Guest: Kermit Bye, Marge Baker, Chuck Rocha, Norman Goldman, Katrina Vanden Heuvel, Tom Tancredo, Bill Press, Carolyn Maloney, Amelia Warren Tyagi, Lizz Winstead
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.
President Obama must make a monumental decision, who to put on the Supreme Court.
The GOP fear mongering again with a new Web video. Why Hispanics are furious about it.
Sarah Palin makes her reality show debut and “Daily Show” creator Lizz Winstead gives her a grade tonight.
Plus, “Psycho Talk,” disgusting comments from a right-wing radio nut.
All that, a great panel coming up.
But first, tonight‘s “OpEd.”
Well, he was called this on the campaign trail all the time, but now we‘re going to find out just how liberal President Barack Obama is. We‘re going to find out because he‘s got to put somebody on the Supreme Court.
Justice David Souter, he says he wants to retire in June. President Obama is going to make his first Supreme Court pick in the next few weeks. This is the Super Bowl of decisions for any president outside of going to war.
And folks, let‘s just get right up front tonight. I think it‘s time to say it. This is no time for bipartisanship. We need a liberal on the Supreme Court.
The president made a surprise appearance in the briefing room this afternoon and told reporters what he‘s looking for in a nominee.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK H. OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I will seek someone who understands that justice isn‘t about some abstract legal theory or footnote in a casebook. It is also about how our laws affect the daily realities of people‘s live, whether they can make a living and care for their families, whether they feel safe in their homes and welcomed in their own nation. I view that quality of empathy, of understanding and identifying with people‘s hopes and struggles, as an essential ingredient for arriving at just decisions and outcomes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Empathy—that, I think, is the key word. Of course he says he‘s going to consult with both parties, and that‘s got some progressives a little nervous, a little worried.
Liberals are concerned the president really isn‘t going far enough on health care reform. Will President Obama put a liberal lion on the Supreme Court—and I mean no shame, no apologies—or will he cave in when the “party of no” starts crying about a consensus choice?
May I remind Americans we had a consensus back in November? It was called an election. They lost. Elections have consequences. This is our time to shape the future of this country.
President Bush put two staunch conservative, John Roberts and Sam Alito, on the court. And by the way, President Obama voted against both of them. He was one of only 22 senators who voted against Roberts for chief justice.
Now, they join, of course, Thomas and Scalia on the far right. Justice Kennedy rounds out the court‘s conservative majority. He, of course, is the swing vote.
Now, here‘s the truth of it all. This is a conservative court, and President Obama probably won‘t shift the balance of power. But remember, Justice Souter was a Bush 41 pick. He sided with liberals a lot of the time on issues.
That‘s exactly why President Obama‘s pick can make a real impact. The justices talk together, they work together, they argue together, they share ideas, and they trade opinions.
You put a brilliant legal mind with strong liberal convictions in there, and it could dramatically change the dynamics, someone who will fight for the little guy against big corporations, someone who will fight for fairness, not just people in power. Someone who can go toe to toe with the conservative chief justice. Someone who can change a mind. You know, we need only one to get that 5-4 majority opinion.
Now, this administration, we should point out, is well equipped to really pick a smart, qualified nominee. Vice President Joe Biden confirmed five of the justices on the court when he chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The president is reportedly thinking about appointing a woman or possibly the first Hispanic judge. One thing is for sure, from my opinion, what I think the president has to do is put a liberal on the Supreme Court and set the tone for generations to come.
Now, keeping him out of politics, but a man who watches this closely, a friend of mine, let‘s turn to a judge who is familiar with these issues, Judge Kermit Bye, appointed by President Clinton in 2000. He sits on the Eighth Court of Appeals.
Judge, great to have you with us tonight.
KERMIT BYE, FEDERAL JUDGE APPOINTED BY PRESIDENT CLINTON: Well, thank you very much, Ed. It‘s a pleasure to be here. And congratulations on your new show.
SCHULTZ: Thank you, sir. I appreciate that.
All right. If you had to give advice to President Obama, what would it be?
What would you say to the president?
BYE: Well, I would tell him that there are nominally 800,000 lawyers in this country that at least have the initial qualifications for a selection on the Supreme Court. We‘ve been doing this now in this countntry since 1789, so we have 220 years of experience. And that has put a total of 115 members on the Supreme Court in those 220 years.
SCHULTZ: But Judge, one thing, this process has become so politicized and so partisan, how do you think President Obama is going to maneuver through all of that? The sides are choosing up slogans already tonight.
BYE: Well, I think that he has the experience. He is law trained. He has great advisers in the Justice Department, as well as on his own legal staff. And so he‘ll have plenty of good advice, and he‘ll be willing to be receptive to all points of view.
And in the end, it‘s one man making one decision, submitting it to the Congress and letting it go to the Senate for confirmation. And that could be a process that could take as long as a year, year and a half.
SCHULTZ: You know, the scrutiny, Judge, has become so strong in these hearings, and they‘ve been very intense. Do you think that there might be a number of judges that would shy away, that might even call the White House and say, please don‘t consider me? What about that?
