The Ed Show for Wednesday, February 5th, 2014
Read the transcript to the Wednesday show
THE ED SHOW
February 5, 2014
Guests: Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Bob Shrum, Wendell Anthony, Josh Fox, EJ
ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC HOST: Good evening Americans and welcome to the Ed Show
live from Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. Let`s get to work.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN BOEHNER, (R-OH) HOUSE SPEAKER: There are a lot of opinions about
how to deal with the debt limit. No decisions have been made
SCHULTZ: If Congress seized off shadow, we`ll have six more weeks of
BOEHNER: No decisions have been made.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But my shadow, I see.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is pitiful (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course we live the same day over and over again.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you think? What? Get it right for a change.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is Congress guilty of the same.
BOEHNER: There are a lot of opinions.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The next big fight, yet again, there we go again, in
third debt ceiling.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Inaudible) about this. Do you ever have deja vus?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Groundhog Day.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And now, he wants to play Groundhog Day again with the
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, deja vu.
BOEHNER: When it comes to the debt limit --
Again, we`re not accepting increase in the debt limit.
Say no to increase in the debt limit.
After all of this discussion now is going on for some three or four months,
it`s time for actions.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Good to have you with us tonight, folks. Thanks for watching.
Well, Republicans again, are planning to hold our nation hostage with the
debt limit. Oh, we can`t trust the Republicans, right? These are the guys
that were going to be new legislators back in December we were telling you
about. It`s a dangerous game of brinksmanship that has damaged our economy
and hurt our credit rating in the past. Although, this time, House Speaker
John Boehner isn`t exactly sure what the demands will be.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOEHNER: The goal here is to increase the debt ceiling. Nobody wants to
default on our debt. But while we`re doing this, we ought to do something
about keeping jobs in the economy, about the drivers of our debt. And so,
we`re talking to our members and when we have a decision, we`ll let you
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Well, House Republicans just finished up their annual retreat in
Maryland. This was the topic of conversation and there are reports of
Republican infighting over how to handle the debt ceiling. But clearly, we
are in a hostage taking situation one more time. How do we get here?
Meanwhile, the Washington Post reports Republicans have two options on the
table in caucus. House Republicans would be willing to raise the debt
limit in exchange for approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline. They would
raise the limit if Democrats agreed to repeal the risk quarters provision
of Obamacare. Risk quarters enable the government to share in the risk and
gains of the insurance marketplace which of course Republicans absolutely
hate. But they better make up their mind pretty soon because time is
Here is what Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said on Monday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JACK LEW, TREASURY SECRETARY: In just a matter of days, the temporary
suspension of the debt limit will end and the Treasury Department will have
to start using extraordinary measures so the government can continue to
meet its obligations.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: After a credit downgrade for the same stunt back in 2011, it`s
amazing John Boehner would even think about risking it again. But this is
how they play the game. The debt limit expires this Friday, February 7th.
The government expects emergency funds to dry up by the end of the month.
And let me just say folks, this is not a game. This is really going to
hurt America. Why would the Republicans want to hurt the country?
Democrats need to fight back and not let Republicans hold our nation
hostage over the debt limit. Democrats have done really, arguably
speaking, nothing but compromise with Republicans since December.
Republicans continue to chip (ph) away at our country`s infrastructure to
get whatever they want when it comes to times like this. Both parties,
what they did back in December is, they agreed on a horrible budget that
currently has 1.6 million long term unemployed Americans without any
insurance. Democrats promised. Well, they were going to come back. This
was going to be a new year. They were going to fight hard for an
extension. But the bottom line is, so far, absolutely nothing has been
done to help these Americans who need it most. There`s a lot of good
conversation but no movement.
And the Democrats also dropped the ball arguably on Tuesday. A bipartisan
farm bill passed to Senate that includes, look at this, over $8 billion in
food stamp cuts. How often have we talked about income inequality and
taking it out and then hide it (ph) to the poor and that`s exactly what
this farm bill does. There shouldn`t been any cuts at all. 850,000
households will lose roughly 90 dollars a month in snap benefits. So we`re
telling the poor to serve it up.
This is not the time to be cutting spending or repealing provisions of
Obamacare. Our economy, you have to admit, by the numbers, we`re headed in
the right direction. It`s -- we`re plugging along 47 months of private
sector job growth. The chart shows where we are. Things we`re looking up.
Democrats, this is the time. You need to stand strong by fighting for the
unemployed, need to stand strong firm and not negotiate with Republicans
over the debt limit. But the president met with the Democratic caucus
yesterday at the White House, the president`s (inaudible), he says there`s
not going to be any hostage taking. I hope that is the case.
But, everybody`s calling it Groundhog Day. No, it`s not. It`s Weasel Day,
because this is the weasely (ph) way to do business for the American
people. This is money that we have spent, and now, this is the Republican
Party coming backs and well, we don`t want to pay our bills unless we get
what we want. Unless we get the cuts we want. And this is how we`re going
to run the country.
