The Ed Show for Thursday, January 15th, 2015
Read the transcript to the Thursday show
THE ED SHOW
January 15, 2015
Guest: Rick Herrero, Ana Rivas Logan, Bob Shrum, Nina Turner, Jim
ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC HOST: Good morning Americans and welcome to the Ed Show
tonight live from New York.
Breaking news out of Belgium this evening, two people are dead after a
police counter-terrorism raid at the town of Verviers in eastern Belgium.
Another suspect was injured and detained, no civilians or police we`re
harmed during the operation. Local media reported gunshots and several
explosions we`re heard on the residential street. The operation was
reportedly intended to check on suspected radicals. Specifically people
believed to have returned to the country after taking part in the Syrian
Belgian authorities held a press conference earlier today and told
reporters why police we`re forced to take swift action.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIC VAN DER SYPT, BELGIAN PROSECUTOR: During the investigation, we found
that this group was about to commit terrorist attacks in Belgium. During
the search warrants in Verviers, certain suspects immediately opened fire
with automatic weapons at specific forces of the police that opened fired
during several minutes before being neutralized. The investigation is
still going on and you will understand that we cannot give any further
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Although Muslim Belgians make up only 4-6 percent of the
country`s population, Belgium has faced a significant uptick in radical
Islamic activity. More than 350 Belgians have gone to Syria to join groups
like ISIS. That`s the highest number per capita among European countries.
Earlier this week, we learned a Belgian arms dealer was responsible for
supplying most of the weapons used by the gunmen who perpetuated the
attacks in Paris last week. The dealer turned himself in to authorities on
Tuesday. Today`s events only heightened concerns about security in Europe.
For more on all of these unfolding at this hour, we turn to NBC News` Katy
Tur, Katy what is the latest?
KATY TUR, NBC CORRESPONDENT: The latest is much of what you just said.
The emergency press conference a few hours ago confirmed that two are dead
and one have been -- one person was injured in a terrorist raid on an
apartment in the town of Verviers. Now police say that when they initially
approached the building that they we`re immediately open fired on. They
said they we`re using what they`re calling war grade weapons, machine-guns
Now they had been allegedly surveilling this group for about a week since
they returned from Syria and then decided to move in at this point because
they felt like they we`re as you`ve said an imminent treat. Now witnesses
say they heard one big loud explosion followed by a rapid succession
gunfire, machine-guns telling -- much like fireworks would sound, followed
by even more explosions. They we`re told to run, take cover and then to
stay inside their homes.
In the aftermath of it all, which you`re seeing in this video right here,
the apartment looks like it was on fire. Now police didn`t talk about any
explosions in that emergency press conference, but they did talk about the
machine-gun fires. It`s unclear if these -- people inside the building,
these suspects detonated some sort of explosion themselves or if police
fired something in there that detonated before the machine-gun fire broke
out. That is unclear as of now. They`re going to have another news
conference tomorrow morning at 11:00 local time, that`s about 5:00 A.M.
Hopefully there`s going to be a little bit more detail as to exactly what
happened, who the suspects we`re, whether or not they we`re male or female.
And who the person is that they injured and how many people they have under
arrest right now. We are hearing that there are more immanent arrest being
made as we speak overnight, they`re still conducting certain raids and
They didn`t want to go into much detail about it. Obviously they didn`t
want to get any of their operations away. But there we`re 10 raids done in
10 different houses across Belgium at the same time. Very much on high
alert there as you we`re talking about. They have the highest per capita
number of foreign fighters going to Syria and Iraq, hundreds of people that
are out there right now. So they are already on high alert before this.
And after the Paris attacks, many countries across Europe have now been
starting to surveil the people that have been coming back from Syria to
make sure they aren`t going to plan a similar style attack. They do
believe -- they`re saying at least that they believe they we`re able to
stop a Charlie Hebdo style attack in Belgium with the raid in this
particular house. It`s unclear at the moment if there`s any connection
between these suspects and the attackers in Paris.
They`re looking into that right now, certainly investigating if there was
any contact between any of these people in the months or days, weeks
leading up to the Paris attacks and then to what they`re planning over
here. Now, according to the Le Figaro the Paris newspaper, their sources
are saying that between 6 in 10 young people in this town Verviers fought
in Syria in the last few months. And that`s part of the reason why there
is such a high level of tension in that area.
And they want to really make sure that they are doing what they can to stop
anything from happening in the future. But, it`s just a fluid situation at
the moment. They are going to be conducting more arrest in the overnight
hours, potentially through tomorrow. And hopefully we`ll get a little bit
more detail as to exactly what`s going on, come this morning news
SCHULTZ: All right, Katy Tur reporting tonight from London with NBC News.
