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'The Ed Show' for Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Read the transcript to the Wednesday show

Guests: Dan Abrams, Sherrod Brown, Anthony Weiner, Peter DeFazio, Maxine Waters, Joe Madison, Brad Blakeman, Ed Perlmutter

ED SCHULTZ, HOST:  Good evening, Americans.  Welcome to THE ED SHOW in New York tonight.

Breaking news out of the Senate.  The CBO score on the health care bill on the Senate side is in.  It‘s $849 billion.  It‘s going to cover 94 percent of Americans. 

Right now Harry Reid is talking strategy behind closed doors with Senate Democrats.  This, of course, is a key meeting as they‘re trying to round up 60 votes for the infamous public option. 

Sherrod Brown of Ohio is going to join us in just a moment.  He just got out of a meeting.  I do believe we have him.  There he is.

Senator, good to have you with us. 

SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D), OHIO:  Hey, Ed.  Good to be with you always.

SCHULTZ:  Thanks for jumping out of the meeting really quick. 

Eight hundred and forty-nine billion dollars, 31 million Americans are going to get covered.  It‘s going to save $127 billion over the next 10 years and it‘s got an opt-out public option. 

Is this a win for the American people? 

BROWN:  Yes, it‘s—Ed, you must have been in the meeting.  That‘s pretty impressive information. 

SCHULTZ:  Well, I did say it was $880 billion.  I missed it.  It‘s $849 billion. 

BROWN:  Well, there‘s still some things that they‘re not sure exactly on the cost, and the meeting is going on right now.  I‘m just popping out for a second. 

Yes, the bill is—the bill goes where we want it to go.  I mean, if you‘re happy with your insurance, you can keep it.  It‘s got good consumer protections, free preventative coverage in most cases.  No more pre-existing conditions, dismissing of care, canceling of care. 


BROWN:  Public option, opt out, state opt out, very similar language to the way we wrote it in the HELP Committee.  I like it. 

SCHULTZ:  Is Senator Harry Reid, Senate majority leader, is he asking for the 60 votes tonight?  Is this a headcount? 

BROWN:  Well, tonight—no, not really.  Tonight we‘re discussing—there‘s going to be another hour or two, I assume, of questions.  And it‘s really up to us. 

I mean, the president weighs in.  Harry Reid‘s a very important player.  Each of us is going to talk to our colleagues in the caucus. 

And as I‘ve said before, Ed, to you, that I don‘t believe any of our colleagues want to vote against—want to, on a procedural vote, vote this down, kill the most important thing they‘ve worked on in their careers and be on the wrong side of history.  So I‘m confident we‘ll start it and get through this. 

SCHULTZ:  Yes.  Senator, when do you think that moment comes, when he turns to Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson and Mary Landrieu and also Blanche Lincoln, and says, OK, are you with us or not so we can move forward?  How far are we away from these three senators making a decision?  Could it be tonight? 

BROWN:  Well, I think it‘s not tonight.  But I think that we‘re close to getting them all voting.

Senator Lieberman, for instance, has committed to voting on a motion to proceed to put the bill on the floor, to vote for cloture so we can do that.  The other three I think are all close.  I don‘t want to speak of confidences with them, but I‘m optimistic there. 

It‘s going to be a little harder on cloture at the end of the bill, come two, three weeks from now, whenever that is.  But we‘re working with people individually.  The president is going to weigh in.  As I said, I don‘t think they want to be on the wrong side of history again. 

SCHULTZ:  All right.  Well, who is the progressive leader in the Senate that‘s going to turn to these three or four and say, when are you guys going to get with the program, this is what the American people want? 

BROWN:  Well, I think we‘re all doing that individually in our own way.  We‘re all sort of teaming up, working together. 

We‘re kind of dividing people up, talking to them.  And I think that you‘re going to see it sort of day by day. 

It‘s not easy.  It‘s not certain.  But I thought all along we‘re going to get a good bill with a strong public option that‘s going to always save people money to the president‘s desk by sometime in December or January.  I stick by that, as I have since July. 

SCHULTZ:  Yes.  The president wanted $900 billion.  He said that was his ceiling.  It comes in at $849 billion. 

Is that going to be enough, do you think, for progressives to look at these obstructionists in the eye and say, look, it‘s time to move on this?  We‘re saving them a lot of money, it‘s going to reduce the deficit by $127 billion over the next 10 years. 

What‘s the holdup?  I mean, if it saves the money and it‘s an opt out, and states can go do what they want to do, what‘s the holdup with these conservative Democrats? 

BROWN:  Well, I‘m convinced.  I think each one is a little different. 

That‘s why we‘re holding conversations. 

I‘ve heard—without mentioning names, I‘ve heard one or two of them sort of describing the public option, not quite describing it correctly.  So we‘re going to be meeting with them, as Sheldon Whitehouse, the other author with me of the public option, sitting down talking to people, explaining more details. 

I think we‘ll get them, but we don‘t have them yet.  But I feel good about my colleagues and the way they‘re going to go here. 

SCHULTZ:  All right.  And Senator, we came across some information this afternoon that the Democrats for life are working over Blanche Lincoln and Ben Nelson on the abortion issue.  Do you know anything about that?  That this is really the reason why they‘re stalling on the public option, but they‘re using the public option as really, I guess you could say, a hitching post to all of this?  But the real issue with those two is abortion. 

What do you know about that? 

BROWN:  I just don‘t know individually.  I know that Senator Nelson has spoken publicly about the abortion provisions.  I‘ve not heard that Senator Lincoln has. 

