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The Ed Show for Thursday, May 19th, 2011

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Guests: John Nichols, Joe Madison, Lena Taylor, Fred Risser, Robert Wexler

ED SCHULTZ, HOST:  Good evening, Americans.  And welcome to THE ED SHOW tonight from Minneapolis.

Major news out of the office of Senate majority leader Harry Reid.  It is official.  Democrats seem to be going on the offensive.  They will make the Republicans walk the plank and vote on the Ryan budget.

This is THE ED SHOW.  Let‘s get to work.




SCHULTZ (voice-over):  The Newt Gingrich disaster continues.  Now, he‘s trying to pull a fast one on Rush Limbaugh.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  The status quo is unsustainable and Israel, too, must act boldly to advance a lasting peace.


SCHULTZ:  Republicans, like Michele Bachmann, are calling Obama‘s speech on the Middle East an insult to Israel, even though George W. Bush basically said the same thing.  Former Congressman Robert Wexler is here.

And Dr. Who?  You won‘t believe what Glenn Beck‘s favorite physician is prescribing for the Arnold Schwarzenegger mess.


SCHULTZ:  Great to have you with us tonight, folks.

This is the story that has me fired up first: Democrats are licking their chops at the prospect of making every Senate Republican look just as weak as Newt Gingrich.  The former speaker made an important stop on his Republican damage control tour today when he appeared on the Drugster‘s radio show.  Here it is.


RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  We welcome back to the EIB network, Newt Gingrich.  He joins us on the phone from Iowa.

Hello, Newt.  How are you today?

NEWT GINGRICH ®, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (via telephone):  I‘m doing great.


SCHULTZ:  Oh, they just all get along, don‘t they?

Gingrich spent most of the interview trying to convince Rush that the liberal media took his “Meet the Press” comments out of context.  Well, we have more on Newt later on in the program.

But I want you to listen closely to something that Limbaugh had to say.


GINGRICH:  I haven‘t talked with Paul Ryan about budget matters for the last four years.

LIMBAUGH:  Well, that‘s good because it‘s probably the single most unifying thing in the Republican Party today.  Republican Party has got an internecine war going on and Ryan‘s budget proposal seems to be the one thing all these different factions agree on.


SCHULTZ:  Well, as usual, Limbaugh, I don‘t know what the hell he is talking about.

The Ryan budget plan is about to make Senate Republicans start running for the hills.  THE ED SHOW has confirmed that Senate majority leader Harry Reid is going to force Senate Republicans to put up or shut up on the Ryan controversial budget.

Reid will bring the 2012 budget bill to the Senate floor next week for a vote.  Mitch McConnell and 41 Republican senators—they are on notice and they are shaking in their boots.

You know, I love it.  This is a great strategy.  And, of course, “The Hill” is reporting Senate Republicans say that McConnell has made it clear that he will vote for the House budget chairman‘s plan, but he said the rank-and-file members should vote as they please on the 2012 budget proposal.

What does that tell you?  Senate Republicans will have to side with Ryan‘s right wing social engineering plan or they‘re going to have to side with 80 percent of the American people who want Washington to leave Medicare and Medicaid absolutely alone?

Senate Democrats and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius held a press conference earlier today, along with Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, who read a letter from one of his constituents that clearly laid out really what is at stake.


SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D), OHIO:  Terry (ph) from Perry County, a southeast Ohio county, wrote, “Without Medicare, my husband would probably die.  His medicines alone are $700 a month, not to mention the $50 for an office visit.  We live on $1,300 a month.  We thought our twilight years would be better than this.  Please, we just want to have at least one meal a day every day of the month.  We just want my husband‘s Medicare to stay the same.”


SCHULTZ:  So, you see the Republicans have got a big decision to make.  Whose side do they want to be on?  If the Ryan budget passes, it will be life or death for millions of Americans.  That‘s how I heard Sherrod Brown.

If you‘re already on Medicare, Ryan‘s radical idea will immediately hit your pocketbook.

Sheldon Whitehouse, the senator, said this and made an excellent point.


SEN. SHELDON WHITEHOUSE ®, RHODE ISLAND:  But the Republicans are saying, that this won‘t affect seniors now, that the cuts are all off in future years, is flat out false.  That solution to the donut hole problem gets repealed by the Ryan budget and that will hit home right away to seniors in Rhode Island and to seniors across this country.  In Rhode Island, 17,000 seniors will lose this benefit next year in 2012, and it will cost them $9.5 million to fill in that difference on their own.


SCHULTZ:  My friends, that is a sound bite that you will never see on FOX News.

