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'The Ed Show' for Friday, April 24, 2009

Read the transcript to the Friday show

Guests: Jan Schakowsky, Christina Romer, Norman Goldman, Bill Press, Heidi Harris, Jack Rice, Bracken Hendricks, Lizz Winstead, Jim Miklaszewski


ED SCHULTZ, HOST:  I‘m Ed Schultz.  This is THE ED SHOW.


SCHULTZ:  Good evening, Americans. 

Live from 30 Rock in New York City, it‘s THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.

A big milestone on the economy.  The bank stress tests are back.  What does it mean to Main Street and lending? 

I‘ll ask the White House Christina Romer about that. 

Also, thousands of new pictures prove detainee abuse wasn‘t the work of just a few bad apples.  This directly relates to the torture report.  More on that in a minute. 

Al Gore and Newt Gingrich face off on Capitol Hill.  And the creator of “The Daily Show” will be here tonight to talk about the state of the GOP. 

Plus, “Psycho Talk.”    And you just will not believe what one Republican said about 9/11. 

But first, tonight‘s “OpEd.”

I don‘t know about you, but I am ready for the truth.  And I‘m really tired of the partisan bickering back and forth about the biggest story of the week, which has been torture. 

In 2007, President Bush said America didn‘t torture.  He says he briefed Congress about everything that the administration was doing. 


GEORGE W. BUSH, FMR. PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  This government does not torture people.  You know, we stick to U.S. law and our international obligations.  The techniques that we use have been fully disclosed to appropriate members of the United States Congress.


SCHULTZ:  OK.  But Nancy Pelosi says that she wasn‘t told. 


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), HOUSE SPEAKER:  We were not—I repeat not—told that waterboarding or any of these other enhanced interrogation methods were used.  Flat out, they never briefed us that this was happening. 


SCHULTZ:  So the saga continues. 

Today, on “MORNING JOE” on MSNBC, Republican Pete Hoekstra, the former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, called for the congressional briefings to be declassified. 


REP. PETER HOEKSTRA ®, MICHIGAN  The leadership on both sides of the aisle, Republicans and Democrats, were briefed on this program.  This doesn‘t have to be speculation.  Now that the president has declassified the legal memos, have them declassify the briefings to Congress.


SCHULTZ:  Hey, I‘m all about it.  I‘m an American.  I just want the truth.

The Senate Armed Services report was a bipartisan report signed off by a member Republican, John McCain.  The report says, Donald Rumsfeld authorized the use of torture back in 2002.  It says the use of torture quickly spread from Guantanamo to Iraq to Afghanistan.  It says the torture was systemic. 

You know, I just want to know exactly what Bush officials knew.  I want to know what the Democrats in the Congress were told and what they knew, because I really have a hard time believing that Nancy Pelosi knew Bush officials were using torture tactics to sell the war in Iraq.  I just find that hard to believe. 

Now, think about this.  We have conservatives on Capitol Hill who are telling the American people that this liberal Democrat from San Francisco was OK with torture?  And she knew about it and didn‘t say anything about it? 

Now, I just find that hard to believe.  This is nothing but political vilification.  Can we get a special prosecutor?

Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin told me the report documents the facts. 

Now it‘s up to the attorney general, Eric Holder. 


SEN. CARL LEVIN (D-MI), CHAIRMAN, ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE:  I recommended to the attorney general that he appoint one or two or three perhaps retired federal judges who will have the credibility that will make a recommendation on whether anybody should be prosecuted or held accountable in any way.  I think this is the way to take it out of politics.  That‘s what the Department of Justice is there for. 


SCHULTZ:  That is the bottom line—get it out of politics.  That means we need a special prosecutor. 

Now, folks, let‘s just do a little thinking here, backward thinking. 

I believe that in the last eight years, we have had a real bad run of attorney generals.  We‘ve got a good one right now, a very honorable guy in Eric Holder.

But Mr. Holder, I know draft day is tomorrow, so maybe I‘ll put it this way: Buddy, you need to make a play.  You need to move forward.

You have a chance to fix something that is really wrong, and whether Americans are divided on this or not, the fact is the rule of law is what this is all about.  We just can‘t have presidential policy dictate where this country‘s going to go when it comes to situations like torture.

So I ask you, Mr. Holder, tonight, don‘t let this moment pass.  Whether it‘s political divide or not, this sets the table for the United States of America to take the moral high ground back, something that we have lost in the last eight years. 

And Mr. Holder, you have a chance to affect history, the history of this country.  This could be a defining moment.  I think you‘ve got a very narrow window of opportunity. 

And Mr. Holder, if you don‘t do it, it sounds like the president is not going to stop you.  If you don‘t appoint a special prosecutor, who‘s going to do it?

This moment is going to spin off into outer space, and everything after this moment is just going to be considered spilled milk.  What has to happen, turn it to these guys that went after Watergate. 