But I also know that they have expressed reservations about the public option before the Stupak Amendment was even entertained in the House.  So I think it‘s mostly that, that it was the public option itself.

But again, the public option, you know, it saves money, it‘s competition.  We can make that case very specifically, as we can make the case on reproductive rights, that we shouldn‘t be changing the law.  This shouldn‘t be restricting women‘s rights, this bill. 

We‘re Democrats, for gosh sake.  We should be expanding women‘s rights, if anything, of course, as we have done really good preventative care for women in this bill and other kinds of women‘s health issues. 

SCHULTZ:  Could this blow up the whole bill? 

BROWN:  No, I don‘t think so.  No, I don‘t think it can.  I don‘t think it will. 

I mean, anything can cause anything around here, but I still—as I‘ve said since July, we‘re going to get a good bill and it‘s going to have a strong public option.  Nothing‘s changed my mind about that, Ed.

SCHULTZ:  All right.  Senator Sherrod Brown, thanks for joining us tonight.

BROWN:  Got to head back down.

SCHULTZ:  You bet.  I know you do.  I appreciate it very much.

BROWN:  Thank you.

SCHULTZ:  And we want to alert our audience tonight, at the bottom of the hour here, coming up at 6:30 Eastern, Harry Reid is expected to come out and make a statement.  If that happens during this show, obviously we will cover it live and bring you all the details.

On other news tonight, you know, I have one question for the Republicans tonight.  What in the world are you so afraid of?  If the Republicans really believe in American values and democracy, then why are they such in fear of putting the terrorists on trial here in New York City? 

Now, the Republicans say that they love our democracy, but they—you know, they really have no faith in our justice system, do they?  They claim that they support the troops, but they really don‘t trust security when it comes to protecting those accused here in New York and then following through with the trial and keeping New York safe.

Now, they claim to believe America‘s the greatest country in the world, but they think our country will be undermined if some guy goes in a courtroom and starts ranting against America.  I mean, I just don‘t get it.

And today, in a Senate hearing, Attorney General Eric Holder set the record straight.


ERIC HOLDER, ATTORNEY GENERAL:  And if Khalid Sheikh Mohammed makes the same statements he made in his military commission proceedings, I have every confidence that the nation and the world will see him for the coward that he is.  I‘m not scared of what Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has to say at trial, and no one else needs to be afraid either. 

We need not cower in the face of this enemy.  Our institutions are strong, our infrastructure is sturdy, our resolve is firm, and our people are ready.


SCHULTZ:  That is straight and to the point.  And, of course, there‘s no limit to Republican hypocrisy.  The fear mongering over the terrorist trials is just more proof.

You know, we would have had alleged mastermind of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in custody for what—we‘ve had him in there for what, six years?  Six years.

Where was the Bush administration?  You know what they did?  They did nothing, because they wanted to use it as a prop.  But now that the Obama administration is actually moving forward with the case, the Republicans, oh, they‘re absolutely everywhere, taking their outrage out on, well, we‘re not very strong.

OK.  So the Republican National Committee gets in on the act today.  They held a conference call with the famous Rudy Giuliani, who said this—apparently he‘s not getting enough media coverage—“The trial sends a signal to the terrorists that we are not taking this seriously as we did before.  I think that puts us in a very vulnerable position, not just in New York, but in general, domestically and internationally.”

Rudy knows it all when it comes to terror, doesn‘t he? 

Rudy Giuliani thinks that putting terrorists on trial and calling for the death penalty shows that we‘re weak when it comes to this issue?  The guy can‘t be taken seriously.  He didn‘t feel that way when the federal prosecutors in New York successfully convicted the 1993 World Trade Center terrorist, did he? 

Well, actually, here‘s what he said.  It was reported in “The New York Times” on March 5, 1994.  “Giuliani declared that the verdict demonstrates that New Yorkers wont meet violence with violence, but with a greater weapon,” and that would be the law.

Well, that‘s exactly what President Obama and his administration is saying right now.  I‘m glad the president isn‘t apologizing for his decision.  You know, how the Republicans, they just hate apologies.

Now, he gave a tough answer when NBC‘s Chuck Todd asked about the decision offending some people.


CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS POLITICAL DIRECTOR:  Can you understand why it is offensive to some for this terrorist to get all the legal privileges of an American citizen? 

BARACK H. OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  I don‘t think it will be offensive at all when he‘s convicted and when the death penalty is applied to him.  We‘ve done this before.  Now, I think that it is important for the American people to have confidence in ourselves and to recognize that when people carry out venal acts like this, that we are able to handle it. 


SCHULTZ:  I think what the Republicans are really afraid of is what they hate, and that is a Democrat president who is strong on terrorism and the law.  The cowboy wannabes in the last administration, well, they like to run their mouths a lot, but this president is showing that he can walk the walk. 

Get your cell phones out, folks.  Want to know what you think about this. 

Do you think trying the terror suspects in New York City will make us less safe?  Text “A” for yes and “B” for no to 622639.  We‘ll bring you the results later on in the show. 

Joining me now is New York Congressman Anthony Weiner, a member of the House Judiciary Committee. 

Congressman, thanks for your time tonight. 

How did the attorney general do today?  Did he make the case?  Was it strong enough? 

REP. ANTHONY WEINER (D), NEW YORK:  Yeas, I think he made exactly the case.  And you put your finger on it. 

