The Ed Show for Friday, September 6th, 2013
Read the transcript to the Friday show
THE ED SHOW
September 6, 2013
Guests: Katrina Vanden Heuvel, RT Rybak, Bill Press, Mike Papantonio, Jack Rice, Richard Trumka
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Tend to address the
American people from the White House on Tuesday.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On the eve of the 12th anniversary of 9/11.
OBAMA: I was elected to wars and not start them. I`d spent the last
four and a half years doing everything I can to reduce our reliance on
Operation Iraqi freedom is over. The tide of war is receding. By the
end of next year, our war in Afghanistan will be over.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If Congress fails to authorize this, will you go
forward with an attack on Syria?
OBAMA: Right and you`re not getting a direct response.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why is there not a larger multi lateral coalition
ED SCHULTZ, THE ED SHOW ANCHOR: Because the Bush administration lied
to the world about the war in Iraq.
OBAMA: I put this before Congress for a reason.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m going to support the President`s call for
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We must respond.
OBAMA: In terms of opposition.
REP. ALAN GRAYSON, (D) FLORIDA: First of all, public opinion is
entirely against it.
SCHULTZ: This Assad guy, he`s a bad dude but it`s a civil war.
GRAYSON: Secondly, public opinion is vehemently against it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We do not want another engagement in the Middle
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why are you not listening to the people?
OBAMA: I was under no illusions when I embarked on this path but I
think it`s the right thing to do.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The consequences of action as well as the
consequences of inaction.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R) ARIZONA: The consequences would be catastrophic.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The consequences of inaction are greater and
OBAMA: There are consequences.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Good to have you with us tonight folks. Thanks for watching
the Ed Show. Oh, I bet the phones are going to get burning up this weekend
from the White House to all these House members. Keep in mind, I believe
that President Obama still has a number of political cards to play. The
push is on, the cell job is on, but you know what we`re going to find about
this President? We`re going to find out how bad he really wants to hit
Syria, if he really believes in his heart that this is the right thing to
President Obama is pushing harder than ever for a strike against
Syria. And I think it`s fair to say that the President is going to have to
be in full campaign mode if he wants to get this thing done. And keep in
mind, the President has a lot of political clout with Democrats because
Democrats want the House. Keep that in mind. You cannot separate war and
politics. You just can`t. So, I`ll explain more about that in a moment
about where are the Democrats when it comes to this man`s support in 2014?
The White House announced that President Obama will address the nation
on Tuesday night making the case. Earlier today, the President spoke from
the G-20 Summit in St. Petersburg, Russia.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Failing to respond to this breach of this international norm
would send a signal to rogue nations, authoritarian regimes, and terrorist
organizations that they can develop and use weapons of mass destruction and
not pay a consequence. And that`s not the world that we want to live in.
This is why nations around the world have condemned Syria for this attack
and called for action.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Actually, there were more people on board before we went to
-- into a Iraq and where these nations around the world are right now. The
President is making the case to Congress and the American people for a
strike. But no one including me is buying it. And I don`t think the
American people are buying it.
The most recent poll shows 59 percent of American are opposed to a
strike while only 36 percent are in favor of a strike. Is that a number
that the President can overcome? Maybe. The mood is similar in Congress
with 199 members opposing or likely opposing a strike but you have to say
that the momentum is with the no votes right now.
You know, Congress is siding with the American people and now, the
President is asking members of Congress to vote against the will of the
people. That`s what`s it`s going to come down to it if these poll numbers
stay the same.
The President is asking Congress to take a leap of faith. It`s a
"trust me" moment. I`ve been elected. I`ve been reelected. I`ve got Bin
Laden. I didn`t put troops on the ground in Egypt or in Libya and there
were regime changes there. Freedom is on the march. We`re not attacking
anybody. We`ve whined down in Afghanistan and we`re out of Iraq. And
we`re not spending billions of dollars on war anymore.
I mean the guy can make the case to the members of Congress that if
you trust me on this; we`re going to be OK. This is the right thing to do.
This is what the phone calls are going to sound like this weekend. Members
of Congress are going to have to decide if they want to go with the
President or if they want to go with their constituents. And make no
mistake. Now, the President is not in uncharted territory here. This
isn`t something that has never happened before. Make no mistake, going
against the people, if you remember of Congress, that body that you`re
elected to? Yes. You have gone against the people a number of times on a
number of votes. Earlier this year, 91 percent of the American people
supported expanded background checks for gun purchases.
