Guests: Ed Rendell, Virg Bernero, Alan Grayson, Mike Papantonio, Jeff Kerr, Bill Press, Heidi Harris, Scott Paul, Lizz Winstead
ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans, and welcome to THE ED SHOW tonight, live from Minneapolis.
These stories are hitting “My Hot Buttons” at this hour.
Senate Republicans and one turncoat Democrat that we can always count on, they flat-out make me sick. They blocked the jobs bill and flat-out refused to help American families who are struggling in this recession.
Governor Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania, and also Mayor Virg Bernero of Lansing, Michigan, will join me after the commentary.
And Ken Feinberg, the man in charge of BP claims, might be getting weak in the knees, folks. We‘ve got to make sure that these victims are made whole. The lawyer suing BP sounds off and alarms us of a number of things happening.
Plus, PETA is trying to put BP‘s executives behind bars for killing animals.
And Sarah Palin back at it. She thinks everyone should read an article comparing President Obama to Hitler. She‘ll do anything for publicity.
But this is the story that has me fired up tonight. I‘ve tried to cool down on this story, but I can‘t.
Republicans in the Senate, if you love America, quit voting like you hate Americans. It‘s class warfare at its best. It‘s alive and well.
By blocking the jobs bill in the Senate last night, the Republican Party has assaulted the middle class one more time. Every single Senate Republican, plus one turncoat Democrat, Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska, turned their backs on the American worker by voting against extending unemployment benefits to millions of Americans.
My friend Tom Harkin, chairman of the Senate Labor Committee, is taking it pretty hard.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TOM HARKIN (D), CHAIRMAN, LABOR COMMITTEE: Republicans are unyielding. They will not let us get unemployment benefits to people who are out of work, and that, Ed, is unconscionable. In my 35 years here, I‘ve never seen anything like this. Never.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Thirty-five years is a long time in the Senate. He says he‘s never seen anything like this? Never?
The White House puts it this way: “By blocking an up-or-down vote on the legislation, Republicans in the Senate obstructed a commonsense package that would save jobs, extend tax cuts for businesses, and provide relief for American families who have suffered through the worst economic downfall since the Great Depression, even after the Democrats offered multiple compromises to gain Republican support for the bill.”
Now, the Republicans are pretending that they are showing leadership with fiscal discipline. Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell‘s spokesman had this to say: “Senate Republicans offered a responsible extenders bill. Democrats rejected it because it did not add to the national debt. Republicans and Democrats agree on unemployment extensions, but they simply disagree on the Democrats‘ insistence on adding tens of billions more to an already unsustainable $13 trillion national debt.”
Now, get this—capture this, folks. After rubberstamping trillions of dollars for two wars, and tax breaks for the top two percent, and corporate tax breaks, the Republican Party has decided to draw a line in the sand on Americans who are desperate—“desperate” is the word—for just a simple $300 a week unemployment check?
Now, I think I remember famously Dick Cheney saying that, hey, deficits don‘t matter. But now the Republicans act like the national debt is the most important thing that is out there.
And you know what? They really don‘t give a damn about your personal debt. They don‘t care if you lose your house. They don‘t care if you can‘t put food on the table or give your kids a chance at a normal life. That‘s where they are.
What the Republican Party is doing, in my opinion, is shameful and it‘s un-American. And to think that they are really the party of political terrorists right now, on a mission that can destroy the very fabric of this great country.
The numbers are, just today, 1.2 million people who have been out of work longer than six months have been abandoned by the political party just absolutely bent on breaking President Obama. Unemployed Americans are just, I guess you could say, collateral damage along the way to the Waterloo that they have dreamed of all along for the past 18 months.
This is exactly why I titled by book “Killer Politics.” Mark my words, the ugly politics that we are witnessing over the last 24 hours has a chance to really ruin a lot of lives in this country. And I don‘t think the Republicans get that. I don‘t think that they understand the severity.
This is about survival. For a lot of Americans out there, it is a drop in the bucket. And, of course, on the other side of things, they are not helping President Obama or the majority party do anything at all when it comes to creating jobs.
They‘re badmouthing the economy. I think they are trying to railroad the economy until they get to the midterms so they can get political gain and say, see, the Democrats couldn‘t do it. It‘s not about what—was that slogan that Senator McCain had? Country first.
Remember that? Remember how they were saying “country first”?
It ain‘t country first. It‘s money first. It‘s power first. It‘s the Republican Party first. And we are just seeing remnants of the most selfish generation that we‘ve lived through over the last eight years.
Change is tough. But I will tell you what—progressives, don‘t give up. There are no 57 people in the Senate with a heart and a soul who voted correctly last night. And there is no doubt about it, if we keep up the pressure and get three, five, more seats, we can make the real changes we want.
We can go back to health care. We can go back and do a better stimulus package. We can go back and get that jobs bill.
That‘s how we have to think. But just remember, the Republicans will never be there for Barack Obama. Never.
Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think about this.