You know, if you want to talk about propaganda for our enemies, all they have to do is show all these Republicans quaking if their boots that, oh, no, we can‘t protect ourselves, we can‘t have a trial, everything is so extraordinary.  Look, the fact of the matter is that I lost dozens and dozens of neighbors on September 11th.  And for the last six years, we‘ve been wondering, when are we going to finally see justice for the mastermind behind it? 

Well, I like the idea—I like the idea that 12 of my neighbors are going to make up a jury, look at the evidence, look across the bar of justice at this guy, and put him to death.  That‘s the way it should be. 

The other option is that we continue to try to figure out what extraordinary steps we take, it continues going through the court.  Already, the Supreme Court has said the first plan that we had didn‘t hold up. 

This is exactly the right answer.  As extraordinary as this crime might be, the fact is we deal with tough cases all the time, and this will be just another one. 

SCHULTZ:  Congressman, how do New Yorkers feel?  What kind of reaction is your office getting to this?  Are there a lot of antis out there? 

WEINER:  There are a lot of people on both sides of the issue.  You know, this is a tough issue.  And on a lot of levels, people look at it very viscerally.  They look at it through the lens of their own experience. 

SCHULTZ:  But what do you make of Rudy Giuliani, Congressman?  What do you make of this—actually, it‘s a 180 for what he said back in the last terrorist trials as to what he‘s saying right now. 

What do you make of Giuliani? 

WEINER:  Well, perhaps he‘s been on his international nonstop book tour, his zero state presidential campaign, too long to realize that we in New York, we‘re comfortable with the idea we can protect ourselves in a tough time, that especially at a time of a jury trial, that we‘ve had a lot of high-profile trials before. 

Look, you know, I think the strangest message—and you really hit it right on the head—is it does seem like my Republican friends are scared.  That‘s not the message that we want to put forward to the world. 

We want to say that we‘re confident in our country, we‘re confident in our ability to protect ourselves, we‘re confident in our judicial system.  And I have to tell you something—it‘s said that we have the worst judicial system in the world.  That might be true, except it‘s the best compared to all the other ones. 

SCHULTZ:  So, Rudy Giuliani has just found something to gab about and he‘s out there getting the primetime camera coverage on it and grandstanding.  I use the word “grandstanding.”  Would you use that? 

WEINER:  Well, I just think that right now, the Republicans are so culturally and institutionally a knee jerk and a place of no that they don‘t even take a step back.  If the president proposes something, they‘re against it. 

And I‘ve got to tell you something.  The president has made some mistakes.  I‘ve talked about some of them on your air.


WEINER:  But the fact of the matter is, this is the right thing to do to try to get this case finally done with and get this guy put to death.  I wonder what‘s going to happen the day the jury trial comes back, puts this guy to death.  What will Giuliani say then?  Oh, they didn‘t do it fast enough, or, oh, they should have done it with 11 jurors rather than 12?

That‘s the outcome we want.  And I just wish that all of the people who care about this case would at least say that, that if that outcome happens, it will be a win. 

SCHULTZ:  Congressman Weiner, thanks for your time tonight. 

Appreciate it. 

WEINER:  Thank you, Ed.

SCHULTZ:  Dan Abrams, NBC News chief legal analyst. 

Dan, why didn‘t the Bush administration move forward, even in a military trial?  Why did they sit there and just play with this headline and possibility for six years? 

DAN ABRAMS, NBC NEWS CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST:  Well, Look, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed‘s case is a tough one in particular because of the waterboarding.  Because he was waterboarded 183 times, there were real questions about whether he could ever be tried. 

I‘ve got to tell you, I didn‘t think that he would ever be able to be tried in a civilian courtroom.  It seems they probably have enough evidence, apart from any of his own statements at all, to move forward here. 

With that said, for Giuliani to say it sends a message to the terrorists, look, I think this is a tough call.  And it was a close call, legally, as to do you go to a military tribunal or do you bring them to a civilian courtroom? 

But with that said, for Giuliani to be out there saying this sends a message to the terrorists, as if the terrorists are going to sit there and say to themselves, you know, if we do one thing, we may go to a military tribunal, and if we do something else we‘re going to go to a civilian court, it just doesn‘t happen that way.  They don‘t sit there and say to themselves, oh, my goodness, we‘re going to be in a civilian courtroom. 

That means that we should or shouldn‘t make this particular attack, or we shouldn‘t create this or that plan.  It just doesn‘t happen that way. 

SCHULTZ:  Dan, what struck me today with Eric Holder, attorney general, he made the comment that in the civilian court there won‘t be that many more protections for the accused.  And one of the big cases that the righties have been making is that, you know, that the military court would be much stricter. 

I found that to be a very interesting comment.  And he seemed to be very confident that he was going to be able to get a successful conclusion on this. 

ABRAMS:  Well, look, I think Holder didn‘t say enough in his initial press conference.  I think that there were a lot of outstanding questions he didn‘t address, some of which he did address today. 

With that said, that‘s sort of true.  And I say sort of true because there‘s no question that in a military tribunal, you can restrict more information than in a civilian court. 

Now, with that said, that doesn‘t mean that in a civilian terrorist trial a terrorism defendant gets all of the information someone else may get.  A judge will simply not let that happen.  In particular, in this case. 

There is no way a judge in the southern district of New York, in a courthouse where they‘ve tried a lot of terrorism cases and they‘ve put restrictions, not just on the defendant, but on the defense attorney as to what sort of information that person can get, they‘re going to do that again, here.  And the sort of—you know, these concerns that, oh my goodness, all of our tactics are going to be released, this defendant is going to get access to all of this additional information, I think that that concern is being significantly overblown. 


