDERS: -- that this time, the Democrats are going to stay on top.
Second point that has to be made, it‘s not only driving up the deficit and the national debt, it is also doing it at a time when we have more and more income inequality in America. The top one percent has earned 80 percent of all new income in the last 25 years. The middle class is collapsing. These guys on top got it all.
A deal? You give them more is a moral outrage.
SCHULTZ: Yes. Senator, I want to know, was it accurately reported by the media that it was a contentious caucus meeting and senators are getting frustrated with President Obama?
SANDERS: What was accurately reported is that for the first time in a long while, there was a good—and I mean this sincerely—frank discussion. We really got into some issues. There are disagreements. I think it is fair to say—
SANDERS: -- that a strong majority in the Democratic Caucus now think we‘ve got to put a line in the sand, hang tough, protect the middle class.
SCHULTZ: Senator Sanders, good to you have with us tonight. I appreciate it.
Folks, get your cell phones out. I want know to what you think in our text survey tonight.
Are you happy the Democrats are getting tougher with the Republicans? Text “A” for yes, text “B” for no to 622639. We‘ll bring you the results later on in the show.
Joining us now is House Chief Deputy Whip from Illinois Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky.
Congresswoman, good to have you on.
REP. JAN SCHAKOWSKY (D-IL), CHIEF DEPUTY WHIP: Hi, Ed.
SCHULTZ: What does “numerous” votes mean? What‘s going to happen over in the House? Is it going to be one vote and one vote only for the middle class, or are we going to go through a series of votes until the Republicans are satisfied?
How do you call it?
SCHAKOWSKY: Well, my hope is that we‘re going to have one vote on whether or not we‘re just going to give tax cuts to the middle class. But I‘ll tell you another vote that we need, and that is to extend unemployment insurance benefits, Ed. We can‘t forget that.
And it‘s not just good for those people, millions of people, who are about to lose their unemployment, but it‘s good for economy. There is nothing more stimulative than putting unemployment insurance in people‘s pockets so that they can go out and spend that money, which they will right away.
So, we have really two issues that we need to get done—middle class tax cuts and unemployment extension.
SCHULTZ: Is there any negotiation, in your opinion, for the top two percent on the tax cuts?
SCHAKOWSKY: I certainly think—if you‘re asking me, I say absolutely not. You know, Mitch McConnell thinks that he heard what the people have been saying. He is absolutely wrong.
To the extent that people are concerned about our budget, they don‘t want to see another $700 billion giveaway, and they especially don‘t want it to go to the wealthiest. And talk about not getting it, how many times do we have to hear about “trickle down”? Whatever the question, their answer is, tax cuts for the rich.
I‘m sorry, it is demand that makes the economy go. It‘s money in people‘s—middle class people‘s pockets that‘s going to make the economy go. Doesn‘t he get it?
SCHULTZ: Well, OK. Let‘s talk about, quickly, just the relationship between Capitol Hill Democrats and the White House. If this president tries to negotiate with the Republicans and do something for the top two percent, how much of a pushback is he going to get?
SCHAKOWSKY: He‘s going to get a lot, and that‘s one of the reasons that I am just so happy that Nancy Pelosi is now going to—is our Speaker now and going to be our Leader in the future, because she is as tough as they come. There is no stronger fighter for the middle class.
I think she is someone that can really help the president, assure him that we can get the votes, and help him to be strong. The president has to show strength.
You know, we all need to be, on the Democratic side, better poker players. And I know the president used to play poker when he was in the Illinois General Assembly. I was there. He played poker with the Republicans, and so I hope he remembers his poker-playing days and drives a hard bargain.
SCHULTZ: Yes. Well, playing poker, but it seems to me like it‘s blackjack right now, and we‘re kind of hoping that the number comes up good for the Democrats.
I mean, it just seems to me capitulation‘s everywhere. And I hope that the House and the Senate Democrats get together and hold the line.
