Guests: Courtney Hazlett, Karen DeSoto, Sherrod Brown, Larry Elder, Bill Press, Jack Rice, Matt Taibbi, Rep. Phil Hare, Liz Winstead
ED SCHULTZ, HOST: I‘m Ed Schultz. This is THE ED SHOW.
SCHULTZ: Good evening, Americans.
Live from 30 Rock in New York, it‘s THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.
New developments on Michael Jackson tonight, including the tape of his final rehearsals. Plus, Jackson‘s ex-wife doesn‘t want his mom to get the kids.
We‘ll have the latest from the Jackson family compound coming up in just a moment.
This is America‘s big story. Senator Ted Kennedy, his health care plan includes a public option. It covers 97 percent of Americans and it costs half as much as expected.
Republicans, this is your chance to show your bipartisanship.
Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown is going to be joining me tonight.
But the big question on Kennedy‘s plan, the lady that stood up yesterday at the town hall meeting in Virginia, 53 years old, cancer, no insurance, does Senator Kennedy‘s plan cover her?
We‘ll tell you tonight.
And I love this story. Employees at a clothing company that dressed President Obama and me took on Wall Street with the help of their congressman, and they won. That‘s in my playbook tonight.
Plus “Psycho Talk.”
All that and a great panel. And “The Daily Show” creator Lizz Winstead is here today.
But first, new developments in the Michael Jackson story tonight. It just continues to go.
A surprise bid for custody. That‘s right. The biological mother of Jackson‘s two older children, we know she wants custody. And we also know the funeral is set up for Tuesday.
And we‘ve just seen the latest video—this latest video, Jackson‘s rehearsals from his concert tour. This video was recorded on Tuesday, June 23rd, just two days before the “King of Pop” passing away.
Joining us now live from the Jackson compound in Encino, California, Courtney Hazlett of MSNBC.com‘s “The Scoop.”
Courtney, a lot of news tonight. Debbie Rowe, how much of a surprise is this now that she is really into the picture and into a custody battle?
COURTNEY HAZLETT, MSNBC.COM CORRESPONDENT: Ed, it‘s definitely a substantial surprise when you look at it from the point of view that Debbie Rowe already said that she‘s giving up parental rights. And she hasn‘t had contact with the kids. And if you think about what a mother means to most people, it‘s somebody who even—if you‘re no longer living with your children, you have a relationship with them, some sort of substantive relationship.
That is not Debbie Rowe. However, she says she wants custody of her kids.
And Ed, not just the two kids that she carried, but also the third, the youngest that they call “Blanket.” So that is important in the custody battle, because if you don‘t want all three, the judge is not going to give them to her.
SCHULTZ: Now, this custody battle, it kind of comes out of nowhere, doesn‘t it? I mean, how much actual contact has she had with her older children?
HAZLETT: Well, gosh, you hit the nail on the head. She really hasn‘t had much substantial contact with her older children.
It comes out of the nowhere, but I think it‘s kind of a tricky publicity move in a sense, because the Jackson family and all their representatives right now are trying to get details of this funeral worked out, and there are all these reports it‘s Tuesday at 10:00, it‘s at the Staples Center.
Listen, we don‘t know, actually. The Jackson family has yet to come forward.
I‘ve been on the phone with their people all day long. They say, listen, it‘s not all worked out yet.
So, for Debbie Rowe to kind of come in here under this chaotic time and say, oh, by the way, I want custody, it‘s a great publicity move, because they‘re too busy to fight her right now.
SCHULTZ: You know, Courtney, one might come to the conclusion that this family has been so distraught over the loss of Michael Jackson, that they just don‘t know how to handle this. Has there been a lot of infighting or has there just been a lot of really tough time to make a decision on exactly what to do with his funeral?
What are you hearing there?
HAZLETT: It‘s a bit of everything. I think infighting is the theme here this week.
You have got a huge family, and a lot of them don‘t have a great relationship with one another. Not to mention, can we please be honest here for just a second? Most of them love publicity, and they get a little piece of information, the first thing they want to do is run out and talk about it.
I mean, example 1A would be Joe Jackson at the BET Awards suddenly promoting his record label. Now, he‘s defended himself. I get it, what he‘s saying. They asked, “What are you doing, Joe?” And he just told them.
But at the same time, this family does love some publicity. So it‘s definitely towing a difficult line.
Ed, I do want to show you just for a second this crowd behind me. A huge response today.
I think the crowd is definitely bigger. Earlier today, they were playing music and dancing. And so the family‘s definitely distraught on some level, definitely infighting, but it is nice to see that the public hasn‘t lost interest and they‘re still coming up here to this little neighborhood and gathering.
SCHULTZ: Well, this story is very intriguing, because there‘s new video released today of actually his final performance. I mean, it was a rehearsal, but this is the last time anybody who‘s going to see Michael Jackson do anything on stage, this, Courtney, obviously adds to the intrigue of it all.
HAZLETT: It absolutely adds to the intrigue of it all. And I‘ve spoken to people who were at the rehearsal. And I‘m personally glad to see the video, because it vindicates everything that they‘ve said, that he‘s his old self.
