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'The Ed Show' for Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

Read the transcript to the Tuesday show

Guests: Jack Jacobs, Dennis Kucinich, Joan Walsh, Robert Greenwald, Ron
Christie, Laura Flanders, Wendell Potter, Sherrod Brown
ED SCHULTZ, HOST:  Good evening, Americans, and welcome to THE ED SHOW from New York tonight.
These stories are hitting “My Hot Buttons” at this hour.
Well, it‘s a shocking display of disrespect from the top Afghanistan general, Stan McChrystal.  He and his staff trashed the president, the vice president, and a bunch of top administration officials.  The president summons McChrystal back to Washington for a showdown tomorrow. 
My commentary on what the president needs to do in just a moment. 
Karl Rove‘s political action committee is—well, it‘s turning out to be a big failure.  That‘s not really a big surprise from a guy who‘s been known to be Bush‘s brain.  I‘ll tell you all about it at the bottom of the hour. 
And we‘ll take you live to the Deepwater Horizon rig.  NBC‘s Kerry Sanders is in the middle of the ocean with an amazing view of the gusher and the latest on the effort to plug that damn hole.  He‘ll be joining us live here on THE ED SHOW. 
That‘s all coming up.  But this is the story that the country is talking about.  It‘s a story that has got me fired up tonight. 
The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan is sticking it to the commander-in-chief in the pages of “Rolling Stone” magazine.  At this hour, General Stanley McChrystal has been recalled to Washington for a meeting with President Obama tomorrow. 
The president just made this remark moments ago -- 
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  General McChrystal is on his way here, and I am going to meet with him.  Secretary Gates will be meeting with him as well.  I think it‘s clear that the article in which he and his team appeared showed poor judgment, and—but I also want to make sure that I talk to him directly before I make any final decisions. 
Even as General McChrystal is on his way here, I want everybody to keep in mind what our central focus is, and that is success in making sure that al Qaeda and its affiliates cannot attack the United States and its allies.  And we‘ve got young men and women there who are making enormous sacrifices, families back home who are making enormous sacrifices.  And so whatever decision that I make with respect to General McChrystal or any other aspect of Afghan policy is determined entirely on how I can make sure that we have a strategy that justifies the enormous courage and sacrifice that those men and women are making over there, and that ultimately makes this country safer. 
SCHULTZ:  I‘ll tell you, the president has got it.  He‘s never going to overreact, and he is playing this one perfectly. 
The president is going to meet with the general who is in hot water tomorrow after the “Rolling Stone” article quotes an adviser to the general describing McChrystal‘s first Oval Office meeting with President Obama this way: “Obama clearly didn‘t know anything about him, who he was.  Here‘s the guy who‘s going to this (blank) war, but he didn‘t seem very engaged.” “The Boss”—meaning the general—“was pretty disappointed.” 
McChrystal told “Rolling Stone,” “I found that time painful.  I was selling an unsellable position.” 
McChrystal also took some major verbal shots at Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. Envoy Richard Holbrooke, and NSA adviser Jim Jones. 
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was asked about how the president responded to the article today. 
QUESTION:  Were you with the president when he reacted in any way to this story?  And if so, how would you describe it?  Was he surprised?  Was he angry? 
ROBERT GIBBS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY:  I gave him the article last night, and he was angry. 
QUESTION:  How so? 
GIBBS:  Angry.  You would know it if you saw it. 
SCHULTZ:  McChrystal knows he was out of line, so he issues this apology: “I extend my sincerest apology for this profile.  It was a mistake reflecting poor judgment and should have never have happened.  Throughout my career, I have lived by the principles of personal honor and professional integrity.  What is reflected in this article falls far short of that standard.”
You know, we‘ve heard all that before from this guy.  General McChrystal has put the president of the United States in an untenable position.  The president either has to fire him or let this culture of insubordination permeate through the ranks of the men and women under his command. 
The “Rolling Stone” articles paints McChrystal as a hard-drinking loose cannon.  The general has also been accused of covering up the friendly fire that killed soldier Pat Tillman. 
The man in charge of 90,000 American lives in a war zone shouldn‘t waste time running his mouth or cutting corners on the truth.  His job demands the highest level of honor and loyalty.  It‘s about loyalty.  And this stupid interview proves that he doesn‘t live up to that code. 
McChrystal knows an interview like this is going to be just absolute red meat politically for the Republicans and the conservative media in this country that hates Obama anyway.  He‘s given Dick Cheney and all of his cronies all the ammunition in the world to go on a summer offensive against the president‘s policies. 
Whose side is everybody on?  This is America.  We are at war.  Aren‘t we? 
This was a stupid move by McChrystal.  So, once again, here‘s President Obama.  He has to fix yet another problem he inherited from the Bush administration. 
I want the president to step up, stand up, take charge, and fire this jackass, General McChrystal.  Our troops deserve more. 
The treasure that we have spent in Afghanistan, the billions of dollars that taxpayers are paying to support this thing, while we see our middle class gutted at home and our infrastructure crippling.  And this is what America gets? 
We all know that this guy McChrystal went through military training at West Point, he has come up through the ranks.  He‘s got to be smarter than this. 
