updated 12/1/2010 1:50:35 PM ET 2010-12-01T18:50:35

Guests: Chris Van Hollen, Jon Tester, Mike Papantonio, Jim McDermott, Heidi

Harris, Laura Flanders, Eric Boehlert, Lynn Woolsey

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

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

Well, the liberal base, I would say they are stirred up tonight because they are fed up with President Obama trying to make so nice with the Republican Party and the Party of no.  I want to snap some of those olive branches tonight, and I think some folks will follow me. 

You won‘t believe the stuff that the president was saying after his bipartisan meeting today.  My commentary on that, plus reaction from Congressman Chris Van Hollen and Senator Jon Tester here in just a moment. 

Republican Congressman “Smoky Joe” Barton, well, he wants to reenact World War II.  He says he will play Patton, “The Tan Man” is going to be Eisenhower.  So, I ask, what does that make President Obama? 

Mike Papantonio will be here to sound off on that tonight. 

And the clock is ticking.  Just under six hours from now, 800,000 jobless Americans will be left out on their own with no help.  Someone needs to tell, I think, the greedy Republicans that this is the season for giving. 

Congressman Jim McDermott, he has been a champion on this issue.  I will ask him if there is anything the Congress can do before the clock strikes 12:00. 

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

President Obama, he just won‘t draw a line in the sand with the Republicans on any issue.  We have to get used to that I guess. 

The president broke out the olive branches again today during their 90-minute White House meeting with the Republican leadership.  And the president says he wants common ground, he wants to find common ground on the Bush tax cuts. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  Republican leaders want to permanently extend tax cuts not only to middle class families, but also to some of the wealthiest Americans at the same time.  And here we disagree.  And I continue to believe that it would be unwise and unfair, particularly at a time when we are contemplating deep budget cuts that require broad sacrifice. 

Having said that, we agreed that there must be some sensible common ground.  So I appointed my treasury secretary, Tim Geithner, and my budget director, Jack Lew, to work with representatives of both parties to break through this logjam. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  So, that‘s what the meeting produced? 

Now, judging from the listeners to my radio show, liberals feel like they have been sold out.  The people who put President Obama in office voted for a fighter, a guy who would never back down on the Bush tax cuts for millionaires. 

They voted for this guy --  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA:  Instead of working to find ways to relieve the burden on working people and the middle class, we have developed creative ways to remove the burden from the well off.  The numbers don‘t lie.  At a time when income inequality is growing sharper, the Bush tax cuts gave the wealthiest one percent of Americans a tax cut that was twice as large as the middle class. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  So, what‘s changed?  What‘s changed?  The Republicans take over the House?  That doesn‘t mean anything. 

If we‘re concerned about the fiscal stability of this country, there are some things that I think President Obama and his administration have to be unwavering on.  The base wants the president to show that he is a fighter again.  And I think a lot of liberals, like myself, you‘re not going to get a compromise out of these folks.  We did a compromise and we got a weaker health care bill.  The president, in my opinion, is skating on thin ice with his base if he doesn‘t put the hammer down on the tax cuts for millionaires. 

Now, Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, well, in a sense, they have the president right where they want him.  They put their cards on the table in today‘s “Washington Post” editorial page: “Republicans got the message voters have been delivering for more than a year.  That‘s why we made a pledge to America to cut spending, rein in government, and permanently extend the current tax rates so small business owners won‘t get hit with a massive tax hike at the end of December.  That‘s what Americans want.”

Hold the phone.  This election was not about the Bush tax cuts.  This election was all about the deficit, all about the budget.  And if you want to fix it, if the Republicans are serious about fixing it, then they are just going to have to bite the bullet for the top two percent. 

Now, the president has got to be kidding himself if he thinks that there is going to be any common ground on tax cuts with the Republicans.  We‘re supposed to believe Tim Geithner, now that he‘s in the game, he‘s going to come up with some sort of master plan after the Republicans have said—spent the last 23 months of saying no to absolutely everything?  I mean, this is borderline nuts. 

The Republicans are walking the president like a dog, and it pains me to say that.  But the liberal base, somewhere along the line, has to be heard. 

The president didn‘t fight back.  Instead, he took it out on what? 

The Washington spin cycle? 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA:  In a private meeting that I had without staff, you know, without betraying any confidences, I was pleased to see several of my friends in the room say let‘s try not to duplicate that.  Let‘s not try to work to work the Washington spin cycle.  I think that there was a sincere effort on the part of everybody involved to actually commit to work with together. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Cut me some slack.  There‘s a network across the street that is committed to President Obama‘s failure.  They depend on the Washington spin cycle and people saying negative stuff about President Obama. 

It ain‘t the spin cycle.  It‘s that Republicans will never compromise on tax cuts.  The American people the Republicans claim to represent want the Bush tax cuts for rich to end. 

Now, a new AP/NBC poll shows only 34 percent want to renew tax cuts for every American.  That‘s not a big number.  Fifty percent prefer extending the reductions only for those earning under $250,000 a year. 