Let`s see. We had the fall edition of Weaselville (ph). Now, we have the
winner edition of Weaselville (ph), then there will be the summer time,
then there will timely be an election. But, will the American people get
it? I hope so. There is no way that the Democrats should turn and say,
all right, we`ll negotiate with you on this.
Let`s go ahead and default on the debt. And let`s see if that wakes up the
Republicans and the American people to run them right out of the house.
Let`s see and gerrymander around that.
Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think tonight`s
question. "Should the Democrats negotiate over the debt limit?" 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 this show.
For more, let me bring in Congressman Chris Van Hollen of Maryland who is
the Ranking Member on the House Budget Committee. Congressman, good to
have you with us tonight. I appreciate your time.
REP. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN, (D) MARYLAND: Good to be with you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: I think -- you bet. I think what most Americans want to know
when we talk about the debt ceiling, when we talk about hostage taking is
what`s going to be different this time around as opposed to what we saw
back in December?
HOLLEN: Well, the question Ed is, we`re going to the new year has been
whether the Republicans have learned any lessons from the very harmful and
unnecessary government shutdown they engineered last October. Have they
turned a new leaf? Oh, we`re not. And so far, they seem to be up to their
same old games which is trying to hold the economy, trying to hold the Full
Faith in 39 states hostage until they come up with whatever demand they
want to come up with. As you indicated, the Speaker hasn`t figured out
what it is. We need to be clear and the president has been clear, which
is, you don`t get to negotiate over whether or not United States pays its
bills on time.
I also agree with you that rather than even talking about this thing that`s
going to hurt the economy in terms of their strategy, we should be focused
as a Congress on things to put more people back to work, whether it`s
infrastructure investment, whether it`s raising the minimum wage, whether
it`s extending the emergency unemployment compensation for 1.7 --
HOLLEN: -- million on Americans.
SCHULTZ: So Congressman, does this mean that there`s not going to be any
negotiation whatsoever that there is going to be a line drawn on the sand,
so to speak, and that the Democrats are going to hold their ground and that
we`re just going to have to pay our bills and the Republicans are going to
have to live with it? How are you going to get to that point?
HOLLEN: Well, the same way we did last October. Remember last October,
the Republicans said that if you don`t repeal the Affordable Care Act, if
you don`t make this major changes, then we`re going to keep the government
shutdown forever. And the president and the Democrats in Congress said,
you don`t get to do that. You don`t get to threaten to shutdown the
country in order to extract your partisan demands. And in the end, the
HOLLEN: -- had to give. They gave after doing great damage to the
economy, and right now, if they keep up this uncertainty about whether or
not, we`re going to pay our bills on time, they are also going to be doing
damage to the country. And so, let`s hope they wake up in time. But
you`ve got this tea party caucus that once again seems to be running the
show over here.
SCHULTZ: OK. I want to play a sound bite from Minority Leader in the
Senate Mitch McConnell talking about the debt ceiling and your reaction to
this. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, (R-KY) SENATE MINORITY LEADER: Some of the most
significant legislation passed in the last 50 years have been in
conjunction with the debt ceiling, I think for the president to ask for a
clean debt ceiling when we have a debt the size of our economy is
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: So what`s your reaction to that Congressman?
HOLLEN: Well, it`s kind of interesting because it was Mitch McConnell who
proposed what we call the McConnell rule right now which is that the
president can go ahead and do the right thing and make sure we pay our
bills on time. And the Congress wants to vote to try and overturn the
president and default, Congress can do that. That was the Mitch McConnell
proposal. I know he doesn`t want to be associated with it anymore, but, in
a moment of acting responsibly a couple of years ago, he is the one that
put down on the table.
So, he knows better. We know that because he said it himself two years
ago. This notion that you`re going to threaten the health of the American
economy in order to try and extract partisan demands, to try and get the
Tea Party agenda through is simply reckless. And the American people know
it. And there are a lot of folks in the Republican Party that know it.
They`d like to --
HOLLEN: -- avoid or repeat of what they did, some of them. But again,
they just got this impulse to go forward and we`ll have to see how this
SCHULTZ: All right. What do you think of the $8.6 billion in cuts to food
stamps in the farm bill? I mean, was that really necessary to pick on the
most vulnerable Americans and the number of people that are going to be
affected by this?
HOLLEN: Ed, I voted against the farm bill for a variety of reasons. One
reason was it is shock full of huge taxpayer subsidies for some of the
biggest agro businesses in the country.
HOLLEN: They cut money from what was called direct payments, but they
recycled a lot of their savings back into this other programs that help
agro businesses. You know, we hear our Republican colleagues talk about
interference in the marketplace. The Ag bill is exhibit A of interference
in the marketplace by way of providing this big subsidy.
