Guests: Gordon Aaker, Mike Papantonio, Michael Sheehan, Rev. Al Sharpton,
Stephanie Miller, Heidi Harris, Louie Miller, Steve McMahon.
HOST: Good evening, Americans, and welcome to THE ED SHOW
from New York tonight.
These stories are hitting my hot buttons this evening.
British Petroleum says it will cover the cost of the oil disaster in
the Gulf. I‘ll believe it when I see them sign the checks on TV. Federal
law says that they are liable for less than a billion dollars after
cleanup. More on that in just a minute. I don‘t think that‘s fair.
The hunt is on for the terrorist who tried to blow up part of Times
Square over the weekend. We‘ll get the latest on the search and the
potential connection to the TV show “South Park.”
Plus, I have a special shout-out to a guest that I invited to the
White House Correspondents‘ Dinner, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo.
You know, I like the Redskins, but this guy was a class act. That‘s coming
up in the “Playbook.”
But this is the story that I think the country is focussed on. It
certainly has me fired up tonight.
BP, I‘ll tell you what. Get ready to get your checkbook out. You‘re
on the hook.
President Obama put it like this on Sunday --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Let me be clear. BP is
responsible for this leak. BP will be paying the bill. But as president
of the United States, I‘m going to spare no effort to respond to this
crisis for as long as it continues.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was a little more
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT GIBBS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We‘re going to do what we
have to do. We will keep our, as Secretary Salazar said, our boot on the
throat of BP to ensure that they are doing all that is necessary while we
do all that is humanly possible to deal with this incident.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: I don‘t think you ever would have heard the previous
administration laying on the oil companies like that.
I would like to see BP publicly sign the check to pay for the damage
that they inflicted on this country. They owe us answers and they owe us a
lot of money.
British Petroleum CEO Tony Hayward tried to pass the buck on “The
Today Show” this morning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MEREDITH VIEIRA, “THE TODAY SHOW”: Over the weekend, President Obama
holds BP accountable for this bill and any damage that results from it.
Does the buck stop at your desk?
TONY HAYWARD, CEO, BRITISH PETROLEUM: Well, it wasn‘t our accident,
but we are absolutely responsible for the oil, for cleaning it up, and
that‘s what we intend to do.
VIEIRA: How could it not be your accident, sir?
HAYWARD: We‘re working very hard to—well, the drilling rig was a
Transocean drilling rig. It was their rig and their equipment that failed,
run by their people with their processes. But our responsibility is the
oil, and the responsibility is ours to clean it up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Oh, yes, all of a sudden we‘re supposed to trust a big oil
company, a big giant on the heels of profits? You know, I don‘t need to
see the British Petroleum CEO address the cleanup. What they ought to do
is have their top engineers out front and center, telling the cameras each
and every day, this is what we‘re trying to do.
I don‘t see that. Maybe you do. The public has a right to know all
the details on how they intend to stop the mess that they have created.
This oil tsunami, is what it is, it has tripled in size since last
Thursday. More than 200,000 gallons of oil are leaking into the Gulf every
It‘s hard to believe BP has any clue how to clean this thing up.
They‘ve never been down this road before. If this leak goes on for another
90 days, it will affect—really affect the entire hemisphere and probably
the entire world.
This spill will ultimately affect all of us in this economy. That‘s
how big this is.
The port of Gulfport, Mississippi, is one of the largest green fruits
(ph) points of entry in this country. The port of New Orleans is where
South America coffee comes in, and the port of southern Louisiana is the
busiest port in the entire country. Thousands of shrimpers and fishermen
are already feeling it.
The government has implemented a 10-day fishing ban in federal waters
in the Gulf region. If you thought we were writing unemployment checks
before, get used to it, Americans. There‘s a lot more coming.
We‘re going to have to start getting drilled at the gas pump, too. I
suppose that‘s what‘s going to happen because we‘re the ones that are
eventually going to have to pay for this.
This is going to hit our economy at just the worst possible time. We
just started to recover from this economic mess the oil companies helped us
get into. Remember $4-a—gallon gas? That wasn‘t a free market. We had
people on this show from Congress saying that was a manipulated price.
The Obama administration says they‘ll keep a boot on the neck of BP,
but does Congress have the guts to shake this oil giant down for every dime
of this mess? New Jersey Senators Robert Menendez and Frank Lautenberg,
along with Florida Senator Bill Nelson, are introducing the Big Oil Bailout
Prevention Act. It sounds good.
The law would change the liability cap from oil spills from just $75
million to $10 billion. I don‘t think Republicans—I don‘t think they‘ve
got it in their DNA and I don‘t think they‘ve got it in their heart and
their soul and their guts to stick it to their buddies in the oil industry.
Keep this in mind. The Supreme Court has made it really easy for
companies this big to give unlimited funds to any politician, any issue.
If they want to play the game, if they want to play hardball, they can do
it. And they have all the cards to make it happen.