Americans, what do you think is more important, this torture issue or Watergate?  Or how about Whitewater?  Gosh, we gave Ken Starr $40 million to do the deal on that one to get after the Clintons.

This is about our moral high ground.  This is about the fabric of America.  This is about protecting our integrity.  This is about how we are going to tell the next generation of those in the Middle East that we want to get to our way of thinking of freedom of democracy, that we‘re not a bunch of bad asses.  And it starts in the Justice Department.

Mr. Holder, you‘ve got to get her done, buddy.  You‘ve got to get it done.

Joining me now is Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky.  She served on the House Intelligence Committee. 

Congresswoman, good to have you with us tonight.


SCHULTZ:  How important is this?  I mean, if Mr. Holder doesn‘t do this, who‘s going to do it? 

SCHAKOWSKY:  Well, I still think, even if Eric Holder appoints a special counsel or some sort of a panel that the Congress does have an obligation.  I do sit on the Intelligence Committee, I chair the Oversight and Investigation Subcommittee, because I think that it‘s important—there are a lot of threats to this beyond those that lead to any kind of conviction that need to be followed to their logical conclusion.

I think I‘m like you.  I want to know the truth.  And I want to tell you something on this issue of Leader Boehner and others going after Nancy Pelosi.  Do you understand on the—and everyone should understand—on the Intelligence Committee, we are not allowed to talk about what happens in there.  And for them to presume that because there was no public pushback, that there was a vigorous pushback within the committee on these policies is wrong.  And that‘s why I would support Congressman Hoekstra‘s not only releasing what the briefings were about, but all of the debate that went on in that committee over those policies.  I would like to see that made public as well. 

SCHULTZ:  You know, if the Republicans want to do this full disclosure thing, I‘m all about it. 

SCHAKOWSKY:  I am, too.

SCHULTZ:  We can go all the way back to Dick Cheney‘s 2001 closed-door energy meetings.  I mean, there‘s a lot of stuff—you know, prewar intelligence.  I mean, we‘ve got a lot of things we can go for. 

Now, here‘s what Eric Holder said during his confirmation hearings when it came to torture. 


ERIC HOLDER, ATTORNEY GENERAL:  The waterboarding is torture.  No one is above the law.  The president has a constitutional obligation to faithfully execute the laws of the United States.


SCHULTZ:  So Congresswoman, considering that testimony in his confirmation hearings to become the attorney general, how can he say that and not move forward with this now that we‘ve got a plethora of information, a bunch of discrepancies out there in these reports?  You‘ve got Republicans saying one thing, Democrats saying another, you‘ve got the Senate Armed Services Committee, who‘s been very detailed, that it went through the entire system, it was systemic.

How can he not do this?

SCHAKOWSKY:  Well, I certainly think that we have to follow up on that.  Absolutely.  The contortions that the authors of those memos went through at the behest of, you know, their higher ups, Hayden at CIA, and it looks like Cheney, as vice president, it‘s so cold-blooded.  People who haven‘t read those memos, when they talk about how waterboarding doesn‘t hurt and, therefore, it doesn‘t meet the standard of what torture really is, which is excruciating pain, it‘s really surreal.  It‘s something you don‘t want to read before you go to bed. 

SCHULTZ:  Congresswoman, great to have you on with us tonight.  Thanks so much.

SCHAKOWSKY:  Thank you. 

SCHULTZ:  A major development on detainee abuse today.  The Pentagon will release as many as 2,000 more photos showing detainees being abused by American personnel.  Not just at Abu Ghraib, but across Iraq and Afghanistan. 

These pictures aren‘t new.  They‘re from 2004.  But they raise the question about how widespread this kind of abuse was during the Bush years. 

Joining me for the latest on this is NBC Pentagon reporter Jim Miklaszewski. 

Mik, what‘s the Pentagon reaction to the releasing of these pictures tonight?

JIM MIKLASZEWSKI, NBC PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT:  Well, you know, the Pentagon said they had no other choice but to release these pictures.  It‘s a result of, first, (INAUDIBLE), and then two court cases in federal court in which the courts ruled against the Pentagon and in favor of the ACLU who was seeking release of these photos. 

Now, what the ACLU was originally expecting was maybe a couple dozen photos.  But when I talked to them earlier this week and informed them that it could be as many as 2,000, I mean, it‘s like a bonanza.  And these photos come from 400 separate cases of—alleged cases of prisoner abuse in which the U.S. military launched investigation into charges that there was prisoner abuse. 

Now, the stickler here is that because each one of these cases was referred to non-judicial punishment, not court-martial, the results of those investigations are actually protected by privacy laws.  So we may never even know if anybody was actually punished.  But the interesting point about this is the timing.

Now, it all has to do with the court schedule, really, to force the Pentagon to release these photos.  But for those who are trying to distance themselves from what you‘re talking about, systematic torture, the timing couldn‘t be worse.  For the sake of argument, let‘s say that in each of these 400 cases, every one of those individuals was—instead of a few bad apples, let‘s say there were 400 bad apples.  But, you know, to have these photos released about the same time the torture memos were released and there were calls on Congress for special prosecutors, congressional hearings, there are going to be a whole group of people out there who are just not going to be convinced that this was part of a systematic problem that went to the top here at the Pentagon.

