The Ed Show for Wednesday, November 27th, 2013
Read the transcript to the Wednesday show
THE ED SHOW
November 27, 2013
Guest: Holland Cooke, Ruth Connif, Tony Rohr
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People`s hope
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don`t say we did this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here`s the Jesus .
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let`s love people .
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Think about Jehovah`s Witness?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Our nation needs to stop doing for people what
they can`t and should do for themselves.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How about Buddhism?
SCHULTZ: Income and inequality is one of the biggest issues out there
REAGAN: Because I will explain where we are, how we got there.
SCHULTZ: The red liners, the vultures, they`re just rolling.
REAGAN: But we have to face the truth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC HOST: Good to have you with us tonight folks.
Thanks for watching. As we head into this Thanksgiving weekend, it`s
important to keep the issue of income inequality on the front burner.
Many Americans this Thanksgiving will be forced to work and work for
low wages. Some won`t even be able to afford a Thanksgiving dinner. I`ve
shown you the Vulture Chart many times here on the Ed Show. Since the
early 1980s, income inequality has been an issue. The top 1 percent have
really benefited, their wages have skyrocketed while worker`s wages have
stayed virtually the same or flat-lined. It`s a fact.
This is the product of so-called trickle-down economics. If you can
blame it all on one guy, this is the guy. Ronald Reagan`s economic policy
laid down a foundation for income inequality in this country. The first
thing he did as President was pass sweeping tax breaks for everyone but
especially the wealthy.
In July of 1981, Reagan laid out his backwards plan for America`s
growth in a prime time address. Armed with a series of charts, Reagan said
trickled down economic was the way to go.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RONALD REAGAN, 40TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Their tax cut is
slightly more generous than ours for the first two years. Then as you can
see, their tax bill, the dotted line starts going up, and up, and up. On
the other hand, in our bipartisan tax bill, the solid line, our tax cut
keeps on going down and then stays down permanently. This is true of all
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: One short week later, Reagan`s tax cut passed. It was the
largest tax cut our nation had ever seen. Everyone got a break but the top
tax rate fell from 70 percent down to 50 percent. No doubt a major win to
develop 1 percent income earners in this country.
Here is the Vulture Chart again. The green line marks the beginning
of Reagan`s trickle-down plan. This is when his tax cuts passed. So --
and just so happens. It is the same time income inequality started to
skyrocket in America. This is proof. Trickle-down economics is a sham.
It doesn`t work.
Income inequality is becoming such a major issue even with the Pope.
The Pope is speaking out against it, making big news this week. The Pope
made I think a stunning political statement connecting it to faith.
Pope Francis is slamming Reaganomics in a statement the Pope
criticized the idolatry of money and warned it would lead to a new tyranny.
A new tyranny? What does that mean? Does that mean that if I go to the
Catholic Church at Detroit Lakes, Minnesota that I`m going to hear the
priest talk about a new tyranny?
The Pope also called out trickle-down economics by names saying this,
"Some people continue defend trickle-down theories which assume that
economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in
bringing about greater justice in the world." He went on to say, "This
opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and
naive trust in the goodness of those yielding economic power. Meanwhile,
the excluded are still waiting.`
Basically, as I interpret that, the Pope was saying trickle-down
economics doesn`t work. The poor in this world are still waiting. The
poor in this country are still waiting. The poor in this country are under
attack by Republican policies. I don`t know if the Pope is a Democrat or
not. Certainly, it`s scripturally-based but no pontiff has ever been so
bold to speak out in this manner. The Pope sounds more like Senators
Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren than he does Ronald Reagan and devout
Congressional Catholic Paul Ryan.
Conservatives have been maybe genuflecting to the wrong guy.
Republicans are against everything this new pope stands for. Pope Francis
wants to fix income inequality, wants to help the poor. Look at the
Republican budget. Meanwhile, here`s what Republicans think about
America`s poor people.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MICHELE BACHMANN, (R) MINNESOTA: If you look at China, they
don`t have food stamps. If you look at China, they`re in a very different
situate -- they save for their own retirement security. They don`t have
AFDC. They don`t have the modern welfare state. And China`s growing.
