THE ED SHOW
June 8, 2013
Guests: James Risen, Donna Gentile O`Donnell, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Cupid
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS: In one of the most arrogant, downright
reckless decisions in his entire presidency, President Obama has selected
his ambassador to the U.N. as his next national security adviser.
BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS: So, what we have here is a defiant
president. If he wants to promote Ambassador Rice, he`s going to do it.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I`m absolutely thrill
that she`ll be back at my side.
O`REILLY: Isn`t that shady?
BOB BECKEL, FOX NEWS: Well, shady how?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She`s such a political lightning rod now.
O`REILLY: This is shady.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m not shady.
O`REILLY: Do you think maybe there is a trap set here for
Republicans kind of hoping that Republicans are going to go out there and
attack Susan Rice and Samantha Powers and hoping that they say something
that`s over the top?
ALLEN WEST (R), FORMER U.S. CONGRESSMAN: That was pretty much the
flip of a certain finger in the face of the American people.
JON STEWART, COMEDIAN: They`re upset she may pass bad intel.
Remember these two from a decade ago?
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Saddam Hussein continues to acquire,
amass and improve on his arsenal of weapons of mass destruction.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Let`s act now to get rid of
a tyrant who`s procuring weapons of mass destruction, substantial evidence
to that effect.
STEWART: I remember all that from their hit blog (EXPLETIVE DELETED)
old guys who unnecessarily get us into wars say.
O`REILLY: But let`s get back to the shady factor. This is shady.
OBAMA: Susan is fearless champion for justice and human dignity.
She`s fearless. She`s tough.
SUSAN RICE, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: I`m deeply honored and
JOY REID, GUEST HOST: Good evening and welcome to THE ED SHOW. I`m
Joy Reid, in for Ed Schultz.
With the IRS so-called scandal feeding into parody and the mainstream
losing interest in the Republican`s Benghazi obsession, the president
sought to reset his agenda on his own terms this week, with a series of
nominations and appointments that made a strong statement.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Time and again,
congressional Republicans cynically used Senate rules and procedures to
delay and even block qualified nominees from coming to a full vote. My
nominees have taken three times longer to receive confirmation votes than
those of my Republican predecessor.
When they were given an up or down vote in the Senate, when they were
final given an up-or-down vote in the Senate, every one of them was
confirmed. So, this is not about principled opposition. This is about
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Did you see that guy? That guy is done playing. Susan Rice
was battered by Republicans on Benghazi. Now, Obama is putting Rice in a
position where Republicans can`t stop her.
His three nominees for the D.C. circuit court, that`s not packing the
court, he`s filling the court.
The president seems to no be longer prioritizing and tends to
negotiate with or pacify Republicans on the Hill. We`re not hearing about
grand bar gins on the budget or major deals on tax reform or Social
Security or Medicare. What we do seem to have at least right now is a
president who`s looking to put teeth into his own agenda surrounded by
people loyal to him and not to Washington.
Now, at the same time, the president is dealing with new threat to
that agenda -- leaks and lots of them. Most notably, leaks that have to do
with national security.
On Thursday, "The Guardian" posted a report based on a leaked court
order which required phone carrier Verizon to turn over metadata for phone
calls over a three-year period. That was followed by a leaked PowerPoint
obtained by the "Washington Post" detailing a program called PRISM. The
program, which dates back to the Bush administration, reportedly involved
nine Internet service providers allegedly opening a back door to their
servers for the National Security Agency.
So, what do these leaks tell us?
I would argue that they tell us three things. Thing one: the
president is right to give up on negotiation with Republicans. Why?
Because there is clearly no issue that Republicans in Washington won`t
politicize, even issues of national security in which they both know about
t program and support it.
In a press conference on Friday, President Obama stressed that the
program should come as no surprise to members of Congress.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Every member of Congress has been briefed on the program.
These are the folks you all vote for us your representatives in Congress
and they`re being fully briefed on these programs.
The relevant intelligence committees are fully briefed on these
These are programs that have been authorized by broad bipartisan
majorities repeatedly since 2006.
Your dually elected representatives have been consistently informed
on exactly what we`re doing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Now, watching Republicans express breathless shock and outrage
in the media have been stunning. While some Republicans like Lindsey
Graham has been consistent in supporting this program.
Some Republicans have chosen hypocrisy, as if they`ve only discovered
their outrage under a Democratic president.
In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, Patriot Act author Jim
Sensenbrenner called the reports deeply concerning and they raised
questions about whether our constitutional rights are secure. Now, I
repeat -- Sensenbrenner, the author of the Patriot Act, is now concern
about constitutional rights.
President Obama put it this way.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: I think it`s interesting that there`s some folks on the left,
but also some folks on the right who are now worried about it, who weren`t
very worried about it when it was a Republican president.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Good point.