So, Mr. President, the American people are with you.  They are on your side on this issue.  You just have to stand up to these folks. 

You‘re not accomplishing anything by going through some dog and pony show with the Republicans.  And to think that the Republicans are all of a sudden going to change their stripes after 23 months of saying no to everything and a record number of filibusters, I don‘t buy it. 

The Republicans will never back down.  They will never capitulate.  They want to make you a one-termer.  And the way to do this is to game you on tax cuts. 

And you might ask the question, well, just how determined are the Republicans on this issue?  In my lifetime, in your lifetime, they will never give up on this issue. 

You see, the top two percent is where they get their bread buttered—the sky box mentality, the country club.  And by the way, the corporate dopers won‘t allow it.

And after a record number of filibusters in the Senate and months of obstruction, we‘re supposed to, as liberals, say, gosh, you know, we really think these righties are all about cooperation?  All of a sudden in a lame duck?  No. 

And do you really think that the American people believe that a $700 billion new hole in the budget is going to be the answer to creating jobs in America?  It seems to me like common senses has left the building for the Democrats. 

OK, olive branches.  We get it. 

Now we‘re at a point to get the chainsaw out, as I said last week. 

Who has it? 

This is frustrating.  And I am making a prediction to you that the president is going to lose more than the base if he shows he can‘t stand up for what he really believes in. 

He has to stand strong on this issue, in my opinion. 

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

My question tonight is: Do you believe the Republicans really want to work with this president?  Press the number 1 for he yes, press the number 2 for no.  We‘ll bring you the results later on in the show.

The thing that makes it such a big story is the Democrats still have the majority. 

Joining me now is Congressman Chris Van Hollen, an assistant to the House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi. 

Congressman, good to have you with us tonight. 

REP. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN (D), ASSISTANT TO THE SPEAKER:  It‘s good to be back, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  You can disagree with me all you want.  I have said my peace. 

I do want to know—you want to vote on middle class tax cuts.  You said that that‘s going to happen this week.  Does today‘s meeting change anything? 

VAN HOLLEN:  It doesn‘t change that, Ed. 

Look, I think the president was right to sit down with Republican colleagues and say that he was looking for common ground, but I think it‘s also important to remember exactly what you‘ve said, which is he is sitting down across the table from some folks who have said that their number one priority is not jobs, is not getting the deficit under control.  Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican Leader, said his number one priority is defeating President Obama. 

And in the House just a short while ago, all the Republicans—not all, but almost all—voted against extending unemployment compensation for people who are out of work through no fault of their own.  And that failed in the House because we didn‘t get the Republican votes to get the vote we needed. 

So, it‘s important to remember what we‘re facing here. 

Now, in the House this week—and I hope it will be this week—we do intend to take up a bill that will provide permanent middle class tax relief and make sure that we do not have the $700 billion deficits in order to provide a tax cut for the folks at the very top, which, of course is what our Republican colleagues say they want.  At the same time they say they want deficit reduction, they say, hey, let‘s provide another tax break to the folks at the very top.  And so this vote on Thursday—I hope it will be Thursday, but it will be some time this week, I believe—will provide a very clear choice. 

Number one, do you want to provide permanent middle class tax relief?  If you do, vote yes.  And if you don‘t want to add $700 billion to the deficit to provide tax breaks for the folks at the very top, you vote yes as well.

SCHULTZ:  Congressman, you say it well.  It‘s going to be one vote, and that‘s the way it‘s going to go?  There‘s not going to be a long series of votes and conditions and everything else.  You‘re either for the middle class or you‘re not.

Correct?

VAN HOLLEN:  That‘s correct.  Again, Ed, everything around here can be subject to change.

SCHULTZ:  Yes.

VAN HOLLEN:  But that‘s what I think should happen and that‘s what I believe will happen.

SCHULTZ:  Is the president wishful thinking when he says that the thinks there could be some compromise?  And do you think the Republicans are honest brokers?

VAN HOLLEN:  Well, look, given what Republicans have said their priority is—and we‘ve already talked about what Mitch McConnell said his priority is—I think it‘s hard to believe that they‘re going to be willing to come to a reasonable compromise.

SCHULTZ:  It‘s wishful thinking.

VAN HOLLEN:  That being said, I think the president is right to make the effort.  But the issue, as you said, Ed, is, if it‘s very clear that people are not making a serious effort, then you‘ve got to be willing to blow the whistle.

SCHULTZ:  Yes.

Congressman, good to have you with us tonight.  Thanks so much.

VAN HOLLEN:  Good to be with you.

SCHULTZ:  You‘re spot on, and I appreciate you working with us.

VAN HOLLEN:  Good to be with you, Ed.  Thanks.

SCHULTZ:  Let‘s go now over to the Senate side.  Montana Senator Jon Tester is with us tonight, here on THE ED SHOW.