SCHULTZ:  Jim, good to have you with us tonight.  Thanks for that report.

Jim Miklaszewski...


SCHULTZ:  You bet—NBC Pentagon correspondent. 

All right.  Coming up next, the results of the bank stress tests are in.  Are the bailouts working?  What does it mean for the economic recovery if the banks still aren‘t healthy?  President Obama‘s economic adviser, Christina Romer, joins me from the White House when we come back. 


SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

It‘s been a big day for banks.  Nineteen of the nation‘s biggest banks got results of the government‘s stress tests. 

Now, they won‘t know how they did on the results, and they‘re not going to be made public until next week.  The Federal Reserve has been looking at how each bank would fare if the economy actually got worst. 

Analysts already predict a number of banks will need more capital to weather a longer recession.  Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner reassured markets earlier this week when he said the vast majority of U.S. banks have more capital than needed.  But analysts are already handicapping which banks could fail. 

“The New York Times” reports some of those include big ones like Bank of America and Citigroup.  Plus, a number of regional banks, like Atlanta-based SunTrust, Alabama‘s Regions Financial, and Ohio‘s Fifth Third Bank could be labeled weak. 

Now, what do these tests mean for economic recovery, for lending, for you?  Will the government get tough with CEOs so these weak banks, the way they did with General Motors‘ CEO Rick Wagoner? 

Joining us for more on that is the chair of the Council on Economic Advisers, Christina Romer.

Christina, thanks for joining us tonight on the program.

Can you tell us anything tonight about these stress tests or how any of these banks are going to fare?

CHRISTINA ROMER, COUNCIL OF ECONOMIC ADVISERS : Well, I think the main thing I‘d want to tell you is these tests are not a pass/fail test; right?  They‘re very much a test that‘s trying to figure out exactly as you said—are these banks strong enough to weather a worse downturn?  And the important thing is, if we find that they‘re not, the result is going to be, we say—we develop a plan with them. 

How do you get more capital?  The government is going to be there if you need government capital.  So it‘s very much like a diagnostic, to say what do they need to be healthy enough to do what we need them to do, which is lend? 


You were in the room yesterday with the president when he met with the credit card executives.  Tell the American people tonight, how tough did the president get with them? 

ROMER:  I‘d like to say he‘s like a good teacher.  He was tough but fair. 

You know, he certainly said that we know there have been some abuses, we know that we think there needs to be some stronger regulations to protect consumers.  But he also said, listen, I don‘t have any trouble with you guys making a profit.  So he was very much listening to them, but also telling them what his principles were. 

SCHULTZ:  Well, his principles are that the middle class is getting jammed by these banks.  You could see that they‘re making billions of dollars off the backs of the taxpayers that are providing them loans just to stay afloat.

Now, do you feel that the president got his message across?  And tell us how they received it.

ROMER:  I think he absolutely got his message across.  He—you know, he said things like, we absolutely have to get rid of unfair practices, we absolutely have to have more transparency, we absolutely have to have consumer choice. 

You know, one of the things he said is, you know, you need to have kind of a baseline card so that people have a frame of reference, so they can figure out which card fits them best.  And he said if there are abuses, we need a way to hold the banks accountable. 

He absolutely got through.  There‘s no question. 

You know, the nice thing is, it was a sharing of information.  I think even the CEOs that obviously have their profits on the line had to admit that a lot of these practices were not—you know, shouldn‘t be happening and were willing to work with the president. 

SCHULTZ:  So they admitted gouging to the president yesterday in this meeting? 

ROMER:  No, what they admitted is that his principles were good.

SCHULTZ:  Oh, OK.  Well, it sounds to me that it was a nice message given, but they didn‘t give an inch.  Do I have that right? 

ROMER:  Yes, what the president said to them is, listen, guys, there‘s going to be legislation.  So, you know, we‘re here to talk, we‘re here to give you a sense of where we‘re going.  But just understand, Congress is going to move on this.  And we are absolutely committed to that.

It‘s part of our whole framework of financial regulatory reform, because we do absolutely feel that regulations, the lack of regulations, were one of the reasons we‘re in the mess that we‘re in.  And we‘ve got to fix that. 


Christina, tell us, the stimulus package money has been doled out for these shovel-ready projects.  When are we going to start seeing the job numbers turn around and the construction numbers lift in this country? 

ROMER:  Well, one of the things you do have to understand is we inherited an economy that was incredibly sick and on a lot of downward momentum, so we are, I‘m afraid, going to keep losing jobs for a while. 

What I can tell you is that the stimulus spending is doing what it‘s supposed to do.  We do think it‘s creating and saving jobs, where we‘re doing the spending. 

