updated 12/21/2010 11:42:29 AM ET 2010-12-21T16:42:29

Guests: Jerrold Nadler, Bob Shrum, Keith Ellison, Christopher Barron, Mike

Rogers, Maryann Woods-Murphy, Eric Boehlert

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

These stories are hitting “My Hot Buttons” and on the table tonight.

The 9/11 first responders, well, they‘ve become political bait for the Republicans.  This isn‘t any way to treat those heroes.  My commentary on that, plus reaction from Congressman Jerry Nadler, who represents lower Manhattan and many of those heroes who were on the scene. 

That‘s coming up in a moment. 

John McCain and Jon Kyl, both from Arizona, are making a last stand for discrimination in America.  They‘re trying to scare away anyone in favor of the historic “Don‘t Ask, Don‘t Tell” repeal by claiming it puts the troops‘ lives at risk. 

I think that‘s slimy, it‘s wrong, and they are stuck in time. 

And you know what?  If you watch Fox, literally, there‘s a study out there that says you‘re dumber.  I‘ve got proof that Fox News is nothing but a propaganda machine, and their viewers are falling for all of the lies.  All the details in that new study are coming up. 

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

Time is running out on this lame-duck session of the Congress, and Republicans are still standing in the way of helping 9/11 heroes, if you could believe it.  Republicans continue to act like hostage-takers on this issue, and their buddies over at the United States Chamber of Commerce are backing them every step of the way. 

I think this is the most un-American activity in recent history in the United States Senate. 

Earlier this month, Senate Republicans filibustered a bill that would have provided $7.4 billion to aid for the 9/11 workers who became ill and are still ill.  Now Republicans are whining because they think $7 billion is just too much money. 

Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl of Arizona showed just how heartless he is on “Fox News Sunday.”  Chris Wallace played a clip of a 9/11 responder hammering Kyl for whining about working on Christmas. 

Here‘s the exchange. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I‘m here to say that you won‘t find a single New York City firefighter who considers it a sign of disrespect to work in a New York City firehouse on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. 

(APPLAUSE)

CHRIS WALLACE, HOST, “FOX NEWS SUNDAY”:  Senator, everyone praises the first responders as heroes.  You say you‘re skeptical about in bill.  Why not find a way to give these heroes peace of mind when it comes to health care? 

SEN. JON KYL ®, ARIZONA:  Well, first of all, they should have peace of mind when it comes to health care.  The question is, what and how? 

And when you try to do it, as you said in your introduction, in a hurry, in a lame-duck session, without a hearing, without understanding what the ramifications are and whether we can amend the bill, you‘re doing it in the worst way. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  What and how?  He says, what and how? 

Well, how about a sick person that goes into a doctor‘s office and can‘t breathe?  Would that be a “how” or would that be a “what”? 

Kyl just can‘t find it in his heart to give it up to you sick 9/11 workers, can he?  This is the same senator who held this country hostage to help deliver hundreds of billions of tax cuts for the top two percent. 

Fiscal conservatives, you see, they just love this bill because every dime is paid for.  The money would come from closing a tax loophole on multinational corporations incorporated with tax havens. 

Now, this is where the Chamber of Commerce in all of this. 

Back in September, the Chamber sent out a letter in opposition to the bill.  Now, according to Think Progress, the Chamber warned that ending the tax loophole would “damage U.S. relationships with major trading partners and aggravate already unsettled financial markets.” 

The United States Chamber of Commerce is more are worried about foreign nationals making a dollar than being able—and screwing the American taxpayer than being able to help the 9/11 heroes who are out there.  You know, you have to wonder, just where do these people come from?  Who are they? 

The Chamber has bankrolled Republicans to the point that they will step on people who sacrificed their lives at Ground Zero?  Jon Kyl and the rest of the Republicans who pushed this bill to the brink should absolutely be ashamed of themselves. 

Democrats are pulling out all stops to get this done before the Christmas break.  Senator Schumer of New York is trying to get some Republicans on board.  Good luck there.  He went ahead and cut the price tag to $6.2 billion, and he thinks he has the votes to pass the bill. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK:  We now have the votes.  We made some modifications that some of our Republican colleagues requested.  And if no one does undue delay, just stands up and delays and delays and delays, we will get this done. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Well, all the Republicans know how to do is play the delay game. 

Kyl is doing his best to stop the START treaty as well.  The earliest the Senate‘s going to be able to vote on that is probably tomorrow.  This means the 9/11 bill will have to go through a cloture vote, then a 30-hour delay, another vote in the Senate, and another vote in the House. 

Schumer wants Congress to stick around and get this bill passed.  He said this on Sunday --  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCHUMER:  There are ways that the House might be able to pass this bill by unanimous consent.  Otherwise, we believe that they should stay to get the bill passed.  And we‘re going to get it done as quickly as possible. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  You know, it just makes you wonder, how in the heck could this be a hard lift for America?  This shouldn‘t be a hard lift.

If Republicans would have put their politics aside and acted like statesmen and representatives and senators, they could have passed these bills months ago.  But now it‘s jammed into a lame-duck session in the Congress.  And it is kind of amazing just how much Congress can get done when they‘re under a deadline and under the gun. 

The lame duck—this lame-duck session of the Congress has been one of the most productive in recent history.  Let‘s see what they‘ve done. 

