The Ed Show for Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011
Read the transcript to the Tuesday show
Guests: Ed Rendell, Nina Turner, Joe Madison, Ben Jealous
ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans. And welcome to THE ED SHOW, tonight from New York.
If you‘re middle class, pay attention—our top story tonight is out of Ohio. I just can‘t believe this one. It‘s on the table.
And we‘ve got a lot more coming up tonight as coalition air strikes pound Libya for the fourth straight day. Surveys are coming in pretty interesting and showing strange results about whether the public actually supports the president in all of this. We‘ll take a look at what the U.S. role should be.
Republicans promised to be what? The party of jobs? But their top six priorities have been anything but jobs. That‘s in “The Takedown” tonight.
Glenn Beck questions whether Martin Luther King was fighting for labor rights when he was assassinated. And, of course, we‘re here to set the record straight at the end of the hour tonight with dignity.
All right. This is the story that should have every American fired up. It comes from the—I can‘t believe this department. Ohio Governor John Kasich—you‘ll understand why I say this—is kind of drunk with power.
Kasich‘s budget plan is all about one word: privatization—just like the rest of the guys on the right side.
Now, the governor wants to sell five state-run prisons to private companies. He wants to open state parks to oil and gas drilling. And he wants to sell leases of state-owned liquor stores for pennies on the dollar. This is a hell of scheme let me tell you.
You see—the state of Ohio licenses businesses to run liquor stores
for a commission. Now, liquor sales generate about $228 million in revenue
for the state treasury every year. Governor Kasich wants to funnel that
money to a private, economic development organization called—catch this
Jobs Ohio. Remember that—Jobs Ohio.
Kasich created this private organization to replace the Ohio Department of Development, which was a state-run agency for job recruitment and retention.
Now, Jobs Ohio, you know what they‘re going to do? They‘re going to buy the liquor licenses from the state for $1.5 billion.
But, Houston, we got a small problem here. They don‘t have the money.
So, they‘re going to raise $1.5 billion by selling the 30-year lease of nearly $6.8 billion of Ohio liquor profits to where? Wall Street investors.
Well, liquor revenue, which belongs to the state of Ohio, will now be sitting in the bank accounts of Wall Street investors.
Who would make such a stupid business decision after what we‘ve been through with Wall Street? Oh, I should have done this earlier in the show.
I should have introduced you to the new chairman of Jobs Ohio—you got it
Governor John Kasich. He appointed himself the chairman.
Now, this plan, folks, you need to know this does nothing to create jobs but it takes money from the Ohio treasury to pay off Kasich‘s buddies on Wall Street. Governor Kasich says the liquor revenues are a good investment because he expects Ohioans just to keep on drinking more.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. JOHN KASICH ®, OHIO: There are people that want to buy this thing because there is a natural wedge that gets created because over here, people drink more. I mean, it‘s just a natural revenue stream so everybody wanted to buy it. Everybody was interested in it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Ah, tough times, everybody‘s buying booze. Now, you have to be drunk to have this make any sense. But Kasich is following the new Republican playbook for power in revenue—use deceptive advertising, push polls, rig the elections and lie about your opponent to get elected.
Pass laws creating new departments through tactical maneuvers that cut out minority input, and, of course, make sure that new department is a public/private partnership. That always works.
Make yourself chairman of that new department. And then you really got control.
Take that government revenue stream—you know what you got to do with it? You got to sell it to Wall Street.
And, of course, use a lame duck session in office to privatize the new department. And who knows? You might retire rich when it‘s all said and done.
Governor Kasich is following that model to a T and he is showing no signs of stopping.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KASICH: There are more privatizations to come. They are not in this budget, but we‘re seeking broad authority for additional privatization.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Additional privatization. It‘s the answer to everything.
Republicans want to treat government like a business and people like commodities. They have no sense of economic patriotism or social justice, so Governor John Kasich and other Republicans, I think, need to quit acting like used car salesmen and start acting like the public servants that they were elected to be. It is hard to believe that the country is not totally focused on what this group of Republican governors is actually doing to the infrastructure of America. We are talking about millions of American workers who are being affected by this. And we‘re also talking about the next generation that may not have a say in all of this.
I mean, you look at the state of Michigan and what they‘re doing with education. It‘s unbelievable. They‘re making cuts to the point where they‘ve got this new law in there that we talked about the other night that if you run a deficit the state can come over, come in and take over your district. Where do you think that‘s going to put public education?
