Guests: Alan Grayson, Adam Green, Luis Gutierrez, Leo Gerard, Joan Walsh, Joe Madison, Ron Christie, Maryann Woods-Murphy, Rev. Al Sharpton
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RACHEL MADDOW, HOST, “THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW”: Good evening. I‘m not here. Existentially speaking, I am here, but I am on tape. I‘m off tonight, but there is a lot going on. And so, I‘m really happy to be able to say that my friend Ed Schultz is able to be here for a special live edition of THE ED SHOW.
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ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Thanks, Rachel. We look forward to having you back here tomorrow night.
Welcome to a special edition of THE ED SHOW tonight. And thank you for staying with us for the next hour.
These stories are hitting my “Hot Buttons” at this hour tonight. Well, the president‘s cut a deal on tax cuts and it‘s a dandy. Folks, I‘m telling you, there is going to be hell to play with progressives on this one.
In my opinion, President Obama—he‘s given up too much. Capitulation, sold out to the Republicans. And this deal is going to hurt millions of Americans.
Well, every kitchen table in America is affected by this deal. But what about the long-term? We‘ll talk about it.
My commentary on that, plus exclusive reaction from Congressman Alan Grayson, Luis Gutierrez, and the PCCC is steaming mad tonight, and big labor is going to have something to say in this hour.
Plus, Rush Limbaugh‘s racist tirades need to be reviewed by the FCC. While the righties look the other way, Reverend Al Sharpton refuses to turn a blind eye. He‘ll outline his crusade for a crackdown later on in this show.
And Newt Gingrich has taken “Psycho Talk” to a whole new level. This presidential hopeful not only thinks rich people should get to decide how much taxes they pay, but he wants to totally abolish all unemployment benefits from suffering Americans. We‘re going to throw him in the zone tonight. You won‘t want to miss it.
But, this, of course, is the story that has me fired up tonight. President Obama has laid out the framework—the framework for a compromise to extend all the Bush tax cuts for the next two years. In exchange: a big deal here, for a 13-month extension of unemployment benefits. Where is the deal? Liberals are furious, and they should be—including me.
Look, this one is going to—there‘s one senator out there that is threatening to filibuster this whole thing. I hope he does. And the president said that he had to make this deal to stop the collateral damage.
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BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I know there are some people in my own party and in the other party who would rather prolong this battle, even if we can‘t reach a compromise. But I‘m not willing to let working families across this country become collateral damage for political warfare here in Washington. And I‘m not willing to let our economy slip backwards, just as we‘re pulling ourselves out of this devastating recession.
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SCHULTZ: The president went on to say that he preferred compromise to another long political fight.
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OBAMA: So, as sympathetic as I am to those who prefer a fight over compromise, as much as the political wisdom may dictate fighting over solving problems, it would be the wrong thing to do. The American people didn‘t send us here to wage symbolic battles or win symbolic victories. They would much rather have the comfort of knowing that when they open their first paycheck on January of 2011, it won‘t be smaller than it was before, all because Washington decided they prefer to have a fight and failed to act.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: And President Obama truly believes this compromise was the right thing to do.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: As for now, I believe this bipartisan plan is the right thing to do. It‘s the right thing to do for jobs. It‘s the right thing to do for the middle class. It is the right thing to do for business. And it‘s the right thing to do for our economy.
It offers us an opportunity that we need to seize. It‘s not perfect. This compromise is an essential step on the road to recovery.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Essential step on the road to recovery? Essential? We have to do this?
The Republicans have backed President Obama I think right into the corner again. If he compromises with the very people who have been on a mission to destroy his agenda, destroy his presidency, this country, in my opinion, will never get out of the financial ditch that we‘re in. I thought that‘s what the campaign was all about, fiscal responsibility.
The Democrats were going to be the party to do the right thing for America in future generations.
Bottom line, folks here: here‘s what this deal means. The rich? They‘re just going to get a heck of a lot richer. The poor? They‘re going to be working harder and longer, and they‘re going to stay poor.
The same millionaires and billionaires who represent the fat bubbles at the bottom of this chart, they‘re only going to get richer. They‘re only going to get fatter. This deal will let millionaires keep $103,000 that could solve our debt crisis. And you know what? They would still be millionaires. Or maybe they could help feed a family, you know?
Independent Senator Bernie Sanders hit the roof when he heard the details. Sanders threatened to filibuster the compromise when I talked to him during today‘s 6:00 p.m. edition of “THE ED SHOW.”
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SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: The Bush economic philosophy of tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires is absolutely wrong public policy, absolutely wrong politically. And I got to tell you, I will do whatever I can to see that 60 votes are not acquired to pass this piece of legislation.
SCHULTZ: Will you filibuster this?
SANDERS: I will do whatever I can on this. This is a very, very bad agreement.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Sanders and other like-minded progressives are the only thing standing in the way of this deal.