Congress voted the measure down. 2011, 63 percent of Americans
supported President Obama`s Americans Jobs Act. Everybody is for jobs,
right? The Congress wasn`t. They voted it down. 74 percent of Americans
said that they wanted to end the subsidies for big oil. Eliminate all the
subsidies going to the richest corporations of the world, Congress trashed
the repealed big oil tax subsidies act.
So, it`s not like the President is going to be picking up the phones
saying, you know what? I really need you to do something that you`ve never
done before. You need to go again to your constituents. You need to trust
Well, you know, as -- we have documented on this show. Republicans
have obstructed our nation`s first black President on everything.
Republicans are voting against Syria, not because they are morally opposed
the war, heck they love war, they love confrontation, they love the war
machine that they keep feeding and the manufacturing of it all.
They are voting against military action in Syria because they despise
this man, and they do not want to give him any type of foreign policy --
Jets (ph) would do you say? Maxing credibility help, because you see over
the years, the Republicans, they have always been the ones to be the
experts on foreign policy, and all the Democrats know how to do is be a
bunch of doves.
This guy is scoring high in the foreign policy world regardless of all
of this. The debate in Congress for military actions starts next week. I
mean, if you don`t have war in politics. This is your Super Bowl pre-game.
It`s going to get hot. I think we need one of those, good old fashioned
hot debates on both floors in the House of the Senate and we deserve it.
We really deserve it after what we`ve been through. Going to war is not
something that can be taken politely at all.
It`s important to remember the hard lessons learned from the Iraq
mistake. It`s important to remember that the members of Congress who were
held bent for election on stopping the war in Iraq, in the end, they were
correct. Those 21 senators who had the guts to go against it, they`ve
never regretted their vote. And the march to war was so strong in 2003,
and it`s not there now because of what happened in Iraq.
So tonight, I want to play this clip of the late senator Robert Byrd.
Now to me, there are -- in my business some things that are said, that are
very impressionable. There are things that happened in this business of
covering the news and being involved that really get to you. This voice of
reason cuts right to the heart of this issue, I think it`s a -- this is a
very important reference heading into next weeks debate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT BYRD, FRM.UNITED STATES SENATOR: To contemplate war is to
think about the most horrible of human experiences. On this February day,
as this nation stands at the brink of battle, every American on some level
must be contemplating the horrors of war.
And yet, this chamber is, for the most part, ominously, ominously,
dreadfully silent. Oh, you can hear a pin drop. Listen. You can hear a
There is no debate, there`s no discussion, there is no attempt the lay
out for the nation the pros and cons of this particular war. There is
nothing. We stand passively mute in the United States Senate today,
paralyzed by our own uncertainty, seemingly stunned by the sheer turmoil of
events. Only on the editorial pages of some of our newspapers, is there
much substantive discussion concerning the prudence or imprudence of
engaging in this particular war? This is no small conflagration that we
contemplate. This is no simple attempt to defang a villain. That`s not
all. No, this coming battle, if it materializes represents a turning point
in US Foreign Policy and possibly a turning point in the recent history of
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Those words could be spoken next week on the Senate floor
verbatim and at all fence. You know, Secretary Kerry is trying to package
this as -- Oh, this is just a little strike or we might not even damage
anything the way they`re talking right now. I don`t care but one missile
or 200. It is an act of war.
This is a big political move for the Democrats in the House and the
President is going to say, "You want my help? You want my help in re-
election? You want to me to come to your district? You want me to raise
money for you? The Democrats want the House, I need your vote." It`s
rather Johnson asked. It`s some serious arm twisting. So we`re going to
find out just how bad the President wants to hit Syria. I say he still has
a lot of political clout and a lot of cards to play here, but I think it is
the wrong move and I would go big time for a no vote.
Get your cell phones out. I do want to know what you think tonight`s
question. Will Congress vote against the will of the American people on
Syria? Text A for Yes, text B for No to 67622. You can always go to our
blog at ed.msnbc.com. We`ll bring you the results later on.
For more, let`s turn to Katrina Vanden Heuvel, Editor and Publisher of
the Nation Magazine. Katrina, great to have you with us tonight.
KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL, EDITOR & PUBLISHER, THE NATION: Thank you Ed.
SCHULTZ: Has anything that the President has said or his team has
said to the public? Has it done anything to move you or do you think it is
going to move the public in the next 100 hours?
HEUVEL: You know, I think Ed, this is a critical moment for the
Congress. As Senator Robert Byrd spoke of, there`s nothing more important
than matters of war and peace and the Congress can reset its role in our
politics. It has ceded far too much power to the executive. I wish the
President would spend more energy in this next period instead of strong arm
in Congress to vote yes on this military authorization, instead seeking
robust muscular diplomatic political alternatives to war. I fear that our
country, too many have been confronted with a false choice that it`s either
action or no action or military action.
There are alternatives that we must seek and the President should
speak to and we must demand. Because as you said, calls and I have spoken
to a number of Congress people today. Calls are running 10 to 1, 100 to 1
and some districts against us because Americans are war-weary or war-
reversed, they`re tired of the ways of blood and treasure on misadventures
abroad and they seek a different politics. They`re not lacking in care or
engagement. They`re not isolationist but they don`t believe
internationalism is about military strike.
SCHULTZ: You know, is there a lack of imagination on the part of this
administration to get a successful conclusion? Where are the peace talks?
The forced peace talks to really put Assad in a box to prove that the world
that he is not movable and to get a bigger coalition here?
HEUVEL: That`s a very, very good question Ed. And I don`t understand
how Senator Kerry has moved from someone who had good relations with
Russian Secretary -- Foreign Secretary Lavrov as they move toward a peace
conference. The lack of creativity and imagination on a tough diplomatic
move, and you know, today, there is a proposal made in Congress today which
I think is what Congress should be doing coming up with counter proposals
to military strikes.
Senator Manchin and Senator Heitkamp came forward with a proposal to
give President Assad 45 days to sign a chemical weapons treaty and in that
interim period, President Obama seek all the diplomatic tools to stop and
end the proliferation of chemical weapons by Syria. This will entail
working with international partners. But, you know what Ed, a measure of
credibility in my view, a measure of wisdom is stepping back and saying,
the last resort is a military resort and we must engage the International
Community, as you pointed out, there are fewer international members of a
coalition than President Bush had.
SCHULTZ: I don`t get a sense from Congressional Members that the
entail that they`ve been giving is so overwhelming that they`re going to
tip. Because I think a lot of them would have shown their cards by now to
be very crystal clear with their constituents. I believe that the
President is going to have to ask the Congress to go against their
constituents, and if there is no vote, how damaging will it be if he does
strike Syria? Now, I`m going it a few.
HUEVEL: You are going a few sets because -- yes.
SCHULTZ: But this is a very real scenario that could play out.
HUEVEL: I think that a President, who is elected to end wars, if he
goes against the Congress which has stepped up and said no in its
authorization, will lose legitimacy. I think on the other hand, if the
President accepted the will of Congress and turn to alternative measures
other than military strikes, you could see a reset on the eve of 9/11.
This country has been lead by fear too often and executive power has
been too overwhelming. And the National Security Apparatus, Ed, has become
too overwhelming as we`ve learned from revelations. And that too should be
reset if we are going to be a vibrant democracy. That deep state in this
country of the NSA apparatus needs to be ended.
SCHULTZ: I`m very troubled by the Russian-American relations right
now, that the Russians aren`t trying to simmer down the Syrian leader,
Assad, right now. And I think that they can play a vital role in all of
this. I don`t think the G-20 was very positive at all.
HUEVEL: Well, Putin and Obama did meet. And I do think -- again,
Secretary Kerry had a very good relationship with his counterpart Lavrov.
Russia is critical. But I think if again, with imagination and toughness,
you could put together a coalition. Russia doesn`t want to see Syria be a
hotbed of Jihadist elements or unstable in terms of -- unstable in terms of
chemical weapons. So, there is -- there are always alternatives. And
those must be sought.
SCHULTZ: OK. Big speech by the President next Tuesday. No question
about it. Thank you, Katrina. I appreciate it so much. I want to make
this final point here for America.
This situation in Syria is a complete tragedy. It is unfortunate that
we have come to this crossroads, junction, whatever you want to call it.
