The Ed Show for Monday, March 11th, 2013
Read the transcript to the Monday show
THE ED SHOW with ED SCHULTZ
March 11, 2013
Guests: Zerlina Maxwell, Katrina Vanden Heuvel, Chris Van Hollen, Susan Del Percio, Michael Eric Dyson, Jim Moore, Derrick Pitts
ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans. And welcome to THE ED
SHOW from New York.
An American woman faces racist taunts and rape threats for exercising
her First Amendment rights?
This is THE ED SHOW -- let`s get to work.
ZERLINA MAXWELL, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I don`t honestly want you to
tell me I needed a gun to prevent my rape.
SCHULTZ (voice-over): Conservative backlash against women turns ugly.
The vicious attack on She joins me tonight.
Paul Ryan`s new plan.
CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS: You would repeal, you assume the repeal of
REP. PAUL RYAN (R), WISCONSIN: Yes.
SCHULTZ: Chris Van Hollen on Republicans running out the clock.
Republican economic policy is lowering life expectancy. I`ll show you
the shocking new study tonight.
JEB BUSH (R), FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR: History will be kind to my
SCHULTZ: Jeb Bush thinks his big brother is getting a bad wrap.
The big panel takes a swing at the Bush baggage.
GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: Now, watch this drive.
SCHULTZ: A Republican congressman avoids being kicked in the head.
Tiger is back on the prowl.
And I`ll show you how asteroids might hold the key to the meaning of
CHARACTER: They never said much about the meaning of life so far,
SCHULTZ: Good to have you with us tonight, folks. Thanks for
This vile, hateful language behind me was directed at a rape victim.
It contains a racial slur, a threat of sexual violence and two threats of
death. It was not an isolated incident or message.
Zerlina Maxwell received this hate for going on television and saying
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAXWELL: The entire conversation is wrong. I don`t want anybody to
be telling woman anything. I don`t want women -- I don`t want men to be
telling me what to wear, how to act, not to drink and I don`t honestly want
you to tell me that I needed a gun in order to prevent my rape.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: OK. So those comments caused death threats and racists
And here is why. Zerlina Maxwell is a writer and a Democratic
strategist. She was invited on FOX News to talk about women arming
themselves with guns to prevent rape. Maxwell was asked to discuss a
recent column she wrote for "Ebony" magazine about sexual assault.
She wrote, "Telling women they can behave in a certain way to avoid
rape creates a false sense of insecurity and it isn`t the most effective
way to lower the horrible statistics."
Maxwell was not promoting or opposing any gun proposals on FOX News.
She was talking about shifting the burden away from the victims.
Now, it was surprising when conservative Web sites like "The Blaze"
ran the story with the headline, "Democratic strategist shocking claim that
women don`t need gun for self-defense, just tell men not to rape women."
Now, the coverage opened up the flood gates. There was a barrage of
hateful comments to Maxwell on social media, including four direct threats
on her life. It is very hard to understand why it would come to this. But
when you look at the recent history of conservative movement in this
country, you see a continual disrespect towards women.
There was Senate candidate Todd Akin and his comments about legitimate
rap. He was followed by yet another Senate candidate Richard Mourdock in
Indiana and his comments being about something about God intended?
Well, after Akin and Mourdock were footnotes in political history,
conservative Congressman Phil Gingrey, well, he brought it right back up.
He told a Georgia newspaper, Todd Akin was partly right. It got so bad
Republicans had to bring in a consultant to tell lawmakers to stop talking
But it`s not just what the party is saying. It`s what they do. Last
year, women and men protested in Virginia as state lawmakers tried to pass
a mandatory vaginal ultrasound bill.
As people marched outside the statehouse, Republican lawmakers, well,
they yakked it up inside.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DEL. DAVID ALBO: Transv word! Transv this and transv that! And they
hate women and we`re the -- in that bill, she killed -- go far enough? She
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: You also had Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett who said
women shouldn`t worry about mandatory ultrasounds because they don`t have
to look at them.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. TOM CORBETT (R), PENNSYLVANIA: I don`t know how you make anybody
watch, OK? Because you just have to close your eyes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: The Republican Party has a problem with women. It has
spread like a virus through the party`s politicians. Through the
conservative media and through the followers who consume these messages.
House Speaker John Boehner gave an interview to "Roll Call" saying
that, "There`s no doubt that as a party, we need to do a better job of
communicating and engaging with the American people."
When your message prompts death threats and racial attacks, the
problem goes, I think, a heck of a lot deeper than just communication. The
problem is all about policies.
Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think tonight.
Tonight`s question: will Republicans ever listen to women on women`s
issues? Text A for yes, text B for no to 67622. You can always go to our
blog at Ed.MSNBC.com and we`ll bring you the results later on in the show.