UNIDENTITFIED MALE: Think about that, nearly state -- every state in
America. People are getting food stamps who are able-bodied the citizen
not elderly without children.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The area where you can actually do some work under
the Senate rules is cutting the tied-on programs.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you control government spending without
fundamentally reforming entitlements? I think the answer is no.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it`s insensitive to not have requirements
to food stamps.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: I wonder what the Pope would say about Congress and Paul
Ryan stands on entitlement cuts for the poor and how callous the
Republicans have been with their proposed budgeting. It really is
shameful. Basically, I believe that the Pope is trying to raise social
awareness but he`s also calling out those who are pushing policies that
directly hurt the poor. And that`s what`s happening in this country, we`re
having this big budget debate, we`ve got yet another deadline. And what
are the Republicans want to do? They want to cut billions of dollars out
of the food stamp program and hurt the most vulnerable?
This pope isn`t talking to a third-world country that is poor. This
pope is talking to a wealthy country that has the wherewithal to do the
morally correct thing and provide for those who have been less fortunate in
this trickled-down economy that started with the Republicans and Ronald
Reagan back in the `80s. It doesn`t work.
Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think. Tonight`s
question. Is the old mighty dollar Republicans true religion? Text A for
Yes, text B for No to 67622. You can always go to our blog at ed.msnbc.com
and leave a comment there. We`ll bring you the results later on in this
For more on this, let me turn out to E.J. Dionne of the Washington
E.J., great to have you with us tonight. I`m not totally up on my
pontiff history, but in my lifetime, I can`t remember a pope being so
politically direct on what the social responsibility is to wealthy nations.
That was my read on it, what was yours?
E.J. DIONNE, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it`s good to be here on the
reverend The ED Show on this eve of Thanksgiving. And I just have to say,
hearing Michele Bachmann say that we should follow China`s lead on food
stamps. I`ve always wanted to ask her why she wants to take her lead on
social policy from a communist dictatorship. But, that`s not our subject
I think that the Pope is, in fact, very consistent with a long run of
Catholic social thought that goes all the way back to Leo the 13th of Rerum
Novarum. But this Pope has given it more power, more candor, and just a
straightforwardness and I think that comes from the fact that he`s a Pope
from the South. He is from Argentina. And his statement is really
extraordinary. He says, "Today, everything comes under the laws of
competition and the survival of the fittest where the powerful feed upon
the powerless." As a consequence, he goes on, "Masses of people find
themselves excluded and marginalized without work, without possibilities,
without any means of escape.
And so, I think what this Pope and bear in mind, he is still against
abortion, but what he is saying is that his real priority is on his
question of poverty and justice and the problems with unregulated
capitalism, he could not be more direct. And I think a lot of Catholic
Republicans are going to have to look at their consciousness and say, you
know, Russian Limbo attack the Pope today, the Pope said these things,
maybe they`re going to have to rethink a little bit, I hope they do.
SCHULTZ: Well, it`s certainly is bringing forth a social awareness
and a new consciousness within the Catholic Church. But, if I go to the
Detroit Lakes Catholic Church in the middle of the country in Minnesota, am
I going to hear the priest talk about a new tyranny? What do you think the
Pope meant by that?
DIONNE: Well, I think he talks about a tyranny if that develops when
money is an idol as he has put it in another talk when materialism is the -
- is your guide and not spiritual values not the values of gratitude which
we`re celebrating tomorrow, gratitude in compassion.
And so, I think that one of the big questions is, how much will this
pope`s message as it were to use a concept his against trickle-down to the
rest of the church. And I think in some parishes, and I have noticed that
a lot of more progressive leaders of the church have taken heart from this.
And I think they have become more aggressive in saying their Catholic
Church can`t just be about abortion and gay marriage. The Catholic Church
has always been about a social justice and care for the poor.
SCHULTZ: Well, this is now economic justice and social justice and
economic justice, and social justice and social economic justice clearly
parallel one another, but no Pope to my knowledge has ever put it in such
His comment that the excluded are still waiting, I mean that is a
direct slam that the economic policies of trickle-down and he uses the term
trickle-down economics and says the excluded are still waiting. Is -- is a
direct shot at -- it -- at -- it being a failed policy, it doesn`t work,
it`s not the way to run a railroad for lack of a better term but they`re
still waiting. In other words, the wealthy you need to do more. I mean
now that`s -- that`s my interpretation. I could be totally off base, but
that -- that`s the way I read it, when he says the excluded are still
DIONNE: I think that`s the only way to read it. I think he is very
direct here. He has this great line where he says, "How can it be that it
is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure but it
is a news item when the stock market loses two points?" I mean you can`t .
