The Ed Show for Friday, April 3rd, 2015
Read the transcript to the Friday show
Show: THE ED SHOW
Date: April 3, 2015
Guest: Joel Heitkamp, Bernie Erickson, Lawrence Wilkerson, Howard Dean,
John Fugelsang, Heidi Harris, David Cay Johnston, Brian Stranko, Reese
Halter, Chris Van Hollen
ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC HOST: Good evening Americans and welcome to THE ED SHOW
live from Detroit Lakes, Minnesota.
Let`s get to work.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BERNIE ERICKSON, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST: Someone can come to work
(inaudible). If you`re gay, you`re fired.
SCHULTZ: Discrimination in the heartland.
ERICKSON: That is a hundred percent legal in North Dakota.
SCHULTZ: Plus, foreign policy legacy.
PRES. BARACK OBAMA, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: We may not trust them --
this deal is not based on trust.
SCHULTZ: Later, dry country.
LARRY GERSTON, PH.D UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA Meaning, the Governor`s goals
will be no simple task.
GOV. JERRY BROWN, (D) CALIFORNIA: We`re in a historic drought and that
demands unprecedented action.
SCHULTZ: And the tax free silver spoon (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No one simply feed this --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Good to have you with us tonight, folks. Thanks for watching.
You know, the culture of the upper Midwest in this country has always been
-- you`re running the hard work and honest compassionate people although
tonight, North Dakota stands with bigotry.
House lawmakers kill the bill banning discrimination based on sexual
orientation and gender identity. While Arkansas and Indiana`s religious
freedom laws grab national attention. North Dakota is pretty much slipped
under the radar screen.
The unfair treatment for the LGBT community is perfectly legal, that`s
right, legal in North Dakota. This issue was come up in front (ph) of the
Legislative Section 3 times in the last six years. The State Senate
recently approved a measure adding sexual orientation to the list of
classes who are protected against unfair treatment.
Now, after debating for almost an hour and a half, the House rejected the
bill by 2-to-1 margin.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
T.J. JERKE: The attorney general don`t believe in discrimination but I
know (inaudible) legislature said (ph) today (inaudible) 22-79 that
discrimination is OK.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: The State Senate tried similar measures and maneuvers back in
2009 and 2013 but of course, the legislation failed. Opponents to the bill
didn`t want to create what they call a "protected class". And of course,
this seems to be the buzz-phrase for those who endorse discrimination in
North Dakota, protected call.
Just listen to North Dakota Congressman Kevin Cramer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. KEVIN CRAMER, (R) NORTH DAKOTA: Sometimes I think that the pushback
is not so much a matter of defense as it is trying to create a protected
class. And I guess I would be concerned about that as much as I would
about anything and that is, why is it that we feel the need to create
protected classes when our constitution and our federal law already protect
both religious liberty and protect against discrimination.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: That was Cramer`s interpretation of the Indiana law. The North
Dakota Human Rights Act identifies many group and classes who have
historically been treated unequally and tries to protect them all. The
first and only openly gay law maker in North Dakota asked why LGBT
individuals shouldn`t receive the same protections?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ST. REP. JOSHUA BOSCHEE, (D) NORTH DAKOTA: There are people who do
discriminate. It`s been pointed out by the bill carrier and other people
who have spoken today. We know it`s happened, people have testified that
it`s their religious right to do so. So what more evidence do we need to
say that we need a path for people to visit with their government and say,
"This happened, will you help me out?"
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Despite numerous testimony in front of the legislative session,
one opponent said, the bill had no value.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ST. REP. ROBIN WEISZ, (R) NORTH DAKOTA: Nothing in what our state does
says that we discriminate or discourage people regardless of who they are,
what they do or what their lifestyle is. North Dakota has always
encouraged diversity. This bill isn`t going to change that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: You can hear people laughing in the legislative session at that
North Dakota`s Republican Governor even criticized the lawmakers. Governor
Jack Dalrymple said, "Discrimination based on an individual`s sexual
orientation is not acceptable. We should have at least established
protections in the areas of housing and employment." Do you think?
The state`s largest paper, the Fargo Forum published a picture the House
lawmakers who voted against protection for the LGBT community. North
Dakota lawmakers were not forced to move on this issue because there really
is no economic pressure here.
I stand by my statement earlier this week, Republicans worship the
Indiana and Arkansas only back on their legislation after they saw money
leaving the state and major corporation saying they won`t do business their
anymore. The companies don`t want protesters, they want customers. Both
Indiana and Arkansas, what did they do? Well, they revised their laws.
Now, North Dakota is not going to get the same economic squeeze. Here is
the landscape. The state has an enormous surplus the general fund due to
the oil extraction tax. In fact, the number is over $4 billion in the bank
in a state of just 750,000 residents. The business pressure is off, it`s
just not there.
So maybe we can come to the conclusion that North Dakota will let
discrimination stand until there is a direct economic impact.
Get you cell phones out, I want to know what you think.
