PoliticsNation, Thursday, February 19th, 2015
Read the transcript from the Thursday show
Show: POLITICS NATION
Date: February 19, 2015
Guest: Margie Omero, Jamal Simmons, Hallie Jackson, Natalie Azar
REV. AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Ed. And thanks to you for
Wait a minute Ed, stay close because we`re going to see you later on in
SCHULTZ: Looking forward to it.
SHARPTON: All right. But now it`s time for us to get to work.
Tonight`s lead, birtherism by another name. Today one of the ugliest
right-wing smears of the Obama presidency has crept back into the
Republican rhetoric. The suggestion that somehow the American president is
not fully American. Here`s what former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani
said at a private dinner.
Quote, "I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that
the president loves America. He wasn`t brought up the way you were brought
up, and I was brought up, through love of this country."
Giuliani was right about one thing -- it was a horrible thing to say. And
today he tried to walk it back, sort of.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: Well, first of all, I`m not
questioning his patriotism. He`s a patriot, I`m sure. I do hear him
criticize America much more often than other American presidents. And when
it`s not in the context of an overwhelming number of statements about the
exceptionalism of America, it sounds like he`s more of a critic than he is
I don`t also believe he expresses the love of western civilization that he
should, or understanding of western civilization.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: The president doesn`t love western civilization.
Now, Rudy Giuliani hasn`t served office in 13 years. He`s certainly not
any kind of power player in the GOP or anywhere else, so it should be easy
for Republicans to reject this kind of talk, and yet here`s what GOP
Governor Scott Walker, who was at the event with Giuliani last night,
here`s what he said today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), WISCONSIN: I mean the mayor can speak for himself.
I`m nothing going to comment on whether what the president thinks or not.
He can speak for himself as -- I`ll tell you I love America.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE INTERVIEWER: Did you agree with his comments? We`re you
offended by those comments? What was your reaction when you heard them?
WALKER: I`m in New York. I`m used to people saying things that are fully
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Governor Walker refused to condemn the comments, and Republican
Governor Bobby Jindal shined in saying quote "The gist of what Mayor
Giuliani said is true."
It`s true that the president doesn`t love America? This is now
unacceptable talking point from mainstream Republicans.
Today President Obama showed what this debate is really about, talking
about his plan to defeat terror group like ISIS, and emphasizing once again
that the U.S. is not at war with Islam.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: These terrorists are
desperate for legitimacy. And all of us have a responsibility to refute of
the notion that groups like ISIL somehow represent Islam, because that is a
falsehood that embraces the terrorist narrative.
The notion that the west is at war with Islam is an ugly lie. And all of
us, regardless of our faiths, have a responsibility to reject it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Joining me now is Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, Democrat from New
York and Dana Milbank of "The Washington Post." Thank you both for being
REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES (D), NEW YORK: Thank you.
DANA MILBANK, THE WASHINGTON POST WRITER: Hi, Reverend.
SHARPTON: Congressman, you know, it`s one thing for a former mayor who`s
really looking for relevance to say this stuff, but what about so-called
serious Republican politicians, some prey who are running for president.
What about them shining in?
JEFFRIES: Well, it shows a very troubling degradation of our politics, to
attack the commander in chief at a time when we should be concerned about
the ISIL threat and what it presents to National Security, the people of
decency all across the world. You know, this is a president, Rev., who was
raised in large measure by a white mother and two white grandparents, a
grandfather whom I believed served the World War II. He was educated at
some of America`s best institutions at Columbia, at Harvard.
SHARPTON: But he wasn`t brought up to love America. By a World War II
SHARPTON: He didn`t bring him up and raise as the love of America.
JEFFRIES: Absolutely. But the problem with the Republican attack machine
is that facts don`t matter. And if you look at his presidency it`s been
one of the most successful in history. Not just bringing us ground
breaking legislation to rain in Wall Street, to deal with the affordable
health care crisis, but he`s turning the economy around. He inherited an
economic train wreck and the economy is back on track. To me, that shows a
tremendous love of America, his sacrifice and his leadership to the office
of the presidency.
SHARPTON: I mean, Dana, I thought we had heard got it rid of all these
ugliness and this virtual in the last election. I mean, what is this all
MILBANK: Revered, I don`t think it disappeared at all. And certainly not
for a very long period of time. And I think it is a continuation of what
we`ve been seeing over the last seven years now. And that is to create the
impression that this president is something other than a patriotic
American. And of course Giuliani was questioning his patriotism before
coming out and saying he wasn`t questioning his patriotism, and he`s not
alone. We`ve got Ted Cruz, we`ve got Republican member of the House, we`ve
got others raising doubts repeatedly about where this president`s loyalties
are, whether they`re to America or to the terrorists.