After our nation has really been on an upswing as of late, we have had 42
straight months of private sector job growth. Why aren`t we celebrating
that? Manufacturing jobs are on the rise. The automobile industry is just
Just last month, August was one of the best months we`ve ever had,
best month in five years. Remember, the automobile industry left for dead.
And then President Obama came in and made the bold move to float them
alone. ObamaCare is about to kick in. 30 million more people are going to
be gaining health care in this country.
All of this has been done with this President, in his vision in the
face of Republican obstruction. And this is a huge decision by the
President. Is he willing to put all of this momentum on the line for what
they say is a surgical strike which could spiral out of control? It is a
huge week next week coming up for America. We`ll be right back on the Ed
SCHULTZ: And it`s time now for the Trenders. The Ed Show social
media nation has decided and we`re reporting. Here are today`s top
trenders voted on by you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh that`s pretty. Touchdown. Our number three
trender, Mile High Milkshake. That`s seven touchdown passes for Peyton
Manning. Peyton Manning has a record night on the field.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Manning, the sixth player in NFL history with
seven touchdown passes of the game. You might not see that again for
years. And firstly ever with three games at six or more.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Peyton Manning, that guy is pretty good if you`re
like 6`5", 230 pound quarterbacks.
SCHULTZ: The number two trender. Here are the jobs.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The unemployment rate is down to 7.3 percent.
That`s the lowest level since December of 2008.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, I think the job market today is about
the job market of six months ago, a year ago or even two years ago so no
real change in the job market.
SCHULTZ: Unemployment drops while Fox drops more excuses.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Given the numbers, we came out we came out today,
we`re so punk and tepid.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My reading of this book is that America is just
not getting up in the morning and going to work.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This labor participation issue people are giving
up 8 percent unemployment, the rate. You see that coming through.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would not be surprised.
SCHULTZ: And today`s top trender, artist proposal.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to marry you in Minneapolis. Chicago is my
kind of town but it`s the second city in human rights. You deserve equal
SCHULTZ: The mayor of Minneapolis court same sex couples in Chicago.
MAYOR R.T. RYBAK, MINEAPOLIS: Chicago and all of Illinois stands to
loose a lot of tourism dollars in people who have a choice.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak sees this is an
opportunity to lure money and people to his city.
RYBAK: You can come to incredibly sophisticated city called
Minneapolis and we believe you have equal rights.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: The economic development of gay marriage. I`m joined now by
R.T. Rybak who is the mayor of Minneapolis. R.T. good to have you with us
tonight. Innovation is -- you`re not short on that, that`s for sure.
There`s a moral component here but this is about the economy as well, is it
MAYOR RT RYBAK, MINNEAPOLIS: It starts at the fact that I believe
there are millions of people in this country who deserve the rights my wife
and I have and marriage is about romance, it`s about love, it`s about
sometimes religion but it`s about a 100 -- I`m sorry 1,100 pieces of
federal law. I believe everybody gets the right and you know what? If the
people of Minnesota are smart enough to give that right to everyone and the
people of Illinois are not, I`m going to Chicago like I did. I`m going to
Milwaukee and Madison tomorrow or Monday and I`m going to say, "Look, come
to Minnesota. We`ll marry you". And by the way bring your wedding party.
We`ll have a big party. We`ll spend a little money and give you a lot of
rights. I like the deal.
SCHULTZ: OK, so you`re going on a tour. A gay marriage tour and how
-- how big is this going to be? How many cities you`re going to try?
Denver, you know, Sioux Falls, Fargo in the region?
RYBAK: Well like I said yesterday in Chicago. Really saddened that
the banks that go with the money I, you know, Chicago is a pretty good
market to start with but we`ll -- we`ll be around this end of the country
and the whole country because my city in Minneapolis is a great city
because it`s always had its arms open, the immigrants, the people from a
lot of different cultures and the LGBT community. We`re better because
we`re bringing everybody together.
That`s why we`re a great city and Chicago is an incredible town, let`s
face it but I think it`s amazing to be in -- in the middle of Lakefield and
some of these incredible neighborhoods in Chicago and think that these
people who built those neighborhoods don`t get equal rights. Come on up to
Minneapolis We`re happy to have you.
SCHULTZ: What kind of response do you think you`ll get?
RYBAK: Well I`ve gotten a pretty good response already, I mean look
at this Ed. August 1st, we legalized marriage equality in Minnesota, and
since then we`ve had 1600 marriages here at same-sex people in Minnesota.