He‘s kicking, he‘s dancing, he looks fin. Yes, he‘s thin. He‘s always appeared sort of frail. But everyone who was at that rehearsal told me he had his game on.
And so I don‘t think the video is a surprise to those who have been talking, the people close to him in the tour, but it is nice to see this come out, especially in light of some of the really absolutely tasteless images that are being put out there, photos by certain magazines that should have never been taken and now they‘re being put on the cover. So it‘s nice to see a positive image of Michael Jackson right now.
SCHULTZ: Courtney, thanks so much for joining us tonight.
Courtney Hazlett at MSNBC out at the Jackson compound tonight.
All right. For more on the legal issues, including the custody battle over Jackson‘s children, let‘s bring in former prosecutor and defense attorney Karen Desoto.
Well, Karen, I think this is probably the first big legal battle that‘s being drawn here.
KAREN DESOTO, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Right.
SCHULTZ: We‘re talking about Debbie Rowe versus Michael Jackson‘s mother.
How is this going to play out?
DESOTO: Hey, not a big surprise, Ed. I think everybody knew that this is what‘s going to happen.
And you know what? Everyone is acting like this is unusual, she wasn‘t in the picture. I can tell you that I, as a public defender, used to do state termination of parental rights. This is not uncommon. People will crawl out of the woodwork after five or 10 years with no money.
So there is a biological—let‘s put our mommies‘ and daddies‘ hats on for a second here.
DESOTO: There is a biological draw. We can talk to any adopted child and they‘ll say, 20, 30 years later, I want to find my mom, I need to find my mom. So the courts do recognize this, and that‘s why we have statutes that say that biological parents do get preference.
SCHULTZ: So we‘re going to find out just how strong a will Michael Jackson had legally, right?
DESOTO: Well, hey, listen, anyone can put whatever they want in a will. That doesn‘t mean that a judge is going to say that it‘s legal. If you‘re married for 30 years and you leave everything not to your wife but, you know, to some woman you were seeing on the side, or to a child, that‘s not going to work. That‘s not going to happen. The judge is going to say, no, I‘m sorry, that goes to your spouse.
SCHULTZ: And Karen, what role would the children play in this? Now, I know in some states, the judge will listen to a child of maybe 10, 11 or 12 years old.
SCHULTZ: Could that happen in this situation?
DESOTO: The judge—in a lot of cases, there will be a home study.
The judge will oftentimes bring the children in and speak to them alone.
SCHULTZ: Do you think that will happen here?
DESOTO: Absolutely, if they‘re old enough. But there‘s a different standard when a child is under 12, as opposed to a 14 or a 15-year-old, that‘s very different.
But you know what, Ed? In a lot of cases, bad divorces, you have a mom and dad who are arguing, and they may have had custody for one or two years alone, and there is a lot of brainwashing that goes on, and “I don‘t want to be with that parent. That‘s a bad person.”
DESOTO: So often the judge will bring them in and they‘ll do a visitation or a transitional, but that biological parent does have preference, and the judge is not going to dismiss that.
SCHULTZ: How does it play, do you think in this case, that she has not spent much time with her kids?
DESOTO: Well, it‘s obviously in the best interests of the children if they‘re going to be more comfortable with their grandparent. Obviously that‘s something that you have to look at.
What‘s so interesting, Ed, is one of the questions, one of the commonsense questions that that nobody is asking is, if these were not biologically Michael Jackson‘s children, then why didn‘t he just legally adopt them?
SCHULTZ: He never did?
DESOTO: Well, apparently he didn‘t. Because there‘s a preference when you get married, if your name is on the birth certificate during marriage, there‘s a preference. However, if you do go through an adoption and these biologically were not his children, then he may have had to jump through adoption hoops, and he may not have passed that.
That might be why he married Debbie Rowe and that might be why we‘re going through this now.
SCHULTZ: You know, Karen, this is not your normal home case study.
SCHULTZ: I mean, this could be a real tough call for the judge.
DESOTO: Right. No, I don‘t think it‘s going to be a tough call, because you have a parent here who has died, you have a biological parent who‘s alive. It would make sense in any situation when you have a parent that died and there‘s a biological parent out there to do a transitional period.
If they want those children back, you would do a lot of visitation, not just throw them with the parent, let them get to know them, and then eventually they may decide on their own that they want to be with their mom. This is their mother.
SCHULTZ: Would the infighting in the Jackson family affect this decision at all, or will it be Debbie Rowe versus Michael Jackson‘s mother?
DESOTO: Oh, absolutely, because, Ed, one of the things that I think with Debbie Rowe is, you can bet that Michael Jackson had a team of lawyers that she probably was frightened of to assert her rights in the beginning. It‘s a lot of money, it‘s very expensive. This is high profile.
This is very frightening. So the fact that she hasn‘t come out of the woodwork before, you know, she might have some good reasons. People go to jail, people have life experiences. That doesn‘t mean that you should not have a relationship with your children ever again.
Karen, good to have you on.
