THE ED SHOW
January 2, 2014
Guests: EJ Dionne, Matt Cartwright, Zerlina Maxwell, Ruth Conniff, Larry Cohen
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Dollars of
his own money last year on negative debts.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A million dollars isn`t exactly a lot of money
OBAMA: You`ve got to really dislike me to spend that kind of money.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK then, we hold the world ransom for $100
ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC HOST: The red liners, the vultures, they`re just
TIMOTHY DOLAN, CARDINAL OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH: One person
said, "You know, you come to us who`ve been blessed, who are wealthy and
yet we sense that perhaps the Pope is less than enthusiastic about us."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (inaudible).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Good to have you with us tonight, folks. Thanks for
watching. Well, here we are, 2014.
We`re going to stay on top of the issues that matter to you and what
we have culturally done here on the Ed Show on MSNBC. Issues like worker`s
rights, voting rights, women`s rights and protecting the middle class.
The central theme in all of this is income inequality. The issues of
income inequality are going to the central theme moving forward in the 2014
mid-term elections. You can`t get away from it. Nothing has changed and
the focus, I believe, is only going to intensify.
Since the early 1980s, the income of the top one percent has gone
through the roof, this is our favorite chart. We`re going to update it
soon to bring you the latest on where we`ve been since the great recession.
And of course worker`s wages have flat lined. You can`t get away from
that. How can it not be an issue?
Well, here`s the twist. The leader of the Catholic Church is now a
central figure in the fight against income inequality and the fight for
fairness globally. It is Pope Francis. He had said no problem calling out
the wealthiest citizens of the world. The pope has denounced trickled down
economics and warned of a new tyranny caused by the idolatry of money.
Some wealthy people, well they`re not too happy with the Pope`s
comments and they are on the attack on Monday. Home Depot Founder and the
devout Catholic Ken Langone told CNBC the Catholic Church is in danger of
losing donations from the wealthiest folks.
Well, keep in mind the guy is worth $2.1 billion and is also a
Republican fund raiser. Langone, well, he said that a potential seven-
figure donor is very concerned that the Pope`s statements criticizing
market economies are exclusionary. They`re concerned about that at that
level of income? The donor reportedly is upset with the pope for attacking
a culture of prosperity that leads some to become incapable of feeling
compassion for the poor.
Really? Compassion for the poor really dictates the people whether
they`re going to give or not or is it maybe a tax incentive?
The Pope, let me state emphatically, I do not believe is attacking
free markets. He`s not telling anybody how to run their business. The
Pope is attacking one word, greed. The Pope wants wealthy people on the
planet profiting of a capitalistic system to step forward and pay their
fair share. You may say, "Well, what is the fair share?"
Langone, well, he went on to say that he`s raised this donor`s
concerns with Cardinal Timothy Dolan. Dolan spoke about his conversation
with Langone on CNBC.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DOLAN: He said, "Dolan ..." one person said, "You know, you come to
us who have been blessed, who are wealthy and yet we set that perhaps the
pope is less than enthusiastic about us." And he said we need to correct
that and I said, "Well, again that would be a misunderstanding of the Holy
The pope loves poor people, he also loves rich people, he loves
people, all right. He -- and he`s not into the condemning game for anybody
as his famous renounced statement now who am I to judge.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: This isn`t the first time that the pope has been attacked or
misconstrued with his statements when it comes to income inequality.
Here`s what the Right Wing media was saying just a few weeks ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUSH LIMBAUGH, THE RUSH LIMBAUGH SHOW HOST: The Pope is ripping
America. The Pope is ripping capitalism. The Pope, ripping Ronaldus
Magnus. The Pope, ripping trickled economy and Obama`s having an orgasm.
STUART VARNEY, FOX NEWS HOST: I personally do not want my spiritual
life mixed up with my political life. I`ve got a church to save my soul.
It`s got nothing to do with my vote.
Pope Francis has linked the two. He`s offered direct criticism of a
specific political system. He`s characterized negatively that system. I
think he wants to implement my politics.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Stuart Varney, if you are wealthy, if you`re doing well, you
have an obligation to those who are less fortunate in our system. The fact
that Ken Langone and the Right Wing media feel the need to respond to the
Pope, I believe means that they are very defensive and not on solid ground
on the subject. They know exactly what the Pope is talking about. And
they shouldn`t be upset because the rich, well, had a really good year in
For instance, this guy, Republican donor Sheldon Adelson. His fortune
jumped to a whopping $15 billion a year. It`s a 68 percent increase in one
year. Who`s going to argue with that? It`s fair to say that the Obama
economy is working out pretty good for the top 1 percent, wouldn`t you
It`s time to focus on improving the middle class in this country.