The text survey question is: Does the unemployment vote prove that Senate Republicans have no heart?
Text “A” for yes, text “B” for no to 622639. I‘ll bring you the results later on in the show.
Joining me now is Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, whose state is going through some pretty tough times like any other state in the union right now.
Governor, good to have you with us tonight.
GOV. ED RENDELL (D), PENNSYLVANIA: My pleasure, Ed. Interesting listening to you.
SCHULTZ: Well, what do you think? Am I wrong?
RENDELL: No, you‘re dead right. This is about politics and hypocrisy.
It‘s about politics because, you‘re right, they want to make a point about the deficit, but every economist, conservative, moderate, progressive, says fix the economy first, get people back to work, then have a long-term deficit reduction plan. Every economist tells them that.
And it‘s also about hypocrisy, because they are the ones who had a chance to vote for President Obama‘s Pay as You Go bill and they all voted no. And now they are all saying Pay as You Go is so important.
Well, this bill, the bill that extended the Medicaid relief for the states, that bill has passed the Senate on two separate occasions. Now, all of a sudden, everyone is getting religion.
They talk about small business, we‘re the party to help create small business jobs. Well, in this bill we extend small business loan programs. We extend the research and development tax credit program. For restaurants and retail establishments, we give them some tax breaks.
They are taking all of that away. And for the middle class, you‘re not going to be able to—unless this bill passes, there is no more deduction for property taxes, no more deduction for sales taxes, no more deduction for tuition. Those are the things that are at the heart of helping the middle class.
SCHULTZ: Governor, the Pennsylvania—your state—the Department of Labor is saying that this is going to affect another 104,000 workers in your state.
What are you going to do? How are you going to handle this?
RENDELL: Well, it‘s going to be enormously difficult. And what is going to happen is those workers not getting this aid, those workers are going to go into other facets of our social safety network programs which are going to increase our costs even further.
So, it‘s pennywise, pound foolish, number one. And you‘re right, it‘s absolutely inhumane.
And by losing the money for the FMAP extension, the Medicaid dollars that we have been promised by both the president—the House and the Senates passed separate bills. By losing that, we‘re going to have to lay off 20,000 government workers.
Now, Ed, everyone says, oh, they‘re just government workers, they have too much anyway. Well, they are policemen, they‘re firemen, they‘re teachers, they‘re social workers, they‘re caseworkers. They‘re people who are so important to the structure of all we do.
Pennsylvania has done very well the last three months. We gained 76,000 jobs, second only to Texas. How is that going to helped when I have to lay off 20,000 people come the beginning of July?
SCHULTZ: What would you tell President Obama to do at this particular crossroads, this intersection? The Republicans have made it very clear they want him to fail. They are watching their watch until we get to the midterms.
What‘s the call for this summer, Governor?
RENDELL: I would get out there and I would go everywhere in this country and say, look, we‘re starting to see signs of the recovery, but we need to do more. And these guys, for political reasons, for hypocrisy, these guys are trying to stop us from reviving this economy because they want—you‘re dead right, Ed. They want this economy to be in the tank come November.
I don‘t care about the November elections. I do care about those 104,000 Pennsylvanians. I do care about the 20,000 that I‘m going to have to lay off in July.
That‘s what we should be concentrating on. To do anything else is a flat-out disgrace.
SCHULTZ: Governor Ed Rendell, thanks for joining us tonight here on THE ED SHOW. I appreciate it so much.
RENDELL: My pleasure, Ed. Keep fighting.
SCHULTZ: You bet. And we are fighting, because this is just going all throughout the country. It‘s going to affect every community.
And joining me now is the mayor of Lansing, Michigan, Virg Bernero, who is also a candidate for Michigan governor.
Virg, I know you‘re boiling over this. Give us the temperature. What is this going to do to do to your town? What is it doing to your region right now in Michigan?
MAYOR VIRG BERNERO (D), LANSING, MICHIGAN: Well, Ed, as usual, you were right on. And we weren‘t enjoying a recovery in Michigan. We‘re being robbed of our recovery by Wall Street banksters who refuse to extend credit to Michigan, who have written us off, who consider us a fly-over country.
We are not getting our recovery, and this is just worse. This is obscene.
It is every bit what you said. It‘s obscene that a few—I mean, Americans need to realize what this is. It‘s the hijacking of our democratic system. I mean, both the form and the substance here is outrageous.
The fact that the filibuster is now business as usual in the U.S. Senate is disgusting. The fact that they have an overwhelming majority of 57 senators and can‘t do the basic business of the country is despicable.
And that‘s Republican leadership. That‘s them standing in the way of progress. That‘s the kind of obstinate leadership, that‘s the kind of obstructionist leadership that we have.
And Americans should take note. Can you imagine if that was the type of thing we had in the White House as well?
It‘s outrageous. Mainstream America will suffer.
These Republicans are so hypocritical. They didn‘t have any problems when it was billions or trillions for Iraq, to invade and rebuild Iraq. Billions and trillions for Wall Street.