HOLLEN: So, especially in that context -- in the context of a bill that
provided this huge subsidies to continue the big agro businesses, I don`t
see how you could justify the changes they made to the food nutrition
programs. I think they did the best they could.
Remember, Republicans tried to cut $40 billion, so, they`re able to limit
the damage. But, in the context of the bill that provide (ph) those big
subsidies, I just don`t see how people would support that.
SCHULTZ: And that -- all of that is, in spite on what you`re saying, but
at the end of the day, it comes down to this. We picked with the farm
bill. We picked on the most vulnerable Americans and we won`t turn to the
corporations. We won`t turn to the wealthy Americans and say, "Hey you got
to do a little bit more." We`re asking people on food stamps to serve it
up. And I think that that -- it`s immoral but --
HOLLEN: And Ed, to add insult to injury, we tried to offer the men in the
House that says, "Let`s use the savings from the small cuts they did make
to Ag subsidies. Let`s use those savings to help --
HOLLEN: -- 1.7 million Americans who are -- or lost their unemployment
The speaker didn`t even allow us the dignity of a vote. Didn`t allow those
people the opportunity to vote.
SCHULTZ: No. That`s how they do it. Congressman Chris Van Hollen. I
appreciate your time tonight on the Ed Show. Thanks so much.
I want to bring in Democratic Strategist Bob Shrum, professor in NYU as
well. Bob good to have you with us.
What happens if the Democrats cave on the debt limit? I mean, what are
their options at this point with the caucus over on the Republican side
that wants to take some hostages. They want something for this.
BOB SHRUM, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, first of all, I don`t Democrats
will cave on the debt limit. I don`t think the president will cave on the
debt limit. I think it would be a disaster if they did.
Secondly, you talked about the House Republican retreat. Retreat usually
precedes surrender. And I think that retreat was about a lot of play
acting, letting people ventilate, letting them say we have to do this, we
have to do that. The Republican leadership is going to go through the
motions, then I think we`re going to get a clean debt ceiling.
Now there`s a danger here. And the danger, and you`ve been talking it is,
you got a Republican Party in the House that has a right wing and a far
right wing. It`s hard for a bird to fly on two right wings and it`s hard
for the Republicans to participate in governing this way.
But I`ll tell you one thing.
SHRUM: If they ever led to a default on the debt of the United States,
they learned in the government shutdown what the consequences would be, and
I think they would jeopardize their majority in a very clear way.
SCHULTZ: What do you make of Mitch McConnell`s position? He wants
something for it. He says it`s been done on the passage, should be done
SHRUM: Well, and he is saying that -- Boehner is saying that, they said it
all last October. They tried to create -- they blamed the president, the
Democrats for the government shutdown. The country overwhelmingly
understood that they had done it.
The truth is that, privately McConnell doesn`t really want to do this.
Boehner doesn`t really want to do this. But McConnell faces a situation in
which he`s got a Tea Party challenger for re-nomination. So, he`s got to
go through the motions here.
SHRUM: And Boehner is very worried.
You know, it`d be easy to pass a debts -- clean debt ceiling. Just put it
on the House floor, you get a majority. But the sub headline on that story
would be bye-bye Boehner speaker because the Tea Party would go after him.
So, he has to go through all these motions. The danger is that the motion
stripped and actually defaulting. And if you default, you`re going to have
a real economic catastrophe.
SCHULTZ: Well, whether the default or not, there`s already a crowd out
there that wants to change a leadership on the Republican side. That story
was out today as well. They`re always stirring the pot over on the far
So, do you think the Republicans will allow a shutdown? Do you think it
will go that far or they avert -- avoid this by raising the debt ceiling
and not having this?
SHRUM: I think in the end we`ll have a clean debt ceiling. I think
there`s a danger that we don`t, but the Republican establishment wants to
do it. Republican leadership wants to do it. The best Republican
SHRUM: -- are telling them they can`t afford to do it. So, all the
political pressure at a national level has to do it.
We have all these Tea Party congressmen from gerrymander districts who know
they`re going to get reelected anyway and who don`t care whether the
Republican Party becomes a viable national party at the presidential level.
Maybe they`ll care about the fact that they could actually jeopardize their
House Majority if they went down to this road.
SCHULTZ: Bob Shrum, always a pleasure.
SHRUM: Great, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Great to have you with us --
SCHULTZ: -- on the Ed Show tonight. Thanks so much. Remember to answer
tonight`s question there at the bottom of the screen. Interact with us
here on the Ed Show. We appreciate it. We want your thoughts @EdShow and
on Facebook. Always want to know what you think.
Coming up, I won`t pipe down about the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline. My
perspective is all about safety. Two environmentalists who disagree with
me are here to continue the discussion later on the broadcast.
But next, in Trenders, from the tough nerd to the comeback kid? Governor
Rich Snyder tries to reinvent himself with his reelection run in Michigan.
