updated 12/13/2010 10:39:18 AM ET 2010-12-13T15:39:18

Guests: Earl Blumenauer, Bob Shrum, Sheila Jackson Lee, Mike Papantonio,

Joe Madison, Ernest Istook, Holland Cooke, Lizz Winstead

ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC ANCHOR:  Good evening, Americans, and welcome to THE ED SHOW tonight, coming to you live from the White House.

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

Progressive Democrats are not backing down on this tax cut deal.  They are sending a message to the president. 

And the president pulled out his best friend today on this fight.  Former President Bill Clinton made a visit to the White House today.  I was able to ask him a question about this stimulus package. 

Oh, wait a minute.  We‘re not supposed to call it a stimulus package, but that‘s what folks around the deal are calling it now. 

If they back down into a corner and the Democrats have to take it or leave it as it stands right now, they‘re going to leave it.  My commentary on that, plus reaction from top progressives, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and Congressman Earl Blumenauer coming up. 

The next stop on Sarah Palin‘s grandstanding tour is Haiti.  Is she really, really—does she really want to help these folks?  She should start with the unemployed Americans.  She‘s exploiting desperate people for political gain, and it makes me sick. 

Mike Papantonio rips into this one in “The Battleground” story tonight. 

And the Reverend Al Sharpton has Rush Limbaugh sweating bullets.  A new day may be dawning for “The Rushster.”  People are taking it pretty interesting about how this is playing out in the radio industry, and will it bring him down? 

We‘ll have the latest on this in “The Playbook.”  We know that Reverend Al Sharpton isn‘t going to back down. 

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

President Obama is pulling out all stops to save his proposed tax compromise from a Democratic revolt in the Congress.  Former President Bill Clinton met with President Obama late this afternoon and then met the media.  President Obama may be seeking advice on how to convince the fractured House Democratic Caucus to support his plan. 

The former president had this to say after the meeting --  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WILLIAM JEFFERSON CLINTON, FMR. PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  I

have reviewed this agreement that the president reached with the Republican leaders, and I want to make full disclosure, you know, I make quite a bit of money now, so the position that the Republicans have urged will personally benefit me.  And on its own I wouldn‘t support it, because I don‘t think that my tax cut is the most economically efficient way to get the economy going again. 

The agreement taken as a whole is, I believe, the best bipartisan agreement we can reach to help the largest number of Americans, and to maximize the chances that the economic recovery will accelerate and create more jobs. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  A Senate test vote on the compromise is set for Monday afternoon, but the real story is over in the House.  We now know exactly how angry the Democratic Caucus is at this president‘s deal with the Republicans. 

“The Hill” is reporting, “Chance of ‘just say no‘ could be heard by reporters outside the caucus meeting on Thursday.”  One unidentified lawmaker is also alleged to have muttered “F the president.”

New York Congressman Jerry Nadler was overheard saying, “We can‘t trust him not to cave to the Republicans and extend the tax cuts again in two years.”

Congressman Gary Ackerman of New York really unloaded on the tax compromise this week.  He thinks the deal is just a way to reward wealthy Americans who are committed to destroying President Obama and the Democratic Party.  This is how Ackerman put it during an appearance on this network --  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. GARY ACKERMAN (D), NEW YORK:  This isn‘t the DREAM Act.  This is the Republican wet dream act. 

They get the Democrats to add to the deficit, they get all of the benefits for their wealthiest friends in America to pay them off for their huge contributions that they made during the campaign, and got an exemption from the U.S. Supreme Court.  The whole thing is an absolute absurdity. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  The president is feeling the heat.  He‘s committed to getting his framework through Congress before the Bush tax cuts expire. 

The clock is ticking.  Three weeks from tonight is the deadline. 

Bill Clinton—former President Bill Clinton might not even be able to round up enough House Democrats to save this deal.  The only person who has the power to keep the House in line is Speaker Nancy Pelosi.  She has to ask herself the question, “Do I want my last vote as Speaker of the House to be an extension of the Bush tax cuts?” 

What a way to go out. 

But here at the White House today, you get a real sense that President Obama is so committed to the middle class people in this country, that he is just not going to turn his back on Americans who have gone through a real tough economy.  And he wants this tax package to go through. 

You also get a real sense about people around the White House that they have a tremendous amount of compassion for the unemployed.  They think unemployed people have been really going through way too much, and they don‘t want to let those folks fall by the wayside. 

They think that this is the best deal.  And now it‘s up to the House and the Senate to deliver the mail for the president. 

Get your cell phones out.  I want to know what you think about tonight‘s issue. 

Tonight‘s text survey is: Do you want the Democrats to keep fighting President Obama‘s tax compromise?  Text “A” for yes, text “B” for no to 622639.  We‘ll bring you the results later on in the show. 

Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer joins us.  He sits on the House Ways and Means Committee, the Budget Committee, and is a member of the Progressive Caucus. 

Congressman, good to have you with us tonight. 

How long, in your opinion, is this fight, this negotiation, going to go on?  Will we see conclusion, say, in the next 48 hours so the Democrats can work on other issues?  What‘s your call on this, Congressman? 

REP. EARL BLUMENAUER (D), OREGON:  Well, I think it was important that we heard the president talk about his framework, and hopefully not digging in on some of the specifics. 

You are accurate, that there was deep concern in the Democratic Caucus.  One of the issues that I put directly to Vice President Biden when he was with us is that if you can‘t draw a line on things that the American public agrees with us on like the tax cuts for the most well off, for unemployment insurance, for the inheritance tax—these are things where an overwhelming majority of the American public agrees with us and, frankly, with what the president‘s positions have been in the past—where are you going to draw a line in the future?  Because this is just the opening salvo. 

This is what we‘re going to see for months to come.  And this agreement, as it was unveiled to us, just kicks the can down the road for another two years and guarantees that we‘ll be having hand-to-hand combat. 

SCHULTZ:  The president is determined to stand up for the middle class, and he is willing to negotiate this out for the next two years for the top two percent.  And now former President Clinton, probably his strongest ally so far with some of the comments he made late this afternoon here at the White House, will that have an affect on some House Democrats, in your opinion? 

BLUMENAUER:  I think what‘s going to make the most difference is what happens with the concerns that were raised, deep concerns about what happened with the inheritance tax.  There are a number of other provisions that are important that we‘ve talked about on this show before for green energy, protecting the economy of the future, that haven‘t been able to work their way in. 

I think it‘s going to be the details, the reaction that‘s going to make more of a difference.  And I, for one, am perfectly willing to wait 48 hours, 72 hours, two more weeks.  It‘s important enough to try and get it right. 

SCHULTZ:  But if it‘s December 31st, and you‘re still in Washington, and the clock is getting ready to strike 12:00, how will you vote? 

BLUMENAUER:  Well, the form that it‘s in now is not acceptable to me.  Frankly, I actually think that it‘s important because there are so many other things that are at stake here. 

It‘s not just the inheritance tax, it‘s being able to preserve some semblance of health care reform.  It‘s dealing with what‘s going to happen with the debt ceiling. 

I mean, these are elements that we‘re going to see flying at us.  And to have an arbitrary deadline where, actually, the president has more leverage now than he‘s going to have in six months or six weeks, I think it‘s a mistake to just fold and accept it as is. 

SCHULTZ:  Congressman Blumenauer, good to have us with us on THE ED SHOW tonight.  Thanks so much for staying with us.

Veteran Democratic strategist Bob Shrum, NYU professor, with us here tonight. 

Bob, the president will not give up on the middle class, he will not give up on the unemployed.  Sooner or later, the Democrats are going to have to decide whether they‘re with the president or if they‘re going to step aside. 

What do you think is going to happen? 

BOB SHRUM, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST:  Well, I think that‘s exactly right.  And I think it‘s totally fair of you to say the president is doing this because he cares about the middle class and the unemployed. 

I talked to someone in the House today who said, look, in the end, this deal is going to pass.  There‘s going to be a lot of sound and fury. 

But some of it is really disturbing.  I mean, some of the stuff people are saying about the president of the United States—and it‘s not just the office he holds, it‘s the results he‘s delivered over the last two years. 

Look, Charles Krauthammer, the conservative columnist, in “The Washington Post” this morning went into utter lather about this deal, said it ought to be turned down, it‘s a second stimulus, went on and on.  That ought to tell us that we ought to be for it. 

SCHULTZ:  Well, when you take a look at President Clinton stepping in, how much political clout will he have with House Democrats?  Could he smooth things over?  He made a strong pitch here at the White House just moments ago saying that it‘s time to take the deal. 

SHRUM:  I think he‘s—I think he‘ll be influential.  I think he‘ll be helpful.  And I think he‘s right. 

Look, Ed, this is fundamentally—and I wrote this in my column in theweek.com, and I‘ve gotten a lot of angry mail from progressives who I think want to kick me out of the movement—but this is fundamentally a progressive deal.  It not only extends unemployment compensation for people who need it, it provides a one-third cut in the payroll tax for a year, which is really going to help working people.  It extends all sorts of other middle class tax cuts, and it will probably lower unemployment by the next year to around 8 percent, and I think it can keep going down the year after that. 

SCHULTZ:  But, Bob, how tough of a vote is that going to be for Nancy Pelosi?  One of the final things she does as Speaker of the House is let the top two percent get off with what they want.  How tough is that move? 

