The Ed Show for Wednesday, September 4th, 2013
Read the transcript to the Wednesday show
THE ED SHOW
September 4, 2013
Guests: Bernard Sanders, Elijah Cummings, Dr. Corey Hebert, Dr. Rani G. Whitfield, Joan Walsh, Alan Grayson, Jim McDermott
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kind of these red lines and it`s risked involved
only for American men and women.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why can`t we concentrate on our own problem?
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Because we give lift
service to the notion that these international norms are important.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC HOST: The use of chemical weapons against civilians
is beyond despicable and this Assad guy, he`s a bad dude but it`s a civil
OBAMA: This is not Iraq and this is not Afghanistan. This is a
limited, proportional step.
JON STEWART, JON STEWART SHOW HOST: We`ll call it Operation Just the
CHUCK HAGEL, DEFENSE SECRETARY: We want to fire a shot across the
bound. And then he goes off and plays golf.
GEORGE W. BUSH: To stop these terrorist killers. Thank you. Now
watch this drive.
JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: I remember Iraq.
BUSH: I don`t know how you would describe it, it`s kind of a
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Frenzy.
BUSH: . frenzy is how the secretary would describe it.
KERRY: The United States and our allies have ample ways to make them
regret that decision without going to war.
BUSH: Not only will we consult with friends and allies, we`ll consult
with members of Congress.
KERRY: That when we say never again, we mean, never again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Good to have you with us tonight folks. Thanks for
watching, it absolutely pains me to show you this. But that`s where we
are. We have breaking news tonight as we start this program. The senate
foreign relations committee has voted to approve a limited military strike
on Syria. Limited Strike, what is that?
If a Cruise Missile comes in your backyard and kills your kids, would
you think that, "Ah it`s just limited?" It is an act of war. This will
now go for a vote to the full senate. The Obama Administration, they are
on a roll. They`re pulling out all stops to sell you. It`s an all out
offensive to convince the American people that a strike against Syria will
keep us a heck of a lot safer.
I couldn`t disagree more, I`m not sold and I think you should be sold.
This is a bad situation all around. There are no good players, there are
no good guys and we`re about to become a bad guy. I don`t like that, we`ve
been down that road before but here we go. The facts, President Obama
continue to push for military intervention today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: I do think that we have to act, because if we don`t, we are
effectively saying that even though we may condemn it and issue resolutions
and so forth and so on that somebody who is not shamed by resolutions can
continue to act with impurity.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: I tell you what, I don`t mean to be disrespectful but that`s
almost like a leftover memo from the Bush Administration. Secretary of
State John Kerry also continued his push for a strike on Syria today. He
warned, he warned us of grave consequences for America and the world if we
don`t take any action.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KERRY: Syria, bottom line is important to America and our security
for many reasons. First, you can`t overlook the danger that these weapons
as you said in the Syria Accountability Act pose to the Middle East, to our
allies, to our friends. You can`t overlook the threat that they face even
to the United States ultimately if they fall into the wrong hands, or if
they are used with impunity.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Well why aren`t the countries in the Middle East hitting
Syria first? Why is it us? We`re getting the sell job, big time from
Secretary Kerry. You know, there`s a lot of great honorable Americans who
are making the case for striking Syria, I just respectfully disagree with
them and I think America is a little bit angry that this is happening right
Secretary Kerry is saying that if we don`t act, something bad could
happen. My friends we have heard the same thing back in 2003.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: We are now acting because the risks of inaction would be far
greater. In one year or five years, the power of Iraq to inflict harm on
all free nations would be multiplied many times over. In this century,
when evil men plot chemical, biological and nuclear terror, a policy of
appeasement could bring destruction of a kind never before seen on this
KERRY: The risk of not acting is greater than the risk of acting. If
we don`t take a stand here today, I guarantee you, we are more likely to
face far greater risks to our security in a far greater likelihood of
conflict that demands our action in the future.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: I just don`t agree with that, that`s a theory that if we
don`t act, something bad is really going to happen. John Kerry, the man
who ran on an anti war platform in 2004 is now making the Bush like
argument for a strike in Syria and it is war. It is an act of war.
I think the Secretary of State is flat out wrong with his assessments,
in his arguments and tonight I`m going to highlight step by step why
military action against Syria is dangerous for the world and this country.
