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The Ed Show for Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

Read the transcript to the Thursday show

Guests: Chris Van Hollen, Joan Walsh, Jonathan Alter, Russ Feingold, Todd

Webster, Heidi Harris, Virg Bernero, Roy Sekoff

ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC ANCHOR:  Good evening, Americans, and welcome to THE ED SHOW tonight from New York.

These stories on the table and hitting “My Hot Buttons” at this hour. 

Well, Republicans are threatening political Armageddon.  I guess that‘s what you could call it saying.  They‘re saying that they‘re going to shut down Washington if “The Tan Man” trades his 9 iron in for the Speaker‘s gavel.  That will never happen.

Democrats, listen up. Now is the time to stand up to these guys.  I‘ve got commentary on that coming up in just a moment.

And “The Beckster,” he must love it.  He took another shot at me.  And this time he brought you into the picture. 

I think “The Beckster” should be worrying about his own backyard. 

We‘ll cook his goose a little bit later on in the show. 

And a former White House insider exposes Rahm Emanuel‘s contempt for unions?  The guy who used the F-word to describe progressives apparently used the same kind of language toward the autoworkers. 

An expert on the Obama administration recently told me, “Hey, Rahm‘s not the big bad wolf.”  I‘ll ask him what he thinks now.  That‘s all coming up. 

This is the story that has me fired up tonight. 

Democrats, I think you need to get engaged right now.  Signs don‘t look very good.  And if you don‘t, in two months‘ time John Boehner is going to be trying to find room for the Speaker‘s gavel in his golf bag, Michele Bachmann is going to be doing everything in her power to impeach—that‘s right, impeach—the president of the United States.  And Republicans, of course, are saying they‘re going to shut down the government. 

You want all that?  If you don‘t believe me, just listen to Bush bootlicker Dick Morris. 


DICK MORRIS, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST:  I predict there will be a government shutdown again.  I predict the branches will be at loggerheads.  And the outcome of the 2012 election will hinge on who wins that battle of chicken. 


SCHULTZ:  What a toe sucker. 

Morris isn‘t the only one pushing the Republicans into a shutdown. 

This is what Ohio Congressman Jim Gordon told a town hall meeting -- 


REP. JIM GORDON ®, OHIO:  If we win, I‘ll be honest, mostly what we can get done is have the big fight, have the big faith (ph), and provide a framework for the 2012 presidential election. 


SCHULTZ:  All right.  So if Boehner and McConnell have promised to deliver their plans for America just after the August recess, but, you see, “Psycho Talker” from Arizona, righty John Shadegg, gave us a preview earlier this week. 


REP. JOHN SHADEGG ®, ARIZONA:  You want to stimulate this economy?  Suspend implementation of the health care bill for three years, promise no new regulations burdening the economy or American business for three years, promise no tax increases for three years.  Watch this economy take off. 


SCHULTZ:  So don‘t save lives for three years and the economy will take off.  They‘re brilliant, aren‘t they? 

Folks, this is the same playbook we saw back in the 1990s.  The Republicans go crazy when they don‘t have a stranglehold on power in this country. 

They don‘t give a damn about the needs of the middle class, and they‘re pulling out all stops to help Wall Street make the Bush tax cuts permanent.  Right? 

Well, America is at a crossroads.  Either we keep pushing Congress for the bottom 98 percent and we go back to the most selfish generation this country has ever seen. 

This week, “USA Today” reported one in six Americans are getting anti-poverty help at the federal level.  Almost 40 million Americans need food stamps to feed their families.  Nearly 10 million Americans are on unemployment insurance.  And millions more have already exhausted their benefits completely. 

So let‘s just take all those Americans and throw them into the ditch. 

They‘re not worth anything.  Hell, they‘re just people. 

If John Boehner and Mitch McConnell are setting the agenda, government help will come to a throttling dead stop.  Millions more Americans will be joining the ranks of the 99ers, more are going to go hungry, homeless and hopeless in this country. 

Republican candidates want to end public education.  They‘re on record.  They want to end it as we know it and make it a for-profit industry.  That will work. 

And they want to keep the war in Afghanistan going on and on as long as they have to.  In fact, some of them just want to attack Iran.  That‘s right.

There‘s no doubt Speaker Boehner will follow Newt Gingrich‘s playbook to the letter, shut down the government, and target the president of the United States.  Minnesota “psycho talker” Michele Bachmann has already promised subpoena after subpoena to go after everything she can get her hands on. 

I think she‘s up to something much bigger than that.  The low-information voters who listen to Glenn beck and his plastic Jesus, well, they don‘t think the president is an American.  Here we go. 

Bachmann is the chairwoman of the Tea Party Caucus in the House.  She‘s perfectly positioned to crank up the conspiracy machine and try to bring the president down.  Yes, impeachment proceedings.  That‘s what they‘re really about. 

The Tea Party is knocking off incumbent Republicans all over the country.  Their craziest members are the tail wagging the dog in the Republican Party.  The Republican Tea Party won‘t be satisfied with just making government smaller.  They want to shut it down and destroy the president of the United States.  It‘s all part—actually, it‘s the final chapter of how they want to play Waterloo with the government. 

Now, think about a government shutdown.  Are you asking yourself the question tonight, are you going to get your Social Security check?  How about millions of Americans who need some government assistance? 

This is what the Republicans are all about.  They‘re heartless and they are ruthless.  And as a small business owner, I personally—don‘t want to get too mean and angry about this, but I‘ll just say it this way—

I will never fib the Republican Party for stopping money going to community banks. 

