updated 12/14/2012 11:45:01 AM ET 2012-12-14T16:45:01

THE ED SHOW with ED SCHULTZ
December 13, 2012

Guests: Barney Frank, Michael Moore, Rhonda Lee

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

Breaking news tonight, from Washington, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice
withdraws her name from consideration for the secretary of state position.

John Boehner just left the White House after meeting with the
president.

And did I mention that Michael Moore is here tonight?

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

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: My goal is to get to
an agreement with the president of the United States that addresses this
problem.

SCHULTZ (voice-over): The fiscal cliff end game comes into play.
Tonight, John Boehner meets the president at the White House.

Congressman Barney Frank is here with reaction.

Republican bullies in the Senate get their way.

SUSAN RICE, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: I didn`t want to see a
confirmation process that was very prolonged.

SCHULTZ: Jonathan Alter and Michael Steele on the ugly politics that
took down Susan Rice.

The Economic Policy Institute destroys Governor Rick Snyder`s best
right-to-work talk point.

GOV. RICK SNYDER (R), MICHIGAN: All you have to do is look to
Indiana.

They`ve gotten thousands of jobs coming to Indiana.

Indiana`s had a strong experience. They did similar legislation.

SCHULTZ: Tonight, Michigan`s favorite son, Michael Moore, on Snyder`s
portrayal and the way forward for workers in the heartland.

The 12-12-12 concert raised a ton of money for Sandy relief. But
House Republicans are holding up federal dollars. I`ll tell you why.

And a meteorologist is fired for responding to racist Facebook taunts.
Tonight, Rhonda Lee tells her story on THE ED SHOW.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCHULTZ: Good to have you with us tonight, folks. Thanks for
watching.

Time is running out on a fiscal cliff deal, and Republicans are
running out of reasons to reject the president`s plan. House Speaker John
Boehner left Capitol Hill this evening and met with the president at the
White House for nearly an hour. Administration officials and Boehner`s
spokespeople say that the meeting was frank.

President Obama earlier today spoke with Minneapolis television
station WCCO and left no confusion about why talks are stalled.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The big problem right
now is that Republicans in the House are resistant to the idea of the
wealthiest Americans paying higher tax rates.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Speaker Boehner held his own news conference this afternoon.
He was there to provide serious answers to questions about tax cuts,
extensions to the middle class.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REPORTER: Will you permit a vote on a bill that -- if we go over the
cliff, would you permit a vote to decouple that and then fight again on the
debt ceiling?

BOEHNER: Ifs, ands, and buts are like candy and nuts. If that were
the case, every day would be Christmas.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: The House speaker sure sounds like a serious negotiator,
doesn`t he, with answers like that.

Boehner also brought a visual aid with him today. If this chart looks
familiar to you, it does, it should because you`ve seen it before.

Paul Ryan rolled out a similar chart when he was trying to sell the
Ryan budget plan. The projections in Ryan`s chart have been completely
discredited. John Boehner`s latest chart was created by none other than
Paul Ryan. It exists in a fantasy world where spending grows without any
specifics.

Here`s a chart from reality. Most of the country`s projected debt
comes from unpaid wars and Bush tax cuts. It`s the price to pay for
putting things on a credit card.

Republicans are finding it hard to exist in reality these days. House
Republican leader Eric Cantor said members would not adjourn until a deal
was reached. But today, everybody went home.

Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi was beside herself.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), DEMOCRATIC LEADER: Coming down to the wire,
it`s a matter of days. Last week, we went out on Wednesday morning. This
week, we`ll probably go out on Thursday morning, having come in on Tuesday.

Two two-day work weeks in a row. This is just not right. How does
this make sense? When time is of the essence, while the clock is ticking,
and again we`re coming down to the wire.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid also pointed out Democrats
can`t sit around and negotiate with themselves.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV), MAJORITY LEADER: I understand the House is
gone again. I think one reason they`re asking to leave is so more
Republicans walking down the hall won`t be saying I think what he`s doing
is wrong. But they`re leaving. It`s hard to comprehend. But they are.
We have nothing to do until they do something.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Democrats aren`t the only ones putting the blame on
Republicans. Departing Tea Party senator from South Carolina Jim DeMint
intends to be a fly in the ointment for both parties.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JIM DEMINT (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I think both parties have failed
our country. And I know what the American public has been told. The
president campaigned on raising taxes and getting rid of the Bush era tax
cuts, and he`s going to get his wish. I believe we`re going to be raising
taxes not just on the top earners. Everyone`s going to pay more taxes next
year in this country. And I think that`s what the president wants.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: It`s hard for John Boehner to convince his members about
reaching a deal when guys like DeMint are saying a deal is impossible.
Boehner`s party is not doing well in public opinion polls, but Boehner,
he`s just in denial.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOEHNER: You go back to -- you want to talk about polling -- most
Americans would agree that spending is a much bigger problem than raising
taxes. They want us to deal with this in a --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Actually, voters across the board think taxes should go up
on the wealthiest Americans. Democrats, independents, and Republicans all
agree by large majorities they want Congress to raise taxes on income above
$250,000 a year.

