Guests: Tyson Slocum, Raul Grijalva, Leo Gerard, Katrina Vanden Heuvel,
Sam Stein, Tony Blankley, Scott Paul, Reese Halter
ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans, and welcome to THE ED SHOW
tonight from New York.
These stories are hitting my hot buttons at this hour.
Big oil has federal regulators in its pockets. It‘s been that way for
years. It‘s been, let‘s see, drill first, get permission later.
Congressman Raul Grijalva tried in vain to sound the alarm about lax
regulation before the rig exploded. I‘ll talk to him in just a moment.
And this just in. The Associated Press is reporting that President
Obama plans to issue an executive order that calls for an independent
commission to investigate the spill.
Another big political story tonight, two sitting Democratic senators,
well, they could be looking for jobs tomorrow like a lot of other
Americans. That, of course, is if the progressive left has its way in
Arkansas and Pennsylvania. We are one day away from a primary, and the
numbers not looking real good for Blanche Lincoln and Arlen Specter at
Plus, 2008 presidential loser Rudy Giuliani, he‘s going to New
Hampshire. For what? Is he really going to run again? Bring him on.
We‘ll throw that at our panel at the bottom of the hour.
This is the story that still has the country focused, that still has me
fired up tonight. It‘s the old saying, follow the money.
Big business, and especially big oil, they basically get to do whatever
they want in our country because Washington is too weak or too crooked
to stop them. Now, according to “The New York Times,” the federal
Minerals Management Service gave permission to companies to drill in the
Gulf of Mexico without getting required permits. Nice deal, isn‘t it?
Big oil companies were allowed to drill, baby, drill, without getting
required permits because they carry, I guess you could say, a big stick.
Biologists and scientists, they all warned, but that didn‘t matter. It
didn‘t matter because you have got this thing called the almighty dollar
that oil goes after all the time.
Tonight, I‘m asking to put it in perspective this way. I want every
homeowner in America, just go out and start a new addition on your home.
Go build that deck that you‘ve always wanted. Pour a new driveway.
Heck, just put it across the neighbor‘s front yard and see how that
Start doing whatever you want to do. I mean, it‘s America. Who cares?
Who cares about permits? The oil people get to do whatever they want to
do all the time.
Now, I own a small construction company and I can just speak from
experience at a very, very low level. You know, we have to get permits
every time we do a job. This is how the real people work, right? And
I‘ve got to pay for that permit.
The government cares what E.A. Schultz is building, and it looks the
other way when BP wants to poke a hole in the ocean? Does that sound
Folks, this is really what America is talking about, a real injustice
here. You know, just take it from somebody that might be on the take.
Did I say that? Could somebody be on the take? Is somebody getting
cash-whipped on this deal?
I mean, I‘m just asking the questions.
It seems to me that President Obama needs to order the Justice
Department to audit everyone involved in permitting. It‘s real easy.
The IRS should just make sure these regulators are 100 percent clean.
Check the bank accounts.
They need to found out if there were any backdoor deals or any money
under the table for people involved. I mean, this whole thing stinks.
Does anyone in the Senate have any curiosity whatsoever when it comes to
the permitting process, or is this just big government screwing things
Some members of the Congress, they were pretty worried about an oil
spill like this back in February, and they raised the question. At the
time, they sent a letter to Elizabeth Birnbaum, the director of MMS.
And the letter states this: “In recent months”—this is the first
paragraph—“In recent months, we have heard disturbing reports
regarding British Petroleum‘s Atlantis platform in the Gulf of Mexico.
This platform, the largest oil and natural gas platform in the world,
may be operating without crucial engineering documents, which, if
absent, would increase the risk of a catastrophic accident that would
threaten not only the workers on the platform, but also the Gulf of
Mexico and the communities who depend on the resources it provides.”
It seems to me only a few people in the Congress got it. Now, this
letter was written back on February 24th. We were talking health care
back then. All of a sudden, this letter just slips out the back door.
Congressman Grijalva and 18 others sent this letter after a
whistleblower tipped them off that BP wasn‘t living up to the industry
or federal standards. Big oil companies, do they care about federal
standards? It‘s easier to line the pockets of politicians like Lisa
Murkowski or Mary Landrieu, isn‘t it?
The two biggest problems, if you think about it, the two biggest
problems this country has had over the last six months has been Wall
Street and big oil. Deregulation and the lack of oversight has led us
to the brink of financial ruin and potentially the greatest ecological
disaster our country has ever seen.
How do you feel about that?
This is the classic example of what I‘ve talked about many times on this
program about two Americas. Big business gets to do whatever it wants
to do, and they can just go buy off any anti-regulation politician they
want and they can get advocates in a hurry with some cash, can‘t they?
