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The Ed Show for Thursday, March 26th, 2015

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Date: March 26, 2015
Guest: Lise Johnson, Genevieve Wood, Tom Bunn, Anthony Davis, Wendell
Potter, Heidi Harris


SCHULTZ: New details about the copilot behind the Germanwings crash.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was mass murder and the weapon was an aircraft.

SCHULTZ: Plus, the new grassroots effort to defeat fast-track.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We could say its going increase to corporate rights and
decrease sovereign rights.

SCHULTZ: Later, the miseducation of Ted Cruz.

SEN. TED CRUZ, (R) TEXAS: There`s nothing like the warm embrace of the
mainstream media.


SCHULTZ: Good to have you with us tonight, folks. Thanks for watching.

Here in New York City, we are following breaking news.

Take a look at this dramatic live scene in Manhattan`s East Village after a
building collapse. The Fire Department of New York is trying to contain a
fire that is already critically injured three people. A dozen people are
being treated for injuries. We`re going to keep an eye on this throughout
our show, bring in the latest developments and we will have a live report
from the scene here at the Ed Show tonight.

But first, we start with the developments of the crash of Germanwings
Flight 9525, it is almost unreal.

Officials in France said today that the copilot locked the captain out of
the cockpit and deliberately crash the plane. The cockpit voice recorder
revealed the copilot was breathing normally until the moment of impact. It
suggests he was conscious and deliberately kill the 144 passengers and five
of the crew members in an active mass murder.

MSNBC`s Craig Melvin has the latest.


CRAIG MELVIN, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Here`s what we know right, the copilot
Andreas Lubitz, seen here in the photo, was in the cockpit alone.

cascading and escalating terror.

MELVIN: Investigators confirmed the pilot was locked out and trying to re-
enter the cockpit.

BRICE ROBIN, MARSELLIE PROSECUTOR: And then we start hearing banging,
someone trying to actually break the door down.

MELVIN: The plane was in a rapid descent from 38,000 feet but at a
controlled speed.

ROBIN: I think that the victims probably only realized what was going on
really at the last minute. In the data that we can listen to, you can only
hear cries right at the end or right before the point of impact.

MELVIN: There were new distress calls or communication with air traffic
control from the cockpit, meanwhile, inside the cabin, terrifying chaos.

ROMAN: When has this began escalated fear has definitely entered into the
equation and panic. Towards the end, it was sheared desperation and panic.


SCHULTZ: Copilot Andreas Lubitz reportedly had no history of mental
illness. Today, the CEO of Lufthansa Airlines said that he was 100 percent
fit to fly. The airbus A320 as a reinforce cockpit door just like all
modern commercial aircraft. There is a keypad outside the door which can
unlock the door by a pilot or flight attendant with a preset code.

The pilot of Germanwings flight was reportedly trying to unlock the door
during the descent. But copilot can manually overwrite that code which he
did with a button in the cockpit.

This video from airbus shows how the captain would have tried to access the


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On the code pad, he enters the emergency code then
presses the hash key. This triggers the timer for 30 seconds. The green
led on the code pad flashes indicating imminent unlocking.

In the cockpit the buzzer sounds continually and the open light flashes
also indicating imminent unlocking.

When the elapse time is over with no action from the cockpit crew, the door
goes into unlocking sequence for five seconds. The green led on the code
pad remains steady. The open light comes on for five seconds during the
unlocking sequence and the buzzer stops indicating the door is unlock. The
person (ph) now has five seconds to enter to the cockpit.


SCHULTZ: So the question tonight could this disaster have been possibly
avoided. Rules and regulations about having two people in the cockpit at
all times could have prevented the crash. That is the rule here in the
United States.

And we know that through out history disasters have occurred, regulators
always step in. For example, let`s go back 100 years. The Titanic sunk in
1912, a number of vessels were nearby but they didn`t hear the radio
operator`s distress call because they were asleep. Lives could have been
saved if the ships had heard the distress calls. In the wake of the
sinking of the Titanic the government established the Radio Act of 1912.
New rules required ships to have radio operators awake at sea 24 hours a
day. Later, years later the Radio Act became the Federal Communications

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire here in New York City in 1911 killed
146 people. Wednesday, just recently, marked the 104th anniversary of the
fire. It was one of the deadliest industrial disasters in U.S. history.
The reason so many people were killed was due to the number of exits being
locked to prevent theft. After the fire roughly 30 labor related laws were
pass by New York State. This disaster has been credited with the
developing a new model for work safety in the United States.

And of course, the biggest game changer here on the America was 9/11. The
terrorists attacks brought us body scanners, reinforce cockpit doors,
enhance screening of passengers, increase sky marshals and the TSA, and of
course the Department of Homeland Security was the largest rearrangement of
security and government in this country.