SHRUM:  I think it‘s going to be tough, but one of the things that I think would be completely disgraceful is for the House of Representatives, the Democrats in the House of Representatives, to act like Mitch McConnell and the Republicans in the Senate, and not let this proposal come to a vote.  I find that inconceivable. 

The other thing is, if we don‘t pass this, what‘s going to happen?  We‘ll go into next year.  There temporarily will be a tax increase.  The Republicans will control the House.  We‘ll have less power in the Senate.

And let me tell you, the deal that will pass will be a lot less favorable than this deal.  There won‘t be the stimulus elements, there won‘t be the help for the unemployed.  And I think there‘s been way too much personalization and back and forth in this. 

The president‘s a progressive.  He‘s trying to get a job done.  But when you hear people who earn six figures say, well, look, the ideology here is more important, and we have to stand on it, then those millions of unemployed people who are going to lose their benefits, I have I lot of trouble with that. 

SCHULTZ:  Bob Shrum—

SHRUM:  Thanks, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  -- no one on this program wants to kick you out of the movement.  We need good debate in this country.  I think you know what you‘re talking about.  We just may view this a little bit differently. 

Good to have you with us tonight. 

SHRUM:  OK, Ed.  Take care. 

SCHULTZ:  Coming up, Republicans have spent this week proving just how heartless and destructive they could be.  They‘ve spent the past few days blocking bills that would have helped innocent children, senior citizens, members of the military, and sick 9/11 responders. 

Congressman Sheila Jackson Lee will try to make things right next on

THE ED SHOW.

And “The Drugster” is sweating right through his shirt.  Reverend Al Sharpton‘s crusade against his hate speech is picking up steam.  I love this story, and we‘ve got a lot more coming up in “The Playbook.”

Plus, Bubba‘s selling himself; “The Beckster” is worried about white people; and “The Daily Show” co-creator Lizz Winstead headlines “Club Ed” tonight. 

You‘re watching THE ED SHOW from the White House here on MSNBC. 

We are right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  On the Republican side, this is their Holy Grail, these tax cuts for the wealthy.  This is—seems to be their central economic doctrine. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  President Obama was right.  This is their Holy Grail. 

The Republicans spent the week wreaking destruction on this country and the American people, all because they‘re on a tax cut crusade.  The Republicans won‘t vote for anything until they get the tax cuts for billionaires signed, sealed and delivered. 

Now, this week, they voted against senior citizens.  They voted against giving them an extra $250 cost of living increase in Social Security.  They voted against helping 9/11 rescuers who got sick at Ground Zero.  They voted against immigrants, some of whom are wearing this country‘s uniform, when they tanked the DREAM Act.

Just who are these people? 

And they voted against gay and lesbian service members when they voted against repealing “Don‘t Ask, Don‘t Tell.”

I want to make something very, very clear tonight.  When the Republicans say no to everything in Washington, President Obama isn‘t the victim.  The American people are the victims. 

Joining me now is Texas Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus. 

Congresswoman, it is almost a political marvel, how the Republicans have held their caucus so tight and so together to the point where they are really holding the American people hostage on moving the country forward, all in the name of defeating President Obama. 

What‘s the pushback?  What‘s the next best play for the Democrats? 

REP. SHEILA JACKSON LEE (D), TEXAS:  Well, Ed, first of all, thank you for having me.  I‘m so glad you‘ve given me this opportunity to, first of all, let the American people know, just as you said, the Democratic Caucus is not the enemy.  The passionate talk about tax cuts and what we think would be better is not about this president. 

It‘s about the Republicans, who as the president has said, have been holding America hostage.  And it‘s not about this president, who I believe will be labeled as one of the greatest presidents this country has ever had.  He has a heart. 

And the viewers of this show that looks at Ed Schultz have a heart too, Ed.  And I just want you to know that. 

We‘re going to push back together.  I think that‘s what the story should be, because you‘re absolutely right, our heart broke at each vote that went by, earnest debate by the House of Representatives and Democrats who helped carry the vote.

Two hundred and six votes were cast for the DREAM Act.   And before we could finish crying, the tears drying on our face about helping children who are not criminals, children who want to serve this country, children who will provide—immigrant children—for at least $2 billion-plus investment into the economy, children who would provide over 10 years a trillion dollars of revenue into the economy, voted down. 

SCHULTZ:  Yes.

LEE:  “Don‘t Ask, Don‘t Tell,” when everyone believes it should be repealed, again, the American people being held hostage. 

Frankly, what we‘re going to have to do, Ed, is to speak to the American people, and let them recognize that when I was campaigning and I was in front of senior citizens, which I go to all year long, but just happened to be there, and the (INAUDIBLE) news came down, I don‘t know who felt worse, me standing up in front of them or them. 