We`re not going to let him do it. We`ll be right back.
SCHULTZ: Time now for the Trenders. On the social media, you can check us
out at Twitter @EdShow. And on the radio it`s SiriusXM Channel 127, Monday
through Friday, noon to 3 PM. You can get my podcast at wegoted.com. 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)
GOOFY: I quit.
SCHULTZ: The number three trender, no butts.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pack of cigarettes?
SCHULTZ: One of the largest pharmacy chains in the country is saying no to
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Smoking is bad because --
SCHULTZ: CVS plans to snuff out cigarette sales in its stores.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And we know that smoking is extremely antithetical to
helping people with their health care need.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is where you`re heading? Crowdy (ph) long -- do
you really want that?
SCHULTZ: By October 1st, all tobacco products will off the shelves at CVS.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Give the smoker enough rope and will hang on to his
SCHULTZ: The number two trender, in the spotlight.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And our problems won`t be solved by only one party or
RANDY JACKSON: To you all dog (ph), there`s some good stuff and some bad
stuff here, all right?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do want to help bring back the idea that someone can
go to Washington to represent all the people.
JACKSON: Hey I like this.
SCHULTZ: The American idol runner up hopes to win a sit in the United
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: American Idol runner up hopes to take on Republican
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Even though she knew that voting from massive cuts to
the military was bad. She voted for them anyway. And when the party
leaders told her to vote for the government shut down, she did.
SIMON COWELL: What the hell are you suppose to say constructively after a
performance like that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And maybe we can play a small part in igniting that
change across the rest of our country.
JACKSON: I mean, you all, the competition is on baby.
SCHULTZ: And today`s top trender, the name game.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some call him a nerd.
HOMER SIMSON: Nerd.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But Michigan now calls him the "comeback kid."
SCHULTZ: Rick Snyder runs himself the comeback kid for his reelection bid.
RICK SYNDER: I`m very excited to announce, I`m running for reelection.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nerd alert.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Governor Rick Synder cut job killing Texas and Michigan
gain 220,000 private sector jobs. Our governor loves budget. Ignores
politics and bring us results.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Joining me tonight is Reverend Doctor Wendell Anthony. He is the
president of the Detroit branch of NAACP. Reverend, good to have you with
us tonight. I want your reaction. Synder says he is ushered in a comeback
in Michigan. I want you to characterize what it is been like under
Governor Synder, and also reaction to him ushering in a comeback, you
REV. DR. WENDELL ANTHONY, PRESIDENT, DETROIT NAACP: Thank you Ed. Happy
New Year to you. When we saw that Super Bowl commercial, many of us in
Michigan wondered what was he really playing. The Super Bowl commercial
showing him snorkeling while -- to Super Bowl while the people of Michigan
are really -- have enough (ph) super told that virtue of his economic
policies. That`s been no comeback here. It`s been a throwback, Ed. He
talks 220 million -- 220,000 jobs that he is saying.
You got to go to the auto industry. You got to go to the UA. You got to
go the workers. You got to go to the people who sacrificed healthcare
benefits. You got to go to the revenue sharing that they took away from
the City of Detroit to the tone (ph) of $220 million. There`s been no
comeback here. Education is number one that way to go here retraining the
workers, putting more money in the public education. We still pay more for
private incarceration (ph) than we do for public education.
Something is wrong here. So the nerd has not engaged in the comeback. The
nerd has really engaged in a throwback to a time that really does not serve
the people of Michigan well.
SCHULTZ: So, you think that the state -- has the state suffered under his
leadership, I mean, did he or did he not create 220,000 jobs in the private
ANTHONY: Come on, Ed. You and I both know that thanks to President Barack
Obama and the General Motors and Chrysler and the UAW workers. The people
in Michigan and Michigan`s never forget that Republicans really did not
want to aid the auto industry. His party -- the president and others did.
And by virtue of --
ANTHONY: -- their sacrifices, we have these jobs.
ANTHONY: If you really want to do something --
SCHULTZ: So you --
ANTHONY: -- to create something, let`s make some to the table.
SCHULTZ: All right. So your -- are you making the accusation that this
quote "comeback kid" is all about what Barack Obama has done, and what
federal programs have done, and of course we know that Mr. Synder did not
support the automobile loan. What about that?
ANTHONY: No question about that. It is a tribute to the worker. It is a
tribute to the people --
ANTHONY: -- in Detroit that have suffered under this administration. He
has attacked every entity in Michigan, seniors, pensioners, teachers,
workers, folk who need the assistance of the state. He just put to his
budget $120 million in a rainy-day fun. Well, somebody needs to tell the
governor that not only it`s just raining, it`s snowing, it`s sledding. We
have an economic tsunami in Michigan. So if you want to have a comeback,
let`s have a major attack to -- let`s bring stuff to the table as opposed
they have taken away from the table. No, there`s no comeback. It`s been a
SCHULTZ: So, Detroit is worse off today under Rick Synder than it was
before he took over?