I mean, it is just one domino after another with these Republican governors. And what‘s happening in Ohio, it is going to be happening in other states that are run by Republicans.
This is the way they are going to chip away at wages, break unions, kill collective bargaining, and turn to the public and say, hey, we‘re giving you a real good deal and we think you can make more money on Wall Street. Who wants to gamble like that with the public‘s money?
Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think. Tonight‘s question: Will Governor Kasich‘s privatization plans create jobs in Ohio? Text “A” for yes, text “B” for no to 622639. Or go to our new blog at Ed.MSNBC.com. We‘ll bring you the results later on in the show.
Now, joining me now is Ohio State Senator Nina Turner.
Nina, good to have you with us tonight.
When I first read this story, I thought of you first because you‘ve been on this show and you have been—you know, a “tell it like it is” representative senator for the state of Ohio. What was your reaction when you first heard about this plan dealing with the liquor licenses ending up as an investment on Wall Street?
STATE SEN. NINA TURNER (D), OHIO: Well, thank you, Ed, so much. I was surprised. I think everybody in the general assembly should pause.
And let me tell you, Ed, this bill at least in the Senate did receive some bipartisan support because folks are desperate for jobs. But the way it was sold to the general assembly is that they were going to utilize private money to market, for—to spur employment, and now come to find out they want to use the liquor sales to do this -- $700 million to pay back bonds and $500 million as one time funds to close the budget deficit for $1.2 billion.
And as you stated so eloquently—I mean, these bonds are going to be sold on the market. Somebody is going to make that money, and it‘s surely not going to be the teacher that‘s making $50,000 a year or the firefighter or the police officer that may be making $60,000 or $70,000 a year.
Something is awfully wrong with the plan in the state of Ohio that seeks to privatize the profits but socialize the risks.
SCHULTZ: Senator Turner, what will the loss of this kind of money mean, you know, $6 billion, in liquor revenue over the next few decades? I mean, this is a gamble. There‘s no guarantee this is going to work. Can the state play with this money?
TURNER: Really, there is no guarantee. And liquor, you know, the money that comes into the—into the general fund for that is a—it is a stable funding source. So, yes, we‘re taking a risk. Why wouldn‘t it be more prudent to put a shorter time line but to lock in future governors and future general assemblies over 20, 25 years for a plan that has not created one job? It is absolutely irresponsible.
SCHULTZ: So this plan, in your opinion, will not create jobs?
TURNER: Well, that remains to be seen. But it hasn‘t created one yet.
And again, all of the tax we have on middle class and working class men and women in this state and then to have the unadulterated gall to put the state at risk like this, to deceive the general assembly—because that‘s exactly what happened. Again, when this bill was touted it was touted as one that would use private money to spur this kind of development and now, the turn-around to use money that comes—
TURNER: -- to the state of Ohio in this way is absolutely unconscionable.
SCHULTZ: What‘s your response to the governor appointing himself chairman of Jobs Ohio?
TURNER: Well, Ed --
SCHULTZ: I mean, this is unbelievable. I mean, this guy gets elected. He dumps the state agency, makes himself the chairman of Jobs Ohio, gets some help with his Republican buddies to take the liquor money and go play with it on Wall Street.
TURNER: We certainly need to have an objective approach to do this. It‘s almost like the fox watching the hen house, Ed. I mean, we should definitely question the way that this is being run.
SCHULTZ: Can the Democrats do anything to stop this?
TURNER: Well, Ed, again, in the Senate, it passed bipartisan and in a bipartisan way. We are certainly for economic development. But why should the taxpayers bear the brunt of the burden on an experiment that has not proven itself? I will tell you that the Democrats are going to stand strong. We‘re going to stand strong for working class men and women in the state of Ohio.
And I want to remind us we are fighting—fighting in the state of Ohio to make sure that our workers continue to have the collective bargaining rights.
You know, the American Dream is going to be no more. It‘s turning into the American nightmare. And if you are not ultra wealthy, you can forget about it. And that‘s why all of us should care about what‘s happening in Ohio, what‘s happening in Wisconsin.
You know, Dr. King once said that the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice.
And I want the folks in the state of Ohio to remain encouraged that we‘re going to continue to be vigilant to make sure that folks still have the opportunity to pursue the American Dream. For some, if you‘re middle class and working class, you shouldn‘t have any rights. But we‘re not going to stand idly by and let this happen in the state of Ohio.
SCHULTZ: Nina Turner, you are a fighter for the people, no doubt about it.
