The Ed Show for Thursday, September 4th, 2014
Read the transcript to the Thursday show
THE ED SHOW
September 4, 2014
Guest: Mary Kay Henry, Jennifer Epps-Addison, William Barber, Jim Moran,
Elijah Cummings, Jim McDermott
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)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Show me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 15.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Show me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 15
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Show me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 15
BARACK OBAMA, CURRENT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: There`s a
national movement going on made up of fast food worker...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They want a $15 minimum wage.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fight for $15.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This fight for $15 is real.
OBAMA: ... organizing to lift wages.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We also want the right to unionize.
JOE BIDEN, THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA VICE PRESIDENT: ... you and I,
OBAMA: If I were busting my butt in the service industry I join a union.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Currently, what were getting is not enough.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have to come here, we aren`t getting enough.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... struggling trying to survive on $7.25.
OBAMA: America deserves a raise.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are not going to go away. And we will not go
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Good evening everybody, good to have you with us tonight, thanks
for watching, lots of news out there tonight. 81-year-old, T.V. legend
Joan Rivers has passed away. And also the former governor of Virginia has
been convicted on corruption charges. We`ll get to all of it tonight.
But we start with breaking news this evening. Today, we saw the largest
fast food protest for a livable wage in American history. Thousands of
low-wage fast food workers protested in roughly a 150 cities all over the
country. Their demand is pretty simple, they want a livable wage of $15 an
hour and they want the right to join a union.
These are the most active protest the labor movement has seen in decades.
Today`s protests were different than other previous protest from -- for one
main reason, nonviolent civil disobedience. They were ready to make a
statement. According to the group Fight For 15, 436 protesters around the
country were arrested for the acts of civil disobedience.
Wisconsin Congresswoman Gwen Moore was arrested with protesters in
Milwaukee today. Also, 19 protesters were arrested in Times Square alone
for blocking traffic. Workers have made clear that they will do whatever
it takes to receive a fair wage. There is reason people are willing to get
arrested for this cause.
$7.25 an hour ain`t cutting it in America, it comes out to only $15,000 a
year. This wage has a family of two living below the poverty line. The
federal minimum wage, keep in mind has been raised only five times the last
20 years. The last time it was raised was over five years back in 2009.
If the minimum wage had kept up with inflation since 1968, the number today
would be $10.86 an hour.
Keep in mind Republicans in America are against raising the minimum wage.
Governor after governor, law maker after law maker, and some Republicans
want to even abolish the minimum wage. That has been stated on the Senate
Now, this is a rally against the conservative movement and their business
philosophy in America. The working folk have been walked on enough.
Theirs is no way this massive food -- fast food corporations across this
country should be allowed to make billion of dollars and hold down the
workers and not pay these workers a livable wage.
The question tonight is, is this a turning point? We have Americans
stationed all around the country tonight to bring you the latest on these
protests. In Sacramento, California we have Service Employees
International Union President, Mary Kay Henry with tonight. In Milwaukee,
Wisconsin we have Jennifer Epps-Addison, the Executive Director of
Wisconsin Jobs Now.
And then Raleigh, North Carolina we have the Reverend Doctor William
Barber, President of the North Carolina NAACP, great to have all of you
with us this evening. Jennifer, let`s start with you. What can you tell
us about what unfolded today in the protest in Milwaukee?
A Congresswoman, Gwen Moore gets arrested. But tell us about what you saw
and what this was all about in the minds of these workers who are willing
to put their jobs on the line?
JENNIFER EPPS-ADDISON, WISCONSIN JOBS NOW: Well Ed, you know, only in
Wisconsin can you both get soaking wet and sun burn at the same time, and
that exactly what happened here in Milwaukee today, where we saw hundreds
of workers all across the state of Wisconsin in 14 different cities across
our state. Walk off the jobs for $15 an hour and the right to form a
They participated in nonviolence civil disobedience. In fact we had 32
workers arrested across the state. And as you stated earlier, one
congresswoman all for the same goal, we`re proud to join the 150 cities
across this great county of ours who are standing up and fighting for the
SCHULTZ: Mary Kay, what did today`s protest in Sacramento look like? What
MARY KAY HENRY, SEIU PRESIDENT: I started with the Sacramento workers and
marched from one store to another and witnessed eight brave fast food
leaders from the Sacramento organization sit in the middle of the street,
their hand shaking and then holding hands together as they were blessed by
clergy member who honored the incredible work they are doing to get $15 and
a unions so that they can have more money to spend in their communities.
Buy hardware store, groceries, maybe even get their hair done as Reverend
talked about with them at the fast food convention. So that our
communities can start to grow and thrive by having more money in worker`s
pockets, and get the economy roaring again from inside out.