ANTHONY: Detroit still has no democracy. Detroit survives under one
person rule. 50 percent of the African-American population -- all of 50
percent in the State of Michigan, still lives under one person rule. What
these people of Michigan said they did not want an emergency manager.
Last, we forget P.A. 436 --
ANTHONY: -- went around the will of the people and now we have that. So
ANTHONY: -- until we can really participate, we are not participating at
SCHULTZ: All right. I want to get your quick reaction. The governor
recently proposed a plan to redirect $350 million in state tobacco`s
settlement revenue to help the retirees out in the City of Detroit over the
next two years. Is this going to help? Does this change the dynamic at
all? Does this solidify what this retirees who lost their jobs in this
bankruptcy and how would that affect to them? Is this going to patch that
ANTHONY: So glad you asked that question, Ed. And it`s not two years,
it`s 20 years. And $350 million plus the money that the DIE (ph) may put
in does not address the systemic problems within the system. It`s a drop
in a bucket for a $5 billion system.
ANTHONY: And so, it has to go beyond that.
SCHULTZ: All right.
ANTHONY: No, it does not resolve that issue.
SCHULTZ: All right. Thank you, Reverend. I appreciate your time tonight.
Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony --
ANTHONY: Thank you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: -- president of NAACP in Detroit. Thank you, Sir.
Coming up, in our Rapid Response Panel, I support taking oil off the rails
and put into this thing called the Keystone XL Pipeline which the president
has not decided what we`re going to do with it yet. Safety is a major
factor here. It has nothing to do with consumption. But we`ll debate
that, coming up.
Still ahead, Donald Trump`s latest sales pitch lands him in tonight`s
Pretenders. But next, I`m taking your questions. Ask Ed Live coming up
next on the Ed Show on MSNBC. We are right back.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show. Love hearing from our viewers in
this segment tonight in our Ask Ed Live.
Our first question comes from Michael. "Why do Republicans talk about the
future when all of their ideas are from the past?"
Because they haven`t worked on the future, they have been so fixated on
defeating President Obama in his agenda and they don`t even know what
they`re for anymore.
Our next question is from Debbie. "Do you like working from your studio in
Yes, I do. And I`ve been reminded by liberals that if I`m wrong on issues,
I can go stick my head in the snow. Bottom line here is more and more
Americans are working from home. I hope to be one of them. This is a good
alternative, and by the way, it`s energy efficient.
Stick around, Rapid Response Panel is next. We`ll be right back on the Ed
SUE HERERA, CNBC CORRESPONDENT: I`m Sue Herera with your CNBC Market Wrap.
The Dow claws its way back from triple digits declines ending down just
about five points. The S and P fell three. The NASDAQ off 19.
Companies added 175,000 jobs last month. That`s according to payroll
processor ADP. That was slightly less than expected. The record comes
just two days before the government`s January jobs data. And Twitter share
is falling after hours following the company`s earnings report. Disney`s
profits came in better than expected sending that stock higher.
And that`s it from CNBC, first in business world wide.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN BOEHNER, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: Complex. You
make the Keystone Pipelines complex?
REP. RUSH HOLT JR., (D) NEW JERSEY: It takes a very dirty product, ships
it through the United States where we bear the risk of an oil spill.
SEN. JOHN BARRASSO, (R) WYOMING: It could bring about thousands of family
paying wage jobs.
REP. PETER DEFAZIO, (D) OREGON: Yes, there will be temporary construction
jobs but we can do better particularly as this committee, if we made the
investments we need to make in our water infrastructure, our port
infrastructure, our roads, bridges, highways, and transit systems, we can
put millions of people to work permanently.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s good for our national security.
SEN. BARBARA BOXER, (D) CALIFORNIA: It will significantly increase carbon
pollution and the oil will be exported to other countries.
BOEHNER: It`s been under study for five years. We build pipelines
everywhere in America everyday.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show folks
Tonight, we continue our conversation here on the Ed show over the Keystone
Pipeline. And as you just saw it is a very controversial topic and it`s
some very different political bedfellows in all of these.
Now, I know a lot of viewers are surprised at my position on this. So I
wanted to take a moment tonight to directly address some of your questions
and concerns and we`ll do this again on the Ed show as well.
In Twitter, viewer Deborah wrote, "It`s about climate change. We need to
stop all oil and gas extraction."
Well, my response to that is that the hard cold truth is that the United
States is an oil and gas dependent country and we`re going to be for the
foreseeable future. And I think it is a really disservice to the
conversation in a debate to take it all or nothing approach to this and
we`re not -- really confronting reality here.
The State Department report did find that oil derived from the Tar Sands
generates about 17 percent more greenhouse gas emissions than traditional
crude. But you need to weigh the alternative folks as I see it.
