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Thursday, Oct. 7th, 2010

Read the transcript to the Thursday show

Guests: Sen. Bernie Sanders, Rep. Joe Sestak, Robert Greenwald, Michael

Medved, Ron Christie, Barry Lynn, A.B. Stoddard, Mike Papantonio

ED SCHULTZ, HOST:  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.  John Boehner and the corporate righties—they‘re just trying to run out the clock.  They‘re screaming about jobs while their Wall Street buddies—man, they‘re just sitting on trillions of dollars.  I think it‘s flat-out unpatriotic and more proof that all they want to do is see President Obama fail.  Commentary on that.  Plus, Senate reaction coming up in just a moment.

The right-wing Chamber of Commerce—don‘t they kind of need to come clean with the American people?  I mean, they‘re dropping $75 million to attack Democrats.  They can‘t deny it—I mean, they can deny it all they want, but I think it‘s foreign money.  The American people think it‘s foreign money.  And it‘s nothing but an anti-American money bomb on the American system.  One of the key targets, Congressman Joe Sestak, will be here to return fire in just a moment.

And Christine “I‘m Not a Witch” O‘Donnell came out hiding and made a fool of herself again.  How about that.  I‘ll show you the tape.  And Mike Papantonio responds to the political climate.

But this is the story that has me fired up tonight.  At this hour, here are the numbers.  About 15 million Americans are out of work, unemployed, 41.8 million Americans are on food stamps.  That‘s hard to say.  Think about that, 42 million Americans are on food stamps.  And where are Republicans?  John Boehner is asking, Well, where are the jobs?  And big businesses is wasting billions of dollars on themselves.

According to “The Washington Post,” large companies like Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Pepsico and others—well, they‘re using their massive profits buying back shares instead of investing capital for job creation in this country.  These American companies—what they‘re doing is they‘re taking advantage of the lowest interest rates in decades to buy back cheap stock—how American of them! -- instead of investing cash to create jobs.  It‘s all about the record profits, folks, and going to the bottom line as fast as they can.  And who‘s paying the price for all of this?  The American worker.

Large companies have purchased—here are the numbers -- $273 billion

billion—of their own shares this year.  And my friends, that is five times as much as compared to this time last year.  This is what they‘re doing.  They‘re hogging.  The American companies have no sense of economic patriotism.

And a third quarter survey, just completed, of nearly a thousand chief financial officers by Duke University and “CFO” magazine shows that less than 1 percent of CFOs said that they expect to hire more full-time employees in the coming months.  I mean, it‘s all right there!  This proves that greedy, selfish corporate suits—they don‘t give a damn about the working class in this country, the American people who need a job.  This is all about maximizing profits and creating a deeper divide between the haves and the have-nots, and they want the righties to get power in the Congress.

Big business.  You know what they do?  They just bankroll the Republican Party through the Chamber of Commerce.  And the congressional members, you know, guys like the Tan Man, they‘re doing all the bidding.  Republicans vote against bills to stop outsourcing American jobs, and then they go out and say stuff like this!


REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), MINORITY LEADER:  The American people are still asking the question, Where are the jobs?

The question right now that the American people are asking are, Where are the jobs?

The American people are continuing to ask the question, Where are the jobs?

The president says we‘re moving forward, but the American people are asking, Where are the jobs?

The American people keep asking, Where are the jobs?


SCHULTZ:  You think Boehner would respond to this story?  Hell, no.  He‘s nothing but a complete fraud, in my opinion, and so are the righty commercials.  Now, take a look at the commercial that the National Republican Senatorial committee has been running against West Virginia Democratic Senate candidate Joe Manchin.  Check this out.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Obama‘s messing things up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Spending money we don‘t have.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Stimulus, “Obama care.”

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes, and Joe Manchin supported it all!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Joe‘s not bad as governor, but when he‘s with Obama...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes, he turns into Washington Joe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  And Washington Joe does whatever Obama wants.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes, well, we better keep Joe Manchin right here in West Virginia.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Away from Washington.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes.  It‘s the only way we‘re going to stop Obama.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  The National Republican Senatorial Committee is responsible for the content of this advertising.


SCHULTZ:  They sure are responsible for that content.  This just in.  Those weren‘t West Virginia good old boys at a cafeteria.  They were actors.  As I said, Boehner‘s a fraud, so is that commercial.  The commercial wasn‘t even shot in West Virginia, it was shot in Philadelphia.  The casting call for the fake hillbillies said, quote, “We‘re going for a hicky blue collar look.”

Well, those guys answered the ad, and after Democrats pointed out the fake commercial today, the National Republican Senatorial Campaign, well, they decided to pull the air—pull the ad off of the air.  The Republican Party loves to pretend that they have the—you know, they got the pulse of the working men and women of this country!  They can‘t even find real voters in a real diner in West Virginia to make their case to the American people!