SCHULTZ: Reverend Barber, tell us what`s happening in North Carolina.
WILLIAM BARBER, NORTH CAROLINA NAACP PRESIDENT: Well, there were hundreds
of people there Ed. And as I was leaving to come here for the show,
actually people are still being arrested. Many of the fast food workers
have been a part of the Moral Monday movement that they`ve been inspired
And in fact, there`s more than we talked about it. Being a Moral movement,
you know, from Deuteronomy to Jeremiah to Matthew to James. One of the
most predominant themes in the scripture is the railing against low-wages.
It is against those who would rob workers of their wages.
These young people understand that, they understand it`s a part of civil
rights movement. They understand that they are part of a new movement in
America. And they understand they`re fighting two battles. One Ed, is
against greedy business leaders who would, you know, make 1,200 times more
than the average worker. But the other is against these extremist
politicians like Thom Tillis (inaudible), who has actually said, raising
the minimum wage is a dangerous idea.
And who also denied Medicaid expansion so -- and many of these workers
can`t even get Medicaid expansion like Christopher Price (ph) who has
cancer, can`t buy -- afford insurance, denied Medicaid expansion as a fast
food worker. They understand this is a fight for their lives and for the
soul of this country.
SCHULTZ: May Kay Henry, the National Restaurant Association is making a
claim that these protest basically are an attempt to boast dwindling union
membership in America, you`re response to that?
HENRY: I think it`s an insult to the incredible courage that these workers
have shown over the past 20 months Ed. And today, nonviolence civil
disobedience, we have many workers across this country for the first time
in their lives made the courageous decision to take an arrest even though
they`ve been told by family members to not mess with the police and never
And so, I think it minimizes the incredible movement that`s been growing
across this country of workers who are determined to improve their lives so
they can improve the future for their kids and strengthen their
communities. And we`re really proud that home care workers joined today in
the fight for $15. And I think we`re going to see this movement grow and
grow and grow, as you said at the beginning here of this show tonight.
SCHULTZ: Jennifer, what about the organization. I mean, was this really
grassroots or did the unions put this together. I mean, I know that the
culture of Wisconsin is people love to get out and tell it like it in the
streets. I mean, we know that. But I mean, down to the ground level. Did
-- social media played a big role in all of this didn`t it?
EPPS-ADDISON: Absolutely, workers are frending (ph) each other, they`re
giving people information on Facebook, on Twitter. But look, this is real
organizing and it is incredible to watch it. Last night we had workers in
the office past 11:00 calling their Co-workers, going out to store that are
open, you know, till 2:00 A.M. talking to folks about coming out on strike
They put their blood, sweet, and tears into this movement. And it`s not
selfish movement. As Reverend Barbara said, this really is a movement
about the future of America. And these workers are standing up not just
for themselves but for all of us who believe in a strong middle class and
believe that anybody who works hard should have a fair shot at the American
It`s incredible to watch and I can only imagine where it`s going to go from
here, as more and more workers see that people are willing to put their
bodies on the line to win this victory.
SCHULTZ: I like to hear you say it Mary Kay Henry, answer this question.
Can this industry afford to pay $15 an hour and I know the answer to that
but I want to hear you describe exactly how wealthy this industry is and
how depressed these wages are.
HENRY: In a heartbeat, this industry could raise wages to $15 an hour and
still earn profits and CEOs could be comfortable. But, billion of dollars
are being made every year in this industry Ed and there`s not reason why
McDonalds, Wendy`s, and Burger King can`t do in the United States of
America what they`ve done for workers in Australia who earn $19 an hour,
workers in Denmark who earn $22 an hour.
It`s a decision that can be made and we are proud to support these workers
and be a part of a coalition with Jennifer and Reverend Barber, to support
this worker`s incredible courage and to make sure this movement grows until
they achieve $15 and a union.
SCHULTZ: Reverent Barber, what`s next? I mean 436 people arrested today,
what`s next? What`s the next step to keep the pressure on lawmakers to
make a change here?
BARBER: Well, like the Monday movement here, it has to be sustained. We
have to continue -- it can`t just be one rally, it`s got to be continued.
And we got to continue to press this issue -- also the civil rights and
race side of it, you know, why is that in other country as Mary Kay said,
you have this higher wages but here, where many of your fast food workers
are minority. You want to keep this very, very low wages. That is a
serious and now is that much to be done.
Also, we need to look at -- in this fight, many of these business have get
federal contracts. The civil rights act, the `64 said, you can`t get
federal money and then operate in a discriminatory way. And I think we
need to examine the discrimination that`s going on in terms of wages and in
terms of raise.