Mitch McConnell and his obstructionist buddies in the Senate know Democrats have them backed right into a corner on this radical budget.  Senate Republicans have had no problem being in lock step for a record number of filibusters over the last two years, but none of them want to face a web ad like this one.


SCHULTZ:  They don‘t want to go home to that.  They don‘t want to go home to that and say, well, gosh.  Senator so and so, conservative, voted to put grandma right on over the cliff.

See?  Republicans, it works both ways.  You say we were going to pull the plug on grandma.  Well, you‘re ready to take a vote that might throw her right off the cliff.  That is very effective and it is truthful.  And you can go right to that Sheldon Whitehouse sound bite because that is a fact.

Last month, former RNC chair, Michael Steele, came on this program to debate me about the Ryan budget plan.  And I asked him a very straight forward and profound question.  Here it is.


SCHULTZ:  Do you think the Republicans can win on what they voted on in the house on the Ryan budget?

MICHAEL STEELE, FORMER RNC CHAIRMAN:  I do.  I think—I think Republicans will have a very good case to take to the American people and, ultimately, as you and I know, they will decide where they want this thing to come out.



SCHULTZ:  Well, it seems like the former chairman of the Republican Party is giving them a shot of confidence there, that it‘s OK to vote for this plan.  We‘ll see.

Great move by Harry Reid.  Newt Gingrich, Mitch McConnell, and the Senate Republicans look like fools because the Ryan plan all but—and Paul Ryan and all but four House Republicans—really what they did was put their ideology before the will of the American people.  And I predict that any Senate Republican who votes for this bill, they will never be able to live it down.  They don‘t want to see that commercial because they know how truthful it is.

And I guess you could say that this is the Republicans‘ Waterloo and it really could break a few careers.  This is why Mitch McConnell is saying, you know, you don‘t have to really vote on this.  I know I twisted your arm on the stimulus package and on the health care vote, and it was just a few nights ago that he twisted some arms on the oil tax breaks vote.

But on this one, this is a different deal.  This really goes to every kitchen table in America.  They don‘t want to play that game.

Get your cell phones out, folks.  I want to know what you think of this issue.

Tonight‘s question: Who is screwing the Republican senators more?  Text “A” for Harry Reid, text “B” for Paul Ryan -- 622639 is the number, and you can always go to our new blog at  And we‘ll bring you the results later on in the show.

For more on this let‘s turn now to Washington correspondent of “The Nation,” John Nichols.

John, great to have you with us tonight.

It is seriously I think the obvious move for the Democrats to get these Senate Republicans on record.  Am I over playing the ramification of the vote?  Your thoughts, John.

JOHN NICHOLS, THE NATION:  Not at all, Ed.  In fact, reality is that the Republicans in the Senate find themselves stuck between a Tea Party and hard place.  They‘ve been pressured from within their party by a narrow grouping to go way off the deep end, off the cliff in favor of a radical deconstruction of Medicare and Medicaid.

Now, as people have become aware of it, citizens across the country, they face this very tough vote.  Remember that a number of these Republican senators are up for re-election next year—people like Olympia Snowe, Richard Lugar, Scott Brown.  If they vote for the Ryan bill, they will strengthen themselves in their primaries but they‘ll go into November elections facing voters who will be furious with them.

SCHULTZ:  John, what do you make—

NICHOLS:  On the other hand, if they vote against the Ryan bill, they‘ll face Tea Party primaries.

SCHULTZ:  Yes.  John, what do you make of Mitch McConnell—all of a sudden, he‘s somewhat weak kneed with his caucus.  I mean, he has forced them to get in line on the oil tax breaks, on the small business loans, on the health care package, on the stimulus package, but now, all of a sudden, it‘s this brand new strategy.

McConnell knows he‘s playing with fire here, don‘t you think?

NICHOLS:  He absolutely does.  Look, those polls are devastating -- 80 percent of Americans saying they don‘t want Congress to mess with Medicare, and then the reality of what‘s happening out around the country.  They have the 26th district house race up in New York which is showing a clear movement on this particular issue.

Ed, I‘ve covered politics for years.  It is very rare that a single issue can so dramatically move tens of thousands of voters.  If you translate that to Senate races next year, this is what Mitch McConnell is looking at.  If his caucus marches in lock step behind Paul Ryan, they run the risk of losing what they think is a good chance to take the Senate.

SCHULTZ:  Do you think that any Republican presidential candidate can step up at this point and say, it‘s a radical plan, I don‘t support it?  Because look what Newt Gingrich has gone through in the past week since Sunday and, of course, he‘s clarified his position about three different times in three different positions from what I can count.

