updated 8/31/2011 11:27:03 AM ET 2011-08-31T15:27:03

Guests: Bernie Sanders, Jim Moore, Keith Ellison, John Nichols, Larry Powell


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

While hurricane Irene is still kicking the East Coast, evacuations
are taking place in New Jersey tonight are cut off and FEMA is almost
broke.

Ruthless Republicans? Well, they`re back at it again. It`s our lead
story.

This is THE ED SHOW -- let`s get to work.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: As a government, we`re
going to make sure that states and communities have the support they need
so their folks can recover.

SCHULTZ (voice-over): They`re still picking people out of the water
in the East, and Republicans are still playing chicken with disaster money.

Tonight, Senator Bernie Sanders from rain-soaked Vermont on the
Republicans` refusal to do the right thing.

DICK CHENEY, FORMER U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: I think it was sound
policy.

SCHULTZ: Dick Cheney is peddling more malarkey about Iraq on his
redemption tour. And the spin doesn`t end there.

Rush Limbaugh hits another racist low talking about the president.
You won`t believe the take.

And with this school facing major budget cuts, one California man did
what local government wouldn`t. Tonight, we`ll tell you the story about
Larry Powell.

LARRY POWELL: I`ll still be here doing the same job, but I`ll just
be doing it for a few dollars less.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCHULTZ: Great to have you with us tonight, folks. Thanks for
watching THE ED SHOW.

I think the best way for me to put this into context is to talk about
money. We spend $900 million a week in Afghanistan. Now, whether you
think that`s right or wrong, whether you`re for or against the war -- well,
put that aside for a moment. Just think about priorities. Priorities.

Our priority list for America: $900 million a week in Afghanistan
week after week after week. How long, 10 years now?

Well, let`s come home. FEMA has less than $800 million on hand, and
the victims of hurricane Irene have billions of dollars in damage to deal
with.

Irene is the perfect example of the ideological war that`s taken
place in this country, and I don`t really think we can call it the perfect
storm for the Republicans and their argument. President Obama and
governors of both political parties have used the full force of government
to battle the devastating effects of the storm. Quick action by elected
officials flat out has saved lives throughout all of this.

And at the same time, heartless Republicans are demanding spending
cuts to pay for the cleanup and called for the elimination of FEMA. Now,
hold it there. No Republicans are standing up and saying, let`s get the
hell out of Afghanistan because we`re spending $900 million a week.

But you know what? FEMA has got just too much damn money. They`re
down to $800 million and they`re a real problem.

Do you ever feel like you`re getting the short end of the stick in
this country? Well, with the Republicans, you definitely area. The
political battle lines could not be more clear.

Democrats in this storm and where they stand tonight supports first
responders who put their lives on the line to help fellow Americans. And I
think it`s pretty clear that Republicans don`t. And I`m not just saying
this -- I`m paying attention to what the hell they`re saying.

Conservatives want you to rely on your church, your neighborhood,
your neighbor in the time of crisis. That`s all well-intended and good.
But in Vermont, you see, churches and neighbors, they are facing a 100-year
flooding in the wake of Irene. They need a little bit more help.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor doesn`t have the character to go to
Vermont as a political leader and look these folks in the eye. Instead, he
runs over to FOX News and run his mouth over there.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You believe that any federal money that comes
out for hurricane Irene needs to be met dollar for dollar with spending
cuts? Is that right?

REP. ERIC CANTOR (R-VA), MAJORITY LEADER: Well, again, the House has
already acted and has already funded over a billion dollars for additional
disaster relief money. That money has been offset by savings elsewhere --
again, just like any family would operate when it`s struck with disaster.
Unfortunately, the government continues to borrow money and to spend money
it doesn`t have.

As you know, over the last seven months, we`ve been trying to address
that situation so we can turn the economy around. But in instances like
this, yes, there`s a federal role, yes, we`re going to find the money,
we`re just going to need to make sure that there are savings elsewhere to
continue to do so.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Have you ever heard Cantor talk like that when it comes to
war? Have you ever heard him talk like that when it comes to Afghanistan,
that we just, you know, have to find the cuts to make this war keep going?

I mean, I find it repulsive that we have Americans tonight who are
out of their homes because of a natural disaster and yet we have chump like
that talking to the American people as if, hey, suck it up.

It`s easy to sit there in an expensive suit, put on some make up and
spout theories about the deficit. It`s harder go out and see the suffering
Americans and ask them to serve it up for the top 2 percent, which is what
they`re all about.