The fake conservative outrage about jobs really is the biggest hoodwink we‘ve ever seen.  Boehner and his buddies at the country club really want to know where the jobs are?  Well, what they ought into is go down and ask these major corporations that are hoarding the money and buying back the stock.  That‘s where the jobs are, John.  Ask your friends to show some economic patriotism.  But you see, if they do that, then of course, there‘ll be some good job numbers, and then it‘ll make the Obama team look good.  And hell, we‘ve got an election coming up.  Who cares about the 99ers, right?  Who cares about all those people on food stamps?  Who cares about all those unemployment—unemployed people in this country?

That‘s what this election is all about, the haves and the have-nots.  Whose side are you on?  Do you want hope for every American?  The president in recent days has been out and about, asking the base to get energized and recognize the moment of what we face in this election.  That‘s what we face.  We face that right there.  We see big corporate America hoarding the profits, buying back their stock instead of investing in job creation when we‘re going through the worst economic time since the Depression.

Tell me what you think in our telephone survey tonight, folks.  The number to dial is 1-877-ED-MSNBC.  My question tonight is, Do profitable United States companies have a patriotic responsibility to create American jobs?  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 Vermont senator Bernie Sanders.  Senator, good to have you with us tonight.  They‘re hoarding the money.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), VERMONT:  They‘re hoarding...

SCHULTZ:  They‘re flat-out hoarding the money!  Your thoughts on this story?

SANDERS:  Well, they are hoarding the money, and you are absolutely right in everything that you said, except for one thing, Ed.  These people are not really American corporations.  They could care less about the United States of America.  You remember a few years ago, Halliburton moved to Dubai.  These guys would move to China tomorrow if they could make a nickel more in profits.

I want to read you something which I think many people may not be aware of.  You know, the Chamber of Commerce is getting into the—into the news a bit lately.  In July 1st, 2004, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce president and CEO, Thomas Donohue, urged American companies to send jobs overseas.

Now, what do you think about that in terms of economic patriotism?  These guys would much prefer to pay workers in China 50 cents an hour than reinvest in the United States of America, create decent jobs here.  That‘s the reality.

SCHULTZ:  Do the American people get it, in your opinion?  I mean, this is a—the Chamber of Commerce story that you just brought up, what the corporations are doing—I mean, it‘s—it‘s all on the table for the American people to see.  It would seem to me that the Democrats would rule on November 2nd.

SANDERS:  Well, the answer is the Democrats had better win, or else we‘re going to see more outsourcing.  You‘re going to see more tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires.  You‘re going to see more deregulation, so we can have another Wall Street disaster or a BP disaster.

And I‘ll tell you what else you‘re going to see.  You‘re going to see either the privatization of Social Security or a movement in that direction, or raising the Social Security retirement age to 70.  I think it is very clear to anyone who spends five minutes looking at this issue, is that while the Democrats, in my view—and I speak as an independent—have not been as strong as they should be in protecting the working class of this country, there is no question but the Republicans are out there protecting Wall Street, the millionaires and billionaires.  And that‘s what they have done and that‘s what they‘re doing right now.

SCHULTZ:  Senator, this means that if the Democrats maintain the majority in the Senate and the House, the majority party is going to have to operate differently in dealing with this mindset.

SANDERS:  You‘re absolutely right.

SCHULTZ:  It‘s not going to be able to be the olive branches coming out of the White House and, Let‘s wait three months to see if we can get another Republican senator on board and do this bipartisan tap dance in this country.


SCHULTZ:  This is about power!  This is how they want to run the country!  And if the Democrats win, they‘re going to have to operate differently.  Am I right or wrong?

SANDERS:  Look, it‘s high time—it is high time that the Democrats use power the way the Republicans are.  You‘d be hard pressed to know that the Democrats have 59 in the Senate and the Republicans 41.  It‘s high time that we said there‘s not going to be anymore outsourcing.  We‘re going to come up with a fair trade policy, rather than unfettered free trade.

And if you Republicans want to vote for corporate America, you go for it, but everybody in this country is going to know it because if you filibuster, we‘re going to keep this place open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  No more tax breaks for billionaires.  We‘re going to use that money to reinvest in our infrastructure, create millions of good-paying jobs.  You‘re not going to raise the retirement age for Social Security to 70.  We‘re going to revisit Wall Street and really make some strong reforms.

Bottom line, Ed, and I think this is what you‘ve been saying, the Democrats have got to make it clear to the working class of this country that they are really on their side, they‘re prepared to mix it up with these very powerful people.  It ain‘t going to be easy, but I think if we win the support of the majority of working people in this country, we can stand up and make some real changes.

SCHULTZ:  Couple of things I think that the majority party has got to do.  They have to adopt a strategy of “Buy American” to create jobs.  They‘re also going to have to, I think, lay out to the American people this kind of corporate greed, this is the legislation we‘re going to introduce to turn this around, and then force the Republicans to step forward and say, Where‘s your plan for creating jobs?

They‘re hoarding the money.  They want to go the top 2 percent tax cuts again.  It is more of the same.  It would seem to me that this is the time when the Democrats are going to have to step up and strike the passion of the American people because if they don‘t have the majority and if they lose the House, they‘re going to chip away at Obama for the next two years.  And of course, with this Chamber of Commerce activity with foreign money, we are—we are living in just a historic time in the transformation of government in this country!

