Guests: Al Sharpton; Brian Bilbray, Mike Papantonio, Stephen Spruiell, John
Feehery, Laura Flanders, Roy Sekoff
ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans, and welcome to THE ED SHOW tonight from New York.
These stories are hitting “My Hot Buttons” at this hour.
Racial profiling gets struck down by the court. A federal judge has blocked the worst parts of the Arizona law. This is a big victory for fairness in the Constitution.
The Reverend Al Sharpton will join me for reaction in a moment, plus I‘ve got commentary.
Federal investigators launch a massive criminal probe against BP, Transocean and Halliburton. And some executives could wind up behind bars if they‘re found guilty.
Plus, the president is determined not to leave small businesses behind. But if the banks keep sitting on all this cash, he‘s got to put the hammer down and force them to lend.
How is he going do it? Commentary on that and so much more at the bottom of the hour on that issue.
But this is the story that has me fired up tonight. In the case of the United States versus the Republican governor of Arizona, the United States has won the first round in what is going to be a big legal volley.
This afternoon, a federal judge blocked a provision that would have allowed local police to stop anyone and demand to see identification. The decision noted the threat of racial profiling and the fact that Arizona state officials had overstepped their boundaries, ruling “There is a substantial likelihood that officers will wrongfully arrest legal resident aliens.”
Now, this is a victory, but it‘s not permanent yet. This is just a temporary block.
Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona made it clear this afternoon that she plans to fight this tooth and nail.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. JAN BREWER ®, ARIZONA: It‘s a little bump in the road, I believe, and that, you know, until I get my whole arms around it, we don‘t really exactly know where we‘re going to go. We knew regardless of what happened today, of course, that one side or the other side was going to appeal. So this begins the process.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: They don‘t know where they‘re going to go? I find that rather interesting.
Are they winging it? Why are they doing it?
Ninety-seven days before the midterms, this decision will really put the immigration right on the front burner of American politics. Here we go.
According to a new CNN/Opinion Research poll, 55 percent of Americans support Arizona‘s immigration law. Conservatives will use this ruling to scare old, white, low-information voters into believing that activist judges care more about illegals than they do about upholding the Constitution.
Here we go. We‘re going to hear it time and time again.
Now, I think the law was racist and un-American and unnecessary. Nobody should have to show their papers at the drop of a hat. If this law is struck down, it will be a huge victory for overburdened law enforcement officials who would have been acting as de facto ICE agents, and none of them liked it anyway.
This ruling should send a message to the other states around the country trying to copy Arizona. Ultimately, Washington has to get it together and pass a federal law to go after the employers who hire illegal and undocumented workers, and provide some path to citizenship that‘s a lot easier than the one that we‘ve been talking about in recent years.
The fine that they have to pay I think is too much. But keep in mind that the conservative business community in America, they love this fight because they are addicted to cheap labor just like we‘re addicted to oil. They‘re going to let this linger on, and they‘re going to play this legally out as far as they possibly can.
They‘re going to create as much problem for the Obama administration. And it‘s also going to make sure that they have a target, they have something that they can point to going to the midterms.
Let‘s just be fair about this. Conservatives have used cheap labor to union-bust and hurt wage earners in this country all along. It goes hand in hand with outsourcing.
Conservatives have never been the friends of immigration reform because, as I recall, the Bush administration had the White House, the House and the Senate. Where was all the controversy? But now that we‘ve got President Obama and the Democrats in charge, oh, all of a sudden, we‘ve got to go steamrolling to the courts to make sure that we do this that‘s going to cause more confusion and more doubt, and give us more political targets so we can get the majority back.
I don‘t think they‘re sincere about getting any of this done at all.
Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think.
Tonight‘s text survey question is: Do you believe the court did the right thing by blocking Arizona‘s harsh immigration law?
Text “A” for yes, text “B” for no to 622639. We‘ll bring you the results later on in the show.
Joining me now is Reverend Al Sharpton, president of the National Action Network. Reverend Sharpton has been on record saying he was willing to go to jail in protest of this law. And his fight for civil rights has landed him on the cover of “Newsweek” this week.
Reverend, good to have you with us tonight.
What is your reaction to this ruling, and what is your next move, seeing that you probably won‘t be going to jail this weekend in protest? What‘s happening?
REV. AL SHARPTON, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL ACTION NETWORK: Well, I think that this is a victory, but I think it is a temporary victory. We‘ve not won the permanent fight.
But clearly, I think what the court has said today is what many of us in the civil rights community were saying when I went and marched in Arizona and others have march and rallied in not only Arizona, but around the country. And that is that this law, as it was written by the Arizona state legislature and the governor, opened legal citizens—we weren‘t talking about illegal citizens—legal citizens to being profiled.
That was stated in the decision. And I think it vindicates that position.
I would expect that the governor, though I heard your opening commentary and I would agree with you, they may be winging it, but I would expect they may try to get it together and appeal it, so this is far from over. But I think that it very clearly vindicates the position of those that objected to this to protect legal citizens against being profiled. And we may not have to spend this weekend in jail, but we‘re not going to pack away our stuff yet because we don‘t know where we‘ll go.