Thank you Katy, I appreciate it very much.
Joining me now is Steve Clemons, MSNBC contributor and editor-at-large for
"The Atlantic". What do you make of all of these tonight Mr. Clemons?
STEVEN CLEMONS, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: I tell you its really ratcheting things
up. You know, there`s been some criticism of the French government for not
having stepped in as the Belgian authorities had done. But I think people
are forgetting that the French government had disclosed that they had also
foiled a number of other terror attempts. We don`t know what they are but
they did disclose that they we`re already intervening previous to the
Charlie Hebdo attacks.
We had U.S. intelligence shortly after the Hebdo attacks that was disclosed
that said that they saw chatter activating potentially some cells out
there. And so this is the first iteration where what we may have heard in
the U.S. intelligence disclosure was in fact what Belgium took action on.
And there are maybe others out there.
SCHULTZ: Steve, you get a feeling that they`ve infiltrated almost
everywhere, that this is the new genre or terrorism that we`re going to be
dealing with for a long time to come, what`s your sense of that?
CLEMONS: Well, I think that, you know, you definitely see an evolution in,
at least the aspiration of what these groups do. And I think many of your
commentators today have been, you know, correctly right to show and to
remind people the AQAP, the al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in Yemen is
diametrically oppose and at odds with ISIS. But to see these various
groups out there competing with one another to some degree, they are at
odds with each other but they`re each trying to sort of deploy and grab the
international spotlight with complex terror scenarios.
And remember this is not lone wolf stuff of the sort that we`ve been
talking about in Ohio today, in other places. These are well-planed,
financed, complex, multiperson attacks on premier targets. And I think
that`s something that -- it`s just a new big step in the terror game that
we need to sort of see, are our systems resilient enough to take these
shocks. Are our intelligence networks good enough to disrupt these in
This is what we`re seeing today in Belgium, the story is rather good story
because this could have another national -- an international nightmare that
SCHULTZ: This is the best security we have right here, no doubt about it.
CLEMONS: That`s right.
SCHULTZ: What makes Belgium different, why are there so many ISIS recruits
coming out of this country?
CLEMONS: You know, I -- Belgium is a wonderful place, it`s a great place
but, I think that fundamentally what is happening in each of these
societies is that the assimilation machinery that exists across Europe and
you can look in Germany, you can look in Belgium, you can look in France,
you can look in our, you know, very close relationship with the U.K. There
are problems of assimilation across the board. And many of those that
have, have not been well assimilated or those that have been alienated,
they don`t have job prospects, they feel completely disconnected from the
social tracks in that society.
And on the edge of those are those who chose violence or a different way to
kind of pursue their identity. And -- so I don`t think it`s Belgium per
say in any kind of disproportionate amount from any other significant
European country. We may make a lot of the per capita number of people
that have gone over Syria and fight for ISIS, but those numbers are
significant. When you look, you know, a country like Australia that has a
100 or so people that have gone to ISIS and you say, well Australia is kind
of like us to some degree.
You know, we all need to look internally and ask ourselves, what are we
doing to pull the plug on that aspirational element? That they think that
they can, you know, affirm who they are by joining these hoodlums, thugs
and people that are so horrible in the internal community. And I think
that`s something we all need to think about. So don`t want to blame
CLEMONS: ... it`s not that dissimilar from any of the other major European
SCHULTZ: Well, it`s pretty clear that Europe has much stricter gun laws
than the United States does. Yet, all of these groups seem to have been
terribly well-armed, well-equipped to do just about any kind of assault
they want to do. With that, has ISIS use of online propaganda made
recruiting Jihadist easier? Is -- has there been an uptick in their
activity in that regard?
CLEMONS: There`s no doubt that that has been case and there`s no doubt, I
don`t quite get it because the -- the friends and family if you will of
ISIS supporters is such a robust group. You know, when the journalist
James Foley was beheaded and they had just that awful picture that ISIS was
promoting globally around the world, I put a very nice picture of James
Foley out and said, this is the picture that he should be remembered by,
that media should use and what not.
CLEMONS: And it was retweeted tens of thousands of times. But, you had
ISIS social media mavens out basically harassing not only me and
threatening me but threatening people that were out there retweeting.
We`re going to get that capacity, so when you look at their ability to kind
of surf along the networks that we`re all using to, you know, to talk to
our children, to, you know, engage with each other, to share ideas. You
know, there are bad guys in the world surfing the same networks and they
are able to recruit from the fringes of society because of their access to
SCHULTZ: Steven Clemons, "The Atlantic", great to have you with us tonight
CLEMONS: Thank you so much Ed.