They have passed a tax bill compromise.  A lot of liberals don‘t like it, but it does help the unemployed.  It‘s got an unemployment extension. 

Repeal of “Don‘t Ask, Don‘t Tell,” that‘s an accomplishment over the weekend, the Food Safety Bill.  And now the Senate‘s on the verge of ratifying the START treaty, but, of course, the Republicans are against that. 

Now, if they can get the 9/11 bill through this week, it would be another win for the president of the United States and the Democrats.  But more importantly, it would be a huge win for the people who really understand sacrifice. 

We‘ve talked about sacrifice on this program in recent days, haven‘t we?  9/11 responders shouldn‘t have to wait this long to get justice.  This is social justice, medical justice. 

The un-American activity of Republicans like Jon Kyl and the Chamber of Commerce, I think, has no place in our politics.  But you see, if they do this on President Obama‘s watch, then, heck, he‘s going to get credit for it. 

This isn‘t about credit.  And when George Bush stood up there with the bullhorn right after 9/11, was he talking about political credit? 

Mr. Kyl, Mr. McCain, where are you on this issue?  Remember all of those people that were running around with Fire Department of New York hats, so proud of America‘s finest?  But now when they‘re sick, now when it‘s time to help them, you‘re not there.  You‘re not there.  You‘re worried about a dollar. 

Jon Kyl is asking, well, what‘s the money for?  We haven‘t heard—we haven‘t had any hearings on this. 

Can we roll it back a week? 

Mr. Kyl, we didn‘t have any hearings on this bill tax compromise that you held America hostage on.  We didn‘t get any hearings on that.  But I guess we‘ve got to have hearings if you want it, right? 

Get your cell phones out, folks.  I want to know what you think about tonight‘s text survey question. 

The question is: Does it surprise you that the Republicans are blocking a bill that provides health care to 9/11 heroes?  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 Congressman Jerry Nadler, whose district includes Ground Zero. 

Congressman, good to have you with us tonight. 

I‘ll pose this question to you, Jerry.  Senator Kyl wants to know where the money‘s going.  I thought that we should just ask you tonight. 

Where is the money going?  If it‘s $6.2 billion or $7 billion, where does the money go?  He doesn‘t seem to know. 

REP. JERROLD NADLER (D), NEW YORK:  Well, about $3.5 billion will go to health care for the 9/11 first responders and survivors, and the balance will go to reopening the Victims Compensation Fund. 

Congress, a week after 9/11, passed the Victims Compensation Fund to reimburse victims, or families of victims who had died, so that they didn‘t have to sue the port authority, the airlines, and whoever else.  But it was closed because—that is to say, you had a suit—you had to file by a certain date because it was not anticipated that people would get sick later and that their injuries would manifest themselves later.  So part of this bill is to reopen that so people who got sick after the closing date, which was back in 2002 or ‘03, I forget --  

SCHULTZ:  Yes. 

NADLER:  -- could sue—not—I‘m sorry, could avoid suing, could get compensated for their injuries, for their sicknesses.  But most of it is for—but about half of it, a little better, is for medical care.

A lot of people are caught in a catch-22 because they could no longer work, because they were sick, they could no longer work.  They lost their health insurance.  And over a thousand people have died from this for several years.  The government at all levels denied the obvious, that people were getting sick because of the toxins that they breathe, but now nobody denies that at all. 

SCHULTZ:  Yes.  Well, this is what I think the American people—and I have to capture this as an American taxpayer as well.  We‘ve had over a thousand people die from being 9/11 responders.  Yet, the people who are—

I guess you could say are still above the grass, you mean we‘re going to deny them medical care when there‘s a real good chance that they could pass away because of their volunteer effort on that big tragedy that took place on 9/11?  I mean—

NADLER:  That‘s what has happened. 

SCHULTZ:  Go ahead, Congressman. 

NADLER:  People are losing their entire life savings, their entire livelihoods because of this.  And what does it say—you know, Abraham Lincoln said that we have to care for him who shall have borne the battle, for his widow and his orphan, and that‘s all this says.  The Marine Corps says you never leave the wounded on the battlefield.  That‘s all this says.

And we passed—the Congress passed a couple of weeks after Pearl Harbor a very similar bill to take care of the civil victims of Pearl Harbor, which was the first attack on American territory.  And this is simply what we have to do. 

Carolyn Maloney and I have been working on this bill for about seven and a half years.  It‘s been made as tight as possible, as closed as possible, but we know that there are thousands of people under treatment, and there will be more thousands of people under treatment.  And this will simply take care of the minimal obligations of the United States. 

And there‘s one other thing, too.  Some of the people in the Senate, some of the Republicans, are saying—and in the House, too—that this is just for New York, it‘s a New York problem.  Well, the fact is, it was the United States that was attacked, not New York.  And people came from all over the country who were first responders from every state in the union, and they‘re sick, and some of them are dying all over the country, and this is for the benefit of everybody. 

And finally, the next time, God forbid, we have a natural disaster whether manmade or—we have a disaster whether manmade or natural, we want people to rush in and to try to help people and save people, not to worry about, my God, I better not help because if I help and I get injured, who is going to take care of my family? 

SCHULTZ:  Yes.  Well put. 

Congressman, thanks for keeping up the fight. 

NADLER:  Thank you.

SCHULTZ:  Jerry Nadler in New York, here on THE ED SHOW tonight.

Thanks so much.