Now, you can look at the president`s language on, you know, avoiding the
notion of a war against Islam. It`s essentially the same language that
George W. Bush that used back during his presidency, but there is really a
concerted effort I think to create this impression that this president is
something other than a normal patriotic American.
SHARPTON: So Congressman, someone to right say to president doesn`t love
America, we`re also hearing claims that he sympathizes with ISIS. Listen
to Senator Ted Cruz.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: What undermines the global effort is for the
president of the United States to be an apologist for radical Islamic
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: I mean, an apologist for terrorists, Congressman? I mean, do
comments like this make it harder to have a serious debate in this country
about strategies for destroying ISIS?
JEFFRIES: I think it`s hard to have a serious debate whenever the junior
senator from Texas is involved. I mean, this is somebody who`s continued
to disgrace himself and his credibility, but the problem is there are
people on the right who take Ted Cruz seriously, Rev. And that`s an
They have been attempting to delegitimize this president from the moment he
was sworn in January of 2009. They failed in his initial election, they
failed in the reelection. And so now I think that the rhetoric has gotten
more strident, showing the hatred that many on the right seem to have for
this president and for his success.
And it`s unfortunate, because the Republican obstructionism if anything has
been bad for America. They`ve been so determine to make sure that
President Obama failed, they`ve been unsuccessful in that effort of course,
but they`ve limited even the aggressive economic progress that he`s been
able to make to the detriment of the American people.
SHARPTON: Now, Dana, this -- since the ISIS threat emerged, since the
beginning, we`re seeing more and more right-wing pundits claiming the
president is anti-American and anti-Christian, and all these kind of
conspiracy theories. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. KEITH ABLOW, FOX NEWS CHANNEL PSYCHIATRY CONTRIBUTOR: This balancing
threats, and to the president of the United States, I believe the United
States of America is the bigger threat.
FMR. LT. GEN. THOMAS MCINERNEY, U.S. AIR FORCE: Maybe we have some
Islamists embedded in the White House.
TODD STARNES, FOX NATION ANCHOR: The world would be a much safer place if
the Obama administration hated Islamic extremists as much as they do FOX
BRIAN KILMEADE, FOX NEWS CO-HOST: He said, you know what? Yes, ISIS is
bad, but you know what? Christians were just as bad as ISIS was a couple
centuries ago. He`s making excuses it seems for ISIS` behavior essentially
saying we started it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: So maybe, Dana, maybe the Republican politicians are just trying
to satisfy these pundits that clearly galvanize their base.
MILBANK: You know, and I think that`s the very important point here,
Revered. As you`re always going to have, you know, wing nuts out there
saying all kinds of crazy things, the important thing here to look at is
who`s validating that. So you have Scott Walker, a guy who has as good a
chance as any of getting the Republican nomination for president, refusing
to weigh in on whether this president loves his country. And you know, you
had this same guy a week as we discussed refusing to weigh in on evolution.
So the problem here is they`ve created a leadership vacuum, there`s no
leadership coming from Scott Walker and a number of his colleague seeking
the nomination and that`s why you have so much of an echo.
SHARPTON: And that`s my point. I mean -- the former mayor, I understand,
you know, he`s got to do what he`s got to do to get some attention every
now and then. But the fact that these guys were not weighing and show
leadership and a players now with the following, is what`s so disturbing
But let`s put some facts into this debate though, why it is so to me so
absurd. Because let`s remember, 1.6 billion people are Muslim in the world
-- 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, just 0.0018 percent are members of
ISIS. And the U.S.-led coalition, Congressman, has launched over 2,400
airstrikes on ISIS since August. Now, aren`t those the facts that critics
of the president are missing?
JEFFRIES: Those are absolutely the facts, Rev. This president has led the
effort to combat and destroy ISIL. And we`ll continue to lead the way in
that regard. This is also the president that had the courage to pull the
trigger on the assassination, a daring raid on Osama Bin Laden, something
that George Bush his predecessor couldn`t accomplish. And so I think the
reality here is always very different in the facts presented by the
Republicans, and it`s unfortunate that it`s a race to the bottom amongst
Republican presidential candidates right now.
SHARPTON: And what I`m saying is that we can all disagree, but we don`t
have to be disagreeable and you don`t have to come with cheap shots.