All we hear about are the risks of inaction which we`ve heard before
but what about the risk of action? This Assad is a bad dude, so he`s the
next bad dude I guess we got to go after in America. He`s a crazy guy
who`s used his chemical weapons on his own people. We`ve seen that before
in the Middle East and didn`t act on it. We don`t know how he`s going to
respond or how other countries might line up with him and respond.
Assad told the French newspaper, "If the United States attacks, it
could set off a powder keg and spark a regional war". Is that what we
want?" Is this a risk we are willing to take as Americans? Americans, we
need to speak up. You need to call your representatives and tell him how
you think. I think that if we hit Syria, we increase the risk of getting
hit on our own soil. I mean that`s a theory. It`s just we`re playing the
theory game, I might as well throw that in there, we could hit at home if
we do this.
We really don`t know what Syria`s response is going to be. Make no
mistake. If we strike Syria, it will inflame a good portion of the Arab
world even further against the United States. Images of the attack are
going to be broadcast around the world. It will be used as a recruiting
tool for Al-Qaeda and it`s going to help our enemies.
The domino effect is starting, is it? The resolution from the Senate
foreign relations committee calls for 90 days of action with no boots on
the ground and you know how important yesterday`s meeting was? Yesterday`s
hearing was important because that basically was smoked out. There was
broad language in there and they reeled it in, so the President did the
right thing seriously by going to Congress but I -- I hope the President
went to Congress not just to get legal justification and authority and
approval from Congress.
I hope he went to Congress to find out what the hell the American
people think? The situation I think would be catastrophic for President
Obama and our country if we do this. Democrats in Congress need to save
this President for making a catastrophic mistake. We need a no-vote on
striking Syria. I mean a big capital NO.
Now, do we matter? Well, six in 10 Americans are against hitting
Syria and Congress they got a lousy approval rating. They`re down at 14
percent, pretty ironic. The people with no popularity are going to do
something that most of the people don`t want. Here`s what disturbs me
about what Secretary Kerry said yesterday.
He is making the case that the President isn`t asking us to go to war.
Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KERRY: Let me be clear, President Obama is not asking America to go
to war. And I say that sitting next to two men, Secretary Hagel and
Chairman Dempsey who know what war is. Senator McCain knows what war is.
They know the difference between going to war and what President Obama
is requesting now. We all agree there will be no American boots on the
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Very effective presentation by the Secretary and former
Senator and great American and war hero, no doubt about it, to explain that
there are people in that room that know what war is all about. I get all
But whose definition are we using? Is this the American definition of
war? Do you think that these Syrian people are going to have 200 cruise
missiles come down on them and think that they`re not at war, it`s just
America just kind of pissed off at us right now.
Stop the word sniffing. If we hit them with one missile, it is an act
of war. But now we`ve kind of changed the wording a little bit. It`s not
slum dunk anymore, it`s high confidence. The word escalation has to come
in to the dialogue in all of these. Are we sure that there would be an
escalation? Are we willing to take this risk?
Now, I might sound like a neocon right now but if you want absolutes
here, you want to really make sure that Assad doesn`t use chemical weapons
anymore, why you got to take him out? But we`re not in that business
anymore which is good. This is a civil war. They have not hit the United
States and all these talk about our image in the world.
I don`t care what the President says. I don`t care, I mean, I care
about what the President acts on and if he hits Syria, this is going to
explode. There could be a chain reaction. We don`t know where it`s going.
This is not the right move now. And what`s kind of scary about all of this
is, there`s a lot of folks carrying bibles under their arm around this
country that think this is the beginning of the end times. I hope not.
Mr. President, I ask you on Friday night not to do this. I haven`t
changed my position after listening to all of these senators tell us how we
have to do this. The vote was 10 to seven. The poll members show that the
American people aren`t on board for this. You will not be embarrassed at
all if the American people speak and you step up and say, "We`re not behind
this, I`m behind it, but we`re not behind it." There`s no embarrassment in
democracy. There`s no embarrassment in saying, "This is not what our
country wants right now." And we have to take under consideration that
escalation in these times is something we shouldn`t be rolling any dice
with right now. We really don`t know, there`s a little bit too much theory
going on as to what could happen if we do this.
Get your cellphones out, I want to know what you think tonight`s
question. I want to know.
If the United States military hits Syria, is it an act of war? Text A
for Yes, text B for No to 67622. You can always go to our blog at
ed.msnbc.com. We`ll bring the results later on, on the show.
For more, let me turn to Senator Bernie Sanders, Independent from
Vermont. Senator, good to have you with us tonight. Senator, where do you
stand on what you have heard in the sell job that`s going on? And it is,
they`re trying to make the case to convince the American people that we
should have "a limited strike against Syria." Senator, where do you stand?