But I want to ask you one final question on this issue. Now, this obviously is going to line the pockets of some Wall Streeters. They‘re going to remember who the guy in Ohio—you know, who was responsible for this. If this works, it‘s a big gamble—if it works, do you think John Kasich has presidential aspirations? You can‘t get to the White House without connections on Wall Street.
TURNER: Well, Ed, that is—we should certainly deal with how much it cost to run a presidential campaign. But for now, the citizens of the state of Ohio need a governor who cares about what happens here in Ohio for the 11.5 million people he was elected to serve.
SCHULTZ: Does he care more about Wall Street—does he care more about Wall Street than he does the citizens of Ohio?
TURNER: Well, Ed, that is a question for the governor, but I will tell you that we have a lot of suffering going on here besides Senate Bill 5. This House Bill 159 that seeks to take away some voting rights. I mean, we have a lot of issues in the state of Ohio that we have to work on collectively, and I hope all of the citizens in this state, both Democrat and Republican, are watching what happens as the middle class goes, so do the rest of us.
So, I am really about working very, very hard, along my other Democratic colleagues and some other folks of good consciousness, to make sure that there is an American Dream for other folks to inherit and to make sure that all folks had the opportunity to pursue happiness.
SCHULTZ: All folks. That is the key phrase.
SCHULTZ: Ohio State Senator Nina Turner, thank you for joining us tonight. Thanks for your time.
Remember to answer tonight‘s question there at the bottom of the screen. We want to know what you think.
SCHULTZ (voice-over): It‘s not only Kasich. From Alaska to New Jersey, Republican budget plans just don‘t add up. I‘ll tell you why.
Bill O‘Reilly bashes back at the Obama bracket busters.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL O‘REILLY, FOX NEWS: That‘s just Obama-bashing pure and simple.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Yes, Bill, even on your own network. Well, I got my own bracket of the FOX News Obama bashers. See if you can pick the winner.
And Glenn Beck fails American history again. Wait until you hear Beck butcher the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.
SCHULTZ: And on THE ED SHOW, make sure to check out our new blog at Ed.MSNBC.com. You‘re going to find links to our radio Web site at WeGotEd.com, Twitter and Facebook. Sign up, let‘s get it on.
Next: tax breaks for millionaires at the expense of school kids. I mean school kids, little school kids who aren‘t going to be resourced properly. It‘s all part of the broad Republican effort to crush the middle class in America. Former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell will join me on that issue.
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW tonight and thanks for watching.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker‘s attack on public workers is just one part of a larger Republican agenda. Break the middle class and call it deficit reduction.
Wisconsin‘s Republican attorney general wants to appeal a judge‘s order blocking Walker‘s anti-worker bill. So, the state Justice Department filed a petition and listed Secretary of State Doug La Follette as the petitioner, as the petitioner. But as John Nichols reports, La Follette was never consulted on the petition, probably because he opposes the Walker bill and has obeyed the judge‘s order.
Meanwhile big rallies are planned in Wisconsin for this weekend. Organizers hope it will move the recall effort for several Republican senators forward in a big way.
Now, you would think that it would serve as a warning sign for Republicans in other states. Well, it hasn‘t. And the ones up in Alaska don‘t seem to be paying too much attention to any of this. In fact, a GOP proposal to curb collective bargaining is being modeled after the Walker bill. He‘s the hero.
Alaska‘s first overhauled its state retirement and health care system a few years back. Democratic lawmakers say the state has had difficulty retaining qualified teachers and police officers ever since that move.
That hasn‘t stopped Governor Chris Christie in New Jersey from steamrolling public workers in his state. In fact, his cuts to education are so deep New Jersey schools have been unable to provide a, quote, “thorough and efficient education to their students.”
Now, folks, that‘s not my opinion. That‘s a ruling from a state superior court judge. He found Christie‘s budget cuts are affecting poor kids the most. He says, “Our ‘at risk‘ children are now moving further from proficiency.”
Where are we going in this country?
Joining me now is former Democratic governor of Pennsylvania, now an NBC News political analyst, Ed Rendell.
Governor, good to have you with us tonight.
I mean, it‘s not in one state. It‘s in a number of states. And they just all happen to have Republican governors and the cuts go far beyond balancing any budget.
I mean, this is so agenda driven. The millionaires get the breaks and the kids in the classroom are going to—are going to pay the price. What are they doing here, Governor?
ED RENDELL, NBC NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, no question, Ed. And as bad as the collective bargaining assault is, the assault on public education is worse because we are mortgaging our future—Pennsylvania‘s future, Florida‘s future, Ohio‘s future, Michigan‘s future.