FEMA and the National Guard have saved lives throughout all of this.
Today, food and water was airdropped to people who were cut off by
floodwaters in 13 different small communities in the state of Vermont.

Let`s go back six years ago where FEMA and the National Guard took
days to deliver food and water to people in the New Orleans Convention
Center. Remember those days?

Disgraced FEMA director Mike Brown didn`t have a clue how to help
people after Katrina. Today, Brownie thinks Eric Cantor is doing a heck of
a job.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL BROWN, FORMER FEMA DIRECTOR: We don`t have any money. Let`s
say that FEMA needs an addition $1 billion just for round numbers. Forty-
two cents of every dollar that they give to FEMA will have to be borrowed,
Bill. So we have to start making these choices.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: We don`t have any money, but we got money for wars. We got
-- in fact, we got $900 billion a week for what the hell is going on over
in Afghanistan. Of course, who is Brownie, anyway? I don`t think most
Americans know what the heck he`s even doing right now.

Three million Americans are still without power. There`s billions of
dollars worth of damage and floodwaters are rising all over the Eastern
Seaboard.

Brownie and Eric Cantor are worried about deficits. They`re worried
about budgets. They`re not worried about people.

With the Republicans in the time of disaster, it`s all about the
money, isn`t it? There were 700 boat rescues in the state of New Jersey
today. At this hour, about 1,000 families in Wallington, New Jersey, have
been evacuated because the Passaic River is scheduled to reach its crest.

Now, those folks, you know what they need? They need some help, and
they`re worried about what their home is going to be like because, you see,
I guess the storm is their fault. They don`t need cuts.

This is not a game. But to the Republicans, it`s always a game about
money. To the victims of Irene, this is about life and death. I think the
death toll now is at 40.

Are any of the Republicans going to go to any of those funerals and
talk about budget cuts? Now you know why I call them heartless. They
don`t give a damn.

Government is supposed to be there when hurricanes and earthquakes
hit. Republicans don`t get it.

On the same day Irene tore through the outer banks of North Carolina,
here he comes. Rick Perry from Texas, he was in Iowa and said this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. RICK PERRY (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I promise you this.
I`ll work every day to make Washington, D.C. as inconsequential in your
life as I can.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Now, what does that mean? Is Afghanistan $900 million a
week, is that inconsequential, or is just one of those things we`re going
to let slide off our budget?

Low information voters eat that kind of basis garbage up. But in
Washington, D.C., it is very consequential when a hurricane destroys your
life, and there`s no free market solution to a massive natural disaster.

FEMA and the National Guard will always be better than Halliburton
when American lives are at stake. Can we agree on that? Can we agree that
maybe a natural disaster won`t take us to the free market and we might find
it within ourselves to find the money to make life right again for
Americans who are being destroyed by this natural disaster?

But remember, you just heard the sound bites. We only have $800
million in FEMA, and there are some Republicans that want to get rid of it.
And, oh, we`ll find the money somewhere.

You know what Cantor is talking about? He`s talking about taking the
money out of your wallet, taking the money out of your hide unless you`re
wealthy.

Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think.

Tonight`s question: do Republicans care about victims of natural
disasters? Think about that. This is 2011. This is the most advanced
society this country has ever had, and we`re asking a question if a
political party cares about natural disasters. Text A for yes, text B for
no to 62263. You can always go to our blog at MSNBC.com. We`ll bring the
results later on in the show.

Now, a warrior, a fighter for the people, a man who stands up. What
do you think Bernie Sanders has to say tonight about the relief effort
that`s going on in Vermont?

Senator, great to have you with us tonight. I`m sorry that your
people and your state, your constituents, are going through this.

I, of course, have covered floods in the upper Midwest. When they
show up, they`re like the locusts, they absolutely take everything, and
it`s really hard to recover from a flood.

What happened today, Senator? What do you see? What`s going on in
Vermont?

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: Well, Ed, I was in a helicopter
running all over the state today. And I want to say, first, Vermont has
suffered the worst natural disaster in history of the state. Second of
all, I am extraordinarily proud of the police officers, the firemen, the
emergency medical people who have been out there, the National Guard --
they`ve done an extraordinary job saving lives, getting food to people.

Our people are really coming together in the face of this disaster.