Last night, you know, I was—Sunday night watching TV, channel surfing, there it was—one of my favorites, “Private Ryan,” followed by “Pearl Harbor.” I thought about the greatest generation storming Omaha beach, under intense fire. And I turned to my wife and I said, Wendy, do you thigh think these guys were worried a tax cut back home? And then in “Pearl Harbor,” FDR describing the attack on Pearl Harbor and told the country, you know, we‘ve got to go to war.
Was the Congress back then thinking about tax cuts for the rich, or were they thinking about saving the country and winning the war? I mean, for the last 10 years, the Republicans have been telling us, you know, we‘re at war. In fact, that was one of Bush‘s lines. We‘re in a state of war here, we‘re at war. It‘s all about war. We got to take it serious.
Well, here we are in a financial crisis, a crisis. And it just makes me wonder, watching those two films that added a lot to America‘s culture, have we lost the sense of sacrifice in this country? Can we not serve it up?
You don‘t have to hit the beach at Omaha. You weren‘t around during Pearl Harbor. A lot of us weren‘t. But there it is, documented. What that generation went through. And back then, we were threatened.
You know what? We‘re threatened right now with a financial crisis. Wasn‘t it Mr. Bernanke on “60 Minutes” last night that was saying something about gosh, we were so close to a world financial collapse, and they just had to do something about it. OK. So, the American taxpayers fork it out.
And we‘ve heard so much conversation about—well, we just can‘t put this on the backs of the next generation. Well, then why the hell aren‘t we going to do something about it? We just can‘t bite the bullet. We‘re afraid to ask Americans to serve up a little bit more. We‘ve bought into this philosophy—you know, if we raise taxes, our economy is going to go in the toilet.
I believe Mr. Bernanke also said in that interview that, you know what, we‘re going to have unemployment for another four or five years. It‘s going to be somewhat of a new normal.
So, I ask the question tonight: what was the Congress like back in 1941? They were faced with a crisis. Did they hold unemployed people hostage for tax cuts back then? Or did they show real patriotism?
And I don‘t think our lawmakers are acting as true patriots by caving in to the right wing, saying that we have got to have tax cuts for top 2 percent, or we just can‘t survive as a country. Do you feel good about depending on the Chinese to financially survive as a nation? I don‘t. Tax me more. Let‘s show some guts the way they did when they hit Omaha Beach. Let‘s show some guts when the Congress did the right thing.
They were worried about freedom back then. Aren‘t we concerned about financial freedom right now, or are we a generation that is so selfish, we just can‘t suck it up? We can‘t do it. We can‘t. We love the money too much.
Now, members in the modern right-wing Congress, you know, they‘re willing to just lay down everything to protect millionaires and billionaires. But they‘re kind of a new kind of an American, I guess. And they‘ll just kick the Americans who are vulnerable right in the teeth. Republicans love to claim, well, this is just a wrong time to let the tax cuts expire.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MINORITY: We‘re not raising taxes on anybody in the middle of a recession.
SEN. JON KYL ®, ARIZONA: Republicans and I don‘t want tax increases on anybody. It‘s bad any time, especially if you‘re in the middle of a recession.
REP. JOHN BOEHNER ®, OHIO: So, let me be clear: raising taxes on families and small businesses during a recession is a recipe for disaster, for both our economy and for our deficit, period, end of story.
REP. ERIC CANTOR ®, VIRGINIA: We have a bipartisan majority in support of the position that says we ought not be raising taxes on anybody, especially in a recession.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
SCHULTZ: I don‘t know what poll he is quoting and that‘s not where the American people are. These same Republicans have repeatedly allowed unemployment benefits to expire during the biggest economic downturn since the Great Depression. And with this deal, Republicans have backed the Democrats into a corner of capitulation, dangling that carrot of unemployment right mouth out in front of them. Hey, you really want it?
The president took it, hook, line, and sinker, unfortunately. He didn‘t stand and fight. Tonight, the country could see the anguish in the president‘s face. I could.
I don‘t believe this is the deal President Obama wanted, but the hostage-taking of the long-term unemployed proved to be the controlling issue in all of this. The deal means that we‘ll be having the same political fight right back here in the middle of the 2012 elections, and liberals tonight are concerned how do we know that President Obama won‘t cave in two years and cut the same damn deal.
Face it: Republicans won big tonight, and I think America lost. This is no victory.
Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think about all of this. Tonight‘s text survey question is: Do you think President Obama did the right thing by compromising with Republicans on tax cuts? Text “A” for “yes,” text “B” for “no” to 622639. We‘ll bring you the results later on in the show.
Joining me now is House progressive who takes no prisoners, Congressman Alan Grayson.
Congressman, good to have you with us tonight. The president says that this deal isn‘t perfect, but it‘s essential. Do you agree with that?
REP. ALAN GRAYSON (D), FLORIDA: Well, the president, after two years in office, is casting for some way to do with the stubbornness and callousness of the Republicans in Washington and he hasn‘t found it yet. It is interesting that after two years, they finally came to the table on something. This is literally the first time in two years I can remember the Republican Party saying, if you agree to this, we will agree to that. Up until now, it‘s just been no, no, no, no, no, no. So, it‘s an interesting development.
