The Ed Show for Sunday, May 19th, 2013
Read the transcript to the Sunday show
THE ED SHOW
May 19, 2013
Guests: Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Steven Greenhouse, Larry Cohen, Adam Green
ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Americans. And welcome to THE ED
SHOW from New York.
Mitch McConnell takes a trip down memory lane. Rummy, oh, yes, he`s back
at it. He`s running his mouth again, still not telling the truth. And
Paul Ryan still doesn`t know the meaning of the word "arrogant".
This is THE ED SHOW -- let`s get to work.
JON STEWART, COMEDIAN: Hurricane scandy. The continuing tropical
(EXPLETIVE DELETED) storm that is rocking the Obama administration.
DAN PFEIFFER, WHITE HOUSE SENIOR ADVISOR: I understand the Republicans are
still very angry that Obama care is law. What`s sad is if they try to use
this as an excuse to try to repeal Obamacare.
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MINORITY LEADER: The IRS has a role to play
in the implementation of Obamacare.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Remember, the IRS is the enforcement arm for the
PFEIFFER: There`s a Republican playbook here --
MCCONNELL: Which is another reason why if we had the opportunity to do it,
we ought to pull it out, root and branch.
SCHULTZ: Guess who the Republicans are!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Really, Tea Party? Really? You`re surprised that
you`re targeted by the IRS? You named yourself after a group of people who
proudly and historically violated tax laws.
PFEIFFER: We`re not going to let that distract us and the president from
actually doing the people`s work and fighting the middle class.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Too often, our politics
aren`t focused on the same things you are.
SCHULTZ: We actually have a political party and a force in this country
that thinks it`s the right, morally, correct thing to do to have a vote and
to take insurance away from a fellow American.
PFEIFFER: The president has got business to do for the American people.
OBAMA: I`m confident, together, we will continue to never-ending task of
perfecting our union.
SCHULTZ: Good to have you with us tonight, folks.
The Republican master plan to take down Obamacare was revealed on the
Sunday talk shows this morning. Republicans using the IRS scandal to steal
health care from 30 million Americans. That`s the plan.
They think because the IRS plays a very small role in implementing parts of
this big law, that`s going to affect a lot of people, the entire thing is
just going to go to hell in a hand basket.
Their bogus logic makes absolutely no sense, but let me tell you -- their
mission is very clear and they`re very up-front about it. So, tonight,
we`re calling them. First up, failed presidential candidate, Paul Ryan,
congressman out of Wisconsin, kicked off their misinformation campaign this
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PAUL RYAN (R), WISCONSIN: As bad as this is, the person in charge of
this bureaucratic snafu has now been put in charge of implementing Obama
care. The IRS is now going to be granted huge amounts of unprecedented
power over our health care in the implementation of Obamacare.
And so, this is just rotten to the core. This is arrogance. This is big
government cronyism. And this is not what hard-working taxpayers deserve.
SCHULTZ: Huge amounts of unprecedented power? It kind of makes you think
that, hole smokes, my doctor is going to be calling the IRS every time I go
to see my family practitioner, to see if it`s okay to take my Zanipril or
something like that. Come on! It`s not true.
Mitch McConnell made the same point, but also brought the midterm elections
into the mix.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCONNELL: If I were predicting what`s likely to be the biggest issue in
the 2014 election, I think it would be Obamacare. I think it`s coming back
big time. And, by the way, the IRS has a role to play in the
implementation of Obamacare, which is another reason why if we had the
opportunity to do it, we ought to pull it out, root and branch, single
worst piece of legislation that`s been passed in modern times in this
And the American people are beginning to learn, as the premiums go up, as
jobs are lost, the full effect of this on our slow growth economy has been
enormous. I think that`s likely, frankly, David, to be the biggest issue
next -- in 2014.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Bring it on, brother! Bring it on, Mitch McConnell. We want it
to be the biggest issue. Helping 30 million Americans.
Did you notice in that sound bite? Very similar to what Paul Ryan said,
connecting the IRS to Obamacare. Hold that thought. And also, focus on
the word that he used, "learn".
And, of course, Michele Bachmann is out there, trying to scare people over
Obama care. Her lies really take the cake.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), MINNESOTA: The IRS has admitted, this is the
largest expansion of power and authority that they`ve had in modern times.
And they`ve proved they`re incapable of dealing with the power and
authority that they have today. I believe not only as the House repealed
Obamacare, now I think that the American people are going to demand after
the 2014 election that the Senate repeal Obamacare.
And I think the president will be in a box. I think he`ll be forced to
repeal his signature legislation, because the people will demand it once
they`re thrown off their employer`s health care insurance and after
millions of people lose jobs and people lose health care.