How do you assess it?
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, (I) VERMONT: You know, I`m keeping an open mind
and I want to hear everything the administration has to say. But I would
be less than honest with you, If I didn`t say I had very, very deep
concerns about this proposal, and by the way, I could tell that you that in
my office, the phones are mopping off the hook there and almost
unanimously, people are opposed to what the president is talking about.
And here are my concerns Ed. There are number of them. Number one,
you know, the congress as everybody knows is significantly dysfunctional
today. And in the midst of a collapsing middle class, high unemployment,
low wages, global warming, and all of the other major problems our county
faces, we`re not dealing with them today. And what do you think happens if
we get involved in a war in Syria, where all of the attention will be, how
are we going to address the major problems facing our people. That`s issue
Issue number two. The president talks about a surgical strike,
limited engagement. But listen carefully to what people like Senator
McCain are talking about. That`s not what they are talking about. They
are talking about regime change. They`re talking about over throwing
Assad. And that means, billions and billions of dollars. And if the
effort does not go well, some time in the future, it could, it could mean
American troops on the ground.
Third point. You know, we talk about a world of law. I have real
concerns about the United States acting unilaterally without the United
Nations, without NATO, without the International Community. I think that`s
a terrible president for other countries in years to come to take civil
reaction, and what are we going to say, the pressure on China.
SANDERS: . goes to war.
SCHULTZ: Senator, aren`t you concerned.
SANDERS: Some of the concerns.
SCHULTZ: Yeah, absolutely. Aren`t there -- and of course, who`s
going to pay for all of this stuff? Can you trust the Republicans that
their not going to come back and say, "Well guys, we spend a bunch of money
on Syria, we got to go after the big treat, we got to have offsets." This
is not -- this is not a good scenario that`s playing at, your thoughts on
SANDERS: Ed, you`re exactly right. Our Republican friends have made
it very clear. They`re not going to ask the wealthy or large corporations
to pay more in taxes. They already want to cut Social Security, Medicare,
and Medicaid. What may well be happening is the cost of this war may be
paid for by more kids being thrown off of head spot, senior citizens being
thrown off Meals on Wheels programs, educational programs being cut.
SANDERS: The Republicans would go in that way to pay for this war.
That`s clear to me.
SCHULTZ: Well, there`s consequences on elections, there`s also
consequences to war, and by belt tightening at home is not where the
American people are right now. We`re looking for investment into what we
need to do to keep this country going. Senator, are you concerned that
more countries aren`t onboard? We talked about a moral obligation, we hear
all of that, we talked about our image in the world. Does that mean
anything? I mean, more countries just aren`t jumping on this action.
SANDERS: Ed, what I worry about is what the United States is
becoming. We`re not a leader in the world in healthcare, in education, in
infrastructure but we are becoming the leader in the world. The policeman
of the world and other countries are saying, "Hey, you guys pay for, we are
now spending militarily almost as much as the rest of the world combined."
Meanwhile other countries guarantee healthcare to all of their people.
SANDERS: So I do worry very much about the United States going
forward alone. I think it`s a very bad precedence.
SCHULTZ: Senator, good to have you with us tonight. I appreciate
your time being on the Ed Show. I just want to point out that I don`t
think that the 21 senators that voted against the war in Iraq have ever
regretted that vote. And I hope that there is a very robust debate on the
House and Senate floor about this. The American people have to matter in
Remember to answer tonight`s question there at the bottom of the
screen. Share your thoughts on Twitter at Ed Show and on Facebook. We
always want to know what you think. Coming up, conservatives try to think
President Obama`s decision on Syria is a sign of weakness. Congressmen
Elijah Cummings is here to respond. And later the Secretary of explaining
stuff hits the road to promote ObamaCare.
I`ll ask the Rapid Response panel if the former president`s pitch is
working. Stay tune.
SCHULTZ: Time now for the Trenders. The Ed Show`s social media
nation has decided and we are reporting. Here are today`s top Trenders
voted on by you.
The number three trender, labor leader.
THOMAS PEREZ,UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF LABOR : The Department of
Labor is a department of opportunity. Our common agenda must be, jobs,
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thomas Perez takes the helm at the Department of
PEREZ: We`re all in this together. Working together, we can unleash
the economy`s full potential. Nobody should have to live in poverty who`s
working a full-time job. Our job is to make the American dream a reality
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our number two trender, double dribble.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dennis Rodman is now in North Korea for a meeting
with leader Kim Jong Un.