Senator, good to have you with us.

From your perspective, is there anything that the Republicans have done that would lead you to believe that maybe this is a new turn in this lame duck, that they‘re going to be honest brokers on the tax issue? 

Senator, what do you think? 

SEN. JON TESTER (D), MONTANA:  Well, Ed, I mean, I feel a frustration.  I think everybody feels a frustration here.  And everybody has talked about what this election—what messages were sent by this election. 

I think the voters did send some messages—address the debt, address the issues around jobs.  And I also think they sent the message to work together.  I think you have to—you know, you have to stick out a hand and hope a hand reaches back to you to work together to find common ground. 

Have I seen anything that‘s happened over the last two years that will make me think things will change?  Not really.  But the fact is, is that we have got a new—the election is over with, we are on the cusp of a new Congress.  And hopefully, folks will give the middle class tax breaks and address the debt issue, too, and I think we can do both with a vote hopefully coming up this week. 

SCHULTZ:  In the Senate, your colleague, Max Baucus, from the same state, Montana, is putting together an 11th hour proposal to extend the unemployment benefits for, you know, millions of Americans.  A vote on unanimous consent. 

Is that going to happen this week? 

TESTER:  I really don‘t know.  This is the first I have heard about it, is right now, Ed.  I think everybody‘s fully aware of the unemployment benefits running out tonight, and we‘ll see.  I mean it has to—it pretty much has to happen tonight if we‘re going to get it done.

SCHULTZ:  But with that vote in the House today, Senator, and nothing happening in the Senate, 800,000 more Americans are going to get bad news at midnight. 

TESTER:  Yes, I know, and we don‘t want to pull the rug out from anybody, that‘s for darn sure.  So, I mean, that‘s the deal. 

I mean, the deal is, Ed, there is a lot of big issues that face this country.  If obstruction continues in the Senate, we don‘t get the opportunity to address those issues, whether that‘s jobs, or whether that‘s the debt, or whether it‘s a number of issues—START treaty or whatever. 

SCHULTZ:  And I know you‘ve worked on this.  The food safety bill passed today.  Why is this a big thing?  Is this fighting terrorists on our ground? 

TESTER:  Well, I think, ultimately, it‘s a big thing because if you want to talk about working together, we worked together and got this bill passed.  I mean, Democrats and Republicans worked together and got this done.  That‘s a good place to start.

And this is a bill where consumers win, small processors win, small farmers wins.  I think the food industry wins and it makes food safer.  So it is a win/win/win deal all the way around. 

SCHULTZ:  Speaking of food, could I reach out to you for a steak dinner?  Because being the former voice of the Bison, North Dakota State playing Montana State this weekend and a very jolly fashion, Senator.  I have to tell you, your team is going down. 

(LAUGHTER)

TESTER:  Well, I just—

SCHULTZ:  And I‘ll take the steak. 

TESTER:  I just—well, we‘ll do that steak, and we‘ll either do it in North Dakota or Montana, either place, because that‘s where they‘ve got the good ones with.  But I‘ve got to disagree with you.  I think the Cats are going to whip the Bison.

SCHULTZ:  All right.

Senator, good to have you with us tonight.

TESTER:  Absolutely.

SCHULTZ:  Happy holidays.  We‘ll do it again.

Coming up, false prophet Glenn Beck says he and his colleague over on Fox, they don‘t make anything up.  He might get coal in his Christmas stocking for this one. 

“Smoky Joe” Barton—the congressman firing off some “Psycho Talk.”  He just compared World War II to the Republicans‘ battle with the president.  In his eyes, he is Patton.  Who does that make President Obama?  Just asking the question. 

Radio talk show host Mike Papantonio hammers away on Barton next on that. 

Plus, W. gets shameless; Mark Foley misses the page program, and he wants to come back.  And, of course, Chris Christie, it‘s payback time for you, big guy. 

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

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

“Smoky Joe” Barton, I guess you could say, is on the warpath.  The guy who apologized to BP is now fighting to be the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee when the Republicans take over in January.  And he‘s letting his ambition go right to his head. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOE BARTON ®, TEXAS:  If given an opportunity to be chairman—and I will be a candidate to be chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee—you know, Speaker Boehner will be the Eisenhower and Chairman Barton will be the Patton. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  OK.  Barton‘s grandstanding continued today while he was trying to convince Republicans to let him run the Energy Committee. 

Check this closing argument.  The last page of his presentation, under the title “What‘s in Store for the Obama Administration?” Barton says, “Speaker Boehner is our Dwight Eisenhower in the battle against the Obama administration.  Majority Leader Cantor will be our Omar Bradley.  I want to be George Patton.  Put anything in my scope and I will shoot it.” 

This is an awfully sad and pathetic and desperate path for a United States congressman to take, don‘t you think?  But this is the level of discourse when they‘re trying to rev up their own base.

For more, let‘s bring in Mike Papantonio, host of the nationally syndicated “Ring of Fire” radio show. 