If he says it to a reporter, is he saying it to the troops?  Is he emboldening the enemy? 
Tell me what you think in our telephone survey tonight.  The number to dial is 1-877-ED-MSNBC. 
My question tonight is: Do you think President Obama should fire General McChrystal? 
Press 1 for yes, press 2 for no, and I‘ll bring you the results later on in the show. 
This just in.  NBC‘s Chuck Todd reports that according to two senior administration aides, General McChrystal has not—has not offered his resignation.  However, he has informed his superiors that he is prepared to do so. 
Joining me now is retired Army Colonel Jack Jacobs, Medal of Honor recipient, and an MSNBC military analyst. 
Colonel, great to have you with us tonight. 
There‘s no way that this man could go to West Point, go through decades of training, be at this level, and not know what he‘s saying. 
JACOBS:  Oh, yes. 
SCHULTZ:  That‘s my thought.  Your thoughts on this? 
JACOBS:  Well, you‘re absolutely correct.  As a matter of fact, General McChrystal, when he was a cadet, was there at the same time that I was an instructor.  I was a major at West Point, and I knew him. 
He was very button-down, very serious, very straight—straight-walking, straight-talking and straight-running cadet.  He was very good at what he did. 
He‘s been in special operations for a long time, and he‘s done a very, very good job.  But you‘re absolutely right, he was taught how to act and what to do from a very early age at West Point, and that kind of thing has been reinforced.  It‘s always reinforced in the chain of command. 
You can complain all you want to about the plan to the commander before the decision is made.  Once the decision is made, unless the order is immoral or illegal, you salute and carry it out.  There‘s no place for public disclosure, public discussion about plans, about people in the chain of command, especially at the highest levels of the food chain. 
SCHULTZ:  So now I—as I said, this puts President Obama in an untenable position.  If he fires this guy, there are some who are going to say, well, he‘s lost control of the war.  If he keeps him, you know, he‘s going to be criticized there that he doesn‘t have the discipline himself or the guts to get rid of somebody that is involved in insubordination. 
What should the president do?  If you‘re in his office, what do you tell him? 
JACOBS:  Well, he‘s got to fire him.  He absolutely needs to let him go.
And, by the way, I‘m not somebody who necessarily has good things to say about all the things in the national security sphere that the president has done since he‘s taken office.  But I can tell you this, he‘s absolutely, positively got to fire him, because there‘s no way that you can permit either insubordination or the appearance of insubordination through the ranks. 
It‘s a very bad example.  And I haven‘t spoken to a single person in or out of the service who feels any different than I do. 
McChrystal, I‘m surprised that he hasn‘t tendered his resignation already.  But I bet you he‘s got it in his pocket.  He‘s going to salute the president when he reports to him in the Oval Office, and he‘s going to hand him his resignation.  They may have a discussion about it before or after, but I‘ll be astounded if General McChrystal is still in the position that he is in today after he meets with the president of the United States. 
SCHULTZ:  Colonel Jacobs, always a pleasure.  Thanks for your work.  I appreciate your time tonight. 
JACOBS:  Good to be with you.
SCHULTZ:  For more, let me bring in Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich, who has been a critic of our operations in Afghanistan since they started. 
What does this mean in the big picture, Congressman?  Your thoughts on where this stands right now? 
REP. DENNIS KUCINICH (D), OHIO:  General McChrystal‘s strategy has been the strategy that has been carried through in Afghanistan, and unfortunately, it‘s failed.  Counterinsurgency has not worked.  It has caused more casualties for our troops, more civilian casualties.  It‘s put us in a position where the war will be longer and more costly. 
The bigger picture here, Ed, is that Congress has to determine—we‘ve seen enough, there‘s enough confusion, there‘s enough dissention in the ranks.  We need to get out of Afghanistan.  And this might be an opportunity for us to have a deeper discussion about it.
SCHULTZ:  What if the president doesn‘t fire this guy?  What does that do?  I mean, you guys in the Congress have got to fork out billions of dollars again pretty soon.
KUCINICH:  Well, I think that the previous guest on your show made a case as to the course of action that General McChrystal will take.  But there‘s a bigger picture here.
The president is commander-in-chief.  We all know what that means. 
There‘s a chain of command.
We understand what the chain of command means.  We understand that when you‘re within that chain of command, there is such a thing as insubordination if you move to publicly chastise your superiors.
But we also know there are men and women who are dying right now.  The morale of the troops is going to keep sinking.
We have to keep in mind that there are men and women who have their lives on the line, this is not a mission that is possible.  We need to bring those young men and women home.
SCHULTZ:  Congressman Kucinich, appreciate your time tonight on THE ED SHOW.  Thank you.
KUCINICH:  Thank you.
SCHULTZ:  Coming up, President Obama‘s six-month moratorium on new deepwater drilling is lifted?  The judge says he needed an adequate reason for the ban.
Hey, Judge, how about that gusher is still flowing into the Gulf?
More on that in a moment.
And the genius behind the permanent Republican majority has failed again.  Karl “Turd Blossom” Rove, he‘s all hype and no action, and no cash either.