For more on this, let‘s go to Democratic strategist Bob Shrum.  He is also a professor at New York University. 

Bob, let‘s talk about this lame-duck session.  “Don‘t Ask, Don‘t Tell” passes over the weekend. 

In totality, is this turning to be a big political victory for the Democrats?  How do you see it? 

BOB SHRUM, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST:  Oh, I think it‘s a very big political victory.  The lame-duck session is turning out to be a soaring eagle. 

I mean, if you look at the amount of achievement, it‘s more than most Congress has ever achieved in two years.  “Don‘t Ask, Don‘t Tell” was a victory not just for Democrats, but for the cause of equality in this country.  And it was also a vindication of the president, because an awful lot of people questioned his approach—doing it legislatively, lining up the Pentagon, taking the time to make sure all the ducks were in a row—and it happened. 

So I think that he deserves a lot of credit, and so does the gay community, and so do all of those people who understood whether they‘re gay or not, that this is a matter of fundamental equality and liberty for Americans. 

SCHULTZ:  Wouldn‘t this be a good opportunity, Bob, for the White House to go on the offensive for the 9/11 responders?  You just heard Mr.  Nadler talk about, you know, if we—God forbid, we get hit again, we want people to step in and help out, and not having to worry about whether the Congress is ever going to be there in the future for them? 

I mean, this is just a horrific position I think the Republicans are playing right now.  What do you think? 

SHRUM:  You know, I‘ve got to tell you, I can‘t help but thinking that this is a cynical political calculation on the part of the Republicans.  When you hear them say, well, it‘s a New York problem, you know what they‘re really saying?  We don‘t have a chance in 2012 to carry New York or Connecticut, or, for that matter, New Jersey.  So we‘re just not going to worry about this. 

Now, they went out and they gave us a war on false pretenses that‘s cost $2 trillion so far, and they never provided money to pay for it.  They objected to this for a long time because they said, we won‘t support it unless you cut education for handicapped kids or take food off of the table of hungry people. 

Democrats came up with a way to pay for it by closing an outrageous corporate tax loophole, and they want to stand up for that tax loophole instead of people who were on the front lines of service to this country.  They ought to rethink those ads they ran in 2004 with George Bush standing there saying he‘d never let those people down, because that‘s what the Republican Party is doing. 

SCHULTZ:  Well, I‘ll tell you what, you know the Republicans love to jump up at election time and talk to Americans—hey, we support the troops.  This is just like supporting the troops.  And I cannot believe that this has become a political football in the mix of who gets credit in the conversation in Washington. 

Bob, great to have you with us tonight. 

SHRUM:  Great.  Thanks, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  Thanks so much. 

Coming up, Senators Jon Kyl and John McCain, well, they just won‘t give it up.  They‘re in denial over the repeal of “Don‘t Ask, Don‘t Tell.”  I think they‘re a bunch of bigots.  The chairman of the only national organization representing gay conservatives joins me at the bottom of the hour to talk about it. 

And just who in the heck does Sarah Palin think she is to teach her kids about hard work?  She should send a press bullet into her kids reminding them that she quit as governor of Alaska.  We‘ll get some “Rapid Fire Response” on that big show last night. 

Plus, bat crazy Michele Bachmann might take her tranced-out “Psycho Talk” to the Senate. 

And the Grinch, Chris Christie of New Jersey, is taking from the poor and giving to the rich.  I‘m fighting that in “The Playbook” tonight. 

You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. 

Stay with us.  We‘re right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

New York Congressman Peter King, this guy‘s got a history of vilifying Muslim-Americans.  And now he wants to do it in front of the United States Congress. 

King‘s top priority as chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee is to hold hearings on the radicalization of American-Muslims. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. PETER KING ®, NEW YORK:  I believe it‘s important to have this investigation on the radicalization of the Muslim community.  We‘ve seen what happened in England.  We know that al Qaeda is trying to recruit people over here such as they did with the subway bombing in New York last year, the attempted subway bombing, the Times Square bombing.  These are all people living illegally in the United States. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  But it‘s not enough for King to just investigate American-Muslims.  You see, he wants to change public opinion.

In a “Newsday” op-ed he wrote this: “I will do all I can to break down the wall of political correctness and drive the public debate on Islamic radicalization.”

Drive the debate?  Isn‘t it more like drive the hate?  Some American-Muslims thing King‘s proposal has bigoted intentions.  I think they‘re spot on.  This guy has a track record of hate against Muslims.  I think he‘s trying to demonize an entire religion and trying to make President Obama look bad when it comes to their war on terror. 

For more, let‘s turn to Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison, the first Muslim member of Congress. 

Congressman, good to have you with us tonight. 

What do you make—

REP. KEITH ELLISON (D), MINNESOTA:  Thanks, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  -- of this rhetoric?  I mean, I think it‘s rhetoric.  Do you think it‘s rhetoric? 

ELLISON:  You know what?  I think it‘s scary. 

And I got so concerned that when I heard about it, I actually approached Congressman King on the House floor and on told him that, look, we all need to be concerned about violent radicalization, but not just to against Muslims, against anybody.  What about the guy who flew the plane into the IRS?  What about the guy who killed a guard at the Holocaust Museum?  What about all these things that we‘ve seen like Timothy McVeigh and other things? 