But, in fact, what the Republicans have wanted from the beginning of this negotiation was an extension for two years of all the tax cuts. And, in the end, what they got at the end of this negotiation was an extension for two years of all the tax cuts.
In other words, the president didn‘t really make a lot of progress in negotiating with them. And that‘s unfortunate. We—he is the head of our side. He is the said of the Democratic Party. He is our highest elected official. And we need him—
SCHULTZ: Is it capitulation? Is it capitulation, in your opinion?
GRAYSON: Well, I look at it a little differently. What has happened is they played a game of chicken with him. He was driving right at them. They were driving right at him. And in the end, he was the one who turned the wheel.
SCHULTZ: Was this un-American in your opinion to hold the unemployed in this country hostage in these negotiations?
GRAYSON: Well, of course. I mean, the Republican Party sent the president a ransom note saying if you ever want to see any benefits for the unemployed again, you‘re going to have to give into us on tax cuts for rich. And this two year—the price tag for this two-year agreement is another $70 billion a year out the window to give money to people who have all the money in America at this point.
I mean, the top 1 percent of America, the top 1 percent has over half of the wealth of the country at this point, and they‘re going to have much more. The rich are getting richer. The poor are getting poorer. So, what the president did faced with this ransom note is that he basically gave them what they were asking for, and that is unfortunate—not just for us, but for all America.
SCHULTZ: They got a lot.
GRAYSON: It doesn‘t matter so much what happens to us, the Democratic Party. It matters that we‘re giving another $140 billion to the rich so that they can buy more merlot.
SCHULTZ: Congressman, good to have you with us tonight. You‘re spot on. You have been all along. Appreciate you being with us tonight. Thanks so much.
GRAYSON: One more thing, Ed.
GRAYSON: One more thing. I have to say this. The Republicans have become unbelievably callous, the fact that they were willing to see millions of Americans live in their cars when they stop receiving unemployment benefits points out again and again that they‘re the mean party. They‘re just a mean party.
SCHULTZ: That‘s the thing that gets me. The president today is saying, well, this is going to hurt 2 million more people. There‘s 4.5 million people out there already, 99ers. There is nothing on the table for them.
Congressman, we‘ve got to go. You‘re a true fighter. And I appreciate your time tonight.
Adam Green, we go to him next. The co-chair of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee.
Adam, your analysis. What‘s the future?
ADAM GREEN, PROGRESSIVE CHANGE CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE: Ed, tonight across the nation, there was a very regretful but collective sigh of how dare he as the president spoke. There is nothing wrong with a reasonable compromise if you have truly tried your best. But millions of people trusted this man when he said that he would fight for his core campaign promise to end the mortgaging of our nation‘s future by giving tax cuts to the rich.
SCHULTZ: He says he was not willing to let the economy slip backwards.
That‘s not good enough?
GREEN: Well, again, he didn‘t even try. So, you know, in his statement tonight, he actually said the progressives, those who are asking him to fight are asking him to play games with people‘s lives. Those are harsh words.
Has he said anything as remotely harsh as that toward Republicans in the last month since the election? I haven‘t heard a thing. Has he gone to Maine? Has he gone to Massachusetts? Two states he won by double-digits to rally the Republican senators who represent those states to support the ending of tax cuts for the rich. No. He didn‘t even try.
SCHULTZ: All right. So, the capitulation in your opinion. And this is going to be politically hurtful, I think, for a long time.
GREEN: It‘s not just capitulation. It‘s asking his base to compromise when he wasn‘t willing to fight.
GREEN: And it‘s a tragic day for those of White House trusted him to fight.
SCHULTZ: Adam Green, good to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much.
GREEN: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Coming up: bully Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey at it again, he just got caught on tape humiliating a hard-working educator who dare to challenge him. We‘ll teach him a lesson coming up. And I hope he won‘t forget it.
Someone is finally making a move to stop Rush Limbaugh‘s racism on the air. Reverend Al Sharpton wants the FCC to hold him accountable. He‘s got the battle plan coming up later.
You‘re watching a special edition of THE ED SHOW here on MSNBC. We‘re right back.
SCHULTZ: Coming up: one of the reasons why I‘m so hot under the collar about the president‘s deal on tax cuts is to me this means the Republicans won. Senator Bob Menendez nailed it when he said working with the righties on tax cuts is like negotiating with terrorists. Progressive Congressman Luis Gutierrez is a “tell it like it is” guy. He‘ll join us, coming up in a moment.
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Thanks for watching tonight. I‘m in for Rachel. She‘ll be back tomorrow night.
President Obama‘s so-called compromise on tax cuts is a huge win for Republicans in my opinion. Listen to their victory lap. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell just released this statement. “I appreciate the efforts of the president and the vice president in working with the Republicans on a bipartisan plan to prevent a tax hike on any American.”
The tan man, House Minority Leader John Boehner doesn‘t seem to think this deal is chicken crap. Quote, “It‘s encouraging that the White House is now willing to stop all of the job-killing tax hikes scheduled for January 1st. We look forward to discussing this proposal with House Republican members and the American people.”