We‘ve got “Rapid Fire Response” on that.
And I‘ll help the 99ers in the “Playbook.”
School (ph) up “Beckster” in the “Zone” again.
And we‘ll get a live report from the site of the spill in the Gulf.
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW, and thanks for watching tonight. 
Well, I guess you could say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting a different result.  Well, this afternoon, a federal judge in Louisiana blocked President Obama‘s six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling. 
We haven‘t even figured out how to stop the first oil leak.  We don‘t know what caused the rig to blow up.  But that‘s not enough to stop even more deepwater drilling?  What is going on here? 
The White House says it will file an immediate appeal because it defies common sense to go ahead with more deep oil drilling when we haven‘t even plugged the first hole. 
For more, let me bring in Joan Walsh, editor-in-chief, 
You know, when this first came down, Joan, I thought, well, gosh, big oil is now in our court system, you know.  They are everywhere. 
JOAN WALSH, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, SALON.COM:  Absolutely.  They are spreading, the spill. 
SCHULTZ:  What was your reaction to this?  I was rather surprised. 
WALSH:  I was actually surprised.  I don‘t know why I was surprised, Ed, but I was surprised, too. 
You know, but the one thing I‘ll say, the good thing about this, is you now have a really clear picture of Republican government and Republican justice.  This is a Reagan appointee, Judge Feldman.  He has apparently investments in five different oil companies, including Transocean.  He should have recused himself.
WALSH:  But what we have learned from all of this, from Joe Barton and from Judge Feldman, is the profits of the oil companies must come first.  The safety of workers, the health of the Gulf, the health of the whole region comes second.  That‘s what we know.
So now we—it‘s clear, so now I‘m glad we know. 
SCHULTZ:  In the meantime, Secretary Salazar is putting together a new department head who is going to oversee drilling.  I don‘t know what that‘s going to do, but on these deepwater rigs, do they have these acoustic switches?  Do they have all the safety precautions in place that this exploratory rig did not have at the Horizon rig? 
I mean—
WALSH:  That‘s what they don‘t know yet, and that‘s why the moratorium
made sense.  And, you know, it was supposed to be brief, and then they got
you know, they got a few weeks into it, and the president decided it should be six months, which, to me, it‘s not long enough.  But let‘s say six months is a reasonable amount of time to figure out, did other rigs cut corners the way BP did? 

You know, the judge called this I think arbitrary and capricious, this moratorium.  I can‘t think of anything more arbitrary and capricious than the way BP operated on that rig. 
We don‘t know exactly why it blew, Ed, and that is true, he says.  How can we do this when we don‘t know why it blew?  But we know two things. 
We know, one, they cut corners every chance they could.  That‘s one thing.  So, are other companies doing that?  And then the second thing is we know they don‘t know how to stop a blowout like this. 
WALSH:  So, if there‘s no contingency planning for this kind of disaster, how in God‘s name could we take a chance that this might happen even on a smaller scale elsewhere in the Gulf? 
SCHULTZ:  Do you think that this strengthens the majority party‘s hand in trying to push forward on climate change, just having the American people understand the culture of all of this, that big oil runs America? 
WALSH:  I hope so.  You know, I hope so.  It‘s going to take some courage, though, because big oil is fighting back.  Republicans are fighting back.
You know, our president can be a fighter, can be a very impressive fighter when he chooses to fight.  And I think he‘s going to join this fight.  But it‘s going to take the strength of a lot of Democrats standing up and saying, you know, we know some industries are going to suffer, but we‘re going to stand up for the American people and say this won‘t happen again. 
SCHULTZ:  Joan Walsh,
Great to have you with us.  Thanks so much.
WALSH:  Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ:  Coming up, “The Beckster” teaches “Psycho Talk” 101 to the public on a daily basis, but his rant against public schooling earns him time in the “Zone.” 
I‘m going to nail him in a moment.  You‘ll want to see it.  Stay with us.
SCHULTZ:  And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, “The Beckster” chalks up another appearance. 
On his radio show today, he got all riled up talking about his indoctrination conspiracy theories, and then he came up with a very unique and exceptionally psycho solution. 
GLENN BECK, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  The problem in America is we don‘t even know the truth of who we are.  The problem in America is we‘re being indoctrinated from dawn until dusk every single day, seven days a week. 
We‘re being indoctrinated by Washington.  We‘re being indoctrinated by our unions.  We‘re being indoctrinated in our schools.  We‘re being indoctrinated in the media.  We‘re being indoctrinated. 
What are you even talking about that—you‘re darn right we should abolish public schools. 
SCHULTZ:  Abolish public schools. 
Now, I‘ll give “The Beckster” an “A” for creativity on this one.  But he gets a big “F” for sheer stupidity. 
No entertainment here tonight, folks.  This is a serious subject. 
This is one of the most un-American things this guy has ever said, because one of the great things about America and public education is, you know, when the doors open, everybody is welcome.  That‘s the great thing about America. 
It doesn‘t matter if you‘re rich or if you‘re poor.  It doesn‘t matter if you‘ve got a disability.  It doesn‘t matter if you‘re a gifted child.  It doesn‘t matter if you‘re a minority. 