Dan Abrams, thanks for your time tonight.  Appreciate it, Dan. 

ABRAMS:  All right, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  Coming up at the bottom of the hour, Maxine Waters is going to be talking about health care.  The numbers are in on the Senate side.  Will abortion ruin this whole thing with the Stupak Amendment over on the House side?  How will the Progressive Caucus handle it? 

Also coming up, Goldman Sachs.  What are they doing? 

That‘s next on THE ED SHOW.

Stay with us.


SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

Goldman Sachs has been getting some bad press for dragging us into a recession, being a part of it, taking taxpayer money, and then giving it to employees.  I mean, outlandish bonuses.  So now they‘re trying to buy their way back into the problem by throwing a bone to small business? 

First, Goldman‘s CEO apologized, saying, “We participated in things that were clearly wrong and have reason to regret.”  I guess so. 

He then announced the company is investing $500 million to help out small businesses.  Of course, that‘s still only three percent of the $16.7 billion Goldman set aside for their employee bonuses this year. 

Meanwhile, some Democrats in the Congress are pushing to direct the unspent TARP money to small business, homeowners and infrastructure projects. 

Congressman Peter DeFazio of Oregon is with us on that issue tonight. 

Congressman, good to have you on. 


SCHULTZ:  Now, what kind of progress can be made to make sure that TARP money goes where it‘s really going to stimulate the economy—small business and infrastructure? 

DEFAZIO:  Well, that‘s our money.  It was borrowed in the name of the American people.  It was borrowed to bail out Wall Street, which has worked famously for Goldman Sachs and others. 

You know, we think it‘s time, maybe, that we turn our focus to Main Street.  We reclaim the unspent funds, reclaim some of the funds that are being paid back, which will not be paid back in full, and we use it to put people back to work. 

Rebuilding America‘s infrastructure is a tried and true way to put people back to work.  Unfortunately, the president has an adviser from Wall Street, Larry Summers, and a treasury secretary from Wall Street, Timothy Geithner, who don‘t like that idea.  They want to keep the TARP money either to continue to bail out Wall Street if there are future problems or maybe...

SCHULTZ:  So Geithner does not want to give the money to small business the TARP money? 

DEFAZIO:  No, they‘re saying they‘re got to keep the money.  There may be more needs on Wall Street, or maybe they should use it to pay down the deficit.  That‘s absurd.  We borrowed the money.  How do you pay down the deficit?

SCHULTZ:  Should he stay in his job, Congressman? 


SCHULTZ:  You think Tim Geithner should be gone as treasury secretary? 

DEFAZIO:  I do, especially if you look back at the AIG scandal and Goldmans and the others who got their bets paid off in full.  Instead of saying, well, you bet, you lost, they got paid back in full with taxpayer money through AIG.  We channeled the money through them.

Geithner would not answer my question when I said, “Were those naked credit default swaps by Goldman or were they a counter party?”  He said, “I will not answer that question.”

I think they were naked credit default swaps.  They were bets.  They should not have gotten their money back. 

SCHULTZ:  So he‘s not coming clean with the Congress? 

DEFAZIO:  Absolutely not. 

SCHULTZ:  OK.  So have you asked the Obama administration to remove him, or will you? 

DEFAZIO:  The populist caucus is considering questions regarding both him and some other members of the economic team in the near future. 

SCHULTZ:  OK.  So, there has been talk in the halls of Congress amongst some progressive Democrats that maybe it‘s time to ask the Obama administration to remove Tim Geithner.  Am I hearing that correctly? 

DEFAZIO:  Yes.  He‘s being failed by his economic team.  Their total orientation is Wall Street, not Main Street, not real jobs. 

I mean, OK, let‘s get past all the Goldman bailout and all that stuff.  I‘ve got firms in my district that are solvent, very little debt, and they can‘t get money out of bailed-out firms...


SCHULTZ:  No, credit is tight.  It‘s incredible. 

DEFAZIO:  Yes.  Like Wells Fargo. 

SCHULTZ:  It‘s absolutely ridiculous. 

Well, what was this announcement a few weeks ago that they were going to get money to the community banks?  Where the hell‘s that? 

DEFAZIO:  Good question.  I can‘t tell you.  It‘s lost somewhere...

SCHULTZ:  So, they made an announcement that they were going to get this TARP money to community banks, but you don‘t know where that is right now? 

DEFAZIO:  Nope.  We‘re still waiting.  There‘s no new lending to my small businesses in my communities. 

SCHULTZ:  And how many congressmen in the House do you think would go along with Geithner‘s removal? 

DEFAZIO:  Well, when you mention either Geithner or Larry Summers, as they were mentioned in the Democratic Caucus on jobs on Monday night, there is—there are boos and cries of derision.  I think there‘s a growing consensus in the caucus, we need a new economic team that cares more about jobs, Main Street and the American people than it does about Wall Street and huge bonuses. 

SCHULTZ:  I‘ll tell you what, Congressman, this jobs summit thing coming up in the White House in December, it‘s like the Super Bowl of the economy.  Or at least a major playoff game.  That‘s how I see it. 

DEFAZIO:  Well, we may have to sacrifice just two more jobs to get millions back for Americans. 

SCHULTZ:  I hear you. 

Congressman Peter DeFazio.

Good to have you with us tonight.  Thank you. 

DEFAZIO:  Thanks, Ed.

