The Ed Show for Thursday, December 30th, 2010
Read the transcript to the Thursday show
Guest Host: Cenk Uygur
Guests: Steve Kornacki, Christopher Barron, Melanie Sloan, Joe Madison, Roy
Sekoff, Lizz Winstead
CENK UYGUR, HOST: Good evening, and welcome to THE ED SHOW.
I‘m Cenk Uygur of “The Young Turks,” in for Ed Schultz.
These stories are hot tonight.
There‘s a right-wing plan to cut Social Security next year while still protecting the rich. Will the president fight it or will he go along with it? We put that question to him in my commentary tonight.
Republicans are freaking out because a gay group was asked to speak at their big conference. Why do any gay people ever vote Republican? We‘ll ask the chairman from that conservative gay group tonight.
And Christine O‘Donnell is firing back on the investigation into her use of campaign money. She‘s ripping Vice President Biden for thug politics, and blasting Melanie Sloan from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics. Melanie joins me tonight for an exclusive interview.
But we start today with a warning about what‘s coming next year.
I hope the president recognizes what I‘m about to say and fights on our side to protect the average American, but honestly I‘m not sure he will. Let me tell you what this is about.
Everyone in Washington is talking about how important cutting the deficit is and how they promise to spend all of next year tackling this grave issue. This agenda‘s premised, honestly, on a series of lies.
First, deficit cutting is not the top priority of the American people. A CNN poll came out just this week saying that only 22 percent of the country thinks deficit cutting should be the main goal. Does that sound look a majority to you?
Now, every single poll shows that creating jobs, even if it means spending more government money to do so, is a much, much higher priority. Yet, the people in D.C. tell you that deficits are more important.
That leads us to this second huge lie. Our political leaders tell us we have to cut Social Security to cut the deficit. That is wrong. It‘s a lie. It‘s nonsense.
It‘s not just the Republicans. Even Democrats are on board to cut Social Security.
The president appointed a so-called bipartisan deficit commission that came out with a proposal to cut Social Security. At least half of the Democrats I talked to on air say we must compromise and cut Social Security. Even Ed Rendell, who‘ve I‘ve respected as a tough progressive fighter in the past, earlier this week told me that we have to raise the retirement age.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. ED RENDELL (D), PENNSYLVANIA: If you tell me by 2050 we‘re going to raise the age of Social Security to 69, I don‘t have a problem with that, because we‘ll all be living to 94, 95 degrees -- 95 years in life expectancy, and that‘s an elemental change.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
UYGUR: That is an elemental change, but you have to understand this is a huge cut in your Social Security. That means you get two to four years less in benefits. Not only do you have to work longer, but they‘re taking those years of benefits straight out of your pocket.
And what‘s the compromise you‘re getting in return? Are the rich also going to chip in? Hell no. They just got a $400 billion tax break.
Come on. They get the world, you get the shaft.
Ladies and gentlemen, I hate to break it to you, but our politicians are bought.
When you ask real Americans what their priorities are, their intentions are incredibly clear. Look at these numbers.
Eighty-five percent say they do not support any cuts to Social Security. Have you ever seen a poll with the results that high?
Eighty-two percent say they do not support cutting Medicare for the elderly. Seventy-two percent say no cuts in Medicaid to the poor. Even 66 percent of Tea Party supporters say no cuts in Medicaid.
These numbers are overwhelming. The American people are screaming at the top of their lungs, don‘t cut these programs! We need them to survive.
And what does Washington do? They give $407.6 billion to the rich and say we should cut your programs instead.
Republicans derisively called these entitlement programs. Do you know why Social Security and Medicare got that name in the first place? Because you paid into them your whole life. It‘s your money. That‘s why you‘re entitled to it.
Next year, I‘m telling you now, they‘re going to plan to rob you of all of that money. And the media will go along with their usual instant amnesia and forget that we just gave away the store to the richest people in the country when they start talking about shared sacrifice next year.
Look at how much in the tank the media is to Washington establishment.
Earlier this year, when Kentucky Senator Jim Bunning first blocked extending unemployment insurance in February, everyone was outraged. It was unprecedented to cut unemployment in the middle of a terrible economy like this. He was all alone, and even shunned by other Republicans.
Bob Corker, conservative Republican senator from Tennessee, said this about cutting unemployment at the time: “I believe we‘re stooping to a low level.”
Well, by the end of the year, the entire Republican Party had joined Bunning. And President Obama caved—I mean, compromised—and gave all the tax cuts for the wealthy in order for the GOP to allow some unemployment benefits to continue.
The country‘s become so much more right wing right in front of our eyes, in this year alone. Look, it‘s been happening for 30 years, but it was so stark this year. And yet, hardly anyone noticed.
By the end of the year, the media was treating cutting unemployment as perfectly normal. That‘s the Republican position. And the media must always remain neutral.
So outside of a few shows like this, in the next year you can expect the establishment media to do what they always do, suck up to power. So they will ignore the polls, the clear wishes of the American people, and they will help both sides demagogue about the deficit and tell you the only way to control it is to cut your benefits that you paid into for your whole life. And all of it is built upon another gigantic lie.