I think, realistically, what we‘re going to see is not jobs literally being created yet, but those job losses getting smaller and smaller.  And we certainly hope by the end of the year to actually turn the corner and start to actually see job gains, which is, you know, the president‘s number one objective. 

SCHULTZ:  OK.  Christina Romer with us tonight with the Council on Economic Advisers to the president.

Thank so much for your time. 

ROMER:  Great to be here. 

SCHULTZ:  You bet. 

Next up on THE ED SHOW, “Psycho Talk.”  What could be worst than 9/11?  One Republican says a bill that would make polluters pay.  You‘ve got to see this. 

I mean, it‘s not even “Psycho Talk.”   It‘s like—it‘s super “Psycho

Talk.”   . 


SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

Have you heard some of the crazy things that are being said by conservatives? 

You‘ve got it, it‘s time for “Psycho Talk.” 

We began this Earth Week with “Psycho Talk” from House Republican John Boehner.  You know, you remember, Boehner called it comical that the EPA said carbon dioxide was dangerous.

Well, today we bring you the House‘s number one emitter of CO2 “Psycho Talk.”   That‘s Congressman John Shimkus.  He takes climate change “Psycho Talk” to a whole new level.

Now, speaking at a House hearing, Congressman Shimkus called President Obama‘s energy plan the largest assault on democracy in this country.  Shimkus says the presidents cap and trade plan is the worst thing he‘s ever experienced in all his years in Congress, worse than the wars in Iraq, in Afghanistan, worse than 9/11.

Watch this.


REP. JOHN SHIMKUS ®, ILLINOIS:  I base this as the largest assault on democracy and freedom in this country that I‘ve ever experienced.  I‘ve lived through some tough times in Congress—impeachment, two wars, terrorist attacks.  I fear this more than all of the above activities that have happened. 


SCHULTZ:  OK, hold it right there.  This congressman has some amazing sensibilities.

You see, my wife and I, we were in Washington when that plane hit the Pentagon.  And I distinctly remember the smoke coming across the sky in Washington, D.C.  And I find a comment like that so shocking, so outrageous, in my opinion that doesn‘t even warrant a response. 

You know, it doesn‘t matter what party you support or whether you believe or not in climate change.  Remember this comes from the congressman who agreed—who argued cutting back manmade carbon dioxide emissions would actually kill the world‘s plants.  All good “Psycho Talk,” but this week the congressman really spewed some of the most offensive comments we‘ve had to date, saying that capping CO2 is a greater assault on democracy than 9/11?

That is serious “Psycho Talk.”  .


SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

Should Bush officials be prosecuted for torture?  Now, the Democrats have a divided camp on this. 

President Obama doesn‘t want to launch a commission, at least not right now.

Do we need to go through the White House to get the truth from the Bush era?  The Justice Department is independent.  Congress doesn‘t need the White House or any of their approval to hold hearings.  And here to walk us through all of the options, attorney and Democratic strategist Norman Goldman with us tonight. 

Norm, what are the options on the table for Eric Holder at this hour? 

NORMAN GOLDMAN, ATTORNEY:  Well, good evening, Ed.  The attorney general has several options.  One is he could do nothing.  That would be very unpopular with folks on our side of the table.  But theoretically he could do nothing and just sit on it. 

Secondly, he could appoint a special prosecutor, one or a panel who would put together the evidence, get their law books out, crack the law books, gather up the evidence, and then come back with either a criminal complaint or a report as to why they would not want to go forward. 

He could do it himself.  He could use people inside the Justice Department, probably not the Ted Stevens team, but he could do it himself with career prosecutors inside the Justice Department. 

SCHULTZ:  Norm, how much evidence does he need?  We‘ve got a Senate Armed Services Report.  There are some other reports out there as well.  I mean, we‘ve got people that were in meetings.  And we‘ve got a divided country on this right now and this has to end.  I mean, how much evidence does he actually need? 

GOLDMAN:  Ed, there‘s so much meat on that bone, it‘s kind to know where to start chewing.  It sort of depends on who he wants to go after.  If he wants to go after Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld and Condoleezza Rice, and the people at the very top, he‘s going to need a ton of evidence, including people who were in the room, who could say that they heard Bush, out of his own mouth, talking about torture techniques and how to do things. 

If he wants to go after the lawyers, he‘s going to need evidence that the lawyers knew that their legal memos were so tortured, if I can borrow that word—the logic was so tortured, the mental gymnastics were so outrageous that it was obvious that the lawyers had to know that what they were saying was a bunch of baloney. 

The easiest case, Ed, is the torturers themselves, because they did the actual torturing.  But Obama has already ruled that out. 

SCHULTZ:  I think it‘s sure a heck of a lot bigger than Whitewater, sure a heck of a lot bigger than Watergate.  It doesn‘t get any bigger than this, does it?  We‘re talking about the rule of law and the Constitution of the United States.  At least we thought that was important.  Who should Holder pick?  Who would you think would be the dude to get the job done on this? 