I have to say, I have never heard these analogies before, but what does this make President Obama?  Does this coincide with the Hitler signs we saw out there at the Tea Party rallies?  What do you think, Mike?

MIKE PAPANTONIO, HOST, “RING OF FIRE”:  I think that‘s what he‘s trying to say.  Truthfully, the only thing that Barton has in common with Patton is this over sense of self-importance. 

Barton, it‘s an odd analogy for many reasons.  But first of all, because Barton always chose to avoid the military. 

He ran away from Vietnam, Ed.  He ran away from the Gulf wars.  He ran away from—every time he had a chance to serve, he ran away.  So he‘s not exactly cut with the courage of a military general.

In that delusional analogy that he gives us, in his pitch piece he sent around to GOP pals all over Congress, he tells them that he is going to be the Patton that destroys Obama.  And as you point out, Boehner is going to be the Dwight D. Eisenhower. 

Now, people don‘t know this about Boehner, but he tried to be a soldier.  Boehner tried to be a soldier.  In fact, he lasted three weeks in training and he was asked to leave.  He said he couldn‘t cut it, basically.  So if he is going to put an army together, he is going to have to do better than Cantor and Boehner and himself. 

Look, this is the same crazy Joe who just last month, compared himself to Davy Crockett.  You might remember that. 

He said he was going to be the Davy Crockett at Alamo.  Nobody told him along the way that Davy Crockett lost that battle in Mexico. 

(LAUGHTER)

PAPANTONIO:  So, this is an odd—this is an odd character.  And every time crazy Joe opens his mouth, we hear something odd like this. 

Don‘t forget this too, Ed.  This was Tom DeLay‘s right-hand guy in Texas.  They both came into Congress the same time. 

He was the go-to guy for Tom DeLay.  Every time Tom DeLay wanted a pro-industry, pro-Wall Street bill that made Americans the victims, he would go to Joe Barton, the same Joe Barton who apologized, as you pointed out, to BP after BP killed 11 people and put $300 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico.  Barton apologized to them. 

SCHULTZ:  Do you think that other members of Congress are going to eat this vernacular up, that they are just going to love this kind of talk?  I mean, he talks about it over at the Heritage center.  OK, he might have gotten carried away a little bit in his own way, but then he comes out and he puts it in his presentation as this is how we‘re going to treat the Obama administration. 

I think it‘s way over the top.  It‘s elementary, is what it is.  He doesn‘t respect the people he represents. 

PAPANTONIO:  Ed, I think if you really drill down on the story on Joe Barton, I think his colleagues think he‘s an oddball.  If you think back on the BP statement, his colleagues distanced themselves like they couldn‘t run away fast enough.  So, this is a guy who, time after time, his colleagues know if it comes out of Joe Barton‘s mouth, it‘s crazy, it‘s Texas crazy.  It‘s Tom DeLay Texas crazy, and they try to run away from it. 

SCHULTZ:  Mike Papantonio, always a pleasure tonight.  I wonder what George Patton would have thought to have a guy like Barton say that he wants to be like him after dodging the military? 

Judging from the movie back in the early 1970s, I don‘t think Patton would have gotten along with that one too much. 

Good to have you with us, Mike. 

PAPANTONIO:  Thanks.

SCHULTZ:  Coming up, George W. is so desperate to sell his memoir, he is hawking it on Facebook.  His status should read “Shameless promotion on the Internets.”  His cyber “Psycho Talk” lands him in “The Zone,” next. 

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, former President George W.  Bush still out there trying to sell his memoir.  Yesterday, he finally figured out the Internets and participated in a live video chat on Facebook. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You were just talking to us here at Facebook and all the users who are tuned into this.  Why Facebook? 

GEORGE W. BUSH, FMR. PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  Because you got a lot of people paying attention to us, and I‘m trying to sell books. 

(LAUGHTER)

BUSH:  The truth of the matter is, I‘m shamelessly marketing.  I hope people read my book. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Well, at least he‘s up front about it.

The real psycho part unfolded later on when Bush was asked about the recent WikiLeaks dump of classified State Department information. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH:  The leaks are very damaging, ,and people who leak ought to be prosecuted. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  People that leak ought to be prosecuted?  Really? 

He didn‘t feel quite that strong about the folks in his administration who endangered American lives by leaking the name of a covert CIA officer named Valerie Plame.  Only one guy went down for that, Dick Cheney chief of staff, Scooter Libby, and then Bush commuted his sentence. 

And just recently, Bush praised the convicted felon. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH:  Scooter is a loyal American who worked for Vice President Cheney, who got caught up in this Valerie Plame case and was indicted and convicted.  And I chose to commute his sentence.  I felt he had paid enough of a penalty. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Enough said. 

For George W. Bush to rail against people who leak information after letting Scooter Libby off the hook is dangerously hypocritical “Psycho Talk.”  