Literally, the decisions of our life and death may very well be in the
hands of the IRS. That`s a chilling thought.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: People are going to lose health care! People are going to get
fired! Unprecedented powers. The IRS is going to be knocking in your
Folks, she said it right there, Michele Bachmann, hold the House through
gerrymandering, take over the Senate, and repeal Obamacare, and we`re going
to vilify the IRS as best we possibly can to get the American people
against the signature legislation that President Obama was able to get
Let me be crystal clear. The IRS will never have access to your medical
records and they will never be making medical decisions. Michele Bachmann,
once again, is lying and trying to scare you, the consumer.
The Internal Revenue Service has a simple role in Obama care. First, it
will verify if people are eligible for subsidies and tax credits by looking
at income, which is documented through the return. They will be the
verifying agency. Secondly, they will check whether citizens have health
insurance at all and determine if they have to pay a penalty tax.
The whole idea of this is to get more people covered, to bring down costs,
to have better outcomes, to have preventative clinics, to help out the
young people, to make it better for the elderly. It`s good for America and
millions of people.
She said, millions of people will lose their jobs because of Obamacare.
Again, she`s lying.
Now, keep in mind, just look at the politics of this. Any political body
anywhere that votes 38 times to repeal any type of legislation, could we
both come to an agreement that they`re a pretty determined bunch? I mean,
this is what they want to do.
The Republicans will stop at absolutely nothing. They will use everything
they have in their power to derail President Obama`s agenda.
So, you may be sitting there tonight thinking, gosh, Ed, what the hell am I
supposed to do about it?
Let`s focus on that for a moment. Let`s focus on what we can do, you, the
consumer, me, the consumer. Let`s focus on learn -- it`s an interesting
word that Mitch McConnell used.
Now, everybody`s backyard is different. I don`t know who your insurance
company is. I will tell you mine.
I have a North Dakota corporation that`s based in Fargo. It`s called Ed
Schultz Broadcasting. It`s been in business since 2004 when I started my
national radio show. And I have employees who have insurance. I have some
The bottom line here is that there`s a lot of things about Obamacare that I
don`t know and I know you don`t know. And guess what? There`s a lot of
people in the media that don`t know and there`s a lot of people in Congress
that don`t know.
So I`ve got an interesting piece in the mail from my insurance company that
I want to share with you. It says, health reform answers personalized for
your business. And seeing that I am a capitalist and a businessman that
employees people and actually needs payroll, I thought I`d look at this.
And I did.
And it says, federal health reform is complex and means something different
to every business. That caught my attention. Blue Cross/Blue Shield of
North Dakota has tools personalized to your individual business to help you
navigate through the rules and decisions you are facing.
Folks, you and I have to engage. The government isn`t just going to show
up and say, here, here`s insurance. That`s what Republicans want you to
This is about you and I taking advantage of something that`s on the table.
And if you`re business owner, a small business owner, I suggest that you
pay close attention in your backyard, no matter -- when I say backyard, I
mean your state, your region, whoever your insurance company is.
Now, it`s interesting, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Dakota, what
they`re going to do, is they`re going to seminars around the state. And it
just so happens that on Monday, June 27, in good old Fargo, North Dakota --
guarded by the eighth graders, I might say, a little inside joke there --
they`re going to have this seminar. And I`m going to go to it, because
there are some basic questions that are going to be answered.
And they ask in this flyer, how will the exchange and federal subsidies
work? Do you know? Do you know exactly how this exchange and these
subsidies are going to work? I`m going to find out.
Which business will be penalized for not providing employer-based
insurance? Another good question.
The other one was, what are the tax implications? What are they? Good,
bad? Going to pay more, going to pay less? Is it going to help your
business to have more people covered?
The other question which is interesting on this flyer was, how does the
number of employees affected health insurance decisions? What does it mean
if you have so many employees that are covered?
What does the competitive post-reform benefits package look like? Nobody
knows. Speaking of learning.
Those five basic questions, I would venture to say that there isn`t a cable
host, there isn`t a network reporter that can say with conviction that they
know the answers to every one of them.
All we hear is Obamacare sucks. All we hear is the negative from the
Republicans, and damn it, we have to repeal it, because millions of people
are going to lose their jobs.
That is a lie. Their whole political plan, right now, was in front of us
this morning -- to vilify the internal revenue service to the point of no
return, connected to Obamacare, and to defeat Obama, to still make this his
This is Paul Ryan this morning, spilling the beans again. This is a
crucial sound bite here. Check this out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RYAN: As bad as this is, the person in charge of this bureaucratic snafu
has been put in charge of implementing Obamacare. I mean, the IRS is going
to be granted huge amounts of unprecedented power over our health care in
the implementation of Obamacare.