Republican leaders are completely disconnected from public opinion.
This is one reason Republican approval continues to nosedive while
Democrats actually have a positive rating with the public.

When voters were asked to describe the Republican Party, 65 percent of
the responses were negative. And here`s the -- and here they are. Like
you know, bad weak, uncompromising, need to work together, broken,
unorganized, disorganized.

One prominent GOP pollster put it this way: "Republicans have run out
of persuadable white voters."

John Boehner is ultimately responsible. He is doing irreparable
damage to the Republican brand. I`m not sure if they`re going to be able
to recover from this in the short term. But a deal on taxes would
certainly be a step in the right direction.

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

Tonight`s question: Are congressional Republicans out of touch with
the rest of the country? Text A for yes, text B for no to 622639. You can
always go to our blog at Ed.MSNBC.com and leave a comment there. We`ll
encourage you to do that. And we`ll bring you the results later on in the
show.

I`m joined tonight by Congressman Barney Frank from Massachusetts.

Congressman, great to have you with us tonight.

REP. BARNEY FRANK (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Thank you, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Where should the emphasis be when it comes to cuts? Boehner
says he`s got to have spending cuts. There`s not enough spending cuts.

Where do you think the emphasis should be when it comes to spending
cuts in an effort to get a deal?

FRANK: Well, being that I`ve done a lot of work in banking, I`ll
quote somebody who had a great relationship to banking. The bank robber
Willie Sutton. They asked him why he robbed the banks at least reputedly
and he said that`s where the money is.

So, if we`re going to cut, let`s go where the money is. In the
military budget, particularly in that part of the military budget unrelated
to legitimate national security needs, unrelated to the need to protect
people who really are in trouble.

We are still fully stocked to when a thermonuclear war with the Soviet
Union long after there isn`t one. We are still protecting Germany, Italy,
England, and Austria from Stalin and his successors even though they are
now strong enough to meet a threat which in fact doesn`t exist.

I just had my very able aid Marcus Rose check this for me. Over the
last 10 years, we have spent $3.8 billion in Medicare. That`s true.
During that same period, we spent $5.6 billion on the military. The
military has been going up faster and it includes an awful lot of
expenditure, unnecessary.

And, by the way, we`re reading today that Canada is now reconsidering
whether they`re going to buy the F-35. The F-35 is a very, very well-
conceived airplane that`s proving to be a great financial disaster. If any
agency, the Department of Housing, the Department of Education, the
Department of Energy, had a disaster as remotely expensive to the taxpayer
as the F-35, my conservative friends would be screaming.

So, yes, I agree with them. Ironically, that`s one area where the
Republicans want to spend more, where Mitt Romney criticizes the president
for not spending enough.

And I`m very encouraged, Ed, that in this last election, for the first
time in my memory, a Democratic president stood up to a Republican who
tried to spend more on the military than even the military`s asked for and
he won anyway. Having said that, I have to say I think the president still
is suffering from a little cultural lag.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

FRANK: So, yes, there are agricultural subsidies to rich farmers that
can get cut. I will tell you that I do not believe in this situation, we
should be trying to put men on mars, men and women. I want to do
scientific experimentation.

Well, let me talk briefly about where I don`t want to cut because
what`s interesting as I listen to my Republican friends, they have an
interesting formulation. In the end, they might be willing to tax the rich
if we will help them attack the poor. It`s really quite an extraordinary
equivalence.

In particular, they say they want to restrict the cost of living
increase that goes to people on Social Security. There are women living
not far from where I`m sitting now here in Washington who are living on
$1,500 a month. And they get tens of dollars in a cost of living increase.
And by changing the cost of living increase, you reduce it.

We have people who`ve worked, women, men who worked 45, 50 years, they
hit 65. Now, they want to tell them they can`t get Medicare.

SCHULTZ: Sure.

FRANK: It`s very interesting. Boehner is saying, OK, Mr. President,
you tell us about the cuts. The reason is that the cuts the Republicans
are hoping to get are so unpopular and I think so socially outrageous that
they`re afraid to put them forward.

But let`s understand, that`s their equation. They might in the end
grudgingly go along with a very, very small tax increase on the richest
people in the country -- by the way, I was talking to a very good friend
who`s one of the wealthiest businessmen, most successful businessmen in
Boston, and I asked him, if we were to raise the marginal income tax at the
extent we`re talking about, would he notice it if his accountant didn`t
call him up and tell him. He said of course not.

SCHULTZ: OK.