The final thing Ed, is this past week we did three days with labor unions
on Labor Day, they call it Moral Labor Day. And this is happening in the
south, that is why one of the thing, so important, we cannot, not fight the
fight for labor in the south. Take a look at state like North Carolina
where the administration is now more anti work and anti labor than ever.
If you battle in the south, you can win, we can win in all of America and
that`s what`s next.
We got to move this all over the country and we got to support these young
people and others who are fighting for this living wages, this is right
thing, it`s the right time, and we have to do it right now.
SCHULTZ: Reverent Barber, do these workers know the dynamic that`s playing
out in Washington? There is a political party. Their stated position is,
do not raise the minimum wage. Their stated position by some of the
lawmakers on the Republican side is to get rid of the minimum wage all
together to abolish it. And for change to take place, I mean how active do
you think these Americans are going to be to bring that change and to do
what has to be done on Election Day?
BARBER: Well, I think that`s one of the unique, this is about this crew
but they`re very astute. They understand that yes, you do the civil
disobedience but you`re going to also have to engage at the ballot box.
They are very clear and what -- if the extremist who happen to be
Republican have done one thing, they have awakened people.
Whether it`s in congress or whether as I said, it`s Thom Tillis who`s
running for the senate, he -- who calls minimum wage are raising a
dangerous idea, or whether it`s government who signed off on all kinds of
legislation from denying Earned Income Tax Credit to unemployment benefits,
hurting and attacking workers.
I watched the fast food workers sitting in Thom Tillis`s office for 12
hours and be a arrested along with clergy. They are very clear. This is a
political fight. It`s an economic fight. It`s a business fight. It`s a
moral fight and it`s a fight that has to be fought and won.
SCHULTZ: Will there be more protest like this Mary Kay Henry?
HENRY: Absolutely. These workers, each in every time, they gather
together city by city, community by community. They take stock of the
impact they`ve made, based on today`s action and then they convene as a
national committee and call for what they need to be doing next.
And each in everyday, they do what Reverend Barber said. They continue to
organize and build their city, community, and link arms with partner so
that everybody understands that we are getting stronger and more powerful
each in everyday because we intend not to stop until we win. And once we
win for fast food workers we`re going to win for home care workers and
child care workers and people all across the service economy, because it`s
the fastest growing...
HENRY: ... part of the American economy. And Reverent Barber is right.
It is an economy that segregated by race and sex. And when we raise wages
and build permanent organization we`re going to be able to challenge all of
the obstacles that stand in the way of equal opportunity for everyone in
SCHULTZ: Well, it`s going to be interesting because, you know, I equate
this to the Occupy Wall Street. I don`t know how much they actually got
accomplish but one thing they did was that they changed the focus and they
change the conversation in this country. And I think that -- to get more
Americans focused on the economic injustice that`s being played out on
workers can only be a positive.
So I want to turn to our viewers tonight. Get your cellphones out. I want
to know what you think. Tonight`s question, "Should any American who has a
job live in poverty? Text A for yes, text B for no to 67622, you can leave
a comment on the story on our blog in ed.msnbc.com.
We`ll bring you the results later on in the show. I have a feeling that
this story is not going to go away anytime soon. I`m sure lawmakers went
home and heard a lot about all of this.
Mary Kay Henry, Jennifer Epps-Addison, and Reverent William Barber, great
to have with us tonight here on the Ed Show, we`ll do it again. Coming up,
the jury delivers a guilty verdict for Bob and Maureen McDonnell. The
Rapid Response panel will have all the latest details in what they are now
But first, recess is over for the members of congress. Now it`s time to
give the American people workers a raise. Congressman Elijah Cummings and
Jim McDermott join me. Stay with us. We`ll be right back on the Ed Show
SCHULTZ: What`s hot what`s not? Time now for Trenders. Keep in touched
with us on twitter@edshow and then wegoted. Like us on Facebook. You can
get my podcast 24/7 at wegoted.com, rawstory.com, ringoffireradio.com, and
of course on iTunes free. You can access it 24/7.
Ed Show social media nation has decided. We are reporting. Here are
today`s top trenders voted on by you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: The number three trender, a cut above.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The family of a man who died after having a heart
attack while mowing the lawn is being comforted by an act of kindness.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re all fighting over who can push the mower first.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Texas Firefighters go viral for their good deed.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just couldn`t believe they took the time to, you
know, to do that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The gesture was captured in this photo, taken by a
neighbor in Baytown, Texas.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just something to help someone out in, you know, the
worst time of their life.
JEANA BLACKFORD, MCCORMICK`S DAUGHTER: People still do random acts of
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The number two trender, A-OK.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A baby wasn`t even born yet, is already a huge hit on
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I won`t let him go unless you want to make medical
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This ultrasound image, the baby seem flashing look
closely, a thumbs up sign in the womb.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You should let go cuter, right?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Keep it on the oven.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A baby`s first picture gets a big thumbs up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some are calling the baby Fonzie fetus after Henry
Winkler`s character on Happy Days.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And today`s top trender, top dollar.