What about Main Street? What about rebuilding Main Street America? That‘s my question. Who do you think elected you and put you there, and who are you there to serve?
SCHULTZ: Virg—absolutely. Now, your unemployment rate in Michigan is sitting at 13.7 percent. But tell us, what is this going to do to your town? How much more pressure is this going to put on the services that need to be rendered in your community?
BERNERO: Well, I mean, it certainly—we‘ve been fortunate because our two GM plants are up and running. Those products are in demand. Praise God.
But this certainly could mean layoffs. This is—as I say, we‘re not enjoying a recovery. Most cities around the state are in deficit.
We just cut a $12 million deficit in Lansing. We‘ve had to go to shortened workweeks. We‘re trying to get the business done, and we will get the people‘s business done. But every year it gets tougher and tougher. And we get these midyear cuts from the state because of revenue-sharing cuts, and this has that potential.
But the state—just as Governor Rendell said, this will mean more onerous costs on the state. The state then passes it on down the line, and we will be stuck with midyear cuts and we‘ll have to make adjustments.
So, look, we‘ve got people suffering. I don‘t have to tell you, Ed, people are losing their jobs, they are losing their homes, and they are losing their hope. And I don‘t want them to lose hope.
But we all know people want a job. They don‘t just want an unemployment check. But when you‘re about to lose your house and you‘re having trouble feeding your kids, that unemployment is vital. This is vital. This isn‘t just playing politics here in Michigan, in Main Street Michigan.
Let‘s get this done. Get the people‘s work done so that we might enjoy a recovery down the road.
SCHULTZ: I think the Republicans have lost their moral compass.
Virg, great to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much.
Virg Bernero, Lansing, Michigan, here on THE ED SHOW.
BERNERO: Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, oil gushes in the Gulf, and the fishermen and local businesses are getting crushed. Mike Papantonio, attorney suing BP, just met with the compensation czar‘s law partner, and he‘s blasting off on BP‘s claims fund in just a moment.
And Main Street is getting screwed again. A deal is made for the greatest financial overhaul since the Great Depression, but Wall Street is the big winner. Really?
Congressman Alan Grayson brings us straight talk on that in just a moment.
All that, plus Sarah Palin endorses an article comparing President Obama to Hitler.
And “Daily Show” co-creator Lizz Winstead headlines “Club Ed” tonight.
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW right here on MSNBC.
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW, and thanks for watching tonight.
After 20 hours of negotiations on Capitol Hill, it was real early in the morning, but the House and Senate lawmakers in both parties finally struck a deal for the biggest financial reform package since the Great Depression. President Obama hopes to make it law by July 4th.
Here‘s the problem. A lot of people think it‘s not tough again.
The Republicans fought to protect Wall Street and weaken the bill, and the Democrats caved because they just wanted to make sure it got passed. Now, the banks are basically allowed to keep doing what they‘ve been doing—making risky trades with just a little more—a little more restriction.
For more on this, let‘s bring in Florida Congressman Alan Grayson.
Congressman, great to have you with us tonight.
If we could just note that the bank stocks shot up after the word of this bill got out on what the nuts and bolts was in it. It does not reinstate Glass-Steagall, and it does not separate the commercial banks from investment banks.
Who is the winner? Who is the loser? Put it out there for us. What do you think?
REP. ALAN GRAYSON (D), FLORIDA: The bill does some very good things.
First of all, the bill creates an early warning system to try to detect systemic risk before it destroys the economy. That‘s a good thing.
Another thing is that the bill creates a fund that the banks are going to have to fund to wind up any insolvent entity. That‘s a good thing.
Another good thing that the bill does is that it creates federal authority to wind up any insolvent entity, whether or not it‘s technically federal licensed or whether or not it‘s technically a bank. That‘s a good thing, too.
The fundamental problem is what you just said. The fundamental problem is that it does not take on the banks, the banks that have become too big to fail.
It leaves their power in tact. And I‘ve always said, too big to fail should mean too big to exist.
The bill perpetuates their existence and it keeps us all at risk. The banking system has become functionally noncompetitive. It doesn‘t function anymore as a competitive system. This bill does not take on that problem.
SCHULTZ: Chris Dodd and Barney Frank are saying it‘s a great bill. Here comes President Obama on this consumer agency.
Here‘s what he had to say. And your response.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We‘ll put in place the toughest consumer financial protections in our history while creating an independent agency to enforce them. Through this agency, we‘ll combine under one roof the consumer protection functions that currently are divided among half a dozen different agencies. Now there will be one agency whose sole job will be to look out for you.
Credit card companies will no longer be able to mislead you with pages and pages of fine print. You will no longer be subject to all kinds of hidden fees and penalties, or the predatory practices of unscrupulous lenders.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Congressman, what do you make of this independent agency? Is this going to be, I guess, oversight in the financial markets so if there‘s any shaky trading going on and risky trading going on, that there‘s going to be alarms set off?
