updated 1/4/2011 11:46:12 AM ET 2011-01-04T16:46:12

Guests: Elijah Cummings, Dennis Kucinich, Marie Hughes Corfield, Adam Green, Joe Madison, Amy Holmes, Steve Israel, Mike Papantonio

ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC ANCHOR:  Good evening, Americans, and welcome to THE ED SHOW tonight from New York.  It‘s great to be back with you.

These stories are hitting “My Hot Buttons” tonight. 

Republican Congressman Darrell Issa says the Obama administration is one of the most corrupt in history.  Well, we‘re going to dig into that.  This guy is nothing but a guy who‘s on a witch-hunt to destroy the president.  And the Democrats are going to do something about it. 

My commentary on that, coming up. 

Plus, we‘ll hear live from Congressman Elijah Cummings on how the Democrats are planning to stop this guy on the witch-hunt. 

And my old buddy, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, well, he just had a blast hanging out with Mickey Mouse down there in Florida, while the residents of his state were getting snowed in he.  He says he just couldn‘t leave the kids.  Well, what about the other 8.7 million residents of the Garden State? 

We‘ll get after the GOP golden boy and the GOP snow job coming up. 

And Sarah Palin in 2012?  Well, today five GOP insiders said that she could win the general election.  We‘ll find out why she really could be the Republicans‘ biggest nightmare scenario. 

Plus, Bill Clinton is feeling dissed by President Obama.  We‘ll find out about that hot story.  It‘s all coming up. 

But this is the story that has my fired up first tonight. 

Now, the only thing you need to remember, starting it out, new year, the only thing you need to remember in 2011 is, there‘s still Republicans.  They ain‘t going to change. 

Congressman Darrell Issa, Exhibit A. 

Now, he‘s all about starting a two-year witch-hunt to bring down President Obama and the Democrats.  Now, I‘ve been warning you about this dude coming up in the Congress to have this chair for months after he made this accusation on “The Drugster‘s” radio show --  

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

REP. DARRELL ISSA ®, CALIFORNIA:  So there will be a certain degree of gridlock as the president adjusts to the fact that he has been one the most corrupt presidents in modern times.  He has ignored the very laws that he said were so vital when he was a senator and, you know, he‘s going to have to come back a different direction. 

(END AUDIO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  OK.  I‘ve got to call a timeout earlier in the broadcast tonight. 

Now, let me ask you something, folks.  Was he speaking with clarity there?  Did he mince his words at all?  Did he say it with conviction?  Yes, he did. 

This guy loves the microphone, he loves the camera.  Keep that in mind. 

He took a lot of heat for making that statement on “The Drugster‘s” radio show at the time.  Now he‘s doing his very back to walk it back. 

Issa put it this way on a Sunday morning talking head show over the weekend --  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ISSA:  In saying that this is one the most corrupt administrations, which is what I meant to say there, when you hand out a trillion dollars in TARP just before this president came in, most of it unspent, a trillion dollars nearly in stimulus that this president asked for, plus—

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Yes.  What he meant to say on Limbaugh‘s radio show.  We got a big clarification there, don‘t we? 

Look, this guy is a fraud, folks.  Pay attention to this story.  This is the run-up to the election. 

Now, if Issa is right, our entire system of democracy is corrupt.  I mean, if his accusations about it being corrupt, then that means the whole system is corrupt, right? 

TARP was a Bush program.  The stimulus package and the health care bills, didn‘t they go through hours of debates and votes by both chambers? 

Issa is clearly drunk with his new power as the head of the Oversight Committee in the House.  He‘s still accusing the president of using walking around money? 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ISSA:  What happened is we gave President Bush—and President Obama inherited $800 billion worth of walking around money with no guideline, so what was supposed to help financial institutions ultimately bailed out car manufacturers. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  “Walking around money.”  In my opinion, that is completely a reckless term.  It doesn‘t belong in any interview.  Walking around money, they can do whatever they want with it—after the Congress voted on it? 

Issa‘s trying to make the Obama administration look like a bunch of gangsters.  That‘s the bottom line.  At the same time, he thinks if he drops the “Bush” name into the conversation, liberals will give him a pass. 

Congressman Henry Waxman and Senator Byron Dorgan, if you remember, held hundreds of hearings to battle waste, fraud and abuse when it came to Iraq spending by the Bush administration and Republicans like Issa.  Do you remember him out in the front of the cameras saying, hey, wait a minute, we really have got to find out what Bush is doing every step of the way in Iraq and Afghanistan?  Never.  Not once. 

Issa is playing a high-stakes game of get-back, trying to stick it to President Obama at a whole new level.  Now, Waxman, he held 203 oversight hearings in two years.  Issa, well here, wants to take this Oversight Committee and put on steroids.  He‘s prepared to hold about, what, 280 in just one year? 

What‘s the mission here?  Issa‘s game plan, in my opinion, crystal clear.  He wants to bring the federal government to a screeching halt by putting the White House constantly on the defensive for the next two years. 

The only thing Issa and the Republicans really want—what they really want is to politically hamstring the president and the Democrats in 2012 and serve up a bunch of bullet points.  This is nothing more than a reckless Republican power grab. 

Issa‘s—you know what he did this morning?  He announced earlier today these targets on his Twitter account.  He‘s kind of doing the Palin thing, you know? 