FRANK: So their price for a small tax on the very wealthy is
increasingly putting pain on the poor.

SCHULTZ: Well, Congressman, you`ve covered a lot of ground there. I
want to go back to the first part of your answer. Do you think Democrats
should be going after defense spending? I know that`s what you think.

FRANK: Yes.

SCHULTZ: But I have not heard that narrative played out much in the
House and it sounds like you`re advocating closing a lot of bases that are
overseas in the countries that you mentioned.

FRANK: Exactly. By the way, we still have Marines on Okinawa. I
think people thought when John Wayne died, that was the end of that.

The Japanese are strong enough to defend themselves. Yes, they did
terrible things 70 years ago, but that`s over.

SCHULTZ: So the Democrats aren`t being strong enough in this area.
Am I hearing that?

FRANK: No, but I`m pushing. Ed, you`re right. And as I said, I
think the president makes some mistake (ph) -- Leon Panetta, who`s a great
guy, he had a great career, but when he became secretary of defense, he
said we can`t hollow out the military the way we did after the Cold War.
Except you was the budget director after the Cold War.

And I think Budget Director Panetta under Bill Clinton made more sense
in military spending than Secretary of Defense Panetta. But it`s getting
better.

I authored -- I co-authored an amendment this past session to freeze
defense spending, to reduce what was recommended by the appropriations
committee. Not enough of a cut. But for the first time in my
congressional career, a good majority of the House voted to reduce what the
appropriators wanted.

My co-sponsor, by the way, was a Tea Party Republican and 80 percent
of the Democrats voted with me. So, I think you`re going to see,
particularly now that (INAUDIBLE) --

SCHULTZ: OK.

FRANK: Either you make substantial reductions in the military or you
make substantial reductions into medical care. And I think when that
choice comes, the Democrats are going to get --

SCHULTZ: All right. I want your take on this, here`s John Boehner
talking about his future as speaker. Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOEHNER: I`m not concerned about my job as speaker. What I`m
concerned about is doing the right thing for our kids and our grandkids.
And if we don`t fix this spending problem their future is going to be
rather bleak.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Congressman, quickly, what`s your take on that? Is he
concerned about his future and that`s why he`s not coming to a deal with
the president? It`s very clear what the president wants to do?

FRANK: No, he`s got this right-wing Republican constituency to which
he is responding. And again, it`s not simply that they resist taxes on the
very wealthy. These are people who want to undo what steps we`ve taken --
we have increasing inequality in this country. And if you want inequality,
what we need is healthy increased dose of it.

SCHULTZ: OK.

FRANK: So, no, he is simply reflecting this -- I have to say this. I
have no reason to think that there is any conflict between what he wants to
do personally and what his caucus is trying to get him to do. Fortunately,
as you`ve just pointed out, the American people disagree with him, both on
taxes and Social Security and Medicare.

SCHULTZ: Across the board. Absolutely, across the board.

Congressman Barney Frank, thanks for your time tonight. I appreciate
your take.

Remember to answer tonight`s question there at the bottom of your
screen. Share your thoughts on Twitter with us @EdShow and on Facebook.
We want to know what you think.

Coming up, after weeks of Republican attacks, U.N. Ambassador Susan
Rice drops out of the running for secretary of state. MSNBC`s Jonathan
Alter and former RNC chair Michael Steele with reaction.

Stay with us. We`re right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: New research destroys the myth that right-to-work laws
create jobs. We`ll look at what the law has done for Indiana`s economy.
And I`ll talk with filmmaker Michael Moore about his fight for workers in
his home state of Michigan. What`s next?

And later, a reporter loses her job after responding to viewers on
Facebook. Meteorologist Rhonda Lee joins me with her story later tonight.

And don`t forget, you can listen to my radio show on Sirius XM Radio
Channel 127, Monday through Friday, noon to 3:00 p.m.

And share your thoughts with us on Facebook and on Twitter using the
#EdShow.

We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: If Senator McCain and Senator Graham and others want to go
after somebody, they should go after me. But for them to go after the U.N.
ambassador, who had nothing to do with Benghazi and was simply making a
presentation based on intelligence that she had received is outrageous.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Welcome to THE ED SHOW.

After weeks of unfair attacks by Republicans, U.N. Ambassador Susan
Rice withdrew her name to be the next possible secretary of state today.
In a letter to the president, Rice said that she could have done the job
effectively but added her confirmation process could hurt the country.

In an interview that will air tonight on "Rock Center," the ambassador
had a similar explanation for NBC News` anchorman Brian Williams.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICE: Today, I made the decision that it was the best thing for our
country, for the American people that I not continue to be considered by
the president for nomination as secretary of state, because I didn`t want
to see a confirmation process that was very prolonged, very politicized,
very distracting, and very disruptive, because there are so many things we
need to get done as a country. And the first several months of a second-
term president`s agenda is really the opportunity to get the crucial things
done.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: President Obama released a statement today praising Susan
Rice while criticizing Republicans, saying, "While I deeply regret the
unfair and misleading attacks on Susan Rice in recent weeks, her decision
demonstrates the strength of her character."