What are we doing about wages? It has to get better for the workers in
this country, in our country, America, if we are going to move this economy
But if you noticed every time we talk about income and equality, every
time we talk about raising wages, every time we talk about helping the
middle class, we all of a sudden get the straw man argument from
Republicans in this country.
Well, it`s those lazy people that are sitting on the couch that don`t
want to go get a job. Well, it`s those folks who just simply don`t want to
go better themselves and get back in the economy. Well, it`s those folks
that are just flat out lazy. In fact we`re going to call them takers.
We`re going to say that they`re moochers on the system.
What the Pope is talking about is that there is greed and you`re
measurement of greed is when wages flat-lined for the majority of
Americans, and for the top 1 percent they go through the roof.
How many examples, how many graphs does this country need to see?
Well, here`s the issue. People are now feeling it more now than ever
before and it`s playing out the unfairness right in front of our eyes.
It knocks down one domino after another. So, we`re going to have a
vote for the unemployed coming up on Monday in the Senate. So, we`re going
to try to get the Republicans in the House to do something about that.
It`s the culture of not caring that is being developed in this country
on steroids. We are teaching a young people generation that, you know,
it`s OK to be a hard-liner that that really is the right way to go.
No. This country was not built with that kind of mindset. This
country was made great because we were willing to take the shirts off our
back for our neighbor when times were tough in America. We can`t get away
from that. And I think in a very direct way, the Pope is talking about
How do you tell a corporation that they`re making too much money and
they got to do better when the public speaks out and the Pope is speaking
out? Get your cellphones out. I want to know what you think.
Tonight`s question, should wealthy conservatives quit whining about
the Pope? Text A for yes, text B for no to 67622.
You can always go to our blog at email@example.com. We`ll bring you the
results later on in the show. For more, let me bring in EJ Dionne of the
Washington Post and wish him a very happy New Year. You have the dubious
distinction of being the first live guest on the Ed Show in 2014.
I wouldn`t have it any other way. You`re such a good soul. EJ, great
to have you have with us tonight.
EJ DIONNE, WASHINGTON POST COLUMNIST: High honor and it`s a state
privilege. Happy New Year, Ed. Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Well, you have always been a guy to tell it like it is when
it comes to the downtrodden America to have a real moral fiber and be
willing to discuss that. And I think that`s what the Pope is doing right
I think he is sending a message to the world that greed is real and
you don`t have to look very far to find it. What`s your reaction to all
the criticism that he is taking from the wealthy who now say that, well,
we`re being turned off by this conversation?
DIONNE: Well, first of all, I think you should issue an invitation to
have Pope Francis on the show because you have been putting out there for
people to see lots of stuff he`s been teaching.
You know, I am really struck by these reactions. You talk about them
as defensive which I think that`s -- that certainly is there. But also
this sense that if anybody raises any moral criticism of the system that
made them rich, this is somehow an attack on them.
Are they going to ask church officials to change Jesus` words? I mean
Jesus said it`d be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle
than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. The Christian faith has
always had a certain skepticism about wealth, and the Catholic church has
always had a critique of unbridled capitalism, not the market as you`ve
said earlier, but of unregulated capitalism, capitalism without
redistribution, capitalism without fairness to workers.
This is a very long tradition. And for those who say that suddenly
the church -- that the Pope is making it about politics, I didn`t hear them
complain when Catholic officials were talking about issues like abortion or
gay marriage that happen to benefit the Republican party in those
So, it really is .
DIONNE: . very situational about when they criticize the church.
SCHULTZ: You know, EJ, watching very closely working in New York, the
mayor`s race developed over the last year. And last summer, all of the
candidates were really grouped up.
There were about seven candidates that really had a legitimate shot to
become the mayor of New York. But what broke away for Bill de Blasio was
the fact that he was willing to talk about wages. He was willing to talk
about income inequality. And he runs away with the election.
Here he is yesterday in his inaugural speech not running away but
talking about income inequality. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL DE BLASIO, NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: We are called to put an end to
economic and social inequalities that threaten to unravel the city we love.
