The Ed Show for Wednesday, January 15th, 2014
Read the transcript to the Wednesday show
THE ED SHOW
January 15, 2014
Guests: Brian Schweitzer, Rush Holt, Connie Schultz, EJ Dionne, Steve Israel
ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC HOST: Good evening Americans and welcome to the Ed Show
live from New York.
Stop fast track. Let`s get to work.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is fast track?
SCHULTZ: This is the next big battle on the horizon.
REP. PETER DEFAZIO, (D) OREGON: This is the way to railroad through
disastrous trade agreement.
SCHULTZ: Negotiations are being held behind closed doors in secrecy.
REP. ROSA DELAURO, (D) CONNECTICUT: If we are not included, then we will
oppose fast track.
SCHULTZ: This is the root of it all, isn`t it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This has been classified.
SCHULTZ: I`m talking about the Trans-Pacific Partnership. It is a free-
DEFAZIO: Remember, Congress wants to see it. They can look at it. They
can`t have staff, they can`t take note and then they can`t talk about it.
SCHULTZ: This major issue is sitting under the radar screen.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think the American people would say, "Absolutely
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And that`s why we have to flush the TPP.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Immobilize the American people all over this country.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The middle class is being off-shored and we`re going to
prevent that from happening.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We can mount a pushback.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Good to have you with us tonight, folks. Thanks for watching.
I`ve always been a believer that Americans, you, me, your next door
neighbor. We have this innate sense of fairness about us when it comes to
being an American. But we understand what fair and unfair is.
Tonight, I think that this is a story of severe unfairness.
We start tonight with what I think is the most undercovered story in
America. But the good news is, some folks in Congress were paying
The Trans-Pacific Partnership is something that we have talked about on
this program numerous times and it`s finally starting to get the attention
in Congress that it absolutely deserves.
The two most powerful Democrats in the Congress have expressed concerns
about this trade agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership. House
Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi says that she has problems with transparency
on this whole deal. And Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said, "No."
repeatedly when it comes to bringing up fast track legislation to the floor
for a vote.
Make absolutely no mistake crystal clear across the board, this free-trade
agreement is a job killer. I don`t mean to sound like a Republican
fighting health care right now, but this truly is a job killer.
How do I know? Well, we`ve got a lot of material on the table. We have a
lot of history. We have a real ledger that has been put together over the
years because this country of the United of America over the last 40 years
has never been involved in a trade agreement that has given us the ability
to create more jobs in this country.
Isn`t this what we`re talking about in America? Jobs, long-term
unemployment, job creation from state to state, tax incentives for
corporations that will hire people, it goes on and on and income
Let me tell you, if the TPP passes, it would outsource countless and I mean
countless good American jobs to this portion of the world like Vietnam.
Now, Senator Max Baucus has introduced fast track legislation on the TPP.
This is trade promotion authority. This measure would give the White
House, the president of the United States the power to present a deal to
Congress, a trade agreement to Congress, that lawmakers really can`t do
anything about once it comes to the floor for a vote.
They`re not going to be able to debate. There`s not going to be any
Charlie from Missouri standing up and saying, "Hey, I don`t like that."
There`s not going to be any Ralph from Wyoming saying, "Hey, wait a minute,
this isn`t a good deal. No. No."
That`s all been done. The only thing you can do now as a lawmaker when it
comes to the floor with fast track legislation is vote up or down. And if
you vote down, you are going to be targeted big time by the corporations
next election cycle.
So you can se how this is all setup politically to advance.
When Majority Leader Harry Reid was asked if he would bring the agreement
up for a debate, he responded "No" four times.
Now, the good news is that it`s not just Harry Reid.
Earlier this week, I sat down with seven lawmakers from the House and they
spoke up about the issues with TPP. They have some serious concerns and
made it very clear that fast track needs to be off the table.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DELAURO: Our constitutional authority says that we are engaged and
supposed to be engaged in treaties and in trade agreements.
SCHULTZ: And you`re not.
DELAURO: And we are not. We are now galvanized once again that if that
fast track, trade promotion authority, is not changed that is inclusive of
Congressional input and the committees that we serve on which has to do
with these treaties, if we are not included then we will oppose fast track.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Do you want your lawmaker included in this?
Lawmakers also expressed concern about the secrecy of the Trans-Pacific
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DEFAZIO: This is -- they classify document. If a member of Congress wants
to see it, they can look at it, they can`t have staff, they can`t take note
and then they can`t talk about it. This has been classified.
It`s being shared in real time with 600 corporations as it`s been written
but not with the elected representatives of the American people. And then
with fast track, what they do is they spring it out, we`ve got 60 days to
vote on it on an up or down on amendments.