The list includes investigations into the origins of the financial crisis.  Hold it right there. 

I ask you, Mr. Issa, call up Byron Dorgan and ask him about Glass-Steagall.  It would be a good homework assignment for you. 

Oh, he wants to get into Freddie and Fannie again, and the impact of government hyper-regulation on job creation?  Hold the phone again. 

How many times have President Obama and the Democrats put incentives on the table for small business in this country, only to have the Issas of the world bitch about it?  Issa is laying the groundwork of repealing every bit of progress President Obama and the Democrats have accomplished over the last two years. 

When the Republicans officially take over the House on Wednesday, don‘t expect them to do anything to make your life any better.  They‘re all about undoing progressive middle class reform to protect their buddies and big business.  That‘s it. 

They‘re also on a mission to make this president a one-termer.  We all know that.

But remember, it might be a new year, but, folks, take it from your good friend, Big Eddie, back from the holidays, rest and ready to take these jokers on, they‘re still Republicans.  Don‘t forget it. 

Get your cell phones out.  I want to know what you think about our survey question tonight. 

Do you think Congressman Issa‘s investigations of the Obama administration will be fair?  Text “A” for yes, text “B” for no to 622639.  We‘ll bring you the results later on in the show.

No, they won‘t be fair.  That‘s how I‘d do it. 

Joining me now is Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings, and he is, of course, the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight Committee and will be facing off against Mr. Issa. 

Congressman, I hope you had a great holiday.  Good to you have back with us. 

REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D), MARYLAND:  Thank you.  It‘s good to be with you, Ed.  I see you‘re well rested and raring to go. 

SCHULTZ:  I‘ll tell you what, I‘m well rested and I feel great, because I think this is going to be a great for the people because all of these lies that the Republicans have been telling, they now have some power and now they‘ve got to come clean to the American people. 

But to this story tonight, he vilifies the stimulus package and the health care package.  These were voted on.  And he uses the term “corrupt” with these two bills. 

What‘s your thoughts on that? 

CUMMINGS:  I can tell you that I was very disturbed when I heard him, first of all, describing the president as being corrupt.  And then, just yesterday, claiming that he was stepping back, but then he said the administration was corrupt. 

And just—and then he said that—you know, at first, Ed, he was going to investigate the Sestak case, and he backed up from that.  And I think, you know, what concerns me more than anything else is that my friend Mr. Issa is drawing a lot of conclusions, putting those conclusions out there for the world to hear, with not one scintilla of evidence.

And I think that that shows something that should bother us all.  I was thinking today that in Maryland, we have a Republican congressman, Roscoe Bartlett, who‘s been voted one of the most conservative congressmen -- Republicans in the country.  And I can‘t even imagine him calling the president corrupt.  I can‘t even imagine it. 

So I think this is not going—not a very good thing for a person, Ed.  And I want you to keep this in mind—Mr. Issa will have the ability, almost by himself, to subpoena almost anybody in this country to come before our committee.  And that‘s kind of dangerous with somebody who is already drawing these kind of conclusions.

And I‘m willing to work with Mr. Issa on various investigations, but I will not be part of a witch-hunt, nor will I -- 

SCHULTZ:  Well, how do you stop him then?  You‘re not going to be part of a witch-hunt. 

You‘ve seen this back in the ‘90s.  They took a non-government story and turned it into impeachment.  You‘ve been down this road. 

CUMMINGS:  Sure. 

SCHULTZ:  You‘ve heard these kind of testimonies before. 

CUMMINGS:  Yes, of course. 

SCHULTZ:  And I think that we‘re going down the same road right here. 

CUMMINGS:  Well, I think what we‘re going to have to do, Ed, is we‘re going to have to—before we hold these hearings, we‘re going to have to hold press conferences and try to get—push Mr. Issa to give some balance to these hearings.  It‘s very, very important.  For example, when you—we wanted a foreclosure hearing, which he‘s now agreed to, but now he wants to term (ph) it, you know, from a standpoint of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. 

SCHULTZ:  He‘s winging it. 

CUMMINGS:  Yes.  Well, the fact is, is that the housing crisis that we suffered, and the economic crisis, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were indeed a part of it, but there were a whole lot more players than Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  And so we want to make sure that it‘s not one-sided, that we have a complete picture so that we can not only have oversight, but have true reform, and that‘s what we‘re supposed to be all about. 

SCHULTZ:  He‘s winging it.  He‘s switched his story, he switched his comments.  And they haven‘t even gotten the gavel yet.

Bottom line here, I think they‘re trying to create a narrative, get some bullet points out there on the presidential campaign trail, give the Republicans something negative to talk about President Obama. 

Your thoughts? 

CUMMINGS:  Well, we—I think you‘re probably right.  But, Ed, I am determined to make sure that we work hard to make these hearings fair --  

SCHULTZ:  Yes. 

CUMMINGS:  -- that we don‘t be dragging people in like they did during the Clinton—when Clinton was in office, folks who really had nothing to do with any kind of problems, and making them go out and hire lawyers, putting them before cameras and ruining their reputations.  I think all Americans should be against that, and I just want fairness.  And I want a reform, and I want to have oversight, but I want it to be done so that it is beneficial to the American people. 