You know, it is worthwhile to find out what turns somebody into—a normal citizen into a violent radical.  But to say we‘re going to do it only against this community and we‘re going to change the debate to vilify this community is very scary and clearly has McCarthyistic implications. 

I‘m willing to engage with Congressman King and say, look, you want to talk about these things?  Let‘s do it responsibly, let‘s investigate this thing in the right way.  Let‘s talk about how we‘re going to make America safer, and enlist Muslim-Americans to help safeguard our country and look at anybody who might get radicalized. 

But I‘m fearful, Ed, that if you attack a discreet and insular community, that you will make people, good people, withdraw.  And I would like to see Muslim leaders, if they feel that there is some national security threat in their midst feel comfortable talking to the FBI, talking to local law enforcement, and this kind of stuff can really discourage that. 

So that‘s why I went to Congressman King and said, look, man, you know, if you‘re going to do this thing, I want to be talking to you, because I don‘t want you to take this awesome power that you have to basically make a community feel more isolated, more alone, and perhaps basically suppress elements. 

SCHULTZ:  What was his response?  I mean, what‘s his game plan?  What was his response when you challenged him on it? 

ELLISON:  He said, “We‘ll see.”  You know? 

So I‘m going to keep on—look, I‘m not going to quit.  I‘m not—because I can‘t afford—I cannot afford to not try to engage Congressman King on this thing, because I can‘t afford for some alienated, isolated youth who‘s been drinking on the milk of some al Qaeda types to feel, well, King is after me, everybody‘s after me, I might as well do something sick and crazy. 

No.  I‘m trying to engage people, bring them into the mainstream, so that, you know, people will feel more part of our great country. 

SCHULTZ:  Yes. 

ELLISON:  And so I‘m going to be talking to him. 

SCHULTZ:  This is Peter King saying he really doesn‘t care if Americans think he‘s bigoted.  Here he is. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Even though right after 9/11, you said that not all Muslims are responsible for what happened on 9/11, they say you‘re a bigot. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KING:  Yes, that‘s totally untrue.  It‘s political correct nonsense. 

But I‘m willing to take that hit if I have to. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  What‘s your response to that, Congressman Ellison, political correctness?  What‘s he talking about, in your opinion? 

ELLISON:  Well, I think it‘s a cavalier, dismissive—a way of dealing with legitimate concerns that people have about his respect for all Americans, including people who are Muslim.  I think that he should answer the question rather than just flip it to the side. 

I mean, here‘s the reality.  You know, Congressman King has been documented to have said a number of things that are disturbing.  I think that he should answer the question and then demonstrate that he is not on a witch-hunt to just get a certain segment of our American public, the Muslim community. 

I think it‘s very concerning.  What he says about political correctness, that‘s another—that is a gentle way that people on the far right engage in discriminatory behavior, but then criticize people who are criticizing them. 

SCHULTZ:  Yes.

ELLISON:  So, if you say that women ought to be equal, they‘ll say, oh, that‘s politically correct.  Oh, you shouldn‘t be racist.  Oh, you‘re making—you‘re being political correct.  No.  Bigotry is wrong, and it‘s not politically correct to say so. 

SCHULTZ:  No doubt. 

ELLISON:  It‘s right to say so.  Yes.  So, you know, Ed, I‘m—I was going to say, I‘m just concerned that we need more people engaged, more people involved.  We want more people from the Muslim community feeling welcomed, not fewer.  And I‘m worried about these hearings. 

SCHULTZ:  Congressman Keith Ellison, always a pleasure.  Good to have you with us tonight, and thanks for speaking up.  I think the guy is out of bounds and going overboard and playing the fear card. 

Thanks so much, Keith. 

Coming up, W‘s old mouthpiece, Dana Perino, joined the kids on “Fox & Friends,” and she fit right in.  Not amazing at all.  “Psycho Talk” was flowing like the coffee maker. 

She‘s in “The Zone” next. 

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, former Bush press secretary Dana Perino joined the kids on “Fox & Friends” this morning to rip into Democrats over their lame-duck legislative agenda. 

Now, they played a clip of Vice President Joe Biden going after Republicans for standing in the way of extending unemployment benefits, and Perino, of course she wasn‘t happy about that. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DANA PERINO, FMR. WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY:  I thought that it was grossly unfair for Vice President Biden to suggest that the Republicans did not want to extend benefits for people who are jobless, because that‘s never what they said.  What they said is, we will extend them, we think we should be extending them, if they are paid for.  And that‘s what the American people really want. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  No, Dana.  None of the Republicans out there are willing to help the 99ers.  Just keep that in mind. 

Dana, I think what the American people really want is to be able to put food on the table this Christmas. 

And what‘s grossly unfair is the Republicans holding unemployment, folks, hostage until they, of course, can get their tax cuts for the rich. 

By the way, I haven‘t heard of a lot of Republicans complaining about the $60 billion-a-year price tag for the tax break for the top two percent.  Republicans have blocked the extension of benefits over and over again all year long. 

And they didn‘t just whine about the cost.  They repeatedly pushed this bogus claim that unemployment benefits made people lazy. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. RICHARD BURR ®, NORTH CAROLINA:  The wrong thing to do is to automatically today extend unemployment for 12 months.  I think that‘s a discouragement to individuals that are out there to actually go out and go through the interviews. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  When you continue to extend unemployment benefits, people really don‘t have the incentive to go take other jobs. 