And so, this is just rotten to the core. This is arrogance. This is big
government cronyism, and this is not what hard-working taxpayers deserve.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: The IRS is going to be the verifying agency of your income. So,
when the state checks on how many people are covered in a certain business,
such as mine, they will make sure that employee A, B, C, and D made so much
money, to make sure that they qualify. That`s the power the IRS is going
to have. And they make it sound like it`s some intrusion into your front
door where the government`s going to be taking over.
Let me tell you something, liberals: we are going to win this fight. And
we are going to learn.
And I`m asking you, as a consumer, to start asking questions and start
paying attention to what really is happening out there with Obamacare.
Last night on this program, we gave you a human example of who`s going to
get helped. Tonight, I`m telling you as a business owner, I`m not going to
be writing the biggest checks I do every month for health insurance,
because they`re going to go down, because some of my employees are going to
be qualifying for federal subsidies. Hey, they pay taxes, too.
What the Republicans fear is that some day we will have universal health
care in this country. What the Republicans fear is that they are not going
to be able to protect their corporate donors, their cronies, the influence
of big insurance with lobbyists in Washington. That is what they are
They give a damn about the Tea Party and who is being infiltrated by the
IRS, but they don`t care about sick people at all. They don`t have a plan
that`s as good as Obamacare. And they know that generationally, the
Democrats are always going to be remembered politically for doing
something, for change. And they`re trying to change that change!
I could go on for hours on this. And I am infuriated that the Republicans,
you know, you got to give them credit. They are organized. Doggone it,
they got a good high-five group behind closed doors. They know how to get
their talking points together and they are going out and connecting the IRS
to this and want you to believe a bunch of lies.
I`ll be here every weekend to debunk everything they say on health care.
Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think. Tonight`s
question, will the Republican`s scandal machine backfire? Text A for yes,
text B for no to 67622. You can also go to our blog at Ed.MSNBC.com.
We`ll bring you the results later in the show.
Now, I also want to tell you that I will have a camera crew in Fargo on
June 27th and I will answer the shows the very next day, Saturday, the
28th, at 5:00. And we`ll find out.
I will prove to you that Paul Ryan is a liar. I will prove that Michele
Bachmann is a liar. I will prove to you that the minority leader in the
Senate, Mitch McConnell is a liar -- because that`s exactly what they are.
For more, let`s turn to Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz from
Florida, and also the chair of the DNC.
Congresswoman, good to have you with us tonight.
REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ (D), FLORIDA: Great to be with you again,
Ed. Congratulations on your new time slot.
SCHULTZ: Well, thank you. I`m going to show you a picture of a big fish
later in this show, because I`ve got a lot more time to do that. This two-
day-a-week gig ain`t bad.
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Good to have you back.
SCHULTZ: Are the Republicans using the IRS scandal to derail Obama here?
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Here`s what the Republicans are doing. What they`re
doing is basically implementing project "shield the facts that they have no
agenda," operation "shield the fact that they have no agenda."
Look, we do need to take a look at the decisions that were made that were
wholly inappropriate at the IRS to treat organizations differently instead
of equally. I mean, that is absolutely essential. That investigation
should be done in a bipartisan way without a partisan agenda.
But, of course, that isn`t in the DNA of this Republican Party or this
Republican leadership. And, in fact, they are being driven by the right --
by these right-wing organizations, in fact, to actually set aside real
legislation that we might have an opportunity to consider and debate, in
place of focusing on investigations so that they can really try to trip up
the Obama administration.
SCHULTZ: Congresswoman, they are talking about the midterms already.
SCHULTZ: They are talking about 2014 and taking over the Senate and w
repealing and putting Obama in a box. What about that?
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Ed, they`re even -- they`re even talking about 2016. I
mean, what they`re trying to do with the Benghazi investigation, which
clearly has had, you know, a thorough review. It was -- the independent
investigation done and authorized by Secretary Clinton, in which all 29
recommendations that came from Admiral Pickering and -- from Ambassador
Pickering and Admiral Mullen are being implemented. That is about 2016 and
the possibility of Hillary Clinton running for president, and nothing more.
What they`re doing is nakedly transparent. What we need to do is focus on
creating jobs and turning the economy around.
You know, for Paul Ryan to say, or for Mitch McConnell to say that the
focus of the 2014 election is going to be Obamacare is really a
demonstrative of how dramatically out of touch the Republicans are --
SCHULTZ: It`s a good thing for Democrats. This is a good thing for
Democrats that they want to make this the focal point.
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: I know, it`s hilarious. It`s a terrible thing for
Americans. And to say -- for the Republicans to be obsessed with denying
Americans the opportunity to not be dropped or denied coverage for pre-
existing conditions or to force kids to lose their health insurance
coverage, and right now they can stay on their parent`s insurance until
they`re 26. As a breast cancer survivor, that`s offensive.