Social Security isn‘t broke, it isn‘t anyway near broke. It has a $2.5 trillion surplus.
Now, if you ask a politician, hey, is that true? They‘ll concede it. They‘ll say, yes, yes, yes that‘s true, but that they already spent that money when they shouldn‘t have. Too bad. It‘s gone, they say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The fact is that it‘s gone. The fact is that it was in treasury bonds, and it‘s been consumed and spent. And there is no treasury.
And this year the abutment that people said for years has come, and that is we are spending more money this year than it‘s taking in. Everyone knew it was coming. For 30 years people predicted it, and the day is now upon us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
UYGUR: Yes, we predicted it because you kept raiding Social Security.
So, yes, you paid into Social Security. Yes, it‘s supposed to have a surplus. But we already spent it, so too bad for you, now we‘re not going to pay.
You see, your savings is the last piggybank, and mark my words, the Republicans will raid it and the Democrats will go along saying they just had do it. And by the end of next year, they will all call it perfectly normal.
Mr. President, you can either help stop this or you can be a part of it. The choice is yours in the upcoming year. It‘s not my decision to make, it‘s yours. But believe me, it‘s not just our jobs that are on the line. What you do next year will also decide what happens to your job.
All right. Now tell me what you think in our telephone survey. The number to dial is 877-ED-MSNBC.
My question tonight is: Do you think President Obama will protect the middle class next year? And it‘s a good question. I‘m curious to see what your answer is.
Press 1 for yes. Press 2 for no. I‘ll bring you the results later in the show.
All right. Joining me now is Steve Kornacki, the news editor for Salon.com.
All right, Steve. As you can tell, I‘m not taking it easy on the president or the Democrats, and certainly not the Republicans or the media.
One, let‘s talk about whether you see this unfolding the same way that I do. Does it looks like they‘re coming from Social Security with the deficit commission and all that‘s being said?
STEVE KORNACKI, SALON.COM: Well, let‘s see. I mean, there‘s going to be an awful lot on the plate next year, and I think the overriding thing that you have to consider is, sort of the mission of the Obama presidency is going to fundamentally change next week, when the new Republican Congress is sworn in.
You know, for the last two years, at least until the election, I think, the mission of the Obama presidency was sort of—it was a mission about expansion. It was about getting, for instance, universal health care, or moving us toward universal health care. It was about Wall Street reform. It was about enacting new programs designed to sort of live up to some of the potential of his 2008 campaign.
When you look at what‘s going to happen starting next, I think it‘s going to be much more about playing defense.
It‘s going to be about protecting, for instance, health care reform, protecting Wall Street reform. And then it gets to the question of protecting the social safety net.
I don‘t think that we‘re anywhere near the point where we can say Obama is going to sell out people on Social Security or on Medicare. I‘m not even sure at what point that‘s going to enter into the discussion next year, because I look at what‘s coming much more immediately with that Congress coming in.
I‘m looking at a showdown over the debt ceiling. I‘m looking at a continuing resolution that‘s funding the government right now, that‘s coming due on—it‘s coming up for expiration on March 4th. And I‘m looking at the possibility that the Republicans are going to put—are going to insist at that point on defunding, for instance, health care reform, and having a showdown over that, or having a showdown, like I said, over the debt ceiling.
KORNACKI: Let‘s get through that first, and then let‘s start talking about Social Security, Medicare, social safety net.
UYGUR: Now, Steve, I‘m telling you right now, look, we‘re on tape here. So they‘ll be able to play this back. OK?
UYGUR: They are going to call for cutting spending. Obama is definitely going to go along with it. And then when they go for cutting spending, what are they going to go for?
The deficit commission, commissioned by Obama, already came out and said, yes we want to cut your Social Security. It‘s already so entrenched that, as I said, I talk to many Democrats on air. When they come on, they‘re like, well, we‘ve got to compromise.
What‘s the compromise? What are we going to get in return for cutting Social Security?
KORNACKI: Well, I think there are a couple of questions.
First of all, you note that the commission proposals on deficit reduction came out in the middle of December, and then what was really the first thing that Congress did after that, as you correctly pointed out, they exploded a much bigger hole in the deficit. So that‘s the degree to which Congress really cares about deficit reduction.
I think the other point is—and I think you get at it there, too, a little bit, you know, it‘s true that people really don‘t care about the deficit and about deficit reduction as much as Washington thinks that they do. If you take a poll sort of blindly on the question, do you think the deficit‘s too high, do you think that we ought do something to reduce the deficit, those kind of notions poll well. Like you show though, when you actually say, OK, we need to make significant cuts in Medicare, Social Security, that‘s how we‘re going to accomplish it, support goes down.
Historically, if you look at the past 30 years, there have been three periods when the deficit‘s really kind of been prominent, and one was in the early days of Reagan, one was in the early days of Clinton, and the third is right now. And in those other two instances, the economy was really what was driving that frustration and that anxiety. And people sort of attached their economic anxiety to the deficit. They‘re sort of conditioned to do that.
