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'The Ed Show' for Monday, June 7th, 2010

Read the transcript to the Monday show

Guests: Mike Papantonio, Adam Green, Rep. Maxine Waters, Laura Flanders,
Karen Hanretty, Holland Cooke, Robert Greenwald

ED SCHULTZ, HOST:  Good evening, Americans, and welcome to THE ED SHOW from Minneapolis tonight.
These stories are hitting “My Hot Buttons” at this hour. 

The Gulf Coast is facing months of cleanup and irreparable damage from the oil disaster.  And BP‘s CEO is worried about his shareholders? 
I‘ve got plenty to say about that coming up in just a moment. 
Well, it looks like Arkansas Democrats might give Blanche Lincoln a pink slip tomorrow night.  Her challenger, Bill Halter, lieutenant governor, is in the lead, and the progressive army is pulling out all stops in the final hours with boots on the ground. 
We‘ll have a report. 
And the psycho wedding took place over the weekend.  All the righty nut jobs came out of the woodwork for Rush Limbaugh‘s fourth wedding, but there was one surprise.  You won‘t believe who the wedding singer was. 
We‘ve got breaking news off the top tonight to update you on. 
Officials say three people after a gas line exploded in Granbury, Texas.  Officials say at least 10 people are missing and six are injured. 
We‘ll continue to keep you up to date on this story as it develops tonight. 
This is the story that has me fired up tonight. 
It‘s day 49.  BP claims the containment cap is working.  Oil still slamming into the Gulf Coast.  Thad Allen of the Coast Guard says the cleanup is going to last into the fall. 
And this is President Obama‘s message -- 
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  What is clear is that the economic impact of this disaster is going to be substantial and it is going to be ongoing.  And as I said on Friday, and I want to repeat, I do not want to see BP nickel-and-diming these businesses that are having a very tough time. 
SCHULTZ:  President Obama is looking out for the American worker. 
Listen to who BP‘s CEO, Tony Hayward, is looking out for. 
TONY HAYWARD, CEO, BP:  We have to take care of our Gulf Coast stakeholders.  We have to take care of our investors.  We have to take care of our employees, our retirees.  We‘re going to take care of all of our stakeholders. 
SCHULTZ:  Hayward and BP have a balance sheet mentality, no question about that.  I don‘t believe they really care too much about the fishing and tourism industry their greed has destroyed.  I don‘t think that they really care about the oil-covered birds and the dead fish washing up on shore.  The only thing that they really care about is the bottom line and keeping their shareholders all fat and happy. 
Big oil Mississippi Republican Governor Haley Barbour doesn‘t think the oil is the biggest threat to his state.  He thinks I‘m the problem. 
GOV. HALEY BARBOUR (R), MISSISSIPPI:  The biggest negative impact for us has been the news coverage.  That‘s the real economic damage, so it may be hard for the viewer to understand, but the worst thing for us has been how our tourist season has been hurt by the misperception of what‘s going on down here. 
The Mississippi Gulf Coast is beautiful.  As I tell people, the coast is clear, come on down. 
SCHULTZ:  Just come on down. 
Just can‘t wait to swim in that oil, Haley. 
Barbour wants to point the finger at anyone but BP because he can‘t take the risk to tick off people who put money in his pocket when it comes to elections.  After the election, the media didn‘t spill 50 million gallons of oil in the Gulf, BP did.  Haley also points the finger at the White House. 
BARBOUR:  The American people are making up their minds pretty clearly about what they think of the administration‘s performance in this disaster.  And I‘ll let it stand at that.  You know, Napoleon said never interfere with your enemy while he‘s in the process of destroying himself. 
SCHULTZ:  Republicans have to make President Obama the enemy on every issue, don‘t they? 
Governor Haley Barbour, show a little respect.  President Barack Obama is not your enemy.  He‘s the president of the United States. 
BP is acting like the enemy.  They have launched a full-scale public relations campaign on the American public, trying to twist the opinion.  They wasted over $50 million on a television commercial campaign last week, and now they‘re taking it to the Web. 
BP just bought key phrases on search engines like Google and Yahoo!  which directs people to BP‘s company Web site.  If you were to type in “oil spill,” it will take you right to BP‘s company message.  And you want to talk about managing the media?  That is big brother getting the job done. 
It‘s not illegal for BP to do it, but they are wasting thousands upon thousands of dollars on search engines to pump their corporate spin every day? 
Get your cell phones out, folks.  I want to know what you think about all of this tonight. 
Tonight‘s text survey question is: Do you believe President Obama should order BP to stop its public relations campaign?  Text “A” for yes, text “B” for no to 622639.  We‘ll bring you the results later on in the show. 
For more, let me bring in Mike Papantonio, environmental lawyer whose firm is leading the class-action lawsuit against BP. 
Mike, good to have you back with us tonight. 
SCHULTZ:  You bet.  On this program a number of times, you have stated under U.S. code, the president can just take this over.  And, of course, the Republicans can‘t get enough of that because they claim it‘s a leadership issue.  But I want to ask you about this situation. 