DESOTO: Thank you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Thanks so much.
DESOTO: You‘re welcome.
SCHULTZ: Former prosecutor and defense attorney Karen DeSoto with us tonight here on THE ED SHOW.
Coming up, the GOP keeps saying no to a public option because it just costs too much. Senator Kennedy‘s new proposal has a public option, and the cost well under—well under a trillion dollars.
So, Republicans, it‘s time for you to step up and show that you really want to be bipartisan and fix America‘s number one problem.
It‘s coming up next, right here on THE ED SHOW.
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.
Now, this is the kind of Democrat that we need. About 60 of them.
This is the kind of Democrat that I love—Ted Kennedy, the liberal lion.
I‘ve been getting on the Dems for having weak knees, spineless when it comes to health care. Today, he stood up, Senator Kennedy, the liberal lion, and put his health care plan out, along with Senators Chris Dodd and also Sherrod Brown, who will join me in a moment.
But they‘re pitching—the chairman of the Health Committee, which is Chris Dodd, filling in for Senator Kennedy, they‘re going out and they‘re coming out with a plan that definitely is going to work for a lot of Americans. Now, 97 percent of Americans are going to be covered in this.
But the big question is, does it cover the lady that stood up at the town hall meeting yesterday? She‘s 53, her dad died of cancer, she‘s got a tumor. She doesn‘t have insurance. And what‘s her future? That‘s the question.
But I know the Republicans are out there saying, well, how much is it going to cost? Well, this Kennedy plan is going to cost $611 billion. That‘s the key.
President Obama said that he wanted to keep it under a trillion dollars. This total is way under that.
It says that a company with more than 25 employees either has to offer coverage or pay the annual fee of $750 for a full-time employee. But most important, it creates a public option run through the Department of Health and Human Services.
This is really not lip service, folks. This is real reform.
Joining me now is Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio. He‘s a member of the Senate committee, the health committee, Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
Senator, good to have you with us.
SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D), OHIO: Glad to be back, Ed.
SCHULTZ: I want to play—because I think this sound cut really strikes a lot of Americans, because I think this lady that stood up yesterday at the town hall meeting speaks for a lot of Americans.
She stood and said this. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DEBBY, HAS CANCER, NO INSURANCE FEMALE: Basically, because of the damage that the radiation did in things, I‘m no longer able to work, and I have no health insurance. Now I have a new tumor. I have no way to pay for it. I‘m just trying to figure out how I‘m going to make it nine years until I‘m qualified to get my regular Social Security now that I have a new tumor and I have no way to treat it.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Here. Come on over here. I don‘t want you to feel like you‘re alone on this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Now, Senator Brown, you can talk about public option all you want. And I know that‘s what you want. But there‘s a lot of Americans out there that can relate to that woman.
And the question is, is the Senate and the Congress and the president going to deliver a plan that will take care of her issue?
What do you think?
BROWN: Yes, it will. I mean, that‘s what we‘ve been working on for months since this new Congress, is to figure out how to make sure that people who don‘t have coverage can get coverage, and can get decent health care. People who have inadequate health insurance can get some assistance, either in a private insurance plan or the public option you talked about, Ed. Or people, if they want, can stay in the insurance plan they have if they‘re satisfied. If they‘re satisfied with their Medicare, or they‘re satisfied with Medicaid, or they‘re satisfied with their employer-based plan, they can stay in it.
But yes, the answer is we‘ve got to make sure that people like that lady have health insurance so they can get treated, and not have to wait until the last minute and go to an emergency room, and cost everybody more money, and probably cost her her life.
SCHULTZ: Senator, you‘re on the Health Committee. Do you think that the numbers that are within the framework of the Kennedy plan, do you think that it‘s going to be accepted by Republicans, that they‘ll actually say, OK, this is a good number, it‘s workable and we‘ll go along with this?
Do you think this will entice some Republicans?
BROWN: Well, I hope so. I don‘t speak for them. I don‘t know, Ed.
It‘s been frustrating, because we accepted some I believe 85 Republican amendments during the markup the last three weeks during the committee hearings. We‘re doing more again this week with the final part of the plan, the part that includes the public option and employer and individual mandates, and some of those things. And I‘m optimistic about it.
I‘m not sure, you know, because the insurance companies hate the public option.
SCHULTZ: Sure they do.
BROWN: And so often Republicans haven‘t really bucked the insurance industry on these issues. But I‘m hopeful they will this time.
SCHULTZ: OK. Who are the three percent of the people that aren‘t going to get covered? This plan covers 97 percent. Who are the three percent that are going to be left out?
BROWN: Well, unclear to me. Just like Medicare, Medicare doesn‘t quite cover everybody that‘s over 65. Some one-half of one percent, something like that, is opted out of it.
I think some will just say I don‘t want coverage, and they‘ll pay a fine of some sort, as they do in Massachusetts, in their plan. But anybody that wants insurance, no matter what their income, they‘ll be able to get a decent—they‘ll be able to get a basic package, a good package of health care that they haven‘t had in the past.