Our march towards a fairer, more just, more progressive place, our march to
keep the promise of New York alive for the next generation, it begins
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: I think that he is sending a message to every progressive in
this country who wants to get elected that this is the template. I ask
you, will income inequality will be a big issue in this year`s midterms?
What do you think?
DIONNE: Oh, I think it already is a big issue in the election. This
morning`s Financial Times, not a notoriously socialist newspaper, the
London paper, has an editorial on inequality that begins by quoting Pope
Francis and says that these distributional issues need to be taken very
So something is going on out there when the Financial Times is going
to write an editorial about that. And I think that de Blasio did capture a
mood, not only in the city, but around the country, but certainly in New
York City where inequalities are obviously very broad. And there were lot
of middle class and even rather well-off middle class people in New York, a
very expensive city, who did sense, you know, who felt this as well as all
the folks in the city who were poor.
Although I got to say today, I hope Bill de Blasio is out there
writing a snow plow in Queens because nothing undoes a mayor like a snow
storm that`s not dealt with. So he`s got to be a very practical about
solving basic problems and he`s got to keep the inequality issue front and
center at the same time.
SCHULTZ: There is no question about that. EJ Dionne, great to have
you with us tonight. We look forward to working with you in 2014. Thank
you so much.
DIONNE: I am looking forward to the same, Ed. Happy New Year. Thank
SCHULTZ: You bet. I just think that income inequality is going to be
the central piece when it comes to the conversation in the midterms.
The Republicans can`t run away from the numbers. They can`t run away
from what people are feeling across America. And when they see the wealthy
get wealthier and they see them gain on it big time and not investing back
into the economy and creating American jobs the way they have the
capability to do, and we sit here on the verge of a free trade agreement
that would gut even more American jobs. Who are we? What are we doing?
What can we do in 2014 to turn this thing around?
This is the year, I believe, that Republicans are going to be on the
defensive all year long. And this is the year that the Democrats are going
to have to have the responsibility not to be afraid to talk about income
inequality, not to stand -- to be afraid to stand up for the little guy, to
talk about wages, to talk about collective bargaining, to go forward with
all of the things that made our economy strong that built a great American
middle class. It can`t be just for a few.
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.
Coming up, ducking the heat, cast members of the Duck Dynasty move in
the 2014 largely unscathed. Plus the Do Nothing Congress puts its trust in
John Boehner to help the unemployed this year.
Well, let`s just sing Happy New Year all over again on that one.
We`ll right back.
SCHULTZ: Time now for the Trenders. The Ed Show social media nation
has decided and we are reporting. Here are today`s top Trenders voted on
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Choke it up, man.
SCHULTZ: The number three Trender, mile high.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In Colorado today they start of a brand new
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Marijuana, the burning weed with its roots in
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`re pulling an industry out of 70 plus years
of prohibition and we`re creating something brand new.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Colorado now has the most regulated system to sell
recreational marijuana in the world.
SCHULTZ: Colorado goes green.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are at least 17 recreational marijuana
sellers open in Denver. Colorado estimates almost $600 million in sales
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: An ounce will be $320 before tax.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Taxes are expected to bring in $67 million in
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I remember when a dime didn`t cost a dime.
SCHULTZ: The number two Trender, duck bubble bursting.
PHIL ROBERTSON: (inaudible).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Willie, what`s your father doing tonight?
WILLIE ROBERTSON: All things are going crazy red neck up in here.
KORIE ROBERTSON: I walk in (inaudible).
SCHULTZ: The Robertsons discussed their Duck Dynasty.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did you think of A&E`s decisions regarding
W. ROBERTSON: We`re just glad to be back to work and A&E and us are
fine. We`re ready to move on, you know? And family is happy and ready to
P. ROBERTSON: Everybody happy, happy, happy.
W. ROBERTSON: This next year is happy and successful. We`ll be
SCHULTZ: And today`s top Trender, get to work.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And this has been a very stressful holiday
season for those who are losing their unemployment insurance benefits.
SCHULTZ: Republicans have thrown unemployed Americans under the bus.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You get nothing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Harry Reid plans to take on unemployment insurance
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF U.S.: Work should begin or something that
Republicans in Congress should have done before leaving town.
SCHULTZ: Passing an unemployment extension should be an absolute no
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: John Boehner would actually call the bill? I
think we might be able to extend those benefits.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Joining me now is Congressman Matt Cartwright of
Pennsylvania. Congressman, good to have you with us tonight. The story is
REP. MATT CARTWRIGHT, (D), PENNSYLVANIA: My pleasure, Ed.
