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'The Ed Show' for Friday, May 22

Read the transcript to the Friday show

Guests: Larry Elder, Ryan Lizza, Chuck Rocha, Virg Bernero, Liz Winstead, Jack Rice, John Nichols, Devin Nunes


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.

Nancy Pelosi throws the hammer down on the CIA uproar.

Hey, Newt, take some notes.  This is how you get it done.

Will closing Guantanamo Bay bring about the nuclear war?  That‘s what the RNC wants you to believe.  We‘ll show you their crazy new video at 6:30 tonight. 

Can Ted Kennedy save universal health care?  The liberal lion is on board with a public plan.  We‘ll talk about it. 

And, of course, it‘s Friday.  “Daily Show” creator Lizz Winstead is here with her take on “Shooter” speech and a whole lot more. 

Plus “Psycho Talk.”  

All that, a great panel.

But first, tonight‘s “OpEd.”

Well, let‘s reel in the week, because there‘s been a number of big stories out there like Nancy Pelosi and John Thune and, of course, Dick Cheney. 

Nancy Pelosi flat out took care of business toddy.  Now, Newt Gingrich and some other GOP losers have been running around on every talk show they can find, talking about her comment that the CIA misled her in briefings in 2002. 

Today, the speaker came out, and in two short sentences she put down the critics and got this thing back on track. 


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), HOUSE SPEAKER:  I have made the statement that I‘m going to make on this.  I don‘t have anything more to say about it.  I stand by my comment.  And what we are doing is staying on our course and not be distracted from it. 


SCHULTZ:  Oh, I love it.  She stands by her comment. 

Good call, Speaker Pelosi. 

You know, the American people expect her to go out and be working on her business, and that‘s what she‘s doing. 

Now, in the meantime, the Republicans, they were over there working up a resolution for an investigation.  That resolution got smacked down in the House last night.  By the way, the vote was 252-172. 

Now, like I said on “MORNING JOE” yesterday morning, got to point it out again, not one Democrat wants her removed as speaker.  There is no coup here.  There is no story here. 

The story is that she‘s willing to, hey, let‘s have full disclosure.  Let‘s have an investigation.  We don‘t need a vote.  Let‘s get it on. 

Now, I‘m glad the speaker shut the story down today.  She‘s got enough on her plate.  In fact, she‘s heading to China to work on human rights.  Yet, the conservatives still want us to believe that she was just absolutely gung-ho on Bush‘s torture policy. 

Now, I think the Republican—pay attention here, folks—are completely disconnected with reality.  I mean, you wouldn‘t believe what they are throwing out there, like, you know, releasing some of the Guantanamo Bay detainees.

Listen to this from Senator John Thune.


SEN. JOHN THUNE ®, SOUTH DAKOTA:  This administration is seriously considering freeing these men inside the United States.  And most outrageous of all, paying them to live freely within American communities and neighborhoods.  The American people don‘t want these men walking the streets of America‘s neighborhoods. 

Mr. President, the American people don‘t want these detainees held at a military base or federal prison in their back yard either. 


SCHULTZ:  Senator Thune is wrong on all accounts.  Now, you‘re not going to have these people living next door to you.  They are not going to be selling ice-cream on the corner.  And he‘s flat-out wrong. 

He‘s talking about the 17 Chinese Muslims who, by the way, were ordered released under the Bush administration.  This is what the president says about releasing detainees in the United States...


BARACK H. OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  We are not going to release anyone if it would endanger our national security, nor will we release detainees within the United States who endanger the American people. 


SCHULTZ:  Now, I want to be very clear about this.  We had a back-and-forth with Senator Thune‘s office today.  I have personally asked Senator Thune to come on this program and explain, what in the heck are you talking about? 

In my opinion, he is fear mongering right out of the playbook of you know who, Dick Cheney.  And you know what, folks?  He‘s got a history of doing this kind of stuff.  Back on “Meet the Press” in 2004, he claimed that Tom Daschle‘s statements were emboldening the enemy when Daschle was questioning our Iraq policy. 

And finally tonight, there is delusional Dick Cheney.  Now, I don‘t know who wrote this headline with the papers, but it read, “Omissions, Exaggerations and Misstatements.”

Now, there‘s a guy who ought to get a bonus.

Now, this is the same old argument being presented by “Shooter” when it comes to 9/11 and Iraq. 


RICHARD CHENEY, FMR. PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  We moved decisively against their terrorists in their hideouts and sanctuaries, and committed to using every asset to take down their networks.  We decided as well to confront the regimes that sponsored terrorists and to go after those who provide sanctuary, funding, and weapons to the enemies of the United States.  We turned special attention to regimes that have the capacity to build weapons of mass destruction and might transfer such weapons to the terrorists. 


SCHULTZ:  Dick Cheney attacks the speaker for saying the CIA mislead her, and then he turns around and repeats the same lies about Iraq and 9/11?  I mean, this guy wouldn‘t know the truth if he stumbled over it. 

For more on all of this, let‘s get a take.  Let‘s bring in former CIA officer Jack Rice and The Nation‘s John Nichols, joining us tonight.