SCHULTZ:  Coming up, “Psycho Talk.”  It‘s Texas-sized fear mongerer Louie Gohmert.  I mean, this guy goes way over the line.  He‘s in the zone next. 

Stay with us.


SCHULTZ:  And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, ooh, Texas sized. 

Congressman Louie Gohmert goes way over the line.  We‘ve heard a lot about the Republican fear mongering of the KSM trial here in New York City, but Louie took it a step further.  In an interview on Fox News, he implied that the Democrats actually want another terrorist attack. 


REP. LOUIE GOHMERT ®, TEXAS:  You‘ve got millions of New Yorkers who would be put at risk by this.  You‘ve got subways, tunnels, bridges, all subject to terrorism.  And unless they‘re trying to create a new jobs bill by allowing terrorism back in New York, then this is insane.  And even that would be insane. 



You know what‘s insane, Louie, is exploiting American fears for your own selfish political gain. 

And Gohmert‘s low-rent sarcasm continued on the House floor last night as he was fear mongering about needing to evacuate New York City in the event of a terrorist attack. 


GOHMERT:  It is extremely helpful to have a community organizer in the White House because you‘ll need lots of community organization in order to adequately evacuate massive areas of the most densely-populated area in America. 


SCHULTZ:  Using deadly, serious issues such as this to take cheap shots at the commander in chief, that is deplorable “Psycho Talk.” 

Coming up, Bart Stupak, congressman from Michigan, says he‘s got the votes to kill health care reform.  If he does, the Democratic Party, I think, will be changed forever.  House Chief Deputy Whip Maxine Waters will sound the alarm on that.

And on the Senate side tonight, we‘re waiting for Harry Reid to step out of a meeting as he has announced that the health care bill is being mended.  He‘ll have some thoughts.  We‘ll carry it live right here on THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.  Stay with us. 


SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. 

Uh-oh, lefties, we might have some trouble in the big tent.  Pro-Life Democrat Bart Stupak is telling FOX that he has the votes to kill health care reform when it comes to the House for a formal vote.


REP. BART STUPAK (D), MICHIGAN:  They‘re not going to take it out.  If they do, health care will - will not move forward.

Either they strip our language, they strip it out and they keep the caps amendment, at least 10 to 15 to 20 of us would not vote for it.


SCHULTZ:  Well, needless to say, there is a confrontation brewing.  A dozen Conservative Democrats are threatening to deep six president Obama‘s top priority even though the president has said he doesn‘t want the language in the bill.

Joining me now is Congresswoman Maxine Waters.  She is also the Chief Deputy Whip and is going to have a big say in all of this.

Congresswoman, those are fighting words, are they not?

REP. MAXINE WATERS (D), CALIFORNIA:  They certainly are.  And, you

know, first of all, we‘ve got to work very hard, and Barbara Boxer‘s

leading that effort with the other women in the Senate, saying to Senator

Reid that we cannot have matching Stupak language in the Senate bill, that,

you know -

We can all live with the Hyde language.  We have lived with that for years.  That‘s that language that simply says you can‘t spend government money for abortions unless it‘s in the case of rape, incest, or one - one other issue.  So I - we can live with that language, but we can‘t go beyond that.

SCHULTZ:  OK.  And - and you believe that the Stupak amendment becomes much more restrictive of women‘s rights and goes back and really tries to undermine Roe v Wade?

WATERS:  Oh, it certainly does.  As a matter of fact, this amendment not only says that if you receive government subsidies in any way that you cannot purchase, you know, abortion services on the exchange, it basically says for people who can‘t even afford to pay, the only way they‘re going to be able to get it is through a supplemental policy, and we just know that these insurance companies are not going to offer two different plans, and so it just wouldn‘t be available.

SCHULTZ:  Congresswoman Maxine Waters with us. 

Do you think Bart Stupak is bluffing?  Do you think he has the votes and do you think those Conservative Democrats would actually blow up health care reform over this issue?

WATERS:  I certainly hope not.  I‘m told that he said he was surprised that he got as far as he did with his amendment in the House after he had gained the support to get it into a House bill.  So I‘m thinking that, you know, he really does not believe that they are going to kill this health care bill.  I mean, this is too big, it‘s too important to Democrats, and so I‘m just hopeful that he certainly will not pursue that.

SCHULTZ:  But Congresswoman, why did the Stupak amendment stay in?  I mean, why did Speaker Pelosi allow it to come out of the House and the Democratic Caucus allow it to come out of the House with that kind of language?

I mean, you - you‘re just banking on the Senate taking care of things, correct?

WATERS:  Well, no.  It‘s not quite that.  It‘s - she was working to pass health care reform out of the House.


WATERS:  They basically said to her that if you put this bill on the Floor without our amendment, we‘re not going to vote for it.  You can‘t pass it out of this House.  And so she allowed it to come up and it got even more votes than she expected it to get.

SCHULTZ:  Do you think this can get done before the first of the year?

WATERS:  I don‘t know, but I certainly know it‘s not going to meet the deadlines that had been talked about, you know?  Reid at one time had said by Thanksgiving, some are saying by the end of the year.  It may go much further than that.

SCHULTZ:  And - and Congresswoman, let me ask you this very directly.  Let‘s say that the Stupak amendment gets some teeth over on the Senate side.  You got Orrin Hatch there.  He‘s going to basically try to put the same language in there. 

Would this be a - a break it off point for many Democrats, maybe to a third party?  I mean, if - if - if this issue is going to stop Barack Obama‘s number one domestic agenda after getting a mandate from the people and winning nine bush states, what else does it take for the Progressives to get their message a point?  Wouldn‘t this be a breaking off point and set a foundation for a third party?

