THE ED SHOW
January 6, 2014
Guests: Sherrod Brown, Robert Menendez, Mace Michaels, Nina Turner, Michael Eric Dyson, Leo Gerard
ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC HOST: Good evening Americans and welcome to the Ed
Show live from New York, let`s get to work.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The ultimate answer is not unemployment insurance.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The longer you have it then it does provide some
disincentive to work.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They want to work. I think it`s a little insulting,
a bit insulting to American workers.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT, USA: We keep the faith with them until they
start that new job.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People who have had jobs for 25 years lost them.
They`ve been knocking on doors every week.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These giveaway programs, government programs.
SEN. HARRY REID, (D) NEVADA: This is typical for Republican members of
SCHULTZ: Why do we have to have ice In our veins?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It has to be some compromise coming from the
REID: Gee whiz, I mean, this is something we`d never stop.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me just ask you.
SCHULTZ: We shouldn`t even be having this discussion but because of the
Republicans, we are.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t want to have this permanent state of
unemployment insurance where we end up like Europe.
SCHULTZ: This country is at a moral crossroads as I see it. Bottom
line, we can do better.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course not that I think they become bad people by
being unemployed longer.
OBAMA: Denying family their security is just plain cruel. We`re a
better country than that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Good to have you with us tonight, folks, thanks for watching.
This guy right here, Rand Paul, he actually said in an interview that
there are some studies out there that say that people who have
unemployment benefits for a long time, it`s a disincentive for them to
go get a job. There are some studies, Senator Paul, what studies? I
haven`t found any of those studies, what studies are out there that
shows us that there are some human engineering taking place in our
economy out there, that if people get $300 a week for a family of four
that they`re going the say the hell with it and quit looking for a job
and it`s all over with.
He`s got -- he`s a great social engineering major, did you know that
folks? He talks like one. He says that there are some studies. It`s
like sometimes these news folks say, some people say, really? Give me
some names. So here we are. The Democrats are going to do exactly what
they said they were going to do. The fight to help the unemployed in
America is heating up as most of the country is in a deep freeze but
don`t worry those folks who are losing their unemployment benefits
they`ll start a fire in the living room or something. They`ll be OK.
Let`s see, we got trains and planes and schedules being disrupted but
don`t worry those folks are going to be able to heat their homes, it`s
not a problem.
The Senate is expected to hold a procedural vote tonight on extending
unemployment insurance for 1.3 million Americans. Of course, you know
that 60 votes are needed for the measure to move forward and the bill to
move forward. And if the vote happens in our hour we`re of course going
to bring you some results but I understand that Lindsey Graham from
South Carolina, his plane got diverted emergency landing so he`s not
going to be able to make it back for some votes tonight. So who knows
where this is going to go as the travel schedules are what they are.
Meanwhile, the stakes just got, I think, a little bit higher on
extending unemployment benefits. We have a new number to show you
tonight. Consume this one, 4.9 million people could lose their
unemployment insurance by the end of 2014. That`s what the White House
is estimating the number to be but of course that`s the White House
number, we know how they lie, right?
Now look, if Congress doesn`t act this is what we`re dealing with. It`s
a snowball effect on people in need and the economy could be really in a
devastating position if we don`t do what we got to do.
Now President Obama is aware of the consequences and he is urging
Congress to act as he said he would. In his weekly address on Saturday
President Obama made it clear in a very clear case to extend
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Just a few days after Christmas, more than 1 million of our
fellow Americans lost a vital economic lifeline, the temporary insurance
that helps folks make ends meet while they look for a job. Republicans
in Congress went home for the holidays and let that lifeline expire.
Denying families that security is just plain cruel. We`re a better
country than that. We don`t abandon our fellow Americans when times get
tough, we keep the faith with them until they start that new job.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: President Obama is going to take it a step further. He`s
going to host a group of unemployed Americans tomorrow at the White
House so they can tell their story. It`s all part of an all out media
push to pressure Republicans or at least make them realize exactly what
the heck is going on in America and maybe they will vote to help
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is also going on offense calling for
an extension. Reid had no problem calling out Congressional Republicans
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REID: We have a bipartisan bill. We have one of the liberal members of
the Senate, Jack Reed of Rhode Island and one of the conservative
members of the Senate, Dean Heller from Nevada. They say we should
extend these unemployment benefits. There`s 45 of them. It would seem
to me that five Republicans in the Senate should agree with the
Republicans around the country.
Republicans around America want us to do something to extend these
benefits. Why, because it`s good for the economy, it`s good for the
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Interesting how Senator Reid positioned that whole argument.
He should have said, "The Democrats aren`t a problem. We`re all on the
same page. It`s those guys over there that simply are not figuring this
whole thing out." There are Republicans in this country that believe
that we should help the unemployed and it`s not just unemployed
benefits, it`s long-term unemployment in an economy where corporate
profits are through the roof. Do they parallel one another? I believe
that they do. Something is wrong here, Houston.