The second thing I think these leaks tell us is that the companies
you do business with every day, for all the talk of deregulation and
lobbying to get government out of their business, are allegedly fully
cooperating with the government to let them into your business.
And finally, and third arguably the most important thing this tells
us, is that we need to talk and talk frankly about our reaction to 9/11.
The media is joining Republicans in expressing shock and surprise about the
NSA phone sweeping, but this has been going on long before the 2007 FISA
law that codified it, and long before the courts, the Congress and the
White House all agree to the legality of these programs.
The modern day version of the NSA electronic surveillance has its
origins not in 2007 in Congress, but in the aftermath of the September 11
terror attack in 2001. The program began without warrants as an executive
order issued in 2002, but it was only discovered years later by "The New
York Times" and "USA Today" by way of -- you guessed it -- leaks.
What we did or rather what the Bush administration and Congress did
in our name is still with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: I know it`s unintended no to spy on Americans but in the
collection process, information about everybody gets swept up and gets
sorted. So, if Americans don`t have any recourse -- are you just telling
them when it comes to their privacy to suck it up?
GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: I wouldn`t put it that way if
I were you, in public.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: It never went away.
ED SHOW fans know what to do. Get your cell phones out, I want to
know what you think.
Tonight`s question: are Republicans being hypocritical for
criticizing the president over the NSA? You can text A for yes, text B for
no to 67622. Or you can go to our blog at Ed.MSNBC.com, and I`ll bring you
the results later in the show.
And joining me now is Perry Bacon, political editor for TheGrio.com,
and James Risen, reporter for "The New York Times".
And I want to start off with you, James, because you did break this
huge story at the time back in 2005 about the warrantless version of
wiretapping -- warrantless wiretapping as it was called.
Let me ask you, just in looking at what we talked about this past
week, what`s new? What`s different about what we`re seeing now?
JAMES RISEN, NEW YORK TIMES: I think that`s really new is the power
of the NSA has grown enormously in the last five or six years as data
mining as gained far greater strength in the computing power and software
technology has grown enormously. And the American`s usage of digital
technology from iPhones to smart tablets has grown so that virtually
everything we do everyday is now a digital transaction of some form that
can be tracked.
So, there`s a huge increase in the amount of data to be data mined by
the NSA and there`s very little legal framework to cover it. So, the NSA
has grown with enormous power compared to where it was just six or seven
REID: Well -- and, Perry, to that point about the legal framework,
because when James and others uncovered this warrantless wiretapping that
was taking place back to 2002, Congress`s response was interesting. They
didn`t outlaw it. They basically codify and they said that basically the
NSA had to go to the FISA court, they had to go to the FISA court in order
to obtain warrants where they could still do it.
Is part of the problem here that you`ve had Congress codifying this
kind of wiretapping into law, even going back before 9/11 but now members
of Congress are expressing outrage and shock about it?
PERRY BACON, THE GRIO.COM: Yes. You do have -- Congress has
codified this in a variety ways in since 2007. And that`s when the
president`s argument was, that basically we told members of Congress this
over and over again. If you walk to congressmen what they say is the
briefings did not -- they don`t feel like they were informed about the
extent of the program the way it was put in "The New York Times" and "The
Washington Post" and "The Guardian" this week.
There`s a difference in the members of Congress and how much they
were informed. Dianne Feinstein, the head of the Intelligence Committee of
the Senate, is informed about this in every process over and over again.
She feels very inform. I`ve talked to House members, Democrats and
Republicans, who feel like that they have not been briefed or not been
briefed in the way in which they learned about these programs this week.
So, the difference between some members of Congress and others in terms of
how informed they are on these programs.
REID: OK. Well, I want to go back and just tell a little bit of
history as to why that might be, that is -- to your point, Perry, it`s
members of a select committees on intelligence that get informed about
these programs, in the House and Senate. That select committee, the
permanent select committees on intelligence exists because of the
background on spying on Americans with, of wiring that go back to Nixon
I want to give you guys a quick timeline. Going back to 1975, when
the Church Committee uncovered spying on American, on domestic -- people
that he didn`t like by Richard Nixon, the Church Committee uncovered that
In 1978, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act established this
FISA court, which allows the wiretapping of foreigners or Americans
considered, quote-unquote, "agents of a foreign power." The person who
introduced that, that would be Teddy Kennedy. Senator Ted Kennedy
introduces that law and get signed by Jimmy Carter.
Going forward to 1994, Congress amended the FISA law to actually add
physical searches of homes. And this came after the Clinton administration
searched the home of Aldrich Ames, an alleged spy and they went in and
actually Congress said, OK, we will allow physical searches in addition to
Going ahead to 1999, FISA amend that law again to add -- I mean,
Congress amends the FISA law again to add business records. So now you can
get business records of suspected agents of a foreign power.
