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'The Ed Show' for Monday, May 24, 2010

Read the transcript to the Monday show

Guests: Thad Allen, Billy Nungesser, Byron Dorgan, Bill Halter, Maria Teresa Kumar, Ron Christie, Sam Stein, Katrina Vanden Heuvel, Bill Press

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. 

Republicans hate big government, don‘t they?  Except when it helps

them politically.  Now a Republican senator is suggesting President Obama

should become an oil czar. 

Supporters of Arizona‘s new anti-immigration law claim it‘s not

racially motivated.  Now the state is going to go after teachers who have


And RNC Chair Michael Steele refuses to condemn Rand Paul‘s comments

criticizing the Civil Rights Act. 

Those stories coming up, but this is the story that‘s hitting my hot

button tonight and has got me fired up.

It‘s day 35, and there is no solution and there‘s no end in sight. 

The BP oil spill, the way it goes politically, is this potentially could be

President Obama‘s Waterloo, because as the nation gets more frustrated,

most Americans believe they simply are not getting the truth and the whole


Asking the American people to trust BP is a rather tall order, don‘t

you think?  And now there is a senator who was quoting an actual number

when it comes to payback. 

At a press conference today, Senator Mary Landrieu guaranteed payment? 


SEN. MARY LANDRIEU (D), LOUISIANA:  If you made $50,000 last year and

you can‘t work this year, BP is going to write you a check for $50,000.  If

your business made $1 million last year and you can‘t make that million

dollars this year, BP is going to make your business whole. 


SCHULTZ:  That‘s the most definite thing we‘ve heard so far.  But what

a shocker, that the senator that took hundreds of thousands of dollars from

the oil industry is now speaking for their restitution? 

I don‘t know where she got those numbers, because we checked with the

White House twice today, and they could not confirm that. 

Governor Jindal, governor of Louisiana, is now calling for more

federal help. 


GOV. BOBBY JINDAL ®, LOUISIANA:  It is clear we don‘t have the

resources we need to protect our coast.  We need more boom, more skimmers,

more vacuums, more jack-up barges that are still in short supply.  And

let‘s be clear.  Every day that this oil sits and waits for cleanup is one

more day that more of our marsh dies. 


SCHULTZ:  More, more, more.  So, all of a sudden, the Republicans love

government, what government can do for them. 

And so does Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee. 


SEN. LAMAR ALEXANDER ®, TENNESSEE:  There‘s one thing they could do

under the law.  They can fire BP and take it over.  But the truth is, the

federal government probably doesn‘t have the capacity to do that. 

BOB SCHIEFFER, “FACE THE NATION”:  Would you favor taking over BP if

that became necessary? 

ALEXANDER:  Sure.  That‘s up to the president to decide.  Under the

law, we know who pays.  That‘s BP.  They‘re the responsible party. 

And we know who‘s managing the federal effort.  That‘s the Coast


But under the law, the federal government can take it over if they

choose.  And I understand why they might not choose, but that option



SCHULTZ:  Hmm.  Did he say “sure”?  I thought I heard him say “sure”

in that answer. 

Government takeover.  Now it‘s up to the president to fix it all,

isn‘t it?  Government takeover. 

Isn‘t this the crowd that didn‘t want a government takeover of health

care, but now that it‘s at their shores, oh, it‘s the federal government,

come on in.  We need more this, more this, more this, more this. 

I‘ll tell you what we need, is the truth.  And there is no trust in

this environment right now. 

An interview coming up in a moment might shock you. 

Get your cell phones out, folks.  I want to how you feel about this


Tonight‘s text survey question is: Do you think the White House should

take full control of the BP oil disaster?  Text “A” for yes, text “B” for

no to 622639.  I‘ll bring you the results later on in the show. 

Earlier today, I spoke with Coast Guard Commandant Thad Allen. 


SCHULTZ:  Admiral Allen, good to have you with us tonight.  I

appreciate your time. 


SCHULTZ:  Why does the head of the Coast Guard trust British

Petroleum?  What have they done to earn your trust?  You‘ve been quoted as

saying that you do trust the CEO. 

ALLEN:  Well, I think it‘s important to understand the relationship we

have in trying to solve this problem, especially as it relates to the oil

leaking in the sea floor.  We have no access down there other than

remotely-operated vehicles, and all the technology, the capability and the

capacity to fix this problem lies in the hands of the private sector. 

This necessarily has to be a collaboration, but one in which BP is

responsible for their actions and what they‘re supposed to do, and

accountable to us.  And we‘re accountable to the American people. 

If you can‘t do that without some credibility between the two parties,

you‘re not going to be successful.  So you can characterize this as trust,

collegiality, whatever you want.  My job is to make sure that BP

understands what they‘re supposed to do and are held accountable to do

that.  And to do that, we have to have frank, open, honest communications,

and that‘s what I was talking about. 

SCHULTZ:  Well, there have been confusing statements that have been

made between the COO and the CEO of that company.  The COO saying today

that this is not going to be very modest.  Yet, previously, Mr. Hayward has

said that it‘s not as bad as what they had once thought. 

I mean, you‘re standing by with the interest of the United States. 

You see the conflict of some of their people in the way they‘ve talked to

the country. 