Tonight`s question, "Should North Dakota lose federal funding because of
its discriminatory law?" Text A for Yes, text B for No to 67622, we`ll
bring to you the results later on in the show.
Tonight, we go live to Fargo, North Dakota. We`re going to visit with Joel
Heitkamp who is a regionally syndicated talk show host out of KFGO Fargo,
also with us, Bernie Erickson who is civil rights activist. Gentlemen,
great to have you with us tonight.
Joel, you first. I`m curious, what economic impact if any does North
Dakota face by allowing this law of discrimination to stand?
JOEL HEITKAMP, HOST, KFGO`S "VIEWS AND VIEWS": Once called Microsoft,
that`s what it`s called.
Microsoft has a based in Fargo, we`re also proud of that. There`s a lot of
jobs that are affected by Microsoft right here in Fargo. What are these
North Dakota`s legislators going to say when Microsoft comes back to them
and says, "Why can`t you add sexual orientation to the list that already
included race, color, religion, sex, national origin and age?"
All of those things are already recognized that there was discrimination
and they were protected, Ed. All that was being attempted here was to make
sure there was no discrimination against people of sexual orientation. It
also protects mental or physical disability, so there`s recognition in
North Dakota`s law that certain individuals need protection. They gave
example, after example of discrimination.
Now, I`ll tell you what? My guess is -- this isn`t going to fits so well
with Microsoft that other company`s like that.
SCHULTZ: All right. Is this what the residents want, Joel? Is this what
you hear on your statewide radio show? If this were put to an initiated
measure, what would happen?
HEITKAMP: You know, Ed, I really don`t know. I don`t. I suspect it would
pass. I think we could get his law fixed. We could include orientation
amongst the people to not allow discrimination. But you know what? I
don`t know and here`s -- if you look at the callers into my show, I have
callers as, you know, statewide, region-wide, multi-state wide.
HEITKAMP: Heck, I`m doing a show that used to do in the old days. The
truth about the matter is I got calls from all side on this.
But the people that called in and were definitely against this, they use
religion, they made gay people ought to put something they are not, and
that`s the way they`re arguing this. In fact, I have a legislator today,
Ed, say that the reason that he didn`t vote for this was because it
exempted churches. He felt that was unconstitutional.
I said, "Wait a second. You`re trying to have it both ways here. If they
had an exempted churches --
HEITKAMP: -- and you`d have told the Catholic Church they had to allow
people to be married, you would have voted against it for that. They`re
searching for any reason to make sure Jack Dalrymple looks like Mike Pence.
SCHULTZ: Mr. Erickson, I`m curious, what is your interpretation when those
who are opposed to this law use the term "protected class".
ERICKSON: You know, Ed, gay people are not looking to be a "protected
class", we`re looking to be treated just like everybody else. I think
probably the most recent discrimination I experience was last week when I
testify before the Human Services Committee in this mark. The committee
chair requested that we keep the testimony to 45 minutes.
There were over 30 people that come from all over the state to chair their
story of discrimination. He tried to cut it down to 30 minutes.
Representative Muri (ph) put a stop (ph) to that and says, "Chairman,
people have come from all over, they need to be heard." He allowed the
testimony to go on, however, he specifically requested that there would be
no duplication, don`t repeat what the person before you had said.
A week later, I watched the live streamer. He stood before the State House
and said, "I`m voting no against this legislation and here is why. I am
the chairman of the committee, I sat the committee testimony and there were
few examples of discrimination."
There reason there were few --
ERICKSON: -- examples is because he did not let people testify. The
level of the contempt of our elected leaders is just unbelievable in North
Dakota. We are the only state on the union that has not have the ruling on
our marriage equality lawsuit. It`s unbelievable, it`s unacceptable and
this is not reflect the ideals of North Dakota`s citizens. Our legislature
ERICKSON: -- is arrogant and out of control.
SCHULTZ: Joel, what about the Governor, Jack Dalrymple is in favor of
doing something yet his party, his house party fraternal brothers are
saying, "No, we`re going to keep it the way it is."
I mean, how do we know that there isn`t some political scheming going on
here where they`ll keep the law the way it is but the Governor will be able
to make a statement saying that we really ought to change, what about that?
HEITKAMP: Well, the Governor trying to buy a hail insurance on his car
after it was already (ph) outside during a hailstorm.
He didn`t come to the stands. He came to the stands after he`s already in
effect. So he didn`t gain support from the people who wanted this law
fixed and he certainly didn`t gain support from this base which is that
hard-right in the Republican Party.
What happened here, Ed, was his party, the Republican Party in North Dakota
killed this legislation. Then, the government -- Governor make sure a
statement gets out, Governor Dalrymple, he said, "You know what? I
encouraged them. I`m very disappointed. Well, you know what use the
(inaudible) into the office.
This is the state at Teddy Roosevelt. Get out there. Tell people the
truth. And you know what? He would have provided political cover for
those legislators --
HEITKAMOP: -- to do the right thing.
Jack Dalrymple didn`t do that, Ed. He came to this densely.