Since this new regulations went into effect, no U.S. airlines have been
hijacked. Already, the airline industry is responding to this disaster in
the French Alps. Just today, Norwegian Air Shuttle also Air Canada and
EasyJet (ph) out of Britain announced that they would require two people in
the cockpit at all times.

The CEO of Lufthansa responded to that question today at a press


CARSTEN SPOHR, CEO OF LUFTHANSA: I don`t see any need to change our
procedure at this very important thing has been in a single occasion (ph).
But as I mention before German who will get together with the various
experts in the Lufthansa Group Airlines and the authorities with our German
government to see if our procedures can be refine but I think we should not
now jump into short the notice activities.


SCHULTZ: So you might be wondering what the copilot would have had go
through to take this aircraft down at 4,000 feet a minute. Well, is really
pretty simply, only have to do four things and you could have done it in a
matter of seconds.

This is the flight management system, this is the auto pilot. All he had
to do is change the preselected altitude. Go from 38,000 feet just select
it digitally to 6,000 feet then it could have -- which he would have done
because of descent of the aircraft is preselect the descent rate.

You can select it at 500 feet, 1,000 feet, 2,500 feet a minute.
Apparently, it looks like this had it steady descent of 4,000 feet a
minute. Then only would have to do is press the button and watch the rest
of your life go by. And that`s exactly what happened.

As far as the TSA is concerned, the Air Traffic Controllers, the ATC, I`m
not sure which center was in control. But if it was FARA (ph) Center, it
would have sounded something like this once he left to 38,000 feet without
clearance. It would have been the air traffic controller saying, Flight
9525 say altitude. Flight 9525 say altitude. Flight 9525, do you copy?
And then of course, they would have taken action in the control tower. And
of course, that story will come out later on.

For more let me bring in top -- Captain Tom Bunn, a retired airline pilot,
Craig Feith is with us tonight, former NTSB Investigator and NBC News
Aviation Safety Analyst, and also with us is Anthony Davis Aviation Expert
and Pilot, great to have all of you with us tonight.

Mr. Bun, I`ll start with you. Do you think that this was something that
this pilot thought about? I mean, because he had to go through a short
series of things to control this aircraft to do it, what do you think

TOM BUN, FORMER PILOT: It had to do a lot of thinking about, Ed. He is
second nature that controls the airplane power. We want to do just as
you`ve said, you just dial the numbers in hit (ph) it to execute and that`s

SCHULTZ: What about the doors -- could we do more? I mean, could this
have been prevented?

BUNN: Yes. This would not have happened in the U.S. Our procedures would
have prevented this. But its interesting, Luftansa -- everybody else`s
immediately adapting these procedures to understand, we going to think
about it.

SCHULTZ: OK. And Mr. Feith, what are your thoughts now that this
information is coming, that this pilot acted the way he did, obviously the
voice recorders brought us all of this information. This is something one
for the archives very, very strange.

GREG FEITH, FORMER NTSB INVERSTIGATOR: Absolutely. And now the question
for the investigator is, how long has this pilot been thinking about doing
this, what motivated this pilot, and was this autonomous act, was it
solely. This pilot because of personal problems or is this part of a
bigger plan, a more, you know, various plan and showing a weakness in the

SCHULTZ: Did he lose his girlfriend, did he have financial problems, did
he experiment with drugs? I mean, all of these things are going to be
investigative aren`t they?

FEITH: They would have to be when I work on the (inaudible) investigation
in Indonesia, one of the things that we went to look at, of course, was the
pilot`s background. We saw that he had a lot of personal issues going on.
He had a very dire financial situation. He had some issues with his
employer as a captain at a small airline. And so, we found out that he was
in a retaliatory type mode. He had issues financially took out a big
insurance policy, and ended up taking the plane between Palembang or
Jakarta and Singapore, crashing it in a high speed dive near Palembang,

SCHULTZ: So what could we do to make sure that pilots are of sound mind
and body to operate and take the lives of 150 people into their hands? I
mean, when you think about it, this is a 28-year-old kid and say kid
because 600 hours of fly in time is almost nothing compared to a very year
lead experienced pilot. And to fly an aircraft of this nature, obviously,
he had intents training but it sounds young. It`s doesn`t sound like a lot
of hours and then to have that kind of responsibility and be able to
isolate yourself in a cockpit. It just tells the traveling public, we got
a long way to go, don`t we?

FEITH: I think so. When you look at -- here in the United States, that
pilot wouldn`t be in the front end of one of our commercial airliners
because it requires 1500 hours of flight time or greater now especially
after continental express up in Buffalo.

The fact is that with a young pilot like this who`s been flying 600 hours,
there isn`t a lot of experience. But this is an inexperience accident.
This is in a qualification event. This was an intentional act.

He learned how to fly the airline and for whatever reason, something
triggered him to take that airplane and take it from a motor transportation
and make it into a weapon to kill the folks in the back.