ALLEN:  Actually, that was a topic of conversation I had with Tony

Hayward over the weekend, and we talk personally whenever I need to do it,

and I will call him.  And I told him that BP was not doing very well in the

retail end of things related to the perception of agility and flexibility

and speed of response on shoreline cleanup.  And he is now in Louisiana

today talking to the people there today, and they‘re working the problem. 

And that is an example of what I‘m talking about. 

SCHULTZ:  Well, this is day 35.  I hope BP finally gets the message. 

You have mentioned also that you have lack of access.  If the Coast

Guard had more access, would we be further along, in your opinion? 

ALLEN:  I think the question was put to me was access to senior

leadership, or access to resources.  Either one, I have access to senior

leadership and we have access to resources. 

We have a tremendous relationship with the Department of Defense.  If

there‘s something we need very, very quickly, we can actually make a verbal

request to Secretary Gates and he will give us permission to move the


And this could be C-17s moving boom from Anchorage, to side-scanning

sonar from the Navy.  They‘ve been very, very responsive.  And when we want

something we get it. 

SCHULTZ:  Well, it may be have caused by the private sector, but the

sense of the American people is that enough is not being done. 

Can you tell us tonight that the Coast Guard is absolutely doing

everything it can? 

ALLEN:  Well, the Coast Guard alone is not going to solve this.  The

Coast Guard‘s responsibility, in addition to being part of the cleanup and

the response, is to oversee what BP is doing in our role as federal on-

scene coordinator.  And every element of the Coast Guard and government is

being brought to bear on that. 

There are people down in Houston that are overseeing this potential

top kill solution.  And next Wednesday we have engineers there.  We have

people at every levels in British Petroleum.  We are working constantly

with them and providing oversight. 

SCHULTZ:  And are they winging it?  I mean, are they looking for

technology that they‘re not sure of at this point? 

ALLEN:  They‘re actually using technology that‘s been used many places

in the world to deal with blowouts.  The novel thing about this response is

it‘s never been done at 5,000 feet.  So the technological challenge

associated with that are the things that are introducing risk and

uncertainty.  But the lines of operation to deal with this problem are

completely consistent with industry standards. 

SCHULTZ:  From what you know, are you confident that there will be a

mission accomplished in a timely fashion as the environment continues to

take a pounding?  Are you confident that this is going to get resolved in

the near future? 

ALLEN:  Well, it‘s not going to be resolved permanently without risk

until we have a relief well drilled and the drill is capped for good.  And

that is not likely to happen until August. 

In the meantime, everything we need to be focusing on has to do with

stopping the leakage on the floor of the ocean and then attacking it as far

off shore.  The last place we need to be dealing with this is on shore. 

We‘re not going to stop everything, but we need to move at best speed to

stop the leak at the bottom, and the next step will be the top kill option. 

SCHULTZ:  U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Thad Allen with us tonight. 

Thanks so much. 

ALLEN:  Thank you. 


SCHULTZ:  Joining me now is Billy Nungesser, the president of

Plaquemines Parish in Louisiana. 

Billy, good to have you on tonight. 

You were with us on Friday and you were asking for some help.  What‘s

changed since Friday?  But maybe before that question, what‘s your response

to the head of the Coast Guard just saying August? 


due respect, they have a clue.  I mean, you know, you asked them if they‘re

doing everything possible, and he passed the buck to BP. 

They are the commanders.  They‘re in charge.  They can demand what BP


And until we have leadership step up to the plate and make some

decisions—he did say we need to fight it off shore, but they won‘t

approve the permit and move the dredges to location to keep it off shore. 

Instead, we‘re reacting every time it infiltrates the marsh and kills off

another island of pelicans, turtles, fish. 

This is absolutely ridiculous, that we allow them to keep passing the

buck back and forth.  The corps is going to issue a permit, BP‘s going to

pay for it, the Coast Guard is going to demand it happens.  Absolutely

nothing is being done.  There is no plan. 

Governor Jindal and the other parish presidents met late last night,

put a plan together.  We‘ll be funding locally, minimal plans, to start

building a berm with or without the support of the United States of

America.  They have dropped the ball tremendously, and they continue to do

it.  They keep passing the buck. 

You know what?  Look into the camera and say, we are doing absolutely

everything possible to save the marsh of Louisiana.  Until then, quit

passing the buck back and forth. 

This is absolutely ridiculous, that the president of the United States

puts up with this.  I‘m disgusted.  I‘m so tired of this.  And the marshes

are dying while they keep throwing the ball back and forth. 

Stand up to the plate and show some real leadership and get the job

done.  Do everything physically possible.  It‘s not being done.

We‘ve got a thousand people here with things that will go out there

and fight the oil in the marsh.  Pick it up. 

We‘re using one dispersant.  We continue to use one thing.  We‘ve got

skimmers, minimal.  We‘ve got minimal boom.

What the hell are we doing?  Where is—we‘ve got everything at our

disposal—the Defense Department.

Well, this country‘s in trouble if we‘re using everything possible. 

We‘ve got real problems, and we better take a second look.

SCHULTZ:  Billy Nungesser with us tonight.  He‘s the president of

Plaquemines Parish in Louisiana.

Earlier, a press conference was held today, and your senator said that

if you made $50,000 last year, you‘re going to get a check from BP.  If you

made $1 million, you‘re going to get a check from BP.

Do you believe that?

NUNGESSER:  Well, all we‘ve asked BP is, quit making people wait 30

days hoping.  These are proud people.