I made a vow that we‘d come back and fix that.  We did.  We passed a $250 senior protection act, a lousy $250 that seniors would be grateful for.  What happened?  Republicans held us hostage on the other side. 

So it‘s going to have to be a strong fight. 

SCHULTZ:  Congresswoman, in the midst of all of this obstruction that the Republicans are offering up, we have seen as Americans the Democrats break out in a fight that we don‘t often see. 

How, in your opinion, is this tax package going to be resolved,?  And will the Congressional Black Caucus in the end stand with the president?  Your take? 

LEE:  Well, you know, we have stood with the president, the Democratic Caucus has stood with the president all through the health care bill fight, through the Wall Street reform, through dealing with Iraq and Afghanistan, and so has the Congressional Black Caucus.  And I‘m glad that you asked me this question because I want to tell America that this, again, is not a not standing with the president.  It frankly is to stand with him to help him pay all the bills. 

What we have been saying is, basically, we‘ve got to have unemployment insurance.  We‘ve got to have it for the 99ers.  Those are the ones going up against a wall that don‘t even have a dime.  Those are people who have completely run out of the time frame.  We‘ve got to ensure that we have the child tax credit and payroll holiday and middle income tax cuts, which goes for those who are wealthy as well. 

SCHULTZ:  And quickly, Congresswoman—

LEE:  So the fight would be, Ed—is to get rid of that dastardly estate deal that was made.  And I‘m an optimist. 

We‘re going to see our way through.  And I believe you will see us, as Democrats always do, stand for the American people, stand with the president. 

I can‘t speak for what the caucus, the Democratic Caucus, is going to

how the journey‘s going to end.  The Congressional Black Caucus has made its point.  It is for the people and it stands with the president. 

We don‘t stand with any mischaracterizations and demonizing of the White House or the president, but we say get in the fight.  We‘ll be in the fight with you. 

I promise you, Ed, we will not leave those individuals behind.  It is the question that you have to ask the Republicans, the party of no, how they can be so destructive, if you will, that they would hold the American people hostage, that they would show special interest over passion and compassion in this holiday season. 

The Democrats are not going to abandon their values, and we‘re going to work this out.  And we‘re going to work it out together, but we have a right to stand up, not against the president, but to stand up against a deal that he was forced to accept based upon his love and compassion for the American people. 

SCHULTZ:  Yes.

LEE:  We‘re trying to give him an opportunity to get back to the batting box and make a homerun.  We‘ll work until we get it done. 

SCHULTZ:  All right.  Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, appreciate your time tonight.  Thanks so much. 

LEE:  Thank you, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  Coming up, Glenn Beck is paranoid that white people aren‘t getting a fair shake?  He just told somebody that in order to get a deal on tuition, they should pretend to be an illegal immigrant.  Well, I‘ll take him south of the border, next in “The Zone.”

Stay with us.. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, Glenn Beck.  The man who thinks President Obama has a deep-seated hatred for white people now thinks the DREAM Act is targeting white Americans. 

On his radio show today, “The Beckster” jokingly told a caller that he should get a better deal on college tuition if he stole a Mexican ID number and pretended to be an illegal immigrant.  Then Beck started whining about how the DREAM Act hurts white guys? 

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

GLENN BECK, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  In Mexico, you‘ll probably go to jail for all of this, but not here.  Well, no.  Wait a minute.  Are you white? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I can be. 

BECK:  You can be.  You don‘t want to be.  You don‘t want to be, because if you‘re white or you‘re an American citizen, or a white American citizen, you‘re pretty much toast. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  And, of course, “The Beckster” pulls this hogwash out of thin air. 

There is nothing in the DREAM Act that gives undocumented immigrants an advantage over white Americans.  The bill provides a path to citizenship for highly-motivated children who are in this country illegally through no fault of their own.  It gives people who are willing to work hard an opportunity to achieve the American dream.

But, of course, Glenn Beck can‘t understand that.  He‘s too caught up in his world of conspiracy theories.  His fear mongering that the DREAM Act is disastrous for white people is complete “Psycho Talk.”  

Coming up, “Caribou Barbie.”  Well, she‘s packing her bags, locking arms with Franklin Graham, and hightailing it to Haiti.  Don‘t kid yourself, folks.  This is a PR trip, not a humanitarian mission. 

Liberal fire-breathing talker Mike Papantonio is going to be setting the record straight tonight in “The Battleground” story on that one. 

Former President Bill Clinton was called in for some backup today at the White House.  I want to know if Bill is going to help President Obama save the day for the middle-classers.  He made a strong pitch today to the media here in Washington.  We‘ll get “Rapid Fire Response” on that. 

Plus, Chris Christie is throwing money away; “The Tan Man” is caught smoking; and “Daily Show” co-creator Lizz Winstead is in the house for “Club Ed” tonight. 