You know, I ran into Sarah Palin early this week in NSOP and even she said
we both love America. I was stunned to hear her admit it, but I have it on
tape. And that should be the base of the discussion rather than the
Congressman Hakeem Jeffries and Dana Milbank, thank you both for your time
JEFFRIES: Thank you, Rev.
MILBANK: Thank you, Revered.
SHARPTON: Coming up, fears about a deadly new super bug. Two dead, many
more at risk. Should you be worried about your next trip to the hospital?
Also the GOP civil war over Jeb Bush, how his last name and his record is
pulling the party apart.
Plus, President Obama staring tribute to generations of men who shook off
the chains of Jim Crow to build a new life in the north.
And a new debate should -- or a new debate about sugar. Should we tax
sweets the way we tax cigarettes? Conversation nation is ahead.
SHARPTON: Breaking news out of Las Vegas, on that story about a road rage
shooting we brought you last night. A suspect is now in custody after a
major manhunt and standoff for the shooting of Tammy Meyers. She`s the
mother who was gunned down outside her home following a road rage fight
This surveillance video captured the scene. Again the breaking news
tonight, the suspect in the Vegas road rage shooting has been taken into
custody. We`ll be right back.
SHARPTON: Welcome to tonight GOP dating game. With more and more 2016
candidates angling for attention, it`s time we get to know the contenders.
Let`s get started.
First up, we`ve got a former Republican governor. He was known for cutting
taxes, fighting teachers` unions, opposing abortion rights, and supporting
stands your ground. So who is this mystery man?
If you guessed Jeb Bush, you are absolutely right.
On to our next contender. He had a held elected office for nearly a
decade. The base says he`s on left on the education, soft on immigration
and one group even calling him unelectable. Who is he? Yes, this one is
So how does this work? Jeb wants to be seen as a compassionate
conservative. And the GOP elites love him. But the base can`t stand him,
and that unelectable line, I wasn`t making that up. Check out this new
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. JEB BUSH (R), FLORIDA: I want to say thank you to both Secretary
Clinton and the President Clinton. Thank you for service to our country.
HILARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: I want to say a special thank
you to Governor Bush. Now, this is not the first time that a Clinton and a
Bush have shared this stage.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Jeb might be playing the GOP dating game, but he still got a lot
of right wingers who are interested.
Joining me now Democratic Strategist Margie Omero and Jamal Simmons. Thank
you both for being here.
MARGIE OMERO, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Thank you, Rev.
JAMAL SIMMONS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Good to see you.
SHARPTON: Margie, we`re talking about the GOP dating game. But will
anyone in the base even return Jeb`s calls?
OMERO: I don`t know. I mean, people complain as it is as hard to find as
good match here in Washington and certainly, the current field, I think,
reflects that because you see so many people entering the field. And Jeb
Bush, with despite his name I.D. and how well know he is nationally, really
can`t break out of the top tier. He`s obviously, top tier in a lot of
polls whether it`s our poll that we`ve in, whether the "NBC" Marist poll
that came out this week. He may be leading in some of the early primary
states, but not by a lot. Not by anything outside the margins of error.
SHARPTON: Now Jamal, Jeb wants to show the base he`s the top conservative
but he also trying to brand himself as part of a kind gentler GOP that can
work. Can that work?
SIMMONS: I don`t think it`s going to work. Once people remember things
like Terri Schiavo, where Jeb Bush fought to keep this woman alive, which
tragically been a sort of brain dead for a very long time and whose husband
was ready to let her go. But who`s mother -- whose parents weren`t.
But Jeb Bush was willing to use the government in a fear in this tragic
family situation and it`s those kind of examples that show that he`s --
he`s so in bed with the right wing of his party, they are willing to
trample on individual Americans` ability to make a decision what`s best for
their family. That I think that, once people get a wind to that they get
back in to the whole swim of his tax cuts and his all the other policies, I
think they`ll realize that his Bush 3.0 looks a lot full like Bush 2.0 with
W was there.
SHARPTON: Let me -- let me -- let me dig in that a little further, Margie.
Because "The Wall Street Journal" today went out of its way to show all the
ways Jeb Bush is conservative, saying that as Florida governor, he cut
taxes by $19 billion, removed civil service protections for public workers
and shrank the government payroll. Fought with teachers unions over
testing and charter schools, and signed the first stand your ground law in
the nation. Is this the stuff that Jeb Bush will emphasize in the primary,
but downplay in the general election?