Congresswoman, good to have you with us tonight. I appreciate your time.
SCHAKOWSKY: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, “The Drugster” can‘t take the heat, so he‘s got another day off. Oh, he must be on vacation. Either that or the pressure‘s just getting to him, because the pressure is mounting against his hate speech, and it‘s getting serious.
I‘ll share the action plan in just a moment.
“Caribou Barbie” just sunk to a new pathetic low. She accused Michelle Obama, the first lady, of being unpatriotic and implied that she is racist against white people. The NAACP will respond in tonight‘s “Battleground” story.
Plus, “Slant Head” Hannity goes unhinged. The Rand Paul stomper puts his foot down. And “The Daily Show” co-creator Lizz Winstead headlines “Club Ed” tonight.
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. Stay with us. We‘re right back.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW, and thanks for watching tonight.
Reverend Al Sharpton is calling for action against Rush Limbaugh‘s racism on public airwaves in America. He threw down the gauntlet on my show this week by asking the FCC to get involved.
“The Black Eagle,” radio talker Joe Madison, took it a step further last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE MADISON, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: We‘ve not heard this type of conversation on radio even when segregationists were at their height. I talked to the Reverend Al Sharpton and asked him to pull together a coalition of his organization, the National Action Network, the NAACP, the Urban League, and other organizations, and to do exactly what the Anti-Defamation League would do. And that is to go to Clear Channel and to other stations and networks and have a conversation about the decency, or lack of decency, on the part of Limbaugh, and then to officially take this to the FCC and see where it lands.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: This is all in response to a week of disgusting race-baiting from “The Drugster.” He started this bender by saying Jim Clyburn should chauffeur Speaker Pelosi. Then he called President Obama‘s presidency graffiti on the walls of American history. And even mocked the way Reverend Sharpton speaks.
This kind of hate is nothing new for Limbaugh. And after all this, no punishment, no suspension, no fine, no sponsors pulled, nothing.
We‘re ramping up the pressure against this pathetic race-baiter.
For more, let‘s bring in radio talk host consultant Holland Cooke.
Holland, is he too big to fail? And could this be a defining moment? I‘ve never seen a conversation where you have got action-oriented groups and advocacy groups who are willing to come together and make a move on the industry.
What do you make of it?
HOLLAND COOKE, TALK RADIO CONSULTANT: He‘s begging for trouble. And he‘s not doing his radio stations any favor, because he can say whatever he wants on the radio and he doesn‘t have to answer the phone at the station.
Meanwhile, he‘s insulting Congressman Clyburn, whose daughter happens to be an FCC commissioner. But it‘s not a stretch to call him “too big to fail,” because few industries exemplify what‘s wrong with this economy better than radio.
Too much deregulation in the ‘90s resulted in crippling debt. And today, most local stations can‘t afford to do local programming.
So they‘re locked into imported programming off the satellite. It‘s baby-sitting. They plug and play. They don‘t even have to listen to Limbaugh. And often, they find out after the fact, when he‘s committed one of these faux pas.
SCHULTZ: The FCC normally doesn‘t get involved into the content unless it‘s really going against stated law, correct?
COOKE: Correct. And they really don‘t want to.
What he‘s putting at risk is local advertising business, because we‘ve seen the power of social media. And if Reverend Al and Joe Madison and others get going on Twitter and elsewhere, they could really play hob at a local station level that is not Rush Limbaugh‘s problem.
SCHULTZ: This is—
COOKE: He‘ll still get paid every week, and he doesn‘t have to answer the phone.
SCHULTZ: This is Congressman Clyburn on my radio show earlier today reacting to how he‘s been treated on the Limbaugh program.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
REP. JAMES CLYBURN (D-SC), MINORITY WHIP: I wear it as a badge of honor. I think that most people know who and what Rush Limbaugh is. He is not the first buffoon I know to go out and to make money by doing what I would call black face. That‘s what this is.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: It‘s racism to a lot of people, Holland. And it‘s going unchecked. And is this just the way talk radio is in America and it can‘t change?