SCHULTZ: Yeah. Well, I agree with you and I find it hard to believe that
he wouldn`t have a little bit more influence over his House colleagues.
He`s been around the state a long time. He`s got some political influence.
I don`t know why he didn`t use it here for the morally correct thing to do
I want to bring in Heidi Harris, radio talk show Host of the "Heidi Harris
Show" and also with us John Fugelsang, Liberal Commentator and Comedian.
Heidi, it is the "Almighty Dollar". That`s what it sounds like because the
only state that are moving on this is when people and businesses speak up
where there`s going to be some injuries economic activity taking place.
Is -- do you think that`s the case from what you hear in North Dakota?
HEIDI HARRIS, HOST, THE HEIDI HARRIS SHOW: I think maybe so. I mean,
certainly with Arkansas and Indiana, they were concern about that. But,
you know, it seems to be if you believe something you don`t cave when
And as far as Microsoft complaining in North Dakota to the Microsoft sale
products have places that throw gays off a building or hung them for being
gay in a lot of places in the world. So, that`s hypocrisy.
It`s same thing with Tim Cook from Apple. You`re talking about not wanting
to go to Indiana. What` about Saudi Arabia? Where are you selling
So we`re a little bored with the hypocrisy and sudden outrage of certain
states and not others. It gets a little tiresome.
SCHULTZ: Your thoughts on that, John Fugelsang.
JOHN FUGELSANG, HOST, SIRIUS XMP"TELL ME EVERYTHING": Yeah. The hypocrisy
is claiming that you`re a follower of Christ in discriminating against gay
people into that cover when Christ never said a damn thing against gay
people. That`s the hypocrisy. Let`s get that out of the way.
HARRIS: Christ talked about husbands and wives --
FUGELSANG: This -- Heidi, it`s my turn to talk.
HARRIS: -- husbands and wives.
FUGELSANG: It`s my turn to talk. It`s great to see you though.
HARRIS: You`re too sweet.
FUGELSANG: Gay people are not asking for special rights. Special rights
of our political churches that don`t want to pay taxes. What`s curious
about these legislators is they`re not outraged that one class of Americans
needs more protection under the law. They`re outrage that these class of
Americans would ask for it. And that`s the hypocrisy.
SCHULTZ: Heidi, what`s your response to the term "protected class"?
HARRIS: Well, why are we protecting a certain group of people because of
their behavior? And not only that, how can you prove someone didn`t get
hired because they were gay? You can`t prove that anymore than you can
prove somebody didn`t get hired because of their any sort of sex --
SCHULTZ: Being gay is behavior?
HARRIS: Of course it is.
SCHULTZ: Being gay is behavior?
FUGELSANG: Being gay is behavior?
HARRIS: We`re talking about gay behavior and that`s what set the person
FUGELSANG: No. Being gay is what sets a person apart from straight
people. And if you don`t like gay people, take it up with the manufacturer
because God keeps creating them around the world.
HARRIS: Did I say I didn`t like gay people? I did not say that, John.
We`re talking about behavior.
FUGELSANG: Well, stick up for them, Heidi. You`re a nice person.
HARRIS: What makes a person different than somebody else at work other
than their behavior? If you`re a gay guy and you do the same kind of
competent job as a straight guy, why should I care when you do at night? I
have a don`t ask, don`t tell policy.
SCHULTZ: Well, if their behavior at work is -- but Heidi, this is --
SCHULTZ: Heidi, here the key. If their behavior at work is professional
and they create no problems and if they live in a certain place and they
create no problems, they could be kicked out of the housing and they could
possibly lose their job if they`re found out to be gay that has nothing to
do with their behavior. They could be totally professional.
FUGELSANG: And sometimes --
SCHULTZ: So this is clearly discrimination, isn`t it?
HARRIS: And no one support that. I don`t support that. I don`t support
firing somebody because they`re gay.
SCHULTZ: They do it in North Dakota.
HARRIS: That`s ridiculous.
FUGELSANG: You can do it in North Dakota now, Heidi.
SCHULTZ: They do it in North Dakota.
HARRIS: Well, if they could then it could have done it in North Dakota two
weeks ago. Was anybody suing about that? Nobody. There has been no case
FUGELSANG: But they can do it. It`s legalized discrimination, Heidi.
You`re too nice for this.
HARRIS: There has been no case in 22 years of RFRA. Not one time when
this law had been used to discriminate against gay people. Not one time.
FUGELSANG: You might not realize this but sometimes --
SCHULTZ: All right. I want to --
FUGELSANG: -- straight people are mean to gay people and that`s why gay
people have needed more protection.
HARRIS: Wow. There`s a sweeping statement, all straight people are mean,
and all gay people are perfect.
FUGELSANG: I didn`t say that.
HARRIS: Was that what you`re saying -- you did
FUGELSANG: Sometimes, straight people are mean to gay people.