SCHULTZ: . Senate Majority Leader -- you bet. Good to have you with
The story here is that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says that
there`s going to be a vote on unemployment insurance on Monday. How is
that going to affect the House? And I asked that with this toxic attitude
that has been presented by the Tea Partiers and by Boehner in an element of
obstruction, the era of obstruction. How is a vote in the Senate going to
change minds in the House that all of a sudden 1.3 million people are going
to have a better fate when it comes on unemployment insurance?
CARTWRIGHT: Well, Ed, first of all let me say it`s a pleasure to be
here on the network that stands up for the Vatican. But here in the here
in Northeastern Pennsylvania a lot of are Notre Dame fans. And Notre Dame
-- watching Notre Dame is all about seeing what team shows up that day.
It`s the same thing with Speaker Boehner. Sometimes it`s the John
Boehner that is cow towing to the hardest Right Wing Tea Partiers, and
sometimes it`s the John Boehner who`s listening to the more moderate voices
among their conference.
So for example we actually passed something that looks like a budget
before we left for the holiday break. Many of us on the Democratic side
were happy to vote for it sort of as it`s show of confidence in Boehner
CARTWRIGHT: ... he had found his spine and he stood up to the Tea
Partiers and did something. Is that the Boehner that`s going to show up
next week and pass a reasonable short-term extension of unemployment
SCHULTZ: I hope so.
CARTWRIGHT: Because we have over 6,000 families in Northeastern
Pennsylvania who got cut off on December 28.
SCHULTZ: Well that`s the key with all there, Congressman, is that the
Democrats they`re counting on John Boehner to show up. They`re banking on
John Boehner showing up who has a record of not showing up. And the
Democrats could be very well in a position at the end of the day saying
"Well, you know, we took a vote in the Senate, not a whole a lot of
Republicans voted for it, and this is just the way it`s coming down, this
is our governmental system".
Reid is giving, as I see it, the GOP a chance to show that they are
compassionate that John Boehner does have a poll study. He`s willing to be
trusted. And if it doesn`t happen how many more of these votes are going
to be taken by the Democrats down the road counting on John Boehner? And I
think this is a pivotal vote, I really do. Your thoughts on all that?
CARTWRIGHT: Pivotal is a great word. I like to think of it as a
defining moment for the Republicans. I mean are they really the party that
doesn`t care at all about, you know, what Romney called the 47 percent, the
people they think are the takers in this country? I mean we only think
that way if you don`t know anybody who lost his or her job.
You only think that way if you never lost your job. And you only
think about people that way if you don`t really care about people. If they
vote that way, if they refuse to bring up unemployment compensation
extension for a vote then that`s a defining moment that really tells us who
these people are.
And that may be even more important than income inequality in this
country for the upcoming 2014 elections.
SCHULTZ: Well they`re definitely connected. But I think your own
point, this is a real pivotal moment, a defining moment. Is this the way
it`s going to be in 2014?
Now granted there`s going to be some Tea Partiers out there that are
never going to vote for an extension of unemployment insurance, but what we
have is special circumstances in this country right now. We still have
high unemployment even though we`ve got 47 months of private sector job
growth and added 2.1 million jobs this year.
But the fact is, is it -- in special circumstances we need to do
special things as a government and to turn to Americans and say "Well, it`s
over with." And these Tea Partiers are saying "They`re nothing but a bunch
of couch potatoes. They`re not going to community college and bettering
themselves." We all know that the straw man argument is coming from the
So what is the best way if this does not come down the way we want it
to come down? Where does the political capital end for the Democrats on
CARTWRIGHT: Well I think that the very bottom line of the whole
picture, Ed, is elections have consequences. I mean we as Democrats have
to remember that the Republicans won the House because they won the
CARTWRIGHT: If we want to fix this problem, if we want to have a
House where they bring reasonable things up for a vote, we want to have a
speaker who`s not afraid to do things .
CARTWRIGHT: . for the regular working people of this country, we have
to roll up our sleeves and get to work as Democrats and elect the right
people to Congress, otherwise we`re going to have this over and over and
over again. We have a Republican speaker who`s afraid of the Right Wing
and who`s afraid to do the right thing for regular working Americans in
SCHULTZ: Congressman Matt Cartwright, great to have you with us
tonight. I appreciate your time and we will do it again. Thank you, sir.