I know hundreds of small business owners that I have met at town halls across this country that all they need is a loan.  But to get a loan today, you‘ve got to personally guarantee it. 

How many people have the wherewithal to personally guarantee every loan in a small business?  A lot of small businesses in this country operate paycheck to paycheck, week to week.  Many of them couldn‘t last more than four weeks if they run into some financial difficulty. 

So the president comes up with a jobs plan—let‘s get access to capital to community banks.  And what did the Republicans do?  They said no.  They are un-American.

In the meantime, later on this evening we‘ll bring you a story about how your tax money went to bail out Wall Street, one of the big firms.  And you know what they‘re doing?  They‘re creating jobs in China.  Tell me about the economic patriotism that the Republicans bring forward in this country. 

Tell me what you think in our survey tonight, folks.  The number to dial is 1-877-ED-MSNBC. 

My question tonight is: If Republicans win back the majority, do you believe they‘ll try to shut down the government and impeach President Obama?  Press the number 1 for yes, press the number 2 for no.  We‘ll bring you the results later on in the show. 

Joining me now is the DCCC chairman, Congressman Chris Van Hollen of Maryland. 

Chris, good to have you with us tonight.

REP. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN (D-MD), CHAIRMAN, DCCC:  Ed, great to be back. 

SCHULTZ:  A lot of talk about how you guys are dead in the locker room, you don‘t have any momentum, all your fans have left the stadium and everything else.  I want to know, do you really think that the Republicans will shut down the government and go after the president? 

What do you think? 

VAN HOLLEN:  Well, you have to take their own word for it.  As you pointed out, that‘s what Michele Bachmann, that‘s what a lot of the Republicans in Congress are saying that they would do. 

But let me say this, Ed—the point you‘re making tonight is the essential issue, because the American people need to take very seriously what the Republicans say they would do if they were in control of Congress.  And the good news is they‘ve actually started to tell us. 

John Boehner, he gave a speech in Ohio the other day and he started to lay out what their plans would be.  And people need to take it seriously. 

He has already said that they would repeal the Wall Street reform.  You know, a lot of lobbyists spent a lot of time and money trying to defeat that, and John Boehner saying we‘ll put Wall Street back in charge, who cares what happens to Main Street. 

He has said that there would be no new regulations even after what we saw in the Gulf, after the miners accident, after all of that.  And in Ohio the other day, he said that part of their plan for the economy was actually going to be to cancel about 60,000 contracts and awards, some of the contracts that are being let with recovery money that has not yet gone out the door but that‘s obligated (ph). 

That in itself is a job-killer.  That will snuff out the beginnings of the recovery, the very fragile recovery.  And then in the long term, as you pointed out, what‘s their plan? 

SCHULTZ:  They have no plan.

VAN HOLLEN:  They want to add—well, it‘s worse than nothing.  They want to add $680 billion to the deficit.  They want to give the top two percent big break even if that means that your children and grandchildren and everybody that‘s watching are going to have to foot the bill and pay the price of a bad economy that will get squeezed by these big deficits. 

SCHULTZ:  Now, you got some—

VAN HOLLEN:  And they need to know that.  We‘ve got to the paint that picture very clearly because they‘re telling us what they would do.  There‘s no excuse anymore for anybody to have any doubts as to what they would do. 

SCHULTZ:  Do you think the Democrats are going to be able to hold the line and not extend the Bush tax cuts? 

VAN HOLLEN:  Look, it‘s very clear, yes.  And here‘s what they‘re proposing. 

SCHULTZ:  You think you can convince the other 98 percent of the American people that they won‘t be affected and this is the right thing to do? 

VAN HOLLEN:  The other 98 percent, not only will the 98 percent get their tax relief, but if we provide a tax break for the top two percent, the other 98 percent are going to be hurt in two ways. 

Number one, they‘re going to be subsidizing the tax breaks for the folks at the very top because we‘re going to have the $680 billion bill added to our deficit.  That‘s not my number.  That‘s the nonpartisan CBO. 

SCHULTZ:  OK.  I got you on that.

VAN HOLLEN:  And everybody has told us, Ed, that in addition, the impact of the deficits is to slow down economic growth and to slow down job growth. 

SCHULTZ:  What are you going to do to get your mojo back?  I mean, we all watch all the shows.  The righties are everywhere.

I know the Democrats are back home trying to tell the story, but how aggressive are the Democrats going to be all over the media when they come back to Washington?  I mean, if it were me, I‘d say let‘s not get anything done, let‘s just sell the American people on what we‘re going to do when we keep the majority.

Isn‘t that it?

VAN HOLLEN:  Well, Ed, we‘ve got to push for the bill you just talked about to provide small businesses with credit.  I mean, it‘s outrageous the Senate Republicans are holding that up.  It‘s a politically crass move.

But you‘re right, we‘ve got to get out around the country.  And the president has got to get turbocharged.  He‘s got to go out and make it very clear what the stakes in this election will be.  And the question is going to be—

SCHULTZ:  Are Democrats in the House telling him he‘s got to get turbocharged?  Because that kind of leads me to believe that you think he hasn‘t been. 

VAN HOLLEN:  No.  I think he‘s been laying the groundwork.  He‘s been drawing the contrast. 

And I think that he knows better than anybody between now and November 2nd, when people are really going to be paying attention, he‘s got to be all over the country making it clear what the choice is, and the choice we talked about here.  Not just what he will do, but the consequences to the American people of what the Republicans would do. 