GOLDMAN:  Well, George Mitchell would be my first choice.  He was both a Senate Majority Leader and a sitting federal judge.  He‘s well known, well liked.  He‘s got bipartisan support.  I know he‘s busy right now with the Middle East, but I think he could take a leave of absence to do this job. 

Patrick Fitzgerald, although he doesn‘t have a lot of international experience.  He‘s not familiar with the Geneva Conventions and things like that, he would be somebody who is unimpeachable, in terms of his credentials and stature. 

There are also judges on supreme courts all over the country who are well known and well respected, who, I‘m sure, would take a leave of absence to help out on this. 

SCHULTZ:  Norman Goldman, stick around.  We‘ll talk more about this.  For more right now, let‘s go to our panel.  Bill Press, nationally syndicated radio talk show house, Jack Rice, radio talk show host and former CIA case officer, and also radio talk show host Heidi Harris.  We have three talkers in here tonight, because this is the hottest topic across the country in conversation on the airwaves. 

Bill, let‘s start with you tonight.  Where are the Democrats on this?  I portrayed them tonight as they are a divided camp on this.  What do you think? 

BILL PRESS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  I think they are divided only, Ed, in how we‘re going to get the evidence.  Look, I think everybody is together on the fact, as you pointed out, this is big.  This is a lot bigger than Watergate.  This is a lot bigger than white water.  What we did at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib defined who were for the last eight year.  How we respond to this, I think, defines who we are today. 

So we‘ve got to get the evidence.  We either get the evidence through a commission or through a special prosecutors or through a Congressional hearing.  It doesn‘t matter.  And then, you‘re right, Holder has to act and he‘s got to take the evidence and follow it wherever it goes, Ed, even if it goes all the way to Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, and George Bush. 

The Democrats are only divided on whether we get the evidence through a commission or congressional hearing.  That‘s an easy to solve issue. 

SCHULTZ:  Heidi, what is your take on the president backing off today on the commission?  He told Democratic leadership that this isn‘t really what I want.  We have other things to do.  We don‘t want to disfocus the country.  What do you make of that?  Why is the president going down that road?

HEIDI HARRIS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  I think he‘s trying to go down both roads, as usual.  It‘s typical of President Obama.  Frankly, it‘s a waste of time.  I don‘t think the majority of the American people want to see us focus our efforts on this?  Secondly, how do you define torture?  Compared to what the Iraqis have done to each other—Amnesty International has talked about them putting drills in people‘s hands, hanging them up by chains, whipping them, doing all kinds of things that we‘re not doing.  I think we‘re oftly—

PRESS:  That‘s what we did at Abu Ghraib.

HARRIS:  Putting panties on somebody‘s head?  Come on, Bill.  That‘s ridiculous.

PRESS:  That plus.  And there are 2,000 more photos coming out.  Come on, Heidi.  The United States military and the CIA was engaged in acts of torture.  That‘s known.  Are they going to be held responsible. 

SCHULTZ:  Jack, the report from the Senate Armed Services Committee says it was systematic.  It went all through the system.  Do you believe that?  Do you think is a really detailed and honest report or is it partisan?

JACK RICE, FORMER CIA OFFICER:  I think it‘s systemic.  You can take a look and see what happened before.  This did start at Guantanamo.  You can look at what General Miller did.  You can look at what happened when he moved on to Iraq.  You talk to General Karpinski, she‘s talked about this.  It then moved on to Afghanistan. 

I‘ve talked to people who have been held at Guantanamo, multiple places, when I was down there.  I was looking at this.  The big question now is whether or not rule of law counts.  It‘s funny to me, because the real concept that I‘ve been hearing—and this is the diversion that I heard from Vice President Cheney was, well, the torture worked.  So let me get this right.  So we‘re more than prepared to commit war crimes, as long as it works?  Is that who we are?  Is that who we‘ve become?  It‘s extraordinary.

SCHULTZ:  Heidi, do you believe that torture worked?  Do you believe we stopped attacks because we water boarded some suspects and detainees? 

HARRIS:  We water boarded three people.  Did we get information, according to what they are telling us, yes, we did get information. 

SCHULTZ:  There‘s conflicting reports on that.  You believe that we stopped an attack on this.  Do I hear that right? 

HARRIS:  Yes, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed had information that they need, absolutely.  He was water boarded.  He walked away with all of his parts.  How is that torture? 

SCHULTZ:  What about that, Bill Press? 

PRESS:  Ed, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Abu-Zubaydah were water boarded 266 times.  I think that proves torture.  Wait a minute, Heidi.  That proves that torture doesn‘t work.  I say to Dick Cheney, you tell us—he keeps saying that it works and works.  You tell us one piece of information that you got out of either one of them.  We haven‘t heard that yet.  Two, you proved to us that you could not have gotten that information anywhere else. 

Ed, I talked to a man this morning who interrogated German prisoners in World War II.  He said he got more information over a chest board than over a water board. 

