THE ED SHOW
November 14, 2013
Guest: Jan Schakowsky, Joseph Crowley, Ruth Conniff, EJ Dionne, Bruce
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC HOST: Correct thing to do to take insurance away
from the fellow Americans.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: People want
affordable health care.
JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH) HOUSE SPEAKER: There is no way to fix this.
OBAMA: I`m going to work with Democrats and Republicans to fix
problems as they arise.
BOEHNER: Frankly, I don`t think there is a way to fix it.
SCHULTZ: Insurance is really important.
BOEHNER: This is not fixed and certainly unaffordable.
OBAMA: The old individual market was not working well.
BOEHNER: This is going to destroy the best health care delivery
system in the world.
SCHULTZ: I asked a doctor in New York care for my wife after she had
surgery at Mayo. What are the -- "Doctor, what do the people do that don`t
have insurance?" I didn`t get an answer. I got this.
OBAMA: It`s important that we don`t pretend that somehow that`s a
place worth going back to.
END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: The mainstream media never says that this guy right there
John Boehner is one of the most negative guys in the history of politics.
We can`t fix it. We can`t do this. It can`t be done. We`re America.
We`re Americans. We can do anything.
Put that aside for just a moment. I`m going to get real personal
tonight on this program. I don`t think I have to show you or anybody else
my resume when it comes to being an advocate for universal health care in
this country. I`ve been outspoken on it for, well over a decade.
But today, I`m going to take license to question this President
because the President that I saw on television today in Washington, and the
one I saw this afternoon in Ohio, it was kind of a tale of two cities. I
just want to say upfront, the guy that was in Ohio was the guy I want in
Washington. The guy that was in Washington today in front of the
mainstream media, it didn`t seem too confident to me, not at all, rather
apologetic, rather negative, rather I`m not so sure of myself.
If Barack Obama were going fishing tonight with a taco box, I would
say he doesn`t have a lot of confidence in his taco box and I don`t know
how many fish he`s coming home with. President Obama is caving to the
pressure from Republicans. Earlier today, the President announced that
we`ll delay junk insurance cancellations for one year.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: State insurance commissioners still have the power to decide
what plans can and can`t be solved in their states but the bottom line is
insurers can extend current plans that would otherwise be canceled into
2014 in Americans who`s plans have been canceled can choose to reenroll in
the same kind of plan.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Minutia, minutia, minutia, minutia, minutia, minutia, who`s
going to understand that? I have come to the conclusion that the
Administration and a lot of Democrats just don`t know how to talk about
this. Here is how you talk about it. This is wonderful social change for
America. This is going to make us a healthier society. This is going to
bring cost down. This is going to save lives. This isn`t hard stuff. But
because of the Right Wing noise machine and all the negativity in
Washington, you can see that it`s wearing on the President.
This is his ground game negativity Boehner. But now, it`s bleeding
off on President Obama. Where is the guy that was out on the campaign
trail? Oh yeah, oh yeah, he was in Ohio today. Let`s check this guy out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: We always knew this is going to be hard. There`s a reason why
folks have tried to do it for 100 years and hadn`t done it. Now, I want
everyone here to understand, I am going to see this through. I want
millions of Americans to make sure that they`re not going broke when they
get sick and they can go to a doctor when their kid get sick, and were not
apologizing for that. We are going to get this done. We are not going to
gut this law, we will fix what needs to be fixed but we`re going to make
the Affordable Care Act work and those who say they`re oppose to it and
can`t offer a solution, we`ll push back.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Yeah. That`s what I wanted in Washington today. Am I
asking too much as an Obama supporter to want that? We`re going to fix it.
We`re going to get it done. I`m going to see this thing through. No, in
Washington, we got, well he fumbled. Now we hadn`t been very good, not
happy. Mr. President, respectfully, the next time you go into the press
room in Washington, you give it to them. You let them have it. This is
good. This is great for America. This isn`t about appeasing a bunch of
negative nellies that are sitting in the room that want to see you fail?
It`s -- I know, look, I`ve been in front of crowds and I know that they can
energize you. But you got to believe in all facets that this is going to
happen and we`re going to see this thing through.
All right. I want to point out that cancellations in the insurance
industry, it`s nothing new, been happening a long time before ObamaCare
came around. Insurance premiums during the Bush years were double digits,
year after year, increases. That was kind of the norm. ObamaCare was
designed to get rid of junk insurance, to protect the consumer, to make it
good for everybody. Insurance companies love these bogus policies that
we`re talking about because they can rake in more profits for them. They
can line their pockets. Wall Street loves it.