COOKE: Hey, full disclosure, I wish Rush Limbaugh more success than he wishes President Obama for the simple reason that some of my clients are radio stations that Rush Limbaugh is on. And any radio station Rush Limbaugh is on would be better of without this angry, insulting, garbage mouth.
It‘s the dog whistle for people who have hate in their hearts. And it is not good radio programming.
COOKE: Now, admittedly, here we are talking about him on TV again. Who was it, P.T. Barnum who said there was no bad publicity? Why would you want to be known for this? There‘s just no upside?
SCHULTZ: Well, that‘s a good point, because Congressman Clyburn also made this point today on the program—that words have impact. Here it is.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
CLYBURN: We often wonder why it is that our children are having so much bullying going on in our schools. And there‘s a big problem with bullying. It‘s because children learn what they live. And people living with the Rush Limbaughs of the world, big bullies like that, they learn to go out and bully people.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Do you think there‘s a connection there?
COOKE: Hey, what‘s the message he sends with this “Driving Miss Nancy” insult and by spray-painting graffiti like it‘s the hood on Mt. Rushmore and attaching the president‘s face to that? This sends a message that is very divisive and hurtful.
SCHULTZ: Holland Cooke, great to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much.
Coming up, across the street, “Slant Head” Hannity must have bumped his head while driving in the Woods with W. He claims source are telling him President Obama is unhinged?
I‘m driving this liar straight into “The Zone” next. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, ooh, a great Friday edition.
Mr. Intellectual Honesty himself Sean Hannity, “Slant Head,” broke some inside info about President Obama‘s mental health on his radio show.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
SEAN HANNITY, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: The feeling among some people that are in the White House is this president is unhinged, that he‘s detached, that he‘s losing it, he‘s obsessed with critics, very specifically obsessed with Fox News. That, you know, he can‘t stand Biden, he hates the Clintons, the Clintons hate him.
About the only thing he‘s passionate about seems to be ESPN and playing golfing and playing some basketball. And I‘m telling you, my sources are reliable.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: And too bad he doesn‘t like chopping wood like your guy.
Hannity is a known liar who cooks up BS stories about President Obama on a daily basis.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Two hundred million dollars a day, 3,000 people. He needs the whole Taj Mahal hotel?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Less than two weeks removed from the attempted car bombing at Times Square, and guess what? President Obama has decided to slash anti-terror funding for New York City.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: The sole responsibility in this case, when it‘s an oil spill that‘s going to impact our fishing industry, our beaches, our shores, would be the federal government. The fact is they sat back for nine days and they did absolutely nothing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: As far as having reliable sources, Hannity isn‘t exactly Woodward and Bernstein, is he?
First of all, Bozell is a clown, Breitbart is a fabricator, and Sean‘s best friend, Rove, who‘s on the speed dial, is the biggest liar of them all.
For Hannity to pretend that he has some sort of inside information on President Obama is slanted “Psycho Talk.”
Coming up, “Caribou Barbie.” Well, she‘s reloading the race card. She‘s slamming Michelle Obama, the first lady, as un-American, and playing up her ties to a racist reverend?
The NAACP‘s Hilary Shelton rips into this one in “The Battleground” story. Stay with us.
And I can‘t believe that Rand Paul‘s stomper goon had the nerve to plead not guilty.
Buddy, let‘s go to the videotape. What am I seeing? Isn‘t that assault?
We‘re going to get “Rapid Fire Response” on this.
Plus, Alan Grayson puts on a show; Carville gets testy with the president; And “Daily Show” co-creator Lizz Winstead gives her take on, what did you do at the office today?