SCHULTZ:  Jack, do you believe that?  Do you believe water boarding works? 

RICE:  No.  Bottom line here, Ed, you look at the Abu Zubaydah report, 2005, Department of Justice; what they said was they didn‘t get any actionable intelligence.  They tortured this guy 83 times, water boarded him 83 times, and they got nothing.  That‘s a crime each and every time. 

SCHULTZ:  All right.  Panel, stay with us.  We‘ll come back.  We have a lot more tonight.  I guess if torture worked, I thought we‘d have Osama bin Laden in custody tonight.  But we don‘t. 

Next up, how to tackle climate change.  Democrats want a law that makes polluters pay more.  Republicans don‘t want to do anything.  Big surprise there.  Can Democrats get it done?  That‘s next on THE ED SHOW.


SCHULTZ:  In my playbook tonight, a head to head on Capital Hill.  Former Vice President Al Gore and Newt Gingrich squared off on climate change.  Take a look.


AL GORE, FMR. VICE PRESIDENT:  There are people who still believe that the Moon landing was staged on a movie lot in Arizona.  That opinion is the opinion of the scientific studies conducted by the largest corporate carbon polluters 14 years ago, who have lied to you and who have lied to the American people. 

REP. JOE BARTON ®, TEXAS:  Well, I was somewhat taken aback, Mr.  Vice president, by your listing of current environmental problems attributed to global warming.  You did miss a few, though.  The Dallas Cowboys have not won a playoff game in two years. 


SCHULTZ:  OK.  We might have a psycho talk coming up on that later on. 

Then the Newtster got into the action. 


NEWT GINGRICH, FMR. HOUSE SPEAKER:  And then people say, well, there‘s not really a higher cost when we raise the cost, because somehow magically we‘re going to get to a promise land, where there will be a lower cost after the higher cost.  The fact that eventually we will some day reach nirvana may not comfort you while you go broke. 


SCHULTZ:  Now, with that kind of back and forth, how are you going to get anything past?  Here‘s my playbook.  Number one, prove this bill is a job creator, not a job killer.  Number two, tell us how American families will be protected from the rate hikes on their electrical bills.  Number three, get Democrats from manufacturing states and moderate Republicans behind the bill by proving to them that their states will benefit from green jobs in this economy. 

Joining me to break the strategy down, Bracken Hendricks of the Center

for American Progress.  Bracken, good to have you with us tonight.  What is



SCHULTZ:  What is the best strategy, do you think, to get this passed on climate change? 

HENDRICKS:  I think you‘ve hit it right on the head.  The truth of the matter is this is a bill that‘s a comprehensive clean energy strategy.  It includes a provision to limit carbon emissions, but that‘s really only a small part of it.  It also includes major pieces about building a renewable energy industry.  The United States invented solar energy.  We invented wind energy.

And now, as we‘re moving to electric cars, we invented the Lithium Ion battery.  In each one of these technologies, because we haven‘t had smart energy policies to deploy them and to put them to use, we‘ve lost those manufacturing jobs to our closest economic competitors.  Whether it‘s Japan or Germany or China, they are now leading the way. 

SCHULTZ:  Don‘t you think we‘re going to have to do more than build wind turbines and solar panels?  It goes a lot deeper in the economy than that, doesn‘t it? 

HENDRICKS:  Well, absolutely, Ed.  It‘s absolutely about the source of our energy and our energy security.  This bill is called the American Clean Energy and Security Act and I think that‘s very appropriately named.  It‘s about our economic security and it‘s about our national security.  Right now, China, in their economic recovery package, is investing 12.6 million dollars every hour just on clean energy alone.  Their recovery package is twice the size of ours. 

Germany is spending more in their recovery package than the United States is on clean energy.  Yet, they‘re a population a third the size of ours and an economy a quarter the size of ours. 

So we‘re falling behind in these industries. 

SCHULTZ:  Bracken, how do you get past the GOP?  Most of these folks over on the right, they are deniers.  They are absolute deniers on climate change.  How do you get past that? 

HENDRICKS:  It‘s true.  I think, fortunately, we‘ve largely moved past debating the science.  That moment is long overdue.  And with the present administration and the present leadership Congress, we‘re now moving to a serious debate about how to go forward.  That‘s a very welcome change. 

But you‘re absolutely right.  We‘re in a moment where the current proposal in the House of Representatives is offering a very comprehensive and broad-based strategy.  And the opposition hasn‘t put forward any coherent alternative.  They are offering much more of the same, the same old Bush energy policies. 

If you look at the change in energy policies under Bush and Cheney‘s energy policy, American households, payments for electricity and gasoline increased by 1,100 dollars per household under their policy, under the drill policy and the subsidies for the existing fossil fuel industry.  What we have now is an opportunity to reduce consumer‘s vulnerability by giving them more choices, new fuels, and more efficiency.  It‘s a smart economic strategy.