But here‘s what we have to realize as a country. There‘s going to be
a ripple effect in the economy through all of this.
The fishing industry, now, these, of course, are folks that have got
boats, that have got payroll to meet, gasoline they need, obviously, to run
their boats. It‘s funny how it‘s all connected, isn‘t it?
How about the shipping industry? How about the service industry? How
about tourism? How about the ripple effect?
Have you noticed that in all of these southern states, Mississippi,
Louisiana, Alabama, hmm, all these coastal states, all these Republican
elected officials, they‘re awful quiet. That‘s because they were in that
crowd with that group across the street yelling, “Drill, baby drill!” Now
it‘s “Spill, baby spill.” Now it‘s “Pray, brother, pray.”
They don‘t have a clue on how they‘re going to do this, and they don‘t
know how long it‘s going to take to get it done.
Get out your cell phones out, folks. I want to know what you think
about all of this tonight.
Tonight‘s text survey is: Do you believe BP will really pick up the
entire tab for the Gulf disaster? Text “A” for yes and text “B” for no to
622639. I‘ll bring you the results later on in the show.
Now, joining me tonight is Gordon Aaker. He is with Engineering
Services, a firm that specializes in engineering evaluations and failure
Mr. Aaker, appreciate your time tonight. I wanted someone on this
program to give us a quick analysis on what BP has done to this point. And
how do you think it‘s going?
GORDON AAKER, ENGINEERING SERVICES: Well, thank you for inviting me.
BP is doing everything they‘re humanly possibly can to mitigate these
circumstances. You know, it‘s a calamity of events that caused it. I have
to remind you, we‘re in 5,000 feet of water, we‘re not used to having
accidents down there. We haven‘t had any accidents down there. And it
makes it very precarious.
SCHULTZ: Well, looking at this, no oil companies have ever had to
deal with a spill like this before, have they?
AAKER: No, we haven‘t had anything as significant as this.
SCHULTZ: And this dome that we‘re talking about, this 74-ton dome
that they would put down, that‘s never been done before either, has it?
AAKER: Well, no, that‘s not entirely true.
SCHULTZ: Not at this depth.
AAKER: Not at that depth.
AAKER: The dome concept has been used before almost 30 years ago,
before my time, in a Pemex incident in the Gulf of Mexico.
SCHULTZ: OK. But from an engineering standpoint, they really are
winging it right now. This is new territory, isn‘t it?
AAKER: Well, in some respects, yes. But in many respects, no.
The idea with the dome is it‘s a Band-Aid. It‘s obvious it‘s a Band-
Aid, and it‘s designed to try to manage the oil that‘s coming out of the
well at this point. It‘s the easiest thing they can do to quickly try to
I think it‘s absolutely very good judgment on their part. It‘s a hell
of an engineering feat to come up with a way to do this.
You know, you need to be reminded, we‘re dealing with 3,000 pounds of
water pressure. So they‘ve got quite a chore on their hands just to build
this box in an attempt to make it work, and I‘m very confident they will
have a lot of success with this box.
SCHULTZ: So this was an exploratory rig down in an area with very few
safety precautions or engineering designs to handle any kind of a leak or
mishap at that depth. Fair enough?
AAKER: Well, we don‘t expect to have leaks. Everything is supposed
SCHULTZ: Everything‘s supposed to work. All right.
Mr. Aaker, give us your professional opinion -- 30 days, 60 days, 90
days? How long will this leak go on?
AAKER: Well, the difficult thing is getting the rig on site and
getting set up and getting to business. And drilling relief wells over
there might be the final and best choice. But it‘s going to take three
months, at the best, and probably might go longer than that if they have a
lot of trouble doing it.
SCHULTZ: I was told by T. Boone Pickens on Saturday night at the
Corespondents‘ Dinner that they‘ve already started that. It started on
Saturday, but it‘s going to take 90 days.
AAKER: Ninety days is probably the best it will be.
Mr. Aaker, great to have you with us tonight. I appreciate your time.
AAKER: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Gordon Aaker with us.
For more, let me bring in Mike Papantonio, an environmental lawyer
whose firm is working on the first class action lawsuit against BP.
What do you think about—Mike, what do you know at this hour that
you didn‘t know on Friday night?
MIKE PAPANTONIO, ENVIRONMENTAL LAWYER: Well, I‘ve got pretty good
with predictions, and they all seem to be coming through. My prediction is
in the next several weeks, we‘re going to see Transocean asserting this
claim of limited liability.
They are going to say, gee, under the law, we‘re only limited to the
value of our rig, and we don‘t have to pay more than that. As a matter of
fact, if you look at the value of the rig right now, it‘s about $500
million, and it‘s useless, basically.
Then, what you‘re going to see, Ed—this is where the interesting
turn takes place. You‘re going to see BP let Transocean fall on their
sword, act like they are responsible. And BP is then going to have the
PAPANTONIO: They‘re going to have the high ground and say gee whiz,
we didn‘t do anything wrong. Transocean did it. It‘s not our problem.