And the rest of us, well, we have to play by the rules, we have to go
get these stupid construction permits and pay a fee because we‘re not
big enough to do it the way the big boys do it.
I think this is the fundamental problem here. It continues to be the
classic example for Americans to pay attention to, all of us, that money
talks and BS walks. And the bigger you are, the bigger stick you can
And in it just seems to me that the Minerals Management Service would
have some friends in big oil. Can‘t we investigate that?
The president, tonight, is showing tremendous leadership by pointing an
independent commission to go find out exactly what‘s behind—what is
behind all of this. And all you have to do is follow the money.
Anybody getting cash-whipped? Anybody on the take? That‘s obvious. We
have agencies in place that can find that stuff out.
Get your cell phones out, folks. I want to know what you think about
all of this tonight.
Our text survey question tonight is: Do you believe big oil gets to
write their own rules when it comes to safety? Text “A” for yes and
text “B” for no to 622639. We‘ll bring you the results later on in the
Joining me now is Tyson Slocum. He‘s the director of Public Citizen‘s
Mr. Slocum, good to have you with us tonight.
I want your response to President Obama announcing an independent
commission tonight. What do you think?
TYSON SLOCUM, PUBLIC CITIZEN‘S ENERGY PROGRAM: Yes. I mean, that‘s a
There‘s no question that government has failed us, that we haven‘t had
enough independent, aggressive oversight over the powerful oil industry.
It‘s clear from mounting facts and evidence that BP is responsible for
this leak. And there might be negligence involved.
They ignored warnings. They overruled some of the contractors on the
scene. They knew there were problems with the blowout preventer. They
knew there were additional problems with the way they were trying to
plug the well. And BP, like it has in dozens of other cases,
prioritized expediency and its own short-term profit at the expense of
SCHULTZ: Now, what about the permitting process? I mean, it would seem
to me that this is the story.
I mean, if you allow oil companies to go wherever they want to go,
they‘re going to go. If you allow big companies to do whatever they
want to do, they‘re going to do. And all of the righties out there in
America who think the “Drill, baby, drill” crowd has got all of the
answers and can do no wrong, now look at what we‘re dealing with.
But isn‘t this the story, Mr. Slocum, the permitting process? Isn‘t
that where the devil‘s in the details?
SLOCUM: Yes, absolutely. And one of the problems with the Minerals
Management Service is that it‘s had these dual conflicting roles that
have translated into enormous operational problems.
On the one hand, the MMS is a cheerleader for oil drilling because they
are raising enormous federal revenues selling access to leases and then
collecting royalties. Not always doing a great job collecting
royalties, but that‘s what they‘re supposed to do.
So, at the same time they‘re supposed to be cheerleading for oil
drilling in order to earn that money, they then are expected to be a
tough regulator. And it hasn‘t helped that a number of members of
Congress over the years have come down hard on MMS, telling them that
they need to back off and let oil companies do the thing, let the
wonders of the free market prevail. And now we‘re all paying the price,
and that‘s why Public Citizen has spearheaded a boycott BP campaign at
SCHULTZ: You want to—whoa, whoa, whoa. You want to boycott BP?
SLOCUM: Yes, because government has failed us, inadequately overseeing
BP and other oil companies. It‘s clear that BP has the worst track
record in America of protecting its workers, of protecting the
environment. They‘re responsible for this spill.
We‘ve had it. And so at BeyondBP.com, we‘re asking people to sign a
pledge not to support BP or buy any BP gas.
And I think we need to send a message to this company that has carefully
created this mirage of an image that it‘s Beyond Petroleum. It‘s not.
It is an oil and gas company the Department of Justice—remember, BP
was under a criminal probation when this accident occurred after they
pled guilty in 2007 to two environmental felonies, one related to the
big oil spill in Alaska, and the other to the Texas City refinery that
killed 15 workers.
SCHULTZ: I‘m not sure the boycott‘s going to do anything. I think
there will be some Americans that are obviously going to respond to
But the whole issue here is how the permitting process works. And if we
can‘t get to the bottom of that, we may never solve any of this. We‘re
not going to stop the next disaster if we can‘t figure out exactly why
we allow companies to do what they do.
Tyson, good to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much.
SLOCUM: Great to be here.
SCHULTZ: You bet.
SCHULTZ: Arizona Congressman Grijalva joins me now. He‘s a member of
the House Committee on Natural Resources.
Congressman, why did you sound the alarm with a letter and 18 other
members of Congress? What brought you to believe that there could be
some catastrophic event?
REP. RAUL GRIJALVA (D), NATURAL RESOURCES COMMITTEE: Well, I think that
the two factors is, is that, instinctively, you believe some of the
allegations. They haven‘t been really investigated. So our request was
to look at it, number one, and asked the Minerals Management Service to
look at it.