Now, if you decide to keep your junk insurance, you better hope you
don`t get sick. Let me play out a very personal scenario for you. The
median income in this country is $27,519. Now, I`ll be the first one to
tell you I make a hell of a lot more money than that. But this is where
America is. OK? That`s where they are. You know, it`s not real easy to
live on $27,000 a year. A lot of people are working two jobs trying to
make ends meet. A lot of those folks don`t have insurance. Let alone have
the money to buy health insurance.
Now, if you get sick, you have -- and you`ve got junk insurance or you
have no insurance at all, at this annual rate of income, you`re not in a
real good place. In fact, you`re in a pretty tough spot. Of course, it
depends upon what kind of illness you get. Last year, my wife Wendy was
diagnosed with ovarian cancer. One out of 72 women in the United States of
America will be diagnosed with this disease in their lifetime. And I can
tell you firsthand, it`s really scary. It rots you to the core.
Now, thankfully, my wife Wendy and I were lucky. We`ve had health
insurance for years. But if you are an average working stiff out there
across America making $27,000 a year, which is the median income in
America, here is what you would have been faced with. Blue Cross Blue
Shield of North Dakota, that`s my (ph) little small company, Ed Schultz
Broadcasting LLC. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Dakota paid out
$179,000 in benefits for my wife`s cancer treatment, and that`s with no
Now, I`m talking about the surgery at Mayo, here at Kettering, Sloane-
Kettering in New York City, all the chemo treatments, all the doctors`
visits, all the medications, just everything. Then of course, I had to pay
out of pocket some because of the deductible. So it`s over 200 grand. But
this is the number that we`ve got from Blue Cross Blue Shield in North
Dakota. I have absolutely no complaints. Insurance is good. We pay
$1,100 a month between the both of us for our premiums. It`s kind of high,
but we can afford it. Both our insurance policies total that.
Now, I`d much rather pay that than have to deal with a $179,000 bill
with no back-up. Now, under ObamaCare, someone with low income could
enroll in Medicaid or qualify for subsidies. Under ObamaCare, low-income
wage earners wouldn`t be stuck with a massive bill like this. So here is
how it would play out if you`re one of those folks making $27,500 a year
that the Republicans don`t give a damn about. This is how it would play
out. If you got a medical bill for $179,048.69 and you took out a 10-year
loan at 0 percent, let`s say you got a rich uncle who`s going to cut you a
deal or the banker really likes you.
So, 0 percent at 10 years for $179,000 plus, you would be paying
almost $1,500 a month for 10 years. That`s $18,000 a year. Now, if you
make $27,000 a year, guess what, it ain`t happening. You know what it`s
called? Freaking bankruptcy. That`s what`s it`s called. And where does
everybody else`s costs go? Right through the roof, because you and I, the
people who are insured, are going to end up paying for it.
Why can`t Republicans get that? ObamaCare makes it so -- if this
scenario plays out, you`re not going to be standing there alone with a big
bill. You`re going to have some back up. America is going to be there for
Now, I realized that conservative Right Wing talkers who make millions
of dollars, they think of that $27 grand. I used to make that. When I
started out in this business, I was making $13 bucks an hour. Yeah.
Everybody`s lucky enough to make that kind of money, right? Republicans
don`t have a solution with this problem.
Tomorrow, Boehner`s there, "Well, we`re going to the floor, we`re
going to vote, we`re going to do this, we`re going to that." If they have
no solution of the scenario that I just play out for you, and you know what
they don`t give a damn.
John Boehner came out and said just this morning that we should just
scrap the whole thing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOEHNER: You can`t fix this government-run health care plan called
ObamaCare. This is going to destroy the best health care delivery system
in the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Don`t you just feel like giving that guy the finger? The
Republicans just don`t have a plan. They are heartless. They are mean-
Now, I would like the Speaker of the House to talk about a $179,000
bill with no way to pay for it. What do you want Americans to do? What do
you want them to do Mr. Boehner? You Republicans who claim that you`re
devout Christians and you`re in with the Lord. Michele Bachmann what do
you want these people to do? Come to the table with a plan. Well, it`s
too late. We`ve already got the law.
So, if I can say to the Democrats tonight, what do you have done for
this country is remarkable. Hold the line. Hold the line. It`s the moral
line. It`s the right thing to do.