Reid is talking about guys like this right here, Rand Paul. Senator
Rand Paul has been a vocal opponent of extending unemployment insurance.
He`s even said that an extension would make it harder for people to find
work but now Paul`s backtracking a little bit. Here`s what he said on
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RAND PAUL, (R) KENTUCKY: I`ve always said that I`m not opposed to
unemployment insurance, I am opposed to having it without paying for it.
I think it`s wrong to borrow money from China or simply to print out
money for it. But I`m not against having unemployment insurance.
I do think though that the longer you have it that it does provide some
disincentive to work.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: You got proof of that, Senator? You simply do not. But it`s
OK to borrow money from China to shut the government down, that`ll only
cost $25 billion. Someone should inform the Senator from Kentucky that
there are requirements to be on unemployment. It`s not like you just
pick up the phone, "Hey, I`m still here, send me a check."
You see to get unemployment you must be actively seeking work and you
must be able to prove it to the government. We should also point that
everyone pays into unemployment insurance just like you would with your
health insurance if you`re on a government plan, you know.
Rand Paul makes unemployment sound like it`s some kind of a free ride
that you`ve never had anything to do with it before, you`ve never paid
into it before and oh by the way, this is nothing but getting a free
check on the couch.
Republicans like Rand Paul are under pressure from conservative special
interest groups now to block the unemployment. Don`t vote for it.
Earlier today Club for Growth issued an alert to congressional
republicans calling on them to block an extension. There is no doubt,
unemployment is going to be a major issue of the coming weeks and it
could mean real bad news for the Republicans come the midterms. This is
why the Democrats can`t let this go.
There are numbers out there. New poll shows that 55 percent of
Americans support extending unemployment insurance. Only 34 percent
say, "The heck with the unemployed. We don`t care about them."
Here`s another poll for you, John Boehner is the key player in all of
this in his home district, 63 percent in this guy`s home district thinks
that there should be an extension. Is he representing the people`s
views, compared to 34 percent who want them to end.
It`s about time Speaker Boehner started listening to his own
constituents. So what are we looking at? Gosh, it`s kind of chilly out
these days, isn`t it? Cold weather, as I said we`ve got trains and
planes and schedules disrupted and logistics being all torn up all over
the country because we`ve got this thing called wind chill and it`s a
dandy, 50 below this morning at Detroit Lakes, Minnesota but here it is.
I`ve never done the weather before. I kind of like this.
Here it is from North Dakota all the way around pass Chicago to Detroit,
we are below zero. Of course we all know that these states have nobody
who`s losing their unemployment benefits and heating the home, not a
problem, just throw another log on the fire.
This is where it is cruel. No one can control the weather. You know
what, not everybody can control their employment situation. Not only
can`t we stop the wind from blowing, we can`t stop the Republicans from
being heartless and cruel. There is no doubt that we have special
circumstances. Just like people who are taking special conditions in
their lives to deal with these kinds of numbers we need to be taking
certainly some special measurements to help people who have been
unemployed for a long time.
It`s not just extending the benefits another 90 days, it`s dealing with
an economic problem in this country that is income inequality, where
corporate profits are through the roof and the flat liners are where
they are where they`ve been for the last 30 years and they`re being
outsourced overseas and long-term unemployment is the problem.
What are we going to do to deal with it? Get your cellphones out, I
want to know what you think. Tonight`s question, "Do Republicans care
about the well-being of any unemployed American?" Text A for yes, text
B for no to 67622. You can always go to our blog at ed.msnbc.com.
We`ll bring you the results later on in the show. For more let me bring
in a couple of senators tonight kind of enough to join us here on the Ed
Show, Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Senator Robert Menendez of New
Jersey. Gentlemen, thanks for your time tonight.
SEN. SHERROD BROWN, (D) OHIO: Good to be with you tonight.
SCHULTZ: Senator Menendez, you first. What`s the latest from the
Senate? Will an unemployment extension pass? What`s the pulse?
SEN. ROBERT MENENDEZ, (D) NEW JERSEY: Well, we don`t know yet fully
what the votes are particularly in the Republican side. It`s my hope
that they`ll join us. You know, these Americans don`t need a kick in
the can. They need a helping hand and the bottom line is in my home
State of New Jersey looking at 1 percent of the entire population
unemployed, 90,000 people who don`t -- who have lose -- they have lost
their unemployment insurance.
And what we know is that when you`re standing on that unemployment line,
you`re not a Republican or you`re a Democrat. You`re someone who is
seeking work but can`t still get it in this economy and that`s why this
is so critical. So, I hope every member will be able to get here
because of weather conditions, and I hope that when the votes are cast,
we`ll end up with those 60. I know every Democrats stands ready to vote
for the extension.