Number two, there has been a cozy relationship that‘s been developed
between this agency and the industry now over nine to 10 years. And
that relationship has turned into, quite frankly, a processing system
for oil to get their leases, to get their permits without the
environmental analysis, without the full safety analysis that needs to
go into this. And so there was, quite obviously, on my part and the
members that signed it a suspicion that this was not up to the
regulatory standards that we demanded of offshore drilling.
SCHULTZ: So you had a whistleblower come to you back in February. And,
of course, the country was focused on health care back then. We‘re on
the verge of getting that done.
So, a whistleblower comes forward. You get together with some of your
congressional members and you write this letter, and the response letter
I saw really didn‘t say much other than we‘ll just look into it, which
also plays into your comment about they had a cozy relationship.
Did you think anything was going to come of your letter? And then this
disaster takes place.
GRIJALVA: No. We thought we were going to have to push it and push it
and make additional demands. But with this whole “Drill, baby, drill”
mantra that was going on in the country, energy independence, let‘s not
buy oil from our enemies, all that was going on, Palin‘s running all
over the country saying, “Drill, baby, drill.”
The administration, to some extent, is falling into that line. Not as
aggressively, but falling into that line. And so, we thought we were
going to have to really push hard.
Then this horrible catastrophe happens, which I think has given impetus
to the idea, take a step back, maybe it‘s time for “Still, baby, still.”
Let‘s not do anything until we know exactly how this permitting process
-- and I think you hit the nail on the head—how it works, what the
I think the secretary, by dividing enforcement and inspection in that
agency, has taken a full step forward. But the reform there has got to
We‘re talking about people that work there. We‘re talking about Bush
appointees that have been running this agency now for eight years.
We‘re talking about a track record. We‘re talking about investigations
that have shown this service doesn‘t do its job.
SCHULTZ: Well, let‘s be completely fair about this. This is an Obama
problem as well.
I mean, these permits were also given out under President Obama. Now, I
know he‘s had a lot on his plate and it‘s not—you know, the buck
stops on the front desk, no question about it. But we, as a country,
our system has failed to allow corporations to go do whatever they want
because every construction manager in this country would love to do
business without a permit, but they can‘t get away with it, can they?
GRIJALVA: Absolutely. And I think, you know, 26 of the categorical
exclusions granted after what happened at Horizon have been granted by
SCHULTZ: Yes. A quick response—a quick response, Congressman.
We‘re short on time.
The president ordering an executive order, independent commission
tonight. Is that going to do it? What do you think?
GRIJALVA: I think it‘s a step, but I think the critical part, you know,
Congress has to quit kowtowing to the industry. They have to step up,
act like Congress, act like they have oversight, and demand not only of
the administration, but protect the taxpayers. And we have not done
that, and that is what really is the test of this issue, will Congress
do its job?
SCHULTZ: I hope so. Congressman, great to have you with us tonight.
GRIJALVA: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: The pictures are absolutely gut-wrenching that‘s coming out of
the Gulf. We‘ll talk more about the ecological effect later on in the
Coming up, the “Psycho Talk” dream team? Hey, they got a road show.
They‘re on the road this weekend. “Caribou Barbie” and “The Beckster”
shot their mouths off about guns.
OK. I‘ll straighten them out.
Joe Sestak and Arlen Specter throw their final blows in the Pennsylvania
primary. This could be a defining moment for the Dems. Katrina vanden
Heuvel breaks it down at the bottom of the hour.
And “Rotten Rudy.” Is he staging a comeback?
“The Newtster” is going nuts, and “The Maverick” takes on Darth Vader.
It‘s all coming up.
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW, and thanks for watching tonight.
The company in charge of the Upper Big Branch mine where 29 miners died
in an explosion last month is facing a federal criminal investigation.
The Justice Department has confirmed that the FBI is investigating the
mine‘s operator. The name of the company is Performance Coal, which is
a subsidiary of Massey Energy. They are looking into alleged safety
violations going back to 2007.
Joining me now is president of United Steelworkers of America, Mr. Leo
Mr. Gerard, good to have you with us tonight.
This is coming out of an office of a U.S. attorney in the southern
portion of West Virginia, where coal is king.
This is a brave move, is it not?
LEO GERARD, PRESIDENT, UNITED STEELWORKERS OF AMERICA: I think it‘s a
courageous move, but it‘s also the right move.
The reality of this is that there‘s no mining company that can justify
1,300 violations of the rules. As I‘ve said for a long time now, the
key to this is, in addition to the 1,300 violations, is how much cubic
foot per minute of air was going into that mine? And if that mine
should have had, as an example, 200,000 cubic feet, and it was getting
30,000 cubic feet of air per minute, that‘s a disaster waiting to
And I‘m very pleased that this first step that the U.S. attorney is
taking to investigate this, and the FBI—because I truly believe that
this has to be made an example of.