We‘ve seen it happen time and time again, and we‘re just seeing it
here again. There‘s nothing—there are no new surprises about a company
SCHULTZ: Yes. Well, let‘s go to some of the best engineering schools
in the school, like Lehigh or Georgia Tech or Virginia Tech or any of the
“techs” across the country. We‘re looking for ideas right now. Aren‘t we?
We‘re looking for an engineering solution that can beat 90 days in
drilling another well, and we‘re dealing with technology that really hasn‘t
been done at this deep of water in the past. And now we‘ve got BP—
earlier today, a report was that they are shaking Alabamans down for
$5,000, trying to get them to sign a legal form, and of course they backed
off on that once the media got on it.
Your thoughts on that?
PAPANTONIO: Well, yes, the media got on them and lawyers got on them.
Here‘s what they are doing.
They are going to mom-and-pop organizations, shrimpers, dive boat
captains, just virtually everybody, saying, look, if you will sign this
document—it‘s about a 15-page document—sign this document, we‘re
going to give you $5,000 so you can put food on your table.
SCHULTZ: The CEO said that was a mistake.
PAPANTONIO: Well, you know what? I know he said it was a mistake,
Ed. That‘s not true.
They parachuted in a bunch of the silk stocking, corporate BP lawyers
who scurried up and down the coast with these releases. They knew exactly
SCHULTZ: OK. So the question is—
PAPANTONIO: It was not a mistake.
SCHULTZ: The way they operated with that, does this mean that BP, in
your opinion, can‘t be an honest broker in this?
PAPANTONIO: Look, BP has a long history of being not an honest
broker. All you‘ve got to do is look at Texas, where a refinery blew up,
killed 15 people, injured 170. They had to plead to felonies.
And you know what? Today those people still have not been made whole.
So we think they‘re going to do something different here.
Look, Ed, you know this. Trends follow people and trends follow
corporations. And when you look at the trend of BP, it‘s a very ugly
character we‘re dealing with.
SCHULTZ: Here‘s what I do know, Mike. Here‘s what I know. I know
that I talked to a ship captain today that‘s counting on his clients
showing up, because this is the busy season of the year. The shrimpers are
down there. I‘ve talked to them.
I mean, they‘ve never been this nervous. I mean, they all understand
the oil industry, but they sure as hell don‘t understand just how big this
could be and how it could economically wipe them out for years.
PAPANTONIO: Ed, I heard you say opening this program—you hit it
again. You nailed the issue.
BP has the audacity to say, we‘re going to make you whole. Well, let
me tell you something. I will put a blimp up in the air, I‘ll put a full-
page ad in “The New York Times,” I‘ll advertise on MSNBC for the next year
telling people where to go to get this illusory, this imaginary check that
BP is going to write for a mom-and-pop organization that has been in
business for three generations, shrimping and oystering.
SCHULTZ: Yes. That‘s the story.
PAPANTONIO: And now—that is the story.
SCHULTZ: That is the story. But what are you going to do for the
average folks who—the water men, the folks who live off the water and
live off the Gulf? That‘s the story.
And ask yourself the question, will you ever go into a restaurant
again without asking the server, where did that shellfish come from? This
is going to change so much stuff. It‘s going to change so much stuff.
PAPANTONIO: The stigma is huge. And, you know, think of how shameful
I know the history of this company. I know that‘s such a ridiculous
representation, that they are going to tell somebody, look, give me your
projections for the next five years about what you‘ve lost here and we‘re
going to write you a check.
Hey, BP, this is my invitation. Tell these people where to show up, tell
them what dock to be at, tell them what place to be. They will be there to
collect that check that you‘re simply making up.
That‘s my message to BP. We see it all the time. It‘s the same
method of operation that corporate America engages in on catastrophes like
SCHULTZ: Mike Papantonio, keep up the good work, my man, because if
it wasn‘t for people like you, the middle class would be run over. And
this is the story. What‘s going to happen to our economy? Who is going to
be held accountable?
And just keep in mind, folks, they were down there digging for profit.
That‘s what they were doing. They were down there digging for profit, and
now that this mistake has taken place, they are trying to wash their hands
of it. And I‘m telling you that this is going to have a ripple effect
through our economy. And somebody out there has got an idea on how to shut
this leak off, I‘m sure they‘re all ears.
Mike, good to have you with us tonight.
PAPANTONIO: Thanks a lot. Appreciate it, Ed.
SCHULTZ: You bet.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, the Times Square bomber is still on the loose. A
manhunt is under way for this guy. A former NYPD counterterrorism
commissioner will join me coming up.
And the Tea Partiers just got a lesson in this is how you throw a real
protest. Massive immigration demonstrations across the country dwarf their
“Psycho Talk” inventions. Reverend Al Sharpton is going to teach them how
to get all of this done at the bottom of the hour.
All of that, plus, turd blossom lands in the “Zone.”