SCHULTZ: And Senator Menendez, the culture of what has taken place in
the House. Do you think that will motivate them to take it up?
MENENDEZ: Well, listen I hope so. The bottom line is I think they`re
going to have real challenges across the country in these districts
where so many people are going to be unemployed. We`re talking about
over a million who already lost their benefits potentially another
million if we don`t act and I`m just reminded that when George Bush
passed this, unemployment was at 5.6 percent.
MENENDEZ: That`s very significantly lower than it is today. It`s very
compelling to be able to move forward.
SCHULTZ: And the percentage of Americans who are dealing with long-term
unemployment today are doubled from what they were the last time that
extension took place and I think that that really is a microcosm of what
we`re talking about when we say income inequality is an issue that needs
to be addressed in this country.
Senator Brown, do you buy the White House report that shows that 4.9
million Americans could lose their benefits at the end -- by the end of
2014 if this problem isn`t addressed?
BROWN: Yeah. I mean its clear 100, my state alone over 100,000 lost
their benefits in the last week and there`ll be at least that many more
in the months ahead if we don`t move in. You had said something a
minute ago that even in Speaker Boehner`s district, almost two-thirds of
people said we should extend unemployment benefits.
That`s the most -- maybe the most conservative of Ohio`s congressional
districts and people overwhelmingly are saying we should extend these
benefits. Pope Francis exhorted his parish priest. He said, "Go out
and smell like the flock," and what he meant is get out among people and
listen to what they have to say and I think and try to live like they do
as much as you can and.
BROWN: .I think if some of my colleagues, Senator Menendez` colleagues
and my colleagues in the Senate and the House begin to go out and listen
to people a little bit more. This would be an overwhelming positive
growth because people may -- its $300 a week. It`s on the average.
It`s not a lot.
BROWN: .of money. It`s not decency if you go to work. It keeps you
going so you don`t have your house foreclosed on. You can feed your
family. You can fix your cars so you can go out and look for a job.
And as you know, Ed, as you said earlier, everybody that gets these
benefits must be looking for work to receive.
SCHULTZ: Absolutely, that`s the thing.
BROWN: .(inaudible) and you get the help.
SCHULTZ: That`s what gets lost in the conversation. There`s this
BROWN: Exactly, right.
SCHULTZ: .presented by the Republicans that you just get in this check
in the mail, you don`t have to worry about it and that you have no
obligation to better yourself whatsoever. It`s absolutely mind-
Senator Brown, let me ask, if you want to show the weather map again.
These arctic blast, this might not be the first one we have this year.
We may have more to come. Are we to assume that OK people might lose
their homes if they get foreclosed on because of the economic situation
and the lack of extension of long-term unemployment, but are we to
assume that everybody`s going to be able to heat their homes in this
portion of the country where its been affected by subzero temperatures?
I mean we`re down -- were down to the basic zero, aren`t we?
BROWN: You can`t, when you live in a place like Cleveland, you can`t
help but think in January when the temperature drops to 10 degrees and
five degrees, it`s supposed to be below zero tonight or by morning in
Cleveland. You can`t help but thinking the hardship people face that
are behind that are behind in their mortgage payments because they got
sick or because they lost their job.
BROWN: And if they`re not getting food stamps or they`re not getting
light heat or they`re not getting the help of the extension of
unemployment, it really -- these are people`s lives. These aren`t just
statistics. We know this will help grow the economy if in fact we
extend the benefits.
BROWN: .but most importantly, there are whole a lot of people in
Garfield Heights, in Westlake, in Toledo that this will really matter
too in their personal especially for their families.
SCHULTZ: And Senator Menendez, is there -- if there is no extension, if
there is no extension, what effect will this have on the economy in your
opinion? Will this stagnate the 47 months of private sector job growth?
MENENDEZ: Well, every economist we`ve heard said that if we don`t
extend unemployment insurance we`ll lose about 200,000 jobs. If we do
extend unemployment insurance we actually gain about 240,000 jobs.
That`s a compelling argument. It says that GDP actually is assisted in
growing in this regard. But you know I think that my colleagues both on
the Senate and the House who are nice and warm at the taxpayer suspends
here in the capital and in their offices should be thinking about the
chill that people are going to have in the country when they have to
choose between their utility bill.
MENENDEZ: .and putting food on the table for their family.
SCHULTZ: And Senator Brown this idea that offsets and it has to be paid
for. I notice Rand Paul doesn`t mention anything about a government
shutdown that cost $25 billion. He wasn`t looking for Chinese money now
-- back then but he`s not -- and he`s not looking for it now. What
BROWN: Yeah. Well, if you want to pay for it this way, close some of
these loopholes that give incentives for companies to shut down in
Middletown, Ohio and move to Wuhan, China and get a tax break doing it.