SANDERS:  Hey, Ed, you know what‘s going on right now?  What‘s going on right now is you‘ve got the top 1 percent today earning more income than the bottom 50 percent.  In the last 30 years, 55 percent of all income growth in America went to the top 1 percent.  And what you‘re seeing is a nation in which a few people not only have tremendous amounts of money, but they are also using that money, as you‘ve just indicated, in the political process.


SANDERS:  Billionaires are spending that money undisclosed, running these horrendous ads all over this country.  It is high time Democrats stood up to these billionaires and millionaires and work with the working families of this country to create a nation which does well for all of us and not just for the people on top.

SCHULTZ:  We‘re headed to gated communities all over America.  Senator Sanders, keep up the fight.  Great to have you with us tonight.  Thanks for speaking up again.

SANDERS:  Thank you.

SCHULTZ:  Coming up: Christine O‘Donnell just crawled out of hiding and made her first public appearance since Witchgate 2010.  I‘ll show you the tape.  And Mike Papantonio‘s going to blast off on that.  And Uncle Rupert Murdoch says his $1 million gift to the Republicans—well, it doesn‘t have anything to do with FOX News.  Who‘s chain is he choking?  I‘ll rip that one in “The Playbook.”

And all that, plus we‘ve got a professor at Beck University wants the government—the government—to regulate homosexuality.

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


SCHULTZ:  Coming up on THE ED SHOW, going into this election, ask yourself the question.  Is there a bigger story than this one?  I‘m going to scream this one from the rooftops until every American gets it.  The Chamber of Commerce just dropped $75 million, anti-American money bomb on Democrats.  One of their key targets—one of their key targets joins me in the fight back, Joe Sestak, the highest-ranking military officer to serve in Congress.



BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  Just this week, we learned that one of the largest groups paying for these ads regularly takes in money from foreign corporations.  So groups that receive foreign money are spending huge sums to influence American elections, and they won‘t tell you where the money for their ads come from.  So this isn‘t just a threat to Democrats.  All Republicans should be concerned.  Independents should be concerned.  This is a threat to our democracy.


SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW, and thanks for watching tonight.  That was President Obama late this afternoon sounding the alarm on the right-wing Chamber of Commerce, and he is absolutely correct.  What they‘re doing, folks, is a real threat to our democracy and the way we operate in this country.  The Chamber of Commerce is going to be spending $75 million to take down Democrats in the mid-terms, and I think that all Americans ought to know where the money is exactly coming from.  They can deny it all they want, but I think that the money is coming from foreign sources and it‘s being used in our electoral process.  This is nothing but an anti-American money bomb.

This summer—let‘s back it up a little bit.  This summer, Republicans in Congress killed a bill that would have forced the Chamber and other organizations to disclose where their money was coming from and their donors.

Some of the Chamber‘s cash is going to fund attacks against this Democrat, Congressman Joe Sestak, Democratic nominee for the Senate in Pennsylvania.  Congressman, good to have you with us tonight.


SCHULTZ:  You spend 31 years in the military, retired as an admiral, and now you have foreign money working against you in your campaign, when all you want to do is serve the country.  What‘s your response to that?

SESTAK:  I protected the sovereignty of this nation for those 31 years, and to think now that there‘s probably approximately $7 million of outside interest group ads pouring in here, like the Chambers of Congress (SIC), which because of the way that they have it set up, we can‘t know who‘s doing this.  But we do know that corporations overseas are actually funneling money into them.  And it‘s sort of, like, I‘m just waiting for Congressman Toomey to say, my opponent, Wait a minute, we can‘t have that.

SCHULTZ:  Well, that was my next question.  Has your opponent responded to any of this?  This is a story that was brought up by the president in the State of the Union.  Of course, it was in the Congress in year.  The Republicans didn‘t want anything to do with it.  And now here comes the money.  Is he on record against this?

SESTAK:  Absolutely not, nor I do expect it, because remember, this is how they want to have it.  They don‘t believe we‘re in an election.  These corporations think it‘s an auction.  And they want one of their own, somebody who was actually a lobbyist for one of these special interest groups called Club for Growth, which is really club for shrinking the middle class.

Look, Congressman Toomey worked in Hong Kong for a billionaire and actually has advocated in his book and that it‘s good for China to subsidize illegally its exports to America because it‘s a gift.  But he calls it creative destruction, isn‘t going to stand up to any corporation that he used to get millions of dollars for as a lobbyist for Club for Growth.  Now, all of a sudden, they‘re funneling—no, he won‘t stand up.

SCHULTZ:  Joe, I‘m not trying to dis you here.  I‘m a fan.  But how are you going to match this money?  You can‘t match this money.  I don‘t think any Democrat can match this money.  What‘s your game plan now?

SESTAK:  Well, we‘re just about in a dead heat right now, Ed.  We know that.  And look, at this point in time, when I was outspent by Senator Specter, twice as much money against me, and I was at this point in time away from the primary, 20 points down—you know what?  It comes back to Pennsylvanians.  We are very commonsensical.  It worked in the primary.

SCHULTZ:  Despite the money, you can still win this.