If you cannot do the math about, Illinois and Chicago being a whole lot
bigger. And you think that a lot of those folks will want to come. I
think will get a lot of money. There`s an estimate down there that
Illinois stands to again a $100 million if they legalize marriage equity,
and I said, "Look guys, you give us the first 10 million in Minnesota and
once you`ve figured this thing out, you take the other 90 million we all be
at - well, a lot of have."
SCHULTZ: And of course we all know what the conservative push back
has been that gay marriage is going to lead to the moral decay of society.
Have you seen same sex marriage in Minnesota? Now that you`ve seen it for
a month, have you see moral decay in your city and then in the state?
RYBAK: You know, I said to my wife the other day. "Let`s see it`s
been a month, 1600 marriages. Anything different here." No, not so far.
I`ll check in with her this afternoon, but so far nothing is going on that
wrecked our marriage.
I understand that people have different views of this. And just a few
years ago, these seemed pretty, you know, out there to folks, and I get
that, and we have to be understanding of that. But the fact the matter is,
this is about the law, and of those 1100 pieces of law. Think about this
for a second. You can file a joint tax return immediately once you get
that. You can give veterans benefits.
So, you know, in Minnesota, if an entrepreneur wants to start a
business. They`re in the same sex relationship they can go on their
partner`s health care and put all their money in their new venture. In
Illinois, you can`t do that.
RYBAK: You got to put the money into your healthcare. So where do
you want to start a business? Minnesota or Illinois?
SCHULTZ: You`re opening the door for real opportunity, I see it, no
doubt about it. Mayor R.T. Rybak, great to have you with us tonight.
Thanks so much. Still to come ...
RYBAK: Good to see you again, Ed.
SCHULTZ: . Richard Trumka of AFL-CIO joins me on the State of the
Union. Some say they are in crisis. As his organization prepares for
their annual convention in Los Angeles, and more than half of Americans are
against taking military action in Syria, and they`re speaking out. The
rapid response panel joins me to discuss the reaction on Liberal Talk Radio
in American. But next I`m taking your questions on Ask Ed Live on MSNBC.
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 Nancy Counter (ph). "Why is our
President in such a rush to start a war?"
Well, you`re assuming a lot there. I don`t think he is in a rush to
start a war because he hasn`t struck Syria yet. He has going to the
Congress. We are having a national discussion. But he does feel a sense
of urgency. I believe in the way he`s talking that, the use of chemical
weapons must be answered. I disagree with it. I think the timing is
wrong, but the President, I don`t think is in such a rush to start a war,
and I think the definition of war needs to be spelled out explicitly to the
American people. I think one missile is an act of war, apparently the
President and Secretary Kerry don`t see it that way.
Our next question is from Kathleen Unitas. "How can I keep my blood
pressure down when listening to Republican nonsense?"
Well, do what I do. Go fishing and make sure that they aren`t any
Republicans in the boat. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome to the Ed Show. Well the polling leaves no room for
doubt. The majority of Americans, 59 percent oppose US military action
against Syria. The voices of opposition, well I think there is a fever
pitch on liberal talk radio this week. Let`s take a listen to some of the
folks that I had a chance to speak with.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes Ed I believe there should be no military
action in Syria. It is a civil war. We don`t know who the good guys are,
who the bad guys are. We don`t know what is going to set off the powder
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the United
States Air Force. I am absolutely against this intervention. I can tell
you one, we`re never as good at these strikes as we -- we want the public
to believe, that`s one. Two, I am absolutely concerned about what happens
after these strikes if we manage to hit these chemical sites because we
have not addressed at all the environmental impact and the cleanup. Once
we hit these sites, what do we expect to do afterward? Who goes in and
does the clean up?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because of what you said today I have made up my
mind. I am now against any action in Syria and two, that Secretary Kerry
is out of his mind if he thinks
that firing missile into another country is not an act of war that we would
perceive it the same way.
SCHULTZ: Joining me now our Rapid Response panel, a former CIA agent,
radio talk show host Jack Rice. Also nationally syndicated radio talk show
host Bill Press and Mike Papantonio, host of the Ring of Fire radio show
also syndicated. Gentlemen, great to have you with us tonight. I know
you`re getting an earful. Mike, you first, what are you hearing on your
show? Where are people?