Senator John McCain tweeted his approval immediately, writing, “I applaud the framework agreement just announced by the president. Now, we need to make it happen. We shouldn‘t raise taxes during a recession.”
The Republicans are jumping up all over the place on this. They just can‘t get enough of it. They won. And they should be. The White House flat-out caved in, in my opinion.
For more, let‘s go to Congressman Luis Gutierrez of Illinois.
Congressman, good to have you with us tonight.
REP. LUIS GUTIERREZ (D), ILLINOIS: Thank you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Is there anything—is there anything in your opinion stopping this deal?
GUTIERREZ: No. Given where the Democrats are going to be, those that are leaving, the blue dogs and how angry they were last week when those of us in the House thought it was important that we take a position, a very clear position, $250,000 and more, you weren‘t going to get a break, and those $250,000, we were going to stand with you, and they were angry about that.
Ed, I think, you know, somebody made a deal and reached an agreement here. And I have a funny feeling—that doesn‘t mean there aren‘t those of us that aren‘t going to stand up and fight. But I think we better get ready for what the reality, given the last two years of Democrats—moderate Democrats.
SCHULTZ: Yes. In the long-term, is this deal good for America? I mean, we‘re going right into the financial ditch with the Republicans.
GUTIERREZ: Listen, I listen to the introduction you gave, Ed. And I think we should take that introduction you gave about World War II, about Korea, and bring it into the present the following way. We did go into war in Afghanistan. We didn‘t pay for it. We did go into war in Iraq. I voted against it. We didn‘t pay for it.
SCHULTZ: Congressman, that‘s my point.
GUTIERREZ: We had a prescription drug program, we didn‘t pay for it.
SCHULTZ: That‘s my point.
GUTIERREZ: Yes, and I‘m just trying to say—
SCHULTZ: The Congress in 1949 wasn‘t worried about their wallet. They were worried about the condition of the country.
SCHULTZ: The condition of the country is what they were worried about.
GUTIERREZ: So, we have two wars. We have two wars, we have a prescription drug program, and then on top—remember the prescription drug program under the Bush administration, not paid for. And then on top of it, $1 trillion.
So, at a time that our young men and women are on the front line giving it all for the safety of our nation, we‘re giving tax breaks to the wealthiest people in the nation.
SCHULTZ: Sure, we are.
GUTIERREZ: Instead of taking what, and taking care of ourselves here at home. And I think it‘s unconscionable. And, in the end, I think the president at some time is just going to have to draw a line and say, no further. I won‘t move.
SCHULTZ: He can‘t. I don‘t think he can.
SCHULTZ: Is that going to happen in 2012? Is that going to happen in 2012?
GUTIERREZ: I don‘t know. But let me tell you something, Ed—sooner or later, either that or they‘re going to eat him alive. I suggest they will have him for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Do you remember a month ago, Boehner was saying OK, we‘ll compromise on $250,000.
GUTIERREZ: Boehner was saying it was good. Now, all of the sudden, there‘s all this vulgarity in terms of treating what are Democratic proposals. Look, it‘s exactly—we got to remind people, we were winning on this issue. And moreover, two-thirds of the American public was with us. If we can‘t win when the public is with us, imagine when we have to do things that—
SCHULTZ: Congressman, thanks for speaking tonight.
GUTIERREZ: -- things we have to do that aren‘t favorable. Thank you so much, Ed.
SCHULTZ: I totally agree with you. You know, the generational ramifications of this argument just don‘t seem to matter. It‘s really sad.
SCHULTZ: Good to have you with us.
GUTIERREZ: Bad. Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, Mr. Morals, Newt Gingrich, is up in “Psycho Talk” ahead of a 2012 run. He wants to kick the unemployed while they‘re down and out, let the rich decide what taxes they‘ll pay. We‘re going to chase his fox fanny right into the hen house in the zone, next.
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, second edition, Newt Gingrich may have 2012 presidential ambitions. But if he wants the support of anyone but the top 2 percent, he better rethink some of this stuff. Listen to his proposal for what he wants to do about extending tax cuts.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NEWT GINGRICH ®, FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER: What Republicans ought to do is say to people who create jobs how many years does the tax code have to be extended for you to make an investment decision. There is a number, but I would have the business leadership of the country describe the number.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: What? The Newtster wants CEOs to decide when their own tax cuts expire? He wants to give more power to the guys whose recklessness caused this recession? Meanwhile, listen to what he says about unemployment insurance.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GINGRICH: I would agree to a short-term extension on employment. But I have proposed, since we spent $134 billion last year on unemployment, that we change the entire program into a worker training program, and not give anybody money for doing nothing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: So, Newt wants to pull the rug out from under millions of people who are unemployed by no fault of their own, but he‘s more than happy to put CEOs in charge of deciding how much taxes they actually pay. This guy has no idea what he‘s talking about. Every—for every dollar in unemployment benefits, the economy grows by $1.61. Making all of the Bush tax cuts permanent only gets the economy 32 cents per dollar.
Gingrich saying he wants to put business leaders in charge of their own tax cuts. Gosh, maybe some insurance executives? While getting rid of unemployment insurance is financially irresponsible. “Psycho Talk.”