This is the way to railroad through disastrous trade agreements. That`s
the way they did NAFTA.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: There`s going to be much more for that interview coming up later
this week. We`ll bring you the entire interview on this show on Friday.
Congressman DeFazio of Oregon mentioned NAFTA at the end of that clip.
Here`s what NAFTA has done to American jobs.
Since NAFTA came into effect in 1994, we`ve lost estimated of 700,000 jobs
most of them in the manufacturing sector, they`ve been outsourced.
If the TPP is secretly rammed through the way those lawmakers just
explained it, the consequences will be even worse because the working
conditions in the countries that are involved in this deal have no
It`s important to point out that President Obama is 100 percent behind fast
track and the TPP.
The White House wants fast track legislation and the president, he hasn`t
been shy about looking for support for this in anyway to shape reform. He
wants the free-trade agreement to go through.
And oddly enough, the president gave a speech today talking about the
importance of American manufacturing jobs down in North Carolina.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, 44TH AND CURRENT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:
Today, I`m here to act to help make Raleigh-Durham and America a magnet for
the good high tech manufacturing jobs that a growing middle class requires
that going to continue to keep this country on the cutting edge.
Manufacturing is a bright spot in this economy.
For decades, we`ve been losing manufacturing jobs. But now, our
manufacturers have added, over the last four years, more than 550,000 new
jobs, including almost 80,000 manufacturing jobs in the last five months
So, we want to keep that trend going.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: We sure do.
Look, I am a supporter of the president of the United States and I know
that there are a lot of people that watch this show and this set where they
love the president that they think he can do no wrong. But I am terribly
confused and I`m here to tell you tonight, folks, the president has
explained the TPP to the American people nor has he explained what fast
track will actually do to American jobs.
But this is what we get today down in North Carolina. I`m not taking issue
with the president and the numbers he`s throwing out there. He`s correct
on that. But we`re not getting the full story.
Mr. President, you can`t have it both ways. You can`t say that you are for
manufacturing jobs and you`re going to support manufacturing jobs in this
sector of the economy and then turn around and do exactly what NAFTA did
except it`s going to be on steroids.
How can 190 members of Congress be wrong on this? That`s how many who are
opposing it. Even some Republicans are opposing this. But of course,
Republicans are -- they`re afraid of me, they don`t want to talk to me but
whatever. I`ll to talk to them if they want to talk about it because this
is bad for workers.
If President Obama wants to keep this trend growing, he should put an end
to the TPP.
I haven`t been shy about this supporting this president on a lot of things
but I call him out on it in all fairness to American workers. There`s no
way you`re going to rebuild the middle class in this country to where it
was before years ago. If this trade agreement goes through and fast track
is greasing the skids to make it happen. And there was no doubt that the
TPP will shift jobs overseas.
Tell us that, Mr. President. Tell us that the TPP will not shift jobs
overseas. I don`t hear that audio. And I`m being fair about it. I
started this segment talking about fair play. Fair play is transparency,
fair play is open debate, but when you send stuff to the floor of the
Congress and they get an up or down vote and no input whatsoever, that`s
Transparency here is the issue. The American public deserves to know what
the heck is going on with this bogus free-trade agreement.
Now, at the beginning of this segment, I mentioned fairness.
We got another Darrell Issa on our hands, folks. It`s a guy named Max
Baucus, he is the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.
There will be testimony tomorrow in Washington D.C. in front of the Senate
Finance Committee. There will be four people who are in favor of fast
track, and there will be one voice opposing fast track.
Sound fair to you? No, that`s not fair. It`s not going to be three people
for three people against.
This is going to be manufactured. There`s going to be testimony from four
people who think that we just absolutely have to have fast track, and
there`s going to be one lone voice out there in front of the Senate Finance
Committee, and that`s going to be Larry Cohen, the President of the
Communication Workers of America.
I don`t think that`s fair.
And by the way, it was Max Baucus who introduced the legislation. And by
the way, Max Baucus is not running for reelection. He`s going to China.
He`s going to be the Ambassador to China. He`s going to be able to go over
there with a brand new fast track, brand new TPP deal, and be able to
grease the skids. Instead American worker`s sliding down hill.
Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think. Tonight`s
question, "Should there be more transparency on the TPP?" Text A for yes,
text B for no to 67622. We`ll bring you results later on the show. You
can always leave a comment on our blog and you can also tweet @EdShow about
For more, I want to bring in former Governor of Montana Brian Schweitzer.
Governor, good to have you with us tonight on the Ed Show.