SCHULTZ: All right. Your strategy—so you‘re rethinking how you‘re going to combat this.
I mean, this does address, this ruling, the moral issue that has been out there, picking Americans out of a crowd, so to speak. And also, from a law enforcement standpoint, the issue of reasonable suspicion versus probable cause.
There‘s so much on the table with this first ruling, I get a feeling that both sides are going back to the war rooms to figure out the next move.
SHARPTON: Absolutely. And I think it also protects the federal government against a state‘s rights movement on immigration.
You know, what we‘re looking at is a states rights movement on health care, now immigration. And there‘s always been this historic battle against a strong centralized federal government and the states‘ rights. And I think that it speaks clearly to the overstepping of those bounds.
So, there‘s a lot in this, so it‘s going to be a long fight. But I think the first round showed that people cannot dismiss those of us that have raised these issues as being unreasonable when you have a federal judge citing that as one of the reasons for this decision.
SCHULTZ: Yes. And what do you say to those who are going to cite this judge as a activist judge?
SHARPTON: I think that what they should do is read the decision. The judge cited that they were upholding the law and protecting people from the state of Arizona, violating the law and the rights of the people.
That‘s not an activist judge, that‘s a judge performing their duties as a judge. They‘re supposed to protect citizens based on the law.
She cited the law. She cited the possibilities of people‘s rights being violated. And I think that that is what a judge is supposed to do, and I think in this case it was done today.
SCHULTZ: Reverend Sharpton, quickly, your prediction? Will this go all the way to the Supreme Court?
SHARPTON: I think that if it is left up to those on the other side, it will. And I think that is why we cannot drop our guard at all.
We must continue rallying and we must fight every round. You don‘t win on a good first round, you win when your hand is put up in victory. We have not had that today.
SCHULTZ: Reverend Sharpton, always a pleasure. Good to have you with us tonight on this big decision in Arizona.
SHARPTON: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Let‘s go now to Republican Congressman Brian Bilbray of California. He‘s the chairman of the Immigration Reform Caucus.
Congressman, your response to the ruling today? Was it the ruling of an activist judge or was it expected?
REP. BRIAN BILBRAY ®, CALIFORNIA: No, it was a judge that basically said that foreign nationals, even though the federal government requires that all foreign nationals, legal nationals have to carry IDs no matter where they go, that a local government didn‘t have the right to check. Only the federal government could.
And, you know, Ed, to say that it‘s a great injustice to require somebody to carry their documentation when they‘re legally in the country is what we do all the time as the federal government. So what they‘re saying is, somehow we require them to show their driver‘s license, but if they‘re a foreign national, that the locals can‘t ask for that, their green card either, which in San Diego, we‘ve got our ICE agents and our Customs agents asking for it all the long.
So, it is sort of interesting to see that happen. But yet, also, the judge ruled that the sanctuary cities were allowed to be outlawed in the state, which is a step that a lot of people don‘t talk about.
But I think you‘re right. We‘ve got to talk about the E-Verify, cracking down on the employers. That‘s the one place, Ed, that we should all be willing to work together.
And just today, on the Government Oversight, you had almost a unanimous vote that we push for more E-Verify. In fact, we said that we‘re not going to allow flags to fly over the United States and Capitol unless they‘re made in the United States and made by legal workers in the United States by using E-Verify.
SCHULTZ: Yes. I‘m all about that, buy American stuff, no question about that.
But here‘s what I think, that this is going to be a real test for the Congress, whether there‘s a midterm coming up or not. Either we‘re going to get serious about this on a federal level and do something or we‘re not.
And I think the country is pretty frustrated with all of this. This will be the first in many legal decisions.
But your gut feeling is that the Republicans are actually willing to work with the Obama administration to forward this discussion?
BILBRAY: Ed, we were able to work with the fact that some people opposed Arizona when they required E-Verify two years ago. They led the charge, but we basically had a stalling here that E-Verify wasn‘t going to be allowed to go through unless a lot of other things were thrown in.
SCHULTZ: Yes. OK. So that—
BILBRAY: That‘s the one place we can all agree on, right? Can‘t we move on what we can agree on? Yes, E-Verify should be mandatory.
SCHULTZ: OK. What about the beefing up of the troops on the border? There‘s been more National Guard troops in there, more intel resources, more equipment.
You‘re for all that?
BILBRAY: Ed, if you want to stop illegal immigration, don‘t send Border Patrol agents in at the border. Go ask (ph) ICE agents at the employers in the interior.
The big roost that‘s been going on is telling people that we can stop illegal immigration by doing everything on the border, but we don‘t want—and you‘re right. We‘ve been covering for the employers who are causing the problem. Here‘s some place that Democrats and Republicans who truly want our border secured are going to be brave enough to say that the days of employers exploiting—
SCHULTZ: But it‘s the cheap problem, Congressman. It‘s the cheap labor.