But the fact of the matter is, Ed, and you made this point very
clearly -- I have always believed that this is the United States of
America, U-N-I-T-E-D, that we are one of a nation. That when there is a
problem on the East Coast, or in Louisiana, the people of Vermont, the
people of New Jersey, are there for them. When there`s a problem in the
East Coast, people in the Midwest who have suffered through tornadoes,
they`re there for us.

This is what makes us a nation. And the idea that anybody in the
United States Congress could say, I don`t care, we`re going to allow
communities to be devastated -- Ed, we`ve had to close hundreds of roads.
Dozens of bridges in the state of Vermont have been destroyed or severely
damaged. Our rail system in some parts of the state is now under water.
Our major office complex in Waterbury, Vermont, 1,700 workers shut down.
They`re not going to work right now.

So, we need, along with other states, help from the rest of the
country that our part of the country has provided in the past. That`s what
makes us a nation.

On top of all of that, Ed, we have -- forget disasters -- we have an
infrastructure which is crumbling. In China, they`re spending huge sums of
money building high-speed rails. They are building airports. They are
building huge amounts of new roads.

In our country, we`re seeing infrastructure deteriorating all over
this country. What do you think the rest of the world thinks when they
look at America, and you`re having politicians say, oh, we don`t care if a
community is devastated, if their bridges go down and people can`t get to
work?

And over in China, they`re building like crazy.

I sometimes think, Ed, that some of these right wing Republicans want
this nation to be a second-rate country. Maybe they`ll look into China for
the future, but some of us are not. We believe that America is great. We
believe that we can grow, and we have got to invest to do that.

At the very least -- at the very least -- we have to make sure that
everybody in this country knows that when disaster comes, help will be
there.

SCHULTZ: Senator, you`re so spot on and so perfect on this, no
question about it.

Budget cuts versus disaster relief. Are we losing our moral compass
in this country, in your opinion?

SANDERS: We`re losing -- well, it`s not most -- I don`t think most
Americans believe that. I think you got a tiny fringe that Eric Cantor
represents.

(CROSSTALK)

SCHULTZ: What would you say to him tonight? What would you say to
Cantor tonight?

SANDERS: I would say it`s not just Vermont that you`re hurting. You
are destroying the fabric of a nation. We are a nation that comes together
in disaster. And you don`t ignore people in Vermont or in Missouri who
have been hit by an earthquake or a tornado or California that has its
problems.

We are a nation. Don`t sell us out, Mr. Cantor. Don`t make us a
second-rate nation. We have got to significantly rebuild our
infrastructure. We will be the laughingstocks of the world if people think
that when a community is devastated, this great nation doesn`t have the
resources to help that community rebuild.

SCHULTZ: And next week the senate will be talking about funding for
FEMA, which is down to $800 million, the damage is into the billions. I
know where you`re going to be on that fight, Senator.

Great to have you with us tonight. Thanks for what you`re doing and
I appreciate your time visiting with our viewers tonight. Thanks so much.

Now, let`s turn to Jim Moore, co-author of "Bush`s Brains," the
author of the upcoming book, "Adios Mofo: Why Rick Perry will Make America
Miss George W. Bush." He`s also a contributor to "The Huffington Post."

Mr. Moore, good to have you on tonight.

What is Rick Perry`s record on natural disasters? I bet there`s some
curiosity out there across America.

JIM MOORE, AUTHOR, "BUSH`S BRAIN": Let me draw a distinction there,
Ed. I think that we need to compare him to the previous Texan George W.
Bush.

Under George W., FEMA was basically gutted of its institutional
memory, it`s expertise, and its resources. And so, when it came time for
American during Katrina to actually need FEMA, what you ended up with was
people trapped on rooftops, trapped at the Superdome, out on Interstate 10,
thousands of people without food and water.

But FEMA existed. It was just dysfunctional because it had been
filled with political cronies.

SCHULTZ: Is that what Perry would do? Would Perry fill his
administration with political cronies who don`t have the knowledge and the
expertise to make the right decisions in crisis situations?

MOORE: I think it`s worse than that. I think if FEMA continues to
exist under Rick Perry, it will only be because he sold the naming rights
to KBR Halliburton. It will be named after them.

But what`s going to happen, I believe, when you`re talking about a
guy who thinks Social Security, one of the most important institutions in
modern era is a Ponzi scheme, if he thinks that shouldn`t exist, you`re
going to see a number of federal institutions disappear.

This is very libertarian. There is not a big difference between Rick
Perry and Ron Paul on this matter of federal agencies and their roles in
our lives. You`re on your own when Rick Perry becomes president -- just as
you are in Texas if you`re poor or you`re ill or you`re elderly, you`re on
your own. That`s going to be the way it is when he becomes president.