SCHULTZ:  Well, Congressman, this is the first story out of the block for me in 2011, because I don‘t think that there‘s anything bigger, because this guy‘s going to have a lot of power.  He can disfocus the country.  He can set the table for the Republicans to go after President Obama with absolutely no basis or no merit.

And the fact that he has recklessly thrown around the word “corruption” and pinned it on the president when he was on a right-wing talk show, and then backed it off, shows me that he‘s not well thought out.  And a lot of Americans are going to be depending on you, and I appreciate what you‘re doing. 

Thank you, Congressman.  Good to have you with us tonight.

CUMMINGS:  Thank you.  It‘s good to be with you.

SCHULTZ:  You bet. 

Coming up, this is—well, this just in.  New Jersey‘s bully governor, Chris Christie, he just had a heck of a time at Disney World with his family.  Well, too bad 8.7 million residents of New Jersey suffered in a nasty blizzard.  The arrogance—have I said this before? -- just drips off this guy. 

My commentary ahead.  You won‘t want to miss it. 

A surprising new report that shows that former president Bill Clinton feels disrespected by this Obama administration.  We‘ll get “Rapid Fire Response” and tell you the story on that one. 

Plus, a top Navy commander is under fire for anti-gay videos that have just surfaced.  It‘s called “Fire him.” 

And I‘ll tell you why I think—not giving it up—why Brett Favre should be coming back again next year.  You‘ve got to hand it to me for hanging in there. 

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. 

Just days away from “The Tan Man” grabbing the Speaker‘s gavel, the Republican Party is getting ready to throw down the gauntlet and repeal as much Democratic legislation as possible. 

First order of business is, of course, the health care reform. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  As parts of our pledge, we said that we would bring up a vote to repeal health care early.  That‘ll happen before the president‘s State of the Union Address.  I don‘t think we‘re going to be that far off from having the votes to actually override a veto. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN ®, MINNESOTA:  We will put forth a clean repeal Bill of Obamacare, and you‘ll continue to see us make that fight, because that‘s what the American people want us to do. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  All right.  The American people.  This is what you‘re going to hear a lot of, folks, this generic conversation from the Republicans in 2011. 

Well, the American people want this.  The American people want that. 

The American people voted in Barack Obama, won nine Bush states, and then they voted in health care reform. 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid fired back at Republicans today in a letter to incoming Speaker John Boehner.  He wrote, “If House Republicans move forward with a repeal of the health care law, we will block it in the Senate.”

Hang him, Harry. 

But Reid‘s threat didn‘t scare incoming House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.  This afternoon, he announced that the House vote on a repeal will be next week, January 12th

Meanwhile, President Obama remains focused on the country‘s economic recovery. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  Our most important task now is to keep that recovery going.  As president, that‘s my commitment to you, to do everything that I can to make sure our economy is growing, creating jobs, and strengthening our middle class.  That‘s my resolution for the coming year. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  So, what do you think is more important, repealing health care, doing the Issa investigations, or creating jobs? 

You know, for the last couple of years, the Republicans relentlessly have attacked this president for focusing on health care instead of jobs.  Well, the president has clearly said that his top priority for 2011 is to create jobs, but now the Republicans are focusing on, what?  Health care. 

The party of no, they drank the same eggnog over the holidays.  They haven‘t changed a bit.  They haven‘t gone anywhere. They‘re not moving forward. 

And you can expect more of the same, now that the holidays are done, because these guys don‘t want to move forward.  It‘s going to be endless obstruction again and again and again. 

And they‘re banking on it working again and again in 2012.  But my next guest sees a silver lining in the Republican effort to repeal health care reform.  He says it could be the door opening to a broader conversation about a single-payer system. 

For more, let‘s bring in Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich. 

Congressman, good to have you with us tonight. 

REP. DENNIS KUCINICH (D), OHIO:  Hi, Ed.   Happy New Year. 

SCHULTZ:  You bet.  And to you, sir. 

Here we go, the vote next week.  And if you can respond to Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, do you think that‘s what the American people want, for you to go into that chamber or January 12th and vote whether we should keep the health care bill or not? 

KUCINICH:  Well, you know, health care‘s going to be a continuing debate, but let‘s be clear about what‘s being proposed here. 

If, in fact, a bill is repealed that has provided for health care reform within the context of a for-profit system, if we cannot have reform within the context of a for-profit system, then the only model that‘s left, Ed, is a universal, single-payer, not-for-profit system, Medicare for all, which I think, if the Republicans go ahead and repeal Mr. Obama‘s bill, it opens the door for going right back to debate about Medicare for all. 

SCHULTZ:  So what‘s the counter-punch for the Democrats on this?  I mean, here, the Republicans, they want to take away the pre-existing condition, they want to give the power back to the corporations, the insurance companies. 

You know, what‘s the pushback on this?  I understand the conversation about universal health care, but what should be the pushback here? 

KUCINICH:  Well, the pushback is, look, this health care reform bill is causing insurance companies to have to put more money into health care instead of just putting it into their pockets, it caused them to end the practice of rescissions where they could cancel somebody‘s policies while somebody‘s sick.  It caused them to have to cover children with pre-existing conditions, let young people under policies until they‘re age 26, on their parents‘ policies. 