BYE: Well, history has it that there have been people who have been called upon to serve and have actually turned it down. However, there are many more that would be willing to serve and many more that would do a great job. So we have a good field to choose from.
SCHULTZ: Yes. Do you think that president should choose a woman or a Hispanic judge?
BYE: I think the president, if he‘s true to his word, he‘s going to pick the best person irrespective of where they come from and who they are and what sex they have. Women are certainly a very significant part of our legal community. Many of them are fine judges today.
The law schools are half women and half men. And so certainly they are in the play.
SCHULTZ: Of course, we‘re going to hear the term “activist judge.” What‘s your response when you hear something like that?
BYE: Well, a judge is essentially a judge. And some appear to be more active by the nature of their personalities than others. But they all have to make decisions. They attempt to do the very best they can, and usually that is acceptable to the American people.
Now, is it a perfect system? No. Like in all of government, it is not a perfect system, but it‘s the best one that we have had, and it‘s worked in this country for 220 years.
SCHULTZ: Judge Bye, good to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much.
BYE: Thanks, Ed. Good luck to you.
SCHULTZ: You bet. Thank you, sir.
Liberal groups are already making their voices heard.
For more, let me bring in Marge Baker. She is the executive vice president at the People for the American Way.
Marge, your group today made a very bold statement saying that you wanted the president of the United States to make a bold statement and really stick to his true principles of liberalism.
What about that?
MARGE BAKER, PEOPLE FOR THE AMERICAN WAY: That‘s absolutely right. This is a really critical decision, and we want somebody on the court who‘s going to be a champion for justice.
And I have to say, I was heartened when I heard President Obama today at his press conference, because I think he was articulating the standards that will be really important. He wants somebody who respects the rule of law, who honors the Constitution, who respects and is committed to core constitutional values like justice and privacy and equal opportunity for all.
SCHULTZ: How active is your group going to be in supporting President Obama‘s selection?
BAKER: Well, there‘s two parts. We‘re going to be very active over the next couple of months in doing what we can to ensure that the president is looking at the full range of possible candidates. There‘s lots of good folks out there who can serve, who can be, in fact, the champions of justice. And then we will work to try to get the nominee picked—the nominee through who is committed to those values, committed to the Constitution, committed to the core constitutional values that we all believe in.
SCHULTZ: Ms. Baker, does it matter if it‘s a woman? Are the People for the American Way, are they going to advocate for a woman to get this selection?
BAKER: We‘re going to advocate for the best qualified nominee, someone who can be in the mold of Marshall and Brennan, a champion for justice, who respects core constitutional values and who really understands how the mandate of a law in the Constitution affect average Americans. That‘s what we‘re going to advocate for.
SCHULTZ: So it doesn‘t matter, a woman, Hispanic? A lot of conversation about that and getting more diversity on the court. It would seem to me that the People for the American Way would be advocating one or the other.
BAKER: Well, we‘re absolutely advocating for diversity on the court. There‘s no question. There‘s demographic diversity, there‘s diversity of experiences. The bottom line is you want somebody who is going to share that commitment of core constitutional values, and who really gets how what the court does, the mandate of the law and the Constitution, how it affects everyone, not just some.
SCHULTZ: How much money is the People for the American Way willing to support President Obama‘s selection here? You know the conservatives are going to come after it. In fact, they may try to reenergize their base just on this issue alone and bring back, of course, all the wedge issues in America. What about that?
BAKER: Well, we‘ve seen the right come out on—there have been executive nominations and some judicial nominations and other issues. They‘re out there. They will be out there. We can expect they‘ll be out there, and we‘ll raise the funds that we need in order to take this on.
This is a really important fight. This is a fight for the future. This is a fight for the legacy for this country for years to come.
SCHULTZ: No doubt.
Marge Baker, executive vice president, People for the American Way.
Thanks so much tonight.
BAKER: Thank you for having me.
SCHULTZ: You bet.
We played this new GOP fear mongering ad for you yesterday. One image is causing outrage with Hispanics in Congress. They‘re calling it racist and demanding an apology.
That‘s next on THE ED SHOW.
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.
Yesterday we showed you this new ad from the GOP. House Republicans think Cheney-style terror tactics will distract Americans from the fact that they have no new ideas. They think they can prey on the publics fear of another terrorist attack.
Even some Republicans are backing away from this ad campaign. And a big reason is this picture.
It‘s a picture of President Obama meeting with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. It shows up in the ad between, let‘s see, terrorists with rocket launchers and a picture of the burning Pentagon building.
You know, this is amazing stuff. Are House Republicans suggesting that Americans should be afraid of Latino leaders?
Joining me is Chuck Rosia. Chuck is a board member for the Congressional Spanish Caucus Institute.
Chuck, good to have you with us tonight.
How offended are you and your organization by this ad?