SCHULTZ: And that says it all. Mr. Moore, good to have you with us
tonight. Thanks so much.

MOORE: Sure.

SCHULTZ: Remember to answer tonight`s question there at the bottom
of the screen. I want to know what you think.

President Obama says the country had a heart attack and barely
survived. Now, Eric Cantor says he wants to get the country healthy again
by allowing corporations to pollute more.

And Dick Cheney is out selling his book again. He`s defending
torture and dismissing the cost of the war. John Nichols will provide the
analysis. He`ll tell you the truth.

You`re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s tough. But life goes on. You know? My dad
built this house.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He grew up in this house?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And now, I`ll fix it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Well, don`t worry, the Republicans are working on all those
budget cuts on maybe you can get help, sir.

You see, Americans are still trying to pick up the pieces after Irene
and despite destroyed communities and wrecked lives, Republicans are still
hell bent on taking disaster relief funds away.

Tell that to Tenessa Dunn (ph). Today, she sorted through the rubble
of her daughter`s home.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She lost everything. She has a two-year-old
baby, and she`s having a baby any time now. That`s all I can get for her.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: If Republicans get their way, not only will recovering from
the storm be more difficult, but so will forecasting future hurricanes.

Get a load of this. The House Appropriations Committee plans on
slashing the budget of the country`s hurricane hunters program. What is
that? Well, hurricane hunters are military flights that measure and track
hurricanes from inside the storm. This program makes forecasting
disasters, like Irene, a hell of a lot more accurate, which in turn saves
lives. Do you think?

But since I`m talking about house Republicans here, let me put it in
terms that they can understand. This program saves money.

By monitoring these storms, the country saves up to $150 million per
storm. That far exceeds the 12 million in savings from cutting the
hurricane hunters` budget, don`t you think?

Once again, the Republican math just doesn`t add up.

Coming up, one-man wrecking crew Eric Cantor thinks the best way to
create jobs is to let the country pollute more.

We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Thanks for staying with us tonight.

So, the debate continues in the White House over how big President
Obama`s jobs plan will be when it`s unveiled next week in a speech. The
president spoke to radio host Tom Joyner this morning saying the economy
had a heart attack and needs a vigorous jobs program to get back to good
health.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

OBAMA: George Bush left us $1 trillion deficit, and so it`s a lot
harder to climb out of this hole when we don`t have a lot of money in the
federal coffers. But there is no doubt that we can take steps that would
mean the economy was growing a percent or a percentage and a half faster.
That could mean half a million to a million additional jobs. That gets the
economy moving, it makes businesses more confident that they`re going to
have customers, and it starts putting people back to work.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: The president doing radio again. Very good, because 98
percent of Americans listen to audio every day.

Now, let`s get to the idea. Some of the ideas President Obama
discussed include an extension payroll tax holidays for working class
people, the creation of a national infrastructure bank to support
construction projects, and giving businesses a $5,000 tax credit for new
hires. All good stuff. None of these details are officially part of any
jobs plan as of yet.

And if House Republican Leader Eric Cantor has his way, there won`t
be part of any jobs plan ever.

You see, a memo today revealed that the House agenda for the
Republicans for the fall, well, it doesn`t involve job creation. Instead,
Cantor wants to eliminate 10 major government regulations, including limits
on industrial pollution.

Joining me tonight is Democratic congressman from Minnesota and co-
chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, Progressive Caucus should I say,
Keith Ellison.

Congressman, good to have you with us tonight.

REP. KEITH ELLISION (D), MINNESOTA: Hey there, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Why is Cantor focusing on pollution deregulation while
Americans are asking, you know, are we going to get something moving on
jobs? What do you make of this?

ELLISON: Because the Koch brothers want him to do their bidding. He
wants -- the people who pay corporate that he bows to demand that Eric
Cantor do their bidding and allow them to cut costs by not complying with
environmental regulations. Basically what they`re doing, Ed, is telling
every mom across this nation that they`re going to have to nurse their kid
through asthma attacks, through mercury or even lead poisoning, and through
dangerous chemical exposure.

Here`s the other problem. Every business is going to have to deal
with sick workers who have to take time off because these environmental
problems that this reduction in regulation is going to cause people to be
sick and have to take off time. So, it`s really a loser for everybody
except for the select few.