What do you think?

WATERS:  Well, there are several things going on here.  One is Nancy Pelosi has said to a number of the women in the House that that Stupak language would never make it out of conference, so she‘s committed to making sure that that language is not in the conference committee.  Now, she appoints the conferees, so I‘m - I‘m banking on that.

But, to be sure, there‘s also a petition circulating by women in the House who are declaring that they will not vote for a bill that has the Stupak language in it.  So this is - I mean, this is a high-stakes game we‘re playing here.

SCHULTZ:  There‘s no doubt about it.

WATERS:  A lot of - I mean, and so you have Stupak who‘s saying that this bill, they‘ll kill the bill before they allow it to pass without their language and you have women saying that they - Democratic women - that they will not vote for a bill with the language in it.

So we have got a lot to play out here.  We‘re all anxious to see what‘s going to come out on the Senate side.  We understand that Reid has already called a Democratic caucus to tell them how the bill has been scored.

SCHULTZ:  OK.  And - and Congresswoman, I got to stop you there.  We‘re going to go to Harry Reid right now, coming out of the Senate meeting. 


SCHULTZ:  Let‘s take it live right now.  This is Harry Reid right out of the Senate Democratic Caucus meeting.


SEN. HARRY REID (D), NEVADA:  We just completed our caucus that was really very, very good.  We all acknowledged this legislation‘s a tremendous step forward.  Why?  Because it saves lives, saves money, and protects Medicare, makes Medicare stronger.  We‘ve traveled really a long ways to where we are, and tonight begins the last leg of this journey that we‘ve been on now for some time. 

The American people, President Obama have asked us for a health insurance reform that does two things.  One, makes it for affordable for the American people. 

Remember, this past year, 750,000 Americans filed bankruptcy.  Over half of those bankruptcies dealt with health care costs.  More than half the people filed bankruptcy because of health care costs had insurance.  So not only do we make it more affordable for every American, we also certainly do it in a fiscally responsible way.

We‘re going - not going to add a dime to the deficit.  In fact, quite the opposite.  We‘ll cut the problems we have with money around here by as much as three quarters of a trillion dollars.  And this bill is going to do good things over the next 10 years for so many different people in our society.  Ninety-eight percent of the American people, those who have Medicare will be included in that number, will have health insurance, and we‘ll make sure that 30 million more Americans who don‘t have health insurance today will soon have it. 

I want to repeat, we not only protect Medicare, we‘re making it stronger. 

The numbers I‘ve just gone over are pretty impressive as I - and I - I have no doubt that the American people agree with that.  Although we‘re proud of these figures, these numbers that we‘ve given you, we can‘t afford to really overlook what this is all about.  More accurately, we can‘t afford to overlook who - who this is all about.

This is about a parent.  For example, my friend, Jeff Hill, from Searchlight, Nevada, 23 years old.  He goes off his parent‘s health insurance policy.  Within six weeks he‘s diagnosed with testicular cancer.  His parents, who have no money, have already expended $15,000 having their son operated on.  He‘s now in chemotherapy, all kinds of complications.  They had to put his - they couldn‘t put the chemo on his veins.

We‘re changing this.  Now it‘s going to be 26 years old - years of age that they can - people can stay on their parent‘s coverage.  We want to make sure that every American can afford good coverage. 

This is about small businesses in Nevada and around the country.  We have provisions in this building on small business. 

This is about women.  We have great provisions in this bill for women.  We‘re going to make them better on the Floor.  We had a real good discussion in the caucus tonight, how it‘s so outrageous, the word that we‘ve gotten recently on mammograms.  Women should be able to go get a mammogram and not have to wait until they‘re 50 years old.  

Pre-existing disabilities.  We‘re to make sure that everyone who reads this bill - it will be online tonight.  I want to make sure that everyone who reads this bill reads some of the provisions in this bill that just speak volumes. 

Pre-existing disabilities.  I was in Texas last week, and a man came to me.  He said, “I‘m a lawyer.  I make a lot of money,” he said, “but I don‘t know what‘s going to happen to my daughter.  She‘s 23 years old, has multiple sclerosis.  What‘s - I‘m an old man now.  What‘s going to happen when my wife and I aren‘t able to take care of her?”  Now, we know, if we don‘t change it, she wouldn‘t get any insurance.  She has a pre-existing disability. 

So this is about families.  I‘ve talked about one family from Searchlight.  This is for our economy‘s renewal.  This is a jobs bill.  And the finish line is really in sight.  We‘re going to hear tonight from Senator Dodd, Senator Harkin, Durbin, Schumer, Murray.  And then we‘ll take a few questions.  We‘re all going to be brief.


SCHULTZ:  Harry Reid - That‘s Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid at a press conference.  They just got out of a caucus meeting.  And I want to hear what Chris Dodd has to say.  He has been the chairman of the health committee.  Here he is.


SEN. CHRIS DODD (D), CONNECTICUT:        . acknowledging the remarkable work done by Majority Leader Harry Reid and his staff over this last number of weeks, emerging the bill from the Senate Finance Committee, and I regret that our colleague, Max Baucus is not here this evening.  You know, his mother has been rather ill and couldn‘t be here tonight.  But the Finance Committee has done a remarkable job. 