You can‘t countenance these cuts, particularly when in those states we‘re not—not only not increasing business taxes to share the pain but we‘re cutting business taxes. We‘re giving corporations—many of whom don‘t need it—tax breaks and we‘re punishing children.
And it‘s interesting. You know, people are always fond of saying money doesn‘t make a difference in educational outcomes, Ed. Consider this -- in my years as governor, we raised education funding for our K through 12 by over $4 billion annually, over $4 billion annually.
We went from being in the bottom third in 2002 in the national test to third in the nation in 2010 on the national test. Our 8th graders finished first in reading in the country. We cut the achievement gap between minority and majority students by 28 percent.
SCHULTZ: So, this is—this is proof positive that real investment
does work and real cuts will send it the other way. I want your opinion on
RENDELL: No question.
SCHULTZ: I want your opinion on this. Governor Rick Snyder in Michigan, he is going to cut per student $715, per student. Local superintendents have called the proposed cuts unfair and unacceptable, and they say it‘s nothing but an agenda to privatize all of public education. Do you agree with that?
RENDELL: Well, it is certainly tending that way. You cannot have—look, does money guarantee a great education? No. But does not having it guarantee that you‘re not going to be able to provide that education? Absolutely. We‘ve seen it time after time after time.
And, unfortunately, the burden falls most on urban school districts who have the most minority kids who come from the most difficult background to educate.
RENDELL: And that‘s the whole ball of wax for this country. Where this country is going to be in 20 years, on the world economic stage, whether we‘re going to be the leader depends on the state of our education.
SCHULTZ: Well, can‘t we answer that tonight? We‘re not going to be the leader.
RENDELL: We‘re not.
SCHULTZ: We‘re not going to be able to compete on an international level and create the jobs we want the way we are treating public education and not everybody can afford to go to a private school.
Now, earlier tonight in the show, we talked about John Kasich‘s plan in Ohio and in Pennsylvania, Republican Governor Tom Corbett, as you know, wants to privatize state liquor stores. What do you make of all of this?
RENDELL: Well, look, privatization can be effective in certain instances, Ed. You know, we privatized a few functions, but you can‘t mortgage the future. For example, the state liquor stores produce over $100 million a year in positive income for Pennsylvania. That‘s important. That $100 million a year allowed us to do certain things. And you can‘t mortgage the future.
What you get if you sold the state stores in Pennsylvania is a one-time infusion of cash, but if you use it to try to balance the budget and Governor Corbett is now proposing that—
RENDELL: -- it‘s gone in that year. The next year, that hole, that deficit hole comes back again in full force.
SCHULTZ: Do you think the public gets it? Do you think that there is now a strong awareness of what is unfolding in front of their eyes?
RENDELL: To some extent, yes. And it‘s interesting. I don‘t fault Tom Corbett. Tom Corbett is doing exactly what he said during the campaign.
RENDELL: He didn‘t lie to people. He said he wasn‘t going to raise any tax. He wouldn‘t sign any increase in taxes, fees. Not even on the shale drillers in Pennsylvania who are reaping enormous profits. And he stood by it.
And I give him credit for consistency. But the public is now going to understand what they voted for, Ed.
RENDELL: They voted for these cuts. Everybody likes the idea of cuts before raising revenue—until they specifically get confronted with cuts in education. There was a recent poll in Pennsylvania. This is amazing—
98 percent of Pennsylvanians said they didn‘t want to balance the budget by cutting public education.
RENDELL: Well, welcome to the party. That‘s exactly where he‘s going to be going, along with these other Republican governors across the country.
Governor Rendell, great to have you with us tonight. I appreciate it so much.
Martin Luther King fought for the righties—the right, the correct issues when it came to organized labor. That‘s why he was in Memphis that awful day. But Glenn Beck doesn‘t seem to get that.
And Speaker of the House John Boehner loves asking the question, where are the jobs? And now, it‘s pretty obvious why he asks it so much. There are no new jobs on the Republican agenda. That‘s in “The Takedown.”
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW—time for “The Takedown” tonight.
The Republicans have been in charge of the house of representatives for three months. And their agenda is becoming pretty clear, don‘t you think? Because for more than two years, Speaker of the House John Boehner left no doubt about what his four favorite words were.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: The American people are wondering, where are the jobs? The American families and small businesses are struggling. They‘ve seen the economic stimulus package pass, but they‘re asking the question, where are the jobs?