One hundred years ago this week Henry Ford announced he was going to pay
all of his workers $5 a day not because he was necessarily a generous
BROWN: But because he knew that would put money into the economy, money
into these workers` pockets, they could then buy a Ford and that`s the
whole point. You put money in people`s pockets, it generates economic
activity, it grows the economy, the jobs numbers that Senator Menendez
just cited are what we`re hearing from economists across the board, that
this will help grow the economy, not constrict it which it would do if
we don`t extend these benefits.
SCHULTZ: Senator Sherrod Brown, Senator Robert Menendez, great to have
you on the Ed Show tonight. Keep up the fight. This goes far beyond
any kind of an election vote. This goes far beyond any kind of what
it`s going to do to the economy. It`s about people. It`s about
people`s homes not being heated, it`s about people not being given the
opportunity to continue to look for a job.
I had a call on my radio show last week. A gentleman says, "Ed, I`ve
been -- I was out of work for 14 months. I`m an electrical engineer,
you have no idea what a psychological lift it is to a family to make
sure that that check is coming so you can go out and chase your
profession and do all the things that you`re experienced to do." I
think the Republicans are totally out of touch on all of that.
Remember to answer tonight`s questions 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, oh-oh, here we go. Arizona under siege, action movie star
Steven Seagal is considering a run for governor. You mean there might
be another terminator? Plus an arctic blast is dropping temperatures to
lows we have not seen in years. It`s a real treat. We`ll talk about it
next, stay with us, we`ll be right back.
SCHULTZ: Time now for the Trenders. Social media, very active out
there in the Ed Nation. This is where you can find us,
facebook.com/edshow, twitter.com/edshow, and ed.msnbc.com. On the
radio, it`s Channel 127 SiriusXM, noon to three, Monday through Friday.
You can go to my website at wegoted.com. Find all about the 2014 Ed
tour starting in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on February 8th.
The Ed Show social media nation has decided we are reporting. Here are
today`s top Trenders voted on by you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have one thing to say. You better work.
SCHULTZ: The number three Trender, work ethics.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m going to need you to go ahead and come in
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The man who led the repeal of the Equal Pay Act,
Wisconsin State Senator Glenn Grothman.
STATE SEN.GLENN GROTHMAN, (R) WISCONSIN: Let`s be honest. Giving
government employees off has nothing to do with honoring Martin Luther
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m not even supposed to be here today.
SCHULTZ: Wisconsin State Senator Glenn Grothman wants to do away with
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m also going to need you go ahead and come in on
Sunday, too, OK.
SCHULTZ: The number two Trender, executive decision.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is known for his action movies and now, martial
arts expert, Steven Seagal.
STEVEN SEAGAL, ACTOR: (Inaudible) we`re talking about me running for
You`re expecting somebody else?
I supposed I would remotely consider it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Actor, Steven Seagal considers taking the role of
governor in Arizona.
SEAGAL: Oh I think our biggest problem is open borders.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He takes the place of 20 deputies.
SEAGAL: I think Reagan once said if you don`t have security on your
borders, you don`t have a country.
SCHULTZ: And today`s top Trender, Minnesota ice.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m Mr. White Christmas. I`m Mr. Snow.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Historic arctic outbreak.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m Mr. Icicle. I`m Mr. Ten Below.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Temperature`s feeling like they`re in the 50s and
40s below zero.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For the first time in 17 years, classes at Minnesota
public schools cancel.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right everyone. Chill.
SCHULTZ: A polar apocalypse has the Midwest in a deep freeze.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And arctic fronts and temperatures plunging 30 to 50
degrees below average across the Midwest.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 27 states to wind chill warning.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Lake Michigan iced over surface both frozen on the
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s the coldest town.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The freezing conditions have also paralyzed air
travel. More than 3,000 flights canceled. The arctic blast is now
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: I guess you can say it`s coming on our way.
Joining me now is Mace Michaels, a meteorologist at WeatherNation. He
joins us from Minneapolis where it is very cold.
Notice Mace that we don`t make our weather guys go outside. We bring
inside and I appreciate you joining us tonight.
Holy smokes, it`s cold. What does this harken back to 20, 30 years ago?
MACE MICHAELS, METEOROLOGIST, WEATHERNATION: It sure seems like it. I
appreciate you letting me be inside as well. I wasn`t planning on
leaving the house today.
Last check it was about 12 below here in Minneapolis. We fell to 23
below this morning, so yeah, in the negatives for sure.
SCHULTZ: How long are we going to be doing this? And as it moves east,
how long is it going to be around?
MICHAELS: And to answer your question, last time, I can think of this
happening here in the Twin Cities where they closed school and it was so
cold, do you remember, you were up here in Northwest Minnesota,
Northeast, North Dakota, back in the mid `90s, and it looks like this is
going to stick around for a few more days. It`s deeper and farther
south, though. Folks in Northern Minnesota at 40 below, they`re used to
seeing that but down in Chicago like Louisville, not even getting up
above zero today, that`s really cold for those folks and it`s going to
last for a few more days.