So, all of a sudden, if Congress intervenes and takes away all of those imposed mandates on insurance companies, we‘ve just given the insurance companies the equivalent of hundreds of billions of dollars over a period of 10 years.  And I tell you that we really are back at the same debate. 

Who is running this government?  Is it the insurance companies or is it the United States Congress?  Or is it the insurance companies through the United States Congress? 

SCHULTZ:  Do you think the American people want you to vote on this? 

KUCINICH:  Well, I think the American people want to make sure that no one‘s going to go broke if there‘s an illness in the family. 

SCHULTZ:  Yes.

KUCINICH:  That‘s one of those fundamental questions, Ed.  Any person in this country is still exposed if there is a single—if there is an illness in a family.  You‘re still exposed to losing everything you‘ve worked a lifetime for because of a single illness in a family, because of the high cost of health care, and because these insurance companies, even with the reforms, will still find a way to sock it to the American people.

So, you know, this is still—we‘re really at the beginning of a new debate, and the Republicans are going to begin round two next week. 

SCHULTZ:  Congressman, this is the seconds biggest story of 2011, because this shows that there‘s still Republicans—that they want to give the power back to the corporations, that insurance companies can drop sick people, arbitrarily, just say, hey, you know, it‘s over with.  The limits on the coverage, all of these things that has been a positive step forward, they want to get taken off of the books. 

And the other thing that really bothers me is Michele Bachmann says that—and they call it “Obamacare”—is going to break the country.  That is a flat-out lie.  Correct me if I‘m wrong.  The CBO scored this to save money over the next 20 years, correct? 

KUCINICH:  Well, a trillion dollars is what this is going to cost, and it‘s paid for by the savings --  

SCHULTZ:  Yes. 

KUCINICH:  -- and the reduction in certain Medicare spending. 

Now, I will tell you this—the biggest problem we have in this country is corporate control --  

SCHULTZ:  Yes. 

KUCINICH:  -- of government.  And frankly, they have too much influence in the Democratic Party, as well as in the Republican Party. 

SCHULTZ:  Congressman, great to have you with us. 

KUCINICH:  And we‘re going to see that debate continue.  Thank you very much. 

SCHULTZ:  Thanks for doing the story.  I appreciate it.  Thanks so much.

KUCINICH:  Thanks, Ed.  Thank you.

SCHULTZ:  We will stay on it. 

Coming up, 2011 is only three days old, and folks, already, we‘ve got a star “Psycho Talker.”  I mean, he‘s emerging with every comment.  You won‘t believe what Congressman-elect Allen West is saying.  It‘s his first appearance in “The Zone,” and we welcome here on THE ED SHOW.

Stay with us. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, well, it‘s a new year.  Ring it in. 

A new Congress and a bunch of new extremists Republicans are coming to Washington.  Now, in “The Zone” tonight, incoming Florida Congressman Allen West.  This guy is a dandy. 

Let me remind you about this dude.

Allen West has condemned folks who promote freedom of religion.  He has said he thinks President Obama is a secret Muslim.  And he has fear-mongered about Sharia law infiltrating American society. 

Of course he also buys into the rest of the righty talking points.  And when he was confronted with some of his past extremism on Fox yesterday, doggone it, he doubled down on the “Psycho Talk.”  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) 

REP. ALLEN WEST ®, FLORIDA:  We need to meet in places and start talking about restoring our liberty and fighting against a tyrannical government. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS WALLACE, HOST, “FOX NEWS SUNDAY”:  Then, in November, you said that you‘re focused that—and here‘s the quote—“that this liberal, progressive, socialist agenda, this left-wing, vile, vicious, despicable machine that‘s out there is soundly brought to its knees.” 

“Tyrannical,” “socialist,” “despicable.”  Is it really as bad as that? 

WEST:  I think that it is when you look at some of the things that are happening in our country. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Congressman, the only thing that is vile is your attitude towards the American people in debate in this country, because that‘s the only thing that liberals want, is to debate the issues. 

Well, at least we know where Mr. West will fit in with the new righty colleagues. 

“Tyrannical,” “socialist,” “despicable”—these are the new words, I guess.  This guy takes all of the crazy right-wing buzzwords and strings them together to make a mouthful of toxic “Psycho Talk.”  

Coming up, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said he wouldn‘t leave Disney World during the blizzard because he didn‘t want to disappoint his kids.  Well, what about all of the kids he turned his back on?  That‘s coming up. 

A New Jersey teacher furious with Chris Christie and the man behind “Where‘s Christie?” Web site hammer the bully governor.  That‘s coming up in “The Battleground” story tonight. 

And top Republicans said today that Sarah Palin—what—could win in 2012?  But the former half-governor could turn out to be a nightmare scenario for the Republicans.  We‘ll get into that.

Plus, thousands of birds just fall from the sky.  And Congressman Steve Israel predicts buyers‘ remorse.

You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. 