Fellows, let‘s have a great weekend.  Let‘s start up tonight with some excellent material to wrap up the week. 

First of all, Jack, the fear mongering that is going on, does this put the CIA in somewhat of a tight spot when the former vice president is going around saying that, you know, if you don‘t do it our way, you know, there‘s a chance we could get hit again?  What about that? 

JACK RICE, FMR. CIA OFFICER:  Oh, come on, let‘s face it, Mr. Transparency. 

I mean, that‘s who this guy is. 

I mean, he fought everything from the get-go, and now he comes back, he continues to repaper what he was doing for eight years, trying to justify where he was.  Let‘s look at the mistakes.  They are so deep to say that you‘ve got to follow me now?

The American people were very clear in this last election, let alone the one in 2006, when they rejected what he was claiming.  And now he‘s simply saying it again. 

The president was right.  He lays the question out with Guantanamo. 

You know what?  It‘s time to be on the right side of history.  We‘ve been on the wrong side long enough.  It‘s time to turn the page. 

SCHULTZ:  John Nichols, how could Dick Cheney be consistently be so wrong so often, so many times, on the same subject? 

JOHN NICHOLS, “THE NATION”:  Well, you know, he‘s starting to make me miss George Bush.

If you recall in 2005, when Dick Cheney said some of these things, reporters asked President Bush, co you agree with your vice president?  Is he right about al Qaeda and Iraq?  Is he right about weapons of mass destruction?  And George Bush himself said, no, the vice president‘s wrong, that‘s not the administration line.

Unfortunately, now, there seems to be nobody in the Republican Party that wants to call this guy out.  And the big thing that people need to remember is this: There may be some confusion in the current moment where folks think that Cheney is standing up for the CIA, that he‘s defending the CIA, but recall that during his vice presidency, nobody battered the CIA harder than Dick Cheney.  He tried to force them to come up with “intelligence” to justify the invasion of Iraq. 


And Jack, let‘s view this whole releasing these detainees in communities across America.  If this isn‘t fear mongering, I don‘t know what is. 

What do you think the mission is of the conservatives right now when you hear statements like that on the Senate floor? 

RICE:  Frankly, it‘s repulsive, because what we‘re seeing is pandering at its worst.  They‘ve already got the extreme right.  What they are trying to do is convince middle America that this is about bringing attacks into the country.  That somehow, that you‘re going to see terrorists attacking.  And it‘s so completely not just unfortunate, but intellectually dishonest. 

The idea that we couldn‘t actually protect ourselves?  We have multiple people who were charged with terrorism and convicted of terrorism in federal prisons right now.  Are we so incompetent, so incapable that we can‘t handle Sirhan Sirhan, we can‘t handle the Unibomber?  We can‘t handle Charles Manson?

And then we can‘t handle these people, too?  It‘s extraordinary.

SCHULTZ:  John Nichols, is John Thune playing right out of the playbook of Dick Cheney?

NICHOLS:  Well, he sure is.  And I actually think that Thune is making a bad mistake here.

He‘s assuming that there‘s some sort of political play, that you can get an advantage by suggesting that terrorists are going to come to the neighborhoods of rural South Dakota.  I‘ve been to South Dakota, and I‘ve been to a lot of the other states in the upper Midwest.  I don‘t hear a lot of people fretting about people being released from Guantanamo into Sioux Falls or Sioux City. 

SCHULTZ:  We called the “Sioux Falls Argus Leader” today and asked them if they had a response to their state senator—or United States Senator John Thune about that comment and we didn‘t get a response back from them.

Now, let‘s turn to Nancy Pelosi.

Jack, has she finally put this behind her?  I mean, she came out pretty strong after that vote last night.  No Democrats are turning on Nancy Pelosi.  And now she says that stands behind her statement, end of story. 

What do you think? 

RICE:  I was in the room when she gave that speech the other week.  I was there with 100 people or so as the number of people in the press were pushing her hard. 

This is what I wanted to see since that time.  I want a backbone. 

I love this.  I frankly loved the fact that she lays this gauntlet down and says this is where we are, this is the history that we have seen, this is what we‘re looking for.  We want transparency.

And you know what?  That‘s what the American people should demand. 

And she stood by her statement.  I like that a lot.  I want to see Harry Reid do more on his side of the aisle, and I want to see the Republicans do something, although apparently all they can do is look back and wonder what could have been.

SCHULTZ:  John, what do you think, has Nancy Pelosi put the stops to all of this now?

NICHOLS:  No, I doubt it.  The Republicans have very little to deal with at this moment, so they‘ll probably stick on it. 

But late me pay homage to two Republicans: Walter Jones of North Carolina and Ron Paul of Texas, both of whom broke with that ridiculous resolution and voted no, along with all the Democrats. 

SCHULTZ:  All right.

John Nichols, Jack Rice, great to have you with us.  You guys have a great weekend.  We‘ll see you next week. 

NICHOLS:  Thank you.

RICE:  Thank you, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  Coming up, Ted Kennedy throws down the gauntlet on a public plan for health care.  Can the liberal lion of the Senate beat the insurance lobby? 

