The Ed Show for Thursday, February 14th, 2013
Read the transcript to the Thursday show
THE ED SHOW with ED SCHULTZ
February 14, 2013
Guests: James Carville, Howard Dean, David Corn, Michelle Goldberg, Jonathan Alter
ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans. And welcome to THE ED
SHOW from New York.
I get some backup tonight. James Carville is here to explain why it`s
still the economy, stupid.
This is THE ED SHOW -- let`s get to work.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We`ve got to make sure
hard work is rewarded with a wage that you can live on and raise a family
SCHULTZ: The president demands fairness. But even his call for a $9
minimum wage is way off.
Tonight, the great James Carville on how American workers are getting
stiffed and what the Democrats can do about it.
Breaking news: Wealthy tax fat cats who have got offshore bank
accounts, especially in Switzerland, beware.
I`ll tell you why today`s announcement from the White House is a major
blow for tax evaders.
Plus, the historic filibuster of the president`s pick for defense
secretary reaches a boiling point.
OBAMA: We`ve never had a secretary of defense filibustered before.
SCHULTZ: The NRA reaches another new low.
The roasting of Marco Rubio continues.
The Tea Party gets busted with pandas.
And Mary Carillo of NBC Sports on the Olympic blade runner charged
with killing his model girlfriend.
SCHULTZ: Good to have you with us tonight, folks. Thanks for
Well, the president of the United States, he`s out there fighting for
the American worker while the Republicans are fighting to keep people poor.
And, of course, the proof is in the latest debate over the minimum wage.
President Obama held a live question and answer session on Google
today. He explained why the current minimum wage just isn`t cutting it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Increases in productivity in our economy are helping a lot of
folks at the top, less folks in the middle, and at the bottom. And wages
and incomes have not gone up even as productivity and the profits from
productivity have gone sky high.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Well, my friends, once again, this is an issue about
economic fairness in America.
Going to give you some stats on what workers are doing. Worker
productivity has gone through the roof in the past 60 years. But the
minimum wage has not kept pace.
So where are we? People are working harder for much less. And if the
minimum wage kept up with productivity, where would we be? Well, it would
be at $21.72 an hour. Think about that. Think about our economy if people
had that kind of disposable income.
The president is proposing $9, a third of what the amount really
should be if you do the math?
Now, this country does not and never has had a good record of raising
the minimum wage in recent history especially. The current wage was only
reached in 2009 after three years of minimum minor increases. You have to
go back to 1997 to find the last time it was really increased, to $5.15 an
But Republicans seem determined to keep the wage as low as they
possibly can, below the poverty line. And this is what the president
talked about the other night in the State of the Union address. It`s
getting people out of poverty.
Marco Rubio came out against raising the minimum wage, between sips of
water. So is Paul Ryan. He`s against it. House Speaker John Boehner
actually says raising it would be unfair to workers?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: A lot of people who
are being paid the minimum wage are being paid that because they come to
the workforce with no skills. And this makes it harder for them to acquire
the skills they need in order to climb that ladder successfully.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: How convoluted is that? The message from John Boehner, if
you`re a low-skilled worker -- hey, stay poor.
Democrats are ready to pounce all over this. White House senior
adviser Dan Pfeiffer asked Republicans for an actual plan to ensure full-
time workers will not live in poverty. The president plans to press the
issue hard as he takes it -- makes it a big part of his policy agenda on
Republicans, they are all over the place in response. For instance,
take Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee. She said a low minimum
wage was good for her when she got her first job.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MARSHA BLACKBURN (R), TENNESSEE: I remember my first job. When
I was working in a retail store, growing up down there in Laurel,
Mississippi, I was making like $2.15 an hour. And I was being taught how
to responsibly handle those customer interactions. And I appreciated that
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Oh, it`s all about character building with the Republicans.
That`s what it is. Don`t want to pay anybody. Get your character right.
Blackburn`s calculation, my friends, is way off the mark. After
inflation her $2.15 an hour job would be worth between $12 and $14 an hour
today, depending on what year she started this job.
Blackburn actually -- you know what she`s doing? She`s making the
case for doubling the current minimum wage. If Marsha Blackburn of
Tennessee had to survive on today`s minimum wage in 1968, she would have
made $1.10 an hour. Even though the actual minimum wage continues to
slightly rise, it has not kept pace with inflation over the years.
The lowest income workers are the ones who suffer. And let`s be
honest: the only reason Republicans oppose a minimum wage hike is because
two of the biggest donors to the Republican Party -- well, they`re against
it. And I`m talking about the United States Chamber of Commerce, and let`s
not forget the National Restaurant Association. Republicans think these
two groups are more important than people living below the poverty line.
This is the GOP idea of fairness? This is the rebranding of America?
They`re going to be against this?
I`ve told you all along on this show they are against workers, they`re
against workers` voices in the workplace, and they`re not going to raise
the minimum wage. And if they`re going to filibuster Hagel, they`re sure
as hell not going to let the minimum wage go to $9 an hour.