What is the power of this independent agency?
GRAYSON: It‘s a good thing. I‘m glad that we did it. It‘s an important step forward.
But, again, it doesn‘t get to the heart of the matter.
The heart of the matter is that the banking system has become noncompetitive in the same way that the health insurance system has become noncompetitive. Competition is not protecting the consumer.
It doesn‘t make any difference in the end whether the consumer is paying 30 percent for his credit card or 27 percent for his credit card. The only protection he‘s going to have when all these banks can borrow from the Fed at zero percent is if there‘s competition. That‘s what we need, competition. And we need a little capitalism, and we‘re not seeing that coming out of this bill, and we‘re certainly not seeing that out of the banking sector, or, for that matter, the health insurance sector.
SCHULTZ: But do you agree with the president when he says it‘s the toughest consumer financial protections in history? Is that true?
GRAYSON: It‘s the only consumer financial protection in history. Up to this point, all the regulations have been directed toward protecting the shareholders of the banks, making sure that the banks stay solvent so they can continue to pay dividends to their shareholders. We‘ve never had any regulation in the financial system in order to protect consumers.
SCHULTZ: And Congressman, if I can switch gears on you here, because I know you‘ll have something to say about this, what are your thoughts on the Republican Party over in the Senate not voting for unemployment extension of benefits?
Your thoughts on that?
GRAYSON: Well, I saw your poll on the screen before I came on, and you asked whether this proves the heartlessness of GOP senators. The answer is yes. This shows once again that “GOP” stands for “Greed Over Principle.”
SCHULTZ: Alan Grayson, always a pleasure. Thanks, Congressman.
Appreciate your time.
GRAYSON: Thank you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, Rush Limbaugh said some unbelievable stuff about a friend of mine in the Congress. That would be Jim Moran.
Buckle up, “Drugster.” I‘ve got a special gift for you next in the “Zone.”
SCHULTZ: And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, “The Drugster” took an incredibly hypocritical shot at my good friend Congressman Jim Moran of Virginia. And I‘m not letting him get away with it.
Take a listen. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: All the armed robberies against small businesses are encouraged by left-wing hate-mongers like Jim Moran. Jim Moran and his ilk are encouraging people to steal, to rob, to threaten their fellow citizens.
Is there any wonder, Mr. Moran, why there‘s so much hate in this country?
It‘s because of people like you.
I also think that Moran encouraged terrorists to try and attack our country. His constant attacks on George Bush gave aid and comfort to the enemy.
You‘re running down your own country and running down your own president.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Running down who, Rush?
That‘s coming from a guy who said over and over again that he wants to see the current president fail? And “The Drugster,” the most hateful man in America, is blaming Jim Moran for the hate in this country?
“The Drugster” can‘t stand the fact that Congressman Jim Moran is a good progressive, and making great strides for people, and sticking up for the working folk of America.
Limbaugh is way out of line on this, again. In fact, let‘s see what Jim Moran has to say about all of this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JIM MORAN (D), VIRGINIA: Ed, Rush Limbaugh is just full of “Psycho Talk.”
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Congressman, I couldn‘t agree with you more.
Coming up, the man in charge of BP‘s $20 billion escrow fund is getting a little too concerned for BP. Mike Papantonio, the lawyer suing BP, responds.
Plus, PETA executives, they want BP executives thrown in jail.
And Palin pulls another stunt.
And “Daily Show” co-creator Lizz Winstead takes on Joe Barton in “Club Ed.”
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.
Stay with us.
ED SCHULTZ, “THE ED SCHULTZ SHOW” HOST: Welcome back to the ed show. Our Battleground story tonight, it‘s all about oil and all about holding BP accountable. They need to make good on the promise to make the gulf coast residents whole again. Ken Feinberg, the man in charge of doling out claims from $20 billion escrow fund, took a very hard line today. He says, fraudulent and bogus claims will not be tolerated. Feinberg also said that he would make, quote, “absolutely no sense—it would make no sense to drive BP into bankruptcy.” I just hope that his priority is making sure that the victims get paid, not making sure BP stays in business.
Mike Papantonio met yesterday with Ken Feinberg‘s law partner who is handling the claims. Mike joins me now. His firm of course is leading the class action lawsuits against BP. Mike, good to have you with us tonight. I want to start out talking about this $20 billion.
MIKE PAPANTONIO, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Ed, how are you?
SCHULTZ: I‘m doing fine. I want to talk about this $20 billion fund that you and I talked about on the radio earlier today. Is this $20 billion fund going to be used totally for restitution or is it going to be—to make people whole or is it going to be used for other thing? Let‘s get some clarity here. What do you know with your conversations?
PAPANTONIO: We learned yesterday that a part of the fund can be used for ecological cleanup. And that was not—that‘s not something that‘s been discussed there. That was the first time we heard it, about 60 of us meet. We ask the question, it came up in that discussion. I do have to tell you over all, at the meeting I was very encouraged. Rosen was very transparent, as Feinberg is being. They understand there has to be a priority where you take care of the people who can‘t pay for the bills right now. He understands that lawyers should not be involved in this, that lawyers don‘t need to be involved if the fund runs correctly.