BILBRAY: Absolutely. And we should—
SCHULTZ: And the business community is addicted to the cheap labor, and that‘s why we really haven‘t addressed this in this country. And both parties are at fault. I admit that.
BILBRAY: Right. And that is why both sides should be brave enough to say let‘s go to the real source, and that‘s illegal employers who are exploiting. And that‘s one place that this—President Obama and those of us in the Immigration Reform Caucus should be able to work on.
SCHULTZ: And how do you think, Congressman Bilbray, the governor and the state of Arizona should respond to this ruling?
BILBRAY: I think they should appeal it and say look, we may not need to implement this law if you guys at the federal level crack down on illegal employers the way that Arizona did two years ago.
BILBRAY: I think that their—this is self-defense, Ed. If we had taken care of the employers and cracked down on illegal employment that are exploiting, causing the problem, Arizona wouldn‘t have been where they are now.
They‘re basically saying they‘ve done everything they can about employers. They‘re now trying to do something about the smuggling problem, and they‘re defensive. Rather than attacking Arizona, we ought to be doing our part and crack down on the illegal employers.
SCHULTZ: And finally, the racial profiling that was cited in the ruling, the threat of racial profiling that was in the ruling by the judge, how do you feel about that?
BILBRAY: I think that it‘s kind of strange, because that law is a federal law that requires that everybody who‘s a foreign national must carry that identification all the time.
SCHULTZ: Yes. OK.
BILBRAY: So it‘s really kind of selective enforcement saying that the feds can check you, the feds can have these checkpoints that stop you along the highway, but the state and the locals can‘t. That‘s kind of selective reality to a lot of us along the border.
SCHULTZ: I think this judge basically told the Congress to go get their act together and do something on a federal level. No question about it.
BILBRAY: Well, they also—
SCHULTZ: Brian, great to have you.
BILBRAY: Thank you. And they also said no more sanctuary cities. So that‘s part of it that isn‘t being talked about.
SCHULTZ: Congressman, good to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much.
BILBRAY: Thank you very much, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, only Republicans could find a way to argue against diversity. The feds want Wall Street to hire more minorities and women, and somehow that‘s a problem?
I‘ll tell you who‘s whining about it at the bottom of the hour.
And today “The Beckster” celebrates an unhappy anniversary full of deep-seated hatred. More on that in the “Playbook.”
Plus, Congressman Elijah Cummings will expose the Tea Partiers for who they really are.
And I‘ll tell Charlie Rangel how he can help out Nancy Pelosi when it comes to draining the swamp.
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW, and thanks for watching tonight.
We hit a devastating milestone today. It‘s day 100 of the effort to restore the Gulf Coast after the disaster at the Deepwater Horizon rig that claimed the lives of 11 workers.
Now the federal government is launching a major criminal investigation into BP, Transocean and Halliburton to determine if the companies lied to regulators or doctored safety tests. The so-called BP squad is being run out of the FBI and could lead to prison time for executives if the feds prove their case.
For more, let‘s bring in environmental lawyer Mike Papantonio. His firm is leading the class action lawsuits against BP.
Mike, what does this mean if they‘re cooking the safety books, and what does it mean to your RICO case that you‘re involved in?
MIKE PAPANTONIO, ENVIRONMENTAL LAWYER: I think what‘s happening is they see now that there‘s more than just negligence involved here. Look, this is a group of very capable attorneys, FBI agents, some of the best investigators in the country that are kicking over this rotten log. And what‘s coming out is some of the same story I‘m seeing on the civil side.
We‘re seeing relationships between government, relationships between government and the petroleum industry, where there‘s something that‘s nothing—it‘s nothing less than bribery. There‘s no way you can qualify it other than anything than bribery.
It‘s phonied-up documents, it‘s phonied-up tests where they actually take test results and they change the results, or they don‘t do tests they know they‘re supposed to do, tests they‘re supposed to mandate. We see obstruction of justice.
Look, I‘ve got to tell you something, Ed. I was a prosecutor before I moved into this area of the law and I know what a criminal offense looks like. They‘re going to be prosecuted. It‘s just a matter of who.
Now, here‘s what‘s happening. You have whistleblowers who are out there right now who are afraid to come forward. And what they need to be watching is their friends that are pleading the Fifth Amendment, people that are taking the stand and saying, I can‘t testify because I‘m afraid I might be criminally prosecuted.
What a whistleblower who has information about right now better understand, you do not run from the FBI, you don‘t hide from the FBI, because you‘ll end up on the wrong side of the bars with the FBI. The best advice I can tell these people that are afraid to come forward, they‘re protecting a supervisor, they‘re protecting their career, they‘re protecting their company, is when you have the FBI, and you have the best lawyers in this country with the Justice Department, these aren‘t—let me just tell you something. These are not political hacks.
These are some of the most talented trial lawyers in this country. And when you have them coming after you, you better pay attention and you‘d better be afraid to take the company line. That‘s the best advice I can give to people who might be listening to this show, who might be hiding information.
SCHULTZ: Well, it sounds like the Justice Department is using the full force of resources to go after these folks.