The big question now is what motivated him and were there any precursors?
I think Tom and Anthony would agree with me. The hardest thing you can do
as a pilot is try and filter, and trap line whether another pilot is having
a bad day or if he`s got some nefarious intent because that`s takes a
personality study, a character study. And while you can do psychological
testing when you first employ a pilot, you don`t have the oversights. You
don`t have the filters to be able to monitor that and it`s very, very
subjective. We saw that with JetBlue.


FEITH: Two plus years ago, we had a captain who showed up for work and
started rumbling nonsense to a first officer who was stood enough when he
left the cockpit to lock the door and divert. But who knew that day...


FEITH: ... that that captain was going to show up for work and do what he

SCHULTZ: Mr. Davis, why don`t other countries, why didn`t they follow the
United State`s lead to make sure that there was different cockpit security?
I find it just amazing. I mean, you know, we`ve seen planes high-jacked in
the past, more could have been put into the regulation and even the CEO of
the airline today said that they have no intention right now of changing
the regulation? Your thoughts on all of that?

federal aviation authority is sadly different to the civil aviation
authority and those that control Europe. And this is a very unusual
situation. It`s not the kind of situation that we would expect the
airlines or indeed the authorities to militate against.

However, in Nairobi in 2013, there was a similar incident with an Embraer
Aircraft, a small aircraft with lesser passengers on board but it has
happen before.

I think the biggest issue we have, Ed, is that, at the point of issuing a
pilot`s license was there is psychometric testing, was there is medical,
there is no deep mental health testing just the hunch of the general
doctor, the physician to decide if he thinks further testing is required.

SCHULTZ: Interesting. Mr. Bun, did you ever fly with anybody you weren`t
sure about?

BUNN: Yes. I did.

SCHULTZ: You did?

BUNN: Yes. But it was mostly older pilots who learn to fly on crafts.
They weren`t familiar with jets. It was not that their personality were a
problem, it`s just that I wasn`t sure that they were really that capable as

SCHULTZ: Does the industry need to do more?

BUNN: Well, it`s difficult to figure what they could do. I`d saw some
stats just last week that they were trying to determine how accurately you
can apply a test to determine whether someone is suicidal. And they say,
"We can`t do it. It doesn`t work. The tests are not reliable."

So even if you decided to regularly examine pilots for suicidality and not
going to be able to break the code.

SCHULTZ: What does it say about the pilot that he had no qualms about
leaving the cockpit with a 28-year-old in charge and only 600 hours of

BUNN: Well, there is not really anything you need to do if you don`t touch
the machinery.

SCHULTZ: Yeah. It`s all on autopilot. The problem comes if there is a
problem knowing what to do to remedy it.

BUNN: Yeah.

SCHULTZ: That`s where the training comes in.

BUNN: Yeah. Ed, but obviously, you know, he should be able to get back to
the cockpit quickly, ordinarily.

This is, you know, I got to tell you, this is so disturbing. The last
time, I couldn`t even go to sleep. It`s just this is a profession to where
we expect to be trusted and to have this happen is really shocking.

SCHULTZ: Mr. Feith, what about the toggle switch in the cockpit where the
single operator could overwrite the security switch of the door? Does that
have to be looked at in your opinion?

FEITH: Well, I think we have to go back and reevaluate. After 9/11, we
were concerned about people in the back of the airplane getting into the
front of the airplane. So we put all these barriers up. We put up 45
doors. We have now protocols where we have two people in the cockpit and
the real intent of having that second person in the cockpit, when one of
the flight for members left was to run basically intervene or run
intervention if somebody worked to gain access into the cockpit. They have
to go through them before they got to a flying pilot, so all of our
mentality was, keep the people in the back of the airplane from getting
into the front of the airplane.


FEITH: And so we built these systems and we gave the pilots the ability to
ensure that level of security. We never thought about it or at least it
was never really concerning that we would have the bad guy, if you will,
behind the locked door keeping the people that are trying to salvage this
bad situation from getting in and stopping...

SCHULTZ: That`s the rarity of it at all.

FEITH: ... this type of event.

SCHULTZ: That is the rarity of it all.

FEITH: Yeah. Absolutely.

SCHULTZ: This is almost unbelievable. Greg Feith, and Tom Bunn, and
Anthony Davis, great to have all of you with us tonight, thanks so much.

DAVIS: Thank you.

SCHULTZ: We`re keeping a close eye on the breaking news at the New York
City. Firefighters are battling a massive blaze after a building collapse.
Details are still pouring in. We`ll bring you the latest.

Stay with us. We`ll be right back in the Ed Show.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show. I`m surprised that there is not
outrage among network correspondents tonight.

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show. I`m surprised that there`s not
outrage (ph) among network correspondents tonight.

WikiLeaks just uncover the documents outlining a threat to United States
sovereignty. President Obama is still pushing the dangerous TPP, Trans-
Pacific Partnership. The New York Times published an explosive article
revealing that TPP investment chapter.