Stay with us.  You‘re watching THE ED SHOW from the White House on

MSNBC.

We‘re right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.  In the “Battleground” story tonight, well, Sarah Palin is proving yet again what a pathetic political grandstander she actually is.  Palin‘s tagging along with Franklin Graham on a trip to Haiti pretending to care about the victims of the deadly earthquake.  What a phony.  You know, I don‘t believe she gives a damn about anybody in Haiti.  All she cares about is one person, herself.  If she really wants to help out the needy, she should start right here in her own country and helping out millions of suffering Americans who are out of work and unemployed, instead she tweeted this.  “Thank you to Jim DeMint for saying that he won‘t support any tax deal that includes help for the unemployed.” 

Palin kicks unemployed Americans when they‘re down but expects us to believe that she cares about the people in Haiti?  The Haiti earthquake happened 11 months ago.  But she‘s just now getting around to getting down there to make a visit because she really cares about those people.  I tell you what, when she has a new book out and a reality show on TV, she is exploiting people who are suffering for media attention, for money, and for her own political gain, this is what she‘s all about.  I think it‘s repulsive. 

For more, let‘s bring in Mike Papantonio, host of the nationally syndicated Ring of Fire radio show.  Mike, good to have you with us tonight.  Have we ever seen a bigger phony in contemporary time in American politics?  I mean, she just lays it right out there as if we‘re not going to connect the dots. 

MIKE PAPANTONIO, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  Palin is addicted to the camera, the same way that Paris Hilton is.  It‘s almost a sickness.  It doesn‘t make any difference how negative the attention is as long as it is attention.  It is in a sense an illness.  Week one, she‘s clubbing halibut to death on her TV show in front of the camera, so she can get some attention there.  And next week, she‘s shamelessly showing her kind of cornpone nature on TV when she tells us that North Korea is our ally.  The point is this, it takes time and effort to create a public image for yourself that‘s equivalent of part Flava Flav, part Kate Gosselin, and part Lindsay Lohan.  But she‘s pull in loathe pretty well.  She‘s running for president, Ed.  And her advisers are telling her that she needs do something about the lack of sophistication, the lack of intellect and the lack of worldliness.  So, she‘s latching onto big issues like Haiti.  

SCHULTZ:  Well, she‘s basically twittered her way onto the political scene in this country.  And some, I think, low-information voters have done a good job of just reading a couple of lines that she puts out there thinking that they  know exactly what the hell is going on in this country, but she‘s on the offensive and here  she is going after the GOP leadership in an interview with Barbara Walters. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH PALIN, FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR:  The GOP wasn‘t close to winning the Senate.  You know they want to be known as such powerful characters, but they are impotent and limp and they are weak.  They hide behind somebody‘s skirts.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  What do you make of that aggressive nature, Mike?

PAPANTONIO:  Well, as you watch her, it‘s that crazy card that comes out, Ed.  As soon as she told America that she could see Russia from her front porch or that Putin might be planning an airborne invasion in Alaska, most Americans kind of understood that she wasn‘t funny in a ha ha giggle kind of way, she was fun I a very creepy kind of way.  Look, she tells us that she has a new schedule, and that is she‘s going to England and she‘s going to Israel.  Chances nobody has told her when she goes to England that David Cameron, the prime minister of England has made this statement that he thinks that she‘s dull and downright stupid.  Maybe she can work through that on her visiting England.  But it‘s going to take some major diplomatic training.  She doesn‘t have it.  Her handlers cannot make her look smart because she‘s not smart.  Fifty one percent of the American public are onto this woman and you know what, every time she opens her mouth, we learn a little bit more about how creepy she really is and this Haiti thing is just another one of those issues.  

SCHULTZ:  Can she create and will she create a faction within the Republican Party that could be problems for them down the road?

PAPANTONIO:  I think she‘s going to split it.  Look, you‘ve got 22 percent of the American people that still have a favorable rating for her.  Almost exclusively they‘re Republicans.  The people who understand what‘s happening here are very afraid of Palin because she understands what could happen at a convention. 

SCHULTZ:  Yes.

PAPANTONIO:  All of the crazies will line up on one side of the room with Palin and all the moderates may be on the other side of the room.  It is a problem for Republicans.  It‘s really not a problem for Democrats and I think the more she‘s out there, the better it is for all of America because she is a kook.  

SCHULTZ:  Mike Papantonio, always a pleasure.  Good to have you with us tonight.

Now, let‘s get some rapid-fire response from our panel on these stories, tonight.  I‘ll get their take on Sarah Palin‘s trip to Haiti and her 2012 ambitions. 

The Democrats are furious that the so-called compromise on the estate tax will let more than 40,000 millionaires and multimillionaires off the hook.  That, in my opinion is a moral outrage. 