I think they‘re doing the same thing now, which is why I think the package that the president was able to get through, which is basically the closest thing he could possibly have gotten to a second stimulus, the package he was able to get through in the lame-duck session, that‘s why I think that‘s so significant, because that‘s his last crack really for the foreseeable future at stimulus, and if that can get the economy going, then I think sort of this deficit fever dies down a little bit.
UYGUR: Steve, one last thing. Look, by the way, that was his last crack, and what did he do? He gave over $400 billion to the rich. And that goes to my last question, which is about the media.
My guess is—and we‘ll see again. We‘ll see it unfold in the next year. We‘ll see if I‘m right or wrong, but that the media will totally forget that we gave away $400 billion to the rich, and when it comes to cutting spending, they won‘t focus on the rich at all.
Oh, that‘s bridge under the water. No, no, no that‘s already gone.
And they‘ll only talk about these other things.
I mean, what do you think? Is that right, or will they finally wake up and go, oh my God, you‘re right. Wait a minute. We just gave away the store to the rich.
KORNACKI: Well, let‘s see what the sort of broader political atmosphere is like the next time that the fight over tax cuts for the wealthy comes up. It was waged, don‘t forget, in a situation where Obama was weak politically. You just the midterm elections, you have unemployment near 10 percent.
UYGUR: Oh, come on! Steve, come on.
Listen, weak politically? At the time, he had the House, he had the Senate, he had the White House. Only a Democrat would call that weak politically.
KORNACKI: And he just lost 63 seats in an election. That‘s pretty significant. And if you look at what the trade—
UYGUR: But they hadn‘t lost them yet. That was the whole point of the lame duck. They still had those seats.
KORNACKI: And they went on. And in exchange for also extending the tax cuts for the middle class, they were also able to get a treaty passed, they were also able to end the “Don‘t Ask, Don‘t Tell” policy, they were also able to extend unemployment benefits, and they were also able to pass a bunch of other stimulus measures that they wouldn‘t otherwise have been able to pass.
I‘m not sitting here saying you should be jumping up and down and saying hooray, the taxes were cut for the upper-income people, but I think that‘s not the only thing that happened in the last month.
UYGUR: I hear you. By the way, every one of those other things that we got had over a 67 percent approval rating by the American public. They were super easy.
But that‘s my opinion.
KORNACKI: The weren‘t super easy. It would have taken 17 years to get “Don‘t Ask, Don‘t Tell” repealed if it were super easy.
UYGUR: No. I‘m saying today. It‘s 67 percent. Actually, “Don‘t Ask, Don‘t Tell” is at 80 percent popularity.
UYGUR: It wasn‘t 17 years ago.
KORNACKI: Welcome to life in the U.S. Senate. That‘s how—
UYGUR: No, not for the Republicans. They get stuff done incredibly easy when they have positions that are enormously unpopular. That tax cut for the rich was terribly unpopular.
KORNACKI: I think there was very significant legislation passed in that lame-duck session, much more than you‘ve seen when Democrats have had lame-duck sessions and when Republicans have had lame-duck sessions.
UYGUR: All right. Steve, listen, you‘ve been great. We really appreciate your time. Thanks for joining us.
UYGUR: All right. Now, coming up, Christine O‘Donnell says she‘ll be cleared of any criminal charges in the investigation over alleged missing campaign money, and she‘s blasting Joe Biden and liberal groups for thuggish behavior. The person who first brought up the charges joins us right ahead.
And from Glenn Beck, to tranced-out Michele Bachmann, to Rush Limbaugh, 2010 was the year of “Psycho Talk.” We‘re recapping some of our favorites in “The Zone.”
Plus, Republican Haley Barbour is being hailed as a shining example of a governor by the NAACP. What? We‘ll tell you why.
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This morning I am proud to sign a law that will bring an end to “Don‘t Ask, Don‘t Tell.” This law I‘m about to sign will strengthen our national security and uphold the ideals that our fighting men and women risked their lives to defend.
No longer will our country be denied the service of thousands of patriotic Americans who were forced to leave the military regardless of their skills, no matter their bravery or their zeal, no matter their years of exemplary performance because they happen to be gay.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
UYGUR: All right. President Obama has said many times if you want to go forward, you put it in “D.” If you want to go backwards, you put it in “R.” Get it?
All right. Now, the president and the Democrats made history last week. They repealed “Don‘t Ask, Don‘t Tell,” and that is a huge step forward for gay rights.
But, as always, the “Grand Old Party” is stuck in the stone age. Two major conservative groups, Concerned Women for America and the Family Research Council, are boycotting the conservative political action conference this year. They‘re out—they‘re sitting it out because GOProud, a national organization of gay conservatives, was invited to the event.
For more on this, let‘s turn to the chairman of the board of GOProud, Christopher Barron.
All right, Chris. First, let me get it out of the way. Why on God‘s green earth are you even a Republican?
CHRISTOPHER BARRON, CHAIRMAN, GOPROUD: Why am I a Republican? Well, first off, I‘m not just a Republican, I‘m a conservative Republican.