SCHULTZ: All right. I want to go back to Joel Hietkamp for a moment if I
Joel, why hasn`t this gotten more national attention? Is it because North
Dakota is such a rural state? There`s only -- there`s less than 800,000
residents. What`s going on here? I mean, the state is well-known because
of its oil play that is taking place internationally. Why is this been
under the radar screen?
HEITKAMP: Because there`s two major industries in North Dakota primarily.
There`s agriculture and there is oil. And oil isn`t going to jump up and
down and say, "Rectify this law". That`s -- although, I never thought
NASCAR would and they`ve probably got onboard.
Now, you take a look at agriculture, that`s all individual based, that
isn`t going to play the same cards that others did.
That`s why I mentioned Microsoft. I served in the North Dakota Senate for
14 years, many of the people that voted yesterday are gay. They`re gay.
There are gay members of the North Dakota legislature. And it`s their
right to not tell people they`re gay, they don`t have to tell people
they`re gay --
HEITKAMP: -- but you know they`re there.
SCHULTZ: And --
HEITKAMP: You -- and what happened is outstanding --
SCHULTZ: And finally, Mr. Erickson, have you seen discrimination in your
lifetime in North Dakota?
ERICKSON: You know, I`ve seen it in a number of places and that it`s
certainly outlined in the testimony this last week. Me, personally no, I
haven`t, but you know what? I`m a 50-year-old white guy in North Dakota,
life is pretty good to guys like us. That`s not the case for everybody.
And it`s time that we stand up and say, "Enough is enough, this needs to
And North Dakota legislature is saying, "There`s no discrimination in North
Dakota and if there is, we don`t care" --
ERICKSON: -- is a really bad message to be sending.
SCHULTZ: All right, Joel Heitkamp, Bernie Erickson, Heidi Harris and John
Fugelsang, I appreciate the conversation tonight here on the Ed Show.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Thank you so much.
Remember to answer tonight`s question there at the bottom of the screen,
share your thoughts with us on Twitter @edshow and like us on Facebook.
You can get my video podcast at wegoted.com.
Coming up, President Obama`s foreign policy legacy, is it going to hold?
Plus, the drought crisis. We`ll look at the steps California is taking,
and is it really enough. Stay with us, we`ll be right back on the Ed Show.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) ARIZONA: That old Beach Boys song, Bomb Iran, bomb,
bomb, bomb --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.
Eight years later, Republicans are still singing the same old tune to stop
Iran`s Bomb, Bomb Iran.
Well, bombs didn`t make history yesterday, diplomacy did. And the thought
of getting a deal made history.
After decades of strained relations between the United States and Iran, we
are at least one step closer to a nuclear agreement, closer than we`ve ever
been before. President Obama`s got us there by sticking with the same game
plan that Senator Obama had almost eight years ago.
OBAMA: And what we should be doing is reaching out aggressively to our
allies, but also talking to our enemies. And focusing on those areas where
we do not accept their actions, whether it`d be terrorism or developing
nuclear weapons, but also talking to Iran directly about the potential
carrots (ph) that we can provide in terms of them being involved in the
World Trade Organization, or beginning to look at the possibilities of
diplomatic relations being normalized.
SCHULTZ: Since day one, President Obama has put diplomacy first,
Republicans have tried to sabotage those efforts almost every step of the
And of course, the catcalls are out and about today to try to deep-six this
Joining me tonight in our Rapid Response Panel, Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson,
former Chief of Staff of Colin Powell and adjunct professor at the College
of William & Mary, also with us tonight, former Vermont Governor Howard
Dean, gentlemen, good to have you with us tonight.
Colonel, we`ll start with you. You have never been short on honesty that
is for sure. What`s the upside of what has unfolded in the last 24 hours
as you see it as opposed to the consequences?
LAWRENCE WILKERSON, RETIRED U.S. ARMY COLONEL: Ed, I don`t normally codify
or describe anything as historic, but this is in the category with
Kissinger and Nixon opening the China with Camp David under Carter with a
peace treaty between Israel and Egypt and so forth, and George Bush`s
reunification of Germany and retention in NATO.
We have a deal here that is -- if it`s consummated in the complexity
that`ll need to be dealt with by the end of June, if it`s consummated, this
is a deal that has win-win written all over it. 97 percent of the highly
enriched uranium will beyond.
We will gut the reactor at Arak. We`ll put a new fuel cell in. That`ll
prevent, Ed, from doing what the North Koreans did with theirs at Yanbian,
producing a bomb from plutonium. We`ll go from 20,000 centrifuges down to
6,000, only 5,000 of which will be operational at any one time, and much
This is a historic deal.
SCHULTZ: All right. Governor Dean, your thoughts, what are the roadblocks
here, and why would any congressional Democrats oppose this as you see it?
FMR. GOV. HOWARD DEAN, (D) VERMONT: Well, I mean, I can`t tell you why
congressional Democrats would opposed it but I`m a little less sanguine
I do think it`s a historic achievement, and -- but I do also think that all
we did is really kick the can down the road for 30-day effort until June
30th. And I`m willing to do that, you do talk to your enemies, but let`s
remember what kind of an enemy Iran is. They`ve hung over a thousand
people publicly since Rouhani has become into power, they are supporting
terrorism, they`re supporting a dictator`s bombing children with chlorine
gas in Syria.