Get your cellphones out. I want to know what you think. Tonight`s
question, extending junk insurance for one more year, do you think
President Obama did the right thing today? Text A for Yes, text B for No
to 67622. You can always go to our blog at ed.msnhbc.com. We`ll you the
results later on the show.
Now, I tell you what`s going to happen. I`m going to get a lot of
response on this from people who are stuck with big bills and no way out
except bankruptcy. That`s the Republican America. It shouldn`t be that
Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky of Illinois joins us tonight.
Congresswoman, great to have you with us.
REP. JAN SCHAKOWSKY, D-ILLINOIS: Thank you Ed.
SCHULTZ: What do you make of the President`s plan, proposal? Is he
going to do this by executive order? Can he do it by executive order?
What did he say today? He said he had a plan? Do the lawmakers have to
vote on this? How is this all going to unfold this extension of the junk
SCHAKOWSKY: Well, first of all you heard the President in making the
speech that you really liked. And he did say it, that we can fix it, but
we`re going to stick to it. We`re not going to get rid off of ObamaCare,
no way for the very reasons, the very emotional and real life reasons that
you`ve been talking about, Ed.
But we can do something about that some of the people who have been
getting those letters. But here is my advice to the people who are getting
those letters right now. Be sure and go to the exchange and that will be
able to happen soon. You`ll be able to go online and check it out. And
don`t get stuck in a junk policy.
Try and find what on the exchange. It`s going to be much more
affordable and even better covers the thing .
SCHAKOWSKY: . that you really need.
SCHULTZ: So, Congresswoman did the President capitulate today? Why
didn`t he just come out and say, hey this is only 5 percent of the people
that we`re talking about. It`s going to get better if they go into the
exchange. You got to suck it up we`re moving forward, instead he opens the
door for possible other changes.
SCHAKOWSKY: No. No. Well, they`re maybe other changes coming and
maybe we should, well I don`t know. But listen there are some people who
understand their plans. They`re not junk plans and they are going to be
loosing their health insurance for this year if they don`t get to keep
their -- the plans that they have.
I`ve got -- I`ve talked to some of those people. By and large that`s
very few people. However, most of the people who are getting those letters
can do better on the exchange.
SCHULTZ: Do you think -- and I`ve got to ask you this Congresswoman.
SCHULTZ: Do you really think if Fox News and every Right Wing talker
in this country hasn`t been hammering away at this issue that the President
would or would not have done this?
SCHAKOWSKY: I think he would`ve because we are all getting letters
from constituents in our districts, people who have supported the
President, who have supported ObamaCare. But are finding right now that
they`re not able to get the policies that they need.
And it is difficult of course because they can`t get onto the
SCHAKOWSKY: I don`t think this delay and it isn`t delay. This isn`t
permanent for short time. Let us all focus on the big picture and the big
picture is what you were saying. You know, parents with kids with autism
were on the Hill today. And they were saying thank you. They are trilled.
Their children are going to be able to .
SCHAKOWSKY: . they don`t have -- what a burn lifted off their
SCHULTZ: Now, I want to know about this revolt that some media people
are saying that`s happening within the Democratic Party on ObamaCare. I
want you to address that.
SCHAKOWSKY: No. I mean, we just had a briefing from the Chief of
Staff, Denis McDonough, who talked about what the proposal means. And list
our (ph) number, Ed, the insurance companies now have to decide, "Am I
really serious about offering these plans to people," or they going to use
it as an opportunity to say, "Uh-oh, we don`t you to be renewed. We, you
know, you`re sick and we don`t want to renew you."
And so the insurance companies may not be so willing actually to
extend those policies but let me just say. There was a release in the
SCHAKOWSKY: . that for those few people that really are troubled
right now that are calling our office and that have looked carefully at
what`s available to them that we`re going to take care those people for now
while we fix if there`s any other glitches that come along.
But in the meantime, it`s the big picture. Let`s get that website
fixed. Let people go on and tomorrow, we are going to author a legislative
plan to make sure that we make the plan a bit better. Look at the
Republicans. I was in committee today they don`t have an answer.
SCHULTZ: They don`t.
SCHAKOWSKY: John Boehner is saying the best health delivery system in
the world his head is in the sand. What is he talking about?
SCHULTZ: Totally, totally. He has no plan for people who are
bankrupt because of a health issue just as I had laid out earlier tonight.
The numbers don`t add up for the median income earner in this country
and the Republicans are just -- they`re road kill on this issue. No doubt
SCHULTZ: Congresswoman .
SCHAKOWSKY: No problem.
SCHULTZ: . I appreciate your time tonight. Thanks so much.