I‘ve been asking the questions over the last three or four months, where are the jobs?
You know, the American people are asking the question, where are the jobs?
You know, the American people are still asking the question, where are the jobs?
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
SCHULTZ: Can you imagine having a job like that going around saying the same thing all the time?
So, we have the Republicans. Well, what have they done about jobs since John Boehner took the speaker‘s gavel? Nothing. Wait a minute. There‘s a mix-up in the script. I meant to say, not a damn thing.
Instead, they‘ve thrown their weight behind $61 billion in spending cuts.
The chief economists of Moody‘s Analytics who was an adviser to John McCain‘s presidential campaign says the Republicans‘ plan will cost this country as many as 700,000 jobs by 2012. But apparently that job loss doesn‘t bother the guy who likes to play golf all the time.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOEHNER: If some of those jobs are lost in this, so be it. We‘re broke.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: We‘re broke.
So, Boehner isn‘t looking for ways to create jobs, but he‘s also not worried about losing jobs. So, what exactly is the speaker doing about jobs?
Well, an article at RawStory.com accurately outlined that the top six legislative goals of the Republican House of Representatives—here it is, let‘s see how many of them have anything to do with jobs.
Number one: curtailing abortion rights. That‘s right. No taxpayer funding for abortion act will raise costs on businesses with health plans that cover abortions.
Number two: defunding Planned Parenthood. Indiana‘s Mike Pence sponsored the measure to cut off title 10 funding to Planned Parenthood which, of course, is used to fund cancer screenings, breast exams, and HIV tests.
Here‘s a dandy. We got to get these people off the air. Number three is defunding NPR. They‘re such a threat. The House GOP, get this, held an emergency session—emergency—to strip NPR of federal funding. It was so important.
Number four, investing—investigating American Muslims. This is a huge problem. Just ask Congressman Peter King in New York. He held hearings about Muslim extremism. We‘re interrogating U.S. Muslims about their loyalties? It was likened to questioning Nazis and the KKK.
Number five, declaring English as America‘s official language. That one is, of course, courtesy of James Inhofe of Oklahoma, who sponsored the English Language Unity Act.
And number six, reaffirming the “in God we trust” motto. Congressman Randy Forbes of Virginia wants those words displayed on public buildings, including schools.
And you know what all six of these legislative items have in common? Just like the symbolic vote to repeal health care? None of them have much of a chance in the Senate. And all of them face the presidential—the president‘s veto.
So after just three short months, John Boehner has shown us, as a country, what the real agenda is for the Republicans: spending cuts and culture wars. Because he knows that as long as his House does nothing about jobs, the more trouble, the more havoc he can create for President Obama in his re-election campaign.
I have a question for you, Speaker Boehner. And it‘s not where are the jobs? It‘s where‘s your integrity, buddy? That‘s the Takedown.
Bill O‘Reilly calls it Obama-bashing. But the people doing it are the same cable network that he‘s on. That‘s right. Republicans overwhelmingly support U.S. actions against Libya, but they also overwhelmingly disapprove of how President Obama has taken action against Libya. Figure that one out.
We‘ll make sense of it. make sense of the Republican brain next?
That‘s hard to do. We‘ll be right back.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back. Thanks for staying up with us tonight watching THE ED SHOW. The situation in Libya may seem complicated for a lot of Americans, but new polling shows just how confused members of one party are when it comes to the actions taken by the president of the United States.
CNN and Opinion Research conducted a telephone poll last weekend, starting on the day the no-fly zone over Libya was established. When asked if they approve of the way the president is handling the situation in Libya, 50 percent of respondents approved; 41 percent disapproved. That‘s on day one.
Among Democrats, 73 percent gave their approval and 20 percent said they did not. The numbers basically flipped with Republicans; 27 percent approved of the president‘s handling of Libya, and 63 percent disapproved. Go figure.
Now, those numbers were almost identical among Tea Party supporters. OK, so at first it looks like the polling fell along predictable party lines. But take a closer look and get a load of the very next question. When asked if they favor the United States and other countries establishing a no-fly zone in Libya, 70 percent of respondents said, yes; 64 percent of Democrats were in favor of the no fly zone, 34 percent opposing it.
But look at the Republicans. A whopping number of them, 77 percent, are in support of the exact strategic measure that President Obama took. Now, same goes for the Tea Party supporters; 73 percent of them favor the no-fly zone.
In other words, half of the Republicans responding to this poll, a full 50 percent, don‘t approve of the president‘s handling of Libya, even though they support the policy he executed.