SCHULTZ: Do you think they will find willful, criminal activity?
GERARD: I think one of the things they‘ll find is that there was an
ongoing set of violations, and the company and its CEO were prepared to
play catch me if you can. And there would be violations, and they would
appeal them and they would appeal them. They were willing to let these
violations sit while they appealed them. I think that‘s taking a risk
with people‘s lives, and I think in the view of a lot of people, that
should be criminal neglect.
SCHULTZ: Mr. Gerard, what to you make of the Department of Justice
asking the Labor Department to delay pursuit of civil cases against the
GERARD: Well, I think that that—I want to make sure that I split
that in two. If we‘re talking about slowing down the investigation by
MSHA and the federal authorities on the health and safety side, I think
that‘s wrong. And I think we have to continue and we have to push for a
meaningful investigation of the occupation health and safety
circumstances through MSHA.
If it means not yet filing the civil suit and civil claims until we see
whether there‘s a criminal case there, I think that that makes perfect
sense. I don‘t want this to stop at the subsidiary and try to hide
behind the subsidiary.
SCHULTZ: Which is Performance Coal. You want it to go all the way to
GERARD: I think this goes all the way to Massey, and it goes all the
way to the CEO, Mr. Blankenship, who has said that regulations were
ridiculous, that he didn‘t violate the law, it‘s his right to appeal.
You have got the e-mails and the messages about “run coal, ignore that
I think it‘s got to go all the way to him. And we can‘t let him pass
that down to some other person.
SCHULTZ: Well, this is a first big step in an injustice situation in
America for American workers.
Mr. Gerard, good to have you with us tonight.
GERARD: Thank you very much, Ed.
And let me just say that, I don‘t want to just leave this at the coal
industry, because that‘s what we‘re dealing with. But we just got word
today, just before I came on your show, that there was another explosion
in the petroleum industry. We‘ve been averaging one fire or one
explosion a week for the last six weeks.
This is the results of years and years of neglect on occupation health
and safety. And not only do we need more investigation, we need the
rights to stop working when things are unsafe so people keep dying on
SCHULTZ: Yes. Mr. Gerard, good to have you with us. Thanks so much.
GERARD: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, it was a “Psycho Talk” weekend. “The Beckster”
cried all over himself, and Sarah “Barracuda” was loaded for bear.
They‘re in the “Zone,” next.
SCHULTZ: And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, I guess you could say it was an
Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, they had quite a weekend show. The psycho
siblings both spoke at the NRA convention in Charlotte, North Carolina,
and they were locked and loaded with fear-mongering and conspiracy
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH PALIN ®, FMR. ALASKAN GOVERNOR: President Obama and his allies
like Nancy Pelosi have been relatively quiet on the gun control front.
They‘re afraid of the political consequences. Don‘t doubt for a minute
that if they thought they could get away with it, they would ban guns
and ban ammunition and gut the Second Amendment.
GLENN BECK, FOX NEWS: Look at the people that we have running our
country. They are Marxist revolutionaries.
PALIN: Wait until you hear about the anti-hunting groups that have
targeted Alaska. They‘re in our state. They‘re coming to your state
BECK: Let‘s talk a minute about a well-regulated militia and why you
might need one because the government isn‘t doing their job.
PALIN: Our rights hang in the balance, and we have to fight for them
BECK: Not one more bill, not one more dollar, not one more right will
they take from us. Not today. Not ever.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: What rights are being taken away? Beck didn‘t do his homework
Let me remind you that President Obama got an “F” from the Brady
campaign to prevent gun violence. Also, Beck and Palin act like the NRA
should just be taking over the country. But only about five percent of
all gun owners in America actually are joined in that righty
And there were some more fireworks from “Beckster” this weekend. He
showed us a softer side of “Psycho Talk” during a commencement address
at Liberty University.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BECK: As a man who was never able to go to college—I went for one
semester, but I couldn‘t afford any more than that—“I am that I am”
is the most powerful phrase in any language. Read the scriptures every
day, because they are alive.
Someone you meet today is afraid or suffering. Find them. Find them
every day and comfort them. Shoot to kill.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Ah, what a proud moment. I bet Jerry Fallwell is in heaven
just loving that kind of talk, “Shoot to kill.”
“The Beckster” can‘t stay away from gun rhetoric at a graduation speech.
And even the snippets of decent advice that he had were undermined by
his infamous crocodile tears. Doesn‘t it move you?