Coming up, millions of jobless Americans will be left out in the cold this holiday season.  Just hours from now, they will have nothing, thanks to a bunch of greedy Republican scrooges. 

Congressman Jim McDermott, one of the biggest fighters for the unemployed, sounds off in “The Battleground” story tonight. 

Darrell Issa‘s witch-hunt against the Obama administration kicked off today with a face-to-face showdown meeting with Vice President Joe Biden.  I will get “Rapid Fire Response” on that. 

Plus, a major breakthrough on gays serving in the military; Christine O‘Donnell is cheering for Hillary in 2012; and Chris Christie has to crack open his piggybank. 

You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. 

Stay with us.  We‘re right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.  “Battleground” story tonight, well, here it is, 800,000 jobless Americans will be left out in the cold as of midnight tonight, no financial support.  That is when the federal unemployment benefits extension will expire, which will cut off help to 800,000 Americans by the by the end of next month, it would be 200 -- excuse me, 2 million Americans at the end of next month.  The numbers are 800,000 tonight and another tier is going to lose at the end of December, which would be 2 million. 

Numbers, real numbers, real people, real families.  These folks will head into the holiday season not knowing if they are going able to make rent, put food on the table, buy a Christmas present for their kid.  The list, it goes on and on.  Republicans are blocking a benefits extension as they cry about how billionaires need more tax cuts.  It really is disgusting, there‘s no evidence out there saying that these tax cuts, this tax rate staying in place is going to increase the job market at all.  The average unemployment check, keep in mind is a meager $290 a week.  That‘s chump change, isn‘t it to this country, when you think about Iraq and Afghanistan?

But it could mean the world to a family facing desperate times.  The word dignity keeps popping up in my head.  Well, the Republicans need to get their heads screwed on right, get their head out of the sand and see what‘s happening in this country.  Right now, unemployed offices are being that‘s right, security guards are showing up to help deal with distraught people who are being left out and being left behind.  So, they are nervous, calling security out to unemployment officers because they know how the people are going to react but Congress wouldn‘t do anything about it.  The nation‘s largest food bank, oh, yes, that network says, it‘s bracing for an influx of people once these benefits run out.  

And by the way, the food pantries in America, if you want to help in your community, in your backyard, just call your food pantry and ask them if they need anything.  They are short all over the country and I just don‘t think that the Republicans get that.  They say jobless Americans are choosing not to work. Yes, they like sitting on the couch, you know?  That they like to just live large on the $290 a week, suck off the government.   These reverse Robin Hoods want to take the most from the people who have the least.  This is the new America, while continuing to protect and defend their rich cronies.  It is the sky box mentality.  It is not what‘s happening down on the field.  It‘s not what is happening on the goal, it is what is happening up in the sky boxes.  

Joining me now is Congressman Jim McDermott, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, he‘s the chair of the sub-committee on Income Security and Family Support and sponsored a bill to extend unemployment benefits.  I can‘t let the story go.  We‘ve had you on before, but now we are in the in 11 hour, 800,000 more people are going to lose their benefits tonight.  The Congress said nothing today, is that correct?

REP. JIM MCDERMOTT (D), WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE:  That‘s it.  And the president had that meeting with them.  He keeps making the same diagnostic error.  He thinks that you can shame the Republicans.  They have no ability to be shamed by children without food or being thrown out of their homes or all the problems that come with unemployment.  And so, it‘s wasting your time doing that.  The second thing is you have got to stop negotiating with yourself.  Make them put something on the table.  If they want to put something on the table, it is never going to pass.  The president can‘t pass a law, it has to be passed by the Congress.  The Democrats have put bills out there, it‘s been turned down by the Republicans.  We may have are to go through two million people without anything at Christmas time.  When people figure out what these people are really all about.  The Republicans do not care.  

SCHULTZ:  And the president doesn‘t seem to push the hard line.  Why does he have to turn to Geithner?  Why does he have to turn to his budget director?  Why can‘t the president just say, this is what we are going to do?  The tax cuts are going to expire for everybody but we are going do something for the middle class.  Are you in or are you out?  Why doesn‘t he do that?

MCDERMOTT:  I have no idea.  Sending Tim Geithner out to solve this problem, he is the guy that caused it, among other people, on Wall Street.  And for those who have made all the money on Wall Street to say, go out and solve it for the people that you put out on the street without anything is simply—I can‘t think of a more unlikely person to come up with a solution to this problem because they come back and say, well, I tell you what, we will give two months of unemployment benefits and two years of tax breaks to the rich, that is a pretty good deal, isn‘t it?  And that kind of deal is not going to work, it‘s not going to get my vote.  

SCHULTZ:  The thing that is so damaging politically here congressman, and correct me if I am wrong, is the Democrats can do this?  They have the majority in the House, OK and in the Senate, instead of the president using his political capital going over and twisting some arms trying to get some votes in the Senate, he is meeting with the Republicans saying, you know, everything is on the table and I have commissioned a couple of guys to go figure this thing out with you guys, when we know all along that the Republicans are not going to—they are going to be unwavering on this.  They will not capitulate on the top two percent.  The corporate money won‘t allow them to do it.  Am I right or wrong?