Joining me now is my colleague on Sirius XM. That is radio talk show host Joe Madison. Joe, great to have you with us tonight.
JOE MADISON, SIRIUS XM RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Thank you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Make rhyme or reason of this. Is this just a stamp of execution on the president, that there are just people in this country no matter what he does and how he does it, they may like the policy, they just don‘t want him? What do you think?
MADISON: He could put a scud missile—I said on my show something I can‘t say on cable TV, but he could put a scud missile right between the eyes of Gadhafi and you‘d probably have Republicans and Tea Parties saying that it wasn‘t on target.
You‘ve hit it. And I think my audience—I‘ve heard your audience, they pretty much understand this. It doesn‘t make any difference what this president does. They just can‘t stand the fact he‘s in office. This is what it really boils down to.
And I think he is very clever. This president has done something very clever. He knows he‘s going to take heat from progressives and the left because they‘re consistent. They didn‘t like it when Bush did it. They don‘t like it now that President Obama has done it.
And at the same time, he has checkmated the right because they know if this was Bush or their candidate, they would be gung ho, full support, full steam ahead.
SCHULTZ: What‘s it say about the Republican polling and the Tea Party polling almost identical? Has the Tea Party hijacked the Republicans?
MADISON: Well, or have the Republicans hijacked the Tea Party? Look, you‘re absolutely right. The Republican party has a major problem, particularly the Republican leadership in Congress.
They know that seniority rules. They know that they have to be in charge. But they‘ve got this group of new freshmen Tea Partiers that, in fact, are trying to rule the day.
And I love to see this division because it‘s sort of like a circular firing squad. They‘re shooting at each other.
MADISON: And at the same time, the president really, I believe, is scoring points, because by the time they get back from their district, I would suspect that we‘ve turned over the events in Libya to the French and to the Italians.
SCHULTZ: That‘s the way it looks right now. But it seems to me if you‘ve got 70 percent of the American people who are in favor of the no-fly zone, and these representatives are home in their district, they got to be hearing that. How are they going to come back to Washington and not support what the president is doing?
So obviously they‘re trying to go after him constitutionally and some Democrats as well.
SCHULTZ: Quickly do you—
MADISON: That‘s not going to fly.
MADISON: Because as soon as they get back, it‘s got to be the deficit. It‘s got to be the budget. That‘s a short lived concern. Yes, I think it‘s legitimate with people like our friend Dennis Kucinich. But the reality, it‘s short lived and they don‘t have the majority of support on either side.
SCHULTZ: Joe Madison, always good to have you with us. Thanks so much.
MADISON: Thank you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Sean Hannity bashes President Obama for doing brackets on ESPN. So many people at Fox have criticized the president, you know, you need a bracket to keep up with it. That‘s our next segment. I got a bracket for you. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW here on MSNBC. You know, the president has been getting a lot of criticism for taking 20 minutes out of his time to appear on ESPN to fill out his NCAA basketball bracket. Now, reasonable people can disagree whether the president should have been spending his time that way.
Other cable news outlets have questioned the president‘s judgment on this. I‘m not so sure I would have done it. But there is a certain media outlet that‘s decided to use Obama‘s basketball picks as a kind of political battering ram to bash the president.
Last night on Fox News, Bill O‘Reilly addressed the matter.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BERNIE GOLDBERG, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: This NCAA brackets business, as if the president can‘t take 15 minutes out to do this—
BILL O‘REILLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: That‘s just Obama bashing, pure and simple.
GOLDBERG: Exactly. That‘s my point.
O‘REILLY: That‘s all that is.
GOLDBERG: But if George W. Bush had done the brackets, the talk show hosts on television and radio would have said, what‘s the big deal?
O‘REILLY: There is an industry of Obama bashers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Oh, an industry of Obama bashers. You know, it‘s nice that O‘Reilly acknowledged that one even exists, but what he doesn‘t tell you is that his network is the industry of Obama bashers. And it is so bad over there at Fox News that you actually need a tournament to see what‘s --
Welcome, folks, to the first annual Fox News Obama Bashing Industry Tournament, live coverage here on MSNBC. Look at this. We are down to the final six teams.
Out in the west, we got a dandy. There are three bashers still alive. Now, Glenn Beck, of course, is the number one seed. He gets a bye into the semis. So the Beckster, he just moves right on in there. He‘s had a hell of a year.