Are you confident that they‘ll get everything uncovered? And are you confident that there‘s going to be prosecutions?
PAPANTONIO: Right now, Ed, there‘s such a blueprint that has been created by private attorneys, by some of the attorneys that I work with along the coast, that we‘ve been working on this for 100 days. And I‘m not just talking about the day. Day and night for 100 days and nights.
SCHULTZ: Your prediction is that they will not escape this?
PAPANTONIO: They will not. I‘ve got to tell you something. If we just had the playbook that we have as civil lawyers on the table right now, somebody is going to go to prison. And right now, it‘s like musical chairs. The person out there who believes that they can get away with this and is not going to say anything because they‘re afraid to, they might be the last one standing in a case of musical chairs, and they need to be very, very careful.
SCHULTZ: So, BP and these oil companies in the past, they‘ve been able to dodge the bullet, skip out with a lesser fee, but they‘re not going to do it this time. You‘re confident of that?
PAPANTONIO: I‘m confident. Ed, they‘ve had political coverage in the past.
We had eight years of Republicans that gave this petroleum industry coverage at every turn. Obama is not going to give these people political coverage. If he does, it‘s going to be very evident to the American public and it‘s going to cost him dearly in the next election.
You have a coast that understands day to day what‘s happening down here. They‘re not naive. If this is a whitewash investigation, it will cost Obama dearly.
SCHULTZ: Mike Papantonio, always a pleasure. Great to have you on, buddy. Thanks so much for your time again tonight.
PAPANTONIO: Thank you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, you would think that the arrogant rich guys would have learned a lesson when President Bush told Brownie, “You‘re doing a heck of a job” in New Orleans. But the oil executives must have been yachting that weekend. One of them will cruise right into the “Zone” next.
SCHULTZ: And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, BP chairman Carl Svanberg is singing the praises of the company‘s departing CEO, Tony Hayward.
Remember the chairman? Now, he‘s the guy who assured us that he cared about “the small people down in the Gulf.”
Here‘s what he had to say about the gaffe-happy Hayward.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARL-HENRIC SVANBERG, CHAIRMAN, BP: Tony Hayward has done a great job for the company through his almost 30 years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: A great job? Well, let‘s look at the evidence.
Tony Hayward‘s the guy who told us not to worry about the millions of gallons of his company‘s oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico because the oil is “tiny relation to the total water volume.” Then he said he expected the impact of the massive oil slick to be “very, very modest.”
His insensitivity continued a couple of weeks later when he whined to the media, “I‘d like my life back.”
Then, as tar balls washed onto the Florida beaches, Hayward escaped to the cleaner waters of Britain for a fancy yacht race.
And who can forget his wonderful testimony before the House Energy Committee, where he knew shockingly little about his own company?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TONY HAYWARD, CEO, BP: I wasn‘t involved in any of the decision-making.
I don‘t recall the time that was saved (ph).
It‘s impossible for me to answer that question.
I‘m afraid I can‘t recall that.
And I don‘t recall that either, I‘m afraid.
I can‘t answer your question.
I can‘t recall that number.
I‘m not certain.
I can‘t answer that question.
That was a decision I was not party to.
I don‘t know.
I‘m afraid I don‘t know that either.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: It‘s a hell of a lot of “I don‘t know” going on, isn‘t there?
Saying Hayward did a great job is probably the stupidest thing anyone has said down in the Gulf region since 2005.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And Brownie, you‘re doing a heck of a job.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
The chairman of BP saying Tony Hayward has done great job shows he has a heck of a knack of disastrous “Psycho Talk.”
Coming up, there‘s no doubt that “Psycho Talk”—“Psycho Talking” Republican Governor Jan Brewer will fight like hell against today‘s huge ruling on immigration. She needs to be stopped.
I‘ll get “Rapid Fire Response” on that.
President Obama really stepped it up for hard-working Americans today. But he‘s got to keep his eye on the ball and get the cash into the hands of the small businesses.
We‘ll talk about it.
The banks should not be allowed to keep the little guys in a stranglehold. My commentary on that is next.
All that, plus Republicans are resisting diversity.
And Michele Bachmann had better batten down her Tea Party hatches.
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. The Battleground story tonight, getting money to small businesses across America. It‘s the key to getting this economy back on track. At this hour, millions of unemployed Americans, they are on the edge. They‘re desperately waiting for the benefits the republicans blocked them from getting over the last two months. Millions more who have exhausted 99 weeks of benefits have no help no, money, no hope. Nobody advocating for them, nothing on the table. All of these people have one thing in common. They would like a job and a chance.