Stay with us.  We‘re right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.  Tonight‘s “Battleground” story, well, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, he‘s at it again.  While the people of New Jersey were in a State of Emergency fighting one of the worst storms in the state‘s history, Governor Christie, well, he was soaking up the sun down there, hanging out with Mickey Mouse and the kids at Disney World.  And he‘s not a bit sorry about it at all.  Nothing about responsibility.  In fact, he said, he wouldn‘t change anything if he had to do it all over again. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE ®, NEW JERSEY:  I made a promise to my children that at the end of my first year as governor that I was going to take them to Disney World.  I was not going to rescind my child‘s Christmas gift especially when I was convinced that we had a plan in place.  I was not going to look at my children and say, no we‘re not going. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  But he‘ll look at your kids and say, we‘re not going to give you enough in the schoolroom.  Look, this guy is on a tear.  And this guy believes that it‘s OK to tell hundreds of thousands of New Jersey school kids that they have to pack into more crowded classrooms with fewer books so his millionaire buddies can get the tax cut.  And now we‘re seeing from that sound bite right there, just what a bully this guy is, what a bad politician he is, and he has no leadership skills.  He comes from Wall Street.  He‘s a lobbyist.  He‘s an attorney.  He was not about public service.  So why did he run for governor?  Ego. 

Joining me now is the New Jersey school-teacher and anti-Chris Christie activist, Marie Hughes Corfield.  Miss Corfield, good to have you with us tonight.  

MARIE HUGHES-CORFIELD, NEW JERSEY TEACHER:  I‘m very happy to be here, Ed, thank you.  

SCHULTZ:  Why are you happy to be on THE ED SHOW?

CORFIELD:  Well, because I really don‘t like a lot of what Chris Christie what he—what he‘s done in the state since he‘s taken office.  I‘ve been very—I was very unhappy with his response last week to the storm.  He made a promise to his children, but when he took the oath of office to be governor, he made a promise to the people of his state.  And when, you know, when you‘re an elected official, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.  And the needs of the people of the state of New Jersey should have come first.  There were, you know, I‘m sure there were a lot of citizens in this state who would have loved to have been in Disney World last week but they lost their jobs and he could afford to go, but if he could afford to go last week, he could have afforded to go last week at another time.  Not in the middle of one of the worst snowstorms we‘ve seen in the years.  

SCHULTZ:  What does it tell you about his personality, his arrogance, his—he‘s a very callous guy when it comes to other people, that‘s my read on this guy.  Your thoughts?

CORFIELD:  Well, I mean, he is.  If you don‘t agree with what he says and you challenge him on it, he just cuts you down and cuts you off.  

SCHULTZ:  And you‘ve been down that road, haven‘t you?

CORFIELD:  Yes, I have.  

SCHULTZ:  And what has it been like?  You‘ve been attacked by the public people you don‘t even know because you stood up and asked a question, correct?

CORFIELD:  Right.  I stood up and I said to him, “I don‘t like the way that this administration is treating teachers.”  And since then, I got a lot of comments from people who I don‘t even know, they just, you know, horrible things that were said to me, and all I did was exercise my first amendment rights.  I mean, this is the United States, isn‘t it?

SCHULTZ:  So, the way he treated you and the way his followers have treated you, basically is who he really is, and what he did last week, I think, put a lot of people in jeopardy and he‘s getting away with it scot-free and he has the arrogance to come back that his kids are more important than your kids or any other kids in New Jersey which I just find unbelievable. 

CORFIELD:  Yes.

SCHULTZ:  Maria Hughes Corfield, good to have you tonight.  Thanks so much.

CORFIELD:  Thank you.

SCHULTZ:  In the middle of this fight, Adam Green, cofounder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee.  The PCCC created a Web site called, whereischristie.com.  Adam, good to have you on tonight.  This is, in your opinion, what kind of a story?  

ADAM GREEN, COFOUNDER, PROGRESSIVE CHANGE CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE:  Well, this a story about a governor who has a consistent pattern of putting his own interests ahead of the people of New Jersey.  You know, in this case, you know, leadership is often defined by crises and this was literally a state of crisis, declared that officially.  Entire town across New Jersey was shutdown.  And there was no leadership at the helm on the part of this governor.  But more importantly to some people this is more of a pattern.  In September, right after the Christie administration lost $400 million in federal funding for public schools which directly impact people like Marie, and there was an important hearing in the State of New Jersey where information from the governor was needed, he was not in the state.  He was campaigning across the country for Republicans.  The next month in October, when there was a statewide transportation shutdown, thousands of workers sitting on the side of the highway, sitting on their hands because they didn‘t have direction in the middle of the crises, the government wasn‘t there to deal with it.  He was out of the state campaigning for Republicans. 

SCHULTZ:  And lieutenant governor, or assisted governor, whatever they call him in New Jersey, was also not there, which I find amazing.  This is Governor Christie complaining about getting calls on vacation and blaming the story on the media. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTIE:  This is not, like, in the 1800s when you know no one would be able to get me.  Believe me, my cell phone was ringing where I was, much more than I would have preferred it to, under normal circumstances, when I‘m away on a family vacation.  All of this carping and craziness about how could I leave the state stranded?  I mean, you know, I was on the phone, not only you know with my staff but with members of the press.  All you guys be doing this time a year, absent of disaster would be retrospectives of what happened in 2010, so you have a disaster to fill the week.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  What about those phone calls, Adam Green?