MCDERMOTT:  That‘s what Eric Cantor said today.  He is going to be the majority leader in the next Congress and he said, we will vote down a tax reduction for everybody if is it is just for the middle class, it has to include the people at the top.  So, he‘s already set the stage and there is no negotiating with a guy who makes a first and final offer.  He said, that‘s it, there is nothing on the table except take care of the rich.  And that‘s what their first priority is, it‘s their second priority.  It‘s their third priority and it is their fourth priority.  They do not care about the unemployed in this country. 

SCHULTZ:  Well, the numbers are very clear.  For every dollar that is spent on federal unemployment benefits, it leads to $2 in economic activity.  These are—this is a composite study by the Labor Department and so, what is happening tonight and what‘s going to happen for another two million at the end of December means that 2011 for a good majority of Americans, I mean, we are talking about 20 million Americans that are affected by this.  We now go into the heartless age of American history.  We now are writing a new chapter.  We have never done this before.  We have never denied benefits at an unemployment rate at this level.  

MCDERMOTT:  These guys act as if they have never read the story of the Good Samaritan. 

SCHULTZ:  They haven‘t. 

MCDERMOTT:  They walk by people and ignore them, laying there in the street with nothing.  Not because they are lazy or because they didn‘t try but because Wall Street screwed up the economy and they lost their job. 

SCHULTZ:  Congressman Jim McDermott, we have had you on the program numerous times talking about this.  I want to thank you for not giving up on the story.  I want to thank you for doing as much as you possibly can and we should mention tonight, what we are talking about doesn‘t even include the 99ers.  

MCDERMOTT:  No. 

SCHULTZ:  It doesn‘t include the 99ers.  And it is horrible.  And we know that during the holidays it is a tough time for a lot of Americans.  Depression sets in, people do desperate things and I think the fact that in Mitch McConnell‘s home state of Kentucky, they are arming the unemployment officers speaks volumes.  They know exactly how people are going to react to this, they know the hurt that they are doing but they just can‘t let their sky box mentality go, they got to take care of the top two percent.  If I may say it, it sucks!

MCDERMOTT:  They can‘t be shamed.  

SCHULTZ:  Good to have you with us tonight, sir.  Thank you. 

Now, let‘s get some rapid fire from our panel on these stories, a watershed moment for both, “Don‘t Ask, Don‘t Tell.”  The pentagon released an internal report today that says, the majority of the military personnel support repeal.  The military, the American people and the Democrats all support repeal.  The only obstacle, as usual, is the Republicans. 

And incoming house oversight Chairman Darrell Issa met with Vice President Joe Biden today to talk about his plans to investigate where the stimulus dollars went. 

With us tonight, Laura Flanders, host of Grit TV and editor of the book “At The Tea Party” and Heidi Harris, radio talk show host out of Las Vegas, great to have both of you with us tonight.  Don‘t Ask, Don‘t Tell.  Heidi, the report comes out, the military wants it, they are OK with it, it will not disable our forces at all, they can make the transition, why are the Republicans against it at this point?

HEIDI HARRIS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  Who said the military want it is?  I know there have been studies done and there have been polls taken and some people are OK with it and some people are not.   Ask the Marine Corps, they are not OK with it. 

SCHULTZ:  Since you asked that question, I‘ll this sound bite for you. 

Here is Defense Secretary Robert Gates today talking about it. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERT GATES, DEFENSE SECRETARY:  The findings suggest that for large segments of the military, repeal of “Don‘t Ask, Don‘t Tell,” though potentially disruptive in the short term would not be the wrenching, dramatic change many feared and predicted.  Now that we have completed this review, I strongly urge the Senate to pass this legislation and send it to the president for signature before the end of this year. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Heidi, respond to that.

HARRIS:  Well, I don‘t think it is a good idea to do “Don‘t Ask, Don‘t Tell” to repeal it.  I don‘t think it benefits the military.  Why we need to do this?  The military is not a place for social experimentation.   Everybody looks the same.  Everybody dresses the same.  Everybody marches the same, there is uniformity.   You are not going to have that if people are walking around talking about where they spend the night.  I don‘t understand why your sex life has to come into play.  I joke on my show. 

LAURA FLANDERS, AUTHOR, “AT THE TEA PARTY”:  Exactly.

HARRIS:  No, I joke on my show about it.

FLANDERS:  What year are we in?  What year are we in, Ed?  I‘m ticking my clock here.  Is it the 1950s that we‘re in here, social experiments? 

HARRIS:  You know what, I don‘t care.

FLANDERS:  Come on now.

HARRIS:  Why should I hear about what you‘re saying tonight?  Why is that an issue?