A fisherman, a small business owner, a mom and pop operation should be able to go that fund without a lawyer and make a claim without a lawyer. Now, the only time that will change is if lawyers in the judicial process finds out that it doesn‘t work. Feinberg has a good history, Ed. The good news is Feinberg has a good history. On 9/11 he got a slow start, claims us were a little bit cold. On Feinberg, they didn‘t think that he really cared about their issues. By the time it was over, he came away being well respected and having done a good job. But I do have to tell you this, this point that you raise about something—the glitch, the biggest glitch is BP should have no involvement in this fund at all and we find.
SCHULTZ: Well, I want to ask you about that. That‘s what I want to know. Who actually is controlling the fund and does BP have any call on where the money goes at all?
PAPANTONIO: We were assured yesterday, we were assured yesterday and I‘m convinced after talking to Mike Rosen that they do—that Rosen and Feinberg have control of this. That BP has very little input. The only thing I can‘t justify, the thing that makes no sense to me at this point is why would BP have any involvement in taking money from that $20 billion or this fund, how ever much it ends up being, and using it for cleanup? We know, the cleanup costs alone could be as high as $30 billion. So, that bothers me some, that causes me to ask the next question which is, can this company make it?
SCHULTZ: Yes. Well, the next question is—yes, well, can the company make it? But the next question is how much of that $20 billion is actually going to the people that are really losing their jobs and their businesses in all of this? I mean, you can spend most of that $20 billion on just cleanup costs. Who knows where that‘s going to go? In fact, it‘s going to take years to clean this up. What do you think?
PAPANTONIO: We asked yesterday, again and again, myself and five other attorneys must asked a dozen times, Ed, is this the ceiling or the floor—is this the floor or the ceiling? We‘re assured that this is the floor. That there‘s more money that‘s going to be involved here. The cleanup has got to be a separate issue. That‘s the point. We‘re going to meet next week again with them. These people are very willing to meet. Feinberg right now is on the coast trying to get as much input as he can. Ed, I am very encouraged by what I saw yesterday. I‘m very encouraged by Feinberg. But I am not so encouraged about the long life of BP. I do have to tell you, maybe that‘s another time that we can talk about that. But I‘m concerned about what I‘m hearing.
SCHULTZ: Well, I want to ask you. What are you hearing? Quickly, are they meeting with bankruptcy lawyers? What is happening?
PAPANTONIO: They are. The fifth time I heard it was yesterday, I heard it by a hedge fund analyst. He tells me that he‘s certain that their meeting with a bankruptcy specialist. That‘s very big concerned of mine. They may just be meeting to say, what if, they may be meeting to say, to project what could happen. Either way, I‘m certain of this. They are meeting. They are getting information from very good lawyers, the best in the business, about what happens in the bankruptcy process. What that means I think is more involved and maybe we can talk about that another time.
SCHULTZ: We will do that. Mike, good to have you with us tonight. Thank you so much.
PAPANTONIO: Thank you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: And animal lovers say BP needs to make it right for all animals who have been harmed and even killed by this oil disaster. PEta, the People for The Ethical Treatment of Animals is pushing to states attorney general to file animal cruelty charges against British Petroleum.
Here now to talk about all of that is Jeff Kerr, the General Counsel for PETA. Mr. Kerr, good to have you with us tonight. What are we looking at here? I mean, how much money and on what grounds are you doing? I mean, I‘ve never heard anything like this before. Take us down this road.
JEFF KERR, PETA GENERAL COUNSEL: Sure. The cruelties to animal statutes are very straight forward in all for the Gulf States that we‘re talking about. It‘s basically a crime to cause unnecessary pain, suffering, or death to an animal. And, of course, it‘s being done on a huge scale. In fact, this is the largest cruelty to animal‘s case in the history of the United States. And compensation is fine. However, it doesn‘t help the animals at all. The animals can‘t spend money. They can‘t get another job. They can‘t move. The only thing that‘s going to bring justice for these animals, the thousands upon thousands of sea turtles and dolphins and birds and frogs and every animal, over 400 species that are having their habitat ruined, the only justice for them is going to be jail time for BP and the people that are responsible.
SCHULTZ: But doesn‘t the question of intent come in? Bp didn‘t intend to hurt these animals. Bp was drilling and we all know that, you know, how risky all of that was in the aftermath. But what about the intent here? They did not intend to hurt these animals? What about that?
KERR: The statutes don‘t require intent. The statute simply requires that unnecessary pain, suffering, or death is inflicted on these animals and it‘s quite clear that‘s what is going on. And nobody is going to convince me or all of the other animal protectionists out there that there wasn‘t some intentional acts that led directly to this oil geyser that continues to pumps hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil into the gulf. And, of course, it‘s not stopping yet. We have no idea how much longer this is going to go on. The public is tired of seeing the photographs, like we have at peta.org, of the animals that are suffocating and drowning in the zoos and jail time is the only appropriate response.