MIKE PAPANTONIO, RING OF FIRE HOST: It`s amazing how smart people get
as you move outside the beltway. It`s an economic, very simple kind of
argument that I`m hearing. They`re saying that teachers, policemen,
firemen are loosing their jobs by the thousands in America because of
budget cuts. The sequesters cost America somewhere around a 190,000 jobs.
Our infrastructure is crumbling. It`s kind of -- it`s kind of dollars and
cents kinds of arguments. They contrast that Ed with the fact that just
one of those cruise missiles that we`re hearing about from Kerry cost about
You can count on about 100 to 150 of them being launched. It cost
about a $100 million a day simply to keep the Navy where they should be
over there so it`s kind of common sense kind of arguments. They`re angry.
They`re not buying into it this time. I can tell you that.
SCHULTZ: Bill Press, what are you hearing?
BILL PRESS, THE "BILL PRESS" SHOW HOST: I`m hearing about -- I`d say
95 percent against it Ed like everybody else and the arguments that I`m
hearing basically are, look why does it have to be us? We`ve been two
years in this mess without doing anything. Why suddenly do we have to get
militarily involved? And finally, what happens if we go, when we go,
what`s Bashar al-Assad going to do next, what about a strike on Syria, what
about a strike, I mean on Israel, what about a strike on Turkey and don`t
we risk getting involved and sucked in to this civil war? So, I`d say if
President Obama is going to vote the way the American people that I hear
vote, there won`t be any military strike.
SCHULTZ: And Jack Rice, through all on your experience formerly with
the CIA, do you think Americans are buying intel on this?
JACK RICE, FORMER CIA AGENT: No, they`re not Ed, I mean that takes us
back to what we saw in Iraq. I think a lot on the left and even some on
the right are realizing that intelligence community was just wrong so when
you start hearing what the DOD is saying, what CIA is saying, what the
President is saying, there are a lot of people left and right who are
simply questioning the validity of it but I think what a lot of my
listeners are talking about right now are the six plus million people who
are refugees, are internally displaced and the question is, why aren`t we
addressing that issue? That`s going to change something and we can do that
without deciding whether or not we want the Assad regime to go or whether
or not we`re going to support the alternative.
SCHULTZ: Gentlemen, why isn`t the image in the world in the moral
argument working with liberals in this country. Bill, what about that?
PRESS: You know, Ed I think it`s a long list of reasons. First of
all, I think the liberals particularly are war-weary, look and they`re
Bush-weary, I mean this is so -- so many. I don`t think it`s the same but
there`s so many echoes of Iraq where we relied to, where we`ve been there
for 10 years and after the war in Afghanistan. There is zero appetite for
more military action in the Middle East.
SCHULTZ: So Mike, do you think that if there had not been an Iraq,
this would be a heck of a lot easier so for President Obama? I mean he`s
dealing with Bush baggage here.
PAPANTONIO: Yes, it would have been. It would have been much easier.
We are war-weary but I think it goes beyond that people for the first time
Ed are asking tough questions and maybe this -- it`s simply because of Iraq
but the White House and the Democratic "rah rahs" in the GOP war machine is
not able to get out there and simply say something and have us take it it`s
face value. People are very sophisticated in the way that they`re
PAPANTONIO: They know that it`s not a simple civil war.
SCHULTZ: Now on the other side of the spectrum we have Rush Limbaugh,
who`s paddling the latest right wing conspiracy theory article. I want you
to take a listen to this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His story, his article here is that there is
evidence, mounting evidence, that the rebels in Syria did indeed frame
Assad for the chemical attack. But not only that, that Obama, the regime,
may have been complicit in it. Mounting evidence that the White House knew
impossibly helped plan the Syrian chemical weapon attack by the opposition.
SCHULTZ: All right, you three guys vote right now. Do you think we
should bring back psycho talk to the Ed Show?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We just did.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You just did, you just did.
SCHULTZ: Jack Rice, you take the first crack at that. Where is this
going to go?
RICE: Oh, you know what, I spent a lot of time working in Washington.
What I can tell you is I`m far more confident in incompetency than I am in
conspiracy. But to refer to your last question, this is a big one is, I
think if this were 1999, we would probably be going in because we had
something called muscular humanitarianism. This is something that Tony
Blair and President Clinton did in Sierra Leone and ultimately in Kosovo.