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. And the “Battleground” story tonight, Sarah Palin is attacking President Obama and the first lady over race. In her new book “America by Heart,” Palin recycles the same shameless, shameful race-baiting she used during the 2008 campaign. She writes, “President Obama seems to believe America, at least America as it currently exists, is a fundamentally unjust and unequal country. Certainly his wife expressed this view when she said during the 2008 campaign that she had never felt proud of her country until her husband started winning elections. In retrospect, I guess this shouldn‘t surprise us, since both of them spent almost two decades in the pews of Reverend Jeremiah Wright‘s church listening to his rants against America and white people.”
Wow. She wants to sell books. Every claim she mentions was debunked and discredited during her failed run with the maverick. Yet, she wraps herself in the flag while pushing the light president and the first lady are anti-American. There are people in the right wing in this country who had a rabid hatred for our first African-American president to justify it, they‘ve convinced themselves, that well it‘s not them, it‘s him the president. They‘re not racist. President Obama‘s a racist. They‘re not at war with black people. President Obama‘s at war with white people. It‘s twisted. It‘s sad that people actually believe this garbage. But it is absolutely disgusting for any opportunist like Sarah Palin to stroke—to stoke that kind of hate to inflate her ego, and of course her bank account.
For more let‘s bring in Hilary Shelton, the senior vice president for policy and advocacy at the NAACP. Mr. Shelton, good to have you on tonight.
HILARY SHELTON, PRESIDENT, NAACP: Good to be with you.
SCHULTZ: What is your response to what I just read and excerpt from her book?
SHELTON: Well, it‘s a sad petty politics of distraction and distortion from someone who couldn‘t even complete her term as governor of Alaska would come out trying to, rather than talk about the real problems and challenges of our society, pretend those problems and challenges don‘t exist. Because if you don‘t have problems and challenges, you don‘t have to have answers and solutions. Her book is one that does the kind of things that just cast dispersions on American people, including the first lady of the United States who enjoys a 65 percent approval rating by all of the American people regardless of race, and gender or ethnicity. It‘s a sad, petty politics of distraction and distortion.
SCHULTZ: I can‘t remember the last time a former candidate on a ticket and a potential candidate for president later on with all of the conversation that‘s going on, I can‘t remember anyone in that position ever attacking a first lady. So why now? What is it? Why is she playing the race card in your opinion?
SHELTON: Well, the only thing that I can see is she wants to sell books and continue to promote the fact that her book has no real solutions to address the real challenges and concerns of the American people. Especially the lower and middle class American people throughout our society. If you can keep people distracted by pointing to the first lady, of course, who so many Americans just absolutely love who‘s trying to address issues, like the obesity rate among America‘s children, health care for America‘s children and actually trying to make sure that we keep care of America‘s military families. Indeed, you see that she really has nothing else to talk about, so she‘s got to begin to point the fingers at everybody else, so we don‘t see quite frankly that the emperors has no close.
SCHULTZ: You see this mounting that‘s starting to grow against President Obama and now the first lady. You have this cartoon that Limbaugh had out there calling President Obama graffiti on American history and now you have Sarah Palin doing this kind of stuff. What should be the response from advocacy groups across country?
SHELTON: We need to expose it for exactly what it is. It‘s that petty politic of pushing the race card on the American people. Playing on old stereotypes and old images of African-Americans and others.
SCHULTZ: You think Sarah Palin has a problem with race?
SHELTON: Clearly she does. I mean, she seems to have a problem with so much else. Maybe it‘s because Rush is so close to her house. I‘m not sure what her problem is. But she clearly does not understand how race and ethnicity and other issues are part of the American fabric, and as we‘re tried to craft solutions, we have to analyze the challenges that are still part of our unfortunate history in our country.
SCHULTZ: Mr. Shelton, good to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much.
SHELTON: It‘s always great to be with you.
SCHULTZ: You bet.
Now, let‘s get some rapid-fire response from our panel on these stories. I‘ll get their response on Palin‘s recycled racism in her new book and her lame defenses at the excerpts were taken out of context.
The incoming republican chairman of the House and Transportation Committee says, we can fix invasive airport security screenings by privatizing the TSA. They just want to privatize everything, don‘t they?