OMERO: Right. I guess it`s part of his phrase, I need to be willing to
lose a primary in order to win the general. Then look, Jeb Bush is no
moderate. As Jamal points out, I mean, you can read some of the recent
coverage in "New Yorker" and "Politico" about and "The Wall Street Journal"
articles, but you stand he`s no moderate.
I think the fact that he`s meeting some resistance from within the primary
voting electorate shows how far to the right the primarily elector has
evolved in the last few cycles. And some of the positions where he is a
little bit more centrist, whether it`s on education or whether it`s on
immigration, those can be unpopular in some of the early primary states.
SHARPTON: Now, Jamal, talk radio is one of the areas now that Jeb Bush
faces a lot of problem. Listen to what some of the hosts to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GLENN BECK, AMERICAN TELEVISION AND RADIO HOST: I really don`t like Jeb
Bush for a variety of reasons.
PATRICK GRAY, AMERICAN TALK RADIO HOST: Me too.
MARK LEVIN, AMERICAN TALK RADIO HOST: People say Jeb Bush is the brightest
Bush. I`m starting to think he`s the dumbest to the Bushes.
RUSH LIMBAUGH, AMERICAN ENTERTAINER, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Why doesn`t the
base, why is the base not thrilled about Jeb? Because Jeb Bush and the
Republican establishment have made it clear, they think the Republican
Party`s big problem is Republican voters, and not Democrats and their
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Can he overcome this, Jamal?
SIMMONS: You know, on one side he`s got the top radio folks who are coming
after him. On the other side he`s got these young activists who are really
looking for somebody much more like a Rand Paul. You`d be surprised on the
number of young Republicans that I hear about in my friends` families that
are following Rand Paul. They think that Rand Paul wins the ticket for
So I think Jeb Bush is got a fight on two sides. Both of the right-wing
adult conservatives and this sort of millennial who are more enamored with
somebody who`s a much more passionate person conservative like Rand.
SHARPTON: You know the other big Jeb Bush problem, Margie, is that he has
that last name. Yesterday he says he`s his own man, but he reminded us an
awful lot of his big brother. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
J. BUSH: The slogan that that I think drove the foreign policy of the `80s
was peace through strength.
GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT UNITED STATES: Our military is not
letting you down when it comes to upholding a great tradition of peace
J. BUSH: Free people, free markets, free ideas.
G. BUSH: Free markets, free trade and freedom from oppression.
J. BUSH: I believe, fundamentally weakness invites war.
G. BUSH: We will build our defenses beyond challenge, less weakness,
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: So, Jeb`s his own man, Margie. Really?
OMERO: Right. Well, he -- I mean, was also worth noting not only the
similarities in the speech, the similarities in his foreign policy
advisers, and the Post reported this week nearly every single foreign
policy adviser that Jeb Bush has worked for -- worked for either the -- or
both of the previous two President Bushes, and a "Washington Post/ABC" poll
from January showed that even Republican voters are kind of divided as
whether they`re going to be more likely or less likely to vote for Bush as
of because of his family connections. So it`s a liability even within his
party and outside his party.
SHARPTON: Margie Omero, Jamal Simmons, thank you both for your time
OMERO: Thank you.
SIMMONS: Good to see you (ph).
SHARPTON: Straight ahead, some breaking news tonight on that nightmare
bacteria. Why is a potentially deadly super-bug hitting a California
And nearly five years since the BP oil disaster, has anything changed? Has
there been justice for the people impacted?
MSNBC`s Ed Schultz has some terrific reporting from the gulf. And he joins
me live, next.
SHARPTON: Now to breaking news about a deadly superbug that maybe to blame
for two deaths in a California hospital. In the last 15 minutes, UCLA
Hospital wrapped up a press conference, saying there are seven cases linked
to this some superbug. They happened in people who had procedures done
with two different scopes. One hundred seventy-nine other people may have
been exposed. The bug can kill up to half of the people whose bloodstreams
Here`s NBC`s Haley Jackson.
HALLIE JACKSON, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Now a patient at UCLA
are learning they may have been exposed to CRE after having endoscopies
between October and January. The hospital says seven people caught the bug
from instruments called duodena scopes that may have been contaminated.
And two died possibly because they were infected.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: CRE normally leaves in the gut. If it gets into the
bloodstream, it maybe kill 50 percent of the people it infects.
JACKSON: Similar outbreaks have happened in Seattle, Chicago and
Pittsburgh. And the CDC says at least one CRE case has been reported and
nearly every state.