SCHULTZ: All right. Congresswoman --
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: I have women who (INAUDIBLE) me from all over the
country and tell me thank you and ask that we fully implement Obamacare.
SCHULTZ: We will have you back, Congresswoman. I really appreciate your
WASSERMAN SCHUTLZ: Thanks.
SCHULTZ: Thanks so much. Debbie Wasserman Schultz here on THE ED SHOW.
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: No problem. Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Remember to answer tonight`s question there at the bottom of the
screen. Share your thoughts with us on Twitter and @EdShow and on
Facebook. We want to know what you think.
Coming up, once again, Donald Rumsfeld doesn`t know what the hell he`s
talking about. Martin Bashir, Joy Reid, and Joan Walsh are standing by.
Stay with us. We are right back.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)
SCHULTZ: President Obama set aside all the scandals and delivered the
commencement address at Morehouse College today. The president got a warm
reception, despite all the rain.
President Obama is weathering the political storm and we`re getting more
proof Obamacare is what the Republicans really targeting as they
investigate the Internal Revenue Service scandal.
Let`s bring in Joan Walsh, Martin Bashir and Joy Reid here this afternoon.
Great to have you with us.
Joy, can Republicans -- can they use the IRS scandal to bring down what
they always wanted to get rid of, Obamacare?
JOY REID, THEGRIO.COM: No, you know, it`s just as futile as the 37 votes
to repeal Obamacare. See, the problem with is if you want to set up a,
quote/unquote, "scandal" to bring down program you don`t like, your message
has to be really simple. The voters have to be able to get from A to B.
I`m not sure how you get from, you know, a Tea Party group called
bringdownthegovernment.org, didn`t get to be a nonprofit for a year, they
had to wait, and now I want to get rid of your health care insurance. If
you`re under 26, well, now you`re going to be bumped off your partner`s
health care because some group, some Tea Party group had to wait 12 months
to get their C4. No one is going to understand. It doesn`t make sense.
SCHULTZ: Joan, if the economy is so bad, why won`t the Republicans run on
a bad economy? Why are they picking Obamacare and pinning it early on in
2014 as this is what they want to do?
JOAN WALSH, SALON.COM: Because the economy is getting better, it`s not
getting better fast enough, it`s not getting better for anyone, but I was
really interested when Mitch McConnell said that today. I was half
expecting him to say, we`re going to run on this economy and the
unemployment rate is still too high and all the 2012 talking points that
didn`t work. But no, we`re going to shift to Obamacare, which, you know,
the House has tried to repeal 37 times.
And, you know, there`s this loose link now with an official who maybe was
nominally involved with the department that was reviewing these
applications, because she was never mentioned in the I.G. report.
And what I think is so crazy -- I mean, there`s so many things about this
story -- there`s just a demand for heads to roll. And if somebody`s name
was ever attached to any program, they should be gone, rather than actually
trying to find out, well, who did this, and why? And who gave the orders.
MARTIN BASHIR, MSNBC HOST: You know, Ed, what Joan said is absolutely
right. And in some ways, I`m sure the people who put together the new
diagnostic book for the diagnose of psychiatric illness will be
disappointed, because this week, the Republicans combined two in one,
obsessive-compulsive disorder with avoidant personality disorder.
And what`s that about is this -- all roads lead back to November. The IRS
scandal is a scandal because the president and the White House prevented
right-wing groups from campaigning against it. Benghazi talking points
were adjusted in order to prevent any questions, casting aspersions on the
president`s tackling of terrorism and homeland security.
The whole thing relates back to November.
And they have a fundamental problem with accepting a simple truth. He won.
He won the election. But they cannot accept that. And that`s why --
SCHULTZ: And they lie. Millions of Americans will not lose their jobs
because we are implementing a health care law. I want to show you what
Donald Rumsfeld said about the president today.
Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD RUMSFELD, FORMER DEFENSE SECRETARY: What`s happening to the
president is incrementally trust is being eroded, because of the different
messages coming out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: As always, Donald Rumsfeld is dead wrong. A new poll shows the
president`s approval rating is at 53 percent.
REID: Can I ask why we listen to him anymore?
SCHULTZ: He wrote a book, I guess.
REID: Is this the guy who told us it would essentially be a cakewalk, we
could go to the war with the Army we had, we could go light and invade and
occupy an entire country of, what, 20 million, 30 million people. I mean,
this guy shouldn`t even be listened to, so everything he says is
immediately off the table.
SCHULTZ: So why is the president weathering the storm so well with a
positive number and approval rating.