OBAMA: Republicans in Congress love to say no.
REP. JOHN BOEHNER, (R-OH), HOUSE SPEAKER: Raising the minimum wage
OBAMA: They oppose almost everything.
SCHULTZ: The minimum wage takes top billing as Congress returns from
OBAMA: I`m not asking for the moon, I just want a good deal for American
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, (R) KENTUCKY: The last thing we want to do right now
is to be killing jobs.
SEN. TOM HARKIN, (D) IOWA: Who`s going to vote to give these good people a
fair shot of the American dream, and who`s going to vote against this?
SCHULTZ: A wage hike would impact 28 million Americans.
OBAMA: And I think, eventually, Congress is going to hear...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found that
American strongly supported higher minimum wage.
OBAMA: The only thing more powerful than an idea whose time has come is
when millions of people are organizing around an idea whose time has come.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: We are joined tonight here on the Ed Show, Congressman Elijah
Cummings of Maryland and also Congressman Jim McDermott of Washington,
gentlemen, great to have you with us tonight.
REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS, (D) MARYLAND: Good to be with you Ed.
REP. JIM MCDERMOTT, (D) WASHINGTON: Good to be with you.
SCHULTZ: How do you get, mission accomplished on this when you have the
stated position of the Speaker Of The House to say that it`s going to kill
jobs, we`re not going to do it? Representative Cummings, What`s the game
plan to make this thing happen?
CUMMINGS: Well first of all, I think what happened today is very
significant because we need an inside, outside game. In other words, we
have to have people in the outside of Congress, pushing Congress and
letting folks know how unfair this wage situation in our country is. I
think Jim will agree with me. We`d just got to keep, trying to push these
folks along but they are pretty stock, as you well know Ed.
The Republicans -- they don`t want to do anything that`s going to help the
worker, and going to increase the wages. They don`t want to do anything
like that. And so, again, I don`t want people to underestimate what
happened today. When people put their bodies on the line, go to jail and
are saying enough is enough. That says a lot, not only to the leaders of
Congress but all the members.
And hopefully it`ll do something in the future but -- and I`m not that
optimistic about Congress. And one thing, we do also have to keep in mind
is that these very actions helped push a lot of state legislatures to do
the right thing. Maryland and Washington, I know have been very
significant -- made significant changes.
SCHULTZ: And those states have added jobs. So...
CUMMINGS: And it added jobs.
SCHULTZ: ... Congressman McDermott, you know, the same old play book is
being put out in front of us by the Republicans that it`s a job killer when
it`s proven not to be. And the key is your colleagues over in the Senate
say that they could bring up the minimum wage for a vote again as early as
next week. Do you think that has a shot and would that change anything in
the house Jim?
MCDERMOTT: You know Ed, I saw this thing begin in a little town here in
Washington State called SeaTac, the city council put on the ballot of $15
minimum wage and it passed. And suddenly, the Seattle City Council which
is about 10 times or 50 times bigger suddenly put that on their agenda and
now, we have a $15 wage coming up, gradually increasing (ph) over the next
It`s starting from the grassroots, and as the grassroots -- as Elijah says,
as a grassroots stir it up, the members of Congress coming back and they`re
facing in election in less than 60 days and some place on the road,
somebody is going to say them, why don`t want to raise a minimum wage? The
living wage in Seattle is $16.10 an hour. If you`re going to have a living
wage, we`re only up to $8.15 with our raise. And the Congress is doing
nothing and they are going to feel the heat from the people, from the
things you`re showing on your show today.
SCHULTZ: Well, do you think Congressman McDermott that what unfolded today
could be a game changer?
MCDERMOTT: Absolutely. I think if that starts and rolls across the
country for the next month, you`ll find a Senate wanting to put it out,
just so they can say, we tried and they`ll put it out there and they`ll
come over to the house and I wouldn`t be surprise if the house passed some
miserable little change from $7.70 which is now maybe to $7.75. I mean,
they`ll want to say they did something.
They`re not going to run for election at a time when the wage inequality is
so obvious that they haven`t done anything.
CUMMINGS: You know Ed...
SCHULTZ: So Congressman Cummings -- yes...
CUMMINGS: ... you know, increasing the minimum wage actually helps
everybody, it helps our economy, it helps folk to be able to take care of
their families, and then those folks who are getting the minimum wage or
less than a minimum wage now, they don`t have to depend on government so
much. And so, you know, it just simply makes sense.