FORMER GOV. BRIAN SCHWEITZER, (D) MONTANA: Good to be back, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Governor, if you were President Schweitzer, would you sign this?
Would you push for this?
SCHWEITZER: Hell, no. Listen. I was against NAFTA, I was against CAFTA,
and I`m against the SHAFTA.
This is negotiated in secrecy. You mentioned that, Ed. And worse yet, I
noticed that nine out of ten of the best business schools on the planet are
in America. And every time we make a trade deal, we get second place.
And let me tell you why. Because these trade deals are driven by
corporations who want to take these jobs in America and move them offshore.
It happens every single time. And they get carve-outs.
When we passed NAFTA, we said, "Now, we can move things freely across the
Canadian border." Well, yes, except medicine, pharmaceuticals that were
made in the United States, shipped to Canada. We can`t legally bring them
back. Why? Well, they carved themselves out so they could charge three
times as much.
There are carve-outs in this that`s why it`s a secret, that`s why they want
fast track because they want to payoff their donors. And let`s be frank
about this, there are members of Congress both Democrats and Republicans
get a lot of money from these corporations.
In fact, George Bush is a person who has begun the negotiations on this.
Well, now let`s see. He`s on the corporate board of federal press and
Boeing and the Caterpillar. I wonder if any of them are going to make out
SCHULTZ: Mr. Schweitzer, taking a look at how this is all been put
together, there seems to be a real issue of secrecy. The corporations have
-- behind close doors put this together. But as the restriction -- it`s
the restriction of information to representatives of the people in
democracy that is just so outrageous as I see it. How does this get turned
around? In your estimation, how does it get stopped?
SCHWEITZER: Well, I think you`re telling the American people right now how
it gets stopped. You got to get on the phone. You`ve got to send e-mails
and you got to say, "This is a democracy. We`re not going to let half a
dozen corporations dictate our trade deals". And by the way, there`s a lot
of stuff left out of this.
Even during the Bush administration, they said, "If we`re ever going to
have new trade deals, it has to include environmental protections so that
those other countries have the same kinds of protections of air and water
as we do if we manufacture it here." It`s in this bill but there`s no TIF.
SCHULTZ: Well .
SCHWEITZER: If they violate it, there`s nothing we can do.
SCHULTZ: Well, according to New York Times WikiLeaks has obtained a draft
in the TPP relating to environmental protections. The director of the
Sierra Club put out a statement today saying, "It rolls back key standards
set by Congress to ensure that the environment chapters are legally
What`s your reaction to that?
SCHWEITZER: You got that right. Again, even in the Bush administration,
the law was pretty clear that if we have these kinds of deals, these trade
agreements, there has got to be provisions protecting water and air and the
rest of the environment. This has those provisions but there`s no TIF.
So it means that these countries like Vietnam and others, Brunei, they`re
going to be able to violate those provisions. And there`s not doggone
thing we can do.
SCHULTZ: And there`s a sovereignty issue as well. They can bring
grievances in front of an international tribunal which of course would
circumvent United States law. This of course has brought some Tea Partiers
onboard to oppose this.
But what does that mean? The -- and when -- I know it`s a mouthful there
about circumventing American law but this means that corporations,
multinationals would be dictating American policy all based on whether they
can make a profit or not, correct?
SCHWEITZER: And these are the same multinational corporations that are
currently doing business in the United States and around the world, who
have inserted their provisions in the American tax code, so that they don`t
even pay taxes. They make the bulk of their profit in the United States
and they don`t even pay a dime in taxes .
SCHWEITZER: . because they have all of this give me provisions and now the
Senate Finance Committee wants to do this. We ought to see who`s behind
SCHULTZ: Well, you know, the one big thing that jumps at me is that when
we did these 20 years ago with NAFTA we were told that well, that it`s not
perfect, we`ll come back and fix it tomorrow. Tomorrow never came.
And so, once this gets in, it can`t be rolled back, can it? Is there any
way to roll it back? I mean you would have to have an believable majority
almost, you know, the White House and the Senate where it would be
untouchable by opponents if you were going to roll anything back on this
and it would have to go through the WTO. Am I right or wrong on that? And
I want your clarification on that.
SCHWEITZER: Once these corporations get their free ice cream, they are
going to make sure that there`s no change, because they`ve already paid for
SCHWEITZER: They gave lots of contributions to a lot of members of
Congress and they`re going to warn them just like you said, Ed. They`re
going to wave this finger out them and they`re going to say, "You mess with
your trade deal . " and it will be their trade deal " . we`re going to take
you out in the next election.
SCHULTZ: So, how could a national candidate oppose this deal and survive?