We‘ll talk about it next, right here on THE ED SHOW. 

Stay with us.


SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

The anti-health care reform crowd is out and about.  They want to scare Americans with imaginary future crisis.  You know what they think that crisis looks like?  Canada.  Really scary stuff. 

You know, look, we‘re not scared.  We know we have got a crisis going on right now.  We know there‘s a crisis.  Right now we are paying bigger bills every month with insurance companies making bigger profits. 

Folks, you know it, we all know it.  We need a change. 

Now, 28 senators, including the liberal lion himself, Ted Kennedy, introduced a resolution yesterday that would give us one, actually give us some change.  They want a health care plan that will include “The establishment of a federally-backed insurance pool to create options for American consumers.”

Folks, that is a public option. 

Will the GOP get on board with real health care reform? 

Joining me now is Congressman Devin Nunes of California who was with us the other night but we were shortchanged on time because when we were talking too much.  He, of course, sponsors the Patient Choice Act, the Republican health care plan.

Congressman, thanks for being so kind for coming back tonight here on a Friday evening on this. 

Do you know...

REP. DEVIN NUNES ®, CALIFORNIA:  Well, thanks for having me back on tonight, Ed.

SCHULTZ:  You bet.  Good to have you with us. 

Are you aware of Senator Kennedy‘s resolution when it comes to a public option?  Is there any public option that you can support? 

NUNES:  Sure.  I mean, look, we‘re very familiar with this.  And what we have is, we have our own plan.  And our plan, I like to say, is not a conservative plan, it‘s not a liberal plan, it‘s a credible plan.

And the people in my district, I have a lot of people in the district that are on a government plan.  It‘s called Medicaid. 

And my constituents, by and large, I can‘t find one that‘s on Medicaid that wants to stay on Medicaid.  And so, what we came up with is a way to achieve universal access for all Americans and allow them to pick their own doctor and have their own health care.  And that‘s what our plan does.

SCHULTZ:  Yes, no doubt about it. 

OK.  Now, we‘ve got some numbers. 

The government needs to do more to make health care affordable and accessible.  The number out there is pretty staggering.  Eighty-six percent of Americans agree that the government needs to do something to make health care affordable and accessible. 

Does your plan do that? 

NUNES:  Our plan makes it completely 100 percent accessible.  Now, look, there‘s always—you know, there‘s always plans that are out there, but our plan is actually a plan in writing.  And so everyone else is talking about a plan, but we have a plan.  It‘s out there for people to go and look at and evaluate, and we feel that this meets the criteria of offering universal access to all Americans. 

SCHULTZ:  Congressman, what about the single mom with two or three kids that shows up at the emergency room and she doesn‘t have insurance?  What happens on that?  Because that‘s happening to millions of Americans across the country. 

NUNES:  Right.  And that‘s why I like this plan the best, because currently, in my district, in rural California, that woman is on Medicaid, or she‘s totally completely uninsured.  And what we do in this plan is we allow that person to have almost $11,000 to make her choice as to who—what health care she wants and what doctor she wants. 

So, with an $11,000 plan, you‘re going to be able to get a very, very good plan.  My brother has—him and his wife and two kids, his current plan, which he says is a good plan, costs about $9,000.  So we feel that $11,000 will get you a good plan if you‘re on Medicaid, and we want to get you off of Medicaid and treat you just like a member of Congress or you, Ed, or anyone else out there. 

We‘re tired of having government-run health care like Medicaid.  We want people to choose their own doctors, and that‘s what our plan does. 

SCHULTZ:  So, Congressman, am I hearing that you‘re going to be cutting a check to families to take care?  I mean, that‘s a subsidy, is it not? 

NUNES:  Well, sure, but it‘s already a subsidy now.  So what we‘re doing is we‘re taking the current dollars that we‘re spending now.  We‘re not trying to tax anyone new.  We‘re not trying to add any more taxes to the American people. 

We‘re taking the existing dollars that are there now that are basically going to the insurance companies and the pharmaceutical companies, and we‘re tired of it.  And we feel that we have a very credible plan that will work. 

SCHULTZ:  And finally, Congressman, what are you going to do to reduce the double-digit increases that we‘ve been looking at year after year, reeling in the insurance companies, reeling in the pharmaceuticals and such stuff as that? 

I mean, what are you going to do to keep costs down? 

NUNES:  Because right now, with so many uninsured and so many people on Medicaid, and with people with their employer plans, you have the people that are on the Cadillac plans that are basically paying for the people that are uninsured.  And what we feel is, when you add all Americans, when you have all of them having health care, you‘re going to create a free market, you‘re going to create competition, and you‘re going to reduce the costs. 

We‘re going to have people competing for the lady that you mentioned that‘s on Medicaid now.  They are going to want to offer her a real credible, good plan.  And we feel when you have competition, when you don‘t have people going to the hospital without insurance, that we‘re going to reduce costs. 