These are fishermen.  It‘s been in their families for years.  And

they‘re sitting by the phone wondering if there‘s going to be another


Let‘s set up a three-or-six-month plan.  Tell them what they‘re going

to get until they can either put their nets back in the water or look for

another way of making a living, because at the speed we‘re going, we‘re

losing marsh every day.  And it don‘t look like our industry is going to be

what it used to be for many years to come.

SCHULTZ:  Mr. Nungesser, keep up the fight.  We‘re going to come back

to you, because you are the guy that‘s standing in front of the camera

telling it like it is.  And I will say that America needs to hear your

voice damn near every night, my man.  Keep it going.

I appreciate your time.  Thank you.

NUNGESSER:  Thank you.  Thank you.

SCHULTZ:  Joining me now is North Dakota Senator Byron Dorgan.  He‘s a

member of the Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee.

Senator, good to have you on tonight.

We were told by the head of the Coast Guard that this could go into

August.  If that‘s the case, it will well be up the East Coast.  In fact,

it will probably be in the Chesapeake Bay if we wait that long.  It might

even reach Washington. 

SEN. BYRON DORGAN (D), NORTH DAKOTA:  Ed, this can‘t go until August. 

It just can‘t. 

And I think we‘re going to hear the results of what is called this top

kill, the latest BP approach.  I guess that‘s on Wednesday. 

We‘re, I think, 34 days into this with the gusher of oil coming up

from the—under the sea.  And I think if Wednesday this doesn‘t work, my

own sense is what we need to do is push BP aside and put together an

emergency operation center with one czar in charge saying we‘re going to

find every—everything on this planet that might be available to help us

get this done. 

I mean, I would go to the Norwegians, who have a lot of experience in

this.  Anywhere on this planet somebody can help us, bring them here.  This

is an emergency.  This is the most significant environmental disaster in

the last couple hundred years.  And so this needs to get done. 

SCHULTZ:  Senator, you think the president should push BP aside


DORGAN:  Well, I think on Wednesday that certainly would be the case. 

If the last approach which is going to be top kill on Wednesday doesn‘t

work, in my judgment I think you push them aside and you say, look, I want

somebody in charge of this that has one interest in mind, and that is the

public interest.  Not any private sector interest, no company interest,

just the public interest, because this is a catastrophe and we have got to

stop it. 

This can‘t last until July or August.  We‘ve got to use every resource

that‘s available on this planet to try to put a stop to this. 

SCHULTZ:  And what about the liability cap that the Republicans are

against?  You know, they‘re for putting in a low cap, should I say, whereas

the Democrats want an unlimited cap. 

What are your thoughts on that? 

DORGAN:  There ought not be a cap.  Look, I mean, the amount of

damages here are dramatic, and we‘re going to be decades and decades trying

to work through them.  But we ought not to have a cap on this. 

What we need to do is to say to these companies—in this case, BP—

you‘re going to have to pay up.  I mean, that‘s just a fact. 

You just had a discussion with the previous guest.  You could hear the

anguish in the voice.  You know, my heart breaks for those folks. 

But this ecological disaster is going to go on for some while.  We

cannot sit back and just report on, what is BP going to do next?  When will

they do it? 

I mean, look, I‘m tired of hearing that.  Let‘s see what they get on

Wednesday.  And if not, I say move them aside, put together an emergency

operation center, put one czar in charge of that, one czar, and say let‘s

operate exclusively in the public interest and bring everything on this

planet to bear on this problem. 

SCHULTZ:  Senator, good to have you with us tonight.  Thanks so much. 

DORGAN:  Thanks a lot, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  Coming up, the same person that said, “Drill, baby, drill”

attacks the president for being in bed with big oil?  “Caribou Barbie” is

psycho-talking again and she lands in the “Zone.” 

And Blanche Lincoln fighting for her political life in Arkansas.  She

calls in the hometown hero, Bill Clinton, to stump for her.  Her opponent,

Bill Halter, joins me in just a moment. 

All that, plus the president has a court pick for LeBron James. 

And put away the chicken costumes in Nevada. 

You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.  Stay with us.


SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.  And thanks for watching


Senator Blanche Lincoln is pulling out all stops in the final days of

the Democratic primary fight in Arkansas.  Bill Clinton will stump for the

embattled senator in Little Rock this Friday. 

Lincoln topped Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter by just 5,000 votes in

last Tuesday‘s primary, with a third Democratic candidate taking 13 percent

of the vote.  A two-way runoff is scheduled for June 8th.  The latest poll

out of Arkansas shows that Halter now leads by two points over Senator


Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter joins me tonight here on THE ED SHOW.

Governor, good to have you with us. 


back, Ed.

SCHULTZ:  You‘re up against Bill Clinton now.  They‘re pulling out all

stops.  So who‘s more popular, Bill Halter or Bill Clinton?  What do you


HALTER:  I don‘t think there‘s any question that Bill Clinton is more

popular, but I‘ll be the one on the ballot versus Senator Lincoln.  And

Arkansas voters are going to decide this for themselves, I believe. 

SCHULTZ:  There has been a real shift in message as far as Senator

Lincoln is concerned.  She now seems to be running commercials that say

that she‘s right with President Obama and has been there all along. 

What do you make of that? 