I‘d like to know how Beck plans to educate this country‘s 50 million public school students.  This guy‘s dangerous. 
He‘s a huge supporter of home schooling and private school vouchers. 
And this is an admission that he really does want two Americas.
And I think it‘s pathetic that somebody is on the airwaves in this country that‘s allowed to say this kind of garbage.  It‘s against the foundation of this country and everything this country has ever stood for when it comes to opportunity in education.  And he wants to take that away.
And you Tea Partiers out there, you think that this guy is some kind of God?  You genuflect to this nitwit? 
He has to be saying it for effect, but it has to be said because he‘s got a big audience and a lot of people follow this guy.  They don‘t listen to him.  They follow him.  He‘s got followers. 
Beck saying that public schools should be abolished is un-American, uneducated “Psycho Talk.”  
Coming up, Bush‘s brain has come up with $50 million short.  Did you hear that?  Short of his Republican fund-raising expectations. 
I‘ll get “Rapid Fire Response” to the “Turd Blossom” next. 
And the general slams the president.  That‘s got me mad, but my biggest concern, what does this mean for the brave men and women on the front lines? 
Award-winning filmmaker Robert Greenwald joins me to rethink Afghanistan. 
All that, plus the president lays down the law with insurance companies. 
And we‘re going to go live to the scene of the Deepwater Horizon. 
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.  Stay with us. 
SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW, and thanks for watching tonight. 
“The Battleground” story this evening: the commander-in-chief versus the general. 
General Stanley McChrystal will have to face President Obama tomorrow at the White House after he and his staff attacked and mocked the president, the vice president and several top officials in a “Rolling Stone” magazine article.  It‘s clear insubordination, but there is a bigger underlying problem for the president. 
The United States has dug into Afghanistan big-time.  General McChrystal is the architect and the biggest advocate of counterinsurgency strategy now under way, including a controversial troop surge the president signed off on.  The solution may be to axe not just McChrystal, but the entire U.S. policy in Afghanistan. 
For more on that, lets bring in Robert Greenwald of Brave New Films.  He‘s the director of “Rethink Afghanistan.”  Mr. Greenwald, always a pleasure.  Good to have you with us.  
SCHULTZ:  Do you think that this has been boiling for some time, and has it, in your opinion, got to the  point where this is just going to make the decision for us to get out of Afghanistan just a hell of a lot easier?  What do you think?
GREENWALD:  Well, I don‘t know that it will ever be easier or easier, Ed, but it‘s certainly a time to—I mean, first of all, as you were saying earlier, the general must submit his resignation.  It‘s the honorable thing to do.  He‘s clearly in violation of every ethical and moral and legal restriction around the relationship between the military and the presidency.  The president should immediately accept the resignation, and the president should use this as a time to rethink what‘s been a tragic horrible policy.  McChrystal had said, the war was going to be a government in a box.  It turned out to be a bleeding ulcer.  The number of Americans dead, the number of Afghans dead, $1 million per every soldier that we send over there, it fundamentally just doesn‘t make any sense, and I hope that he and the advisers around him will really use this opportunity.  
SCHULTZ:  Here‘s the article, “Rolling Stone.”  “But even if McChrystal somehow manages to succeed after years of bloody fighting with Afghan kids who pose no threat to the u.s. homeland, the war will do little to shut down Al Qaeda which has shifted its operations to Pakistan, dispatching 150,000 troops to build new schools, roads, mosques and water treatment facilities around Kandahar is like trying to stop the drug war in Mexico by occupying Arkansas and building Baptist churches in little rock.”  Is this—does this—that paragraph pretty much capture what you saw when you were doing “Rethink Afghanistan” and were you producing this documentary?
GREENWALD:  It really does capture it.  It‘s what I saw when I was in Afghanistan.  It‘s what we saw when we talk to the soldiers, to the people of Afghanistan.  It‘s what we see every single day, Ed, on our “Rethink Afghanistan” Facebook page where we hear from soldiers and we hear from people over there, and what you‘re getting at is exactly the case.  It fundamentally doesn‘t make sense.  I defy anybody in the administration to give us a reasonable explanation as to why we are there, and if we weren‘t there, Ed, can you imagine some elected officials standing up today and saying, let‘s spend billions of dollars and send 100,000 troops and invade and occupy Afghanistan?  You would think they were insane.
SCHULTZ:  And McChrystal has gotten what he has wanted as far as funding and troops, and basically the President of the United States has listened to the generals on the ground, or is that a stretch?
GREENWALD:  Well, he‘s more than listened to the general on the ground.  As Congressman Grayson has said, asking the military how many troops you want is like asking your 5-year-old how much candy he wants.  It‘s not the way to go.  We know that all presidents can initially be sometimes affected by military or CIA advice.  This president‘s a brilliant man, and all of us have to hope and more than hope work very hard to let him know that this war is not working.  It doesn‘t support our values and it doesn‘t make us safer.  
SCHULTZ:  And McChrystal has a reputation of pretty much shooting from the hip in his career, does he not?