And the Rand Paul supporter caught on camera stomping on the head of a female progressive outside a debate, well, what happened, well he‘s gone to court and he‘s pleaded guilty—not guilty. He‘s pleaded not guilty. It‘s shocking, isn‘t it?
With us tonight, Todd Webster democratic strategist and Heidi Harris conservative radio talk show host in Las Vegas. All right, what do you make, Heidi of Sarah Palin going down this road, playing the race card, claiming that the Obama‘s were in a pew, you know, claiming that Jeremiah Wright‘s not American and is a racist. What do you make of it? What is she going on this road?
HEIDI HARRIS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Well they were. They were, Jeremiah Wright‘s church for 20 years and they listened to what he said, his anti-American rants, his anti-white people rants. They listened to them. I don‘t know if they were in every single time he made the same statements that everybody saw many times on YouTube and things like that. But fact is they sat there in that congregation for all those years. If you don‘t agree with it, eventually you leave. Most people leave churches because they disagree with what‘s taught from the pulpit. Obama didn‘t do that until the pressure was on, he was running for office. I mean, that‘s a fact.
HARRIS: And that‘s not the whole focus of Sarah Palin‘s book, I‘m sure, I haven‘t read it yet but I‘m sure that‘s not in.
SCHULTZ: Does it seem to you, Heidi, like she‘s got a problem with race.
HARRIS: That Sarah Palin has a problem with race?
HARRIS: No, I don‘t think that Sarah Palin is but I think Michelle Obama has got a score to settle. That‘s what I see when I see Michelle Obama.
TODD WEBSTER, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Look, I think she—obviously she‘s trying to appeal it to a very small fringe minority of the conservative base that may have a problem—a problem with race and that may have some appeal to this. What astounds me is the intellectual disconnect here between on the one hand, conservatives are pushing the fact that this guy—our president is a Muslim, and on the other hand, they spent 20 years as a disciple in a UCC congregation. So, that fundamental disconnect of conservative pushing both of those story lines don‘t matchup. But for a long time, Sarah Palin talked about how family members and spouses were off limits that we should be focusing only on the candidates themselves and now she‘s coming out and selling a book and goes after.
SCHULTZ: What about that Heidi?
WEBSTER: .Michelle Obama who‘s got—Hilary Shelton said, a 65 percent approval rating. Sarah Palin, on the other hand, is stuck at 39 percent. So, I think Michelle Obama has a better chance of being our next president than Sarah Palin.
HARRIS: Well, Michelle Obama is not a child. I agree with Sarah Palin. You shouldn‘t go after the kids but look at how they‘re still going after Bristol Palin and America‘s basically given a finger to everybody her for on “Dancing with the Stars” which I love. Five million people tuned in to watch Sarah Palin‘s show last week. Everybody loves the Palins. You guys on the left can‘t stand it how much America loves the Palins.
WEBSTER: Thirty nine percent of the country support—approves of Sarah Palin. Fifty percent of a country disapproves of Sarah Palin.
HARRIS: It doesn‘t matter, you know, why? Because they all watch her. Everything that she says makes news.
SCHULTZ: Are you calling that program—are you calling in and voting for her?
HARRIS: You know what?
HARRIS: No. I‘m not voting for her.
(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)
WEBSTER: She‘s got all of her listeners calling in.
HARRIS: I love Bristol Palin. I think that she‘s a tough girl and I think it‘s great. I have not voted for her because I don‘t even know how to do it. I haven‘t figured out that texting.
SCHULTZ: Todd, I think she‘s voted for her. I think she‘s voted for her, Todd.
WEBSTER: She‘s got all of her listeners.
SCHULTZ: All right. Here we go. The republican chairman of the House Transportation Committee says that we can fix these problems at the airport. That we won‘t have any more pictures like this, where guy‘s working over another guy‘s crouched to make sure he‘s not going to blow up an airplane. OK? So, we‘ve got that. But it‘s privatizing it. How is privatization going to change anything at the airport, Heidi?