DR. LAWRENCE MUSCARELLA, LFM HEALTH CARE SOLUTIONS: This is unprecedented.
What we`re watching now in terms of patients dying, patients getting
JACKSON: Sometimes the recommended sterilization isn`t enough to
decontaminate the scope before it`s used again.
SHARPTON: Joining me now is NBC news medical contributor Dr. Natalie Azar.
Thank you for being here, Doc.
DR. NATALIE AZAR, NBC NEWS MEDICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Thanks, Al.
SHARPTON: How can someone get this bug? I mean, walk us through what
we`re seeing here.
DR. NATALIE AZAR, NBC NEWS MEDICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Okay. So basically
the procedure that they`re discussing is something called an ERCP, this is
a little bit different than a regular endoscopy that you get that just goes
into the esophagus to look for ulcers. What you can see on the screen is
that you have a camera and at scope that`s going down through into the
esophagus into the stomach into something called the small intestine,
shooting some dye to take a look at the gallbladder and the pancreas. And
why it`s important to say that specific detail is because they believe that
that mechanism there with the camera, and the dye and everything like that,
is how it`s possible that this bacteria can seed this area, it means that
it can get on that area, and as the infectious disease specialist
commented, if it gets out of the gut and into the bloodstream, that`s when
it becomes dangerous.
SHARPTON: Now, there appears to be no wrongdoing from the hospital. How
do we change procedures to make sure this doesn`t happen again?
AZAR: Exactly. And so, what we are learning is that they appropriately
followed protocol in terms of disinfecting these scopes after they`re being
used. We need to take a closer look at what those recommendations are.
They may defer from manufacturer to manufacturer. The standard infection
control procedures are pretty much, you know, standard throughout the
country, and the FDA is clearly looking into this and making sure that not
only are the recommendations appropriate, but that the hospitals and, you
know endoscopy suites are going to be following these protocols very, very
carefully to avoid something like this happening again.
SHARPTON: Are there similar concerns with other instruments or other
AZAR: Yes. And so, you know, even more broadly, this is not a bacterial
infection that we worry about just in the community. We typically would
see this in what we call in-dwelling catheters. So, catheters there in
place. This is a gut bacteria, so it has to do, you know, obviously
something with the gastrointestinal tract. But anytime you have catheters
or scope in an area of the gut where this bacteria can live is a potential
for this kind of thing happening.
SHARPTON: How concerned should people be? Should they be very alarmed or?
AZAR: I think that again, sort of to reiterate, that for most people for
doing just a regular endoscopy or colonoscopy we`re not as concerned about
those particular scopes as we are the ones that are used in this ERCP. I
think that my recommendation would be for patients to discuss with their
doctor that they are aware of this, and that they are, you know, maybe
taking some extra measures to make sure that they are disinfecting these
scopes before they`re being used. I did read from, you know, another
institute that they are waiting 48 hours between use now to make sure that
the bacteria is not growing. I think there are things that could be done,
we have to look at both procedure as well as protocol and see how those --
SHARPTON: Well, you can`t be too cautious. Dr. Azar, thank you for your
SHARPTON: Nearly five years ago, the biggest offshore oil spill in U.S.
history. Today Ed Schultz is reporting on what changed in the gulf, and
what hasn`t. He joins me live, next.
SHARPTON: We`re approaching the fifth anniversary of a disaster that
changed the lives of thousands of Americans. In 2010, a BP oil rig
exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 people. The explosion created
the biggest offshore oil spill in U.S. history. Oil gushed out of this
pipe for 87 days, and it impacted people`s health, business and the
environment. My MSNBC colleague Ed Schultz has been doing some amazing
reporting all this week with his series, the gulf today, five years after
the oil spill, and see how life is different five years later.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC HOST, "THE ED SHOW": So life has really changed here.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It`s been a nightmare. We woke up one morning and
living in paradise, and went to living in hell.
SCHULTZ: And finding things like this on the beach certainly doesn`t help.
I never would have believed it unless I saw it.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: That`s oil. That`s what they made a liquid turn into
this. How many chemicals do you think you have to spread to make a liquid
turn into this?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Joining me is the host of "THE ED SHOW," Ed Schultz. Ed, great
reporting, great reporting five years later. I mean, do the people from
the gulf have justice yet?