DENNIS RODMAN; RETIRED AMERICAN PROFESSIONAL BASKETBALL PLAYER: I
just want to go over that to meet my friend Kim (inaudible) start a new
basketball league over there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`ve heard that the dream team, well we`re the
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The former NBA star heads back to North Korea.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kim and Dennis Rodman are in the house.
RODMAN: I`m going to go over there to have a good time and
(inaudible) a bridge of gap with the Americans and North Korea.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And today`s top trender, weak spot.
OBAMA: The United States should take military action against Syrian
regime targets. I will seek authorization for the use of force from the
American people`s representatives in congress.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The decision to get congress a vote is a
political gamble by President Obama.
SAXBY CHAMBLISS (R) GEORGIA: I`m afraid that what is shown is
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Conservatives attacked the President`s decision on
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well two words come to mind they are both four
letters, mess and weak.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bullies and Tyrants don`t respect weakness.
STEWART: All right, we have to bomb Syria because we`re in 7th grade.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s weakness say on the part of the president.
STEWART: You know what else is weakness? Asking the advice of a
(inaudible) of idiots who got the same issue completely wrong in Iraq.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Joining me tonight Congressman Elijah Cummings of Maryland.
Congressman, great to have you with us tonight, I got to get this in. We
do have some breaking news. The White House released a statement
commanding the Senate Foreign Relations committee on the Syria resolution.
The statement reads in part, "We believe America is stronger when the
President and the congress work together." Great to have you with us
If President Obama doesn`t get a yes vote, does he look weak?
REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS, (D) MARYLAND: Ed, I don`t think so. Personally
of all I think -- I thought it was a good move politically and morally to
come to the Congress and seek their approval. I thought that was a bold
move. And the fact is that you got to remember Ed, this President came in
to office and was elected twice based on getting us out of war, not getting
us into war.
And so, I thought it was an important move. And now, the Congress
must act very carefully to try to address this issue and that`s what I`m
trying to do. I`m spending almost everyday spending literally hours
pouring over information, trying to figure all of these out because it is
indeed a very complicated issue. And I admire all my colleagues who have
already made up their minds. I got to tell you, I`ve listened to the
briefings both classified and unclassified. I`ve read the documents.
There are some issues that really stand out here.
SCHULTZ: Well, in this briefings, is there anything that has tipped
you to vote yes for a strike on Syria?
CUMMINGS: Ed, I`m still trying to figure it out. Let me give you an
example. To answer your question not yet, when I think -- one of the
things that I`m most concern about this, come over very clear, on the
unintended consequences that may come out of this. Here we have President
Assad who I believe based up on everything I`ve seen in red did in fact
gassed his people. No doubt -- I have no doubt about that.
The problem Ed is, what happens when we have this, so called limited
strikes. I think a person who is able to gas his people is going to react.
SCHULTZ: No question.
CUMMINGS: And we don`t know what that reaction is going to be.
SCHULTZ: No question.
CUMMINGS: And that is a real. And if you really listened to
Secretary Kerry who I have a lot of respect for yesterday in his testimony
before the senate, I mean he basically said, "Look, you know, we don`t know
what`s going to happen. We think, are we going to be able to contain and
degrade Assad`s ability to deliver these chemical weapons?" But after that
what happens? And I`m trying to figure out what is the plan down the road.
SCHULTZ: Well, the response to the response to the response is
something no one can predict.
SCHULTZ: But Congressman, how can we assume that the Syrian people
are going to say that this is not an act of war, that they only hit us with
a few Cruise missiles, that they only hit us with 200. I mean we may not
view it as an act of war and the Senate Foreign Relation`s Committee and
the debate coming up with the House. But who`s to say that the Syrian
people and Arab World isn`t going to view this as some, you know, cowboy
diplomacy that we`ve taken a shot at them. And it could inflame the entire
Arab World against the United States.
CUMMINGS: Well, I got to tell you Ed, this is the argument. The
argument that you`re making right now is one, that I`m hearing from my
constituents and I know Bernie Sanders said most of the calls coming into
his office were against his effort. I can tell you, 99 percent of the
calls coming into my office are against it. And they are citing the types
of things that you just said.
SHULTZ: Well, I`ve got to ask you, Congressman, are the American
people going to matter and is there going to be a robust debate? I mean if
the American people don`t want this, where are we?