GREEN:  First of all, I think America just saw the face of a very arrogant individual and some of those consistently been arrogant overtime.  But with those phone calls and this is someone, who in the same press conference claimed that he was on the phone all the time with the acting governor, democrat in this case, state Senate President Stephen Sweeney and it turns out Stephen Sweeney says, he never, ever talk to the governor while he was in Florida, so actually more questions have been raised since Christie got back that have been answered.  So, there‘s a growing pattern of problems here and frankly, if democratic legislators at this point wanted to have an investigation of what actually happened during those several days that the governor was away, it probably would not be unwarranted at this point and there is need to be given to people of New Jersey. 

SCHULTZ:  Adam Green, good to have you with us tonight. 

GREEN:  Thank you.  

SCHULTZ:  We‘ll stay on the story.  

Now, let‘s get some rapid-fire response from our panel on these stories tonight.  An explosive new report from MSNBC‘s Jonathan Alter reveals former President Bill Clinton is complaining about being disrespected by the Obama administration.  How big of a problem is this? 

President Obama returns to Washington tomorrow, and he‘s expected to make a decision soon on replacing Chief Economic Adviser Larry Summers.  Some rumored candidates are way too close to Wall Street.  

And, finally, the navy is launching an investigation into an inappropriate videos made by a captain on a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.  The video‘s contains homophobic remarks and lewd sexual humor. 

With us tonight, on these topics.  Joe Madison, XM Satellite radio talk show host and Amy Holmes, nationally syndicated radio talk show host for “America‘s Morning News.”  Great to have both of you with us tonight. 

JOE MADISON, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  Thank you.

SCHULTZ:  All right.  Here we go.  Jonathan Alter is reporting in his book, “The Promise” on the paperback edition, that there‘s a real tough road going on Joe, between President Obama and former President Clinton and it‘s all over jobs because he sent a plan over there and it was never responded to for a number of weeks, and he felt really dissed about it, what do you know?

MADISON:  Well, I don‘t understand Bill Clinton.  He had his turn as president of the United States.  I know the likes of Valerie Jared and others, I‘m certain that they are going to look at the plan, but I honestly think that Bill Clinton should just simply cool out.  It‘s really strange to hear him say how he‘s dissed by this president.  He was sent to Haiti.  He had a great news conference that we all saw that was extremely important in the final lame-duck session.  So, I just don‘t know where Bill Clinton is.  I think that he enjoys the spotlight just a little bit too much and he has to get used to not being president.  

SCHULTZ:  Amy, does the president of the United States, President Obama need to patch this up with the public, with the Democrats, what do you think?

AMY HOLMES, RADIO SHOW HOST:  Well, it might be helpful to patch it up with Bill Clinton since Bill Clinton wants to go public with his complaints about President Obama.  I think Bill Clinton would do well to remember how much of a thorn in his side Jimmy Carter was, when Jimmy Carter was freelancing diplomacy while President Clinton was president and did not appreciate it.  I have to agree with Joe.  I think that bubba loves the spotlight.  In fact, he feels like Glenn close, “I will not be ignored.”  I mean, like where is the boiling bunny in the....  

SCHULTZ:  You know, I like Bill Clinton, I think any advice that we can give is good for anybody.  

(CROSSTALK)

MADISON:  But that‘s the point.  

HOLMES:  But let‘s remember, Ed, he‘s making his complaints public to undermine the current setting president.  And I think George Bush should get a lot more credit than he does for saving out of the peanut gallery and letting President Obama be president.  

MADISON:  But, Amy, George Bush they don‘t even go to George Bush in the Republican Party for advice.  I mean, he‘s about as. 

HOLMES:  I love it.  

(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)

HOLMES:  Who is Dick Cheney—where is the Dick Cheney on the camera?

MADISON:  The reality is, Ed, it‘s advice.  

SCHULTZ:  OK.  

MADISON:  You either take it or leave it.  

SCHULTZ:  Amy Holmes, who is the next best adviser for President Obama on the economy in your opinion.  

HOLMES:  Well, in my opinion, I would like for him to put in a businessman.  Someone who has created jobs, who had built a corporation with his own hands from the ground up.  You know, potentially a small business owner who turned it into a major, mega corporation.  Blanche Lincoln, the democrat from Arkansas who was defeated this last November.  

SCHULTZ:  They are Wall Streeter.  

HOLMES:  She complained of President Obama and said, in your cabinet, there is not a single business person. 

SCHULTZ:  Does he have to get away from Wall Street, Joe?  Does he have to go away from Wall Street?

MADISON:  Yes, yes, yes, I‘m telling you, he should go from Middle America where you‘re from and from where I‘m from and this is where you find Main Street, not Wall Street.  You know this guy, he selected, made $800,000 in 2008.  He‘s part of the freaking problem and so, I would say, go to Middle America, go to Main Street President Obama.  Go to Main Street.  

SCHULTZ:  How about a community banker?

MADISON:  Yes.  

SCHULTZ:  That would be good.  

MADISON:  Exactly.  

SCHULTZ:  Pick the best community banker or a team of community bankers, that would be the best way to go.  All right the “USS Enterprise,” I believe it is.  Holy smokes.  They‘re making these videos.  Amy Holmes, do the Republicans support the troops on this one? 