They`re against workers. They`ve always been against workers. You
can do the math. You can play with the years and the trends and everything
else. Worker productivity in this country is absolutely awesome.
But you know what? We just have a hard time paying people.
Get your cell phones out. Want to know what you think. Tonight`s
question: what is more important to the Republican Party? Text A for
corporate profits, text B for people. Here`s the number: 67622.
You can always go to our blog at Ed.MSNBC.com and leave a comment. We
encourage you to do that. We`ll bring you the results later on in the
Now, joining me tonight for the first live news interview is James
Carville, Democratic strategist and political consultant and author of the
book "It`s the Middle Class, Stupid."
You know what? The word "stupid" works for you because you back in
the early `90s, you were saying it`s the economy, stupid.
JAMES CARVILLE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Right.
SCHULTZ: James, good to have you on the program. Glad to have you
with us tonight.
CARVILLE: Good to be here and good to see the man from the prairie is
on fire tonight. It`s a topic that lights you up, Ed.
SCHUTLZ: It`s the workers. It`s always about the workers.
I mean, if you`re going to be fair to people for doing a job, when
you`ve got corporate profits going through the roof, the highest in the
last 20 years, why can`t we do something for workers? I commend the
president and Democrats for doing something on this.
But, James, to your point and what you`ve said in the past -- it`s the
economy, stupid -- that still plays in 2013, doesn`t it?
CARVILLE: Well, not only does it play in 2013, but raising the
minimum wage according to every credible study in the last 20 years has no
effect on job creation. So, that`s the first thing to remember. The
second thing to remember is that the same people that don`t want to raise
the minimum wage want to eliminate all taxes on corporate profits, want to
eliminate all taxes on -- all estate taxes, even on estates over $5
million, want to eliminate all taxes on capital gains.
I mean, how much do you have -- when you look at the productivity line
and you look at the corporate profit lines and they can`t raise it $7.25 an
hour is too much for somebody. In spite of the fact that there`s no
credible evidence in the last 20 years to show that raising that has any
effect on employment. So the points, the actual research is much stronger
in your favor than anybody would have originally thought on this.
SCHULTZ: How about the president`s strategy on this? James, look at
the big picture. There`s firearms out there. There`s immigration reform
going on. It`s the economy, no question about it. And then, of course,
there`s a bunch of filibusters.
In this environment right now, how does this change? What should the
CARVILLE: Well, I think he`s laid a proposal out there. I think it`s
a good proposal. I think in the end, what`ll probably happen is he`ll get
it through if he sticks to it and he`ll negotiate. It might not be $9 an
hour, but maybe it`s $8.25 an hour.
Look, if you`re right there on the brink of making $7.25 an hour, a
dollar an hour more might mean something to you. Look, in Louisiana, New
Orleans, where I live right now, they have a 9.5 percent sales tax.
They`re talking about raising it to 14 percent maybe. Can you imagine what
that does to a minimum wage worker down here?
I mean, it just slaughters people. Thank God we`ve got people that
are willing to stand up and point out what`s going on here, how you can
help these people without having any effect on employment. I don`t know
why we haven`t done this a long time ago to tell you the truth.
SCHULTZ: Let`s talk about congress for a moment. Today we saw
officially just an unprecedented filibuster of defense secretary nominee
Chuck Hagel. Is this the worst you`ve ever seen in Congress?
CARVILLE: Well, you know, we always say it`s the worst. The
Republicans are just having a hard time. They got their bell rung, and
they`re trying to fight against Hagel, who is actually a Republican.
McCain seems to be trying to figure a way to get out of this.
This thing with Rubio last night was just a first-class mess on their
part. Karl and the Tea Party are fighting with each other.
You know, it`s going to take them a little while to figure out where
they`re going. But right now they`re just all confused and don`t quite
know what way to go. And all they can do is say just the same thing. I
mean, if you look at Rubio, it`s the same speech you`ve heard for the last
30 years. It`s nothing there.
SCHULTZ: Yes. Americans get -- I think are upset about this. That`s
not the term I`d like to use on TV. I`d be a little more brash about it.
I mean, people are angry, I mean, across the country.
Number one, they`re going on vacation for a couple weeks when we`ve
got this thing looming on March 1st, the sequester. We can`t get our
What evidence do we have out there that shows the 113th is going to be
any different from the 112th, that they`re not going to be a record number
of filibusters when they`re doing this to Chuck Hagel today? I mean, I
think this is the tea leaves, isn`t it?
CARVILLE: Actually, we don`t have any evidence. What always amaze
me, when they say that congress has a disapproval of 89 and an approval of
9, I always wonder who is the 9? I never met any of them.
CARVILLE: But, look, they didn`t get -- they lost the popular vote
for the house. The reason they`re there is because of a combination of
population patterns and gerrymandering. And they just got beat bad in the
election and they`re confused and they`re mad.