That leaves Greta Van Susteren tipping off against “Fox And Friends.” And over in the east? You don‘t want to bet against this crew. Sean Hannity, he is going to get the bye in the first round of the tournament. And he awaits the winner of the so-called Fox News anchors versus the red eye crew.
I‘m going to go ahead and make my picks. In the west, it‘s a no brainer. Even though nobody likes this Kilmeade dude in the morning, especially me, they‘re dominating when it comes to being Obama bashers. Let‘s take a look at the action.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRETA VAN SUSTERAN, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: The president reported his picks on ESPN and that‘s not going unnoticed.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It raises a lot of questions. You‘ve got so much going on in the world.
VAN SUSTERAN: He‘s already been taking heat for unveiling his NCAA picks yesterday.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A meeting with the Danish prime minister. We have his brackets and we have golf.
VAN SUSTERAN: I wonder if President Obama is regretting unveiling his NCAA draft picks now.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nobody begrudges the president doing this in his private time. But the fact that this is the image that‘s going out from the White House is a little bit trouble.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president of the United States filled out his bracket with ESPN, used it as a chance to encourage people to visit USAid.gov to help people in Japan.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why he do it last year then?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: What did I tell you? Closer than it should have been. Imagine if Gretchen Carlson wasn‘t on the DL. “Fox and Friends?” No, Greta. It‘s not you. It‘s “Fox and Friends,” a shocker in the tournament.
Back in the east, let me tell you something, there is a bit of a Cinderella story that is brewing. Now, I‘ll take the red eye crew getting past the people they call straight news Fox anchors at Fox.
But they make you play the game for a reason. Let‘s see what happens.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know what? We as a world are going through a dire state. We need to address it. And maybe I‘m not going to worry about the brackets in March Madness.
CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Then he also took time to go on TV to announce his NCAA brackets.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Critics are now challenging the president for yesterday focusing on his picks for the college basketball championships.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Obama golfing and filling out his college basketball brackets.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know, the president may look a little disconnected focusing on the NCAA.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Oh, no. The Fox News anchors take it going away. Who could have seen that coming?
Now, let‘s just say the next round, well, they got blacked out. OK? So take my word for it. Hannity and Beck, they are going to make it to the finals.
All right. So we got them in there. Oh, we got a dandy coming up. And it‘s in the finals I‘m going to go with the crafty veteran Obama basher Sean Hannity over the diaper dandy basher Glenn Beck. I think it‘s going to be Hannity. Both men are experts. This should be fun.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: And today the president spent his afternoon filling out his NCAA bracket.
BECK: When I said last night that I was upset about the NCAA bracket thing, it wasn‘t because it was just a joke.
HANNITY: The president was busy filling out his brackets.
BECK: Right now, I‘m checking out my NCAA tournament bracket.
HANNITY: Let‘s say he‘s filling out brackets.
BECK: We had to fill out our NCAA brackets.
HANNITY: Today more concerned about brackets.
BECK: Then of course there‘s the NCAA brackets.
HANNITY: He‘s got plenty of time for his brackets.
BECK: Something isn‘t right.
HANNITY: He is on ESPN picking brackets.
BECK: OK. He is filling out the NCAA bracket.
HANNITY: Playing golf. He‘s going to Rio. He‘s doing the brackets in Rio, or playing golf, or picking brackets.
Time for ESPN and the brackets.
President Obama took a break from golfing and filling out his brackets.
He‘s taken time for brackets.
The golfing, Rio.
He‘s filling out his brackets and making a big deal about this. People are got slaughtered in the meantime, while he dithered with his brackets.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: There you have it, folks. Sean Hannity, just like I called it. He wins the first annual Fox News Obama Bashing Industry Tournament. I tell you, it was a dandy.
Glenn Beck tries to Rewrite yet another part of Martin Luther King‘s legacy. This time it‘s about King‘s death. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Finally tonight, two weeks from now, labor unions around the country will hold a day of solidarity with public service workers in Wisconsin and other states fighting for their rights. The day will be April 4th, to coincide with the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King‘s death in 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee, where he had gone to march with striking sanitation workers.
The strike had begun after two workers were killed on February 1st, 1968, by malfunctioning equipment. And the mayor refused to fix it, recognize the union, or raise wages, even though some workers were living on welfare. The strike of 1,300 workers quickly drew national attention.
On April 3rd, Dr. King went to Memphis to help rally support for their cause. The next day, he was shot dead on the balcony of his Memphis hotel. And yesterday, Glenn Beck paraded his ignorance of this tragedy to marginalize Dr. King‘s crusade for poor workers of all colors.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BECK: Wait. Hold it just a second. Dr. King lost his life for collective bargaining? For the public unions? Really? Did you know that? Because that—we have to update our history books, because I didn‘t know that.