And I‘ll tell you about Tony Romo‘s table manners. That‘s right.
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Thanks for watching tonight.
The hunt is on for the person who tried to set off a car bomb in Times
Square on Saturday evening. Investigators are searching the Nissan
Pathfinder for clues, obviously, and they are questioning people who are
believed to have a connection to the vehicle. They have already spoken to
the owner of the SUV, but do not consider him a suspect.
Police are also searching for a man scene on surveillance tape leaving
the scene of the attempted bombing. The NYPD says the person of interest
is a white man in his 40s.
Inside the car investigators found three propane tanks, fireworks, two
full gasoline containers, two alarm clocks, and electrical wire. All are
ingredients for a bomb that the NYPD says would have caused a massive
explosion but could have unleashed a significant fireball. Also in the car
were eight bags of non-explosive-grade fertilizer.
Today, for the first time, The White House described the attempted
bombing as a terrorist attack.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GIBBS: I think anybody that has the type of material that they had in
their car in Times Square, I would say that that was intended to terrorize,
absolutely. And I would say that whoever did that would be categorized as
a terrorist, yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Joining me now for more is NBC News terrorism analyst
Michael Sheehan. Michael is a former deputy commissioner for
counterterrorism for the NYPD. He‘s also a former State Department
ambassador-at-large for counterterrorism.
Mr. Sheehan, thanks for your time tonight.
Is “primitive” a good word for this type of bomb? It seems like it
was just a collection thrown together by an amateur. Or am I wrong on
MICHAEL SHEEHAN, NBC NEWS TERRORISM ANALYST: No, you‘re absolutely
right, Ed. I wouldn‘t use the term “primitive,” because, actually, a
primitive bomb could actually work.
This concoction really was very incompetently put together. It really
had no chance of exploding any more than if you threw a lot of combustible
materials in the back of a car on a hot day. Fortunately, this individual
had not received very sophisticated training. And really, this was not a
very serious bomb.
SCHULTZ: What does the videotape show us of this man stopping? Now,
this is the person of interest that they are searching for. The guy stops,
puts his bag down, takes his shirt off.
What do you make of this?
SHEEHAN: Well, I think the NYPD is kind of moving away from this guy.
They‘d obviously like to see him. It‘s kind of suspicious behavior.
He glances over his shoulder looking like he may be looking at the
vehicle. But I think they are kind of moving away from this guy a little
bit. They would definitely like to talk to him, but, actually, I think the
leads are going in another direction at this time, Ed.
SCHULTZ: OK. “The Washington Post” is reporting it was coordinated
by several people in a plot with international ties. What does that tell
SHEEHAN: Well, again, I think they are starting to piece together
some information about an individual who may have some links overseas. And
I think they got that information primarily from some phone calls. But I
think it‘s a little premature for—they don‘t know if this is the guy,
and they certainly don‘t want to describe him on the news, because they
don‘t have their arms around him and they don‘t want to tip him off so that
he will go into even deeper hiding.
SCHULTZ: What does the car tell us—the plates, the vin number, the
history of the car? I mean, ,it seems to me that it would be pretty easy
SHEEHAN: Yes. They did track it to the guy who originally owned it,
and apparently he sold it some sort of cash deal in a back-alley deal. And
he doesn‘t quite know who he sold it to. So it‘s a little blurry there.
That‘s not really led to much.
They have identified the guy that owned the car. Some stolen plates
were put on it. They identified that guy.
Those leads haven‘t really gone too far, Ed. Right now they are
looking at the forensics evidence inside the car, they‘re looking at prints
and partial prints. They‘re looking at all the materials, any DNA that can
be picked up, all those materials that were bought, trying to track them
from where they came from. And from there they are starting to piece
together a few clues. But I think they have not yet determined who or who
might have been involved in this.
SCHULTZ: And Mr. Sheehan, when you tell us that they are moving away
from that guy that was in that video, does that mean it might not be a
white man in his 40s?
SHEEHAN: Yes, we don‘t know yet, Ed. We have no idea.
SCHULTZ: OK. All right.
Mr. Sheehan, appreciate your time tonight. Thank you.
SHEEHAN: Thank you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, dancing isn‘t the only thing Karl Rove can‘t do.
He can‘t remember the past either. He‘s picking on P Obama for having a
“my way or the highway” mentality? He‘ll burn rubber in the “Zone” next.
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, Bush‘s brain is back on the
Karl Rove went on Fox on Friday night and railed against President
Obama‘s attempt to get Wall Street on board with financial regulatory
reform. But listening to the old turd blossom, you would think he lived
underneath a rock for the entire eight years of the Bush administration.
Check it out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KARL ROVE, FOX COMMENTATOR: I was taken aback by what the president
said in his speech to the financial executives in New York. He brought
them in, and then basically threatened them.