SCHULTZ: So, who are you going after? So, who are you going after? Jail time, are you talking about Tony Hayward or are you talking about all of the BP executives?
KERR: We leave it to the attorneys general of the four Gulf States to determine who was responsible for this fiasco and those are the people that need to be held responsible, they‘re the people who need to go in jail.
SCHULTZ: And what kind of recently response have you gotten from the attorney generals of the states?
KERR: Well, the letters gone in just recently and we understand that they are reviewing the situation and considering the letters. We‘re certainly going to keep the pressure on it and we need people out there who care about the animals to keep the pressure on them as well. We‘ve got the names and contact details of the attorneys general at our website at peta.org. We encourage people to go write letters, encourage them to do the right thing for the animals. This is just an unprecedented cruelty to animals and jail time is the only thing that is going to compensate the animals appropriately.
SCHULTZ: Jeff Kerr, General Counsel for PETA. I appreciate your time tonight. Thanks so much. We‘ll follow the story.
KERR: Thank you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Now let‘s get from rapid fire response from our panel on these stories tonight. Sarah Palin thinks making BP pay for the catastrophe in the gulf is Nazism. She tweeted at President Obama may quote, “an unconstitutional power grab with the escrow fund.” And our old friend, Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson, betrayed his party and thousands of jobless Americans when he voted with the republicans to kill the jobs bill, and extension of unemployment benefits.
With us tonight, Bill Press, nationally syndicated radio talk show host and Heidi Harris, radio talk show host in Las Vegas. Bill Press, let‘s start tonight with the situation of Sarah Palin. Is this just her way of trying to get back into the news again? She tweets, “this is about the rule of law versus an unconstitutional power grab.” Read the Thomas Sowell‘s article, she links it to. What is she trying to do here? What do you think?
BILL PRESS, NATIONALLY SYNDICATED RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: First of all Ed, I didn‘t know the mayor of Wasilla was such a constitutional scholar, I mean, compared to Barack Obama to talk constitutional law. But, you know what? This is so far over the top, Ed, it‘s just like hard to believe that anybody would take her seriously anymore. Number one, BP was not forced to do anything. Number two, as we know, the law requires the oil company that caused this bill to pay for the cleanup. This is the first big oil spill since the law was passed.
So, this $20 billion fund is simply a way of making sure that law is carried out. But just to review right, we got this big oil spill, the worst environmental crisis ever hit this nation. Wrecking the economy of five coastal states, thousands of small businesses going under. The governors, the mayors, the people of the Gulf States are begging President Obama to provide some relief. He goes down, he delivers, and she compares him to Adolf Hitler. I mean, nobody with half a brain could believe that.
SCHULTZ: Heidi Harris, yesterday we found out that Sarah Palin doesn‘t know the legalities surrounding a legal defense fund but then today we find out that she‘s a constitutional scholar. Which one do you believe?
HEIDI HARRIS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Well, listen, I‘ll tell you what. I would admire Sarah Palin for reading Thomas Sowell, who is a brilliant economist. I read most of his books, he makes perfect sense in everything he says when it comes to the economy. And he‘s exactly right, there is no constitutional authority to take money from BP. And Bill Press is wrong about one thing. They were forced, basically, because they were coerced. They knew if they didn‘t come up with something and agreed to some kind of a fund, God knows what would happen to them. So, they basically were coerced into it and my hope point is, I want the people on the gulf compensated fairly but I don‘t know who‘s really going to get that money. That‘s what I‘m concerned about.
PRESS: They were not forced to do anything. They were at the meeting at the White House.
HARRIS: Oh, please.
PRESS: Wait. Wait. I was there, you weren‘t. They came in and they put $20 billion on the table and on top of that, they said, we will put more in as Mike Papantonio told us and on top of that, they put $100 million in there for workers who had lost their jobs through this temporary moratorium. And you and Sarah Palin and Thomas Sowell are all just crazy on this issue.
HARRIS: Why am I crazy?
PRESS: You know your facts.
HARRIS: No, you have to understand, you have to understand Bill, I want BP to pay every single dime for all of these people.
PRESS: Well, then stop defending them.
HARRIS: No. No. That‘s different and the government taking their money.
Those are two entirely different things.
PRESS: The government is not taking their money. You just heard that. Heidi, don‘t you know what is going on? The government has, they have put money into this fund. Ken Feinberg is managing this fund. It is going to the people who had been hurt in the gulf. It‘s not going to the government, it‘s going to the small businesses, to the restaurants, to the fishermen, to the oyster men. Heidi, get with it.