Can the president come in and order BP to cut off the advertising campaign in dealing with this disaster? 
PAPANTONIO:  Ed, he has the right to do almost anything under extraordinary measures.  Now, will a court later on look and say, that violated the First Amendment, it‘s violated the commerce clause, it‘s violated equal protection?  Yes, they might, but right now he has the right to do that. 
This is no different, Ed, than a nuclear reactor that‘s melted down and is putting this country at risk, or being threatened by some outside nation coming across our border.  He has the right to do extraordinary things. 
George Bush and Dick Cheney did everything—they made everything sound legal under executive branch rights.  He needs to do something like that here, and he will. 
Let me tell you something, he is on the hunt right now.  BP needs to be—they need to be concerned about what he might do. 
It won‘t surprise me at all—it will not surprise me at all if Obama says to a company like Shell or Exxon, look, you guys come in here and clean this up, you bring the supertankers that BP won‘t bring in, and then we‘ll bill BP later on.  Obama is at his best right now.  He‘s mad, he‘s agitated, he‘s going after them like he‘s supposed to. 
SCHULTZ:  All right.  I want to talk about, if we can, bring up the fact that they‘re buying search engine keywords.  I mean, it‘s very clear they‘re on a mission to massage the message any way they possibly can. 
But to be very clear on this, the president can make a move and shut down their advertising, can he not? 
PAPANTONIO:  Well, I think he can do almost anything under statue
right now.  That U.S. code gives him extraordinary—really extraordinary

PAPANTONIO:  Now, Ed, at the end of the day, will a court say it‘s unconstitutional?  Probably.  Does that mean he shouldn‘t do it?  No. 
SCHULTZ:  All right. 
PAPANTONIO:  Look, optics are everything for this company right now. 
That‘s all they care about, is optics.  It‘s all a show. 
It‘s all buying a full-page ad in “The New York Times.”  It‘s sending these prop workers down here.  It‘s all optics. 
SCHULTZ:  Yes.  All right. 
What about President Obama‘s ability to make public these secret 2001 energy meetings that took place after the rolling blackouts that took place in California?  They had this energy meeting and it was secret. 
Why can‘t we see those records?  What do you make of that? 
PAPANTONIO:  He has the right to do it.  As soon as he starts tying up
look, Ed, what‘s happening right now is serious prosecutors are seriously looking at criminal RICO.

When criminal RICO comes into play here, you have a lot of different issues that we haven‘t been able to talk about.  It‘s not going to be protected by Antonin Scalia, who is Dick Cheney‘s buddy.  You‘re not going to have that kind of protection. 
You‘re going to have a U.S. Justice Department who now is motivated, who understands the different parts of a real criminal RICO case.  And the things that you‘re talking about, the very thing you just raised, all that becomes relevant. 
SCHULTZ:  Well, Mike, I think the American people are curious about how far back this manipulation of the Minerals Management goes and the deregulation.  And don‘t you think that these 2001 meetings that were secretly held under executive order and Americans don‘t know—wouldn‘t this be the key to the lock box on a lot of information? 
PAPANTONIO:  Absolutely.  Ed, if you remember, you started this program—you started this whole discussion about what happened here with that story. 
That is the story.  That‘s the beginning of the story and the end.  That‘s where Dick Cheney goes into a room for 100 days and meets with BP, he meets with Shell and Exxon. 
And you know who‘s at the meeting?  All of his cronies. 
Comes out of the meeting after 100 days.  Guys like me and Bobby Kennedy say, can we get those records?  We‘d like to see what happened. 
PAPANTONIO:  And the Supreme Court says no.  That‘s where the story begins and ends.  And you‘ve been talking about it for weeks.  You‘re right on it. 
SCHULTZ:  Oh, I think the American people want to know what took place in those meetings, and I think the president has the power to do something about this -- 
PAPANTONIO:  He does. 
SCHULTZ:  -- or at least talk about it. 
Now, the next thing I want to bring up, The Associated Press reported over the weekend that just about every judge in the Gulf region has got oil ties. 
How the heck are you going to get justice in a climate like that? 
What do you think? 
PAPANTONIO:  I think it‘s an overstatement of the problem, but it is a big problem. 
Look, all we‘ve worried about as progressives, we‘ve worried about what‘s happening in Congress, who‘s getting elected to Congress, who‘s getting elected to the Senate.  While we‘ve been looking at that shiny thing over there, they‘ve been going in and they‘ve been tacking the courts with federal court conservative judges, Republican conservatives. 
That‘s who‘s packed the courts all over this coast, from Texas to north Florida.  It‘s hard to find a judge that doesn‘t have some contact with a big defense firm who represented these people. 
SCHULTZ:  Well, I think that makes justice awfully tough.
This is Senator Cornyn from Texas this weekend, asking the question, the trendy question by Republicans right now, as to who is in charge.  Here it is.
SEN. JOHN CORNYN (R), TEXAS:  I think a lot of the confusion has been because no one knows who‘s really in charge.  Is it the president of the United States?  Is it the CEO of British Petroleum?  Who is it?  Is it Admiral Allen?