CHUCK ROCHA, HISPANIC CAUCUS INSTITUTE: You know, I can‘t believe we‘re resorting back to these things again and trying to scare the American public, especially when Latinos, African-American, Asian-Americans, are feeling the brunt of the downturn of this economy and in the worst shape that they‘ve ever been in. Are we really going to go back to these tactics that obviously don‘t work and are just trying to scare Americans when we have millions and millions of men and women, no matter what the color of their skin, out of work, looking for work, laid off, trying to make something of themselves here in this country?
SCHULTZ: Chuck, what about the response to someone saying that, well, it was just a mistake in editing and it was an oversight? Do you accept that as an excuse?
ROCHA: These are elected officials. There are people in their districts that elected them to represent them in Congress to make sure they would look after their well being.
Elected to represent this country. They took an oath of office to look after this country, to represent the working men and women of this country, no matter what the color of their skin.
I think it is absolutely racist. I think it‘s a disgrace. I think there should be an apology. But I think we need to refocus this debate on what the real problem is, and that‘s putting America back to work and making sure that we have elected officials, not like the people who are putting up these ads, pay attention to what‘s really going on in America and giving the people the chance to rebuild America and put manufacturing back on the forefront of America so we can have real jobs again.
SCHULTZ: What should the Congress do about this, if anything?
ROCHA: You know, I think that there should be people who get together and go, look, this is not going to work. How does this help? You‘re the minority leader in the House of Representatives. You‘re coming from a state of Ohio that‘s had the worst job loss of any state, the highest unemployment, and we‘re talking about terrorists?
SCHULTZ: So, Chuck, clearly, Mr. Boehner‘s response to this, in your opinion, doesn‘t measure up?
ROCHA: It‘s just like the ad itself. It‘s hypocritical. It‘s just—it‘s a laughing stock, is what it is.
People understand and see it for its value of what it is. People get up every day worried about feeding their family, they get up every day worried about losing their job. They‘re not going to fall for this same stuff again.
Chuck, great to have you on tonight. I appreciate it.
ROCHA: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: That‘s Chuck Rocha. He is a board member for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute.
Oh, it continues, folks, the offensive things that right-wing talk show host Jay Severin has said. Well, it got him kicked f the air.
That‘s next up on THE ED SHOW with “Psycho Talk.”
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.
Have you heard some of the despicable things that have been said by conservatives?
Time for “Psycho Talk.”
Tonight‘s “Psycho Talk” goes to right wing radio host Jay Severin. Severin has been suspended indefinitely from Boston airwaves for using the current swine flu outbreak to attack Mexicans and immigrants.
Here‘s what he was talking about with the swine flu.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
JAY SEVERIN, TALK SHOW HOST: So now, in addition to venereal disease and the other leading exports of Mexico, women with mustaches and VD, now we have swine flu.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Think that‘s bad? Well, it is. It‘s hateful, racist, outrageous and many more things.
But folks, he‘s just getting started. To name a few, Severin also calls Mexicans the world‘s lowest of primitives. Criminaliens and leeches? Hear it for yourself.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
SEVERIN: And when you scoop up some of the world‘s lowest of primitives in poor Mexico, it‘s millions of leeches from a primitive country come here to leech off you. We should be, if anything, surprised that Mexico has not visited upon us poxes of more various and serious types already, considering the number of criminaliens already here.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Severin‘s comments are being called hate mongering and racist. WTKK-FM radio station has been flooded with complaints. And the guy apparently was shocked to learned that he was being suspended.
Now, despite all of that, Severin‘s agent says that he will be back on the air doing great radio soon.
How much did you pay that guy to say that?
There‘s a double up on “Psycho Talk,” and it‘s repulsive tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: As I make this decision, I intend to consult with members of both parties across the political spectrum. And it is my hope that we can swear in our new Supreme Court justice in time for him or her to be seated by the first Monday in October when the court‘s new term begins.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: That was President Obama talking about his big decision in front of him, picking the next Supreme Court justice. It‘s a conservative court, and a lot of progressives out there want to know if he‘s really willing to put a liberal on the court.
For more on that, let‘s bring in Norman Goldman, oun senior legal analyst, and attorney and Democratic strategist.
Norm, is there any chance the president won‘t pick a good lefty for the seat?
NORMAN GOLDMAN, ATTORNEY: Ed, there‘s no chance of that whatsoever. President Obama knows that the Supreme Court has gone so far over to the right, that he definitely needs somebody at least as moderate as Justice Souter, if not even more to the left, to try and bring the court back to the center, because it‘s gone way off to the right.
SCHULTZ: What do you see as some of the big issues coming up for the next session of the Supreme Court?
GOLDMAN: Well, Ed, you know, you can always count on gays, gods, and guns, and especially now, because last year, as you‘ll recall, the Supreme Court held for the first time in American history that the Second Amendment gives individuals the right to bear arms outside the context of the militia. So the Supreme Court is going to have a lot of cases dealing with how the states can regulate the guns while people have a right to bear arms.
SCHULTZ: Is the timing good for the Republicans on this, if they can bring back the wedge issues? What do you think, Norm?
GOLDMAN: Ed, I‘m sure they are going to try, and a lot will depend on who the president nominates. You know, the Republicans, you know, are going to do all the opposition research that they can do to try to find any kind of way, any kind of wedge issue, to try and get after the nominee.