If you understood any of the nonsense coming out of Beck and Palin this
weekend, you may want to do some serious soul-searching, because it was
just a whole lot of “Psycho Talk.”
Coming up, incumbent senators Arlen Specter and Blanche Lincoln are on
the run. The anti-Washington sentiment is surging. Katrina vanden
Heuvel will make her predictions for tomorrow‘s election.
And someone needs to bench “The Newtster.” I think I‘ll do it.
And I‘m going to go cross country with my book tour. We‘ll tell you all
about it. That‘s coming up in the “Playbook.”
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. The Battleground story
tonight, two sitting senators could find themselves on the wrong side of
a left hook in tomorrow‘s Democratic primaries. The liberal base is
showing its power in Arkansas and Pennsylvania, where a couple of long-
shot challengers have senators Blanche Lincoln and Arlen Specter on the
run. Joe Sestak has surged to the top of the latest poll in
Pennsylvania. Quinnipiac has Sestak at 42 percent, Specter at 41
percent, with a big number, 16 percent, undecided.
So how does it play?
No poll has shown Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter of Arkansas
beating Senator Blanche Lincoln in Arkansas. The latest Daily
Kos/Research 2000 poll has Lincoln at 46 percent, Halter at 37. But
again, double digit undecided at 11. But unless Lincoln gets 50 percent
tomorrow night, this race is going to a runoff. That could favor
Halter, whose progressive supporters are fired up to knock out the
What‘s interesting about these races is that the White House is
backing both Lincoln and Specter, although the president has kept his
distance as the races have gotten tighter. The progressive base got
this president elected, but this proves that they are not taking their
marching orders from President Obama. A lot of independent thinkers out
there that want this country to move further to the left and be more
For more on that, let‘s go to Katrina Vanden Heuvel, editor of “The
Nation.” Katrina, great to have you with us tonight.
KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL, “THE NATION”: Thank you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: I wanted to know how you call this, how you see this. Is
this possibly a liberal surge, a progressive movement? The sleeping
dog in the corner, let a sleeping dog lie? All of a sudden gets kicked
and comes out and gets after it, and unseats a couple of longtime
senators? What do you think?
VANDEN HEUVEL: A lot going on there, Ed. Don‘t like to make
predictions. Not in the horse race business. But, whatever happens,
what we‘ve seen in these two primaries, progressive forces surging and
amassing their strength. A million dollars raised in 36 hours in
Arkansas for Bill Halter. In Pennsylvania, a move to support a more
progressive candidate. And what it shows is that you have with SEIU,
with MoveOn, with Democracy for America, with a number of other groups,
the possibility of holding candidates who have pledged allegiance like
Blanche Lincoln to a more pro-corporate agenda—holding them
accountable for a more progressive agenda.
That what is primaries are valuable for, because, in the end, Ed,
I‘m not sure it‘s left versus right. It‘s working families, working
people of America versus Wall Street. And these progressive forces
provide a counter weight, incentives to Democrats to not get into D.C.,
into the corridors of power, and sell out. I think that is critical.
SCHULTZ: So insiders out, outsiders in. Just give me something
different. Is that where America is right now? What do you think?
VANDEN HEUVEL: You know, Ed, this is such a volatile, turbulent
time. Enormous economic pain in the country. What‘s dangerous about
that is that can move in a rightward extremist direction or it can move
in a productive way. We know today in Washington you had coalition of
community, religious, union, economic justice groups mobilizing against
-- with the real focus of anger should be in this country against Wall
Street, against rapacious lending.
I think that‘s what these primaries are showing. I think the media
you‘re not in this game, but the over-playing of the Tea Partiers as
the only establishment force in this country—there‘s a progressive,
anti-establishment force that wants to build on the strengths of this
country and fight the big oil, fight the big insurance money, fight Wall
Street, and build a country in which ordinary people‘s voices can be
heard above the din of big money.
SCHULTZ: What do you think of Pennsylvania? Here you have Joe
Sestak, highest ranking military man ever elected to the Congress,
three-star admiral. Has a good record with AFL-CIO, voting record. Was
for a very strong health care bill. Has been a very strong voice about
what we‘re doing wrong in Afghanistan. He‘s up against the president,
the vice president and the governor of Pennsylvania. And he‘s close.
What does that tell you about administration?
VANDEN HEUVEL: It tells you about the turbulence of these times.
It tells you, Ed—I remember during the Ned Lamont versus Joe
Lieberman race in Connecticut—I believe there have been only four
candidates—four incumbents who have been knocked off in the last 20
years. It shows the strength of a candidate who has poured his heart
and soul into this race and has mobilized the ground forces of a
progressive community, and also the sense of conviction, a sense that in
Joe Sestak you have a man who hasn‘t switched parties to save his job,
one job, as Sestak says of specter. And I think that‘s important.