SCHULTZ: You bet. Coming up, a new era of U.S.-Cuban relation starts this
week. We`ll tell you what it means for you and what the possibilities are.
And later, a Hollywood hit serves up more awareness to fix the gutted
Voting Rights Act. Stay with us, we`ll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s the dawn of a new day between the U.S. and Cuba.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Starting tomorrow new rules for permitted huge
opening on trade, on credit, on travel.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Opens the door for individuals to hoop a plane for a
vacation or business.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cuba is literally around the corner.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Cuban cigars will be permitted into the United
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Cuban cigars and many other components.
SEN. MARCO RUBIO, (R) FLORIDA: ... the lie and the illusion that more
commerce and access to money and goods will translate to political freedom.
PRES. BARACK OBAMA, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Help the Cuban people help
themselves as they move into the 21st century.
RUBIO: This Congress is not going to lift the embargo.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: It`s interesting Senator Marco Rubio did an interview with
Charlie Rose recently saying that the next Republican presidential
candidate needs to bring the party into the 21st century. But maybe they
should try to get on board with this. There is big news on Cuban-U.S.
relations tonight. The White House announced earlier today a new set of
regulations that will ease decades-old restrictions on Cuba.
It`s the first major step in President Obama`s plan to normalize relations
with that country since he released the details last month. These new
regulations take affect tomorrow. First, Americans will be allowed to
travel to Cuba for any of a dozen specific reasons without a license from
the government. They include education, journalism, artistic and athletic
performances and "Support for the Cuban people". I think that could be
interpreted in a lot of different ways.
Many wonder what impact this will have on Cuban baseball players coming to
play in America. It`s not immediately clear what all these mean for Major
League Baseball, only Congress can lift the embargo and tourism travel
bans. But today moves -- really makes it a lot easier for anyone to travel
Next, airlines will be allowed to service to Cuba without a license. This
is a huge move but it`s going to take time for agencies like the Department
Of Homeland Security to sign off. Here`s the big one, Americans are
allowed to bring back $400 in souvenirs, this includes a $100 worth of
tobacco and alcohol. Officials said today that this will be strictly
enforced. It`s important to note a $100 is not even enough to buy a box of
Cuban cigars but a handful is a pretty good start as I see it.
Travelers can use credit cards in Cuba and banking transactions include for
-- will be included for travel and can be done on credit. Americans can
send up to $2,000 every three months to Cuba instead of the $500 currently
allowed. Telecommunications and Internet linkage can be authorized without
needing a license. U.S. banks will be allowed to do business with Cuban
Cuban will no longer need to pay cash in advance for U.S. shipments. And
this is a big deal, last year the United States government authorized $3
billion worth of agricultural exports for the country, but only $300
million we`re actually exported because of the cash advance role. Now this
means for a huge change for the U.S. grain growers and exporters in their
country and potentially billions of dollars for U.S. farmers. Earlier
today Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker said these changes provide
opportunity for the private sector.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PENNY PRITZKER, U.S. SECRETARY OF COMMERCE: American business are, you
know, very creative and are -- we`re making sure that they`re aware of all
these changes so that they can take advantage of them. We want -- the goal
the President has set out is more engagement, that`s the way the President
and the administration believes that we can affect change with Cuba and
it`s, you know, really exiting for us at the Department of Commerce to play
a significant role.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: The Obama administration is making progress on restoring
diplomatic relations. Next week, Assistant Secretary of State Roberta
Jacobson will travel to Havana, Cuba. She will discuss a broad range of
issues as the state department moves to open an embassy in that country.
The Republican outrage today, well it went pretty quick. Here comes
Florida Senator Marco Rubio releasing a statement saying, "This is s
windfall for the Castro regime that will be used to fund it`s repression
against Cubans as well as its activities against U.S. national interest in
Latin Americans and beyond."
Republicans, I would think like Marco Rubio maybe changing their tone when
the private sector starts racking in the cash. This deal is good for
American business, it`s good for their economy, our economy, it`s good for
the Cuban people and it`s great for cigar smokers. And don`t forget the
Cuban ram, a lot of people like that too. It`s a great start. This is a
21st century move. It`s been too long.
Get your cellphones out. I want to know that you think. Tonight`s
question, would you like to travel to Cuba? Text A for yes, text B for no
to 67622, you can go to our blog at ed.msnbc.com and leave a comment there.
We`ll bring you the results later on.
Joining me tonight Rick Herrero who is the executive director of "Cuba
Now". Also with us tonight former Florida State Representative Ana Rivas
Logan, great to have both of you with us tonight.