SCHULTZ: But what do you make of the president saying he‘s going to talk to both sides, and how the mudslinging starts, and these are very intense hearings? They‘ve really changed over the years with the information age.
So does it bother you at all that the president says, yes, he wants to hear what the Republicans have to say? You know what they are going to do.
GOLDMAN: Well, Ed, you know they always say that. The president, whoever the president is, always says, we‘re going to, you know, talk to both sides. But President Obama is an extremely smart fellow, and he understands where the Supreme Court has gone, and this is a rare chance for a president to really put a stamp on the Supreme Court.
So I don‘t think he‘s going to listen much to the Republicans by way of actually taking their advice. He‘ll listen to them, but he‘s not going to take their advice.
SCHULTZ: Norm, good to have you on tonight, buddy. Thanks so much.
GOLDMAN: Ed, thank you.
SCHULTZ: You bet.
For more, let‘s bring in our panel: Katrina Vanden Heuvel, who is the editor of “The Nation”; Bill Press, nationally syndicated radio talk show host; and former Republican congressman Tom Tancredo.
Katrina, does the president have to pick a woman or an Hispanic?
KATRINA VANDEN HUEVEL, THE NATION: The president I think today, Ed, what was most interesting was at his press conference he sounded like what he said in November 2007. He wanted someone who was experienced in the law and in life, someone who would stand for those who had very little clout in our system, the underdogs, those who needed protection, who didn‘t have the connections, who were vulnerable.
And not the privileged, not the corporate powers. He has a great bounty of people he could select from. There are all sorts of great women. But I think the key is that he finds someone who brings life experience, who understands the daily struggles of Americans, and has a great sense of the law and integrity, and a sense of the rule of law and equality and opportunity.
And I wouldn‘t get caught up in the left-right. He‘s this constitutional professor, as you remember. It is the first time in 15 years since a Democratic president has the choice. So there‘s a lot ahead. But he should use his bully pulpit, it seems to me, his extraordinary popularity now to build support and not play footsie or negotiate with Republicans who will use this, it seems to me.
SCHULTZ: OK. Tom Tancredo, we have got a big lefty on the way to the Supreme Court? What do you think? And how big of a fight is this going to be?
TOM TANCREDO ®, FORMER COLORADO REPRESENTATIVE: Well, yes, we do have a big lefty on the way to the Supreme Court. There‘s no two ways about it. And that‘s to take the place of a big lefty on the Supreme Court today. Souter is no moderate, he is a left-winger.
And so we really don‘t—you don‘t gain all that much by this departure. I mean, you‘re going to put in a left-winger, we‘re getting rid of one. It‘s a wash. So it really won‘t matter in terms of the balance on the court. It won‘t change one way or the other.
What is intriguing to me is the constant reference to the other aspects, the other tributes, that have seemed to be necessary for this particular candidate. Life experiences for the underdog, you know, that‘s more what would you expect maybe for your defense lawyer, not necessarily the judge, and certainly not a Supreme Court judge who is supposed to be focused on one thing called the Constitution..
SCHULTZ: Bill Press, what do you think?
BILL PRESS, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Well, listen, I down there at the White House today, Ed, when President Obama surprised everybody by walking into that news conference. He had just talked to Justice Souter. And he reinforced some of the things Katrina just said.
That he said during the campaign. He is going to look for somebody that is going to fight for the underdog, give the people who don‘t have a voice a voice on that court. I think Tom is wrong. This is hugely significant. It may not affect the balance, but it‘s going to give Obama the chance to start shaping his court, a younger person, a strong person there for voters rights, individual rights, human rights.
This is the beginning of the Obama court.
VANDEN HEUVEL: And workers rights, environmental rights, consumer rights.
PRESS: Yes, all down the line.
VANDEN HEUVEL: But I would add, I think Representative Tancredo—is it former, I‘m sorry, if he is saying what he is saying about.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You‘re actually not sorry.
VANDEN HEUVEL: . Judge Souter as a lefty, I think it‘s a measure of how far the Republican Party have drifted into a self-marginalizing role, because Judge Souter is a moderate in the best tradition of the Republican Party.
TANCREDO: Oh, brother, oh my gosh.
SCHULTZ: All right. Tom, quickly, I‘ll give you a response to that.
TANCREDO: He is anything but a moderate, on almost every single issue he comes down with the left. I mean, come on. Show me where he has been on our side of the issue in a majority of decisions—or even an even number of decisions which would make him the moderate. He is always coming down on the left. He is a liberal.
TANCREDO: Now there‘s nothing necessarily.
TANCREDO: . that there is something bad about that, but he is a liberal.
PRESS: No, but, Tom, at one time the Republican Party—Katrina‘s point is one time the Republican Party had room for a David Souter, had room for an Arlen Specter, Olympia Snowe. They don‘t any more. That‘s why you could see him so far left.
SCHULTZ: All right. I want to turn the topic now to illegal immigration. The Department of Homeland Security is changing the rules for cracking down on illegal immigrant labor. They‘re targeting the root of the problem by shifting focus from illegal workers to the employers who hire them.