REID: Because it`s simple. Americans are looking at this president. They
don`t see the ogre that Republicans try to paint him as. They see a guy
who`s doing his best against a party who is, as Martin just said, is hell-
bent on not just opposing his agenda going forward, both on opposing an
election that`s over and going back and re-fighting it.
SCHULTZ: Here`s another dandy. Here`s another dandy. Mitch McConnell had
to face himself on "Meet the Press" today. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCONNELL: There are restrictions now on the kinds of activities that, for
example, a 501c3 and 4 organizations, charitable organizations are being
abused by not just people on the right, but most of the so-called
charitable organizations that are involved in political activity in this
country who are, in my judgment, involved in arguable violations of their
tax-free status and violations of the campaign law, happen to be groups on
the left. So, that is a problem.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Big groups on the left, oops!
This is how he responded to the 26-year-old clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCONNELL: I was wrong 25 years ago, I`ve been right for the last two
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Kind of like us, huh, Martin?
BASHIR: Well, what can you say to that, honestly? It`s ludicrous. And
the whole idea, Ed, about them never mentioning the name "Karl Rove" in
relation to 501c4s is just sacrilegious. If you want to have a discussion
SCHULTZ: This morning, Karl --
BASHIR: As Harry Reid said, what has Karl Rove done to improve the social
SCHULTZ: Well, this morning on "FOX News Sunday", Karl Rove connected it
to the NAACP about how they have used it for years as a political
organization. I mean, they`re running for cover anywhere they possibly can
to put this on the president`s desk that he knew everything and that he --
BASHIR: Oh, he dictated it!
SCHULTZ: He was using it to make sure he would get re-elected.
WALSH: There`s a better thing that came out this weekend. They seem so
uncertain that they can tie it to the president, that they`ve decided they
don`t have to. And Peggy Noonan said it today. She called it a dog
whistle, that because the president campaigned against the Tea Party and
against Citizens United, that was as good as telling people in the IRS that
they should go after his enemies because of course everybody knows.
REID: He hypnotizes people, don`t you know?
He hypnotizes the electorate. He tricked them into voting for him.
WALSH: They know --
SCHULTZ: Everybody who gets audited feels like they`re being targeted.
We`re all human. That`s our first basic reaction. Why me? Why my office?
Why my -- you know --
WALSH: And we all know one group was denied their status. And it was a
group of Democratic women.
So, at the end of the day, yes, people should not have been reviewed by
SCHULTZ: So President Obama weathers this storm?
REID: You have to look at who the so-called victims are. Unless you are
trying to form a 501c4, this story isn`t about you. Peggy Noonan also
said, I know some rich people in the salons which I hang out in on the
weekends who were also audited.
American people aren`t going to relate to that. They`re going to say,
look, I`m not trying to form a c4, why don`t they pay taxes when I have to
SCHULTZ: Joan Walsh, Martin Bashir --
BASHIR: Hey, before you go --
BASHIR: We got you a little gift. It`s from Joan, Joy, and I to welcome
you back. We can`t give you any product placement, so we`re not going to
say what it is, but it`s bubbly, it`s a little small congratulations.
Great that you`re back on air and we`re all so thrilled that you`re back.
SCHULTZ: You`re a great friends.
BASHIR: From the three of us, we thought that`s a small gift to you.
SCHULTZ: I really appreciate it. And thanks for coming in on a Sunday.
WALSH: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: I bet that`s a good bag right there.
SCHULTZ: I know exactly what --
SCHULTZ: All right. Remember, you can see martin`s show here on MSNBC,
every weekday at 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
Up next, the Republican crusade to hurt American workers.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.
We love hearing from our viewers. So tonight we decided to answer two
questions in our "Ask Ed Live" segment.
The first question is from a viewer named David Renner. "If we could vote
out one Republican in an effort to change the party`s direction, who would
Well, obviously, John Boehner.
And this is why I`m so mad at Dennis Kucinich working over there at FOX
News, because I think Kucinich after he was redistricted and gerrymandered
out and lost in a primary, I think Kucinich could have moved to Cincinnati
and been a great national candidate to defeat John Boehner.
Boehner is the problem. Boehner is the man who has done nothing to work
with this president when it comes to jobs and he is always there in a very
spiteful manner and he lies a lot. So, he would be the guy.
The next question comes from Marshall, Texas. "Why is there so much hatred
for President Obama by the Republican Congress?" Well, keep in mind, we
have two ideological, you know, battles going on here.
Number one is that the Republicans, all they want to do is privatize
everything they possibly can. President Obama believes that the government
has a limited role in doing things. For instance, he thought that it was
important to have a stimulus package when he was handed the worst economy
since the Great Depression. He thought it was important to help out the
automobile industry, although no Republicans wanted to help him whatsoever,
because it was about saving jobs.