And I‘m a conservative because while I was born gay, I wasn‘t born to believe that government has all of the answers. In fact, I‘ve seen throughout my life that, in fact, government is often the problem, because I believe in free markets, because I believe in a strong military defense, because I believe in the power of the individual. That‘s why I‘m a conservative Republican.
UYGUR: Right. I understand that. And are gay people—do they have opinions that range from liberal to conservative on economic matters and other matters? Of course.
UYGUR: Right. I get that.
But what I don‘t get is how you can, with a good conscience, vote for a party that does not like you? They don‘t like who you are. They don‘t like your identity.
BARRON: First off, I completely and totally reject that. We‘re, for the second year in a row, participating in CPAC, the largest—
UYGUR: Congratulations. Two years in a row. How about all the other years?
BARRON: Well, first off, we‘ve only been around for two years. So every year that we‘ve been in existence we‘ve participated in CPAC.
And what I think has been so amazing is that during this controversy, major organizations, opinion leaders, have all stood up for GOProud, stood up for gay conservatives, and said, yes, they‘re an important part of this movement and we need them to win. We need them going forward.
BARRON: I think that‘s the real story here. The real story is that the conservative movement is more united than ever.
There are a few people, people like birther king Joseph Farah and the WorldNetDaily crowd who make their living trying to grab attention, grab headlines, divide the movement. The fact is the conservative movement is united. We‘re winning—
UYGUR: No you‘re not.
BARRON: -- and we‘re united. Absolutely.
UYGUR: No you‘re not. You‘ve never been united.
UYGUR: Chris, get real.
BARRON: We‘re completely—
UYGUR: Are you telling me with a straight face—hold on. Are you telling me with a straight face that the Republican Party has been welcoming to gays all this time?
BARRON: No, the Republican Party hasn‘t always been welcome the gays.
What I‘m telling you right now—
UYGUR: And is it welcoming now?
BARRON: -- is the conservative movement—the conservative movement is absolutely welcoming to gay people. I can tell you right now, I have an easier time—
UYGUR: On which planet?
BARRON: -- being openly gay with the conservatives than I do being a conservative with other gay people. That‘s the truth. That‘s the absolute truth.
You might not like it, but it doesn‘t change reality. That‘s the reality.
UYGUR: OK. You want to know reality, Chris? When “Don‘t Ask, Don‘t Tell” was up for repeal, only eight of the Republican senators voted for it and 15 of the Republican House members. All of the others, overwhelming majority, voted against you. Why won‘t you recognize the most obvious, simple truth?
BARRON: Look, you wouldn‘t have had “Don‘t Ask, Don‘t Tell” repealed if it weren‘t for those Republican votes.
And secondly, there‘s a whole range of issues. At night, when I‘m sitting at the table with my partner talking about the issues that affect us, surprise, surprise, those issues are the same issues that affect Americans all across this country—health care, the economy, jobs, taxes, retirement security. And on issue after issue after issue, the conservative movement offers policy fixes that are better for gay couples. You might not like it and liberals might not like it, but that‘s the truth.
UYGUR: That‘s the truth.
Look, Chris, we have got to leave it here, but you‘ve got to wake up, man. In 2004, they ran the whole national campaign against hating you. In 2006, they ran a whole national campaign against hating you!
BARRON: I am wide awake. And we are winning—we are winning, the conservative movement is winning, and we‘re a proud part of that movement.
UYGUR: All right. Well, good luck to you.
UYGUR: All right. Thank you for joining us, though, Chris. We really do appreciate your time and your thoughts here.
All right. Coming up, who doesn‘t want to see the top “Psycho Talkers” of the year? Palin, O‘Reilly and Rush all made the list, but who were the top three “Psycho Talkers” of 2010?
Find out when we come back.
UYGUR: In “Psycho Talk” tonight, a look back at the year‘s biggest “Psycho Talkers,” from Beck wanting to abolish public schools, to Sean Hannity saying Sarah Palin is smarter than President Obama, to Michele Bachmann saying she wants to see a Senate filled with Chris Christies. All the crazies came out in 2010.
Here‘s one of the staff‘s favorites.
ED SCHULTZ, HOST: And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, one day after her primary victory, Republican Senate candidate and chastity champion O‘Donnell, Christine O‘Donnell, makes her virgin voyage into “The Zone.”
During the 200 election, O‘Donnell showed her wing nut colors in an appearance on Fox News with this analysis of the Democratic Party --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let me get Christine O‘Donnell‘s thoughts on this.
Who do Republicans want to run against?
CHRISTINE O‘DONNELL ®, FMR. DELAWARE SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: I would prefer Barack Obama because he is so liberal, that he‘s anti-American.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: She had the righty lingo down pretty good back then, didn‘t she? But O‘Donnell has learned, well, a lot in the past two years. Her victory speech last night borrowed all kinds of material from her fellow famous Tea Partiers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
O‘DONNELL: The cause is restoring America.
SARAH PALIN ®, FMR. ALASKA GOVERNOR: We must restore America and restore her honor!
O‘DONNELL: Some words of wisdom from Thomas Jefferson.
GLENN BECK, FOX NEWS HOST: John Adams, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson --
O‘DONNELL: Don‘t ever underestimate the power of we, the people.