TPP would allow foreign corporations to sue the United States government
for actions that undermined their investment expectations and hurt their
business. Companies and investors would empower to challenge regulations,
rules, government actions and court rulings before, what, tribunals.

How many times that we cover this hear on the Ed Show? Senator Elizabeth
Warren says tax payers would clean up the mess.


SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN, (D) MASSACHUSETTS: The company could skip to U.S.
court and go before an international panel of arbitrators. If the company
wins, the ruling cannot be challenged in the U.S. courts. And the
arbitration panel could require the American tax papers to cope up millions
even billions of dollars in damages.


SCHULTZ: So it took WikiLeaks to get this document, not anybody in the
United States media. We`ve been following the developments in the
transpacific partnerships since last summer. Now, we`re in 11th hours
folks, it gets real politically high.

Senator Ron Wyden Oregon is a ranking Democrat on the Finance Committee.
Republican needs him to get fast-track authority. If Wyden supports the
legislation, liberal groups and unions say that there`ll primary amount
(ph) of office.

Finance Committee Chair Orrin Hatch is giving Wyden until April to reach an
agreement. Political tension is running high, American jobs and safety are
at stake.

Now, I don`t think I`m going to the bridge too far. This is serious stuff
from the stand point of the secrecy. There`s no difference cooking the
books on intelligence to go into war or cooking the books in keeping trade
negotiations` secret and we have to rely on WikiLeaks instead of the White
House to find out what the heck is going on when it comes to American jobs.
Or, maybe that doesn`t matter.

Joining me tonight, Lise Johnson, Head of the Investment Law and Policy at
the Colombia Center of Sustainable Investment and Genevieve Wood, Senior
Contributor with the Daily Signal with us tonight.

Genevieve, how do you defend the secrecy here, your thoughts?

to defend the secrecy here. I mean, I think this is a trade agreement,
there are trade agreement that will eventually come before the Congress

SCHULTZ: Well, respectfully, if you`re not going to defend the secrecy
then what would you say about it?

WOOD: Well, because -- when I think we`re talking about here is something
that is in most trade agreements.


WOOD: This is -- I don`t -- I talk to folks who`ve look at this language
that was written in the New York Times. They`ve said this is very similar
to other trade agreements we`ve had with the E.U. and other countries and
it often been challenged people by -- many groups are primarily in the left
don`t like it. But this basically the (inaudible) put in an agreement.

SCHULTZ: Genevieve, this is very, very interesting that conservatives are
OK with circumventing American law with the United Nations, being -- having
the overwriting guiding force on this. This is exactly what the
conservatives have been clamoring about for years.

WOOD: You know, well, that maybe in some cases but let me be clear about
this. Let me give you an example. If a U.S. company decides to open up --
say in Colombia. And the Colombian government one day just come and says
(ph), "We`re going to nationalize that industrial." That we want to rely
on the courts in Colombia to give us a fair deal, I mean, if we can go that
route if we want to but I think we do want to have a third party that we
can go before that we think is going to be more fair. And let`s be clear,
they`re non-binding...

SCHULTZ: The third party should circumvent American Law which strips us of
a representative government.

WOOD: That`s not true.

SCHULTZ: It is true. It is true. And once the tribunals makes a decision
on the investors state disputes, the United States government can`t do
anything about it.

WOOD: These are non-binding findings and United States can pull out of any
agreement that it would like to...


WOOD: ... pull out.

SCHULTZ: All right. Lise Johnson, is this true? Can they pull out once
they get into the whole deal?

much more complicated than that. Essentially, the agreement has this long
period of life where they are enforce for about 10 to 20 years depending on
the agreements. And once they`re terminated, if it terminated, you know,
laterally they stay enforce for another 10 to 15 years. So, you know, it`s
not as simple as in a laterally saying that we`re out of the agreement.

SCHULTZ: So the investor state disputes of course is what all of the
unions are concerned about, and workers in this country that there would be
no reversal course in their lifetime.



JOHNSON: Potentially, we start...

SCHULTZ: And this would circumvent American law.

JOHNSON: Yeah. Definitely has a power to circumvent and overwrite
American law. You see over and over consistently in the decisions where
tribunals say that consistency with domestic law is not a defense to
liability. So some action that is entirely legitimate under domestic law
can still be found in reach of the treaty and give rise to liability.

SCHULTZ: Does this open the door or just a prolifera of legal wrangling
(ph) that would take place in American courts? The TPP would allow foreign
corporations to sue the United States government for actions that undermine
their investment expectations and hurt their business.

So in other words if I`m a foreign investors, I`m investing in the United
States. I don`t like the way business went, I`m going to sue. I`m going
to give an international tribunal to make a ruling on that. And once it`s
done, there`s no representative government, the Congress can`t comeback and
say, hey lets pass a law that`s going to fix this. Is that right?