SESTAK:  Without a question.  Look...

SCHULTZ:  Is it, un-American, in your opinion, what‘s happening right now?

SESTAK:  Absolutely.  If there is foreign money that‘s being funneled in—the Chamber of Commerce is not being transparent, just like Congressman Toomey and Wall Street weren‘t transparent when they did that derivatives trading.  Yes, that is not what America stands for.  How could we even think to have people voting against this bill—and Congressman Toomey was against the bill—that would have let have us transparency?  Think of those billionaires we know of and we‘ve heard of already were funneling money into this—attack ads against me.  No, this has now gone so pernicious that we have foreign corporations apparently now funneling attack ads for Congressman Toomey against me.  That isn‘t American.

SCHULTZ:  I find it amazing that the conservatives love to wrap themselves in the flag and play the patriotic card all the time, yet they are silent on this issue.  What do you make of that?

SESTAK:  Well, you wonder what conservatives want to conserve.  I mean, in my mind, it‘s most important that these are American elections.  We pride ourselves so much on that.  How could you oppose a law that would have made it transparent and would have forbidden as a law—as the legislation I worked for—any foreign entity to be funneling money into this type of an election?  And that‘s why Washington has to change.  Look, Congressman Toomey‘s down there, six years a congressman...

SCHULTZ:  Well, I don‘t know how this is going to change, Congressman.  I mean, you‘ve got a Supreme Court ruling.  You‘ve got a Congress—you‘ve got an obstructionist mentality over on the Republican side.  They shot this down.  This is the way life is going to be probably for the next several election cycles.

SESTAK:  Well, we‘re going to change that in Washington.  For example, my piece of legislation says, Wait a moment.  Let‘s make sure that the shareholders who own that corporation vote on every ad and actually vote where the money will go to.


SESTAK:  There‘s ways we can do this...


SCHULTZ:  That‘ll rope more people into the process, right?  It‘ll go right to the boardroom.  Interesting strategy.  Congressman, good to have you with us tonight.  All the best to you.

SESTAK:  All the best, Ed.

SCHULTZ:  Coming up: I‘m convinced there is something up in the water up in Maine.  The Republican trying to be governor up there has found a way to tie taxes to bull genitalia.  He‘ll charge straight into “The Zone” next.  Stay with us.


SCHULTZ:  And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, let‘s go to the state of Maine, where the Republican candidate for governor up there—let me tell you, this guy, he knows how to keep it crazy.  He was the guy who recently made this threatening campaign promise.  Check it out.


PAUL LEPAGE (R-ME), CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR:  As your governor, you‘re going to be seeing a lot of me on the front page saying, Governor Lepage tells Obama to go to hell.


SCHULTZ:  Oh, he‘s a tough one!  And that‘s not even the most psycho thing this guy‘s ever said.  He‘s a fan of school vouchers, and here‘s why he thinks private schools are so great.


LEPAGE:  They‘ve brought the math scores way up because they bring kids from the—from Asia, and they‘ve brought the verbals up because—and languages up because they bring kids from Asia.


SCHULTZ:  So his solution to American educational success is populating schools with foreign students.  And instead of coming up with realistic solutions to education, listen to what the wannabe governor is now hollering about.


LEPAGE:  I don‘t know if you know this, but the state of Maine is the only state in the United States of America that charges sales tax on bull semen.  Did you hear that?


LEPAGE:  Did you hear that?  Bull semen.  The only place in the United States of America, this state.


SCHULTZ:  I know it‘s a family show, but the guy did say it.  Lepage is flat-out wrong on this one.  That particular substance has been exempt from sales tax since 2005.  Now, here‘s Lepage, he is whining about taxes being too high, but he doesn‘t even know anything about his own state‘s tax code.  This guy is never-ending, a never-ending source of “Psycho Talk.”

Coming up: Republicans won‘t spend a dime to help suffering Americans here at home, but they have no problem making the middle class pump billions of dollars into war.  Anybody paying attention?  Today marks the start of our tenth year of combat operations in Afghanistan.  It needs to end now.  Robert Greenwald, producer and director of “Rethink Afghanistan,” sounds off about the conditions today.  That‘s the “Battleground” story.

And Christine O‘Donnell is playing victim to the liberal media and complaining about character assassination.  I‘ll let you be the judge.

And Sarah Palin jumps the shark.  Lou Dobbs—he might be a hypocrite.  And a man trying to get Sharron Angle elected thinks government should regulate homosexuality.  How disgusting!

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


SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.  The “Battleground” story tonight is just that, the battleground.  America has entered its tenth year of war, taking precious American lives and resources with no end in sight in Afghanistan.  The debt toll continues to rise.  More American troops have died this year than in any other year of this war, more than 1,300.  And in the process, American tax dollars are being spent on a war with no clear goal or strategy or path to victory.  This country has already spent $336 billion on the war in Afghanistan, $336 billion.  That translates to a $1,000 per citizen in America, money that could have gone to help the middle class and ease the pain during this economic recovery.  It‘s the old classic, we‘ll fight them over there so we don‘t have to fight them here.  Are you buying into that?