GREENWALD:  Oh, definitely.  Well, more than shooting from the hip, Ed.  When he was at West Point, there are over 100 citations for drinking, partying and insubordination.  He was involved in the Pat Tillman cover-up and most recently and awfully, he was very cleverly and publicly pressuring the president, leaking the reports, going on television, criticizing the administration.  This is not an isolated act of insubordination.  It‘s a pattern.  
SCHULTZ:  Yes.  
GREENWALD:  It‘s time for him to go, but most importantly, it‘s time for all of us to raise some hell and say, we‘ve got to question this policy.  
SCHULTZ:  Robert Greenwald, always a pleasure.  Good to have you with us tonight.  Thanks so much.  
GREENWALD:  Thank you. 
SCHULTZ:  One programming note, tonight, Rachel Maddow has got an interview with Michael Hastings, the “Rolling Stone” reporter who wrote the piece on McChrystal, you won‘t want to miss it.  That‘s tonight here on MSNBC, “The Rachel Maddow Show.” 
Right now, let‘s get some rapid fire response from our panel on V stories.  Voters in one Nebraska town, well, they have made it a crime to hire or rent property to illegal immigrants.  The ACLU is vowing to fight the ordinance which it says is un-American.  A political action committee headed up by Former Bush Architect Karl Rove is turning out to be a dismal failure.  Rove predicted that the group would raise $52 million.  Right now, it‘s about $51 million short of its goal.  And our panel weighs in on whether President Obama should fire General Stanley McChrystal for sounding off on his leadership and attacking senior members of the Obama administration. 
With us tonight, Laura Flanders, author of “Blue Grit” and the host of grit TV on Free Speech TV and Ron Christie, Republican Strategist.  Ron, we‘ll start with you.  First tonight, let‘s go to Nebraska.  What do you make of this, that we now have got, you know, local governments deciding what to do about immigration and legally putting the hammer down?  What‘s the future of this, in your opinion?
RON CHRISTIE, GOP STRATEGIST:  Well, good evening, Ed.  I think that the American people in states across the country are getting very frustrated by the inability of the Federal government to seal and secure our borders.  You‘ve seen this in Arizona.  You‘ve seen this obviously in Nebraska, and you‘re seeing this starting to pop up around the country where people are saying, if the Federal government is un-capable or unwilling to act, we‘re going to step in, and I think it‘s a very interesting case now that the Obama administration is seeking to sue the state of Arizona.  Apparently, next week, we‘ll going to see Eric Holder file, if they can‘t act if the proper defense of this country, I think the states and municipalities are saying, we‘ll step into that void.  
SCHULTZ:  Laura Flanders, is it un-American to pass a law that would set the table for dealing with folks who aren‘t here legally?  What about that?
LAURA FLANDERS:  Well, if you‘re talking about federal law, I mean, I think what cities like Fremont have just walked into is a conflict with the Federal government over jurisdiction.  I mean, talk about what‘s American and what isn‘t.  The constitution, 14th amendment, protects those who are here from discrimination regardless of their citizenship status and it‘s been understood that way by the Supreme Court for decades.  What the citizens of Fremont are now doing here is inviting lawsuits that will eat up precious dollars and they are losing $1.6 billion I read today, in spending by these same so-called immigrant groups.  If that‘s the way they want to go into endless legal tussles while resources are scarce, you know, sure, it‘s done.  
SCHULTZ:  Ron, what about the 14th amendment in this situation?
CHRISTIE:  Well, again, I think the 14th amendment is a very important safeguard that we have constitutionally, but the thing that frustrates me, Ed, is that people are saying that illegal aliens should be afford rights of our constitution and our laws.  I get so tired of this.  These people. 
FLANDERS:  We‘re talking about discrimination.  
CHRISTIE:  Whatever their intentions were for coming here to work, they broke the law by being here.  They are not here legally and we need to. 
FLANDERS:  It‘s the Federal government‘s jurisdiction to decide their status.  Someone could be undocumented for a world reasons.  Maybe they are they‘re claiming asylum.  The city doesn‘t know that.  Only the state and federal government knows that about that issue.  
CHRISTIE:  I‘m not talking about that and as a native Californian and one where we drain billions of dollars a year providing services for people who are here illegally, particularly on this time of a recession, we need to be very responsible about who‘s coming, who‘s going in an age of terror and I think that these folks do not have legal standing to say that this is un-American. 
FLANDERS:  The issue here is housing and jobs.  
SCHULTZ:  All right.
CHRISTIE:  No.  The issue here is actually making sure that this country‘s borders are very, very secure and we have a porous border.  
SCHULTZ:  OK.  Ron Christie, what about the big meeting tomorrow with General McChrystal?  Does the president fire him?
CHRISTIE:  I hope he doesn‘t.  Let me say this.  
SCHULTZ:  You hope he does not fire him?
CHRISTIE:  I hope he does not fire General McChrystal.  
CHRISTIE:  I think he‘s a patriot, he‘s served his country with valor.  I think his comments were frankly very stupid.  You should not be talking with off-the-fly comments with “Rolling Stone” reporters.  I think that being said, Ed, the president has set up a deadline of July 2011 to pull our troops out.  Is this the time right now that you want to shake up the senior leadership of the American military in Afghanistan?