I mean, we know what Newt said, OK, first, and now, we can‘t even follow what the heck he‘s saying.  We know when he said it but now we don‘t know what the heck he said or meant and he‘s got a number of different positions on it.  So, does that really put the Republican candidates somewhat in the corner?  Because you can‘t come out against this Ryan plan, this Ryan budget on Medicare and Medicaid without taking a rash of garbage the same way that Newt Gingrich did this week.

What do you think?

NICHOLS:  That‘s exactly right, Ed.  Again, it‘s between a Tea Party and a hard place.

Within the Republican Party any of these candidates that step off the basic talking points are going to get the hell beaten out of them, but any candidate who is serious about competing in November has to recognize that going down the line of the Ryan bill destroying Medicare and Medicaid and beginning the process of privatizing Social Security—doing that makes you unelectable in November.

So, people like Mitt Romney and, frankly, Newt Gingrich, who do think both about a primary and a November fight, are stuck in a terrible place.

SCHULTZ:  I‘ll tell you what, I was in Indianapolis, Indiana, today—speaking to the IBEW convention, the regional convention there, and a lot of people, of course, from your state of Wisconsin were there.  This is what they‘re talking about.  I know there‘s a lot of international issues out there, but this is exactly what Americans in the heartland are talking about—where is this Medicare, Medicaid, this radical budget, where is it going to go?

And I got a sense from the people today in Indiana that, you know, they didn‘t think Newt Gingrich was off base.  You know, they were actually were giving Newt credit saying, you know, at least he fessed up to just how radical it is because this is going to affect seniors right away.

And Sheldon Whitehouse‘s comment is right on point.  It‘s very profound.

And you got the right wing out there talking about—oh, wait a minute.  This is going to save Medicare and Medicaid.

No, it‘s not.  It‘s going to hurt a lot of people right away.  And this is something that I think the Democrats have got to fight back on and this is redoing this in this manner.

How do—what do you think this means for Paul Ryan?  Now, earlier this week, Ryan said he is not going to run for the Senate.  If he believed in this budget, you‘d think he would run for the Senate.  Where do you think he is right now with all this commotion being made over this budget?

NICHOLS:  Well, look.  Paul Ryan has been the Republican golden boy for the better part of 15 years.  He‘s the guy who they‘ve always turned to and said, well we really know he‘s smarter than anybody else and he‘s good looking and we‘re going to ultimately do what he tells us to do.

Well, they never did until now.  They were smart enough to avoid it.  But this year, they bought into this Ryan fantasy.  The fact of the matter is that Paul Ryan has damaged himself as a national figure even within his own party.


NICHOLS:  You know Republicans are going to be more cautious about listening to him from here on out.  But he‘s also damaged at home in Wisconsin.  Those town meetings were rough events and he now faces a very serious challenge, something he hasn‘t seen in years.

SCHULTZ:  Well, I think it‘s interesting that the Republicans are trotting this kid out there.  He‘s in his early 40s.  He‘s never run a business.  He never had to meet payroll.  Yet, he seems to have all the answers for the social engineering that is exactly what Newt Gingrich is talking about and he offers up a radical plan and he doesn‘t know the ramifications of it.

He knows in the Congress, as long as he‘s been there, and what kind of career he has that he‘s never going to have to worry about health care.  He‘s never going to have to worry about pension.  He comes from safe territory with a very radical plan.

John Nichols of “The Nation”—great to have you with us tonight. 

Appreciate your time.

Remember to answer tonight‘s question there at the bottom of the screen.  We want to know what you think.

Newt Gingrich is talking out of both sides of his mouth about the Ryan Medicare plan.  He‘s lying to the Drugster Rush Limbaugh.

And major developments out of Wisconsin tonight—Republicans ram through another radical bill and they ran over the longest serving state legislator in the nation, Fred Risser.  We‘ve got the video and we‘ll show it to you.  And Senator Fred Risser will be my exclusive guest on THE ED SHOW.

Stay with us.  We‘re right back.


SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

Newt Gingrich meant what he said when he called the House Republican Medicare plan extreme.  Even town crier Sarah Palin gets it.


SARAH PALIN ®, FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR:  I believe Newt Gingrich terribly wrong on his assessment of Representative Ryan‘s plan and it sounded pretty clear to me that Newt Gingrich is positioned because he articulated this was that Paul Ryan‘s plan would be social engineering and he didn‘t like it.