Coming up: Senator Bernie Sanders called it an absolute disaster. Liberals across the country, they‘re going nuts because the president caved on tax cuts for the top 2 percent. Reaction from the United Steelworkers International President Leo Gerard and Joan Walsh of Salon.com. That‘s coming up tonight in the “battleground story.”
The maverick ought to be ashamed of himself. He just turned his back on a 9/11 first responder. And we‘re not going to let him get away with it. Rapid-fire response on that, coming up.
Plus, I‘m calling out the bully across the river. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, he‘s in the playbook.
And Defense Secretary Gates just spoke out on a “don‘t ask, don‘t tell” repeal.
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. Rachel Maddow, she‘ll be back here tomorrow night.
SCHULTZ: And welcome back to a special edition of “THE ED SHOW.” I‘m Ed Shultz in for Rachel Maddow tonight. She‘ll be back tomorrow night.
Battleground story in this segment. There is not a single American out there who won‘t be untouched by this tax compromise the president just announced hours ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have no doubt that everyone will find something in this compromise that they don‘t like. In fact, there are things in there that I don‘t like, namely, the extension of the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and the wealthiest estates. But these tax cuts will expire in two years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Well, the wealthiest people in the country will continue to make out like bandits for at least the next two years. The president, I think, is punning to the next election, but I wonder if he is actually willing to have the fight in two years. Or are we going to be back to the same old conversation?
The Republicans - of course, they‘re praising the compromise. Hell, they won. I want to know if the folks representing the working Americans think this is a good deal.
For more, let‘s bring in Leo Gerard, president of the United Steel Workers.
Mr. Gerard, you heard the president tonight. He said he didn‘t like the deal, but it‘s essential. It‘s not perfect. It‘s essential. Do you agree?
LEO GERARD, PRESIDENT, UNITED STEEL WORKERS: No I don‘t, Ed. I think the fight would have been essential. I think the fight would have been perfect. It‘s about time that we stand up for ordinary Americans. It‘s about time we stand up for jobs.
These guys are running their mouths all the time about the deficit, the deficit, the deficit. And they showed their hypocrisy about holding up and holding unemployed to ransom so that the ultra-rich could get cut - their tax cut.
Look, what we need to take care of this deficit and what we need to take care of the economy is we need to get people back to work. And what we should have done is take that tax cut and give to it the $250,000 wage earner and below.
Let it expire for the ultra-rich, and then take that money and apply it to job creation. What we need this country is jobs. That‘s what we need - jobs.
SCHULTZ: The president apparently has bought into the right-wing bullet point that the economy could tank if he didn‘t do this, that he just had to do this, that he wasn‘t going to let middle class families go without this tax rate.
GERARD: Look, I‘m sympathetic, Ed, to the president‘s desire to protect the millions people that are on unemployment insurance. But I don‘t think he got the deal he should get.
He didn‘t even get a dollar for dollar deal. The ultra-rich are going to make out like bandits for two years and we‘re going to extend tax cuts for 13 months - extend unemployment - excuse me - for 18 months or 13 months. Then, we‘ll have to come back and have that fight again.
SCHULTZ: What is the conversation going to be like, Mr. Gerard, in two years in your opinion?
GERARD: I think the conversation is going to be Republicans yelling and screaming that they need tax cuts for the rich, and we‘re still going to have too many unemployed, and we‘re going to fighting again for jobs.
We need to take the tax cut for the ultra-rich, let it rescind, take the money they‘re going to pay and put into it job creation. People want to get back to work. That‘s what they want.
SCHULTZ: President Obama clearly had anguish. He was anguished by this tonight. Does this weaken his presidency, and does it hurt his chances for 2012?
GERARD: I think it does both, Ed. And when I say it does both, I think, in some cases, it shows to the country that he is empathetic and is willing to make some sacrifice and take some hits to make sure that the unemployed aren‘t left on the scrap heaps of society.
GERARD: But at the same time, we want him to fight. We‘re willing to stand side by side, shoulder to shoulder and fight with him for those things. And we need to expose these Republicans for the hypocrites that they are.
SCHULTZ: Mr. Gerard, always a pleasure. Good to have you with us speaking up tonight. Thanks so much.
GERARD: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Joan Walsh, editor-at-large in the “Salon.com.” Joan, the winners and the losers. Draw the line.
JOAN WALSH, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, “SALON.COM”: Oh, my god. Tonight, Dick Cheney and George W. Bush are yucking it up. They‘re having a party because this president and this Democratic Congress seem to be enshrining the worst decision that those Republicans made.
Remember, they did it with a gimmick. They wouldn‘t expire. Remember, they did it with Dick Cheney‘s vote. And our progressive - allegedly progressive president is letting this happen. I‘m with Mr. Gerard.
Sometimes you fight and even if you lose, it‘s worth fighting. We live in
an oligarchy right now, Ed. We really do -
WALSH: Where we got some money for the unemployed and I‘m happy about the payroll tax cuts. But what we did to get that is deliver more money, bushels of money to the wealthiest Americans. It‘s a travesty.