President Obama is expected to meet with the ambassador tomorrow at
the White House.

For more, let`s turn to MSNBC political analyst and "Bloomberg View"
columnist, Jonathan Alter, with us tonight. And also, Michael Steele,
MSNBC analyst and former chairman of the RNC.

Gentlemen, great to have you with us.

JONATHAN ALTER, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Thanks, Ed.

SCHULTZ: This has been a real hot potato in recent weeks, although it
cooled down a little bit.

But this is something that we`re told that the White House has had a
consternation over.

Jonathan, you first. Is this a victory for John McCain and Lindsey
Graham?

ALTER: I don`t think so at all. You know, they acted like bullies.
They mistreated Susan Rice in this process. Now, they -- you know, in the
world of FOX News, I guess, they have a scalp. But it doesn`t advance
their interests in any way.

And it basically ends this as an issue for them. They can go ahead
and hold Benghazi hearings, but nobody will pay any attention except FOX.

SCHULTZ: Michael, what`s your reaction to Susan Rice dropping out of
contention for secretary of state? Why do you think she did it? And was
she forced out with some -- just a media circus?

MICHAEL STEELE, FORMER RNC CHAIR: No, I think that`s a good point,
Ed. I think she did largely because of what she said. She wanted to
protect the administration going into the second term, not to have the
distraction of a contentious confirmation hearing.

As you know, Senator McCain was already positioning himself on the
appropriate committee to be a part of that grilling process to come. So, I
think she really looked down the road and saw for the betterment of the
president`s agenda in trying to get ahead of the noise to step aside.

I thought that quite honestly that was a very smart thing to do. With
respect to the political points scored, I mean, look, the bottom line is
she -- her scalp is one of many political scalps that have been shaved by
Democrats and Republicans in trying to score for their base, but it doesn`t
necessarily serve the ultimate interest of the country because I really
think to a certain extent, you know, it would have been an opportunity for
the administration to set the record straight on Benghazi and really make
it clear that -- and put in context that what this was all about was going
after the ambassador on political grounds than anything substantive related
to the policy.

SCHULTZ: Sure. Jon --

STEELE: And that was an opportunity missed.

SCHULTZ: Jonathan, a third of the country doesn`t even know who Susan
Rice is, according to a NBC/"Wall Street Journal" poll. She`s been loyal
to the president for a long, long time. Is this taking one for the team
and just getting out of the way?

ALTER: Yes. By the way, the fact that two thirds do know who she is,
is rather extraordinary, since usually people don`t know the U.N.
ambassador. But yes, this was a sign of character, as the president said.
She fell on her sword.

The White House did not -- I need to stress this, from my reporting --
they did not push her, if anybody`s wondering that. She did this in order
to help the president, who she greatly respects and is close to. And she
realized, as she said, it was a disruption, a distraction. He`s got an
awful lot on his plate right now. And she took something off his plate,
made it easier.

Fortunately, there`s a very plausible, highly qualified alternative in
Senator Kerry. If there was nobody else standing in place --

SCHULTZ: It would be a big deal, yes.

ALTER: -- it would be a much bigger deal.

SCHULTZ: OK. I want to play this sound cut. We all know Senator
John McCain vehement went after her in a very disparaging way.

Here are some of the attacks.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: If a select committee, if appointed,
clears her of any wrongdoing -- besides being not being very bright,
because it was obvious that this was not a, quote, "flash mob." There was
no demonstration, Charlie.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Michael, did the Republicans go over the top?

STEELE: Yes. I think so. I have to admit that that comment in light
of this woman`s credentials and her capabilities and her skills, that she`s
already demonstrated up to this point, again, furthers the narrative about
the GOP and its really lack of sensitivity in communicating on these
issues.

You don`t have to call her not very bright because she`s reading
intelligence reports that`s given to her by people in an area that she has
no purview or responsibility for. And so I really think that that
oversteps that line yet again, particularly with respect to an African-
American female of high caliber.

And the country looks at that and go, what the hell is your problem?
I mean, you know, disagree on the policy, but why personalize it? Why put
her in the context of someone who is a buffoon or an idiot, when in fact
she really isn`t?

ALTER: By the way, by the way, Ed, her I.Q., if you want to look at
it that way, it alone matches the entire Republican delegation on the
Senate Foreign Relations Committee combined.

(LAUGHTER)

SCHULTZ: Rhodes Scholar, Stanford grad -- no doubt about it.

Jonathan Alter, Michael Steele -- great to have you with us tonight.
Thanks so much.

STEELE: Thanks, guys.