According to the same report continuing to transport the oil by rail would
release 28 percent more greenhouse gasses than a pipeline.
Another viewer wanted to know, "Ed, if the pipeline is built will it
increase the rate of extraction?"
Well, the State Department study says that project is unlikely to
significantly impact the rate of extraction or the continued demand of
heavy crude oil at refineries. And I think this is key here, if this is
build it doesn`t mean that you and I are going to be consuming more.
We, the consumers have to do something here. Here, we can do something
about safety with the pipeline. I have my own environmental argument for
the pipeline as well and you just heard a bit of it there.
According to the same State Department study, if we keep using rails we`re
looking at nearly 300 spills per year with over 1,200 barrels of oil
released. If the pipeline is built it would likely spill an average of
just 500 barrels with a leak occurring every two years. So do the numbers.
Other viewers questioned the idea this would make us more energy
So, let`s be clear here, this would be I think a step at the right
direction when it comes to energy independence. The pipeline would reduce
U.S. reliance on oil imports from countries less friendly than Canada.
Now traditionally, we have gotten our heavy crude from countries like
Mexico, Venezuela, and Saudi Arabia. Canadian officials have made it clear
to press conference they`re claiming that the oil from Venezuela and
Nigeria is dirtier than the Tar Sands oil and so who knows? I mean, who
knows is telling the truth and we`re already refining that oil from those
other countries here in the United States.
I believe that we should get our oil if we`re going to do this from our
friendly neighbor to the North. Obviously, the best solution is it will
never come out of the ground. But that`s not reality, it is going to come
out of the ground. There is activist on both sides. And whereas the
liberals are saying that we can`t do this because we have to be concerned
about the climate. What the liberals have to do is elect officials who
make decisions to make sure that this doesn`t happen.
But where we are right now for the safety when it comes to rail and
highways, you just heard Peter DeFazio talk about infrastructure. We`re
not building the roads, we`re not doing the bridges, we`re not adding to
the infrastructure, we`re not adding to the jobs. And I don`t go along
with this pipeline is because it`s going to be a big job creator. I go
along with it because we`re putting too much pressure on rail, and we`re
putting too much pressure on our highways and trucking industry to move all
of these oil which are pumping now that we never pumped five and 10 years
ago from the Bakken Shale.
There`s going to be spills everywhere but they won`t be as big and it will
reduce the risk if we have this pipeline, that`s how I see it.
Joining me is our Rapid Response Panel Joe Romm Founder of
Climateprogress.org and also Josh Fox the Director and Producer of Gasland
and Gasland 2.
Gentlemen, great to have you with us tonight I want to hear what you have
to say about this.
Joe, you first, lay out your argument against the pipeline. I know our
audience wants to hear it, good to have you with us tonight.
JOE ROMM, CLIMATEPROGRESS.ORG: Well, as a scientist, it`s pretty simple
we`re going to have to leave most of the carbon -- the dirty pools carbon
unused in the ground if we`re going to avoid catastrophic global warming.
And as progressive and as a father, I just think it`s immoral for us to
say, "Hey, we`re going to just keep doing what we`re doing and destroy a
little bit climate for children and grand children."
And the thing about a pipeline, Ed, unlike rail is once you build the
pipeline you are stuck with it. I mean you are making a long term
commitment. I mean it`s like you`re a drug user and you`re hooked up on
the IV line and the drugs are just going to keep coming and coming and
I think at some point we have to say we`re going to end this addiction and
maybe we`re not going to end this addiction tomorrow, but we`re certainly
going to end it long before this pipeline is going to reach the end of its
SCHULTZ: OK. Josh, your take on why we should not build the Keystone
JOSH FOX, PRODUCER, GASLAND II: Well, I agree with Joe that this is a
moral issue. This is about President Barack Obama`s moral leadership on
climate. We heard in the inaugural address that climate was a priority and
stopping the Keystone XL Pipeline is an extraordinarily important thing for
this president to do.
But what you`re doing and I don`t know if you understand this. You`re
quoting a State Department report which is corrupt and was created by a
company, a contractor for the State Department that actually has vast
financial ties to the oil and gas industry itself.
So, the veracity of this report is very much in suspicion and right now it
is as a way of encapsulating exactly what`s wrong with the government
process on this. We have oil and gas infiltrating every single regulatory
process at every level of state local and federal government. You`re
This oil is dirty. It will come from the Tar Sands. If you had seen
what`s going on with the Tar Sands where they scrape the entire surface off
of the earth, or the boreal forest contaminating lakes, contaminating
rivers, contaminating streams, of the indigenous people that are in there
in Alberta. And if you understand that James Hansen said this was game
over for the planet if we unleash the amount of carbon from the tar sands.
You understand the moral part of this.
But when you look at the government --
FOX: -- part of this it means that you`re endorsing on your show a
report that is actually from the oil and gas industry, people who are in
business with the oil and gas industry and not some impartial state
department thing as you claim.