FRM. REP. ANA RIVAS LOGAN, FLORIDA: Great to be with you Ed.
RICK HERRERO, CUBA NOW: Thank you for having me.
SCHULTZ: Rick you first, tomorrow. Tomorrow comes pretty early, what kind
of affect is this going to have on the Cuban people you think?
HERRERO: You know, we all over here want to see change come to Cuba,
right? But change has to come from within and we`re not helping the Cuban
people achieve that any way by trying to isolate ourselves from them. What
this policy tries to do is distance ourselves from this isolationist
approach and instead expand the flow of contacts, of resources, of
information from the United States to the Cuban people so that they can be
in a better position to demand greater changes from their own government.
SCHULTZ: Rick, your response to Senator Marco Rubio. He says that these
resources that are going to be gained by the Cuban government are going to
be used oppress their people, your response to that?
HERRERO: It`s a totalitarian system, obviously the money that goes in
there eventually ends up in the coffers of the Cuban government. But,
what`s important here is how is that money -- how does that money touch the
everyday Cuban. And does it help empower them?
When we`re expanding the flow of telecommunications tools, when we`re
expanding the flow over remittances and funds so that they can start their
own private small enterprises. We`re empowering those people, we`re
putting them in a better position to demand greater changes from their own
government. And we`re putting greater pressure on the Cuban government as
well because now they have a stronger private sector and a stronger civil
society with which to content.
SCHULTZ: Ana they list 12 reasons why you can travel to Cuba, one is
support for the Cuban people. And as I said I think that can be
interpreted in a lot of different ways. Is the travel ban basically
LOGAN: Well, I think it`s basically lifted and by the way Ed, this really
hits home with me. As you know, my parents are Cuban, my family lost
everything in Cuba when the Castro regime first came to take over. And we
always dreamed of going back to a free Cuba and this may just happen in my
So, we`re really excited to see some of these changes come forward. And
I`d like to debate Marco Rubio on any of these issues. My family lost
everything there, I believe he was an exile, his family did not lose
everything there. So when I hear from the very Cubans that are coming over
from the island that they are excited about some of these changes, and they
actually do think that some of these changes may make a difference.
In particular the telecommunications. I mean the fact that they will be
able to have Internet and communicate, that is huge. And the fact that the
Castro regime is actually going to allow them to have this, that is also a
huge. It`s a huge setback for the Castro regime to be able to give the
We`re trying to empower the people, of course, the change is going to be
slow, it has been a totalitarian system for more than 50 years. Change is
slow, but there is change occurring and the change is going to come from
within and, I`m excited about this. I`m looking forward to perhaps
visiting a free Cuba one day.
SHULTZ: And -- Ana is -- what are the Florida politics surrounding all of
these, is this being positively received?
LOGAN: Well, there is a big difference between of course, the older
hardline Cubans and the younger Cuban-American, frankly. The younger
Cuban-American want to see change. And as a matter of fact, one of them
came up to me today, quietly just said, you know, we can`t say this but I
really want this embargo to go away.
And I do believe that is the mentality of the younger Cuban-Americans.
They want this embargo to go away, they believe it has not worked, they
would like to see a free Cuba. I mean it is our heritage, it`s in my
blood, I would like to one day be able to visit a free island, and so would
they. And the only way to that is, what President Obama is doing and that
is from within.
LOGAN: Empower the people from within.
SCHULTZ: Rick there are a multitude of opportunities in the agricultural
community. I mean, we`re going to be able to flood them with a lot of
products but it is going to be on credit, it used to be on cash. How is
this going to work out? I mean, you know, obviously tourism is big in
Cuba, I saw it myself when I was down there back in 2003. I went on an
agriculture mission with Senator Kent Conrad of North Dakota at that time,
and it`s a -- they`re beautiful people, beautiful beaches, they put a lot
of money into tourism.
Their hotels and motels are terrific, and of course they need to feed
tourists that come down there. People want to eat the kind of food that
they want to eat. So there`s a huge agricultural opportunity here. So how
is -- when these profits start coming in, do you think that this Republican
criticism is going to fall by the wayside?
HERRERO: Well, already, you know, let`s be clear on where the opposition
is coming from. It`s coming from a few individuals in South Florida, it`s
coming from folks who are looking at the 2016 election and may be running
for president, and it`s coming from some of the folks in the Republican
leadership. But there is a lot of support within the party for these
Just last week, there was an agriculture coalition here who had an event,
announcing that they were going to be advocating for lifting of the embargo
to make it easier to sell agricultural products to Cuba on credit because,
you know, what we have right now still -- and you still can`t sell on
credits, it`s going to be cash on transfer as opposed to one hand -- as it
was before. But that event was supported by many Republican lawmakers
including Senator Jerry Moran.