SCHULTZ: But, Congressman, it`s about jobs. Every American knows
it`s about jobs, and everybody has got a different attitude when they`re
getting a paycheck every couple weeks.

The bottom line here is, is that the Republicans have stated in a
memo that it`s not about jobs.

ELLISON: Right. Shocking.

SCHULTZ: So, what are your expectations for any Republican coming on
board saying yes, I`m going to go along with President Obama`s job plan
after he unveils it after Labor Day. What are the expectations?

ELLISON: Well, you know, I`m a person who`s optimistic. So, I have
high expectations. I`ll say that there are a number of Republicans who are
in districts where there are a number of independents, maybe even some
Democrats, and maybe some Republicans, that make it dangerous to walk the
plank with Eric Cantor. There are a number of them around in my district
and in Minneapolis who I think better pay close attention to what the
president is talking about or else a strong Democratic or independent
candidate is going to offer their services to take their place.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

ELLISON: So, I`m hoping that Republicans do not walk the plank with
Cantor and put the American people and their jobs first.

SCHULTZ: Well, I think they are going to walk the plank. I don`t
think there is going to be one Republican in the House, I don`t think there
is going to be one Republican in the Senate that`s going to come along and
say anything good about what the president is going to offer no matter what
he offers.

Now, I spoke with your --

ELLISION: You`re probably right.

SCHULTZ: Yes, I spoke with your fellow colleague, Cedric Richmond in
New Orleans yesterday, and he summed it up like this. Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. CEDRIC RICHMOND (D), LOUISIANA: If a hurricane came and
President Obama walked across the water to save some kid, the Tea Party
wouldn`t say, hey, he saved that kid, they would say, the president can`t
swim. I mean, they will look for the negative part of any movement just to
take away from the president.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Do you agree with that?

ELLISON: Yes.

SCHULTZ: And where are we going to go on jobs if that`s the way it
is?

ELLISON: Well, Mitch McConnell said it. He said that his number job
is to make this president a one-term president. So, I think Cedric is
right on the mark that they don`t mean to cooperate at all. And they have
put their party and political considerations above that of the nation.

But you know, Ed, although I think realistic position is the one you
articulated and Cedric, I`m just hoping that there`s at least a few
Republicans who still believe enough to put the American people first as
supposed to trying to score political points in the next election.

SCHULTZ: Well, they only believe in the country if their guy is in
the White House, that`s what it appears to be.

And would you -- let me ask you straight up -- would you vote in
favor of another stimulus package if the president wanted it?

ELLISON: Yes. Yes, I would.

SCHULTZ: Good for you because it created jobs.

ELLISON: I have a few more things to add. I mean, I think we need a
WPA style jobs program in America. We need, you know, the Works Progress
Authority. We need something like that, a direct job creation from the
government.

And I think, you know, building trails, working on our nation`s
parks, doing things like this would be very, very good.

We also need a multi-year surface transportation bill. That would go
a long way.

And I also think that we`ve got to create -- I`m OK with creating
some incentives to retrofit some of these old, windy buildings so that we
can bet our carpenters and construction workers back in there helping to
build a green economy.

SCHULTZ: You bet.

ELLISON: I think there are a number of things in addition to the
infrastructure bank and the payroll thing that we really could do and we
really must do.

The problem is inadequate demand. The problem is that businesses
won`t hire because the people don`t have any money and so they`re not going
to be able to be customers, and so businesses aren`t going to be able to
add staff if they`re not in line to buy their product.

SCHULTZ: And that is a big problem because we have outsourced so
much in this country, and the bottom line is disposable income isn`t there.
So, something bold has to take place. I hope the president goes big and I
hope that he goes bold and goes as international as he has to create the
jobs here.

ELLISON: You know --

SCHULTZ: I got to run. Good to have you with us tonight, Keith. I
appreciate your time. Thanks so much.

Pete Hoekstra was a Republican congressman. Now he`s on the board of
a Michigan bank, on a board of a bank. So, guess who he wants to help out
if he becomes the United States senator next year?

And Rush Limbaugh`s racism rears its ugly head again. This time his
target is Colin Powell. The Drugster is back in the zone.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Well, the list is growing. You can add former Congressman
Pete Hoekstra of Michigan to the growing crop of backwards thinking
Republican politicians. After Hoekstra left office of the Congress, he
went and got a job as a board member on a Michigan bank.