HARRIS: Well, I don‘t know if it will change a lot in the airport and the guy in Orlando who wants to do it, he said that he‘s not sure how much it will change but I don‘t think government makes anything better and I‘m not sure we‘re any safe with all these pat-downs.
SCHULTZ: Should we scrap the TSA?
HARRIS: Should we scrap the TSA? No, you know what I think, if it were a perfect world, I think the airline should each be responsible for their own security for their own passengers and I know that would be difficult to do logistically with people taking different airlines.
SCHULTZ: Yes, would it put them out of business.
HARRIS: I don‘t know if it would but I think it would be the best approach if you ask me, that‘s what I would like to see, Todd.
SCHULTZ: So you want privatization. Go ahead, Todd.
WEBSTER: Hang on a second. Heidi, we did that in this country for decades. We leased out or we bid out airline security to the lowest bidder, to the private contractors. And we had that system in place for decades until 2001, when 19 terrorists hijacked four airplanes and flew them into buildings.
WEBSTER: At that point, Congress stepped in and said, you know what, maybe private contractors, maybe the low bid system that we have in place for airline security is not the best way to protect and to secure our airlines.
HARRIS: I see.
WEBSTER: Let‘s have a professional and a federal workforce that will make sure that we screen these passengers and make sure that our flights are safe and secure.
HARRIS: Well, the brilliant people who were in charge of these things now led Abdulmutallab get on the plane in Amsterdam with no passport, paying cash and no luggage. Now, that will stop people a lot better than having naked pictures of me in bad light. That‘s the last thing I think we need. And I don‘t think it‘s making anybody safer.
SCHULTZ: OK. Let‘s go to the next subject and that of course is Rand Paul, his supporter, the stomper, Tim Profitt, has pleaded not guilty. Have you seen the videotape, Heidi?
HARRIS: Yes, I‘ve seen the videotape.
SCHULTZ: OK. What do you make—I mean, why doesn‘t he just say he‘s guilty and get it over with?
HARRIS: I don‘t know why wasn‘t that guy in Connecticut plead guilty to kill those woman, and you know, and the beating the husband half to death? I don‘t know, I mean, everybody pleads not guilty. Isn‘t that normally what people do here in America?
SCHULTZ: Well, his lawyer said that he was doing what he thought was necessary, Todd?
WEBSTER: No, I mean, look, ultimately a judges going to look at this, he‘s going to look at videotape. You know, where I come from, if you hit a woman and if you‘re a scumbag and a coward but I think what this point—what this case illustrates is the bigger problem that we have in this country with violent rhetoric encouraging and fomenting violence among some fragile supporters, probably on both sides, but this guy I think was doing what he thought he should do. He would be Charles Bronson and beat up and be a vigilante of this poor woman and I think that during the health care debate you saw the same thing. You saw Freedom Works and Dick Armey whipping up a frenzy and you saw a 300 percent increase in the number of death threats against members of Congress. So, I think that violent rhetoric does have real time consequences.
SCHULTZ: All right. Todd Webster, Heidi Harris, good to have you with us tonight, thanks so much.
WEBSTER: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, there is no better showman than Congressman Alan Grayson. He has 20,000 jars of Grey who plan to make a case against tax cuts for the rich. You don‘t want to miss this one, next. The man himself Alan Grayson joins us with the plan. Next with 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, are you happy that the Democrats are getting tougher with the Republicans? Text A for yes, text B for no to 622-639. Results coming up. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And in my “Playbook” tonight, over 15 million Americans are unemployed. Forty two million are on food stamps but for members of Congress, the party is just getting started. The past two years, the average personal wealth for congressional members, wants you to know, it‘s up 16 percent. All of the rich Republicans seem to care about is getting even richer. They don‘t give a damn about the unemployed or the middle class in this country. They care about one thing, extending the Bush tax cuts. Congressman Alan Grayson showed everyone what this greedy crowd is all about and how they want to use their extra cash. It‘s another Grayson classic.