And now that they‘re telling us, we‘ve got no excuse.  Take them seriously, because that—as bad as it sounds, they are planning on doing it. 

SCHULTZ:  Congressman Chris Van Hollen, good to have you with us tonight.  Thanks so much. 

VAN HOLLEN:  Good to be with you.

SCHULTZ:  It‘s going to be an interesting fall.  That‘s for sure.

Joining us now is Joan Walsh, editor-in-chief of 

What do you think about what you just heard, Joan?  Does it work? 

JOAN WALSH, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, SALON.COM:  I hope it works.  You know, I‘m impressed with everything Congressman Van Hollen said.  I just don‘t hear enough of it from other Democrats, Ed. 

You know, it‘s very early.  I don‘t want to sugarcoat this.  I think the Democrats are in trouble. 

I will say one proviso.  It is really early.  And people are not totally focused. 

The polling that‘s being done is picking up a lot of voter anger, a lot of frustration that you and I both understand.  Once people really focus and once the Democrats make this a very clear choice, as we‘ve been discussing, that these guys wants to take us back, they want to give the rich more tax cuts, they want to rescind the health care reform, et cetera, then I think people are going to --  

SCHULTZ:  But would you admit, Joan, that they‘re not on message right now?  The Democrats—I mean, Chris sounds good and everything—

WALSH:  He does.

SCHULTZ:  -- but there‘s not enough of them out there.  They‘re just not on message. 

WALSH:  No, they‘re not on message.  And in the meantime, lots of things are interfering with their message. 

You know, we have this Republican Congress, a Republican White House.  But we‘ve got Alan Simpson, a conservative Republican, running what we call the “Cat Food Commission,” because they want to cut Social Security so seniors—OK, so not only does he insult women—I won‘t repeat what he said—now he‘s come out and said that another problem with the debt is that our wounded veterans are using too much of their disability pay, and they‘re not helping the country by that.  So they go and they serve, but they aren‘t supposed to be compensated when they can‘t work. 

You know, we‘re missing -- . 

SCHULTZ:  That‘s the kind of stuff you‘re going to get out of the Republicans if they‘re back in power.  They are ruthless, just like I said in my commentary. 

WALSH:  So why is he in a platform—a position of any kind of power?  And you already referred to it.  You‘ll talk about it later, our friend Rahm Emanuel dissing another Democratic constituency, the auto workers, you know, after he said the same thing about liberals. 

So, this White House has not been entirely on message.  They‘ve really gone too far in reaching out to the other side. 

SCHULTZ:  I think they all need to go home for Labor Day and have a cookout or something, and then come back and reenergize.  I think there is plenty of time yet, but --  

WALSH:  There‘s plenty of time, but there‘s really --  

SCHULTZ:  -- but they‘re going to have to get it in gear.

Thanks, Joan.  Got to run. 


SCHULTZ:  Appreciate your time tonight.  Thanks so much.

WALSH:  Thanks, Ed.

SCHULTZ:  Coming up, false prophet Glenn Beck just can‘t stop running his mouth about me. 

Buddy, this fight is long from over.  I‘m exposing you more and all of your dirt tonight. 

And Rahm Emanuel doesn‘t give a damn about the auto workers in this country?  A former White House insider has a shocking tell-all that spills the beans about Emanuel. 

Jonathan Alter knows the inside of the White House like the back of his hand.  He responds next. 

All that, plus a Wall Street bank takes your tax dollars and they run overseas and create jobs. 

And Chuck Norris karate chops his way into the “Zone.” 

And here we go again.  An oil platform catches fire in the Gulf of Mexico.  Details coming up. 

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


SCHULTZ:  And coming up, the anti-incumbent movement is sweeping the nation.  At this point, no elected official is safe, and it seems to me the less a candidate knows, the better shot they have at winning.  I mean, it‘s amazing. 

Even Senator Russ Feingold is on the run in Wisconsin.  His win is key for the Democrats. 

He‘ll join us live from the front lines at the bottom of the hour in “The Battleground” story.  You won‘t want to miss it. 

Stay with us. 


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

An explosive new book from Steve Rattner, the Obama administration‘s former car czar, reveals a shocking look inside the walls of the White House.  Rattner takes shots at everybody on the economic team—Geithner, Summers, Blair, even the president. 

But what has me fired up is about what he wrote about White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.  Rattner depicts Rahm as a hot-headed egomaniac who doesn‘t give a damn about unions and big labor. 

According to Rattner, in a meeting between his boss, Ron Bloom, and Rahm Emanuel about whether to save the auto industry, Rahm asked, “Why even save GM?” 

Bloom argued that tens of thousands of jobs were at stake, and Rattner says Rahm then just responded “F the UAW.” 


Now, remember, this is the same guy that once called progressives “f‘ing retarded” for wanting universal health care.  And I want to know why this guy is still pulling the strings at the White House if this is accurate writing. 

Joining me now is Jonathan Alter, “Newsweek” national affairs columnist, MSNBC political analyst, and the author of “The Promise:

President Obama Year One.”

Jonathan, you spent a lot of time around this administration, and you recently told me progressives are being too hard on Rahm Emanuel. 

What do you think now?  Is he the big bad wolf now that this comes out? 

JONATHAN ALTER, “NEWSWEEK”:  Look, I don‘t want to, you know, make a brief for him or spend a lot of time defending him.  He‘s a big enough boy to defend himself.  But this doesn‘t impress me very much. 