SCHULTZ: Next up, Republicans say right-to-work laws create jobs.
But a new study proves it`s a lie. We`ll look at the effect of laws on
Indiana`s economy because they seem to be getting quoted a lot.

And filmmaker from Michigan, Michigan native Michael Moore is here
with reaction to Governor Snyder`s move and how he plans to fight back.

Stay tuned.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Thanks for watching tonight.

I tell you, it`s a full-time job wading through the lies on Michigan`s
right-to-work law. Here`s Governor Rick Snyder offering one of the biggest
reasons for supporting the law.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

SNYDER: Indiana`s had a strong experience. They`ve done similar
legislation back in February. They`ve seen thousands of jobs come to
Indiana. And those jobs could also come to Michigan.

And when you look at Indiana and see what they`ve achieved since
February when they did similar legislation, they`ve gotten thousands of
jobs coming to Indiana because of this issue.

All you have to do is look to Indiana. And as soon as they did this
legislation, thousands of jobs have come to Indiana since that time frame.

We`re losing a major competitive advantage. Indiana has become a
right-to-work state. And I`ve looked at their pipeline. They`ve
significantly increased the number of business looking to come to Indiana
and grow in Indiana due to this legislation.

Because if you look at Indiana they`ve been very successful, bringing
thousands of jobs, even since this last February. And that`ll happen right
here in Michigan.

You just need to look to Indiana.

We`ve watched closely what`s going on in Indiana.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

SCHULTZ: Hmm. He`s looked at their pipeline. Governor Snyder said
Indiana got thousands of jobs because of right-to-work. Indiana`s Governor
Mitch Daniels has made similar claims.

Here`s news for the governors. A report came out yesterday, and it
says a much different -- and tells a much different story.

First of all, the timing is truly laughable. On February 1st of this
year, 2012, Indiana`s right-to-work law was signed into law. OK? On
February 29th, Indiana`s economic development corporation was already
claiming the right-to-work law had lured jobs to Indiana. On March 12th,
Governor Mitch Daniels declared evidence of right-to-work success. But on
March 15th -- that is actually the first day any labor contracts could
actually be affected by the law -- Indiana business experts say a typical
business decision like this takes four to twelve months.

Indiana`s Economic Development Corporation cited four companies
motivated by right to work. But the companies were already located in
Indiana and had a long history with the state. Busche had been in the
state since 1997. Steel Dynamics was already in 19 Indiana cities. Seal
Corp. USA expanded because of 340,000 dollars in economic incentives.
Whayne Supply Company expanded operations after the state of Indiana
provided 450,000 dollars in refunds.

Yet all four of these companies were cited as examples of how right to
work brought jobs to the state of Indiana. Governor Mitch Daniels
specifically said MBC Group created jobs in Indiana because of right to
work. That`s false. The MBC Group denied it.

The truth is not a single company says it came to Indiana because of
right to work, according to the report.

There is more. Indiana has been losing jobs to states that don`t have
right to work laws. Manitowoc is closing its Indiana facility and moving
to Cleveland, Ohio. Diamond Foods is closing its Indiana facility and
going west to California. Whirlpool is moving jobs to Michigan, a decision
that was obviously made before Michigan`s right to work law was passed.

Geknight closed its Indiana facilities and moved the jobs to
neighboring state, Illinois. Governor Snyder, he didn`t lie all of the
time. Here`s something he did get accurate.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SNYDER: Only about 17.5 percent of our workers in this state belong
to a union. Most people do not. So it wasn`t a relevant issue for most
Michiganders.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: So he was accurate about that, because Snyder admits only 17
percent of workers belong to a union in the state of Michigan. Yet he
expects us to believe that a right-to-work law will spur economic
development?

It defies common sense. I`m not done with this story. More coming
up. There`s a lot more coming up in the next half hour of THE ED SHOW.
Stay right with us.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SNYDER: I never said unions are bad for business. And I don`t
believe this is actually anti-union. If you look at it, I believe this is
pro worker.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: The people of Michigan are fighting back against Rick
Snyder`s assault on workers. Tonight, Michigan`s own Michael Moore is here
to unveil his plan to undo the Republicans` sneak attack.

Last night`s concert was a smashing success. But it`s not nearly
enough. I`ll tell you why House Republicans are obstructing Sandy relief
money.

And a meteorologist at a television station in Louisiana defends
herself on Facebook against a racist comment and gets fired from her job.
Tonight, Rhonda Lee tells her side of the story on THE ED SHOW.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Our next guest has a long
history with the state of Michigan.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL MOORE, DOCUMENTARY FILM MAKER: Hi. I`m Michael Moore. In my
hometown of Flint, Michigan, General Motors closed the factories and put
30,000 people out of work. To raise their spirits, I made this movie.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: The protests we`ve seen in Michigan lately probably got his
attention.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CROWD: Right to work is wrong! Right to work is wrong! Right to
work is wrong! Right to work is wrong! Right to work is wrong!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Let`s bring in Academy Award-winning filmmaker Michael
Moore, who was born and raised in the great state of Michigan. Michael,
good to have you on THE ED SHOW. Appreciate it.