That was the concept behind this. But what we`ve seen, is that isn`t
necessarily effective. What we`re looking for is a pragmatic but effective
result and the problem is, we`re not seeing it right now.
SCHULTZ: Yeah. I want to get your take gentlemen on Secretary Kerry.
Mike Papantonio, was this the same John Kerry that ran for office for
President in 2004? It just sounds so tremendously different.
PAPANTONIO: John Kerry is a new Colin Powell, Ed. He is been hassled
into being the front man by basically the belt way onto industry. He`s out
there pitching for them. And he is the new Colin Powell. It`s no less but
it`s no less of a pathetic story than what we saw when Colin Powell had
misinformation, it was planted as misinformation and he appeared in front
of you and try to sell the American public on the idea that we were getting
ready to be invaded by Iraq when he showed us those ridiculous aluminum
PAPANTONIO: Kerry is no different here. He looks ridiculous.
ED SCHULTZ: What do you think, Bill?
PRESS: Let me just say, look I want to come to John Kerry`s defense,
two quick points. Every member of Congress, every Senators that I`ve
talked to has been briefed by John Kerry believes chemical weapons were
used and that the Syrian regime, not the rebels used those weapons.
They may not support the military strike, they believe John Kerry. I
think we have to recognize that good people and good liberals can disagree
on this issue, I think John Kerry believes what he said.
SCHULTZ: But Bill, he is making the case that we have to do this or
it`s going to get worse. That`s the same thing Bush was doing saying, "If
we don`t hit them, they were 45 minutes to a mushroom cloud."
PRESS: I think there`s a difference. I think John Kerry has the
evidence and Colin Powell never did, Gorge Bush never did, and Donald
Rumsfeld never did. I wish Rumsfeld would shut the hell up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, come on. You like Rummy (ph), don`t you?
You`ve always like Rummy (ph). Gentlemen, great to have you with us
tonight, Jack Rice, Mike Papantonio, Bill Press.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right Ed.
SCHULTZ: Always welcome to the Ed Show. Thanks so much.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thanks Ed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Up next, tonight`s pretender.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Up next, tonight`s pretender gives us a Reagan
revisionist history lessons. Stay tuned.
SCHULTZ: And in Pretenders tonight, the revisionist Congresswoman
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. The Republican out of Florida is backing a military
strike in Syria. She went on Fox News citing WWGD, What Would the Gipper
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN, (R), FLORIDA: It is against the norms of
international standards and to let something like this go unanswered I
think will weaken our resolve. I know that President Reagan would have
never let this happen. He would stand up to this and President Obama, the
only reason he`s consulting with Congress is he wants to blame somebody for
his lack of resolve but we got to think like President Reagan would do and
he would say, chemical use is unacceptable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Oops the only flaw in the Congresswoman`s argument is that
President Reagan did not do that. The Iran-Iraq war was raging in the
1980s. Reagan`s administration knew Saddam Hussein possessed and used
chemical weapons on Iranian civilians and military. Reagan supported the
regime and did nothing. The Gipper might still rule the Republican party
but if Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen thinks that she could rewrite history and
we`re going to fall for it. She can keep on pretending.
SCHULTZ: Progressives, let`s get back to work. America needs to pay
attention and stay very vocal especially this week. So, let`s look ahead
at the top three ahead this week in Fast Forward.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Coming in at number three, football fever. Tebow hasn`t got
a prayer as this season kicks in to full gear.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I do intend to run for President of the Team
Tebow Fun Club.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, really?
SCHULTZ: Fast forward to number two, the Syria vote.
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.
SCHULTZ: Next week, Congress comes back to vote on a loose, loose
GRAYSON: All the options are bad. We`re only going to make things
SCHULTZ: And our number one story to watch, a better bargain for the
GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER US PRESIDENT: You work three jobs?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Three jobs. Yes.
BUSH: Uniquely American, isn`t it? That is --fantastic that you`re
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I work too hard.
SCHULTZ: On Monday, the AFL-CIO hits L.A. for its big convention.
OBAMA: The economy that creates good middle class jobs that pay well
and offer security.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That fight is worth fighting for.
OBAMA: We have to be able to out build, out-educate, and out-innovate
every country on earth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO president joins me now from Los
Angeles. Mr. Trumka, good to have you with us tonight.