We go to 2000, this is before 9/11. "Agents of a foreign power"
definition is actually expanded to include people who enter the country
with a fake ID.
2011, after 9/11, we get the Patriot Act, which expanded it so much
that it essentially got rid of every safeguard. All the safeguards against
abuse basically obliterated.
2002, FISA is expanded to allow the attorney general to wait 72
hours, not just 24 hours, to seek a FISA order. That`s after the spying
2004, we get the lone wolf provision added, where the foreign power
requirement for targeting is actually dropped. Now, we can do this on
In 2007, we get the Protect America Act, which stripped away the law
to get a warrant. Now, you just let the FISA court know and you cell that
and you get 72 hour notification.
James Risen, I want to go back to you. Is there anything really
novel about the idea of the government putting out an electronic dragnet on
Americans? This goes back to 1978.
RISEN: No, I mean, you`re right. It`s been going on quite a while.
The difference today is the scale of the data mining is growing by leaps
and bounds just in the last few years because of the growth of social media
and other digital communications, and the rise of new software technologies
that allows for instantaneous analysis of it.
Those two things have just dramatically revolutionized the NSA just
in the last five or six year, and it`s raising real serious questions
because they can gain access to digital conversations that are not
conversations. In other words you can get the metadata of someone`s
activity without listening to their phone call and it`s just valuable or
even more valuable than actually listening to their conversation because
you can follow someone throughout their day from every transaction, every
digital action that they take is recorded and often there is no law that
governs the NSA`s ability to collect that.
REID: Right. But they have to go back and get a warrant if they
want to go in and look at conversations. This is just a bunch of data.
I actually wonder --
RISEN: Yes, except the real question here is this is the really
interesting question, is that a lot of new software is allowing for
artificial intelligence to follow somebody`s life without ever listening to
their conversation based on all of the data that you`re throwing off each
day from every device that you have.
REID: Yes. And the scary thing is businesses are doing exactly the
And, Perry, I want to go to one more question. You`re covering the
Hill, obviously. You cover the White House for "The Grio."
What do you expect the president to do in response to this? He`s
getting a lot of push back from his own base who said they expected him to
abrogate these kinds of Bushian powers when he came into office.
Do you expect the White House to walk this back or is it just what
the president said, we`re going to have a conversation about it, but these
powers are staying.
BACON: I think you`ll see something along the line, the speech two
weeks ago he gave about drones. He`s eager to have a conversation about
the balance between privacy and security, but I don`t think he`s going the
walk back these programs.
He was very emphatic yesterday in saying, these programs protect
Americans. Protect American lives. I think he will try to explain it. I
think he`ll take more questions and do interviews about it. I don`t think
he`ll change the policy.
I think there will be a broad discussion in the 2016 campaign.
You`ll have a Rand Paul in the Republican side, and I think there will be
some kind of Democrat candidate who argues that maybe we should a smaller
security state. I think that`s when the next robust discussion about this
from a presidential candidate will come up.
REID: Yes, absolutely. We have big questions about privacy. I hope
that if we`re going to talk about dragnets, we`re also going to expand that
to talk about local police power, the kind of thing that involves things
like stop and frisk. So, hopefully, we`ll talk about all of that.
Thank you very much to Perry Bacon and James Risen. We really
appreciate you being with us tonight.
REID: All right. And remember to answer tonight`s question there
right at the bottom of our screen and share your thoughts on Twitter and
@EdShow, and at @TheReidReport and also on Facebook. We want to know what
And coming up on trenders, a Michele Bachmann wannabe, an A-bomb, and
And you know there`s a problem when Jan Brewer is the most sane
person in the room. Our rapid response panel is going to have fun with
You are watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.
REID: Time now for the trenders.
Here at THE ED SHOW, we listen to you. Every week before the show,
we check out Facebook, Twitter and our blog. So, now, you decided and
Here are the week`s top trenders voted on by you.
REID (voice-over): Our number three trender: the straight dope.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ESPN is reporting that Major League Baseball will
seek to suspend the roughly 20 players connected to the Biogenesis Clinic.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And boom goes the dynamite.
REID: The MLB to drop an A-bomb on A-rod and more than a dozen other
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The commissioner`s office is considering a
hundred-game suspension for some players including A-Rod and Braun.
REID: This week`s second trender: green tea.
REP. JIM BRIDENSTINE (R), OKLAHOMA: The president`s dishonesty,
incompetence, vengefulness and lack of moral compass lead me to suggest
that the he is not fit to lead.
UNIDENTIFEID MALE: What you just said is one of the most insanely
idiotic things I`ve heard.
REID: Oklahoma`s Jim Bridenstine takes up the Tea Party torch in the
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At no point in you rambling incoherent response
were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational
BRIDENSTINE: I`m not ashamed of it. I`m proud that I did it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everyone in this room is now dumber for having
listened to it. I award you no points and may God have mercy on your soul.