BECK: The power of one person making a difference.
PALIN: You betcha.
O‘DONNELL: There‘s another woman that I‘ve got to thank, you betcha.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Well, Christine, you sound like you‘re trying to be the next Sarah Palin, and you‘re well on your way.
By the way, welcome to “Psycho Talk.”
UYGUR: Well, Christine made herself at home in “The Zone,” but we can‘t forget our old buddy Bill O‘Reilly. Check out this classic.
SCHULTZ: And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, serial liar Bill O‘Reilly.
You know, he really does live in his own right-wing world.
Now, last night he took an inaccurate, cheap shot at this network.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL O‘REILLY, FOX NEWS: I mean they just blatantly lie every day.
All right? People on MSNBC lie every day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Really? Every day?
I don‘t think a guy from Fox News should be throwing around those kinds of accusations. Folks over there don‘t exactly have the market cornered on truth-telling.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
O‘REILLY: You don‘t know anybody on Fox News—because there hasn‘t been anyone—that said people will go to jail if they don‘t buy mandatory insurance.
BECK: If you don‘t get into their government health care, there will be jail time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can actually go to jail—
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Puts people in jail.
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS: George Bush, who you worked for, did not play golf while this country was at war.
DANA PERINO, FMR. WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We did not have a terrorist attack on our country during President Bush‘s term.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A fist-bump, a pound, a terrorist fist jab?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Barack Obama raised as a Muslim.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He attended a Muslim school, a madrassa.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Going to a madrassas.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was educated in a madrassa.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: I didn‘t doctor the tape. Misleading viewers is what they do over there. Just about every day. So for O‘Reilly to accuse MSNBC of lying without any proof, show us the tape. By the way, that is serious “psycho talk.”
(END VIDEO CLIP)
UYGUR: All right. We had some fun mocking O‘Reilly this year, but he didn‘t make our top three, believe it or not. The biggest psycho talkers of the year are—coming in at number three, with 14 appearances in “psycho talk.” Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. Bachmann had a busy year of bashing the president and trying to defend our country from, quote, “socialized medicine.”
And coming in at number two with 24 days in “the zone,” Rush Limbaugh. Limbaugh‘s year was mostly made up of spreading racist comments using his radio show which is what he usually does. And now the moment we‘ve all been waiting for, drum roll please. The number one psycho talker of 2010, who has spent over a month of this year in “the zone,” Glenn Beck. Beck comes in with a whopping 32 days of “psycho talk.” Glenn spent most of 2010 trying to scare the hell out of the American people. He just so crazy, we can‘t even begin to review his year of “psycho talk.”
Now coming up, we‘re not done with Christine O‘Donnell. She‘s firing back at the feds‘ investigation over her use of campaign money. She‘s pointing the finger right at Melanie Sloan of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. Melanie fires back tonight in an exclusive live interview with us.
And what the hell‘s the NAACP doing of praising of all people Haley Barbour? Didn‘t he just say the civil rights era wasn‘t so bad? I‘ll get rapid-fire response.
Plus, Sarah Palin takes a cheap shot at Michelle Obama. And “Daily Show” co-creator Lizz Winstead brings us this year, in review. You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. Stay with us.
UYGUR: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. I‘m Cenk Uygur in for Ed Schultz. The “Battleground” story tonight. Christine O‘Donnell is under federal investigation for allegedly misusing campaign funds to pay her rent, meals and actually a night of bowling as well which sounds very fun. What a witches broom charges, and of course she‘s lashing out at the usual liberal bogeyman. It‘s all George Soros‘ fault. Of course it is. Is there anything that George Soros isn‘t at fault for? Did you know that Soros built the iceberg that sank the “titanic”? It‘s true, he actually had media matters built it for him. She even claims the vice president is part of the witch-hunt. Of course he is. O‘Donnell‘s troubles started during her failed Senate campaign when the Watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington or crew, brought her questionable campaign expenses to light. Here‘s Melanie Sloan, CREW‘s executive director on THE ED SHOW in September.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MELANIE SLOAN, CREW‘S EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Many, many expenses Ms. O‘Donnell claimed to be campaign expenses but were just really expenses of her lifestyle but she had no other income so she was treating her campaign account like it was her personal piggybank. There was no campaign treasurer as the law requires for over a year and a half, so she had a Wachovia bank card that she used, whipped out whenever people would use their debit card.
SCHULTZ: Melanie, you‘re an attorney, you got her dead in the water?
SLOAN: We‘ve got her dead in the water, Ed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
UYGUR: Wow! And on the “Today Show” this morning, O‘Donnell launched a personal attack on Ms. Sloan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTINE O‘DONNELL, REPUBLICAN PARTY POLITICIAN: This is the same CREW complaint that was filed several months ago by Melanie Sloan, a former Biden staffer from CREW, which is a George Soros left-wing organization, and their key witness here—this is what‘s most telling, their key witness with a volunteer from 2008 who was also let go.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
UYGUR: But Ms. Sloan isn‘t acting alone. In O‘Donnell‘s mind, she‘s just a puppet in an anti-O‘Donnell, anti-Tea Party crusade, spearheaded by, Vice President Joe Biden. Of course, the whole world is obsessed by conspiracy to take down this irrelevant politician who already got slaughtered in her election. Biden‘s like what, Karzai‘s on the phone. No, no, no, I‘m in the middle of this O‘Donnell conspiracy here, I‘ll get back to him, OK?