And so, sometimes government does play a role. Republicans, they, of
course, don`t think Republicans have a role in anything, except going to
Stick around. The real talk panel is next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: At the end of the day in America,
majority is supposed to rule. That`s what elections are about. We won
with majority rule. The president won with a majority. Majority does not
rule anymore and millions of working people are suffering as a result.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: You want to know why Americans dislike Washington? It`s just
this story and so many more.
But this story is a microcosm as to why there`s so much dislike towards our
government. The Republican addiction to the filibuster is becoming a real
threat to the rights of millions of hard-working Americans across the
country. Of all things, the National Labor Relations Board is the
government agency set up to protect American workers from bad boss, abusive
corporate owners, things in workplace that are detrimental to workers.
This is where grievances are hard. But the Senate has not really fully
staffed the board for nearly a decade. Why? Because there`s an attack on
labor. Republicans keep blocking the president`s appointments.
Now, this week, an appeals court said that the president, he couldn`t even
make recess appointments to the board either. You see how the judiciary is
turning right wing as well. The new round of nominees -- well, they
breezed right through this Senate hearing on Thursday.
Full disclosure, one of the nominees is related, to a staffer here on THE
ED SHOW on MSNBC.
Now, Senator Lamar Alexander said the nominees are qualified, but he`s
expected to vote against them anyway.
Senator Bernie Sanders delivered this blistering response.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDERS: Minority is doing everything they can in this case to make it
impossible for working people, who are on the job, to have their rights
protected, so that tomorrow, if some fella out there, some woman tries to
organize a union and gets fired against the law, that worker will have no
recourse. If there is no NLRB, those workers will have no rights, and I
think that is a terrible, terrible thing.
I`m not here to criticize the Republicans. They are doing what they
believe is best. It is part of a long-term strategy to obstruct, make it
impossible for the president or any of us to do what we think is right in
terms of protecting, in this case, American workers.
If these nominees, in fact, get the votes that they need, which I suspect
they will, they go to the floor, I will be very distraught if we do not
seat them because of another filibuster.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Let`s get some action from our real talk panel. Steven
Greenhouse is the labor reporter for "The New York Times", and Larry Cohen
is the president of the Communication Workers of the America.
Great to have both of you with us tonight.
Steven, you first.
Why are Republicans just hell-bent on sabotaging the National Labor
STEVEN GREENHOUSE, LABOR REPORTER, NEW YORK TIMES: Republicans have never
been big fans of the National Labor Relations Board, especially when it`s a
Democratic president trying to name people to the board. They see the
board as a tool that helps unions organize, that punishes employers when
employers illegally fire workers or illegally intimidate workers who are
seeking to unionize.
So, the Republicans generally don`t love the board. There was this big
case in South Carolina a few years ago when the labor board said that
Boeing had acted illegally in trying to open up a factory in South
Carolina, and that sent many red state senators, red state politicians
ballistic. And then, also, in January, federal appeals court ruled that
President Obama`s recess appointments to the board were illegal.
SCHULTZ: That`s really the critical point there. Now they are making it
so this board can`t even function.
Mr. Cohen, I know this is a hot issue with you. How important is it? How
crucial is it, and how damaging is it to America?
LARRY COHEN, COMMUNICATIONS WORKERS OF AMERICA: It`s critical, because in
most ways, the NLRB is a floor, it`s not sufficient. But for 80 million
American workers in the private sector, it`s all they have. Not just union
workers, but workers who speak out in places like Starbucks or McDonald`s,
fast food workers.
If they speak out and are fired or intimidated in any way, the only place
they have to go is the NLRB. That`s really what`s at stake here.
The floor for the American workers is destroyed by Republicans who have an
18th to 19th century view of laissez-faire capitalism. They think markets
Lindsey Graham said it, flat-out, I don`t believe in any kind of labor
union protection or protection for American workers. We don`t need the
COHEN: That`s what they really believe.
SCHULTZ: Mr. Greenhouse, what resource do workers have in your opinion?
GREENHOUSE: Well, if you`re trying to -- if you think your wages are too
low or you think for boss is mean or mistreating people and you try to set
up a union and your employer fires you because you favor a union, that is
illegal under American law. But if you want redress, you have to go to the
National Labor Relations board to do that.
And now without the board having -- because Republicans are apparently
going to block confirmation of the nominees, the board will not have a
quorum to function. So the workers are kind of left without a real --
SCHULTZ: Larry, this is all about the attack on workers. This board
hasn`t been filled out for ten years. The Bush administration never wanted
this board anyway. It`s been in place for years.
But this conservative move to be anti-worker is really just all part of the
puzzle for them, isn`t it?