As all of you know, I was asked back a number of months ago to fill in for Ted Kennedy, and I regret deeply he‘s not here this evening, and just how proud he would be that at long last after a - almost a career-long effort on his part, to reach a point where we might finally be able to have a national health care strategy in this country that would increase access for all Americans, provide stability for those who have insurance, improve the coverage for those who are underinsured, and at long last, for millions who have no insurance whatsoever to know they can rest easy that they‘ll have the protection of some form of safety net insurance that will give them the help that they need for they (ph) and their families if they‘re afflicted with a problem health-wise.  So I regret he‘s not here this - tonight to be a part of this. 

But I want to also acknowledge the tremendous work that‘s been done by staffs and others to bring us to this point.  I‘m particularly proud of the fact that this legislation includes a very strong public option, investments in preventive care, added protections for our seniors, that the leaders talked about in the program provided long-term services and support for those who are disabled.

The fact that we have a bill here that comes under the president‘s mandate, that we have a cost less than $900 billion over 10 years, the fact that we save $127 billion in the first decade of this bill and $650 billion in savings in the second decade.  These are real savings for Americans, while simultaneously increasing that access that is so critically, critically important.

The CBO has confirmed that the bill will extend coverage to, as the leaders pointed out, to somewhere around 98 percent, including the Medicare recipients in our country.  That‘s a remarkable achievement and a great success as well.  And today we add this is a fiscally responsible bill that saves money, obviously, in the short and longer term and is a real victory for reforms. 

This isn‘t just about an effort that went on over the last number of months.


SCHULTZ:  Senator Chris Dodd on Capitol Hill, along with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid saying that this is a job bill.  No mention of the possible 60 votes, but there was a release put out by Ben Nelson from Nebraska who said he wants a few days to read it because he wants to make sure he knows what he‘s voting on.

Let‘s go back to Maxine Waters over on the House side.  Congresswoman, are you encouraged by what you‘re hearing over on the Senate side tonight?

WATERS:  Well, it sounds very good.  I‘m very pleased to hear from Dodd we have a very robust, strong public option.  That‘s one of the things we were looking for. 

But I find it rather strange there are no women members of the Senate in that press conference talking about what‘s happening with reproductive rights and whether or not the Stupak amendment is going to hold forth in that bill or what they‘re going to do about it.  I think we anxiously await that information also.

SCHULTZ:  OK.  Congresswoman, appreciate your time tonight.

WATERS:  You‘re welcome.

SCHULTZ:  Thanks so much.

WATERS:  You‘re welcome.  Thank you. 

SCHULTZ:  Congresswoman Maxine Waters with us here on THE ED SHOW tonight.  And we‘ll have more on this with our panel coming up.  Joe Madison is XM Radio talk show host and Brad Blakeman is a Republican strategist and columnist.  Gentlemen, good to have you with us tonight.

Joe, your - your thoughts on this.  $849 billion, well under what the president had said of $900 billion.  It brings 31 million people into the fold for coverage and will save $127 billion over 10 years.  Is - is - from what you heard tonight, is this going to be acceptable?

JOE MADISON, SIRIUS XM RADIO HOST:  Well, I think it has to be.  I mean - plus you have the CBO that has validated and verified those numbers.  I‘m assuming that that should be acceptable to most people. 

Bottom line is I cannot see where the Republican members of Congress can now object.  They will look like obstructionists in this regard, and I don‘t really think the problem will be, now, with the Republicans.  I think the biggest concern, Ed, is that the Democrats, at least three Democratic senators, don‘t shoot themselves in the foot and also one congressman over on the House side. 

I thought - and I‘ll just make this quickly, I thought Maxine‘s position that the Hyde language is acceptable, it - it goes far enough.  The country has lived with that and I think she‘s absolutely right.  And when Nancy Pelosi appoints the conference committee representatives it will be a fight, but I think it will be a fight they‘ll win.

SCHULTZ:  Yes.  Brad Blakeman, your thoughts on Orrin Hatch saying that he‘s going to be introducing pretty much the same language that Bart Stupak did over on the House side, and I thought that Maxine Waters made a very profound point tonight.  She didn‘t see any female senators up there tonight who were ready to endorse what was going on.  What signal is that?

BRAD BLAKEMAN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST:  Well, Ed, I think you‘re absolutely right.  I think that Orrin Hatch will put forth an amendment almost identical to the Stupak amendment which was in the House.

SCHULTZ:  So does that kill reform as you know it - as we‘ve seen it? 

What do you think?

BLAKEMAN:  I think it‘s up to the Democrats.  The Democrats have put all these obstructions in the bill, not the Republicans.  The Republicans are innocent bystanders in all this, watching the Democrats fight with one another.

But certainly one thing is for sure.  Nobody has told anybody and I‘m waiting to hear the difference between the Stupak amendment and the Hyde amendment.  I submit to you that they‘re one and the same and this is a grand diversion to move this bill away from what the sunshine that should be put on this bill and that is what is in the bill?

The Stupak amendment is four pages out of 1,900 pages.  Certainly they can get their act together on four pages and - and - and at least convince themselves.

SCHULTZ:  What about that, Joe?  What about that, Joe Madison?

MADISON:  Well, I think - and I just had this thought that Stupak might be looking for cover in his own district.  I mean he does.

SCHULTZ:  No, he says he‘s got the votes to kill health care reform. 

I mean, that‘s.

MADISON:  Well, I - I‘d rather get that word from Clyburn.  He‘s the one who counts the votes, not Stupak.

SCHULTZ:  So you think Stupak might be gaming the situation a little bit?

MADISON:  Oh, and - and the fact that he‘s got to run for re-election in a rather Conservative district.