CUMMINGS: Well, first of all, I think -- I would be surprised if the
President went forward with this. But that -- you just hit on a very key
question, Ed. I think the President`s got to come before the nation. He`s
got to do this. And as a friend of his, I would say, "Mr. President, you
got to come before the nation and you got to lay out exactly why you feel
that you have to act now. You must make sure the nation understands what
is so egregious about chemical and biological weapons." You know,
everything, all the briefings that I`ve been in the -- I feel like it was
kind of talking above the average person.
CUMMINGS: And when I talk to my constituents, I`m hearing the same
CUMMINGS: They`d say, "Well, Cummings what`s -- I mean why should we
be so upset?" So, anyway, again, I think he`s going to have to come before
the nation. I hope he do it sooner rather than later.
SCHULTZ: Well, an analysis from Think Progress finds that 153 house
members have already gone on record saying that they will vote no or
leaving or leaning towards the no vote. Only 47 have come forward out in
support of this.
I would imagine, every Congressional member is getting a dose of
reality from those that they are representing. And I hope that weighs in
to all of this.
Congressman, you`re a very thoughtful man, I have immense respect for
CUMMINGS: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: If I can get you to do a no vote, I`m asking for the order
tonight. I think it`s the wrong thing to do. I would respect your
decision but I hope there`s a robust debate. And I hope we get a no vote.
I think it`s the wrong move at the wrong time.
CUMMINGS: Ed thank you very much. And I certainly respect your
opinion. And I`ve listened to you very carefully. And I am going to take
all everything into consideration. I consider this as one of most
important votes I`ll take in as a member of Congress.
SCHULTZ: I agree. Congressman, thank you so much.
CUMMINGS: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, spreading the word on ObamaCare. I`ll ask the
rapid response panel how Democrats can get their message through to the
American people. And later, Congressman Alan Grayson and Jim McDermott
join me to explain why Syria is not our fight. But next, I`m taking your
questions live. Ask Ed live just ahead. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show. We love hearing from our
viewers. Tonight in our Ask Ed live segment our first question comes from
Todd Kolod who wants to know, "What would Paul Wellstone do?" Paul
Wellstone, the former Minnesota Senator, anti-war activist who was killed
in a plane crash in October of 2002. What would Senator Wellstone do?
Well, first of all he would be saying, "Do not strike Syria." I can
say that with confidence and I also think that he would be trying to put
together a coalition of senators and demand an audience with Assad and ask
him point-blank about chemical weapon use in the future of his country.
That`s what I think Paul Wellstone would do.
Stick around. Rapid Response panel is next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: You got President Clinton who made the cases only he can.
After he spoke, somebody said how to tweet and they said, "You should
appoint him secretary of explaining stuff." I like that, secretary of
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Well, it`s been over three years since the Affordable Care
Act was signed in to law, but a new study released Wednesday shows 51
percent of Americans continue to say, they don`t have enough information
about the law to understand how it will impact them and their family. Even
more shocking 44 percent of those polls were unsure whether the Affordable
Care Act even remained in place or fought the law, had been flat out,
repealed or overturned.
Obviously, those folks aren`t paying attention. What striking is,
these numbers come less than one month out from the October 1st open
enrollment kickoff. So, in an effort to comeback this spread of this
information. President Obama has dispatched one of the Democratic Party
chief messengers and that would be the secretary of explaining stuff.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL CLINTON: This does give us the best chance we`ve had to achieve
nearly universal coverage, provide higher quality health care and lower the
right of cost increases which we have got to do in a competitive global
economy. And finally, it is the law.
And I think we have -- we`ve all got an interest in trying to
faithfully execute the laws. If you get one of these elected jobs, you
actually take and oath to do that.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Over the next six months, other marquee names in the
administration will hit the road to educate the public and encourage folks
to enroll a new coverage options. On Tuesday, the White House picked up
another powerful ally in the first official ACA partnership with a sports
franchise of the NBA and the NFL turned down national partnership under
pressure from Congressional Republicans. But the 2012 Super Bowl champs
are stepping up. The Baltimore Ravens have agreed to help market the law
to the people of Maryland.
Joining me now in our rapid response panel Dr. Corey Hebert, CEO of
BlackHealthTV.com and an assistant professor at LSU. Dr. Dr. Rani G.
Whitfield, Medical Director for the National Association of Free Clinics in
New Orleans, and Joan Walsh, Salon.com. Joan, you first, will Bill Clinton
have an impact in will we win the PR war here?