HALTER:  Well, there‘s been a lot of shifting back and forth on the

part of the Lincoln campaign.  And I think Arkansans are seeing through


I mean, at the beginning, she was for the public option and then she

was against the public option.  Then she went down and threatened to

filibuster a public option.  She‘s been all over the map on the Employee

Free Choice Act. 

One thing she‘s been consistent, though, Ed, she‘s been a firm

believer in eliminating or greatly reducing the estate tax for those with

wealth of $10 million or more.  She‘s been very consistent on that. 

SCHULTZ:  Do you think she had any hand in this most recent vote that

took place in the Senate for Wall Street reform?  And does that have any

bearing on your runoff with her on June 8th

HALTER:  I do believe that you‘re going to see a shift again in that

bill.  The rumor is—and reporters have been all over this—that as

soon as the runoff occurs, those provisions are going to be dropped from

the bill.  There was conversation that they were going to be dropped on May

19th, but, of course, we forced a runoff, and they‘re around for at least

two and a half more weeks. 

SCHULTZ:  The latest Research 2000 poll shows you were slightly ahead

of the Senator, 48-46.  Is it going to be this close all the way?  What do

you think?

HALTER:  I think it will be close, but I believe that we‘re headed for

a victory on June 8th.  Certainly, we have all the momentum, Ed.  We‘ve

seen that all over the state. 

SCHULTZ:  Do you have the money? 

HALTER:  We can always use help, Ed. for anybody who

wants to help out. 

SCHULTZ:  But right now do you have the money? 

HALTER:  Well, we‘ve got enough to get our ads up, but we can always

use more. 

SCHULTZ:  Well, what about her war chest?  She doesn‘t seem to have

the grassroots the way you do. 

HALTER:  No, that‘s true.  But she‘s had six years to raise money, and

so she banked over $8 million. 

We‘ve out-raised Senator Lincoln ever since we got in the race, but

she just had a big head start.  Of course, she spent a lot of that money,

too.  But we could use everybody‘s help, $10, $20, $30. is

the place to go. 

SCHULTZ:  Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter, good to have you with us

tonight.  Thanks so much. 

HALTER:  Thanks, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  Coming up, Sarah Palin tells Rand Paul never to trust the

press.  She says they‘re looking for the “gotcha” moment? 

Hey, Sarah, I‘ve got one for you next in the “Zone.” 


SCHULTZ:  And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, Fox News is still letting

Sarah Palin armchair quarterback.  This weekend, the “Drill, baby, drill”

poster girl had the nerve to attack President Obama for taking money from

big oil? 


SARAH PALIN ®, FMR. ALASKAN GOVERNOR:  I don‘t know why the question

isn‘t asked by the mainstream media and by others if there‘s any connection

with the contributions made to President Obama and his administration and

the support by the oil companies to the administration, if there‘s any

connection there to President Obama taking so doggoned long to get in

there, to dive in there and grasp the complexity and the potential tragedy

that we are seeing here in the Gulf of Mexico.

Now, if this was President Bush, or if this were a Republican in

office who hadn‘t received as much support even as President Obama has from

BP and other oil companies, you know the mainstream media would be all over

his case. 


SCHULTZ:  What did she say?  She said that Bush hasn‘t got as much

support as Obama when it comes to oil?  Do I have the right script here? 

Actually, Sarah, Republicans routinely get way more campaign cash from

big oil than Democrats do.  And before going on Fox News, you ought to get

these facts straight.  So much for the research. 

So far this year, 71 percent of all contributions from the oil and gas

industries have gone to Republican candidates.  In 2008, only 77 percent

went to Republicans. 

And Palin must have forgotten that her running mate in 2008 took $2.4

million from oil and gas industries.  Obama got less than half that amount,

just under $900,000. 

But a lie about oil money wasn‘t Palin‘s only offense yesterday.  You

see, she also took aim at Rachel Maddow, blaming her for Rand Paul‘s Civil

Rights Act disaster. 


PALIN:  When Rand Paul had anticipated that he‘d be able to engage in

a discussion—he, being a libertarian-leaning constitutional conservative

-- being able to engage in a discussion with a TV character, a media

personality, who perhaps had an agenda in asking the question, may be

prejudiced before they even get into the interview in regards to what your

answer may be, and then the opportunity that they seize to get you, you

know, they‘re looking for that “gotcha” moment. 


SCHULTZ:  Yes, that “gotcha.” 

Well, I don‘t think that Rachel Maddow was the prejudiced one in that

interview at all, but I guess you really can‘t blame Palin for sticking up

for Rand Paul.  She has certainly had her fair share of disastrous

interviews, hasn‘t she? 


CHARLES GIBSON, CBS NEWS:  Do you agree with the Bush Doctrine? 

PALIN:  In what respect, Charlie? 

Putin rears his head and comes into the airspace of the United States

of America.  Where do they go?  It‘s Alaska. 

KATIE COURIC, CBS NEWS:  What newspapers and magazines do you

regularly read?  What ones specifically?  I‘m curious. 

PALIN:  All of them.  Any of them. 

GLENN BECK, FOX NEWS:  Who‘s your favorite founder? 

PALIN:  You know, well, all of them, because they came collectively

together with so much—

BECK:  Bull crap. 


SCHULTZ:  Beck‘s word choice there is one way to describe Palin‘s

bogus ramblings. 

I‘m just going to call it “Psycho Talk,” because that‘s what it is. 