SCHULTZ:  Mike, what do you think?
PAPANTONIO:  I‘ll tell you who‘s in charge.  BP is in charge of people like Haley Barbour and Mr. Cornyn.
Look, they have danced like circus monkeys for BP.  Haley Barbour is out there today saying he wants government here.
You remember what Haley Barbour said just a year ago?  We don‘t want big government.  We don‘t want to pay taxes.  We don‘t need government.
Now Haley Barbour, Bobby Jindal, Bob Riley and Rick Perry all want government.  That‘s who‘s in charge, because these guys are dancing to BP money.  That‘s why Haley Barbour is out there saying, where‘s the oil?
Come on down here to Florida, Mr. Barbour.  I‘ll show you where the oil is.  It‘s all over here.
SCHULTZ:  Mike Papantonio, always a pleasure.  Way to go after it, my man.  We‘ll continue to stay in touch.
Thanks so much for joining us tonight.
PAPANTONIO:  Thank you.
SCHULTZ:  Coming up, Liz Cheney is sticking up for her father again. 
She‘s attacking President Obama and defending Halliburton.
I‘ll sound off on this at the bottom of the hour.
And a lot of liberals don‘t like Sarah Palin, but you‘re going to love this story.  “Caribou Barbie‘s” marketability, it is on the slide.  And she‘s feeling a little—well, you say thin-skinned these days.
And “The Drugster” had a psycho wedding.  Wait until you hear what happened, who was there, and what took place.
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.  Stay with us.
SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW, and thanks for watching tonight. 
The progressive push is on fire ahead of the primaries.  Bill Halter is surging against Senator Blanche Lincoln in Arkansas.  The latest poll now has the lieutenant governor up by four pointing heading into tomorrow‘s runoff election. 
And it‘s not just Arkansas.  Andrew Romanoff is running strong in the state of Colorado.  And a few weeks ago, Congressman Joe Sestak took down incumbent Senator Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania. 
Joining me now is Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, coming to us tonight from Little Rock, Arkansas, where his organization has raised over $250,000 for Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter. 
Adam, I want to ask you about a story that I have been inundated with e-mail because the radio listeners are all on top of this.  In Garland County, we are hearing it‘s a county of 80,000 voters.  There normally are 40 polling places.  Now it‘s down to two, and some people are going to have to drive upwards of 20 miles to vote tomorrow. 
What‘s the backstory of this down in Arkansas?  What can you tell us? 
ADAM GREEN, CO-FOUNDER, PROGRESSIVE CHANGE CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE:  Yes, it‘s pretty crazy.  We actually just sent a national e-mail to our membership about this yesterday. 
In the election three weeks ago, there were about 42 polling places open throughout this county, and in this runoff there will only be two.  This is a situation that forces some people to drive across mountains and around lakes, 30, 40 minutes away from their workplaces or their homes, to vote, which is really outrageous.  And on top of that, some early voting places that were supposed to be open over the weekend were closed. 
So some people might be disenfranchised.
SCHULTZ:  So who‘s behind—Adam, who is behind this?  What‘s happening here? 
GREEN:  Well, there is a local election official—I‘ll say his name
it‘s Charles Tap (ph) -- who either, out of incompetence or out of some agenda, is closing down these polls in the biggest county that voted for Bill Halter last election.  So what we‘re doing is we are making thousands of calling to this county, making sure that voters know where and when they can vote, and we‘re also redoubling our efforts at to have people go to our Web site, sign up to call voters around the state, and any votes that are lost in this county, we need to make up for them elsewhere across the state.  We cannot let one local election official skew the results of this entire election. 

SCHULTZ:  All right.  This has been a rather heated campaign down there.  This is Blanche Lincoln, Senator Lincoln, going after Bill Halter, and a response from Halter on exactly where his support is coming from. 
Here it is. 
SEN. BLANCHE LINCOLN (D), ARKANSAS:  The D.C. unions have put about $10 million in this race in the last 12 weeks.  It‘s really sad, you know, that we would allow these special interest groups, and certainly that Bill would allow special interest groups to come into our state like this and really dominate and manipulate the people of Arkansas. 
LT. GOV. BILL HALTER (D), ARKANSAS:  Senator Lincoln has received over a million dollars in contributions from Wall Street executives, hundreds of thousands of dollars from health insurance company executives.  On vote after vote, she has put special interest groups that are opposed to the interests of middle class Arkansans first. 
SCHULTZ:  And we also want to point out exactly where the money is coming from.  Percentage of campaign funding that comes from individual contributions, Halter is at 93 percent and Lincoln is at 60 percent. 
Break this down for us, Adam.  What does this mean? 
GREEN:  Well, look, I said this before on your show.  This race is a battle between people power and corporate power. 
Blanche Lincoln was perfectly fine taking union money until she decided to really vote against workers over and over again.  And I can tell you just looking at things here on the ground, the people are clearly on the side of Bill Halter. 