REP. STEVE KING ®, IOWA:  And we find out that most of the people will get the job at about the time the unemployment runs out. 

SEN. ORRIN HATCH ®, UTAH:  There are people who could be working who won‘t work because they have got unemployment insurance, and they just keep -- don‘t go out and start looking for jobs. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  One thing in common with all of those sound bites, they‘re all Republicans.  For Dana Perino to say it‘s unfair for Vice President Joe Biden to accuse Republicans of being against extending unemployment insurance, that is gross “psycho talk.”

Coming up, Jon Kyl and maverick John McCain and a bunch of homophobic righties are coming out to scare everyone about openly gay Americans serving this country.  The chairman of the only national organization representing gay conservatives and a top gay activist sound off ahead next on THE ED SHOW.

That crazy Michele Bachmann, uh-oh, look out, she‘s on the power grab, she‘s on the Intelligence Committee, but wait a minute, she‘s thinking about running for Senate or even the presidency?  Hold the phone on that one, we‘ve got rapid-fire response.  

Plus, conservatives are celebrating succession in South Carolina, and I‘ll tell you what politicians could learn, could learn from Michael Vick.  What a comeback.  You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.  Stay with us. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.  The “Battleground” story tonight, the Republicans versus progress.  Now, the Senate brought the country and the military into the 21st century this weekend with the historic vote to repeal “Don‘t Ask, Don‘t Tell.”  They did it without the help of two senators from Arizona, who I think, are pretty much frozen in time.  John McCain and Jon Kyl.  Tag-teamed to take a last stand on behalf of bigotry in America.  Well, the vote was in the bag, but McCain was determined to fight until the last minute to keep discrimination against gay and lesbian service members. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN ®, ARIZONA:  I‘m aware that this vote will probably pass today in a lame-duck session.  And there will be high-fives all over the liberal bastions of America.  I hope that when we pass this legislation that we will understand that we are doing great damage and we could possibly and probably as a commander of the Marines Corps have said and I have been told by literally thousands of members of the military, harm the battle effectiveness which is so vital to the support—to the survival of our young men and women in the military.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  The other Arizona senator, Jon Kyl, took it a step farther on FOX News claiming the repeal could cost American lives. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JON KYL ®, ARIZONA:  It could disrupt unit cohesion, and as the commandant said, cost lives.  That means a lot to me.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Now, Kyl, McCain and other righties are clinging to the words of Marine Corps Commandant John Amos who opposes repeal.  Now, Amos entitled—obviously entitled to his opinion but he‘s really off on the zone on this one.  The military experts are against him.  Amos was nominated to the “Post” by Navy Secretary Ray Mabus who supported repeal.  And Defense Secretary Robert Gibbs, who also supports repeal.  Amos answered to the chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen who supports repeal, and the commander in chief of course President Barack Obama who has always supported repeal of “Don‘t Ask, Don‘t Tell.”  Well, on Wednesday, President Obama will sign the repeal into law, and put to end a sad chapter in this country‘s history. 

For more, let‘s bring in Mike Rogers, gay activist blogger.  And also Christopher Barron, chairman of GO Proud.  Gentlemen, good to have you with us tonight.  Mike Rogers, how big a deal is this for the gay community?  Seeing that President Obama, very patiently said we‘re eventually going to get there.  And it was the gay and lesbian community who was very impatient about it all, or correct me.  What do you think?

MIKE ROGERS, GAY ACTIVIST BLOGGER:  Well, I think that there was obviously reason that the gay and lesbian community wanted a push forward on this to make sure that it happened now because certainly the next House of Representatives has absolutely no desire in promoting equality in this country.  So, I think it was a great win for the president.  He made a statement when he ran, which this policy will end under my watch and it will.  It‘s a great victory for Democrats and of course a big loss for the Republicans who were counting on their base, in that little 20 percent of the population that they elect down.  The Republicans clearly let down their base on this one. 

SCHULTZ:  Yes, Chris Barron, you‘re smiling on this.  What‘s wrong with the move?  

CHRISTOPHER BARRON, GO PROUD:  Nothing is wrong with the move, the move is fantastic and it‘s great for Democrats.  It‘s great for Republicans.  It‘s great for our military, it‘s great for the American people.  Opinion poll after opinion poll should the overwhelming majority of Americans support repeal of “Don‘t Ask, Don‘t Tell.”  Even majority of Republicans support the repeal of “Don‘t Ask, Don‘t Tell.”  

ROGERS:  Chris.

BARRON:  What‘s most important is it‘s in the best interest of our United States military.  

ROGERS:  And I agree with you, Chris.  So here is my question. 

BARRON:  Why it‘s such a great thing.  

ROGERS:  Chris, here is my question to you, if your party and if you, personally, believe it‘s the best thing for our country, why under your leader, George W. Bush, who you endorsed, were over 700 people per year tossed out, well, under President Obama under 430.  So we know that there can be a fixed, excuse me, I‘ll let you speak.  

BARRON:  Didn‘t it exist when George Bush was president so we couldn‘t elect him.  

ROGERS:  I‘ll let you—well, the gay Republicans overall supported him.  You did support John McCain who stood up vociferously argued against this when the very first man who was injured in the Iraq war was a man by the name of Eric Alva (ph), a gay service member who lost his legs—lost a leg.  So, again, it‘s more of the same.  It‘s too little, it‘s too late.  You know who did what in the past, da, da, da, but the bottom line is, eight years under Bush, 780 people on average were tossed from the military.  That number basically got cut in half under President Obama. 