SCHAKOWSKY: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Jan Schakowsky, Chicago with us here on the Ed Show.
Remember to answer tonight`s question, there at the bottom of the
screen. Share your thoughts with us on Twitter at Ed Show and on Facebook.
We want to know what you think.
We got so much more coming up. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI, (D-CA) MINORITY LEADER: Did I ever tell my
constituents of that if they like their plan, they could keep it? I would
have if I`d ever met anybody who likes his or her plan, but that was not my
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: That is exactly what Nancy Pelosi said just moments ago on
Capitol Hill because there are millions of Americans who have junk
insurance that don`t like it, that want standards which is in this bill.
Time now for the Trenders and our social media. This is where you can
find us. You can find us on Sirius -- or you can find us on
facebook.com/edshow, twitter.com/edshow and ed.msnbc.com, and of course on
the radio, Sirius XM 127 Monday through Friday at noon to 3:00.
The Ed Show, social media, and nation has decided on we are reporting.
Today, it`s all about ObamaCare. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And today`s top Trender, fly over country fall
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fire in the hole base.
SEC. KATHLEEN SEBELIUS, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES: 106,000 Americans
have enrolled in qualified health plans through the marketplace.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: While state health care exchanges are working .
GOV.STEVE BESHEAR, (D) KENTUCKY: You can see an eagerness out there
for affordable health coverage.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s easier to do this on a state basis than it is
having a whole federal system in .
SCHULTZ: The state exchanges are working where they`re properly
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you`re clear for take off.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Roger.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The middle of the country waits for ObamaCare to
OBAMA: People want affordable health care.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just 27,000 people have enrolled on the federal
OBAMA: Is that as high number as we`d like? Absolutely not.
BESHEAR: Making political decisions as opposed to decisions in the
best interest of their people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Joining me now is Congressman Joseph Crowley of New York.
Congressman, good to have you with us tonight.
REP.JOSEPH CROWLEY, (D), NEW YORK: Thank you, Ed. Good to be back
SCHULTZ: I want to nail down the fact that the -- are the Democrats
on the same page or is there some division within the caucus on what`s
going on with the announcement that was made today by the President?
CROWLEY: Ed, Democrats are in the same page. We want to see the
Affordable Care Act, ObamaCare whatever you want to call it, but the bottom
line is, Ed, it`s a bill and law that for first time in many instances,
allow for Americans to afford insurance in this country. We are committed
to that, we are passionate about that. The alternative is Republicans,
they want to repeal it. They have no alternative. No vision. They have
SCHULTZ: All right.
CROWLEY: Democrats have that.
SCHULTZ: Congressman, what about the map? It`s interesting. We`re
not only politically divided in this country, rural versus urban, but we,
apparently, are medically divided as well, too.
The states that have rejected are mostly red states.
SCHULTZ: What does that tell you?
CROWLEY: It tells you that what`s happening in Washington is not
isolated in Washington alone. There was a Republican national agenda to
repeal this bill. We have no cooperation with the Republican Party here in
Congress and you have no cooperation of 99 percent of the Republican
governors in this country today.
In a state like New York, our exchange is up and running and it`s
working, over 50,000 New Yorkers have agreed to enter and to get health
insurance to the exchange. So it is working in those states where you
would have cooperation. We don`t .
SCHULTZ: Yeah. Congressman, what`s your interpretation of how this
is going to unfold? Can the President just sign an executive order and
say, "OK, you could keep your insurance for another year," or is there
going to have to be legislate of action here?
CROWLEY: I think that what the President has proposed is sufficient.
I think that the legislative of action that is proposed by the Republicans
to the Upton Bill is really a Trojan horse that try to just get in. Their
sole purpose for offering this amendment is not to help. It is not to fix
the problem. It is to exploit a problem and .
SCHULTZ: OK, so they passed this .
CROWLEY: . the President`s trying to fix that.
SCHULTZ: They passed this Upton thing and they probably will because
they`re Republicans .
CROWLEY: Right and they control the House.
SCHULTZ: . and then what`s -- then Harry Reid`s going to have to make
a decision on what he`s going to with that in the Senate.
SCHULTZ: And then the President`s going to have to weigh in is
whether he would actually support something the Republicans would do .
SCHULTZ: . which of course would go to the very core of ObamaCare and
strip away the spine of this law that would get rid off junk insurance and
of course, would bring standards to the industry. So how`s this going to
CROWLEY: Well, I think what`s going to happen here, Ed is that I just
say tomorrow, the House Republicans because they do the control the House
Representatives, this bill, and the likelihood will pass. I don`t see any
other option in that fold.