SCHULTZ:  Now, Congressman Nunes, I want to be very clear on this.  Are we talking about cutting a check to people that want to have health insurance, or are you talking about an $11,000 tax credit?  Which is it? 

NUNES:  Well, it‘s what‘s called a refundable tax credit. 


NUNES:  So, what it would be is...

SCHULTZ:  OK.  So how do you pay on that deal?  How do you pay on that? 

NUNES:  It is a check.  I mean, it‘s not a check literally in your hand, but you would work through your provider, and they would access first your tax credit, which would be $5,700 using the Medicaid example again, and then there would be additional $5,000 which would nearly equate to $11,000. 

SCHULTZ:  OK.  So it is a tax credit.  I mean, whatever you spend on health care, you can use that as a tax credit and it works on your taxes.  Did I hear that?  Is that what it is? 

NUNES:  No, it‘s actually—no, because it‘s up front. 


NUNES:  And so it‘s not a traditional tax credit.  What it is...


SCHULTZ:  All right.  And quickly, what about the 47 million people that don‘t have insurance right now?  How is their life going to change under your plan? 

NUNES:  This is going to basically, depending on what their income is, they are going to get a minimum—if they‘re a family of four, they are going to get a minimum of $5,700 up to $11,000 to choose their own health plan. 


NUNES:  And we‘re going to have a whole—there‘s going to be an exchange that‘s going to offer these health plans.  And at a minimum, you‘re going to have what federal employees have. 

SCHULTZ:  All right.

Congressman, we‘ll have you back again to talk more about it. 

NUNES:  Thank you.

SCHULTZ:  The liberal blogosphere is somewhat accepting your plan, which I‘m intrigued by.  And we‘ll talk more about it later on. 

Thanks so much.

Congressman Nunes from California with us here on THE ED SHOW.

NUNES:  Thank you, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  Next up is “Psycho Talk.”  

Rick Santorum, I think he‘s got daddy issues.  Is that because he got spanked by Bob Casey in Pennsylvania? 

It‘s next on “Psycho Talk.” 


SCHULTZ:  Have you heard some of the crazy things that are being said by conservatives?  It‘s time for “Psycho Talk.” 

Oh, “Psycho Talk.”   Who‘s your daddy?

The former senator from Pennsylvania, Rick Santorum, enters the “Psycho Talk” zone tonight. 

Santorum showed up on Fox News on Wednesday.  It seems he misses the good old days, the days when conservative principles like patrimony ruled.

Just listen.


RICK SANTORUM ®, FMR. PENNSYLVANIA SENATOR:  The other thing we have to do is we have to stand up and say, look, America, the reason we conservatives—conservatives believe in the stewardship of patrimony.  In other words, there are things in America that are really good, that work, have worked for 200 years.  And we have a guy named Barack Obama who is trying to fundamentally rewrite everything, change our economy, change our social structure, change our foreign policy to something new, something fashionable, something cool. 

Well, we‘re not cool.  We‘re not fashionable.  We‘re traditional people who understand that America is a great country. 


SCHULTZ:  They are not cool.  They are not happening dudes at all.  Now, that‘s one answer. 

But his answer was a return to patrimony?  It worked for 200 years? 

Here‘s the definition of patrimony: anything derived from one‘s father or ancestors.

You know what we inherited from our fathers?  Two hundred years of change.  That‘s what America is about.  We see an injustice, we change it.  The Bill of Rights has changed. 

Comments like this might actually explain why the Republican Party has been such a failure as of late and why only 21 percent of Americans can call themselves Republican, or at least, “I‘m a Republican” kind of thing. 

Santorum is about—really correct about President Obama on one thing. He is bringing change to our economy.  He‘s trying to fix the mess the Republicans left.  He‘s being change to our social structure. 

The first bill he signed was the Equal Pay Act, Mr. Santorum.  Anyone who sees that as bad for America definitely belongs in “Psycho Talk.”  


SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.  Dave Schultz is on the bubble to make the cut at the Byron Nelson on the PGA.  Just had to throw that in. 

Dick Cheney is back.  Shooter, what in the heck are we going to do with you?  Here you are trying to hide behind 9/11 to defend all those gruesome you gave us, from torture to this crusade you launched in Iraq. 

Buddy, you can‘t scare the American people.  We‘ve turned the page on all of that.  I think you‘re absolutely—should be named now Delusional Dick.  I know it.  You know it.  The Republican party doesn‘t know it.  They are so desperate, they are following Dick Cheney‘s lead, folks. 

You won‘t believe this, the RNC has a video about closing Guantanamo Bay, playing off the infamous 1964 Daisy ad about nuclear war.  Take a look. 


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  To close it.  To close it not. 

OBAMA:  Guantanamo, that‘s easy.  Close down Guantanamo.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  To close it.  To close it not.

ROBERT GIBBS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY:  We‘ve made some hasty decisions that are now going to take some time to unwind.  And closing Guantanamo Bay obviously is one of those decisions. 


OBAMA:  Guantanamo, that‘s easy.  Close down Guantanamo. 


SCHULTZ:  For those of you who weren‘t around for the original Daisy ad, here‘s how it ends. 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Six, five, four, three, two, one. 