DIONNE: . be more direct than he is then .
DIONNE: . and I think he is really calling advocates of pure
capitalism to look out.
SCHULTZ: So how Republican Catholics like Congressman Paul Ryan who
happened to be the Chairman of the House Budget Committee with a radical
budget. How`s he going to deal with this?
DIONNE: I think it`s going to be difficult, but here`s an optimistic
scenario, Ed. I think there are Conservatives out there who are not
radical Tea Party Conservatives who in the past have not voted in lockstep
to cut food stamps away, the Republicans did. And I think they`re going to
have to ask themselves, you know, how does their view of social programs
square with those of a pope, who specifically goes after those who reject
the right of states governing -- in governments to stand up for the common
good. And .
DIONNE: . so there maybe a pulling back from this radicalism.
Compassion and conservatism had its flows, but it`s sure better than the
SCHULTZ: Is this current situation of income inequality in America
and in the European countries as well. Is it proof that Reaganomics is
sham? I think it is.
DIONNE: Well I think your chart shows it that, you know, the idea
that you can solve any problem in a country by throwing money at rich
people, just doesn`t work. It hasn`t work .
DIONNE: . from the beginning and it`s this whole idea, while they`re
the job creators and everyone else doesn`t count, you know, Catholic Social
Teaching has always really leaned towards labor, and says that labor
creates value. Abraham Lincoln talked about labor creating value. So that
I don`t think you can say, that`s it`s -- that if -- if your emphasis is
all on capital, you are missing a big part of the story and almost all the
people doing the work.
SCHULTZ: Well, there is no way that I think fair minded Americans can
read this speech by the Pope and say that -- the faith matches up with the
Republican ideology on how we should run our finances in this country,
there`s no question about that, at least as I see it.
E.J. Dionne it`s great to have you with us, you have a great
Thanksgiving and nice holiday. We`ll see you back here again on the ED
Show, thanks so much.
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,
you might have a lot to say about this, we certainly want to know what you
Coming up Big Turkey Ted Cruz, wants to ruin your Thanksgiving. Silly
head, what to say you your Right Wing brother-in-law. A lesson in table
manners, coming up from John Fugelsang, and an interview with a manager who
lost his job sticking up for his employees. He didn`t want to serve pizza
on Thanksgiving. Stay with us, we`ll be right back.
SCHULTZ: Time now for the Trenders. The Ed Show social media nation
has decided and we are reporting. Here our today`s Top Trenders voted on
by you and me.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CROWD: We want Ed. We want Ed.
SCHULTZ: The number three Trender, the Ed Tour.
Could be in a county or you, you can sign up and be there.
I`m taking the show on the road to Fort Lauderdale in Seattle next
I`m going around America as a big part of telling the story. We move
forward. I`m ready for round two.
Check out we got ed.com for more details.
CROWD: We want Ed.
SCHULTZ: The number two Trenders, pardon me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got sort of pardon off between caramel and
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (inaudible).
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It was quite literally
the Hunger Games.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They both will survive the day. We`re just
determining which one is officially pardon.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They stay at Mount Vernon through the holidays.
SCHULTZ: The time honored Thanksgiving tradition continues.
GEORGE W. BUSH, FRM US PRESIDENT: Pumpkin and Pecan have an exciting
trip ahead of them. Later today they will fly to Disneyland, aboard
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As God is my witness. I thought Turkey`s could
SARAH PALIN, GOVERNOR OF ALASKA: All this one -- this one is meat.
SCHULTZ: And today`s top Trender, talking turkey.
Here`s the scene at every Thanksgiving. You go home. And there is
Uncle Rich. Here`s all righty, and he`s running his mouth about the
We got some helpful hints to avoid a food fight at the dinner table.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Food fight.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A little (inaudible).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Okay.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every mark go directed me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shut up.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, it was directed your stupid turkey, and your
stupid stuff, and then your stupid gravy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Joining me tonight Liberal Commentator and Committee John
Fugelsang wants some very good advice. John good to have you with us
Big topic around the dinner table tomorrow in America probably will be
Obamacare, of course with the uncle across from you who thinks that this
has to fail. How do you set things straight with those conservative family
members who want to see the law fail and of course still think that
President Obama was born not in America?