BARRON:  Mike.

ROGERS:  And under his leadership, it has now been overturned and repealed.  

BARRON:  Mike, as veteran of the United States Air Force Reserves, I think this is a tremendous thing.  A tremendous thing for our country, a tremendous thing for our military.  

ROGERS:  And they‘re done without you. 

BARRON:  There were rules.

ROGERS:  It was done without the conservative base.  

BARRON:  No, it was not done without—first of all, conservatives like Dick Cheney.  Conservatives like.

(CROSSTALK)

ROGERS:  To little too late Chris, people who are out of office.

(CROSSTALK)  

SCHULTZ:  Finally, gentlemen, hold on, hold on.  Christopher Barron, let me ask you, what about John McCain?  What about Jon Kyl?  What about the Bush administration?  Aren‘t they so far off the mark on this?

BARRON:  This was John McCain‘s Terri Schiavo moment.  This was the self-destruction of an otherwise distinguished career.  I‘ve spoken to Senator McCain about this issue.  I‘ve spoken to him about it in 2005.  I spoke to him about it in 2008.  I can tell you from my own personal conversations with Senator McCain, that what I saw on the floor of the Senate did not reflect of what Senator McCain has said about this issue in the past and it‘s a disgrace. 

SCHULTZ:  Well.  

BARRON:  Like I said, this was his Terri Schiavo moment.  

ROGERS:  And what it shows, Ed, is that people like that can talk to John McCain.  Can yap, yap, yap all they want on the right.  But the bottom-line is, the promises are hollow.  Former elected officials like Dick Cheney, sure it‘s easy for him to stand up.  

BARRON:  Mike, you wouldn‘t have gotten this without republican votes. 

ROGERS:  Well that‘s actually not true.  If you looking at the it a majority.

BARRON:  Yes, it is.  

ROGERS:  Chris, a majority.  

BARRON:  You needed 60 votes.  You needed 60 votes.  

SCHULTZ:  There is no question, it‘s a hot topic.  Mike Rogers, Christopher Barron, thanks for joining us tonight.  Rachel Maddow will have more on this tonight, 9:00 Eastern on the “RACHEL MADDOW SHOW” here on MSNBC.  Gentlemen, thanks so much for joining us.  

BARRON:  Thank you.

ROGERS:  Thank you, Ed.

SCHULTZ:  Now, let‘s get some rapid-fire response from our panel on these stories. 

The Chamber of Commerce lobbied to kill the 9/11 responders‘ bill in the Senate.  It‘s more proof that the chamber‘s nothing but an un-American right-wing political outfit. 

Here is a scary thought.  Michele Bachmann leaving the door opens for a Senate campaign in Minnesota, and possibly even a presidential run in 2012? 

And believe it or not, I actually caught part of Sarah Palin‘s Alaska last night.  Flipping through the channels.  It‘s amazing what you see.  She was trying to teach her youngest daughter about the value of hard work by waitressing and I think she failed at that one too. 

With us tonight, Bill Press, nationally syndicated radio talk show host.  And John Feehery, republican strategist and President Quinn Gillespie communications. 

All right.  Gentlemen, I have to talk about Sarah Palin first.  I saw this last night.  I said, she quit as governor and here she is teaching her kid how to be a waitress.  Bill Press, your thoughts. 

BILL PRESS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  Well, I thought she‘d be happy if everybody in the country were working for minimum wage or maybe for tips only, Ed.  But that‘s what she—I just hope that if her daughter becomes a waitress, she remains a waitress longer than Sarah Palin remained governor.  

SCHULTZ:  John Feehery, what do you think?  Go ahead.  

JOHN FEEHERY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST:  Well, I was just going to say, listen, waitressing is a very hard job and something that we should, you know, really honor people who do the hard work in America.  Sarah Palin has got a very popular show.  I don‘t think we should be spending time den creating waitressing.  Let me just say that.  

SCHULTZ:  Den, I don‘t think she‘s den creating waitressing.  I think what she‘s doing is trying to show the American people that he‘s just like them but she acts like nobody else‘s has a tough job and of course, she  wanted everybody to know that she was a waitress way back when.  I mean, this whole serious bill press is all about her setting the table, know who I am, I‘m running for president.  What do you think?

PRESS:  No, no, exactly, Ed.  Look I have to tell you, I admire her for that.  I mean, she‘s found a way to have cable television and book publishers fund her presidential campaign.  She‘s running a campaign like nobody else has ever done before and I have got to tell you, a lot of politicians resent the free publicity that she‘s getting. 

SCHULTZ:  Well, her poll numbers aren‘t very good.  Let‘s go to this one.  The Chamber of Commerce killing and going after the 9/11 responders, bill, working against it.  John Feehery, why would they do this on behalf of all multinationals?  

FEEHERY:  Well, if you talk to the Chamber of Commerce, what they say, and I agree with them on, is they supported the bill.  What they didn‘t support was the tax to pay for it.  Because the tax will actually kill jobs in America.  And I tell you, people are worried about jobs, they don‘t want job-killing taxes to pay for bills like this.  I think it‘s—I think the Chamber of Commerce, it wasn‘t just the Chamber of Commerce, it was also the National Association of Manufacturers, that came out against this tax pay for, and I think that that‘s why they oppose this legislation. 