SCHULTZ: The White House can say what they want about the professional left. But my Blackberry is blowing up tonight. Our E-mail to our “Ed Schultz Radio Show” - it‘s a record number.
Liberals are mad about this. They wanted this fight. And the president made the case about two million Americans were going to be hurt. What about the four million Americans that are 99ers that have something on the table?
SCHULTZ: How much is this going to politically hurt the Democrats?
WALSH: You know, I think it does hurt the Democrats, because now, people really don‘t know what the Democrats stand for, Ed.
And the other thing that this sets up, because we‘re going to borrow money and give it to the wealthiest Americans - this really sets the president and the Democrats up in the new Congress which is a more conservative Congress for more spending cuts.
We‘re increasing the deficit again. So we‘re going to come back and we‘re
going to be facing spending cuts. It means we can‘t spend any money on job
creation, on putting people back to work when we know this is a disastrous
if we have a recovery at all, it‘s a jobless recovery.
Unemployment is going up. This ensures we can‘t do anything about that. So Democrats once again do not deliver for their base. They let their hands be tied behind their backs. They stand for very little. And the Republicans are having a big party tonight. That‘s what is going on.
SCHULTZ: Joan Walsh, always a pleasure to get your take. Great to have you with us. Thank you.
WALSH: Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Now let‘s get some rapid-fire response from our panel on these stories tonight. I‘ll get the panel‘s reaction on the president‘s tax cut compromise with the Republicans.
Mr. Country First, John McCain, got a direct appeal from a 9/11 first responder to support a bill that would help workers sickened at Ground Zero. McCain‘s response, “I can‘t help you.”
And Defense Secretary Robert Gates says he is not optimistic that Congress will repeal “Don‘t Ask, Don‘t Tell” this year.
With us tonight, Joe Madison, XM Satellite talk show host and Ron Christie, Republican strategist. Gentlemen, good to have you with us tonight. Ron, let‘s go to you first. The tax cuts - is this a big victory for the conservatives?
RON CHRISTIE, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, I think this is a big victory for the American people. I think at a time when we‘re in a very serious economic crisis here in America, we shouldn‘t be raising taxes on any hard-working American who is earning a payroll, paying taxes and trying to contribute to this society.
SCHULTZ: Well, that‘s what the Republicans got. So it‘s their victory tonight, right?
R. CHRISTIE: Well, I think it‘s an American people victory. I think when John Boehner came out and said on election night we are not out gloating. We are not taking victory laps when one out of 10 Americans right now is unemployed.
Now is not the time to gloat. Now is not the time to declare victory. Now is the time to try to make sure that all Americans who are looking for a job can have one. And I think that‘s what we‘ve seen tonight. All Americans who are paying taxes will not have their taxes increased.
SCHULTZ: Joe Madison, the Democrats and the Obama administration just signed on to a tax rate policy that drove this country right into the ditch. Can you believe it?
JOE MADISON, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Absolutely, absolutely. And I‘m going to tell you what we really should be doing - we ought to be in the streets. We ought to be jumping on these greedy Republicans who have the audacity to try to keep going what they have going for the last 10 years.
Here is what I would tell Republicans. OK, baby, it‘s in your court right now. Create the jobs and you‘ve got 13 months to get these people off of unemployment that you held hostage. You‘ve got two years to create jobs in this country instead of spending that money on your luxury items.
Ron is full of it. This is an attempt to just allow rich people to maintain their $100,000, $300,000, $400,000. Create jobs or shut the hell up. And American people - American people ought to be in the streets screaming, not at President Obama so much because I‘m going to tell you, you guys sat here and held - you held the poorest of the poor hostage.
You played chicken with poor people‘s lives. And you ought to be ashamed of yourselves.
R. CHRISTIE: Well, have I too much respect for my friend to get into class warfare arguments. The fact of the matter is, the last three tax cuts from the marginal rate tax cuts that we have seen in the last 50 years - 1961, 1981 under Reagan and Bush - wait, Ed, it‘s interesting.
Let me answer the question, Ed. You guys both try to demagogue the issue.
I will answer the question. I think the fact of the matter -
SCHULTZ: Ron, I don‘t want to talk about Reagan and you‘re going to listen to me. I want to know why.
R. CHRISTIE: The fact of the matter is -
SCHULTZ: I want to know why the Republicans used unemployment as a bargaining chip. How do you feel about that?
R. CHRISTIE: Well, I think it‘s important that we provide a safety net for those who are most at risk. I think the president got what he wanted. He got 13 months of an additional extension beyond 99 weeks.
MADISON: Oh, god. I hate this kind of conversation.
R. CHRISTIE: Excuse me, Joe, the fact of the matter is -
MADISON: First, you - first you don‘t -
R. CHRISTIE: The fact of the matter is - I didn‘t cut you off when you were talking.
SCHULTZ: One more stuff we‘re going to get to - one more stuff we‘re going
to get to. Gentlemen -
R. CHRISTIE: I didn‘t cut you off. This is filibustering. I mean, you
can‘t handle the fact of the matter we have -
MADISON: You need to cut the crap.