Before agents can conduct workplace raids, they are going to have to build a case against the employer. Democrats in Congress have been pushing for this kind of change for years.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CLAIRE MCCASKILL (D), MISSOURI: All we‘re doing in immigration right now is getting the little fishes and nobody has their scope on the big whales.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Tom Tancredo, this was always your issue. Your response to that?
TANCREDO: Great. Great idea. Believe me, I have supported this from day one. Go after employers. If you do that, as I‘ve said for 10 years in Congress, go after the employers. If you break the nexus there, if you stop them from being able to get jobs—which of course, it‘s illegal supposedly to get here in this country if you‘re not in the country legally.
If you do that, you will go a long way towards solving the problem. Now, if they really want to do it, go ahead and continue—make E-Verify, the process by which an employer goes through the Social Security network and looks to see whether the actual Social Security number is a real one, make that mandatory.
And that will prove to me you‘re really serious about going after employers.
SCHULTZ: All right. Thanks, Tom.
Now, Katrina, is this coming from the president, do you think? I mean, has he really got his hands on this?
VANDEN HEUVEL: You know, I think there is interest in Washington and in the Obama administration in a comprehensive realistic immigration reform plan, which we need.
But employers sanctions, Ed, are not going to work. They have not reduced undocumented immigration. We need reform of inequitable unjust trade and economic policies. Immigrants come here to not to have an vacation but to work to find jobs.
And the most important thing, Ed, and what you talk about, is—the key thing is to enforce minimum wage, to enforce workers‘ protection, to enforce organizing and minimum wage and overtime. And that needs to be on the agenda.
SCHULTZ: What do you think, Bill? Does the president need this fight right now?
TANCREDO: How about enforcing the law?
SCHULTZ: Well, OK, Bill, your thoughts on this. I mean, does the president need this fight right now?
PRESS: No, and I don‘t think we‘re going to get to comprehensive immigration reform this year. The president indicated that the other night, Ed. But, look, I think this is OK. I think it‘s better to go after employers than busting up families, right?
But I think it‘s missing the big problem here. The real problem is, there are still 12 million people here illegally. What are we going to do about them? I think George Bush had the right idea. You‘ve got to give them some legal status.
And the other problem is, there are whole American industries, Ed, that depend on this labor force and what are you going to do about that? You can‘t shut down the landscaping and all of that kind of stuff.
SCHULTZ: Panel, stay with us. We‘ll come back with more.
TANCREDO: Hey, you guys—you guys.
SCHULTZ: Hold on, Tom.
TANCREDO: . 10 percent unemployment.
SCHULTZ: OK. We‘ll come back with more on this.
Next up on THE ED SHOW, some credit card companies are jacking up rates in a tough economy. A new bill that would let consumers fight back but it doesn‘t start for a year. People need help now. How do we fix this? I‘ll talk to the lawmaker who wrote this bill next right here on THE ED SHOW.
SCHULTZ: Well, in today‘s playbook, I want to talk about the credit cards. We‘ve been getting hit hard by credit companies. Most of the United States has seen some rate increases, right? Oh yes, you get the bill in the mail. People are paying outrageous fees and over-the-limit charges. Credit card companies are also making it harder to get credit, in some cases they are even decreasing the level of borrowing power. That hurts your credit score.
And you know, this is happening to people that haven‘t even done anything wrong. Yesterday the House passed the Credit Card Bill of Rights. Here are a few of the highlights of that bill.
It ends unfair and arbitrary rate increases, stops excessive over-the-limit fees, ends unfair penalties for the people who pay on time, and prevents companies from damaging consumers‘ credit ratings.
But here‘s the key to this. These rights don‘t start for a year. We can‘t wait a year. Americans are facing double-digit rate increases right now. On the Senate side, Harry Reid is not sure if he has got the votes, in fact, yesterday, the bankruptcy bill got killed in the Senate because, again, Reid didn‘t have the votes.
Now the credit card bill is coming up, well, the senator—all of these things support what Senator Durbin said on our program earlier this week about the banks owning the Senate. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: You believe the banks own the Senate and you can‘t get this done?
SEN. DICK DURBIN (D), ILLINOIS: I will tell you that at this point in time, it‘s an uphill battle for me to get 60 votes in the Senate to save these homes from foreclosure.
SCHULTZ: So their lobbying power is that strong?
DURBIN: It is.
SCHULTZ: Their lobbying power is that strong?
DURBIN: It‘s hard to believe, Ed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: I‘ll tell you, if this credit card bill does not pass, I mean, I think there‘s going to be some serious backlash on this. Joining me now is Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney who was the champion of this in the House.
Congratulations, I hear it all the time. And you must too.
REP. CAROLYN MALONEY (D-NY), CHAIRWOMAN, JOINT ECONOMIC COMMITTEE:
Oh, we‘re absolutely thrilled. I‘ve been working on this bill for years and the strong vote shows the difference of having a Democratic president who will sign it in law and a Democratic Congress.