SCHULTZ:  OK.  Brad Blakeman, why wouldn‘t any Republicans go on board with this?  Have you heard that maybe Olympia Snowe might come on with the public option, with an opt out?  Is there any chance that you see that maybe a Republican might come onboard in the Senate?

BLAKEMAN:  I don‘t think so.  I - I think that as long as the public option remains and that the - we‘ll call it the Hatch amendment - is - is not in there on the Senate side.  I don‘t think Republicans are going to - are going to - I think you‘ve got one vote out of Republicans on this.

But let me say this.  If the - of the Democrats were true to form, what they told us was it was going to be the most open and transparent process on health care.  The president said cameras would be allowed in the conferences.  This has been a state secret.

SCHULTZ:  Well, they haven‘t gotten the conference committee yet. 

They haven‘t gotten there yet.

BLAKEMAN:  But - no - but you just heard the senator say he came out of a conference - a successful conference.

SCHULTZ:  Well, that was a Democratic caucus, Brad.  I mean, heck, they - they got to go into caucuses like the Republicans do.

BLAKEMAN:  But Ed - Ed, the Democrats are even locked out of the system.  You just - you just heard a Democratic congresswoman in leadership saying she doesn‘t know what‘s in the Senate bill.  The Democrats don‘t even know.

SCHULTZ:  That‘s because she‘s over on the House side, Brad.

BLAKEMAN:  No, they don‘t.  The Democrats have been cut out of the process just like the Republicans.

SCHULTZ:  No.  Now, don‘t make stuff up, now, Brad.  That‘s not right at all.  You - you know that the - that this has been, you know, behind closed doors.  They‘re trying to get those 60 votes.  They‘re trying to deal with the Stupak language and straighten all that out. 

What I saw tonight, folks and fellows was that you had Harry Reid come out and give a very positive statement about this bill, saying it‘s a job bill, saying it‘s going to save lives, it‘s going to save money, it‘s going to save the language that is going to help Medicare, Medicaid and strengthen it was the word that he used.  So he wanted to put - if - for lack of a better term, lipstick on a pig because that‘s what you Republicans think it is.

BLAKEMAN:  Ed, you missed one other thing he said.  It will be online in a matter of a couple of hours.

SCHULTZ:  That‘s the bottom line.  Gentlemen, thanks for joining us tonight.

Coming up, Democrats have cooked up a brilliant plan to pay for the jobs bill.  Wall Street tax cuts?  No.  Tax increases. 

We‘ll talk about that next.  Stay with us. 


SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. 

Congress is looking at taxing Wall Street to help out Main Street.  I like it. 

House Democrats are considering imposing a Micro tax a quarter of a percent on all stock trades.  It‘s basically a transaction fee, but it really could generate upwards of $100 billion a year, money that would be used to create jobs, pay for health care or pay down the debt. 

This idea is getting a lot of traction (ph) among house leaders, and joining me now is Colorado Congressman Ed Perlmutter, a strong advocate of the proposal.  Congressman, good to have you with us.

REP. ED PERLMUTTER (D), COLORADO:  Ed, thanks for having me on your show.

SCHULTZ:  Does this mean that when someone does something with their 401(k) that they‘re going to get taxed?  Give me some level here.  Give me some parameter. 

PERLMUTTER:  No.  We‘re going to - actually the way we‘re drafting the

bill, we would have exemptions for 401(k)s, pensions, anybody who does less

than $100,000 of trades a year.  But, even so, we‘d look at taxing stocks

and bonds, we‘d look at taxing derivatives and swaps, those kinds of things

where there‘s been really a lot of, you know, risky business and we want to


We helped out Wall Street last year.  We - we came to the rescue of the banking system, of Wall Street, now Wall Street can help out Main Street, either with rebuilding the infrastructure, maybe helping on health care, as you said, or paying down the darn debt that we‘ve incurred.

SCHULTZ:  So you - you‘re not going after the college funds, the pension funds, the 401(k)s.  You‘re going after the big guys that deal in high volume on Wall Street, correct? 

PERLMUTTER:  Exactly.  I mean, there is this nano trading that‘s going

on that can be up to 5,000 times a second in any given stock.  And so we‘re

we‘re really focusing on that and it may slow down some of this volatility and really make it better and safer for long-term investors. 

So there‘s - there‘s that side effect as well as the revenue piece.

SCHULTZ:  OK.  Now, the - the funding source of this, there would be - I mean, this would print money to the Treasury.  I mean, $100 billion that nobody thought was coming into the Treasury.  This would pay for health care.

PERLMUTTER:  It could - it could help us in a lot of ways.  It could assist us in health care, and, really, that‘s where I started talking about it because the Senate had one version of paying for health care, the House had another version.

I thought this might be a different approach, but it‘s also really good on rebuilding the infrastructure.  I mean, really rebuilding Main Street, which we need to do or paying this darned debt down.

SCHULTZ:  Ed, good to have you with us.  Appreciate your time tonight. 

I like the idea and think Progressives will too.

Earlier I asked you, do you think trying the terror suspects here in New York City will make us less safe?  Nine percent of you said yes, 91 percent of you said no. 

That‘s THE ED SHOW.  And tomorrow night - I wish I could have gotten this tonight, because Sarah Palin said Glenn Beck would make a good running - running mate in 2012. 

That‘s all I need to know tonight, folks.  I‘ll see you tomorrow night, 6:00 right here on THE ED SHOW.  “HARDBALL” is next, with Chris Matthews.  The place for politics, MSNBC.

Have a great one.



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