SCHULTZ:  And Palin thinks Gingrich should have stuck by it, even though she disagrees with what he said.


PALIN:  A politician either believes in what they just said in an interview or they don‘t believe in what they just said.


SCHULTZ:  But Gingrich is still talking out of both sides of his mouth.  On a trip through western Wisconsin, he explained his comments this way.


NEWT GINGRICH ®, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  I would have said it slightly different.  The intent was the same.


SCHULTZ:  But just wait until you hear what he said to the Drugster on his radio show.  Here it is.



LIMBAUGH:  What was the point of the Republican -- 

GINGRICH:  And look forward very much to continuing to work with him.  As you know, I endorsed his budget.  I wrote a newsletter endorsing his budget.  I believe at the center right majority, we are the will of the American people.  I believe we can get a majority vote if we want but that‘s not what David Gregory asked me.

He said would it be OK for us to impose against the—


SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

Newt, you better watch out.  Looks like you just lied to Rush Limbaugh.  The Drugster asked the Newtster to explain what he meant by right wing social engineering and—get this—Gingrich said head not been referring to the Ryan plan at all.


GINGRICH:  By the way, it was not a reference to Paul Ryan.  There was no reference to Paul Ryan in that answer.

LIMBAUGH:  Well, then what did you apologize to him about?

GINGRICH:  Because it was interpreted in a way which was causing trouble, which he doesn‘t need or deserve, and it was causing the House Republicans trouble.


SCHULTZ:  Come on.  How many times do we have to play this tape?

Here‘s David Gregory‘s full question and Gingrich‘s answer.


DAVID GREGORY, MEET THE PRESS:  Do you think that Republicans ought to buck the public opposition and really move forward to completely change Medicare, turn it into a voucher program where you give seniors some premium support so they can go buy private insurance?

GINGRICH:  I don‘t think right wing social engineering is any more desirable than left wing social engineering.  I don‘t think imposing radical change from right or the left is a very good way for a free society to operate.


SCHULTZ:  So, if that‘s not enough for you, what about this?


GREGORY:  Not what Paul Ryan is suggesting which is completely changing Medicare?

GINGRICH:  I think that is too big a jump.


SCHULTZ:  But even after his apology to Ryan, Gingrich can‘t really bring himself back to the Ryan plan.  On a conference call with bloggers, he said this, “I used language that was too strong although the underlying principle I think is right.  Part of what I‘m worried about is compelling people to go through a radical change that has not been tested.”

And when William Bennett asked him on his radio show if he supported the Ryan plan, Gingrich said this.  “I am for the process of improving it.  I did not say I was for the plan as it currently exists.  I think that is an important distinction.”  You think?

Let‘s bring in Sirius XM radio talk show host Joe Madison with us tonight here on THE ED SHOW.

Joe, great to have you with us.

I just have to ask you up front—what the hell is going on here?

JOE MADISON, SIRIUS XM RADIO:  Well, what‘s going on is something that Dennis Kucinich said to me once, and that is that the Tea Party and many of these young, first-time elected officials have not had the experience that a Newt Gingrich and some of the others have.  And what is that?  They have not lost.

What Newt Gingrich understands, because he‘s lost big time, you know, the same language he‘s using now he used when he controlled the House of Representatives, and he knows that to have extreme discussion to try and win the primary is not going to play well in the general election.

So, he‘s thinking way ahead of the ball game.  The problem is that you know and I know and the Republican members of Congress know—even in some safe districts like in Upstate New York—this effort to do away with Medicare is radical and seniors aren‘t standing for it and they are a strong base of the Republican Party.

So, Newt Gingrich in essence told the truth.  He just told it too early and he has now ticked off this extreme right wing that‘s trying to kidnap the Republican Party.

SCHULTZ:  Well, you know, I think Newt was sitting there looking at that poll at 80 percent and said, I don‘t want to be on the wrong side of that, so I‘m going to label this thing as radical.  Then, of course, all the right wing talkers got after him.  Tea Partiers got him some weak legs.

When William Bennett asked him if he supported the Ryan plan, Gingrich also said this: “To the degree, we are in the middle of a national conversation and the plan is open to change and our goal is to move forward to modify and improve the plan, as opposed to sell it or pass it I‘m for it.”

What in the heck—he is talking out of both sides of his mouth.  This is a guy who does not have a political compass on which way to go, Joe.