And of course, the president brings out Bill Clinton, an old friend, to sell his tax cut case to the American people.  Will it work? 

With us tonight, Joe Madison, XM Satellite radio talk show host and Ernest Istook, former republican congressman and now fellow at the Heritage Foundation.  Sarah Palin, first tonight, gentlemen. 

Joe, you went down to Haiti right when the earthquake took place.  You know exactly what the devastation is all about.  Are you somewhat offended that at this late date, she is using this as a backdrop to show that she‘s so compassionate, yet she wants to deny benefits, insurance unemployment benefits to Americans who‘ve been displaced?  Your take on this.  

JOE MADISON, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  I don‘t have time to be offended because the people of  Haiti right now have a cholera outbreak that is killing literally thousands of people, but you know, here‘s the real deal and we‘ll know how phony this is.  Will she come back and try to tell those United States senators in her party that are holding up funding for Haiti right now.  This is what most people don‘t understand.  Much of the money that was pledged by the United States and other nations are being held up.  And who‘s holding them up?  Once again, the party of no has said no to the Haitian people who need this money desperately. 

SCHULTZ:  Ernest, what about that? 

MADISON:  When we came back, I just want to say this.  

SCHULTZ:  Yes.  

MADISON:  When we came back, we hit the halls of Congress.  We hit the news media.  We hit your show.  We went around and tried to shake the money loose and get people to do something about what this country had committed, this government had committed to the people of Haiti.  Let‘s see if she does that.  

SCHULTZ:  Ernest, what do you think?  

ERNEST ISTOOK, FORMER GOP CONGRESSMAN:  Yes, sure, Ed.  Let me address something about both the Sarah Palin and the situation and about the situation in Haiti.  The earthquake in Haiti was, what, something like 11 months ago.  You still need people that are going there.  Still need people that are focusing attention on this situation.  Whether it‘s you know, Bill Clinton has been doing a lot of things, actor, Sean Penn have been over there.  I‘m coming to that.  

(CROSSTALK)

SCHULTZ:  The issue is her hard-line stance on unemployment in America versus helping other people out in another country, what about that?

ISTOOK:  Ed, I‘m coming around to both of the things that you asked me about, OK?  But, you know, let‘s not criticize anybody if you‘re going to Haiti.  Is there a double purpose because it also, you know, strengthens her street cred on foreign issues, yes, it is.  But for someone to help bring spotlight in Haiti don‘t criticize that.  When Joe‘s talking about the foreign assistance from the U.S. government from the U.S. government from Haiti, for goodness sake, the reason that that hasn‘t been funded is the Congress didn‘t pass a single appropriations bill.  They‘re months overdue and they haven‘t been put on the president‘s desk.  They didn‘t even try to pass that bill.  They didn‘t bring it up.  Now, what you‘re talking about unemployment, Ed.

SCHULTZ:  Yes.

ISTOOK:  OK, all right, first of all, you know, we know the U.S. has a greater responsibility for its own and then for other countries even as sympathetic as we are.  But you know, Ed, we‘re paying out huge amounts on unemployment.  We‘ve extended it up to 99 weeks and there is a problem with how long you keep extending unemployment.  Just because whether it‘s unemployment, Haiti or any other situation, there‘s a point at which you‘ve provided the help that you should be providing and other people need to be stepping up for themselves.  

SCHULTZ:  So, you‘re saying that there are limits.  I guess, there are limits about how you are supposed to feel about when people go through an earthquake, too.  

MADISON:  There are no limits on humanity.  I don‘t care how desperate we are.  Excuse me, I don‘t care how desperate we are in the United States.  And Ernest, you should go on the trip with her and let me tell you, you‘ll come back with a different attitude about shaking that. 

ISTOOK:  It‘s a horrible situation there, sure.  And I‘ve contributed towards helping it, I sure have.  

MADISON:  Well, it shouldn‘t take 12 months to get there, and what I‘m saying to you is she should walk the halls.  She should walk the halls of Congress, shake the money loose. 

SCHULTZ:  All right. 

MADISON:  Just don‘t go for the photo-op.  

ISTOOK:  Pending in the Congress.  Thanks, Ed.  Thanks, Joe.  

SCHULTZ:  Joe Madison, I‘ve got to ask you, should the Democrats hold the line against the estate tax or is this a cave to the Republicans?  How‘s this going to come down?

MADISON:  They‘ve got yes, hold the line.  That would be the one thing they can do.  They have to hold the line on this one.  And then I think after that, turn your—your proverbial political gun on the Republicans. 

SCHULTZ:  Ernest, why is this so important to the Republicans when it really doesn‘t affect that many Americans? 

MADISON:  Thirty five hundreds or something, 35,000. 