I`m joined tonight by Zerlina Maxwell. She`s a political analyst and
contributor for TheGrio.com.
Also with us this evening, Katrina Vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher
of "The Nation" magazine.
Great to have both of you with us tonight.
Zerlina, what has happened since your appearance on television?
MAXWELL: Well, it started with, you know, a contentious debate, which
is all the time. You know, I go on FOX News --
SCHULTZ: Not unusual anywhere.
MAXWELL: Right. And so, it`s a contentious debate, you disagree, you
stick out your opinions.
But I think what is different is the intersection between guns and
rape and the underlying feeling that there`s a problem of rape culture in
America. I actually don`t view -- and that`s what I was trying to say in
the segment -- I don`t view rape culture as a partisan issue. Rape happens
to Republicans, as well as Democrats.
SCHULTZ: Your point is that women shouldn`t have to be armed?
MAXWELL: Right. I think that women should not have to go out and get
a gun. Women should not have to not wear skirts or heels, and they should
not have to do anything to prevent rape from happening to them. I think we
should need to be refocusing like a laser on the perpetrators of the rapes.
And I think the problem is, is that because we always ask women --
well, what do you do to bring about the attack? A lot of women are too
afraid to come forward.
And that`s the reason I went on Hannity and in that forum, because it
was the biggest platform. I`ve been writing about this for years, I`m also
a survivor and I took it on my shoulders. I was speaking for millions of
American women that have survived rape and I wanted to make sure that
everyone knows that it`s not their fault.
SCHULTZ: OK. Point being here is that Hannity treated you
respectfully in the conversation.
SCHULTZ: It`s what happened afterwards in the media coverage and the
interpretation. Has law enforcement gotten involved in this? This is
pretty serious stuff.
MAXWELL: I am exploring the possible options. Unfortunately, you
know, there is not a lot that can be done that I`m aware of. But, you
know, I`m a law student so I know a lot of lawyers.
SCHULTZ: Well, statistics from the CDC show that one in five women in
America are sexually assaulted, 30 percent of them are assaulted by an
intimate partner. Isn`t this -- we`re at a point of trying to make change
-- you were just trying to change the conversation.
SCHULTZ: That it`s about behavior and it`s not about firearms.
SCHULTZ: They are trying to make the case and the people who were
attacking you is that, you know, you`re trying to suppress some kind of gun
ownership out there.
MAXWELL: Right. And that`s not really the issue. I was trying to
move away from that conversation. I think that we get stuck too often in
asking what women should or could have done to prevent rape and instead we
need to educate and train men to not rape in the first place.
SCHULTZ: Katrina, this overreaction to what a woman says about gun
violence in America and protection after speaking her mind is just amazing.
KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL, THE NATION: Right, right.
SCHULTZ: I want to play a comment from Republican strategist Steve
Schmidt and get your response to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVE SCHMIDT, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I think in any organization
where women are not at the table, where it is skewed male in today`s day
and age. That`s an organization that`s deficient. That`s an organization
that`s going to have problems. It`s one of the problems we have
structurally in the Republican Party. We don`t have enough women at the
But any company, any organization in today`s day and age that doesn`t
give equal opportunity to women, it doesn`t advance women to the table, is
going to be an organization that has difficulty competing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Which would bring some conservatives to the conclusion is
there a creation of a subculture here that women don`t matter.
VANDEN HEUVEL: But good for Steve Schmidt for speaking out --
SCHULTZ: Yes, no doubt.
VANDEN HEUVEL: -- because I think the Republican Party believes that
it can just kind of do some rebranding.
It is very male, pale, and stale, I`ve said that before. But it is
this Republican Party and it`s shown very real contempt for women and
control over their bodies, control over their lives.
And what`s lost in this discussion, Ed, is the fact that 70 percent of
women are in the workforce, 60 percent of women in the workforce have kids
under 3 and the Republican Party is opposed to virtually every possible
that would lead those women to lead productive, healthy lives. Whether
it`s paid sick leave or minimum wage or protection against discrimination
of equal pay or they were opposed to something that has been bipartisan in
For many years, the Violence Against Women Act, leading Republicans.
This suggests a party that is out of change with the changing dynamics
of the country where women -- we need more reform and more progress to have
women really at the table and to change the table.
SCHULTZ: Do you think these out of touch policies that the
Republicans have lead to such over-the-top behavior in situations like
VANDEN HEUVEL: You know, listen, we came out of an election which, by
the way, the Republicans don`t seem to think it matters, where we heard,
and you saw some of them. People like a man running for senator in
Missouri talking about rape as -- there is a distinction between legitimate
This culture -- this political culture fosters attacks like we`ve
people like Zerlina. And it`s hateful and repulsive.