SCHULTZ: Well -- no, it`s not, it`s not killing jobs anywhere. That`s the
amazing thing about this, is that these Republicans cannot come up with any
data that shows, "Well, this is where they raise the minimum wage and this
is what happen to workers in the state, municipality, or in the community".
Over a dozen states and several cities have raised the minimum wage. So
you got that on the local level being proven to be positive. You`ve got
these protests today but, Congressman Cummings you got Election Day coming
up. How do you turn this energy in the change?
CUMMINGS: Well, we got to keep the pressure up. We cannot let this be a
one or two day event. I think we`re going to have to continue to do this,
these protest and letting -- again, the congress see exactly what people
are willing to do to have their wages increase. And understand these
people are not looking for (inaudible), they`re trying to get maybe some
hamburger or trying to take their kid to the nearest amusement park as
opposed to Disney World.
They`re just trying to survive and get along and hopefully thrive. The
middle class is without a doubt shrinking. The rich are getting richer and
the poor are getting poorer. And so, I think -- and by the way Ed, this is
a moral issue as reverend said a little bit earlier. It is without a
doubt. I mean we got people working harder and working nine-to-five just
to stay alive and longer.
SCHULTZ: Don`t you gentleman think that -- Jim, you first on this that
this is all about the Employee Free Choice Act, I mean today was not about
$15 an hour. Today was about the right to be able to join a union and get
a voice in the work place to have some representation which the old model
of America is, when you`ve got a lot of people doing the same job,
somebody`s got to speak up for these workers. And then now, they`re
willing to speak for themselves, but isn`t this about the Employee Free
Choice Act of some sorts, Jim?
MCDERMOTT: There`s absolutely no question Ed. That`s what it`s really
about. This country has seen organized labor, the organize section go down
dramatically in the years that I`ve been in politics. In Seattle it`s
dropped about almost to a third to what it was when I started in 1977. And
you cannot look at this and say that we`re going to get anywhere unless we
start organizing again.
Individuals get picked off alone, but you don`t get picked off if you`re
part of a group, and that`s really what organization and unions is all
about is. We stick together for the common good. We fight together for
everybody`s rights and that`s -- that`s what has to happen, and that`s what
people are going on strike to just saying, "I had enough. I`m getting
picked off by myself. I`m going to stay within my brothers".
SCHULTZ: And Congressman Cummings, your thoughts on that as we close.
CUMMINGS: Unions, you know, in my committee, oversight in government
reform, I`d say 50 percent of our hearings have some type of (ph) tax on
unions. There`s an effort to destroy unions and one of the reasons why
that is, is because of what Jim just said.
CUMMINGS: If they can destroyed a union they can destroyed the leverage.
And so, we`re going to have to keep fighting and we will keep fighting.
SCHULTZ: All right. Congressman Elijah Cummings, Congressman Jim
McDermott, great to have both of you with us tonight. Keep up the fight.
We can sure count on you guys.
Coming up, we have breaking news. A verdict has been reached on the trial
of Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell. Plus a legendary -- TV legend
Joan Rivers has past away at the age of 81, John Fugelsang joins me to
discuss her life and legacy.
Next, your questions. Ask ED Live coming up on the Ed Show on MSNBC.
We`ll be right back.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show, appreciate all the questions, love
hearing from our viewers. Tonight ion our Ask Ed Live segment, our first
question, and I believe our only question is from Steve. "Who`s your pick
for tonight`s game? Packers or Defending Super Bowl champions, the Seattle
Well, considering the fact that I think everybody can respect the run that
the Seattle Seahawks made last year, and that they`re very strong in home,
their season opener and, they`re like 15-1 at home for the last two years.
But then there is this Aaron Rodgers and there`s this Jordy Nelson and
there`s this devious (ph) Packer defense, Packers tonight.
They opened up the season with a big three on the road. This is the year
for the Packers. I`m for the Packers this year. Stick around, Rapid
Response Panel is next.
SUE HERRERA, CNBC MARKET WRAP: I know I love Ed (ph). I`m a Packers fan,
too. I am Sue Herrera with your CNBC Market Wrap.
Early gains faded on Wall Street leaving stocks lower on the day. The Dow
fell 8 points, S&P off 3, the NASDAQ shed 10 points.
The private sector added 204,000 jobs last month, that`s according to
payroll processor ADP, that was weaker than Forecast. Meanwhile, filings
for weekly jobless claims rose by 4,000 to 302,000, slightly more than
expected. The government releases it`s closely watched employment data
tomorrow. And economists expect payrolls to rise by 220,000.
And that`s it from CNBC. We are first in business worldwide. We`ll be
back in a moment.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show. Former Virginia Governor Bob
McDonnell was once the rising star of the GOP. He was picked to counter
President Obama`s State of the Union Address in 2009.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FRM. GOV. BOB MCDONNELL, (R) VIRGINIA: Some people say they`re afraid that
America is no longer the great land of promise that she has always been.