Small business is the engine that drives this country. We‘ve heard that a lot, haven‘t we? And according to U.S., small business administration, American small businesses employ just over half of all private sector employees. And have generated 64 percent of net new jobs over the past 15 years. President Obama knows small business is the key to turning this whole economy around. He came to a tasty sub shop in Edison, New Jersey, today to deliver this message.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Surely, democrats and republicans ought to be able to agree on this bill. And when I had a conversation with Mitch McConnell and John Boehner yesterday, I told them that the provision of this bill are things that the Republican Party has said it supported for years, helping small businesses, cutting taxes, making credit available. This is as American as apple pie.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Yes, it is. But the pie doesn‘t taste good to the republicans, Mr. President, because they want to see you fail. No matter what you hear from Wall Street, experts about the economy, President Obama has done more for American business than any president in my lifetime in such a short period of time. I think, it‘s completely un-American for big banks we bailed out, you and I tax payers, dish them a pile of money and they‘re sitting on a pile of money because they feel bad about the future. Their confidence isn‘t there. The little guy on Main Street who wants to start a business or expand an existing business can‘t get access to capital. If they can‘t get their hands on cheap money, they‘ll never be able to start hiring the unemployed. The president wants to provide $30 billion for small banks to provide low interest loans for American job creators. The risk takers.
But just like clockwork, here we go again, the republicans are blocking the bill in the senate. Republicans don‘t give a damn about Main Street. And they don‘t want this president to succeed or the democrats to get a win on the issue. A little over a year ago, I met privately with a few senate democrats and told them how hard it‘s going to be for the people to get their hands on cheap money. I believe the democrats know this is the key to the turning point to get our unemployment crisis turned around and kick start this economy. They‘ve got do it through community banks and they‘ve got to make it easy for people because the republicans just don‘t get it.
Joining me now is someone who does not see eye to eye with me on this one. Stephen Spruiell, a staff writer for the “National Review.” Stephen, good to have you with us tonight.
STEPHEN SPRUIELL, NATIONAL REVIEW: Thanks for having me on, Ed.
SCHULTZ: What‘s wrong about cheap money? What is the stick in the wheel that is stopping all of this, in your opinion?
SPRUIELL: Right. We‘re talking about the $30 billion fund that the government would use in a very T.A.R.P. like manner to purchase preferred stock or other forms of debt in community banks and then the rate of interest that they charge would vary depending on how aggressively the small banks lend it out.
SCHULTZ: What‘s wrong with that?
SPRUIELL: This is an invitation to politicizing the banking system even more than we politicize already.
SCHULTZ: What‘s wrong with that?
SPRUIELL: You think those community banks don‘t know what kind of businesses they‘re going to need to lend to? It‘s going to be green jobs and priorities and all kinds of priorities that have nothing do with whether the business is a good credit risk only has to do with how politically correct the loan is.
SCHULTZ: OK. Politically correct the loan. Let me tell you about the politics of this. Small businesses are starving because they can‘t get the break that the Wall Streeters got. Now, why should the taxpayers of America do what they did for Wall Street but not afford the same opportunity to those hard-working Americans that are trying to jump start this economy? It‘s an access issue. Why would they get.
SPRUIELL: No, it is not. Small banks have capital. Just like the big banks, they look at the environment, the tax environment, the regulatory environment that the democrats have created and they don‘t want to take on the risk. They would much rather have government guarantee, the low market rate money to lend out than to lend their own capital.
SCHULTZ: Stephen, these are going to be guaranteed loans by the government. Now, we guaranteed money to Wall Street. There were no guarantees that the financial sector was going to be turned around. We took a hell of a chance for Wall Street. But basically, what you‘re saying is we just can‘t take that chance because we‘re afraid there might be some competition for private business that is sitting on the money. Now, where is the fairness for the little guy here?
SPRUIELL: The banks have the money. They just don‘t want to lend it right now because with the same reason...
SCHULTZ: Exactly right! Because they want to see this president fails.
SPRUIELL: Look, don‘t take this from me, Ed. Listen to the National Federation for Independent Businesses.
SCHULTZ: Wait a minute. You know what? They are, in my opinion, they are not a credible source, they‘re one of the most partisan outfits that‘s out there. I‘m asking the basic question tonight. Why is it that Wall Street got the big break and Main Street doesn‘t? No one in the Republican Party or on the conservative side can answer that fairly.
SPRUIELL: I can answer that, I can answer that, Ed.
SCHULTZ: It ain‘t about regulation. And it‘s not about tax breaks.
SPRUIELL: Wall Street banks owed money to China and all the foreign creditors that are keeping Obama‘s debt machine afloat.
SPRUIELL: And we wanted those people to get paid back, so, they would keep lending us money.
SCHULTZ: All of a sudden, the republicans are worried about the debt. All of a sudden, the republicans are so worried about debt and everything else. The fact is that they‘re tight with the dollar because they want to see this guy not make it. And the democrats not be in control. It ain‘t about regulation. It‘s not about over control. It‘s about competition. It‘s about hanging onto the money. It‘s about the concentration of wealth. And it is now filtered itself right in to the banking business in this country. It‘s unfair. And so, but let me ask you this in closing. I‘ll give you the last word. What‘s the solution to let small businesses sit out there and do nothing and be at the mercy of the big banks who are sitting on the money? What‘s the solution?
SPRUIELL: I‘ve got an idea, Ed. How about let‘s not raise their taxes. You‘re in favor of...