This is a bad group of people that are running this country.
So, if we could get to --
SCHULTZ: OK. So given that --
DEAN: If we can get them disarmed, I think we should --
SCHULTZ: Given that --
DEAN: Given that -- OK.
SCHULTZ: Governor, given the fact that they`re bad people, OK, given that.
This is about the potential deal here to make sure that these bad people
you`re clearly describing never have the capability of nuking anybody.
I mean, isn`t that what this is about?
DEAN: Right. And I think that`s worth pursuing.
Yes, it is and I think --
DEAN: -- it`s worth pursuing and I`m more than happy to give the
President more time until the 30th of June or whatever amount of time he
thinks he can get as long as they`re not making further progress towards
I also do not agree with the far-right like Tom Cotton that we ought to
bomb Iran and I do not believe that the Congress ought to vote on this. I
think the President has a right in either party to make foreign policy as
described in the constitution.
But I`m not so -- I`m not jumping up and down thinking that the day is one.
The Iranians, as we speak, are saying different things than the State
Department, it`s about what`s in that agreement and I think we need to find
out what is in that agreement even if takes to the 30th of June to find
Colonel, this is really going to bring the hawks out probably at an
unprecedented level. What do you expect from Republicans?
WILKERSON: I`m encouraged by the fact that I`ve already heard Republicans
for whom I have respect like Richard Hotes already say positive things
about it. Even Bill O`Reilly on Fox has said positive things about it.
Now, I disagree with the Governor completely about diplomacy.
Diplomacy is an exquisite art. Diplomacy achieves the position where one
side can go back to its population and tell it one story. On the other
side, it can go back to its population and tell another story. This is
exactly what Nixon and Kissinger did after the rough road (inaudible) with
That doesn`t mean that it`s a bad deal. It simply means that they`ve
crafted a public announcement on both sides that`s palatable to their
people. The ingredients of the deal as it is suggested right now and I
hope codified in June are exceptional.
SCHULTZ: Governor Dean, what --
DEAN: Well we don`t know that because we don`t really know exactly what`s
been codified, that`s my problem. And I -- we thing we got to see fine
print and we`re not going to see that till the 30th of June.
WILKERSON: I`ve seen enough fine print to give me confidence that it`s
going to be difficult to codify, I will say that. I`ll give it a 50-50
DEAN: Right. Yes, I agree with that.
DEAN: I agree.
SCHULTZ: Governor Dean, taking a look at what the President had to say
yesterday, I felt the President was very convincing. And it was also in a
sense, dogmatic that this is the way it`s going be and if they don`t do it,
they`re almost like Iran has put on notice. It was a position of strength,
it sounded like a position of strength. But of course if you listen to his
opponents, you think that we`re just a bunch --
SCHULTZ: -- of appeasers. Is this the time for -- go ahead.
DEAN: No. I`m just saying, in general, I`m very supportive of President
Obama`s foreign policy. He has taken the right view. We don`t want to
send 250,000 troops to Iraq and, you know, what we seeing going on in the
Middle East is a direct result of the foreign policy of the former
president. And it`s a disaster.
And so what the President Obama is trying to do is avoid that concept,
that`s the right approach. Bombing Iran is not the right approach, unless
it`s, you know, the last gasp stop (ph) that stopping them from doing
something really awful, that`s not the right approach. So in general, I`m
very supportive of diplomacy.
But given who we`re negotiating with, I think we got to be very, very
careful, that`s why I`m not embracing this. I`m saying no to the
Republican far-right, no to extreme measures, give the President some more
time, but I`m not embracing this agreement until I find out what`s in the
SCHULTZ: And finally, Colonel Wilkerson, if this deal unravels, can we
tell (ph) them what the world would be like?
WILKERSON: I think it`s going to be a much more dangerous region, for
sure. I`m not -- want to go immediately to war, I would go to some sort of
containment policy and try to do something about it through that policy
rather than go into war. But I know what my --
WILKERSON: -- political party wants. My political party, at least some
of them, the 47, for example, that sign the letter to the Ayatollah, they
DEAN: And that`s a mistake, that`s a big mistake.
SCHULTZ: No question about it. And finally, did the sanctions bring us
here, Colonel? Was it the sanctions that did this to the Iranians?
WILKERSON: I think it had a lot to do with it. I really do. And I`m
encouraged -- I`ll just put this out. I`m encouraged by the fact that the
Iranians, if they do sign up to what I`ve heard is going to be in this
deal, if they do, it means they`re more concern with economic success in
becoming a member of the world again, if you will, then they are -- would
building a bomb. That`s incredibly encouraging.
SCHULTZ: Yeah. And finally, Governor Dean, if you`re President Obama, do
DEAN: I would agree with that --
SCHULTZ: Go ahead.