JOHNSON: Right. That`s exactly the issue. What these mechanisms do is
they provide foreign companies or foreign shareholders even in domestic
companies to opt (ph) that in a domestic legal system and opt to choose to
go to international arbitration, to challenge action of a local authority,
a state authority or federal authority whether by the judicial branch, the
executive or the legislative. So it`s a really broad right (ph) of

WOOD: Ed...

SCHULTZ: So Miss Wood, if there is something...

WOOD: Yeah.

SCHULTZ: ... that is injurious to the American economy and the Congress
wants to do something in the aftermath of it, they`re powerless. So the
Representative government is out of the window.

WOOD: Ed, but what you`re suggesting here is that, that we`ve never tried

Look, this is been part of almost every trade agreement we`ve been a part
of in recent years. And you don`t see this thing an issue. And the fact
is, the majority -- I think the U.N. did a study on this and about 500 such
alligation just come -- or countries have brought forth--


SCHULTZ: So the investors state disputes is in other trade agreements? I

WOOD: Yes, it is.

SCHULTZ: I have to (inaudible) on this, simply not true.

WOOD: Ed, it`s in deals that we`ve make -- yes it is, Ed. This is been in
trade agreement after...

SCHULTZ: Lise...

WOOD: ... trade agreement. And let me finish...

SCHULTZ: Is she correct?

WOOD: ... the Ecuador and Argentina...

SCHULTZ: I`ll give you a chance. Lise?

WOOD: ... and countries like are primarily the types of countries that end
up having problems, not the United States.

JOHNSON: It is actually a provision that is in U.S. agreements, but most
of those agreements except for the NAFTA are with other -- with capital
importing states.

So with the TPP and with the agreement with the Europe that`s being
negotiated, those will be really the expansion of agreement for their
capital exporting states. So what that means is, essentially all the U.S.
company are being protected by the U.S. hasn`t face the same type of

SCHULTZ: Genevieve, I`ll give you the last word.

WOOD: Well, I would just say that folks should know that we benefit from
foreign investment in this country and that`s what this free trade
agreement gives us. And there about 5 million jobs in this country that
are here because of foreign investors and I think that`s a good thing for
the economy, a good thing for the economy, a good thing for the worker.
And we haven`t seen this be a problem in the U.S.

SCHULTZ: OK. In American companies would be even more free to go on into
emerging markets where they do not have labor standards and it would gut
American jobs, so we`re at an impasse on this.

Lise Johnson, Genevieve Wood, great to have you with us tonight.

WOOD: Thank you.

SCHULTZ: Thank you so much.

And for the life of me (ph), I have no idea why President Obama continues
to push this.

Next, we are following breaking news on a building collapsed in the heart
of New York City. Keep it here, we`ll be right back.


SCHULTZ: And we are back.

And following the latest on the New York City building collapsed, Mayor
Bill de Blasio has just arrive on the scene of a massive fire in the East
Village neighborhood of Manhattan.

The Fire Department of New York confirms at least 12 injuries, three people
are in critical condition and being treated at area hospitals. Police have
evacuated surrounding roads and buildings.

At this hour, one building has collapsed while a connecting building is
still on fire. It all started with reports of an explosion, the fire jump
from 2 Alarm to 7 Alarm in a matter of minutes. Official say a gas leak
could be the cause of all of this.

The New York Department of Buildings will hold a press conference this
evening on the disaster. And you were looking live right now at a scene
from a top of Rockefeller Center where you can see the smoke which is now
starting to go all over Manhattan.

Joining me on the phone is MSNBC Reporter Adam Reiss who is on the scene.
Adam, where are you and what do you know?

ADAM REISS, MSNBC REPORTER: I`m right at the corner, Ed, of Saint Mark`s
Place and Second Avenue. This is the lower east side. And firefighters
are continuing to fight this fire.

For the first time this evening, the smoke is actually headed back east so
the entire block here where was clear before is now in enveloped in smoke
(ph), those firefighters step on the ladders enveloped in smoke.
(Inaudible) workers have just arrived and they`re digging into the ground
probably to try to get to the pipes.

We`re also getting a better sense, Ed, from eyewitnesses is to exactly what
happened at the time of the explosion, people in neighboring buildings have
told me, they heard a loud explosion, their building shook, and there was
just a lot of panic running around.

The building that collapsed has Japanese restaurant. The facade of that
restaurant, the glass plate windows exploded out onto the street so there`s
a lot of debris, bricks and the like on the street. They also said they
saw a few people just walking around dazed and confused, not sure what to
do, some of them bloody, rabble everywhere.

So right now, firefighters are continuing to put out this fire. I would
say the smoke has dissipated fire a bit so maybe they`re on their way to
putting this out, and being able to actually search the building.