SCHULTZ: Good night.
SCHULTZ: Good night. That has nothing to do with access. Good night. No, no, no, I can‘t deal with that. That simply is not an idea. Cutting the taxes is not an idea.
SPRUIELL: He don‘t have a problem, once they get big enough, he wants to tax their profits.
SCHULTZ: Yes, OK. All right. See, it‘s always about cutting taxes.
I asked for a solution and you go right to cutting taxes.
SPRUIELL: Hey, what works.
SCHULTZ: No, it doesn‘t work. And it‘s not a job creator and the heritage foundation guy was here last night admitting that cutting taxes is not a job creator. But getting money to small businesses and the little guy is what‘s going to save this economy and the big white collar boys on Wall Street, they don‘t want to let it happen to the Obama administration. Good to have you with us.
SPRUIELL: Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Good scrap tonight, thanks so much. Now, let‘s get some rapid fire response from our panel on these stories.
Conservatives are shamelessly feared mongering an outright lying about the Bush tax cuts. But what‘s really got me burning inside is what some of my closest friends in Congress are listening to and how they‘re listening to all the rhetoric. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer may let them get away with it. Wow.
Republicans are blasting Wall Street reform because of diversity. The new law says, financial firms that don‘t have a fair inclusion of women and minorities could have their government contracts terminated. But republicans claim, this will lead to hiring quotas.
Plus, I‘ll get the panel‘s take on today‘s big victory for the Obama administration and opponents of the Arizona harsh anti-immigration law.
With us tonight, Laura Flanders, the author of “Blue Grit” and host of GritTV and Free Speech TV which I watch and John Feehery, republican strategist who can‘t get the smile off his face.
SCHULTZ: I love both of you. Great to have you with us tonight. All right. Let‘s go right to the conservatives‘ fear mongering about the Bush tax cuts. John, do you believe that if we have an extension of this law that it will create jobs?
JOHN FEEHERY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, let me put it this way, Ed. And I must say, I enjoyed your repartee earlier tonight. I would say that raising taxes or the specter of raising taxes on small business owners has really had a negative impact on confidence, consumer confidence, business confidence, and that is why small businesses are not hiring. They are not asking for the loans. They have all kinds of other debt on their books. And that‘s why they‘re not expanding, that‘s why jobs are not being created. This is a bad situation. And having the taxes go higher which they‘re going to do in January on the small business owners is going to have a devastating impact on the economy.
SCHULTZ: Laura, what‘s the counterpunch here?
LAURA FLANDERS, “BLUE GRIT” AUTHOR: You know, what? It‘s like this desire to see the end of the estate tax. A trillion dollar revenue to state to government coffers. The republicans are willing to say good-bye to it. I don‘t know what kind of country they have in mind. They‘re worried about the very rich being able to, you know, feather their nest while the whole tree is in trouble. We‘ve got the kind of problem you just talked about in the previous segment, Ed. And the one thing we‘re not discussing that isn‘t on the table and should be is how to get around the private sector‘s resistance. We can fight about why people are not giving up the money, sitting on trillions of dollars, the banks big and small. But let‘s face it, if the government undertook a major job creation program, period, public jobs, money to be spent on Main Street, that‘s the way around it.
SCHULTZ: Well, Laura, what do you think of some of the democrats like Kent Conrad, Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee?
FLANDERS: It‘s shameful.
SCHULTZ: He‘s done a 180 on this. Steny Hoyer is now saying, maybe we can do this for another year.
SCHULTZ: Are the democrats afraid to pull the punch because of the election?
FLANDERS: They‘re afraid and they‘re exactly afraid of the wrong people. Their base that are hurting, their base that are in trouble. They need to stand up and say, what kind of country do you want? Do you want a country where three tenths of one percent of the population have everything and the rest of us are so desperate we‘ll work for bupkis or do you want the kind of country that people elected this administration to protect? A country of diversity, equal opportunity and freedom.
SCHULTZ: All right. John, where do you stand on the hiring diversity issue on Wall Street? Should the Wall Street firms be more diverse? What do you think?
FEEHERY: Well, I know that a lot of major corporations have very effective and bold diversity programs. I support that. What I don‘t necessarily support is the government telling people in the private sector how to hire and if they don‘t hire, they get punished and punished hard. I think that‘s exactly the wrong message to send. I know that there are several big corporations that have very effective diversity programs. And I don‘t think though that the government—I want to say politically, I think that this is not good for the Obama administration to be pushing this in this time when they have already had a huge problem with white voters who are going to look at this and say that the president and the democrats are not on my side.
FLANDERS: You can‘t go down to Wall Street and swing a cat without hitting some major financial firm that has been sued particularly for gender discrimination, has paid up damages and failed to make any kind of change. Merrill, Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America, you name it, they‘ve all been found grievously in violation, basic fairness. And it‘s the role of the government to pursuit the common good, the common interest.