SCHULTZ: A few more days and this is going to take about a third of the
country, isn`t it?
MICHAELS: It`s even more than that. You can head all the way to South
Florida or the Southwestern U.S. like in Arizona, California. Those are
about the only areas where you`re not seeing temperatures below 32.
That`s it. It`s a huge chunk of a nation.
SCHULTZ: How is this affecting travelers and, of course, is this going
to last for days on end?
MICHAELS: The wind at least is brisk and brutal. So, always have the
winter survival kit that`s all as a reminder if you`re going to be
outside for a long period of time. Its layers, common sense like that,
but the blowing snow problems, the heavy snow problems. Those will
continue to diminish at the least low is heading out.
So, at least the worst of the weather conditions, that`s the improving
sign, but the cold, yeah, we`re still going to have it for a few more
SCHULTZ: What`s it done for travelers in the Midwest?
MICHAELS: You`ve been hearty Minnesotan before. You know what it`s
like when you`re traveling around like this, Ed.
Morehead State, my brother was out. He was running the other day at 20
below. You just cope and deal with it. It slows people down a little
bit, but today without school traffic was actually lighter here in the
SCHULTZ: We should point out that YouthHockey and Fargo was still on
schedule today. They might have shutdown the schools across the river,
but no, the kids are still going to play out hockey. It`s kind of the
culture of that part of the country. But it`s not the culture of all
the way down to Atlanta, Georgia where they are going to see possibly
some record temperatures tonight.
This is happening.
MICHAELS: Now in the.
SCHULTZ: Yeah, go ahead.
MICHAELS: Oh, I was just going to say it`s going to be down in the 20s
all the way down to the Gulf Coast. So, exactly, yeah, Atlanta, not
used to it at all.
SCHULTZ: And what`s your analysis of this cold snap? Is it climate
change, the aftermath of what we have seen happen in our environment?
How do you call it, Mace?
MICHAELS: It could be just one of those years. We`re cyclical
sometimes. You go back in history, you think you`re 15, 20 years ago,
had a big, cold snap. You look back in the records then again, 15, 20
years ago then, maybe a little longer than that.
So, sometimes, it`s cyclical with these cold snaps, but this one just is
so much further to the south, so many folks, you know, not used to
seeing temperatures this low for so long.
SCHULTZ: All right. Mace Michaels, thanks for joining us tonight,
meteorologist at the weather nation. Good to have you on.
Coming up, we`ll examine Republican New Year`s resolutions. It`s clear
the party is out of touch on the issues hitting the folks at their
kitchen table, plus Republican Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker drops a
minimum wage whopper and lands in tonight`s Pretenders.
But next, I`m taking your questions on Ask Ed Live just ahead. Stay
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show. Love this segment. Keep those
questions coming in our Ask Ed Live segment.
First question tonight coming from Tom and he says, "Any advice for
those not used to the polar freeze we are getting?"
Respect it. Respect it. Respect it. People die in this stuff. No
kidding. And if you go out, and if you`ve got any part of your skin
that is exposed, it takes less than five minutes in temperatures like
this to get frost bite. No kidding. It`s serious stuff. Respect the
weather. That`s the best advice.
Throw another log on the fire if you have a fireplace, that`s always
Our next question if from Denise, she wants to know, "What do you see as
the biggest and most important legislation to actually pass in 2014?"
Well, not to be negative but I don`t really hold my breath for anything
passing in 2014 of any real significance. It`d be nice to see a jobs
package. I would think that the Republicans might be enticed to do a
jobs package with the President because it is about the economy and they
don`t want to go home saying they obstructed everything, they try to do
something on the economy.
So I hold out hope that there might be a jobs package in 2014.
Immigration reform, I don`t believe that`s going to happen.
Stick around, Rapid Response Panel coming up next.
JOSH LIPTON, CNBC ANCHOR: I`m Josh Lipton with your CNBC Market Wrap.
A down date for stocks. The Dow falls 45, the S&P is off four, and the
NASDAQ sheds 18.
One of today`s decliners, JetBlue. The airline is suspending flights in
New York and Boston due to extremely cold weather. Other carriers have
canceled thousands of flights mainly in the Mid-West because of the
As for the economy, orders for manufacturer of goods rebounded in
November jumping 1.8 percent.
That`s it from CNBC, First in Business Worldwide.
SCHULTZ: Welcome to the Ed Show. Despite the weather, most Americans
is back to work today but not House Republicans. The Senate started the
second session 113th Congress. The Republican-controlled House is
still off. In fact, the 113th Congress passed fewer laws in its first
year than any other single session on record. Don`t expect much change
in 2014. It`s election year folks, you know what that means.