So, you`re going to see -- and also, let`s not forget that the U.S. Chamber
of Commerce has been in years -- for years have been supported of...
HERRERO: ... lifting the embargo. And their own leader, Mr. Tom Donohue
was in Cuba last year giving a speech at the University of Havana, talking
about how greater engagement between our two countries is better for the
So, it`s not so clear-cut as a Democrat and Republican issue.
SCHULTZ: OK. Ana Rivas Logan and Rick Herrero, great to have you with us
I`m looking forward to going to Cuba again sometime. It`s beautiful folks,
beautiful country. No doubt.
Still to come, the party of Lincoln delivers an interesting gift to
Americans on Martin Luther King`s birthday.
Plus, Republicans are going to make America squeal at the State of the
Union or should I say. We`ll be right back. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JONI ERNST, (R) IOWA: I am truly humbled and honored to have this
opportunity to deliver the Republicans address.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show.
Republicans have announced their choice to respond in the State of the
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERNST: My parents taught us to live within our means. It`s time to force
Washington to do the same. To cut wasteful spending repeal Obamacare and
balance the budget. I`m Joni Ernst and I approve this message because
Washington is full of big spenders. Let`s make them squeal.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Let`s turn to Bob Shrum tonight, Democrats Strategist and Warshaw
Professor of Politics at USC. What do you make of this choice? That we`ve
BOB SHRUM, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, I think that...
SCHULTZ: ... we`ve some interesting people in the past, remember Bob
McDonnell who is going behind bars. He was the first one to respond to
President Obama back in 2009. That was the Republican choice. What do you
think at this one?
SHRUM: Well look, it`s always perilous to take one of these new people and
put them in this role. I mean Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal came across
is completely weird, Marco Rubio took his famous drink of water and look a
lot less presidential.
They`re going to produce this thing to try to protect her. But they`re
kind of produced the results they want. I think they picked her because
she`s a woman but she has extreme anti-women positions. And, so it`s not
going to help them of their gender gap.
She`s a Koch Brothers` avatar. She for example has talked about
privatizing social security. She`s opposed the minimum wage. She`s anti-
immigrant. So all of these hurts Republicans in 2016 if she talks about
I think they won`t literally talk about it. I think instead it would be
SHRUM: And, there`ll be, you know, some normal Republican (inaudible) in
there. The only things she could do to make it very interesting -- she
became famous during the campaign for castrating pigs as a young lady.
Maybe she could do it on camera. It would at least be weirdly interesting.
SCHULTZ: And here`s Mitch McConnell at high praise for Ernst today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, (R) MAJORITY LEADER: The announcement I want to make
is that Joni Ernst will be delivering the response to the State of the
Union for our side this year. She is a perfect choice, American voted for
change. And Senator Ernst will explain what the new Congress plans to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Well, it`s interesting, just not too long ago, she tweeted out
that she opposed as almost everything President Obama`s stands for. I
think there`s a pretty strong strategy here because Iowa is going to so big
in 2016, to put her on a national platform, to give her a little bit more
credibility at home might help the campaign for elevating Republican in
that state. What do you make of it?
SHRUM: Well, the most important thing about Iowa in 2016 is going to be
the Republican caucus process there. And you`re seeing Republicans who
understand how heavily weighted that is to the party`s base and to the
extreme right cater to it. She perfectly represents that base.
So, I don`t think it really helps them in a general election in Iowa.
SHRUM: I think that it sort of fits with the idea that these folks want to
cater to the extreme right in Iowa which dominates that Republican Party.
If it didn`t dominate that Republican Party, she wouldn`t be there. She
wouldn`t be in the Senate. They would have had a different nominee.
SCHULTZ: Well, if her response to the State of the Union is anything like
her commercials it`s going to be entertaining. We`ll give her that -- that
will be the pre-game show, huh Bob?
SHRUM: It certainly would. I just don`t see her castrating. Maybe they
will, maybe they`ll castrate a pig on television.
SCHULTZ: Well, at least have a picture of a hog out there. I don`t know
if -- she`ll -- have a shot from the farm yard or something, I don`t know.
Who knows that they`re going to -- maybe she`ll do it from Iowa, who knows?
Bob Shrum, good to have you with us tonight. I appreciate your time.
SHRUM: Thanks Ed.
SCHULTZ: Stick around, Rapid Response Panel is next.
We`ll be right back.
HAMPTON PEARSON, CNBC CORRESPONDENT: I`m Hampton Pearson with your CNBC
Stocks end lower for a fifth straight day. The Dow falls 106 points, the
S&P sheds 18, the NASDAQ is off by 68 points.