SCHULTZ: You know, and it‘s about power and it‘s about money. And I will tell you in the business community often times, it is about race. We can‘t deny that. There are issues in this country. If you don‘t have diversity on Wall Street, doesn‘t that play, John, into our last story about people being tight with a dollar and basically not wanting to play playing favorites basically? I mean, wouldn‘t this be—all this does is deal with government contracts?
FEEHERY: I actually think that most major corporations have diversity programs that they‘ve implement. I do think though that the problem with the Obama administration doing this right now when so many people are worried really about job creation for everybody to have this diversity program and having this be a major campaign.
FLANDERS: This is business as usual for the federal government.
FEEHERY: Could be a problem for the Obama administration.
FLANDERS: This is business as usual for the federal government and what you‘re seeing here again from the right is the stirring up of this idea of a faux impression of white people. You had 250 years of slavery, a 100 years of Jim Crow, one year of a black president and they say whoa, white people are discriminated against.
SCHULTZ: Quickly Laura. The ruling in Arizona today. The judge blocking the most important part of this law.
FLANDERS: The judge heard activists and they saw what‘s about been going on in Arizona. Everyone is worried about. This law is taking effect. It‘s been taking effect. People have been seeing the most kind of offensive raids and papers, pleas, implementation already tearing families part. They‘re seeing how this is being implemented.
SCHULTZ: John, does the first legal volley, does it go to the Supreme Court?
FEEHERY: I think it probably will. Let me say this, the law itself is still very, very popular with most voters. And the lawsuit itself is very unpopular with most voters. So once again, the Obama administration is making it more and more difficult.
SCHULTZ: Well, it‘s got to be more about polls. I get what you‘re saying.
FLANDERS: Look what‘s happening in Arizona. Talk to people there.
FEEHERY: Not as a Supreme Court analyst but as a political person, I say politically.
FLANDERS: Men in -- 200 agents. Look at what‘s happening.
FEEHERY: Politically, this is very bad for the Obama administration.
SCHULTZ: John Feehery, Laura Flanders. Great to have you with us tonight.
FEEHERY: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Always dispirited discussion. Coming up, one year ago today, Glenn Beck said, one of the most reprehensible things he‘s ever said about President Obama. The sad part is he hadn‘t learned his lesson. I‘m going to teach him one in just a moment in the Playbook.
SCHULTZ: And it‘s not too late to let us know what you think. Tonight‘s question is, do you believe the court did the right thing by blocking Arizona‘s harsh immigration law? Text A for yes, text B for no to 622639. We‘ll bring you the results coming up. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And in my Playbook tonight, draining the swamp. That‘s what Nancy Pelosi said was part of the mission when she took the gavel. The question tonight is, just how deep is Charlie Rangel in the swamp? Folks, this isn‘t good. Mr. Rangel has reportedly not paid a huge chunk of his taxes failing to report more than $1 million of income and assets over a number of years. No matter how you cut it, no matter who it is, this is unacceptable. And it will be a terrible liability for the democrats in the midterms. You can‘t have somebody in a position of leadership and be in this arena. It‘s not good. Mr. Rangel, you need to step down. You need to resign from the Congress.
This has gone too far and it is far too damaging to democratic leadership and those who want to serve the country and move forward. People in a position of leadership should not be faced with these circumstances. Congressman Rangel has been a great soldier. He‘s been a great public servant and done a lot of things for Americans and this country but this stinks of arrogance and entitlement. It‘s a story Americans don‘t want to see and it‘s an issue the democrats don‘t need. Sorry, Charlie. You got to take one for the team and step aside. It‘s over.
Let me bring in Roy Sekoff, founding editor of the “Huffington Post.” Roy, how much of a problem is this for the democrats if Charlie Rangel goes through this mess, tries to drag it out, plays every legal avenue. You know the story. What‘s this do to the democrats?
ROY SEKOFF, “HUFFINGTON POST” FOUNDING EDITOR: Yes, I mean, it‘s an enormous problem, Ed. I mean, heading into 2010, the democrats feed a full-blown ethics trial like Mel Gibson needs another tape released, you know, this is an area where they have to be unequivocal and say, there are no two sets of rules. There can‘t be one set of rules for everybody else and then a set of rules for the big muckety-mucks on Wall Street and in Washington. There can be no wiggle room on this, Ed. And that‘s the thing, the democrats have got to show, they can‘t run on it, they can‘t run on unemployment, they can‘t run on how well things are going in Afghanistan. They can‘t run on the bold stand, they didn‘t take on climate control. They got to run on the fact that, you know, we are different from the republicans in this way. And I will say this about Rangel. He‘s not Duke Cunningham and he‘s not Mark Foley. But, you know, you can‘t run on the fact that our corrupt guy is less corrupt than their corrupt guys.
SCHULTZ: Absolutely. And I think most Americans if they didn‘t report a million dollars worth of income over a number of years, they would probably know about it. This is what is so troubling to me. Personally, here‘s a guy on the Ways and Means Committee. He‘s been around in a long time, does he have an accountant? Who does his taxes?