And the public is watching how mad they are, and somehow or another
they think by acting mad they`re going to --
SCHULTZ: But they don`t like Obama. They don`t want to give him
anything. That`s what it`s.
CARVILLE: No, they never have liked him.
SCHULTZ: All right. We`ve got a little footage from an old movie
called "The War Room." You may recognize this guy. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: James Carville is known as the Ragin` Cajun in the
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me tell you what`s at stake in this election.
It`s about George Bush and the whole sleazy little cabal of them. You`re
going to get tax breaks for the wealthy. You`re going to get a guy who
doesn`t know what a grocery store scanner is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: You know, you said things back then that aren`t much
different from the way you`re saying them right now. I mean, what needs to
happen to get this economic message of fairness through to Washington? I
mean, this really is -- we`ve got 35 months of private sector job growth,
and the Republicans are doing everything they can to knock us off the
track. They won`t do anything on jobs.
So what`s your prediction on this?
CARVILLE: Ed, what I think is we have a humanitarian crisis of the
first order. Unemployment rate is unacceptably high, caused by lax
standards during -- in finance that caused a crash in our economy. We have
to recognize that.
We have not been able to get incomes -- growth for middle income
Americans, and we`ve got to sit down and I think the president started on a
good path last night. I think some of the things he did were great. I
hope he builds on that.
And I think the middle class in this country is desperate for a
strategy to help them out of this. And some of the things he proposes. I
think this early learning, this preschool stuff is terrific in the long
term, but we really right now have a terrible humanitarian crisis with
unemployed people we have in this country, Ed. Hopefully, we can sort of
deal with that and cut out this deficit obsession here for the next five
years or so.
SCHULTZ: All right. James Carville, great to have you on THE ED
SHOW. You can come back from New Orleans anytime you want, my friend.
CARVILLE: Good to see you, my friend.
SCHULTZ: All right. Thanks so much.
Remember to answer tonight`s question there at the bottom of the
screen, share your thoughts with us on Twitter, @EdShow and on Facebook.
We always want to know what you think.
If you have money in a Swiss bank account, you`re in for a real
surprise. Howard Dean joins me to discuss a major breakthrough on stopping
offshore tax evasion.
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Ted Cruz has been silenced, but Republicans still
filibuster Chuck Hagel? And the Tea Party hits a new low. This might be
the worst smear of Hillary Clinton ever. Our panel reacts to that tonight.
A shocking story out of South Africa: One of the stars of the London
Olympics shoots and kills his famous girlfriend in the middle of the night.
Emmy Award-winning broadcaster Mary Carillo will join us for this story.
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. Share your thoughts
with us on Facebook and on Twitter using the #EdShow.
We`re coming right back.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.
Big story tonight. There is a big pot of money outside of the United
States. And it will help reduce the deficit. Now, we`ve all heard about
it. We`ve got to find revenue streams to come in.
Well, let`s do this. Two simple words: Tax evasion.
Today, the United States signed a major agreement with Switzerland to
crack down on tax evaders at a time when the Treasury Department has
already been steadily turning the screws on tax evaders in getting concrete
results. Now, this agreement with Switzerland will help implement a law
passed in 2010, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or FATCA.
This will be a major blow to tax evaders since Switzerland is truly,
you could call it the motherland for tax evaders. The law requires foreign
banks to inform the IRS of any American offshore accounts holding more than
$50,000. As this law takes effect, and I mean full effect, it`s going to
be a lot harder for the wealthiest Americans to hide their money overseas.
Neal Wolin, the acting treasury secretary, said, "Today`s announcement
makes a significant step forward in our efforts to combat offshore tax
Now, the United States now has reached agreements with eight countries
including the United Kingdom. The United States plans to forge agreements
with 50 countries -- count them -- five zero, 50 countries to go after tax
evaders. Even before today`s agreement with Switzerland, the Treasury
Department was starting to aggressively pursue tax evaders.
Now, the United States government has already won about 50 criminal
cases and collected more than $5.5 billion by finding undeclared offshore
accounts. And you have to wonder: is this just the beginning?
The moral of the story: what`s wrong with having your money here in
the United States? Nothing.
Joining me now is Howard Dean, former governor of Vermont and also the
former chairman of the DNC.
Governor, good to have you with us.
HOWARD DEAN, FORMER DNC CHAIRMAN: Thanks, Ed, for having me on.
SCHULTZ: This is kind of long overdue, isn`t it?
DEAN: It is, and it`s a great thing. It`s not going to put a big
dent in the deficit. The real reason it`s important is because the morale
in this country`s been eroded by the enormous gap between the wealthy, who
don`t play by the same rules as everybody else, and ordinary people who are
making a living. And this is going to make the wealthy folks pay -- and
not all wealthy folks are doing this, but there`s a small percentage that
are, and they`re now going to pay their fair share.