Now, Senator Brown, we have documented on this program how vehemently the American Medical Association has gone against any kind of health care changes over the decades, I might add. And of course the president spoke to the AMA not long ago, and they have staked their claim out against it. Back in May, they said that they would not be going for any kind of public option. And now Dr. James Rohack, who is the president of the AMA, has said that they would go long with an American model, is what he called it, which includes a private and public system.
Is the president winning on this? Is it big to win over the AMA? Is this a big piece of information?
BROWN: Yes, the AMA is—you know, most doctors, I think, support significant health care reform. I was in Cincinnati Children‘s Hospital this week, and two different doctors came up to me and said they want the public option, that we‘re doing the right thing. I hear that over and over from individual doctors.
I don‘t know what the AMA as a group will do, but clearly the president is on the side of the public on this. Seventy, 80 percent of the public wants a public option. It‘s not telling anybody what to do, it‘s simply giving people a choice.
If you want to go in private, you can. But if you want a public option, you can take that.
But the most important thing about the public option is it will keep the insurance companies honest. The insurance companies will not be able to do some things they‘ve done in the past with preexisting condition and gaming the community rating system, and all of that. So, it will make both the public and the private sector, the competition between the two will make both of them better, as it has in student loans.
So I think there‘s nothing to lose here.
SCHULTZ: Well, you know, Senator, I think the pushback from the Republicans on this is not factually based. They‘re taking this Luntz playbook and they‘re throwing it at the talking heads and they‘re getting it in the conversation of America as to why they‘re against the public option, why they‘re against any kind of government involvement, or safety net, as we might call it, as I call it.
I‘m going to do a field trip. I‘m going to go to Toronto. I‘m going to take some folks up there.
I want to see these long lines. I want these disenchanted Canadians to tell me about their health care. And I need somebody—and you don‘t need to give me an answer tonight.
Senator, I would love it if you would come with my team to come up to Toronto, and let‘s find those long lines, let‘s find those disenchanted Canadians who just absolutely hate their health care, and let‘s find out how the government gets between the doctor and the patient.
What do you think?
BROWN: Well, I‘ll promise you this, I‘ll be doing my job trying to pass this health bill. I think we can. I‘ll be watching THE ED SHOW to see what happens.
But one other point. I used to—when I was in the House of Representatives in northern Ohio, I used to take busloads of seniors to Canada to buy prescription drugs, because it was half or a third or a fourth the cost. So, they‘ve done some things right there. We can learn some things from there.
We don‘t want to follow their system, but we can learn. We can do it right.
SCHULTZ: You‘ve got to go with me, Senator. You‘ve got to go with me. I know your heart‘s in the right place. You‘ve got to come with me on this.
BROWN: All right. I‘ll be watching.
SCHULTZ: It‘s good to have you with us.
BROWN: Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio with us.
Next up on THE ED SHOW in “Psycho Talk,” “The Newtster” gives us a lesson in why Republicans know their math, why he thinks 50 million Americans without insurance is a good thing.
Yes, it‘s in “Psycho Talk” next. It‘s “The Newtster.”
SCHULTZ: Oh, yes, it‘s time for “Psycho Talk,” and of course tonight we‘ve got “The Newtster” in here, Newt Gingrich.
Now, he‘s really hanging on to “The Luntzter playbook when it comes to health care. IN a recent interview, Gingrich argued for private insurers, saying, “They‘ve done it well. And the fact is, overall, 71 percent of Americans are relatively satisfied with their health insurance.”
And when the interviewer brought up the fact that there‘s 46 million people that are uninsured, Newt came back with a real dandy on this one.
“Right. And we have—you know, that means you also have 260 million insured.”
Now, we just get to ignore 46 million Americans? Is that it, 260 million people justifies road kill in the medical profession?
All right. A study out of Harvard showed that in 2007, 78 percent of people who had filed for bankruptcy because of medical debt had obtained and currently held health insurance. But “The Newtster” has a solution for that problem, saying this: “If you don‘t like your current insurance company, you can change insurance companies.”
Well, just like that, huh? Really?
A new survey tells us—listen to this—nine out of 10 people who looked into just doing that, changing insurance plans, just couldn‘t make the switch. They either got—listen up—turned down, or they realized that this was just too damned expensive.
Now, Newt‘s in great shape. You know, he‘s got that deal coming out of the Congress where all of his health care expenses are taken care of because of the stint he did when he ruined the country. So why should he worry about anybody else?
Heck, he‘s a Republican. He only cares about fear mongering, pushing the GOP line. He‘s insensitive, and he‘s an elitist, and just plain wrong.
All of that makes him a Thursday shoo-in for “Psycho Talk.”
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: We‘ve taken some extraordinary measures to blunt the hard edges of the worst recession of our lifetime, and to offer assistance to those who have borne the brunt of this economic storm.
But as I‘ve said from the moment that I walked into the door of this White House, it took years for us to get into this mess, and it will take us more than a few months to turn it around.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: That was President Obama today, responding to the Republican attacks on him about the new jobs report. They really have no shame. You wonder whose team they‘re really on. The side of the Republican party or how about the American people? We lost almost 500,000 jobs in June. The U.S. unemployment rate now sits at 9.6 percent.