R. CHRISTIE: We have 66 Republicans who are elected in the House.
SCHULTZ: Joe Madison, Ron Christie, good to have you with us tonight.
MADISON: Thank you. It‘s crap.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Oh, this guy is on another power trip. I caught him bullying a hard-working teacher. This guy‘s arrogance makes my blood boil.
I think New Jersey residents feel the same way. The New Jersey teacher of the year is going to hammer the governor next in “The Playbook.” Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And it‘s not too late to let us know what you think. Tonight‘s next survey question is, do you think President Obama did the right thing by compromising with the Republicans on tax cuts? Text A for yes, text B for now no to 622639. We‘re going to have the results coming up. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And in my playbook tonight, the big bully - well, he is at it again across the river - Republican Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, went rogue at a town hall meeting by ordering a state trooper to help him humiliate an elementary school teacher.
All the teacher wanted was an honest answer about why the governor always bashes the teachers union and slashing public education funds. Instead, he gets an earful from Christie.
After getting lectured, the teacher attempted to respond, but he was thrown out by the troopers. I mean you can see this guy. He is reaching. He would just like to say something at the microphone. Isn‘t it a town hall meeting?
The crowd is with him. But oh, no. He tells him to leave. Then he motions to the security to take the guy out. Is it a town hall meeting or not, Governor? Christie is making school kids and teachers pay for the state‘s budget deficit. He is slashing funding for public education by $820 million.
He is building his own political capital by pushing school teachers around and I think it is shameful.
Joining me now is Maryann Woods-Murphy, a high school Spanish teacher who was voted New Jersey‘s teacher of the year last year. She is strongly against the governor. Ms. Woods-Murphy, thank you for joining us tonight.
MARYANN WOODS-MURPHY, HIGH SCHOOL SPANISH TEACHER: My pleasure.
SCHULTZ: Is this just the way it‘s going to be in education in New Jersey?
WOODS-MURPHY: What I‘m seeing is that Gov. Christie‘s blocking dialogue at a time when we most need dialogue. That teacher was unable to respond. And we need to create a situation where we can have a give-and-take to bring our children to the future.
I really hope that New Jersey can meet this challenge and create a community where we can share our ideas. We have to.
SCHULTZ: He wants to scale back pensions. He wants to tighten standards, which I think anybody would be for.
WOODS-MURPHY: Of course.
SCHULTZ: But strip away tenure. How can you do number one and number three right there without having some kind of political ideology in the game of education?
WOODS-MURPHY: I really think it‘s important that the teachers‘ unions, the parents, the teachers, the politicians sit down together and have a conversation about all of these issues.
How are we going to evaluate teachers? What makes an effective teacher? What do we think about tenure? How can we look at the merits? What can we do to make sure the best teachers are in our classroom today?
That‘s what we need to be doing, and we need to be doing it in an open debate and open dialogue. And that‘s not happening. I‘m very disappointed.
SCHULTZ: No, it‘s not. It seems it‘s very clear he is shutting it down.
SCHULTZ: Here, he is getting confrontational with a reporter.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R-NJ): You know, Tom, you must be the thinnest skinned guy in America, because you think that‘s a confrontational tone, then, you know, you should really see me when I‘m pissed.
You know, that‘s not confrontational, all right? So, you know, you know, I love what people say they don‘t want to have arguments. That‘s what we were sent here for.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: What? Arguments? Really? How about town halls. What is the game plan for the teachers dealing with this guy?
WOODS-MURPHY: Well, I think that what we‘re doing in our communities is we‘re talking among ourselves. And we‘re also making sure that we‘re spreading the good news about our classrooms and public education to the larger public.
It‘s very important to us to be heard and to make sure that people understand that we‘re doing a wonderful job. New Jersey has some of the best schools in the country, and I‘m so proud to be a New Jersey teacher. We need to be sharing that.
SCHULTZ: Even after losing $820 million in funding?
WOODS-MURPHY: You know, I really believe that we‘re going to come on the right side of history. I really believe that we‘re going to fix this.
WOODS-MURPHY: I can‘t believe otherwise. I‘m an optimist at heart -
SCHULTZ: But you needed the money.
WOODS-MURPHY: And I do believe that we will stand up as New Jerseyians and as teachers and educators and parents coming together for a better New Jersey.
SCHULTZ: I don‘t think this guy is going to move you forward at all.
SCHULTZ: Maryann Woods-Murphy, good to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much.
WOODS-MURPHY: Thank you. All right.
SCHULTZ: Final page of the “Playbook.” Tiger Woods blew a four-shot lead yesterday and was eliminated during a sudden death playoff as the Chevron World Challenge. It was the first time in Tiger‘s career that didn‘t win after leading by three shots going into the final round.
Tiger tried to take it in stride saying that it was a great week, even though he didn‘t win. The other guy played pretty well, too.
Coming up, the drugster‘s racist hate has been poisoning our air waves - and I mean that - for years. His latest rant included calling President Obama‘s presidency graffiti on the walls of American history.