SEKOFF: Ed, I mean, if you miss one credit card payment, they bump you up to 30 percent. You know, let alone not pay your taxes year after year. And there are a couple of things that is even more troubling. So, this tomorrow, you know, we‘re going to have a hearing where they announce what the charges really are. And there‘s a couple that are particularly troubling Ed, including one where he might have, you know, done a favor for a guy from an oil firm in order to get a donation to his university. You know, that‘s in his name. So, that one would be particularly troubling.
SCHULTZ: Roy Sekoff, always a pleasure. Great to have you with us tonight.
SCHULTZ: A couple of pages in my Playbook, the final things out tonight, I caught a whole lot of fish in my day but I have never caught quite anything like this. During a soccer game in Iceland last weekend, the celebration after a game-winning kick ended up being, well, actually better than the goal. A defender on the team pretended to be a fish and his teammates pretended to reel him in. And just in case no one believed that this is a fish story, they thought they‘d take a picture. Nice fish. And it was one year ago today when the Beckster showed America what type of psycho talker he really is. We can‘t forget how Glenn Beck has a deep seated hatred for the president. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GLENN BECK, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: This president I think has exposed himself as a guy over and over and over again who has a deep seated hatred for white people or the white culture. I don‘t know what it is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: You be the judge. Have we advanced any in a year? Coming up, democrats want to make the Tea Party and psycho talker Michele Bachmann a poster child for the Republican Party. OK. Congressman Elijah Cummings is sounding the alarm, next. You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And finally tonight, if Michele Bachmann and her fellow republicans want a Tea Party caucus, they better start owning the Tea Party and all the whackos that come with it. Today democrats began to force the issue. The DNC kicked off a new campaign directly tying the Tea Party to the Republican Party. The DNC is right on the money by making this move.
Back with me now, founding editor of the “Huffington Post,” Roy Sekoff. Roy, let me play this sound cut if I can right now. DNC Chairman, Tim Kaine about the summer strategy. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TIM KAINE, DNC CHAIRMAN: While GOP leaders are promising in the recess to hold town halls and online forums to develop a contract of their own, it‘s already clear what the agenda will be. The Republican Party agenda has become the Tea Party agenda and vice versa. The republicans and the Tea Party supporters can take a break from the town hall and relax because we‘ve distilled their agenda for the American people into a handy ten-point blueprint for how they would govern that we‘re calling the republican Tea Party contract on America. This wasn‘t hard to come up with. So, we‘re a little bit at a loss as to why this has been difficult for republican leaders.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Roy, it‘s not hard to come up with, but it might be tough to communicate. What do you think?
SEKOFF: I kind of think the contract for America spin is pretty smarted, Ed. And I think this is the only way to go because the passion really in this election is coming from the right and is coming from the Tea Partiers. So, they‘ve got to meet that head-on and say, OK, you want these guys, here‘s what they really stand for. I think it‘s kind of a smart ad.
SCHULTZ: Well, here it is. They want to—the DNC‘s Republican Tea Party contract with America is kind of funny, repeal health insurance reform, privatize Social Security or get rid of it, end Medicare as it presently exist, extend Bush tax breaks for the wealthy, repeal Wall Street reform, protect those responsible for oil spills, abolish the Department of Education, abolish the Department of Energy, abolish the EPA, repeal the 17th amendment. Now, is this what the republicans want? What do you think?
SEKOFF: Well, this is the tricky thing, Ed. It‘s kind of like the girl who likes dating, you know, the bad boy because that‘s where the passion is, but then there‘s always the blowback, right? They want to embrace the passion of the Tea Party movement but here‘s the baggage that comes with it. So, I think, this is the tight rope that the GOP is going to be walking over the next few months as we head into 2010.
SCHULTZ: Well, that‘s Michele Bachmann said, she wanted to create a receptacle for the Tea Party. And so, this might be the first thing in the receptacle. I think she is doing it to stay visible. She loves getting her mug out there, she loves the visibility. She was rather an obscure congresswoman until she made an SO nine (ph) comment on “HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews about investigating members of Congress. That pretty much put her on the map, Roy.
SEKOFF: She got the addiction to it, right. Exactly. But look at the blowback. And what‘s happening now is the Tea Partiers are mad at her because she‘s supporting some of her brethren in Congress. And they‘re like, wait a minute, you‘re our darling until you don‘t go along with our candidates. And I think, she‘s feeling this thing about that a little bit right now.
SCHULTZ: Roy Sekoff, thanks for staying with us tonight. We expected to get Congressman Elijah Cummings but I guess he got stock in traffic. Tonight, in our text survey question, I asked, do you believe the court did the right thing by blocking Arizona‘s harsh immigration law? Seventy five percent of you said yes, 25 percent of you said no.
That‘s THE ED SHOW. I‘m Ed Schultz. For more information on THE ED SHOW, go to ed.msnbc.com, or check out my radio website at wegoted.com. And you can listen to THE ED SHOW radio show Monday through Friday noon to 3:00 p.m. on com XM 167 and other stations around the country. “HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews is next. We‘ll see you tomorrow night.
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