SCHULTZ:  Yes, if they are not loyal, I mean, it has nothing to do with loyalty.  It has nothing to do with loyalty.  
SCHULTZ:  This is not a democracy in the military.  You do what you‘re told, and you‘ve got to have loyalty, and if you lose that loyalty, you lose the structure of command throughout the entire ranks.  
CHRISTIE:  Who says he‘s disloyal?  Who says he‘s disloyal?  Hang on a second.  You talk about disloyalty.  I read the article.  There are far more quotes attributed to unnamed sources than they are to McChrystal.  Should McChrystal have said the president was unprepared?  No, he shouldn‘t have said that.  But to fire him over that is absurd.  
FLANDERS:  It‘s not about what the person said, it‘s what about the person did and we shouldn‘t just be firing McChrystal.  We need to be firing this policy.  He can be fired, quit.  We need to quit Afghanistan.  You know, the coverage this is getting now.  You would think the back stabbing a president which is bad is worse than bombing thousands of civilians.  We‘ve got to move that conversation to the policy that McChrystal has goaded us into which is a massive escalation.  That doesn‘t work.  McChrystal goaded us into it.  He should go, but so should the policy likewise.  
SCHULTZ:  I think you lose the structure of authority if you allow somebody at that level to be so visibly worldwide and to undercut and undermine the commander in chief.  I think the president is in an untenable position.  He‘s got to move and relieve this guy of his responsibilities.  And believe me.  There are other people in the military who can handle special operations.  
FLANDERS:  But it‘s not about the one guy.  
SCHULTZ:  He is not the right guy at this point.  He‘s constantly stumbles and does this stuff, Ron.  He‘s got a culture of doing this kind of stuff.  
CHRISTIE:  Ed, the culture I would say very briefly, the culture that I found is the unnamed aides in the story.  The president needs to exert more management and more leadership.  
SCHULTZ:  What do you think, “Rolling Stone” is not credible?
CHRISTIE:  No.  That‘s not what I‘m saying at all, I mean.
SCHULTZ:  Fox News, they do that all the time, Ron.  
FLANDERS:  Let‘s face it, Ed, he was speaking of human rights violations or killing of civilians or lawless killings by man less drones, I would have a different perspective.  I would say, the guy was speaking out for what‘s right.  
SCHULTZ:  All right.  
FLANDERS:  He might be losing his job by doing it, but we‘re for general speech.  
CHRISTIE:  Notwithstanding the fact that these folks killed us and these folks attacked us, lawless killings.  
SCHULTZ:  Al Qaeda is not in Afghanistan.  We are building an infrastructure for goodwill over in Afghanistan.  We haven‘t even cleaned out the Taliban from Kandahar.  It‘s not working.  
FLANDERS:  It‘s time for McChrystal to go and time for us to go.  
SCHULTZ:  And now you‘ve got a frustrated general who wants to throw it on the commander in chief saying, well, he doesn‘t know what the hell he‘s talking about anyway.  
CHRISTIE:  No, Ed.  That‘s actually not what he said.  He said that the president was not prepared for his meeting.  He didn‘t say that the president was entirely unprepared for the entire war strategy.  
SCHULTZ:  Then, why did he apologize?  Why did he apologize, Ron?  He apologized because he knows he‘s out of line.
CHRISTIE:  Ed, that‘s exactly right.  He apologized because he was out of line, but is it in the best geostrategic interest of the United States to replace our top commander in Afghanistan.  
SCHULTZ:  Yes.  All right.  
FLANDERS:  I say no.  
SCHULTZ:  On a lighter note.
FLANDERS:  We‘re out of line in Afghanistan.  
SCHULTZ:  Ron Christie on a lighter note, how come your buddy Karl Rove can‘t raise any money anymore?  What‘s going on there?
CHRISTIE:  Hey, Karl is a pretty prolific fund-raiser.  Obviously, there are a number of political action committees and causes that he‘s for.  I think, at the end of the day, I know, Ed, you‘re taking particular glee here that we‘ll have the money in resources to be over there retire a lot of these democrats and bring sense back to Washington, D.C.  
SCHULTZ:  All right.  I give you piece of that.  Laura Flanders says, Karl Rove has the edge off, he doesn‘t have the pull he used to have, what about it?
FLANDERS:  Well, I think, we‘re looking at the impact of the tea partiers and all the others within the Republican Party.  That‘s always where I think, they will going to have the greatest impact, more than on the national agenda and that‘s what people are up against, people are very furious about where the Republican Party is at.
SCHULTZ:  Well, I think they raised 20 bucks last month with this group.  
CHRISTIE:  They are furious with the democrats who are destroying this country with failed economic policies.  
SCHULTZ:  All right.  Ron Christie, Laura Flanders.  Always a pleasure.  Great panel tonight.  Thanks so much.  Coming up, I‘m not going to stop fight for the 99ers.  People whose unemployment benefits have expired, they‘re living on nothing.  The senate—well, they‘re stalling this folks.  And I think that the president got to sign an executive order to get it done.  I think, he needs to do it.  Senator Sherrod Brown will respond from Ohio, from Capitol Hill actually, in just a moment.  Stay with us.