The president ought to recognize that people can disagree with him and
still have good motives. He ought to recognize that it is good for our
country to have a vigorous debate about the components of the issues. Just
because the president lays something out doesn‘t mean that anybody who
disagrees with him is somehow unpatriotic or un-American. President Obama
is basically saying my way or the highway, and if you‘re not with me,
you‘re against me.
I think it‘s wrong.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: My how the tables have turned. Now you think it‘s wrong.
Interesting you didn‘t say anything back when your old boss said exactly
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Every nation in every
region now has a decision to make—either you‘re with us or you are with
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: Either you‘re with us, either you love freedom, and with
nations which embrace freedom, or you‘re with the enemy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: You‘re either with us or you‘re with the enemy. That‘s clear.
I will continue to make that clear.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Well, I guess Rove thinks it‘s OK to alienate allies when
you actually might need them if you decide to, say, invade a Middle Eastern
country. But when you try to crack down on folks who caused the worst
financial crisis since the Great Depression, you‘re being really
For Bush‘s brain to criticize President Obama for giving out
ultimatums, that is “Psycho Talk.”
Coming up, Republican Senator John Ensign may be one step closer to
the unemployment line. Fellow senators are piping up about his sex
scandal, and the Ethics Committee is holding a public hearing.
Can‘t wait to hear what Stephanie Miller has to say about all of that.
Plus, you won‘t want to miss what the president just said about “The
Drugster” and “The Beckster.”
And the ACLU is flipping out that a national I.D. card may be on the
way. They say it would be worse than combining the DMV with the TSA.
The Rev sounds off on the immigration debate next, ,here on THE ED
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW and the Battle Ground subject
tonight. You know, I don‘t want to hear any more about the Tea Parties and
how much political power they have. Come on, we saw real political passion
on Mayday, when 100,000 people across the country marched to show their
support for immigration reform. The Tea Party leaders, they wish they
could have had these kinds of crowds on a single day.
In Los Angeles, more than 50,000 people rallied. In Dallas, Texas,
more than 25,000 people came out. In Chicago, in Milwaukee, the crowds
topped 10,000. And thousands showed up for rallies in St. Louis, San
Francisco, and the nation‘s capital, Washington, D.C. Some of those
protesters carried signs saying, “we‘re all Arizona,” referring to the
harsh new law pushed by the state‘s Republicans.
This is truly what a truly organic national movement looks like, not
like the nonsense being fueled by the network across the street, guys
hanging out on the Potomac with a few firearms. Cut me some slack.
Let me bring in Reverend Al Sharpton, president of the National Action
Network. Reverend Sharpton, good to have you with us tonight.
REV. AL SHARPTON, NATIONAL ACTION NETWORK: Good to be with you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: What do these numbers in all of these cities say, if
SHARPTON: It says where a lot of Americans are. And as you said, the
numbers are huge and I think they are diverse. One of the things that I
think is very telling is you have seen a lot of people from different races
and religions coming together, saying that we don‘t want to see an America
where we go back to states rights and profiling.
The other thing is they were all peaceful. I think that the fact that
you have those amounts of people coming together and no incidents says
something about the way people are serious about their cause, and that they
don‘t lose their heads as they state their case in a very passionate way.
SCHULTZ: If there‘s this many people out showing support for
immigration reform in this country, does it make sense, in your opinion,
for the administration to move away and maybe not do anything about it this
year? What do you think?
SHARPTON: I think the administration should call on the Congress to
move forward. I think that the Congress must move forward if these numbers
stay out there. Wednesday, we‘re continuing. I‘m going to Phoenix. We‘re
having a prayer vigil. There will be other efforts continuing to keep this
on the front burner.
We cannot allow the national government not to move, because if they
don‘t, then states like Arizona—now there‘s rumblings in Texas—the
states will come in using the excuse that there‘s no national move. There
must be a national move or there must be some state relief, particularly in
SCHULTZ: There is a legislative move taking place. We now have a
number of ten states that are looking at the laws that Arizona has passed.
And I see that Joe Arpaio today has announced that he‘s not going to run
for governor. What do you make of that?
SHARPTON: I think that he huffs and he puffs, but he can‘t blow the
house down. If he thought he had all of the support that he claims he‘s so
popular, he would go statewide. He‘s not. He‘s going to stay there. The
good news is he‘s not running for governor. The bad news is that he‘s
still sheriff there, and the round-ups and the raids will continue. And if
he‘s armed with any kind of state law similar to the law that‘s laid out
now, that—it could be very much a threat to the civil rights of the
people of this county.
SCHULTZ: Reverend Sharpton, do you have an opinion on a national I.D.
card? Has the National Action Network taken a position on this? What do
you personally think about it? This is in the Democratic proposal.
SHARPTON: We‘ve not, as an organization—National Action Network
hasn‘t taken a position. I‘m personally against I.D. cards. I don‘t
understand the rational. I will be taking it up with the network. I think
that, again, the Democrats cannot, in the name of trying to become non-
partisan, become other partisan. I think that we cannot give up
fundamental and basic rights for situations just to try to get a bill
passed, because then what are we doing if we cut off our nose despite our
SCHULTZ: Reverend Sharpton, always a pleasure. Great to have you
with us tonight.