MADISON:  Yes, he does.  That‘s Newt the toot, man, and he‘s tooting -

Newt the toot has tooted a tune they don‘t want to hear right now.  And quite candidly, before it‘s all over I guarantee you that Newt Gingrich is going to come out having been correct but unelectable, unnominatable—but what he has just done is validate what seniors at these town hall meetings are saying.  Even Allen West is going to be in trouble.  Look what happened at these town hall meetings.


And these weren‘t plants at town hall meetings.  These are their people.  Look, seniors aren‘t crazy, and they aren‘t buying this thing—well, you won‘t be bothered by it.  It‘ll be your children.

Well, their children are living at home trying to get out on their own.  So, Newt the toot is just tooting a tune that won‘t sell.

SCHULTZ:  All right.  So what does this mean for the rest of the field?  I mean, this gives them, I think, some boundaries as to how they‘re going to have to play this.

No one is going to get the nomination unless they support this Ryan budget.  No one is going to get the nomination unless they step up and culturally say, I‘m ready to make that generational change and go after Medicare and Medicaid, and eventually destroy these programs because we don‘t want to make the government commitment to them, we don‘t want to make the taxpayer commitment to it.  That‘s really where we‘re going.

So, how can anybody get around this and get the GOP nomination?

MADISON:  I really don‘t know the answer to that and you know what?  I bet you President Obama and the Democrats aren‘t staying up all night trying to figure it out.  This is just perfect for them.  This is a perfect storm because you hit it.

Your question is more of a leading question.  I don‘t know how a more reasonable, middle candidate is going to be able to cut through all of this foolishness.  It reminded me—I was thinking today, remember, you know the play “Arsenic and Old Lace?”  I mean, it‘s a house full of murderous nuts.  I mean, it‘s a comedy and I mean that metaphorically in a sense, but they‘re killing each other.

That‘s exactly what‘s happening.  They are killing each other and the crazies are the ones running the house.

SCHULTZ:  Joe, great to have you with us tonight.  Joe Madison, XM Sirius Radio here on THE ED SHOW.

MADISON:  Thank you.

SCHULTZ:  Thank you, buddy.

How do the Democrats win in 2012?  Well, I got a suggestion.  It ain‘t talking about the debt ceiling.  It‘s time for the folks in Washington to start paying attention to the middle class in this country and what they‘re saying.

And President Obama kicked up a hornet‘s nest today with his Middle East peace plan.  We‘ll talk about it coming up.

Stay with us.  We‘re right back.


SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.  Remember back before the midterm elections?  All we heard from the Republicans was where are the jobs?  Well, after blocking any and all attempts by this president and the Democrats to create jobs for the first two years, they rode that slogan all the way to winning the House. 

Now we hear hardly anything about jobs from Washington.  All we hear about is the deficit and the debt ceiling and the country‘s falling apart if we don‘t stop all this spending.  The Republicans lie about wanting to do something on the deficit unless it means cutting service to the poor folks in this country and to the middle class. 

The numbers are showing this.  A recent Pew poll shows only 18 percent of Americans think that reducing the deficit will lead to job creation.  Compare that to 34 percent who think it won‘t lead to job creation at all and 41 percent who don‘t think it will have any effect. 

Now, I was in Indianapolis, Indiana today and talked with folks who work for a living.  You know, they don‘t sit in an office.  They don‘t trade on Wall Street.  They don‘t make their money on investment income.  They get out and work for a living. 

This is all they could talk about.  What is the government doing to try to stimulate the economy?  What are both parties trying to do?  We know where the Republicans are.  They want to cut your health care for women.  They want to defund NPR.  They want to take away your Medicare and Medicaid for old folks and turn it into a voucher system.

And if the Democrats would pay attention—if they would pay attention to what the working class in this country are really saying, they will win I think in historic fashion in 2012.  The only question is, do they have the guts to do it? 

We have something on our team, the Ed Team, what I like to call get out time.  You got to have some get out time.  You got to get out of New York and you got to get out there with the folks and check their pulse, their passion, their knowledge of the issues, and also their willingness. 

And I see an uncanny fire that is starting to burn in the hearts and the desire of the working folk in this country, the middle class.  There is a real willingness to step forward and block what these radical Republicans are trying to do and undercut the very institutions of security that made this country great. 

I can‘t wait for 2012.  And I think it is a great move that Harry Reid is saying come on over, boys.  Come on over.  Let‘s vote on this Ryan Plan.  Let‘s see if you want to get on the record with the constituents on that. 

Then here‘s Mitch McConnell, well, you know, I know I twisted arms on health care and I twisted arms on the stimulus package and I told everybody not to vote for the car loan that is successful.  But on this one, you guys are on your own.  You guys go make your own decision. 