This means the calendar drawn up by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor
has even fewer days scheduled in an effort to maximize campaign time
ahead of the midterms. The house is scheduled to be in session for just
97 days before the election and just 112 days in all.
They do now think Congress is slated to do a whole lot of nothing in the
New Year and Republicans have no plans to turn over a new leaf.
Now, House Majority Leader Cantor sent a memo outlining the legislative
agenda for January and it`s a lot of the same old stuff at the top of
the GOP 2014 agenda, its Obamacare trying to get rid of it. And GOP
will focus specifically on the security of the HealthCare.gov website.
Up next or next up would be government funding in dealing with the debt
ceiling. You know where that`s going to go. And Iran policy is going
to be a hot topic for them. And conference reports on the foreign bill.
And finally, EPA regulations reform, certainly Caltel into the OilVoice.
On the past, funding the government and passing a foreign bill was
pretty much standard stuff. And, so we expected out of our lawmakers
now because we existed a time of unprecedented Republican obstruction.
We can only hope they can get the bare minimum done.
One of the top 2013`s leftovers, Republicans are putting their focus on
Obamacare around the EPA regulation reform. These are the Republican
priorities, nothing about income inequality, nothing about minimum wage
or long-term unemployment, nothing about job creation which only proves
just how out of touch Republicans are with the American people cannot
hold up through the midterms. That`s the big question.
Joining me now is a rapid response panel, Ohio State Senator Nina Turner
and also Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, Georgetown University professor and
MSNBC political analyst. Great to have both of you with us.
Well, the priority list.
SEN. NINA TURNER, (D) OHIO: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: .is a priority list is right there, Nina. How does this play
in the bread basket of Ohio in the middle of the country? The priority
list is very clear. Are EPA regulations really that much more important
than income inequality in minimum wage in Ohio?
TURNER: It doesn`t play well, Ed. I mean Ohio`s unemployment rate
right now is at 7.4 percent. The people in Ohio and all across this
country need a Congress that`s going to get to work. Imagine going to
work today and telling your boss you`re not going to work but you want
to get paid and by the way, you`re going to spend more than half the
year running to be reelected next year when you have done absolutely
We`ve been talking about the arctic blast that has hit this nation but
there are whole bunch of cold-blooded elected officials in Congress
primarily on the Republican side that don`t really care about the needs
and the issues of everyday people in this state. And it is beyond
unfortunate, it`s morally irreprehensible.
SCHULTZ: Well, Dr. Dyson, how can they be so out of touch with their
priority list? None of the things that they have put up to focus on in
January poll very well.
MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR: Well, not at all
and you forget it, as you had mentioned, of course they wanted to pass
on legislation, a bill that mandated that all high school students read
Iran, and some other, you know, I think uninformed or there have been
certainly uncreative measures to respond to people`s need.
You`re absolutely right and Senator states -- Turner has indicated, this
is a travesty. We`re not dealing with income inequality, although Marco
Rubio. Senator Marco Rubio suggested that he wanted to deal with income
inequality in terms of the war on poverty but it`s really a war on the
They want to have the sense that those issues that are serious for
people in America like extending the benefits for those who are
unemployed, 1.3 million people who don`t have any benefits, they are
heartlessly trying to reinforce the fact that if we have spent the cuts
on one side, then we can restore some of those benefits.
How about the fact that if you stimulate the economy through giving
these people a higher wage and also from labor force participation, that
will be good for the economy and therefore good for the country, but
aha, they don`t want to do anything that would help Barack Obama,
President Barack Obama.
So, anything that would ultimately approve to his good list, they want
to keep on the negative ledgers, so to speak. So, ultimately, because
of their vendetta against Barack Obama, they want to sink the American
economy and hurt the American people at the same time.
SCHULTZ: So, Dr. Dyson, I`ll ask you what I was asked in the last
segment. What do you look to get passed or anything done in this
legislative session in 2014 before the midterms?
DYSON: Not much. I mean, I don`t know if they going to do anything
with reform of immigration. It seems to be at the standstill there.
They may do something on these 1.3 people -- million people who are
uninsured but it doesn`t look very promising because they`re trying to
balance it out with the spending cuts. So I don`t have much faith in
this Congress. I think they will continue to do what they`ve already
done which is nothing.
SCHULTZ: Nina, what is the mood of -- I mean, who`s leading the
Republican Party in Ohio? And I keep focusing on Ohio because you can`t
win the White House without it. It`s had a radical -- it`s had a
radical governor in John Kasich the way he has attacked workers and he
is trying to soften his position because of the ObamaCare position that
he has taken and expanding the Medicare, Medicaid package of it.
Where is Ohio right now when they see an agenda like this that the
Republicans are putting out?