And I wouldn`t let FOX off the hook. Hannity may have been polite in
the interview. But FOX is a mirror of the problems the Republican Party is
facing and you see it in the public trust, the ratings, the audience that
they are losing.
SCHULTZ: But when a woman speaks up and says it`s about behavior and
you can teach men not to rape, you become attacked --
SCHULTZ: -- which I think parallel a lot of the policies they have.
They attack women in their policies.
VANDEN HEUVEL: They don`t have a good policy to respond. They don`t
have a message so they attack.
MAXWELL: Well, I mean, one of the underlying things here too is that
it illustrates, you know, what I was talking about, right? So I am
speaking from millions of survivors out there and I`m saying that there is
a problem of rape culture and attacks on women and then I`m attacked.
I think it illustrates that we do have a problem. We need to talk to
young men about respect, bodily autonomy. We need to talk to them about
bi-standard intervention. There are organizations already doing this that
I cited in the interview. Men can stop rape and men stopping violence.
They are already doing this work.
I didn`t make this up. I`m not the only one saying it. I just was in
the biggest forum making that point.
VANDEN HEUVEL: So much of the root of it is the basic right of women
to control their own bodies and their access to health care. And we need
an empathetic and engaged government.
VANDEN HEUVEL: Not one in our bedrooms and not all these transvaginal
ultrasound, which governors and states say get the government off your
VANDEN HEUVEL: They want it on your back in these areas.
So, it`s a really difficult picture, Ed. I think the Republican Party
has a lot of rethinking to do.
And again, you know, kudos to Steve Schmidt and a very few of them in
the party who understand it`s not just reboot, rebrand and it`s a
fundamental problem of having too many men running the show. They need to
bring in some --
SCHULTZ: Has it made you take a step back and not be as aggressive
verbally? I mean, are you rethinking -- is that a hard position to think
MAXWELL: Well, I`m certainly taking steps to protect my emotional
health, but I will not be quiet, because I refuse to be bullied into
silence. The whole entire point of what -- you know, why I went on FOX to
talk about this issue that I am so passionate about is because so many
women are afraid to talk about it and that`s because they are blamed and
shamed into silence.
And I refuse, I refuse to be silent.
VANDEN HEUVEL: It`s very important. This is a week where Sheryl
Sandberg, now COO of Facebook is writing a book about "Lean In". I got a
lot of issues for the book.
But for women to be able to speak their mind and speak with security
and confidence about their safety and what`s on their mind is critical to
this country. It`s been one of the great promises of this country.
And to see Republicans that -- to see the right wing, to be honest,
the right wing media and blogosphere try to suppress someone like Zerlina`s
rights to speak is a microcosm of a larger problem in this political
SCHULTZ: Well, they have become a vehicle. I mean, these Web sites -
VANDEN HEUVEL: They are vessels. They are vessels.
SCHULTZ: Everybody monitoring that stuff that they understand the
decency of it all?
VANDEN HEUVEL: But the deeper problem is where that hate coming from?
I mean, it`s in people`s lives.
But I would argue there`s also a level of economic security that`s
fomented by -- by the way, NRA plays on fear. They say they want to take
your guns away. No, they don`t.
SCHULTZ: They want you armed. That is how you`re supposed to stop
rape if you`re armed.
I don`t know. There was talk about statistics out there -- if women
are armed, are they less to get raped?
MAXWELL: No, it`s a ridiculous solution because it doesn`t actually
prevent rape. I mean, the most rapes happen with someone you trust and
know and you`re dating and married to. I`ve gotten a lot of conservatives
that say I don`t agree with you on anything but you`re right about this.
And that`s why I`m so passionate and I want to keep raising my voice for
all of these women.
SCHULTZ: All right. Zerlina Maxwell, Katrina Vanden Heuvel, always
great to have you with us tonight. 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 want to know what you think.
Republicans continue to run out the clock. Paul Ryan`s new plan is so
unrealistic even FOX News host can`t see right through it.
SCHULTZ: Jeb Bush is saying that history is going to be kind to his
brother. The big panel, they`re not going to get fooled again on that one.
And a new report will have religious leaders up in arms. I`ll tell
you why tonight.
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
We are coming right back.
SCHULTZ: And welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Thanks for watching
Congressman Paul Ryan has a big idea on how to balance the budget and
we know it`s a shocker because even a FOX News host couldn`t believe what
he was hearing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Are you saying that as part of your budget, you would
repeal, you assume the repeal of Obamacare?
WALLACE: Well, that`s not going to happen.
RYAN: Well, we believe it should. That`s the point. That is -- but
this is what budgeting is all about, Chris. It`s about making tough
choices to fix our country`s problems. We believe that Obamacare is a
program that will not work.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Well, that`s right. Budget chair Ryan proposes repealing
For the record, during 112th Congress, House Republicans voted to
repeal Obamacare, count them, 32 times. After the House, the bill,
obviously, went nowhere.