Joining me now is Robert Greenwald, director of “Rethink Afghanistan,” and Robert that is well titled because it is time going into year ‘10 that we rethink this whole thing.  Where are we in a nutshell?

ROBERT GREENWALD, DIRECTOR OF “RETHINK AFGHANISTAN”:  Well, sadly, Ed, we‘re worse off than we‘ve ever been.  The war is a tragedy on every level.  It‘s costing us financially.  When I was in Afghanistan, I took a tour of what they call the Beverly Hills of Afghanistan.  There were mansions after  mansions paid for by our tax dollars, corrupt contractors, members of the Karzai government and drug dealers that were essentially supporting with this ill-advised war, and I don‘t know how many more deaths and how many more billions it‘s going to take us until we change this policy.  

SCHULTZ:  Americans—you want to know where the middle class is?  The middle class is over in Afghanistan.  We have gutted our infrastructure to make this war a reality.  For some idea that we‘ve got to do this over there if we‘re going to be safe as a nation.  And Mr. Greenwald, tell us tonight to us, you know, 99.99 percent of Americans will never get to Afghanistan.  When you go over there and see it, is it a game-changer for you?  Do people that you know come away thinking, what in the hell are we doing?

GREENWALD:  Well there‘s no question about it.  I mean, if you go over with your eyes open and you‘re not on a government-sponsored tour where they select who you‘re going to talk to, you see right in front of your eyes, Ed, it‘s the third poorest country in the world.  They need jobs.  They need health care.  They need anything but a military occupation.  And as my son pointed out to me from “The New York Times” the other day, $400 of your tax dollars to send one gallon of gas to parts of Afghanistan.  That doesn‘t make any sense.  And it‘s not making us safer.  It‘s a civil war.  The Taliban have never said that they want to invade, or occupy or come after members of the United States.  So, I don‘t know what we‘re doing there.  

SCHULTZ:  Well, and politically, it‘s going to play pretty tough for the president of the United States.  Because something‘s going to have to happen here in the next year.  That‘s just can‘t go on the way it is.  And is this a case where the base could turn on the president before 2012?  What do you think?

GREENWALD:  It already has, Ed.  In the year and a half that we‘ve been working on Afghanistan, the polls have shifted radically.  We‘ve seen people‘s opinion change, on our Facebook page, we now have almost 50,000 people who get up every day and work to try to end this war.  The basis against them on this, you read the Woodward book, and it breaks your heart.  Have the generals and the military have trapped him into this war and he‘s stuck.  Hopefully, he‘s going to stand up the way he did against the Iraq war.  Speak out loud and clear, and the country will rally behind him.  

SCHULTZ:  Hey, Mr. Greenwald, when are you going to be releasing some new footage of what is unfolding in Afghanistan?

GREENWALD:  Well, I just left the editing room, Ed, and we‘ve got amazing original footage sent to us by members of Afghanistan bloggers who we sent little flip cams to. 

SCHULTZ:  Yes.  

GREENWALD:  And it‘s hard evidence of the corruption around the election.  We have videos of people going in with the purple finger, walking out, washing it off, going back in and voting again.  We have videos of people checking the ballots and stuffing it.  And this is the government that we‘re asking Americans to die and pay for.

SCHULTZ:  Robert Greenwald, Brave New Films.  Great to have you with us tonight.  Thanks so much for your work.  

Now, let‘s get some rapid fire response from our panel on the cost of the war and of course these stories.  

Top White House Adviser David Axelrod is blaming FOX News for egging on the birther movement.  I guess. 

And Sarah Palin flirts with the presidential run, but a new poll shows only 22 percent of Americans have a favorable view of Sarah Palin. 

With us tonight Jack Rice, former CIA officer and also Michael Medved, nationally syndicated radio talk show host.  Gentlemen, let‘s talk about the cost of the war.  Michael, if you want to see the American middle class, you can go to Afghanistan, because that‘s where our infrastructure is going.  Give us a conclusion to this.  We‘re going into year number ten.  What do you think?  

MICHAEL MEDVED, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  Well I think that the president of the United States was right in his campaign when he talked about Afghanistan as a necessary war.  It‘s necessary because you talk about the cost of the war, the cost of defeat in this war would be much higher because there‘s no question at all, but the Taliban, if they take power again, would reestablish terrorist training basis that would not only hit the United States but would hit all of Western Europe and put us all in danger.  This is simply as President Obama has said repeatedly and he‘s right on this, and I back the president of the United States.  This is a war that America and our military cannot afford to lose. 

SCHULTZ:  Jack, what do you think? 

JACK RICE, FORMER CIA OFFICER:  I completely disagree.  A third of trillion dollars, a million dollars to support a soldier for a year.  This is actually causing more instability, and by the way that instability is expanding.  It‘s not just in Afghanistan.  I‘ve been in the country, Harat, I‘ve been in Kandahar, I‘ve been in a Kabul.  Again, it‘s expanding into Pakistan now, too.  It‘s bleeding across the border.  The Pakistanis have just shutdown the border.  Eighty percent of all of the supplies for Afghanistan come through that region.  How are we going to deal with that now?  Oh by the way, the Pakistanis, what is it 60, 70, 80 nuclear weapons, do we want to watch that explode as a result of this, it‘s coming.  