TURNER: Not pleased, Ed. And that`s why, you know, there`s a
connection between the ballot box and the bread box. And we have got to
make sure that in Ohio, we are very much focused on that but people all
across this country to have elected officials that as Dr. Dyson said,
our heart list. It makes no sense not to do those things that would
lift people in this country and in this state and Ohioans are certainly
I mean, we are suffering and our unemployment rate is at 7.4 percent for
every three people who are looking for jobs, you know, the jobs are not
-- are just not there. So we should be stimulating the economy on a
state level. They need to definitely stimulate the economy and
Congress. And if this Congress is worst than do nothing, they are doing
harm to everyday people in this country.
TURNER: People who need to eat, people who need to take care of their
families and it is totally unacceptable.
SCHULTZ: So where should, Nina, where should the Democrats go in this
year? What should the focus be?
I mean clearly the Republicans aren`t connecting with people when it
comes to just what is polling as far as strong interest for the American
people. But doesn`t this whole thing with unemployment extension in
addressing the long term unemployed in this country play right into the
argument of what are the possible solution of what we`re going to do for
income inequality in this country, the gap that is there, is this the
beginning of addressing that gap?
TURNER: Absolutely, Ed. The Democrats should go hard on how we stand
up. I mean, the president has talked about how -- if we increase the
minimum wage by $10.10, how that would lift countless numbers of family
above the poverty line.
These are the issues that we need to talk about and debate. And ask the
American people, do you want folks elected to office who really care
about your well-being and that of your family so that you can live your
measure of the American dream? Or do you want elected officials who
only care about the next election and who do not care about the next
TURNER: That is going to be the message from Democrats throughout this
country that we have to elect people who actually care about the folks
they were hired to serve.
SCHULTZ: And, Dr. Dyson, what are your presidential expectations? How
big a player is the president in all of this? How much time does he
spend on to focus on the country?
DYSON: Well, the president has got to do this. You know, I know all
the Obama bucks (ph) out there are going to go haywire on Twitter when I
suggest that, look, he`s got three years left. Don`t be a laying duck,
stand up, show the kind of spine that you would display when you`re sick
and tired of being, you know, treated and mistreated and the American
people being mistreated. This president has the bully pulpit, he has
the will of the American people so many of us who stand behind him .
DYSON: .and I think that he`s got to push forward. Now, it`s true that
this "do-nothing" obstructionist Congress on the one hand can tie his
hand but there are enough executive orders he can achieve on one hand
and also getting up there rallying the truth, so to speak. Using the
brilliant oratorical skills he has to be able to enliven, edify, and
encourage American citizens to go to the polls because he`s not on the
ballot and to go down into the polls but to make sure that their local
officials are doing the right thing and .
SCHULTZ: Well, he couldn`t .
DYSON: . that they`re using what he want.
SCHULTZ: He couldn`t be criticized for it because Congress certainly
doesn`t have a heavy work schedule. That`s for sure. He ought to have
the same schedule they have. And may .
DYSON: Exactly right.
SCHULTZ: State Senator Tina Turner from .
DYSON: Some license indignation.
SCHULTZ: Yeah, no doubt. Senator Turner, great to have you with us,
Dr. Michael Eric Dyson always. Appreciate you coming up the Ed program
DYSON: Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Thank you.
Coming up, economic inequality and unemployment, the top Democratic
agenda certainly as Congress gets back to work and an unlikely advocate
emerges. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And in Pretenders tonight, the Wisconsin (inaudible) what we
call it. Scott Walker, the Governor, while Walker was out hawking his
fantasy novel, the Governor created another tall tale. Walker has got
it all wrong on minimum wage earners.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Minimum wage, are you in favor of seeing it race
GOV. SCOTT WALKER, (R) WISCONSIN: No, it would -- I started out just
like Paul Ryan did down the road for me working at McDonald`s, jobs that
involved the minimum wage or overwhelming jobs for young people starting
out in the workforce.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: That might have been the story years ago, but it`s not the
Minimum wage jobs aren`t just Scott Walker and Paul Ryan`s fussy high
school memories; they are a reality for over a million adults across
this country. The median age of fast food workers in this country is 29
years old, not kids in high school. More than a quarter of these
workers are raising a family. The current federal minimum wage doesn`t
fit today`s living standards and in certain kids.
Judging from the governor`s book, fiction is his specialty. But if
Scott Walker thinks we`ll believe this tired old line? He can keep on
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show. This is the story for the folks
who take a shower after work. Of course, we on this program had been
highlighting the need to address income inequality for a long time here
on the Ed Show. People today on my radio show will say, "What is income
inequality?" Great question. When we have the American people asking
that question, now we can address the issue.
New York Senator, Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer says that the
Republican position on unemployment is insulting to American workers and
they are dead wrong. Senator Schumer has been one of the biggest Wall
Street friendly senators but now he`s on the side of 1.3 million
Americans who were knocked off of unemployment benefits last month.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, (D) NEW YORK: If on the first day of the new
sanction, the Republican Party says they won`t even support unemployment
benefit extension. The original round was started by George Bush when
unemployment was 5.6 percent. They`re going to show themselves so far
out of the mainstream it`s going to hurt them in the election.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But you`re .