SCHULTZ:  Bracken Hendricks of Center For American Progress, good to have you with us tonight.  Thanks so much. 

HENDRICKS:  Thanks for having me. 

SCHULTZ:  This is Green is Universal here at MSNBC.  This weekend, we‘ll be debuting a new series on the environment.  It‘s called “Future Earth,” could global warming wipe out entire cities from New York to China?  Tune in and find out.  “Future Earth” starts this Sunday night at 10:00 p.m. on MSNBC. 

One more note from my playbook tonight.  You know, the NFL draft is coming up tomorrow.  I was a college football player who thought I was going to get drafted.  And I just have a message to those players out there who are going to be huddled around their TV sets tomorrow watching the NFL draft, thinking that they are going to get drafted.  I just want to tell you, there‘s a real good chance that you‘re not going to get picked.  No matter what the NFL scouts told you, don‘t trust them.  Don‘t trust them. 

I got called in the fifth round by Zeke Brankowski (ph) of the Packers who said, nobody‘s going to pick you.  I said, wait a minute.  We have seven rounds left.  What are you talking about.

Here‘s the thing.  They will tell you are going to go in the fourth round.  They will tell you you‘re going in the second round.  Don‘t believe it until you actually get the call from somebody saying, we‘ve picked you.  And just remember, it‘s not the end of the world.  You might get your own TV show some day. 

Next up, the creator of “The Daily Show,” what makes a great show.  Are the Republicans giving us another material?  Just today they lost another seat in the House.  I guess the country is pretty happy about that and the Obama guy.  That‘s up next on THE ED SHOW.  Stay with us. 


SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.  Another new poll out today, which shows that overwhelmingly the president is a pretty popular guy; 61 percent approval.  That‘s right, approval rating of President Obama the way he‘s doing the job.  So what are the Republican party—what are they going to do?  How are they going to fight their way back to the majority? 

Republicans, actually they want to rename the Democratic party.  This is no joke now.  Republican National Committee members want to have a vote on a resolution to call the Democrats the Democratic Socialist Party.  That‘s sure to get them right back into the majority, isn‘t it?  And is the republican party, as they continue to shrink, the rhetoric is just getting crazier and crazier. 

Joining me now, co-create of the “Daily Show.”


REP. MICHELE BACHMANN ®, MINNESOTA:  Shazam, wouldn‘t you know it?  What‘s going to happen now?  Will the federal government start IDing returning veteran, start IDing gun owners, start IDing pro lifers, and then pull us out of the line for special searches at the airport before we‘re allowed to get on a plane, because we could be considered a domestic right-wing terrorist, while we would see Osama bin Laden and his friends skate by because they are not? 


SCHULTZ:  Joining me now, co-creator of “The Daily Show,” the woman who led the charge of the fake news revolution, blogger and comedian, my friend.  Girlfriend. 

LIZZ WINSTEAD, COMEDIAN:  I love that you have the Notorious BIP right coming in.  Michele Bachmann has been such a joy and a delight.  Minnesota, one time, shame on you, two times—how bad is the Meth problem in her district that she keeps getting elected? 

SCHULTZ:  I just want to know, there‘s so much material there.  Do you think there‘s a chance for another show? 

WINSTEAD:  I‘m telling you, I really feel like between Michele and Norm who—you know, Norm, here‘s what I love: Norm has to actually have in his political epithet that he lost to a comedian and a wrestler.  It is so perfectly awesome. 

SCHULTZ:  That is a first. 

WINSTEAD:  I know.  It‘s great. 

SCHULTZ:  What are the Republicans doing? 

WINSTEAD:  Well, first of all what they are doing is they keep complaining about Obama, that he‘s not doing enough.  Basically saying, he‘s horrible at cleaning up the mess we created, which I love.  But more importantly, the socialism thing is great.  And the fact that, you know, there‘s 17 socialists now, unnamed socialists, in Congress.  But then there was a study done saying that Americans don‘t connect—they don‘t find socialism bad anymore.  And so now they keep referring to him as a fascist, which—who is really thinking of Mussolini Obama? 

SCHULTZ:  What do you make of Newt?  We know Shooter is done.  Cheney is not going to do anything.  He‘s not going to run.  Newt, what do you think of him?   

WINSTEAD:  When you look at it and you say, Newt, the future of the parties.  It‘s between Newt and Joe the Plumber.  I mean, here‘s what you need to know—

SCHULTZ:  Would that be a good ticket?

WINSTEAD:  I think.  Newt the Plumber.  He can burrow in to every problem.  But what I love about Michele Bachmann—and here‘s what you people have to do to me right now, it‘s so great.  It‘s that Michele Bachmann goes on and on and on.  Go to her website right now.  And under taxes and the economy it says, content coming soon.  I‘m not kidding you. 

The two big issues—and all of the tea beggars are out there with their signs.  It‘s like people wonder why this economy is falling apart and Republicans can‘t fix it? 