They should not be. America will always blaze the trail of opportunity and
prosperity. America will -- must always be a land where liberty and
property are valued and respected and innocent life is protected.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: McDonnell was even mentioned as a possible running mate for Mitt
Romney in 2012. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Here`s Bob McDonald
walking out of court today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Anything to say for all of Virginians watching out
MCDONNELL: I just -- all I can say is my trust remains in the Lord and,
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: McDonnell was found guilty on 11 of 13 corruption charges against
him. His wife, Maureen McDonnell, was found guilty of 9 of 13. The couple
was accused of selling McDonnell`s officer over a 24-month period in
exchange for about $170,000 in gifts, cash in no-document loans from a
Virginia vitamin salesman.
Lawyers for the defense argued Bob McDonnell`s marriage to his wife,
Maureen, was falling apart at that time. The couple could face up to 30
years in federal prison. Sentencing is set for January 6th 2015. For the
discussion, let me bring in Virginia Congressman Jim Moran with us tonight.
Also Ring of Fire radio host and America`s attorney, Mike Papantonio, and
MSNBC Political Analyst Jonathan Alter, great to have both -- all three of
you with us tonight, gentlemen.
This is unfortunate and I don`t know if Citizens United is walking some
politicians down this road. But, Pap, you first tonight, how hard was it
to get a conviction. Your speculation on this and what is the couple
facing right now?
MIKE PAPANTONIO, HOST, "RING OF FIRE HOST": After the jury instruction
portion of the trial, I believe the best chance of the McDonnells has --
had, it was hung jury. In 30 years, I`ve never seen an arduous jury
instruction preceding like I saw there. You saw the defense simply request
every possible instruction conceivable, kind of instruction pile along.
They gave the capacity, confuse the jury and create this uncertain -- it`s
a tactic. But the prosecution in this case did such a textbook phenomenal
job in their attack that the case was virtually over. I say Ed, by day
four, my guess is that the cumulative quality of the way the evidence was
presented was like a drip-drip acid torture for the McDonnells.
Huge money was spread around between members of the governor`s family,
50,000 here, 20,000 there, 50,000 here, another 15,000. It was as if
Jonnie Williams was the Governor`s personal ATM, iPhones, golf shoes,
designer clothes, use of Ferrari sports cars, boat vacations, range rover
vehicles, and then the outlandish story that was almost comical coming from
the governor himself.
Understand McDonnell was on the witness stand 27 hours and the prosecution
clearly saw that he -- the longer he`s on the stand, the stronger their
case grew. It only takes a few ridiculous awkward lies coming from the
defendant to blow it. The Governor did that, he unloaded such crazy talk
on the stand that no jury could simply...
PAPANTONIO: ... overlooked. And so I think it all, it`s starting going
bad, day 4.
SCHULTZ: OK. Congressman Moran, did you ever in your wildest dreams think
that the Governor was capable of this and are you surprised by what has
unfolded? He stands a guilty man tonight?
REP. JIM MORAN, (D) VIRGINIA: It`s a shock, and it`s saddening really.
Bob McDonnell was a Christian conservative but not the kind of closed-
minded, mean spirited one we sometimes see in self-righteous people. He
was a decent guy. But to some extent this is a bit of shade (ph) and fraud
(ph). You know, his wife was consistently mistreated staff in the
Governor`s Mansion, particularly her own staff.
And oftentimes that kind of thing comes around to bite you, and in this
case, it did. You know, you don`t want to blame the wife. Bob obviously
is responsible for this but I`m not sure if Maureen was really into the
policy nature or really recognized at the role of a first lady to the
extent that it requires a set (ph) and level of responsibility and
She wasn`t necessarily cut out for the job. She was a Redskin`s
cheerleader back at their younger days, not that there`s anything wrong
with that, but I`m not sure that`s the best preparation to be first lady.
I think she got a little greedy and she was in particularly this one (ph).
Some of my friends in the defense and technology industry have told me of
awkward moments when they felt she was positioning herself to get some free
gifts from them.
Unfortunately, they showed better judgment. Jonnie Williams, because --
basically, Williams is a huckster and...
MORAN: ... it`s unfortunate that, you know, they -- the McDonnell met up
with him and were so taken in by him because the product he was selling was
really of no value, so that -- I think contributed to it as well. One
other irony Ed, Virginia doesn`t have any campaign limits. So, if this
money have been contributed to his campaign, it wouldn`t have been a
problem. But these are all personal gifts and Bob must have...
MORAN: ... recognized that. It really is kind of inexplicable.