HOLMES:  Well, they support the troops, they do not support the leader who would make a video like this.  It is his job to—I mean, I think that it is unbecoming of an officer.  I don‘t see him being able to keep his job for much longer.  Thoroughly disgusting.  I mean, setting aside, bringing up the “Don‘t Ask, Don‘t Tell” issue, whatever is that your position is on this issue, you should be a person of dignity, leadership and respect and what he did was disgusting.  

SCHULTZ:  Does it go to the oval office, Joe?

MADISON:  And yes, it should.  And somewhere in the—in the archives of history, you‘ll find officers that did the same thing when they brought women in, when they brought African-Americans in.  

SCHULTZ:  Yes.  

MADISON:  This is totally unacceptable. 

SCHULTZ:  Joe Madison. 

MADISON:  He should be dismissed. 

SCHULTZ:  Amy Holmes, great to have you with us tonight.  Thanks so much for joining us.  

MADISON:  Thank you.

HOLMES:  Thank you.

SCHULTZ:  Coming up, the tan man is taking the gavel this week so get ready to see some tears flowing but he really might be crying in two years.  New DCCC Chairman Steve Israel is predicting some big-time buyer‘s remorse.  He sounds off next on THE ED SHOW.  I‘m not giving it up, Brett Favre left the field yesterday.  But I think he‘s coming back.  Stephen A. Smith is having a heart attack on this one.  I‘ll explain to the “Playbook,” stay with us.    

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  And it‘s not too late to let us know what you think.  Tonight‘s text survey question is, do you think Congressman Issa‘s investigations of the Obama administration will be fair?  Text A for yes, text B for not to 622-639.  Results coming up.  Stay with us.       

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  And in my “Playbook” tonight, at this hour, John Boehner is putting the final touches on his acceptance speech as America‘s 53rd speaker of the House.  The tan man is trying to keep it cool.  But some observers think Boehner will have a lot of new reasons to cry two years from now.  New York Congressman Steve Israel is the new chairman of the DCCC, he thinks Americans are about to have to suffer some serious buyer‘s remorse for putting Republicans in charge of the people‘s house. 

Joining me now is the new chairman of the DCCC, Congressman Israel. 

Congressman, good to have you with us tonight.  Why do you think. 

REP. STEVE ISRAEL, DCCC CHAIRMAN:  Good to be with you.  

SCHULTZ: .why do you think people are going to have a change of heart, collectively?  I mean, that‘s basically what you‘re saying.  

ISRAEL:  Well, because already from the election until today, they have seen Republicans try to turn the House of Representatives into a hall of fame for hypocrisy.  And let me give you my first two contenders, my first two inductees and it‘s only Monday.  Michele Bachmann who spent her career, saying that she was a pit bull barking against earmarks when she was a minority, now that she‘s going to the majority has become kind of a lap dog drooling for earmarks as long as they‘re in her district for transportation projects.  That‘s not what voters in Minnesota wants, that‘s not what they voted for.  They want something that‘s going to create jobs and level with them.  And my second one. 

SCHULTZ:  She also says that the American people want to repeal health care, do you think that‘s what the American people want?

ISRAEL:  Well, that leads me to my second inductee, and that‘s Andy Harris, the new congressman from Eastern Maryland who said—who campaigned saying, he was going to repeal health care.  It‘s no good for the American people when he goes to freshman orientation, he complains that his congressional health care  didn‘t kick in yet that he has to wait until he‘s sworn in for his congressional health care, at the same time he‘s vowing to repeal it for his constituents.  That‘s not what the people of Eastern Maryland voted for.  

SCHULTZ:  What about taxes?

ISRAEL:  And we‘re going to let the American people know about this hypocrisy.  

SCHULTZ:  OK, and what about taxes?  A new “60 Minutes,” Vanity Fair poll shows that 61 percent of Americans want the wealthy to pay more taxes.  We just went down this road before the holiday break, now where are we, is this more conversation, do you—do you take this material and keep going at the American people with it?  What do you think?

ISRAEL:  Well, look, the Republicans are talking about the fact that we cannot continue to have debt and deficits, and yet they‘re going to hold so many people hostage in order to deliver an eternal repeal of the estate tax for people estate, 6600 estates worth over $10 million.  Democrats are about real and meaningful tax reduction and tax relief, the middle class and working families.  

SCHULTZ:  And Steve, also in that poll, it shows that the American people don‘t want Social Security or Medicare taken off the table.  I mean, we‘re talking about four percent, three percent.  I mean, are the Democrats going to have to defend this for the next 24 months, is that what the campaign is about, whether you believe in a program that Americans are paying into? 

ISRAEL:  No, no.  We‘re going to fight them every single day on their proposition that we ought to privatize Social Security, and we can Medicare and they‘ve already established that they don‘t have an ability to govern by putting on the very committees that have jurisdictions for Social Security and Medicare.  People who want to dismantle Social Security and Medicare.  That‘s where this election is going to be about? 

SCHULTZ:  OK.  Congressman, good to have you with us tonight.  We‘ll see you a lot here on THE ED SHOW.  Thanks so much.  One final page of the “Playbook” tonight, everyone thinks it‘s over for Brett Favre‘s 20 year career, I still keep hope alive.  He left that field yesterday under the scrutiny of Big Eddie sitting on my big couch saying, look, OK, he‘s smiling and he ran off the field and the camera followed him down into the  locker room and I don‘t know, is that how you end your last game after 20 years?  It was the most disappointing season in 50 years for the Vikings.  He left the field with no emotion.  I think he‘s coming back.  I‘m holding out hope.  How about that TCU football team taking down Wisconsin in the rose bowl?  I like it.  