JOAN WALSH, EDITOR OF LARGE SALON.COM: I think he will have an impact
ED. I`m glad to see him doing it, I`d like to see him boil some of those
messages down and put them in Ads. I think on of the things that he did
that I like the most with that he talked about the 27 million women and 26
million men who have already gotten preventative health screenings, whether
it`s mammogram, or prostrate cancer screening, or even well baby care, all
sorts of thing that they`re getting for free that they used to have to
maybe pay something for.
He`s really -- he`s really putting the numbers out there and making
people realize that when you go into your doctor now. This is what you`re
getting and it didn`t use to be that way, I don`t think we`ve done a great
job explaining that.
SCHULTZ: Dr. Hebert, what`s causing all the confusion here?
DR. COREY HEBERT, CEO OF BLACKHEALTHTV.COM: You know, I really think
that, it`s the, Republican, you know, pushback, because I`m wearing grapes
on my tie today because I`m sick of them whining about the law. It is the
law, and that`s why I think, you know, Bill Clinton did a great job by
saying, "You know, what? It`s not necessary the best thing but give me
something else and maybe I`ll do it." But they don`t offer anything else,
and so if we don`t get up there, and beat the street, so that people can
understand this that`s the real problem, and it`s not a silver bullet. He
even said today that it`s not a silver bullet.
HEBERT: But the problem is that, people needs to understand it`s the
law, and we can work with.
SCHULTZ: Dr. Whitfield, what did people need to know before October
DR. RANI WHITFIELD, MEDICAL DIRECTOR FOR THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF
FREE CLINICS IN NEW ORLEANS: First of all that this is the law and it`s
not going to be repealed. So the efforts about the Republican Party to
continue to repeal something is a waste of time and money, and secondly
that is not that hard, I think the only problem with the speech today was
that it was -- it was not time and we should have done this maybe six
But now the speech has been done and Bill Clinton made a lot of points
knowing that you can go to healthcare.gov and get more information to talk
about that, to learn about the bill, and that it will be implemented.
And also Ed, one of things that I think that he really made that he
point out the flaws in this healthcare law, and that`s important because I
think the administration in the past has tried to kind of smashed those
over by admitting to the flaws, people know that is not perfect. But
Medicare and Medicaid were implemented, it wasn`t that easy, there were
flaws in those as well, but the overtime if the Congress and the President
can work together like we`re working together with the Syria issue, then
maybe we can get this law passed. I mean passed so we can implement it and
get people healthcare that they need.
SCHULTZ: I want to ask all three of you. What do you think the
Ravens will do? I mean, will they start a trend? Joan, you first, what do
WALSH: Well, I would love to see my San Francisco Giants do and Ad
like this, sadly I think they need ObamaCare right now, they`re not doing
very well, but they did a great PSA. for Day Care (ph) tickets better. It
would be wonderful to see a lot of Major League team to step up because
health is so important. Its accessing insurance, it`s also getting
healthy. We don`t do a very good job at that and I love to see them
talking to young people.
SCHULTZ: Dr. Hebert.
HEBERT: I think they`re going to do a great job and I would challenge
all of the sports teams. And also, a lot of these rappers and a lot of
this, you know, pop icons, you know, I think they should get together and
do this because it`s going to happen. And if you don`t understand that
you`re going to feel like you`re just staring down the tunnel and a light
is coming at you, and that`s going to be a train. There`s nothing worst
than lack of information and you`ve got to have that information. They`ll
going to do a great job.
SCHULTZ: Well, Dr. Whitfield, this sought to get the attention of
WHITFIELD: It definitely, the hip hop black (ph) I know very well
about that and I use that as an avenue and I agree with Dr. Hebert and
Joan. We`ve got to get celebrities and icons involved. It was great to
hear President Bill Clinton, but, what if we have Jay-Z, what if we have
Beyonce, talking about this in their venues, in their concerts to raise
awareness and get people on board. We`ve got to get young people to
register. Again, healthcare.gov to get more information. And Ed, glad to
have you back. And again, this is a great platform for us to educate and
share this information to you.
SCHULTZ: I appreciate that. And I want to point out to all three of
you that I was informed today that the young men in this country are the
lynch (ph) fan to this. If we can get more young men signed up into this,
it will reduce healthcare cost. Dr. Hebert, can you address that?
HEBERT: Yes, because we know that young men don`t go to the doctor.
I mean they think that they are invincible, that`s why I wrote the whole
thing, you know, ObamaCare Made Simple.