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REP. ALAN GRAYSON (D), FLORIDA: Here‘s one possibility. They can buy an $83,000 Mercedes-Benz e-class car. Not just once, but every single year for the next decade. They can buy this gorgeous Hermes bag, a Birkin for $64,800. They can buy a bottle of wine from 1787 every year for the next decade. Thank you, Republican Party. They can buy 20,000 jars of their favorite mustard, Grey Poupon. Here‘s an idea, let‘s take that $100 billion and give three million Americans a job.
SCHULTZ: Joining us now is the congressman from Florida, Alan Grayson. Congressman, well done.
GRAYSON: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: What gave you the idea to do this? And sometimes we don‘t see the forest because of the trees. That was my response when I saw that.
GRAYSON: I think it‘s a modest proposal. President Roosevelt created four million new jobs in two months when the country needed it. Why can‘t we do the same thing? Are we so bent on giving the rich more money that we‘re blind to the needs of everyone else?
SCHULTZ: A significant number of members in Congress own major shares
they‘re major players in the health care industry. And financial services sector. You think that‘s a conflict of interest?
GRAYSON: Well, it is potentially. But the bottom line is that the—the vastly wealthy corporations in this country and the top one percent, the people who have an average income of $1.4 million each year, those people stand to get an $83,347 tax cut under the Republicans‘ plan and they own the Republican Party lock stock and barrel.
SCHULTZ: You don‘t believe that we‘re possibly raising taxes on the job creators, that‘s the bullet point wing nut on the right side bullet point that we hear all of the time. We‘re raising—you know, we‘re raising taxes on the job creators.
GRAYSON: That‘s sheer nonsense. If they have the ability to hire somebody and make money of that person‘s work, you can be sure they will. They would have done it already. The fundamental problem we have economically in this country is that the rich have almost all of the money and they‘re not spending it and that‘s why we end up with the government deficit as high as it is, because aggregate demand is too low in this country because almost everybody else in this country is broke. That‘s the problem.
SCHULTZ: So, what‘s going to happen with the tax cuts? What‘s going to happen with the budget in your opinion?
GRAYSON: Well, we‘ll see what happens. But it shouldn‘t surprise anybody that the government has to take drastic means in a country where a quarter of the population now has a negative net worth, where a quarter of the population owes more than it owns on its house. And we‘re desperate to just keep businesses running as it is. But what‘s going to happen with taxes is this, President Obama needs to tell the Republicans, it‘s my way or the highway. I have a veto pen. I was elected telling everybody in America exactly what was needed to be done. I won by 10 million votes, he should say, when I told America that I would not approve tax cuts from the rich any longer, that I would let them expire. The 2008 election happened. The Republicans have been pretending for two years, it didn‘t happen and this was not by any means in 2010 some kind of referendum on tax cut for the rich. Nobody wants tax cuts for the rich, except the rich.
SCHULTZ: Do you think the president will do what you just said?
GRAYSON: Oh, I don‘t know. I don‘t know. But I do know that that‘s what he needs to do. And frankly, if he does that, then Democrats and ordinary people will be proud of him. They‘ll be proud of the fact that he stood up to the special interest, stood up to the big corporations, stood up to the rich who want to make this country into an oligarchy.
SCHULTZ: Congressman, good to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much.
GRAYSON: Thank you too, Ed. Always a pleasure.
SCHULTZ: Couple of final pages on the “Playbook” tonight. Democratic strategist James Carville questioned President Obama‘s manhood in a meeting with reporters today. Take a look at this one.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Carville said, he was just repeating a joke and he‘s not sorry about it. And finally, now I‘ve seen some big-time chokes in my time but this one probably takes the cake. Over in Asia, the Asian games, the goalie for Uzbekistan left a net wide open for the guy from Qatar and check this out, the guy misses it. He misses it. That‘s a miss. I could have got that. Don‘t you think, Mike? Well, I‘ve never played soccer.