ISTOOK:  And you are right, most of it, just like most of the income taxes are paid by a small percentage of Americans.  You‘re talking about people who have already paid the lion share of the income tax and now you want a double dip with the death tax as well.  That‘s part of the problem. 

SCHULTZ:  You rich folks just can‘t serve it up, can you, Ernie?  You just can‘t serve it up, Ernie.  Where‘s your sacrifice, Ernster?  You don‘t have it.  You want it all for the rich.  Gentlemen, we‘re out of time.  We have to run.  Ernie Istook, Joe Madison.  

ISTOOK:  Thank you.

MADISON:  Thanks, Ed.

SCHULTZ:  Always a pleasure.  Great to have you with us tonight.

Coming up.  Rush Limbaugh is finally taking heat from the people who control the airwaves over his racist remarks.  Reverend Al Sharpton‘s crusade against the drugster has even got Congress talking now.  Rush, I think that you ought to be shaking in those fatty boots you got there big guy.  A top insider will tell us just how this plan could bust him.  Next in the “Playbook,” stay with us. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  And it‘s not too late to let us know what you think.  Tonight‘s text survey question is, do you want the Democrats to keep fighting President Obama‘s tax compromise?  Text A for yes, text B for no to 622-639.  We‘ve got the results coming up.  Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  And in my “Playbook” tonight, right wing radio dominates the airwaves in this country and no one is more powerful in the industry than Rush Limbaugh.  The drugster, oh, I tell you what, he doesn‘t at all intimidate Reverend Al Sharpton.  The Rev is relentlessly focused on holding Limbaugh accountable for his history of racist remarks.  Here‘s what he told me on Monday on THE ED SHOW.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, FOUNDER, NATIONAL ACTION NETWORK:  We‘re going to see 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.  Rush Limbaugh has the right to say what he wants to say.  He does not have the right to do it though on publicly regulated airwaves. 

The FCC has a responsibility to set standards.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  On Tuesday, Limbaugh lashed out accusing Democrats of being a racist for not supporting President Obama‘s tax cut deal. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  Man, oh man, oh, man.  Ladies and gentlemen, the left, what a bunch of racists.  I have never seen such a collection of racists.  All these liberals criticizing Obama on this—on this compromise on the tax bill.  I mean, well, every bit of criticism of Obama‘s always been said to be racist, hasn‘t it?  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  On Wednesday, Sharpton kicked it up a notch saying that he wants members of Congress to get involved. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON:  We‘re also going to unveil a petition that we‘re going to challenge members of Congress and the Senate to sign onto.  I think we have to press those that have made Senate votes condemning people in the past and have demagogued on this.  Now, it comes down to an area that government can be called upon and we want them on the record.  So we intend to escalate this fight.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  And the radio industry has been on fire about this.  Every journalist who covers the industry is wondering how this is going to work out and will the next shoe actually drop? 

Well, for more on this, let‘s bring in radio consultant, Media Consultant Holland Cooke.  Holland, I am told that there will be a lot of signatures from congressional members on this petition that‘s going to be circulated by Reverend Sharpton and the National Action Network.  What does this mean for the industry?

HOLLAND COOKE, TALK RADIO CONSULTANT:  Well, the radio industry needs this like a hole in the head, but the FCC itself is in an awkward position because they try to stay out of the content regulation business that Rush‘s faux paws are forcing them into.  There are several hundred local radio stations that enable Rush Limbaugh to make tens of  millions of dollars a year and the thanks that those radio stations get is that Rush Limbaugh picks a fight with  Congressman Clyburn whose daughter happens to be an FCC commissioner.  So thanks a lot.  And while Reverend Sharpton is specifically aggrieved over what Rush has done lately, here‘s the problem. 

Rush Limbaugh gives all the Rush wannabes permission to do the same.  I was listening to Glenn Beck and his suck-up sidekicks this week.  And now, they‘re piling on and mucking Commissioner Clyburn.  Not just Rep Clyburn.  So, this thing is in a bad place but the story may already be moving as a result of what has happened on this show.  As you know, one week ago, the radio trade press wasn‘t touching this story.  Now it is all over the radio trade press.  And I may be the only person other than Rush Limbaugh who listens to the Rush Limbaugh show so much because I listen to talk radio for a living.  I hear what‘s there and if hear what‘s not there and in the last few days, what‘s not there is more of this racial stuff.  I think somebody got to him and told him to wise up and knock it off.  

SCHULTZ:  What about the path that Reverend Sharpton is following, going after the waivers and making the connection that radio stations are to operate in the public‘s interest and racist comments is not operating in the public‘s interest.  That—does that have merits and could it stand on its own?