SCHULTZ: Jonathan Alter, what changes this on moving forward. I mean
we`ve seen other politicians go to jail, Rod Blagojevich, the Governor of
Illinois just a few years ago. What changes this? What can be done? A
better scrutiny? How do we do it?
ALTER: Well, I think we do need, you know, better scrutiny. I mean one of
the problems that we have in this country is that because of changes in the
media, there`s a very little reporting out of state capitals. And many
reporters are so busy, you know, blogging all day or doing other kinds of
things that they don`t really get in there and dig.
What`s astonishing to me about this case, Ed, is that, you know, in 2009
you showed the clip, I actually would have predicted that Bob McDonnell
would be the Republican nominee for President in 2012. That`s how
impressive a candidate he looked to be and how strong...
ALTER: ... and formidable Governor of Virginia he was. And yet we know
nothing about him. Here`s a guy who could do the sleaziest kinds of
things, you know, take gifts that he knows are corrupt and yet he wasn`t...
ALTER: ... that far away from the real powers. So we don`t know a lot
about these politicians. We think we know them because we see them on
T.V., but we need investigative reporting before the prosecutors get
involved to find out...
ALTER: ... whether is this kind of malfeasant. Just one quick thing, I
mean, we talked about him not having his wife, you know, his wife staff
being a problem. At one point in his testimony...
ALTER: ... the governor said, I didn`t have "The skills set to deal with
her abuse of here staff". If you didn`t have the skills set to deal with
that kind of abuse going on in his own administration, he had no business
being a Governor of Virginia much less a plausible candidate for President.
SCHULTZ: McDonnell turned a plea deal path, an offer to face one felony,
spare his wife any charges and avoid a trial, in the light of this verdict,
what was he thinking?
PAPANTONIO: Well, exactly, you know, that the -- it was overwhelming.
Look this prosecution when they did -- this was is brilliant. The
prosecution knew they had this case won they held Williams back, the key
witness back for a battle (ph), had zero reason to lie, zero reason not to
tell the reason because he had been given immunity...
PAPANTONIO: ... and then they watch Jonnie Williams unload on the crazy
talk that was coming from the Governor. And you know what? I have very
little sympathy for this governor. As you listen to what was coming out of
William`s mouth, he said, look, very clear, "I needed access to the
cabinet, I got it. This was a business decision and this guy delivered,
very ugly story.
SCHULTZ: OK. Congressman Jim Moran, Mike Papantonio, Jonathan Alter,
great to have you, gentlemen with us tonight, I appreciate your time on
Coming up, looking back at the life of legendary comedian Joan Rivers.
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Coming up tomorrow night on the Ed Show, the nearly six-year
debate over the Keystone XL Pipeline will reach another crossroads. The
Nebraska State Supreme Court is said to begin hearing arguments tomorrow.
We will be talking to Nebraska residents who were fighting for their land
and their livelihood. Be sure to tune in Friday. We`ll be right back.
SCHULTZ: And breaking news from the entertainment world tonight, comedian
Joan Rivers has died at the age of 81. On Wednesday, she was taken out of
intensive care and moved into a private room. She was being treated in
Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.
Rivers was hospitalized following a report in complications during a throat
surgery on August 28. The 81-year-old comedian and host of E! Network`s
fashion show Fashion Police reportedly stopped breathing during a minor
endoscopic procedure. With more on her life and legacy, here is NBC`s
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LESTER HOLT, NBC NIGHTLY NEWS: Joan Rivers never pulled a punch.
JOAN RIVERS, AMERICAN PERSONALITY: Can we go up. She was a tramp.
HOLT: Or a punch line, even when it was saying that herself.
RIVERS: I went in to store today, I said, "What do you got to go with
suit?" She gave me a bottle of cheap wine...
HOLT: Her blunt, often bolder...
RIVERS: She and Gwyneth Paltrow is the world`s most beautiful woman...
HOLT: And yes, sometimes, mean observations of life and celebrities
propelled a comic career that`s been more than half a century.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This tremendous work ethic. So, everything that she
got in life, she really earned it, and she earned it the old-fashioned way.
HOLT: She was born in Brooklyn as Joan Molinsky, the daughter of Russian
immigrants and drawn to performing at an early age. Her big break was in
1965 when she was discovered by Johnny Carson. For 20 years, she would be
a frequent guest and guest host on NBC`s The Tonight Show.
RIVERS: They authorized tank and you are the first one to say, "You`re
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.
HOLT: But their friendship abruptly ended in 1986 when she agreed to host
her own late night show competing against Carson on Fox. A moment Rivers
vividly described in the 2010 documentary, "Joan Rivers, A Piece of Work".