So this is such a dead issue but this is what the Republicans want to
do. Obamacare repeal bills are now being sponsored like Congresswoman
Michele Bachmann and Congressman Steve King.
Now, Republican Senator Ted Cruz, new on the scene, admitted his plan
to introduce a repeal bill will not pass the Senate.
This hasn`t stopped Congressman Ryan from engaging in this useless
There is more. Ryan`s budget would balance the budget by 2023 instead
of 2040 and cut food assistance to the poor, cut $770 billion from
Medicaid, create Medicare vouchers, and cut $716 billion from Medicare.
The same cuts Ryan proposed when he ran for vice president.
Today, Florida Governor Rick Scott`s plan to accept the Medicaid
expansion failed in the Republican`s controlled state Senate down in the
state of Florida. Now, it is a big blow to the people of Florida. But the
Medicaid expansion has generally been embraced by states across the country
as Republican governors keep coming to Obamacare.
Joining me tonight is Congressman Chris Van Hollen of Maryland who was
involved in a lunch late last week with the president and the House Budget
chair, Mr. Ryan.
Chris, good to have you with us tonight. Appreciate it very much.
REP. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN (D), MARYLAND: Good to be with you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: You bet.
How is Ryan`s budget to be considered a serious play when he is basing
it on things that have been, and he will knows, will be rejected in the
VAN HOLLEN: Well, that question in some ways answers itself. It
cannot be a serious effort because there is no serious chance of it
passing. In fact, there is virtually no chance of that passing.
And interestingly, Ed, what he does is he repeals the part of
Obamacare that will provide tax credits, that will allow more people to
afford health care. He does keep the part of Obamacare that both he and
Romney campaigned against, which was smart Medicare savings that we
achieved by eliminating overpayments to insurance companies.
If you`ll recall, both Congressman Ryan and Mitt Romney said that that
was going to somehow hurt seniors.
VAN HOLLEN: It never was going to.
But they are keeping that. They are keeping the very savings in
Medicare that they campaigned against, but they`re cutting the tax credits
and all of the provisions that make sure that people with preexisting
conditions can`t be denied coverage.
So, in addition to it being totally unrealistic politically, it also
has terrible policy consequences.
SCHULTZ: Here is more from Congressman Ryan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RYAN: I think there are things that we can do that don`t offend
either party`s philosophy, that doesn`t require someone to surrender their
principles to make a good downpayment on getting this debt and deficit
Will the president take our premium support program and block granting
Medicaid? My guess he won`t. We think the best way to make these programs
But are there things you can do short of that gets you closer to
balancing the budget?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: I mean, I love these buzz phrases -- premium support.
Give me a break. I mean, Ryan knows this nonsense isn`t going to go
anywhere. So why bother unless another technique to run out the clock and
divert people`s attentions.
VAN HOLLEN: Right. Well, look, translation -- premium support equals
vouchers which means that under their plan, seniors would get a fixed
payment that rises very slowly compared to rising health care costs.
And guess who has to eat the difference?
SCHULTZ: That`s right.
VAN HOLLEN: Seniors.
So they deal with the budget, balance the budget on the backs of
seniors. They balance it by dramatically gutting our investment in our
kids` education and things that are important to help the economy grow. In
the short term, their budget would put the brakes on the economy by keeping
in place the total sequester, the Congressional Budget Office says we`ll
have 750,000 fewer jobs just by the Indiana of this year if you keep in
So, it`s bad for jobs. It`s bad for economic growth. And it`s
certainly bad for investments in our kids keeping those commitments, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Now, in your meeting with President Obama, did he try to
really work with Ryan? Here`s Ryan. Here`s what had he to say. Here`s
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RYAN: So we exchanged very different frank, candid views with one
another that were very different, but at least we had this conversation.
Will he resume what is long believed to be a plan to win the 2014 elections
or will he sincerely change and try and find common ground?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Congressman, how would you characterize it?
VAN HOLLEN: Look, I think the meeting was a very good one. It was
never designed to be a negotiation where we would hammer out the
differences. It was designed to be an opportunity for an exchange of
views, a healthy exchange of views. And that it was.
But to suggest that the president hasn`t reached out in the past is
simply wrong. After all, the president reached out to the very top
Republican leader, the Speaker of the House, John Boehner. He thought that
the speaker could help deliver the Republican Caucus in the House. He
And what happened? Speaker Boehner said he doesn`t want to meet with
the president one-on-one any more.
VAN HOLLEN: So the president is expanding that conversation. And
let`s be clear: the president`s goal is to meet the commitments the
president made in the campaign. He is willing to work with Republicans to
get it done.