I mean, my chapter on Rahm Emanuel which is called “Rahmbo” is rated NC-17 for language.  I mean, he throws around the F-bomb practically every sentence.  Not just about, you know, interest groups, but business, other people in the government, even people in his own family. 

You know, so I just wouldn‘t read too much into this as a line.  The proof‘s in the pudding, Ed. 

They ended up bailing out the auto industry, and on terms that were so favorable to the UAW, that I‘ve heard nothing but complaints from business people and Wall Street people about why the secured creditors got screwed in favor of the unions.  So, you know, personally, I think the deal was pretty fair on balance, as does Rattner.  So you‘ve got to look at the facts here and not just at the kind of epithets. 

SCHULTZ:  So your message to labor tonight would be don‘t overreact to this?

ALTER:  Of course not.

SCHULTZ:  Because Rattner did write also about the administration and labor, “No one in the Obama administration ever asked us to favor labor for political reasons.” 

How do you think that‘s going to play with labor?  Labor put President Obama in the White House. 

ALTER:  And they got the bailouts, and on terms that were the best that could possibly be expected.  So you‘ve got to distinguish, Ed, between the juicy inside details, which I love—you know, I loaded up as many of them as I could in my book, and so did Steve Rattner.  But you‘ve got to set that in one category, and in another category look at what actually happened in these deals? 

And over tremendous opposition, they moved forward with bailing out both GM and Chrysler.  And the amazing thing that nobody talks about is that it worked. 

SCHULTZ:  Do you think Rahm—

ALTER:  It got these companies back on their feet. 

SCHULTZ:  Well, there‘s no question about that.

ALTER:  People are employed.  It saved hundreds of thousands of jobs. 

Hundreds of thousands. 

SCHULTZ:  Yes.  There‘s no doubt about that.  And it was a loan, it was not a bailout.  We all know that, and the money‘s going to get paid back.  It saved a lot of jobs in this country.

ALTER:  Right.

SCHULTZ:  But I guess you don‘t give credit for saving stuff if you‘re a Republican. 

ALTER:  No, you don‘t. 

SCHULTZ:  Do you think Rahm Emanuel is a detriment going into the midterms for the president?  Do you think he‘s going to be there for a while? 

ALTER:  I think he‘s going to be there as long as he wants.  I mean, what I hear from my sources is that the president still has great confidence in him.  You know, he‘s the guy who got the Congress back for the Democrats in 2006, got the House back. 

SCHULTZ:  Well, that was a long time ago. 

ALTER:  Yes, but, still, he knows a little something about getting House members elected. 

SCHULTZ:  Do you think he can help the Democrats get the mojo turned around and get the momentum going again?  I mean, the most recent polling in the generic ballot does not bode well for the Democrats. 

ALTER:  It sure doesn‘t.  It sure doesn‘t.

I think they‘re making a lot of mistakes.  I don‘t think they‘re framing the message right, Ed.  I think you‘ve been right on target on that.

The message to me needs to be really simple.  It‘s rebuild America or tax cuts for the rich.  Rebuild America or tax cuts for the rich. 

Instead, it‘s way, way, way too complicated.  And so Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod and the rest of them need to get on the beam in terms of the politics here, but, you know, nobody goes in and votes because of a presidential aide.  So he‘s clearly of more use on the inside than he would be if they sacked him. 

SCHULTZ:  Well, I don‘t disagree with you on that.  I mean, I don‘t think anybody‘s going to vote on a presidential aide.  But it doesn‘t sound good when you have almost a hostile attitude written by someone who was on the inside explaining that, you know, it‘s like they don‘t even like the base, they don‘t even like labor, but you point out that they did get some help to save jobs.  That‘s the big thing.

ALTER:  Hundreds of thousands.

SCHULTZ:  You bet.  Good to have you with us tonight.  Thanks so much. 

ALTER:  Thanks, Ed.

SCHULTZ:  Coming up, when you combine Chuck Norris, the NRA, and a dirty mouth grandma, you‘re only going to get one thing coming out of all of that, some serious twisted “Psycho Talk.”  “Walker Texas Ranger” will roundhouse his way right into the “Zone.” 

Stay with us.


SCHULTZ:  And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, Chuck Norris getting back into politics. 

After failing to get Huckabee elected two years ago, “Walker Texas Ranger” is teaming up with the NRA.  They put out a commercial to scare gun lovers everywhere that politicians want to disarm them. 

The commercial‘s got a lot.  It‘s got rednecks, it‘s got a feisty old lady, ,and borderline threatening language.  The only thing it‘s missing is Sarah Palin holding a dead moose. 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Politicians want to take away your constitutional rights.  What are you going to do when they come take away your gun, huh? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I‘ll tell those (EXPLETIVE DELETED) to get off my property.  I‘ll (EXPLETIVE DELETED) out of them.  They‘ll have to pry it from my cold, dead hand. 



CHUCK NORRIS, ACTOR:  Folks, there‘s only one way you can protect our rights—register to vote. 

I‘m Chuck Norris, and I approved this message. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  For more information, visit, paid for by the NRA Freedom Action Foundation. 


SCHULTZ:  Hmm, interesting.  Did you see any old, angry white people in that commercial?  Different story. 

So, last year, we were supposed to think the government was about to pull the plug on grandma.  This year we‘re supposed to worry that grandma will have to go down fighting for her gun. 

For the NRA and Chuck Norris to fear monger about gun rights disappearing all of a sudden is trigger happy “Psycho Talk.”  

Coming up, hey, Beckster, not done with you, buddy.  You keep talking smack about me, so I‘m returning fire tonight.  And it‘s fun.  You may want to put some notes on your chalkboard when it‘s all said and done. 