SCHULTZ:  It‘s still not too late to let us know what you think.  The number to dial is 1-877-ed-msnbc.  Tonight‘s telephone survey question is, do you think President Obama should fire General McChrystal?  Press the number one for yes and press the number two for no.  Again the number to dial is 1-877-ed-msnbc.              
SCHULTZ:  And to my Playbook tonight, three months after President Obama signed historic health care reform into law, he‘s standing strong against republicans who are vowing to repeal the bill. 
BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  And I‘ve got some folks on the other side of the aisle that still think that none of this should happen, and in fact have said they are going to run on a platform of repeal.  They want to go back to the system we had before.  Would you?  Would you want to go back to discriminating against children with pre-existing conditions?  Would you want to go back to dropping coverage for people when they get sick?  We‘re not going back.  I refuse to go back.  
SCHULTZ:  Today, the president also announced a patient‘s bill of rights, a set of consumer protections that will begin this September.  His remarks came after he met with insurance executives and warned them against jacking up their rates as the new regulations go into effect. 
Joining me now is Wendell Potter, author of “Deadly Spin: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate pr is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans.”  This is very timely.  Mr. Potter, great to have you back with us tonight.  
SCHULTZ:  This is just going to be an ongoing battle on rate increases, isn‘t it?
POTTER:  Sure will be, it will be for quite some time and it will be something we have to watch overtime.  Because unfortunately, the Federal government will not have the authority to review and refuse some of these the rate increases.  It will have to be done at a state level and some states don‘t even have that kind of authority.  
SCHULTZ:  So, how does the White House counterpunch this?  What do you do?
POTTER:  Well, the bully pulpit is one thing and the other is to make sure that there‘s more transparency and the legislation does require insurance companies to be more forthcoming, and also the—the insurers.  Will have to give some accounting for what is referred to as unreasonable rate increases, so there will be some information that insurance companies will have to provide that they have never had to provide before.  
SCHULTZ:  But if we‘re looking at another 20 percent rate increase this year, a lot of Americans are  going to be sitting out there saying, you know, what‘s better about this?
POTTER:  Well, you‘re right, but keep in mind that if it had not been for this legislation, these rate increases undoubtedly would be higher and they would keep going up at a much greater level than they would in the absence of reform.  
SCHULTZ:  Well, the patients‘ bill of rights, it‘s got some good stuff in it.  No pre-existing condition exclusion for kids, no dropping coverage arbitrarily, no lifetime limits on coverage, phasing out annual coverage limits and guaranteed choice of doctors.  This is—this is the most positive stuff, and now the president and the democrats are going to have to sell it, correct?
POTTER:  That‘s correct.  And it‘s easier to condemn something with a sound bite than it is to try to sell something that has a lot of benefits.  That‘s their challenge that they have got to—they real have a challenge, especially over the coming several months as we go into the election cycle.  
SCHULTZ:  Wendell Potter, thanks so much.  I‘m looking forward to reading your book.  Thank you.  
POTTER:  Thank you, Ed.  
SCHULTZ:  The president got health care done, but he needs to really show some success on the jobs front ahead of the mid terms.  A “New York Times”/cbs News poll—a “New York Times”/cbs News poll out today shows Americans are increasingly worried that the president does not have a plan to lower unemployment.  Only 34 percent say, he has a clear plan to create jobs, but more than half of the people, 54 percent, say he does not.  I think one way to help the jobs picture in the future is to help the long-term unemployment right now, the 99ers.  People whose unemployment benefits have expired, need our help.  The senate is stalling so they are asking for an executive order, and I think the president obviously needs to do this. 
Joining me now is Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, a member of the Senate Health Committee.  The 99ers want some positive news real soon.  Senator, are they going to get it?
SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D), OHIO:  Well, I think they are.  I mean, we‘re going to just keep pushing on the senate floor day after day after day.  Senators in the White House and I were on the floor and Senator Stabenow is taking the floor tonight with other senators who are pushing for this extension.  We‘re going to, you know, there are more and more people are organizing in this state to push republican senators to vote for it.  I mean, you know, what‘s amazing—I think, Ed, when you get right down to it, as you and I have talked before, most republican senators don‘t know people who have lost their jobs, who have lost their health insurance, even lost their homes.  And I just think they need to start hearing stories and get political pressure, so they wean themselves off of with this Jihad that they have in opposition to doing the right thing and from the Tea Parties and others and do the right thing.  
SCHULTZ:  The 99ers have sent a letter to the president via some representatives, “We group of long-term unemployed citizens who have exhausted all available weeks of unemployment benefits.  We spend money every day sending out resumes and applying for jobs.  Ninety percent of the time, we don‘t even receive an acknowledgement that our resumes and applications were received.  We call ourselves the 99ers.  There are well over—well over two million of us, and that number continues to grow.” 