In the Senate, there are different bills. So they`re not congruent,
they`re not the same language .
CROWLEY: So I don`t see that matching up. And if by some chance it
happens, I doubt very much the President will sign this bill bcause I do
think it goes much further what the President proposed today and the
attempt here is to undermine and to repeal the Affordable Care Act, not to
SCHULTZ: OK. It seems to me that the President today made a
calculation that I`m not going to go up to middle (ph) since he`s talking
about fumbling. Is that -- and not going to go up the bill, he`s going to
try to do an end run on this. And he`s going to say, "You know what? I`m
going to take a little time to run this. I`m counting on the 95 percent of
the people that this does not affect and a positive stories are going to
come out to this and public opinion is going to swing with our team." I
SCHULTZ: . your call on that.
CROWLEY: I think that when the website is up and running sufficiently
and it`s getting better everyday by the moment. And more and more people
can have access to what`s out there, what`s available, what`s affordable
they`re going to see that there are options .
CROWLEY: . to lower their premiums and to give them the opportunity
for in the first place. So, Ed, what you`re really looking at here is not
just the 95 percent. I think the number is greater. Even though those
folks within the five percent .
CROWLEY: . are going to be seeing -- they probably have other options
on the exchanges .
CROWLEY: . that will lower their premiums and get better coverage
because of these junk coverage is not going to help them when they really
SCHULTZ: Joe, President Obama took a lot of blame today by himself,
his fault, his sorry, fumbled, everything else. He didn`t, you know, he
didn`t land on anybody else.
SCHULTZ: What do you think of that? Is he given cover to everybody
who`s going to be running in the midterms? That this isn`t going dull (ph)
CROWLEY: Well, I think we all are members of Congress were all
individually elected. And it`s based largely on the political capital that
we`ve built up over the years.
CROWLEY: So I don`t think anyone says one particular issue is the end
door (ph). But I do think the President`s doing is the responsible thing.
This has not been a perfect roll out of the Affordable Care Act. So he`s
recognized that. But you know what, Ed? You can fix a broken website.
You can`t fix broken ideas is that Republicans ....
SCHULTZ: Boehner says you can`t fix it. Boehner says he can`t fix
it. He said, in fact he said you can`t trust the White House?
CROWLEY: But the reality is Boehner has nothing to offer in its
CROWLEY: They have absolutely have no ideas. So you can`t fix no
ideas. You can`t fix broken ideas.
SCHULTZ: Congressman Joe Crowley great to have you with us. Thanks
CROWLEY: Thank you, Ed. All of us.
SCHULTZ: Appreciate it. Sarah Palin takes her holier than thou act
to a new level. Plus Fox News goes trolling with my buddy, Eric Bolling.
But next I`m taking your questions Ask Ed Live just ahead.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show. Love hearing from our viewers,
love the questions coming. Thank so you much in our Ask Ed Live segment.
Our first question is from Steven and he wants to know, "How will the
Republicans react when the ACA Affordable Care Act is successful?"
Well, let me just tell you. This is going to go on for decades. The
same way they are trying to privatize Social Security today, the same way
they are trying to get rid of Medicare and Medicaid. That is their
philosophy. That`s their ideology. Once we get this and it`s going to be
successful they`re going to fight it for a long, long time.
Our next question is from David Hoy. He wants to know, "Why do
American say they want change but keep voting for the same idiots?"
Well, wait a minute. David this is a marathon not a sprint. 2012 was
a pretty dog one good year for the Democrats. In fact last week was a good
week for the Democrats in Virginia Southern States. Yes the guy across the
river and Chris Christie in New Jersey did win reelection but they only
pick up one seat in their assembly. Bottom line here is that the pendulum
I think is shifting. We are a center left country. All good keep
Stick around Rapid Response Panel is next.
SEEMA MODY, CNBC MARKET WRAP CORRESPONDENT: I`m Seema Mody with your
CNBC Market Wrap. The DOW surged 54 points, S and P 500 up 8, and then
NASDAQ added 7.
Stocks on a high reacting to signals from Janet Yellen during her
conformation hearing to lead the fed that seamless measures would stay in
place to help revive the economy.
New claims for unemployment benefits drop for a fifth week down by
2000 last week. And mortgage rates are climbing at 30 years fix rate
mortgage grows to 4.35 percent this week.