As you mentioned, one building has pretty much totally collapse the
adjacent building has lot most of the inner, basically all that left with
that second building is the facade.

The Mayor is here we expect him to brief at us soon. Ed?

SCHULTZ: All right. Adam Reiss, reporter on the scene on the East
Village. And again, the New York Department of Buildings will hold a press
conference this evening on the disaster. Thank you, Adam.

More coming up on the Ed show -- Rapid Response Panel is next. Stay with

Market Wrap.

No rebound for stock after yesterday`s fell off. The Dow falling 40
points, the S&P off by 4 and the NADAQ shutting 13 points.

The price of oil dumping more than 4 percent today after Saudi Arabia and
its Gulf allies begin military operations in Yemen. They`re trying to slow
the advance of rebels who have driven the country`s President from the

Meanwhile, here in the U.S. jobless claims fell to a five-week low last
week, filing`s dropped by 9,000 to 282,000 which is better than economists
had expected.

That`s it from CNBC, first in business worldwide.



CRUZ: Well, beyond the federal exchange like millions of others on the
federal exchange. It is one of the good things about Obamacare is the
statute provided the members of Congress would beyond on the exchanges
without subsidies just like millions of Americans, so there wouldn`t be a
double standard.


SCHULTZ: And there have got to be advisers behind close doors saying,
"Cowboy, you got to get this right."

This is turning out to be the first political stumble of the year. Senator
Ted Cruz wants you to believe his legally required to sign up for
Obamacare. Well, his not.

The Affordable Care Act does not forced members of Congress to enroll. It
simply cuts off the government contribution to their insurance plans if
they buy their policy somewhere else, his acting as if he has no choice.

Cruz`s wife is taking an unpaid leave of absence from her position on
Goldman Sachs to help her husband campaign. So their health coverage will
come from the exchange or his job. You can be sure Ted Cruz will continue
to spin this in his campaign. Here`s what Republicans Strategist for
Mercedes Schlapp said here on the Ed show on Wednesday.


primarily because he has been so vocal on repealing -- this is got to be a
question that of course Senator Rubio is going to have to face and Senator
Rand Paul. So it will be interesting to see how they`re going to answer,
so it might be interesting that Senator Ted Cruz is going through this
process first.


SCHULTZ: Cruz unveiled his own alternative healthcare plan a week or so
ago, I guess nobody was talking about it, just before announcing that he
was going to sign up the exact thing that his been trying to repeal. This
could really damage his credibility in a number of ways.

Let`s get some response tonight from our panel, Wendell Potter, Senior
Analyst with the Center for Public Integrity and author of "Obamacare:
What`s in for me?: What everyone needs to know the Affordable Healthcare
Act", also with us Heidi Harris, Talk Show Host, and Ruth Conniff, Editor
of the Progressive Magazine, great to have all of you with us.

Mr Potter, you first. Ted Cruz, we know his wrong, his not legally
obligated to sign up so why he spin it this way?

except that I guess he felt that it was important to keep the spin going
because he has been spending a great deal against the Affordable Care Act
in ways it`s really quite this ingenious.

I will say though that he and I have something in common. We both were
giving our health insurance through our wives` employers, and I had to that
when I left my job at in the insurance industry. And this was before

And I probably wouldn`t have done what I did and had not been for my wife
having that job. I would have been -- probably we would have been
uninsurable because of her age. So it`s one very good thing about the
Affordable Care Act and he should be very grateful to have the chance I
guess to be on wife`s health plan.

SCHULTZ: Well, Mr. Potter, does the fundamental of this is, this man has
going around, blistering Obamacare at every corner. He could go to the
private sector, could he not? Just pick up the phone...

POTTER: Oh, absolutely.

SCHULTZ: ... and call your old companies signet and say, "You know what, I
need some coverage, what`s your rate?" If he so against government
involvement, why does he need to go down the road of the private sector?

POTTER: Well, he can. You can get -- first of all, you`re right. He does
not have -- there`s no obligation for him to get his coverage at the
workplace just as anybody who works for a company does not have to get the
coverage offered by their employer.

You can. He can go to the private market. He doesn`t even have to go to
an exchange. You can get coverage off exchange in anywhere the country.


POTTER: The thing is, you have to get to -- qualify for the subsidy, you
have to go to the exchange but he makes too much money of course to qualify
for a subsidy anyway.

SCHULTZ: All right. Heidi Harris, the right-wing talkers of America just
love this guy. Has he fallen from grace?

HEIDI HARRIS, HEIDI HARRIS SHOW: I don`t think so. He`s not saying he`s
definitely going to go with the Obama exchange. He is just saying he is
looking at his options like a lot American have to do...