I am confident that the Senate will pass it because, Ed, you can‘t walk two feet that you don‘t have a credit card story. I can‘t go to the store, I can‘t get into an elevator, I can‘t even go to the floor of Congress, that people don‘t come up to me and say, let me tell you this outrageous abuse. I was paying on time, I never went over my limit, yet they raised my interest rate retroactively on my balance and ran up my interest rates, so terribly unfair.
And so we need to pass it and we need to pass it now.
SCHULTZ: OK. Now with that, all of you said, why are we waiting a year? Was that a Republican thing or what?
MALONEY: Well, it came to a vote in the Financial Services Committee. The industry is saying they do not have enough time to put the changes in place. My bill.
SCHULTZ: The companies don‘t?
MALONEY: That‘s what they are saying. My bill said they would go into effect 30 days after the Fed came out with their rule, roughly 90 days after enactment. And then I had the bill in committee and I had the amendment again, it failed.
And I came back with a fallback amendment that at least they would have to give 45 days notice of any rate increase going forward so that consumers can get out of that credit card and go to another one. That one passed, but hopefully the Senate can increase the time. They have it.
SCHULTZ: Do you think the bill goes far enough? Does it have enough teeth in it?
MALONEY: Oh, I think the bill is incredibly strong, it attacks the most outrageous abuses.
SCHULTZ: Why were they doing that? Were they trying to pay the money back? I mean, we bailed out these banks, is that what it is?
MALONEY: They‘re making huge profits. And it‘s terribly unfair. Most credit cards, in the fine print, say they can raise the rates any time, any reason. How unfair is that? So it stops the most outrageous abuses, gives protection to young people in college. It says, you can‘t raise the rates on a double cycle billing on the balance that has already been paid. It stops the games and tricks of changing the due date, changing the terms, the trap...
SCHULTZ: It‘s fair. I mean.
MALONEY: It‘s fair, it‘s fair.
SCHULTZ: I mean, they just absolutely got away from fairness. I mean, this is the ultimate gouge story in American history, I think.
MALONEY: And the American taxpayers are speaking up. They‘re saying, enough is enough. They want this change. And everyone has a credit card as part of our economy. That‘s why I think it will pass in the Senate. Because they‘ll tell these senators, you have to pass it.
SCHULTZ: Do you think it will pass in the Senate?
MALONEY: I certainly hope so.
SCHULTZ: If this doesn‘t pass in the Senate, there‘s going to be some real push back on this. I mean, I think this is.
MALONEY: I agree, Ed.
SCHULTZ: . going to cost some people some seats. I mean, if the Congress can‘t listen to the people on this issue, what are they going to listen to them about? This affects everybody. You can‘t live without plastic.
MALONEY: We have a strong, bipartisan vote because Republicans and Democrats were listening to their constituents and they were saying, enough is enough. And also the economy, many people are out of work and they are stressed in the economy. The last thing they need is unfair interest rates to gouge them even more.
SCHULTZ: That‘s right. Congresswoman, great to have you on with us.
MALONEY: Oh, great to have you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Thanks so much.
MALONEY: Great to see you. Thank you for speaking up for Americans.
SCHULTZ: Well, it‘s an issue we just can‘t pass up.
MALONEY: Well, stay on the story.
SCHULTZ: You bet.
Why can‘t consumers get a fair shake? Joining me now is consumer advocate, she is a co-author of a new book, “All Your Worth,” Amelia Warren Tyagi.
Amelia, thanks for your time. I know you have researched this more than anybody else in America. How much do you think it hurts families having to put up with this kind of stuff? Because it just seems to be so trapping.
AMELIA WARREN TYAGI, CONSUMER ADVOCATE: It really is trapping. I mean, that‘s exactly the right word. You know, this really hurts American families. The average family that‘s carrying credit card debt is carrying around $8,000. That‘s a lot of money during tough times.
And you know, it has been nearly 30 years since Congress has done anything about credit cards. They just have free reign, and that‘s why they‘re charging all of these fees, because they can.
SCHULTZ: Do you think it goes far enough? Is this going to be the final-final and straighten these companies out that are gouging?
TYAGI: Look, this is a good step in the right direction. But let‘s be clear, it‘s just hitting a few of the bad practices that these credit card companies do. They are still going to get away with a lot of stuff that most of us think isn‘t right.
SCHULTZ: What else are they doing?
TYAGI: Well, for example, this says you have to give somebody 45 days‘ notice before you raise their rates. Hey, that‘s great, it‘s better than no notice at all. But it still means you could be paying on time every month doing everything right and you get a notice in the mail saying, you know what, 45 days from now your 6 percent rate is going to be 26 percent, and there is not a thing you can do about it.
SCHULTZ: Well, what can consumers do to convince the Senate, in your opinion—you have had a lot of people be very emotional about that—about this in response to your book. If you had to gauge how important this is to the American people, how would you phrase that?
Well, you know, this is the number one thing that couples fight about.
It‘s the number one New Year‘s resolution to get yourself out of debt. This is the thing that people worried about. They stay up at night worrying about how they are going to get those credit cards paid off and they—absolutely now is the moment, call your congressman, call your senator. Let‘s make noise on this issue. Absolutely.