FLANDERS:  This is your chance now for people like Heidi and the Republicans still holding out in the Senate, really out of the House it is just noise.  To say, you know, this is your chance to ask and our chance to ask and your chance to tell, there is no cover for you any longer.  There is no reason for you to oppose equality in the military.  You get pick, which military slogan are you for?  Are you be all that you can be kind of slogan, the military needs all the good people it can have or are you the party of one?  You are going to hold out, army of one against the good sense and the professional opinion of every military leader?

HARRIS:  The military has no problem. 

SCHULTZ:  You know, Laura and Heidi, this is the sound bite that I think America has been waiting for.  This is the head of the joint chief of staff, this is Admiral Mike Mullen.  Here it is.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ADM. MIKE MULLEN, JOINT CHIEFS CHAIRMAN:  My perspective is, as what I would call my—certainly was my personal opinion is now my professional view, that this is a policy change that we can make and we can do it in a relatively low-risk fashion. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  OK.  Let‘s see what happens.  Let‘s talk now about Darrell Issa.  Heidi, Darrell Issa going after the Obama administration.  Is the Obama administration showing respect to the incoming chairman on the House and Government Committee on oversight, meeting would with Joe Biden, what do you think?

HARRIS:  I think it‘s a good idea.  I want to know where the money is.  You know, just in Nevada here, there was $100 million supposedly coming to the state to help people stay in their homes.  I went on the Web site the other day for the organization that‘s supposed to do that.  They clearly said, they are not even taking applications.  Where did that $100 million go?  Nobody even knows.  

SCHULTZ:  Laura, is this a witch hunt?

FLANDERS:  You know, what, Ed, it is about transparency, transparency.  What is transparently clear is there is not enough stimulus gone yet and really what we are going to find out in this process is that these all about power, obsessed power grabbers on the GOP side are about bringing one guy down.  That is Barack Obama. 

SCHULTZ:  Laura Flanders, Heidi Harris, great to have you with us tonight.  Great panel. 

Coming up, the Beckster is going psycho again.  He‘s insisting that he never makes stuff up and swears his fellow FOXers, always tell the time truth, too.  Well, we will break it down coming up here at the “Playbook.”  Stay with us.                

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  And it‘s not too late to let us know what you think.  The number to dial is 1-877-ed-msnbc.  Tonight‘s telephone survey question is, do you believe the Republicans really want to work with President Obama?  Press the number one for yes, press the number two for no.  Again, the number to dial is-1-877-ed-msnbc.  We‘ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  And in my “Playbook” tonight, we all know FOX News lies, what is shocking is that they keep insisting, well, they don‘t.  Here is Glenn Beck on his show yesterday.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GLENN BECK, FOX NEWS ANCHOR:  I would ask to you just take a moment here.  Do you really believe that I could or anybody here at FOX News could just make things up and remain on the air?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Damn straight.  I really believe it, because that‘s what you guys do all the time, in fact, not only a half hour after saying, he couldn‘t get away with making stuff up, the Beckster did it again. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BECK:  The SEIU‘s then President Andy Stern, the most frequent visitor to the White House, by far, who pushed for the tactic known as deem and pass.  That gave the final passage of Obama-care. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Really?  Here‘s the problem.  Congress didn‘t use deem and pass on the health care bill and all Beck had to do was check his own company‘s Web site to get the facts, I think.  FOX News.com reported it on March 20th with the headline “House Opts Against Deeming Health Care Bill Passed.”  Get it?  Of course, that‘s not the worst lie we‘ve ever heard on FOX News.  It is not even the worst lie we‘ve ever heard them tell about health care. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL O‘REILLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR:  We researched to find out if anybody on FOX News had ever said you are going to jail if you don‘t buy health insurance.   Nobody‘s ever said it. 

BECK:  If you don‘t get into their government health care, there will be jail time. 

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR:  Penalties for people who don‘t get government-mandated health insurance, jail time be, possibility?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN:  You actually can go to jail. 

UNIDENTIFIED MAN:  Puts people in jail. 

ANDREW NAPOLITANO, HOST, “FREEDOM WATCH”:  Put you in jail. 

BECK:  You‘re going to be looking at a fun little stint in jail. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  It‘s like taking candy from a baby sometimes.  And of course, Roger Ailes let his people get away with all of it. 

For more, let‘s bring in Eric Boehlert, senior fellow, Media Matters

for America.  Great to have you with us for tonight.  Are there any other -

what is the most egregious lie that they have ever told?  What really sticks out in your mind?

ERIC BOEHLERT, MEDIA MATTERS FOR AMERICA:  It‘s really not possible.  I mean, just look at that the jail time.  I mean it is very nostalgic.  I had completely forgotten about that and yet it was a daily, weekly drumbeat, just a pure lie.  This is the game Beck plays now, he says, well, how could I be on the air if I‘m telling a lie and it is comical, this notion that, you know, Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch are standing over his shoulder in fact checking his script.  Look, they have made every indication that they want him to be a chronic fabricator, they want him to be a chronic liar, because that‘s what FOX News does now.  I mean, look, he used to have a show on CNN, nobody cared about, this totally forgettable show.  Why?  Because he had to adhere to a certain standard.  And if you can‘t smear people and he can‘t lie, he has got nothing to sell, that‘s all he does.  