JOHN FUGELSANG, LIBERAL COMMENTATOR AND COMMITTEE: Well, Ed, as you
know very well it`s very tricky navigating those Thanksgiving Day dinner
table diplomacy. You`ve got your Obamacare hating uncle. You`ve got your
NRA uncle. You`ve got your day for Reagan uncle. You`ve got your uncle
who uses Benghazi as a verb.
It can get pretty challenging, but when it comes to Obamacare the main
thing to remember when that particular uncle or brother-in-law tries to go
to you into some kind of fight. The only way you win is if you leave
Thanksgiving and everyone loves each other.
You`ve got to the liberal. You`ve got to be the good guy. You`ve got
to be the peacemaker. You`ve got to go full on Jimmy Carter. All you got
to say is "Look, I know they`re having problems. I originally supported
single payer but President Obama took a Republican plan made by the
Republican Heritage Foundation implemented by Republican Massachusetts
Governor upheld by Republican Supreme Court. And a year from now, I
predict it will help one of the Republicans at this table.
SCHULTZ: Valuable advice. No question about it. Now, what have your
-- what have your small government loving relatives complained about how
the President is just a big spender?
FUGELSANG: Well, you could, you know, use facts and remind them that
as spending goes, he`s not quite on the scale of previous presidents.
Forbes did show us that he -- it`s a lowest growth in government spending
by any president since Eisenhower. You can point out that Ronald Reagan
grew the federal government by 61,000 jobs and President Bush did it as
well with the Department of Homeland Security. I think you might just want
to blow their mindset and say that, back at the first Thanksgiving when the
Wampanoag fed the Pilgrims. They didn`t know it but they had just invented
socialism for undocumented immigrants. And then, they`ll spend the rest of
night trying to process that.
SCHULTZ: Yeah. I think that a lot of conservative relatives though
have kind of give it up for the fact, you know, that it`s -- that they`re
still convinced that President Obama is a Kenyan Socialist. I think
socialist Muslim should I say that, you know, I think .
SCHULTZ: . it`s -- that might not come up at the dinner table. I
think overtime we have probably debunked that in those general terms
correctly I might add. But what about -- what about those family members
who haven`t seen the rebounding of the stock market and say that the
economy is still on the toilet?
FUGELSANG: Yeah. Well, I think you`re right about the birth or
thing. People have kind of ease of that. I think a lot of people realize
"I`ve never ask the Caucasian politician to show their birth to get this
might not look good. And you can always point out that unlike Ted Cruz,
Barack Obama was born in America.
When it comes to the socialist thing, all you have to do is point to
how well the stock market is doing and say if he`s a socialist, he kind of
sucks at it. You can also point out that under Obamacare, we are now
making people buy a corporation`s private product. It`s pretty much the
opposite of socialism.
What we have now is socialism when uninsured people go to an emergency
room and the local taxpayer as they pick up the tab, and "hey Right Wing
Uncle Larry, why are you defending the socialist status quo?" And that
will freak him out. And as far as the Muslim thing Ed, let me tell you if
this guy is a Muslim who supports gay marriage, who works on Ramadan and
who drones a whole lot of Muslims, he`s not doing a very good job. I
always tell my Right Wing relatives "This Barack Obama is not some ground-
skinned antiwar socialist giving away free healthcare, we all our thinking
SCHULTZ: There`s no question. And of course you can always put to
dig in to him and say "You mean you didn`t jump into the market when it was
down 6500 back in March of 2009? Thought you were a big capitalist. He`d
be rolling by now if he had done that." That`s the digger right there.
FUGELSANG: That`s not great.
SCHULTZ: That is -- that is the parting shot on the economy. John
Fugelsang, you have a great Thanksgiving. Thanks for joining us tonight
for the wonderful advice.
FUGELSANG: I met Pat Roberts since college. If I can get along with
these nice folks you can get along with any Right Wing relative. Happy
Thanksgiving, have a great one.
SCHULTZ: That`s right. You bet. Coming up, we`ll set the records
straight on Obamacare messaging plus what a turkey. Ted Cruz is waging a
war on Thanksgiving. Holy smokes. But next, I`m taking your questions Ask
Ed Live is just ahead. Stay tuned.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show. We love hearing from our
viewers. Tonight in Ask Ed Live, our question is from Butch. And he wants
to know, do you think it`s fair people have to work for minimum wage on
Turkey Day? Well, I`m disappointed that anybody has to work on
Thanksgiving Day because it is a great American tradition. But of course,
the business pressure always brings us changes in society and in the work
culture of this country. I think there`s a real bad turn taking place in
There`s more and more pressure being put on workers. There`s more and
more pressure on managers to hit that bottom line. And that is in a sense
trickle down. The guy on the front office says, "We have to hit this
number." Managers have to bring it on through to employees. And the next
thing you know, you`re working holidays.