They are scared and they are—well, I can‘t say that on TV.  You know what they‘re doing in their pants.  They are really nervous about this.  It‘s a great play by the Democrats.  And I think that the Republicans, they know exactly what I‘m saying tonight about the knowledge of the issues, the passion of the people, and the willingness of the base Democrats to get out there and work again to make sure that they are not radicalized by this crowd that has reared its ugly head on the American political scene. 

Arnold Schwarzenegger had a kid out of wedlock, then lied about it for not a year or two but a decade.  Now a Fox News medical expert is criticizing Maria Shriver for walking out on him and seeking a divorce?  Folks, this is why we have Psycho Talk. 

Republicans in Wisconsin pass another radical bill.  In the process, they go after the state senator who‘s been around longer than anybody in this country, Fred Risser.  We‘ve got the video and the senator will join us here tonight, along with Senator Lena Taylor.  You won‘t want to miss it.  We‘re right back.


SCHULTZ:  It‘s radical.  It is expensive.  And in Wisconsin, it will be the law of the land.  Expensive and radical, remember those words.  Today, Republicans in the state senate rammed through their highly restrictive voter I.D. bill.  The measure requires voters to show a photo I.D. when they‘re heading to the polls.

And you know who it‘s going to hurt.  It‘s going to hurt the young, the poor, minorities.  In other words, groups who typically vote Democratic.  That‘s who it‘s going to hurt. 

And with the recall effort well under way, no wonder the GOP needed to get it passed as quickly as possible.  It happened this morning. 

Senate Republicans limiting the debate to just one hour.  Democratic State Senator Fred Risser, the longest serving state legislator in the nation, was speaking to the difficulties voters would face under this law, and Republican State Senate President Mike Ellis cut him off.  Watch. 


FRED RISSER (D), WISCONSIN STATE SENATOR:  In addition to the residency required we send—

MIKE ELLIS ®, WISCONSINS STATE SENATE PRESIDENT:  The senator from the 26th, we have about 15 seconds left.  Would you conclude your comments? 

RISSER:  Mr. President, I was recognized by the previous president to speak, and I want to discuss this. 

ELLIS:  11:00 having arrived, the question before the house is concurrence.  The clerk will call the roll. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Senator Carpenter? 


ELLIS:  You‘re out of order.  Take your seat.  Continue the roll call. 

Go ahead.  Go ahead. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Erpenbach (ph). 

RISSER:  In 50 years, I‘ve never had anyone cut me off.

ELLIS:  Continue the roll call. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Kapenke (ph).  Kedzie (ph).  Larson (ph). 

ELLIS:  You‘re interrupting a roll call   You‘re out of order. 

Continue the roll call.


SCHULTZ:  The bill passed 19 to five.  Ellis announced the bill‘s passage before some Democrats even voted.  Governor Scott Walker Tweeted his approval over the bill‘s passage and will sign it into law next week. 

Joining me now, as promised, are Wisconsin State Senators Lena Taylor and Fred Risser.  Thanks to both of you for joining us tonight.  Pretty amazing tape. 

Senator Risser, I want to start with you.  In the sound bite that we just played, you said in 50 years I have never had anyone cut me off.  Does that speak to just how bad things have gotten in Wisconsin? 

RISSER:  Well, we have a tradition in Wisconsin, Ed, to allow even the minority to talk once in a while.  And I can‘t ever remember anyone either in the minority or majority ever being cut off by the presiding officer in the middle of his comments. 

This really was a terrible day for Wisconsin.  We have a tradition in Wisconsin of making it easy for people to vote.  This bill was a voter suppression bill.  And not only does it require the photo I.D., but it changes the rules as far as absentee ballots are concerned. 

It increased the residency by almost three times.  It treated students differently.  There was a lot to this bill that never met the eyes of the general public. 

SCHULTZ:  Yeah.  Senator Risser, let me play a sound bite for you.  This is the news conference Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald held right after the vote.  Here it is. 


SCOTT FITZGERALD ®, WISCONSIN SENATE MAJORITY LEADER:  I am not sure who‘s in the room right now if it‘s all credentialed media or not? 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  It‘s open to the public sir. 

FITZGERALD:  Yeah.  I‘m concerned about that. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You should be. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  That‘s unfortunate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  What about the precedent of interrupting a senator who has been standing for 50 years? 


SCHULTZ:  So Republicans are tough in the chamber.  When they have to face the public, they walk away.  In your long career, Senator Risser, have you ever witnessed this kind of behavior? 