That‘s a national tragedy. It‘s devastating to a lot of American families. It‘s really sad. But the Republicans are practically giddy over this. They‘re jumping all over themselves, using the unemployment numbers to attack the president.
House Republican Mike Pence put out a statement, calling the stimulus package a swindle. The RNC put out a press release calling it judgment day for President Obama. A GOP strategy memo is advising Republicans to refer to the recovery plan as the great Bush/Obama Economic Intervention.
For more, let‘s bring in our panel tonight, Bill Press, nationally syndicated radio talk show host, Jack Rice, former CIA officer, and Larry Elder is a media commentator.
Gentlemen, to start this discussion tonight, I want to throw some numbers out at you. As a business guy, we all know in business, the numbers have to mean something.
In January, we had a number of 598,000 jobs lost. It got a little better—a little worse, 651 was in February, 653 in March, and then is this the stimulus package kicking in April of 539,000 jobs lost? The number came down to 345. But fellas, this is not a good number. It‘s at 497 for the month of June.
Larry Elder, I‘ll give you a shot at it first tonight. What do you think it means?
LARRY ELDER, MEDIA COMMENTATOR: Of course it‘s not a good number, Ed. What it means is that unlike Ronald Reagan, when unemployment was as high as 10.8, inflation 13.5 percent, prime interest rates for home mortgages were 21.5 percent—he didn‘t pass a stimulus package. He didn‘t pass an 800 billion dollar package to rescue the economy. He cut income taxes. He cut dividends. He cut capital gains taxes. And the economy soared.
What Obama is doing is pouring gasoline on a fire. I‘m not blaming him for the recession. But I am saying he‘s going to make it worse. And when the recovery comes, and it will, it will not be as robust as it otherwise would have been.
SCHULTZ: OK. Bill Press, your response to that? What should the White House response be, as well, to these job numbers that all of a sudden seem to be going the wrong direction?
BILL PRESS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Look, Ed, I was down there today when the president made that statement. I think he put the right tone on it. I think what it shows is that, as he said, we didn‘t get into it overnight; we‘re not going to get out of it overnight. It‘s bad news. Nobody is trying to say it‘s not bad news.
But if you put it in context, average 700,000 jobs lost per month in the first quarter, 467 in June, which is too many, but at least if you look at it in context, it is moving in the right direction.
Look, Ed, the problem I think is I totally disagree with Larry. I think the problem is not that the stimulus is not there, but we haven‘t gotten the stimulus out fast enough. Only 160 billion of the stimulus is so far working. So pump it out faster. Get more jobs going.
SCHULTZ: Jack Rice, is there a problem with getting the money out? Are states really getting the money out into the rural areas and creating the jobs? Is this bureaucracy at its worst? What do you think?
JACK RICE, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: It‘s a real problem nationally. We see states that are collapsing themselves. That‘s sort of counteracting what‘s happening on the federal level.
But we have to look at it in a broader sense. It took President Bush eight years to destroy this country. Why would you think that Obama can fix it in five months? It‘s an unreasonable conclusion. We do have to be somewhat patient here, because this is a very, very serious problem.
We have two wars running at the same time. We have massive problems across the country. And he‘s addressing them, very broadly. But this is a long term issue. And he‘s addressing it correctly.
SCHULTZ: Larry, what should President Obama and his economic team do about this at this point? Change course in the middle of a stimulus package that might not have had an opportunity to kick in yet?
ELDER: I certainly wouldn‘t expect them to do that. They‘re Democrats. Democrats believe in taxing and spending.
ELDER: I would urge him to take a look at what they‘re doing in France, what they‘re doing in Germany, what they‘re doing in Hungary, and they are either cutting taxes or proposing to cut taxes. That‘s the prescription to get us out of this problem. And Obama and the Democrats believe somehow that money comes from—I don‘t know where they think it comes from. You tax it, borrow it or print it, all of which have negative consequences.
SCHULTZ: Your answer is cut taxes. What‘s the remedy, Bill?
SCHULTZ: Hold on, gentlemen. One at a time. Bill, what is the remedy now? What do you think the remedy is to speed this thing up?
PRESS: First, a reality test, Barack Obama has not raised taxes. He‘s not raised taxes at all. What he‘s done is pumped a lot of money in the economy. Unfortunately, I think, it‘s not out there fast enough.
What I would be doing is saying, look, we have to get a lot more money out there faster. There are 1,900 today—I heard him say 1,900 construction projects that are started, Ed. There should be 10,000 construction projects started.
It‘s going to take time. I just think they have to, you know, crank the machine up.
SCHULTZ: Jack Rice, what about a second stimulus package?
PRESS: Or that.
RICE: We should have seen more in the first place. I agree. I think Obama decided to compromise too much. The left decided to compromise too much with the Republicans. They‘re the party of no right now. Everybody understands that. They should have—please, it‘s true.
They should have been far more aggressive in the first place. If they had been more aggressive, we would have seen a quicker, more robust response. If it takes a second one, fine.