JOHNSON:  These are the stakes.


SCHULTZ:  The National Republican Committee wants to get people elected showing that kind of garbage around the country?  They are implying that closing Gitmo will bring about nuclear alienation.  Do they really believe this is what the American people are going to respond to, when it comes to fear tactics, especially when we‘re in the middle of an economic crisis, and we‘re all focused on kind of keeping our jobs?

Let‘s throw it to our panel tonight.  Democratic strategist Chuck Rocha.  Chuck is also a board member for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute.  Ryan Lizza, Washington correspondent for the “New Yorker,” and also media commentator Larry Elder.  Larry, great to have you with us back again.  I want to start with you tonight. 

Has the RNC ever pulled a stunt like this before?  This is a dandy, I‘ve got to say. 

LARRY ELDER, MEDIA COMMENTATOR:  Ed, the point here is a very serious point.  That is national security.  Cheney, Obama gave dueling speeches.  What Cheney said was we have kept this country safe for seven and a half years, adopting policies that, in large measure, Barack Obama has retained. 

He‘s retained rendition.  He‘s done a flip-flop on military tribunals.  The ACLU sued on behalf of terrorists, Ed, and the Bush administration argued, you‘re not going to get stuff because of state secrets.  Obama has now made the same state secret argument.  At one time, we were going to have a hard and fast time table to get of Iraq.  Now we‘re not. 

He‘s surging in Afghanistan, using the same counter-insurgency tactics that he complained about before.  We still have a Terrorist Surveillance Act.  We still have warrantless wire taps. 

So, in large measure, candidate Obama has now become President Obama, commander in chief, and he realizes this is the real world and has adopted a lot of what Bush has done.  That‘s the point here. 

SCHULTZ:  You make some interesting points.  My question is, why—

ELDER:  Thank you. 

SCHULTZ:  Why isn‘t the RNC bringing out an ad like you have just said right there?  Why aren‘t they focusing on that?  Instead, they are trying to tell us that resolution of Guantanamo Bay is going to result in a nuclear Holocaust here on our soil.  Do you believe that? 

ELDER:  Ed, don‘t put me in a position of trying to defend how well the Republican party has communicated anything.  I think the Bush administration did a lousy job in making the arguments that it made for why it did what it did.  So don‘t put me in that position. 

SCHULTZ:  I‘m giving you credit.  I think you made some good points there, which I don‘t hear Michael Steele making on a consistent basis. 

ELDER:  Fair enough, Ed.  All I‘m saying is, you called Dick Cheney delusional.  Look, he may have done some things that you don‘t like.  But this is a good man who tried to do the best he could to keep the country safe after 9/11.  People were scared; 80 percent of the American people assumed that there would be another terror attack.  And in part because of what Bush has done, we have not had one.  I think that Cheney deserves some credit, and he ought not be called delusional, as you‘ve just now done. 

SCHULTZ:  I‘ll tell you, I think he is delusional, because he is coming out lying to the American people about how he manipulated intelligence.  Only a truth commission is going to get to the bottom of all of that.  We‘ll talk more about it. 

Ryan, what is your take on this?  Has the RNC reached a new low with this commercial? 

RYAN LIZZA, “THE NEW YORKER”:  Well, you know, the ad was silly and intellectually dishonest when it was run by Johnson against Goldwater.  And the reason they‘re doing it is one reason.  It‘s the same reason Johnson did it.  Remember, that ad only ran once.  But the fallout and the conversation and the—went on and on and on.  And over the years, various political actors have used that ad when they wanted to make an exaggerated statement, and, quite frankly, when they wanted to get people like us to talk about it for a few days. 

It‘s intellectually incoherent.  There‘s no relationship between Guantanamo Bay and nuclear war.  It‘s just absurd.  You take a step back and you look at what the Republican party is banking on right now.  They are banking on two things.  They‘re banking on failure on the economy and failure with respect to national security. 

All of the Republicans voted against Obama‘s economic agenda.  And now they are sort of doubling down on national security.  Look at the logical conclusion here is, they are waiting for an attack on this country and they want to blame it on Obama.  They want to blame an attack on this country on Obama‘s national security policies.  And I don‘t think there‘s any way to escape that conclusion.  And I think that‘s, frankly, a sad comment on politics of the time. 

SCHULTZ:  On the other hand, I think Dick Cheney is delusional because he‘s misstating the facts.  Torture does not work and he can‘t prove it.  That aside, Chuck, what about this ad? 

Wait a minute.  Hang on Larry?  Go ahead, Chuck.

CHUCK ROCHA, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST:  This is what they have to work with.  That‘s the reason why Bush/Cheney‘s approval ratings is up around 27, 30 percent.  When you talk about the RNC and what they‘re using, they want to use these scare tactics.  If you walk through the heartland of America, here in Pittsburgh, in Ohio, people aren‘t talking about are we or are we not going to shut down Guantanamo Bay. 

They are going to talk about is the factory going to get closed tomorrow?  Am I going to have a job?  Am I going to have health care.  People are scared and hurting right now.  They‘re not going to fall for these tactics anymore.