SCHWEITZER: I think a national candidate would not just survive but with
pride. All you got to do is point in to NAFTA and CAFTA. All you got to
do and say how is it that we get second place on all of these trade deals?
This won`t be any better. What is the rush for us to do a lot of trade
with Vietnam and Brunei? What are they offering us in this deal?
SCHULTZ: Does President Obama`s position surprise you on this?
SCHWEITZER: Well, not particularly. You know, I guess we`re kind of
falling to the point where we have the corporate party and the corporate-
like party. There`s nothing wrong with corporations, but they ought to
play by the rules. They ought to pay taxes just like all small businesses
do. They ought to make sure that they`re protecting the environment just
like small businesses do.
But when they get their way simply because they buy Congress, it means
everybody else in America gets second place.
SCHULTZ: All right. Former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer with us
tonight. I appreciate your time on the Ed Show. We`ll do it again. Thank
you so much.
Remember to answer tonight`s question there at the bottom of the screen,
share your thoughts with us on Twitter and at Ed Show. A lot to talk about
on this issue. We want to know what you think.
Coming up, bully for you.
A recent poll shows New Jersey voters feel how they feel about their
Plus, a devil in disguise.
Trenders is up next stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Time now for the Trenders. Social media action out there, this
is where you can find us and thanks for being part of it.
Facebook.com/edshow, Twitter.com/edshow and ed.msnbc.com, and of course you
can find us on the radio at Sirius XM Channel 127 noon to 3:00 Monday
The Ed Show social media nation has decided and we are reporting. Here are
today`s top Trenders voted on by you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You got to see the baby.
SCHULTZ: The number three Trender, head turner.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`re having a baby.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s a bad looking baby, lady.
SCHULTZ: A viral movie promo has New Yorkers jumping.
The new two Trender, born to make fun.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come and let me in. I want to be your friend.
JIMMY FALLON, LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON HOST: You love Bruce
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, (R) NEW JERSEY: I do. He told me it`s official.
FALLON: You`re the guy that screams all the words louder than Bruce
Springsteen behind me. Yeah, pumping his fist. Yes.
SCHULTZ: Jimmy Fallon and Bruce Springsteen take on Bridgegate.
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, SINGER: You`ve got Wall Street masters stuck cheek-to-
cheek with blue collar truckers, and man I really got to take a leak.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I thought we were friends.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re killing the working man, who`s stuck in the
Governor Chris Christie Fort Lee New Jersey traffic jam.
SCHULTZ: And today`s top Trender, Jersey fresh.
CHRISTIE: I don`t hide my emotions from people.
Are you stupid? My approach is, you punch them, I punch you.
I am who I am, but I am not a bully.
SCHULTZ: The garden state is split over Christie`s bully label.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 54 percent say he is more of a leader.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have people skills.
CHRISTIE: If you want to be a successful leader. Listening and reaching
across is the bigger part.
I have no interest in answering your question.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 40 percent say, he is more of a bully.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t understand that how he can say that he`s not.
CHRISTIE: You`re being an idiot and if you are an idiot, I`m going to call
you an idiot.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, he`s creating this absolute persona of bullying.
CHRISTIE: I am who I am.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Joining us tonight Congressman Rush Holt of New Jersey.
Congressman, always a pleasure to have you with us.
REP. RUSH HOLT, (D) NEW JERSEY: And always good to be with you.
SCHULTZ: You bet. The people of your state are in split on Governor Chris
Christie, his demeanor with people. Forty percent of the state consider
him a bully. Is that a large number in your opinion?
HOLT: I would say that most of people in New Jersey who have watched him
in his town meetings where he berates teachers and bullies them. When
they`ve watched him in negotiations with unions and again -- and teachers
where he bullies them, where mayors and council members and elected
officials who tell me they have to go along with him if they want to get to
anything for their towns. I think all of those people would say he acts
like a bully.
And anytime he have to say didn`t deny that you`re a bully, I guess it
SCHULTZ: Congressman, there`s a few things that have come out. I would
like your opinion on the authorities unit that was put together by the
governor after he was elected, and how they oversee these commissions.
This is rather interesting, the workings of government when you have an
appointed authorities unit. What do you make to that?
HOLT: Well, they oversee it in unfortunately a political way. And, you
know, one of the things that hasn`t been talked about enough in this whole
matter is how far the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has sunk.
For decades, this was a highly professional, highly respected efficient
organization that looked at bridges, and tunnels, and airports and serve
the public interest. And going back to the Pataki and the Whitman
administrations in New York and New Jersey it has become a fan of political
patronage, it`s become a cash cow for the states and it has become a highly
You know, a few decades ago, no Port Authority people would have taken an
order from the governor himself let alone from an underlying in the
governor`s office to disrupt traffic or any other such thing.