REID: And this week`s top trender: hypocrisy.
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: I don`t think any responsible
governor at this point would call for a special election that would cost
STEWART: Of course, it would.
CHRISTIE: I deem it advisable to have a special election. In fact,
I deem it necessary.
CHRISTIE: Costs associated without any special, primary or general
election in my mind cannot be measured against the value of having an
elected representative in the United States Senate.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. We`ve got a situation.
REID: Chris Christie doesn`t want to risk a sure thing.
AD NARRATOR: Chris Christie, the governor.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s all Chris Christie at this point dominating
REID: So, he`s making New Jersey foot the bill to replace Senator
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: He took the route that will cost the
taxpayers of New Jersey probably $12 million dollars.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Screw you, screw your city and screw all the
people that listen to you.
STEWART: That is such a self-serving, corrupt, abuse of power
CHRISTIE: Shut up.
REID: And joining me now is Michael Steele, former chairman of the
RNC and an MSNBC analyst.
Michael steel, how are you doing?
MICHAEL STEELE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: I`m great, Joy. Very good.
That was classic.
REID: Yes. Michael, get your boy. New York Mayor Cory Booker, he
announced today he`s running for Senator Lautenberg`s seat, Frank
Lautenberg`s seat, right?
REID: So, why is Chris Christie, supposedly the man of courage, the
man who tells it like it is, why is so afraid of Cory Booker?
STEELE: I don`t think if he`s afraid of Cory Booker or if he`s
trying to make sure that his election has the right patina, the right
image, the right sound bite coming out of it in November.
REID: Wait, wait, Michael, the patina he`s looking for is a patina
in which he`s not on the same ballot as Cory Booker.
REID: Because had Cory Booker been on the same ballot, it would have
been ahead of him.
STEELE: But, Joy, keep in mind, this has very little to do with Cory
Booker and a lot more with how Cory Booker could drive the vote out on
Election Day. It doesn`t mean that Chris Christie would lose his election
against his Democratic opponent, but instead of getting 70 percent or 72
percent return, in election, it could be 68, it could be 67.
So this is -- a lot of the politics here has less to do with how much
it costs and the value of having the voters vote and more about how this
thing is framed coming out of a blue election in a state like New Jersey,
the reelection of a Republican governor an what that sets up for beyond
REID: So, in other words, Chris Christie is afraid of numbers. He`s
afraid of numbers that don`t look good enough for him to run in 2016. He`s
spending $25 million to frame his potential run for president in 2016.
That`s even worse than the storyline coming out before you sat in that
STEELE: Again, this is not about Chris Christie being afraid of
anything. This is about a political decision that was made.
Look, the Republican Party, a lot of the national Republicans are
very bothered if not in fact upset that they didn`t get a fair shot of
getting -- you know, having a Republican hold the seat for the next year,
as opposed to having the special election in October with an election in
So, there are a lot of dynamics at play here and Chris Christie is
calculating exactly which costs him less in the longer run politically and
this was his call.
REID: I actually think that`s kind of stunning, because you just
said that Chris Christie basically what you described is a man who`s
looking out entirely for himself. I had said that in another show that
he`d (INAUDIBLE) if he was the head of a fraternity, because this is guy is
essentially what you just said, is that he`s willing to spend $25 million -
STEELE: Wait a minute.
REID: Wait a minute, Michael, he`s willing to spend $25 million of
New Jersey taxpayers money just to make sure he has the right patina for a
potential run he hasn`t announced in 2016. That`s so insane.
STEELE: Why are you so shocked by the politics? I love you guys on
the left that get the holier than thou about political action, as if this
is the first time this has ever happened in politics --
REID: Do you want to know why we`re shocked? Because your boy,
Chris Christie, has set himself up: A, as a fiscal conservative. Clearly,
he`s not. B, as a straight talker, a guy who puts the voters of New Jersey
first. That was the whole theme, right? Well, clearly not, because he`s
putting himself ahead of the voters.
This isn`t a political calculation that`s cost free. This is costing
real money, and Chris Christie said he wouldn`t waste the money on this
kind of special election. That is a problem for his brand, is it not,
REID: Can I tell you something in if people are as out of sorts
about it as you are, guess what? It will be reflected in the polls this
November. But Chris Christie has made his calculation and he`s decided
exactly what pound of flesh is going to be removed from his hide on this
thing politically and he can live with that.
And so, look, you can look the clip saying what he said back when he
ran in 2009, you can run the clip what he said about special elections then
and now. But at the end of the day this is a political decision as all
elections are. He`s made that calculation and clearly he`s not going to be
that harmed by it because the voters don`t seem to be that put out by it --
at least not as put out as you are.