HARRIS: That‘s not the same thing. No, no, no, no. Ken Feinberg, does he work for BP? I wasn‘t aware of that. He wasn‘t an employee of BP. You‘re taking money away from BP, putting it into a fund, he is going to be supposedly disbursing the money. I want the people to get it but I don‘t think the government has the right to coerce them in a meeting even if they came to the table with this. Ultimately the government did this. This is what should be happening. This is not constitutional. That‘s what Sarah Palin is saying and Dr. Thomas Sowell is saying the same thing in a right.
SCHULTZ: All right. Let‘s go to the senate vote last night where the democrats could only get 57 votes and this is going to leave millions of Americans, I guess, imitating road kill because they are just not going to have the money. I don‘t know how else to put it. And it was Ben Nelson who once again did not side with the democrats. Bill Press, your thoughts on this?
PRESS: Yes. First of all, Ed, I mean, these born again budget hawks, I mean, you touched on it earlier in the program, these are the people who voted for the Bush tax cut, for the war in Iraq, for the war in Afghanistan, for Medicare part d without worrying about what they were piling on to the deficit. The so-called fiscal hawks, right. Forgot it when Bush was president. Now, suddenly, they‘re born again budget. It is phony, it is purely political, and it‘s a democrat.
SCHULTZ: He is. Heidi, the republicans didn‘t go along with President Obama on pay as you go but now all of a sudden, it‘s so important when it comes to unemployment benefits. What about that?
HARRIS: Well, I will agree with Bill Press. The republicans are the last people that we talking about how much money got to that. He‘s got a great point there, no question about it. But even if they had passed this, first of all, they could have used unused stimulus money to do this. Without all these other stuff, they would supposedly in the bill. OK. That was not going to help anything. So, ultimately you‘re not going to help people if you only give them unemployment for a couple more months. We need policies in place to get these people back to work.
SCHULTZ: I don‘t disagree with that but Heidi, you‘ve got people on the verge of losing their homes. I mean, you‘ve got—you‘re going to create a greater social problem if we don‘t step in. In extraordinary times, the worst since the 30s, I think it was an easy call. But of course the republicans didn‘t see it that way. Heidi Harris and Bill Press, great to have you with us tonight.
Coming up, Joe Barton and loose whipped General McChrystal dominated the headlines this week. You won‘t want to miss what daily show co-creator Lizz Winstead has to say about all of that which she headlines “Club Ed.” Stay with us. We‘ll be right back.
SCHULTZ: Tonight. Text survey question is, does the unemployment vote prove that Senate republicans have no heart? Text A for yes, text B for no to 622639. Results coming up with THE ED SHOW. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And in my Playbook tonight. Republicans in Washington don‘t seem to concern about jobs right now but a lot of Americans are. And they‘re particularly worried about the manufacturing sector. A new poll out from the Alliance for American Manufacturing show 40 percent of people say, the loss of manufacturing jobs is one of their top concerns. Only 35 percent say that the cost of health insurance and 34 percent list the threat of terrorism as the top concern.
Meanwhile, 85 percent of people say, creating manufacturing jobs is very important or one of the most important things for Congress to work on. Those numbers send a clear message to the votes in Washington. It‘s all about the jobs.
Joining me now is Scott Paul, Executive Director of the Alliance for American Manufacturing. Scott, good to have you with us. One thing that jumps out at me in this—you bet. One thing that jumps out in this survey that you did is that republicans, democrats, and independents seem to be on the same page about where we have to go to manufacturing, or did I read that wrong?
SCOTT PAUL, ALLIANCE FOR AMERICAN MANUFACTURING EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: You bet. I mean, a lot of politicians in Washington may have given up on manufacturing but the American people have not. And we surveyed all sorts of folks and we tabulated the results and they are very consistent across the ideological lines, across demographic lines, across geographical lines. You have Tea Party supporters Ed, who want a strong manufacturing base who wants Congress to take on China, who wants us to create manufacturing jobs. You have union households who want that, of course, but you don‘t get issues like this very often. But I‘m afraid that both democrats and republicans are not doing enough about the jobs agenda. They‘ve got to focus on jobs. That‘s what the people want.
SCHULTZ: And it was the independent voters that jumped out at you in this survey when we came to manufacturing and creating those jobs?
PAUL: The independent voters give Congress and the administration very low marks for the work they have done so far. They feel very strongly that manufacturing is a key part of our future, even if they don‘t work in manufacturing. They understand that‘s important to our economic security, to our national security, they want us to get tough with China. They want some tax breaks form manufacturing, they want buy America policies but conservatives want this too. I mean, it‘s extraordinary. I mean, it shows the republican leadership is way out of touch with them, based on this issue. And it also shows that the issues that the president run on in those industrial Heartland States in 2008 really work and he needs to focus on them.
SCHULTZ: Well, it‘s interesting because this favorability is higher in non-manufacturing households, one other thing I wanted to bring up by pushing this hard of my radio and there‘s the numbers right there. Forty six favorable, 48 unfavorable manufacturing and high income households and non-manufacturing, there are the numbers when it comes to this favorability. I push on the radio show, quite a bit by American product, Americans loyalty, did you find that in your poll as well?