It doesn`t seem too American. It doesn`t seem too family to me.
We`re not going to shop on Thanksgiving. You can do what you want but I
think it is rather unfair to workers that these big corporations are saying
people need to work in the retail industry on Thanksgiving. Can`t we all
just have at least one day off that means something?
I mean Thanksgiving is all about family and friends. Thanks -- in
fact a lot of -- I think a lot of families in this country only get
together collectively once or twice maybe three times a year if they`re
lucky, I mean to bring all the family in. And Thanksgiving is that time of
year. Is it really necessary for these big conglomerates to make sure that
their retail stores are open a day ahead of Black Friday? I`m not a fan.
Our next question is from Fred. Fred Christian is his name. What are
you thankful for this Thanksgiving? Well, I`ll be very direct and very
personal. My wife is healthy and has defeated ovarian cancer. She`s had
three very clear CAT scans and another one`s on the way. And we are very
blessed that our family is healthy. So that`s the first thing that I`m
very, very thankful for this Thanksgiving.
Professionally, it`s been kind of an interesting year going from the
8:00 to the weekend and now to 5:00 but I`m very thankful that this company
has invested in me for the future. And I`m going to be here for what some
people would say a very long time. And I`m very thankful that I have
people around me that I respect and work hard and do everything they
possibly can to make this show the very best it is. And I appreciate that
Ed Schultz is a lucky guy. And I`m very thankful.
Stick around, Rapid Response Panel is next.
SEEMA MODY, CNBC MARKET WRAP HOST: I`m Seema Mody with your CNBC
Market Wrap. Stocks up on Wall Street. The Dow jumping 24 points, S and P
500 at a four, and attack having NASDAQ gain 27.
A sign of lay-offs have slowed the number of Americans filing claims
for unemployment benefits dropped by 10,000 last week. And consumer
sentiment was up ahead of the holiday shopping season, topping expectations
Mortgage rates are up, the average on a 30-year fixed loan rose to
4.29 percent last week.
That`s it from CNBC, first in business worldwide.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show. Thanks for watching tonight.
Most Americans are looking forward to having a few days off to enjoy
Thanksgiving. But the Obamacare messaging war, that`s not taking a
vacation at all, not a moment off.
According to the Washington Post Democratic senators, Democratic
senators received a pre-Thanksgiving messaging memo urging them to use this
holiday break to find Obamacare success stories.
Last week, we got to look at the majority leader Eric Canters hand the
Republican Obamacare playbook which urges Republican house members to
collect negative constituent stories on Obamacare.
For weeks, it felt like that we have heard, we were, stories about
websites, and crashes and now lawmakers and opponents are finally starting
to realize this is about actual people which means the messaging war is
getting personal at both sides, fight to push their version of the
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROB WOODALL, (R) GEORGIA: 900,000 Californians, 130,000 Kentuckians,
140,000 Minnesotans and nearly 400,000 Georgians have received cancellation
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Here`s one, thank you, thank you, thank you,
thank you, I`ve been denied health insurance for three years, for
preexisting conditions. I can now live again.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Moms and dads are worried that they`re going to
lose their healthcare plan.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My girls can no longer be discriminated against
for having a preexisting condition. Thanks to Obamacare.
My daughters have access to preventative care that they need as cancer
survivors now for the rest of their lives without worry of outrageous co-
HEATHER CROSS, WIDOW AND SELF-EMPLOYED: I got a letter a couple of
weeks ago from my insurance department saying that my plan was going to be
cancelled because the whole category of the self-employed group plan is
eliminated under the law.
REP. KEITH ELLISON, (R) MINNESOTA: The implementation of the
Affordable Care Act means he`ll be -- he will not be denied insurance due
to this preexisting heart condition.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everyday, we hear (inaudible) stories from
Americans. We`re getting letters about their health care plans being
cancelled or the cost to their new plan is sky rocketed.
SCHULTZ: Here with me now is our Rapid Response panel Ruth Conniff
for the progressive magazine in Wisconsin and also talk radio and media
consultant Holland Cooke. Great to have both of you with us tonight.