Up next, ObamaCare ushers in a new age of equality for women. That`s
a big point that needs to be talked about. Plus the New Year`s Resolution
to stop a bad trade deal for American workers.
But next I`m taking your questions live on Ask Ed Live just ahead on
the Ed show on MSNBC. We`re coming right back from the (inaudible).
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show. We love hearing from our
viewers. Tonight in our Ask Ed Live segment, our question first comes from
Donna P. She says, "Ed, what is your wish for 2014?" Oh, I`ve got a long
Firs of all, I hope my wife stays healthy. When you go through that,
you`ll realize what it`s all about. I want my wife to stay healthy. I
want my family to stay healthy.
Now if you want me to answer that personally, I hope that Phil
Griffin, the president of MSNBC, moves me back to the weekend for the
months of June, July, and August so I can have five days a week of fishing,
but it probably isn`t going to happen.
Our next question is from Peter Wesley. "Do you think the publicly
owned Green Bay Packers will beat the privately owned San Francisco 49ers
in their playoff game?" First of all, the high on Sunday in Green Bay is
going to be zero. Wear your long underwear, 49ers. You`re going to need
Look, I -- and for the Packers, sorry, the bikes and bear are out of
it but I like the Pack. I like the way they play the game. And ownership
passes privileges. You know that. I don`t know how that fits in the
competition in the 100-yard war but I hope the Pack goes pass this round
and gets to the Super Bowl. Although I do believe that Seattle seems to be
the team to beat.
Stick around, Rapid Response Panel coming up next right here on the Ed
SEEMA MODY, CNBC ANCHOR: I`m Seema Mody with your CNBC Market Wrap.
Stocks down across the board on the first trading day of 2014. The Dow
plunging 135 points, the S&P 500 losing 16, and the NASDAQ down 33.
A sign that labor market is improving, the number of Americans
following for unemployment benefits dropping for the second week -- down by
Manufacturing grew at a healthy yet slower pace in December. A jump
in new order suggests continued growth in 2014. And the average rate for a
30-year fixed mortgage rose this week to 4.53 percent. And that`s your
CNBC Market Wrap.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show. Well, folks, it`s show time.
I mean, isn`t this the day -- yesterday and today, aren`t these the days
that we`ve been waiting for after years of legislative roadblocks, a rocky
rollout with website issues? Here we are. It`s ObamaCare. It`s finally
here, full speed ahead.
This is great news for the estimated 6 million people who have signed
up for ObamaCare`s coverage expansion so far.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, here`s the
number. 2.1 million people have enrolled in a private health insurance
plan through the federal and state-based marketplaces. 3.9 million people
in this country were eligible for coverage with Medicaid and the Children`s
Health Insurance Program which is CHIPs. Who`s against that?
These Americans are now going to see the real change they voted for,
and of course which was upheld by the Supreme Court and the law of the land
is now edged in stone, right?
January 1st was a day of liberation for a lot of Americans in this
country. They have been given a new level of security when it comes to
their personal health.
Insurance companies can no longer turn someone away because of a pre-
existing condition. They can`t charge anyone more because they deal with
chronic health issues. They can`t put annual and lifetime limits on
essential coverage. And the discrimination practices that were out there
when it comes to "gender rating" is now a thing of the past.
For the first time in this country, it is going to illegal to charge
women more money for insurance than men. There are countless benefits to
ObamaCare for both men and women which the mainstream media will not
But it`s important to remember that this is also a major step forward
in regards to gender equality in this country which a lot of folks aren`t
talking about. But here`s the revolutionary change.
And if the Democrats have to go out on a campaign trail and re-explain
ObamaCare, try this. We used to live in a country where when u got sick
you got left behind. That doesn`t happen anymore.
In fact, we used to be a country that when you got sick and you needed
insurance the most, this country wasn`t there. We are now. That`s change
and that`s hope and change you can believe in.
Joining me now is our rapid response panel Ruth Conniff for The
Progressive Magazine, and also theGrio contributor, Zerlina Maxwell.
This is the day that we all been waiting for.
Actually I have to start with, well, I`m waiting for the death panel
stories. I`m waiting for the Right Wing media out there to put everything
on the death watch because we`ve heard so much garbage about the bad stuff.
We are now functionally changing in this country.
Zerlina, what does this mean to women? Because when it comes to
price, when it comes to paying, when it comes to the cost, it`s been a
different world for women until today, hasn`t it?