Now here‘s part of O‘Donnell‘s statement. Quote, “Given that the king of the Delaware political establishment just so happens to be the vice president of the most liberal presidential administration in U.S. history. It is no surprise that the misuse and abuse of the FBI would not be off the table.”
All right, now here to respond to O‘Donnell‘s accusations is Melanie Sloan, the executive director of CREW. Melanie, first question is, who came up with the idea to hatch this conspiracy? Was it Biden or Soros?
SLOAN: I‘ve never been accused of being someone else‘s puppet and that alone offends me. You know strangely enough, I do not spend my time on the phone with either the vice president or Mr. Soros and neither one of them has reached out to me to talk to me about Christine O‘Donnell. Both of them presumably very busy with much more important matters.
UYGUR: All right. So, where did all of this start to begin with?
Where did you guys get information that she may be misusing campaign funds?
SLOAN: Well, we read about it in “The New York Times.” It wasn‘t something we came up with, there were many, many articles about it particularly after a former O‘Donnell campaign staffer made recorded calls prior to the republican primary in Delaware. And in those calls, that campaign manager said that she had misused campaign funds and she treated her campaign funds like her personal piggybank. And that certainly piqued our interest. And then we found another campaign staffer - former campaign staffer David Keegan also quoted, and we reached out to Mr. Keegan, and he told us exactly what she was doing and how she did. He explained how she had called rent payments to his nephew Brent Vasher. Expense reimbursements and we found those on her campaign finance reforms. And base on all of that, we filed a complaint with the Department of Justice.
UYGUR: So, Melanie, how serious is this? You know, I know, it‘s just the beginning here and it looks like there was an investigation but if it comes to fruition and she gets convicted, how much—could she see jail time—is that or no?
SLOAN: Well, she of course could see jail time but she doesn‘t have any prior convictions so it‘s not that likely but it‘s hard to say. It depends on how much money she stole. It depends on how many offenses she‘s charged with. We‘re only at the preliminary stage. The Department of Justice said, it hasn‘t yet convened a grand jury. So, we‘ll have to see how it comes out. But we are talking about criminal felony convictions for stealing campaign funds, and there‘s ample evidence that that‘s what Ms. O‘Donnell is doing. The only real question at this point is how much money she did steal not whether she stole.
UYGUR: All right. Strong talk, I like it, thank you, Melanie. We appreciate your time.
SLOAN: My pleasure.
UYGUR: All right. Now, let‘s get some rapid-fire response on these stories. Sarah Palin is getting smacked back for attacking first lady Michelle Obama‘s campaign to fight childhood obesity.
And the NAACP is praising Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, Governor Barbour freed two black sisters who were unjustly incarcerated according to a lot of people but some say, the move was politically motivated to make amends with the black community after touting the virtues over White Citizen Council. You think?
All right. With us tonight, Joe Madison, XM Satellite radio show host. Joe, let‘s start with Haley Barbour, was this political to say, hey, hey, hey, no, no, no, I like black people, don‘t get me wrong.
JOE MADISON, XM SATELLITE RADIO SHOW HOST: Well, I don‘t know if it was political or not. I am concerned quite honestly with what appears to be hyperbole. You know, I want to be able to talk to Ben Gellis (ph). I served on the board for 14 years. And I don‘t want to make the mistake he made with Shirley Sherrod. It could be hyperbole. Yes, he did the right thing in freeing these—the Scott sisters. I would have simply said, just that. And left it there. Look, remember this, when Haley Barbour took over the State of Mississippi as governor, Mississippi was ranked 49th. Guess what, it‘s still ranked 49. And let me make one other final point, if in fact he saw fit to free the Scott sisters for an injustice, then they ought to be looking at other prisoners in the state of Mississippi, and other governors ought to be doing the same thing. Because we have a large number of people who may have been in the same predicament as the Scott sisters. And I think that‘s what the NAACP should concentrate on.
UYGUR: Right, and I want everybody to understand that they got life sentences for a robbery, which—and it was a serious robbery, but they stole $11, right.
MADISON: And they claim, of course, that they weren‘t part of that.
MADISON: But there were people on the ground locally there, a city councilman that took this case on, and long before the media knew anything about it, it was something we were talking about, and others were pushing on various talk shows.
UYGUR: Right, all right now, Joe, let‘s move onto Sarah Palin and Michelle Obama. Palin is attacking her for the anti-obesity campaign, what do you think?
MADISON: Look, there are Barbie dolls that have bigger brains than Sarah Palin. You know, look, at one point, I weighed 278 pounds. I lost over a hundred pounds. But it wasn‘t just the weight that I lost for appearance sake. I lost—I no longer have diabetes. I no longer have high blood pressure. My cholesterol‘s in check. I have probably added ten to 20 years. How could anyone, anyone attack the first lady for saying to children, look, it‘s not dessert first. It‘s, let‘s eat a balanced meal.