SCHULTZ: Amelia, thanks for your time. And congratulations on your book. It‘s great stuff, it‘s great reading. And it‘s very practical. Practical information I think people need to pay attention to. Thanks so much.
TYAGI: Well, thank you.
SCHULTZ: You bet.
Coming up, Sarah Palin makes her reality TV debut and Lizz Winstead, creator of “The Daily Show,” gives her a grade, can‘t wait to hear that, next, on THE ED SHOW.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Look who was on TLC‘s “American Chopper” last night. A biker from the frozen tundra. The guys who build custom bikes were in Alaska for some research. They are building a bike to honor Alaska‘s 50th anniversary of being a state. And they stopped by to meet the governor.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. SARAH PALIN ® ALASKA: Holy molly, hello, how are you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good, how are you?
PALIN: Nice to see you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you snowmobile?
PALIN: Oh, yes, snow machine, yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your husband is a real big enthusiast in snowmobiling?
PALIN: Yes, he loves it. Yes, we love those motor sports.
You‘ve got that patriotism in you that people just so respect. Thank you for that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You‘re welcome.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Joining me is Lizz Winstead, comedian and co-creator of “The Daily Show.” I want to tell you, folks, this weekend Lizz brings her solo show, “The First 100 Days: Obama‘s and Mine,” to the Twin Cities at the Parkway Theater, you‘re going to want to see it in the Twin Cities.
OK, Lizz, is this frozen tundra biker chick gone wild? What is happening here?
LIZZ WINSTEAD, COMEDIAN: I mean, she can‘t even go on the motorcycle show without going, oh, you guys are patriots. How does she know? You know? I mean, I love too that she has to have a stuffed bear behind her. Did she kill that with her bare hands?
SCHULTZ: Now rumor has it now you‘re waiting for the Palin-Bachmann ticket. Now what would that be to a stand-up comic in America?
WINSTEAD: Well, what it would be is we would make so much money that we could bail out the auto industry and the banks and the insurance industry.
SCHULTZ: What do you make of this new group that the Republicans are putting together now? Huh? They‘ve got some young guys in there like John McCain and guys that have never been around the Republican Party before.
WINSTEAD: How about “Back to the Future”? If there was ever anything crazier? I mean, they simply don‘t understand. It‘s so funny, you know, Ed, I was lucky enough to host your show on Wednesday. And we were talking about the one thing that is so great about Obama is that he has got this energy. And you feel it. And you trust him to have the energy to tackle all of these huge problems.
You look at any of these old guys that are, you know, going to the bathroom in the night, it takes them an hour to go to the bathroom. They couldn‘t solve one problem. You know, it‘s like, they don‘t have—there‘s no freshness. It really feels like the old shoes in your closet.
SCHULTZ: OK. Now, President Obama is—I mean, 81 percent of the American people like this guy. As a comic, is he tough material?
WINSTEAD: He‘s not tough material because they like—you know, I like him, too, but I think he has got some—you know, there‘s stuff that I‘m wondering about. You know, I look at Geithner. I look at Summers. I say, what‘s going on, guys, with the banks? I mean, I know it‘s not an easy task, but, you know, Geithner still can‘t find anybody to work with him at Treasury because the pool is so tainted.
You know, he can‘t find anybody who hasn‘t screwed America to fill the jobs at the Treasury Department because those are the people who are qualified. You know, it‘s kind of like if you went on a dating show and the only choices were the people who cheated on you.
SCHULTZ: All right. Tell us about your gig. You‘re on the road, “The First 100 Days: Obama‘s and Mine.” How is it going?
WINSTEAD: Well, it‘s pretty crazy. You know, it‘s funny, Ed, because I‘ve been writing this show since day one. And I‘ve got 26 pages of material. I‘ve got to weed some stuff out. The show is in an hour. So it‘s—you know, people -- I take some—you know, it takes some of the administration on, I certainly take on the Bush administration, I certainly take on the financial institutions.
I‘ve got a lot of questions. And you know, I don‘t have any answers. It seems like no one really does for us yet at this point. And so we need to be sort of as a whole asking questions and being able to laugh, because gosh, that‘s free.
SCHULTZ: All right. Great to see you, Lizz. Thanks a lot. Good luck to you.
WINSTEAD: Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ: You bet.
WINSTEAD: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: We‘ve got some more on the National Council for a New America, the campaign to re-brand the GOP which features the same old Republican faces. The first meeting is going to be tomorrow at a restaurant in Arlington, Virginia, and my sense is that they are going to be going to Denny‘s for the 4:00 senior discount. I mean, it‘s a whopping 10-minute cab ride from the Capitol. Sounds like an outside-the-Beltway operation to me.
Here‘s one of the campaign‘s new faces.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN ®, ARIZONA: We‘re going to come up with new ideas based on old principles. And those principles are enduring of a Republican Party, we‘re a right-of-center party, we‘re a right-of-center nation. We‘ll come back, my friend. We‘ll come back.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: All right. Katrina Vanden Heuvel, are they going to come back?