DEAN: I was just going to say, I think there`s a tremendous battle going
on in Iran between the hard-liners who are seemed to be allied with our
Republicans and they`re more moderate. The people in Tehran really
They were pleased because they do want to join the world community. So
that`s why I don`t think you can take extreme views of this, in either
direction. I think you just have to be cautious. But I think we`re on a
track that could lead us to a breakthrough. It`s just I don`t believe that
breakthrough has been achieved yet, but I`m willing to give the President
more time for just --
SCHULTZ: All right.
DEAN: -- that reason. I think the Colonel is right.
SCHULTZ: Governor Howard Dean and Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, gentlemen,
thanks for the conversation tonight in the Ed Show. I appreciate it.
Ahead, the real story behind California`s drought crisis. But first, we
will breakdown today`s job numbers. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show. Thanks for watching tonight.
U.S. economy just recorded a 61st straight month of private sector job
growth but these months outlook isn`t as rosy as previous months.
The economy added 126,000 jobs in March well below economic estimates of
245,000 jobs for the month. It`s less than half the number of jobs added
in February. It`s a steep drop from the robust jobs numbers that we`ve
seen over the past year. Declines in manufacturing, construction and
mining jobs contributed to this months slow down.
The unemployment rate remains though at 5.5 percent the big question is
whether these job numbers are a sign of a slow summer heat for the economy.
For more, let`s bring in David Cay Johnston, Columnist for Al Jazeera
America and Pulitzer Prize wining journalist, great to have you with us,
What do you make of this numbers? I mean I look at construction jobs down
in March, this is one construction is traditionally suppose to pick up in
this country not to give an alibi but could this be whether related -- of
DAVID CAY JOHNSTON, COLUMNIST, AL JAZEERA AMERICA: Oh I think that`s a
pretty good chance with construction jobs, they`re very whether related.
Remember that monthly numbers are valuable, they get revise.
And also yesterday, we got the jobless claims. We have the lowest number
of weekly jobless in 15 years yesterday. So I think this suggests, this is
bump on the road to the economy getting better.
SCHULTZ: To getting better, you don`t anticipate this is as any kind of a
start of a slowdown?
JOHNSTON: Well we may have slower growth going forward than we`ve had. We
had 3 million jobs created in the 12 months up through February which is a
better record than anytime since the middle of the Clinton administration.
But I think that -- so you may see some slowdown or remember the
Republicans won`t invest money into infrastructure that makes the economy
less efficient, we have a very high --
JOHNSTON: -- high dollar which discourages American imports and hurts
American workers involve in exports. And the fall in the price of oil has
had a great benefit for all us who put gas on the tank but it`s also costs
us, according to the last report, 11,000 jobs roughly. And I think there
going to be more jobs loss as we adjust to the new lower price of oil.
SCHULTZ: OK. So it`s a high dollar, it`s a cost of oil that has drop, you
think that that plays into this job numbers in a big way?
JOHNSTON: Oh yes. I don`t know. Absolutely, Ed. And, you know, the
single best thing we could do to improve the manufacturing in America would
be to push the dollar down instead of having it so high.
Right now, if you send money to Canada, I have child who lives in Canada, I
can give her a dollar and she gets, I think $1.26 cents. That makes it
very expensive for us, for people who would buy from us from other
SCHULTZ: OK. David Cay Johnston, always good to have you with us, thanks
for your time tonight.
Stick around Rapid Response Panel coming up next here on the Ed Show on
MILISSA REHBERGER, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: I`m Milissa Rehberger.
(Inaudible) markets are close for Good Friday and here`s what`s happening.
A Philadelphia woman is under arrest charge with trying to join up with
ISIS in Syria.
This after two women were arrested in New York on Thursday accused of
plotting a Boston the marathon fail (ph) bombing.
And an NYPD detective caught on video chewing out an Uber driver has been
striping a shield and gun and remove from city`s elite joint terrorism task
Back to Ed show.
SCHULTZ: And we are back.
Residents of California are facing extreme drought conditions. The impact
of all of this could affect your wallet.
Consumers this year are expected to pay about 3 percent more for fruits and
vegetables. Not everything in the super marker is likely to get more
expensive. A few pacific water sucking crops grown in California like
almonds, avocados and artichokes will be especially affected.
Earlier this week, Governor Jerry Brown of California took historic steps
to conserve as the drought keeps getting worse. For the first time ever,
the Governor implemented statewide water restrictions.
NBC`s Miguel Almaguer has more.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIGUEL ALMAGUER, NBC CORRESPONDENT: In the snow depleted Sierra Mountains
where California gets 30 percent of its water, the Governor use the
snowpack measuring station that should be buried under 5 feet of snow to do
it, no other California Governor has ever done.
GOV. JERRY BROWN, (D) CALIFORNIA: We are in an historic drought, and that
demands unprecedented action. For that reason, I am issuing an executive
order mandating substantial water reduction across our state.
ALMAGUER: The order for all Californian`s to cut water use by 25 percent
could lead to bigger fines for water wasters like this Long Beach
McDonald`s billed $800 for using excess water. The city is even installing
new water meters to monitor consumption.