Sure, national security is very important to us.  It‘s very important to Barack Obama and it‘s important to the American people.  But all the Republicans have is to look at the downturn in the economy, that they started—and they don‘t talk about their failures.  They want to talk about something that can distract the American people.  This is not going to sell in the heartland right now, when people are looking and trying to find hope through having a job and some security for their families. 

SCHULTZ:  OK.  Larry, go ahead and respond to that.  What‘s your take? 

ELDER:  Ed, it‘s true that the economy is the number one issue.  But right now, we‘re talking about those dueling speeches.  You said torture does not work. 

SCHULTZ:  It doesn‘t.

ELDER:  The national intelligence director, Admiral Dennis Blair, said that the enhanced interrogation techniques that were used by Bush did produce intelligence that gave us a lot of information about al Qaeda. 

SCHULTZ:  He backed off that statement, Larry.  Not only did he back off that statement, but he went so far as to say that torture doesn‘t work.


SCHULTZ:  Answer this, were the 16 words in the State of the Union, were they accurate?  Because Dick Cheney believes they were. 

ELDER:  The British still stands by that intelligence.  Let me get back to what Blair said.  What Blair also said—and this is what you left out.  He said, I would like to think that I would not have used the same technique that the Bush administration did.  But I do not fault those who did them at the time.  And I do not fault the operative who followed directions.  In other words—in other words—


SCHULTZ:  I want to be very clear on this.  Larry, you say that torture works.  Am I hearing that correctly tonight?  And you can document that it definitely works and it stopped attacks?

ELDER:  No.  You said that torture did not work.  I‘m telling you that the national intelligence director said that torture did produce actionable intelligence and the CIA—

SCHULTZ:  Actionable intelligence is—no.  They have said that it has stopped attacks.  Now, that is simply not the case. 

ELDER:  That is actionable intelligence, isn‘t it?

SCHULTZ:  OK.  We have a broad definition here. 

ELDER:  The CIA said in 2005 -- they stand by their memo—that because of the use of enhanced interrogation acts, including water boarding, they were able to thwart an attack using planes against buildings in Los Angeles. 

SCHULTZ:  That was totally false, Larry.  Larry, you‘re totally false.  I can‘t mislead our audience like this.  This is not true and you‘ve got to bring a set of facts to the table.  That simply is not true.  Ryan, I‘m going to let you weigh in on this.  Go ahead. 

LIZZA:  The key question with this debate is could you—let‘s assume what what Larry said is true and they had some intelligence that came out of using torture.  The question is, of course, whether they could have gotten the same information without using torture.  That‘s the key question here.  And that‘s what a lot of folks in the intelligence community would not have happened, that it didn‘t work. 


SCHULTZ:  Great exchange, fellas.  We‘re going to come back.  Great exchange.  I appreciate all of your opinions, but there‘s some misstatements here.  We‘re going to get to them.  Hang on. 

Dick Cheney is delusional.  He is not with the facts and he is misleading this country.  We‘ll get back to that. 

Up next, General Motors under pressure.  They‘ve got two weeks to restructure.  Could bankruptcy be the bigger road block?  That‘s next on THE ED SHOW.  Stay with us. 


SCHULTZ:  In my playbook, GM has ten days until the deadline to restructure through bankruptcy could come even sooner.  The “Washington Post” says the government is prepared to steer GM into bankruptcy as early as the end of next week.  It says under a GM draft bankruptcy plan, the automaker could get just short of 30 billion dollars in additional federal funding. 

Now, also today, UWA confirmed that its made a deal with the workers.  We don‘t know the details until we get a ratification vote next week.  I don‘t know, but I don‘t know how the UAW can make a deal without the workers not knowing about it.  They‘re not saying anything about it.  We tried to get them on tonight.  Unless they are completely embarrassed about caving in again. 

Joining me now is the mayor of Lansing, Michigan, Virg Bernero.  Virg, good to have you with us.  How much more can the workers give in on this deal?  And you are a little nervous that they have given in too much because the UAW is oftly silent tonight? 

VIRG BERNERO, MAYOR OF LANSING, MICHIGAN:  I‘m nervous, Ed, but I‘ve got to tell you, I‘m mad as hell.  Where was the restructuring plan and the deadline for AIG and the big Wall Street concerns?  I hate to harp on the double standard and I don‘t want to sound like an ingrate for the federal assistance, because I am grateful that the federal government is looking at helping General Motors. 

But my god, don‘t help us like you did Chrysler.  Please.  We‘d like GM to survive to live another day. 

I want to say, I‘m biased.  My dad retired from General Motors.  But so did hundreds of thousands of others.  GM has contributed so much.  The big three has contributed so much to this economy in the United States.  If we lose the domestic auto industry, that‘s seven million jobs across this country.  These are hard working people who deserve support and deserve an opportunity. 

But the double standard, the way billions were given to Wall Street with no strings attached, it‘s unbelievable.  No questions asked.  We can‘t have a big failure.  They are too big to fail on Wall Street.  What about GM?  Isn‘t it too big to fail?  What about all of the people?  It‘s worth just saying good-bye to, allowing banks that have been threatening the supply chain for Ford and for all of the big three?