SCHULTZ: No, they don`t. And that`s our next story coming up on Monday as
the restitution. Only a fraction of the people have been getting the kind
of restitution for their businesses and their personal losses five years
after the fact. The $20 billion that was committed, the figure is nowhere
near that at this point. And basically when I went down there, Rev, it was
to listen to people. I went down there not knowing I was going to come
back with a series, but there`s so many facets with the stories. There`s a
business loss, there`s the personal loss, there`s the health concerns,
there`s the environment, there`s the restoration. All of these things and
now of course the court battles that are going on trying to make sure that
these people have their lives restored. But what I found was careers lost
and financial ruin for a lot of people. It`s sad.
SHARPTON: Yes. I know that you found people that had continue to have
health problems, and there are people that are not even getting any money
SCHULTZ: That`s right. That`s exactly right. Now there are people that
have been paid.
SCHULTZ: You know? And we`re going to have the facts and the figures on
all of that coming up in our next report, exactly who has gotten paid.
SHARPTON: But some didn`t --
SCHULTZ: The majority of people affected by the oil spill haven`t gotten a
SHARPTON: I want to show one of something from your series.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PJ HAHN, PLAQUEMINES PARISH COASTAL DIRECTOR: I started having problems
with breathing and a weird rash that breaks out from time to time.
SCHULTZ: A lot of folks have had that?
HAHN: Well, I just contributed it to old age as I was getting all the
trouble of breathing, and then talking to people that worked out there,
they`re all complaining about the same thing. And when we went to the
doctor and get treated for it, it doesn`t help. They treat it like it`s
asthma, but the medications they give you for asthma weren`t working on it.
You still felt the same, it didn`t even relieve it a little bit. But
there`s a lot of people that are far worse off than me and still haven`t
seen a dime from BP for medical claims.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Not one dime, like you just said. It`s unbelievable.
SCHULTZ: There`s three basic programs right now after Feinberg left after
the first year. There`s the Congressional program, there`s economic
recovery program and then there`s the medical claim program. There`s only
a fraction of those people that have gotten anything. There`s been some
court rulings and whatnot, but they have really fallen short for taking
care of the masses and the people that have been affected. And it really
is a travesty, the koreksi (ph) that what was put on the oil on the top,
had a chemical reaction, it collected the oil and dropped it to the
surface. Now, of course BP will, you know, say that`s not right. And they
have a website that`s very comprehensive from their side of the story on
everything, but the folks down there have been clearly affected by this.
The fishing industry has been affected.
SHARPTON: You also found some problems with the shrimp. Let`s look at
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: That`s a cancer right here he got.
SCHULTZ: That`s a cancer, right there?
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Yes.
SCHULTZ: And you can tell by the color of the shell?
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The shell is gone.
SCHULTZ: The shell is gone?
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Yes, feel it? See, it ate that shell up.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It just ate it up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: I mean, what was your reaction when you saw that?
SCHULTZ: Well, my next question to him was, do you consume that? He says,
yes, and the government says it`s okay to consume it, but obviously
consumers are having a hard time with that. They do sort quite a bit and
they do inspect the shrimp quite a bit, and they are shrimping in different
areas, but clearly there has been an effect on the resource, and certainly
the catch is way off, that gentleman that I was talking to was Dean
Blanchard, he was one of the largest fish -- or should I say shrimp
distributors in the country. And he`s getting maybe about 30 percent of
what he used to get. It`s a different world down there. There are reefs
that have been producing fish for years for the commercial fishermen, Rocco
Scalone who I interviewed, and they are all gone. I mean, they have been
constructing reefs over the years, the government stopped letting people do
that in the `90s, but back in the 70s and 80s, you can go out and construct
reefs while all of the wildlife has been, you know, decimated on those
reefs, and the fish aren`t feeding on them anymore, and it`s changed a lot
SHARPTON: What surprised you? What did you go down and really find
SCHULTZ: Well, you know, BP took out a huge advertising campaign about the
gulf is great, come on back, and BP has had a tremendous effort, but in the
eyes of the folks that live down there, not enough. And the folks that are
in that part of the country Rev are not against the oil industry. A lot of
them work for the oil industry. They just believe, and I heard it time and
time again, that they thought that BP was just not a very good player in
the whole thing. And so, what did I think when I went down there? I
couldn`t believe it. You know, I guess I was one of those ones that was
believes and there had really been a real recoveries and that everything
was okay and Trump was coming out.