SCHULTZ: But what -- how does this .
HOLT: So, this is a sign of how far things have sunk.
SCHULTZ: Well, an authorities unit, is it necessary to have that?
HOLT: I don`t think so.
SCHULTZ: The New Jersey State Assembly is creating a special committee
with subpoena power to further investigate the lane closures and concerns
about the abuse of government power.
What does this mean for Governor Christie and his aides? Are you confident
that there is going to be a thorough investigation and Democrats and
Republicans will come together and get to the bottom of this?
HOLT: Well, I`m pretty confident that there will be a thorough
You know, Assemblyman Wisniewski and State Senator Loretta Weinberg and
others have been bulldogs. They`ve stuck with this for months now going
way back to September when lots of people said, "Oh forget it. This is
But they understood and now the rest of the legislature has shown.
HOLT: They understand this is an abusive power.
SCHULTZ: And which .
HOLT: Now .
SCHULTZ: What does this mean that the state attorney general in New Jersey
has brought on Former Assistant US Attorney Reid Schar as the special
council for the committee? He was the lead investigator and prosecutor in
the Rod Blagojevich case in Illinois
What does this mean for the investigation you think?
HOLT: Well, that it is serious. This is not just petty political
politics. I mean the act of the bridge may have been petty political
But this abuse of power where a governor has received power from the
citizenry, and he`s using it not for the public good but for partisan
I mean whatever the culpability, who ever did it no one can argue that this
was done for the public good. And that`s a serious matter. It strikes at
the heart of the governmental contract. You know, why the citizens give
power to officials?
So, this shows that they understand it and the legislature is going to -- I
think really dig in to it and we haven`t heard the end of it.
SCHULTZ: All right. Congressman Rush Holt, I appreciate your time
tonight. Thank you so much.
Coming up, obstruction is the Republican way.
Once again, the parties says "No" to helping the unemployed in this
Still ahead, Rush Limbaugh who has had four blushing brides made comments
about President and Michelle Obama`s marriage. His outlandish idea lands
him in tonight`s Pretenders.
But I`m taking your questions next. Stay with us. Ask Ed Live coming up.
SCHULTZ: Thanks for watching the Ed Show. Thanks for texting in all the
questions and all that stuff. You know, we love this segment. I do
anyway. Ask Ed Live.
Our first question tonight comes from someone with a Twitter handle
Somnesayinfo, "How small does government have to be for it to be acceptable
to the GOP?"
Well, they want to privatize everything. They want to see workers work for
damn near nothing, and if they can privatize it, that`s what they want.
They want government out of everything. Not some things, everything.
Our next question comes from Debbie Roy, "Were you surprised to learn that
Scott Walker supports Governor Chris Christie?"
Birds of a feather flock together.
Stick around Rapid Response Panel is coming up next.
MORGAN BRENNAN, CNBC ANCHOR: I`m Morgan Brennan with your CNBC market
wrap. The markets rally for a second straight day. The DOW rises 108
points, the S and P gains 9, and the NASDAQ is up to 31 points.
Stocks got a boost from the Federal Reserve survey of economic activity.
This so called Beige Book Report showed an improving economic outlook in
most Fed district.
And down the earnings front profits, the Bank of America came in better
than expected. The nation`s number two bank benefited from a steep trap in
mortgage related lost.
That`s it from CNBC, first in business worldwide.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show. Once again, Republicans have chosen
obstruction over helping the unemployed in this country. Last time, it was
a big vote. The Senate failed to advance just a three-month extension of
unemployment benefits. This came after Democrats made a major concession
by agreeing to offset the cost of the extension, but it wasn`t enough.
Republicans, clearly, unwilling to compromise. And they made it very clear
they`re willing to abandon the long-term unemployment to this country over
partisan disagreements on Senate procedures and amendments. Now, it`s
looking very unlikely that the Senate will come to an agreement at all this
week which of course is a big deal because the Senate`s going to recess
next week. That`s all folks. That`s the way it is.
From 1.3 million workers and the numbers are going up everyday, jobless
benefits on December 28th -- well, it all ended. It expired on that day.
The Senate for Budget and Policy Priorities estimates the number of people
who will lose their unemployment benefits will jump to 4.9 million by the
end of this year. Going without benefits for just one week costs state
economies $400 million. Congress has done nothing tangible to address this
issue other than say, "Well, we`ll try to put public pressure on these law
makers to get this thing done." Give me a break.