HEBERT: . I mean, I -- I put it down into 11 pages so you can go do
it. You can go to blackhealthtv.com and take a look. If we don`t address
the young men, they will -- our country are going to -- we`re going to keep
having to pay for the ills of our society. That`s what`s going to happen.
SCHULTZ: Great to have all of you with us tonight. Thanks so much.
HEBERT: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Dr. Rani Whitfield.
WHITFIELD: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: And also Joan Walsh. Thank you so much.
WALSH: Oh thanks.
SCHULTZ: Up next, John McCain`s war game lands in, in Pretenders.
SCHULTZ: And in Pretenders tonight, we have a five card dud. Senator
John McCain during the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing -- well,
the senator took his Maverick moniker more seriously than a military strike
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: You were caught today. You know what I`m
talking about, Senator. You -- there you are. There`s the picture.
During the three and a half hour hearing, at one point, you were playing a
little poker on your iPhone.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) ARIZONA: Well, as I much as I like to -- and
always listen in wrapped attention constantly with remarks of my colleagues
over three and a half hour period, occasionally, I get a little bored and
so I resorted -- but the worst thing about it is I lost thousands of
dollars in this game.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: So, when war is at stake, the senator battle boredom. If
most American workers play games on company time, they would be fired. Try
it at work sometime. Arizona tax payers were dealt a joker in this hand.
If Senator John McCain thinks he`s a five card stud, he can keep on
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show. This is a story for the folks
who take a shower after work, American workers, because you`d be paying for
this. You know that? I do not believe that Syria is our fight. Democrats
in the Congress need to help President Obama by voting no to the resolution
authorizing -- air strikes in Syria. Earlier today, President Obama said,
"Confronting Syria is the challenge for the world not just the White
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: My credibility is not on the line. The international
community`s credibility is on the line. And America and Congress`
credibility is on the line because we give lift service to the notion that
these international norms are important.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Tomorrow the President travels to Russia for the G-20
Summit. He will no doubt be met with contention from the Summit`s host
Vladimir Putin, one of the Syrian government`s strongest allies.
And in an interview Tuesday, Putin said, "It seemed "completely
ridiculous" that the Syrian government would have used chemical weapons on
its own people and that there was still not sufficient proof to justify
Completely ridiculous. Every news program for weeks has been
plastered with images of innocent people covered in cream and convulsing
but proof or not, this is not our fight. The Editorial Board of the Nation
Magazine said this, "If the United States and Russia work together, they
could use their combined influence to choke off the flow of arms from the
outside and contain the conflict as they work toward a cease fire. If they
don`t, Syria`s disintegration will spread throughout the region." But if
Congress votes yes for this resolution, there`s no telling where or when
spreading disintegration stops.
Joining me tonight Congressman Alan Grayson of Florida and Congressman Jim
McDermott of Washington. Gentlemen, great to have you with us tonight.
Congressman Grayson, you first. Why is this not our fight?
REP. ALAN GRAYSON, (D) FLORIDA: It`s not our fight because no
Americans have been killed. None of our allies have been killed. And you
have to go through its bizarre, remote chain of causation to reach a point
where it actually matter to anybody who the Department of Defense is
supposed to be defending. In addition to that, there are no good options.
The attack that`s being contemplated won`t do any good, and it`s expensive,
and it`s dangerous.
SCHULTZ: Congressman McDermott, will it have an impact on house
members now that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has passed 10 to
seven. How robust is the debate going to be in the house? And where`s the
momentum right now? There`s three questions at you but capsulize it for us
where we are.
REP. JIM MCDERMOTT, (D) WASHINGTON: Well, we are at a place where I
think everybody is looking to their own emotions to see what they think
they ought to vote in which way they should go. The Senate vote was
divided. It was in the party line.
I really think though, Ed, the president is quite sure of his
position. I think he should go to the general assembly of the United
Nations and make a speech and get the world behind him. He is going alone
if he decides and we turn him down. He may go to Iraq or Syria anyway.
And at that point he is going to be alone. I think he really needs to let
the world know exactly what he knows and why he`s doing what he`s doing.
And that diplomacy is really falling off the table in all this talk.
It`s either military strikes or do nothing. Well, there is another option.
It`s called diplomacy.
SCHULTZ: Yes. Congressman Grayson, you were in that House Foreign
Relations Committee Hearing today. Did Secretary Kerry give straight
answers or are we getting a sell job?