And some outstanding Democrats have found themselves in a fight for their political lives.  It seems like the less the outsider knows, the better shot they seem to have at winning. 

Russ Feingold, one of the best progressives out there, folks we need to make sure he stays in Washington.  He‘ll keep up the fight.  He‘ll be in ‘The Battleground” coming up. 

All that, plus a massive brawl breaks out on the ballpark field.  Trapped miners, they make a crazy request.  And a burning oil platform in the Gulf. 

Details coming up in the next half hour on THE ED SHOW.

Stay with us.  You‘re watching MSNBC.


SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.  And a Battleground story tonight, no elected official is safe in the mid terms.  Anti-incumbent senator in this country is at an all-time high.  Three incumbent senators have gone down in primaries.  At least, seven others are polling at less than 50 percent.  And even long time serving battle tested senators are in political fights for their lives.  Harry Reid is hanging on by a thread in Nevada.  Three-term powerhouse Barbara Boxer is facing a real battle out in California, even the progressive Russ Feingold is in a real tough fight for his seat in Wisconsin. 

Senator Feingold is a progressive as a progressive as you can get.  He voted against the Iraq war, he voted against the patriot act, against the Wall Street bailouts, all very strong progressive positions but somehow we‘ve gotten to the points where the less a candidate knows about Washington, it seems the better off they are.  And now Feingold, the guy who has always fought the good liberal fight is up against a candidate who is trying to buy the election so he can go to Washington and extend the Bush tax cuts for the rich. 

Senator Russ Feingold in Wisconsin joins us tonight here on THE ED SHOW.  Senator, good to have you with us tonight.  You know, you have been one of the most hard-working guys out there.  You do over 70 town hall meetings a year.  What are you hearing in Wisconsin and why are you polling below 50 percent?

SEN. RUSS FEINGOLD (D), WISCONSIN:  Well, this is a year of challenges, because of the mess  that was left us from the Bush years and obviously people are saying, wait a minute, who‘s going to best help us get out of this come January into the coming Congress.  So I think it‘s fair for people to ask the question.  But it‘s game time as you would say Ed, and it‘s the Packers versus the Vikings.  And in this case, people are going  to look at the two choices in Wisconsin and I‘m confident when they see my opponent‘s attitude towards  working people and towards the loss of jobs in Wisconsin, then we‘ll be able to prevail because this election is about jobs.  And we think we have the better argument on that.  

SCHULTZ:  Yes.  Well, your opponent is independently wealthy, he‘s out spent—he over $4 million on TV ads already.  And you have spent $1.4 million.  If this is a horse race about money, you‘re in a tough spot right now.  But one thing that I do find interesting is that Ron Johnson has said that China has a better climate for business investing than the United States.  

FEINGOLD:  That‘s correct. 

SCHULTZ:  What about that?

FEINGOLD:  Yes, Ed.  And every one of my races I‘ve been outspent.  I like being the underdog.  That‘s what I am again.  He‘s spending more than any candidate in the history of our state, more than even Bush or Obama or Kerry.  But you‘re right.  This is what he said yesterday.  And this is why he‘s coming unraveled.  He talked about Steve Wynn, the Vegas hotel guy, he said he‘s creating resorts in Macau in China, communist  China and his point is the level of uncertainty, the climate for business investment is far more certain in communist China than it is in the U.S. here.  So here‘s a guy who claims to be for freedom, who claims to be more free enterprise and jobs whose praising the communist Chinese system over our system.  You know what?  That‘s not going to play well with the people of Wisconsin.  

SCHULTZ:  I don‘t think it is either.  But the turnout is going to be crucial.  Now, I‘ve done a town hall in Madison.  There were some folks that came over from the scene telling me about how their plant is being shutdown, it‘s being shipped to Mexico.  It would seem to me that you would have support from core democrats.  Do you sense that people are motivated in your state?

FEINGOLD:  Yes, they‘re getting motivated especially in this race because Mr. Johnson actually came out and said that he would have been for NAFTA and GATT in the China deal.  I voted against NAFTA, I voted against GATT and I led the fight with Jesse Helms of all people against the China deal.  So, here‘s what Johnson says.  

SCHULTZ:  I get all that.  Why are you in trouble there?

FEINGOLD:  I‘m not—Ed, we‘re going to win obviously, this environment is very tough for economics.  But here‘s what I want to tell you.  This guy Johnson described these trade agreements as creative destruction.  Ed, you got to win elections, you got to make the case.  This is game time.  We‘re going to make the case, we‘re going to do this because I stand for the working people of Wisconsin.  

SCHULTZ:  I know you do.  Senator, good to have you with us tonight. 

Appreciate your time. 

FEINGOLD:  Good to have you.

SCHULTZ:  You bet.

FEINGOLD:  Good to see you.

SCHULTZ:  You bet. 

Now let‘s get some rapid fire response from our panel on these stories.  Alaska‘s brand new republican senate nominee Joe Miller took a page out of his buddy‘s Sarah Palin‘s playbook, he called President Obama bad for America because of socialism.  Pretty did, huh. 

Former U.N. ambassador and proud neocon John Bolton isn‘t ruling out a presidential run in 2012.  Please, help us.  Iran better duck and cover if this guy gets anywhere near the White House. 

And Ben Quayle is getting hammered by his democratic opponent on Christian radio.  Turns out writing for a racy website under the name Brock Landers may not help that crew when it comes to family values image, you know?