Here is the bottom line. The Democrats made a bad budget deal, and now,
1.3 million people plus more will have to pay for it. This is exactly what
we talked about on this program back in December. If they had not taken
the deal, yes, there would have been sequester cuts that would have been
rough, but I believe it would have intensified the conversation a heck of a
lot more. 1.3 million people and a few more after that doesn`t rise to the
level of getting the Republicans their attention because now, they`re now
talking about the midterms. They`re talking about jobs in ObamaCare.
There is no trust between both parties, period. And this is proof.
Joining me now is our Rapid Response Panel, Nationally Syndicated Columnist
Connie Schultz and E.J. Dionne, MSNBC Contributor and Columnist for the
Trust has left the building, Connie, I think that this is a total breakdown
that when you can`t get a party to agree to help Americans, where does that
CONNIE SCHULTZ, NATIONALLY SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Well, I think part of the
prompt (ph) for us right now is to how we couch -- how we cast this
argument. I think we`ve been spending way too much time talking about the
process and I blame the Democrats for this. I think that they need to be
talking about what some of the proposed amendments are from the Republicans
side. One of the solutions introduced would eliminate the Child Tax Credit
for millions of children who were legally born here who have parents who
are not legal immigrants. That was one proposal.
So let`s go after the most vulnerable of our populations. These parents do
pay taxes. They have a federal I.D. number. So they`re not trying to slip
by unnoticed but what`s punished the children. Another one would eliminate
disability benefits for Americans who rely on us or understanding make no
more than -- I think it`s a thousand -- a little over $1,000. So, why
aren`t we talking more about that instead of these procedural arguments
that are definitely in the weeds that mean nothing to mostly Americans who
were affected by this right now?
ED SCHULTZ: E.J. Dionne, have the Democrats lost political capital on
this? They just can`t get it done.
E.J. DIONNE, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR, WASHINGTON POST COLUMNIST: I don`t know if
they have lost political capital. I mean, it is -- I think a lot of
Democrats are mad. A lot of their own voters are mad, but this didn`t get
done. But let`s sort of go back to the beginning. Procedural fights are
the last refuge of politicians obstructing a popular cause. And I think
the Republicans have had great success here trying to get the issue away
from what`s at stake which is unemployment benefits for people and getting
everybody talking about all the procedure.
I agree entirely with Connie that we should also focus on their offsets.
But the goal posts keep moving. Normally, we extend unemployment benefits
with unemployment above 6 percent without any offsets, without a big
DIONNE: That`s what happened under George W. Bush. So, Democrats went as
far as to give offsets and it turned out those weren`t the right offsets
from the Republican side. There`s something just terribly wrong about
what`s going on here.
SCHULTZ: Yeah. Republicans are accusing democrats of negotiating in bad
faith. Take a listen to what South Dakota Senator John Thune have to say
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN THUNE, (R) SOUTH DAKOTA: We all argue why Republicans are being
obstructions, but I think you have to look at the record. If you look at -
- since July, this is a really telling (ph) numbers. Since July, there
have only been four Republican amendments voted on the United State Senate,
four over six-month period. I think that really says it all.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Connie, what`s your reaction to that?
CONNIE SCHULTZ: All right. First of all, as policy matters Ohio, I think
take -- here in Ohio reported earlier this month, one in five unemployed --
Ohioans right now are getting none of these benefits. Secondly, all I
wanted -- I would just invite -- I would invite anybody who thinks this is
simply about procedure.
I do visit my Facebook page today. I knew I was coming on this show. I
mentioned it on my public page and ask people to share some of their
stories of what`s been going on with their own unemployment. It is
heartbreaking how hard they are trying to find jobs, how humiliating this
process is for the -- and you know, the thing is, you don`t hear anger from
them, you hear shame, you hear sadness and fear. A lot of them talk about
their fear becoming homeless. These are heartbreaking stories and these
are real stories of real Americans who don`t give squat about some
procedural argument on the Senate floor.
SCHULTZ: Well, what about that E.J. Dionne? Are Republicans using the
issue of long term unemployment just to do a get back and a protest to the
DIONNE: Oh, I think that`s part of it. And, you know, when -- I think
some of the answer to what Senator Thune said is, if you could actually
bring substantive legislation to the floor and get it passed, then we might
had have hand this -- you might have had a lot more Republican amendments.
I mean, Congressman George Miller who is retiring said that in many ways,
Mitch McConnell has become the choreographer of the Obama years because
he`s been so successful at slowing down action on the most basic
legislation like unemployment benefits.
So for Republicans to come back now and say the Democrats are playing all
these procedural games, let`s look at the last four years and see how long.