REID: Yes, we haven`t taken a poll on it, and I don`t have to run
the clips because Jon Stewart is running them for me.
REID: You know a little something, Michael Steele, about being sort
on the outs of your party and your party sort of not loving what you`re
doing. Give me your quick assessment of Chris Christie`s viability period
in 2016. He set up a lot of problems for himself, right, hugging Obama,
the new spending free on the special election.
STEELE: Yes. You know, he`s set up a problem with himself inside
the party with some folks. But there are a lot of Republicans that love
the guy for what he`s able to do, and that is to translate conservatism in
a very cool way sometimes, in a very direct way that is focused on some of
the fundamentals that we`ve always argued about, the fiscal responsibility,
So, the reality of Chris Christie is one he`s going to shape in the
next couple of years going into 2016, not so much concerned about hearing
the honking horns from the folks on the right and that`s his modus
operandi. He`s not fazed by that from day one. I don`t think he`ll be
fazed by it in 2016. And that has a lot of resonance of voters.
Chris Christie is a long ballplayer. It`s not just about getting
through this election cycle. It`s about how you set the argument going
forward about a transcendent party that he wants to lead.
REID: Michael --
STEELE: And we`ll see if that comes out.
REID: Michael, I love you, but everything you just said is the
opposite of what Chris Christie did. He did just try to get this election
cycle and he`s not a fiscal conservative.
But I want to ask you a question.
STEELE: He is a fiscal conservative.
REID: He`s spending $25 million on a special election.
STEELE: The guy spends one thing and you`re like going off on this.
REID: It`s $25 million push off.
Are you running for governor of Maryland, dude? Make some news on
THE ED SHOW.
STEELE: No, I`m not making any news. We`re just looking at it.
It`s a fly over. There`s no campaign organization. No structure. We`re
REID: All right. See, I thought we were friends.
Al right. Michael, thanks a lot. Thanks for nothing. Thanks for
joining us. Have a great day.
Coming up, this week`s biggest pretender, Michele Bachmann. Once
again, the Tea Party (INAUDIBLE) has had trouble grasping reality.
Plus, millions of Americans are going to have access to the health
care for the first time and they don`t know how to get it. That`s ahead in
our rapid response panel. But next, I`m taking your questions.
Stay tuned. You`re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.
REID: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.
We love hearing from your viewers and in "Ask Ed Live", the first
question is from Valencia Dale.
And Valencia asked, "What would you like to tell the GOP and male
pundits about the war on women?"
One word: Retreat. You can`t win this war. Just give up. You need
to find younger people who actually know some women who are willing to talk
to them before you can talk to us about anything to do with women`s
reproduction or actually women period. Just retreat.
All right. We got to our next question, who`s from Roosevel
"Why aren`t congressional Democrats touting the benefits of ACA, the
Affordable Care Act?"
Actually, it`s kind of the same answer. Retreat. Democrats worked
for a hundred years essentially to get universal health care. When they
finally got it, congressional Democrats ran out the door in the opposite
direction because they were worried about the 2010 elections. They were
worried that Republican obfuscation on the plan would take them so they`re
terrified of supporting the law. That is my answer.
Well, stick around, because the rapid response panel is next and
we`re going to be talking more on ACA.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If you`re one of
nearly 6 million Californians or tens of millions of Americans who don`t
currently have health insurance, you`ll soon be able to buy quality
affordable care just like everybody else. Beginning on October 1st of this
year, you can comparison shop an array of private health insurance plans
side by side, just like you were going online to compare cars or airline
tickets. And that means insurance companies will actually have to compete
with each other for your business.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: That was President Obama on Friday explaining a critical piece
of the Affordable Care Act, online health insurance marketplaces. In a
speech, the president laid out the benefits of Obamacare and how
implementation will begin to positively impact Americans.
But, unfortunately for the president, Americans are still uninformed
on how Obamacare will help them. A recent study found that 58 percent of
uninsured Americans don`t have enough information to know how it will
affect them. Did you hear me? Six out of ten uninsured people have no
idea how to get the health care they need.
Luckily, President Obama cleared up some of this yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Folks are going to need to sign up. So, you can find out how
to sign up at healthcare.gov.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: You heard it from the president himself. If you want to find
out how Obamacare can help you, visit healthcare.gov.
Now, probably, because nobody has any idea what`s in the law, it`s
popularity is at an all time low. A new NBC News/"Wall Street Journal"
poll shows 49 percent of Americans think Obamacare is a bad idea, compared
to 37 percent who think it`s a good idea.
And you need to know that`s on purpose. These numbers are mostly
driven by three years of heavily funded Republican misinformation campaign
and Democrats who basically been MIA.
A recent analysis of TV advertising about Obamacare shows critics out
spending supporters by a five to one margin.
Since March of 2010, $400 million has been spent paining Obamacare in
a negative light. While, only $75 million has been spent supporting it.