I don‘t think—curiously, Ed, I think you have to play it as it
is. I think Specter on Afghanistan is more true in terms of the real
criticism. I think this is a very important moment for progressive
forces to show that they can organize, even in conservative America,
make a difference, because that‘s what we need to do in these coming
months and years to reshape a more progressive Democratic party.
SCHULTZ: Katrina, a pleasure. Thanks so much. A reminder to our
audience, we‘re going to be broadcasting from Philadelphia here on “THE
ED SHOW” along also with “HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews.
Now let‘s get some rapid fire response from our panel on these
stories. Newt Gingrich slams Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan as anti-
military, and says President Obama should withdraw her nomination?
Sarah Palin stumps with Arizona Governor Jan Brewer. She says
we‘re all Arizonans, and claims we‘re all safer because Arizona is
racially profiling people? Did she say that?
And former New York City Mayor and 2008 Republican loser Rudy
Giuliani may be sniffing around for another presidential bid, 2012.
“Politico” reporting he‘s headed to New Hampshire next month. Who
knows, maybe he‘ll move there.
With us tonight, Sam Stein, political reporter, “Huffington Post,”
and Tony Blankley, nationally syndicated columnist.
Gentlemen, good to have you with us tonight. What do you make of
Newt Gingrich, Mr. Blankley, going after the Supreme Court nominee?
This seems to be one of the big talking points out there, that she‘s
anti-military. What do you make of it?
TONY BLANKLEY, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Look, at this point, both
sides are going to be roughing up and defending the nominee. She‘s got
a number of vulnerabilities. One of them is her position on the
military. She also, just as a lawyer, was hard to accuse the military
of Don‘t Ask/Don‘t Tell, when it was, in fact, a Democratic Congress and
a Democratic president that enacted that procedure—rule, and the
military simply obeyed orders.
I think the tougher issue against her is going to be her First
Amendment position. She has shown a very crabbed view of First
Amendment rights. And I think that as this discussion extends over the
next month or two, she‘s going to show more vulnerability on that issue.
SCHULTZ: Here‘s Newt Gingrich saying the Kagan nomination should
be withdrawn by the president. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: What do you think of the
nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court?
NEWT GINGRICH, FMR. HOUSE SPEAKER: I think the president should
withdraw it. I think—you don‘t need a whole lot of hearings. The
very fact that she led the effort, which was repudiated unanimously by
the Supreme Court, to block the American military from Harvard Law
School—we‘re in two wars. I see no reason why you would appoint an
anti-military Supreme Court justice, or why the Senate would confirm an
anti-military Supreme Court justice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Sam Stein, is this their best talking point? What do you
SAM STEIN, “THE HUFFINGTON POST”: I mean, this is all theater,
right? This is silly. Obviously, Elena Kagan isn‘t anti-military.
There‘s plenty of supporters who say she‘s The fact of the matter is
that a lot of her Republican supporters like her take on executive power
I think Newt Gingrich is trying to make headlines. Remember, he
was the person who called Sonya Sotomayor a racist very early on in her
hearings. The fact that we don‘t need hearings, we should just dismiss
the nomination is silly. Of course we need hearings. We need to find
out more about her. That‘s why liberals are a little bit hesitant to
support her. There‘s not enough known out there. Certainly not enough
to say she should be withdrawn from consideration. That‘s crazy.
SCHULTZ: Let‘s go to the Sarah Palin story. She, of course, is
out stumping everywhere she possibly can to sell books and do the face
work as much as possible. Here she is talking about President Obama in
Arizona and securing the borders.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH PALIN, FMR. GOVERNOR OF ALASKA: It‘s time for Americans
across this great country and stand up and say we‘re all Arizonans now.
And in clear unity we say, Mr. President, do your job, secure our
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Tony, she goes on to say that we‘re all Americans and
claims that we‘re safer because Arizona is racially profiling. What do
you make of that?
BLANKLEY: First of all, I think her statement about we‘re all
Arizonans now obviously is catching what Jack Kennedy said about the
Berliners during the Cold War, when we‘re all Berliners now. So a nice
little bit of historic allusion there.
Look, the Arizona law is popular around the country between 65
percent and 75 percent of the public overall. Even 27 percent of
Hispanics are in favor of it. It‘s not a profile law. I think that
she‘s making good points there, and I‘ve noticed that the opposition to
it have sort of quieted down once they saw the big polling numbers come
SCHULTZ: What about that, Sam?
STEIN: Well, I mean, I think, you know, the reason Sarah Palin was
called in shows that there is some concern over how this law is being
perceived, poll numbers notwithstanding. You had Karl Rove, for
instance, come out early on and say that he was a little bit troubled by
the politics of the law, obviously cognizant that maybe there are some
Hispanics who don‘t like the idea that they might be profiled.