Here‘s the deal. April 4th is the 43rd anniversary of the day Martin Luther King was assassinated after speaking on behalf of the striking black garbage collectors in Memphis, Tennessee.
So I‘m sure that the fact that they were black and in Memphis had nothing to do with his message. I mean, it had nothing. It was all about unions and collective bargaining. I‘m sure that‘s what it was.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: No one ever said it had nothing to do with race. But AFSCME had given those workers a charter four years earlier and endorsed King‘s 1963 March on Washington. King‘s message was that racial and—racial justice and economic justice were inseparable, and that people of every color had a duty to help those 1,300 workers in Memphis.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR., CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER: Now 1,300 of God‘s children here suffering. The question is not if I stop to help this man in need, what will happen to me? The question is, if I do not stop to help the sanitation workers, what will happen to them? That‘s the question.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Let‘s bring in Ben Jealous, the president and CEO of the NAACP. Thanks for your time tonight, Ben. I appreciate it.
You know, it‘s hardly the first time that that particular broadcaster has tried to Rewrite Dr. King‘s legacy. Your thoughts on this? This is really a cheap shot beyond, isn‘t it?
BEN JEALOUS, PRESIDENT, NAACP: Well, you know, I‘m glad that Beck talks about King. I hope for him, I pray for him that he doesn‘t just focus on this part of King‘s theology or that part, but he deals with the whole theology.
Right there, you showed a clip of King talking about the stranger on the Jericho road who reversed the question that all those before him had asked, which was what will happen to me if I help the stranger, and instead flipped it and said what will happen to them if I don‘t help them?
King got it, that at the end of the day, this is one fight for working families. He said 50 years ago, in 1961, that an attack against labor is an attack against black people, that an attack against labor is an attack against civil rights.
In that speech in 1961, he went deep into the fact that, look, at the end of the day, we are fighting for the same thing. We are fighting for working families to have access to the great dream of this country. That‘s what you and I were talking about on the mall on October 2nd. And that‘s what all of us will be talking about two weeks from now on the 4th.
This is one fight, plain and simple.
SCHULTZ: One fight. But it also tarnishes, in a sense, the legacy of Dr. King, because it misstates what he actually was doing in Memphis, as you just stated. I mean, it was about working families. It was about collective bargaining. Yet, we look at the color of his—
JEALOUS: It was also about race. It was about discrimination. It was all of that. He was down there for the whole fight.
SCHULTZ: Was the strike by 1,300 sanitation workers as important to Dr. King as any other strike? Did the fact that they—it was black workers—in your opinion, was that the impetus as to why he was there?
JEALOUS: It was very much part of it. But no, look, this is somebody who came to the AFL-CIO in 1961 and said, this is one fight. He was there for working people. He was in the midst of planning a poor people‘s march, not a poor black people‘s march, but a poor people‘s march because he understood that just as racism keeps people poor in this country, you know, keeping people from pulling together unions to get higher wages keeps people poor in this country.
His concern, at the end of the day, were all of those things in this country that lock us out from the great dream, regardless of—right now, I think Dr. King, you know, would be there in Madison. He‘d also be there in Raleigh, where the Tea Party folks are trying to make it possible for the state to resegregate their schools.
And at the same time, they‘re trying to lock out workers from the right to actually form real unions in the public sector. So Dr. King wouldn‘t see this as one fight or the other. He would see this as one fight all together.
That what his life was about. That‘s what he died for. He died fighting discrimination. He‘s also died fighting for poor families to get access to the great dream of this country. He knew, again, long before he died, that the struggle for working people and the struggle of labor, at the end of the day, was the same struggle as the struggle for civil rights and the fight against racial discrimination.
SCHULTZ: And I think we know where Dr. King would be in this time, when it comes to taxpayer dollars going to fund private education in this country, where not everyone can afford a private school. Just amazing.
Ben Jealous, great to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much for your time.
Tonight in our survey, I asked you will Governor Kasich‘s privatization plans create jobs in Ohio? Ten percent of you said yes; 90 percent of you said no.
That‘s THE ED SHOW. I‘m Ed Schultz. For more information on THE ED SHOW, we‘d like to talk you to our new blog at Ed.MSNBC.com. “THE LAST WORD” with Lawrence O‘Donnell starts right now. We‘ll see you back here tomorrow night on THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.
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