SCHULTZ: Gentlemen, we‘ll come back for some other issues. I think the untold story here, and one that hasn‘t been reported too much on, what are these governors doing? Are there some Republican governors out there that maybe aren‘t getting the money out into these projects fast enough, because they want to see Obama fail? I think it‘s worth an investigative look at all of that. Please stay with us, fellas.
Elephants are supposed to have long memories. But apparently the Republicans are having trouble with how the economic crisis started.
Let‘s recap. September 2008, the economy collapses on Bush‘s watch. The Republican administration hands a 700 billion dollar bailout to Wall Street, on a silver platter, I might add. The Bush administration‘s Wall Street pals—and then the bailout turned out to be one of the gifts that just keeps on giving.
That bailout money kept investment bank Goldman Sachs safe during the recession, even though they‘re to hell with the risk practices helped bring the economy to its knees.
For more, let me bring in Matt Taibbi. He is a contributing editor for “Rolling Stone.” He‘s been investigating this story for months and has a great piece in “Rolling Stone.” This is under-reported. Great work on your part.
MATT TAIBBI, “ROLLING STONE”: Well, thank you.
SCHULTZ: What did Goldman Sachs do?
TAIBBI: What we tried to do with this piece is trace the entire recent history of Wall Street, dating back to the Internet bubble, and show how investment banks, in general, profited from all these doubles and engineered all these bubbles.
We picked Goldman Sachs in particular because they were the biggest, baddest guy on the block, and the most influential of all, by far.
SCHULTZ: Did the Bush administration turn a blind eye to everything they were doing on Wall Street?
TAIBBI: There was absolutely no regulatory oversight of Wall Street whatsoever. One of the key moments in this entire crisis was in 2004 when Goldman and the other four major investment banks went to the SEC and asked to have all requirements—capital requirements removed, so that they could lend more money.
There was no Congressional hearing on this, no vote. And that cap was just lifted. The next thing you know, they‘re all at 33 to one debt-to-equity ratios, and they all leveraged themselves into destruction, basically.
SCHULTZ: OK, so we‘re being told we‘re on the house of crumbling cards and what not. Nobody is going to be able to make it unless we help them out. And all along, you‘re basically saying that Goldman Sachs knew what was happened, and they positioned themselves to walk away with huge profits, with taxpayer dollars covering the risk?
TAIBBI: Well, one of the things that sets Goldman Sachs apart from the other banks, like Lehman and Bear Stearns, is at the height of the housing crisis, they actually were net short on mortgages. That means they were betting against the same mortgages that they were underwriting and selling on the market.
So they actually knew the stuff they were selling was crap, unlike Morgan and Lehman, which ended up eating this stuff and blowing up because of it. Goldman prospered during this time.
SCHULTZ: What do you think regulatory reforms—what do you think has to come forward to prevent this situation from coming up again?
TAIBBI: There has to be stricter oversight across the board. And these companies have to be fined a lot greater when they get caught doing these things. A great example is the recent settlement with Massachusetts, when they fined Goldman Sachs for selling bad mortgages. They only fined them 50 million dollars, which is about what their fixed income desk makes in about a half day. There have to be real stiff penalties for these banks when they get caught doing these things.
SCHULTZ: OK, stiff penalties, would that stop anything? Should there be some type—the president is talking about a financial commission that would do something. Do you think that‘s enough?
TAIBBI: We have to make sure that the people who are running the commission aren‘t actually from the bank. A great example, the current president of the New York Fed, which is the primary supervisor of Goldman Sachs, now that it‘s a bank holding company, is a former banker from Goldman Sachs. The head of the Commodities Futures Trading Company right now, which overseas derivatives, is a former Goldman Sachs banker. We have to make sure that these people actually represent the proper interests.
SCHULTZ: How do you think Secretary Geithner is doing? He comes from that fraternal order on Wall Street.
TAIBBI: He does. He never actually worked for Goldman Sachs, but he worked for Bob Rubin in the Treasury Department, and Rubin, of course, is a former head of Goldman Sachs. I see him as furthering completely the same programs that started under Hank Paulson and under George Bush.
SCHULTZ: Got to watch him?
TAIBBI: Right, exactly.
SCHULTZ: Matt, good to have you on. Thanks so much. Great reporting.
Coming up, a story where Wall Street doesn‘t win. It‘s about time. Workers at a Chicago suit company that dresses President Obama fought against liquidation. Now they‘ve got a bright future ahead. It‘s a great story. It‘s in my playbook coming up next on THE ED SHOW. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: In my playbook tonight, hey, the working folk of American get a victory. Big battle between factory workers and the banking industry has come to an end. Pleased to report to you tonight that the workers get the victory. They come out on top.
Here‘s the story. On one side we have Hart Chapter Marks. This company is 120 years old. They manufacture suits. In fact, I have a Hart Chapter Marks suit on tonight, in honor of the victory. I bought it years ago. They last a long time. They‘re just fantastic.