ZERLINA MAXWELL, THEGRIO CONTRIBUTOR: Absolutely. And I think this
is the end of codified gender discrimination which is what the old system
was. It meant that, a woman -- when we`re really talking about women over
the age of 26, under the age of 26, you can stay on your parents`
So we are talking about women at their prime reproductive age and now
they`re able to get affordable healthcare and everything that they need
covered. That is life changing. And I`m one of the 2.1 million Americans
who signed up for a private health insurance plan. And my life is going to
be completely changed because I have affordable healthcare.
SCHULTZ: As far as women who were being affected by this, Ruth, isn`t
this the aspect to the law that really has been overlooked and hasn`t
really been a whole lot of focus on this?
RUTH CONNIFF, EDITOR OF THE PROGRESSIVE MAGAZINE: It`s true, I mean,
one of the things that the Affordable Care Act does is it says that being a
woman is no longer a preexisting condition for which your health insurance
company can charge you quite a bit more. And in fact, women on average
were paying up to 150 percent of what men were paying because they were
And the fact that that`s illegal now, you can`t charge women more
because they`re women. And in addition to that you have to cover newborn
care, maternal health, you know, women are going to be able to get birth
control coverage now that they couldn`t get before. All of that is
incredibly significant. Cancer screening, really important primary
And for those women who are under the age of 26, and I have three
little girls and I think about this, the fact that they can stay on their
parents` health insurance means that young women in their early 20s who
really do not want to have an unintended pregnancy that can upend their
life are on healthcare. They are seeing it, after regularly. They can get
birth control, and they`re not in that gray zone that can really ruin
I think it`s a huge step for women.
SCHULTZ: Let`s conversation about what Michael Moore has done when
comes to healthcare because he did a documentary on it. But now, he is
written, I think, an op-ed which has thrown a lot a people for a loop.
He wrote in The New York Times saying that ObamaCare was awful. He`s
saying that there`s the dirty little secret that Liberals don`t want to
say, talk about.
You know, I have a real issue with this. I think he`s a great guy, I
think he`s done a lot of great things. We all want universal healthcare.
There`s no question about that. But how can it be awful with the things
that we`re talking about right now. Zerlina?
MAXWELL: Well, I just think that this is, you know, the number one
thing that I thought when I read his op-ed was not helping. I think that,
you know, the polling has really been misleading all along and Michael
Moore is evidence of this.
He`s someone who wanted single payer and so he would be among those
that is polled and disapproves of the law. It`s the Right Wing talking
point that the majority of Americans disapprove of the law, but you
wouldn`t think of Michael Moore and Ted Cruz both being aligned in
disapproving of the law. But that`s exactly what`s happening here and it
really has hurt.
I think the PR pushed that the White House has been trying for many,
many years up against millions and millions and millions of dollars in
misinformation. And I think it actually damages the long the term outlook
to attack .
SCHULTZ: I do too.
MAXWELL: . attack the law. And I felt the same the way when
everybody was attacking the website as if the sky was falling and it was
the be and end all of the policy.
And so I think that what we need to be focusing on now in 2014,
particularly going into the midterms, is that this is going to change
millions and millions of lives, right? So that the number we`re talking
about here is 9 million people whose lives are changed and Democrats need
to go on offense and really focus on the difference in the quality of life
for those folks because it will be very significant.
SCHULTZ: Well, let`s talk about the land where there`s radical
governors. One of them is in Wisconsin. Is it safe territory to go on the
offensive for ObamaCare in the middle of the country, Ruth? What about it?
CONNIFF: Oh absolutely, you know, our -- you know, if you want to
talk about a healthcare mess, all you have to do is look at Wisconsin.
Because Wisconsin not only refused to take the Medicaid expansion but
curtailed its own Medicaid expansion program called BadgerCare, so that now
a lot of working poor people who used to have healthcare in the state are
getting kicked off.
And what the governor has said to them is, well, you can get
healthcare on the private market now because of the Affordable Care Act.
Well if they had the Medicaid expansion it would be free. Now they have to
spend money on it.
And Republicans on our legislature have argued, "Look it`s wonderful.
You have an opportunity to buy for thousands of dollars of healthcare
policy when you`re only making $12,000 a year." So it`s really obnoxious.
It`s causing us more money to ensure fewer people -- and people in
Wisconsin recognize that, that we could be insuring more people and
spending less tax money.