So, this is really important for making this country work. It`s not
going to raise gazillions of dollars to deal with the deficit, but they are
going to send a message to people that everybody`s going to play by the
SCHULTZ: You know, this is a revenue stream. And if we did something
about tax havens and other corporate loopholes, there`s another revenue
stream. Now, this is not --
DEAN: Corporate loopholes is a much bigger revenue stream than this.
That`s a really big revenue stream. Now, we`re talking about hundreds and
hundreds of billions of dollars.
SCHULTZ: How should the administration go about this?
DEAN: We need to close some of these. Even in the supposed deficit
reduction, even in the bill they signed in January, the supposed
compromise, there were corporate loopholes that lobbyists got stuff stuck
in, one-liners at the last minute. The tax code`s a mess. And it is a
mess because corporate lobbyists are making it a mess.
SCHULTZ: How do you go about getting the Republicans to get on board
to close corporate tax loopholes?
DEAN: This is, interestingly enough, if you could work with some Tea
Party people, some of it would see it this way. I`m not talking about the
Ted Cruzes of the world, who`s just kind of a prima donna. But the
ordinary back benchers, they don`t like cheating on your taxes any better
than anybody else. They`re not necessarily big business people.
So even though they`re way out there on social issues and intolerant
and all that, they could potentially be allies in reforming the tax code.
SCHULTZ: There is more good news on revenue. The cost of Medicare
and Medicaid are now projected to be 15 percent less by the year 2020
according to the Congressional Budget Office. Health care costs increased
at their lowest rate in decades for the fourth year in a row.
This has gotten very little attention.
Health care experts do not fully understand the causes, but they agree
that part of the reason is a change in the health care delivery system,
including financial incentives and Obamacare.
What do you make of this?
DEAN: It is true. Obamacare hasn`t gone into effect yet for the most
part, but this is an odd thing that was never intended by the people who
wrote Obamacare in the legislature who were basically feathering the nest
of the insurance companies.
What has happened here is the private sector, and we are going to have
a private sector-based system, has now understood that they have to change
the fundamental incentives in how you pay for health care. And it`s
already beginning to happen in advance of the effective date of most of
Obama care because the insurance companies and the hospitals know they
can`t continue to do business the way they`re doing business.
It`s really quite an extraordinary development.
SCHULTZ: Well, it is an extraordinary development.
And President Obama, of course, continually made the case that this
law would bend the cost curve, and we`re seeing it here before any of the
experts called it.
DEAN: That is true, Ed. But I -- you know, they were making that
argument based on IPAD working or something like that. The real reason is
-- and I say this as a guy who wanted a public option very badly.
DEAN: Is that if -- because it`s in the private sector the private
sector is actually figuring out how to -- they understand that they can`t
continue to drive costs up like this and they`re actually -- they`re the
ones that are actually going to bend -- and are bending the cost curve.
SCHULTZ: I want your take on March 1st, the sequester. The budget
cuts across the board. How do we avoid it when the congress is going home?
DEAN: You know, I`m an outlier in this. I think we ought to go over
the cliff and I reason we should is we will never in our lifetime see an
opportunity to cut the Pentagon like this. We`ve had fat in the Pentagon
for 30 years. Nobody`s done a damn thing about it.
If there`s a compromise on sequester, some good things will happen
because there are some people that are going to get hurt if we go over the
cliff, but we have an opportunity here to cut the most bloated agency in
all of government and serious cutting, and I think we ought to take it.
SCHULTZ: We could take $45 billion this year out of the military
budget. You`re OK with that?
DEAN: Yes, I am. And I think we can do that and we can make it work.
There has -- you know, there have been tons of programs in the
Pentagon that the Pentagon never wanted, that Congress people have put in
there. So --
SCHULTZ: Sure. Howard Dean, great to have you with us. Always.
SCHULTZ: Appreciate it.
Wayne LaPierre might be one of the greatest hucksters of all time.
I`ll show you what`s behind his paranoia campaign, next.
Tea Party backers show a perverse sense of humor by creating a Hillary
Clinton sex tape. David Corn broke the story. He joins us on the panel
Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WAYNE LAPIERRE, NRA: Mr. President, we will stand and fight
throughout this country as Americans for our freedom. We promise you that,
every single one of us from one end of the country to the other.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Fight. What kind of fight is he talking about?
NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre called on supporters to stand and fight after
President Obama`s call for a vote on gun safety legislation. Now, it`s bad
to vote I guess.
But LaPierre`s speech today was pretty much tame compared to his
recent op-ed of the same name. Listen to this, "Hurricanes, riots,
tornadoes, terrorists, gangs, lone criminals, these are perils that we are
sure to face, not just maybe. It`s not paranoia to buy a gun. It`s
Are you kidding me? I mean, this is the post-apocalyptic America
Wayne LaPierre is selling right now.