SHARPTON: Thank you, Ed. Good seeing you.
SCHULTZ: You bet.
Now let‘s get some rapid response from our panel on these stories
tonight. The left doesn‘t like the idea of a national I.D. card, although
the Democrats are proposing it. The ACLU says the Senate Democrats
proposed immigration plan raises, quote, serious concerns about civil
Republican Senator John Ensign is being investigated by the FBI for
allegedly making pay-offs to cover up an extra-marital affair with a
staffer. Now, for the first time, a top Democrat is talking publicly about
Ensign resigning from the Senate.
And in a commencement speech at the University of Michigan over the
weekend, President Obama slammed the hateful, anti-government rhetoric that
is dominating conversations across this country.
With us tonight, syndicated radio talk show host Stephanie Miller and
talk show host from Las Vegas, Heidi Harris. Great to have both of you
Let‘s talk about, if we can, first, the national I.D. card. I‘ve got
to have an I.D. to get into this building. I‘ve got to swipe it to get in.
It‘s a security thing. Stephanie, why wouldn‘t we have that across the
STEPHANIE MILLER, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: You know, I don‘t know, Ed.
My liberal hair on the back of my neck stands up a little bit at this.
First we have, can I see your papers in Arizona. A national I.D. card, it
involves fingerprints. I thought this right wing Tea Bag crowd was all
about keeping the government out of our lives. I think we have to remember
this puts the government in all of our lives, more of us, you know, than is
now. I‘m just not sure that this is the right reaction to what happened in
SCHULTZ: Heidi, what do you think?
HEIDI HARRIS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I don‘t know about the right wing
Tea Bag crowd, but I have been against it all along. First of all, I think
it‘s a bad idea because it will give people a false sense of security.
There is no kind of I.D. that can you can come up with that somebody is not
going to find a way to counterfeit it, no possible way. So that‘s going to
make us all feel better about planes or cars, whatever. No, I‘m totally
opposed to it.
SCHULTZ: A top Democrat in the Senate has stepped up and made a
comment about Senator Ensign‘s issue out in Nevada. Here it is. Tom
Harkin says, “if it is true that indeed—he did make those payoffs, and
all of that kind of stuff, then I would think the honorable thing to do
would be to resign.” Heidi, what do you make of that? Is Senator Ensign
under any pressure other than this comment to step out of the Senate? And
do you think he will?
HARRIS: There are a lot of people who are calling for it. Not many
people have gone as far as Senator Harkin. Basically, he doesn‘t care as
much what I think as does what Mitch McConnell thinks. If he can‘t get
anything done for the state of Nevada, which is pretty much how it is now -
no one‘s really talking to him—then he might as well step down. Don‘t
worry. We‘ve got a lot of great GOP people that our governor can appoint
to replace him.
SCHULTZ: How are the folks in Nevada taking this, Heidi? You know,
being investigated by the FBI is not good.
HARRIS: No, it‘s a big deal. There‘s no question about it. My big
issue has not been, he cheated on his wife. I‘m not thrilled about that.
But there‘s a lot of that going on in Congress. We all know that. But the
problem is, if you work for me, then your zipper becomes my business. Now
we‘ve got all these distractions. We‘ve got this investigation.
Basically, you can‘t get anything done.
You know, Ed, as well as anybody, you have to be able to form
alliances, and get people to listen to you and work with you on
legislation. And if nobody will, because they perceive you as weak, then I
have lost representation in the Senate. So he‘s not effective for me
SCHULTZ: Stephanie, your thoughts on all of this tonight?
MILLER: Heidi, let me just say, your zipper and Ed‘s zipper and John
Ensign‘s s zipper really not any of my business. But it is our business
when—first of all, I want to know how you get your mommy and daddy to
pay of your mistress an their family. It‘s kind of laughable, like, oh, if
this happened. I think it‘s pretty s clear that it did. I think it‘s
pretty clear he needs to step down.
SCHULTZ: President Obama speaks in Ann Arbor over the weekend in the
Big House. Over 100,000 people are there. Here‘s what he said about some
of the anti-government rhetoric that‘s been taking place.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When our government is
spoken of as some menacing, threatening, foreign entity, it ignores the
fact that in our democracy, government is us. This kind of vilification
and over the top rhetoric closes the door to the possibility of compromise.
It undermines democratic deliberation.
It prevents learning. After all, why should we listen to a Fascist or
a socialist or a right wing or a left wing nut? It coarsens our culture.
At its worst, it can send signals to the most extreme elements of our
society that perhaps violence is a justifiable response.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: All three of us take phone calls from Americans every day.
We do radio shows. We have a lot of listeners. That is the first time I
have heard President Obama come out with such description on the rhetoric
that is taking place by both sides across the country. Stephanie, what do
you make of it?