MOORE: Thanks for having me here, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Is your blood boiling over this?

MOORE: Well, yeah. I`ve been in a bit of a rage the last couple of
days. My uncle was in the sit-down strike in Flint 75 years ago this year,
Uncle Vern. And our family and all the families of people I grew up with
have been union people from the get-go. And because they were, my
generation, people who would never have gotten to go to college, needed to
see a doctor, you could see a doctor, our dads had the weekend off, which
they didn`t have before. Working class people like us were able to buy a
house and live in it. Before that most people rented.

You didn`t have your own car. Couldn`t get anywhere. Of course there
was no reason to get anywhere, because you didn`t have any vacation. All
these things happened -- that really got ignited by that sit-down strike in
Flint. And if these Republicans who are not going to be in power -- the
ones that are there -- people that were voted out last month are sitting
there voting and removing these laws.

It`s just -- here`s -- the bright side of this is that the fact that
they`re doing this, they know that the people don`t want what they want.
That`s why they`ve got to do it in a rush right now before January 1st.
Because January 1st, these new Democrats come in and there`s enough
moderate Republicans in the state that that will be the majority.

SCHULTZ: It just goes against the culture of the state, everything
the state has ever been. Birthplace --

MOORE: It goes against the United States of America. That`s right.
It`s not just the birthplace of the -- it`s the birthplace of the middle
class. There was no middle-class before Flint. There was a great middle
class after Flint and for decades after that.

And they`ve been on this run really since Reagan. They have been
doing whatever they could do to make sure that wages remain stagnant, that
jobs are shipped out. This Governor Snyder, you understand what he did
before he was the governor of Michigan.

SCHULTZ: He shipped jobs it China.

MOORE: That`s right. He ran Gateway Computers, which by the way, I
think we can stop at Gateway, because everybody knows it was just a crap
computer. And then he just shipped all the jobs right to Taiwan. It
should have been like a coming attraction for Michigan, looking at what he
did at Gateway.

And people say, well, Mike, how did this guy get in there? I mean,
this is a state that voted for Obama 10 points over Romney. And I think,
honestly, I think people didn`t take 2010 serious enough. And I think a
lot of people were -- I think a lot of the base was depressed because at
least the perception of what President Obama was doing in that first year
or two. He was trying to get along. He was trying to be a good guy. And
it`s like --

SCHULTZ: No public option, no universal health care. That`s what the
country wanted.

MOORE: Right.

SCHULTZ: But there was a perception that there wasn`t a good enough
fight --

MOORE: And putting the guy from Goldman Sachs, Larry Summers, in
charge of our economic policy.

SCHULTZ: What`s the plan? You have a history in terms of being able
to battle these kinds of issues. Do you have a plan to fight back in
Michigan? And because they`re going to go to other states and try to push
the same legislation, which is all about stripping the Democratic
infrastructure, going right to the money, to the foundation, to make it so
unions can`t be effective in social networking, to have an effect on
elections. What`s your plan?

MOORE: OK, a number of things are going to happen. First of all, the
unions and the Democratic party there are going to use every legal means
possible to obstruct this thing that they`ve done, which is against the
will of the people. That`s number one.

Number two, the Democratic party of Michigan has got to run candidates
who are going to win. And in the last two days, I`ve spent a lot of time
talking to friends and colleagues in Michigan. And we`re going to put
together our own search committee. We`re going to recruit candidates who
are going to win.

We don`t need to win all the seats. We just need to identify just a
few. We`re only behind by a few, a few seats. And remove those
Republicans in 2014 and get someone to run for governor who`s going to win.
You had Virg on last night. He`s a great guy, Lansing mayor. But it`s
like the Republicans. They run somebody that wins. This is why they have
both of these governorships.

I think we need to run -- if I were the Michigan democratic party, I
would be approaching beloved Democrats in the state of Michigan who the
people would love. A number of ex-Red Wings, for instance.

SCHULTZ: Sure.

MOORE: Denise Ilitch, from the Ilitch family, that owns the Tigers
and the Red Wings and Little Caesars. They`re Democrats.

SCHULTZ: People that people like.

MOORE: They like them. And that family`s a beloved business and the
sports teams. I mean, why not run people that the people like? That`s
what the Republicans have -- that`s why they ran Schwarzenegger in
California. They run -- they always run these people. Reagan. People --

SCHULTZ: Your hands on to get good candidates.