SCHULTZ: Well, you know, I didn`t bring you on this program tonight to
question your, you know, your resource on the story, but if you want to
call the state department their report fraudulent. I`m sure the president
will take that under consideration.
FOX: Well, it has been called in to question --
SCHULTZ: I do know what I`m doing on the show. I do know what I`m doing
on the show and I also know that this is a consumption issue. And I also
know that moving oil through a pipeline is not an addiction. It`s a safety
measure. That is the push here.
I can show you an absolute. I can show you trains running into each other
that are carrying oil. Why aren`t environmentalists saying that we
shouldn`t be doing rail the way we do?
FOX: We are.
SCHULTZ: This is a reality.
FOX: But that`s an argument that --
SCHULTZ: This isn`t a report that - go ahead.
FOX: This is a false dichotomy. Obviously, environmentalists are opposing
the target --
SCHULTZ: No it`s not.
FOX: -- they`re opposing --
SCHULTZ: Because the trains derailed and the train had an accident.
FOX: No. No. That`s not true actually, Ed. That`s not true. The
climate move --
SCHULTZ: OK, we`re make it up the videotape then?
FOX: 1000 people and I am one of them was arrested in front of this White
House two years ago to protest climate change. We had 40,000 people in
Washington at the biggest climate rally in history here predominantly,
because Bill McKibben rally people on Keystone XL about the tar sands to
make this about whether it`s rail or it`s about pipeline. This is a false
SCHULTZ: Well, there`s millions of people that wanted universal
healthcare. There`s millions of people that wanted the universal
healthcare and didn`t get it. And I have to be -- I happened to be one of
them too and there were rallies there too.
Here`s the bottom line here, gentlemen. We are not going to get off oil
tomorrow, next week, next year and ten years. That`s our mission to do it.
But as we are pumping more and more oil out of the ground in North Dakota,
Montana, and South Dakota our whole dynamic is changed about energy
independence. Oil is part of it.
There will be Bakken Shale oil in this pipeline. That`s an absolute.
FOX: And where is it going? Isn`t it going to --
SCHULTZ: And it`s going to go --
It`s going to be refined in the United States and it`s going to be put on
the world market. But that also gives us --
FOX: That`s not energy independence.
SCHULTZ: We`re not --
FOX: That`s exploitation for sale. Go ahead, Ed, I`m sorry.
SCHULTZ: I just know --
ROMM: Ed, I want to --
FOX: Can I just say --
SCHULTZ: Yeah, you`ve attacked me and my source which is fine and I
thought we could have a conversation, I know everybody is passionate about
that. Are you denying the statistics finding higher greenhouse gas
submissions when it`s transported by rail or road wide? Fair question.
ROMM: Well, Ed. I think that`s a pretty simple question. You obviously
don`t use -- produce very many greenhouse gases running through a pipeline.
So, yes it is slightly higher if you run it by rail.
ROMM: But I think and I appreciate being invited on the show when you know
that, you know, that I think that this whole project is immoral. I think
you are offering up a false choice though.
It is true we`re going to keep using oil and as you say we have oil in the
bucket. The question is are we going to make it really easy to exploit one
of the dirtiest pools of carbon on the planet. When we know that the world
is going to wake up in the next 10 to 20 years and yeah we`re not going to
go off oil tomorrow but we`re going to start going off the dirtiest pools
of carbon and we`re going to have to --
ROMM: -- leave them in the ground. And I think this is among the
SCHULTZ: But, Joe, what about the oil -- Joe, what about the oil that`s
coming in from Nigeria and also in Venezuela? I am told by Canadian
officials that that`s just as dirty or dirtier than the Tar sands oil. So
we`re already refining that. What about that?
ROMM: Well, the president can`t stop that by simply saying no. He can
stop this and, you know, this is -- I guess at the bottom line when either
believes that the exploitation of the Tar sands is immoral, that it can`t
continue to grow at the pace its growing decade after decade.
If you believe that then the president simply has to say no on the grounds
of morality. I don`t think that the United States has to import all --
ROMM: -- that oil by train. I think we`re going to stop it. We`re
going to wise up, Ed, over the next 10 to 20 years and, you know, I think
we`re going to start by not, you know, burning this oil. We`re going to
burn some oil, we need to burn less and less.
FOX: In fact, I agree with that.
ROMM: So we`re already gearing up for the real plate in New York State.
SCHULTZ: Say that again, sir.
FOX: In fact, activists are already gearing up for the railway fight in
New York State because some of this Tar sands oil would be going by rail
through New York State. So to say that --
FOX: -- this is about a pipeline, it is about the source of the carbon,
it is about transitioning our society and it`s about Barack Obama`s moral
leadership on an issue that he pledge change and we voted for him based on
that pledge of change.