Coming up, tensions are higher than ever over the Arizona immigration

law.  Now the Arizona Board of Education made it even hotter. 

And the head of the Republican Party stumbles when asked about Rand

Paul.  He can‘t condemn the nut job‘s views? 

And Joe Sestak, he gets into it with the White House over who offered

a job and whatnot.  We‘ll get into that. 

LeBron James gets presidential advice. 

And I‘ll show you who caught the big fish over the weekend, as I


You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.  Stay with us.


SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.  The battleground story

tonight, no doubt Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has taken a lot of heat for

the state‘s new anti-immigration law.  She says people who don‘t agree with

the law, well, they just haven‘t read it.  She‘s making the case with a

puppet.  Take a look. 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Reading is really super swell.  Reading‘s great so

let‘s all shout it out.  Reading helps you know what you‘re talking about. 

let‘s see what these folks have to say about reading

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  have you read the Arizona law? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I have not had a chance. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Have you read the law? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Have I read the law? 



SEN. JOHN MCCAIN ®, ARIZONA:  If you had a chance to review the new

law that was passed by the state of Arizona? 




NAPOLITANO:  I‘ve not—



SCHULTZ:  Opponents like me think the law leads to racial profiling. 

And the anti-immigration crusade in Arizona is getting even bigger.  The

state lawmaker who proposed the Papers Please Law is now pushing an effort

to strip U.S. born children of illegal immigrants of their American

citizenship.  And the Arizona Department of Education is sending auditors

in to evaluate school teachers and determine if their accents are too


For more, let‘s bring in Maria Teresa Kumar, the executive director of

Voto Latino.  Ms. Kumar, what do you make of this?  It‘s like every day

there‘s a new chapter to this story.  Now they‘re going to be checking out

the accents of teachers.  Are you offended by this? 

MARIA TERESA KUMAR, VOTO LATINO:  I think, as Americans, we should all

be offended by this.  I mean, the little TV ad you showed with the frog is

quite trite.  And it actually, unfortunately, doesn‘t address the issues

and concerns of two million Americans living in Arizona who happen to be

Latino.  It‘s racial profiling at its best.  And unfortunately the

governor‘s tactic of trying to poke fun—shame on the administration

folks for not reading it.  But shame on her for trying to make light of

serious issues that disenfranchises Americans.  Let alone—we don‘t even

have to get into the mess of illegals.  But it really disenfranchises

Americans.  That‘s a problem. 

SCHULTZ:  Does your organization, Voto Latino, support all of the

boycotts that are taking place right now, the number of cities that have

lined up against doing business with Arizona? 

KUMAR:  We‘ve actually created a very comprehensive site so folks can

visit, and you can identify—there are 18 cities so far

who have joined the boycott, and joined the boycott in regards to actually

spending money in Arizona, going to conventions, et cetera.  Then we‘ve

always created a comprehensive list of how people can participate. 

What we can‘t do, Ed, is we can‘t allow this slippery slope where a

group of Americans, all of a sudden, rights get taken away.  You mentioned

Pierce just recently.  What he‘s proposing is throwing out the Constitution

because anybody born—based on the Constitution, that‘s born here in the

United States is a U.S. citizen.  That‘s outrageous. 

SCHULTZ:  Do you think that deserves a federal response? 

KUMAR:  It absolutely does.  We need comprehensive immigration reform. 

We need to secure our borders.  Comprehensive immigration reform,

fundamentally, is talking about three things.  Our national security,

because it brings people out of the shadows.  We need to know who‘s living

here.  And it secures our border.  It talks about the economy, because, all

of a sudden, people who have a path to citizenship, they can pay fines and

taxes that our coffers desperately need.

And then finally, it actually makes sure that millions of people

aren‘t exploited by unscrupulous employers who want to actually make sure

that wages are artificially suppressed.

SCHULTZ:  Maria, these last two things that have come up, last two

chapters of this, going after the teachers, evaluating them, and of course

the birth of children in this country, does this underscore, in your

opinion, that this truly is a racist law? 

KUMAR:  You know, it‘s disappointing because I think what‘s happening

is that the American public is saying—it‘s telling Congress we need

comprehensive immigration reform.  And if you don‘t do it, we‘re going to

look to the states. 

SCHULTZ:  It‘s taking on a tone of racism. 

KUMAR:  Complete—it has.  It‘s disappointing, because I think it‘s

hurtful and not constructive.  We can‘t let our prejudice throw out the

Constitution.  We need smart policy and we need leadership. 

SCHULTZ:  Maria, thanks so much for joining us tonight. 

KUMAR:  Thank you, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  You bet.

Immigration is one of the topics I dig into in my new book called

“Killer Politics: How Big Money and Bad Politics are Destroying the Great

American Middle Class.”  It comes out June 1st.  We‘ve got a series of town

hall meetings and book signings.  You can go to my website,,

for the entire schedule. 

Now, let‘s get some rapid fire from our team, our panel, on these

stories tonight.  How bad is the blood between Democratic Senate nominee

Joe Sestak and the White House?  Sestak continues to say the White House

offered him a job to get out of the race against Arlen Specter.  But he

won‘t say that he is an Obama Democrat. 

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal issues a lukewarm

apology for stoking the lie that he served in the Vietnam War.  A new poll

suggests don‘t worry about that because he may be on a roll and certainly

not dead in the water. 