It‘s incredible to me, Ed.  It‘s blaring, the double standard, for working people on one hand and the big Wall Street concerns on the other. 

SCHULTZ:  Virg, what would you like President Obama to do right now?  Should he step in and say failure is not an option?  What would you like the president to do? 

BERNERO:  Well, you know, that would be great because the UAW workers have given up.  They have conceded.  They are conceding more now.  And you raise the question, how low is enough?  Do we have to knock down the American worker to the level of a third world peasant?  I know that‘s what Wall Street would like.  They‘re captains of the universe.  They see themselves at the top and everybody else down below.  The less we make the better. 

They don‘t mind shipping all the production overseas.  And I‘ve advocated strongly for helping the Detroit three.  But god knows, they‘ve got to turn around and he help us.  They‘ve got to help our communities.  I hear about these viability plans, which, in essence, push the Detroit automakers to move more production overseas.  So, in essence, taxpayer dollars is being used to subsidize and move more production to China and Mexico.  That is not right.  That makes no sense. 

We should be strengthening our economy and our workers.  Where is the viability plan for our communities?  Where is the viability plan for our workers?  Where is the viability plan for the American dream, which is being steadily off-shored and outsourced? 

SCHULTZ:  And doesn‘t this all really become surrounded by the ridiculous trade agreements we have, that really have played a big part in the auto manufacturers in this country having a hard time.  And no matter what we‘re making, whether it be windmills or whether it be solar panels or whatever in this green economy, somebody is going to have to address these trade agreements, where there‘s a terrible imbalance, isn‘t there? 

BERNERO:  You‘ve hit the nail right on the head.  If we don‘t fix the trade problem—I‘m all for fair trade.  I welcome that.  That‘s great.  Americans can compete with the best.  We have the most productive—we have nothing to be ashamed of.  Wall Street has made it out like the worker is to blame or the union is to blame, that we begrudge the worker a decent pension or health benefit. 

We try to make the worker feel guilty, throw him under the bus, kick him in the shin, like he‘s taking too much, like the worker is responsible for what is wrong with this country.  The worker is the one who has been paying the bills, who has been playing by the rules, and is getting screwed by Wall Street.  And even the auto industry, as inept as some people want to make them out to be, they were in transition.  They were in transformation. 

They were making the leaner greener cars all the time.  Some of the best cars you‘re seeing today, the Chevrolet Malibu, the Cadillac CTS, made in Lansing, Michigan.  This was an industry that was in transition.  It was Wall Street that dealt them this walloping blow.  No question, Wall Street has been pushing the free trade agenda.  Not fair trade, but free trade, which puts the American worker at a disadvantage. 

It‘s a race we cannot win.  It‘s a race to the bottom.  They want us all to be making third world peasant wages, and then maybe we can compete.  That‘s nonsense.  We don‘t want to be there.  We should be raising the world standards up to the United States standards. 

SCHULTZ:  Virg Bernero, you are a hero for the working folks of America. Appreciate your time tonight.  The mayor of Lansing, Michigan, coming to us from Grand Rapids.  Thank you, Virg. 

Up next, welfare for terrorists?  Gitmo detainees have hit pay dirt? 

Apparently.  Are we going to pay them and move them into our neighborhoods?  “Daily Show” co-creator Liz Winstead here to talk about that and so much more next on THE ED SHOW.  Stay with us.


SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.  This was a heck of a week for the GOP, right?  The president signed a credit card bill and new relief for homeowners.  Cheney defended torture at a far right wing think tank.  Joining me now is comedian Liz Winstead, co-creator of the “Daily Show,” and the brains behind “Wake Up World.”  Cheney again gives us just all of the material in the world. 

LIZ WINSTEAD, “THE DAILY SHOW”:  It‘s so crazy because here‘s the deal.  I don‘t really understand why these people don‘t want to bring these people to justice in the American court system.  If we don‘t, then the only person that we know for sure has shot anybody is Dick Cheney.  It‘s unbelievable to me. 

SCHULTZ:  Now, what do you make of John Thune on the Senate floor saying, we ought to bring them here.  And if we do, the administration‘s going to release them and we‘re going to pay them? 

WINSTEAD:  Well, I don‘t know.  Apparently you didn‘t hear what John Thune and I heard Obama saying, which he not only said they are going to walk free in our neighborhood.  We‘re also going to give them security clearance at Langley.  And actually, two detainees are up for Souter‘s job on the Supreme Court. 

So people are just ignoring what Obama is saying.

SCHULTZ:  And, of course, we‘ve got Mr. Geithner with no salary caps. 

What do you make of that?

WINSTEAD:  Here‘s what I love: the salary cap thing, you‘ll hear banking industries execs saying, we can‘t have salary caps because we won‘t be able to get the best and the brightest if we have to cap salaries.  And I‘m thinking, have you really gotten the best and the brightest so far?  Because I don‘t really see that. 