That`s it from CNBC. First in business worldwide.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show. America`s favorite half term
Governor Sarah Palin is bravely taking it upon herself to put the Christ
back in Christmas.
In her latest book "Good Tidings and Great Joy, Protecting the Heart
Palin takes on angry atheists who she claims are waging a war on
religious freedom in America which is why this exchange came as such a
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you make of Pope Francis? What do you
think would happen?
SARAH PALIN, FORMER GOVERNOR OF ALASKA: I`m kind of trying to follow
what his agenda is. You know, I`m surprised that he came out with a couple
of things in the media but then again I`m not one to trust the media`s
interpretation of somebody`s message. But having read through media
outlets that he`s had some statements to me sound kind of liberal has taken
me aback. It`s kind of surprised me.
But there again, you know, unless I really dig deep into what he`s
messaging is and do my own homework. I`m not going to just trust what I
hear in the media.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Pope Francis says earned the universal praise for his more
populist approach to the papacy. He shuns the luxury accommodations. His
urged Catholics to take the focus of controversial social issues like gay
marriage and abortion instead Pope Francis has use his position to focus on
charity and helping the poor or less fortunate in the world.
I don`t want to spoil the New Testament for Palin because it sounds
like she hasn`t read it yet. But if she`s taken aback by Pope Francis`
liberal Christianity she is in for a real shock when she reads about Jesus.
Palin took to Facebook to clear things up with her -- this writing.
"It was not my intention," she said, "to be critical of Pope Francis. I
was reminding viewers that we need to do our own homework on news subject."
Palin then went on to say her Catholic friends and family, "Have since
assured me that Pope Francis is as sincere and faithful as shepherd of his
church. I apologize for not being clearer in my response."
Sarah Palin apologizing. She must have got a lot of heat from
Joining me now on our Rapid Response Panel E.J. Dionne, Washington
Post Columnist and MSNBC Contributor Ruth Conniff for the progressive
magazine joining us tonight.
Well, is it a liberal position to care about the poor? Or is it a
conservative position to care about the poor? Is Sarah Palin against poor
people in this statement? E.J. Dionne, your thoughts on this unfolding.
E.J. DIONNE, WASHINGTON POST COLUMNIST: Well, she -- until she caved
on her statement I was going to do something never before attempted on the
Ed Show. I was going to defend Sarah Palin and say, yes the Pope is from
her point of view more than a little bit liberal.
I mean, Pope who said, while the income of the minority is increasing
exponentially that of the majority is crumbling. He`s criticized an
economic system which has as its center an idol called money.
Now, no, Pope Francis is not a conventional liberal his pro-life.
He`s anti-abortion. But the center of his message really has been about
our obligations to the poor and really quite radical message to American
ears about the problems with unregulated capitalism.
But he is also inspired a great deal of love among Catholics because
he actually walks his talk and he doesn`t live in the big papal apartments
and he`s spent his -- he used to take mass transit to work. He`s an
inspiring figure. But he is definitely to the left of Sarah Palin when it
comes to economics.
SCHULTZ: Ruth Conniff what effect could this Pope have on social
attitudes in this country when we have income inequality at a toward pace
going opposite directions? You have workers rights being attacked. You
have, well, we`re going to cut food stamps, how about that?
I mean, with the Pope being so visible and so outspoken on these
issues could he push social change in America for the better?
RUTH CONNIFF MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: I think so, I mean there is a fine
progressive tradition in Catholicism and we see it, you know, in this
country when we see Paul Ryan rebuked when he goes to speak at Georgetown,
by the group of judge who was there, who said, you know, this year budget
is not in keeping with Catholic doctrine. But Christianity at its core is
about social justice, it`s not about wealth, it`s about caring for the poor
it`s about doing good.
And I think that that`s message that a lot of American Catholics have
been yearning to hear and I think when the Pope says that the church has
been obsessed with abortion and homosexuality when he says, "Who am I to
judge gay people." And he wants to return to the more important issue of
economic justice and taking care of people that that`s a really welcome
message for progressive Catholics all over this country who do the work of
running food pantries, who really care about what`s happening to their
SCHULTZ: This war on Christmas, this is an old pony that Fox News
people have ridden for a long time I guess that Sarah Palin`s turn this
holiday season. She claims that the pope has an agenda, what about his
belief system? E.J. Dionne faithfully there are two different things,
DIONNE: Well, I think it is worth remembering that Jesus was born in
a manger and that there was an old room in the inn for him and a lot of
Christians especially poor Christians have drawn a lot of inspiration from
that over the years. I mean the whole war on Christmas thing is just a
horribly device of thing, I don`t see -- I mean if you want to talk about
the war on Christmas, talk about the commercialization of Christmas which
is not an issue she is going to raise.