VANDEN HEUVEL: I think at the moment the Republican Party is in a death spiral and we‘ve seen it with Arlen Specter‘s defection. We see it in these ads they are running which are running out of Karl Rove‘s playbook, manipulating fear.
But you know, never say never, I think the Democrats need to show they can repair, rebuild this country. The Republicans were in the wilderness many, many years ago, around ‘64 with Barry Goldwater. And then Ronald Reagan came on the scene. So we‘ve got to fight hard.
SCHULTZ: Tom, is the Republican Party—do they have an identify crisis right now? And were you—are you a part of this new group, this new forward-thinking group they claim they‘ve got?
TANCREDO: I‘ve not been asked to be part of it, no, that‘s true.
SCHULTZ: You‘re too young.
TANCREDO: I‘m going to try to get my energy level up, I‘ll tell you what.
SCHULTZ: You‘re too young, Tom.
TANCREDO: From now on I‘m going to talk like this all the time. Get a little more energy in my stuff, then I‘ll be a part of your guys‘ show all the time, right?
No, listen, I think—I agree with Katrina, by the way, that things are not looking all that good for the Republican Party, haven‘t been for a while. But I‘ve been through this process before. I was—Goldwater was actually—I shouldn‘t say this because it will tell you how old I really am. But I did vote that—Goldwater was my first vote for president.
So and I do know what happened subsequent to that. Things do go through cycles. I hope that we‘re just—we‘re at the bottom of the cycle for the Republicans. Can‘t be sure. But I hope so.
SCHULTZ: Bill Press, is this lipstick on a pig?
PRESS: Ed, I was just going to ask you that. Don‘t we remember a phrase from the last campaign? It is lipstick on a pig. Look, the fact that—they‘re running out there saying we‘re going to come up with new ideas, they‘ve had a chance to come up with new ideas. You know, Ed, it‘s like you‘ve got one team on the field and the other side hasn‘t even fielded a team in all of the major issues.
They have no new ideas on the environment, on jobs, on the economy, on global warming, on housing, on education. Where is it?
VANDEN HEUVEL: Well, you know, on this credit card issue, this is a defining moment. If the Congress doesn‘t pass it on behalf of working people, of consumers, of Americans, Congress is bought, Congress is not on the side of the people. It‘s on the side of predatory credit card companies.
And I think that people should mass around the Congress and demand that their voices be heard. It is a defining moment.
SCHULTZ: Tom, you‘ve got 30 seconds. Tell me, is the Senate owned by the banks.
TANCREDO: Yes, OK. One thing about this credit.
SCHULTZ: Yes, go ahead.
TANCREDO: One thing about this credit card thing that is driving me crazy, the statement, what can you do? They send you a thing and saying they are raising your rates. What can you do? I‘ve got three credit cards here that are mine. Nobody has ever done that. I‘ve never had any of these problems that you‘re talking about.
But if you have that problem, here‘s what you do, America. Don‘t go to your congressman. Throw the card away, damn it. It‘s the—don‘t rely on the government for everything. Make the.
VANDEN HEUVEL: But how do you live, then, Tom?
TANCREDO: Make a decision yourself.
PRESS: Five seconds, Ed.
TANCREDO: Take care of yourself. Forget the government.
SCHULTZ: Go ahead, Bill.
PRESS: Five seconds, the bill has to take effect immediately.
There‘s no reason why they can‘t do that.
VANDEN HEUVEL: Absolutely.
SCHULTZ: You know, Tom, how can you defend, quickly, these companies that go from 8 percent to 29 percent? I mean, don‘t we deserve any protection at all?
TANCREDO: They‘re jerks, and you shouldn‘t do business with them.
VANDEN HEUVEL: It‘s usury.
TANCREDO: Don‘t do business with them. Go to a different company.
It‘s called competition. It‘s not a complete monopoly.
SCHULTZ: They‘re all doing it, Tom.
TANCREDO: It‘s not every single card company in the whole United States..
SCHULTZ: Tom, they‘re all doing it.
TANCREDO: . that does this.
SCHULTZ: All right. Bill Press, Tom Tancredo.
TANCREDO: Oh, no they‘re not. I‘m telling you.
SCHULTZ: Yes, they are.
TANCREDO: . that has never happened.
SCHULTZ: They are all doing it.
TANCREDO: No, no, no, it doesn‘t happen.
SCHULTZ: All right. Great panel tonight, everybody, have a great weekend, we‘ll see you back here next week.
That‘s THE ED SHOW. I‘m Ed Schultz. And if you‘d like to send me an e-mail or get more information, go to ed.msnbc.com, or check out my radio Web site, wegoted.com.
Our next town hall meeting is going to be in Buffalo, New York, June 13th, Saturday night. Check it out. You can sign up. And starting on Monday, we are on the radio in Boston. Get text alerts about THE ED SHOW sent to your phone, just text the word “ED” to 622639.
We‘ll see you back here on Monday night. I‘m headed to the lakes of Minnesota. Next up, Chris Matthews and “HARDBALL” right here on MSNBC.
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