And a couple months ago we sent two of our Progressive Change Campaign Committee staffers, Michael Snook (ph) and Kiana Gregory (ph), down to Arkansas to work hand in hand with the Halter campaign and help him rally thousands and thousands of people to his side.  And I can tell you tonight that it‘s really successful. 
Today, alone, in one single day, 29,232 volunteer phone calls have been made for Bill Halter to voters.  People are going to our Web site—
SCHULTZ:  So does he win tomorrow night?  Does he win tomorrow night? 
GREEN:  I think he will win tomorrow night.  You know, we can‘t take anything for granted.  We are going to work up until the very final moment the polls are closed. 
But this is a people-powered effort, and we need good people across Arkansas and across the country to sign up to keep calling voters.  Again,  We can hit 30,000 tonight if we try hard. 
SCHULTZ:  All right.  Let‘s talk about Nevada for just a moment. 
Harry Reid‘s poll numbers—Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll shows that he‘s up six points on Angle, he‘s up four points on Sue Lowden and four points on Danny Tarkanian.  And Sue Lowden was on “HARDBALL” earlier tonight and made a comment about how some of Chris‘ colleagues at this network have somewhat overplayed the chicken story about bartering for medical care. 
Here she is at a town hall meeting. 
SUE LOWDEN (R), NEVADA SENATORIAL CANDIDATE:  Let‘s change the system and talk about what the possibilities are.  I‘m telling you that this works.  You know, before we all started having health care in the olden days, our grandparents, they would bring a chicken to the doctor. 
SCHULTZ:  Well, I don‘t know how the media is overplaying that when she said it. 
Adam Green, do you want to respond to that?  And also, tell us where Harry Reid stands right now. 
GREEN:  Well, what do you say to that?  I assume that a lot of people with cancer or Alzheimer‘s or anything else that requires a lot of care would love to be able to just pay with one chicken. 
I think Harry Reid is very fortunate to be up against an opponent who appears to be weak.  But Harry Reid, himself, really, at the end of the day, will need to get out his base in this election. 
He promised a vote on the public option a couple months ago.  And we‘ll be looking to see if he keeps his promise.  I think there will be a lot of energetic people volunteering for him, giving him money, and really going to bat for him if he decides to finally give us a up-or-down vote for the public option in the Senate. 
SCHULTZ:  All right.  Adam, good to have you with us tonight.  Thanks so much. 
GREEN:  Yes.  Look forward to seeing you in Arkansas. 
SCHULTZ:  Absolutely.  We‘re going to be there tomorrow night, live from Little Rock, Arkansas, for the big primary runoff election.  Bill Halter, the lieutenant governor, will join me live, and I‘ll also be co-hosting the 3:00 p.m. hour right here on MSNBC. 
Coming up, the “Psycho Talk” all-stars all came out for “The Drugster‘s” wedding over the weekend, and they all had a grand old time.  You‘d expect to see “Slant Head,” “Turd Blossom” and “Rotten Rudy” on the dance floor, but the wedding singer was shocking.  It lands him in the “Zone” next. 
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ:  And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, we‘ve got a wrap-up of Rush Limbaugh‘s psycho wedding. 
“The Drugster” got married for the fourth time this weekend.  And his guest list, well, it reads like a “psycho talker” convention with conservative nut jobs like Karl Rove, Sean Hannity, Rudy Giuliani, and Fred Thompson.  Oh, the whole fraternity was there. 
But here‘s the real psycho part.  Elton John was his wedding singer? 
I guess everyone has a price.  Rush paid a million bucks to perform—paid him that much to perform.  Even so, it‘s hard to imagine one of the world‘s most prominent gay rights activist performing at the wedding of a staunchly anti-gay marriage guy who says stuff like this -- 
RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  Amendment 8 bans gay marriage in California, and it passed in California.  Nothing controversial about it.  It was sensible. 
The lesbian, gay, bisexuals and the transgenders are fuming that Obama is not dismantling the Defense of Marriage Act. 
Now, look, boys and girls and undecided, for the moment you have to bend over, grab the ankles, take a back seat.
What is the big mystery, folks, about why they took the shower curtains off of the showers in the men‘s locker room at the House gym?  Can you say Barney Frank?  The Banking queen.  Yes, same guy.
SCHULTZ:  And that‘s not the worst of it.  Since this is a family-friendly show, we‘ll just let that one go. 
Rush, if you really believe all that, why are you—what are you doing asking Elton John to play at your wedding in the first place? 
And Elton, what are you doing agreeing to performing at the wedding of a guy who is notoriously known for his bigotry when it comes to his homophobic thoughts? 
It‘s all “Psycho Talk” and psycho wedding. 
Coming up, the president is talking tough on the oil disaster, but now it‘s time for Congress to change our laws and transform the future.  Congresswoman Maxine Waters just got back from the Gulf, and she is rip-roaring ready to talk it over.  She has an idea for how the government can make BP pay. 
And the dean of the White House press corps becomes the story.  Helen Thomas has resigned after making controversial comments on Israel. 
I‘ll have some “Rapid Fire” response to all that. 