Now that he`s running for the United States Senate seat in his state,
he is telling reporters that he wants to repeal Dodd-Frank, the Financial
Reform Act.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PETE HOEKSTRA (R), FORMER CONGRSSMAN: The regulatory cost that`s
being imposed on the banking community by Dodd-Frank, again, I think --
again, this is one area where you`ve got to pull the federal government
back. Either repeal or significant reform of that legislation to allow
banking and the financial system to function.

Let it function one more time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: And at least two dozen bills have been introduced in
Congress to strip Dodd-Frank`s funding. Some of the most vital protections
in the legislation have not been implemented because of the holdup while
people like Pete Hoekstra and his banking buddies reap the benefits.

It`s the same as the Republican outlook on disaster relief or health
care reform or job creation. They want to undo the progress made by a
Democratic president and return us to the conditions that gave us a market
meltdown, wiped out millions of jobs, erased billions of retirement savings
and let financial institutions abuse their investors.

I guess you could say that`s the Republican platform for 2012.

Breaking news from the Hill tonight; the president will make a speech
in the Rose Garden tomorrow to announce his push for a new transportation
bill. Hopefully this is a sign that the president realizes that the
federal government must get more involved in job creation immediately.

We`ll have more on this coming up. Stay with us.

(COMMERICAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE WILL, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Five hundred and sixty five pages
and a simple apology would have been in order. And some of them -- which
is to say the great fact of those eight years was we went to war, a big
war, a costly war, under false pretenses. And to write a memoir in which
you say essentially nothing seriously went wrong -- if I wrote a memoir of
my last week, I would have things to apologize for.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: George Will talking about former Vice President and Dick
Cheney, his latest work of fiction, "In My Time." But critics be damned.

The Dickster revisionist world history tour just rolls on. Cheney sat
down for a live interview on "The Today Show" and once again defended his
position on torture.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MATT LAUER, "THE TODAY SHOW" So why was it OK for us to use what most
people would say was torture against terror suspects?

DICK CHENEY, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Remember,
first of all, these were not American citizens. We weren`t dealing with
American citizens in the enhanced interrogation program. Secondly, it was
people like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. There were a handful, two or three,
for example, that actually got waterboarded.

Third, we had good reason to believe they had information that we
could only get from them and that they knew more than anybody else.

LAUER: But if the government in Iran were to capture someone and say,
we have reason to believe that you`re a spy or you`re carrying out an
operation that could be damaging to our country, would you object, or would
you say they did what they had to do to get the information they needed at
the time?

CHENEY: Well, I think we would object because we wouldn`t expect an
American citizen to be operating that way.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Well, thousands of American lives, tens of thousands of
Iraqi lives, a war of choice that cost a trillion dollars. Cheney tries to
downplay his role in leading this country to war. He just shrugs it all
off.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LAUER: Given the fact that it severely damaged our reputation around
the world, and there were no stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, you
still think it`s worth it?

CHENEY: Oh, sure.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Cheney sold a country on a war under false pretense and
profited off it. He proves time and again that he lives in some kind of
alternate reality.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHENEY: I don`t think that it damaged our reputation around the
world. I just don`t believe that. I think the critics here at home would
argue that. But, in fact, I think it was sound policy that dealt with a
very serious problem. And that eliminated Saddam Hussein from the kind of
problem he presented before.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: So earlier tonight, Cheney, the former vice president, went
to go sell a few books in a far more friendlier place.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Dick Cheney, "In My Time," with Liz
Cheney, by the way, a personal and political memoir.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Joining me now is Washington correspondent for "the Nation
Magazine," John Nichols. He knows the story. Great to have you with us
tonight, John. The revisionist history doesn`t stop with Iraq. Cheney
praises the Bush administration`s role during Katrina.

I mean, is this just about selling books, or is this about a legacy?
What do you make of it?

JOHN NICHOLS, "THE NATION": It`s about a lot more than selling books,
Ed. Remember, Dick Cheney left Haliburton with a huge number of stock
options. Back in 2001, Haliburton stock was worth around 10 dollars a
share at one point. By 2009, after eight years of favoring the military
industrial complex and big oil, Haliburton stock was up as high as 30 bucks
a share.

So when he got rid of his stock options, he made a lot of money. He
doesn`t need to sell books to become a rich man. What he`s out doing right
now is selling a story line that he thinks will keep him as an elder
statesman of the Republican party.

SCHULTZ: You think it`s about future political moves?