Michael Steele tap dances when pressed about Rand Paul‘s criticism of

the Civil Rights Act. 

Joining us for all of this tonight is Sam Stein, political reporter

“Huffington Post,” and also Ron Christie, Republican strategist. 

Gentlemen, good to have you with us tonight.  Let‘s talk Joe Sestak. 

Mr. Christie, was Joe Sestak offered a job at the White House?  Offered a

job with the administration to get him out of the race? 

RON CHRISTIE, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST:  It seems like it to me, Ed. 

He‘s been on television on more than one occasion saying the White House

had made him an unspecified job offer if he would clear the primary field

for Arlen Specter.  I think the American deserve to know the truth of that. 

The House Ethics Committee, I think, should take a look at this.  If a

sitting member of Congress was offered a job to get out of the way for

political purposes I think the American people need to know that. 

SCHULTZ:  What do you think, Sam?  Is there trouble in the waters on

this one? 

SAM STEIN, “HUFFINGTON POST”:  Look, if the administration is right

and they say nothing illegal took place, then they should have no problem

telling us what happened.  In that respect, I‘m with Ron.  I don‘t think

I‘m going to get as worked up as he is over this.  I think it‘s probably

not the best use of the committee‘s time.  I think there‘s other things to

investigate.  This type of informal quid pro quo, you give me this for

that, happens a lot, actually.  Let‘s not be naive. 

SCHULTZ:  Doesn‘t it speak volumes, Sam, that if the White House says

nothing inappropriate was done here—I mean, they have their backup,

don‘t they? 

STEIN:  Yes, that‘s why I think they should actually come forth with

anything they have related to the matter.  If it‘s innocent, what‘s to


SCHULTZ:  OK, let‘s go to Connecticut.  Richard Blumenthal, you would

think that maybe fabricating his record in Vietnam might hurt him, but of

course the polls are showing—the Greenberg Quinlan Rozer (ph) poll 2010

shows he‘s up 55 percent to 40 percent over Linda McMahon.  Ron Christie,

is this smooth sailing?  Has he gotten out of the troubled waters on this


CHRISTIE:  It‘s too soon to say, Ed, I think.  I think we would have

had a far better chance if the Republicans had nominated Rob Simmons, who

was a decorated Vietnam veteran, himself.  Having an executive from the

former wrestling foundation, it‘s hard to say.  I think he could be in

trouble if she decides to make this an issue in the campaign.  It‘s too

soon at this juncture to make any post mortems of his candidacy. 

STEIN:  Isn‘t the problem, to begin with, that she did make this an

issue, that she was very blatant about feeding this to “the New York

Times,” the Vietnam controversy I‘m talking about?  The whole thing seems

very much politicized, even though there‘s an issue there with him

misleading voters.  I think the McMahon people definitely misplayed this. 

I think part of the reason that Blumenthal hasn‘t been hurt in the polls is

because people look at this and they see partisan politics. 

CHRISTIE:  No, I think people look at this, Sam, and they say, this

guy lied; 58,000 brave Americans lost their lives and he‘s going to—


STEIN:  I‘m saying the McMahon people basically took credit for

feeding this to the “Times.”  That‘s a miscalculation right there. 

SCHULTZ:  But it walked him into an apology.

STEIN:  Yes, I think he had to give an apology if he wanted to move

forward on this.  He did it. 

SCHULTZ:  Michael Steele, this is what Michael Steele had to say about

Rand Paul‘s comments about the Civil Rights Act.  Here it is. 


MICHAEL STEELE, RNC CHAIRMAN:  I can‘t condemn a person‘s view. 

That‘s like, you know, you believe something and I say I‘m going to condemn

your view of it.  It‘s—the people of Kentucky will judge whether or not

that‘s a view that they would like to send—

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Are you comfortable with it? 

STEELE:  I‘m not comfortable with a lot of things.  It doesn‘t matter

what I‘m comfortable with or not comfortable with.  I don‘t vote in that



SCHULTZ:  Ron Christie, why is Mr. Steele tap dancing on this? 

CHRISTIE:  I don‘t know, Ed.  Look, I condemn that.  I think it‘s

absolutely outrageous what Rand Paul had to say.  There are a number of

conservatives saying we need to rally behind him.  I do not think there‘s

any place in this current political discourse where you should say that we

should either repeal the Civil Rights Act or it shouldn‘t be enforced in

the private sector.  The private sector is, in fact, the way

segregationists kept African-Americans and other people of color from

participating in society.  We should condemn that, period. 


STEIN:  Not much more to add to that.  I think that‘s very artfully

said.  One of the things that‘s getting lost in all this debate is the fact

that Rand Paul really sees no role for government in any facet of society. 

I think to say the things he did about the Civil Rights is truly an insult

to actually the people affected by—not by segregation in the private

place before the act was implemented. 

SCHULTZ:  Here‘s where I‘m at on this Michael Steele thing; the

Republicans have an identity crisis.  They‘re afraid to come out and say

what‘s right and what‘s wrong and make a statement.  I mean, it seems to me

like Michael Steele is just so afraid, you know, he might make somebody

upset if he says something. 

STEIN:  That‘s the double-edged sword of the Tea Party movement right

there.  You live by the sword and you die by it.  If he goes out and

offends the Ron Paulites or the Rand Paulites, the he risks the ire of them

in the election. 