Plus, we have got my old buddy Tony Romo.  He could be switching careers.  I‘ll explain that in the “Playbook.”
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.  Stay with us.
SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.
And our “Battleground” story tonight, it‘s about oil, of course.
President Obama is proving he is in charge of this crisis, although the Republicans aren‘t going to be onboard with that.  He‘s on the offensive for sure and finally talking tough to BP.  He called the company out.  He says that you‘re just not doing enough right now and need to do more to prepare—take care of the damage that you have caused in the Gulf Coast.
But this country‘s resources should never be at the mercy of BP or any other oil corporation.  Bottom line, we won‘t have to worry about devastating spills if we aren‘t drilling.
Congress is back from recess.  I think the Democrats should push for a full moratorium on offshore drilling, make the Republicans defend their buddies, and let the American people see who really the cronies are and who really lines up with the oil industry.
For more, let me bring in California Congresswoman Maxine Waters.  She wants to prohibit any new drilling and impose a moratorium on all offshore oil drilling.
Congresswoman, good to have you with us tonight.  Thanks so much.
REP. MAXINE WATERS (D), CALIFORNIA:  Delighted to be with you and I thank you so very much for giving me an opportunity to join with many others who are just outraged at this environmental disaster—the worst in our history as it relates to oil drilling.  And to not only keep the pressure on BP, but to talk about this whole claims process.
I was down there and I talked with the small oyster fishermen and I don‘t want them to have to jump through all kind of hoops in order to be paid.  The first thing they did with these claims was they tried to make them settlements.  And, of course, we had some smart pro bono lawyers down there who changed that and wouldn‘t allow them to sign anything that looked like a settlement.  We forced them to bring the claims office closer to the small fishermen and we‘ve got to make sure that they don‘t give them so many hoops to jump through in order to get a claim resolved that they never get anything.
So, we want the federal government to do some oversight on that also.
SCHULTZ:  Who in the federal government, Congresswoman?  How would this be administered?  How—I mean, I‘ve heard comments coming from politicians saying that BP is going to make the people of the region whole.  Who in the heck is going to have the oversight of that?  This is going to go on for years, if not a decade or two.
I mean, how are you going to make this people whole?
WATERS:  No, we cannot—we have to—number one, what we have to do is quickly construct a system by which we not only use our government resources and power to put together a claims process that will force them to have to pay the money, and even if we have to step in, we have to make sure that we have a system where we get our money back from them.  But the first thing to do is to make sure that these billions of dollars that is going to cost them will be paid in the claims process in a way that‘s expedited to keep them from having to jump through too many hoops.  We can do that.
SCHULTZ:  OK.  Well, so you can order a multinational corporation, via legislation, for them to write checks?  I mean, this is going to be interesting.  And I‘m all for it.
WATERS:  Sure we can.  Sure we can.
SCHULTZ:  I mean—OK.  Well, it didn‘t happen with the Exxon Valdez. 
I mean, that was—
WATERS:  No, as a matter of fact—
SCHULTZ: -- a fraction of what the damage was.
WATERS:  Well, let me just say this.  All of those members of Congress and public policymakers who have been standing up for the oil companies and making sure that they protected them, you know, screaming about our dependence on foreign oil and talking about “drill, baby, drill,” their mouths have been shut now with this disaster.  They cannot credibly stand up and support them.  They‘re going to have to vote to have a claims process that makes good sense and that will reimburse all of these fishermen whose livelihoods depend on this.
And so, we‘re in a good position to demand a moratorium at this point.
WATERS:  A good position.
SCHULTZ:  All right.  Let‘s talk about offshore drilling.  There‘s a CBS News poll out there and it seems that a week ago, 45 percent of the people favored it.  Now it‘s down to 40 percent.  The opposition is growing from 46 percent up to 51 percent of the American people oppose offshore drilling.
What is this mean?  If you listen to Bobby Jindal, if you listen to Melancon, the congressman from down there, and also, Haley Barbour, he doesn‘t think there was a spill going on down there—I mean, you listen to Republicans and some Democrats, they want to continue to drill.
Exactly what do you want to do now that public opinion is on your side?
WATERS:  We want the moratorium.  Listen, let me tell you, these people that you‘re referring to, you know, they‘re late in catching up with what the public is saying.
I was at a senior citizens meeting where I went to talk about Medicare.  The seniors said, uh-uh, we want to talk about this oil spill.  And they said we don‘t want the citizens to have to pay for it.  We want BP to have to pay for it.  And so, they want us to set up a process where we can force BP to pay for it.
These people will probably end up making about, what, $27 billion this year.  What we have to be careful about is they‘re going to set aside amount, you know, to pay dividends and all of that, but we can‘t let them come back to us and say, “Uh-oh, we ran out of money.”  No, we can‘t allow that to happen.
SCHULTZ:  Congresswoman Waters, great to have you with us tonight. 
Thanks for keeping up the fight for the folks down there in the Gulf. 
Thank you.
WATERS:  You‘re so welcome.
SCHULTZ:  You bet.