SCHULTZ: No. He said in an interview, he`s going to go to the federal
exchange. That`s what he said in the interview when he realized that this
was going to politically snowball on him. Now, he is starting to look at
other options listening to his advisers. But in that interview, he said,
we`re going to the federal exchange and that`s the one good thing about

How do the right-wing -- that`s what he said. I didn`t say it, he said it.
So how to the right-wing talkers embrace this guy when he knows, "Hey, it
could be a phony?"

HARRIS: Well, I don`t know if these are phony, I think that there are a
lot of laws that I don`t as a conservative and you, probably, don`t like as
liberal that you have to follow anyway. So the idea is that already
established law. What would make him a bad guy by going with it if that
was the only option for him? But it`s not, luckily, but if it were, it
wouldn`t make him a bad person or a hypocrite to take advantage to
something he may not be for it but ultimately, it`s there.

SCHULTZ: That`s a pretty good spin, Heidi.

HARRIS: You like that?

SCHULTZ: I mean, he talks about principle and if this principled, he`ll
stay in the private sector, in the free market and not rely on any
government assistance or any kind of government policy.

Ruth Conniff, is this politically going to hurt him? I mean, it might be
an opening for Scott Walker here. What do you think?

RUTH CONNIFF, THE PROGRESSIVE MAGAZINE: Absolutely. I mean, this is a guy
who compared passage of the Affordable Care Act to appeasement of the Nazi.
You can`t back away from that but to say, "Yeah, yeah, it is on good
things, was good for me."

I mean really it what it exposed is that, we have a lot of lousy options,
throwing people on the mercy of private health care market is a terrible
option, it`s incredibly expensive.

So people like Ted Cruz, even Ted Cruz, I think, yeah, it`s so much better
deal for me and that`s why he`s pursuing it, because as you pointed out, he
is completely and totally able to buy health insurance for, you know, out
of pocket $22,000 on average for a family. And maybe some right-wing
backer will come along and just pay cash so that Cruz`s can get that
private health care. But it doesn`t change the fact that it`s an
affordable for most American which is why we have the Affordable Care Act
and why it such an advance for so many people who now can get coverage.

SCHULTZ: OK. And, Heidi, there is no political injury here. That`s your

HARRIS: I don`t think so. And I think so, and I think one of the things
are forgetting is that Obamacare in some cases for some people is cheaper
although I`m not hearing that from a lot of my listeners, and the
deductibles are ridiculous. So it`s not automatically saving people money.
He is looking at all of these options, COBRA, private insurance some place
and Obamacare like he should, like everyone should.

SCHULTZ: And Mr. Potter, have the increase in rates going down
dramatically since the passing of this law?

POTTER: Right. In fact, premium is stabilized and I want to make the
point that the high deductible plans sorted a longtime ago. In fact,
they`re advocated by Republicans more than Democrats for sure and they are
not. There`s a lot of plan exchange, exchanges do have high deductibles
but that was a trim (inaudible) about the insurance industry when I was
there predates Obamacare along, you know, many, many years.

SCHULTZ: OK. And also what about Rand Paul and Marco Rubio, Ruth Conniff,
they got to be a little twisted on this one, now what?

CONNIFF: Well, I think all Republicans members of Congress face this
problem that they Cadilla (ph) healthcare to a government, and then they go
around criticizing health care provided by the government. And most
American to take Medicare now, you know, you`ve got a much better deal.
It`s not expensive to be individual obviously, but also it`s not as
expensive to the United States.

I mean, we paid more for health care to percentage of GDP than almost any
other country, and we get worse outcomes. And we pay, you know, 20 percent
as Wendell Potters knows that private health insurance company just an
overhead administrative cost. The bureaucratic system...


CONNIFF: ... is based on profit, and 2 percent in Medicare because it`s
much more efficient for the government. It will be much more efficient and
would be better, you know, Heidi, if the government provided a single fair
system but everybody, cheaper, anyone can access it, Ted Cruz wouldn`t be
in this bind (ph).

SCHULTZ: If this principally....

HARRIS: All right, and with the 60 billionaire Medicare fraud.

SCHULTZ: Say that again, Heidi?

HARRIS: I just want to say, all the Medicare fraud, yeah, there is no ways
there none whatsoever, none.

SCHULTZ: OK. If Ted Cruz is principally opposed to the government being
involved in health care, he shouldn`t have anything to with it because
there are other free market options out there. What a very hypocritical

Wendell Potter, Hiedi Harris, Ruth Conniff, great to have you with us.

Coming up, what the airline disaster in France means for travel in the
United States. Stay with us. We`ll be right back.


SCHULTZ: And an update on our breaking news in Southern Manhattan.

We are now learning the massive fire here in New York City spread to four
buildings, firefighters around scene still trying to put it all out.
Official say it appears construction on gas and plumbing lines is the blame
for the explosion.

One building has collapsed and there are concerns the other buildings could
collapsed. Three people were critically injured.

Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke moments ago after going inside on the buildings
with the firefighters.


MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO, (D) NEW YORK CITY: Every room is empty and burned
and chard. And you can only imagine that this beautiful vibrant family, 24
hours ago intact and now so many lost and two claim to life.


SCHULTZ: And authorities will hold a press conference later on this
evening. You`re looking live at the building right now.

We`ll bring you more on this story as it develops.

Stay with us, we`ll be right back on the Ed Show.


SCHULTZ: And finally tonight, as we learn more about the terrible act that
brought down Germanwings Flight 9525, there`s a new focus on proper
procedure for pilots.

Several international airlines are implementing a rule that requires two
crew members to be in the cockpit at all times during a flight. It`s a
rule that have been has been standard on American flights for years.

NBC`s Steve Handelsman has more.


STEVE HANDELSMAN, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Experts say this kind of a tragedy is
less likely on airliners flying in America. U.S. rules require a "no alone
zone" in the cockpit.


HANDELSMAN: A flight attendant must go to the flight deck anytime one of
the two pilots leaves.

ROMAN: There is no good reason why a commercial jet pilot responsible for
hundreds, hundreds of (inaudible), is allowed to remain alone in the

HANDELSMAN: The reenforce doors required after 9/11 to prevent high-
jacking can actually help a pilot who wants to crash his own plane.

As seen in this Airbus video, if a pilot simply moves the cockpit doors
(inaudible) to lock, no combination of codes punched in to the key pad
outside will open the door.

The lockout last five minutes and the pilot can repeat it. One person
controls access to the cockpit and controls the plane.

Some critics say, go back to three pilots that use to be standard.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don`t want to bring the flight attendants in the
cockpit because they can`t flight the aircraft.

HANDELSMAN: But in 1999 of Long Island, each of their Flight 990 crashed
in 2017 dive. When the copilot deliberately put that plane into a dive and
the pilot on the flight deck could not pull up.

But the Lufthansa pilot couldn`t even get to the controls to try to save
his passengers.


SCHULTZ: And with us for more on this, Greg Feith is a former NTSB
Investigator, former Senior Crash Investigator and MSNBC AVAITION Safety

Greg, with this unfolding tragedy, have we uncovered a design and
operational flaw, what do you think?

FEITH: I think we`ve identified the flaw in the system and the intent of
what that door and the protocols really work to serve. When you look back
well before 9/11, pilots use to leave the flight deck quite a bit and they
would live one pilot flying. When I was working for the NTSB, I sat on
many of jump seat where the captain or first officer left the flight and it
was myself and one pilot talking.

After 11, of course, we put the protocols in for this two person cockpit
for security purposes but nobody ever thought about the bad guy already
being in the cockpit, locking out the good guy who was behind that cockpit
door. And I think we have to revisit now the intent and now with not only
this event but EgyptAir 990, and SilkAir and others that are similar to
this. We`re going to have to find protocol, whether it is again two
persons, whether it`s a flight attendant or an actual pilot or flight crew
member that occupies that second position in the cockpit.

SCHULTZ: Now, it doesn`t take a federal law to do this. I mean, we have
seen the airlines overseas today, three of them in particular respond to
this. Do the airlines -- they have the latitude, they have the freedom to
be more aggressive with their safety standards, don`t they?

FEITH: They do. And, you know, volunteerism is really what it`s all
about, Ed, but the problem here is, you have to look at the cost across the
board. If they see it as a cost center or an expense, they aren`t going to
do it until they`re mandated to do it.


FEITH: And while here on the United States, we, you know, are interest is
safety and security and we`ve done it from a stand point of here`s the
protocol, here`s the purpose. It didn`t really cost any more money. But
now, if you put a qualified crew member up there, now the expense will go

A lot of the Asian carriers fly with -- in a two person airplane, they fly
with a third person, you know, there are the radio officer, or what they
call a flight engineer who serves a variety of different purposes. Maybe
we have to revisit that kind of setup in the smaller aircraft so that we
always have three qualified people upfront.

SCHULTZ: And Greg, is the possible summation of all of this, we may never
know what happen because of the disintegration of this aircraft and that
there`s just not going to be enough information for us to come to a
conclusion as to what is exactly unfolded with this Flight 9525.

FEITH: It`s a two-part answer, Ed. Here is the issue. We know that there
was no mechanical issue with the airplane, we know it was intentional act,
the pilot commanded the airplane to flight at specific speed and
(inaudible) to descent in fluid into the ground. What we will not know,
necessarily, is the reason why, the motivation, because the person who act
-- basically, acted through this is no longer with us, so we can`t ask the
question, what was going to through mind...


FEITH: So that`s the problem and we`ll probably never have an answer to

SCHULTZ: All right. Greg Feith, thanks for your time and your expertise
so I appreciate it so much.

You can get my video podcast at or,

That`s the Ed Show, I`m Ed Schultz.

PoliticsNation with Reverend Al Sharpton starts right now. Good evening,


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