I didn`t know the numbers were down like that. I didn`t know that the
commercial fishing had been decimated like that. I didn`t realize that,
you know, businesses, one wharf that we recovered when we went down there,
a retired fighter pilot put his retirement into it. His wife had to go
back to work, she`s 75-years-old now, she`s fighter pilot, put his
retirement into it. His wife had to go back to work, she`s 75-years-old
now. She`s 71. And they`re in debt over a million dollars. I mean, the
oil came, the business left, and they couldn`t get it back. And the bank
took the wharf and they`re still stuck with the narrative. I mean, these
are, you know, where is our government? I mean, it`s no difference between
a hurricane where federal help has to come in, you know, or any kind of
drought or anything like that. This one has just lasted five years.
SHARPTON: Again, great reporting. Ed Schultz thank you for your time.
And watch "THE ED SHOW" tomorrow for more on his series "The Gulf Today:
Five Years After the Spill" 5:00 p.m. Eastern right here on MSNBC.
Still ahead, why can`t GOP leaders denounce Rudy Giuliani`s ugly comments
about President Obama?
Also, should we tax sugar the way we tax cigarettes?
And what has the 25 years of Photoshop done to the way we look at
celebrities and ourselves? "Conversation Nation" is next.
SHARPTON: It`s time for "Conversation Nation." Joining me tonight,
Mic.com`s Liz Plank, "The Huffington Post" Noah Michelson, Roll Call Shira
Center, thank you all for being here.
LIZ PLANK, MIC.COM: Thanks, Rev.
SHIRA CENTER, POLITICS EDITOR, ROLL CALL: Thank you.
SHARPTON: I have to start by going to Rudy Giuliani, saying he does not
believe that the President loves America, but the real problem is people
like Scott Walker refusing to condemn the comments. Bobby Jindal saying
that the gist of what Giuliani said is true, and Ted Cruz is calling the
President an apologist for terrorists. Now, Shira, Rudy is one thing,
totally irrelevant, but the possible 2016 candidates not condemning it?
How is this playing out in Washington?
CENTER: Well, you know, privately a lot of these guys are shaking their
head, saying like, my gosh, did Rudy really just say that, right? Could he
really just put this in a position of responding in this kind of thing?
When I heard about it, I just put that in my manila file of crazy things
Rudy Giuliani says sometimes, and that he`s never going to run for office
Well, it`s growing certainly. Yes.
PLANK: Well, I agree with that. I mean, he`s made so many race bait
comments like that. He`s talking, you know, the emphasis on black on black
crime, like he`s always going off, but there are people who are listening
to him. And I think that`s what we really need to be concerned about. And
that`s what the GOP means to think about as well. Saying that Obama
doesn`t love America that he didn`t grow up like you. That is very
dangerous language that no one should be endorsing.
SHARPTON: And I mean, the White House played the high road today, just
tweeting about three national monuments the President dedicated today.
With the #ObamaLovesAmerica. But Noah, what about the other guys? I mean,
the guys that are now currently possibly running for president, holding
office that have real followings. What about none of them really
NOAH MICHELSON, THE HUFFINGTON POST: I think it`s, you know, despicable,
but not surprising. And I think that we need to hold people accountable to
those kind of things and say, you know, why aren`t you speaking out when
you know this isn`t blatantly not true. And the fact that, you know, the
most American thing you can kind to do is hold your country accountable for
its actions and I think that`s what Obama has been doing. And I think that
for republican candidates not to speak out. I think it`s pretty sad.
SHARPTON: Now to a question. Should your sweets be taxed? A dietary
guidelines advisory committee recommended a tax on sugary foods and sodas,
as a way to fight obesity. More than two thirds of adults, and nearly one
third of children and teens are overweight or obese. The studies are shown
that sugary snacks and beverages are tied to high obesity rates. Noah,
what do you think? Should the government be taxing sugar?
MICHELSON: You know, I don`t have a problem with taxing sugar. I think
the question is really, who is going to be affected by the tax? And how
are they going to be affected? I think we know that a lot of poor and
working people are probably going to be hit heart. And so, if those taxes
are in use to help programs that are going to help people get healthy food
into their homes and into their mouths, and we`re actually going to change
their conversation about how we`re eating in this country, I think it could
be a good thing, I`m not convinced that`s how, that money could be spend
CENTER: Yes. I think it`s pretty well proven that this taxing sugar is
not a popular position, even the most liberal of communities, and mostly I
think voters should have the option. You know, they can choose on a ballot
referendum whether or not they want their sugar to be taxed. It doesn`t
have a terrific history in terms of taxing these kinds of premium products.