Now, now let‘s get “Rapid-Fire” response from our panel on these stories tonight.
Liz Cheney went berserk over the weekend.  She was sticking up for her daddy and Halliburton and slamming the president.
Longtime journalist Helen Thomas resigned today after being caught on tape saying Israel should, quote, “get the hell out of Palestine.”
And progressives are fired up and ready to give the Democratic establishment another wake-up call.
Senator Blanche Lincoln is trailing in Arkansas ahead of tomorrow‘s vote.
And a new poll shows Andrew Romanoff has Senator Michael Bennet on the run in Colorado.
With us tonight, Laura Flanders, author of “Blue Grit” and host of “Grit TV”; and also, Karen Hanretty, who is a Republican strategist with us tonight as well.
All right.  Let‘s play this sound cut if we can.  This is Liz Cheney slamming the president on the talking heads yesterday.  Here it is.
LIZ CHENEY, DICK CHENEY‘S DAUGHTER:  On the issue of the president‘s emotion, if the president were projecting cool, calm, collected competence, I think people would say that‘s great.  The problem is this notion, this sort of sense that he‘s detached while he‘s not able to produce, while he‘s not able to respond effectively on the ground.  You know, you had the people of Louisiana ask for these berms and for three weeks, there were meetings and seminars and discussions and, yes, I‘m going to use the word dithering, here in Washington, while the people of Louisiana waited and the oil got closer to the shore.
SCHULTZ:  Laura Flanders, does she have a valid point?
LAURA FLANDERS, GRIT TV:  Well, guess what I‘m going to say?  Detached.  I mean, her dad was in, you know, he was hiding while the administration he was part of was lying, torturing and defrauding the government.
Arianna Huffington was exactly right.  I mean, Liz Cheney is living, breathing proof that the meritocracy in the media doesn‘t exist, because what are her credentials to participate in these panels?
And one last thing on the relationship between her father and Halliburton, the corporation, and the oil spill, which became the huge point of contention a little bit later in the discussion Sunday—you know, if there‘s so much distance between the two of them, how come BP hired her father‘s former spokesperson and Anne Kolton to be their spokesperson in all of this?  This is close -- 
SCHULTZ:  Karen Hanretty, do you make all of that?
KAREN HANRETTY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST:  This is all such blather.  You‘re right.  Liz Cheney doesn‘t have a blog to write on.  Why on earth would she be on one of these panels?  It‘s not like she worked at the State Department.
This idea that, you know, that once again President Obama is dithering, that‘s not Liz Cheney talking.  That‘s “The New York Times,” “The Washington Post,” the mainstream media has been, I think, rather critical—surprisingly critical of President Obama‘s handling of this issue down in the Gulf Coast.  Liberals, the far left has been very impatient with how long it‘s taken him to really show some leadership and take some action.
So, to paint this as, oh, it‘s just Liz Cheney and the Cheney—
FLANDERS:  Oh, I‘d love to know what Liz Cheney would like the president to do.
FLANDERS:  What—take more restrictions, regulations of the oil company?  Is that what she‘d like them to do?  That‘s what happened on their watch.
HANRETTY:  What she did offer—one thing they could do—why aren‘t they building these berms?  Why didn‘t they build them sooner?  You know, there are short-term things that they can do, that the government—then the government is not going to do it themselves.  But they can certainly lift or approve permits.
FLANDERS:  But it‘s not about short term, it‘s about long-term approach to regulation, exactly the kind of regulation that rolled back on his watch.
HANRETTY:  Here‘s the problem—I think that everyone in this administration is always looking so far down the road, whether it‘s on health care or other issues.  And there‘s nothing wrong with that.  They ignore the immediate.  And in the immediate, they need to stop the oil from going onshore from spreading, and there are things—
FLANDERS:  We agree.  We agree.  But you‘re going to take it from Dick Cheney‘s daughter that this guy is dithering?
SCHULTZ:  Let me jump in here just a moment and let me ask you this—we all know that there are contracts in place, that the contracted companies are responsible for the cleanup.  And there‘s no question the administration trusted British Petroleum early on stages of all of this.  How should the president have handled it, if those contracts were in place for cleanup?  Karen, your thoughts on that.
HANRETTY:  Yes.  And I‘m not here to defend BP or any of the contractors.  But—and we know from other industrial accidents, there really one of the best things the government can to in a situation like this is they can help speed along the process of getting permits, cutting the red tape.  You know, I love listening to—
SCHULTZ:  Oh, they did a pretty good job of that.  They had the permitting process down pretty good.
HANRETTY:  No, they‘re not cutting red tape.  They‘re not.
FLANDERS:  You know what they could be doing—
HANRETTY:  I love Maxine Waters talking about the government all of a sudden is going to create a system where they cut through the red tape and help people jump through hoops.
SCHULTZ:  I want to go to another story here if we can.  This is Helen Thomas caught on tape talking about what she really thinks of the situation with the Palestinians and the Israelis.  Here it is.