Reverend Al Sharpton is one of the guys who will not back down. He‘s calling on the FCC to take action. That update is next. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to a special edition of “THE ED SHOW” tonight.
Rachel is back tomorrow night.
Rev. Al Sharpton is taking on Rush Limbaugh. He‘s had enough of Limbaugh using the public air waves to go on and on his blatant racist tirades like this. Take a listen.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
RUSH LIMBAUGH, CONSERVATIVE RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: This is a civil rights bill. This is reparations, whatever you want to call it. The objective is unemployment. The objective is more food stamp benefits. The objective is more unemployment benefits. The objective is an expanding welfare state.
The objective is to take the nation‘s wealth and return it to the nation‘s, quote, “rightful owners.” Think reparations. Think forced repatriations. Obama‘s entire economic program is reparations.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: That kind of racially charged hate speech is spilling over into the Congress. Here‘s Republican Congressman out of Iowa, Steve King, taking a cue from the drugster his repatriations attack on the Black Farmers Bill just last week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. STEVE KING (R-IA): The fraudulent claims might be, well, Johnny - yes he was raised on a farm but he wouldn‘t help his dad. He went off to the city and became a drug addict. And when his daddy needed the help, Johnny wouldn‘t help his daddy.
But now, his daddy has died and Johnny wants the $50,000 that comes from the USDA under this claim. We‘ve got to stand up at some point and say, we are not going to pay slavery reparations in the United States Congress.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Wow. Reverend Sharpton made news on this program last month when he told me that he wants the FCC to step in on Limbaugh. He joins me now on more on this and where that fight stands. Reverend Al Sharpton, president of the National Action Network.
Reverend, I know you were down in Washington last week working on this.
What‘s the latest?
REV. AL SHARPTON, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL ACTION NETWORK: We have a series of meetings going on. And we‘re going to see the FCC next week. We‘re not going to stand by and allow publicly-regulated radio and television just go for marketing and promoting this kind of racism.
Here‘s a man who calls the president names, plays a record, calling him the good negro that has the former majority whip or soon-to-be former majority whip Jim Clyburn as driving Ms. Nancy, trying to play off “Driving Miss Daisy.”
Rush Limbaugh has the right to see whatever he wants to say. He doesn‘t have the right to do it though on publicly-regulated air waves.
The FCC has the responsibility to set standards to say the public cannot be offended based on their race or their gender in this country. And you federally regulated air waves that they give licenses to, that are very competitive and the FCC is very selective based on standards.
SCHULTZ: So how would you monitor racist-type talk on these radio stations that are publicly licensed by the FCC? How would do you this? They come back and say it‘s freedom of speech.
SHARPTON: Very clearly. They should do is establish what is the guidelines where you go over the top. And clearly, I think that Rush Limbaugh‘s statements would be over the top.
You can‘t say, in the name of free speech, you can say anything you want, when you are not allowed to do anything else you want on radio stations and television stations. So we can‘t have standards everywhere when it comes to race. We‘re not talking about stopping free speech.
We‘re talking about if FCC is very cautious and deliberate in who they give licenses to, who they let stations even get waivers to expand their empires. They can clearly say that part of it has to be that you‘re not taking part of the public and playing off against one another, and we give you a license to do it.
So we‘re not telling Rush don‘t say what he wants to say. Say it at home. Don‘t get on publicly-regulated radio and television that are selectively given licenses and do that to offend people because of their race or their gender.
SCHULTZ: Now, reverend, how serious are you about this?
SHARPTON: I‘m very serious.
SCHULTZ: It‘s the national action network. Are there any other organizations that may work in conjunction with you on this?
SHARPTON: We‘re talking to all the civil rights groups. And next week, when we get into Washington, they will announce for themselves. But let me tell you something. People said to us that we were not serious and we would not be successful and many of us went after NFL to stop Limbaugh from becoming a part owner.
We won that and that was the private sector. I think the public sector has to be at least as accountable as the NFL and private owners were.
SCHULTZ: Holland Cooke, radio consultant, writes recently that Limbaugh‘s label is too big to fail. You don‘t think so?
SHARPTON: I don‘t think he was too big to fail. He thought he was too big for the NFL. Imus thought he was too big. I think the bigger they are, the harder they fall when people get together and say, wait a minute. This is something that we should not tolerate the public discourse in this country.
Imagine the struggle the black farmers went through and Native American farmers, and a member of Congress stands there and tries to equate them to drug dealers. When do we step back off the curb and start having some decent dialogue.
Whether we do it now or not, the government ought to not give licenses for this kind of indecency.
SCHULTZ: Reverend, I think that racism is empowered on the House floor in this country and the Senate floor because of all the right-wing talkers out there, give them all kinds of backup they need.
SCHULTZ: Reverend, good to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much.
SHARPTON: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Tonight, in our text survey, I asked, do you think President Obama did the right thing by compromising with the Republicans on tax cuts. Twenty-one percent of you said yes; 79 percent of you said no.
That‘s THE ED SHOW. I‘m Ed Schultz. Rachel will be back tomorrow night
right here, 9:00 o‘clock Eastern. And I‘ll be back tomorrow night
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