SCHULTZ: Sure. So, in other words, this lunch was -- this is what I
believe, this is what you believe. This is where we`re at. And let`s see
what we can do.
I mean, that`s really what it comes down to.
VAN HOLLEN: Well, there was an agreement that we would all be better
off, the country would be better off --
VAN HOLLEN: -- if we could find a way to bridge these differences.
But in terms of specific road maps, the meeting was not intended to do
Hopefully, all of these conversations the president has had will help
find a path forward. But, look, obviously, more talk is no guarantee that
you get to a result. But, obviously, opening lots of lines of
communication is a good thing.
SCHULTZ: All right.
VAN HOLLEN: That`s what the president is doing.
SCHULTZ: Congressman Chris Van Hollen, good to have you with us on
THE ED SHOW. Thanks so much.
VAN HOLLEN: Good to be with you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Republican policies aren`t just bad for job growth, they`re
bad for your heat. And I got the details, next.
And Ashley Judd might -- she might throw her hat into the Kentucky
Senate race by derby day? I`ll ask the big panel whether she has a shot at
the Bluegrass State.
Stay with us. We`ll be right back.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.
Republicans -- well, they just love smaller government, don`t they?
Republicans love cutting public sector jobs -- they are always the problem,
you know? And those cuts, my friends, have consequences.
Now, according to the Labor Department survey of employers -- federal,
state and local governments have lost this many jobs: 750,000 jobs since
the start of the recovery.
Now, according to their household survey, that number is really closer
to 950,000 jobs.
Now, without these cuts to the private sector, the numbers would have
been different. The unemployment rate would be sitting at 7.1 percent for
the Labor Department instead of 7.7 percent.
Republicans also love to talk entitlement reform. They can`t get
enough of it. That`s what this whole budget thing is about. They`re
always looking for ways to cut benefits, like raising the eligibility age
The University of Washington study shows just how dangerous that could
be for America`s low income workers.
Take a look at St. John`s County and neighboring country Putnam County
in Florida. Putnam`s county, median income is almost half of what it is in
St. John`s. A comparison of the two counties shows how America`s exploding
income inequality has an effect on life expectancy. That`s right, life
expectancy. It also reveals how raising the eligibility age for Social
Security and Medicare would disproportionately hurt lower income workers.
In St. John`s County, the average life expectancy is 78.3 years for
men and 82.5 yes for women. Compare that to Putnam County, lower income,
where the average life expectancy is 71.4 for men and 78.5 for women.
So raising the eligibility age means fewer benefits for the people who
need it the most.
So let`s look at it this way. You can parallel a good job and
security along with income inequality. If those people have that good job,
that good security, they have that pension, they have that health care,
chances are they are going to live a lot longer. I guess you could say
that is why there is not a lot of senators that die young.
But just remember, these guys think that cutting these programs is the
best way to go for America. And there are statistics out there to show
that when you cut programs that they want to go after, it hurts quality of
life and it also hurts life expectancy.
Ask yourself the question tonight, is that the America you want to
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEB BUSH, FORMER GOVERNOR OF FLORIDA: My guess is that history will
be kind to my brother.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Jeb Bush takes a Sunday trip to the land of make believe.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: I don`t think there`s any Bush baggage at all.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: The super panel takes on the Bush tradition of delusion.
Representative Peter King hops into the ring.
And Tiger Woods could be slipping on the Green Jacket in April once
Derrick Pitts breaks down the new report on life from deep space.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Jeb Bush has made all of the
rounds on all five Sunday talk shows, plus Spanish language network
Telemundo. This all, of course, happened yesterday. It was an unusual
move considering Jeb wasn`t managing a crisis or declaring his intention to
run for office, but, rather, plugging his latest book. Good for him.
Bush had a tough time all week actually articulating his rightward
lurch on immigration. Yesterday, it was -- he was not only asked to defend
his evolving views, but also explained his family legacy. Yet, the former
Florida governor didn`t seem too concerned about the possible negative
impact the Bush name could have on his future political plans.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: I don`t think there is any Bush baggage at all. I love my
brother. I`m proud of his accomplishments. I am proud of my dad. I am
proud to be a Bush.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: OK, we all got that, proud of the record. He went further
on "Meet the Press."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: My guess is that history will be kind to my brother. The
further out you get from this and the more people compare his tenure to
what is going on now, I think history will be kind to George W. Bush.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Well, this country is still paying for his mistakes, the
tragedies of Iraq, the shame of Abu Ghraib, the expansion of government and
the executive power, the collapse of the United States economy through
deregulation, the reckless spending combined with tax cuts for the wealthy
that didn`t create the jobs they promised, the passive response to the
suffering following Hurricane Katrina.