SCHULTZ:  Michael?

MEDVED:  Well, there is no question that Pakistan is a gigantic problem.  And I think one of the difficulties you have in Pakistan is the total lack of political leadership.  I actually am encouraged apparently of President Musharraf who is the former president there is now planning to run again, if they ever do have an election.  But clearly, this is the defining issue of the Obama presidency. 

SCHULTZ:  Well, wait a minute.  

MEDVED:  If he doesn‘t get this right. 

SCHULTZ:  But Michael, President Obama didn‘t put us there and the American people collected...  

MEDVED:  He put 30,000 additional troops there, didn‘t he?

SCHULTZ:  He followed what his generals wanted him do.  

MEDVED:  Correct and he did the right thing.  

SCHULTZ:  And now we‘re in a situation where we don‘t really have any end insight, what we‘re basically sitting here saying the same thing we were saying nine years ago that we have to fight them over there or we‘re going to get hit right here.  And I don‘t think that the American people buy that.  

MEDVED:  Let me ask you—I‘ll ask you and Jack a question.  Do you think that it is a problem for U.S. security if they reestablish the terrorist training basis that we know existed in Afghanistan before the war?


RICE:  OK, Michael, let me go straight at that.  Very simply, the Taliban is winning.  They‘re winning now because every time we kill an innocent it expands the number of people who swing to the Taliban side.  We also look at.

MEDVED:  You‘re not answering the question, Jack.  

RICE:  We dropped 30,000 troops in the.

MEDVED:  You‘re not answering the question.  

RICE:  We could put 300,000 in.  It‘s not going to make a difference.  The problem that you‘re having, Michael, it‘s a false premise.  Because the idea that we‘re spending a third of a trillion dollars, that that‘s fixing the problem.  It is not.  

MEDVED:  It‘s not a matter of fixing the problem.  It‘s a question of defending.


It‘s a question of defending our country.  You have not answered the question, do you think it would be a danger to the United States of America, if they reestablish terrorist Al Qaeda training basis in Afghanistan?

SCHULTZ:  That‘s a hypothetical, Michael.  Michael, that‘s a hypothetical question.  Gosh, we‘d be in trouble if they established the terrorist basis in Kandahar.  You don‘t know that for sure that they‘re going to do that. 

MEDVED:  They say they are.  

SCHULTZ:  OK, so we should have this—you‘re suggesting that an open-ended policy, we‘ll just do this forever and this is just standard operating procedure.  This is the only way that this country‘s going to survive is for us to spend billions of dollars in Afghanistan.  There‘s no other way out of it is what you‘re saying.  

RICE:  Let me add one additional point.  One last point to this.  My attitude, Michael, is this, if I‘m going to send my child to die in Afghanistan, I want to damn well know that it‘s actually going to work.  And because of what we‘ve seen already and what I have seen with my own eyes and I‘d looked at what the Karzai government has done, I‘ve looked in the face of Afghans who have very told me, very clearly that they doubt the credibility and the competency of this government.  And when the Americans go and support this guy, who they see as a crook and a criminal, it makes us responsible, and equally a part of what it is that they do.  That does not make us safer.  We have to contemplate why we do what we do and that the cost isn‘t worth it.  We should not be doing it.  

MEDVED:  It does not make us safer to hand to the other side a gigantic victory, a gigantic victory that would encourage terrorism all around the world and against all of the Western powers including the United States. 

SCHULTZ:  Hypothetical, Michael.  

MEDVED:  Which is why by the way, we have 30 other NATO countries that are fighting alongside us. 

SCHULTZ:  Yes.  Is that still the coalition of the willing?  

MEDVED:  Yes, it is actually. 

SCHULTZ:  Michael Medved and Jack Rice, great to have you with us tonight.  I‘m sorry, we didn‘t get to the other subjects but you guys got hot under the collar and I don‘t blame you.  Good to have you with us.  Thanks.  

MEDVED:  Thank you.

SCHULTZ:  Coming up, one of Beck‘s best friends in a professor at Beck University thinks that government should regulate homosexuality.  Nice company you keep Beckster.  

Plus, President Obama is rallying the base.  And he‘s doing it with actions, not words.  This is a man who knows how to fight.  More on that coming up on the Playbook.  Stay with us.


SCHULTZ:  And it‘s not too late to let us know what you think.  The number to dial is 1-877-ed-msnbc.  Tonight‘s telephone survey question is, do profitable U.S. companies have a patriotic responsibility to create American jobs?  Press the number one for yes, press the number two for no.  Again, the number to dial is 1-877-ed-msnbc.  We‘re right back.


SCHULTZ:  And in my “Playbook” tonight, these right wing haters are flat out, out of control.  The latest offense comes from a Glenn Beck righty David Barton, so-called professor at Beck University.  On his radio show, Barton was talking about government regulation of things like fast food, cigarettes and salt.  And then he came up with this incredibly bigoted theory. 