PLANK: Yes, I mean, we think about obesity as an individual problem but
really it`s a collective one. And it`s not just a health issue, it`s a
class issue. So, it`s more, you know, to both Shira and Noah`s point, it
is more prevalent in low socioeconomic areas. So, we can`t just be further
taxing the people who are already poor. We need to think about subsidies
for healthy foods, we need to think about why it`s harder for them to even
be in the radius that`s close enough to vegetables and fruit. We need to
think about the structural problem at hand.
SHARPTON: And think about the kind of fools that are available in many
SHARPTON: That are poorer communities. Because you have this huge areas
of where there`s nothing available, but high sugar quick kind of foods.
MICHELSON: Right. If you can pay $99 for, you know, extra value meal,
that`s what you`re going to do.
SHARPTON: All right. Everyone stay with me. When we come back, happy
birthday to Photoshop, 25 years of altering reality. Good for business,
but is it good for society? Next.
SHARPTON: We`re back with more "Conversation Nation." Liz, Noah and Shira
are still here. Happy birthday 25th birthday to Photoshop. It`s great fun
for the user. For 25 years it`s altered our sense of reality, but Cindy
Crawford is getting a lot of attention for this leaked magazine image,
posing without Photoshop. Photoshopping stars is nothing new. It`s now
viral photos. Mariah Carey`s body was slimmed down, and so was actress
Jennifer Lawrence`s cover shot, and pop star Britney Spears. Nicki Minaj
even called out a magazine saying she loves her personal unretouched
photos. Liz, what is the impact of 25 years of Photoshop been?
PLANK: I mean, it`s had a huge impact. And I think all these examples are
very interesting. You know, Nikki Minaj saying, I like my unretouched
PLANK: Here they are.
SHARPTON: I do think that those were different than what happened with
Cindy Crawford. It`s not entirely clear if she really wanted this photo to
be released. Is it seemed like it was leaked by a third party. And
judging by the photo that was released by her husband on Instagram where
she looks much slimmer, and very different, I don`t think she was happy
with that photo being linked. And I don`t think there should be a witch-
hunt where we go after these linked photos. We can still have a
conversation about how unrealistic these representations are and about
media literacy, without exposing these women and with photos that they
might not want out in the world.
CENTER: You know what I would really like to see, Reverend, I would like
to see a celebrity walk the walk and make an agreement with the magazine
that they will publish their unretouched photos. If they`re really going
to say, oh, Cindy Crawford looks beautiful just the way she is without
Photoshop, without these retouched imaging, why don`t they go for it and
say, he had release their own untouched photos and show the world that it`s
really okay to have a few extra curves.
MICHELSON: I think people are hungry for it too. I mean, Beyonce just had
a photo that leaked.
MICHELSON: And the response was incredible. Because these are people that
we look up and it`s nice to day, you know, what? They`re kind of like me.
Yes, they won the genetic lottery and yes, no, I don`t look like just them,
but they have a pimple, or you know, they have some curves, too. And I
think we`re hungry for that.
SHARPTON: Well, it had been a big impact on generations of people. I
mean, for years people thought I was very fat and was just Photoshopped
that I could let everybody see the real me. Liz, Noah and Shira, thank you
for joining the conversation tonight. We`ll be right back.
SHARPTON: Finally tonight, a monument to change. Today in Chicago,
President Obama designated the historic Pullman Factory District a national
monument. It`s a tribute to generations of railroad porters, mostly
African-American men who escaped the Jim Crow south to find work in the
north and build a new black middle class.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: Pullman became the first large
company in America to recognize a union of black workers. It was those
Pullman porters who gave the base by which A. Philip Randolph could
convince President Truman to desegregate the armed forces. It was those
porters helped lead the Montgomery bus boycott, who were the central
organizers of the march on Washington.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: The porters became a central part of the civil rights movement.
Years later, many African-Americans achieved success by standing on the
shoulders of ancestors who were Pullman porters, including First Lady
Michelle Obama and Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, A. Philip
Randolph, who was the convener of the march on Washington in `63 when
Martin Luther King made that famous speech, "I Have a Dream." I remember
as a teenager the organizer Bayard Rustin had Rachelle Horowitz call me to
come to an event. And as a teenager, I met Randall. I learned of the
stories of the dignity and pride of the Pullman porters. My hero Reverend
Joseph Lowery would tell stories about how it was Pullman porters and
preachers that helped break the walls of apartheid down in the south.
Today was a deserving tribute in Chicago to men who rebuild a community and
brought their families with them.
Thank you for watching. I`m Al Sharpton. "HARDBALL" starts right now.
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