George W. Bush left the White House as one of the most divisive and
least popular presidents this country has ever had. His numbers haven`t
improved much in recent years, either. Historians have repeatedly ranked W
as one of our worst leaders.
An as "the Daily Beast" points out, unfortunately for Jeb Bush,
history is written by historians.
Let`s turn to our panel tonight, Georgetown University professor
Michael Eric Dyson, with us. Also Republican strategist Susan Del Percio
and Jim Moore, the director of Progress Texas PAC.
Great to have all of you with us tonight. Jim, you first. You`ve
written a book about W. Is there baggage? I mean, is Jeb Bush close to
JIM MOORE, PROGRESS TEXAS PAC: No. There`s an old saw in marketing,
Ed, that the worst kind of brand to get out from under is one that the
public gives you. We know what the Bush brand is now. It`s bad thinking
in terms of taxes. It`s bad actions in terms of war. And in terms of Jeb
himself, his first day in office, we know where he is on certain issues.
His first day in office, he vetoed a very popular interstate high speed
rail project in Florida.
He has been over here in Texas the last couple of weeks testifying
about charter schools, but not mentioning the fact that the Bush family has
a self-interest and they are well invested in an investment portfolio that
profits off of private education. The Bushes are about self-interests to
most voters in this country.
SCHULTZ: Susan, what about all of that? You can understand brotherly
love and family loyalty and all that kind of stuff. But he is going to be
remembered by historians favorably?
SUSAN DEL PERCIO, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, the only that`s worse
than having a bad brand is running away from your family. That, you can
never escape. So he did the right thing. Of course he stands up for his
family and it would be horrible if he didn`t.
But let`s face it, especially when it comes to education, Jeb Bush has
received bipartisan support on his tenure as governor. He has done a great
job on that. Yes, he has come out on immigration reform. I know you
mentioned it earlier, about his positions being modified. But the fact is
that he has led a bipartisanship effort in many of these issues.
And more importantly, back in last February, when he came out and said
that even this party is too conservative for the likes of my father or
Ronald Reagan, liberals were hailing him, saying here is a good
spokesperson for the Republican party. So right now, the fact is that he
is a top contender for president and he is --
SCHULTZ: I think he might have hurt himself. I understand the family
love, brotherly love. But he sounds in denial, Professor Dyson.
MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR: Yes as Gore
Vidal said, we do live in the United States of Amnesia. And I think that,
as Joseph Lowry said, the 51st state is the state of denial. The reality
here is that -- that, of course, he is in a tough situation there. He has
got a tough pickle there. Because, on the one hand, as Susan has
indicated, you don`t want to diss your family.
So there`s no way out for him. He can`t be critical of his brother,
at least not now. But, on the other hand, he is saddled with that Bush
legacy. The reality is that his brother will not be treated as kindly as
he thinks by historians now or in the future. And -- well, we can say
perhaps in the future. I think that that reality suggests to Jeb Bush that
he has got to move further to the right, because his only hope of winning
is not to receive the kudos of Democrats, who say to him that he is a guy
who is reasonable. He`s got to shore up that right wing conservative bent
that really has pushed him to the margins of his own party.
SCHULTZ: Well, he has proven one thing. He is one of the very few
people who can get on six Sunday shows. He is all over the map on
immigration, Jim, no doubt about it, his signature issue. How problematic
is this going to be? And they`re going to point to the flip-flop? This
was not a good week for him last week.
MOORE: I think the reason he went on six different shows was to try
to explain in six different ways his immigration policy. That`s how
convoluted it has become. But it`s clear that he has gone to the right to
animate the party activists, the people that come out in the primaries, the
Tea Party, to make them happy.
That is going to do him well. It serve him well in the primary
process. But if he wins the nomination, and we end up with a Bush/Clinton
sort of campaign in 2016, he is going to have trouble back in the middle
talking about what he said on immigration. Hispanics are simply not going
to like it, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Meanwhile, Howard Fineman of the "Huffington Post" reports
that actress Ashley Judd has told key advisers that she is planning on
announcing her candidacy for the Senate this spring. Judd is denying the
report. But Judd allies told the "Huffington Post" her candidacy would
clear the field of major contenders for the Democratic nomination in
Kentucky, pitting the actress against the unpopular Senate Majority Leader
Susan Del Percio, would it be good for Mitch McConnell if she jumped
into the race, if Judd got in?
DEL PERCIO: Well, it`s hard to tell right now, because she does have
to define herself. She only has until the end of the year to move into the
state. So we are probably going to see a decision sooner rather than later.
She has taken some tough positions. Being a liberal in Kentucky is not a
good thing. Being against coal mining in Kentucky, again, not a good
So while she has a high name I.D. because she is, in fact, a
celebrity, she does have a lot to overcome. That`s not to say, by the way,
that Mitch McConnell is in any great shape.