COHEN: It`s of their puzzle. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, corporate law
firms like ones right down the street here are behind us. They are
absolutely determined that this president won`t have a Democratic majority
in the NLRB during the entire second term. And the only way to top this,
as Senator Sanders said, Democrats have to step up and change the rules and
say that we are going to confirm, by a majority, the members of the NLRB.
SCHULTZ: So that would be filibuster reform? That would be filibuster
reform, where Harry Reid would get 50 votes and we would get a full
complement, five seats, there`s on one person on that board right now, and
I understand that that person`s position is going to expire in a few months
So, it would be mission accomplished on the part of conservatives to get
rid of the National Labor Relations Board as a functioning body.
COHEN: That`s right.
SCHULTZ: So if the filibuster was changed and Harry Reid could get the
full complement of workers on there, and two of them have to be
Republicans, it would change the landscape for workers, correct?
COHEN: It would change the landscape. Tomorrow is the eighth anniversary
where Republican leader Frist went to the floor to get Bush nominees for
the judiciary confirmed. And we need to remember, they did that in a much
more benign environment than what we face today, where everybody from the
director of Consumer Financial Protection Board, to all the members of the
NLRB, they`re all stalemated by a filibuster with no talk. They never
SCHULTZ: Do you think the Democrats have been staunch supporters of
filling out this board?
GREENHOUSE: They`ve been pushing pretty hard. One might argue that they
haven`t been pushing hard enough. We might reach this really kind of crazy
situation in August when the chairman`s term expires, Ed, that there`ll be
no confirmed members on the board. And, you know, the zero people and kind
of impossible for the board to move forward.
SCHULTZ: We talk about filibusters. We talk about not getting positions
confirmed. This is all part of the obstruction.
This is all part of the Republican plan to discredit this president, to
take down labor in this country, and to make it harder on the middle class.
I don`t know how you can be an advocate for the middle class and call
yourself a conservative and not fill this board out. I mean, and sticking
it to workers is fundamental in this country.
Steven Greenhouse, Larry Cohen, great to have you with us tonight. Thanks
COHEN: Thanks, Ed.
GREENHOUSE: Nice to be here.
SCHULTZ: Tonight in our survey, I asked you, will the Republican scandal
machine backfire? Eighty-three percent of you say yes, 17 percent of you
Still ahead, FOX News hires another brain wizard. Pretenders is next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GLENN BECK, RADIO HOST: I am pretty much done, a lot more to do, you know?
Got all those things done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Oh, yes. And for our "Pretenders" tonight, we receive glad
tidings from media monopoly man, Rupert Murdoch. Murdoch graciously
revealed his latest enrichment to the political dialogue in America.
The hiring of a defunct Congressman Allen West as the FOX News contributor.
We`re sure this one-term wonder has plenty to contribute. Yes, Allen West,
the man who once compared Democrats to Nazis should have no problem being
fair and balanced.
Here are just some of his classics.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
FORMER REP. ALLEN WEST (R), FLORIDA: There`s a bumper sticker that says,
"coexist." Every time I see one of those bumper stickers, I look at person
inside that`s driving, because that person represents something that would
give away our country.
I believe there`s about 78 to 81 members of the Democratic Party that are
members of the communist party.
Anytime someone has come across your board, they haven`t been invited, that
can be considered what the Founding Fathers wrote as an invasion into your
These other women on the other side, these Planned Parenthood women, the
Code Pink women and all of these women who have been neutering American
I`m here as the modern-day Harriet Tubman to kind of lead people on the
underground railroad into a sense of sensibility.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
SCHULTZ: This Tea Party star has bestowed many pearls to the American
public, but it`s a far cry from wisdom. I`m not one to look a gift horse
in the mouth, but if Rupert Murdoch thinks he can make Americans believe
Allen West is a newsman, he can just keep on pretending.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: One of America`s most important
institutions, a symbol of the trust between generations, is also in need of
wise and effective reform. Social Security was a great moral success of
the 20th century. And we must honor its great purposes in this new
The system however on its current path is headed towards bankruptcy, and
so, we must join together to strengthen and save Social Security.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Finally tonight, history is doomed to repeat itself exactly eight
years after President Bush`s failed attempt to privatize Social Security,
many Americans are experiencing somewhat of a deja vu. President Obama`s
term began with proposed cuts to Social Security through chained CPI. It`s
in the budget.
The Obama administration isn`t going to gamble with the future of Social
Security on Wall Street, that kind of privatization. But they are proposed
cutting earned benefits for some of the most vulnerable Americans.
Liberals, don`t take your eye off the ball. Scandal fever is going nuts in
Washington. It`s buzzing. But Republicans still want to destroy the New
Senator Bernie Sanders put it this way on our show.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDERS: The American people are saying loud and clear, do not balance the
budget on the backs of the elderly, the children, the sick, and the poor.