Literally, they have destroyed the economic world.  And they want to be able to get paid as much as possible.  Now, I would like to see them going into a job interview for their next job, where someone is actually reading a resume and it says, I see here you left your last job because they didn‘t pay you as much as you want when you destroyed the company.  OK, we‘ve got your resume on file.  We‘ll be in touch with you. 

SCHULTZ:  What about Mr. Steele saying that liberalism is a sickness? 

WINSTEAD:  Here‘s the deal: Michael Steele this week has said that he believes gay marriage is bad for business.  And I think with Michael Steele, really, if we could run our cars and heat our homes on stupidity, Michael Steele would rule the world.  It‘s true.  Because it‘s crazy.  When you say that, if you look historically, there‘s a lot of things that have been hurting the bottom line of business, child labor laws, oh, the abolition of slavery.  What is wrong with him? 

SCHULTZ:  How about patrimony? 

WINSTEAD:  Patrimony—all women like me who celebrate the Equal Pay Act are in tandem with Rick Santorum‘s patrimony.  He‘s real crazy.  I mean really.  It‘s like—I do think you‘re right.  He has some daddy issues.  He‘s got animal issues.  This one is a ball of issues, and gets paid 1,750 dollars per column.  It‘s an outrage.

SCHULTZ:  Liz Winstead, it‘s a great Friday. 

WINSTEAD:  Thanks for having me. 

SCHULTZ:  Let‘s go back to our panel.  Chuck Rocha, Ryan Lizza and Larry Elder.  Chuck, let‘s start with you in this segment.  Is the president going to be able to get Gitmo closed before the end of this year? 

ROCHA:  You know, I think that he‘s trying to come to a resolution to try to put as much of this stuff to bed as he can, and make sure that America is kept as safe as it can be, while focusing our attention on the things that are happening here in America every day, with the economy and the stuff that‘s on his plate, day in and day out.  Gitmo just being one of many things.

This country had an election.  It had the Bush-Cheney gang that had been leading the country.  The American people had an election and said, we want change.  We want things done differently.  And that‘s what he‘s brining. 

The bills that you talked about that he‘s signed; he‘s trying to do things differently at the guidance of the American people, and try put our economy back on track, and try get this country headed in the right direction, because that‘s what the American people gave him a mandate to do. 

SCHULTZ:  Ryan Lizza, if the president and the Democrats can‘t get Gitmo closed this year, is that going to be viewed as a failure? 

LIZZA:  I think that it probably matters more if he gets it done before his re-election campaign, or for Democrats in Congress before they stand for re-election.  I think what Robert Gibbs said today was very real, when he mentioned—I forgot what he said.  It was a hasty decision.  IT looks like it was something they decided to do both in the campaign and in the transition, when they didn‘t have a lot of the inputs from some of the lawyers and some of the military folks that, now that they do have, has made them realize this is a little bit more difficult than he realized as a candidate, and has obviously it slows the process down quite a bit. 

I think on a lot of the campaign promises, the important benchmark is his re-election and not whether it gets done this year. 

SCHULTZ:  Larry, do you think the president is worried about re-election right now?  He‘s focused on getting Guantanamo Bay closed.  Do you think it will be viewed as a failure if he doesn‘t get it done this year? 

ELDER:  First of all, all politicians are worried about being re-elected.  But, no, look, Ryan is right.  Running is one thing and governing is another thing.  And he ran into a wall.  The wall was Democrats, who said we‘re not going to give you the money to shut down. 

SCHULTZ:  They said they wanted a plan first, Larry.  They said that they wanted a plan first.  They didn‘t say that they weren‘t going to fund it.  Come on now. 

ELDER:  That‘s what I said.  They are going to come up with a plan. 


ELDER:  Ed, let me finish a sentence and then you‘ll hear it.  I said, until they come up with a plan.  Even Vice President Joe Biden said that Obama opened up a, quote, Pandora‘s Box, close quote, because he didn‘t have a plan.  By the way, the majority of the American people don‘t want Gitmo closed down. 

SCHULTZ:  No, that‘s not true.  The majority of American people knew exactly what this president campaigned on, and he won the election, and we‘re going to shut down Gitmo.  That is the plan. 

ELDER:  I didn‘t say that.  I didn‘t say that.  I said the majority of Americans don‘t want Gitmo shut down.  Obviously he won the election.

SCHULTZ:  Where are you getting that information?  Where did you get that information that the majority of Americans don‘t want Gitmo shut down?  

ELDER:  My barber told me. 


SCHULTZ:  Good to have you with us.  You‘re a good sport. 

ELDER:  Thank you for having me. 

SCHULTZ:  We‘ll have you back.  Good spirited discussion.  That‘s THE ED SHOW.  I‘m Ed Schultz.  Have a great Memorial Weekend.  I have to go back to the control room right now to see if Dave Schultz has made the cut at the Byron Nelson Golf Tournament.  Four under today at the turn.  Buddy, you‘ve got to give me two more birdies and make this thing happen. 

Have a great Memorial Weekend.  We‘ll see you on Tuesday. 



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