With us tonight, Todd Webster, democratic strategist and Heidi Harris, radio talk show host out of Las Vegas.  All right.  Let‘s talk about this Joe Miller.  He had a very interesting interview, I thought and here are his comments about President Obama, how would he describe him. 


JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR:  If you had to in a sentence or two describe Barack Obama, how would you do that?


KING:  That‘s one sentence.  You don‘t get that often out of a politician.  On what do you base that?

MILLER:  Well, I mean, he‘s one of the major forces moving this country toward socialism.  


SCHULTZ:  Todd Webster, respond to that.  

TODD WEBSTER, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST:  Well, it‘s idiotic in a word.  It‘s ludicrous and it‘s silly and that what he and Tea Partiers and others tried to do is to undermine the president, his authority as president try to degrade him as a human being and it‘s unfortunate.  The reality is that the reason why we‘re in this spot that we‘re in is because of the bad economy and because of eight years of failed republican policies.  And over the last two years because Senate republicans have done everything that they can to stop and to prevent any meaningful legislation from being passed even the small business bill that‘s coming up next month.  

SCHULTZ:  No doubt.  Heidi, do you think this simplistic message is going to work with voters? 

HEIDI HARRIS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  You know what, I‘ll tell you the truth, I appreciate it.  You know, you interviewed a lot of politicians like I do and they go on and on and on and they don‘t say anything.  And I think it‘s kind of funny what Todd said, degrading and undermining a president?  Never happen with Bush.  I‘m so shocked. 

SCHULTZ:  All right.  What would you—OK, what would you have said to him if you had asked him that question and he said he‘s bad for America because of socialism?  I mean, would you be satisfied with that interview?

HARRIS:  No, I would have asked him a little bit to expand on it.  And I‘m sure I would have agreed of what he have said, but I would have asked him to expand.  But, look at just one thing, health care.  Health care is not constitutional.  I know you want it, you want single payer.  I get that, some people do.  Most people don‘t.  But that is not what America‘s based on.  That‘s not capitalism.  That‘s socialism.  Socialized medicine.  That‘s what it is.  Joe Miller is exactly right.  

SCHULTZ:  Do you think we should get rid of Medicare and Medicaid and also Social Security?

HARRIS:  Yes.  Absolutely, of course. 

SCHULTZ:  So, get rid of all of that. 

HARRIS:  Sure.

SCHULTZ:  Well, there you go.  Todd Webster, there‘s your choice right there.  

WEBSTER:  Well, I don‘t understand why republicans hate older people, why they hate Social Security and hate Medicare.  But, you know, I admire their courage and laying out their position that they would like to dismantle Social Security and Medicare, two of the most important social programs that have provided dignity and decency for Americans over the last seven, eight years.  But at least, you we‘re being clear with our positions now.  There‘s a very clear choice in November between people who would dismantle Social Security and Medicare and people who would try to shore it up and strengthen this country.  

HARRIS:  Oh, give me a break.  Yes, that‘s what I want.  I want to see old people sitting in trailers, eating cat foods.   Of course, that‘s not what I want.  Those are not constitutional programs. 

SCHULTZ:  For the common good of the people, that‘s in the constitution as well, Heidi.  

HARRIS:  Oh, please.  

SCHULTZ:  What do you mean, oh, please?  You mean to tell me that you would favor getting rid of Medicare and Medicaid which saves lives and its been a proven program and is also has been approved by the American people for generations.

HARRIS:  Everybody wants something that they‘re eventually going to get a check from the government for.  Of course they want.  

SCHULTZ:  These folks have paid into these programs for years, Heidi.  

HARRIS:  I know that.  I know they have but they should never have been created to begin with.  I don‘t know what you do with this point because everybody‘s paid into it.  Hey listen, I‘ve been paying into Social Security for 30 years.  I want my money too.  

SCHULTZ:  Well, we‘re trying to make sure you get it.  But you guys keep running us into wars that aren‘t paid for and then we‘ve got to borrow against it.  I mean, that‘s exactly what‘s happened.  We did a lot of stuff of budgets and the republicans ran us right down that road.  And now instead of fixing the problem, you just want to get rid of the programs. 

HARRIS:  That last stimulus bill cost us more than all of our money in Iraq.  Give me a break. 

WEBSTER:  Half of it was tax cuts.  

SCHULTZ:  And you know well that there were republican economists who work with vacation and said, we need to do a stimulus package.  And by the way, we‘ve only spent half the money.  All right.  John Bolton it, here he is on FOX.  John Bolton talking about running for president.  Here it is. 


HOST:  Are you running for president in 2012?

JOHN BOLTON, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.:  Well, you know, it‘s a great honor when people ask me that question and I have been asked that question.  I don‘t think anybody involved in politics should worry about that until after the elections this fall because I think they‘re so important.  So that‘s to the extent I get involved.  That‘s where I‘m going to put my focus for now.  

HOST:  So, you‘re not saying no?

BOLTON:  I‘m not saying no, that‘s right.  


SCHULTZ:  Todd Webster, where would his support come from?

WEBSTER:  You know, that‘s a very good question.  I would think that given the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, that the appetite even in a republican primary for messianic interventionist who want to go around the world and send U.S. troops to remake foreign countries in our image would be fairly limited.  He apparently thinks that there is an opportunity for him and God bless him, it would make a very interesting republican primary.  But this guy is so far out of the mainstream.  John Bolton makes John Birch look like Jon Stewart.  But it would certainly live up the republican, their primary debate.  I just don‘t know where he would get any support.  