DIONNE: . it took to get healthcare in all kinds of other things passed in
the first place.
SCHULTZ: Well, I think the Democrats got to learn a lesson here when it
comes to the budget. And the budget is this -- is that we have seen
exactly how the Republicans are going to act when it comes to money. They
don`t care about workers. They don`t care about long term unemployment.
They don`t care about the story that was told to me on my radio show by Jim
McDermott, a congressman who had a man call his office, very upset. He`s
got two degrees. He`s a veteran. And his family is now living in the car.
I mean, this is -- we are now becoming a third-world country because we are
so concerned. I mean, it`s mind boggling to me how ruthless they could be.
And polls, you know, we`re going to throw out a number here. Quinnipiac
poll survey last week, 58 percent of voters support the extension. It`s
like, these numbers don`t matter to the Republicans. It`s not what the
American people want. And you know, John Thune`s answer say, "Well, you
know what, they didn`t give us a "no" votes on amendments, so we`re not
going to help out people in this country."
What kind of person thinks like that Connie? I just find that amazing.
CONNIE SCHULTZ: Every office in Congress is -- every member`s office is
getting messages, they`re getting e-mails, and they`re getting letters, and
they`re getting calls about what this is doing to the people in their
districts and then their states. And I wish that members of congress, the
Democrats would take to the floor nigh after night and start reading these
stories, start telling these stories, show pictures of these families who
are afraid they`re going to lose their homes, who are worried about losing
water, losing electricity, start showing those faces, start telling those
stories, and we would change that conversations almost immediately.
SCHULTZ: And on top of that, we are on the horizon or possibly another
terrible trade agreement which is only going to hurt American jobs. We
could be in for the long haul for the long term unemployed in this country
which is certainly bad for America.
Connie Schultz, E.J. Dionne, great to have you with us tonight. I
appreciate your time.
Coming up. Republicans admit, for the first time, they`re making a
strategy to the election year.
SCHULTZ: And in Pretenders tonight, the wolf of wedlock, Rush Limbaugh.
The gatekeeper of Conservative values is tired of Chris Christie`s boring
old bridge scandal, and abuse of power, and trouble with the federal law,
isn`t enough for the radio host.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUSH LIMBAUGH, CONSERVATIVE RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Why can`t we have Obama
running around on Michelle? Well, I think in a good old fashion, just --
what -- not go there? OK. Why -- I`m glad -- it`s just wishful thinking -
- just this for the -- you know, I have -- the drive buyers love to have
exciting things happening in the news. I mean this would be -- would it
not be a much better scandal than Christie in bridge lane closures for
crying out loud?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Who told Rush Limbaugh what to say there? I didn`t know that
happens. And if there would be quite the lure (ph), no offense to Rush
Limbaugh, the radio host actually loves marriage so much that he`s done it
four times. Limbaugh can do whatever he pleases at the altar. But if he
believes the president will oblige his brand of sanctity, he could keep on
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show. This is the story for the folks who
take a shower after work. A new Republican strategy is emerging ahead of
President Obama`s state of the union address. For the first time, the
Republican Party is using the word election.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN BOEHNER, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: I think this
election is a -- it`s about two issues. It`s going to be about the issue
of jobs. And when you look at it, the American people have a right to
continue to ask a question, "Where are the jobs?" President`s been in
office now for over five years. It`s time for the president to admit that
his policies are not working. In addition to that and also a part of that
is issue of ObamaCare. ObamaCare is part of the no jobs problem.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: On January 28, President Obama will give his 2014 primetime state
of the union address. Last week, the White House announced five promised
zone areas where the federal government will partner with local communities
to create jobs. The president previewed this program in the state of the
union address last year. Earlier today, President Obama traveled to North
Carolina, again, talking about jobs.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: This has to be a year of our trip. And here in North Carolina,
you`re doing your part to create good jobs that that pay good wages.
Congress has to do its part too because restoring the American dream of
opportunity for everyone who`s willing to work for it is something that
should unite the country. That shouldn`t divide the country. That`s what
we should be aspiring to, that everybody has a shot if they`re willing to
work hard and take responsibility.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Joining us tonight Congressman Steve Israel of New York, Chairman
of the DCCC. Great to have you with us Steve. Appreciate you`re time.
REP. STEVE ISRAEL, (D) NEW YORK: Thank you for having me now. Thank you
SCHULTZ: All right. So Boehner is talking election. He says jobs and
healthcare, you feel like you`re on solid ground there with your team?
ISRAEL: Oh absolutely, you know, Speaker Boehner says, where are the jobs?