See, LaPierre describes the inevitable invasion of Latin American drug
gangs and al Qaeda, of course, will hit our shores. An America where
police cease to exist because of the deficit under President Obama, I guess
we`re not going to have cops anymore. And an America where LaPierre says
it`s necessary to own a gun to protect yourself. You`ve just got to have
one of these things, you know? This is Wayne LaPierre`s America.
And pretty much it does make sense because Wayne LaPierre and the NRA,
they`re not lobbying for the rights for responsible gun owners the way they
claim they are. Wayne LaPierre and the NRA, they are bought and they are
paid for, my friends. They are pushing a product. They are selling guns.
Here`s the real America: 92 percent of Americans support universal
background checks, including 91 percent of Americans in a household with a
gun. You see, most supporters of the Second Amendment are supporters of
common sense reform -- but Wayne LaPierre, he won`t tell you that.
Background checks are bad for business.
Here`s the real America: 52 percent of Americans in a household with a
firearm support a ban on assault weapons. And that number is growing.
This is not Wayne LaPierre`s America.
But 62 percent of Americans in a household with a gun still think the
National Rifle Association better reflects their views on firearms.
My fellow Americans, my fellow gun owners, I think we kind of need to
wake up on this deal, you know? You see, Wayne LaPierre and the NRA`s
America is not your America. Stand and fight, but stand and fight for
what`s right and responsible.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: I will point out that right now this
committee knows absolutely nothing about the personal compensation Chuck
Hagel received in 2008 and 2009 or 2010.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Up next, the big panel on the historic obstruction of the
president`s pick for defense secretary, and why Republicans cannot get
their act together.
Plus, David Corn breaks the story on the pandemonium surrounding a
Freedomworks Hillary Clinton parody.
And later, the late-night laughs over Marco Rubio`s Watergate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHEN COLBERT, "THE COLBERT REPORT": Don`t worry, Senator Rubio.
Nobody noticed that you gave a speech.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: And Olympic star Oscar Pistorius is charged with killing his
girlfriend. Mary Carillo of NBC Sports knows the Olympic star as well as
any journalist. She joins me tonight.
SCHULTZ: Good to have you back with us. Senate Republicans -- well,
you know what? They hit a new low today by blocking the president`s
nominee for defense secretary. This man didn`t deserve this.
Just a few hours ago, Republicans refused to allow an up or down vote
and instead they decided to delay the confirmation until January -- until
February 25th, when they come back from a 10-day vacation. They`ve just
been working so damn hard they`ve got to take some time off.
This has been a day mixed -- a day of mixed signals for Defense
Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel. Senators McCain and Graham joined in the
filibuster of Hagel, shortly after saying that they will vote for his
confirmation after the recess. Meanwhile, Republicans keep insisting, oh,
this is not a filibuster.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JAMES INHOFE (R), OKLAHOMA: This isn`t a filibuster today.
People are trying to say that and blame me as being the bad guy that`s
causing a filibuster. It`s not the case at all.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: This is showing a chip on
one shoulder about Israel, an unhealthy statement, to say the least. And I
think patently false but unnerving to a guy like me.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I wanted to know if he had learned
from his mistakes. Unfortunately, I`m not confident that he has.
INHOFE: We`re not filibustering and we would -- we don`t want to
string this thing out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Rookie Senator Ted Cruz is leading the charge for the
obstructionist Republicans. But he couldn`t talk about it today because
he`s reportedly lost his voice. Two days ago, Cruz was healthy enough to
accuse Chuck Hagel of having ties to Iran and North Korea. He made those
accusations without any evidence.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CRUZ: It may be that he spoke at radical or extreme groups or anti-
Israel groups and accepted financial compensation. We don`t know.
It is at a minimum relevant to know if that 200,000 dollars that he
deposited in his bank account came directly from Saudi Arabia, came
directly from North Korea.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Senators McCain and Nelson tried to keep Cruz in check. But
today Senator James Inhofe defended the new Texas senator with this bizarre
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
INHOFE: It`s a process. He`s not making any accusations. He says I
just want to have what I`ve asked for. I regret -- he`s very articulate.
I regret that he lost his voice today, but it is kind of funny.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Here`s what the White House has done for the committee.
They`ve attended 20 briefings, 10 congressional hearings, and six witness
interviews. The White House has answered over 40 Benghazi-related
inquiries and produced 10,000 pages of documents.
None of this has satisfied those leading the witch hunt against Chuck
Hagel. During a Google hangout this afternoon, the president weighed in on
the first ever filibuster of a secretary of defense nominee.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It`s just unfortunate
that this kind of politics intrudes at a time when I`m still presiding over
a war in Afghanistan and I need a secretary of defense who is coordinating
with our allies to make sure that our troops are getting the kind of
strategy and mission that they deserve.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: All right. Let`s go to the big panel tonight. Let`s turn
to "Bloomberg View" columnist Jonathan Alter with us. Also Michelle
Goldberg of "Newsweek" and the "Daily Beast," and David Corn of "Mother
Jones" magazine. Great to have all of you with us.