RIVERS: The first person I called was Johnny Carson. He slammed the phone
down. I called him again. He slammed it down again and never spoke to me
HOLT: Her show lasted just eight months. Not long after, her husband of
22 years, Edgar Rosenberg, committed suicide. Saddled with death and an
uncertain future, Rivers reinvented herself as an entertainment
commentator. With daughter, Melissa, she pioneered the Live Red Carpet
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can say that Joan Rivers is really a legend of the
Red Carpet for sure. Nobody butchered more names than Joan Rivers and had
more fun doing it.
HOLT: We spoke about it during this 2012 interview.
Most awkward moment of the red carpet?
RIVERS: Where I asked Anthony Hopkins, is this young mother?
HOLT: Don`t tell me...
RIVERS: And it`s his wife. Yes.
How beautiful is this watch.
HOLT: From the Red Carpet, she became a celebrity QBC pitch woman. She
also hosted Fashion Police on E! and costarred in her own reality show.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mom, get me the car.
RIVERS: I will, all right.
HOLT: Joan Rivers was also a woman of many faces. Her love of plastic
surgery was well-known and she owned it.
RIVERS: I`d rather be a good-looking corpse than look like some of the
people I saw at my class reunion.
HOLT: She was also no stranger to controversy.
RIVERS: You know, the Germans killed six million Jews, you can`t fix
JIMMY FALLON, AMERICAN ACTOR: All right. Welcome back to the network,
HOLT: Joan`s long exiled from The Tonight Show ended in early 2014 when
new host Jimmy Fallon brought her on the show.
FALLON: I have a photo of you. This is you and Red (ph) in this same
studio in 1965.
RIVERS: He said, God bless him, "You`re going to be a star".
HOLT: And Johnny Carson was right. Joan Rivers` star burned brightly
right up until the end. She hated an empty calendar, and when she wasn`t
on T.V., she was still performing stand-off.
RIVERS: I love performing. I love when the audience kisses you. I`m so
happy to have people I can laugh with.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Joining me tonight, John Fugelsang, political commentator and
T.V. host and a man who has done a lot of stand-off comedy in his career.
John, good to have you with us tonight, how do we remember this unique
woman -- her career unparalleled? When I think of her industry longevity,
I mean she just had a way to keep going. Your thoughts.
JOHN FUGELSANG, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, TV HOST: Well, I hope people will
stop thinking of her as a pioneer, because Joan hated being called a
pioneer. She really wanted to be someone who is still relevant. She
didn`t want to be hailed for the advances she made. She wanted to keep on
working and keep on making more advancements.
And we know so many artists who don`t want to be seen doing work they
consider beneath them, but Joan was somebody who was all about the work.
When you ask yourself how many comedians you know in their 80s, who are
still household names who are men -- among women, I mean, she`s such an
anomaly. And I really learned a lot form Joan.
I had the pleasure of working with her quite a bit several years ago. I
grew up being a fan of her o I love watching her host the Emmys with Eddie
Murphy. I didn`t really care for the fashion stuff and the red carpet
stuff. And then I took a job doing a pop culture comedy talk show a few
seasons back. I was burned on politics.
They send me to some award shows to tell jokes on the red carpet and
suddenly I`m working with Joan. And, it was amazing because I don`t know
if Joan really cared about celebrities or fashion or red carpet events.
Joan cared about doing the work and she taught a lot about humility and
about getting out there and not turning down jobs because you feel they`re
beneath you, but about keeping yourself moving forward and she`s a really
great example of aging on your own terms doing what you love.
SCHULTZ: Well, John you worked with her together at that T.V. Guide
Network and what stands out the most about her? I mean, what you saw is
what you got, she was that person?
FUGELSANG: Well, sure, I mean, you know, I really feel bad that a lot of
people of this generation are only going to know Joan for the plastic
surgery and for the home shopping shows in the red carpet events and not
her as a performing artist. I encourage everybody to go on YouTube and
watch her with Carson, watch her on Ed Sullivan.
Definitely watch that movie, a piece of work, and if you get a chance, try
and catch the episode of Louie that she appeared on playing herself on F.X.
a couple of seasons ago because it`s just beautiful. She was someone of
uncommon intelligence. Yes, she went too far. She was very mean. She
crossed a lot of lines I wouldn`t cross and I actually had a lot of people
who were mad at me for saying nice things about her today because of her
FUGELSANG: ... about Palestinians. But the fact is the artist`s job is
not to make you feel good. The artist job is to make you feel
uncomfortable. Joan did it and she made a lot of people laugh...
SCHULTZ: All right.
FUGELSANG: ... she`s making God laugh now.
SCHULTZ: John Fugelsang, good to have you with us tonight. Thanks so
FUGELSANG: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: That`s the Ed Show, I`m Ed Schultz.
PoliticsNation with Reverend Al Sharpton starts right now. Good evening,
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