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Bingo. Will it have an effect on the election? He thinks so.
President Obama and his Democratic allies in Congress have signaled that
they`re making income inequality a defining issue in 2014. They are not
wasting any time in beginning to make their case. The President is
planning to hold an event Tuesday at the White House where he will be
joined by the people who have lost their unemployment benefits.
This is an issue affecting thousands of families all over the country.
Just think of the people who are dependent on their unemployment
benefits to heat their homes in these subzero temperatures which I
talked about earlier in this broadcast.
Leo Gerard, the United Steelworkers International President joins as
tonight. Mr. Gerard, a statement was released just a few moments ago by
Tennessee Senator John Corker. He says that, he is going to vote "no"
against the unemployment extension saying that it`s irresponsible. It
takes us in the wrong direction and is concerned as how we`re going to
pay for it.
If this is the prevailing thought, what hope do we have of them doing
anything on the economy?
LEO GERARD, UNITED STEELWORKERS INTERNATIONAL PRESIDENT: Look and I
think John Corker completely off base and in fact by not supporting
unemployment insurance or unemployment compensation. It`s not just the
1.3 million recipients, it`s their families, it`s their kids.
You put that beside the fact that they`ve cut food stamps to people who
need it. You put all of those things together and what you see is that
we`re of heading down an economic abyss that if they create a game by
the Republicans and the reality is Ed, we need to have an unemployment
insurance extension but we also need to raise the minimum wage.
If you raise the minimum wage to $10 and 10 cents an hour, that would
take $7 billion of the food stamp program rather than cutting $4 billion
to people who need it. There`s a lot of reasons why we got income
inequality. We`ve got the destruction of the industrial base of the
country. We got the weakening of collective bargaining.
We`ve got an unemployment rate that is unsustainable. You`ve got people
with minimum wage. I mean, you`re talking about the minimum wage of
even $10 an hour.
GERARD: .that`s only $400 a week before deductions. I mean, if they
want to know how to pay for it, take away the tax rebate that goes to
the oil companies. Take away the 4 billion tax rebate we gave GE.
SCHULTZ: Well, let`s talk about the prevailing thought of where they`re
going. They say that it takes them in the wrong direction. Governor
Walker says that, no, he`s not in favor of it because when he was in
high school, he was working at McDonalds. There are bunch of teenagers
The fact is most of those workers now are 29 years old, more than a
quarter of them are raising families. When is it going to take for
wagers in America to reach a Congress that number one doesn`t want to
work in the House very much in 2014 and certainly is against everything
this President wants to do?
GERARD: Ed, I think we need to use all the tools that are disposable.
We need to use social media. We can`t expect to have big marches in
Washington where the unemployed are coming to Washington when they can
barely afford to take care of their family, but we need to be in front
of the Senators` offices. We need to be in front of where they are.
We need to be able to tell the truth about the economic direction that
this country is going in. We can`t have an economy where the people at
the top get all of the benefits and the rest of us get the crams that
are left behind.
GERARD: -- and have the economic stability that we expect in this
SCHULTZ: I like you to take a minute to define income inequality. That
question is now popping up. Those who are starting to pay attention in
the conversation say, "What do you mean? What do you like income in
equality? What is it?"
GERARD: Well, what -- let`s start off with the fact that for the
average worker in this country. In real terms, their real income now is
about the same as it was in 1971. For the unemployed who are collecting
unemployment compensation, if we had just let that follow the -- for the
last 15 or 20 years, just let that follow the rate of inflation. The
unemployment or, excuse me, the minimum wage would be $10 and 75 cents
GERARD: .so what we`ve got is that depressing of the wage structure and
depressing of social benefits and the wealth that`s being created in the
economy. The majority of that is floating to the top 10 percent in the
economy. And Ed, I can tell you this, collective bargaining is one of
the best tools where workers can sit down and negotiate with their
employer how they divide up the wealth that they`ve collectively
And Ed, I want to make another point if we have time. We`re now
watching on television the shutting down of our cities because of the
cold and the snow. The people that would be out there in those cities,
running the snow plows and making sure people got the care they needed,
making sure that if there were people that needed to be taken and given
shelter, those were the public sector workers that all the Republican
governors trashed and unfairly laid off and cut their wages and cut
their benefits. These are the people that are now stepping up to help
those of us that need help.
SCHULTZ: Yeah, Mr. Gerard. Good to have you with us tonight on The Ed
Show. We`ll talk a lot about income inequality, give a definition
coming up here in 2014. That`s The Ed Show. I`m Ed Schultz; Politics
Nation with Rev. Al Sharpton starts right now. Good evening, Rev.
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