And I just want to underscore something Ruth said which is, "When you
look at the Catholic church and look at the work it does among poor people
and homeless people it`s really inspiring and you can already see an impact
of Pope Francis on the American church Cardinal Sean O`Malley up in Boston
gave an interview in the Boston Globe this week during -- right before the
Bishop`s meeting in Baltimore and he said, "The Church needs to call
attention, a lot more attention to this work that the church does."
So, this is not just the Pope speaking, I think he is having an affect
all the way down the line in the church.
SCHULTZ: Well with this Tea Partiers, I mean it`s black and white,
there`s no gray area, liberal is bad. It`s a liberal position to help the
poor, the Pope wants to help the poor, he is very clear on that, he wants
to focus on that. So, how her Tea -- I`m sure there are some Tea Party
Catholics out there Ruth Conniff, how are they going to balance this?
CONNIFF: I mean, I think conservative Catholics are struggling, they
are clearly struggling with the fact that the highest authority in the
church is telling them that their message is wrong, that Christianity is
not, you know, the spiritual values of the Catholic church are not about
bashing gay people and spreading hate and enriching the wretched at the
expense of the poor, in fact quite the opposite.
So, I think that`s a struggle for people. But let`s face it, you
know, the conservatives in this country and really not conservatives but
the Right Wing or from the Tea Parties have tried to say that they have a
monopoly on things like Christmas and freedom, and, you know, religious
values and it`s just preposterous, it`s not true, you know, there`s a -- I
think I like it when you said there`s a center left majority in this
country, I think that`s right. And I think that people who really are
serious about their core beliefs and about something bigger than this world
and, you know, shopping, really care about the consistency of that message
and I think that they`re really happy to see what the Pope has to say.
SCHULTZ: Ruth Conniff, E.J. Dionne great to have you with us tonight.
Thanks for the discussion.
Up next the Koch Brothers yield (ph) of schemes in Iowa. Stay tuned
for the Punch Out. We`ll be right back.
SCHULTZ: And in Pretenders tonight, hopelessly devoted, the Five, the
love affair continues. The kids across the street got such a boost out of
Big Eddy they couldn`t resist double dipping. One thing about the Five
they know a good thing when they see it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIC BOLLING: I have to get this in here because I don`t know why.
Why do I have to get crazy Eddie Schultz in this show. I don`t know, we
have to listen to this guy, we call him -- I call him a buffoon yesterday.
I`m calling him a crazy buffoon today, watch.
SCHULTZ: The media is just cherry-picking the bad facts that are out
there, repeating them over and over again. And, in many cases, they`re
making stuff up.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The news media, Bob, doesn`t have to do
anything. The numbers coming out write the stories for the news media. As
Greg pointed out where was the media years ago?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Does that mean the Five is going to be for universal health
care when the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented? I can`t wait. I`m
glad the Five isn`t keeping their admiration for my material a secret
anymore. Now, all they have to do is start to listening to it.
The polling bond (ph) says, the news media doesn`t need to do
anything; their show is proof for that. The Five won`t bother to research
or report on the countless people whose lives are changing because of the
health care law.
So, they can keep showing my mug on the screen. I`m OK with that, but
if the Five believes that I`m going to keep doing the work for them. They
can keep on pretending.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show. This is the story for the
folks who take a shower after work.
Republican mayoral and city councilor candidates in a small town in
Iowa has a big financial backing of this election year, billionaire
Republican activist Koch brothers took a special interest in Coralville,
Iowa. Charles and David Koch`s Group, Americans for Prosperity jumped into
the raise to help elect the town`s mayor and city council members with an
aggressive campaign. The group mailed filers, also advertised in newspaper
called voters that boots on the ground, knock on doors did at all. The
Iowa chapter of Americans for Prosperity argues the city`s debt is higher
per capita than bankrupt embroiled city of Detroit Michigan.
So, they`re trying to gain influence, but it doesn`t take very much
money to buy a lot of ad space and get vote in the town fewer than 20,000
residents. It`s clear the Koch brothers have a larger scale agenda as you
may recall Eastern Iowa was a Democratic stronghold in 2008 and 2012
presidential elections in the state the President Obama won.
Now Democratic Congressman Bruce Braley he was taking steps to warn
people about the secret coat money floating into Iowa.