HELEN THOMAS, JOURNALIST:  Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine.  Remember, these people are occupied, and it‘s their land, not German‘s, it‘s not Poland‘s.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  So, where should they go?  What should they do?
THOMAS:  They should go home.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Where‘s their home?
THOMAS:  Poland.  Germany.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  So you‘re saying the Jews go back to Poland and Germany?
THOMAS:  And America, and everywhere else.
SCHULTZ:  Laura Flanders, she says she deeply regrets the comments and she‘s also going to retire.  What do you make of all of this?
FLANDERS:  Yes.  I mean, she apologized for the offensive part of what she said there and that‘s more than what can be said for a lot of people in our media.  But it has to be—you know, we have to look at this—she would have gotten less grief apparently if she had, you know, shot nine people dead in the head in international waters.  The White House, which came out immediately out of the gate and said Helen Thomas‘ comments are reprehensible on what Israeli policy has been in this situation—well, they‘ve been much quieter, not so much.
SCHULTZ:  Karen, what do you make of it?
HANRETTY:  I‘m just astounded.  They weren‘t talking about her ideas on policy.  This is a woman who thinks that Jews should go back to the place where they were eliminated, where they were liquefied and exterminated.
SCHULTZ:  You know, a single standard of offensiveness and what she said is offensive, she‘s gone?
HANRETTY:  Oh, I love that you‘re—I love that you are defending her.
SCHULTZ:  All right.  Karen Hanretty and Laura Flanders—always a pleasure.
HANRETTY:  Only a liberal would defend Helen Thomas.  Only a liberal would defend anti-Semitism.
SCHULTZ:  Great to have you with us tonight.  Thanks so much.  Good to have you with us tonight.
Rapid—great “Rapid-Fire” response.
Coming up: The best news you‘ve heard in a long time.  The only one buying Sarah Palin‘s book is Sarah Palin.  And she‘s great at picking losers.  Have you noticed that?  More on that in the “Playbook.”  Liberals, you‘re going to love this story.
We‘ll be right back.
SCHULTZ:  And in my “Playbook” tonight, Sarah Palin‘s political relevance is just about zero these days.  Check this out.  She‘s gone from the woman who was supposed to save John McCain‘s presidential campaign to a quitter whose primary outlet is Facebook.
My next guest says Sarah Palin‘s “used by date” has come and gone.
Let me bring in Holland Cooke, a talk radio consultant with McVay Media.
Holland, what‘s happening here?  Is this like an old ‘45 record that just played its course and it‘s all burned out now?  What do you think?
HOLLAND COOKE, TALK RADIO CONSULTANT:  Well, we live in a very short attention span society.  Characters like Sarah Palin ebb and flow.  She‘s not gone for keeps.
But if you‘ve been following her lately, she isn‘t exactly on a roll.  She handled this “spill, baby, spill” thing horribly and got the horse lap on talk radio last week for her Facebook post.  And now, she‘s hunkered in the bunker behind this 14-foot fence that makes it look like she‘s got something to hide.  She ought to invite the guy over and charm him with some moose stew and at least get her side of the story in his ear.
But we‘re going to know an awful lot more in 24 hours, because Sarah Palin has a very uneven record.  If you are a candidate, her endorsement is by no means a slam dunk.  She has had a couple of winners lately.  Obviously, Rand Paul was conspicuous and she wasn‘t exactly out on a limb backing popular Texas Governor Rick Perry in his primary, a popular incumbent.
She‘s had some wins and some losses.  Jack Murtha‘s seat had to hurt.  There was Ward Vaughn in Idaho, a Republican who helped himself to Democrat Barack Obama‘s 2004 convention speech.
But we‘re going to know a lot more in 24 hours about the value of a Palin endorsement.  And the two states to watch are South Carolina and California.  This Nikki Haley sideshow in South Carolina with two men claiming to have had an affair with her has not weakened Sarah Palin‘s support.  And in California, she‘s gone a little mavericky because she‘s backing Carly Fiorina and the conservative establishment out there is with one of Fiorina‘s opponents.
So, we‘ll know a lot more in 24 hours about the clout of Sarah Palin.
SCHULTZ:  Doesn‘t it always say something about your celebrity status when you end up buying your own books to move up on the charts?
COOKE:  Well, let‘s leave this to greater legal minds than us, but if money is flowing back to her through the PAC as commissions—ouch!
But she has always been a fresh face and what works for characters like Sarah Palin will ultimately work against them.
COOKE:  We‘re in a short attention span society, and the fresh face gets attention and then isn‘t fresh anymore.  So, she‘s got to inveigle herself into stories like these races where she‘s doing endorsements, like the Gulf spill strategy where she stubbed her toe, and lately, she‘s in an ebb.
SCHULTZ:  Holland Cooke, always a pleasure.  Great to have you with us tonight.  It‘s pretty clear that Sarah Palin doesn‘t have the buzz that she used to have.  Good to have you on.
So, final pages in our—
COOKE:  She‘ll be back.