STEVE FLEISCHLI, NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL: Look, if people don`t
step up and do their part, California is in a lot of trouble.
ALMAGUER: NASA scientists say we`re moving towards the driest period in
the last 1000 years.
This morning, this is why California is in the state of emergency. I`m at
the bottom of Lake Tahoe. I should be 30 feet underwater. And the rainy
season here is all but over.
Reservoirs across the state are running on empty and the hottest, driest
months are still ahead.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Joining us tonight Dr. Reese Halter who is a Conservation
Biologist at the Muse School, also with us tonight, Brian Stranko who`s is
the Director of Our Water Program at the Nature Conservancy.
Mr. Stranko, you first tonight. Your thoughts on 25 percent reduction when
it comes to usage, is this going to work? Is this enough?
BRIAN STRANKO, THE NATURE CONSERVANCY: Well, first of all, we should look
at Governor Jerry Brown`s leadership throughout this crisis. He`s really
helped to step up in a lot of ways.
We now have a California water action plan as of last year. We have $7.5
billion water bond and we have groundwater reform legislation that passed
for the first time in our history.
So this won`t solve all our problems as executive order, but it is
definitely a start to getting a handle on the crisis. We`re going to
reduce water use in a mandatory way. And the water that we don`t use can
thereby go to farms, fields, cities and to nature.
SCHULTZ: Yeah. Dr. Halter, experts are saying that the drought is on
track to cause an economic loss for California that they`ve never seen
before in the neighborhood of $3 billion just in 2015 alone. What`s going
to reverse this? I mean, where -- this is just going to be fixed by a hell
of rain fall. What`s the future here?
DR. REESE HALTER, CONSERVATION BIOLOGIST, MUSE SCHOOL: Well, Ed, good
The future is we better prepare for a lot more dryness. The models from
NASA and Cornell are showing 10, 20, 30, 40 years cycles of drought.
What I`m looking at and what people have to be very aware of are tens of
millions of dead trees. We`ve had -- the last three winters have been so
warm, Ed, that instead of the cold temperatures in the mountain is
happening, it -- they haven`t -- the beetles, the native (inaudible)
beetles have been breeding, the outbreaks have turned into infestations and
now, they`re at an epidemic level.
In 2013, we lost 350,000 acres of beautiful forest. Last year, 820,000
acres and I -- got my mark rate, it`ll double again this year. When the
trees goal, not only do all other life forms but that`s kindling for mega
SCHULTZ: Yeah. Mr. Stranko, what`s going to happen to the agricultural
community? You`re talking about products. You`re talking about a major
industry in California, no doubt about it.
I mean, when you`re looking at 80 percent of the global supply of almonds
and of course, almonds need an awful lot of water to grow. What are these
farmers going to do? What`s going to happen here?
STRANKO: Well, we also should recognize, we produce 50 percent of the
fruits and vegetables for the United States. We are a really important
producer for the world. So this crisis is partly about feeding the world
while also doing better with our water.
Yeah. Farms will suffer. We`re going to fallow fields. People will lose
jobs but on the other hand, we also -- we`re going to see some really
negative impacts beyond the trees for nature.
We have river flows --
STRANKO: -- in most, many parts of our state. They`re at the lowest
flows on record.
We are very likely to see some localized populations of, for instance,
salmon going extinct and some creatures had exist nowhere else in the world
but here in California will likely disappear.
SCHULTZ: Dr. Halter, officials conducted the final snowpack survey. I
believe, in fact, it was yesterday in the Sierra, Nevada area.
SCHULTZ: What`s the long-term concern here? I mean, if this drought
continues on in he snowpack is non-existent. I mean this is, you know, I
mean it`s a disaster waiting to happen.
HALTER: Yeah. It is. Welcome to a climate crisis and without water, you
know, it also -- I got to say that the trees are the most perfect carbon
dioxide warehouses. For every one ton of wood, they`ve sucked out of the
air a ton any half of carbon dioxide and they`d given us a ton of oxygen.
So now instead of performing what they do, they`re -- as they begin to
decay, they`re adding to the pole of rising greenhouse gases. Ed, this
comes down to one thing and one thing only. We got to stop subsidizing big
oil, big coal and big gas.
You know, at one point, 9 trillion worldwide in our nation, a couple of
hundred billion per annum, they`re up in the Arctic, they`re drilling and
we`re paying them to kill our planet. What up?
SCHULTZ: Dr. Reese Halter, Brian Stranko, good to have you with us tonight
here on the Ed Show. I appreciate the conversation.
Coming up, Paul Ryan fights against the -- against at least one half of the
old debt and taxes (inaudible) to punch out next. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Happy anniversary to the Ed Show. We`ve been on MSNBC six years.
We`re celebrating the start of our 7thth year on air by introducing a new
option for you to join our conversation.
Starting Monday, you`ll be able to weight in on our discussion in real-time
through out the hour.