And the Congressman from Iowa joins us tonight Bruce Braley, I want to
point out that we asked Koch Industries to come on the program with us
tonight, they declined but they did supply us with this statement. They
say, "The American Energy Alliance and Americans for Prosperity operate
independently of Koch industries. We are not involved in their day-to-day
operations and we do not direct the activities of their organization."
Congressman, is Koch money floating into Iowa and is this is a mission
to take the state?
REP. BRUCE BRALEY, (D) IOWA: Yes it is floating into Iowa, Ed we see
it in all 99 counties and the fact that they intervened in this municipal
election in Coralville, Iowa which as you pointed out has less than 20,000
people in it shows you how widespread and pervasive this problem is and I
think Iowans are getting sick and fed up with it.
SCHULTZ: They say that American Energy Alliance and Americans for
prosperity operate independently, you disagree?
BRALEY: I`m sure that the average Iowa voter is comforted by that
disclaimer, Ed, but the harsh reality is we`ve seen this before. We saw in
2010 when millions of dollars poured into our state and dramatically
influenced elections and that`s why I have made it a priority to let people
know that the citizens unite a decision which allowed all of this secret
outside money to flow into Iowa is bad for America, it`s bad for democracy
and that`s why I`m urging people to go to my website, brucebraley.com and
sign my petition to repeal Citizens United.
SCHULTZ: Now, Senator Tom Harkin been around a long time. He is
retiring from the Senate. You are running for his seat. Are you going to
be able to match or what do you expect, financially, that Koch brothers or
Americans for Prosperity to do when you are the competition?
BRALEY: Well, as my friend Sherrod Brown discovered when he runs in
Iowa, the sky is the limit, Ed. I had told him that he could expect
millions and millions of dollars to be used against them and I think the
final total was nearly $40 million in a state the size of Ohio.
The groups you`ve mentioned are already attacking me. They`re out in
all parts of the state and we know that they`re going to be a significant
presence in the 2014 election. That`s why it`s important to education
Iowans about what`s at stake and who`s trying to influence their elections
even though as you pointed out that donors themselves are secret at this
SCHULTZ: Do you think that Iowans are on to this? And how do you
think they feel about this outside money?
BRALEY: Oh I think they are on to it and I think the people of
Coralville got on to it very quickly. If you look at the election
outcomes, you can see that the people of Coralville rejected these outside
secret attempts to influence their local municipal elections.
Iowans take politics very seriously, Ed. And they expect you to come
and talk to them and clear terms about what you stand for and what you
believe and they want to look inside you and know what type of person you
are. They don`t want to be influenced by outside groups that don`t care
about your economy. They don`t care about the state. They`re just trying
to help themselves.
SCHULTZ: What about the fact that there`s a lot of small markets,
small towns in Iowa? It`s not like it`s a $1 million-purchase every time
you put on a TV ad on the state of Iowa.
Cheap seat? I mean is that -- you think that`s how they view this,
that that`s the way it is?
BRALEY: I think that the fact that you can buy these types of
services relatively and expensively in a small community like this, means
that you can have an extraordinarily outsized impact on some of these
elections and that`s why it`s important to inform voters about what`s
happening so they can be prepared to reject these misguided attempts to
influence their votes.
SCHULTZ: Do you think that money in that town of 20,000 people had a
difference to turn the entire city council and the mayor to the
conservative ledger? I mean, do you think that money really had an impact?
BRALEY: I think it certainly had the potential to do that but because
people woke up and were aware of what was going on, I think they sent a
strong message back to these groups, "This is our town. We`ll decide who`s
going to represent us based on the people we know and the ideas they`ve
shared with us during this campaign."
SCHULTZ: And we all know that there`s never going to be any
transparency as long as the Republicans hold the House, correct?
BRALEY: No, because we passed a bill when we run the majority called
the Disclose Act that would`ve rolled back many of these requirements that
were allowed under the Citizens United case but we have seen no action on
that since the majority.
SCHULTZ: So you don`t buy the fact that the American Energy Alliance
and Americans for Prosperity operate independently of Koch Industries?
You`re not buying it. All right, that`s what I think.
BRALEY: I think any reasonable person follows the money and knows
that they`re trying to influence these elections for their own benefit.
SCHULTZ: All right. Congressman Bruce Braley, good to have you with
us tonight from Iowa. Appreciate your time. Thank you.
That`s the Ed Show. I`m Ed Schultz. Politics Nation with Reverend Al
Sharpton starts right now.
Good evening Rev.
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