It‘s even a National Security issue. You even have people in the Pentagon,
I had a general on my show who said, we‘ve got problems that we can‘t even
train soldiers because they come to us obese. This has got to be the nut -
I mean, she‘s like—like my wife said the other day, a shameless Sarah.
I mean it‘s just ridiculous. And I think a point in time, I heard you talking about the media. I think at some point in time, news directors and producers and editors have got to say, she‘s just not worth quoting.
UYGUR: All right, that‘s a good note to leave on. Joe, thank you so much for joining us.
MADISON: Thank you very much.
UYGUR: All right. Now coming up, the right-wing nut jobs are all on a frenzy saying, Obama is trying to hand the country over to, Native Americans. Come on. I‘ll tell you what American city they think he‘s going to give away first. I‘m not kidding.
And remember this guy? His wild rant was probably the greatest thing I have ever seen. We recap the best stories of 2010. Stay with us.
UYGUR: It‘s still not too late to let me know what you think. The number to dial is 877-ed-msnbc Tonight‘s telephone survey question is, do you think President Obama will protect the middle class next year? It‘s a good question. Press one for yes, press two for no. Again, the number to dial is 877-ed-msnbc.
UYGUR: In my “Playbook” tonight, first, he was a secret Kenyan, then a modest health care reform plan exposed him as a Maoist dictator, then he was a joker from Batman. Now, I‘m still not entirely sure why. All right. Now, thanks to the relentless sleuthing by right-wing bloggers, the final chapter of his plot has been exposed. President Obama wants to hand America over to, Native Americans.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Today I can announce that the United States is lending its support to this declaration.
The aspirations that it affirms including the respect for the institutions and rich cultures of native peoples are one we must always seek to fulfill.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
UYGUR: Very crafty, a nonbinding place to respect indigenous peoples, but that sounds very dangerous. And the president might have gotten away with it, if not for the vigilance of right-wing bloggers. They knew he had in that fairly benign photo-op, inadvertently revealed his plot to destroy America. One conservative blogger unearthed the plan, quote, “President Obama wants to give the entire land mass of the United States of America back to Indians. He wants Indian tribes to be our new overlords.” WorldNetDaily quickly followed up, saying, the declaration with no legal power could, quote, “Accomplish something as radical as relinquishing some U.S. sovereignty and opening up a path for the return of ancient tribal lands to American Indians. Including, even parts of Manhattan.”
It‘s true. This will be our last show from “30 Rock.” Native Americans get the key to the Rockefeller center tomorrow. Damn it, I knew that I shouldn‘t supported Obama but there was one part the mystery, the wing nuts couldn‘t figure out. Obama‘s been plotting since he was in utero to steal the presidency for himself. Why would he hand the country over to some overlord? That‘s the average fair, it didn‘t make sense but the defective detectives in the GOP found the mystery solved in this comment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: More than two years ago in Montana, I visited the Crow (ph) nation. On that trip, I became an adopted Crow Indian. And my Crow name is, one who helps people throughout the land.
.and my wife, when I told her about that, she said, you should be named one who isn‘t picking up his shoes and his socks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
UYGUR: Ah-ha! I knew it. By the way his other Indian nickname is, one who steals Manhattan. If the president is a Native American, even an honorary one, then he could claim over to the ship, overlord ship of Manhattan for himself. I can‘t get enough of that.
All right. Joining me now is Roy Sekoff, founding editor of “The Huffington Post.” Roy, it seems like a convoluted plan to become the leader of the United States when he already is leader of the United States.
ROY SEKOFF, FOUNDING EDITOR, “THE HUFFINGTON POST”: It‘s, you know, Cenk, I have to speak up a little bit. I got the black helicopters are hovering just above the studio here. So, I‘ve got to really focus on in hearing you, but it is really brilliant. Thanks God for WorldNetDaily. I mean, if it wasn‘t from them, this guy‘s brilliance. I mean, the fact that his secret socialist was really not a cover to be a secret Muslim who would deliver Sharia Law to America. In fact, they were both covers to give native Americans back to America. That‘s phenomenally deep. I feel like I‘m you know, in the middle of the “Mission Impossible” thing where Tom Cruise is going to off of the mask and it‘s really going to be Jon Voight.
UYGUR: Yes. And he rips it off and it‘s a sitting bull. Maybe, he‘s a political genius if that was his plan. But seriously, Roy, are these people mentally damaged? I mean, how can they possibly believe that? How is that possible?
SEKOFF: Right, right. Well, they don‘t, Cenk. You know, they‘ll do anything to distract, to keep the attention off. There‘s one goal and one goal only, besides giving more money to the rich people, other than that, the other goal is just to make sure that Obama is a one-term president and they‘ll do anything, anything to achieve that. But here‘s the dangerous thing, Cenk, if this was just a bunch of lunatic bloggers, WorldNetDaily, we could laugh it off, have a few laughs before the New Year comes. But the crazy thing is that these lunatic fringe ideas have a way of becoming part of the republican mainstream thinking.