They had filed bankruptcy in January, just days after outfitting the president for his Inauguration. On the other side, we have Wells Fargo, Hart Marks‘ primary creditor. Hart Marks wanted to sell to keep the company intact and its workers their jobs.
Well, Wells Fargo, after taking 25 billion dollars of taxpayer funded bailout money, wanted to do what? Liquidate the company. After months of worker rallies and a lot of pressure from Congress, Hart Marks and its employees wore down Wells Fargo and got the win, saving 4,000 jobs.
I‘m wearing mine tonight, folks. Here‘s how it works on the Congressional floor. Congressman Phil Hare of Illinois did some tireless work for the workers to get this thing done.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PHIL HARE (D), ILLINOIS: Wells Fargo took 25 billion dollars of your money. And we thought that they would play by the rules. They, in fact, wouldn‘t even extend a line of credit to this great corporation. They said that they were going to liquidate possibly the company, because they could make more money.
If they do that, I will promise you, I will be their worst nightmare on the floor of the House of Representatives.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Congressman Phil Hare joins us tonight. You‘re the best nightmare I‘ve seen in a long time for the American worker. Congratulations.
HARE: Thank you. That‘s a great compliment. Thank you.
SCHULTZ: How did you get this done? What was the game plan?
HARE: Well, the game plan was we had to put a lot of pressure on them. They weren‘t going to budge. The story would change from day to day. These people went through a tremendous roller coaster. One day, they‘re going to let them sell it. The next day, they‘re not going to let them sell it.
I had phone call after phone call with the CEO and with their governmental affairs person. Finally, I just said, enough. We got 43 members besides myself to write to Geithner, Louise Slaughter, who by the way did a wonderful job. She has Hickey Freeman in New York.
And we just said look—I told the workers don‘t give up, because we won‘t give up. I told them, if you want the money from this Congress again, you won‘t get enough to get parking meter money out of this. We‘re not going to allow this to happen.
I could understand, Ed, if this was a company that was mismanaged. I could understand if this was a company that had gone too far on one end. It‘s a 120-year-old company. I remember going to the rally, and a woman coming up to me. She was 18 years old. She was 72. She had been there for 54 years, and she said Congressman, don‘t let them take my job away. I said, we‘re not going to do that.
We went to bat. They hung in there. They threatened to sit down.
And ultimately, you know, we prevailed.
I‘m so happy for the workers at Hart Marks. It‘s been a great couple days here for us.
SCHULTZ: You‘re connected to this. You used to work there, didn‘t you? There‘s a personal connection here.
HARE: Thirteen years. I cut lining for men‘s suit. I know this product. It‘s a wonderful product. I‘m wearing one tonight. I told you on the phone last time I promised I would wear one. I have one on tonight. And it‘s tough work.
Keep in mind, these are not the highs-paid people on the planet, but a lot of them, like the plant in Rock Island, Illinois, my hometown, 350 jobs, about 90 percent of them are women. A lot of them, Ed, are single moms. This is it for them. Their health care, any benefit they had was ready to go out the window? Why, because you had somebody who wanted to liquidate thinking they could make more money.
SCHULTZ: For the worker. For the worker. Congressman, so this label on the inside of my lapel is going to be around for a long time, right?
HARE: It better be, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Because somebody who had a personal connection—this is called looking after your constituents, doing the due diligence of the people that send you to Congress. This is what you guys are supposed to do. Super job, Congressman.
HARE: Well, thank you, Ed. For all the people out there, I told them, as I said, we just had a couple rallies. To see the look on the faces—I had the woman come up with 54 years. She hugged me, and said, thanks. I said, no, thank you for having the courage to hang in there.
SCHULTZ: Congressman, great to have you with us tonight.
HARE: Thank you. My pleasure.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, Sarah Palin thinks she can take President Obama in a race. I mean, she ran the one in 2008 so well, she thought she would try something else. Comedienne Lizz Winstead takes it on and so many other subjects, next here on THE ED SHOW. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. The people of South Carolina may finally be coming to their senses after all the coverage. Governor Sanford‘s long tell-all interview with the AP could have been the last straw. But then the wife put out a statement today. Republicans in South Carolina are finally starting to call for the governor‘s resignation. His own party is on him. No more hiding behind the plastic Jesus, governor.
It‘s time to get the job done or just get
out. Let‘s bring in comedian Lizz Winstead, co-creator of the “Daily Show,” and the brains behind “Wake-Up World.” OK, this is midlife crisis being played out in America, real live TV. Is it not?
LIZZ WINSTEAD, “WAKE UP WORLD”: Yes, I guess this is what Jesus would do, had he been married, apparently. What I don‘t understand is why the people didn‘t want to throw him out when he refused the stimulus money. This guy is the one who wanted to put guns back in schools. Now he‘s on TV living some weird Lifetime movie fantasy or that he‘s a character on “The Bachelor.”
SCHULTZ: You mean we‘re not going to get anymore tell-all interviews?