I don`t mean to date myself with certain terms that I`m going to use
here but in the media business, there`s nothing like the live shot. We`re
going live here. We`re going live there and there is this thing in the
radio business called good old fashion street tape to go out and get that
actuality of the story. So now what we have here is these two political
ideologies, these two belief systems. It`s going to be propaganda against
the actuality in the street tape of America.
Holland Cooke, this is going to be an epic battle. Can propaganda
outweigh the actuality?
HOLLAND COOKE, TALK RADIO CONSULTANT: And I am live tonight from
Rhode Island where I live. And I`m a case study because I`ve been self-
employed since 1995. And I have one of those policies that are very
profitable to write but what we`re now calling junk insurance, not the
coverage I really needed and a pattern emerges, California, Washington
state, Kentucky, a conspicuous success story nearby Connecticut and here in
Rhode Island, the smallest state where often we have a bit of an
inferiority complex. But not about Obamacare, I had no appointment.
I was in insured and out in 25 minutes and I had been shopping for the
last several years online. The coverage I got was more comprehensive then
and cheaper than the stuff I have been shopping for for a couple of years
online. So look what`s happening. You got all these sorehead righty
governors in states like Texas who usually preach state`s rights. But when
it came to this, Uncle Sam do the job, and with the other hand, they`re
saying give us Medicare funds here in Rhode Island and those other state
exchange states. Things are working fine.
ED SCHULTZ: Ruth Conniff, is it going to be interesting to watch the
insurance industry advertise for people to go look at plans, yet the very
people that they`re supporting are out there just ripping Obamacare anew
when every chance they possibly get. How is this going to play out?
RUTH CONNIF, THE PROGRESSION MAGAZINE: Well I think that the way it`s
playing out and you pointed this out in your intro is that there are more
and more stories about people being really grateful to get insurance and to
get better insurance. And some of those cancellations from the insurance
companies that we`ve been hearing so much about from the Republicans are
actually resulting in people for example in California saying, "I`m so
relieved, I`ve been cancelled of this bad policy that had a high co-pay and
offer me very little and because now my preexisting condition won`t prevent
me from getting better coverage, I`m getting better coverage through the
Affordable Care Act."
So I think that as people get that insurance, as we see folks in rural
Iowa, rural Kentucky lining up to get coverage when they`ve never had any
kind of insurance before. You`re seeing more and more -- more and more of
the upside of the Affordable Care Act then of course by Saturday, we`re
supposed to see 50,000 people get on it at once and register for new
insurance. We`re supposed to see a major change in the workability of the
website which I think was always sort of a short term blitz.
SCHULTZ: Well we`ve seen this happen before by Conservatives. I just
want to -- it came to other changes of social security, Medicare, Medicaid
and even in the south when -- when the Civil Rights Movement was taking
place. There were a -- a lot of Conservatives who were against it.
They`re on the wrong side of history of this one.
Let`s talk about President Obama for a moment. Ruth, what is -- what
is his -- his real mission in 2014 before the midterms. I mean nobody can
-- can sell this or politically better than President Obama. His mother
died of ovarian cancer. She didn`t have insurance.
He still has that very gut-wrenching personal story to tell. And
they`re obstructing everything else. I`m not going to help him with the
jobs back into the budget. So why do they just go out there and sell
Obamacare all over again. What`s he got to lose?
CONNIF: I`m with you, Ed. I think that`s right. And I think the
administration is doing that. I mean I think when they tell members of
Congress to go home this weekend and make sure that they`re spreading the
news about how this plan is actually working and how people are getting
insurance. I think that that is really the mission going into 2014.
And on the flip slide, you know, I live in a state governed by one of
those Republican soreheads who refuse to take the Medicaid expansion. And
we`re seeing tens of thousands of people kicked off of health insurance
here that was provided by the state and then these weird scrambles to
politicize this issue, there is -- our governor has now agreed suddenly to
extend the time before those folks are kicked out. But in order to save
the money that he`s going to keep paying towards their insurance, we`re
going to not provide health insurance now to 82,000 folks who were going to
get it. And this all because we`ve refused the Medicaid expansion here in
Those states where the stuff is.