SCHULTZ: Well, that is true. The director of the National Senatorial
Campaign Committee says that they`re -- they are not settled on Ashley
Judd. Would it be better to go with more of a seasoned candidate, Dr.
DYSON: No, I think, look, you need some star power. You need some
firing of the imagination. You can`t Judd a book by its cover. She has
got deep roots in Hollywood, of course, perhaps more than in Kentucky`s
local municipalities. But she brings that kind of star power. She is able
to leverage that enormous fame of hers to the advantage of people who are
You got a Democratic governor. And that bodes well perhaps for the
possibility that she can join him in, you know, bringing to Kentucky some
much needed resource, but in this case some much needed political capital
that would be expended on the people who don`t usually get lined up in
Kentucky to be the recipients of that.
She`s got to take care of the mining people, to be sure. But she also
has to talk about the environment and in terms of women`s issues that are
SCHULTZ: Buzzfeed spoke with staffers who ran campaigns for like
Clint Eastwood and Arnold Schwarzenegger and Al Franken. And these folks
say that Judd can win if she gets out there early. I think that`s what you
Jim, does star power really matter? The issues are pretty dog gone
heavy. It`s income inequality. It`s health care. It`s immigration. It`s
the environment. And in all of those positions right there, you can look
at Mitch McConnell and see that he is terribly in the minority.
MOORE: We have had people who come into politics who bring a name
brand with them, and they start out well. They get attention. They get
interest and they taper off. She has a big challenge. What we don`t know
about her, Ed, is just how astute she is on all of those issues. They`re
SCHULTZ: She could be Rick Perry. You never know.
MOORE: She could end up being Rick Perry.
DEL PERCIO: And especially since there is a current Democrat
secretary of state, female secretary of state that is very appealing. So I
think that is going to be a tough decision for the Democrats to make there.
SCHULTZ: All right, Michael Eric Dyson, Susan Del Percio and Jim
Moore, great to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much.
Congressman Peter King gets into a bar fight with this guy and a
meteor like this one might be the answer to the oldest question in the
world. Amazing stuff. Stay with us. We`re back.
SCHULTZ: Of course, we love hearing from our fans on Facebook and on
Twitter. Social media lit up today when a judge invalidated New York
City`s plan to ban large sugary drinks from restaurants and other
establishments in order to combat obesity.
Jill Kaiser Adams writes, "I`m a liberal Democrat, but this is perfect
example of big government. Stay out of my uterus and my Big Gulp." I like
But Peggy Dukins says she`s with the city. "When you don`t make wise
choices, we, the people, end up paying for the bad habits."
Also Colton Dean writes, "perhaps instead of banning sugary drinks,
apply a tax to sugary drinks that goes to obesity and diabetes research and
Actually, I like all of this. To our Facebook, you can do that right
now. Go right to it and share your thoughts with us. And don`t forget to
like THE ED SHOW when you`re there. We appreciate that. And we are coming
SCHULTZ: We are back. Nobody likes Washington, but maybe you`ll like
this. New York Congressman Peter King is normally jabbing Democrats on
Capitol Hill. But this weekend, he came out swinging for a local New York
business. King took part in a two-round exhibition boxing match against
kick boxing champion Irish Josh Foley. He`s going up against this guy?
Republican congressman took a few hits to the head. I`ll leave that
comment go, to promote boxing matches at a Long Island pub, OK? King held
his own against the champ, even landing a few hits. After the fight, King
was just happy to walk away saying, quote, "great fight. More importantly,
Yes, you did, congressman. Way to go.
Looking at the video, I think Foley may -- may have been going a
little easy on King. Here`s Foley landing a big hit 30 seconds into the
fight back in 2008. Yeah, yeah, there`s no doubt about it. Peter King, he
didn`t take a shot like that. But he did do something good for the
community. We should point out that Foley`s opponent suffered no serious
One other sports note tonight. Tiger Woods, is he on his mark? I
think he is. And he is headed right for next month`s Masters, which is a
big one. Woods won the Cadillac Championship in Doral, Florida, on Sunday.
He finished at 19 under par at the Blue Monster, bringing home his 76th
career PGA tour victory. If he pulls off a win at Bayhill in two weeks,
Tiger can return to the number one spot in golf worldwide.
For the first time in five years, Woods has two wins before the
Masters. And after Sunday`s big victory, he is favored to bring home
another Green Jacket with four to one odds. The masters tournament is only
30 days away. Now you know spring is coming.
Tonight in our survey, I asked you will Republicans ever listen to
women on women`s issues? Two percent of you say yes. Ninety eight percent
of you say no.