Now, why is he doing this? I think the president continues to some very,
very strange idea to keep believing that if he makes major concessions to
the Republicans, that somehow he`s going to get something back in return.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Eight years ago, President Bush tried to strengthen Social
Security by privatizing it, and then, of course, the market went down. How
would that have worked if it had gone through?
He got hammered in the midterms. Democrats used Bush`s radical idea to win
back the House and they had six new faces in the Senate. If President
Obama gets his way with chained CPI, he could face the same fate in 2014.
Democrats run the risk of a poor turnout at the pools if Democrats don`t
stand strong and stand up and protect the big three.
Don`t get me wrong. I`m an Obama supporter. You know that. But the
progressive movement is going to be around a heck of a lot longer than this
president or any other president.
Joining me tonight on the subject, Adam Green, progressive blogger and
cofounder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee at
Adam, good to have you with us. Your organization does great work on this,
advocating for the big three.
Now, obviously, President Obama isn`t going to be running again, but
Democrats are, and he has proposed chained CPI in his budget. How closely
are liberal groups paying attention to Democrats who might get hoodwinked
that this is a good idea?
ADAM GREEN, BOLDPROGRESSIVES.COM: Very closely. As you know, Ed, in 2012,
one presidential ticket explicitly ran on the idea of cutting social safety
net programs like Social Security and Medicare, and that ticket was soundly
defeated by Barack Obama. He does not have a mandate to cut Social
Security benefits. The Democratic Party doesn`t have a mandate, and many
groups and activists across the country are just saying you can`t call
yourself a Democrat and support cutting Social Security benefits for
millions of our grandparents and veterans.
So, we`re out there actively supporting people like Alan Grayson and Mark
Takano, congressmen who are spearheading an effort in the House to get
their colleagues to vote against any deal if it has cuts to Social
Security, Medicare, or Medicaid benefits. And we`re also getting ready to
actually go on offense in the Senate, rallying around people like Tom
Harkin from Iowa and Mark Begich from Alaska, who are not only saying these
are off the table, they want to expand Social Security benefits.
So, it`s in the interest of the Democratic Party not just to help millions
of people right now but to make sure their base turns out and they don`t
commit political suicide by supporting Social Security benefit cuts right
SCHULTZ: Would you work against candidates who align themselves with
GREEN: Yes. I mean, we make clear that we will actively recruit primary
candidates to run against Democrats who support cutting Social Security
benefits, because this is cutting into the bone, not the fat. This is the
core of the Democratic and progressive legacy, and we can`t have people
calling themselves Democrats while supporting cutting Social Security
benefits for our grandparents.
SCHULTZ: Now, you`ve got your eye on the state of Montana. Max Baucus is
no friend to liberals. That`s for sure.
Why is Brian Schweitzer whose name keeps get thrown around a lot in
political circles? He`s a former governor and whatnot. Very popular.
Why is he any different than Max Baucus?
GREEN: Brian Schweitzer, if he decides to run for Senate, which he is
considering, would be an absolute game changer. He`s kind of a prairie
populist, a farmer who ran for governor, got reelected, just finished his
second term, and, you know, his bedrock principle is standing up for the
little guy against big corporate interests. That`s what he did as
governor, and he`s named people like Teddy Roosevelt and Paul Wellstone as
his political icons.
So, you know, we`re working with thousands of people across the state of
Montana on a draft Schweitzer movement.
SCHULTZ: Is he kind of the model Democrat in the middle of the country?
GREEN: He is absolutely the model Democrat (INAUDIBLE) economic populism
issues, and to have someone from the perceived red state of Montana talking
about trust-busting, out there saying that the corporations own this
government and we need to take it back, and who has such a record of
political success, again, will be a game changer. He would be an amazing
partner to Elizabeth Warren, and that`s why at DraftBrianSchweitzer.com,
thousands of people across Montana and the nation are asking him to run and
pledging to volunteer for him if he does run.
SCHULTZ: All right. Your group does great work. Adam Green, thanks for
joining us tonight. I appreciate it so much, to raise the watch (ph), no
Finally tonight, a couple big things happened in the Schultz family this
week. Here is Ellen Mary Kadrowski (ph), six pounds, eight ounces.
Congratulations to Sarah and Christian. That is for Ed and Wendy,
grandchild number 10.
And, of course, there was another big arrival this week. It was a ten-
pounder on Wrong Lake in Manitoba. We certainly have to show you that.
There`s my baby for the week right there. I`ll show you how to take a
couple days off.
That`s THE ED SHOW. I`m Ed Schultz. We`ll see you back here next Saturday
at 5:00 p.m. Have a great week.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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