NICHOLS: Absolutely. Don`t -- if you know anything about Dick
Cheney`s life story, it is that he never sees himself as being finished
politically. That doesn`t mean he`s running for president or vice
president. But there is simply no question if you watched him at CPAC, the
Conservative Political Action Conference, and at other events, playing up
to Hannity just tonight, he very much wants to be the elder statesman of
the American conservative movement.

And if by chance a Republican is elected president in 2012, he wants
to be their counselor, both on corporate issues and on foreign policy.

SCHULTZ: Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson telling ABC News -- I found this
interesting. "Now he fears being tried as a war criminal so he uses such
terminology as exploding heads all over Washington because that`s the way
someone who`s decided he`s not going to be prosecuted acts. Boldly, let`s
get out in front of everybody, when in fact they are covering up their own
fear that somebody will Pinochet him."

What do you make of that? I mean, here he is saying that he thinks
that Cheney is worried about being prosecuted globally.

NICHOLS: Well, he should be worried. His book, as well as his own
statements over the last several years, have acknowledged violations of
U.S. law and of international law repeatedly. He almost seems to challenge
the lawyers to go after him.

The reality is that it`s not all that likely that they will. He
doesn`t travel that much beyond the U.S. border anymore, so he doesn`t face
a lot of international prosecution. And the Obama administration has been
very, very cautious about any sort of accountability.

Yet Cheney continues to play games with his own statements and with
the facts. What`s fascinating about this book is that it tells different
stories than George Bush`s book, "Decision Point." not merely on Iraq and
on September 11th, but also on Katrina and a host of other issues.

It`s as if Cheney wants to write his own story, and to confuse the
facts, to confuse the debate enough so you can`t really pin anything on
him. But the odd thing is he always comes out looking like the hero in his
own writing.

SCHULTZ: John, what do you think is the most egregious piece of the
book?

NICHOLS: I`ve been toying with that on a lot of different fronts.
And it`s actually an omission, not something that`s in the book. The fact
of the matter is that Dick Cheney has sent tens of thousands, hundreds of
thousands of men and women into wars all over the world. And yet he did
not spend any reasonable amount of time reflecting in his book on the fact
that he meticulously avoided serving in Vietnam, getting five deferments to
get out of having to fight in that war.

SCHULTZ: I`ll take my cue from you, because I`m not going to read the
book. Good to have you with us, John Nichols. Thanks so much.

Coming up, details on the president`s speech in the Rose Garden
tomorrow to announce a new transportation bill.

And for Rush Limbaugh, the 2012 race is only skin deep. This guy gets
more offensive every election cycle. Psycho Talk is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Breaking news out of Washington tonight. The White House
has announced that the president will make a speech in the Rose Garden
tomorrow to declare a push for a new highway bill. "The Hill Newspaper"
reporting that the current federal highway bill, which collects tax on
gasoline, is set to expire on September 30th.

The president will argue that a new bill needs to be resolved quickly
after lawmakers return from their recess. The White House saying, in a
statement tonight, quote, "the president will discuss the importance of
moving forward with this extension to protect nearly a million American
jobs and highlight the opportunity we have to work in a bipartisan way to
further invest in rebuilding our nation`s infrastructure, to strengthen our
economy and create new jobs across the country."

It is about jobs, isn`t it? The president is now on the offense in
his push for jobs in America. We`ll see if the Republicans will play ball.
That story tomorrow on THE ED SHOW.

Coming up, Rush Limbaugh`s racist comments lands him in the zone
again. He`s the veteran.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: And in Psycho Talk tonight, well, the Drugster`s flying his
racist flag once again. Three years ago, Rush Limbaugh accused former
Secretary of State Colin Powell of endorsing Barack Obama just because he`s
black. Now with the 2012 election coming up, Rush has another opportunity
to peddle this special brand of hate.

This weekend, Powell said he didn`t know if he was going to vote for
President Obama again in 2012.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COLIN POWELL, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: I haven`t decided who I`m
going to vote for, just as was the case in 2008. I`m going to watch the
campaign unfold. I have always felt that it is our responsibility as a
citizen to take a look at the issues, to examine the candidates and pick
the person that I think is best qualified for the office of the president
in that year.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Seems like a reasonable answer for a guy who has voted for
and worked with both Democrats and Republicans in the past. Well,
Limbaugh, he`s not buying it. He`s convinced Powell will endorse the
president again. And here`s why.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: In the end, Powell will vote for
Obama. There is no doubt about it. The titular head of the Republican
party, the ideal model Republican will vote for Obama. Melanin is thicker
than water, folks.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Wow, melanin is thicker than water? Rush Limbaugh is
reducing a four-star general to the color of his skin. He even seems proud
of his bigotry. It`s disgusting. Once again, Rush Limbaugh is guilty of
ugly, racist Psycho Talk.