CONNIF: . really working. When you look at Washington, Connecticut,
Kentucky, they accepted the Medicaid expansion. They`re covering everybody
up to 138 percent of poverty and they`re offering this low cost insurance
to the exchanges. So that`s going to be a really big benefit to a lot of
SCHULTZ: You know, Holland Cooke, this isn`t just exclusive for
Liberals and Progressives. You know, Conservatives could go to that
website too and they can get health care in a cheaper cost and more
comprehensive coverage as well. What are the right-wing talkers of
America, what kind of year are they going to have when some of their
conservative callers start saying, "You know what, this thing Obamacare
that you`ve been ripping on for the last several years is kind of working
for me." How`s that going to play out?
COOKE: They`re not afraid that it`s going to fail. They`re afraid
people are going to love it. And as we begin the big Christmas and Holiday
shopping season now, it`s an interesting behavioral aspect to this. And it
is the extent to which we have become accustomed to, indeed dependent on e-
commerce. We don`t think twice about giving our credit card to a teenager
at the mall who`s seasonal help but we get all shook when the website
You had me on in September and on this show we predicted that on
October 1, the website would go down and it did. A lot of people.
COOKE: . need insurance. Typical government job -- they don`t do
things like this well. But in the arch of history, the story is going to
be that everybody got covered.
SCHULTZ: That is the bottom line. Great to have you with us tonight,
Ruth Conniff, Holland Cooke. Have a great Thanksgiving.
COOKE: Gobble gobble.
SCHULTZ: We`ll see you back here again on the Ed Show. Thanks so
much. You bet.
Coming up, we`ll talk to a Pizza Hut manager who says he was fired for
refusing a greedy corporate request. The people eat a lot of pizza on
Thanksgiving, Pizza Hut thought so. This guy said, "No. I`m sick enough
for the workers. He paid for it with his job." He joins us coming up on
the Ed Show. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And in Pretenders tonight Canadian Senator Ted Cruz in his
war on Thanksgiving, can you believe it? Junior is doing his best to
deflate the joy of two great American traditions. The Macy`s parade in
football. Cruz was one of two Republicans who voted against the bill to
help head off a shortage of helium. The natural gas is not just used to
fill balloons, it`s vital to manufacturing, fiber optics, aerospace, and
The Canadian senator wasn`t just trying to take the air out of the
parade; he was refusing to help these very important industries.
Legislation to avert a crisis was among a handful of bills quickly passed
by Congress on the eve of the most recent government shutdown. Instead of
helping the helium cost, Cruz blew hot air in his filibuster vendetta.
Cruz is trying to ruin your Thanksgiving football as well with help
from the conservative campaign committee. During the games you`ll see this
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Millions of Americans have lost their healthcare
plans because of the disastrous Obamacare scheme. One man stepped forward
and did everything he could to stop Obamacare before it hurt the American
people, Senator Ted Cruz.
SEN. TED CRUZ, (R), TEXAS: I intend to speak in support of debunking
Obamacare until I am no longer able to stand.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Critiques tried to smear and silence Cruz calling
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Political terrorist.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Short-sided, stupid.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Arsonist.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator Cruz withstood the criticism, showed the
courage of his convictions.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: If Ted Cruz, if he thinks he can win his war on
Thanksgiving, he can keep on pretending.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show, this is a story for the folks
who take a shower after work.
You know, Thanksgiving is a time of the year and it is -- it`s a very
special day and it`s really meant for family. It`s a great American
tradition. But the corporate world is attacking that tradition and moving
up Black Friday sales forcing stores to open their doors on Thanksgiving
Day and forcing workers to come into work.
62 percent of Americans think business should remain closed.
Americans feel workers should have their traditional day off. Well, one
general manager of a Pizza Hut in Elkhart, Indiana decided to take a stand,
Tony Rohr paid for it with his job.
Rohr had worked at the pizza chain for more than 10 years climbing
right on through the ranks from washing the windows all the way up to being
the cook, to being now the general manager, but now Rohr claims he was
fired for refusing to force employees to work on Thanksgiving Day. When
Rohr told his bosses he wouldn`t open the restaurant he managed, Rohr
claims he was, "Asked to right a letter of resignation." Instead he wrote
this, "I`m not quitting, I do not resign, however I accept that the refusal
to comply with this greedy immoral request means the end of my tenure with
this company. I hope you realize that it`s the people at the bottom of the
totem pole that make your life possible."
Joining us tonight on the Ed Show, Tony Rohr. Tony, it is great to
have you with us. You were quite the conversation on many talk stations
around the country today, people very inspired by your courage and your
willingness to stand up for employees and protect a holiday that apparently
has been a real tradition in this country. Take a moment if you can Tony.