I think there is a divide within the Republican party. And the
notion that the Obama administration has failed to act on the
immigration reform front is also silly, because it was under the Bush
administration that comprehensive reform failed. If you ask Lindsey
Graham right now if he‘ll approach an immigration compromise, he‘ll say
SCHULTZ: Tony, finally, is Rudy Giuliani a serious candidate?
Could he mount the charge? What‘s he going to New Hampshire for?
BLANKLEY: I do not believe he‘s a serious candidate. He ran last
time. He spent more money and got less delegates than anybody. His
strategy was another failure. He went in with high numbers and went out
with low numbers. I can‘t imagine—look, I mean, Republicans don‘t
have any huge, formidable likely winner. So I‘m sure it‘s attractive
for a lot of people.
My guess is just keeping in the public eye. I don‘t think he‘s
going to be the nominee.
STEIN: I think that hits it on the head, keeping in the public
eye. We‘re talking about someone who‘s going to be 66 later this month.
You know, not a spring chicken, but certainly not too old. He‘s moved
away from the issue that defined him—sorry, the political landscape
moved away from the issue that defined him, which is terrorism. Right
now it‘s all about jobs. I think Rudy just wants to be in the public
eye, talked about.
SCHULTZ: Sam Stein, good to have you with us. Tony Blankley, I
got to say, that‘s the most honest conservative answer I‘ve ever heard
about Rudy Giuliani. Good to have you with us tonight.
Coming up, protesters swarmed K Street today with a clear message
to lobbyists. It‘s the middle class that‘s really too big to fail. I‘m
demanding some loyalty from and for our workers. That‘s coming up in
Plus, the righties are silent, dreadfully silent after GM posts its
first profit in three years. Come on, let‘s cheer for the home team,
righties. That‘s next on THE ED SHOW. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: In my Playbook tonight, hundreds of Americans were out in
the rain in Washington, D.C., today to protest the dominance of Wall
Street banks and the outsourcing of manufacturing jobs. But their
frustrations may fall on deaf ears. Wall Street favors outsourcing
because it makes them richer. That‘s the bottom line. There‘s no
loyalty to the middle class in this country anymore.
Here‘s a perfect example. A professor at MIT has invested a car
battery that lets him get 100 miles per gallon in his hybrid vehicle.
He made this battery. You see, the battery isn‘t widely available.
Part of the problem is folks on Wall Street are refusing to invest in
For more, Scott Paul, the executive director of the Alliance for
American Manufacturing. Mr. Paul, good to have you on tonight. This
SCOTT PAUL, ALLIANCE FOR AMERICAN MANUFACTURING: Good to be with you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: This company could not get the money that it needed after
American ingenuity, American dream -- I mean, what are we up against
PAUL: You know, it is a crime because Wall Street is not betting
on American manufacturing. They‘re putting money in China as fast as
they‘re getting it from U.S. taxpayers, after being bailed out. It‘s a
ponzi scheme. Taxpayers are going to lose again. We‘re going to lose
more jobs. Our manufacturing base is going to decline precipitously.
And Goldman Sachs is investing 100 million dollars in China‘s Solar
Valley, which is their equivalent of our Silicon Valley. Meanwhile,
folks like A 1-2-3 and other start-ups in clean energy have to beg and
plead to get any sort of financing. And even Fortune 500 companies that
want to manufacture here have a hard time getting the financing from
SCHULTZ: It‘s all because you can take that idea, take it over to
China, where—Asia, of course, has almost all of the world‘s battery
industry as it is right now. We can‘t have that in America. That‘s
basically what this story is.
PAUL: That‘s right, Ed. We lost our battery manufacturing. We
invented the cell phone, along with, you know, nuclear power and all
these other things that we‘ve just shipped overseas. And now we have to
build our battery industry from the ground up. So it‘s much cheaper to
do it in Asia, you know, in South Korea and China and Japan, where they
have battery industries, than it is in the United States.
But the real value added to clean energy manufacturing in the
United States is that it‘s going to create jobs here. It‘s going to
help the planet. It‘s going to make us more efficient. We don‘t want
to be trading foreign oil for a made in China clean energy economy.
That‘s a big mistake.
SCHULTZ: They are going to be opening up a factory in Michigan
this June with funds from the Obama stimulus package, which tells us
what? We got to do more of this stuff. We got to legislatively do it
to circumvent Wall Street, because the private money isn‘t backing it
PAUL: That‘s exactly right. We did that in the 1980s with the
semiconductor agency and were able to keep that around. The only
capital is this public investment. It‘s going to be very helpful. The
Obama administration has made a big investment in clean energy
manufacturing. It needs to do a lot more, needs to be more than a
stimulus. It needs to be a long-term prospect. Otherwise we‘re going
to lose the innovation, lose the manufacturing. And we‘re going to see
very little of this new economy made in America.