We are utilizing Microsoft`s Bing Pulse audience engagement technology.
It`s fantastic. You`ll be able to vote as often as you`d like on whether
you agree or disagree with what you`re hearing on the Ed Show. You`re
going to love it.
It all starts on Monday. So tune in and let`s get to work.
SCHULTZ: And in tonight`s Two-minute Drill, the name game.
University of North Dakota Men`s Hockey team is heading to the frozen four,
its college hockey`s championship tournament. While the team preps for the
big games, the university is looking for a new nickname. That`s right.
The school is asking for the public help replacing their fighting soon
North Dakota residence voted to retire the name and logo back in 2012. UND
fans can submit their ideas until the end of April. My pick is the
SCHULTZ: And finally tonight, earlier this week, the House Ways and Means
Committee led by Paul Ryan symbolically voted to end the state tax.
Republicans have always called this the debt tax.
Well, here are the numbers. 2.6 million people died in this country in
2013. Only 4,700 of them had to pay the federal state tax. But the
government only taxes states of individual`s worth over $5.4 million. For
married couples that threshold goes up to over $10.8 million.
Even when they have to pay, they usually don`t end up paying the top rate
of 40 percent. The tax policy center estimates the average effective rates
ends up being closer to 17 percent. Thanks to tax exemptions. Eliminating
the state tax would cost the United States government treasury about $268
billion over 10 years.
Joining me tonight, Congressman Chris Van Hollen of Maryland. Congressman
always good to have you with us.
REP. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN, (D) MARYLAND: Good evening with you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: You know, this is not -- is not far fetch. I mean this could
pass the House. We brought up to Senate and pass there because it might
attached to something and this could end up on President Obama desk, how
real do you think this is?
VAN HOLLEN: Well, it shows you exactly what they want to do, Ed, and I`m
so glad you`re covering the story because it really was outrageous.
At the same time, they were taking a vote on this in the Ways and Means
Committee. We had the Republican budget on the floor, what do that budget
do? It dramatically cut early education and head start. It raises the
cost of student`s loans for college kids. It will dramatically increase
prescription drug cost for million of seniors. That`s what their budget on
the floor would do.
At the same time, in committee, they were voting to give 5,500 people a
year. This huge exemption from the state tax which as you pointed out for
couples doesn`t even begin the kick in until over $10 million. 5,000
VAN HOLLEN: -- that`s fewer people than you can get on a large cruise
ship in United States today. And they were --
SCHULTZ: Well, it`s certainly favors -- yeah. It certainly favors a
protected class. There is no -- that seems to be the buzz-term right now
for the Republican protected class.
I mean that`s exactly what they`re doing here. But they make no way on how
they`re going to make up this money that the treasury is going to lose, do
VAN HOLLEN: No, not at all. In fact in that same budget I`m talking about
where they`re cutting education. They don`t cut a single special interest
tax rate to help reduce the deficit, right? They don`t get rid of the
corporate jet loophole. They don`t deal with the loophole that hedge fund
managers benefit from.
So they didn`t closed one of the special interest tax loopholes. It`s
there because of some powerful lobby interest. Instead, they`re cutting
education for kids and increase in cost to seniors squeezing family.
So, you know, when Speaker Boehner and Senator McConnell say, you know,
they really found the truth and now they care about working families. The
reality is, they are hitting working families really hard --
VAN HOLLEN: -- this budget including an increase in their taxes by the
way, while providing this windfall tax break to a 5,500 people per year.
SCHULTZ: Well, it`s just underscores that they endorse inherited wealth.
I mean that`s exactly what they`re endorsing here, inherited wealth. And
people getting something for nothing.
But it seems like they are consistently misleading the American public on
how terrible the state tax is as if everybody is getting hit on it. It`s
almost like a play of fool on the American people, your thoughts?
VAN HOLLEN: Well, that`s right. In fact, it only hits two out of 1000
people. Because, look, I mean, just, you know, talk to your friends and
neighbors, how many couples have states over $10 million. It`s just a
small number of Americans and what this tells you, Ed, is what the
priorities, right, of the Republicans are.
While they`re providing this windfall break to 5,500 families, they`re
whacking everybody else in the country in the budget. They`re actually
starting to charge students interest on their student loans while they are
still going to college. They`re reopening the donut hole for seniors in
the prescription drug year which will increase their cost.
So while they`re squeezing seniors and students and working families,
they`re giving this windfall break to a very --
SCHULTZ: No doubt.
VAN HOLLEN: -- few families. And the problem is, we`ve got increasing
income gap and the wealth gap is compound and even further to the inherited
SCHULTZ: All right.
VAN HOLLEN: That`s not America. That`s not where everyone gets a chance
to make it on their own merits.
SCHULTZ: Yeah - we got - you bet. Congressman, good to have you with us
tonight. Have a great Easter weekend. I appreciate your time with THE ED
That`s THE ED SHOW. I`m Ed Schultz. POLITICS NATION with Reverend Al
Sharpton starts right now. Good evening, Rev.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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