Jonathan, you first tonight. Is this unprecedented filibuster a sign
that the Senate is totally broken? What do you make of what unfolded
JONATHAN ALTER, "BLOOMBERG VIEW": Well, I just think it`s a really
unfortunate signal that the United States is sending to the world when, as
the president indicated, you have, you know, conflicts abroad. And for us
to say that we can`t even conduct regular business and confirm an eminently
qualified candidate to run the Pentagon, it`s sad.
And if I were a veteran who had been an enlisted man or woman in the
U.S. military, and if any are watching tonight -- if I were you, I`d say
you deserve a vote. You know, he would be the first enlisted man ever to
head the Pentagon. I think enlisted personnel deserve some representation.
And that the grunt`s view at the Pentagon is a real recommendation for
It would be interesting to start to hear from that community about how
they feel about his being filibustered.
SCHULTZ: Michelle, your thoughts on this? I mean, isn`t this Harry
Reid`s fault? Harry had a chance to change the rules of the Senate, and he
was too nice to Mitch McConnell. And now look what we`ve got. There`s
probably more to come. Your thoughts?
MICHELLE GOLDBERG, "THE DAILY BEAST": I suppose so. Although I
remember not very long ago, when we were all suffering under the George W.
Bush administration, and there was a real fear that without the filibuster
then, George Bush would have been able to put some of his very radical
extremists on the bench and push through more of his agenda. So I
understand the reticence to kind of unleash the nuclear option.
And you know, I don`t think you can necessarily blame Harry Reid for
the unprecedented not just obstructionism, but kind of paranoid lunacy of
this new crop of senators who -- you know, before I think we used to see
this sort of incredibly paranoid, McCarthyite, apocalyptic view of American
foreign policy among some of the fringe characters in the House.
SCHULTZ: But Michelle, doesn`t that make the case why Harry should
have done this, because of the Ted Cruzes of the world and the Tea Party of
the world? They`re just trying to stop absolutely everything. I do kind
of blame Harry right now. He had a chance to fix this. David, your
DAVID CORN, "MOTHER JONES": You know, I think that Harry Reid made a
call that the Democrats may end up the minority position in the years ahead
and he doesn`t want to totally get rid of the filibuster. You can blame
him, but really you`ve got to look at the people who are leading this phony
charge. And we have to -- the way they`re sort of burdening the Senate
now, so if you don`t like what the administration did on Benghazi, which is
not really a Department of Defense issue, then you penalize the Department
of Defense by not letting a transition proceed there when we`re fighting a
CORN: And you have people like Lindsey Graham and John McCain, who
claim to be patriots who care about the Pentagon and claim to care about
the military, but yet they`re really showing a lot of pique here. If they
don`t get what they want out of the administration on a completely separate
issue they`re going to penalize. They`re going to penalize the Pentagon.
And that just to me is really not mature. It`s not playing grown-ups.
It`s just using political leverage for your own hobbyhorse. And this
is an issue that the president and others should try to take to the public.
SCHULTZ: My point in this is it could have been avoided. This is
what elections are about, is you get to be in a position to change the
rules of the Senate. You can`t worry about the next Senate. That`s how I
view it -- and what could happen. The rules of the Senate are not as
important as running the country when we`ve got some critical issues --
CORN: I think that`s a perfectly legitimate position to take, Ed.
You know, I see it from both sides. But you know, Harry Reid decided not
to go nuclear, which this would have been. And you know, that has its ups
ALTER: There could have been a couple of other reforms, Ed. It`s
still possible for senators to put holds on bills. Why? Why should one
senator be able to stop the U.S. Senate? So there were some other reforms
that Harry Reid could have taken short of going the nuclear option.
SCHULTZ: Here`s another example of the right-wing conservative
causing trouble for the Republicans. Congressman Lamar Smith of Texas
heard testimony last week on immigration reform. This is what he wrote in
an op-ed for "politico": "Democrats have done the math and realize that
legalization inevitably would give them millions of votes, meaning more
victories in congressional and presidential elections."
Michelle, what do you make of this? I mean, is this Congressman Smith
saying that immigration reform would help the Democrats because too many of
them would go to the Democratic camp?
GOLDBERG: Yeah. Of course that`s what he`s saying. The piece was
really -- the piece was fascinating because it was basically -- it started
out by saying we don`t need immigration reform to appeal to Hispanics,
because Hispanics will vote for us on economic and small government issues.
And then, in the same article, he basically admits that if we have more
Latino voters, we`re going to have more Democratic voters because they`re
completely turned off from our platform.
SCHULTZ: Sure. All right.
Finally, David Corn, you made some shocking discoveries about a
Republican super PAC called Freedomworks that we all know about. Tell us
CORN: Well, I discovered in a series of stories I`ve been working on
this very important conservative group that last summer they produced a
promotional video that they were going to show at a big conservative
conference in Dallas in July, that had a scene in which the second in
command of the group, Adam Brandon, executive vice president, wakes up from
a dream, walks down a hallway, and he sees a giant panda -- now, this is a
female intern playing a giant panda -- with her head on the lap of a woman
wearing a Hillary Clinton mask and appears to be performing -- I hate to
say this on TV -- oral sex on the then secretary of state.