WINSTEAD: We got the emails. I‘m not even convinced. I think this woman is made up. I think he was down there getting a sex, like everyone else does when they go to Argentina. I think it‘s all a ruse. He‘s going to, all of a sudden go, and by the way—the only thing he‘s left out is I‘m going through a change. Soon, so he‘s going to break that to us and maybe he‘ll step down.
SCHULTZ: He‘s still on the payroll.
WINSTEAD: I know.
SCHULTZ: I can‘t believe it.
WINSTEAD: Ed, I know.
SCHULTZ: Sarah Palin, is this a new career thing? Is she posing to be a model? What‘s happening?
WINSTEAD: Well, the hard-hitting interview with, what is it, “Runner‘s Life Magazine,” because Katie Couric, who does throw those hardballs all the time, asked her what she read, and that was too tough. So now she‘s in this runners‘ magazine, with a photograph in jogging shorts and pig tails.
By the way, she‘s wearing nylon stockings with her jogging shorts.
And any woman knows that is heinous. Who wears that? Really, Sarah Palin?
You‘re—we see now her running.
SCHULTZ: Might have been an Alaska keep warm thing or something.
WINSTEAD: No, she‘s wear pageant hose like pageant contestants do with her running shorts, Ed.
SCHULTZ: She wants to be a Philadelphia Eagles fan. She wants to race the president now. She ran so well in ‘08.
WINSTEAD: She lost. If she would just spend all of this time cracking a book or maybe reading the Constitution, maybe she would have a chance in the next four years.
SCHULTZ: Speaking of reading, what do you make of Michele Bachmann refusing the census?
WINSTEAD: You know, it gets pretty bad when there‘s a headline on the front page of a newspaper that says, government must explain census to Congresswoman. That‘s explain the census to the senseless. It gets pretty bad when Glenn Beck cuts you off for being too crazy. That‘s what happened. She‘s blabbing on and on about the census and about internment camps. Glenn Beck‘s like, yes, even you‘re too nutty for me, lady.
SCHULTZ: Lizz Winstead, always a pleasure.
WINSTEAD: Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Great to have you with us.
Back to the love governor of South Carolina. Please said today that the governor did not use state funds for visits with his—when he went to see his girlfriend down in Argentina. They said Sanford‘s trips dating back to last year were investigated, and he didn‘t break any laws. A spokesman said the governor is headed to Florida tomorrow to spend time with his first family. That‘s what he‘s going to do.
Let‘s bring back our panel tonight, Bill Press, Jack Rice and Larry Elder. Gentlemen, you‘re smiling on that one, Bill. I just wanted to clarify who he‘s spending time with on this particular trip.
PRESS: I am, too, because his soul mate, we know, is in Argentina, but he‘s trying to fall back in love with his wife. Yes, good luck with that one.
RICE: I had to jump in on that one, too. If you‘re trying to get back with your wife and you say, I‘m deeply in love with this woman from Argentina, my wife would not just make me sleep in the garage. I would be out on the curb with everything I own.
SCHULTZ: All right, Larry, is it pile on time? Has the media done much on this. You have to hand it to us, we‘re going to cover people that talk, and this guy just won‘t shut up.
ELDER: I wouldn‘t—I wouldn‘t say it‘s pile-on time. But I would point out that the mayor of San Francisco had an affair with the wife of his campaign manager. He‘s still there, and thinking about running for governor. I would point out that the mayor of Los Angeles had an affair with a reporter who covered him. He is still there, ran for reelection and got reelected. I‘m not quite sure what the rules are here.
SCHULTZ: Don‘t leave the country. That would be a good one. This crossing the border thing is not a good deal. You got to stick around.
PRESS: Another rule might be you don‘t say it‘s god‘s plan for me to stay in, as the governor of South Carolina. Was it god‘s plan for him to go to Argentina for ten days?
SCHULTZ: Gentlemen, we have one minute to go. Let‘s quickly go around the horn, a story we haven‘t touched on tonight. Joe Sestak says he‘s going to challenge Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania. Larry, what do you make of that?
ELDER: I‘d be happy to see a real Republican senator from Pennsylvania. I‘ve been unhappy with Arlen Specter for a very long time. That shouldn‘t surprise anybody. He switched parties because he wanted to save his own skin. I don‘t have a problem with that. But I would like to see a real fiscal conservative Republicans there, who is going to support the ideas of low taxes, limited government.
SCHULTZ: What do you think, Jack?
RICE: Look, the American people are looking for results right now. They want someone who can provide, who can sit down and say, let‘s find the answer. We have serious problems. Enough of this. Let‘s look for the answers. If Specter can bring it, then I think that‘s what the people of Pennsylvania want.
SCHULTZ: I love the fact that this is a developing story. We‘re going to have Joe Sestak on the program next week. Bill, is this going to make Arlen Specter a good Democrat real quick?
PRESS: I was going to say, if Arlen Specter wants a win, he better support the Employee Free Choice Act and stop acting like a Republican.
SCHULTZ: That‘s THE ED SHOW. I‘m Ed Schultz. We‘re back on Monday her on MSNBC. God bless America. Have a great, safe Fourth of July Weekend. “HARDBALL” is next with Chris Matthews.
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