Coming up, Caribou Barbie, Mitt Romney and the rest of the 2012 wannabes are ready to rumble.  And today, five GOP insiders said, Palin, she could win it all.  Radio talk show host Mike Papantonio, he‘s all of that, all over that one, next on THE ED SHOW.  Stay with us.                        

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.  Well, the 12 presidential races kicked into high gear today, I guess you could say some powerful GOP insiders announced that they think Sarah Palin could be the next president of the United States.  Give me a break.  In a debate today, all five candidates were sucking up to be the next RNC leader when they were asked if they think that Palin could win the general election.  Listen to this psycho crowd.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN:  Can Sarah Palin win a general election?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN:  Yes.  

UNIDENTIFIED MAN:  Yes.  

UNIDENTIFIED MAN:  Yes, of course.  

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN:  Yes, absolutely, sorry. 

UNIDENTIFIED MAN:  Yes. 

UNIDENTIFIED MAN:  Yes. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Well, they must be afraid of her, right?  Of course, Palin hasn‘t announced her plans, but the half-term governor from Alaska never met a power play that she doesn‘t like.

For more, let‘s bring in Mike Papantonio, host of the nationally syndicated ring of fire radio show.  Well, Mike, I guess we know it‘s politically incorrect, the deep sick Sarah Palin early on, nobody wants to touch that.  What do you think?

MIKE PAPANTONIO, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  The game is on, unfortunately for the GOP candidates, all down below, look, it‘s dictated by the candidates on the top.  The top candidate has a huge impact on what happens to the GOP candidates down below.  Those candidates better grab a big umbrella, because they‘re in for a lot of stuff falling down from the top.  The best candidate they have is the least psychotic, the least fringed is Mitt Romney, unfortunately for Mitt and the GOP, he‘s dead on arrival in the south.  It‘s the best hope for the GOP in the south, but he is dead on arrival, most friends‘ Tea-bagger-type southern evangelicals don‘t believe that Joseph Smith in the Mormon Church is anything but a cult. 

That‘s not true.  But that‘s what they believe.  Why did they believe it?  Because that was sold to them in the primaries, the last go round by the GOP, then you move down to the next guy Bobby Jindal, his name is still out there.  You can‘t forget the story about Bobby Jindal performing exorcism on his roommate because his roommate got liquored up one night and he believed that his roommate had been possessed by demons in devils, so he brings in the preacher, five of his wing nut friends.  They don‘t know that his problems is Jack Daniels, it has nothing to do with that.  

SCHULTZ:  You‘re talking about down south.  This is South Carolina, Senator Lindsey Graham saying Mittster is going to be the dude, here it is.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID GREGORY, HOST, “MEET THE PRESS”:  Who is the leading contender, in your mind?

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM ®, SOUTH CAROLINA:  Probably Romney.  Mitt Romney has got his problems as a candidate but so does everyone else.  But it‘s a changing environment and the one thing he got to prove to the people of South Carolina, not only that you‘re conservative but that you can carry the day. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Can Sarah Palin carry the day?  What do you think, Mike?

PAPANTONIO:  She—she can‘t.  Look, she can‘t decide whether she wants to be governor of Alaska or a chief reality TV character or some—or honestly, the most intellectually challenge president the world have ever seen.  So the problem that they have, Palin is out there because she likes the press but you have some serious candidates, you have the guy like Newt Gingrich.  He can‘t—he cannot win the character stink that‘s been put all over him because he was the husband who told his wife at the day after she had cancer surgery, that he‘s leaving her for a new trophy wife.  

SCHULTZ:  So who is their beat right now, right now, here we are, right, the third day of the New Year, who‘s their best chance, in your opinion?

PAPANTONIO:  They don‘t—they don‘t have one but I give it to Mitt Romney, if you were to take everything aside, it‘s Mitt Romney and he doesn‘t have a chance in the south.  

SCHULTZ:  All right.  Mike Papantonio, always a pleasure, great to have you with us tonight.  Thanks so much.  

Tonight in our text survey, I asked you, do you think that Congressman Issa‘s investigations of the Obama administration will be fair?  Twenty five percent of you said yes.  Seventy five percent of you said no.  It is good to be back in New York.  It‘s good to be back with you here on THE ED SHOW. 

Cenk, thanks for filling in on the program.  Looking forward to a great 2011 and I really appreciate all the viewers of THE ED SHOW, making last year, the best year we‘ve ever had, 6:00 Eastern Time in this time slot.  Couldn‘t do it without you. I really appreciate it and we‘re going to stay here this year doing it for the people here on THE ED SHOW. 

That‘s it.  I‘m Ed Schultz.  For more information on THE ED SHOW, go to ed.msnbc.com or check out my radio website wegoted.com.  Or on XM Sirius, 167 that‘s the channel, noon to 3:00, Monday through Friday.  “HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews starts right now on the place for politics, MSNBC, we‘ll see you back here tomorrow night.

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