Coming up, I know the Tea Party whackos are behind some awful candidates, but what in the heck are they thinking voting for Bristol painfully bad dancing? We‘ve got a critique coming up. “Daily Show” co-creator Lizz Winstead brings the vast right wing conspiracy on to the dance floor. Next in “Club Ed,” stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. If it‘s Friday, it‘s time for “Club Ed” with “Daily Show” co-creator Lizz Winstead. Lizz, great to have you on, on a Friday again.
LIZZ WINSTEAD, “DAILY SHOW” CO-CREATOR: Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ: What do you think of this Palin million a dollar shot per show, reality show, huh?
WINSTEAD: Well, it‘s real exciting to watch her climb rocks and canoe with the bears and you know, I was sad, though, we didn‘t get to see the upstairs because her daughters‘ apparently were busy on a computer, you know making cost co-size gay slurs on Facebook. We didn‘t get to see that, but I don‘t know how she does it, you know, between her reality show and her book tour, you know, and just touring America is, you know, as the number one fear leader, something‘s got to give and I guess with Palin, the thing that had to give was her parenting.
SCHULTZ: And of course, she‘s got the race thing going now in her book. All right, Bristol dancing. Are they jamming the phone lines? What‘s happening here?
WINSTEAD: Well, did you watch it, Ed?
SCHULTZ: Is this just talent taking over?
WINSTEAD: OK, look at her dancing there. She has all of the grace of one of those mules you hire to go down into the Grand Canyon. She‘s horrifying. In fact, what I understand is that the TSA is actually using these tapes to show examples of nonsexual touching.
SCHULTZ: Speaking of the TSA, what do you make of this picture? I mean, isn‘t this kind of a rough day at the office?
SCHULTZ: What a way to start a morning, you‘ve got a 6:00 flight and wake up to this.
WINSTEAD: Every package, this suspicious package now. It‘s unbelievable. I mean, are they going to start passing out four locus too for people so they just black out and don‘t know what happened to them when they went through security? You know, this is what I think, Ed, if they‘re going to be rummaging around in my business, I think they should replace the TSA agents with OB/GYN. So, I can at least get government-paid for health care while I‘m going through the airport. It‘s a win-win.
SCHULTZ: And how about these START treaty? All of a sudden the Republicans, they don‘t want anything to do with that after the last three nuke agreements were under republican presidents and now of course that we‘ve got a democrat, they don‘t want anything to do with it.
WINSTEAD: Well, with this particular Congress, I think that they can‘t ratify the START Treaty because it would ruin their perfect record of voting stop on everything else.
SCHULTZ: Yes, it would. Lizz Winstead, you have got an annual show coming up, “Year in Review,” this is going to be at the Parkway Theater in Minneapolis.
WINSTEAD: New Year‘s eve. I do it every year. It‘s really fun in Minneapolis. And what a year. Whoa!
SCHULTZ: Yes, he got a lot of material.
WINSTEAD: I know.
SCHULTZ: There‘s no doubt about that. A lot of psycho talk going on out on there. Thanks, Lizz.
WINSTEAD: Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ: More information at lizzwinstead.com, check it out. I was there a year ago, it was fantastic.
Tonight, in our text survey question, I asked you, are happy that the Democrats are getting tougher with the Republicans? Ninety five percent of you said, yes. Five percent of you said, no.
That‘s THE ED SHOW. I‘m Ed Schultz. Have a great weekend. For more information on THE ED SHOW, go to ed.msnbc.com. Or check out our radio Web site at wegoted.com. You can blog with all of our stories there that we‘ve got for you and also, you could check out the radio show on XM 167. Channel 167, noon to 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Have a great weekend. We‘ll see you back here on Monday.
“HARDBALL” starts right now with Michael Smerconish filling in for Chris Matthews. We‘ll see you Monday.
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