SCHULTZ:  They are giving some good material.  Your new show, “Wake Up World.TV,” is doing great? 

WINSTEAD:  Yes, it‘s great.  We do take on the media.  Thank god you‘re around.  We like to have fun with your friend Joe Scarborough.  He‘s a lot of fun in morning.  I love watching him wonder aloud in the morning with Pat Buchanan.  It‘s a joy and a delight for me. 

SCHULTZ:  “Wake Up World.TV.”  Is this going to be as big as “The Daily Show” some day?

WINSTEAD:  This is the plan.  We do a live show in New York.  Then we also do this web show, which is basically—the best way to compare it is it‘s “The Today Show” meets the Colbert show.  We have all of the in-phone newsman to experts, spewing out disinformation.  It‘s great.  It‘s sort of like Fox. 

SCHULTZ:  What do you make of Fox News?  They‘re just—They‘re all over the place. 

WINSTEAD:  Fox News is great.  My mother, who is 87, watches Fox News.  So she is deaf as a haddock, the poor dear, and watches Fox News.  So she gets half of half of the truth.  So she gets a quarter of the truth every day, which means she can spout to everyone else in her nursing room.  It‘s fabulous. 

SCHULTZ:  Liz Winstead, great to see you.  Thanks for coming in. 

WINSTEAD:  You bet. 

SCHULTZ:  Thanks so much.  Let‘s bring back our political panel, Bill Press, Jack Rice, and Heidi Harris.  Jack, we‘ll start with you tonight.  You know, there‘s a cast of characters over there on the right that are just doing nothing but vilification what Obama wants to do.  If you had to pick a leader of the conservatives right now, who would it be?  

RICE:  I think we‘re going with Newt.  Let‘s contemplate this for a second.  Seriously, if we realize this—what they are missing is this: the bottom line is the American people are results oriented right now.  They‘re hurting.  It‘s clear.  They are losing their homes.  They are losing their jobs.  They are losing their future.  They can‘t afford to put their kids in school.

And all they are hearing from the right is no, no, no.  When what they are looking for is give me answers.  And they are not getting them from the right.  Look, it‘s reminiscent of what the left was doing in the early 2000s.  You would think that they‘d be smarter than that.  But clearly, clearly they are not. 

SCHULTZ:  Heidi, do you view Obamas numbers as good, dangerous, really a problem, or are they going to be beatable? 

HARRIS:  Well, listen, it‘s been less than a hundred days.  I don‘t think he‘s going to do well in the next couple of years.  I think when his policies start to really show themselves and we all realize how broke we are, after he takes all the money out of our pockets, then people will start to look for answers.  And the right is going to have to come up with some really good people.  They are just going to have to. 

SCHULTZ:  Heidi, when it comes to health care, I don‘t care what it costs.  I want the country covered.  Bill Press, I still can‘t figure out what the Republican plan is for health care. 

PRESS:  It‘s no.  That‘s it.  Jack said it right.  It‘s the party of no.  You know what it is, Ed?  They‘ve gotten a new hook out.  It‘s the audacity of no.  They keep saying no.  That‘s what it is.

I want to come back to your thing about they want to name the Democratic party the Democrat Socialist party.  That‘s OK with me as long as we rename them the National Socialist Party.  We‘ve seen that crowd before. 

So let‘s get real here.  And the leadership, who is it?  Bobby Jindal, Sarah Palin?  Michael Steele?  John Boehner?  Come on, they are without a leader, without a message, without a plan, without ideas. 

SCHULTZ:  Did I hear, Jack, that Sarah Palin has a defense fund? 

What‘s that all about?

RICE:  She needs some extra work.  Oh, my goodness.

SCHULTZ:  Heidi, if you had to pick a governor that you think can take the Republicans out of the wilderness, is it Palin, is it Jindal, is it Stanford?  Who would you take?

HARRIS:  I don‘t know.  I like Sarah Palin.  I know you guys are shocked.  I do like Sarah Palin.  She‘s constantly vilified.  A lot of people like her.  A lot of people connect with her. 

PRESS:  You know what, Heidi?  You and I agree on this.  I love Sarah Palin.  May her the nominee.  Please, make her the nominee 2012.  You got it.

SCHULTZ:  Bill Press, Jack Rice and Heidi Harris, great to have you with us on this Friday.  Thanks for joining us tonight.  We‘ll see you again next week.

That‘s THE ED SHOW.  I‘m Ed Schultz.  To send me an email or get more information, go to Ed.MSNBC, or check out my radio website WeGotEd.Com.  And to get text alerts for THE ED SHOW sent to your phone, just text the word Ed to 622639. 

We‘ll see you back here on Monday night at 6:00 Eastern.  To all you football players who think you are going to get drafted, just remember, one more reminder tonight, there is life after not getting a phone call.  I mean, you‘re a football guy.  You can still go out and get a good looking date, can‘t you?  Sure you can.  “HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews starts right now.



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