SCHULTZ:  Here is the montage of FOX News hosts lying about President Obama. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN:  He was raised a Muslim.  Barack Obama raised as a Muslim. 

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN:  Apparently when he was a young boy, he attended a Muslim school, a Madrasah. 

BECK:  This president I think has exposed himself as a guy over and over and over again who has a deep-seeded hatred for white people. 

UNIDENTIFIED MAN:  What‘s Obama about to do?  Go on a trip to India that will cost $200 million.  That‘s 200 million per day. 

HANNITY:  $200 million a day?

BECK:  It could cost up to $2 billion to make sure he is safe?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  I‘ll tell you, Eric.  They are just always restoring honor aren‘t they?

BOEHLERT:  It is, Ed.  And that two billion, I mean, if you thought about it for ten seconds, it made no sense.  It doesn‘t have to make sense.  They prefer if it doesn‘t make sense.  All it is sort of—it‘s FOX News, it‘s sort of this avalanche of lies at this point.  And again, Beck runs around saying, well, if I‘m lying, I can‘t be on the air.  Give me a break, they reward him for lying, they reward him for smearing people.  It says, FOX News in the title.  It has got nothing to do with FOX News, there are no standards and they can do whatever they want, unfortunately. 

Eric Boehlert, great to have you with us.  Thanks so much.  

SCHULTZ:  Final pages tonight, the “Playbook” disgraced former Congressman Mark Foley is thinking about making a political comeback, he is reportedly interested in a run for mayor in West Palm Beach.  We all remember Foley was forced to step down four years ago for sending sexual messages to young male pages.  I don‘t know, maybe he misses them.  

And it‘s payback time for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.  The Federal government gave Christie until December 24th to return $271 million it spent on that canceled Hudson River tunnel.  Christie stopped the project last month even though it would have created thousands of jobs.  He says, taxpayers couldn‘t afford it, I think it is one of the worst political decisions of all time. 

Coming up, after today‘s dog and pony show at the White House, I want all the talk of compromise to just end.  Mr. President, no more meetings, no more olive branches, enough is enough.  Progressive congresswoman Lynn Woolsey has been shouting just say no for years.  Her advice for the president is coming up next here on THE ED SHOW.  Stay with us. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.  And finally tonight, forget the olive branches and bipartisan summits.   Progressives say, President Obama is learning all the wrong lessons from the midterm elections.  The co-chair of the progressive caucus, Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey put it bluntly saying, quote, if the president had done less compromising in the last two years, there is a good chance we would have had a better jobs bill that would have been created real jobs and then we wouldn‘t even be worrying about having lost elections. 

Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey joins us now.  On the heels of today‘s meeting and what unfolded afterwards, the comments, do you feel any different congresswoman?

REP. LYNN WOOLSEY (D), PROGRESSIVE CAUCUS CO-CHAIR:  No, I don‘t feel any different.  I would encourage the president at every turn to be as bold as he promised when he ran for election two years ago and to take that boldness and don‘t expect any compromise from the Republicans.  

SCHULTZ:  Do you think he has got a serious problem with his base?

WOOLSEY:  No, they still love him but they say, Mr. President, we want you to stand up for what we know you believe in.  And we will support you through that.  And his base in the House, I mean, the progressive caucus only lost four of our members, we wouldn‘t have if we had been bolder, I‘m sure of that.  The black caucus lost no members.  In fact, they have gained members.  So, we are his base.  We represent his base.  And we are going to do everything we can to represent that base and work with the president. 

SCHULTZ:  So, what do you do to get him to push harder against the tax cuts for the top two percent?  I mean, they are not going to give up on that?

WOOLSEY:  Well, then maybe we represent a large majority of the Democratic Party of elected Democrats in the House, like with the nutrition, the child nutrition bill that‘s coming up.  We held back and we weren‘t going to vote for it until we could hear from the president, how he was going to back pay the. 

SCHULTZ:  There‘s a lot of work to be done.  There‘s no doubt about it. 

WOOLSEY:  Food stamps and he is there.  He is with us.  He told us. 

And that‘s what we have to do.  

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

Tonight in our telephone survey, I asked, do you believe the Republicans really want to work with President Obama?  Two percent of you said yes.  Ninety eight percent of you said no. 

That‘s THE ED SHOW.  I‘m Ed Schultz.  “HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews starts right now and they are lighting the Christmas tree here at 30 Rock in New York City.  Look at all those people.  I won‘t get home until 11:00 tonight.  Well, Chris, you‘ve got it next on “HARDBALL.”  We will see you tomorrow night.

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