SCHULTZ:  What do you think, Heidi?

HARRIS:  He‘s not going to be president.  I mean, maybe secretary of state but he‘s not going to be president.  He doesn‘t have the charisma and he doesn‘t have the resume.  I mean, yes, he‘s been a diplomat.  I get that.  But there‘s just no way he‘s going to be president.  It‘s not going to happen.  This day and age, you‘ve got to have more charisma like Mitt Romney or even Barack Obama.  You‘ve got to have those things.  Whether you like people or don‘t, charisma is a big factor this days especially in the TV age.  

SCHULTZ:  Do you think McCain had charisma?  

HARRIS:  Not as much as he probably needs.  

SCHULTZ:  OK.  All right.  That‘s right.  Because he didn‘t win.  All right.  Ben Quayle is getting hammered by his democratic opponent on Christian radio.  Here‘s the commercial. 


ANNOUNCER:  As a Christian and a mom, I‘m worried that morality is slipping away in our country.  I‘ve read that congressional candidate Ben Quayle helped create one of the most offensive websites I‘ve ever seen.  The site promotes drugs and prostitution, is filled with meanness and foul language.  Humiliates women and even mocks people with Down‘s syndrome.  On the site, Ben Quayle wrote, “my moral compass is broken.  I can‘t even find the parking lot.”  With the broken compass, I don‘t think Ben Quayle is going to be the one who takes us in the right direction.  


SCHULTZ:  What do you think, Todd?

WEBSTER:  I think it‘s fair game.  And not only because it‘s.  

SCHULTZ:  I mean, that‘s the most aggressive ad I‘ve seen so far when it comes from the democrats. 

WEBSTER:  Well, yes, but it‘s not, you know, look, we can all have youthful indiscretions.  It‘s misogynistic, it‘s raunchy, it‘s fairly gnarly.  He takes on the name of a male porn star as his pseudonym.  But I think that the real problem here for Ben Quayle is that he lied about it.  That he first denied any involvement with it.  Then it came out that in fact, he was one of the founders of this website.  So, I think, people have a capacity for forgiveness, but I think they will only forgive once Ben Quayle comes out and says yes, I was involved with this, I helped create this thing.  I then lied about it. 

SCHULTZ:  What do you think, Heidi?

WEBSTER:  But I‘m now asking forgiveness 

HARRIS:  Well, he admits after a lot of pushing, he admits that he wrote a couple of posts up there, a few.  

WEBSTER:  He was a founder of it.  

SCHULTZ:  No, no, but there‘s a difference.  For dirty Scottsdale, which is not the same thing as the which by the way ought to be a political site and nothing is more dirty than politics.  But he didn‘t create the  He wrote for something prior to that.  

SCHULTZ:  But the ad, it‘s the ad, is it effective, does it work?  I mean, have you ever seen a democrat go down that road before?  I have to say I haven‘t.  

HARRIS:  Well, people should ask questions.  I think that‘s a fair game.  People should be able to ask him for clarification, of course. 

SCHULTZ:  All right.  Todd Webster, Heidi Harris.  Great to have you with us tonight.  Thanks so much.

WEBSTER:  Thanks, Ed.

SCHULTZ:  Coming up, the greedy suits over at Citigroup have my blood boiling tonight.  They took 45 b, billion dollars from you and me, the taxpayers and now they‘re running to China to create jobs.  Where is the fairness on that?  America‘s Mayor Virg Bernero is going to rip roar into that one.  He sounds off on the Playbook, next.  Stay with us.         


SCHULTZ:  And it‘s still not too late to let us know what you think.  The number to dial is 1-877-ed-msnbc.  Tonight‘s telephone survey question is, if republicans win back the majority, do you believe that would shut down the government and impeach President Obama?  Press the number one for yes, press the number two for no, again the number to dial is 1-877-ed-msnbc.


SCHULTZ:  And in my Playbook tonight, Citigroup, the third largest bank holding company in the United States is creating up to 7500 jobs over the next three years.  U.S. taxpayers bailed out Citigroup to the tune of $45 billion back in 2008.  Now they‘ve paid the money back and they‘re already to create jobs over in China.  Stephen Bird, Citigroup‘s co-chief executive officer for the region told Reuters his company plans to open up two branches a month in China for the foreseeable future.  Bird told Reuters, the company‘s strategy is, quote, “Progressively more weighted to emerging markets.  Greater China is the future,” he says. 

Citigroup is entitled to do anything they want but when they‘re on the brink of destruction, they turn to the American taxpayer to save their backsides.  Now, when unemployment is at record levels, the United States people need some help, Citigroup decides to create the jobs where?  In China. 

Joining me now is America‘s Mayor Virg Bernero, democratic nominee for governor in Michigan.  Does this one make your blood boil?

VIRG BERNERO (D), MICHIGAN GUBERNATORIAL NOMINEE:  Well, Ed, you know, on the one hand, I don‘t mind businesses expanding in, quote, unquote, “emerging markets,” but this is particularly galling.  I‘ve just—I‘m in the middle of a tour around Michigan, what I call the Main Street, Fighting for Main Street Tour.  And what we‘re hearing in cities all across the state and I know this isn‘t news to you is that people can‘t get access to capital even after groups like Citibank were bailed out, they‘re not loaning to places like Michigan.  We‘ve got businesses, entrepreneurs ready to go, ready to hire, small businesses ready to expand, ready to create jobs.  

SCHULTZ:  No doubt.  Virg, we are seeing no economic patriotism whatsoever from the very companies that got taxpayer dollars. 