PAUL: There was a strong desire for American products. There was actually a very negative response to made in China. And in terms of government policy, 90 percent of the Americans people and again, this cut across every political and ideological line. Ninety percent of the American people by America policies for the government, they want tax dollars to go to make to purchase Americans made products.
SCHULTZ: No doubt. Scott Paul, always a pleasure. Good to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much.
PAUL: Thanks Ed.
SCHULTZ: It is about jobs and the manufacturing sector. Also, let‘s turn now to the Bin Laden hunter. He‘s becoming a celebrity. Gary Faulkner will make his talk show debut on the late show with David Letterman on Monday night. He‘s back in Denver after being held in Pakistan for then days, for trying to kill, find Osama bin Laden. He said, he plans on going back to find the world‘s most wanted man and he also blasted his critics.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GARY FAULKNER, BIN LADEN‘S HUNTER: I chose it because of my belief. Now, when you‘re able to stand up and put your life on the line, then we‘ll sit down and talk. Until then, you shut your mouth. You sit down and you get to the back of the bus. Better yet, get off the bus because this is not your bus. This is not your ride.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: OK. Also, divers discovered a 291 foot long steam ship at the bottom of Lake Michigan. The ship disappeared during a storm over 100 years ago. It was found upright in tact. Divers say it was well preserved because it was in 40-degree fresh water. They also said, the bodies of the crew members are also likely in tact.
Up next, my favorite psycho talker, Michele Bachman had better batten down the hatches because here he comes Lizz Winstead. She‘s got a lot to say in her own backyard. That‘s coming up next on “Club Ed.” Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And welcome back to the ed show. It‘s Friday, that means it‘s time for “Club Ed” with Lizz Winstead, Lizz, great to have you back.
LIZZ WINSTEAD, “THE DAILY SHOW” CO CREATOR: Thank you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: We‘ve got so much to talk about here tonight, we‘ve got Jim Rose (ph), we‘ve got psycho talkers, we‘ve got oil barrels, we got it all. All right. What do you make in the McChrystal move? How did President Obama do? What do you make of this?
WINSTEAD: Well, I just hope that he just said though, I‘m firing your ass, done. And then sat there for 29 minutes in silence and forced him to sit there. That‘s what I hope happen. But what really proved to me is that no matter who and no matter what happens in our lives, people are just reduced to acting like high scholars. You read this article and these people that are working for McChrystal, and McChrystal himself, they sound like they‘re cast members of the hills.
When they‘re talking, when they got to Paris and they got me with the diplomat and that was so gay. They actually said in the article, that was so gay like they‘re on the hills and then when they turn about Biden, you know, Joe Biden, I mean, bite me, ha-ha, it‘s unbelievable. I‘m glad the guy is gone, good ridden. He should have been gone because the war is going so bad. It took “Rolling Stone,” you know, that‘s what it took. It took a “Rolling Stone” article to get rid of him which is pretty sad.
SCHULTZ: Murkowski and of course Michele Bachmann defending BP. What do you think?
WINSTEAD: I really don‘t—defending BP—I think BP has actually bumped Al Qaeda off of the most hated list. You know, if there was a count down.
It‘s kind of like, hey, coming in at number one this week, bumping off Al Qaeda, it‘s BP. And to defend them is so crazy. And, you know, you look at Murkowski and, you know, she‘s taken much, much money from the oil industry. And I say fine. You know what? If you‘re going to defend the oil industry and you‘re going to take money from lobbyists, you don‘t want to have caps anymore, fine, take all of the money you want. But guess what, Lisa, you‘re going to have to dive into the gulf to get it.
SCHULTZ: Joe Barton, the ranking member on the House Energy Committee, he, of course, apologized to BP. Your thoughts on that?
WINSTEAD: Well, he apologized to BP and then apologized for the apology by tweeting that—a link to an article that said defending Joe Barton. And, Ed, I think the scarier thing about Joe Barton in the bigger picture is that when you factor in the new Texas textbook law, we are now going to have a generation of Texans dumber than him.
SCHULTZ: All right. Lizz Winstead, always a pleasure. Great to have you with us. Tonight in our text survey, I asked the audience, does the unemployment vote prove senate republicans have no heart? Ninety three percent of you said yes, seven percent said no. And finally, I‘m heading up to the North Country to the lodge for a little vacation, I‘m going to catch some fish over the next week. Oh, yes, got to get up there. Two hundred walleyes a day. All catch and release. Just like it was last weekend. Do I get to do that for a full week? Yes, I do. Chris Hayes from the nation is going to be filling in here on the ed show next week.
I‘m Ed Schultz, have a great week. hardball with Chris Matthews is next.
Have a great one.
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Guests: Ed Rendell, Virg Bernero, Alan Grayson, Mike Papantonio, Jeff Kerr, Bill Press, Heidi Harris, Scott Paul, Lizz Winstead