COOKE:  Well, when Reverend Al talks about publicly regulated, he reminds us that the radio stations don‘t own the channel that they‘re on any more than the TV stations do.  They get to use that channel because they are supposed to be operating in the public interest.  We, you, all of us own those channels.  So he‘s ringing a very loud bell.  

SCHULTZ:  You bet.  Holland Cooke, good to have with us.  And of course, we will follow the story.  

COOKE:  Hey, stay warm out there.  

SCHULTZ:  I‘m trying to do that.  

Coming up, Sarah Palin, well, she‘s got her mind in the gutter.  She might have trouble nailing a caribou but she‘s hitting the republican men right where it hurts below the belt.  “Daily Show” co-creator Lizz Winstead.  She‘s going to take down, went on Club Ed, next.  Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  We‘re back.  It‘s Friday, that means it‘s time for “Club Ed” with the with “Daily Show” co-creator Lizz Winstead.  Lizz, you‘re coming to us from Minneapolis tonight.  Good to have you with us.  What‘s happening?  

LIZZ WINSTEAD, CO-CREATOR, “DAILY SHOW”:  I am.  Thanks, Ed.  So I‘m in Minneapolis, I‘m in the make-up room with Governor Pawlenty who starts trash-talking you, saying that you and he have a dinner plan and he‘s tried to get a hold of you twice and you are not calling him back.  Now, that was crazy enough and then I said, are you running for president?  And he said I‘m thinking about it, and I said anything else you‘re thinking about, he said, well I was also thinking about opening up a Margarita bar and just kicking back and I said, you know what?  I think that is a much better idea for you.  I think would it be much better at that.  

SCHULTZ:  Let me tell you about Governor Pawlenty.  Once again, there‘s another republican lie out there.  I‘m the easiest guy in the world to find.  I‘m on TV every night at 6:00 Monday through Friday.  I would hope a guy who wants to be president of the United States would be able to find a fat red-head on TV and give me a call.  OK, Tim, I‘ll buy you dinner, it was a good November for you guys.  Game over. 

WINSTEAD:  Maybe, I don‘t know, dude, I think maybe he‘s going to go with the Margarita bar idea after our conversation.  I grabbed his lapels and I was like, hey, Margarita idea, much better.  Much better. 

SCHULTZ:  Now, Lizz, you didn‘t ask him if it was Sarah Palin he was -

that she was talking about, about Tim Pawlenty?  Was it, what was happening on that deal?

WINSTEAD:  You know, Sarah Palin has really made her mark this week especially when she‘s twofold.  She wants to go to Haiti for the weekend.  And quite frankly, haven‘t those people been through enough with, you know, earthquake and disease and now Palin but I think she wants to go to Haiti because it has the word hate in it.  I think that‘s the most enticing thing for her in it.  

SCHULTZ:  What about Don‘t Ask, Don‘t Tell?  What‘s going to happen on this?

WINSTEAD:  You know what, it‘s so upsetting to me but, you know, I think finally the Republicans will come to some sort of agreement where they‘ll say, OK, we will allow soldiers to serve openly but only during the war on Christmas.  I think that‘s what we‘re going to get. 

SCHULTZ:  And finally, Tim Geithner‘s got a kidney stone. 

WINSTEAD:  Well, Ed, yes, I mean I heard that but apparently the doctor‘s upon closer look, said it‘s not a kidney stone but a lump of coal. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCHULTZ:  Lizz Winstead, always a pleasure.  Great to have you with us tonight.  

WINSTEAD:  Thanks, Ed.  

SCHULTZ:  Thanks so much.  And Lizz Winstead, you can check out Lizz‘s annual year and review show at the Parkway Theater in Minneapolis.  Tickets and information are at Lizz winstead.com. 

And tonight here on THE ED SHOW, we say good-bye to someone who has been absolutely fantastic, to me the host and to our team.  Jamieson Lesko has been our executive producer since this show started and has brought this show to record ratings.  THE ED SHOW has had the best ratings, this network has ever had in this time slot and we could have not done it without her direction and her dedication and loyalty.  I have been in this business for 30 years and I have never worked with anyone who has been so loyal, so dedicated, so hard driving.  But she wants to leave me.  Can you believe that?  And leave the Ed team.  She‘s going to “NIGHTLY NEWS” and going to work with foreign correspondents and she promises me that someday she‘ll be giving me a call from Afghanistan and it will be the best report they‘ve ever gotten from Afghanistan.  “NIGHTLY NEWS,” you‘re getting a great one.  We‘re going to miss Jamieson Lesko. 

Tonight, in our text survey, I asked, do you want the Democrats to keep fighting President Obama‘s tax compromise?  Here are the results.  That‘s THE ED SHOW.  I‘m Ed Schultz, we will see you back in New York on Monday night.  “HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews starts right now. 

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