DAVID BARTON, AMERICAN EVANGELICAL CHRISTIAN MINISTER:  If I go to the Centers for Disease Control and if I‘m concerned about health, I find some interesting stats there and this should tell me something about health.  Homosexual/bisexual individuals seven times more likely to contemplate or commit suicide.  

Oh, that doesn‘t sound very healthy.  Homosexuals die decades earlier than heterosexuals.  That doesn‘t sound healthy.  You go through all of this stuff it sounds to me like that‘s not very healthy.  Why don‘t we regulate homosexuality?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN:  I was going to say. 


SCHULTZ:  This is all part of a clear pattern of hate coming from the right wing.  Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina is saying that gay people in sexually active single women shouldn‘t teach in public schools.  Now, this Beck disciple is spewing the same kind of garbage and this is a guy who is the chair of the Texas Republican Party.  He campaigned with Marco Rubio down in Florida.  He worked with the Newtster on Sharron Angle‘s campaign in Nevada.  He even stumped for John McCain in 2008, the Republicans cannot pass this guy off as just some regular dude.  He is a fringe right. 

For more, let‘s bring in Reverend Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State.  Well, Reverend, we‘ve got a lot of material on the table too show exactly who the Republican Party represents.  What do you make of this?

REV. BARRY LYNN, DIRECTOR, AMERICANS UNITED:  Absolutely, the only thing that David Barton said in that screen that contained all kinds of misinformation was gay and lesbian people.  Yes, they do have a higher suicide rate than straight people and one of the reasons that that is sadly the case and we‘ve just seen recent examples of that including with Tyler Clementi who jumped off the George Washington bridge, after his roommate taped him in a sexual event with a male friend is that these are the people is sow the seeds of this kind of bigotry, they say, to be gay is sinful.  They say, to be gay is to be evil. 

And then, they try to convince young people in particular that they can change that you can go through this pseudo scientific reparative therapy and change and they‘re even against anti-bullying programs in public schools including in our last guest Michael Medved who is sometimes a sensible conservative.  But he‘s against those programs.  How can anybody be oppose to trying to keep bullies from smashing somebody or breaking some kid‘s arm on the playground, something that also happened last week?  

SCHULTZ:  I mean, we could draw the conclusion that they openly promote discrimination and they make no bones about it.  

LYNN:  Oh, they do more than promote discrimination, because what they really want and what David Barton wants to do by regulating homosexuality, the only way you regulate this, I guess, is if you put people in a camp, in a single cell in a camp, and then you just keep them there, unless people say, well, that would never happen.  Of course, sadly it has happened in our history, and as you pointed out, Jim DeMint says, one way that we start all of this process of demonizing and then making it even more difficult to be a gay or a lesbian person in America, make sure they can‘t teach and if they can‘t teach, we of course know they can‘t be in the military.  Senator DeMint‘s against that as well, so this is a very vial, very evil campaign.  

SCHULTZ:  This is who they are.  Reverend Lynn, great to have you with us tonight.  Thank you for your time.  

LYNN:  Always nice, thank you.  

SCHULTZ:  Now a page in the “Playbook” with less than four weeks to go before the elections, President Obama is going back to the base.  At a fund-raiser in New Jersey last night, president of the United States warned Democrats against sulking and sitting back this November.  Today, the president hit the campaign trail again in Maryland trying to pump up the base. 


BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  You‘ve got pundits who are saying, while the other party‘s supporters are more excited, they‘re saying they‘re going to turn out at higher levels.  I think that the pundits are wrong.  But—but it‘s up to you to prove them wrong.  Don‘t make me look bad now!  I mean—I‘m betting on you.  Change doesn‘t come from the top, it doesn‘t come from millions of dollars of attack ads, funded by special interest, change happens from the bottom up.  Change happens because of you. 


SCHULTZ:  Joining me now is A.B. Stoddard, associate editor of “The Hill.”  They have done some extensive polling.  “The Hill” was conducted—their poll was conducted in 12 Battleground districts.  A.B., what did you find?

A.B. STODDARD, ASSOCIATE EDITOR, “THE HILL”:  Well, Ed, let‘s start out with the fact that this is a tough environment for Democrats on many levels, but this enthusiasm gap is absolutely key to their standing in the polls and their potential to come from behind, and on the margins end up holding the house.  None of the republican challengers in these 12 districts where freshman Democrats are fighting for their lives have broken 50 percent.  What you‘re seeing a lot of enthusiasm by independents and Republicans for them but not a lot of enthusiasm by Democrats for the incumbent.  If they can turn that around in the weeks to come, like I said, they could make up some of the difference.  I don‘t think Democrats can win independents now, Ed.  But if they can appeal as President Obama has done to partisan Democrats and make them angry about what the Republicans are saying, what they‘re proposing and trying to get them in the car that‘s going to make up a lot of numbers on November 2nd.  

SCHULTZ:  DNC is going to spend $50 million to get out the vote.  Four million more Republicans have voted in the primary season and I think some of this are showing in your polling, you saw 91 percent to 85 percent.  Among the likely voters aged 18 to 34, which was a real money demographic for the administration, 56 percent are very passionate about casting ballots.  Is this number going to be good enough to put the Democrats over the top?  What do you make of that number?