Banks earnings weighting in then the markets today. Profits from Bank of
America dropped 14 percent at the most recent quarter.
Citigroup missed already lowered estimates sending shares down nearly 4
percent. And Target is giving up on Canada closing its stores north of the
border after losing money for two years. 17,000 jobs will be lost.
That`s it from CNBC, first in business worldwide.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show.
Start filling out your Oscar brackets. The Academy Award Nominations are
out and "Selma" is a heavy hitting contender for best picture.
The movie follows the 1965 voting rights marches led by Dr. Martin Luther
King. "Selma" has received praise for its skillful directing but commanded
attention for its timeliness.
Trailers for the film came out just as marches for justice brewed (ph)
across this country. The civil rights struggle depicted in the film is in
cinema but it is truly reality.
Martin Luther King would have been 86-years-old today. House Republicans
will commemorate the occasion by leaving the marginalized communities
Dr. King fought tirelessly for the 1964 Voting Rights Act. In 2013, the
Supreme Court allowed Republicans to gut it. Now the House Republicans say
the last thing disfranchisement isn`t worth fixing.
Congressman Bob Goodlatte who chairs the House Judiciary Committee told
reporters that he doesn`t see strengthening the Voting Rights Act as
Goodlatte claims that he will continue to listen to the concerns and look
for the instances of discrimination. A bipartisan group of lawmakers tried
to strengthen the VRA last January. Goodlatte declined to even hold a
hearing and Goodlatte is now not listening at all, and he probably won`t in
the future. They are set in there ways, don`t expect it to be addressed.
Joining me tonight in our Rapid Response Panel, former Ohio State Senator,
Nina Turner with us, also Dr. James Peterson, Director of Africana Studies
at Lehigh University and an MSNBC Contributor. Great to have both of you
with us tonight.
Nina, you first. Tell us about the voting obstruction that saw firsthand
in Ohio that needs to be addressed.
NINA TURNER, FMR. OHIO STATE SENATOR: Well, the taking away of early
voting days Ed, have access to the ballot box is so important. And to have
Congressman Goodlatte make those, you know, say those words about not --
the VRA not being necessary. To me denies all the blood, the sweat and the
tears that people answered with their lives and with their bodies Ed to
And today, Dr. King would be 86-years-old. I think he would be realty
outraged but he would out matching in the streets as well to say that
voting is really the greatest equalizer that we have.
SCHULTZ: James, what impact do you think the film "Selma" is having on
this discussion in Washington if any?
JAMES PETERSON, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Probably not but it`s quite ironic
isn`t it Ed, that all of those folk who came out to defend LBJ with respect
to his dramatized depiction in the film "Selma" are silent today when the
news breaks that -- what they claim to be his greatest legislative
achievement is not going to be sustained.
You know Ed, I held out a little bit of hope, I know you shouldn`t be
hopeful for American politics but I held on a little bit of hope that the
gutting Section V -- really what they did was they changed the coverage
piece for Section IV which doesn`t allow preclearance to happen, right?
I was holding our hope that in this Congress what we would see was a new
formula that actually might allow us to get other states like Ohio and --
and not just, sort of be concentrated on the south in terms of the
preclearance process, but unfortunately the Republicans have other ideas.
SCHULTZ: Nina if there were hearings in Washington on the Voting Rights
Act, would lawmakers get an earful? Has there been enough out there and
are people riled up about it enough and concern about it where -- that they
would be forced to change?
TURNER: We got to get it more so Ed. I mean saying that that we don`t
need to strengthen the Voting Rights Act and saying -- it`s like saying we
don`t need the sun to shine, we don`t need water to drink, we don`t need
air to breath. Just as we need all of those things, they are the
foundation to life so was the VRA, the foundation to making sure that give
access to people who need that access.
We have to remind folks that all of the great policies that they like
whether it`s educating our children or what the President is talking about
doing in terms of two-year colleges. Elect our -- having Supreme Court
justices appointed that really care about making sure are people treated
equally in this country, all of that comes at the hands of public policy.
And public policy comes at the hands of elected officials.
So, yes I believe that they will get an earful Ed. But "Selma" is
important for all folks to see so that they can be reminded that people
gave -- for the right to vote their buddies and their lives and no one
should have a cavalier attitude when it comes to access to the ballot box.
Yes, they would get an earful, and I`ll say Ed, every election cycle we
need to play "Selma".