Now, this—do we have a moral obligation, and I have run into these
people on my book tour on seven major cities across the country.  This is
real stuff that people are going to be put out of their homes.  They can‘t
they don‘t have any money coming in.  I mean, how in the world can the president not do this by executive order?  What about that?

BROWN:  The president needs to—however we can do it, we need to do it.  I don‘t think the president‘s done that before with an executive order on this.  I‘m not positive about that.  Whatever he needs to do, whatever we need to do, and I—part of this I think, Ed, is that a lot of republicans just philosophically don‘t like  unemployment insurance.  They called—I think it‘s welfare, but they need to understand that when you‘re working, you pay into this employment—unemployment insurance fund.  When you‘re laid off you get assistance out.  And obviously, these are people that have been drawing unemployment compensation for a long time but they are, as you say, they don‘t draw it unless they continue to look for work.  They send out resumes.  They make calls. 
BROWN:  They visit agencies.  They do whatever it takes to try to get a job.  There aren‘t jobs for these people in too many cases, and we‘ve got to—we‘ve got to keep them—build that bridge until they can get work.  At the same time, money you put into unemployment is money that gets recycled into the economy and creates, generates economic activity, and that‘s going to help us pull ourselves out of this—this terrible economic situation we‘re in. 
BROWN:  You know that 
SCHULTZ:  I know that.  Senator, we‘ll have you back talking about jobs.  We‘ve got to create them.  Good to have you with us.  
BROWN:  Thanks, Ed.  
SCHULTZ:  Coming up, we go live to the site of the gusher.  Kerry Sanders is miles from the deepwater horizon rig in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico.  The pictures and the story of how he got there are incredible.  Stay with us.                       
SCHULTZ:  And finally, tonight.  Oil is gushing into the Gulf of Mexico for the 64th day in a row as crews continue drilling relief wells to intercept the blowout pipe and hopefully finally stop the leak.  NBC‘s Kerry Sanders joins me live from the gulf just 1.7 miles from the site of the deepwater horizon oil spill.  Kerry, I‘m curious.  What does it smell like out there, and also what about access to the site?
KERRY SANDERS, NBC:  OK.  It stinks out here, and it‘s continual.  In fact, it gets worse as the day goes on because the sun heats it up and begins some of that evaporative process.  So at times actually, you get a little dizzy out here, and I‘m not talking about the motion from the ocean out here.  Let me take you out to what we‘re standing in front of.  That is the relief work, and that flame you see, the flare you see shooting out the side there.  That‘s the natural gas that they are burning off, and then to the right there‘s that ship called the q-4000.  They are capturing maybe 10,000 barrels of the 60,000 barrels that they are getting into that ship, and it‘s like something out of a “mad max” movie as they are burning it and trying to eliminate it at the source. 
They are capturing somewhere around 15,000 barrels of oil that they are putting into a ship.  Now, I‘ve got an underwater camera here, and the oil comes at us in waves, and so as I look down here and I bring this  camera down, you‘re actually looking at a moment where we don‘t have that thick wave of  oil.  There is a sheen on there which is perhaps more visible to the eye than it is to the camera. 
Bob Cabner (ph) is here with me.  Bob, the oil that we see at times coming through here and then it dissipates, explain, first of all, why we don‘t just see one black pile of oil here.  Why is it not flat?  Why is it doing this where it comes and then disappears?
BOB CABNER, OIL INDUSTRY EXPERT:  One of the things here, Kerry, that‘s really different than most oil spills that we‘ve seen before is it‘s coming from so deep, and they are applying dispersant right on the bottom, and so what happens is that oil  breaks up into millions of little tiny droplets, some of it does.  Some of it comes to the surface as emulsion mixed with sea water, and it‘s the very thick stuff.  The oil mixed with dispersant breaks up into tiny drops and spreads everywhere.  It doesn‘t go away.  It‘s still there.  It‘s just harder to pick up.  
SANDERS:  We were doing some math here.  We‘ve got 15,000 barrels to the left, plus that. 
CABNER:  Right.  
SANDERS:  Plus the natural gasses being burned off, about 10,000 barrels over there.  Do the math for me.  With the oil and the gas, how much do you believe in market value?
CABNER:  Right now about $1 million a day we figure with this being burned off.  They are retrieving it about another three million that they have committed to use for restoring the coast, but they are actually burning away that much value.  
SANDERS:  OK.  Bob, thank you very much for joining us here. 
CABNER:  Thank you.
SANDERS:  Expert in the oil industry.  Boy, what a mess out here, and the good news is if there is any in this disaster, those relief wells, one is 28 percent ahead of schedule and the other is 40 percent ahead of schedule.  It‘s possible, they may actually be able to close this off before that August date that they were initially talking about, Ed.  
SCHULTZ:  That would be great.  Kerry Sanders, NBC News.  Thanks so much.  Tonight in our telephone survey, I asked you, do you think President Obama should fire General McChrystal?  We got a huge response tonight.  Over 22,000 of you called in the last hour.  94 percent of you say yes; 6 percent of you say no. 
That‘s THE ED SHOW.  I‘m Ed Schultz.  “HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews starts right now on the place for politics, MSNBC.  We‘ll see you tomorrow night.
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