RISSER:  No.  And that‘s what makes it such a sad day for Wisconsin, because we have a tradition of democracy in our state.  And the Republicans are just very impatient.  They‘re impatience on trying to eliminate workers‘ rights resulted in their bill being put into court.  I wouldn‘t be surprised if this bill goes to court. 

SCHULTZ:  Senator Taylor, give us the nuts and bolts of all of this.  Republicans claim that this bill helps prevent voter fraud.  That‘s not really the case, is it? 

LENA TAYLOR (D), WICSONSIN STATE SENATOR:  Not at all.  It‘s not a voter I.D. bill.  They‘ve done another twist of words here.  They said the first bill was a budget repair bill to fix the budget, and it was a—you know, a bill that destroyed workers‘ rights. 

This bill is not a voter I.D. Bill.  It‘s a voter restriction bill.  What they do is like what Senator Risser said.  They put new time lines in on how long you have to live before you can get an absentee ballot.  They also put in restrictions where you have to sign a poll list—this is back like Dred Scott days. 

In addition to that, they put in other requirements that will affect not only the people that you stated but also seniors and the homeless.  If you can‘t say that that‘s your permanent residence, if it‘s a temporary residence, then your ballot will be considered not valid.  So there are a number of issues. 

SCHULTZ:  Yeah, Senator Taylor, let me ask you, what does this mean for the recall?  What kind of effect is this going to have on the recall? 

TAYLOR:  The 28-day period, the three times—almost three times the amount of time a person has to live in the state, it will have an effect on the recalls in that sense.  However, they gave us some procedural issues here.  And I think you‘re right. 

The NAACP or someone will more than likely file suit because of the procedural issues that happened today.  And potentially the poll tax that‘s in place for the poor.  Even though the I.D.s will be free, they can‘t afford a birth certificate.  Then it‘s still considered a poll tax based on the Supreme Court that happened in Missouri. 

So, you know, this won‘t have full effect on the recalls if it‘s in court, and also because all the pieces don‘t go in effect by the recalls.  But I‘ll tell you, we‘ve got six candidates for the recall, five women, strong candidates.  And the momentum is going and they keep giving us more. 

They‘re the gift that keeps giving.  They keep the people inspired to want to change their faces. 

SCHULTZ:  You bet.  Wisconsin State Senators Lena Taylor and Fred Risser, thanks for joining us tonight.  Appreciate it so much. 

One of Glenn Beck‘s buddies doesn‘t think Maria Shriver should kick Arnold to the curb.  In fact, he says she should stand by her man and work to improve their relationship. 

Psycho Talk is coming up.


SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.  Tonight was Katie Couric‘s last broadcast for “the CBS Evening News.”  Of course, Brian Williams on NBC is the best and highest rated.  But Katie did some awesome work over there at CBS, mostly by asking extremely easy questions. 


KATIE COURIC, CBS NEWS ANCHOR:  And when it comes to establishing your world view, I was curious, what newspapers and magazines did you regularly read before you were tapped for this to stay informed and to understand—

SARAH PALIN, FORMER GOVERNOR OF ALASKA:  I read most of them, again, with a great appreciation for the press, for the media. 

COURIC:  But like what ones specifically?  I‘m curious. 

PALIN:  All of them, any of them that have been in front of me over all these years. 

COURIC:  You‘ve cited Alaska‘s proximity to Russia as part of your foreign policy experience.  What did you mean by that? 

PALIN:  That Alaska has a very narrow maritime border between a foreign country, Russia, and on our other side, the land boundary that we have with Canada. 

COURIC:  What other supreme court decisions do you disagree with? 

PALIN:  Well, let‘s see.  There‘s—of course, in the great history of America, there have been rulings that there‘s never going to be absolute consensus by every American. 


SCHULTZ:  Katie Couric, a very unique talent.  She has the ability to ask the very basic questions and still stump the guest.  We‘re right back.


SCHULTZ:  And in Psycho Talk tonight, I want to introduce you to Keith Ablow.  He‘s the co-author of one of Glenn Beck‘s self-help books and a member of Fox News‘ Medical A Team.  I tell you what, I‘d hate to see the B Team, see what they‘re all about, because this guy, Fox‘s top psychiatrist, has written an op-ed called “Why Maria Shriver Should Take Arnold Schwarzenegger Back.”

He says Shriver must have known that Arnold was sleeping around and she shouldn‘t walk out on her lying, cheating husband.  Instead, she should stand by her man.  He concludes, quote, “with Arnold looking weak right now, rather than strong, Maria has a chance to have and to hold her husband as never before.” 