It was supposed to be some sort of bizarre parody. And he was going
to play it for tens of -- 10,000, 15,000 conservative activists, including
social conservatives, up until the point where some members on his staff
said no, don`t do this. He fought to get it out, but it didn`t happen.
SCHULTZ: Jonathan Alter, what do you think of this?
CORN: Making this obscene video. And I think right now it`s probably
in the process -- Freedomworks is under an internal investigation and may
very well implode in the months ahead.
ALTER: Well, they gave former House Majority Leader Dick Armey eight
million dollars to walk away. The organization is imploding. They had
somebody come in there with a gun, you know, with Armey to try to enforce -
- this is just a very representative example of what`s happened to the far
right super PACs. It`s gone from the Citizens United case, which was
originally about an anti-Hillary film, to this kind of insanity.
They`ve just I think destroyed themselves. They`re completely out of
touch with the American people. Good riddance.
SCHULTZ: All right. Jonathan Alter, Michelle Goldberg, David Corn,
good to have you with us tonight.
SCHULTZ: In less than a week, Marco Rubio has gone from Republican
savior on the cover of "Time" to the butt of jokes. Stay straight ahead.
We`re going to talk about what they`re doing in late-night TV.
President Obama gives a Valentine`s Day executive order during a
Google Plus hangout. ED SHOW Twitter nation responds, next.
SCHULTZ: And it`s Valentine`s Day and romance is in the air. Today,
President Obama took questions from participants at a Google Plus hangout.
The very last question was about how men should handle Valentine`s Day.
Wait until you hear the president`s pearl of wisdom.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, you`re married, so you know it`s
OBAMA: I do.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. I know you know. Now, my husband Mark
Davis believes that Valentine`s Day is just a made-up Hallmark holiday
designed to separate him from his hard-earned money. And he never
celebrates. Mr. President, on the behalf of all American women, will you
please right now issue an executive order via Google Hangout for my husband
Mark Davis to spoil me this Valentine`s Day?
OBAMA: Can I just say, Mark? I think here`s the general rule. If
mama`s happy, everybody`s happy. So do right, man. You will pay a higher
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Maybe the soundest advice ever. You can go to our Facebook
page and see the rest of the Google Plus hangout. And don`t forget to
listen -- or don`t forget to like THE ED SHOW when you are there. And by
the way, Wendy, happy Valentine`s Day, honey. Who loves you? I do.
Last summer a Paralympian became famous for competing in the London
Olympics. Today, Oscar Pistorius is unbelievably famous for all the wrong
things now. Mary Carillo joins us. We`ll be right back.
SCHULTZ: Rough week for Rubio. Florida Senator Marco Rubio was
cashing in on his watered down State of the Union response less than a day
after the incident. Rubio`s super PAC Reclaim America started selling this
water bottle. Until Tuesday night, Rubio inspired Republicans when he was
even known as the Republican savior. But now he`s become a savior to late-
night talk show hosts. Comedians were staying hydrated last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: Nothing has frustrated me more than
false choices like the one the president laid out tonight.
COLBERT: Don`t worry, Senator Rubio. Nobody noticed that you gave a
JAY LENO, "THE TONIGHT SHOW": Be honest. How many never heard of
Marco Rubio until last night? Yeah. How many thought Marco Rubio was a
game you played in the pool with the kids?
JIMMY KIMMEL, "JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE": Why was the water so far away? It
would have been less awkward if he reached down the front of his pants to
JIMMY FALLON, "THE LATE LATE SHOW": Then he actually reached over and
took a sip from a tiny bottle of water. It wasn`t good. By the end, I was
waiting for him to pick his wedgy and butt dial his ex.
COLBERT: You just cover your problem by always maintaining eye
contact with the home viewer and connecting -- connecting with the audience
on a human level. You know, makes them overlook your difficulties.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Tonight in our survey I asked you, what is more important to
the Republican party? Ninety eight percent of you say corporate profits;
two percent of you say people.
Coming up, Mary Carillo of NBC Sports weighs in on the Blade Runner
saga. Stay tuned.
SCHULTZ: And in the big finish tonight, it is a shocking dark turn
for a beloved athlete who has inspired millions around the globe. Twenty
six-year-old Oscar Pistorius of South Africa made history last year as the
first double amputee runner to compete in the Olympics using prosthetic
blades. Tonight he is in a South African jail charged with murder.
Pistorius is being held in the fatal shooting of his girlfriend, model
Reeva Steenkamp. Police arrived at Pistorius`s home early this morning and
found Steenkamp dead from multiple gunshot wounds. The circumstances of
her death are still unclear, but authorities say Pistorius will remain in
custody until a hearing tomorrow.