For some final pages in our “Playbook” tonight, Bernie Madoff has shown no remorse for stealing billions of dollars.  “New York” magazine says that disgraced Ponzi schemer told a fellow inmate, “Blank my victims, I carried them for 20 years, and now I‘m doing 150 years.”  While Madoff is one of the most hated men in America, he‘s apparently the big man of the big house.  The report also said fellow inmates look up to him because he pulled off such a big scheme.
And my buddy, the Dallas Cowboy quarterback Tony Romo, could be competing against Tiger at the U.S. Open Golf Tournament in a couple weeks.  Romo is playing in a qualifier today against 36 other golfers.  He finished his first round at one-under-par and is in contention.  The top two move on to play at Pebble Beach, the U.S. Open Golf Tournament.
Good luck, Tony.
Folks, I‘ve been out talking with the hardworking Americans on my book tour and I want to thank everyone who‘s been coming to the town hall meetings.  Minneapolis last Friday night, packed house.  I certainly enjoyed it, a very engaged crowd.  And let me—it‘s all about jobs, it‘s all about the middle-class, and what these folks expect the Obama administration and the Democrats, the party in power, to do for them.
My new book is called “Killer Politics: How Big Money and Bad Politics are Destroying the Great American Middle Class.”  The tour this week makes stops tomorrow in Little Rock, Seattle, Portland and make here to Minneapolis next Friday night.
I‘ll continue to show—to do TV shows and town hall meetings for our radio show across the country over the next couple weeks.  Hope you can join us along the road.
For more information go to or check out my radio Web site at
The cost of the war in Afghanistan is growing.  More troops are being deployed.  The top United States commander says no one is winning.  And today, we hit a very sobering milestone.  Award winning filmmaker, Robert Greenwald, will help us rethink Afghanistan—next.
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.
Finally, tonight, America‘s war in Afghanistan is now the longest war in the country‘s history.  The war enters its 105th month today, surpassing the Vietnam War.  More troops are being deployed and the costs are soaring.  And the violence hasn‘t stopped.  Just today, 10 servicemen were killed in separate incidents.
For more on this, let‘s turn to Robert Greenwald, founder and president of Brave New Films and director of the documentary “Rethink Afghanistan.”
Mr. Greenwald, we‘re not rethinking Afghanistan.  We‘re not getting out.  We‘re getting in deeper and all the numbers show it that way.
What‘s the conclusion here in your opinion?
ROBERT GREENWALD, BRAVE NEW FILMS:  Well, it‘s getting worse and worse as you‘ve said, Ed.  It‘s over 1,000 Americans killed, $1 million per troop, and over $1 trillion spent on these two wars.
With the great pain in this country, with the need for jobs, with the need for health care, the need for education, there is no possible way to justify a war that is not making us any safer.
And think about this for a minute—if we weren‘t in this war, do you think anyone would be saying, let‘s go invade Afghanistan?  Nonsense.
SCHULTZ:  Well, I was a teenager during the Vietnam War and I witnessed the demonstrations on college campuses across the country.  Where‘s the demonstration today?  Is this just a conflict that the American people have accepted?
GREENWALD:  Well, I think there‘s a couple of things, Ed.  First of all, there‘s no draft.  It‘s an economic draft of people who can‘t afford any other options, number one.  And number two, a lot of the activism is taking place on pushing senators and members of the House.
On our Facebook “Rethink Afghanistan” page, we have 35,000 active people, each of them with over 100 friends and every day, they get up and they do something on the Facebook page, only it‘s done online.  It‘s not the same as being in the streets.  But I‘m hopeful and we‘re hopeful that over time, it will be effective, because the elected officials don‘t like this war any more than the public does.
SCHULTZ:  Is Karzai one that we can trust?  Is—we still seem to be banking on him.
GREENWALD:  Well, you know, Ed, that‘s something that makes no sense to me.  As smart as this administration is, how can they possibly think this corrupt guy who stole the election hugely is someone we want to be in alliance with?
“The New York Times” had a devastating story today by Dexter Filkins.  We‘re supporting both sides of this war.  We‘re paying contractors who are then paying the Taliban.
So, it‘s a civil war.  We‘re intervening.  We‘re paying both sides, and there‘s no way that anybody in America is one bit safer because of this.
SCHULTZ:  Well, one thing that jumps out at the American people is the age of the troops that we‘re losing right now.  From 2002 to 2008, the average age was 28 years old.  Then in 2009, it was 26.  And now, in 2010, it‘s 25 years old.  I think a lot of it has to do with that economic word you‘re talking about because this is the job for the youth of America right now it seems like.
Mr. Greenwald, good to have you with us tonight.  Thanks so much.
GREENWALD:  Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ:  Tonight, in our text survey I asked you: do you believe President Obama should order BP to stop its public relations campaign?  Seventy-eight percent of you said yes; 22 percent of you said no.
That‘s THE ED SHOW.  I‘m Ed Schultz.
See you back here tomorrow night from Little Rock, Arkansas. 
Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter will join me live here on THE ED SHOW.
“HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews starts right now on the place for politics, MSNBC.  We‘ll see you tomorrow night.
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