Just tell us how this all unfolded in your words. Good to have you with us
TONY ROHR, FORMER PIZZA HUT MANAGER: Ah OK, thanks for having me on.
Basically, what happened was I`ve been told that it was mandatory for us to
be open on Thanksgiving and I didn`t agree with it. I had the whole day to
think about it. And as it happened the next day I had a meeting with my
boss and the director of operations for the company and I just decided I
wasn`t going to agree with it. So, I went into the meeting and I said,
"Look, we need to talk about this Thanksgiving thing. It`s not right. I
don`t agree with it and I`m not going to agree to open the store. I`m not
going to make anybody work". And they told me that they were opening
because of the competitive decision and just because other people were
opening, they were going to open, too.
And I said, "Well, can`t we be the company that says "We care about
our employees and you can have the day off." And he just said, "Well, if
the company makes that decision, then we have to abide by it." Now it`s my
franchise who said that and I just told them, that if it cost me my job, so
be it but I`m not doing that. And it took those guys about 15 minutes to
SCHULTZ: It took him 15 minutes to deliberate. Tell us how that
ROHR: Yeah. It took about that long for him to decide that they were
going to get rid off me. And they pulled me out of the conference room and
(inaudible) so I made it up, I had to write a letter of resignation or
rather that his boss needed me to write a letter of resignation. And I
said, "Well, being fired and resigning are two very different things and
I`m not doing that and it`s.
SCHULTZ: You make -- you want to state--
ROHR: . that I`m not going to argue with you.
SCHULTZ: Yeah. Go ahead.
ROHR: Oh, sorry, go ahead. I just.
SCHULTZ: You wrote -- you, you--
ROHR: .so I`m not going to argue with you. Write whatever you want.
SCHULTZ: OK. You wrote, "I hope you realized that it`s the people at
the bottom of the totem pole that make your life possible." I mean that is
really sticking up for your workers. What`s the response of your
colleagues at the Pizza Hut that you were managing?
ROHR: They were all very angry. None of them really understood the
decision to fire me. They were all pretty mad about that and there wasn`t
much they could do or wasn`t much I could do but not -- everybody supported
me, my girlfriend, my parents, my family. Now, a lot of people around have
been showing a lot of support and thanks very much for that.
SCHULTZ: OK. According to WSBT, one of your bosses is claiming that
you did not get fired, but that you quit. What`s your response to that?
ROHR: I did hear that but in my opinion, I was definitely fired.
When we`re out talking about my letter of resignation, he just said, "Well,
you write whatever you want on that piece of paper and I`m not going to
argue with you" and I just said, "So, that`s it, I`m done there?" And he
said, "Yeah, I guess so."
ROHR: And went to left -- and left me to write the letter on my own.
SCHULTZ: All right. We reached out to Yum Brands, the owner of Pizza
Hut for a comment. We received this statement saying, "This was clearly an
unfortunate situation and we`re very upset by what has happened while the
choice as to whether a restaurant should be open or closed on a holiday is
handled at the local level by our independent franchisees. We feel
strongly that this situation could have been avoided."
Do you see this trend changing? They say that this could have been
avoided. What are your thoughts on that?
ROHR: I suppose it`s possible and that was a decision made by my
franchise and not by Pizza Hut as a whole but I suppose there could`ve been
a different way to go about it but I just -- I decided I was not going to
agree to that. I wasn`t going to let anybody work on Thanksgiving. I
don`t think that`s right. And that, I`m pretty sure I just got fired for
SCHULTZ: Okay. Well, there`s 51,000 people that live in Elkhart,
Indiana. How many pizzas do you think they`re going to be selling on
Thanksgiving Day now that they`re open? What kind of in business would you
anticipate as the general manager?
ROHR: I don`t think very many and I would say -- I would hope zero.
I don`t think much. When they open for very long, there wouldn`t be too
many people calling as far as I would think but I would know. I`ve never
been open on a Thanksgiving in 10 years I worked for that company.
SCHULTZ: All right. Tony Rohr, thanks for joining us tonight. A lot
of people around the country admire your tenacity to stick up for workers
so that doesn`t seem to be a whole heck of a lot of that going around these
days. Good luck to you. I appreciate your time.
That`s the Ed Show. I`m Ed Schultz. Politics Nation with Reverend Al
Sharpton starts right now. Happy Thanksgiving, Rev. Good evening.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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