The president is aware of this and addressed it yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: You can listen to a lot of political talk out there, negative
ads and fear-mongering geared towards the next election, or alternatively,
you can actually look at what`s happening in states like California right
now. And the fact of the matter is, through these exchanges, not only are
the 5 percent of who already have health insurance getting better
protections and receiving rebates and being able to keep their kids on
their health insurance until they`re 26, and getting free preventive care,
but if you don`t have health insurance and you`re trying to get it through
the individual market and it`s too expensive or it`s too restrictive, you
now have these marketplaces where they`re going to offer you a better deal
because of choice in competition.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: And for more on this, let`s turn to the rapid response panel:
MSNBC`s Steve Kornacki of "UP WITH STEVE", and director, Dr. Donna Gentile
O`Donnell, Democratic strategist and author of "Provider of Last Report",
and Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson.
I want to start with you, Donna. How did we get to a point where the
president of the United States is still attempting to explain the basics of
Obamacare three years later?
DONNA GENTILE O`DONNELL, HEALTH POLICY EXPERT: Well, I think you hit
on it when we talked about the massive amount of money the Republicans have
spent pillaring the president for trying to take care of folks. If you
look at the actions that the Congress has taken, they spent -- they
appropriated and spent $185 million to advertise for Medicare Part B.
O`DONNELL: And in contrast $35 million for Obamacare? Thirty-five
I mean, it`s so disparate. There`s an interesting history about how
we got to where we are, which is kind of a whole another story. But the
pillaring of this president and the party over trying to take care of
folks, that`s the biggest problem about why the misinformation campaign has
been reasonably successful.
REID: And I think I have to go to the Congresswoman on that.
Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, that`s a really great point that
Donna makes. The appropriation of the money to actually explain the law,
let alone defending it, why was that not included in the negotiations over
passing the Obamacare law, the Affordable Care?
REP. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON (D), TEXAS: I think the focus was on
trying to make sure all of the benefits were in place. It was very
difficult act to pass. And it was difficult because the insurance
companies that were making all of the money because it was so restrictive
did not want to see it passed. And it was very clear that it made for a
very difficult process to clear it.
And persons who were trying to support the act were threatened all
the time about their elections. There were many ads -- there still have
many ads -- that are played against candidates trying to make sure that
they are dogged for supporting it. I know that in the future because it`s
not going to be repealed, even though the House repealed it 40 times, they
just keep going it so they can have something to talk about negatively.
JOHNSON: But people are getting money back because of the act calls
from insurance companies to spend the money they collect on premiums on
You know, I have to ask -- I want to ask Steve, because, you know,
the congresswoman is going to explain some of the things that people can
receive. I do find it kind of stunning that we essentially have a law that
was sort of the biggest piece of legislation probably passed in the last 50
years at least, right, since Medicare, and no one knows what`s in it.
Is this a problem of politics or is this is a problem of policy? Has
the administration failed here or is it the Republicans? I mean, what`s --
who`s to blame?
STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC HOST: I really -- I don`t put this on the
administration. I don`t think this is a case of, you know, wow they
haven`t been good at the messaging or anything like that.
Politics really is the answer. What I think of is what happened in
Massachusetts, where there was a mini-version of Obamacare called
Romneycare that was passed or seven years ago.
REID: Right, right.
KORNACKI: What happened in Massachusetts was, first of all, it
really was a bipartisan thing. Ted Kennedy was on the stage with Mitt
Romney. The minute that Mitt Romney signed that law, most of the politics
around it evaporated, and there was a concerted public relations campaign
where you know groups in the community, businesses, sort of the entire
state got involved in promoting this is now the law, this is what`s
available to you, this is what yaw need to do. And it sort of stopping a
But what this really is we talk about the culture of sort of partisan
polarization in this country right now, Obamacare is the preeminent symbol
of the Obama presidency.
KORNACKI: So, to the right, you know, you`re never going to go right
on the right. You`re never going to go wrong bashing the president which
means you`re never going to go wrong bashing Obamacare. So, we`re sort of
we`ve never made that jump they made in Massachusetts.
REID: Right. OK. We`re going to go to rapid fire topic number two.
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has promised to veto to any bill that
comes across her desk until the state legislature approves Medicaid
expansion under Obama. And I`m going to go to you, Donna, because this is
odd. Now you have a governor who made her life revolve around getting rid
of Obamacare. But now, she`s saying, wait a minute, free money, my
hospitals won`t go bankrupt, I actually want this.
Is this the model what we`re going to see happen -- the governors
need the money and they`re going to take it?
O`DONNELL: I think we`re going to see a lot more of that. I think
this si a cognitive dissonance that is occurring with Republican governors
in the states where they stare down this big chunk of money that they know
they need for the people that need to be cared for. So I think we`re going
to see more episodes where Republican governors are staring down those
numbers and saying, I got to figure out a way to make this work.