Don‘t forget, 12 members of the House, republican members of the House, signed on sponsors of a birther bill. You know? I mean, how many real died in the world Republicans both into the death panel routine. Chuck Bradley, a U.S. senator. He was pitching, you know, the death panel on since. So that‘s where the scary thing is. You know, the fact that the lunatics are now running the republican asylum. And, you know, you can put your money on the fact that if they bang this long enough on FOX, that suddenly this will become part of mainstream republican talking points.
SEKOFF: And that‘s the scary part.
UYGUR: Right and we‘ve covered on the show before, a shocking number of people believe that ACORN stole the presidency for Obama on the Republicans‘ side. So who knows, maybe they‘ll believe this crap stuff next. Honestly.
All right. Roy, you‘ve been great. Thank you for joining us.
SEKOFF: Yes. All right, Cenk.
UYGUR: Happy New Year.
SEKOFF: Have a great new year.
UYGUR: All right. And coming up, this year‘s best clips with Lizz Winstead, next.
UYGUR: As 2010 comes to a close, it‘s time for a special edition of “Club Ed.” We‘re recapping the best stories of the year with “Daily Show” co-creator Lizz Winstead. All right. Lizz.
LIZZ WINSTEAD, “DAILY SHOW” CO-CREATOR: Hey, Cenk.
UYGUR: It‘s great to have you here and I tell you, the Tea Party people were huge this year with O‘Donnell, Angle, everybody else.
WINSTEAD: I know. It was—you know, it was crazy. The amount of Tea Party fervor and then most of it just sort of landed in a splash because Americans actually saw a better. Who was your favorite of them, though? That‘s the question.
UYGUR: You know, I think, like—people like—somebody like Angle was dangerous but O‘Donnell was too much fun. The whole witch thing, you can‘t beat that, you can‘t beat it with a broomstick.
WINSTEAD: I know. Well, I know, I loved Angle too because—what I loved the most about the Angle story was that the chicken lady was too crazy for Nevada. Remember the woman who had (INAUDIBLE) with chickens?
WINSTEAD: And so, they replaced her with Angle. So, you know, they ratcheted up the nuts. But I think when you have, I‘m not a witch, it‘s pretty awesome. But my favorite really thinks about Christine O‘Donnell was she—she launched herself out under the platform with her anti-masturbation platform. You know, and it‘s kind of like, honey, in this economy, do not try to end masturbation, it‘s the only thing we have left that‘s fun and free. Like, it‘s a bad move. I think that it set her on a bad pat.
UYGUR: Yes, it‘s a bad platform apparently in Delaware and throughout the country. All right. How about BP, that was a huge story.
WINSTEAD: Well, BP was actually my favorite story to talk about satirically because there were so many players. Christine O‘Donnell was so obvious, but with BP, you had, you know, the meth addicts who were running the ship, you know, trying to oversee things, while they‘re doing coke off of each other, and you know it was amazing. And then you had Tony Hayward, you know, asking for his life back. And when he—when he stepped down, it was like he‘s no longer overseeing operations. It‘s like, did he really ever?
And then you had Joe Barton apologizing to Tony Hayward. The whole story was crazy. Not to mention, you know, shoving diapers and things in the hole and dog hair and trying to make it work. It was a great story. But him, my favorite part is that ad, that Tony Hayward took out immediately following the spill. Where he was walking down a beach saying, “BP is proud to be overseeing the largest cleanup of the largest national disaster in America.” And I thought, dude, that‘s like Ted Bundy saying, I‘m so proud to be overseeing a woman hunt for the bodies of the people I‘ve killed. It‘s like, what? He the balls to actually be excited about overseeing something that he did. It was bizarre.
UYGUR: Whatever you‘re on, I feel like we say something we shouldn‘t.
WINSTEAD: You mean the bandy or the masturbation?
UYGUR: I have to tell you my favorite, Phil Davidson, you remember him from the village of Minerva. “I have been—republican in time‘s good, and in time‘s bad.” Wasn‘t that guy the best?
WINSTEAD: Do we have that clip because I don‘t think people know his name. I love that guy.
UYGUR: No, we don‘t have time for it, unfortunately.
WINSTEAD: Ah, bummer.
UYGUR: But this guy is the best of the best, man. Go on YouTube.
WINSTEAD: His sobbing rival Boehner.
UYGUR: Yes, he was fantastic.
UYGUR: All right. Lizz, you‘re the best. Thank you so much for joining us.
WINSTEAD: Happy New Year, darling.
UYGUR: All right, you too.
WINSTEAD: All right, tonight on our phone survey, I asked you, do you think President Obama will protect the middle class next year? Interesting results. Fifty percent said, yes. Fifty percent said, no. Man, now we‘ve got to find out, right? Tune in next year.
Look, that‘s THE ED SHOW for tonight. I‘m Cenk Uygur. You can catch me on the youngturks.com, you can also see that Davidson clip on youtube.com/theyoungturks. Ed Schultz is back on Monday. Have a great holiday weekend and a Happy New Year. “HARDBALL” starts right now.
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