Certainly, you got a big convention next week, a lot of hot topics.
The numbers are a little staggering. Last year, only 11.3 percent of
American workers were unionized. That`s the lowest percentage in nearly a
century, 30 years ago 20.1percent were unionized. And unions, some say are
in a crisis situation right now. What do you say?
RICHARD TRUMKA, AFL-CIO PRESIDENT: I say we all have a crisis
situation right now Ed. We`re in the crossroads. We can actually look
backwards and complain about everything that`s happen and all the things we
haven`t done or we can look at ourselves realistically and change and go
forward. Open up our doors, broaden our support. Join with all
progressive groups out there and create a situation of partnership where
our issues are our issues not mine and your issues.
So, we`re really excited about opening up the labor movement to our
friends and allies and actually building a movement that can rebuild the
SCHULTZ: And how are you going to do that sir?
TRUMKA: Well, we`re going to do it in a number of ways. First of
all, we`re looking at ourselves. We`re going to change things how we
organize. We`re going to try an experiment. We`re going to open up and
work closely with strategic allies and strategic partners. We`re going to
work together harder and we`re going to do things just a little bit better
then we`ve done them in the past.
SCHULTZ: Well, what do you make of the fast food workers and also
some of the other workers especially at Wal-Mart who protested this week?
Doesn`t this somewhat signature that America is awake and paying attention
to income and equality and the best road back collective bargaining, your
TRUMKA: I think that`s absolutely what it`s starting to signal. I
think American people are saying this economy is broke. This economy
doesn`t work for the 99 percent. It works real well for the top 1 percent.
It`s times things are changed. We`re not going to take it anymore. And
we`re going to stand up to change things that`s what we`re all going to do,
progressive groups joining together, to try to create a shared prosperity
economy that works for all of us and not just the top 1 percent.
SCHULTZ: And isn`t it there an education process here? I mean you
are fighting around the country, a tremendous amount of right to work
legislation I believe in some 26 states where Republican Governors are just
going after anybody who is connected to labor. How do you turn that
around? And how do you convince the public that this is bad and you can go
to right to work states and see that wages are lower?
TRUMKA: Well, first of all they`re not just going after labor,
they`re going after every group out there. They`re trying to take away
voting rights from minorities, from Latinos, form African-Americans.
They`re trying to take those votes away, make it harder to vote so that
they can control the political system. So that corporations can pour money
into it. How do we do it? It`s already started. We educate the general
population, union members and non union members alike. And then we
mobilize. We plan together, we strategize together. And then we execute
TRUMKA: . because we are the majority when it comes to this issue.
Not some small minority and not some bare majority. But the vast majority
of Americans agree with our values that this country is on the wrong track.
It`s not working for the American worker.
SCHULTZ: But what about President Obama, has he not been good for
organized labor and what are your expectations as he, you know, as the next
three years left?
TRUMKA: Well, I think the President is trying to create job. He had
some very, very stern and severe opposition, some unrealistic. He tries to
do infrastructure, our country is falling down. We need the infrastructure
rebuilt so we can be competitive worldwide, that use to be a by part as an
issue. No one even thought about it. Now, he proposes infrastructure that
will create jobs and will help us become more competitive in a global
economy. And he gets opposition to it. It`s sort of sad.
I think he`s trying. I hope he tries harder. I hope we create jobs
together and I hope we can put the interest of the country in front of
everybody else`s interest.
SCHULTZ: And is it correct to say that if the democrats were to ever
get the House back again despite all the gerrymandering that the Employee
Free Choice Act would be the bulls-eye for you?
TRUMKA: Well look, that`s very, very important to labor laws in this
country are one and equated, two they`re broken. Anybody who wants to deny
a work or a voice can do so with the lawyer that graduated last in his or
her class at the worst law school in the country. It doesn`t take much
TRUMKA: Well, all you have to do is be able to use the law to divide
you. So yeah that`s an important thing for us but jobs are just as
important to us putting people back to work.
SCHULTZ: All right, Richard Trumka, President of the AFL CIO, good to
have you with us on the Ed show, thanks so much for joining us.
TRUMKA: Ed, thanks for having me, keep up the great work.
SCHULTZ: Thank you sir, that`s the Ed Show. I`m Ed Schultz politics
nation with Reverend Al Sharpton is next.
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