STODDARD:  No, in fact, the pollsters who conducted this for us Penn, Schoen & Berland found that that was the lowest number of enthusiasm, lowest percentage of voter enthusiasm of any demographic in the group.  And so you‘re really looking at a depressed youth vote, which as we know, is critical in 2008.  If they have time in these couple weeks to try to motivate them, you know that could make the difference.  But they probably need to go after loyal senior Democrats.  

SCHULTZ:  Yes.  

STODDARD:  Women, you know college professors, whoever turned out, African-Americans who‘ve turned out.  We‘ve seen other polling, Ed, as we know in previous weeks that show that the groups that approve of President Obama the most are the least interested in this election.  Our poll backs that up.  They‘ve got to change that dynamic. 

SCHULTZ:  A.B. Stoddard of “The Hill,” great to have you with us tonight.  Thanks so much.  

STODDARD:  Thanks, Ed.  

SCHULTZ:  Couple of final pages in the “Playbook” tonight, Lou Dobbs, Mr. illegal immigration himself is categorically denying a report in “The Nation” magazine that he hired illegal workers to take care of his multimillion dollar estates.  The magazine conducted a year-long investigation to uncovered Dobbs had at least five illegal immigrants working in his gardens and stables.  Dobbs calls it a political assault and a lie.  I think he just might be looking really at an American hypocrite. 

And finally, Rupert Murdoch is speaking out about the $1 million gift.  News Corp. made to the Republican Governor‘s Association, Uncle Rupert said that it was because of his friendship with John Kasich and claimed that it had nothing to do with FOX News.  Kasich is the republican candidate for Ohio governor and he‘s also a former FOX News host.  No real connection there.  The last I checked, Rupert had some other friends on the FOX News payroll as well, you know like Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich and we all know none of them want to be president.  

Coming up, Christine O‘Donnell came out of hiding to get some republican love last night.  Then she spent her time talking smack.  Mike Papantonio sounds off on that.  The big Papantonio showed next on THE ED SHOW. Stay with us.


SCHULTZ:  And finally tonight, Christine O‘Donnell finally emerge said from her Dick Cheney-like bunker last night for a republican-sponsored candidate forum, she says, she‘s ready to become a senator.  


CHRISTINE O‘DONNELL ®, DELAWARE SENATE NOMINEE:  I have a graduate fellowship from the Claremont Institute in Constitutional Government and that is a deep analysis of the constitution that has helped me to analyze and have an opinion on what‘s going on today and be able to determine that, our leaders in Washington have lost their way. 


SCHULTZ:  For more, let‘s turn to Mike Papantonio for what we would say, is deep analysis. 


Can you believe she said that?  Mike, great to have you with us.  I mean, this is a freak show, isn‘t it?

MIKE PAPANTONIO, RADIO SHOW HOST:  Well, the Christine O‘Donnell story is one the Republicans want to go away.  Because like it or not, they know that Christine O‘Donnell is now the face of the new tea bag Republican Party.  Just like David Barton who you just talked about or Joe the Plumber, Newt Gingrich or Michele Bachmann.  Look, this is exhibit A for what the Republican Party is morphed into.  They can‘t run away from it, Ed. 

As Democrats, what Democrats should be doing is using her, morphing her into every GOP candidate out there.  The real story on Christine O‘Donnell is not that she believes that rats have human brains.  The story is not that she believes that she wanted to be a witch sometimes.  It‘s not even—it‘s not even that she says that she doesn‘t want to eat meat—she doesn‘t want to be vegan because she likes meatballs, the story is that she is the face of the tea bag Republican Party and the leadership is happy about that. 

As we speak, you have Karl Rove traveling all over the globe on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce, who is raising money in places like Saudi Arabia, Libya, China, Russia, to raise money for candidates like  Christine O‘Donnell.  You might remember, he came out at first and said she‘s an aberration, well, no she‘s not an aberration, she is mainstream, mainstream.  Now, in her new ad, she tells that she‘s no longer a witch and that she‘s just like you, Ed.  She tells us she‘s just like me, she‘s just like everybody according to Christine O‘Donnell. 

The truth is, she believes that because she has surrounded herself with the Sarah Palins and the Mitt Romneys and the Newt Gingrich and the Michele Bachmanns who are just like her.  This confederacy of odd balls that make up the grand old Republican Party.  You don‘t need to—you don‘t need the whole story.  All you need is to understand, she is the story.  She is the new Republican Party and they can‘t run away from it.  They could even visualize it a Palin/O‘Donnell ticket in 2012.  I can tell you, that‘s how serious they are with a candidate like O‘Donnell.  

SCHULTZ:  Lord, help us.  Mike, one election at a time, please! 


Great to have you with us tonight, buddy.  Appreciate your time.  

Tonight on our telephone survey, I asked, do you think profitable U.S.  companies have a patriotic responsibility to create American jobs?  Ninety three percent of you said, yes.  Seven percent of you said, no. 

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



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