And, Steve, I want to show this map that we have that shows the
states that are saying they`re going to go ahead and implement Obamacare,
about 24 states, and about 20 states saying no and then you have eight
states that are sort of in between. Super impose that on the percentages
of the uninsured in those states and what you find out is the states most
in need -- first of all, it looks like a map of the old Civil War. But
putting that aside, the states that are in most in need of the money, the
most people on Medicaid, the biggest rates of poverty are saying we don`t
want this money.
Steve, this makes no sense.
KORNACKI: Well, that`s been the disconnect on this issue from the
very beginning is when you poll the individual components of the Affordable
Care Act, they`re all -- they`re basically all extremely popular. The
mandate itself I know doesn`t necessarily poll well. But all of the other
components of the law poll well. Then, when you throw the name Obamacare
on it, it changes completely.
The other thing about that map is it looks like the red state/blue
state maps. It`s in the states where President Obama basically can`t win
in the presidential election, in these states it`s this -- you know, thing
that`s associated with the president that nobody makes the connection that
these component parts are actually good for me.
And so, the question is, when you`re talking about uninsured people
in these states, the question is, if it gets up and run in the states, and
it`s questionable if the governors aren`t really hopping up, but it if it
sorts of happen in the states, will they make that connection?
Although I`m not sure about that because there`s that line in the Tea
Party rally a few years ago, keep your government hands off my Medicare.
KORNACKI: A lot of people never made the connection that Medicare
was a government product.
REID: Exactly. Even Ronald Reagan said it was socialism, and
probably the Brewer care in Jan Brewer`s Arizona.
I want to ask Eddie Bernice, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson last
question. African-Americans, as we know, are more uninsured at higher
rates than anyone else. Obama is clearly not unpopular with African-
Americans. There will be no problem with advertising the benefits of
Obamacare, so, let`s say your constituents.
Is that something that Congressional Black Caucus members are doing
or plan to do?
JOHNSON: Yes, we do. And we planned to be joined by many of our
colleagues because we know that come October, we need to get more
information out there. Our voices are being somewhat drowned out because
of all of the money being spent against it.
But the reality is, everyone benefits. For the first time, people
that are uninsured will have the opportunity to go to marketplace and buy
insurance. This takes it to beyond the one or two insurance companies that
had all the market captured in the past. It gives much more opportunity,
much more competition. And competition is what will control much of that
Also, the rule that if you don`t pay for health care through the
premiums, you refund the money -- we`ve had 13 million people get back more
than a billion dollars this past year.
So, it works. I can tell you that in four or five years it will be
the same, be revered as much as Social Security.
REID: Yes, I look forward to the day when Tea Partiers are saying
keep your government hands off my Obamacare, because that is coming.
I want to ask one last exit question to you, Donna, I`m going to give
you the last word on this -- why isn`t there an incentive for the insurance
companies themselves who are getting all of he new healthy customers coming
in? Is there an incentive for them to advertise what`s in this law?
O`DONNELL: I think there is an incentive open that will play out
over some period of time. I mean, one of the things that`s so interesting
is if you go back and you do the long view of how we`ve evolved into health
care for regular folks, is that all of the entities that have skin in this
game, at some point they step up.
I mean, for example, in California, the California Foundation stepped
up and they`re advertising on behalf of Obamacare, as is the Kaiser Family
Foundation. So, I think other entities that have skin in the game are
going to take the lead.
REID: All right. Public/private partnerships advertised here on THE
ED SHOW, thank you very much to Steve Kornacki, Donna Gentile O`Donnell, as
well Congressman Eddie Bernice Johnson -- thank you to all of you.
REID: All right. And tonight in the survey, I ask you, are
Republicans being hypocritical for criticizing the president over the NSA?
Ninety-eight percent say yes, 2 percent say no.
And up next, this week`s great pretender, Michele Bachmann hanging to
delusions of grandeur. Her political career meanwhile stinks.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), MINNESOTA: We see this coming -- just
like the Titanic, we see the iceberg, only it`s not just in a mist shortly
in front of our eyes. We have time to turn.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Some pretenders just can never say good-bye. Our pretender
tonight is none other than Michele Bachmann.
The congresswoman dropped by FOX for a game of make-believe with Sean
Hannity. Bachmann bid adieu with a look back on her record.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BACHMANN: I feel like I`ve done a lot in the eight years that I`ve
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: That`s quite a recollection of events. Maybe she just missed
last weekend`s ED SHOW. Let`s remind her.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ED SCHULTZ, THE ED SHOW`S HOST: The number is zero. That`s the
number of bills Michele Bachmann has sponsored and become law -- zero.