SCHULTZ: See now, Ruth, what you just described that is awful, and
that`s what Michael Moore ought to be writing about is awful that universal
healthcare was not at the table. Universal healthcare was never given a
seat by Senator Max Baucus of the Senate Finance Committee, that`s the
But the things that we`re talking about right now are the things are
actually happening yesterday and today as we move into the full
implementation of ObamaCare. No, it`s not a dirty little secret and it is
not awful. And I take issue of what is Mr. Moore is writing about in The
New York Times. I think he`s off-face.
What`s awful is these Right Wing Republican governors that are denying
their own citizens a change to get healthcare. That`s the awful part of it
Zerlina Maxwell and also Ruth Conniff, great to have you with us
tonight. Thanks so much.
Next up. The new progressive mayor of New York City takes a beating
for his message on income inequality. And this time the attack is not from
the usual suspects. Pretenders is next.
SCHULTZ: And in Pretenders tonight, bury the lead, Jake Tapper, New
Year, new mayor. Bill de Blasio was sworn in on Wednesday as New York`s
119th mayor. And from day one de Blasio ran his campaign on tackling
income inequality. At his inaugural address he took the issue head on.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DE BLASIO: It was New Yorkers who challenged the status quo, who
blazed the trial of progressive reform and political action, who took on
the elite who stood up to say that social and economic justice will start
here and will start now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Well, de Blasio`s commitment to economic justice didn`t
resonate with everyone.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAKE TAPPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And this is somebody who was elected
with more than 70 percent of the vote to his bate, to the voters, the
progressives in New York City. He gave a very muscular argument in favor
of what he wanted to do.
But I have to say there is another reaction, a lot of times inaugurals
are times when people, when presidents, or mayors, or governors can reach
out to critics, to reach out to those who maybe didn`t vote for him. This
was not that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: (inaudible) de Blasio`s message, was it just for the people
who voted for him? His message was for the nation. Starting with its
largest city, income inequality will not be tolerated. If Jake Tapper
thinks a man who was elected with 70 percent of the vote for making income
inequality the centerpiece of his campaign was wrong for talking about it,
he can keep on pretending.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to he Ed Show. This is the story for the folks
who take a shower after work. And you know what? Every American should be
focused on this story in 2014. Now the United States economy, you could
make the case, is in really good shape to start off this New Year
considering where we were.
You roll it back to 2009 and see where we are right now at the end of
2013, the unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in five years. Good.
Housing starts reached their highest level since February of 2008. Good.
The stock market posted its best finish since 1996, the DOW finished 2013
with its 52nd record close of the year. Good.
In 2014, all of this momentum, and I`m telling you, all of it could be
in jeopardy. Not just because of other market forces, but because where
this country could dangerously go. The country needs to keep jobs and the
economy as its top priority. Would you agree? I think most people are
It is the wrong time for the United States to be entering into a new
international trade agreement which could really ditch a lot of the things
I just mentioned.
New Years Day was the 20th anniversary of the North American Free
Trade Agreement, you know, they sold us and told us that NAFTA was going to
be great. NAFTA brought two decades years of relentless outsourcing of
American jobs and technology.
Now here`s the bad part. As I`ve talked about on a number of segments
on this program before and like a pit bull, I`m not going to let this one
go. The Obama Administration is now pushing for the United States
involvement in another trade agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership or
TPP. It`s a bad deal.
The TPP is a trade deal which will govern 40 percent of U.S. imports
and exports as well as affect copyrights in pharmaceuticals. All of the
details of these talks have been kept in secret. Only a few portions of
the agreement and the memos about all of it have been leaked out. In other
words, your representatives, your senators, they don`t have all the answers
on this. They don`t know.
So if you see them at a town hall, you might want to ask them, say,
"What about this TPP thing?" Not too embarrass him, just to see if they
have the details.
What we do know is that the TPP is an attack on American workers as it
stands, and a punch in the gut in the middle class of this country. All of
the people on Wall Street sharing a record setting year are looking for the
cheapest ways to get goods and services and don`t care if the American
worker suffers. That`s how I read it.
There is no better way to do that than to go along with the TPP, put
it on a fast track with no debate, get it voted on, and kick butt on the
American workers in the American middle class.
It is a story that isn`t going to go away. And what bothers me about
all of this is that no one in the administration, including the President,
has stepped out and explained to the American people, what`s the upside
here? Well, what they`re going to say is it, "Well, the exports are going
to increase." Yeah. Well, what about the goods that are coming into this
country that are going to be tariff-free in many respects?