SCHULTZ: Republican Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner wanted to restore the
Voting Rights Act last year, here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JIM SENSENBRENNER, (R) WISCONSIN: My job is to fix the Voting Rights
Act. Now, the first thing we have to do is to take the monkey wrench that
the court threw in it out of the Voting Rights Act, and hen use that monkey
wrench to be able to fix it so that it is alive, well, constitutional and
impervious to another challenge that will be filled by the usual suspects.
I am with you on this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: So, there are some on the other side that understand the severity
of all of this and the impact that it`s going to have. If it gets
reintroduced, how do we know Boehner is even going to give it any kind of
hearing whatsoever, James?
PETERSON: Yes, we have to hope that he`s not going to in play political
footballs with this, here I mean (ph). The reality here is that for the
people who don`t understand the complexities of these thing, you know,
essentially preclearance allows the federal government to make an
intervention in a more timely manner. With that being gathered by the
Shelby (ph) decision, everything then becomes reactionaries.
So if you remember one of this opening scenes from "Selma", Oprah Winfrey
playing and Annie Lee Cooper is going in and she`s going to try to vote and
then voter registration person sort of asked her all these ridiculous
questions. And so we can see those kinds of things play out with ending
(inaudible), with voter I.D. laws, all the kinds of things that sort of
delay and deny people`s access to the vote. And the reality is that if...
PETERSON: ... without preclearance, we can`t preempt those things and
we`re just in the reaction of (inaudible) with response to
disenfranchisement of American citizens Ed.
SCHULTZ: And of course Republican leadership stood by Steve Scalise who
spoken at white supremacist conference but wouldn`t stand behind -- of
restoring the Voting Rights Act, how does that play out as you see it Nina?
What about that?
TURNER: I mean, it`s unfathomable that we that we have people elected to
office that think it is OK in the 21st century to be able to think and
threat people in that manner. We need to be very careful about the types
of people that we elect to office and he is but one of many who have this
cavalier attitude about equal rights, about justice in this country.
We need to awaken the sleeping giants Ed. People cannot be -- you can`t be
on the silence into democracy, you got to get...
TURNER: ... in there, and the way that we all get in there is by making
sure that we exercise our right to vote. It is embracing to this nation to
have people elected to office who really don`t care about the folks that
they are elected to serve. And all of us whether we we`re Republican or
Democrat should care that people come out to vote. I mean to have 36
percent of eligible voters come out to vote in 2014 Ed, it makes my skin
SCHULTZ: Nina Turner, James Peterson, always, great to have both of you
with us on the Ed Show tonight. Thanks so much.
Coming up, prescription for progress. We`ll tell you about a big move
towards workers` rights to take sick leave. It`s long overdue, we`ll be
SCHULTZ: United Airline says as soon as they can get a government approval
they will serve this country of Cuba, looking forward to that.
Coming up, a big win for the workers` rights and family values, we`ll
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: This is an issue that spans geography, spans demographics, working
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Time now for Trenders, social media. This is where you can join
the Ed team, you can find us on facebook.com/edshow, twitter.com/edshow,
and ed.msnbc.com. You can get my podcast 24/7 free. You can find it on
iTunes, so you just search for Ed Schultz, so wegoted.com, rawstory.com,
Ed Show social media nation has decided. We`re reporting.
Here are today`s top Trenders voted on by you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m on the top of the world looking down on creation...
SCHULTZ: The number three Trender, new heights.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At the summit, a celebration like never before
because this hasn`t happened before.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After 19 grueling days the duo just became the first to
free climb the Dawn Wall of El Capitan.
TOMMY CALDWELL, ROCK CLIMBER: I`ve been picturing what it was going to be
like to climb that last 10 feet to the summit for a very long time.
SCHULTZ: Fearless climbers get high praise for their epic feat.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Inching up 3,000 feet of smooth granite.
KEVIN JORGESON, ROCK CLIMBER Some of the most precarious climbing I ever
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A climb watched by the world, even the White House.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He worked so hard for this.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Two friends climbing into history proving the
impossible may not be.
SCHULTZ: The number two Trender, helping hand.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A Florida police officer is alive today thanks to a
teen who was under arrest.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Surveillance video from last September shows Jamal
Rutledge in handcuff while being (ph) processed.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The report latter out (ph) police officer collapsed
while he was booking a 17-year-old boy.
SCHULTZ: A handcuffed teen saves his arresting officer`s life.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jamal alerted three other officers...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The teenager got up and began kicking the security
fence and yelling for a help.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The teen and the officers will be honored by the
department later this month.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And today`s top Trender, order up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Obama proposing new legislation that would
requires companies to give workers paid sick leave.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This would leave workers earn up to seven sick paid
days a year.
SCHULTZ: President Obama pushes for paid leave for federal workers.