Michele Bachmann has no legislative accomplishments during her seven years
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: The truth, as always, failed to stop her. She even had some
examples of her contribution to Congress. What a giver.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BACHMANN: I pushed back on the bailout. I was a champion of
repealing Obamacare and also dealing with this issue of the IRS. I`ve
involved in that as a former IRS attorney. On issue after issue, dealing
with the rise of Islamic jihad, I`ve been there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Now, now, this is an honest mistake. She`s mixing up blind
opposition and witch hunt with work. It happens all the time for the GOP.
Now, if I know Bachmann, she won`t leave us empty handed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BACHMANN: I may run for another public office. That could happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: There it is. Could this be Bachmann 2016? Oh, please.
Michele Bachmann is more than welcome to make history with two unsuccessful
presidential campaigns. But if she thinks she can rewrite history to get
her -- to make her stand out for anything besides halting incompetence, she
can keep on pretending.
REID: Welcome back.
The Congressional Oversight Committee held yet another IRS hearing
this week. Congressman Darrell Issa continues to enjoy the spotlight
leading the charge on uncovering the truth about the IRS scandal.
Thursday`s hearing -- Thursday`s hearing focused on a now viral video
of IRS members dancing. That`s right. Congress is spending time and
effort to scrutinize an awkward dance video. The dance video depicts the
struggles of IRS agents to learn how to keep shuffle. But Cupid, the man
behind the original shuffle isn`t getting any credit. His moves are making
serious waves across Congress and YouTube alike.
So, let`s see what the fuss is all about.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At an undisclosed location, world famous dance
instructor -- brought together a rag tag group of SB/SE executives. Their
dream: to become the next great dance sensation. This is their story.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, you`re not just getting in class. Get in
So challenging to teach them even though the lyrics are the direction
to the dance. My goodness.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: And joining me now is the man behind the Shuffle, musician
Cupid, thanks so much for being here.
CUPID, MUSICIAN: Hey, my friend, how are you today?
REID: I`m doing really well.
So, you saw that video. You saw the awkward attempted dance moves,
including the punch move. I think the punch move was one of them, of those
beleaguered IRS employees. Can you critique their moves? What did they do
CUPID: First of all, I don`t think they were loose enough. They
didn`t get a full stretch. Secondly, I did notice an injury. There was
someone who had a cast on. There seemed as though there was some injuries
prior to the actual video being shot.
REID: OK, so you have to stretch, I should write that down. You
don`t want to be injured when doing it.
Now, when people are learning the "Cupid Shuffle", do you think
people find it difficult to do the moves? I mean, you do say to the left,
then you say to the left again, followed by to the right, to the right.
Why is that so difficult for people to do?
CUPID: Awkwardly enough, that`s one of the songs that, like, has the
directions implemented in every verse. So it`s kind of hard for me to
understand why people mess it up. I think they think a little too much
But it`s got to be the easiest dance to do in the world which is why
the IRS chose to use it for their powwow.
REID: I don`t think that says good things about them that they
couldn`t do it.
Well, Cupid, tell us about the origin of this dance that has taken
America by storm? When did you write it? Were you surprised at how big of
a hit it`s become? It`s a party staple.
CUPID: Yes, it is. It`s an American staple by far.
It started in 2007, I released it. It`s become almost a viral
sensation. It`s one of those songs that it`s timeless. You know, you hear
it in different Chuck E. Cheese. You may hear at water parks, amusement
parks, family reunions.
So, it`s something that -- it`s great to know my music brings that
type of element to the world and makes people feel good. To have the IRS,
a group that people don`t look at as super friendly, for them to use it to
bring -- shed light on their job, I thought that was pretty cool.
REID: Yes, I have been to many a Chuck E. Cheese with the children,
and you`re right, the "Cupid Shuffle" is a staple there.
Cupid, you were on another of my favorite shows on NBC, "The Voice."
And that sort of give people an opportunity to see you in person. You`re a
lot younger, I think a lot of people are surprised how young you are. Do
you have another hit in you? Is there another "Cupid Shuffle" coming of
you, of Cupid?
CUPID: Absolutely. I have two new singles, one is called "Do It
with Your Boots On," which is very viral. We have over half a million hits
on is that video. And also, the one called "The Dade County Dip." That`s
about to come up.
My music is that backyard barbecue music, like again, you want to
feel good and have a good time, the Cupid Shuffle," "The Love Slide," "Do
It with Your Boots" -- all these songs, you can go on YouTube, learn the
dances and bring them to your party. So, I`ve got a few.
REID: Thank you very much. Well, people really appreciate you
brought so much to it the IRS, do you with your boots on, but not your
cash. Thanks so much, Cupid.
CUPID: Thank you.
REID: All right. And that is THE ED SHOW, I am Joy Reid in for Ed
Schultz. We`ll see you tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. Good night.
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