Larry Cohen is the President of Communications Workers of America. He
joins me now. Mr. Cohen, good to have you with us tonight.
Nearly, every other trade agreement negotiated by the United States of
the past 20 years has been bad for working families. It`s a fact, you
can`t deny it.
Why is the Obama Administration pushing the TPP and why is there
LARRY COHEN, PRES. COMMUNICATION WORKERS OF AMERICA: It`s the same
old, as you just said. So who actually works on this?
It`s worked on by the U.S. Trade Representative and by almost every
multinational corporation. And none of us, no unions, no non-governmental
groups, no environmental groups, no consumer groups, no student groups,
none of the people that are focused on the future of our citizens and our
nation work on this at all.
So it`s not indifferent than if you were building a house. Whoever
builds it is going to determine what it looks like and it`s the same thing.
We`re not building it. We`re on the outside, and then, as you said,
they`ll fast track it as they`ve done every trade deal for 20 years so that
in a blink of an eye the corporate lobby, which will be 100 percent behind
this, will work on both parties to get this through. And the only real
help is that House Democrats and Republicans stand up now. 200 of them
have written to the President saying no on fast track and no on the Trans-
Pacific so-called partnership. That`s where we can stop this. That`s
going to take a mass movement.
We`re building that movement with greens and consumers and labor. And
it will be millions of us ready to go next week day after day after day
saying particularly to House members, "You`re all up for election. We are
not going to tolerate you regardless of your party. If you`d screw our
jobs and our kids, and that`s what you`ll be doing, words spin what you
just did on unemployment, now you`ll be doing it to all of us who work and
it`s not just our jobs, it`s the effect that it has on our pay." Americans
haven`t had a raise in 40 years.
SCHULTZ: Mr. Cohen, what about the argument the proponents are
saying, well, the exports are going to increase? What do you say to that?
COHEN: Yes, some exports will increase and that`s why you have these
segments of the multinationals who can find their demand, their consumer
market somewhere else all joining in to support this.
But if you don`t look at the imports and how that affects jobs and
also how imports affect our pay because what happens is we get compared to
the pay in Vietnam, the leading nation in this, at 25 cents an hour is the
minimum wage there.
And so to keep the manufacturing job here or other jobs that can go to
Vietnam it will be, well, that`s the pay there you can`t get a raise. And
we haven`t had a raise in 40 years job to job across this country.
SCHULTZ: It`s got to be pointed out that the 12 participating
countries ultimately missed the 2013 year-end target to complete the trade
agreement. Is there hope that this agreement will not take place? I mean
SCHULTZ: . this is a heavy lift. There is hope that you can derail
COHEN: There`s big hope and thanks to you among leading others we`ve
got to get this out of the closet onto our screens into our hearts and
minds that this is about our kids and the future of this nation.
That it`s ridiculous to think we have a future without manufacturing,
let alone the millions of service sector jobs that have now gone into
Southeast Asia because they have no floor, workers had no rights, the
environmental -- the gutting of our environmental standards, food safety .
COHEN: . consumer protection, it`s all on the line, Ed. And it`s up
to us to hold on in the weeks ahead.
SCHULTZ: Well, here`s what I want to say. I think it`s great that
you got 200 members in the House and some of them are Republicans who have
signed on because there`s some sovereignty issues with this TPP agreement,
that don`t want it, OK? Where`s the press conference?
That`s -- somebody earlier on this broadcast asked me what am I --
what are one of my wishes for 2014? One of my wishes is that we all of a
sudden see a press conference with about 25 or 30 who are making this the
focal point for the middle class that they are going to derail the TPP that
this is not going to happen. And, you know, I can go out and I can get
great union leaders such as yourself to talk about it, some advocacy people
to talk about it.
I want elected officials to come out in 2014 and lay it on the line
and don`t go home and tell us how you`re so supportive of the middle class
unless you`re willing to do it in front of the cameras in Washington and
collectively put it together.
Where is the Progressive Caucus on this? Where`s the Congressional
Black Caucus on this? They need to get out there and get in front of this
and make this front and center. This is America`s economy on the line. No
doubt about it.
Mr. Cohen, good to have you with us tonight. I appreciate your time.
We will do this story again and again until we get those law makers off
their desks to do something about this and say it.
That`s The Ed Show. I`m Ed Schultz. Politics Nation with Rev. Al
Sharpton starts right now. Good evening, Rev.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed,
transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written
permission of Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark,
copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>