SCHULTZ: And it`s also about a state department report that you say is
fraudulent. So I guess we got a lot of work to do. Joe Romm and Josh Fox
good to have both of you with us tonight. We`ll have you back. I`m not
done with this discussion. There`s a lot more to talk about.
Coming up, what the CBO report on Obamacare really found. We`re debunking
the Conservative misinformation. Stay with us. We`ll be right back.
SCHULTZ: And in Pretenders tonight Ronald McDonald Trump. The Donald is
playing his favorite game, the ballot box shuffle. Trump wants to be New
York`s next governor.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, CEO OF TRUMP ORGANIZATION: People in this country are just
desperate for leadership. So, whether it`s me or frankly let it be
If I was governor, I believe we could reduce taxes by half. You would in
have a stampede to New York.
A lot of the Republican leaders from New York came to see me last week and
they want me to do that. I love the state. I love the country. But they
feel very strongly about it. So, at some point I`ll make a decision.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: You know, Donald Trump really love his country. He wouldn`t vow
to cut taxes. He would take a voice and a vow of silence.
Donald Trump is a tie salesman, not a politician. If he wants us to
believe his governor talk is anything but a bad sales fetch, he can keep on
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show. This is the story for the folks who
take a show after work.
Republicans are twisting the numbers from the newly released Congressional
Budget Office. They`re turning a portion of the report on the Affordable
Care Act into the biggest Conservative talking point.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, (R-KY) MINORITY LEADER: The CBO report is certainly
not pretty if you`re interested in creating jobs in America. As we all
know they estimated up to $2 million -- two million fewer jobs will be
created as a result of Obamacare.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: But wait a minute, the CBO did not say two million fewer jobs
will be created as a result of Obamacare. Here`s what it said.
"CBO projects a decline in the number of full-time equivalent workers of
about two million in 2017 -- the estimated reduction stems almost
entirely from a net decline in the amount of labor that workers choose to
supply, rather than a net drop in business` demand for labor."
Big difference. Mitch McConnell wasn`t the only Republican to pounce.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PAUL RYAN, (R-WI) HOUSE BUDGET COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: Most notably in
this report is that CBO also says that government policies especially the
president`s healthcare law are discouraging work. Washington is making
this problem worse.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Joining me now, E.J. Dionne Columnist for the Washington Post and
E.J., the way I view this, this means that Americans don`t have to work two
jobs to get healthcare because it`s going to be a heck of a lot cheaper and
it`s going to be guaranteed, what about that?
E.J. DIONNE, COLUMNIST WASHINGTON POST: Yes. This -- I agree with you
totally. This is a total twisting of what the CBO says.
What the CBO is saying about Obamacare is actually a good thing. For
example, you`re 64 years old, you work in great pain, you`d actually like
to retire, you can`t leave work because you got to wait until you get on
Medicare. A mom or a dad want to take a little time off, a few years off
to spend time with their kid but that person can`t leave because it`s their
health insurance that covers the family.
Now, both of those cases, people will be able to get health insurance, this
is liberating to people. It also ends a really crazy thing our market was
doing before we pass this which is job lock. People who ought to be moving
on to other jobs, who would like to move on to other jobs couldn`t because
they were afraid to lose their healthcare especially if they --
DIONNE: -- had preexisting conditions. So this is an outrageous way to
describe something in the law that is actually a very progressive thing for
the country including if you are a free market economist who wants the job
market to be more flexible.
SCHULTZ: So I guess the fundamental point is here that the Conservatives
are doing anything they possibly can to throw a negative on Obamacare and
they`ll go so far as to change the facts even from the, you know, non
partisan Congressional Budget Office. Are they going to gain anything from
DIONNE: Well, I still think that Americans in the end are going to judge
Obamacare by how it works. They`re going to judge it by what it does for
them, what its doing for their neighbors and I don`t think any of these
sort of scaremonger headlines are going to make the difference.
But again, I think it`s so important to understand as you say how distorted
this is. The Wall Street Journal news page as I emphasize said that, "What
the CBO said is it will reduce the total number of hours Americans work by
the equivalent of 2.3 million jobs."
Nowhere does it say that this is going to destroy existing jobs. So it`s
an amazing --
DIONNE: -- how this sound bite took off. A really careful report gets
turned into a dishonest slogan.
SCHULTZ: E.J. Dionne, always great to have you with us. I appreciate your
time tonight. Thanks for joining us here on the Ed Show and I want to tell
our audience we will continue our debate and our conversation pro and con
on the Keystone XL Pipeline here on the Ed Show.
Coming up Friday, a full half hour with Former Governor Brian Schweitzer of
Montana who`s for the project and of course we`ll have some other folks as
we did earlier tonight and last night who are opposed to the project.
That`s THE ED SHOW. I`m Ed Schultz.
"POLITICS NATION" with Reverend Al Sharpton starts right now. Good
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