MOORE: Absolutely. No, we`ve got to start that now. Not next month
or next year. That has to start right now. And we`re starting it right
now. The final thing I wanted to say about this is personally. I have a
Michigan business, my production company.

And what I will do -- and I`ll say this publicly right now -- is I
plan on committing my own act of civil disobedience. I will not obey this
law. If you`re going to come and be a cameraman or a sound person on my
next film, a writer, a director, an editor, if you don`t belong to the
union, you don`t work on my film. That`s the position I`m taking. And let
them come after me.

SCHULTZ: You`re going to force them to pay dues?

MOORE: There`s no force them to pay dues. You get all the benefits
of being in the union. It`s like you know, my -- we`ve got a little league
team here that doesn`t want to pay their fees to be in the league. But let
us play anyway. But we`re not going to pay our fees.

You know, I don`t like these wars going on. Do I get to not pay my
taxes? What happened to my freedom of choice? This is all B.S., ed.

SCHULTZ: So is Governor Snyder going to start going after country
clubs and letting people pay without paying their dues? I mean, that`s
really what it comes down to. They get the benefit of doing whatever they
want to do.

MOORE: This is class war that`s been ignited by them. Working people
have always kind of admired people with money. They like them because they
would build factories. They create jobs, you know. And the American dream
was to aspire to do better.

But the rich have been on a rampage for the last 30-plus years to
really destroy everything that my uncle, my dad, my grandparents and
everybody else fought for for all these years. People just take it for
granted now. They think oh, it`s the weekend. We`re going to have the
weekend off.

SCHULTZ: But it is about election --

MOORE: It didn`t exist.

SCHULTZ: It is also about elections and making sure the Democrats
don`t have the infrastructure to fight back against the Republican machine.
You`ve only got less than 20 percent of the people in Michigan belong to
unions. But they are really the foundation of the Democratic base when it
comes to doing all the things and getting candidates elected. How do you
fight that?

MOORE: Well, the only way to fight it is we have to overturn this
law. Because they are trying to defund the opposition. But again, I just
want to point out the silver lining in this. They know that the people
don`t support what they`re doing. That`s why they had to rush this thing
through before January 1st.

Same reason why they had voter suppression this past year. Why would
you suppress the vote if you believed the country was a Republican country?
Why would you suppress the vote if you thought the majority of Americans
were conservative?

You have to suppress the vote because think you know you`re in the
minority. That`s -- it`s an admission on their part that they know the
American people don`t like the Republicans or the conservative philosophy.
We`re a different country now. And a lot of them don`t have a clue about
that. And they think they`re going get away with this. And they`re not
going to get away with it.

And everybody is fighting mad in Michigan. And we`re not going to
stop.

SCHULTZ: Michael Moore, thanks for coming in to THE ED SHOW.
Appreciate it. We`ll do it again.

MOORE: I tried to keep it PG-13 here, Ed.

SCHULTZ: You did a good job of that. I think people are connected to
your passion, no question about it, on this issue. Thank you.

Coming up, some Republicans are playing politics in the wake of
Hurricane Sandy. Find out why they`re refusing to help their fellow
Americans. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: And we are back. A handful of Republicans are playing
politics with the victims of Hurricane Sandy. They`re refusing to fund
disaster relief unless Democrats offset the spending. These Republicans
probably didn`t attend the 12-12-12 concert last night. Stars like Bruce
Springsteen, Bon Jovi, and the Rolling Stones helped raise more than 35
million dollars.

Now Congress needs to do its part. The president is asking for 60
billion dollars in disaster relief. Remember, Sandy killed at least 100
people; 500,000 people have already applied for temporary housing. But
Senators Jon Kyl calls it "an awful big bite to swallow." Senators Coburn,
also Johnson from Wisconsin, and Hoeven from North Dakota aren`t ready to
spend the money either.

Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise says he wants to control disaster
spending. And Georgia Representative Jack Kingston says Congress shouldn`t
have to pay two million dollars to fix the roof at the Smithsonian Museum.

Maybe those Republicans don`t want to fix the Statue of Liberty Island
either. We`ll save money if we just kept it closed, right? Crews pumped
270 million gallons of saltwater out of the transit tunnels. But we could
have saved money there if we just didn`t fix the commuter trains.

Governors Christie, Cuomo, and Malloy have really heard and put
together and joined forces to demand help from Congress. In an op-ed in
the "Washington Post," the governors wrote, "Americans come together in
times of crisis. Our states have stood with your communities when they
suffered and faced devastation. It`s time for Congress to stand with us."

Amen to that.

Tonight in our survey, I asked are Congressional Republicans out of
touch with the rest of the country? Ninety nine percent of you say yes;
one percent of you say no.