SCHULTZ: Scott Paul, good to have you with us tonight. Thanks so
Couple final pages in the Playbook tonight, starting with my new
book, which is coming out June 1st, “Killer Politics.”
We have a series of town hall meetings and book signings all
planned. You can go to my website at WeGotEd for the entire schedule.
I hope you can joins us in these cities. “Killer Politics; How Big
Money and Bad Politics Are Destroying the Great American Middle Class.”
We start our American workers tour June 2nd in Chicago, then on to
Madison, Wisconsin, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Seattle, Washington,
Portland, Oregon, and Denver, Colorado, and, of course, we‘ll have an
event here in New York. It‘s all on the website at WeGotEd.com.
Some good news out of Detroit. For the first time in three years,
General Motors posted a profit. GM earned 865 million dollars in the
first three months of the year. GM‘s CEO said he hopes to pay back—
did you hear that righties—pay back the entire government loan of 50
billion dollars in the near future.
Also, John McCain is fighting for his political future in Arizona.
Two of the campaign managers, well, they left him today. The news comes
a week after McCain took a major heat from releasing his now-famous,
quote, “finish the dang fence” TV ad. He was ripped on everything from
reversing course, to bad acting, to using the wrong sheriff. But now
the mocking hits a new level. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN ®, ARIZONA: Drug and human smuggling, home
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We‘re out manned. Of all the illegals in
America, more than half come through Arizona.
MCCAIN: Have we got the right plan?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Plan‘s perfect. Bring troops, county and local
law enforcement together.
MCCAIN: And complete the dang fence.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It will work this time. Senator, you‘re one of
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Uh no comment.
Coming up, the oil in the Gulf is headed toward the Florida Key and
may make its way up the East Coast. That‘s next. Say with us.
SCHULTZ: Finally tonight on THE ED SHOW, the oil spill in the Gulf
is partly contained, but major damage has been done and there‘s more to
come. Scientists say the oil is now caught—now caught in the loop
current that carries the water to the Florida Keys and up the Eastern
Seaboard. This map from MSNBC.com shows the oil is already sloshing
around the outer islands of Louisiana, and is probably fewer than 75
miles away from Biloxi, Mississippi.
There are multiple plumes of oil floating around, including one
that is ten miles long and three miles wide, just like Manhattan.
Joining me now is Reese Halter, conservation biologist, California
Lutheran University. Professor, the governor of Mississippi, Haley
Barbour, says that it‘s nothing like the Exxon Valdez. And when it‘s
talking about economic impact he says “it‘s just as possible that what
happens here will be manageable and moderate and even minimal impact.”
What do you make of that?
REESE HALTER, CONSERVATION BIOLOGIST: Good evening, Ed. This is
an ecological global disaster. The fishermen—
HALTER: Global. The fishermen around the globe will feel the
bite. If you eat fish, like I do, we‘re going to be eating little bits
of poison. How do you like that?
SCHULTZ: That is your conclusion, scientifically, that this is
going to have a global affect, what we‘re seeing right now?
HATLER: Absolutely. Once it enters the Atlantic, it‘s then bound
to the Sargosas Sea, and on to western Europe. This is—this is
SCHULTZ: What do you say to the Shrimpers, to the clambers, the
fishermen on the East Coast? Get ready?
HALTER: Yeah, but, you know—yes, get ready. You know, there‘s
got to be a silver lining to this oil slick, and there is. The people -
we the people are taking our power back. The people of the Gulf
states, the moms, the dads, the schoolchildren, the teachers, are
shoulder to shoulder right now, Ed, and they‘re stuffing hundreds of
thousands of pounds of human and pet hair into nylons, and sausage-like
SCHULTZ: Do you think that will work?
HALTER: Yeah, man. And it‘s going to help protect our beaches,
our deltas, and our mangrove forests. We‘ve got to do something.
SCHULTZ: Dr. Halter, good to have you with us tonight. Thanks so
HALTER: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: In our text survey question tonight, I asked you, do you
believe big oil gets to write their own rules when it comes to safety?
Ninety four percent of you said yes; six percent of you said no.
That‘s THE ED SHOW. I‘m Ed Schultz. Thanks for joining us. Join
us tomorrow night from Philadelphia for the big primary coverage.
“HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews starts right now on the place for
politics, MSNBC. Good to be back with you. Thanks to Lawrence
O‘Donnell for doing the show on Thursday and Friday. See you tomorrow
night in Philadelphia.
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