Then Dr. Keith went on Fox and drove the point home. 


KEITH ABLOW, FOX NEWS MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT:  I don‘t think infidelity should ever signal the end of a marriage.  She should be asking herself this question.  First of all, I must have known that this guy had unusual needs for attention.  Now might be the time where she can say, listen, tell me.  Tell me what‘s the real source of your need to be built like a—you know, an army tank? 

There is a chance for them to have the best part of their relationship yet.  If she says, now I have to get to know you because you‘ve done damage here and I want to know, what‘s your weakness?  I know the strong parts. 


SCHULTZ:  I think we‘re all familiar with Arnold‘s weaknesses by now.  And Maria Shriver doesn‘t owe him anything.  It‘s not like he forgot her birthday.  He cheated on her, had a child with another woman, and lied about it for a long time, like ten years. 

So for a Fox News quack to criticize her for walking out on this bum and loser is sick Psycho Talk. 

President Obama laid out his plan for the Middle East peace talks today.  Republicans are just acting like he just attacked Israel.  Stay with us.


SCHULTZ:  And finally tonight, President Obama gave a wide ranging complex speech on the Middle East policy today.  But most Republicans only paid attention to this 13-second clip. 


OBAMA:  We believe the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines, with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states. 


SCHULTZ:  That part of the speech whipped right wingers into a frenzy. 

Mitt Romney said “President Obama has thrown Israel under the bus.” 

Tim Pawlenty, former governor of Minnesota, called the President‘s proposal “a mistake and a very dangerous demand.

And Michele Bachmann chimed in on Twitter saying, “once again, President Obama has betrayed our friend and ally, Israel.” 

She later Tweeted, “I‘m calling on President Obama to reverse course on this—on his latest insult of Israel.” 

If Bachmann thinks President Obama insulted Israel, so did George W.  Bush.  Bush and Clinton both supported basing Middle East peace talks on the 1967 borders of Israel and Palestine.  And President Obama made it very clear today he intends to stand by Israel. 


OBAMA:  As for Israel, our friendship is rooted deeply in a shared history and shared values.  Our commitment to Israel‘s security is unshakable and we will stand against attempts to single it out for criticism in international forums. 


SCHULTZ:  And the president will have a chance to build on the speech tomorrow morning when he meets with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. 

For more on this, let‘s bring in former Florida Congressman Robert Wexler, now the president of the Center For Middle East Peace.  Mr. Wexler, good to have you with us tonight. 


SCHULTZ:  You heard what the right wingers are saying.  Did the president betray Israel today? 

WEXLER:  No, not at all.  As you correctly showed, the president reiterated America‘s unshakable commitment to Israel‘s security.  And that follows two years of extraordinary cooperation between the American and the Israeli military and security forces. 

As to the issue of the 1967 lines with territorial swaps, ironically, Prime Minister Netanyahu yesterday to the Knesset said he would accept a resolution that ensured that Israel kept the large settlement blocks.  That is the Israeli way of saying 1967 lines with territorial swaps. 

What people need to understand when the president says ‘67 lines with mutually agreed swaps, Israel would wind up keeping roughly 80 percent of the Jewish Israelis who today live outside of the ‘67 lines.  They would be incorporated into the internationally recognized borders of Israel.  That would be an extraordinarily positive development for Israel. 

SCHULTZ:  Mr. Wexler, if Osama bin Laden was still on the face of the Earth, does the president give this speech today? 

WEXLER:  I think he does.  Because what the president provided in the bulk of his speech was America‘s vision for how the Arab world and the Middle East and North Africa begins to reform itself, and the role that America can play to assist our Arab allies and the Arab public in reaching their goals. 

And a vision for the Middle East would not be complete without addressing the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. 

SCHULTZ:  And there are some Jewish—and how does this play politically for the president?  There are some stories out there tonight that say Jewish donors are warning President Obama.  What does that mean in your opinion? 

WEXLER:  This should play well for the president.  Why?  Because what in essence the president has called for is a plan, a set of principles, that will ensure that Israel remain a Jewish state, a Democratic state, and a secure state.  And most American Jews support that type of policy. 

SCHULTZ:  Former Congressman Robert Wexler, good to have you with us tonight.  I appreciate your time.  Thanks so much.

Tonight in our survey, I asked, who is screwing the Republican senators more?  Eight percent of you said Harry Reid; 92 percent of you said Paul Ryan.  I‘m a 92 percenter tonight.

That‘s THE ED SHOW.  I‘m Ed Schultz.  You can listen to me on Sirius XM Radio.



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