Police also revealed earlier that Pistorius had been involved in
previous domestic incidents at his home, news that shocked fans worldwide.
It`s a turn of events for a man who is a global sports icon known as Blade
Runner. He fought to compete in the London games alongside able-bodied
athletes, running on carbon fiber prosthetic blades.
Pistorius was born without fibulas, one of the two essential bones in
the lower leg. Mary Carillo of NBC sports spent time with Pistorius last
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARY CARILLO, NBC SPORTS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): His parents,
Sheila and Hank Pistorius, were told years of reconstructive surgery might
be largely ineffective. They chose the gut-wrenching but more hopeful
alternative: amputate the legs of their infant below the knee.
OSCAR PISTORIUS, OLYMPIC ATHLETE: When I was 13 months old, I got my
first pair of prosthetic legs. In the mornings, my mom said to my brother
he must put on his shoes and I must put on my legs, and that`s the last
that she wants to hear of any sort of disability.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Joining me tonight is Mary Carillo, NBC News and Sports
contributor. Mary, good to have you on THE ED SHOW tonight. Thanks so
CARILLO: Pleasure, ed. But I`m sorry we have to be talking about
SCHULTZ: It is a terrible tragedy. A shocker to South Africa, no
doubt. And from everything I`ve read about Oscar, it`s so out of
character. What is your read on this story?
CARILLO: I got to spend days with Oscar Pistorius in the months
before the Olympic games. He hadn`t even yet qualified for the Olympics.
He`s been a long-time Paralympian, but he wanted to compete in the able-
We were using up his time, days of it, you know, interviewing him,
watching him train, watching him prepare for the games. And he could not
have been more modest, more self-effacing, so soft spoken. I mean, he was
so patient with us, because we were asking a lot of him.
It`s so incongruous that he could be capable of this kind of a moment
in his life, Ed. I`ve been to his house. It`s in a gated community. We
were warned going to South Africa -- I`d been there before, and they always
tell you there`s a very high crime rate. You know, be careful with your
possessions, be aware of crowds and all of that.
And Oscar was certainly aware of all of that too. He`s one of the
most popular guys in South Africa. He`s got movie star looks. And he had
guns in his house. There`s no doubt about that. And he was worried about
that kind of stuff.
But still, that he could turn a gun on somebody, I`m still hoping that
this was involuntary manslaughter, you know, that he didn`t know that it
was his girlfriend in his house at that time. It just doesn`t seem
SCHULTZ: It doesn`t seem possible. Everything you know of Oscar, it
just doesn`t add up. He was proficient with a firearm. Did he ever talk
about that with you?
CARILLO: I mean, I knew he had them in his house. So I didn`t
personally see them. They were -- I guess he kept them up in his bedroom.
And I know that he was worried, Ed, because he sleeps -- he sleeps without
his prosthetics. So I know that he had a gun under his pillow. I know he
had other guns.
You know, this was a man who was especially vulnerable, obviously, to
any kind of a burglary or an attempted kidnapping, which happens often in
South Africa as well. But --
SCHULTZ: Police have --
CARILLO: I`m just shocked.
SCHULTZ: Police there have reluctantly admitted that there were some
incidents in the past that they had to answer to at his residence. Did you
know anything about that?
CARILLO: Only -- only today. I`ve obviously been trying to keep up
on this story --
CARILLO: -- like so many others. It just -- again, it`s so
incompatible with the guy I got to know, I got to spend time with. He was
an absolute hero in South Africa, not just to the disabled. He brought
blacks and whites together. I mean, this was a guy that -- you know,
Apartheid doesn`t exist in South Africa anymore, but certainly there`s all
kinds of racial tension.
I was at a track meet with him in South Africa where he was mobbed by
kids, you know, black and white. Just this guy meant so much to this
country. He performed beautifully.
SCHULTZ: Mary, did he have a temper? Was there any characteristics
that you saw that would maybe bring you to the conclusion, yeah, I could
see this happening? Or is this just totally out of character? Because
everything I`ve read about him, he was so unselfish. In fact, he wanted to
get prosthetics to victims of land mines. He seemed to have, as I believe
you have characterized him, as a 26-year-old who really had it together.
CARILLO: Yeah. I never saw any -- any sign of temper from Oscar. I
know that he was a bit of a risk taker. You know, he liked fast cars and
fast boats. And in the last couple of years, his advisers and family were
trying to tell him, look, stop taking all these chances.
And he understood his obligations to his sponsors and all the
endorsements he had, not to get into some goofy accident.
But I certainly never saw any sign of his temper. You know, I`ve
interviewed other athletes where after the fact you say, yes, I could see
that from that guy, you know? But not this -- I never saw this one coming.
SCHULTZ: Mary Carillo, NBC Sports contributor, thanks for joining us
on "THE ED SHOW" tonight.
SCHULTZ: And that is "THE ED SHOW." I`m Ed Schultz.
THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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