GRAYSON: Well, I think the answers were straight but at this point
we`ve heard it all. You know, they haven`t called with any new information
now in a substantial amount of time. What`s actually happening now is that
the members who`ve already heard the arguments from the administration are
hearing (inaudible) are overwhelmingly in favor of this. The poll and its
public at this point would dramatically understate the people`s opposition
to this. The polls indicate people are opposed but what you`re finding is
that the opponents are inflamed. They`re angry about this. They`re angry
about the thought that we`d waste a billion dollars or more on a military
venture like this when we`ve got our own problems to deal with.
People don`t want us to be the policemen for the world any longer.
They don`t want us to be the judge, the jury or the executioner. We`ve got
35,000 people already who comes through our website, DontAttackSyria.com
but more every minute, people are angry about the thought.
GRAYSON: That we`d be involved in war again.
SCHULTZ: I agree. I hear the anger on the radio. People cannot
believe that we`re having this discussion with his president. Congressman
McDermott, who pays for this? And how do we know it`s not open-ended?
MCDERMOTT: You know, I made a suggestion to my staff. We ought to
get an amendment ready to put our tax on to pay for it as Alan suggests
it`s going to cost about a billion dollars. Why don`t we just raise taxes
and pay for it right now? We didn`t pay for Iraq. We didn`t pay for
Afghanistan. We ought to start paying for things now. The sequesters
hurting our economy and the budgets coming up and we got all kinds of
problems and here we are spending more money on a war and makes no sense.
SCHULTZ: And gentlemen what do you say to those who -- and the
president, and Secretary Kerry who says that our image will be damaged in
the world and there`s and we have a moral obligation. Alan, what about
GRAYSON: It`s nonsensical. We look foolish to the world. We`re out
on a limb here. We`re the only ones who are even contemplating any sort of
Syria`s attack. If the world were behind us, that will be an entirely
different story, the world is against us. Most of the countries wouldn`t
even consider the possibility of doing something like this. There are 196
countries in the world. Why is it always our responsibility? This time
the answer is it isn`t.
SCHULTZ: What about the response from Assad? Can we assume that he
will strike us? Can we assume that he will hit back against the Israelis?
I mean, this is all theory and then thinking that we`re going to blast 200
cruise missiles, and Congressman McDermott, and there`s not going to be any
response that isn`t going to have big time ramification.
MCDERMOTT: The question I asked this morning when we talked with the
chief of staff of the White House was, what will we expect on Friday after
you do this on Monday? There is no question, we have no idea but the
response will be from Syria, or from Russia, or Iran. We really are
lighting a fire and not knowing what to -- what`s going to happen when we
light the fire.
I`m going to have a town meeting on Sunday night before I come back to
Washington D.C., because I want to hear from my constituents whether they
think it`s a good idea. So far, the mail and the phone calls are running a
hundred to one against doing anything.
SCHULTZ: Congressman Grayson, what is this going to do the House? Do
you anticipate some Republicans voting no on this? I mean, there`s a lot
of them that are noncommittal right now, I mean they hate to support
President Obama, because they hate the guy. Yet, they don`t want to look
weak on national security in the next election? I mean, the President in
some way has got them in a political pickle doesn`t he?
GRAYSON: Not at all, they think that going into this situation makes
us look weak and exposes us to danger, as Jim just pointed out, there are
so many ways this can go wrong. Syria and Hezbollah counter attack against
Israel, just as Iraq did when Iraq was attack by United States. They can
attack our U.S. Embassy, in Beirut which is a 2-minute flight from the
Syrian border. It`s 15 miles away from the Syrian border. They can also
attack our fleet in the Mediterranean, and beyond that, what good does it
do? We could end up seeing that we end up arming the Muslim fundamentalist
who represent the bulk of the fires at this point against the Assad Regime,
you know, this is a situation where.
GRAYSON: It`s essentially none of our business. All the options are
bad, we`re only going to make things worst.
GRAYSON: And the Republicans see that. That`s why they`re going to
vote three or four to one against this resolution.
SCHULTZ: All right. Quickly, Congressman McDermott, if we hit them,
is this an active war?
SCHULTZ: Very good. Gentlemen.
MCDERMOTT: It should be declared by the congress if we turned it
down, we should not go.
SCHULTZ: Okay. Congressman Alan Grayson and Jim McDermott.
Congressmen, great to have you with us tonight. Thank you.
That is the Ed Show. I`m Ed Schultz, Politics Nation with Reverend Al
Sharpton starts right now. Rev?
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