BERNERO:  We‘re being redlined.

SCHULTZ:  Go ahead.

BERNERO:  Michigan is being redlined.  We can‘t get the capital.  And they‘re expanding in China.  Like I say, I mean, yes, they should go and make money where they can.  But I tell you, this is an emerging market. 

Michigan is an emerging market.  America is an emerging market.  We would

like to emerge out of the doldrums of this economy.  We are not enjoying

our recovery.  And a big part of the problem is that banks like Citigroup -

Citibank are not investing in Michigan.  They‘re not investing in the heartland of this country.  The Wall Street banks have written us off.  That‘s why we‘re on this Main Street tour to find out what‘s up and to explain our plan.  And in fact, just today, we announced a plan to get Michigan‘s money out of the Wall Street banks and invest in community banks and Community Credit Unions because we‘re tired of seeing our money take a one way trip to Wall Street and then have the Wall Street banks invest overseas. 

SCHULTZ:  I think, it‘s un-American.  That‘s all it is.  Virg Bernero, keep up the fight.  I appreciate your time tonight. 

So, final pages in the Playbook, here we go again.  The oil and gas platform owned by Mariner Energy exploded 90 miles from the BP disaster site in the Gulf of Mexico today.  All 13 crew members you can see them here in the water, they were safely evacuated from the burning platform.  The cause of the explosion is not known.  I really, really, I think we all really need to figure out what the heck we are doing down there drilling and maybe we ought to rethink this moratorium. 

And new video out of the 33 miners trapped a half mile underground.  Today, as day 29, they‘re asking for wine and cigarettes to be sent down in order to help them cope.  But NASA denied their requests.  It might take another three months to free them out of that mine. 

Coming up, I‘m going round two with the Beckster.  That‘s next on THE ED SHOW.  Stay with us.                                                


SCHULTZ:  And finally tonight, the Beckster is challenging my comment about my ability and pull to get 300,000 people on the mall. 


UNIDENTIFIED MAN:  By the way, the thing on Ed Schultz said that he.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: .he could draw 300,000 people at the mall.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN:  Hey, Ed, just a quick personal note.  First, why don‘t you try to draw 300,000 you know in the demo and then just to turn on their TV.  And then you get back to us on the mall. 


SCHULTZ:  Such a Christian.  Always turning the other cheek, isn‘t he?  OK, Beck, I‘ll get back to you on that one on the mall.  But first let me explain to my viewers what it means by the demo he‘s talking about.  The great people that watch my show between the ages of 25 and 54.  Now Beckster, let‘s take a closer look at your crowd of nut jobs.  You know, I don‘t see too many of the demo.  You know, I‘ll say it again.  They‘re old, white, angry, McCain/Palin leftovers.  And you know what?  Nobody really checked the age on the geese.  So you know, you might have something here. 


GLENN BECK, FOX NEWS ANCHOR:  At 9:59, what happened was there was a flock of geese that ran.  It was a flyover, if you will.  Someone caught it on tape.  Here‘s the flyover.  This was happening just as the opening music was starting. 


SCHULTZ:  You know, and I bet that V meant victory too, huh?  Actually, Glenn, these geese were getting the heck out of there, just like the people behind you when you were talking.  Look at those people running for the exits as the psycho talk goes on. 

Joining me now is Roy Sekoff, founding editor of “Huffington Post.”  I hope he does it again because I had so much fun with this.  And I will reiterate I think that I could get 300,000 people on the mall.  Roy, what do you make of the final analysis?

ROY SEKOFF, FOUNDING EDITOR OF THE “HUFFINGTON POST”:  Well, Ed, right before you started this segment, two ducks just went walking across the studio.  I don‘t know what that means.  But it‘s probably significant.  You know, there‘s something about a certain kind of guy, it always comes down to my demo is bigger than yours at the end of the day, right? 


SEKOFF:  But here‘s the thing with Beck.  You know at the end of the day, Ed, he really doesn‘t have that much poll when it comes right down to it.  Let‘s look at the track record, he was against Obama.  He was elected.  He came out against the stimulus, it passed.  He fought against health care, it passed.  He fought against financial reform, it passed.  So, when push comes to shove, he really doesn‘t have much political impact.  

SCHULTZ:  And didn‘t he have help some from some billionaire brothers that took care of all the bussing and free transportation for a lot of these folks?  

SEKOFF:  The shipping was all prepaid, Ed.  The shipping was all prepaid.  But I would say this though, I think we have to be careful not to denigrate the people who turned out to the mall or to try to put down or make sound like there‘s less real legitimate anger in the country.  There‘s a lot of it suffering, Ed as you‘ve documented on the show day after day.  And I think we have to pay tribute to that and be aware the danger for progressives is that they can‘t leave a vacuum for a charlatan and a demagogue like Beck preaching the sort of phony gospel of unity while he‘s really talking about hate.  And I think that‘s what I‘m most worried about, is when we have democrats embracing, the deficit cutting mantra instead of the job creation mantra.  I think that leaves a vacuum open and that‘s when a guy like Beck steps in. 

SCHULTZ:  Roy Sekoff, always a pleasure, great to have you with us. 

Tonight in our telephone survey, I asked you, if republicans win back the majority, do you believe that they would try to shutdown the government and impeach President Obama?  Ninety three percent of you said yes, seven percent said no. 

That‘s THE ED SHOW, I‘m Ed Schultz, “HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews starts right now.  We‘ll see you tomorrow night from Minneapolis.  Have a great one.



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