PRESS:  Hey, Ed, you know what?  John Feehery always comes on here, he always talks about jobs and yet he supported those tax cuts for the rich and that estate tax in this last tax bill.  

FEEHERY:  Right, because I support job creation. 

PRESS:  Which did not create one single job and you know it.  Ed, on the chamber—here‘s the thing Ed, on this chamber if I could finish that.  You know, I wondered why the Republicans were opposing this.  Because, I mean, these guys are heroes.  They ought to get the health care they deserve.  And now we find out, they‘re opposing it because of this tax loophole that foreign companies, not American companies, foreign companies are taking advantage of to take away jobs from Americans and American companies.  The chamber is fronting for foreign corporations here.  And I think as Americans, we have a right to know, what countries are paying the chamber and who the companies are.  

FEEHERY:  Why is it that for every piece of legislation that Democrats have to come up with some job-killing tax increases?  This is what they do on piece of legislation after piece of legislation.  

PRESS:  No, John.  

FEEHERY:  And I tell you that the fact of the matter is that we‘ve got to stop with the tax increase.  We‘ve got to stop with that if we want to create jobs in this country.  

PRESS:  John, giving foreign companies a tax loophole is not creating jobs in this country.  

SCHULTZ:  All right, quickly, Minnesota politics.  Michele Bachmann says that nothing is off the table for the future.  Which as a Minnesota taxpayer, that kind of scares me.  How would she do against Amy Klobuchar?  John Feehery, what do you think?  

FEEHERY:  Well, I‘ll tell you how she‘d do.  She would raise a lot of money because she‘s very popular with a certain segment of the population.  She would do very well for a lot of voters and I think she‘d be extraordinarily competitive and I think that almost every talk show host, like you Ed, would love to have her as a senator.  

PRESS:  Hey, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  Well, I don‘t want her on the Intelligence Committee I can tell you that.  Gentlemen, we have to run.  Good to have you with us tonight.  

Coming up, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie went on national television to mock the American worker after giving tax breaks to millionaires.  We‘re not going to let this bully get away with this one.  

And I‘ll show you proof that FOX News is brainwashing their audience with a bunch of lies.  You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.  Stay with us.  We‘re right back.        

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  And it‘s not too late to let us know what you think.  Tonight‘s text survey question is, does it surprise you that the Republicans are blocking a bill that provides health care to 9/11 heroes?  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, the people of New Jersey, well, they don‘t need any more gifts from Governor Chris Christie.  Under his leadership, the rich get tax breaks while everyone else gets a pay cut.  A pension cut or a trip to the unemployment office.  Now, here he‘s bragging about busting unions and slashing pensions. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE ®, NEW JERSEY:  We have a benefit problem.  It‘s not an income problem from the state.  It‘s a benefit problem.  And so we‘ve got to change those benefits.  

STEVE KROFT, “60 MINUTES” CORRESPONDENT:  And what‘s the reaction have been to that? 

CHRISTIE:  It depends on where you sit.  I mean, I think that the general public thinks, I can‘t believe anybody gets a pension anymore.  I think amongst the general public, they have said, amen and I think among the public sector unions, they‘re yelling and screaming.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  A benefit problem, let‘s talk about that benefit problem.  Christie rolled back the income tax on people making over $400,000 a year to pay for it.  He cut a billion dollars in public education and laid off thousands of state workers.  He‘s an arrogant bully, in my opinion who thinks beating up on the working folks of America shows that he as real tough guy and he can get it done. 

For more, let‘s bring Maryann Woods-Murphy, a high school Spanish teacher who was voted New Jersey‘s teacher of the year last year.  She strongly is against Governor Christie. 

MARYANN WOODS-MURPHY, NEW JERSEY TEACHER OF THE YEAR:  Hi, Ed.  

SCHULTZ:  Maryann, is it true—tell our viewers tonight that in the State of New Jersey, the $400,000 a year plus crowd got a tax break, is that true or false?

WOODS-MURPHY:  It‘s true.  And, you know, we‘re looking at the public, are we talking about, which public?  Are we talking about cops, firefighters, teachers, transit workers?  Are we talking about one percent who are getting tax breaks?  I want to know what public the governor is talking about. 

SCHULTZ:  Well, the public he‘s talking about is the middle class.  And he says that there‘s a benefit problem.  Has the teachers union in New Jersey played a big part?  Do you get too good of benefits if you teach in that state?  Tell us about it.  

WOODS-MURPHY:  You know what?  We need to have a pension program because teachers need to be attracted and retained.  People in classrooms have given up short-term benefits, short-term wages for longer-term basic financial security.  That‘s how we‘re going to attract and retain workers to work with our children, publicly minded individuals who are going to give life of service for these long-term basic financial security benefits. 

SCHULTZ:  Well, we should—we should point out that Governor Christie used to be a lobbyist and he also comes from Wall Street.  So he comes from that top two percent and wants to take care of his buddies in New Jersey.  Here he is saying that teachers have to sacrifice.  Here it is. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTIE:  I‘m the first person to expose them for what they‘ve been doing to the public.  

KROFT:  You want the public employee unions to share the pain?

CHRISTIE:  You bet.  I want them to share in the sacrifice.  And this is what I say to public sector, listen, you can boo me now but I‘m the first governor who has walked into this room in ten years and told you the truth.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  You have to sacrifice, Maryann, what do you make of that?