SCHULTZ:  He had one other sound bite that caught my attention as well

that dealt with the president.  Here it is. 


STEELE:  He ran a grassroots campaign that was focused on the issue

that impact the people of Hawaii.  So don‘t just take away from that race

by sort of shoving it off.  It is a significant win.  It is the birthplace

of the president of the United States. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Not everybody in your party thinks that. 

STEELE:  Well, that‘s irrespective.  That‘s where the man was born. 

And we‘re proud of the fact we‘re able to take that seat, just like we‘ll

take his Senate seat in November. 


SCHULTZ:  Nobody is focusing on that, that we have got an admission

from the head of the Republican party that we know where Barack Obama was

born now.  Ron, what do you think? 

CHRISTIE:  I‘ve always said these Birther guys are barking up the

wrong tree.  I think it‘s significant that we actually did take that seat. 

It‘s going to be hard for us to hold in November, but significant.  We‘ll

take any victory that we can get.  That was a good pick-up for us.

SCHULTZ:  Gentlemen, always a pleasure.  Great to have you with us,

Sam Stein, Ron Christie, tonight. 

Coming up, Rand Paul splitting the Republican party in two.  Some are

with him, some are against him.  Katrina Vanden Heuvel weighs in next. 

Stay with us.


SCHULTZ:  In my playbook tonight, Rand Paul has further entrenched the

GOP as the party of no with his criticism of the Civil Rights Act, and

Republican leaders have been working overtime on damage control.  Karl Rove

even called the Paul campaign to tell him to get out of the national

spotlight, buddy.  Republicans also know Rand Paul is their guy now.  And

they‘ll have to figure out what to do about all of this.  If they let him

drag the party even further to the right, it may be the last nail in the

coffin of bipartisanship. 

For more on that, let‘s bring in Katrina Vanden Heuvel, editor of “The

Nation.”  Katrina, good to have you with us tonight.  Some may view this as

the Republican party now at a cross roads.  Do they embrace people like

Rand Paul?  Or do they run away from them?  I think that it speaks volumes

that Karl Rove told them to get out of the national spot light. 

KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL, “THE NATION”:  The Republicans really haven‘t

had a clear message, a clear agenda except for being the party of no, the

grand old obstructionist party for the last year, as President Obama has

put together—and sure some flaws—but a major restructuring of America

for the better of people.  The stimulus, health care plan, the financial

reform legislation we‘re watching go through.  At every point, the

Republicans have said no. 

They now have Rand Paul who, let‘s face it, Ed, he‘s not speaking just

for himself.  He‘s speaking for a strong strand in a party that has fought

the civilizing advances in this country‘s history, including the Civil

Rights Act. 

SCHULTZ:  Do you think there‘s a lot of people in the party that share

his views? 

VANDEN HEUVEL:  I think there are people in the party who share his

views and I think there are people in the Tea Party, which the media gives

too much attention to, but deserves some attention, because they share

these views.  You know what?  I think the frame going into 2010 is no

longer just anti-establishment.  It is about are you for effective

government or are you for no government?  That is a fight I bet Democrats

in this White House want to have, because Rand Paul is essentially saying

not only roll back—or, you know, skeptical about the Civil Rights Act,

but he wants to roll back Social Security, Medicare.  These are parts of

people‘s lives which have improved the condition of families‘ lives, their

parents‘ lives, generations‘ lives. 

So I think the Republican party is in a very tricky place.  And when

Mr. Rove sticks his head into it, you know they are anxious about a

candidate like Rand Paul imploding after just 24 hours in the spotlight. 

SCHULTZ:  I don‘t see a big pickup by the Republicans.  Everybody‘s

talking about, gosh, you know, there‘s going to get so many seats.  I just

don‘t sense it. 

VANDEN HEUVEL:  I think a lot of it, Ed—I mean, the Pennsylvania

12th congressional district was very important.  Where the Democrat came

out, I think it was eight points when a lot of people were saying no way. 

The organizing on the ground will be critical.  That also speaks to more

enthusiasm among Democrats, and that speaks to the power of turnout. 

You know, a lot of it, Ed, let‘s face it, at this critical moment in

our country‘s time—we‘ve got a recovery.  It‘s a weak recovery.  It‘s

not—it‘s jobless recovery.  I think this White House needs to show that

maybe they can‘t produce the jobs by November, but they are on the road

showing the political will, that they understand we need to put millions of

people back to work.  That is the critical agenda for a Democratic party

that has put together, with Stimulus, with health care, financial reform

legislation, a pretty good packet for the people. 

SCHULTZ:  Katrina, always a pleasure.  Thank you so much.  Katrina

Vanden Heuvel of “The Nation.”

Some final pages in the Playbook tonight; President Obama has a new

court pick.  He‘s giving his take on where Lebron James should play next

year.  The president told TNT‘s Marv Albert that he‘d like to see Lebron

play for his favorite team, the Chicago Bulls.  Well, I guess.  Mr. Obama

saying, quote, “you knows, you could see Lebron fitting in pretty well


He also gave Lebron some presidential advice, saying the most

important thing is to find structure.

Also, the Nevada state election officials are a bunch of chickens. 

They banned anyone from wearing chicken costumes into the polling places

this year.  If you‘re wearing one, you‘re going to be turned away. 