Coming up this man will explain the meaning of life. Derrick Pitts
joins me next. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And in the Big Finish tonight, brand-new evidence that life
on Earth may have come from outer space. The faith-based community is
squirreling on this one tonight. They`re not going to like it.
Now, there is more likely than ever a comet or meteor brought the
building blocks to life to our planet. That`s what scientists are saying.
Just imagine something as simple as a meteor disintegrating over Russia,
but instead of a few weeks ago, how about billions and billions of years
ago? I still love that videotape.
Scientists from the University of California created a mini-comet in a
lab, and exposed it to conditions similar to outer space, such as a
temperature of minus 442 degrees Fahrenheit. It got that cold in Fargo a
But anyway, just like our Milky Way Galaxy, scientist reproduced the
effects of cosmic rays. The experiment created amino acids and if amino
acids traveled to Earth on a meteor, they might have changed into more
complex molecules here no Earth. On a related note, four more asteroids
past by Earth within the past week.
Turning tonight, we are going to go to Derrick Pitts. He is the chief
astronomer at Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. He has been designated
by NASA as an astrobiology ambassador.
Mr. Pitts, good to have you back with us tonight.
DERRICK PITTS, CHIEF ASTRONOMER, FRANKLIN INSTITUTE: Thank you very
much for having me on, Ed.
SCHULTZ: You bet. Now explain to us what these scientists did. What
did they do and what did they find?
PITTS: Well, the thought here is that it`s possible that perhaps the
building blocks of life came to this planet from someplace else in the
galaxy or around the universe. And the way they get to this is that
astronomers have been able to identify organic compounds elsewhere around
the galaxy. They use telescopes to analyze star clusters and clouds of
star material and they find these organic compounds already existing.
So this means that they have been created by some astronomical
process. Now the question is could some of those organic compounds that
are the building blocks for the amino acids that form life here on this
planet -- could they have been transported somehow from those distant
locations to this planet? Turns out that perhaps a vehicle may have been
either a comet or a meteor or an asteroid that has somehow collected this
material, brought it to Earth and it`s able to develop and prosper here.
So that is the idea of what the possibility could be.
SCHULTZ: What is the significance of the temperature?
PITTS: Well, the significance of the temperature is that it simulates
what the space environment is like. There are a couple of things that go
with this, Ed. One of them is a very important piece. And that is the
space environment itself. Is it possible that the organic molecules that
are created or the organic compounds can survive in space? Now we have to
talk about the temperatures being so incredibly low; 440 degrees below zero
is about as cold as anything can possibly be.
We also have to remember that these organic compounds have to be able
to survive a very long journey, maybe multiple millions of years to come
from someplace across the galaxy. And they also then have to be able to
withstand the very, very harsh radiation environment of space as well.
So if you put all of these things together, that then adds up to the
possibility that this could happen. But we also have to ask this other
question: once they get here, is the environment the proper environment for
them to develop and propagate into something else?
SCHULTZ: Life coming to Earth from a meteor has always been a theory
that has been out there. But this new experiment gives it a little bit
more weight, doesn`t it?
PITTS: It does give it more weight, because what it does is it not
only identifies a vehicle that could bring the organic compounds to the
planet, but it also shows that they could not only have developed in space,
but that the cosmic radiation in space is a catalyst for making these
elements come together to create these building blocks of the amino acids.
So we are now sort of putting this piece together with another piece
together that makes it possible for us to create, let`s say, a scenario
that could possibly have caused this to happen.
SCHULTZ: And another recent study says that it`s fairly common for
both comets and planets to exist together around other stars. What is the
significance of that?
PITTS: Well, there is a significant -- couple of piece that are
significant there, Ed. It is that, number one, we are now allowing for the
possibility that there are many more planets in our galaxy than we ever
thought of before. In fact, it now seems unusual to consider a star
Now, the comets and the planets together everywhere around the galaxy
means there are many more chances for the possibility of these organic
molecules to be delivered to another planetary environment, and in that way
perhaps providing some material that could develop on other planets into
more complex organic materials that might eventually develop into life.
We haven`t seen anything like that yet. But at least it opens the
possibility to a much more broader -- much broader possibility for this
kind of development to take place, other than Earth. That is, if we can
find a suitable location.
SCHULTZ: Quickly, is our research getting better? I mean, with these
telescopes that are just fabulous technology? How far have we come in the
last five, 10 years with that?
PITTS: My goodness. The advances that have been made with
astronomical telescopes the last two decades are like the difference
between using Galileo`s telescope one day and using Hubble telescope today.
It`s been an amazing achievement.
SCHULTZ: All right, Derrick Pitts, great to have you with us always
to talk about this stuff. Thanks so much.
That`s THE ED SHOW. I`m Ed Schultz. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts
right now. Ezra Klein is filling in for Rachel tonight. Ezra?
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