WOODS-MURPHY:  You know what?  We‘re seeing at larger class sizes, colleagues that have been dismissed, lost their jobs because of our fiscal crisis.  We‘re making sacrifices.  But we can‘t sacrifice the future of our state.  I‘m deeply concerned and upset about what the governor is doing.  Attacking public workers is just horrifying to me.  And the union exposing the union, what I‘d like to expose is his priorities. 

SCHULTZ:  Well, his priorities are wrong-headed in my opinion.  You know, I realize that a lot of people have to pay the piper but for him to give a tax break to people who make over $400 grand a year in New Jersey, I find repulsive and then taken out of hides of the hard-working Americans.  Maryann Woods-Murphy, good to have you with us tonight.  Keep up the fight. 

WOODS-MURPHY:  Thank you.

SCHULTZ:  Thanks so much.

WOODS-MURPHY:  Thanks, Ed.  

SCHULTZ:  And we should point out, in that story last night on “60 Minutes,” I was amazed that that part of the story was not in there, the tax breaks for the rich.  

One final page of the “Playbook” tonight, I think Michael Vick is the MVP of the national football league this year.  Vick put his team—he‘s back and just stole a win against the giants yesterday.  Down by 21 with under eight minutes to go, Vick led the Eagles to a stunning win.  Scoring 28 unanswered points.  I‘ve said it before, I‘ll say it again, I believe in rehabilitation.  Congratulations, Michael Vick.  Now do me a favor and help the Vikings by signing with them next year.  

Speaking of the Vikings, son of a gun.  Look at these pictures right now.  They‘re going to be playing outside tonight.  This is 494 headed towards the stadium.  They‘re going to have seven inches of snow.    They‘re playing outside of the University of Minnesota.  The Bears at the Vikings.  Ironically, it was 29 years ago tonight in 1981 that the Kansas City chiefs and the Minnesota Vikings played the last outdoor professional football game in this state.  Going to be fun to watch tonight.  

Coming up, FOX News viewers can think slant head Hannity and Beckster can thank them for all the misinformation that‘s outs there.  These guys serve up the B.S. every night.  And their viewers fall for it, hook line and sinker and there‘s a study to back that up.  We‘ll show it to you next on THE ED SHOW.  Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  And finally tonight, a new study out of the University of Maryland shows the lies coming out of FOX News are having a significant impact on the network‘s viewers.  One of the most shocking numbers is, people who watch FOX News on a daily basis are 31 percent more likely than non-FOX viewers who think President Obama was not born in America.  And the birther nonsense is only the beginning.  FOX viewers are 30 percent more likely to believe climate change, it ain‘t happening.  I wonder where they got that idea.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEIL CAVUTO, FOX NEWS ANCHOR:  All right this is our FOX News global warming alert for you.  It is freezing!  Across the entire globe.  

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN:  A winter storm pummeled the East Coast this weekend.  

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN:  What about global warming, Al Gore, come on?  

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR:  The hot air‘s coming out of Al Gore‘s mouth for years now but never before like this.  

UNIDENTIFIED MAN:  People are going, how could there be global warming if there‘s snow and then it‘s barely cold.  

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN:  Global warming science has been proven to be a complete joke. 

UNIDENTIFIED MAN:  You have to wonder, does earth need saving?

HANNITY:  I don‘t believe climate change is real.  I think this is global warming hysteria and alarmism.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  For more, let me bring in senior fellow at Media Matters for America, Eric Boehlert.  Eric, gosh, where do they get all of that opinion from?  How detailed is this study in your opinion from the University of Maryland? 

ERIC BOEHLERT, MEDIA MATTERS FOR AMERICA:  It‘s very detailed.  Nobody at FOX challenged the study on the merits.  You know, the study really captivated a humiliating weeks for FOX News last week.  The Media Matters published more on this internal e-mails showing FOX News is clearly trying to slant the news from the top down.  We had this Maryland study, which basically confirms, you know, the new FOX motto should be the more you watch, the less you know.  And then we had PolitiFact which is this fact-checking group came up with the lie of the year, was, quote, you know, “government-run health care,” unquote. 

Which is a phrase as Fox News essentially copyrighted.  So, you know, the curtain continues to be drawn back on the lies of FOX News.  And what we‘re trying to help explain to media matters is this is all about purpose.  This is by definition.  This is why FOX News exists.  It exists to spread misinformation.  It exists as a propaganda outlet.  They‘re extremely successful at being—at propaganda.  They‘re extremely unsuccessful as a news organization delivering accurate information. 

SCHULTZ:  No doubt.  And it‘s coming from the academic community as well. 

BOEHLERT:  Absolutely.  

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

BOEHLERT:  Thanks, Ed.

SCHULTZ:  Tonight in our text survey I asked you, does it surprise you that the Republicans are blocking a bill that provides health care to 9/11 heroes?  Twelve percent of you said yes, 88 percent of you said, no.  That‘s THE ED SHOW.  I‘m Ed Schultz.  Tomorrow night, I‘m doing a commentary on the no labels.  I hate political fence writers.  Well, I don‘t hate them.  I just don‘t think they serve a very good purpose in today‘s discourse.  “HARDBALL” starts right now on MSNBC.  We‘ll see you tomorrow night.

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