Coming up, she was fired for responding to racist remarks on her
company`s Facebook page. TV meteorologist Rhonda Lee will join me next.
Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: And in the Big Finish tonight, the National Association of
Black Journalists is standing behind a TV meteorologist who was fired for
responding to racially insensitive remarks on the station`s Facebook page.
Back in October, Rhonda Lee of KTBS in Shreveport, Louisiana, responded to
a viewer`s comment about, of all things, her hair.

The viewer wondered if Lee had cancer and suggested she wear a wig or
grow some more hair. Lee`s response read in part, "I`m very proud of my
African-American ancestry, which includes my hair. Many black women use
strong straightening agents in order to achieve a more European grade of
hair, and that is their choice. However, in my case, I don`t find it
necessary. I`m very proud of who I am and the standard of beauty I
display."

A month later, another viewer commented on Facebook about a children`s
charity event and toy giveaway featured by the television station, KTBS.
The viewer complained that too many of the event`s participants were black.
"Am I the only one that has noticed that this year all the kids, let`s say,
are people of color? Seems like some racism going on to me."

Lee responded to that, "I`m not sure I understand your comment," she
wrote. "The children are picked at random. So there goes your theory that
they are selected for their color. I would like to think that it doesn`t
matter who the child is."

In both cases, Lee was polite and respectful when expressing her
views. She even thanked the clueless viewer who inquired about her hair.
Yet a short time later, Lee was fired.

The station, KTBS, alleged Lee violated the company`s social media
policy. The station manager says Lee received a copy of a policy via e-
mail back in August. The policy directs employees not to respond to viewer
complaints on Facebook. But Lee says that she never got that e-mail and is
now without a job.

KTBS issued a statement about the firing of the meteorologist. "If
harsh viewer comments are posted on the station`s official website, there
is a specific procedure to follow. Ms. Rhonda Lee was let go for
repeatedly violating that procedure, and after being warned multiple times
of the consequences if her behavior continued. Rhonda Lee was not
dismissed for her appearance or defending her appearance. She was fired
for continuing to violate company procedure."

Joining me tonight, former KTBS meteorologist Rhonda Lee. Rhonda,
thanks for your time tonight. This is --

RHONDA LEE, FORMER KTBS METEOROLOGIST: Thank you, Ed, for having me.

SCHULTZ: You bet. Social media is a part of life. Do you feel like
you violated the company`s policy?

LEE: No, I do not, mainly because there really is no policy. I asked
upon my termination, as well as late as last week, when I went back to the
station to ask for my job back, for a copy of the policy. And I was told
that there was not one written down anywhere. So that, of course, begs the
question, how do you violate a policy that isn`t in existence?

So that`s why when I have seen the policy that was handed out a few
days ago, I`m not really confident that that might be all that legit,
considering I`ve asked for it twice.

SCHULTZ: They say you repeatedly violated the company`s policy. Did
you answer a lot of people on Facebook or just these two times?

LEE: No, sir. It was just those two times.

SCHULTZ: This is highly unusual. Have you had any other problems
with management or anything like that, that would cause them? Or does this
just come right out of the blue?

LEE: No, sir. I`ve had no problems. I was told on the day that I
was fired -- I asked my boss at the time, haven`t I been an exemplary
employee? That`s exactly what I asked. And he said, yes, you have. And
then I said, am I specifically being fired for these -- for this Facebook
post? And he said, yes, you are. So that left no room for doubt for my
reason for termination.

SCHULTZ: Were these racist comments on Facebook, in your opinion?

LEE: I would believe that they were racist comments, yes. But at the
same time, I didn`t find them to be terribly upsetting, which is what the
alleged policy that they`ve sent out anyway says. I didn`t find them to be
hateful, all that hateful.

I used it as an opportunity to educate. I was not at all disturbed by
answering them at all. So I looked at them mainly as simple comments that
just required some sort of answer, versus letting them sit on the Facebook
page for almost a week, in some cases unanswered.

SCHULTZ: Do you feel like you were wronged here? Do you deserve to
have your job back? Do you think this is just an unjust firing across the
board?

LEE: I do believe that I should have my job. There`s no doubt in my
mind for that. I don`t believe that I violated any policy whatsoever. I
do feel that it`s very unfortunate and I feel it`s really a huge loss for
the station, more than anything because now they are now dealing with the
consequences of it, of course. And then the fact that they missed a
teachable moment to include an entire community of people.

SCHULTZ: And what has been the community response?

LEE: Well, it`s been very supportive of me. And I am just entirely
grateful for all the support worldwide, as a matter of fact. I never would
have expected this to be at the state that it is. So I`m grateful for it.

SCHULTZ: Well, I would have to assume that no other employees have
ever put anything on Facebook whatsoever that dealt with working at the
television station. Rhonda Lee, keep the faith. You`re a great talent,
and things will work out. I appreciate your time on THE ED SHOW tonight.
Thanks so much.

And that is THE ED SHOW. I`m Ed Schultz. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW"
starts now.

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

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