MILLER: Here is my only problem with what he said, ED. He said, you
have to listen to both sides. If you‘re a Rush Limbaugh and a Glenn Beck
fan, then you need to sometimes read the “Huffington Post.” I think what
he meant to say is you need to listen to Ed Schultz and Stephanie Miller
once in a while.
SCHULTZ: I‘d have taken the promo myself. Heidi, the president was
very serious in that. He talked about debate, which—of course,
bipartisanship is hard to find in Washington these days. And it was kind
of the topic of conversation—of my conversations with people at the
White House Correspondence Dinner. And many people are really sick of the
environment. And now the president is addressing it. What about that?
HARRIS: I—personally, I read both sides every single day. I‘m
sure both of you do, also. But this is pretty funny coming from the guy
who crammed health care down our throat with no bipartisan support. Hmm,
what is he talking about?
MILLER: Please, he‘s got no bipartisan support on anything because
Republicans are the party of no. Thank God I spent so much time on
HeidiHarris.com, so I know everything there is to know about your side.
SCHULTZ: Stephanie and Heidi, good to have you with us tonight.
Thanks so much.
Coming up, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was exactly the most
wasn‘t exactly the most popular guy at the UN today. The US delegation
walked out on his speech. And one congressman is pushing to get him
arrested while he‘s on United States soil. That‘s in the Playbook next.
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And in my playbook tonight, the oil spill in the Gulf of
Mexico is becoming an environmental catastrophe for the United States‘
coastline. It will also wipe out a lot of small businesses across the Gulf
region. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has banned
commercial and recreational fishing for at least ten days in almost 7,000
square miles affected by the spill.
And it won‘t be just the fishermen that suffer. Recreational fishing
alone supports over 300,000 jobs in the Gulf Coast region, and contributes
41 billion dollars in economic activity.
Joining me now is Louie Miller, the Mississippi director of the Sierra
Club. Mr. Miller, good to have you with us tonight.
LOUIE MILLER, SIERRA CLUB MISSISSIPPI DIRECTOR: Good to be with you.
SCHULTZ: Give us a sense of what you think the ecological impact is
going to be because of this oil mishap in the Gulf?
MILLER: Ed, we‘re calling this America‘s Chernobyl. I don‘t think
I‘m over-estimating the impacts of this spill to the Gulf Coast region. We
have asked the Obama administration for a full military response to this
disaster. As with Katrina, the—the military was what stabilized the
situation, and it‘s obvious BP has been doing a deplorable job in trying to
contain this spill. We did fly-overs today and there‘s very little
activity out there, which is very disconcerting to us.
The economy here on the coast in Mississippi is just recovering from
Katrina. We‘re looking at economic impacts to the fishing industry, as you
outlined, sport fishing industry, the charter boat captains. We‘re looking
at impacts to the tourism industry. We are two weeks away from the
beginning of tourism season on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
This could not come at a worse time. For the spawning season for
fish, this could not come at a worse time. And for the rookeries, the
juvenile pelicans and other nesting birds, this could not come at a worse
time. This is a game change.
SCHULTZ: Mr. Miller, what do you want the military to do? You say
there‘s very little activity going on out there. What do you think could
MILLER: Number one, we‘ve got to cap that well. That is number one.
The commandant of the Coast Guard was here saying that if that riser pipe
sheers off, this could go to 100,000 barrels a day. We cannot afford to
wait any longer in taking some type of action. And the military is the
only people that I see that has the wherewithal to complete this job.
SCHULTZ: Well, I‘m told that the military doesn‘t have anything in
the neighborhood that would be able to handle something like this. This is
something that we‘ve never had to deal with before. And nobody knows how
to get down almost 6,000 feet to take care of this.
SCHULTZ: Do you think that this is going to ignite environmentalists
across the country? Is this the 11th hour for big oil? What do you think?
MILLER: I think this is a game changer, Ed. What we have—what
we‘re looking at right now is the debate over acceptable risk for offshore
oil drilling is over, in my opinion. We were lulled into the false sense
of security by the Sarah Palins and Newt Gingriches of this world, that
this would not happen.
SCHULTZ: No doubt.
MILLER: And the worst nightmare has now come home to roost.
SCHULTZ: Mr. Miller, good to have you with us tonight. Louie Miller,
who is the Mississippi director of the Sierra Club. We‘ll be talking more
about this on the show in the coming days and weeks, about the ecological,
the economic, and the environmental impacts that this is going to have.
It‘s a big one. Thank you, Mr. Miller. Appreciate your time.
A couple of final pages in my playbook tonight; Saturday night, my
wife and I were afforded the opportunity to visit, go to the 96th annual
White House Correspondence Dinner. Now, some people call this the nerd
prom. You know, wait a minute now. I brought and NFL quarterback. We as
the personalities here at MSNBC are allowed to invite a personality.