Anything in Nevada.  Officials made the rule after weeks of mocking

directed at Republican Senate candidate Sue Lowden.  We all remember she‘s

the one that said, people should barter with doctors for medical care. 

That deserves a suit in my opinion. 

And finally, on Friday, on this program, I talked to you about getting

the big fish.  Well, I don‘t know what everybody else does for fun on the

weekend, but the fish are biting on the Long Lake in Manatoba, 200 miles

north of Winnipeg.  Jig fishing is working on the walleyes in the shallow,

just off the rapids.  And you might catch a big northern pike. 

Radio and TV forces some folks to do some goofy things.  This is what

I do to keep my sanity.  And I did get a big fish.  How many TV people say

they‘re going to catch the big one and go out and actually do it? 

Coming up, I‘ve been telling you forever that the nut job righty

talkers, like the Drugster and the Beckster, are filling the airwaves with

psycho talk.  My friend, Bill Press, he is so adamant about it, he wrote a

book about it.  He joins me next on THE ED SHOW.  Stay with us.


SCHULTZ:  Finally tonight on THE ED SHOW, extreme righties like Glenn

Beck and Rush Limbaugh are routinely in psycho talk for the wacko stuff

they spout out on their radio shows.  Good copy for us.  Over the past

year, we‘ve seen their brand of crazy seep into the mainstream, most

recently with Rand Paul‘s rise to prominence.  Joining me now is a guy who

knows something about all of that influence of talk radio, nationally

syndicated radio talk show host Bill Press, the author of the new book

“Toxic Talk: How the Radical Right has Poisoned America‘s Airwaves.”  If

you‘re a talk radio listener, read this book, folks. 

Bill, what‘s the mission here?

BILL PRESS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  Hey, Ed, good to see you.  First of

all, I just got to say, I don‘t think Sarah Palin ever caught a fish that

big, Ed.  Congratulations. 

You know what the mission is, Ed?  Look, this is my life, it‘s your

life, Ed.  I mean, we thrive on good, honest, stimulating, hard-hitting

political debate.  There‘s nothing like things important to our democracy. 

But as a veteran talk show host, I‘ve been really dismayed to see the level

of talk show—the level of dialogue just go downhill, particularly from

those extreme righties, where it‘s all negative.  It‘s ugly.  It‘s

personal.  It‘ --, you know, you can‘t get—you can‘t get very far, Ed,

when you start off calling people names like communist, socialist, racist,

or even worse. 

SCHULTZ:  What‘s the mission of the book?  To open the eyes to a lot

of people that there are some facts and figures behind all of this? 

PRESS:  Absolutely.  First of all, two things.  One is to show the

huge imbalance in talk radio today, something you and I have talked about. 

There are ten hours of right-wing talk for every one hour of progressive

talk.  Secondly, to show people just how bad these guys are.  These are

ugly, mean-spirited people, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity,

Michael Savage and Mark Lavin, and all the rest of them. 

Thirdly, Ed, to show that progressive talk is there.  We‘re growing. 

We‘re making a difference.  And we‘re on our way. 

SCHULTZ:  “Poison America‘s Airwaves”; do they poison and how do they

do it? 

PRESS:  I think they do it.  You know why, Ed?  Just by telling lie

after lie after lie, with nobody there to challenge them.  As you know,

there are many markets in this country where there‘s no progressive voice

on the air at all.  The more they repeat these lies—

You mentioned Rand Paul.  Think of that.  What does he say about

President Obama and the oil spill?  You may disagree with what‘s going on. 

He says Obama is un-American because he criticizes BP?  Again, when you

start by calling somebody un-American because they disagree with you,

that‘s not debate.  That‘s not democracy. 

SCHULTZ:  What do you say to conservatives that this is a free market? 

PRESS:  Well, you know what, it is a free market.  That‘s why there

should be an equal number of progressive radio stations and conservative

radio stations.  Then it would be a free market.  Level the playing field

and I think you‘ll see what the American people choose.  They won‘t choose

the hate talk. 

SCHULTZ:  How should that be done?  Do you address that in the book? 

PRESS:  I do address that in the book.  I think it has to be done,

one, by liberals going out there and buying more radio stations and getting

into more markets, just like the conservatives have down done.  They built

their network.  We have not built one yet.  We have to do it.  We‘re behind

the eight ball on that one. 

SCHULTZ:  I am going to have to read that.  I‘ve been spending my

money on fishing tackle. 

PRESS:  That‘s good, too. 

SCHULTZ:  Bill Press, it‘s great read.  Great to have you with us

tonight.  Thanks for being on the show.  There‘s the book, “Toxic Talk: How

the Radical Right has Poisoned America‘s Airwaves.”  Author, Bill Press and

a frequent guest on this program. 

PRESS:  Congratulations on your new book, too, Ed, “Killer Politics.” 

Can‘t wait. 

SCHULTZ:  Thank you. 

Tonight in our text survey question, I asked, do you think the White

House should take full control of the BP oil spill?  Sixty five percent of

you said yes; 35 percent of you said no.  That‘s THE ED SHOW.  I‘m Ed

Schultz.  For more information on THE ED SHOW, you can go to

or check out my radio website at  We have a full list of town

hall meetings and book signings coming up.  My book comes out on June 1st,

“Killer Politics.”

“HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews starts right now.  We‘ll see you

tomorrow night right here from New York on “THE ED SHOW” on MSNBC. 




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