Larry Powell refuses to call himself a hero. But this Fresno school
superintendent gave up hundreds of thousands of dollars in salary so he
could use the money for 195,000 students. Stay with us. This is what
America is supposed to be about.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Now, how often have we heard the term shared sacrifice? How
about this story tonight? The school superintendent of Fresno, California
voluntarily gave up more than 800,000 dollars in salary over the next three
years to help soften severe budget cuts affecting his city`s schools. The
money can now be used for 325 schools with 195,000 students.

This superintendent, Larry Powell, actually retired from his job and
asked to be rehired for the low, low price of 31,020 dollars a year, which
is 10,000 dollars less than a first year teacher salary. His salary and
benefits used to be 288,000 dollars a year.

This American joins me tonight, Fresno County School Superintendent
Larry Powell.

Mr. Powell, honored to meet you tonight. You are showing the country
what America is all about. Explain to us, if you can, how it came about
and why you did it.

LARRY POWELL, FRESNO, CALIFORNIA, SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT: Well, my
wife and I decided that we had this question: How much money do you need to
survive and should we keep stockpiling it? We`re very blessed. We`ve got
a lot of reserve. We have plenty of money. We`re going to receive a
retirement pay that`s fantastic.

So what can we do to put some money back in the till? That`s kind of
what the discussion started. It`s been about a three-month discussion with
my wife and I. Then the board made a courageous decision. They typically
don`t do this type of thing, where you take and resign an office, retire,
and then they appoint me back to fill my term.

So it`s an opportunity for us to do something special. And Ed, I
wanted to share with you, the 31,020 dollars we`re going to be donating to
charity because I want to make sure people understand there are a lot of
hurting people out there. It`s time for us to step up and do something.

America has always given. It`s a time to do that thing right now.

SCHULTZ: You are leading by example. It`s a fabulous story. And
you`re putting skin in the game for the kids of this country. Where do you
think your money is going to go? Do you have any control over that? What
would you like to do with it?

POWELL: We`re going to do something in the arts because, you know, a
lot of kids have to have something to draw them and keep them in school.
If we`re going to compete globally, we`ve got to have kids that are
creative and innovative. Academics are important. But I`ve got to tell
you, the arts are essential.

I also want to make sure kids are safe at school. So Rachel`s
Challenge, which is a fantastic program out of Columbine, helps bring kids
back to kindness and compassion, treating each other with respect. We`re
going to push that.

Preschool, I have to get kids reading. I want them to be taxpayers,
not just tax users. We want them to be successful, to be able to
experience the American dream. If they`re reading, if they`re doing the
right kind of thing, they`re going to be successful.

And I want them paying my retirement. I want them to be successful
for a variety of reasons.

SCHULTZ: You seem to have great joy in doing this.

POWELL: Well, you know, I`m a Baptist minister. So, you know, I`ve
got a heart for what we need to be doing. My wife and I have always felt
that giving when you have something is a good thing to do. We have been
extraordinarily blessed. We live in a great home. We have cars. We have
everything we need.

I don`t need to work another day in my life and I`m going to have
plenty of resources. So if I take the next three years, four months and
work for nothing, that`s just giving back to a community that I love. I
hope other people look at this and say, maybe we can do it.

But I also want to let people know we`re blessed in a certain
situation that makes this work. There are some people that would be very
hard for them to do this. So I`m not saying everybody should do it. But
if you`ve got the resources, you`ve got the opportunity, step up. I think
it`s a great thing. People have responded incredibly well.

SCHULTZ: Fresno County School Superintendent Larry Powell, it`s an
honor to talk to you tonight. You`re sacrificing for the youth of your
community. And what a great American. Unselfishness -- I say often on my
radio show that we`ve been living in the most selfish generation in the
history of the country. I`m glad tonight on THE ED SHOW I`ve met someone
that`s turning that around.

Thank you so much, Mr. Powell.

Tonight in our survey, I asked do Republicans care about victims of
natural disasters? Eight percent of you said yes; 92 percent of you said
no.

That`s THE ED SHOW. I`m Ed Schultz. You can listen to my radio show
at Sirius XM Radio, Channel 127, Monday through Friday.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
BE UPDATED.
END

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