My son was playing golf one day. I said, how‘s it going. He said,
pretty good. I was playing golf with Tony Romo today. Ask him if he wants
to go to the White House Correspondents Dinner. I‘ve never been a huge
Cowboys fan, but I want to tell you, this guy is a class act and he
represented the Cowboys very well. I want to thank Tony Romo, the Dallas
Cowboys quarterback who was great with the crowd and his girlfriend,
Candace Crawford, who is a sports reporter down in the Dallas-Ft. Worth
area. They are great folks.
Tony, come on back next year, especially if you win the Super Bowl.
And Jay Leno headlined the event. And a lot of critics out there in
the blogosphere giving him a hard time. I think Jay Leno did a very fine
job. I thought the dinner was fantastic. He deserves a thumbs up. I‘m
not doing this because I‘m an MSNBC guy, he‘s an NBC guy. I thought he was
funny. Of course, I‘m from the Midwest, I‘m easy to entertain. Here‘s
something that deserves some credit.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAY LENO, “THE TONIGHT SHOW”: Sometimes the press can be one-sided.
As you mentioned, all during the election, they would ask things like is
Obama black enough? Is Obama too black. It‘s never the other way around.
Is John Boehner orange enough? Is he too orange? We never hear that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Any time you manage to take a shot at the tan man during the
White House Correspondents Dinner, you‘re OK in my book.
Finally, more seriously tonight, Iranian President Ahmadinejad visited
the United Nations in New York City here today. The Iranian president was
openly critical of the United States and our recent commitment to reduce
nuclear arms. During his speech, delegates from six countries, including
the United States, walked out of the room.
New York Congressman Steve Israel took it a step further. The
congressman from New York is calling for Ahmadinejad to be arrested and
tried for incitement to genocide, due to his 2005 comments when he called
for Israel to be wiped off the map.
Coming up, President Obama is not backing off his long-term plans to
drill, not yet. But even the righties are starting to fold. The
governator and a Florida drill baby drill flip-flopping like a fish, right
on the dock. That‘s coming up next on THE ED SHOW. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Finally tonight on THE ED SHOW, the drill baby drill crowd,
is it time for an attitude adjustment? Will we see a political sea change
in Washington when it comes to oil? Democratic strategist Steve McMahon
joins us tonight. Steve, what are the political fallouts of what we‘re
seeing in the Gulf?
STEVE MCMAHON, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I think that remains to be
seen, Ed. We don‘t know how it‘s going to turn out. I can tell you the
left is energized against any additional oil drilling at any point
anywhere. And the right, of course, is trying to make the response here
into Hurricane Katrina.
The truth of the matter is I think probably—fact of the matter is
you‘re going to have a president who looks at this rather soberly, who
obviously is aware that there were problems that need to be addressed
before any decisions are made about moving forward. But I think he‘s
pretty committed to moving forward with energy independence. And part of
that is offshore drilling.
SCHULTZ: How much oil can we actually get from offshore? There‘s
going to be a lot of experts flying around with numbers now. Isn‘t this
going to put real pressure on the Obama administration to reverse course on
this? What do you think?
MCMAHON: I think it is going to put real pressure on the Obama
administration to reverse course. And I think the left is going to be
energized and angry, which you area already starting to see. But I do
think the president is fairly committed to this course. The question about
how much is under the ocean is one I‘m not prepared—I‘m capable of
answering. But I think the Obama administration has made a judgment. And
the truth is, Ed, if you think about this in crass political terms, if the
left is squawking a little bit and the right is squawking a little bit, it
positions the administration in the middle, which is where they want to be
SCHULTZ: Well, Sarah Palin must has forgotten her Twitter password.
The biggest advocates of drilling have been ominously silent as of late.
Have you notice that?
MCMAHON: I have. It‘s a pretty scary thing. The numbers that
they‘re talking about spilling into the ocean are horrifying. It‘s a
cataclysmic catastrophe. There‘s no question about that. I think the
Obama administration will be very, very careful, and will insist on very
stringent safeguards before anybody does any more drilling. But I do think
that they are going to probably move forward with it, because they are
pretty committed to energy independence and they think this is an important
piece of it.
SCHULTZ: Politically popular for the Senate to move on this, with new
limits on liability and such stuff as that?
MCMAHON: I think that you‘re going to have all kinds of political
responses that will be one politician trying to out-do another with respect
to punishing and holding people responsible. The important thing is that
they get in there and they work as quickly as possible, and spare no
expense to get this cleaned up, because it is an ecological catastrophe.
SCHULTZ: Good to have you with us tonight, Steve. Thank you so much.
MCMAHON: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Tonight in our text survey, I asked you, do you believe BP
will really pick up the entire tab for the Gulf disaster? Ten percent of
you said yes; 90 percent of you said no. Thanks for watching. I‘m Ed
Schultz. We‘re back tomorrow night with THE ED SHOW. Chris Matthews is
next with “HARDBALL.” We‘ll see you.
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