OBAMA: This is an issue that spans geography, spans demographics.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The White House says some 43 million workers in the
United States don`t have any paid sick leave at all.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Obama plans to ask Congress to spend more than $2
billion to help them develop paid family leave programs.
OBAMA: How can we support working families so that they have the tools to
succeed in this new economy?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Joining me tonight, Congressman Jim McDermott of Washington.
Congressman, good to have you with us. The big question...
REP. JIM MCDERMOTT, (D) WASHINGTON: Good to be here.
SCHULTZ: ... you bet. The big question on this now is, will Republicans
support this proposal this time around or they going to be anti-worker?
MCDERMOTT: Well, you know, they`ve talked about their family values. And I
think Ed, that if they really take those seriously, you have to look at the
real American family that`s working today where most of the time a woman is
So, there`s no one to stay at home and take care of a kid who`s sick
without losing a day of work, or if you are sick, you`re going to lose a
day of work because you have to stay home. And sometimes you shouldn`t be
at work, you got to be at home because you`re going to infect other people.
So, everybody wins with this policy. And I think the Republicans may see
the good sense in it.
SCHULTZ: I have a feeling that they`re going to say that this is
government getting involved into private sector. There is no need for it
and of course the private sector should be able to determine what the heck
is going on so, and of course, federal employee shouldn`t have it anyway.
This is not a new idea. I mean, your colleague Rosa Delauro proposed a
similar measure back in 2005. Why hasn`t it picked up steam? Why has it
take the President to do this?
MCDERMOTT: Well, I think it always runs into the resistance of people who
say, well it`s a cost of business and it`s just something we can`t afford.
We`ll go out to business if we take money -- if the people are sick. For
instance if you`re running a restaurant and you got somebody working there
who`s sick and making the customers cough (ph) when they come in, pick up
by cold or flu or whatever, that`s not good for business.
So, there`s a cost in not having this. And I really think that the
Republicans have to look carefully at that argument that some how it can`t
be done without ruining the economy of the United States of American. They
have it in every other industrialized country in the world so it makes no
SCHULTZ: That`s the point I was going bring out, is that the United States
is the only, the only industrialized nation in the world that does not
guarantee workers this benefit. Now, do you view it as a benefit or is it
a necessity? How do you view this?
What would terminology would you put here? What definition?
MCDERMOTT: I don`t call it a benefit. I really call it, in the interest
of public safety and taking care of children and taking care of families,
it makes great sense and it`s economically good for the society.
It`s not some benefit, it`s not like six days of paid vacation. It really
is things -- when people have to stay home because their mother or father
who`s living with them is sick and they need to take care of them, or they
have to take care of her kid who goes to school and gets, you know, get
something and has to come home then parent is in terrible position. And I
really think that the society is much better off if we let people take care
of their families as well as to be workers in the environment.
SCHULTZ: All right, Congressman, you may not know this but our Ed team
does follow you on Twitter and we did come across this and since we didn`t
have a two-minute drill earlier tonight because of some other things we
were talking about, lo and behold this is what you twitted out over the
You`re a Seahawks fan. Good for you. Congratulations on your team and
getting the NFC championship game.
So Congressman, we`ll use you as the two-minute drill tonight. Why is your
team going to win and beat -- I guess I can say my Packers now?
MCDERMOTT: Well, listen Ed, I didn`t know you`re a Packer fan or I would
have invited you to come and standing with me among 69,000 people tomorrow
this weekend in the game. It will be a great game.
SCHULTZ: It is going to be a great game and it`s going to be a real
challenge for the Packers because you -- the fans around you, they don`t
stop screaming there. I mean, it`s deafening in that stadium from what I
MCDERMOTT: It is. I wear earplugs, in fact I had two sets of earplugs in.
It is really, it takes you while to get back to normal hearing after the
game is over. The 12th man is a real factor because they raised the noise
particularly on defense when the quarterback for the Packers Rodgers will
be trying to call on out of ball or trying to change an idea and you -- no
one can hear. Really it is a big problem.
SCHULTZ: All right, let me see the picture of fellows (ph) one more time.
You know, I was thinking about this when I saw this picture of you. You
put on a Seahawks coaching shirt. You can pass for possibly the defensive
coordinator, you know. I mean, you look -- you`ll fit in right in there.
Congressman, good luck to you. I appreciate your time tonight, Jim
McDermott from Washington. Thanks so much.
MCDERMOTT: See you next week.
SCHULTZ: You bet.
And that is the Ed Show, I`m Ed Schultz.
"PoliticsNation" with Reverend Al Sharpton starts right now. Good evening,
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