So, the only jobs he`s interested in are jobs in big oil companies. His
caucus continues to vote for $40 billion in subsidies to big oil companies,
but says that we can`t afford to extend on unemployment insurance,
increasing minimum wage, invest in infrastructure and manufacturing. This
guy doesn`t care about middle class jobs. He only cares about special
SCHULTZ: Well, I visit with some lawmakers in Washington day before
yesterday and there seems to be some candidates, some folks that are
talking about running for office. There seems to be lack of confidence or
reluctance to talk about the Affordable Care Act in front of crowds. Now,
I hope I`m just imagining this, but from what I heard, it`s almost as if
their -- some folks are having a hard time explaining just how good this is
and they quickly talk about, "Well, I`m not against the healthcare law, I`m
for fixing it."
Do the Democrats have a hard time explaining ObamaCare, Affordable Care
Act, the upside of it all, and what its doing?
ISRAEL: Well, it shouldn`t because the vast majority of the American
people do want to improve the Affordable Care Act. They do want to make
the Affordable Care Act better and stronger. They do not want to repeal
the Affordable Care Act. And so, when Republicans go out there and say
that they want to go back to the days where insurance companies can make
fundamental health decisions for people based on their profit margin rather
than what`s best for the individual, that is an indefensible strategy.
When we go out there and say that no longer will a woman with breast cancer
be denied health insurance, no longer will a child under the age of 26 be
told he or she has no coverage, no longer will you have life time caps on
your health conditions, those are strong arguments. And so, we have the
high ground on those arguments and we`re going to continue to talk about
the importance of improving the Affordable Care Act and let Republicans
defend wanting to repeal the Affordable Care Act and go back to those days
when health insurance didn`t work.
SCHULTZ: In his press conference, Speaker Boehner pointed to the dozens of
job related bills that he says the House`s passed and he says that they`ve
been bottled up by the Senate`s Democratic leaders. A lot of blame game
going on. Do you think that the Republicans have done anything of merit
when it comes to jobs?
ISRAEL: Well, they`re good at selling bytes (ph), they`re good at partisan
rhetoric, but, lets not forget that this is a group of people who -- that
were willing to shutdown the entire Federal Government just a few months
ago to pursue their right wing or orthodox the extremism and ideology.
SCHULTZ: But jobs bills .
SCHULTZ: . but jobs bills.
ISRAEL: But they haven`t done it. They haven`t done, you know, their idea
of a Jobs Bill is a $40 billion subsidy to big oil. That`s not Jobs Bill,
that`s a special interest bill. You want a Jobs Bill? Invest in
manufacturing, infrastructure, education. That`s what creates jobs, not
subsidies to the special interest.
SCHULTZ: Congressman, where are you right now if the election were held
tonight? How many do you defend, how many do you have -- are you
competitive in? What are the numbers right now as you see it?
ISRAEL: We need 17 seats to take back the majority. It`s too early for me
to tell you whether it would be north or south to 17. There was a poll
that came out today that show that House Republicans, they have managed to
achieve a favorability rate of 13 percent. And so, this is a good
environment that we`re in and we`re going to continue to focus on electing
Democrats in returning a common sense, problem solving majority to the
House of Representatives.
SCHULTZ: Is it hard getting people to run on the Democratic ticket?
SCHULTZ: You`ve had a few folks stepped out and retired George Miller has
decided that he`s going to -- I mean, are you going to be able to get good
people in those positions?
ISRAEL: Actually, these retirements have been a -- almost a catastrophic
problem for Republicans. Nine incumbent Republicans in competitive
districts announced that they are retiring because the House Republican
caucus put out a sign that said moderates are not welcome. So, there are
nine Republican seats that we will able to compete in. About two or three
competitive Democratic incumbents announced they we`re retiring, so we`ve
got two or three. They`ve got nine and their list is growing. We feel
good about our landscape.
SCHULTZ: And finally quickly. What -- how much hope do you hold up for
getting anything done in 2014 legislatively?
ISRAEL: Well, you know, if Republicans are willing to stand up for the
middle class instead of siding with the special interest, we can get things
done. Immigration, infrastructure, education, those are three things that
we need to get done. Increase the minimum wage would be a forth, we are
ready, willing, and able to work with the Republicans.
SCHULTZ: All right.
ISRAEL: . if they are ready, willing, and able to stop defending this
SCHULTZ: All right. Congressman Steve Israel thanks for your time
ISRAEL: Thank you Ed.
SCHULTZ: That`s the Ed Show. I`m Ed Schultz.
Politics Nation with Reverend Al Sharpton starts right now. Good evening
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